Tag Archives: princess dresses

LIFE IN ALL CAPS!

15 Sep

Whine: I CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT believe my little baby girl is five years old. Somebody must have accidentally hit FF on my life.

Cheese: Nothing illustrates this more than the hilarious reruns of Dukes of Hazzard I am currently watching. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in front of the tv in my Daisy Duke Underoos waiting to see how long the General Lee would stay airborne. Or was that yesterday?

Having a baby is fun. Not the actual “having” part, but the getting to take one home with you part. Until they are up at all hours ruining your life, but that’s a rabbit trail for another day. But the really fun part of having a baby is that they turn into kids. And as they grow you get to try and figure out who the heck they are becoming.

You spend all your time speculating on every tiny accomplishment because that’s all you have to go on when they are 9 months old. “Ooh, honey, she threw her spaghetti on the floor with her left hand, maybe she’ll be an Olympic softball player and it won’t matter that we haven’t saved for college!”

Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s dicey moments. Like when your three-year-old walks around like a mini-mobster swinging a sock full of batteries and all you see is a future of long visits at the state penitentiary. Or when it seems that her most viable career option might be as a graffiti/tattoo artist.

As they grow, though, more and more patterns begin to emerge. As I’ve watched my precious firstborn, a few things have grown remarkably clear.

Big Sis lives life IN ALL CAPS. She could teach us all a thing or two about living in the present. And speaking of presents, if you are ever having a bad day, just give this girl a present. Anything, even just a pair of Cinderella socks from the dollar store. She will jump and yell and glow like she’s on the Oprah show getting a new Pontiac.

Right before she ran and threw her arms around me and made me cry.

She gets excited about making a plan then making it happen. Like planning her Candyland Cake four months in advance (I really shouldn’t let her watch Cake Boss anymore) or elaborate building-block Eiffel Towers. Or perhaps filling a 5-gallon jug with water to get a drink. Or using her new grabber toy to reach the donuts on the top of the fridge. Occasionally, cleaning up after “inspiration” strikes is a little more than we bargained for. I think I may know how Thomas Edison’s mother must have felt. And they didn’t even have Magic Eraser back then.

Eat your heart out, Cake Boss (& thank you, Kiki!)

Her hyper-planner side has another downside as well, namely that things that do not go according to plan usually result in unparalleled devastation. I have NO idea where she gets THAT from.

Her enthusiasm extends to everyone she meets, usually in the form of an enthusiastic assault hug. She loves to play dress up with her friends and her brother and even with her sister. She shares her toys with her friends and her brother and not so much with her sister. I love watching her mind work, even if I don’t always understand exactly how she comes up with the things she does.

Big Sis aka Jessie the Cowgirl

She hugs with gusto (heimlich, anyone?), laughs like her life depends on it and somehow convinces me to go play in the rain even though I hate getting my hair wet. I hope she never decides to live her life in lowercase.

Need I say more?

Just a Few More Fridays

19 Feb

Whine: I think I may be gestating a hyperactive giraffe. It seems like this kid is all limbs.  It’s a little bit disconcerting to be punched in the stomach, from the inside, when you are enjoying your roast beef dinner. Or when you are sitting in church, tyring to be serious and listen to the sermon but instead keep gasping as your fetal Michael Phelps swims laps back and forth in your belly.

Cheese: I am not crazy. Well, not completely. The sonogram I had this week proves my point, well, except for that part about the giraffe. At 36 weeks, this kid weighs almost seven pounds. Which means if he hangs out for another five weeks like I think he will, he’ll completely skip the Newborn diapers and go directly to Pull-Ups.

Today is Friday. Which means that at 11 am I am in my pajamas, Big Sis has dressed herself up in ladybug costume, and we are all just kinda doing our own thing. We don’t have anywhere to be; noone needs their hair done or their lunch box packed.

I used to hate days like today. The kids wandering around, playing stream-of-consciousness style, guaranteeing that no room in the house will be left unscathed.  But as my kids get older and their social calendars fill more quickly, I work hard to pencil in some nothing time. Repairing the wreckage of an at-home day is still pretty low on the list of My Favorite Things, but having some time to teach these two to like each other and play together is a gift I can’t replace, unlike my carpet which is covered with marker.

I’ve realized in the last few months that our family has kind of found a rhythm. Mondays are fabulously free — two kids at preschool. Tuesday mornings are spent at Bible Study. (With FREE CHILDCARE!! And snacks.) Wednesdays are Mommy Time with Lil’ Sis. Afternoons are Quiet Rest Time (yes!) and Time with Big Sis. In the evenings we eat together, read lots of books and run fast from Mr. Dad who thoroughly enjoys catching and tickling people, even crabby unsuspecting Mommies. We have a pretty good time around here.

And it’s all about to change.

To heck with rhythms, predictability, clean dishes and sleep. We’re having a baby!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled beyond words to have another child. It’s hard to imagine loving this one as deeply and fiercly as I do his sisters, but I know I will. In fact, for a while I’ll probably prefer his sleepy, snuggly, Johnson’s Baby Wash smelling fuzzy little head to their wiggly, inquisitive, occasionally stubborn personas.

But his arrival in our world will mark a big, big change. And change isn’t bad. It’s just, change.

