Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brothers, May 2014

Captain Underpants and his faithful companion, who mysteriously disappears whenever the Red Power Ranger is around.

Wearing one boot and one mama shoe each.

With Gigantor the Snowman.  

They decided they wanted to sleep together on the top bunk (Soren's bed).  It didn't last very long before Soren was all, "Mo-om!  Will you get Liam out of here?  He's too wiggly!" 


Making a Valentine's Day tablecloth with sponge stamps.

Playing with their new dart guns.  

Being all adorable in sunglasses.

Posing in their new church clothes before church.  Liam insists on hanging his tie outside of his vest.  Makes sense to me.

Overheard at the lunch table:  "When we're done eating, let's go fight!"

Drama.  So much drama.  An example, messaged to me by their father:

Liam did not want Soren, so Soren raged about that for a while and I had to separate them and tell Soren that Liam is not his toy, etc. Soren raged in his room, then tried to come out and play Legos with Liam, and Liam didn't want him still, so Soren broke the plan Liam had built.  And then Liam was pouting in the corner with his back to Soren, saying mean things, and Soren broke down into tears.  "I'm so, so sorry, Liam," and after a while Liam relented and hugged him, patting him.  It was cute.  So now they are playing together.
Liam will often insist on giving Soren a hug before he goes for school and they'll say "I love you" to each other.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Liam Update May 2014

Oh William, William, William James.

You are such a joy.  Your sweet little self existing in its adorable, precious way makes my whole heart happy. So happy.  Jam-filling-bursting-out-of-the-doughnut happy.

Some highlights from the past several months:

*You and I had been snoozing together on the couch this morning when you hopped off the couch, pointed out the window, and said, "Mommy!  Wake up!  The sun is coming up!  Then sun is coming up!" Then you pointed to the opposite side of the house.  "And the moon is going down!"

*You have this really irritating habit of asking for food and then not eating it.  One afternoon, at your behest, I had made you a sandwich, which you then refused to eat.  When you asked me for something else to eat, I told you to the eat your sandwich.  You started whining and I did one of those frustrated growl things that Mommies do sometimes.  "No!"  I said.  So what did you do?  You wrapped your arms around me, looked up with your gigantic blue eyes, and said, "I sawwy I angry you, Mommy.  I sawwy."

*A few weeks ago you contracted strep throat.  It hit you hard and you were pretty sick for several days.  All you wanted was "Cudder Bear" (Color Bear), your blankie, medicine, sleep, and lots of cuddling.  But the whole time you were so sweet and so grateful.  "Thank you for getting me my blanket, Mommy," you would croak out weakly.  "And for my pillow.  And thank you for kissing me on the nose.  You so cute.  And sweet.  I wuv you.  I wuv you so much."

*I was sitting with you in Primary one week when you realized that there was another kid in Primary named Liam.  This was a thrilling revelation.  The Other Liam was standing up at the front of the room holding up a sign as part of the lesson and you were all, "Hey!  Hey!  That's my brudder!  That's Liam!  Hey Liam!  I Liam too!  One Liam, two Liams!  Hi, Brudder!  Hey!  Hey!"  Though the Other Liam did not share your excitement and was mostly trying to avoid eye contact, you were undeterred.  When he returned to sit with his class, you followed him there.  "We're brudders!  We're both Liam!  Hey!  Look!  Two Liams!"

*You can write your own name!  It's the cutest thing!  Though for a while you were convinced that your name was spelled L-I-Q-M.  No amount of reasoning (at least from me) could persuade you otherwise.

*You love story time.  But it is apparently unthinkable to read stories without also eating "nanas."  Under great duress you might be persuaded to eat apples while I read to you, but if nanas are available, nanas will be consumed.

*You are a beamer.  Whether you're excited about an accomplishment or begging for something, your little face shines like a star.

*You can bust some dance serious moves.  While beaming like a star.

*You love to "play" the piano.  I'm thinking about starting you on the Suzuki method.  I can see that bringing you joy.

*One afternoon, you were drawing with chalk in the driveway.  I had glanced out my bedroom window to check on you and noticed, with some mild concern, that two tough-looking "bigger boys" (maybe first graders) had stopped on their bikes and were talking to you.  I couldn't hear what was said, but after a moment, you jumped up and ran to the garage.  A minute later you emerged with the pink-and-purple Big Wheel that you like to scoot yourself around on, and the three of you rode off.  It made me think of someone with a beach cruiser and a bell riding off with a couple of Harley guys.

*One night we were writing and sending off thank you notes when you took it into your head to write a "letter to Lisa (pronounced 'Isa')."  "Who is Lisa?" I asked.  "Isa's my girl," you replied matter-of-factly.  You wrote her a letter and made sure to personally place it in the mailbox, even though that meant traversing across the slushy driveway in socked feet.  I would like to meet this Lisa, inspirer of such devotion.

*On a particularly sunny day during February or March, you decided that you need to wear your "Party Flops" to the grocery store.  Party Flops and a coat.  That's style.

