Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eight years...

*For eight years, my life has not been my own.
*For eight years, I have napped only if I played my cards just right and the gods smiled upon me.
*For eight years, I have stared at my stretch marks in the mirror every morning and thought, "that's a bummer.."
*For eight years, I've dreamed of just leaving the house without packing a snack bag, finding someone's other shoe, filling up a sippy cup, buckling someone in or nagging them to do it themselves.
*For eight years, I've only made dinner a handful of times without hearing some level of complaining, even if it's something everyone likes.
*For eight years, I've considered the hours of 8pm to 10pm "vacation time".
*For eight years, I've cried at every Clifford episode I've ever seen.
*For eight years, I've looked into one of my daughters' eyes and known that she thinks I hung the moon.
*For eight years, I haven't entered my home to greet my family without hearing the word, "Mommy!" screamed and hear footsteps running toward me and have one or two girls jump into my arms.
*For eight years, I've watched my heart walk around outside of my body.
*For eight years I've been a mom.
I thought having a baby meant having a baby. Then the baby became a child. Then the child became a person. Motherhood is so much more than I expected - in all the good and bad ways I could possibly mean! No one has ever made me crazier than my own children, but no one has come close to stirring my heart the way they do. There is nothing I want to do more in this life than to give my daughters a safe, loving, Godly, healthy environment in which they can grow and thrive and become women who honor their Lord.
So Avery turned eight today. I took her to get her ears pierced. It was a special mommy-daughter date and I soaked in every minute of it! Allie and I get a lot of time together alone - A LOT. I love that Allie and I can have that relationship and can spend so much time together, but Avery and I hardly ever spend time alone anymore. So I was looking forward to our afternoon. We shopped, tried on lotion, got her ears pierced, and had lunch together. It's true - I absolutely LOVE this girl! I love that I can take my maturing, growing girl out for a girlie afternoon and we can both have a wonderful time :) Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Snow

On the second day of spring, we got a snow storm. I really don't mind Oregon's weather. Yes, the winter gets a little long, as it tends to be pretty rainy. This winter's December, though, was gorgeous. You gotta take the good with the bad. I am willing to put up with some winter rain to have our beautiful summers. And if you want to have our flourishing trees and foliage, you have to accept the rain. But a dumping of snow on the second day of spring is highly unusual! It snowed for 24 hrs straight.
Raleigh loves that our heat works :)

I think I took this picture a couple weeks ago during another light snow day. After 24 hrs of snow, we had way more than this.

I'I'm not sure why, but this silly picture came out sideways, even though I rotated it. Just tilt your head, please. I really liked this picture of my girls and their doggie. They are growing up! Allie is 6 now, and Avery turns 8 in 2 days!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The End of an Era

We've had our girls sharing a room since Allie was 2. I guess it's been about 4 years. They have a bunk bed and a beautiful room painted raspberry-pink. All along we've planned on letting them have their own rooms eventually, but not until Avery was maybe closer to middle school. Well, lately the fighting has gotten worse. Man, that has to be one of the very hardest things about parenting - hearing your kids be nasty to each other. I know their shared gender and closeness in age makes the fighting almost inevitable, but I refuse to accept it. Rich and I are constantly talking about praying about how to help the girls get along and treat each other with respect.

On top of that, we're trying really hard to teach them responsibility for their own things and helping to clean around the house. Folks, I'm going CRAZY in this area. Since I'm working every day, it's much harder for me to just do their work for them, and I know how important it is to be teaching them to pick up after themselves.

So we've dubbed Saturday mornings as "family clean-up" time. The girls are required to clean their room and the playroom, as well as pick up anything else around the house that's theirs. They also are given one chore (Avery's is usually to vacuum the stairs and Allie's is to clean the doorknobs or windows). Throughout the week, of course, they also need be trying to keep things straight. But I'm just too busy and tired during the week to enforce it much. Last Saturday the girls spent the entire morning whining and crying and finally got their small amount of cleaning done when we said they couldn't eat lunch until it was done.

One of the biggest obstacles to their cleaning is that they can't seem to get along while they clean. So yesterday, during all the struggles of Saturday morning cleaning, Rich announced it was time. Time to move Avery out and give her her own room. She's been asking for a while, but fairly content to stay with Allie. We've been talking about it and thought maybe we'd wait for the summer. But this seems to be a wise decision. I'm hoping that having their own space to be responsible for, rather than basically a free-for-all everywhere, will help them take a little more ownership over their space and things.

I was sad. At bedtime, after we had switched Avery's stuff and they were settling into their own rooms for bed, Allie told me, "I wished she could wait 'til tomorrow to move". She felt a little scared to be alone, even though she's slept alone off and on in the past. I felt sad for Allie and sad that it seemed it was the end of an era. The era of my girls being little and always together. They're both in school and making their own friends and spend too much time apart for this mama's comfort. On the other hand, when they're together there's WAY too much fighting! Well, this morning I went to check on the girls because I knew they were both awake. I peeked into Avery's room first and guess what I found? Allie was quietly sitting on the floor playing a game and Avery was trying to fold origami on her bed. They LIKE each other! They have their own rooms and they chose to be together this morning!

Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder :)