Another Unnecessary Pediatrician Visit

Yup. I was, once again, that mom. You know, the mom who’s all worried over every little sign? Those of you who knew me when Hula Girl was little know that we visited the pediatrician a lot. Part of this is that Jonathan’s also a worry-wart in his heart, and when you get the two of us together and tell us something slightly troubling about our children, we automatically jump into “Something’s Wrong!” mode. I would like to take a moment to recognize my restraint so far in Gelato’s life… after all, we almost made it 4 months without an extraneous pediatrician visit. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

In the middle of last week, I noticed my little man scratching at his right ear a lot. I figured I’d keep an eye on it, but he was probably only doing that because he was discovering that there was something floppy attached to the side of his head. Cool. Fast forward to yesterday, when he started crying his “pain” cry when I laid him down to change his diaper. Weird. When I sat him back up, he stopped crying. I tried this about 4 times in a row, and he was definitely in pain when on his back. We eventually got the diaper changed when I distracted him. Then he started crying his “pain” cry in the evening after we put him to bed last night. And he would not be comforted. And every time Jonathan tried to lay him down, he just cried harder.

We thought it was probably an ear infection.

Well, nope. Took him in today and felt like a moron. But at least I now have peace of mind.

I also learned that my kid is a huge chub. He weighs in at 16 pounds, which is 1 pound, 2 ounces heavier than Hula Girl was at his age. Actually, when looking at growth percentiles, he’s only between 50 and 75, but still. I am pretty confident we won’t double his birth weight (8 lbs 13.5 oz, so we’d need to get to 17 lbs 11 oz) by 6 months old, but we didn’t with Hula Girl, either. It’s pretty hard to do when your kids come out so huge. 🙂

Anyway, $30 down the drain; healthy baby; moving on.

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Don’t Look Over Here

Hula Girl. Oh, Hula Girl. What a funny little person!

She is honest beyond reason. She no longer lies to me, declaring, “I’m not,” when I am watching her do something I’ve asked her not to do. No, she’s moved on to “Don’t look over here. I don’t want you to see what I am doing.”

Yesterday, I was reading her a book on the couch in the living room and she declared that she needed to go potty. The downstairs of our house is situated with the living room, dining room, kitchen, and two hallways framing the staircase and under-the-stairs storage closet. Does that make sense? Anyway, from the living room, one cannot glimpse the front hallway, where the restroom is found. I heard Hula Girl finish her business, but she didn’t return to the couch. I gave her a few seconds, and then I said, “[Hula Girl], what are you doing?”

“I don’t want you to come over here and see what I am doing.”

“Uh-oh. That means I need to come see what you are doing.”

“I don’t want you to see that I am getting into the diaper bag.”

“You’re getting into the diaper bag?”

“Yes, I am getting into the diaper bag. But I don’t want you to come see that I am getting into the diaper bag.”

🙂

Some other things she doesn’t want me and Jonathan to see are things like picking her nose, biting her nails, touching the computer, opening the kitchen drawers, or taking the ornaments off the family tree. But I love that she always tells me exactly what she is doing so I can decide on a course of action before I “catch” her in the act. Most often, she tells me, “I am going to make a better choice,” and then she abandons whatever she was up to before I can even get there. That’s my girl.

Hospitality

Jonathan and I just listened to a recording of the message delivered this Sunday by my old friend, who is now the pastor of my home church from childhood. The kind of hospitality and life-giving relationships that Ben (Pastor Ben? Pastor Brooks? How do I address him now? I literally grew up with him! He’s always been Ben to me!) spoke about really got to my heart.

Ben told the (fictional) story of a couple who joined the church, then joined a “Kingdom-Life Group”. The Kingdom-Life Group was a close-knit, fully-invested group of families who were “all up in each other’s business” in a good way. They all had a huge heart for the Lord and were keenly interested in living the way the apostles and believers did in Acts. They met frequently to break bread, pray, hold each other accountable, study the Word, and worship. But they decided to take it a step further. They were intentional about hospitality and missions. They wanted to get out into their neighborhood and win others for Christ. And they did. They hosted parties, they prayed, they went on walks with the intention of meeting specific neighbors. They were warm, inviting, caring, and, well, weird. Weird in a good way. People knew them, they knew their message, and even if they didn’t believe in the same things, they wanted to have a part in what was happening with those “Christians.”

