Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

My babies, my life, my heart

Four days before you arrived!

Every year around your birthday your Daddy and I get back to a place right before you were born and we talk, in detail, about the days, hours and minutes leading up to your birth.

The world stopped, everyone and everything on the earth stood still in anticipation. Waiting and praying. Then in a minute you were here, one after another and every cell in our world celebrated with the greatest joy and love ever known to anyone!

You were meant to be. Each of you created by hand right down to your tiny eyelashes and the taste buds on the tips of your tongues. You were promised to me in my most desperate place and the idea of you overflowed me with peace and happiness instantly. "You will be blessed more than you can ever imagine" were the words of the most powerful spirit I've ever felt in my entire life. Then I let go of my worry, and I waited for you. It wasn't long, just a few months after that I was pregnant with you.

My life has been so profoundly changed by you. I WILL NEVER, EVER, BE THE SAME. Some people spend their lives looking for purpose. I don't have to. My purpose was to be your Mom.

I will spend the rest of my life trying to put into words the love, the deepest love, that I ever imagined possible for you.

My sweet, sweet baby girls I love you more than my heart can handle. I will always be overflowing with awe of you two. You are good, you are wonderful, you are magical!

Happiest 3rd birthday my loves. You grow more beautiful, more intelligent, more compassionate each day. I watch you in amazement! Look at all you can do! Look at all you say! Look at your own hearts and your own love and humility! You are so amazing!!!

Everyday Things

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

my lil' kitchen helpers

Every time I walk into the kitchen my two little chicas follow behind demanding I put their aprons on and let them help "cook". Today they "cooked" fresh fruit and cold sandwiches ;) They were pretty proud of themselves for scooping the fruit out of the bowl with spatulas and for placing the rest of their lunch on their plates....all by themselves! After they even helped me wash dishes....even though we have a dishwasher....and I didn't want to wash them. Lucky me! Although (almost!) 3 year olds have a way of making EVERYTHING silly and fun and they do provide me with a daily dose of hysterical laughter!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You - Nancy Tillman

I wanted you more than you will ever know,
so I sent love to follow wherever you go.
It's as high as you wish it. It's as quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow stretches itself!
So climb any mountain.....
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!
Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you. My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...
if you're working...
or playing...
or sitting with friends.
You can dance 'til you're dizzy...
paint 'till you're blue...
There's no place, not one, that my love can't find you.

And if someday you're lonely, or someday you're sad,
or you strike out at baseball, or think you've been bad...
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating the top of the the sound crickets make at the end of the day...

"You are loved. You are loved. You are loved," they all say.

My love is so high, and so wide and so deep, it's always right there, even when you're asleep.
So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.
If you're still my small babe or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you is you're never alone.
You are my angel, my darling, my star...
and my love will find you, wherever you are.

You are loved.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning and Night

Santa left a special breakfast Christmas morning!

Christmas Eve we spent at my parents house with Nana and Poppa, Auntie Chrissy, Mariah (Cousin), Shaylah (Cousin), Olivia (Cousin), Owen (Cousin), Uncle Josh and Auntie Suzanne. It was wonderful, lots of fun and great food. Thank you Mom and Dad for the wonderful spread, the company and all of the special gifts. The girls had a great time, especially Adia, who just like her cousin Olivia, believes in her heart of hearts that she is in fact a puppy :) Olivia even fed Adia some puppy food out of a bowl (cashews and peanuts). Christmas is always special to me. My parents, even when we had no money, made it so special and wonderful and exciting every. single. year. Thank you for the memories.

Royce and I stayed up late, really late watching a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve night and 3.5 hours later we awoke to the girls screaming, "Santa came!!!! There's presents!!!!!" So up we flew out of bed to let the girls loose and watch them tear open their gifts. It was pure joy for all four of us. About an hour later we all crashed out and caught up on some much needed sleep (thank God!).

Christmas day we spent together as a family, playing, napping, eating and really enjoying each others company. Royce and I put the girls to bed early, they were spent and Royce and I started a fire. The baby monitor stayed silent but all of the sudden I peaked in the window and on noticed the light peering from the loft (playroom) and Rasa and Adia dancing in circles at about 9:30!! We put their coats and boots on and brought them out to enjoy the fire with us. It was very special even though it didn't last long, I'm glad we did it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

waiting for snow!

Rasa's cheaks were cold the other night when Royce had the girls outside after dinner. I was in (I'm always freezing!) and I hear a bang bang bang at the door followed by Rasa saying, "Momma! Let me in!". She had mittens on and couldn't get the door open. She told me she needed something so her cheeks wouldn't be cold. I wrapped her in my scarf all the way around her head and she reminded me of Randy, the little brother on the movie A Christmas Story.

