Monday, April 27, 2009

What makes you happy?

This morning Hannah was up early and Chris took her downstairs so that I could continue to sleep. Hannah and Chris rarely get time for just the two of them and Hannah took advantage of that. She convinced Daddy to sit at the table and read books to her before breakfast. The first title she picked was a CareBear book "What Makes You Happy?"

The book begins... "Close your eyes and think of something that makes you happy." After Hannah had squeezed her eyes shut, taken a minute and then opened them again Chris asked her what she had thought of. Her beautiful answer astounded me. "I was thinking of my Mami and my Papi." (That is what she calls us now after reading and watching so much Dora)

Of all the things in her two-year-old world she could think of, the thing that makes her happy is her parents! What a blessing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's that smell?

Yesterday we decided to end our wonderful weekend with a walk to the park to let the kids play. Chris and I just love pushing the stroller and getting to talk about whatever is on our minds (mostly, uninterrupted). The park we went to is one of our favorites: Hannah loves the playground, plenty of room to run, it is never crowded and we feel perfectly safe there.

As we were playing, a couple in their forties wandered over, beer in hands, from a nearby house that was clearly hosting a party. I remember thinking how odd it was that these two had left their party. Perhaps they needed a private place to talk. It was clear that they needed privacy when they continued walking off the path and into the nearby woods.

I made a remark about the couple to Chris and then we didn't think much of them again, until a noticeably unique and potent smell came wafting from the woods. Within minutes the couple returned to the public, happy and ready to get back to their party. We could smell their "good time in the woods" the entire 150 yards it took them to get through the park back to the party.

Chris and I just had to laugh and we were at least thankful they had the decency to light up privately in public. Good to know pot smoking is alive and well in Grapevine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Wild and Wonderful Day

Sometimes it takes much patience and a magnifying glass to search for and find the sweet nature of a child. Today I found a huge dose of sweetness in my little Hannah that I will not soon forget. Let me set the stage for the kind of day we have had so you can really see how an unexpected surprise our naptime encounter was today.

We went out early this morning to make our Wal-Mart run (it is payday afterall). Today we were going to be filling up the cart with all those things you wait until payday to get. It was going to be a big shopping day so Hannah couldn't sit in the big part of the cart, she was going to have to walk. I walked her little hiney all over that store and she was such a champ. She never ran off, never complained and never once asked me for anything for herself. It was one of those times as a Mom where you give yourself a little pat on the back for raising such a well behaved (in public, may I remind you) child. The adventure of that outing didn't end there. By the time we checked out it was raining cats and dogs outside. I decided to make the most of Mommy running with the shopping cart through parking lot in the pooring rain. We had the best time screaming and laughing all the way to the car.

By the time we were able to get back home, unload the groceries, and take a potty break it was time to get back in the car and drive to go have lunch with Chris. The whole drive (through the rain) to go pick up Daddy Hannah was just jabbering on about "getting Daddy from work" "going to see my Daddy" "and eating lunch with my family." She was excited, so excited that by the time we got to Daddy's work she had fallen asleep in her carseat. We made it into the restaurant and had such a wonderful time. I am not trying to sound prideful, but it was another great moment as I looked on at both of my kids: eating their lunch, minding their manners (as best as Caleb can for right now), not throwing food or breaking plates, and just generally being good kids. We finished our wonderful family lunch and took Daddy back to work. Hannah wished him luck with his work and then swiftly declared "I will not take a nap today." As Chris exited the car his last words were "Good Luck."

We headed home. By this time both of the kids were way past their naptime and were getting cranky. I drove on through the rain and the now overpowering wind. Driving in rain can be stressful, let alone a two year old that is screaming and crying about the nap she is not going to take. I bet I didn't say five words to her the whole drive home but she managed to carry on a conversation of cries for the entire drive, telling me her plans that did not include a nap. By this time I had had it with the screaming and arguing (with herself) and the tension it was causing.

After I was able to get Caleb changed and in bed I managed to atleast get Hannah up to her bedroom. The whole time (maybe 15 minutes) since we got home she had been continuing to cry and argue about her nap. Today, covered in my God-given patience (clearly not from me), I decided to offer my services as a snuggler to Hannah to see if that would get her to lay down in bed. We laid down in bed together and she was able to calm down. As if a switch had been flipped my crazed daughter turned into the sweetest, most loving little lady.

As we laid there in her bed she asked "You want covers?" I told her no since I knew I would be out of there and doing my own thing in no time (yea right!). She insisted on using her prized pink fuzzy blanket to cover me up. I happily allowed her to cover me up, but the whole time she was concerned about my feet getting too cold, since the blanket is one made for a child-sized body. At this point I was willing to just lay there and take a nap with her. She began caressing my face, smoothing out my hair, and even offered to rub my back. At one point she leaned over, grabbed my hand, pulled it up to her face and said "I'm keeping you." What a moment! I'm sure ten years from now (probably less than that) she will wish I was not even around. But for now she is keeping me and I am thrilled!

