Archive for the ‘Growing Up’ Category

I’ve discovered a little trick to making Sophia eat what we make for dinner: Don’t feed her any snacks 2 hours beforehand! May sound a little cRaZy, but it works. Last week, I actually got her to eat some pork. And the other night, chicken. Amazing. It actually makes sense, too. I mean, it works for adults, why not kids?

Take me for example. A good friend of mine gifted me a bag of oriental trail mix that I brought to work to snack on, but shortly thereafter I realized I didn’t really care for it. So it sat there, in my office, waiting for the time when I would be so stark ravin’ stravin’ that I would devour a couple of handfuls of it. And, it happened. It’s actually happened about 10 times now (the bag is nearly empty) and I can hardly believe it, because each and every time I finish eating my little snack of oriental trail mix, I think to myself, “Never, again.” Yet there seems to always be an “again”. And again, and again.

All this to illustrate that if you are really, truly hungry, you will eat food. Whether it be pork sandwiches, or dried, weird looking cracker things with wasabi flavor sprinkled all over it. (They are all-natural, I might add, although I can’t fathom how.)

Sometimes, though, Sophia is just plain stubborn (No! – you say). It seems that if we act too interested in the fact that she’s eating something, she’ll throw her spoon to the floor and that will be it. Incidentally, when she was eating that chicken the other day, I had to look away in fear that she would see the joy on my face, and decide not to eat it after all. I acted like I couldn’t care less, until of course she had eaten it all and I jumped up and down with complete and utter delight. If I ever had a chance of being cool in my life, that chance is now over. 🙂

Getting the chance to be a mommy to this little stubborn angel makes it way worth it.

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We have quite the little chef roaming about our house these days. Her specialties are coffee, eggs, and juice, but they all have something in common: they are made from raisins. Don’t ask me how she does it, for I haven’t the slightest idea, but my daughter is able to magically tap a raisin on the edge of one of her hot pink plastic plates, and – voilà! – it is suddenly an egg that she is letting slither out of its cracked shell into a sizzling pan on the stove. Delightful.

If, at any given time, we develop the need to give Sophia something to do, we can say, “I sure would like some coffee right now (which is funny, because we don’t even drink coffee), Sophia, could you go and make me some?” And off she’ll go, so eager to please. So ready to perform her chefly duties. While cooking she’ll snack on her raisins until they are all gone, and then turn to ask, “Reena*, tup?”, which you may have guessed means “Can you put more raisins in my cup?”. We might want to research as to how many raisins should be eaten by an almost-2-year-old per day. But then again, we might not. 🙂

For Christmas she got a few new babies and lots of new baby gear, so she’s been dutifully performing her motherly tasks as well. And although she can be a bit neglectful at times with some of her children, I think she is a very good Mommy. I’ve even watched her some nights as she feeds her baby a “baboo” before she herself can fall asleep. As Isaac has said, “I never imagined I’d be a grandparent this early in life.”

*On a side note, “Reena” is a shortened form of the German Rosina (raisin).

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Sometimes I think we’re living with two children. This little girl of ours seems to have, at times, a dual personality. She can be so sweet and sensitive to others. She’ll pat your head when you’re taking a snooze on the couch. She’ll give you the biggest hug and sigh while she’s doing it for extra emotion. But then… she goes down for a nap and emerges as a little troll who’s mad at the world. So much as offer her water when that’s not what she wanted, and she’ll shriek at you with such contempt, that you’ll think she’s the White Witch and you’re Edmund, and you’ve just returned without Lucy, Susan, or Peter.

Is this what they call Toddlerhood?

She’s been waking up during the night more often these days. Of course, I’m such a deep sleeper that I barely even know whether or not she’s had a bad night, or a good one. Poor Isaac. Last night, apparently, she cried and cried until he went to get her, and when he picked her up she sobbed, “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” So he brought her to me and I soothed her to sleep by rubbing her head and saying, “shhhh, shhhhh, shhhhh” over and over until she drifted off. The fact that I had to be told this proves what a multi-tasker I am. I suppose it also proves how tired I am.

