She's such a lover, she gives these amazing back hugs when you are doing something (like cleaning the floor or picking up toys) and she will often feel sad and come to one of us saying, "hug" or "snuggle". When she first wakes up is my favorite because she has her taggies ("all of them") and just wants to rest her head on my shoulder for a while. It is the most precious thing. And perhaps because she's my fourth, I know how fleeting those footy-pajama'd, morning hair, warm cheeked hugs really are. My first babies are now nine, and half the size of grown men. We still hug & snuggle, but it's just not the same. So every morning I close my eyes and try to capture the essence of those snuggles with Carly to store away for the future.
I remember sneaking into the twins' nursery at night to scoop them back out of their cribs and rock them a little more while they slept. Josh thought I was crazy, but I am so grateful for those memories because I often look back and think, "Did I enjoy it? Did I relish it?"
Thank goodness I did.
Our Carly loves her brothers, especially at play time. They will push her around in her Little Tykes Car or Stroller. Or pull her in a laundry basket. They hate when she's in trouble and will stick up for her mischievousness. It's hilarious. They tend to give in to what she wants and hate to see her cry. At Dollar Tree the other day she wanted this terrible stuffed animal and Logan said he would trade out his Matchbox car so she could get the bear. Their hearts are just so big for her. It's in those moments I think, "We must be doing something right."
Sister-friend knows what she wants and is very clear in demanding we meet her requests. "Myself!" "Brush!" "Straw!" and "Cereal!" are some things she often yells at us. She hates eating in her high chair and will often cry, "Bable.... BABLE!!!" (table) as we are buckling her in. She can't wait to be big like her brothers.
So far this holiday season, she has destroyed the bottom third of our Christmas tree and broken Wyatt's super special Christmas Snow Globe-- she's just a girl on a mission and doesn't want to be told no about anything. I don't care about the tree- honestly the little ornaments bring her so much joy it's hard to be mad. But I felt awful when she broke Wyatt's snow globe. He cried so much. Sometimes having a little sister is just hard.
But he forgave her nearly instantly because she was crying so much as well. When it broke, it scared her and got her socks wet, so she was really upset. He hugged her and told her it was okay. Then the next time he was on the phone with my mom, he told her what happened and asked for a new one.
Carly loves holding things lately- the cats, my sister's baby, or lots of bubbas (which is what we call stuffed animals/babies). She will tote them around to the school to pick up brothers, or the store to grocery shop. She puts them in her pockets if they'll fit or into her stroller if they're bigger. "All of them" is her constant cry. She doesn't want any bubbas left behind.
In her twenty-first month she experienced her first snowfall and it was magic. She loved it. She loved how it looked, she loved bundling up and playing outside with brothers, and she LOVED going on the sled with Logan. It was so much fun to watch our one baby that was "made in Alaska" be so in love with the cold weather. She's our best souvenir from our time in the village.
Because of nursing, she is often a mama's girl, but that has been changing as of late. When Josh gets home, she jumps up and down, signing, "Home! Home!" and runs to hug him. When we ran a few errands Monday she wanted nothing to do with me, and requested that "Dada" get her out of her car seat. She will be so sweet to him, hugging him, kissing him, even rubbing his back.
I love how she makes all of us better. We are a family that has been drawn together by this little pixie God sent, and we're all better for it. The twins are more affectionate and patient. Wyatt is more boisterous and silly. Josh is more tender and seems to more relish his role as dad. I am more conscious in treasuring little moments, and somehow she reminds me that my time with the twins & Wyatt is precious and fleeting as well. She reminds me that someday I'll look back on these days and wonder if I enjoyed it enough, relished it enough. And thanks to her, I know my answer will be yes.