Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Little Walker

Walker, Walker, Walker. The theme of the last week or two has been his behavior. Every place I've taken him, like the gym, church, etc, he's always done just fine. He is perfectly content to roam around and investigate new places and he gets along with other kids with no problems. And then came Bible study. Their childcare program is structured and the expectation is that each child will take part in each activity. This has totally thrown Walker for a loop. And judging from the fact that the director of the program has told me that she's spent all her time with Walker the past two weeks, I think he's the most problematic child there! And it's not a small program. So we've been working on doing things they do there, like sit on a piece of tape and listen to a story, sit and sing songs, etc. He actually does it fine at home. And Tom peeked in on him at church and he was sitting in a chair, listening nicely to a story. So I'm not sure why the wheels are completely falling off at Bible Study. The only thing I can think of is that they're touching him. As in, picking him up and trying to physically sit him down, rather than telling him to sit down. He is completely uncomfortable with new people touching him, and I don't really blame him. That might be enough to set off a tantrum, then they would probably pick him up to take him outside, which would make it worse. I don't know. I'm hoping this week will be better because I LOVE the study. LOVE it. But I won't keep taking him every single week if he is enough of a problem that one person's sole responsibility is him, and I also don't want him to be upset for two hours every week. I do think getting used to adhering to new rules and ways of doing things would be good for him. But maybe expecting him to do that at just-turned-two is too soon. I came across this verse AGAIN today.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

I am reminded again and again that Walker's personality is exactly who God made him to be, and it's wonderful. His character traits that are so difficult now are actually strengths that will help him later in life. He's determined, focused, energetic, driven, an independent thinker, and curious. He also loves to laugh, has a sweet heart, and is completely charming. Those are awesome qualities in an older child and adult, but wrapped up in a two year old body, he is a force to be reckoned with. So, I'm not sure where that leaves me with Bible study, but if I need to stop going, we'll just try again next year.

One cute thing Walker has been doing lately is abbreviating everything. When I lay him down at nap time every day, I always say, "I love you Walker!" and he used to say, "I love you too, Mommy." Now he just says, "TOO!" He's going to be a fantastic texter when he's older, if he's already got that concept down. And he seems to have just noticed that when he says Harris' name, he gets a response. So we'll be in the car and he'll just repeat Harris' name. The first time or two Harris will sweetly say, "What is it, Walker?" and by the tenth time Harris is saying things like, "I'm LISTENING!" or "WHY YOU KEEP SAYING THAT?" Ha! It's hilarious to hear their conversations, if you can call them that. And sweet little Harris. Apparently his teachers don't eat lunch at the same time as all the kids at his school and he is concerned about them. Every day he offers to share his lunch with his teachers. Precious.

As I mentioned, Walker plays well by himself. I can cook dinner and as long as Harris leaves Walker alone (that's a big if), he's fine and they will both entertain themselves. For some reason, I messed with a system that was working fine and set Walker up to color at the kitchen table. Keep in mind, he was perfectly happy not coloring. This is what I found.

And this was the finished product. There was also marker as far as his little hands could reach all over our table.

I had already given him a bath and was really hoping I wasn't going to have to do another one. It all came off with a wipe, though.

And what people say is true. Little boys really do make guns out of anything. I found this in Harris' bed.

It's mismatched socks stretched over a hangar. <sigh>

And I've started picking Harris up at school before naptime, so he no longer has a need for his nap mat. He's become attached to it though becuase he wants to lay it on his bed, and sleep on that instead of under his covers. That's easier to wash than his sheets so that's fine with me. And he always refers to it as "my very own nap mat." Kids are funny.

