"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Pirate" Parts

I will go ahead and apologize ahead of time...this post may discuss more than you would like to hear about but I couldn't let this experience pass without sharing it.

I like to think that Olivia Grace is pretty innocent compared to many children today. I realize she is only four, but working in a public school will give you a clear idea of what you don't want your four year old to know about. Up until Carter's birth, she really didn't realize that boys were any different than girls. Since then, she has noticed that his "tuu-tee" doesn't look like hers and she is totally amazed by it. She has now learned that his isn't called a "tuu-tee" but instead we call his a "winky". For quite some time, we called them the same thing but Claire made sure to inform me that we could not do that.

I have been allowing them to take a bath together because Carter loves to splash and OG thinks it is hilarious to make him splash harder by laughing each time he hits the water. For the past month, she has been more interested in Carter's private parts than I would like for her to be. I know that it is just something different and her interest will soon pass. However, I have started trying to explain to her that each person has private parts that only belong to them and no one should look or touch except for mommas and dads. She seemed to understand and I thought my continuous reminding was working because she hasn't said anything the past week or so in the bathtub or during his diaper changes. Tonight, we were all three in the tub and Carter was overly excited about splashing in the water. Olivia Grace looks at me and says, "look, his "pirate" parts shake when he kicks". I thought I would die!!! I had to tell her that they were called "private" parts because that is what moms should do, right? I really just wanted to start laughing hysterically but I kept my composure, corrected the word and pulled the plug in the tub. It was time to get out!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

When Big Sisters Teach Little Brothers About "Dress-Up"

Poor Carter!! I guess he has a lot to look forward to since he has an older sister that is a bit bossy but still very protective of her little brother.

Olivia Grace played by herself for much of the day but decided to include Carter when it came time for dress-up. She did try to choose clothing that was not specific to a particular gender. I tried to put a pair of her dress-up shoes on him and she quickly told me, "a boy can't dress-up in girl shoes". Oh, sorry!!

He is pretty laid back and will do whatever she wants him to do (which is good because, remember, I said she was a bit bossy). He looks at her with those big, brown eyes and smiles no matter if she is...

dressing him up,

feeding him her pretend baby doll food,

pushing him down the hall in his walker as she pretends they are on a ride at Disney World,

helping him play her Hannah Montana keyboard as she plays the guitar so they can "make a band",

checking his lungs and heart with her stethoscope like the pediatrician does,

fixing his hair with her hair clips,

pretending to read him story after story as he sits and glares at her as if every word were meant just for him...

He just looks at her and smiles the most precious smile - and as I watch them, I realize just how precious the sibling relationship can be. I pray that they continue to have the relationship that they have right now...that he always looks at her like he did today - in amazement at his beautiful, big sister - and that she always takes care of him just as she has for the past 6 months.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Proud Moments

The ride home today wasn't much different than any other ride home. Usually, if everyone is in a good mood and not too tired, we sing along with either a christian CD of songs that we sing at our church or a CD that Olivia Grace calls "Connor's songs" because it was a favor from Connor's birthday party.

OG asked to hear the "glory song" so we were singing along and enjoying ourselves. When the song ended, it got quiet enough that I could hear Olivia Grace talking to Carter. I decided to turn the next song down a bit so that I could hear what she was saying.

I could have never imagined what was coming out of her mouth...she was witnessing to her little brother. She said (as best I can remember), "Carter, do you want Jesus in your heart? Do you want him to live in here (I guess she was pointing to her heart). Jesus can live in your heart. He really can, I promise."

I have never been so proud in my life! I really struggle with the religious questions that she is starting to ask (last night the questions was "what is glory?") and I often worry that I am not doing all that I could to help her understand God and Jesus and all that goes along with those very abstract concepts. If she doesn't get any of those concepts that I have been trying to help her with, she has learned the most important - We all need to have Jesus in our heart!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Carter's Christening

We had Carter christened today and it was absolutely wonderful. We had our closest friends and family there with us and everyone enjoyed dinner after church. We had to wait longer with Carter than we did with Olivia Grace because he had such a rough start. But today he was the most perfect little boy. He didn't cry once! He is truly a different child.

I really looked forward to both of my children's dedication because I feel like it is my way to say in front of everyone just how much I appreciate the Lord trusting me with these precious gifts and how hard I plan to work in order to be that good Christian mother that protects them, guides them and teaches them how awesome and powerful God is. How he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end...how he created everything we see and yet knows each one of us by name...how he is all powerful but chose to exchange all of his power and splendor for poverty here on Earth just to pay our debt. Our outward notion of "giving" them back to the Lord is just our simple way of saying we are going to do our very best to "train them in the way that they should go". I am so grateful for my two precious blessings!

Pastor Tommy did a great job at making this day special for my family.

He even included Olivia Grace by asking her if she would be willing to help teach Carter about Jesus and show him what is right.

Carter absolutely loved Pastor Tommy. He was enthralled by every word he spoke.

Becky - the American Idol winner of our family! She is the best!

Our Family

Our Family and Our Extended Family

The dinner after the service

The cake was done by a good friend, Paula Ackerman of Cupcake Betty's. She did a wonderful job - much better than what I could have imagined. It tasted as good as it looked. She also took all the pictures which turned out as good as the cake.

Claire - the greatest friend in the world that would do anything for me including attending church at Maryville PH - and Wilson!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Appreciating Special Times

The past week or so hasn't been quite as relaxing as I was hoping it would be but as I was thinking about the time that I have had off, I realized that even amidst the craziness, there are times to appreciate.

Olivia Grace had a very bad virus right before Christmas that lasted about 5 days. We ended up going to the doctor and getting a prescription for nausea to help her through Christmas. She is feeling much better now but she was a very sick little girl for those few days. I am sure all of you mothers can relate when I say - I hate it when my kids are sick!! Once they start feeling better after being as sick as OG was, it makes us moms really appreciate the time we have with our little ones.

Craig has been selling fireworks this Christmas in order to supplement our already pitiful income so he hasn't been home much to help out with the kids. To top that off, he now has a staph infection so I won't allow him out of our bedroom for fear that he might touch something. I definitely won't allow him to touch the children just for the sake of helping me out. When I talked to our pediatrician, he said not to treat Craig like he had the plague. Bless his little heart...we have treated him worse. We have treated him like a leper. When he does leave the room, I follow him around with the Clorox wipes wiping down everything he comes in contact with. Since I haven't had much help, I plan to be more appreciative of the help he gives me in the future.

As a mom, it is often easy to take for granted those little things that happen. Since Craig has been sick, the kids and I have moved into OG's room. I had to wake OG up from the couch in order to get her in the bed last night. It wasn't easy while holding Carter and trying not to wake him up. She was half asleep when we laid down and she immediately grabbed my hand under the pillow. Carter is a snuggler so when I rolled over his way in order to better hold OG's hand, he grabbed hold of my other finger. As I laid in the bed holding my children's hands, I found myself thanking the Lord over and over for allowing me that precious moment. My eyes filled with tears and I began to wonder how often things like that have happened before and I have taken them for granted. As crazy as it sounds, I never want to forget how I felt last night holding the hands of my precious babies. They will soon be married and have their own children to enjoy so I only have a short while to appreciate the gifts that God has given me - to appreciate them as they are now while they still want to hold my hand that is. I don't think I have ever felt as thankful as I did last night - and it was something so small. Now, I am determined to pay closer attention to the "small" special times that I usually take for granted!