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Archive for January, 2008

“I didn’t do everything to Jolie, Mom!” Sophia calls out from the living room after Jolie starts to cry.

“You mean you didn’t do anything?” I ask.

The truth is, she really wouldn’t do anything to hurt her sister, but in fact does everything to make her happy. Jolie looks at Sophia like she looks at no one else on this earth. Her admiration has a glow. One that creates a heat that warms my heart through.

This is not only something that I, as a mom, cherish, but also I, as a librarian. (Tires screech to a halt.) Yes, that wasn’t a mistype. You are looking at, or reading the words of, rather, Thorne Bay’s new municipal librarian. But what about your desire to be a stay at home mom and blah, blah, blah, you ask. Well, first off it’s only part time, and secondly I can bring the girls with me so it seems to be working out all around. So you see why it’s so important to have sisters who love each other. While I work, Sophia reads (the stories she’s memorized) to Jolie and bounces her and talks nice to her when she starts to cry. She also finds time to amuse everyone who comes in to the library (imagine that!)

Being a mom and librarian has its challenges, believe it or not. At the city council meeting the other night I remind Sophia just before entering the council chambers that she has to be very, very quiet inside. Once seated I find her not talking, but rather moving around so much in her chair that a constant squeaking can be heard from her rubber boots. “Quiet!” I whisper. “I’m not saying everything!” she whispers back. “Anything!” I say. When I walk up to the podium to give my monthly library report, my talking arouses Jolie from the front pack, and she looks up at me, face beaming and starts to coo while her sister makes her way up behind me and hugs the back of my legs. I can’t help but smile. The council members smile, too. It’s contagious.

It’s a pretty good thing I have going on here, all around.

Did I mention they’re sending me to Fairbanks at the end of next month for a conference? If you live in Fairbanks, Jolie and I will hopefully see you there. Sophia will be home getting some one on one time with Papa.

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Sophiecdotes

Today was the first day that Jolie laughed out loud. Can anyone guess who made her laugh? Sophia, of course. Well, Jolie’s not the only one who Sophia is cracking up these days. Here are a couple of instances where this little girl has brought a smile to her mama’s and papa’s faces lately.

Sophia sat at the computer “typing” away the other day, while Isaac and I busied ourselves with meaningful tasks, like changing diapers and checking to see if a diaper needed to be changed. Isaac finally asked what Sophia was doing, and without missing a beat she said, “I’m doing a blog.”

*

Isaac asked Sophia while I was at the library if she wanted to watch a movie with him. Kind of a rhetorical question… He then asked if she wanted to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Now, Sophia has known about this particular princess Snow White for a few months, but had never heard the story of her and her dwarfs. So her response was, “What?!” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” he said. “Papa, did you said Snow White and the Seven Yellow Warblers?” (When Isaac told me this story, I laughed out loud for literally a full minute. This is what happens when your daughter has a father who’s obsessed with birds.)

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What I meant to say

I lay in bed last night shortly before midnight doing my best to nurse Jolie to sleep but not doing too well considering the blisters on my hand I got from spilling hot caramel on it. After burning it, and realizing how bad of a burn it was, I actually prayed to God that He would help Jolie to sleep that night because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much to make her happy. But we lay there, she and I, while Isaac asked the neighbors who gathered in the street in front of our house to set off firework after firework if they, by chance, had any burn cream we could use. Attempting to nurse her actually kept me distracted enough that the burn didn’t seem that bad, and my mind raced over the events of the year and I realized just how much had happened for our little family in a short 12 months.

There’s so much I wanted to say that I never ended up saying. So many events that were not elaborated upon because of undependable Internet connections or lack of time or energy.

In April we traveled to Anchorage for the job fair, and were met by Isaac’s mom. She came to hang out with us and be with Sophia while Isaac and I figured out together where we would move our family to in the coming school year. I cannot find words to describe the good time we had (I’ve tried already and erased three different sentences) so all I will say is, “Thanks, Becky, for being the Grandma and Mom that you are.”

Moving to a new place was hard work. Physically, mentally, emotionally. We left so many good friends behind at our “other home”, as Sophia puts it. You guys know who you are, and we miss you all like crazy. I never wrote it here, but when we were on the ferry going to Ketchikan for a prenatal appointment a couple of weeks after arriving in Thorne Bay, Sophia looked a bit relieved sitting in the dining area as the ship was underway. She asked if we were going home now. We weren’t quite sure what she meant, but when she said, “Back to Elaina”, we knew exactly.

Being in a new place meant new everything, just about, including new friends. We are so blessed to have found some really great new friends in the short time we’ve been here. From being invited to parties, to meals being brought over to us when we first moved into to our house and again when Jolie was first born, to long nights of Pitch or Eucher, we are very grateful to have the friends here that we do.

Our good friends Will and Leah

One memory that I didn’t have a chance to write about in 2007 was our short visit in Ketchikan with my mom, waiting for Jolie to be born. It was a vacation I think the three of us needed together. One of the funniest things that happened was one day when we were braving the downpour, my mom went into a little shop and asked where we might buy the local newspaper. She came back out and reported that “Ted’s Sodas” has them. So, we commenced asking the locals where we could find “Ted’s Sodas” and were surprised when no one had heard of it. One lady asked if we meant “Tatsutas” which is the Asian grocery store there in downtown. Mom and I both started laughing, realizing we would have never found the Soda Shop we were after.

Aboard the horse and carriage tour in Ketchikan.

Shortly before leaving for Ketchikan, Isaac, Sophia, and I went over to the nearby native village of Kasaan and watched a Totem Pole Raising. It was fascinating and although my aching back sent me home early, Isaac remained for the dancing and the Potlatch and was able to report to us what he had seen, tasted, and heard. I was disappointed to have missed so much, but what can I say other than that I was 8 1/2 months pregnant!

The birth of Jolie brought many visitors. Isaac’s parents came when she was just 2 weeks old and got to see our humble little home here in Southeast Alaska. For weeks afterwards Sophia asked us to do “Horsie, horsie” but eventually stopped after realizing we just couldn’t do it like Pop-pop. To this day, she still requests the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears before going to sleep at night, and never lets us forget the moral at the end, “…and she never disobeyed her grandmother again.”

Our friends Steve and Amy came for Thanksgiving which was something I never could have fathomed needing so much. I would have always considered them as Isaac’s friends… The time that Amy and I had to talk reminded me how much I miss my childhood girlfriends. I didn’t realize how important it was for me to have that time with her before it happened, but I thank God that He knew.

Early in the month of December my dad and little brother came to meet the baby. I can’t really say much here, because there is simply too much. I loved seeing my brother play with my daughter. I loved seeing how content Jolie was sleeping on my dad’s chest.

Happy Birthday Uncle Gregory!

I thought about all of this and eventually drifted off to sleep. My sweet and wonderful husband spent the first hour of the new year waiting up for the ambulance to return from Klawock so that he could get some supplies for my hand. When we finally went to sleep my pain was gone, Jolie was fast asleep and stayed that way until morning.

Sleeping through the night, maybe that will be one of Jolie’s New Year’s Resolutions (I won’t hold my breath). 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!

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