My sweet girl, you are 6. In so many ways, you seem like 16! We have been talking about your 6th birthday for so long, I have become desensitized to it in a way, but then again, I think of that tiny little perfect pink bundle in my arms 6 years ago and I just want to cry. Somehow, 6 seems so much older than 5. Kindergarten is almost behind you already, but it seems like last week I took you for your first day and cried my eyes out all day. You have no idea how much I love you, and when I tell you “no” so often when you want sweets or to do something “for just a little bit,” you don’t know that I do that because I want what’s best for you–not because I want to be mean.


Oh, you challenge us in so many ways. You are stubborn, you don’t listen, you are constantly climbing the walls, and you have an obsession with potty talk these days. You REFUSE to take medicine, you are a big baby about getting even the tiniest scratch, and you conveniently “forget” everything we tell you. You frequently try to get your sister to do things she’s not supposed to do. You like to do things you know you’re not supposed to do, too–especially when your friends come over.
But my sweet, sweet Jenna, how blessed we are. You are so good. You make me so proud. In school, with all your “super citizen” awards and your progress reports. With the sweet things you say. With the progress I see in you every day. I think you really try, and I love you more for it. You love to make us proud, although sometimes it makes me sad when you & Sarah ask “Are you happy with me?” That’s mostly Sarah, but you do it, too. You LOVE to help us do things like clean, cook, bake, of course, and anything else that we would rather do alone…but you don’t really like doing the things we WANT you to help with, like clean your room and put your things away! You have such an enthusiasm for life and I hope you never get over that. We ask you to calm down a lot, but I don’t want to squash your excitement–maybe just tone it down a little? You love to read books, and you’re getting better with reading the words yourself. I hope you never lose that interest, too…I only wish I had more time to read to you/with you. You like all books, but I love reading the Junie B. Jones books to you because there aren’t many pictures and you’re forced to listen. 🙂 You get frustrated a lot, and I’m sorry to say that will probably only get worse as you move on to bigger & better things in school. You like to watch TV, but I am glad you would always rather play outside, if given the chance. You like a lot of shows on the Disney Channel…Austin & Ally is your current favorite, and you like all the Disney/Pixar movies. You like the Barbie movies too, but we’ll work on that. 🙂
You are still a picky eater, but getting a little better. Your favorite is still pizza & chicken nuggets. You love fruit, which makes me happy! Almost any kind of fruit, but your favorite is mango. That’s my girl!!! I don’t think you love anything as much as chocolate though. Who could blame you? Chocolate, ice cream, cupcakes, cookies, CANDY…you have my sweet tooth, I’m afraid. You do like broccoli, when I roast it in the oven, but that’s about the extent of the vegetables you like. If bribed with a treat though, you will eat them.
You are not doing any sports right now–your only extra-curricular activity is your Daisies. You love Daisies, but since we figured out soccer isn’t your thing, we need to figure out what is. This summer you will be in some gymnastics camps, so maybe you can get more into that. I also am determined that this is the summer you will be comfortable swimming. Maybe you’ll follow your mama’s footsteps? Err, strokes? You get frustrated when you can’t do something, and you don’t like to take the time to figure out how. So I don’t really see musical instruments in your future, but we will still try.
You LOVE animals. You are so gentle and good with them. We call you the butterfly whisperer because you have the ability to get them to land on your finger. Most people can’t do that! You also like snakes and lizards. You pretty much like any animal you can hold! I wanted to get a rabbit or guinea pig for you, but I don’t think you’re quite ready for that yet…because I’m not ready for it yet. You are very sensitive–movies make you cry these days (Fox & the Hound, Lion King), and I think maybe that compassion is what makes you so good with animals. You can’t get enough of Maggie.