It’s no lie that this little girl of ours – this girl that’s getting more and more independent with each passing day – is delightful. She cracks us up and surprises us and makes us beam with pride. And I know that in order for her to be as delightful as she is, she has to have her time where she doesn’t always please everyone, especially us. And part of me loves the fact that she can show me that she’s angry, or frustrated, or just in a bad mood. That’s part of who she is. I know it will help her to be more balanced if she can learn at this age how to express her discontentment. She’ll just have to do it in the corner, that’s all. 🙂 (The only problem with the corner, is that I get the feeling she likes it there. But that’s a whole different story!)

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So Cool

Do you ever come to the realization that your kids are so much cooler than you? And they’re not even trying – but I guess that’s mostly what makes them so cool. Sophia, for instance, is so carefree that she’ll dance whenever there’s a good beat to dance to. She doesn’t look around to see who’s watching her, she just hears the music and starts to sway, clap, and boogie. Mama’s there taking pictures of her while she’s doing it, who cares? We’re in church and there are 100 people laughing at her while she shakes her booty, so what? I absolutely love this about kids.

It’s other things, too, though. Not just the dancing. It’s also the fact that when she’s tired of something she’ll announce, “All done.” Whether it’s that we’re giving her too many kisses, playing a game that’s getting too boring, or being held by someone she’s a bit wary of – “All done.” It’s as simple as that. She doesn’t even worry about awkwardness. SO cool.

The other day she just about broke my heart. My dad was over visiting and for some reason was eating later than the rest of us. He was on the couch with his plate in his lap when Sophia noticed him there and moseyed on over and climbed up on the couch next to him. She kept him company while he ate (pointing out all of the “apples”* on his plate and such) almost like she was doing it just to be nice. But she wasn’t. She was doing it because she loves her Grandpa, and that’s pretty cool, too. That’s the kind of “cool” I hope she stays.

* On a side note, Sophia calls almost any piece of produce “apple”. At first I thought she was so smart because she could point out the apples at the grocery store, but then we saw the oranges, and they were “apples”, too, and yams – “apples”, the list goes on.

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Overalls, and light jackets…bare heads and carefreeness.

(Fast forward 3 months later.)


Bodies covered from head to toe, trying to enjoy this thing called SNOW.

If you haven’t met her before, take this opportunity to meet Elaina, one of Sophia’s best buds on earth. Born only 2 days apart, each has never known life without the other. Together, they are learning to share, to make jokes, and to encourage each other. Yesterday, shortly after boarding the sled, Sophia wanted “OUT!”, but Elaina wanted “MORE!”. Elaina squealed and yelled “WEEEEE!” just enough to make Sophia relax and realize how fun it was to be pulled faster and faster in the sled. Soon, they were both squealing and laughing and enjoying the snow.

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The Promise

On October first, I stood and watched as one of my closest friends in the world said her final goodbye to her father, as his ashes were buried in the Palmer Cemetery. This picture was taken there.

During what was probably the hardest time of my life, this same friend found the time and money to come and be with me when I needed her most.

Two people there for each other – definition of friendship? Might as well be…

The morning of my brother’s accident, Lyndsi had written a song that seemed to be too well timed. She sang it at his memorial service. It would have fit perfectly into her dad’s as well, but somehow she has made it John’s song. It is something we will always have, and I thank her for that.

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It seems Sophia prefers to go it alone these days. She knows Mom likes to hold her hand, but she wants to show the world how independent of me she is. There are still those moments, however, when she comes to a hard spot in the road, and looks up at me, arm outstretched, knowing I’m there to help. And then, hand in hand, we step up onto the sidewalk together, or over a puddle, or up a stair.

It goes both ways, I’ve learned. During the week after my brother’s accident, Sophia was there to make me smile, and occasionally, even laugh. She gave me kisses to heal my sad heart, and patted my back when I was hunched over and sobbing. I had no idea how much I need her help, too. All I have to do is reach out my hand.

Mom and daughter. Hand in hand. For life.

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What would we do without that much needed hug from a friend when times are worse than ever? What would we do without those few people who can make us laugh no matter what? What would we do without that one friend who stands beside us, even though they are 3,500 miles away?

God knows how important friends are and can be to us. I thank Him for mine.

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