November 2015

Ellie grabs her left foot.


Puts left foot in mouth.


Grabs both feet in both hands.


Keeps getting frustrated by the chain-link caterpillar.  “Frustrated” is an understatement.  She wants it, but ends up screaming at it!


Rotates to right while on tummy.


Joseph writes, “angwa.”  (Sorry, no stranslation.)


Ellie makes a great growling sounds.


Rolls back to tummy.


December 2015

Hangs from our thumbs.


Dec. 7th we discovered her first tooth (lower left)!  The same day she crawls to Stephan, 10-20cm.  The next day I see her crawl!


16th – Ellie rocks on all fours.


19th – 2nd tooth, lower right


22nd – cross-pattern crawl!


25th – crawled up a lower foam step (an IKEA gym mat)


January 8th – Ellie starts to creep.  She is by far our fastest crawler-to-creeper.  (Remember, we use crawl for belly crawl and creep for all-fours crawling).  She isn’t fast, but she likes it.  It’s not cross-pattern yet – she mostly drags her knees behind her, but she loves being on all fours and pulling up on her knees while leaning on a small step or box.  She’ll also stick her butt in the air and be on hands and feet.


I had just started training her to stay all night in her play-pen when she got sick.  She’s been going to bed there and then coming to bed with me when she wakes.  She responded really well, but sickness has set us back.  I am looking forward to trying again and getting more sleep!


She’s started nibbling interesting things at the table with us.  Cheerios are a favorite (thanks to the American store in Geneva that delivers – don’t ask how much we pay per box.)


Everyone loves Ellie.  She’s a sweetie, but it’s a lot of work now that she crawls and we have lots of steps.  I am trying to enjoy the stage and not worry about all the cleaning, and all the blogging, and all the being-a-good-friend, and all the everything I am not doing because I am trying to enjoy my family.  To my future self – you have deliberately taking time to enjoy this special stage even if you can’t remember doing it!

Posted by harp on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Edit
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Joseph likes to announce how many months old he is, thus I know that this update he is 66 months old.


I’ve been keeping the best notes of all the kids on Joseph because of homeschooling kindergarten, but the “cute things” posts have been suffering because of indecision on how to get all the notes in the computer, or not.  One day I’ll figure it out, but until then, here are simply our notes.


October 2015

I went to do laundry downstairs and the rice started boing over.  The kids called for me, but I didn’t come right away.  By the time I’d arrived Joseph had turned off the stove, gotten potholders and moved the rice to a different burner.  (Three months later we’re in our new house and I wish Joseph had been home as I steamed potatoes.  I typed away until the water evaporated and the plastic steamer basket melted . . .)


He likes to draw shape families using shape stenciles.  He traces the shapes of different sizes, for example all circles, then adds facial and other features.  He explained, “Daniel has short hair.  Joseph is thinking about his Grandma.  Vivienne has long hair.” Etc.


“This is a right triangle.  This is a left triangle.”


NIIJOMMI! (Stephan will have to explain.)


November 2015

The construction site next door was finished enough that we could go through it to get to church (people had been living there for months, after all – that would never be allowed in the states!).  One morning Joseph took off on his own, in a T-shirt (it’s November and yes, it’s cold).  Stephan caught up with him and told him he’d need to apologize to me so he left church again and walked back alone (and without permission) to apologize.  He scared a bunch of church goers.  (As I write this I’m thankful that that trying phase of walking off without asking is all but gone for the moment.  This reflections are a good exercise!)


Joseph had his first dentist appointment, and he did great.  We were worried, because last year he’d come along for mine and wouldn’t open his mouth to let the dentist take a peak.


The 2nd-to-last week before our move (we were kicked out of our apartment for renovations) we all got the stomach bug.  I’d already packed extra sheets.  I blame this for our move being more chaotic that desired, just like I blame Joseph coming a week early for me never finishing his baby chrochet.)


Joseph refers to the hand in Marvin K. Mooney as “she.”