*Your favorite place in the world right now is a bunch of dirt hills in a half-finished housing development not far from our home.  You refer to them as "the mountains" and love to play there.

*One night at dinnertime you were being really whiny.  Finally I got impatient and snapped, "Liam!  Stop it.  Stop whining.  You're driving me crazy."  Then I got distracted doing whatever I was doing.  A while later I realized I hadn't seen you in a while.  "Where's Liam?" I asked Soren.  He shrugged.   I finally found you squeezed into a tiny space between the couch and the end table, knees pulled up to your chest, head down.  "Oh honey!" I said, realizing that I had hurt your feelings.  You immediately burst into tears.  "Is your fault!" you wailed. We had a long cuddle session.  Little pootums.  

*One morning you were wandering around wrapped up in a yellow towel.  You walked into the front room, smiled at me, and then threw it off.  "Tah dah!" you said.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Delighted with my reaction, eyes full of mirth, you described the comedic scene that had just played out. "I had a towel...and then I went naked!" you said, laughing.

I love you-- fiercely and forever.  



P.S. For those of you intrepid enough to make it this far into this lengthy post, I present to you these Bonus Features:

A Story, by Liam (transcribed by Mommy) 

A big brother took my bike, and my tooth fell off.  His name is Boe-er.  He's a big guy.  And he killed my teeth.  He punched my eyes and my mouth.  And he killed a monster and he punched me in the water and he killed me a lot and a lot.  And he killed and hurt my tooth and my eyes and my ears this morning-- both ears.  Like that.  He hurt me!

This morning he hurt my teeth.  Five teeth fell off.

I killed him.

And then a monster killed ME.  He punched me in the face again and again and again!  Like that!  And he hurt me in the face.  And it was like, "Bam Bam Bam Bam Bam" and it hurt me a lot and it was like, "Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom" and it hurt me a lot and a lot and a lot and a lot and a lot and a lot.  Like that!

And he put a bomb on me.  Yeah, he did that.  And the bomb went "boom!"  And he got me with a shoot gun and it hurt my pants.

And he put milk on a wand and I got the wand and I got bigger, bigger, bigger hair and then the pencil turned into a snake!  And I poked him in the butt with a pencil!  And then he poked me and hurt me!

Disclaimer: Liam watches most of his television at Grandma's house.  Just sayin'.  

Quick Notes about Liam's health and development

-First, he got his tonsils out almost two weeks ago.  He's had some ups, he's had some downs.  Mostly he's had a lot of stomach pain and has been throwing up a lot of phlegm.  Not sure what to make of that.  Makes me so sad. 

-Second, he has some digestive issues that we're working on fixing.  Not going to do too many deets here, since he might be all embarrassed about it later in life, but it's good to know there's something we can do to help that.

-Third, our family doc thinks that he might have mild cerebral palsy.  I would never in a million years have considered a diagnosis like that, but now that I've learned a little more about CP, it does seem to fit.  This is actually good news, because it's not a degenerative disorder-- and it can totally be helped with physical, occupational, and speech/language therapy.  We're going to be hitting those hard over the next year or two.

-Fourth, I've decided to send Liam to a private community preschool next year instead of Kindergarten. His developmental preschool teacher and speech therapist thought I should put him in Kindergarten, but I just didn't find any peace in that option. My Mommy senses say that he is absolutely not ready for Kindergarten, though he is progressing in that direction, and I believe another year of preschool-type stuff will make a world of difference for him.    It's scary to veer off the path prescribed by the professionals, but I'm doing it.  So there.

Playing with the Nerf dart gun given to him by Auntie Karen and Uncle Seth.

This is a superhero pose.  All super heroes wear black socks on their arms, don't you know?

The superhero flexes his muscles.

This was such an easy cake-- and pretty adorable, if I must say so myself. 

Liam's birthday celebration.

Blowing out five candles.


"Party flops" at the grocery store.

Trying on a hat and purse at the thrift store. 

Sleeping in the hospital after his mean old tonsillectomy.

In recovery after the tonsillectomy.

Fully recovered from tonsillectomy and ready to fight evil. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Soren Update May 2014

One night Soren and I were talking about ghosts and spirits-- and about how sometimes the spirits of people who have died can visit people who are still alive.  "I would be pretty scared if that happened," said Soren.  Then he thought for a moment.  "Unless it was you.  If it was you I would probably hug you and it would be so great...because I bet I would have been missing you a lot."

 "It would be so hard to be apart, wouldn't it?"  I agreed. 

Then Soren teared up.  "Just thinking about it makes my heart die!" he cried.  He climbed onto my lap.  We snuggled for a moment and then he whispered, "I love you."

Soren's little brain whirls at about a million miles a minute.  Last night from his bed, he kept asking me things like, "What caused the Big Bang?" and  "Is there anything older than God?"  He'll randomly say things like, "Six plus three equals nine, but it's interesting to me that there are three letters in six and five letters in three, and that equals eight.  So it's pretty close!  Isn't that cool, Mom?"

