I was flustered for sure. With the girls unloaded from the car, I was in a mad dash to throw together lunch for their hungry bellies. Time was not on my side. Neither was my patience. Lunch on plates, kids at table, drinks poured, check check and check. Another hurdle behind me, and no one got hurt, hallelujah. Or so I thought.
“Get back in your chair right now!” I yelled. Even I was surprised at my volume. Aria was in her testy two year old mood. She straddled the chair just enough. “Eat your lunch!” I yelled again. I definitely had the girls’ attention, they knew Mommy was not messing around today. Aria decided she was going to do things her way, and in an ever so slightly defiant way, slumped out of her chair. She can be a two year old at another lunch, not this lunch. I was set, and had no patience for two year old antics. I hollered again. Their big eyes were the first clue that I had perhaps gone off the deep end. I pulled Aria right back into her chair, and gave her a fiercer than fierce talking to. Naomi kept her eyes to her plate, spooned apple sauce into her mouth, and as she dipped her spoon down once again, she ever so quietly offered “Mommy, what’s bothering you?” Completely startled, I looked up and saw my four year old counsel, her little body swallowed up in the enormous dining room chair. “Huh? What did you say?” She repeated herself, this time with more pay-attention-gusto, “Mommy, what’s bothering YOU?” If that wasn’t enough, she threw her pointer finger and big brown eyes right at me too. Floored. Stunned. Calmed. The wind stopped. The emotions that bound me up so tightly—-loosened their grip, and fell flat onto our plywood kitchen floor. I walked slowly to Naomi’s side, got down on her level, and as she kept scooping her apple sauce, I let out a sigh of surrender. “You’re right Naomi. Something is bothering Mommy.” Trying to keep it in four year old language, “I’m sad.” Without skipping a beat, “What are you sad about?” Now I’m utterly amazed, who is this beauty before me? I try my best to share my sadness. “Mommy is embarrassed. She made a mistake with her friends, and feels sad about it.” Naomi looks up, turns her sweet head towards me, “It’s okay Mommy, you can do better with your tall friends tomorrow.” Everything warm enters my heart. “You’re right Naomi, Mommy can do better with her tall friends tomorrow. And you know what, I’m really sorry I yelled at you. I’m really sad I did that.” Naomi tilts her head again, and in perfected sweetness says “It’s okay. It was just an askident. I forgive you.” Her apple sauce is gone, “Can I be excuse?” She’s ready to move on, and I am too.
I love you Naomi. You moved my heart in a big girl way that day. Naomi Mariam (4 years): *Naomi, when your baby sister started fussing in the car you immediately started singing to her from your car seat. If she kept fussing, you’d change the song, thinking that she probably wanted a different song. You sang parts of seven songs to her in a matter of two minutes! You’re a darling lullaby jukebox Naomi! *You ooze with sweetness— you said this all by yourself “On Valentine’s Day, my heart loves the whole world.” I melt. *You’re an eating maniac! We love it. You have become a fantastic eater. Trying almost anything, and more often than not, polishing your plate. *While at the Rancho Bernardo Inn one evening, you gave the patrons a lucky treat. Without hesitation, you walked sweetly up to the live entertainer and took her extended hand. With your adorable sparkly pink tutu on, you danced with her for two songs while dozens of people watched! *If you grow up to be an incredible navigator, your map skills started at the San Diego Zoo. GrampBill said that you read the map better than anyone! And that you were more interested in the map than many of the animals! *You’re learning about modesty, or as you say “I need to be hodest.” You’re darling. *One evening at bath, you made Mommy’s head turn, you said “Just” with the final T sound. And jusT like that, I saw you shed another layer of your babyhood (big sighs). Aria Ellen (2 years old): *You started pumping your legs on a swing like a champ! A champ! You’re fearless, coordinated, and your swinging is nothing less than totally impressive! *You caught Mommy snatching some M&Ms from the fridge and said “Your panties dry? You get M&M? Good job Mommy.” *You jump up to help your daddy with the kitchen remodel! *You have this darling way of saying words. One of our favorites is “Sure.” You say “Shoe ahh!” with