12.09.2010

She...

... is our 2nd born child, but 1st daughter. She's so often the sunlight in our home and the giver of frequent hugs. She believes a good hug and an "I love you" can will fix just about anything. 
People that hang out with us often tell us "Rachel plays so well all by herself!" or we often hear "Rachel is so easily entertained and very quiet!" Both statements are true... even though she is, without a doubt, our loudest speaking child {its the Italian in her, I guess}. She does play well by herself and she is easily entertained. Rachel is coming on turning 4 1/2 and is very excited about it. She's convinced that eventually she will catch up in age with Ethan. 
She turns 4 1/2 in January and will be all excited for one month, until Ethan turns 6. Then she realizes that he's somehow staying ahead of her. 
Best words to describe our 1st daughter would be..... 
sweet 
polite
caring
affectionate 
random
chatty 
happy
deep
&
emotional
The last one has been new for Rachel, but its very much part of her right now. She turned 4 in July and the emotions have been sky high ever since. Seems to take very little to makes her cry... and its never really important stuff.... "my barbies shoe won't stay on her foot!" or "I lost the race car game to Ethan!" or "my banana split in half!!" ... and the alligator sized tears being falling. 
My Mom has often told me that 4 year old girls are very emotional and very high strung and for some reason, I thought Rachel would pass up that phase. Mostly because she's not been our super sensitive, high strung child. But lo and behold... the age 4 arrived and almost to the day, the new influx of hormones attacked her. Poor thing. 

I thought I'd have less patience with the mood swings, but I think I often find myself completely understanding her. Understanding that one thing getting messed up can often set the whole day off. Having a funky hair day can sometimes make me just feel "ugh" all day long. Its all silly stuff and when I talk it out, its pretty easy to get my happy groove back on, but sometimes just having a listening ear and an understanding hug is nice. 
We've had some good mother/daughter talks during these 'girly' moments. I try my best to let her know emotions are good and that God created us to be emotional people. 
Jesus, when He was on earth, had real emotions. He wasn't cold, stoic, or always in one mood. 
He felt sadness, happiness, joy, grief, anger, anxiety, sorrow, care, love, passion {for the Gospel}. I've been working on pointing Rachel to the proper out-working of our emotions and for me, this learning process for her has been a huge area of learning and sanctification for me. I love how God does that :) 
How can I work with my daughters on being kind spirited, gentle and loving and then an hour later, I'm getting all flipped out and high strung because I burned the dinner?!
And so I feel like God ends up teaching me, just as much as I'm teaching them. 
She is bossy though and we're working on remembering that this house needs only one Daddy and one Mommy... there's no room for more :-) 

The other day Ethan was doing his school work and Kara was napping, so I set aside  some time for just Rachel and me. We played dress-ups and then Barbie dolls. She 'taught me' how to dress up the Barbies and then have Christmas parties with them. Oh, we also played with her dress up magnet dolls {a favorite toy for our girls}. It was a grand time, just the two of us. We drank some apple cider that we made earlier in the day and just talked. I let Rachel run the conversation and I enjoyed talking on her level, about things she was thinking about. 
We talked about people who don't live in homes, but sleep in the dirt; we talked about how those people probably find it easier to love God, since all the wonderful things around them are gone. All they have is God. Nothing else to distract them. They are probably more thankful than we are, because getting a good gift is rare. And how children with lots of toys and a nice home and food, food, food {exactly how she said it} -- they probably forget to thank God, because things are all around them. 
Yes, when I said she is deep, I meant it. This girl is a deep thinker. 
We talked about dreams. "Why do we have dreams? Why are they really good sometimes and really sad other times?" 
We talked about hair... "do Daddy's get sad when they begin to lose their hair? Do you know if Papa cried when his was falling out?" 
We talked about babies and pregnancy... "were you excited when God told you I was in your tummy? Did you worry I would pop out when you were in the swimming pool? Did you tell you friends I was a girl? Did you know I needed a sister and so that's why you had Kara?" 
And so on... 

The conversation had me tearing up one minute and laughing out loud the next :) 
So I took some pictures of her while she was playing. Many of the pics were taken without her knowing... she was so engrossed in dressing her dolls and giving them accent voices. But a few, I got her to give me whatever pose she wanted to give me. Those are my favorites. 

I love my girl. She often gets lost in the crowd because she is a very good girl and for the most part, aims to please and obey what she's told to do. She tells Jason probably daily "you're the best Daddy in the world." and smothers him with some pretty amazing hugs. 

she is such a good big sister. I often find myself saying "Rachel, you don't 
have to give Kara everything she asks for." 
Kara thinks if she walks up and tries to grab the toy Rachel is holding, 
that Rachel is supposed to just give it willingly and act like Kara deserves it. 
So we're working with Rachel on learning how to teach Kara patience and  
by saying "in a minute it will be your turn!" 
Kara does well with this some days and then some days... not. 

she said this pose is so we remember {when she gets older} that 
she was very silly when she was 4 years old :) 



20 {comments}:

Shane "Insane" Eclert said...

