This morning he wanted me to read his books to him, all 10 or so. Greg also reads all of them before he goes to bed at night, also upon request. As I was reading them to him (thankfully, he got distracted and I was able to stop at two or three books) he kept repeating the same response he does when Greg reads to him at night. He points to the pictures and says something about it, always the same. He likes his books to be read in order and if you skip a page....well, he will take you right back where you left off. The little fellow can't read but he sure knows his pictures.
There are umpteen different things that Carter says or does in his routine that can get REALLY old!
1. The way he has to say, "probably" before he answers anything we ask him, it is always said in a questioning tone. An example:
Me: Carter, do you want a cereal bar for a snack?
Carter: Probably, I would get sick if I ate a cereal bar.
2. The grunting noise he is currently doing with his mouth, just because he learned how and can
3. The way I have to give twenty hugs and twenty kisses at bedtime, not five, not ten...twenty each.
4. Carter has to have warm milk every morning. (EW!)
5. He carries his very tattered (no exaggeration) yellow blankies with him around the house.
6. The way he wants to wear his spiderman crocs with EVERYTHING, even on Sunday to church
7. The way he eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day and would be perfectly content if that was all he had to eat.
8. On that note, the way he scoffs at anything in casserole form I put on his plate for dinner. Meat, too.
9. The way bananas are ONLY for night time snack, he cannot have them any other time of the day.
10 The way that the term, "fruit" to him means those little fruit cups you buy in the store. Fresh strawberries, bananas and apples are NOT fruit! When he says fruit you know he means those little cups from the pantry. :-) And I could go on and on and on.
Everything has to have an order to it and if you get it out of order you will know it immediately. It's part of how he is developing. Sometimes we go along with him and sometimes we have to tell him he can't have his way or that it's okay to veer off in a different direction than the one he is going in.
Most of the time Greg and I roll our eyes at the endless repetitiveness of our preschool aged son. Sometimes we get really tired of the routine. Like this morning. I really wanted to sit in my chair, drink my coffee and have my devotions. So as I was sitting there reading his little books to him, I started resenting the routine. Then I remembered that he wasn't always going to be this little. And soon the routine would stop. Before too long, I will have to be searching him out and wanting him to include us in his routine, or insist that our regular routine as a family is still in place even though he has become a busy teenager and might think it uncool to hang with the 'rents! I can't imagine that day but I know it is coming.
So, I read him his books and smiled. It really warmed my heart. The next time I am having to do something that seems endlessly boring and routine I will try to remember that this too shall pass, and I will be longing for the days when he can sit in my lap and give me a BIG hug and kiss, or twenty, and ask me to read to him.
You can go to his website here. Enjoy!!!! He is total cuteness. I'm not biased at all.
I am feeling much better. I still have my hormonal moments (bless Greg's heart) but all in all, I feel life is taking an upswing and I am only waiting for it to get better.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and concerns!
After Griffin turns one year all the family updates will be on here and I will be posting on this site much more frequently.
God has been speaking to me in small ways here and there. Even if I didn't always feel that He was there, I kept searching for Him and asking Him to show up. And he started to in many small ways. I was just so ready for the heaviness in my heart to be extinguished. There were many verses along the way that I clung to:
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
And many, many more. I just clung to them in the fog.
Then, today I was just simply reminded that God Is. He has reminded me that He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; the God who Was and Is and Is to be. Period. That is the reason for this post, because I can't remain silent.
I was reading Oswald Chambers for a change this morning and I can’t even remember now what I was reading, except that it convicted me, as usual. My Utmost for His Highest has a way of doing that. But in my mind I had a song playing in my head that I knew was a scripture passage and if something is in my head and it stays there I tend to either look it up or listen to the song, whichever it is. The words that were going through my mind were,
“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard…”
I knew the tune and I am somewhat embarrassed to say that it is from a Southern Gospel song from the 1990’s. But it was a great song. Those were the only words I could remember out of that song. I knew who sang it, I knew who wrote it, but that is all I could think of. I started looking up those words in the bible and was surprised at what I found.
But it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. I Corinthians 2:9
At first I wondered why this verse was in my head. Nothing stood out except for the grandness of God and how amazing and powerful He is, and how I, a mere human on this earth, have not heard or seen anything compared to what God has in store for those that love Him. So I stumbled upon some commentary readings online. And Matthew Henry’s stuck out to me the most. I was humbled and in awe because I knew God was speaking to me; the God who I wanted to question and the God that I had trouble, “feeling”.
Here is what it said,
“…There are things that God hath prepared for those that love him and wait for him, which sense cannot discover, no teaching can convey to our ears, nor can it yet enter our hearts. We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures, as God hath been pleased to reveal them to us.”
