Ladies and Gentleman, we now have a four-month-old on our hands. :0) (Well, actually, since
I’m now just getting around to finishing this post, which I stared at the end of last month, Elyse is almost four and a half months old at this point. But, I digress…) We’ve officially survived the first three months (rather unscathed, if I might add) and are now reaping the benefits of parenting a four month-old — benefits that consist of unlimited grins (I’m loving the fact that her whole face just lights up whenever she sees Taylor, Clara or myself), extra long snuggles, and giggles. Thankfully, Mother Nature knows that after about three hard months of broken sleep and loud cries of unknown origin, most parents are in desperate need of these hard-earned rewards.
As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion in this blog, parenting two little ones is tough work. It’s no wonder I lost all of my pregnancy weight and then some within the first month of Elyse’s life. When people ask me how I lost the weight so quickly, without thinking I reply, “I never stop.” And it’s true. I usually don’t get a chance to catch my breath until around 10 p.m. — coincidentally this is Clara’s bedtime. Ironically enough, just about an hour later, I find myself dozing off on the couch, much to Taylor’s dismay. Poor guy — he has to put up with the fact that it takes multiple nights for us to watch a two-hour movie. It’s a good thing we watched The Godfather trilogy before Elyse was born. :0)
Despite the fact that parenting Clara and Elyse makes my head spin at times, it is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. At the end of the day, I usually feel pretty accomplished, even if I didn’t get to cross everything off of that day’s To Do list. Just knowing that my girls are clean, fed, played with and comfortably resting in their beds each night is enough to get me through my day. In between all the responsibilities that come with caring for my girls, I try to enjoy as much of it as I can. The time really goes by so fast. I can’t believe Clara is a walking, talking toddler and Elyse is already more than a third of the way through her first year of life. Before I know it, I’ll be blogging about her first birthday. Oh, good grief (we’ve been watching a lot of Charlie Brown lately)!
In order to break up the week and add a bit of fun into our routine, I enrolled Clara in a Kindermusik class at the beginning of May (I have mentioned this class once or twice in my posts). Both she and I look forward to “nusic class” all week-long. Whenever we leave the house, Clara asks if we are on our way to “nusic class.” I’m so thrilled that she enjoys the class as much as I do, as it took her a good five weeks to warm up to the other children and parents. But, now we’re old pros. Today, she couldn’t wait to rip off her sandals (no shoes allowed in the classroom) and start warming up on the drums that were waiting for her and her classmates. Although she still has moments when she’s feeling a bit too shy to tip-toe to the music or hit a note or two on the keyboard, she loves playing with the egg shakers, singing along to familiar lyrics and experimenting with the scarves, bells and balls.
Elyse also accompanies us to “nusic class.” When we started class, she was a wee eight-week-old who preferred to snooze while we sang. Over the last month or so, Elyse has become much more interested in the music and the dancing toddlers. I was so impressed with her today, as she sat for the entire 45-minute class without so much as a whimper. In fact, my favorite moment of the day happened when we were about three-quarters of the way into class. One of the last songs of today’s class was a slow ballad called “Come Play with Me.” During the song, Miss Rebekah instructed the children to lay down and relax. After taking a few minutes to chill out on the colorful play mat, Clara got up and made her way over to Elyse, who was resting in her car seat. As the vocalist sang the following verse —
Hey, hey, oh playmate,
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree
Slide down my rain barrel
Into my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more, more, more.
— Clara took her little sister’s hands into her own and began to dance with her. In return, Elyse gifted her big sister with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. If I wasn’t sitting in a brightly painted yellow room with four other toddlers and their parents, I would have probably burst into tears. “Nusic class” was even more enjoyable today as I watched my daughters truly enjoy one another’s company. Thank you, Clara and Elyse, for allowing me to share in your special moment. I know that there are so many more we’ll hold dear in the coming years. Not only do I get the honor and privilege of watching you grow as individuals, but also as sisters — a thrill far greater than any other I’ve experienced.
CUTENESS ALERT: I just had to throw this last picture in. It is Elyse and her new cousin Ryder enjoying one another’s company on the Fourth of July. BTW, Elyse is older than Ryder by eight weeks and he already outweighs her by at least one pound.