Monday, March 30, 2009

Flowers For Sale

It started off with a reasonable question. I went outside to tell Calvin it was time to come in for dinner. There he was, sitting on the swingset ladder, staring off into space. The stomp rocket launcher he had bought Hobbes for a birthday present was there, but there were no rockets to be found.

"Calvin, where are the rockets to Hobbes' stomp rocket? We need to pick it up and go in for dinner."

"I don't know."

"What do you mean? Where did they land last time they were shot?"

"I don't know."

"Ok, well, who was shooting them?" (The neighbors had been playing, too.)

"I don't know."

"What do you mean 'You don't know'? Weren't you there when they were shot?"


"Who shot them? Did they get lost? Do we need to go look for them?"

"I don't know."

Temper rising, "Calvin, did you shoot them? Where did they go ?!?"

"I don't remember."

"I think you do remember. It was just a few minutes ago. Why won't you tell me what happened? Are you lying to me? Why won't you tell me anything? Help me find the rockets, now!"

And so it went, on and on and on...we did manage to find one rocket after he finally told me that maybe he shot it and maybe it went over the trees into the neighbor's yard. And I was pretty certain that he was lying to me about the whole thing, for some reason. He finally confessed that he "thought" he had shot the rockets, but that he didn't know which direction they went.

It was a bad moment for both of us. Really bad. He kept evading my questions and partially lying to me about shooting the rockets, even though I told him it wasn't a big deal and that we just needed to look for them. I don't know why he was being so vague, except perhaps that he was afraid of getting in trouble. My temper rose, I accused him of lying about not knowing which direction they went. He got angry about being asked over and over and over. I told him he would have to earn the money to buy Hobbes some new rockets. He stayed outside, saying he needed to think of a plan to solve the problem. I went inside, hurt that he would lie to me. Angry that he was being so frustrating. Completely wrapped up in my own emotions and unwilling to believe anything other than what I thought had happened.

"Mommy, I have a plan to earn money to buy more rockets for Hobbes." He appears with two fists full of flowers plucked from our backyard jungle.

"What is it?"

"Wait...I need to go outside and remember."

He leaves and returns a few seconds later. "I remembered. I can sell these flowers on the side of the road and make money to buy new rockets. Isn't that a good idea?"

My heart breaks, "Yes, sweetheart, you could do that."

"Okay, let me get organized"

My heart breaks a little more as he sets to work.

"Mommy, how do you spell flowers?...There. Will that work?"

I turn to see the homemade sign. To him it is just a resourceful idea, a marketing tool, a way to make amends with his brother. To me? It's a sign of my brokenness.

Sometimes I make such big mistakes. Maybe he was just too distracted, just living so much in his mind, as he often is. Maybe he really did forget who shot those rockets and where they went. Maybe I should try to build trust and not break it. The least I could do was take the flowers and put them on the dining room table for dinner. A symbol of the beauty in him, in me, even when we make a mess of things.

Friday, March 27, 2009

7 Quick Takes-Getting Over Myself Edition

I'm finding that, among other things, Lent has become a time for me to get over myself, so to speak. The Spirit is gently showing me where I depend too much on the opinions of others or think I know too much or, in other words, teaching me to see the world outside of ME. I needed that kick in the pants!

1. I have a tendency to be critical about things that I actually can't do any better than the person I am criticizing. For example, I always criticize children's Sunday School curriculums. Now, I have never actually taken the time to write one, but that is beside the point. I just assume they don't actually teach kids much, and they certainly don't seem to teach Bible stories anymore, just use them as illustrations to make a point which may or may not be the actual point of the story. So when my sweet boys started asking to pray before meals and started praying things like, "Thank you, God for making me and my family. And thank you for your wonderful world. Thank you for giving us food. Thank you for giving us Baby Linus," I was tempted to think what a good mom I was for teaching them all these things. Then I looked back and saw that their Sunday School curriculum lately has been about God making the world and creating them and about worshiping through prayer. Hmmm...maybe those curriculums are worth something. I know the teachers are!

2. I have mentioned before that I am fasting from excessive internet time during Lent. Mostly this means that I am fasting from Facebook, to which I had become slightly addicted. I am learning how much I depend on the opinions of others for my sense of worth. Though Facebook allowed me to maintain relationships with good friends and to share important parts of our lives together, it also became a substitute for seeking a relationship with my Father. I will return to Facebook after Lent, but I hope that I will return with a new perspective and that my priority will be spending time with my face in His book first.

