Okay, so I know this picture is old, but I just can't take it down! Imagine the same kid, but walking, slim, and still gorgeous (and still covered in cookies)!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homeschooling, Here We Come!

My kid is smart. Okay, I know all mom's feel that way, but in my case, it's true. Really!

Maybe as his mom I just see all of his potential. I joke that he's going to be #1 in his class if it kills me (and of course we're homeschooling, so you do the math!)

But my goodness gracious, I love that kid. Even when we spend HALF AN HOUR (that is 30 minutes wasted out of my life!) in a public bathroom because he doesn't want to put his pants back on (and if you think I'm exaggerating, I'm willing to bet that you've never had a 2 year old). Even then, I love him. Intangibly, drunkenly, enthrallingly. Even when I make him go to bed (*gasp* at my audacity!) and he cries and tells me, "I don't like you, my mommy! You get out of my room!". My little guy, I love you even then!

And to revisit my initial assumption: He's smart! Really, really. Like the other day when we stopped to play in a creek (and everyone should take time to play in creeks! Even in Cary where people don't have the slightest idea what you're doing down there), and I asked Jeremiah if he knew where the water was going. He looked down the creek, nodded seriously, and answered "to Paul's house". First of all, huh?... I laughed and told him it was actually going to the ocean, and then we had loads of fun sending sticks and leaves to the ocean, waving whole-heartedly to each little piece of anything that he could snatch up and throw in. "Good bye, leaf! Have fun going to the ocean!" On that same outing we saw raccoon tracks in the sand, and (all by his smart self!) he decided to leave footprints in the sand, too, so that the raccoon would know we were there.

The past two weeks, since our homeschool preschool has been "open", we've explored the world together! I think I've learned more than he has, about the beauty of things, and the boundless mystery of childhood. Everything is full of magic - the salamander we found in the mulch pile, the foxes I saw in the yard, the tadpoles out in the pond. We don't have to be scared of dinosaurs because (he says oh-so-seriously), "They're dead". When we play the "I spy" game in the car, he notices more than I do. And he is showing me more and more about his amazing, wonderful self.

Last week, when he bumped his eye before bed and I prayed for God to heal it and help him feel better, he got a very quizzical look on his face and said, "But I don't see God, my mommy". To which I replied that God is invisible. "Visible?" (he was trying to say invisible, so I agreed with him). "But I want to see God". But God is holy, and we have sin in our hearts, I told him. The furrow in his brow deepened, and he looked at me as if I'd forgotten something. Then he reached for my shirt and lifted it up, pointing the the place where he thought my heart was. "But God is in your heart, my mommy". Oh, my little angel! I could've melted. But then it got better... He lifted up his own shirt, pointed at his own heart, and asked, "God in my heart, too?" Oh my goodness! I never imagined motherhood could be so sweet! (Of course the next night he cried for an hour because he didn't want to put on a diaper and go to bed, but us mothers have to take the sweet times when they come, right?)

So what does this all have to do about homeschooling? Everything! This big, fancy, complicated, controversial thing (homeschool preschool) is really just an invitation for me to be more involved in his life, more attentive, more conscientious. Instead of reading whatever and doing whatever and letting him play with whatever, I'm spending time planning art projects and field trips. Basically, planning time together. Any old person can read him a book, but I feel like it's my job to read him books about bears on our "B" week, and my job to take him to the zoo, and my job to sing bear songs, and my job to show him how to glue bears onto his big letter "B"... You get the idea, right? Less about him (he's 2 for goodness sake!), more about me taking the time to be the kind of mom I want to be - fun, educational, hands-on, and "cool". (Is "cool" even a cool word anymore?)

So that's the lesson of the first two weeks of our homeschool experience: Besides adding some direction and keeping me more focused, we're basically just having a blast! Reading, lots of art, field trips, and conversations in the car. Two weeks down - how many more to go?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Growing Up!

You know, it occurred to me yesterday what all these changes are in my relationship with Jeremiah... He's just growing up. It sounds so simple, I know, but as a first time mom it's hard to move out of that baby stage!

