Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Emotions

I have really enjoyed the learning process of watching Laci learn and test out new emotions.  I think children are born fearless.  I still haven't decided if Laci is scared of anything or just pretends to be for attention or because we read it in a Berenstain Bear book.  But we sleep with a night light because occasionally she says she is afraid of the dark and monsters.  She hides behind me when we go places because she says she is shy.  She is not shy.  And now she is developing embarrassment.  There is that point where parents are embarrassed at their toddlers and the limitless innocence they have in public - loud inappropriate comments or inapprorpiate behavior.  And then there is that point where our preschoolers are embarassed by us.  A few weeks ago, Laci told me that she doesn't want to have friends over because we are too stinky and toot too much.  This is odd for many reasons.  One - we have never had a play date or even talked about having a play date with one of her school friends.  Two - we do not toot too much!!!  I assured her that if she ever had a friend over, we would not toot with them around.  We would not be a stinky family when others are nearby. 

The other day, we were at my in-laws.  Laci got sick and had a little accident in her pants.  I panicked when I realized I didn't have any clean underwear and we were about to have a 90 minute drive home.  I really didn't want to be stuck in the car if she got sick again. So I put a pull up on her.  She was okay with that plan but told me not to tell anyone except Daddy.  She didn't want me to tell her grandma or grandpa.  She was embarrassed.  I thought it was very interesting that she would be embarrassed.  This is the same girl that doesn't think twice about doing so many other embarrassing things.  But the emotion of embarrassment is definitely being developed in her right now.  More things for me to think about - how to help her deal with embarrassment.  I can see this leading to shame and how to deal with peer pressure....  Always more questions, never any answers. 

Favorite conversation with Laci this weekend...

After we walked to the pool to "dip our feet" in the water to see if it was warm, we started walking back home.  Our feet were still wet because I didn't bring a towel.  It was 90 degrees so I figured we would dry quickly.  But Laci stepped in a mud puddle.  
Laci, in angry voice: "Mom, you should have brought a towel!"  
Me: "I didn't know you would be stepping in mud.  You will be dry.  You'll be fine. Do you want to ride your bike home?"  
Laci: "No, I do not want to get the bike wet and muddy."
Me, a few minutes later: "Are you ready for your bike yet?"
Laci, still angry and yelling: "No, I am still muddy.  I am not riding my bike.  I am not going to tell you again...  Why did you not bring a towel!!!  You need to remember a towel!!!"
Me: "I don't know."  I was just trying not to laugh.

A little later, we went to the pool, with swimsuits and towels.  As we were about to walk near the puddle, I reminded her not to step in the mud.  But it was too late.  She stepped in the mud the moment I started to say "Don't step in the mud."  I reminded her that I have a towel and she can dry off.  She replied with "Good, you finally learned your lesson!"  
I didn't have the heart to remind her that she should have learned her lesson by not stepping in the mud a second time too!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Minivan

Cross your fingers.  Tomorrow is the day.  Tomorrow is the day I am hopefully getting a minivan.  I may be the only person excited to get a minivan.  Everyone seems to shrug to say "I'm getting a minivan".  It seems like a minivan is just something you have to do.  After they get their minivan, most moms I know seem to like it.  Maybe not the stigma associated with it but the extra room and the other benefits of a minivan.  I am looking forward to the extra room and the third seat.  Right now we have a Vibe.  Most the time it is fine.  It is snug with Calvin's seat facing backwards but it works.  It is full with the stroller in the back and the groceries.  It will be nice to be able to bring Grandma and Grandpa with us in one car to go out to eat or wherever.  It will be nice to have room to carpool when the kids get a little bigger or to take friends with us.  It will be nice to have room in the car for whatever.  We may not need the extra room often but when we do, it will be nice to have it.  It will be nice to be able to be covered when it is raining and I am buckling the kids in and my backside is still sticking out.  I have mixed feelings about the DVD player.  It is nice to have it in the car.  But we need to set ground rules as to when it is allowed and when it isn't.  Hopefully I can stick to the ground rules.  I don't want to turn the DVD player on every time we go home from school.  I was thinking about why getting a minivan is so important to me.  And it turns out it is the exact reason why people avoid the minivan.  The stigma.  The "soccer mom".  I want that "mom" car.  I am a mom.  I have waited a long time to be a mom.  It includes driving the "mom" car.  
Charlie is struggling with it.  He is still driving a Mustang.  It is 13 years old with 250,000 miles on it.  It is important to him.  I think it helps him hold on to his youth.  He even figured out a way to get 2 car seats in the back of it.  All 4 of us do not fit in it with the car seat turned backwards.  We will probably get rid of the Mustang.  I know it will be hard on him.  Just like it is hard for Charlie's grandpa to sell us the minivan.  He is 92 years old and the car and driving is his last bit of freedom.  He has had to scale back on driving a lot.  He really shouldn't be driving at all.  We have talked to him about this for about a year.  Charlie didn't want to be the one to take away the keys - to take away that freedom.  So we waited for him to be ready.  As Grandpa has to say goodbye to his car and driving, Charlie is in a way saying good bye to a bit of his youth when he has to say good bye to his yellow Mustang. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Money, Money, Money

