Thursday, March 31, 2011

in the afternoon...

... I often find my two girls reading. I love it.

baby kisses

At the library the other day, I kept leaning in to kiss Babs' cheek.

Then she leaned in, and put her lips next to my cheek.

Baby kisses - they're as heavenly as baby pats.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

when your only tool's a hammer...

...all the world's a nail.

Or, in Babs' case, if your only word (sign) is "more" it will have to do.

When she wants something, whether that be to be put down, food, to be put to bed, she signs "more." We rarely know quite what it means (although it's pretty clear when one of us has some candy), but we do know it means she wants something, so at least we can try to fill a need. I suppose now I need to learn, then teach, more signs, so this girl can tell me what she wants to say.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

red eye begone

While I was visiting my parents, my dad noticed that my camera is held together by a rubber band. I assured him this was not a fashion choice, but because my camera is bit broken (pictures good, everything else a little worn out). Since my dad had a nice camera that he doesn't use anymore, he gave it to me. Excellent.

I messed around with it a little before I left, and made a comment that this camera seems serious about its flash. My mom indicated that she was hoping it would reduce red eye. You'll be grateful to know mom, we get much less red eye with this camera. We get this instead:

oh wait, is that red eye for my husband?

It is super convenient for outside of the house though, where flashes and red eye are less of a problem, so I am still grateful for it. Thanks dad!

people and places

Kiddo is very concerned with relationships and locations right now - specifically those of parents. She spent most of the trip to my parents referring to her grandparents as "your mom and dad." (In fact one day, she asked me where Grammy was. I told her she was at a meeting, and she very sincerely told me, "Don't worry, your mommy will be home soon.") This led to conversations about Kiddo's Daddy's mom and dad, and where they live. Grandma is easy. Kiddo's paternal grandpa, who died before she was born, is a different story. We simply tell her (truthfully) he is in heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus.

It took a few tries to work out any questions, but now she knows where to locate all the grandparents.

Yesterday we were taking Daddy to work. As we were getting ready to walk out the door Kiddo stops, and says, "What do we do before Daddy leaves for work? We pray!" and then started in. She was grateful that we could go on planes to all the places where mom's mom and dad and daddy's mom were. Then she was grateful that Daddy's Daddy was in heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus.

We are too.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Sometime in the last few months, my home has changed from a place where chaos seemed to be the default, to a clean home. I used to feel that we operated under the one room rule - only one room could be orderly at a time, and to get one room right meant the next one wasn't.

But the last few days I've recognized that we've tipped the balance. Most of the house is orderly now. We go to bed with everything in its place. Oh yes, by bedtime there are toys everywhere, and a veritable mound of dishes. But the dishes get done, and Kiddo is very good at getting dirty clothes in the bin, and the toys get put away quickly.

We have not solved the clutter problem, but we're consistent at chipping away. The secret? Well, it's no secret. One, things need to have a home, or they can't be put away. Two, it takes time every single day. But for the peace that comes with a few clear flat spaces and floor, I can do it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

no update on sizes

Yesterday, my mother-in-law asked me what size shoe Babs wears, so she can buy her some shoes. I told her I didn't know, but I was planning on trying on some in various sizes for church and I would report back. I did know that every time I'd tried to put on a 6-12 month shoe (size 2), she would cry, so I was pretty sure it wasn't that.

Here is my report: I don't know. We attempted to try on a pair of size 3 and size 4 shoes. The wearer was uncooperative. Babs curled her toes up so her foot was just a fat little ball for either shoe. We could not unfold them. We could not relax her so she didn't care. She didn't seem to fit in either... This could be why she didn't fit in the other shoes as well.

For today we put her in some Robeez, that are super roomy, and eventually she stopped balling up her feet. Maybe after a few days she'll let us try on "real" shoes, and figure out what size she is after all.

Friday, March 25, 2011

give and take

This girl brings me immense joy every day. What I'm particularly enjoying right now is that she has started initiating interactions - more than just crawling to me to have me pick her up.

She hands food to us that she doesn't want, or else wants us to hold so she can eat it. She understands some words, like "Babs! Don't do that!" (This most often refers to pulling Kiddo's hair. Usually she looks straight at me, smiles, and pulls faster, knowing the fun is almost up. But sometimes she stops.) She's starting to use sign language for "more" or also interpreted food. She holds out her hands so we will help her walk.

She's thinking about walking, and standing.

She is not just responding to us interacting with her, she's reaching out to us. It's marvelous.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

me and my brain

My primary goal currently, past keeping the kids alive, is to make sure that when we move, nothing extra comes along. (Are you moving? you say, Where? Answer: Somewhere. My husband's job has an end date later this year. So we will go wherever this undisclosed (to us) job is. Is this disconcerting, this uncertainty? you ask. Answer: Yes. But we've done it before, and we have faith and hope that our lives are well taken care of in the Lord's hands.) This means that I am determined to go through every box we have and make sure that anything we are holding onto has value for us, either we use it, or we love it. Everything else goes.

Sort of.

