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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tough Spot

I'm in a tough spot... I am *finally* well enough to want to do... yet not yet well enough to actually do. I think... yes, I'm going to get up and do ALL those dishes (and they've really piled up this week as I've been sick.) But then I get up and think, ugh, I need to sit down again. I'm well enough to feel like I'm being lazy, but not well enough to want to fix it.

Worst of all, I'm well enough to be energized to take the challenge I received reading this post from Monica, but not well enough to act on it. I am encouraged to step up with discipline in my home, but I think it will have to wait until next week. In the mean time, I encourage you to stop by and be encouraged yourself!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Out of house and home

It seems my little Tornado is going through a bit of a growth spurt... at least I am hoping that is what's going on. He just keeps eating and eating and eating! Just this morning he had at least a cup of oatmeal, 1/4-1/2 cup applesauce, and a whole banana. Oh, and 3/4 cups orange juice. (Hmmm... lots of fruit.) I'm finding myself unprepared for his bottomless pit. He would have eaten more if I could have figured out what to give. I fed what I was planning, but when he wants more I just stare dumbfound into the cupboards and fridge (much like I've been doing as I try to feed Sweet Pea these days.)

Anyone else experienced this type of thing? Does it sound like a growth spurt to you? Any ideas for filling snacks and meal add-ons? Maybe something I can make ahead and offer.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The day Disney came in handy

Most days Tornado and I go out and meet the mail lady together. When we return to the warmth of our home, I try to find some piece of mail that is "his". This time there was a "Disney movie club" mailer. You know the type... buy 4 for $1 each today and then spend half your salary each month for more of them... oh and you can't ever get out of the club or maffia hit men will come after you and we'll still charge your card. Ok, so maybe it's not that bad... maybe. Regardless, we're not interested. This was the perfect piece of mail to let Tornado have, play with and destroy.

He set to work on the kitchen floor and I set down to accomplish something at my computer. Moments later he came to me with a small stack of papers, including 2 "sticker" sheets. One was labels... for labeling all those new DVDs we would buy, and one was actual stickers. I don't usually set Tornado loose with a whole sheet of stickers, but I thoughts... what better use. Had I not given it to him, I wouldn't have ever opened the envelope to know they were there in the first place... and besides, what will I do with them?

I grabbed a piece of computer paper and set it on the recliner (i.e. Daddy's chair) next to my desk. I gave him the sticker sheet and helped him get started. He had a blast... and almost entirely self-playing. He filled up both sides of the paper. Looked, talked about, stuck, tore (oops) and such with those stickers for a long while. As I thought about it later, that was free fun, easy entertainment, and made it possible for me to get some work done nearby. Oh... and good fine motor skill exercise too for those of you who care! :)

Visit Crystal's blog for Frugal Friday!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting On Track

I'm pleased to say that I did (for the most part) get up with my husband each morning. For us, we find that it works best to hit snooze one time. When My Beloved's alarm goes off in the morning, he rolls over to hit snooze and I roll over to turn on my bedside lamp. We then roll back and get to cuddle for another 10 minutes. When it goes off again we are more ready to get up.

These past few days have been brutal as I haven't been sleeping well, or much. That makes it even harder to get up in the morning. I was encouraged last week, after my initial post on this matter, to get an email from my father in law. He was sharing with me what a blessing it was (and still is) when his wife (aka my mother in law) gets up with him in the mornings. I've got to tell you... a couple times this week that email is the only reason I got up.

This week Crystal is encouraging us to go to bed early enough to get up early. We've been doing ok at this, but we will continue to work at it. I can't tell you how much easier it is to get up when we are in bed around 10, instead of 11 or later!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Sometimes a productive day is defined better by what isn't than what is.

Sometimes a productive day is catching those runny noses every time... and not what doesn't get done in the mean time.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A feather

I was startled this morning by a large spidery bug type thing floating/falling down in front of me as I came out of the bathroom. As it turns out, it was only a feather, which, I imagine came from My Beloved's down coat.

Well, this feather turned into at least an hour of educational entertainment. Once Tornado was awake, we held the feather, touched the feather (it's soft), let the feather fall, caught the feather, and blew the feather. Not only did I have an entertained toddler on my hands, but we learned some new things too. We learned to say the word "feather". We practiced some fine motor skills as we held, picked up, and caught the feather. Then we took it up a notch.

