Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Resolutions--1/2 year celebration

So it's July, not January. Resolutions can be written at anytime I suppose. The way I see it, I have less time to screw up if I start a resolution in July as opposed to January. And since it's not the usual time to make resolutions, maybe I'll pay more attention?

Resolution #1: STOP YELLING. I know I made this resolution two Lents ago, but it didn't work out so well. I'm trying again. Funny how the Lord speaks. I have a sinus infection/allergy attack and have lost my full voice. Every time I go to yell, I get a tickle in my throat and I can't get anything to come out other than a hoarse whisper. So I've had to spend the last 3 days speaking in a regular tone--with meaning. Funny how much better the children are responding. So, note to self, STOP YELLING.

Resolution #2: ALLOW MY SON TO BE WHO HE IS AND NOT WHO I THINK HE SHOULD BE. Usually this type of thinking doesn't come up until you have a teenager? Well, my son and I are very much alike except in one area--he is extremely shy. Once he knows you, likes you, or is otherwise used to you, he has no problems talking to you or playing with you. Otherwise, forget it. He is very very shy. He doesn't do groups. He doesn't like big crowds. He is very slow to warm up to new things and activities. I, who have never met a stranger, cannot understand this behavior. However, I have resolved to change my thinking about my child. Instead of thinking, "what a wet blanket. what is his problem? why is he like this?" I'm going to think, "well, give it time. let it be. he will do it when he's ready." I will continue to offer and make him do some things, but if he doesn't jump right in, doesn't like it, refuses to participate, or otherwise hides, I am just going to accept it. This is hard for me. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is difficult. However, my son's life isn't about my life, it's about his life. It's my job to help him find his way, not make him do it my way. I get so caught up in "what is good for him" type of thinking, I forget that there is more than one way to arrive.

So be it resolved. I will let it go. Whatever it is I feel like yelling about, whatever it is my son is reluctant about, I WILL LET IT GO. If it isn't going to matter tomorrow what is happening this instant, it isn't worth yelling about or forcing the issue over. Tomorrow is another day. God grant me serenity and all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My 4 year old Golfer

Earlier this afternoon my husband and I were trying to rest during a downpour. Well, he was resting. I kept having to hop up and keep my son quiet while the baby was sleeping. After a book, a snack, two games with the flashcards, I Spy, and stamping on paper, I gave up and told him to bother his father instead of me. Confident that the rain will stop, my 4 year old kept waking his dad, "come on, I fought we were gonna play golf daddy." So away they went in the downpour to the golf course. Meanwhile I took the baby to the doctor to find out about the latest ear infection. We planned to meet at the pool later for swimming and dinner.
I arrive at the pool with my younger son. I get his supper ordered and sit down to wait for my golfers. My phone rings and it's my husband, "Can you see him? He's on his way down the steps. He wouldn't wait." Naturally. So I go over to meet my son to show him where we are sitting. The conversation goes something like this...
4 year old: "Hey mom. We just played 9."
Me: "Oh really? How was it?"
4: "It was great."
Me: "Good. Did you play well?"
4: "Oh yeah, I had a great time."
Me: "Super I'm glad you had a good time."

Enter dad. A conversational exchange between us for a few minutes about mundane details of the doctor's office visit. And then...

Wife: "So how did you play honey?"
What I thought the 4 year old said: "He said some bad words."
Husband: "What?"
Wife, simultaneously: "He did?"
4 year old: "Yeah dad, some bad ones."
Husband: "No I didn't."
Wife: "I bet."
Husband: "No really."
4 year old: "Dad you did some bad stuff."
Wife: "What did you do?"
Husband finally figuring it out: "Oh, I hit some bad shots. That's what you said. Yeah I did hit some bad shots today."
4 year old: "Yeah, some bad ones. But that's okay. You played pretty good."