This is completely changing the subject, but one thing I like about this Bible study in particular is that it seems to have a different theology than my church. I think it's good to hear other points of view and ultimately decide for yourself what you believe. There was a sermon a few weeks ago that I really didn't get. Not that I disagreed with it, necessarily, I just didn't really follow. Really, it didn't occur to me to disagree because that was the only view I'd ever heard on the subject. The same topic is addressed in in the first lesson, but from a different angle and it makes so much more sense to me.  Big picture, it doesn't matter. I don't even want to say the issue because it's kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. But seeing it from a different angle made me remember that I need to trust my own views of Scripture rather than going from what someone else thinks, regardless of their knowledge or experience. It's good to listen to those that know more but it's imperative to think for myself. Anyway, another thing that was really interesting is the description of the apostles after Jesus ascended to heaven. They were told to wait for the Holy Spirit before they left to begin their ministries. So they waited, but they did it with purpose and with joy.   Waiting is such a vital part of the Christian life but I don't think many people do it joyfully. I don't, anyway. I do it wondering when what I feel we've been called to is going to start and why does it have to take so long?!??! And they also attended to the things that they could do while they waited. They kept working instead of putting things on hold until the "real work" could start.  I've read that passage in Acts 100 times and never noticed that part of it. I think being pregnant and having young children, it's easy for me to notice the things I cannot do, rather than focusing on the service that I CAN do. Those kinds of things are why I loooove Bible study. It's just so much more in-depth than you have time for on a Sunday morning.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


That's all you hear at our house right now. Little feet running as fast as they can, then a HUGE collision, then hysterical laughter.

They have been playing different versions of this game for months, but this is by far the rowdiest. They each run (ride) as fast as they can while pushing (driving) a toy, then crash into each other at top speed. I'm not sure at what point I should consider this officially out of hand. It occupies them without bloodshed (so far) so I'm pretneding like I don't hear the ruckus. We had people over for dinner the other night and the wife looked slightly concerned but was too polite to say anything. Look at Walker's face in the top picture. He's never looked happier. I don't know how Harris got knocked to the ground but there weren't tears involved so I didn't investigate. Sometimes it's best not to ask questions.

Since the weather has been cooler, sort of, we've been hitting the park pretty often. Does that little boy look energetic here???

Harris dressed himself.

I had to laugh the other day. Usually I put Walker in a stroller or insist he hold my hand when we go pick Harris up at school. For some reason I let him roam free one day and he charged ahead of me in normal Walker style. Several people saw him and commented that, "He's on a mission!" What was funny is that his normal way of getting anywhere. From the time his feet hit the ground each morning, he's charging full steam ahead. And making him "hold my hand" is really not the correct term. What is actually happening is that I'm gripping his little wrist firmly and he's squirming away. Sometimes he uses his free arm to bat at my hand to try to shake loose. I am so afraid he's going to attempt to twist free, break his arm, and I'll suddenly look very suspicious to ER doctors. Let this blog be my witness, I am only trying to keep that boy out of harm's way!

So Tom and I made a decision recently that lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. We're not finding out the gender of the baby. The longer this pregnancy went on, the more I remembered some of the reactions from telling about Walker.  I was starting to have so much anxiety about finding out, then finally realized the anxiety had nothing to do with the gender. The anxiety was about people's reactions. If it's a boy, I would hear disappointment. And I know that because I've heard that once. A friend has two boys and just had a girl and people had reactions of relief, as if the alternative was awful. I don't want either of those reactions. Ideally, we would find out and just keep it to ourselves, which Tom is capable of doing. I'm not. I overshare about my life on much less exciting news than this, so I can't know or slowly everyone else would too. I don't want to have any resentment towards people over something as joyous as a baby. So when that sweet baby is born, everyone will be excited either way. I feel freedom to just relax and enjoy this pregnancy without that hanging over my head. And we haven't even talked names, which is odd for us. We had boy names picked out from the beginning each time. We have never picked out a girl name or even came close to agreeing on one, even though we agreed on boy names almost instantly. But this time it hasn't even come up. Weird. We'll get to it at some point, I guess.

Our small group has started Crazy Love and I'm really enjoying it! I read the book awhile ago and honestly didn't love it. Really, I didn't like it at all. But it seemed to be a good fit to do this book now and I'm glad we are. Not that I'll still agree with it 100% but even that makes for good discussion, and makes you examine your own views a little more closely. The first two chapters have been so, so good. And really practical. I think, with some books, while I may agree with them, it doesn't make me change the way I live, think, or pray. This has practical ways to live out your faith, all dependent upon prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, which is as it should be.