Wow. God reminded me, again, that not only is He real, but even though I can’t see him or hear him (in the literal sense) He is here. It brought me peace. I don’t know why I have to be reminded of Who God Is, but I do. Then I am humbled, and grateful, and in awe.
“We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures”. It is enough. He is a great mystery. I can’t see Him, I can’t touch Him. But He is here. And my heart will be healed. He just wants me to hold on and cling to Him and to know He is real.
One of the Glory Revealed CD’s has this song on it entitled, ‘Since the World Began’, which is scripture out of Isaiah 64:4 which is where the scripture in I Corinthians references.
“Since the world began no ear has heard, no eye has seen a God like You, Oh a God like You…”
I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have been listening to that CD, and other worship CD’s for comfort. I don’t like feeling dead inside. But I know that I am not dead inside. I know that I love God the best way that I can and I know He has prepared for me things that I cannot even imagine. I can’t even really put it into words in a way that even attempts the concept of Who Christ is. That’s how big He is.
It’s like I had to start back at the beginning, again. It starts with the humbleness and awe that believing that God is real in spite of not having the taste, touch, feel and hear aspect of Who He Is. I just have to trust Him and take Him at His Word. Then I am reminded over and over of the things He has done in my life. I don’t understand why He doesn't get tired of me and my questions. I am thankful that He never will.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not SEEN (emphasis mine). Hebrews 11:1
Having two kids changes things, in many ways. Everyone tells you that. Everyone tells you that no two babies are the same. But nothing can prepare you for having two kids. You remember the exhaustion of having a newborn in the house. You remember your hormones (at least the women do) and you remember the feeling of just waiting to get past the first six to eight weeks, because anything before that was really just a blur.
Then, when you think things have calmed down, you might have this handling two kids down a little bit, it hits. You remember this feeling. You had it with your first child. The feelings of being overwhelmed. The anxiety. The fear. All unfounded, irrational and unlikely. But yet, it is there, creeping slowly into your heart making you feel dead inside.
Whether you call it "the baby blues" or Post-Partum Depression, it really doesn't matter because it puts a total damper on bringing new life into the world and no matter how hard you attempt not to feel that way it seeps in like a slow leak in your lifeboat. And pretty soon you feel like you are going to drown.
For me, this also affects every aspect of my life. I question everything. There are things in my mind and heart that I know are irrational and I keep telling myself that but you feel so dead inside, or unfeeling, that it just makes sense that what you are feeling is reality. This also affects me spiritually. Being a new mom, it is difficult to get time with the Lord every day. This makes one even weaker spiritually. Then you feel so dead inside that you start to question even God's existence, His power, His creation, what He has done. Again, this is all irrational, and you know it, but not being able to feel anything you just begin to wonder. Satan loves to slip in and cause doubt and fear and whispers in your ear, "do you really believe all this???" I am just talking about the spiritual aspect of my fear. I will spare you the fear and anxiety regarding my children, husband, and life in general. But when you start doubting you entire belief system, you know things are going really downhill, really fast.
I can sit here and write this because, one, I know God already knows how I feel and He loves and accepts me right where I am. I don't have to fake it with Him. I don't have to put a smile on my face and greet Him in false joy. He knows. And it's okay because I am not going to be in this place forever. He understands. He know that I know He is the creator of the universe and that all things were made by Him and for Him and His pleasure. I believe there really is a heaven. I believe He made heaven and earth, but it is so big to me to think that right now. It overwhelms me much like the fear and anxiety that is putting a choke hold on my heart right now.
The only thing I knew to do was to keep on keeping on. I was taking care of myself physically the way that I needed to. So, it was just a matter of time. Even if I didn't feel like God was real at the moment, I knew in my heart, in deepest, darkest and smallest part of my heart that HE IS. And I clung to that.
When you cry out to God, He responds. He listens. It may not be in the very moment an answer that you are looking for but it doesn't mean He isn't there. The Lord was able to reach me in rare moments of clarity and I clung to that. Even if I didn't feel it for a long time.
I am going to continue this post tomorrow. It is a post of victory. God's victory. He is the Healer. The Ultimate Healer. He is Truth. He is Righteousness. And He is REAL. I will share the verses I clung to in the midst of my BLAH and anxiety. I am not all the way there, but spiritually,I know He is working in me and I am beginning to feel. And it's a good feel. My circumstances haven't changed that much, but my heart has. And for that I am thankful.
More tomorrow or later today.
That happened last week when Carter came into the kitchen while Greg and I were discussing our day. Carter comes in and wrapped his arms around my legs and gave me a big hug and said, "I love you, mama, I love you". My heart MELTED. It was gone. I looked at Greg and I was nearly in tears. It was so sweet. And, of course, I told him I loved him too and hugged him back.
