WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORD

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Sienna has a unique personality. It’s actually probably the most unique I’ve ever seen. It’s so unique that I can’t even find the right word to describe it. Several suggestions by friends and family have been posed, but none seem to fit quite right:
— divine diva
— pugnacious
— tenacious
— precocious
— spitfire

Perhaps you can help find the right word.

A bit more about her…

She’s feisty. Brae tries to hug her and she bites back (course, he’s also trying to steal her toy as he’s hugging her). She has this I don’t care what you think attitude that is strangely endearing and admirable. She walks with her chin up in the air, almost daring you to give her a punch only so she can knock you silly.

She doesn’t want you invading her bubble, except when all she wants is to cuddle in your lap. She likes to scream. But not always because she’s mad. Sometimes she screams because she’s happy, scared, uncomfortable, or just wants to fill the room with her voice. She loves dogs, food, and carrying around her baby dolls, which dolls she will also hurl into the corner when she sees a remote control car that she’d rather play with.

She doesn’t like baths. She’d rather climb into the sink and stick her face under the faucet. She doesn’t stop talking. Ever. She loves giving kisses, except when she’d rather hit you instead.

In a word, the girl is a complete contradiction. And she totally keeps me on my toes. But there has to be some word that describes this rare ball of fun.

Maybe that word is just . . . Sienna.

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SIENNA’S EAR SURGERY

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Last week, Little Miss went in for ear tubes. She is 13 months old. She has had a chronic history of ear infections since she was born. In fact, her baseline has pretty much been congestion since birth. We have done the “wait and see” approach before, as well as have used antibiotics — both with limited success.

Brae also had ear tubes placed when he was 18 months old. He was never quite as consistently congested as Sienna, but did have a chronic history of ear infections. Again, we did the “wait and see” approach, and used antibiotics. Again, both offered limited success. But, the ear tubes were hugely successful for Brae. He had one ear infection after the tubes were inserted, but that’s it. The tubes were functional for a full 18 months.

Sienna’s most recent bout with double ear infections resulted in 3 weeks of antibiotics. And they only cleared up one year. After the last meeting with the ear doctor, he recommended Sienna was a good candidate for ear tubes.

We decided to go forward with it.

The surgery itself was pretty uneventful — just about 15 minutes under general light anesthesia. The doctor confirmed she had yet another double ear infection, so I feel it was good we had the tubes put in. Little Miss did great coming out of the anesthesia (contrast to Brae’s bloody murder screams), and all she wanted was food (of course. That’s my girl).

Although I was hesitant, at first, to have the surgery when she’s at such a tender age, I wish now that we had them put in even earlier. The girl has changed . She no longer has a consistent runny nose, cough, etc. She’s no longer fussy — at all. While her walking was a little wobbly before the surgery, she is now full steam ahead with walking. You can just tell that she feels so much better. Praise God for little plastic ear tubes!

As an aside, it’s curious to me how two children, not genetically related, are both prone to chronic ear infections and were both good candidates for ear tubes?

My research shows there may be two environmental culprits: 1) school/day care and 2) milk.

First, children who are in a school or daycare-like environment tend to generally get more colds, which can result in more ear infections. This makes sense. As a product of daycare myself, I can say that the course of colds I got when I was younger has strengthened my immune system. Since I started kindergarten, I’ve rarely gotten sick, and I’d like to thank all the snot-nose kids in my daycare for that! (Now go blow your nose!)

Second, apparently kids who drink a lot of cow’s milk get more ear infections. I have to say, my kids both like milk, so this makes sense as well.

I’m not advocating that ear tubes are for every child. Certainly not. Personally, I think the wait-and-see approach serves most kids the best. If that doesn’t work, I think the next step is to see if antibiotics help. If, however, ear infections seem to persist without much relief, I think tubes offer a very viable solution, and I’m thankful they are available . . .

BRAE-ISMS

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Brae: “Mommy, is Satan a bad boy or a bad girl?”
Me: “Ummm… (long pause) … Satan is a bad boy.”
Brae: “Does that mean no one wants to go to Satan’s house to play?”

***

Brae: “Mommy, do not go into my room and see what I did.”
Me: “Okay.”
Brae: “But if you did go into my room, do not look in the closet.”
Me: “Okayyy …”
Brae: “But if you did look in the closet, do not look in the back of the closet.”
Me: “Okayyy …”
Brae: “But if you did look in the back of the closet, do not look in the box.”
Me: “Okayyy …”
Brae: “But if you did look in the box, you’d see that I took all of Sienna’s clothes and hid them in there.”

***
Sienna was taking a shower the other day (yes, the girl likes to take showers). Brae stripped off his clothes and hopped right in with her. I was getting ready for work and had my back to them, looking in the mirror, when I heard Brae say, “Now, Sienna . . . don’t move!”

I turned around to see him dumping an entire gallon of shampoo on her head.

It took me an hour to get her clean.

SIENNA’S 1-YEAR STATS

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Sienna at 1 year:

— Weight: 23.9 pounds. 90th percentile
— Height: 32 inches. Off the chart.

And the top ten things I can tell about your personality at this point:

1) You are a cuddler.
2) You are fearless.
3) You are (let’s face it) kind of a diva, and Mommy lets you be.
4) You adore your brother.
5) You need to be where the action is.
6) You are not very “girlie” (at least not yet, and despite Mommy’s efforts to dress you only in pink and with huge gaudy headbands)
7) You love your sleep.
8) You get shy when you meet new people, and burrow your head into Mommy’s neck.
9) You are a talker. You can say “Mommy, Daddy, Brae, Uh-oh, and Dog,” and a whole host of indecipherable other words I haven’t figured out yet.
10) You love to dance

Honey Bear, with your life, you have made a dream come true for Mommy and Daddy. With you, we got to experience pregnancy and having a daughter. You are irreplaceable. We love you more than words can say. You are our baby girl. We love you unconditionally (and always will). Nothing can ever separate you from our love. May you come to know your Creator and live the abundant life that is waiting for you.

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, and Brother Brae

BRAE-ISMS

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1. A spider crawled across the floor. “Ewww,” I said, crinkling my nose. Brae looked up at me with an “oh, puleeezze” look and said, “Mom, when you get older, maybe you won’t be scared of spiders. Like maybe when you’re 3.”

2. Brae and I were standing at his chalkboard, writing our letters. All of a sudden, and for no apparent reason he put down the chalk and licked the chalkboard. He paused. “Hmmm,” he said, eyes wide. “That’s good.” (????)

3. Brae: “Mom, when is my birthday?
Me: “It’s on Halloween. That’s far away.”
Brae: “Too far to drive?”

4. We’ve been teaching Brae about “stranger danger.” The other day, we practiced. I was the stranger.
Me: “Brae. Pretend I’m a stranger. What’s your name?”
Brae: “NO!”
Me: “Where do you live?”
Brae: “NO!”
Me: “What’s your phone number?”
Brae: “NO!”
Me: “Do you want to come into my car and get some candy?”
Brae: “Ummmm….”