Now that Sarah is 3 days shy of 19 months, I’m getting around to posting her 18 month stats. Jeez, I almost forgot how to log in, it’s been so long. Whatever–I’ll just accept that I’m a bad blogger and leave it at that.

Sarah is totally average, size-wise. 23 lbs, 12 ozs (50%), 32 inches (50%), and her head is 48 inches around, putting her in the 80th % for that. I guess that’s why she’s always hitting her big head on things–it’s too big for the rest of her body. πŸ™‚ She is a handful, for sure. Always climbing on things, getting into everything, and screaming for what she wants. Other moms comment that she is fearless and energetic. I know you’re not supposed to compare your kids to others, but it’s hard not to. Sometimes I think mine are out of control. They fight a lot already, but they are very sweet, too. They hug a lot and Sarah is starting to give kisses. It’s so cute! She is SO cute. When she’s not crying. Which doesn’t seem to be that often! I ignore her when she cries, which usually makes it worse but I don’t want her to think that’s how she’ll get what she wants.

Sarah’s favorite things right now are snacks, buckling things like her booster seat or car seat, hitting her sister when I’m not looking, the aforementioned screaming, peek-a-boo, running away from me in public places, climbing on things, milk, going outside, and books. That’s my favorite from her list of favorites. But not just any books. She does enjoy ripping pages out of certain books, which we’re working on, but she loves a few of her board books. She favors Clifford. She loves me to read them to her over & over before bed, and first thing in the morning. The first thing she wants me to do when I get her out of her crib is get a book and read it to her. She has to have one when I change her diaper, and she points to her bookshelf and whines if I don’t let her get one. It’s a good thing to be into–I hope it sticks!

Although I am tired of the crying and screaming, Sarah is not the one I am most looking forward to a break from. I did discover recently that Sarah is much more pleasant to be around when Jenna is not around. For some reason, Jenna gets her going and makes her whine a lot. Jenna is constantly pulling her, pushing her, dragging her, biting her, or hitting her. The latter 2 don’t happen as often, but when they do, there is big trouble. I get so tired of telling her to stop and I’m wondering if I need to rethink the punishment strategy. I know they’ll fight and hit each other…that’s what siblings to. But I don’t want Sarah to learn that behavior from Jenna just yet! I love Jenna, of course, but she sure annoys the crap outta me. Everything she does lately annoys me. I guess that’s what happens when you spend all day, every day with someone. Which is one of the many reasons I am so looking forward to Mother’s Day Out starting in 23 long days. I now wish I had followed in the path of one of Jenna’s friends from last year’s class. His mom is putting him in a different place for 4 days a week. How heavenly would that be??? 4 days is a bit much, but 3 would be awesome. But, both Jenna and Sarah are going for 2 glorious days a week. I will be able to finish my own thoughts. I will be able to make doctor appointments, get my hair cut, spend some time online, and actually clean the house without it being immediately destroyed. I will be able to cook meals to be reheated for dinner, so as not to listen to all the crying that goes on during the usual dinner preparation. I will even be able to relax if I want to, but who am I kidding–those 4 hours will fly by. I guess my perpetual bad mood these days is a combination of the miserable August heat, the lack of quiet around here, my impatience with Jenna’s inability to follow directions, and the absence of “me” time. When I meet friends for playdates, we can’t even finish a sentence without being interrupted. Why won’t the kids just play and leave us alone??? Ah, OK, enough venting. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not blogging more, because that’s pretty much how it would go.

I do have to leave with my disclaimer, since it will probably be months before I blog again. I do have 2 beautiful, sweet girls. I am blessed that they are healthy, somewhat happy, and that I get to stay home with them. Even though they drive me CRAZY and I rarely have the energy to deal with it all day, I know it will go by fast. At least, that’s what I’m told and I’m holding onto that hope. πŸ™‚

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So, Jenna has an imaginary friend. It’s so funny, the imagination on this kid. She actually has 2 imaginary friends, but Ali is around a lot more often than Sally. She likes to blame things on Ali. “Mom, Ali called me a poo-poo head.” Or “Ali said stuipd.” or “Ali’s pushing me.” Sometimes she’ll tell Ali to stop, but most often she wants me to tell her. So maybe Ali has become my imaginary friend, too?

Sarah is not talking yet, but she does have a few words she favors. “Mo” is the one we hear most often. “Mo” is her word for more, and she uses it to refer to anything she wants. If she sees her sippy cup, she points to it and says “mo.” If she sees her favorite stuffed lamb, she says “mo,” and if she sees her snack cup or anyone eating any snack anywhere, she says “mo.” She says “da,” referring to both dogs and daddy, but I know her intention is there for both. She’ll say it when she sees any dog–not just ours. But only her dad–not just any dad. πŸ™‚ And she says “Mama” clear as day, often. But I don’t necessarily know that she says it when she is specifically trying to get my attention. She does understand things. Yesterday I was sitting on the playroom floor with her, and she was in my lap. She got up and babbled. I said “See the books? Do you want to go get a book?” She walked over to the shelf, grabbed a book, and plopped down in my lap for me to read it to her. My heart melted. Of course, she didn’t make it through the first page before she got up to do something else. Baby steps.

