Monthly Archives: July 2014

Growing Big.

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Ugh. This was my morning 9 months ago. This sweet little piece of sugar all snuggled up next to me. Why must they grow? And so quickly!

Daddy, my sister’s growing so big! She growing big, but she’s still little.

She’s kinda wobbly.

That’s what Leah had to say on the matter. I heard her mutter those words to her dad and quickly wrote it down to save forever. She gets it. She gets it so well. Quinn is growing big… but she’s still little… and kinda wobbly.

This is the scary month. This is the month where I am knee deep in baby fever. Where my 9 month old is so stinking cute that I want a million more. Where it’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten most of the rough nights, and the ones I remember I brush off as no big deal. The month where I start throwing “feelers” out there to get Kyle’s opinion on the matter – only to have my hopes and dreams shattered. The month where he won’t let any kisses linger for fear that I’ll spontaneously get pregnant. And I know that deep down (deep deep deep deep down) I do want to wait; but my goodness. It’s hard.

But while I’m waiting for my womb to fill up with baby goodness once again, I will be thoroughly enjoying this little creature around me every day. There is no better baby on the planet that my Quinn bug, I can promise you that. This was a big one for her – she accomplished SO much during one little month. She’s a talking, babbling, social little fool! She loves when people talk to her; quite a socialite to say the least! This month (in no particular order) she learned how to clap, how to wave, how to climb stairs, how to cruise, how to pull up, how to do “soooo big,” and how to drive!

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She’s got a bit of a lead foot.

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And she gets some help with the oral hygiene. She really just likes chewing – so the toothbrush is just another fun thing to chew on. Lord knows she needs it, though, with 8 teeth. This was actually the first month in quite a while that she got no new teeth! She’s got some big, fat gums, however, so I know more will be joining us soon.

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A moving Quinn is an in trouble Quinn. There’s a nice little grace period in the crawling business. For a while, they like to stay in the same room with you, they are content playing in their surroundings. Then one day they say to their little baby selves, “what’s around this corner?” Then, “what’s behind this door?” “What’s up these stairs?” And… game over. We are there. We are in the Quinnnnnn come back herrrrrrrre phase. And I love it and hate it. I love it because it does give her freedom to go about as she pleases. And I don’t have to constantly entertain her. But I also can’t let her roam free or she pulls nightlights out of walls, eats chalk, and empties canisters full of powdered sugar. Duncan is officially the easiest of the three – never thought I’d see that day.

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A nine month old Quinn loves to eat. Loves food. Any of it. This is SO different from Leah, I’m not even sure what to do with her sometimes. I mean, do I cut her off at a certain point? Would she honestly eat until she puked? I don’t know – but I know she thoroughly enjoys her meals. Her favorite is corn on the cob! She could eat it by the ton – but I do stop her at one ere. She also loves spaghetti, oranges, blueberries, oatmeal, pb toast, pizza, and carrots. Kid can eat.

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Quinn gave me a gift this month! The ability to drink coffee again! OMG. I tried it once when she was three weeks and, well, I had a WIRED three week old. They say some breastfed babies tolerate it, some do not. I had one that did not. So I vowed to never drink it again. Until one day a couple weeks ago. I got some serious courage. She’s not taking in nearly as much breastmilk these days, surely it wouldn’t be too brutal. And I decided if she was wired, I could handle it for one day and continue on with my non caffeinated self. But I didn’t need to! I noticed 0 change in her behavior – hallelujah! I don’t know how I made it 9 months with 3 of them and 0 caffeine! That deserves some kind of award. I’m such a better mom with a little jolt every morning. We are outside swinging at drinking coffee every morning at 7am if you’d ever like to join us. It’s rather peaceful.

She’s a growing girl, this Quinn. She’s just big. But still little. And wobbly. She used to give me her biggest and best smiles at this lion…

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Now I get them when she’s inside a hippo…

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Or stealing the remote…

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Or playing with her favorite ball…

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She’s just a little doll. And if Kyle won’t let us create a third angel baby, I guess I will settle for enjoying everything this one has to offer for a while longer. πŸ™‚

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Love you SO big, sweet girl. Happy 9!

 

 

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8:15.

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I sent that picture to my mom this morning as sort of an SOS. You see, this is our 8:15. It was 8:15 on the dot. Leah came downstairs from her slumber at 8. Quinn had been up since 5:45, and was happy to be finally getting breakfast. We are disheveled at 8:15. We are not groomed, we are hungry, and we are lazy. BUT. In two weeks at 8:15 Leah will be IN her classroom starting school!

WHAT?!