3. I am horrible at reaching out to form relationships with my neighbors. I don't think I used to be, but somewhere along the line in this motherhood thing, I became very insular. So, when my neighbors' kids, aged 10 and almost 5 started showing up at my door because they had forgotten their key and then just started showing up to ask Calvin and Hobbes to come and play, I finally got a clue that God might be using them. We'd only lived here for almost three years...God is patient! We had a bit of relationship with this family from Ecuador, but now our kids play outside with them whenever the weather is nice, and the mom and I have had two significant conversations about kids and life in general when she gets home in the afternoons. And, as with most things God wants us to do, this has been a blessing for me, as the older boy is really great with his sister and my boys and very willing to play with them. I can send them out in our backyard with no worries. (I had already been letting C&H play by themselves out there for a few months, but I had to check on them every 10 minutes or so because they fight so much when there aren't other kids around.)

4. I have spent a lot of time stressing out about parenting over the last few months. I have even been reading parenting books, which I avoided like the plague before now. Fortunately, my children keep thwarting my attempts to read too many of these books. Hobbes has been begging for my attention so much lately that I finally realized something. My kids don't need the perfect parent, a clean and organized home, or the ideal environment for their personality type. They just need me, flawed as I am, to sit with them in the midst of piles of laundry and read or do a puzzle or play a game. Really. It's that simple. God will take care of the rest if I am there and willing to let Him love through me.

5. A visit to the dentist's office is always a good lesson in humility for me. I think I have the world's worst teeth. I had two cavities filled as a five-year-old, and it's been downhill since then. I brush twice a day, floss at least 5 nights a week, don't chew gum or eat candy, and only drink the occasional sweet tea, never any cokes (sodas for you non-Southerners.) All of this, and every single time I go in, I have another cavity or a tooth that needs to be watched. EVERY SIX MONTHS! This time, because they couldn't do x-rays or fillings while I was pregnant, I have four fillings to get done. Fun! My husband? He brushes once a day, never flosses, drinks many more sugary drinks than I, and they tell him he brushes his teeth too hard. That's it. No cavities.

6. Finally, a funny "get over yourself, TwoSquare" moment:

I was in Tennessee this past weekend visiting my family. While I was playing on the floor with my niece and the boys, my niece asked, "Do you have another baby in your tummy?" When I replied in the negative, she asked, "Then why is your tummy so big?"

My friend, who had a baby around the same time that Linus was born, calls them our muffin tops. I tell her that the top is the best part of the muffin, but, really, I am not taking this post-baby weight with grace. Not at all.

7. And, in an effort to learn to live in my imperfection, I am leaving you with only 6 Quick Takes this week.

Check out Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chewing Cud, Septic Tanks, Dirty Laundry, Jesus Saves

We have been studying the story of Joseph in our women's Bible study at church. This is, by far, one of the best stories in the Bible, and Joseph is a captivating character. Imperfect as he was, from a dysfunctional family, treated unfairly and thrown in bondage and prison, he eventually rose to be the second most powerful man in Egypt and named one of his sons Ephraim, "for God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction" (Gen. 41:52, ESV). How was God able to use him so powerfully and how was he able to use his gifts so effectively and humbly in such a high position of power?

As I have read his story, I have been taken over and over again by the thought of his faithfulness in doing his work well, no matter where he was put. As a young, arrogant, spoiled son, he still faithfully followed his father's orders and went out to check on his brothers in the field. As a servant in Potiphar's house, he did his work well enough to be recognized and given a position of honor. As a prisoner, his integrity and skill were recognized, and he served there faithfully for many years. Life was not easy, with (rightfully?) jealous older brothers, a scheming married woman, and a forgetful cupbearer. But no matter his position, he learned to do his work well and to listen to God in that place of faithful, daily service.

The result? When he was called before Pharoah, he was humble enough to give God the glory for interpreting the dreams and wise enough to use the chance to demonstrate his natural gifts as a leader. This once arrogant spoiled kid was elevated to the second highest position in the land, and, again, he worked faithfully in the position. The scriptures don't tell us how he eventually came to a place of humility or how he was able to forgive his brothers. I can only assume that all of those years of doing his work faithfully and well, learning to accept his position as the place where God wanted him for that particular time, honed in him the ability to hear God and follow His Spirit. As Romans 5 says, "endurance produces character." Joseph endured and was refined.

Or, as a woman in my Bible study put it, he was "chewing his cud to the glory of God." After all, if cows can bring God glory, can't we, in the small things we do every day, also bring him glory?

