My darling boy is officially two and a half.
He’s not my little baby anymore. He wouldn’t let me call him one even if I tried – he’s a self-acclaimed “big boy” now – and yet in some ways he’ll always be my baby.
My first, the one who made me a Mother, the one who taught me so much about love. He’s still teaching me and I imagine he always will. So many of his lessons these days are about pure and simple joy, the kind he approaches each day full of.
I am ashamed by the number of times a day he sees me getting annoyed, impatient, angry, and stops to ask me, are you happy, Mommy? No, darling, but thank you – again – for the reminder. Our lives are so full, our Souls so deeply loved, and yet here you notice me sighing because you tell me you need to use the bathroom again. (As though I go any less infrequently, with your little brother or sister bouncing on top of my bladder!) What foolishness I get impatient over, what little things I allow to steal my joy. But there’s always you, bringing me back to reality – are you happy, Mommy?
I am continually amazed by his hunger and thirst for knowledge. Always asking questions, always seeking more, always wanting to know about this world around him. Every time I start to worry – should he know this by now? how do I go about teaching him this? – he surprises me by beginning to show a natural interest in it. And yet I keep forgetting. Just leave him be. He will learn when he is ready, as evidenced by the constant stream of what letter is this? that I am now responding to countless times a day. He will have me convinced in no time that unschooling truly is the best choice for us.
I am so humbled, too, as I watch his understanding of God grow. I envy his eagerness to read “Jesus stories” – where did my thirst, my hunger, for the Word of God go? I love how naturally he talks about Jesus and the innocent way he incorporates his enthusiasm into his daily life and play. I can’t help but laugh at some of the deductions he arrives at, like the way his boat must have come from Jesus because it is made from a tree (“Jesus bought it for me!”). Oh, that I could remember so easily that every good and perfect gift does indeed come from our Father in Heaven, and praise Him so readily for every blessing.
As eager as I am to meet our second child, I am almost as eager to see him meet his little brother or sister. I love how excited he is about it, and I pray that excitement continues when a little baby is actually here, occupying his mother’s lap, time, and attention. It’s fun to watch him make his own connections – to realize that he was once in my womb as well, to learn about the reason for his bellybutton, to arrive at his own conclusions as to how things must work. His sweet and compassionate spirit is encouraging as well, as I know that the kisses he gives me to make my owies better will be lavished just as freely on another little child. His impatience for this little one to arrive is catching – I find myself wishing the weeks would go faster, even while feeling a sense of mourning that this incredible boy will no longer be my only. It is so hard to imagine right now that I could ever love another child the same way – and yet I know it will be true.
Until then, I will make the most of these last eight weeks together. Our days are so full and so enjoyable – stacks of books that must be read through, puddles that must be jumped in, muffins that must be baked, cars that must be driven along the “roads” on the bedspread, and an incredible blossoming imagination that must be explored. How I love each new phrase and idea that pours from him in a steady stream of chatter all day long.
I’ve said it every step of the way so far – this is my favourite age yet.
Happy half birthday, my sweet and silly boy.
My husband told me the other day, as he rubbed my bare belly, that he finds me even more irresistibly sexy when I’m pregnant, with all my curves and growing bump – after all, he said, isn’t that the whole point of sex? To form a child?
I love that my children have a father who sees them as a blessing and finds their ballooning mother to be attractive.
I feel the same sense of gratefulness and adoration every time he looks at our son and smiles, whispering to me, “he’s a pretty cool kid, isn’t he?” Every time he leans over to kiss him as he sleeps. Every time he scoops him up in his arms, throws him in the air, then hugs him tightly and tells him how much he loves him. Every time I see him kneeling down to talk gently to our son, teaching him how to grow into a godly man. Every time I get out of bed in the morning and watch the two of them automatically gravitate towards each other, snuggling while they sleep in for a while longer. I couldn’t ask for a better father for my children.
The boy and I gave him tickets to the monster truck show for Father’s Day. I made the mistake of telling the boy about it ahead of time, which resulted in a full day of asking for the monster trucks. I didn’t mention it again after that! More than a week later, I told the boy that I had picked up Daddy’s Father’s Day present. Thinking for a minute, he said, “fadder’s day…monster trucks!!” What a memory that kid has. Anyway, the two of them had a great Saturday afternoon watching the “big loud trucks!” They met up with some friends of ours there, so the boy made a new little friend (and hasn’t stopped talking about her since) and my husband got to talk to someone who wasn’t a toddler for once.