How do we teach a 3 year old about money?  Charlie and I are very fortunate in that we think very similar regarding finances and saving, spending, etc.  We both think that financial education and responsibility is very important.  We were very fortunate in that we were taught young about money and saving, investing, etc.  He has talked a lot about how it is so important to teach teenagers and young people about money and being fiscally responsible.  

But we haven't talked about how to teach our young children about money.  We decided we would wait until Laci was 4 or 5 to open a savings account for her.  The interest rates are terrible right now anyway and we want to be able to take her to the bank and be a part of that process.  We don't want her to be spoiled and therefore, we make a very conscience effort not to buy her toys and things when we are at the store.  A couple of years ago, we were at the store with my mother in law and I wouldn't let her buy Laci a gift because I didn't want her to see us buying her stuff and realize we could take the toys home.  For the most part it has gone pretty well.  Before Christmas and her birthday, we look at the toys and we put things on "the list".  So far that has satisfied her.  Her experience with money is pretending to slide a credit card and putting a penny in the slot in the horse at Meijer. 

Lately, I noticed she is starting to use the phase "can I buy..." this and that.  When we were at the grocery this last weekend, she asked to "buy" a lot of things.  What is going on in her head?  Yesterday, she found a penny in my car and she asked if she could buy a princess doll.  It got me thinking about a lot of things.  Where did this sudden need "to buy" everything come from?  And how do we teach her the value of a dollar, or in that case, a penny.  How do we start the money education?  I don't know.  It has to be taught in very simple 3 year old terms.  Do we give her an allowance?  I was never given an allowance so I don't know how that works.  Charlie was so I will have to find out his thoughts on that.  Is the allowance in exchange for chores?  Good grades?  Or just because?  When do we start giving her the money she gets from Grandma and Grandpa for holidays?  Right now, we save it for the kids.  For starters, I think I will start with a piggy bank that she can put her change into and eventually her dollars so she can access it and see how it is growing.  Her pretty ceramic piggy bank that she got when was born won't work for that.  Maybe that will start some discussion about how many pennies, nickels and dimes it takes to buy something.  I also want to teach her to tithe.  My mom always gave me a dollar to put into the offering plate.  I don't want to do that.  It sounds like a nice idea but it was her dollar she gave me.  I want Laci to have to give her own dollar.  I have read about how important it is to teach your children to divide their money into three categories - saving, charity and spending.  That is where I want to get. 

What are some ways others have started teaching about money?  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Calvin can stand

Calvin can stand.  He has been trying for weeks to get up and has been stuck on his knees.  But today he stood.  How did this happen?  He is just a baby.  My little bitty baby.  Sometimes I forget I have a baby.  I know that sounds weird.  But Laci is so demanding and Calvin is so easy going.  He's easy to be overlooked.  The poor second child syndrome.  Laci's babyhood went by so fast.  I accidently blinked and now she is a little girl.  It's happening with Calvin too. Sometimes I just stare at him and try to imprint his little features in my brain.  His little laugh.  His smile.  I thought Laci's babyhood would be imprinted in my brain forever.  Thank goodness for scrapbooks and pictures.  Charlie sent me this picture this morning.  I can't stop staring at it. Look at his concentration.  Look at his pudgy little fingers.  We stopped by the newborn room at school the other day.  They are so tiny!  Calvin's a giant.  And my little bitty baby at the same time.  The only thing that comforts me in remembering that Calvin is growing up is that I remember that every stage is better than the last.  It just keeps getting better!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Mommy Club

