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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coming up next!

Gavin loves to put on a show. It must be the mix of my genes and the fact he was the only grandchild on both sides of our family until his brother was born.

Shows started when he would seek out a "stage" area. This could be anything from a fireplace hearth to a well positioned rug or his Opa and Oma's coffee table. They initially were non sensical. Just random words dramatically spoken with hand gestures. Before he could even really talk.

Today his show became interactive. He had Opa, Uncle Paul and I stand up, jiggle our feet, jump and spin really fast. Then we were allowed to be seated.

He incorporates a lot of what he has seen in cartoons or movies. Or new songs. They are like streams of consciousness. We love to witness them. It really is a treat for anyone who has had the pleasure of attending one. Our friends who have older kids love to see Gavin take the position of putting on a show. Their faces light up with anticipation. Because honestly you don't know where the show will take you but you do know you'll enjoy every moment of the performance.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is risen! The tomb is empty.

We recently attended the viewing and funeral of my grandfather. At first I wasn't going to expose my children to this thing "death." I was worried about how they would behave and also how Gavin would handle it. Yet we read the children's bible and it plainly says Jesus died on a cross for our sins.

Ultimately my mom persuaded me that I should bring them because our family liked seeing them and it would give people something to be happy about. We talked to Gavin a lot about what would happen before each day's events. It wasn't easy but I'm glad we did include our children.

At first I didn't know how to talk to him about death. I did an internet search and read a few opinions. (Don't say it was sickness or they may get worried when they or you get sick. Don't say death is sleeping, or they may become fearful of sleeping. Best to talk about the body wearing out and compare it to an old shoe wearing out.)

Well as a preschooler Gavin grows out of shoes before they wear out, so I went with a broken toy in my explanation. The first conversation about my grandpa's passing happened when I was crying two days after my grandpa died. Gavin asked why I was sad. We had a brief explanation of death and that great-grandpa had died. He seemed to "get it."

Before the viewing, I told him that his great-grandpa was now at peace but we were going to see his body. So glad I used those words. He repeated that phrase to anyone who was crying after they walked up to the open casket. "he's at peace."

Now it's been about a week since the funeral, and it is Easter. Again we are talking about a man dying only this time on a cross, but this story is different. Jesus rose again on the third day. Gavin seems to be getting the message of the cross because he asked my husband, Karl, if great-grandpa was going to rise from the dead. Which made me think Christ's resurrection truly was miraculous! To love someone and lose them to death's final grip only to find their tomb empty and hear the good news that He is risen!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Six months old... So fast with the second!

I can hardly believe that my second baby is half a year old! Trevor hit his six month milestone on Good Friday. He had a perfect check-up. Measuring in at 27.5 inches (87%) and 19 lbs. 12.5 oz. (84%). He's a big boy!

And he'll keep it up too, because he loves solid food. We started solids earlier with Trevor than we did with Gavin. Mainly because Trevor had his neck on a swivel with every bite I took. His interest level in what I am eating is high. So at 4 and 1/2 months we feed him some puréed pears. And we were off... Avocados, green peas, apples, apricots, sweet potatoes, squash - just to name a few of the firsts foods.

He also loves to smile. As a super happy baby who lights up when you engage him, let's just say, he's a charmer. I love it.

Gavin is one sure way to make his brother smile. It is so much fun to watch them interact. Trevor beams at his big brother. And watches his every move. Truly one of his favorite people. We can't wait to watch their relationship develop.

I'm trying to be aware of not creating sibling rivalry. We don't want to pit them as competitors against each other. But as encouragers to each other. For instance, if we want Gavin to try a new food, we cheer him on without making a comparison to his brother. We don't say, "Trevor ate all of his peas, won't you take a bite too?"

Ok well I'm off to fill Easter baskets for TWO adorable boys!