It's been nearly a year since I posted with any sort of regularity. A year ago my precious baby boy was born and it took me a while to recover. Then we had a house fire and Christmas and with regularly posting grocery store deals on my Thrifty Rapid City website, I just didn't have a lot of free computer time. (I generally stay off the computer while my kids are awake and my husband gets first dibs when he's home.) After a lot of thought, I've stopped writing for the thrifty website. I find myself with more free time and well, let's just say I am finally getting my curtains rehung post-fire.
I am foolish enough to think that perhaps I will find more time for jottings here too.
Because there are things to say. Questions of life and meaning and beauty and truth rumbling around in my heart that won't quite speak until I've written them down. So much that matters so much more than I realize and I don't know just how I fit in. Or if I am strong enough to fit myself into this vast masterpiece of a universe called real faith.
One challenge I've been giving myself lately: just say yes. If the thought occurs to me to slow at the side of the road and give the man with the sign a bag of bagels and a five - then I ought to. If I think that perhaps I should set aside my hoped for floor scrubbing and make a painting with my kids then I should say YES. If the thought enters my mind that what am I thinking wanting it easier in this life when I could pour myself out in this life and receive 1000-fold in the next - then that is just exactly what I ought to be doing.
Friday, February 12, 2010
You're sleeping through the night now! It took a bit of crying in early January, but really not so bad – a couple of nights of ½ hour or so of wailing. I am so thankful. It's also ironic - since we had such trouble nursing six months ago - that now you LOVE to nurse and I am having a hard time contemplating weaning you! We are down to about three nursings a day – the rest is table food and a little formula. You are a picky eater so far – if you don't like it, you just don't eat it, whether you're hungry or not! (That's a new one for me!) Your favorite food so far is BBQ pork, when you see it you start hyperventilating and then shovel it in your mouth once it's given to you.
You are SO close to walking, in fact some people would say you ARE. Three to four steps at a time is quite normal; you're just not cruising across the room yet. You also can say several words “more”, “all done”, “Dada”, “Mama”, “bye-bye”, “hi”, “kitty”, and of course “no”. It sounds more like “na” than no, but this is your favorite word. Try to give you a sip of your formula . . . Na na na! Shampoo your hair in the bath tub . . . Na na na! Take something out of your hand . . . Na na na! I feel pretty confident that we have another strong-willed child on our hands. In a way I am grateful because as long as that will can be shaped in the right direction, I think the Lord can use you in a great way!
Music is just about your favorite thing. You love toys that make noise. You love when anyone plays the piano; often you'll go over to the djembe drum and accompany while they play! The guitar is another frequent stop on your cruising rounds. You are VERY interested in all sorts of objects and particularly different textures. You love to open and close doors (especially on Abby's play kitchen) and put things in and out of containers. Often you become very focused on your activity for up to ten minutes or so. As long as you are surrounded by many different things to pick up and look at you are quite content. If we are in a less stimulating environment, you become bored and quite crabby. I set out four or five toddler toys on top of the toy box each morning (in the dining room – the center of activity for our home) so you can play with them all day long and still be in the middle of household activity.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The long cold winter months haven't seemed so long at all! A lot of that is because of your enthusiasm for almost anything I can dream up for you to do. Sometimes I wonder where you learned such accommodating language. For example, “Would you like to stir the batter, Abby?” “No, thank you Mama, my arms are tired. I'll just stand and watch.” Or “How would you like to play with Play-doh for a little while?” “Oh, thank you Mama!You're so nicey-nice!”
Not to say you're perfect by any means – you're a pouter sometimes and we have an almost weekly clash when it's time to put away your clean laundry! It seems that is your primary battleground – you apparently just hate the job!
You and Isaac have been doing swimming lessons twice a week. I've been very impressed with how willing you are to jump in, put your face under and do everything the teacher requires. You tell me you don't like it, but you always go in and come out with a smile. I've also begun working with you on “reading” (actually letter recognition) regularly since you were requesting it so often. You can't bear to have Isaac too far ahead of you!
We have such fun together doing “preschool” each day! We've painted on foil, learned about different music styles, predicted whether various household powders would dissolve in water, and counted to 100. You even love doing workbooks!
Daddy often comments how much like me you are – a girly girl. You love dancing and dollies and like me you can't stand loud music. (You'll cover your ears and say “Please quiet down!) You've always got a story to tell, a costume on and a new name for yourself. It's truly precious.
We haven't done much “exciting” over the past month. Thankfully it doesn't take much to make you happy. All I have to do is take you to the thrift store, call it “girl time” and buy you a 25-cent purse and you're thrilled! We did have the Jacobs family over for dinner one night. You had such fun with their six-year-old Emma that you sobbed and sobbed when they left: “I just need a girl in our family!” When we're out and about you're always asking to buy pink baby booties or little dresses for “my baby sister”. I remind you that you don't have one and you insist that God needs to give you one! Ah, little Abby – I'd take a dozen of you!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Usually I find January to be a loooong slow month but this year, it wasn't! I think it's because you are getting so big that I can more easily find things to occupy you – games or crafts that as a toddler you didn't “get”. It's a little scary for me as a mommy to realize that even the slow months are speeding by!
For Christmas you got a tiny plastic guitar that you loved – it was “real” to you. Unfortunately, it didn't stand up to the demands of this household very well and the strings kept falling off! So you begged Daddy for a guitar. He even took you one day to Haggerty's Music Store to look at guitars and didn't find one that was small enough. Maybe a ukulele would serve the purpose? Then last week at the thrift store I discovered a tiny guitar for just $7.50. It's just the size for you and you love it! It does seem to frustrate you a bit that you can't just strum it and have it sound “right”. So I have been trying to teach you some easy chords. You also have been gradually picking out “Mary had a little lamb” on the piano all by yourself!
You and Abby have been doing swimming lessons twice a week at the YMCA. It's been a nice way for you to be active during this cold season. You're also signed up for soccer come spring and very excited about that! I sometimes wonder if maybe we should put you in gymnastics instead, since you've taught yourself to cartwheel and stand on your head (you've been front-flipping for a while).
“Preschool” has been so much fun – we've learned to identify orchestral instruments, made “plastic” out of milk and colored valentines for senior citizens. We're learning to add and subtract using manipulatives, write the alphabet, and READ of course! You're still reading mostly short vowel words but you've graduated to two syllables, so words like “rubbish” or “dentist”.
For how fast the month went, we really haven't done a lot of exciting stuff. There was the stock show where you rode the (super exciting to you!) mechanical bull and got mini-donuts. You and Daddy went ice fishing with a bunch of guys from church (no - you didn't catch anything!) And we've had lots of people over for supper – I think you had the most fun with Ben (9) and Daniel (4) Jacobs AND jamming with your new guitar when Uncle Greg came over. It's just been a good, quiet month, full of smiles and “I just like you so much Mom.” I just can't ask for more.