I am convinced that all Mom's are part of an exclusive Mommy Club.  As such, there is an unwritten vow we all take to look out after all children.  When Laci was about a year or two old, she was quite the "darter".  She didn't listen much either.  It wasn't uncommon for you to see Laci running and me chasing after her at the grocery store, park, parking lots, etc.   And what I learned is there was usually a mother that stopped her before she got too far or in the parking lot.  It made me worry just a smidge less.  A mother can't see a child without someone and not stop them from going into danger.  It's in our blood.  Mother's stop running children.  We help children at parks get off the playground equipment, we push them on the swings, we stop them from running away. I was reminded of this today when Laci ran off at Target.  She really has gotten much better and doesn't dart off as much.  But pretty soon Calvie will be running too and I will be so grateful again for the Mommy Club!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get out more!

This is why I need to get out more.  I went out to dinner with some friends tonight.  We try to do it about once a month.  I left the restaurant at about 10.  It was dark.  It felt weird driving home.  Then I tried to remember when the last time I was out of the house in the dark.  I couldn't remember.  I think it has been months.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I have always dreamed of playing with my little girl's hair.  Putting little clips in her hair, pony tails, braids...  But Laci will have none of that!  I assumed that my daughter would be born a blond like I was and then it would slowly darken into a brunette.  Imagine our surprise when she came out a redhead.  I love it.  All of her hair fell out after a month and it took 6 months before Charlie would agree that she had red hair.  It is already changing and it is more of a strawberry blond or auburn.  But it is still a beautiful color.  

She also had lots of baby curls.  Of course, I have straight hair and didn't have the foggiest clue for what to do with curls.  I talked to my sister whose daughter has very curly hair for advice.  I talked to friends with curly hair for advice.  I banned the brush from the house.  All Charlie wanted to do was brush it!  I started using a comb for curly hair.  Her hair has settled down a lot which has helped.  After lots of tries, I think I have found a shampoo/conditioner/detangler combo that is helping.  We still battle in the morning and at night to comb her hair.  Charlie forces her to have it combed.  I settle for finger combing it or just the crazy frizz look in the morning and call it "character".  I thought that because I have long hair, I would have more patience with combing the knots out of her hair.  But it turns out that since I don't have any problems yanking my own head, I am too rough on her little head.  Charlie actually has more patience and is gentler than I am on her hair.   

She still never allows me to put ponies in or cute pig tails or barrettes.  Occasionally she will ask for a pony tail.  She will allow me to do a pony tail for gymnastics class.  I have gotten better with the small rubber bands because that seems to be the only thing that will stay in her hair.  She refuses a ponytail in the morning because it is hard to nap with one.  I can't blame her for that.  I always wear a pony but since I never get to take a nap, I don't have that problem.  Some days she lets the teachers at daycare do it and she will come home looking adorable.  I have never gotten a barrette to stay in her hair and she has never asked for one either.  She is my mother-in-law's only granddaughter.  So she made Laci a bunch of pretty barrettes that Laci refuses to wear.  I have heard from others that the key is to start the barrettes early when they are young and force it in there.  I guess that ship has sailed.  :) 

Calvin's hair is coming in super slowly.  It is still pretty fine and short.  With Laci and her long hair, I can get away with longer intervals between hair cuts.  But with boys, hair cuts may need to be more regular.  His hair is light and I am still holding out for a blond.  But my mom thinks he will start as a brunette too.  Just for fun, yesterday I put a nice purple ribbon in his hair to test out the "get them started when they are little" theory.  He was cute!

The other day when her older cousin was visiting, they played "salon".  It was so cute.  Lauren even put the smock on Laci to do her hair.  She loves playing with her big cousin.  Maybe this will be the start of letting me do her hair.  Braids, pony tails, pigtails...  And more importantly, someday she will be able to do her own hair and comb it in the morning herself!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Laci is on the case!

