The Fourth

Writing again.

I'm not sure if I have anything worthy to say but I started this blog to get my thoughts down and especially to remember this life that is passing by so quickly.  The other day I was talking with Jake about how our kids are growing so very fast.  I don't really remember the twins being two and now they are four...practically grown up, or at least they think!  I realized that I haven't been writing down how the kids are changing, what their interests are, what's challenging about them and what I especially love.  Poor Laina, in particular...pretty sure she doesn't have one of my special "bullet posts" about her like the other kids do!  I'll have to go back to check...

Anyway, she's the very reason I'm back on here today.  I want to make a bullet list for little Laina at 2 1/2 years old.  Right now we're working on potty training.  Oh, potty training!  You would think that the fourth child would be a cinch to potty train but I have proof from having to mop multiple rooms in our house today that it's not as easy as it would seem.  But potty training?  How are we here already?  I know there will be many many benefits to having her out of diapers, money being a main one.  But I haven't had a diaper free home in 6 years!  Once she is out of diapers, there will officially be no more baby things in the Manne house.  I'm not sure what I think about that one!

But oh, Laina Rose, you are not a baby anymore!  I am reminded of this by how long your legs dangle down when I hold you.  And your little feet that are already in a size 8 shoe - the same size your sisters wear and I'm pretty sure you will surpass them.  You walk around in a dress-up dress practically every day and let all of us know that you are a princess.  We would never disagree. :)

You are definitely not a weak personality, which is good, considering you're the youngest in the family.  You are definitely not one to be walked on and, in fact, you fight back harder than any of your siblings.  Sometimes I have to laugh inside when Cole is telling me that you pushed him or you hit him because he is twice your size, four years older, and you refuse to back down to him.  Your tenacity for what you believe is right is so strong already, I can only imagine how that will grow with you.  I really hope your dad and I can encourage you to use that fight and that strength toward things that are really worth fighting for.

Your laugh is infectious.  You have the cutest little smile and your eyes sparkle.  You are mischievous and playful and definitely bring the fun with you wherever you go.

Your fits are something else!  Today you cried - no, screamed - for 20 minutes straight because I put your blankie in the wash since you had an accident on it.  I realized the logic wasn't there for you to understand why I had to do that, so I finally just picked you up and snuggled you.  After about 5 more minutes, you calmed down.  It was like you just wanted to be heard.  I understand that now because I know sometimes I throw fits of my own over things that upset me and I just want someone to hear me.  I'm working on not "shushing" you and the other kids as much as I tend to before really hearing you out.

I gave you your first real haircut a few weeks ago and cannot believe the amount of curls we chopped off!  Thankfully, your hair has stayed curly and I just love it.  However, getting a trim truly made you look older.

I'm loving how you march around outside in rain boots and dresses.  Most of the time, your clothes don't match and I love it because you independently picked out what you were wearing for the day and it doesn't matter to you yet what other people think.  This too I hope stays with you as you grow.

Laina, you are beautiful.  I love to see you play with your brother and sisters.  I love that you're just one of them and not the tag-along baby sister.  They are so good to you and you love that the "big kids" let you be one of them.

I am loving watching you grow.  Even today as we sat and snuggled in the rocking chair, I got a piece of time with my "baby."  As much as you are my baby and I keep calling you that, you are such a big girl and the older you get, the more joy you bring to our family.  I love you, Laina Rose.  And you're one of four reasons that I'm back here...

...writing again.

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