This week's Perfect Pairing. It's got a little bit of a snarky edge to it...my baby turned two a couple weeks ago and is acting like the stereotypical 2-year-old. To see more Perfect Pairings, go here.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:11-13
(That would be her not honoring her mother by throwing a big, fat fit at the park when it was time to get off the swings).
I don't have anything really brilliant to blog about tonight, so I thought I'd share this photo with you.
I was taken by Patrick...my 4-year-old. I didn't know he'd taken it. It was one of those photos you come across when downloading other photos and say to yourself "what's that?" Patrick happened to be sitting with me during a recent download and exclaimed, "there's my T-Rex I took a picture of!"
I'm still wondering how he got my camera...it's up out of reach of little hands. Apparently he's watched me turn it off and on and take the lens cap off, etc. I'm impressed that he got it to the point that he could even take a photo. Let alone the great picture he took (I'm joking people, just go with me here). He's got nice use of shadow and light. Good edge blur. It's not quite in focus, but that soft focus makes the dinosaur not so scary. Not bad for a 4-year-old.
Pretty soon the little guy is going to be better than me.
...make more money than this precious lady (pictured with Katie).
That is Katie's wonderful, darling teacher. (To protect her identity we'll call her Miss S., I didn't ask her permission to post her photo on here, please forgive me Miss S. if you don't want to be on "the blog", I'll take it off).
I'm going to make this short because sometimes I get on a rip. There is no reason that professional athletes should make the amount of money that they do while teacher's make what they do (and I don't know what teacher's make--but I know it's not what those pro guys make--apparently that guy up there in the pic makes something like $16 million a year. I don't even know who he is I just Googled 'what NFL player makes the most' and that's the pic it gave). Will that guy make a difference in my child's life? If so, it's probably not the kind of influence I would prefer...seems like those pro guys (and gals) don't make the wisest decisions or use the best language. And definitely don't use proper English. Teachers, however, will most definitely influence my child's life. They will educate, nurture, encourage, guide, mentor and love my child. To me, that's worth $16 million a year! Teachers come to school every day and have to act like everything is A-OK when the 16 sets of little eyes and ears are looking toward them for guidance--even when things aren't A-OK. No matter how bad of good their day is going, they have to be on their "gal. Talk about having to be on your "game." Every day teachers have to be at the "top of their game"--not just on Sunday afternoons.
So during this time of Back-to-School, take time to encourage, nurture...love your child's teacher. Be your teacher's team mate. We keep saying to each other, "I hope Little Johnny has a great year." Tell your teacher that you hope she (or he) has a great year.
Basically, the salary gap between professional athletes and teachers needs to be lessened. Let's put our priorities (and money) where they belong.
I have officially been a stay-at-home mommy for 3 weeks now. Everyday my little ones simply amaze me with what their little minds come up with to play, pretend, and SAY. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the last 3 weeks:
"I have nothing to play with but rocks."
"Does God play golf?"
(sobbing) "I'm not a princess. I have hair in my nose and princesses don't have hair in their noses."
"I need some Smarties, mommy, to help me get smart."
"Oh great, what am I grounded from now? There's nothing left."
"Mommy, I counted and I have 28 legs."
"GROSS! Something smells like pickled poop!"
Sorry about that one--I thought it was funny because...well...pickled poop? What's that and how would Patrick know what it smelled like?
Today was Katie's first day of Kindergarten...again. We're having a "grow" year and having Katie do Kindergarten again this year. So today was actually her second first day of school. I won't go into a long explanation of why we decided to hold her and how hard of a decision it was. Instead, I'll give you the short version. Katie just turned 6 years old...she was the youngest Kindergartner last year...academically she was high...she needed a year to gain self confidence and mature (eventually it would've caught up with her)...we decided to do it in Kindergarten or not do it at all.
