Sunday, December 23, 2012

Subtle Metamorphosis

The gloom and doom of last week has really helped me focus on truly seeing my children in all their sticky glory.  I will forever remember feeling rocked to the core when I heard about Sandy Hook.  My own precious littles were each running around with a "dark pink", as Cora requested, helium balloon.  For a moment, time in our house stood still.  Everything froze around me except for my two tiny children running in circles after each other.  I memorized that moment in every detail as I mourned for the parents that only have the memories to cling to.

This week I've been stuck at home with the nastiest of colds.  I should be out finishing shopping, and planning Christmas dinner and baking and delivering and making those around me that I love feel loved, but I've really only had the energy to do the essentials, for which the bar has been set extremely low...cheddar bunnies, monterrey jack cheese and yogurt make a great breakfast, right?  Maybe if you work for the dairy council.  While three days with a fever has made me feel quite rotten, it has gifted me with some extended time at home to just BE with my children.   

They are changing so quickly.  Claire's changes are more obvious, and I've another blog post planned for her.  Cora's changes are much more subtle.  The roundness of her belly is becoming less noticeable.  Stubby, chubby toes and fingers are looking more and more like little girl hands and feet.  Her thin wispy hair that didn't grow for the entire first year is now past her shoulders.  All of these little changes are quickly adding up to be BIG changes...changes that I don't always notice until I look back at the last few months of pictures.  This morning she was in our bed laying crossways and she said, "Mom, look how long I am!!"  She is even noticing her own changes.  

The other day she sat in my lap and pulled my arms around her and asked me to make a quite space with my arms.  I loved that moment.  Last night Rob and I took the girls out to look at some Christmas lights.  We drove around listening to Christmas music and out of nowhere she said, "Merry Christmas Mommy and Daddy."  I loved that moment.  I am so lucky that I get to spend nearly all of my moments with her.  She always tells me "I so missed you" when I am away from her.    

These days she doesn't eat anything because she is too busy talking and pretending.  Make believe play always extends to the dinner table which at times can be exasperating even though it is mostly entertaining.  She is in a "how" phase instead of a "why" phase asking "how" hundreds of times per day.  

Her interests range from dancing in frilly dresses to Darth Vader and lean mostly toward the latter.  At the Norman Christmas parade it was Darth Vader she eagerly awaited instead of Santa.  She asked Santa for a Darth Vader costume for Christmas; I sure hope he comes through.  She already knows the secret family relations of Vader, Luke and Princess Leia, and no, she hasn't seen the movies.  

Her opinions on what to wear are quite strong.  She much prefers to dig through Claire's drawers than her own for outfits.  She can still squeeze into an 18 month onesie and pants and doesn't think twice about heading outside with bold confidence.  May she keep that confidence for a very long time.  

Her unbridled joy and enthusiasm for EVERYTHING is very energizing.  Emotionally, she is starting to care about the feelings of others and is showing genuine concern.  In October, when my grandmother died, she held me so tightly as I cried my eyes out.  Then, at the cemetery where we interned my grandmother's ashes, she left my side to go wipe my mother's tears.  It was absolutely touching and her compassion left a permanent mark on my heart.  

While she didn't take too warmly to becoming a sister for quite some time, she is certainly taking to it now.  She loves and cares for Claire and watching them play together like nothing else.  I pray often that they will always have a close and loving relationship.  

Her are a few of my favorite pictures from the last year.  Not really in great order.   

Spring 2012 - Helping in the Garden

Spring 2012 - Out of nowhere you just picked up the chalk and started drawing people.  Her drawings are getting more elaborate.  Today she drew a "Spider Bat" that had scales on its wings and then immediately erased it to draw a whale with Jonah in its belly.

Early summer 2012 - You were in the backyard with me working on a project.  I got you some paper so you could try the paint roller.  After you painted your arms you said "I'm Spiderman!"  I just stripped you down and used the water hose to wash you off in the baby pool.  The water turned pink and you were fascinated by it. 

Summer Vacation, September 2012 - You loved playing with this truck on the beach.  You learned to swim unassisted on this trip!  You would put your goggles on and swim with your face in the water.

October 2012 - You and Claire dressed as Marci and Conga.

December 2012 - Wearing your cycling clothes like Daddy and playing in your dollhouse.  You saw that purple tree at Hobby Lobby back in October.  I told you that after Thanksgiving, we could go get a tree for your room.  Right after Thanksgiving you promptly reminded me.  Since this photo you cut a spiral in a coffee filter and decorated it.

December 2012 - Playing in the leaves.  You were pulling Claire around in that green wagon having the best time.

A carefully curated outfit for a bike ride.

Summer 2012 - We made a water slide!  When you are older, you need to ask your dad about trying to go down the slide while standing up.

July 2012 - Contemplating Cake at your third birthday party.  We had camping themed party in the backyard.