The Natural Force of the Toddler

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Water is arguably the most powerful force on the earth. If you pour a glass of water on a surface, you can watch it roll, flood and drip away in an instant. When water meets a steadfast obstacle, it immediately flows another direction with the same intensity. With water there is no thought process, no hesitation and no undo button.

Such is life with a toddler. Strong and fierce, there is no stopping a tiny trotting human. Toddling this way and that, the little human never stops until it has worn so thin, it passes out involuntarily. These still developing humans, leave no cabinet left un-opened, no shelf left un-cleared and no basket left un-dumped.

As you can hear the sound of a rushing flood, the toddler alerts innocent bystanders of advancing attacks with loud, “aaaaaaaaaaa,” and “awwwwww,” alarms. But, beware of the silent battle. When you are least aware, water can damage your cabinets, floors and furniture. The small munchkin also employs her sneak attacks on unsuspecting possessions, doing the most damage when you feel safe and unsuspecting.

Have you ever tried holding water? Water is impossible contain and control without a vessel. Similarly, little people can often (but not not always) be contained in baby wraps, high chairs, swings and strollers. But once a child has been released from safety straps, he or she may quickly turn to fluid, making themselves difficult to detain.

Water is pure, stunningly beautiful to behold, and absolutely vital to life. Likewise, little cherubs are our life’s future, and quite lively themselves. Beautiful though they may be, the power of water, or the tot, is awe inspiring and dreadfully terrifying. If you find yourself in trust of such a force, handle with care and behold the fierce power and beauty with patience, caution and admiration.

Wingsaseagles40 - Day 1

^What even happened to the sheet?

Converstations on Truth

My kids are 16 months apart, and boy are they competitive! They were all getting buckled and began shouting back and forth, “I am bigger than you!” “No!! I am bigger than you are!” It only took a few back and forth comments before it started to escalate into unkind tones, so I interjected.

While they were both at fault, the older was obviously the one getting angry. So I stopped what I was doing, looked at her and very quietly, almost whispered, “Your name is Adelle.”

She looked at me very intently. I think she expected something more and she was listening for it. So just a little louder than before, I said, “Your name is Adelle.” While she was still listening closely, she looked a bit puzzled, so I continued, this time in a normal talking voice, “Your name is Adelle.” While I could tell she was starting to think I was a bit odd, I once more, in a louder, firmer, but kind tone said, “Your name is Adelle.”

And that is when the conversation began. Which statement was more true? Did raising my voice make it more believable? Adelle seemed to understand that you do not have to yell to proclaim the truth.

So we finished buckling and began our drive.

Five minutes down the road and JJ tells Adelle that he is this many, while holding up two fingers. This make Adelle very angry and she yells, “I ALREADY KNOW THAT!”

Enter truth conversation number 2.

“Adelle, I know your favorite colors are pink and purple.”

“Yes! They are!”

“You are probably going to tell me that again. Should I yell at you and tell you that I already know that.”

“No,” *giggles*

“Do I have to be wrong about something for you to tell me?……Right, we are just making conversation, and it makes you happy to tell me things and it makes me happy to hear them. Let’s just be happy with JJ when he tells us things.”

And a few more minutes later the two are arguing a yes-it-is no-its-not conversation.

“Adelle, your name is Adelle, if I tell you it is Susie, does that change the truth?….what about if I tell your friends your name is Susie, would that make your name Susie?…..How about if I tell strangers your name is Susie?…..Sweetie, it does not matter if your brother, or anyone believes something is true or not, that doesn’t change what is true.”

Sweet girl gave some awesome feedback and really seemed to understand some things on truth during our commute yesterday. I know it is only a start though, because if there is anything I’ve learned about children, is that they need a lot of repetition! But you know what? So do I. The Bible says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:15, but how often do I forget before opening my mouth?

Happy 10 Months!

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My daughter is 10 months old today! It would be impossible to express how much fun it is to see a little personality grow up. Children are all so unique, and I am constantly amazed at how my three are all so different.

My sweet Josephine is full of personality. She loves to make people laugh; she has the largest, happiest smile accompanied with huge blue eyes; she can be patiently sneaky, but is very selective with which battles she chooses; I have never seen a baby enjoy hugs and kisses as much as her, or cry with as much brokenness if you walk by without acknowledging her.

She has taken several steps, though never more than two at a time. She pulled up at 4 months old, and like my others was born with a determination to move. She rolled over both ways at just 3 days old, said Momma at 5 months and Da-Da at 6. She currently says a ton of words from Bye-Bye to Bear, Dis {this} to Dat {That}, Ada {For Adelle} to Down {often as she is reaching to the ground making herself impossible to hold}.

She loves to play patty-cake, show us the “Big Girl” and mimic your sounds and gestures, hide from us in Peek-a-boo, and whatever other game requires interaction. She is in love with her brother and sister. Anytime they are asleep, she sneaks in their room to wake them up. Once they were gone at Granny’s house when she woke from a nap and she went straight in their room looking for them, when their beds were empty she yelled, “Ada!” over and over hoping to find them. Josephine knows she is one of them and gleefully jumps in the middle of rough housing with daddy with no concern for danger.

