Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cute Things

Jair: Daddy, J.D. says cute things, doesn't he?
Jeremy: Yes, Jair, and so do you.
Jair: Yeah, I do.

No doubt about it, J.D. delights us all with his growing vocabulary. He is an expert in animal noises ("Doo, doo" for roosters is my personal favorite.), and he is hard to refuse when he asks for a "Dwink o' water, pwwwwease" or "Mo que-sa-di-lla pwwwwease." Jair has taught him to distinguish between cars, trucks, police cars, fire trucks, race cars, trash trucks, "schoo" buses, Jeeps, trains, tractors, and diggers and to make the appropriate sound for each vehicle. Ali teaches him to say "two bankets," bwue socks," and "cowboy hat." And as a third-born, of course he knows the all-important "J.D. turn."

Good Morning

Jair's wake-up routine couldn't be more opposite than his brother's. He runs to me without a word and asks for a hug with his always-bright brown eyes. He rests his rumpled brown head on my shoulder, and we snuggle for a few moments. Then he is ready to start his day.

One morning I said, "Jair, when you're a man are you going to give your wife a hug every morning?"

He looked up at me quickly. "When I'm a man, I will KISS my wife on the LIPS!"

She Makes My Day

Ali: Mommy, you're my favorite mommy in the whole world. I like you better than any other mommy. I just don't know why.
Me: Well, maybe because I'm your mommy.
Ali: Do you know how much I love you? (Stretching her arms out) If you added another arm to this arm, and another arm to this arm, that's how much.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Jair: Mommy, after Christmas when J.D. dies and our baby comes, then ...
Me: Jair, why do you think J.D. is going to die? ... Because we're getting a new baby?
Jair: Yeah.

Additions to December to-do list:
1. Emphasize that our baby will be born a whole month after Christmas, to avoid major disappointment on December 26th.
2. Discuss that, though we do purge old toys and clothes to make room for new items, we don't have to do the same with family members.

Family Vacation, Days 3 and 4

Sunday morning we again took the train to downtown Chicago. This time our final destination was the beautiful Shedd Aquarium on Lake Michigan.
Our next stop was the Hancock Observatory. I was surprised to see how much all three kids enjoyed the view 94 floors above Chicago. They loved looking at the cars on the road below, people on the beach, sailboats on the water, and swimming pools on top of skyscrapers! Ali and Jair had fun pretending to be window washers like Curious George.

Dinner came from a tiny pizza place near the train station. Leftovers doubled as the next morning's breakfast.
Before we checked out of our room, J.D. and Daddy said goodbye to the airplanes landing outside our hotel window.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jair the Joyful

Family Vacation, Day 2

Bright and early Saturday morning, we caught a train from the airport to downtown Chicago. Then we traveled by bus to the Lincoln Park Zoo and American Girl Place.

Jeremy made sure we found our way to a Polish buffet for dinner. After we stuffed ourselves with good food, he dashed across the street to a Polish convenience store to buy bread for the next day's lunch. He also picked up some pierniczki, which J.D. thoroughly enjoyed at the bus stop.
Back at the hotel, mommy and baby crashed while daddy and big kids went swimming again. After our eventful day, Jeremy asked the oldest two what they had enjoyed most. Ali's answer was "Swimming!" and Jair's was "Going to sleep."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Eat More Fish

September was a busy month for us, to put it mildly.

We learned at the beginning of the month that the smallest member of our family is a boy! Everyone is very excited - even Ali, who will have to keep waiting and praying for her little sister. The baby's name will be Jonah David. And no, you are not the first one to think of a "Jonah in the belly of the whale" joke.

In the middle of the month a family made an offer on our home. We accepted and moved on September 23rd. Our new place is actually our old place - the condo Jeremy and I lived in for the first two and half years of our marriage. After renting it out for the last three years, we've come to the conclusion that we can't find more reliable renters than ourselves.

Moving with children is always an adventure. Meals and naps and discipline and baths and bedtimes must go on, no matter how many boxes remain unpacked. Add to that the adjustments required when you move from a 1650-square foot home (with a three-car garage, spacious attic with pull-down stairs, and two storage barns in the back yard) to a 900-square foot condo (with a scary hole-in-the-ceiling attic and a tiny shed on the back patio), and you might imagine that I've been somewhat busy and distracted lately.

Ali pointed this out to me when I forgot to pass out forks at lunchtime one day. "Mommy, you've been forgetting a lot of things. I think you need to eat more fish instead of always eating Reuben sandwiches!"

I'm glad our comments on the nutritional value of fish have sunk in. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who needs to improve her brain power. When Jeremy gave Ali a list of three things to tell me, she said, "Daddy, I think you better call her. I have not eaten enough fish."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Family Vacation, Day 1

Through Jeremy's work, we were able to take an inexpensive family vacation to Chicago this summer. We started out on a Friday, stopping first at the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN. Ali and Jair loved the bounce house, pony ride, and Bob's Bumpy Barrels, while J.D. hung out in the shade.
We couldn't leave without getting our pictures taken as dancing pierogi.

Next we drove to our hotel near the O'Hare airport. Ali and Jair were thrilled with the revolving doors, the glass elevator, and their bed "in the kitchen!" (i.e., the pull-out couch next to the frig and sink). We all enjoyed cooling off in indoor pool before bed.

Sunday School Quotes

Ali asked to sing Zaccheus in her Sunday school class today. When the song ended, she said, "I bet he was so tiny, he couldn't even wash his dishes!"

Several nights ago, we didn't have time for baths before bed. Jair sat on the edge of the tub while I scrubbed his dirty feet with a washcloth. Suddenly he looked up at me, eyes shining, and said, "Mommy, you're being Jesus!"

Monday, September 17, 2007


The routine is the same each morning. I hear some rustling upstairs and go up to find J.D. sitting in his bed, wide awake, sucking his thumb and fingering his fleece blanket. When he sees me, he smiles and starts running through an inventory of all his favorite words: "Key! Key! [Blankey.] Tree! Car! Truck! Dog! Puppy! Cup. Cup. Cup. Cup. Cookie. Cookie." We head downstairs to get him a drink and some breakfast (which is usually not a cookie), and he continues to look for things to name.

One of his favorite objects to spot is a hat. His aunts and uncles entertained him with a straw sombrero today, which he enjoyed much more than the last hat they put on him.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Labor Day Getaway

Here are a few photos of our visit with Jeremy's family on Labor Day weekend. The unusual gourd on the table is a "swan gourd" Ali chose as a gift for her grandma.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Overnight at Grandma and Grandpa's

Ali was eager to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's this summer before her Aunt Amy moved back to college. Her wish was granted, and here are some photos to document what she called her "adventures." The best part, she said, was going "sailing."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007