>> Thursday, January 29, 2009
>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009
>> Sunday, January 25, 2009
Plus, it is set in Chicago so there is always a chance of seeing somewhere I have been or at least recognize which is kinda fun. I, unfortunately, had to miss a luncheon event with Monica that many of my friends got to attend. Maybe next time! I was preschool shopping.... more on that another time.
Anyway, Trust Me promises to be a fun new show, one worth Tivo-ing for sure. That way I can watch at midnight when I finally get my "me-time"! :)
>> Saturday, January 24, 2009
Come join in the discussion over here today about the language our kids are exposed to in programming intended for kids. It frustrates me that Disney movies and other kids shows are not more careful about the language they choose. Should we have to filter Disney?
>> Thursday, January 22, 2009
I am not doing so well so far at simplifying life. I am in the midst of reading about 5books (some about how to simplify your life- oh, the irony!), scheduling playdates, taking on projects, finishing ones that are long over-do, etc... All that on top of the women' bible study I have dropped out of at least twice and am really making a go at this time, potty training, nap training, ... Unfortunately, writing and reading blog posts has not been tops on my to-do list this week.
I am hoping that next week will slow down a bit or at least give me a moment to it and be intentional about what I am planning. I feel too busy to even figure out why I am too busy. Isn't that SO lame? Ridiculous, really. I know that someday my headstone is going to read "She had some really great ideas, but..."
I am finishing a project tonight that ha been weighing on my mind and then I have one more to finish by this weekend. Then, maybe some breathing room. Maybe some time to sit and think, reflect, simplify.... For now, will you be content with some recent shots of my little men? They both get cuter by the day. :)
Lucas now loves to sit in the recliner and read while watching the snow outside
My boys sharing the couch on Family Movie Night
>> Monday, January 19, 2009
In college, my roommate and I had tons of fun trying on random clothes and making an entire event out of it. We usually took pictures and actually created a recurring event called "weird picture friday" where each week we tried to one-up the week before with an even more strange photo op. It sounds strange, I know, but we had a blast!! On my birthday, a friend watched the boys for me to have an hour or two alone, some "me" time. I had a gift card to Kohls so I popped in to see what I could see. These pictures are the result. I decided to try on random clothes, like my friend and I did in college, and take pictures just for fun. (I am so lame sometimes. Can you tell I rarely have time to myself?) So here are my looks. See if you can guess which outfit was the lucky winner...
>> Saturday, January 17, 2009
I have been reading very good books on both topics (napping and potty training) and I think some of it is paying off. Thursday, Caden slept in the co-sleeper for almost 2hours, by himself, for his morning nap. Friday was not such a good day, but I did the same routine and I am hoping that my consistency will eventually pay off. I did let him cry a bit. I can't believe I just typed that and admitted it to myself and the world. Thursday, he cried for 7min and fell asleep. Friday, he cried for 10min and was not showing signs of giving up so I picked him up. I went through the routine again until he was almost asleep and then laid him down. He laid there quiet for a few minutes, started to cry, and I let him cry for another 10min before I went and got him. He then proceeded to nap in the MeiTai for about an hour. Oh, well. Baby steps, right? Today we were out and the routine was non-existent and tomorrow is church. But Monday we are back to it... hopefully.
With highs in the negative numbers, any self-preserving mama does not bundle her kids up and go out if she doesn't have to. I didn't have to, so I didn't. We just hunkered down and taught one boy to nap by himself and the other to pee in the potty. Both tasks are still very much works in progress, but I am choosing to celebrate some small victories.
One point that Elizabeth Pantley makes in her book is that it is helpful for babies to fall asleep where they are going to sleep. It is easier for them to self-soothe and bridge from one sleep phase to another alone if they aren't startled by their location when they begin to stir. I am finding that to be very true for Caden. Thus, I am trying really hard to teach him to fall asleep in the co-sleeper but am finding it much easier said than done.
Task #2: potty training! Potty training for us has so far been led by two things...Lucas and bribes. At first, he was VERY resistant to even sitting on the potty. So I bought a Cars book he could only read while sitting there. It worked!! Then, we bought small toys (little cars, trains, ...) that he could choose from if he went pee pee on the potty. That worked too, but not at first. He would look at the toys and say "not right now...I am not ready to learn that yet." But when he was ready, it just happened and he was SO proud of himself (not to mention excited to pick a new car!). Now I have to figure out how to teach him to tell me when he has to go. He knows when he has to go, he just gets so caught up in playing that it is an inconvenience to him to take a break (even to change a diaper or eat a meal). One step at a time, I guess. I am definitely not one of those "potty-training in a day" people. It has worked for many of my friends. We are just taking a different, more gradual approach.
I am trying so hard not to get impatient with either boy and their progress. I am also trying to be diligent in my "training" for each task but often get lazy or busy or something... A little grace for me and the boys is in order, I guess. We are making progress, slowly but surely.