Jonathan and I got so excited about that idea… but then we realized we’re kind of a long way from that kind of thing. Which was discouraging.

We’ve moved a lot since we were married. And then we made a lot of excuses. So, no, we really have no church that we call “home”. We don’t know many other young families who love Jesus and who are teaching their children to do the same. Heck, we haven’t even had either of our children dedicated yet. Yes, it is terribly sad. Yes, we have totally dropped the ball. Yes, we are heartbroken over the fact that we got so lazy.

So now we’ve got to be crazy-intentional. We ARE going to be attending church, starting this Sunday. First Advent Sunday of the season. Seems appropriate. We ARE going to step out of our comfort zones (including being nervous about missing naps, etc.) to stay at church and meet some new people each time. We ARE going to find out how we can host a small group in our own home (is that selfish? I just figured we can’t really afford a babysitter, and it would be easy to put the kids to bed by 6:45 and then have the group arrive at 7). We ARE going to raise our children in a church, in a community, and hopefully, if all goes well, in a Kingdom-Life Group of our very own.

So I guess we’re going to be taking all the right steps… just maybe a bit out of order. ‘Cuz the first thing we’re going to do is open up our home and practice some good old-fashioned hospitality. Starting December 15.

This morning I woke up with a hare-brained idea. I said, “Hey, would it be okay if I decided to invite some of our friends from Storytime over for a Christmas party this month?” It kind of blew up from there. Now we’re hosting a Christmas Cookie Decorating and Reindeer Games Party. And we’re expecting at least 10 families.   In our teensy weensy little home. That is half-filled with Goliath’s Christmas tree. Wahoo!

The whole point of this get-together, for me at least, is to get to know the names of the moms I see week to week. Huh? Yeah. I know that she’s Gracie’s Mom, and she’s Adam’s Mom. But I don’t know their real names. I don’t know anything about them. In fact, just by handing out the invitations, I learned that one mom’s husband works on the railroads in Minnesota, so she’s alone with her little girl day in and day out. I am betting that mom could use a little friendship. I would never have known. (Ironically, I have yet to learn her name. Whoops.)

I kind of want to establish a gathering place. My home is never spotless. My home is rarely even tidy. I can’t cook very well. My husband will have to be home if you want coffee, because I don’t know how to make it. But I can heat up water and soak a tea bag. And my couch, albeit old, is cozy. And the living room smells like Christmas. So yeah, I can handle this. In fact, I’m craving it. Give me a reason to keep things tidy! Give me a reason to try a new recipe (but give me grace when it’s a disaster!)! I can’t wait to welcome folks into our home. I hope one day my children will feel strange when we don’t have someone new in our home for a week. I just want to create a space that is welcoming, comforting, and serene. I want people to feel loved, served, honored, and relaxed when they enter our home.

Yee-haw. I just found my mission. 🙂

Christmas Traditions- Ours

We have several traditions that we’d like to carry year-to-year with our family. They are numerous, but simple. I think that makes them doable. 🙂

  • Decorate and get a tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
  • Trim the tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, while listening to Delilah (corny, anyone?).
  • Sit in the semi-darkness and sip tea/hot drink of some sort while enjoying the sight of the lights on our tree.
  • Purchase each child a yearly ornament. (Hula Girl gets ornaments from this collection http://www.christmas-treasures.com/CharmingTails/HolidayOrnaments.htm; Gelato will be receiving bells each year. Here’s his bell for this year: http://www.reedandbarton.com/holly-bell-2012-silverplated-ornament) (sorry, wordpress is being lame and not allowing me to use a link for those…)
  • Read tons and tons and tons of Christmas stories and books.
  • Leave out cookies for Santa, a carrot for Rudolph, and cheese for Santa Mouse.
  • Attend a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
  • Eat homemade pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve.
  • Read the Christmas Story and another meaningful story on Christmas Eve.
  • Wear new Christmas jammies to bed on Christmas Eve.
  • Eat homemade cinnamon rolls and quiche on Christmas morning.

What traditions does your family keep? How do those traditions change/develop as your children grow?

Christmasing has Begun!

Well, we’ve been Christmasing around here. I love this song from A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s so peaceful while still speaking about the excitement of the season. Exactly the way I feel this year- very at peace but very excited all the same. Enjoy!