I’ll have to readjust to living my life in a continual 3-hour loop. To being on the edge of a tear-fest most days just because I’m sleepy. To not being able to play with the girls or run to their aid every time they want me (although I’m not doing a lot of running these days as it is.) But I’ll also have to adjust to sleeping on my stomach again (woo hoo!), well, when I’m actually sleeping. And to having a little buddy to carry around in my sling wherever I go. And needing to eat like a horse to feed this kid. Bummer.

The girls will have to adjust to eating a lot of peanut butter crackers (instead of the gourmet hot dogs they ususally get) and entertaining themselves and shhhhhhh being really, really quiet or both Mommy and Brother are going to start screaming.  But they’ll also have to adjust to having a teeny tiny little brother to adore. Who needs lots of kisses and hugs. And to having to help Mommy wash his soft little hair or change his tiny little diapers (just not Newborn size) or cover his feet with cute little socks. 

Mr. Dad will have to adjust to being Mr. Mom. Tending to the girls. Heating up the frozen pizzas I’ve stockpiled for dinner night after night. Keeping up with the dishes I just didn’t manage to get to. Again. Mostly he’ll have to adjust to the different woman I’ll be. You know, different like every ten minutes or whenever the wind shifts. It’s no easy task to share your wife with a greedy little energy-sucker who’s about a hundred times cuter than you are (sorry, babe!). But he’ll also have to adjust to having a son. To priming him as they rock to sleep on the lifetime ERA of Nolan Ryan and the benefits of zone defense.  To schooling him on the virtues of a high-quality bandsaw. And to teaching him that we never hit a girl, even if they did just dress up your Hans Solo action figure in a Cinderella dress.

So I’m just trying to take a moment, this moment, and think about the life I have right now and admit that I’ll miss it a little bit. I think that’s ok, normal even.  I remember when I was in labor with Big Sis, shedding a tear or two in thinking that that was the last time our family would ever just be me and Mr. Dad. And the day before I was induced with Lil’ Sis, that I probably wouldn’t be snuggling Big Sis to bed for a while. And there was just a tiny hint of sadness in those “lasts.”

But in a squalling, screaming moment filled with pushes, tears and Apgar tests, the sadness melted into a the joy of something new. Squishy and strange-looking, but new. Our new family. I can’t wait to meet you, Little Buddy.

Quiet trips to the library? Probably the last of those for a while.

Kissin’ Cousins

18 Nov

Whine: The other day Big Sis looked me in the face and said, “Mom, what are those cracks around your eyes?”  Hrmph. And followed that with, “And what are those little bumps all over your face?” Double hrmph. I sent her straight to bed with no supper and went to get a facial.

Cheese: I got the “day off” yesterday so I could attend a conference. It’s been so long since I got dressed up (read: not sweatpants/t-shirt) and had a nice lunch (read: not covered in cheerios, not sharing my food wth someone else, not being spat upon) that I almost didn’t even notice the awesome speaker and workshops. (But truthfully, Priscilla Shirer spoke. I found her delightful and inspirational and hilarious–and all after having had a baby just four weeks ago!)

 

I grew up mostly on my own. With no sisters or brothers to call my own, I spent a lot of time playing with Barbies and going door to door in my apartment complex looking for friends, which in retrospect seems highy inadvisable. But then one day something amazing happened. I got sisters. Four of them. And I never looked back.

Years have passed, and between the five of us sisters we’ve had seven kids in seven years. All but one of which are girls. It’s really quite ridiculous, actually. Can you imagine Christmastime in our family? Fluffy piles of princess dresses and tangled up dollar store jewelry, accompanied by the click-clack click-clack of little plastic high heels (aka “fancy shoes). Lots of tea parties, playing mommy and dancing in their fancy clothes. Girls will be girls, won’t they?

But, oh, that one boy. He’s the oldest of the bunch. And for a kid up against odds like that, he navigates the waters very well and in the process has completely captured Big Sis’ heart.  As soon as she learned to talk, she learned to say his name. “Kee-gan.” So the other day Big Sis rediscovered her dolls. She asked me the doll’s name, and I told her she could name it whatever she wanted. So of course the baby doll in the pink dress and hat is now named after her seven-year-old boy cousin.

Yesterday when we were painting, she insisted that I paint a picture of him. Since I paint about as well as Rasha the Painting Pachyderm (and make a lot less money), I was hoping to pacify her by paintng a picture of his head. But she told me he needed legs. I asked if he needed arms too. She said “Yes, to hug me with.”

And the other day we were talking about Auntie S who’s getting married soon. Big Sis decided that she wanted to get married, too. Her daddy was quick to remind her that  little girls don’t get married until they are Much, Much Older. To which she replied, “Yeah, and when Keegan’s older too.” Sigh. If he’s her picture of what a good man looks like, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t ask for better.

Sweet Cousins

 

Speaking of cousins, today is Fancy Nancy’s (aka Daphne) birthday. She turns FOUR YEARS OLD today, so she gets a very special whine and cheese birthday shoutout. (She’s old enough for whine, right?) Happy birthday, little niece. Your spirit and creativity delight. Your dedication to FSU football (including doing the tomahawk chop at an inappropriately young age) inspires. Your playfulness and care for your little sister blesses others (especially your tired mommy). Your ability to memorize every line, every costume, and every movement from Cinderella so you can make Mommy and Daddy reenact it in the middle of a restaurant amuses the rest of us. Here’s to many more years of princess dresses and dollar-store jewelry. We love you and happy birthday!

Fancy Nancy