Yup, she's a thumbsucker! It has been a blessing in disguise. She often has to wait because of Alan's pressing needs, and so she has taught herself to cry for a few seconds and then pop in the thumb and pass the time. Most of the time she is such a patient and easygoing little girl. I am not sure if that's the experience Auntie Susann had the other day though . . .
Auntie Susann was kind enough to watch my children when I went into school to pack up the remainder of my belongings (I am moving into a brand new classroom next year!). Delaney was ready to eat lunch, and for some reason became upset and started screaming. Screaming is Delaney's mode of expressing her frustration - she rarely outright cries. And once she is upset, it is sort of difficult to help her snap out of it . . . so I guess she just continued screaming and refusing to eat for half an hour! Meanwhile, Alan was trying to snap cousin Lydia's exersaucer toys back in her face when one hit HIM square in the lip and he started bleeding everywhere. I felt sorry for Susann, but I type this with delight because I learned that day that Crisis Mode is not something that only happens when my kids are with me! It can happen to other people too, so I must be doing all right. It seems like we have Crisis Mode at least once a day around here. You know, when everyone has needs all at once and you can't meet them all . . . and everyone's crying . . . I even made up a song one day for those moments. It's pretty simple. "Everybody cry, everybody cry WAAAH WAAAH!" I found out that the song was helpful because it makes Alan laugh (and therefore forget to cry). And when that doesn't work, I've even started crying too!
Laney tried peaches today, but didn't seem very excited about them. Is she a picky eater? Yeah, I think she is right now . . . but I am a LOT less worried about stuff like that than I was the first time around. She will eat when she is hungry and food she likes is put in front of her, and I will keep presenting everything to her over and over, and she will be fine. I know now that how she eats this week might be completely different from how she might eat next week or next month or next year. As long as I keep giving her all the foods that are good for her . . . she will be okay.
My favorite thing about feeding her is watching her little hands. She sticks her arms out to the sides, and as her excitement builds for each bite, her little hands swivel and turn on her wrists like she can barely stand the waiting. It's so cute.
Since my last post, Laney has spent an evening and also almost a full day with just Daddy and Alan, as Mommy got to get away a couple times. All reports were good - what a great Daddy my kids have! She also attended Alex Milkert's graduation party, was visited by Uncle Andy and his girlfriend Coral, spent a day playing with Auntie Susann and cousin Lydia (who is just 1 and 1/2 months older than Delaney), came with to Fantastic Sam's where Alan got his hair cut, and visited Daddy at work for a lunch date.
I will leave you with a link to my new favorite song. It is In My Arms by Plumb. Check it out!
Delaney's first visit to Grindstone Lake Bible Camp
Out to lunch with Grandpa Grape on Father's Day
Delaney Alice cuddling with Great Grandma Dorothy Alice
Alan helps Laney become more fashionable
This week we went to Mommy's favorite place in the world. Grindstone Lake Bible Camp. Delaney was ooohhed and aahhhhed over by the counselors and staff. We attended their "First Supper" which is the kickoff of their camping season. My favorite moment was when the dinner was about to start, and I was in the middle of feeding baby food to Laney, and everyone got quiet right before the prayer. That was when Alan yelled out "I wanna go potty!!!!" in the loudest two-year-old whiny voice you can imagine. I gave Delaney to my mother in law and bolted as fast as humanly possible. Of course he didn't even go.
Thanks, Kimmy, for celebrating your birthday that day by awarding Dan and I with staff T-shirts. I hope you don't lose your job now.
We spent most of Father's Day in North Branch and had brunch at the Village Inn with Grandpa Grape and Great Grandpa Karsky. It was a great time, and we even got to pop over to Grandpa Grape's house afterwards and see his fabulous newly remodeled kitchen! Looks awesome.
It seems like God has shown me a few things through the example of my kids this week. Here are a couple of His lessons:
In reality, I am just as dependent on Him for what I need as my kids are on me. Instead of putting off reading His Word because of all the things I think I need to get done, I should open my mouth wide and joyfully like Delaney does for her food, and take in what I need, that He is so generously offering me. Otherwise, I will end up like Alan when he puts off going potty for too long because he wants to play with his toys. There will be a mess and I will be unhappy.
I need to look at Him and mimic Him like Alan mimics Dan and I day in and day out. We had such a sweet moment yesterday, when I was standing by Laney's crib singing to her and swaying with her to get her ready to lay down for a nap. Alan picked up his "Chucky" doll (no, not like in the horror movies. Think Chuck E Cheese) and started swaying and singing too. He just has this intense drive to copy me. What more could I ask for - it's a perfect picture of how I should copy the Lord. And how will I know what the Lord does? Back to lesson 1 - read His Word
And you can add these to last week's list of things Alan thought would be awesome to do to Delaney:
Pour a Barrel O Monkeys on her head while she is eating
Pound her exersaucer (and therefore HER) with a bat while we were planting flowers outside
Straddle her tummy while she is laying on her back and mom leaves the room for 2.5 seconds
But she is surviving, and the first two even made her laugh. She tried 2 new foods this week. Sweet potatoes are a hit! But peas made her gag and then she spit them back out. Oh well.
