a born comedienne

My 4 3/4 year old daughter Jujubee is SO funny.¬† ūüôā

JJ and I have seen her born-comedienne-ness for a while, but there are plenty of times when we are re-reminded of just how funny she is – and how strong her innate drive to BE funny runs.

She is so good at funny faces, funny rhyming words, funny gestures, and funny expressions that she often keeps the three of us – me, JJ, and Lyd – helplessly laughing during mealtimes.¬† She also knows when she’s got a good joke going, and she keeps a straight face while she attempts to build on the joke.¬† Sometimes her attempts are not particularly successful, but she is so committed to her joke that it still keeps us laughing anyway.

It’s been at least a year since we first realized that Jujubee had this inherent desire to be funny.¬† At first we thought she just had a good sense of humor, but as time went on, we realized it was more than that.¬† We realized that, to some degree, this has to be genetic, that it was nature, not nurture.¬† It didn’t take us too long to realize that it probably came from JJ’s mother, who was a big practical jokster in her younger days.¬† His mom was known for making silly rhymes, jokes, and for just being an all-around Very Funny Lady.¬† JJ and I decided that Jujubee must have inherited her desire to be funny from her grandmother.

It truly is innate.¬† Jujubee’s desire to keep a joke going, to build on a joke, and the fact that she gets so much personal delight out of making the rest of us laugh is something that we never taught her.¬† That desire is pure Jujubee.

So,¬†it was no surprise that yesterday at lunch, as I stopped laughing long enough to say, “That’s enough Jujubee.¬† Time to eat your lunch,” that she responded, “But I want to make people laugh!”

Yes, she sure does.

things I love about my girls

There are many things I love about my girls, but here are some things that have specifically struck me lately.

Jujubee – I love when she sings to herself as she plays.¬† She makes up her own songs; sometimes I recognize¬†the tune, sometimes I don’t.¬† But she loves to sing and play, and I love hearing her sing.¬† She knows that I like hearing her sing, too.¬† Sometimes I will tell her how much I like hearing her sing, so then at other times when she’s singing, she’ll stop and say, “You like it when I sing, don’t you, Momma?”¬† And I always say Yes.¬† ūüôā

Right now she’s outside riding her bike (with newly-inflated tires) around on our back cemented area, singing and pedaling away.¬† She just stopped by the back patio door, grinned at me, opened the door and said, “Do you like to hear me sing?”¬† I smiled and replied, “Yes, I do.”

I also love how much she loves to ride her bike.¬† She will ride around the cemented back patio behind our house for half an hour at a time – or more!¬† She and Lyd have taken to biking and scootering together in the backyard after supper.¬† The air starts to cool off a bit around that time,¬†so they can work¬†off a bit of energy before¬†going to bed.¬† They make a lot of happy noise, and sometimes I wonder what the neighbors think, but *I* like to hear the noises of happy children.¬† ūüôā

Lyd – I love how she trusts me.¬† She’s having some problems in school right now, and I am SO pleased that she trusts me enough to cry out her stories to me.¬† At times like this, I feel like she and I will get through the hormonally-charged teenage years just fine.¬† She and I are very different personality-wise, but we’re very close.¬† Over the years, as I’ve gotten to know her better and watched her change and grow, I like to think that I’m nuturing her to become the person she is meant to be, rather than molding her completely into MY version of how she should be.¬† She will never be a mini-me in her personality, and hopefully I’m parenting her in a way that will allow her own unique personality to grow and flourish.¬† Of course, I am trying to teach her right and wrong as well as various life skills, but I’m trying to help in the way that’s best for her.¬† I think¬†I’m doing okay.

Thankfully, she loves and trusts me, which I am SO grateful for.

I love both of my girls.¬† I really love being a Momma to girls.¬† I still wonder¬†what it will be like to have a son, and I wonder if it can possibly be as rewarding for me as it is to parent daughters.¬† I truly would have been happy to have all daughters.¬† But, I firmly believe that God sends the right baby at the right time.¬† So, I’m sure that our new baby boy will be a good fit for our family, and we’ll all love that new boy very much.

frustrated tired momma, cheerful sick girl

Jujubee is sick again, thanks in part to a little boy in her class who should have been kept home but was sent back to school despite having a nasty cough.¬† Then, he proceeded to purposefully cough over the other kids in the class.¬† Sigh.¬† Jujubee loves school, and I’m happy to send her, but I really wish parents would keep their sick kids home, even if those parents both work full-time!

Rant over.¬† Sigh.¬† What’s done is done.¬† Jujubee sick now, and me getting angry won’t change that.

However, since Jujubee is sick, that meant that she was up coughing¬†a lot last night.¬† Which meant *I* was awake last night.¬† And, when you’re pregnant, being awakened multiple times at night is MUCH more difficult to handle.¬† Lyd got to school late this morning because I couldn’t wake up – literally.¬† After getting her off to school and eating breakfast with Jujubee, she watched an hour of PBS Kids while I dozed off on the big comfy chair in our family room.¬† I’m just SO tired!¬† And I have so much to do!

But, thankfully, Jujubee, as usual, has not lost her cheerfulness or her sense of humor.¬† She is still such a sweetheart, even when she’s sick.¬† She’s even more desirous of affection and thankfulness, and while I feel bad for her that she’s sick, she’s¬†a joy to be around.¬† She asked me to sing her lullabies last night, so I did.¬† After I finished I gave her a hug and said, “I love you, Jujubee.”¬† She responded by wrapping her arms tightly around my neck and saying, “I love you, too, Momma.”

The simple exchange reminded me of the time before she could talk when I would tell her that I loved her but she couldn’t say it back.¬† I always felt like she understood what I was saying, however, and I knew that sooner or later she would be able to respond.¬† It’s so nice to now finally be at that place where she CAN say “I love you” back to me.¬† And, frankly, she talks quite well about almost everything!¬† Not surprisingly, she is very good with her words, and she likes to use them copiously.¬† ūüėČ

She is the little sunshine of our family.¬† ūüôā¬† What a wonderful girl!¬† I hope she feels better soon.

growing girls

Yesterday, Jujubee and I watched some videos of when she and Lyd were babies.¬† Lyd doesn’t really look at all like she did as a newborn anymore, obviously, and neither really does Jujubee, except for her eyes.

But as we watched videos of Baby Jujubee, four-year old Lyd was in many of the videos, too.¬† Jujubee is four years old now, and to be reminded of¬†how Lyd was at that age was pretty striking.¬† Jujubee speaks now much the same way that Lyd spoke at four years old.¬† It’s neat to see the similarities.

After school today, Lyd and I were sitting on the couch as she shared with me some story from her day.¬† As she talked, I suddenly caught a glimpse in her face of the four year old girl she used to be.¬† She’s lost the baby look entirely, but she hasn’t lost her four year old look.¬† It was neat to see how much she’s grown and changed, if just for a moment.

Lyd is growing up so much, though.¬† She’s ridiculously tall and slim – and hungry!¬† She’s got a very healthy appetite, and she enjoys eating.¬† Jujubee likes to eat, too, but not quite to the same degree that Lyd does.¬† I’m sure that day will come.

It’s awe-inspiring and a bit sobering to watch these girls grow up.

more sisterly love

It’s gratifying to watch the relationship between my girls continue to deepen.

They don’t always get along.¬† Now that Jujubee is older, they can get into some pretty royal fights.¬† They can be quite unkind to the other.¬† They can be selfish, inconsiderate, and just plain rude.¬† I get plenty of practice playing referee.

But…

When they get along, it’s such a neat thing to see.¬† They can play well,¬†playing off of each other’s ideas, and they are willing to help the other out.¬† It’s so nice to see.

Sometimes, they have a little TOO much fun together.¬† This past Saturday, I was busy working in the kitchen, making my post-Thanksgiving turkey soup, when I realized I hadn’t heard from the girls for a LONG time, over an hour.¬† I went in search of them, and found them putting “makeup” on their faces with red and purple pens.¬† Lyd explained that they were going to do a play, and¬†they needed makeup.¬† “It’s Egyptian makeup,” Lyd explained.¬† They had drawn¬†lines around their eyes, under their eyes, over their eyebrows, on their cheeks, by their mouths – all over their faces!¬† So, I¬†put the kabosh on that and insisted that they¬†clean everything off.¬† I only wish I would have thought to get a picture of them first!

Lyd’s a better reader now, so sometimes she will¬†decide to read Jujubee stories.¬† Both girls seem to like that.¬† I’m good at adding lots of expression and emotion into stories¬†that I read aloud, and Lyd often emulates that when she reads to her sister.¬† It’s pretty neat to see.

