Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Practice What You Preach Brother Man"

This is a new phrase I used with David tonight. He said something to me and I did not hear him. I, inappropriately, responded with a "huh"? To which he replied "remember, mommy, you shouldn't say "huh", you should say "pardon me?". Yea, kid, I know. Try doing that yourself sometime. I learned the "huh?" from you!!

Earlier today we were leaving a friend's house and traveled home via their backyard. There was a random miniature toy in the backyard-it had clearly been laying there for a great period of time and was long forgotten. David asked if I thought Casey would let us borrow it. I said I was sure he wouldn't mind. The RIGHT thing to do would have been to go back inside and ask permission to borrow it. Well, I did the WRONG thing. We had only gone outside to take Casey home so none of us had coats on-it was to be a quick trip. I didn't feel like going back inside and asking to borrow a toy that Casey had likely forgotten even existed. And, I knew that as we had left Casey was going up to take a nap. And no mommy wants to be interrupted when children are going down to take a nap. Anyway, I said I was sure Casey wouldn't mind if we borrowed it-so we headed home, toy in hand. Once inside, David said "mommy, we took Casey's toy and did not pay for it. We stole it like I stealed candy at the coffee shop yesterday". Since I was feeling guilty that I allowed him to "borrow" the toy without asking, I took the opportunity to explain, in detail, the difference between stealing and borrowing. I conveniently left out the part about needing to ask to borrow something before actually borrowing the item. I knew I would get caught red handed if I had done that. So, although I got caught, he obviously learned from yesterday stealing incident. It may have also been because I asked him what happened to the thieves in the Bible-He told me they died on the cross next to Jesus. That's right-steal another piece of candy and you might have to die on a cross. How is that for changing a child's heart or should we say scaring them into good behavior??? I know that I really do want a child with a pure heart and a desire to do good because of their care. But right now I just want him to not steal and if he doesn't because he thinks he might be crucified, so be it!
P.S. Casey, your toy will be returned promptly!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A First Time for Everything

Today David and I, together, reached a milestone....a first in our mother-son relationship. He stole chocolate and I helped him confess. It was a beautiful moment. There was lots of beautiful conversation, loving touches....I just hope I can remember this time together forever! Back to reality...I wanted to hide under a rock or throw up (or maybe a combination of them both).

We were at the Treehouse Coffee Shop in Audubon where a friend and I were leading a discussion group. I say what we were doing that to show that I actually know the owners-they recognize me and know my name! David had been asking for something to eat and I had told him repeatedly that we were going home soon and we would eat when we got home. As I was preparing to leave, I couldn't find him. Of course, I panicked. Then I found him in the corner with the children's treats. This is what I found.....said child with an obviously full mouth, said child with an empty candy wrapper in his hands, said child standing next to a bowl full of candy identically matching the empty wrapper in said child's hand. I asked him if he ate the candy to which he very willingly replied "yes, I was hungry". Ok, you got a point for yourself there because you didn't lie. That should help you during your sentencing. He was very nervous looking. I think he had no idea that he stole or what stealing was even about. I think he was nervous because I told him that he could not eat and then he went ahead and did it.

My first thought was to grab our stuff and hit the road. I didn't want to confess that MY child, my wonderful son stole something. I thought better about running. This was a learning opportunity and I had to take it. After David and I "spoke" about the incident, I gave him money and made him go and tell the owner that he took the candy and needed to pay for it. He did that. I also told him the money would need to come out of his bank when we got home. He was very shy...I think maybe he got it.

I don't know when I can show my face again....but I know that I dealt with it and I believe I handled it well. Hopefully this little learning experience will be the last of these sorts. However, I am sure the "firsts" in the future will bring even bigger and better embarassment! Oh, how I love being a mother!!

Lessons Learned:
  • bring extra change with me in the event I must pay for $.25 candy stolen
  • feed the kid before you leave the house. feed him extra good in the event he gets really hungry.
  • only visit places once...his way they can never get to know you in the event your kid steals from them.
  • scope out "private" places in public in the event you need some "private" time with your resident thief.
  • rehearse your "i am shocked he did this. he has NEVER done this before".