I was going through my school papers. As I opened up the boxes, I had it in my head that I was ready to let it all go. But I really wasn't. A lot of it went back into the boxes. I couldn't face recycling them. I told my husband about it. He replied "Not ready to give up your last connection to your brain?" No, I replied, I'm not.

So, apparently we're keeping things we use, we love, or we want. I can handle that list too.

watching for the little one

Kiddo occasionally makes comments that help me see life from her perspective, especially concerning her little sister.

When Babs had a cold, I often heard: "Wow, Babs, that is a big bubble" [of snot].

Now that Babs is pulling herself to standing on anything and anyone: "No Babs, don't pull my pants down."

Amidst noise of questionable nature: "We're having fun!" "Is Babs crying?" "Yes." "Then you're not both having fun."

And whenever Babs has found a toy she likes: "She wants to share with me!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

when daddy comes home

It is possible that I'm not up for all of my child's desired adventures. Perhaps the mess is too big, or I'm too tired, or maybe I just don't want to play. So I tell her, "No, that's something we do with Daddy, and you can do it with him when he gets home."

The first few times, she would ask over and over, until she finally believed that we were waiting. The next few times it successfully put off whatever activity it was that I was avoiding. But the catch was that she always remembered. So Daddy got bombarded at the door with "Daddy's home, now we can ... " with no other preamble. As I watched this situation unfold, I learned I also had to specify that it would happen when he got home, after we had dinner.

Now I can put anything off for any length of time, I just have to know that she'll remember. She may not mention the desired activity once from the time I say later to whenever later is, but moments before later happens, she announces: Now we get to...

So it's only a temporary reprieve.


The other side of this is that sometimes I just say no. Then she'll repeat the request as if I hadn't said anything. So I'll say no again. And she'll ask again. This time I'll say with some frustration "What did I just say?" "I don't know," she'll reply without guile. She only listens for yes, and later.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

things as they really are

This picture was taken by the amazing Wendolin Mercado - who consistently catches amazing pictures of any child. If you live in North Texas, look her up.

"and mom said no"

Kiddo makes up songs all the time. They are about life, her thoughts, her things, and recent happenings. Last night at the dinner table she made up another song. It talked about how she had a snoopy toy in her bag, about how she loved noodles. But mostly it was a chronicle of our most recent exchange (paraphrased from my memory):

I asked if I could watch Busytown (TV) while I waited for my dad to come home.
My mom said No.
I asked again, please, can I watch Busytown?
My mom said no, my mom said no, my mom said no.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

what a day!

On Thursday, we needed to go to the bank, and my husband had handled most of the morning routine for me, so I volunteered that we would drive him into work. As we got everyone in the car, he turned to me and said "It's a beautiful day..." I assumed the next half of the sentence would be "why don't I just take the bus so you can walk to the bank?" I was wrong. He said "...why don't we go to the zoo right now?"

I mean, going to the zoo this week was the plan, but not until Friday. And right at that moment the only thing I could think of was "We're not packed for a day trip!" but instead I said "Okay!" He went into the house to drop off his backpack, and came out with the stroller, and a few more essentials for the day. And we went.

As I was waiting for him I also realized Kiddo hadn't had breakfast yet, so after the bank, and the grocery store for some breakfast we were on our way.

At the zoo we saw what our zoo had to offer, which is not a lot, but still lots of fun for Kiddo. And she rode the carousel, which took a lot of courage because instead of being fancy horses, it was endangered animals, like tigers and other assorted beasts. She, at the end of our visit, chose to ride the "spotted leopard frog." We left with a zoo membership for me and Kiddo (Babs is free) so we have a nice place to visit for the rest of our time here.

Later that afternoon Kiddo went to the park with Daddy to play, play, play.

Then, that night, we took Kiddo to a local high school musical, Cinderella. She stayed up way past her bedtime, but loved the singing, and dresses, and the mice. She did pretty well considering she's three, and whatever behavior lapses she had (a lot of whispering) was masked by the more disruptive behavior of the high school students in the audience. It was a lot of fun for her, and me, and hopefully Daddy too. (Babs stayed home, asleep, with a neighbor.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

7 seconds and counting

Babs forgot to hold onto anything today while standing. Yes, she is officially bi-pedal, for a few moments anyway.

"for my friends"

Kiddo is big on sharing right now. And it's actually the right kind (not to be confused with her definition of it for the last while, which meant using the belongings of others). It's very sweet.

A few weeks ago, she insisted that she bring her chocolate candies in her heart purse to nursery so she could share with her friends there. And while we were visiting my parents, my friend visited with her boys, and Kiddo shared her cupcakes with her "boy friends." She even shares (some) with Babs, taking turns "winning" when they wrestle.

Although those tend to be more of a draw, given that Babs plays rougher (lots of hair pulling) but Kiddo is bigger.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the girls

Some of my friends have kids that are little carbon copies of one another.

Mine on the other hand, are not. At least it makes it easy to tell baby pictures apart.

Oh, except they are both exceptionally cute, so they have that in common.