Sep 15, 2016

wild and three

no Lincoln, you can't turn three
nope, you're not allowed to get any older.

A conversation Lincoln and I have been having repeatedy the past month. Apparently I convinced myself that if I told him he wasn't allowed to get older, he would actually listen. Silly me.

Our little boy is THREE. He's still the comedian of this house and has more energy than he, nor I, knows what to do with. He loves a good laugh and is always pulling funny faces, or saying the silliest things to get us to laugh.

I love going into his room in the morning to get home up for the day. He's always awake, talking to himself--- either singing a song or making up some story. Every morning, I ask him what he dreamed about and every morning, without fail, he says Jesus. (Not sure how entirely true that is, but it still melts my heart.) He loves reading. Every day we go through a pile of books together.

And when daddy gets home, he usually runs outside to meet him. Sometimes we will be down on the corner waiting for him and Lincoln gets to drive on daddy's lap the half-a-block home. He's in pure heaven.  He loves wrestle time with daddy because he gets to scream and smack pillows at each other and do body-slams and all that boy-stuff mom would rather not participate in. Every night, after daddy gets home, he follows daddy into the backyard to check on the garden. He loves to be right in the action, and apparently, pruning the garden is full of action. He has daddy read the same pile of books again, PLUS, he gets a new story every night made-up by daddy in his bed. I'm not sure where Ryan comes up with something new every night, but he does.

He still loves oatmeal and requests most mornings. We can go a month and he wouldn't care for a bowl of cereal. He strangly likes cucmber sandwiches with nothing but cucumber and a little mayo, but try having him eat any type of beans and he'll refuse it. His favorite treat is an ice cream cone. He doesn't get them often, but when he does, he is SO excited and it brings the biggest smile to my face watching him eat it. He always ends up with an ice cream ring around his mouth.

He's really into our "learning time" we have during Simon's nap. Having a chart for him to put stickers on and treats at the end of our lesson sure are motivating to him. He knows his numbers 1-50, can identify about 30 states, and can read a good chunk of sight words. He learned to spell and write his name. We practice tracing letters and seriously, the boy is pretty good. I'm trying to hold out teaching him as long as he'll let me.... The incentives though are becoming more sweet... He used to be happy with just cheerios, then we moved to raisins, and now I'm having to throw some chocolate chips and marshmallows in the mix.

He's just recently started gaining interest in fishing. Can't quite say if it's the "fishing" he likes, or being able to go with dada on an adventure and use his buzz-lightyear fishing pole. He's already caught his first fish and it was a "big whopper". I hope this will be a special bond for him and Ryan throughout the years.

After finding out we were expecting another baby, he's made the executive decision that we are naming it "Chocolate". He thought it was a girl, but after finding out it was a boy, we asked him again what we should name him. The name remained the same, "Chocolate". I guess it's a gender neutral name. :)

We just recently moved him out of the crib. I didn't like the idea of it--- mama likes to keep her kids caged in as long as possible, but he would wet his nap and night-time diapers and figured getting him out of the crib would allow him to get up and use the potty on his own. The transition has been beautiful. He's out of diapers completely for nap time and first thing in the morning will get up and go use the potty on his own. YAY! The only downside is situations like today when I didn't hear him leave his room to go potty and ended up emptying an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper into the toilet. He usually calls for me to wipe him--- what parent doesn't love to hear, "Come wipe me!" ? But since it was during nap time, I guess he was trying to stay quiet. I went to go check on him and there was the tallest mountain of toilet paper that had soaked up every drop of water in the toilet bowl. I put in the rubber gloves and had to shovel out the toilet paper into the garbage can and give him a quick lesson about not using the whole roll and until he can efficiently learn to wipe his on bum, that mama gets to be the lucky one to do the job. He put both of his hands on my checks (it did cross my mind that he probably had some remnants of poop on his hands but at the moment his face and demeanor was utterly cute I didn't mind) and with wide eyes and a soft voice said, "I'm sorry mama.... I had to get the poop off!" Oh child...

He had a week of church camp at a nearby Lutheran school. We're not Lutheran, but when a Lutheran school offers to do a week long camp for free and will take your active 3 year old for 3 hours a day, you're suddenly all on board. After his first day he came home and we were in my bedroom playing when out of nowhere he says, "Only Jesus gives us hope." I acted like I couldn't hear him and kept having him repeat it because it was the sweetest phrase a little boy his age could mutter. It melted my heart and made me so incredibly grateful that at such a young age he is learning about Jesus. Every night when he prays he says that he's grateful for Jesus, church, and nursery. I hope that his humble testimony of the gospel continues to strengthen and grow. Our last day at camp I bought one of their kid's Christian CDs. LINCOLN IS UTTERLY obsessed. He's learned several of the songs and will ask me to turn it up louder. I must confess, the songs are pretty catchy. I really do find myself dancing and singing along with him.

