Eden — Four and Ten

My heart bursts watching Eden. She’s intense. She’s tenacious. She’s full of love and wonder…with no reservations about expressing herself.

And now, the many faces of Eden:

At four years and ten months, Eden:

  • likes to concentrate on tasks, “Shhh! I’m working.”
  • is fiercely loyal. She told Den, “I’ll always be there for you.” And she will be.
  • enjoyed RV camping! Her favorite part was the potty. (I think that was everyone’s favorite.) “Mom, it would be so fun if I could go potty while Dad drives.” Yep. It’s the little things.
  • found and held her first frog while camping. It was a small brown frog. She was enraptured.
  • feeds and dotes on Sweet Pea. She loves to hold her…and tries to carry her…and I try to let her without panicking.
  • is developing a wit that makes me swoon. Recently, she was pretending to be a cat and I asked her what her name was. “My name is…wait for it…wait for it…CHLOE.” (Ah yes, the name she always chooses. Why Chloe? Who knows? I bet her firstborn girl will be named Chloe.)
  • has taken the lead on caring for Lady. They are smitten with each other. (Well, sometimes Lady is a bit fearful of Eden’s tenacious love.) They go everywhere together. Lady loves to snuggle, which is just fine with Eden! These two are developing a beautiful relationship.
  • gave Sweet Pea a bath.
  • loves and wants to house every stray dog we come across, “But, Mom! That dog has no home. We have to take it home and take care of it.”
  • calms Clancy, our dog, with a gentle, “Easy, Clance. Easy.”
  • is learning that, and I quote, “Only MY grown ups can see me naked, not the visiting ones.” We’re getting there!
  • loved having “Daddy’s brother” visit.

Chick Pea — TWO!

I am surprised to discover very few notes on Chick Pea this past month. So many of her changes have been…soft…unspoken. I’ve noted a vulnerability that is sweet…yet frightening. This impenetrable child has trusted her heart to us…she seeks gentle hugs in the quiet of day…she nuzzles my neck…seeking and finding comfort. I am undone.

At two years of age, Chick Pea:

  • names and narrates. This is one of my favorite stages. As she gets dressed, she names body parts…and explains what is happening, “Shirt on. Shoes on.”
  • is speaking so much. Her language has just exploded…in the best of ways.
  • signs like a pro. Miss Smarty Pants learns signs faster than anyone I’ve ever seen.
  • rubs soft foods, like yogurt and sour cream, all over herself. (This is likely a carry-over from her nighttime ritual. She has eczema, so we slather on the lotion each night. )Sneaky girl almost always waits until my back is turned or I’m out of the room. You’d think I’d learn.
  • lets me sing “Rock-a-bye Baby” to her and cradle her in my arms. (It occurred to me recently that she is the only one I have not sing lullabies to as a wee babe…and I went about remedying that!) The first time I held her like a baby and she relaxed into my arms, my heart ached. It ached for her…time I did not have with her…time her mother does not have now. I ached for all of the brokenness in her wee life.
  • tags along and imitates Denver in the sweetest of ways.
  • exhibits fewer strong-willed defiances…girl gets along. She gets along so well.
  • dotes on Sweet Pea…still. Such a sweet sister.
  • enjoyed a birthday party with her mom, her aunt, and her grandma. (We were invited to attend. Touching!)

Denver — THREE!

Glory be, she is three! What a girl. Denver is a river…deep, wild, at once peaceful and still, then full of fury…ever changing…ever winding…ever inviting. She’s the one who joins me in my quiet moments…just sitting…longing to connect in our unspoken language. And yet, she’s the loudest of my girls. This quiet soul…so LOUD. Not a single moment with this one is taken for granted. All that she is…every glance, giggle, cry, and yes…scream…each one is a gift…because she was born to another. She was carried and nursed and swaddled by another. And yet. And yet. The same loving arms that welcomed Denver to the world, courageously delivered her to us. Denver is our daughter. Our beloved daughter. Our darling girl.