But he's not a baby anymore. He's not my baby. I don't feel this overwhelming urge to protect him from the world. He's almost two, and he's a big boy, and I've been feeling a little differently about things lately. I've been wanting him to experience things. If he gets hurt, that's okay (as long as it's within limits, of course!). If he gets his feelings hurt, it's not the end of the world. If he cries when I put him in time-out, so be it. If he whines when I tell him "No", the world won't end.

It's like I've shifted from protecting him from the world, and now my job is to help him learn how to navigate in this world. To give him enough space to make mistakes and learn, but still keep him safe enough. What a big transition for me! I've felt secretly guilty, like I love him less or something, but now I understand that my job as his mother is changing, and that our relationship is growing up right along with him.

But it's hard to let go! And oh-my-goodness, I love that kid. Not less than I did 20 months ago when he was born, but definitely different. And I have so much more respect for motherhood - only moms know what love feels like, I think. In all of the different facets and stages. How love can be different and still okay. How it's not measured as much in quantity, or even quality - maybe more in durability! How much love it takes to make him sit in time-out, even when he's crying big tears and calling out my name... How a hug and a kiss and a smile from him can warm me up from the inside out... How all I want at the end of a the day is a sticky, dirty hand holding mine as he asks me to "READ book... one more... PEAS!" (translation: I know I have your heart wrapped around mine... especially when I say "peas"!).

What a blessing, what a miracle from the Lord. Words could never express the depths of my gratitude to God for giving me this little boy - my miracle. And I'm starting to glimpse how wonderful this journey is going to be! Things have already changed so much, and we have another lifetime to go! I just pray that God will keep reminding me to treasure every single second of my time with him, because it's passing so, so quick - and I pray, too, for the strength to keep up and finish the race. To keep working hard at being a good mom and raising him up to be a man of God. It will be here before I know it! (And you know what? I think a part of me will always feel that he's my little booger bear - but don't tell him that!).

Jeremiah - Mommy loves you BUNCHES!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I found the greatest quote yesterday, a definition from a mommy's dictionary:

BOY (noun): Noise, with dirt on it

And all I can say is AMEN! Lol.... My little munchkin head is all boy! As much as I love watching him grow up (and I do LOVE watching him grow up!), I also miss my little guy. He's so big you can barely cuddle him anymore (not that he sits still long enough!), and he has a definite opinion about EVERYTHING!!

But he is such a great kid! He listens so well (for a 20 month old, at least!), and he is such a joy. And he loooves his mommy...

Anyway, I'm busy with school (as always!) so I can't stay long enough to talk about him half as much as I would like to... I just wanted to put on the record that my little man is growing up, and it's so bitter sweet!

(Oh, and by the way, he's in BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!! He only had one accident yesterday and one the day before - a child prodigy, I say!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I LOVE Being His Mom!!

It has been a LONG time since I've posted, and what can I say? Life as a Mommy gets pretty hectic!

But I just wanted to tell everyone what a WONDERFUL little boy I have! He is so cute, so smart, so funny, so social, so perfect!

We discovered elbows today. We were playing our game where he points to Mommy's eyes, then Jeremiah's eyes; Mommy's ears, Jeremiah's ears; Mommy's toes, Jeremiah's toes. I was trying to think of something he didn't know yet, so I asked him to find his elbows. He looked really confused, and started looking around on his body, pointing to his leg, then his belly. I asked him again to find his elbow, and he thought some more and then got really excited and started rocking back and forth, like the boat (the boat goes "rock, rock" on the water). Apparently "boat" and "elbow" sound a lot alike! So I finally showed him my elbows, and then he tried and tried to look at his own elbows, which was SO cute! Since he couldn't see them too good, we went on a hunt for all the elbows we could find. We saw the dog's elbows, and Nana's elbows, and Mommy's elbows, and Jeremiah's elbows... Oh my goodness, SO MUCH FUN!!

I never knew being a mom would be this great. Tiring, yes. Frustrating, you bet! But worth it? So, so, so, so, SO worth it! Beyond worth it! The worst day with him is a hundred thousand times better than the best day without him, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart!

