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Baby Ayla
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in growingupayla's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
12:30 am
Tonight, after we read books together on the couch and went and climbed into bed, I lay next to your brother on his bed. Your mattress is on the floor right next to his (as we're moving bedrooms for you so it's a little crazy still), so when I am snuggling him I lie on my stomach so that I can drop one arm down to you. In this past year, you've turned into a hand holder. Often, when we're walking, you still opt out. But in the car, or as we sit somewhere, you always want to hold my hand. At night, especially. So I drop one arm down, while I lay with Tavian.

Tonight, you gripped my hand tight and fell asleep so quickly. Even after you were both asleep, I lay there feeling the amazing feeling of your little hand wrapped around mine. I turned my head to look down at you, and the tears welled in my eyes as I saw your hand wrapped around mine,a nd your sleeping cheek resting on our hands. You were hugging my hand.

--

Today we went hiking. I took you to get new hiking shoes, and then we went with some of my friends up Payson canyon. A small little hike to a grotto-esque waterfall.  You knocked the socks off of my friends. You were so...you! So comfortable in your skin. You were wearing little boy's athletic shorts in bright green with a navy ribbed tank. Your hiking sandals are so cute, and though you wanted pink, we settled on green instead so that tay could grow into them. Your hair was in two little braids.

You were independent but well behaved. You ran along, talking excitedly to the little girl who was your age even though she was too shy to talk back. You froliced and danced in the water. You hiked up to the top with me so that I could pee, and yelled down with me to get your brother's attention.

Upon getting back to my friend's, you were so excited to get to stay for a while. While the other kids all had agendas, you were happy to do anything. You jumped on the tramp, taking care not to let your brother get hurt. Then, when we decided to turn on a sprinkler out front, you bopped out to do that. You asked to take your shirt off. I worried that it wouldn't be a good idea, but they said yes it was. So you did. Stripped it off, and ran through the sprinklers.

Squealing. Laughing.

My friend said to me, "Amy.. she is so COOL... She's amazing!".

and you are. Ayla...you are amazing. And yes. cool.
I love you.
12:13 am
All the things you are
My sweet Ayla girl,

I wonder.. how many entries to your journal have I begun this very way?

"My", because you ARE mine. You are my heart. My reason for waking. My happiness, my soul, my stability. My unending love and joy. The child born of my body and my womb, my love and my tears. You belong to me. For now, you belong to me legally. Forever, you will belong to my heart - for I am the only mother you will ever have.

"Sweet", because you have always been. It is not merely an endearing term, for you. It is likely the most obvious characteristic that you possess. You are sweet. Thoughtful, loving and kind. Enchanting. You have the best intentions. If ever, for a moment or a day or a week, you seem LESS than sweet, it takes only for me (or someone) to reach you at your level and speak to you with consciousness. If you understand, you want to be "good". My lovely child, you embody the word "sweet".

"Ayla", because..well..it is your name. I chose it. I chose it when I was fourteen years old and envisioned my daughter, and I chose it again when I had a handful of names and a baby girl I cherished lying in my arms. I wanted to be sure I wasn't picking the name only because I'd loved it for so long, but because it belonged to you. Ayla...it belongs to you. You are my Ayla.

"girl".. I call you "Ayla girl" so often. My father always called me "Amy girl". Perhaps that is why I call you that. "Come on, Ayla girl!"  It is a term of endearment, and I use is often. I hope that I always do, and I hope that - should I stop - you remember it.


In the past year, you have turned many new leaves. You have emerged from a shell. You have loosened your bands of social awkwardness. You've begun a road to freedom, what with your intellectual discoveries (fluent reading, writing, and figuring things out) and your journey into days away from your mother. You've turned relationships that have always been there and consistent into things deeper and more meaningful, if it were possible. The people you love, and who love you, love you for WHO you are now, instead of just because you ARE you. Also, you have discovered that you love people for who THEY are, and not just because of what their place is in your life.

Though the list continues on and on, I feel that it is safe to say that you have turned into a unique person. Obviously, you have always been a unique person. We all are, and you certainly had your Ayla-isms that have been yours since day one (or day -6 months or so, even!). However, you've taken this refining turn. The person that you will be for the rest of your life has become significantly more clear, and...she is cool. She is amazing. Strong. Incredibly smart. Perceptive. Kind. Independent.

And loving.

This year, you have turned into a more loving person than you've ever been. As a small baby, you weren't especially "snuggly". You didn't love holding my hand, and though you hugged me plenty, affectionate wasn't a characteristic I'd have labeled you with. I'm not sure what changed this. Perhaps it was the growing up you did - you realized who the people were in your life that you loved so much, and felt sudden urges to show that love through affection and sweet, loving words. Perhaps it is because your younger brother is so overly affectionate and loving that you noticed it, and wanted it. If that is so, I cannot tell you how impressed I am by you. This year you have reached out to me. To others. You hold my hand. You climb onto my lap. You tell me you love me not only with the words so, so frequently, but by writing small notes, giving small gifts, blowing kisses across rooms, rubbing your cheek on my hand as you hold it, and smiling at me in a way that speaks so much more than an "i love you too mom" would had I just spoken the words to you.

I don't know how you've done it, or why. But you've changed. I feel so overwhelmingly loved by you.

More than that, I feel so, SO overwhelmingly grateful, and undeserving, to be the person chosen to be your mother.

I am unbelievably fortunate. You are a light in my life that I could not live without.

Thank you. You've made it possible to see through the darkness that I'm sure has even affected you. You never stop loving. You never stop trying. You never stop believing.

I am inspired by you, and so very honored to be the person you call "mommy".

