“Mommy, Will You Snuggle Me?”

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For several weeks now, Lydia has wanted me to snuggle with her at night. After we tuck her in and say goodnight she cries out earnestly, “Mommy, will you snuggle me?”. It’s often late and there is always much to do. I need to go downstairs, wash dishes, clean the dining room, pack Dan’s lunch, wash diapers, feed Paul, sometimes go for a run, and on a good night, spend a little time with Dan. Oh, and we try to get to bed early ourselves. The members of this family need their sleep.

But I usually try to rest with Lydia for just a little while. It’s never long enough for her, but at least it’s a little time with Mommy before the last “goodnight”. Saying, “goodnight” is always a challenge for Lydia.

A couple of weeks ago I had a hard day. It was the sort of day that leaves me worn out before lunch time, and ready to cry by nap time. By the time Dan came home from work we were all a mess, Mommy, the worst, was tired and emotional. I had already given myself a time-out earlier in the day to take a few minutes alone in my room to pray and think and try to be calm and practical instead of irritable and emotional.

Something happened, I don’t remember what, but I timed myself out again, after sending Lydia to her room to wait for me. She must have done something wrong and it sure seemed like a big deal at the time, but it must not have been anything too serious or surely I would remember what it was today.

Well I was a mess. I was frustrated with Lydia, frustrated with myself, and crying like a three-year-old having a temper tantrum. It is not good when you act younger than your children and you’re trying to parent! So I took my time-out and prayed, “God help! I’m a mess! What should I do?”. And the answer came:

“Ask for forgiveness”.

So I did. I went into Lydia’s room and told her I was sorry for getting frustrated and emotional, asking her to forgive me. We talked for a while. I cried. She told me she loved me. I asked for a hug.

I needed a hug.

She gave me a hug and then waited while I held on. After a short while she asked, “Mommy, why are you still hugging me?”

That caught me by surprise. I needed a snuggle and Lydia always wants snuggling, so I told her, “Mommy needs to snuggle right now. Will you snuggle me?”

“Ok, but only for a little while”.

“What?” My little girl didn’t want to snuggle? “Why only for a little while?”

“We have to go eat dinner soon”.

In that moment, I saw what I’d been doing to my daughter. As emotional and worn out as I was, I really felt like I needed to be held and loved by my daughter. How many nights had she expressed the same urgent need to be loved and snuggled by me, and I had said, “Ok, but only for a little while”? How many times had she graciously agreed to “just a little” snuggling so I could hurry off and do my chores.

That day, Lydia snuggled me, probably for longer than “just a little while”. And that night, I snuggled her back. Now I make it a bigger priority to snuggle with her at night for more than “just a little while”. I try not to rush off too soon. And if Lydia falls asleep before I get to snuggle her, I sneak into her room and give her a short snuggle. Not because she asks for it, and not because she’ll even know I came. Just because I love her.

No More Mr. Serious

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This month Paul finally transitined away from “Mr. Serious” to a smiley Little Man. Within the past couple of weeks Paul has grown to love interacting with people. He loves his Mommy. He loves his Daddy. He loves his big sisters. And he pretty much loves anyone who will look in his cute little face and talk to him.

Not only is Paul smiling a lot more, but he laughs and it’s cute enough to melt your heart. Sometimes Paul cries just to be held and when you pick him up he’ll give you his charming little grin and a chuckle that’s contagious. He’s usually content to sit wherever you put him: in his bouncy seat, on a blanket, in his jungle, or in your arms. Sometimes it’s just too hard to put him down and go “be productive”.

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Paul is still sleeping and eating like a champ. He weighed 14 pounds, 3 ounces at four months old and is our biggest baby by far. Dan and I are amazed at what an easy baby he is! He just rarely cries. He seems to be a little more of a mover than his sisters were too. In fact, last night he rolled over for first (and second) time from his tummy to his back. Way to go Big Guy!

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He’s also getting pretty good at those “neck raises” during tummy time. He’s become sturdy enough that he has taken over Abby’s standing toy. This is the first baby we’ve had who seems to be developing far too fast. Before we know it he’ll be rolling and crawling around, and it seems like we just brought him home! For now, though, we’re enjoying the smiles, the snuggles, and the precious baby laughs.

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Family Visits and Flower Petals

This is part two of our latest trip to TC. The first part of our trip involved a swallowed nail and a long day in the ER.

Tuesday morning we got up early and began our trek in to see my sister Christina, with her boys: Colten, Coby, and Evert. We got to see their (sort of) new home, which we hadn’t seen yet, and the girls had a blast playing with their cousins.

