Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little Snippets 2

We purchased silver sparkle shoes from Target (on sale for only $9.99) to go with the Ariel costume for Halloween. R is in love with them. I knew the moment the purchase was made, I would live to regret it. Last night after her shower, she is buck naked, wearing the shoes and the birthday crown from preschool. Dancing and marching across my bedroom reciting the names of the months, in order, mind you. I didn’t know she knew all of the months of the year. Thank God that check each month for preschool is going toward something!

After a long explanation of why Voldemort, from the Harry Potter series, would be sucking on unicorn blood, my son makes this statement.

B: “So, you’re saying that a unicorn is not really a real animal?”

Me: “Uh, no it’s not. I thought you knew that.”

B: “No. No. I didn’t know that.”

Me: “Well, we’ve never seen any of them at any zoos, circuses, or farms have we?”

B: “Well, there are lots of animals that we’ve never seen at those places that exist.”

Me: Wondering if I just said something equivalent to There is no Tooth Fairy

B: Sitting and stewing and looking a little ticked off.

Drying our hands after another potty stop while doing errands. The hand dryer was pretty high up on the wall. The warm air was aimed down at her. There was R reaching up, faced pointed to the dryer also, hair whooshing back, basking in the warm air like a lunatic shaking her hips back and forth. Or perhaps a better visual would be of a runway model walking into the fake wind of a very large fan. Me smiling and trying to move her along while the other women laughed. Really? I swear you could be happy anywhere, kid.

A conversation between A and myself.

A: “Mom, did you know that the last Harry Potter book is 800 pages long?!?”

Me: “Yes, I read it and it was very long.”

A: “Can you believe someone could write a book that long?”

Me: “It is a pretty big accomplishment.”

A: “I wonder how long it took her to write it. Do you know?”

Me: “No, I don’t, but we should look that up and find the answer. I’d be curious too.”

A: “Wouldn’t it be cool if she did it in one day?”

Me: “Yes, but I don’t think that’s really possible-especially with a book like that. It’s an involved story.”

A: “I would like to write something like that in one day.”

Me: “Why don’t you just start writing and not put a time frame on it?”

A: “Why? You said I could do anything I put my mind to! I am going to write 800 pages in one day.”

Me: I knew that phrase would come back to bite me in the ass…

At the end of the Cinderella movie, each and every time, R says to me out loud “Oh Mom! Cinerella is married!” She exclaims this with such enthusiasm and pure happiness on her little face. And I swear to you, her hands are clasped up by her chin. Yesterday, while watching, she added this “Oh Mom! I love in dis movie dat Cinerella looks soooo pretty in dat dress!” (Big sweeping hand movements with description of dress.) It’s official. I think I’ve lost her to fairy tales.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To Be or Not to Be...

Halloween is just around the corner. There are costume decisions to be made. What to be? What to be? What to be?

Seven year-old boys are in a tough spot when it comes to costumes. It is no longer acceptable to go as something cute, such as a super hero or police officer. Yes, those are what boys would call cute. Did you think I was talking Elmo? The gory costumes have started to come into play. Either that or something Star Wars related, which my son is not into at all.

Gore is not really our thing. You see, I am a scaredy cat. I absolutely hate horror movies. My imagination is way to vivid to sit through that and then ever sleep again. When I was a child, my father used to torment my sister and I into going into the local haunted house. Thank God she was even worse than I. We were escorted out by the workers yelling to hold off so we could pass (in tears). Fortunately or unfortunately, I seem to have passed the scaredy cat gene onto our children. They may have it even worse than I do. So, a scary, gory costume is not in the picture for B-at least not at seven. I’m sure he’ll succumb to peer pressure down the road on this, but for now, we’re safe.

So, B is going as his favorite thing-a Boston Red Sox player. Good choice I think. Since the boy owns a million and one sports jerseys, we already had that and the pants and the belt. So, all that was needed were the red socks. Done.

