Friday, April 30, 2010

34

This is the post I was going to write on my birthday - which was April 1st, by the way. Now that we're all the way to April 30, the very last day of the month, maybe it's about time I actually follow through and finish this! :)

Birthdays are a good time for looking back and remembering. So I did. Every year, I click back in the blog to read about what was going on when I turned 31, and 32, and 33.

And then I found some old family pictures that I had gathered to use for a "siblings" scrapbook I was going to make ("was" being the operative word...I've since discovered that scrapbooking is not for me...for lots of reasons...but let me stay focused here and try to stick to this subject). :) I had such a happy childhood that I feel nothing but joy as I look through these and reminisce about days gone by.

I'm the youngest of my family. Here we are (in 1977?) at my paternal grandparents' house. I know this isn't a great picture as far as quality; but even still, when I see it and focus on my brother David (next in age to me), I think - as I often do - that Josiah and/or Tobin seem to favor him.

Another photo of all four siblings. I'm guessing I was 4 or 5 at the time? During the later years of my childhood, whenever I saw this picture, I always thought of my brother David's suit as being a "banana suit." I suppose it was stylish in its day. :)

Oops...I got this picture out of order. How old was I here? Two maybe? Or three? This was also taken at my paternal grandparents' house. The stool/chest right behind me had a lid that lifted to reveal toys inside. It was The Place to head to for fun when we visited my grandparents.

This is my kindergarten picture, a fact which delighted my little David to no end when he saw it earlier today. "You were in kindergarten?" he exclaimed. "How old were you?" "Five, just like you are," I told him. He was very impressed. :)

My mom sometimes volunteered at the private school we went to; that's why she got to be in this picture. It's also why she got to wear the same oh-so-cool uniform that the rest of us were wearing. Isn't my sister beautiful? Growing up, I always wanted to be as pretty as her, but I never was. She's 10 years older than me, which was a big enough age gap for plenty of hero worship to be generated in me. :)

This is when childhood pictures start to change from "cute" to "embarrassing." But hey, my self-esteem is secure, and I can laugh at myself...which is a good thing, because would you look at what we're wearing? :) At the time I thought this wide lace collar was so cool, and my brother's pink shirt, white tie, and white jacket? Beyond cool.

David and I in our outfits for our high school Touring Choir. The good thing I can truthfully say about that dress is that it didn't wrinkle when thrown into a suitcase and carted from state to state.

David and I on the day of his high school graduation - 1992. If I remember correctly, my dress was a Gunne Sax which - again - seemed the height of coolness to me.

David and I yet again, this time after my senior piano recital in college - March 1997.

Finally, to the day of my wedding. My sister did my hair and make-up on that day; her daughter Sheena was my junior bridesmaid (and in this picture, is watching her mama attentively).
Every once in a while, it's good to look through old pictures. If nothing else, it provides a good laugh...and maybe an extra dose of humility. :)

Besides a time for looking back, birthdays are also an excellent opportunity to look ahead, so I did some of that, too. I realized that when 2010 began, I never wrote about goals for this year, which is uncharacteristic of me. I like to make goals. Even the knowledge that I'll most likely not meet all (or most) of them doesn't discourage me too much. But somehow the beginning of this year came and went, and I never took the time to jot anything down. And then my birthday came and went, and I still didn't make the time for this. But now that I'm 34 and 1/12 (as Josiah would say in his exact way), I'll make the time.

Actually, all I have to do when listing my goals is link to this post. That pretty much sums it up! What I was hoping to accomplish at the beginning of 2009 is still true almost a year and a half later: nurture my relationships with God, Jeff, and my children; do a better job of being a homemaker; and reach out in friendship to those around me. Everything else I could say just seems to be the specifics that flesh out the general goals that I've had for years. Sure, there were a few focused thoughts I had at the beginning of the year: lose enough weight to be where I was before I got pregnant with Josiah, take a photography class this fall, host fellowship potlucks in our home monthly, etc. But overall, the goals I have for this phase of life flow smoothly from one year to the next without huge revolutionary adjustments to be made. For one reason, my most important "projects" are so long-term: raising children, for example, is not something to be put on my list for a year, then checked off at the end of it. Of course, for the rest of my life (and particularly for the next 18 or so years), I'll be striving to be a better mother. I don't have to make a New Years resolution to know that! :)

One thing I do know: I am so content in my life, and I realize that my big dreams in life have already come true. I'm living out my dream. This is it! This is what I dreamed of as a girl. To marry a wonderful man and build a deeply satisfying relationship with him? Check! To have children and be a stay-at-home mom? Check! To follow God all the days of my life? Check!