So what has Christmasing looked like in our home?

De-autumning- we spent about 45 minutes clearing our walls and shelves of everything fall. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my fall decorations, and I get excited to bring them out every year. But once the nights get that special nip-your-nose feel, I am ready for the change in decor.

Enlightening- Jonathan worked hard to get our lights up during Gelato’s wake times. This was a worthy goal, but unattainable. However, he did get all the lights around Gelato’s room (on the roof and on the lower eaves) done while Gelato was nursing and playing with me. So that didn’t interfere with naps at all. Sigh of relief. Hula Girl was quite enthralled, albeit nervous, when watching Daddy up on the roof. Her favorite moment of the day was looking out her window during roomtime and waving at Daddy, who was standing right outside. She even retold the story to me tonight, four days later. It sure left an impression!

O, Christmas Tree- Ahhhhhh! That wonderful scent that fills the home each Christmas season. And ours is like, mega-scented. Probably because it’s the largest tree we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a tree that was nine feet tall before. Oh, yes, my friends, our tree is huge. The story? Well, we went to pick out our tree and we found the perfect one- it was the first one we looked at! It didn’t need any branches cut off the bottom, it was a good shape, no large holes, no flat spots, just delightful. We took it over to have it trimmed (nothing like a fresh cut to the trunk to get a tree drinking water!)… and that was when it all went downhill. The guys doing the trimming/wrapping/loading had no clue what they were doing. And I am being totally serious. They lopped off 5 or 6 branches from the bottom, effectively maiming our tree beyond niceness. They didn’t use a chainsaw to cut off the bottom, until I told them they had to do that. They didn’t hold the tree steady while cutting off the bottom, so the cut was jagged and diagonal. Then they tried to send the tree through the mesh wrapper thingie TOP FIRST. That is, until I told them to turn the tree around. They argued with me but eventually did it my way since I am, in fact, the customer. I think they still probably believe I was wrong. Then when they tied it down on the car, they wanted to just loop the rope through the open windows. Good idea… if our kids were already IN the car. But no, they wanted to do it when we were all standing OUTSIDE the car. Yes, they wanted to tie our doors shut.

After all that, you might imagine we were quite disgruntled. We really had no time to be- it was nigh upon bedtime, and the kids were not having the standing-in-the-cold-just-to-replace-our-once-perfect-tree, so we took it home to try it out. We set up the darned thing for 30 seconds, took it down, and Jonathan took it back to the store and swapped it out for another. They told him he could choose one that was a size category larger… and he found one that was misplaced. So he ended up getting a gigantic tree, not just a bigger tree, for the price of a normal sized tree. True story. The tree’s diameter is about six feet. So that’s a large footprint.

We got all the indoor decorations up and then decorated the large large tree as a family. Hula Girl learned how to hang ornaments of the hook and of the loop varieties. She even got to decorate her own little tree with her pink, purple, and silver glitter CUPCAKES and balls. Nothing says Christmas like pink and purple cupcakes(?).

I have been adding to the Christmas feeling by creating new decorations every day. Two days ago I trimmed out my front entryway with some trees that I snagged from Starbucks last year when they were done with them (did you know they just throw those decorations away? If you like your Starbucks’ decorations, talk to the manager about relieving them of their leftovers in January!), some brown paper parcels for Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty, and a cute little snowman.

Next on my list for decorating is the wreaths. I have several to make. Two for the dining room, one for the front door, and one for our family’s advent celebrations. I just love homemade wreaths. I made my first last year and I was so very proud of it! I will never buy a wreath during Christmas season!

The last thing we have accomplished so far is gift choosing and purchasing. We have ordered all the family’s gifts, except for one, and we’ve even received a few. We just need to figure out what Jonathan and I will be getting for each other. We were going to buy bikes, helmets, and a bike trailer so we can go riding as a family, but the more I researched it, the more we realized this will be better once Gelato is a year older. Safety first, friends. So now we’re back at square one. I had a really nice idea that I need to discuss with Jonathan some more. If we settle on that, I’ll let you know.

I just reflected on all that, and it doesn’t sound too peaceful. Bah. When I write it all out, it seems hectic. But honestly, I feel quite peaceful in my heart. I hope my family does, too.

