Monday, July 23, 2012

Our first (and last?) camping trip

It seemed like a good idea in January - sitting by the river, making s'mores for the girls, sleeping in the family tent.  It did not seem like a good idea when we were actually doing any of those activities - most specifically, to little Juliet.  She loves all things soft, and she couldn't find anything soft at the campsite.  Her favorite place to be was inside the tent - which at least protected her from tree stumps, uneven ledges, and pine sap.  Noel did a little better, yelling at chipmunks to stay away from our food after they ate through the bag of bagels, hiking up the mountain on her own, and performing for us around the campfire. 

The trip was two weeks ago, but Scott and I are just starting to talk about it.  What we learned.  What we will do different next time.  The fact that we are talking about a next time is something of a miracle.  It wasn't that bad (now that we're home, clean, showered, and Juliet isn't falling down every five seconds), it's just that it was so different from what we thought it would be.  We were both imagining the lazy, relaxing camping trips that we had enjoyed pre-kids.  Once again, we were afforded a full revelation of how life has changed with kids.  Here's how:  no lazy card games at the picnic table, constant bruises and 'ows', jammed sleeping bag zippers, dirty toes, squeezing Juliet in the sleeping bag between Scottie and me, the hardest quarter-mile hike I've ever been on, and the greatest drive down the canyon at the end of the trip.  The girls threw their arms in the air, screaming and giggling and loving every turn of the drive.  And suddenly, the camping trip was a success for our little ones.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Loving Her

Somewhere along the way, I wondered where she came from.  Curly hair and smile like me, but where did she get that spirit?  That crazy attitude?  The moments of complete resistence to anything I say? 
I started bemoaning that I had such a spirited child.  Why can't she be more mellow?  I wondered. 

And then something happened.  I babysat one of my friend's little girls.  For an hour, she sat on the couch and did nothing.  Not a movement, a word, a flicker of a smile.  She was the exact opposite to my little Noel.  She was mellow beyond mellow, and when she went home, I was exhausted and relieved.

That day I realized I needed Noel.  I need her spunky attitude because it fits my own.  I need her energy because I want someone to dance to music I play while cooking breakfast.  I need someone that shouts "Horses!"  while we are driving to the store, because I want to be excited, too.  We seem to feed off each other's energy--my child that plays and laughs all day long.

People have repeatedly told me that God sent Noel to me because she needed me as a mom.  But the truth is, I need her.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Where did she learn this?

The other day, both girls showed their new skills:  Juliet takes her dirty diaper to the garbage, and Noel...well, she has a new skill as well...