And I, meanwhile, enjoyed the most wonderful belated Mother’s Day. I had chocolate, a good book, a beautiful day, and more than three lovely hours in which to do nothing but relax. Ah, it was sweet.
We invited my family over for a Father’s Day barbecue the next day. I sought out some bison meat to surprise my husband with. We may not have a farmer’s market here, but I am seeking ways to buy local food when possible. I’ve found a local source for bison meat, deer meat, and fish so far. (Oh, and a local source for strawberries – our backyard! The boy and I were exploring the other day and discovered that our backyard is full of wild strawberry plants! I so love this country living stuff.) We enjoyed barbecued bison smokies, devilled eggs, potato wedges, and watermelon for supper. We finished the evening off with a long walk and warm fresh-baked cinnamon buns (my MIL’s recipe – many thanks!). We all had a really nice time.
I hope, though, that I can make my husband feel appreciated and cherished every day, not once a year. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, those times when I catch myself starting to silently nit-pick at all the things I would do differently if I were still the one at home all day – but for now I’m not, and my son is still thriving despite those differences. For that, and so much more, I am grateful for this man – and grateful that for whatever crazy reason, he loves me too.
It’s funny how fast you forget what it’s like, this small-town living stuff. You’d think I’d remember after 21 years of living here and only 3 years away.
What a three years those were. I got married, had a baby, learned how to do for myself all those things that I’d never had the self-confidence to do before then. I missed my family back home, but the growth that happened in me during those years was worth it all.
Now I’m back – temporarily, but back nonetheless.
And remembering just what it was like.
I miss my farmer’s market. I miss our toy lending library. I miss all the programs, all day, every day, including weekends. Even though I’m not a big shopper, I miss all the stores. To sum it up, really, I miss having options. The option to buy food locally. The option to attend a magnificent variety of programs – shows, playgroups, workshops, all of it. The option to go out and buy a new shirt when I need one. Heck, I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I even almost miss Walmart.
And the people – wow. The gossip, the backstabbing, the viciousness, the small town politics. I remember how nervous I was when I first moved to the city, convinced that people there would be cold and hard and, well, mean. That ended up being the most surprising part of city life – the people were nice. There was very little gossip, none of the viciousness I’d grown accustomed to here, and a shocking lack of judgment towards others. It didn’t matter how you dressed or who you hung out with – people just accepted you as is, no questions asked.
I had to face the consequences of such small-town gossip just last week. Someone I don’t even particularly know was telling my co-workers that I was pregnant, despite me having not told anyone here, and despite me having not even told my supervisor yet. Because of the spreading rumour and my belief that it is unprofessional for your boss to hear such information second-hand or to be the last to know, I made the decision to tell my supervisor about the pregnancy much earlier than I had planned to, and only a day after one of his other employees had told him she was pregnant as well. What a marked difference to my experience in the same situation in the city, where a co-worker learned I was pregnant and kept the information to himself until I was ready to tell my boss and my other co-workers myself. It just boggles my mind that someone I don’t even know was discussing such personal information with my co-workers. Small-town living – where personal boundaries are all but non-existent.
Still, it’s not all bad here. The lack of options and boundaries aside, I do appreciate the quietness, the slower pace, and the neighbourliness. Just last week we were looking to borrow a roto-tiller for our freshly-dug garden. In the city we probably could have rented it from the hardware store, but here all I had to do was ask a friend if he had one. He was out of town at the time, so he had his brother come over on his tractor and till our garden for us – a job that would have been huge for us to do manually, but took him less than 10 minutes to do far better than we could have ever hoped. The little guy was thrilled to watch the tractor, and I was thrilled to spend the next evening filling the freshly tilled soil with all sorts of vegetable seeds and plants. Here was a man I’d never met before, taking the time to till our garden and refusing anything in return. I can’t say how grateful I am for his kindness.
