Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OC family vacation

  We took our first beach vacation as a family in Ocean City, Maryland.  It was only for a weekend but two days at the beach and everybody had a blast!  Jon and I forgot how much we truly love being by the ocean (not the gulf or a river but an ocean).  And Luke and Vivi had a lot of fun playing in the sand and water.  Luke enjoyed constructing his "city" of sand, running around, and actually braved some of the waves on a boogie board, albeit in the more shallow area.  Vivi just enjoyed being a little explorer, as always.  She loved touching the sand, waving the sand toys around, and climbing in and out of her very own beach chair.  She wasn't too keen on being in the water by herself but made that delightful baby laugh when she was being held while we were in the water.  Jon and I both enjoyed riding the waves, regardless of how many wave wedgies I got in my swimsuit.  Sun, sand, and surf--doesn't take much to make the Thompsons happy.

My muscle men
me and my kiddos

Luke's city of sand
Vivi getting comfy in her beach chair
Jon helping with the "city" construction

Vivi on the boardwalk
Luke on the boardwalk

Luke's highlights:

1.  His tattoo of a crab he got at Fish Tales.  We named it Cooter.

2.  Luke met his favorite superhero, Spiderman.

Really, what's not to like, right?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why? and Diva tastes...

This is Why.

Why the Dinosaur, to be precise.

Luke made him as a sand art project at his friend Sarah's birthday party. He christened his project Why shortly after Sarah announced that her stegosaurus sand art project was named "What". Hmm, wonder why?

Luke has become VERY protective of Why. In fact, the morning after the party, Luke got up early (again). Jon got him settled by the television, accompanied by Why, of course. Later on, when Jon came downstairs for good, Luke told Jon "I was protecting Why from predators, Daddy." This morning, Luke was without Why when I came downstairs. When I asked where he was, Luke told me, with a very serious face, that Why was still sleeping because "he needs his rest because he had a busy day playing at Peter's house yesterday." A sand art Triceratops needing his beauty rest. I love it! It is so endearing to see my 4-year-0ld boy as a caretaker. He has always been thoughtful and caring as a big brother to Vivi. And this is not the first time he's taken to "fathering" a toy. He went through a phase of caring
for a stuffed dog he named "Barkie" (perhaps as a nod to Curious George's friend "Sharkie"). He pulled me to the couch to show me how he tucked in Barkiefor a nap. "See, Mommy? Barkie is getting his rest."

I've decided that Luke is going to be not just a wonderful big brother, but an equally awesome dad one day.

Vivi, on the other hand, is developing some very rich tastes. She is definitely demonstrating that she has some specific preferences, just like her mama. At church, she went for a brownie I was eating instead of the fruit and crackers we had for her. "A typical girl--goes for the chocolate" said a lady from church. At brunch, I had ordered Crab Benedict and guess who was reaching for my crabmeat? Yup, little Miss Vivi. Jon and I pity the fools who date her 16 years from now--they'll need deep pockets if her tastes persist. At a Little League Fun Day, Vivi reached for my Starbucks cup like it was ingrained in her American female DNA to gravitate to a Starbucks beverage. I tried hiding it from her but the little girl sure is stubborn. Here's Vivi taking a liking to my Starbucks cup:


And she's also displaying a Diva vibe. If she's wants something and you offer her the wrong thing, watch out. She does a little dance where she bends over, walks backwards, and shakes her head "No" simultaneously to let you know when she's unhappy. I have no idea if this is how I acted when I was her age or if Jon (or any other Thompson) did. But she got it from somewhere and it's very humbling to watch your children display personality traits that perhaps you turn a blind eye to. But she is now running with purpose towards us to give us a kiss or a hug. And she is enthralled with her big brother, Kuya Luke. She adores him and just loves to play with him. She has this delightful laugh when she is having so much fun playing with him. It's the type of laugh that emits pure joy. Your heart just soars at the sound of it. She definitely demonstrates her hardheaded toddler tendencies, shaking her head and shrieking her opinion at you. But, like any girl, she knows how to melt your heart with her winsome smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Jon and I are in so much trouble with a capital T...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 16, 2010 Sundays seem to agree with the kids...

My kids in their Sunday finest...

Small blessings...

Have you ever watched your child chase a butterfly? It is the simplest joy I have found, right up there with a child's laugh. Luke was helping Jon dig a ditch in our yard on Saturday and I pointed out a butterfly flying over the ditch. He started running after it, giddy with delight, looking back at us with the biggest smile on his face. It was a true high point of the day.

And then, the next day, we were getting ready for church. We always put Vivi in a dress, it can't be helped. She just looks so adorable in a dress and church is the perfect excuse to put her in one. But Luke insisted on wearing his "suit"--a tie and a navy blue jacket I found for him. I can't even describe it well enough to do it justice. I believe the photos will say it all.