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At three years of age, Denver:

  • loves to have her back tickled as she drifts off to sleep.
  • wears panties. All day long! (Still uses a pull up for night time.)
  • embraced her first RV trip. While the others wanted to stay in the RV upon hitting our campsite, Denver wanted O-U-T. She wanted to explore nature…girl after my own heart. She discovered the stream behind our campsite.
  • wants to feed me at each meal. With each offering she puts in my face, she eagerly says, “It doesn’t have wheat, Mom.” Of course, it typically does. Still. Cute.
  • calls raspberries daddy fingers, because of THIS. She puts a raspberry on each finger and sings the finger family song. She even uses that funky accent.
  • shows that she is THREE with her pointer, middle, and pinkie fingers. Don’t know why she does it. I hope and pray she never “corrects” it!
  • insisted on party hats for her birthday party. Insisted. And we happily complied.
  • calls dark feathers “dog feathers.” That’s my girl.
  • shouts, “Get me off this thing!” dramatically. No, she has never seen the Jetsons. It’s just our Denver.
  • lights up at the words Paw Patrol. Thus, a Paw Patrol birthday party with Paw Patrol party hats, plates, toys. Girl cannot get enough Paw Patrol. Her favorite is Chase…followed quickly by Skye. She likes me to sing the Paw Patrol song as a lullaby…which is quite the shift from her beloved ABC lullaby.
  • reminds me daily that we never know what surprises are just around the bend.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we proudly present…DENVER, the three-year-old!

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Eden — Four and Nine

Eden is such an enchanting girl. The girls wears her heart proudly on her sleeve. Good thing her heart is so lovely. Well, except for when it’s not. Even then, I adore that she is authentic in all that she is…hides nothing. She’s a breath of fresh air in a weary world.image

At four years and nine months, Eden:

  • is not satisfied with a simple, “no” reply. Eden’s version = “No, ho, ho!!!”
  • has named the phenomenon in which one sneezes and toots at the same time. It is an achoo toot. Quite appropriate, I think.
  • has mastered the remote. And life will never be the same.
  • does her own laundry. Or more accurately, can do her own laundry. Joyfully. Because she’s only four. (Phil is da man behind any chore stuff…teaches the girls to do laundry, to sort laundry, and to put away laundry. THANK GOD for this man.)
  • has discovered the delights of the chicken leg. And she’s terribly sad that only two legs come with a bird. AND, she’s discovering where chicken legs come from…which, yes, gives me pause. It freaks her out a bit that chicken legs are…CHICKEN LEGS. We may have a future vegetarian on our hands. We’ll see.
  • enjoys pork chops, but believes them to be chicken. She even asked, “Is pork chop a way to say chicken in French?” Hmmmm. Not so much.
  • looks for the recycling symbol on all of our food containers. Thanks, Rocky from Paw Patrol! We love you, buddy.
  • has embraced the joy of our new compost bin. Fun science stuff!
  • loves to play “house” with Denver. There are exactly two roles in house = the mother and “the dear.” I love that the kid is “the dear.”
  • greeted me one day with, “Mom, you’re just the woman that I wanted to see.”
  • thinks it is pretty hilarious to say “vulva hiney, vulva hiney, vulva hiney.” Yep, that’s a good one, kiddo.
  • unleashes her fury upon me from time to time. This one will need guidance in taking a moment or two to calm down before speaking…as does her mother! And just like me, she almost immediately regrets the words that flow forth. Case in point:
    • Eden: “When I am older, I am leaving and I will NOT be in your family ANY MORE!”
    • Me: “Oh! I’ll miss you. But I understand.”
    • Eden: “Well, I’ll stay close…in the neighborhood. And I’ll visit. BUT when you are mean, I will leave to be with my roommate.”
    • Me: “Sounds like a good plan.”
    • Eden: “But I’ll miss you when I’m gone.”
  • blesses me beyond measure.

Sweet Pea — Eight Months

The girl is on fire! She wants to get up and go, go, go with her older sisters. On top of that, I highly suspect she…much like her beloved Eden…is an extrovert. Though my snuggly-wuggly wee babe has been replaced with this go-getter, Sweet Pea has retained her sweet, gentle, contented yumminess. Everything she does feeds my soul with such peace and joy.

At eight months, Sweet Pea:

  • sits up. All on her own. Just like she’s been doing it her whole life. Oy.
  • wants to play ALL day. She down to only two good naps a day. And so it begins…or rather, ends.
  • holds her own bottle.
  • experienced her first camping trip. She happily played out in the “woods,” mouthing sticks, rocks…any bit of nature she could grasp in those beautifully chubby hands.
  • eats crackers. Sniff, sniff. Crackers. There’s no turning back now.
  • takes a bath in the bathtub now. Oh, this girl! Soooo fast! She’s growing up so fast!!
  • says “dah-dah-dah,” which is great and all. And to be fair, it was her first utterance. But hearing “muh-muh-muh-muh” makes me giddy. Giddy.
  • is everywhere! She is officially crawling. And nothing is beyond her. Sigh.
  • can drink from a sippy cup.
  • lights up the room…not only with her smile, but with her sweet spirit.

