January 22, 2014

Andrew's Heart

Warning: I'm going to use this space to do nothing but gush about my kid! I'm a mom, I have the right and it would be weird if I didn't, yes?

I've always believed that Andrew was a very special child. Not in just a typical way, but that there was a little something extra going on with him. And I know, what parent doesn't, right? I've never been able to quite put my finger on it, but maybe an understanding of things beyond his years. Or a sensitivity to people that would really allow him to do something great with his life.

Since we've moved away from family again, we've put ourselves out into the community a lot more. While we were in Texas, Andrew was just far too clingy to allow for many others to care for him, so I nurtured that. Aside from hourly care here and there, we didn't do much that required him to be in someone else's care. But coming here, I was determined. I needed to get more involved, not only for my own sanity, but for the boys' happiness and well-being as well. So not going to PWOC was not an option. Church was going to be a given every week. They were going to have to adjust.

And now I'm hearing how others are seeing Andrew and it's (one) making my heart melt and (two) causing me to become so much more aware of how I need/want to guard his heart.

Last night, we had one of Andrew's Sunday school teachers from church come over to babysit. Her and her sister have told me frequently how much they enjoy having Andrew in their class, so when I found out about an "optional" (ha!) function Trey had and that spouses were "highly encouraged to attend", they were the first people I thought of. Luckily, she was more than happy to do it.

When I got home last night, we chatted for a while and, I admit, I shed a few happy, proud tears while she was talking about our son.
At the start of Sunday school, they do praise time. They play music and let the kids sing and dance. There are younger and older kids together during this time, so while some (the younger) really enjoy it, some of the older ones are in that, "this is stupid" phase. Ms. J (that's what we're calling his teacher/babysitter) said that they use Andrew as an example frequently. That he just runs in there and dances like, forgive the cliche, no one is watching. That he is just giving his all to God and he doesn't care what anyone else thinks. That he is the epitome of having a childlike faith and sometimes encourages those older ones who may think it's a little silly to get up and dance anyways.
She told me about a little three year old girl that came in one morning for the first time. She was visibly scared and unsure, understandably. Andrew walked right up to her and said, "my name is Andrew, do you want to be my friend?". She took his hand and they danced together until is was time to go into their classroom. She sat down next to him and he then told the teachers that she was his new friend and he would help her do everything.
I was so speechless and taken aback. That is exactly the way I want him to be.

There are times when I pick him up from childcare from PWOC and they'll tell me a little something like how polite he was, or how he insists on helping them clean up.

I make it a point to do my workouts around him sometimes, because it opens up the whole living healthy conversations. Sometimes I'm visibly hurting or struggling, like yesterday. At three years old, he cares enough to stop what he's doing, come over and attempt to do the exercise with me and says, "Here mom, I 'll do it with you. Maybe then you won't hurt as much". It was all I could to not quit and just love on him.

There are just a very few examples, but they completely cover who he is. There are a few downsides to this.. like how sensitive he is. Super sensitive. It doesn't take much to make him cry. Which is totally fine here at home with us. But all of these qualities that I've praised about him, I'm afraid will also cause him to get picked on growing up. And really, that's fine. I know every kid, at some point, is going to get picked on. And for my kids, if it's going to happen, I hope it's because they are going out of their way to be kind. Or for being themselves, without caring what others think. Or for loving God totally and whole-heartedly.
It's been an eye opening experience to see how others view him. It's made me be very aware of what I want to pray over him about. I pray that his heart NEVER changes. I pray that if he faces criticism, that he has enough strength and faith to withstand it and not let it change him. I pray that he continues to love people for who they are, without giving it a second thought. I pray that God gives me the wisdom and the words to encourage all of these things in him. I just pray that I do this whole parenting thing right! He is a truly special person and I hope I never screw that up!