I love you. My Sweet, Ayla Girl.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
9:00 pm
Your first field trip!
You had your first field trip yesterday morning. We went to Hee Haws, which is a place that is open before Halloween. We don't normally go, as they charge a bunch of money and I don't think it's worth it, so this was a treat for you. They had a hay ride, a corn maze, a small farm (with a HUGE pig!), a tent with scary scenes, a pumpkin patch, some big slides, and other random things.

I went with you, seeing as I'm the Room Mom. You were thrilled (as you always are) to have me along. "That's my mom! That's my mom!" I was crabby in the morning, as you were TOTALLY hyper and obnoxious, and.. well.. when I first wake up, I don't deal very well with that. One time you asked me, "Are you grumpy today, mom?". I said I was feeling a bit crabby. You said, "Well.. are you grumpy at me? Are you going to come to my field trip if you are still grumpy at me?" You sounded worried. I bent down and smiled and told you that I'd feel better once I showered. I assured you that I'd be going no matter what, and I promised to be happy on the field trip no matter what. You were appeased, and excited.

We had fun. Such fun. One little girl told me I was the funnest, funniest grown up she knew. You laughed and said, "Yeah! My mom is fun, huh!?".

It should be noted, too, that you are the smartest kid I've talked to in that class. I'm so proud.

The first field trip. It was a success. =)

Love you, big girl.
8:56 pm
Growing into something astounding
I can't describe, just simply cannot put into words, the amazing, extraordinary child you have become. You have obviously always been very dear to me, but lately... lately you blow me away with the person you are. You are crucial to my day, to my happiness, to my feeling of fulfillment with the world. I admire, respect, and cherish so deeply the person you are. I can't believe I raised you. I can't believe I grew something so capable of changing so many lives.

You went through a... stage. Persnickity, is what we all called you. You refused to hug or kiss people, you didn't use your manners, you snapped at people. I wondered what I could have done differently to make you care more.

But then.. you blossommed! The other day I ran into you and you fell down. You jumped up, hugged my legs tightly and said, "Oh! Sorry mom! Are you okay??".

Things like this are every day behaviors. If I ask you to help, you jump at the chance to do something for me. You give to others even when it's not beneficial for you, or even when you really don't want to. You hug people. You genuinely, truly care about people's feelings. My heart is overwhelmed with pride at the person that you are, and at how much healing you can elicit in others.

Yesterday, you convinced your nana to buy you this silly $26.00 "Cupcake Party" set at costco. Plates, napkins, an apron, an oven mit, and every tool one would need to make cupcakes - kid sized, and pastel colored. We made cupcakes today. Or, rather, YOU made cupcakes. You were so proud of yourself. You gave a cupcake to our neighbor, (jessie), and another to our neighbor (Tamara) downstairs. While walking to give it to Tamara, you headed out the door and stopped me. "I can do it, mom!". So, adorned in your apron, you trekked down the steps to deliver the cupcake.

You divided the rest out for our family. Evenly - you didn't give yourself more than anyone else. I told you that I didn't want any, so you divided mine between you, dad and Tay Tay.

Later, Tay cried when he saw your cupcake. You jumped up to go get him his own, and came back in telling us that they were all gone. You said, "Oh.. he can have mine". I protested, suggesting that you just break him off a little piece. Nope. You gave him the whole thing. Then you patted him on the head.

I know that I've told you before how much he loves you, but.. it's growing!! I didn't think it could! He kisses you, tells you he loves you, follows you around. You are the best at making him laugh, and you know EXACTLY how to do it. You guys run around giggling all the time, and it brightens up our lives.

My darling girl. I can't begin to tell you how amazing you are. What a beautiful, amazing big sister you are. How proud I am of the person you're becoming. I stand astonished and enthralled by you every day. Thank you for being... you.
Monday, August 25th, 2008
12:25 pm
First Day of School (letter to Ayla and excerp from my blog)
My precious little Ayla,

Sometimes I look at you and I am shocked into stunned silence and breathlessness as I realize how big you are, and how far you've come from that tiny little infant that looked up at me with squinty eyes and a blue-tinged face. Sometimes, you look so big. Sometimes I choke on my sobs as you articulate with such clarity the things I am surprised your little mind can even grasp, and I realize with sorrow and pride that you are not a baby any longer. You are not a toddler. You are a child - a fast growing child - whose very existence seems to slip through my fingers like a breeze; more wind will surely come, but you'll never feel THAT burst of oxygen flow over your skin again, exactly that same way. How unique every moment is, how lucky I am to have the sweet air of your angelic presence floating around my world day in and day out.

And then, on days like today, I watch you navigate your way through the enormous world we live in, and I am reminded how small you still are. So small, and yet slipping through my fingers all the same.

I have cried every night for a week, anticipating not only the emptiness in my day as your presence doesn't audibly and tangibly fill my life for the three hours you'll be gone, but the significance of the new stage in your little life. The step that takes you even farther from being my baby, in the sense that you have been as I've kept you close to me these past five years.

My heart breaks, and were it not for your heartwarming excitement, I would change my mind and dedicating myself to committing to memory every word you say, every giggle that escapes from your sweet and silly little face, as I kept you home with me until I am forced to let you go.

To try and tell you how I love you, how you complete my life.. it would be a waste of strength, for there is no word, no phrase, no analogy that can convey it. I recognize that, as you grow older, you will believe I love you and think you are perfect only because I am your mother, and therefore obligated to be blind to your weaknesses. But you'll be wrong.