She's been patiently waiting for snow. It's so weird a week before Christmas to see brown grass and not a spot of snow to be found anywhere!

After we went in she was happy to be unwrapped.

Back to her full time job of caring for her babies. The other day she was sitting on the kitchen table with her baby and she was trying to get her to sit up. The doll isn't made to sit so it would fall backwards each time. Rasa realized if she held her a certain way she could sit up assisted.

She's holding her up and then says, "Momma I'm tired of taking care of the babies".

I said, "Yes taking care of babies is a lot of work isn't it?!"

She replied, "Yes, it is!".

That day I was having a hard time because Rasa had been crying and carrying on all day long. She was SO crabby and demanding. I asked her "do you have a baby that cries and whines all the time?!"

She said, "No..."

I said, "well consider yourself lucky than"

Friday, December 16, 2011

sister....friend....what's the difference

I was sitting downstairs and adia came sliding down the stairs. She was very busy.....doing.....who knows what.

Me: "Hi Adia!"

Adia: "I'm sorry Momma, I hafta go see what my friend Rasa needs"

the miracle of recycling

Royce and I have been wrapping presents when the girls are sleeping at night and I've been putting the scraps of paper too small to wrap another gift with in the girls art bins. Last night Rasa discovered all of the folded pieces and pulled them out one by one excited like it was Christmas morning. After she had them all pulled out and layed neatly on the floor she exclaimed, "This is the best Christmas I've ever had in my whole life!!!"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

downtown Macy's 8th floor

My parents and I brought the girls downtown Minneapolis to do our annual Macy's 8th floor santa and display visit. As soon as we got out of the car Adia promptly asked, "Where is Santa??!!". I told her he was upstairs and we were going to visit him. Then she asked where the reindeer were because she needs to pet them. I told her they were probably parked on the roof eating lunch.

We did the display tour, same one as last year but the girls were so much more into it this year. Watching their little faces light up seeing the little details was so much fun. We did the puppet show this year and it was really cool.

When we went in to see Santa the girls were excited (despite their faces in the picture after I tried abandoning them on his lap). Adia told Santa she wants a pink bee (aka the pink butterfly pillow pet). She was quiet and cute. Santa asked Rasa if she wanted a baby doll and she smiled. How did he know that?!! ;) He asked what her name was and she wouldn't give it up. When he asked if her name was Billy she gave him her signature look that says "are you kidding me" and then smiled. They were slow to walk out, starring at him the entire time. It was sweet.

We had lunch again at the Skyroom upstairs. Good food and fun for the girls. They love salad bars!

We stopped in Candyland on our way back to the car and each of them were overwhelmed with the amount of colors and candies in the displays. I forgot what it was like to walk in there as a kid. Amazing! I got them each a rock sugar pop and they danced out with them in their mouths.

When I asked what their favorite part of the day was they both said Santa! Really? It doesn't look like it! Hahaha

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ah sweet perspective

So I've been commiserating a lot lately about this destructive, get into everything, explore and mess it all up phase that the girls are in. It's exhausting some days, most days. They are so dang fast I can't keep up with their trail of terror.

I was sitting at my Sisters house and we were talking (over wine....the only way to properly talk) and she was telling me stories I remembered hearing a few years ago about Shaylah writing all over the walls, climbing the refrigerator and even the time she got into Mariah's room, which was in the process of being redecorated, and snuck a paint tray into her own room and painted the walls.

I was looking at my beautiful now 5 year old niece thinking about how well she listened, how well she took direction and how independent she is. I'm thinking she's SO easy to manage! Just at that moment she walked over and grabbed a raw hot dog out of the fridge, slapped in on the counter and said, "Lissa! Do you want a wiener?" I politely said no thanks, not a fan of unidentifiable meat, and she proceeded to hold it like it was her penis, swing it all around and dance up and down with it waving it in front of the dogs face laughing hysterically.

It's just a different kind of crazy at every stage. It's entertaining....that is for sure!

Monday, December 12, 2011

wrapping gifts

Royce and I decided to pare down for Christmas this year and get the girls well thought out gifts that were handmade could last forever and grow with them. Aside from the new Waldorf wool baby dolls (that they will be over the moon for) I got them each an apron made by my oldest friend, Rachel. Her and I grew up together, were more like sisters than friends and even bunked up together for a few years in college. She's all over the world now and hard to keep track of but we stay in touch and seeing her brings me back to some of the most fun times of my life. She makes an apron a day (almost) and sells them for extra cash. She's always been crafty and resourceful and when she made one of these little owls I had to have it! I convinced her to make another and got them both (score!). They are special to me because the girls will love them, help me in the kitchen with them and they were hand crafted by my dear friend so they will always remind me of her every time I see them.