A wants to go as something cool this year. So, she’s decided to be a rock star. I asked my very non-girly girl if this meant she wanted to go as Hannah Montana. No was the answer. Of course we couldn’t go with the readily available costume. We’d have to make this up ourselves. Which, honestly, I didn’t mind because it reminded me of coming up with costumes when I was a kid. She started to get very detailed in her idea of what she wanted to wear. I had to curtail this a bit and informed her we couldn’t be that specific. So, I’ve been trying to go out and get clothing that makes her look like a rock star. I thought I’d be able to do this pretty inexpensively at a discount store like Target. Wrong. So far, I’ve spent a ton on her costume. A terribly tacky silver glitter belt at Target cost me $9. A black t-shirt with a purple cross type of sparkly thing all over the front cost $12. She has black leggings that we’ll pair with it. I still need to locate a jacket and the appropriate jewelry. The microphone was only $5 at the party store. Got a break there at least.

And last, but not least, we have my three year-old princess, R. She has an absolute obsession these days with the Disney princesses. So, naturally, she wanted to be one for Halloween. Her favorite princesses are Cinderella, or Rella as we refer to her, and Belle. For some reason, she chose Belle. This was perfect because A was Belle when she was three and we have the costume in that size and everything already. But, R, being R, has not wanted to actually get into the costume. Last year, she was the cutest little butterfly. She refused to wear it to trick or treat. Not even for a second. No way, no how. So, I started prepping her early this year. In order to go to your ballet class Halloween party, you have to be in costume. For your sing and party at preschool, you have to wear your costume. To get candy and go to the neighbor’s Halloween party, you have to wear your costume. And so it goes.

Last night, we told her she needed to try it so we could make sure it fits. I’ve been trying to get her to do this for a month now. Nope. She didn’t want to. My husband spent 45 minutes trying to work through this with her. There were tears. The facts were presented. Costume=Candy. We waited. She decided Belle was not the way to go. I thought it was going to be because the dress was too itchy. No, she does not like yellow. In her defense, this is a true statement. I tried to bite my tongue, but did let it slip that she did indeed know that the dress was yellow before we started all of this. So, a last minute switch was made and she is going as Ariel. She has a purple, blue and green dress, which met her standards.

I know we’re going to have issues on Thursday when she needs to wear it for the first time. Uggh. Is it even worth the fight? Last year, I said no and she went in jeans and a Halloween t-shirt. How many years can that be acceptable? I think you either participate in the holiday or you don’t get to reap the rewards. That is me being difficult. I know she’s just turned three, but here is the crux of where R and I butt heads. She will never take the simple route. The easy path. The path of least resistance. Just put on the costume! For the love of God, this is supposed to be fun.

Why do I care so much? Why can’t I just let it go? Because I tried that last year and here we are again stuck in the same spot. And to be honest, I let my mommy imagination run wild with this stuff. If she can’t cooperate now and bend a little to wear some type of costume (and I gave her the choice of anything), than how will she cooperate with us when she is a teenager and we tell her she can’t do something important like date that band playing druggy guy? I know it’s a big leap. But remember that big imagination I told you about earlier? It’s scary enough. That’s why I don’t need the horror flicks. I can torment myself enough.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hello, Harry

I have a deep-rooted love for the written word. Books move me, speak to me, teach me like nothing else can. There are some books or stories that actually have the power to change who you are after you read them. Take them in. Let them become a part of you. My list of these types of books is much too long to type here.

Since they were born, I have certain books that I am just waiting to present to my children. I think of them like a gift-a magical wonder that is waiting for them to unfold and discover. Some of them we’ve already read together. Children’s literature like Good Night Moon, Brown Bear, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, Time for Bed, Polkabats and Octopus Slacks to name a very few. My friends often tease me about the size of our children’s library.

I can admit that I am actually jealous that they have so many great reads ahead of them. Novels and stories that I wish I was sitting down to discover for the first time. Recently, we’ve begun Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series and Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I loved those books when I was about B and A’s age. And if it weren’t for R, who still has to learn to read, I’d be heartbroken that we’ve already moved beyond Frog and Toad and Frances. But I treasure that they were some of B and A’s favorites.

B and A are great readers for 2nd grade. They have a real love for reading. A especially can devour books in a similar manner as myself. Both of them are dying to dig into the Harry Potter series. So far, I’ve held off. I think they would be able to read them and comprehend them for the most part. However, I’m not sure they’d really get the whole story-the big picture. The wonder that is that particular series.

Based on when these were released, I obviously read them as an adult. I am dying for them to read about Harry-my son especially. He went as Harry Potter for Halloween in Kindergarten. I took them both to a huge book release party in the little downtown area of the city that we live for the last book’s release. We had a great time. They felt a little piece of the magic. Yet, I still say no. They are not quite ready. I don’t want them to miss it, to not understand.