    Does this look like the face of a thief???

A Prayer for Ellie

David's prayer for Ellie tonight:
Dear Eldie (aka Ellie), I mean dear Jesus,
Thank you for our baby. Thank you our baby is growing. Help her to keep growing and help her heart (I think he was referring to having Jesus in your heart or possibly when we talk about his heart needing to be clean, etc). Thank you for our lego's, thank you for my toys, thank you for my bible. (This is where I asked if he was done praying for Ellie). Thank you for Eldie. Thank you that I can rub her head, thank you that I can pat her bum. Help Eldie to sleep good. Goodnight Ellie. I love you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm adopted, are you??

Prior to have children, I worked at Bethany Christian Services in their foster care department in Philadelphia. I learned so many life lessons, way too many to count. In the past several years I have been so busy trying to figure out this mothering thing that I have not given a lot of thought to my time in foster care and adoption. Recently, God has been really laying adoption on my heart. I don't exactly know what that means for us-will we adopt in the future, are we meant to support more adoptions, pray more for those who needs homes? I really don't know-that's why I pray.

However, through all of my prayer and reflection over the past few weeks and months, I have become more thankful for my own adoption. Not an earthly adoption, but my adoption as a daughter of the Lord. Oh, how glorious my heavenly father is to me. He is so awesome-in so many ways. It's hard to explain it all here, but if you ever want to know more-look me up and I would be glad to share. The great thing about this adoption is that it is can all have it! All Christ asks of us is to believe in believe he has died for our sins....that we cannot, in our own power, achieve live good lives. We need his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. He took His sins upon Himself. And, if we accept His free gift through faith alone in Christ alone, we are guaranteed eternal life with Him someday. I don't have to lots of good things to win His favor. I believe I WANT to do good and be more Godly, but my actions don't dictate my eternal life with Him. All I have been required to do is to accept Him as THE Savior and my Savior.

Why do I say all of this? I don't know really-it's my blog and I can do it, that's why. No, really, my heart has been so burdened for the people in my life that do not know the Lord as their personal Savior. They put their faith in the church, in themselves, in their good deeds or whatever, but at the end of it all-that all does not matter. Life ends-either through death or through the eventual return of the Lord. When those times come, our eternal life will begin. It is my prayer that all I know will one day live in Heaven with me because I love them and I do not want them to face the other eternal alternative.

I feel like I am rambling and I likely am. I began this blog as a personal (yet public) journal and I guess tonight I decided to share what has burdened my heart with all of you.

Thank you Lord for adopting me as your daughter!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"we're getting old, mommy"

Tonight while he was going to bed, David told me his legs were getting old. Here is the rest of the conversation...

D: "We're getting old, mommy"
M: "Really dude, why are we getting old?"
D: "We drink too much."
Me to myself: Really? Where is he going with this? Am I up for whatever it coming?
Me to him: "What are we drinking that is making us old?"
D: "Mommy, we are drinking too much water and that is making us too old. And too much juice too. It's making our legs old".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Learning to Rhyme

David is beginning to recognize when words rhyme. It is neat to see this skill developing in him. Or should I say it WAS, that is until he rhymed these words tonight while doing his Thomas the train engine puzzle.

me: "R" rrrr Rheneas, Rheneas (i mis-pronounced it Rhenes) begins with "R"
David: Rhenes rhymes with Penis. Penis. Penis rhymes with Rhenes.
Although no one wants to encourage potty talk, I couldn't help but giggle. He asked why I was laughing and before I could answer he said "mommy, I guess you are laughing because you thought I was telling a joke. I am not telling a joke. I am rhyming words. You shouldn't laugh because I am not telling a joke." Sorry, kid. Oh, I think we are beginning the boy world of potty talk. yea!

A Child's Prayer Addition

Tonight David added a new line to his standard prayer and it touched my heart.

