Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January Joys

I guess I haven't had much to write about lately or have just been too in over my head with everything to write things down.  Or have too many of those "Is it 6:30pm yet so my kids can just go to bed so I can relax and do four loads of laundry, pack their bags for morning, crochet two more hats, and finish watching a tv show all at the same time??!!!!" moments.  Yes, that's what it's been.

Julia has decided that it's super fun to scream at the top of her lungs in the middle of the night.  There are no quiet warnings with coos or ba-ba's.  Just a great big scream and two very jumpy parents who are dashing down the halls trying to get to her so she doesn't wake Riley.  We're going on four nights now of interrupted sleep.  Last night she woke up at 3am and we dashed in there (not because we were worried, but to keep Riley from waking).  I picked her up and she started laughing.  Not a little laugh, but a hearty "haha - I yelled and you came.  I win" laugh.  So I held her for a few minutes and seeing that she was just wide awake, I laid her back down so I could sleep.  Thankfully, she actually fell asleep too.  Still trying to figure out how to get her not to yell like this, but how in the world do you make that apparent to a ten month old?

As for Riley, she's just growing so much.  She told me yesterday that I am the best Mommy she never had.  I'm going to assume she meant I'm the best Mommy she ever had.  She has also said the same to Jeremy.

She has been having some time to herself in the playroom when we first get home which has really seemed to help.  She plays games or does puzzles and seems to really enjoy some time to herself before Julia and I come in and take over.

Tonight she was working on a puzzle and we finished it together.  Then she told me she wanted to do it by herself so I started to go help with Jules, but then she said "Well, maybe I want you to help me.  Because friends do that.  They help each other."  So we did the puzzle together again.  Loved that she wanted to do it with me and I loved watching her work through it as she did it and I simply gave a little guidance.

Well, now that I've just finished putting Riley to bed and finished writing this little blog, Julia is now crying.  So off I go!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Julia

Our big blue-eyed girl is ten months this week.  Sure has been a fast year.  Speaking of fast, Julia has become a very fast crawler.  She manages to hold a toy or object in one hand, put her head down and just fly across the room (figuratively, not literally).  She has discovered many things:  food she can eat herself, the oven handle, cabinet doors, the bathroom and curtains.   And here's what she does with them:

Foods:  LOVES Ritz crackers, Turkey/rice, Chicken/rice, Baby Yum Yums (wafers) and wheat bread that is in small pieces.  She cries if she sees a cracker and you take it away.  She cries if she sees you holding the box to put it into the pantry.  She smiles huge if you give her any of the above items.  Then she screams as loud as humanly possible.  This is the same way we are woken up each morning at 6:30am on the weekends.  With high pitched, ear piercing screaming.

Oven Handle:  She loves to dart into the kitchen, climb the cabinet and reach for the oven handle.  Scares me to death!  Thankfully the controls lock, but not the door.  Who thought of that?!  As for the cabinet doors, she knows how to open them.  Let's just say she's nowhere near the kitchen if we can help it. Unless she's in the high chair if we can help it!  (and yes, we have kitchen cabinet locks.... in our drawer.  Planning to put them on this weekend.)

Bathroom:  She finds herself very funny when she gets to the hallway only to find I have forgotten to shut the bathroom door.  Julia squeals in delight and books it into the room.  She loves to climb onto Riley's step stool.  Thankfully, that's as far as she's gotten!

Curtains:  Julia loves that curtains move and that they are soft.  This evening I went to throw something away while she was in the living room.  As I'm walking back into the room, I notice the curtain swaying and moving back and forth.  Julia is crawling away from them.  She sees me and laughs hysterically at herself.  Then stops to clap and open her mouth with a very sly "ha!  ha ha!"  coming out.  She continues to do this for several minutes, obviously amused by herself.

Best Dream Ever

Riley loves to sleep.  Actually, we love it when Riley sleeps because ever since she was two years old, she decided she really didn't like sleeping.  Until then, she was a great napper and a great sleeper.  Two years old hit and gone were the naps.  In fact she once announced to Grandma that she "made it a short one today"  (referring to her nap - which was about five seconds long).

So tonight Riley is having much difficulty going to sleep.  It is 9:20pm and she is still up.  Her normal routine is to be in bed at 7:00pm or there about.  She has become good at stalling.  Her sweet lines tonight were "Can you stay with me and listen to one more song?" and "I love you Mom.  I love you Dad.  Dad!  Dad!  I love you!  Mom!  Mom!  I love you!"  and "I need to tell you something."  A few minutes ago she came to the top of the stairs and said:

"I just had the most beautiful dream!"

Which amazes me because it was less than a minute ago that she came to the stairs to tell us she loved us.  What a beautiful, short dream that must have been!  Sure do love her...

Papyrus and Polka Dot

Jeremy and I were getting Riley ready for bed.  Just the usual routine of picking which book she wanted to read.  She started to cry (for whatever reason, I don't remember) and so I decided to make a joke about trying to figure out which story in the Bible we should read.  So I made up names of stories.  "How about Papyrus?  Where is he in here?  How about Polka Dot? (she was wearing polka dot pants)  I know I saw her somewhere!"

So Riley started giggling and laughing.  Then Jeremy opened the Bible and actually found the story of "Papyrus and Polka and Dot."  You may be familiar with it.  It goes like this:

Jesus (pronounce the Spanish way, Hey-sous) was friends with Papyrus (Lazarus), Polka (Mary) and Dot (Martha).  Polka was listening to Jesus, but Dot was busy in the kitchen working hard and getting very frustrated.  Dot wanted Polka to come help her.  Finally Jesus said "Dot, Dot - Polka has chosen what is best."