For an entire week now, we have been trapped in the house due to the flu. It’s the week before Halloween. Discussions of Harry have surfaced yet again. They are all over me about it. They want a piece of wizard magic before Halloween. Do I give in? Or do I continue to hold out? Maybe it’s not my decision. Maybe the gods of literature are saying it’s time…

Chapter One

The Boy Who Lived

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple Pie

Yesterday, I decided to make a homemade apple pie. We have loads of apples still from picking a few weeks ago. I have a great from scratch crust recipe and over the years I’ve come up with a good filling recipe also. Apple pie is pretty simple to make, but it feels good to have a solid winner in your recipe box for this standard. Last year’s pie was to die for-the best one that I’ve ever put together. It looked like a magazine cover. The crust was the right golden hue; the pinches along the edges were spaced correctly. I had rolled out the crust just right. It was beautiful and I was really proud of it.

This year’s pie was another story. I think yesterday was probably the worst possible day for me to go about baking something. One of my children has the flu. Lovely, no? Don’t worry they are getting better. A second child was just in the process of coming down with it last night. You knew that was coming, right? I have been up for about 3 solid nights now with very little sleep. In addition to that, a friend of mine is going through something rather complicated in her life and I had just gotten off of a difficult phone call with her. My mom also had just called to release some stress regarding my aging grandparents. My sister’s little guy also has the flu and has developed bronchitis as a complication from it. I was concerned about him. The world was not looking so rosy last night. Things were piling up. Quickly. So, sometimes you need a release.

Baking-it almost always works for me. You can loose yourself in the minutiae. And if you follow the directions exactly, things will always turn out good in the end. So, I began. Even though I just had the house cleaned thoroughly that morning, I began to peel, core and slice all of the apples. A very juicy mess was created. The crust was another story. Things went along well and I put it in the freezer early that morning to chill. Throughout the process of the baking of the pie, T kept saying to me “Really, today you’re going to that? Of all days?” Yes, I was. So, I rolled out the bottom crust-all went smoothly. The filling was made and all was good. Top crust time came and it all fell apart. I had to roll and reroll 3 times. Anyone who makes pie crust knows that this does nothing but break down the butter from the heat of the process leaving you with less flavor and goodness in your crust. Not to mention it’s a pain in the ass. Each time, the phone would ring. The kids would need something. Mass chaos seemed to be happening all around me and in my head especially.

I couldn’t keep things clear. I couldn’t focus. I was not loosing myself in the process of baking. It was just adding more stress. I finally got the top crust on and realized that I forgot to dot the apples with butter. I had to remove it yet again. After putting the top on for the last time I ripped it in two places. It was hardly even. One side barely covered and one was too thick. I swear I was ready to cry. About pie. I said something to T and he just looked at me like “Really? Over the pie?” I stared yammering about how frustrated I was and how last year’s was so perfect and this was a mess.

Things feel messy right now. A whole pile of yuck. So, he did what he does best. He calmed me down. He showed me how if I turned the pie around the one side looked great. You have to just not look at the side with the tears or where it doesn’t match up. It’s all about what you choose to focus on. God, I hate when he’s right or makes sense or has the ability to always stay calm. But, I also thank God that I have him around to do just that.

Above is the picture of the pie. I guess it’s not that bad. The kids and T gobbled it up for dessert. It didn’t taste quite like last’s years. But, I’m working at not noticing… There are more positive things to focus on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Princess Party

This weekend, we celebrated R’s 3rd birthday with our extended family. Her grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a few long time friends gathered for her princess party. She had a great time!

It amazes me how much they change with each milestone that they reach. Instead of the tantrum filled two year-old who wouldn’t cooperate if her life depended on it, she was the picture of grace. With each present she unwrapped, she walked over to give that person a thank you or at least called out thank you to them across the room. She walked her favorites around so that everyone could get a quick peek at them first hand. She beamed as the birthday song was sung in her honor. She helped to pass out cake and waited patiently for her serving. At the end of the party, she gave our youngest guests their goody bags and thanked them again for coming to her party. Best manners were put out there with very little coaxing by either her father or myself.

I couldn’t have been more proud of her. She really has come a long way in these past few months. There was a time last spring when I didn’t think we were going to make it. Her and I. Together all day long. The tantrums. The tears. I’m talking about both of us.

