Thursday, April 25

two and a half.

How shall I begin to describe the tremendous growth of your spirit? I ask myself if one blog post even begins to encompass the depth of your nature. Words flow from myself to paint the soft colors of your temperate nature, but to see you in the flesh of your young veracity is another thing in itself. 

While you've always been very observant, now you are asking all sorts of questions and sharing your thoughts about the world. You favor the phrase, "what's that?" We've tried to raise you to question things, and now the inclination is starting to display itself. For example if you hear the kitty making noise you'll say, "what's that kitty doing?? Maaaybe he's pushing his food bowls around." Then you'll run off to see whether your prediction was correct. You rarely assume anything, especially where the emotions of others are concerned; a true show of your intuitiveness.

Complex pretend-play takes place in your dollhouse as you very emotionally recreate scenarios of your own life. You have made up your first imaginary friend who is, according to you, "purple, with big sharp teeth and named Big-Rawr." You very much enjoy and have almost instantly mastered six different age 3+ puzzles we purchased for you. Your favorite toys are ever still your stuffed animals and animal figurines. You are absolutely obsessed with the movie Alice in Wonderland. You love being physical now more than ever before and thus very much at home in gymnastics and Kinderturn.

Recently, you have learned to put yourself to sleep completely without my assistance, though I often sit by your door to wait a few minutes for you to fall asleep. You are also learning to recognize when you become overwhelmed. When you do realize that you've lost control of processing stimuli, you tell me, "I need a break!" You still adore the tattoo I got to represent you, and you occasionally ask to pet Baby's Bunny. You've had a couple of temporary tattoos that you received at a birthday party, and it's adorable to hear you call them "tat-toons!" 

You've also become a wonderful eater and with a little coaxing, will try anything offered to you. Things I never thought I'd see you eat - salad, olives, mustard, fish - are now gobbled up. You've taken to repeating key phrases we use at the dinner table such as, "it's good for my body!" It would be difficult to list your favorite foods now, as you really do enjoy most everything.

You've become in integral part of the kitchen during meal times. You pour oatmeal and water for your breakfast, help me hold a knife to chop vegetables, beat eggs and add ingredients into a bowl or pan. Not only do you help me cook, but you are also learning how to set the table! You get napkins, forks, and spoons all by yourself and you know where to arrange them on the table. You even push your chair in after meals.

With the realization of yourself has also come the gnashing fury against anything which you feel threatens your independence and desires. There is no mindlessness to be found between your carefully enunciated rationals, though you are full of fierce conviction. How dare anyone think to question that which you have deemed true and acceptable? If you have not reasoned within yourself the actions we take, your beautiful and maddening will lashes out in defense. 

The surge of your growth is truly difficult to grasp. Not only do you possess your father's agile intellect, but also my intrinsic sensitivity.  You are a creature of passionate intelligence, with the strongest will balanced by the softest compassion. You are simply, quietly magnificent. 

Tuesday, April 23

springtime in germany.

After weeks of what was considered the coldest spring in the last decade, spring has finally arrived in Germany! After Iris' gymnastics class, we took a trip to one of the many parks on base and brought a picnic lunch of grilled subs. Iris was was so excited to eat outside and play! She climbed all the ladders herself and even went down the big slides on her own! Here's to many more days in the sun and trips to the park! 

Rocking on the fishy.

Spinning us all around!

On the seesaw! 

Papa enjoys the park too!

Mastering the rope ladder.

This slide was like a rocket launcher for small children.

Watch me!

She got spun around and bonked on this big slide, but kept on going!

Cool wheels.

This is the only motorcycle Marius gets until he retires. 

A snuggle on the swing.

My big girl.

Thursday, April 18

gymnastics girl.

Iris has been participating in the base-run gymnastics program for a couple of months now. She has come a long way in terms of being physical with her environment. A few weeks in gymnastics has her running, hopping, tiptoeing, rolling, balancing and more. The class is just 30 minutes once a week, but it's been precious to her. She absolutely adores it, as you can see by the joy and confidence in her face!

Stretching time - touch your toes!

Doing her "Table" pose.

Doing the Bear Crawl.



I did it!

Balancing Bear Crawl.


Straddle walk.

Balancing on the bar.

Hanging onto the bar for as long as she can.
Balance beam with Papa!

Feet in the circle for stamps and stickers at the end of class!

Wednesday, April 17

milk and cookies.

Iris' current favorite book is one called, The Baby Blue Cat and the Whole Batch of Cookies. It was also my favorite at her age, and this is even my original copy which is at least two decades old! Sadly the book is out of print now, so I'm especially glad that my mother saved many of my childhood stories. 

This Baby Blue Cat tale is about a Mama Cat and her Baby Cats who love cookies. One day she bakes a whole batch of cookies. While she and the other cats are busy playing, Baby Blue Cat makes a few mistakes and ends up eating the whole batch! I love the soft, compassionate way the Mama cat responds to her baby making a mistake, and it's even Iris' favorite part, especially when Baby Blue cat falls asleep on her lap at the end.

So yesterday, she read the story to me and afterwards, we baked a whole batch of cookies together! She helped me pour in the ingredients and turn the mixer on. This was her very first time having milk and cookies - she loved it!

Thursday, April 4


So here I am again! Returning after a long absence. It seems like forever since I've posted here, and indeed it has been close to two months. There are a variety of reasons why I took a break - apologetically, without warning my readers. The main reason was due to my choice to get an IUD. While I was very nervous about it, everything went well with the procedure and it continues to be the best choice for me. However, my body chose to throw me into a deep bout of depression in response to the hormones in the IUD when it was first inserted. I had a really hard time doing anything that usually makes me happy and I was close to tears all the time. Everything seemed overwhelming and it was a really hard time for me. It lasted about six weeks before the hormones regulated with my body and/or I was able to pull myself out of it. 

I've had more than enough experience with depression throughout my life, and I'm glad to say that it rarely becomes an issue anymore. Lots of hard work has allowed my rational mind to overcome the irrationality of my emotional fountain, and I enjoy life more now than I ever thought was possible. The weeks in which I experienced the sinking lows again were terrible but also a great reminder of how far I have come. 

And so, to make light of that negative blip on my radar, a good friend and I recently took a trip to Ikea and I picked up a few new things for our home. The most exciting thing being an Ikea Expedit bookshelf for Iris' room! Up until now her books sat on the floor by her bed and while I tried to keep them organized, they often became a mess. I'd had enough of it, so we got this simple little shelf for her and life is so much easier when it comes to picking out bedtime stories! It also makes a nice little home for a few of her favorite stuffed animals. 

Take note that the following pictures are by no means an accurate representation of the usual state of Iris' bed! She does love her new bookshelf and has a much better time of choosing books to read with me. She truly has grown immensely in the last two months and I hope to share volumes of her uniqueness with you.