While I was nursing Sweet Pea, I had Tornado bring me a small toy from the toy area. Once I had it I held both next to each other and asked him which one would be "fastest". "Will this one fall fastest? Or this one?... Is the elephant (that was the little toy he brought me) faster, or the feather?" He made his guess/estimate/hypothesis and we tried our experiment. I dropped both of them at the same time and you know what? He was right. The elephant fell fastest. Here we gave him an intro to forming a hypothesis (not that he'll know what that means for a long time), experimented, and learned some about "fastest" vs. "slowest". I tried to approach "heaviest" by putting both on my hand and blowing on both of them. Of course the feather left and the toy didn't, but I don't think he grasped that one.

Of course feather fun had to end, and as I imagined would happen eventually, he stuck it into one of the floor vents never to be seen again. Most unfortunate! But we move on... short attention spans you know. :)

Have you ever had feather fun? Any other ideas of things I could try next time my husband's winter coat shares it's filling with us?

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow much fun!

We woke up this morning to beautiful white snow (and the hair you see in this picture)... but at temperatures in the teens and the three of us still getting over colds, I wasn't too keen on going outside. Plus, Sweet Pea didn't like it so much the last time. I took an idea from Monica and brought the snow inside to us. A tub of snow and some items from my kitchen and we had ourselves 30-45 minutes of fun. The towel I put down on the floor caught most of the wayward snow and then mopped up the rest of it when we were done.

While they (though Sweet Pea didn't last long) played, I talked about what it was. Tornado said it was cold. I talked about what would happen to the snow, we practiced saying the word "melt" and we put some snow in a cup to see what would happen to it. An hour or so later, we revisited the cup and Tornado told me it was "snow water".

We concluded our "snow play" with a color sheet of snow flakes and the letter "S". We traced the "S" with is finger and talked about it (both the name and the sound). We colored together, and when all was said and done, he happily asked me to draw a goat for him to color. When he came home for lunch, My Beloved wanted to know if "goat" started with an "S".

All said... I'd say we got in some science, fine and gross motor, and letter learning! Not to mention lots of fun together!

Simple fun, simple learning... and no money necessary! (I'm sneaking into Frugal Friday... it's been a long while since I've participated... go check it out!)

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Let's try this again

Crystal's at it again... and this time I'm thinking I want to jump on board. She humbly admitted to loosing some control of her home. Allow me to take a moment to glance around mine... yeah, I've lost control too... or is it that I never had control. It seems like I start these things over and over and over. All to no avail. What a challenge to be reminded that "we [need to] seek to glorify the Lord by being an efficient and organized keeper of our home." Of course we know that... but to hear it that way adds a sprint to my step and a little resolve. (OK, I'm awake and at the computer at 7:39 in the morning... there is no spring to my step.)

The thing is, this is the first morning I've managed to get up with my husband. The goal is to get up when his alarm goes off (we didn't quite manage that) so as to help him get up and off to work on time. Goal two is to have a bit of time alone to do whatever before the kids wake up. Now if only Tornado weren't crying as I type. (Maybe he'll go back to sleep... or at least lay there quitely for a few more minutes.)

I have been sick... and I'm not completely well yet, but I'm working on it. So... for a very basic morning routine?

::Up with husband's alarm (I think it's 6:45).

::Start breakfast for My Beloved.

::Time in the Word (at least a little bit) and prayer.

::Computer time/plan my day (if there is time before kids wake up).

Jump on over to Crystal's blog for encouragement and accountability on starting your own morning routine!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


For right around a year now, I've been including Tornado in some of my chores (you know... the ones I actually do). As many of you can attest to, including babies and toddlers in our work does only one thing... make things harder to do, and makes them take longer! But, we take hope and do it anyway... dreaming of the payoff in the end.

Well, today I had a glimpse of what I've been working toward. Tornado was a touch clingy as I headed down the hall to get the clean laundry out of the dryer. I decided to try distraction. "Can you get the basket from the living room for Mommy?" I asked him. Off he went. You never can be sure what will happen next. Will he come back? No one can say. But he did. And down the hall he was coming with the laundry basket. As he handed it to me he said a very clear, "thank you". (He uses it correctly most of the time, but we aren't 100% yet.)

