Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy 6 months, little darling!

Wow, half a year already! You are growing like a cute little weed - 27.5 inches and 18 pounds and 2 ounces! You are a joy, my little one.

You are almost crawling and almost sitting up by yourself - but not quite! You can prop yourself up on two hands like a cat. When you do it, you look up at me and smile with pride - and then you fall forward. It is really quite amusing! Thanks for always giving me something to smile about!

Bless your sweet heart, you have to be flexible. With your brothers' schedules, your naptimes are never consistent. But, you are a trooper! You hang on tight to my hair, and as long as you are in my arms, you are usually quite content. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for that!

One of my favorite things to do with you right now is to lay you in front of me and let you touch my face. You love to feel my nose and eyes and ears. You want to suck on my hair, but I don't let you for fear a stray strand may gag you. You still love to suck on your fingers and toes! What a little bundle of joy you are!

We have begun the great process of solid food feedings. At this point, you spit most of the feeding back out, but we will keep at it until you are eating like a pro!

I am learning you, my little Elijah. Day by day that wonderful little personality of yours emerges more and more! I love you!

Whiskers. . .

And, I'm not talking about the ones that grow naturally from the chin of a man. . .

I am talking about the ones on the chin of my two year old son.

It was a day like any other day, except for the fact that it was the anniversary of the day my mother gave birth to her youngest daughter, and that would be me.

Remember those lovely benches that I bought for our kitchen table? Love them. But, when your children tend to act like monkeys, they are an accident waiting to happen.

Monkey child + backless bench + concrete floors = a trip to Daddy's office and 3 stitches

JCT and Joshua were playing at the kitchen table, and I was completely engrossed in a conversation with my mom who was in town for a visit when it happened. We heard a boom, looked up, and saw JCT laying face down on the floor. I picked him up, and he cried a bit. I looked in his mouth, no blood. I held him for a few minutes trying to calm him down. Then, I noticed that there was blood on his sweater. So, I looked under his chin and found an open wound.

Long story short. . . We were at Erik's office a few minutes later. Halfway to his office, I realized that I had forgotten to grab the camera. So, with JCT bleeding in the backseat, I turned the car around and went back home to get my beloved camera. Finally, we got to Erik's office. He took one look at JCT's chin and said he needed stitches. Kim, Erik's nurse, gave me gauze pads soaked in Lidocaine to hold under his chin until Erik finished seeing his morning patients.

And, so you ask. . . Was the doctor's son a good patient?

That would be a. . .


Bless his little heart he was scared and mad, and he kicked and screamed and cried. How in the world Erik stitched him up is beyond me. The child refused to hold still even with a crew of people trying to hold him down and talk to him. Erik was amazing to watch, his hand was steady, he appeared perfectly calm. Other than the fact that sweat was dripping, pouring actually, off his forehead, I would have thought the whole thing a walk in the park for him. He just stuck that fatty tissue back inside JCT's chin and sewed my sweet baby up!

Needless to say, JCT was asleep before we got out of the parking lot. He completely wore himself out fighting off Erik, Kim, Sean (Erik's partner), Julie (works at the front desk), Lisa (works in the lab), and me. But, I must say, he looked pretty cute in the rearview mirror -asleep with his little bandaged chin.

And, after JCT woke up from his nap, Joshua admired his bandage saying it looked like a pirate's beard. Aren't big brothers wonderful!

I'm not sure what was more upsetting to me - the fact that my two year old had to be held down by 6 people and given stitches or the fact that I don't have a single picture of the incident.

Why, you ask, do I not have a single picture since I turned the car around to get my camera? Because, I tell you, a digital camera is a wonderful thing, but it will not work without a CF card - you know, present inside the camera. I took wonderful pictures of Erik leaning over JCT's gaping wound, and of JCT sleeping soundly in his carseat after the exhausting endeavor. But, they are recorded only in my memory. And, yes, my camera does alert the user to the fact that the CF card is missing. "No CF" blinks on the screen if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, I was a bit preoccupied, therefore I didn't notice until it was like 5 hours too late.

This picture was taken later that night after I realized that I had neglected to notice the missing CF card. Just call him "Captain Bandage Beard."

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, that is pizza sauce on the corner of his mouth, not blood. Mr. Cute pouty lips!

This is the T-shirt that he wore while getting stitches. I still haven't washed it.