When I came home from our trip, I was really looking forward to seeing how my garden was coming along.  I love my vegetable garden and every year I try something new.  I have a small vegetable garden and I am always trying to see how much I can grow in the tiny space.  I tried planting my peas, lettuce and spinach early this year, hoping for a second crop later in the season.  I put the beans and broccoli in a couple of weeks ago.  I was planning to put the tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in this weekend.  When I went out there last night, I was crushed to see nothing!  Only weeds, lettuce and a little spinach.  There was no traces of peas, beans and broccoli.  Ugh.  There must have been a bunny!  I came in the house and told Laci how mad I am about the garden disappearing.  At dinner, I mentioned again to Charlie how upset I am about the garden.  Laci reiterated that she is mad too because the bunny ate all of our vegetables.  I found this amusing because she refuses to eat or even touch vegetables.  But she came up with a great plan.  First, we are going to track the bunny down by following his footsteps.  Then, after we find him, we will ask him to apologize for eating our vegetables.  Finally, we will ask him to plant his own garden.  Sounds like a great plan to me.  I can't wait to see if it works.  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Car Trip

We got back today from a quick trip to Maryland.  It was a crazy weekend.  Mostly drively. My mother in law wanted the whole family to surprise his aunt for her 65th birthday.  My brother-in-law, his wife and two boys came in from Delaware.  She was very surprised!  It was nice to visit with them because we don't see them very often - only once or twice a year.  Laci loved playing with her cousins.  One is a year older and one is two years younger. 

The "big surprise".  Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the door and missed her reaction!

The kids and their cousins.  This may be the first shot of the 4 of them together.

It seems crazy to drive 9 hours each way for a long weekend.  But I have a small confession.  I love road trips.  The craziness, the chaos, the tears, the singing, the playing, the car snacks.  My memories of vacations as a child are mostly of the car and hotel - not the destination.  I love now sitting in the passenger seat directing the family and being "in charge".  When else are you stuck with your family in a small confined space!  We drove out there on Friday.  The kids did well.  We had a few extra potty stops than normal.  Charlie and I have a set pattern for our drives our East and it was nice to share with the kids, even if they didn't realize it.  Calvin went crazy the last hour but we had been in the car for almost 9 hours so I can't blame him.  We broke the trip home in two yesterday and today.  Laci went a little nuts near Wheeling so I am glad that we already planned to stop there. 

My "ordinary extraordinary" moment came yesterday.  I had been sitting backwards in the front seat reaching behind to give Calvin his bottle.  He refuses to hold it himself.  He's a bit spoiled.  I turned around to hear Laci and Charlie singing the alphabet in a rhyme and then we all played "school" in the car.  A little while later, Laci was playing with her crayons - not coloring, just playing with the crayons.  I loved that.  It made all the crying, screaming, whining (and there was plenty of that from all 4 of us) worth it.

I have good memories of the kids playing together and his aunt's surprised face and I am glad we went.  But my best memories of this trip came from the 20 hours we all spent in the car.

Look at this beautiful view! 

I tried getting a picture of the entire back of the van, including the back of Calvie's car seat and the mess, but she was insisting on sticking her figures up her nose and laughing.  It was hilarious in her mind.  Of course, this was after she was screaming for 20 minutes and for no reason at all, she started laughing and announced that we were having "laughing time".  I love our new "laughing" time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I am a Runner

I am a runner.  I use the term loosely.  I am a very casual runner.  I am not a marathon runner like my brother.  I am not devoted to a "streak" like my husband.  I am a lunchtime, treadmill runner.  I am very fortunate that my office park as a gym that is free for my use.  I can get in and out in an hour.  The hour prevents me from running very long distances and I am limited to 4 miles a run.  But the lunchtime hour allows me to get my run in without taking any time away from my children.  I don't have to get up early like my husband or workout late after the kids are bed because at that point, I am asleep too.  I have a goal - 400 miles this year.  The last month has been pretty crazy.  I haven't had a lot of lunch hours to run.  Work keeps getting the way.  But I am still on track.  I can occasionally get a weekend Sunday afternoon run in too when the chores and errands are done. I am not the fastest runner but I can push myself and I am slowly increasing speed.  I walk when I want to and am proud of myself when I can get the 4 miles in without walking.  But my running is something I can do for me.  It's the small bits of "me" time I can still have without taking away from kid time. 

My Pants Are Too Short!