I think it is no coincidence that I finished reading Kathleen Norris' The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and "Women's Work" right as we were discussing Joseph in our Bible study. I'm pretty sure this was God's way of getting a message through my thick skull. This Lenten fast has been a good time of reflection for me as I reasses how I spend my time. I am seeing the ways that I have refused to accept the place where God has put me and to work faithfully in the daily stuff of life, the "quotidian." Norris notes that we spend much of modern life trying to avoid things like laundry and dishes and housecleaning. In her experience (and I believe it to be true), these very mundane tasks are the ones where God can speak to us most clearly and refine our characters. They are the liturgy of life through which the God who chose to become incarnate, to take on flesh and all the mess of life, speaks to our souls. Avoiding them is one of the main indicators of spiritual depression.

Norris is not a mother, but she speaks so clearly into the lives of mothers. What is the life of a mother if not mundane, full of small tasks to which I am called to be faithful? Instead of settling into this life, of being faithful in the folding of little shirts and cleaning of dirty bathrooms, I choose to distract myself from the quotidian, to jump on the internet or run off to playdates or museums or parks. Those things are not bad when they have a proper place in my life that also includes a lot of time at home just taking care of little people. Chewing my cud to the glory of God.

And the truth is, taking care of kids, though full of mundane tasks, is also a lot of fun. My kids are so funny and smart and loving, but I fail to see that when I am wishing to be elsewhere, doing more important things.

I was thinking of this when I was driving down the interstate the other day and saw a septic tank company truck with the words "Jesus Saves" printed in large letters on the side of the tank. Certainly I never wanted to be a septic tank gal when I was growing up, and I did want to be a mother. I have what I wanted, but I so often do the job with a chip on my shoulder or my head in the clouds. But I am willing to bet that the man who runs that company, who deals every day with the dirty, daily, mess of life, must see it as a job worth doing to God's glory. Else why would he put that on his trucks?

Friday, March 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes-Slugs, Bugs, In-laws, Bathrooms, and Mountains

You don't have to read all of these, but do go to #7 and help save my mountains!

1. Put this one in the "Clueless About Mothering" category. Apparently, there is this entire world known as children's music that I have never entered. (I guess I listened to it when I was a kid, but my introduction to adult music was more memorable.) Anyway, after an e-mail exchange with some friends about good kids' music, I decided to hit iTunes and buy some. Turns out, there are some really good CD's out there. My boys are loving "Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies" right now, and so am I. My favorite line so far: "So I listen very carefully because He lives inside of me, which could be gross but it's not 'cause He's Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior!"

If you have any suggestions for children's music that adults can stand, let me know. Don't worry, my boys will still be subjected to plenty of Dylan, the Beatles, and bluegrass!

2. While I was researching the CD mentioned above, I saw that Andrew Peterson has a new CD out. Since I love his lyrics and own all of his other CD's, I went ahead and bought this one. It is proving to be good music for Lent, not because it is gloomy and focuses on sin and repentance, but because it focuses on redemption and grace in a broken world, on the need for resurrection. Great stuff to contemplate as I anticipate celebrating the Resurrection in a month.

3. Lent is going well, not because I am keeping the fast well, though I am trying. Mostly it is going well because I am slowing down enough to contemplate the spiritual significance of the things I do on a daily basis, of my relationships, of my life. I am working on a post about what I am learning. Let's just say I hope to achieve a perspective like this one day.

4. I mentioned in my last post how much I love Auntie M. Really, I love living near family in general. My in-laws are amazing, and my mother-in-law takes the boys one afternoon most weeks while I take a break. They have goats (who just had kids), chickens, ducks, and a German Shepherd with a brand new litter of puppies. My boys came home Wednesday dirty, tired, and happy.

5. And I had a gift of an afternoon free. I spent some good talking, cuddling, loving time with Baby Linus, and then, while he took a THREE HOUR NAP, guess what I did? That's right, I cleaned my bathrooms! And most of the rest of my tiny house. It was so very therapeutic for me. Now you are all welcome to come over and enjoy it while it lasts.

6. What?!? Your house is still clean from Wednesday?!? Yep, that's because the boys and I are in TN visiting my fam while hubby works a super busy few days at work. The drive here was enlightening...and frustrating. How can I not get angry when I see signs from developers ruining these mountains with fancy neighborhoods...signs that proudly proclaim, "We're at it again!" "Come live the mountain life you've dreamed of." "Mountain lifestyles at affordable prices." "Priceless views. Affordable Condos." You get the point! Reading Wendell Berry (no, I may never stop talking about him) has made me even more angry at the way land and place and heritage are thrown around so cheaply to make a buck.