It's not as if there's nothing else in life I'd like to do because there certainly is. But the big stuff is covered. I don't know how I would handle it if I felt like I was stuck in a position where none of my dreams were coming true and I was wasting my time. That would be so difficult, I'm sure. For me, even on days when I feel overwhelmed and I wish that I never had to clean poop out of the bathtub and I'm tired of the monotony of my life, I still have the certainty that this is what God has called me to do.

This is my dream coming true.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bloggers Are a Kind Bunch

Before I get to what I really want to write about, here are a "few" pictures of Shav. :) I'm doing this because Misty asked for them in a comment she left on the last post. Somebody's actually asking me to take and post more pictures of Shav? Alrighty then! I'd be glad to honor that request! :)

We went outside today for a short photo shoot to show off the new 'do.
Shav was full of smiles today - in sharp contrast to yesterday!

********

The next set of pictures made me laugh when I downloaded them and saw how they turned out. I proudly present to you Mr. Shav Fisher, orchestra conductor extraordinaire!

Everyone ready? Here we go, softly now.

Second violins, I need more from you; it's your turn to shine.

You in the back, give me more volume from the trombones.

Lovely, just lovely. Well done, everyone!

Maybe by the time Maria Lorcas (the talented conductor of our local youth orchestra, for all of you non-locals) wants to retire, Shav will be ready to take over her spot! :)

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After I had snapped some pictures outside, I realized that my goal of showing off Shav's haircut wasn't being met extremely well because of the lightness of his hair and the brightness of the day. So inside we came to try some more...


Shav has been making this funny little scrunched-face grin recently; I love the way his expressions are developing. :)

If anyone is missing Shav's long hair too much, don't worry; you'll see it again in May's header. :) Ironically, I had taken some pictures of the boys on Tuesday to use for my new header, not knowing that on Wednesday, Jeff would do the big haircut for Shav. Now that Shav has lost his wild hair, I'm especially glad that I have those photos; but really, I'm not too sad because I think Shav is terribly handsome with his new haircut. Not that I'm biased or anything...

********

What I really wanted to write about today is how very kind bloggers are. I have been BLESSED by my relationships in the blogging world; and as any blogger can attest to, the community aspect of blogging is one of the most significant parts of it. I love how, through blogging, I've become closer to people I know in real life...and how I've gotten to know people that I would never have met otherwise. What a gift!

Here are some (relatively) recent acts of kindness that have been shown to me by bloggers:

Valerie (she blogs at Stepping Heavenward; but her daughter, now married and expecting her first baby is a much more "active" blogger - her blog is Feathers in Our Nest), has shown numerous kindnesses to me during the past few years. Her latest gift to me was these name signs for each of the boys, with first and middle names, meanings, and related scripture verses. Since we paid a good bit of attention to the meaning of names when we were choosing them, it's special to me to have these signs to remind me often of the significance of my sons' names. Thank you, Valerie! :) (And, by the way, it's totally worth it to check out her blog just to read what she wrote about "Glass Balls." Click on her blog, then scroll down in her sidebar until you get to that section. Good stuff - and a clear visual image that often comes to my mind as I sort out what is the most important thing to which I should give my time.)

Another blogger friend who has been especially kind is Michelle of Somerset Cottage. Shortly after Shav was born, we received a package in the mail with a beautifully wrapped gift inside. She sent this adorable sleeper for Shav, and he has worn it many times. Every time, I think of her. :)
I took these pictures LONG ago, as soon as he was big enough to fit into the sleeper without being swallowed up by it! Of course, I intended to post these months ago; but you know how it goes... It's funny now to see how different he looks! Babies change so fast, don't they?