I put the basket in front of the dryer and asked him if he would put all the clothes into the basket for mommy. He got right to it. And he was doing so well, I thought I'd take the other basket (full with baby clothes ready to be put away) in to their room to put them away (I know... crazy). Sure... it took him longer than it would have taken me to do all the jobs, but the point is that I got something else done while he did his job. That is a big step!

Have your little ones shown any recent break throughs?

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Internet Down...and a little time reflection

When the internet is down in our house, that means no phones too... so we take note. We had ice the last couple days, and though it's gone today, the internet wasn't back. We had assumed a line was down somewhere, but My Beloved called today and discovered that there shouldn't be anything wrong. With instructions to "press the standby button on top of the modem", we are back online. The word is that "someone" must have pressed it. I'd say that I have no idea how that would happen... but I know you would all laugh at me... I have kids! Enough said.

Is it odd that I got a real weird feeling just now while typing "I have kids"? "I am a mom"... sure... I'm used to that. "I have babies"... I can even get a handle on that one. But for some reason, just now, "I have kids" felt weird. Makes me feel... I don't even know. I am thankful that "I have kids" though... otherwise, I would feel a lot worse about the snot encrusted pants I'm wearing, or the rainbow (covered in spit up) shirts I'm ever wearing and washing. Yeah... that would be hard to explain.

Then there is something else that's weird... time. It seems odd to me that time can feel so fast at times, yet so slow at others... or sooo long in some respects, yet so short in others. Time is the same... whether our kids are sick and whinny all day (ehem) or we are having the time of our lives at the beach, a day still only lasts as long as it lasts. So when I say that I've been married 4 years, I have to take a moment to figure it out. Is four years long, or short? It sure was long when I was in college... and it must be, because I feel like I've been married to My Beloved for-wonderful-ever! Yet, then I think... Wow, it's only been 4 years?... like 4 years is no time at all. Throw into all this mess the fact that my 2 year old is already and only 2, and 4 sounds a lot more crazy.

All this to say, today My Beloved and I celebrate 4 wonderful years! To celebrate we are hoping to get the kids in bed a little early, eat the yummiest frozen pizza I've ever had (more on this another time) and just spend some time together (either a movie or games). I'm thrilled... I got to pick whatever I wanted to do!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I miss blogging

There are a number of reasons I miss being around here more often, but the biggest one is missing out on chronicling little details about my babies. Honestly, I don't even care so much about sharing those details with you (that's just a bonus... not to mention the comments). Don't get me wrong... I enjoy sharing with you, and I love the comments part, but when I stopped my regular posting, the truth came out. The part I truly miss is jotting down little memories. You see, if I don't have time to sit and post about something, you can be sure I'm not taking the time to scribble them down in a journal. As of 4 days ago, I've started putting a few words each day onto a calendar, but that can't possibly have room for all the little stories, like:

::At dinner last night, My Beloved asked Tornado if there was fish in his belly (we had fish for dinner). Tornado wasted no time pulling his bib and shirt away from his body and looking down them, trying to see the fish in his belly.

::The other day was crazy. Tornado was ready for lunch, which I still had to make, and his hands were filthy and in need of washing. Honestly, I don't remember all the details anymore (one of the sad parts of not blogging them in time), but during all this Sweet Pea was very clingy. You can imagine her unhappiness when I put her down... again... to take Tornado to the bathroom to wash his hands. I set her down in the kitchen, standing at a chair. Then I said, over my shoulder to a hysterical child, "come on, follow mommy". I took one more look over my shoulder to see her take her first step. She let go of the chair, in the midst of her hysteria, and before realizing what she was doing, took a step in my direction. Of course she promptly dropped to her knees and followed us to the back of the house, but it was a step just the same.

::My Beloved taught Tornado how to hang up his coat on the back of a chair. I never thought to teach him such a thing. It only took being shown one time and walked through it one time, now he does it all himself. He knows to find the "hat" part and hang it over the corner of the chair.

::Just the other day Tornado asked My Beloved to tie his shoe for him.

::Potty training is coming along... in a slow and natural way. No pressure and lots of successes some day... other days he's not interested at all!

Those are just a handful of things happening around here. I've deliberately left out all the frustrations and hair pulling. I'm trying to stay in a positive place today.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I do have a couple pictures of our Christmas lessons to show you (hopefully soon), but I wanted to pop in and say a Happy New Year to you. We did a wedding last night and my mom is still here... so things are a bit busy.

Happy New Year!