How do we get from the picture above which is filled with bedhead, oatmeal stains, and sleepy eyes – to INSIDE a classroom groomed, filled bellies, and ready for the day?!

You working moms who do this every day… Kudos. KU-DOS. Now, tell me how you do it?? I’m assuming a different schedule should be my first objective (duh). Breakfast will have to be pushed way up. Way.up. Jammies will have to come off before 10am; a rarity in this house. My goal will have to be to be out of this house at 7:45, which will give us a few minutes buffer (a necessity). Darn the fact that Quinn and I have to walk her into her classroom every day or the two of us could rock the PJ’s by ourselves. But alas, we also have to look bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Guys. This is an overwhelming feat. And I will spend much time in angst over it in the next two weeks.

But I will also spend much time in eager (eager!) anticipation! School is starting! Do you want to know what Leah’s dad asked the other day…

“is it like real school?”
“Ummmm, yes? What did you think we’re doing?”

“I thought it was just like a month or something.”

Who is this man? Does he not live under the same roof as the rest of us? Does he never check my facebook statuses (statusi?) Or read these blogs?? Of course this is real school – this is where the journey begins. We have registration and meet the teacher this Thursday, then a ‘new families’ picnic on Sunday, then pre school orientation next Tuesday – and by then we should be well acquainted and ready to go!Β  This is real school you guys (Kyle) – with a real calendar, real spirit week, real yearbook pictures, real snow days, real Christmas programs, real school supplies list, real schoolness. And I know I’m excited. And I know Leah is excited.

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She loves to put her backpack on and pretend. God love her, I’m not sure school is ready for her and those glasses. It’s a very scary thought to drop her off somewhere a few days a week. Not really because I don’t think she can hack it in school, but because I’m not positive we’ve raised her well enough. Have we prepared her for the real world well enough in these three years?! Eeeek. She doesn’t always have an “attention span.” What happens if she’s asked to walk in a line and does this:

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Like she did on a walk with our family. I have nightmares of all the little Lutherans walking in a perfect little line… and Leah. Walking on her hands, sticking her feet in the air, saying she’s going to “crawl” instead. God help me. God help them. God help Leah.

What happens if I can’t get her out the door because she wants to dress herself “like mommy” like she does so often at home.

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(This is her “mommy” look. I mean, I know I’m fashionable, but I didn’t know I looked that good)!

There are just a million variables to a successful day with Leah, and I will sit here biting my fingernails for three hours every Tuesday and Thursday in hopes that she is being a model citizen in class. And not throwing things, running away, or eating glue. I just want her to listen and be kind. That’s all I need out of her. Surely. Surely she can give me that.

If things do go sour, however, I blame her father. He can talk to the principal. He’s the one that taught her to spit and taught her to say “POW, right in the kisser!” when hitting (usually me) in the face with a ball. I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got around here.

I do have this image to pump my spirits…

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This was at Bible school last week. (I blurred the other kids to avoid a lawsuit :)) She looks harlmess there, right? Obviously participating. Obviously not eating markers. Seemingly happy. Not spitting. All good things! We can do this. We can get out the door at 7:45 (OMG, NO WE CAN’T). Leah will be the little peach that I know she can be. Yes, yes, yes. Positive thoughts. Two weeks to prepare. School is coming for us! 8:15 is coming for us!

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We got this.

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To Our Dog.

To the dog who keeps me company while Kyle plays video games,

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To the dog who eats his dinner most nights at 3am, because that’s the only time he can eat in peace,

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To the dog who loves bubbles as much as any kid I’ve ever seen,

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And the same goes for the hose,

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To the dog who is always ready to play with his human creature,

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To the dog who was under my feet constantly as a puppy,

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And constantly under my feet now,

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To the dog who bridles his strength with the littlest one,

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And bridles it with the slightly bigger one,

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But totally unleashes it with the biggest one,

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To the dog who loves to ride in the car simply because of the company,

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To the dog who loved to be cradled as a 10lb puppy,

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And still loves to be cradled 90lbs later,

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We say to you – Happy Birthday, big guy!

We love you Duncan James.

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That’s My Kid!

So I’m watching the All-Star game (baseball) and get goosebumps.

Do we all know that Derek Jeter is retiring? So he was called off the field and, the fans knowing it’s his last hoorah, give him a standing ovation. But that’s not where I got my bumps.

The cameras repeatedly show his parents watching from the stands. And two things dawn on me. First, I never really realized that he had parents before! I mean, duh, right? But you know, it’s not something you would normally think of when watching these professional athletes do their thing. They have parents just like the rest of us lowly people. But then the thought that really got me – man. How proud are his parents?!

The parents of Derek-freaking-Jeter.

