Monday, July 31, 2006

Sleeping Beauties


There is something so wonderful about sleeping children. Aside form the obvious reasons, (finally they're still and quiet) they're faces are just so beautifully relaxed.

I think it's safe to say that adults don't relax as much when asleep. I think we're aware of the limits that our larger bodies require. If we were to spread out that much we would quickly run out of bed. Or maybe it's just that kids expend so much energy playing, learning, absorbing, assimilating that when they sleep, they sleep. I think I can remember sleeping that hard, before I had kids. It's funny how that happens. It used to be that once I was asleep nothing could wake me up. I remember being concerned when I was pregnant with Emily that I might not wake up to her crying at night. Then she was born and it seemed that with the slightest noise I was awake. It seems like I always hear the girls in the night long before Christoph does. Maybe he's just better at ignoring them. :) Anyway, I love watching my girls sleep.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Here's to you, Four-month Old

Happy Day little girl. You are four months old. Even though it sounds lame I'll say, the time has flown by. You grow more fun and more beautiful everyday. I love you from the top of your little Yoda ears to the tips of your chubby toes. You are so much fun laughing and smiling. You get so excited when someone talks to you. Your eyes focus like a tracking beam as soon as a person walks into the room and then follows them around like one of those paintings that always seem to be looking at you no matter where you stand. You are no longer content lying around, now you want to be sitting up watching the action. You don't suck your thumb or even a pacifier, but can regularly be seen slurping away on your bottom lip. Sometimes you alternate by sucking on the side of your arm. You are so silly. What will happen when you get teeth? If you smile when you're doing it you make this funny clicking noise from your tongue sucking away at nothing. I love the throaty giggles you reward me with if I tickle you just right. I love how you gaze adoringly at your big sister even when she's making mean faces at you. I love how your eyes sparkle when you're really happy. And I love at the end of the day how you turn your head to the side, cover your face with your arm and fall asleep. You are my precious, beautiful girl and I'm so glad to have you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kids Say The Darndest Things

On the fourth of July we spent the evening at our friend's the Divineys. They are great friends and we love hanging out with them. Selena is one of Emily's favorite friends and they get along really well most of the time. You know kids, you can never say always.

Before dinner we set off a few fireworks, including smoke bombs and sparklers. Then the girls were jumping on the trampoline. I wandered over to take some pictures of them and Emily says, "I had fun smoking, Mommy" and Selena chimes in, "Me and Emily were smoking together". I knew they were talking about the smoke bombs, but it sounded so bad. Smoking already, at such a tender age. Goofy girls.

Emily and Evan, Selena's older brother, had this massive water gun fight too. Evan, being a year older was much better then the gun and Emily was drenched, while Evan was almost dry. She was just squealing with laughter the whole time. She really liked it when Evan's gun ran out of water and she could exact her revenge. Later that evening Evan was using the restroom and I was in the hallway, he pops his head around the door and says, "There is a tentacle in our toilet!" "A tentacle?" I question, confused. "Yeah, a tentacle that kills the germs." "Ohh, a chemical?" "Yep, a blue tentacle!" Way cool.

The kids and Dads had great fun watching and setting off fireworks. All in all it was a great evening of fun and fellowship, just waiting to see what the kids would come up with next.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Outdoor Fun

A couple of weekends ago we got away from the weekly grind by going to visit our friends the in nothern OR. They live on 20 acres of wooded land in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge area. Sunday evening we went on a little walk and boy did Emily have fun! She spent plenty of energy running up and down the paths in their forest.