7. While I am on the subject of mountains, there is more than one way to destroy them. Houses are nothing compared to Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. I'm asking for your help again! Read over here and then contact your senators and representatives about the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act and the Clean Water Protection Act. Help me save these lovely mountains!

Read more 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear Auntie M, Won't You Come Out To Play?

The sun is up. The sky is blue...

But my bathrooms are still dirty. The good news? The rain we have been having for four days, which probably contributed to my mood yesterday, is finally over. My washing machine isn't broken after all, I can probably fix my car mirror myself, and the boys had fun at the dentist! When we came out of the dentist, I started singing Dear Prudence because the sun was up and the sky was blue for the first time in days. I could have been this happy yesterday, rain or no rain, if I had just stepped back to be grateful for what I have. I have so much to be thankful for, including Auntie M.

Around here, St. Patrick's Day is known as St. M's Day, since it is Auntie M's birthday. Thanks to a Craigslist pick-up near her house, we got to take her out to lunch for her birthday. She really is a saint, for the way she helps with and loves on my boys. As we were walking down the street after lunch, Hobbes sitting on Auntie M's shoulders, he began to sing, "The sun is up. The sky is blue. We go out and play. And Auntie M is here." Close enough. Who needs Prudence?

Happy Birthday, Auntie M!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Loser Morning

I broke my sideview mirror on the way to the boys' preschool this morning. I was swerving to avoid a pothole and hit a garbage can that had been left partway out in the road. Then I got home and started the laundry only to find that the washing machine seems to have lost its rinse and spin mojo. Then, instead of taking a nap while Baby Linus slept, I started thinking about my parenting, always a bad thing to do when you are already having a bad day. Then I started questioning my inability to help my children find friends that they can really connect with and enjoy. Don't other moms go out of their way to arrange play dates with people they might not click with but their kids do? Then I started worrying about my milk supply and whether Linus was gaining enough weight. Then I realized the boys have appointments at the dentist in the morning and I should have been preparing them (or at least Calvin) for a few days. Springing this on him just a day before is a bad idea. Then I looked around at the wreck that is my house and wondered when I was ever going to get my act together. Then I started thinking about moving overseas in 15 months and how I am never going to be able to do it.

Then I sat down and wrote this post and realized I am spending too much time wallowing in self-pity and that I just need to get on with my day and clean some bathrooms.

Please tell me someone else out there feels like this!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Naming Day

Our third son received baptism today. The beauty of that moment, even the third time around, never ceases to amaze me. It seems appropriate that today, the day that he was baptized into the family of God, this little one finally gets his blog name. And so, without further ado...

...Baby Linus it is. I was really leaning toward Pascal, but Linus won out in the end since it fulfills the comic strip character as well as the real-life person of faith and/or letters. St.Linus was the second pope. (Thanks, Thomas, for reminding me of that. Glad you found my blog in time to help out.) The baby's real life name is that of a Pope, and Linus was my mother-in-law's nickname for my father-in-law! It seems meant to be.

Calvin, Hobbes, and Linus. Maybe one day we'll get a Susie or Lucy...

Friday, March 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes-Just Around the Corner

"You found it!" cried Toad. "Yes," said Frog, "I was very happy. I had found the corner that spring was just around." "Look, Frog," said Toad. "You were right. The rain has stopped." Frog and Toad hurried outside. They ran around the corner of Frog's house to make sure that spring had come again. -from Frog and Toad All Year

1. I was out of town this past weekend visiting a dear friend in Illinois. Calvin and Hobbes stayed home with their daddy, so it was just me and the baby. The time to just be with another mom, sitting in her house and chatting (and enjoying her amazing cooking), was precious and refreshing. It is so good to live life closely with another woman for awhile and to gain perspective on parenting. We are all different creatures, and different mothers, and none of us is perfect. And that is okay. This was just the break the boys and I needed. Time for a fresh start.

2. When I got back, feeling reinvigorated, I found that North Carolina had also found some new life. Despite the snow last week, Spring was indeed just around the corner. The forsythia are blooming, crocuses and daffodils are everywhere, and trees are starting to show their color. Spring is my favorite season around here, even if I spend most of it stuffed up and sneezing!

3. It's seems the Spring weather (and reading Wendell Berry) has reinvigorated my husband, too. He has spent that past few evenings getting our small garden beds ready. They were sorely neglected last year when I was in the midst of morning sickness, but hopefully we can actually grow some things this year. The boys and I bought some seeds, and we are going to get our Spring crop into the ground. Nothing like a little dirt under the nails to make one feel alive!

