Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Our first few months with 2 kids

Written in October:

Strider often calls Rayna “fweet girl” now…  I guess he hears me calling her sweet girl a lot.  He also tells her to “relax.”

I wish we could take a camera to church and take Strider’s picture while we’re singing!  But since the appropriateness of that action is highly questionable, I will try to give a verbal picture here instead.  Yesterday this was the scene:  He was wearing his new sweater vest outfit, complete with tie (which he repeatedly tugged at all day, like a true man-in-training), and khaki shorts -- for the right balance of preppy and cool.  While we sang our opening praise songs for the service, he was standing next to us on the pew, one hand holding the bulletin in front of him as he seriously studied the song words on it, and the other hand straight up in the air – like a lot of the people around him were doing.  Then, after awhile, he started to join in on the singing, always a phrase behind of course, so his little voice could be heard in our pauses.  He was quite intent and enjoying it immensely.  When I took him outside to go to the nursery, all he kept saying was “go back to church!”

We didn’t follow the traditional advice given when you have a new baby that you should give the older sibling a doll so they can mimic what the parents are doing with the baby.   Strider still has no dolls.  However, I did come upon him playing “baby” recently – feeding, putting to bed talking sweetly to…. his talking action figure toy, Cyclops!

Whenever Strider is asked about if he wants to watch TV, he always asks for his 3 favorite shows:  Sesame Street, Oprah and Rachael Ray (cooking show).

This morning Rayna woke up earlier than usual and I didn’t know why… until I went to pick her up.  I had put a hat on her for the night because it was supposed to get a little chilly, and somehow she had worked it down over her eyes and even down past her nose!  Poor girl probably thought she had gone blind!

A few days ago I was sitting on the floor and Strider came up and sat down on my lap.  He laid his head on my shoulder and gave me a good long hug.  Then he said, completely unprompted, “I love you Mommy.”  He must have sensed how this was affecting my state of mind, because after a short pause, he added, “I’d like a cracker please”  (He knows that normally the answer to that is No!)

Such a picture of human nature…  Strider often approaches us now saying, “I want to have some ‘something else.’”  We have no idea what the “something else” is  -- and neither does he – but it always sounds good!

I love how imaginative Strider is getting.  This week I’ve seen the following, and heard him say:
--- while rubbing a plastic knife against the back of a spoon: “making (peeling) carrots!”
--- while “riding” his etch-a-sketch on the wood floor:  “like a skateboard!”
--- while using the pointy end of a beater against a hole in a piece of furniture:  “like a screwdriver and battery”
--- while sitting on the floor underneath my head while I am bending over trying to touch my toes, doing a yoga pose:  “like a tunnel”
--- while rubbing a Fisher-Price little person under his arm:  “like deodorant, like Mommy!”

Rayna has the most delicate little sneezes I’ve ever seen!  Ever since the day she was born, whenever she sneezes, she has to do a few practice ones first!  They’re not full-fledged sneezes, just sort-of fake-out ones.  Then after she does finally sneeze, she always gives this weak little sigh, as if to say, “My, that was so exhausting.”

Today Strider was repeating himself (as usual) saying “More juice;  more juice; more juice..” and then suddenly it turned into “Rejoice!  Rejoice!”  (the song—the next line is “Christ is in you, the hope of glory in our hearts”)  And he loves to sing these days, so he started out with this song, but then ended up blending a whole bunch of them like this:  “Holy, holy, holy, I want to see you… high and lifted up… in your glory…. shout to the Lord…sing…hallelujah…praise Lord… I can do all things…” etc, etc


On the way home from Ohio a couple weeks ago, Strider asked for some juice in the car.  We didn’t have any with us, so I told him we would stop soon and give him “something to drink.”  He got very excited at this prospect, apparently thinking it must be something outside of his normal repertoire of juice, milk and water, because soon he was saying “I want something to drink.  I want some coffee.  I want some beer!”

For a while now Rayna has been sucking her “virtual thumb.”  She puts her hand up to her mouth and sucks where her thumb would be – if it wasn’t tucked into her fist.  But in the last couple weeks, she has finally figured out the thumb thing – what a great invention that is!

Rayna has been developing at exactly the same rate Strider did- - so weird!  She started standing on our laps at the same age (in weeks) Strider did.  And now she figured out how to bat at her toys at the same age (1 week before her 3 month birthday) that Strider did.  Funny how they’re programmed so exactly…

I love how whenever Rayna hears Strider come near her, she smiles!

I asked Strider what his name was.  He smiled and said “Rayna.”  Then I asked him again, and he said “I’m me!” Hmmm… hard to argue with that one.

My friend Jen came over the other day, and within about 10 seconds of her walking in the door, Strider was tugging on me repeatedly saying “Need a band, Mommy!”  I had no idea what he was talking about… until he pulled me upstairs and into our bathroom and pointed at the medicine cabinet, still asking for a band.  Then I realized he meant a band-aid, and gave it to him, still not sure why he wanted it…. Until something dawned on me.  I yelled down to Jen and asked her if she had a band-aid on her finger by any chance – and of course she did.  My little parrot wanted to be just like her!

 Today I was mixing up a protein shake and Strider was standing next to me pretending to do the same thing.  When I started stirring with a spoon, he pretended he was stirring with a spoon.  Then I splashed a little on my shirt and he said, “Need a bib.”

I was waiting on hold on the phone for quite a while tonight while I was eating dinner with Strider.  We had been talking about other things and I had basically forgotten I was even on hold, until Strider looked at the phone and scrunched up his nose.  I said, “What is going on here?  I’ve been waiting so long!”  And then he said, “Ridiculous!!”

For the last month or so, every time Pete comes home from work, Strider immediately runs to the door to greet him and then reports all of his discipline from the day (“had to sit in chair,” “had to go to room,” etc)!  For some reason he thinks this is the most important thing to tell him.  Once in awhile we have a day when he wasn’t disciplined at all, and then he goes running to the door with something else to tell Pete (like what Mr. Rogers did that day or something) – it’s like he has already worked it out in his head what the highlights for the day were.  And now yesterday, when Pete was leaving to go to work in the morning, while Strider was saying goodbye to him, he said “Be good for Mommy” before Pete said it.  I guess he’s catching on!

It cracks me up how Rayna always smiles audibly.  She very rarely smiles without going “Ahhhh” at the same time.  And the best is when she smiles with her whole body – with arms and legs all flailing at once.

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