Tag Archives: little man

Writing our Life Story: the next chapter

There comes a point in your life when you feel fulfilled.  The first look at a newborn and the world around you goes still.  Your heart is forever changed in a way that you never thought possible. The life you imagined in your head for years, suddenly becomes a reality unraveling before your eyes. The nights of hanging with girlfriends, are somehow replaced by sleepless nights and early bedtime that you wouldn’t change for the world. You choose to spend 5 more minutes watching your child explore their world, over cleaning up the dishes after dinner.  The days of a clean house seem less important, and time spent watching your child’s 45 minute bath become more meaningful and enlightening each day. The moment you realize every tear, scratch, and sad moment felt by a child doubles in strength for a mother’s heart, is the moment you realize that you are living your life for something much bigger than yourself.

Balancing your life takes on a whole new meaning.  This past summer I charaded my way through a circus act, attempting to balance a professional life (working 50-60 hour work weeks), a creative life (getting my photography & blogging businesses off the ground), and a family life.  Now that the chaos has ended and there is 5 minutes to clear my head, I’m realizing that my job as a mother trumps all other opportunities in life.  In 10 years I  will not  be able to go back and watch my 18-month-old son grab onto the edge of the counter and swing like a trapeze artist. The life I have created could easily continue on each day with a majority of my time spent focused on the monotonous activities of daily life.  However starting in September I chose to take an active role in my life, focusing my efforts on what means the most to me, family.  While it’s certainly not feasible for our family to have me do this on a full-time basis, perhaps it has given light to how I focus my attention in daily life.

I have never regretted the life I have chosen.  I value each aspect to my life, and am grateful for the opportunities and challenges I have experienced.  My professional career is one filled with research, innovation, and teaching opportunities which fulfill my innate desire to learn and lead others.  My creative life is an opportunity for adventure, to follow a passion, a belief, and allow myself to be the creator and the decision-maker all in one.  What matters is how I choose to spend my time.  What if I chose to not go to church on a Sunday morning and instead spend one morning with the husband, son, dog and myself all huddled into one bed that is too – small for our growing family?  Would people judge me?  Most likely, but here’s where I get to choose how live my life.  What if I choose to take a walk with the family over cleaning the house?  Would people judge me- you might if you saw the constant disarray of our house lately.  What if I spend less time in small talk at work and focus on getting the work done so I can leave my work at work? Does this make me less dedicated than others who work beyond a standard work week? The point isn’t that I don’t care, it’s about choosing what is most important and dedicating the time to prove it.

You have not seen a blog post here since July.  Doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested, or didn’t try.  It means I arrive home at 5 PM to a happy and energetic little boy who steals my heart.  We choose to have a family dinner and then spend our last hour together as a family, before I nestle into bed with my little man at 7:30 PM. I watch eagerly as his eyelids grow heavy, how he wrestles to distract himself so he can avoid sleeping for just 5 more minutes, and eventually listen as his breaths grow deeper and soft hums replace the squeals of laughter heard less than an hour ago.  Saying goodnight is always a ritual including a kiss on the forehead enclosed with a whisper “Dream Big Little Man,” (which sometimes prompts him to raise his arm to shew away the strange feeling on his forehead).  Often times I return to repeat the same “Good Night” ritual as I head off to bed myself.  From 8 PM to 10 PM is my time to re-aquaint myself with my husband as it seem likes months since we sat down to a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Over the past month I felt less inclined to do what “needed to get done” and  replaced these activities with what “I want to do most.”

Being a mom is the most rewarding and exhausting thing I have experienced in my life.  In an effort to make things even more complicated and exciting we decided to add another member to our family.  Consider this our announcement…

Little Man will the add the title of “Big Bother” to his name come April of 2012, creating a whole new chapter in our life story.  I can choose to be a passenger in my life, or the driver.  With some unchartered territory up ahead, and new challenges coming our way, I have the opportunity to mold and shape the story of this adventure we call life!

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Filed under Deep thoughts, Foregiveness, Let's talk about me!, The Caleb Times

Boy: A noise with dirt on it {16.5 months}

Dear Little Man,

I know I missed the 16 month landmark- but you’ll have to forgive me.  We were on a less that spectacular vacation (see Christmas Vacation post for more details).

If I could sum up this month in one word it would be whirlwind.  This past month has been so fun and crazy all rolled into one.  While you are generally mellow and laid back, you have developed quite an attitude and you know how to use it.  There are days that I want to scream, yet sometimes it takes everything in me to not laugh at your crazy antics.

Much like 15 months, your food selections are pretty slim.  The monumental moment was the day you ate a whole chicken nugget.  Hallelujah, right?! You also tried a fresh pea pod, but discovered the peas fly pretty far when you whip them across the room.  Let’s say Diesel is getting a little bit of a weight problem- but at least he tends to a dirty floor. Cereal is still a staple- only now it’s in a bowl with milk and several attempts to use your spoon.

