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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 25 ~ September 10, 2010
Oh Boy!

I suppose it's because I'm a girl that I am naturally more sensitive to my own daughters. We seem to feel things more than the boys in the family do. As I am in the midst of raising two daughters, I have been taking a close look at each of them; studying their differences and similarities. In remembering Ella at this age, I realize that she and Lilly are a lot alike in personality. It's me that's different. When Ella was two I was very concerned with teaching her everything the right way. I was devouring parenting books and articles. I had a plan and a method to teach her appropriate behaviors as well as her colors, shapes, etc. She has been bred to please. With Lilly now being two, I am much more slow to correct her. I am soaking up every minute of her growth always telling myself, "It's a phase. She won't be like this forever." This is a prime set up for "mom guilt" to sneak in to my heart and mind. I start feeling like I'm too hard on Ella. I expect too much from her. At the same time, I am too lenient with Lilly. She makes me crazy because I don't demand appropriate behavior from her. At times I feel like I am being unfair to both of them. How do I raise them both to be confident, smart, loving, young women?

No really, I'm asking YOU--how do I do it? Okay, maybe there is no five step plan. I can pray for them. I can love them. I can spend time with them. God has designed each of them for a purpose, and I just pray that I don't screw up His plans in the process!

Since my last entry, school has started. Owen is now our big kindergartner. He has made the transition much more smoothly than I ever expected. He already has some great friends and seems to be handling the academic expectations well. I'm so proud of him and it gets me teary to watch him grow up.

Ella is now our big second grader. She hasn't missed a beat since last year. One new development we are dealing with is boys. Not boys that she likes to play at recess with, but boys. Apparently one particular boy in her class is quite the casanova. Last week it was Ella's turn to be the girl he was in love with. She had told me that this boy had kissed the girl he was in love with the week before. So I knew he would ask to kiss her. I told her I was not surprised any boy would fall in love with her because she is an amazing person. But I encouraged her to keep her kisses special. I explained to her that her kisses are treasures and that she should keep her treasures for someone very special. I also encouraged her to guard her heart while she enjoyed a special friendship with this boy. The next day he asked to kiss her and she said no. The romance only lasted the week and now he is on to the next girl. Ella is not phased by any of it. WHEW! I was not expecting to deal with this so soon, but here we are.

Lilly turned two a couple of weeks ago. She was quite the ungracious birthday girl at her party. She screamed no at anyone who tried to tell her happy birthday. She wouldn't let any grandparent, cousin, or aunt hold her. Everyone got a good laugh out of it and of course I just rolled my eyes. She warmed up towards the end and enjoyed opening all of her gifts. This last week she potty trained. I am shocked by this, but also so grateful to be done with diapers. She is 99% potty trained through the day. I don't expect her to stay dry all night for a long time. Unfortunately, she is only about 50% poop trained. Past experience has told me that this will come in time and for now we will celebrate the victories. So after 7 1/2 years of diapers with no breaks and often two kids at a time, we are done!!!! Yes, I am excited and this is one milestone that makes me happy and not at all sad to leave behind.

Connor is my easy kid right now. He follows me around all day and loves any time that we spend together. He misses Owen, but is being such a great big brother to Lilly. Soccer started for both the boys and Connor loves it. He has watched from the sideline most of his life and now it's finally his turn to get out on the field and play. He smiles all the way through practices and I can't wait to see him play in his first game on Saturday. I just love my little guy.

This month Randy is in corn harvest so we are doing life pretty much without him for a few weeks. So far it's going well. Randy loves running the corn cutter and it makes such a nice change of pace for him. So I put on a happy face and tell him that he doesn't need to worry about us at all. We are perfectly fine without him. But really I am missing him terribly and so are the kids. The days are long and can be trying. Randy is such a hands on dad that when he's gone we all feel the hole he leaves. But for us, it's temporary and I know it's not the case for lots of other mommies who do it by themselves all the time. God has a special place in heaven for moms who go it alone!

~ Katie

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