Thursday, February 21, 2013

They really do love each other!

1) Sitting around the table I asked everyone to tell about their favorite part of the day so far.

Amelia:  I know!  My favorite part of my day was the fire-drill we practiced at school.
Me:  Oh, good one. Very nice.  Evelyn, what was your favorite part of the day today? 
Evelyn:  Ummmm.  Pick up thith!

She loves to wake up from her nap and immediately get herself ready to pick up her "thith" from school.  Can't wait to see her.  Yesterday, when we got to pick up, Evie could see her waiting in line.  Evie lit up and began waving and yelling from her car seat:  "HI MELIA!  HI!" Amelia laughed and waved back from her place in line.  "Hi, Evie!"  Evie continued to wave and smile, "MELIA!  MELIA, COME ON!"  Amelia continued to wait in line for her turn to get into our car.  Evie didn't understand why she wasn't coming.  "MELIA!  YOU WONNA COME?!  COME ON MELIA!"  And when Amelia finally came to the car and settled into her seat, Evie asked her with a smile, "How yer day as skoo, Melia?"
The sweetest. 

2) Yesterday, I gave Amelia a small lecture about listening/obeying me...the first time she is asked/told to do something.  My lecture was not well received.  I "hurt her feelings."  A dramatic response I hear often when she's in any kind of trouble.  She cried and pouted and stomped around for a bit.  Evie followed her every move, watching her with great concern.  She kept asking her questions.  Some I could understand, some I couldn't.

Evie to Amelia:  You want Dada?
Amelia: yes
Evie ran to me with great urgency:  She wants DADA!
Me:  Daddy's not here, Evie.  Leave sis be.

She couldn't let her be.  She wanted to fix whatever was wrong.

Amelia sat on the couch.  Still pouting.
Evie climbed up onto her lap.

Evie in a very empathetic tone and big worried eyes:  You sad, thith?
Amelia with arms crossed:  Yes!  I'm sad! Very sad! 
Evie:  Awwwww.  You want me?  You want me thith?
Amelia:  Yes, I want you Evie.
Evie giving her a big hug and stroking her hair:  Aw.  Don't cry Melia.  Don't be sad.  
Amelia finally cracked a smile...and hugged her back for a lonnnngg time. 
Evie:  You happy now?  Yeth? happy now?
Yes, she's happy now, and both are giggling.  

Meanwhile, I'm am simultaneously laughing while rolling my eyes at all of the dramatics...but mostly filling up with a warm fuzzy feeling.  I love it when they are on the same team.

3) I have mixed feelings about Barbies since Amelia first took at liking to them at age 2.  But lately Barbies are my best friends.  They LOVE to play Barbies together.  I mean just the two of them.  And for long periods of time.  And they don't fight.  Usually.  (Today Evie did poke Amelia in the eye with Barbie's stiletto, while Barbie was wearing them).  But during a long stint of Barbie play.  I heard this conversation:

Amelia:  Evie, what do you think I should wear?  Should I wear this dress or this one?
Evie surveying the choices of sparkly Barbie outfits:  Ummmm.  Dis one.
Amelia:  This one?  Okay.  I'll wear this one. 

I had a flash forward to 10-12 years from now.  Sisters.  Separate from Mom and in their own sisterly world.  Sharing secrets, asking each others opinion on clothes, boys, and other worldly topics.  I felt grateful...for two beautiful girls.  Two beautiful and wonderful and very different sisters.  Grateful that no matter what path they take, they will always have each other to come home to.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just a little bit...

