Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas with Krew

The Christmas season really surprised me this year. In a very positive way.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Christmas and find joy in the season’s events. And for Pete’s sake, it’s JESUS' BIRTHDAY. That alone should have me bouncing off the walls with excitement, right?

But it usually doesn’t. Christmas decorating? Ugh. So much work. That I have to undo three weeks later. It looks pretty when it’s up, but the actual putting it up has always annoyed me. And Christmas shopping? Exhausting and expensive. Visiting family? LOVE seeing them, but the traveling wears me out. Christmas cards? Also expensive, and hours of work by the time you take a picture, choose a picture, make a card, order a card, address the cards, mail the cards... It seems that nearly everything about the season is focused on doing, going, spending, and just downright exhausting myself.

But this year? There was a little man who changed my heart.

Krewson Lee. All of a sudden, at 3 ½, this kid’s heart for Christmas exploded. And it had a ripple effect into mine.

He LOVED decorating for Christmas. Could barely contain his excitement. All of a sudden, putting up the tree and going through the ornaments one by one wasn’t tedious; it was a cherished bonding experience for the two of us. He wanted to inspect each ornament, know what it was, and determine whether it was “fragile and delicate” and hence needed to go higher on the tree away from his little brother’s grasp. He went through the entire box of ornaments with me. I was blown away.

He couldn’t wait for the Christmas lights to go up outside, and was even more excited when he realized we had lights for INSIDE TOO!! Not to mention the garland, mini Christmas trees, and other little Christmas trinkets I had stowed away.

I decided I would try to do a type of Advent countdown with him this year, but figured he would probably find it a bit repetitive and boring. NOPE. The kid LOVED it. We didn’t get around to doing it every day, but on the days we did, we’d do a mini craft and have a mini lesson about something from the Christmas story. We also frequently read the story of Jesus’ birth, and over time he began to learn all the details.

The kid loved Christmas. And I loved the special time I got to spend with him, doing things that he loved, teaching him about Jesus’ story.

Not to mention, it helped ME to refocus. If I want to teach my son about Jesus, I need to know what I’m teaching. Every day, I was forced to really consider the reason for the season. If I want my son to live it, I need to live it, too.

Thank you, dear son, for opening my eyes and heart to once again feel the magic of Christmas.

And thank you, God, for that dear son. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our little walker :)

Our littlest man finally picked himself up and started walking!!! Oh my goodness was this momma excited. Just shy of 16 months old, on Friday November 22nd. We had been in the car all day traveling to Ohio, and I guess he was just bursting with energy when we arrived at our destination. Within ten minutes of being out of the car, he was standing up in the middle of the room and walking away. It was so awesome. :)

Here's a little video from last week so you can watch his amazing skills. ;)

Way to go, Greyden! :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Moments & Quotes: Spanish

Me: "Are you cold Grey, huh? Are you cold?"

*moment of silence*

Krew: "He can't say anything, 'cause he only speaks Spanish."

Friday, December 6, 2013

Moments & Quotes: Eczema Soap

Me: "We may have to switch to eczema soap for the winter. You're getting dry spots."
Krew: "I don't like eczema soap!"
Me: "You don't even know what it is."
Krew: "It's gluten-free."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Girls' weekend

Last weekend I was treated with an overnight trip to Charlotte with two of my girlfriends, Erin and Kristin, to celebrate Erin's birthday. Our husbands kept the kids, and we got to have a blast shopping at IKEA, eating a late dinner in downtown Charlotte, staying out past bedtime at a dueling piano bar, staying in a hotel, breakfasting at Panera, and shopping at an outlet mall.  It was super relaxing and so refreshing.  Lots of laughing, silly faces (see below), and memories made. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Losing Control

In general, I enjoy most sermons at my church. There’s the occasional Sunday where I just can’t focus or get into it, but for the most part I don’t have to worry about falling asleep or getting antsy for the sermon to end. They’re seriously just good. It’s a major selling point for our church and a big reason that Dave and I attend there. (The other big reason is the music. I wanted a certain type of music, Dave wanted a certain type of sermon, and we landed at Crosspointe.)

This past Sunday’s sermon I enjoyed more than most. I usually leave feeling somewhat challenged or enlightened, but this past Sunday even more so. Pastor Steve was going through the part of Mark where Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. Not typically a topic that would be of huge interest to me, but Steve really took us in deep, to the point where you could almost put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. And those shoes were intense. For a moment, I could imagine the excruciating turmoil Jesus was feeling (and He wasn’t even at the cross yet). It really opened my mind and helped me to take in all that Jesus experienced. It made me realize that He really does understand what it’s like to feel betrayed by friends or family, to be in anguish, to grieve, to ache. Because at that time, He had, as Steve put it, “lost control” of everything in His life.

