Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Father of Daughters

Last night, Chris was lying in bed and I heard, "Katie? Can you come here?" in a tone that almost implied I may be in some kind of trouble.

I went into the bedroom and Sophia was standing next to the bed talking to Chris. She was holding a small blue piece of paper. Chris said to Sophia, "tell Mommy what you want to do with that paper".

Sophia says "I want to write a letter to Sean!"

Chris glared at me with the fire of a thousand suns. As if I was responsible for this declaration of wanting to write a letter to a boy.  I think it's safe to say he isn't quite ready for this...  For some context, Sean is Erica's nephew who lives in Chicago. She has met Sean for a couple of short times in her life, and he is visiting this weekend from Chicago.

Then he asked Sophia, "what do you want to say to Sean?"

She responded, "I want to say I love you and I miss you!"

More glaring from Chris.

He responds, "Why do you love Sean?"

"He is my friend."

I think he was okay with that response. Sophia did proceed to write Sean a note. Which we will be delivering probably today :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Irish Dancer

Dan's girlfriend, Emily, has probably been Irish dancing since she was born, give or take, and it is truly a passion for her. Emily's dream is to get her own dance studio going, and she recently opened up her own studio in St. Paul.

I have been eager to get Sophia started in an activity (I'm sure there are wiser parents than me who are wondering why, but I mostly wanted to get her in some type of structured learning environment, with sports/activity as a bonus).  It is incredibly hard, however, to find something for a 3 year old that isn't gymnastics. Emily mentioned that she was starting a beginner class for littles and we thought it was the perfect opportunity.

Unfortunately for Emily, soccer turned out to be a bit of an enemy and pulled kids away from dance class on Saturday morning, so Sophia is the only one in there. Graciously, she did not cancel the beginner class. Last Saturday, Sophia had her first Irish dance lesson. It was very foreign for her - everything from toe pointing to graceful hopping - but I think she'll get the hang of it! Of course, Heidi spent most of the time there trying to do what Sophia was doing, and would occasionally run onto the dance floor, throw her little hands up into the air and spin around in a circle. I will have to find something to keep her occupied. Sophia loves seeing Emily so I'm really looking forward to this chance she has to spend time with her.

Girls! Because I have lots of cute pictures and want to post them.

I have a houseful of little mommies and I just love it. After lunch today the girls wanted to play a little bit before nap-time so I obliged. Sophia of course loves to play with her bitty baby, or, Baby Anna. She had her all set up in the high chair and was feeding her. Then she had to go to the bathroom, but before she left she carefully instructed me on feeding Baby Anna - showing me how to do it, and which foods she should eat, and which foods are her favorite. She then noted, before going, that Baby Anna could play with her baby elephant if she was a good girl.

Once Sophia left, I allowed Heidi to take over the feeding. It is just too adorable, and really quite amazing how quickly girls pick up being little mommies. Heidi was feeding the baby from a baby spoon; she still eats the same way sometimes! She would then turn to me and offer me some of the bitty baby food, then back to the baby.

Sophia loves to do hair, hers or otherwise. She likes to brush out her hair or my hair, and the other day informed me that my hair was messy and she would take care of it.  She is also an accessory girl, and before we left for the gym this morning she put on a plastic beaded necklace (mardi gras bead style) and a plastic flower hibiscus ring and a rubber Minnie Mouse bracelet. Also before we left the house, she prepared Baby Anna's diaper bag; she put in toys, a blanket, a burp cloth, snacks, a bottle, and 7 pairs of shoes for the baby. I requested that the shoes stayed behind... but her preparedness was just great! Heidi is starting to catch onto this too. I was at the dollar store and saw a package of about 12 little combs, and purchased it for the girls. It has probably been one of the things they play with the most. Heidi will walk around with a comb and "comb" her own hair, and then will attack mine. And I do mean attack. We have had to work on gentle strokes :)  Heidi also found a little metal barrette and asked me to put it in her hair by handing it to me and pointing to her head, which was just ridiculously adorable. She wants to do what big sister is doing!

One of Heidi's favorite things is black olives.  I brought a baggie of them home after the church picnic this past Sunday because I knew she liked them, and had them sitting in the fridge. We had just come home for the evening and Heidi walks over to the fridge and opens it up - remarkably like a teenager - and finding the bag of olives she snags it, opens it, and eats the olives right out of the bag. Some of them were sacrificed to the floor or the dog, but for the most part she polished them right off.

They both love being involved in the kitchen, which sometimes means walking in the kitchen is a little bit like walking in a minefield. I try to encourage them to go in the play kitchen; Heidi will stand at the stove and stir in one of the play  metal pots, then offer me a spoonful of whatever she is concocting. Sophia loves to do this as well, and has the advantage of more language skills so she can describe to me what exactly it is that I am being asked to "eat". She makes all kinds of things like strawberry-flavored dog food (her personal favorite, as she likes to pretend to be a dog) or pizza topped with non-traditional items (such as mustard and popcorn).

Of course, they also like to play with things that AREN'T toys. I have two fly swatters and had them within Heidi's reach because a couple of the buggers had made it into our house. Heidi thought those just looked amazingly fun and she started to play with them (I didn't let this last longer than the pictures, I swear!). I also brought home groceries in paper bags the other day and she thought it would be a lot of fun to, I think, play "Mom" and she started walking around the house holding the grocery bags as if she was bringing them home herself.

Our friend Erica was over for dinner the other night and Heidi was showing off her trick of sticking out her tongue, and she also learned to make piggy noises (sounds like rough breathing and is just cute). I wish I could figure out how to get videos on here because these would be good ones.

Sophia helped me put up some Frozen wall decals above their toy box area and just though tthis was grand fun. We have lots of snowflakes up on our wall now, and I'd say an area that is definitely dedicated to the girls (but really, it was kind of their area before).  There is now a "mommy corner" in the house too - Chris (literally) insisted that I purchase a craft table because he was tired of eating dinner on top of crafts. Worked out well for me - now I have my own little space and somewhere to put my sewing machine and fabrics and pictures and tulle and everything! Lovely. Now we just need to figure out how to get Chris his own corner... Someday he'll have a dedicated Arsenal man-cave with all kinds of soccer memorabilia on the walls.

On a deeper and more thoughtful note, there are times I feel like I just don't deserve to be a parent to such sweet girls. Sophia has lately been in this habit of getting up to go to the bathroom like 3 or 4 times after she is put down for bed. I know at the root of it is curiosity and a love for us - "What are Mom and Dad doing? I want to spend time with them!" but there are times when it is just difficult to get the kitchen cleaned or get myself into bed because I am up 3 or 4 times getting Sophia tucked back in. Last night, like every night, she was up multiple times and the last time she was up I was already in bed and trying to fall asleep. I brought her back to her room and found myself being short with her when I put her back to bed, rather than kind and caring like she deserves me to be. I was laying in bed, wide awake and feeling guilty, so I went back into her room to apologize to her for being so short with her and her response is "I forgive you mommy. And I am sorry for not listening to you. Do you forgive me?" Sigh. She is just such a tender and sweet girl, God has really blessed her with a gentleness and meekness; I pray that she keeps that spirit even when she is tried, and I also pray that she is not trampled on or taken advantage of.

Well, that about updates all on the pictures on my phone :) Continuing to love my girls growth and wondering how it all goes so quickly.