Monday, June 6, 2016

Reflecting: Mother of two for 15 Months


I put Isaac down for a morning nap and when I came in to check on the banging sound coming from his room I found that James had armed him (Moroni and the city of Gid style) with a bucket opener and himself with a rubber mallet and they were busting out. 


Potty words have become hilarious to the now 3 year old in the house.  We are doing our best to come up with words equally hilarious, but less embarrassing when sung in loud chorus from the church bench or shopping cart.  "Stinky socks" have made the cut,  Suggestions are welcome.


Isaac's bozo the clown curls had their first chop, but much my delight they are growing back still curly.  Maybe he will take after his daddy!  Be still my heart!


I LOVE having a yard.  We ripped up the front lawn/weeds and put in a cherry tree, raspberry bushes, garden boxes and reseeded some lawn patches. The grass is finally coming in and it's looking more and more like a yard.  I think we will tackle the backyard next year, but it's suited us just fine so far.


There was a small hiccup when James learned to climb the chain link fence, but he seems to have lost interest in escaping.  I'm crossing my fingers it lasts. 


Isaac has been getting deeply offended by things.  I shouldn't be taking pictures of this sad face, but it's a little bit too funny sometimes.  Complete with casting himself on the floor and refusing to look at the person who had the audacity to take away the scissors or who told him sternly, "Isaac we don't stand on the table." 


James is getting creative with his mayhem: erasing our whiteboard calendar with the broom, hiding raw eggs in our bed, sneaking our tools to unscrew the screws in our furniture, smuggling toys from friends houses under his shirt, washing his hands after going potty in the toilet water, just to give you an idea.


It's interesting.  I always assume that the most effective strategy to motivate James will be to make it fun, and sometimes that works, but more often than not, he likes knowing why we are doing what I'm asking, what he will get out of it in the end.  For all of his energy and antics it's actually quite nice having such a logical child.  If I can explain the purpose and future outcome, he's usually on board.

If I ask him to put on his shoes, the whole effort is futile until I explain that we are going to Home Depot to get some nails to build another garden box and then he's ready to go before I am.


Isaac and I have an adorable morning routine. He generally wakes up just a tad before James does.  I grab him from his crib and we snuggle on the couch for a few minutes while he fully wakes up.  It's in stark contrast to James never-snuggled-until-he-turned-2 Fife, and I'm loving it.  Then by the time Isaac has warmed up to the idea of a new day, James pops out of bed rarein' to go and we start our morning.  Now that Isaac's sleeping has settled into some semblance of consistency I've been able to wake up before the boys do and get myself ready.  It's made a huge difference.  I'm more prepared to have control of the day instead of following the trail of destruction.


 Isaac's vocabulary is still limited to mama, dada, Habo (hello), and surprisingly well communicated gestures and sound effects, but in the last few day's he has started to point and say, "wassat?" (what's that?)  and "wassis?" (what's this?) and I will never grow tired of hearing it.  Once he hears the name of the item he says, "oh, wow." It's completely adorable, and I simply must catch it on camera because typing it out doesn't do it justice.

 Isaac is still taking two naps a day (except Sunday, with church at 9 he has to hold out until noon for one long nap), but I've phased out James' naps.  Any time he did take one he would end up staying away in his room until 11 PM and so after a few miserable afternoons he has settled into staying awake all day.  If we really play hard, he can't make it and I find him like this.


I wouldn't call Isaac a picky eater, he's more like a careful eater.  He just needs some time to think about anything that he puts in his mouth.  Bonus, he doesn't eat rocks and leaves, but it means that in the time it takes for James and I to finish our meals he is still testing the look, texture, smell, and gravity of his.  Often this thorough examination of food means it's under his chair before it ever makes it to the tasting part of the process.


Isaac may be a little tricky to feed, but he is a pro at ice cream cones.  Surprisingly little mess and he will eat the entire thing himself.  Chuck's Produce has free kid cones every day so sometimes we go just for the cone.  Don't tell!