BIG FAT FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a.k.a. CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE!!!!!

So, to begin the season right, take a little listen to my favorite favorite favorite Christmas Season Song. (I actually have a different Favorite Christmas Eve Song, so be prepared for that one in a few weeks.) And yes, I only like this song when Nat King Cole sings it.

What is Big Fat Fabulous Friday?

Well, it’s the day that begins the most wonderful time of the year, of course.

Sure, many people are out being crazy and mauling each other in order to gain possession of that one special item. That’s not exactly the most wonderful time of the year. I will admit that I have participated in Black Friday deal hunting, and that I look forward to it again in the future. But I am not a die-hard, get-there-at-the-crack-of-8:30-p.m.-on-Thanksgiving-and-shop-all-night kind of girl. No, no. I prefer getting up around 5:30, stopping by Starbucks, loading up on caffeine and FAR too much sugar, hitting a few fun stores, feeling absolutely sick by 7:30, stopping for breakfast, getting out to a couple more stores, and then heading home by 10. That’s the extent of my Black Friday. And I like to leave it that way.

But Black Friday is NOT the same as Big Fat Fabulous Friday.

Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when we bust out the ol’ Christmas decorations. Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when Jonathan spends FAR too much time on the roof putting up lights. Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when our little family piles in the car and gets our CHRISTMAS TREE!!!

So, it’s safe to say that Big Fat Fabulous Friday is awesome.

This year, Hula Girl is old enough to understand and participate in some of the rituals. She will be outside with us when I help Jonathan string the lights on our outdoor trees. She will be inside with me, jamming to our favorite carols and sipping hot chocolate, while I put up the few decorations that last year-to-year. She will get to help Jonathan choose the very best tree while I carry Gelato around the tree lot. And she will be able to help me water the Christmas tree every morning and afternoon until it stops drinking water or January comes.

Can I tell you how excited I am to be sharing some of these things with my kiddo!?!?! I mean, this is the first year we will actually start traditions with her! She gets to hang her own ornaments! She gets to make cookies for Santa! She gets to leave cheese for Santa Mouse and a carrot for Rudolph! (Her current thinking on Santa/reindeer is that Santa will come wake her up in the night when he gets here so that she can come downstairs and feed an unpeeled carrot to the reindeer. Yes, she specified that the carrot will not be peeled. ??? She has also expressed concern that Santa Mouse will need to hide her present in the MIDDLE of the Christmas tree so that she can crawl under the branches and look up to find it. No joke. She is hilarious.) 

Another tradition we’re SO excited to begin is one I heard of somewhere out in blogland- we’re going to set out a small empty manger and every time someone in our family shows kindness, joy, or love, we’ll add a piece of straw. We hope to make a nice, soft bed for Jesus for his arrival on Christmas Eve.

I have come up with a Christmas-related topic for every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, and have planned 2 activities to go along with each topic. Hula Girl will LOVE Christmas by the time December is over. And not just for the toys. We’re focusing on things like the characters in the Christmas story, the advent wreath, and Christmas traditions like candy canes and stockings. I plan to keep it quite simple (duh, she’s 2) and not try to hit on EVERYTHING this year (we do have several Christmases ahead of us, after all), but I also want to try to give her a bit of an understanding of the miracle and why we celebrate so very much. I mean, 1/12th of our LIVES are spent in celebration of this one event… she may as well understand why we go so crazy over it (especially if her understanding diminishes the importance of TOYS and emphasizes the importance of…oh, I don’t know… SALVATION)!

So, back to our plans.

We’ll get up, have an awesome Christmas-themed breakfast (I’ll post about that when it happens), and start up the carols. Hula Girl and I will start reading a few Christmas stories that we have here at home (we have, like, 1000 books-no joke- so I’m sure we have at least 20 books about Christmas). Then Jonathan will bring in all the Christmas decorations and lights, and we’ll figure out what goes where and which strings of lights need replacing, etc. Next, we’ll head outside to watch Jonathan start putting up lights. When Hula Girl tires of that, we’ll head inside and start decorating the inside of the house (because, of course, we’ll have taken down all Remnants of Fall on Thanksgiving night). I can’t wait to show her the special decorations we have and tell her what they mean to us. I’m thinking particularly of a little statue we have that has 3 snowmen. I got that for us when we learned we were pregnant with Hula Girl. She will ADORE having a snowman self. Of course, lunch will be Thanksgiving leftovers. While Hula Girl naps, Jonathan and I will finish up with the lights and decorations. I will also start some turkey soup so that when Hula Girl and Gelato get up from their naps in the afternoon, we can head out as a family and choose our TREE! When we get home, we’ll set it up in the garage to let its branches fall a bit and we’ll enjoy turkey soup for dinner. Once the kids are in bed, Jonathan and I will plan this year’s extra-special decorations… I plan to go crafting-crazy, and I will have to shop on Saturday to purchase all the extra supplies I need. 🙂

