28 October 2012

My Sweetie Girl; An Update

This girl is going to break my heart one day.

So, she's almost 14 months now, and at the moment she is recovering from an ear infection. I hate those things. It's like either your kid has a runny nose like every other kid in America, or an ear infection, and there is literally no way to tell the difference. They are fussy and sick either way. I especially hate it when my diagnosis of "just a cold" is wrong, and then I have to live with the fact that my child has been having severe pain in her ear for who knows how long because I still can not tell the difference between your run of the mill cold versus a freaking infection!  Anyway, she's on meds now, so hopefully she will be back to her sweet healthy self in no time.

She's at that stage where she's cracking me up one second and making me want to day drink the next. She's really into throwing her cups on the floor, throwing food off her high chair, wanting to be held literally all the time, and thrashing her body while I try to change her diapers. She's also really into laughing ferociously, stuffing pancakes in her cheeks like a little squirrel, pulling her little body up on any surface she can reach, and saying "Teag" every time she hears his tags clink together. 

Speaking of what she can say, she's got Mama, Dada, Bra-Bra, Teag, and ball down pat. She's saying "Pops" sort of...comes out like "Pa" really. She's also saying, "tis" and "aye" a lot, although I'm pretty sure she uses those sounds for a number of meanings.

She's also pointing to any and everything and acting like she needs whatever it is that has caught her fleeting attention.

I've recently noticed that she has a really big mouth! When she laughs or opens wide for a bite of food, her mouth expands to half the size of her face. It's pretty adorable.

Noah will often catch her doing something "cute," and he'll say, "Oh sweetie!" I melt. Then he'll turn around and smack her with her own boot (happened today), and make her scream. We have lots of talks about what it means to be a protective brother. In general though, I couldn't hope for a better bro/sis relationship.

She loves my phone already, and she knows how to move the slider to get my menu to pop up. Genius in the making ;)

I've been rocking her in her bedroom, reading with her, singing and praying over her much more than I have before, and it's proving to be such a sweet time. I did this with Noah literally every night when he was a baby, but the second kid often gets the shaft, right?! Actually, although I really enjoyed those times with Noah, it made bedtime such a lengthy routine every night, so I made a fairly conscious decision not to do that so much with London.  Unfortunately, the lack of routine swung extreme in the opposite direction, so I'm trying to find the tension there.

She snuggles into my shoulder and just lets me hold her. Her breath is still so sweet, and I love how she wraps her arms around my collar.

When she gets hurt (like when her brother smacks her with her boot), she has the saddest, most pitiful little cry you've ever heard. It will melt you instantly. I always know when she's really hurt...it is so distinct.

Now for some pictures...

Bike Ride with Daddy

Is this not the cutest thing ever?!

I was out running errands, and as I pulled up to our garage, this is what I saw! I tripped over myself trying to get my phone camera ready.

We bought this bike and the infant seat at the REI sale a few weekends ago, but Matt hadn't had a chance to attach the seat to the bike. But apparently, and much to my pleasure, he found time, while I was away! He said London had a blast. And Noah, with his ski mittens on, chose to take his "motorcycle" bike rather than his pedal bike (although he does know how to ride his pedal bike), because it was easier. 
#1 Dad.

24 October 2012

Potty Talk and Other Things...

Although this sort of conversation is perhaps a little gross and certainly not polite conversation, it happens so often and is so funny, I have to document it a little.

We have some very interesting conversations around the toilet.  Sometimes, after announcing that he has to "poop", Noah will either say, "I need some privacy" or "I do not need privacy, I need company." And these are his exact words...he is very clear in his demands. 

He often describes what is happening with his poop. He has said before that the poop comes all the way up his legs, into his tummy and out of his body . Tonight, he told me that a "big one was blocking the way." As he began to feel some relief, he exclaimed "Mom, it's coming out, and it's a super sized one." I started laughing, and he was so confused as to why I was laughing. I don't think he realizes that most people don't give narratives of their toiliet time to each other. And his facial expressions through all of it kill me. It's hilarious in the grossest sense.

He often likes telling stories on the toilet too. A lot of times I'll tell him to concentrate on what he's doing, and that we will not be expanding his potty time with stories. I want him on and off, especially since he so often has to go right before getting in bed.

Other Things...

The other night he wet the bed. Matt bought him a bladder to go in his new "adventure pack," and apparently he drank a ton of water from it. So, I wasn't upset with him at all, but while I was tucking him back in bed after we changed his jammies, he told me that he drank 100 feet of water that day. :)

Tonight he told me that he had two friends that were right behind him. Mark and Joe. There was no one else in his room, so I quickly understood that these were imaginary friends. He told me that Mark and Joe were 4 years old like him, and that they played with him and did what he told them to do. They were leaving to run to the grocery store though. Later they came back and got in his bed. Although Noah lives in a constant state of pretend, I've never heard him talk so directly about imaginary friends/animals/things. It was cute.

