This is Rachel:

Giving birth to her was an oh-so-natural experience.  Whew.  She is 15 months old now, but this picture has her at 3 months.  I have been stunned over realizing just how many times Rachel brings smiles and laughter to our family.  Our joy has been tripled since her birth, and to think that counting just these last two years, how many fewer times I would have smiled and laughed without her!  She’s cute beyond words, and I feel so thankful!

Now that she’s been potty-training these last two weeks I remember how I responded to some of the older kids’ difficult learning curve.  I didn’t trust enough that they would learn or that they wanted to do it right.  I was in a box dwelling on the negative so I could  be right about how negative of an experience it was, you know?  I didn’t know how to do better then, but I’m sure if I could have trusted more in them and in their ability to learn I would have been better off.

Rachel likes us to go with her most of the time that she “goes,” and she’s not reliable yet about #2.  But that’s ok.  I knew that training her so young would have its drawbacks.  She went potty away-from-home today for the first time and I was very excited!  Did I say that she is one who “holds it” for a long time, and actually stays dry every night?  Hooray!


came down the stairs tonight in a sleepy stupor.  Her hair was hanging in her face, she was practically tongue-tied, so when she went over to the dish cupboard and started clanking around I had to ask her what she was doing?  Scott and I were already chuckling because we knew this was going to be good…

As she pulled a dinner plate out of the cupboard, Christine held it up, muttering with conviction that she “needed to get the hamster.”  The only thing to do at that point was direct her to the bathroom because when our kids are up like that they invariably are about to “go.”

One more about Christine, and I wrote this up when she was two years old for my journal:

To “Tiss” or Not to “Tiss”
Christine has been learning her “c” and “g” sounds for the last year, and recently made good progress. As I was tucking her in for her nap the other day she told me she didn’t like kisses (sometimes “tisses”), and didn’t want anyone to “tiss” her.  She was very adamant.  Next day, on our neighborhood walk, she called back to me from her front seat in the stroller, “Mom…I need ta tiss you!” It warmed my heart, and I stopped the stroller and gave Christine a kiss on the lips. I laughed and told her I thought it was funny that just the day before she had said she didn’t want any part with kissing. She looked at me blankly and repeated, “Mom, I need a tissue…I have a runny nose.” I guess I lost face that day, but oh well.
Written in 2005: Christine came to me distraught and complaining that Janelle told her that her brain stinks. I told her, “I’m sure she means “breath” (Christine has a history of bad breath in the morning).” So I had to check with Janelle. It turns out that Janelle, 6 years old, doesn’t know the word “breath,” because she told me, “Yeah, Christine’s brain stinks!” I guess if your brain is inside your head and behind your mouth, and it is the source of most things, then why not the source of your breath? Holly

(This is Jenny)  Remember how we were talking about how we like to know if certain behavioirs/thoughts are normal?  Here’s one that I’ve been wondering about.  After a very full day  I climb in my bed and almost feel giddy.  I feel such joy to be done for the day and to have the night’s rest ahead of me.  I even often look forward to bedtime (both the kids’ and my own).  Do you have feelings like that?  Do I “love” sleep too much?  Maybe it’s because it’s a precious and scarce commodity that makes it more valuable.

Do you ever consider how much time we, as humans, spend sleeping?  It’s a whole lot of time.  Why do you think Heavenly Father would create us to need so much “down-time”?  Why couldn’t we do our rejenerating in 2-3 hours?  Can you imagine how much more we could get done in a day?  In the next life I suppose we won’t need sleep which means we will have plenty of time, actually… literally endless time.

Melissa, my four-year old, is one who steps on or in things.  Whatever she is doing or saying is almost always accompanied by a background of feet placement.  If she’s lying on her back watching TV or in her bed, her feet are on the wall or on the back of the couch.  If she’s standing next to me, telling me something or standing next to the computer chair watching the kids play a game she is standing on (or in) the nearest book, drawer, puzzle box, or bag of something.  The times when it is aggravating is when she flattens a box, or is about to break something valuable.

I’m sure you understand the feeling.  It’s the same feeling you have when your child is clearing their plate and doesn’t realize that the plate has dropped to an angle incapable of retaining crumbs and noodles or whatever.  It’s the same feeling you have when your child is about to wipe grimy breakfast hands on their clean school shirt or their hair is about to slip into the milk of their cereal bowl.  You find your voice is accelerating in a jerky pattern, “Ah…Ah…ah.ah.ah.ah.STOP!  The cute kids, they’re just trying to make it in this mean old world.

At least its not turret’s syndrome, although any repetetive motion or vocalization qualifies as turrets.  Scott is seeing someone with Turret’s once a week, though I don’t have details on the resolution of the child’s problem.  The treatment is very similar, though, for thumb-sucking and other unconscious behaviors.