Anya up close

»  mark    9 Apr 2009 @ 22:13    

Anya turned ONE this week, a milestone for reflection.

Those who have listened to our woeful tales of Anya’s sleeping habits will understand perfectly when I say this has been the longest year I can remember. But then again, I think memory is one of the casualties of sleep deprivation, so that might not be saying much.

I couldn’t help smiling when Anya slept 5 hours in a row once this week, a personal best, and the magical threshold called “sleeping through the night” by experts. As much as I’d like to think that the long nights are over, forgive my skepticism. I’ll believe it when I see it…or not see it in this case.

Still, as much physical trauma as this has inflicted on our family, Anya has the amazing ability to help you forget the sleep deprivation. She is a happy girl, with a smile that just beams. Who can stay mad at her? Although still a baby, the past couple weeks Olya and I have seen her blossom into toddlerhood. So what type of child will she be? I’m not entirely sure, but here are a few things I’ve observed so far.

Anya has a great sense of humor.
She loves to laugh and tease and will wrestle with me on the floor as much as any of the other kids. Sometimes she’ll laugh just when she sees somebody else laughing at a joke.

Anya has good people skills.
In addition to her ability to make you forget that you were mad at her, she can crawl into the bedroom with the other kids and they accept her right into their game or circle. She has all the ladies and grandparents at Church eating out of the palm of her hand. So much that our horror stories have been questioned multiple times (What? This child? This sweet angel? Why, she couldn’t be any trouble at all…). Uh, huh.

Anya is scientific.
She tests things, kind of like the T-Rex on Jurassic Park tests the electric fence periodically for weaknesses. Anya has has begun walking several months before her siblings did because she has taken small steps, tested her balance, and kept working at it until she got it down. Elijah and Maya would make little or no effort at walking until they knew they could do it, and then just started doing it.

Anya also knows how much fun it is to splash in the potty and has been steadily improving her response time when she hears the bathroom door open. She knows that Elijah is sloppy at shutting the door and will often follow him in or wait until she hears him leave, then make a break for it.

Lastly, she is by far the best eater of the bunch right now. There is almost nothing that she won’t eat or at least try.

Anya is athletic.
More than any of our kids, Anya loves to play with balls. She will chase a stuffed soccer ball all over the room, move it forward between her legs, sit on it, hug it, bite it, roll with it, almost like a kitten with a ball of yarn. She has pretty good balance for having taken her first steps just a few days ago.

Anya is sincere.
She gives big hugs and big slobbery kisses. If you make her mad, she lets you know exactly how she feels. When she feels slighted, she shrieks with injustice. But when you’ve done okay, you get one of those BIG smiles.

What a bright little energy beam she has been in our home and we love her very much.

Elijah’s birth, my take on it

»  mark    7 Apr 2009 @ 23:38    

Well, I got the jump on my post about Elijah, but I think Olya’s commentary is superior. And I remember that day very well, too. I can’t believe she left out the stop sign that I sped through on the way to the hospital. That seems to be a standard joke about that day. But it’s a good thing I did. Our little one didn’t give us more than 2 hours at the hospital before he was here. A much different experience than Maya’s birth.

I also remember the awe with which I watched, doing mostly nothing, but observing, learning. Claire was the best. I remember she asked us weeks before what we expected of her as the doula. Olya may remember other things, but two things stuck in my mind. First, I wanted her to help model the coach part of hypnobirthing, because I had never done this “solo” from beginning to finish. Second, we wanted her to run interference with the hospital staff.

As a registered nurse, she knew her way around the delivery room, she knew the procedures and paperwork as well or better than anyone there, and she also knew how to get us what we really needed, not just what was routinely prescribed. If we had another baby at the hospital, I can’t imagine doing it without a doula. It was almost like having a private nurse that knew us and knew what we wanted and was able to coordinate “the show”. Our midwife was great, too. I remember her reluctance in coming to the hospital when we called her shortly after 4 AM. She must have been thinking, “Are you really sure this is it?” But come she did, and I remember her saying that this was “one of the most amazing births I have ever attended.”

