Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Big Sister Gwen

Before I write about the birth our newest baby, I wanted to record some things about my most favorite first born, Gwendolyn.

Gwendolyn is really a special young woman. She is bright intellectually and in regards to her personality; she is friendly; she is shy about trying new things, but is always willing to give something/someone a chance; Gwen loves to sing and she loves to play; her heart is made of gold.

There are times when Gwen needs a time out--either as a consequence for doing something not nice, or a self-proclaimed time out to calm herself down from a situation. She sometimes stomps her foot as she yells, and sometimes she'll put her hand in your face to stop you from singing Sophia the First songs at the same time as Sophia.

Gwendolyn wakes up with a crooked smile. I used to think she had had a stroke or something from the way she would grin at me with no symmetry! No stroke or anything neurological--she's just quirky :) She likes to help me make breakfast, and only eats egg whites. She loves frozen strawberries, and likes to push the buttons on the blender when we make smoothies. She helps unload the dishwasher, and tries to load it--it's terrifying, but we call it "helpful."

Speaking of helpful, I haven't done chores by myself in months. Gwen is always at my side, rag in hand, ready to wipe the whole place down. She cleans it all!

Gwen finds apples in the fridge and eats a bite and puts it back...and won't eat one if a bite is already missing!

In the car, Gwen begs to go to Grandpa's, to see Ridgey, to see the slides, to go to the temple, to get a treat, or for me to stop singing with the radio. 

In picking out outfits for the day, I've learned to give an option of two shirts, two pants, etc. I would hold up the options and say, "Which do you want?" Gwen now loves this. She will hold up two of anything--CD's, marbles, shoes, toothpastes--and say, "Whaddya want?" It is one of my favorite things she does! 

She loves hiding under her blanket and asking, "Where'd she go?!" She also loves to pretend to sleep.

Gwen has started giving Fred commands. Hearing her say to him, "Sit! Down! Goo' Boy!!!" is one of the things I hope to remember for the rest of my life. Watching her share her most beloved belonging--her blanket--with Fred has shown me that she cares for everyone, even her dog.

Sometimes Gwen is "hard." Some nights after our nightly routine of bath, teeth brushing, scripture reading, singing, prayers and kisses, Gwen cries and cries. She doesn't sleep in her bed. She sleeps next to the door with her fingers escaping through the opening between the door and the floor. Sometimes she rips good books up and eats the pages. Sometimes she eat crayons. Sometimes she is "hard"  but she is always a joy to have.

Gwen has adjusted to life with a sister in ways that I never thought she would. I was terrified of having two children because I didn't know how Gwen would handle not being the star of our lives all the time. Through this adjustment, I've learned through Gwen's example that she can be the star even while sharing the stardom with her baby sister simultaneously.

Gwendolyn has helped me in ways I didn't even know she could. After changing a particularly messy diaper of Emily's, I began nursing the baby again. Without me asking, Gwen went and picked up the diaper and threw it away. After throwing it in the trash, she came back to the room and sat by us. She is already filled with random acts of kindness. Just today, she emptied out the dryer and put all the clean clothes in a hamper and then dragged the hamper to me for folding. She is just special and kind.

When Gwendolyn met Emily, her first reaction was to kiss her baby. I couldn't believe that her first communication to this new baby was so loving! She is just such a feisty girl but is always so gentle when her baby is involved.

She loves to color--got that creativity bug from her old man. She loves a good treat--that trait is from her momma!! Gwen loves music and she loves to play. She is more adventurous and independent than I'll ever be!

Gwen, I love you. You are a beautiful little lady. You will always be a joy and light in my life. All I want for you is for you to be happy and kind.