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


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

Newborn parenting this time around

Parenting a newborn is difficult.  Even the second time around.  I’m up early this morning.  I’ve been up since about 1:30 a.m. off and on… I had the stomach flu on Wednesday and have been recovering.  For the last 4 hours, I’ve been hot and cold, tossing and turning with an icky stomach and achey breasts.  The achey breasts is because I made the decision not to wake up Abby at 10:00 p.m. to feed her.  She had a bit of a fever around 7:00 p.m., and I couldn’t bear the idea of disturbing her good sleep.  Well, 10 1/2 hours into not feeding her, and I’m paying for it.  For those of you that know what a “dreamfeed” is, I gave her one of those a few minutes ago and gave up on sleep for myself…  (I thought about pumping, but I fear mastitis.  In 3 months time, I’ve had 7 plugged ducts and 1 round of mastitis… Oh, and Abby won’t take a bottle…)

Parenting is hard, no matter how you look at it.  The second time around I have so much more confidence but still so many questions.  I have confidence that I can read Abby’s signs/cries.  I’m not always bewildered when she’s fussy with questions of “Is she hungry?” or “Is she tired?” But, I am still bewildered with questions like “Why won’t she go to sleep right now when she’s so, so tired?” and  “Why does she keep waking up at 4:30 a.m. when she used to sleep ’til 6:00?”

I’ve been reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, and it has helped me the most.  He makes me feel like what’s going on with my baby is normal and that there are steps we can take to help her get more rest.  Only I still have some residual Babywise scars.  I say that because I followed the Babywise model pretty strictly with Sophia, and I found much success.  She slept through the night very early and up to 12 hours well before my breasts needed her to.  I followed Babywise, and I got her on a schedule.  I expected her to sleep when it was time, and I clocked her feeding times.  It worked out well at night, but during the days there was a LOT of crying… and some days not much napping.  That’s just not going to work when I’ve got a 22 month-old to also be parenting.

We got back from a trip to Arkansas nearly 2 weeks ago and Abby was off her “schedule.”  That is, she no longer wanted to nap for more than 45 minutes, and she no longer slept through the night.  She also had 3 evenings straight of crying between 3-6 hours… what one might mistake for colick… I had to take action.  Poor Da-da was coming home to a chaotic household and had to rescue a frazzled Mama by rocking a screaming baby all evening.  We all needed rest and peace of mind in our household.  The action I took was following Dr. Weissbluth’s idea that an overtired baby won’t sleep well, but a well-rested baby will sleep well.  He says that a baby her age cannot be up for more than 2 hours without getting overtired.  I decided to watch her like a hawk for signs of drowsiness and put her down immediately.  What I absolutely couldn’t believe was that after a night of sleeping 14 hours (waking up for 2 feedings), she was tired and ready to go to bed 45 minutes after she woke up in the morning; that is, 20 minutes after she finished breakfast!  Isn’t that counterintuitive? Even to a “seasoned” mother… Ha!  Seasoned. So, I’m struggling with this scenario every morning at 8:15.  She’s only been up 45 minutes, but she’s yawning… put her down?  Is it too early?  I don’t want her to cry too much.

We’ve had so much success.  She finally took a two-hour nap on Tuesday!  I attribute this to 1) my constant evaluation of her sleepy-state and 2) a new, innovate swaddling cocoon called a woombie.  I’m not sure if it’s a miracle blanket, but I am sure that it helps.  Abby hates being traditionally swaddled, but she can’t sleep without it.  Her startle reflex is too great and she waves her arms all around.  The woombie lets her have movement inside the swaddle while still keeping her from waking herself up.  She can still chew on her hands through the blanket, since she can’t get them out.  The first time I put her in it, she giggled and cooed at me!  She went down that evening without crying, and I was choked up with joy.  She’s gone down a few times without any crying and has taken a few 2 hour naps… I’m in love with the woombie, mostly because Abby is happier in it, and I’m going to order another one.  However, that all being said I believe the continued success is a little more about timing than it is about a miracle blanket.  If I put her down overtired and fussy, it doesn’t matter if she’s wrapped in a cloud, she’s gonna cry when I leave her.  I’ll say, though, the protest crying before naptime has been significantly shorter than pre-woombie, sometimes not even more than a minute or two.