 Three weeks of illness in our house.  First Amelia with a mild enough virus, she can take it like a big kid now.  But the little one, well, she caught the same virus but managed to turn hers into a nasty bout of croup and then a secondary infection.  Croup is no joke.  I feel for parents of children with asthma or allergies...not a good feeling watching your child struggle to get air.  Not a good feeling at all.  Lucky for us, modern medicine provided us with some oral steroids that opened up her airway and got things flowing pretty quickly.  Easy as that.  I might mention that steroids in a two year old are no joke either...major burst of energy and some serious crazy behavior.  So, that was fun.  Along with frequent trips to a steamy bathroom or trips outside wrapped up in winter garb and blankets to breathe in some cold night air...Oh hey, Ev!  Let's go outside at 1:32 am in the freezing cold Michigan winter while you're hacking your lungs up to see if we can't catch a glimpse of that moon tonight!  See it?  Behind all those wintry mix/snow clouds?  No?  Okay then.
She was confused, angry, cranky, tired and coughing, coughing, coughing.  And me?  Sleepless, for almost 3 weeks straight.  She is better now.  She still coughs, and wakes up, crying and upset.  But it's better.  Thankfully.
During waking hours we deal with another kind of sick...sick and tired of the fighting.  So. Much. Fighting.  Sisters fighting.  Little sister, tormenting Big Sister, mostly.  Oh, and Big much drama.  In fact, the world just might come to an end because Little Sister pushed Big Sister (or scratched, hit, tried to bite, name it).  Usually I don't blame her for the drama...because it is getting really old...but sometimes...really?  And the time-outs are NOT working.  And Little Sister has figured out that it is quite an attention get into trouble.  And she tells on herself, regularly.  And I often hear the Big Sister telling her to go tell on herself.  And the minute her dad steps foot in the door each evening, she confesses everything.  Just puts it all out there, like yeah, I did those things, and I have no idea why, I just did them, and then I got in trouble.  And she corrects us when we tell her to say 'I'm sorry' to her sister for hitting..."no mama, i scratch Sissy."  Oh right.  Excuse me.

So today, I woke up feeling defeated.  Overwhelmed.  Tired.  I felt like this cycle of sleeplessness and fighting, and whining and drama would never come to an end.  Ever.  That I would not ever walk about in my own space ever again, or sit in my own space, or sleep in my own space, ever, again.  Or listen to nothing but silence ever again.

And today Ford would be gone 14 hours.  And I knew this.

And on his way out the door this morning, he said to me..."you know, it's only temporary."

Yeah, I know that.

And then he said, "someday they won't want you."

Yeah, I know that too.

And then...they had a great day.  They did.  They played together.  Little Sister did scratch Big Sister, and hit her once or twice.  But it was less dramatic, at least.  Amelia pulled out the awesome Big Sister card and played it well, all day.  I felt encouraged.  Amelia made me and many other people cards and pictures, like she does everyday.  Because she loves to give them.  And Evie was happy.  All day.  And then Amelia picked up the entire living room before dinner without being asked.  And Evie made funny faces and said lots of her funny 2 year old stuff that makes me laugh out loud.  And was just generally so cute because she is just that all of the time...cute.  And I painted all of their piggies and all of their little fingers pink and purple and they were soooo happy about that.  And then Evie, with her naked bottom on the kitchen floor trying to put her big girl underpants on "aww by mysewf," stood up with the brightest face, clapped her hands and exclaimed, "I did it!'  By mysewf!"  Even though both legs were in one hole.  I congratulated her and bent down to help her fix the issue.  She wasted no time in wrapping her little arms around my neck, squeezing me tight and genuinely and happily announcing..."Oh mama!  You da bast!"  To which I replied, "Aww, what did you say?"  She repeated herself and Amelia yelled from the other room..."I think she is trying to say, YOU ARE THE BEST!"

So, THAT is what I needed.  Not my own space.  Or even sleep.  Just a little bit of...something.  Because through it all, they know I love them.  Even when I am impatient and tired, and sick myself.  They know they are everything to me.  Even when life is not perfect.  And by not perfect I mean bananaland.  
And I know they love me too.  With their whole little beings. 
It was a good day. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The close of the summer...

Many a day has passed since posting last. I apologize to my 2nd born...sorry Evelyn. There just does not seem to be enough time lately to gather my least not enough to formulate a witty, entertaining, sentimental blog post...The kind I like to compose late at night, when all is quiet. It seems that the past few months, there has been very little of just that....quiet. Life is scheduled and busy and chaotic and fun and chaotic and challenging and amazing. And tiring. So tiring. Since I last posted the following things have happened along with 27,000 other things that I won't be able to list...

1. Ford graduated from law school. Can I get a hallelujah?
2. Evie started talking. I mean real words. Lots of them.
3. Summer break started.
4. Ford began studying for the bar exam.
5. We moved out of our rental and into my parents' (move #4 since moving to MI) while Ford mostly studied for the bar exam and worked just a little.
6. Ford took the bar exam...and thought it was really hard.
7. Evie grew.
8. Amelia grew.
9. Evie got more teeth.
10. Amelia got her first loose tooth biting her corn on the cob on the 4th of July.
11. Evie caught her first fish.
12. Amelia got her hair chopped.
13. Evie continues to grow the cutest mullet ever.
14. The girls and I got swine flu after attending the Ingham County Fair. While this could not be proved...I'm sticking with it.
15. Amelia turned 5. She was sick on her birthday. Major downer.
16. Amelia lost her first tooth the next day.
17. We moved out of my parents' and into a HOUSE. OMG. (Yes, I said OMG and by the way..move #5) It's a rental, but it's a house, people. And everyone has their OWN room. And there's a swing set out back. Sigh...
18. Evie grew some more, and began speaking in my favorite "I yuh you mama."
19. Ford started his year long clerkship with a federal judge. Fancy.
20. Amelia started her 3rd and final year of preschool.
21. By the grace of God, we all managed to survive law school and the bar exam.
22. We had a great summer with family and friends and took trips north to Mackinac, Cross Village and Houghton Lake.