Here’s the link in case you’d like to listen. I think I may be playing this for myself again in the future. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Emo Kid and Davey Crockett

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

We had an Emo Kid and a Davey Crockett. Krew was very overwhelmed and uncomfortable with the idea of dressing in a costume (even to the point of tears), so we put him in a home-decorated t-shirt and called it a day. He thought he was wearing normal clothes, Dave and I got to have a little fun, it was a win-win situation.

When we gave him the shirt to put on, he asked Dave what it said. When Dave told him, he replied, "Yeah, I am an emo kid. That means I'm SPECIAL."

Yes, child, yes it does. :)

Grey wore Dave's costume from when he was a little boy. (Well, mostly. The coon hat was new.) He looked pretty stinkin' cute. :) He entertained himself throughout the night with kicking off his right moccasin (we almost lost it once) and yanking off his hat. He also started reaching out his hand at each door to let them know he wanted candy too, then he'd reach into the bucket and grab a piece and drop it into his Halloween container. I loved it.

At first Krew was a little reluctant to say "Trick or Treat!" and "thank you", which didn't surprise me, but by the end of the night he was screaming them both enthusiastically at each door, and had even added in his own, "Happy Halloween!!" Which was pretty awesome because a couple doors later Greyden decided to copy him and started chiming in, saying, "AH-ee-oh-wee!!"

The boys' friends Ellie and Cate came over to join in the trick or treating fun. We didn't even make it up and down one street before they all decided they were done, but it was a fun night nonetheless. :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Greyden - 15 months!

Alright Roy Boy, it’s your turn for an update!

I’m afraid that your post isn’t going to include a bunch of fancy edited DSLR photos like your brother’s did. Reasons: a) I took some fancy edited DSLR photos of you two months ago and b) I’ve got plenty of easily accessible iPhone shots to use. :)

Ok, let’s go.

You’re 15 months old now!

15 months. Wow. We love you little man, we sure do. You’re becoming quite the little personality. In nearly every way you could be different from your older brother, you are. You’re quite exhausting to raise, actually (although I love it!). And you haven’t even been in this world a year and a half yet.

You tend to be on better behavior when we’re around other people, which I enjoy as a break. Because when you’re at home with just me, your daddy, and your brother, you are a (very lovable) handful. You pull open every door and drawer you can find and yank things out. You mess with the stove controls and try to pull the oven open. You pull things out of the pantry. You push the buttons and stop the dishwasher mid-cycle. In the bathroom, you pick up random items and put them in the trash. You try to play in the toilet water if the lid is left open. You pull all the toilet paper off the roll and leave it in a giant pile in the middle of the floor. You rip books, you pull things off tables and shelves. You yank toys out of your brother’s hands and mess up his games. You change the station or turn off the TV while we’re trying to watch shows. You try to put DVDs in the DVD player. You make a beeline for the back door, front door, or garage door whenever you hear one of them open, hoping to escape into the wonderful outdoors where you can dig in the mud and eat leaves and mulch and crawl into the street. Your response to the word “no” is typically a smile followed by the forbidden behavior. I’ve been known to smack your hand for this, and when I do you laugh at me. You are a screamer, a screecher, a hitter, a shover, and a kicker. You do all of those things regularly throughout the day, sometimes because you’re happy, sometimes because you’re angry, sometimes just for attention. I never know what’s coming, and I have yet to figure out how to control it. You’re demanding, wanting things your way, right now, no waiting. You ALWAYS want to be held and fall to pieces when your daddy or I refuse to hold you. You are pretty much hot or cold. You are either happy or not happy. You flip between the two very quickly, even from unhappy to happy. The only time I’d say you’re in-between is when you’re in new or crowded situations or tired. Then you’re a bit more subdued, quiet, and straight-faced.

You chatter, chatter, chatter, all the time. It usually goes something like this: “Momma? Mommy? MOMMMA!” “Yes, Greyden?” “Bleghacagradayamda!!” “That’s nice.” “Mommmma.” “Yes, Greyden.” “Meghacagradacaba!!” “I see!” “Mommmmmaaaa”... and on and on.

You know quite a few words actually. You’ve stopped saying “dada” (your poor daddy!) but you do say “mama,” “Piper,” “Carter,” “go to the rug” [gowuh], “cheese,” “book,” “shoe,” "cereal," "table," and a few others.

You, my silly child, are still not walking on a regular basis. You CAN walk, you just don’t. You’ll walk between people with a lot of encouragement, but very rarely take steps on your own initiative.

This is the only time I've seen you walk away from furniture on your own accord. I was excited.

You are not scared of anything except strangers (which I think is more an indication of your age than your personality) and being thrown in the air. (Dropping downward and flipping around are fun, but for some reason you become terrified when we toss you upward.) You never flinch when I turn on the hair dryer, and you crawl toward the vacuum to see what all the noise is about.