You amaze me everyday.  Your little brain is like a sponge soaking up new things all around you.  I could go on forever about all the little things this month.  I try to remind myself everyday to recognize and pay attention to all these little details.  You know your stuff.  You can point to identify people, shapes, colors and some animals. While the floor in every room of the house bookshelf holds most of your preferred “toys”, the shape cube (you know the thing that you can drop the shape blocks into) is a close second.  Your dad and I  offer the 3 blocks for the side facing him, and you are able to match the shapes. Being the goofy and happy boy that you are, every time you get it right we cheer with a gleeful “yay” and clap.   New tonight  you added “Moo” to your vocabulary- what can I say, we are a wisconsinites  (Your work grandpa Zen would be proud)! We are able to ask simple commands like, “Can mom have a cracker?” and you’ll play fetch.  Speaking of fetch, you LOVE to play fetch with Diesel and get frustrated when he doesn’t follow the rules.  Sharing this makes me realize how many goofy things I need to get on video!

One of my favorite developments this month is your ability to  identify body parts.  Here’s a test, “Where’s your tongue?” (with a little bit of breakfast too)

Summer weather is upon and you have shown me your affinity for water and then dirt (or sand).  From a drinking fountain to a kiddie pool,  If you spot water, you’re in it.  I have also learned that dirt and sand are the next best thing and tend to act like a magnets to little boys.  It’s next to impossible to keep you dry and clean these days.

Sometimes it’s impossible for me to stay clean and dry in watching you.  To you water was meant to be splashed.

On Sunday night during bath time we had a huge mess on the bathroom floor.  As mom turned away to grab a towel to dry the floor,  I turned back to find you dumping the bucket of water we use to wash your hair all over the floor.  The bath mat and towel already down were soaked.  How did you respond?  With a gleeful cheer and rapid clapping. Recognizing I wasn’t as cheerful you immediately changed your response to a stoic look and responded with “uh-oh.” How does one keep a straight face to that!

If I could ask for one thing this next month (and maybe the rest of your life), is just a tad more fear.  While you certainly aren’t a rebel, I’m seeing more of your adventurous side emerge.  For example,  jumping off your rocking chair…I’m really proud that you can jump and glad that you have the confidence to attempt such things, but maybe we could master jumping on the ground first (which is ridiculously hilarious to watch).

I have many more things to share, but to pull the post to an end I need to recognize the love you have for your dad.  While I didn’t post about it on this blog, mommy’s shoulder surgery in May really put a crimp into our routine and dad stepped up to take care of us.  You two have developed a stronger bond that sometimes makes me jealous.  He now MUST put you to bed or you scream “DADADA” in a helpless tyrant.  But you also search the house for him, or run to the door when he arrives home.  You love to help him with whatever he might be working on, such as laying the stones in the garden path.    You have grown to trust him and know that he will protect you and care for you and I, and you still know when it’s time to wrap him around your finger to play!

I can’t say it enough, I feel so blessed to be your mom.  Your expressions, knowledge and even your attitude make me appreciate each day.  You are a gift that I couldn’t be more grateful to receive.

Love you More,
Mom

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Little man’s art work

When you don’t see or hear your little man, always go check on him immediately.  Why? Because you may end up finding this….

Somehow he reached the Desitin container and was able to get the lid off.  When we discovered him he was so proud and excited to show us his hands….

He had traces of it everywhere… in his hair, on his elbow, a few dabs on his shirt, a glob on his lip, and interestingly  a huge smudge on his bare belly yet his clothes were nearly spotless.  Apparently, he liked the way it squished between his hands…

I captured his masterpiece as the husband tried to clean him off. I think his floor art turned out nicely.  I’m just glad he decided to do this on the hardwood instead of the carpet.  I might even to to print and frame his first masterpiece.

In the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t even be upset with him.  I was almost proud.   He was totally entertained and was merely exploring his creative juices.  It could have been worse, like permanent marker.  Always trying to keep things in perspective.

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Dear Mr. Busybody,

Today you turned 15-months-old and each day with you is becoming more of a whirlwind of activity.  You are learning new things by leaps and bounds.  Your personality shines as you continue to be a happy-go-lucky little man who is becoming less of a momma’s boy (I’ll explain why further on).  We’ve had a few new adventures this month.

To begin to understand just how busy you really are, here’s a glimpse of (less than) 5 minutes in your life this last month.

As you can see you LOVE being outdoors.  A day inside is punishment. No fancy toys necessary (although you may have a future as a golfer) you find so many ways to entertain yourself.  So busy you are!