I know you. I know the way you looked as you slid up through the water to take your first gulp of oxygen. I remember perfectly the way you'd stand at the entertainment center, hands on the glass as you watched your reflection and wiggled your butt, dancing to the music coming from the stereo. I know the way your legs wobbled as you took your first steps, the grin plastered to your face with pure joy. I know where the birthmark is that I noticed the day after I had you, and I know how it's grown and changed as your little legs have gotten so long and active. I know your pretend friends' names, where they live, and which ones you like the best. I know the words you say when you're upset, the way you cry when you're sad/angry/hurt, and the look you get on your face when you're trying to figure something out.

You may think I'm blind, but I see you better than anyone else. I've stroked your hair more than anyone else. I've kissed your sleeping head more than anyone else, bending to feel your breath on my cheek, and knowing that - no matter what else is wrong in my life - everything is right in my world because you are alive, well, and here with me. I've run my hand up your bare little back (nudist that you are), and I know by heart the way your little bones feel under my palm better than anyone else ever will until you someday find the person you choose (if you do) to let feel it every day the way I do, now. I know you, and therefore know your perfection more than anyone else ever could.

You are mine. My words cannot tell you how proud I am of you, but I hope that my actions do. The honor of being your mother is one I surely do not deserve, but cherish every moment of my life. Your laughter warms my heart even on the most miserable of days. Your kisses on my arm remind me why I am worth something - how could the mother of someone so delicate and astounding not be? I know not whether you are who you are because of me, or in spite of me, but I am proud to call myself your parent. I am proud to have made you, grown you, and supervise the phenomenal way you change, mold, and become the adult you will one day grow to be.

Thank you for entering my life, for letting me love you as completely as I do, and for loving me the way you do in return. I would be a shell of a person without you, and we'll just hope that I manage to make it through the three hours a day for the next 9 months. You will blossom, you will be thrilled with the act of learning, and you will tell me all about it. I can't wait.

Love forever, always, and even beyond.
Your mother, and your friend.
Amy
________


Woke early. Dressed, brushed teeth, and pulled back my hair. Walked out to find my kindergartner sitting sleepily on the living room floor in her nightgown, backpack on her lap and a squinty grin on her face as she saw me come in the room.

Waffles for breakfast. Talking. Giggling.

Runny nose, sneezing and coughing. Medicine and worry, but a determined-to-go five year old.

New clothes. Hugs and hairbrushing.

Pictures outside, sunglasses on, backpack in place.



We walked in the gate tentatively. She gripped my hand as she looked around. I thought I was going to puke; I must have been more nervous than she was. She kept her eyes down as the playground monitor told her how the morning routine would go. Eventually, she handed me her backpack and ran off to play on the equipment.

The bell rang. Her door opened. Her teacher, whom she'd never met, ushered them in. The hustle and bustle of it... I stood confused and concerned as she looked about for her name on a desk and couldn't find it.

We found it.

Her teacher said to me, "You must be Amy. I can tell, you look so nervous!". (I'd sent her an email, to which she has not yet responded.) Of course I look nervous. The beginning is over. I'm losing my baby. My eyes welled with tears, and I walked further into the corner so no children would see my emotion.

I asked her to say hi to Ayla - she's the only student who hadn't met the teacher. I couldn't leave until they'd been introduced. She did. Ayla seemed fine. Still, I stood in the back - the only parent still hovering in the background. How could all the other parents just leave?? Aren't they nervous? I bit the skin on my fingers.

Ayla looked around. She put on her nametag and promptly zipped her jacket up over it. Her teacher smiled at me again. I told her I knew I had to go, I just wanted to make sure Ayla saw me leave.

She said, "She'll be fine. I know it's hard". I nodded.
How do you know it's hard?? I know about you. You just had your first baby. She's three months old. You haven't had her yanked out of your presence, yet. You haven't had the heart wrenching experience of watching someone else take charge of the thing you've been in charge of her whole life; teaching her. You don't know anything about my baby, you don't know anything about me, and you think you know how hard it is!?!? You have no idea.

I smiled. Yes. Smile. I know. She'll be fine. I'll see you at 11:30. Thank you. Smile.

I waved to Ayla. I signed, "I love you". She mouthed it back to me. Goodbye? I said. You'll stay here? Yes, she nodded. Okay. Wave. Wave. I love you. Wave.

And I walked out. I leaned on the wall and put on my sunglasses so that I could let the tears fall. I've lost her. She's been pulled from the loose grasp I had on the child I didn't realize would grow and abandon me so quickly.

I meandered slowly to my car, calling my mom on the way to hear her reassuring voice.

After all these years, when I'm sad I call my mother. She's the first person I think of when I need someone to talk to, when I'm hurting, or when I need advice. She talks to me, cries with me. She strokes my hair, makes me laugh, and understands my aches. Thank god for my mother.

Maybe I won't really lose my baby after all.

(not that it will stop me from sitting here and crying for the next hour until it's time to pick her up. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. This is the longest morning of my life)
Saturday, July 26th, 2008
1:28 pm
Funny girl.
We were talking about cannibalism. Don't ask me why.

Dad asked you if you'd eat us if you were hungry enough. No.. you wouldn't.

A few minutes later, dad asked, "What if I were already dead? Would you eat me then?"

Without even a second's hesitation, you grinned and raised your eyebrows and said,

"Oh yeah. I would cook you!"
Monday, July 14th, 2008
4:19 pm
Days in the life
Every time I sit to write in your journal, I find myself reprimanding myself for how long it has been since my last entry. Truly, there is no excuse for it. I must write more often, I must!

And yet, let me tell you why I do not. Let me tell you how our days go, lately:

You generally wake up first. You crawl into bed next to me and snuggle up next to me, your warm little body only pushing me deeper into my slumber. Eventually, you generally begin to whisper to yourself, playing with your lovey and wiggling around. Sometimes dad or I get up and turn on the tv for you - this has been happening more this month. Other times, I get up and get you breakfast. Tavian wakes soon after, and you both have breakfast together.

