Sunday, December 24, 2006

Thank God for Nana and Papa

On Thursday we piled the kids in the car, along with our suitcases, gifts, and one of our students, Liz, and drove to Salem, Virginia to be with my parents for Christmas. Now, as a mom of two little ones, this is my favorite kind of vacation: 5 adults on 2 kids in a big house with a yard! And these are no ordinary grown-ups -- Nana, Papa, and Liz are all really great with the kids and offer their child-care expertise freely.

Mike and I decided to take this opportunity to train Levi to sleep. At eight months he is not sleeping through the night, waking 3 times to be fed. Since, medically-speaking, he really doesn't need this and I am dying for some consolidated sleep, we've been working on breaking his bad habits and so far are making great progress! Additionally, we can sleep in each morning since the kids can be occupied by other adults. Amazing.

Sam also loves being here. He and Liz play "igloo" and other games that I'm not completely privy to, and Nana has a huge collection of toys and books that are new to him. But the highlight of the trip is the kid-sized drum set that Mom found at a local thrift store.

When we got home from church this morning, the first thing he wanted to do was play the drums. Levi was sleeping, so I set them up in the garage for Sam to play. The garage is right off the kitchen, so I left him in there and cracked the door. At one point I didn't hear the drums playing anymore, so I peaked through the crack. What I heard was Sam saying, "Dear God, thank you for everything at Nana and Papa's house. In Jesus' name, Amen." Later I asked him about it -- he said he was talking to all the people in the Garage Church. What an MK!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is it sometimes yet?

How do you explain the concept of time to a three year old who is stuck in an seemingly unending Christmas season? I'm trying my best, but each day I am bombarded with questions like the one above. The context sounds something like this.

Sam: Can I have some more candy?

Me: No, we only eat candy sometimes, because candy can make holes in our teeth.

Sam: Is it sometimes yet?

Another conversation that we've had regularly sounds something like this.

Me: Sam, guess what? Tomorrow we will go to Nana and Papa's house, and then a few days after that it will be Christmas!

Sam: Is is tomorrow?

Me: No, it's today.

Sam: But what happens if it IS tomorrow?

Or another.

Sam: (entering the living room) Are there presents under our tree yet?

Me: No, not yet. They won't be there until it's Christmas Day.

Sam: It's Christmas! (as in, he has declared it starts now)

On a different note, Sam was in the bathtub tonight. As he was playing with his toys, one of them sank to the bottom and he said, "this doesn't have good buoyancy." He gets buoyancy, but not time. I guess it's a slightly easier concept, but I still had to laugh!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Not professional, but close

Normally, every 6 months or so I like to take Sam and Levi to a professional photography studio to get portraits taken. I always use coupons and take them to Sears or Target, pay about 13.99 and get a zillion photos in 7 different sizes. I figure it's a good way to record their development.

The only problem is that you really have to be lucky to have a good experience as well as a good outcome. The staff at these studios are usually underpaid and undertrained. They might not even like kids.

So, I thought I'd do a little experiment by making use of the great natural light in our living room and snap a few shots myself. On a whim one morning I threw a sheet over the sofa, put the boys in red, and started snapping shots. I thought several of them came out great!

I was so happy with these that I thought maybe I could improve on them another morning when I realized that Sam and Levi both had their blue pjs on.

I didn't get the same results. We decided to just stick with the red ones.

Merry Christmas!

Our family is thoroughly into the holiday spirit! We've begun the shopping, put up our decorations, and started our advent calendar. We actually started all of this the day after Thanksgiving, beginning with the tree. What a great season -- we want to make it last as long as possible!

Out on a date

No, unfortunately I'm not talking about us grown-ups. It's been a couple of weeks since Mike and I have been out on a date.

A few days ago I got out a crate of baby toys, trying to take inventory to figure out what I can give Levi for Christmas that will actually get played with. Sam, true to his 3-year-old self, had much more fun with the actual crate. He asked me to put Levi inside, and told me that they were going on a date in their airplane. You may be able to make out a yellow net between the two of them. It is for catching fish. Sounds like a fun date, huh?

I love seeing them play together, and it happens more each day. My frequent prayer is that they will become good friends.