Your affinity for sweets has continued to stem into an epidemic of picky eating for your parents that could go away at any time.  Maybe we should go back and hide healthy snacks in eggs so you can find and shake them to your hearts content before begging mom and dad to open them so you can scarf them down “MMM.” I know  Easter was technically over a month ago, but here’s the sequence of learning bad habits.

(Find)

(Shake)

(Get Chased)

(Beg mercifully for sweetness)

And because you look so adorable in the dazed-blank-stare-while-contemplating-your-degree-of-sleepiness, which is usually at 9:30 AM; 2:30 PM or 7:30 PM, I felt the need to stick in one more picture.   Not to mention you are styling my favorite plaid pants!

You definitely are an observer.  Sometimes you need to fend for yourself a bit as you watch and learn rather than approach a situation.  Generally speaking, you play well with other kids. A common toy that is wanted by another can easily be given up for another distraction.  And when it comes to food, you are always willing to share.  Diesel might not be your biggest fan most of the time, unless there is food involved. In which case Diesel preys on you like a wild tiger- without any sort of viciousness of course!

You have created a game of tag out of this by showing Diesel your food then running in the opposite direction with your arm outstretched leading him on.  Only to have him catch up to you and either you bury the food deep in your hand so he can’t get it, or you eat it yourself.

There are times he snatches it from you without your approval…which leads to a flood of tears and curled bottom lip.  A true temper tantrum may rear its head, which includes your entire-body shakes, fingers spread, and a dramatic bend in the knees and waist so you scream to the floor.  This may be followed by a “runaway” to another room (for a while it was the garbage can in the bathroom) where you continue to “freak out.” More and more you find a way to do something naughty then look back to see the reaction you get.

You are still a pretty cuddly kid, known for your hugs and open mouth kisses.

(Diesel never allows this for very long, but thankfully dog cousin Dell was willing to entertain the hug long enough for me to get a picture).

I can already sense your life flashing before my eyes when you get all dressed up.  You are such a handsome little man…

…even with a handful of chocolate.

There are times when you just plain wake up on the wrong side of the bed, complete with some serious bed head!

There have been some challenges this month too.  Just last week you decided to cut 4 teeth all at the same time which brought on the runny noses, cough, drooling, and a little more trouble sleeping.  The weeks preceding the actual teething brought out the worst (& only) diaper rash you’ve ever had.  Your timing couldn’t have been any worse because your mom was out of commission.  Two weeks ago she had a hefty shoulder surgery (on her right shoulder) which put a crimp in her ability to care for you (& herself).  The mundane tasks of changing diapers, getting you dressed, putting you into your crib, even feeding you were all responsibilities that dad had to take over.  For the first few days you stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s house to give mom some rest and allow dad to taker care of her.  When you returned home our cuddle time was limited to reading books on my lap in the recliner.  You slowly have transitioned to become a daddy’s boy. In fact you are slowly learning my limitations- in some ways it’s good and others not so good.  When you greet me in my chair you’ve learned to come to the left side so I can pick you up.  On the other hand when you ventured off to the neighbor’s yard yesterday, I was too far a way to catch up quickly enough and you knew it. You’d look back and snicker while continuing to RUN ( yes run) in the opposite direction.  Little stinker!

I’ll close with a video of that little run.  Watch your left arm get just a churning away, and add a few high steps in just to make sure you don’t trip.  It only took one good toe stubbing with sandals before you realized you gotta pick your feet up on certain terrains.

Lastly, we continue to work on signing to communicate.  We started it a little late in the game.  You have done “more” “milk” and calling Diesel by patting your chest.  I was hoping that was “please,” but when I noticed that I pat my leg when I call the dog, that he was just imitating me to get the dog’s attention.

These past 15 months have been the best 15-months EVER!  You ROCK little man!
Love You More-
Mom 🙂

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Finding my voice

In the weeks leading up to my surgery we crammed as many projects in as possible. Well the surgery was Thursday and I’m on my way to recovery. So you can expect more frequent posts from me as I regain my ability to type.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a clip of my little man singing for your listening pleasure.

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A growing vocabulary

The little man has doubled his vocabulary in the last week, this one being my new favorite!

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New Do!

My little man has been blessed with a head FULL of hair since birth.  The day before Easter we decided the mullet was getting out of control for the 4th time.  What we contemplated was taking him to a barber and getting it chopped to have a real boy haircut….but I just could bring myself to do that.  Instead the husband and I set up a makeshift barber shop in our kitchen.  I asked Brent to get everything ready and see if he would freak out at the sound of the clippers.  The result a perfectly amused 13.5 month old little man sitting perfectly still for us to clip away! (I trimmed a bit on top too with a scissors so the little man could see again).  He sat through it pretty good.  About 3/4 the way through we had to bribe him with jelly beans, other than that everything went good 🙂

Before:

After: (Front)

(Back)

the Evidence:

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