It's not very often that I can just sit back and watch Emily play without feeling guilty. Usually I have constant thoughts of, I should be...insert never-ending household chore here. I try to have some balance, otherwise I feel guilty that I'm not spending enough time with her, but I'm usually left feeling pulled in two directions. So, this weekend was doubly fun because I had nothing else to do but sit and enjoy watching my daughter's imagination at work. Her imagination is an active one! She told us all about her pretend dog named Treehouse. She was playing with Treehouse all around the porch. At one point she crouches down and says, "Come out Treehouse. It's ok, I won't hit you with my stick". What!?! All I could do is laugh. It does make me think twice about getting her a dog. She then picked up a bunch of rocks (very carefully selected) from the garden path and arranged them in a complex geometrical configuration. She then proceeded to have us each one by one pick a rock. Sometimes she would have us hold the rock for a few moments and other times we would be told sternly, "don't touch it, just leave it there". It was like playing some complex game where only one person knew the rules. I wish I could see exactly what is going through her little head. It's funny to me because she is still egocentric enough that she assumes you are thinking the same thing she is. So, there is no reason to explain, you already know. She gets quite frustrated when she's talking to you and you have no idea what she is saying. How many times have I heard, "No Mommy, don't say 'what' to me!". This sometimes makes me laugh and other times I have to take a deep breath and count to ten so I don't bite her head off.

I love her little personality so much. In some ways she is so girly, making up stories about her stuffed animals, breastfeeding her dolls, and having her nails painted. In other ways she can be a little tomboy, collecting rocks and sticks and hating to have her hair brushed. I love the mixture, if she were too girly it would drive me crazy, but if she didn't like playing with dolls at all I would feel a little sad.

I also had fun taking pictures of random things. Hurray for Macro-mode and hurray for weekend getaways!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the one I love. Christoph, I'm glad you were born 28 years ago. I hope we get to celebrate many, many more of your birthdays together. You are a great husband and a great father. Thank you for letting God mold and shape you daily as you continue to grow more like Him everyday. I love you! Sorry I didn't get this posted Sunday, on your actual birthday, but we were just too busy celebrating. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Eyes

Have you ever seen the movie Dumbo? It's always fun to see old movies from my childhood from an adult perspective. You notice things that never stood out as a child. Emily was watching Dumbo a couple of days ago and suddenly the lyrics of the opening song really stuck out. I heard Look Out For Mr Stork and just started laughing. Always before I've been focused on the cute scenes of Mothers being united with their new babies. This time I thought of certain friends who are childless and determined to stay that way, which made me laugh even more..."don't try to get away, he'll find you in the end". Christoph sees me grinning and pipes in, "We're currently employing a Stork radar interceptor". Oh, Geez. And yet, it's true. Can't have Mr Stork making his deliveries too close together. However, I do love the two bundles we've gotten so far!

Speaking of Dumbo, there is no other movie that can make me cry quite as easily. The scene with Dumbo visiting his Mother while she's locked up gets me every time. I never used to cry this easy before having kids. When I started college I could count on one hand the number of movies AND books that had made me cry. Then when I was pregnant with Emily it started. I cried watching Veggie Tales, Rack ,Shack and Benny (Jr Asparagus singing the song his Mother taught him). I figured, I'm pregnant, it's the hormones. Well either the hormones never got back into balance or being a Mother just opened me up to a whole new emotional level. Seriously, it gets a little pathetic when TV commercials make you cry! You should have seen me pregnant with Katrina, trying to read Emily a book about becoming a sibling. I paused, trying to get myself under control, and she looks at me and says, "Is the story over Mommy?" Poor kid, no wonder she was a bit apprehensive about getting a sister! Luckily I can always count on my sympathetic husband to put things into perspective. We were considering trying a new form of birth control and I had expressed concern with it potentially causing mood swings. He came home one afternoon to find tears running down my face because of some sappy scene in a cartoon Emily was watching, and says, "Well, this will give us a basis of comparison for the mood swings you were worried about." Good point, honey.

That's ok. As long as I can still laugh at myself I know my occasional cloud bursts won't drive Christoph crazy. Just don't get me started on forgetfulness after having kids!

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Sisterly Love

I come from a family with two younger brothers. The only time I can remember wishing for a sister was when I was nine years old and my mom was pregnant with my brother. According to the ultrasound he was supposed to be a girl, and I was excited about that. We were waiting in the hospital waiting room and I'm told that when my dad came out to tell us HE was born I grumpily stated, "Jonathan (my other brother) always gets what he wants!". After that momentary disappointment I quickly grew to appreciate the joys and benefits of being the only girl. I never had to share my room, and my brother was never interested in getting into my stuff. All this to explain that I had very mixed feelings when my own ultrasound told me my second child was a girl.

