The Kids

The Kids

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh, The Things He Is Saying Now

I have heard the second child often does not talk as much as the first child. This is usually because the first one talks for him/her. I thought this might happen with Caleb, especially since his sister never stops talking-ever.

But, no, I am blessed with two children who feel the need to express every thought, hurt, and exciting moment in their lives. Here are a few phrases I had the joy of hearing from Caleb this week...

Me: "Caleb, are you a big boy?"
Caleb: "No, Ba Ba, I'm a baby!"

Me (after hearing a little sound from his diaper): "Caleb, did you fart?"
Caleb: "No."
(Insert fluff sound from his diaper here)
Caleb (laughing): "I pooped, Ba Ba."

Anytime he is hugged, tickled, or has his diaper changed, I hear, "That tickles!"

Thankfully, instead of crossing his arms and yelling, "Nope!" to anything he does not want to do, he now gives a polite, "No thank you" and continues on his way. (Of course, once he is made to do something he does not want to do, then he yells-true testament to human nature.)

And finally, my favorite phrase of the week..."I love you." When you hear those words from your child for the first time, all is right in the world. It does not matter that he most likely doesn't understand the meaning-it still melts my heart.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who Named This Cat?

This morning Abby was coloring in her Cinderella coloring book. She asked Caleb if he wanted to join her and said he could color the cat. What caught my attention was this question from Abby:

"Caleb, can you say 'Lucifer?'"

After I nearly dropped the high chair tray I was carrying to the sink, it finally dawned on me she was referring to the cat in the story.

Who names these characters?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friendship According to Abby

The other day, Abby looked out our backdoor window and saw her friend, Trinity, playing in her backyard with two other neighborhood girls. Of course, she immediately begged to go play (this happen almost daily) and I let her go over. I kept checking on her every few minutes while I made dinner and after about 15 minutes I saw her standing at the fence in tears.

Now, if you know my daughter, she does get a bit emotional at the drop of a hat (no idea where she gets it-it's not like her parents are sensitive or anything). I just assumed she was upset over a minor thing.

I ran over and heard the scoop. Abby's version (while sobbing) was, "Trinity said I have to go home!" The two friends spoke up and said that Trinity was being mean and saying Abby had to leave just because they decided they were going home. Trinity's version was, "I'm just done playing outside now."

Seriously? I thought I would have to deal with this girl drama when Abby became a teenager.

I took Abby home, we played in the front yard with Caleb (who was thrilled with this arrangement, seeing as he cried for her when she left him an entire 20 minutes earlier), and she calmed down. Eventually the kids moved toward the backyard and guess who was playing in her yard? Yes-Trinity. I thought I was in for more tears from Abby, but her reaction? She smiled and said, "Look! It's Trinity! Can I go play with her?"

What? Doesn't this girl understand that when a friend hurts you, you stay mad for awhile? Give her the cold shoulder, maybe talk about her to other friends? What is this about moving on and forgiving so quickly?

I walked Abby over (much to Caleb's dismay) and she played with Trinity again. At one point I heard her asking Trinity, "Are you sorry?" and Trinity replied, "Yes." Then they moved on and it was never brought up again.

At what point during our growing up do we decide to take longer on our forgiveness? My guess is after so many years of getting hurt, we become guarded and almost expect the hurt to come. Instead of running to a friend who has hurt us and not even waiting on the apology to come first, it becomes easier to stay mad and ignore the person.

Ironically, as I am typing this, Caleb is playing with the toy ipod that is currently playing "Make New Friends." The lyrics are: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. A circle is round-it has no end. That's how long I'll be your friend.

Okay, okay. I'm starting to get the point, kids.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Conversations This Past Week

Me (casually speaking to Caleb): "What's up, bud?"
Caleb: "I pooped."

Me: "Abby, why did you lie to me and say you ate your chicken, but you really did not eat it?"
Abby: "Because I wanted a marshmallow."

Abby (looking at the Disney on Ice ad in the mail pile): "Is that the Lion King?"
Me: "Yes, when he was a baby lion."
Abby: "Is he smiling?"
Me: "Yes."
Abby: "Does he still smile when he becomes a big lion?"
Me: "Yes."
Abby: "Does he talk like he smiles?"
Me: "What?"
Abby: "You know-he is nice when he is older?"

In the car while being stuck behind someone who was going too slow, then decided to speed through a yellow light while I was forced to stop...
Me: "What is wrong with you?"
Caleb: "What's wrong, Ba Ba?"
Me: "Nothing, Caleb. Just a crazy person in front of me who cannot drive."
Caleb: "It's okay, Ba Ba."
Me: "You're right, Caleb, you are very right."

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I made a chocolate cake for Nick's birthday the other day. Abby helped me and kept checking on it throughout the day, just to make sure it was still on the kitchen counter. Shortly after waking from her afternoon nap, she checked on it again. Nick and I were in the living room, not really paying attention. I just happened to look over at her and she was just standing in the kitchen, staring straight ahead and looked like she was in pain. The following is our dialogue:

Me: "Abby, do you need to go to the potty?"
Abby: "No."
Me: "Does your belly hurt?"
Abby: "No."
Me: "Is that a little piece of chocolate on your face?"
Abby (nodding in tears): "Yes."