When I was taking these pictures of Shav, Tobin was trying to "help" me - or something. I'm not sure what he thought the glove would accomplish; regardless, Shav seems unimpressed, to say the least. :)
My favorite thing about this sleeper is the turtles on the bottom of the feet. It's the little things that make me smile. :)

Another blogger I want to mention is Margie. Dear, dear Margie. She is such an encouragement to me. Recently she awarded me the Beautiful Blogger Award, and it actually caught me off guard. The thought that anyone else reads my little scribblings about our family life is still sometimes amazing to me, and I'm humbled by Margie's affirmation. Thank you, Margie. I'm looking forward to {someday} meeting face to face!

Through Margie, I've "met" two other bloggers that I want to pass this award along to:
and
Krista from Not By Might.
Both of these women have a real gift for writing; and whether they're sharing silly stories about their children or deep spiritual insights, I'm sure to feel something as I read. They can make me laugh, they can make me cry, and they always leave me wishing that they posted more often. ;)

I also want to award this to two other blogs:
Cindy from Along the Way - she's a homeschooling mom with tons of great ideas...I'm constantly amazed by her creativity and dedication to her children...me? I've got dedication, but creativity? not so much...Cindy is definitely inspiring!
Jeanette from Blessed by Baseballs and Bows - I've actually given her an award before, but I want to bring her up again because now - RIGHT NOW - she and her husband are in Ethiopia adopting two boys!!!

Tonight I am once again reminded of how thankful I am for the way blogging keeps me connected to other women. Even during this season of life when the vast majority of my time is spent with my little ones, it's a treasure to be able to reach out on a daily basis and receive encouragement and nourishment through the wonder of modern technology.

THANK YOU to each of you who is reading this. You honor me, and I am grateful.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another First? You've Got to Be Kidding!

Guess who got his first {real} haircut today!

Guess how he really felt about it.

Guess where he was when he got it.

Despite sitting in a very cool police kiddie car in his very own daddy's barbershop with his very own daddy being the one to give him the haircut, Shav was not a happy camper.

"Daddy, please don't do this to me!"

"Ah, that's better - safe in my daddy's arms."

Much, much better.
And if that photo doesn't melt this ol' mama's heart, I don't know what will!

Picture credit goes to Pam, one of Jeff's co-workers. I wasn't at the barbershop for this occasion because...

Today was the first day that Jeff took all four boys with him on his Wednesday errands - woo hoo! He was so successful that now I have visions of once-a-week quiet mornings for me at home, all by myself, no cries to listen for, maybe even the chance to take A Nap. Today, however, I celebrated this milestone by working in Josiah and David's room to do the seasonal sorting and organizing of clothes (and toys and books). I didn't finish the job, but I got a good start on it, all thanks to my honey's willingness to shepherd four small boys through the bank, the feed store, the barbershop, and the grocery store. He gets a gold medal in my book!

But as a result, I missed out on The First Haircut. It's just as well, I suppose. I don't think I would have been quite able to hold back all the tears, and everyone would have just made fun of me. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tobin's First Sentence Was...

...spoken this evening as he gazed upon the pitcher of iced tea my mother had brought to our house for supper. He said, "Daddy drinks tea," which is a very true statement since hardly an evening goes by without Jeff consuming several glasses of my mom's stevia-sweetened tea. Of course, Tobin's version of the word "drinks" wasn't quite the same as mine - those double- and triple-consonant combinations are tough to say! - but his meaning was clear as a bell. That is the first time I've noticed him putting together words to make a sentence, but I have been very aware recently that his language ability is SOARING. It's such an exciting time in the life of a child, and I absolutely love the fact that my relationship with him is coming out of the fog of "what are you thinking? what's going on in your head? what are you asking for?" and into the clarity of "oh, NOW I understand you!"

Very shortly after this first sentence, Tobin popped out another one: "Eat now?" :)

These pictures are from this morning when Tobin was enjoying some playtime with his little buddy Shav. Won't these boys have loads of fun together as they get older?! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Primary Colors, and Please Watch a Movie!