I'll end with a few of James' favorite phrases:

After I explain that he can't do something again (turn on the hose, write on the walls, shove his brother) "Uh, I probly will."

"No, say that to me mommy!"

"look mom! New spring grass!" (quote from Bambi, he saw it three times at Great Grandpa Brown's house)

"It's okay Isaac, I'm right here."

"Mommy, today we are going to go to Chuck's, swim in the swimming pool, and send a message to Roses' mommy so she can come play.  Okay mommy?"

"Is it time to go to Ashley's house?" (this is with no previous suggestion on my part that we will be going anywhere.)

"mom the timer is just up, it's time to ________"

instead of saying, "I have a problem" he says, "I need a problem."

"I'm thinking we need to ______"

"Isaac doesn't need a nap, he's very happy!"


Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Reason Grown Ups Don't Understand

When I was a teenager I was absolutely determined that when I grew up I would defy natural laws and be an adult who remembered what it was like to be young, and could "understand" teenagers.

The LDS Prance I almost wasn't allowed to attend
because my room wasn't clean.
Going mattered A LOT to me.

I've been an adult now for almost 10 years.

And guess what.

I remember what it's like to be a teen...

but I don't understand anymore.

and here is why.

I have seen, done, felt, learned, touched, and savored things that I cannot undo. For better and worse. I know more than I did then.  and no matter what I do the things that once meant the world to me, will never truly make sense again.



I remember the time when being home was more boring than being with friends, but now that my dad has died, I can't go back and forget how much I ache to talk with him again. Even just to listen to his stories a little more closely.


My dad holding James, his first grandchild,
 months before he passed away
I remember when I secretly wished to be accepted by the cool kids, now I long to be accepted by the Lord. We are all his children and people are incredible. The sauve ones and the awkward ones.

I remember being teased.  I rode a bike to and from school purchased from a cool kid's garage sale.  It was old and only had one gear. As I passed the group of boys including the original owner of the reject pile bicycle, they would taunt me and laugh.

There was even a time, while flustered by their jeering, I slipped sideways off a curb and crashed feet from where they roared with laughter.

I can remember the feelings I had, I learned the power of words, but I cannot feel them as acutely anymore. That taunting is now seasoned with understanding of a new kind.  I see that because I didn't have the latest and greatest, I had to identify myself with more than just my possessions.  I learned that the ones who tease are the ones who have nothing.  I've learned that the solution wasn't a new bike it is kindness to others, and remembering my individual worth when others are unkind.


My wedding day
I remember misleading my parents about my whereabouts and the people I'd be with.  Now I have an eternal marriage with a righteous man and two beautiful boys, and in my gratitude for that incredible blessing, I can't validate my own choice to put excitement over obedience.


I'm so grateful for the people in my life who didn't understand.

The best part is, I still have them.


The grandma's at the grocery store who watch James pile apples I didn't intend to purchase into the cart, and Isaac wriggle out of the poorly designed seat belt, standing ready to dive to his death and say,

"Awww enjoy it, they grow so fast." And I want to scream,

"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!  Don't you remember how hard this is! I promise I'm enjoying it, but sheesh!  Are you not watching this chaos!"

But they do understand, much more than I do.  They've seen their children grow and their own bodies age, they know heartache, longing, and pain.  They've realized with time tempered wisdom the goodness I don't always remember.  That right now my world is simple in it's chaos, love for love, sticky kisses, and baby noise.

So to my teenage friends, I'm not sorry that I don't understand, even though I was desperate to.  I'll do my best to remember, but I won't be able to avoid the occasional caution or advice, because I was there.  And when you roll your eyes, I'll remember doing that part too.

To my mom and other grown ups who didn't understand, thank you for being there with your wisdom and unwelcome counsel.

To the many, many people so much wiser than me today.

Thank you for not understanding.



(I wanted to end this with a recent picture of my older, wiser self, but the most recent pic of me is the other day when I turned on the mixer too fast and splashed whipping cream all over myself.  I'm just going to leave it riiiight here.)