Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Great Day

Yesterday was a great day! In the morning, the boys and I had to go by the pediatrician's office to have Owen weighed. He had lost weight over the last few months, can you believe it? So, for the last 3 weeks we've been packing down the food to make sure that we could get the downward trend to reverse. And, of course, it did. 3 weeks ago he weighed 16 lbs 10 ozs. Yesterday, he weighed 18 lbs 2 ozs. A pound and a half in 3 weeks! For a baby his age, that kind of weight gain is a bit astonishing. My good boy! I knew he could do it! In the last week, he has also managed to refine his method for getting around. Previously, he was resorting to a very walrus-like flopping method. Yesterday, though, he actually started to crawl. Before I know it, there'll be teeth and talking and walking and... Okay. I have to stop or I'll cry. My baby is growing up.

Next stop was my parent's house. They watched the boys while I ran to Edgewood to redeem a gift certificate I'd received for a massage. Aagh! A real massage. My first one, and it was amazing! Unfortunately, the jostling and hair tugging components of "mommy massage" may no longer cut it. My horizons have officially been expanded.

After all of that, it was time to head home, because it wasn't long before Zach would be headed home from work. I had tried a new crock pot recipe (Cheesy White Chili with Cauliflower) and I wanted to make sure it was ready by the time he made it home. I forgot, though, that Zach rode his bike to work yesterday, so I was expecting him home a lot earlier.

Yes, that's right. Zach rode his bike to work - roughly from Menaul & Tramway to Gibson & Yale. From the foothills to the airport. My husband is an animal. It's roughly a 15 mile trip, each way. In the mornings it's not so bad, because it's down hill all the way and the temperature is quite nice. On the way home, though, it's up hill and the temperature is definitely close to, if not, in the 90's most days. Plus, he has this insane compulsion to catch up to everyone he sees. (Except for people on road bikes. Thankfully, he has the sense to let them fly by without feeling the need to keep up.) Anyways, he made it home in about an hour and a half. Incredible time, but he was darn near passing out when he walked through the door. He grabbed a drink and a snack and flopped onto the couch in a sweaty puddle. (Ick!) He got to see Owen crawl before baby had to proceed to bed and then it was time to hit the shower. Afterwards, we got to have a lovely meal (the chili was a success) in the backyard while we watched Caleb play. Then Zach did bedtime with Caleb. He's much, MUCH better at bedtime than I am. When I read Caleb's stories, I read them. That's it. When Zach reads them, though, he can come up with an entertaining and unique voice for each character, no matter how many there are. It's a wonder Caleb ever lets me read his stories.

After all of that, we got to cuddle on the couch and watch a couple episodes of Lost, one of our favorite TV programs. Then we went to bed...early!

It wasn't glamorous or exciting but, in my book, it made for a wonderful, super-enjoyable day. (Thank you, Jesus, for good days!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A "Deuce" Like No Other

While I was cooking dinner this evening, Caleb was busy playing in the backyard. He came to the back door and was hollering for me, so I went to check out the situation. "Mom! There's POOP in the backyard!" No big deal, I thought. It was probably a stray cat or something. He was pretty upset, though, and went on to frantically tell me that some of the poop was on him.

"Great." I'm thinking. "What in the world is he doing in our backyard with poop?" He's three, though, so there's no telling. As with most problems when you're three, the solution is a bath, so I proceeded to strip him down in the backyard before herding him straight to the tub. By the time I got to his undies, I discovered that he had been the originator of the poo. He doesn't really have accidents, so I was pretty surprised. "Did you not feel it coming, Buddy?" "No, I did. The rest of the poop is over there...," he said, while pointing towards the wall at the back of the yard.

I should have known, and it's probably my own fault. No, I do not go to the bathroom in our backyard - or anyone else's, for that matter. But I did make the mistake of letting him pee on a tree at the park one day because he really had to go. At that time, I didn't realize it was a mistake, but since then he's developed quite a fondness for relieving himself in the middle of the great outdoors. (As, I understand, most men do.) It never occurred to me, though, that I needed to create a distinction between the acceptability of the occasional going potty on a tree when absolutely necessary and going outside just because it's fun. Especially #2! Further proof that there's somehow a total disconnect in a three-year-old's ability to reason.

So, my question is this: how the heck do you reprimand your son for defecating in the yard while mentally picturing the little guy squatting by the back wall? I can tell you, it's darn hard to do with a straight face.

