Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To the one in the middle

Dear, sweet Isabelle...

You are in the middle. I, too, am the middle child. And for some strange reason every time I think of that, I think of a book I read in second grade called "The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo." (Yes, it's a real book, look it up). Don't ask me why I think of it...I just do.

Izzy you are full of spunk. I can hardly handle it- in a good way. You are quick as a whip and have a zest for life that I don't understand...and I love that. I want to learn it from you. I hope that is possible. That you rub off on me instead of me rubbing off on you. The last thing I want to do is stifle who you are and your growth. Never lose the spunk. I love it.

When you smile, you get a dimple on your left cheek that is to die for. IT IS SO CUTE. You make lots of silly faces. In them, I see your dad when he was a little boy. And in them, I see your dad now, too. The two of you sure enjoy making goofy faces. They are much cuter on YOU! You are Daddy's little clone. I swear. Maybe that's why I can't get enough of your face. Because you remind me of him. And in case you didn't know, I like Daddy a lot. I know you and your sisters do too. I hope you know how lucky you are to have such a great dad who loves you and loves to play with you and be silly with you. Lots of kids don't have that. And I know all kids need dads. I am glad I chose him to be the father of my children and that you chose us to be your parents. We were a little surprised when we found out you were joining our family but Heavenly Father knew it was just right. I couldn't agree more. The transition to a family of four was natural. You had a built in friend in your big sister. You were my two babies. You came at the right time. Even if I didn't know it was in my plans.

You are a little mama. I love how you love babies. I think that is the one thing you get from me. I wish I could always have a baby. I am glad you were one of mine. You sure were a pill for the first 4 months you were with us. You cried A LOT. All. The. Time. You were especially fussy from about 11:30pm-3:30 am. Often I just held you and let you scream. It was tax season. And daddy needed his sleep so you and I spent lots of nights on the couch downstairs. That was an exhausting winter. But you grew out of it and soon found you LOVED to sleep. We used to lay you in your crib and bring you your bottle and blanket and you would just giggle with delight and anticipation that it was time for bed. I will never forget that! You still love your sleep most nights. You can somehow fall asleep even with Riley singing songs and reading books aloud from the top bunk over your head.

Riley started Kindergarten a few weeks ago and you miss her so much. I know she is your best friend. I know because you have said so. But I also know because of how much you want to follow her around, play with her things, and be in her personal space. I know because you do things to aggravate her- and that really just means you want her attention. She loves you too. She just expresses it differently. The two of you are very different, each your own person and that is so fun to see.

I see you growing up too fast. It is wonderful to watch you learn and grow but so darn hard at the same time. You are at a fun age and I wish I could stop time. Let's just stop growing and getting older, okay? DEAL! You speak so well for your age. (Except when you revert to that darn baby talk...) There are a lot of words that you don't necessarily use the right tense of or conjugate correctly and most of the time it is hard to correct because it is so darn cute. But soon you will learn and I will wonder how it all changed so quickly. I love your laugh. Keep laughing :)

You are so opposite of me in that you are so laid-back and free spirited. You have such a shy side to you. You are the cuddliest, coziest preschooler I know. I hope you will always want to snuggle your mom. I hope you know that I am just a person, who will make lots of mistakes like every other person. But I hope you know I still love you. Even when I might not be the best mom. I am trying. And I will try harder. Help me be better everyday. While you are learning about life, I am learning about being a mom. We should never stop learning and life allows us to go through different seasons to learn different things.

Your imagination is out of this world. You play so well with others and on your own. I love to overhear the things you come up with to play. Don't lose that imagination. Don't lose your love of books. You and Riley both love books so much. I am glad you let us read to you. If you keep reading that imagination will stay incredible.

I wrote a letter to Riley in a previous it are a list of things I hope to teach you both. I want you both to know what your value is as a daughter of your Heavenly Father. It is so grat you cannot comprehend right now. We all have limitless potential for good. Be kind and loving. Have compassion. You are so precious. Respect yourself. And know that I am always here for you, to help you out with anything you may face. Life isn't without trials, that is a large part of why we are here, but it is also full of blessings beyond your comprehension. I love you, girlfriend!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Riley the Kindergartener

Riley started kindergarten at a charter school on Monday, August 22nd as a 4 year old! Then she turned 5 the next day. I can't believe how big she is getting. She will always be the youngest in her class (or darn close to the youngest)!

