Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Moses is Two!

Here's our Two Year Old!

Why do the baby days fly by so quickly? Moses is not a baby anymore, but a running, rough-housing, talking, tumbling two-year-old. He is full of delights for us with his crazy antics and timely sense of humor; not a day goes by without us laughing and looking at each other and saying, This is a funny kid.

Moses has also been a healing balm in our lives. God gave Moses to us less than a year after Matthias died and used him to heal so much of the pain of Matthias' death. Moses obviously is not a replacement for Matthias; we will never stop missing our little boy who is not here with us. But when Moses was born and I heard him cry and held his warm little body, part of the ache in my heart went away.

And now we watch Moses and say, I wonder what Matthias would have been like? Would he have been this funny and boisterous? Would he have been more mellow and reserved? Having Moses here gives us a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to have Matthias here.

But just a glimpse, because there has never been and there never will be another little boy just like our Moses.

* * * * * *

Some of you already know that Moses broke out with a case of chicken pox the day before his birthday. Thankfully, he doesn't seem very sick and we had a fun day celebrating his birthday. We couldn't go anywhere, but it was a beautiful day and there was plenty to do here at home. Here's a run-down of Moses' 2nd birthday:

Chicken Pox are no fun, but Moses is handling the itching very well

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for a new day!

Pancakes for breakfast: Moses' favorite

Then it's outside to play

Hmmm, anything interesting in today's paper?

Nope. I'm gonna go throw it in the dumpster

(I had to sneak one in of Judah)

No day would be complete without an airplane sighting

Sweet! Mom's letting me blow my own bubbles!


Uh, you might not want to put that wand so close to your mouth, Mo.

Eeew, I got bubbles in my mouth!

Trying to spit the bubbles out

"More bubbuhs?"

"Sure, Mo, you can blow more. Just don't put it in your mouth."

"More bubbuhs!"

Wow, you sure are cute, Moses.

Now it's time for the hose and a "water slide"

It's a hot day, so this feels great!

"What happened to my other shoe?"

After naptime, we went inside, turned on the AC and the kids made a fort. Grace worked on Moses' present: a book about a little boy named Bob who learns to use a potty, :) and I made a pie for after dinner. I won't post a picture of it because I am just not good at making pretty pies. The pie gene must have passed me up, because my mom makes incredible pies and so does my sister. Mine look more like they were made with a Play-doh Fun Factory.

But anyway, it tasted good. We had Mo's favorite dinner (spaghetti) when Richard came home, and had a pretty mellow evening together. The presents and cake and festivities will be on Saturday. Today we just celebrated having this sweet boy here with us. God has been so good to us, in giving us all our children, but especially today we thank Him for Moses.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Giveaway!

I was at the Half Price Books store the other day and came across a copy of one of my favorite baby-related books: Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents by Vimala Mcclure.

This book does a great job of teaching infant massage techniques, but it offers so much more than that!

For generations mothers the world over have know that the soft stroke of their hands soothes, calms, and communicates their love to their babies. In Infant Massage, McClure shares how massage benefits children - easing discomfort, releasing tension, helping premature infants gain weight, even helping asthmatic children improve breathing function. She explains each step of the massage process with simple easy-to-follow instructions and delightful photographs demonstrating each stroke. You'll also find:
  • Specific routines tailored to help relieve colic, fever, chest and nasal congestion
  • Modified instructions for premature infants and babies with special needs
  • Helpful hints on dealing with crying and fussing
  • Lullabies, rhymes, and games to enhance the massage experience
  • Guidance for teaching children about "good touch"
  • A special chapter dedicated to fathers
  • Compassionate advice for foster and adoptive parents
  • And much more!

The book covers a multitude of information before it even gets to massage technique; such as the benefits of skin stimulation, stress and relaxation, your baby's sensory world, the importance of bonding and attachment to your baby, helping your baby learn to relax, listening to your baby's cues, and massaging your growing child.

I can't tell you how much this book has helped me in my parenting! It's incredibly rich, informative, and delightful. Here's one of my favorite excerpts:

Infant massage, as it is shared in this book, is not a fad. It is an ancient art that connects you deeply with the person who is your baby, and it helps you to understand your baby's particular nonverbal language and respond with love and respectful listening. It empowers you as a parent, for it gives you the means by which you become an expert on you own child and therefore can respond according to your baby's unique needs. The deep emotional bonds formed in infancy lay a foundation for a lifetime of trust, courage, dependability, faith and love.
The bond I've developed with my babies through applying many of the principles in this book has been beautiful. I love connecting with them after baths, diaper changes, and before bedtime through stroking their little bodies and rubbing out the tension in their limbs. I feel I understand them better and pick up on their cues more readily, too. In a culture where we don't tend to touch our babies as much as they do in certain others - most Americans don't carry their babies on their own bodies, don't sleep next to their babies, and use all manner of plastic containers to hold their babies during the day - practicing infant massage is can be a huge blessing to babies and their parents. That's why I love this book.

So... I bought another copy of this book, thinking I'd give it to a friend. But then I couldn't think of which friend to give it to! Almost all my friends have babies or are pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant... and although I'd love to give them ALL a copy, I only have this one to give away.

Then I came up with the brilliant idea to have a bloggy book giveaway - draw a name and send the book to the winner!

If you are at all interested in this book, or know someone who might be,
leave me a comment and I'll draw a name on Friday, July 4th.

The lucky winner will receive a like-new copy of this book, autographed for them by... me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More of the Kids

Well, this isn't the kids, obviously, but I love thunderstorms. Here's another one moving in.

Grace is SUCH a wonderful big sister to Judah. Very motherly. :)

My three munchkins.

Judah is 4 months old! I just can't get enough of him - he's so sweet and easy-going, besides being adorably cute. His cheeks are incredibly soft and smooth and plump and warm; I think I kiss him there several hundred times a day. He smiles so easily and has started treating us to these deep belly laughs at the least provocation.

He's also gone mobile! While not exactly crawling, he scoots around quite a bit. I was shocked the first time I set him down on his tummy and looked back at him a couple minutes later and he was a couple feet away! The other two kids didn't start moving around until about 6 months. I don't think I'm ready for him to be self-propelled yet!

Judah is The Happy Baby. That's just the best way to describe him. I'm a little sad that I don't have as much time to sit and gaze into his eyes and babble with him and play little baby games like I did with Grace and Moses when they were his age. Part of the problem is that he's so content! And when he finally does start asking to be picked up and held, he acts so grateful and is instantly pleased. Maybe it's accentuated by the fact that I've acquired a rather demanding, intense 2 year old recently. :)

My little Twins fans! We haven't been to a game yet this year, but are hoping to go soon! Moses and Grace have both enjoyed going to baseball games. Go Twins!
(Sorry, Chris)