Monday, August 27, 2012

Four years... All buttoned up

My son, Gavin, turned four last week. He's growing up so fast. It seems that everyday he is doing something to amaze me. Yesterday he buttoned his pants. That may not seem earth shattering to you but for a mommy who has to stop everything for every bathroom break to help undress and redress... IT'S HUGE! Especially since I've been trying to just get him to try buttoning his own pants for months.

I've begun to dress him only in elastic waistbands because he refuses to even try. But we may have turned a corner. Again I was amazed!

He's such a character. He has the best imagination. I remember playing a lot of imaginative play when I was a kid but I'm pretty sure he has outdone me. We go on all kinds of adventures without every leaving our home. Just today we rescued a dolphin and gave it a new home at the zoo. He learned a new word - "hoist - and used it all afternoon long. "Mom, come see. They are going to hoist Splash (we named the dolphin) up out of the water." "you hold this while I hoist the dolphin." I could go on but you get the point. Again just amazed!

The wants funny things too. We like to dress him in collared polo shirts. They generally have two buttons at the neck. Most people would just button one and leave the top button open. He often insists that they both be buttoned. It really is his only clothing quirk. Normally he couldn't care what outfit I select but if it is a collared polo shirt it must be all buttoned up.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Being Your Mommy

Dear Gavin and Trevor,

Being your mommy has brought me so much joy. Not just moments of happiness but true joy. The kind of stuff that keeps me going with a smile on my face despite overflowing diapers (Thank you Trevor) or midnight sheet changes (Thank you Gavin).

Being your mommy has taught me flexibility. A unexpected nap can rearrange an afternoon of well laid plans, but it doesn't have to defeat me. I've learned to be flexible. Regroup and a good dose of patience helps too.

Being your mommy has brought of a lot of fun. It is far easier to get you to do something if I make it A) sound like fun or B) more fun to do. For instance you both love helping me make the bed. We can throw the sheet in the air and let it fall on us for so long my arms ache. Gavin you think mopping with the steam mop is great fun because it hisses and makes smoke. It does make house work so much more fun for me too. I love having you as my helpers.

Being your mommy makes me grateful. I do feel blessed beyond what I deserve to be given the opportunity to love you and be loved by you. Having little hands hold mine and getting big hugs and hearing "I love you, Mommy" makes my heart swell. You give me so many reasons to smile and laugh everyday.

Being your mommy has shown me grace. It's difficult to understand grace until you are a parent.

I love being your mommy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


It's amazing how quickly you can go from a high in life to a low. One week ago we were celebrating my husband Karl's aunt's wedding. Such a beautiful love story of youthful flirting rekindled in their golden years. He was a best man in her older sister's wedding when she was a teenager. They flirted then and at another wedding. But went their separate ways. Each getting married and living life. Then some fiftyish years later... with just a picture and a name he tracked her down after his first wife passed away. What a sweet wedding, definitely a high in all our lives to see these two become one.

Yet now just a week later a low for that same sweet couple. They were headed out to drive across country and had a horrible car accident. Still don't know the full details. But his aunt is most likely paralyzed and his new uncle may loose his arm. Thankfully both are still alive. But how quickly their lives have changed. On the brink of their married life together only to be stopped in their tracks. Regardless of their final health status they have weeks and months of rehab ahead of them.

During our hospital visit today I tried to give Karl's aunt something beautiful to think about as she lay there. She loves flowers and the first thing I saw when we walked into her ICU room was she had a window with a view of a courtyard filled with flowers. I told her about her window view. I got a smile and a slight hand squeeze. All I hope is that I gave her something to be thankful for when sadness and depression start to set in. Later when we were saying goodbye I told one of the nurses a little bit of their story. Karl's aunt smiled again as I told of their recent first date fifty years delayed.

