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Elie's Playing Soccer!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tonight is quiet. I'm sitting at the dining room table, a grey Air Force hoodie pulled over my head (because I'm right under the air conditioner), reflecting upon the many wonderful changes that are currently taking place in our lives.

Something cool that happened tonight, was- Eleanore started playing soccer.

We've been nervous about this day since we signed her up. Its not that we don't have faith in her, its just that, well- Elie is kind of lazy.

Running, bike riding, walking, anything that uses her muscles... she just doesn't like to do it.

But Christopher and I vowed to push her (in every way possible). Not give in to her couch potato tendancies, not give her the option to watch tv as soon as the going gets tough, but instead, kick her butt out of the house and encourage her to move that beautiful body that God gave her.

So today we hit the field!

High of 105 degrees, but that didn't stop us!

Luckily there was a nice layer of cloud cover though, so the sun wasn't nearly as brutal as it normally is. We sat down on the bleachers with our back towards the playing field, got all geared up in our fancy new pink nike shin guard socks (I say we, but I really mean she), and went and met our new teammates!

Okay well Charlie climbed the benches and played "help me I'm falling" over and over again, while sister went and mingled with her new soccer friends.

She was so excited to be standing out there. So proud. She stood tall, and mostly with her hands behind her back (because you can't use them!). Every few minutes she'd look over and wave wildly, so excited to see us, as if we had just showed up.

They started the girls off with kicking the ball back and forth to each other. There were plenty of times when Eleanore was too busy watching her neighbors ball, that the ball that was kicked to her, went flying past her, and just kept on rolling.

Christopher and I sat back and narrated what we imagined she was saying. I had to stop myself multiple times from shouting instructions at her. Things like "now kick it!", and "watch what you're doing! Watching your ball!". ...just let it go Mama, shes got a coach to do that!

Charlie continued to play in the stands, while Evelyn happily chewed on and tossed around my lens cap. Christopher cheered on his little girl every other kick, never having been so proud.

After a little bit, Charlie couldn't stand the confinement anymore, and had to get in on the action. It didn't take long for him to find a ball, and a buddy.

Out on the dead grass, Eleanore was learning how to kick the ball into the goal. She did it her first try, by the way (so proud!).

Pretty awesome, right?

When he realized that his new buddy was a little bit older than him and maybe a little more advanced in his game, Charlie wandered off onto a hill that he had found, and raced with the clouds.

All of the kicking and running and not using her hands filled Elie's cheeks with a flush that only a good stretch and some cold water could cure.

(And I was there too, hiding behind either the baby or the camera)

Soon practice was over. Charlie had run up and down 2 different hills until his feet went limp, Evelyn used my lens cap as a frisbee until it got buried in the dirt, and Eleanore had learned some really awesome fundamentals for a game that we hope will be a big part of her growing up.

Now I know that face might look like a mean face, with its not so pleasant nose wrinkles and cranky eyes, but- thats actually the face of a really worn out little girl, who can't wait to get home and eat a giant green salad, take a bath, and play with the watering can that she hasn't been able to stop talking about all day (thanks Alexis).

What a little rockstar, she is. To us, at least.

Don't worry, younger siblings- your days of youth sports superstardom are well on their way.

This post has been brought to you by Grammy and Gpa Hillis- Eleanore's number one fans :)

Buried Treasure

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I cleaned out the laundry room last weekend, and amidst that, uncovered our old CD collection. Christopher moved the pile from the floor below the canned goods shelf, to the kitchen table- and there they've sat all week long.

I'll get around to sorting through battered MxPx jewel cases later.

But yesterday as I was passing by, I noticed a familiar shape resting on the top, so stopped to take a peek.

A mixed tape.

Remember the days of mixed tapes? Rewinding, fast forwarding, and flipping sides. And having the time, to put them together?

Christopher must have made this one for me when we lived in our old Apartment on Morrison St in Portland. We had a big stereo in our sunken living room, next to our giant fluffy seated retro curved sectional, where I imagine him standing in his tight jeans and blue zip up hoodie, pressing record every couple of minutes, while he sifted through old magazines that we had gotten from the bins.