Joseph swallows a pill!  (On purpose, don’t worry.)


Joseph splits a banana with Daniel.  “Daniel griegt äi Drittel, also grieg ich äi zwäi Drittel.”


Nov. 21st was moving day and it was also the first snow of the season.  Joseph said, “God, please melt the snow because it’s not yet winter.”


Joseph gladly helped in the move and in the set-up.  He told Stephan, “If I help you, you will be proud of me.”  (In reference to screwing something together.)


Joseph added his own note to Nov. 26th “Big Brainz was easy for me.”


On the 28th he wrote, “I am 65 months.”


December 2015

While role-playing “Dumbo” Joseph refers to the cigar that one of the birds smokes as a “smokestick.”


Joseph wrote, “I made a SPR. S. F.”  (I asked and it means spread squash fold.  He likes to abbreviate when he doesn’t know how to spell or if there isn’t room.  Adults do it, so why not make up his own?)  His origami abilities truly astound me.  He might have been neglected for the start of homeschool kindergarten (new baby, move) but he’s made progress on his own, and all it costs me is origami paper (at 20-cents per piece it is still a challenge for me to let him use the real stuff, but I’m sure he would not be so far along if he didn’t have it.)


January 2016


This was the first Christmas we’ve had room for a tree, and the kids loved decorating it.  Joseph refered to it as “The leaning Christmas tree of Lucerne.”  (He got a Leaning Tower of Pisa lego kit for Christmas.)


I’ve canned set media time and they can ask at any time if they can earn media time.  Once when Joseph asked I made him clean up the living room.  Then he spent his whole 30 minutes doing a grammar game on games.  Ignorance is bliss.  I suppose homeschooling is going fine – I made my kids clean up for the privilege of studying grammar!


“I’m a noun, Vivienne!”


“What’s a cold dog that’s on fire?”

“A hot dog!”

(He and his birthday buddy Noah would get along just fine!)

Posted by harp on Monday, January 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Edit
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I admire people who can move and not let their whole lives fall apart.  I’ll catch up backwards.  Here goes!


November 2015

Daniel adds “e” to the ends of English words to make German ones, like pink – “pin(k)e” and blue “e blue –e.”  Or in sentences “myni (c)up –e.”  This trend has continued, partly because he knows we think it’s cute.  My favorite is “myni selber by yourself-e,” which means “do it myself.”


I (Janet) was in his way and he said, “doe away, doe away!”  He was told to say “excuse me, Mommy” so he said, “Excuse me, doe away.”


On the bus Daniel sad in a section of four seats where three elderly ladies were.  He sat still so one of the ladies said to hime “Du misch a brave, du.”  To which he replied, “Nein.  I Daniel.”  (pronounced Da-lel)


December 2015

Until recently Joseph and Vivienne think “friend” means sibling, so it is a very special word.  Daniel came up to me and gave me a hug, saying “You’re my friend.”


For the second year in a row I’ve taken a weekend retreat in December to plan for the year.  The whole family dropped me off, but the morning after Daniel searched the whole house looking for me.


Nobody saw it, but it appears Daniel fell down a half-flight of stone stairs with the help of a push.  He was scared, but there was no blood, which is rather unusual since he is prone to tripping and hitting his mouth.  He’s a tough little kid, though he is soft and cuddly on the inside.  With his hair buzzed off he reminds me a lot of cousin B.


Daniel’s language continues to grow, and with it his awareness of language and dialect differences. Daniel wanted to go into the extra room but Stephan stopped him.

Daniel: Ellie schlaft?

Stephan: Jo, d’Ellie isch am schloofe.

D: M (neighbor kid) säit schlaafe.


Daniels likes doing puzzles and can do the Santa and nativity puzzles we have as well as the alphabet puzzles and some other regular jig-saw puzzles.


He can pull and rip off tape.


Of course there’s more, but those are my notes and I have three other kids to catch up on!

Posted by harp on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Edit
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