Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dear Noah,

Happy 11th birthday! You informed Dad that you are officially a "tween". We are all entering uncharted territory--although I suppose we are always in uncharted territory with you, firstborn.

You played soccer this fall with Shadow and loved it. Coach Ben said you demonstrated great leadership skills on the field and praised you on your ability to see the whole field and strategize. It was somewhat of a surprise when you decided that you would rather audition for the Spokane Youth Symphony than continue playing soccer in the spring.

This year, your love of violin has blossomed. I'm sure part of that has to do with playing strings at Odyssey, but also the consistent positive feedback you get from Ms. Sele who lets you serenade your homeroom whenever your bring your violin to school. You continue to sight read and pick up things easily, but your playing has become more nuanced and beautiful. You earned big praise from Garnik recently for having a perfect lesson. ("Noah, what is your favorite food?" "Spaghetti. Why?" "You tell your parents to make that for you as a reward because you have played perfectly this lesson.") Reidinger's concerto has you obsessed and you would practice it day and night if it weren't for all your pesky homework. One of my proudest moments was when you played violin at Lolo's anniversary Mass; you had such quiet confidence and played so well. You have also picked up the cello this year, and part of me is glad that you never practice at home because it is such an ordeal to lug that thing back and forth! 

Dad talked you into swimming with the Waves this year. Your only complaint is that we don't take you to practice often enough! You have conquered your fear of the 200 free and now swim an event that still intimidates most swimmers at your stage. Swim meets have become fun (albeit crazy) gatherings for multiple members of the Eddy clan.

You are enjoying the Odyssey program except for the homework thing. Content is not overly challenging for you but keeping all the paperwork organized has been a struggle. We are working on it and trying to be patient and supportive with each other. The accelerated curriculum has kept you interested and you have made some good friends along the way, including Leo who is in walking distance from home and is always good for a play date or homework party. Your schedule is busy, which is usually enjoyable but sometimes stressful. You are learning at this tender age how to try to balance everything on your very full plate.

Family is so important to you and you have a special soft spot for your cousins. C & B, Lillian & Neil have you wrapped around their respective little fingers. You will do anything to make them smile and are always willing to help out. You had a special spring break trip backpacking with Ninang and Sam. It may have been the highlight of the year, ranking higher than our Oahu trip in February.

You are growing up faster than I ever thought was possible. We are so proud of the young man you have become.

Mom & Dad

Thursday, March 16, 2017

happy birthday, ellie!

Dear Ellie (or "L.E." as you recently informed me),

Happy 5th birthday! I can't believe you are going to kindergarten in the fall. You have been "ready" since you were 2, but now I see you writing letters and drawing pictures of our family with so many details like long fingers and curly hair and you really seem like a kindergartener. You adore being read to and you could sit in my lap forever looking for hidden figures in "Highlights" or reading about Disney princesses. You have been going to preschool 3 mornings each week; your favorite is "Show and Tell". This summer will be the end of an era; you are the last of the Eddy children to be at Pacific Park.

You contain more personality than anyone I know. Strangers see it in you within seconds of meeting you. When we go to visit Auntie Choly, the Emilie Court residents are especially drawn to your vivacity. You love all things girly: dresses, makeup...the more accessories the better. You try on things and ask for our assessment, "Do you like it or love it? Is it pretty or fabulous?" (Because clearly there are only 2 options). You are free with your hugs and kisses. When you are happy, you are pure joy. When you are angry, your feelings have been described as a "dumpster fire". You never stay angry or sad for long, but you definitely keep us on our toes.

You are a girl of your own mind and want to be in control of your own destiny. Recently you chopped your bangs off and told me, "Mom, you always tell me to solve my own problems." Well, you did just that and your punkrocker girl bangs do have a certain appeal now that they've grown a little. Your ears and brain pick up on the things I least suspect. When you were 3 and we went to Hawaii, I was a very effective sherpa, carting you, beach bags, chairs, etc, and Dad teased me about my load. I retorted, "I can do it. I'm Amy Eddy." That is your favorite phrase whenever I tell you I can't do something (like carry both you and the groceries inside)--"Yes, you can. You're Amy Eddy!"

