change

I don’t think many of us handle change all that well, especially when it’s change that is thrust upon us rather than change we choose, but I am seeing how Caleb, at two and a half is really having a tough go of it.

He has been extremely clingy and mom-centric for the last few weeks (which why Tuesday was surely meant to be)…and I think it has a lot to do with Russ’ schedule.  He never knows if daddy will be home when he wakes up or when he gets home from school.  There’s no predictability or regularity to the schedule these days.  And in the last month, I’ve been gone for two weekends for the Montreat College Conference and our Youth Mystery Mission Trip.

And to make matters worse, we converted his crib to a toddler bed last weekend because he got his leg over the rail at nap time and we wanted to avoid a fall and injury.  I thought he would be excited about his big boy bed…but he said, “No, it’s not right”  and did not want any part of it.

THEN, I went and cut his hair…too short.  I thought I could totally do it myself while Russ was working, but I picked the wrong gauge.  oops.  He’s still cute though.  Obviously.

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I realized he was having a tough time with all this change when it occurred to me that he has picked the same two books to read before nap and bedtime EVERY DAY for the last two weeks.  One little thing he could control.  One little thing that wouldn’t change.  While I was getting a little tired of reading the same books over and over and over again…if that’s a safe haven in the midst of the crazy that his dad and I trust upon him, I can roll with that.

Especially now that he has added another change to the mix.  We have always said with this boy who plays hard, runs fast, and falls often, it wouldn’t be a matter of IF he broke a bone, but when.  If with our best efforts at preventing injury, the when is now.  He fell off the steps on the playground at school yesterday and we made our second trip to the MUSC peds ER…which just happens to be where Russ is working now, so that was convenient.  X-rays confirmed that he broke his collar bone.

Poor little guy.  This boy who plays hard, runs fast, and falls often is tied up in a sling.  His arm hurts whenever he uses it or moves it wrong.

He was happy yesterday when on some loopy meds

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But today has been a bit rougher.  So he’s stayed in his pjs…held on tightly to his lovie…watched too much TV…and gotten lots of snuggles from mom and dad

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And we’ve already read “Go Dog, Go”  and “Henry’s Awful Mistake” a few times.

 

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Gift

I woke up in a very bad mood.  The realities of reality were weighing on me.  A beloved member of the PC(USA) community died yesterday, suddenly, too young…leaving a void in the lives of many.  Facebook was full of memorials for her, which were beautiful, but heartbreaking.

Much more trivial, but also much more close to home, the schedule of two working parents with crazy schedules and crazy children was wearing me down.  I was angry at our situation.  I was angry at residency.  I was angry with our preschool because of their (very logical) 24 hour fever rule.  Caleb had a very low grade fever yesterday afternoon, so we had to pick him up early and wouldn’t be able to take him to school today.  And of course, I’m the one who has to take the day off because Russ is a slave to residency.  Normally this is a hassle, but totally doable for me, but I had an important meeting this morning, so I was bitter.

I hate to miss this monthly meeting of the COM (the Presbyterian church’s committee on ministry – the group which Russ and I lovingly call the Jedi Council).  I am the only female clergy on the committee and the only member under 40 (maybe even under 50), so I feel responsibility to my generation and my lady pastors to REPRESENT.  Plus, I take the minutes…and when you miss one of these meetings, you miss A LOT of scandalous details…selfishly, I like being “in the know”.

AND not being able to take him to school would mean that I wouldn’t get to go to the gym between work and picking them up.  I’ve been going for the last week almost everyday and I’m enjoying the “me-time” right much.  Plus I just went to the doctor and discovered that my cholesterol is approaching dangerously high, so I am attempting to bring it down without medication.

So…my day was “ruined” – and I was grumpy.

But then I decided chocolate usually helps…so not-sick Caleb and I went for a Doughnut date…which was definitely a step in the right direction…you know when you can’t work out, you may as well eat a doughnut.