How he laughs at you while you sit at the table. You insisted, a couple weeks ago, on moving your chair to the same side of the table as his high chair so you guys are sitting RIGHT next to each other. You do goofy things and he cracks up, which of course just makes you laugh. Your laughing cracks him up the most, so pretty soon it's a huge laugh fest at the table, with me (and dad, sometimes) laughing in the kitchen as we watch you.

Sometimes we go for a walk in the double stroller. For a while we were doing this every weekday morning. Lately it's been awfully hot even by 8, so we haven't been doing it as often. We're typically gone for about an hour and a half. You get bored and ask me whether or not we're "on our way home" yet, which I begin answering "yes" to as soon as we're halfway done with our loop. All the babies of my friends adore you. Sometimes you hold out your hand to reach theirs, and they find it so funny. You talk to me incessantly (more when we're alone), and I have to constantly remind you to turn and face me, otherwise your little voice gets lost in the wind in front of us, or drown out by the big trucks passing us by. So many questions, so many opinions. You have so much to say.

We come home and your shoes and clothes get dumped in the entry. I tell you to clean them up. You do. I tell you to do your chores. Oh.... about ten million times. You are the most easily distracted child I've ever met.

Sometimes we play outside.Sometimes you and Tay entertain each other while I take a shower. You guys have been fighting over toys more lately, as he is getting pretty independant and stubborn in his 18 month old way. Generally, if I remind you that you're the big sister and you need to be a good example, you handle it very well. Our biggest hurdle has been making sure you don't use a mean voice. Using a nice voice with him goes a long way, and it's hard for you to always remember not to snap at him when he knocks over your project or grabs something away from you. He's usually more than happy to share, though, and that has worked out nicely.

We have lunch. What an ordeal. You refuse to tell me what you want, (saying, "you just pick, mommy"), but then when I pick you refuse to eat it. Today, after having spent the last hour whining and gnashing your teeth at the grocery store and on the way home that you were STARVING, you told me that you'd rather just not eat "for the rest of the day" than eat the spaghetti that I made you for lunch. Once I told you that you would be taking a nap if you chose not to eat (because you wouldn't have any energy), you gobbled it up and told me that pasta and yogart are your FAVORITES! Little nutcase.

After lunch is quiet time. When it was just you and me, quiet time was epic. I cleaned, got dinner prep done, did laundry, did my own thing for a while if I had time.. etc. Now.. It's so much more complicated. First of all, I'm more exhausted in general. I spent the firs tyear of Tay's life making you have quiet time too, and just totally vegging during that time. In the last 6 months I've made a bigger effort to get stuff done, but I end up sleeping out of necessity about 3 out of 7 days. You rarely have quiet time anymore, though I turn on a movie for you if I need to sleep. Today you wathced Mulan in my bed, RIGHT next to me. It was delicious to feel you snuggling against me, and it kept me from sleeping too long.

Today, after I napped, you and I worked on reading. Wow... Ayla, your reading is astonishing. I'm constantly amazed by how you just picked it up so quickly.

Often, lately, you and I go swimming while Tay naps. Dad has been home during the days, so he listens for Tay and just brings him out when he wakes up and we all swim together. Your skin is beautiful and golden. Swimming... another thing to write about.

We play outside in the late afternoon, or we just play inside. I do chores while you guys "help" or putter around. We do errands, visit friends, or sit on the deck with popsicles.

Then dinner. Family time. Visiting my family, or dad's. I go to the gym, you stay and play with dad.

You sleep in Tay's room, now. You adore it. The other day I asked you what you loved the most about him, and you said "Well, because he sleeps in my room right next to me!" Sometimes he wakes you up at night. Sometimes you wake him up. The other night you started crying in your sleep and woke him up. I went in to find you both crying, him screaming and standing up looking at you. I tried to sit with him and let him nurse, but he kept crying, "sisssssyyyyy!!!" and flinging himself back to look at you. He wouldn't just calm down and nurse until I sat him next to you and had you tell him that you were alright and give him a kiss. It was so sweet. Sad, but sweet.

After I get home, I spend time with your dad. I hope you are seeing, by watching us, how important it is to have a good marriage. Dad and I have had our trials. I've made mistakes, and so has he. I'm hoping that you don't notice the bad times, or pick up on those things. We try to shield you from them. What we try and portray to you is how much we love each other. How much - together - we love you.

So.. you see... I think so many times during the day, "I've got to write that in Ayla's journal!", but when I sit down at my computer I barely have time to check my email and respond to things before it's up up up again. Being the parent of you two little children is the best, craziest, busiest thing I've ever done.

Today, though, after sitting and listening to you read, I thought to myself, I HAVE TO! So here I am.

It's so amazing to listen to you read. You go through, picking out some words and blowing through others. Often, your biggest frustration comes in the first page or two. Then, as the story unfolds, you read on with rapture. It's so awesome to watch your excitement as you figure out what's going on. Your little voice gets so happy and elated as you read words that give a conclusion to something you were wondering about.

The other thing that you've suddenly started doing is swimming. Two weeks ago - less than two weeks ago - you wouldn't put your face in the water. You swam around with a life jacket on, or spent all your time on the steps. I tried and tried and TRIED, but you refused to learn. Then we went to the waterpark one day, and you just... started swimming! You went under, over and over again. The next day at the pool, you kept doing it! And without me doing anything, you began swimming. Kicking your feet, treading water... Now, a week and a half later, you belly flop off the side and swim to the other side of the pool. Under water!! You do little mermaid spins and twirls and barrel rolls. You look around with your goggles. It's so amazing, Ayla. The first day you began jumping off of the side there were tons of people at the pool, and I just kept laughing hysterically every time you did it. I was so amazed! And to be able to be there, and be a part of it, and watch as you discover something so freeing and exciting... It was incredible to me. You're like a new child in the water. i'd never have guessed you could do these things.

