Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Baby is Becoming a Toddler by Day...

but is still very much a baby by night.

In the past month:

Toddler By Day
1) She has learned to walk. Over the past 4 days it has transitioned from dashing from one object she can stand next to to another to toddling around the room with her hands outstretched not falling.

2) She likes to dive head first down slides at the park. That was a little scary the first time... :/

3) She responds to basic instructions. For example, she was whining for food and I pointed to a closed container with pretzels in it on the floor and asked her to bring it to me so that I could give her one, and she followed my instructions exactly.

4) She gets her own food. Today she found the same pretzel container in the pantry and brought it to me.

5) She shuns nursing for a sippy cup from time to time.

6) She says words: "Mommy", "Daddy", "Ahhhhhh-lll Daaaaahhhhhhh" with waving arms ("all done" for you non moms out there), "Amen" (this morning at Mass), and tries to say other things like "pope" (I use this as a distraction when she is on the changing table since there is a papal blessing on our wall right above it).

7) Oh yeah, I forgot, she tries and sometimes succeeds in climbing EVERYTHING! Nothing is safe, not chairs, toy push carts, me, her sister, stairs, step stools. I expect that she will get herself out of her crib one day. Though I have not seen her attempt that yet...

Baby By Night

1) As soon as we come into our room at night, no matter what time it is or how recently she nursed she wakes up and fusses until I nurse her again. And then if I am lucky she only wakes every three hours. But at least she sleeps until almost 7am on days we don't go to 8am Mass?
2) My dear husband pointed out that she no longer needs to nurse to sleep in my arms at night or at nap. So I can't complain as much, because I can nurse her a little bit and put her back in her crib awake. So that's a plus.

3) I know I have to savor these nighttime nursing moments because soon she won't be a baby anymore and I know I will miss that.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Three Loves

Last night right before our bedtime prayers for the girls, G. gave me a big hug and we had this conversation:

G: "I have two loves, Mommy."
Me: "Who are your two loves?"
G: "Them." *points to my husband and L.
Me: "Daddy and L?"
G: "Yes."
Me: "Well, I have three loves, you, Daddy, and L. But Daddy is my best love."
G: "You are MY best love!"

Then my husband interjected: "Well your smallest love needs your attention." L. had been fussing for me the whole time.

I told him, "Sorry, G. and I were having a moment."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

French Onion Soup

In high school my best friend and I loved to go to St. Louis Bread Company (Panera Bread outside of St. Louis). She always got french onion soup and I always had the chicken noodle (my favorite soup as a child). My reasons for not trying french onion soup were the onions and the swiss cheese.

However, it is very difficult to not try foods I never liked as a child with my husband who will eat anything and wants me to try everything. So, I never avoid onions anymore and have learned to really enjoy them. Then I ventured had my first reuben sandwich and loved it. It had swiss cheese on it. I ventured to put swiss cheese in my lentil soup and loved it. I still do not prefer swiss alone, but when combined with super salty foods it is delicious!

So, a couple weeks ago at Bread Co. I tried their french onion was amazing. Then I decided to make my own...and here is what I did:

First, you saute onions in butter with thyme for about 15 minutes until then just start to get golden:

Then you cook them for a ridiculous amount of time on low covered until the onions are a rich brown color. Once they are brown add cognac or sherry and saute on high until the alcohol cooks off. Add stock and salt and pepper to taste; cook 20 more minutes or so.

Shred swiss and put in each bowl. Slice some french bread and add to the bowl.

Put finished soup on cheese and bread and enjoy.

YUM!!!!!!!! We had this with homemade reubens. I have to make this dinner again soon... :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Toddler Theology

Lately, my husband has been
teaching G. how to do
the Sign of the Cross.

The other morning after
signing herself she touched
her hand to her chest and said:

"The Son is here
because Jesus is
in my heart!"

Photo taken by my father.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jack the Owl Parrot

Today G. insisted on bringing her parrot to the grocey store. She keeps on insisting he is an owl. Her carseat came with a cup holder that does not hold any of her cups very well, but does hold Jack the Parrot. However, on the way to the store she informed me:
"Mom! Jack won't stop squirming in his seat!"
I told her to tell him to sit still.
"Do you want to sit on my lap?" She asked her parrot. "Yes, I do!" The parrot replied.
So, Jack sat still on her lap the rest of the way to the store.