And I finally saw The Help a few days ago. I read the book and loved it but the movie really brought the harshness to life for me. Seeing people treat other people in such a callous and uncaring way was shocking. That's not accepted in our society today (Praise GOD!) but there is clearly still racial/religious tension. It's just not politically correct to be so public about it.  I had a conversation with someone awhile ago that claims to be a Christian, yet had so much hatred towards a particular group of people. This person really felt that hatred was justified and wanted to persuade me to feel the same way, citing all sorts of "reasons." That conversation was disturbing to me, because while I knew people were hostile to this particular group, I had no idea someone I associate with would feel this way.  It was unsettling on many levels. While I'm glad our society has advanced from the blatant inequality of the past,  there is still so far to go. I hope the popularity of this book and movie makes people examine their hearts.

  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No news is good news, I guess

There is really NOTHING going on at our house right now. Nothing. The only thing out of the ordinary right now is that dinner is in the crockpot and homemade banana bread is in the oven. I haven't made anything that required flour in so long, I wasn't even sure we had any. I feel like all my domestic energy is gone for the rest of the week. Too bad it's only Wednesday.

Harris had his bff spend the night the other night and they had the BEST time.
The games the come up with to play are so little boy. Harris hauled his friend around in this trailer for awhile. Then Harris climbed into a laundry basket while his friend hit it as hard as he could with an inflatable, light up sword. They both thought that was hilarious. Walker wanted to play with the laundry basket too but it wasn't as much fun by himself, poor thing.

And Walker is now able to open doors (BUMMER!) and slams every single one he opens as hard as he can. I had to make a ghetto door stop. We have a real one to keep them from slamming their fingers in the door but it has disappeared. This was the best I could do.
Not quite as effective as the real one but it did the trick. No fingers were smashed. That's a magic eraser and packing tape. I also engineered Harris' "trailer" in the first picture. He had it rigged up somehow with his scooter sitting in the box and the handlebars hanging off his tricycle but it was a little precarious. I told him I fixed it so the tricycle would pull the "trailer" and he said "Great! Does it have wheels, a top, and doors?"  Ummm, no. I had no idea his expectations would be so high. But he loves it anyway and drags his treasures all over the house. Tom hates the trailer because Harris is always leaving it in the most in the way spot he can find. I guess I'm used to something being in my path or attached to my legs at all times so I don't even notice it.

Bible study started today and I am so excited about it!! I did one last year and loved it. This is a different one, b/c the time works out better and it's closer to my house, so I'm hoping it will be as great. Walker had a rough time this morning though. Someone was giving him his shoes when I got there to pick him up and he was tearfully screaming, "THANK YOUUUUU." Bless his little heart. Even in the midst of a tantrum, he says thank you every time. On the way out the door, Harris told me, " I LOVE Bible Study! Let's go back!" so he must have had fun. They both loved it last year, so hopefully in a few weeks Walker will adjust.
Here's the website if any San Antonio people want to come with me.
It's pretty in-depth and there are questions to go over every week from the reading. It really helps me make quiet time a priority and focus on reading. This was not a paid advertisement for Bible study.
FYI, you have to go once without your kids, then you can get them signed up.

And just because they looked so cute eating breakfast this morning, here's one more pic.

I just took my banana bread out of the oven and it looks a bit overdone. Ok, a lot overdone. Darn. Maybe next time.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Parties and more parties.

