22 (and 21)

DSC_0395 DSC_0424 DSC_0313 DSC_0341 DSC_0420Rory,

This week you turned 22 months old.  I missed month 21, not quite sure why, but I can some up the past two months with one word- chatty.  You have so much to say, you learn new words hourly and can impress all of us in the house with your speech.  Your brothers taught you how to count while in the car a few weeks back.  You now love to count everything- books, bears, people.  It is very, very cute.  You call Bennett, Benny; Henry, Henny and yourself as Wory.  Flanders is Banders and Legos are Degos.  Today you asked me “What you doing?”

You call your brothers “the boys.”  You want to know where “the boys” are, you hear “the boys” outside, and you love to shout at “the boys.”

Rory, you do not stop moving, do not stop talking, do not stop to listen or stop to eat.  I have never been so exhausted in all my life.  You keep me on my toes all day long.  From six AM to eight PM.  You have learned how to turn deadbolts and if I turn my back for a second you are on the porch or out the garage door.  If someone leaves the gate open you are upstairs.  If someone leaves the other gate open you are offering your help to the workers.  If we are upstairs you are in “the boys'” room playing “Degos” or readjusting volumes on alarm clocks.  You want to be outside all the time (see above- escape artist extraordinaire).  You still enjoy putting your tea bags into bread pans are still (STILL!) try to take out the spices from the drawer.  You know the blender is for smoothies, Grandma has yogurt in the morning and will give some to you if you ask for a bowl and Bapa will share his breakfast with you (yes, every single morning).  You know when I am trying to help “the boys” with their school work that it is time for you to not play on your own, push stuff off the table or to slip on a “Dego” and bonk your head.  If I am reading to your brothers on the couch you must also find a book and attempt to throw it at me or try to catapult yourself over the couch or off the ottoman towards me.  Never a dull moment for sure.

You can eat more popcorn than is expected with the amount of teeth you have.  You started using the words “yummy” and “good” when talking about food.  You love yogurt, but we have discovered that dairy does not love you.  Your favorite foods still include avocadoes and bananas.  You gobble more food than your brothers and with all the extra meals you sweet your way into- well,  it is no surprise you have so much energy.

Your brothers are so sweet to you and I love how every morning you are so excited to see them.  “Hey Henny!”  “Hey Benny!”  You test them with your destroying of their Lego creations, but they always want to read with your or play with you.

You love to build trucks and drive trucks.  You love to dump out blocks into a pile and then leave them.  You will throw anything you can get your hands on- balls, forks, spoons, etc.  You also pull hair, hit and smack- yet, we think you are just the cutest and funniest toddler around.  I am constantly amazed at how fast and how much you are soaking up and learning- how much you remember, how much you observe.  I didn’t realize how much we say “Hey!” until you started saying it.  You count, sing your ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle (or winkle winkle) and Five Little Monkeys.  You are amazing and we are so lucky to be able to spend our days with you.

To be fair, you have tested us further than any toddler before you, but, you have also allowed us to experience more joy and awe than we thought we could, you fit into our family so perfectly.  You make me smile every single day, every single hour.  How you can make me want to pull out my hair one second and have me laughing the next?  You are impressive my dear, so impressive.  We love you so much Rory, we are so lucky to have you in our lives.  I can’t believe that you are closing in on turning 2, what a whirlwind these past two years have been.  Happy 22 months Rory!  We love you.

an overdue update

About seven months ago we started a little bit of a project on the compound.  I have done a terrible job documenting the progress and now we are nearly done!  We can see the light of the finish- we have walls and floors and windows and ceilings and lights and sinks and toilets and doors and outlets and cabinets!  All that remains is finish work and flooring for the bedrooms.  We still need some outside work- like decking, painting and landscaping- but  we are almost there!  So here we are, an update with pictures!

From the existing house side entrance:

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The view from the street:

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Our start at landscaping- a lot of bare root shrubs and trees as well as our three Christmas trees from last year:



And now inside- from the existing living room with the new opening (where it was the outside wall just a few months ago):



The new library/kitchenette/coffee & wine bar:

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The bedroom suite with closet and bathroom:

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The laundry/sewing room:


The guest bathroom and entry way:

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From the entry way towards the upstairs above the garage:


From the new entry way looking towards the existing house:


And there you have it.  Next time hopefully there will be furniture and finished flooring and no paint cans in the pictures.  We are all getting very excited to get unpacked, organized and  to be dust free.