Thank you Jesus,
Thank you for mommy, daddy, Ellie, bear guy, David, grandma Rutt, grandma Clapper, grandpa, pop-pop. Keep them safe, bless them. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins. Amen

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My baby is 8 months old

Ellie Elizabeth Clapper

Dear Sweetest Little Miss Ellie,

I cannot believe you are already 8 months old. You are still my little peanut that it is hard to believe that you are so close to your first year milestone. I am so very thankful that God has loaned you to us-I love you so very much. Your smile coupled with those big brown bright eyes light up a room and my heart. The best part of every day is when I walk into your room in the morning or after a nap and you look up at me with the biggest smile. Then you start playing being shy and you put your head down, suck your thumb and then look up at me again with a huge smile. It's such a fun game. Oh, I love your smile. I love your eyes. I love all of you!

You are beginning to explore your world through rolling over. It's a little late in coming, but that is OK with me. I have been able to enjoy holding and snuggling you longer before you push me away in return for your freedom to explore. I enjoy seeing you roll over and attempt to reach your toys. You pure joy while you are playing is so neat to see.

Some of your loves right now-your big brother for sure. You turn towards his voice every time and laugh at absolutely anything he does. I do hope you think he is this cool when he is breaking your toys, torturing your dolls or using your lipstick for hunting paint. And he loves you too...he is getting into you more and more each day. He holds you more now than he did when you were first born. Even tonight, you were crying when I put you in your crib (which is highly unusual-I think you were overtired). David said that you were crying because you didn't want to go to bed. He brought a toy over and told me to put it into your crib because it would make you feel better. You are enjoying moving more and being able to play with more toys. You love your always have and nothing has changed. I love watching you suck your thumb....too darn cute. You love people....watching people smiling at people. You love when I sing to usually smile wide and give a little laugh-am I that bad?? Last night when we were at the store and you were in the sling, I held your little head in my hands and sang to you. You smiles the widest smile and just stared at me. AHHH, I loved it.

Some of your Now that's one I just don't understand. You already just eat to survive. That will be good for you in the future, but it does cause mommy some stress now. It will likely cause me stress in the future too because I eat because I enjoy it and if you are never like that, I will be stressed that I am the only woman in the house who enjoys eating. Sometimes you suck down a bottle, the next day it takes you an hour to drink oz. You will eat your baby food, but if it's not offered you don't complain. And snacks like puffs, forget about it. You still do not like to sleep on your back and if you roll to your back you just lay there and cry. One of these days I would love if you could remember that you can indeed roll back to your stomach. You do not like being tired and not being able to sleep when you want to. You are fine sleeping on a shoulder or in the sling, but you need to sleep when you want to sleep. You are a great sleeper. 7 p.m.-8/9 p.m. And two 3 hour naps. You apparently don't like to grow hair either because you don't have too much of that yet. It is growing however slowly that may be. It is such a shame that your brother had his first haircut before 10 months and you don't even have enough to comb yet.

Although I thought I couldn't make it one more night without sleep when you were a newborn, there are days that I yearn for you to wake up at night just one more time. I just want to hold you in the silence of the night just one more time. To hold you when there is nothing else to distract me....Every night I go upstairs to kiss and pray for you and your brother. There are times when I crawl into bed with David and just lay with him, listen to him breathe, study his growing features and pray for him. I usually end with your room and I pick you up and hold you, sing to you and pray for you too. I do pray that you and your brother will grow up to have one passion...Christ and your relationship with him. Sure, a mother wants their children to succeed in life and have employment, but most of all I want you to be on fire for the Lord. The time will come where your light will want to be extinguished yet I pray that you stand strong and keep your light burning. Oh, my heart aches when I think of you living life without the Lord. It keeps me on my knees....I pray for you and for wisdom for daddy and I as we parent you.

I didn't know if I wanted more than one child. I was scared by the thought of it (since I was an only child), but oh I am so happy we made the decision to have you. You have enriched my life in many ways. I love you and your brother so very much. I love seeing you both grow and learn new things. I really enjoy seeing the two of you together.

Happy 8 months baby girl. Momma loves you!