And so, I'm wrapping this up. Finally. We're going to the dinosaur museum. Tay is walking around, and you're sitting next to me on my bed with a box of animal crackeres.

My girl. I love you. I adore you. I cherish every day with you.
Now if only I could decide what to do about kindergarten....
Thursday, March 27th, 2008
9:20 am
Dreams
Aylaism from Tuesday:

Tavy. We learned about volcanoes today. We don't like volcanoes!! They have FIRE, and will BURN YOU, and MAKE YOU DEAD!"

Hmm. Good reasons not to like something.


All morning you've been happy and bubbly and talking about the good dream you had. A loooong good dream. It lasted allllll night, apparently. We moved to a new house and you had your own bedroom, but you didn't have any friends. So you had pretend friends (shocker!), and you played and played and played with them. I guess it was a lot of fun, because you loved the dream.

You just asked for oatmeal and a plan bagel. Oh, now you want "quesadilla bread". "Mom, do you have quesadilla bread?" I laughed. "Yes". You get up immediately. "Okay. I'm goin to GET some." Eep you just found only the whole wheat ones, and you're not digging them. Mom, to the rescue I guess. Oh wait, no... maybe it's ok. You just curled up next to me, little bitei marks in the top of it, so it must be fine. You're reading one of my books. Danielle Steel, "Sunset in St. Tropez". The stories you come up with are amazing.

You just put your bum on my arm, and then looked at me and giggled and said, "I tooted on your face!"

Today at school you get to bring your lovey and a pillow and read Dr. Suess. You're so excited! You sure are loving school. I wish you didn't have to leave me to do it. I miss you so, when you're gone. Tavian misses you too. He sleeps while your'e gone, and when he wakes up I ask him if he wants to go get you. He grins and smiles and nods. He adores you, my sweet girl! And for good reason! You're so good with him.

Off I go to make oatmeal. Love you, baby.
Thursday, March 13th, 2008
9:38 pm
Growing, growing.
There has been a change in you, lately. You bless my life in such grand ways, and then some more in the smallest, sweetest ways.

As a young child, you were perceptive. Withdrawn, almost, when in social situations that you were unfamiliar with. You were just taking it all in, absorbing the new experience and/or people. I remember trying to take pictures of you sledding, and being so frustrated because you wouldn't smile! You slid down the hill with the most serious look on your face.. Afterward, you'd clap and want to go again, so I knew you loved it, but during the activity there was no sign of enjoyment.

Lately, that has changed. You squeal and smile and giggle all day long. Everything makes you laugh, especially your brother. You have turned into such a happy, gleeful child. It is so easy for me to make you start giggling uncontrollably. How I love it!

I know that I often write about what an amazing sister you are. I do it for a reason! You are phenomenol. You truly adore him. You kiss his head, squeeze his feet (it drives me crazy how you keep pulling off his socks and hats to kiss his skin!), and help him do things. He grins when he sees you. Every time! You two are such wonderful siblings.

Tonight, after we'd all gone and gotten into the hot tub, we came home and changed and I read you a book. Then dad went in to snuggle you. I sat out here, on the couch, reading my book. I heard you and dad talking and giggling, and then you just started laughing and laughing.

I put down my book and closed my eyes. Someday my ears will ache with the silence in my home. Someday I'll berate my younger self for getting so frustrated with your elevated noise levels by 6pm. Oh, how I will miss hearing your laughter ringing like angelic bells throughout the air.

My Ayla. My smart, wonderful, sweet Ayla. I love you more than my pathetic words can convey. Never grow. I wish you could stay my baby forever.




In other news, you are reading. Barely, but still. It's reading.

Also, the jig is up with the spelling out words so you don't understand us, thing. I told my parents we were going to do something fun with you when we got home. They asked what, and I didn't want you to hear, so I said, "H-O-T-T-U-B". Oooh!, my dad said. They acted all excited. You scrunched up your nose and said, "TUB??? That's not that fun!" hehe. I made you sound out H-O-T, and you got it. You were so excited!

Alas. We'll have to start spelling things backwards, I guess.


In a bit of OTHER news, you called me a bitch today. Serves me right for swearing around you, I suppose. I told you that you had to come inside and put a coat on if you wanted to play on Grammy's deck. You huffed and walked in and I shut the door behind you, right before Tay escaped. He started wailing because he wanted to go out, and I said, "Sorry! Life's a bitch!"

You turned around and said, in a defiant tone with your hands on your hips, "You know what?? YOU are a bitch!". And you turned on your heels and walked out of the room.

Sheesh! We alll (me, tina and my dad) started cracking up. How do you not laugh at that??

I talked to you later, and you were apologetic when I helped you understand what the word means and how it's not nice to say it to people. I told you that I'd said it jokingly, but that I shouldn't have. Later, you said with a smile, "You're a bitch, mom! ... that was a joke!!!" hehe. Oh, Ayla. You're too smart for your own good.
Friday, January 18th, 2008
8:02 am
Funny things. More of them.
Ayla: "Mom, what are you eating?"

Me: "Nothing. Just my fingers. I bite the skin on my fingers and chew it. Gross, huh?"

Ayla: *makes disgusted face* "Uh huh.."

*a minute goes by*

Ayla: "Doesn't that hurt?"

Me: "Yes. It does."

