Friday, June 25, 2010


What do you call your friends who stop by unexpectedly the day before you leave on vacation and take your child to the park so you can run errands in peace? Good.

They are also babysitting our car, and filling my calling (responsibility at church). That makes them better.

self esteem? check.

As Kiddo's skills have developed, we've given her lots of encouragement. And since there is nothing she likes more than praise, there is even more for her than I believe we would have provided on our own. Phrases like "You're so good at jumping," and "You're such a good dancer," are common place around our house. They are said (verbatim) by both the parents and the child.

Her language skills are undergoing a huge shift right now, so she can now form more original thoughts. Which is why, after her Daddy asked her for a kiss the other night, and she complied, she was able to praise herself by saying, "You're such a good kisser."

And yet oddly, she is not. On a typical day, the request for a kiss is met with Kiddo leaning her head towards you so you can kiss it. On a good day, she will brush her lips near you, with some puckering, but certainly no smack. But, she believes she is good and talented at this and all other things. And since there is plenty of time for the world to teach her otherwise, we'll go on praising her in most things.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

in four short days

We're coming to the homeland. We get to bless our baby, visit family, watch a brother get married, have a major and minor family reunion, and visit more family, and more family, and maybe even some friends. Grandparents on both sides. Seven siblings in the same room. 13 cousins. Time to really see people. It will be great.

But I have to be honest, what I'm looking forward to most right now is sleeping in homes where there is central air conditioning.

Is that wrong?


Secundus is growing fast. For a while now, every time I look at her I think, she is way bigger than her sister was at this age. I call her "fattie" a lot. I probably will until Kiddo picks it up. (This is not a term I want sticking with her.) At the doctor's today, my instincts were verified. At two months, she weighs 13 lb. 12 oz. (and measures 24 1/4 inches). Apparently calling her fattie is fine. We also call her "chubbers." None of you are welcome to use these titles, unless you promise to stop by the time she turns 1, and never tease her about it in the future.

She got three shots, none of which she appreciated. She also got three bandaids, but only two actually covered her puncture points. For this reason, and many others, we will be finding a new pediatrician before the four month visit. Blegh.

(Her Daddy would like me to point out that he never calls her fattie, and thought he had never called her chubbers (although he did once to his chagrin). He calls her "piglet" but he insists that has to do with her snorting, not her size (and I believe him).)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

what's in a name?

My girls both have, in my opinion, strong, feminine, classic names. The difference is that one is rarely used today, and the other is super popular. And that's fine with me. Picking their names was not an easy process either time.

But that choice was nothing compared to choosing a name for the second one on my blog. My private paranoia will not let me use their names on a public blog. (Why not make it private? you ask. Because I have different issues with a private blog for myself.) I call children "Kiddo" so it was a no-brainer to use it for my child on my blog. But now I have two girls, and obviously they can't both be Kiddo. But I have racked my brain for a similar nickname, and am coming up blank.

Calling her Baby is not working for me, and is not a long term solution anyway. (Although it will continue to be the short term solution until I've solved this dilemma.) I thought about "Sport" because that is what her Grandma called her in her first week, but will that create expectations for her future? (Although, I love the irony of one of my kids being called sport, given my husband's and my athletic inclinations and interest.) I thought about Girl, which is a nice play on her name, but does that imply the other is not? (Clearly not given who Kiddo is.) I thought about many other things, and really can't decide.

So, in a one time offer, I'm opening up comments. What should I name my second child in blog land? Please, let me know what you think.

Until then, a story about my husband and my grandfather. My husband's name is the same as my uncle's. So my grandpa, being who he is, calls my husband "Secundus" a lot. We've taken to referring to our children that way quite often, Primus and Secundus. (If there's a third will she be Tersius?) So, if you run across those terms, you'll know who we're talking about. And if you now my Grandpa, you'll understand too.

"I like tomatoes."

In nursery today at church, Kiddo announced, while holding a toy apple, that she liked tomatoes. I snorted and thought to myself, yeah, right.

Tonight she had this as a pre-dinner snack. I guess she does like tomatoes.


Oh my goodness, can you believe how cute she is?
She's been smiling vaguely from the start, but within the last week they've become focused, or in other words, she's smiling at me, not at the wall, or her own secret joke, or whatever has caused them.
Isn't that a sweet milky tongue she's got there? Yummy.

And then just because I like to try to remember, here's one of Primus' first smile. Too bad the camera focused on my foot, not her...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

help from sis

Kiddo provided Baby with a number of toys to make her rest more enjoyable. Thanks.