Wahoo! Welcome to the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Thanksgiving, Our Way

Well, tomorrow Jonathan and I will be hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner. Yep, we’ve been married five years and have yet to celebrate the holiday at home. We HAVE cooked the entire meal once before, and all the separate dishes numerous times. So we’re not sweating the food (for once!- y’all know me… not exactly a Top Chef candidate). Here’s our menu:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Carrots (haven’t decided how to prepare them yet- I will likely roast them)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Rolls
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Jell-O Dessert Thing (it has no name)
  • Pies

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff in brown is food we’re preparing here at our house. Stuff in orange is food my mom’s preparing early and bringing. The Jell-O Dessert Thing is my grandma’s creation. 

Anyway, we’re quite excited to have my mom, dad, and grandma join us for dinner. I might even see if our next-door neighbor wants to come. Nothing like a holiday to practice a little hospitality! 

So my tasks this afternoon and evening are numerous. First, I have to go through recipes and solidify my exact plans for all the food we’re going to prepare. Next, I have to prepare some of the food tonight so we aren’t relying on an already-full oven for any dishes tomorrow. Then, I have to clean. Ugh. Cleaning. Finally, I have to make Jonathan’s Thanksgiving To-Do List. Since my parents are coming tomorrow, and it’s going to be SO nice outside (it’s currently 72º), we will rely on them to take Hula Girl to the playground. That means Jonathan will have ample time to get out in the backyard and clean it up in preparation for the winter AND in preparation for Big Fat Fabulous Friday*. (Anyone recognize the reference there? Bonus points to the first person who correctly identifies the show in the comments below!)

Tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) we will attempt to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade… that is, if we can find it online. I’m sure we’ll be able to. update: I just googled it and, YES, we will be able to watch it on the Macy’s website or NBC’s website. So if y’all are in a bind like us, there ya go. Hula Girl is old enough to watch a little show here and there, and I think the holidays are a great reason to relax our strict NO-TV rule. Also, she wakes up at 7, which is when the parade starts, so why the heck shouldn’t we watch it!?

While we enjoy the parade, we’ll be cookin’ and waitin’ for the company. We might also vacuum a bit. Since we live in such a small house, we can’t really vacuum while the kiddos are sleeping. So we wait until we’re both home and both of them are awake… which happens for about 10 cumulative hours per week. Ha!

When the company arrives, my parents will abscond with Hula Girl, Jonathan will retreat to the backyard, and my grandma and I will chill in the living room, snacking on celery (her) and pickles and olives (me). When Hula Girl goes down for her nap, we’ll likely try to stream a football game so my mom, grandma, and husband can watch. My dad couldn’t really care less. 🙂

We’ll eat our official Thanksgiving Dinner around 5, which is when Hula Girl is used to having dinner. It’s a bit on the late side as far as Thanksgiving Dinners go, but it’s what works for our family. I just see no reason to try to give her a huge old meal in the middle of the day when she’s not used to that, and then expect her to eat well for her real dinner, too. And since I’m hosting, I can make the plans! You don’t like ’em, you don’t have to come! HA. (Fortunately, my family is quite flexible and they work with Hula Girl’s schedule all the time.)

And now, I must ask your opinion. So, here’s a little poll to help my family out.

*Big Fat Fabulous Friday plans to follow in another post.

Hula Girl’s First Career Goal

Well, Hula Girl has decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She wants to be a doctor, like “Dr. E.”, our pediatrician.