I just might be back at this. For the two of you who still check to see if I am alive...

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Unfortunate Streak

Oh so many things. Let me start by saying that tomorrow, Monday April 23rd, is Ford's LAST day of law school! He still has finals but no more classes. It's truly hard to believe. Can it be real???
Next, it's been a rough week for little Evelyn. She took her first trip to the emergicenter...she's fine but it was eventful. She's a little trooper, but she suffered a deep and nasty cut between her thumb and first finger. How? Well, sadly this mishap happened during a moment of happy and synergetic play between two sisters. The girls were playing together with a toy top, Evie watched while Amelia pumped it vigorously to make it spin. Evie reached in and grabbed it at the wrong moment. I knew it when I saw her face. It was deep. There was blood. She wasn't happy. I grabbed her and raced to the kitchen sink. As Ford and I were tending to Evie, I turned to see a very pale and quivering lipped Amelia, her big browns flooded with worry. Now I had two kids in need. I gently assured Amelia that Evelyn was going to be fine. She couldn't hold it in any longer. She burst and then confessed while wailing, "it's my fault, I did it to her!" Guilt. My heart went out to the kid. I hugged her tight and told her it was NOT her fault and that it was just an accident. She didn't believe me. I hugged her some more. She sobbed. Now two kids crying.
So, time to divide and conquer. This was one injury Boo Boo Bunny was not cut out for. Ford had Evie duty and I stayed home to take Amelia's mind off of what was about to go down at the emergicenter. A tough decision for me...what child to be with? I'm the mom, I'm supposed to be with them when they get hurt. But let's face it, Ford is better emotionally when it comes to he put it "when they get (badly) hurt it gets you straight in the heart." He's right. I learned this about myself my very first day of motherhood. I don't do well when my babies are in (physical) peril. I sort of crumble. Thought I'd be better at it and for sure better at it by now. Guess I'll have to work on that.
By Ford's account, it took two people to hold Evie down (she is amazingly strong) while the doctor poured hydrogen peroxide directly into the wound, inspected it and decided that while the cut was deep, gluing it would need for stitches. Whew. Three or four layers of glue later, and only after the doctor left the room did Evie stop crying and immediately began giving Ford the business about what the heck just happened to her. While babbling, she began pointing toward the door, he asked her if she wanted to go home, she giggled nervously and nodded her head, like "heck yeah I want to go home!" She didn't cry about it again. Didn't even care about her bandage. On with life as usual. Keeping the band aid dry for 5 days was a bit of a challenge but we did it. She's healing nicely. Amelia seems to have healed as well.

Then two days later, Evie tripped and smacked her head HARD on the bottom crossbar of our dining room table. Even Ford reacted with an loud and unsettling "WHOA!!" I fully expected to pick her up and see blood pouring from her brown bone. But alas, spared again...just a nasty goose-egg. I have learned in my 4.5 years that those are quite common and usually harmless at this young age. Good to know. Dr. Frank in Nashville had his share of visits and calls from us after most of Amelia's bad head bonks. God made those little heads hard for a reason. Real hard. Good design.

But then, yesterday a fever set in with no apparent symptoms other than extreme crabbiness...she did seem more sleepy than usual. An infection? The beginning of a cold? Today, though the fever broke, we noticed red spots around her mouth and a few on her bum, a decreased appetite (although ice-cream was not a problem tonight)...I'm suspecting hand, foot, mouth disease. Sounds nasty but relatively common in children. Amelia had it at 12 months and with same progression of symptoms. A trip to the doc tomorrow to rule out anything else and then we deal. Let's hope this is the end of this unfortunate streak...did I mention we all had the stomach bug last month while Ford was on his spring break? Even the babe. THAT was a real doozie. To remind myself (years from now and several stomach bugs later) of this first bout of family stomach virus I will just quote Amelia yelling as she is running through the house and while Ford is running Evelyn to the kitchen sink (a little too late I might add) while I am lying on the bathroom floor unable to assist but listening to it all..."I'LL GET THE GREEN BOWL, I'LL GET THE GREEN BOWL!!"

