Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newsletter '09

Seasons greetings!

 What a year it has been at our house.  With 4 very active children, it is difficult to find a moment to gather a few things to share with you from our year.  Emma is 6, Elizabeth is 4, and Annie and Maddie turned 1 year old last month.  They all love each other very much, but it’s not uncommon to hear things like, “Annie is a spider and I’m squishing her.”  I also say many things that I never knew I would ever have to say, such as, “We don’t lock sisters in the cupboard.”  But when Annie and Maddie empty out the kitchen drawers and cupboards on a daily basis, cupboards present themselves as amazing forts.

Emma is in the dual language class in 1st grade.   She seems to be speaking with a pretty good accent (to me anyway), but Ryan is often as puzzled as I am at gathering what she’s trying to say.  She reads very well, and we will often find her asleep on the floor in front of her bedroom door, having tried to use the light under the door to read a book after she’s supposed to be in bed.

Elizabeth loves morning preschool and Primary at church.  She loves to yell sing and run around, and color and cut paper until it is in about 150 pieces on the floor.  She is good about sweeping them up and putting them in the garbage afterwards.  Most of the time.  Her teacher at school told me that when she refers to her big sister at school, Elizabeth always calls her, “My Emma.”  She is also the self-appointed official Taste Tester when I cook.

Annie and Maddie are learning to speak.  Between the two of them, I think they have 50+ words, 4 or 5 of which are recognizable English.  The other 45 are a cross of Chinese, German and some lost civilization’s language of clicks, grunts and shrieks.  Annie and Maddie travel as a unit, which they have found causes the most destruction in the smallest amount of time.  And they politely put up with their mom’s need to play dumb games like peek-a-boo, where’s the binky and kiss-y face.

Ryan wins Best Dad Award for changing roughly 5000 diapers this year (if you think that’s good, just think about how many I changed), and letting me escape periodically by watching all the kids.  He also wins Most Crazy for playing handyman and ripping out our old kitchen and putting in a new one.  Really, what were we thinking to be without a kitchen during the week of spring break?  That moment all your old cabinets and sink are in the backyard, and the big appliances and new cupboards are in the living room, you start to wonder what the heck you got yourself into.  But it turned out great; Ryan did an amazing job. 

Let’s see, some of the year’s other developments.  Ryan and I got away again this summer by ourselves.  (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)  We visited Ryan’s sister out in North Carolina.  We both visited DC and the Atlantic Ocean for the first time while we were out there.  It’s wonderful to spend time as a couple, even when you manage to still refer to each other as Mom and Dad when the kids aren’t around.  Our great accomplishment of the year was to singlehandedly keep the diaper and formula industry afloat.  We have recently switched away from formula and are now doing our part for the dairy industry. 

We’ve had some exciting moments as a family when we go out in public.  People think it’s amazing how we’ve defied the laws of probability and have four daughters.  It’s touching how strangers remark on that fact, and how their sympathy reaches out to Ryan with words of “hormones,” “bathrooms,” and “teenagers.”

Merry Christmas!

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