Chocolate World

Last week the kids and I went to Lancaster to visit friends and family (and to give dad a guilt-free week where he could work as much as he wanted). Grandpa Rutt took off one day to do something special with David and I. Grandpa works a lot and we don't often spend a lot of time with him. We so greatly enjoy the time we have with him. David loves his grandpa so very much and loves being with him. Our day trip this time was a visit to Hershey Chocolate World. David loved the little ride-we rode it several times. Why not? It's free and they give you candy at the end. After several trips, I said we had to stop because the people were going to start thinking that we were going through the ride just for the candy.

After the ride we went to a 3D show. He loved the glasses. The show, not so much. There were definitely some sound effects that could definitely frighten a child. He still talks about the elephant that spit water at him and the spider that came to his face. Our time could not be complete without some chocolate, of course. Grandpa, being the sucker he is for high priced yet fun things for kids, allowed David to become a Hershey Kiss packager. $10 later we walked away with a factory worker hat, "official" badge and 20 kisses. Oh well, he loved it (and grandpa paid).

Our day was not complete without a visit to grandpa's fire house. My dad used to be a firefighter when I was younger and he is a lifetime member of his firehouse. That allows him access to the firehouse. We just sat in firetrucks for what seemed like eternity. Oh, but he loved every minute. Grandpa and I were given orders as to what we were to do when we arrived at the fire, where we were to ride, what maps to look at, etc.

We had a great day together. I always treasured my times with my dad as a kid-I was a true daddy's little girl. Things haven't changed yet-I love our times together. It is so awesome to see how much he loves my children. His time is very scarce and it means the world to me that he gave it up to spend it with us. An even bigger thanks has to go to my mom who watched Ellie given that she has a strong preference to being with me other than any other individual. She was a trooper to love on Ellie all day despite Ellie not reciprocating that love!

New Theology

My son is a little more than obsessed with David and Goliath. We play it all of the time, complete with dress up costumes compliments of Grandma Clapper. He even quotes the verses that correspond with the passage in the Bible. This alone is wonderful, but couple it with telling his non-church friend that he is going to Kielll him (kill said in David accent) and it's not so good. Ever have to explain to a mother of a frightened child what your 3 year old meant when he said he was going to kill her son-well, call me if you need any pointers some day-I was all over that! We have told him that we are not to kill people and he says "David killed Goliath" to which we respond because God told him to. "Well, the people killed Jesus". Again, because that was a part of God's plan. It's not so easy to explain to a 3 year old that has a mind that just won't quit. Yet we have tried over and over again. It seemed to really be working. Every once and awhile he says "Ellie, I am going to kill you with my sword", but generally we have had not homicidal incidents in the past few months.

Today my theology was once again challenged by my 3 year old. He was talking about the Veggie Tales "Dave and the Giant Pickle". He said he was going to kill something and I said "remember, we don't kill...." and so the whole saga began. To which he responded (after my pre-recorded message on killing) "that's right mommy, we are not supposed to kill pickles". Right-got that. I will mark that in the margin of my Bible-and highlight it too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Child's Prayer

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Ellie, Bear Guy, David, Grandma Rutt, Grandma Clapper, Grandpa and Pop-Pop. Keep them safe, bless them, Amen."

This is David's standard prayer-prayed at every meal and bedtime. No additions, no deletions, just this prayer. However, there are, at times, lots of stumbling after the David part, I am assuming because he doesn't know if he has covered all these folks at least once. Many times we start over to make sure everyone of necessity is included. Others we just repeat grandma or grandpa over and over to make sure, once again, everyone is somehow included. The first 5 "people" are always said quickly (got that part down pat) and the keep them safe.... is always at rapid speed as well. If I happen to mention that we are praying for our meal he may add an "and thank you for our food". I smile proudly everytime he prays. He will often volunteer at friend's homes too which I think is awesome because he is not too shy to pray. He has prayed several times in Sunday School or Wednesday nights, I am told.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"You are driving me... a car."