My first two children did not test me in that same way during their two’s. They listen very well. They always have. They are the first-born. It’s what first-born children do best. But R, she has a mind of her own. She wants to do things her way. I had to learn how to parent in a completely new way with this child. So much of what I had in my arsenal did not pertain to her. It did not work or it was ineffective. So, this past year has been about finding what works. Taking new approaches. Easing up in some areas and not giving up in others. To me, it felt like a battle of wills. One of us was going to win and one was going down in flames. I often thought I was on the losing end. I just couldn’t break through. But, as she has closed in on three and as I held my ground on certain things and gave in to others, we seem to be at peace now. Or as close to peace as you are going to get with a three year-old.

As she fell asleep with me later that night, I truly felt a sense of pride when I looked at her. She would be all right. She demonstrated what I knew was inside of her all along. A kind heart. A good soul. A princess waiting to emerge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Picking Time

Fall. Oh, how I love fall. It is my absolute favorite season. The crisp, clean air. The crunch of the leaves beneath your feet. Sun coming through the amber hued trees. What’s not to love?

We went apple picking as a family this past weekend. It is one of my all time favorite fall activities. From where we live, you can head directly west and run into various apple orchards and farms.

The kids picked and sampled so many varieties. We filled a whole peck with bright red apples. Then, we headed back inside the barn for hot cider and cider doughnuts. Amazing! It sounds so picturesque. That’s because it is. I took lots of pictures of them running through the orchard. One of them riding a pony. They look happy and content in the pictures-despite the fact that it was freezing outside.

God, I love days like that. Ones where we don’t have to do anything but be together. Doing some simple activity. We are not rushed. We have time to talk to each other. Life is good.

T and I had a conversation on the way out to the orchard about the “packing it in” dream. Does it ever get so overwhelming that you just want to take your family, pack it in and head somewhere a little more relaxed? Somewhere that does not require enrollment in travel sports in order for your little one to be able to still participate down the road. Where you don’t have to travel for your job because it’s in the town that you live. Somewhere where the average home price is more within reason and there is no keeping up with the Joneses. Somewhere you can walk to school, church and the local movie theater. Where there is still time to do nothing. Does this place even still exist out there? We wondered.

We’re not looking for Leave It to Beaver. We know that that ship has sailed. Bon Voyage to it. We are just looking for that extra time. Preferably spent with each other. Is that too much to ask for? I hope not. For now, we are going to curl up, put another log on the fire and savor the season with each other. More craziness is waiting around the corner. I can see the holidays coming from here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fairy Tales

How hard is this supposed to be? Parenthood. Marriage. Family. I used to think it would be the simplest thing in the world. Boy meets girl. They fall in love and get married. A few years later, they begin their lovely family. All is good. Everyone is happy. The fairy tale has come true.

What people tend to leave out are the other things that happen along the way.

Your beginning is about establishing yourself as a couple, the thing that solidifies your marriage. Learning about and loving each other. Giving each other adequate time and attention in order to feel that you are the center of the universe to someone.

You make your plans. Some of them turn out. Some of them don’t. You learn along the way. You readjust.

The first baby is born. Another calibration takes place. You are thrilled, but tired. Really tired for the first time in your life. The stress and responsibility rest on your shoulders as much as that sweet and perfect little head. You are distracted from each other for the first time. You have come together in a way that bonds you forever, but you also have let someone else enter the picture. This little darling has slipped into the middle.

Then come more children. With each one you love more than you thought you could. You love your spouse, your partner, more than you thought you could. Your attention and time are divided onto each of them now. It is a lot. You love them with your whole self, but wonder a little about how much of that self is left to give.

You are more tired. This is hard. Did anyone mention that? Warn you in advance? You don’t recall it ever looking difficult to others. You are afraid to say that it can be hard. People might think you do not have it as together as you appear.

You love your husband more than anything, but a day might go by when you think to yourself, did I look at him today? What was he wearing? You know you looked, but did you see? You hope he feels like you saw him. Everything is a blur. So much to do. So many needs from so many people. You hope each of them feels your love and attention. You want this very badly. You love them all with all of your being.