Since this is the swing, it requires that Kiddo stops the swing, adds a toy, then gives a push to start the swing up again. Irritating, and vaguely ridiculous. Some day I hope it will lose its joy, but I really don't think so. And this week I was less able than usual to fend her off. So instead I hid most of these toys.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

no contest

My husband teaches Sunday School. My baby needed to be fed just before Sunday School, which meant that not only did he have to teach, but he also had to watch Kiddo. Baby ate fast, so I came back as things were getting settled. Kiddo had found a hymn book, and was standing in the front, holding the book, waving her arm, and singing "I am a Child of God."

My husband tried valiantly to teach around her, but as I walked in, it was clear that no one was paying attention to him, as every one smiled with joy to watch my little girl bear her simple testimony. I passed the little one off to a friend, and took Kiddo out. She then serenaded those in the hallway.

we can watch TV all day

I told Kiddo last week that we could not watch TV all day. And I meant it.

Then I got sick yesterday. Really sick. (Postpartum mastitis sick.) I don't get sick, but I was. I laid on the couch for two hours with a fever, shivering uncontrollably, using what small part of my brain that was still functioning to keep my kids alive. It came on suddenly, and was not fun.

Eventually my friend came to watch Kiddo (and feed her for the first time that day at 3 pm), and then my husband got home a couple hours later. My fever broke. And by yesterday evening, I no longer wanted to give up entirely.

And Kiddo got her wish: we watched TV all day. We will today too, and probably tomorrow. And I'll spend a lot of the day telling her that no, I can't get up and dance with you. But at least she'll have the TV.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

me and you, you and me

(The following story may be hard to follow, but it's mostly for my memory, and laughs.)

Like most children, Kiddo mastered the third person first. She can talk about herself all day that way. A few months ago I decided it was time for her to learn about first and second person, so I started talking normally with her. What this has taught her is that she is "you" and I am "I" or "me." Which has led to her classic phrases such as "mama will getchu a glass of milk" when in reality Kiddo is getting the milk not me. Or "Do you want some bread, and peanut butter, and jam?" where she is represented by you, and she'd like a sandwich.

She is really clear on who is who though, because the other day she announced "We are all in the room. Baby [pointing to baby], you [pointing to herself], and me [pointing to me, mama]."

Except she's starting to switch, at unpredictable times. The other night I teased her by saying what she says when she brings me a book: "mama, can you read it?" [another common phrase where, this time, she gets the persons correct]. She amended "to me" at the end of my teasing. Impressed by her correct usage of me, I sought to bring attention to it, so I confirmed "to you?" "No," she replied, "to me."


I asked my friend to trim my hair so it will look okay at my littlest brother's wedding in two weeks. If my hair looks less than fabulous it will be my fault for not knowing how to style it, not hers, because it is a great cut. I also asked her to trim Kiddo's bangs, which were the perfect length but would be too long in two weeks. Does it count as a first professional cut if it's in your own house? Given my friend's skills I say yes. So we took a picture.

Later Kiddo told us about how we all had our hair done, wearing the coat. It's so great when we can all do things together. Umm, it's called a cape. Despite her love of talking about the cape, she actually didn't like it much.

(Notice that this post is in the middle of the day. Yay cousin L for coming and helping out today while Daddy's gone.)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Why, given the minimal sleep I got last night, and the fact that I'm currently single parenting, did it take me over an hour to get to bed tonight?

Because it's the first time I've had to myself in 24 hours. If I go to sleep, I can't appreciate it.

I'm going now.

hope springs eternal

When she first goes down, this little girl often spends serious energy getting one hand mostly out of her swaddle. This is so that she can suck on it when she wakes up. She's already pretty good at getting her hand in her mouth. But she much prefers sucking on it when it's covered with fabric. This is why I let her work her hands free, and don't just leave them out.

I call the sound of her sucking on her fabric covered hands my "ticking time bomb," knowing that I need to finish up my involvement in Kiddo's activities and be ready to feed soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Infants don't do much (but I sure love them). Once Kiddo figured out the baby wouldn't be playing with her, and instead took up a lot of my time, she wasn't sure how she felt about her. She was sure excited when Baby cried ("the baby is cry-ning!"), but thought our loud shushing her to calm her ("dada is being quiet") was a little weird.

But now Baby is fully integrated. When we leave church, Kiddo calls out "Come on Mama, Come on Dada, Come on Baby" which always makes me smile, as if Baby had a choice about her participation. And at night she says goodnight to me and her individually. And it's been at least a week since I've heard "Mama will put the baby in her swing, and [interaction of choice with Kiddo]."

(Oh, and did I mention she had her first in the bathtub bath?)

