Monday, February 25, 2013

Calvin's latest Isms

Are we over due for a few of these?  Yes.  Yes, I think we are!

A while back Calvin let me know that when he is a grown up he is going to be a Carpenter on Mondays, a Librarian on Fridays, a Monster Truck Driver on Wednesdays, and in the evenings he will be an Artist.


In almost every developmental area Calvin is well past Charlie, but Charlie continues to be bigger and a lot stronger.  And, while in many ways Calvin is the ring-leader of the brothers, he continues to admire his big brother for his strength.  So the other day driving to pick Charlie up from school Calvin shares from the back seat:
             "Mom... God blessed me with Charlie to help me with heavy things."


Calvin:  Mom, what are you doing?

Mom:  Putting on some make-up.

Calvin:  Why?

Mom:  Because we are going into public, and I want to look nice.

Calvin:  Oh, does that mean I need to put on my nice sweat pants?


Calvin wanders out of his room after bedtime with the following excuse to be up:

Calvin:  "Daddy, my throat is clogged up.  I need a bagel."

Daddy:  "Hm.  I will get you some water, but I have a feeling your throat is just fine."

Calvin:  "Well..." (he always says "well" and then pauses for a long time when we frustrate his plan and he needs to reformulate his tactic) "My throat just gets all clogged up sometimes, Dad."

Daddy:  "I will get you some water, then back to bed." 


Calvin has a couple cavities and we went to get the first one filled.  He is very interested in the dental process (and his dental routine for that matter!), so in the days leading up to his filling we talked about what would happen, in full detail, using proper dental termonology (so far as I am knowledgable).  So when we are finally at the dentist you can understand why the following conversation took place:

Dentist: So first we have to put those mean sugar bugs to sleep.  We use this sleepy juice in my special sleepy juice dispenser to put them to sleep so they can't pinch you when I clean them out.

Calvin:  You mean, make it numb?

The talk continues...

Dentist:  Then, I use "mister whistle" and "mister bumpy" to get those sugar bugs out of your tooth.

Calvin:  You mean clean out the cavity?

You get the picture.  :)


Calvin:  "Mom, when I grow up I think I am NOT going at own my own business."

Mommy:  "Okay, Buddy.  Can I ask why?"

Calvin:  "Because I want to stay at home with my kids and play with them every day."

So, make that carpenter, librarian, monster truck driver, artist, AND stay-at-home-dad.


And since he can talk now, a few little gems from Miles from these past months:

How does the 2 year old ask for more cheese?  "More cheese coming now!"   (Hey... it was a creative first attempt.)

What does the two year old have to say about his birthday?  "My birthday coming out my tummy!"  (We have no idea how he came up with that, but he tells us all. the time.)

What do you say to the two year old who can never quite make it happen on the potty, when he pees on the bathroom rug?  "Yay, Buddy!  You peed *near* the potty!  Great job!"

What does the two year old say to himself when he needs to pump himself up to get out of a bad mood?  "Me need hug someone.  Me need hug someone.  Me need hug someone."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Emerging from a Fog

Gosh.  Pretty shabby.  Poor blog.

I'll let you in on a secret... absentee blogger = overwhelmed girl.  That has just been life since December.

A personal blog like this is a little indulgent.  I mean, I'm not making money from this.  I do this for personal satisfaction, and because I have ideas I like to toss out there, and because I never want to forget these days of parenting boys, special needs parenting, living-by-the-seat-of-my-pants parenting.  I do it because once in a while a get a note in my inbox from a new parent of a child with Down Syndrome.  Because when we were waiting for Charlie's diagnosis, and in the early days of wrapping my head around what this means, pictures and stories from parents were something solid I could hold onto.  I wanted to know everything would be okay.  I do it because someone told me I was good at writing in 6th grade, and I can't remember if I liked writing so much before then, but for a kid who desired so much to shine that simple comment ignited a fire and I really, well, I can't stop.  Indulgent or helpful, wise or just witty, I am glad you come by here, friends.  Humble, really.  So...

hi.  i'm back.

I'd like to pick up again and get things going around here.  But really.  Where do I start?  Do I go personal?  Do I start with the recurring heart break of our former ministry?  The struggle to figure out where our family, you know, belongs.  Or, I could start with Calvin... how he just amazes me and makes me so full and proud and how I just want to cry when it hits me.  There was the weaning of our baby Miles, and the resultant hormone swing when everything felt so dire.  The sadness that we are not planning more pregnancies (not that we planned any, but you know), and wrapping my head around the close of a significant life season.  There is the feeling that I am maybe, actually, truly feeling, well, all grown-up (finally).  There is Charlie and how he just shines and shines and shines.  The health issues that are getting me down.  The husband who is a rock, even in his own struggles.  I am so thankful for big, strong arms...

