These good days

Apr 16

These good days

Confession: there are some days as a mom where I cry.  I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, I’m broken, they’re broken, and oy-I-have-t0-do-it-all-again-tomorrow.  I think all parents have days like that.

Those days are hard.

Thankfully, the past few days have not been like that.

I’ve had a really great stretch of days with my girls recently.


Greta likes to spin and twirl.  Every single morning, she asks to wear a dress that twirls, and I find myself swirling clothing around in the air to demonstrate it’s inherent twirliness. I’ve argued that ruffles do, most definitely, twirl.  I pointed out that the bunny on this non-twirly shirt is, in fact, twirling.  (The ruffle thing worked; the bunny thing did not.  Obviously, I’m on the lookout for “twirly” play dresses for big G — size 4/5!) Often Greta’s spinning and twirling result in dizziness.  Everytime she gets dizzy, she yells and staggers and staggers and yells, “Mom, I’m BUSY!”  It’s hilarious.  If it’s not funny to read, I apologize.  Witnesses to Greta’s dizziness disintegrate into giggles alongside me.

I’m reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to Maren.  For the past several months she’s been reading to herself at night because, well, she can, and also because she loves to check off as many minutes as possible on her reading chart for school.  However, we both realized we missed that quiet snuggle time in the evenings, so I pulled a page from my own childhood and I selected a chapter book to read to her.  I plucked it off the shelf and was delighted to rediscover the inscription on the inside: For Jennifer Ann M on the occasion of her 9th birthday from Grandma and Grandpa M.  50 years ago this was Grandma’s FAVORITE BOOK!  The gift was a treasure in 1988, and it is a treasure now to share with her.

I asked Greta what she wanted to do for her upcoming 3rd birthday, and she proceeded to describe every detail of Maren’s recent birthday party and name every one of Maren’s friends whom she wanted to invite to her party. This is a kid who loves her big sister and wants to be Just. Like. Her.  I’m slightly worried that she’ll be disappointed with a party that doesn’t mirror her sisters.  Especially because Brad and I are only doing a party  for her due to the fact that she is so. excited. to have one now that she’s experienced Maren’s extensive planning (months and months) and execution.  There are advantages to being the little sister!

I love Maren’s grin with her missing front teeth, and I am determined to get a good picture before her big teeth start to come in.  She has a little lisp and really struggles to say “spectacular” and “depths” and several other words, and she is simultaneously frustrated and amused when she tries.  This, the last of her lisps, make me happy and smile with the memory of baby Maren and her words: womber dat (remember that), fink (think), nugget store (McDonalds), and booful (beautiful).

Speaking of lisps, Greta, or Gweta as she calls herself, has trouble with her “r’s” and “l’s”.  I love that she keeps stealing Mawen’s Maren’s new fwip fwops (flip flops), she has lots of fweinds (friends), and is excited to plant fwowers (flowers).  I also love that Gweta Greta walks into a room and announces to her people in a singsong voice, “I’m wearing panties,” while doing a booty shake.  This kid continues to have a bold streak that appears at the most surprising times.  I pray often for strength to help her channel her boldness for the good.

Phenom commented recently that we are nearing the end of “the dress years” with Maren, and I think I gave an audible gasp when I realized she is right.  Maren, turning seven this month (and wearing 8s and 10s clothing!), will likely soon be wanting to wear jeans and the typical uniform of the elementary kid.  The twirly dresses and funky tights she now adores will be passed down to her sister.  I’ve always bought ahead for her (buying clearance at end-of-season for next year), and realize that I’m going to get burned with a week’s worth of “little girl” clothes that she won’t want to wear.   (Oh well.)

I love my life and recording these unimportant and all important notes about my girls.  They are bold and beautiful girls, and I’m so proud of who they are growing to be.  I am not exempt from the challenges of parenting, but — man — I really find that my heart aches with joy during with these good days.


  1. Melody Smith /

    Oh, how I love to sound out the words that your beautiful little girls are making these days. It brings back the wonderful memories of my two girls and how they pronounced everyday words at different points during their childhood. And, yes – it still continues. For years now they both have added an “A” at the end of some words. This is…dumbA. NoA. I have fun saying back to them, YES, Noah built the arkA! Fun times for sure 🙂 Jen, may you and your family be extra blessed this Easter – God bless,

  2. When I was pregnant with Megan, we told you that we were going to have new baby after Christmas (you were 4), and it would be a brother or a sister. You adminately denied the need for a brother, “Katie is my sister, and I want another one! Sisters are good!” I explained your friend, Kelly has a brother, Kyle,and you like him. “Well,” you explained, “Kyle plays with us – most boys won’t play what I play. I still want a sister”. You got your way. Sisters are GOOD.

  3. Dress years are never over! My nieces (7 & 5) still beg for twirly dresses to wear to school, sometimes even coming down in velvet Christmas dresses in late February. You never know– it may stick!

  4. I love that we are both reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to our kiddos right now…what are the odds of two random Jens with two kiddos both picking a relatively obscure book to read aloud at the same time?? Carter and I finished Charlotte’s Web together last week and are almost done with the Penguins now. Next up is Stuart Little, per his request. 🙂

  5. Glad you are having some good days. Keep those bedtime chapter books going for as long as you possibly can. I miss those days now.

  6. Aunt annie /

    Jen, Grandpa M will be pleased to hear about the book you’re reading Maren and the inscription you discovered on the inside. And of course the toothless story and the twirling dresses…. Tell Maren that by adding Dad, Mom, Maren and Greta’s age together, still won’t equal Grandpa M’s age in June – 90!

  7. Bonnie J /

    Sisters are the best. .. I also have 2 ! We are so very different but yet so much the same 🙂 funny, just last night we spent a bunch of time group texting about a “priceless job” – being a MOM ♡♡♡ Have a super Easter with your sweet family jen! !