We were at Walmart a few days ago, and Nana was having Jeremiah try on shoes. She pulled these silly-looking plastic batman shoes off of the shelf, and I said flat out, "I'm not spending eight dollars on those stupid things." Well, wouldn't you know, Jeremiah tried them on and loved them. He looked up at me with these eyes that just melted my heart - I've never spent eight dollars so happily in my entire life. Oh, what I wouldn't do for that kid! Suddenly I saw my life savings flash before my eyes, an endless string of batman shoes and balls and bubbles and annoying singing Elmo's... Okay, that may be a little extreme - but if you could've seen his eyes! :-)

Yes, Mommy is smitten. Mommy's IN LOVE! For the first time in my life, I'm head over heels. Boy oh boy, they never told me that motherhood was so intoxicatingly, wonderfully, frustratingly, amazingly WONDERFUL!

This summer it's my goal to take him somewhere special every single week. We went to the zoo a few weeks ago, and it was the cutest thing ever. His favorite animal was the Gorilla, I think. They were right in front of the glass, and he was just amazed. He kept looking around and seeing all the other people standing there, and would catch their attention and then point to the Gorillas. Like he was the tour guide, and had to point out the huge animals sitting right in front of the glass. And of course everyone made such a huge deal about it - no one can pass up a chance to pay attention to him.

I just can't believe he's almost a year and a half old! Where has the time gone? I look at him and just want to laugh and cry all at once. I want to hold him like a baby and never let go; I want to encourage his Independence and enjoy the little boy he's becoming. I guess that's the trick to parenting: for each stage that the child is going through, the mom is right there along for the ride. Toddlerhood isn't just rough on him, with all the changing from a baby to a child - it's rough on me, too! I'm all a mess, wanting to hold on and let go, all at the same time - just like he's not sure if he wants me to carry him or let him walk all by himself. But at the end of the day, when he's sleeping so hard, arms and legs sprawled out and taking up most of the king-sized bed, I have to lean down close and whisper to him how much I love him, how grateful I am for him, and how much fun I've had that day, just being his mom!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

13 Months & Counting!

I can't believe my little man is so big! And getting so smart about things!

Yesterday he got a washcloth out of the clean laundry on the couch and started "cleaning" the floor with it. Then he found a lotion bottle and pretended to squirt it on his leg and then rub it in. It makes me look at him and wonder how on earth he knows all of this stuff! It's kind of scary how much his little brain absorbs.

Anyway - his favorite things right now:

--Dontae (our big Rottweiler) - he'll sit beside that dog for HOURS just playing so happily. Jeremiah climbs all over him, sits in his lap, and shares his food with the dog. So, so sweet!

--Baby goats. We had one that we were bottle feeding for about a week or so, and he LOVED that! She got missing in the yard one day, so now there's just the goats outside with their mommies, and he can't understand why they don't want to come play with him like Sophie did!

--His kitchen set in the barn, complete with little metal pots and pans that Nana bought for him.

--Eating. This week it's been goldfish and blueberries. Go figure! If you ask him "are you hungry?" He'll drop whatever he's doing and go immediately to the high chair and try to climb in! So cute!

--Being outside. Anything outside. He'll play on the deck for hours, or walk around the yard, or chase the chickens, or climb the wood pile, or play with the rocks and sand in the driveway... We spend A LOT of time outside! (I just asked Nana what Jeremiah's favorite things were, and she said "being outside, being outside, and being outside!")

He's so busy walking and running and climbing on everything. I can barely keep up! I find myself wanting to spend time with him like I used to - just being with him, holding him, rocking him, cuddling him close as we read books together - but then I have to remind myself that he's in a different place now! He's got his own agenda these days!

Now he's all about being busy. Climbing on everything, like I said. Doing the things he wants, and doing them by himself. He really doesn't need his mommy playing with him all the time. Sometimes he's okay just playing by himself. Imagine that?!?! :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

AP Parenting at it's BEST!

A few weeks ago Booger was admitted to the hospital. He was sick, sick, sick, and I was so scared, but all turned out well, and I think he's no worse for the wear.

But here's the thing that I've been thinking: thank goodness I'm in the Attachment Parenting (AP) camp! I was able to keep his world as normal as possible, because we just kept doing our same old thing.

