“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!