My Little DareDevil

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This may look like nothing much to you. But it is a whole new world for me. Lucas was never much of a daredevil. He was content to stay on the ground, never really like to swing, always wanted to hold my hand. And then there is Caden who crawls across playground bridges that are 8feet off the ground. He LOVES to swing and has recently learned to scoot his bottom on the slide and get himself down. By himself!!! At age 1!!! Oh, my. I have a feeling I am in for a ride with this kid. My little daredevil!

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Week 53

>> Monday, August 24, 2009

We have had a busy couple weeks, celebrating Caden's birthday with family and friends and just living life to the fullest. I have been horribly delinquent with posting here so I thought a little update was in order. Here is a photo tour of week 53+ for Caden and his family...

I took the boys to the Arboretum on Caden's actual birthday (the 11th). We love to be outside and in the fresh air, running in the grass and feeling the warm breeze. It was a great way to celebrate my boys and Caden's birthday. We then went home and had a picnic lunch with Daddy which was also super fun.

My parents and sister came into town later in the week to continue the celebration. Here we are playing outside by Micah's tree. It was just a perfect day and I felt so blessed to have my parents with us. To see them playing with the boys just makes life seem simple and meaningful to me. I know they cherish my sons and each bring so much joy to the other. And that to me, is priceless. I want my boys to grow up having as much time with Mimi and Pa as possible. What a richness they bring to their lives and for that I am so grateful.

Lucas eating watermelon at the park. I couldn't resist adding in this pic. I love that little watermelon-face!! :)

My family all trekked down to the city for the Chicago Air and Water show. It was a fabulous show and we had a great time. Lucas loved the airplanes, as long as I was covering his ears! (He doesn't like loud noises) :) My dad is a retired AirForce fighter pilot so it was especially meaningful to see with him. Lucas even declared he wants to be a fighter pilot when he grows up to the delight of us all!

Caden's official birthday party was last Sunday. It was a simple gathering of some friends from church and our small group. I just wanted to have a picnic outside by Micah's tree. But the weather forced us inside which turned out even better. Thank God for unexpected blessings. Caden certainly didn't let us down with the smushing of the cake. But the highlights of the party were definitely the kids riding their trikes around safety town and then one of the kids pulling the fire alarm as the party was drawing to a close. The fire trucks came and we all had to evacuate the building. It was pretty funny and the kids thought I had arranged the coolest birthday party finale ever!

I became an Auntie! My brother-in-law and my sister-in-law had a little baby girl on August 16th. Now I can finally buy all those adorable dresses and spoil my sweet niece! She is so tiny and so precious!

This weekend, we went to the Day Out with Thomas at the Illinois Railway Museum. As we plugged along on the 10min train ride, we pretended to be traveling to Sodor. "I see Gordon pulling his tender," Lucas would say and Hubby and I would play along. We had a blast. It was just the refreshing time together as a family that we needed after a busy birthday season.

As you can see, we have been pretty busy. But all fun things so I can't complain!
I am really gonna try to be better about posting here. My life is in transition right now. I have a lot of irons in the fire and a bit of a heavy heart. But, I am sorting and purging and figuring things out and would certainly appreciate your prayers as I do so. Have you heard the Matthew West song "The Motions?" You should listen to it if you haven't. It has become my mantra of late. Better yet, my prayer.
Lord, make my life meaningful and intentional, not just going through the motions. These boys, this life, are too precious to live any other way. Help me, Lord, to live the 51 weeks left in this 2nd year of Caden's life with passion and love and peace.

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The Perfect Party

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

I need to go to bed... My 5:30 wake-up call is coming all too soon. But I just wanted to get some thoughts out so that my mind can sleep. If my mind won't turn off, I often can't fall asleep or I have disturbing dreams no matter how tired I am. Does that happen to anyone else?

We had Caden's official birthday party today- just a small gathering of people from our church and small group. It was nice. Actually, it was perfect. Food and cupcakes and presents and laughing. Kids playing and riding bikes, adults conversing and having a good time. More pictures from tonight to come once I download off my camera and get them from friends.
But beyond being a super-fun party (with a visit by the fire department... a story for another day), it was a lesson to me in surrender.

You see, I seem to have a curse. A rain curse to be exact. If I planned an outdoor party in the middle of the Sahara Desert, that would be the day the sky would open up and the rain would fall non-stop. This is not the first time I have, with the best of intentions, planned an outdoor gathering only for the weather to be uncooperative. As I cooked and prepped today in my kitchen, I started to feel the frustration and self-pity roll in with the dark clouds. Of course it would pour down rain during MY party! All I want is a simple, well-executed, memorable party that people will enjoy. I just want Caden's party to be special and wonderful... and now it is raining. Perfect!!
I tried to not let it get the best of me. I plodded ahead, hoping that maybe a miraculous burst of sunshine would break forth and push those nasty rain clouds away. But deep down I was not at all suprised this was happening to me.

I have this issue with God. My issue is... nothing ever seems to go the way I plan. I do my best to plan, plan, plan. I dot every "i" and cross every "t". At least I try. But something always throws a wrench in my plan. It can never be easy and straightforward or according to my well-thought out schedule. This has probably been true about me for most of my life. I am certainly not one of those "charmed" girls- you know, the ones that no matter what they do, what they touch, it comes out smelling like roses. But this issue I have with God has seemed to become more and more pronouced since losing Micah. Of course this would happen to me. Everything happens to me!