I'm sure this is the first of many trips we will take to Daddy's office, and I don't mean to visit Daddy. I mean trips to Daddy's office for stitches, x-rays, etc. I've got a hunch that most of these trips will involve JCT. . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

His rest time

It has been rainy for two days straight, and, therefore, I am loving life. The leaves are turning, and soon they will begin to fall. And, as I passed a local church's digital sign this morning, it announced that the temperature outside was 48 degrees! And, that made me smile. There is a certain peace that comes with this time of year. It makes me want to slow down and stay at home.
Today, after lunch I settled the two youngest fellows in for their afternoon nap, and then Joshua and I put on our raincoats and walked Rain outside to do his "job." We came inside, and I took off our coats, put on a pot of coffee, and lit a candle. Then, I straightened up a little bit while Joshua chose the pages that he wanted to color during his rest time. Joshua spends about 45 minutes to an hour in my room each afternoon. It is his rest time, his alone time, his down time. And, I think he likes it.
We do this everyday, but today it struck me that maybe he looks forward to this time as much as I do. I always open the blinds, put his favorite CD in the CD player, and turn on the lamp that sits beside my bed. For the first time, I realized that this is all quite cozy and peaceful, and if I were a four year old this just might be my favorite time of the day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Confession

So, I saw the candy sitting on the counter in a little pile. And, I really like candy. And, I knew that it was Joshua's. But, he brought it home from church yesterday. And, it had been at least 26 hours since he got it. And, it was still sitting there. Surely he had forgotten it. And, I really needed the pick-me-up a little sugar can give. And, did I mention that I really like candy? So, I stealthily unwrapped it and ate one piece. . . and then another. . . all gone. Mmmm. . .

A few hours later he asked for it.

I attempted distracting him.

I told him he couldn't have sweets until after dinner hoping that he'd forget.

He didn't.

Joshua: Mommy, can I please have my candy from church?

Me: Baby, I have to tell you something.

I took his face in my hands and made him look me in the eyes.

Me: I ate it.

He looked at me confused as if it didn't quite compute.

Joshua: You ate my candy?

Me: Yes. I ate it.

Joshua throws his head back and cries out the cry of an injured animal.

Then, after a minute he straightens up looks me in the eyes and says: Your kidding right?

Me: No, baby, I'm not kidding. Mommy ate your candy.

Joshua: All of it?

Me: Yes, all of it. I'm so sorry. Can you forgive me?

Joshua looked at me with eyes full of hurt. It was, after all, his first betrayal of this kind: Yes, I forgive you. But, don't do it again. Next time we go to church you remember and don't do it again.

I assured him that I wouldn't.

I just pray that I am strong enough to keep my word.

Because I really like candy.


My Birthday Week

This is my birthday week! (In our family you get a whole week to celebrate your birthday. It is a beautiful thing, really.) Erik got me a Momagenda!! I have been looking at the momagenda website for about 6 months now - almost daily and with great longing!! He gave me my biggest present first, so that I could use it to plan my week!!

Let me say that the website doesn't do this calendar justice. It is much bigger and better than I expected. It even includes pages in the back for planning parties and vacations, blank pages for notes, lists of fun websites, etc. I use the top half of the week-at-a-glance pages to see what my day looks like. I don't put my list of things to accomplish here. I simply put appointments, so that I can see a skeleton of our day and our week. Then, I use the bottom half of the pages, not for my children's various activities as they suggest, but rather I use it to list calls to be made, errands to run, and my at home to-do list. In the front of the calendar, there is a month-at-a-glance section that I am using to plan our meals in pencil.

I love my new calendar - can you tell? I feel so spoiled. I have so much more space to make my daily to-do lists on. And, I can now make my lists vertically instead of in a small rectangle like I used to! I sat in the pick-up line at Joshua's preschool today and marveled over all the fun details of this new little love of mine!

And, tucked in one of the side pockets of my little happy is the sweet note that accompanied my gift. It says, "Erin, I love you! You keep our home well organized and going strong. You are our magic." This note is super special to me for one reason - Erik used the word "magic." Magic is the nickname Erik gave me when we were dating. He doesn't call me Magic very often anymore. Every once in a while though, he slips it in to remind me that "the magic" of "us" is still very much present - even though in the everyday-ness of life, it may not always feel that way. I love my husband. There isn't another human that moves me like he does. I still get that 8th grade in love feeling every now and then. And, honestly, every now and then is all that I have time for these days. . .

Speaking of not having time for things. . . I need to go and hang out with my oldest little man. Today is rainy and delicious! It is the perfect day for curling up with a cup of coffee, a good book, and a sweet four year old.

And, lest you think my life is a blissful birthday celebration void of all things negative, I will let you in on a secret. Only it isn't really a secret. . . You can hear us coughing a mile away. We are all sick. From the tallest (Daddy) to the very smallest (my 'Lijah), we are all fighting a cold. Thanfully, I think we are winning the battle and feeling a little better each day. . .

Two pics to end this post. I like to call these pictures. . .

