Tag Archives: children

When your littles share a bedroom…

There are so many upsides to having the boys share a room. They play with all the same toys anyway. It feels like they are practically in the same size clothes. “Kid stuff” is mostly contained in one room of the house, rather than stashed in every nook and cranny. I believe it helps promote learning to share and respect and play and work together. Bonding. Yup, lots of reasons.

But there are also a couple of downsides.

Today at lunch Judah was yawning and ready for bed. Soon after he finished I changed him, read the boys stories, and put them in bed.

Several minutes later I heard giggling and slapping. I peeked in the door to see Judah on his knees, rocking side to side, slapping his thighs, grinning and “singing” loudly. (My kiwi friends will be pleased to know that I’m almost positive he was doing the “haka”.)

He was happy as a clam and hyper as a… a… I don’t know. A kid who ate fruit loops for lunch? (He didn’t, by the way.)

Of course Levi finds this hilarious so he is in his bed copying and laughing, until I open the door when he dives for cover and pretends to be sleeping.

Most days I’d work really hard to get the boys both sleeping at the same time (they really do need it, and so do I) but every once-and-a-while I just don’t bother. I figure – they’re happy and they will have days where they wind each other up too much. As long as they stay in there and give me some space, I can deal with a few shrieks of laughter and harmless “naughtiness” during nap time. They’ll go to bed early tonight and I’ll cross my fingers that there won’t be too many melt-downs in between.

And I must admit, it’s kind of fun to snoop through a cracked door and watch the boys bonding and having so much fun… even if it is during nap time.

 

Q for you: Did you share a room growing up? If so, do you have fond memories of it? If you have kids, do they share?

 

Love,
A

 


Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Mentioned with an eye roll

I’ve always been a little on the dramatic side.

Unfortunately, that often has negative connotations when people mention it.

Instead of being recognized as creative and spirited, it’s often mentioned with an eye roll.

It’s too early to tell if Judah will be dramatic. But Levi? Oh, he’s dramatic!

Even now as a two-year-old the way he tells stories is absolutely hilarious. (And mind-boggling.) He acts them out using different voices and fake cries, fake laughter, hand and body motions. The whole bit.

In junior high I hurt myself playing crack the whip with some friends at a slumber party. I cried, and they teased me for “being dramatic”. I spent the next several hours on the couch until my friend’s mom noticed that I was burning up with a fever. Only then did they call my dad to come and take me to the emergency room.

I had fractured my arm. Go figure.

From that point on I tried to never cry when I was (physically) hurt. I wanted to make sure I never gave anyone a reason to think I might be “crying wolf”, so I tried not to cry at all.

“I’d show them,” I thought. “I may be skinny but I’m tougher than they think.”

Years later I was told that I probably couldn’t handle natural childbirth. I just “didn’t have the pain tolerance.”

Um, excuse me??

It’s a shame how we think we can judge and measure and set limitations on other people, based on what we perceive about their personality.

It’s an even bigger shame that we take on and internalize those judgements and measurements.

Now as an adult I’ve suffered many types of pain. Often I’ve not even shared my pain with anyone, for fear of appearing dramatic or weak or even just ungrateful.

Sad really.

But now as a grown-up with my own littles I’m trying to be very deliberate about how I speak around them.

Yes, Levi is dramatic and strong-willed and determined and independent (he’s so much like his mama), but I never want him to sense a negativity in my tone when I comment on those aspects of his personality.

Even though he’s decisive, he’s also very sensitive and very, very creative.

Believe me, it’s tempting to roll my eyes at his dramatics sometimes. But I hope – I really hope – that I’ll be able to nurture his creative and sensitive side (while also helping him to hone his strength and decisiveness) and help him feel comfortable being himself. Even when it does seem  a little over-the-top to the rest of us.

After all, who are we to know what another person is really feeling inside? And who are we to know what they are really capable of?

People are much stronger, and much more fragile, than we often think.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you been rolling your eyes at someone lately? If so, perhaps you need to rethink that.

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


Would you pay someone to potty train your kid?

A friend of mine posted on her facebook about services she heard of where they will potty train your kid for you. The cost ranges from $400 for a week to $700 an hour. (What??!)

I think this is tragic.

Potty training is such a personal process and achievement for our littles.

They trust us to help them learn. They need our encouragement. They look to us for affirmation. They deserve our respect.

As parents it’s our role to guide them through this personal transition.

I don’t have a problem with other close adults helping (grandma, etc.), but to hire a service to come in and do it for us like we’d hire out our lawn maintenance or housecleaning? (I’d totally pay for a cleaner if I could afford it!)