I Ate Lobstah

London and I flew out early Thursday morning, October 18, to my Aunt Wendy's in Southbridge, Massachusetts. I stayed up past what would be considered a reasonable bed time hour to finish packing the 281 necessary items required when traveling with a young child, and due to pure adrenaline, had plenty of energy to attack the 5am hour with vigor. (I'm in a writing mood, so be aware of the possibility of extra adjectives and adverbs and flowery lingo and sentences that seem too long and perhaps confusing in this post. Be warned.)

Anyway, I worried a little as I usually do before getting on a plane with a little one that the flight could be excruciatingly horrible...or not. London is almost 14 months old, a very difficult age to fly with, so it was a toss up. Thank the heavens, both legs went pretty smoothly.

London and I arrived four hours before the rest of our family, so we obtained the rental and drove around Hartford, Connecticut for a bit. (For the record, it was a swagger wagon, and I was not sold. Just saying.) I had this silly grin on my face, probably the entire time, because I felt so free being in a place where I knew no one (except of course for my Aunt, who was still an hour away at this point). London was knocked out in her car seat (a new habit she is becoming more comfortable with), so I had the radio on and no one to please but myself. It was exhilarating! Since having my babies, I've put my dreams of world travel on the back burner and become quite content with the life God has graciously handed to me; but this short opportunity to be alone (essentially) and free was an intoxication I hadn't felt for a long time. It felt so good!

Those moments of independence quickly passed as my parents' arrival time neared, so we headed to pick them up from the airport.  It's always a pleasure to see my folks for the first time after months of missing them. Their faces are so familiar and warm, and I love being known and loved by them. It's such a sweet reunion each time.

After some amusing, old-married couple bantering about directions (love you Mom and Dad!), we made our way to Southbridge to find my Aunt Wendy, along with Uncle Sandy, Aunt Pam, Uncle Dudley, Aunt Julie, and cousin Mark. Let the reunion begin!

I love the McNutt clan. Everyone is so different from one another; so traveled, so worldly, so interesting. And they like cards and wine. And they like to laugh. And they like my kids. And they love to take pictures. And they have opinions. And they love family history. And they love antiques. And they each have distinct personalities that draw you in and make you want to know them more. 

Early into the weekend, my cousin Jacquelyn and cousin Ward arrived. I hadn't seen Jacqui since my wedding, so it was a sweet reunion. She brought her babies with her who are now 13 and 15, and I enjoyed getting to know them a bit.  Her daughter Samantha thought it was pretty cool to be in a room of people that she looked like! She was cute enough to eat.  We spent the long weekend wondering around my Aunt Wendy's fairly new town (new to her that is), discovering cafes, antique shops, living museums, good restaurants, and art fairs, but mostly we just spent time being together.

Monday quickly showed it's face, and we had to return to Hartford. I had last minute fantasies about changing my flight so I could go to Boston and NYC with Jacqui, but that didn't work out for multiple reasons. C'est la vie!

Once in the airport, my parents and I were checked in and headed to security before we realized we were on the same flight to Baltimore. Mom and I seemed to simultaneously concoct a plan of she and Dad holding London on the plane, so I could have a few minutes to myself...and what glorious minutes those were!!! On a plane, with no child to care for! It had been a while. We ended up running into the Aunts and Uncles in the Hartford Airport, and then again in the Baltimore Airport. I think we said a total of 3 goodbyes to them.The reunion wasn't over yet!

Hopefully these little weekend reunions will continue throughout the years. As an image bearer of God, I am made to be in relationships, just as God in person is in relationship with himself (Father, Son and Spirit). It does my heart well to be surrounded by people who have the same blood running through their veins as I do. I think in a perfect world, we wouldn't be so far apart.

And, I certainly can't neglect to document that this was my and London's first girls trip! Just the two of us. And as she gets older, I have romantic and wildly fun notions of many more purposely planned girlie expeditions.

And one more thing...the Massachusetts accent is as real and hilarious in person as it was in Good Will Hunting. I loved hearing the natives talk.  So lastly, and in that vein, I'd like to report that while in Southbridge, I ate some lobstah. :)

(More pictures in a post to come.)