I gave myself a blog time out until I got some thank you notes written. I put it off because my handwriting is atrocious, like a teenage boy's, and I inevitably write something weird but it's in ink so I either start over or have to scribble words out. But they are done. The thank you's are for a very belated birthday celebration my playgroup had. There was one planned around my birthday but I didn't really feel up to doing dinner out until just recently. We went to Maggiano's and planned to see The Help but unanimously decided there was no way we could stay out that late. So we all got in our mini vans and were home by 9. Not joking. And because I didn't take a picture of my particular night out, I'm claiming one from the week before at a baby shower for another playgrouper. It was more or less the same crew.
Three of these people are pregnant and two very recently had babies. We look like a well rested crew, considering. FYI, this was at Pasha and it was delicious. It's Mediterranean food and we had an expert in our group to help us order. And, equally as important, teach me how to pronounce what I wanted. Always fun to be with you ladies!!! I'm so thankful for your friendships!!

We had a good Labor Day weekend. My parents came down and we celebrated Walker's birthday.

This present was and still is his favorite. It's a little cd player with plastic cd's, so they're durable. He concentrates intently on taking them in and out, then dances around when the music plays.
 His cake. It wasn't that good.....but he was excited about Diego sitting on top, which was really the point in the first place. And he ate his piece with enthusiasm so I guess it was a success.
So Harris wouldn't be left out of present getting, my parents gave him some puzzles. He has worked them every single day since then and I think he's working them instead of napping right now. We didn't do too much else that weekend. We did take a trip to the donut shop while Tom was out biking 42 miles. I felt a smidge gross about that but not enough to stop from eating a donut. Or maybe two. My parents did some babysitting while we went to dinner, which was AWESOME.  Walker has finally decided to let them in his "Circle of Trust" so that was a nice change. He must have remembered them since they were just down a few weeks ago, because he was buddies with them pretty quickly. Anyway, Saturday night we ended up bring able to watch the OU game at dinner!! We don't have cable but were able to stream every game last year. For some reason, we couldn't get this one and felt terrible that my parents weren't able to see it. It was even worse when we came home and my poor mom was standing up, watching the play by play on the laptop. It was the kind where the fake football moves and it's about 5 min behind the action. Since she was also listening to the radio broadcast, it was not the greatest. Thank you Mom, for taking one for the team and letting us go to dinner!!! BOOMER SOONER!

Another thing that happened this weekend was that I completely flaked out on something. This has happened once before and I've also gotten my info wrong about something else. All of these things have happened in the past few months and I can't even blame it on pregnancy brain. I have no idea why I'm so scattered lately. It's really not at all like me to be this way. I think the worst part is that every time I had NO CLUE. This time, I showed up to a party after it was over. I thought it was a little odd that there were no cars in the parking lots, lights weren't really on inside, etc, but it never crossed my mind that I could have had the time wrong! I still had total confidence that I knew what was going on. I just got a new planner that I can take everywhere with me and I'm hoping writing things down the INSTANT the plan is made will help this. I was good about using Outlook and setting reminders for things when I was working and don't have a good replacement system, clearly. My new method is to email myself if for some reason I don't have my planner, then transfer the info to there. We'll see how that works. Feel free to offer suggestions. I felt very on top of things when I was working, maybe beacuse every single second of my day was allocated for a specific purpose. I do not have the same level of "on top of it-ness" in my stay at home career.

Anyway, so I obviously need a better system. But what this made me think of was this scripture in Matthew.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

I felt a little silly when I confidently walked into a party place, only to be told I was two hours late. But that's a fixable error. Can you imagine hearing the words above on Judgement Day? When it's too late? While I absolutely think the enemy uses this scripture in particular to make people doubt themselves, but it is still scripture. It says what it says because that's what some people will hear. I know theologians debate this and I have no desire to get into to any of that. It just made me think and reminded me, yet again, that this earth is not my home and I shouldn't treat it that way. My home is heaven and my work should be for that purpose. That can be hard to see for me in the weeds of raising little people, simply because there is so much physical labor to be done each day. Food to prepare, diapers to change, hands to wash, etc, but in the midst of that the more important work is to teach little hearts about Jesus and show them His love. So this ended up being a good lesson for me about my priorities. That really has nothing to do with a total flake-out on my end, but somehow that's what I got out of it. Probably another good lesson would be to double check the times on an invitation that's been on my fridge for two weeks!!!

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
— 1 Corinthians 10:24