Once I figured out that she had stuck her finger in the cake to sneak a taste, I was about to discipline her, but she took care of that herself. She started crying, hard, and looked like her entire body hurt. She came to me and said, "I'm so sorry I sneaked, Mommy." At this point, I was almost laughing and trying to make her feel better, but she just kept sobbing.

She went over to Nick and said, "I hurt my own feelings." (How does one not laugh at this point?)

Where does this strong feeling of guilt come from? Sometimes she says she is sorry out of fear of punishment or even out of habit. But, in this case, she actually felt pain over her guilt.

I cannot remember the last time I actually felt this convicted of my sin. When was the last time I cried over my impatience, my attitude or my laziness? When have I wept over how I have treated others? How long has it been since I have fell on my knees in awe of the forgiveness that God has granted me?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

29 Reasons

Today my husband turned 29 years old. Not a milestone or anything, but just one step closer to the big 3-0. He keeps worrying about it, but I just laugh since I'm approaching 31 next month. It's only a number and life goes on (quickly).

I thought I would use this post to describe 29 reasons why I love Nick. Totally cheesy, I know, but even if it's only for Nick to read, so be it.

(These are in no particular order of importance)
29. He loves Jesus Christ.
28. He understands the importance of changing the radio station to good music and not just
listening to whatever is on.
27. He is an excellent teacher (not just in the classroom).
26. He loves his children.
25. He makes me laugh.
24. From the first time we met, we could immediately talk for hours.
23. He is well rounded-loves music, sports, reading, art...and really appreciates each thing for what it is.
22. He is who he is and will not change for anyone else.
21. He pretends to be the prince for his daughter while acting out the Cinderella story.
20. He has a passion for people.
19. We never played the dating game with each other-we were always ourselves from the beginning.
18. He is honest.
17. He really knows me and still chooses to be around me.
16. He challenges me to think past my first reaction to things.
15. He works hard to provide for our family.
14. Money is not the most important thing to him.
13. He loves spending time with friends.
12. He is a city boy who loves to attend Camp Lambec.
11. He is good to his family.
10. He thinks about things and does not just follow what everyone else says.
9. He can still be like a little kid on Christmas day when opening things like his Bengals tickets and the new tv.
8. He plays guitar (may sound random, but I always hoped for a husband who played guitar).
7. He happily drives whatever car we have paid off that is falling apart while I get the good vehicle.
6. He will spend time, money or whatever is needed to help a friend.
5. He is so knowledgeable about so many things.
4. He knows how to admit when he is wrong and apologizes quickly.
3. He makes me feel like a good wife and mom.
2. He knows he is a sinner and needs God's grace.
1. He is the one God blessed me with.

Happy Birthday, Nicholas Paul-my life was blessed when I met you ten years ago.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pretty Abby

Caleb has heard everyone say, "You look so pretty, Abby" every time she wears a dress. He even said it to her yesterday, while getting ready for church. He smiled at her and said, "Petty Abby!"

So, I should not be surprised at what he just said to me while reading a book together. It was a picture book, where he points to various items and tells me what they are. He looked at a ball and called it a ball. He pointed to a ladybug and called it an "adybug." Then, he pointed to a dress and called it a "petty Abby."

I cannot wait to share this with him when he is older.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Good Day for Abby

One of Abby's favorite books is called, "A Good Day for Abbey." It is a story about a cat named Abbey who finds new friends and has a great day playing with them. The book was a gift from Miss Jessica (who is actually our friend Jessica Wesseler, but Abby always thinks she is visiting just for her, the princess of the house). I was thinking of that title today because it truly was a good day for her.

It started with our arrival at church this morning. While walking in, she saw her friend Lucy and not only did Lucy smile and run to her, but they held hands all the way into the building and continued to play together in their class.

At the end of worship, she got to see Mrs. Woods and Mike (as they are called since Abby could talk) and received lots of hugs from them.

After taking a decent nap, I took her to our park for some bike riding and playing. I biked for about an hour, pulling her behind me (once again, like a princess) on the Loveland bike trail, which is basically like biking through the woods (which makes a delightful day for me as well). After this bike ride, she was allowed to have chocolate ice cream with sprinkles and then played at the playground, making a couple of new friends along the way.

For dinner, I scrambled together "breakfast for dinner," which happens to be one of her favorite meals (who doesn't like pancakes for dinner?).

I think my favorite part of watching her enjoy this day is that none of it was planned. It was great timing running into people she loves at church, it was the absolutely beautiful weather that inspired me to go to the park, it was her brother sleeping longer that made the afternoon all about her, and it was my lack of preparing dinner ahead of time that resulted in her beloved pancakes.

I think as parents in this culture we tend to try and plan way too many things for our kids to have good days and good lives. But, when I look back on my kid's experiences so far, they seem to remember the simple things a lot more than the big things. The fact that Abby had my full attention all afternoon just made her day more than any event or tv show could do.