>> Friday, January 16, 2009
Music has been on my mind a lot this week. I have a really wide range of tastes in music. I like a song that moves my heart, my emotions, but also my booty and dancing feet! It occurs to me everytime I listen to my iPod on shuffle that some of the song combos you hear from my playlists would not ever be heard together anywhere else. While listening to my iPod on shuffle last night in the kitchen (I cook and clean better with music), these are the songs that played- in this order, no kidding.
He's Always been Faithful- Sara Groves
Hot in Herre- Nelly (and yes, I love hip-hop. I said no laughing.)
Holy is the Lord- Chris Tomlin
100 Years- Five for Fighting
I Boast No More- Caedmon's Call
For the Moments I Feel Faint- Reliant K (a great song, btw, if you have never heard it)
Don't Phunk with My Heart- Black Eyed Peas
Let us Pray- Steven Curtis Chapman
No Diggity- Blackstreet (kickin' it old school!!)
Maneater- Nelly Furtado
Take my Hand- The Kry (speaking of old school...)
You Had Me- Joss Stone
Oh, Love that Will Not Let Me Go- Indelible Grace CD's
SexyBack- JT (oh, how I love me some Justin Timberlake....yummy!)
Oh Lord Your Love- Caedmon's Call
Golddigger- Kanye West
My Heart Your Home- Watermark
Never Alone- Barlow Girl (yet another great song)
>> Monday, January 12, 2009
Legally I can't tell you why, but you need to listen to this song. I am proud, albeit a bit heart-broken, but bursting. The emotion in this song and behind it overwhelms me. Whoever wrote it (whether it be the artist or some other amazing person behind the scenes... *wink, nudge*) is a deeply talented person with a sincere and tender heart. It is beautiful and I can't hear it without tears. Please listen to it. And I would love to hear your thoughts. This song is so special to me. And again, I can't say why. But I just wanted to share this amazing song with you, with everyone!
P.S.~ Let me add that if you like it you should feel free to comment somewhere, anywhere that this singer of this song may see it, that you would like to see more songs by the writer of this song (whomever that may be and maybe it is the artist herself...*wink again*) on future albums. :)
>> Sunday, January 11, 2009
Stop by my house any given Sunday at around 9:45-10am and you are almost guaranteed to see chaos. Hubby and I are dressing boys, trying to get dressed ourselves, feeding people and getting food ready to take to church (our house church always has lunch together after the service), taking the dog out, ... There is always some sort of last minute thing or complication that delays us getting out the door. And hubby hates to be late, especially to church.
Since we do go to a house church, the environment is a bit more casual and laid back during the service. I usually have at least one boy on my lap during church and then after the service we have to deal with the challenge of feeding ourselves and our toddler and getting home before pre-nap meltdown begins or Lucas falls asleep in the car (which is NOT good 'cuz then he won't sleep at home). Sundays are not always a day of rest around here, at least not before 1pm. This level of busy-ness and lack of structure makes it hard for me to concentrate at church. Hard to be worshipful and reflective and intentional. But I realized something today. It is not really about what is going on around me that makes it hard for me to "enter in." Well it is, but that is not the full story.
We were responsible for teaching the kids today. The lesson was on the boyhood of Jesus and we just got the materials last night. So after we got home from a wonderful belated birthday dinner out, hubby and I read over the lesson and planned out what we were going to say and present to the kids.
Then today in church, before going downstairs to teach the kids, I was more "present" for worship than I have been in awhile. Lucas was throwing a tantrum, we had the normal level of crazy this morning, but still my mind felt calm. My heart was still.
Why? I can't say 100%. Probably partly because Hubby and I had some much needed connecting time last night, partly because I got a little extra sleep this morning. Maybe too because I actually took the time to fix my hair and not pull it back in a pony-tail this morning so I felt a little more put-together. But I can't help but think it is also because I read over that lesson last night. And then again this morning and was running over the story in my head, thinking about Jesus in the temple with the priests and what God would have
me the kids learn from this story. My heart was a little more focused, a little more centered. And church was great. Even the meal after felt less hurried, less crazy. Lesson learned, hopefully.
A prayer of David.
1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God;
save your servant who trusts in you.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life— men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger,
abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
Change my Heart, Oh God (Words and Music by Eddie Espinosa)
Change my heart oh God, make it ever true.
Change my heart oh God, may I be like You.
You are the potter, I am the clay,
mold me and make me, this is what I pray.
Cook a full Thanksgiving dinner
Decorate the house for Christmas
(and undecorate the house from Christmas)
Change a stinky diaper (or 2 or 3 or...)
Order groceries online (thank you PeaPod)
Iron fabric for slings and other sewing projects
Teach other people how to wear their babies
Participate in a Drum Circle
Clean up dog poo in the backyard
Soothe my sick toddler
Empty and reload the dishwasher
Fly to California (babywearing in the airport and on the plane too)Attend a funeral
Watch my Gators play football...and WIN!! HOORAY!!Hold my toddler's hand through a very crowded museum
Play cars and pretend to be a car
And oh-so-much more....