I related the story to Zach, who thought it was quite amusing. (Although he probably wouldn't have found it quite so funny if he was the one who had to scrub poo out of Caleb's clothes.) When Zach got home, he went to check on Caleb in the tub. He again asked him if he hadn't felt the "poops" coming, but he got a totally different story than I did.

"No." Caleb replied, quite seriously. "They were sneaky ones!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Pot Garden

Okay, okay. Not that kind of pot. Don't want you to think I'm misbehavin'!

There's this ugly little flower bed in our back yard that Zach and I have been ready to get rid of since we moved in last summer. The only problem is that we didn't have any ideas as to what to put in its place. This week I finally made it to the store to get my summer flowers. When I set about planting them last night, I planned to put them in the various pots I had scattered around the back yard. But then, I had a better idea. Surely a flower bed full of pots with plants would look better than lots of pots with flowers all spread out, and a flower bed that's ugly and empty. Thus, the birth of my pot garden! I think I like it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Any resemblance?

A few months ago, Dawn, our pastor's wife, said that Owen looks like Chris Farley. I totally disagreed. It wasn't long afterwards, though, that I saw the following photo of him on my parents' fridge. What do you think?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oops, I did it again.

So, I tried another recipe with jalapeno. A really yummy salad that a friend from church brought to a get-together a few weeks ago. Brown rice, grape tomatoes, black beans, corn, shredded cheddar, avocado, diced jalapeno... It was great! Mine, however, didn't come out quite like hers. I'm not sure what the problem was. And, yes. I did it again. Somehow, despite my careful attention to washing and NOT rubbing anything, it wasn't long before the side of my face was on fire. It was right next to my left eye. Thank God I didn't actually get it in my eye! Yikes. I'm wondering if I'd better quit while I'm ahead. (If you can call this ahead.)

And another thing... Caleb, as usual, was quite amusing today. While we were getting ready for church this morning, he heard something on TV about it being Father's Day. He asked, "Mom, who's a father?" I told him, "Daddy is a father. And so is Papa." (My dad.) But apparently this didn't sit right with him. "No! He's not. He's an old man."

Also, at the lunch table today, he announced to the entire family that the reason mommy feeds Owen instead of him is because his "milkers" aren't big enough. Ha!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What is love?

Okay. It's confession time. Lately I have been far, far too impatient with Caleb. Sometimes I'm just at a complete loss as to how my precious, first-born baby turned into a wild little tornado who is capable of being rude and disobedient. If you'd have asked me 3 years ago whether or not he'd ever do such things, I'd swear that it was certainly not within his capacity. However, if you ever need proof that mankind isn't inherently good, you need look no further than a young child.

What bothers me most is the tone of voice I've found myself using with him. I know it isn't good or excusable, no matter what the provocation. Last night, though, I really thought about how I'd feel if someone talked to me over and over again with that frustrated, disappointed tone. I decided that I'd most likely cry. And that's what Caleb does, only the response he gets from me is typically even greater frustration.

I prayed about it last night (while I lay awake in between Owen's unexplainable 3:30 and 5:00 wakings). The answer God gave me was pretty clear. LOVE IS PATIENT. Oh, right. In the well-known 1st Corinthians list, patience comes first - before all else. If this was a list of ingredients on the nutrient label on a package of food, that would mean that it's the most prevalent ingredient. Patience is the biggest component of love. I think that's true. Without patience, how can I be kind, hopeful, trusting or any of the other things that make up love?

In the dictionary, the definition of patience is:

1.the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3.quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care.

Yikes. I knew that I was missing the mark, but if I wasn't fully convicted before, I certainly am now. A willingness to suppress restlessness when confronted with delay. How many times a day do I find myself annoyed with how slow he is at doing everything? And how often am I irritated that he doesn't do things the first time I ask? Although I do wholeheartedly maintain that he must be respectful and obedient, how many things does he do simply because he's still only 3 years old? He seems like such a big boy, and he is. I am trying to remind myself, however, that he's still small and ever learning. I'm sure that the world is a much more complicated place when you can't tie your shoes by yourself or open doors or understand directions (no matter how clear I feel I've been). After all, I think I've had sufficient proof that there's absolutely no telling what's going on in that little head of his.

