Friday, August 7, 2009

Caleb & Emet

Emet is jabbering up a storm. There isn't a word he won't attempt, even if the result is nearly unintelligible!....and he is putting words together and attempting phrases. Despite all of this, his most frequently used phrase throughout the day goes something like, "No Way, Say" (No Way, Jose). This he says typically while chuckling with much good humor. However, it is occasionally said in the midst of crying or anger. When his big brother makes mean growling noises at him, he now responds by repeating the sound and intensity of the "growl", much to the frustration of his brother who used to establish his authority making these sounds. While he still says "down?" for down and up, he now also has started saying "up?". What once was "[gear shift noise] cah" has now transitioned to "key cahr", which refers to every wheeled car or truck outside of "tah tuhs" (tractors). He is also a big fan of the phrase "Mine!!"...(which also sounds like My)....this typically comes with a whiny tone!

Emet has what might be considered the stinkiest little feet ever created, so when we take off his sandals, we often say "Whoooooweee!!!" This, he loves, and now responds by thrusting his little stink bombs again and again into our faces and questioning, "Whooowee?" Caleb now also refers to Emet's stinky diapers as "whoowee diapers". :-)

Whenever we leave the house, we always say, "Bye bye, Tata (Caleb's created nick name for Greta). Guard the house, Baby Girl. We love you." Caleb says it each time. Now, Emet has started saying "Bye Bye, Tata".....and an attempt at "We love you, Tata!", which sounds much like "Pa pee, Tata." He also says this to Jason over the phone or when we leave our visits to his work, "Pa pee, Papa" (I love you, Papa.)

His other favorites these days are his "nigh nigh" (blankets) and most importantly his "Poppy" (puppy), a little brown stuffed puppy, now quite ratty from many chews, loves, and kisses. He is extremely attached to this little pet, much more than Caleb ever has been to any of his animals.

Caleb has transitioned from a toddler to a little boy. I guess the most commonly used term is "preschooler". There is just no evidence of baby in him anymore. He thinks deep thoughts and asks lots of questions. Some of his more recent questions are:

"Where do penguins live?", "Where do polar bears live?",
"Can you show me where everything is?" (referring to a world globe I just purchased him),
"Does everything die?",
"How big is God?"...."This big?" (stretching his arms out as wide as they can go)
"Mama, will you be my Mama forever?", or "Mama, I will be your KB forever." (KB is how he first pronounced his name when he started talking, and it sort of stuck.)

He can sit and listen to you read stories for an endless amount of time. He often likes to take the book and "read" it himself to you after we've finished. Also, I've recently noticed that if he is watching a movie, he will curl up on the couch under a blanket and watch the whole thing without needing to get up and play or be otherwise distracted. He laughs and finds different parts humorous. He's just growing up.

I realized not long ago that he is nearly 4 years old. Those 4 years have passed so quickly! He went from a baby to an adorable little boy. However, in the next 4 years, which will pass just as rapidly, I'm sure - he will just become a boy. He will begin to develop into that awkwardness in the years approaching his pre-teens. Before I know it, he will be into his teenage years and beyond. Lately, he has even started pointing to different parts of the globe and telling me that is where he went to high school! :-) (Last time it was Nigeria) Wow. As I've mentioned before, there's nothing like having a child to make you grasp the reality of how quickly time passes.

He is also quite the singer. He combines all sorts of songs and lyrics. I imagine many of them are from what he hears at Sunday School, on the radio, and what Papa sings to him at night. Then, he makes up words and tunes and sings along. I love to hear him singing "Jesus loves me" and "Blessed Assurance" though - the songs he and Emet sing each night with their Papa. Emet sings along too - his favorite phrases being "This is my tory (story)!!!"...(which he sings over and over during the whole song. Also, "The Bahbuh tells me soooooooo"........

Lately, we have been including Caleb in taking turns saying a prayer at mealtimes. Caleb, though he started very quietly and reluctantly, has been gaining more confidence. His prayer typically goes something like this: "Dear God, Thank you for today. Please watch over us as we go to visit Grandpa and Grandma and see the monster trucks. Let our light shine. In Jesus name, Amen". This obviously elicits many twinkles from the eyes of his Mama and Papa - especially since we are typically not on the way to see Grandma and Grandpa......or the monster trucks! But, it's what's on his mind - and for that, we are glad he is praying! It's a great start to a life of putting what's on his heart and mind before God.