We were doing baths for the kiddos, and Jonathan had Gelato over in his baby tub on the sink while I had my feet in Hula Girl’s tub (gotta get that nice spa feeling where you can, right?!). She was washing my arm with her washcloth, and she told me she was being extra gentle. She was barely touching my skin. Ha! I commented and told her, “Wow, you’re so gentle that you could be a nurse someday!”

She said, “No, I don’t want to be a nurse. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a gentle doctor and I will be very careful when I check your eyes and your ears and your nose. I will be very careful when I put you on the scale. I will be gentle when I listen to your heart. I will be a careful doctor like ‘Dr. E.'”

Jonathan and I just stopped and gave each other amazed looks, ‘cuz, um, we haven’t really ever talked about what doctors do. Hula Girl is getting a doctor dress-up outfit for Christmas, so I thought maybe we would start there. But out of the blue, she astounds us with her memory.

She went on to say, “I will be like Darla (Dr. E’s NP) and I will put you on the scale. Like Gelato goes on the scale on his back. But I will go on the scale standing up. And I will be very gentle and careful.”

I told her that being a doctor is a great goal. My parents always encouraged me to be a doctor… thing is, I had no desire to be one. But now that I see her expressing an interest, I may as well foster it… we all know she’s gonna have to take care of us someday, and she may as well be able to afford it! 😉

On a related note, Gelato showed his first career yearning this evening, too. Perhaps it was inspired by his sister’s declaration. As Jonathan was getting him all diapered and jammied up, Gelato decided he’d like to be a firefighter. Only his declaration was less talk, more action. If you know what I mean. 😉

What will she be Like?

Okay, folks, I’m going to make a prediction here. Ready for it?

When it comes time for Hula Girl to enter school, choose a career, or make big life decisions, she will not settle for “good enough.” She will want to excel. She will want to impress. And she will want to teach all the other people around her how to do those things as well.

I can totally see her leading a study group on the 4th grade playground, just 20 minutes prior to the Big History Test. I can see her doing all the extra credit assignments in her Sophomore English class, even though she’s already got a 4.99 GPA. (Is that possible? My high school didn’t offer but one AP class. Of course, I was in it, but we didn’t get weighted grades. My college had to reconfigure my high school grades when I applied just so it didn’t look like I was dumber than the kids whose grades were weighted out of 5.) I can see her in college, cramming for all her finals and then sleeping through her first two days back home for Christmas to catch up on sleep she missed during finals week.

I can see her being extremely picky about her friends because Mommy and Daddy have taught her that there are things called “right” and “wrong” and she doesn’t want to be friends with kids who do the “wrong” thing sometimes. I can see her having a select few best friends who are awesome people who will encourage her and enjoy her even though she’s a bit anal sometimes. I can see her dating very few boys and holding out for THE ONE because she values herself so much. I can see her being One Hundred Percent Sure that the man she chooses to marry is Right For Her.

I can see her practicing her lines for hours in front of the mirror on a Saturday, just to get the leading role in the play. I can see her lining up soccer balls and shooting them at a goal in the backyard for hours after practice. I can hear her tuning her instrument and playing the same piece over and over, just to get the music perfect.

And do you know what makes me even more proud?

I can see her stopping whatever she’s doing, wherever she is, to help someone in need. It doesn’t matter whether that need is big or small, whimsical or dire, spoken or unspoken, physical or emotional. She has an uncanny (and sometimes unnerving) ability to sense when someone needs something, and she is usually correct in guessing what that person needs even if it’s not spoken. And she meets those needs.

My task as her mom will be to teach her to balance her life. She will need to know that it’s okay to go 150 miles an hour for a short amount of time, but that it’s even better to slow down (or-gasp!-stop) to smell the roses every now and then. I do have a pretty good idea of what I plan to do to instill this in her heart and in her habits.

I have already started putting my plans into action.

First, I am very intentional about showing her the wonderful things God has built into nature for our enjoyment. There is not a night that Hula Girl and I don’t spend a few minutes gazing out the window at the beautiful pink sunset. (Hula Girl’s first pink sunset experience was filled with joy- “Yook, Mommy! The sky is pink just foy me! God made it pink because he knows that I yike pink!”) Then her eagerness turns to pure excitement as she frantically searches the sky for the moon. We also spend time looking at beauty in rocks (we have a lot of granite in our backyard, so we look for the crystals), leaves, bugs, flowers, snowflakes, and animals. I remind her frequently, “God made this so we could look at it and see how wonderful He is,” or, “Isn’t God incredible? Wasn’t it so awesome of him to think about us when he made this?”