This weekend Greg and I had been away and my sister was keeping our kids. When we came back to her house Greg and Carter were sitting on the couch. Carter was curled up in Greg's lap and they were watching Monsters, Inc. (for the gazillionith time!). Carter hugs Greg and curls up a little bit closer to him and says, "I love you dad, I love you". Greg, my niece and myself all look at each other and I think I am going to burst into tears again! Greg tells him he loves him too and Carter repeats it a second and third time. It was precious!!!
It makes it ALL worth it!
Love this picture of Daddy and Griffin
Well, we hit a wall around the time he hit three. Carter loved watching the videos, reading the books, he even took his stuffed bear and put big boy underwear on him, had him sit in the potty chair, wiped his bottom when he was through....everything, step by step. But, when you asked Carter to sit on the potty we all got a big, fat N-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He did not want to sit on the potty. He did not want to wear big boy underwear. He did not want to wear a pull up. We had to reward him for just sitting on the potty without doing any "business". Eventually, though, he wouldn't even do that.
The other day we were, very positively, attempting to get him to wear big boy underwear and he was in tears. We didn't know what to do. He knows everything he needs to it is just a matter of his CHOOSING to do it.
Everyone had told us that eventually he would do it. I had to keep telling myself that he would be potty trained...everyone is, right? And so would he. I figured that one day, he would just sit on the potty and go......and guess what??????????????
Here is the cute story of how Carter peed in the potty for the first time.
Carter asked to watch his Elmo Potty video (for the umpteenth time), I did not give it a second thought. I was busy in the kitchen preparing lunch when I saw Carter attempting to take his diaper off like a pull up. I helped him out because the one thing he will do is run around naked, which we have heard helps with potty training too. I went back to doing what I was doing and next thing I know Carter comes in the kitchen completely naked, and very pleased with himself. Of course I ask him if he needs to go pee pee, as I do most days, just because you never know, he might. He shakes his head "no", then "yes". But he wants me to stay in the kitchen. I ask him if he needs any help and he points his finger at me and says, "go, mama", pointing to the kitchen. He did not want me anywhere near him.
Well, I am quite intrigued at this point so I go into the kitchen and listen and watch him. In my mind I am thinking this is too good to be true. He is not actually going to go potty....I peeked around the corner and he was in the bathroom. Then I saw him sit, not in his potty chair, but the toilet. I picked up the phone to call Greg. I was whispering as not to disturb Carter or to let him know I was watching him. He stands up and appears to be playing with his cup we use for bath time. My hope starts to dwindle.
Then I saw him get back on the potty. I am giving Greg the play by play. He gets down and starts to stand at the potty (just like daddy). Carter gets very excited. He comes out to tell me he has peed. I start looking for evidence and have to admit it was very hard to find. I could see he had played in the water a bit, but I couldn't tell if any of the water on the toilet or floor was pee. He kept pointing to the toilet showing me where the pee was, he said, "it go, right in there" I was encouraging him anyways. I looked at the floor and in the toilet, desperately searching for something yellow and not clear. Then, I found it!
The drop of yellow pee on the rim!
That was all it took. I put Greg on speaker phone and we acted as if Carter had just won the World Series or some other amazing feat. Carter was so happy and pleased with himself. I didn't care if it was a dribble.....it was PEE. It was something. Then, Carter seemed to think he had more pee in him.. and he did!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this time it was a stream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!! I still had Greg on the phone and we played it up big. Carter was so excited!!!!!!! After he was done, we put sticker upon sticker on his chart. We reward in this house for pottying and I gave him the choice of a cookie or M & M and he chose cookie. With cookie in hand, he went back to the bathroom. It's like he couldn't get enough. I asked him if he wanted to tell Grandma Mayo and he shook his head "yes". I called Grandma Mayo to continue the applause and positive reinforcement. I asked if he wanted to call Nana..."no, not yet". Carter continued to pee, hit and miss, for a few more minutes. I am washing the rug right now. LOL! But who cares, it's PEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never been so excited to see pee on the floor in my life. And the fact that he was skipping the chair all together and went straight to the pot! Yay!
I won't continue to bore you with all the details of our potty training day, but he is now napping with a pull-up on!!!!! I am not too worried about him peeing through it because he has been sick and hasn't had that many fluids so it's not a typical "soaker" of a day, if you know what I mean.
I know this is just the beginning and there will be many set backs. But he is doing it. He really WILL be potty trained! I just can't believe it!
I just hope Carter doesn't mind this being posted all over the Internet one day. While on the phone with Greg I actually said, "why don't I have the video camera on????" Like that is something he is going to show his girlfriends one day. I am sure he will be very thankful there is no video of his first pee in the potty. ha ha.