Okay, it’s 6:30 now.  I’m going to go make some coffee for my hubby.

hilarious play with Sophia

Sophia’s language is blowing up.  She’s coming up with new words and stringing more words together all the time.  It’s so fun to see.  Her pronunciation is pretty terrible, but she’s definitely got strings of sounds associated for different things.  The worst is probably “dutch” for chair.  Not really sure why she says it quite like that…

I witnessed a pretty fun pretend playtime today.  Sophia loves to play “diaper change.” Basically she takes any babydoll or stuffed animal she has and says “Baby, poo poo.”  Then she goes and gets a diaper and diaper cream and baby powder and pretends to change the babydoll.  Well, lately she’s been talking about her Bear.  While I was nursing Abby this morning, this is what I heard Sophia saying:

“Beh, nie nie.” (Bear, night night.) She lays him down and covers him up with a burp cloth.

“Beh, why. Shhh, shhh.” (Bear is crying.) She rocks him and makes a sad face and shushes him.

“Pupsh off.” (Please take it off.) She points to the bear’s collar and hands him to me.

“Beh, poo poo.” (Bear went poo poo.) She lays him down and goes and gets one of Abby’s diapers.  She spends minutes trying to get it on him. After it’s wrapped up something silly, she says, “Yay! Beh, nie nie.” She rocks him for a few seconds.

“Beh, poo poo… Fah… Beh fah.” (Bear pooped.  Bear farted.)  I laugh.  “Bear farted?” I say.

“Ya!  Ha ha.  Beh fah! Ha ha!  Mom-ma fah!  Ha ha.  Ab-bey fah!  Ha ha. Momma fah! “ This goes on and on.

Don’t ask me how she learned the word fart! No, I’ll tell you.  She came back from Mammaw and Papa’s knowing a bunch of new words and one of them was fart!  So, we’ll blame the dirty vocabulary on them!  Ha!  The first time she said it, she said it after she farted, “Fah!” After clarifying that she did indeed say fart, we couldn’t stop laughing and she wouldn’t stop saying it.    Well, I guess we encouraged it because now she says it all the time!

weakness revealed in the waiting

2:00 p.m. My most difficult hour.  Abby is cranky and tired.  It’s time for Sophia’s nap.  I’m at the end of my patience.  I’d like some time to myself. Today at 2:00 I laid down Sophia and picked up Abby.  No big deal.  No nap for me today. I feed Abby.  I soothe her.  I lay her down.  The fussing begins.  I take myself downstairs and I notice my shoulders are tight, my neck is stiff and my mind is racing with worry.  I say to myself that I’ll get a snack, lay on the couch, try to chill out while I wait for her to stop crying.  The thing is I’m not hungry. I’m worried, I’m unbelievably stressed out, and I want immediate comfort and solace.  What I really want is for someone to tell me, “Don’t worry.  She’ll go to sleep soon.” (Sometimes I text Da-da and he tells me that.  Thanks, Da-da.)

I do this a lot.  I reach for a snack as I wait for her to fall asleep.  I reach for a snack after she falls asleep wondering if this is for real.  I reach for a snack when 30 minutes has passed because she could wake up any minute.

I think what is revealed in my time of waiting on Abby to fall asleep is my complete inability to control this situation.  I cannot make her go to sleep.  I can’t guarantee that she’ll sleep for any amount of time.  I can’t make sure Sophia stays asleep, either.  I can’t control these babies!  So as I wait for her to fall asleep, I worry; I reach for my quickest comfort, and I don’t receive comfort at all.  My girls’ naptimes are often wasted with worry and pacing and indecision.  I can just snack, I don’t need time or energy for that.

This post isn’t about over-eating.  I realize my weakness to snack when I’m stressed, and I must give myself grace here.  Awareness of that tendency is the biggest battle.  What this post is about, though, is that there’s something in my waiting time that I need to pay attention to.  Something has been making me so stressed, irritable and cranky.  I think it may simply be that my day is not mine to control.  I may be able to control parts of it, but I cannot control my children.  Abby will sleep when she sleeps, and Sophia will act how she’s going to act.  I can help Abby sleep, and I can discipline and help Sophia’s behavior.  But, I cannot control them.  I can’t make Abby sleep, and I can’t make Sophia be still during a diaper change or not throw a tantrum as we’re trying to leave the house.

This waiting is revelatory if I pause and take note.  This waiting reveals my need to control and my inability to do it.  This waiting reveals my weakness and my need for the Father.

I was reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

As I wait for Abby to fall asleep, I want to humble myself (I cannot control this situation.), pray (Lord, be with me.  Help me trust You.), seek His face (He is with me.  He is trustworthy.), and turn from my worry and need to be in control (He is in control.) He will forgive me and heal me.

That feels like a deep breath.  Lord, give me a deep breath.