January 8, 2014

I Dislike Wordpress

I tried out Wordpress, trying to get my writing mojo back, and it really just made it worse. I don't like it at all. Blogger is more familiar and comfortable. Honestly, I was almost ready to stop blogging all together. I hardly have the time and when I do, I don't have the mental energy to spit out something interesting and witty. But this weekend I was getting pictures organized for scrapbooking, and looking back on past blogs to help me remember what was important in that time frame. It was such a big help and a ton of fun to go back and read about what was going on in our family! So I don't think I'm ready to throw in the towel. I think I'm finally just ready to truly do this for myself. I don't know if anyone is still following me here, but I'd love for our family and friends to follow along and see what's going on in our lives.

The holidays have passed and we're now into 2014. We had a really nice and quiet holiday season. For the first time since we moved away from family, 5 years ago, we stayed put. While it was sad at times, I'm convinced that we made the right decision. There was no rushing around. We were able to keep the boys on their schedule and enjoy the quiet. Trey was still off of work, even though we didn't leave, so we were able to have lots of quality time together. The kids were able to wake up in their own house on Christmas morning and we started our own traditions.
Making cookies on Christmas Eve
Matching Christmas jammies
Little Christmas morning bottle action
Andrew made a move on him in his new car

 New Years Eve was super quiet. We hung out at the house, got Chinese food take out, put the boys to bed and watched the NYE festivities going on around the world. However, we did force ourselves to stay up to midnight. Actually, I forgot. We stayed up until 11. Watch the ball drop from the Eastern Time Zone and called that a win!

While all of that time together was nice, I'm glad we are back into the normal swing of things. Trey has been super busy with school work. This week he has an 8-page paper and a briefing due. He has to turn both in on Saturday. Yes, Saturday class. That's as fun for him as you can imagine. His CCC (Captains Career Course) lasts until the end of May. We aren't yet sure where we'll be going after that, but should find out by early February. We are going to try and stay here actually, but you never know. I know he'll be glad when some of the uncertainty is gone.

We went back to PWOC today.. it was good for my soul! We've been out for a few weeks during the holiday and I realized just how essential that group of ladies is in my life. I feel refreshed and whole again after meeting this morning. Not only for myself, but it's great for the boys too. Andrew is having a blast there. His friend, Annabelle, was there with him this morning. He was so excited to see her in PWOC! I was told how helpful he was with cleanup and how well he did in general. The sweet woman that was with him when I picked him up, gushed about him for a little. Not only did he do so well, but she talked about how much fun it was for her to play the grandma role. The little one was sleeping in another woman's arms when I walked in. So, obviously he was pretty comfortable as well. And me.. it was refreshing to be back with my friends and learning more about the Bible. It's so nice to be able to befriend so many woman, of all age ranges, that all strive to put God first. I could go on and on about my love for that group, but this was supposed to be brief! I'm putting the boys into childcare on post one day a week for a few hours thanks to the urging of my husband to get some time to myself. I'm extremely, extremely nervous about this! I've joined the spouses club here and will be going to my first luncheon next week.

Andrew is enjoying playing with the new toys he got for Christmas. He's infatuated with the cartoon character Daniel Tiger and is now insisting that we call him Daniel. He's really into tracing letters and numbers, coloring, doing small puzzles, and as always, his cars. He's beginning to venture into Spiderman, which is fun. We are going to be signing him up to play his first sport that will start in March. We haven't decided yet between soccer or T-ball!

Wes is almost a year old. He's very curious about everything. Loves to walk holding onto our fingers, but I think is no more than a month away from walking on his own. I pray that I'm not wrong about that! He loves to play with anything that is a ball. He loves his walker, but not for the walking purposes. Only for the lights and music. He loves to throw things (doesn't matter what) and chase it by crawling. He's hard to feed right now because he doesn't want purees, but there's not a lot he can do finger food wise.  He has 7 teeth and is working on two more, so that's fun!

And I think that is all! I yet again hope to write a little more often, but I'm not promising myself anything...