the sweetest high low inflection. It might be your most common response to questions these days. *Once again—shopping at a tile store, you hollered for “Help!” When I ran to your rescue, you were stuck upside down in a bathtub, legs flailing in the air above you! (See above.) You did this same thing last month— still just as funny!! *We finally discovered your curly hair!! *At Rancho Bernardo Inn, you stood by my side, reserved, while you watched Naomi dance with the singer. Dressed in a sparkle dress from head to toe, she might as well have been a fairy to you. But as we were leaving, you insisted on running back to say goodbye to the singer. As we walked back, you let go of my hand and bolted. A good 20 yard run, you ran past tables, past folks waiting for a table, and right into the arms of this sparkly dressed singer. You hugged her like she was your fairy godmother. A good fifty people watched and awed at your sweetness, I was one of them. Juliet Mae (6 months): *You’re all smiles my love, you extend your sweet smile to everyone! *You have the most easy going temperament Juliet, except with food, you are all business. You want it fed to you fast, and you’re quite certain that YOU will be the one to hold the spoon. You eat solids like a champ! At six months, you’ve hit 20lbs! *You’re fantastic with your siblings! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t rescue you from your smothering sisters! I purposely leave your nails long so that you can protect yourself from the sister love! *You’re a drooling machine. Your upper teeth are coming! *You love the beach. And like a good baby you stuffed your mouth with sand. If you grow up falling asleep to the soothing the ocean sounds, you can thank your sound machine for that! *You have this thing with your left foot. You thump it on the ground all the time. And the happier you are, the more you thump it. Thankful that you’re thumping it a lot these days. *You slept through the night my love, 7pm to 7am!! You did it once, and you haven’t done it since.
Maertz Family Memories: *Busy Saturdays— San Diego Hardware, IKEA, Costco, and off to Paradise Point to say goodbye to dear friends, the Wasmuths. *Enjoy the Super Bowl with the Whites for a yummy dinner and game with friends. *Mommy prays for you girls with three other Mommies on Monday nights. Lovely and wonderful. *Priscilla and boys join us at EFCC Tuesday’s Bible Study. *Anjuli and I hit up a fancy sister dinner at Vintana! A long awaited bet, finally fulfilled, thanks to Noelle’s eyes. *Storytime with Erin Peet. *We go to 4S Ranch park a lot these days, with a ChickFilA picnic, of course. *Couples group at Lehmans’. *Dinner with Tim E. at Thai food. He loves on us with kind words of encouragement. *Joe cleans out our garage and takes a trip to the dump. *Paschall Baby Shower at Plan 9. *Play Hillsdale and Kearny with Jonathan. *Joe plays BB at EFCC, with Taco Tuesday, of course. * Tatum and girls join us for a morning. *Brenda and kids spend a Thursday with us. *Valentine’s day is a just a plain old frozen tri-tip dinner, Joe eats his words and his dinner. *Joe installs our dishwasher and our drinking water! *GrampBill and Kelyne join us for a few days! Coronado Island for ferry landing dinner and fun. They spend President’s Day at the San Diego Zoo, girls apparently love the maps more than the monkeys. *Mom and I help Anjuli organize her baby clothes, and some yummy Thai food with Juliet! *Girls get a tennis lesson from GrampBill and Kelyne. Aria, you love it. *Daddy attends FSOA info meeting at UCSD, things are progressing! *BABY HANNALY ARRIVES!!! And she’s an “itty bitty Anjuli.” Darling and perfect in every way. Girls, you adore adore your little new cousin! *Growth Group hits up Cheesecake Factory, and I get sick. *Girls and I return our final tile samples in Miramar and get spontaneous. Instead of going home, we hit the beach! With absolutely no beach gear or towels, girls strip down to their undies and we have a great time! On the way home, we meet Daddy for a spontaneous fancy dinner with the Whites and Torres at Rancho Bernardo Inn. The girls love dancing to the live music. *Birthday dinner with Angela Neve in Poway. *I host Mommy prayer night here, and Aria gets sick with croup that night, only to find out that she has a really bad double ear infection. Sad face here. *Joe goes out for an evening with Mike Woodall. *To top it off, Joe gets hit with a 24 hour flu just as we find out our tile installation is once again delayed.