This incident is quite similar to what goes on between G. and her father every evening during nighttime prayers. Except a certain little girl is quite squirmy no matter where she sits...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cooking on this Blog?

Yes, I can't help it. I like to cook and things I like are creeping their way onto this blog. I also happen to have a husband who likes food, not just any food, but good food. He procrastinates by looking up fancy restaurants and telling me all sorts of strange things to make for him. So, that is why this blog will now feature cooking and pictures of really good homemade food. :)


And now for some spätzle! I made this to serve with German Meatballs. The recipe was in The Joy of Cooking, which is just about the best cookbook that any homemaker could have for learning to cook new things. Here's what G. and I did during L.'s nap one morning last week:

We made the dough:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
3/4 tspn salt
pinch of nutmeg

mixed with:
2 large eggs
and 1/2 c. water or milk

Beaten until batter was "fairly elastic."

G. loved to try to mix it. Here is some of the dough:

Then I pressed it through a steamer into boil chicken broth. They make presses or lids and scrapers for this sort of thing, but I don't have one. The steamer worked well:

Then cooked it until it floated:Finally, used a ladle sized slotted spoon to put it in a bowl:Don't forget; the toddler must try the finished result while the rest of the cooking it happening since it took about 6 batches to cook all the dough:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Theological Directions?

I am thinking about putting a post up on Active Participation in the Liturgy based on the Vatican II documents based off a paper a wrote while working on my Masters. Would anyone be interested?

Also, I was thinking of typing up my reasons for veiling in the presence of the Eucharist if anyone would like to know those as well. Just a few blog ideas. Let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 9, 2011

S-L-O-P-P-Y Parenting

That is what I have resorted to: parenting that is S-L-O-P-P-Y. A really funny looking word. I woke up last night to the baby crying in my arms and trying to roll over. I was sitting in my rocking chair. It was 2:46am. I had gotten out of bed to nurse her at 1:48am. This was definitely a first. This is what I gloated about not having to do when we were co-sleeping. But after 3 months of that we all stopped sleeping and we moved her to a bassinet and now pack-n-play; I get to sleep in whatever position I want now, when I get to sleep. I wonder how many parents get to this point and wonder what the heck they are doing wrong; but I have tried different sleep solutions and I think it is just a matter of time (and getting over this annoying cold). I guess the only answer is to drink a little more coffee and go to bed at 10pm instead of 11pm.

The thing is this sloppy parenting is not just a nighttime phenomenon, it has creeped into the daytime parenting as well. To the point that I put the toddler in her room until lunch after she put her feet on the baby's head; yesterday she poked the baby's eyes with her toes and got a long timeout in her crib. The sloppy parenting can be seen in the sloppy living room, and my inability to put on cute clothes this morning (something I try to do everyday to keep myself feeling like a real person).

Though I suppose the haze I live in right now will become easier and possibly clear up once we no longer have this cold. Maybe the children will sleep well again; maybe I will get the baby to go back to sleep this afternoon and she will sleep better tonight.

I am just reminding myself that in order to have disciplined, well-behaved children I need to hold myself to an even higher standard. It is time for me to get over my lack of sleep, stop my sloppy parenting and have a stronger will than that of my children who do not know what is best for them; and lovingly and gently encourage their sleep and good behavior and stay firm in my resolution. Why do Lenten resolutions so often turn into Easter laziness?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

On Media and It's Proper Consumption

I wrote this post about living as a Catholic in the world. In it I discussed different forms of media and how to consume them. If you want to know about my understanding of what is proper to consume and reasons for consuming them you should read that post. I would like to readdress the issue here.

What is media? Wikipedia says that media is "tools used to store and deliver information or data". Now these tools come in a variety of forms. There is advertising media, broadcast media, digital media, hypermedia, mass media, multimedia, print media, recording media, social media, etc.

Here is the way one should approach these various forms of media.

Advertising Media- This should be avoided at all costs. Never watch commercials, label all facebook ads as offensive, turn off the radio (if you still listen to that), when using a site such as hulu make sure to have another tab open and the volume controls at hand to avoid such things. Also, throw out all flyers and ads that you receive in the mail. Close your eyes when you see a billboard. When surfing the net, do not let yourself get distracted by the advertisements. Never believe a thing you here in this form of media and never let your self be persuaded, unless you really need that cup of coffee on the screen or can't wait to try that new restaurant. This is the proper way to consume this form of media.

