Monday, March 28, 2011

Help! I'm surrounded!

I've been thinking of changing the name of this blog to Being Boys instead of Being Bilingual.
However, I suppose that being the lone female in this house and learning how to think like my boys and understand them is another form of bilinguistics. So I will leave the title alone for now, and focus on learning the language that will let me understand why they do what they do.
For instance, why did I come across a batch of pictures the boys had taken with my camera of their rear ends? I will give you a tame sample of one of these with the pants actually pulled up.
Why are they so fascinated with bodily functions and why does every mention of poopoo or peepee send them into hysterical laughter? I have tried scolding, reasoning,and appealing to their better natures as gentlemen to stop their constant references to these things but to no avail.
James has tried but then told me the other day that "He will try to stop saying the words, but in his heart he can't help laughing."
Or how do I respond to the following conversation between Steve and the boys.
Daddy- "You boys sure have good taste. It must be the European in you."
James and Etienne(sniggering)- "Haha, daddy said Peean."
Daddy(exasperated)- "No boys, not Peean, European."
Etienne(laughing still harder) "No dad, you're a peean"
I mean really, what do you do?

Or why do they love bugs? Why do they go out in the pouring rain and mud to dig for worms to feed to the tiny snake daddy found in the yard?

Why do they all insist on sleeping on the top mattress of their big bunk bed, and being wrapped up like "roly poly bugs" before going to sleep?

And what about Winnie the Pooh in a muddy stew?

or incessant wrestling and doggy piles?

Can I get an interpreter please? Steve just shrugs his shoulders and tells me they are boys, so get over it. But I am still trying to discover the gentlemen in them. It does appear occasionally in James. He loves to get me flowers or clean up his room to surprise me, and yesterday, when playing pirates he asked Etienne to stop with his wicked cackling because they were "Good pirates who love God." Maybe I am making some progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We've been bloomed!

The phrase in the title of this post was coined by James, after I tried to explain to him why all of our extra sneezing was coming from the trees in bloom.

The older I get and the more children I have, the more I love to garden. We are having so much fun with the kids this spring- fun playing in the dirt, loving their joy at seeing each bulb pop up out of the ground, wondering what kind of flower it will produce, and hearing their funny little expressions. ("Oh mom, just look how well the dandelions are growing!")
I have learned that it doesn't take much to make a garden- just a little labor and imagination. We currently live in a not so great neighborhood. When I started weeding the beds out front by the street, I had to wear thick gloves to protect myself from the many shards of broken beer bottles and other trash that had been lurking in the dirt for who knows how long. The yard next to us is a small mechanics shop, mostly made up of concrete and metal and even a little barbed wire. The house on the other side is a little more presentable, but nothing lovely. With such surroundings I was tempted to think that trying to make something nice out of our yard was pretty pointless, but I plugged away anyway, planting bulbs last fall, and planning flower beds. When my sister visited, she treated me to several flats of bright flowers from the local nursery, and planted them in big pots across my porch. Steve is currently building some raised beds for vegetables.

I have been amazed at the impact our little actions have made on this rather sad neighborhood. People who I see walking by on a daily basis staring at their shoes, now stop to look, to comment, to appreciate even my little attempts at beautifying. My daffodils are bent from trampling feet and half the yard has been tilled and replanted with new grass seed, but people still admire the color and symmetry of the flowers, despite the imperfections around. It's a simple kind of ministry.
So I am thankful for this spring, thankful for the allergies, and thankful for the perpetual handfulls of dandelions being brought to me by grubby little people. Here's to being bloomed!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Life, A New Blog

How does one ressurect a blog that has been dead for almost a year? Apparently the desire to display a new baby to the world is enough for this lazy blogger. Equally motivating is the realization that I am never going to get around to updating baby books or printing and framing the thousands of pictures I have floating around on my computer. The best way I have found for recording the precious moments in life, the memorable things my children say or do and the pictures to go with them is with a blog, so back on the horse I climb.
This means however that there is an entire year of our lives that has gone undocumented. Solution? A brief timeline of events that will fill all my loyal readers in on our crazy lives from last Spring to this. Enjoy.

May-Mid August 2010
The Lewins bite the bullet and move to Memphis to be with daddy. There they experienced life in a large apartment complex with lots of little neighbors to play with, a pool to swim in, and cockroaches the size of dinner plates. The heat was mostly unbearable and there were no sightings of Elvis. They laid pretty low all summer. Highlights were mostly milestones for James. He turned five, learned how to swim and how to ride a bike all in one week.

August 2010-
The Lewins decide to move back to Chattanooga to try and get daddy's real estate business off the ground. The plan to stay in one of his tiny duplexes for awhile while renovating yet another house backfired slightly when the duplex proved to have no running water. Further investigation revealed the main water line had been cut somewhere in the middle of the yard. This was not discovered until after five days of living without plumbing in 103 degree weather and hours of digging in the clay with a pick ax. We were grateful to friends who lent a shower. Meanwhile, work commenced on a small house in which they hoped to live within the month. Unfortunately that plan hit another snag when they decided to throw caution to the wind and knock out some walls. The discovery of hard wood floors under the old carpet didn't help either. Much, much rubble and sanding and dust later, they moved in.

September 2010-
Steve's hopes for his business did not flourish as anticipated, so back to Memphis he went for five days a week. Nicky tried not to cry. Life continued very busy, and James started Kindergarten. He loves every minute of it. Sebastien turned two.

October-December 2010-
These months are mostly a blur. Nicky was a single mom most of the time, with weekends crammed full of daddy time and more home improvement projects. Somewhere around this time, Nicky discovers a pregnancy that she had overlooked for five months. If you want to know how on earth that happened, call her. Another boy was on the way.
Thanksgiving was spent in Orlando with the Moons, and plans were made to spend Christmas in Tacoma. Nicky managed to get herself, all three boys and her pregnant belly into an airplane all by herself and Steve joined them later for a wonderful Christmas with the entire extended family.

January 2011 -Present
The Lewins return to Chattanooga and Steve goes back to Memphis only to discover that he either returns to Memphis 24/7, or he is out of a job. Steve becomes unemployed. Nicky is extremely grateful to have him back home as the new baby is due any day, and the search for a new job continues. February 22, Christian Edmund Brock is born and is joyfully welcomed by all. A visit from sister Aubree and her husband highlighted the beginning of March, and now we are caught up. All we need now are a few updated pictures.

James, otherwise known as "Kindergarten Boy" at 5 3/4-

Etienne, "The Tank" Lewin at almost 4-

Sebastien, my not a baby anymore at 2 1/2-

And last but not least, little Christian at 2 weeks-