Am I unintentionally weaning?

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As I write this, Hubby and I are driving to Jacksonville from my parents' house in Ft. Walton Beach to go to the Gator game. Hooray!! This is one of the biggest games of the year and I have ALWAYS wanted to go. This is the beginning of our 10th wedding anniversary celebration. After the game we are driving to a house on the beach for a couple days before we head back to my parents' to pick up the boys. 4 kid-free days, a Gator game, time on the beach, sleeping in, lots of quality time with Hubby... It is gonna be awesome!

There is just one thing I am a bit concerned about. And, truthfully, I am not sure there is anyone left reading this blog as I have been so unfaithful to post lately. But if there is anyone reading this, I could use your input.
I have never left Caden overnight before. And while he has been doing great at sleeping through the night lately, I feel a little nervous about it. I know he'll be fine. He adores my parents and they'll keep him occupied and soothed. I am not really worried about that. I am worried about the nursing. I left my pump at home so I went and bought a cheapie hand pump so I could attempt to pump while I am gone. But, will 4 days of no nursing be the end of nursing for Caden and I? Will he be done or will he pick it back up as soon as he sees me?
And even if he wants to, will there be anything there for him after no baby stimulating milk production for 4 days?
He is almost 15 months so it wouldn't be the end of the world for him to be weaned. But I am not ready and he still nurses several times a day. At least he used to. Lucas nursed until almost 2 so I thought Caden and I had more time.
I am trying to mentally prepare myself that this may be the end of nursies. And it would REALLY be the end since Caden is most likely my last baby. Should I let this be the weaning process for Caden or be diligent to pump several times a day with this little hand pump and try to hold on?
I can't save any milk pumped 'cuz I have no way to get it home. It would be pumping just to try to keep the milk flowing. And if you know me, you know that I HATE pumping and I'm not super good at it.
Thoughts? Anyone? I could use your advice and/or encouragement. If anyone is still there, I mean. :)
Thanks for sticking with me if you are here.
And Go Gators!! Beat Georgia!!

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And He's a Reader!!!

>> Monday, October 12, 2009

Lucas has always been a very verbal kid. After the obligatory "mama" and "dada," his first actual word was "thunder" (at 13months) and it just took off from there. Now, the boy rarely stops talking. He could spell his name by 18months and has always had a vocab way beyond his age. I know all kids have their special gifts. Language and learning just happen to be part of his giftedness. And now, we can include reading in this list!! :)
We have been working with flashcards and teaching him phonics. He loves the show Super Why which combines his love for stories and language. He sits for hours and "reads" books on his own. Then, tonight, it clicked. He saw the word "log" on a card and read it without any prompting!!! Admitedly, it is early. But, I am so proud I can't help but bubble over! :)
He is still getting the hang of it. But the flashcards are really helping it make sense in his little brain. The words and sounds he has learned through the flashcards he can now read in a book when he sees them. Hooray for my budding little reader!!
But just when I think he has truly got it, he looks at the word books and says "b-o-o-k-s." He makes all the correct phonic sounds "buh-oo-oo-ka-sss." He says it 2 or 3 times, getting a little faster each time. Then, he gets this adorable little 3-year-old grin on his face and says "frog!"
One step at a time. My little boy is a reader!

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10 Years Later

No, that isn't the time span between my last blog posts! Hehe!! I have been so hit or miss here lately... and I don't really have a good excuse. Except that more often these days I am leaving my laptop off and curling up under a blanket on the couch and falling asleep. It is heavenly! I highly recommend it! Or I am off doing other things, keeping oh-so-busy. I miss this blog though... my personal spot to reflect and process and share my life with those that I love. I am vowing now to try to get back into the groove. My soul and my poor, cluttered brain need it! :0

In the meantime, Hubby and I just celebrated our 10th college reunion this weekend. What a trip! It was strange to be back on campus and see so many familiar faces. People I haven't seen or really even thought about in almost 10years. We went to chapel, we walked around campus, we showed our boys the dorms we lived in and the places where we used to hang out. In my own mind, I might could still fit in with the hip, cute 20-somethings bopping around campus. But I am sure they looked at me and wondered "Who is that older woman and what is she doing here? She must not have much else to do." :) I remember thinking that when I was a student about people who came back for homecoming. Lucas loved seeing all the sights his Daddy tells him about in stories. (Lucas loves to hear stories before bed and always asks for a story about Wheaton College.) He loved seeing the Bell Tower and hearing the Edman Chapel chimes. It was very cool to be back there with my boys!

(first picture up top) Fall '96- Oh, young love!

(left) junior year-Spring '98
(right) in front of the same house- Fall '09. Seeing how we both have aged in 10years is a bit unsettling!