Cute post Stef. That is some amazing hair!

Nicola S. said...

What a sweetheart, Stef. I love that she wants to remember being silly. What a precious little one. I love her hair. It is amazing! Thank you for sharing.

Stef said...

haha, thanks guys :) Her hair has been growing at rapid speed these days.
I'm a little sad though, because the longer her hair gets the more the curl goes away. Thankfully its maintained some curl :)

Thanks Cola.

Erin said...

Gosh. I always want to say the same thing about Rachel's hair. It really is gorgeous. Do you do anything special to it? Curl the ends? Put shine stuff in it? Ha!
Some day she could be in a Pantene commercial, or something. :)

So cute about the talk about homeless people. And, so funny that she would be concerned about a baby popping out while you are in the swimming pool. Ha!

Stef said...

This is the day after church... so I had curled the ends the day before, but I had only brushed it the day these pictures were taken. Sometimes when we get ready for church, since I have the curling iron out, we'll curl some of her hair too :)
Nope, I don't put any shine in it. We use an organic {all natural} conditioner though... maybe that helps?

Nini said...

She is so lovely...in so many ways! Great job fostering her gifts and God-given character.

Jessica said...

Gosh! She IS so lovely!! What an amazing daughter you got there. ;) I love that she's hoping to catch up to Ethan...I remember thinking that way when I was younger too.

And I could totally "hear" you say that "one daddy, one mommy" line!! ha ha!

Do you think she fits at all in the middle kid labels? I'm guessing not because she's the first girl. But what a sweetheart!!!

Stef said...

Jess, I actually do think she fits. Mostly because Ethan and Kara have very strong personalities and Rachel is much more passive.
She loves being the first girl. She tells Kara often "I'm so happy to be your big sister, Kara girl"

Christiana said...

This was such a sweet post--a treasure of memories to look back upon, years from now. It made me think about my own little girl, and what it will be like when she's four... I didn't realize that 4 year-olds were emotional...I'll hopefully remember this when Ava reaches that stage! Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte said...

Rachel is so beautiful. I love her curls!

I also loved how you talked about how hard it is to work with certain qualities with our children when we ourselves have the same problems. Parenting is the most sanctifying journey I have been on!

And you are being such a good Momma; spending one-on-one time with her doing something that is important to her...playing. :-)

Nick and Ally MacEwen said...

love this post! you have an amazing daughter and i am so glad that we get the chance to know her! i am learning so much about being a good mama from you and your sweet family. rach is such a gem, and such a beauty... and it all starts on the inside. i am thanking Jesus for your beautiful daughter!

Emily said...

I love this post! The first photo is my favorite. Rachel is such a doll, Stef.

Stef said...

Thank you, all! you guys are so sweet.

Carrie said...

That was a beautiful post. Sweet tribute to your daughter. She sounds so much like Hannah. When Hannah's counts finally come up, she is dying to play! Right now, she is fighting off something, I think. :-(

Gina said...

Rachel is so precious! I love her conversation about the people who have less and that they appreciate things more b/c of it. I especially like how she feels they are closer to God b/c of it--she is really deep! And her child wisdom is pretty good. I'm not sure that all people w/o are closer to God, but being w/o all of the extras certainly does leave more room for God! I love how she's deep and dreamy--such a special little one! :-)

Carrie said...

That was a beautiful post. Sweet tribute to your daughter. She sounds so much like Hannah. When Hannah's counts finally come up, she is dying to play! Right now, she is fighting off something, I think. :-(

Nick and Ally MacEwen said...

love this post! you have an amazing daughter and i am so glad that we get the chance to know her! i am learning so much about being a good mama from you and your sweet family. rach is such a gem, and such a beauty... and it all starts on the inside. i am thanking Jesus for your beautiful daughter!

Christiana said...

This was such a sweet post--a treasure of memories to look back upon, years from now. It made me think about my own little girl, and what it will be like when she's four... I didn't realize that 4 year-olds were emotional...I'll hopefully remember this when Ava reaches that stage! Thanks for sharing!

Stef said...

Jess, I actually do think she fits. Mostly because Ethan and Kara have very strong personalities and Rachel is much more passive.
She loves being the first girl. She tells Kara often "I'm so happy to be your big sister, Kara girl"

Jessica said...

Gosh! She IS so lovely!! What an amazing daughter you got there. ;) I love that she's hoping to catch up to Ethan...I remember thinking that way when I was younger too.

And I could totally "hear" you say that "one daddy, one mommy" line!! ha ha!

Do you think she fits at all in the middle kid labels? I'm guessing not because she's the first girl. But what a sweetheart!!!

 

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