Friday, May 24, 2013

Piper grows up- 18 months


I know I say this every time, but I cannot believe that you are 18-months old. When your sister was this age, we were getting ready to welcome you into the world but you are still very much my baby.

The past couple months with you have been both tons of fun and lots of hard work. Which I suppose can sum up parenting in general. Your vocabulary is exploding. You can climb up anything at the playground and go down the biggest slides with a smile on your face the whole way. You have learned to say please and thank you and it's seriously the cutest thing ever. You love to play outside and brush your teeth (no help allowed, thank you very much). You reach out for Jade's hand to pray the second we put you in your high chair and blow me a kiss every night after I say "amen". You bring us books constantly and rarely let us finish one. You still love to nurse and now that  you've learned that "mmm" means that something is good you frequently take a couple sips, lean back and say "mmmm" and then latch back on again. Melts my heart every time.

Not so fun things that you are doing: hitting, biting, pushing, kicking, and in general just being the most opinionated, independent, tantrum throwing kid ever. Nothing that I have done discipline wise is proving to do any good, so I'm just focusing on being consistent and praying that you grow out of this soon because I really don't want you getting kicked out of Mother's Day Out in the fall!

With that said, they have never mentioned you doing this at church- they always say that you are really good and so much fun, so I suppose it's something you reserve for your closest friends and family.

You still love big sister and try to do everything that she does- you insist on carrying your backpack (which is almost as big as you) in and out of church. You are also starting to walk from the car to wherever we're going more than being carried/worn.

Your sleep has been all over the place. You're teething and going through a growth spurt, so some days you don't nap at all and other days you nap and sleep 13-hours at night. I rarely know what to expect.

You're going through the 18-month separation anxiety phase, which has made leaving you with friends a bit more difficult. At church, you're fine as soon as I leave, but with friends you generally want to be held the whole time.

We have lots of fun things coming up for you- in a couple weeks you start gymnastics, since you have been trying to break into the gym for the last 4 months while watching sister. We're going to the beach at the end of June and I have no doubt I will not get to sit down for a minute in order to try to save you from drowning yourself! We have lots of friends coming to visit this summer, so I know we won't be bored for a minute and then in the fall you're gonna be a big girl and go to MDO with Jade :)

I love you so much baby girl. You bring many smiles to my face every day. Your fun spirit will serve you very well in the future and I consider it pure joy to watch you grow up.

Lots of hugs and kisses,

18-month stats:
Weight: 22 lbs 2 oz, 19%
Height: 30", 10%
Head: 18" 29%

For the record, Jade was the same height at 18-months, but weighed 3 pounds less.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The day

I had every intention of sitting down tonight and writing Piper's 18-month post. Instead, I am watching the news and checking Facebook constantly to make sure that everyone I know is ok.

They're staying the tornado that hit Moore today is the worst Oklahoma has ever seen, which is, ya know, saying something. One minute, I was annoyed with my kids for being teething whiny disasters and the next I just wanted to hug them and keep them close.

We were never in danger here, but it was close enough to home that I am shaken and feeling burdened. Burdened to help and burdened to pray. They're telling us to stay away, not to come help. It's taking everything I can do to sit in this house.

Mamas lost their babies and babies lost their mamas. People lost everything they owned. Entire neighborhoods just leveled. Schools, with kids inside, destroyed.

Nothing I say is going to change anything. I'm not eloquent, or powerful or super-rich. But I know a God that is, and I'm praying to Him and waiting until I can do more.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My girls

Coud not be more different. Sometimes it surprises me how much they look alike in older pictures, because it's crazy to me that they could look so similar and be so different.

Jade is quiet. Piper is loud. Jade likes to read. Piper likes to climb. Jade likes to color. Piper likes to eat crayons (I'm hoping she grows out of that one!).

Ok, little (huge) confession here: sometimes I have no clue what to do with Piper. I can't keep up with her. She's always one step ahead of me. I think I've figured out something she likes? Nope, doesn't like it any more. Let's blow bubbles!! "No mama, let me hit that bubble wand out of your hand because I obviously don't want to do that anymore!" Completely hypothetical situation, of course.

