Monday, December 20, 2010

Dealing with the fat man.

I have a confession to make.

Even though we try to do everything we can to point our children towards Christ, especially around this time of year, we observe the tradition of Santa Claus.

Yup. We tell our kids that on one magical night a man dressed in red with *gasp* flying reindeer brings them a present.

Of course, we have altered the myth a bit. For instance, Santa Claus does not know if you have been bad or good, nor does he see you when you are sleeping and awake. That smacks suspiciously of God and Santa Claus is NOT God. We also tell the boys that Santa only brings a gift for the stocking because it lightens his load.

It was so cute to watch my boys approach Santa at Disneyland this year. Nathaniel confidently told him his name, and his brother's name and then told Santa he wanted a rocket ship. Then Santa turned to Aaron and said, "And what would you like?" Aaron said, "Truck!" When Santa repeated it, a panicked look came into Aaron's eyes as he started frantically saying, "Choo choo!! Choo choo!!"

Almost as if his little brain was saying, "I didn't mean a truck! I take it back!" Very much like little Ralphie in a Christmas Story when he stops himself on the slide to tell Santa what he wants. At least Santa didn't tell my kid he'd shoot his eye out.

But, on the other hand, Nathaniel seems to be too focused on Santa and less focused on the other portions of Christmas.

I admit, we've dropped the ball this year and have been super busy and unfocused. I meant to do an Advent calendar, but never got around to getting one. And so on and so forth...

At one point, Nathaniel and I were talking about favorite Christmas carols and he said that Jingle Bells was his favorite (and why shouldn't it be? It's a great song!). I pointed out that it was more a winter song than just Christmas because it just talks about snow and sleigh rides. Nathaniel was convinced that Santa was mentioned in it, which made it a Christmas carol. I almost blurted out that Santa wasn't real.

I'm just so sick of the commercialism that surrounds Christmas. I love spending time with family, I love decorating and doing stuff and giving gifts to people, but when that's all people think about, I get discouraged. I don't want my children growing up feeling entitled to things. I don't want my kids to write wish lists that are miles long and then expect every thing on their wish list. I had a student ask me today what the boys were getting for Christmas and when I told them the one large gift we got for them (a playhouse for the yard) and then said, "And a few things for their stockings" she said, "But what else did you get them?" and couldn't believe it when I said, "Nothing, that is enough for them."

sigh.

So, Sam and I do our part to combat commercialism surrounding Christmas. We're more careful about t.v. time and toy commercials. We talk about the birth of Jesus and all of the different aspects surrounding it. I even told Nathaniel today that if we couldn't have presents or cookies or lights or trees, that it would still be Christmas because Jesus was born and that is what we are celebrating. That we are so blessed and lucky to have all of those extra things. We also talk about the real St. Nick and what he did for people.

I think he's getting it.

At least, I hope so. And he still believes in Santa for at least another year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Call me crazy.

This morning I took a crazy step. I boarded the potty train with Aaron, the 22 month old.

This meant that this morning we put on underwear and got out the sticker charts and the super excited attitudes.

I don't know what has come over me, but he seems super ready. He either tells us before he poops or right afterwards that he has pooped, and he even goes for other people (he has impressed his baby sitter by using the toilet). So, this morning we changed his morning diaper and put a new one on him. 2 hours later (while I was cleaning the bathrooms) he walked into the bathroom and said, "pee!". So, I placed him on the toilet, noticed that his diaper was dry, and saw that he went and was happy to do so.

Of course, when he does that (uses the toilet) he throws a massive fit if I try to put anything but underwear on him. So, on went the underwear and I decided that we would fully embrace this today. That means every 30 minutes we're going to the bathroom to try. It means getting out the m&m's and stickers. And it also means cheering wildly for every type of movement made.

Yup. I have my Master's degree, and I cheer wildly for pee and poop and do a happy dance.

But, he kept his underwear dry all morning, and even when we went over to a friend's house he still kept the pull up dry. He finally peed in his pants during lunch time, but other than that, complete success. I'm proud!

Plus, it might mean a few months of being diaper free in our house before little baby Grummons is born. That would be a much welcome break!

Not that too many people care, but I will keep tabs on his progress and let you know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

In His Name Religious Christmas Card
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

In spite of his brother's efforts, he speaks!

Aaron is slowly adding words to his vocabulary. Up to now it hasn't been enough for him to truly communicate a complete thought process. Mostly he says things like, "Oh!!" and I ask him what he would like and he says, "Ummmmm...." and I have to guess until he nods and says, "yeah!"