Every night, Daddy & I rotate with you & Sarah, but when I put you to bed, you have no idea how happy it makes me when you hug me, sing to me, want me to sing to you, and you don’t want me to go. My favorite is when you tell me “I’m glad God gave me you for a mom. I didn’t want any other moms.” I try to savor all those hugs and that sweet voice because I know it will not last. When I pick you up from school, it breaks my heart to have to tell you EVERY DAY that no, we can’t play on the playground, because I have to work. I am lucky to work from home and get to pick you up most days, but I sure do wish I could actually spend some time with you each afternoon. 😦
You & Sarah fight all the time, but you really are such a good big sister. You take care of her and try to protect her. You are lucky to have each other, and one day you’ll be lucky to have someone to talk to about your crazy mother. Sweet, beautiful, loving Jenna, I am so blessed to watch you grow and flourish, and I will be with you every step of the way. I hope you can always come to me the way you did when you turned 6. I love you so very much.

Love,
Mom

Bad, bad mama. Now that Sarah’s three, I’m getting around to posting her 2 year stats. Also her 3 year. And while I’m at it, Jenna’s 5 year stats, since she won’t be 6 until April.

Sarah has always been our “petite” one. She’s average, but Jenna has always been bigger, so we call her that. For 2 years:
Weight: 25 lbs, 40%
Height: 33″, 50%
Head 48 1/2 cm, 75%.

For 3 years:
Weight: 31.2 lbs, 50%
Height: 36 3/4

We started going to a new pedia, and they don’t do head circumference, or maybe they stop doing that at 3…I don’t remember. Her BMI is 16.8 though.

Jenna seems to go down a bit every year. She started out in the 97th % as a baby, and it keeps dropping. At her 5 year checkup:
Weight: 41 lbs, 70%
Height 41 1/2, 50%
BMI 16.7 (85%?)

This morning, we took the girls for their 6 month dental exams. They HATE the dentist, just like their mama. I don’t know why, since my hatred and irrational fear of anything related to dentistry comes from my bad experiences. They don’t have any of those yet. They did OK–we need to do a better job on Jenna’s teeth because she had too much plaque. Poor girl-her teeth are so squished together, it’s hard to get between them, and since her 6 year molars are in, they’ll get even more squished. She has lost her bottom two front teeth, so those are permanent. The dentist talked about the possibility of extraction to make room for them all, but I REALLY hope that doesn’t have to happen! We seriously would have to put Jenna under for that…and maybe me, too. Bleh.

 

This post is all about Sarah. Even though Jenna has had some milestones recently, like losing her first 2 teeth, starting Kindergarten, and starting to read, Sarah just had a birthday so I’ll reserve this one for her. Someday I may even post about something other than them, but since the only other thing in my life besides them is work and knitting, I probably won’t. Nobody wants to hear about that and I probably don’t want to remember it. 🙂 Since Sarah’s my baby, I guess I’m a little “OMG, my BABY is 3” but then again, sometimes I think she should be 5 by now. Oh, Sarah, how I love thee. So sweet, so cute, so cuddly sometimes, and also…such a pain! I’ve mentioned that though, so I’ll dwell on the good stuff. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how excited she gets about things. I don’t want that to ever change.

I look forward to telling her things I think she’ll like because I love to see her reaction. Sometimes she squeals, but she usually gets a BIG smile and jumps up & down. She does that when we tell her she’s going to her friend, Isabella’s, house.

She also loves dresses, hats, and anything to with dressing up, really.

I don’t think she would be quite so into dressing up or dresses in general without her sister’s influence. Jenna gets really upset if she has to wear pants. She would wear a dress every single day if I would let her…and I usually do. But Sarah has to wear a uniform to her Montessori school, so she changes as soon as she gets home every day. Sarah does like to do what her sister does…isn’t that what big sisters are for? When Jenna lost her second tooth, I wanted a picture of  her new smile.

Sarah didn’t want to be left out.

