The last nine weeks have shaken my little world, but we might be settling in. Aftershocks might still be an issue, but as of now, we're all alive and okay. We're all battling our yearly winter colds, hopefully this will be the last one of the season for all of us. Ameira is still 1,000% more manageable with a cold than she was while she was suffering from Acid Reflux. I think Daddy and Ameira have finally bonded. He's taken her the last two nights he has been home and just held her while I slept. I'm sure it helps that she smiles more frequently now. She sounds so stuffed up and ends up fidgeting every half hour or so because she just can't breathe. I'm becoming quite the pro at the snot sucker (less grossly known as a nasal aspirator) and consider it almost a challenge to get more out of her than I did the last time. Ace has slowed down.
Despite all these "downer" sick moments, I have been almost in tears more than once because I'm so thankful for my life.
I'm so thankful that I have these two little girls that I have no doubt will grow up to be friends. Aayla loves Ameira and we can't quite get her to grasp the concept that Ameira is not her age. She talks to her, plays with her, and tries to show her all kinds of things. She tries to help when Ameira is crying; she brings her what she would want... her blanket and pacifier (known affectionately in our house as a bobby). I don't know how many times I've heard the exasperated sound of, "Ameira! WATCH! Lookey me" while driving in the car or cooking dinner. It makes me smile every time.
I'm so thankful for Aayla's clean Christmas slate that we get to fill up with things like trees, lights, unwrapping presents, snow, etc. The way she comes unglued is akin to watching some of the screaming girls on footage shot outside old Beatles concerts. She just goes bananas when she sees houses lit up--calling all versions of Christmas lights "kiss-miss twees." She will even request "mama seen." (Mama, sing?) I ask what I should sing and she says "kiss-miss son." When I ask which one she will always say, "jeen-ul bewls" so I will always sing jingle bells knowing fully she will interrupt me and say, "wock" repeatedly until I start singing Jingle Bell Rock. Her vocabulary increases daily and it makes my heart happy to hear her rendition of what she sees. We took her to St. Lucia (which I still need to write about) and the only thing she talks about is part of one of the songs they sang. "teep top teep top, teepy teepy teep top, teep, teep, top." (that's my phonetic spelling of it). We sing it roughly 40 times a day. She calls all pictures from Fredrick Meijer Gardens "fuuuun." She tells us all about the reindeer that she was brave enough to pet--but says the reindeer bit her "feen-ers" (fingers) and gave her ouchy-ouchies that daddy "fitzed" (fixed) with tape. She literally means tape, not band-aids. She makes me laugh. She told some story last night that I can't remember... all lies. So funny. Her imagination is starting to work. Soon we will have to figure out the fine line between lying and the art of storytelling. Right now, we just laugh.
Last night we did a family night. We were supposed to go to my sister's house for dinner with another couple from our church's Sunday School class. We canceled because of the copious amount of snot running in this family. Instead, we had a rare night where all we did was play together. Ameira sat (or her version of it) in the bumbo while Ace's kept trying to get her to play cars with her. Ryan and I sat on the floor and played with them. At one point, Ryan was playing his guitar and I anchored Ameira while Acey was screaming "DANCE REAR-AH!!! DANCE!!!" and yanking on her arms. Ameira actually thought this was funny... which of course egged Ace on. We decorated christmas cookies. It was amazing that no one showed Aayla how to use the cookie cutters, but she picked one up and used it correctly. Other highlights: 1. Ryan turned around and Aayla grabbed the big ball of dough (that was to be rolled out) and took one HUGE bite out of it, throwing it back as he turned back around. 2. When it came time to decorate with frosting, Aayla decorated one and then ate it. We were afraid to let her decorate anymore based on how much crap she'd already ingested. 3. Ameira sat awake most of the time and just cooed at us. The night didn't end quite so perfectly, but it was nice while it lasted.