Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

Happy Birthday, America! Land of the FREE! No greater nation exists, and I'm proud to be an American. To celebrate, we're mostly hanging at home. Exciting, huh? Mr. Chick is out playing a quick 9-holes of golf with his buddy right now, and plans to watch the World Cup game at noon. Then we'll likely go take the kids to the park and kick the soccer ball with them since we'll be all fired up about soccer and all. I'm predicting a stop at a fireworks stand (if you can call it that - most all fireworks are banned in our state. I think they still let you have sparklers. And smoke bombs. Nothing that shoots up in the air. Whooppee.) and fire up the grill for some burgers. Then, if we're feeling really frisky, we might head somewhere to watch the big fireworks. Ft. Vancouver, perhaps.

To get my mind on happier topics, I'm wanting to share some funny kid updates. They are such characters, those two! As you may remember, Nicholas got a fish for his birthday. A goldfish he named Fishie. Well, long story short, Fishie got the ceremonial flush. He lasted just over a
week. We had a heat wave and the water temp in his bowl changed too much, too quickly (no a/c in our house, damnit!) and he got Ick (a fish disease). We tried treating the Ick but it was too much for fragile Fishie and he went belly-up. Surprisingly, Nicholas took Fishie's demise in stride. He was a little sad, but very realistic for a 5 yr old kid. He knew Fishie was sick and had a few tears in his eyes when we told him that Fishie had died, but quickly rebounded and started asking when he could get another fish. We visited the pet store for the 3rd time in 10 days and came home with Betta, a heartier fish than the useless goldfish. Nicholas is thrilled with Betta (his name AND breed - Nicholas has no creative leanings when it comes to things like names), but has trouble remembering his name. He slips and refers to Betta as Fishie. Then he catches himself, looks at me with panic in his eyes, and whispers, "what's his name again, Mama?". Nicholas checks on Betta all the time. He's happy just watching his fish swim around the bowl. He must ask me 10 times a day when he can feed his fish (at dinnertime, when you feed Abby (our dog) ). He reports back to me all the fish happenings. "Mama! Fishie - I mean Betta - looked at me! I think he likes his new home." He's very proud of taking good care of his fish. It makes him feel very responsible and older. He's cautious about making sure not to over-feed the fish, and asks when we'll clean the bowl (I think he just wants to use the net to catch the fish more than anything). It's really fun to watch him with his first very own pet.

And now, Lauren. Oh, Lauren. She's a trip. I don't think there exists a bigger tomboy than Lauren right now. She refuses to wear anything that didn't come from her brother. There are only a few pairs of sho
rts she'll agree to wear, and those are all hand-me-downs from Nicholas. I have plenty of darling sundresses and tank tops, but she refuses all of them. Refuses. And since she can take her clothes off, she does. And then puts on whatever she likes. Usually the dirty shirt from the day before. She prefers to run around barefoot. She won't let me get near her hair, which really frustrates me. She used to not care if I put a clip in it, or put it up in cute pigtails, but now? Now if she sees me with a comb in my hand she immediately puts her hands on her head, rubbing them, and finds the first soft place (bed, chair, my thighs) and buries her head there, screaming "no pretty! No! No Mama! No pretty!" (I used to tell her she had pretty hair when I would comb it and now associates being pretty with having your hair combed.) There is nothing I hate worse than stringy hair hanging in a childs' face, but that's the look Lauren has just about all the time these days. It bugs. She still follows Nicholas around like a puppy, wanting to do everything he does. Since he's so protective of his fish, and spends a lot of time looking at the fish, Lauren does, too, by default. I've told her a million times to not touch the fish - to look with her eyes only. So now she'll tell me, "eyes, Mama. Look with my eyes, alright?" to get me to agree to let her check out the fish when her brother isn't around. It's cute. She's learning how to work it.

The other thing she's learning? How to finally make the "ck" sound! Her speech is slowly but surely improving. It's still quite garbled in many places, but she's getting better. The "ck" sound is emerging, and "f" as well (although she cannot say "fireworks" - it comes out "bireworts"). Her improving speech makes me feel more relieved and less concerned that she'll need intervention. We'll see where she is at 3 and then decide if therapy is appropriate.

What else? oh yeah - I'm pretty certain I'm going to return to the land of bangs. I've let my bangs grow out, and I've just never been confident that it's a good look for me. It makes me look more tired unless I wear make-up on my eyes. My face looks narrower. I find that I'm pretty much wearing it up in a ponytail most days because to wear it down and then tuck both sides behind my ears is just about the worst look in the world for me. Better to be up altogether. And so, at my next appointment, I'm having her cut some bangs. Bangs are back, anyway, so I'll be hip! I need a new look. And since I've finally got a handle on my color, a new cut should be just the ticket.

I cannot get over how much Lauren looks like you! Seriously. Did you look just like her as a kid?

Happy Fourth (a day late:))
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