They both love to run around, wrestle, talk about poop, make a mess, and FIGHT. Sarah is actually pretty good about playing by herself, as long as Jenna’s not around to ruin it. Synergy. Sarah’s our little hoarder. She loves to take a little purse, bag, box, whatever, and just fill it with junk and carry it around. She’s so funny. Jay & I teach her class every other Sunday at church, and she even does it there. She’ll find anything she can stuff with…STUFF, and be perfectly content. That’s why I hate games and puzzles around the house, because you can guarantee she’ll divide all the pieces among any number of bags or boxes, and there’s no telling where we’ll find it.

Both of the girls LOVE their sweets, although Jenna more so than Sarah. Sarah loves to eat pizza, chicken nuggets, and just about any junk. Vegetables, though? Forget it. I haven’t found one yet that she’ll eat. She doesn’t even like fruit, unless it comes out of a can. She does love her milk, though. Very disappointing for me because I tried so hard to get her off to a healthy start. I made all her baby food, graduated to making healthy meals for her, and tried to avoid giving her junk for as long as I could. Somewhere along the way though, she learned that she had no use for the healthy stuff. 😦 I guess that’s why she had so much fun at this gingerbread house decorating party.

Christmas. I am sure it will be Sarah’s favorite time of the year. She loved all of it. This was really the first year she was old enough to “get” everything. She did talk a lot about Jesus and she loved her Christmas hymns, but what kid doesn’t love Santa, candy, Christmas movies, and all the pretty, shiny decorations? She loves to sing (LOVES to sing), and still claims that Joy to the World is her favorite song. I think we will be singing Christmas carols to her at bedtime all year long.

Sarah had to get glasses in December. Obviously, most of the pictures in this post were post-glasses. Her teacher said she noticed one of her eyes crossing, so of course I was VERY concerned about that. It took a while before we noticed it, but after a couple of weeks, it got worse and worse. We took her to have her eyes checked, and sure enough, she’s far sighted like her mama. Fortunately, not as bad, but still they’re pretty thick. She did not want to wear them at all at first, but she has gotten better about it. I hope & pray she’ll grow out of some of it, because I don’t want her to have to go through all I went through. I’m sure she won’t completely grow out of it, but it would be nice if her prescription could be a little weaker as she gets older. Sigh.

Hmm, what else does Sarah love? Chipotle, Chuy’s, dancing, swinging at the park, Maggie, Mimi & Beebaw, going to Nana  & Pops’ house, church, Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, Dora, my camera or phone, and various movies. She rotates through her favorites, but right now, Despicable Me is at the top. She loves to say “Boo Ya!” like the villain in that movie. Super cute. She loves her “babies.” She always wants to have a baby with her wherever we go. It could be an actual baby doll, it could be any stuffed animal, or even a blanket. Unfortunately, she also loves her thumb. I don’t know how we’ll break her of that, but she constantly has that thumb in her mouth. Also unfortunate – her early internal alarm. She wakes up around 5:15 every day, ready to go. Ugggh. She also loves birthdays. Kids are so fascinated with birthdays. Of course, she was even more excited when it was her own. I didn’t try to play that up, so I could see her squeal, at all. 🙂

Happy Birthday Sarah

 

 

I felt (and still feel) very lucky to be able to work from home. I have flexibility, I don’t have to dress up, and I can usually do random small things (laundry/dishes) throughout the day. Most of all, I get to pick Jenna up from school most days. (Sarah is there all day still, so she gets picked up at our convenience.) Here is the drawback: I am working from home. WORKING. I knew it would be a rough adjustment for her at first, because I knew it would take her a while to figure out that I really do need to work when she’s home, and I can get her a snack or get a craft ready for her or turn on a TV show, but I can’t spend time with her. I hate that. She still doesn’t really get it, and this is her 5th month of Kindergarten. I am SUPER lucky that my mom picks her up once, sometimes twice a week from school because those are always my most productive days. I am also glad Jenna gets to spend time with Mimi, and Mimi gets to spend time with Jenna. She has so much fun though, it makes her days when I pick her up that much more blah. She knows she’ll be watching TV or coloring or playing in the back yard BY HERSELF. Jenna doesn’t really do ‘by herself,’ which makes it more of an adjustment. 