So tonight, we arrived at the party lo-cal hoping that the promised indoor back-up space would be suitable. I just wanted it to be larger than a closet and clean. Well, my very low standards were more than exceeded. It was probably the most perfect party room I could have hoped for. Plenty of room, bright paint, clean space, toys for kids, tables and chairs,... It had everything. We set up, the guests arrived, and we all had a fabulous time desipte my self-pity and grumbling.

God must have been sitting there shaking His head, listening to me whine. The party was better than what I had planned. We got to eat in this perfect inside space with A/C and then go outside to play once the rain cleared up a bit. I hope my guests thought so too, but I had a great time.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me and my family with a perfect party even though I was complaining and sulking. Thank you for providing an alternative and lifting my mood so that I could see what a perfect party YOU planned for my little boy.

I am not sure what to do about this little issue I have with God. I am working on it, I suppose- trying to let it all go. The pity and the entitlement are not at all attractive or edifiying to my soul. I thought I had planned a good party but God's was better. Typical. Maybe next time I will trust that He really does have my good in mind- that His ways are higher. Like I said, I.m working on it.

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He Just Makes Life Sparkle

>> Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I had all these plans tonight of planning his party, making party favors, and spending some quality time reflecting on the last year and all that his birth has brought into my life. But, he didn't nap well today, is teething, and seems to be really hungry lately (growth spurt?). And every mother knows those three things equate to an interruption in whatever sleep patterns may or may not exist. So instead of having lots of time to get things done tonight, I am nursing and rocking and bouncing and patting and singing. And while I liked my original plan, this seems like the appropriate way to welcome in Caden's 1st birthday. It is certainly representative of the last year of both of our lives.
He is my constant interruption, my companion that rarely leaves my hip. Even as I type this, he sleeps in my lap, stirring occasionally and smacking those lips as if he is need of nourishment. He is really only in need of reassurance that mama is still here and eager to meet his needs. And I am. I think, though, that having him here in my lap is just as reassuring to me.

Before Caden, I thought life was leveling out- that I was getting back to a manageable place. Then came the news that little Caden was growing in my womb and life took an unexpected turn. But sitting here looking at his sweet face, I wouldn't trade a bit of the chaos for even a minute of peace. He makes life rich and full. Busy, crazy, sleepless. But wonderfully full.

He is getting so big and is a baby no more. I love how he is starting to push back when his brother gets a little rough. I love how he leans in to look me right in the face when I am holding him. He giggles and his 3 little teeth make for the most adorable smile ever! His eyes sparkle and he makes mine do the same.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Caden.
You take my plans and shake them all up. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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>> Thursday, August 6, 2009

While trying desperately to get both boys ready for nap time today (so mama could nap too!), I asked Lucas several times to come to the bathroom to sit on the potty. He finally came, did his business, then went back over to his bookshelf to start choosing his book selections for "quiet time." I then tried to go over some basic rules of quiet time before leaving the room. "Don't come out of the room until I come to get you, play or read quietly, no going into your closet," ... blah, blah, blah. I could tell he wasn't really listening and I was getting no response.

"Buddy, when I am talking to you, it would be nice to get some sort of response so that I know you are listening." I said this is my best "I am trying to be patient but I am so-very tired and getting frustrated that I am apparently talking to myself" tone of voice. I still got no response as he was fully engulfed in his books by this time.
"Lucas, are you listening to me?"... "Answer me, please!" (Sometimes I think I prefer disobedience to being totally ignored!)

"Mom, I hear you. I love you. I respect you. I love when you play with me. I love when you read me stories. I think you are pretty. I like when we spend time together. Thank you for making lunch for me..."

He kept going but by this time I was laughing hysterically so I didn't catch the end! What a little charmer!! A simple "OK, Mom" would have been acceptable. But this certainly made my day! In fact, I made him say it again, just to hear it. :) I hugged my little charmer and we were both smiling ear-to-ear.

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From Baby to Boy

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One week from today, my baby becomes a little less baby and a little more little boy.
He is walking and starting to talk. He has this hilarious little fake laugh he does when he knows something is funny and wants attention. There are also the mini-tantrums when he doesn't get his way or when I won't let him take food out of the refrigerator or the pantry or the dog bowl or his brother's hands. He is stubborn and opinionated and most often hungry.

And yet, if he is crying in his bed, he quiets when he hears my footsteps on the stairs. I pick him up and his little head just melts into my shoulder. He signs for "nursies" and then starts to giggle when he lays back in my lap, knowing that he is getting what he asked for. He is not a great sleeper, still waking several times a night. But if he is snuggled close to Mama, he could sleep for hours and hours. I stand in the dark with his body collapsed on my chest, swaying in the silence. He is back asleep, has been for a few minutes now. I could lay him back down but instead I lay my cheek against his sweet head, drinking in this moment while I can. While he is still my little baby.

There is nothing magical about the day itself. There is not a dramatic shift from baby to pre-toddler at the moment he turns 1. But there is something momentous about the day, something worth celebrating and reflecting upon. And I plan to do both.

He may be walking and talking and developing a very strong sense of toddler-entitlement. But he is still my baby.

For more Wordful Wednesday, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

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My Sweet Boys

>> Monday, August 3, 2009

As we prepare for Caden to turn one in less than 2weeks, I am really starting to love the way life looks these days. Don't get me wrong- it is still certainly challenging and trying at times. Neither boy sleeps all that great with Caden still not sleeping through the night. Caden is also starting to make his little will known in a very vocal and stubborn way. But, everyday the boys play together more and seem to genuinely love to be with each other. I love it!! These are my boys, my heart.

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