Broadcast Media- Generally this form of media is consumed by watching and listening or just listening depending on the medium you have chosen. As to how much, that is your decision. As to what to consume; only that which is worthy of consumption. One can never be to careful when choosing what to consume in this form of media.

Digital Media-Well, there is just too much to say about what you can consume and how much you can consume of this type of media. I am not even going to touch this. See the other forms to media to get a clear understanding of how to approach this media.

Mass Media-Internet, radio, newspapers, television, etc. This is what makes the world so small these days.

Multimedia-The only way to understand this form of media is to experience a multimedia event. Now I hope you understand what this form of media is and how to approach it.

Print Media- Once upon a time people printed words on paper and turned pages. This form of media is still commonly used. Unfortunately, even though this form of media is combustible, many things that should be set alight still remain intact (and you know what I mean, you see them at the checkout line of your grocery store as well as really bad fiction). Only read that which is worth reading and read often and you will be better for it.

Recording Media- I am not sure I want to get into this either. There is much in this media worth listening, too, but much of it you probably should where ear plugs if you are within a few miles of it.

Social Media- You use this daily, if you are like me. On word: Moderation.

Now by consumption I do not mean ingestion. I hope you are all aware of that. Using your eyes and ears is generally the best way to consume media, and not using them is the best way to avoid it. But just remember that what comes in your eyes and ears, stays in your mind and changes you, forms you, and influences who you are. Don't let what you consume, or the fact that you currently are consuming turn you into meany-head or a social recluse or simply neglect your duties.

I hope I have enlightened you on media and it's proper consumption.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

40 Dinners Without Meat

I do not want this to turn into a cooking blog, but my sister asked me to let her know of any good meatless dinners I come across as I make meatless dinners this Lent and I thought I'd share them here. I am not going to post every recipe, but give the basics of the dinner I made and if you want the recipe email or comment and I will do my best to get it to you in a timely manner.

I actually do not have 40 meals total, since many nights ended up with leftovers and we may or may not have eaten at home every night:

1. Ash Wednesday-Lentil Soup, bread, and a green salad-the soup had carrots, lentils, onions, tomatoes, vegetable stock broth, and some sherry. Very penitential and much tastier if served with swiss. We had a green salad every day with spinach to keep iron in our diet.

2. Bean Burritos and a green salad-not very creative but easy if you buy the canned beans.

3. Garden Minestrone, homemade freezer biscuits, and a green salad-A minestrone with spinach and zucchini among other veggies and lots of beans! It was so full of protein I did not even miss not having meat! And these biscuits are great! I usually make a double recipe, and you freeze them and pull out and bake as many as you need! Each adult is usually satisfied with just one; since they are as hearty as the kind you can buy at the grocery store from a can or frozen.

4. Channa Masala, white rice, freezer biscuits, and a green salad-Masala is a combination of spices used in Indian food; in addition to garam masala, this dish also contained cumin, turmeric, and coriander cooked with butter and onions and added to a base of chick peas an chicken stock (I used vegetable stock in the Lenten version). This is served over rice. It could be used as a main dish or side depending on what kind of meal you are going for.

5. Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Spinach (and garlic for the husband) and a green salad-I buy the pre-made pesto from the olive bar at Wegmans since I only need about $1 worth of it and pesto takes time and energy and basil that I usually do not have while making pizza. I have a wonderful bread-maker pizza dough which I spread with pesto and then add the toppings. Mark wanted whole garlic cloves on his pizza, so he had his own half. I used mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I think it turns out restaurant quality--if only we had a better oven!

6. Falafel, Pitas, Hummus, and a green salad- I confess that I use a mix for my falafel, grinding soaked but not cooked beans into tiny bits in the blender is not my cup of tea (Hence why I need a food processor). But the mix I found is amazing and just the right amount of spiciness. I do fry my own falafel and sometimes make my own pitas. This time I bought pitas and hummus. The falafel is to be eaten in pita pockets (or rolled up in one) with hummus and other sides. I like to mix garlic powder with sour cream. Pickles are particularly appetizing in this wrap or just plain old cucumber.

7. Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups, biscuits, and green salad-A recipe from my wonderful mother made with cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, cooked spinach, and nutmeg all rolled up in cooked lasagna noodles and baked in marinara sauce. Yum yum yummy!