"Tough Love for my Tough Little Cookie!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He May Never Find His Way Back Home. . .

Now that Joshua is in pre-K two days a week, JCT and I have some one on one time. And, it is a wonderful thing really.

The kid cracks me up.

I mean, really, the things that he comes up with amaze me!

While Elijah takes his morning nap, I take JCT and the monitor down to the swingset. And, we have what I like to call "swingset conversations." I had many precious "swingset conversations" with JCT's big brother. And, now it is JCT's turn. He gets in his favorite swing, and I push him for 30 minutes or so, and we talk. We talk about whatever JCT wants to talk about. Sometimes he wants us to sing together. Sometimes he wants me to tell him a story about him and Joshua. Sometimes he wants to tell me a story. I love it. The conversation is full, free, easy, and often quite entertaining, as well.

Yesterday morning there was a soft cool breeze. The sky was clear, and the sun was shining. As I was pushing JCT and he was assigning numbers to everyone in the family, I started to wonder what would happen if he got lost. Did he know what to tell people? We have told him our address, but I felt sure he didn't remember it. Would he remember my name or Erik's? So, I asked him. . .

Me: JCT, what is Mommy's name?

JCT: Mommy.

Me: Do you know Daddy's name?

JCT: Daddy. And, Grandma's name is Grandma.

It wasn't looking very good, but I thought I'd try one more time. . .

Me: JCT, where do you live? Can you tell me where you live?

JCT: Yes, I live in the jungle with my Grandma and Pop.

Oh, good. I feel better now. I'm just praying that he doesn't ever get lost because I fear we may never see the poor child again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Neither here nor there

A quiet peace has fallen over our home at present. All children are either napping or resting in their beds. A candle is lit in the kitchen. Dinner is cooking slowly in the oven. I am sitting, coffee in hand, deciding which list I want to make first - always the list-maker. As I told my Deana B the other day, I rarely ever go by my lists. I usually make them with great fervor and then set them aside. But, something about just making the list, putting my thoughts into writing, organizing the ideas that crowd my brain makes me feel better. Silly, I know, silly, but true.

I was musing this morning over several things. One such thing is the fact that Rain is sure to have gained a bit of weight over the past month. I have turned the job of feeding Rain over to JCT who thinks this new responsibility a great honor. He so loves to feed his dog that he rarely feeds him just the one cup full that I ask of him. No, he goes above and beyond the call of duty. He tells me, "No, Mama, Rain needs a little more than that. He's 'ungry." And, with that he digs the scooping cup into the food bag one more time. And, if you look closely, ever so closely, you can see Rain's mouth turned up just slightly in a grin as he watches his little 2 year old advocate scoop extra dog goodness into his bowl.

I have a sweet friend who, when I complained about not having a favorite CD to listen to right now, made me 3 CDs. Yes, she did. She titled them "For Erin vol.1, 2, and 3." And, she didn't stop there. No, ma'am, she typed up pages of commentary on each individual song - why each song is special to her. So, now I have 3 new, and very good I might add, CDs to listen to. Thanks Sara!

Oh, and for any of you out there who follow Sarah's In the Midst of It. I want to say something to you, something that I learned long ago. I know Sarah well. We went to college together. Now a lot has changed in Sarah's life since college. In college she had to get 8 hours of sleep every single night. I would pass by her room at 3 a.m. still very much awake and deep into my studies, and she would be already 5 hours into her sleep. And, while the rest of us crammed large quantities of information into our brains during finals, Sarah would be sitting on her bed cross-stitching. She began preparing for finals at the beginning of the semester, so they were really no big deal to her. She would simply sit back and relax listening to Christmas music with a cinnamon candle lit for atmosphere. My Sarah was always well-prepared and rarely procrastinated. Somehow, she maintained many friendships, a serious boyfriend who is now her husband, an active craft life, and a 4.0. She was always reading books for her classes, as well as, books for her own enjoyment. Just like it baffles my mind now that she is able to knit 6 baby hats, 4 sweaters, cross-stitch, home school, read 5 books at once, and maintain a well-organized household, it baffled my mind back then how she wore 12 hats and wore them all well. I have come to believe that she is some sort of time-management genius. So, if you read her posts and wonder how she does it all, know that you are not alone. I have been wondering the same thing for years. She amazed me back then, and she amazes me now. Some things never change - but, her bedtime, now that is one thing that has changed. . .

Now I am off to make one of those ever important lists!

Friday, October 05, 2007

This Week. . .

I just dropped my three little men off at church. Tonight is Parent's Night Out. I will be spending this parent's night out as a single parent because my Erik is at a high school football game.