So that’s when I got my bumps. Here are the parents of Derek Jeter just watching their son play baseball. And then I started thinking (apparently an All Star game really moves me), I hope my kids do something cool some day. Sure, Leah ate some of a styrofoam cup a while ago – and I pulled some chalk out of Quinn’s mouth a few days ago – but maybe they could amount to something someday? Right? I mean, surely Derek Jeter tried a crayon or two in his day? And he turned out alright. And I’m certain that he’s made his parents proud.

I loved watching their faces throughout it all. Their kid was getting the standing ovation of a lifetime to cap off a remarkable baseball career, and they got to watch. His mom was clapping along with everyone looking like she wanted to shout from the rooftops – THAT’S MY KID! And his dad (holding a baby) was standing rather stoically, but you could just tell he wanted to shout from the rooftops (in a very calm and cool manner) THAT’S MY KID!

And my mind started to wander to my styrofoam and chalk eating little people. And I thought of just today how proud I was of them for different things. For one, Quinn claps her hands now. (And it.is.darling!) And this morning before Kyle left for work she would turn off our cable box (not as darling) and then clap her hands. I was trying to get Kyle to see so bad, but he kept looking away! She would clap, and I’d scream, “Kyle, she’s doing it! Look!” And she’d stop. And he’d miss it. Over and over. I was just staring at her waiting for the next clapping of the hands, beaming with pride at her new skill. And then we had gymnastics with Leah. And she was working on (can’t remember the official term) but switching her hands and turning around on the high bar. And I was watching her through the glass with Quinn on my lap and just barely keeping myself together. I could see her hanging there and she was really thinking about where to swing her hand to make it go over the other one so she could turn. At one point, she hand both hands on top of each other, but she still hung on and moved the top one a little more to the right and she had done it! I bounced Quinn on my lap and squealed quietly in her ear, “SHE DID IT, QUINN!” I was so stinking proud of her.

Kyle and I often (and I do mean often) talk about how fun it’s going to be to watch these little girls perform in one way or another when they get bigger. Sports, dance, singing, being an apple in the school play – I don’t really care what it isΒ  – I feel like getting to see them “on stage” is going to be the highlight of our parental careers. It already is, and so far we just have gymnastics and soccer (and turning the cable box off and clapping) under our belts. I’m sure it will only get better as they get older. The stages will only grow bigger. How fun to watch them do what they do (and hopefully love). And maybe they’ll even be really good at it! But if not, that’s okay, too. Because I guarantee if I’m watching them do something – their actual skill is going to matter very little to me. Maybe a little more to their dad, but not their mom. πŸ™‚

So I’m assuming Derek Jeter’s family had the time of their lives tonight. They produced a baseball legend, and got to enjoy watching the entire baseball world honor him. And I’m sure their pride oozes over. But I don’t know, I like to think I know a little of what their feeling. When Quinnie clapped her little hands this morning I would’ve stopped traffic to tell someone, “THAT’S MY KID! She was the one who just clapped her hands so well! Did you see them touch and then go out again – that was my Quinn! Clapping!”

And then Leah up there on that high bar turning around and around.

Mmmm.

This is the stuff parenting is made of, guys.

Pure gold.

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Back to Normal.

Well that was one heck of a weekend.

I need a vacation!

The 4th of July/birthday combo is not for the faint of heart. I do like that Leah kind of gets two big celebrations around her big day, but man. It’s exhausting. She (and her dad and I) didn’t get to bed until 11:30 Friday night, had one day of party prep (and dealing with her sisters mystery rash), Sunday was party day, and Monday was her actual birthday.

Whew.

Her party was a roaring success (at least to me). There were lots of smiles and I didn’t have to do anything but capture all of those smiles. I think a “not in my house” party is the way to go from now on. This year was a big transition year in the way of birthdays. Leah is a big 3 year old now, and we were ready to give her a big 3 year old party. Less people not her age, more friends just for her. In the past we had had the big shabang at our house and invited everyone under the sun. This year, and all future years these are going to be Leah’s party’s. With Leah’s friends. Which means I don’t have to clean my house for them anymore. πŸ™‚

Her Curious George theme this year was so fun. She had been wanting this party since October of last year, so I was a little worried that in those 8 months she would start to like George less. Good news is, she doesn’t. She loves him just the same if not more. We found a fabulous cake baker to make her biggest dream come true:

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Oh, the George Cake. I’ve been hearing about this cake also since October, and I’m SO happy that it met all of her expectations.

First thing Sunday morning (I picked it up Saturday) she came downstairs and said, “mommy, is my George cake still here? Can I wook at it?”

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That’s a happy Leah. With crazy bed head as always.

