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i was driving home the other day when i saw a billboard ad for buc-ee’s conveniant store that read: “83 toilets. your throne awaits you.” it made me laugh out loud the entire drive home. unfortunately, i realized, this was potty talk and i was laughing. you see, this kind of potty talk is no longer allowed in the snider household – or so we say. we currently have a four year old potty talk addict and we’re trying very hard (perhaps an exaggeration) to break her of this bad habit. as her cousin caleb would explain: isabella LOVES potty talk! for example, last week in the middle of an intense game of candyland isabella draws the dreaded “cupcake card” which sends her right back to the beginning of the game. in a moment of careless frustration on my part, i yell out “isabella! that stinks like poo!” no lie – the girl laughed for a minute straight.

see, potty talk makes her laugh harder than anything else in the world AND we will do just about anything to make her laugh! furthermore, adam and i think potty talk is pretty funny, too. we try as often as possible to incorporate the phrase “it is our duty” into our conversations because, let’s face it, it’s hilarious! do you see our dilemma here??

regardless, it’s time to put an end to it. there is a high probability these days that isabella will pull out a poo or pee joke on her playdates. and though her friends seem to enjoy it, her friends’ parents do not (yeah, i’m talking about you). we at least have to stop it by the time she gets to kindergarden and gets sent to the principal’s office. this potty talk ban will not be easy on any of us. *sigh*

the buc-ee’s sign, however, didn’t just bring to light our family’s hereditary issues with sick humor. it also brought to light something that has been happening to me a lot these past couple of months…

i am laughing.

better worded i would say i’ve gotten back the gift of laughter. the other night adam and i were putting the girls down for bed. the four of us usually sit on isabella’s bed and read a book. then isabella will ask adam to make up a story (yes, the main character requested is usually “poo”) but on this night she asked adam to tell her the story of the fresh beat band (definitely worth checking out if you’re into pop bands for toddlers). adam decided to turn on isabella’s mp3 player to one of their songs and do an interpretive dance, or according to him, the best dance choreography i’ve ever seen. the sight of this sent me into a laughing frenzy to the point where i had to lean against a wall to keep myself from falling over. all of a sudden i realized that i had not laughed this hard in almost two years. it was magnificent! the sight of my husband dancing boy-band style infront of my two delighted daughters and feeling myself actually letting out cackles of laughter was all truly exhilerating – a memory i want sealed in my heart forever. it was like freedom had descended upon us and the shackles of worry and fear were being unlocked.

these past few months have been amazing. lucia is doing remarkably well. she is meeting more milestones, tasting lots of different foods and even swallowing a half-spoon of yogurt last thursday as well as licking a lollipop just like her big sister. she is babbling a ton and will even say words like “baby”, “duck”, “dada”, “tickle”, and of course, “pee pee” (she is a snider afterall).  she is enjoying her new physical, occupational and speech therapies with therapists who come to our home as opposed to her previous private therapies. her therapists are extremely enthusiastic and believe there are no limits to her development. their attitude gives me a lot of encouragement and hope. we also haven’t had to see a specialist doctor since may and the lack of appointments has been glorious.

this lack of appointments has freed up our time for isabella enroll in swim lessons as well as gymnastics. she’s also enjoyed some time at sea world running through the sesame street water area as well as being mesmerized by elmo, abby and zoe walking around the park in real life. when we are at home  i’ve committed to better structuring my time with isabella so that she’s learning as well as having fun so that she doesn’t get bored; i quickly learned that boredom leads to bad behavior. isabella is a ball of energy from morning to night – she loves playing chase, pirates and racing. she is such a precious girl – God has given her a very compassionate heart…which i hope to write a post about soon.

adam and i have been breathing a little easier and like i said – laughing – more and more. the fear and caution still sneak their ugly heads in every once in a while, particularly as we get closer to cold and flu season…but for the most part this year has been much more “normal” than the last.

i still struggle with some emotions about all of this – yet another post to write. but for the most part we are soaking in the joy and the life God has so mercifully granted us.