Years ago, I remember one of the parents I babysat for telling me about when they put their two year old in shorts for the first time that summer.  He kept pulling at his shorts trying to pull them down.  It's funny to think about how different shorts would be for someone who can only remember wearing pants.  I think of this story every summer when I pull out the summer clothes.  When the weather finally warmed up last week, I put Laci in some capris.  It didn't seem too traumatic until the drive home from school that afternoon.  She told me that she wrote a song that day when she was playing outside.  When I asked her to sing it for me, this was her song - "My pants are too short.  They don't cover my ankles.  My ankles are bare.  My pants are too short.  They don't cover my ankles."  Apparently, it was more traumatic then I thought.  I decided to put her in shorts this week because of the warm (HOT!) weather.  But I warned her the night before so she wouldn't be too surprised the next morning!  :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fevers and Mother's Intuition

When it comes to fevers, I have zero mother's intuition.  I don't know what to do!  Do I take them to the doctor or what a few days for it to pass?  Am I the crazy mother who takes their kids to the doctor for "just a fever"?  Am I the crazy mom who tries to take their sick children to daycare?  Yes, Yes, Yes.  I freak out over fevers.  One reason is because of the daycare.  I can't stay home for every little fever.  The kids have to stay home for any fever over 100 for a day.  I can't wait 3 days to see if the fever breaks on their own.  If they have an infection or something, I need medicine for them that day to get them over the fever.  I don't want to get the other kids school and if my kids need to stay home because they are sick, they need to stay home.  But if they are not sick and just a little warm...  Plus, I worry too much about Calvin given his history of ear infections.  Saturday, he took a long nap in the morning and woke up with a fever of 103 and he was super lethargic.  Do I take him in or not?  It's Saturday so I could wait a day and see.  But we have a house full of family and his baptism is the next day.  So I took him to medcheck and sure enough, he had an ear infection and got some antibiotics.  I guess he wasn't one of those kids that all ear infections went away with the tubes.  The fever finally broke at about 4:30 on Saturday and he seemed fine of Sunday.  He was fussy and didn't eat much but I figured it was because of all the people and events going on.  But sure enough, the fever came back on Monday.  By noon it was 102.8 again and I was on my way to pick him up.  Again, do I take him in or not?  Is the infection going away or is there another reason the fever came back?  In the past, after the antibiotic started, the fevers went away.  So the crazy mom I am took him to his doctor.  Of course, by the time we got there, the ibuprofen had kicked him and he was starting to get back to his old self but fussy because it was nap time.  The doctor said he looked good and is on the mend.  Crazy mom can relax.  I even got a note from her so he can go back to school tomorrow.  Of course, the fever came back after his nap this afternoon so I still worry.  We'll re-evaluate in the morning that he is okay to go back.  Charlie will stay home with him.  I have two vacation days left and we have a trip planned later this month.  And I will worry again and wonder for awhile if I should bring them in before I bring in.

Is the daycare to blame for Calvin's infections and cold this year?  I don't think so.  It's easy to blame them.  Laci did great the first year at daycare and wasn't sick very much at all.  She was two before she had her first ear infection.  Unfortunately, it has just been a rough winter/spring for the little guy. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Grandma's Hands

One thing I always remember about my grandma is her hands.  They were old lady hands.  She was an old lady.  This is a good thing.  She had a wonderful, long life and lived to be 87 years old.  I am so thankful for the time we had together.  She was a very special part of my life and I still miss her.  Now when I look at my mom's hands, I see my grandma's hands.  I see all the things I love about my grandma and my mom and their lives in her hands.  My mom is not old but she is in the next phase of life - she's a grandma.  She has grandma hands.  I look at my own hands and I wonder if my mom's hands are in there.  I wonder if my hands will become my grandma's hands too someday.  I look at Laci's hands and still see pudgy baby hands.  They are little girl hands.  In between a baby and a child.  She is very much a little girl and doesn't have many baby features left.  Except her little hands.  They will soon be a child's hand, then a teenager's hand.  Someday they may be a mother's hands and eventually my grandmother's hands too.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Calvin's Baptism

Calvin is going to be baptized this weekend.  I am really looking forward to it.  I know some churches don't recognize infant baptism.  Some churches dedicate their children.  Charlie didn't want to baptize the kids but it is important to me.  Dedicate or baptize, it is the same thing to me.  It is dedicating your life to Jesus Christ.  Someone once told me that an infant baptism is for the parents.  This makes sense.  I want to baptize my children for me.  I want to make that commitment for him.  I want my children to make their own commitment to God during their confirmation or similar ceremony.  I don't understand why some people say you can't be baptized more than once.  I would love to be baptized again and make that commitment again.  I am so excited to stand up in a church and give my child to God and make that commitment for him.  It is my promise to God to raise him in a church and to teach him about Jesus and God and what it means to be a member of the church. And I pray that one day he will also stand in a church and make that commitment for himself - whether he is baptized again or goes through confirmation.  

