Sunday, May 30, 2010

Proud Mama Moment

Move over Picasso, Grace has arrived.

One of my favorite classes in college was art and music for little ones.  The most interesting lesson was about the progression of a child's drawing of human figures.  A goal of mine is to keep a scrapbook of family drawings to record the progression.  Here is Grace's first entry into the scrapbook:

She's definitely got the tadpole thing going on.  Each of us has a head, eyes, mouth, arms, and legs.  Pretty good if I do say so myself.

Excuse me while I burst with pride. :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Don't Blink

I have 2 little girls.  No, no.  I know that I've had 2 daughters for 20 months, but now it's different.  They have officially turned into little girls.

One of the most common words of advice given to parents-to-be is to not blink.  It's hard to remember that tidbit in the moment.  You usually don't remember it until the realization sets in that you did blink and realize all that happens in a blink.

In a blink, Grace's time as a baby ended and she became a little lady.

In a blink, Emma Kate's handful of words spoken turned into a full fledged vocabulary that she uses to express her feelings, tell you about her day, and carry on a conversation.

In a blink, Grace and Emma Kate began playing along side one another.  It makes my heart melt to watch them cook at their play kitchen, put together puzzles, and play with their babies.

In a blink, Grace started sleeping in her big girl bed.  I know that it was definitely time, but looking back, that precious time of snuggling all night passes by too quickly.

In a blink, Emma Kate decided that being told "no" by anyone including her sister or her parents was "meeeaan."

In a blink, the sounds coming from the backseat went from cries and snarls to songs about Jesus, sunshine, and puffer bellies.  If you don't know what a puffer belly is, I highly recommend checking out the song "Down by the Station."  It's Emma Kate's favorite which she demands every night at bedtime.  The whole family has to sing it to her.  If her subtle requests for "Puff" don't make all of us chime in, a resounding "PUFF!!!" is sure to do the trick.  This part of our bed time routine where all 4 of us are singing together is one I definitely don't want to blink through.

In a blink, the tattling master changed hands.  Emma Kate's first tattle occurred this week and went something like this:
Emma Kate: "Mimeout."
Me: "You need to go to timeout?"
Emma Kate: "No, Dwace mimeout."
Me: "Why does Grace need to go to timeout?"
Emma Kate: "Meeeeaaaannn."

In a blink, the scary world I entered of being mama to 2 under 2 passed me by and I am now mama to 2 little girls.  I blinked without realizing it, and now I'm trying to soak in each day before these too pass by and I am mama to 2 big girls.

*All photos in this post taken by Nichol Engle Photography

Saturday, May 22, 2010

When Kayla Came to Stay

Each year for Granny's birthday, my mom and aunt take my granny on a trip.  While they're off celebrating, Kayla stays with us.  Kayla is uber fun, and Grace thinks she hung the moon.  Here's a peek into our fun:

We had a slumber party.

We watched early morning cartoons (In sequins).

Emma Kate wasn't into the cartoons, so she climbed into her most recent favorite hang out spot.

We went to church.

We got crafty.

What concentration!

We made mother's day cards using finger prints.

Grace's turn making a flower.

Tired of paint, Emma Kate thinks glue looks promising.

Ridin' in style. :)


Mother's Day

Being a mother is an incredible blessing.  Sure, it's hard.  Very hard.  Being a mother takes up all your time, completely changes your life style, and is messy, teary, and tantrumy.  But, it is amazing.  It is a gift from God.  And, I wouldn't change a thing about being a mother.

God has blessed me with some incredible mothers in my life.  My mom, my mother in law, Nana, and Granny are examples of Christian women, wives, and mothers.  They are the pillars of my family.  These women embody  what it takes to raise a family, run a household, and have a career.  They are my role models.

This mother's day, I had breakfast cooked for me.  Grace chose the meal - waffles.  They were the best waffles I've ever tasted.  We enjoyed church together, then lunch at my mom's house with my granny, my nana, and a lot of family.  Then, we had dinner at my house with my mother in law.