We were awesome back then, in a way similar to our awesomeness now, only, maybe with a little bit more energy and style to our stagger.

Look at the date on the top of the play list. It says 1/26/06. Which means this mix tape was for no particular reason. And I guess thats what makes it so awesome. Gifts when given on holidays, especially from boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/whatever, are expected, and therefor hold a little less meaning.

But this was a just-because present. I don't remember him giving it to me, but after picking it up in my hands, I remember listening to it. And I remember all of the details of everything around me that played along with the lyrics to each and every track.

Velour track suits. Coffee people and Steph's house. Scrabble, scrabble, scrabble. Halloween lights year round, Coheed and Cambria on repeat because nothing else ever fit the mood the way they did. The windshield wipers being more constant than anything else in our lives, smoked salmon cream cheese on asiago cheese bagels from the Zupans across the street, and working minimum wage jobs during the day, and coming home to each other at night.

Mix tape = happy Tia.

hey there sleepy smile

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

While everything has been about big sister Eleanore for the past couple of weeks, first her 5th birthday and then starting school- this afternoon I had a very sweet moment with the younger babies.

The house was quiet for a very short while, just long enough for Charlie and Evelyn to fall asleep, allowing me to juice 3 bags of grapes, make a lunch smoothie, and clean up the mess. I swear, as soon as I finished my last delicious gulp of fruit blend, I heard Evelyn's beautiful baby babbles sing matter of factly down the hallway at me.

So up I went.

And our moment we had.

Standing there in her crib like such a big girl, laughing and squealing with delight at the sight of my face and the sound of my voice.

Miss Babykins- good morning to you!

And then a few minutes later, two doors down, an awkward snore coming from Brother's room hightened my senses. So I went to take a peek...

He sat up for a brief moment, rubbed his eyes, mumbled something about Doc Hudson (because he found his missing friend in Mommy's never-ever-used accessory case, which apparently doubles as a parking garage), and in the short moment that I turned my back to check on baby sister who was still talking to herself back in our bedroom- he had fallen back down onto his comfortable mattress, and back into a semi deep sleep. More mumbling. More snoring.

Boy how I wish I could have joined him.

For the past few weeks, and especially this last one, its been non stop go go go for me. From 5am, before the sun mind you, until I crash with a face full of pillow around 10:00 at night.

I, am, tired.
And lazy. I don't have time to edit photos and make them pretty anymore- I'm surprised I even have the energy to resize them.

But gosh, those perfect moments, with puffy eyed babies hugging little toy cars, and gap toothed red heads wearing crib rumpled tutus...

Its all worth it.

Eleanore's First Day Of Kindergarten

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today was a very important day. One for our family history book.

Our lives changed today.

Big time.

We woke up bright and early this morning, the same way that we have been for the past 2 weeks. Only today was different. Today was the real deal.

Today, Eleanore started Kindergarten.

Yep, shes a Jet. ...and how cool is it that there is an actual airplane in front of her school?

We got there a little bit early, just in case there was some uncertainty or nervousness from the star pupil. Shes never been away from us, after all.

While waiting for the doors to open, and the other students to arrive, we found a fun pyramid thing in front of the main entrance to climb.

And we also found some friends.

Elie ran into her friend Ryan, so together they walked down the hallway to their classroom, stopping along the way to play with hallway decor and make funny faces while wearing silly cat shirts.

When we got to room number 8, there we found a cozy little seat with an Elie name tag and a cute little tub of play dough.

Now keep in mind- we don't do playdough here in the house, so this was pretty much like Christmas.

"You don't do playdough?! What?!"

Its not that we're really lame parents, even though I guess we kind of are then, its that play dough is a gluten party, and this house is wheat free.

I know, I know, you can make gluten free play dough with rice flour or whatever, and we have before, the peanut butter kind, but- its just not anything that we've kept around. Shame on me.