(left) senior year- Feb '99; the Wheaton tradition of going up the Tower to ring the bells when you got engaged. The baby in this picture now babysits my babies and the little guy in the front just got his driver's license. Yikes! I'm in the front in the red sweater and Hubby is in the blue shirt behind me.

(right) visiting the Tower with my boys this weekend (Caden's asleep in the sling). Life coming full circle...

Walking out of chapel on Friday, it was pouring down rain. Hubby and I just walked hand-in-hand down that familiar path from chapel to the dining hall, silent. No words needed. It felt sweet to still be holding his hand, to still be loving him and being loved by him, 10 years and LOTS of water under the bridge later. It was moving, refreshing to my soul. Neither of us would ever have guessed we would walk through all that God has put before us. We thought we were going to live in Nashville, have our 2.5 kids, adopt from China, ...blah, blah, blah. Instead we went to Baltimore and came back to Chicago and all along the way had to maneuver our way through some major bumps in the road. Bumps that you don't exactly talk about over pizza in a tent with people who you probably won't see for another 10years. But things that have made us who we are. Holding Hubby's hand and walking through the rain and carrying our boys as we visit places from our past, I couldn't help but feel like one of the luckiest gals around. I wouldn't trade my bumps for anything. Well, that is not totally true. I might change a few things if I could. But my life is what God has meant it to be. He has directed the last 10 years, bumps and all, to bring me here-at my 10yr reunion with my class-mate and soul-mate and our two amazing sons.

Those 20-somethings don't have any clue what life will hold for them. I know I didn't. But I am blessed. Old, but blessed. :)

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Satisfying his Curiosity with the Truth

>> Friday, October 2, 2009

From the moment Lucas could talk, he has been asking questions. He wanted to know everything about everything. Still does. "Mommy, talk about trees. Talk about lightening. Talk about mud or firetrucks or freight trains." I was explaining photosynthesis and the definition of nocturnal to my 2 year, because he asked. He is a very bright, very verbal, very cerebral kid. And as he gets older, the questions are not waning. Just getting more complex. "Mommy, who made God? How do people who live in heaven walk on the clouds? Why do some animals eat plants and others eat meat?"
And along with being a curious kid, he is also an avid reader. Well, he isn't quite reading alone. But he loves to be read to and to learn what the books say so he can " read" them to himself. When I was first introduced to the Ouestions for Little Hearts books (from author Kathleen Bostrom), I knew they would be a good fit for us. Having lost our first son before Lucas was born, we talk a lot about heaven around here. Lucas knows he has an older brother in heaven and that we will see him again someday. But those discussions themselves lead to lots of other questions about heaven and God and other spiritual matters. These are questions that I love to talk abut with him but I don't always have the answers. And that is exactly why I love these books.
The most recent one's we read were "Who Made the World?" and "What is the Bible?" And just like the others in this series that we have loved, these books captivated Lucas' attention and sparked lots of questions. The books always start with a list of questions your toddler may have about the world or the Bible or prayer or heaven.

"What was the hardest, and what was most fun? "The planets or the stars or the people- which one? If you had it all to do over again, would you make the world as you did way back them?

The second half of the book if written as if God is speaking to your preschooler, directly answering his/her questions.
"Nothing was hard; I enjoyed every minute. I love the whole world! I love everything in it! If I could go back, I would not change a thing. But wait till you see what the future will bring!"

If your kids are like mine, the poetic answers will be only the beginning of answering the questions. This is when I turn to the last few pages of the book. They break it down page by page and list the scripture reference that backs up the reply. The references for the above quoted passages are: Genesis 1:31 "God looked over all He had made, and he saw that it was very good!" Also, Revelation 4:11 and Revelation 21:1. After reading "Who Made the World?" Lucas and I had a good talk about the creation story and what it means to be part of God's creation. Lucas asked, "If God made the world, then who made God?" Good question, little man. The references in the back of our book list Revelation 22:13, "I am ... the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Not exactly a clear-cut answer, but that is not exactly a clear-cut question. It did, however, explain it a little more and give us me some words to use to talk about God's eternal nature with my 3yr. old.

So, as I have said before, we are big fans of the Little Blessings books. The author, Kathleen Bostrom, is an ordained minister and pastor's wife. Her explanations are poetic (aka: easy to read and not annoying if you have to read them over and over), thorough and yet kid-friendly. When reading these to my boys, they are entertained and instructed all at once. And as a mom of boys who have LOTS of questions, I love that! I can't recommend them enough. There are so many in this series that I'm sure you could find the perfect one for your little questioner.

Other titles: What is God Like? Who is Jesus? Are Angels Real? Is God Always with Me? Why is there a Cross? What is Prayer? and many more. Check out the Tyndale Kids website for the full list.

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