Katie on her first day (right before Hurricane First Day of School hit)
What a difference today was. She walked right in, found her cubby, found her desk, looked around at her friends at her table, said "hi", gave me and WM a big hug and kiss, hugged her brother and sister goodbye and sat down and started coloring her coloring sheet. Waved to me as we walked about with a big smile on her face. Last year we left with her crying.
Katie at her desk...how cute is she??
I can't wait to watch my girl blossom. She's always been the youngest in her class, even throughout her day care and pre-school classes. She was always at least 9 months younger than most of the kids she was with. It'll be interesting to watch her be one of the older ones. I can't wait to watch her be the leader I know she is. I think we'll see great things from her that will last throughout her lifetime. It's amazing what gaining a year of self-confidence can do.
Patrick giving Katie a bye bye hug.
Did I come home and stew and worry about things? Absolutely...I worry that her classmates from last year will see her in the hall/lunchroom/recess and say mean things to her about her not going to 1st grade, I worry that she'll get bored and misbehave or become a "know-it-all", I worry that she won't make close friends like she did last year. I know that most of these are useless worries, but it's still the concerns I have as a mommy.
But I was so proud of her today. My hope is that today I saw a small glimpse of the great things to come.
I was proud to be her mom!
And even though I hated the monsoon that hit, right as it was time to go to school, I was glad that it disguised my tears...tears of pride for my little girl who is growing up.
Here we go...this week's What Would Rather Do? Wednesday...
Would you rather...
Live something memorable at this very moment
Travel somewhere spectacular at this very moment?
What would you rather do?
Oh--and my answer for last week? I'd rather start late and end later. I like having the whole summer--that means all of August. But I do believe those days are gone and I'm okay with where things are now (maybe because Katie hasn't started school yet).
Today, my baby girl turns two years old. TWO! Two? How can that be?? She's my baby. She's supposed stay little...not turn into a temper tantrum throwing, "MINE" screaming, two-year-old!
Since I shared the stories of Patrick and Katie on their birthdays, it's only right that I share Josie's story, too. Hers is a little more interesting, but still doesn't have the dramatic element so many others have. So here's the story of Josie.
This is what I expect to encounter this year--the antics of a 2-year-old.
In the fall of 2006, I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel...Patrick was 16 months old and becoming quite independent, Katie was 3 years old and could do many things on her own. I felt like I was getting my life back, no longer the sleep deprived, breastfeeding, infant carrier toting person I had been for the past 3 years. WM and I had decided that since we had a girl and boy that our family was complete and we were done having kiddos. So when in late October I found out I was pregnant AGAIN, my world came shattering down (trust me, WM and I were trying NOT to get pregnant). I was not happy about it at all and cried...A LOT. We were in shock, or at least I was. My emotions were all over the place--it was one of the wonkiest times of my life.
About the time I came out of my "I'm pregnant" fog (about week later), I miscarried. And I was surprisingly devastated. I still hadn't even accepted the fact that I was pregnant, so why was I so saddened about this loss? It forced WM and I to talk about more children. I think that miscarriage was God's way of forcing us to talk and think about what we really wanted for our family. Was that week of me being so upset about being pregnant His way of saying, "yes, your family is complete," or was my sadness over the miscarriage His way of telling me, "you want more children." I don't know...but I think it's the latter.
Before we could figure out what we wanted for our family, God made the decision for us. A little less than four weeks after the miscarriage I found out I was pregnant again (like I've said, I'm a fertile turtle). Again, I was in shock--mostly because I didn't think it was possible. But I was surprisingly at peace about it. Although it did take some time for me to really grasp the concept that another baby was on the way. We told our families about the baby and my dear, good friend, Susie. But other than that I didn't tell other friends, co-workers, etc. until I was well into my 4th, almost 5th month. I was due August 25th, 2007.
We actually had a lot to do to prepare for this little one...we'd gotten rid of ALL our baby stuff. Remember, we thought we were done. Gone were the baby bathtub, diaper Genie, Bumbo, bouncy seat, car seats, etc. I've never been one to find out the gender of our babies, but I decided that since we were going to be re-buying everything, we might as well find out what we're having so it can be gender appropriate. So in March of 2007, we found out we were having a baby girl.
