Friday, September 26, 2008

Little Motor Noises

Today I heard a little car noise coming from the spot on the couch where both Caleb and Emet were playing. I looked up expecting to see Caleb driving along one of his cars, but there he sat reading quietly. It was baby Emet who had his little lips pursed and was making sort of a blowing, motor noise as he drove along the little dozer. What joy that brought to a Mama's heart.

Today was Emet's first real haircut. Now, Jason has clipped a strand or two (back when Emet went bald, but had two long horns of hair, one behind each ear). However, today he officially got all of his hair trimmed. He sat so well in the barber chair with his cape, just like Caleb did for his first. About 3/4 the way through though, he decided he was done, and I had to hold him. But, we did finish! My - how a haircut can change an appearance. It is as if he grew up months in a day.

In case I never remember to write about this separately, I have to mention Caleb's latest pronunciation. Each morning as he reads through his Bible by himself as I nurse baby Emet, I hear him combining many of his favorite stories and characters. King Herod has slipped a bit to the backburner, while "Jophes (yes - you read that correctly) and his broders", David and Goliath, and Jesus take center stage.

Also, Caleb's little spirit is sure starting to soar. Tonight at dinner, baby ate some of his pizza and Caleb said, "Good job, Baby Emet - We're proud of you!" When Emet crawls, Caleb says, "Good job crawling, Baby Emet!" Of course, that doesn't preclude him from ripping the toys away from Emet, or moving them all so he can't reach them the next minute, saying "No, you cannot play with those toys!" :-)

This job of being a Mama sure has its great rewards. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Small Shoes

It struck me tonight, as I saw Caleb's sandals laying where he had taken them off in the bathroom, that he is still small. Baby Emet is tiny by comparison, but to balace out my feelings of how quickly he is growing, it is still comforting to see his small, if not somewhat tiny shoes, laying next to my foot.

On to a humorous story. Tonight may have been the hardest I have laughed in a long time in the creation of a memory I won't soon forget. We went down to Portland Christian for Marky (Mark Hanson's) football game. Debi, Jeff, and Paul were there. At half time, I had to use the bathroom and thought to take Caleb along with me. As is typical at this current stage of potty training in public restrooms, I pulled Caleb's pants and pull-up down to about his knees and had him stand on the seat. Well, typically he leans forward and puts his hands on the wall, but this time he didn't. At about the time I realized this, in addition to realizing his pants weren't far enough down, he started peeing.......straight down into his pants / pullup! (They were perfectly dry before this.) So, I grabbed his thing (we'll call it a "thing" for purpose of this story), and pointed it out of his pants.....Uh oh, angle is still wrong since he isn't leaning forward and now we are spraying the wall! Back to the pants, back to the wall.

By now - I had started laughing so hard I was shaking and crying all at once. I no longer could see, for tears blurred my eyes. Caleb caught the laughter and began to laugh, and wiggle around too! Pee was flying everywhere like an out of control garden hose. It would stop and start. It would come like a furry and slow down, usually just behind my aim / finally getting it in the toilet, so we probably only got a teaspoon full or so in the toilet itself.

By the time he was finished, his jeans were soaked, my hands were soaked, diaper was wet, wall and toilet were covered, and we were dying of laughter. I cleaned up the best I could, but had to leave the rest of the mess for the janitor with the official bathroom floor mop. (It wasn't the cleanest to begin with.)

Baby Emet played happily at Grandma Marion's house, having full attention and toy play to himself, and got to go to bed at his normal bedtime. I think we all benefited from a Grandma's generous offer to watch him tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tiny Shuffles

Oh, our dear Emet. He is so adorable with his tiny little "gait" as he shuffles along the floor, little behind swinging from one side to the other as he moves forward inch by inch. Daily he is getting faster, though he is still very slow. However, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are experiencing a stage that will last mere days.

He has had a tiny little smile lately, odd for him, for the alternative is typically a HUGE wide open mouth and happy face. However, this little half smile sometimes comes before a cry, and sometimes is just there as he sits contentedly. One of these days (doesn't life go like that), I'll get some pictures up here. I currently only have 633mb left on my hard drive though - not even enough space to offload my camera. I need to get some pictures transferred to an external drive...which I even currently have! Ah - time!