I know he knows that I love him. But I never, ever want him to feel like he's a disappointment to me. He's not. He's precious and I'm trying to learn from him. Trying to learn that slowing down is a good thing. That doing one thing at a time, and doing it slowly, is better than rushing through six things at once. It makes for a much happier, healthier soul. We're both new at this and I'm trying to remember that we both have things to teach and to learn. In the mean time, I need to remind myself of the many, many reasons I have to love him, to cherish him and to swell with pride for him. They are far greater than any shortcomings. He is precious.

He's also hilarious. I have to end this post on a happy note. He told his first joke yesterday. It goes something like this:

Q: Why did the penguin use soap on his hair when he was in the bath?

A: Because he ran out of shampoo.

I know, it was definitely one of those "you had to be there" moments. Just picture Caleb telling it and, in the process, being so absolutely tickled and pleased with himself that he was about to fall on the floor laughing. It was wonderful.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why, oh why, am I in a slump?

I still very much enjoy reading blogs - keeping up with friends and, admittedly, total strangers. However, it seems I can hardly bring myself to write my own these days. What's the deal? I just don't know. I'm wondering if I am feeling a little tired of only talking about Caleb and Owen. But, what else is there to talk about in my world? It seems that for the next several years, at least, my world is set to revolve around theirs. How much did Owen eat today? Are his teeth ever going to come through? Did Caleb take a nap? Did he really brush his teeth or was he just pretending? And what, dear God, did he just say???

I'm thinking that the best way to get over my posting slump is to forge ahead and post whatever I can - whether it's about the boys or, wonder-of-wonders, if I can come up with something else. I think I'll try for at least one a week. Hopefully that will push me through to the other side.

Even though I haven't been posting regularly, it is by no means an indication that Caleb has not been in fine form. He has, indeed, been up to his usual antics. He announced last weekend that Natalie Portman is his girlfriend.

(I should qualify that. She is ONE of his girlfriends, for apparently he has many.) I was pleased to find that my little guy is quite chivalrous, though. When he told Zach that she was his girlfriend, he also told him (with all sincerity) that he lets her sleep on the bottom bunk, because she's too scared to climb up to the top one.

In his new-found, yet quite innocent interest in girls, he was a little curious about their anatomy. The other day he hugged me and then, pointing at my chest, asked, "What is that?" My policy is to give him as little information and as little terminology to add to his vocabulary as possible. My fear is that I may never know when his new words would come back to bite me or, more accurately, to embarrass the heck out of me. So, I said, "This is mommy's chest." But, I wasn't getting off easy that particular day. "No, no, no." Leaving little room for confusion, he asked again, "What are those?" So, I caved. "They're called breasts, Caleb." It seems that answer satisfied his curiosity, but he wasn't quite finished with the conversation. "Yeah," he replied, in a very casual, all-knowing manner. "I think they're disgusting. Know why?" "No, why?" "Because, they're made out of worms." Aagh! If only he would continue to believe that for about 15 to 20 more years!

As for Owen, he's on the verge of crawling at any moment. He actually may bypass crawling and proceed straight to running. He spends most of his play time up on hands and knees. However, he keeps pushing his little rear up in the air. He looks like a runner at the starting blocks. He just rocks back and forth, smiling and fussing with frustration all at the same time. Any day now, one of his little hands will slip forward a bit, his knees will move forward to catch up and he'll be off. Thus will begin the chase.

And how am I? About the same as ever. I checked out about 10 vegetarian cookbooks from the library this week and I've really enjoyed pouring through them - looking for new ideas and solutions to the age-old question. "What's for dinner?" It's just a harder question to answer, now that we're not eating meat. It's been fun, though, and we're thoroughly enjoying it. This afternoon I've been making a new recipe that we'll try for dinner. It's for sweet potato & black bean salsa. The recipe looked intriguing, so I figured I'd try it. It calls for jalapenos - this is, admittedly, my first time cooking with jalapenos. I have to say that, on the whole, I'm not a big fan. But, my only experience with them thus far is on nachos and I think that's downright yucky. We'll see, though. It called for one, finely-chopped jalapeno and that it should be seeded (if that's your preference). Since we like it hot around here, I seeded half and left the other as-is. It seems to have worked out just fine. The only problem? I washed my hands afterwards, but apparently not well enough. I must have gone after a stray little tickle on my nose, because all I know is that now it's on fire. Absolutely on fire. Oops. I guess it's bound to happen to everyone once.

That's all the time I have for now. It's time to get Caleb down for a nap and, most likely, get Owen up from his. I swear they time it this way on purpose!