Never having had a sister, I wasn't sure how I felt about having two girls. Most of my friends growing up who had sisters fought like crazy. They complained about having to share birthdays, rooms, possessions. And, for some crazy reason I've always been concerned about having one daughter that was really pretty and one that, well, wasn't. Shallow, I know, but I would feel so bad for both of them.

So, two girls. Sisters. Since my childhood I've met many girls who loved having sisters and are great friends with them, so I wasn't completely freaked out by the idea. However, Emily's lack of interest in the baby and her repeated requests for a dog instead of a baby sister did nothing to assuage my fears. She has on a couple of occasions talked excitedly about getting bunk beds or a swing set when her sister is older, but I think that's more interest in the possessions then in sharing them with Katrina.

And then last week, a breakthrough. I was upstairs getting ready for work and Katrina was downstairs secure in her bouncy seat. Emily appears at my side and says, in her inimitable emphatic way, "Mommy, I dragged my little chair over next to Katrina so I could keep her company, and she SMILED at me TWO times. And then she fell asleep." She was so happy and excited about it. Christoph got home a few minute later and she had to tell him all about it too. It was so cute. I went downstairs and there was her little chair snuggled up next to the bouncy chair and the little sister, sound asleep. Since then there have been other occasions she has shown appreciation for her little sister. We were traveling in the car last weekend and Katrina was crying. Emily started singing her a lullaby. After a few seconds Katrina stopped crying and went to sleep. Emily whispers to us from the backseat, "I was singing to her so she wouldn't be sad." The best was yesterday when I was getting ready for work. Katrina was in a hold-me mood and was crying quite angrily. Suddenly I see Emily go over to her and start singing the lullaby again. Then She says, "Do you like that Katrina-B? Why are you sad? Do you want your milk? Do you want your breastmilk from Mommy?" I couldn't help but crack-up. Maybe they will like each other after all.

As an aside, just to show God has a sense of humor, my two girls share the same birthday and look VERY similar to each other, even down to their blue eyes born of recessive genes. Of course I think they're both beautiful.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

What's In A Name

So, I've jumped on the blogging band wagon. I've been reading a journal on Baby Center since shortly after my daughter, Emily, was born. I've always thought it would be cool to have something similar to help keep track of special memories, even better then a baby book, but I just never got anything started. I've been enjoying watching Christoph blog and reading the blogs of our friends who do so, and suddenly I thought, why not. This could be fun.

Then came the somewhat difficult process of figuring out what to call it. That's part of the fun, right? I figure most of my entries will have something to do with my daughters. Our first thought was Mudder Thoughts. It sounds a bit strange, but Mudder is one of the many names Emily calls me. Katrina doesn't call me anything yet, at least not out loud.

Thinking about a name for my blog got me to thinking about nicknames in general. It's kind of an interesting concept, shortening a person's name or just calling them something else. I've been "lortz" to my family as long as I can remember, "rabbit" in highschool, "guido burrito" in college. Now I get "honey" and "Mudder" from Emily. She started calling me Mudder after hearing Bambi call his mom "Mother" in the movie. Obviously she got the "honey" from hearing Christoph and I refer to each other as such. Emily became "The Mem" at about five months old, and somehow it just fits. I thought about "Kitty" for Katrina since this is what Emily would suggest almost every time we asked her opinion on what she thought we should name her baby sister. Christoph came up with "Bee" as in Emily is A and Katrina is B. That one has stuck. And don't get me started on pet names. What can I say, nicknames make life interesting. And in our family at least, show affection and love.

However, as you can see Mudder Thoughts didn't stick. I just never quite liked the ring of it. Then I remembered the Audio Adrenaline song Bloom. The lyrics of that song speak so clearly of this "season" of my life. I love the words...
I'm a season past Springtime
And my life has gone BOOM
Keep my eyes on the Father
Everything is in Bloom

Christoph and I actually used the song in a promo video we made for our Sunday School class at church. It didn't go over too well, we think maybe it was a little to abstract/artsy for most of the congregation. Oh well, we liked it. I hope you will enjoy reading about all the ways my life is and has been blooming and I'll try not to be a drama queen when I'm feeling the Boom.