Tuesday, January 25, 2011

vocabu-wa huh??

CB is extremely creative. I don't think her mind ever stops. The first thing she says in the morning is something about the dream she had the night before, which have lately included lots of bubbles and dragons? And the last thing she says before she goes to bed is what she is going to dream about as soon as she falls asleep. In between she is always singing or dressing up or drawing, cooking, making something out of nothing, dancing, "reading", finding the deeper meaning in things... I don't know how she isn't exhausted.

One of her most amazing talents is her way with words. She rhymes like a pro, like a mini- Diva Eminem, and she can string words together that shouldn't be put together by a small child. For instance, a while having a conversation about whether or not her daddy liked kale she said, "Well, I will just question him about it when he arrives home from work this evening." WHAT?!

She has been talking non stop since she was 17 months old. I think I may have mentioned before that when she was 22 months old she was tested as having the vocabulary and comprehension of a four and a half year old, Lord help me. Even now, at almost age 4, her vocabulary is ridonkulous-- much better than mine, I think (clearly, because I use the word "ridonkulous"). 

But sometimes her creative brain takes over, as does her propensity for the sounds of other languages (Spanish, thanks to Dora and Dutch and Korean thanks to her daddy) and she ends up making up her own words for things, fully expecting us to know what they mean.

Woggly= a combination of wiggly and wobbly
Cribbled= a combination of scribbled and crumbled
PipUp= a sumersault
Habbalay= well, we still aren't exactly sure what that one means...

And then there are her mindbendingly observant thoughts:
"Mommy, lizards are NOT inventions"
"Houses can't jump"
"Remember 14 years ago when I was a pig and I went 'oink oink squeal squeal' and then they cut me up and ATE ME???" (what the....???)

And on and on and on. This is all in addition to the fact that she truly believes she is a princess and nearly every request you make of her will be met with some kind of "what would a princess do" response:
"Mommy, princesses don't eat that."
"Mommy, princesses don't go potty." (neither do astronauts, apparently) 
"Mommy, princesses don't lift up their dresses to go to the bathroom, someone does it for them."
"Mommy, princesses ALWAYS wear sparkly earrings so I need some too."
"Mommy, Germany princesses don't wear klompen. Only Dutch princesses wear klompen and I am a German princess because I was born in Germany. I need Germany princess shoes." (which is funny, because she is actually half Dutch, but whatever.)

In fact, she's so wrapped around this princess idea that when she comes to an obstacle, like a piece of paper on the floor in her walking path or a chair she needs to walk around, or perhaps a flight of 3 stairs, she will stop and wait, saying, "Who will saaaaaaaaaaaaaave me???" until someone comes to her rescue. And when you tell her she can, in fact, remove the ginormously heavy and cumbersome scrap of blanket fuzz from her sock, she will counter with a round of, "But I CAN'T. YOU have to do it. It is too HEAVY for me." complete with sad eyes and a stuck out bottom lip.

There is something about this child though, something so brilliant and special. She has this incredible spirit and ability to make everyone smile and she has the most sweet and empathetic heart and always wants to be sure that everyone is ok and if they aren't, she wants to fix it. I'm sure that in addition to those qualities, her creativity and humor are going to take her places.  I haven't figured out yet who she is going to be or where she will end up but I am so looking forward to finding out. Although, I'll fully admit to being more than a little bit terrified of the road that takes us there...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

how californians play in the snow

We haven't really been around snow since we left Germany, when we lived in a snow globe. I wasn't really expecting to be around snow this year, especially considering it was 74 degrees, 2 days before Thanksgiving. So when it snowed a good couple of inches the day after Christmas, and then stayed around for awhile, I was really surprised, and completely unprepared.

The kids REALLY wanted to go out and play in the snow, so I dug through all of our boxes and tried to find acceptable clothing for them to wear. I only had one infant snow suit, W's old red and blue one, which went to MJ, as she is the smallest. Who cares if it made her look like a boy?? A got to wear CB's old jacket and 2 pairs of pants, and boots that were 3 sizes too big for her. CB squeezed into the snowsuit W wore 2 years ago-- a size 3T snowsuit and size 7 boots. Except, she wears a 5T and size 9 boots, but at least she was warm... save for the 2 inches of leg where there was a gap between the bottom of her pants and the tops of her boots. And then there was W... poor W. There wasn't anything to hand down to him, so he got to wear some fleece pants from last year with a pair of CB's leggings under, his jacket from last year and some rain boots, under the stipulation that he was not to run, as rain boots don't exactly provide traction on slick ground.

When the kids had woken up that morning, they bounded into our room begging to go tobogganing. Tobogganing would have been fun, except we don't have a toboggan, or really anything to play with in the snow. I told W I would find him a garbage can lid, or a trash bag or even a piece of cardboard and we could rock the snow ghetto style, but he politely refused. After M and I had spent nearly an hour trying to cram everyone into their too small snow clothes and improvised snow boots, they headed outside. The older two really REALLY wanted some toys to play with in the snow, but I didn't have any, so they got to play with our beach toys. Because everyone builds "snow" castles with sand buckets and molds and digs through the snow with sand rakes and sifts, right?

