Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Days are Long...

It's often said that with young children, the days are long but the years are short.  So true.

Also, though, I think it applies to how much they change and grow.  Every day they seem about the same.  Day becomes routine becomes life as we know it.  But then I look around and these children I'm raising - they're not the ones I think of in my mind's eye.  They're so much more mature in beauty and in action than the image I keep of them in my mind.

Every day is about the same: get Avery to school.  Prep the other two for the day's activities.  Play My Little Pony or Loving Family.  Wonder if the construction on the house will ever be done.  Pick up toys, laundry, dishes.  Get Avery from school.  Watch the kids play outside with the neighborhood kids.  Run several miles.  Dinner, bath, books, bed.  Enjoy every last fleeting moment that the children are sleeping and the hubs and I are home together.  Wake up again to Kate cuddles, yogurt and granola breakfasts, and lunches to pack.  It's good.  It's routine.

But I am pulled from my day-to-day fog when I hear Reese talking.  She says "bah" (ball) and "broom broom" and "eeow" (meow) and "wack wack" (quack quack) and "yish" (fish) and "yoush" (juice) and "apple" (referring to both apples and bananas) and "milk" and "more" and some weird guttural noise that means either water or drink, we can't figure out which.  And that's all brand new.  She's no baby.  She's a toddler, growing so fast that while we're going about our routines, she's rearranging them.

And Kate.  I looked at her today and wondered where that kid came from.  She was just out of the toddler stage last time I made a mental note.  But now, she's so grown.  And so kind.  The other day, Reese was trying to steal the big sisters' lovies.  We were redirecting her to her lovies.  Kate piped up: "She can have whatever of mine she wants.  She can have Ooh Ooh or Gunky."  We had to tell Kate three separate times that she could not give her favorite lovies away just to make someone else happy.  "But I want her to have them if she wants them..."  Precious girl who loves so freely.

And Avery is a school kid.  There's no mistaking it: she spends more awake time in a day with her teacher and school friends than she does in our home.  After school one day she was chewing gum.  "Mom, there's a new thing.  I can get a piece of gum if I have a good day at school.  So.... what can you infer about my day?"  And she has carried the brunt of helping out during the house-construction-disorganization over the last three months, and it's so easy to take for granted that she's a big kid and she can handle it.  Mom gets occasional reminders that she's still just a first grader, and still just six years old.  And for how mature and smart that girl is, I'm given a pensive reminder of how the days are slow while she's young.

And even though the years are speeding by, I will take the slow days and the routine.  It's ours and they're mine.  I'm so, so grateful.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This One and That One

This one reads with great intonation.  She makes us proud.  She loves in tender moments interspersed throughout her busy day.  These days, she is a planner, a creator, and a leader.

This one makes friends easily everywhere she goes.  She makes us proud.  She loves by physical touch, climbing in laps after she finishes eating and climbing in beds in the middle of the night.  These days, she is a cuddler, a peace-maker, and a social butterfly.

This one changes daily, with more new words than I can keep track of.  She makes us proud.  She loves by fitting her face centered upon yours, tilting her head back and forth, and grinning with a winning gleam in her eyes.  These days, she is an explorer, a joker, and a rascal.

These two run.  And run.  And run.  Training for a half marathon in early March means a lot of commitment to a goal they set together, to personal health, and to perseverance.   And remarkably, they make the kiddos proud.  Driving past a lake the other day, Avery proudly told her friend, "My mom and dad run around that lake."

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When Daddy's Away

Sometimes, Daddy travels.  When he's gone, we get by pretty well.  It's always better when he is home, but we tackle whatever comes our way while he's gone (usually with help...)

We all miss Daddy though.  But no one shows him love and yearning for him to be home quite like I can.

I climb into his side of the bed each morning he's gone with a sad face on.  I ask how many more days until I can see him.  When he calls, I tell him I need him to come home to cuddle.  And Mommy sent him this picture on the last day he was gone:

Does my face not say it all?

And when he finally gets home, it is a proper hero's welcome.  I run to his arms.  I smile at him.  I giggle.  I cling to his side and hold his hand.  And every few minutes, I kiss his face and smile, a deep, soul-satisfied smile.

In the mornings, I find him in his spot, right where he belongs, and the world is right again.

Daddy knows we all miss him.  But he and I have similar personalities and there's a special bond we share.  When Daddy returns, no one says, "Welcome Back" like a Kate Beth can!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Blues

The morning after all of the Christmas Festivities died down, Avery woke Mommy up with a hand-written list.  It said:

Spring and Summer Fun List
1. Get a blow up pool and play in the backyard ...with friends
2. Go see bluebonnets ...with friends
3. Go on a family picnic
4. Go to the pool ...with friends
5. Get ice cream ....with friends
6. Girl party at our house (have friends over all at once)

Mom told Avery that we still have two months of winter left.  Crushing.  But to make the winter break special, Mom and Dad offered to take Avery and me to different locations to spend time together (and apart from each other).  I told Dad, "I'm going with you!  Let's get ice cream and play at the park!  Because is it summer yet?"  Nevermind the cold and the drizzle of the past few weeks, a girl can dream, can't she?

In an effort to ease the Winter Blues, Nana and D heated their pool.  For an hour, Avery and I splashed and played as if it was summer.   The 50 degree weather can't get us down!

It may not be spring yet, but we're all dreaming warm, sunshiney dreams over here in the McClinton home.

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Kate "Summer Bug" McClinton

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And the Theme of 2012 Was...

... Aquatic Animals!

We visited Sea World in March and found the movie Dolphin Tale

We obsessed over a baby seal and giggled at penguins in July at Moody Gardens with Ebiz

We spent a week with Winter the Dolphin in Clearwater, Florida in August

We celebrated a 6 year old party Winter-Style in September

One precious little girl wanted to visit the penguins for her 4th birthday, but Reese got sick and so the plans were postponed

And now, to round out 2012, we headed back to Moody Gardens to check on Avery's baby seal and satisfy the penguin-crazy dreams of the precious, patient Kate.  And, since Reese was old enough to really get it this time, she joined in the craze and squealed, signed for "more" every time a penguin swam past, and covered her mouth with both hands in absolute joy and amazement.

While we were in Galveston, we also enjoyed the Festival of Lights and snow tubing, and most especially quality time with Nana and D.

A completely fitting end to a very aquatic year!

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