This year you started going to speech therapy to help with your annunciation. You've always had a lot to say but were getting frustrated that not everyone could understand your big ideas. Miss Shelby at Milestones and Mrs. Staben at Wilson have been some of your favorite playmates and your speech is much clearer. I remember when you figured out "J" all on your own and said "Uncle Joe"; Uncle Joe noticed right away and was so proud of you!

We just got back from our trip to Honolulu. You loved the zoo and visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. You spent hours building in the sand on the beach. When you grow up, you want to be a hula dancer, beach lifeguard and zookeeper. Mom and Dad wholeheartedly support you--as long as we get to move to Hawaii with you when you pursue your dreams.

Now you are 5 year old, and officially, a "big girl". You always be my baby--even if I'm not allowed to carry you any more (sorry, it's Dad's rules, even if I am Amy Eddy). We love all your snuggles and also hope that one day they only occur during the day time and not in the middle of the night in our bed. (Sleeping in your own bed is happening soon, right? Right?!?)

Mom and Dad

Thursday, November 24, 2016

happy 8th birthday, kate and glory!

Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 8th birthday! This year it falls on Thanksgiving--we are so thankful for the two of you.

We celebrated with your friends last Friday by renting a van and bringing everyone ice skating in Coeur d'Alene. Twenty 2nd graders and 5 siblings sounds like quite the undertaking, but after everyone got help lacing their ice skates, it was pretty smooth sailing. You guys had fun singing to the latest hits on 92.9 and chanting "Lemonade, Crunchy Ice" in the car. I think the van ride was the funnest part of the whole adventure. We ended with everyone getting ice cream cones at the Scoop so everyone was sugared up before going home to their parents.

Grammy and Grumpy were there to greet us when we got home and watched you open gifts. You loved all your dog-related gifts: books from Grammy and Grumpy, a stuffed Husky and stuffed German Shepherd from Layla and Jillian, and a coupon for a puppy from Mom and Dad (provided you complete all the tasks stipulated).

Kate, you started playing piano this year and learned to read music this week. You were so excited! You are making up your own songs; it is so fun to listen to you play. You ran cross-country this year and qualified for the All-City meet. Mom and Dad were grateful that that was the one day it didn't downpour during a meet! You joined the craft club after school and have been playing basketball weekly. Despite all these activities, you are still a night owl and sometimes need to be reminded that reading under the covers is not allowed at bedtime. We went to get a hair trim last month and you opted for your adorable pixie cut; everyone loves it not only because it is cute but because they can more easily tell you and Glory apart.

Glory, you began playing flute this year and played a duet with Noah for your first recital this week. I was so proud of you! This week we are working on slurring eighth notes and you are rising to the challenge! You played soccer with SYSA and will play again in the spring. You are fierce on the field and got some experience playing goalie. You have moved into Ellie's room on the top bunk and have been a good bedtime partner to Ellie and very tolerant of her endless bedtime antics. Your blanket and (occasionally) your finger have still been your bedtime vices and I think you could sleep through anything as long as you had those two.

You both started swimming for the Spokane Waves and love it. You have competed in a couple meets and take turns beating each other. Your crawl stroke and back stroke are looking pretty good and you are working on your breast stroke. You balance fun and competition well. This summer you crafted a triathlon course and competed with the Bruyas. The Eddys took 1st, 2nd and 3rd but you gave the prizes to Chloe and Matthew so they would have fun, too. You both have loving hearts and are constantly thinking of others and how to be good friends.

We love you so much. Every day you are growing in to young women and we see less and less of the babies you used to be. Thank you for still taking time to snuggle and hug us; we are trying to savor every moment.

Mom and Dad

Friday, April 22, 2016

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah,

Happy birthday, Noah! You are now a decade old. Your days are busy with school and activities and it seems like every day you come home and ask permission to try to squeeze in even more. (At this rate, you will never have time to play the Xbox, which is fine by me. However, Mom and Dad would love for you to have a little more free time to feed your book addiction.)