My pregnancy was again uneventful, I felt great, ate normally, gained normal weight. My OB sent me to a high risk specialist for a special ultrasound, but only because I was AMA or Advanced Maternal Age (a.k.a. Old Lady Having a Baby). She just wanted a specialized ultrasound to rule out anything. Baby looked fine, by the way.
Josie on the day she was born.
So summer came, got hot. And I got big--my belly, that is. In mid-July my OB started talking about possibly inducing this time around. I was not a fan of that. I'd had super duper easy, practically pain-free labors and I didn't really want to mess with the good thing I had going. But as early August came, induction was looking more attractive. Mainly because my OB said the baby was getting big (keep in mind that Patrick was 10 lbs, and normally each baby gets bigger). In early August she was measuring about 7 1/2 pounds. If everything went as predicted we were looking at an 11+ lb. baby. Plus, with an induction, I could have my mom here and ready to watch the kids. So, "ok, let's set a date" we said. And we chose August 16.
This is what my life had become after the birth of Josie--three very small children (one seemed to always be crying).
The morning of August 16th came, we left the house early (had to be there around 7:00 a.m.) with Katie and Patrick still asleep. My mom sent us off with a big hug and kiss. My friend Susie met us at the hospital and got me all checked in and comfortable. Got all the meds started, called for the anesthesiologist for the epidural, and we waited. For about 3 hours.
Josie's first attempts at crawling.
I pushed for maybe 5 minutes (2 or 3 pushes I think??) and at 11:59 a.m. on August 16, 2007, Josephine Amelia was born. Weighing in at 8 lb, 12 oz (glad we didn't wait the two weeks for her due date). Beautiful black curly hair and the iciest blue eyes you've ever seen.
Josie's first steps.
Here in my arms was the little girl who was never planned, we'd never sat around saying "when we have a baby", no books were read about what to expect, etc. But here she was, the most perfect little baby I'd ever seen. I whispered "I love you" into her ear over and over, daddy held her. At that moment in time I couldn't imagine that she was never part of my plan. All I could do was look at her and thank God for giving me what I didn't know I wanted and needed. God knows. And He provided.
Josie on her first birthday.
Josie is such a joyous addition to our family. She still has those pretty blue eyes and curly (though not dark) hair. She's still perfect in my opinion. She's very, VERY high spirited, opinionated, head strong, funny, precious...I could go on and on. But her very big personality is what will get you. Her doctor has told us "she has fire in her blood." She knows what she wants and doesn't want and is not afraid to let it be known.
Josie today--on her 2nd birthday!
Happy Birthday my sweet, spirited Josie. I love you so much! You will always be my baby.
School is starting this week for many kids in our city this week. It is not starting for Katie (she starts next week). So in honor of Back-to-School, here's a question for What Would You Rather Do? Wednesday...
Would you rather:
Start school earlier in the month (say mid-August) and get out for the year in May
Start school later in the summer (say, around Labor Day) and get out in June?
One of my goals as a stay-at-home mom is to cook healthy, yummy dinners every night. So far I've been doing pretty good. Our days of chicken nuggets and mac 'n cheese are coming to and end.
Ok--that may be pushing it. I think I will be serving mac 'n cheese until my kids graduate from high school--they love the stuff. But let's just say it's more of a once a week meal instead of every other night. Plus, I'm trying homemade mac 'n cheese this week...so we'll see how that goes.
Anyway...I've tried some new recipes, WM has come home to dinner ready (almost every night) and amazingly the kids are eating better. So it seems to be working out...
...until last Friday.