Then, I had to cash in on my other promise since last October… her helping me make birthday cupcakes:

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There was a lot of baking last weekend. A lot of eating. A lot of cleaning. A lot of running (errands. I don’t run).

But we made it through… with tons of smiles and wonderful memories… and a little bit of jet lag.

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With a holiday out of the way, a George party out of the way, and now a 3 year old Leah here to stay… we can all get back to normal. I don’t know about Kyle but his women are exhausted. Quinn slept til 7am this morning (usually 5:45) and Leah slept til 8:30 (usually 7). This was the birthday girl in Target last night:

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And this is her dog, whom I still can’t get out of bed:

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I made a promise to myself that we wouldn’t leave the house today, and so far we’re doing just that. There are SO many new toys to play with, so really, we have no reason to leave. No one is bored. I’m so happy to be back in a routine. I’m happy that everyone is getting their normal naps again. I’m happy that Quinn is back to her usual goofy self:

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I’m happy that our entire 4 day jam packed weekend was a success, but I’m really happy to be looking ahead! You see, ahead we have some big things on our horizon. In 3 months we will be almost to Disney World!! Eeek. And before that can happen Leah will start SCHOOL. Man, I’m excited to take her back-to-school shopping. The fact that stores already have supplies and fall clothes is only getting me more excited. It’s gonna be so weird (and fun) to drop her off somewhere and let someone else deal with her for a few hours a day. πŸ™‚ She has her registration at the end of this month and that is just blowing my mind. I suppose before I know it summer will be over, we will have a new routine including school drop off, and pumpkins and cool weather will be here. We better brush up on all things Lutheran. πŸ™‚

Fun times ahead.

Glad to be doing it with my new three year old.

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And her crazy sister.

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And their incredibly lazy dog.

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Happy 3!

Good grief.

Three years ago at this time I was doing everything I could to expel Leah from my insides. There was pineapple eating, and cupcake making, and furniture moving, and bumpy road driving, and spicy Mexican dinners, and “Leah, come outtt, I want to meeeet youuuuu,” talks. It was brutal, the waiting game. And funny. Because you wait and you wait and you wait, and the anticipation is indescribable. The excitement is overwhelming. But you honestly have no idea what, who you’re waiting for. You don’t know what you’re excited about – there’s no way you can fathom what’s about to happen. Sure, there’s a baby that you think you’d really like to see. But what about the rest of it… what on Earth does that mean?

A blissful ignorance to say the least.

I was waiting for my Leah. My bug. I was waiting to hear what everyone talks about, those first cries. Holding, snuggling, kissing. I wanted her in my arms more than anything in the world. And just three years ago! That’s the part that really kills me. She’s three now, and she’s big. She’s growing up into a regular old kid – but somehow it’s still only been three years. Has she not been here my whole life? What was life like before that pregnancy test said, ‘pregnant.’

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Hard to remember life with just two of us.

Leah made me a mom; and she will always rest high atop that pedestal. And I love Quinn with all of my heart, and I love the babies we haven’t even seen yet – but Leah made me a mom. She was the one who had to be patient with me while I had no idea how to use my boobs for nourishment. She was the one who had to cry with me because neither of us could figure out how to get her to sleep. But she was also the one who made me feel empowered like I had never felt before in my life. She gave me confidence in my skin that I didn’t know existed. She paved the way for the calm, cool, and collected mom that Quinn gets to enjoy.

I’ve been in a weird place all week. I love a good birthday week, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a brutal little game motherhood plays on you. On the one hand, I’m so excited that she will be three! Three whole years! I’m excited that she’s growing, and thriving, and doing new things every single day. I’m so proud that she is reaching all milestones when she should, if not before. But a part of me wants to squish her up into a ball and put her back in my belly and keep here there. To make her stay little forever. To start over again, and to truly enjoy raising a baby Leah. And for the love of Pete (whoever that is) to not let her grow up the second time around!

But I suppose that’s not possible. I suppose she will continue to grow just as she should. So I will be left with no choice but to watch her continue to excel at everything she does as a three year old.

She’s my bug, that’s for sure. Her mom or not… she’s really stinking funny.

She is currently trying to figure out the English language. More specifically, she’s trying to figure out how to use the words, “on purpose,” “dangerous,” and, “I promise.” Quinn and I were headed to the swingset and Leah was on her way out of the house behind us. She says, “I’m coming, mommy! It’s a little dangerous, but it’s good.” I’m sorry, come again? Ha. Just things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. And then something I get at almost every meal, “what’s Quinnie eating on purpose?” “Well, today she’s having carrots and strawberries on purpose, is that okay with you?” And then lastly, “Mom! Don’t do that! I promise!” Like seriously, how do you respond to any of the above. I just laugh at her most of every day. (Is that wrong)? The language part of a three year old is exhausting because, at least in this house, it’s constant, and not always pleasant. But then I get to hear her try to put thoughts and phrases together and just sit back and marvel at how her little brain is working in overdrive just to be a part of society.

