Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Past Two Weeks in Bullet Points

  • We spent an entire week in Alton, IL with Nana and Papa.  Shepherd had a wonderful time playing outside and "driving" Papa's red pick-up truck.  Unfortunately, Lydia got a virus while we were there, so she spent much of the week as a grumpy, limp noodle.
  • On the drive home, we arrived in Norman, OK at the same time as a tornado.  It was terrifying.  We could not find any cover, so we scootched up against a bank building and waited it out.  I covered Lydia with a pillow, and BJ put Shepherd in between him and the car seat.  Once the danger passed, I broke down crying.  I've never been that kind of scared for my babies and our family.  I said a lot of prayers during that 15 minutes, and I feel so grateful that we came out unscathed.  I can't say the same for our van, though.  It is likely that our insurance company will classify it as totaled once they get around to our claim.  
  • Being an Oklahoman is a mixed bag of emotions right now.  I feel anxiety about the ferocity of our weather, and I saw that anxiety mirrored in the faces of my neighbors every time clouds have blown in this week.  (The tornado sirens went off for us Monday evening, and BJ could see rotation directly above our house).  I also feel in awe of the heroism and courage exhibited by so many during these storms.  And of course, I feel sadness and mourn with all those who have lost their homes, and worst of all, a loved one.    
  • On a happier note, my parents are visiting us this weekend, and once again, Shepherd is having a blast.  He hasn't napped since they arrived, and I don't think I've ever seen him go full force for so long.  Lydia is getting in on the excitement, too.  She is even occasionally letting people other than me and BJ hold her.  Occasionally.
  • Also on a happy note, my brother, John, and his wife, Stephanie, came up to Ardmore today for the first meeting of our three-person book club.  We all read Northanger Abbey over the past week, and we sat down to a lovely discussion and some hot tea and coffee at Ardmore's local coffee shop.  Yes we are nerds.  But we are happy nerds.
  • Last but not least, a picture of Lydia in her St. Louis Zoo cap Nana and Papa bought her last week before she got sick and a picture of my son doing his goofy picture grin:

    Okay, okay.  If you insist, here are two more pictures.  One of Lydia experimenting with how large she can make her eyes while eating.  And one of Shepherd with a bucket on his head.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

He is totally my son!

Shepherd has a very different temperament from me.  While there is a stunning resemblance between him and pictures of me in my toddler days, it sometimes seems that the similarities stop there.  Now let me be clear: I am completely okay with this.  I love that little guy to pieces, and I don't want him to be just like me.  I want him to be just like him.  But it has still been fun the past month seeing a little of me peeking out in Shepherd.  Here are three recent moments when I had to sit back and admit that we might be more alike than I'd realized:

1.  I am known for being neurotically careful.  It is a trait I inherited quite honestly from my father.  My dad puts so much stock in being careful that he would stop at nothing to make sure my brother and I followed suit.  For example, when he was teaching us how to drive, he would sit in the passenger's seat telling us stories about wrecks that had happened in whatever location we happen to be driving by.  Twisted? Maybe a little.  Affective? Absolutely.  But that was a tangent.  Back to Shepherd.  So Shepherd was playing on the wood beams that make our raised garden bed.  He was walking very, very slowly and concentrating completely on each move. After making it around a few times, he proudly announced to me, "Look, Mommy.  I be careful."  That's right.  My 2 and a half year old is careful while he plays.

2. I have always warned Shepherd to stay away from very dangerous objects by saying that they could hurt us. What can I say? I've got my Dad's parenting skills. It's never been much of an issue, but now that Shepherd is getting older, he is a little more aware and frightened of pain.  While working at the church garden a couple of weeks ago, I warned Shepherd to stay away from the tiller because it could hurt us.  Throughout the evening, he pointed at the tiller repeatedly and said, "That can hoot us."  I didn't think much of it until a week later when I told Shepherd we were going to work in the church garden, and he immediately said, "The tiller can hoot us."  That level of anxiety can only be attributed to my side of the gene pool.

3.  And lastly, I'm not just a ball of neurotic anxiety.  I'm also really good at positive reinforcement.  So the other day, Shepherd asked me for some "swawberwies."  I told him I'd be happy to get him some and went to the kitchen to wash and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  Shepherd followed me and was watching me when all of the sudden he said, "Good job cuttin' swawberwies, mom."  Thank you, son.  I do have some superb strawberry-cutting techniques.  Since my kids are too young to get me anything for Mother's Day, I'm considering that compliment my Hallmark card. 

I won't be posting for a bit because we're heading out of town tomorrow to spend the whole week with Nana and Papa in Alton, Illinois.  Shepherd has been talking about it non-stop, although he hasn't yet realized that over 10 hours in the car proceed actually getting to see Nana and Papa.  We'll see how that revelation goes tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Boys start being boys at a very young age

I work out several times a week at the YMCA just down the road from our house.  While I work out, Shepherd and Lydia stay in the nursery.  Typically, it is all relatively uneventful, but last week it was made quite clear that Shepherd is such a boy.

First was when I went to pick the kids up from the nursery Wednesday morning.  All of the toddler girls were huddled in the corner glaring at my son.  The nursery attendant (we'll call her J) was crouched down with Shepherd having a little talk.  Apparently, he had taken a T-Rex with a functioning jaw and chased the girls around biting them with it.  I talked to him about it when we got home, but overall he seemed pretty proud of himself for getting the girls with a T-Rex.  It is hard to decipher all of his toddler jibberish, but I'm quite confident that I caught him bragging about it off and on all day.

When I went to the nursery Friday morning to retrieve my kids, J informed me that Shepherd had been picking on the little girls again.  Apparently, he would grab their toys and them stand back a few steps and smile coyly at them.  This upset them greatly.  J said that she kept telling the girls that if they wouldn't get so mad at him, he'd probably stop doing it.  He mostly does it for the reaction.  Thankfully, J thought it was hilarious and wasn't too upset with my offspring.  She just laughed and said, "He is such a boy."

Here are a few more things that make Shepherd such a boy:

-He loves frogs and bugs and dinosaurs and cars.
-He makes up songs about bacon and poop.
-He loves to play in the dirt.
-He incessently picks on his little sister.
-He never stops running.
-He is obsessed with choo-choo trains.
-He smells bad most of the time.
-He gets excited every time he passes gas.
-He picks and then eats his own boogers.
-He's a glutton.
-And most importantly, he loves his mommy.