Tuesday, November 23, 2010

God's humor

So, God has been teaching me a lot through being a parent of a toddler. Lately, praying for patience has been my mantra as I find myself losing patience with Chase. It's at least several times an hour that I find that talking in a normal voice and giving eye contact and even showing affection all seem futile at times in teaching. We've gotten to the point that ANY instruction is rejected by my willful two year old and I'm having to sing the instructions just to maintain sanity and not show my frustration. I know in my heart of hearts they are not, but when my two year old looks at me and gives me his goofy look where he's not taking me seriously and proceeds to repeat everything I am telling him (not in a "I'm practicing obedience" way, but rather like the game of "shadow"), it's hard not to pull my hair out. I guess God gave me a lot of hair for that reason!

Our conversations usually go like this:
Me: "Chase, what did mommy ask you to do?"
Chase: "Mommy ask you do?"
Me: "Mommy asked you not to hit things."
Chase : "Hit things?"
Me: "No- DON'T hit things. You could hurt someone and we don't want to do that."
Chase: "do dat?"
Me: "go tell your sister you are sorry for throwing things that could hit her"
Chase: "sorry throw things?"
Me: "No. Tell Sophie, don't just repeat what I'm saying"
Chase: "Repeat sayin'?" (Looking at me cluelessly and waiting for the next set of words he gets to repeat.)
Me: Just GO and give your sister a hug please!!!!

I've found that the most deliberate things I am doing, it seems my two year old is ignoring. The whole "getting down on his level," direct eye contact, keeping explanations short and consequences immediate still seem futile much of the time. But......

I did find myself "caught" the other day. When Chase sees our dog escape through the gate, he starts screaming at her "NO ZOE!!! No no Zoe- no go through gate now!" (Gee,who do you think he got that frenzied response from?) And when the Veggie Tales DVD froze the other day, Chase definitely said "Come on!" I do recall saying that in front of him ONCE and not even to him but in front of him when our broken bunny ears were not getting a signal on the TV.

Why is it that all of my intentional gestures and training feel so stifled by those rolling of the eyes and goofy ("I'm not hearing a word your sayin' mama) grins? And yet look at what he is absorbing and mimicking? My frustration with the dog and my impatience with modern technology!!! (Ok, bunny ears aren't so modern but hey -they are cheaper than cable.) Sure makes the quote "preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words" resonate with you, doesn't it? Thanks Chase for being one more reminder that we must LIVE the gospel. Our indeliberate gestures speak as loudly (if not louder) than our deliberate ones. Loud and clear, God. LOUD and CLEAR. :) Little ears are watching. They may not be listening much, but they ARE watching mommy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sophia's newest hobby

Facesucking. Yep. (And I don't mean what teens do while their 'rents aren't watching.) I mean yummy-gummy, baby-loving, uber-slobbery, hilarious, facesucking!! I've determined it's Sophie's love language. I haven't been able to catch it on video b/c it's my face that she's sucking (usually my chin!) But whenever she does it, I shriek with laughter b/c it's the funniest sweetest and yet quasi-grossest thing ever! She grabs me by the neck with both hands and tries to fit as much of my face in her mouth as possible. I must taste pretty good.

Here she goes!

Back 'atcha Sophilicious!

Two can play this game!

Friday, November 12, 2010

some fall pix

Some fall pix:

Our greeter, Zoe

Fall wreath

JMU-colored mums

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miss Squeaky squeakerton

Sophie is at a really CUTE and LOUD age where she squeals loudly at well.....everything! We recently went to a missions conference and she was notably the loudest attendee in the audience. She is discovering her voice and you can tell she thinks she's cute stuff. I mean who wouldn't? Look at these photos- here she is at 4 months old:

Here's Miss Squeaky Squeakerton now...

Chase-isms: Lost in translation?

So Chase has exploded in his vocabulary. Some time b/t 2 and 2 and 1/2 years old, he has just taken off! He still says some things that are hard to discern, but that is what my technical translation minor is for. (At least I tell myself.) Some of the funny things he says are just mispronunciations for the real word. And they usually make us giggle.

Baby Sophie = Baby Bo-pee
Mingo = Flamingo
Baw-wewy- Strawberry
Ba-na- Banana
Tee-bo= tv (no we don't have TiVo)
He also sings the "pants on the ground" song and says "Sophilicious ALL THE WAY!" (those of you who have watched the youtube "Double Rainbow" song know what I'm talking about) Yes. He can say Sophilicious but refuses to say Sophie.

He is saying sentences like: "I want go in play room," "Where Zoe go?" "I want get down now," or "Daddy is working."

He currently enjoys: playing with cars on his little ramp, watching the Cars movie and Veggietales, going to the YMCA, bathtime, holding his baby sister while sitting in bed, playing with friends at the nursery, biblestory at night (he asks for it and gets really upset if we don't read one but then ignores Brian the whole time he reads!), watching Noah's ark youtube songs, and singing all sorts of songs (Twinkle, twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, My God is so Big, The Wheels on the Bus, etc, etc.) He loves crunching in the leaves, watering plants, finding sticks and using the broom. He is very good at putting his clothes in the hamper, picking out his shoes, washing/drying his hands, putting his toys away, brushing his teeth, and getting the mail. We are working on putting silverware away, sorting laundry (a.k.a. matching socks), helping mama in the kitchen (today we made cookies). Not much progress in the potty-training arena, but I'm sure by age 15 we'll get it down perfectly! :)

Chase has definitely discovered his will and his voice. I feel like I spend most of my day showing him the consequences for his disobedience rather than enjoying time together. We pray for wisdom in picking our battles. (You can pray for me in this if you are reading this!) This is especially hard for me because my mind always thinks things through to the long-term implications.
In my brain the translation for the following is:

Letting him leave his toys out each day = a grown-up who does not get the idea that he is responsible for his stuff. Letting him throw toys behind the couch and then come running to me saying "oh no! the car in the couch! Where 'da car go?" = me demonstrating that I exist to chase after his toys and that there is no consequence for misusing his own stuff. And screaming at us while we converse at dinner = encouraging him to think he is center of our universe! I know, I know. He' s only two and a half. So this is age appropriate. But if we don't train him now, he could end up being that guy living with his parents, expecting his mom to be his maid, and asking for a new ipod when he misplaces the one he has. Ha! Ha! Could someone show me an off switch to seeing implications so I could just focus on the present!?

We pray for patience daily to love him well and instruct and discipline him in a way that teaches him respect and love for God, parents, and others. We sure do love this little dude!

Trip to NoVa

We all got to spend some quality time with the Whited/Baker crew up in Northern Va.

Aunt Sharon, Susan (Mama Whited), Grandpa Al, Uncle Buddy, Aunt Donna, Aunt Alice

Here is Chase looking sharp in his little blazer.

We celebrated Brian's cousin's confirmation
Congrats Frankie!

and Sophie got to meet Aunty Jen, Cousin Colin, great Grandpa Baker, and other great aunts and uncles for the first time!

I think still my kids resemble Jen a lot! Prob the cute nose!

Sophie napping on Grandpa
(We actually have a picture of Chase just like this --napping on Grandpa's shoulder)

Chase enjoyed his cousin Colin (Jen's little guy).

Colin liked holding his hand as they walked. It was pretty cute.

Chase was ecstatic to see his Aunty Catherine