Thursday, April 30, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Enough

So on Saturday, I got pretty much the whole day without my darling kiddoes. It was both blissful and painful all at the same time. Blissful because I got to be an adult all day without anyone hanging off of me while attending a great training for MOPS leaders and then Amplified. And painful because not only was I without my darling, wonderful husband (who was watching our children all day, despite being called into work at the last minute) and my adorable little ones, I was also without some of the necessary pieces of my breast pump. By the end of the day, we'll just say that I was...full...

Anyhoo...it was a beautiful day, so I got to drive with the windows down, singing along with the radio (or at times with the radio off and just in silence!!!). And it was freeing! It's so rare that I'm actually _alone_ in a car anymore. That used to be my time to sit and chat with God, and I have to say that it's one of the things I've missed most since being a mommy. Well, that's how I used to think of it anyway. But since I had probably two hours of "alone time" while driving to and fro on Saturday, I think I have come to a startling realization.

I am seriously lacking in angst in my life right now. That's totally not a bad thing to lack and I certainly don't miss it, but it gives me far less to "chat" with God about in those rare moments when we _are_ alone. Looking back, I think our "chats" used to revolve a lot around the "things" I wanted in life (pretty much just a husband and kids, back in the day), and now that I have those "things," I don't know what to talk about.

Makes me wonder exactly how self-centered my relationship with Him was in those days, constantly asking Him why I wasn't getting the things I wanted at the times that I wanted them. Heh...reminds me of a certain young man I popped out a few years back who is still learning the concept of "yes, but later."

Wow...this is totally not the blog post I expected it to be. How do I expect my 2-yr-old to understand a concept that I didn't get when I was 27? And still probably wouldn't get if there were anything I wanted RIGHT NOW. I wonder how many times _I_ got put into "time out" and had those "things" taken away because _I_ wouldn't stop pouting? Now there's a point to ponder...

Anyway...I've noticed a lot of other bloggers lately talking about the concept of "Enough." C.S. Lewis touches on it in "Perelandra" (the 2nd book in his "Space Trilogy") when Ransom eats the special fruit. He recognizes that the ample crop would allow him to eat as many of the fruits as he wanted to...but something holds him back after the first one or two. By indulging (or over-indulging), he would be taking away some of the "special-ness" of the fruit. And by waiting in between each taste of the fruit, he got to savor the memory of the last special meal and eagerly anticipate the next.

What I have now is "enough" and then some. Yes, we could stand to have more money, but we have enough for our needs right now. Yes, we could stand to have a bigger house, but we have enough for our needs right now. We could have nicer cars, a bigger TV, phones that can do everything, all the toys AJ and Joanna could ever want....but what we have right now is enough for our needs (and then some).

And now that I recognize that, I can see how shallow my interactions with God were back in the day when all I'd do was complain about what I didn't have. Now I've just gotta figure out what else there is to talk about with Him.

One thing for sure is to thank Him that He has _far_ more patience as a parent than I have. And self-control. Dude...if I had to deal with whiny me while being all powerful? Let's just say that there'd be a whole lot more lightning bolts.

Friday, April 24, 2009

AJ's Word of the Day

So AJ likes him some Veggie Tales. He's seen the ones we have enough now that he has names for each of them. Not necessarily _their_ name, but _a_ name. Often it's the name of one of the prominent characters (e.g., "Cue" = Minnesota Cuke). Lately he's been asking for "Be Bo Bah."

Any guesses?

Be Bo Bah = Larry Boy

But before you begin to ponder exactly how "Be Bo" = Larry, I'd like for you to know that "Be" actually equals Larry. "Bo" is Boy. "Bah" is actually Bob. He's actually saying "Larry Boy Bob." "Bob" represents not only Bob the Tomato, but also Larry the Cucumber and Veggie Tales in general.

Rai and Jiri at Lungha.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No, Yoda!

Ok, before you all think that I'm a terrible, horrible person, compare the two pictures below.

Joanna

Joanna's Momma

Joanna looks JUST LIKE her mother (that's me). So anything I say about her, I'm essentially saying about myself too. And we'll deal with the therapy bills later.

Also, please know that I think my child is absolutely beautiful. Not "look, it's a baby" beautiful, but really and truly beautiful. (Now why don't I think _that_ about myself? Nevermind...we'll deal with _my_ therapy bills later too...)

Having said all of that, I also see a striking resemblance to both Yoda and a garden gnome.

