I used to take all kinds of photos of Orelia in the swing, because there used to be a time she was content to swing back and forth in a baby swing without being pushed every half a second.
Now there isn't a lot of peaceful swinging anymore. It's constant declarations of "HIGHER!" and "FASTER!" After a reluctant "please" crosses her lips, I always oblige.
Even though I don't have as much evidence of the swing set anymore, Orelia is still an avid user (Bennett couldn't care less about the swings). Her dirty toes are often floating sky-high, and I know it will only be a matter of time before her dirty toes are propelling themselves, and I will no longer be needed for the higher and faster duties.
We all know with a 'tude like hers, she prefers to do things on her own terms, thank you very much.
Last Saturday we had the post nap giggles in the backyard and were having a blast as a family.
John volunteered to raise the seat on Orelia's balance bike and Orelia eagerly asked if she could help too. She always wants to help with projects around the house, especially if tools are involved. This project involved the allen wrenches, and I had to break out my camera to document the "family" of allen wrenches Orelia started playing with.
There was a mommy wrench, a daddy wrench, a big sister wrench, and a little brother wrench. I want to always remember this silly moment as quintessentially Orelia. Yes, she wants to help. Yes, she wants to use tools. Yes, she wants to do it wearing her pretend engagement ring. And yes, she will turn the tools in family members.
And also, yes, she is aware her shirt is on backwards and she wants it that way.
Who knows whether Bennett will turn out to be like her - making families out of tools and wearing shirts backwards.
For right now he's content to eat two pieces of pizza for a snack and wander around the yard with his favorite truck shirt.
Happy Mother's Day, to my mom who taught me everything I know. She is the most selfless, giving person I have ever met, and continues to teach me what it means to parent with love.
My mom asked that in lieu of a present this year that I write to her about a memory I had from my childhood. It got me thinking a lot about my childhood. It turns out I really don't have a ton of specific memories from childhood that seem worth writing about, but generally I just have a memory of happiness.
My mom raised me with such love every day. I can't even remember a time where she took out her anger or frustration on me, and she always seemed to keep it together. Now that I'm a mom myself, I can't imagine how she did it as I feel like I'm at my wit's end every other hour. She (and my dad) happily attended every soccer game I ever played, and generally rooted for me in life. I knew (and know) every day how much she loved me. She told me every day and showed me too.
Sorry that I couldn't come up with a great story to write about, Mom. There isn't much of a story to go with you preparing every meal I ate growing up, tucking me in at night, and always being there when you said you'd be there. That's what motherhood is, right? Being there every day for your kids in the ways they need you most and providing them with love and stability. My mom did that for me in a way I can only hope to emulate. I love you, Mom. Thanks for everything!
Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I have "one of each."
This is a phrase that people throw at you in the grocery store when they see you have one boy and one girl.
It is true on the face that I have one of each gender, but I'm learning more and more that I have one of each type of kid in many ways.
I have one extrovert and one introvert.
One child who finds it easier to smile at strangers, and one who has a more serious look on his face most of the time.
I have one child who seems to enjoy order a lot more than the other. The other night Bennett started stacking all of his books on the floor before bedtime. A task I don't think Orelia has ever done.
I have one eater and one nibbler.
I have one waif and one tank.
I have one princess fairy (I don't think "girl" does her justice), and one truck-obsessed little mate.
They do have some things in common of course. They both like art and play doh. They both like parks and adventures. They both like books (though Bennett a bit more).
My mom recalls a time when she laughed seeing my brother place swords in the hands of my Carebears when my brother and I were playing together. Well the other morning Orelia was "playing trucks" with Bennett, but insisted it was a family of trucks and ran off to find a mommy and daddy truck to go with the big sister and little brother trucks. I couldn't help but laugh.
Orelia has started doing weekly show and tell at preschool, and witnessing her describe her stuffed animals (so far she has brought in three stuffed animals) has made my heart swell and brought tears to my eyes. She has twice ended her speech with a curtsy. So yeah, it's been basically everything I ever hoped parenthood would be.
Bennett is still a few years off from show and tell at school, but he does like to proudly show off his new gigantic dump truck, and often "tells" us all about it. "Vroom, vroom!" I suspect his showing and telling days will include a few less curtsies (though probably the same number of tears on my part).