Too funny. I still am not sure if it was bad words, bad shots, or both. But it was truly a comical exchange.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


You know you are fortunate when your boys play together at 4;1 and 11 months. This afternoon the boys "made" me some dinner in the play kitchen. My youngest banged on the pots with spoons and the oldest cooked some "pasketti" and pizza for me. The baby graciously didn't try to gnaw on the plastic food, but let me enjoy it. He waved his fork at me and went back to emptying the play refrigerator of utensils (don't know how they got in there). I asked the 4 year old what was on my pizza. He said, "um, well there's blackberries, and green peppers, and tomatoes, and brown dirt. Isn't that a good pizza mom? Don't you just love it?"
Last night while I was at a birthday party, the boys entertained my husband by playing hide and seek in the nursery. The 4 year old hid under the bed to "surprise" his brother. Every time the baby lifted the cribskirt, his brother yelled, "boo." They both just howled with laughter. My husband said the cackled like that for about 30 minutes nonstop. I am terribly sad I missed it.
The boys also enjoy playing magnets on the refrigerator. So far, no tantrums. They more or less "share." The oldest hands one or two to the baby, "here you go, these are yours." Then he procedes to move all of "his" magnets up higher to play with.
Both boys enjoy riding in the John Deere gator too. It is so entertaining to watch. The baby just looks and looks for me while his brother drives all around the yard. "I'll drive in the slow speed mommy, so he doesn't fall out." Okay then. Sometimes I get tearful watching them ride in the yard. Someday that's going to be them driving off in a car to go somewhere. The good thing about that is they will be together.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Lament

During my spring Bible study, one of the exercises was to write a lament. According to our study guide (a Companions in Christ series), the word lament describes an ancient tradition of expressing grief with faith and hope. Lamenting means to express sorrow aloud. It gives us permission to vent. I learned through my study that a lament has three parts: a reaction (to what is happening), a remembrance (of the past), and a restoration (hope for the future). Lamenting is considered a spiritual practice. I think we must be as active in our lamenting as we are in other parts of our journey. This is one area where growth in grace takes place. So here is the lament that I wrote.

Dear Lord,
Rescue me from my depths
I am lost
I have expected when I could have given
I have aged when I could have been young
I have asked for justice when I could have asked for mercy
I have delivered punishment instead of grace
Help me Lord
I have made you small and myself big
I have angered instead of laughed
Deliver me from my quickness
Deliberately slow my pace
Help me to find you in all things
Cure my spiritual blindness
Clothe me in spiritual poverty
Pour out your mercy on me Lord
So that I may dwell always at your feet
And be gracious and merciful to those in need.

Neutral is Not Idle

While the wild men are having waffles, I'm going to attempt a blog entry....

Life is currently in neutral. It is one of those long roads where the scenery is pretty but not necessarily inspiring; there aren't any curves in the road and the speed limit is 55. Pleasant, but not exciting. Predictable, but not boring. Just neutral. Kinda like the beige walls all in this house. (We're currently in a paint discussion).

The boys get up at six. We lie in bed in denial until seven. One of us takes a shower and the other makes eggos for the children (occasionally I get to shower, but I'm usually hungry enough not to care either way). My husband goes to work. My son asks 100 questions about which office he will be at and whose teeth he will work on and if his grandparents will be there (my husband is an orthodontist. It's a family practice so everyone works there--except me, I'm the standby office manager and child raiser.).

Then after another hour of miscellanous--seriously I'm not sure what happens between waffle delivery and what comes next--I start the countdown to the getting dressed wrestling matches. I almost always win. Then comes teeth brushing and forced potty visit and last diaper change. Then we're out the door to somewhere, anywhere.

Yes gas is almost $4 a gallon, but I have a daily leave the house rule. I usually plan this the night before so I know what and where to conserve fuel and make only one trip. Alas, sometimes it turns into three or four trips. My older son usually asks three questions: do we have plans today? (sometimes) what restaurant are we eating lunch at? (when the answer is home, he whines) do I have to nap? (no, but you do have to rest your eyes)We eventually get back home and the countdown to naptime wrestling begins. I have about a 50% shot at winning this match. Usually around 4 we either take a walk, go to my motherinlaw's to swim, or watch a movie. Anything to get to 5 so I can start dinner. And that's pretty much it. My husband eventually gets home, we eat, we play, we bathe 'em, brush 'em, and cart them to bed.