Jade? Her I can usually figure out. I can see the meltdowns coming. And although I usually can't stop them from happening, she's older and generally calms down faster. She didn't throw fits at 17 months. Not like the ones Piper does anyways.

What's so amazing to me is that God made them both. Ok, I know that sounds like a "duh" statement but my goodness it is SO true. He made them both just the way He wanted them. And while I love them more than I could possibly describe, He loves them FAR more than that and designed them just the way they are. He gave them their personalities for a purpose. My job is simply (ok, there's nothing simple about it, but you get my gist) to find their natural abilities and pour myself into teaching them how to use those for Him. To discipline the yucky stuff, but show them how great the rest of them is.

I don't have to try to make Jade more like Piper or Piper more like Jade. Or either one of them more like me. I just have to help mold them to be the best version of themselves. To show Jade that sometimes we have to be brave and climb even when we're scared. To show Piper that sometimes it's good to sit and read a while. But also to show Jade that there is nothing wrong with reading for hours on end- that using your brain is amazing and good and important. And to show Piper that climbing and screaming and standing up for yourself and what you want is amazing and good and important.

To show them that no matter how different they are, that they can be each other's champions. Can cheer for each other. Can use their abilities and inclinations to serve God and His Kingdom. Such a high calling I have.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Today on my run, a girl yelled at my friend and I that we were crazy. I enthusiastically responded "yes, we are!"

The truly crazy thing is that we got that response with only one kid apiece in our strollers today. Normally we're pushing far more weight and huffing and puffing a little bit more.

But really? Running with a double stroller doesn't make me crazy. It keeps me from being crazy. Sometimes the days are long and the only respite I get is a run. Unless I get up with the roosters, showering by myself is a luxury I am not privy to. I do get up early and soak in the Word and try to eat some food before the kiddos wake up, but I'm ashamed to admit that even with that time, by 8:30 I'm often ready for naptime and need to hit the restart button and find myself a new attitude.

So with a prayer and a run I start over. I summon a little more patience. Some more empathy. The ability to see the world through my kids' eyes instead of seeing my day as something to trudge through.

So to me, *not* running is crazy. Running helps me to see my life as an adventure instead of drudgery. It shows my kids that taking care of yourself is important. That you can be a stay-at-home mom and not sit around and eat bonbons all day- that even as a SAHM, you can have goals and achieve those goals.

I'm not breaking any records or even running any races, but I'm running. And some days, that's all that keeps me sane.

Asking you all to ignore the fact that this picture is clearly from the fall. I don't make a habit of taking pictures of my runs...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What they don't tell you

When you're pregnant with your first, people like to say vague things like "oh, you're life is about to change." I always wanted to respond with something sarcastic, but (generally) held my tongue.

Even when people aren't being vague, they'll mention how hard parenting is in the contexts of diapers and spit up. They'll talk about how expensive babies are and how your car will never be clean again.

They don't mention the day you'll be rocking your toddler, trying desperately to get her to sleep, when she twists her head a little bit and bites your collarbone *hard* for no discernible reason.

They don't tell you about the days that you put running clothes on and throw the jogging stroller in the car first thing in the morning, just to go to sleep with those clothes still on and that stroller unused that night.

They don't tell you that you will celebrate each of your kid's successes as they were your own... and feel the sting of their failures.

They don't tell you that some days, you will have so many things going on in your head that you won't be able to find your car keys... even though they're hanging right where they're supposed to.

They don't tell you that isolation can hit hard when you're a stay at home mom, and that you have to make serious efforts to get out and speak with someone over the age of 20.

They don't tell you that sometimes your serious efforts will be failures... that your picnic lunch will be cancelled when your three-year old gets sick. That your trip to the playground to burn off steam will end in tears when your toddler is pushed down by another kid. That sometimes... your best isn't good enough.

They don't tell you how much you will love your kid. But really, how could they? You can't explain it.

They don't tell you that you will covet your little girl's wardrobe.

They don't tell you that some days you will want to check yourself into the looney bin just to get a break.

They don't tell you that everyone has a perfect way to parent, but that there are no perfect parents.

They don't tell you that parenting is the hardest thing you will ever do, but that you will never doubt it's worth.