I did finally manage to get up and leave her to fall asleep for her regularly scheduled nap. As I left her room, she blew me a kiss and said "I love you." Isn't that what the parent should do as the child goes to sleep? She never ceases to amaze me with her maturity and sweet, caring personality.

Hannah, I am blessed to be your Mommy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feed the Ducks Mommy!

We went to feed the ducks this afternoon. Hannah had a great time throwing all the bread.

Caleb chose not to throw his bread, instead he ate it as fast as he could. By the time we left, both of the kids had eaten their fair share of bread but most of it did go to the ducks!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

He's done it again!

What another wonderful Sunday evening dinner! Tonight Chris made Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana and rice pilaf. It was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Thank you Chris for being such a wonderful husband, father and personal chef. I love you!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bible Study and Breakfast

I don't know what has been going on with my kids this week but we have had several out-of-the-norm early mornings. This morning I woke to Caleb crying in his sleep. A few minutes later his cries died down as the dream he was having was over. I lay there in bed trying, willing myself to go to sleep. I have heard it said many times that when you are woken up or can't go back to sleep that God is wanting some time with you. So by about 6am this morning I was out of bed working on my Esther bible study. It was so nice just sitting there in our room in my comfy chair, doing my bible study, watching Chris sleep and spending time talking to God and diving into his Word. It was the first time in a LONG time that I have had time just for myself with no interruptions. What a blessing!

As I was finishing my first day of study, I heard the creak of Hannah's door and the rustle of pajamas and blankets coming toward my room. Hannah came in and saw me with my book and bible in my lap and she immediately asked for her little bible. She wanted to sit and study with me! "I want to do bible study with you," she explained as went to get her bible. We sat there for a few more minutes, me finishing in my reading and her thumbing through her little green gift bible. She eventually went and got her story bible and asked me to read to her. We of course read about Noah's Ark (her favorite bible story) and the story of the birth of Jesus and his early years as a boy. This is the first time I have done a bible study with my daughter! What a blessing read and teach and learn together with my little girl.

The boys were still asleep at this time so Hannah and I decided to go out and have a girls breakfast all by ourselves. We got dressed, snuck out of the house and were at "The Snooty Pig" for breakfast by 7. We ordered our fruit and muffins and biscuits and chocolate milk, of course, and got to sit next to each other in the booth to eat our food. We had such a great time just sitting and talking about our plans for the day.

This was a perfect way to start our weekend. This was hopefully the first of many, as Hannah calls it, "Girls Only" times with my daughter. With Hannah and I being as similar as we are I know that we will have our times of discord in the future, but I pray that the times I cling to are these times of joy and happiness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Early Morning Blessings

This morning was not our norm but enjoyable nonetheless. Caleb woke us up screaming from his room at about 5:20 this morning. Needless to say I was not a happy camper. Chris and I both played the game where you pretend to ignore the child, laying there like you are asleep until the other one gives in. You know, like playing chicken until the other gets out of your way. Well this morning he won and I got out of bed to see what could be so important this early in the morning.

I quickly made Caleb a bottle and attempted to hold him and give him that bottle. Just as quickly as I sat down to give it to him I was up putting him back in his crib so he could take it on his own. He has been holding his bottle by himself for about five months now and will not let anyone give him assistance in the process. This is apparently a common theme in my kids... they are stubborn and independent to a fault. "Who needs Momma and Daddy when I can do it on my own?"

I make my way back to my nice and comfy bed for all of about ten minutes before Caleb is screaming again but this time Chris lost the game of chicken and he went to get our dissatisfied child. Of course, by this time Chris is needing to get ready for work and since nothing is working to calm our child he brings Caleb into my bed.

So the title, right, Early Morning Blessings? Chris hands me Caleb and I tuck him in real tight with me to lay down and cuddle with him. Did I mention that my kiddos are independent? I thought this whole laying together thing would last for mabye five minutes at the most. He is ususally the last person to want to snuggle and, God forbid it, show dependence on another person.

As soon as his little head hit my embrase he was fast asleep. I just lay there for a long time listening to his little infant snores through his constantly stuffed-up nose. I felt his little twitches has he had adventures with Annabelle and Hannah in his dreams. It was a wonderful time in mothering. I think God gives us these little moments when we need them the most. He uses them to remind us that what He has given us is not a mistake or inconvenience but blessings from on high. They are gentle reminders that what He has given us is sufficent and planned in perfect accordance to His will.

I know it is not Thankful Thursday, but today I am thankful for the blessing of my family and the opportunity to serve them every day!