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And I already feel bad for it in strange little ways. I also feel kooky for feeling bad.

When I found out I was pregnant with Sophie, it was all about this baby growing in my belly. My world, our world, revolved around it.  What would it look like? Would it be a boy or a girl? The thought and preparation that went into this new and small life was immediate and profound. The last two and a half years with her in our life has been just about the same…its all about her. Yeah, sure – we do not let her know that. The kid enjoys being the center of attention enough without realizing that she is the center of our world. I will tell her that when she is older.

But if that was not bad enough (well, I am not entirely sure its bad) this new pregnancy is all about her, too. How will she react? Will she love the baby right away – or will she resent it? Will I be a good mommy of two? Will I be able to give each of my children the same amount of love and affection? Already…I cannot imagine loving anything the way I love Sophia. I know I will but the idea is foreign to me at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong. We are thrilled. We are so totally thrilled and excited about having another child. I am just as amazed with the changes my body is going through this time around. This pregnancy feels very different, almost as if this new baby is already trying to differentiate itself from its older sister. Just like when I was pregnant with Sophie, I am amazed at the love I can feel for a being I have never set eyes on. The movements are just starting to become familiar which is very exciting because I enjoyed that part of being pregnant so much with Sophie. The communication between me and my unborn child. Pregnancy is still an incredible experience.

I realize already that this baby will have a challenge on its hands. It will come into the world as a second child. Me, my husband, our families – we have been here before. It’s not a fresh new experience. I forget I am pregnant at times. I know my family, and friends, do too. It’s this, “ooh, yeah. Thats right” type of thing. My motherly instinct is already in protective mode over this new little person. Sophie had it easy by comparison. She had this path of pink roses before her and practically a choir of angels to greet the first child and grandchild. This baby is being born into utter chaos….a family of three who are happily waiting for it, yes….but chaos nonetheless. No choir of angels this time around. Instead our home echoes cartoons and nursery rhymes spoken at high octaves by a rambunctious (almost) 3-year-old. This baby will have a very strong-willed older sister to butt heads with – while Sophie had no competition whatsoever. As a first-born child myself, I find myself wanting to apologize to my sister.  I sorta kinda stole her thunder didn’t I?

Granted, this is all the anticipation talking. I have no idea how things will go when this baby is born. How we will all react. It could be a path of roses and choir of angels all over again, right? Who knows. It’s an experience I have yet to have. I will make a note to let you know.

In the meantime, my daughter swears that the baby now growing in my belly is a baby girl. If you ask Sophia what she wants to name the baby she replies, “Super Baby.” I think the title is apt. I am currently on a search for a teeny tiny cape.

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Easter is upon us…

We are Catholic and celebrate Easter for its intended purpose. We go to church on Easter Sunday and we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. My husband and I understand it to the fullest extent.

My daughter does not. At two years old, Sophie knows about the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs. She equates Easter to colored eggs, egg hunts, and baby chicks. I am okay with this. She is a little girl. There is time enough for her to learn some of the more serious meanings and lessons behind Lent and Easter Season.

However, I still don’t think all of it has quite sunk in.

The other night, I had some Easter odds and ends on our kitchen table. A stack of pastel colored buckets for her daycare Easter egg hunt, a huge packet of empty plastic eggs, a boxed kit to decorate and color Easter eggs… Sophie was mesmerized by it all. She walked up to it slowly, turned back to me, smiled, and said, “Mommy. I want to play with it.” I told her, “Sophie, you cannot play with that yet. That is for Easter.”

Sophie turned to me, her body practically vibrating in a “know it all” way and responded, “Yes. I know. I am going to give it to him.”

Hmmmm.

Imagination

Have I mentioned my kid’s imagination? Some children have imaginary friends. Some kids have close personal relationships with their toys and stuffed animals…usually one in particular that gets dragged with them everywhere. My kid has an imaginary menagerie that is ever changing.

What do I mean?

Well, at any given time on any given day you may spy my child with clenched fists. Those clenched fists are not a sign of some physical problem or a sign that she is angry and not gonna take it any more. Those clenched fists are fiercely protecting her animals. All you have to do is ask, “Sophie, who do you have there?” And she will respond in one of a hundred different ways.

“A crocodile”

“A little baby duck”

“Jack and Jill”

“My lion”

“Sammy and Pebbles”

Every answer makes me smile. And no combination is ever the same. I remember almost a year ago going to pick Sophie up at daycare and her teacher, Miss Jill, pulling me aside with a smile to share with me that Sophia’s menagerie is contagious. Apparently, she has been sharing her little animals with her friends. Yes, she was not yet two years old.