Of course, there are the unmistakable words like "No!", "more", "dog" (followed by "woof woof woof!"), "juice!", and the gleeful "Blankie!!!" But this morning he had a verbal breakthrough.

We were getting our shoes on this morning and Aaron was in the living room looking for his blankie. Suddenly I here, "uh-oh!" I asked Aaron what happened and he said, "drop!" I then asked him what dropped and he said, "juice!". Sure enough, Nathaniel had left his juice cup on the arm of the couch and Aaron accidentally knocked it to the ground (it was empty). So, he picked it up and brought it into the kitchen for me. Hooray for communication!

He is also saying, "poo-poo", "trash", and "night night" clearly, along with a bunch of other words, but who wants a list of toddler words? Although, if I could get a recording of him saying, "Thank you" I would. It's said with the cutest little inflection that is impossible to capture in any sort of font.

Everything else is going well. Sam gets back from what we hope is his last business trip for awhile tonight. Nathaniel has his Christmas program tonight, and today I went for my first run in over a month and managed to run 2 miles almost without stopping! It was slow, but I'm not going for speed, I'm just trying to get moving a bit more before the belly grows too much.

Oh, and I do go in for the big ultra sound in a little over a week, but I will not be announcing the gender of the baby until after Christmas so we can tell family in person. Just in case anyone was wondering. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our lives are a musical

Most days around here it feels like there is a narrator narrating our lives. Of course, that’s what we get with an incredibly verbal four year old. One who also loves to sing. Most mornings my drive to drop off children and go to work is punctuated by a running dialogue mixed with song. It’s great.

Of course, convincing Nathaniel that he doesn’t need to speak for his brother is difficult. Nathaniel was teaching Aaron baby talk last week, saying things like “Wa wa” and “Bubba” instead of “water” and “brother.” I told Nathaniel that he needed to use real words or else Aaron would never learn how to speak right and he would be 20 years old saying, “wa wa”. With a mischievous look in his eyes Nathaniel said, “Aaron! Wa wa! Wa wa!” *sigh*

Here are a couple of videos of Nathaniel singing some Christmas songs and Aaron just grinning along happily.


video


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

More pictures and slight update with them.



These are pictures from my trip to Arizona with my best friend, Bethany. It was a trip we took to celebrate turning 30 (and living to tell about it!). We wanted to do something fun and do something physically challenging. We had been working on getting into shape, and it worked out where I was pregnant which slowed me down a bit, and Bethany had been working her butt off (quite literally) so we were pretty even. It was fun! Most of the good pictures were on Bethany's camera, which I downloaded onto my computer but even though the slide show randomly pops up on my sidebar, I can't actually find them to upload onto blogger. :/.



Finally, Aaron got his first haircut a couple of weeks ago. It was fun for him, and now he really looks like a big boy. Next step is mastering the potty. He just needs to become a little more aware of his bodily functions. Much of the time he does really well keeping his diaper dry and telling us when he needs to go, but other times he's more focused on eating or playing. We'll work more on it after Christmas is over since we are travelling this year and it's pointless to try so hard when it will be so hard on the airplane and such.

So, hooray the blog is actually caught up! Hooray!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pictures.


These are just a few of the pictures of what we've been up to lately. More tomorrow. :)

Thankful

It's been quite the year here in the Grummons' household. It's been a year of changes and adjustments and of incredible blessings. We are SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL!

And, just in case anyone was wondering. We are thankful everyday, even when things seem bleak and we aren't sure what's going to happen, we pray prayers of thankfulness to our God because, in comparison to much of the rest of the world, we're living pretty well. It's like I said to Sam once, "You know, we pray for God to take care of us and watch over our family. He promises never to forsake us, and it's true. Even if we are homeless on the street with nothing to eat, God is still watching over us and taking care of us. Heaven is our home, not earth and I think we need to keep that perspective." Because, truly, at the end of it all, when we're finished with our incredibly short time here on earth, what matters is heaven and worshiping Jesus forever. Sometimes I get so caught up in what's going on RIGHT NOW I forget the big picture.

So, here is a quick overview of what we are thankful for this year. And then, after this, I will post another post of pictures, because I have been a super slacker posting pictures of the boys and our shenanigans. :) (Which also means I have to go round up the camera because I haven't downloaded my amazing Arizona vacation yet!).