She was so ready for school! She has had two years of preschool and can read easily as well as any 1st grader. That being said, there is still much for her to learn in Kindergarten! She is loving it so much.

The two best things about charter schools are: parent involvement and uniforms! I love the dress code. It makes school shopping easy and kids in uniforms look so darn cute. I bought pretty much all of her clothes used. Which was a HUGE savings. Uniforms are expensive when brand new!

On her birthday, she chose to go to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. She got to sit on the saddle and they did their little spiel. Then they brought her free ice cream. That night we also had Cold Stone and opened presents. Grandma Debbie was in town for it :)

The night before school started (Sunday evening) we had family over for dinner and birthday cake :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sometimes I am afraid to be honest

...and to say exactly what I am feeling and thinking. But that is really no way to live. So if I start posting a few more raw, full of un-edited feelings and emotional things...well....good for me. After all, I am no good at keeping a journal and I think it's good to record what I can where I can. Even if it means it's here for the whole world to read. I am not perfect. And neither is anyone else. I am trying hard...but I fail most days. Who doesn't?

To my first baby

Dear Riley,

I have experienced so many emotions in the 5 years since you made me a mother. It has been a scary, wonderful, exciting ride so far. Just one thing...what makes you think you can go and get so big so fast? STOP IT!

Seriously. You made me the happiest mommy alive when you came to our family. I am so grateful you chose us and that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with your care. That responsibility is HEAVY. I feel the weight of it everyday. Being a mom is not for wimps. However, I have to admit...I am a wimp.

My heart aches for time to slow down. I wish I could rewind and pause things. I wish I could rewind moments over and over again. I want to film it all, so I never forget. I wish I could re-do certain moments, too. So I could be a better mom.

I go to bed praying every night that I can somehow do better and be better. I don't want to let you down and yet I know so often I do. You are my big girl and so I am always expecting so much of you. I am sorry I am hard on you. I hope you can forgive me and know I am trying. I am just a human being like everyone else. I can do better. I will do better. But it is a learning experience for us both and that sort of thing takes time.

There are so many things I hope I can teach you. You are such a sensitive girl. (I know where you get that and I am sorry.) Not that there is anything wrong with being sensitive...but it sure makes it hard. Even the small things seem to hurt in a big way. But you have a good, tender heart. And THAT is NOTHING to apologize for. Perhaps we feel things deeper...and as crummy as that is when it's something tough, when things are good the joy inside is indescribable. (One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 2:11 We can't know the good without the bad)

Here are some things I really hope I am able to teach you:
Be proud of who you are. Don't let others break you and your spirit
Stay close to your Father in Heaven. He is always there. Speak with Him often.
Gain your own testimony. Don't rely on anyone else's.
Stick to these values: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue
Study the scriptures. Know them well. In them, you will find much guidance and peace.
Be a kind, loyal friend (and person in general)
Stay close to your sisters. They will be some of your best friends.
Always strive to be and do better.
Believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.
Life is beautiful. And hard. And while there is a lot of crap out there, don't dwell on it. I worry enough for our whole family (that's a mother's job, I guess). Be a positive person. And know you can't control much except for how you handle yourself in all of the situations you will find yourself.

I pray you will make good choices that will enable you to feel great joy. But know that we all make wrong choices and that is a part of our learning and growing process in this mortal life. Those wrong choices are only worth making if you learn from them. So please...learn the lessons the consequences have to offer. Be as smart as you can in your choices. You do not have to be alone in making them.

I want you to know you are so special. I think you're the most. Really I do. Know that when you hurt, I hurt. When you succeed and feel joy, I am feeling that joy too. I hope you know I am here for you always. I am proud of you. It's a big world out there and I want to protect you from it. But that isn't possible. The most I can do is be here for you and teach you to be prepared for life. You are so beautiful. Inside and out.
I love you, my big girl.