Friday, February 24, 2012

Natalie Turns Three!

(Funny side note to start -- I wrote Natalie turns two as the title. Yep, it went that fast.)

My Natalie-new is three years old, although she'll tell you she is six. She is a handful, stubborn, comical, strong-willed, entertaining, stubborn, loving, and did I mention stubborn? She set the new family record for bite-in-mouth-without-swallowing earlier this winter, and not too much has changed since. We've talked about potty training, tried panties-and-clean-up for three weeks, tried pull-ups, tried just letting it go. Her reaction now? She laid on the floor this morning and said "wah-wah-wah, I a baby mommy. I need a diaper." Inversely, she loves being a big helper and is so excited when we remember to ask her to do something, like get napkins or help make cupcakes or fix the toilet.

But she also laughs with her whole being. She loves to play/say "The Three Little Pigs" over and over again. Her little language missteps crack us up, like saying Bs for Ts (which makes Boots pretty funny) and that she sings her ABCs as "S-E-X-W-E-Y-C", and no I don't know where either of those sayings came from. Her favorite phrases are “Guy, guys, come on, guys! Wook at dis!” and “Come here!” which comes out “Tum here!” We hear a lot of “I don’t know” when she doesn’t want to answer, even if she does know. Refer back to “stubborn.”

She adores pancakes and Walleta's and her sisters and Bubble Guppies and Dora the Explorer and "my park" aka the new playground in town.

I did get her to the Child Check for development screening a few weeks ago, and she checked out a-okay. I worry about her speech, since she hears so many incorrect sounds from her big sisters. But there isn’t a big alarms that say she’s headed toward speech therapy. Developmentally, she’s right where she should be.

I don't know how much she weighs or how tall she is, because I'm a slacker mom aka mom-in-school and will schedule her 3-year well-child check for spring break. But I know she is a little one, still a lightweight. She still has those gorgeous blue eyes and shocking blonde hair. Thanks to a few battles and falls, her nose has the tiniest little bump-scars right on the bridge, which she tends to scratch at and scab over and over again.

Her birthday celebration was a bit toned down, but apparently included everything she wanted it to have. Balloons were delivered to daycare, and cupcakes were made (from scratch) with pink inside, purple frosting, and M&Ms on top... just like she requested. Special happy face pancakes.

And, yes, we sang to her, just like she told us to.

And look who has decided the camera is her friend:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our mornings

Having a houseful of girls, we get all sorts of funny comments and expressions from people. Often we hear, "Oh, I can only imagine what mornings are like!"

Well, here's a taste of a good one:

Thursday, February 16, 2012


We've had some rough spots in the past two months, some of which we've shared for the bolster of support, some of which we've held close, to heal on our own. Altogether, it's just hard, sometimes too hard.

Everywhere I look for sayings, songs, prayers, psalms, something to boost my faith and spirit. I need that reassurance that God has a master plan and there is a reason to kick us while we are down. Even the superficial struggles -- financial, car troubles, home repairs, scheduling conflicts, work challenges, school struggles -- are enough to break me. I feel like a playdoh version of myself trying to lift a boulder without losing my shape.

But on the bright side, my husband is awesome. He made me rest when I needed rest, he took care of the household when I couldn't. He took care of the girls, he took care of me. Now, he's got a cold and is exhausted and I can't find even half a day that he can and would stop and rest. I can't return the favor, because I'm spending every spare minute trying to get through this last semester of school. All I can do is try to take back the household chores and free that time for him. That's not much when growing season has started.

But growing season's start and Ash Wednesday and taxes done and spring break just a few weeks away -- all that means that we are halfway through this spring. It means we aren't far from the end of this struggle, this two and a half year struggle.

Lord, I pray it has been worth it. I hope I didn't put my family through this for nothing. I know I'll be happier, but I pray they will be too.