When Laci was baptized, it was a crazy weekend.  We moved the day before and her first birthday party was at the church right after it.  I remember looking forward to that moment of making that commitment and all I could think about was that I forgot to pack her "Birthday Girl" shirt for the party.  I was disappointed that I didn't get to fully commit to that moment.  I don't want to miss that moment with Calvin.  Plus, is there anything cuter than a little baby boy all dressed up!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Bread and the (Peanut) Butter

One of the things I love about being in a family is all of those little traditions just between the two of you, three of you or whoever is in your family.  Whether is it how you celebrate birthdays, where everyone sits at dinner, the bedtime routines, it's those little things.  One of my favorites with Laci and soon to be with Calvin is hanging out in our bed.  On Saturday mornings, we let her jump in bed with us and cuddle.  She likes to get in the middle and always asks to be the Peanut Butter.  Charlie and I are the bread and we all make a sandwich.  Now, occasionally Calvin joins us and he is the jelly.  This morning, Charlie was out of town and it was just Laci and I.  She wanted to be on the end and declared herself the bread this time.  I got to be the peanut butter.  We pretended Calvin was the other piece of bread but really, we were an open faced sandwich today.  I love sandwiches!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More questions...

I don't have any answers just yet.  I may never have answers.  But I have lots of questions.  Is it a nature vs. nuture thing?  How do we raise siblings together?  We are raising our children the same way or so we think.  I know families where the children are very similar.  And families where the two children are complete opposites.  How can they be so different when they have the same parents teaching them the same things at the same time.  Or are they?  I see families where one child is fighting for attention of the parents and the attention all goes to the other child. We all love our children equally, right?  Yes, we love them equally.  I am sure no one will admit it outloud but there are favorites.  Favorites is the wrong word.  They may favor one because they have more in common with that one.  They may spend more time with that one.  How does it affect the other one?  Is there any way to measure that?  Is that why children "rebel"?  

Do we treat our children all the same?  I don't think we necessarily should.  Things don't have to be "fair".  But how do we do it in such a way that it doesn't show favoritism but teaches patience and that "life isn't fair".  Plus all children are so different that the way we treat one child will not work for the other way.  Our children are unique and individual.  We need to tailor our parenting to our child.  But we all live in the same world and we have to learn to live in this world together.  

Can we look back and identify this as adults?  Or can we identify it as we are going through it?  I think back to my own childhood with my siblings.  I always thought my parents favored the older two.  But if you ask them, they say they felt like our parents favored the younger two.  It's all preception.  That's enough for now.  We're all just doing the best we can.  No answers...  Just questions. 

Miss Chievous

I often call my mom "the Clothes Fairy".  She loves shopping and buying kids clothes.  She is a magnet for deals and has some amazing finds.  This is great because I don't have time to shop and I hate shopping.  It's win / win for both of us.  Ever since Laci has been born, her clothes just appear in her closet whenever I need them.  It's like magic.  I was starting to panic this spring when I realized that summer was coming and I didn't have any summer clothes for her.  Right now she is in between a 4 and 5.  I should never worry.  Sunday, I went through all the things I had bought, plus the bag of clothes from my mom that she gave us at Easter plus I found some things from last summer that she had bought that were size 5.  Suddenly an entire drawer was filled with size 4 and 5 t-shirts.  She is good to go.  I told Laci how surprised that I was that we had so many clothes for her.  We tried to figure out where they all came from and decided it was magic. 

Last night, I told Laci she was being mischievous.  She asked who Chievous was - as in Miss Chievous.  She decided that Miss Chievous must have been who put all those clothes in her drawer.  So my mom is no longer the Clothes Fairy.  She is now Miss Chievous! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Please Mom, can I have some more...

