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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tearing Up the Driveway

Funny thing happens when you have a second child. You don't manage to get near as many pictures as you did with an only child. On Christmas morning, Husband was busy between the camcorder and webcam with Grandpa and Grandma M at the other end of the broadcast. I was busy overseeing the frenzied wrapping paper ripping and getting increasingly backlogged with toys stuck in their little Fort Knox boxes. What is with those gosh-awful dura-tough twist tie wire things? And why, in the name of all that is good, do they have to use SO MANY of them to package toys these days? SHEESH! At several points Grandpa H, Grandma H, and I were all three simultaneously going at a toy that refused to be extricated. There were random exclamations of, "I need scissors!" "I need a screwdriver!" "How many of these stupid wires are on here?" and lots of mumbling under the breath. Meanwhile, the three-year-old and one-year-old both added their squeals of excitement over what new treasures they just unwrapped and squeals of dismay over not being able to get their little hands around them until the adults could figure out how to get them out of their boxes.

We didn't manage to get many pictures. Here are a couple of Daugher tearing up the driveway with her new mini micro scooter. Last summer she admired the "big kids" on their scooters, and she would say, "Maybe when I get bigger I can have a scooter!" This little scooter is perfect for her size with a wide foot bed and set low to the ground. She's getting pretty good at it despite the annoying rocks left over from the city's attempts to "help" with the three inches of ice that covered our neighborhood at the beginnig of the month. The ice is long gone, but those irritating rocks, I fear, will linger for a good long while. Good thing I gave up rollerblading.

On the third day following Christmas I have finally plowed the house out from under cardboard boxes and wire twist-ties and wrapping paper scraps. Yesterday I began trying to organize and put away the toys. The few spaces in our "great room" that still held items belonging to the adults were demoted to remote corners and boxes as I filled them with toys and books and puzzles, and games. As I've said before, it's a good thing to have a "great room" in order to contain the kids' "great" deal of stuff. As we continue our house hunting, Daughter now says, "We need to get a bigger house so we have room for all the toys!"

It was a great celebration, and we are very blessed. I think of the children in the world who have no idea what it is like to have so many toys that there is not enough space to contain them, and I am overwhelmed with our abundance.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I’ve read the Christmas story or heard it in church nearly every year of my 34 years of life. That’s a lot of times. This morning, however, I heard it a little differently. It was, in part, the way it was shared (thanks to our contemporary, no-putting-on-airs church). I think it was also in part because this is the first coherent Christmas I’ve experienced as the mother of a baby boy (last Christmas was anything but coherent). Prior to this morning, I never even considered what it would have been like to be Mary, holding her son, the Baby Jesus, knowing the fate that was before Him. This morning, however, I heard the story of Jesus’ birth through a mother’s heart, and I haven’t been able to cuddle my son ever since without pausing to try to imagine how Mary might have felt. I end up feeling something indescribable, albeit, I’m sure, nothing close to what Mary must have felt. As I rocked my baby boy to sleep tonight, I admired his innocent, sleeping baby face in the glow of the night-light, and I paused on the thought of how much God loves us to have entered into the world in the most lowly and least visible way possible and die in the most visible way possible. Graphic scenes from The Passion of the Christ haunted me. Being unable to grasp any of these concepts, I settled on the thought of how much I love my children, which is more than I can describe in any words. Then, just when I thought I was close to being able to understand it, I considered that God loves my children—and me—even more. That’s when it eluded me again. Elusive as these concepts are, I’m reminded of how God uses our marriages and families to deepen our understanding of Him, and I am thankful for the deeper understanding of the birth of Christ that I’ve gained through my relationship with my baby boy.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Old Mom Complex

Being an “old” mom really stinks sometimes. Like when I feel tired all the time and have to schedule coloring the gray out of my hair between my one-year-old’s naps (but hey, that still sounds much better than fitting it between my new-born’s nursings, which is how I used to do it).

Yesterday I was playing games with Daughter on her new Nitro Notebook, and before long my eyes were heavy and I simply couldn’t stay awake. Since I used to believe only “old” people fell asleep while sitting up in their chairs, I momentarily tried to delude myself that I was wrong before and that semi-young-ish people who are parents to young children also fall asleep in their chairs. Then I quit deluding myself and I accepted that being 35 years old without children may still be considered semi-young, but being just weeks away from becoming a 35 year old mother with a three-year-old and a just-turned-one-year-old turns me into an “old” mom and escorts me through the right of passage that grants me permission to fall asleep sitting in my chair.