I have also learned how to use these little invisible animals in my favor. Sophie feels comfortable with them and at bedtime when she does not want me to leave her in her room all I have to say is, “Sophie! I have a little baby dolphin in my pocket…will you take care of it tonight for me?” Sophie lights up, holds out her hand and responds, “Yes, and I want a little baby turtle, too.” After a few back and forth negotiations – I usually end up leaving with some mommy animal (I try not to take it personal when its an elephant) to take care of. The best part is when I check on her hours later and see her arms hugging her imaginary animals close to keep them safe, as she is fast asleep.

Being a parent is the most amazing adventure because I have what I consider to be an amazing child. She shines. Her imagination shimmers and sparkles.

Until the next spark of imagination…

…are probably best left un-shared.

Ah, who am I kidding? I share all. Deal with it.

I will be nice and give a warning, this blog is funny but not for the squeamish. Read at your own risk.

Last night Sophie actually volunteered that she had to go potty so my husband took her. She did great. She peed right away but insisted she had to go caca. It was taking a while and right smack in the middle of it my husband has to go do his own business. This is a seriously funny phenomenon that happens to me all the time. I get the urge to go because Sophie went. Its so bizarre. Anyway, he went on his way and so I took over keeping an eye and ear out for Sophie.

She finally went and was super proud of herself. She called for daddy to come see but since he was at the other end of the house in our bathroom, I told her she would have to wait. So, we wiped and finished up. The whole time my proud kid is going on about the size and color. I know. Delicious. I hope you are not eating lunch while reading this. If you are, welcome to my world. She ran to my bathroom to tell my husband about it – he was still unable to come see it but praised her well. We then went into the living room to play with her tea set.

This is when it gets interesting. One second Sophie is there….the next she is not. I went looking for her. She was in her bathroom. Standing as close as possible to the toilet, looking inside. In her hand was a tiny tea cup plate. Hmmm.

“Sophie, what are you doing?” She jumped a foot. Looked at me and replied, “Looking at my caca. I need to flush it.” I told her, “Then flush it.” She said, “No, I need to show Dada first.” I went over the same deal….that he would see it when he was done. She said okay, took her plate, and walked out of the bathroom.

Let me tell you something…I know my kid. Therefore, I know exactly what that little girl had in mind and bet you all $100 that had I been just a few minutes later that “caca” would have been sitting on that little plate and its way to my husband.

Just giving my 2 cents…

This is one of the BEST inventions ever!

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Like seriously. My daughter has mostly grown out of these by now but when she was learning to self feed and wanted some cheerios and I did not want to have to bring out the Dust Buster afterwards…this was a life saver. Genius!

Buy one.

Valentine’s Day

Sophie loves greetings cards.  While most kids will rip the card aside to get to the present so prettily wrapped, my kid will rip open the envelope to get to the card. I think it is so sweet. Of course, I am biased.

She loves giving them almost as much. We went shopping on Friday for a few things and while we were in the store Sophie and I spent a great deal of time in the greeting card section searching for Valentine’s Day cards for her father. One from me and one from her. She has gotten quite spoiled because she would open a card she liked, look at me with consternation and say, “This one is broken – it does not sing.” I cannot tell you how many times I had to explain to her that we were not here for musical cards. They are twice the price!

We finally found the perfect card for her, “Dada” from her and one from me. On a whim, I snuck in a card in that I planned to give to her on Valentine’s Day morning when we exchanged cards. In hindsight, I am so glad I did that.

Valentine’s Day she wakes up her father by bringing his card in to him. A card she spent time sticking stickers into and “signing” her name until it was all perfect. You would have thought it was the Mona Lisa with the fuss my husband made over the squiggles and stickers.

Finally, I brought out Sophie’s card and I handed it to her. I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say that she took it softly and with such a gasp of delight before she said, “Oh, a card for me, too?” Like it had never occured to her. She opened it and gushed over the Winnie the Pooh and Piglet card I had so quickly picked out for her. Her reaction was priceless…so much so that I will forever more refuse to let a holiday pass without getting my little Pookie a greeting card.

I hope everyone had a very nice Valentine’s Day.

So, I was home with Sophie all day yesterday. She had a stomach bug, a nasty one, that caused her to throw up (a lot)and me to pick her up from daycare at about 2pm on Wednesday. It was a bad afternoon, evening, and night. Lots of “coughing into the bucket” as Sophie started calling it, so I kept her home to rest and gear her tummy back up yesterday.

By afternoon she was feeling fine and keeping her liquids down and slowly gaining her appetite back. We were watching The Lion King. Well, I was watching The Lion King. She was everywhere and watching with half an eye as she played with her toys. Suddenly, she walks over to me with a little tin Tinkerbell purse my mom bought her. She actually has two and this one is the bigger, Cylinder shaped one with a beaded strap. Its adorable. But not was adorable as my Sophie who walked over to me with a little smile, hands me the purse, and tells me, “Here mommy…you can have my bag of sunshine.”

Little does she know that SHE is my bag of sunshine.