Lily’s last day of school was today. She’s pretty excited for summer, but our mercurial spring is showing it’s colors. Namely, gray. It’s been threatening rain all day long. Thankfully, we’ve had a bit of sun this week, so a rainy day doesn’t seem so oppressive this time. It’s been such a chilly, rainy spring! And though I’m not great with the hot, hot heat that Denver can throw at us, I’m ready for a bit of it! (Excuse while I knock on wood… Please no two weeks at 100 degrees, please.)
It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about the girls, so I’m going to snag a moment here. We’re in a really good spot. I’m loving these ages, and for the most part, this month has been filled with sibling harmony and family highs, and I’m just appreciating this upswing in behavior!
Lily has been doing so well. We’ve had a reprieve from tantrums, which has been SO NICE. Last night we had the first one in maybe… Three or four weeks?! Overall, she seems to be managing her emotions pretty well, and it helps when we’ve had plenty of rest and readily available snacks to keep that blood sugar in check! Last night’s can definitely be chalked up to a serious dip in blood sugar, so it’s at least nice to know where they come from when they happen.
A new development has been a bit of sass, but usually, she stomps off in a huff, and then she’s fine within a few minutes. It’s not my favorite thing, but I’m hoping that if I keep my reactions calm and insist on empathy and kindness, we can navigate this new challenge. It’s kind of a surprise to me because she still seems so young, but there’s been a bit of mean girl stuff going on at her school, and I’m guessing some of the sass is experimenting with behaviors she’s experienced there. We’re encouraging her to stick up for herself and trying to reinforce self-confidence as well as social problem solving, but I must say my heart just hurts when I hear the mean things other kids say sometimes! It sounds like the teachers are aware of and handling the behaviors well, so we’re just keeping a careful eye on the situation and trying to do some coaching too. For the most part, Lily seems self-possessed and certain of her value, so as long as we’re there, I feel like we can deal with these normal social rough patches.
One of the things I’m really loving about Lily right now is her sweetness. She’s very sympathetic when others are in pain, and she’s getting even better at offering help, whether it be a hug or something else. Her example is so powerful that last night when Lily was upset, little Lu came up behind her and wrapped her in her biggest bear hug. It was so sweet!
Lily is a lover of stories. She’s always asking me to tell her about when I was a little girl or about before she was born. She loves to hear about the farm or travels. Sometimes she’ll also ask for a story about different animals in the woods. She adores being read to, and sometimes I feel all tapped out on stories because she always wants them! Occasionally, she’ll tell us a story, and they’re very sweet 🙂
Lily has become quite resourceful! She dresses herself, gets her shoes on, can get herself a snack, and clean up after herself. She loves playing outside, and she can entertain herself out there for hours. She and Lu often bury themselves in play for an hour or more! Another fun thing Lily has begun to love is riding her strider bike. She’s quite good at it, and she can really coast for quite a distance! Last weekend she biked all the way to Rise n Shine, and she often bikes half a mile while the rest of walk after dinner.
I feel so lucky to be home with Lily during this time. Her fantasy world is rich, and she is such a great conversationalist. I love how much she thrives outside, and I feel like school and some of our parenting choices are really nurturing a wild and creative little spirit. She’s so much fun to watch grow!
Lu! This age is so fun. She is so sweet, and her smile lights up the whole room. She’s talking more and more, and she’s started to ask for and love books almost as much as her big sister! She loves going on walks, and she’s quite good at forward progress! I think having an older, faster sister definitely helps 🙂 She’s still a snuggler, but she’s over the Ergo. She naps and sleeps well, but still relies on me to put her down.
Lu loves following around her older sister, and whenever Lily is out of sight, she’ll call out, “Anya! Anya! Anya!” Today I asked her if Lily is her best friend, and she smiled and nodded. When it’s good between the two of them, it’s so good. And then sometimes it’s not. But let’s not dwell on that, eh?
Lu is a picky eater. If it’s not bread or dairy, it’s a hard sell. I’ve been squeezing in some greens with fruity smoothies and of course, she loves to pick out all of the olives and feta out of my salads. Let’s see. She’ll eat avocados, and… Trying to think of ANY other vegetable and not coming up with one. Sometimes she’ll eat beans, sweet potatoes, and eggs. Stinker. Sometimes at the end of the day, I try to tally the fruits and vegetables she’s eaten all day, and I come up with number of bites, so… Yeah. Pray for us.
Lu is talking SO MUCH! The other day we were on a walk, and she just called out every word she could think of, identifying every flower, wall, fence, puppy, and baby she could see. I ask her questions and though she doesn’t completely understand, she’s obviously following along. She nods and shakes her head enthusiastically, and she even pulls out the occasional phrase like, “I want this one,” or “I don’t know” or “where did it go?” They’re kind of garbled into one word, but she’s saying them!
I was telling Joshua the other day that Lu has a gift that I’ve never really experienced, and that’s just an ease and comfort in a group. She’s never been the only baby, and she’s so accustomed to interacting with others that it’s really just her nature. She’s neither the center of attention or the wall flower. She’s really just in it.
And even though she’s getting bigger and wearing all of Lily’s old summer clothes that I can remember so clearly, she’s still my baby. She holds up owies for my kisses and gives the best hugs, and every time she does, I just hold her close and breathe her in. Such a sweet little girl.
As for me, I’m still enjoying my time with the girls, but in the past week especially, I’ve been struggling with isolation. Joshua is training for his second 100 miler, and this week in addition to his regular work week, he ran 100 miles in a little over 19 hours, not including the time spent driving to and from trails. So I spent over 60 hours alone with the girls. And as luck would have it, we had no play dates and no friends to turn to this week. I didn’t speak to another adult for most of the time, except for seeing my mom a couple of times and seeing Sarah for an hour or two yesterday morning. It’s been a long week, and as much as I love my girls, it can get pretty lonely; not to mention that time spent with other kids and moms is a nice change of pace and break for everyone, including the kids. I’ve been getting letters back from some of the women that I wrote to over my birthday, and though it’s been good, it does make me wish that I lived in a place where more of those women lived. I’ve had a good and adventurous life so far, but growing up in one place, going to college in another, and then working and living as an adult in two different cities means that all the friends I’ve made are all over the country. I can see the appeal of having all of those people in the same place. Five years ago when Joshua and I moved to Denver, we decided to try and stay for a while. We love traveling, but we also really wanted to form a community. Five years later, we have a community of sorts, but I can still spend an entire long week completely alone. Anyway. Let’s keep it positive. I’m digging deep for spiritual fortitude and hoping the universe can either send me some mother fuckin’ friends or dampen my extroverted spirit. Over and out.
And not to burden the universe with my complaints, Ten Thankful Things:
- Sleeping between my two girls with the windows open and the chimes ringing.
- Little girls that LOVE playing outside.
- Runny eggs on avocado toast for breakfast
- The best train ride last night with the girls
- Reading library books on the front porch to the girls
- Listening to Lu sing to herself in the car
- Date night with Joshua on Friday (thanks mom) with Nachos and Fajitas at Matador
- House plants
- Sunny mornings and rainy afternoons and watching things grow in our garden
- When Rusted Roots comes on my Pandora station, and it feels like the world is playing my soundtrack