three years old

Oh, my sweet baby Jujubee.

Actually, I can’t call her a baby anymore.  I was calling her my baby all this time, but when I started potty training her a few weeks ago, I consciously (albeit sadly) made the switch to calling her a “big girl.”  She didn’t like it at first, insisting to me that she was a BABY, but eventually it caught on, and now she says that she’s not a baby, she’s a Big Girl.  (She has often continued by saying that Lyd is a big girl, and Momma is a big lady, and Daddy is a big J_____.  I don’t know how she got the idea to call me a lady, but it has stuck.  Like it or not, I am a Big Lady.)

So, Oh, my sweet big girl Jujubee.

She’s three now, and Continue reading


I’m blaming this one on brain freeze from too much birthday cake

I had an experience tonight that I hope to not repeat anytime soon.

I forgot that I had to teach a music class!

I have a 6:30 p.m. class on Wednesday evenings, and it’s a time slot in which I’ve never had a class before.  It’s only the third week of the session, so it still feels pretty new to me.  The last two days I’ve been very busy doing two parties for Jujubee, and somehow this class totally skipped my mind.

So tonight, around 5:55, as we were eating our supper, out of the blue I remembered that I had to teach a class in 35 minutes, and I didn’t have a thing ready.  I completely panicked.  I know I yelled pretty loudly; Lyd said that I scared her.

My husband said he would go down to the church fellowship hall and set everything up for me, which was a HUGE help.  I immediately went to my computer to type up my lesson plan.  Thankfully, I still had lesson plans from when I taught this collection six years ago, so I tweaked one of those lessons.  I then quickly ate the rest of my supper, brushed my teeth, was thankful that I was still dressed up a little more nicely from Jujubee’s birthday party earlier in the day, and headed down to the fellowship hall.

JJ had gotten everything set up that he could, and I got out the rest of the materials I needed for the class.  I re-read over my lesson plan, so that I wouldn’t be surprised by any of the songs.  Then the families started to arrive, and I taught the class!

It actually went quite well, and no one knew how close I had come to completely forgetting about the class.  🙂

I’m just so thankful that I remembered in time!  God is good.  I’m just hoping that this doesn’t happen again next week, although after this shocking experience, I doubt it will.  I certainly hope not!

a diaper-less child

I think Jujubee is finished with potty training.

She knows to keep her panties dry, and she seems to have developed the necessary bladder control to make that possible.  She’s very proud of herself for doing poop on the potty, so there’s no issue there like there was with her big sister.  For almost a week now, she’s stayed dry while out and about in public.  She can use a regular sized toilet seat, although she prefers using a toilet ring.  And, best of all, she has been staying dry at naptime and at night, despite me having her wear diapers for sleep times.  So, last night I left her in panties overnight, and she was dry in the morning!  Yay!

(I wanted to have her in panties overnight because it’s been so amazingly hot here the past few days.  A bunch of records have been broken.  For a person like me who’s almost perpetually cold, it’s been glorious.  I haven’t seen clouds or fog for four days, and the nights have been still and calm, with only the sound of crickets.  Northern California: When it’s good, it’s very, very good.)

She’s now three years old, and she’s done with potty training.  On to the next adventure of childhood!

autumn garden

Last summer (2009) my father built a container garden for me, which was so sweet and wonderful and I loved it so much and had such high hopes for it — and then things really didn’t grow well in it.  Boo.  Things grew better in big plastic containers where there was a bottom to the container and the dirt went down much deeper.  I figured that the problem was A) not enough dirt and B) dirt sitting on hard/hot cement surface, making the little dirt that there was too hot.

So, this past summer (2010), Continue reading

special memories while sick

When I was a young child, I was plagued by recurrent ear infections (EI’s).  I am told that I once had 14 EI’s in 10 months.  I finally got tubes in my ears when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and for the most part, that took care of my problem.

I’m sure it must have been frustrating for my parents to see me in pain time and time again, and to not know how to truly make the problem go away.  They did the best they could, but the EI’s persisted.  Thankfully, I managed to emerge from that experience with eustacian tubes intact and with no hearing loss.  (I got it tested a few years ago by an audiologist, and I have perfect hearing.)

