Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The kids

Little [8]:
Over the last few months Little has become a big kid. It's just a total rewiring based on the same basic personality. And it's awesome. As always, she's hugely expansive, ambitious, joyful, proud, energetic, obsessive, the works. Snapshots:

AYSO soccer. She's terrible, but huge. She grins constantly during all the drills.

At water breaks she sprints full-bore to and from the water, grinning and checking everybody's faces to see if they're impressed with her speed.

After practice she practices for another hour, hard-core. She begs Dad for new drills and exercises.

Her coach thinks she's the most promising player he's ever seen, which is a total lie. But she LOVES THAT. He says she's his favorite player and she pretends not to hear--but we can see she's eating it up.

During games she spends half her time petrified by fear that she's doing something wrong, the other half of her time flattening opposing players and dribbling the ball straight for the goal.

She writes books constantly. Percy Jackson/Harry Potter crossover fanfiction. Kids' books. Word-play books (she loves palindromes and terrible puns). Heaps of books.

She reads voraciously. She read all of Harry Potter in a few weeks. Most recently she finished the My Side of the Mountain trilogy.

She's curious and deep-thinking, often pondering unknowables like "what's outside the universe?"

At home she fills all the space--loud, always sprawled all over everything (she practices hand-stands throughout the day), having principled arguments with everybody. At school she's quiet, responsible, and diligent.

She's painfully shy. She won't give her coach a high-five and usually just doesn't respond when spoken to by an adult. At home she talks at about 340 RMP nonstop at jet-engine-level decibels without ever breathing.

She gets stressed out by any hint of failure, to the point of some pretty epic tantrums.

She self-punishes whenever she falls short of her impossible standards, which can be a bit scary.

She spends most of life grinning and has enormous charisma.

She sets herself apart from her siblings and can be pretty brutal to them, when she actually pays attention to them.

She's simply a force of nature. We have no power to set the course for her life, but whatever she decides on she will wreck it.

Littler [7]:
Littler is still a little kid, still our same little Littler, and it's awesome. As always, she's hugely fierce, disheveled, manic, sweet, and sociopathic. Anecdotes:

Her favorite kind of bedtime story is about "My Little Nihilist," which is secretly about her but she doesn't know that. She definitely relates anyway.

She plays soccer too and is just terrible. But in a different way than Little--Littler just hops around and laughs about grass, twirls, pokes girls' hair, whatever. She has good skills, and just no interest. It's adorable, and so frustrating.

We pay her money to touch the ball in games. Let's just say she won't be able to afford a car any time soon. But she did score a goal a couple weeks ago, off a corner kick, which she thought was totally fun.

At home she's just terrible. Terrible! The child of untold doom. She thrives on causing mayhem, havoc, chaos, conflict.

At school she is meek, quiet, obedient. I cannot overstate the contrast. Her after-school leader tells us every single day how well-behaved she is and how much he wants a kid JUST LIKE HER when he has kids--then on the way home she intentionally prevents Littler from being able to buckle his seat belt, enjoys screaming at him in the ensuing drama, has a completely meaningless argument with Little just for fun, throws a few punches, draws all over the back seat, spills juice on her lap, etc.

She screams and growls so loud and so often we're worried about the neighbors calling us in or something. At this moment she is screaming piercing hell, over and over and over, in an effort to convince us that she's happy.

She readily apologizes, helps, cuddles, and loves. She just came up to me ten seconds after finishing screaming, wrapped her arms around me, gave me a kiss and said she loves me. She melts my heart.

She pairs off with Littler 100% of the time and really thrives on being his boss. They move from space to space and ruin everything. At this very moment they are coming inside to explain how they broke the sprinkler--they had been outside for all of five seconds.

She's embarrassingly disheveled at all times. She looks like a homeless girl and there's nothing we can do about it.

[right now Little wants to know the name of

Little loves to go snorkeling, even with big waves. She's never really been fazed by big waves or the open ocean. She thrives on the beach.

She loves music and dancing, it's certainly her main passion. Her dances are graceless, out of control, and the most adorable things ever. Super cute. Her naked zombie dance is epic.

She's good at school, but is hopelessly unorganized, messy, spacey, disinterested. I can't imagine that she hears a word the teacher says.

Littler is no doubt a challenge at home, but she has a glorious spirit and will be just fantastic.

