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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Higher and Higher

Samantha's current joy of life is swinging.
She regularly tells me, "Mommy, I want to swing higher and higher!"

Then she laughs joyously and says "Wheee!" as she flies through the air.
She says. "Mommy, Look at me! I'm swinging higher and higher!"

"Yes, baby, you are. I'm glad you enjoy it."

She shares her joy with her brother, telling me, "Mommy, J-bub wants to swing higher and higher, too." And she is right, he does love swinging, also. So I do what she asks and push him in his swing. Then she takes a turn pushing him as well.



I need to remember to keep watching this child and learning from her. Right now she reminds me to pursue simple things that bring us joy. To share joy with others. And to take the time to notice and be grateful for all the things, little and big, that God has placed around me. And to be grateful in all things.

Thank you, God, for this life, for this child and this lesson.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Me - Helping

In the last week there are several things that I certainly DID NOT do...or would not admit to doing...unless I were asked point blank. For example, I did not allow the 2 year old to watch a movie just so I could get the floor mopped with out her "assistance." No way, I would welcome a chance for extra time with my daughter...especially if it meant she would be learning about things that need doing in the house. And it would not matter in the least that the job would take twice as long as usual. I would certainly not be satisfied with her only helping to sweep and empty the dustpan (with most of the dirt falling right back onto the floor, I might add.)

And along those lines, I certainly do not secretly dread hearing the toddler sweetly say "Mommy may I help?" as I am washing dishes or cooking. And I would not be secretly glad when I could say, "I'm sorry sweetie, I just finished." No way! I am the type of mom who always wants to encourage her children to be helpers...no matter how long it takes!

I would not ignore my children playing in their room together as I hear the 2 year old telling the baby. "No no J-bub! You need to lay down! You are in time out!" No, I would most certainly go check on them, even if there were no tears involved from the baby. After all, I am a caring, concerned mom. And I might not intervene, but I would certainly survey the situation.

And finally, I do not think that I am learning what mastitis feels like. No way...that would not happen for the first time when my second child is almost 10 months old. (this one is me being in total denial, and hoping that the hot washcloth and ibuprofen fix it.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adrenaline Rush

Because, while carrying my baby and leading my toddler yesterday afternoon, I came within two steps of stepping this, as it lay curled up on the ground near the birdfeeder.

All three of the pictures in this post are after Brent killed it.


This is the first snake of any kind that we have seen since moving to the country, and of course it would be a rattler. The good news is that Samantha has now seen a snake in real life, so she definitely knows what they look like now.

The bad news is that I barely saw it and kept from stepping on it. So how can I be sure that my daughter will be able to see them and stay away from them if we have any more?

My first thought after finding the snake was that Samantha will not be allowed to go outside without me any more. Then I continued thinking, and realized that even if I am walking with her, I cannot protect her from stepping on snakes. The only way I could do that is to carry her everywhere when we are outside. And that is NOT going to happen! So, in discussing it with Brent, we decided that we will just continue letting her outside as we have been doing so far. (Although we did have a talk with her about needing to be careful to watch where she walks.)

It hurts my heart to know that I cannot keep my baby girl safe. I know that this is only the first of many times that I will feel this way...we have SOO much more living and learning and letting go to do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Five on Friday

Things I miss living in the country:
5. Knowing that there will not be any deer eating my flowers.
4. Having neighbors within walking distance.
3. Being able to run to the store very quickly.
2. Not having to think about SCORPIONS!
1. Delivery! (as in food that is already made for you)

Things I love about living in the country
5. Seeing deer, rabbits, roadrunners, etc in our yard every day.
4. No police, fire, or ambulance sirens going off constantly and making my daughter cry!
3. Having a yard the size of a park with many swings, a sandbox and pool, a slide, and PLENTY of room to roam.
2. Being able to take a walk and not having to make Samantha stay right next to me.
1. Living so close to TWO households of family members :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pretty

Samantha loves to play dress up. So when I was looking for something in the storage building and saw the box that had dress up clothes in it, I decided to bring it home for her to play with. She was so excited! She put on the "ballerina dress" (everything that has a skirt or ruffles is a ballerina or princess dress, by the way) and the purple shoes and told me, "Look Mommy! I'm pretty!"