I have about as much energy as a slug does. This weekend had some really wonderful things in it--a fun, fun, fun lunch with friends yesterday, a church service that was pivotal for our boys last evening, etc.--but today I find myself drained, wishing I had a cave to crawl into. I also find myself wishing that--get this--Tobin would be more of a couch potato! The dear boy does not enjoy sitting and watching movies; they hold his attention for all of about one minute before he's off to the next adventure. On days like today when I've been interacting with one or two or three or four boys all day long and would be so glad for a break before the supper hour, it surely would be nice to set him up in front of our computer with Josiah and David and pop in a DVD that would keep them quietly entertained for a while. If only he was more of a zombie! :) But no, he wants to hang out with me...and touch the dishes I'm loading into the dishwasher, and say "dirty? dirty?" over and over...and bring the push toy lawnmower into the house from the porch and zoom around making whirring noises...and help me with the laundry by putting in the soap and pushing down the clothes with our laundry stick and asking me "Shav's pants?" and "Mommy's shirt?" and "David's socks?" as I put in various items of clothing..and ask "Daddy home?" every time he hears traffic noise outside...and put his sippy cup of milk into the outside pocket of the diaper bag and then fuss for me to help him when he can't get the zipper zipped and then fuss for me to help him when he can't get it unzipped...and practice holding up two fingers and saying "two" (which sounds more like "do") when I ask him how old he is (a first for him today). I can't believe I'm actually in the situation of wanting my son to watch more movies, but that's where I'm at today!

These lines from Elisabeth Elliot (from A Lamp Unto My Feet) encourage me:
We like things to go smoothly and as planned. Very often, unexpected things intervene, and our plans go awry. We think we've got "problems." There is another level at which everything that happens is being engineered. "God has no problems," Corrie ten Boom said, "only plans." When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) "toward the goal of true maturity" (Rom. 12:2 JBP). Believe God. Turn the interruptions over to him. He is at the controls.
On a lighter, brighter note...I've been noticing recently how colorful Shav's toys are. Whether they're strewn about the rug or collected in his basket, there is a certain beauty (maybe that's not the right word - attractiveness? appeal?) to them if I pause long enough to see it.
And there's certainly beauty/attractiveness/appeal/all of that good stuff when I look at him!

Now I'm off to go clean up the kitchen a bit, then make my way upstairs to check on the boys. I think I'll give Tobin an extra kiss tonight. My busy, busy boy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cows of Bashan


~ I took this photo of our neighbor's cows marching home - April 1, 2008 (my 32nd birthday!)

I love cows. When I see them--and I often have this privilege since we live in dairy farm country--I usually think happy, peaceful thoughts: thoughts about how pleasant it is to watch cows grazing and then chewing their cud, thoughts about how delicious a tall glass of cold milk is (my favorite beverage), thoughts about how beautiful cows' eyes are (yes, I really think this).

But occasionally when I see cows, I think of Amos 4 and the strong words God speaks against the women of Israel. He calls them cows! And it's not a compliment, let me tell ya.

May I not follow in the footsteps of those self-centered women who ignore the needs around them and think only of their own pleasure. May I never be a cow of Bashan!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A 1st for My 1st & a 1st for My 4th

My first son had a big first today: his first solo violin recital! He played "Allegro" (as did 3 other students in the recital...that's how it goes with early beginner recitals, I suppose), and I got to accompany him on piano. He played excellently. Could I be any more proud?? :)
video

Later this afternoon, my fourth son had a first as well: his first time sitting up playing with toys! Up until now, he's always been in the Bumbo or the farm-toy-exersaucer-thingie or lying down on his playmat or in the playpen or in the johnny jump-up (in his opinion, the best invention ever made). But today, I decided to see how he would do with sitting up (to be clear, he didn't get himself into a sitting position; I put him in it). Last time I tried, he promptly fell over; but that has been quite a while ago, and it was obvious today how much he has progressed. I could see him start to lean and then regain his balance. Only occasionally did he do a slow descent to the side, too far for him to recover by himself; and only once did he do a real fall (landing on a pillow I had placed beside him for such a time). It was really fun to see him in this position, and it reinforced to me how far he's come from the infant stage. My boys typically develop their large-motor skills so slowly that they seem to take forever to leave babyhood behind and move on to being toddlers. Babies born after them are running circles around them while they tentatively take their first steps. But I really don't mind. Immobility has its advantages. :) Nevertheless, it's always exciting to see the development of my little sweethearts.
video

A violinist and a sitter-upper! Hooray for my boys! :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flooded with Memories

Our Old Clumsy Beast of a Computer has been living up to its name: old, clumsy, beast. Jeff (gently and lovingly) makes comments like, "It's because the picture file has 53 gigs in it," or something like that, and seems to imply that it's my fault that the O.C.B. computer is overloaded. :)

I don't know much about computers, but I do know that I can help by deleting things. So I have been. Recklessly deleting blurry photos from 5 years ago. Gustily getting rid of photos of newborns (not our newborns, of course, but the babies of friends of ours...I realize that if I can't even recognize the baby and have no clue who it is, it's probably time to press "delete"). Deciding which of the 50 shots I took of Shav in a basket when he was 3 weeks old is worth keeping, and x-ing out the remaining 48. I'm on a roll, I tell ya!