And honestly, it was a good day for me, too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Immaturity

It has been a rough week. Not only have I been overwhelmed with housework, annoyed with traffic, bothered by my children's unending chatter, crazed by unhelpful employees in stores, and recovering from an eye infection-I have also been humbled by my selfish thoughts.

I am glad I am married to an honest man who tells me when my thoughts are selfish. He has been so challenged in his own walk and immaturity that he has been seeing the big picture and pointing it out to me as well. A few things have happened recently and my first reaction is anger or revenge, but he stops me and reminds me that we need to move on. It is not that he is perfect and beyond these feelings-he is simply growing up and trying to drag me along.

When I am really honest with myself, I feel no more mature in my faith than when I was a naive college student. I know I have learned new things and God has been leading me, but so often I find myself acting as though I have lost hope. I get more frustrated and easily angered over things that I have no control over. I can blame this on my surroundings and the tiredness that comes with being a mom. I can also claim that my reactions are the result of not being in the workforce and being around other adults for conversation. But, honestly, it is my sinful nature. I can blame no one else but myself.

I have been given little reminders of how ridiculous I am when I see others doing the same things I would normally do. When I see a driver getting mad at a red light because they now have to wait an extra 30 seconds to reach their destination. When I see my children arguing over a toy that they will forget about within the minute. When I see grown men get angry over a softball game when what they are mad about does not affect the end result of the game. When I see people getting angry waiting in line.

In all of these cases, the anger is not worth it. Life goes on and honestly-do we really remember these moments? Does that driver really think about the red light later that day? Do my children really remember the toy they fought for by the time they go to bed? Do the angry athletes really look back on their season and only think of that one moment in one game and base their happiness and friendships on it? Do people really go home from the store and cry about waiting in line for the items they purchased?

I pray that God tugs at my heart every time I find myself falling into the temptation of self (which means He will be tugging all day long!). I need to concentrate on the big picture.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Buts, Justs, and In a Minutes

One of my annoyances with my children is their tendency to say, "But I...," "Just..." and "In a minute." Okay, so really Abby says these phrases. Caleb prefers to stand and scream in protest if he does not want to obey. Funny how he has learned so many words, copies everything his sister says, but still has to throw baby fits when he is really mad.

I know it's not really true, but deep down I kept thinking they would grow out of this phase. I was reminded of my ignorance when I taught Sunday School this morning.

My job was to tell the story of Joseph and then have the 4th grade students act out the scenes. Overall they were pretty good, but there are always those few that stand out. If you have ever attempted to teach a class, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The few I am thinking of today are the ones who had to answer every question (even if I did not call on them), volunteer to act every part, and then ad lib to every scene, usually with physical punching and running around to add to the fun.

What sticks in my mind from this morning is that I actually heard the phrases, "But, Just and In a minute" come out of their mouths when given instructions they did not want to follow. They always had an excuse for why they were disobeying and they really thought they knew better.

My experience is usually working with teenagers and now I am remembering they say the same excuses and really think they know better. It is as if we are all sinful, thinking we know better than our elders, until we become them and have to deal with the next generation.

I know my parents are laughing at me (and any person who ever attempted to instruct me) because revenge is theirs. Just like I will smile with sympathy, yet laugh inside, when my children discover this truth in 20 years.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Slow Down

In June, I had the wonderful treat of having an eye infection known as Recurrent Corneal Erosion. Sounds fun, doesn't it? I got to wear a heavily taped patch on my eye for a day, then had twice the fun of taking it off myself. (As I was tearing the tape from my eyebrows, I was questioning why I even bothered to pay for an eyebrow wax the week before.) The pain that comes with this infection is so bad that I would rather go through childbirth.

Yes, I really just said that.

So, imagine my delight when the infection came back again this week. I thought it might be returning but kept in denial for the first day. I had followed the doctor's instructions, used all the meds and was still applying the gel at night like I was told to. But, the pain finally got bad enough that I had to return to the doctor. I now sit here with the beloved patch on my eye, counting the hours until I can remove it, and have an appointment with the specialist on Tuesday. Because it came back again, this means some sort of surgerical thing has to happen, which does not sound fun to me.

I do not know why these things happens-what is the point? I suppose in this case it was a great chance to slow down. I was in the middle of leading music for our church's VBS and basically had to give that up on the final day and just let go. I have a messy house that has random things around it thanks to the installation of the new tv and HD hook-up (totally Nick's desire to have this, but since my doctor's instructions are to just sit and watch tv, I'm not minding it so much this week). I just keep sitting here, looking at the millions of things I have to accomplish and yet I am helpless.

I am so thankful for a wonderful husband who just steps up and takes over everything so that I do not have to feel guilty for resting. And even though this came at a busy week, it could have worse if it came during camp.

In the meantime, I need to follow doctor's orders and not look at the computer screen (had to cheat for a few minutes and get my thoughts out) and try and enjoy the unexpected rest.