Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Year

A lot can happen in a year. Yesterday was my baby's first birthday. And, even after a year, His Story is still as fresh as it was a year ago. Paul's birth has been so imprinted in our minds as one of the most intense and traumatic events ever to happen to our family. And, while everything turned out fine and perhaps wasn't as dramatic to others as it was us, I will still run into people who are itching to ask me about it or will say to me softly, "I was working the night you had Paul."

In the past year Luke has learned to be an amazing brother. He's affectionate, protective and playful with his brother-pal. I've grown to take things in stride, and that the things I worried about before Paul's birth were really nothing to worry about at all. We've all learned that not all newborns scream constantly (ah ha, Luke), and that our second one slept most of the fist eight weeks of his life.

We've also learned that a baby wakes up after eight weeks, too ;-) .

We've learned to love more than we thought we could. We've learned to double our cheek kisses with an extra kissable set around. We've learned to cloth diaper and to potty train all in the same month. We've learned, even more, that family is what we want and that family is what makes us happy. You, my sweet baby, make us happy.

We love you, Paul Joseph. If your birth and first year tell us anything, it's that God has big plans for you. We're waiting patiently and with love to see what those are.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Small Successes

Luke has been potty-trained for nearly a year. He does a great job, but because he's a thirsty little guy we've always defaulted to putting a pull-up or diaper on him at night. He always wakes up soaked.

We totally don't care either way, he's a boy and he's just not ready to wake up to use the bathroom. No. Big. Deal.

The last four nights Luke has politely asked to go to bed with no pull-up, no diaper, no-nothing for protection between him and the sheets. We relented, which was hard, since he's never woken up dry before and I really didn't want the likes of his dinosaur sheets hanging from my banister (see post below!)

But, the last four nights he's woken up dry. He's so proud and wakes up so happy to tell us about how "I didn't go pee in my pants!"

If I can't see the accomplishments and things to be thankful for in our simple days, I'm obviously not looking hard enough.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Week in Pictures

Since we're at the end of Lent, and since I'm really bad at voluntarily sacrificing anything, I thought I'd give myself a big dose of humility. After all, as a blogger stalker, it's easy for me to look at some of my favorite blogs and to really, really think that those blogging mothers are perfect and that they don't have macaroni noodles stuck to their floors. I'm here to prove that at least this week, I can top them all.

Yeah, our dryer broke. Sad story. Good thing we have three staircases!

Our living room floor. The public library threw up right next to Luke's dirty underwear.

Why do I even try to grow a houseplant?

Just a little reality check on this beautiful, windy March Wednesday!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Farewell my beautiful china dishes! Farewell my Mikasa Palatial Gold tea cups and sugar bowl! The three times I've used you in the last five years has been full of memories and ginger maneuvers. Oh! The care I've used to preserve you to make sure that all sixteen table settings are without a scratch or chip; every piece accounted for.

Farewell my pretty plates. You've been overrun. Boys don't like tea cups, nor would I allow my pudgy-handed hellions to touch a piece of my magnificence. I'm packing you away for a time, only to be pulled out, washed and used when needed. Into the box you go.

This is it, china. It's over. You've been replaced with coloring books, markers, play-doh and games, scissors and glitter and pipe cleaners and...and...and...and...everything that is the exact opposite of china.

I'll call you when I'm fifty.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some days...

...You just have to be thankful for the small stuff.

Like the week when you take your big boy to the pediatric allergist, followed by a clinic visit and prescription for the little guy, only to be proceeded by an absolutely necessary visit to the eye doctor for mom before the contacts burn out of her eyes but she can't order any more because her prescription is expired.

Some days you just have to be thankful for the small stuff, like when your husband works for the State of Minnesota and has great health benefits.

Now, where the heck is that Zithromax? I can't see it anywhere!!!!

Stupid contacts!

We Made it!

I thought this day would never come. I thought that I would have two babies forever; two babies to feed, two babies to diaper, two babies to dress...forever.

The day has come: Luke can dress himself. I lay out his clothes in the morning and he not only can take off his jammies, but he can put his new clothes on, socks and all.

By Himself.

If you don't understand WHY this is so awesome, I'm guessing you haven't had the privilege of dressing and undressing a wiggly, club-handed boy for nearly the last four years.

I'm going to celebrate.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Faith to move the Mountains

I'm so proud to know Laura. I'm proud to know her husband. I'm so proud that I was present at their wedding, and that Laura and I danced around the Eiffel Tower in Paris singing Disney songs together, and rode bike through the hills of Austria one spring.

If I could have a claim to fame, knowing this family is something I would want to be known for. I wish they had an Academy Awards to honor those who DO incredible things with an unshakable spirit instead of just honoring those who portray those people.

Again...Paul and Laura, scroll to page 7.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Left.

And no, I'm not talking politics.

It is becoming increasingly, and quite obviously clear that our preschooler is left-handed. He was only six months old when others (not I) began to observe that he would consistently reach with his left hand. As he began to feed himself his left hand was dominant. As the milestones crept by and finger food turned into utensils and block sorting games turned into crayons, marker and scissors, the predominance of his left hand persisted.

I didn't make much of it. In fact, it was never me who noticed. Hands are hands, and I knew enough to know that at this age, anything goes. But, while I encouraged the right hand, knowing that there was a 95% chance that he would be right-handed, I found that I frustrated and confused him. In fact, while printing his name and common words and letters easily his left hand, a switch to the right caused mirror righting; his name starting with an "L" facing the wrong way, and then following to the LEFT to look like "EKUL."

It's not that big of a deal, and not something I'm at all concerned about. On the contrary, I really marvel at it. Here's this little boy who I've taken care of everyday for the past three and half years, and yet, I'm still learning about him. Not only that, but I'm finding qualities in him that aren't familiar to me. Whether it be that he's left-handed, or when he shows compassion in a particular way that I know we haven't taught him yet, I'm in awe with the understanding that our children are separate and different from us, and humbled when some of their virtues aren't taught, but inborn.

In so many ways our children are strangers to us, evident not only in the revelation that having a left-handed child was even a possibility, but in other ways like his unwavering fascination with everything scientific. Already with the baby I notice his baby play; so different than what I expected. My expectations might have been different, but I'm so thankful for the surprises present and those in store.

Media and Early Childhood

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge how appreciative I am for Public Television for my Preschool boy. These shows are not only educational, but they help children to understand that leaning is FUN! While we don't watch a lot of TV around here, I'm happy that on those cold, boring days that we have something that I can let Luke watch without worry...

Sid the Science Kid
Between the Lions
Super Why
Thomas and Friends
Dinosaur Train! (Um , I think this show was MADE for Luke)

There are more great shows on PBS other than these (Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Word Girl, etc.) but they haven't grabbed Luke in the same way. It's easy to take an approach other than "TV is evil," when you're three year old can sort his dinosaurs into Quadrupeds and Therapods, or when he asks to learn more about caterpillars turning into butterflies.

These shows set off a *spark*, and if parents are willing, those sparks can lead to a fire of learning fun. ;-)