The snow was perfect for playing in. Dry enough for it not to be really cold and wet, but wet enough to stick and make a snowman. And make a snowman we did. Not to be outdone by anyone else on the block, M made a snowman that was 6 feet, 4 inches. But because I was not prepared for snow, I didn't have anything for eyes, or a nose, or a mouth, or buttons, or arms... and because the snow had fallen on cut, dead grass, there were lots of little pieces of grass rolled up into the snowball, which made the snowman look like he had a big hairy butt. So for awhile, we had a naked, hairy snowman. It was gross, I'm not gonna lie.

Thankfully, I had radishes in the fridge. They were left over from Thanksgiving, but whatever. I thought they could be put to good use being used as eyes and buttons, and possibly a mouth so I took them outside, along with one lone wiggly carrot, most likely left over from Thanksgiving too. We carved some holes in the head to put the eyes and mouth in and it was great. Except, the holes we had carved  kind of froze and made sockets, and the radishes, because they were round, kind of rolled around in the sockets. Which, really, would have been fine, except the "stem" part of the radish kept wanting to roll to the front which gave our snowman red eyes with glowing white centers, which made us look like the psychos on the street with the demon eyed, hairy butt snowman in the front yard. So we took the radishes out of the eye sockets and shoved some coal in there instead.

Our mammoth snowman lasted for a week or so. One sad morning I came out side to see its head had fallen off and then the rest went pretty quickly, and painlessly. It was fun while it lasted but I am so happy not to have snow anymore. The kids and M loved it and probably would have camped out over night had I let them but the babies weren't so impressed and after about 20 minutes of falling over repeatedly declared it to be cold and dumb and headed inside. I'm just happy I don't have to worry about my pipes freezing and dodging people who don't know that you don't break or accelerate when you are sliding in your car. And I am also very happy that it no longer takes me 2 hours to get everyone dressed when we have to go out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

attack of the slacker blogger

Wow, a whole month of me not running my mouth, again. I am officially a slacker blogger and you can consider yourself attacked. The past month has FLOWN by-- we were so busy with Christmas then we had contractors here finishing the storage closets. They swore it would only take a day to complete. A day turned into 2, and then a canceled day, and then another work day and then a canceled day... then they finally finished after I told them they had to be done THAT. DAY. because I had to go somewhere and if they didn't finish they were going to have to come out AGAIN the next week to finish and the head honcho was like, "OH NO! I can't do that! I'll be losing money" and I was like, "Dude, you should have, I don't know, COME TO WORK ON THE FLIPPING CLOSETS THOSE 3 DAYS YOU CANCELED ON ME!" Miraculously, the closets were finished 20 minutes before I had to leave, go figure.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut, apparently, when you ask for a bid to FINISH a closet, the bid doesn't include finishing the floor. So now I have finished closets (insulated, dry walled and painted w/ trim) but a lovely, custom paint speckled plywood floor in them, instead of something like, I don't know, CARPET?? Whatever. It is easier to slide the ninety five thousand boxes that reside in the closets on the plywood anyway.

So we had all of that and then the next week Mother Nature herself decided to give the state a big ol' "HAPPY NEW YEAR" and snowed down on us with fury and vengeance. And then she decided she wasn't satisfied with making us all stay indoors for a day because we all forget how to drive when it snows so she warmed everything up for a few hours, just so everything could slightly melt, and then dropped the temperature 28 degrees causing a 3 inch thick sheet of ice to cover EVERY THING. And everyone was like, "OH MY GOODNESS!! SAVE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN!!" Stores sold out of everything, there was mass hysteria and everyone freaked like it was y2K again. And then there were the dudes who were like, "Yo. I gotta JEEP. I can do what I want" and would go blazing down the street, only to realize that when it was time to stop, they couldn't and that the curve that says 25 MPH should really be taken below that during an ice storm. Hunny Pie, a Jeep and 4 wheel drive aren't going to do you any good if your tires are bald and you have no common sense. Idiots.

But now, the snow has melted and everyone is back at work and school. The Christmas decorations have been put away and my closets, despite our lovely custom flooring, are clean and organized, and it only took me 42, 58 quart bins to organize it all. Finally, baby clothes are separated by size and gender instead of being thrown in whatever box they fit in. My "fat" and "skinny" clothes have their own place, all of the random attic crap has been sorted through and put in its proper spot (mostly the garbage). And I have finally done it: I got rid of all of my college text books and research from the papers I may or may not have started 24 hours before they were due. I'm sure somewhere, someone is having a thrill a minute dumpster diving while reading about Presidential Image and Campaign Finance Reform.

I am doing my best to get the rest of my life in order but seeing as how there are currently 250 cookie cutters littering my living room floor, compliments of the babies (who are now 18 months old!!), I don't think I'm getting very far.