Tuesday, November 09, 2010

With love, for Tsong

It's been six months. There's no way to catch up and catch everything. So I'll just start back up again... where it's most important - family. And the changes life bring us all.

It was 10 years ago, almost exactly this week of November, when Tsong, Shu, Jack and I had our amazing trip to Taiwan and Japan. The leaves were brilliant shades of fall, the chrysanthemums were blooming, and Tsong was happy as a clam to be in his home country and his adopted country.

It was almost exactly a month ago, on September 30, that Tsong left us, after weeks and months of sickness in the hospital, at home, and at our home. While we continue to mourn, I suspect he would love for us to remember times like I've found in countless pictures (one of his favorite hobbies!) - times when he was creating memories for us all with his carefree smile, and his love of cultures (especially Japanese!) and his love for his family.

We miss you Tsong.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Sproing We are Growing

Spring has sprung up all around us finally, so we're out of the den and back into the world. I've been busy getting things ready in the garden and Alex and Dani helped put our seeds in the seed starter pots again this year. Dani chose to do one tray of flowers and Alex did all the tomatoes and peppers - she put over 100 teensy tiny seeds into soil and I've decided that kid fingers are perfect for this job - I can't hold a minuscule tomato seed between my thumb and pointer, but she can! Most of these have sprouted, so we'll be looking for homes for extra plants again this year. 8 varieties of tomatoes and 4 pepper colors! Plus all the plants we plan to direct seed outside - summer squash, peas (already planted but not sprouting...), watermelon (a first try this year), carrots, soybeans, lettuces (planted but growing sloooowly this year), and cucumbers (my fav!). I'll take pics of our newly expanded veggie bed soon. :)

With all this planting (and sorting, tagging, and pricing for the upcoming twins club garage sale...) I've missed so many blogging opportunities, especially the girls' fourth birthday. (Yes, FOUR! They are amazing little people now. I LOVE age 3-4. Let's freeze 'em here!) I plan to rectify this omission after Ben's birthday fun is done (tomorrow! Yikes! TWO?! My baby... snif!) and the sale is over. Each of our kids is so unique and has their own hilarious, wonderful ideas. I'd like to do a spotlight on each one. In 20 years, we'll certainly come back here to the blog to solve arguments on what Alex's imaginary friends' names were, or what Ben's favorite things to do were when he turned two, or who learned to do a jump spin first...

The kids were accidentally dressed in coordinating clothes yesterday, so I dragged them out front for pics! Here are the four best.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I hibernated

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. No blog posts for 2 months? Yeah, well, you know, it's cold and we all just haven't emerged from the den for awhile... I'll try to summarize.

Around the holidays, we enjoyed visits from Uncle Mike and Aunt Holly as well as Gramma and Opa. The girls were very excited to give everyone the ceramic gifts they had painted at The Creative Escape. They have been asking to go back and paint again ever since. They loved having two Christmases - one at home with Mommy, Daddy, Gramma and Opa, and another over New Year's with Ama, Akung, Aunt Jean, Uncle Aaron, and cousins Clay and Owen. The gifts, as always, were wonderfully chosen and good times were had by all. We are a very lucky family.

Since Christmas, we've just been trucking along. Between two to three school days for all three kids and one day with swim lessons for the girls we really only have fridays that are completely free. We fit in plenty of fun with friends on those days or just spend lazy days at home doing crafts and playing playdoh (one of Ben's fav's). The girls continue to love to play "Baby and Big Girl" and create elaborate story lines of what Baby and Big Girl are doing, eating, going to, etc. Dani often tries to decide who gets to be Baby but occasionally Alex convinces her to be Big Girl. They still draw at least 1-2 times per day, and while I feel slight pangs of guilt over our paper consumption, in the end I am tickled that it is their favorite thing to do. I plan to post some of their awesome drawings soon.

Ben now has well over 200 words that we are able to understand and probably 75 words he can use with the public. He is Elmo-Ernie-(Big)Bird-Cookie Monster-crazy, and mentions them at least 5 times a day (usually in this order). His sisters love to teach him how to say things, breaking words up into syllables. "Say Cin-da-rell-uh Ben!" His least favorite thing about his sisters is how much they love to rub his head. It's incessant. He must feel like a dog most days. He tells them, "Let go me!"

Despite my surgery 4 weeks ago to fix stomach muscles that couldn't handle 15 pounds of babies four years ago, we actually have gotten out for a few days of fun in the snow. Ben and Alex love to crawl, roll, climb, and build in the snow. Dani loves to come in for hot chocolate. ;) Everyone enjoyed a walk at our nearby wooded park with me and Gramma, who has kindly come to help out for 3 weeks during my recovery. They ran from the car saying, "Let's go see nature!"

Here are some of my favorite shots from the last few months.

Uncle Mike and Aunt Holly come to visit!

The kids come up with hilarious ideas. Dani and Alex LOVE their princess dresses and pretending to have a ball like Cinderella.

Ben is a boy. All the way. "I'm going to test out every possible use for my body," thinks Ben...

Daddy has been a good source of entertainment in these dreary winter months.

It's fun to see the silliness get contagious...

One sister demands to be swaddled... so the other sister does too!

Ben's a pretty good sport when it comes to his sisters' ideas. "Let's play haircuts!"

The snow was good this year and we enjoyed it. When we weren't too busy throwing things into the pond.