What are some of yours? We mommies get creative and just do what we gotta do!!
>> Thursday, January 8, 2009
>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009
...but I'm not sure about the wiser part. I am 32 today. The big, insignificant, smack in the midst of my 30's 3-2!! I am usually one to reflect and ponder life on my birthday. And doing so in this moment, I am just struck by the fabulousness of my life. For all the challenges and sometimes struggles, I am an abundantly blessed girl. I see that very clearly in this moment.
Oblige this birthday girl as I share with you some of the reasons I am a grateful girl whose heart, today, is overwhelmed by the blessings of all my boys (shown in order of their entrance into my world)
>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Yesterday morning, while changing Caden's diaper and watching Lucas play on his train table, it occur ed to me... my baby is almost 5months old!! WHAT!! How did that happen?!?! My sweet little newborn is fastly going from "lay-there-stay-put-go-with-the-flow" infant to "opinionated-on-the-go-schedule-balking" older baby. He is rolling over, starting to sit up, finding his "voice" and making the most adorable "talking" noises... So now, the lines I have been feeding myself about it being OK that he is not on a schedule and doesn't take predictable naps, those don't really fly anymore. This kid needs some structure. And mama needs him to nap by himself for longer than 30 min.
>> Sunday, January 4, 2009
Admitedly, I am a slacker... a huge, easily distracted, too-much-on-my-plate slacker mom. My resolve to post a weekly reflection to keep me grounded and give me much needed perspective for the week has certainly been lacking lately. No promises that I will be as consistent as I should, but here's trying...
Today in church we talked about the difference between charity and unselfishness as discussed by C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. Unselfishness is doing something for others but making it clear that you are doing so at the expense of your own needs or wants or goals. It is still about you and can make the recipient of your unselfish deed feel that they owe you a favor in return. On the other hand, charity is doing something nice for others or giving to someone in need with no regard for your own needs. Helping others is the goal and so there is no need for the recipient to recognize how you sacrificed to help them. Unselfishness says "I'll give to you even though it is not my first choice." But charity says "It is my desire to help you and I feel good when I am able to reach out to those in need."
What a poignant distinction, at least to me. In what spirit do I give to others? Do I want them and others to know my sacrifice or do I give simply to help someone in need without needing any recognition or payback? Is my goal and desire to help or be seen as someone who helps? Am I just unselfish or do I truly exercise the virtue of charity? What about you?
Lord, make Your face shine upon this servant, that I may know and do your will with Your heart and not for any personal gain. Save me in your unfailing love.
1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side;
they conspire against me and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. (I just love that verse! It is truly my prayer.)
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame and lie silent in the grave.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men;
in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight!"
Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
(No song this week.... I need to get to bed and the Psalm speaks for itself.)
Lucas has a new obsession.... the movie "Cars". We borrowed it from my sister-in-law and he already has a good portion of the movie memorized. He only watches in 20-30min. segments but he wants to watch it all the time. The little $2 Lightning McQueen matchbox car he got in his stocking is one of his favorite Christmas gifts.
>> Friday, January 2, 2009
Bloggy-land is running over this week with posts full of resolutions and goals and the best of intentions. I am no different than my fellow moms in that I have several (ok, LOTS) of areas in my life that need improvement and are in desperate need of a resolution or two. But, you aren't gonna see a list here. Sure, I have one. Not written down anywhere, mostly in my head. And I am not gonna list it here, at least not yet. It is a work in process. I am pondering the list in my mind, in my heart, and praying that God will show me how to move forward from here.
In years past, I have started the new year with any number of things I want to change in my life in the coming months. Lose weight, get in shape, read more, pray more, yell less, spend less, ... I keep up with these things off and on, but like most people, my resolve fizzles fairly quickly. Because of my usual trend, I am approaching things a little differently this year. Instead of adding more things that I have to remember to do, to be, to accomplish.... I am subtracting. I am simplifying. Cutting out the things that clutter my mind, my day, the top of my desk. I am reading some really clarifying books that are helping me gain much-needed perspective. I am thinking of ways to keep life organized and simple and stress-free. Beyond that though, I am taking a strong look at the ways we spend our days and "free time." Am I filling my days with things that matter and am I filling them too much? I am learning that my own whole-ness and that of my boys (young, old and canine) really depends on how well I am able to filter out the unnecessary clutter in all areas of life.
So, expect some up-coming posts on how I am reducing my lists and not adding to them. About how I am cutting things out and not adding more things in. Whatever your resolutions or goals are for the coming year, I pray that God would show you how to proceed, give you the perseverance to stick to it, and the grace to not get down on yourself if you can't. I have always been one to have very high expectations of myself. So this time I am trying to just see things for what they are and pray that God would help me make the small adjustments that will make a big difference.