When Jujubee was six weeks old, she contracted her first bout of bronchiolitis (baby bronchitis) which landed her in Children’s Hospital for 24 hours.  Since then, with some degree of regularity, she has continued to get colds that go right to her lungs.  This tendency led me to try homeopathy for her.  It has helped in that it has slowed down the rate at which she gets these colds, plus it seems to help her recover more fully in between bouts of sickness.  Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s getting older, but the time between bouts seems to be getting longer and longer, for which I’m thankful.  I’m also thankful that thanks to the homeopathy, I have not needed to have her on constant asthma medication, as her pediatrician thought she might need to be.  When Jujubee is healthy, she IS healthy, and she doesn’t need to take medication prophylactically.  For that, I credit homeopathy.

But, every so often, she still gets sick.  This evening as we sat down to supper, Jujubee was crying over some perceived wrong, and as she bawled, I heard a husky quality to her cry that my well-trained ear picked up on immediately.  “She sounds like she’s getting sick,” I said to my husband.  However, like always (like always!) I put it in the back of my mind and hoped for the best.

Yet, not unsurprisingly, about an hour after she fell asleep tonight, I heard the familiar croupy-sounding cough coming from her bed, in between her sobs.  Yup, she’s sick again.  Nowadays, she doesn’t get bronchitis-like symptoms anymore, she gets croup-like symptoms.  I gave her a dose of leftover oral steroids from the last time she was sick, gave her a drink of water, and after some kisses, snuggles and hymns, tucked her back in her bed.

Around 11pm she started coughing and crying again.  Back upstairs I went, but this time I brought her downstairs to our dimly-lit living room where I could rock her on the more comfortable rocking chair.  It’s a little warm tonight, so I didn’t want to hold her too tightly in my arms for fear of overheating her, especially when she’s already hot from crying.  However, it brought tears to my eyes when, as I rocked and sang to her, she reached for my free arm and pulled it around her.  She wanted to be snuggled with both of my arms safely around her.  After a few minutes, I took my arm away to see what would happen, and she gently grabbed my arm and pulled it towards her again.  🙂

One of my favorite memories from all of those EI’s when I was a little girl was that of being held by one of my parents in our dark house at night and being sung hymns to while I leaned against either my mom or my dad’s chest.  I remember that very, very strongly.  I especially remember my dad’s voice, how it rumbled in his chest as I lay with my head against him, but I know my mom sat up with me many nights, too.  Getting that special attention was the best part of being sick.

While I hate that my Jujubee gets sick like this, I’m glad that we have this special snuggle time together, and I hope I’m making good memories for her, just like I have from my childhood.  I sing to her and snuggle and rock her, and tonight, for the first time, she was able to tell me that those snuggles and songs are special to her, too.

enjoying my kids while they’re young

A pastor-friend of mine recently introduced me to a new blog written by a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastor’s wife.  I’ve been following it a bit, and recently I discovered a post in which the author writes these words:

Every one of us [parents] has heard the line, “You be sure to enjoy that baby. Children grow up so fast . . .”

Why do people say this? I do not think it is because they are ill-intentioned; they almost always say it with a kind smile or a friendly pat. But, seriously, why do people say this? Do they remember regretfully the screaming matches they had with their five-year-olds, and hope to help us avoid a similar regret? Are they swollen with nostalgia for footie pajamas and sleep wrinkles? Are they disappointed in how their own children turned out, and wishing they could reclaim all that lost potential?

The world may never know. I think, more often than not, people simply default to that line for lack of anything else to say. Regardless of the motivation, I always want to respond by smiling politely and whispering, “No.”

No, I’m not going to be able to enjoy the baby, because, you see, she is a baby, and an inordinate amount of work. She has several horrible habits, which I would be only too happy to detail for you, should you have the time. Let’s just say, between the reckless pooping and her penchant for yelling at me every waking moment, she’s really difficult to enjoy. Thanks, anyway, for the good hearted advice, but I can’t live up to it…

I read that post, and it really bothered me for a number of days.  I often advise parents to enjoy their children because they grow and change so quickly, and I mean it with love and sincerity from the bottom of my child-loving heart.  WHY in the world would someone find that advice offensive?  And, God forbid, have I offended others by giving that advice?

