Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easter

It may have been two weeks ago (three?), but Easter is no small event in our house. Jesus is risen! In fact, we call Easter 'Resurrection Sunday' in these parts.

Well, for us, Resurrection Sunday actually began with a good old fashioned egg hunt at the park. Our church threw together an impromtu egg hunt for the neigborhood. We only had about 50 eggs, so the deal was the kids each got to hunt for 7 eggs, then they brought them back to the table to be recycled for the next wave of children. It was fun to see the older kids running all around the playground re-hiding eggs for the little ones to find.

Charlie really got in to it. He would spy and egg and shout "Egg!" and toddle up to it and stick it in his sand bucket. Calvin had a good time running around in circles in the wood-chips. I was so glad to have our neighbor, Sarah, with us to look after that little rascal!

Sunday was very special. A sweet time to remember Jesus' raising from the dead, for all time, so save whoever should believe in Him will live forever with Him! Yay! We canceled Sunday school, and had a wonderful family service. After church we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a big family dinner.

Resurrection Sunday is one of my favorite holidays. Nothing is so precious to celebrate, and you get to avoid the total commercial chaos that comes with Christmas. And hey, bunnies are pretty cute even if they don't actually lay eggs.

On to some photos! I didn't get any of Resurrection Sunday. We were so busy at church, and I forgot to take the camera to Grandma and Grandpa's house. All of these are from the egg hunt in the park.

The Race is On!
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Found One!
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I like this.
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Sharing the spoils.
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Calvin fell asleep during the ride home in the bike trailer stroller thingy. Charlie is being very tender to his sleeping brother.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quick Update on Us

Busy, busy, busy. Sick, sick, sick. Man, what a week. There is this lovely virus going around. Ray had it a couple weeks back. I had it last weekend, and it has gone on all week long, morphing into lovely new components. I'm past the terrible sore throat and on to the cough, body aches, and exploding sinuses. Ya, it's awesome. Oh, and the kids have it now too. Anyway, not a warm, fuzzy post. Sorry. I just feel really bad tonight.

Good news: We've got some cute pics uploaded and will post them this week. Yay!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

ER

Just got back from 2 hours at the ER where we found out that Calvin did NOT swallow my Holly Yashi earring. Ah, well, at least they were nice about it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Preschool Visit

Charlie and I went for a visit to the regular ed preschool class he will be attending next fall. Right now he is in a toddler class at a Children's Center at our local University. Next fall he will move up to the preschool class. So, we went to check it out today!

We stayed for about 2 and a half hours in which Charlie did some great exploration, made some new friends, hosted a "coffee party," made two materpeices of art, and participated in one circle time.

He did AMAZING! You should have seen him! He followed directions so well, learned where to put his art when he was finished, enjoyed all the new toys and new areas to play in. During circle time he sat on his mat, he gave a cuddle to the kids sitting to his sides (so cute!), he imitated all the hand motions of the songs they were singing, he listened quietly to the story, which was about colors, and he even signed the names of a couple of the colors in the book.

I was one proud mama. Our visit boosted my confidence that, for Charlie, a typical preschool class is entirely APPROPRIATE, for at least part time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weaning Update

This weaning thing, it is a strange thing to go through... as a mom. I've been nursing babies for 3 years straight. For the last year I was nursing 2. To wean Charlie, well, it is so strange, so perfectly timed, for him.

Here's the thing. I would venture to say that weaning is complete, already! Weird. What I found out was, Charlie was ready. He may have been ready much earlier. I kind of put it off, even though it was starting to grate on me for half a year or more. I kept pushing it back and back and back.

I don't really know how to write this without it sounding negative. I think it is so wonderful when a mama can nurse her child for more than 1 year, 2 years, 3 years. It is so healthy. To top it off, my protectiveness for Charlie includes these special Down Syndrome-y things: a slightly increased threat of Leukemia, an increase occurence of poorly functioning immune systems. In reality, he'll probably never face a cancer diagnosis, but the literature I've read about nursing babies having less incidence of Leukemia definitely spurred on the nursing marathon. And, the fact that he has been so healthy strengthened my resolve that nursing was working! Then there was the fear of breaking his heart. I didn't want to him to feel distanced from his mommy. Last, how does a mother go about weaning? Heck if I know! I'd never heard of the "No Way Jose" nursing plan until I made it up, so there you go!