So, I might not be able to buy the new pair of work sandals I so badly need, I might not be able to take my son to a playgroup or spend an evening with my husband at a concert, and I might have to learn how to deal with having everyone know my personal business for a few months, but it’s the people that make this town so homelike at the same time. There’s the lady at church who remembers when I first moved here at two years old, and now I’ve returned with a two year old of my own. There are the smiles and waves from everyone who walks by. There’s the peacefulness of a quiet walk to the park and the likelihood of stopping to chat with someone you know along the way. There’s the stranger who will drive over on his tractor to till my garden for me.
All in all, it’s really not so bad after all.
Two months ago, on April 7, I thought those two beautiful lines were the most wonderful thing in the world.
Yesterday we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, a strong 156 beats per minute. And I changed my mind about the most wonderful thing in the world. To hear evidence that your baby is growing, thriving in your womb, is even more wonderful.
Come Christmas, I know it will change again with the birth of this precious child.
First smiles. First steps. First words.
It just keeps getting better and better.
We had a big potty learning milestone today – our first poo in the toilet! (And by “our” I mean “his”. I’ve been quite proficient at pooing on the toilet for a couple decades now.)
I remember reading a quote somewhere, long ago, about how God made poo stink because otherwise mothers would be so proud of their children’s first poos that they’d try to save it. Too true, too true.
He’s been doing amazing on the toilet ever since hubby went back to work. His one week temporary job was extended for another week, so the little guy and I have had two weeks now to get back into a really good routine. I really struggle with that when my husband’s home 24/7. But suddenly the little guy is almost completely potty trained (telling me when he needs to go, staying dry all day except naps, and able to stop himself right away if he does start to have an accident), we’re eating much healthier and more regularly, he’s picking up all sorts of new concepts, we’re getting out a lot more, and I’m just really enjoying him in a new way. It’s hard to explain. I’ve always enjoyed him – I think he’s pretty much the most amazing boy ever – but these past couple weeks have been even more fun. It’s been really good for us, and he’s clearly flourishing. It’s neat to see.
So to celebrate his amazing job on the potty (and his first poo there!), we went out this evening and bought big boy underwear! We got a package of Cars undies, a package of trucks undies, and a couple of the old school waffle weaves. He was giddy with excitement. He had to put them on the minute we got home. And then take them off and try another pair. And then take those ones off and try another pair. Then he was satisfied for the rest of the evening.
I’m really proud of him. And not just for this – for everything. It’s just amazing to watch him grow. He’s such a sweet kid, so great when we go out, always complimented on how good he is, SO SO funny (I laugh SO MUCH because of him), just great. It’s been fascinating to watch him grow into toddlerhood, and I can’t wait to see the boy and man he becomes.
What a week this has been! My husband, who has been unemployed for seven months, had a week-long temporary job. I love that man dearly, but I find it hard to keep a good house with him around 24/7.
A week without him has left my house mother-in-law ready. It’s that clean.
The kitchen is scrubbed, clean (including the inside of my toaster) and completely reorganized. I feel like I have so much extra room in there now! I even tackled the top of my fridge.
I sorted through the boy’s toy baskets, tossing out all the miscellaneous “stuff” that had collected in there. Even though his baskets were suddenly much emptier, he has rediscovered all of his favourite toys and been playing with them much more often. Less is, indeed, often more.
I *coughputawaytheChristmasdecorationscough*, but we won’t talk about that. Because it’s February. And ow, my pride.
I cleaned and reorganized and tidied and cleaned some more. I have this odd desire to dance around my house now.
And the boy and I! We had so much fun.
I made a batch of playdough using a recipe a friend had given me. He played with this frequently and for nice long stretches of time, which I took full advantage of to get more cleaning done (and some web surfing…and some playdough playing…because who can resist playdoh?). I made a playdoh snowman, which the boy insisted needed a hat – so a hat was made. I give you, Cowboy Playdohman:
And Cowboy Playdohman after a few modifications done by said boy:
We played with bubbles (while Mommy washed the dishes).
We went outside! In the snow! For hours!
We walked to the produce market and picked up all sorts of wonderful fruits and veggies (and the obligatory yogurt, which the boy would eat several times a day if I let him). We tried our very first blood orange, which, though the name has always turned me off, was very good. We bought bananas, battered though they tend to be in the winter, with plans to make banana muffins in a couple days.
I hate to sound so giddy about having my darling husband out of the house for a few days – but seven months! You can’t blame a girl, really.
