The Kids

The Kids

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Caleb's Issues

It feels like I write about Caleb's pooping issues quite often. It is just that he always has so many funny stories that I have to share them. This particular post is one of these moments.

(Please excuse the detailed account of this most recent experience.)

If you are a faithful reader, you know that Caleb has had some issues with holding in his poop for a few days, making it hurt, thus making him think he does not want to go again for fear of the pain and then starts the cycle all over again. I hear this is a common thing for potty training boys, but it does not take away the agony of watching my little boy go through pain.

This past week, while visiting my family in PA, we realized it had been almost a week since he had gone. No matter how much he ate, nothing seemed to come. Finally, after an evening of stopping mid-play to push out air, he announced he would sit on the potty.

Well, who wouldn't want to do that? Have you ever tried pooping standing up? (Please do not answer that.)

Once he sat down, he immediately pushed out a week long build up of you know what. After I flushed it, it struggled to go down, but the toilet seemed to handle it. Or so it seemed.

Because of the clog that my son caused, any time someone wanted to use the toilet, the plunger had to be within reach. Finally, it came to the point where my dad (my hero) had to take it apart to fix the problem.

I know-it takes a real man to tackle that problem. I am thankful that my dad is a real man.

Once he took the toilet apart from the floor and realized the clog was within the toilet itself, he took it outside, found the appropriate place to turn it upside down (an advantage to living on a dairy farm) and when "it" came out, it sounded like a softball hitting the ground.

How on earth did Caleb push that out? That thing survived draino, tons of plunging, and other products with hot water thrown at it.

The beauty of it all was that he continued to go for two days-all day. On a week where I was supposed to enjoy great food and relaxation, my days were instead filled with plunging and wiping my child's butt-a lot.

Ah, the holidays.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Third Blessing

Nick and I have just gotten used to the idea that we are probably done with having kids. We have our boy and girl, both healthy and usually happy. Caleb is almost out of diapers and they both can pretty much get themselves ready to go in the mornings. They finally reached the slightly independent stage and it has been lovely. My house is no longer baby proof, I have no use for a crib or high chair and I can run out the door with only a pull-up thrown in my purse.

Well, it turns out we were wrong. Very foreign to us, we are due to have our third child in July! I am not sure what to do with that. We are Nick and Tammy and we have October kids. Born two years and one day apart, to be exact. July? What's that about? So long camp. So long vacation. Hello ten diapers a day, sore nipples, no sleep and planning my days around naps.

Okay, so once the shock wore off, the true excitement kicked in and I have to confess, we are thrilled. We both always wondered about that third child and when he or she might arrive. Yes, our lives are about to change-again. This adds on more years until I can bring in some income, adds another mouth to feed-but, really? What is more important?

I am so excited to see who this little one is going to be! God already knew this blessing before he or she was a thought in our minds. It does not matter to me if the baby is a boy or girl. My current children, however,have strong opinions on this subject. When we told them we were having a baby, they both leaped in the air and yelled, "Yay!" Within ten seconds, Abby declared, "I hope it's a girl!" and Caleb yelled, "I hope it's a boy!"

Do not worry-Abby solved the problem. She said, "Maybe it will be twins-a boy and a girl!"

Thank you Dora the Explorer and your big sister storyline.

No matter who is growing in here, I am overwhelmed with joy to meet him or her. And praying everyday for sanity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Morning Thoughts

It was rough waking up this morning. Yesterday was full of packing and racing around followed by driving four hours and twenty minutes (my personal best time-with kids) to PA. Why is it that sitting on one's rear end for an extended period of time leads to exhaustion?

Nick was pretty tired, too. He left after me, since he could not get out of one of his five jobs and had to coach. He drove the same distance, beating me by five minutes (again, I have to stress that I had the kids) and was pretty worn out himself.

My parents most likely woke up tired, given that their days never seem to end. Daddy as a farmer and Mom with all her Thanksgiving preparations.

My brother, Billy, had just turned 21 yesterday so one can guess at how awake he felt this morning.

Then there are my kids. Abby decided to get up at 5:30 a.m. Yes, that is a.m. Who voluntarily does that? And Caleb, precious Caleb...

Nick was still in bed when Caleb woke up (we share our room with him while visiting) and all he heard was singing. Caleb started his day by singing, "We are the children of God, we are the children of God, we are the sons and the daughters, Almighty God is our Father."

Again, I have to ask-who does that? In my 32 years of life, I cannot remember a single morning where I woke up with my first thoughts on being a child of God. I have heard that whatever is the first thought on one's mind when he or she wakes up is what is most important to him or her.