I hate that I’m always telling her “no.” Can we please, please, please play at the park for a little while? No, I have to work. Can we please, please, please go get ice cream? No, I have to work. Can we please go to the library? (That one only gets one please.) No, I have to work. These are things she does with Mimi, but unfortunately, they are things I can rarely do with her. I chose this. I went back to work, and I chose to pick her up instead of putting her in an after-school program. It stresses me out to be in the middle of something and have her bust in with “The show’s over!” or “I want some paper or another snack or I want to go outside…” Or even a hug with “I love you.” I really hate being “bothered” with that one, but I require a lot of concentration for most of what I do. I chose this because I thought it would be best for her to get to come home after school, and I thought it would be best for me to get to see her a little more. But I wonder if I chose right.

January 1. I don’t usually think much of the start of a new year. Just another day, and all. I’m trying something though. I didn’t realize almost a year had gone by since my last post, and it makes me sad to think about how little I am documenting about my kids’ lives. There are a lot of food blogs I’ve discovered lately, and between those and the “mommy” blogs, I want to spend a couple evenings a week catching up on that stuff. I’ve discovered the Google Reader gem, and time will tell if it will keep me in the blogsphere enough to keep my own updated.

I’ll have to update with some pictures when I get around to organizing them (that’s a whole other issue) and uploading to Photobucket. In a nutshell, here’s what has been happening. I went back to work full-time last March, and I have had a love/hate relationship with it. I get to work from home, which I also have a love/hate thing with. 🙂 It has been very busy, leaving me no time for anything else during the day except work. I guess that’s the point of having a full-time job (wink wink) but that leaves a whole lot of stuff to get done in the evenings and weekends. Sarah is in a Montessori school, which is where Jenna was before she started Kindergarten. She likes Kindergarten–in fact, since she’s been out of school for Christmas, she keeps asking when she gets to go back. I have loved spending this week with them, but I have to admit I am looking forward to the silence I have while working all day. Not looking forward to the work that awaits, but I can’t have one without the other!

I am very happy to report that Sarah has not been crying nearly as much as she used to. She used to cry all the time. ALL.THE.TIME. About everything. About nothing. She still has her tantrums and whines all the time, but she is better about keeping the crying more to a normal 2-year-old level. Now that she’ll be 3 in a couple of weeks, I’m curious about what that will bring. She just got glasses and that poor thing has eyes almost as bad as her mama. They are thick and she is far-sighted, so they magnify her eyes. She doesn’t like to keep them on at home much, but she does fine at school and most other places. Her eyes are crossed without them, which is how we knew she needed them, but I pray she grows out of that. We have her follow-up visit soon, so hopefully he’ll say things are progressing as they should be.

Jenna is much more fun. I am not wired for toddlers. I prefer kids who don’t test everything, and (for the most part) do what they’re supposed to. Don’t get me wrong–she does not listen too well and she “forgets” on a daily basis to do what we ask, and there are times she blatantly disobeys. But mostly she is a regular, good kid who loves dresses, candy (or any dessert), unicorns, playing outside, barbies, and winning everything. We need to work on her losing skills. 🙂 It’s funny–she is not much of a girly girl in the way she acts and behaves, but that girl refuses to wear anything but a dress or a skirt. It’s been cold so I just get her to wear leggings with her dresses or skirts. Sometimes she looks kinda silly, but it’s better than the tears and fits we get in the 30 minutes of trying to get dressed every morning if we try to make her wear pants. It’s crazy, but she is who she is. One of our good friends recently referred to her as the energizer bunny. She keeps going and going. She has unlimited energy, which will be great for her later, but right now it’s pretty annoying. She hasn’t taken a nap in years, and often we have to make her sit in a chair for a few minutes just to calm down. She can get pretty out of control, as if she’s always on a sugar high. Fortunately, she has started sleeping late though (as in, we often have to wake her up at 6:30 on school days). Unfortunately, it’s usually her sister who wakes her up. Sarah wakes up around 5:30 every day and is ready to go. Bleh, I am so ready for this phase to pass and I hope it will, but it’s been going on for 5-6 months. I am super lucky to have a morning person for a husband. Which is great because I could not be less of a morning person. He gets up with her/them when appropriate, and I get to stay in bed a little longer. Usually don’t sleep because of the noise factor, but how great to be able to stay in my warm bed. Ahhh.

