Wednesday, January 28, 2009
However, every so often a person seems to be divinely sent to a particular place in your life just to speak to you where you're at right then, and today for me that person was an elderly lady in a grocery store. At the end of an already-too-long shopping trip, both kids were acting out. To make matters worse, I'd forgotten a couple of necessary items and had decided that due to scanner malfunctions, it was late enough I needed to get something for "lunch" as well. So, I committed the first parental faux-pas of grocery shopping. The "I don't need a cart because it's only a few items" one--if you've done it you've probably lived to regret it. Anyway, Lydia (my usually calm and well-behaved grocery shopper) wanted to be down and running all over, and was kicking her feet in protest at being held, and during the mayhem Joshua slipped off and began choosing items of interest to him. (If you're thinking candy, pop, junk food, you're on the right track...) When I finally convinced him to come back by me (in none too sweet of a tone) he started to make his way over, but got distracted right in front of an older couple. He was completely blocking their path, and I was sure they were none too pleased by it.
So, I pulled him back to my side and told him "Joshua, you can't just run without looking in a store. Those people are shopping and they're probably in a hurry, but you're standing in front of them and they can't move." I tried to escape with a quick "sorry" and moved on down the aisle. At this point I was truly ready to drop my items, skip the checkout, and leave without the items I'd forgotten, because I was highly stressed and close to tears. It's in those moments that parenting feels truly overwhelming. And that's when it happened.
The poor woman who Joshua had been totally obstructing walked over to where we were now picking out items and in the process totally changed the course of my day. She laid her hand on my shoulder, gave me a smile and said: "We are not in a hurry, you are not in the way. On the contrary, we are just watching, admiring. You (moms) do the hardest, most thankless job every day, and you do it with grace and beauty. Thank you!" I managed a 'thank you' of my own with tears in my eyes and she went on her way. But I was left humbled and grateful. I've never met the woman before, I can't thank her in any other way, so I will share her story. I know many times I am too quick to judge others and I hope I can be more like this woman, giving grace and encouragement at times of need, not just when people seem "deserving." Remember, she'd just witnessed one of my not-so-finest moments of motherhood: raising my voice, feeling out of control, two tantruming/disobeying children, and yet she saw the spirit and not the circumstances. Wow!
I have no idea if this woman knows Jesus, but she became the example of Jesus in the world through her actions today. There is no doubt in my mind that it is this type of behavior we are supposed to illustrate each and every day, speaking and serving the least of these in our daily lives. I have been blessed. May I remember to share this simple, yet meaningful blessing with others as I go throughout my life!
Proverbs 12: 25 'An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.'
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Today while browsing recipes, I found a link to this blog carnival. So I figured, why not, I'll participate. Besides, I could win a cool prize off of Etsy. Man, I love Etsy! (On an Etsy note, stay tuned, both of our moms have shoppes on Etsy, so I'm contemplating some type of post/giveaway, etc. that would feature them)
Anyway, without further ado, here's my meal plan:
(Sorry the recipes don't link yet, this week most of my recipes are from Eating Well magazine, so I can't link them. Maybe if I get a lot of time I'll check their site and see if they're online as well. If something looks really good, leave me a comment, or email me and I'll pass the recipe along.)
Monday: Marinated Steak with Balsamic-Red Wine Reduction, cheesy mashed potatoes, asian green beans and Creamy almond cheesecake. (We had a kid-free dinner! yay!)
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Wednesday: Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Pasta
Thursday: Leftover Night
Friday: MuShu Tofu
Saturday: Roasted Chicken Quesadillas
It is cold, cold, cold here in Wisconsin, AGAIN! This will probably be the story from now until the end of February. :( No one told us when we moved here that the reason we get less snow that Michigan is because it's honestly too cold to snow for much of the last half of the winter. Anyway, enough about that, we may be crazy, but we wouldn't want to live anywhere besides the upper mid-west, so we're OK with it.
Since it's so cold here, I thought I'd go ahead and post a couple of the videos I mentioned, because they certainly bring a smile to my face and warm me up inside!
The first video is of Lydia blowing kisses to her daddy. She does this often now whenever one of us is going somewhere and I find it absolutely precious. She's finally mastered the kissing sound, so they're getting pretty real. Although kisses that are actually applied to your face are still pretty sloppy!
The second video highlights one of Joshua's b-day presents and if you're between the ages of 25 and 35, I guarantee you'll recognize the song without any intro. Check out Joshua's dance moves...and then believe me when I say, the child has NEVER seen MC Hammer's original video. (Ok, this is no longer true, James showed it to him after seeing him bust out his own moves...but when the video was taken, he'd never even heard the song before the car started playing it.) Both kids LOVE to dance with the car and fights literally break out at our house over who gets to play with it!
Anyway, stay warm and enjoy!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
So, we've used a tip I received way back when and stored for future use: cut the tip off the paci nipple and it won't have the same soothing sucking feel. Well, this is probably true, but it doesn't seem to put him off in the least. (Probably because I don't think he uses it for sucking really at all, just for the comfort of having it in his mouth.
Furthermore, when he doesn't have his paci he's started putting his hand/fingers in his mouth and chewing/biting on them--at times leaving lasting marks or cuts by the time he's finished.
So, I guess my questions are these: Should I even care that he still has a pacifier? He's only three, certainly big enough to give it up, but not embarrassingly old. If I do take it away, any ideas on how to make the transition easier? Truly, I'm scared of taking them away cold-turkey, especially after recently talking to a friend with a daughter very close to Joshua's age who "took" her little girl's thumb "away" and promptly started having bedtime battles and a daughter who has refused to nap for going on a month now!
If you have any wisdom in this area, I'm all ears. I don't want to do anything cruel and I'm opposed to lying to him about it, but beyond that I'm open to just about anything.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
In addition to being close together on the calendar, the kids birthdays are also really close to the holidays and it becomes difficult (or impossible) for our families to join us for a celebration here in Wisconsin around the actual birthdays, so we usually celebrate with them when we see them for Christmas.
So, by the time the kids' party rolled around on Saturday, Lydia was quite the seasoned veteran of the singing and candle-blowing routine. I'm continually amazed by how rapidly connections are forming for her these days and usually amused in the process. For instance, whenever she sees cake or cupcakes (or objects that resemble them) she's coined her own "baby sign" and quickly starts making a blowing noise she used to put out her candle!
Joshua, of course, fully understands all that birthdays entail a bit more, so each day since Christmas he's been asking us how many days until his birthday. He was SO excited to have a party with all of his friends, and talked about it for days before it actually happened. He helped pick out items to put into treat bags and also helped me assemble them. He had imput on the food served and dreamed about what might come in his presents. Before having kids I had no idea that three year olds were such interactive, aware, and opinionated little people!
Saturday, the big day FINALLY rolled around and we were joined by quite a few of our closest friends to celebrate with the kids. Snowmen were the theme and I was quite pleased with how their cake turned out. I always see these great (and supposedly easy to re-create) cakes on parenting magazine websites, etc. and yet when I've tried them in the past, they've turned out poorly. So, I was pleasantly surprised at how true-to-plan this one went together. :) Also a bonus, this close to Christmast time you can get a great deal on snowman themed partywear, too! I could write more, but I have a feeling that most of my readership was either at one of the family celebrations or at the party itself, so I'll just go ahead and post some pictures of my favorite new 1 and 3 year olds!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
"A Dun" (All Done)
"Wuv-oo" (Love you)
"Dat" or "Dat-un" (That or That one)
"Ni-ni" (good-night or nurse)
"Woh-Woh" (Hello, hello-- said when she finds anything that is or resembles a phone)