Monday, March 29, 2010

The New Recruit

We recently checked out one of our favorite CDs from the library--"Swashbuckling Sea Songs." This has, of course, triggered a pirate revival in our home.

(I had to do something about the Star Wars obsession!)


One of the first things my little black-hearted pirates did was recruit a new mate.


She caught on very quickly . . .


and soon became the captain.


They have a great time singing their pirate songs and plundering. There's a lot less fighting, too, now that they've got a common cause.

And it's good to know I'm raising them right ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

On a Lighter Note . . . I Now Have a Kitchen Aid Mixer!

The other day my dad called (quite an unusual occurence!) and asked if I'd like to have my birthday present now or on my birthday.

Anyone who knows me knows how I would answer such a question :)

A few hours later, my new Kitchen Aid Mixer was in our living room.


Not long after that it was part of our kitchen decor.


Then, of course, Janae and I had to make cookies . . .


and we all had to sample them.


I wonder how many batches I'll be able to make before my birthday rolls around!

I'm glad I chose "NOW"!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Janae's Mother . . .

For this exercise I would like you to close your eyes.

Imagine you are sitting in a room where four mothers are chatting quietly. Behind a closed door, classical music plays.

Suddenly you think you hear shouting . . . it turns into full-out yelling. Then crying. Then hysterics. You hope it is one of the other girls, but deep down you know. . . .

The door opens and an exasperated ballet teacher asks, "Is Janae's mother here?"

You are Janae's mother.

You can now open your eyes.

You are not Janae's mother, but I am :)

I thought I had it rough when this little scenario happened several weeks in a row. I was, however, able to remain at least outwardly calm, and the solution was simple: we discontinued our ballet classes.


But, of course, the problem continues at home. Yelling and screaming--often without an apparent cause. Unkind words directed at me. Everyone in the family distressed by it all.

I have tried spending extra time one-on-one with Janae--rocking her in the rocking chair while singing her favorite songs, taking her to the park while Alaina is asleep, playing whatever she wants to play while Ben is at school, giving her my undivided attention.


Usually things go well during Alaina's nap or while Ben is at school, but then as soon as a sibling is back on the scene, Janae's behavior gets even worse than it was before.


One day after I'd put in a lot of extra effort with Janae, she turned to me while I was washing the dishes and said, "Mommy, I need more love!"


I guess she doesn't realize that everything I do is an attempt to show her love.

I could never have guessed how much strength it takes to be a mom.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Olympic Moment


We came . . .


We walked . . .


We saw . . .

(Well, some of us saw--Alaina fell asleep just as we arrived at the cauldron)


Some of us even cried.

We went home.

(But we're glad we didn't miss it!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Terrible Twos are Officially Behind Us. . .

Our baby Janae turned three yesterday . . . and today we had a little Ariel party to celebrate.

We had a few tense moments putting it all together. Last night I stayed up late to bake the cake--and when I was checking on one of the pans, I managed to flip it over, spilling cake batter all over the oven (which started a small fire and filled the house with smoke). Then this morning I wore out our handmixer trying to make the icing.


But the look on Janae's face when she saw the cake made it all worthwhile :) She's been talking for months about wanting an Ariel cake, and even though it didn't turn out like "the picture," Janae was pretty happy with it.


She also had a great time with all the presents


(opening each one as soon as it arrived),


and playing with some of her cousins (something else she'd been talking about for the past few weeks--she really loves those girls!).

It was fun to have a day filled with all of Janae's favorite things--and I'm so grateful that this special (and spunky!) little girl is my daughter :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brother vs. Sister?

Over the past few years, Janae has had lots of fun playing with her big brother. She started life watching him play cars and trucks, then moved on with him to trains, dinosaurs, pirates, and Star Wars.

Even though she is a girl, she has never missed out on the fun. She knows all the Thomas engines' names, is looking forward to being old enough to attend "Dinosaur Camp," has her own pirate costume, and--most recently--loves to play Princess Leia, or even Darth Vadar.

The other day while I was changing Alaina, Janae came in humming the music from Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and when I looked up, I saw that she was holding Benjamin's Batman action figure--he was twirling around on his toes and doing the splits.

Then last night Janae came into Ben's room for stories carrying the same Batman, only this time he was wearing a pink sparkly dress.


I started to laugh, imagining what it must be like to be Ben's little sister.

Then this morning Janae decided to try out her other sibling.

She brought me a princess dress and said, "Alaina can wear this one!" Then she brought a crown.

I thought the results were much better.


It's taking some time, but I think Janae is going to like having a little sister . . . maybe even as much as she loves having a big brother :)