Having such a high followed by such a devastating low, I can't help but wonder why? We may never understand why God allowed this to happen but I pray we can find little rays of joy despite this situation. I'm already hopeful for the next high in this couple's life. They both are such happy, joyful people. I pray the highs out number the lows and they find many reasons to be thankful in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Years ago these high and lows were described in a church sermon as necessary for weaving the tapestry of our life. You need the dark, shadows to offset the really bright parts. I hope this dark shadow in all our lives only makes the other good parts about to come shine that much brighter.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Three is the new black

Growing up my mom would say, "only make two." She was referring to children. But I have always wanted three kids. Maybe it's my rebellious, stubborn side.

When we found out our first child was going to be a boy, I said on the drive home that I hoped our second was going to also be a boy so I could justify a third. "Going for the girl!"

Now that we do indeed have our second boy I plan to have a third child. I find myself watching families with three kids. It looks fun and also a little chaotic.

Then recently I overheard another mom ask two moms, "do you BOTH have three?" and I wondered has it become cool to have big families? Is three the new black?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Imagination to spare

Today we went to the aquarium in Long Beach, California. Gavin loved it. The scuba divers were by far the highlight for him. And I thought they might be since one of his favorite bath toys is a diver. He was a little unsure of them at first.

The first (and one of the largest) tanks had three divers in it. The diver - shown in the picture - was motioning kids to come up to the window and give him a high five. As you can see Gavin was a little hesitate. Yet he was thrilled every time we came across another tank with a diver in it. We had to go back to several tanks because they had divers. I think he enjoyed the fish too (especially the sharks).

So it really shouldn't have surprised me that he shared about his experience at the aquarium with our friends kids tonight. He told them all about the divers. The real surprise was that he convinced other kids to "play diver." Which first means you have to put gear on and get into a tank. Then it entails going up and down and pretending to do things like clean tanks, fix things, and feed fish. He also spent a lot of time waving "through the glass." He was so convincing as a diver he had several other kids want to pretend to be divers too.

I love his big imagination. I'm so grateful that we live in a place that has so much for children to do and experience. I especially enjoy seeing those experiences show up later in his play.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Here comes trouble

This afternoon Trevor surprised me by once again showing how quickly he's developing. We are so in trouble.

I was packing the diaper bag and had set him in his crib seated with a toy. As I refilled the diaper pouch I see him reach over to the railing. I've never seen him do that before and probably wouldn't have thought anything about it. Yet I had just looked through my baby book with my mom and saw a picture of me at 6 and a half month pulling up to standing in my crib. So I stopped what I was doing and grabbed my phone just in case I needed to capture this moment. Well he pulled himself from his seated position onto his knees. And proudly beamed up at me. His face was a little surprised but also saying, "look what I just did." He fell over when he tried to move. Yet was able to do it again several minutes later when I reseated him.

And yes I was able to capture the moment with my camera phone.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Worry Wart

As a mother it's my job to worry. Right? I worry about things I have no control over. That drives me crazy!

When you hang out with families that have kids the exact same age as your kids, it's so hard not to compare. This one is doing that but MINE is already doing this. Then I think to myself but should my kid be doing that other thing too?! And the downward spiral of my worrying thoughts begins...

I sometimes have to take a deep breath and look at my kids. They are healthy, happy and fairly well-behaved. So what if my three year old has a really hard time sharing and cries when we have play dates at our house. He's three!

I need to stop worrying. I need to stop expecting him to be "mature" and allow him to feel disappointment and frustration. Which gets to the root of the issue really. I worry about (and for) my kids, but it's because I want to protect them. Is this why all mom's worry!? Not it's not just from physical pain, but emotional and spiritual issues as well. Our protective instincts come out as we want the best for our kids.

In reality I need to take those times when I start down the worry-thought-path and turn my thoughts into times of prayer for my children. Maybe this worry wart mom will become a prayer warrior mom for her kids. Maybe...

Dear God,
Please help me to redirect my worries and fears for my boys into times I lift them in prayer. I am so grateful you have chosen us to be their mommy and daddy. Please guide us in when to step in and when to let them figure it out on their own. Please give us wisdom as we are faced with new and challenging situations, which seems to be daily. Give us the right words to steer their hearts. Help us each day to be good parents. And please remind us, especially me, to turn my worry times to prayer times.