15 October 2012

Premeditated Offensive Attack

I gave very clear instructions before Noah's rest time today. "You are not to come out of your room before I come and tell you that rest time is over. Do you understand? You may not come down the stairs and ask if you can get up, do you understand? You will get a spanking if you do not obey what I'm telling you. Do you understand Noah?"  "Yes mom, I understand."  I walk out of his room feeling pretty good about setting up clear expectations.

An hour or so later, as I sit with my computer trying to catch up on emails, I see him crouching on the stairs. "Noah, what did I tell you would be the consequence if you didn't stay in your room?"  "But mom, I just had a question. I was wondering if rest time is over?"  "Noah, you need to go back to your room, and I will be up in a couple of minutes for your spanking." Major breakdown happens, and he goes back to his room. 

A couple of minutes later, I walk into his room, and the moment I open the door, he karate chops me in the stomach...surprise attack was clearly his first offensive move.  And then, he continues a full on performance attack on me, using all sorts of interesting moves that include sound effects. I say performance attack because nothing he was doing had much force behind it, and he was smiling the whole time. So, he's kung fu-ing me, tripping me and chopping up my legs, all while wearing a low riding cap and sunglasses. He was in character. And it took me a few seconds of this to figure out what was happening. He was on the offense. In the couple of minutes it took me to get up to him, he had premeditated this plan of attack so that he could save himself from getting a spanking. Obviously, he didn't think through the details.  Once I got him to stop, he reached onto the floor and picked up this plastic play campfire thingy he has, and told me his plan was to knock me down and catch me on fire so I couldn't spank him. Wow.

Then of course, the conversation started. We spoke of motives and attitudes and what it means to honor mom and when it's not OK to play fight or catch your mom of fire...etc. This episode definitely ended with a spanking and then lots of apologizing and forgiving. Is it weird that I love these moments? First of all, they are hilarious, and secondly, they are such perfect teaching opportunities.

Oh, this kid!

Christianity 101 from a 4 Year Old

On our way to the Galleria today, Noah initiated a heavy, but awesome conversation.  It went something like this:

N: Mom, I know God.

Me: That's awesome buddy. And God knows you too. Do you know that he knows everything about you? He even knows how many hairs are on your head. And he knew you before you were even born! Mommy doesn't even know how many hairs are on your head.

N: You don't know God?

Me: Oh, yes I know God buddy, and God knows me. He loves us very much. Do you know why He loves us? Is it because we're good and do all the right things? No way, right?! We can never do all the right things. We aren't perfect are we?

N: Nope Mom, we are not perfect.

Me: Who was the only perfect person?

N: Jesus

Me: That's right! He had to be perfect to make a way for us to know God...isn't that awesome?!

N: And he got stones throwed at him. And then he died on the cross. And then he came back to life!

Me: That's exactly right buddy. Isn't it so cool that we love a God who was willing to die for us so we could know him?

N: Yea, I know that Mom. Mom, where's the place that you go if you don't know God?

Me: It's called Hell bud.  We believe that people who don't believe in God will be separated from him forever after they die.

N: But I know God. And there are soldiers in Hell that stomp around. And there is a choice to know God or a choice to not know God.

(I begin to sweat a little bit as my 4 year old brings up an age old theological debate! With haste and anxiety, I choose to pretend he didn't just say that!)

Me: Really? Buddy, it makes Mommy's heart so so happy that you know God. Now that you know God, do you think you have to be perfect all the time? (My attempt to explain grace.)

N: Mom, did you know that asteroids are in outer space?

Me: And Gospel 101 is over.

14 October 2012

One and Four

One and Four. One and Four. One and Four.  May be if I keep saying it, I'll actually believe that I'm old enough to have a one year old and a four year old! And may be if I say it a little more, I'll believe that Noah has been around for a third of my married life. Wow.

Sometimes it feels like it isn't real, you know? Like, I'm on the outside looking in at my life. I have two beautiful, crazy children who make me laugh literally every day (they often make me want to cry too, but focusing on the positive here!) and a wonderful husband who loves me well and takes care of all us.  Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair! Praise to God, for his lavish goodness!

This August is a blaring example of blessing . Grams and Pops came to stay for a week to celebrate the kids' birthdays, and we enjoyed them thoroughly! Nana and Papa also came up for the big birthday party. It was a fun weekend.

Noah requested "rockets" for his birthday theme, so I went with it, and I threw in a few stars for London. (My way of course!)  We had lots of friends over, had a taco bar lunch, and Noah had a chocolate cake and London a strawberry one.  I felt like I was able to spend time focusing on the kiddos, unlike past years where I've been much too worried about the logistics of the party, so that was good.  Mom helped me do a lot of the preparation, and overall it went smoothly. Lots of good friends, grandparents and cake = success!

Party in pictures...