I am at peace in my conscience about the second question, because I know I did not mean to give anyone offense.  But I still don’t understand how someone could find that advice offensive.  The only thing I could come up with is that the author of that post must just be a very different personality than me.  It doesn’t mean she’s a better or worse personality, but just different.  Everyone has different strenths and weaknesses, and seeing the positive side of being around kids is a strength of mine.  I mean, I teach little kids in my job, so I must enjoy being around them.  However, keeping my house clean and organized is definitely a weakness of mine!

Perhaps why this blog post so profoundly bothered me is becuase I’m in the situation where I’m still waiting to be blessed with another baby.  The two children I’ve been blessed with, one whose arrival was preceeded by lots of tears and prayers and acupunture and herbs and patience – lots and lots of patience! – those two little girls are so precious to me.  With my personality and in my situation, I have to be really in tough shape before I start not wanting to be with my kids.  I’ve been blessed to be very able to see things from a child’s perspective, to have an easy time getting down to their level.  Perhaps that’s due to all of the Mister Roger’s Neighborhood my mom had me watch when I was a kid.  If so, it worked.  I LOVE little kids.

So, as I read this blog post from a fellow Lutheran pastor’s wife who has four young children, is pregnant with her fifth, and is complaining about how much she is not enjoying her children while they’re young, but is looking forward to the day when they will be adults, it spoke to something deep within my heart.  I hope she can find a way to enjoy the fleeting moments both when her kids are young and making ridiculous, goofy jokes around her kitchen table, but also enjoy the moments when they’re adults and having deep discussions around her kitchen table.

I look forward to the women my daughters are becoming, and I’ve been blessed to be able to enjoy the moments along the way as well, even the more trying ones.


Question: Do YOU dislike when someone says to you to “enjoy your kids, because they grow up so fast”?

on my own

JJ has been gone the past few days to Wisconsin to attend a Symposium on Worship and Outreach(And to go to a Packer game, but that was just a lucky coincidence. :))  In the past, when he’s been gone and I’ve played “single mom,” it’s been an extremely anxiety-provoking experience.  I’ve dreaded his trips away, and I’ve fought a lot of nerves while he was gone.

However, this trip has been very different.  Not only was I barely nervous at all at the thought of him being gone, I’ve been okay with the reality of him being gone.  I’ve had a few mildly anxious moments here and there, but overall I’ve been just fine.

One thing I did differently from other Single Mom experiences was to have an official Girls Spa Night with my daughters on Sunday evening.  We all took a bath together, I did the girls’ hair afterwards in braids so that they would have crimped hair the next morning (something Lyd has wanted for a while).  We read stories together and painted our fingernails and toenails.  (Actually, the nail painting happened the next night because we ran out of time, but it was still fun.)  It was wonderful to have some girly fun with my two girls, and they both really enjoyed it.  Lyd especially had a good time.

I don’t know why this trip of JJ’s has been easier for me to handle.  I’ve been feeling more balanced overall, so that’s probably part of it.  But I’m grateful to have had such a relatively easy time of it.

JJ will be home tomorrow, and we’ll all be glad to have him back again.  Today as we walked out to the mailbox, Jujubee asked me, “Where’s Daddy?”  Tonight when he called, she was SO excited to talk to him!  Lyd was equally excited, and she happily chatted to him non-stop.  JJ and I talked for a long while tonight, about dreams and hopes for the future.  It’s odd, but we sometimes have longer conversations over the phone when he’s out of town than we do when we’re together.  It’s not that we don’t talk when we’re together, but there are so many other distractions that can derail a conversation, but when we’re apart and we only have one certain time to talk on the phone, it greatly reduces the distraction factor.

I’ll be glad to have him come home tomorrow evening.  It is always nice to have our little family together again. 🙂