We didn't need to worry with cleaning bottles or using different formula - he had my boobs, and he was one happy camper!

He didn't notice that he was in a different place, sleeping in a strange crib in a scary room - he had me right there with him, sleeping beside him, just like always. (Yes, you read that right: I slept in the crib! Oh, what we do for our children!)

Because our bond is so strong, and he feels so safe and loved and secure, I was able to make it easier on him - he could just relax in my arms and be okay with the world.

I am so glad that I could give him this gift - that I could be there for him at the hospital, because I'd been there for him before the hospital. Because he's attached to me, and not to a routine or a bottle or a crib, he was okay. I'm portable (and apparently I fit pretty well in a crib)!

Anyway, it made me feel good that I was able to keep so much of his life normal, even in that not-normal situation. I felt like I was protecting him somehow. Maybe sheltering him from how scary everything was. It validated a lot of the decisions that I've made over the past year - not that I spend any time at all doubting myself - but it's just nice to have the chance to step back and realize that you're not ruining your kid!

And one other "gift" I got from our time in the hospital is this: the realization that I honestly have no regrets. I could look back over the past year and know that every single day I woke up (more often than not at a painfully early hour) and put my whole heart into being the best mom I could possibly be. And every single day I've felt humbled by the fact that God chose me to be the mom of such a perfect angel! I have honestly not taken a single day for granted. And that means a lot! Faced with the prospect of loosing him, I can honestly say that I gave my all, lived every moment, and treasured every single smile - I must be doing something right, right? I think so!!

Love covers over a multitude of sins, the Bible says - so if I love him this much, and try this hard to make the most out of every moment, then I can feel pretty confident that I'm on the right track! It's nice to have a moment when God makes you step back and look at the big picture. The big picture looks pretty good, even if the individual brush strokes feel messy and jumbled and helter-skelter most of the time!

So happy parenting, everyone! I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!! :-)

One Great Year & One Great Kid!!

My goodness, how time flies! Can you believe that he's a year old? I sure can't!!

This has been the BEST year of my life! And I'm not kidding! I have never been happier. I feel so grateful that he's my son, and so honored with the privilege of raising him. Watching him grow and change is such a miracle - every single day is like unwrapping another present from God! I just can't say enough about how happy he makes me!

He's running all over now. Climbing on everything (he has learned not to jump off head first, though!). He's a little daredevil, and can play for hours by himself (not that he gets that chance often - Nana and I can't not pay attention to him!). This morning he ate yogurt out of a bowl all by himself - he dipped in his little spoon and managed to get most of it to his mouth. Just AMAZING!!

I was looking at the developmental stages of toddlerhood, and I can proudly say that he was already doing everything on the list of 13-15 month-olds, and already some of the things on the 16-18 month list! Mommy's smart little cookie!! :-)

He's talking a little, when he wants to. He can say:

  • Hey

  • Bye-Bye

  • Up

  • Nana

  • Mama(it actually comes out as mamamama, but you know!)

  • Moo (what the cow says)

  • DooDo (This is my personal favorite! It's what the rooster says: Cockle-Doodle-Do)

  • Yes (okay, he doesn't actually say yes - but he says Mm while bobbing his head forward, like you would sound if you were holding something in your mouth and trying to say yes to someone. And he says it at the right times: like "are you hungry?" "Mm (with the head bob)". So cute!)

And he can say a lot without talking! Like "read a book to me - NOW!" and "I want the boob - NOW!"

He's just delightful! So, so, so, so, SO delightful! What a great year!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

He's Walking!!!

I missed writing his nine month update! I hate it, because I love looking back over the posts and remembering what he was doing at any given month. But what can I say? Our life got a little crazy... No use crying over spilt milk, right? So here we go for this month's news:


I can not tell you how amazing that is! He started taking a few shuffling steps (as he was falling) at about 9 1/2 months, and then the week before his 10-month birthday he took a few steps on purpose! We were at grandma's house, and he was unloading the tupperware cabinet, and wanted to take a lid to his John Deere tractor - he looked, he thought, and then he did it - it was 3 steps, and he made it to the tractor still standing. I was in shock! I even said - "Oh my God, he just walked" - I said it before it hit me, because hearing it made me tear up. But I didn't cry! I did good :-)

It's been about 2 weeks, and he's walking, walking, walking. He can make it all the way across our living room at home (which is HUGE). He can stop, pick up a toy, stand up, and keep going. When he wants to get somewhere, he tries walking first. I can get him to hold onto my pinky finger, and he'll walk forever - from the kitchen into the bedroom and back. It's just the craziest thing - this little baby, walking! I am so proud of him!!