This week has been typical for me - extreme highs and lows. I am learning that the way our day goes has a lot more to do with my attitude than it does my boys' attitudes. But, that is just one of the many lessons that God is teaching me through my little ones.

My heart is full, as per usual. This week has ushered in change in a variety of ways and mostly to do with my darling JCT. He has worn underwear all week except for a few outings - which I dared not attempt. . . yet. He did have one accident while playing upstairs. I heard him tell Joshua what he did. JCT confessed to Joshua that he was "scared Mommy will be mad at me." But, Joshua reassured him, "Mommy won't be mad. Don't you worry, JCT. Once I colored on the table, and I thought Daddy would be mad at me. But, he wasn't. Daddy said green was his favorite color. He wasn't mad, and Mommy won't be mad either. It was just an accident. Don't worry, just go tell her." And, God spoke to my heart at that very moment, and I learned something. Too often I use fear tactics to teach my children. But, the lessons that they will remember, the lessons that will give them the clearest picture of Christ are the lessons taught by showing grace. Now, back to the original topic, he is in underwear tonight at church, and I feel certain he will do just fine. He is growing up right before my eyes. Unbelievable.

I pulled the trundle out from under Joshua's bed Tuesday afternoon. And, I asked JCT if he wanted to take his nap on his big boy bed or in his crib. He opted for the big boy bed. I turned the video monitor on and went downstairs. Joshua and I had fun watching JCT play with his feet and listening to him sing song after song. And, eventually he drifted off to sweet sleep. That night I gave him the same choice, and he chose his crib. Wednesday, once again, he napped in the big boy bed and slept the night in his crib. Then, last night he insisted on sleeping in his big boy bed, so I let him. Joshua was tickled. And, I thought they might never go to sleep. They talked and laughed and sang. All the while, Erik and I stood downstairs around the monitor smiling and loving every minute of it. We took the dog out and walked a minute, and when we came back in, they were both sound asleep. It felt good, really good.

Earlier that night I watched as my husband corralled both big boys into the tub with laughs and squeals filling the air. Then, as they played in the bath, good old Rain sauntered upstairs and gave the clean boys a few licks sending them into hysteria. And, I couldn't help, but feel utterly blessed. A great husband, a good dog, 3 wonderful children, and a warm home full of love and laughter. . .

I have been staring at my backyard a lot lately. It is so pretty this time of year. A family of turkey have been eating breakfast on our levee each morning. I love to sit and watch them eat their fill. Occasionally another animal will startle one of them, and the startled turkey will take flight, a short flight - but still very fun to watch. And, yesterday when I took Rain out to walk for a minute during nap time, I heard a wonderful sound. The breeze blew some fallen leaves on Mr. Cole's driveway. I stopped walking and watched the leaves dance a minute and listened to their soft rustle. I simply cannot wait until the street is full of leaves. I love to watch them take flight when cars pass, and I love to hear them crackle under my shoes.

I have fallen back in love with an old CD - Chris Rice - Peace Like a River. It is a great fall CD. Anyway, as I was listening to it earlier this week, Joshua asked an interesting question.
"Is this Jesus singing, Mommy?"
I answered no, and then smiled thinking about how Chris would be honored by Joshua's question. Then, later this week, Joshua asked me again, "Mommy, are you sure this isn't Jesus singing?" I assured him that it was Chris Rice who though he has a wonderful voice was not God incarnate. Then, he said, "But, Mommy, he said, 'God, our father.'" Which brought a wonderful topic to the table. The fact that God is our Father, too, and Jesus our brother.
JCT insists that he saw an angel in the backyard. Every time we read a Bible story about an angel, he brings it up again.
"I saw an angel once," he will tell us. "He was in da backyard, and he sayed to me, 'Be not afraid. God is with me,' and he was a man angel. He talked to me. He tole me he luffs me." Makes me wonder. . . Imagination or supernatural? Who knows, but I love to hear him tell us the story. I like to think that children see angels, makes my heart smile.
Oh, and did I mention that when JCT's choir teacher (one of Erik's patients) asked him, "And, what does your Daddy do?" JCT confidently answered, "He spanks my bottom." Oh, me.
So, that is my week in summary. It has been a good week all in all. But, I'd be telling you a story if I told you it was all watching turkeys and listening to rustling leaves and laughing boys. This week has been a wonderful mix of good, bad, and the not so pretty. But, all is well. And, tomorrow I get to go on a Starbucks date with one of my very best friends in the whole world. And, we have great plans to discuss the ninety-nine balloons blog and the book Grace-based Parenting over a decaf white chocolate mocha (for me) and a Chai latte (for her). Now, that is a great way to start October, my favorite month of the year!
My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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