Friday, October 7, 2011

Babies & Business

Oh, my much-neglected blog! You know it's been too long when you can't remember your password to log in to blogger.com. As I mentioned in my last post, life has been busy lately and these last couple months are no exception. We have, I suppose, two newsworthy changes in our lives.

The first being that for the past four months or so I've been working on opening my own little shop called PuddleJump Designs on etsy.com selling baby blankets and quilts I make from home. I've been sewing for the past couple years, thanks to my mom buying me a sewing machine (thanks, mom!) and have enjoyed sewing curtains for our home and a patchwork blanket for each of the boys. I accumulated a lot of leftover fabric from these little projects and considered making extra blankets out of them to try to sell somehow, but could never really figure out how to sell them other than on craigslist or facebook and neither of those options appealed to me. Then a friend launched her own baby blanket shop on etsy and inspired me to do the same. I've really enjoyed selecting fabric and piecing together creative projects, just me and my sewing machine. And for awhile I even found it hard to sleep at night dreaming up my etsy shop; I've been so excited. It's a passion I'm so glad I realized and hope for great success!

We also are expecting a baby early April! This is our third and final "hurrah." I always imagined myself in a large family scenario, kind of like 7th Heaven. This was my idea of our family before we had any kids! Now we're hoping we can just manage with three. I know the first few months will be pure survival mode, and simply getting out of the house by myself with three kids five and under - and not in our pj's - will be my only daily goal for quite awhile. And I'm okay with that, with life becoming a little more chaotic and out-of-control than I prefer, for the purpose of the long-term big picture for our family. I can't wait for large family gatherings on holidays complete with daughters-in-law (and maybe a son-in-law??) and grandchildren at our cottage in the country - you know, when we strike it rich during our empty-nest phase! And it'll take several years of our lives turned upside down during the baby phase to reach that big picture. So... here we go! Let the chaos begin. Again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dreaming Big

Whew!! These past few weeks have been ridiculously busy! Too busy even for blogging much this summer. We always celebrate a plethora of birthdays within our immediate families in June, July and August (eight birthdays, to be exact), as well as our wedding anniversary, then add in extra holiday-type plans to commemorate summer, a good friend's wedding (Monte was a groomsman), I've been working temporarily from home for Focus for the past five weeks, and other things happening that I won't yet divulge... these past couple months have kept us beyond busy.

Amongst all this busyness Monte has begun training with a company that we're really truly excited about. Back in November a friend of ours asked to meet with us as she had begun training with this company. We were a bit hesitant once we realized finances was the topic of our meeting - who really wants to be brutally honest about their finances to anyone, let alone a friend?! But sitting down with her and her trainer was the most educational hour we've ever spent on our finances. And it's amazing just how much power a little knowledge can give you! We put together a long-term financial plan, and several months later Monte's learning how to teach others about making, spending and saving money wisely - for free. He even got to attend their annual conference in Vegas earlier this month, along with 15,000 other people from Canada and the U.S. What we've come away with the most from these last few months of learning is actually feeling the freedom to dream. Dream BIG for our future. We've experienced many years of frustration, discouragement, and downright despair because of our financial situation that we'd given up dreaming long ago. You don't really realize it when you're in the midst of just trying to make it work month to month, but admitting what you want to see happen in your lifetime, who those dreams come from (God designed us to dream, and dreams big for us, too), and how to actually make them happen is what makes life exciting. And that excitement had been gone from our lives for far too long. Who wants to acknowledge their dreams when you feel like there's no way they'd ever happen? But we've got long lists now of what we want to accomplish in life, and plan to commit those dreams to prayer and put together very purposeful plans to pursue every one of those dreams. It's a freeing feeling to accept that there's so much more to life than trying to make it just day by day, denying any desire to do more than just get those darn bills paid each month.