I told her "Yes, honey, you are. But you are always pretty. It doesn't matter what you are wearing." (I will start working on talking about being pretty by what is on the inside by being sweet and kind to others and obeying God before too much longer, but I haven't done that yet, so that didn't enter into the conversation.) But Samantha just kept telling me, "I have a ballerina dress, I'm pretty!"

It makes me sad that she has already absorbed this world lesson that she is pretty as a result of what she is wearing. I have no idea where she got it from. I hope that I am not the one who taught it to her, but I am afraid that I probably am. After all, where else would she have gotten it? I guess the good part of knowing this is that I also know to frequently reinforce the idea that she is pretty as a result of her actions and who she is, rather than what she wears.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rainbow

Yesterday evening, Uncle Charles knocked on our door and told us that if we hurried, we could see a rainbow. We rushed outside, well...moved as fast as I was able to move carrying both a baby and his big sister who has JUST woken up from her nap moments before, and saw this.
Samantha was SOOO excited to see a "weally weally big rainbow" (the first she has ever seen) and just wanted to stay and watch it. She even pointed it out as it moved across the sky with the clouds.

You can see how sad she was as the rainbow began to disappear after just a short time in our sight.

But, as she was being sad, she saw a big stick. And that gave her an idea. She told me, "I will catch the rainbow with a big stick, then it can't go away."

She picked the stick up and held it out to the sky. I asked her if it was going to work and she told me no, the stick wasn't big enough. But at least she was still smiling :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Belonging

Samantha and I have been singing "Shoo Fly" lately. She loves that song and asks to sing it over and over and over. Part of the song says "For I belong to somebody."

That makes me a little sad sometimes when I think about it, because I don't really feel like that is true for me right now.

I find myself missing Dallas lately. Well, not really missing Dallas so much as missing my friends. For nearly 10 years, I saw these people at least once a week. I watched their children. They came to my home and I went to theirs. We saw each other through joy and sorrow, laughter and mourning. We held tightly to one another and cried as we couldn't make sense of the world. We knew when a hug meant more than words. When words were needed, we were usually able to find the right words to say. I could always count on someone being able to look at me and know when things weren't right, then help me feel better. We belonged to each other.

Now, since we don't have any neighbors within walking distance, and there is nowhere in town to go to hang out and meet people since the pool is closed for this year, it is definitely a challenge to meet people. But we have met a few and have started getting to know a few people.

It is slow going, but it is happening. I have started making some new friends and there is at least one person that I can count on being able to spend time with each week. But even the new friendships are just that. New.

Please don't get me wrong. We have met some wonderful people in our new town. There are quite a few people who go out of their way to include us. And I am so grateful for that.

But right now, we don't have any history. We can't look at each other and know that the other is having a bad day even when the other is trying to hide it. We haven't laughed and cried, mourned and rejoiced with one another. We don't know how to help things get better when something is wrong.

We will get there someday, but for right now, I miss the sense of belonging that I had with my friends in Dallas. I want to belong to somebody again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Garden

Since we live in a temporary place, I don't have a garden this year. However, I did bring some of the bulbs that I wanted to save from our house in Dallas, so I needed to plant them to keep them alive. What to do? We live on a rocky hill with no topsoil. Large pots are became my solution. So here is my fall garden for your viewing pleasure :)


In spite of the limited space, and even though the overall view is not what you would call spectacular, I think the individual flowers looked quite nice. And the best part is that I have these bulbs to plant when we have a new house...as long as they survive the winter in pots, that is.





Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adventures in Parenting - A Lesson

Last night, Samantha was stalling about going to bed. Just like normal. So after she had been in bed for nearly an hour, she got out and came running to the bathroom where I was and told me that she had to go potty. She hasn't gone on the potty in at least a week, so this was great news. (Well, other than the fact that she only decided that she would use the potty in order to stay out of bed, that is.)

Anyway, I took her diaper off and threw it away since it was just wet enough for me to decide not to put it back on her. She did use the potty and then pulled her PJ pants back up for the walk to her room to get a diaper. I sent her to Daddy and told her to ask him to get her a clean diaper while I finished up in the bathroom.

