First there was cake... and now there is mashed potatoes to add to the list of what Cecily will tolerate in her mouth! Today was an amazing day. She played, painted and actually swallowed some of the yummy mashed potatoes. I know more of it ended up in her hair, clothes and precious face but she did let me stick it in her stubborn little mouth! She is a little character but I love it.
The firsts continued with her saying the words water and door! She watched me saying them over and over and she repeated them slowly. It was amazing! Her wheels are turning so fast right now and she is so proud of herself. She is using more and more sign language and she is responding to basic instructions. On Saturday I asked her to get me her horsie. She scooted away and crawled over to her farm and picked out the horsie! This may sound simple for a two-and-a-half year-old but this is a major accomplishment for our angel! She also correctly picked out the pink piggy! It is magical to see her processing everything and enjoying the interaction. She happily rolls the ball back and forth and after lots of practice will now put objects in and out of containers. She even picked up the pen from the magna doodle today and drew without me assisting her.
I just had to capture these moments so I wouldn't forget how much she accomplished over the last few days. We have been adopting a more structured approach to our parenting lately... LOL for those of you that know me. Yes, it is possible to have more structure! We have often struggled between knowing if Cecily is crying because of pain or crying because of some behavioral issues. She knows that if she cries we come running... and for anyone who knows a 2 year old you know they can be quite demanding. So for the last week we have been only responding to the "pain" as we try and teach Cecily that crying is not the way to get everything you want. It is so very hard! We are grateful to our teacher and the child psychologist that are helping us adapt our own parenting to accomodate Cecily's needs. It is interesting to see how Cecily is responding to this new tough love and despite a lot of fear and reservation - it is a change for the better! We never want to underestimate our baby. She is one smart, stubborn and sassy little girl.
As we close the door on this weekend we are grateful for all the time we had as a family. A trip to Legoland for Noah, time with Auntie and cousin Ian, family swimming and lots and lots of yummy meals together. We even got Noah's Halloween costume... a very fun weekend. Too bad work is just around the corner...
Onwards and upwards!
Happy Birthday to the best Dad ever! My Dad turns 70 today and I can hardly believe it. 70. It just sounds so old but my Dad is anything but old - often putting much younger people to shame. He is a giver and if you could define my Dad in one word it would be generous. He is generous with his time, talent and his wisdom. He is always there for me and for everyone in our family. So here is my list... the 70 ways my Dad rocks!
1. He is loyal.
2. He is honest - better be careful what you ask him!
3. He is extremely intelligent.
4. He is very, very FUNNY! British wit is the best type of humor. (ok - I may be biased)
5. He is supportive - even if he thinks you are taking on too much...
6. He is hard-working... too hard-working. I have never known my Dad to sit down.
7. He is reliable. You can count on my Dad for anything.
8. He is generous. Too generous. Many people can attest to this.
9. He is strict. And while I used to strongly dislike this trait I have come to appreciate how it helped shape my life and give me respect for authority, rules and self-control.
10. He is dedicated.
11. He is a good listener. He will listen and let you speak vs. telling you what you should think.
12. He is curious. He has a zest for learning and educating himself and others.
13. He is patient - especially when it comes to baby Cecily. He has endless patience for her.
14. He is a good dancer. He can cut a rug and you don't have to ask him twice to dance.
15. He likes to sing - and he has broken out into song for a FREE beer in a San Diego pub...
16. He likes to eat - EVERYTHING. I am pretty sure I got his metabolism so thank you!
17. He enjoys sports of every kind.
18. He is pretty nifty with a soccer ball and could have played pro if it weren't for his knee.
19. He can whistle louder than anyone I know.
20. He can fix just about anything.
21. He cried at my wedding.
22. He has a soft spot for his grandkids despite his tough, Grumpy Gramps exterior.
23. He would never throw someone in-front of a bus to better himself. He gets where he is going on merit alone.
24. He is grateful for what he has in his life.
25. He is a very good nurse.
26. All dogs love my Dad.
27. He tells funny jokes. Inappropriate jokes. Silly jokes. Lots and lots of jokes.
28. He believes in good old-fashioned hard-work.
29. He makes my Mom very happy.
30. He makes other Dads pale in comparison.
31. He pushes people to be better than they think they can be.
32. He does not believe in excuses. I learned this the hard way...
33. He likes dark beer. He likes all beer.
34. He is a pretty good bartender... He could drink a college boy under the table. Keith and Brien... do you remember? likely not. But we do.