So that was a little longer than the brief post I thought it would be, but I really do need to document my poor girls’ lives so I can remember later. I can’t usually remember what I had for breakfast the day before, so chances are slim I will remember 10 years from now how old Jenna was when she lost her first tooth. Sigh. (5 1/2, by the way)

First, I am thrilled about the feedback I’ve gotten (most of it, anyway) about my honesty. As moms, we think we have to love every second of everything our kids do, but that’s just not how it works. It’s reassuring to know that ALMOST all moms feel that way. That being said, this is not a ranting post. I’ve fallen way too far behind on keeping track of the things my girls do, and I know I’ll forget it at some point.

First, Jenna has had a growing entourage of imaginary friends. It started with Alli, a year or so ago. She often joined us for dinner, on car rides, or in the park. She was often in Hawaii though, and couldn’t make it to certain events. Alli was quickly joined by Sally. We were never sure which of them was with us, but Jenna made sure to clue us in. Alli and Sally both kind of disappeared for a while, but they’re back. Now, they’ve been joined by March, April, and May. I don’t know–maybe their friend, June, will join soon. 🙂 I don’t discourage that–Jenna has a pretty vivid imagination, but that’s a good thing. I make her have quiet time in her room most days when Sarah is napping, and I hear her in there having all sorts of conversations with all sorts of people and animals. She claims not to like “quiet time,” but she sure seems to have a good time!

Jenna is a great big sister, but she is often a little TOO “helpful.”  Always doting on her sister, usually to the point of tears from Sarah. Of course, Sarah cries about everything so I think some of it is just habit. She is constantly trying to get Sarah to do things, trying to pick her up and carry her, read to her, and teach her songs. A few days ago, I was watching Jenna try to teach Sarah something that I explicitly told them both not to do. She was being very quiet about it, not knowing I was watching. As soon as she saw me, she loudly said, “No, Sarah! I said don’t do that!” WHAT??? I know it will continue. I also admit it was kind of funny, but of course she got in trouble. She’s a smart one.

Jenna loves to color, and lately Sarah has been joining her. I LOVE that they can sit and do something together, and because I have magic erasers, I don’t even care what Sarah colors! I’m hoping that continues, too. Jenna also loves to make necklaces with beads. She pretty much likes to do any kind of craft. It’s great, if I can find something that she enjoys and Sarah doesn’t get into or cry about.

Now, Sarah. Sarah’s a pain in the ass, but she’s so cute that it’s almost OK. Almost. That girl has some crazy hair. It’s really curly, and when it’s humid, it’s worse. But she has a few straight pieces in the back, so it always looks super messy. It’s been getting curlier as she gets older, and as it gets longer. Lately I have been putting it in little pig tails, which helps a lot but they don’t stay in all day. She tries to pull them out, too. We say her hair matches her personality. She’s a sassy little thing, but she’s got these looks that crack us up. She looks at us sideways and just turns her eyes, and then laughs. Like a devilish, mischievous thing. It’s so cute though–I wish I could get it on video. She also loves to sing and read books right now. She’s very particular about what she wants to read, and what she wants us to sing. For books, anything goes. Her favorites change weekly. For songs, her favorites are ABCs, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, and You Are My Sunshine. She always wants us to sing ABCs. Over and over and over. When we sing Jesus Loves Me, she does the hand motions that they do at church. I never get tired of seeing that and hearing her sweet little voice.