I hear her ask him, I heard him talk to her about it, and she was back in her bed before I was finished in the bathroom. I went to bed, and eventually, Samantha fell asleep, too.

This morning, Samantha came into my room and asked if she could get into Jacob's bed. I told her that she could, as long as she did not put his paci in her mouth (which she has been doing quite frequently lately) She said ok and went running back to her room.

A little while later, she started crying, so I went to see what was wrong. She was stuck straddling the crib rail, so I lifted her down. And noticed that she was soaking wet! So I told her to take her PJ pants off while I got a clean diaper out for her. She did, and I discovered that she did not have a diaper on. Lovely! I asked her where her diaper was, because obviously, I don't want a used diaper just lying around my house, especially since my son is fascinated with putting EVERYTHING, even diapers, in his mouth. I also asked why she took her diaper off.

She didn't have an answer for me. Finally it occurred to me. Did she even have a diaper on at all last night? So I called Brent and asked. He told me that he checked her diaper and it wasn't wet. I told her that was not possible. That I had taken her diaper off and thrown it away and THEN she asked him for a clean diaper. He said that he felt through her pajama bottoms, didn't feel the squishiness of a wet diaper and sent her to bed. Wow...so my not-anywhere-close-to-potty-trained child slept all night in her bed WITHOUT a diaper.

I guess I better go so I can get all the laundry done. It is filling the bathroom as we speak. And while I'm at it, I better check everything in Jacob's bed, since she was in there, too. We definitely wont' have time to drive to Waco today...maybe tomorrow. Oh, that's perfect anyway, because tomorrow is the Just Between Friends sale there and maybe I can get some Christmas shopping done :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday {Sandbox}







Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bows and Boots, Dresses and Dirt

Samantha has been asking to wear dresses quite frequently. So I let her.

We don't have to be going somewhere special for her to wear a dress, she can wear it for whatever she likes.

And besides, that is one less battle for me to fight.

Then she asks for a bow in her ponytail. Then she puts on her boots and goes outside to play in the rocks and dirt and sand.

Yes. That's my girl. Making a fashion statement with a dress, a bow and a pair of boots. Then getting all dirty.

At least she isn't prissy :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monday's Child - Conversations

Samantha has some interesting things to tell us lately. Here is a small sampling for you.

In the car:
Jacob! Jacob! Don't go to sleep. Wake up, dude!
Jacob! Wake up your other eye!



S: I'm a boy!
Me: No, you're a girl.
S: No I'm a boy!
Me: When did you become a boy?
S: (in a duh, kind of voice) When I wasn't a girl.



S: Jacob wants to swing higher and higher.
Me: He does? How do you know that?
S: Because I want to blow bubbles.
(Hmmm...sounds like someone wants to play outside and thinks that if her brother wants to, she is more likely to get to.)




Me: (after reading a book about treasures) Do you have any treasures?
S: You are my treasure!

9 months




Yes. It's true. Jacob turned 9 months old yesterday. It seems so strange. Time is disconnected. On one hand, I think, how can he possibly be nine months old? On the other hand it seems that he has been part of our lives for so much longer than that.

He is so big! He wears mostly 18 month clothes now. His pajamas, however, are 2T. We discovered that he could wear Samantha's one evening when his few pairs of PJs were all dirty, so I bought him a few pairs of his own. He weighs 21.6 pounds, but I don't know how long he is. I will let you know as soon as I do, which should be at his 9 month well baby visit on 9/24.

He has 6 teeth. He cruises all over the place and he is the fastest you have ever seen at crawling. He gets into everything, even when you think everything has been put away. He keeps us on our toes.

He goes to bed at 8pm, wakes up to nurse around 5am, and goes back to sleep until 7 or 7:30am. He takes a nap at 10 am for about an hour and at about 2pm for about an hour and a half. Well, if his sister doesn't wake him up, that is. It's not that she tries to wake him up, it's just that she loves her brother so much that when she hears him stirring at all, she starts yelling "Jacob's awake! Jacob's awake!" And then, of course, he really is awake. Today, I have Jacob napping in his bed and Samantha napping in mine, hoping that they will both be well rested today. If it works, they will have their afternoon nap in different rooms every day.

