Breathing

I promised I would post some photos of Sawyer’s latest accomplishment, breathing. I know, you wouldn’t think that was such a big deal, but to come up for a breath of air and keep swimming is quite the big deal in our house at the moment. Normally he would just swim underwater until he ran out of breath and have to make it by that point to the edge of a pool to stop, breath, and then continue. Now, he’s learning to come up for air and continue.

 I just love this shot of him, it’s like that perfect breath of life.

And he decided to throw in during the last five minutes of swim time a stroke. I know he’s my child so of course I am completely bias, but still I find it amazing. . .

Noah’s Ark

We have been to this exhibit once before. You can read about it here. The kids have been asking to go back since the first time we left the museum. Fortunately I remembered to bring my camera this time around, and Aaron got to come with us too. Greta had no recollection of ever being there, but the boys amazingly remembered everything they did last time. The art project was different and they had a new introduction to the exhibit this time around. I cannot praise the Skirball Cultural Center enough for this exhibit. It is the most hands on children’s exhibit we have been to, and they can see in real life how Noah probably did the things he did. From getting the animals into the ark to how wind sounds, electricity is made, the storing of food. We had an awesome time. And if you have never been with your kids, please bring them, you will not regret it and they will get a little bit of history while having fun at the same time. 

Once again, a huge hit with the Sawyer. . .the pulley system to get the animals into the ark.

This is a photo of the second level, to get to it the kids have to climb ropes and once they are they are up they learn how things got from one level to another through rope systems, baskets and pulleys, etc.

Sawyer working on his own ark in the art room.

And such a good lesson for us on the environment, everything in the ark is made from recycled materials. The kids can see how to transform a pair of shoes and a golf ball into an alligator, and a pair of boxing gloves and a hook into a bird.

Swim Update

Sawyer got kicked out of his swimming class because he was too advanced. We started another 2 week round of swimming lessons last week and he’s in the next group. I guess the teacher of his first group said the other kids would watch him and think that they too could swim and they couldn’t so she was constantly rescuing sinking children. So off he went to Mr. C’s class. It’s perfect for him. And after a whole lesson of me having to stand in the water near the group he was fine with the change. And then I was able to get some shots. 

Greta is pretty thrilled this time around to be in her own swim lesson. However she so far has only let daddy go with her. Mama is banished to the sidelines to take pics. 

Gunnar has a tough teacher, but he’s great, just what he needs. Gunnar is learning so much and this particular day he was trying to improve his side breathing, keeping his ear in the water.

Here is Sawyer’s new teacher, and below is the belly float. Just love the butt in the air.

I will have some more swim photos later this week. The day after this lesson we went swimming and Sawyer took his first breath out of water without stopping his arms and legs. Usually when he breaths he forgets he has to keep going, but not anymore. He is a full on breathing swimming machine. Love my little fishies.

Forty Eight Months

and counting. . . 

Sawyer, you are four years old today! I cannot believe we have made it to four! Quite an accomplishment, for you. . .and me.

I remember finding out from the doctor that Gunnar was going to have a brother. All I could think of was. . brothers. I wished for Gunnar to have the opportunity to have a brother like I had a sister, and you made it come true. 

Of all your siblings, you are my most joyful, yet most woeful. You entered the world very mellow and pensive. In fact, for the first 4 and a half months of your life we all thought you were the mildest baby in the world. How wrong we were. You quickly brought us back to reality and decided you were just observing over the first few months how to wreak the most havoc and confuse your parents, leaving them at their wits end, researching books and libraries, techniques and attitudes. And then we found what we were looking for. The explanation that made you make sense. To us. You always made sense to yourself. It was only us who didn’t understand. We discovered that you are what doctors and authors label a “spirited” child, my child. And I revel in your intensity and excitement of all things new and strange. 

You have overcome in your short life many things. You wore glasses at a very young age. You underwent surgery at just 2 years old. And you continue to demonstrate how strong and dedicated you are to everything you do.

You quickly clung to security items like a pacifier and bottle. I fought you on many of these things, and now we have agreed on one final security item, your beloved Foxy. That Foxy I believe will join you and your bride on your wedding night. That is a fight I will let her fight with you, as far as I’m concerned, Foxy stays. 

You are in preschool now, about to enter your last year of preschool. Of all my kids I am most apprehensive of you starting new things. Not sure how you will react, the emotions you will feel. But again and again you amaze me.

You started reading at just 3 years old and now you devour the english language, you learned long vowels and are able to read words like “kite” and “ride”, “happy” and “silly”, you have started to memorize sight words like “the” “and”. One of your favorite pastimes is letting me write silly sentences about daddy or mommy or you, and you get to read what I write. Funny thing is that you don’t realize that you’re reading and I’m slipping new and harder words into the sentences. You just learned to read a number sentence two months ago. The concept of addition made total sense to you and you can do most addition with your little fingers. Each day I need to challenge you more and more so as to keep that little brain of yours active and fresh. Your imagination reminds me of Gunnar. The stories, the tales, I could listen to you talk for hours.