Laney has been practicing sitting up with a pillow behind her.
I want to tell you, in the words of my good friend Jacque, what it is like caring for a two year old. "It's like continuous customer service with a completely unreasonable person." She is so right on! Let me tell you how Delaney's world has been affected by some of the things Alan thought would be perfectly reasonable to do to her:
Monday: Alan removes Delaney's toys from her hands using a dustpan, to not-so-gently "sweep" them away.
Tuesday: Alan pushes Delaney's bouncy chair down as close to the floor as it will go, counts to three (which actually sounds more like this: "1, 6, 7!") and releases her like a catapult.
Wednesday: Alan spins Delaney in her exersaucer as she tries to hold onto the attached toys the way you or I might hold onto a tree branch if we were being swept down a river.
Thursday: Alan comes RUNNING from the living room, takes a flying leap, and DIVES onto Delaney as she lays in her bouncy chair. There were actually tears on this one.
Friday: Mommy gets in her car, starts driving, and doesn't come back for a few days.
Just kidding. But sometimes that's what I want to do.
So, as you can tell, the kiddos are keeping me on my toes. Laney's adventures this week include:
having mommy called to get her out of the church nursery for the third time this month (are girls really more emotional than boys?)
going back to see Dr. Sidwell and finding out that she has grown enough and doesn't need to come back
rejoicing to hear that cousin Kacie gave a thumbs up and even pinched a nurse!
playing with Matthias, Logan, and Alan at our Bible Study Barbecue
spending a day with Grandma Lucy so Mommy could go pack up her classroom
Thanks for checking in! Mom, Dad, and Andy, I miss you! Sometimes I feel so far away from you. But I know we will see each other sometime soon. Love you!
Mommy, Delaney, Diana, and Nolan Smith at Maple Lake Elementary Baby Shower
Delaney's sour face when she tried pears
The girls scrap booking together
I think Laney is texting her friends on her cell phone in this picture
"No! I don't want to!" Of course, I hear this all the time from Alan. He is 2 and it comes with the territory. I never thought I would hear it from Delaney so early, but she has found her own ways to say it. Last week, she was an inspiration to all babies as far as eating her cereal goes. She would gladly open her mouth wide and gobble it down. Then . . . I gave her pears. She made the worst face you've ever seen, and wouldn't allow ANY spoon in her mouth for almost 5 days. No cereal, no nothing. I think she is finally getting over it now, but I've found out that my nice, easygoing little girl can really assert her will when she wants to!
We have been many places the last couple of weeks. We attended the Maple Lake Elementary Baby Shower, which was for all babies born or to be born this school year. Among the cute little cherubs were Nolan Smith (pictured above), Avery Kolehmainen, Delaney, and Ella Rassier. Teachers Bethany Linder, Adam Ronnenberg, and Joy Torgersen still await their bundles of joy. Delaney was held by many MLE educators, and Alan had a blast eating cupcakes and then burning off the sugar with his best friend (little Ella's big sister) Lauren. Let's just put it this way: people who have had a 2 year old boy thought he was being pretty good, since nothing was broken or ruined. People who have never had one were staring in let's-try-to-be-polite amazement. This is what happens almost everywhere we go.
A couple days later, we went to visit Lauren, Ella, and Michelle Rassier in Clearwater. Michelle escaped for a little bit of grocery shopping, and Delaney got to see what a big girl's room looks like, complete with all the Dora accessories you can imagine.
On Friday, we made a visit we wish we never had to make. We visited Dan's cousin Kacie in the hospital. To read more about Kacie, her car accident, and how you can pray for her, go to www.caringbridge.org and type in kaciecarlsted. It was good to be able to go see her, but I know all of us are struggling with what has happened and we continue to pray for her recovery each day. Alan says "We pray for Kacie to feel better. We love Kacie." And that pretty much sums it up.
Delaney had a fun weekend scrapbooking with Mommy and Jacque Boldt. You will notice in the picture that she was really getting involved and I am sure will soon need some of her own supplies.
We have also attended the HowardLake-Waverly-Winsted graduation ceremony where we saw Erick (Kacie's twin brother) graduate, and also accept Kacie's diploma on her behalf. Both Kacie and Erick have so much to be proud of - I hope our kids grow up to be like them someday!
On Monday, Delaney had her 6 month doctor appointment, complete with shots. Dr. Sidwell says that her "growing curve" is not going up sharply enough, so we are trying to fatten her up. But once again, she asserts her will and refuses to take a bottle of formula. So, I have started getting up early to give her extra feedings. All part of being a mom. But man I am getting tired!