Before I wrapped them up I had to snap a pic. I'll get more when the girls are dancing around the kitchen in them. I simply love them! Oh and those little wings are actually pockets!! Love!

Thank you Rachel for the special gifts. Love you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Everyday Things

the weekend of destruction

It all started with me leaving for a half an hour Friday night. When I returned I walked into the house with music blaring at full blast, Royce in the downstairs bathroom shaving and Adia running out with another electric shaver unplugged pretending to shave the locks off the top of her head. Where is Rasa???? I go upstairs and see the light on in the bathroom but the door closed. I open it and all of my families toothbrushes are in the toilet intertwined in a couple rolls of unspooled toilet paper. Ahem....Daddy daycare is in need of improvement!

Episode two started with an unlocked baby gate at the top of the stairs. Saturday morning, about 6 am Rasa hopped out of her bed and quietly made her way downstairs. At some point Adia joined her but we're unsure as to when. Since Royce and I were sleeping peacefully in bed the details are a little hazy. We woke to a sea of silver paint marker on the legs, arms and finger nails of both girls. A camera charger once black now coated in fresh silver paint. New sparky silver drawings on the wood floor under the kitchen table. A house heavily scented in enamel paint.

Sunday morning after the girls and I went out for breakfast I decide to pick up the playroom and leave the girls playing happily and appropriately in the living room downstairs. When I hear screams of glee less than five minutes later I decide to investigate. When I came down there is a sea of white and two girls making snow angels on the dinning room floor. Snow everywhere! Wait not snow....two new big bottles of grated parmesan cheese! I spent an hour vacuuming it up as it melts inside of my vacuum cleaner and the more I try to get it off the floor, the more it seems to spread. The girls are bottomless with parmesan cheese stuck to their butt cheeks. The couch is white and there are trails of it throughout every room and on every piece of furniture.

I'm tired man. I'm tired.

**updated Sunday night**
The girls were running laps around the upstairs and decided to hunker down in our walk in closet. They were playing quietly (will I ever freakin learn??!!!) behind Royce's hanging shirts. I checked on them over and over but they were hiding so I would hear nothing, go in and peek behind the clothes and leave. I got comfy on the couch and thought wow this is nice, it's quiet and I can relax for a minute before they go to bed. A millisecond later, Adia comes racing down the hallway to the loft with tiny quilting pins stuck all over her pull up.
"Oh *(&^!"
What the hell did they get into??
I walk into the closet and behind the clothes is an empty little Tupperware container that used to house about one thousand tiny quilting pins. They. Were. Everywhere. The floors in the closet are distressed hardwood - complete with gaps and knots etc. Each gap and each knot hole was filled with pins. They. Were. Everywhere. I had Royce grab me a magnet off the fridge and that helped with the clean up - those little buggers are hard to grab onto!

I think I got them all. I don't really know. They keep showing up all over the house now. I'm sure I'm going be pulling them out of the bottoms of my feet for weeks.


The girls are only two for like a few more weeks. If I make it out of the terrific two's without a mental breakdown or a drinking problem than I feel like there probably is a God.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peaceful Parenting

This mission statement is from another attachment parenting momma and I loved it so much I had to share it.

Like all Mother's I am a work in progress who makes lots of mistakes and doesn't always know what the "right thing" to do is. I am committed to figuring out the best way to raise my daughters in a way that fills them with esteem and compassion and humility. I will not beat myself up for being tired, frustrated, or even at my wits end some days but I will promise to take time each day to stop, reflect and reevaluate.

A Parenting Mission Statement

I choose to raise children who are respectful and believe they are worthy of respect. To this end I will not force you to act respectfully, but rather I will treat you with respect, both modeling the power of respect and teaching you that you are worthy of it. You are a person, as valuable as any regardless of age. We all deserve respect. If you treat me disrespectfully I will tell you how it makes me feel so that you can grow as a person for these lessons.

I choose to raise children who are confident and who know themselves enough to be true to the song in their hearts. To this end I will not use shame or manipulation nor will I encourage conformity over free-thinking. I will instead support your dreams and desires and your hearth's truths. Your right answer and my right answer might not look the same. I'm good with that. You are your own person.