All my children are unique and interesting to me. I could have a dozen more and they would all be a source of fascination for their mother. I think that realizing the strengths and weaknesses of their personalities has helped me understand people a bit better. God created us all different and for different reasons. Realizing that God intended people to be the way they are has helped me appreciate the things I did not used to understand in people before. It is now easier to appreciate people for who they are instead of how much we get along.

Having three children has taught me a lot more than how to take care of a baby, meal plan or clean house, it has taught me more about life in general and it is so much fun to learn.

My Mother’s Day Gift and a Call for Help :)

This Mother’s Day we spent the weekend with my family who live a few hours away. Because we were celebrating the holiday with my mother, my husband did not have any gift prepared for me. We were staying in a hotel so we woke up early and went out to breakfast at Panera Bread before church. That was special because we rarely go out to breakfast. Adelle even hugged me and told me that I was her favorite member of the family and I was the best, and she didn’t even know it was Mother’s Day. That made my day more special than any organized craft could have :)

Jeff surprised me yesterday with a ‘Mother’s Day’ gift in the form of a little laptop. We have one ‘real’ laptop that he uses for work, so it is not often available for blogging. Now, with this tiny little touch screen laptop I can sit down and blog during nap-times and I can take it with me if I need or want to. I have already written a huge list of all the titles and topics that have been floating around my head. I was a little concerned about the smaller keyboard, but it has not been a problem. The laptop came with Word and that is pretty much my only requirement for a laptop :)

Now I have a question for you. Do you have any helpful blogging apps? I have an iPad and a Windows laptop. Do you type your posts directly into WordPress or do you have another program? Have you written any posts that are helpful for new bloggers? Feel free to share any personal posts!

The Cycle of Friendship

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This was when JJ turned 2

My kids lost their best friend! Two weeks ago my best friend and her children moved overseas to learn a foreign language to be missionaries next year. Its crazy loosing her and even wilder to watch my children go through cycles of not understanding where their friend is, to mourning her loss, to acceptance and back again.

I was feeling a bit sorry for my kids, losing their best friend and all, until I realized that I don’t know any of my friends from ages 2-4 either and I turned out okay :) It is sad for a season, but our children have the unique opportunity to meet and make friends from all over the US. Any they, like many other missionary children, are little experts at making new friends.

It was eye opening to be able to see someone close to me leave the country. I understand a little better how my family and friends feel about me leaving and I have developed some compassion :) Well, Michelle is going to be blogging about what it is like to move from the US to Latin America and learn a new language. If you are interested in watching her transition, her first post is here.

As for myself, I feel like I am finally getting some energy back after having my third child and will be blogging again. It has been killing me to not be writing. I have been writing as a hobby since middle school and have a crazy itch for it even when I don’t have time. Its crazy, if I don’t have time to write, I spend time thinking about what I would be writing if I could. its now time to put all that thinking into good use!

Is there anything in particular you would like to know about what it is like to travel the country with three small children and a preaching husband?

 

Who is Really Wasting Time?

I am a rather timely person. The very thought of possibly being tardy sends a fire through my veins and causes my heart-rate to increase. No lie, I cannot stomach the thought and even have a hard time when people are late meeting me. It is an unreasonable pet peeve of mine and I just have to forgive people all the time because not every human has to force themselves to wait to leave the house so they are not super, super early for every appointment, etc.

That being said, in my parenting philosophy I feel like children should be able to do things for themselves and do things at their own, un-rushed, pace. Sadly, my philosophy and my personality often clash. Especially when my preschooler and toddler are loading into the van. They have an uncanny ability to remember things from last year, but always try to enter into the wrong side of the van first, and climb in at the pace of a snake shedding skin. And every entrance finds new discoveries of toys or who-knows-what was left in the car from last trip.

The other day we were leaving a hotel and the kids were being pokey loading and buckling up and my son was happily finding new snacks in the road-trip snack box. They antsy part of my that always wants to do everything as fast as possible decided to think that JJ was wasting time. As quickly as the thought came, I realized that his countenance was one of a happy, contented child sprinkled with and ounce of glee over unsweetened applesauce.

He may have been USING a bit more time than me, but he was using it with wonder and excitement. And I learned that using time effectively is not always about doing as much as you can in 60 seconds, but more about the quality of the minutes you spend, and I smiled with JJ.

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What Co-Sleeping Looks like

Co-sleeping is not really our family’s style, but when my children need it, they get it. This is what it looks like in our family.

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This was just one of ten different poses my daughter slept in. She’s an active sleeper! I wish it would have been possible to get a picture of when the lights went out a few days ago. We had the two older kids and my husband and I on an air mattress for four sleepy hours. I got a little rest, but there was a lot of wiggling going on.
Do you co-sleep? How do you get rest? Or is it worth the sleeplessness? I find the times they sneak in bed to be extra sweet, but I’m okay for it to not be everyday.