I took the girls to their 4-year and 15-month appointments last week. I didn’t get the paper with their stats that I normally get, so I went back today to get it. Playing phone tag with the not-so-competent nurse wasn’t working for me. I’m jotting them down now, while I remember, so I can refer to them later. It’ll probably be a year or so before I get around to logging them in the baby book. πŸ™‚

Jenna:

35 1/2 lbs, 50%

39″ tall, 50%

Sarah:

21 lbs, 50%

30″ long, 50%

head – 47 cm, 75%

So…my girls are really average, except for Sarah’s big ol’ head. πŸ™‚ She is teething now. Getting her incisors, and it’s causing problems on both ends. She has had a few diaper blowouts lately. Very loose bowels, and a horrible diaper rash to go along with it. Poor thing. Last night she threw up at dinner, although she seemed to feel just fine before and after. She has done that a handful of times, so we weren’t too concerned about it. But I can see her little teeth trying to poke through, which is what I’m chalking that up to. And maybe all the beans she ate for lunch???

I guess I wanted to be nice on my last post since it was about Jenna turning 4. Maybe I wanted to sugar-coat it since I was celebrating her 4 years, but this girl has been testing me. Testing. Me. She knows how to get under our skin. Not just me–I’ve never seen Jay so angry in our 12 years of marriage as I have when she pulls her crap. I let a lot of things slide. I am pretty laid back about certain things, but there are 3 things I cannot and will not tolerate. Lying, ignoring me, and blatant disobedience. Lately, she has decided all 3 of those things are just fine, and they have gotten out of control. I blame myself for the listening. I feel like I have trained her to only listen to me after the third or fourth time I’ve asked her something, when I raise my voice. That’s how it started. I would ask her a question or ask her toΒ  do something, and she would completely ignore me and go on with whatever she was doing. So I would ask her again, and usually she would respond. But I guess then it go to the point of asking her more than twice, and I realized I let it get too far. Now I’m working with her on responding the FIRST TIME. We are constantly telling her that, but now I have to show her. I just make her quit what she’s doing or go to her room. We’ll see how that goes.

Blatant disobedience–I am not so relaxed on that one. If I ask her not to do something and she looks me in the eye and does it, she gets a spanking. No debating. I hate spanking. I always said I didn’t want to do it, but it’s the only thing she responds to. I have decided I’m going to start taking her dresses away if this continues though. Sweets and dresses are her favorite things now, and I don’t want to use sweets as a reward or punishment. So we’ll see how that goes, too.

Lying. Oh, the lying. That’s a tricky one. Sometimes I don’t really know if she’s old enough to fully comprehend what she’s saying, but sometimes I know without a doubt that she is knowingly telling me a lie and she doesn’t even care. That’s what I can’t tolerate and I haven’t figured out yet what to do about that one. When I punish her for lying, I try to be clear that it’s not about whatever she lied about. It’s not about coloring on the table or not eating all her dinner or not washing her hands. It’s about telling me she didn’t do something, when clearly she did. I know all kids do it (or, most kids?) but don’t they eventually admit it?

Here’s what else she does–she has this smug look that she gives me. When she gives me this look, I want to slap it right off her face. But of course, I would never do that and I don’t even like to think about it. So usually I grab her jaw and tell her she will not look at me like that. I can’t descibe the look and chances are I’ll never get a picture of it, but it’s a look that says “yeah, I’m not listening. What are you gonna do about it?” Frustrating. Infuriating. But I just have to deal with it.

Whining. That’s another thing. And crying. At least once a day, she will start crying about something stupid, and not let up. So I’ll tell her to go to her room until she’s done. Sometimes I’ll just send her to her room if she doesn’t answer me. I’ll tell her to go sit there until she’s ready to answer me. Usually that sets off a tantrum. When it stops, I’ll go in her room and see if she’s OK and if she’s ready to answer or stop crying. That’ll set her off again. And sometimes she gets SO worked up, she can’t even stop crying. She’ll say “I c-c-c-an’t s-s-s-stop c-c-c-c-ryinggggg,” between sobs. I actually do feel sorry for her, and usually I just hug her and tell her to take deep breaths.