4. The baby is coming to life, too, and has suddenly found his own voice. And, oh, is he ever charming! He has the most amazing dimpled smile and will talk to us for a long time if we give him some attention. He REALLY likes to talk, which might be a problem later, but for now it is adorable.

5. Things are growing all around me, babies and plants and boys. Hobbes turns three next week, and I can hardly believe it! I wonder where this third year went and when he turned into such a handsome looking guy. He is definitely not a baby anymore...or even a did he become a preschooler so quickly! But the point of this is not how Hobbes is growing. The point is to mention that he wants a space shuttle cake for his birthday. Here we go again!

6. With all of this Springy-ness and growing around me, it is hard to focus on Lent. What little I am meditating on the season has been good, though. I think, above all, that I am coming to a place of accepting my life as it is and learning the importance of being faithful in the daily tasks that God has given me to do. I have spent so much time waiting for things to change, for life to get easier, for me to just get this thing or that thing under control. I am learning that we never reach that point and that we are just called to serve and love where we are, as we are, by His grace.

7. To go along with the work of Lent and preparing for Spring, my husband and I have picked up yet another Wendell Berry book. This time it is his essay on science and the arts, progress, and the general trend of our culture away from rootedness in a spot of earth. If you haven't read Life is a Miracle, I highly recommend it. I can't do it justice in a review. Really, all I can say is "Amen!" I have never been able to articulate it, but growing up in a small, rural town, I know what he says to be true with every ounce of my being. Amen and amen!

For more "7 Quick Takes" visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Baby Needs a Name!

And I thought coming up with his real name was impossible! He is over two months old now and still doesn't have a blog pseudonym. It's time to vote. Here are the options:

A Real Life Nickname
I call him "Little Dude." Hobbes calls him "Cutie Pie," and Calvin calls him "Sweet Pea Cutie Pie Little Dude Floppy Head." (Let's assume that last one is too cumbersome to type all of the time!) There are also the names they chose for him before he was born, "Wall-E" and "Gandalf."

Another Theologian or Philosopher
Since Calvin and Hobbes are not just comic strip characters, I could go with this theme. I personally like calling him "Saint Francis," but my husband says I can't call him a saint and not the other two. "Merton" and "Augustine" have also been suggested. My husband wanted "Ambrose" as a real life middle name, so I could appease him with that choice. Of course, Ambrose came to a bad end. So did Merton, I suppose. This category could get complicated if I don't want a martyr!

A Comic Strip Character
We could stick with the comic strip theme. "Baby Moe" has been suggested, but this baby is not at all like the bully in "Calvin and Hobbes." If anything, he is more like Linus in the Peanuts. I don't really read comics other than C&H, so I am clueless on this one.

Those are my only thoughts. Please weigh in and let me know. Any suggestions are welcome, but I thought the categories might help to narrow things down.

More on Lent

I wrote here about how our family is fasting from computer-ish stuff for Lent. (Obviously, blogging is not part of that fast, mostly because I find the outlet a good one for my soul, unlike Facebook!) That fast is going pretty well, and the boys are getting the idea of it. But I also wanted to do some more tangible things to help them focus on the story of Jesus and the spirit of Lent. Unfortunately, since there was a little thing called a newborn around January and February, I didn't have time to prepare much in advance. I am pulling out some ideas from last year and adding some things in as we go along. Here's what we are doing.

Learning the Story
I am once again using this booklet with the boys. Each week has part of the Passion story along with a symbol. I am doing a simple craft to go with each symbol. Last week was a lantern, and we made paper lanterns. This week is the rope that bound Jesus. We are making a paper chain for the remaining days of Advent, and I will use this to explain that, just as Jesus was bound with rope, we are bound by sin. As we approach Easter, we remember how Jesus death and resurrection free us from that sin, symbolized by breaking the last link of the chain on Easter. I'm not sure what I will do for the remaining weeks. Like I said, I am doing this as we go along.

Learning to Pray
In addition to the booklet, I am using this book to help the boys learn the story of the Passion. I haven't pulled it out yet, but I plan to start using it at lunchtime to guide prayer. Each page has a prayer to go with that station of the cross.

We are also reading through Psalm 51 each night at prayer time and using that time as confession as well as thanksgiving and prayer for our sleep.