He's also starting to talk. His first word was "Bye Bye". He said it about 3 weeks ago when we were getting in the car from aunt Mona's house, and she was on the porch waving bye to him. He said it again a few days later, and a few times since - clear as can be! He also says "mamamama" when he wants me, and "nananana" when he wants Nana. He doesn't have the right number of syllables, but he gets the idea!

He can wave, and clap, and he plays games. The other day he was blowing bubbles on my stomach. His laugh is the best sound I've ever heard! He has 5 teeth: two bottom, three top. I think he's about to get more, because he's been a little fuss bucket the last few days! It's either his teeth or all of those aches and pains from his learning-to-walk falls... Either way, I don't mind too much, because I get to hold him all day, which hasn't happened since he was itty bitty! I love that little guy!

He's figured out how to use the (baby) slide at the playground - he can climb the steps up all by himself, crawl over to the slide, and fling himself down, head first, arms out front like he's flying. He just laughs and laughs - I swear, he's fearless! I put him down at the playground, and off he goes! He doesn't need me at all! It's just amazing to see.

He's so intense when he's learning something, too. So focused. He'll spend forever trying to work something out - the other day he kept trying to put an acorn cap onto a stick. He sat there, still and quiet, for a good five minutes. Grandma taught him how to pick up a toy pig and put it into his tractor, and he just watched and watched and watched her before he tried it, like he was trying to wrap his head around it. He got a barn for Christmas, and the little chicken sits in the nest behind the doors. He knows where that chicken goes, too, because when we were finished playing with it yesterday he put the chicken back in the nest and shut the door, even though it had been a good five minutes since he'd taken the chicken out! He was helping me wipe the floor down yesterday, too - I gave him a rag and he watched me, looked at the rag, looked at me again, and finally figured it out. Such a smart kid! I'm so, so blessed!!

He loves eating oranges. He still nurses to sleep. He has started sitting in my lap - he'll walk on over to me, climb into my lap, turn around, and plop down. It doesn't matter what we're doing - he just likes sitting in my lap. (He sits in Dontae's lap, too - our 110 pound Rottweiler. He'll sit between his two front paws and snuggle back against Dontae's chest, and reach back to pat the dog's head. So cute!). He's getting better about reading, and we can make it though most books without him trying to chew on the pages (the baby, of course, not the dog!). His favorite book now is an animal book that just has pictures of animals you would find on a farm, then in the rainforest, the woods, and the African plains. He'll turn the pages and point to an animal, and I'll tell him what it is and make animal noises. At least to the animals I know - does anyone know what a Sloth sound like? :-) But I do a pretty good job. The pig always makes him laugh, and he also likes the snake (who ssssslithers up and tickles his tummy) and the lion (who rrrrooooaaarrrs and tickles him with his claws).

So anyway - that's the update on my little guy! Thank you to all of you who have been there for us during the past few months! I appreciate all of you, and your love for him is such a blessing in his life (and mine!). We couldn't do it without you! It's amazing how much joy one little person can bring to the world, isn't it?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eight Months!!

Okay... I really need to study, but I wanted to take a minute to update everyone on the little man!

He's SO amazing. I am having so, so, so much fun being his mom. I know I say that every time, but it's true! I feel so blessed!

He's crawling up a storm these days. Getting into everything, of course. He lets his opinion be known, too - there's definitely no doubt about what he wants at any given moment! But generally, he's really laid back and content.