I try. Really I do. I try not to get frustrated, I try not to yell, and I try not to let it get to me because I know she can sense that. It’s getting to where I don’t even want to (or am afraid to?) be around her for any length of time. Like now. I have to pick her up from MDO in 40 minutes. I’m thinking what are we going to DO? We can’t come home. She will whine and Sarah will scream and try to climb all over me and it will be miserable. If I go to a store, Sarah will scream and writhe around and not want to be confined to a cart. We can go to a park. Then what? Jay won’t be home until after dinner/bedtime. I haaate getting dinner ready when Sarah is crying and stepping all over my feet the entire time. Then what will we do after dinner? Another park? A walk?

So, there it is. My complaining. I want to remember this. I want to remember everything good, but I want to remember why I wanted to work part-time and why I don’t smile a whole lot and why my neck and shoulders ache all the time from tension and why I feel like a new person when Jay & I get 2 hours to go to dinner by ourselves. Ah, to ourselves. I’ll hang onto that thought a while.

My Jenna Benna is 4 today! I guess since I’ve been anticipating it for so long, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Her first birthday–huge. Second, pretty big too. Third, not quite as much, but I still stressed about the birthday party. This time, I guess since we had Sarah’s first not so long ago, it didn’t seem as dramatic. How sad is that? I hope they don’t overshadow each other like that their whole lives.

We had Jenna’s birthday party at her favorite gymnastics place, and she had a blast. Sadly, I didn’t get many pictures of her playing on the gymnastics equipment because she NEVER STOPPED RUNNING. At least I got her favorite part though. The girl still loves her sweets. πŸ™‚

She also loves dresses, bows, lipstick, princesses, and having her fingernails painted. She is very much obsessed with picking out her clothes, and she usually doesn’t like to be bothered wearing the same clothes for a whole day. She loves playing outside, Angelina Ballerina, and flowers. Oh, how she LOVES to pick flowers. Unfortunately, she loves to pick them all, and she gets herself into trouble by picking the ones she knows she’s not supposed to. Usually it’s followed by a lie: “I didn’t pick it. It was on the ground.” Or if she’s with a friend, “I didn’t pick it, Luke did.” Little devil, we’ve been working on that lying thing, too. She loves to go on “family walks” after dinner. With the nice weather, we’ve been doing that a lot, but she rides her trike and Sarah rides in the jogging stroller. Jenna doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll get a big girl bike today and hopefully she’ll be as excited as I think she will.

She loves to eat (mostly snacks), gets super excited if she gets a “special treat” after dinner, and right now her favorites are chicken nuggets, pizza, and grilled cheese. Yeah–typical kid fare. She doesn’t eat nearly as much as she used to though–unfortunately, she doesn’t like to eat much else. Though I did discover that I can make fish sticks (more like fish nuggets) with frozen tilapia fillets, panko breadcrumbs, and parmesan. Both girls love them. Yay! She loves to color and is into drawing stick figures of her family. She loves to make necklaces, and she’s getting into pretend play (things they do in school) and playing with her sister! They both like to play on the playground and swing, but I couldn’t get a picture of her on the rope swing at her birthday party. I did get one of Sarah with her daddy though.

Jenna is such a sweet big sister. She definitely has her moments (hitting!) but she likes to make sure Sarah has everything she needs, and a lot that she doesn’t. She likes to pick out her clothes, help get her food ready, and check for dirty diapers. Too bad she doesn’t want to change them! She likes to make sure Sarah always has a toy to play with–even if she really doesn’t want one. πŸ™‚ I love when both of them play together in the playroom for a few minutes.

Like any 4-year-old, Jenna often causes me to lock myself in the bathroom, pull my hair out, and wonder what my life has become. But she is such a special blessing! I love the things she says, I love that she says grace every night, that she loves to help, and that she has such a caring heart. I wish I could spend more time coloring with her, reading to her, making necklaces with her, or painting her nails without Sarah standing there screaming to be held, but I love that she is sweet enough to understand. I don’t want to look back on these sweet days and forget what she was like, but I hope that sweet spirit never changes.

Even though Sarah is 13 months old, I am just getting around to posting her 12-month stats. Average! At her 1-year checkup, she was 20 lbs, 7 ozs, putting her in the 50th percentile. Jenna was still in like the 95th at that age. πŸ™‚ She was 28 1/2″ long, putting her in the 40th percentile for length (when do they start calling it height?), and her head was 46 1/2 cm, making her head in the 75th percentile. Big ol’ head! We jokingly call her our petite girl, since Jenna was so much bigger. She’s average now though, I’m guessing. She’ll be 4 in 2 months though, so I’ll find out then.

Wow, 4. I love how much of a “big girl” she is most of the time. She is starting to act like a baby though, because she’s jealous of all the attention Sarah gets. Sarah cries all the time because she wants me to pick her up. All the time. Especially after 5. Makes it nearly impossible to get dinner ready, unless I just listen to her throw a fit and walk all over my feet. And if I do cave in and pick her up, Jenna wants to be picked up, too. But it won’t last. They are great. We are so lucky to have 2 great girls.