I am so thankful for this blessing that God has granted me.  I am thankful for my 2 little girls who share the same physical characteristics, but have individual, distinct personalities.  I am thankful for all the nights I have gotten to rock them to sleep.  I am thankful for the tantrums because it means they are becoming independent thinkers.  I am thankful for every tea party had, tower of blocks built, baby doll dressed, book read, and nail painted.  I am thankful for every bath, every diaper change, every thrown shoe I've had to put back on.  I am thankful for little fingers that hold my hand, color a picture, and leave grubby prints every where.  I am thankful for the ache that develops in my heart every time I've been away from them for too long.  I am thankful that I get to hear their conversations, songs, and prayers.  I'm thankful that I get to watch them grow taller, smarter, and more capable every day.  Thank you, God, for loaning these two little girls to me and trusting me to be their mama.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Attention, Friends.  My sweet, laid back, youngest daughter is missing.  She has been replaced with a hormonal teenager in a pint sized body.  In other words, we have made a gigantic leap into the terrible twos.  There were no warning signs, no easing into the world of the hormonal toddler, nothing to prepare me that Emma Kate was about to make this transition.  It happened all at once and made me wonder if she was sick, had hit her head, or had a disorder.  Then, the truth hit me like a ton of bricks.

Those bricks came down last weekend at a wedding shower.  As we sat there in the church fellowship hall surrounded by wedding gifts, bite-sized chicken salad sandwiches, and ladies using their utmost manners, I was thinking "My goodness, this party sure is loud."  Somewhere between the cracker being thrown at me, my necklace being broken, dragging Emma Kate off the stage, and punch being spilled down my dress, I realized the source of the noise was right beside me.  I was THAT mom.  The one that was getting the sideways glances and "that poor dear" smiles.  The one with the flailing, pint sized ball of energy and fury.

I've come up with a list of why the terrible twos can be likened to a cross between a rabid wild cat and a hormonal teenager.

1.  Mood changes.  One minute, Emma Kate is sunshine and roses, the next, she is screaming, flailing, and hurling a series of words I do not understand but can imagine they are not "You are wonderful and beautiful, Mommy."  Just today, Emma Kate and I were getting in the car.  She was excited about our trip to Wal-Mart, but as i tried to put her in her car seat, she stiffened, shrieked a succession of words, slid out of the car seat, and under the bench seat of my Explorer.  Now, it is not an easy feat to get under the seat of an Explorer, and it is even harder to get out from under the seat of an Explorer.  Especially when the item under the seat does not want to be retrieved.  A minute later, the sunshine returned and we were on our way.  Go figure.

2.  Indecisiveness.  One minute it's white, one minute it's black.  The other day, Emma Kate asked for milk.  When it wasn't presented to her within 1.7 seconds, her request turned into a high pitched wail for milk.  I poured her a sippy of milk and tried to hand it to her.  She pushed it away.  I sat it on the counter.  She screamed for milk.  I tried to hand it to her and she pushed it away.  I sat it on the counter.  She screamed for milk...  Do you see where this is going?  Eventually, she did satiate her thirst by accepting the sippy.

3.  Temper tantrums.  In our house, Tantrumville now has a population of 2.  Emma Kate has even had to visit the timeout spot.  Timeout lasted all of 10 seconds before the sweet baby returned and her broken heart was evident.  I think though, that in those 10 seconds a point was proven.  **Snort**  Yeah right.  Who am I kidding?  The only point that was proven is that I am a pushover and she is a master manipulator.  As the tantrums get more and more frequent, I'm having to remind myself that "Children are a heritage of the Lord" and this too shall pass.  Or so they tell me.  Right now, having 2 children that have mastered the art of the temper tantrum and aren't afraid to use it makes me feel that this "phase" is going nowhere for the next oh, 18 years or so.

Those few and far between moments where both girls are happy and smiling are worth it though.  They keep my heart full and remind me how much of a blessing being a mama is.