40 (+1) Reasons HJ and Lila Love Their Daddy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

For Sol's 40th bday today... From HJ & Lila

1. You're always happy to see us
2. You never forget to kiss us goodbye
3. You tell us lots of stories about when you were 4 years old
4. You read us Barbie books, Corduroy, and Curious George
5. You let us snuggle with you in the rocking chair
6. You help me go to sleep EVERY night (HJ)
7. You let me watch Barney over and over again (lila)
8. You cook the best blueberry pancakes for breakfast
9. You cook the best eggs (better than mommy)
10. You provide for us everyday
11. You give us piggy back rides
12. You read the Bible to us
13. You hold us during worship time at church
14. You held me through the whole sermon when I fell asleep (lila)
15. You're always patient
16. You never ever yell
17. You pray and fast for us
18. You teach us how to be wise with our money
19. You let us do facetime and skype with you when you're not at home (and sometimes when you are)
20. You can be silly and goofy
21. You can fix anything!
22. You buy the best prizes and special surprises
23. You make good decisions for us
24. You're nice to mommy :)
25. You make us feel like princesses
26. You help other people in need
27. You are generous
28. You spend lots of time with us even when you're busy
29. You are good at puzzles (especially the tricky 3-D one) (HJ)
30. You go with us to birthday parties and other kids stuff :)
31. You took me down the pump it up slide a million times (lila)
32. You understand us
33. You let us garden with you
34. You shovel the snow for us
35. You cut the grass for us
36. You take us on long walks in the double stroller
37. You wake up early so you can play with us before you go to work
38. You always know how to make us laugh
39. You know how to get us out of a bad mood
40. You let us "play golf" with you in the house
41. And, you never say you're too old to play restaurant and tea party with us, too :)


If Only

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our kindergarten dilemma continues... This week we went to visit my sister's kindergarten class, just for fun and because HJ has been always been unusually interested in whatever Mimi eemo is teaching in her class...

She of course loved the visit, and I felt like she could have stayed there all day. That is, if kindergarten only involved eating goldfish, making crafts, doing puzzles, and having your mom, favorite aunt, and little sister with you at all times.

I started going down this "if only" path ... even considering, hmm, maybe Sol or I could get a job at Allstate so that HJ could be eligible to be in Mimi's class. Wouldn't that be great? She'd be so comfortable and secure.

My sister quickly brought me back to reality. 

I've been thinking lately, that maybe I've gone too far to the side of wanting to protect my little girl... 

Especially with this kindergarten situation. I want her to have the perfect teacher, the perfect classroom, the perfect school... Not in every aspect, but in being perfect for her. But is that even possible, or am I just putting myself, and HJ, on the road to disappointment? 

And not only kindergarten, but what about every choice and decision making point that we'll come across in the future? I'm sure it's not going to get any easier as she gets older. The stakes will just get higher, and we'll have to ask ourselves, how much in our lives, and HJ's life, are we actually able to control? And really, we can't protect her from everything... From heartache, or failure, or hardship... 

But I do know that God has His hand on her life. From the moment she was born, even before she was born, He knew her and had specific plans for our little girl. Plans to bring her into our family for a reason. And I never want to forget that. 

A few months before we brought HJ home from Korea, Sol and I went to hear Richard Stearns, the CEO of World Vision, speak at Willowcreek. Due to a travel delay, he wasn't able to make it to the service. But I remember there was an African children's choir there that night, many of whom were orphans. One of them, a little girl, sang a song that I've always held on to for HJ ever since. The song begins like this:

I have a maker
Before my heart,
before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

I have a father,
he calls me his own
He'll never leave me,
no matter where I go...

Big Sister

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Now that Lila is 1.5, she is picking up a lot of things from her big sis HJ. That includes fashion sense, how to sing her ABCs, and how to be pretty feisty and still look cute while getting her way.

Of course, that's not to say there's more than a considerable amount of sibling rivalry in our home. Usually, it involves Lila wanting anything and everything that HJ has, and HJ responding by screaming, "NO! LILA! That's not for babies!" followed by running away with said object, or sometimes, a wrestling match with Lila obviously losing, or in rare moments of generosity, trading the sought after toy for something clearly not equal (i.e. a random piece of paper or broken crayon, etc...).

But, at the same time, HJ really kind of loves being the big sister. In addition to always having a playmate she can somewhat control, I think she genuinely likes being helpful... The best way I've found to encourage her in her helpful big sister role, versus the "No! Lila!" don't touch my stuff big sister persona, is to sing a somewhat ridiculous song we've adpated from Caillou, which goes something like... "Big sister, big sister, she knows how to ... " insert whatever action she has done that is helpful "help me brush my teeth!" "Big sister, big sister, she knows how to share her ipad with me!" "Big sister, big sister..." you get the picture....

I don't know why, but HJ positively beams whenever we sing that song, and she seems to be extra sweet to Lila immediately following, even too sweet... Meaning, she will give her things that Mommy and Daddy have been trying hard not to give to Lila. Whenever we see Lila looking guilty with another piece of candy or chocolate in her mouth, we don't even have to ask where she got it... Yes, it's "Big sister, big sister..."

Mostly, though, I'm just loving having two girls and reminiscing fondly about the old days with me and my little sis, who I still consider my best friend and the one person other than Sol that totally and completely gets me. I can only hope my girls grow up with the same kind of closeness. So HJ, just want you to know, keep being nice to your little sis, there's really nothing in the world like having someone who knows everything about you and still loves you just the same.

Lost & Found

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This is pretty much how we all felt last week, shortly after I posted all about sunny days and rainbows. Sol was in Mexico for work the entire week, I was going crazy turning the house upside down looking for two ipods that had "gone missing" or had been mysteriously misplaced by HJ into one of her many hiding places, the smoke detector battery kept beeping, and I literally felt I was living a "Friends" or "Modern Family" episode, especially when I thought I had broken both the dishwasher and the vacuum in one day. On top of that we had a kindergarten info meeting where I was probably the only parent there who already felt like crying when they said, "Welcome, class of 2026!"
And, this is pretty much how we felt when Daddy finally came home. Life was good. Both ipods mysteriously reappeared in the bottom of a bag full of princess pull-ups, HJ slept through the night without waking up, and we went to another kindergarten meeting where I almost cried, again, when they started talking about drop-off and eating in the cafeteria. Sol said, "What are you going to do when she goes to college?" Not going to think that far ahead right now. Gotta make it through preschool first.

And, in reality, this is pretty much all we've been doing every morning, recovering from last week and Daddy being out of town. I'd be a pretty horrible single mom. I don't know how all those moms do it whose husbands travel every week. Welcome home, Daddy. We missed you. More than you know...

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