My Aria: Two cute.

IMG_6515IMG_6554IMG_7078IMG_7031  IMG_6582IMG_7642IMG_6424 IMG_6224 IMG_6423IMG_6972 IMG_69852013-04-30_009Aria Ellen (2 YEARS!!): Happy birthday darling Aria. You are such a joy to have in our family. You make us laugh with all your silly shenanigans! Your gestures and words are evidence of your kindness. When you hug mommy, you put your head on my shoulder and lovingly pat my back with your little hand. You are fierce. You fight a super high fever without batting an eye. You let your voice be heard until you get our attention, even at 2am. You hold eye contact beautifully— looking into your eyes is like looking into your big brown beautiful soul. You have a heart to help. It is your joy to help clean up or follow mommy, asking to help me with a task. You want to help! Your little feisty fun spirit shines in your giggly laughter and your adorable under-bite smile! You are brilliant. Your words are coming alive. You have your pronouns down! Never once did you say “Hold you.” No ma’am. From the beginning you’ve said, “Hold me” “I see!” (I want to see) “I wah it!” (I want it) and your oh so favorite: “I do!” Nailed it love. And just today I said “This is mine.” You looked right at me, tilted your sweet head, and said “Yours?” I sat there stunned. Who are you? You’re simply brilliant darling girl. Daily you impress us with new words!  On the swings you say a blurry version of “forwards” “backwards.” Even today at bedtime you insisted “Mommy say” (Mommy stay). A favorite of mine might be when you giggle up and say “I fah-eee! I fah-eee!” (I’m funny!) You are funny Aria. And it’s not the kind of funny where you are doing something for a reaction or an audience, you just do it because you love being goofy. May I embarrass you now? We were all attending Manoah’s little league game (5 & 6 year old boys) and all of a sudden the entire dugout bench was turned around giggling and pointing at something behind them. I knew, I just knew. Sure enough I find you behind the chain link fence dugout. You had taken off every single article of clothing and were giving the world your fancy bootie shake. Yes. You constantly surprise us. One morning when we arrived to your room, we found you standing, pants-less, buck naked, diaper dropped between your legs and a finger held out to us. A finger covered in your poop. Have I said too much? Oh child! For better, or worse, you surprise us! For months now you have been unsuccessful in mounting the “Spiderman Training Center” (Manoah renamed the backyard monkey bar dome). And sure enough, this month, you call out “Mommy see!” and with bulging eyes we see our little girl has mounted and climbed her way to the top of this backyard apparatus! You amaze me. At night, you love to “wahk” (rock) and give mommy hugs (Mommy loves this!). When you wrap your arms around my neck you love holding and playing with my hair. So sweet. You adore singing. Jesus Loves Me is only properly done with big hand motions (which you so excellently demonstrate) and you also love Baby Mine (from Dumbo), and of course you have created some beautiful hand motions to that song too. You love praying, and you’re so reverent in your prayers. I pray you always love praying. On the night of your 2nd birthday you prayed: “Gang Ku (thank you) Ama, Papa, bankie (blanket), nose, socks, Ujah (Elisa), bankie, Mimi (Naomi), Ahya (Aria)… (long pause)… watch, GamPill (GrampBill), bankie, nose, ood (food), Oh-elle (Noelle), baff (bath), oh-nut (donut), uhkey (cookie), eeep (sleep), Ameh (Amen).” Happy birthday darling love. We are so lucky to have you in our little family. You belong here.IMG_6436IMG_6277  IMG_6488 IMG_6748IMG_6811  IMG_6433IMG_6859  IMG_6487IMG_6351Naomi Mariam (3 1/2 years): There may be musical theater in your future love.  On your own you came up with this adorable sing songy phrase, that accompanies an adorable head bounce: “Excuse me, I need some privacy.” It’s so stinkin cute. You also made up your first song! “I’m tired of standing around. I’m tired of standing around. I’m tired of standing around!” Has an interesting melody line, undeniably great lyrics, and a fantastic big ending note. So berry cute. Another adorable word you say. It started with loving some deli turkey: “I berry berry like the turkey!” You laughed and laughed, thought it was funny, and actually convinced the rest of us that it was very funny. We all enjoyed your entertainment around the Deli counter! Same phrase ripples into “Mommy, I berry berry love you.” Heart melt moment. Later in the month you said “vvvery” and I serious considered correcting you “berry!” You are growing up my love. You still do some things that you’ve done since you were a baby, running your fingers along your yellow blanket is one. I wonder if this will be comforting for many years to come. One thing happened this month where mommy needed to be comforted: You pulled out mommy’s and daddy’s dresser drawer and you must have put some weight on the open drawer, because in the next moment the heavy dresser fell forward, collapsing on top of you. Awful and so