*another minute goes by*

Ayla: "So.. why aren't you crying??"

Me: "Sometimes, when you're a grown up, you don't cry when things hurt. Pretty tricky, huh?"

Ayla: *looks pensive for a minute* "Well why aren't you saying 'darnit hell!' or something?"


I just about peed my pants. Is that what grown ups do instead of cry? And, of all the things I could curse, do I say "darnit hell"? I MUST be Mother-of-the-Year.




You and Tay were playing in your room while I did some housework. All of a sudden I heard your voice yell happily,

"Don't worry mom, we two aren't making a mess!!"

hehe. "we too" I guess because I probably say, "Don't you two make a mess in there!"




As I write this, you are walking all over the houes with your brother, each of you pushing a baby-doll stroller. You're both giggling like crazy every couple of minutes, as you often do together. Around and around the island you go. You love it because I don't normally allow you to push your baby stroller in the kitchen, but since Tay is doing it you get a free pass. Tavian keeps switching strollers, and you patiently talk to him while you switch the contents of the strollers. Right now, this is what I'm hearing,

"Oh! Tavy, wait! Let's change this baby to your stroller. Tay wait! Taa-vvvy!! Ok. I'm ready. I'm ready!! Go, Tay, go! Let sissy go in front, ok?"

He runs into things, you fix it. He tries to go in the bathroom, you tell him no and pick him up to move him and shut the door. You talk to him sweetly, almost always referring to yourself as "sissy", which just slays me. And, you know, I think he kind of understands you. He looks at you while you speak and I can see the little gears in his head turning. You're so patient!
Thursday, December 6th, 2007
10:07 pm
Growing up Ayla.
I use a Toilet Wand to clean the toilet. It's a long, reusable, plastic stick that you connect disposable, chemical filled sponges on to so you can clean the toilet easily.

I used it tonight, and then rinsed it off in the sink of the bathroom. It was drying in the sink, and I was changing my clothes, when you walked in. I saw you stand there and look at it, with your little stance. Then you said,

"What is that? ..are you gonna put it up your butt?"

I burst out laughing. I kept trying to answer you, but I couldn't stop chuckling long enough to respond. I finally said, "Why would you think that??" You replied,

"Because.. there is poop up there and you want to clean it out?"

Good heavens, child. You kill me. How I love your little intelligence.




You started preschool a couple weeks ago. You're one of two girls in the class, and the other girl (Jennifer) doesn't speak a word of English. You get along very well, anyway.

I've been shocked at how well you've done in school. You act shy every day when I drop you off, but you kiss me goodbye, hang up your coat and pack pack, and sit down to start your work with Miss Robin. I'm amazed at how you've come out of your shell because you're so interested in being there and doing schoolwork. It's why you go. You want to do the work, get the knowledge, have the fun.

Youa re sweet and kind to your brother. The other day I watched him crawl all over you while you lay on the ground trying to watch tv. You absentmindedly touched him and played with his hair while he steamrolled all over you. You laughed at him, but kept your eyes mostly on the television.

Another time, he was pulling your hair and clawing your face. I said to him, "Soft! Soft with your sissy, tay!", and you brushed me off and said, "It's ok mom. he just loves me!"

And.. it's true. He does. He loves you more than I've ever seen a baby love another child. He calls for you. He calms down when I tell him we're going to pick you up. He laughs hysterically at you when you run around, or start to laugh at something.

Every day I'm so grateful for you. Every day. You've gotten so sweet, lately. You hold my hands, you tell me you love me, you let me hug you and hold you because you know how much I love it.

My girl. I can't believe you're so old.
Thursday, November 8th, 2007
10:42 pm
Aylaisms from our date night
An excerp from my blog from today:

The Best Ayla-isms today!

Ayla and I had Mama-Daughter Date Night tonight. We were in the car on the way to the mall, when I suddenly heard Ayla start to mumble under her breath, "What the... heck!??? ...what the.. what the heck is the sun doing?? Why the heck is the sun following our car!?? What the heck!??" She chuckled, I chuckled, and then she changed the subject.

We were sitting at the cafe outside of Nordstrom. She loves sitting at the little kid table there, and having me sit next to her at the regular sized table. Anyway. We saw this crazy teenage couple reveling in obnoxious amounts of PDA. You know the kind. Where he's hugging her and picking her up and she's giggling and squealing too loudly and her pants are basically falling off.. you know.

Anyway. Ayla looked over at the couple and smiled a little smirky smile at me while she tipped her head and said, "Aww. That's a great love, huh mom?" I choked on my laughter and agreed. Oh yeah. Great love. My bet is that it's over next week. =P

She wanted me to hurry and come sit by her, but I was waiting for my drink at the cafe still. She ran over to me and I said, "I'm waiting for my drink! I'll be there in a minute". She said, "Oh! What drink did you get?" I said, "A mocha". She responded excitedly, "Oh! A mocha? Okay!", and ran away. Okay, this one doesn't sound as cute in writing, but.. just her excitement. A mocha!? Oh! Okay! A mocha! Great! heh. She's just so happy, so easily excited. So.. lovely.

The funniest thing she did was after we got home. She was happily telling Ben about our adventures, and she started telling Ben about something she found in the store we were at that I wouldn't let her get. They were these two dolls, and apparently they were exactly what she'd been hoping to find, because she was exclaiming to him about them in the most adorable way.. "There were people, dad! They were people! The people!? THE PEOPLE!???" Her little hands were out in the most dramatic emphasis, and her eyes were so wide and excited and.. it was just hysterical. I can't convey it. I don't know why I try.

