JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

Keeping up with the kids…

August 20th, 2003 · No Comments

Monday night was a rich family time – not that Ted or I intentionally “did” anything – but we all played together and each girl was herself, growing and learning, laughing and having fun.

I thought I’d write a bit more describing where each girl is growing right now…..

Last time I wrote much about little Elisabeth, she was learning to crawl . The taking-my-legs-along-for-the-ride stage didn’t last long, and now she can go anywhere. She’s also started pulling up and can take a few steps while cruising if sufficiently motivated. Now she goes through the house opening cupboards, pulling books off of shelves….time for training…and putting things away!

Elisabeth gets the family record for most teeth at earliest age – she had cut six teeth by ten months, and cut her top four teeth in a two week period. Her first tooth didn’t cut until eight months: she accelerated in dental development. The teeth coming in on top look BIG. I have an ominous feeling about orthodontia….

She also gets the award for learning how to take off her diaper at the earliest age. At around 7 or 8 months she figured out how to pull the tabs off of her velcro diaper covers or Huggies. So even in the heat I have to put her to bed wearing some kind of pantie over her diaper, so she can’t reach the tabs.

And I think she probably has the least amount of hair of the sisters at one year. Many newborns have more hair than she does. Much of her hair in the back is now about an inch-long, and when freshly shampooed, a few strands right at the top of her head stick straight up.

An affectionate baby, Elisabeth loves to hug. Pick her up and she’ll wrap her arms tight around your neck, the way a baby monkey might. She’s also learning to give kisses, her big brown eyes coming so close to my face they become fuzzy.

Sign language has helped her. Now she easily puts her arms up to say “pick me up”, and loves to go from person to person, whoever will hold her. Each child has had her own version of the sign for “more” and Elisabeth’s translation is clapping. So she claps for her supper.

She does like to sing and even has a celebrity shriek – yelling loudly when excited to see Daddy. Who needs to be a rock star when you have a baby girl at home to greet you? She also claps to music: fun!

“Da” she says for Ted. Yesterday she crawled over to Ted’s office and started banging on the door, saying “da”. But perhaps that is coincidence, as “da” is a somewhat common sound. “Mama” it seems, has come and gone. For “more” she makes a “bbbbuh” sound. And Elisabeth likes to make raspberries too at convenient and comical times, such as during a lecture or meeting.

Cheerios and baby cereal don’t cut it for her any more. She wants to eat whatever we are eating, and much of the time, she can. Elisabeth would like to use her own spoon but fingers are fine. Weaning will begin soon and she will probably protest although she has learned how to drink from a cup very well. She does savor the special time she has had at night with Mommy and Daddy, getting that last sip of milk before joining her sisters in bed.

So that’s a description of where Elisabeth is now, nearing her one year birthday. The other two girls, our older ones, have appeared in other blogs but I’ll write a bit about where they are too….

Michaela now likes to wear sunglasses. She has a 70s-style pair, large and yellow (leftovers from my childhood), but also a yellow and pink pair. She wears them indoors, even wearing them one morning at church during worship while playing an instrument. Michaela will even tell you about a girl who rode past our house and told her that her sunglasses were “cool”!

I’ve already written about her singing and dancing skills , and her potty training adventures . Her blinking shoes are still a big hit, and it’s great that she can put them on herself.

This summer for Michaela is the summer of The Little Engine That Could . The library gave free books to the children who had logged ten hours of reading time. Of all the books to choose, I was surprised that Michaela chose the train – this was a book Grandma had, that she had often heard, an old tale instead of a new one. But she wanted it and she often asks one of us to read it to her. “I think I can I think I can – that’s my best part” she says.

Sometimes we forget that Michaela is only two. She’ll be happy to tell you that she’ll be three in October and have a “pink hippo cake”. I’m not sure she knew what a hippo was before “Uncle Doggie” and Auntie Kathy sent her a big plush hippo for her second birthday. And now she adores the creatures: toy, live animal or cake form. She no longer naps because “I don’t want you to do anything without me” so she and Abigail have fun together all day long. When Abigail got a new bike, Michaela wanted to ride her old one. She now also wants to take swimming lessons, like Big Sister.

For Abigail this has been the summer of “I think I can….” also. She’s not as fond of Michaela’s book but she has been trying many new things. Her reading skills are growing. She took swimming lessons and a new, more advanced gymnastics class. September will bring the start of soccer, another new sport. In her garden she put the pepper plants in her plot herself, digging with her plastic shovel, and she loves to pick her snapdragons, playing with them as finger puppets and taking them to bed with her – I’ve found one pressed between the sheets.

Art is still a favorite.She likes to make presents for people, cutting and coloring paper. Once she told Michaela that she couldn’t come in the living room to see something because “I’m doing Art.”

Abigail has been a helpful big sister also. She likes to carry Elisabeth around and play with her: I’ve had to make restrictions since she is so eager. Abigail’s told me that after Elisabeth grows up, we need to have another baby, and then another one, so that there will always be a baby.

She plays well together with her two sisters. Recently Abigail’s gotten attached to a purse, carrying all kinds of treasures:a plastic frog, bits of paper, stickers, her gymnastics report card. And, as I’ve written earlier, she loves to sing and dance !

On nights like Monday, when we watch our girls growing right before our eyes: Abigail reading, Michaela singing, Elisabeth playing peek-a-boo, all of us laughing and enjoying each other, we realize how wealthy we are with blessings.

Tags: Uncategorized