FHE activity

Popular wisdom states that children under the age of 2 shouldn't watch TV. Or at least they should only watch educational TV, and in small amounts. I assumed that Kiddo wouldn't watch TV until she was 1. What I hadn't figured in was my child's innate love of the television. At one month she was transfixed by it. We would joke, as we turned on Law and Order, "Do you want to watch a homicide?" And I'll admit that I use it as a babysitter when I'm trying to make dinner, or trying to feed Baby. She's learning to love the Wii too. (See her "drive the princess"?)

She asks me at least once a day, usually more often, when she's moving from one activity to another, "let's watch a little TV." Often the answer is no, but sometimes it's yes, so I suppose she'll keep asking.

Next week my husband will be at a conference and I will solo with the kids for five days. I joked to friend today that if needs be, we could just watch TV all day. Kiddo dropped the book she was currently reading, and ran to me "We can watch TV all day" she announced with excitement. Umm, no.

why I get up in the morning

Not only does she make me very happy, and often makes me laugh, she also wanders into our room and climbs into bed with us. And when her little voice says "I will get you a glass of milk" then we know our slumber is over.

ps - thanks aunt a for the beautiful dress!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


On Sunday Kiddo finally took a nap at 5. Since we were feeding the missionaries we decided to let her sleep through dinner. She may have fallen asleep around 10:30 or 11 that night, with serious intervention from both parents (but mainly daddy).

So on Monday, around 5, when I walked into the main room to find this, I was worried. (She had left the kitchen just a minute or so before. That was one tired girl.)

She would not wake up. About 20 minutes later I tried again successfully. So Monday night she only stayed up until about 9:30.

Monday, June 7, 2010

flexing her agency muscles

Kiddo is learning about agency, that she has it, and more importantly, that it allows her to make different choices than I do. This means that our life is filled with a lot of throwing oneself on the floor (her mostly, only occasionally is it me too). I am blessed beyond measure that only rarely is this accompanied by loud yelling.

For example, today we needed to move the car (for the street sweepers to come through) and so I decided to go to the store too. Kiddo would not go to the potty first, put on clothes, or whatever needed to happen to leave the house. She instead laid on the floor and told me she would just take a little nap. I picked her up and moved her to the bathroom, and then her room to get dressed. It was really frustrating, because it happens all the time.

Like later in the afternoon when I suggested we go to the park. She countered with "on your tricycle?" I agreed. I then said, "okay, we just need to go to the bathroom and put on pants." She chose to flop on the floor and ignore my pleas to get ready to go. After a few minutes of trying to convince her, I said fine. And I chose not to force her to go to the park on her tricycle.

Baby's struggling today too. She wants to feed very often, and isn't great at eating (although miles better than her sister, so I know it could be worse) so feeding all the time isn't so fun for either of us. And when she wants to eat all the time it means she's sleeping poorly.

As we drove to the store I thought about the wrestles I am having with my children, and once again prayed to know how to help them through them, or really, how to fix the problems. And I had a thought, that must actually be inspiration, that some behaviors are not to be fixed, but are to be lived through.

I can be sure that in ten years Kiddo will not throw herself to the floor when we leave the house. (It's also possible that I won't have to remind her to use the restroom, but that may need to wait 15 years.) I can be pretty sure that in the not too distant future many of her behaviors that drive me crazy right now will be gone (to be replaced with other insanity inducing behaviors, which will also be temporary). I can guarantee that in one year Baby will not be having the same eating struggles. And given how time flies, these problems will be in the past before I know it.

Which is why when Kiddo started wailing at the dinner table, crying "Mama will pitchu [pick you] up!" I did, and held her in my lap. Because I know that before I'm ready to, she will no longer want to sit there.

The secret will be in discerning what should be lived through, and what needs intervention. So I'm sure I will still be praying.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

if your mom won't play

We sorted all the toys yesterday, unearthing the violin and the recorder (also known as 'the band' or a 'trumpet'). Since then we have often played a game where one of us strums the violin and sings a song while the other plays the recorder. Since the violin is a fake, and neither of us have any skills with the recorder (or the violin for that matter) these are particularly choice jam sessions.

This evening I was feeding baby, and thus could not (would not?) play along. So Kiddo sat on the couch and played both. Good for her.

stumpy no more

What's wrong with this picture?

Oops, I meant what's right with this picture?
Yes, my second born finally, at six weeks, lost her umbilical cord stump. Her belly button still looks weird. But at least there's no black thing hanging there.

Although after six weeks, it kind of looks wrong to be missing. But I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

excuses, excuses

If you're wondering why I'm not posting all the cute things my girls are doing, well, I think this picture says it all.