Sunday, January 24, 2016

To Lorelei on Her 4th Birthday

Dear Lorelei,

Today you are 4. Every year, it seems, goes by in a flash. It is so surreal to have a 4 year old. That's not a baby anymore, or even a toddler. You are a kid now. And I find that terrifying! This year, you have come into your own, for better or worse. Before, you were a tiny person. Now you are an actual person with ideas and opinions!

You are Creative
If anything this year, you have shown us that you are an artist at heart, or maybe a storyteller. You love nothing more than an art project. Unless it is playing with your princesses. You will play with them for hours and hours at a time. It's amazing. You create your own little world with them, reenacting experiences you are going through or the plots of your favorite movies. I love how you can just immerse yourself in whatever reality you are imagining!

You are an Amazing Big Sister
I love how you interact with Amelia. You are one of her very favorite people and she is one of yours! You are protective of her with other people--always telling them "that is MY sister." You give her hugs and kisses and will even share some of your prized toys with her. Mostly, you just want to make her happy and smile!

You are Silly
You love to crawl around and bark like a dog and meow like a cat. You will spin in circles just to get dizzy and fall down. Your new favorite game is "Hide and Sneak" but you are TERRIBLE at hiding! You just cover your head with your little tushy in the air! You think it is hilarious when you tell your Daddy that you have stolen his seat--even though you have been sitting in that chair for three months!

You are Independent
This has been the key word of the year. You want to be BIG GIRL so much. You want to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Call it Type A, call it bossy, call it stubborn, call it independent or being a future CEO, call it what you will, it's all you. And that has made this a CHALLENGING YEAR. Everything from taking off your diaper in the morning to picking your clothes to getting dressed to brushing your teeth and putting on pajamas to reading a bedtime story is a battle. On the one hand, you so want to please (this shows at school in reports from your teachers), but you also want to be in charge and in control and to DO IT YOURSELF. There have been a lot of time outs this year, and a lot of tears and tantrums.

You are You
You will be the first to tell anyone that you are a princess. And you are. You are our princess with scraped knees, big hugs and tons of cuddles. And we can't wait to see what this year brings!

6 Weeks


1 Year


2 Years

3 Years

4 Years


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Letters To My Girls: 8 Months


Dear Orth Ladies,

Yeah, you know that whole 7 months deal? I realize that post is missing. Because I blinked and December was gone! Oy! And now we're halfway through January and I'm just now posting! The life of a mom, eh? This pretty much sums up our life these days: blink and you'll miss it!

To Lorelei: You are being a rock star with going to the potty. You haven't had an accident since before Christmas! Knock on wood! Also, I love how much you love your sister. You've decided she is big enough to play with now, and you are so good about giving her toys to play with--even sharing some of your prized toys with her!

To Amelia: I knew it. I absolutely knew it. I told your dad that you were going to start crawling at Christmas, when the floor is covered with tiny pieces of paper and tape and boxes and toys. And what do you know? You start crawling on Christmas Eve! You are now crawling and scooting yourself all over the place, and boy are you fast! If it's small and shiny or bright, you want it and you are going to  get it! You've also started loving solids. It's hilarious and messy and you still don't like texture, but I'm pretty sure you haven't encountered anything you don't like! The list of things you've tried (and loved): butternut squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, avocado, beets, apricots and yogurt.

We love you so much!
Mom and Dad

Monday, November 23, 2015

Letters to my Girls-Six Months

Dear Orth Ladies,

It will be Thanksgiving in 3 days and I haven't even done this month's post. This shows just how crazy busy this month has been!

To Lorelei: Are you 4 yet? Because really, I've had enough of this "Threenager" nonsense. Every day you're pushing limits, seeing how far you can go and what you can get away with. Basically, driving your poor mom crazy! Side note-you're working on your pronouns and it is hilarious. You keep switching "her" and "she". As in: "her no want the cookie" and "that is she's milk". I try to repeat with the correct pronouns, but listening to you is so funny!

To Amelia: aka Miss Grabby Fingers. You are awake so much more now, which is fun, but boy do you want to grab everything! The doctor gave us the okay to start introducing solids, which you currently have no interest in. But boy do you love the kitchen table. And spoons. And the dogs. And everything that is not actually food! Also--you are sleeping through the night! In your own crib! Woot woot!

Love,
Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Letters to My Girls-Five Months



Dear Orth Ladies,

Another month just passed in the blink of an eye! It seems like just yesterday it was summer and now it's October! We just keep trucking, negotiating our way though the next day and disaster! This month we have been dealing with ant invasions, mouse invasions and a broken dishwasher! Oh my!

To Lorelei: You have become a fantastic hiker! Really! Over the last month, we went on three different three to four mile hikes and you have come through it like a pro! You love to explore, draw in the dirt and look for rocks, leaves (and mermaids, if we are on the water!) Our newest favorite hike is to Mori Point. We eat lunch in the back of the Explorer, then walk one of the dogs out along the boardwalk or up the hill to the point. Either way, the view is fantastic!