8. Fish Sticks, Oven-Fried potato chips, and green salad-Frozen store bought fish sticks, easy! The potatos take time; peel, slice super thin, rinse, pat dry, toss in oil and spices, bake for about 20 min. We needed two tray-fulls. I kept them warm in the toaster oven while the fish cooked.

9. French Toast and Baked Apples-Breakfast for dinner! But it was soooo good. Baked apples are so easy; peel, chop, cover in juice, sugar, and butter and bake!

10. Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, Pasta with butter, garlic, and parmesan, green salad- We have had this one a lot before; it is pretty easy and if you cook the chickpeas in oil and garli long enough they are crispy and flavorful. This meal is an attempt to get protein and iron into the lenten meals.

11. Annunciation Dinner- Fish Sticks, Skoralia, and green salad- A traditional Annunciation dinner consists of dried salt cod battered and fried (hence the fish sticks) and mashed potatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, and scallions (instead of milk and butter). They were delicious and I was told to make them again.

12. Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings, green salad, biscuits- My first experience of cooking with tofu, and I think I will again. It takes on the flavor of what you cook with. These were chopped vegetables, tofu, hoisin and soy sauces wrapped in wonton wrappers and steamed. The steaming was incredibly easy, but the preparation took a lot of time. I had leftover filling, that I put in a frying pan with butter, frying it for a few minutes and then added some beaten eggs. This was also delicious!

13. Tilapia with lemon butter, oven-fried potato chips, and green salad- I sprayed the tilapia with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked it at 500°F for 7 minutes. The potato chips were the same as above. This is a really tasty and easy way to cook fish fillets!

14. Macaroni and Cheese, green salad, steamed broccoli-Your standard Macaroni and Cheese made with monterary jack and chedder cheeses, thickened in a flour, butter, and milk sauce and baked until the au gratin of crushed rice krispies and melted butter browned. I used to make real bread crumbs, but I like the crunchy toppings better. This recipe was enough for two dinners! :)

15. Lentil-Barley Stew (which actually was Great Northern Bean-Brown Rice stew), biscuits, and green salad- I was going to make the stew with lentils and rice, when I discovered that I had no lentils. After a quick panicked call to my sister while the celery and onions were already cooking in butter, we decided my beans would be a good substitute and they were! Mark liked it a lot, and he is not a big fan of rice or white beans. This also had tomatoes and shredded carrots.

16. Cheese and Spinach Quiche and green salad- Homemade pie crust, and quiche filling. I did not whip the eggs enough; but deflated quiche still tastes like quiche. I will make this again and do it properly. I used to not like swiss cheese, but lately I have discovered that I like it in other things such as reubens, lentil soup and quiche. The next thing I want to try it in is French Onion Soup.

17. Garden Minestrone in bread bowls and green salad-I made the bread bowl dough in my bread maker. I am not satisfied with the bread we get in our bread maker. It is always way drier and not as soft as I would like it to be even when I add an egg with the water measurements. Not sure what to do here. The soup was saved in the freezer from when I made it earlier.

18. Tilapia seasoned with dill, boiled and seasoned potatoes, green salad, green beans- I cooked the tilapia the same way as above, except added dill to the spices. The potatoes were small red potatoes boiled with the skin on; after draining I heated them in melted butter and added salt and pepper and dill "to taste." I am actually having cravings for fish (at least the plain white ones); which is either a sign that I have gone insane, need more protein in my life, or am becoming more like my husband and less like my father (who hates all seafood). This meal was so pretty on my plate I should have taken a picture. It was also very yummy!

19. Minestrone soup, homemade bread, and green salad- This was a soup I made a few months back and froze the extras. It is a recipe I got from my mother, with shredded cabbage, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef stock base, kidney and navy beans, peas, green beans, and macaroni noodles. This soup makes you feel healthy while you eat it. And it is best served with freshly shredded parmesan.

20. Stir-fry vegetabes in teriyaki sauce, rice, biscuits, green salad- This was a lot of fun to make, steaming broccoli, chopping mushrooms, carrots, green onions and prepping snow peas; stir-frying them all together and finishing them off with a bit of teriyaki sauce. Served them over rice with extra sauce. It was yum!

Meals I have not made yet this Lent but plan too:

21. Syrian Lentils on Pasta- I have made this before. Lentils, onions, tomatoes, and cumin cooked and in a medium thick sauce over pasta.