Have you allowed yourself to dream big lately?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Speech Therapy

You know those children you can hear halfway across the grocery store screaming like a spoiled little brat, making you wonder what on earth their mother was thinking letting their child get away with despicable behavior like that? Yeah, that's me. And Cody's that unbelievingly shrill child. Almost every time we're out. And then all the time at home. We've been going through a frustrating year or so of trying to get him to pick up some words, just a few at the very least. But, despite our daily efforts, he's still pretty much wordless. In between his grunts and screams is mixed in some word-like sounds to attempt to say "mama," "no" and "dada." And he can roar like one crazy dinosaur. But that's it. And he'll be two next week. So this past week we paid a long-awaited visit (four months, to be exact) to the speech therapist. It was therapy for me to have someone listen to my frustrations, release me of my deep motherly guilt and observe my child for over an hour. There's not a whole lot we can do for him at this point, but she did give me some suggestions as to how to encourage his speech and, in the meantime, to teach him a little more sign language to encourage proper communication versus simply screaming to get what he wants. I love my little Codes, and it breaks my heart to see him so frustrated when he can't communicate. As a mom, I just want to see him happy and doing as well as he possibly can. So I hope these exercises work - and quickly - so we can start to hear about everything going on in that brain of his!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

All Stitched Up

I'm not a morning person; I don't function normally until close to 10am every day. So after I get everybody out of bed, dressed and fed, I like to take in my morning coffee in quiet to adjust to the idea of being awake. And so the boys watch a TV show or two along with some apple slices. It's our morning routine and I love it! TV time equals calm, quiet down-time... right? Wrong.

Nate likes to swing by his arms between the two couches in our living room while he watches TV (I guess sitting on the couch is just too darn relaxing). I always caution him to be careful when he does this, but it doesn't ever look too dangerous. His feet are just a couple inches off the ground and his swinging motion is small, and I'm pretty sure I did the same kind of thing when I was younger for fun and never got hurt. But this time his arms must've slipped off the couch arms mid-swing, because his forehead hit the corner of the coffee table, and he was down on the floor crying out in pain. The gash was so deep, I could see where his flesh met his skull. I knew right away he'd need stitches and ran around the house grabbing a cloth to put pressure on the gash, snacks for all of us should we get sent to the ER, and the diaper bag since it was a weekday and I was on my own with both boys. We went to the closest walk-in clinic where the nurse paid great attention to us and bumped us up to the front of the list in a full waiting room. Thankfully the bleeding stopped by the time we got there, and while Nate was definitely in pain and seemed anxious about what would happen next in that dreaded doctor's office, he was playing a little with Cody and being his silly little self. The doctor had to give an injection into the wound to freeze it, and then proceeded to put in three stitches. I had been fine up until the needle was placed into Nate's face... But then the room started to spin and I felt very shaky and about to faint. I felt awful about abandoning Nate right in the middle of getting his very first stitches ever but I knew if I didn't sit down and eat the energy bar I had brought along, I'd be passed out on the floor completely useless. So three times during Nate's stitches I had to sit down and take a few moments to gather myself. Nate screamed through every stitch - and the nurse popped her head in every time to make sure we were okay - but not once did he squirm away or try to avoid getting the stitches. He was incredibly brave, braver than his mama. So I made sure to make up for this horrible experience for the rest of the day, with a slurpee stop, lunch in front of the TV, and building a tent in his room to play in. I hope he learned his lesson - never ever let your feet leave the ground ever again.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Officially a Preschooler

I registered Nate for preschool this past Sunday. After several months of mulling it over (and missing out on many registration opportunities at various preschools) I decided on putting him in the 2-day-a-week preschool at our local rec centre. I had actually heard great things about the program and after putting him in a Saturday morning sports program at the same place, I felt comfortable with the idea of sending him there twice a week come the fall.

