the thing about having two

Are you anything like me?  I tend to dwell on the negative.  I don’t do this as a habit in life, just with my kids and our day.  8-5 is such a long day, ya know?  I’m often so done by 5 that I need a perspective change.

(You don’t want to see me at 5…  I have a wonderful husband!)

I’m a glass half-full person, for sure, but I definitely live my days glass half-empty.  When I sit down to blog, it’s usually because I’m frustrated and need an outlet.  Writing helps so much.  I stand up feeling like I’ve vented, and I feel better.  Often I feel that the Holy Spirit tells me something.

I thought I could use a reminder, though.  A reminder of blessing when things are hectic and I’m feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated.  A reminder that these girls are girls to cherish.

So, this post is 10 reminders of what’s so great about having two.

10) Always have one to cuddle.  And, they are SO cuddly right now.

9) Usually one of them is not cranky if the other one is.

8 ) We each have one to share the other. (Sophia and I will play and tickle Abby.  When Abby laughs, Sophia laughs.  It warms my heart to see Abby delight in her younger sister.  Abby and I will watch Sophia.  When Sophia laughs, Abby smiles.  It warms my heart to watch Abby look at her sister with wonder.)

7) They’re each the perfect age.  For Sophia’s whole life, I have caught myself saying, “Sophia’s at the perfect age.  I love this age.”  I would say it one month and then say it again a few months later.  And mean it!  I had no idea that watching and helping a baby grow up would be so much fun.  I had no idea that love would fill me up more and more as the months go by.  I often think that I couldn’t possibly love them more, and a few months later, I do.  So, I find myself saying, “They’re each at the perfect age.” Sophia’s learning to talk and be a “big girl,” and Abby’s learning about her body and the world.  What could be better to watch?  And, I get both at the same time.

6) Two unique personalities to get to know, enjoy and parent.

5) Two souls to watch grow and develop and (hopefully) come to know the Lord.

4) Two beautiful sets of eyes to cherish the wonder and mysteries of their hearts.

3) Two lives to pray for and two journeys to be on with them.

2) Two stories in the making.

1) Two amazing children of God that will make my heart explode with love.

Recent Fun

I have been having so much fun with the girls lately.  Monday night Will and I made Sophia a cardboard house–one that is the perfect size for her to run in and out of.  I knew she would love it, but I had no idea she would love it so much.  She loves running in and out of it, playing peek-a-boo, and doing all kinds of things in it.  It takes up so much space in our living room; I have no idea how we’re going to eventually dispose of it…

It was so much fun to make the box for her and then give it to her.  We made it Monday night while she was asleep and had it as a surprise for her Tuesday morning.  In the morning when we got her out of bed, I said, “Guess what!  Daddy and I have a surprise for you!  Do you know what it is?” Fully knowing that she had no idea.  I just wanted to create hype for the reveal…  Well, she says, “A howsh.  A pway howsh.” I look at Daddy, “What?!” She remembered.  Sophia and I found the box the day before, and I had told her that that night Daddy and I were going to make her a play house.  I hid the box downstairs, but she remembered.  After 12 hours of sleep, she remembered.  Crazy, huh.  Mental note: Do not make promises that you do not intend to keep.  This girl remembers.

Thursday we had the most beautiful day outside: sunny, nearly 70 degrees, a perfect spring day.  We played at the park for over an hour and then went to lunch on a coffee house patio.  It was delightful.  It was refreshing.  It felt like the most special “Mommy and my girls” day out–our first, really.  (Sorry, I wish I had some pictures of this day.  But, it was enough just trying to keep up with both girls…)

Well, Friday night it snowed.  And, Sophia was so excited about it.  She DID NOT want to go to bed.  She wanted to “go owshi and pway wih show.” Today, she called it, “shuh-no.” Must’ve been because I kept sounding it out for her…  Well, today we played in it!  This was her first time to ever play in the snow.  All the other times it snowed, I was either hugely pregnant or Abby was freshly born, and it was super, super cold.  So, we got out her brand new snowsuit and bundled up.  It was fluffy and yummy.  Sophia got cold quickly; so, we rushed inside and made hot cocoa.  Yummy!  Sophia loved her first cup of hot cocoa.

What a nice week.  Thanks Kansas, for you awesomely crazy weather.

Bumbo

WHIE NOW!

Remember how Sophia makes me repeat everything she says?  (Irritated)  That’s the only way she’ll stop saying it…. Well, the past few days she’s been saying the most hilarious thing that we finally figured out, yesterday.  We were able to repeat it back to her, only it didn’t make her stop saying it…

A few days ago we were in Sophia’s play kitchen, and she was cooking and babbling: “Cook, whie now.”

