I feel like I have neglected to tell you all about my real life, in the desire to share with you all that is happening in my heart. While Mom is a constant presence in my soul, there are two other little girls who keep me adequately distracted.

Mary Aplin: Oh what a sweetheart she is! She is much more laid back than Pace was at her age. Content to lie on her back and watch her mobile, or sit in her vibrating seat while Pace kisses all over her, or just to be carried around on my hip like a rag doll while I run from chore to chore. When she gets fussy, I just lay her down in her crib and she goes to sleep. I am not saying that she doesn’t have her moments, but for the most part, she has been an angel.

There were a couple of weeks in November (when I first got to Dothan to be with Mom), where Mary Aplin had to be bounced every waking moment. It was so bad that one of Mom’s friends showed up at our house with one of those giant exercise balls so that I could at least be partially seated while bouncing. Then one day, someone suggested laying her in the bed instead of bouncing, “Maybe she’s just tired,” they said. More as an act of disgust, to show them just how bad she’d cry if I laid her down, I did it. Lo and behold, she stuck her thumb in her mouth, closed her little eyes and suckled herself to sleep. I was awestruck! It just goes against every ounce of reason to think that if a baby is on the verge of crying while you work as hard as you can to bounce them in the perfect manner, that stopping the work–taking the easy way out–would lead to the cessation of crying. Ever since, when she gets fussy, I just lay her down. Poor Pace, I don’t think I ever tried that with her. She spent her babyhood seeing the world as from a very rough sea passage 🙂

M’Apples (as she has been lovingly nicknamed), very freely shares the adorable toothless grin God has given her. She has a fair amount of patience with all of the attention her big sister feels the need to cover her with. She can roll over from her tummy to her back, and if I nibble on her, she will even giggle out loud.

Two, two, two!!! Those are the first words that come to mind when I think of Pace at this stage. She is in to everything and has a fiery sense of independence. “No, Mommy, I can do it myself!” I hear this all day. Anything I offer her is NOT what she wants–I have even tried brownies. It has been frustrating dealing with this need to be two, but it has gradually gotten better in the last week (though not without a lot of spankings). I think that not only was she toying with her twoness, she was also spoiled ROTTEN from all the constant attention she got during our 8 weeks in Dothan.

Then there is potty training. Oh the horrors!!! It deserves its own blog, so I’ll just spare you the details of how my life is FILLED with poo, until another day.

On a more positive note :), she really does have my heart. To see a baby grow from a little doll to a talking, moving, playing, thinking person is a the most fun thing I have ever experienced. I feel like Jeremiah and I are constantly trying to hide our laughs as she comes up with more crazy sayings. We were saying her prayers with her at bedtime, and the first thing she thanked Jesus for was cupcakes, followed by b’sghetti, and only then was she thankful for Mommy and Daddy.

She talks about Bebe (that’s Mom) a good bit, and this morning I heard her saying to Mary Aplin, “Now, I need to have a little talk with you, sister. Bebe is in heaven with Jesus and you can’t see her anymore, but we’re goin‘ to see her later, OK?” In a fit of desperation, to try to keep me from putting her socks and shoes on, she said, “Mommy, Bebe doesn’t wear socks, she just wears flip-flops!”

Also, Pace could not love her baby sister any more than she does. She calls her “sister” a lot, and last week she asked me to kneel down so that she could give her a hug. I did, and as M’Apples head was resting on her chest she looked at me and said, “My sister lives in my heart.” Is that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?! I have also heard her telling Mary Aplin that she is her “beeest friend.”

Pace imitates everything I do (talk about an accountability partner!), and this includes all the little names and oohies I coo at Mary Aplin. She loves to tickle her face and say, “Hey little precious! I love you. We are so proud of you, sweet girl!” It is adorable to see them love each other…I just hope it never fades.

10 Responses to “Don’t You Have 2 Kids or Something?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh how sweet! It sounds like Pace and M’apples keep you on your toes! Keep us posted on the latest sayings from Pace. They’re too cute!


  2. Natalie McGough says:

    I love Pace’s sayings, they put a big smile on my face today! Well, I can only hope that Emma Raines will be as sweet to her new little sister or brother coming in September as Pace is to Mary Aplin (M’apples-I love it) : )!!! I tried calling you the other day to tell you the news, but your mail box was full: )! Call me soon when you get a free minute.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The girl’s are absolutely PreCiOus!! I can only hope that I have two half that sweet and good one day!!! You are a wOnderful Mom!!

  4. Valerie says:

    They are sooo adorable! I am also dealing with quite an independent two year old. She keeps me very humble about my parenting skills! I used to roll my eyes at parents who couldn’t control their children…now, God has blessed me with one very out of control two year old! No matter how many times I spank her, she is continually defiant. You would think that this, being my fourth child, I would have seen everything there is to see, but she constantly surprises me. It’s good to be reminded that I’m not in this stage alone! Love the pictures!

  5. Holly says:

    I just laughed outloud when I read this blog. It has to be one of my favorite ones you have written. Please tell Pace I love cupcakes as much as she does! We have way too much in common!

  6. Lori says:

    Abby, you bring back sweet memories for me! I can almost smell spaghettios! Your children are beautiful and completely normal I might add! As for that little defiant independant one, mine is finishing law school this year! One day you will see all the little frustrating traits of a two year old come together and mold them into the beautiful person that God has planned. It’s a great “aha” moment!
    Share His Love, Miz Lori

  7. Karat says:


    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and seeing pics of the girls so much that I started one myself!


    (It’s mostly just favorite bks arranged by category, though history is so comprehensive I hardly scratched the surface of mtns of bks, and pics from our honeymoon).


  8. Shan says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I happened upon it right after your mom died. You and I are cousins. I grew up in Ashford just a few miles from you. MY grandmother you may know Mary Sollie. Your grandfather, which we grew up calling Uncle Preacher, and my grandfather were brothers. Your mom and my mom (Betty Sollie) are now in Heaven together I know my mom was there to meet her! When mom was alive I would get updates about how Becky was doing. I grew up in awe of her! I can remember when her picture would be in the Dothan Eagle mom would hang it on the fridge we were all so proud of her. I never knew why we didn’t visit our cousins who lived so close.
    I just want you to know that I love reading about your beautiful girls it really brings back memories of mine when they were that age. I also want you to know that I pray for you because I know what it is like to lose a mother. Tell Uncle Preacher and Aunt Evelyn hello for me. Shan Sollie Hope

  9. Robin says:

    I love hearing about you and the girls. The stories are precious. The flip- flops thing is so true! Pace is a girl after my own heart. I think of you often, I know you have lots of people trying to mother you so I will spare you of a phone call, but I hope you know how much I love and think of you.. Mrs. Robin

  10. Bwages says:

    hey abby I have this great picture of will b and I at Alabama’s Jr. Miss and Will had made a funny shirt and so my mom took a picture of the front and the back so we could get the whole concept of the shirt in pictures. It is a great picture because apparently your mom did not understand the whole concept of the shirt either until will turned around and she saw the front. Well as will was turning around my mom took the picture and your mom got in the picture when this very happy expression on her face. Anyway just thought I would let you know that happy expression is how I will always remember your mom and how everytime I see that picture her expression will remind me of what great things I learned about true joy and true faith from her.

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