I think it was the beginning of this past winter when I realized that nursing was in some ways driving a wedge in our relationship. Charlie loved to nurse so much, but his nursing style is very uncoordinated, and as he grew the sensation grew stronger and more uncomfortable. I began to avoid cuddling up with him at times for fear he would ask to nurse. Then, if I said 'no' or tried to distract him he threw a fit. It was my fault. I never did teach him any other way to receive comfort than to offer the breast. It is such a fast fix in infancy, especially so for Charlie (Calvin, it seemed, always knew just what he wanted, and if it wasn't a nurse, then he would let us know! Loudly!).

Well, we continued to nurse through the winter to give him one more flu season of immune system support (or was it one more season of mama avoiding something she thought would be unbearable). In the mean time, I set a date of April 1st to get down to business and intentionally work of weaning. Now it is April 8, and he is no longer asking to 'urse'. He willingly drifts off to sleep with just a cuddle and a kiss. He settles into my lap for a softly spoken story, just content to be with mama. And I, well, I am relieved. I could hold him forever, staring at that sweetly sleeping face. I am enjoying this new aspect of our relationship. Is that okay?

I think it wonderful that he nursed for 3 years. What a beautiful time. I just find it, I don't know, ironic I guess?, that for us, the weaning was more for me. Charlie was ready. He was nursing out of habit, perhaps out of duty, though there was enjoyment and closeness there too (of course!). I was nursing him, in the end, partially out of fear. Fear of cancer, fear of illness, fear of facing something difficult and unknown... There are no hard and fast rules for how a child, when a child should wean. It's all about relationship and knowing your child, and yourself, I suppose.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The "No Way Jose" Weaning Plan

I realize it is not a very American thing to nurse a baby past the age of one, or to nurse a toddler to the age of three for that matter. Well, we don't always march to that drum in our home.

Charlie is now, at the age of 3, weaning from the breast. We are weaning him, as opposed to him weaning himself (which is a whole 'nother conversation). It is time. And, we have a fun weaning approach going on. Charlie will come and ask to nurse. He says "nurse" while nodding his head, eyebrows raised in expectation. Then, I grab him in a big hug and jokingly say "No Way Jose!" He thinks it is hilarious! And, most important, he is willing to settle for a cup of water or milk, or a cuddle in the big chair. I am very proud of our big boy! (He even sat on the potty this week!)

On a side note, Charlie has said two three-word sentences this week, all by himself! The first was "I have book," and the second he said yesterday as he was watching me nurse Calvin, "Me too nurse."

(If you are interested in why some mothers choose to nurse beyond infancy, there is a lot of great supportive information out there. Check out kellymom.com Our reasons to nurse Charlie until age 3 were for physical health and emotional development, not to mention the beauty of a nursing relationship. We so enjoyed our time, but are also enjoying moving on.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why God Made Moms

I found this in my inbox today;-)

WHY GOD MADE MOMS
> >
> > Hope you have a good laugh...
> > Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the
> > following questions:
> >
> > Why did God make mothers?
> > 1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape
> > is.
> > 2. Mostly to clean the house .
> > 3. To help us out when we were getting born.
> >
> > How did God make mothers?
> >
> > 1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
> > 2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
> > 3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just
> > used bigger parts
> >
> > What ingredients are mothers made of ?
> > 1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and
> > everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
> > 2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then
> > they mostly use string, I think.
> >
> > Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
> > 1. We're related.
> > 2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's
> > moms like me..
> >
> > What kind of little girl was your mom?
> > 1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other
> > stuff.
> > 2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my
> > guess would be pretty bossy.
> > 3. They say she used to be nice.
> >
> > What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
> > 1. His last name.
> > 2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does
> > he get drunk on beer?
> > 3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to
> > drugs and YES to chores?&n bs p;
> >
> > Why did your mom marry your dad?
> > 1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom
> > eats a lot.
> > 2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
> > 3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking
> > cap on.
> >
> > Who's the boss at your house?
> > 1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because
> > dad's such a goof ball.
> > 2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff
> > under the bed.
> > 3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to
> > do than dad.
> >
> > What's the difference between moms & dads?
> > 1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to
> > work at work.
> > 2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
> > 3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the
> > real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you
> > want to sleep over at your friend's.
> > 4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without
> > medicine.
> >
> > What does your mom do in her spare time?
> > 1. Mothers don't do spare time.
> > 2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
> >
> > What would it take to make your mom perfect?
> > 1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I
> > think some kind of plastic surgery.
> > 2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.
> >
> > If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it
> > be?
> > 1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.
> > I'd get rid of that.
> > 2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was
> > my sister who did it and not me.
> > 3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes
> > on the back of her head.
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