As I've sorted through our pictures, I've discovered some that I hadn't looked at in a very long time, and I had a ball traveling down Memory Lane and thinking about who I was then and how I've changed over the years...seeing friends' faces and remembering what made them unique and special...reminiscing about adventures Jeff and I had...sigh...it's been delightful.

Here are just a few of the ones that made me smile today:
I think all of these pictures were taken in 2001, although I don't know for sure. What I do know is that these first two pictures were taken as Jeff and I drove north along the coast of California. Now THAT is a beautiful drive! We were so young then, we didn't have any children, it was just the two of us in our Honda Accord on the Coastal Highway with the ocean on our left, the hills on our right, and our nose towards San Francisco. Good times!
And speaking of good times, we had plenty of those with the staff of the church we worked for. Here I am with Pauline, Elaine, and Carolyn (holding Elaine's first son Jonathan), at a little restaurant in Bonita, California. So many memories...
I hope, when I am an old woman, I can sit somewhere in a rocking chair and remember--just remember--all the happy moments with which I've been blessed.

I found something else as I was cleaning out my folder on our computer. It's I Corinthians 13 for Mothers, adapted by Jim Fowler, and it speaks so clearly to my current life situation that I had to post it here.

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.
If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present "mommy,"
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.
All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
and what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abide in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters, and markings.
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

No, David!

Jeff got home a little on the late side tonight; spending 11 and a half hours cutting hair can be draining. Not only that, but he met a friend for prayer and Bible study at 6:00 AM which made for a nice early morning...and then when he got home from work, he headed to the garden to take care of his babies (AKA onion plants), fertilizing and watering them before coming inside for his own supper. Then he zonked on the couch, and I don't blame him. Sometimes I think I have such a busy schedule with so many demands for my time; but then I think about the weight of the burdens he carries on his shoulders, and my job seems easier!

What I wanted to say though is that during the late afternoon, knowing that Jeff wouldn't be home for a while, I took some time to sit with David and Tobin, click on the "Grab the Popcorn..." category here on my blog, and watch the videos that I've previously posted. It was so much fun! I laughed until the tears rolled down my cheeks, prompting David to look over at me and ask in amazement, "Are you CRYING?" I also made a decision: I should post more videos of our daily life. There's nothing like a video to sweep you back in time. Seeing the clothes my boys wore in those videos, seeing items in the house, hearing their young voices, observing their body language, being reminded of the uniqueness that is THEM, etc. - all of that makes those videos almost unbearably precious to me.

So here are videos - lots of them - that show this stage in our lives and the triumph of David being able to read A Real Book, a first for him. The first day he read this book, I took a video of him reading it straight through; but when I tried to post it, I realized it was far too big of a file. Today, I finally got around to having him read it again for me so I could film it in little snippets that were small enough to post.
video video

video video video
When I originally filmed David reading it, Josiah then wanted a turn with reading it for the camera; he did it as fast as he could since it's such an easy book for him. But the real value of that video for me is the brotherly interaction that is captured, with various interjections from David and Tobin and even a little jab that Josiah throws towards one of David's interruptions. :) And then the thing that really cracked us up: Tobin "learning to read" from David's example. Tobin recognizes this book; and whenever he sees it, he's quick to blurt out a "no, Day-dee!" He likes to do that on every single page. :)
video video
These boys! What treasures they are! And these days! How precious!!

* By the way, today's my day to post on The Foodie Spot, so for my own memory's sake, I want to mention here that posted a recipe for Sour Cream Cornbread. Someday when I get this portion of my blog printed out in book form (when I have gobs of free time to use for projects like that!), I'd like to include the recipes I've posted there. I'm sure that free time will be coming along any day now, right? Right?? :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Three Quarters of a Year

I still remember waiting...and waiting...and waiting for him to be born. Then, somehow, he turned 3 months old. Then he was 6 months. And now he is 9 months old, as many months on the outside as he was on the inside of me.