I choose to raise children who are kind and caring and see kindness and caring in the world as well. Because of this I will treat your feelings and needs with the utmost respect. Just because I am bigger than you doesn't mean I'll use power over you to get my way. I'll help you seek out and see kindness in the world throughout your childhood.

I choose to raise children who are honest and value the power of truth. To this end I will not use punishment when you act inappropriately but instead I will determine the need behind your behavior and help you find an appropriate way to meet every need. I believe that speaking the truth takes courage and should be encouraged with unconditional love - not discouraged by judgement or punishment.

And when I fail at these things (which I will sometimes) I will own my mistakes. I will apologize and let you know that I, too, am learning as I go.

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Last night Royce and I were up until 1 am making little elves for the girls for St. Nicholas Day. The story is that children leave their shoes outside their bedroom door in hopes that St. Nicholas will come and fill their shoes with coins or candy if they've been good and naughty littles get a lump of coal. I remember being in grade school and having some kids find candy canes and other treats the morning of St. Nicholas and their excitement. Since we follow Advent holiday's I was excited to see it pop up and know that it would be a little taste of Christmas this early in December. Royce and I had fun painting them last night (his version was scrapped - scary monster elf lol!).

Adia came downstairs and was very excited to find her treats. She didn't care if St. Nic was real or not, who made what or where it came from. She was just happy to reap the benefits of it!

Rasa walked down and found her surprise and was very excited! She crawled in my bed with her little elf in one hand and the bag of M&M's in the other.

Me: "Oh wow! Look at what St. Nic left you!"

Rasa smirks and looks at me like duh

Rasa: "This is not from Santa! This is from you, Momma!!!"

&^$?!! Is this going to be a hard sell????

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

searching for blueberry muffin

Rasa and Adia are really into Strawberry Shortcake dolls right now. I admit to loving them as well because I was all about Strawberry Shortcake when I was in preschool. My sister had Blueberry Muffin and I had Strawberry and I remember hours of play with them and the sweet, sweet smell of their scented hair that lasted nearly as long as the dolls held up.

When I brought home the girls first dolls Adia wanted Lemon and Rasa wanted Strawberry. They were so excited about them. They wanted their little shoes put on and to mess up...I mean comb...their hair. I would fix them back up while Royce would glare at me from across the room reminding me that they are the girls and not my dolls. Whatever.

I was leaving for the weekend a few weeks ago and wanted to pick up a couple new ones so that I could say good bye and distract them long enough to get out of the house without tears. I gave Rasa Plum Pudding and Adia Blueberry Muffin, they hugged and kissed me and said "see ya in a couple days!".

When I returned and settled back in after the weekend Blueberry was no where to be found! For two weeks we've been looking for her everywhere! At one point Adia told Royce she threw her in the garbage. I don't know if she actually did or if she means since we can't find her she must have gotten thrown away?

Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table and they were again asking where Blueberry is:

Adia runs up to me and grabs my hand and says, "Come on! Come on! We need to get Blueberry out of the garbage!" pulling my arm to get up and go outside where the bin is.

I said, "Adia it doesn't work like that. If Blueberry made it outside to the trash then the Garbage Man came and picked it up and she's gone. We can't go get her".

Adia got really upset, started sobbing and yelled "But Momma I'm really worried about her!!!!"

That was the sound of my heart breaking.

Stupid Strawberry Shortcake dolls!

Monday, November 28, 2011

my two puppies....i mean kids

So Mom, don't be alarmed when you look at this. I know I told you last week the only way to keep my house relatively clean would be to kennel the girls. I didn't kennel them - they are infatuated with kenneling themselves (score!).

It actually grosses me out because Lucy is a grungy little turd and although she doesn't spend a lot of time in her kennel and the blanket in there is relatively clean....still....yuck!

Adia believes in her heart of hearts she is in fact a dog. She barks at me when I go outside, she licks everything (yes even still) and now she makes Rasa feed her treats to which she eats them out of her hand (see pic).

Tonight Rasa was crawling in the kennel and Royce (unknowing of this new infatuation of theirs) stopped her. She sobbed and ran through the living room with tears flying saying "I wanna go in the kennel!!!!!" Royce and I laughed and he put her in the damn dog kennel.

Is child protective services coming tonight?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the full circle

Me: Adia, what do you want for supper?

Adia: How bout........a sandwich, juicebox, toy and apple sauce!

Me: No, that's what you had for lunch.

Adia: How bout a sandwich!

Me: No, that's what you had for snack

Adia: How bout a juicebox!

Me: No

Adia: How about lunch?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

i am thankful for you

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.“
H. U. Westermayer