The full armour of God

Today, Caleb comes up to me as I'm preparing lunch with one of his Bible storybooks. He is currently still very entranced by the story of David and Goliath. (Often, you can find any one of his Bible books laying open to that story). Anyways, he comes up to me, showing me the picture of Goliath and asks about his armour. I began to explain to him what each piece was, and he was very interested. To illustrate the function of armour, I got out a wooden cutting board. First, I poked at his chest with my finger - just enough to cause a bit of discomfort. Then, I held up the "breastplate" and poked again. He could feel nothing. I told him that this was how armour worked to protect him. Ephesians 6 came rushing to mind, so I asked Caleb if he would like to read from Mama's Bible about the armour of God. "Oh, yes" - he says with wide, excited eyes." So, we went over to the couch and I read to him from Ephesians 6. I'm not sure it all sunk in, but he sure was excited about it. A few minutes later he asked me to tell the story again!

I told Jesus

Monday September 15, 2008

Caleb tells me this morning, as I’m nursing baby Emet. “Mama, last night, there was a giant in my room. I said, ‘Jesus. Give that Giant a spanking and move him to another place.’” I asked Caleb, “And did he?”. He said, “Yeah”.

And....did you know that a road grater is also called a ‘go-rater’?

I'm Crawling!!

Sunday September 14, 2008

Emet crawled for the first time yesterday. I looked over at him upstairs, on the floor next to my bed, and he was on hands and knees – one little leg shuffling right after the other with hands moving forward. Up until now, he has gotten one of his legs tangled and ended up just sitting back up. Then, last night, Jason was able to see his next attempt at crawling, which we got on video. Tentative little shuffles, but oh, how he seems proud of his new accomplishment. We are too!

Tonight, the boys had a very long and late afternoon nap, and were NOT ready to go to bed at their usual time of around 9pm. We put them both in bed around 9:30 and went in to fold laundry in our room, just across the hall upstairs. We were filled with joy to hear both of our boys laughing and laughing in their room, making each other giggle with their silly antics. This happens more and more often in the car, which is a delight as well.

A fun game I recently discovered is laying both boys belly up on the bed and tickling them. They laugh and giggle their little hearts out together, and their mama and papa burst with joy!

"Why Mama? And, so why?"

Wednesday September 10, 2008

As a parent, you often hear of kids asking “why” all of the time.....but I never really thought of it as an official “stage”. Well, one day about two weeks back, the day arrived. Caleb asked me why, regarding this or that.....and then, from that point on, he must have ask (and continues to ask, I might add) why countless times in a day. I will say that it has worn off a bit. He still says it, but perhaps not after every breath!

I think we are in one of those developmental stages in which I am standing back and looking at Caleb, seeing just how much of a little boy he is. There is no more baby. I look back to pictures from just last summer – one year ago. He wasn’t even really talking then – a word here or there maybe, but definitely not talking. The soft baby edges to his little face have melted away since then. I wonder what I’ll think seeing pictures from next summer. Perhaps there is more of a baby face than I recognize, which as it disappears more – I’ll see it even now. I mean, yes – he is indeed still a little boy – there is no question there, and I love every bit of him.

Caleb is just blossoming in his understanding of things. He will often find a book on the shelf that he hasn’t seen or read in a while, and not remembering the name, will come up to me and ask “Mama, what is this favorite story?”.....”I haven’t read this in a long time!” Sometimes phrases such as the last are just jumbled enough to know that he is still imitating what he hears from us, but doesn’t really get the order of all of the words.

He is fascinated with his Bible and his “Voshal” (Devotional – The One Year Bible Devotional for Preschoolers). Every night before bed, he and Papa read these together. It is very important that Papa explain what they will be reading the next day. Caleb insists. It is so sweet to hear Jason in his animated voice say the prayer and the scripture that Caleb repeats. I adore it. I should try to get that on video to capture those precious least a small piece of them, though they will forever be captured in my heart. Sometimes however, even if things are stored, it is nice to have something to prompt them, bringing them to the forefront of your mind. I hope to build a treasury of those memories to cherish in the years ahead. I don’t want to miss a minute. That is why I am so grateful that I can be home with my boys at this stage of life. So very grateful.