Her curiosity might actually kill the cat. We are in the thick of the “whys.” Why is the question for everything, or the question that needs to be asked because she accidentally forgot that she wasn’t talking for a second. “But, mommy, whyyyyyyyyyyyy?” Omg, Leah, BECAUSE I SAID SO. I do try really hard to answer all of her why’s – but you know, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in a day. She wants to know how everything works, who made what (for instance, her car seat – can someone please tell her the man’s name that made her car seat because Britax isn’t doin the job), and when we are going to Ali and Zoey’s, the mall, dinner, her birthday party, Disney world, ___, _____, _____. Those are the worst kind of questions because she has very little concept of time. She knows that July 7th is her birthday, but July 7th means absolutely nothing to her. Next week means nothing. October means nothing. 4:00 means nothing. So I just spew this nonsense of time, and she is satisfied for the time being, and we go about our business for five minutes until the next brainbuster comes along. You know, like, “why are we watching Frozen, mommy.” “Uh… because you wanted to.” “Why?”

She is a tricky little character. She has this awful, but hilarious game she likes to play right now. I like to call it, “how do I distract mom from yelling at me.” It goes something like this: she gets in trouble, and in the midst of my scolding, she gets real close to me and tries to divert attention away from her bad behavior and place it on something good that she’s done. For instance, “Leah, do NOT pull Duncan’s tail, that will hurt him.” She comes running over, “mommy, are you happy that I stayed in my room for my nap?” What do you even do with that? I try really hard not to laugh because I think it’s funny that she’s so smart and clever… but at the same time, stop it you little stinker, we’re talking about how you’re bad… not good. Lemme yell at you!

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My little Leah is a little mother through and through. She had quite a year last year; gaining a sister! She loves her little sister to the moon and back. When Quinn cries, Leah says things like, “it’s okay, you don’t have to be sad, Quinn.” Or, “it’s okay, Quinn, I’m here.” I don’t know if a single thing is more gratifying than knowing that we are raising a child to be compassionate. If it were only towards her sister, that would be one thing, but Leah can pick out a baby crying from anywhere and always wants to know 1)who it is and 2)what’s wrong. It warms my heart so much to know that she cares when people are sad – I hope she never ever loses that.Β  She is also the most helpful little treat I know. She can fetch a diaper like it’s nobodies business! The best part is, she enjoys getting me things. She always declares, “I’m such a big helper, mommy!” to which I acknowledge that she most certainly is. She loves to help me in the kitchen, folding laundry, dusting, washing windows – you name it. Maybe she’ll start her own cleaning business someday :). We are a couple of cake/cookie baking extraordinaires. I so love cooking with my kid. The other day we were making pretend cookies and I asked what we needed and she told me Cream of Tarter! Cream of freaking Tarter. It made me so happy that she has our recipes memorized so well that she wants to put cream of tarter in our pretend cookies!

Leah is a sucker for a good costume. She loves to put on the world’s most random outfit, call it a costume, and make me take a picture. And while I laugh and tell her she looks so fancy, I know that deep down she actually believes that she is incredibly fancy… and that is the best part.

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Fancy.

If Quinn is my koala bear baby… Leah is the cat that I try to bathe. She came out being independent, and has only gotten more so with each passing year. She prefer I not help her with a darn thing from potty, to putting on shoes, to buckling her car seat. Heaven forbid I hold her hand. She is thrilled that I no longer attend gymnastics with her, and I’m sure school by herself will suit her just fine. She needs not from her mother. But I love it. I love her stubborn, fighting spirit – even when it’s working against me. I love that she must figure everything out on her own. It’s a joy to watch her thrive from the sidelines. A lot of times I feel like I could send her out in the real world and she would conquer. Even this blog, I feel like I’m writing about an 18 year old – and I have to remind myself that she’s not yet in kindergarten.

So a million thanks to my big bug for giving me my mom card. For sticking with me as I figure it all out – whatever it is. For being the guinea pig as I find out what in the world you’re supposed to do with these little people as they grow big. For making my job challenging and rewarding like nothing else on the planet. For being the smiling little face that comes down the steps in the morning, and immediately asks, “mommy, why you not gettin’ my oatmeal yet?” Thanks for the laughs, sweet girl – three solid years of you next to me has been tremendous for my soul.

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What a good.stinking.kid.

 

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