Long, Detailed update....beware!
I guess it's our turn for a little update. I keep resolving to be better at these, and it just doesn't happen. I normally am busy on Sunday afternoon preparing for seminary or planning with Jeff.....but Jeff just took off for a business trip until Wed and I don't have to teach seminary in the morning, so no more excuses. Here is an update.
Life is feeling really really good right now in Malden. The foot thick sea of ice that was once our back yard is now almost completely gone and I'm starting to feel like everything (including myself) is thawing out. There is something amazing about spring in Boston. Almost so amazing that it makes the long bitterly cold winter worth it. The bone chilling freeze of winter one day just turns and suddenly there is life in places you had completely forgotten about. People are suddenly more alive and friendly, they smile on the streets, you can walk out of your house without having to tense up your shoulders and you can breath in the fresh air because it no longer freezes out your lungs. The birds start chirping, the sun creeps into your house and you feel something come alive within you that you kind thought might have been gone forever.....it feels so so good. I am relishing it. It is especially nice this year because I can share it with Hazel. She is totally getting things now and I am rediscovering so many things as I explain them to her. I love her sense of wonder and curiosity. What an incredible part of Heavenly Father's plan......that I get to remember the wonder of the world as I help her discover it. She sees the world in such a unique way. A few weekends ago we were in New York and it was FREEZING cold. (Hazel is really dramatic in the cold and is always running to get into warm places, saying as she runs "it's FREEZING!" and when she gets there saying "oh, wow, we made it mom!". ) Anyway, she was riding on Jeff's shoulders and said to me "look at me mom!" I looked up and her face was completely frozen in a huge grin. Then she said, "I have my cold on!"
The other funny thing that she said lately (sorry, I've told a lot of you this already!) was when McKay was here with us (he stayed with us for a week while Noah and Kristi were in Hawaii). I was changing Charlie's diaper and this is how our conversation went:
H - "Mama, can I have some milk?"
S - "yeah, just a minute, I need to change this guys diaper"
H - "oh, that charlie?"
S - "yeah"
H - "Oh, where's that charlie named McKay?"
I guess in her mind all baby boys are 'Charlies'....some are just charlies named something else. Funny little brain. Then, yesterday after spending 2 1/2 hours at our Nigerian neighbors birthday party (which was really loud and a little overwhelming for Hazel) we walked out and she said "mom, I have a jumping heart."
She is really such a good little 21/2 year old (yesterday was her half birthday......) Luckily so far she really isn't into mischief....no spreading desitin all over the carpet, climbing into the toilet, unraveling all the toilet paper, writing in books or on walls or on her body, cutting her hair.....please knock on wood for me! She is generally really eager to please and very sweet. She really loves Charlie (you can see it in her eyes) which is very rewarding and can pretty much entertain him when I need her to. They will laugh at each other for almost an hour at times without any intervention from me....which is hugely rewarding. I love it.
Oh, and Hazel is also really into Yoga. We found a "yogakids" video at the salvation army and she can't get enough of it. She knows all the poses and will show them to anyone we meet. About five times a day she lowers her voice and whispers to me, "I know....." then gets louder and very animated, "LET'S DO YOGA!" She even demonstrated her yoga moves to her joyschool class for sharing time. I think people might be getting a little tired of them. We think she's cute.
Charlie is quite a little character. He is getting quite proficient in most animal noises or actions (panting for a dog, waving his hands for a bird, snorting for a pig, popping his lips for a fish) and is always very eager to show them off. He still has little interest in walking but can crawl like nobodies business. He wags his little tail as he books it across the room to come and bury his little head in my lap and give me a huge open mouth slobber (usually leaving a big messy mark on my newly cleaned pants....but who can reject that kind of affection?). He gets really excited about pretty random things and makes a great kind of low squeaking noise as he breaths in to show his excitement. (Try it, you'll see what I mean.) He also has started wobbling his whole body....especially his head when he's really excited, or when he really wants something. (those of you who have been to India, he does the Indian head bobble quite regularly). He is really into communicating lately and is learning a lot of signs, getting really good at grunting and pointing and is even saying quite a few words. He says "mama, dada, haza (for hazel), duck, dog, ball, ba ba, na na (for food) and his new favorite MO, for elmo. I wish you could all be here to give him a little cuddle. He's a great little cuddler and a really pretty happy (and quite handsome I think) little guy.
Jeff and I are doing well. Work is going well for me. I'm just doing one day a week, and it's perfect. I feel like I'm connected to a world outside of my little world, which is what I need right now. I am both inspired, amazed and aghast at what these women that I'm working with have to do and sacrifice. They have so little, yet are doing so much. Women (mother's especially) are so amazing. In a few weeks I'm going to start running at 10 week group so that we can get some of these women connected. One of the biggest problems most of them have is that they're isolated and unsupported and vulnerable to depression. So, we're going to try to connect them in this group. They all live fairly close to each other, but have no real way of getting to know each other. I'm excited about it.
Jeff's work has really picked up lately and he's working really long hours, which is a little hard for all of us....but we're adjusting and jeff is getting better at his new roles at work so things are looking up. He is such a hard worker....having him gone a lot makes me even more grateful for all he does for me and the kids.
Well, I can hear little Charlie up there, awake from his nap. I better go.
I sure love you all and am so happy that I am connected with you. Keep those updates coming, they really inspire me so much.