35. He knows how to have a good time.
36. He likes to read.
37. He likes to teach the grandchildren "stuff".
38. He still has an English accent - no American twang here...
39. He is very strong. He carries other people's burdens and does not complain.
40. He knows how to be a good friend.
41. He is humble.
42. He is not a quitter and he won't let you quit either. Be warned!
43. He is not a fighter.
44. He served his country.
45. He serves his family.
46. He makes time for charitable works... lots and lots of time.
47. He is good a building stuff. Paper airplanes, furniture, legos, and that makes him cool.
48. He believes you get what you pay for.
49. He helps us girls shop... and he is quite good at it!
50. Buried under that engineering facade is an interior designer.
51. He knows that my Mom is always right. No matter what.
52. He is optimistic in the face of adversity.
53. He is a wonderful Grandpa. The kids adore him. All of them. Especially Cecily.
54. He is a good brother.
55. He was a very good nephew.
56. He is a good Uncle.
57. He is a good husband. Just ask my Mom.
58. He is a good teacher - even with stubborn "know-it-all" students.
59. He enjoys a good glass of wine, port or whiskey.
60. He loves boats. He dreams of having one. I dream of buying him one.
61. He loves motorcycles. He dreams of having one. He will NEVER have one as long as my Mom, my sister and I am alive to stop him.
62. He appreciates well placed sarcasm.
63. He never asks for anything. Even if you beg him to tell you what he wants.
64. He is passionate about life.
65. He only wants you and everyone you know to buy Chevron gas. It is the best.
66. He moved his young family to the United States in the 70s so we could have a better life.
67. He will sacrifice everything for his family. He has. He could have had that boat (see #60). But instead we had private schools, dancing lessons, music lessons, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, basketball, and oh a little thing called college - paid for and more.
68. He has traveled the world.
69. He still has all of his own hair!
70. He thinks math and science are the two most important subjects. EVER.
71. He believes in his children.
72. He believes in his grandchildren.
73. He won't accept no for an answer if the "no" hurts his family.
74. He is wise.
75. He is my Dad! The best Dad in the world. And even though he is turning 70 I still call him Daddy.
On your 70th birthday I want you to know that I love you more than you'll ever know. I am so grateful to have a parental unit that has devoted themselves to life, love and raising children. What a gift you are to me and everyone who meets you. I am so blessed. I would never have survived these last few years without your endless support. I wish everyone could have a Dad (and of course my equally fabulous Mom) - like you.
Happy Birthday Dad!
Onwards & Upwards!
We keep saying it week after week. Whoa... what a wild week. We are confident and optimistic that this week MUST be better than the last few. This last week found us visiting Grammy in the hospital as she suffered through the effects of her 5th round of chemo. I have never seen my Mom look so frail, weak or torn down. It was hard. I tried to smile and make her laugh but seeing your rock look so tiny and tormented is enough to make anyone want to turn into the pillow and let out a few good cries. I am happy to report she is now at home under the care and support of Grampy. And while she is still weak - her spirit has emerged again as strong as ever. She is an inspiration to keep on kicking...
And then Brien received a call that we had been half-expecting. His Dad's Mom was being moved to hospice. Our trip that was planned for the 3rd weekend of September would be called off in exchange for Brien hopping a red-eye to say his last goodbyes. Brien's Grandma is one of the most interesting ladies that I have ever met. I will not pretend to know her well but Brien's Mom used to speak of her highly and often. She was roomies with Nancy Regan and had an opinion and she didn't mind sharing it. She told me squarely that I couldn't call Cecily - Cecily Judy. The name is Judith my dear. :) I really loved her spunk and her sarcasm and her dry wit. I am sorry I was not able to accompany Brien on the trip but I needed to hold down the fort in CA. Our love and prayers are out to our relatives in VA as they care for Grandma.
There is no end to the change that is coming in our life. We are just trying to take each day as it comes and to ensure that we make time at the end of every day for family. Noah is thrilled to have his Daddy home. I am, too. You never know how much Daddy's do until they are gone... I like to complain and think that I "do it all"... but alas I don't because I am very exhausted from my solo time with the kiddos. It makes me all that more appreciative of my hubby and the effort he puts forth for our family.
This week will bring about a few more changes but we will just hold on and look forward. You never know what is around the corner. Onwards and upwards!
What a week! We had a few scares, a lot of sleepless nights but here we are enjoying our weekend with two precious kiddos.
I had to share this picture because Cecily is doing so well with her riding lessons at POVA in Poway. While this picture didn't capture the smiles she had on the ride - it does show that she is sitting up and riding by herself! (of course the teacher has her hands right there but her trunk is so much stronger and she is LOVING it!) This week Cecily began patting Blue Belle during the ride and she enjoyed running her precious, pudgy fingers through Blue Belle's mane. I wish all children could have this experience.
This weekend we enjoyed some much needed down time. It was the first weekend in a long, long time where we had nothing on the calendar! No obligations. No appointments. No projects. No lessons or birthday parties or any kind of activity. Ahhh... we need a few more of these weekends.
Next week Noah starts his second season of soccer so Saturdays will be filled with practice and games. I love seeing him in his uniform and he loves the snacks... gotta love this kid! He has his priorities straight!
We have one more baby to tuck into bed and then it is time for a movie - a rare but much looked forward to treat. I remember when we used to take going to the movies for granted. Now I am just excited if we get to rent one and watch it all before we pass out... oh how the times have changed! But I wouldn't change a thing. (except maybe these crinkles that are appearing on my face...)
Onwards and upwards!