{N.E.C.} Hello, Royalty

When I first met them, N was three, E was two, and C was 6 months. C hung around on the floor, playing with toys and giggling at silly things his sisters did. N and E were busy getting to know their new babysitter and we maybe had a bit of a rough start, since it was really right after Christmas things started full steam. I would expect that! But as we got to know each other better, these were the greatest little girls to hang out with! We had fun coloring, telling stories, singing, going to the park (even in the snow), playing in the snow, reading books and all sorts of other things.

One past time that we did almost daily, and could take several hours, was making up “‘cary zoo ‘tories”. The main characters were Trainer Nora and Trainer Eliza, daughters of King Daddy and Queen Mommy. They protected the zoo animals (and the whole kingdom of the Land of Far Far Away!) from all the evil people who came to steal, kill and destroy. A few times we used all their building blocks and toy people to make castles with kings and queens and zoos. Then they would be destroyed by the bad guy (usually the Batman) and we would start over.

1NEC1When the Queen was chosen, E held her up and said, ‘Awww. She doesn’t have a hand. It was bit off.”1NEC2

PS – please don’t judge the names! The first time I told the story, I had no idea they would be so popular…

{N.E.C.} Oh, The End of School

This last winter I had the privilege of meeting and being a part of the Gustafson family and watch the three kiddos grow and learn new things: N (four), E (three), and C (9 months).

For our last ‘Kandi Day’ we had a day-long party. Lucky us that indoor activities had also been planned, because it was rainy and blowy and lunch and playing in the park was out of the question. N requested that we watch Court Jester and E wanted Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We finished off the finger paints, made bath paint, had chocolate cake for snack and after lunch, watched some movies, played hide and seek, and pretended to be kitties.

1N is so…so…great! She tells great stories and sings the greatest songs. N is full of great art sense and it was fun seeing how her coloring changed in these past months. Playing Queen and tag were a blast with N and also curling up for Scary Zoo Stories which could last for hours on end. We may have had a bit of a rocky start (with new-adult-telling-me-what-to-do-when-I-just-want-my-mom, who wouldn’t?), but in the end, I will miss most this little girl who is a great helper. N works hard at keeping her siblings in line, because she wants them safe. She would often pick up toys ‘to make Mom happy when she gets home’. And MY mom loved getting the flowers N would pick for her ‘for another mother’s day’.

2E was two when I first met her. She immediately warmed up to me and we snuggled on a chair and read books all morning on the days N was at preschool. E still loves books, but she likes the park even more. She tells fantastic stories and likes to do whatever N does. Her good-bye ‘sloppy wet kisses’ were a highlight of my day (three year old’s are excellent at giving them!). E really knows how to encourage people in whatever they are doing. She is good at sharing and letting others have their way and making others happy.

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C is such an easy baby to take care of – even when he’s sick! I got to watch him grow 7 teeth, learn how to scoot, crawl, pull himself up to standing, and walk around a (short) table. He loved being able to climb the steps to the kitchen while the girls were eating lunch and play under the table! C’s favorite song to fall asleep to was Baby Mine by Alison Krauss. He would do a little dance when Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk were playing.

This was my prayer over the kids for the last month of watching them. It is Lullaby by Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk.

Picture 1PS – in all the jobs I’ve had, this is the only one I cried about ending.