22. Anchovy Pizza and Tomato and Spinach Pizza- My husband likes anchovy pizza. Don't ask me why. It comes in little cans in oil, near tuna, in the grocery store. I will make this with a red sauce and use my yummy breadmaker dough. I will not eat the anchovies... G. might.

23. Two Bean Tamale Pie-I have not made this before, but it has tomatoes, beans, spices in the bottom half and a crust on top consisting of cornmeal, cheese and milk. I am excited to try it.

24. Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli on Pasta- There is a dish common in St. Louis called Pasta con Broccoli. I found a recipe online that we could barely eat it was so rich. So this alfredo sauce looks less rich, but just as creamy. I am going to give it a shot. We will see.

That is all I have planned and done so far. I need a few more recipes to get us through the rest of Lent. I have done a few repeats and we have done a few Friday Fish Fries. That is why you don't get 40.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I Miss About St. Louis Part II

An earlier Spring, a warmer Winter, and a later Fall. Enough said.

I am not sure if I really miss the hotter Summer that much, but I still miss the Cardinal baseball.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Song for Mothers (and everybody!)

"Nothing Without You" by Bebo Norman is a song that I have always felt drawn to and it has applied to my life differently throughout my life. I heard it today, and it really spoke to me about the mother and wife I am called to be. You can watch the video below that has the lyrics, but I will also post them below and write about how they affected me.

Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
See I have nothing, I have nothing without You

I have always thought of raising hands in praise when I heard these lines, but today I thought of how I use my hands. What I do with my hands is also a way to praise God, and the love I have when using my hands can offer my activities to him.

Everything a mother does for her family involves her hands; praying, holding, changing diapers, dressing, washing children, washing dishes, cleaning the home, etc. But a mother and wife does not have the strength to do all of this without God's love and grace, and it can wear her down and make her unhappy. God will keep a mother strong.

Take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

I can sing songs of praise to God and tell others of his love and mercy, but what I say to others, how I say it to others, what I say about others reflects this even more. The way a wife speaks to her husband, the way she asks him to do something, what she chooses to say first thing in the morning or when he walks in the door from work all are an offering to God and all can bring more love or hurt to the home. The way a mother speaks to her children when they misbehave or do good acts or simply get into trouble all bring glory to God or not. If I am unkind in the way I speak, my voice is not bringing God glory, but if I have patience and kindness in my voice even when reprimanding this is an act of love.

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

A wife and mother needs to be covered in the love of God in order to live out what she is called to do. My mother prayed for me yesterday that God's love would overflow out of me into the way I loved my children; I think this chorus reflects that idea. And when we pour love into our family, the world does see, and the world is given hope.

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

I think this speaks the most to me as a wife and mother; the daily grind really involves the whole body. And for children, a mother's body really is broken as an offering of love; in this way we reflect Christ. It is done to a mother when she accepts the call to be one throughout pregnancy, the pains of labor, the giving birth, and then her choices to breastfeed, and nurture her children through naps, bedtimes, feedings, and play times. But still she has nothing without God and his mercy and love.

I also love the line asking God to build up one's body; it shows the glory that God gives to nature and the beauty in our bodies despite our falleness.

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing
But I love You

With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
With all the strength that I can find

And here we remember that our actions are rooted in our heart, soul, and mind. Our actions affect them and they affect our actions. We need God to help us love and serve. And we need to take time for prayer, for praying asks God for His grace, praises him, and keeps Him foremost in one's heart, mind, and soul throughout the day. I am always happier when I remember to pray while doing mundane tasks like putting the kids down for naps and cooking and washing.

"With all my mind." I particularly need to spend my time doing things that will help me think about good things, and loving things. What I do during my free time stays in my mind and affects my heart and my soul and my actions. I know I personally want to use my mind for more than taking care of children; and struggle for the discipline to discipline my mind.

Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing,
I am nothing without You

I am nothing without God, and my time on earth is for Him. And as a wife and mother, I also am called to help my husband and children glorify God with their lives as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Dream Kitchen

While talking to some other mom's about cooking a few weeks ago, I admitted that if I would love to have someone watch my kids for me so that I could focus on cooking dinner every night. I really like to cook, and I like to cook nice meals and I want to learn to cook even better meals. I have also been day dreaming about what I would love in a kitchen. Maybe one day I will actually have counter space. I think a dream kitchen is not too much to ask for, especially if we have as many kids as we talk about having.