Bottom line is even the second time around, these injuries and illnesses are still hard on baby AND mama. And daddy. And sister too. I am smarter than I was the first time around, and there is something to be said about that, but my heart doesn't ache for them any less.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Washing Machine Dance

When Evie hears the washing machine, she dances her special "washing machine dance" which she made up on her very own. She's inspired by rhythm and the washing machine gets her every time...

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's been a while...I realize. What I will remember about this time of life, (ie. last semester of husband's law school; a busy and talkative, 4.5 year old attending and LOVING 1/2 day pre-school 5 days a week; and a 14 month old to CHASE, feed, play with, hold, pick up and kiss superficial boo boos after falling 227+ times a day, coerce into napping twice a day along with well, just everything else that happens in LIFE) boils down to this...I AM TIRED. Once everyone is asleep I have a few quiet moments to ponder what I might do before I so many things that I could do before I crash...and unfortunately, writing a new blog post is far down on the list. I am feeling a little guilty about this, but I will remember to remember that this time of our lives is tiring. But so rewarding and sweet and funny and all worth it.

I don't often post about the trials we face in our daily routines. Keeping it light, you know...but that's just not always reality. Let's face it.
Anyone who knows Amelia knows she is smart. She is fiercely independent. And she is particular. We've struggled with clothing in the past. The way it feels, how it fits...basically overall comfort. And there were many a costume changes daily, so many changes, can't even count how many per day. This was a hard one at times...I won't go into detail but just was HARD. I am happy to say, that this once very large hurdle, has become but a pebble in our path. Amelia has matured and overcome most of her issues with this one, to the great relief of her parents. A mere phase. Thank the LORD.
That's not to say that we, meaning her parents, are not on edge every now and again when we see Amelia (who has picked out her own outfits since she was 1.75 years old) pull something out of the closet or drawer that has proved challenging in the past. And by challenging, I mean, sit down, take off your coat and shoes, we're not going anywhere for at least a half an hour...
Today, Amelia pulled out the tights. Tights. Seem innocent enough? Not in the history of this house. Tights belong in a group of fashion-wear that, well, just never should have been invented, apparently. But none-the-less, we have a pair or two in the sock drawer, as Amelia has always understood their fashion value, of course.
And feeling fashionably inspired this morning after a long and luxurious shower, Amelia decided on a frilly short-sleeved shirt and matching purple skirt, and...tights.
Now, Amelia had a tummy bug yesterday and stayed home from school today to recoup. No need to dress up or even dress for that matter...jammies would have been fine. But Amelia likes to look her best. Ford walked by her room and saw her quietly sitting on her bed attempting to put these infamous tights on by herself and he saw her struggling...key word here...quietly. However, out of habit, I'm sure, he immediately leaped into "diffuse before the explosion" mode.

Ford: Amelia, honey, you aren't going to school today, you don't need to put on tights. Just put on something comfy.
Amelia obviously had her mind made up and continued with her plight.
Ford: Amelia, why don't you just take those tights off?
Amelia, sweetly and calmly: Dad, be your own mind.
(I believe she meant to say "mind your own business").

She happily wore those tights all day, even though the crotch was sagging most of the time and gravity had caused the ankles to bunch after just a few hours. I even hate when that happens.
Amelia? Fine. (Proud of you, Amelia). :)
A corner has been turned.
And yeah, Ford, be your own mind.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Sometimes the sweetness can be overwhelming.

Our bedtime routine includes standing in front of the crib holding Evie and swaying gently back and forth in the quiet, darkened room to soft music. She takes this as her cue to settle in and get snugly. Her own routine involves adjusting her lovey upon my shoulder (or Ford's), laying her head down on my shoulder, and often patting my arm while she starts to doze. Tonight she did her normal routine and I had one of those moments where I felt extra happy and grateful just to be holding her, feeling her little hand pat my shoulder and listening to her soft breathing and sucky sounds. I spent a few seconds trying to ingrain that feeling into my brain...knowing this stuff doesn't last forever. I whispered "night night sweet baby, I love you...can mommy have a kiss?" She picked up her head, smiled behind her sucky and giggled softly. She nodded her head as if to say, 'Sure Mama, you can have a kiss.' Then she leaned in and I kissed her soft cheek, she turned her head away without a sound and laid back down on the lovey, upon my shoulder...and went to sleep.