I have made no secret of how much Sarah drives me crazy. She cries. A LOT. Lately I have been putting her in her room and telling her she can come out when she’s done crying, because every little thing sets her off. It gives me some sanity, except I often have to put all her clothes back in her drawers because apparently she’s “showing me” by emptying them when I make her stay in her room. Ahhh. She also likes to be naked. She has been sleeping with her zip-up footing jammies on backwards for a few months now because, well, let’s just say there was a poop incident. That was before she abandoned her crib (which happened to be Christmas Day), so at least it was contained at that point. I don’t want to take any chances now! She has been using the potty lately, but not really. She’s in the early stages of potty training, always wanting to sit on it but very rarely doing anything.

Not that anyone’s still reading, but I’m going to talk about my obsession. My name is Karen. I am a knitter. I started knitting in September, and I think there have been 5 days since then that I haven’t knit. That’s not really true though. I tried to teach myself several years ago, but I quit. Then I tried again about 3 years ago, but never finished anything. Since I’ve started in September, I have made lots of things. Lots of dishcloths, bags, hats, headbands, and last night I finished the biggest thing I’ve done.

My short-sleeve cardigan thing. It took me 6-7 weeks. I don’t have much patience for something this size, so I think I’ll be sticking to smaller things for a while. And I really meant to have a cheesier smile to match the cheesy pose, but I guess I stopped before the picture was taken? Here are some more things I’ve made…

I have stacks of magazines I haven’t read, and the house isn’t as clean as it should be, but I credit my sanity to this new obsession. 🙂

I seriously can’t believe I haven’t posted on here for 6 months. I knew it was a long time, but wow. I couldn’t even remember how to log into this blog anymore. I guess it has become a stats blog now. Anyway, Sarah made it to her second birthday alive! Her 2-year visit was good, and even better since she didn’t need any vaccinations! Her weight is 25 pounds, putting her in the 40th percentile, her height is 33″, putting her at 50%, and her head is 48 1/2″ around, putting her at 75%. So basically we have a bobble head baby. 🙂 She hasn’t been eating anything lately, so I was a little worried she’d be more underweight. We call her our petite girl, since Jenna was always so big. I guess she started leveling off around 2.

People say “I can’t believe my baby’s already 2” or 3 or 6 or whatever. But I keep saying I can’t believe she’s ONLY 2. It seems like she’s been around here for years. Maybe it’s because she has literally driven me crazy. Staying home with 2 kids has never been my dream. I know I’m lucky to be able to do it, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed it. I am exhausted all the time, I always feel like I need a massage, my back hurts all the time from carrying her around, and I am cranky all the time. What a great mom! 🙂 To top it off, after a bout with depression last summer, I am on zoloft. The thing is, Sarah is constantly crying. She cries more than any other kid I’ve ever known. She cries and whines about EVERYTHING. I noticed today that from the time I picked them up from glorious MDO to the time we got home, she didn’t cry once. It was a record. And I should mention that it takes us about a minute and a half to get home from there. It was so sweet. She is so sweet and cute when she’s not crying–it’s a shame that is so infrequent! I could go on, but she is crying now since she’s up from her nap. And by the way–Christmas Eve she decided she was done with her crib, so since Christmas Day, she’s been on her mattress on the floor. We have to lock her in her room to get her to stay in there though…

The bottom line is this: I am blessed to be able to stay home with my kids. I love them and they’re great kids, and I think it’s much better for them to be able to stay home than be in daycare (although they might like that better…). But I don’t usually enjoy it and I’m not particularly happy, so I am always going back & forth in my head about diving into a job search. I won’t even mention our financial situation, but I’m sure I’ll still be at home with them for a while. Jenna starts Kindergarten in the Fall, but she’s not the one who causes me all the headaches! I pray that something snaps and Sarah stops being such a pain in the ass and I develop a new attitude about it all. 🙂