Friday, May 30, 2008

What Not To Wear

Lately, my son would be the ideal candidate for the fashion fix-it show, "What Not To Wear."

A few nights ago, Drew discovered a pair of long, black soccer socks tucked in the back of his sock drawer. Still in their packaging, the socks were several sizes too big for our son (I hit a sale, what can I say?), but I handed them over to him anyway.

It was love at first sight, as Drew tugged the socks clumsily over his ankles and pulled them up way past the knees. He began rummaging through his shorts drawer to find "soccer pants" and the perfect "soccer shirt" to complete his ensemble. An hour later, I coaxed him away from the ball he'd been kicking around the living room and ushered him into his bedroom for the night. I allowed him to keep the socks on as he fell asleep, and I carefully removed them only after he was slumbering soundly.

The next morning, I peered into his son was reading a book in his bed, soccer socks securely fitted back over his little legs.

That day, we were off for a blueberry-picking field trip with several friends. As we arrived, one mommy was brave enough to ask what I'm sure all the others were wondering, "What's up with the socks?" I explained that he hadn't removed them in about 12 hours, and I just didn't have the heart to insist that he remove them quite yet.

Several hours later, we joined our friends at Kindermusik class...still sporting the same socks that he'd now been wearing for about 24 hours. After class was over, he removed the socks from his feet and hasn't worn them since.

I have to be honest, I was really relieved! For, however much I want my son to explore his creativity and imagination, I find that I battle pride (or ego or something) when he's walking around dressed in some sort of goofy concoction that I would NEVER choose for him.

You know, pride is a bad thing. It's something I truly struggle with. The Bible is bursting with warnings against it (Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 29:23, Ecclesiastes 7:8, Colossians 3:12, I could go on...but we ALL get the point).

I thank God that He loves me enough to want to deliver me from my prideful ways. And I appreciate His sense of humor as He gives me ways to practice humility. While my son's fashion choices are slightly embarassing and a little hard to explain, I'm wearing a much more offensive "outfit" when I choose to clothe myself in pride and arrogance and the desire for others to compliment the way my kid looks or dresses.

So, today, Drew walked out of his room in full Superman regalia (complete with red cape).

"I'm ready to go, Mommy!"

And we were off to the vet and the drugstore.

Maybe if I could just let him wear a sticker that says, "I dressed myself today"....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bye Bye Ruby!

Our beloved goldfish
of three weeks, Ruby,
is being remembered fondly today...
"Mommy, come look - Ruby is not swimming good today"
...for the joy she brought to our family during her short life.

Ruby enjoyed swimming, resting, playing in the green plants
and eating fish flakes once a day.

She is survived by her tank-mate, Max...who seems to be holding up just fine.

An impromptu memorial service was held
in the blue bathroom this morning,
with Drew officiating the ceremony.
"Mommy, I'll flush it!!!! Where's she going?"

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the
Future Fish Foundation.
"Mommy, now we need to go get a new Ruby!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Even the best moms...

My sister is a great mom! She has wanted to be a mom since she was a little girl, and she fully embraces her role as mommy to my adorable nephew, age 2.

Not only is she a great mom, but she's also a wife, a Ph.D. student, a preschool teacher, a published and sought-after speaker for student and women's minisries, and a listening ear for hundreds of college students to whom she and her husband minister on a college campus in Texas. Whew!

I often wonder how she gets everything done in a day that's required or expected of her, especially when I can't accomplish the far-shorter list of "to-do's" expected of me. So, I was delighted, entertained and so grateful for the following email I received from her the other day for my birthday.

my house is a wreck
the backyard is up to my knees
i have two 30 page papers due by June 10th
and my inlaws are coming on thursday for eight days....

my cell phone isn't charged
my friends keep complaining that they never get in touch with me
and my co-teacher will be out this Friday

i have 10 scrapbooks to complete
along with mothers' day gifts that aren't yet finished
and mother's day was two weeks ago...
Drew's birthday gift is still sitting in the guest room
and my little guy doesn't want to take a nap

Hubby's birthday gift was a new tv
because the tube went out in ours
and the new tv is so big i need to rearrange
all the furniture in our bedroom

the dishes have been clean for 2 days in the dishwasher
so imagine what my sink looks like
i need to go now because my child is
screaming my name over and over in the next room...

Do you ever get tired of hearing, mama mama mama mama
am i a bad mother for wanting to put in ear plugs
needless to say, i haven't bought a birthday present for you yet,
but this email was rather therapeutic, I must say

It seems that each day, one of God's precious gifts to me is the realization that I am certainly not alone in this preschool parenting stage and that even the best moms sometimes just have one of those days!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maybe you just had to be there...

My husband's sister and her husband were over the other night with their wonderful dog (a HUGE bull mastiff). Our dog (a HUGE yellow lab) and his "cousin" began playing in the living room, much to my child's delight. With a combined weight of well over 200 lbs, it's quite a sight to watch these two pups race around the tables, barking, tails wagging, and the rest of us trying to stay out of the way while watching the fun. They were unusually frisky that night, so I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the digital camera to capture the moment.

I couldn't hear much else above my son's hysterical laughter, the encouragement from the grown-ups, and the barking from the dogs. But as I raised the camera to begin filming the mayhem, my son yelled, "SAY CHEESE, DOGS!"