Anyway, back to Jacob...He is a Mommy's boy right now, but he also enjoys other people. As long as I don't leave the room. He will giggle for his sister when he won't laugh for anyone else. He loves to swing outside in the baby swing, and will calm down as soon as we start going near it if he is fussy.

He eats and eats and eats. Brent tells me not to tell him how much Jacob eats because he doesn't want to know. He is VERY afraid of the teenage years.


(I love this picture, so I definitely wanted to share it with you, but for some reason, each time I try to upload it, it turns on its side. So just tilt your head to the side to view it correctly, please.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Preparation

Samantha is such a girly girl. She loves pink. And flowers. And sparkly shoes. And princess skirts.

But she also loves to play outside. In the dirt. And the mud. And the leaves. With dump trucks. And rocks.

This is one of the many things that I love about her. That she can embrace frilly, girly things. And embrace tomboyish things, too.

Lately, though. She is taking it to an excess. For example, today she wanted to wear her sparkly pink shoes and white ruffled socks to play outside. No problem. I let her.

What was I thinking?! Apparently I forgot that this is the child who takes her shoes off EVERY SINGLE TIME she plays outside. That's right, she walks barefoot on the rocks and leaves and baby oak trees. I must admit that I go barefoot a lot. But even I wear shoes in the yard where we are currently living. But not my daughter. I have just about given up trying to get her to keep her shoes on. And I just hope that she doesn't step on anything that will cut her feet. Or bite her.

Anyway...back to today. It was no surprise to look outside and see her without shoes on her feet. That is a normal occurrence. But normally she is wearing sandals. That's right...without socks. Today, however, she had those white ruffled socks on. And she did not take them off when she took her shoes off. So when I looked outside, she was walking around with her no-longer-white socks still on her feet. In the mud left from two solid days of rain. Yes, they are just about black now, and will probably never be white again.

Oh well...I guess I could look at it and say that she will probably outgrow them in a few months anyway, and for now the weather is still warm enough that she basically just wears sandals, so no socks are necessary. Yes. That is what I will do. I am starting to feel better about the whole thing already. This might even last until tomorrow morning when I am doing the laundry and trying to turn black socks back to white.

(And just in case you are wondering, no, I did not yell at her about her dirty socks. In fact, I did not say one word about her socks. All I did was remind her that she is supposed to wear shoes when she is outside. Not that I expect my reminder to make any sort of difference the next time she is outside. Oh well...)

I think she may be preparing me for Jacob's toddlerhood. After all, we all hear that boys are much more into things and much more messy than girls. I never really gave any credence to things like that when I heard them before.

And then I had Jacob. And he is into SOOOO much more than Samantha ever was at the same age. I wonder what on earth he will be like when he is 2. I could have heart palpitations just imagining it. So I won't. After all, he gets into plenty enough right now. Maybe I should just tell Samantha thank you for the extra preparation that she is giving me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Naptime Activities

What Samantha and I did while Jacob was napping:

The other day, Samantha and I did some crafting while Jacob was napping. Since we were using small parts and we have a tendency to drop them on the floor, we only get to do these things while he is asleep. Samantha glued pomopoms onto construction paper and used many letter stickers and adhesive gems. Then her favorite part was taking the letter stickers out of the tub and putting them and the gems into the tub. That kept her more occupied than the actual crafting!

I made a snail out of pompoms and then Samantha asked me to make a butterfly and a dragonfly, so I made the attempt. She was happy with them, so that is what matters, right?




I also got out our origami books and papers and made a flower pot and flowers. I'm not the only one who was impressed...my daughter was too.


What I did while Jacob was screaming:
That afternoon, Jacob didn't fall asleep while he was nursing before his naptime. This was the first time he didn't, so I decided it was a good day for him to fall asleep on his own. Samantha actually managed to fall asleep in the same room as the screaming baby. I got the origami out again so that I would have something to concentrate on other than the baby who screamed for 45 minutes straight.

I think I could make a flying crane with my eyes closed after making this entire flock of them.


And belive it or not, this little kalediscope toy was much harder to make than the cranes.




Finally, the hardest item of all...a heart locket. This is nearly as big as the palm of my hand. I cannot even begin to imagine making one small enough to actually be used as a locket. That would take some serious skills!


I wonder what other things we will find to do as Jacob is learning to put himself to sleep.