Yoda


Gnome

Now, if I'd actually taken the time to Photoshop the pics rather than just Paint, I think the resemblance would have been even more striking (green tinted skin, different backgrounds, better Yoda hair, etc.). But I wanted to post this sometime before she's 30. But I love the Yoda pic, especially in her little Bumbo. It's just like their Jedi Council seats! Heehee! Ooo...I should have added the lightsaber!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Darmok and Jilaad

So there's this Star Trek Next Gen episode where Picard gets kidnapped by this alien race that they're trying for a 2nd "first contact" with. You see, the universal translator can't make heads or tails of this race's language and that led to war or something the first time around.

But the alien leader (we'll call him "Not-Gorn" for reasons that are obvious to those who have seen both this episode and the classic Trek episode with the Gorn - not the Enterprise Gorn, the classic Gorn. I'm still mad at Enterprise for its Gorn) knows that the same thing will happen again unless he can get someone to understand their language. So he kidnaps Picard and puts the two of them into a stressful situation (kinda like with the original Gorn except with no outside force manipulating things...and without the homemade bazooka) where they have to work together against this random energy beast in order to survive. Since stress is apparently the best way to learn a language, of course Picard picks it right up...just before the not-Gorn dies of his energy beast-inflicted wounds.

So their language is metaphorical, and based on their mythology. Now, don't get me started as to how completely absurd it is that this system of language could work in "real life" (it's just entirely too unwieldy), but be that as it may, there are days around here where I feel like I'm Picard in that episode. AJ is the not-Gorn, and the "random energy beast" is played by his emotional state (i.e., toddler meltdowns that could kill us all...or incessant whining that could cause _me_ to meltdown).

Not only am I dealing with trying to decipher poor enunciation...but it's like he's got this whole mythos that he's pulling words or phrases from - a mythos that, while I was probably present for its founding, I have zero knowledge of. So I have to infer from the context a) what the words are, and b) what they mean. Sometimes I can then think back to figure out their etymology. Often not.

There's the "hey you." He got it because VNB says it to him frequently as a greeting. So now when AJ wants something and/or doesn't think he has our complete and undivided attention, it's "Mama, mama, hey you!"

And the "yes sir" (or "yeah sir" as it comes out). This interestingly came from him hearing the negative. Both VNB and I say "no sir" when we correct him. We've very occasionally said that he should say "yes sir" or "yes ma'am" in response to a command or question, but not often enough for it to have possibly sunk in. But occasionally he'll just come up to me and say very distinctly, "yeah sir" over and over again like it's supposed to mean something special to me. All I can do is correct him to say "yes ma'am" (sounds like: "yeah man")...but I have no idea what he's actually trying to communicate.

And then there's the "wa wa wa." Lately he'll start almost all of his sentences off with "Wa wa wa ____ ." I think this is "want" with a couple of extra syllables (and sometimes the last "wa" is "watch").

Someday I'll figure this language out. Then I, too, can say "Darmok and Jilaad at Tenaagra. Shahka, when the walls fell." and know what the heck we're talking about.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Doesn't It Figure

So at the beginning, when Joanna's hands weren't firmly pinned (i.e., swaddled) to her sides at night, she'd keep me up half the night with her slurping on her fingers, and probably didn't sleep all that well herself. But we're approaching the dreaded mega bed transition. AJ will go into a toddler bed and Joanna will go into the crib (and out of the pack 'n play next to our bed). We're also approaching her rolling over (she gets up to about 90°, but then falls back onto her back). I'm not comfortable having her hands pinned when she starts to roll over...and since she often frees herself now anyway, I'm _really_ not comfortable having that swaddling blanket loose around her head when she's not right next to me.

So last night I tried letting her arms go free for at least part of the night. It was definitely helpful to _get_ her to sleep to have her arms pinned (apparently poking yourself in the eye does not promote sleeping. Who knew?), but at the first waking, I tried giving her a pacifier and holding her (loose) hands down until she went to sleep. It was probably like 5 minutes, but in half-asleep time it was an eternity before I finally picked her back up again and bounced for another eternity (i.e., 5 minutes) to get her re-settled. Then when I put her back down, the hand went immediately back into her mouth and I let it stay there (she doesn't suck her thumb, she sucks her middle and ring fingers (and sometimes the pinky too), mostly palm up, but occasionally palm down). Since she has far better fine motor control now, there was far less slurping and she and I were able to get back to sleep. She even managed to _stay_ asleep for almost two hours (I'd told myself that it was back to the swaddling if she woke up before then). So after the next feeding (and we're moving away from nursing in bed since she won't be doing that once she's in her own room), I left her hands free and just put her down. Since I didn't mess with her at the beginning, she got _much_ better sleep and didn't wake again for 3.5 hours! She's been sleeping or at least dozing for the past 2 hours now too!

So the moral of the story, let sleeping babies lie however they want to and you'll get more sleep! These past few weeks that she's been waking every two hours on the dot were probably _my_ fault for keeping her away from those tasty fingers!