For any of you moms out there who want a boost check out my sister Shawni's blog....her entries nearly always leave my eyes watery (or make my eyes sweat as Noah would say)! She's just so good at motherhood......not that her days are all perfect or her kids always angels....but man does she cherish the little moments. I really idolize that (and almost everything else about her). I need to cherish the moments more.
My mother in law sent us a package full of January birthday presents (for Charlie and Jeff) and included a few little gifts for me with notes attached: "Open on a bad day." Well, Saturday was a bad day. Potty training a nearly two year old....do I need to elaborate? Probably not.....basically pee everywhere, a lot of laundry and huge tests of my patience (more about that later). Anyway, I opened it up and it was a "quotable magnet".....I love those, did she know? This one is by Alfred D. Souza and it says:
"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid, at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
And so I'm back to Hazel's brilliantly coined philosophy....THIS is my happening page, right now! These happenings of Life slip through my fingertips when I wait to be happy....wait till the house is clean (impossible), wait for the Hazel to get through this stage or that, for Charlie to be potty trained, for Jeff to get every single thing right, for us to have this or that totally unnecessary obsession. I really have to remind myself over and over to stop waiting and start enjoying. Oh, how I love those moments when I forget all the to dos on my list and play with the legos, build the towers, pretend I'm a prince or a race car or a fairy or a mother (why am I always pretending I'm the mom, I AM the mom). They are magical, and there for the taking, all the time. I just have to stop and cherish.
So here are some of our moments lately:
* Taking Hazel to the bathroom before Jeff and I go to bed. I know it sounds weird, but that's one of my very favorite parts of the day. She is so sleepy and out of it and docile and cuddly and funny. It cracks me up how she keeps her eyes closed and lets me flop her around like a rag doll. I just feel like squeezing every ounce of love i have into her as she cuddles heavily on my shoulder as we walk to the bathroom and back. And, boy is she ever cute as she cuddles back into her bed. As part of potty training I've been doing this with Charlie for the last few nights too. He is equally cute. Shaky and confused and cuddly. When I laid him back in his bed last night he made the sweetest little blissful sounds.....just how I feel when I'm woken in the middle of the night and can finally snuggle down into my warm bed. It was so sweet.
* I love the adult conversations I have with Hazel lately. She uses all of Jeff's hand gestures as she explains things. When she gets to a part that's too complex for her to explain she just plows right ahead and what she is saying doesn't make much sense at all (and I think she knows it) but she keeps up the gestures and facial expressions and acts as if what she is saying it totally clear and articulate. It cracks me up. She really wants to be 32. Today she played with one of her best friends (J0) who is in 1st grade. Hazel wants to be in first grade....she idolizes Jo. Jo is the only person she lets boss her around. It's pretty funny to stop and eves drop on their conversations. They totally mimic me and Heidi. Here's one of the conversations I heard today:
(playing with playdough, making little round circles and serving them on plates)
Jo: wow, these are DELICIOUS dough nuts!
Hazel: Actually, they aren't dough nuts, they're 'Thownuts."
Jo: These are really really good Thownuts Hazel! How did you make them?
Hazel: With Play dough.
Jo: no, what did you put in them!
Hazel: Oh, just some flour and some honey.
Jo: Well, you have GOT to teach me how to make them. When I make Thownuts they just don't taste very good.
Hazel: Sure, I'll give you the recipe.
* Charlie is in every way charming and adorable lately. I can't get enough of him, even through this potty training mess. He walks around so darn proud of himself and his big boy underpants. He tells everyone he sees that he has "potty power" and that there are "no more diapers for me!" He's not really getting it completely.....we're on day five and when he has an accident on the living room rug he thinks that he should get a candy because he peed.....hmmmm, seems we still have a way to go. I can't stand how cute his little bum is in all the different cheesy little boy briefs we have. This method that we're trying makes you go cold turkey (no diapers at night or naps either). The problem is that Charlie always poops in his crib. I've been trying to stand by the door and peek in at him as he's going to sleep....I haven't been able to catch him in crime, but man is he funny to watch alone in his crib. He sings all kinds of songs, rearranges the blankets over and over again, moves his "taggie" around the crib raining making choo choo train sounds, jumps and jumps and jumps, looks out the window, talks about his potty power and then does it all all over again. Now I can see the value in video monitors....forget the safety of the baby, they'd be worth their weight just for their entertainment value.