On the way home from church, yesterday, she was saying over and over again, “Da-dee, tea-tar, whie now.” (Daddy guitar right now.)

Yesterday, Sophia was playing with Daddy in the play kitchen and I overheard, “Ima cook, whie now! Ima cook, whie now!” Imagine that Sophia is nearly yelling and she’s spacing out the whie now part.  Imagine in a sweet, yet demanding tone,  “WHIE! NOW!”

Have you figured it out?  It hit me. She’s saying, “I’m going to cook right now.” I hollered into Will so that he could repeat it to her to make her stop.  It didn’t.

We were downstairs later and Daddy was sitting on the couch.  “Ima dit. WHIE NOW!” Later, I hear in the kitchen, “Ima ge dah-ee whie now!” (I’m gonna get doggy right now.)  She’s putting it on the end of everything and she’s saying it over and over and over!  “Iwa milk whi now!” (I want milk right now.) “Bah-ee! Whi now!” (Barney, right now.) “Mine! WHI NOW!”

I’m thinking about how she could’ve gotten this “right now” business…  Yes, of course.  When I’m cooking dinner and she’s whining and pulling on my leg, I often say, “Mommy is cooking right now.  You may go play with Daddy.”  Then, I thought about other things I say, “Come here, right now!” when I’ve already asked her and she’s not listening.

I start to get really self-conscious.  Embarrassed, even.  She is yelling “right now” at the ends of everything that she says.  Now, I don’t do that. I don’t sound like that.

Is she saying it for effect?  Is she trying it out to see what it’ll get her?  Does she understand what it means?

Or, is she just repeating what she’s heard Mommy say again and again?

In the middle of the night, I remembered that when she asked about Daddy Sunday morning, I told her, “Daddy is at church playing guitar right now.”  I always put right now at the ends of where Daddy is.  “He is at work right now.” Or, “He is downstairs on the computer right now.”  I tell her, “Barney is not on right now.”

This developing language thing is FUN-NY!  Our plan is to just sort of ignore it and hope that the yelling with fizzle out.  I already heard her this morning putting “All Tow” at the end of everything.  That would be “All through the town” from the beloved children’s song “The Wheels on the Bus.”

In the meantime, I better watch what I say… and how I say it… 😉

Doggy dress-up

Irritated

Sophia’s driving me batty lately.

Is that okay to say?

She’s always one step behind me… literally… She talks all the time.  She always wants me to repeat everything she says–to make sure I understand, I guess.  But, she’ll say it over and over again until I repeat it for her.  I know it’s been helping her language development and helping her communicate so much, but I’m annoyed.

She’s just so difficult to parent right now.  She wants to do everything by herself.  “I-wa mine!” EVERYTHING. And, she’s so snappy about it.   She asks me to do everything with her, but she will never let me do anything with her. “I-wa mine!” Ugh.  She has to do pants by herself.  Sock and shoes by herself.  Open wrappers and bananas by herself….  Mind you, she can’t.  So, every 1 minute activity actually takes 5!

Warning Mother: Patience is required at ALL times!

Meanwhile, Abby’s eyes are getting red and she’s yawning or getting fussy…  Abby requires right-now timing.  So, what do I do with Sophia when we’re in the middle of something?

How do I begin to encourage healthy independence with Sophia while disciplining poor choices like throwing the puzzle when I try to help her put in a piece or screaming when I do ___________.  After on said episode, i.e. screaming and/or throwing, she always refuses that activity.  How can I help promote good coping skills with frustration and anger and newfound independence?

Ugh.  Mommying is no mindless work.  It takes being on the ball 24/7… always one step ahead.

My patience is worn thin so easily with her.  I find myself getting angry quickly.  One little thing will happen.  She’ll throw a tantrum; I’ll discipline.  She’ll make another poor choice; I’ll offer grace… etc., etc., untill 1:00 p.m. and BAM I can’t take it anymore and I need a break.

By the way, I don’t always last that long.  This morning it was 10:15.  We were playing in her play kitchen, and I had just been talking to her about not shaking water out from her cup.  In fact, we had been talking about it all morning… and for the last few days.  Then BAM!  She turns over a teapot to dump out her shoes and a 1/4 cup of water spills on the floor!  BAM!  What the what!

“Sophia! That’s exactly what I’m talking about!”

She leaves the room… pouting, I think because I yelled at her.  I try to compose myself… She comes back with a towel.

Oh, my sweet girl.  She does have a sweet heart.  She’s just a baby learning how to live in a fallen world.

Abby’s 3-months-old