Another beauty will soon be joining our family, or as daddy so creatively calls it, the Maertz family three-peat! Darling littlest one, we are so happy to welcome another sweetie into our home! The ultrasound showed your little girly parts clearly to your parents (who are now seasoned veteran viewers of female ultrasounds), and all mommy and daddy could do was to bubble up in laughter! It’s another girl! We are overjoyed. When I first learned of our three-peat, it was an instinctive reaction to refer to you three as “My fierce clan of girls”. I might know a thing or two about sisterhood, growing up as the third of four girls. It’s an amazing dynamic, sisters. It’s a whole lot of things. It’s wild, it’s wonderful, it’s uber relational, it’s sing songy, it’s imaginative, it’s dripping with emotions, and it’s fierce, very fierce. I actually love this dynamic about sisterhood. It’s very sticky in the best sense of the word. The kind of sticky that you just can’t get off your hands, or rather your heart. There’s a crazy bond with sisters, that through all of life’s everything, there’s just no getting rid of a sister. They’re in your heart when you want them, and in your face when you don’t. And when people mess with our sisters, we’re in their faces too. We are a protective, fiercely loving, and feisty bunch. Darling baby girl in my womb, you are welcomed into a beautiful line of sisterhood. Meet a century of sisters that have gone before you! And now you and your sisters will carry on your own legacy of fierce sistery love.
You great great grandma, Margaret Esther Clithero Kooistra, b. 1905, was the oldest of the seven Clithero sisters: Laura, Dorothy, Florence, Lois, (Ruth & Mildred weren’t born yet).Your “Great Ama” Millie, Mildred Margaret Kooistra Redding b. 1925, is the oldest of the four Kooistra sisters: Sadie, Jeane and Polly. Your “Ama,” Miriam Frances Redding Maneevone b. 1949, & older sister, Mary Ellen. Your mommy (Wanida Ellen Maneevone Maertz, b. 1978) is the third of four Maneevone sisters (Leonie, Malina, and Anjuli). Welcome to this very beautiful and sacred sister club, little one. Naomi and Aria already adore you! Your sisters hug and kiss you all day long. Naomi asks daily, “Is baby sister ready to come out yet? I just can’t wait to meet my baby sister.” Mommy felt you for the first time at 17 weeks and daddy felt you move at 18 weeks! Here’s Mommy’s belly at 20 weeks.
Aria Ellen (22 months): Darling child you give me one belly laugh after another. And here’s the best part, you give yourself belly laughs all day long! You just love to laugh, and you love to laugh at yourself! Your joy is contagious! One thing is for sure, you’ve shown a strong pendulum lately, you are fully engaged in laughter, or you are fully engaged in a seriously dramatic elbow grab, head bowed, eyebrows furrowed and pouty lips in full effect!! Such dramatics at the early age of one is actually quite funny and even adorable! I love seeing this fun personality unfold from you, you’re so full scale, funny, unpredictable, goofy, fierce, ridiculous, independent and yet so full of cuddles, hugs and kisses for me and baby sister! *You’re a terrible sleeper right now, waking up multiple times through the night. One night daddy went to go check on his upset baby girl, and he found you naked! Completely and totally naked! No pajamas, no diaper, nothing. After the initial shock of your shenanigans, he simply burst out laughing! And you did too! You both just laughed and laughed! You are too funny my love! *You saw Naomi crying, so you went to her room, found her blanket and came back and covered her with her blanket. You’re so thoughtful! *You have thee best face when you command the phrase “wash mommy wash!” You throw your pointer finger at us, lower your head, and shoot your best serious eyes and furrowed eyebrows, and tell us to watch you, or else! It’s simply hysterical! *We asked you, “Aria do you see your sister, she’s having a hard time, can you help her?” And with no hesitation, you walked right up to Naomi, sat down, put your hand on her back and started patting Naomi saying “eh okay, eh okay.” Darling!! *When you head off to the bathroom, your hand instantly becomes a giant blockade! Your whole body says, no do not follow me to the bathroom, I’m doing this all by myself, do not follow me! And sure enough if we try and enter the bathroom while you’re on your throne you throw that hand back up and say “Ahhh peees” “Ahhh peees” your coined phrase for “privacy please!” While we are on coined phrases: You say “Nay nay” throw your hand up in the air and then close your hand really fast, it’s your way of saying “come!” You have also coined the word “Ahhhmo.” It’s so bizarre, but it’s your word for spoon. *Your super high fevers continued into this month, it was rough for sure, but you kept holding your head high and endured them almost unaffected. Doctors poked and prodded you with all their tests. Each time you amazed them as you laid totally still, nurses fell in love with you. You are tough my love. Doctors insisted you be hospitalized if the fevers didn’t subside by day 14, sure enough, on the morning of day 13 your temp was back to normal. They left as quickly as they came. In the end, we blame viral infections. You simply run hot, really hot. *Current obsession: your hot pink Crocs. First word out of your mouth in the mornings: “Suuss!” Naomi Mariam (3 years): You’re just getting cuter and cuter my love! When I holler “Naomi, come here!” You holler back, “Okay mom, I’ll be right there!”