Learning to Give
Again, this is an area where I have not planned anything specific for this season. But there is still time. I did take the boys with me to donate some maternity and baby clothes to a local crisis pregnancy center, explaining what we were doing and why. I hope to involve them in more service over the next couple of weeks, though I realize my chance are limited with a new baby around!

Learning from example
One thing I am realizing this year is that, more than any activity or story I can do with them, I need to live Lent before my boys. I can ask them to fast from things and read them the story of Jesus all I want, but if I am not modeling self-denial, prayer, and acts of service before them, they won't see a need to do those things. The acts of Lent will just become laws to follow and not a way of living.

So even though I have very little time or energy to add new traditions and meaningful moments to our Lenten observance, I can focus on living out my faith in a way that the boys can see and emulate. The internet fast has been good for all of us, since it forces me to be more present to my children. I am also finding more time to manage my life so that I don't lose patience with them or ignore their need for attention. In addition to trying to manage my time better, I am also trying to find the sacred in the everyday, realizing that washing dishes and folding tiny clothes and washing dirty little faces are the things God has called me to for this season. If this is my reality, then God must want to meet me here. So I am trying to learn to meditate on His presence throughout the day. This book offers great food for thought on that subject, and the process has made me consider praying the Anglican rosary on a regular basis throughout my day.

Check out Jessica's Lenten Blog Carnival for more ideas!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two Months, One Week

Where has it gone, this time? It has escaped us. But not you, with your simple, sweet, lovely smiles. Not you, with your excited squeals and precious coos. Not you, with your loving gazes into my eyes as you nurse. Not you, little one. You will be big like your brothers soon, because time does escape us. But these moments? We are catching them and holding on tightly.

Monday, March 2, 2009


In honor of Calvin's recent discovery of complex math, here is my day (so far) in numbers:

13 1/2: hours both Calvin and Hobbes slept last night after a long, napless weekend

6 1/2: hours the baby let me sleep

2: inches of snow that fell while we were doing all of that sleeping

667: number of church, school, and other institution closings due to said snow (including a certain Chinese preschool)

8 million: approximate number of people who go crazy over snow in my current state of residence

10: hour of the morning we finally sat down to breakfast and Daddy left for work

267: approximate number of smiles the baby gave to us or elicited from us before 10am

4: loads of laundry being washed today

30: minutes it took to get the three of us suited up to play in the snow

90: minutes we actually played in the snow while the baby slept (pretty good, I thought)

1: number of muddy, pitiful, Southern snowmen built

1: load added to that lineup of laundry thanks to wet, muddy snow clothes

3: cups of hot chocolate made and pairs of boots lined up to dry by the fire

4: number of nursing sessions and diapers changed before lunch

1:30: time we actually sat down to eat lunch

5: books read before quiet time

4: loads of laundry yet to be folded and put away

2: boys happily reading and having quiet time on their own

1: baby taking a nap

1: shower for me and some time alone

0: number of fights, power struggles, discipline issues, and unpleasant moments we have had today

I think that adds up to a pretty good day. Hopefully the last 4 1/2 hours will go as smoothly!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Like a Lion...

We are having some nasty weather here for the beginning of March. It is just above freezing with some fierce rain that is supposed to turn to sleet and then snow. Say what you will about the cold of the Midwest, but I would take the cold and snow to rain that is barely above freezing any day! (Of course, I would never trade the rest of our weather for that in the Midwest...)

The whole weekend has been this miserable rainy-ness, and I am looking at a possible snow day tomorrow, meaning no preschool. That could leave me pretty grumpy, especially since Monday is the only morning I have home alone. But I am really, really trying to work on having a more cheerful attitude and enjoying my kids. Really. So, for your benefit and mine, I share two funny conversations from the weekend at our house. Here's to laughter and to this month going out like a lamb!

Daddy: "Honey, I'm doing multiplication with Calvin. I think he's getting it!"
Daddy (a little later): "Now we're doing division. He just told me that 8 divided by 3 is 2 with 2 remainders!"
Calvin (later in the day, holding up the sheet of paper that they had been working division on): "Can we PLEASE do some more math, Daddy?"
Daddy: "Well, if you're really good the rest of the day, we can do more as a treat."
Calvin: squeals of delight


Hobbes (snuggling with the baby in my bed while I was getting dressed this morning): "Mommy, why are you covering up the baby's milk?"
Mommy: roaring laughter and complete inability to answer question, making a mental note to be more intentional about teaching anatomical vocabulary

If only they could keep this innocence about life and excitement about learning...but they will too soon become young men. I'm trying to enjoy them now so that I can enjoy them then, without regrets about the past.