*Charlie is crazily obsessed with remote control helicopters. The first one that his Grandpa Shumway sent him looked like a "bug" so now they're all "bugs." That first one got stuck in Hazel's hair when it was trying to take off off her head so it's broken, and Charlie feels he needs to tell everyone he meets that the "bug's broken." For Christmas his Grandfather gave him a new one and so now he tells everyone in what I think is supposed to be a very reassuring tone that "Bug's ok, Bug's ok, Bug's not broken." Today Ezra was over and made a helicopter out of legos. Charlie was delighted. When Jeff got home he squealed (as he does every single day upon Jeff's arrival) "Fly bug! Fly Bug!" He proceeded to put his new little lego bug on the coffee table and have Jeff say "One, Two, Three" as they always do with the remote control one. He was so confused and saddened that it didn't take off, until he decided that it just needed to be "charged up."
Ok....so I know I shouldn't really post the picture to the right, but how can I resist not sharing that blue steal face.....Charlie is pretty darn proud of his body....and he should be....when else in your life can you pose naked with so much confidence!
*In every prayer Hazel gives she thanks God for all the different ages. Not sure exactly what she means by that, but she is really, devotedly grateful for all the different ages.
*I love family home evening. The kids look forward to this probably more than anything. They both run and get their little chairs and sit them in front of the coffee table. Jeff and I sit on the couch and the kids fight over who says the prayer and the other talks and contributes and yells during the prayer (we're trying to figure out how to combat this.....). Then we sing "ABC's" or "sunbeam" or "Child of god" or if we're lucky a real hymn while Hazel leads. Then we have some lesson about being kind like Jesus (or, for Jeff's lesson this Monday, being persistent like Seabiscutt). And then we play Hide and Seek. It's always hide and seek and the kids love it even though they play it totally wrong. They can't resist the urge to pop out instead of being found. It's pretty funny and it's so hard to stop all the hullabaloo and get to bed.
* Hazel and I have been reading "Charlotte's Web." I love snuggling in with her and reading....no pictures for her to ask about, no leaning up and back to get closer looks, just snuggles and word explanations. I'm not sure how much she's getting, but she's quiet and happy and so am I.
*Hazel has decided that she needs to "read" to Charlie. She takes him into her room and shuts the door and they're in there for quite a while. I need to eavesdrop to see how their interactions go....I just love it that they're together and not fighting. What joy. Especially the part where she takes him by the hand saying "come on Charlie!" She's also very cute as she "helps" potty train Charlie. So cute I want to scream sometimes.....
* We've made it to the stage of family life where holidays and birthdays really mean something to these kids. They love the celebration and the togetherness and it makes me love it all so much more.
* I'm so happy that Hazel and Charlie are still content to play for on their own for hours despite how deprived they are of good toys. Besides the helicopter bug, Charlie's new favorite toy is the little moth that lives in our house. He gets super excited whenever it flies near and chases it around and around the house. Finally the other day it died, and laid itself to rest on our dining room curtain. Charlie just laid by it and talked to it: "Hello bug! How are you!" "Bug is sleeping." He was disappointed to see it was gone the next day and is anxiously awaiting its return.
Hazel. poor Hazel, discovered some Barbies at her friends house (which she was immediately enamored with) and her dear friend let her borrow one for a few days. When it was time to give it back she - surprisingly- relinquished it with no hesitation saying, It's ok, I have my Bell barbie. This is a picture of her "Bell Barbie" dancing with her prince. Poor girl, she lost her hair at Hazel's birthday party last September. Hazel is earning up her quarters - albeit very slowly - to buy a real princess Barbie. Luckily it may take her until she's 16 and then - if we're lucky- she'll be past the Barbie phase.
Shawni's right. Just a blink, and these book reading days will gone.