At any rate, we had a fun evening. We went into Build A Bear. She had a $10 gift certificate, and though I proceeded to spend another $27 on top of that, it was worth it to watch her excitement. She chose a soft bunny that she could sleep with, and we got Hello Kitty pajamas for it, along with Hello Kitty underwear and Hello Kitty slippers, which happen to be exactly like the Hello Kitty slippers that she has (that are too small but she wears anyway). For the record, I hate Hello Kitty, but.. all she sees is a kitty and it's pretty much a win/win with Ayla.

We got dinner. She said more hysterical things. We drove home, her jabbering on and on about this and that.

I think I've decided on a school for her. I've been looking at Montessori and Charter schools, and I've come across one I really feel drawn to. It's called Odyssey Charter School, and the curriculum is based on the same curriculum I was planning on using when I homeschooled her. I'm really excited about the prospect, so hopefully we won't have a hard time getting her in.


Oh, the joy you bring to me. I dont' deserve someone as perfect as you.
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
3:17 pm
Sick, sweet baby.
You are so sick today. Sicker, probably, than I've ever seen you before.

You woke up in the night complaining of a tummy ache. Dad tried to just keep you in bed with us (your bed is in our room), but apparently he finally got up with you b/c you were so miserable. He tried to get you to go potty, but you didn't need to. As he was bringing you back to bed, cradling you in his arms, you puked everywhere. Then you did so again a couple more times.

This morning I woke up first with Tay. You came out right after me, and proceeded to puke 3 times.

Your sickness isn't normally something I would document, but you've really blown me away today. You are so very miserable, but you are so very sweet. Most of the times you've thrown up have been when I wasn't sitting next to you. The first time I was changing the laundry, and I came back and you were in the bathroom puking in the toilet. No yelling for me, no crying, no complaining. You just jumped up and ran in. Then you apologized for getting your books (which had been on your lap) all yucky. We cleaned them up and read for an hour or so - with a bit of puking mixed in.

This afternoon, after I thought you were done puking and had given you some soup and liquids, you did it again. I got up from sitting with you to throw something away, and when I came out of the pantry you were wretching in the bathroom. You'd just jumped up and ran in.

You stood there limply as I washed your hands and face, and ran the toothbrush over your teeth to clean your mouth out. Again, no complaining or whining or crying or neediness.

I lay with you on the couch and you fell asleep. It's where you are now. You're so tired and miserable. It goes up and down. Earlier you jumped up to dance to Curious George music, and asked me if later we could ride your bike. Not ten minutes later you were curled up in a ball on the couch, not even wanting to read a book.

I hate seeing you sick. I hate it. But oh.. my heart swells with pride at how lovely you handle it. Your nature is so angelic. You still smile at and kiss on your brother. You ask him to hug you so you can feel better. You wrap your arm around my head when I lean in to ask you if you need something.

I opened a princess dress-up outfit you got for your birthday party from the Bonners and you lay ont he couch in all the pieces but the shoes and the dress. My little listless baby, lying there with a tiara, necklace, bracelet, wand, rings, and sticker earrings adorning her lovely self. I wish I'd have taken a photo, but I didn't. Then a few minutes later was the next run to the toilet, so we removed all of it so they didn't get dirty.

This is a long reminder of a very sick day, but I want you to know how very much I love being with you. Even when you're dog sick and I'm cleaning up throw up. This must be the definition of a mother's love, because I'm cherishing today. It's amazing, but I am.

Current Mood: calm
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
10:51 am
Swearing. =)
You are cleaning your room and I am in the other room. I just heard something tip. I then heard you exlaim in a very flustered voice,

"Oh noo! ... dannit all!!!"
Monday, May 7th, 2007
10:56 am
Aylaisms
Last night, daddy went to get you and grammy for dinner. You were sitting in the truck.

Dad: Hey guys, dinner is ready so you should come in

Ayla: No, daddy! We can't come in! We're going to the mall!

Dad: Oh! Well I'm the mall Security Guard and the parking lot is full, but there is a spot right there on the left if you wanna park your car there. And then you can come in and eat.

Ayla: Oh. Oh.. okay!

*dad starts walking inside*

Ayla: *yells* Thank you, gardener!!!

*dad chuckles and keeps walking inside*
*dad is almost inside*

Ayla: *yells again* I love you gardener!!


When he recounted this to me I just died. You are so funny!! Guard = gardener. You've been talking a lot lately about how you want to be a gardener when you grow up. And Spanish. You reeeally want to learn Spanish. I better get crackin.




This morning I was trying to put Tay down for his nap and you were playing with puppets in the Living Room. There is one that I got in Barcelona that is handmade and squeaks REALLY loud when you squeeze it. You kept doing it, so I poked my head out the door and told you to stop since I was putting Tay to sleep.

I went back in and you did it a couple more times. Frustrated, I stuck my head out the door and said, "Oh.. I asked you to stop and you chose not to. Please bring that to me"

You did. I said, "Ok. YOu can't play with it anymore"

"Never??", you said.

I kind of chuckled and said, "I dunno. Maybe"

A minute later you walked in and looked up at me. In a sweet voice you said, "Could we please give that puppet to another kid that doesn't have toys, then?"

*heartwrench*

Oh my, your'e so sweet and generous and caring. Also gracious! Lately, every time I do anything for you (big or small!) you tell me thank you. Yesterday you asked to ride on the end of the cart and I stopped so you could hop on. "THANK YOU, MOM!!" you said with a big grin. So sweet. The people around us giggled at your cuteness.




One more. The other day you were jumping on the couch in the study. I said something or other about you needing to be a baby again.

You huffed and said,
"Okay mom. I will be your baby forever if you give me a hug and kiss RIGHT. NOW."