Last night, Caleb got so excited about the Clark County Fair, which is starting today. He has been talking about the fair ever since we went last year, asking about where the fair goes, where the monster trucks live, etc. He said, "Are we going to the fair tomorrow?" When we said "No, not tomorrow".....he said - "But, everyone is going to be there tomorrow! I mean, you and me and baby Emet and Grandma and Grandpa!!"
Both of our boys have really been blessed by our nearby family and close friends. They cherish time with each and every one of our friends, with family, at Sunday School, at the Bible study we host at our home, and whenever we entertain friends - which is often. They have alot of good role models in their lives, and for that I am thankful.

With the back to school sales going on now, I'm gearing up to have them participate in the Operation Christmas Child program, where you pack a shoebox full of gifts for a child in a poverty stricken or war-torn area who would otherwise receive nothing at Christmastime. Last year for Christmas, we purchased them banks which are divided into three sections: Giving, Saving, Spending. Currently, any money they receive for gifts or in cards, we just divide it evenly between the three banks - to make it easier. As they get older, we can begin to adjust this. We will be taking money out of their "giving" banks for this project, so we're trying to get the best deals we can on supplies for these boxes. Some of our finds have been $.25 Crayola crayons, $.99 marker sets, etc. I could probably do even better, but time, sanity and pregnancy have to weigh into the overall mix too!

Well, the boys just finished playing with PlayDough in the dining room and the squabbling has begun. There is so much more I would like to capture - there is so much I've missed. However, that's just life, I guess. I'll just hope that someday I can re-read my blog and momentarily relive some of these precious moments. It's the only scrapbook I'm keeping or am likely to keep in the near future.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love you too, Sweet Mama

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture a few precious moments from tonight, which sort of capture the stage we're in with Caleb right now.

Jason came home from work early with some kind of flu bug, so I did my best to keep the boys away from Jason and out of the house so he could rest.

We went over to Mark and Karen's house (cousins). Allison and I swam in the pool, while Uncle Mark took Caleb and Emet with him to work in the garden, feed Buddy the goat, and collect eggs from the chickens. It was so sweet to look up from the pool and see the boys out there, filling the buckets with various veggies, watering the garden, and feeling very important going about their tasks helping Uncle Mark. When they returned down by the pool, Caleb's eyes were alight with pride as we asked him what he helped to do. As a reward, the boys each got to sit in a chair and eat a popcicle. Caleb later had the courage to get in the pool by himself and ride in a little inflatable boat. (Caleb has not been a fan of pools thus far.) Little Emet got in the boat as well.

When we got home, the boys and I went out to the garden to pick the "Zucumpkins", or rather those squash I have avoided picking for about a week that are now dominating the plants. Caleb suggested we bring the "hay wagon" (the boys' John Deere wagon) to haul the zucchini in. That was the best idea he's had in a long time! We nearly filled it! On the way outside, Jason asked Caleb to watch out for Mama because that was normally his job and he couldn't do it since he was sick. Caleb said, "Ok, Papa" and headed outside. He and Emet stood by my side as I twisted the monstrous zucchinis from the plants. Each stood ready - Caleb with the "hay wagon" and Emet with his little plastic wheel barrow. Both of them wanted squash for their carts, and each was so eager to help do our work.

As we were picking squash, it began getting dark. Caleb began hearing noises and asking me if I heard the monster, the giant, etc. Finally, he said, "Mama - it is getting dark and the bears will be coming out soon." I said, "No, Caleb. I have a couple of more chores to do before we go in. We don't have bears that come around here." He then told me....."But, Mama. It's my job to protect you. I think we need to go in now. It's getting dark." Sure enough, he had barely gotten that out of his mouth when Jason came outside and told us to come in, worrying about the cayotes.

Bedtime was a fairly quick routine tonight. Afterwards, I jumped in the shower, and when I came out, Emet was fast asleep in his crib, but Caleb was staring off to some far place. I went in and traced on his back for a while. When I got up to leave, I said - "I love you, Sweet Boy." He turned to me and said, "I love you too, Sweet Mama."