Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So Proud

I have a lot to be proud of this week.

Katie learned to ride her bike and gave her first project talk for 4-H. She did great, did the prep work herself and answered the questions afterward. The only real objective of that talk: to help her overcome her stage fright, and that she did!

Maggie has been behaving great, or at least great for her, and is showing some real maturity. She has been going to bed without a fight and trying to be a big help. Today she's exhausted, after swimming at the pool, but still wasn't terrible. Maybe she's finally learning to "control your body" as we continually remind her to do.

Lainie has had a speech boom, in that she's talking in sentences; they might not be clear enough for others to understand, but Jay and I understand. "I wanna go in the pool." "I go play with my baby." And my favorite of the week: "I wanna go breed cows."

Natalie is a rolling machine. She only stays on her back for a few moments before flipping to her belly and getting up on her elbows. She's a strong little babe, and a trooper. She handled today's vaccinations with no problem, even though I do see a minor injection site reaction on one leg.

But what I'm most proud of, is me. Jay went to Abilene tonight to help his dad with some harvest stuff. And the girls and I did great. Not only did we handle the evening, but we also went grocery shopping. I got them all to bed without a single tear shed and even settled in for a soaking bath, easy book, and a cold beer.

Ahhh, can life get any better than that? :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My favorite mom-isms

Every mom has them, those special sayings reserved just for your kids. My mom's favorite was, "Unless there is blood, I don't want to hear about it."

We have our own repertoire of sayings, and here are my favs:

  • No hits, no spits, no fits. This is our golden rule for toddler-hood, the minimum we expect from our girls, from age 1 to, well, 8. :)
  • Happy Hula, Happy Hula, Lainie made Yellow! (Or brown.) That's our potty training song, used on all the girls thusfar. And it works, but it does require some fancy hip-shakin'.
  • Don't be so atti-toot-ee. It's used when the girls start acting pre-teen and almost always makes them giggle, which diffuses the tension.
  • Pick a number from 1 to 10. Yep, folks, that's how a majority of our "it's my turn!" arguments are solved. Closest person wins. I think it's a throw-back to our diaper-changing solution of paper-rock-scissors to see who's turn it is.
  • Just remember, treat others the way you want to be treated. That one is almost always preceeded by some injustice of sister-not-letting-me-play-with-_____.
  • Add it to your wishlist. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, if the girls go to the store and see something they really really want, then we never walk out of the store with it. Instead, we tell them to add to their wishlist. It's amazing how many things get dropped from the list.
How about you? I'd love to here your favorite mom-isms. Maybe I can add to my list! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

My amazing kids

It didn't take me long to realize you can only brag about your kids so long before 1) your friends avoid you; 2) your parents tune you out; and 3) your kids start listening and get an ego problem. That, and I just don't know how to say "I think my kid is the most amazing child ever" without it sounding like, "my kid's better than yours." So, I don't think I brag about them in their presence or in public (very often), but I think they are amazing, each in her own way.

Katie is the kindest, most obedient child I've ever met. She gets so mad when someone breaks the rules, even if that someone is herself. She hurt one person's feelings this year, on accident, and still is upset with herself for that. She is so helpful and so smart, coming up with such complex ideas. She is temperamental, especially with me, but we are both learning how to control or avoid her outbursts and are getting along better and better. And she and her daddy are awesome together.

Maggie is so exuberant, boisterous, all-going, full of life. She cracks me up hourly, with something she says or does. It takes a lot to make Maggie mad, but I've seen her shake with anger when someone messed with her sister. She knows what she wants and doesn't let much get in her way, but she isn't mean about it. It's hard to convince her to do something she doesn't want to do, and she'll usually find a way to avoid it. But, she's getting better at following directions from adults, at least. (edited to add: I didn't mention that she was smart, really really smart. I'm sure that means something, that I left it out. But what?)

Lainie is working so hard to catch up. She spends a lot of time just looking around, taking things in. Yesterday, she counted these tabs on Jay's truck, one at a time, up to 15. She loves her "baby nad-lee" and wants to carry her around instead of her baby dolls. She, more than any, needs one-on-one mommy and daddy time, and really enjoys reading bedtime stories with just us. OH, and I think she's adorable, with those big brown eyes and beautiful skin. (Truly, I think all my girls are beautiful. That's my job. I'm their mom.)

Natalie is doing so well. She is the worlds happiest baby, that's for sure. She smiles all the time and with very little effort on our part. She's started laughing and making goooo sounds. She has held herself in a sitting position once and is rolling back to belly and belly to back. She bats at objects and just started grabbing them and batting them together. She slept through the night a couple times, but mostly wakes once or twice a night. And always wakes up with a big smile.

It doesn't seem fair, that I can't tell them every day how amazing they are, that I can't tell everyone I run into that my girls are the most unbelievable creatures ever created. But, that's because every parent knows their child IS the most amazing child ever, or should feel that way. Every child has some special trait, some special feature, that makes them perfect. It doesn't take long, in the presence of children, to see that children really are God's gifts to us.

Now, if only I can remember that when Katie's throwing attitude, Maggie's screeching, Lainie's NOT potty training, and Natalie wants to eat NOW. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Four GIRLS?!?!

Why are people so vocal in their shock/disbelief at our family? "You have FOUR?! You have FOUR DAUGHTERS?!"

I don't mind at all when friends do it. They are conversing nicely, being kind.

But when complete strangers do it, especially in front of my kids, it irks me. How many times must Katie hear "oh, your poor husband" before she starts to believe that Jay loves his daughters less than he would a son? Which daughter are we supposed to trade in for a boy? Which one do they think we'd give back?

Yes, the teenage years are probably going to be rough. Probably a mass mess of menstrual madness. But we'll survive. Hormonal will be our norm, for many many years. (hmm, just realized the girls will probably get through puberty just in time for me to hit menopause. lovely.)

But, talking to a friend this weekend, we realized that the daughters in the family are usually the caregivers for the parents, when the parents are unable to care for themselves. I'm the only daughter; it falls on me. Jay's sister is the only daughter; it's probably going to fall on her shoulders. But, lucky Jay and I, we have FOUR daughters! They can share the care!

And, until you've experienced it yourself, you don't know the bliss of watching your little girls jam out to ANY music, wearing an assortment of dance costumes and princess dresses, putting on a show like no other. Or, lining up in the bathroom for a nail-painting marathon. Or, learning how to fix each others hair.

So, don't feel sorry for me, with my four beautiful girls. Say, "lucky you!" and mean it. Because I am lucky and blessed with my four-pack!