Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fashion Baby

I sometime get these exciting compliments about PLJ, and I get a super gush of flattery that someone has taken some time to read up on-seriously-the drivel, dribble of my life by exposing the details of our family. These posts can be dense, and it must be that when I get to typing away, I actually picture anyone stumbling across this here blog and just not officially knowing what is going on, it is essential to inflate the picture to show the details-including the sounds, sweat, and tears that flow freely from our abode. I apologize to the dear readers of PLJ, that my lengthy writing, whether it is good, bad or ugly, just starts pouring out, and I do find myself desperately trying to be quick, only to find that I have (yet again) gotten carried away. So as a new year unfolds, thank you to those who do find the time to click over here and read this Mama's thoughts.

Today, I must discuss my fashionable daughter. All of the grandmas, the two of them, keep both of the babes in high fashion. We are so blessed to get these sweet stacks of outfits for both I & F to keep them looking cute from the moment they get in their jammies at night, to the moment they get dressed...at some point during the day. Miss Fiona has taken a keen interest in picking out her clothing in the recent weeks, and "No! A fo-fo shirt. NO!! A PINK fo-fo shirt." Interpretation: I need to find a pink flower shirt. Pink flower shirts are all the rage these days, but this morning, when she asked for THE pink flower shirt, and I found THE pink flower shirt, she changed her mind to ask for a red dog shirt...oh brother.Everything needs to be pink. Except maybe not the shoes....some days she wants the brown shoes, and some days the pink shoes, BUT not the light pink shoes "A udder ones" would be the hot pink shoes. I try to cater to her whims, because if you don't like what you are wearing, your entire day just might go amuck. I mean, I could be interfering with Fiona's dream to walk into story time wearing the right pink coat, with the perfect brown shoes, and the amazing pink flower shirt. Who am I to judge what makes this girl feel like she stepped out of baby Vogue. I just know that we have a problem on our hands, and pretty soon, these doting grandmas will say, "Buy your kids clothes yourself!" and Fiona is just going to look at me and question why her personal shoppers have gone on strike. Even now, she knows was it Mana or Nani that bought her a certain outfit or accessory. I was having an argument with a 20 month old on the fact that I actually bought her a pair of pajamas, and she was insistent that "Mana got! NO Mana got!" Fine. Again. I do not exist.On Christmas Eve, I had the babes dressed up in cute little "matching" in that they both had on black clothes, and I thought it would be cute for them to stand in front of our Christmas tree for a photo. Fiona needed no pleading or prodding, and she gingerly backed herself right up to the Christmas tree to pose for her photo. It was difficult getting Iain settled down and smiling in a normal way, but Fiona just loves the camera. After that night, she has been asking to have her photo taken, and I have noticed that when she feels cute, then she wants to be captured on the digital forever.I have created a monster. I am sure that she will start bossing me around, telling me what I should and should not wear within the year. Pretty soon I will be out of the maternity doldrums and hauling out my nursing wardrobe for the spring and summer months. Oh joy. It will be fine. I have no fears that this little opinionated female will be very vocal about her wardrobe from here on out, so Husband, as we like to say, "You will just have to make more money" to keep your daughter in the lifestyle she has (obviously) grown accustomed to.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ode to Doodie

Let's first make sure that everyone actually knows who Doodie is...

Somehow, I am thinking 2003 to be date specific, I called my sister "A Doodie" or "You are a Doodie" or something along the reference point, but the name stuck on my little (only by 18 months) sister and the name has stuck like doodie. Ah HA!

Formally, she is known as Sarah (that's Sarah with an H thank you very much) Elizabeth (and yes! Elisabeth with an S...so please see the KJV Elisabeth that carried John the Baptist). My sister has been almost as specific as Anne spelled with an e Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and that has always been perfectly fine with me, because if you can't be specific about how your name is spelled, then what is this world really coming to. If anyone spells my name incorrectly, which used to happen when I existed more than just a Mama or "Jake's wife," it would get spelled like the boy Aaron. Whatever! It's annoying, and the h does make a huge difference, so don't forget it!

This post is truly not an ode (does anyone think that I have pregnancy brain cells thick enough to compose anything truly "Ode" worthy? Please.) but more or less, a specific blog, dedicated to the renewed sisterly love that I have for Doodie. Doodie and I have always been close, through our entire lives. Whether our closeness has been forced upon us by our dominant first born parents by sharing a room for most of our childhood as well as every activity done in tandem, or chosen by the two of us in recent years with phone calls easily lasting longer than an hour and several times a day, we are tight. I am very proud of our relationship during the past several years! After Doodie has gotten over the shock of Husband in my life, we have started settling back into craving a relationship with each other.Driving through Jolly Holiday Lights. Doodie didn't like it. Babes and Husband in the back.