Of course, registration happened to fall on the one weekend Monte was away, and I didn't feel I could ask anyone to watch the boys since most people would be planning to go to church (who registers for preschool on a Sunday, by the way?). So I was plotting away at how to keep both boys content during registration which I expected to be long and boring. Thankfully Monte's parents offered to stay home from church to watch the boys and I was able to go by myself. However, on my way to dropping off the boys across town I recognized a mom of a boy close to Nate's age from the park the previous day, driving in the opposite direction. I panicked, thinking the only place she'd be going so early on a Sunday by herself is to register at the rec centre... And if she's going early to register, so would many other moms. I had heard several stories of mothers lining up for hours - sometimes overnight - to get their kids into a certain preschool. Suddenly I wondered if this registration experience would turn out the same way and I nervously booked it to my in-laws, booted the boys out of the van and raced over to the rec centre, short of breath at the reception desk asking where the long line-up of mothers were for registration only to find out that no one had shown up yet. I sat and waited by myself for over a half hour, and even then when it officially started there were only a handful of other parents there. But in my haste I forgot my cheques, and of course my debit card expired that very day... So I held Nate's spot with my credit card and raced home to get my cheques to pre-pay for the year. It was a stressful morning! And the worst part was that it was stressful only because I made it that way. Sadly, that's the epitomy of me: always turning molehills into mountains and stressing unecessarily about it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

With These Hands

I meet with a couple of friends once a month to pray for our kids. We share about our triumphs and trials as mothers, support each other in prayer and work through the prayers offered in Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying Parent." We met last Monday, and since I was feeling quite discouraged in my role as a mom, I spent a good portion of the night unloading onto my unsuspecting friends! It was good to talk to other mothers who I quickly realized have gone through the same things I've been experiencing. And it was great to be able to pray about it with others. I'm a verbal processor, so it's amazing how much smaller my problems seem as soon as I talk about them and feel validated.

On my way home, however, I was listening to praise 106.5. A Family Life program was on, discussing preparing your teen for post-graduation life. I'm really good at tuning out talk radio, especially when it has nothing to do with my own life. But they began to read a poem that caught my attention. It made me realize just how fleeting my moments are with my kids here at home. I know in the blink of an eye I'll be at Nate's graduation, or sending Cody off to college and my heart will ache, wanting to hold them on my lap for bedtime snuggles just one last time. While my days seem long and mundane as a stay at home mom right now, it's only for a brief time and I know I'll never be able to get this time back. So here's that poem that brought tears to my eyes. I'd give credit to whoever wrote it, but they didn't say... It was the youth pastor at their church, at a service centered around sending off their high school grads.

WITH THESE HANDS

With these hands, I gently cradled this child;
Held him close to my heart,
Nursed his wounds and calmed her fears,
Held the books that I would read
And rock this child fast asleep.

With these hands, I made his lunches
And drove the car that carried her to school;
Snapped endless pictures, wrapped countless gifts,
Then did my best to assemble those gifts.

Combed his hair and wiped her tear,
Let her know that I was near
To nurse his wounds and heal her heart
When it would break.

With these hands, I made mistakes,
And with these hands I prayed and prayed and prayed.

These hands are feeble, these hands are worn,
These hands can no longer calm the storms;
These hands have done all they can do;
These hands now release this child, my child
To You.

For Your hands are able,
Your hands are strong,
Your hands alone can calm the storms.
Your hands will continue to do
What they are so gifted to do,

To shape his life and make her new,
Into Your hand receive this child,
For my child I now give back to You.

In the strong name of Jesus,
And with all my heart I pray,
Amen.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Paska

Nope, it's not a typo. I'm not blogging about pasta. It's paska - one of our family's favourite Easter treats! I waited ever so patiently until April to whip out my recipe, and now I've got a batch whirring in my bread machine. It's an Easter tradition that you don't often hear about until you become familiar with the mennonite community. I'm mennonite only by marriage, so this tradition is fairly new to me. But sweet bread with icing and sprinkles? Sign me up! Here's the recipe I use every spring to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year. Beware: it's for a bread machine and the first time I tried it as a loaf baked right in the machine, it overflowed - big time. It didn't wreck my bread-maker, but the loaf was not pretty! So now I just make it on the dough setting and bake it up however I want in the oven, as directed by my bread machine manual. I've done one giant french-bread-looking loaf, several mini-loaves, and today I'm going to try making paska buns (more icing per square inch of bread!).