To Amelia: You just want to be held. All. The. Time. You are such a happy girl, as long as you are being held. Otherwise, all bets are off. We've successfully transitioned you to the Pack and Play (more or less), but you hate napping in it and really hate being alone. You seem happiest strapped to mommy's back! You are so much more aware now--always looking around. You can't sit up or roll over yet, but you are on your way!

A few extra pics from this month's photo session:
















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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Letters to My Girls: Four Months



Dear Orth Ladies,

It's been a crazy, busy month. Preschool has started and we've been enjoying the last bits of summer, with lots of trips to the park, the beach, the zoo and even a family trip to Gilroy Gardens and apple picking at Gizdich ranch. We finally got a new car--mama's little car just wasn't cutting it anymore. Now we've got a nice big Ford Explorer with enough room to haul two girls, two dogs and all our stuff to Grandma's house! In more exciting news, the quail have hatched. We started with 24 eggs, 14 hatched and we lost two, So  now we have 12 balls of feathers and fluff living in Amelia's room for a few weeks!

To Lorelei:
You have been giving us emotional whiplash these days! You can sit for hours playing with your sticker books, princesses and doll house. Then you turn around and are the clingiest little girl, needing tons of cuddles and holding on to our legs, refusing to let go! I hear a lot of "Mother! I NEED you!" Not going to lie, it is exhausting!

To Amelia:
You are bundle of smiles. A smile machine, as it were. While your sister was stingy with her smiles--you really had to work for them--you give grins to everyone who looks your way! You are getting more into a routine. You take three naps a day: morning, afternoon and evening, then you sleep at night. You are ALMOST sleeping through the night. Although, you have absolutely no interest in moving out of the bassinet. I keep trying to introduce you to the Pack and Play and crib and you do not like them at all. You have a bit of a cold, so I'm going to try introducing them again when you aren't so congested.

We love you bunches,
Mom and Dad

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Letters to my Girls-3 MONTHS



Dear Orth Ladies,

We just keep on doing. Just as we get into a routine, it changes! Mama's back to work and Lorelei is back at preschool! Working in the PJCC garden is great, but I also feel a bit like I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Trying to get the garden back in shape, making schedules for the preschool classes, planning volunteer days...it's a lot of work! Especially when I only had two to three hours three days a week to do it. Now that preschool has started, I get a solid four hours, which should be great.

And because we don't have any other projects going on right now, we've also decided to expand our family...by about 20 to 24! We bit the bullet and decided to raise a flock of quail. We've been talking about it for a year now and we are all very excited.Well, Amelia doesn't really know what is going on, but the rest of us are excited! It's going to be a great first taste of responsibility for Lorelei. Her job will be to collect the eggs and check the food and water. Right now, we have 24 eggs in our incubator. Lorelei has been dutifully checking on her eggs every day, every day saying "my eggs hatch today?" It's super cute!

To Lorelei: I love you, but some days you make me CRAZY! We've been having a run of No Naps. This makes mama very sad, as I treasure that quiet time to eat a quiet lunch, get things done or take a nap myself. Normally, I just let you play quietly in your room for an hour or so. But today, during your quiet time, you peeled the paint from your bedroom door! What the heck, friend?! Most of the time you are this amazing, loving little girl though, so I'll take the occasional bouts of crazy!

To Amelia: Every month it feels like you are changing and growing more and more! You are awake and alert so much more these days and are meeting so many milestones. You hate tummy time, but you can push up on your arms to look around! You are discovering your hands and will just stare and analyze them for ages! You are also a Clingy McClingerpants! You always want to be held and fed and will fuss and fuss until you get your way. Speaking of which...I think you need to be fed again!



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Letters to My Girls-2 Months


Dear Orth Ladies,
Our lives seem to be growing and changing every day since Amelia joined our little crew. I wasn't planning on returning to work after Amelia was born. In fact, the plan was that I would stay home, pull Lorelei out of preschool and homeschool, and rent out the guest room to make up the difference. But as I said, things keep changing. I was offered a position as the garden manager and preschool garden teacher, which I could do while Lorelei is in preschool. When I am just doing the gardening, I would be able to keep Amelia with me--strapped to my back--and in J-Care while I'm actually teaching. The cost of this--minus the cost of preschool--would equal the amount that a renter would bring in. Basically, I would get everything I wanted: still working a bit, Lorelei could still be in preschool, I can keep Amelia with me, and we don't have to rent out a room (and I'd get my office/sewing nook back!) Win win win!

To Lorelei: We seem to have fallen into a groove this month. It was hard at first, really hard, but you are enjoying the activities I have planned for us. Every day, you ask me where we are going today! You're getting more used to having your sister around and have even changed your opinion of the dogs. While before, you never wanted them near you, they are now your best buddies. You love to pet them, chase them and have them join you in your bed at night!

To Amelia: You are growing so fast! Stop it! But not really. It's so fun to see you develop. You are great at holding your head up and love sitting up with help from us. You are even trying to stand up--your legs are so strong! You are going to be an early walker for sure!

Love you both bunches!

Mom and Dad