There are so many things that connect us, so how could we not be close?
  • We were raised on the same musicals and films. This may seem trivial, but when no one else in the world "gets you" and there is someone else that does, and that other person can be singing right along with you, or quoting line upon line of movie/or musical scripts, it is good to not feel so crazy. Ah! A favorite recent story, is when Doodie came for a visit this fall, and we were putting clean sheets on "her" bed in our very sparest of spare rooms, we started singing (in a Jane Powell high soprano, which neither of us can accomplish) "Wonderful, Wonderful Day." Husband was giving the babes a bath right across the hallway, and we heard Iain screaming something as Husband opened the door laughing. "Honey, did you hear what Iain has to say to you?" And Iain starts screaming over top of Husband, "Mama!!!! QUIET!!!!!!!!!!" It is possible for your 2.5 year old to attempt to make you feel crazy while singing show tunes, but it only encouraged us more! But aside from musicals, she has been with me through every strange homeschooling fad, food fad, piano teachers, dance instructors, French tutors, and we did that wonderful trek through Europe.
  • Doodie is the only sibling that makes regular appearances to our house, and especially to make extended stays. She is very good about visiting, especially since we are very bad about visiting her. She lives the farthest away from her niece and nephew, but makes the jihad to PLJ almost every month, and sometimes more than once a month. When she comes there is great celebration by all, because she puts the Mama in a good mood, she plays with the babes, and she even takes the brutish dogs under her wing. Everyone loves Doodie!
  • She has most of the time been willing to allow me to drag her to events or on vacations. I think when we were working together at the Rubber Hut, I decided that we needed to make a weekend getaway, "you know, to meet new people and see new faces." I found an article about Hermann, MO, at Christmastime and we made the 5 hour trek to our southern neighbor to discover MO wine country. At one point she didn't want to go, but during or after she was grateful that I had drug her along. She most recently came to see us a day early for the Nutcracker and I drug her to Living History Farms for the Prairie Christmas and the four of us had a blast!
  • Living History Farms Prairie Christmas- 2009
  • This could be a good thing or a bad thing...but she is the first to know everything important in my life. Jake showed her "the ring" right before he proposed, and she has been the first to know that I am pregnant. She always has the best family reaction, so I have learned it is best to continue telling her first.
  • My wedding day with ALL of my siblings. Doodie was my Maid of Honor and Josh and Zach were officially my Bridesmen. I don't care if they didn't like the title, I was the bride and they are my men, so duh! Brides-men!
  • Doodie is not exempt from her idiosyncrasies, but I am becoming less annoyed by them in my old age, and now I can just laugh. My most recent transfer from annoyance to hilarity is that whenever she comes for a visit she needs to buy something that she forgets such as socks, underwear, bras, shirts, etc. She should just borrow mine, but I think that she must like to collect her accessories when she travels so that she can say, "I love this bra I bought in Des Moines" or "I hate these socks I bought in Des Moines! I'll never do that again!" It could be that with the 3 hour drive here, plus she is a thoroughly modern gal who works a regular job, does not have the opportunity to shop in a decent mall until she arrives in my fine metropolis.
  • We are the best Venusian pair, since we can sit and talk smack talk about our parents, our brothers, our grandparents and extended family, and strange family friends all while sitting around in our pajamas for most of the day, watching movies and typically working on some sort of fiber art. This summer we started out on a bike ride, but we somehow went to a bunch of "garbage sales" in the neighborhood to find some good deals (end table, rain boots, kids books, gifts) and some uber bad things like a pool that actually turned out to be a jumping pit full of holes. The true Sicilian came out of us on a followup autumn visit, but it technically backfired...it was all hilarious!
  • Doodie can somehow know to do something fun with I & F, and on her last visit she wanted to take them out sledding. We got everyone bundled up, and for the very brief time before everyone was frozen, I & F got pulled around the yard with Poppa and Doodie tugging the sled through the very deep and thick snow. I knew that I wouldn't be able to go out and lift anyone, so I was on camera duty. It was Fiona's first time in the snow, so it was a big deal.
  • She came to celebrate New Year's with us this year, and we didn't have to put on anything. fancy or drink anything bubbly. The three of us adults were all perfectly content with sitting watching odd cable TV while I dominated in Iowaopoly (Monopoly with U of I/Iowa City names and places). I did make some rather scrumptious salmon and those naughty Chocolate Suzies. YUM!
Our new baby will have a very special role in I & F's life, but it could be a very special sister connection for Fiona. Now that I am a grown up and can look back with that 20/20 vision, I realize how extremely important my sister has been to me. She stood next to me in those horrible tap dancing costumes when we were kids, and she stood next to me in our beautiful gowns on my wedding day. She has pushed me (running) through the Minneapolis airport in a wheelchair with a broken ankle, she has dropped her life to drive and sit with me in the hospital when I had a kidney infection, and she has held each one of my babies. We had matching pajamas as kids, and we have virtually matching glasses and hair now as adults. She would squat and catch those hundreds of softball pitches when we were kids, and she catches every traumatic phone call I send to her at all hours of the day. "You're never there when I need you, Hiss!" on my voice mail can only send me spiraling to the floor with laughter, but my cup ran over last weekend as we sat watching "Singin' in the Rain" and Iain was laughing all on his own during "Make 'em Laugh" and Fiona said, "Princess fall!" during...that one part. Only someone who has seen the film probably 100+ times could actually appreciate these young buds watching for the first time...Officially Auntie Doodie. Holding Iain, her favorite February nephew...and still the favorite? :)
Auntie Doodie with Fiona, post NICU. Fiona really does like Auntie Doodie too.....and Doodie was there.