I know, I know that's what some of you have been asking for months. Well, I could make a list, but instead I will just begin with an update on what most of you are most interested in anyway--the kiddos!
Beginning with the eldest, Koa. He has become a big four-year-old during my blogging hiatus! Along with friends, we celebrated his birthday by going ice skating at Lloyd Center and having homemade chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Even Caspian got to skate and we all had a great time. Well, maybe Caspian just had an OK time. We didn't bring socks for him because we didn't think they had skates small enough to fit and he loved it for a minute, but that was about it.
Koa has also learned how to write his name and has taken a new-found interest in drawing in general. He hardly had any interest in drawing unless one of us would draw Veggie Tales with him or he would occasionally draw a "T" or an "H" or another simple letter, but as soon as we would ask if he could draw anything else he would insist that he could not, and that would be the end of it. We went to see Dr. Jen for his well-child check up and she asked if when he draws people do they have arms and legs. (Checking his fine motor skill development.) He told her they have fingers, but no arms and legs. We confirmed that we had never seen him draw a person with arms or legs. She nonchalantly said that he is average for his age and the lack of interest in drawing is totally normal, too. That afternoon Koa went home and drew a picture of Dr. Jen with arms and legs and pupils and hair, etc. Then we realized that one of the reasons his "people" never had arms and legs is because he generally draws Veggie Tales characters rather than people (if he draws anything at all). From that day forth, though, he draws people, often times with only one eye (because they are in a Mike Wazowski costume), he writes letters, his people come with all the details and usually have a story, too.
That same day she also asked him if he could stand on one foot or hop on one foot and he could not, but ever since then he has been hopping on one foot while turning in a circle! Why is it that a near stranger can ask him to do something and suddenly he is motivated beyond measure but if we asked him to hop on one foot he probably wouldn't be able to do it until he was 15 or so?
One favorite Koa quote came recently with his new-found interest in drawing. He called me in to show me the guy he had drawn who had eyes, a nose, a mouth and some other unidentifiable round thing. I asked, "So, what is that?" and he said very matter of factly, "Bread. He's going to feed the poor." As I was about to leave, he pointed to the other "guy" on his paper and said, "This is his brother." Then pointing to the mysterious thing next to him said, "He has bacon."
Other fun facts about Koa:
- He can now list the books of the New Testament up to Ephesians.
- He loves to ride his new bike and is working on getting better so he can ride to a coffee shop with Daddy sometime.
- He has been to soccer "practice" 8 times now and is completely tired of it. He keeps trying to convince us it is over and says that he doesn't like it because the balls are blue instead of white.
Caspian has been growing like crazy, too. He's physically bigger (there is only about 10 lbs between him and Koa and sometimes he wears Koa's clothes when they are handy and we are too lazy to go get others), is getting all 4 eye teeth at the same time (I think two have finally poked through!) and he's talking like crazy now both in sign and with his mouth. He seems a little more at peace now that he is becoming more independent. Maybe it is the curse of the second child to have to watch what the first one does and be constantly reminded of that which you are incapable! I think as the gap starts to close on major milestones he becomes more content. As his ability to communicate with words has advanced he has become more social in general. He still gives people "the blank stare" regularly but I suspect that is for his own amusement most of the time. He is SUCH a ham when he wants to be. We went to a Portland Timbers soccer game the other night and it was REALLY rowdy. Since he is generally a pretty quiet kid in public I thought it might be a little overwhelming for him, but he thought it was great! He got completely caught up in the cheering and was entertaining everyone around us in the stands.
He loves to eat! But only the most flavorful foods, please. He loves things like rhubarb, sauerkraut and pickled green tomatoes, but the other night he asked for a taste of the mashed potatoes before I had seasoned them and as soon as it touched his tongue he gagged and took it out of his mouth and handed it back to me. Then he wouldn't trust me with mashed potatoes for the rest of the night! He would drink honey mustard if I let him. He loves to help me cook, but I just figured out the other night that when he comes in to the kitchen saying, "Cook, cook." he really means, "Taste, taste." He and Koa both adore peanut butter and would eat it for every meal if I let them. Sometimes I'm tempted because it would make my life very simple.
I guess he needs to be a big eater because he NEVER sits still. I know this is typical of children this age, but most kids will at least sit still for a story or to snuggle for a spell. Caspian will bring a book, crawl up on your lap, be present for the title page and then be gone again. He climbs up onto things just to climb down. He prefers only toys he can play with while on the move. Unless he is asleep he is moving. I also insist that he sits down while he eats. So, he will eat, then stack his dishes, hand them to me and say, "Up." It's almost like it is painful for him to sit still. Maybe he has restless leg syndrome.