Every morning, he awakes and if I am still in bed, he crawls into Papa’s side of the bed and curls in with me until Baby Emet wakes to nurse. Then, he likes to climb into the blue rocking chair with this Bible and “Voshal” and read. He reads stories aloud sometimes, and I hear interesting bits and pieces of all of the stories coming together. His obsession with King Herod has lessoned a bit, and he has now moved on to wanting to hear the “The Giant Story” (David and Goliath) over and over and over – though he prefers I tell this one versus looking in the book. He also talks about lions all of the time and insists we give them a spanking. He calls them like he hears Papa do for Greta (and the lions). “Lion?! Come here! You need a panking” “S” is still hard for him, so there are so many sweet phrases that I have come to adore such as “Curry Piders” (Scary Spiders), “panking” (spanking), and the like.

I have been trying to work thankfulness into our daily discussions and lives. Of course we include this in prayer time, but I try to do it in the small things – For instance, our peach tree was finally done for the season. Caleb had seen a final, rotten peach that had fallen off the tree. I said, “Thank you, God for our peach tree – for the yummy peaches we had and the peach pies we will still enjoy.” Just following me saying that, Caleb says, “Thank you God for Baby Emet.” That, of course, made my heart melt!

Friday, September 12, 2008

He’s on the move!!!

Wednesday August 27, 2008

It’s funny how changes in life often emerge just slow enough that we have time to adjust to them, even if they are changes we have been dreading. I speak of Emet beginning to move around. There is that stage of babyhood where they are finally sitting....but not crawling or moving about that is such a welcome stage for mamas. When they are laying all of the time, they tire of it and want to be held or propped up constantly. When finally they can sit, you can park them in one spot with a small pile of toys, and there they remain. Then you look around your house and begin to dread the day when the babies will be crawling and getting into everything. Well, I noticed this week that we have arrived, ever so slowly – scoot by scoot. Emet isn’t yet crawling, but he can spin in all directions and go from sitting to tummy and somehow push himself backwards on the wood floors to where he wants to go. He loves to get into the magazine rack and eat and rip paper. Caleb has become Mama’s helper in that he can grab baby by the ankles and pull him backwards away from the object of concern if I am busy cooking or the like.

In the past few days, he has become quite the handful when changing his diaper, for the minute you put him on his back, he arches his back and turns with all of his might to end up on his tummy – reaching and grabbing for everything just out of reach. I remember this stage with Caleb. It is just close enough in memory to be odd to have Emet doing the same thing.

I thought today about Emet – being a second child. There are so many things that will inherently be different for both he and Caleb. With Caleb, each stage is new, and we sort of watch to see what happens, what works, etc. With Emet, it will be a comparison and a chance to try new things or relax a bit. Emet will always have a bigger brother to look up to. Caleb is the big brother, but I doubt he will ever remember not having a baby brother.

I feel so blessed to have our two boys. Caleb is growing up and changing so fast. Today he ran along side me, holding onto the stroller as I walked from 199th Street back to the car at Battle Ground Villiage....about ¾ mile. We stopped to pick a few flowers – he always picking one for me and one for himself. Once back at the car, he wants to take his little cars and play in the dirt under the sidewalk trees while I get the stroller unloaded, baby Emet in the car, and the stroller put away. Once I slam the back door, he has been gathering up his toys and proclaiming “Ok, Mama – let’s go!”. What a treasure to a Mama’s heart. His newest thing is to always want to put himself into his car seat (instead of us lifting him up into the seat, or down from it. He cannot yet buckle himself, but this week as Jason and I have forgotten to buckle him two times, he each time has said – “Mama (or Papa), Buckle me!!”

He also loves to make baby Emet laugh, and we will drive along and hear both boys giggling in the back seat. They also now do this more and more at home. Caleb is definitely going through the “mine” stage, and most often desires whatever Emet is playing with, but we are working on sharing.

When we are disciplining Caleb, one thing we do after he does his time out, is have him explain to us what he did. If he is still angry, he has to take the anger out of his heart, throw it on the floor, and stomp on it. Once he relents to do this, it is almost an instantaneous reaction that he is more lighthearted and happy. If he has taken something from, or hurt, baby Emet, he has to go look him in the eye and apologize. As you can imagine, it is hard to look baby in the eye, so it is hilarious to watch as Caleb goes and sometimes lays his face on the floor in weird positions just so he can look baby in the eye and say, “I’m sorry baby Emet I took your fire truck away.”