The Elements:

1) Children old enough to wash the dishes.
2) Children old enough to watch the younger ones while I cook.
3) Lots of counter space and an island to work on.
4) A six burner gas stove. I have only used gas at my mother-in-laws, but I know it is superior when it comes to cooking good food and want to learn how to use one.
5) Two ovens. I have seen kitchens with this feature and I love it. I guess having a toaster oven is kind of like this, but two full size would be wonderful!
6) A warmer drawer; my sister has one and it is so convenient! (I am taking a lot of things from my sister's kitchen.)
7) A large two basin sink.
8) A large dishwasher.
9) Ample cupboard space.
10) A walk-in pantry.
11) A deep freeze.

Cooking appliances and accessories:
1) Kitchen-aid pasta flattener attachment.
2) Food processor that is easy to clean.
3) So glad to finally have a double boiler!
4) Round biscuit cutter; I am not sure why I do not have one of these yet.

I am sure there is more, and I don't think this is too much to ask. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Raising Children to be Virtuous-Part One

Some of you may have read this:

"Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" By Amy Chua from the Wall Stree Journal:

Here is my initial response. I plan to write more on it later.

Chua is defending the way she raised her kids, but it does not seem like she is necessarily condemning those who raise children differently. There is a cultural difference; the way Westerners raise kids comes from the individualistic philoso...phy that was there at the founding of our country. I think a lot of the way Westerners raise their kids are excessive and are not the best for their children. Raising children to be virtuous holy people is hard work and discipline is a necessary aspect.

We are not allowing our children to watch TV or play computer games. First, we do not own a TV nor do we want to, and second I don't think there is anything on TV that I want my children to watch that is not saturated with philosophies and ideas that I disagree with. I also do not want to be tempted to use the TV to "babysit" my kids. I want them to be able to entertain themselves. Gemma will sit and read books for up to 30 minutes sometimes and she is only 21 months old. We will show them certain movies when they are older, but there is no need now.

Also, I want our children to learn to be disciplined; this will lead to a virtuous life. I know that these are things I need to work on to. I think that the Chinese discipline, while it may get extreme, is probably better for building virtue than Western leniency.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


And apparently this blog is officially neglected. I have a post I saved back in July that I never finished. Since I last put up a real post, I have gone through 9 months of pregnancy and 6 weeks with a new baby! Yay!

So, now we have two little girls; one currently sleeping on my lap and the other in her crib. My main reason for writing it to discuss the adjustment of G. to our second child L.

G. was only 20.5 months when L. was born. Maybe we could have prepared her more for the several day separation, but when I went into labor 2.5 weeks early and we sent her to a friends house I was not entirely convinced that I really was in labor. She spent the two days I was away playing with one of her friends and being cared for by adults she knew well. The second night she even had Mark to take care of her. When she came to see me in the hospital, she first sat silent on my lap eating my snacks and then started playing with Mark's mom whom she had not seen in 6 months and completely ignoring me.

When we came home with L., G. was a different child than I had remembered. She had been happy, smiling, and enjoyed playing alone; she was then clingy to me, crying all the time, and wanting constant attention. I loved having a newborn, but had a really hard time with how it affected G. The first night home I cried, because G. was so different. I missed my happy little girl. One night that first week I put G. down for bed (I had not been, because of labor recovery and I needed to pick her up to put her in her crib). As we rocked in the chair I started crying again, and then I started giving her kisses on her head and she started kissing me back and soon we were kissing and giggling; my little girl was still the same. I had glimpses of her old self as the weeks went by, and I think she is finally getting used to the change of not being the only child. She is more and more like her old self and hopefully will soon be less and less whiny.

G. also wants to do everything L. is doing; such as when L. is being burped she wants to be burped or burps her baby doll. The best story is how G. "nurses" Baby Jesus from the nativity set while I am nursing L. Or when L. is having tummy time, G. lays next to her and tries to have tummy time also, and I have to sit nearby or L. will get kicked in the head. Today we were "play toys" (G.'s words) with L. by holding them in front of her. G. thinks this is the greatest thing, even though L. completely ignores it for the most part.

As for me, I need to work to give G. the attention she needs, but also help her learn about sharing her mom with her sister. I have noticed that with G., if I play with her first thing in the morning and right away after nap, she is much happier playing alone later. She just needs to be reminded that she is still loved and that mom still has time for her. And with time, my hope is that my girls will soon be each others favorite people, and that we will all be helping each other become better and holier. :)
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