Bread Machine Paska
1 c warm water
2 large eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp grated lemon rind
4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp bread machine yeast
Put ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed above; follow your bread machine's directions for making bread, or set the machine on the dough setting and bake the bread the oven. Makes a 2 pound loaf.

ICING: Cream 3 tbsp butter/margarine, then add 2 cups icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 2-3 tbsp milk and mix well. Spread over loaf and top with holiday sprinkles!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vintage Love

It all started with a rocking chair - one my parents had from before I can remember. It had seen better days and was being stored in their garage. With Nate brewing in my belly, I figured it would be a great addition to his room. Monte sanded down the chair and painted it white, while I put my finishing touches on it with a little sandpaper around the edges to give it a distressed look. And I was hooked. I loved the look of something that appeared "gently loved" and one of a kind. It adds to our home that country/shabby-chic look that I seem to be drawn to. So whenever the need came up for a piece of furniture, I'd spend weeks scouring local thrift stores in search of the perfect piece. I've refinished a dresser, a desk and a stand for our TV, and I've got a beautiful 1920's hutch waiting for a facelift in my garage, as well as our "new" kitchen table with four mismatched wooden chairs I'm in the middle of painting. I love shopping for vintage furniture, looking for a great deal and visualizing the potential in various pieces. I have to exercise some restraint to only pick up the pieces I actually need! Now if only I remembered to take before and after pictures... Maybe for my next project.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cody's First Hospital Stay

The boys and I were playing outside on Friday, taking advantage of the rare lack of rain. I was killing two birds with one stone by throwing the ball around for the dog as well - getting everyone some fresh air and exercise. Bailey got a little too excited and rammed into Cody, knocking him to the ground, the back of his head hitting the pavement first. It was by far the worst accident he'd been in, and I felt horrible for him. We took him to the walk-in clinic just to check things out, and was sent back home with little to worry about. Later that day we were at my parent's place for dinner with my older sister and her family. The kids wanted to play outside and so we all went out to play in the driveway. Cody was keeping busy, chasing balls that were flying around and trying to be a part of the excitement. He tripped over a baseball glove and fell to the ground, hitting his forehead on the pavement. It didn't seem to be that bad of an inury, so we put him to bed and didn't think anything of it. Later on the drive home, he started throwing up and we suddenly felt alarmed, with two injuries to the head in one day. It was 11pm and we had Nate in the car with us, but decided to head straight for the hospital and arranged for Monte's parents to meet us there and take Nate to their place for the night.

After hours of waiting with an overtired, puke-covered toddler, telling the same story over and over and over again to various hospital staff, we were admitted into the pediatric ward around 3am. There was only a single cot in the room shared with another patient, so Monte went home to catch a few hours of sleep while I attempted to get Cody acclimated to his new bed which did not go over well. I got no sleep that night, and Cody slept maybe 6 of the 12-13 hrs he normally gets. We were a miserable pair! Monte relieved me of hospital duty in the morning. After meeting with the pediatrician, who was certain Cody only had a couple minor concussions instead of a skull fracture as diagnosed by the first doctor who saw him, I went home for a much-needed nap and shower. Cody continued to throw up anything he took in, and had a tough time getting any sleep with all the noises around him (whoever thought that room-sharing in peds was a good idea was terribly wrong). We were told that if he continued to get sick to his stomach or if any other symptoms got worse, we would have to proceed with a CT scan which apparently is the radiation equivalent of 250 x-rays - not something we wanted to subject our child to! So we got in touch with many of our friends and family and got praying... and our little guy began to keep down food and water, was able to sleep better and just began to act more like himself. And by the next morning he was downing corn flakes like crazy, feeding me, making faces, and waving to all the cars outside our window. The pediatrician saw him again and gave us the green light to go home, but Cody would have to wear a helmet whenever he's on the go just to be safe, for a month. He's going to hate it!