I can do it with myself!

Wednesday August 20, 2008

Oh how this Mama will be sad the day Caleb starts saying all of his “S”s. My favorite words these days are along the lines of : “nake” (snake), “neaky nake” (sneaky snake), “nack” (snack), “tuck” (stuck), “ticker” (sticker), “tarbucks” (Starbucks), etc. etc....the list goes on. And, oh what fury and rage of emotions our little boy is experiencing. He is getting a bit better able (read – a very small bit) to control them, but a loud and emphatic “I DO NOT want to go to time out”, etc. are frequent mini dramas these days. “DON’T tell me that!!!” he will exclaim.

One of Caleb’s latest interests, as of the past few days is to ask Papa or I if we want to play with him. “Will you play with me?” He will come up with a car and ask if we would like a car. Then he wants us to sit on the floor and play with him. It dawned on me today, that even though I stay home with the boys, I could pass their entire childhood without taking the time to sit down and play. There are always going to be various tasks – cleaning up the kitchen (a near constant), sorting newspapers and mail, laundry – the list goes on. Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes to make a memory, and to reassure him that his Mama cares. So – today, I sat down on the floor, in the midst of my big household mess, despite all of the chores that loomed over my head and played cars.

Yesterday, when I picked Caleb up from the nursery after Mom’s Group at the church building, the nursery worker told me how great Caleb had been. When one of the other kids was sad, Caleb came over and offered him a toy. Tears came to my eyes tonight as I recounted that story to Jason. I’m so proud of my little boy.

I have been thinking lately, as I gaze at our boys at night, long after they have fallen asleep, that our Caleb is a little boy, through and through. There just isn’t a drop of baby left in him. He still seems cute and little, though perhaps emerging beyond the toddler stage. However, as I watched Caleb playing on the couch, and Emet sitting on the floor, it dawned on me that when Emet is Caleb’s age, that time will not stand still. Caleb will no longer be that size. It will not be two little like size and age boys playing. Caleb will be much bigger, emerging from the shell of a small boy into a boy, then young man. Oh how time escapes us. It makes me glad that I took the time to play cars for five minutes on the floor. Caleb enjoyed it so much that he was planning our next time to play, which I explained would be after our walk, lunch, and chores. I’m sure I’ll enjoy that time for a lifetime.

Baby Emet is so close to crawling. He can turn a full circle while sitting, and leans far forward, often ending up, much to his chagrin, on his tummy. He just hasn’t gotten that leg to kick back. Once he does – watch out Mama. He loves to rip into any paper, magazine, or book when he has the chance. Everything goes into his mouth. He still only has the two front, bottom teeth – but his top gums are swollen and he is drooling and chewing constantly, so I expect new teeth soon. For about the past week, his new little expression has been scrunching up his nose, as if he can’t see and is screwing up his face in attempt. That is just his little protest before he starts fussing. It’s funny how each child has such distinct things they do. It is a reminder of how much we are all individuals....created by God to be just who we are. I love you both, my dear boys!!!

Goodbye AJ

Wednesday August 14, 2008

Our boys experienced their first death this past week with the passing of our kitty, AJ – Apple Junior, we’re guessing on Wednesday August 6, the anniversary of Jason breaking his back in 2006. Obviously Emet probably won’t ever even remember AJ, though he had grabbed onto his hair a couple of times, but that pretty much summed up the interaction with our fluffy orange outdoor cat. Ironically, he was killed in the same way as his predecessor, Apple, on a busy road. I believe Apple was sitting in the middle of the road cleaning himself, while AJ was hunting the ditch and stuck his nose over.

