Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Day of Turtle Class

Although today is the official first day for N, he has had a gradual phasing in period that started last week. I went with him an hour one day, he then went for a normal day with half his class, and then today is the first day with the whole class. So far, so good. After the first morning when I left him for a brief parents' meeting, he ran to me, hugged me hello, and said,"I LOVED it!". The next day he came home and told me all about riding bikes outside, and how he had to share with Matthew, "My ride the big bike-shzzzshzzz, and then Matthew ride it. My share!"

I am glad that he is having a good time, and making friends, and I know that this is good for him, but I am not sure I am ready to "share" him. The house seems strangely empty without my boy, and I feel strange about those few hours a week that I don't know what he is doing, and I can't account for his every activity, that he has a life separate from me. He still seems so little to me, although he has made huge strides since my last post in the spring pre-baby when I worried about all the transitions. He loves his baby sister (telling me "She is so cute" several times a week, making her laugh with his jumping and silly faces, bringing her toys and giving her numerous kisses and hugs), he was pottytrained in a week (although we are still working on the night training and occasional day accidents), he sleeps on a big boy mattress (although on the floor because the kids' bedroom is still not painted, and the bed still in a box), he is working on breaking the thumb sucking habit by wearing a mitten at night and during naps, and he is starting pre-school today. I have to admit, N is growing up ("My not little! My a big boy!")

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hair Brooch, anyone?

Even though it has happened twice before, I had forgotten how totally disturbing the post-baby hair loss is. The thick, lush locks I was sporting along with my taut (albeit, baby-filled) belly are now but a cruel memory. Instead, I have to clean out handfuls of hair from my shower drain, sweep up the clumps that roll around the bathroom and across my hardwood floors like tumbleweeds, find it in the tightly clenched fist of my baby, and even hidden in her diaper. I cautiously brush through my hair each morning, willing my hair follicles to keep their tenuous hold on my scalp. I peer into the mirror, trying to decide if my part is getting wider or if my temples are more exposed. I even contemplated buying "Rogaine for women" at Target, but hastily put it back when I read that you need to use it for 4 months to see results. Anyway, it also says not to use it if hair loss is due to childbirth, or if you are nursing. Then the other day my mom was telling me about how women used to brush their hair and collect the pieces from the hairbrush and make little crafts with them. Maybe I should make the most of the situation and start working on some hair jewelery

Friday, September 7, 2007

This Little Light of Mine

The other night we were singing before bed, and one of the songs was "This Little Light". E asked what it meant, and so we had a short discussion on how the world is a dark place, filled with sin and people who can't see Jesus because their hearts are darkened by sin. How our lives are to be like a light to those around us, showing them Jesus and how he is the true Light. We discussed how many people she goes to school with don't know Jesus, and that her life was like a little light to her friends and those around her. I am not sure how much of this she understood, and as I thought about it, I thought how hard it is for ME to be a light, to step into the darkness of other people's world and become vulnerable through sharing what I believe, especially when I fear what they will think of me. Today was one of those days.

At the bus stop, there was a new family, our next door neighbors who are renting the house for the next 3 years. They are from the Netherlands, and have trouble understanding the language. Their two children, 9 and 11 are in the school system here, and today was the first day of middle school for their 11 year old daughter. My neighbor, A shared with us at the bus stop that her daughter had been so nervous about school that she couldn't keep any food down, and was in tears about going (she had gone to school on an earlier bus). A was also clearly upset, as she told us this, about how she felt terrible for her daughter. My heart went out to both of them, the poor girl who had to go into school (middle school, no less!) not knowing anyone, having to change classes and all that entails, and on top of that not knowing the language that well. And the mother, having to send her daughter off to school, knowing she was nervous and upset, and feeling like she couldn't do anything to help. I left the bus stop thinking I should have invited A over for a cup of coffee, but I am babysitting today and it is all I can do to keep everyone happy. But after I came in, I let the boys out to play, put Addie down for a nap, and K was happy in my arms. The house was quiet, and the thought came to me again that I should ask her over. I looked out at the bus stop and saw that she was now walking back, and I thought of calling out and inviting her in, but hesitated when I looked around at my messy house-- definitely not "company worthy". Still, I felt a strong leading that I really should go invite her over. So I pulled some muffins from the freezer, popped them in the oven, got some coffee going and went out to the backyard. I sat on the hammock with the kids for a few minutes, thinking that I had every excuse not to ask her-- maybe she was busy and wouldn't want to be bothered, I had my hands full of children, and there was my toy- strewn, dusty, cluttered house. But I thought "Jesus can use me, even if I have a dirty house and my kids are loud and things are crazy" so I prayed a short prayer that the Lord would help me with the kids, and I walked over to her door. She immediately opened it, like she had seen me coming. She was on the phone, clearly in tears, and I asked her if she would like to come over for a cup of coffee. She said she would (almost to my surprise), and she came over for the next hour and a half. Yes, the boys at times were loud and running around, the babies needed feeding and holding and I was conscious about the mess surrounding us. But we had a really good talk where I helped her go through the huge PTA packet that had come home from school yesterday, explaining each part. She went over to her house and got some pictures of her home in the Netherlands to share with me, and we even had a short discussion about Christianity. She said that she was a Christian, but it became clear that she wasn't-- she doesn't believe that Jesus is God, she doesn't believe the Bible is literal (her: "That part about Jesus walking on water-not true, no one can walk on water" me: "But he can because he is God" her: "No, I don't believe that. It is not true. He is the son of God, but he is just a man, a prophet.") I told her that we do believe the Bible is the written word of God, that Jesus is not only God's son, but also God himself, and that he came to earth to die for our sins. She said she didn't believe all that, but is interested in talking to me about it when she has a better grasp of the English language. She went home shortly after, very grateful for the time we had together. I have been praying for her daughter all day, as well as for A, and how I can be a friend to her, and point her to Christ through our relationship. I just pray that God can use me, despite myself and that I can be a light, even if it is a small flickering candle.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

First Day of First Grade

Yesterday was E's first day of school. Last week we went in to meet her teacher and see her classroom. To her delight, she and Kyra are in the same classroom, seated at the same group of desks, and have hooks right next to each other where they can hang their matching backpacks (I think this has to do with the fact that her kindergarten teacher Miss W. is best friends with her first grade teacher Ms. T, and was a part of the process of putting the class together, and she also probably told Ms. T how much E and Kyra like to do things together) Also, beloved Miss W. is two doors down, since she switched to 2nd grade this year (we are hoping to get her again next year), so E was able to go by and say hello yesterday. She came home full of stories about her day, and she seemed very happy with her class and teacher. She also seemed glad to settle back into the routine of school, and excited for the new year ahead.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

5 months

We just recently watched "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" as a family, and I find myself singing the song "Truly Scrumptious" to K. She is absolutely scrumptious with her leg rolls, dimpled hands, pudgy feet and round cheeks. I am always reminded of that line in Where the Wild Things Are, when Max is trying to leave and the wild things cry, "we'll eat you up-- we love you so!" I just can't get enough of her sweet baby self.

And yes, those are two new teeth that she has sprouted in the past month! A total surprise to me, since my other two were at least 6 months old before they got their first teeth. She has also set the record for rolling over in our family- E did it between 6 and 7 months, N between 5 and 6, and now K between 4 and 5!