That is definitely a deal I can handle.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
9:18 am
So funny.
You've been drawing pictures for me for about an hour. You just showed one to me.

I said, "Oh! Beautiful! Is that.. a snake?"

You: "No. It's a... thleegy. It's kinda like a cow"

Oh.
haha.
Monday, April 9th, 2007
10:21 pm
Aylaisms
(background: Auntie Cake bought me a Butterfinger and I yelled at her, seeing as I can't/shouldn't eat it)

Ayla: It's okay mommy. I can eat it if you want me to!

Mommy: Ohhh, thank you sweetie! But that's okay, you don't need to.

Ayla: *pause* "... well.. could we split it in half?

I guess she wasn't that concerned about ME.




Ayla: I have your legs, daddy! I have looong legs, like you!

Daddy: You do!? You're right, you do have long legs like me! ... What do you have like mommy?

(he was thinking eyes or mouth)

Ayla: A big head.


!!!???




(background: Last night in the middle of the night you peed, so dad changed your underwear and put you back in bed with no pants on. They were left in the middle of the floor. In the morning he checked on you and they were off the floor and on your curled up body. This conversation ensued when we were discussing how cute it was)

Daddy: Ayla, did you put your pants back on last night?

Ayla: *grins* Yes. I did! Because I woke up and I REALIZED that I didn't have them on. I realized that.

hahaha. Realized. REALIZED??? Who told you that you could grow up and use big words? WHO!???

Current Mood: drunk
Thursday, March 1st, 2007
10:33 pm
Technologically Brilliant
I keep dad's messenger window open on the laptop computer screen, and it's generally sitting somewhere in the living room so that I can talk to him if I need to. You got a hold of it today and decide to have a conversation. You often type to him. Here's your conversation with dad, and a little translation from me:

Mom: BBBBBBVRRVVBRBVRBBBRVBVRBVRBVTVLTVTTYTVTTTTTGVTV6VTVTV6TV6TV6VTB
Mom: that said
Mom: Daddy. I fink you're cute. I love you, daddy. What do you think of me?
Mom: lol
Mom: she was talking as she typed it
Mom: so cute
Ben: Well Ayla, I think that you are such a cute bug that I want to kiss your neck one hundred times!
Mom: VY5GB54T4T54T5BT5TVT4VBTVB545T5VT7VB5T7TVT5T
Mom: she gave me that look she gives me when she thinks you're crazy
Mom: like, 'WHAAAAT???"
Ben: lol
Mom: T54BT65T5T56T5V4TB5BT5BBTTV5TTV4TVT5 6TBNT5T5T65T65VBTVBTV5BT65
Ben: Maybe I want to lick your elbow instead!


Yesterday when you were typing to him and I wasn't sitting next to you, you said to me excitedly, "Mom! Daddy just sent me a smiley face!!!"

You love your daddy.
9:04 am
Little things to remember.
We were sitting and eating breakfast together. I said, Do you know how much I love you? You grinned at me and put your hands about 5 inches apart. I shook my head and said, Nope. You moved them farther and farther apart, to which I shook my head until you'd gotten as far as your arms could reach. You threw your head back and laughed when I finally said, Yup!.

Then, as you've been doing a lot lately, you instructed me to say it again. (You like dictating our play) I said, Say what? You said, Say.. do you fink you know how much you love me I said, Do you think you know how much I love you?. You iimmediately threw your arms open.

Then you said, What about my grammy?! *throw your arms open and laugh* What about my Missa!? *throw your arms open and laugh* .... my Pop!? ... my Tina!? .... annnnd.... CAKE AND MY DADDY!???

Then, as if you'd remembered, you said, "I miss my daddy real bad". You sweet girl. You miss him so much when he's gone. It makes my heart so happy to see the bond you two have. When he gets home you run to him and throw yourself into his arms. You snuggle up to him at night. Multiple times during the day you ask me when he'll be home, and tell me, "He's taking SUCH a LONG time!!!"

Sweetness. =)
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
1:49 pm
Mommy Ayla
We were just snuggling in your bed before your nap. I love this time, because prolonged snuggles are few and far between lately. You normally snuggle right up and whisper your little ongoing commentary. You play with your little animals. Lately you've been so into being their "mommy" lately. Rarely is it a dolly, but generally a chickie or a duckling or a curious george or a bunny. You lift up the covers and snuggle them down in.

I had my eyes closed as I lay there next to you. I was tired, and though I wasn't falling asleep my mind was drifting and I'm sure my breathing slowed so you assumed I was falling asleep. I felt your little finger begin to trace lightly around my eyes, and over my cheeks and forehead. You love having your face tickled, and it's something daddy and I do often when you're falling asleep. I love having my face tickled by daddy, and I was shocked that you doing it felt very similar to when he does it. Your tiny little fingers.. your breath in my face, and your little noises as you opened and shut your lips like you often do.

I opened my eyes slightly to see you looking at me, and you whispered, "I'm tickling your face, mommy.." I smiled and mumbled my acceptance and closed my eyes again. A few minutes later you began tickling your animal's face and whispering to it to go to sleep.

You've turned into such a littler nurturer. You carry your duckling and your chickie everywhere, and no one is allowed to hold or touch them unless they do it the "right" way. Yesterday you told me, "Okay mom, but you can only hold her by her feathers". Hehe.

You nurse them, too. Poppy said the other day you walked into hisstudy where your little wicker rocking chair is, sat down, unzipped your jammies, and put the duckling to your chest to have nursies. I can picture it. You have a calm and soothing look on your face when you do it, and sometimes you whisper to the little "baby". Then after a couple minutes, you zipped back up and flitted back out of the room.

I'm so proud of you, you little mommy. =)

Current Mood: chipper
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