ImageThen while we were sitting there, I got this crazy idea that he could go with me to my meeting…which is truly insane considering he is a two year-old boy who rarely sits still AND I just gave him chocolate milk and a chocolate doughnut to ensure my demise.

But despite my better judgement, we went home quickly and gathered up some puzzles and the iPad and headed to the meeting.  Much to my relief, we were greeted with lots of smiles and high-fives as we entered.  I set him up in a little office adjacent to our meeting room with some Disney Junior, and we went about the business of the meeting.  Aside from a few very quiet interruptions to tell me he broke the iPad (which he didn’t) or pooped in his underwear (which he did), he was super quiet for an hour and a half.  Then he spent the next hour in my lap quietly doing puzzles and playing with my earrings.  I was somehow still able to take the minutes of the meeting while helping him with his puzzles and periodically saying shh! when his Darth Vader type breathing got a little loud.  It was amazing.  I couldn’t believe how good he was.

So to reward us both for good behavior, we had a lunch date:

ImageThen as we headed home with a blue Chick-a-lay balloon, he bellowed from the backseat, “I love you, Mommy!  I love my mommy!”

And that did it.  I couldn’t be grumpy any more.  Today proved to be a gift, despite my best efforts at ruining it.  Grateful for this boy and for an unexpected day with him.

TWO

Poor second child Caleb.  Taylor turned five just a few days ago and had a post dedicated to her while he turned two three months ago, and nothing.  Let’s fix that, shall we?

Brand New Caleb (CAN YOU EVEN??!!)

One Year-Old Caleb

Two Year-Old Caleb

This boy, oh my goodness.  He is a nut.  But he will say, “My no nut”.  He is full of life and boyness.   He plays with all of Taylor’s toys but in a way only a boy can….magic wands as weapons and golf clubs…baby strollers as bumper cars.  He is so funny.  He is cute, and he knows it, which is means he’s trouble.  He has the funniest facial expressions and has great comedic timing; quite remarkable for two, I think.  He loves being funny, being the center of attention, and entertaining the people.

We took away his paci at night a few weeks ago.  I fretted over it, but other than waking up earlier than usual, he has handled it like a champ.  He is slow to potty train, but runs around joyously like a naked banshee when he is successful asking for his m&m and “popcorn” (AKA: candycorn).  He is talking more and more each day and repeats everything you say.  And he will repeat himself over and over until you understand fully what he is trying to say; he will not give up.

He counts to 11, then goes back to 8 and continues to 11 again.  He’s like a broken record.  He’ll keep repeating those four numbers until you through in a 12, then he can count to 20 (even though several of the “teen” numbers sound the same).

He wants to “help” do whatever we are doing, whether that’s cooking in the kitchen or doing yardwork.  He pulls up a chair to the counter EVERY TIME I’m in the kitchen, which is equal parts endearing and frustrating.  And he wants his lawnmower and wheelbarrow whenever we are working in the yard.

He likes to cook – he makes “oatmeal” all the time

(also, he’s not a fan of clothes)

He looks JUST like my dad AKA Pops (seriously, compare this to his two year-old cake picture)

He, too, loves the Gamecocks and going to football games (just like Pops)

He loved Disney, but was a little wary of the characters at first.  Below, he is warming up to Handy Manny (his favorite lead character – because he works with TOOLS).  He wants to look at our Disney album all the time, and each time we get to a new picture with a different character, he has to find the corresponding stuffed animal or figurine and hold it up to the picture.  So by the time we are done with the album, I have a lap full of “big Pooh”, two Goofys, Mickey, Donald, Woody, Buzz, and Piglet.  He’s quite distraught that he has no Handy Manny to add.

He wants to be like his daddy

He keeps us on our toes

And then, there was this note from his teacher:

Yes, that about describes this two year-old boy.