The funny thing is she had experience with hypnobirths. But I guess the miracle of it all, and the totally different atmosphere from the typical birth still inspire wonder. I had my doubts that this would be anything like the experiences we’d learned about in our class, but I was soon convinced.

Just Elijah

»  olya    5 Apr 2009 @ 22:29    

Before Anya steals the show on Wednesday, here are some photos of our birthday boy. Mark did a great job describing Elijah, yes he all that and a cherry on top. Half of the photos in the gallery are dedicated to his study of coconut oil.

Early birds

»  olya    5 Apr 2009 @ 22:23    

First time in our gardening history that we planted some good stuff in MARCH. Not late May or June, but March. Hope it’s a good sign!

look who is back!

»  olya    5 Apr 2009 @ 22:18    

I know, it’s been a while. Winter is the time of hibernating for me. All I can say is that I’m glad it’s over.

Here are some recent photos, I’m not going to squeeze them all into one gallery so I’ll split them into a couple of posts. I think it’s all pretty much self-explanatory :)

Elijah up close

»  mark    3 Apr 2009 @ 08:29    

Hard to believe it has been 3 years since this little one joined our family.
baby Elijah

It hasn’t been always easy, and he has already tested us, but our family would be much lacking without Elijah. Although most people quickly spot his long hair (same length as when he was born!) and happy nature, here are some observations that I’ve made having spent some time with him.

1. What’s that for?
Most kids are sponges when it comes to learning about the world around them. Elijah is no different, but rather than ask the typical “What is that?”, he often will ask “What does that do?” or “What’s that for?” Things don’t just exist around him, they exist for a reason and that is what he cares about. A couple months ago, our family attended the Draper Utah LDS Temple open house and toured the building. The kids loved to see everything in the building and were surprisingly reverent. But one of the things (besides the bus ride there and the high ceiling of the Celestial Room “wow!’) that I think stuck out to Elijah, was the fire alarms. Maybe because they stuck out of the architecture, but each time we passed one, I knew I’d hear, “What’s that for?”

2. The deconstructionist
It could be related to his age, but Elijah thrills at “deconstructing”. He is constantly taking things apart: his toys, electronic equipment, carefully stacked books and videos, his sandwiches, and lots of other things. Elijah wants to know how they fit together, what they are made of, and in the case of food, if Mama is trying to hide anything “toxic” inside. He takes joy in pulling all the tools out of my toolbox and scattering them around the house. He thrills at the site of a new puzzle or board game; not to put them together, but to take them apart.

3. Observe carefully
Elijah lives at the center of his own micro universe. He is constantly looking at things from a very close vantage point. He loves to observe bugs, though he doesn’t like them. When he’s outside, he is ever picking up small rocks to look at and carry around. Yesterday, he painted his face with the mud off a rock he grabbed before climbing in the car. And as mentioned, he thoroughly inspects all his food. Mortally afraid of vegetables, he examines everything for suspicious specks and will often turn down the whole meal if one is located. Much to our dismay, his beloved “triangles”, the spinach and mozzarella raviolis that our kids have eaten enthusiastically for over a year, have come under suspicion and he may never eat them again. Our last hold out for inserting fruit and veggie into his body is the vita-mix blender.

A few more “facts” about Elijah
Favorite room: bathroom; all kinds of interesting plumbing devices at ground level.
Favorite time of day: early morning; exploring is much more fun when nobody can stop you
Favorite food: cold cereal or yogurt; except when it is tainted with raisins or fruit or something
Favorite primary song: The Wise Man and the Foolish Man; it is always his first choice
Favorite color: brown; the color of dirt and the color that is made by mixing all the other colors
Favorite show: Wall-E; who can resist a garbage compacting robot?

Happy Birthday, Elijah! We love you.

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