We felt so supported by our friends and family, especially to those who gave their time to help take care of Nate (who was spoiled the entire time... we were certain the mini-golfing, milkshakes, playground trips and fast food meals would make him wish we stayed at the hospital longer!). We fully felt the affects of those praying for us; I believe Cody got better as fast as he did because of so many people keeping him in their prayers. It was one of the longest weekends of my life, but there were some special moments throughout that made it seem more bearable. My favourite moment was when I was laying on a couch in one of the family rooms, just exhausted, and Cody walked over to me (soother in mouth, blankie in hand) and started rubbing my back. So sweet!






Monday, March 14, 2011

Change... Again

It's Monday morning... ugh. And even more so this week as yet another transition looms around the corner. It's Monte's last week at the Wired Monk. We did not foresee this when we first anticipated this new (and seemingly ideal) job opportunity way back last spring. However, life happens, circumstances dictate certain choices, and what we plan so diligently isn't always what ends up. We're not sure what lies ahead for Monte and his career path, but we're looking forward to him having a little time off to spend time as a family and will wait & listen for what God wants for us. Having gone through this several times in the last few years, I'm far less stressed this time. As a control-freak, it's a strange feeling to not feel overwhelmed with anxiety when things like this happen. Instead it's exciting to know that God will take care of us, as He always has, and that we will embark on a new adventure - hopefully soon! We've got bills to pay, kids to take care of, a home to maintain, and so on, but we trust that He will direct us in looking for the best place for Monte to work and in the meantime will give us peace about our current situation.

If you live in Abbotsford, or visit often, please still stop by the coffee shop. Monte is leaving by his own choice, and we hope for great success for the Wired Monk. Neither Monte's cousins, nor Monte & I feel negatively about this decision; it's just one that had to be made.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

He Walks!!!

I was thinking this day would never come! 19 months old, and my baby is finally walking! He's been walking here and there for some time, but would only take steps if he didn't realize he was doing it. As soon as we'd notice and cheer, he'd drop to the floor. Or if we suggested to him that he walk, he'd get mad and insist on crawling (a slight insight into the stubborn nature we'll face in the years to come?). But today after lunch I got him down from his high chair and he proceeded to walk lap after lap through the kitchen and hallway. He'd fall down, and get right back up again to walk. We were excited when Nate started walking at 13 months, but this seems like a totally different milestone now with Cody... 6 extra months of carrying around a 30 lb "baby" took a lot out of me. My tired lower back and I are thrilled with this change!


video

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Birthday Photos

Nate turned four on February 13th, and we spent the entire weekend celebrating with a birthday playdate at home with his Langley playgroup kids, a bowling party with several friends from church, and a family get-together with Monte's family and another with mine. It was a busy weekend, but we had a lot of fun!

We love you, Nathan and we're so proud of the little man you're becoming! We are in awe of your gentle spirit, sensitive nature, your thirst for learning anything and everything, and your love for those around you. You brighten our home with your sweet, genuine smile that hides your eyes and your contagious giggle brings us so much joy. God has great things in store for you and we are excited to see your unique and very special qualities put into action as you grow up!



Friday, February 11, 2011

Whispers of God

Have you ever had a friend who knew what you needed before you even had to say it? Maybe someone who carried your burdens along with you, far more than you ever expected? I have several people like that in my life... People who listen closely to God's promptings to be there for those they love in ways that truly reveal His love for us. One of my friends will wake up in the middle of the night often, burdened to pray for someone specific. And later on she'll learn that something was troubling that person or they were going through something difficult.

