Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Time for Everything Under Heaven

Psalm 131:2
"But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me"

I came across that psalm weeks ago, and wrote it down for reasons I don't remember. As usual, I've been storing up writing in my head and wanted a specific post on different griefs that have surrounded us lately - ones that have given us perspective, taught us how to "be there" and humbled us in that sometimes we just can't "be there" except to pray (why is that such a helpless feeling?).

I'm thinking of the friend that I sadly don't talk to enough, a fellow ND-er who lost her dad months ago . . . and welcomed a nephew this summer. I admire her courage in grief and her openness. Thank you, E, for teaching me by example how to be real.

I'm thinking of some framily (you know, friends that are like family) who so suddenly lost the husband's mother to a heart attack.

I'm thinking of a friend who struggles with chronic health struggles that leave her weary.

I'm thinking of our neighbors who have dear friends who lost their son in a tragic traffic accident, the way they've immersed themselves in their friends' grief.

I'm thinking of my friend whose daughter recently passed from her arms into those of Jesus - at two days old, Mirabel Rose lived longer than they thought she would. Their joy in her life and celebration of the time they had with her . . . well, we learn from others always and their love is legacy-leaving in action. The way these friends let us into their journey with a prayer shower, memorial service and quiet and intimate night of telling stories of Mirabel's life - it's been a tremendous gift.

I'm thinking of my friend who just lost her twin boys, Willem & Thomas at 24wks.

I'm thinking of how, even when we're removed from the immediate grief, that we can bear one another burdens and that God can meet us there intimately and offer his own comfort. The day of our friend's mother's funeral I happened to watch Philomena with Trevor. If you haven't seen it, talk about grief surrounding a mother losing her son. I sat there watching and just so badly wanting to hold my children . . .and then out of nowhere Judah started crying. Never happens, he had gone to sleep and woken up disoriented - I went in and he clung to me and sobbed in a way he never has. I rocked him the dark, clutched him as he burrowed into me, and we sobbed together. For the pain of our friends, I cried for the grief I sometimes still feel at the nursing strike, I cried for joy to have those moments with him that I know I'll always remember.

Random life updates

  • Preschool is in full swing, Karis often sings on the way home, updates me on whether or not she played with Mary,what Mary wore . . . comes home and heads for her bedroom for some play/alone time that she seems to need. Introvert/Extrovert combo, I think. While she's there, Judah and I be-pop around connecting with different friends, most with a tot his age and/or older kids in school. I love getting the time with him and also savor the afternoon hours with Karis while he naps
  • Karis started a jazz ballet class, and she looks forward to every Tuesday for this reason
  • We frame our dinner conversations around: "Happy, bummer, weird". So refreshing, and hilarious when Karis tells us what Judah's were! 
  • We had family in town for Labor Day and squeezed all we could out of the time with more DayBlock and Izzy's and a girls' outing in the afternoon
  • We went to Bismarck to celebrate cousin Hillary's wedding (record driving time, 6 hrs)
  • We went to Medora! Toured our old stomping ground, went for a walk with Karis, ice cream, dinner at the Roughrider, the musical. Karis loved it all, so fun to share a sacred part of our past with her. Bully!
  • On our way back into Mpls from that trip, we got to meet baby cousin Asher. We love every minute we can spend with him
  • Dear friends and their three gorgeous girls visited for the weekend, it was a joy to "do life" here with them and make some memories at Glam Dolls, sculpture garden, meals, church services (for the 10th birthday of the church)
  • Trev successfully ran his half marathon, so proud of him
  • Karis loves any play dates she can steal with the neighbors' granddaughter Lucy, in the past months they picked plums, had a lemonade stand, and went to a concert at Centennial Lakes 
  • I went on a women's retreat (overnight, a first away from both kids). Refreshing to be with friends in the fall beauty of Stillwater - Trev and the kids had a great time without me =) 
  • I went to a church staff retreat the following Saturday (so many breaks in a row, crazy and great)
  • We both kept up with our book clubs
  • Trev demolished our basement (with help from brothers and his cousin)
  • We loved having family here in October and enjoyed lots of quality time, meals, IKEA, football, celebrations
  • We got out on some dates for burger splitting at Milton's, and also snuck out to a concert with our brothers/sisters - Angus and Julia Stone. Note to self: concerts that start at 8 are just getting started at 10:30, so get the sitter to basically just sleep over. Loved the music and the venue (Cedar Ave. Cultural Center). Especially loved being with Trev in an atmosphere he knows and adores
  • Friday park and pizza and apple cake and dress up with friends in our old neighborhood
  • Trev took the kids to the curling club to watch cousin Micah today . . . and left me at home. I love that guy! I hummed and whistled my way through the library and Target
I'm noticing that now the Judah updates are as many as the Karis-isms. Sweet Karis is growing up so fast, is articulate and aware and figuring out the world in precise ways. I'm so thankful for her, her character shines through kindness and exuberance and thoughtfulness. Judah is becoming quite the little man, expressive and exuberant.

