I’ve been trying to write this post for 5 days now, so I think you can guess how busy things are around here. Jonathan is home for the summer (more on that below) and I’m back to working after maternity leave. We returned a week ago from a ten day road trip to see our family in California and adjusting back to “normal” life has been a process (mostly for me).
Jonathan [8 years old]:
Jonathan has just finished up school for the year and continued to excel. He is now officially on an Advanced Learning Plan for reading and we’re excited to partner with his teacher & the gifted coordinator at his school to continue to support his growth. He has really enjoyed art at school, so this summer we’ve signed him up for a weekly art class. I’m so excited to see what he makes. He’s had one class so far and came out with a huge smile on his face, so I think he liked it. We have him on the waitlist for an outdoor education camp & signed up for VBS at our church next month so hopefully he won’t be “soOoOoOo bored” all summer. Jonathan played basketball in the spring season and came a long way in skills and confidence over the short time. He truly lived his best life in California getting to play with Slade, Jack & Milo up north and then his extended Padilla cousins down south.
He wanted me to include this:
by Jonathan Rabon: My life has been good basket ball has really taught me skills for basket ball. Weather has been nice. I have been playing with my friends all spring/summer well back to mom.
Abigail [Two weeks shy of 4]:
Abigail continues to grow into her big personality. She’s all about dresses, shoes, accessories, painting her nails, applying pretend makeup and posing for the camera. Marcie says that she reminds her a lot of Momo (her mom, Stephen’s grandma) and I love the thought of the Momo gene expressing itself in her, even though they’ll never meet. She is currently obsessed with the 2002 M. Night Shyamalan classic, Signs, and asks to watch it regularly. She’s very attentive to Noelle and got the first belly laugh from her. Abigail has gotten very good at delegating – when I ask her to grab something for me, like a burp cloth, she immediately delegates it to Hannah. It’s hard to believe that she’s about to be 4. Though we’ll have another year before she’s old enough for kindergarten, 4 seems like a real kid age. Not baby, not toddler, but kid.
My current favorite Abigail-isms are:
“I’m super duper decided” when she is excited
She calls Stephen’s grandma “One Great Grandma” because she added another great every time we talked so I kept telling her “no, only one great”
Hannah [2.5 years old]:
Hannah is so fun right now. Her little voice is the sweetest and her vocabulary/pronunciation is getting better by the day. She’s taken to announcing herself when she comes down stairs (and other various times in the day) with “It me, Hannah.” Instead of thank you, it’s “thank youp.” Now instead of Baby Well, she’s begun to call Noelle “Wellie” and Abigail sounds more like “Ab-i-go.”
Hannah’s personality is shaping up to be different than the older two. They’re both pretty extroverted and outgoing with everyone. Not Hannah. She’s made it her way to pick her person in social situations. With the Rabon side of the family, it’s Dan. Once Dan is around, no one else really matters. She gets a booboo and it’s not Mom she wants, it’s Uncle Dan. With the Padilla side, she was all in on Auntie Ash. Ashleigh sat down at my mom’s house and within 5 minutes, Hannah had curled up in her lap and fallen asleep for three hours. The beach was basically the Hannah & Ash show. At Dad’s house she latched onto Tío Danny and if he wasn’t there it was Gabe. I think it’s so fun to watch how she’s different than the others, and I love that she’s more discerning with her attention. I don’t know if it’s because she’s a quasi-quarantine baby or she was just wired that way but it’s adorable to watch her choose her people.
Noelle [5 months]:
Noelle is the smiliest baby. All of our kids have been happy babies, but Noelle takes the cake. Speaking of cake, the Noellie Cakes nickname has really caught on. She’s definitely teething and can be found drooling up a storm with a finger (or Lego Brick Separator, her teether of choice) in her mouth. In the months of April and May, Noelle was able to meet all of her living great-grandparents – a process of about 4,672 miles in the car but every one worthwhile to see our kids get to connect with people we love so much. She dipped her little toes in the Pacific for the first time (actually a first for all the girls – I was pregnant with Abigail the last time Jonathan and I went!) and has started to dabble in some foods. She’s still working on not pushing it all out with her tongue but she is eager to eat it!
It’s hard to believe we’ve been a family of six for almost half a year. I was looking at some campgrounds in the last week and one had a limit per site of six people (including children). How do we have a family that is the limit for a campsite?! Overall, the kids do well together. Deep down, they love each other. Sometimes the sibling bickering and wrestling matches between sisters make it hard to see but it’s there. Jonathan is still the most adored human in this family (maybe a very close second to Stephen) and even though he bemoans having only sisters, he is tender and sweet with them when the situation calls for it. The noise is real. The destruction is real. But so is the love. And as parents, that’s the hope, right? Kids who will love and protect each other over their lives, and who will care for each other in those times when you can’t. Sometimes it seems like it’s all-day fighting and teasing, but these kids are making core memories during these years. They’re setting up the foundation for lifelong friendship. It’s a messy, loud process around here, but it’s ours.