You have been playing the violin for the last 18 months and your ability has grown at an exponential rate. Garnik awarded you an heirloom 3/4 size violin that he reserves for the student who has shown the most potential and best work ethic. Music seems to come fairly naturally to you; you and Grumpy have been working on several viola/violin duets--and you are keeping him on his toes. You are already asking about playing the trumpet or clarinet in the school band and you can pick out many melodies on the piano by ear. We love listening to you play; we still have a fair amount of discussion about practicing.

Schoolwork is easy for you and sometimes you need more to keep you engaged. This year your teachers recommended you be re-tested for the Highly Capable program and you are now on the wait list for Odyssey. You were elected as ASB secretary; I'm not sure what all your duties entail, but this morning you told me you were there to "donate ideas". Your contributions are valuable; you wrote a persuasive letter to the superintendent asking for a dedicated room for testing. She made a comment to Dad about it at the Wilson auction. You have good friends; you love science. Fourth grade agrees with you.

Your sport of choice is soccer. You are obsessed! This year you played with the Shadow.  You are developing better ball skills and have a talent to "read" the field. You just completed tryouts for next year and will play with the Select team. Your coach, Ben, loves your willingness to learn and your teamwork.

Now that you have been confirmed AND are in the 4th grade, you have started altar serving at church. We love that you are so enthusiastic; you volunteer whenever there is an open space. I think it gives you a physical form to pray and participate in the Mass and you are a great example of what your sisters can look forward to when they are ready.

Family time is important to you. You and your sisters play well together most of the time and more often than not you can compromise on your differences of opinion. The last few weeks, you've had some sibling sleepovers with Ellie--when she lets you. You and Sam are especially close as the oldest brothers of the family and love everything Legos and Star Wars. You love babies of every kind, but have a special softness for B & C. You've made it your personal goal to make them laugh as much as possible--and you're pretty good at it.

Noah Bear, you make us proud to watch you grow.

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

happy birthday, ellie

Dear Ellie,

Happy 4th birthday! We celebrated your birthday with Tita, Sharon, Marilyn and Dan all showering you with special treats. Apparently Tita gave you a chocolate bunny and it took you most of the day to realize that it was something you could eat. Your most beloved gift is your Frozen bicycle complete with handlebar streamers and a strap-on carriage for you to carry your toys and snacks in. You and Dad biked down by the river and up by Kendall yards. He's still working on your endurance; you would bike for about 2 minutes and then take a 5-minute water break.

You are as passionate and spunky as ever. Old age has yet to mellow you. You love to laugh and joke. Your favorites are knock-knock jokes based off of the Sponge Bob movie with some variation of "Give me back my formula" as the punchline. They are hilarious even though most people would not be able to follow your sense of humor. Your kisses and hugs are fierce. Your meltdowns have been likened to "a dumpster fire of anger". We are seeing fewer of them, little by little. You still change your outfits 5 times a day and add any and every accessory you can find. Your latest favorites are these too-big peep-toe red shoes with heels inherited from ND.

You cannot wait to be "big" and do everything Kate, Glory and Noah do. You have started writing your name, are using more Spanish words and are trying to spell things. Recently, at the park, you taunted Kate and Noah about sitting in a tree and "K-I-S-T-M-P-G-Y". You are so excited to go to Sunday School and come back singing songs at the top of your lungs. Kate and Glory read to you often and you 3 play all sorts of imaginary games like  "family" and "zoo". You often persuade Noah into giving you piggy back rides when your legs get "tired from too much walking".

Bedtime is still a challenge for you, night owl. You are doing better at sleeping in your own bed, but still need lots of encouragement. I still enjoy the middle of the night snuggles although I think Dad would prefer not to have your feet in his face every night.

You are growing so big and strong. You love to dance like a ballerina; I'm sure much of the inspiration comes from your beloved cousin, Natalie. You try to do pushups or climb on Noah's back while he does them.

Your birthday time always makes me nostalgic. I'm glad you get nostalgic, too. This month, I have re-told your birth story at least ten times. You and Dad made a baby book for you. You picked the color (green) and most of the photos.

Love you lots,
Mom & Dad

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

happy birthday, kate and glory!

Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 7th birthday! This year is the year for a "family" birthday celebration instead of a "friend" party and you two have been celebrated for the last 2 weeks with dinners, gifts and special outings/sleepovers.

