February 14, 2013: Madeline Becomes a Teenager

Happy Birthday to my niece Madeline who turns thirteen today!

Dad got essentially no sleep last night so I ended up staying home so that he wouldn’t be left alone with the girls.  That would have been too much for him.  They are exhausting at the best of times.

Liesl made me the sweetest valentine’s day card today.  It is a red construction paper card with a big foam “DADDY” and a heart on the front.  Inside it says “I Love You”, also in foam letters that she glued in, and on the left pane it has a picture that she drew.  We brought it into my office after having worked on it at the kitchen table and she showed by the picture and said that it was a picture of me with her snuggling me!  So sweet.

Dominica was home most of the afternoon so I was able to concentrate on work and dad was able to nap.  For dinner we got Panda Express.

Dad and the girls got to play outside a bit together today and I wanted to share this excerpt from dad’s journal that he had posted on Facebook:

The girls and I had been playing in the sandbox and decided to quit. Luciana had gone into the house and Liesl climbed up on my lap. I was sitting on the patio, looking out over the back lawn. Liesl sat with her back against my chest and was looking in the same direction. We started having an “adult like” conversation. It was really interesting. It was interrupted every once in a while with a passing jet or stray crow flying by, which required comment. There were about 4 or 5 birds (grackles) in the tree. I said to Liesl, “do you think those birds are listening to us talk?”. She responded with her typical “Oh, grandpa”. I pushed it further by saying that they weren’t doing anything except sitting there, so they must be listening. “Oh, Grandpa”. Then I said, “Maybe if you sang a song more birds would come, so she started to sing the “Alphabet Song”. It was amazing, immediately birds started arriving from everywhere. The tree was pretty full by the end of the first time through the song. You should have seen her face. She sang it again and more birds came. That tree was PACKED with birds. Now it was “Grandpa, LOOK!” Talk about “Precious”. Of course when I started to sing with her . . . they all went away 🙁

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