There's absolutely no point or moral to this story. And perhaps it's one of those "Had to be there" moments. But, I am still chuckling a few days later every time I recall it, so I figured it must be blog-worthy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Good Sense of Direction

My son has a terrific sense of direction. We travel certain routes around town on a consistent basis, and even when the familiar places aren't in sight, he can correctly point in the direction of Grandma's house, our house, church, the doctor's office, the vet, etc.

The other day, my mom was driving around town with my son in the car. She had to run a few errands in an unfamiliar part of town, and Drew was trying hard to get a handle on their geographic location.

"Where is Grandma's house?"
"Where's Andrew's house?"
"Where are we going?", etc.

Once the errands were completed, they headed toward Grandma's house, and as my mom turned onto a street that she knew would be familiar to my son, she turned back toward his carseat and asked, "Now do you know where you are, Drew?"

A puzzled expression, then a few moments of silence...

"I'm right here, Grandma," he replied.

A good sense of direction and some logic. That's my boy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Be Brave, Mommy

So, Drew's grandparents were in town for a few weeks recently from Alabama, and he had an absolute BLAST with them! In fact, he was having so much fun with them that he forgot to need or miss his mommy!

On Saturday, my mother-in-law asked Drew if he would like to go play air hockey at the McDonald's playground near our house (which boasts a pretty great playground, air hockey table, and many arcade-style games). She went on to suggest that if I came along, we could then go to the home decorating store we'd been wanting to visit together. I said, "Great! I'll put my shoes on."
Drew looked crushed. "No Mommy! You need to stay here. I'll go with Baba by myself." And then, as he's heard me console him so many times before, he continued, "You'll be o.k. I'll be back soon."

Gee, thanks.

I walked them to the car, leaned in and said goodbye to my big boy, who just seems to be growing up a little too fast these days. Not wavering in his desire to do this outing alone with his grandmother, he once again told me to stay at the house and assured me that I would be "just fine." Lightheartedly, I responded, "I'll try to be brave..."

"Yes, Be Brave, Mommy!"

Sigh...I'll try.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Birthday Basket

In order to appreciate Drew's Birthday Basket fully, you'll have to catch up and read our blog entry dated April 23 (A Few of His Favorite Things).

For our son's birthday, his aunt and uncle actually went out and found almost everything on Drew's Top Ten List, wrapped each item individually, and placed the collection in a big birthday basket. (Side Note: for a colorful touch, my sister-in-law filled the bottom of the basket with shredded construction paper in a variety of colors. What a creative idea; I definitely intend to use it myself).

You can imagine the absolute pleasure this child experienced as he opened each little package!
"Woo Hoo - Waffles!"
"A donut....with SPRINKLES!"
And on and on it went.

And we, the adults, had more fun trying to remember the other items on his "list" before he opened the next package.

It was such a sweet way to show Drew how much he is loved and appreciated for the pleasure he gets out of the simplest things in life!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just Two Inches...

Last week, I took Drew to his 3 Year Old checkup with his Pediatrician. The nurse weighed him, measured him against the chart on the wall, made a few notes on his file, and asked us to wait a few minutes until the doctor could join us. When the doctor arrived, she listened to his heart, examined his eyes, ears, breathing, etc. and gave him a new toothbrush! Then, she flipped open his chart to discuss where his height and weight now fell on the scale of percentages I'd become intimately familiar with over the past three years.

When my son was born at 9lbs, he was in the 90% for both height and weight, which means that he was longer and weighed more than 90% of all other newborns. And while the height percentile has adjusted downward slightly through the years, he's always been 90%-95% on weight. Basically, I'm used to big numbers.

So, when the doctor opened the chart and said, "O.K. We're at 8% for height and 65% for weight." I just assumed that I'd heard her wrong. I responded, "80% for height?". "No - 8th..." she responded. I tilted my head and rephrased her findings for her, "As in 8% like, incredibly short for his age 8%?" "Yes."
I was really stunned by this. I knew that there were several kids in his class at church who were obviously taller than Drew, but to be registering so low on the percentile chart... it didn't make a lot of sense to me.

The doctor began asking me how tall I was, how tall my husband was, and we traced back through the men on Drew's paternal side, noting that indeed there was not a whole lot of height to inherit. I began asking the questions that probably can't be answered anyway.. "How tall do you think he'll be as an adult?" "Should I be concerned at all about this since it's such a drastic difference from the previous years of growth?"

She began to answer my questions diligently, but then stopped herself mid-sentence. She looked Drew over again, picked him up off the examining table and set him down on the ground. She finally said, "You know, he doesn't really look that short. Let's measure him again." So, we stepped back out into the hallway, took off his shoes and pressed him back up against the growth chart. We found that he was two inches taller than what had been recorded by the nurse earlier in the visit. We walked back into the examing room and plotted the new number on the chart. "That's better" the doctor sighed. "He's 45% for height and 65% for weight." Absolutely normal.

Two inches was the difference between being shorter than 92% of his peers or being right in the middle of the pack. A measurement about the length of my thumb made a huge difference at our appointment that day. My husband and I both agreed later that we had considered the same "truth" when I relayed the story to him. How a very small thing can sometimes make a huge difference.

I was recently reading a book that talked about encouragement. How we should really practice the Biblical principle of encouraging one another, and building eachother up. And often it's the little things we can do or say for eachother that can make the biggest difference in someone's life. A well-timed phone call. A note in the mail. A quick email saying "Hello - I've been thinking about you today."

I pray that God will use me to be an encouragement. To sprinkle a few inches of loving-kindness around to those who are precious in my life. (I Thessalonians 5:11)