Don't get it? Neither do I! When a certain little someone who is 3 years old, 41 inches and 34 pounds is doing any number of things I may be found saying "you are driving me crazy". It's said in a funny way, not in a mean or belittling way. Well, one day the same certain someone told his father that he was driving him crazy. His father asked who had taught him that line to which he quickly replied "mommy did!". Thanks for throwing me under the bus kid! Daddy told him that wasn't kind, blah, blah, blah. Maybe not kind, but definitely necessary sometimes. See Daddy's can say it's not kind because they don't do 12 hour shifts. Anyway, I don't say it anymore b/c I am always reprimanded by the same guy that exposed me to daddy. Even though I am trying I am often caught saying "you are driving" before I catch myself and he quickly tells me that it isn't kind to say that. I didn't even say it-I can't get in trouble if I stopped myself before completing the phrase. Plus, you are the 3 year old and I am the mommy-don't tell me what is not kind. Now, knowing that he is not allowed to say that phrase, he says "you are driving me like a car". I laugh everytime...not at all b/c it makes sense, but I do find it funny.

The many roles of a mother....

I embarked on a new "mommy" role this week that I hope I don't have to take on very often. We have a friend who is moving and we will likely not see in the future. This was an adult friend, but one that was always kind to David and paid special attention to him. David even calls his guitar his "Kerry guitar" after this guy. There were times that this guy did things that drove me crazy and made me want to severly hurt him. He made obnoxious comments, raided my refrigerator and stayed at our house way too late at night (or should I say too early in the morning). But it was this week that I realized that his crazy antics that drove me crazy didn't matter in the eyes of a 3 year old. We told David that Kerry would be moving back home with his mommy and daddy. I didn't want to make a big deal about it b/c he is only 3 but I wanted to tell him. A 3 year old didn't need to know the specifics-he obviously wouldn't understand any of it. He just kept saying " he doesn't have to leave, he can stay here". We told him he had to get a new job to which he replied "no he doesn't. he can work for daddy". Yea, that just wouldn't work-bible major enters accounting world...I just don't see it! David got so hyper and excited when he saw Kerry after not seeing him for several weeks. It was very apparent that he was very excited to see him although he hadn't talked about him while he was gone. I had decided earlier to not tell him about Kerry-I reasoned that if he wasn't around David would just forget. That didn't happen. He wanted to play his guitar for Kerry, wrestle with him, show him some new toys, etc. Kerry was important in his life-I didn't see it, but it was made apparent to me this week. And I am glad he had him in his life for this short period. David needs male figures in his life and Kerry provided that in the ways a three year old needed it. Although I still struggle with everything surrounding him leaving and can still get irritated with him-there is one important thing I realized this week that I hadn't realized before. He was important in my kids life and so, despite all of the rest of the yucky stuff, I will remember that and always be glad for it.

Now in all realization as the months continue on, he will forget about Kerry. It's sad, but true. I know it really will not make a lastening impression on him as his young age. But it was sad. He kept saying he doesn't have to leave, etc. and was sad when he said good-bye. He held on so tight-it's as if he really did understand. All this to say, I just don't like seeing my kids hurt. So far in his young life, I have only seen him physically hurt by scraped knees, balls hitting his head and the occasional push by a friend. I have yet to embark on dealing with emotional pain and I tell you that I would take a scraped knee anyday over this kind of hurt. Oh, how will I deal with it when the first kid makes fun of how he throws a ball or what he wears? What will I do when a girl breaks his heart? I do hope I can keep my emotions in check and use them as teachable moments. I hope I take the time to show him that God created him perfectly and he needs to be how God wants him to be, that there is pain in life but we need to glorify God through it. That obedience to God's word in crucial and there are big consequences when you don't obey. And so many of the other lessons pain brings in our lives. Well, of course all of these lessons will come after I kick the kid who made fun of him or give that girl a piece of my mind!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Fun

At the beginning of each week I try to think of new and fun things we can do in the week ahead. Sometimes these ideas involve leaving the house and going some place fun. Although many times they involve staying home and being creative since a certain little someone who is only 7 months old needs to take many nappies. Well, I thought today would be a good day for an obstacle course. I cleared away the dining room table and pushed furniture aside and we went to work. D. Clapp eally only wanted me to set up the "diving board". Right around his 3rd birthday he was obsessed with "jumping off the diving board"-he would make diving boards out of anything-furniture, boards, curbs, sand piles....he just loved to jump. Although he hated getting in a pool or the ocean so I find it amusing that he called them diving boards. He even had a homemade diving board at his carnival 3rd birthday (which, by the way, you just jumped off of a board into the grass-but he loved it!) So, today's obstacle course had to include a diving board.

