Juliet Mae (22 months): *We introduced you to a pacifier. Some days you like it, other days, you seem indifferent to the idea. One day, your 3.5 year old cousin was sucking on your binkie. “I shay! I shay!” (I shared! I shared!). *If a binkie won’t calm you, your babies will. You are almost never without your babies. *You get hangry (angry when hungry). I carry food with me at all times now. One of your favorite words: “nack!” (snack!). *At nights, you’re usually sleeping with baby, or binkie, but for a stint, you chose to sleep with sunglasses, “gasses.” *You are talking so very much! As clear as day, we heard you say “I want a cookie.” Oh my. *Twice this month, you put a cheerio up your nose. *While on an ice cream date with Auntie Emily, you handed Emily something. You gave her an opened tampon! In shock, we frantically tried to figure out where it came from. In seconds, it was clear. You rummaged through mommy’s purse, opened it, and gave your “present” to Auntie Emily. Oh geeez. *In Hawaii, you were a swimming champ. Diving under, legs crossed as you floated above, jumping in— nothing scared you, you loved the water. You felt so comfortable, in fact, that a bowel movement of yours shut down the hotel’s jacuzzi for the afternoon. That’s how relaxed you are in water! Aria Ellen (almost 4!!!): Something clicked for you this month. “I like cheese!” Then later this month, you made a new declaration that “Today’s not a cheese day.” Apparently, you only eat cheese every other day. Not a particular eater, no ma’am. When I gave you a boiled egg for dinner, you compared it to a piñata, and did not eat it. *As a consequence, I took peanut butter and ketchup away for a day. Boy did you shape up quickly! When it comes to mornings, you are a champ. You are the first one awake, first one out of pajamas, and first one eating breakfast. If I think about it, you are the one who will sometimes say “I’m tired,” and happily lay your head down at nights. Are you our morning person, Aria? *You heard the name Vienna. You lit up, “That’s a beautiful name!” *You have an affinity for scary movies. You find them delightfully entertaining. As your older sister had her face in a pillow, frightened on the couch, you looked over at her and said “Don’t be a baby.” Naomi Mariam (5.5 years): *We were at a big, beautiful park, with two huge play structures, but what caught your attention more than anything was the open air amphitheater in the distance. The stage was empty, until you wandered over and gave a great show. A stage is your playground. *In the picture below, you are laying with us in bed. You grabbed our hands and with the sweetest voice shared, “Hey guys, I just love you forever.” *At church one Sunday, there were baptisms taking place in the courtyard. You were very very interested. As we were all watching the baptisms, I noticed you weren’t with us anymore. I quickly scanned the crowd and saw you over near the baptismal, in line, shoes off, ready to be baptized. I quickly nudged your dad, “Go get Naomi, she’s about to be baptized!” *One afternoon, Juliet was wailing, she was so upset. Naomi, you carried her to the fireplace, and rocked her back and forth, shushing her, and patting her back. Juliet calmed down and you whispered in her ear “You’re okay sweetie.” This is not a one time event, you show this kind of tenderness to your sisters every single day. You are the best big sister. *At the beach in Maui, you and I had a special afternoon together, just the two of us. We played in the sand, in the waves, we played follow the leader in each other’s footsteps. You ended the day so perfectly, as you whispered to me, “I will always remember this day with you.” Maertz Family Memories: *MOPS Easter Egg Hunt at Hollandia Park. *Enjoy Friday play and dinner here with the Whites. *Easter Sunday at Mission Hills (see first picture of this post!). Easter dinner together at the Paschalls’, complete with bubbles and Joe’s surprise birthday party. *Maertz girls have started soccer! You girls might be better at soccer if you didn’t enjoy the crowds cheering you on so much! Soccer field has become a stage. You girls are darling athletes! *Passport applications completed! Joe spends hours and hours researching the best way to get to Abu Dhabi. *Mommy gets a night away at Queen Bee Market. *Flood, the one where Mark tells us about his big news. *Swimming with Tinsley and Amie in Hawaii, I mean, Santee. *Playdate with the lovely Horning girls! *Swimming and dinner at the Paschalls’ on a Sunday afternoon. *Lunch with Emily Ramli at Grape Day. Ice Cream Happiness with the surprise tampon gift from Juliet. *Sister dinner at Urge! Hawaii with the Maertz family! I’ll start with this. Joe was right. We should have woken the girls up at 4:30am, caught a 7am flight direct flight to Maui. Layovers and toddlers are not the way to go. See us at the airpot below. For SEVEN nights we all enjoyed the sweeping views of an 8th floor 3 bedroom/3 bathroom oceanfront condo at Kaanapali’s Marriot Maui Ocean Club. It was perfect. Between a picturesque pool and beach, we spent day after day in play, laughter and fun. Malina joined us for a day, and made a perfect day even richer and fuller. We enjoyed Lahaina, saw the historic banyan tree, Lappert’s ice cream, and window shopping! During a super windy day, we ventured to Maui’s aquarium. Enjoyed a fancy dinner out with Jim and Melissa. Celebrated GrampBill’s 66th birthday on a gorgeous sunset sail! A favorite memory: While walking home from the sunset cruise, you girls hid along the dimly lit path, and as we walked by, you jumped out, gave us your best roar and scared us! All three of you exploded with joy as you emerged to surprise us (and sometimes, a few strangers too)! Once we got back to the hotel, we sat around a fire pit and took turns telling stories. Everyday filled to the brim with so much wonderful.