I was trying a new BBQ pork chop recipe. While I was making the sauce and browning the chops, I had the oven pre-heating. They had to bake for 45 minutes. So when it was time to put it in the oven, I opened it up and...nothing. No pre-heating, no flame, nothing. "ARGH," I though--no way was did my oven quit! I called WM, he gave me a few things to try, but nothing worked. Luckily we have great neighbors and I called our next door neighbor and asked her if I could use her oven. "Sure" she said. It would be a little inconvenient to run back and forth to check on it, but at least we'd still have dinner. So I tore myself off some foil, turned to cover it and...
I almost called it quits. I left the kitchen to cool off (not that it was hot in there or anything--I mean, the oven doesn't work), but no dinner was going to get the best of ME! My family was going to have a home cooked meal. PERIOD! So I went back in, cleaned up the mess, re-made the dinner, and put it in the oven at my neighbors.
At 8:15 p.m. that evening we sat down for dinner.
The Domestic Gods and I are at war...and I won that battle!
Next battle...getting Baby Lam to take a nap without fighting me for 2 hours.
In the spirit of summer, I'm going with a weather question today...
Would you rather sit outside for one hour on
A 100 degree day
A 30 degree day
And since all of you know my aversion to cold, you're probably thinking you know my answer, however, let me tell you I don't like humidity and I'm not that fond of temps above 100. I'll still give you my answer tomorrow...
Now that I'm a stay-at-home mommy I've had to get serious with the rules around here to avoid complete mayhem. One of the new rules that I'm instituting is not letting Baby Lam suck on her pacifier except for in her bed. Sounds easy to all of you non-paci-addicted-baby moms or those without kids. But let me tell you, it's quite trying when an almost 2-year-old screams for over an hour saying "I want paci! I want paci!"
So today she just gave in and when she said "I want paci" I said, "you can suck it in your bed, do you want to get in your bed?" (which then she normally shrieks "NO!"). But today, she put on her puppy dogs eyes and nodded her head.
Into the bedroom we went and I put her in her bed and away she went. Sucking on that paci like a drunk does to the bottle. It was pure nirvana for her! She was so relaxed, her eyes were nearly rolling back into her head.
I'm thinking that maybe I should start putting this rule to use on myself. "You can only have cookies in your bed." I would sit there in my bed and just eat a whole plate of cookies. Guilt-free...I mean, I'm in my bed after all.
What's your addiction?
Next up...Rule #2...no thumb sucking except in your bed (this one is for my 6-year-old and is going to be a tough one! I need some advice on it).
So, we're on Day 3 of the 30 Days of [Blank]. For those of you who are doing this, how's it going?
Recap: I've decided my 30 days are 30 Day of Working Out. So far I've stuck with it...all THREE days. Whoa, I mean, I've really exerted myself--in THREE days. Yesterday, however, I really, really didn't want to do anything. It was Sunday...family day. We were lazy (except WM cleaned out the garage), but I dug deep into my working out soul and found the inspiration and went for a short run. VERY short--but hey, it counts! I guess it wasn't really inspiration, more than guilt. How could I fail on day two? I'm kind of planning on you all keeping me honest...in other words, because of you, I have to stick with it...because I said I would.
My original plan was just to do yoga most days with an occasional walk and/or run thrown in there. My plan was quickly derailed when I realized how sore yoga was going to make me. Who would've thought? I'm not a huge fan of yoga but I really need to work on my flexibility, so I thought it would be a good option.
I am now feeling every muscle in my body. It screeches in pain as I move. Don't underestimate the power of yoga--and I'm not talking about all that mental well-being hog-wash--I can't "center" when I've got kids doing the poses with me or running in with a problem or telling me that Mickey Mouse is over or (my favorite) hanging from me as I do the downward dog. I'm just saying yoga is harder on the bod than it looks.
So, I've renamed this little project. Here are some of my new names:
30 Days of Pain
30 Days of Wanting to Eat Everything in Sight
30 Days of Falling Asleep While Standing
30 Days of Laughing at a 2-year-old do Yoga Poses
30 Days of This Better Be Worth It
Hmmm, do you have any to add?
I must now get off the couch--it's a 5 minute process.