Littlest is an adorable little guy. He's still tiny, still a part-time ninja, and it's awesome.

He's not really a full-time ninja any more. But if given an opportunity, he will DEFINITELY get some chops in...

If he seems Mom and Dad hugging, he immediately sprints over and karate chops between them until they let go. Mom is his.

He loves reading, but he can't read. He doesn't know this.

He is extremely opinionated about pop songs and always tells us immediately if he "loves this one" or "hates this one." He particularly LOVES any song having to do with butts (of which there is a seeming endless supply this year). All his catch-phrases are song lyrics about butts.

He's a really, really sweet little guy. Just so sweet. Sometimes he tells me to lie down on the couch so he can come cuddle with me.

He's very well-spoken and precise, sometimes sounding like a little adult.

At soccer he either plays with full abandon or just stands there petrified. He gets dreadfully upset when other kids steal the ball from him. None of our kids have the sports instinct.

He's really bouncy, always kinda hopping from his toes and prancing around. He moves like he's almost weightless.

He eats and eats and eats and eats and eats and eats.

He's definitely going to be warped permanently by how much adoration he gets at home.

Everybody just thinks he's the best thing ever. Littler and Little sometimes play "baby" where Littlest just whines and the girls pamper him for hours. They all think this is a great arrangement.

He has inspired his share of My Little Nihilist stories. Unlike Littler, he gets a big kick out of how much trouble he's getting into; Littler never considers consequences. They make just a FABULOUS pair.

This kid is clever, confident, adorable, well-spoken, athletic, funny, charming. We've created a monster.

Closing anecdote
At the moment Little is asking me for the name of the last song so she can incorporate it into her next book. Littler is sitting on the couch grouching, dumping out the laundry all over the place, and yelling "stinky poopy!" in response to Little, just 'cause. Little is ignoring her. Littlest is cuddling with me and dancing VERY silly. Now the two littlest ones are throwing pillows at each other "you stop it!" "no you stop it!" "no you stop it!" It's gone back and forth at LEAST 40 times at this point, still going. She kicked him in the face as he tried to bite her. Littler now looks please, Littlest attacks with new vengeance and pins her, laughing. Back to "stop it!" "no you stop it!" "you're going to make me die!" "no, you're going to make me die" etc, etc. Little said "I'm going to save you guys from each other," and pulled Littlest away. Now Littler is screaming bloody murder, because apparently she resents not being able to beat up Littlest. Little wants the music back on, Littler rages on and on. Littlest is now reading himself a story out loud (all made up, based loosely on the original: "quack quack quack, feel that quack. Fluff fluff fluff, feel that fluff. Do you want to do it again? No, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no [x100]!"), Little is drawing for her book and Littler is reading to avoid getting sent to bed, after declaring that she hates reading. Little completes a "ready-made pouch" out of paper, Littler is devastated that she doesn't get one and bawls; and it continues. A representative two minutes in our house. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tahlbows' visit

We're not even going to apologize for how excessively long this post is. There's no such thing as too much Tahlbow/Lewis synergistic grinning and waterplay. Here's 10 days of sun, sunburns, water, sun, sand, sun, and tons of sun, annotated.

OK, the first two were before the Tahlbows arrived. Hanauma Bay.    

We did a bunch of cool things that you won't see here. Smashed 2048, slacklined, fought the most glorious bamboo-rod battle on a high ridge in wild wind, ate some fabulous food. Mostly beach is what you'll get, but it's still plenty.

It's hard to imagine two people more suited to be best friends than L&L. They speak each other's bizarre personal internal languages. And they're a riot together.

OK, this was super cool. Like, actually one of the coolest things ever. We triumphed over the sea with a remarkable--though aesthetically-challenged--fort. Here Blizane valiantly tries to hold the sea back with his body.

Per American tradition, we have to include a picture of [most of] us eating food. Shave ice in Kailua.

Dang girl.

Cool morning in Hanauma Bay, snorkeling and snorkeling. I just had to include the iconic fish of my childhood, the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, which are actually quite common in O'ahu.

A really huge amount of snorkeling.

Bellows Beach, for some last-minute water play. Daddy missed Arizona's win over Gonzaga to go, so you know it had to be awesome.

That's it. Thanks for a fabulous time, Tahlbows! If you made it this far and you are NOT a Tahlbow, consider yourself invited. Because by this point I'm sure you've already decided you need to be here.