DSC_0007 DSC_0032 DSC_0303 DSC_0225 DSC_0155 DSC_0149 DSC_0304Henry,

You are seven.  How did that happen?  Seriously?  How have I been a parent for seven years?  What happened?  Where have the years gone?  I can barely remember that chunky baby with the drool rash and rubber band arms.  Oh, but Henry, you have turned into one cool kid.  You crack me up everyday, when you are not making me want to rip out my hair.  You are funny, sweet, original and smart.  You know what you want- you have a plan for everything, you try to talk your way out of things you don’t want (in very clever ways, but, alas, you usually don’t get your way, but keep trying, I love to hear what you come up with).

I am not going to lie, six and a half was rough.  You were moody, grumpy, arms crossed, stomping mad when you didn’t get your way.  It was very frustrating on everyone’s part.  We have turned a corner (knock on wood) and figured out how to be pleasant to each other again.  Although you do tend to forget that you are quite a bit bigger than your brothers.  I wish my floor and corners of walls were padded…

Now that we have our Henry back you are just the sweetest brother to Rory.  I remember thinking when Rory was born that by time he was old enough to be interested in books that you would be able to read to him.  I love watching this.  I can not help but smile when you see me trying to do something (like make dinner) and Rory is fussing at my legs and you offer to read him a book.  He only takes you up on your offer occasionally- but you keep trying and for this I am so proud and touched.  Thank you.

You played soccer on a team this last fall and loved it.  You scored one goal the whole season- but that goal, man, you had every parent and player cheering for you.  Your face was priceless.  We are going to do spring soccer this year and you are very excited.  You are a doer.  I think you could have an activity everyday, twice a day.  You enjoy hanging out with your friends and if we haven’t hung out with anyone for a few days you ask, “when are we going to see friends.”  You have made friends this year that were not kids of my friends.  This is big.  This is fun.  One mom told me that her daughter loved hanging out with you because you were just so nice.  This makes a mother proud.

You played at your very first piano recital.  I wasn’t sure if you were going to do it- we didn’t really prep you and I realized you didn’t know what a recital was and had to explain it to you fairly close to the actual day.  You did it though.  You walked up in front of all the other parents and students and played “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” like a champ and walked back to me.  Only a parent understands how nervous you get for your own child and how proud of them you are when they complete something you know was scary.  You did awesome.

You can read.  Seriously read.  Like read me a book read and read signs on the highway and headlines from the paper read.  You went from recognizing a few words to knowing “disappearing.”  It really just happened overnight.  I love this new phase.  There is so much more we can do (and so much more we have to hide…).  You spell and you do addition, subtraction and multiplication.  You know about the equator and which tree blossoms are edible.  You know about stars and your favorite constellations is Orion.  Your handwriting and art work have improved tremendously over this last year.  I do still get a kick out of the fact that all your words run together when you write sentences and that if you can’t fit a word on a line you just start on the next line.  School work has been a struggle and a blessing.  Some days you love it, some days  it is a battle.  I am grateful for our flexibility and for the opportunity to find ways of introducing something new to you in a way that I know will be interesting to you.  It is hard, but the reward of watching you grow and learn is enough.

In addition to soccer and piano you have been taking swim lessons.  You love them.  You ask to do them more.  It was so nice in Hawaii knowing that you were capable in the water.  You got a snorkel set for Christmas and you just kicked around looking for things at the bottom of the pool.  You are still not over fond of the open water, but did take a trip with grandma to the ocean.  Once you saw fish near you though it was back to the pool we went.

You are still very particular about what you wear.  We are getting used to this and I have been successful the past few shopping adventures.  You like your brown slip-ons, jeans and polos.  Tonight while Dada was putting you to bed you asked him if you could tell him something.  You told him that you would like some nice black pants and a white button down shirt for going out.  You know, on all your dates and fancy occasions.  We don’t know where this came from, but because we are just over the moon with you, you will probably get black pants and a white button down shirt (how could we say no??).

You love Legos.  I am realizing that this will be the case for awhile.  We are going to need more Lego storage…  There are just so many sets and so little space.

You are missing one of your top front teeth.  I really am loving this smile right now.  The adult tooth is already on its way- just a constant reminder that you are growing by the second.  And speaking of growing- you just keep doing this.  Your feet grew 3 sizes in a just a few months.  I really almost fell over when I bought you flip-flops in Hawaii.  Soon we will be able to share shoes (because all boys want to wear their mothers shoes…).

You are a huge help when you want to be, the dentist has already asked us to seek out an orthodontia consult and you think silly jokes are just the funniest. You want to be a policeman.   You are a busy boy.  A growing boy.  A silly, silly boy and we love you more than we could tell you.  Happy 7th Birthday Henry!  We are looking forward to see what this year brings!