This past weekend just reminded me how joyful my life is and how much my children contribute to that. Children approach life full of love in their hearts and embrace all aspects of it. Luke will just laugh at anything. And he is such a loving child. After I had already kissed both kids on my way out today, Luke raced out the front door because, as he said, "I wanted to give you one more kiss." Luke also notices all the details. Today, I was dressing Vivi in a bright playdress and Luke said "Mommy, Vivi is very beautiful today."

And Vivi is beautiful. Well, Vivi was appropriately named--her name is associated with the word "alive". Her giggles just melt your heart despite her very diva-esque qualities. If she's not happy, she lets you know and won't stop wailing until she gets what she wants, which is usually to be held. In sixteen years, she probably won't want to be seen with me. So I'm going to hold my little girl for as long as she'll let me.

God has truly blessed us with such beautiful children. I really have to be more mindful of that. Our time on earth is finite and we never know when He will call any of us back home. So this past weekend, I was reminded to live in the moment--my children are healthy, beautiful, and full of life. I see God in them and for that I am thankful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 9--Mother's Day 2010

This was one of my favorite Mother's Day ever...

It started off with Jon's famous orange scones, omelettes, and coffee for breakfast accompanied with a new gold chain necklace for my cross and new silver hoop earrings with pink pearls. I was also the lucky recipient of Luke's homemade photo frame and hemp necklace with cute beads that he made at school.

Then it was off to church where my sermon went off without a hitch. I actually got some nice compliments. A couple of people said I missed my calling as a preacher. I didn't really take them seriously until Jon mentioned that that thought crossed his mind while I was speaking. Hmm, a seed has been planted. Masters in Nursing or Divinity. It won't be answered right away and will require a great deal of prayer. My favorite quote I used for the sermon is taken from Dante's Divine Comedy. He writes that God is "el amor che move il sole e l'altra stelle"--the love that moves the sun and other stars. I'm quite confident He'll lead me down the right path.

But the best part was heading up to DC with the family for the day. We ate lunch at 2Amy's in NW DC, close to the National Cathedral. Yummy neapolitan pizzas made from fresh dough that was chewy and crispy, topped with fresh arugula, authentic salami, or crispy pepperoni and glued together with ooey-gooey cheese. Jon has since mentioned that he would rather eat at 2Amy's instead of Ben's Chili Bowl. For someone who loves his chilidogs, that's saying something.

Afterwards, we headed over to the National Mall to take advantage of the sunshine and wind for the inaugural flight of Luke's Blue Angel kite. We may have had a a few crashes here and there (one right in the middle of a very understanding group of people) but it was a beautiful day to be in the shadow of the Washington Monument, with views of the World War II Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial.

It was pretty low-key after that. Since it was "my day" as Jon insisted, I browsed around Barnes and Noble. There is something so calming to me about being surrounded by books and music, even if I don't buy anything. It's like yoga for my brain--it wants to be surrounded by books. Cookbooks, poetry, fiction, gardening--I just crave books. So a good bookstore is just like heaven on earth to me.

Dinner and groceries at Whole Foods. Nothing spectacular there. But there is a satisfying serenity to having spent a good day with my family. My heart felt light and my spirit was content doing simple things with my extraordinary family. To me it was a nice Sunday afternoon that just happened to be Mother's Day.

May 10

Today Luke watched "How to Train Your Dragon" and I must say I am so proud of him. It was pretty scary for a 4-year-old and I insisted we finish what we started. He stayed until the end, even if he did have to bury his face into my chest and made me cover his ears. But I expected nothing less from my delightful son. In one afternoon, he helped me paint a wall in our family room, modeling his plain paint strokes into a "boat" and couldn't wait to show his Daddy the "special wall we made for him. Daddy will be so happy!" Luke declared that my smoothie was "so delicious, Mommy!" And while we were watching the previews, he kept saying "Are you kidding me?" or "Oh my goodness!" My favorite for today was listening to my son quietly sing the song he learned from school:

"Ho-ho-ho-ho-sanna, Ha-ha-hallelujah,
He-he-he-he saved me, I found the joy of the Lord."

I'm so proud of him...

Vivi, however, is becoming a mini-me, growing more and more stubborn just like her mama. Poor Jon's in trouble. She really doesn't let up if she's not happy about something. To say she let's you know if she's upset is a serious understatement. But at dinner tonight, little Vivian showed how much she really follows in her Mama's footsteps--attacking pork ribs with a vengeance. She got her little hands all around the rib on my plate and kept biting at it, even when there was next to nothing on the bone.

I'm so proud of her...

And to top it off, my husband wants to make chocolate souffles right now...

Ahh, this is a fabulous day-after Mother's Day.