As far as their personalities go, they’re not the same by any stretch of the imagination.¬† Lyd is very much her father’s daughter, and Jujubee is very much a mini-me.¬† But for the most part, their differences in personality seem to work well in their relationship.¬† Lyd is hesitant to try new things, while Jujubee has no lack of self-confidence.¬† However, by virtue of being the younger sibling, Jujubee simply doesn’t know as much as her big sister does.¬† Therefore, it’s a boost for Lyd to get to be the leader to her younger sister, and it’s good for Jujubee to have to hold back a bit.¬† Their personalities¬†temper each other, and they are so good for each other.¬† When I watch them interact, it reminds me once again that God really does send just the right baby at just the right time.

The girls really do adore each other.¬† They love sharing a bedroom, and neither one likes to sleep alone in a room.¬† They each have a twin bed¬†to sleep in, but about once a week, I let them sleep together in the guest room on the double bed.¬† They always enjoy that – sometimes too much!¬† But I don’t mind hearing them giggle and whisper a bit; I know it’s just another expression of their love for each other.¬† After they’re finally asleep, I enjoy checking in on them and seeing¬†them entwined together in some fashion as they sleep.

I’m so thankful that my girls have each other.¬† Their relationship as best friends continues to strengthen as time goes by.

just another cold

I am pleased to report that the move to the Sacramento area seems to have done wonders for the health of Jujubee’s lungs.¬† Yay!

She had a cold about a month ago that kept her home from school for a few days.¬† I didn’t know what course the cold would take – would it go straight to her lungs or would it stay a cold?¬† Thankfully, it stayed a cold!¬† Yay!

Last Friday, Jujubee was feeling a little sick again, and she asked to stay home from school.¬† I have no problem letting her stay home if she requests it.¬† She knows her own body quite well.¬† She felt better Saturday, which was good, because we had to go up to Redding so Lyd could be in the Quiz Bowl, and the girls all had fun playing outside with other kids there.¬† Unfortunately, that night around 2:30 a.m., I woke up to the sound of seal-barking cough from the girls’ bedroom.¬† Oh, no!¬† Jujubee’s got croup!

However, Jujubee is four years old, not four months old, and there’s a world of difference in those two airway sizes.¬† All I had to do for Jujubee was to help her stop crying and calm down, and then she asked for “echinacea applesauce,” which is a¬†applesauce mixed with a broken-open¬†echinacea capsule.¬† After that, she was able to go back to sleep snuggled next to me in the guest room bed.¬† I did not have to do breathing treatments or steroids or anything else.¬† Yippee!

She seemed to be feeling a little better the next day, but that night she had a fairly high fever.  I never actually took her temperature to see how high it was, because, again, it was the middle of the night, but after giving her a dose of Tylenol and another echinacea-applesauce, she was able to fall asleep.  Since then, her cold seems to be staying in her throat and out of lungs, and it seems to be getting better!

I am delighted!  This now makes two colds that have stayed colds.  I am SO very grateful to be living here, where the climate is so much better for my little girl.

Funny side note: Jujubee remembers every time she’s been sick this entire calendar year.¬† She had the stomach flu right at New Year’s, then she had pneumonia in March, April, May, and June, and now she’s had two colds this fall.¬† She numbers them all, and she very much enjoys counting them off for me.¬† It’s really cute.¬† I’ll have to videotape her doing this sometime.¬† And I’m impressed that she remembers everything so well!

a test of love

The other night, Lyd was giving Jujubee a “test,” which consisted of L asking J questions like these:

L: What’s your¬†favorite color?
J: Purple.

L: What’s your second favorite color?
J: Yellow.

L: What’s your third favorite color?
J: Green.
L: I thought it was pink!
J: Oh, yeah, it’s pink.

The questions went on like this for a while, with L asking J what her first name was, her middle name, her last name, the rest of our names, our cat’s name.¬† Jujubee seriously answered all the questions.¬† But I was absolutely heartwarmed when I heard this one:

L: Who’s your best friend?
J: You.

ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Of course, Lyd had to continue with this question:

L: Who’s your best friend at school?
To which Jujubee responded by naming off every single child in her pre-K class.  Very cute!

I later asked Lyd who HER best friend was.¬† She immediately responded, “Jujubee,”¬†and turned to give her a huge¬†hug, which Jujubee happily returned.

I’m SO glad to see how¬†my two¬†girls love each other!