Well, my first thought is usually, "Oh crap, it's time to get up." Hmmm.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not My Child

While playing Cranium with friends, a toy suddenly came crashing down from the loft, hitting two people in the head. While the irony on the body part that was hurt in relation to the name of the game was not lost on anyone, our first reaction was to find out where it came from. Immediately, without taking a moment to look around, I yelled, "Who did that?"

Now, we were at someone else's house with at least six little kids running around. I just assumed it was one of mine who made the grave mistake of flinging a toy over the half wall, which explains my "mom voice." However, once I took the moment to look around, I realized my daughter was sitting nicely, playing with play-doh and Caleb was right next to me.

Yes, I am super observant.

I felt awful when I realized it was someone else's child. As if the mom did not feel bad enough-she had to have me yell at her kid first. Thankfully, she was so busy apologizing to the injured that she did not mind my "mom voice" shouting out above the group.

What is kind of sad is that once I realized it was another child, I felt bad for him. He did not mean to hurt anyone and, let's be honest-throwing toys over a loft is just way too tempting for a kid. However, if it was my child, he or she would immediately be in trouble and I would feel no sympathy.

Hmm. Glad my Father is full of more grace than I am.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Prayer Changes Everything

Caleb has really enjoyed praying these days. In the past, he has been content to sit back and just make distracting noises while Abby would lead us in prayer. It did not matter if it was at dinner time or at bedtime-he was very creative with his theatrics.

Now (instead of laughing, making farting noises, playing with loud toys, or just simply making a long, loud sound), he volunteers quickly to be the first one to pray. Who ever invented, "Open, shut them, open, shut them, give a little clap, clap, clap. Open, shut them, open, shut them, fold them in your lap" was a genius.

Tonight, as he sweetly folded his hands in prayer and bowed his head, it brought a smile to my face. One can almost forget the day of fighting, arguing and stubborness when faced with child-like faith. What I found amusing on this particular night was that in the middle of his prayer, Nick thought it was the end and said, "Amen." Caleb immediately broke out of his innocent trance and yelled, "I didn't thank Him for Uncle Billy's birthday, yet!" and then quickly bowed his head and continued on in a whisper.

Well, okay then. Excuse us.

While I tried to explain that it is hard to believe one's sincerity in prayer when he or she yells at another person in the midst of it, it dawned on me that I do that very thing all the time. All the time.

I may sing my worship songs in church and really feel in the moment, but then seconds later start complaining to Nick about how hungry I am and how long the service is taking. I may really pray for my neighbors, but spend a lot of my conversations with them complaining and gossiping. I may stay at home for the benefit of my children, but then spend a lot of my days wishing I was doing something "meaningful." I may play the Good Samaritan and help the woman in the car crash I mentioned earlier, but then go right back to cursing the moronic drivers around me.

And these little blessings watch it all. Should I be surprised when they treat prayer like another thing to do that does not need to change their attitude?

(And P.S. to Uncle Billy-the kids are probably more excited about your 21st birthday than you are!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Morning Accident

I was slightly annoyed with the truck in front of me. I was driving down Roundbottom Road after taking Abby to school, really wishing I could go faster. It is one of those rare back roads in Cincinnati where you can finally speed a little bit. However, sometimes you get behind one of those rule abiding drivers who stick with a steady 40 mph. This morning I was behind one of those such drivers.

As we approached the intersection where I turn left, I was thrilled to see that he was continuing on going straight. Our light was green, he kept going and I slowed down to make sure no one was coming straight from the other direction.

I am very, very thankful that I slowed down. And I am very, very thankful that I was behind that truck.

As he continued on through the intersection, a car came straight through from my left, thinking her light was green as well. This resulted in a huge crash.

Thankfully they were okay, except for a few bruises and some soreness. Her car was smoking, items had flown out from the trunk onto the opposite side of the road, every piece of it was smashed and his truck was not looking much better. After I called 911, the other witness and myself waited around for the police to show up.

It is situations like this where you really see human character.

While the other witness and I shared what we saw and made sure the drivers were okay, another nice man stopped and helped direct traffic around the crash site. He was doing the best he could, trying to give everyone a turn in order. There we all were-glass everywhere, two shaken up people with only strangers to comfort them and a smiling man trying to help other drivers. And what does this lady in her white SUV do? She rolls down her window, rudely yells, "Excuse me! You just let all those people go and I'm still sitting here!"


What is wrong with people? Was that woman so self-involved that she thought waiting for an extra 30 seconds was the worst thing to happen to anyone that day? We all just stood there, completely shocked. The names everyone wanted to call her finally came to mind as she drove on her merry way.