But contracting out potty training?

Wrong. I just think it’s seriously wrong.

I understand that many parents are daunted by the task (I was one of them), but that doesn’t justify delegating it out to a stranger.

Imagine how the child must feel to have a stranger come in and direct this personal of rite of passage. (So disrespectful.)

We hire trainers for our dogs perhaps, but not for our small children.

Potty training, manners, character, life skills – all of this should be taught first, and foremost in the home by the parents. (And reinforced elsewhere like church, day care, school, therapy, or whatever.)

Let’s not abdicate our role as parents, even when it’s inconvenient or hard.

Geeze.

 

STOP.

 

Q for you: Come on parents, tell me you’re with me on this one. Would you ever hire someone to potty train your kids if money weren’t an issue?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Gush gush

It’s far too late to be writing anything coherent tonight, but I’ve just now finished a few hours worth of editing my last two months of photos. (Otherwise known as deleting about five thousand similar shots of blurred little people.)

Oh, it feels good to finally be caught up on that little area of my life. (Prepare for an onslaught of Booker boys on facebook over the next week.)

I actually don’t intend to write tonight except to say this:

Lately my heart is bursting for my little boys.

Obviously I always love them (and would probably always say something similar), but at the moment they are just killing me with the cute. And the new skills. And the personality.

Everything.

Gush, gush, gush, I could write a massive old gush. (But I won’t. I’ll save that for their personal blogs that I write without succumbing the world to.)

And since it’s approaching the coach-turning-into-a-pumpkin hour, I will just finish by saying this:

My eyes are heavy but my heart is full.

Thankful, I am.

STOP. (early)

 

Q for you: Are you an out-loud gusher? Or do you prefer to just reflect internally on your emotions?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Breastfeeding: God-ordained “coffee breaks”

I always joke that since moms don’t get “time off” or to clock out or take coffee breaks, time spent breastfeeding is God’s way of giving us an excuse to slow down.

My problem is that I tend not to slow down; I only sit down.

If it’s during the day I’m feeding Judah while playing with Levi with my free hand.

If Levi is entertaining himself then I’m on my phone, reading emails, making lists, or scrolling through facebook or twitter.

Always multi-tasking.

We moms like to brag about how good we are at this. (Or complain when we aren’t doing so well at it.)

But lately I’ve been craving more margin, more room to breathe.

I’m tired of multi-tasking.

Yes, I know I will never completely escape the vortext of the multi-tasking compulsions that I have as a woman and mom. (And that’s probably a good thing – we really do need them.) But I am looking for little ways I can cut back and be in teh moment.

One of those ways is taking my God-ordained “coffee breaks”.

Instead of grabbing my phone or a piece of paper to write the grocery list while I breastfeed Judah, I’m leaving my hands free to hold my baby. I’m leaving my eyes free to watch him or even close them for a few moments. I’m leaving my mind free to think and pray and wander.

Even though I’m not succeeding at doing this every time I feed Judah, I’m doing it more and more.

Such a small thing. But a big thing in that it really is helping me to pause, breathe, and be.

 

Q for you: What’s one simple way that you build margin into your life?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The making of a backstory

I learn so much from my kids.

Both of the boys are at ages where they’re rapidly changing at the moment – Judah in all his babyness (one milestone after another) and Levi in the midst of his toddler vocabulary explosion.

Although he’s been sitting up for a good six weeks now, just today Judah got himself up into the seated position (from laying down) all on his own. It was fun to watch, and looked completely effortless and natural.

And every day Levi says new things as if he’s been saying them all along. (Love the seemingly easy flow of words that pour out in every day conversation.)

So I’ve been thinking about these developments that seem to apprear out of nowhere.

Of course we know that there’s been lots going on behind the scenes to get them to the point of being able to sit up or articulate or whatever other development it is, but it’s easy to forget the backstory and just get swept away in the it-happened-just-like-that front end of the story.

It’s caused me to think about my own growth as an adult.

How many tiems to I get frustrated with myself when the results don’t come immediately? When the improvement isn’t overnight? When it seems like nothing visible is happening?

And yet, there’s always a back story.

There’s always a strengthening, a preparation, a foundation-laying that needs to happen first.

Pouring concrete into giant holes isn’t sexy, skyscrapers with shiny windows are.

And as cliche and over-used as the analogy is, the tallest buildings have the deepest, most grueling-to-lay foundations.