One day he was contemplating variations on the old notion of raining cats and dogs.  "What if," he pondered aloud, "it rained chainsaws?"  He thought about that for a while and added, "What if it rained the biggest chainsaws in the world?"  He pondered aloud for quite some time on the possible havoc such a storm would wreak. 

One night while I was away at choir practice, Daddy and Soren and Liam decided to all sleep in the recliner together.  The three of them snuggled in under a blankie.  Liam fell asleep almost immediately.  Soren, on the other hand, wiggled.  And turned.  And twisted.  And readjusted.  Finally he said, "Daddy?  I can't sleep without the fan."  So he climbed off,  retrieved the fan from his room, plugged it in for some white noise, and climbed back aboard.  He wiggled some more.  And turned.  And twisted.  And readjusted.  He finally realized it just wasn't going to happen.  It was just way too different from the quiet and solitude of his own bed.  "I'm sorry, Daddy," he said.  "I'm going to have to go sleep in my own bed."  And he padded off to his bed.

One day I overheard Soren point a weapon at one of Liam's Lego structures and say, "I obliterate you!  I obliterate you!  I obliterate you!"

One thing I love about reading chapter books with Soren is that the increased complexity of the plots and characters make him think and asked questions, particularly about the moral choices of the characters.  He pays attention to how they behave frequently comments on the good and bad that they do.  He was simply horrified at the antics of Roald Dahl's Twits.

Soren was telling me and Abe about a girl in his class.  "She's kind of a company girl," he remarked.  We were intrigued.  "What's a 'company girl'?" asked Abe. "Oh, you know, one of those girls that spends all her time with lots of other girls.  Like in a circle.  A company girl."

Soren made it a point to give a Valentine to a kid who's never been very nice to him.

Soren cannot stand to lose.  He just. can't. stand. it.  We tried to teach the boys how to play "Old Maid," but he ended up quitting when things didn't go his way.  The next day I found the Old Maid crumpled up under the chair he'd been sitting by.   

One day, out of the blue, Soren told me that it wasn't what people seemed like that was important-- it was what was in their hearts that really mattered.  He expounded on that for quite a while.

My boy learned how to ride a bike without training wheels!  At last and hallelujah!  He had to do it in such a way that he never, ever crashed or got hurt, so, as you might imagine, it took some time.  But now that he can ride, boy does he.  He spends as much time on his bike as he possibly can. He and I even rode our bikes together to Auntie Clee's house-- a distance of about three miles.  Not bad for a new rider.

For Liam's birthday, we bought a couple of plastic dinosaurs for Soren to give his brother.  I gave them to Soren to wrap.  He wandered off with them and returned a while later with notes taped to each dinosaur.  The triceratops's note said, "I love you, Liam."  The note on the Tyrannosaurus Rex read, "Soren's and Liam's."

Soren has SUCH a good heart.  He has a strong desire to do good and to be kind.  Sometimes his wild emotions and inability to focus on/remember to do stuff make for some frustrating times, but his good heart just melts me.  Every time I look at him, my own heart just bursts with love. 

He's a super-awesome, adorable child and I'm so glad I get to be his mama. 

Bonus Feature!

Jokes, by Soren:

Why did the towel fall off the towel rack?  
Because towels fall down just randomly!

Why did the faucet turn itself on?  
Because someone turned it on and didn't notice it!

Why did the baby drink soda?
Because his mom didn't make milk; she made soda!

Why did the car drive on the zebra?  
Because the person that was driving the car liked zebras' meat, so he cut off all their fur so he could get the meat.

Why did the two-year-old fall in the toilet?  
Because he wasn't looking where he was going!

Why did the house flood?
Because there's a river near the house!

Why did the Ramen noodle fall out of the pan? 
 Because it wanted to make a story!

Why did....?

Why did the fox go to the metal?
Because bugs to to the light, so bigger things go to metal!

Why did the fish go by the whale?
Because I'm going to write a story about it!
Soren after his first grade concert.  He was kind of in his own little world throughout the entire thing, but he does occasionally sing me the songs he learned over the year. Don't you just want to pick him up and squeeze him?  

Soren on his 7th birthday, solemnly posing next to his birthday tree.

I don't remember what this was all about, exactly.  I think the boys were posing as superheroes, maybe. 

. . . and this is what Soren looks like when he's eating cottage cheese.

A snowman with a captain crunch face.

...and he's got it! 

We found a pair of conjoined twin strawberries that TOTALLY freaked Soren out.  He asked me to tell the reporters.  I posted it on Facebook instead, and for the rest of the day he kept an eye out for the news media to show up at our door.

The boys and I were lucky enough to spend a few hours with my Uncle John, Aunt Annette, and some of their kiddos when they passed through Idaho on their way home to Washington after a visit with relatives in Utah. 

Soren posing with a few of my cute cousins. 

Cute Soren thing hanging outside his classroom.  I ate lunch with him at school a few times this year.  First grade lunchtime is pretty adorable. 

Posing as a princess with his cousins on Calysta's 15th birthday. 

My cute mama made me a bunny cake for my birthday (a long-standing tradition) but brought candy over so Soren could decorate it. 


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