Raymond said to me the other day that God is doing something new.  A cutting off of what is dead, a pruning of what will come. 
"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. " John 15:2
It's true.  If people could have a re-set button, we are there, and it is painful to die to what you thought was yourself, what you thought you were supposed to be.... twice in one year.  But what does He say?  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matt. 5)  And we are comforted.  We have each other, we have the sweet words of Jesus in our Bibles, we have Charlie who shines, Calvin who ignites, and Miles who holds our faces in his soft little hands.  We have our family (love you family!  sooooo much!).  We have our home group who lets us be all messy and fallen apart and cynical and lost, and still loves us.  We have our community, dear friends who have us for dinner, who call us up to encourage, who literally house us (in an amazing, healing, beautiful home), a big, compassionate, wonderful community in Humboldt that Loves and gives and gives and gives.  The security I have in this real and vast family is beyond any price that could be named.  I would rather have you than any emergency fund, any security stored up in jars.

Boy.  This confessional if vague.  Getting a little rambly, too.  Hence the lack of posts.  A loss of words.  An awkward silence.  Sometimes this thought life is anything but directed, or inspired, or articulate.  My base instinct in times of trouble is to retreat, shut down, check out.  So, more than a confession or an explanaition of absence, this is a thank you to the body of Christ, mostly here at home in our community.  A body that has continued to sew into our lives with kindness, purpose, and selflessness.  People who have stood beside us, given (without recieving in return), loved and bouyed and lifted and not left us to ourselves.  (Did you know you were doing that?)  I feel as if we are emerging from a fog.  It feels as if there is a newness afoot in our lives.  A shred of clarity.  Well, whatever it is, we are learning.  Looking with expectation to Jesus.  Trusting beyond reason.  Keeping faith.  And we are Living in Hope. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Buster Posey... the Dog

How I would love to be super-regular-blogging-woman for my mere personal satisfaction, but alas, life happens, and the blog just sits.  But without further adue (and emotional anguish from distant relatives who want to hear what's going on), we introduce to you...

Buster the Dog

a.k.a. "Buster Posey" (according to Miles)

We got this little fella kind of last minute for the boys at Christmas time.  It was an entire family affair with Uncle Russ scouting out the little darling in Reno, a nice big Kennel for him compliments of Auntie Renee, Auntie Kassi and Uncle Ryan transporting him back to Humboldt with nice plush bed and bag of food.  What a fun family gift!

So this guy is a Labradoodle, heavy on the "oodle", and I tell ya, it is the only way to go.  My area rug sheds more onto the dog than the dog on the rug.  Actually, I've never found a hair of his anywhere but his hair brush, for that is what he has, wooly, soft, curly "hair", and I am truly not allergic to this fella.

Buster is now 4 months old, and I am going to admit something.  I had a few anxiety attacks when we first welcomed him home.  A puppy!  What were we thinking?!!  But this little guy is smart, and he is quickly learning not to chew the books on the shelf or the children and that bones are wonderful, squeaky toys are the best, fetch is fun, and walking without pulling the leash is the way to go.  We've been clicker training him, and he knows 'sit', 'down', 'bed', 'heel', 'drop it', 'leave it', 'load up', 'let's go', 'wait', and 'get it'.  And he has also figured out what 'go for a walk' means, the difference between his 'ball' and his 'bone', and that if he wants to steel food from the table, Miles is his best bet (ya, he's naughty sometimes, too).

The kids just love him, and he is game with all their antics.  Charlie and Miles are both getting an education in what is okay to 'do' to a dog (pet his back, throw him a ball, give him treats and hugs) and what is not (sit on him, pull his hair, play with his tail, etc, etc, etc!).  Lucky for them Buster could really care less what they do to him, and yet we are vigilent to set boundries (the vigilance is the hardest part I think).  Not sure every dog would appreciate having their cheeks grabbed and jiggled.  Calvin is my little training helper.  It is amazing to how much Calvin is taken with this animal... he is NOT our animal guy!  Or so I thought.  Clicker training is really just good old operant conditioning (minus the punishment aspect), and Calvin really gets how reinforcing desired behavior increases the behavior and that it is important to avoid reinforcing those naughty behaviors so they go away.  Calvin is so diligent that when he is playing fetch with Buster, Buster knows that if he wants Calvin to throw that toy he better sit calmly or it won't happen.  Sit = Get to chase the ball.  Smart Buster and smart Calvin.  Really, I'm not sure who is training who at times.  It is way fun to watch.  Besides taking an interest in training Buster, Calvin just wants to be with him, pet him, cuddle him, play with him.  I did not expect this!  It is a treat to be able to see Calvin get so much satisfaction out of his dog.

So anyway, that is our overdue news.  I think it took a few weeks adjustment for me to feel like we did a good thing (I felt like we should have been on a meals list like after you have a baby... it was just that crazy), but adjustment period now past (yet still on the Costco frozen section meal plan), we are blessed to be able to have good ol' Buster Posey with us.  I missed having a dog in my life.

Me and baby Charlie with my family's dog Maverick.  Irish Setter.  Wasn't he pretty?

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