There will come a point in the story where things slow down. Somewhere in the middle, the children will become less demanding and more competent on their own. A time will come when things will not be so hard, they’ll just be again. Together, you’ll be able to breathe. To slow down. To begin to look towards the next chapter and the second half of this story. Your hard work, sacrifice and determination will have paid off. Together, you will have raised your children. They will be wonderful people beginning their own story. You will stare into the eyes that you have known for so long. The ones that you know so well they might as well be your own. And together, you will have the chance to sit back and watch them write their story. Now, that is the true fairy tale.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Little Snippets

Disney channel interviews Selena Gomez as she states that this latest album is dedicated to all of her fans because without them, she wouldn’t be here.

A turns to me and says with all sincerity, “Oh my gosh. Selena made that album just for me!!!”

I asked B how his hour was with my 84 year-old grandmother and 90 year-old grandfather on Friday. His response, “Well, there were the fights and a lot of Jesus Christ words flying around and a d-a-m-e-t word also. “ Great. Nothing like multi-generational bonding with an adequate dose of bad language.

A reading the school hot lunch menu to check out the day’s options. The last entry she reads as “Ba-log-na-na” What A? Say that again. “Ba-log-na-na.” I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what she was trying to say. I made her spell it. Turns out, she meant a Bologna sandwich.

True story. Happened to a friend of mine this week. Her and her husband were at soccer and football pick up. It all happens at the same park. She gets into the minivan assuming all 4 of her children went with their father. He gets into his car assuming all 4 children went with their mother. For reasons unknown to mankind, this family still does not own a cell phone. They get all the way home when they receive a call from a man at the park, who has all four of their children waiting in the snack house for them to head back across town and pick them up. And I thought I was frantic…

I had to return my second bottled water to the lady at the restaurant counter because it was melted enough to be leaning like the tower of Pisa. I came and sat back down in the booth. R turns to me and says, “Mommy are you dispointed?” I was unaware that she knew that word, much less when it would be an appropriate time to use it. I said “Yes, R. I am disappointed. You see, restaurant X is trying to give Mommy some type of cancer apparently because their plastic bottles have been heated to the point of being deformed and the BPAs must have all seeped out into the water by now and...” (Just kidding on that last part. I actually complimented her on her sentence. But, I would have liked to have said that to the manager…)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time Warp

Last night, I was in one of those cute home accessories stores. I never get the chance to pop into these types if establishments much now a days. But, due to a weird glitch in the space-time continuum, I had 15 minutes to myself while I waited for B to finish his soccer practice. The girls were at home with T. Yes, you heard me. I was ALONE. I had 15 minutes. I was browsing in a store with breakables.

It was around 6:45 pm. While I was perusing the shelves, I saw a young couple about 27 or 28 years old. They were looking at things for their kitchen. She was making a funny reference to how hot her husband was to him. They were laughing and having a good time. I didn’t think much of it. But then, along came another couple. Their wedding rings still shining from their newness. He was helping her pick out knickknacks for their family room. She kept asking for his opinion. He kept coming up with some sort of vague, but effort filled, response. And low and behold, after them came another couple doing much of the same. There were a plethora of these couples in this store. I couldn’t have been more shocked if a T-Rex came crashing through the china department.

What was this phenomenon that I had come across in my weird time portal? Ah ha. My brain began to register something akin to familiarity. Yes, that’s it. I can almost recall back then. Back in the day. You know the one. Where you and your husband spent time just being. You had unplanned, loose conversations about things other than schedules or children. When you went out after work-on a WEEK night! When you had time to look for things to decorate your first place together. When your whole world was about being together as this new couple. At 7:00 pm, you were not so exhausted from your day that you could go out someplace to do something that is not pressing-just enjoyable.

God, that was great.

I want to say something about how this stage is also wonderful, but I am sitting here just smitten with my memories of those early days. So, I think I’ll just stay stuck here for a while and enjoy…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tantrum Time

R’s Top Tantrums (this week…)

1. There are no elephants in the handful of animal crackers that I’ve given her.
2. We cannot go to the ice cream store that we just passed. It is 8:45 am.
3. She cannot possibly go to sleep in this crib with “all of dese bars… “ (Yikes. Think it’s time to consider the big move to a regular bed?)
4. Her tights from ballet feel funny on her toes. “It’s just all wrong!”
5. She just doesn’t understand why we had to put the flip-flops from summer away. It is a high of 60 degrees today.