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup salt
2 small packages of Kool-Aid
3 tablespoons of oil
2 cups boiling water
1. Mix flour, salt, oil and kool-aid until blended
2. Add boiling water, mix with spoon until cool enough to knead, knead until colour is well mixed
3. Store in air tight container or bag in the fridge.
I married my childhood sweetheart.
I’m so grateful to have him in my life. He is patient, kind, supportive, honest, goofy, and intelligent. We balance each other out perfectly, in so many ways, and my life is all the richer and better with him in it.
When I was a kid, I swore up and down that I was never getting married, I was simply going to adopt a child and live happily ever after, just the two of us. I have to say, I’m glad I changed my mind. I’d have missed out on one amazing husband – and my child would have gone without an incredible father.
We had a lovely dinner out yesterday, then came home and spent the evening snuggled in bed watching Fireproof. It wasn’t without its cheesy moments, but it was quite good overall. (We were both pleasantly surprised.)
Shortly after it ended, our son woke up, staggered sleepily into our room, climbed into bed and the three of us snuggled down together for the night. I am so blessed to have both those guys in my life.
Here’s to another happy year together, and the promise of more to come – “until death do us part”. Cheers!
It’s been amazing, this whole motherhood thing, watching my baby boy grow from a scrunched up newborn to a rambunctious toddler. Every day now brings something new – a new skill, a new word, a new way to make us laugh, a new challenge to tackle, a new joy to discover.
His favourite family activity right now? Hiding under the blankets – all of us, at the same time. I can’t think of anything that makes him happier than having all three of us giggling away with a blanket over our heads. Our own private family fort.
His favourite words remain “fall” and “crash” – he is a boy, through and through. A delightful, squealing, rough-and-tumble boy. Having grown up with four younger sisters, I have to say, I love having a boy.
(And wow, would I ever love having a girl too.)
Likewise, his favourite toys are still cars. His Oma made him a wonderful quilted car mat for Christmas, which he has been loving.
He’s starting to count along with us now. He’s been “counting” things for a while (pointing while we count), but now he’s starting to say the words too. I’ve been asking him to say his name lately, which sometimes results in a whispered “Ja!” but always results in a fit of giggles. Apparently, it is very funny to ask him to say his name. Who knew?
Pretty much, I just love this little guy.
My very first post partum period – only 21 months (and nine days…but who’s counting?) after my son was born!
Which means we are now *officially* trying to conceive, after several months of “unofficially” trying/hoping. Time to stock up on pregnancy tests!! Oh, I hope it happens quickly.
(Feel free to skip the following TMI: I was pleasantly surprised at how fine I felt when my period started! Pre-baby, I was horribly horribly sick every time my period arrived, to the point where I passed out a couple times. I dreaded it each and every month. This time around I had no warning whatsoever, other than being incredibly exhausted for a couple days beforehand. Oh, and you know what finally brought it back? I had just bought some nice new white underwear. Seriously, I thought that when I bought them – this will be the week my period returns, just because I’m wearing nice new white underwear. You know, Murphy’s Law and all. Anyway. TMI over.)
Even though our children will now be further apart age-wise than I had hoped they would be, I do still fully believe it was worth it to continue to nurse my toddler. It was disappointing that my body was so sensitive to that, but worth it nonetheless. Even just two weeks ago, when he was so very sick that all he did was lie on my knee and cry, he wouldn’t eat or drink anything but at least he still nursed (like a freakin’ newborn!). He recovered quickly, though it took him a few days to get back to his old good-natured and silly self, but the fact that he would still nurse took away so much worry that we would have had otherwise.
And then, kind boy that he is, he shared that illness with his father and I, so we both have colds and my husband feels like he’s getting the flu as well. It just has not been a healthy few weeks for us! I don’t know what’s going on. We very rarely get sick, but lately it’s just been one thing after another. I won’t even tell you how many boxes of Kleenex we’ve gone through in the past two weeks.
I really need to get on top of this whole blogging thing again. I’m getting further and further stuck in the rut of ahh, I have so much to write about, I don’t know where to start…so I just won’t write at all! Maybe I’ll do another NaBloPoMo again soon…or maybe I’ll wait until tax season is over.
Anyway, I’m now having several plush animals stuffed onto my knee by a very amused toddler, so I’ll admit defeat and end this entry. Have a lovely weekend!