I was in no hurry to start baby food with Calvin.  As I repeated our family motto, "I don't know any 15 year old who can't'"... fill in the blanks - eat, walk, crawl, sleep by themselves, etc., I knew he would eat eventually.  So I didn't even start baby food until he was 5 months old.  The first month, I stirred up the baby oatmeal or rice and he would refuse it all.  Oh well, we tried.  By January, he was 6 months old and we moved on to Stage 1 baby food - peas and green beans.  You can't start with the fruit because then they will never eat their vegetables, right?  Ha, Laci loved her baby vegetables and now won't even put one on her plate let alone eat one!  Calvin didn't seem to be a fan of any of those either.  In February, we had the daycare start feeding him food at lunch.  Slowly but surely he started to eat.  At the end of March, he moved up to the next infant room (8 - 13 mon).  I remembered seeing the babies in there get snacks of goldfish, puffs, etc.  Calvin had never had "real" food.  All the other babies will laugh at him for not knowing how to eat!  So I quickly pulled out the puffs to see if he could eat.  Nope.  He had no desire.  After a few days in that room, his teacher commented that he wasn't a good eater.  Of course not.  He had never done it before.  Slowly but surely, he started eating real food.  I would put bits of toast on his high chair tray.  He worked so hard at picking up each piece to get it in his mouth.  When they disappeared, I would so impressed that he was eating so well until I picked him up and realized all the food was on his lap.  A few weeks ago, I realized that if I fed him the "real" food on a spoon, he did great!  So now I feed him his dinner but still leave him bits on the tray.  I always feel like I am feeding a bird.  But he eats.  And eats.  We use very little baby food now.  They are so convenient when we go out and compliment whatever we are eating so it is still nice to have around.  But it is hard to believe that just over a month ago, he had never had any "real" food and now that is almost all he eats.  Just another example of babies growing up too fast!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My wedding ring

In honor of the biggest wedding of the year, I thought I would post something I wrote a few years ago, in my newlywed life, before children.  My friend is getting married this Saturday.  I am upset that I will not be there to celebrate with her but I am so happy for her and wish her and her new husband all the happiness in the world!

My Wedding Ring (2007)

When I was single, I used to look at people’s wedding rings and wonder what it felt like to wear a wedding ring.  I decided that it meant that that person was loved.  I realize that not every marriage is a happy marriage and I can’t assume that that person is loved now but there was one moment at that person’s wedding where they were loved.  I wondered what it felt like to be loved like that.  I used to wonder what it was like to go home to a spouse or sleep with a spouse or do anything else – married. 
Whenever I went to a wedding, I would look at the groom’s wedding ring.  The bride has been wearing an engagement ring for months but for the groom, this is the first time they have worn a ring.  What must it feel like to wear a ring?
The few months before we got engaged, it was pretty clear that we were going in that direction.  I started to feel like we would get engaged soon and our relationship became an engagement.  Our relationship became stronger.  That moment we actually became engaged was wonderful.  There are always stories about big public engagements or family engagements.  I am glad that we had a private engagement.  Our relationship is private and between us – not the public and not our family.  It was ours. 
Now that we have been married a few years I know what it feels like to be married.  I have learned so much about him, me and us.  What I have learned the most is how to argue.  That probably sounds strange.  But when we were dating, I always wanted to do that right thing so that we wouldn’t break up.  Now, the option to break up is not there.  So I am not scared of losing him.  I feel safe and secure with him.  Now, instead of being careful about what I say so that he won’t break up with me, I am careful about what I say because I don’t want to hurt him.  I love the way we argue because we both try to get our point across but we both don’t want to hurt each other.  I love that I can say anything to him and he will still love me.  I love the honesty that we have.  We may not always agree but we always try to listen.
One of the biggest things that I have noticed is that life is pretty much the same.  I have the same job, live in the same house, go to the same church.  I grocery shop every week, I make dinner every night; I read the paper while I eat the same oatmeal every morning.  I even have dinner on Thursday nights at O’Charley’s with him.  But one of my favorite things that I love about being married is that every night and every morning, I go to bed with my husband.  If I stir in the middle of the night, I feel him.  Before I go to work every morning, I have to hug and kiss him good bye.  I love evenings or weekend afternoons.  Even if we are both doing our own separate thing, we are still together.  I love knowing that he is there.  I love the little things about being married to him.  I love making him dinner and doing his laundry.  I love when he does nice things for me because I know he does them for me because he loves me.  
Another thing that I love about being married is that we are family.  We are together forever.  I compare it to my relationship with my mother.  No matter what, she is my mother.  No matter what, he is my husband.  I can be myself around him.  I think I can be more myself around him than anyone else, ever. 
Often, throughout the day, I forget about my ring.  But every time I look down, there it is.  Even when we are apart, my ring reminds me that he loves me and that I love him.  It reminds me that I belong to him.  The most important thing that my ring means to me is family.  We are a family.