In your 15 months of life I think you have already had more injuries than your brother has in his 3 ½ years. And most of them are head or face injuries. Every time I turn around, you are slamming your head or face into something. Bruises, bleeding teeth, cuts and scrapes are the norm. And everytime I hear or see it happen, my stomach drops and I panic. So far nothing has merited a visit to the doctor or emergency room, but I’m sure our day is coming. You are incredibly accident-prone.

You are a climber. You love, love, love to climb. It terrifies me. Several weeks ago, with me hovering over you, you managed to climb all the way up the ladder on our swing set and then crawl over and arrange yourself to go down the slide. I didn’t touch you once the whole time. You climb the kids table and chairs in our kitchen. You climb on the closed (somewhat tall) sandbox. You climb into the garden. You climb the step ladder all the way to the top. Oh, and you have a knack for climbing up slides. The slide on our swing set is super steep, but you will climb all the way up it on your feet, holding onto the edges with your hands. We can’t take our eyes off of you for one second without risking that you get yourself into some crazy precarious situation.

You love reading books and stacking things (cups, blocks, etc.). You love to dance just like your big brother, and will start wiggling your little body whenever you hear a beat or tune. You follow your big brother around and try to copy everything he does, and I hope that one day he sees what a compliment that is. Of course, above that, I hope that the two of you can be best friends eventually.

I think that's about it for now. Oh, and as a final note, you basically have the awesomest morning hair I've ever seen. :)

Love you!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Krewson Lee Update - FINALLY!!

My dearest Krewson Lee,

I am so sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a blog post about you. With your little brother coming into the world a little over a year ago, I had to stay on top of posts for him because so much happens in the first year. (And let’s be honest, that’s about all the posting I was doing. Keeping up with blogging while raising two young kids is HARD.) You, being now three years old, are changing at a much slower rate, but nonetheless, you are growing and learning and becoming a little boy instead of a toddler. And I need to make sure that you're getting a little blog love, too. :)

So let’s see.

First off, you are now 3 1/2 years old. I recently taught you this fact, so now when anyone asks how old you are, you proudly reply with "three-and-a-half." And when they ask what your name is, you reply, "Kwewsonweesnoke." And of course they have no idea what you’re saying, so they respond, "Ohhhhh, why, that's a nice name!" and I usually have to jump in and clear the air with "His name is Krew."

Life with you is very up and down. Some moments, and even days, are wonderful, and you are a total sweetheart and melt everyone’s hearts. But you are emotional. We lovingly call you our emo son. I often refer to you as melodramatic. And I’m not trying to be mean or exaggerate when I say that. It is simply a description for your personality. You feel things, and they bother you a lot. You switch from happy-go-lucky to angry, pouty, and withdrawn at the flip of a switch, and we’re never quite sure what will cause it. And then once you get into one of these bad moods, it’s very hard to pull you out of it.

Also, you’ve become quite adept at manipulating. We have to watch ourselves, or you will trick us into giving you your way when we really shouldn’t. And then of course that will encourage more manipulating, which we definitely don’t want.

When we have many rough days in a row, I implement what I call “attitude boot camp”, where you get sent to your room (or more recently, the corner) every time you talk disrespectfully, whine, or disobey. Those are long and tiring days, but they also usually whip you back into shape and remind you to control yourself a bit more. I don’t like being overly strict with you, but sometimes it’s necessary, because I want you to grow to be a strong, unselfish, controlled man of the Lord. And that starts now. I do a lot of praying, a lot of reading about parenting, and a lot of following my head instead of my heart. My heart wants to give you everything you want, to make everything ok for you always, but my head knows that I need to let you experience disappointment and to teach you to control your emotions. This parenting is hard stuff!!

You’re very outgoing with your friends, but when around strangers or in new or crowded situations you become very overwhelmed, quiet, and introverted. Even though you go to Sunday school nearly every Sunday, you always resist, and when we finally get you to go in, you walk into the room and sit to the side by yourself, sometimes under the table, just watching the other children. At times I understand you, because I remember feeling the ways I think you're feeling, but at other times I just get so frustrated and don't know what to do. I know you come across as rude sometimes, but there’s only so much I can do without pushing you in the wrong direction and making things worse.

But let’s get back to the lighter side of things.

You love many different kinds of toys and activities. Cars, trucks, food, tools, costumes, trains, Legos, coloring, stickers, play-doh, the list goes on and on. Puzzles are a big thing for you right now. Kid, you LOVE puzzles. And I'm not talking about drop-the-pieces-in-the-matching-hole puzzles. I'm talking about 20-30 piece puzzles that don't have a frame to fit into. You've learned to separate the edges from the middle pieces, then split those piles into matching colors, and then you're on your way. You will do the same puzzle over and over again, and will persevere no matter how tough it gets. Within reason, of course. I think you might get a smidgen overwhelmed if I dumped a 100-piece puzzle in front of you. But still, you impress me.