Riley couldn't stop giggling.  Best line was the "Dot, Dot" and all of us were laughing.  So for the rest of the night while we lay in her bed praying, we had to refer to her as either "Polka" or "Dot."  Then she would say "Polka - me!"  and giggle over and over.

And that is the story of Papyrus, Polka and Dot.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Unicorn Bible

Apparently (Riley's new favorite word - as is Camouflage) there are unicorns in the Bible.  I had no idea until tonight that they were even mentioned.  We always do a devotional with Riley and she gets to pick which story from the Bible we read together.  Tonight I asked if she wanted to read one and then I would read one.

So she pointed to the cover of the Bible and said "The Unicorn Bible!"  She is on a unicorn kick at the moment.  She sleeps with a unicorn pillow pet some nights.  Other nights she holds her stuffed unicorn that Gpa and Gma bought.  She has a unicorn jewelry box.  And loves Barbie movies that feature unicorns.  Guess it's just a phase...

Tonight she read us two stories:  The sneaky unicorn (aka snake in the garden of Eden) and David and Unicorn Goliath.  Here are her versions:

The Sneaky Unicorn

In the garden of Even there was a sneaky unicorn.  He asked Eve if she did not want to be like God.  Eve ate the fruit of the tree.  They heard God walking through the Garden of Even.  They stood by the trees.  He said "Did you eat the fruit?"  Adam said "Yes, but Eve gave it to me."  Eve said "Yes, but the unicorn gave it to me."  So they left the garden.  And God put a flame and a snake on the barbie."

David and Unicorn Goliath

Unicorn Goliath was big and mean.  He said (and she lowers her voice as much as she can for dramatic effect):  "If we win, we will be your slaves.  If you win, you will be our slaves."  Then David came and he was not scared.  He picked up stones and held them.  He wooked at Unicorn Goliath and said "I come to you in the name of the Ward (Lord)."  The stone hit Unicorn Goliath in the forehead.  He fell to the ground.  The End!

A few things I noticed:
1 - She's retaining the basics of the Bible stories we read her.
2 - She can tell a story that has a plot and a storyline and get most of the facts right.
3 - Unicorns actually appear in the Bible if you are a three year old with a great imagination.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Compelling Story

Several months ago my sister-in-law Kathryn was over.  She mentioned that our niece, Madison, was missing the U.S.A.  (she's been in The Philippines with her family for the past 2 years or so).  After Kathryn left, I told Jeremy - hey!  What if she lived with us?  She could go to school with me.  She could come to church with us.  I called Jeremy's Dad not a few minutes later and we prayed together.  And we've been praying every since.

And God has continued to tug at my heart for this girl.  I love Madison.  Always have and always will.  But there's always the thoughts of:  how much will this cost?  can we do this?  how will Riley and Julia be affected?  will Madison like staying with us?  will it be stressful?  But through all of the questions, one thing remains:  the peace that God gives me every time I think of her living with us and how I just sense that this is what He wants us to do.  Not just for us - but for her.

Probably sounds crazy.  After all, my plate is full at the moment.  I have a 9 month old, a 3 1/2 year old, teach full time, teach piano lessons at my home after work, sell crocheted items at vendor fairs, and still take care of the house (minus taking out the trash and cooking the meals and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting - thanks hun!).  I've asked God "Why us?  How and why would you choose us to do this?"  Because she is worth it.  Because she would be changed.  Because God loves her and so do we.  Because God has a plan.

In December, our Pastor spoke on living a "compelling story" - one that would offer someone something amazing and would draw them into a deeper relationship with God.  I immediately thought of Madison and couldn't stop crying the entire service.  The following week he again talked about doing things for others - not just living to pay bills or make sure your children are taken care of - but looking out for others.  Again, thought of Madison.

So it seems God is lining everything up for her to come live with us.  Now we go forward in getting guardianship and making it possible for her to be at the school where I teach and live with us.  I truly can't wait to see what God does this coming year and how He orchestrates all of this.  Not pushing it or trying to make it work.  Doing what needs to be done, but mostly, just watching as He is putting all the pieces together.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with a Bang

Crash!  Boom!  Bang!  The New Year is here.  Which means it was time for us to put up our Christmas tree.  I wasn't too excited this morning.  In fact, I'm downright crabby.  With very little sleep and a very early wake up call from a toddler who went to bed super late, I was just not in the mood for much of anything.  Totally sad to leave my girls on Monday.  So I thought it'd be a good idea to put the decorations away.  Being that it was Julia's naptime and the only time she wouldn't try to "help," it was the right time to get started.

So with Riley singing "Santa Claus is coming to Town" in her country-twang sort of way (where did she get that from?)  and dancing her way through the room as she took off the ornaments, we put them in their boxes.  I decided to tape the sides of the box of glass ornaments in hopes it would keep it sealed better.  The box was on top of a chair to make it easier.  As soon as I was done, I walked away and brushed the side of the box.  Only to feel it lean over, tip and crash to the floor - letting all the glass ornaments hit the hardwood floors in the foyer and break into a million tiny pieces.

Yes - the New Year started with a bang.  And a lot of extra clean-up.  It can only get better from here, right?!