You are trying out your independence from one another-on your own accord. You asked us to place you in separate first-grade classes and have thrived.  You are thick as thieves at home and at recess. I think you go through a  little bit of sister-withdrawal at bedtime and often sleep together (unless  your pillow talk carries on too late into the night). Kate, you played  recreational basketball by yourself this year. Glory, you wanted to try figure skating or swimming; I think figure skating will win out this year. For the first time ever--unless you count self-inflicted bangs--you have different haircuts. You have always been your own people, but we see it more on the outside now.

You both played soccer this year with Dad and Miss Nicole as coaches. Your team consisted of 4 other Wilson girls that you knew and played well with. I love that in your team picture--hardly any of you have teeth! It's that era.

You both are turning into quite the bookworms, devouring chapter books--especially the "Never Girls" series--at an impressive rate. Glory, you are super strong at math and can school your mom at Common Core. Kate, your reading is fluid and fast. You both are hard workers and love school for many reasons--academic and social.

Bea and Cecelia's arrival this year have made you celebrate your twin-ness even more. Kate, you identify with Bea as the 2nd baby and you were both breech--and both colicky. Glory, Cecelia is more like you--a little more content and a better eater and sleeper, but watch out when she gets mad! You have so much love for them and all the littles. You are very gracious to Ellie who still attempts to rule the roost.

You still have more energy than most children on the face of the earth and are constantly requesting or finding activities to do. Lately, you love building forts in the TV room; we all sit on the floor because the couch cushions are indisposed. You love to help me cook and bake; you got cookbooks this year for your birthday and I plan to put you guys to work, planning menus and feeding us. It's always delicious.

You are growing up so fast but still have remnants of your babyhood that persist. Kate, you ask to be snuggled most nights. Glory, you still carry your big yellow blanket  (sometimes even in your backpack
to school!) and you are working on not sucking your finger since your permanent teeth are coming in.

It is such a joy to witness you two growing up!
Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah,

It has been five months since your 9th birthday. The original letter was drafted on paper and I'm sure is residing somewhere in the Spokane County Courthouse, lost sometime during jury duty. Needless to say, our lives are full. You are your mother's son and try to squeeze more in every chance you get.

You are a joy, Noah: loving, dependable, smart. You have started respectfully questioning our "because I said so" reasons and are asking good questions. Even though you are only nine, adolescence is upon us; Dad and I don't know if we're ready, so take it easy on us. Some of your friends have cell phones and  you frequently ask when it is your turn. The answer is still "not yet".

As a big brother, you routinely heckle your sisters, correcting their 6-year old knowledge any chance you get. You also teach them things in gentler ways and we still catch you snuggling with them occasionally. Things get wild and crazy when you, Kate and Glory build forts and the fort-building turns into pillow fights and wrestling. Screaming and laughing ring through the whole house. Ellie jumps in whenever she can.

You are developing a special relationship with Sam. It's hard to believe there was so much cousin rivalvry when you were younger. You both love Star Wars, Legos and guns and can spend hours upon hours holed up playing. You two have started writing letters to each other this year, complete with elaborate drawings of guns, maps and Star Wars-related things. You both have sisters with strong personalities and I'm so glad you have each other for brotherly support.

This year was a vacation-filled year. You got to boogie board and swim with sea turtles in Maui in April. We visited LegoLand with the Co-op Kids and Aunt Lauren and Tate in June. We went to Portland for the Cleto family reunion where you hit it off with Rico at the luau.

You keep your schedule full, partly because I'm your mom, but mostly because you want to try every new opportunity that comes your way. This fall you are playing Shadow soccer and running cross country (you made it to the all-city meet last year, which was a proud moment for all of us.) Your smart brain and hard work make you a good student; your teacher told me how great you are when I saw her this morning. You love books and finished the Harry Potter series this summer.

You are starting your second year of violin with Garnik. You have Dad's ear for music and most of it comes quite easily to you. We still struggle with practicing reliably, but I love to listen to you play. You are preparing for First Reconciliation this year and are looking forward to altar server training in the spring. When there are any free moments, they are filled with play dates with friends.

I know I say the same thing every year, but we can't believe how fast you are growing. It is a joy to watch and we are proud to be your parents.

Mom and Dad