Then there come your letters of the alphabet. I think you know maybe five. K, r, s, b...okay, maybe just four. ;) I've tried doing flash cards with you, but you get all antsy and can't handle it for more than two minutes. Letters just aren't your thing. And that's ok. You'll get there.

Lately you’ve been VERY into playing pretend. And since you don’t have any siblings of the appropriate age to play pretend with you, guess who you request??? Yeah, your mommy and daddy. Sometimes we’re animals, sometimes our hardwood floors are water and we don’t know how to swim and have to find safety, sometimes you have a house that we have to pay to get into it and leave (what kind of a place charges you to enter AND leave?), sometimes you’re cooking us food to come up with all kinds of stuff. And I must be honest...I’m a little eager for your brother to age a bit more so he can play these pretend games with you. I don’t mind doing them once in a while, but it’s not something that is particularly fun as a grown-up. When I am playing pretend with you, I try to flash back to when I was a kid and remember what I would have done back then. When I do that, you’re usually pretty happy with my playing skills. :)

You are such a lover of music still, especially singing and dancing. I’ve noticed that you’re starting to actually hit some notes with correct pitch, which makes me so excited. You also pick up dance moves from who-knows-where and pull them out quite regularly when you hear a fun tune. You used to do mostly ballet moves, but now you’ve progressed into more hip hop and tap moves. You make me and your daddy (and sometimes other people too) smile and laugh a lot when you do this. Depending on how much you keep up with it, I may try to convince your daddy to let me put you in tap lessons along with the sports I know he’ll want you playing. We’ll see.

You are a very focused child...if you have a task that you’re interested in, you can sit and work on it for what seems like hours. The other night we carved pumpkins with some friends, and you saw someone pin a paper pattern to their pumpkin using sewing pins and needles. The next day you asked if you could use some pins and needles to do something similar to your little pumpkin. Given that you’re a pretty careful child, I actually let you do this, and was shocked when you sat and worked on it for probably close to two hours. Which gave me some nice time to catch up on my to-do list since you’re little brother was napping. :) [Pictures of this pumpkin-sewing extravaganza are below.]

Your hair is coming in thicker, still a white blonde. Your eyes are still blue but have started showing hints of tan in the middle. I'm thinking they may eventually match your daddy's. Your face is thinning out and your toddler look is disappearing. Your body is drastically slimming down, so much that you can still wear all the clothes you wore a year ago, although they're shorter on you now. You're steadily growing in height, but there haven't been any substantial growth spurts and so I'd guess you're still around the 10th percentile. The other morning we measured you and you had finally reached 38 inches, which means you can now ride in a booster seat in the car. You were pretty stinkin' excited about that. :)

Sometimes you’re a picky eater, and sometimes you’ll eat anything in front of you. Just like your moods, we have no idea which way you’ll be from one day to the next. In general, we don’t give into your pickiness and do not allow you to have foods beyond what is being provided for dinner, and you don’t expect otherwise. Sometimes this means you go to bed with a not-quite-full belly, I’m sure, but I don’t think you’re lacking in nutrition by any means.

You have occasionally started showing a small amount of interest in your brother, which really warms my mommy heart. If he escapes up the stairs and I don’t notice, you’ll climb behind him to help keep him from falling. Sometimes you’ll at least play beside him, with the same toys, even though you’re not exactly interacting. Mostly you like to either ignore him or tattle on him. Ooooooh boy are you a tattler. We’ve already started working on that. :)

You love to help do a lot of things, and I’ve found that recently your help actually helps. For example, you’ll put toys away for me, bring me dishes from the table, wipe off your little table, carry things in from the car, etc. All things that I would have to do if you didn’t do them for me. It’s exciting to see us moving into the part of life where you start picking up some of the work you cause. :)

You’ve been asking some difficult theological questions lately that often leave me struggling for words. For example, why did Jesus die? What is sin? Where is Jesus? Jesus is God’s son but He’s God? Where is heaven? When are we going to heaven? I don’t want Mommy and Daddy to go to heaven!!!!! (That last statement is the hardest to respond to.) I need to find a book or blog post or something on how to speak theology to your toddler. (If you have any tips or resources, send them my way!)

You’re still not in school, rather you go to daycare at Grandma Eileen’s house twice a week while I go to work. We are going to enroll you in pre-K for next year, and your daddy and I both think you will be ready for more structure and education. We’ve not worried about preschool up to this point because you get so much socialization through daycare, but I do think that it would be good for you to go to at least a year of preschool prior to kindergarten.

Alright well I think that’s all for now! We love you so much, little man.