Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Still Have My Baby

Now that Marcus is 4, he thinks he's all grown up.  His "Mommy" has turned into "Mom, "Daddy" to "Dad", and even "Thank you" has turned into "Thanks!"  By next year, he'll be smoking cigars while sporting a goatee.

So with his new vocabulary and Audrey's funky looking teeth, I'm painfully aware that the kiddos won't stop growing.

But I still have my baby.

I still can't believe I have another baby.  Lord, thank you!

The big kids are equally as grateful for the little one.

Even Marcus, who idolizes Audrey, has been more into his baby brother.  "Where's Derek?", he randomly asks during the day.  When I tell him he's napping, he tells me to wake him up to play.  We've also witnessed him plant spontaneous kisses on the baby and once found Marcus try to rescue him from being tangled inside a blanket.  Makes my insides melt!!

This one's definitely not a baby anymore.

And my girl SO isn't a baby anymore.  Well, I take that back.  She asked to get in the crib too and I said no because I was scared her 53-pound booty would break the whole thing.  So she pouted and cried and I gave into her moaning and then let her in.  Then I took this picture and got grossed out that she's so old and big now.

I have a feeling that Derek isn't so interested in being the baby.  I'm pretty sure he wants to be a part of the Big Kids Crew.

Even if it means just vegging in front of the TV with Marcus.

If Marcus looks up to Audrey, then Derek's hero will most likely be his big brother.

He'll be giving Derek tutorials on how to tell potty jokes, how to intentionally aggravate their sister, and how to wrestle with Daddy.

Boy, has he got a lot to look forward to.

But no matter how much he learns from the others, I have feeling this one will always be my baby.

California Grandma

Our kids have given their grandparents geographic names.  So far, they have called them the Hawaii Grandparents and the Maryland Grandparents.  We are thankful to say that now we have California Grandma.

Over the past several months, she sold the house she lived in for 20+ years, left the community in Maryland she and Mike's dad built for 30 years, and moved across the country to build a new life close to her children and grandchildren.  It is bittersweet to see that now we get to see her as often as we like, yet understand that it came at a tremendous cost to her.  We continue to dearly miss Maryland Grandpa and pray that California Grandma will adjust quickly to her new life here.

I have a feeling the kids will help smooth the transition a bit.

And not only that, but she'll get to bond with her daughter (Mike's sister) while sharing an apartment together.

We're gonna enjoy the fact that Grandma will always be around for impromptu trips to get yogurt

And she'll be able to see for herself how the kids are growing.

Welcome home, California Grandma!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kindergarten Done

My baby finished Kindergarten this week.

It was a thrill to see her experience a sliver of the world on her own.

And make friendships that have taught her so much and blessed our family as well.

My baby grew up.  She lost 4 bottom teeth.  I told her she must try her best not to lose her top ones because when she does, I will cry.

I'm not ready for her whole mouth to be filled with the too-big-teeth yet.

For the most part, it was a very good school year.  Even the after-school tears were good ones because they helped her learn more about the world, more about Jesus.

Seeing her at school made me realize how different my childhood experiences were from hers.  Funny story:  she noticed that some of the asian girls brought roasted seaweed to school as a snack.  She asked if she could take some to school too.  Unfortunately, she came home crying after that because her caucasian friends made fun of her and looked at her funny for bringing seaweed in her lunch box.  I couldn't stop laughing as I consoled her because I had flashbacks to the days when I was the ONLY asian girl at my school.  I kept hearing, "Suey-Kung-Fuey" in my ear while I wiped away her tears.

I'm so thankful that she felt she could tell us everything about her life outside the walls of our home.  Even though it wouldn't have been my preference to already answer her questions about what a "crush" is, or that her friend had a boyfriend named Justin Beaver, we praised her for telling us everything she was thinking about and experiencing.  It kept her close, even though we had to let her go a little.

Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella" was on the radio yesterday and yes...I cried.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I switched the station and then I heard J.Lo's "On the Floor".  My tears went away.  It's not really appropriate to cry to that song.

She will be turning 6 in a few weeks.  I'm savoring the fact that she still demands hugs and kisses and cuddles, that she calls me "Mama", that I have to ask her to stop sweating, that she's a Daddy's girl, that she adores her brothers, and that she has a sensitive spirit.   I love that when she's bored, she'll write cards to her teacher and fill the envelope with random trinkets from our house.  I love that she's at an age where she's making real memories that she'll keep in her heart as an adult.

Apparently, she's officially a first-grader now.  But she will always be my first baby.

How We Celebrated

Before I forget, want to jot down some highlights of Marcus' birthday celebrations this year:

- he wanted everything at his party to be green
- he specifically requested that his buddy William be there
- his buddy Judd got him a bubble blower that all the kids wanted to play with the entire time

- On his actual birthday, we asked what he wanted for dinner.  He said, "Kogi (meat) and salad"
- It was the first year he was able to blow out his own candle.  Everyone was proud.

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