To commemorate the occasion, I have some "S" words in honor of Shav. But first, a picture...or two...or more. ;)

Once upon a time, there was a boy who had A LOT of hair...and it stuck up crazily from his head. That boy was Tobin; and when Lisa photographed him, it looked like this:
Shav has never had that much hair; but recently I've noticed that the hair that he does have is also capable of standing straight up. And although I don't think he and Tobin really look all that similar, I am reminded of Tobin when I see Shav's hair like this:
I tried to do a reenactment of Lisa's photo shoot; but being as I know nothing about the technical aspects of photography and very little about editing, my pictures didn't turn out nearly as nice as hers. If only she didn't live so far away... :)

Anyway, the "S" words!

Seven - the number of teeth that Shav now has...as a matter of fact, I just discovered the seventh one this evening...it had been a while since I had felt his gums to see if another one had come through, so I'm not exactly sure when the 7th appeared...but it's here now, joining his other pearly whites
Self-feed - forget the milestones of rolling over, crawling, and walking...the milestone I LOVE is self-feeding!...to be able to put him in his highchair with some Cheerios or baby food puffs while I attend to the other boys or do some kitchen task is a huge help!...interestingly, Josiah reached this milestone very late (just a few days before his first birthday, if I remember right), I can't remember about David, and Tobin reached it right at 9 months...Shav started doing this about a week ago, or maybe a little longer, so he's the earliest of all my boys to do this...maybe it's a survival tactic for him: he knows I can't always get to him as quickly as he (and I) would like! :)
Shy - when someone looks at, smiles at, or talks to Shav, he does this funny head-dip thing as if he's suddenly shy...but then he looks quickly back at the person - to make sure they're still looking at him, I think!...it's wonderfully cute, but apparently not very unique to Shav because when beautiful Anastasia was here last Friday evening, she was doing the exact same thing
Schedule - this is what Shav's daily schedule looks like (not that these times are at all exact, but they give a rough idea of what life is like for him at 9 months of age):
he wakes up around 7:15 or sometimes (blessedly!) later,
nurses,
then I take him downstairs and put him in his highchair for breakfast (which is rice cereal or oatmeal mixed with apple juice),
he watches the other boys as they get up and come downstairs and eat breakfast,
he has some playtime in the johnny jump-up or the farm toy or the playpen or the bumbo in the laundry room if I'm down there or something like that,
he usually is ready for his morning nap by about 10:00,
I put him down awake and he almost always whimpers as I leave his room and close his door but is quiet by the time I take the few steps needed to cross my room and close that door (having two doors between him and the rest of the house helps when three other noisy boys live in the house, too!),
he sleeps a couple hours and wakes up sometime during the other boys' lunchtime,
I nurse him, usually while they're all sitting at the table (Shav and I can sit in the living room, and I can still keep an eye on what's going on in the kitchen),
I put him in his highchair and either feed him some baby food or let him munch on finger foods if I need to put Tobin in bed before I feed Shav,
during the afternoon when the house settles down during Tobin's nap and Josiah and David's quiet time, he loves to be with one of us, watching what's going on,
either he's with me as I do various household tasks or he's with Josiah or David as they play quietly and he hangs out in the bumbo or johnny jump-up (which, by the way, is probably his very favorite activity in the whole world right now...he jumps around like a wild man in that thing),
by 3:30 or 4:00, he's ready for his afternoon nap which is usually a little shorter than his morning nap,
then up for suppertime (nursing and baby food) with the family (and sometimes he gets to eat first, depending on how late it is when Jeff gets home from work),
the evenings vary, depending on family activities,
I have a feeling that this summer, we'll be spending lots of evenings outside, and I'm sure he'll love that,
then getting ready for bed (sometimes a bath first),
nursing,
in bed between 8:00 and 8:30.
Often sometime between midnight and 1:00 AM, he will rouse from sleep and possibly cry out a little. He usually gets himself back to sleep, but once in a while, he'll really cry and I'll nurse him. Of all the boys, he's the least consistent sleeper I've ever had...and yet, I realize that he's still a pretty terrific sleeper.
Shots - this evening we took Shav to Dad's office so he could get his first shots (we do immunize our kids, but we do it on a delayed schedule)...he got two, one in each leg; and he didn't cry a whole lot or for very long but he did kick so vigorously that I really had to hold him down (he was sitting in my lap) so that Dad could get the medicine in him...Dad also gave two shots to Tobin who did amazingly well: not crying at all for the first one, and crying only a short time for the second one...giving shots to his grandsons was the worst part of my dad's day (which shows what a tender heart my dad is) :)
Stats - before the shots, Dad weighed and measured Shav: 18 pounds, 14 ounces in weight, and 29 inches long, almost 3 pounds more than Tobin was at this age...I thought Shav was bigger, but you know how hard it is to judge that because it's so easy to forget how big (or small) our children really are at certain stages...Shav certainly does seem SO BIG to us..."Toto, I have a feeling" he's not a baby "anymore"!...when I see a newborn (like sweet baby Kristen who was here at our house last Friday for our potluck at the ripe old age of THREE DAYS!), the contrast between that stage and this 9-month stage of Shav's life is striking...what do mothers do when their babies aren't babies any longer? :)

