Monday, May 31, 2010

Opposites & Similarities

This is adapted from the book Sisters by David McPhail.

This is the story of two sisters...who, in many ways were different.

One had curly hair.

One had straight hair.

One enjoyed playing peacefully, while in a dress.
The other enjoyed playing in pants & getting into monkey business.

One liked being precise & detailed on her work...

...while the other imagined herself as a princess in a far away tower.
One enjoyed climbing on top of the other, while the other ignored her to read a book.

But, they were also alike in many ways.

They both loved to have fun stomping in puddles.

And they love watching Strawberry Shortcake together.

They both love going on walks together.

And life would not be complete without getting messy together.

But, the thing they had in common above all else, is that they loved each other so very much.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Princesses or Combat Queens?

Grandpa Scellick said he & Grandma Scellick are feeling a bit deprived of granddaughter pictures & action. By looking at May's archives--I think he's right. The problem is our camera was misplaced in San Diego when we went last month. We have our old camera, but old it is without any video capacity & it's a bit harder to take pictures with it. Actually, strike that--it's when you get use to a better camera--using the older one is like using an older one.

The girls are growing and we've been up to a lot outside. It's been incredibly wonderful outside with the sun showering us instead of rain. After 10 minutes outside, you'll be sure to find a plethora of toys down below, which were heaved over by a little, spunky individual in the household. Veronica is sure to let me know of the misfortune without the annoying Cindy Brady voice. And if you aren't around our girls much--long hair is one thing they have in common. You couldn't guess it by the looks of curly Q below, but when wet and pulled straight--it goes down to her waist.

It's amazing how little things make a kid happy. Cadence has been wanting to be shirtless lately. Luckily, it's completely appropriate at this stage. Veronica on the other hand would like to be completely naked, but we put our foot down when she comes to the dinner table in just underwear (too messy). Cadence is babbling a bunch as if she's been filled with the Spirit; unfortunately, we have no interpreter and she doesn't seem to comprehend I Corinthians teaching on the subject. Oh well.

She loves saying "hi" to any willing soul within earshot. Today at the grocery store she said to the meat guy, "Hi!" (to which he replied the courtesy). Well, one thing most people don't realize is that Cadence isn't that say hi once girl. Once she says it and you respond--she will continue on like the broken record she is. Or she will continue to say hi until said recipient becomes the recipient. I kindly smile at the person with a look that says, "I won't think ill of you if you don't want to play the "hi" game," and try to move past them, while Cadence looks for her next match. She fills our life with intense laughter & angry, but also has a mellow spirit about her. She's a ham through and through and most likely knows you're paying attention. In fact, she is having you eat out of her hand while she's on center stage.

Like I said, Veronica isn't into clothes much these days. I just read my friend Paige's blog to find her oldest daughter in the same boat as V. If it were up to her, she would wear her pajamas all day or no clothes at all. Recently, she's gotten sick of wearing any clothes at night. So come morning, she is naked upon rising. It dawned on me how I was the same way. I hated footie pajamas and still remember taking them off to be a child at Woodstock. Then, came the coveted nightgown. Oh I loved nightgowns, especially silky ones. I've been textural & a sensate ever since I can remember. Veronica is the same way.

I came back from a weekend trip to Oregon and Monday morning I told Veronica there was a surprise in the bag on the ground. Well, first let me explain. I mentioned to Veronica how I think she might like sleeping in nightgowns and how I loved them as a little girl. Then, Ben asked Veronica if she would like to be like mommy & sleep in a nightgown before bed on Friday. She said, "YES!"

Secondly, she is one of the best people to give gifts to in the world. Her surprised, exclamation is what actors dream of sounding like. When she pulled out the nightgown she exclaimed, "(big breath) HUHH!!! OH MY GOODNESS MAMA! A NIGHTGOWN..." along with the retelling of the story of mama as a little girl, while trying to pull off her pajamas and insisting upon wearing it the whole day (along with wearing an apron during mealtimes to avoid spills on it). I only bought one and I'm thinking of turning some other clothing into nightgowns for this little girl.

And then there is ice play. Do you realize kids don't really require much fuss when it comes to play time? I had a bag of melting ice in the cooler from my weekend trip and pulled it open to let the girls play around with it. Cadence licked it, Veronica threw some over the edge of the deck to shout, "Oh NO Mama! The ice is over the edge" (as I assured her it would be fine and the ice would melt, so we didn't need to walk around to get it) and Cadence began to fill daddy's Nalgene with it.