Other thirty-something moms, after all, are typically ranting about the challenges of parenting teenagers while I am still elbow deep in poopy diapers. Not that I am anxious for my kids to become teenagers. I am honestly terrified of the thought and in serious denial at this stage of my life about my kids EVER becoming teenagers. Nonetheless, my thirty-something counterparts will be empty-nesting by the time they approach forty while I will still be busy doing elementary science projects with my kids. Heck, I won't be empty-nesting until it's time to move into the "old folk's " home.

A couple months ago I considered just letting the gray go and doing the whole “salt and pepper” thing. I even convinced myself it would look distinguished and might even be a positive image change for my career as a licensed professional counselor. Then I took a poll among the adolescent girls I work with at their group home (since some of them have noted my gray roots), and they all shot down the salt and pepper idea. So I colored it again. This morning, as I eyed the inch and a half of gray roots that have re-appeared, I wondered when I could make the time to color again and debated whether I was more tired or more vain. Old mothers of small children who also have part-time careers really have enough to manage without having to add coloring their gray hair to the list. I think I need to poll a new audience about the salt and pepper thing. Meanwhile, it seems that coloring the gray this weekend will depend on whether or not I can keep my eyes open long enough between Son’s naps to accomplish the deed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, "Bub"!

Li'l Bub is one year old today! Last night I went to bed early and with great relief that I was not instead in labor and heading to triage and about to stay up all night giving birth like last year. Today I have had recurring waves of relief throughout the day that I am not a few hours postpartum chained to wires and a catheter bag with a newborn screaming to be fed and changed every 90 minutes. Today, on the first birthday of my wee-est one, I have also looked on him with overwhelming love and adoration and thankfulness for the beautiful healthy baby he is.

We had a great birthday bash for "The Bub." When Great Uncle Ron and Great Aunt Pat come, we like to throw really long parties that last for days. At Daughter's 3rd birthday, she woke up on day three or four (the morning that Great Uncle Ron and Great Aunt Pat had left), and as she lifted her sleepy head from her pillow, the first words out of her mouth were, "Is it sill my birthday party?"

To be fair, this time we were also celebrating a little early Christmas with G. Uncle Ron and G. Aunt Pat, which was followed by a birthday party for "The Bub."

Li'l Bub is starting to walk as long as he can cling to something for support. He can't decide if he'd rather push his new Thomas engine or ride on him. One thing he does know for sure, however, is that there better not be anything in his way, or he will get mad and tell the whole world about it.

We had a "Bub--I mean Bob--the Builder" theme.

Don't be fooled by the pictures. Son really does not like cake. He liked playing in it, but a taste or two was as close as he got to eating it. He made faces and spit it out. This is the same little boy who scarfs broccoli by the handful and prefers anything green in the vegetable family to dessert. This also the same boy who tasted his first raw tomato the day after he tasted his first birthday cake. The cake got spit out while the tomato was gnoshed. I wonder what the odds are that his taste preferences will last through toddlerhood and beyond?

Christmas Cookies

Daughter had fun making cut out cookies with Great Uncle Ron and Great Aunt Pat last weekend. We got a little funky with the icing colors. Notice the purple, pink, and orange. I've always preferred to march to the beat of my own drum. We used Great Grandma H's cookie cutters. It was Daughter's first time making Christmas cookies. We found out that a little icing goes a long, long, long way. You had to be there.

Friday, December 08, 2006


It's been cold, cold, cold around here. It was two degrees this morning when we woke up. Good thing Great Grandma made new stocking caps for the kids...especially "Lil Bub" who doesn't yet have much hair to keep his head very warm, as you can see in the picture of him talking to the cows in the backyard.

Snow Princess

That's my girl, making snow angels. She loves the snow as much as I do. Our first snow of the year was last weekend. We only got a few inches. A couple of them were truly snow, and the rest
were sleet and ice. That's what I hate about the so called "snow" around here that I really loved about the snow in Idaho. In Idaho it snowed like it meant it, not like it couldn't make up its mind.

Ah, well. Guess we gotta take what we can get.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Dolt

Daughter: "Mommy, it's gonna be a long time until I'm a dolt like you."

Me: "A dolt?"

Daughter: "Yeah! It's gonna be a long time before I'm a dolt like you and Daddy!"

Me: (blinking my eyes blankly and looking, I'm sure, quite like a dolt) "...Oh! You mean an ADULT?"

Daughter: "Yeah! A dolt!"

I'm sure it probably is the same difference in the eyes of a three year old.