I wasn’t truly a mother until you were born. A mother in the sense of patience, humility, tenderness. You taught me that I didn’t know the answers to everything. That is was okay to sit on the kitchen floor and cry right along with you because we were both frustrated. I learned to let go. I learned what fights are worth fighting. It’s okay if you pick your clothes out. Who cares if you wear rain boots, a cape, pajamas, and a baseball cap to the mall? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Nope. What mattered was learning where you should show your independence, how to guide you through your frustrations and how to help you let things go.

Your brother is your idol. He’s my idol too to tell you the truth. You look up to him the way I had always hoped younger brothers should. When we walk down the street you both naturally clasp hands. It fills my heart with a warm tingling feeling that nothing else in the world could imitate. You and Gunnar are best friends. When you were younger it would seem like ages for him to come home from preschool. Just to make him laugh made your whole day worthwhile. Never did you know that we all were just waiting for your laugh to make ours. 

That laugh of yours is infectious. No one can resist a laugh when you giggle. You have one dimple on your left cheek that gets me every time you smile. 

You didn’t even make it to two years old before you broke your arm. You have few fears. You love to jump in with everything you have, both feet. I envy your spirit, your enthusiasm, how deeply and strongly  you can feel.

You just learned to swim on your own this month. Underwater. And I haven’t seen you that proud since you wrote your name for the first time.

You confused daddy for several years. Not really interested in having a relationship with him, and then one day you realized he’s a cool guy. Someone you want to let into your world and your life. He’s learning to “get” you more and more. But through and through you are a mama’s son. My son. Every night we ask you and your brother and sister who do you want to put you to bed. Night after night, Greta and Gunnar yell for daddy and you yell for me. The bad part is that whoever gets to put you to bed, also gets Gunnar. So one of you is going to be disappointed. We have decided to take turns, you get me one night, you get daddy the next. But whenever it’s not my night to tuck you in, you always sneak upstairs while I am reading Greta a story and wait for daddy to realize that you are not in bed where you should be. You just need to be near me, feel me hold you.

You are my baby boy, my heart. I don’t think we ever really became detached after you were born. Somehow there is some cord, some invisible connection that ties us together. Whatever it is you are feeling, however intensely you are crying, I feel right along with you. All the pain, all the sorrow, yet all the happiness and laughter I get to feel as well. And all the smiles and joyous moments far outweigh any tears. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. 

Especially you. You are my gift, my blessing. You have taught me in four short years what most people don’t learn in a lifetime. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for later. . .

bellies & birthdays

I had to come home and document our conversation today, or fear of forgetting. I love Fridays during summer. The kids have no camp, and other than swimming lessons, which we will miss today so we went swimming at my mom’s in the morning, we have no other obligation than fun. I’ve been trying to pick a different adventure each Friday for the kids. Swimming, beach, museum. But most of all I love our car time together driving to our activity. Me and the 3 kids have some very interesting conversations. Here’s one,

Me: Soso, do you remember what tomorrow is?

Sawyer: Nope. Am I going to be four finally?

Me: Yep. Today 4 years ago you were still in my belly, but tomorrow you came out of my belly. It’s the day you were born.

Sawyer: So when I was in your belly. I was like this? (bringing his knees up to his chest and tucking his head down.)

Me: Yeah, you were all scrunched up like that, into a little ball.

Sawyer: And did I like it?

Me: Yep, all babies love to be in their mommies bellies. They like to listen to her heartbeat and they get to eat through their belly button, they don’t even have to open their mouths for that. And they like how when the mama walks she rocks them to sleep.

Sawyer: And did I ever hurt you like this? (punching the air)

Me: Sometimes you would kick and punch, but it didn’t hurt too bad.

Sawyer: And when I’m big like you I’m going to have a baby in my belly?

Me: Nope. Just the mommies get to have the babies in their belly. But you will get to be a daddy.

Gunnar: Uncle Carl isn’t a daddy.

Sawyer: Yeah. He’s not a daddy.

Gunnar: Why doesn’t Tati have a baby?

Greta: Was I in your belly too? Or I was in Soso’s belly?

Sawyer: When I was in mama’s belly, that’s when you were in my belly.

Greta: Ohhh.

Me: No. First Gunnar was in my belly, then Sawyer, then Greta. But never at the same time. I don’t know why Tati doesn’t have a baby. You should ask her.

Sawyer: Because it takes too much time.

Gunnar: I think it’s because she couldn’t go to the gym as much. 

Me: Do you think she would be a good mama?

Gunnar: Yeah.