very scary! Thankfully only a few arm bruises and huge crocodile tears. The dresser is forever marked up with this awful memory. Naomi, you are so excited about baby sister in mommy’s belly! At 27 weeks along, you felt her move under your fingertips! Your eyes lit up! You asked me “Mommy what’s the baby’s name?” I sat speechless for a second, but gave an honest answer “We don’t know yet.” You are shocking mommy and daddy with your comprehension of reading the hands on the clock! You get it. I’m not even sure who explained it all to you, but one day you busted out “Mommy it’s 8:25!” And sure enough, it was! Also impressive, you are so good at ipad games! One in particular is called Ants. You have to make the ants jump, and move sticks around to help them get fruit. There’s a real strategy to doing the game correctly, and it’s like I can see your brain move as you move the pieces around so confidently. What’s really interesting is seeing this perfectionist side pop out of you. And getting awarded Three Stars becomes very important to you! And you started drawing! Really drawing! You have these signature people you draw. It’s a circle with legs and feet, and you give them all eyes and a happy, sad or surprised face. You’ll usually make a whole community of friends at once. They’re so creative. I’m in love with your drawings! And your singing(!!!), your little voice is darling, strong, and beautiful!         IMG_7071  IMG_6887IMG_6951 IMG_6508Maertz Baby Three: I read name books at night, we just can’t seem to land on one name. Daddy has his favorite, and I have mine. Perhaps you will thank Daddy one day as I’m simply in love with the name Cortez. He thinks I’m ridiculous. Perhaps. If it was up to GrampBill he’d name you Margo. Aversions, red meat… no thanks. Cravings, Frosted Mini Wheats! Daddy laughs at me when I roll over in bed, anything but graceful. Baby Girl you move a lot! You really popped out of my belly at about 22/23 weeks! I felt as large then, as I did with Naomi at 33 weeks! When I’m at the kitchen sink, you protrude right into the counter, so, I stand on my tippy toes, and you sit perfectly on the counter.IMG_6952IMG_6761  IMG_7061 IMG_7040  IMG_6379IMG_6472  IMG_6303IMG_7003  IMG_6460IMG_7641IMG_6942  IMG_6313IMG_7646Maertz Family Memories: Daddy loved on Mommy by sending her out upon his return from work for a Thai Massage and Thai food dinner all by herself! So very life giving after long (I mean) wonderful days with my little darlings. Fancy night out with the GG Ladies at the US Grant Hotel! Heinrichs boys birthday super hero water party! Naomi loved seeing Jaylene in her Beauty & the Beast show! Mommy and girls tag along and enjoy Sunset Park and ChikFilA with Papa!  Mommy enjoys French Bakery breakfast with the girls (very smooth until Naomi desperately has to go to the bathroom and Aria does not want to leave her pastry!)  Daddy single-handedly hosted international delegates from Afghanistan and Pakistan for sunset pics/tea, and halal dinner downtown— and soaked up this rich opportunity to chat with these officials about politics, culture, and religion. Mommy and Daddy lead worship together at Discover. Engagement Party for Jessica and Josh at the Paschalls’! Couples Night at the Lehmans’ (great discussion about prayer in marriage), Loucks girls host the Maertz girls for a lovely afternoon and dinner.  Very hot weather takes us over to the Paschalls’ for a quick dip in the pool (Naomi you are fearless and jump right in, Aria your favorite place is in Mommy’s arms or behind a water gun!) and off to snow cones after naps.  Quatro de Mayo celebration at the Torres’ with oodles of kids and oodles of fun!  Janneke’s & Andrew’s birthday party.  For the first time ever at Flood— Mommy and Daddy lead worship at Kearny just the two of us (and Mommy got to pound on a drum)!  Celebrate KY’s coming baby boy at Claire’s in Solana Beach.  Daddy climbs a giant ladder and makes one of Mommy’s dreams come true— he hangs a rope swing from the tall oak trees!  After one year of dentist recommendations, Mommy finally stepped up and had her first root canal (sheesh)!  Enjoyed Little League baseball & softball games cheering on Manoah, Gage and Ceci!.  Daddy and Mommy take you girls to Carlsbad Beach for a morning of super fun sand and wave play.  GrampBill arrives and we host a very fun May family birthday party here— from water in the backyard to dance party in the front yard!  Mother’s Day spent playing music at Kearny, so Mommy enjoyed a later gift at the Rancho Bernardo Inn’s spa (amazing).  Aria’s playdate birthday party at the 4S Ranch Water Park (very hot and very fun)!  Dinner celebration at Islands Restaurant (Aria, you loved fries and your smoothie)!  Daddy plays tons of basketball at EFCC and finally sprains his right ankle (bad).  Mommy and Daddy enjoy a dinner out at Urban Solace! Playdates: Ashley/Stacey Benson, Joy & Lizzy, Janneke, Hillary (Ikea, Highland Park/Jamba, Torrey Pines Beach), Kristy and her boys, backyard water play with the Paschalls!IMG_6903IMG_6816  IMG_6825 IMG_6800  IMG_6510IMG_6544