Sarah loves to empty any cabinet she can get to. She’s at the I’m-into-everything-and-you-can’t-make-me-stop phase. She also loves peek-a-boo, so this combines her 2 favorites!

Both of the girls love to be outside, but it’s been so cold lately, we haven’t been out much. We have a decent day here & there, and I’m anxious for Spring so we can get out more.

I am now working about 30 hours a week, and I have the girls in daycare MWF. I was really worried about Sarah, since she’s so attached, and hates when I leave her anywhere. At the same time, I thought it would be good for her. The first week was rough–she cried a lot. But the second week was much better. This is her third week, and in fact she hasn’t even cried the last 3 times I’ve dropped her off! It’s funny–I wasn’t worried about Jenna because I thought she’d love it. She does like it OK, but she does NOT like when I drop her off in the morning. She is very clingy and won’t talk to anyone. Very shy–it’s not really like her and I would think she would have warmed up by now. It never dawned on me that Jenna would be the tough one to drop off! She’s always excited when I pick her up, and I am equally excited. So my plan works. I have them in daycare, I work, and then I LOVE spending time with them. πŸ™‚ Yes, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

And a little Valentine candy bribery doesn’t hurt, either. That girl does love her candy. And she won’t let me put her hair up anymore. Maybe once a week she’ll let me, but is usually comes down before the day is over. I’m considering cutting it, but I love it long. Maybe it’s a phase and soon she’ll let me put it up again. I can dream.

The girls are starting to play together a little, which makes me very happy. Well, they don’t really play together, so much as play in the same room and it takes longer before one of them cries because the other one knocked her over or pulled her hair. You can guess which is which. And typically if they are doing something other than demanding attention, it has to be in the same room we are in. But I’m OK with that.

Sarah is getting her molars and is eating more now. Good thing because I was getting worried! Or frustrated, to be more accurate. She wouldn’t touch a fruit or vegetable for a while. Now, she still doesn’t like vegetables, but she likes beans, like black beans or kidney beans. And she likes red grapes and blueberries, and this morning I got her to eat mango. She cannot possibly be my daughter if she doesn’t love fresh mango. It just takes a few tries for her to like something, I guess. Her favorite is chicken nuggets. And she still loves black olives, cheese, and snacks of almost any kind. Cheerios, goldfish, and these brown rice & sesame crisps I got from Costco are her faves.

Poor Sarah has had an ear infection for about 2 months now. Yep, she’s on her third round of antibiotics. I’m not sure if it keeps coming back, or if it really just won’t clear up, but I’m thinking it’s not clearing up. Along with that ear infection comes lots of snot. It’s usually worse in the morning and isn’t as bad as the day progresses. Sadly, most of the kids in her class have constant runny noses, so whenever this ear infection does clear up, she’ll probably get another one or something else from all those germs. But–no avoiding that. Jenna seems to be getting a little bit of a runny nose too, but I hope hers doesn’t progress and I really, REALLY want to get this ear infection of Sarah’s kicked! I’m thinking about going to an ENT doctor because obviously the antibiotics aren’t doing it. I don’t want to just keep shoving more of them down her throat if they’re not even really helping.

So–updating my blog on my lunch hour makes me miss my girls. Good–can’t wait to pick them up!

You are such a sweet little thing. So lovey, so cute, and you give the best hugs. I wish I could hold you all day, every day, but I can’t. Your personality has been shining lately. You are a little explorer and you’re curious about things. Just like your sister. You don’t eat much, except for Cheerios, goldfish, and Gerber snacks. You don’t like fruits or veggies, but we’ll keep working on that. You & your sister play well together, except sometimes she just doesn’t want to be bothered with you. Get used to that because it won’t get any better. πŸ™‚

You are getting a little better about being left with other people. Not great, but at least you don’t cry the entire time anymore. You went through a pretty cranky phase and I was a little worried that you just weren’t a happy kid. But you were sick for a while and I think you just weren’t so happy. Lately you smile more and laugh, and you are just so, SO cute when you do it! When you are not happy, your thumb is your best friend. You shove that thing in your mouth all the time, and you get upset when I take it out to get you dressed or try to feed you. But you are OK with it if it’s a snack or a bottle that you’re getting.

You love to walk around and put things in your mouth, pick up toys, and follow us. You love to be outside, and you can do that now that it’s been a little warmer. You are a little monkey though. It’s difficult for me to shop with you because even when you’re strapped into the shopping cart, you still manage to work your way out. The other day, you stood up and flipped over the side in a matter of seconds. I grabbed you by your feet and unstrapped the belt so I could readjust you, but I decided that I will just have to keep one hand on you when my eyes are off.

You love to dance whenever there’s music on, and you talk your little baby talk (yell, really) when you’re feeling good. I’m anxious for those to be words I can understand! You are getting to be so much fun, and I am excited about sharing your second year with you!