He is also the clumsiest child on the planet so he is constantly falling! Often times I think it is totally intentional because in the middle of a totally empty room he will place one toy in the middle of the floor and then walk over it multiple times and trip every single time! He also bleeds more easily than anyone I know. A couple of different times I have found blood all over at his height on walls and on his toys but couldn't find a single scratch on him.
His constant movement has made potty learning a bit of a challenge. He won't sit still long enough to do anything on the potty, but he also HATES getting his diaper changed! However, I think he is finally starting to understand the "urge" to pee because last night he walked in and sat down and went shee-shee on the potty all by himself. Of course this was right after Zak had taken the bowl out of the potty, so he peed right on the floor, but we were no less thrilled. I secretly think he knew exactly what he was doing. Today he has actually used the potty every time I asked him to sit on it. Whoo Hoo! Progress! I really don't know if I would care except that he HATES getting his diaper changed and he has such sensitive skin that he gets rashes REALLY easily so he spends a lot of time with a bare bottom anyway.
Other fun facts about Caspian:
- He recently moved up to a toddler bed. Well, technically down because we took the mattress out of the crib and set it on the floor. He swears he hates it, but when we are away and he can't sleep in it he says, "Buh-Buh-Buh" over and over for "Big Boy Bed" and as soon as he gets up in the morning and comes in to see us he says, "Buh-Buh-Buh" as if to advertise his new freedom.
- Every time he walks past a toilet (or any other receptacle with water in it) he says, "Bye poop!"
- He stands outside and greets the neighbors or anyone else within earshot with, "Ha!", his version of "Hi" but no one ever understands or responds to him unless they are from Texas. Then they seem to understand.
- He LOVES to sing! He can do the tune to the ABC song pretty well.
- He LOVES to be outside.
- He classifies everything in existence as either a ball, a dog, or a bird.
It has been so fun to see what Koa and Caspian learn from each other. Koa is eager to teach Caspian things (sometimes incorrectly just to be ornery) but it has been fascinating to see what things Koa actually picks up from Caspian. As Caspian started going through the stage of wanting to help with everything Koa suddenly started wanting to help out more and would actually be pretty productive when he did. Unfortunately Caspian also picks up on Koa's attitude sometimes and will argue or talk back to us with the exact same intonation that Koa uses. It's funny and scary at the same time.
For those of you who missed the announcement, or thought I was saying that Caspian had a new imaginary friend (you know who you are!) you might be interested to know we are expecting another little Zumwalt around here around August 18th. Put this at the top of the list of reasons this blog has not been updated. Number two should be, "I'm not as young as I used to be".
We had our sonogram a couple of weeks ago, but decided at the last minute not to find out the sex again. We went back and forth for months about whether or not we would but in the end decided to be old fashioned again. We like the anticipation...or we just like torturing the rest of you.
This pregnancy has been an interesting combination of the others. I have craved everything I ever craved with the boys and probably a few more things. That has subsided now. I have started to swell like I did with Koa, but not as badly--thank goodness! I'm learning a lot about using herbs for support this time around. That has been very intriguing!
At our 16 week appointment Dr. Jen said, "I assume you are not feeling any movement, yet." I said, "Oh, yeah, I've been feeling the baby move for about a month now. I can feel the movement externally now." She got a little worried and said, "Maybe we are way off on your dates." I directed her attention to Caspian and his constant motion and said, "Or our kids are just really wiggly!" She agreed. When we did the sonogram they did decide I was one week farther along. So, I guess I was 13 weeks when I started feeling little BZ3. Maybe he/she will be the subdued one! :)
We are considering doing a home birth this time. We are using the same doctor/midwife as we did with Caspian so have the option of a birth center birth or a home birth. We are still weighing our options. Zak will be gone for most of the Summer returning (hopefully) a couple weeks before the birth. It should prove to be an interesting Summer. Koa and I were talking through our options this morning for what to do this Summer. He wants to drive to Virginia again. I'm not sure I'm up for that, but we might at least make it as far as Colorado. We will have to see how I am feeling and how things are going around here.
We are accepting any and all suggestions for names for both boys and girls. One morning I was lying in bed before anyone else awoke and thinking about where we would even begin looking for a name. Thinking about significant things in our lives and during the time of the birth, I thought, "Well, it will be Summertime. We are planting a garden. We live in Portland. A floral name would be appropriate." So, I started thinking about the plants already in our garden..."Trumpet Creeper, Nasturtium"....that's about as far as I got before I got the giggles and woke Zak up with all the wiggling. So, there's our list. Feel free to add to it as you see fit.