My Top Tantrums (this week also…)

1. Why do you people keep dirtying your clothes! I don’t want to do laundry any moooore. (Me in the laundry room throwing things…) I don’t care if it’s muddy. I’m not soaking and that’s that!
2. You keep making me do it all day long. Feed you, clean up. Do dishes. I’ve had enough! I’m not doing it any more. Humph…
3. But, I don’t wanna go… (Fill in blank with soccer practice, baseball practice, brownies, religious ed, grocery shopping.)
4. T (instead of the usual Daddy), don’t go to work! Why do you need to go to work? Stay with me all day. Pleeaassee…

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Baby

We were not expecting you. You were not even a possibility in my mind. Yet, here you are. My extra blessing. The one that makes me think how could we be this lucky? We already had more than we could have hoped for and then we were given you.

You did not just come into our lives quietly. Your presence was made known from the start. You staked your place in this family and let it be know to all that you were here. The rest of us adjusted. We made room. We opened our hearts again.

You’ve given me the chance to be a mother for a second time-to apply what I learned the first time around. Then, to make sure I am kept on my toes, you changed all the rules on me. You make me work harder. Be better. Learn more. Not all children are the same. Each requires something different-one lesson I’ve learned these past few years.

Today, my baby, you turn three. And you now know so many things. How to say please and thank you. How to sing the alphabet. How to count. How to love your family. How to draw a smiley face. How to write the letter R. How to shake your booty. How to make us all laugh. How to garner most of the household’s attention.

While you have numerous accomplishments, there are so many things you have to still learn. How to have patience. How to show kindness. How to share. How to leave your Mommy. Let’s not learn that last one too fast. I hope you realize that you don’t need to be seven or whatever is the current age of your siblings. You actually make a very good three. If I can get you to learn that last one my darling, you will be so much happier for it.

And so today on your birthday, we cross over. From two to three. I am ready to say bye bye to the terrible twos, but not so ready to give up your babyhood. You are my last child. My baby. In my mind, you will always be just that. I cherish this opportunity. The chance to do it again. The privilege of being your mother. Happy Birthday, R. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Or, as we say in our family, I love you with all of my heart…

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Three's Company

It is so interesting to watch the sibling dynamics play out between my three children. B and A have such a unique relationship since they are twins. They have always been so unbelievably close. One of my biggest hopes is that they will always remain so. When R came along, I wondered how she would fit into that. Was there a place for her? Because, sometimes, even I feel left out of the twin thing.

It’s a good thing she has the personality that she does. R would not give up. She fought and inched her way in. Bit by bit. She’s a scrappy youngest sibling like that. There to grab up whatever is left. And they did it. They let her in. B and A have a completely different relationship with her than with each other, but they are all close.

I really do believe that A is getting pure enjoyment out of having a baby sister. She is so maternal with her-so loving and nurturing. The expressions and tonality with which she speaks to her could be coming directly from my mouth. It is wild to hear yourself like that. To hear what you sound like as you are mothering. This is what A has given me-a chance to witness myself parenting. R adores A also. She is the first of the two that she’ll run to for help or for a snuggle if I’m not right there. A teaches her things everyday. She is always ready to help her (sometimes a bit too much in R’s opinion!). I often have to remind A that she is not the mommy, but the big sister. A has actually said, “Well, she’s my baby too. “ I try to be protective of the big sister turning into the second mother role. I am a big sister. So, I know how later in life, if you want a good relationship with your sibling, you cannot be the second mother. And I want them to be close.

B is the one that R will always turn to for a good, full belly laugh. He’s the one she likes to tease. The one that will wrestle her and run around and chase her. He seems to know her limitations and how to be gentle with her. It’s very cute to watch. She really idolizes him and is always watching him. Observing him. I think she thinks he’s pretty cool-as much as a 2 year old understands what it is to be cool. He can take her or leave her most of the time. But, then, he wants or almost craves a little love or some attention from her. So, they’ll pick up a game of some sort and play for a while. While he is not the teacher or disciplinarian for R, he brings the fun. He brings the laughter. And she finds him hysterical! No one can get her to laugh as hard as B can. She gives him the chance to be soft and sweet. He has learned how to nurture someone at the ripe old age of 7 because of R. These are all good traits for a boy to have. One day, it will help him to be a good father.

This past year, as R went from one to two years old and really started interacting with them, my twosome added a third. I never thought we would have any more children after B and A. R was so unexpected. And, true to form, she seems to have worked her way in. If only to prove that she was destined to be here all along.