I've been so blessed by these people in my life. But it makes me wonder... Am I that person to others? To anyone? I wish I was, but I just don't think I am. And as I think more and more about this, I really long to be that for many people in my life. Especially for my husband and kids. So lately God's been reminding me daily the need to stop and listen to His voice. And that the best way to do that is to spend more time in prayer, and to read my bible more. Both things I really struggle with. So, it's so funny when our church small group leaders take off for a month to Thailand for missions, and Monte & I are asked to take over as leaders, what do you suppose the 4-week study topic might be? "The Power of a Whisper" by Bill Hybels - the importance of listening to the whispers of God and having the courage to obey. Sheesh, do you think I'm supposed to learn something here?? I love it when things like this become so obvious... Like being hit over the head with one of those giant cartoon clubs. We've just gotten started with the first session, but I already know that hearing and obeying God's voice usually requires some sort of personal sacrifice. However, I know that the results far outweigh the sacrifices, and what greater way to love the people around you than to tune in to what God wants for them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Too Many Tillys

When I was about 12 years old I saw a drama presentation of Frank Peretti's book, Tilly. I sat in the front row in my home church in Kelowna, soaking in every minute of the story, and by the end of the play the tears that I had been holding back burst through and I sobbed with a heavy heart. That story revealed a passion within me for unborn babies and their frightened, unprepared mothers that feel cornered into abortion. Even now I can't get through the story of Tilly without it affecting me. Years later, working at Focus on the Family, I encountered the same topic covered by Dr. Dobson in his monthly newsletter. The letter featured a photo, a very famous picture, of a surgery being done on an unborn baby. The surgeon's finger, outside of the mother, is being grasped by the hand of the baby still in the uterus. The image is burned into my brain; it's just unbelievable. After reading the letter, I spent the evening curled up on my bed, mourning the loss of so many babies who never even had a chance at life. That passion, since my pre-teen years, has never left me and I always knew I wanted to do something to help mothers who feel there is no other option than abortion. I just never knew how to go about getting involved.

This past Christmas, an opportunity came up for me to help organize our church's involvement with our city's Community Services annual Christmas party. It put me in touch with a staff member at their Family Centre and through meetings with her came another opportunity... One involving high-risk pregnancy groups. I'll be organizing a group of women within my church, probably young moms who have time to give during the week, to cook up a meal for these expectant mothers once a month. I'm not sure exactly how this will work or what it will eventually look like, but I'm beyond excited about digging into this whole-heartedly. I believe God has put this passion inside of me, and for a purpose. I just can't wait to put it into action and see where it leads.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smartphone Heartbreak

To the cellular phone (and all it's inconsiderate users):

You have broken my heart. You've stirred up an anger in me so strong, I've never felt anything like it. And it feels strange to be so incredibly mad at an inanimate object. You've snuck into millions of peoples' lives under the guise of being efficient and convenient, yet that's trumped by your ability to make people rude, inconsiderate and self-involved. They can't keep from being curious every time you ring with a phone call, ding with a text, or alert that there's a new email, and so they stop and drop everything immediately to give you their full attention, making them ignore the people they're with, or the places they're at. Damn you, cell phone, for turning wonderful family moments into "Shhhh - So&So is on the phone!" or for interrupting important conversations, to finish with a half-focused participant with one eye glued to the messages coming through on the phone, or for forcing mealtimes into a great internet surfing opportunity instead of enjoying the company of those around the table.

I have never had a cell phone, nor will I ever in my lifetime. To my grave I will go having never been held hostage to this ridiculous addiction to be constantly within contact of the rest of the world. I have experienced first-hand the hold cell phones can take on people, and how it affects the ones closest to them. I have felt second-rate, unimportant, disrespected and just plain ignored and I refuse to ever involve myself in what the world views as such a resourceful tool. There's something to be said about being unreachable for awhile, to give the person you're with the undivided attention they should receive, giving them the impression that they're the only one you want to be spending your time with at that moment. That's what our world has been missing since the birth of the cell phone: the value of time spent with others uninterrupted. And I'm certain, we'll see how it changes all of us and our relationships over the decades to come.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spent

I got the flu on Monday. Like, really bad. I NEVER get the flu. Once a decade is my average, so when I get it, it hits me hard! It's Thursday afternoon and for the first time since Sunday I have an appetite, and can actually eat something. I tell ya, it really affects your energy level when you can't eat. Especially when your 24/7 job of taking care of your kids doesn't stop. I've said it before... someone could make a killing offering sick days to moms: coming into their homes, taking care of their kids, cooking, cleaning house, etc. I'd pay for that.