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Paul and Evert got to meet for the first time, and we got a picture of the cousins on the couch (a family tradition). Next trip up we need a couch picture with Benjamin too!

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Next stop was my other sister, Steph’s new house. We had a nice visit with Steph and her husband, in-laws, and new baby Benjamin.

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We continued our journey in and stopped for another nice visit with my Grandma Carlson. She got to meet and hold Paul for his nap, and the girls ran around turning everything possible into toys. 🙂

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It was getting late, but not too late for a family dinner at Bob Evans with Christina and her boys, my parents, and my brother, Tim. From their we went to my parents house where we stayed up far too late chatting and finally went to bed exhausted.

Wednesday we got up as early as we could and made a visit to my other Grandparent’s house. Grandma and Grandpa Matson got to meet Paul and play with the girls. When Lydia walked into my Grandma’s dining room, nicely decorated for the fourth of July, she exclaimed, “It’s beautiful in here!”.

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I’m getting tired just remembering this trip, but I’ll try to finish strong!

From my grandparents we went back to my parents house for a few hours so my mom could have some quality playtime with the girls. They had a tea party, played with Play Doh, and ate a quick lunch before we packed up for the ride home.

We made a pit stop at Dan’s Gramma’s house, but I was so worn out, I didn’t even take any pictures! Oh well. We had a nice visit with Gramma. Just before we left, Gramma helped Lydia pick some flowers to take home.

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Gramma, just so you know, Lydia held those flowers as long as we would let her. After we stopped for dinner, I put them with me in the front so Lydia could fall asleep, but as soon as we were home she wanted them back. We put them in a vase which Lydia carried with her from room to room until every single petal had failed off the flowers. I threw away the bare stem at night while Lydia was sleeping because I knew it would be traumatic if she saw me do it!

There Was a Small Girl Who Swallowed A Nail

Last week Dan’s factory was closed for “shut down” so we took a whirlwind of a trip up North to visit some of our family. We headed up late Sunday night and spent Monday with Dan’s parents. Well, that was the plan anyway. The girls enjoyed their morning with Grandma, playing, eating, and enjoying this great big chair I used to spend a lot of time in as a college student.

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After Grandma left for work, we had a lull in our day before Grandpa would get home from work. I decided to take advantage of the quiet house by having everyone take naps. Lydia asked me to lie down with her for a while but when I did she was climbing all over me instead of going to sleep.

Now, when we spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa Taylor’s, we all stay in Dan’s old bedroom. On one wall are several framed pictures and awards hanging up above what is now Lydia’s little bed. We were afraid one of these pictures might fall on Lydia during her nap time so we made sure to take the frame off of the wall before naps.

So, as I grew weary of Lydia’s nap time shenanigans, I told her I was going to go over to my bed (only about four feet away from her). As I looked up, I saw Lydia playing with the nail in the wall that the picture had been hanging on. I gave her a look that said, “Stop that!” and she did, but not before the nail fell off the wall onto the floor behind her bed (so I thought).

I moved to my bed just as Dan came into the room. We were chatting about something when Lydia made a strange gulping noise and looked up at me with a funny expression. Instantly I had a suspicion which Lydia soon confirmed: she had swallowed the nail. Dan called the pediatrician while I talked to Lydia some more, making sure she really swallowed the nail and telling her what was going to happen now.

Lydia loves Curious George, so I reminded her of the story where George swallows a puzzle piece and has to go to the hospital to get an x-ray. Smart Girl reminded me with fear in her voice that at the end of the book George has to get a shot. 🙂

I assured Lydia she wouldn’t need any shots and Dan rushed her to the ER while I stayed behind to feed Paul and wait for Abby to finish her nap.

The ER visit took up the rest of the afternoon. Lydia did a pretty good job (Dan tells me) although she was pretty scared. We used the opportunity to teach her the lesson that you shouldn’t ever put small objects in your mouth!

By dinnertime Lydia was sent home with instructions to get another xray in 5-7 days to make sure the nail passed without any problems.

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We wrapped up our crazy day with a stop at Bob Evans for dinner before heading back to Dan’s parents’ house for the night.

Tuesday began the whirlwind part of our trip where we visited family like crazy, but I’ll save that for another post.

Oh, and for the record, Lydia had her second x-ray on Monday and it was all clear. The nail didn’t cause any problems and is gone for good. Thanks to everyone who was praying and asking about her. She is doing just fine.