I like the pictures below for two reasons. One is the concentration on her face. She is like this when she has work to do. When she needs a break from being silly--this is her look. Second is that I feel like I need to put some camo paint on her, so she can star in the baby Rambo.

Well, that's what's happening as of late. Ben is down to the wire studying for his CFA (charter financial analyst) test. He passed the first test before Veronica was born and is taking #2 of 3 tests. He takes the test June 5 and then I get to have my husband back. Just in time for a Bellingham summer.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Honest Confessions of a Mama

Ben and I returned from a four day trip to La Jolla while G&G Scellick watched the girls. Although I was sick for part of it, it was still nice to have time away, read a book in peace, write, spend time with my friend Veronica, be in CA, and return to mama life rejuvenated.

I wasn't looking forward to the week after our return, due to the transition for our girls in finding "normal." However, I was pleasantly surprised how sweet Veronica has been this past week. Sure, she's come back with a 16 year old attitude, but it's much easier to rectify that attitude at 3 years versus 16 years. Cadence has been much more clingy & whiny this week, which is due to the absence of mama & daddy (pretty age typical).

Our girls are growing and as we were celebrating Auntie Mimi's birthday (Ben's sister Amber), I looked over at Veronica sitting at the table eating her cupcake. And I thought, "seriously, who is that tall, big girl & how did she grow up so quickly?" This week as to make the transition easier on the girls, I put cleaning on the back burner; as well as, errands and other household duties, in order to spend more time with them. It's amazing when I allow myself to enjoy spending undivided time with my girls how well they respond to discipline and how much more patience I can give to them. I've been praying every morning about who God says I am as Kamille and how that translates to being a mama to these girls.

This job I know as mama is rather difficult at times, but it is even more so when I allow the expectation of others to define how I tend to my girls (rather than God). The thing about it is it's more likely that these are perceived expectations, not completely real. It's hard to live in this mindset, because although most people (myself included) would say we like to extend grace & receive it--it can be too easy to extend judgment when we see others doing something we wouldn't practice in our family. As for me, when judgment occurs in this way, I find the source to be a covering of my own guilt. It's an excuse of seeing all the ways I fail and then say, "well, at least I'm not like that!" Or feeling a sense of pride knowing my kids don't behave that way.

Or in my case at times, feeling embarrassed by the way my child acts, how she doesn't perform to my expectations, how it can be harder to love her. So when people comment on how wonderful, beautiful, behaved, etc, etc other children are--it is too easy to take that as a personal insult upon me as a mom. With Veronica, we have seen a speech therapist last month and will be seeing a physical therapist this month to rule out any delays. The speech therapist sent us her report saying that it looked like she had a sensory integration disorder, most likely oral-motor, which affects fine motor & large motor development as well.

When you have a child who is a bit "different" but completely healthy, it can be easy to see all their deficiencies, love your other children more (because they're easier), and become really defensive when other people aren't seeing all the good qualities they behold. But honestly, when I boil it down, all of that is irrelevant. God was stripping away my own insecurities as a mother. Ben has been constant in speaking truth in my struggles saying, "Kamille, I don't think that's really about Veronica--I think it's more about you as a mom." He's been spot on, even when I haven't wanted to name it. It's been in those fragile, sensitive moments as a person where I have wrapped up my identity & worth in being a mama. This is why it has been essential for me to ask God who I am to him. Not only who I am, but who my daughters are, in order to see his love for them & I can love with that perfect love.

These are some things I've learned:
  1. It's loving both my girls the way God has designed them.
  2. To accept them for who they are and not who I want them to be.
  3. To not compare development with other kids who are the same age.
  4. To not let others lack of praise for one child to dictate their worth.
  5. To focus on their strengths & encourage those.
  6. To parent the way God has called us to parent our kids and not care what others think.
  7. To be confident in listening to God's calling on my job as a mama.
  8. To see my girls as different, but love them with the same intense love.
  9. To not let my girls choices, behaviors or decisions determine my worth.
  10. To remember that God gave me Veronica Storey & Cadence Evangelina for a reason & didn't want to give them to anyone else (thanks Biz).
P.S. This is how God blows my socks off with Veronica. Today I told her she needed to have a rest time (I think she's done with taking naps), she said, "No, I NOT have a rest time!" Well, of course this behavior & attitude does not sit well with me--I let her know of her consequence. Her reply was this:

Dear Lord Jesus--Help Veronica calm down & listen to mama. Take away the yucky attitude and say yes to mama for rest time. Clean my heart & take the yuckies away. Help me be a sweet girl & read books. Amen!
And to that--Amen!