Bleep

Caleb LOVES the beach.  He was very excited Saturday morning when we said that we were going.  I asked Taylor to get him dressed – to put on his bathing suit and t-shirt.   When I saw him, she had even put a swim diaper on him (which is no easy task)…but I had to take that off because they aren’t the most absorbent, which could have disastrous consequences on the 30 minute drive to the beach.  While I was taking the swim diaper off, he cried because he thought it meant we weren’t actually going to the beach.  Not an easy concept to explain to an almost 2 year-old.  But I tried…and he kept yelling “No!  Beach!”

Except, when he says “beach”, it sounds like an insult.

You’re welcome.

laugher fills this house

Hey, I’m still here, kind of.  If you heard a big sigh of relief yesterday, it was me after my sabbatical was approved for this summer.  Holla!  Blogging more often will be among my sabbatical goals because it helps me keep my sanity partially in tact.  But for now, it’s going to be sporadic city around Better Days parts.  I could not, however, not blog about Taylor’s hilarity this morning.

While I was in the shower, she crawled into bed with Russ.  When I came out of the bathroom and the light shown into Russ’ still asleep eyes, he rolled over and put his arm around Taylor and gave her a big hug….to which she replied, “Uh, you’re disgusting!”

I laughed SO hard.  When she realized that she may have hurt his feelings, she clarified, “But you smell good”  – apparently his arm had landed on her mouth during the hug and she was noting that he tasted disgusting…maybe…or maybe she was just trying to spare his half-asleep feelings.

Then, at breakfast, we were all sitting together, which is a rarity in the morning.

Taylor mused, “You know, black is the darkest of the colors.”

Me:  “Yes, that’s right.  Which is the lightest of the colors?”

Taylor: “Yellow”

Me: “Hmm….what about this (pointing to her white napkin)?”

Taylor: “Oh, white”

Russ: “Actually I think she may be right because white isn’t really a color”

Me:  “True, white is the absence of color…Taylor, you may be right”

Taylor:  “That’s because I know everything.”

LAUGHTER ENSUES

Me:  “Taylor, you are funny”

Taylor:  “I know”

I’m glad she’s a confident girl.

Later on in the meal, she declared, “It’s like we’re in a meeting”.  Funny, smart, confident, and also a PK.

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In other news, Caleb LOVES syrup:

A LOT

He also enjoys climbing:

my boy

The past two Saturdays, Russ and Taylor have gone to the USC football games while Caleb and I stayed behind (the first attempt at taking Caleb to a game this season ended with me sitting in the car for the second half with a sleeping baby).  Even though I have missed being with my family at the games, I have loved the one-on-one time with Caleb (and the extra sleep).   We haven’t really had that since he started going to daycare in March.  He is just hilariously cute – if I could have another just like him, I totally would (except at 4:45 pm when he’s hungry and tired and inconsolable, at that time, one of him is more than plenty).  But most of the time…LOVE HIM!

wee man

People have asked me if/how having a boy is different from having a girl.  I remember thinking that Taylor was SO very active that a boy couldn’t be much different.  But boy howdy was I wrong.  He is all boy, into everything, rough and tumble, dirty and messy, loud.  And he loves his mama and has that sheepish sly grin that will get the girls in trouble one day I’m afraid.

Yesterday while staying home with a sickly Caleb, I was reminded again how different they are.  I actually enjoy sick days with Taylor.  I don’t like for her to be sick, but she’s cuddly and sweet and wants to watch movies on the couch and read books and just lounge around.  So I thought that would be how yesterday would go, that I would spend most of the day snuggling with a pitiful baby on the couch.

But no way, no how.  He was high maintenance inconsolable.  all. day.  He was hungry, but he wouldn’t eat.   He was tired, but wouldn’t sleep.  He wanted me to hold him, but he wanted to be left alone.  all. day.   He wouldn’t let me leave the room.  He wouldn’t let me do anything that didn’t involve him.  He wasn’t running a fever anymore, but he was just mad at the world (and me) for making him not feel good.  Grumpy.  Cranky.  I wanted to pull my hair out….when it hit me….poor little bunny, he has….a man cold: