Aidan spent another year amazing us at every turn. He is now five and in September he began a Readiness Kindergarten class designed for kids with late summer/early fall birthdays who don’t quite make the cutoff to start kindergarten. Aidan began the school year already reading at a first grade level, and has progressed leaps and bounds since then. Math appears to be another one of his strong suits, and he has become quite adept at adding and subtracting. However, his penchant for removing his socks and shoes in the event that he doesn’t quite have enough fingers to solve a particular problem is definitely not a trait gleaned from the Teodoro side of the family! Aidan loves playing outside, and had his first experience with “organized” sports when he joined a T-ball league this summer. Sadly, the players appeared to be less interested in the games than the parents, and most of his teammates spent their time wandering in circles and drawing pictures in the dirt. Oh well. There’s always next year.
Princess Isabella began her reign of terror this year by learning to walk at 8 months, and the whirling dervish hasn’t slowed down since. Our beautiful angel with the big blue eyes and cherubic smile has become what polite society refers to as a ‘busy’ child. She sprints from cupboards to shelves, closets to dressers, frantically flinging their contents in her wake. Her gleeful fleeing giggles mock her parents’ futile attempts to simultaneously catch her and undo the chaos she has created. She adores her big brother Aidan, but tends to demonstrate her feelings by beating him mercilessly at every opportunity. Despite these tendencies, she manages to wrap nearly everyone around her little finger, with that irresistible smile and her habit of blinking her eyes and sweetly begging “peeeese” whenever she wants something. Although her vocabulary is steadily progressing, she still does most of her communicating through grunting and streams of gibberish. We are often left to decipher, in a Lassie-esque manner, what she needs when she runs into the room, arms waving wildly, squealing and pointing in the direction she just came. “What’s that Bella? Aidan’s in the well? Good girl!”
As we sat down to write edition six of the Teodoro Family Christmas Letter, we began to reflect on our time spent writing previous letters. We scoffed at our perceived stresses in the year 2000, where we wondered how we would ever find the time to write an entire page, what with 2 year old Aidan constantly underfoot. Our laughter continues as we reflect on 2002, when we were sure that even a couple of paragraphs were beyond our reach, with 8 month old Isabella adding to the commotion in our home. We know now that those episodes only hinted of the chaos to come, as 4 month old Owen has turned our life upside down. As we strive for complete sentences and coherent thoughts, we hope you will enjoy this brief glimpse into our past year.
Bella now attends pre-school twice a week and enjoys her time there very much. From painting and snack time to her new best friend Wendy, her class has everything a little girl could want. This includes her wonderful teacher Mrs. Hauck, who immediately endeared herself to Bella by referring to her as ‘sweetcakes’ from the first day. Isabella’s awareness of her universe is rapidly expanding, and she often comes home ready to expound her newfound knowledge upon us. One of our favorites came one day after class, when she gleefully exclaimed “Guess what Mrs. Hauck has at home? A Mr. Hauck!” Truly fantastic stuff indeed.
Finally, in a continuing effort to supply reliable and timely updates on the story first reported in last year’s Christmas Letter, we bring you this: after a full year of investigation by
Finest, there is still no word on Mike’s stolen car. Although he admits that hope is dwindling,
Mike is stoically attempting to “keep the faith” and “take it one day at a
time”. Truly, one needs to look no
further for a role model of bravery and courage in these uncertain times. Tacoma
Aidan applied and was accepted into the Davidson Institute’s Young Scholars program, a national nonprofit devoted to serving the needs of gifted children. For all his brains, however, Jacques Cous-Aidan, while trying out his new snorkeling gear in the bathtub, somehow failed to notice the cordless phone thrown in by his little brother. All those familiar with the whirlwind of destruction we call Owen, though, know Aidan was just lucky it wasn’t a toaster.
It isn't a Teodoro Christmas letter without sharing some kidism. In this paragraph my husband is describing our four year old daughters interesting choice of words:
Although we’re sure that some learning must go on at her school, they apparently have yet to study parts of speech, as evidenced by her creative use of adverbs. One of our favorites came one day when she decided to strip down to her skivvies after racing around the house because she was “soaking hot!”.
Our little Owen turned one in August, and has become - and there’s no polite way to say this - a walking disaster. It has since become a full time job to ensure that Owen does not: a) injure himself, b) destroy something, or c) - and most likely - injure himself in the process of destroying something. Every day seems to bring a new bruise or scrape, and bloody noses and bonked heads have become commonplace in our house. This child, responsible for much of Rachel’s current mental state, simply has a motor that doesn’t quit, an underdeveloped sense of self-preservation, and enough curiosity to end the lives of a dozen cats. He taught himself that access to the kitchen cupboards is as simple as opening the dishwasher, climbing inside, and then clawing his way onto the countertop. He found that he could terrorize the fish in its bowl near the bathroom sink by climbing into a drawer, hoisting himself onto the counter, and plunging in up to his elbows. He also learned that the toilet flushes when he pulls on the lever, but not quite as well with his shoes stuffed inside. Here’s hoping we all survive long enough to see his boundless energy and charming personality put to better use!
In other family news, the kids finally have a local cousin now that Mike’s older brother and his wife had their first baby in July. However, a previously excited Isabella frowned dejectedly upon meeting Sofia for the first time, lamenting “Aww, that baby’s cuter than us!”.
Mike had quite a year, (turning thirty for the first time ever!) and although he still struggles on occasion to see the brighter side of aging (the top of his head) he has adjusted to midlife admirably. He celebrated his milestone birthday in clichéd crisis fashion, by buying himself a shiny new vehicle. Although not your stereotypical convertible, Mike had a great time riding his new mountain bike and getting actual exercise, instead of just watching it on TV. To add insult to his newfound geriatric state, a few weeks ago Mike received his first AARP application in the mail, complete with a temporary membership card. (Seriously? Come on. Who’s in charge over there, a bunch of old people?) In other news, he has managed to stay gainfully employed with XXXXXXX for the seventh consecutive year (a personal best!) and has very much enjoyed the recent opportunity to collaborate with his father’s company on a machine design project.
This past May, Rachel found time to escape (a term we don’t use lightly) to California for a few days, where she met up in Los Angeles with some fellow fugitive moms from Purdue. They enjoyed their temporary parole from child rearing immensely, spending their time at the beach, a hotel pool (where they weren’t, in the strictest sense, technically guests) and even Disneyland. Alas, Rachel’s figurative fifteen minutes of fame has been reduced by about thirty seconds, following her national television debut on American Idol. Fortunately, Rachel’s time in the spotlight wasn’t spent belting out a warbled rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana” but rather as an on-the-street interviewee of dreamy host Ryan Seacrest, her new BFF. She has also found a knack for making baby gifts, and now has them for sale online. Those of you pining for a free sample need simply to produce a child, and we’re sure you’ll soon find one in the mail.
And rounding out the letter Mike added a new segment:
Owen turned two this August, and our smiling, happy goofball is as random as they come. To illustrate this, we’ll try out a new segment we’d like to call “Actual Conversations with Owen”. “Owen, do you have to go potty?” “Uh, no.” “Owen, are you sure?” “Go pee-pee Aidan’s room.” “You what?” Cue the screaming from Aidan – “Aaahhh, why is my floor all wet!?!” Or this exchange, after having returned him to bed for the twelfth time that night – “Owen, you need to stay in bed.” “Uh, ok.” “Owen, are you going to get out of bed?” “Ummm, yeah.” At least he’s honest. While no longer the destructive force he once was, our little Owen is alternately a joy and an exasperation, and we love him just the same.