But so anyways- Elie has her playdough, and she was content.

I somehow snuck in a photo or 2 before losing all contact with my little school zombie.

The more she got into her play dough, the more I could see that I was no longer needed. So I took a few steps back, and took my camera on a quick tour of my immediate surroundings before the teacher kicked me out. I was the annoying lingering Mom that should have left half an hour ago.

A tired baby sister sitting alone near the wall. ABC's and 123's. A projection screen with instructions for the parents, which I didn't end up reading until I got home and saw them on my tiny camera screen (sorry Elie, for forgetting to sign in your lunch box!).

Ok, but just one more of my once-was-baby before I go.

K. There. I'm done.

And did I mention that shes got a freakin' airplane in front of her school? Becaaaauuuse-


So Charlie and Evelyn and I walked home alone, leaving big sister behind us with all of her new classmates and their song singing and project playing. It wasn't until we walked in the front door of the house, that I realized how lost I was.

...so um... what do we do now? ...do you want, food? do we eat now? Or...

Fast forward through a play date for Charlie and Evelyn, and a lunch date for me, and before we knew it- the whole house was swept, the babies were napped, and we were on our way back down to Dyess Elementary to pick up our missing puzzle piece.

I won't go into awful details about the sunburns on the back of my legs, but lets just say that, tomorrow we'll be armed with sunblock, the stroller, and hats. 45 minutes in the brutal triple digits took hours to recover from. Who knew that a walk from the car to the classroom would have freckled us all in heat rash and knocked us flat on our asses.

But at the end of the day, our strong willed little princess came out of the hallway smiling, singing songs about sharks and fishes, repeating cute lil' sayings like "criss cross applesauce", and explaining to me allll about the squares on the carpet that they sit in, allll about how she has to stop eating her snack when the teacher tells her to, and alllll about being a grape/celery/carrot in gym class.

There are no words, to describe how proud of her I was today.

I'll remember your first day of school forever, Miss Eleanore. And I hope you will too.

Happy 5th Birthday, Eleanore Sue

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Its the night before your birthday. You're upstairs, snuggled tightly underneath your pink fluffy Hello Kitty comforter, probably humming "I Care For You" from the Carebears movie, while you rock yourself on your hands and knees back and forth.

5 years ago, I was pulling an all nighter, in an attempt to sleep through the next day, to be well rested for my induction the day after. But right about now, only then, my water broke, as I was laying in my large empty bed, since Daddy lived in the dorms on the Air Force Base down the road, just passing the time, watching music videos and reality tv shows.

It took me awhile, to give in and go to the hospital. I had had a false alarm before, and didn't want to go to through the embarrassment of a late night practice run again. After sending text messages to my then-neighbor, and your Daddy, I was convinced to go in. And even after I got there, it took them quite a while to identify what they were looking for, and admit me.

My labor with you was intense. It started light, and I remember thinking "this feels just like menstrual cramps, I can totally do this". When things weren't progressing on their own, the doctors gave me a little push in the form of pitocin, and 12 hours later I was begging for an epidural. Out of all 3 of my kids, that was the only real labor that I had gotten to feel, though- Those first few hours with yours. And while it was disgusting and I remember wishing above all, that the amniotic fluid that kept pouring out would just cool it down a notch- I wouldn't change the realness of it for anything in the world. Compared to the planned c-sections that I had with both your brother and sister- going into labor naturally with you, was beautiful.

If only I could have delivered you the way that I wanted to.
Booo, complications.

...20 hours post water breaking, there you were.

And now, 5 years later, you're growing into your own wonderful person. I can't control you, even though I may want to. You speak your mind, even though sometimes I wish you wouldn't. But- at the end of every tantrum, and at the start of every day- you still come to me and pretend to push me away, when really all you want is for me to hold you close.

I couldn't have asked for a better daughter. No matter what happens in this life- no matter what path you wind up taking- Mariah Carey style- you will always be my baby.

Happy 5th birthday, pretty.