I have plenty of blackmail in other pictures to be shown to the public one day, preferably at his rehearsal dinner before he gets married....which is a very, very, very, long way away. Long ways away!
Thanks for reading this. I am one proud mama right now!
We talked to him about a big boy bed for a while. And to be honest, I think he had outgrown the toddler bed, which is his crib that he had as a baby that converts to toddler then on to a double. I have posted a couple of pictures below that show him sprawled over the bed not looking too comfy for good sleeps. He also always liked being under mommy and daddy's covers, not that he got to do that too often.
So, last weekend we decided the time was right. Carter went with us to buy the bed. We already had a twin comforter for him all we had to do was get it ready. He seemed up to the task but you never really know until bedtime.
Well, bedtime came and went and he did his typical stuff. It took him a while to wind down, as usual, but there was no boo hooing for his toddler bed. There were no questions. Nothing.
So then I said, lets see if he makes it through the night......he did. No reaction at all. He loves his big boy bed. Obviously he was ready. If only potty training could be oh, so easy as this transition. Sigh.
Here are some pics in the toddler bed and the big move to the big boy bed. He looks so cute in it every night. And another bonus is that he uses a regular pillow now and covers up. He wouldn't hear of being covered up in his toddler bed, oh, no. Well, now he just snuggles right down in there. So Cute!!!!!!!!! But I am biased.
Here are some pics.
We call this Ode to Pooh. I think this was taken the day before we got his twin bed. I like to think of it as Carter remembering his wonderful time as a baby and being all comforted and loved by bringing all his stuffed animals from his nursery to his bed. Carter had a classic pooh nursery and we redecorated his room when we changed him into a toddler bed. All his animals and blankets have been stored in the office and recently, he has been getting into them a bit. We got baby brother new bedding because Carter seems quite attached to Pooh and well, we didn't want to have to make him share everything. One day for nap time I went in to check on him and here were all his pooh animals piled up next to him. Too sweet!
You know, this just doesn't look comfortable. But this is how we found him one night after we had put him to bed. It takes him a while to wind down, which usually means some type of movement on his part and obviously, this was his last movement of the evening until he conked out! LOL
Another cute pose of Carter totally pooped! This was taken the day after his third birthday. I think he was just too pooped from all the activities of the weekend.
These next few pictures are of the big transition. If you are wondering what those things on the side of the finished bed are, those are rails so that he doesn't fall out of the bed. We will probably keep them up for a few months since we have a mover and a shaker! LOL!
I can't believe my baby is a big boy.
Just wait until he poops in the potty. I will have to post a picture of that, too. Just like on Jon and Kate plus 8! Ha!
But, I have to say, I can wallow with the rest of them. And I was feeling it Thursday. I was just overwhelmed with pain and I didn't know how I was going to last three more months this uncomfortable. I am still in my second trimester, supposedly still feeling good...what is it going to be like next month.
Well, thankfully, the pain has gotten a lot better. I have had a couple of nights of good, restful sleep. And even though I am not pain-free, it is nothing like it was last week.
And even if it was, I need to be thankful that I have no complications during pregnancy. Baby is doing fine. I don't have to worry about health issues for me or the baby that might endanger either of us (some pregnant women I know do have to worry about those things). I have it pretty good and this too shall pass...and at the end, I will have a beautiful, healthy, baby boy, Lord willing. That is my prayer.
It really helped, also, to put things into perspective when one woman that I follow on a due date board online had her QUADRUPLETS on December 30th at 25 weeks. Yes, you read that right. She was just a couple of weeks ahead of me and had her babies. Whew! Everything was going great in her pregnancy. Obviously, she was high risk and followed very closely. She went into the doctor on the 30th and BAM! babies were coming. They thought they could stop the labor but the babies had other plans. It is amazing to see how they are doing and that they have all survived, none of them have brain bleeds, and most are not breathing on their own. Amazing.
Here is a link the their blog:
Next, another lady on the due date board online is having twins. It is a long, complicated story, but her membranes prematurely ruptured at 13 weeks. It is called pPROM (premature rupture of membranes). Usually this means the baby/babies will die because it is just too early to save them. Well, since it was twins, only one membrane ruptured. One twin is fine, the other is not. This lady is now 25 weeks or so. One of her twins will not live when he is born. The other should be fine. She also has a blog (warning: Offensive Language!!!!) that I follow:
There are several other stories that I could share that would break your heart or make you think, but these two are the primary ones I look at and say, "Thank you, Lord!". I have much to be thankful for. Even if I had to go through something like that, I should be thankful, but I am thankful that He has spared me that and has allowed me to have an uncomplicated pregnancy.
I have a lot to be thankful for!! I am going to try and remember this the next time I haven't slept or have intense pain. It could be a lot worse!!!