Thursday, October 27, 2016

Reflecting: James and Isaac, 3 years and 20 months

Ready for a slice of Fife?

Well it's a pretty cute pie right now.  So get ready.

How about this one. James calls our Monday night Family Home Evening, "hammy own" which reminds me of when my dad teased by calling it "hamily, fome, hevening"

Dump Truck: "Dumpter truck"

Bishopric meeting: "Bickeric meeting"

Favorite words and phrases:

So mom, what are we doing tomorrow?
What's the plan?
I don't like dinner.
I'm gonna stink you up.
Hey, Isaac, little buddy!
It'll be fuuuuunn!
I'm building a 'struction site.
I'll be right here if you need me.
Were you just missing me mom?
Isaac did it.
(when baking) I'll be the dumper.

I'm not a fan.
I need a tell you something.
Can I just stay up a few minutes?
It will be time at 40 o'clock.

We've entered the "my sock is funny" phase. Not my fav.

James is an incredibly reasonable child.  As in, can be reasoned with.  It's astounding.  As long as we can sit down and have a heart to heart about the logic of the situation he is on board.  Unless of course he likes his logic better in which case he presents his case so articulately that I usually strike up some kind of bargain with him.

He is more patient with Isaac's physical abuse than he is with the destruction of his self designed lego airplanes and 'struction sites, but we are even making progress with asking Isaac nicely to stop and then talking to mom.

Speaking of lego creations.  There was a time when I was genuinely concerned that James has zero imagination.  He was more interested in real life than pretending.  He takes after his daddy that way. ;) but my right brained, creative thinking, dreamer self was a little sad.  Fast forward to today and my fears have been quashed by some good old fashion "tending." He will always have the logical streak that makes him so easy to communicate with, but a healthy bit of pretend building, grilling, and crashing is wonderful too.  Especially when it means he can play by himself for minutes on end while I work on something else.

James is particularly enamored with ship building these days.  I'm pinning the blame on Nephi and the brother of Jared.  We obtained a free play set, from some members of the ward, that we have taken halfway apart and started restoring.  James loves to climb up and pretend it's his ship.

Pet peeve of James: wet clothes.  Not like "accident" wet, but water wet.  Even if it's a tiny little droplet and I insist it will dry, he stripes off all his clothes.  Then again, any excuse to take off all his clothes and he takes it.  "Shirts are hot" "Pants are hot" You get the idea. 

He's managed to involve himself in all my projects.  He checks on the back lawn to see how the "new spring grass" is coming in.  He was bummed when I finished painting the bathroom after he was asleep because he didn't get to paint too.  He brought out spare wood pieces to hammer on while I put together a little white picket gate.  He's not too keen on helping with clean up, but I guess that's how it goes.

He is also interested in finding boxes, bins, bags, or totes of any kind for his things.  By the time I ready to head out the door to go almost anywhere, he has amassed an armful of things he must bring with us and he needs a bag/box/bin/tote to put them in.  Favorite items include tools (often real ones he has smuggled) nature walk items, rocks, legos, snorkel and mask, keys, cards from mommy's wallet, extra clothes, hat, etc. Sometimes when playing he even wants a larger container for his already contained possessions.

Now my Isaac.  He "sings" along to I Am a Child of God.  When I put him down for a nap he protests with "no, no, no, no, no!" Which doesn't sound particularly cute when I write it down, but when he actually says it, it's the cutest little voice and tone imaginable and I have to stop myself from laughing out loud.  Once he has his bear he settles in and forgets he ever protested.

Lately when we enter the chapel for Sacrament meeting he points right up to daddy on the stand, says "da da!" and waves excitedly. If Austin is conducting, he repeats the pattern as though he is seeing him again for the first time.

He is a terrible sleeper.  Period.  I keep telling myself, "oh he's just teething" in order to make it bearable, but at 11:30 PM and 3:00 AM he just needs to cry for no apparent reason until I tuck him back in which usually settles him, but sometimes not.

He is still hard to feed.  He isn't really picky about food consistently.  He just eats tiny bits at a time and is repulsed by anyone one with the audacity to point a spoon full of food in his direction.

His blond curls continue to do me in.  They serve as a built in bath tracker because the longer he goes without one the straighter they become.  I've never been so motivated to bathe my boys.

When Austin gets home from work, Isaac gives the best welcome with a big open mouthed smile and tippy toes.  He often gets an "Isaac sandwhich" kiss between mommy and daddy.  I think it might be his favorite thing ever.

I mentioned his bear, but he loves all stuffed animals or anything with a face.  He talks to them and snuggles them.  He even requests that "bear" get a kiss goodnight too.

He also loves putting away the dirty laundry into dresser drawers, pulling out all the ziplock bags from the drawer, standing on the toilet to turn on the bathroom sink faucet, tackling James for some wrestling, jumping on the bed, saying prayers, singing along to songs, dancing to music, escaping from the tub, naked, to streak through the living room giggling, finding birds, and putting on shoes.

For a long time he has hugged me tight with his skinny little arms slipped all the way around my neck holding my face to his cheek.  Lately, he has been doing a one armed neck hug and then dragging me gently in the direction he wants me to be saying, "go, go, go" He has me wrapped around his finger and I don't even mind.

In these pictures below, Isaac was very sick and Austin was singing to him while he snuggled.  I pulled out my phone to capture the moment.  He had been sluggish and cranky all day, but as soon as Isaac saw the camera he pulled this cheeser out.  Such a ham.

Now what about mommy.  Well I'm doing just fine, thanks for asking.  I'm learning more and more about the word balance. My prayers are earnest and my patience is growing.  Painful growing, but growing.  I'm learning to focus, to be intentional, to be present.

My greatest success recently has been avoiding comparison.  It's been liberating, but it's left a surprising, but gaping, hole behind.  Validation that I used to get from declaring myself better than someone else in a particular category used to make me feel like a had a measuring stick off which to determine my performance as a mother.  Seeing my failings in comparison to others used to motivate me to give excuses for why that accomplishment was a lame aspiration anyway.

Now I'm left with fewer benchmarks.  I can't use those around me to determine how well I'm doing.  One day I found myself trying to come up with a plan to measure my progress, so I would have someway to feel accomplished.  Then it hit me.  The Savior is there to fill that gap.  He motivates, validates, and justifies.  If I am close to Him I will always feel important and always desire to be better.  I was humbled to the core and I'm committed to finding Him in a new way.