Anyway, the police finally showed up, took our statements, and then Caleb and I continued on home. My heart hurts especially for that woman, since it was most likely her fault. I had helped her pick up the stroller that went flying and noticed the car seats in the back, thankful that her kids were not in the car with her.

It all happens in a second. A split second. And when tragedy hits, it is a blessing to have caring people around. Thankfully, the SUV woman was not a witness to the accident. Something tells me her report would have been all about her and how this crash messed up her morning routine.

I guarantee it already did and that is the story she is telling others right now. What a rough morning for the dear woman. I sincerely hope she gets help.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

I was less than thrilled when one of our local Christian radio stations began playing Christmas music the week before Halloween. Starting a little before Thanksgiving I can understand. But, in October? Come on. I love Christmas music, but it loses its luster when overplayed. How can I hear, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" when I am still wearing flip-flops?

My children are the opposite. Every time we get in the car, they request "the Christmas station." Caleb, in particular, always wants to hear "Little Drummer Boy." And not just any version of that song, but the one that "has the dings." If any other singer or band (nice try Jars of Clay) attempts to sing it different from the original version, Caleb demands we turn it off. My son loves to hear the choir of women singing the song slowly with bells dinging in the background.

At least he has an ear for music.

I suppose I can be forgiving of this particular radio station. After all, they did allow me to win free tickets to the David Crowder Band concert last weekend. Not only that, but while we were there, they also gave us his new album for free. I believe my chances of winning must have been high because so many people turned off their station in refusal to listen to the non-stop Christmas music. (I base this on the boos the DJ received when she asked the crowd how they were enjoying the Christmas music being played early.)

So, thank you Caleb and your "Little Drummer Boy" song request-you kept us listening to the station that gave us our tickets.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Rant

I am exhausted.

I thought it was difficult when Abby was two years old. She started to test and defy me about little things just to see how much she could get away with. Then she turned three and I realized it should be called the terrible threes, not twos.

Caleb has been my little sweetie all this time. But, again, now that he is three years old, the rebellion is in full force. He actually laughs when he gets in trouble. Now, when Nick is the one dishing out the discipline, it is hard not to giggle at that cute little boy laughing at his Daddy's attempts (for some reason, Daddy does not appreciate our sense of humor). But, when I am in charge, the little grin does not work with me.

At least if it were just one of them I could handle it. However, we made the brilliant decision to be fruitful and multiply and now I am outnumbered all day.

My mind is so tired from hearing Abby's typical girl whining about every little thing. And the arguing is ridiculous. It has been five years-one would think she would figure it out by now-she is not going to win! And now her shadow of a brother is copying the same attitude. The other day, I actually heard the phrase "But cleaning up is boring" uttered from both of them in the same minute.

Oh really? Because I am just beyond thrilled when I go out and clean houses for other families.

And thank you to whoever invented this blessed holiday of Halloween. What a delightful tradition to force on parents-have the kids go house to house, collecting enough candy to last for a year. It is a joy to have them beg every day all day "Can I have a piece of candy, please?!"

Funny how their manners are in full force when they want something.

The fighting between these two has got to stop. Each battle follows the same pattern-Abby is playing with something...she verbally brags about it, loudly, in front of her brother...Caleb immediately grabs the coveted item...Abby screams at the top of her lungs like she is in physical pain...she chases her little brother...they wrestle each other to the ground...she cries out for me, "Mommy-Caleb won't get off of me!"...I reply, "He's three-push him off!"...I eventually give up on whatever task I am attempting to accomplish and break up the fight.

At least this is a short season of life-they will not be this age forever. Oh wait-they will turn into teenagers. Great.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Reading Girl

Caleb and I picked up some library books last week. I found a few that I thought Abbby would enjoy, which she immediately started reading in the car on the way home from school. Normally, by reading I mean looking at the pictures and figuring out what is happening. However, this time, it meant actually reading!

Yes, my just turned five-year old started reading!

I heard her say a few phrases that were not familiar so I grabbed the book and held it while she read it to me (always a safe idea while driving the car). She read "I love my new toy" by Mo Willems (love his books) with only needing help on two words. With my face twisted into a combination of dropped jaw and huge smile, I kept listening while she finished the story that she had never heard before.

When did this happen? How is my baby girl reading a book by herself? And does this mean Nick and I cannot spell things in front of her when we do not want her to know what we are talking about?

Abby, when you read this someday (which clearly will not be long from now), know that I am so proud of you!