Let's see... He loves to eat (surprise, surprise). He loves riding in his little red wagon (he gets to ride in it up to the bunny cage when we feed and water her every day, and he thinks it's loads of fun!). He likes sitting outside on the blanket with Mommy or Nana (whoever's home), but he doesn't like it when the pigs come up and snort in his face, and we have to chase them off with the bathroom plunger (don't ask). He tolerates milking the goats fairly well, especially when he can get a handful of hay from the trash bin - but he knows not to put it into his mouth (he's so smart!). Did I mention he likes to eat? :-)

He loves "walking" (holding onto our hands or furniture), and today I think he used a push-toy to "walk" (that's the first time he's done that!). And the whole time he's "walking" and crawling and playing, he'll just talk and talk and talk to himself. The sounds this kid makes just crack me up!

I took him to the playground a few weeks ago, and he LOVED it! I had so much fun watching him! He didn't need me at all - he was just so content to sit there and watch the other kids, and then crawl around and play. I swear, I've never had so much fun as when he's having fun. What did I do with my life before he came along? (besides sleep and shower and such...)

So that's the quick update. Can you believe it's been eight months?! It's just flown by!! I think it's finally hit me that he's going to be around for a while - I don't have to give him back - I get to keep him! I love that I'm really settled into being his mom now, and I love watching the little person that he's becoming. Anyway - I'll try to get new pictures up (maybe of him in his Halloween costume - he's going to be a pumpkin! I'm so excited!), and I'll write more when I can!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

He's Crawling!

It's official: I'll never rest again. He's mobile now, and - let me tell you - he is one busy kid!!

He started crawling last Friday. Nana and I were moving some furniture from room to room, and we'd put him down to play with toys in the living room. When we came in to check on him, he was in a different spot than where we left him (not too far, but far enough!). Nana sat on the floor in front of him and called him over - and here he comes, on his hands and knees, just like the pictures in the baby books!

I cried.

I cried because I was happy (it was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen!), and because I was sad (what happened to my tiny little boy?!).

But, above all, I am so, so proud of him. He is just amazing! Every day I think that he can't get any more wonderful, and that being his mom can't possibly get any better - and every day I'm wrong! I feel like all I've done over the past seven months is fall more and more (and more and more) in love with this kid! I look at him and think "wow - you're mine. I get to keep you!" and I just can't wrap my head around it. I'm somebody's mom...

What is he going to think of me when he's 10? 15? 25? What would it be like to have me for a mother? What is he going to remember fondly from his childhood, and what will he try to forget? Those are questions that I don't let myself ask too often - they make me scared! Instead, I just try to focus on the next thing coming: Which cream do I put on this diaper rash? Should I feed him peaches or pears for breakfast? What is he going to be for halloween? Those are much safer questions!

Okay, that was off topic. But the point is that he is growing up, and it scares the bejeebies out of me!

He's pulling up on everything - pants legs and dogs included. He's learning the word "No" (and doesn't like it!). If we take a toy away, he looks for it, and sometimes cries. He learned to sip from a straw on Saturday (although all he was doing was sipping up the water and letting it all run out of his mouth and back into my glass - but baby spit makes things taste better, right? I really do love being a mom!).

We moved the books into our living room, so we sit and read together a lot (he'll chew on one book while I read another one out loud). He's still mesmerized by the animals, especially the horses. If he's unsure of a situation, he'll look to me for cues - if I smile and look excited, he'll decide that he's okay after all (I try to use that to my advantage when he falls over and cabonks his head, and about half the time I can convince him that it really didn't hurt all that badly). His favorite toys this month have been plastic containers - cups, bowls, spoons - and especially lids. Go figure. The toy of the week is a plastic bag (a thick zip-up plastic bag that comforters come in, not the thin grocery bags). Nana got a balloon for him from the grocery store and that was a big hit, too - he chewed on the ribbon, swatted at the balloon, and ended up getting so excited that he pumped his little arms up and down, causing the balloon to hit him in the head repeatedly.

He's still talking up a storm - lots of "mama"s and "da da da"s. He gets really into whatever it is he's trying to say, and he'll laugh and talk and laugh and talk and raise his hands up in the air, clasp them above his head, smile a HUGE smile, and then crumple over and laugh like he is the funniest person he's ever met. He has just been in the best mood this week - I think mobility agrees with him!

I'll try to get some pictures up soon - you would not believe how big he's getting!