Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My normal child

Jack had his two year check-up on Monday. Good news. He's normal!

Before I had Jack, if you would have asked me to tell you my hopes & dreams for my future children, I would have said I want them to be exceptional. I want them to be free-spirits & free-thinkers. I want them to have the courage to stand up for what is right & just, to protect those who are easily victimized, to love those who are unlovable, to be anything but average, normal.

But, as I felt Jack growing inside of me, and was quite certain that what was in my belly was more likely to be an alien than a child, I just prayed that he would be normal. Please don't let him be deformed. Please don't let him have a neurological disorder. Please just let him be normal.

I still have those same hopes for Jack in his future. But, most days I just want to be reassured that yes, my child is normal. I just want to know that the things we experience together that are so foreign to me are, indeed, the normal things you encounter when living with a toddler.

John & I find Jack to be exceptional for a 2 year old. We are constantly telling each other about things he did or said, ways he's made us laugh during the day. We remark about the funny way he says hello ("Hoooe!"), and the sweet way he says thank you (oh my, he's so polite). His funny little breakdance moves impress us & we both love the way he cheers John on at softball games ("Allright Da!"). And, we're quite certain that Jack's grandparents would elevate him to genius level.

And, while he is exceptional to us, him mom & dad, it's surprising to be given a list by the doctor of characteristics of a 2 year old and find out, well, he's just normal...
-walks up & down stairs...check
-jumps from a step....check
-often negative & prone to temper tantrums...check, check
-shy with strangers....check
-mimics & imitates....check
and on & on. Check, check, check...

It's of course reassuring to know that he's hitting all of his milestones & he's where he's expected to be developmentally. But, as a person who often doubts herself & wonders how important her life is, it's even more reassuring to realize that Jack isn't an exceptional person because of what he does, because of how much he has accomplished, because, let's face it, he hasn't accomplished anything by worldly standards & everything he does is pretty typical of your average 2 year old. And, he's not unexceptional because he's normal or average.

He's exceptional because he's loved & created by God. Because he's loved by his parents. Because he is a unique creation, no matter how "normal". I've often said that Jack could grow up to be a garbage man & I wouldn't be any less proud of him (this is not to speak lowly of garbage men...I think you all get that!). I need to remember those things for myself too, especially when I'm sure my brain is leaking out of my ears as I sleep at night due to lack of use & I wonder what I've really accomplished in my 30 years. What really matters is the relationships we have, the way we love those around us, the way we love our Creator. The rest is just the normal stuff of life...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

We turned 8 years old today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paci Days

I know everyone has been waiting with baited breath to find out what has been going on with Jack's precious. AKA: the pacifier. Read on if you'd like the update...

If you've read my blog at all, you know Jack's loves his pacis more than anything in the world, and that I hate them with every fiber in my body. The past few weeks he's been completely fixated on them. I know he is cutting the last of his molars (and we are very ready to be done with teething!), but whenever we were home he would scream for them & when he was sad or bored or fell he would cry for the "bink" as well. We knew it was time to take action. (That and the fact that he has his 2 year check-up coming up in a week & the doctor told us to ditch the paci at 18 months.)

So, on Monday, John clipped off the tops of his pacifiers. For those of you who are childless, clipping the top of the paci makes it harder to suck on & way less fun. When John gave it to him at bedtime he sucked on it, pulled it out and said "uh-oh". Then he tried another one & said the same thing. He finally went to sleep at 9:30 that night after an hour & a half in his crib. He wasn't screaming, just chatting & jumping & laughing with the occasional cry thrown in.

The next day he didn't ask for his bink at all!

But, at nap time he hit me, cried, threw his pacis at me, threw his kitty at me, pulled my hair & cried some more until I finally got him calmed down & just rocked him to sleep. Then he only slept for an hour.

Last night he fell asleep at 9pm which is an improvement & today for his nap he went down without a peep.

And still, he hasn't begged for the bink at all today.

Next week John is going to clip them even more so that he won't have much of anything to suck on, but can still hold them in his hands.

Hopefully we'll be rid of them completely in the next few weeks.

That's all for Paci Days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Here

I'm 30. Woo-hoo!

I guess it's not so bad.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Birthday Fun!

Jack turned 2 yesterday. We all had a great day. Here are some photos for you to enjoy.

A yummy breakfast. His obvious joy is not from the doughnuts, but from the candles. We re-lit them about 5 times so he could keep blowing them out.

Birthday bubble mayhem.

He didn't touch the cake, but had 3 servings of ice cream.

He wasn't interested in opening his gifts, but loved the rocking chair my mom made for him.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Birthday to you.

Welcome to this dusty land
where you will cry lots, but we'll all understand.
Things may not turn out sometimes like you planned,
that's alright our little man.

Welcome outside of your mother's womb,
I know that it's frightening, but now there's more room.
Just think of all the great things you'll do,
just by you being you.

I don't care what the world says about all this struggling,
all I know is now you're here it's so lovely.
I don't care about all the things that have troubled me,
now that you're here I remember life can be so lovely, though it's troubling,
but you're lovely.

Welcome to us our little song,
you're one part your daddy, one part your mom.
We're going to help you grow up to be strong.
but for now little guy
sleep on.

~Lori Chaffer

Happy 2nd birthday to my favorite little boy.

Happy Birthday Kbo!!

Kevin & Jack 2 years ago today. Kevin's birthday, Jack's birth-day.
We love you Kevin.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The 30's are breathing down my neck...

Another 30 post. I a little over a week I'm sure there will be a 3rd 30's post.

I started feeling very down this weekend about my impending 30th birthday. That feeling kind of snuck up on me. I was feeling strange about the birthday, but not down until then.

I think I thought 30 looked a lot different than it does. It signals "adult" to me, but most days I sure don't feel very adult. I think I expected to feel more accomplished. I expected to have a career I was proud of (I'm sure mostly in case I run into someone I went to high school with! That's silly.), to have my Master's degree, and to be finished having kids. That's not the case for any of those things. None of those things really matter, I know. I have a husband & son that I adore and friends and family that love me, but I still feel down about 30.

Don't be surprised if you see me out clubbing this week. I've got to live up the rest of my 20's!