Jason called me on a Thursday morning, August 6 and told me the news. He said to be thinking about how we would tell Caleb, our approach, etc. However, as Caleb had been sitting on my lap for the call, by the time we got off the phone he was asking “What happened?” and “Where’s AJ?” So much for time to think it over. I guess all of my life, I have told myself that pets go to heaven when they die. It seems like one of those things that is not addressed in the Bible (though animals supposedly don’t have souls like humans).....but my heart won’t allow me to believe that it is over when they pass away and that there is no hope of seeing them again. So, I jumped into the explanation of how AJ had been hit by a car and died. He wouldn’t be able to be with us anymore, but his soul was in heaven with Jesus. We would have to find a place to bury his little body. Caleb started panicking at first and crying...but he quickly calmed down as we started talking about heaven and being with Jesus. Since he knows about Jesus from his favorite song “Jesus loves me”, his Bible, many of the books we read, and prayers before each meal and at bedtime – I think he feels comfortable with AJ being with Jesus. One minute, I would think he grasped it, then he would say something to the effect of “Can we go and get AJ out of Jesus?” or “Sometimes when I’m in heaven with Jesus, we go in the ditch.” ?????? Oh boy – perhaps he hasn’t gotten it at all, I think.

Caleb is growing and changing right before my very eyes. He is such a little person these days, fully able to communicate thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Sometimes the words hold us up in understanding and make him frustrated when we don’t get it after the third or fourth time he explains, but overall – it is amazing. My favorite thing nowadays, is seeing him go to get one of his books or his Bible and sit down to read it out loud. Sometimes, if he doesn’t remember the story, he’ll come over and say, “What this book say, Mama?” Oh, how he grabs my heart. He is definitely progressing out of the worst of his “terrible two” stage, though he still has his share of time-outs and spankings. He is learning to take the anger out of his heart, by grabbing it – throwing it down on the ground, and stomping on it. However, often this takes a bit of coaxing!!! He also will come up with phrases like “You’re not in charge”, “You’re not the boss”, “I don’t love you!”.

Emet is full of glee and smiles, especially when being picked up. He opens his little mouth and presses it to yours in a giant big sloppy kiss! Sometimes you even get a hug (mostly when you get him up in the morning). What a little joy. He eats lots of finger foods and loves sitting in his high chair and being entertained by his big brother. His favorite thing is NOT riding in the stroller these days though. He does enjoy the cereal snack tray.

Baby Emet

Saturday July 5, 2008

Emet, you are sitting up so well – that I rarely if ever put a blanket behind you anymore, as of the last few days. Of course, Caleb occasionally comes up and pushes you over on purpose – but there is not much we can do about that until you are big enough to stand up for yourself! He, of course, gets into trouble and we pick you up to comfort you. You are full of joyful smiles and squeals. Some of your sounds make it sound as if you are saying “hi”. You enjoy feeding yourself cheerios. It is fun to watch you grab for one and put it into your mouth – with most of your fist!

Mama, You can play with me?

Saturday July 5, 2008

For how many years will I have the honor to be your number one friend? How many times will you ask me “Mama, you can play with me?” Caleb, you appear to be changing day by day. Each few days you are demonstrating a new grasp on your world, or if you have already had this grasp – you are now able to communicate it.

We are in Asotin, Washington on the Snake River at the mouth of Hells Canyon visiting your Aunt Julie and Uncle Corey Mullins and cousins Mickenzie (12) and Macy (7). You are having the time of your life. Each day, you get up and leave our cozy little guest house (w/o permission, of course) and head over to Aunt Julie’s house to begin your day of play with the girls. All day, you follow around Mickenzie or Macy – hand in hand as they lead you from coloring to playing with toys to swinging on the swing set. Hand in hand you go.

Today we played in the Snake River. You wore the girls’ pink butterfly life jacket, as there were no others and swam in your pj shorts, as we forgot to bring yours.....but that was just fine with you. You were too cold to get into the water and play with Papa, but after a couple of hours at the beach, you started to get more and more into the water as you played ball with everyone and showed us how you could splash.

You take us by the hand and say, “I can show you something”....and proceed to show us how you can swing by yourself on the airplane swing, or show us to the refrigerator to show us a popsicle, which you then say” I can have one? Yes? Ok”. J Tonight, after I laid baby Emet down to sleep in the guest house, I came out to hear you say, “Mama, You can play with me?” My heart melted. I said, “Sure, Caleb”. You led me to the swing set, where I started to push you on the airplane swing. You said, “No, don’t push me. You swing with me.” As I sat down, you said, “Mama, so – how are your tidbits”. (something I always ask Papa at the end of each work day, asking him for the highlights of his day...though I say “Do you have any tidbits?” Of course, we now always say, “So, how are your tidbits”. Who could resist?