Monte seems to be fighting this flu too, because yesterday we were both just toast by 4pm. He was on the couch and I was curled up on our bed while our kids watched one TV show after another. It was one of those evenings where you kept looking at the clock, counting down how many minutes til bedtime. And there were always just too many minutes. So after the dinner I made but couldn't eat because of nausea, we tossed the boys into the bath for so long they were all pruny and shrively. And this is when family moments happen - when you're both sick and exhausted, and wondering how you're going to make it through another day all by yourselves...

Our half naked boys danced up a storm in Nate's room to some cranked Imagination Movers tunes while Monte & I laid on the floor, killing ourselves laughing. It was just the best medicine ever, and made those last few minutes before bedtime pass so quickly. There's something so wonderful about little kids just losing themselves in music; Nate with his crazy moves and intense facial expressions, and Cody furiously stomping his chubby little legs, trying to copy what Nate does. It was one of those moments where you just wanted it to keep going so you wouldn't ever forget it, cause you know you'll never get it back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Screamer and The Liar

It's amazing what we forget, as parents - all the various phases of infant/toddlerhood. I'm pretty sure we were designed intentionally to not recall these frustrating memories; most parents would probably stop having children after the first one if we could vividly remember the not so fun times.

However, I'm trying my hardest to think back to Nate at a year and a half, and I just don't remember him having the kind of temper that Cody seems to flare at us all day long... every day. The kid HAS to have everyone around him know just how angry he is at whatever is bothering him by letting out raging screams at the top of his lungs. It's embarrassing to go out in public with him, because he gets mad about everything! There is no pleasing this child. And I'm on the fence as to how to discipline him... He's very much aware of when he's in trouble and knows the word 'no' but he doesn't seem to be ready for time-outs yet. For now I've resorted to flicking his hand to reprimand, after several failed attempts to have him obey by just using words. But, man, this kid has a temper like no other. I'm frightened for the future.

And Nathan - my sweet firstborn - has learned to lie. And I don't mean those really obvious toddler fibs, I mean full-on stories that he repeatedly sticks to. I never knew how difficult it could be to explain as simply as possible the difference between lying and telling the truth. And I hate having to constantly suspect that he might be lying to me. It's just so sad to watch such a pure and innocent child dig himself deeper and deeper into our terrible human nature!

Yep - we're a real treat, our household. I guess I've got my work cut out for me.












Monday, January 3, 2011

To Preschool or Not to Preschool?

That is the question. And apparently I should've been making this decision way back in the fall, when enrollment began for 2011. Who knew preschool was such a big deal?

I was wrestling with this question last night as I laid awake in bed. I pictured myself dropping Nate off at school, leaving him to his own activities completely independent of me - and my eyes welled up with tears. "This is it," I thought. If we go ahead with preschool, this begins the start of his gradual independence through school. Am I ready for this? Even as I think about it now, my stomach starts turning and I don't feel so well. Oh boy. Am I going to be a treat on the first day of kindergarten!

Neither Monte nor I went to preschool, so it wasn't even a discussion when we first talked about having kids. But now that kindergarten is a full day, five days a week, I could see the argument for preschool as a stepping stone to ease kids into the routine of school. So now begins my search for a potential 'right fit' for Nate... Should we opt for preschool. Montessori? Wind & Tide? Church-based program? 3 day vs. 5 day, morning or afternoon? Sheesh! Wish me luck.