Greta: I was in your belly mama?

Sawyer: This is my last 3 year day.

Me: Yep.

100 Great Discoveries

I think most of you probably remember reading a post of mine about the opposite choices in television Aaron and I have, among other things. Bear with me, this may be a jumble of random thoughts. Hang in there.

I haven’t been to a movie in awhile and since I saw the preview for Mamma Mia months ago Aaron informed me that I can go to that one alone. So I took him up on that offer this evening. First of all, let me tell you, it is wonderful! Go and see it. I am not a fan of musical movies. Never liked Moulin Rouge, wasn’t overly thrilled with Dreamgirls, never saw Evita. But I do have a love affair with Grease 2. And this movie has pushed Grease 2 down a notch. 

The textiles in the film are delicious. The scene on the boat, with all the josepf frank fabrics and pillows are just stunning. Meryl Streep is so talented, I love her. She also gave me hope that I don’t have to cut all my hair off when I turn 50, that maybe I can be an older woman with long hair if I live on a Greek Isle. Pierce Brosnan is really cute in his attempt to sing. In fact the audience laughed everytime he opened his mouth, but he was really really trying. I sat next to 4 generations of women from the same family. It was very sweet to see great grandma and great grandchild all sing along and dance in their seat to “Dancing Queen”. And let me tell you, the entire audience was singing out loud to all the songs. And be sure you stay for the entire movie, including the credits. You don’t want to miss it. Okay, there’s my mama’s movie review for Mamma Mia. Just go see it, okay?

So I came home and Aaron was watching TV. I had to of course watch my tivo’d TMZ and then when it was over it immediately switches to what he was watching earlier. I’m sure you can guess the subject material. The title was “100 Great Discoveries”. Yeah, not peaking my interest unless it’s the 100 Great Discoveries of stain removal, the high heel, and facial cleanser. Well, this was not domestic discoveries. I decide to indulge my wonderful husband and sit with him while he becomes entranced with this show. And I do have to admit, it is a little interesting. I probably would find it more interesting if I understood it. 

The discovery that we came in on was something about Newton and gravity. The commentator said that many people think that if an object weighs more, it falls to the ground faster.

Me: Yeah, that’s true.

Aaron: No, it’s not Deborah.

Me: Yes, it is.

Aaron: NO. It is not.

Me: Ok. If I take a book and this feather. The feather will take longer to hit the floor. Genius.

Just then the goofy looking scientist holds up a feather and a book. I believe I will have vindication and then he utters some remark that they fall at the same speed. Huh? Then he goes on to some explanation about air speed or resistance or something and demonstrates if you put the feather on top of the book they fall at the same time. 

K, I was wrong.

Next brilliant discovery that I don’t think has anything to do with me is about relativity. Yeah, can I mention that I chose ceramics instead of physics. 

This other scientist is talking about Einstein and how he developed this theory, and I can’t quite remember it exactly, but it had to do with time slowing down somewhere. Time slowing down? Seriously. Time is time. A second is a second.

Me: I’m sorry. How can you think time is slower somewhere else? And we think this guy is a genius?

Aaron: Deborah it IS true. If you travel faster than the speed of light time slows down. 

Me: How?

Aaron(with a little bit of exasperation at the thought of being able to actually explain this in a way that I can grasp it): I can’t explain that to you.

Me: Yeah, because it’s impossible.

Aaron: No. It’s true. Okay. Deborah. Deborah. Deborah. . . If you take 2 twins and leave one on earth and put one in a rocket and shoot them so they are travelling faster than the speed of light, when you bring those twins back together again on earth, the one who stayed on earth will have aged more.

Me: No way! You don’t wrinkle and age as fast if you’re in space?! Ha! NO way!

Aaron: Deborah. Listen. Don’t you know that when you look up in the sky and see a star you are only looking at the light that came from that star like a 1000 years ago!! That star probably isn’t even there anymore. 

Me: So we can travel at the speed of light and then we will be younger?

Aaron: No, it’s actually impossible for us to travel faster than the speed of light. But that’s the theory. It makes sense.

Me: Why would someone spend all this time and brain power to figure something out that isn’t even possible. That’s stupid. 

Aaron: No. It’s not stupid. And by the way, why didn’t you take science in school? That would’ve helped you. In fact, this is stating things in a very simple way, you need to know this to help your kids understand this. 

Me: I did take science. I took Marine Biology. And I refused to disect a shark because it was not humane. 

Aaron: Ok. 

By now we missed about 3 Great Discoveries and now it was onto something about electromagnetism. 

Aaron: Yeah, you probably don’t want to watch this. It’s going to hurt.

Me: I think you’re right. I’ll go post on my blog. . . dee dee dee. . .dancing queen. . .dee dee dee. . .only seventeen! dee deeeee. de de de deeeeee.