- "And do you know what, Judah? Lions eat people!"
- "Isn't it great that God created bathrooms?"
- "Daddy, what is 'farting'?"
- "Oh momma, you're the best momma in the world . . . I mean, in the family"
- "Look, mom! Kids eat free here!" (said while walking down the stairs at a church potluck)
- "Oh boy, mom, these french fries really saved the day"
- "I hope I can stop crying before daddy gets home"
- She's recently attached to "Giraffe-y", a little stuffed giraffe that she found in one of her toy bins
- "I'm having bad thoughts about robbers"
- (while combing Trev's mustache): "Daddy, it must feel good. If you grow your mustache a little more then it might be a real mustache"
- She uses the word "although" with panache and precision, I love this
- "Mom, we know that Wonderwoman is an Amazon Princess!"
- "Let's watch Guardians of the Galaxy!" (which is actually an age appropriate show called Creative Galaxy)
- "But that can just be a family story" (a whole other post coming)
- "Momma, see, this is how my Barbie does Yoga. We can bring naked Barbie on our next trip to Bismarck and get her clothes there" (a thrift store find with her dad, her reasoning was apparently hard to deny - for a dollar)
- "There are just so many CHANGES right now! Things are so DIFFERENT! We went to a different park. The season is changing, and I don't WANT it to be winter. I don't WANT it to snow!" (said while - poor girl -having a meltdown in the car after a Sunday afternoon trip to a new park. I was really amazed at her articulation and accuracy of naming feelings and reasons)
- "Mommy, sometimes in the morning I sneak on my Halloween costume"
- "It turns out you're not crabby!"
- I overheard her and her bestie Marissa arguing about who has more blonde hair. Ironically, a different Charis arrived at that exact moment and she has platinum blonde hair and settled the dispute quite well
- That same day, Karis decided to cut her troll's hair . . . and her own! She brought me a baggie and proudly said "Mommy, look at my hair!". I had not a mad bone in my body and almost laughed - after all, I'd never told her to NOT cut her hair, right? Great opportunity for a haircut (which turned out so cute)
- Preparing for her haircut, Karis got her billfold all ready with coins to give Melanie. For some reason, that sign of responsibility made me want to cry, she's just growing up so fast. Her company every day is a treat, I am blessed beyond belief to be the one to spend so much time with these precious children (oh, you want some real here? Ok - ask me at 5pm every day and I may tell you I wish I could clock out. I'm writing this while the kids are on a bike ride with Trevor, the rose colored glass are really rosy)

Judah updates
- He loves to "say" two syllable words, variations on "eh eh", such as "woo-woo" (woof woof) "oo-buh" (toothbrush)
- He continues to call Trevor "mama" and sometimes calls other men "dada"
- He is amazingly gentle with other little babies and is completely delighted in anyone/anything smaller than himself
- He leans over and talks excitedly to said smaller things
- He loves to engage and play, lately he enjoys when I swing him around by his arms and then lay him gently on the floor to tickle his belly
- He has curly hair that curls on the sides and on the top, making him look like part of the lollipop gild from the Wizard of Oz
- He is wild about lights. He walks around the house pointing to each one with a "ah-ah" sound until I turn on every.single.light he can find
- He is also crazy about music and points to the CD player until I turn it on, then he starts dancing delightedly and makes us all wildly happy
- When he wants me to pick him up, he grabs my legs and forcefully turns me toward him and then lifts up his arms. I laugh so hard, his nonverbal communication abilities are astounding to me.
- He recently thinks it's hilarious to throw food down my shirt if I'm holding him and he has any morsel of food in his hands
- He must love "s" sounds, because new words include "shirt" and "socks" in addition to the ever favorite "shoe"
- He has bitten me a couple times, I think out of frustration/excitement/cuddling . . . he is one physical little guy, loves to wrestle and roll and have me swing him around and drop him to the ground
- He is learning deliberate defiance in seeking danger. He'll come up to me with a hair band in his mouth, a sparkle in his eye, "What're you gonna do about this, mom?!". I try not to laugh, I'm trying to re-visit how to parent a toddler who's will is so wonderfully and rapidly developing.
- He scratched me as I held him during a tantrum, and drew blood. On my face. Ironically, a day later Karis got scratched on her neck on a playground by a boy just 5 days younger than Judah. Weird.
- He had an ear infection recently, only his 2nd round of antibiotics in 2 years - doesn't seem too bad
- His language is picking up and he loves to mimic our words, although I'm likely the only person who understands the slight (but oh so distinct!) difference when he says: sock, shoe, shirt. All gone, all done. Bye, hi. Dog, bird. French toast, smoothie.
- He occasionally hits me playfully at bedtime and thinks it's hilarious and I have a hard time not laughing. He's really exploring (read: testing)
- Part of his morning routine is to "ask" me to turn on both lamps and the music in the toy room
- He likes to hit me in the face and thinks that "No!" is a very funny exclamation. I'm open to advice
- His favorite bedtime book is now You Are My Sunshine
- His favorite place to play is in the top drawer of the main floor bathroom. His favorite things to find there are toothbrushes and daddy's contact boxes (now emptied of contacts and replaced with pennies)
- He still loves toothbrushes, but only the one you are using at the moment, not the ten other laying around that are his
- He says "cheese" for the camera
- He says "Hello" to anyone he sees, with the cutest inflection
- He can be a shy and cuddly guy in new places

Recent reads:
The Bird in the Tree
Good and Angry
Life After Life
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Lost Daughters of China

Raising Your Spirited Child

Karis's recent reads:
Superheros (she adores Wonderwoman, oh my)
Nora's Chicks
Zin Zin Zin a Violin
A Ballet for Martha
Christina Katerina and the Box
The Rag Coat
The Snow Princess

cheering Trevor on
I'm too sexy for my pj's

Such a right of passage, a hair cut after giving yourself a hair cut. Great job Aunt Melanie!