Chick Pea — Twenty-Three Months!

Just one month shy of two, yet with the wit and wisdom of one MUCH older. This girl never ceases to amaze me with her fearless ambitions. I have rarely seen anyone move forward toward a goal with such unwavering faith that it will be accomplished. Whew. She keeps me on my toes!

At twenty-three months, Chick Pea:

  • loves to wipe up messes. This comes in handy around here. She’ll look at me, with a rag in hand, “Clean?” Oh yes, baby girl, you knock yourself out.
  • has caught the Paw Patrol frenzy that exists within our wall. Though it sounds like “Bubbles,” the girl is saying “Paw Patrol.” No doubt.
  • brushes her hair…just like the big girls. (I adore how proud she is to be just like Eden and Denver.)
  • says “Good night” with absolute clarity.
  • can count. It goes something like this, “two, free, bap!”
  • says “thank you,” of her own accord. Sweetie girl.
  • loves our new dog, Lady. Perhaps because Lady will let Chick Pea love on her…or more accurately, because I let her love on Lady. Sadly, I often find myself limiting Chick’s affections on others…cause girl likes to smother the baby…and poke at her eyes…so I’m forever saying, “Gentle, Chick Pea. Don’t hurt the baby.” But Lady is gentle enough, yet sturdy enough to happily endure Chick’s affections. Lady is going to be sooooo good for our girl.
  • throws the ball at the dogs to play fetch. It’s awfully cute.
  • likes to wear panties…over her clothes.
  • calls animal crackers “baubbs.” Funny how some words are crystal clear and others are garbled.
  • can sign so many words…I’ve lost count. Smarty pants can remember just about any sign she’s ever seen…even if only once. I would put her sign vocabulary right around 200 words. BOOM.

Denver — Two and Eleven

Denver, Denver…how do I love thee? This bundle of energy delights and frustrates. But have you seen this kid? How can I stay mad at her? Little stinker winker. This is it…the last month of two. I cannot fathom…how did she get so big? So fast? She still leaves me breathless with gratitude…this precious one…given in surrender to me…to us. We love her so.

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At two years and eleven months, Denver:

  • is LOUD. She prefers screaming over using her words. And really, with three sisters running about, she might be on to something. And boy, does this girl have a set of lungs on her.
  • has discovered the joys of hiding under the table. Not only is she hidden from view, but once discovered, her gently aging parents struggle with the acrobatics required to pull her out. Little stinker.
  • uses the phrase, “You little stinker winker” a lot. Hmmm, wonder where she picked that one up?
    • loves the “surprise egg” phenomenon popular on YouTube. Baby Big Mouth. Oh yeah, some of you moms know what I’m talking about. I thought she was weird…the only one…but oh no. At a recent MOPS event, I discovered this is a thing. A thing! Anyhoo, the girl loves the surprise egg thingy. Yea Baby Big Mouth.
  • has mad memory verse skills. Mad.
  • nightly asks Phil, “How’s work?” It’s the cutest!
  • asked Chick Pea one night, “How’s work?” Cutie girl.
  • pronounces the word crazy CUH-RAAAZY!
  • smooshes her words together…”I’m verHUNNNGRY.” Don’t know where the girl gets her quirky pronunciations.
  • says “can’t share” for “won’t share.” So when she tells me, “Eden can’t share,” I can’t help but answer, “Oh yes she CAN!”
  • calls yummy food “tasty.” It is the most adorable thing to hear her say, “Oh, Mom! This is very tasty.”
  • calls her apron her cooking dress.
  • sometimes leaves me scratching my head. Okay, often leaves me scratching my head. Here is a little example of a conversation we had:
    • Denver: “I want hummus.”
    • Me: “OK, you can have hummus at lunch.”
    • Denver: “NO! I don’t like hummus.”
  • loves, loves, loves Paw Patrol. In fact, we are having a Paw Patrol birthday party very soon!
  • loves pockets in her clothes. Loves them.
  • sweetly sits beside Chick Pea early in the morning. I NEVER thought this would happen…mainly because Chick Pea is a bit of a pincher…and by a bit, I mean “Watch Out!” Anyhoo, they sweetly sit together on the couch in the morning drinking milk. Swoon.
  • plays with Chick Pea more. Again…shocker as these two butt heads like crazy. Yet more and more, they enjoy each other and giggle, giggle, giggle.
  • screams. Did I mention that? Screams. The girl screams. SCREAMS!
  • makes her family complete.