Shav, you are so dearly loved. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for you. He gave you to us before we even knew we needed or wanted you, and you are ample proof that His ways are best and His gifts are GOOD!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Right Foot Is Dumb

First, a picture of my sweet Tobin, taken by the talented Emily...the picture has nothing to do with the rest of the post, by the way.

I got this in an email from my Aunt Elaine tonight; and you know if she sent it, it's gonna be funny. :)

How Smart Is Your Right Foot?

1. While sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

Did you try it? Did your foot change direction?

Mine did. Must not be very smart. ;)

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Time for Another Exciting Edition of...

...I Spy. The game all mothers love to play. After all, we thoroughly enjoy the fact that our children leave delightful little surprises for us in the oddest places, don't we? We always appreciate the fact that they make life unpredictable; we wouldn't want to be bored and actually find things in their proper places, would we?

Here are some recent discoveries I've made (and thought to take a picture of before I returned the item to its true home):

~ a squishy ball in the drawer with baby spoons and other kitchen utensils...in case I want to play while I cook, I suppose

~ some wooden blocks under Tobin's pillow...put there by David who didn't think to remove them himself or tell me they were there until Tobin had slept on them for a night or two...it made me think of "The Princess and the Pea"...I guess Tobin doesn't have royal blood since the blocks didn't seem to phase him

~ a plastic cup in Shav's laundry basket...dirty clothes, dirty cup, what's the difference? they all need to be washed...maybe that's what Tobin was thinking when he threw it in there anyway

~ I didn't get a picture of this; but one evening not too long ago, I could not find Tobin's sippy cup of milk when it was time for supper...I asked him where it was, but he didn't produce it...I looked around in the kitchen and living room...I even offered a reward (a dime or a nickel, can't remember for sure) to Josiah and David if they could find it...they looked, but had no success...no one knew where it was...eventually I just got another sippy cup for Tobin and filled it with milk which was not a big deal...what WAS a big deal was the thought that days or weeks could go by, and a mysterious smell might start emanating from the less-than-fresh milk in the hidden sippy cup...as it turned out, I was the one to find the cup; as I was "redding up" the living room that night, I put a toy in the back of the closet by the front door...there, on the floor, with a little milk already leaking out of it and making a puddle, was Tobin's lost sippy cup...if I had not had to put away that particular toy that goes in that particular spot of the closet, I would not have found the cup because it was blocked from view by other things on the floor of the closet...as they say, all's well that end's well :)

~ and the funniest one to me: after the potluck party for David last Friday, I found the candle we had used on his cake...except, wait, something's wrong with it!...
...someone had taken a substantial bite out of it...um, yummy!...wax!...part of everyone's nutritious diet-or not...I'm not exactly sure who did it, but I have a feeling it was Tobin since, when he saw the candle, he pointed to his mouth and said, "mouth! mouth!"...maybe we should get a new #5 candle when he turns 5, or maybe we should just use this one and lovingly remind him of the time he decided to eat, not only David's birthday cake, but also David's birthday CANDLE! :)