Saturday, January 31, 2009

Family Pic

HI Everyone. Amy and I were lucky enough to spend a nice evening at home with the boys. Even though we were exhausted from the week we decided that since everyone was nicely playing together and were all in the living room that we would take a few minutes to try to snap some family pictures. We took about 20 picture and I think there were 2 that worked out well. We tried to get one with the animals as well. Our dog when we finally had the cooperation of our dog (Gryphon) and cat (Sweets), we could not get Connery to pay attention. C'est la vie. At least we have a good representation of Kieran's forced camera smile. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

1-11-05 5:04 pm

That's the moment Kieran entered our world. All the words I can think of to describe that moment seem inad- equate. He was tiny, shriveled, loud, with dark brown hair and already big eyes. Until then I had known the love of a wife to husband, daughter to father, daughter to mother, sister to sister, friend to friend... but somehow when I looked at that tiny boy, I was overcome with a love I had never experienced or even imagined. As my friend Sean said when his daughter Anna was born, "I realized that parents love their children more than children love their parents." Any parent knows it's not an even exchange. And now I was witness.

The Indian word Kiran means "ray of light," and I'll never forget the moment Sandy's mother pointed to the sky and explained it. "You see the individual rays from the sun, coming through those clouds? That's kiran." I hate to over-romanticize anything, especially a 4 year old boy who spends his fair share of time in the corner. But, on his birthday, I can't help but overlook the mundane. Kieran truly is our ray of light. You see, he was born just over a year after my cousin Eric was killed, and only months after my Uncle Al died. In fact, I was pregnant with Kieran when I visited Al for the last time. During that visit, his friend showed us both a branch from the cottonwood tree, Al's favorite. I was amazed to see that if you cut a cottonwood branch at the thick knuckly parts, you'll find a brown star in the cross-section. A true star. Al's friend explained the legend of the cottonwood.

Stars don’t begin in the heavens.

They begin on earth, traveling up through the limbs

of the cottonwood tree and waiting on the tips of

its branches. When one star falls to the earth,

another leaps from the tree to take its place in the sky.

I knew Al was preparing to leave this earth, and I still grieved Eric. Then when Kieran was only 9 months old, Sandy's father passed away suddenly. And again, I thought of the cottonwood. Kieran came to earth, his "Dada" spend a short time with him, then left to take his place in the sky. I don't believe in reincarnation and wouldn't put so much pressure on a little boy as to claim that his purpose is to fulfill the lives these men left behind. But sometimes when he laughs or gets excited over something very simple, or puts his arm around his brother, I can't help but think that's exactly what he's doing.

My life has never been the same since that little boy came into it. It's larger now. Full of more laughter, more worry, more wonder. My Uncle Al once said, "There is joy in life every day if we choose it." Kieran makes that choice so much easier.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

We welcomed 2009 together (yes, all 4 of us awake!) at Toser and Tater's house with their parents and some friends we've known for many New Year's Eve celebrations. We were only a little surprised that the boys stayed awake. They tend to be night owls like their mommy. We WERE suprised that the three toddlers who stayed awake (K, C, and ?Toser) were still in good moods ;)

Our first family portrait of 2009...taken at about a minute after midnight.
Our friend Matt asked C what his New Year's resolution was, and he said, "Go Honey Pot," which is a gift shop in town. Of all things! ;) Who knows what goes on in a 2 year old's mind??

We actually do have a few NYResolutions, of course. Or goals, if you will. Here are a few...
run a 5k.
save $, of course.
stop talking about visiting some friends, and actually DO it.
watch less tv and spend more family time together.
Break K from sucking his lip. ...that one may carry over into 2010, I'm afraid. Here's a little history on that.

When our niece Serena was little, she tucked her bottom lip in her mouth and sucked it. Like some children suck their thumb, Serena sucked her bottom lip. Even when she was in elementary school, we would catch her doing it without realizing it. Now Kieran does the EXACT same thing! You might notice in lots of his pictures, he's got his lip tucked in. I've caught him doing it while he sleeps, too. Our only worry is that it will affect his teeth. Not really sure what to do to break him from it, since we can't use the thumb-sucking tricks we've heard of--can't exactly wrap it up or put Tabasco sauce on it. We've started giving him gentle reminders like we all did for Serena. "Lip, Kieran," and that works for at least 10 seconds. Problem is, we said "Lip, Serena" until she was in 3rd grade. Oh, boy.

We'll leave you with some New Year's Boy-speak:
The other day, Sandy and the boys and I just happened to sit "criss-cross, applesauce" in a circle facing each other. Sandy asked Kieran and Connery little questions like "Where's your Mommy?" or "Do you have a brother?" It was a neat little family moment and Sandy was trying to get Kieran to say "a family" when he asked "What are we?" But Kieran's answer...Pirates!! I had forgotten that before and after every t-ball game, Sandy asked "What are we?" and the boys yelled Pirates!!

Kieran requests his pizza without "the red things that are circles."

One day, I ordered hot chocolate for the boys (at Kenny Mango's of course--I'm a junkie) and they made it just warm for us. Still, after several minutes, Kieran said he couldn't drink it, because "he put a lot of hot in it."

K's favorite places to eat:
Place with the peanuts on the ground (Logan's)
Place where I can put cheese in my hand (Pizza Hut)
Place beside the place with peanuts on the ground (Rosie's)
The chicken and dumplin's place (Cracker Barrel)

Connery says
his L's like Y's,
his S's like TH's,
his W's like V's,
his R blends (like cr, tr, str) like F's,
and he doesn't say the Y at the beginning of words...
so "oo have to yissen" closely when he says things like "fithah fee" (Christmas tree) or "I vont to vatch va-ee" (I want to watch Wall-E), or requests a "fah bayee" (strawberry), or my favorite "I yuh oo" (I love you). And, don't be embarrassed when he shouts about the big truck nearby.

The boy LOVES to sing! His favorite tunes are Ba Ba Black Sheep and Hunty Dunty. The other morning, he was lying beside me, and I heard him whispering. I leaned in to hear what he said, and he was whisper-singing!

He answers most questions with "Mm-yah" or "Mm-naw," and really accentuates his own questions by raising his pitch (and eyebrows) waaaaaaay high at the end. AT least an octave higher than his normal pitch.

He's started climbing into bed with us just as often as Kieran does. He's not as quiet about it, though, and usually comes in crying, "I 'cared."

He has used the potty several times, but when we've tried Underwear Days at home, I spend a lot of time cleaning up pee, so we don't do those very often. He has actually done "the big job" on the potty more than he's peed on it. Little backwards, huh?

A friend on NYE said "They get along too well," because 90% of the time, they are very sweet to each other. This morning, Kieran walked back to their room, got C's blanket and covered him up while he slept. They always ask for two jelly beans or two vitamins so they have one for their brother. And when K stayed the night at Ba's house last week, the first thing out of C's mouth the next morning was, "Where Theh-theh?"

It's hard to believe that Conneyr moves up to preschool next week, which is the same level K is in! Fortunately, their school has two preschool classes, so he'll be in the one across the hall from K, so they have some independence. Their personalities are so different that I think it will help not to be in the same class where they'll get compared more. And C so loves pestering his brother. Something tells me they'd both be in more trouble if they were together all day.

There may never be another picture that shows their personalities better than this. ;)
Happy 2009 everybody!!