And lastly, two little things that he does right now that are really cute and they're at such random times that it makes me laugh every time he does it. First, his "thumbs up, dude." I may ask him to go do something and he'll pause in his tracks and say "mama!" I'll look up at him and he gives me the biggest grin and a thumbs-up until I do it back. Then we say, "thumbs up, dude!" Seriously, it gets me every time. And lastly, his favorite show is SuperWhy! In the show, the characters all put their hands in a circle and then raise them up high shouting, "To the rescue!!!" Now, when we leave the house to go run an errand or go on an outing he'll ask us to put our hands in, Simon included, and we all do the motions and shout, "To the rescue!!" I don't know about the boys, but it sure does pump me up to go do whatever it is we're about to go do. :)

Lincoln, aka Dewey (He likes to be called Dewey), I love you SOOOO MUCH! but seriously, you're not allowed to get any older.

the best family pictures look like this...

As I'm playing catch up on the blog and going through pictures from the past few months, I came across these from February. It was right after church and we had taken our dinner to the backyard for a picnic. Ryan was the only who managed to change fully out of his clothes, Lincoln had stripped his pants off, and I was still fully dressed most likely because I was running around trying to get everything ready to take outside so I could hurry and eat. You go three hours without eating and suddenly you're starving and have to stuff your face RIGHT AWAY!!! THERE'S NO TIME TO CHANGE!!!

Anyway, I remember grabbing the camera to take a few pictures and I set up the timer to get a family photo. But any parents who have tried to get everyone to cooperate, look at the camera, AND smile all at the same time, knows it is a huge success to get one single decent photo.

I decided last second to pull Simon out of his chair so I'm working on that almost every picture and we didn't get one of us all posed before the timer ran out. But as I went through them, I thought, "This is my beautiful family. This is how I want to remember these moments by." Not fighting my kids to smile perfectly for the camera, but just real moments, un-posed, although mostly chaotic, but my family sure is beautiful, aren't they? :) I think so.

You know what's really funny? Looking back at a picture after finding out shortly after that you were pregnant then, but just didn't know it yet. Yep, 2 weeks and 1 day later I found out I was pregnant. :)

my lucky charms

Here it is September, and I'm just starting to catch up this ol' blog of ours. Jumping back to March!

Any kid projects regarding food, especially lucky charms cereal, is a project within a project. Trying to get kids to actually string sugary-rainbow colored cereal when all they really want to do is just sit and eat is an accomplishment in itself. We (and by we, I mean mostly me) managed to do one little rainbow necklace, which naturally Lincoln didn't even want to wear. One necklace, two rainbows, totaling 10 fruit loops was an accomplishment worthy pictures.

Mar 8, 2016

february recap- when crackers just don't cut it

We've been living in our backyard this past month. Picnics at lunch time and dinner around the picnic table. Ryan has planted our garden and Lincoln and Simon have done well throwing rocks, digging in the dirt (or in Simon's case, eating dirt), checking out the birds and squirrels with the binoculars, swinging, collecting leaves--- pretty much just soaking in this perfect weather before we begin melting in the hot humid summers of Texas and become eaten alive from mosquitos.

Simon's favorite toy right now is the fire truck. Luckily, Lincoln likes pushing him around just as much as Simon wants to be inside of it.
A few weeks ago, Simon was sick, which meant quarantining ourselves home for a few days. We made it 4 straight days at home and then finally decided to make it out of the house for a "quick" trip to the grocery store. (I say "quick" because even though I try to convince myself that taking the kids grocery shopping for a few items will be quick and easy, it never is.) 

We got to the grocery store and we were lucky enough to score the double-car carts for the kids to ride in. Those are one of the best inventions ever--- clearly invented by a mom. Anyway, things were going well the first part, but I was only half way through my list when Simon became fussy and wanted out of the cart. Do you know how hard it is to carry almost a 25lb baby AND maneuver that beast of a cart?? Very. That's the only downside of that cart--- it's nearly impossible to steer with one hand.

I started to become flustered because Simon is a hard one to pacify when he's angry. I picked up the pace to finish my list, racing down the isles as fast as "the beast" would allow. I busted open a box of crackers straight off the shelf to shove in Simon's mouth to calm him down. (Don't tell me I'm the only one who does that.) Unfortunately, when he's angry, food sometimes won't even do the trick. Luckily, Lincoln tried a different approach.

He started stroking Simon's head ever so gently and singing, "I am a Child of God..." And guess what?! Simon calmed down. He calmed right down and just stared all wide-eyed as Lincoln's singing continued "...and He has sent me here." I was so taken back by the effect this nursery song was having on Simon and that my two year-old was managing my cranky baby better than I was. So I joined in with Lincoln, "Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear." (Or in Lincoln's words, "with parents kinda dear".)

And there we sat in the middle of the cracker aisle singing the rest of "I am a Child of God" together. "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him someday."

It was a short-lived peaceful moment (I'm pretty sure Lincoln grabbed the graham cracker out of Simon's hand moments later), but nevertheless, a moment that I'll never forget. It was that experience that my little 2-year-old taught me a valuable lesson. He was an example to me. He was quick to turn to the Savior for help. I find myself wanting to accomplish everything on my own because I tend to believe I can do everything by myself! Why do I do that to myself? I don't have to feel that way. I don't have to do things on my own. And what a relief that is!! I would never want my kids to feel like they couldn't turn to me for help. I know God feels the same way; He wants us to turn to Him. He is there to lead and guide us, to walk beside us, and help us find our way. If there's one thing I've learned this past month, it's to rely more on my Savior--- to turn to him as my first resort, not my last. Allow Him to help me, calm me, and strengthen me through everything I do... even at a grocery store when crackers off the shelf aren't helping. :)