We pretended that our obstacle course was at the beach. You first had to drive to the beach.

Then you had to crawl through the tunnel to get to the beach...OK, not realistic, but I had to get the tunnel in there somehow.

Then came the board walk.

Then came the grand finale of the whole obstacle course-diving off of the diving board into the couch cushions-a usually forbidden activity in our home. But now that I am anticipating the possibility of getting new furniture-jump away.

After several runs through the obstacle course, mommy was quickly told to stop taking pictures and play. Ok, sir! We then pretended that the pillows were boats and the floor was water with sharks. You had to stay on the pillows or a shark would eat you!!! That actually held his attention more than the obstacle course itself.

Doing this event made me feel like a good mom-you know how it feels. When you plan something you think would be fun. Something different that you don't do everyday. Something that involves a usual "no"-liking jumping on pillows and couch cushions. Something where the house looks like the kids took over. I personally had lots of fun. And I believe in my heart he did too! But, after an hour of fun, I had to do something and he came to me asking "Will you play toys with me?" To which I replied "Babe, I did just play for over an hour. Wasn't that good enough?" "mommy, you played obstacle course, I want to play toys". I think I will always hear "come play toys with me" in my sleep.

This is what D Clapp looks and feels like when you don't play toys with him......

Even though he just wanted to play toys and it seemed for a moment that the obstacle course was in vein, I know that it's still important to do new and different things. I know that today built memories. It may not have been playing toys, but it was spending time together. Time-both quality and quantity. And time is my son's #1 love language. We had a lot of fun....and don't worry, when he wakes up I will give him undivided toy playing time! I love you D Clapp....and your toys!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Question of the day....

The end of nap times always leave me with a lot of emotional turmoil. Ok-not a lot, but enough that I thought about it again today. My almost 3.5 year old is still quiet in his bed. I highly doubt he could still be sleeping after 3 hours, but the key words here are STILL QUIET! Am I bad mother because I am not going to get the poor child or it ok that I have not ventured upstairs yet because, after all, I can't hear him?? He may have called for me, but he likes the fan on outside of his door. Therefore, the possibility exists I cannot hear him. On the other hand, if he is like me, he enjoys laying in bed for a period of time after he wakes up. I do often wonder if I should just go up after 2 hours if I haven't heard him, but then again-why wake a sleeping child? I obviously is not overly concerned given I have yet to purchase a monitor for his room which would provide me a 100% guarantee on his current state of sleep. That, my friends, is my turmoil and question of the day.

He has now been in bed 3 hours and 3 minutes....I must go get him. I feel bad....well, the truth is if I don't get him now he may not go back to bed at 8!
p.s. I really do LOVE my child-he's the best, but so are naps!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's official

Well, I guess it's official....I have started a blog. I do not think for a minute that I am important enough that anyone will ever read my blog (well, of course the grandparents will so that they can see their babies :). But, other than that I anticipate using this blog as a way to journal for myself. Try as I might, I just cannot force myself to find time in the day to journal about my life or the lives of my children. Now, finding time for the computer-that I can do!! It is my goal to be able to blog about the daily happenings of our lives, funny/interesting/scary/down right silly things my children do and the occasional feelings I have about my role as a wife and mother. Then someday my children will have a snippet of a picture of their lives growing up.

If you happened to stumble upon my blog, I am sorry if I don't inspire you, give you creative ideas (I can guarantee I won't be creative so stop reading now if that is what you are hoping for!), provide great recipes or whatever you are searching for in a blog. There's not much that I can guarantee with this blog, but one thing is for sure-it will be about my family and my love for them! Enjoy!
Just for your visual are my cute kiddo's. They are why I do what I do everyday! I love them!!