There’s a whole lot of backstory to be developed before the world sees those 78 flashy stories.

And so it goes with our lives.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you ever feel frustrated when you’re in the foundation-laying stages and just want to get on with the building of skyscrapers? Or are you grateful to be living the “backstory”?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Little baby

He pulls my face and grabs it close. With slobbery lips he leans in, open-mouthed, face-planting.

Pulling back he squeals, pleased with himself, sure of my approval.

Tiny fingers grip my hair, the easiest thing to grasp.

I wince, knowing why so many women cut their hair once the babies come.

His eyes still blue, they sparkle and smile.

Once toothless grin is replaced by little bunny teeth, a sign of growth, of newborn no more.

Happy flailing of arms and kicking of feet tell me that life is good.

Captured by my every move, he thinks I’m the most beautiful person he’s ever known. Also the funniest.

And I love that.

Little baby, so sweet, so small. So strong.

How will you ever be a curious 8-year-old?

How will you ever be a gawky 13-year-old?

How will you ever be an adventurous 17-year-old?

How will you ever be an ambitious 29-year-old?

Little baby, I like you just the way you are.

You’re more mine now than you ever will be. I like it that way.

I’m in no hurry to change things.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have children? How do you see their current age?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Searching for margin, longing for rest, needing connection.

Someone gave us money to “do something fun”.

Someone else gave us their apartment on the beach so that we could “get away and relax”.

Someone else gave us a day off after he asked my husband if he had dirt on his face when really it was just bags under his eyes.

So this weekend we’re having a quick getaway to a beach apartment that’s 10 minutes from our house.

Amazing how stressful it can be to prepare to relax. How’s that for irony?

The details are boring but today was a stream of plans-gone-wrong after plans-gone-wrong.

Lists are made but only half completed.

Kids are revved up on I-don’t-know-what’s-happening-but-it’s-different-therefore-exciting energy.

(In other words, tehy’re driving me crazy.)

And after a long day at work the family comes together and we decide it’s worth the stress and the busy and the crazy.

Because soon we’ll be 10 minutes away feeling as if we’re miles away.

We need each other. We need to connect. We need to collapse into baths (we don’t have one) and read books and listen to music and curl up in a great big bed, all piled on top of each other.

Rest is good. Margins are good.

We’re trying to find both.

Thank God there are a few people around us helping.

STOP.

 

Q for you: I think “margin” and “rest” are problems in our society today. Are you finding margins and rest in your life? How?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Spring cleaning, house and heart

It’s autumn here but there’s this urgency growing beneath my skin to do some spring cleaning.

Behind cupboard doors sit unused things, taking up space, collecting dust.

Some are just too hard to reach so they’re forgotten.

Drawers in disarray feel fuller.

Closets that looked bare only months ago now seem to burst with a sea of cotton.

At a glance things look fine, but behind closed doors Mess lurks.

It’s driving me mad and I’m having brutal impulses to Purge. All. This. Stuff.

I’ve realized that I get this way when I’m tired or stressed. (Or extra “this way” when I’m tired and stressed.)

It’s suffocating and stiffling and whereisthespacetocreateandenjoy?

I want to simplify. Reduce. Get rid of fillers and noise and things that make me feel stuffy.

I want to open the curtains and let the breeze in.

I want to lift lids and move rugs.

And maybe it’s not really about things being clean or organized.

Maybe it’s just me wanting to gain some sort of sense of mastery over the chaos. Reign it in.

I never thought I had control issues. Until I had children. Children who have minds and clocks and opinions of their own.

They will not be controlled. They fit in no boxes. they respond to no formulas. (I’m glad for that. Mostly.)

But they make me realize that I have to let go. (MOre.) I have to create more margin. I have to find breathing space.

Life is too full to be full.

And maybe it’s not even a negative thing to want to reign in the chaos and restore some order. Maybe it’s the creative process starting all over again. God brought order out of chaos, right?

So when this sort, sift, clean, organize, purge, open-up-the-doors-and-let-the-good-green-earth-come-in thing starts to happen to me, it makes me stop and think:

Is it hte house that needs tending? Or is it my soul?

Perhaps we both need to open up the windows a bit wider?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How does your physical environment influence your mental/emotional/spiritual realm? (Or the reverse?)

 

Love,
A

p.s. Admittedly, this post is a bit scattered tonight. I suppose that’s just going to happen occasionally when writing in this format with no structure or editing. I suppose also that’s part of the God-getting-in-the-cracks process. And the humbling-me process. Sometimes it truly is hard to hit “publish”…

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.