It's not an exciting life, but it certainly is happy, healthy, predictable, safe, and fulfilling. I love my life. It is a blessed life without famine or want, without disease or despair, without danger or harm, with running water, plenty of food, security, money for little extras, freedom to choose, freedom to go, and love to come home to.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


My baby figured it out. He is now crawling. Alas I cannot write because he is chewing on the cable cords and pulling up on drawers that open up and spill out every time I leave him alone. I'm off to purchase baby gates to hopefully slow down the inevitable fall down the stairs. Gotta run, he's into something else now....stay tuned. Where is that pack'n'play??

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bits and Pieces

So things are really speeding up around the house. My baby is inches away from figuring out how all four limbs work in motion. My four year old wants every word he knows spelled. I seem to be in constant negotiation for quality meals, behavior, bedtime, and time, time, time.
Actually what has really happened is that the 6 new books I ordered from Amazon came in and I really wanted to read one of them. So I did, at everyone else's expense. I also have spent a great deal of time on Facebook lately. It's addicting. So between my two pet loves (an old one, reading and a new one, facebook) everyone has been getting the shaft from me. This is irresponsible on my account since the baby is interested in power outlets and seems to find all the uncovered ones in the house and the four year old is leaping off of the tallest things he can find and my husband keeps coming home later and later from work. I happen to know he's going from meeting to meeting--bless his heart, he'd rather be going from green to green. It stays light here so long he can actually get 18 in before dark.
I think if I survive boyhood around here, I could start a new career as an ER trauma nurse. I've pulled grass, leaves, mulch, and a batman head out of the baby's mouth. I've kissed, poured peroxide, bandaged and magicked away pain on two skinned knees, one skinned elbow, and a head injury from a fall off the jungle gym. Our foundation is permanently rocked from all the jumping off the bed. The DVD player is about to explode from the repeat episodes of Clifford I play each day in vain attempts to get my four year to just lie down and rest for a bit.
If I consume much more caffeine, I may never stop shaking. But I don't know how else to keep up. If I have to explain to my oldest why I don't stand up to pee one more time, I'll probably take to carrying a flask with me when we go out, so that every time this question comes up loudly in a public restroom, I can just take a pull on the whiskey when we get to the car. The other day he comes to ask me, "Mom can we discuss sumpin'?" I almost fell out. All I could think of was "please don't let this be about where babies come from. I just can't today." It turns out, he wanted to remind me, "can we discuss my having a tractor cookie now?" I had told him earlier at the pool we could discuss having a tractor cookie (leftover from the birthday goody bags) for snack later that afternoon. I didn't know children had the memory of an elephant. So he got a tractor cookie and I opened a beer. It was 4pm, that's okay isn't it?
It's a good thing I was a spelling bee champion all of my elementary school life, because I have to spell words all day long. "Mom how do you spell firehouse? rooster? rock? Babysitter? Superhero? Playhouse? Poopoohead? Sword? Gun? Policeman?" And on and on and on.
Meanwhile the baby just sits back and laughs and throws things on the floor. It's our new game. "no, no baby don't do that. No no." Angelic grin, bark of laughter, and another cheerio hits the floor. He's also taken to clamping down on the spoon when I feed him anything. Ah, another fun game of "give to mommy sweetheart."
The sweetest parts of my day are between 710 pm and 900pm, because I'm holding one of them. Smoothing that sweet stick out all over hair and thanking God for the miracle I have in my arms. God's gifts have a funny way of kicking my ass, but they are gifts just the same. Tonight I rocked my baby to sleep, something I almost never do. He puts himself to sleep so well. I've trained him almost by default because my attention is always so divided during bedtime. It was such a precious precious moment. I stroked his face and even with his eyes closed, he just smiled. I laid him down and he rolled over into his lovies (one for each hand) and went off to sleep. Last night I put the oldest to bed, something I haven't done in a while as he usually prefers his father to me. "Mommy will you lay with me a minute?" Twenty minutes later, feeling unusually full of grace, I gently detatched myself from his hand--he'd been holding on for dear life, unwrapped his arm from around my neck, and left him in dreamland. We play hard, but we sleep harder around here.
So, now you know why I haven't updated my blog in several days. I've been blown away by life in action. It's never a dull moment around here.