Second, we take time daily to list, discuss, and praise God for the things we are thankful for in our lives. On Hula Girl’s most recent list were things like airplanes, sheep, shouting, Gelato, dogs, clouds, and singing. (Those of you who know her best will be able to recognize that we made this list while she was in her swing.) We do this at least once a day, and she always has something new to talk about.

Third, we take special time each evening to reflect on the day and ask what things Hula Girl liked and didn’t like about the day. If she has trouble remembering everything that  happened that day, I remind her. She will then go into a paragraph-long-but-extremely-repetitive speech about something that she liked or didn’t like. Two nights ago, she told me that she liked sliding on her slide because she likes to slide and sliding is fun and her “New Baby” was sliding with her and “New Baby” likes sliding because sliding is fun and they like to slide together.

Allow me to close with today’s experience with Storytime at the library. I think this highlights many of Hula Girl’s qualities as they’re listed above.

We arrived at Storytime just before it started. I opened Hula Girl’s door, unbuckled her straps, and asked her to get her arms out of the carseat, but wait in the car until I came back for her. She did. On the way into the library, she wanted to stop and look for ladybugs on the plants. In November. I asked her to come quickly because we were almost late. She ran to the doors and then waited for me to come hold her hand while she walked quietly through the library. She whispered to me when she was inside, reminding me to use a “quiet voice”.

There were a few boys in the storytime room today who were new to the group and who could NOT sit still. One was even quite boisterous and disruptive. Neither of their caregivers (I don’t think they were with their moms- maybe their grandmothers?) could control them. The younger of the two came over to the girl next to us and shoved a book in her face, then dropped it on the ground and left. Hula Girl picked up the book, walked it over to the boy, and came and sat back down without saying one word. Then the older of the boys threw a tantrum and hit the woman he was with. Hula Girl turned to me and said, “That boy needs to use gentle hands.” Of course, neither of the boys left during storytime, so it was a bit chaotic today.

Aside from those two things, I did not see Hula Girl really participating/interacting much. I kind of thought she was too distracted to pay much attention. Turns out, she paid a lot more attention than I thought!

On the way home, Hula Girl said, “I yiked sto-yee-time today.” I said, “You did? What did you think about it?” She said, “I did not yike dose boys who were walking ayound and being youd. I did yike dose kids who were sitting down and yee-see-neen.” I asked her if she remembered what the stories were about. “Turkeys!” I asked her if she saw any of her friends. She named them. But then she repeated, “I did not yike dose boys who were youd. But I did yike those kids who were quiet.”

She also decided to teach the tiger puppet that she checked out this week (SO gross, BTW, but that’s another post) how to sing “If you’re Happy and you Know It”. Her “Tiger” version:

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

If you’re happy and you know it, then your teeth will surely show it! If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws!

 

 

Hula Girl’s Phrases

Hula Girl says some amazing things. Some are funny, some are profound. All of them sound incredible coming out of her little self. Here are some of the things she’s said lately:

“Mommy, what’s on the back of those mountains over there?” (Um, that one blew my mind. What kid sees mountains on the horizon and thinks to herself, I can only see the front; there must be a back!)

“What yuck [luck]! I found peas in my peapod!” (What luck? What is she, like, eighty?)

“I have yo many beeeeeeeees fying ayound in my eeeeeeeeeees [ears], yes I doooooooooo!” (All sung at the top of her lungs, with a huge grin on her face.)

“What is a Thanksgiving Book, Mommy? [I answer and tell her it’s a book about Thanksgiving. Great answer, I know.] Okay, Mommy. You will give me the book, and I will say, ‘Thanks for giving me the book, Mommy!'” (Wordplay? At 2.5?)

“What is gyo-yee, Daddy? [Confused parents try to guess what she’s saying.] No, gyo-yee, yike you prayed for. [More confused guessing.] GYO-YEE! [Oh, she means “glory” because Jonathan prayed for us to give God glory!]” (Spiritual conversations happening, already!?!?!)

I’ve started keeping a list. I will update you when more striking things come out of that little mouth. She’s amazing, isn’t she?

 

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