Just when you think that you can’t take it anymore, when you are certain they can’t take it anymore, about the time that you forgot what they sound like when they aren’t whining/yelling/crying/screaming about the other one and right when you are about to pull out the big red marker and divide the house down the middle for them yourself just to get a break from it all…

…they giggle.


They make up silly games.

They play

They appear to be the best friends and sisters you hope they will remain.

But you know better.

You enjoy the happiness but you know, in your heart of hearts, that they are still siblings and it’s all fun and games until… “she’s looking at me!”


Jane was squatting down on the driveway trying to catch boxelder bugs. Happily babbling away and telling me all about it she’d inch forward, reach out to grab one, miss, giggle and repeat.

Enter Clara.

Clara clomps in front of her, surveys the situation, and smashes a bug flat.

“Oh, Clara! Jane was trying to catch one of those!”

Clara reassess, moves her foot off the smashed bug and offers it to Jane.

Jane carefully picks up the flattened boxelder bug and runs to me with it excitedly “telling” me all about it.

I was still wondering if that was a good teamwork or if Jane is just a really easy going kid, when they found a toad.

I had a moment of pause when Clara went to help Jane catch it.Clara, Jane and Toad

The toad and I were both happy that the teamwork was a bit more conventional this time!

Belated Birthday Thoughts

While our internet was misbehaving I wrote many posts that I never got a chance to publish due to technical difficulties. I wrote this the evening of Clara’s birthday…

From the time Clara arrived, Ivy was a dutiful big sister. When Clara was a baby, Ivy was so attentive to her baby sister that I worried about ever leaving them unattended, a quick trip to the bathroom and I’d come back to find Clara under stacks of books, toys and blankets that Ivy just couldn’t wait to share. Of course as they have grown Clara is now happy to be buried under Ivy’s toys and Ivy is usually happy to play with Clara. But their sweet sisterly ways have been experiencing some growing pains since Ivy started school. Now Ivy drags herself off the bus, tired out after a big day of school and greets Clara’s happy rush to greet her with a “NO thank you Clara.” There has been more fighting between them than there ever has been before and the last weeks have been trying on everyone.

As Clara’s birthday approached we made sure to include Ivy in all the preparations and the big hearted sister that she is showed right back up. Ivy sewed Clara a pillow for her baby doll as her gift to give her. Then she gave me a special piece of fabric that she had been saving so that I could make a blanket for Clara’s baby. When we went shopping she asked if she could pick out Clara a present with her own money all by herself and she did. Ivy discussed cake plans with me, watched John build a doll cradle, wrapped gifts and even picked out some of her toys that Clara likes and wrapped them up to give to her.

When Clara’s birthday arrived Ivy had a bit of a tough time – it’s hard to be the big sister when it’s not your birthday. But when all was said and done, Ivy told Clara that she could pick out all the bedtime books and when I thanked her for being such a good big sister all day she admitted that it was pretty good, “Except for a few moments of cryin’.”

Ivy was right, it was a good birthday. Clara turned three and was as well behaved as a three year old can be and Ivy turned back into the big sister that we all know she can be. Tomorrow is back to school and regular schedule and I’m certain that the two girls have more rocky times ahead, now and in the future. But thank goodness for birthdays, and the opportunities they bring for teaching, thoughtfulness, and smoothing a bit of the rocky road, even if temporarily.

Just over a month later I’m happy to report that Ivy (and the rest of us) are getting used to school and her new schedule. There are still days where Ivy draaags her tired feet off the bus to the house and refuses to talk to Clara but there are just as many days that they are happy to see each other and disappear up the stairs in a fit of giggles.

Sweet Sisters

Some days I look back on my posts and feel that I write a disproportionate amount of posts about naughty children.

Some days I look back on my posts and feel that I write about such a small portion of the things that make my hair go grey that as readers you are really missing the true flavor of life here.

I’m pretty sure the direction that feeling takes  is directly related to whether or not my kitchen has undergone any flooding activity in the last 12 hours.

Today the kitchen stayed dry, and while good behavior and normal days don’t make for interesting stories they do hold some very sweet pictures.

Listening to Ivy “reading” to Clara  as she puts her down for a nap is one of my favorite things, sneaking a few pictures through the keyhole was even better!