— as you continue to run away from me! And your big phrases this month are “Of course!” and “Sure I can!” You say those to all my questions, it’s beyond darling. Lately, you will interject into mommy’s and daddy’s conversations, “Daddy, daddy, the lady asked me if I was finished!” and you break into beautiful laughter!! (wanting to share your part of the story!) Or saying, “Daddy can I ask you a favor?” (so darling!) and another time you just sat with mommy and asked “Hi Mommy, how’s your day going?” Or as you’re going to bed, you’ll ask me, “What was your favorite part of the day mommy?” *If we ask you where you live, you say “EscoGelato!” (the local gelato parlor). So close. *You love hummus! I asked if you wanted some, you said “Oh yes! That’s my favorite!” And it is. You can finish off an entire tub all on your own! *I told you “You are such a good little girl Naomi!” And in no time you added, “And I’m very beautiful too!” We laughed and laughed together over that one! *”Mommy here’s my nail.” Sure enough, you handed me your entire pinky nail! The result of Aria closing the door on your fingers months ago, it completely, entirely fell off! *You are repeating the phrases you hear around you. This one’s my favorite: “Aria, we are done talking about this!” Oh it tickles me when you say this one! You learned it from the Rapunzel movie. *I’m so proud of myself!” while writing letters! Yes, you are so good at reading all your letters and writing some of them! Amazing my love! All on your own you picked up chalk and wrote the letters H C T and O “that’s my fancy O!” *I wrote down one of your bedtime stories you made up, “Once upon a time there was a hippo princess. And then the hippo princess she had to go into her garden. And then she got wet (insert giggles here!). Thee end!” *You aren’t scared of the loud flushes of “indrussrial toywets”— yes, you actually call them this (industrial public toilets). Instead you enjoy evaluating their volumes! If the flush isn’t too loud, you throw your hands up and announce “Not Bad!!” Because of public toilets, you also say “auwomatic” (automatic). You’re admittedly still a bit nervous, though, about these unpredictable porcelain bowls! *We had some issues with you and pooping, so we came up with a consequence, Any accidents mean… no pink, purple or dresses of any kind. When I enforced the policy and put you in blue jeans, you screamed bloody murder! Maertz family memories: *Mid-day gymnastic meetups with Daddy! Naomi had her last two classes, and we got to witness our little girl be a great listener and earn herself a Jamba Juice! She did it! *Two weeks of serious trips to Kaiser. Daddy even took Aria down to Zion hospital late at night as the doctors were concerned about a possible enlarged liver. (scary, and thankfully every single serious test came back negative!) Our little girl does show signs of anemia (just like mommy) and Aria is amazing at taking her iron medicine! *Hosted a “Welcome Home!” party for Jessica, semi-hosted by Josh! Delicious Korean BBQ, so yummy and wonderful, it set off a few fire alarms in our house! And it ended with homemade snow cones. A fun Saturday evening spent with family staying late, talking trivia around the fire. *After handfuls of test drives, Joe and I drove up to Corona to find our prize, a 2008 Honda Odyssey Touring. Great price and great gut check to anything once youthful. We own a minivan! *Joe struck gold on Craigslist with plenty of interest in our 2008 CR-V, Joe hit rock bottom when one of the possible buyers drove down from Orange County and upon his arrival started screaming profanity and threats about buying our car (scary Craigslist rumors are true!!). Thankfully our beloved car sold to another buyer later that same day! Pretty sure we may never sell on Craigslist again. *Enjoyed a family dinner at Karl Strauss with all the grandparents: Papa, Ama, and GrampBill! *On the morning of daylight saving time, we were scheduled to play at Flood Church (making it a very early morning!). We pulled into the church parking lot and all I could do was cry. Feelings of inadequacy combined with fears of the responsibilities I held that day, combined with prego hormones (never a good mix!) made for a good sob in the parking lot. The band guys were so gentle with me, but also a tad confused, as I’m pretty sure I had a blanket over my head for a few minutes that morning! Sure enough, God didn’t leave my side that day. He brought encouragement and strength in my time of need. Later this same day, Joe and I enjoyed a rarity: a quiet sunny lunch at C-Level, perched over San Diego bay. Gorgeous. And then we spent our short afternoon break splitting up to celebrate great friends in Coronado—Kristen Rinehart’s and Mike Woodall’s baby showers! Then back to Flood to finish our Sunday. A fun and very full day! *Attended a charity event for Vivi at a local salon, Naomi loved getting her hair all “cuwly.” *Daddy Daughter date night at Chick-Fil-A ended up somewhat successful. Naomi ran to the bathroom declaring she had to go, Joe stuck with Aria at the table and asked a worker to go check on his little girl in the bathroom alone! The cow walked around visiting tables, Aria hated the cow, screamed if he came anywhere near! Girls loved the carriage ride with daddy, mommy loved a night alone with Sushi! *On the night of discovering that third blessing is a little girl, we ventured out to Vintana for a great celebratory dinner together (thank you Kaira!) *Playdates with Allison (at Discovery Park), Maria at our place, Ashley at her home, Anjuli at Farmer’s Market/EscoGelato, fun random stop by of neighbors Maria and Mary Ann for a quick gathering in our front yard, Tamra and Brenda at our home, and of course Hillary for our Thursday gig at Hilltop Park.