Our thankful list.

  • Sam is home! Not only is he home, but he's been home for a year now!
  • Carrie's new job. It's been an amazing year of ministry. Lot's of growth for myself and for some pretty awesome students. It's been hard, but it's also been a time of learning and changing.
  • Sam finished with his Master's degree! Much rejoicing was had (and lots of celebration!)
  • After a rough summer of searching, Sam landed a full time position with the military, which has given us so many extra blessings. Including, full coverage insurance, a housing allowance, and (for the first time ever in our marriage) regular work hours so our family can be a family together most evenings (except when I'm gone for meetings and ministry).
  • Sam is also using his degree by teaching an online class for Ashford University. It's nice to see him thrive in the academic environment and nice to see how God has blessed him with this opportunity!
  • Sam also got to present a paper at a philosophy conference a few weeks ago, and with that he got to meet up with some friends whom he hasn't seen in a long time.
  • We got to move into a house with a yard and a garage. Amazingly it was the house that I've imagined in my head as the "perfect house" for us. Everything! It's a reminder that God is listening to the desires of our hearts, even when we don't necessarily pray for it because we don't want to be selfish. :)
  • The kids are a blessing in themselves. I'm so thankful for my energetic little boys who love each other so fiercely and protect one another. I'm thankful that they have their health and are generally obedient, loving little children. And, they just crack me up, which is a blessing in itself.
  • Along with my new job there are some extra perks. Childcare is provided for Nathaniel for me right on site with the preschool (and Aaron will be joining him in May) and in the fall, Nathaniel will get to attend the academy as well for kindergarten. It is so nice to not worry about the boys while I work. It's also nice to not worry about my kids' education considering the state of California's schools and the district we live in.
  • Baby number 3. We're so thankful for the joy of another little one entering our family next year.
That's a general list. There are so many more things to be thankful for. Mostly we are thankful for our friends and family who love us so well. Thanks to all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

15 Weeks 3 days

I went in for another check up today. I was a little disappointed because my doctor told me last month that she would do a peek to see if we could tell what the little munchkin is gender-wise. Alas, I was ushered into the exam room without the ultra sound machine today. Boo. So, I was weighed, blood pressured, and dopplered.

Hooray for me, no weight gain (I'm not trying not to gain, this was just a good month, apparently). My blood pressure is fine and the heart rate is 148. :) All is well.

Except for the rash covering my neck and upper chest and arms. That's itchy, but nothing to worry about. Apparently, it's a "pregnancy thing". Ugh!

In other news...

Nathaniel has entered a new "phase" or whatever you want to call it. The past three days he has thrown major tantrums in the morning and at night. So, today in the van we had a nice conversation about consequences for our behavior. He was mad because his t.v. rights have been taken away today because he chose (and these are the words I used, "you chose") to sit on the couch and whine about wanting Cheerios instead of getting dressed. Mind you, he had eaten breakfast already, the Cheerios were for when he finished getting dressed. Instead, he threw major fits and laid on the couch under a blanket while I finished getting ready for work, got Aaron fed, cleaned up, teeth brushed and dressed. I then calmly got Nathaniel's clothes, dressed him like he was helpless (at least he wasn't fighting me), walked him to the bathroom, had him brush his teeth while I combed his hair, and then let Aaron be the line leader out to the van (which pissed Nathaniel off to no ends).

I asked him what he would do differently if he could do the morning over and he said (with full 4 year old attitude), "Nothing!!" So, I told him that I wasn't sorry about not allowing him t.v. for the rest of the day. Later he was a bit more repentant and we talked about choices and how they affect what happens.

It's a learning process.

On the other hand, Aaron is enjoying being the sweet one. At least they haven't both thrown a fit together for awhile. One day last week they both were in their rooms having meltdowns.

I think I found more grey hair...

At least we're on "vacation" starting tomorrow. If only Sam were home from work tomorrow...

Ugh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is it really the middle of November already?

I keep saying I'm going to update this thing. Then days and weeks go by and I realize the last thing I updated was super long and about my kids' personality types. Ugh. When did I become a boring blogger?

I am thinking of starting over, but then I look at some of my previous posts and am reminded of fun stories that I completely forgot about and realize that while this indeed is a blog meant to keep our families and far away friends up to date with what's going on, it's also a great way to remind me of some of the funny things my kids have done. Like when Nathaniel would get up super early and turn the television on for himself after closing our bedroom door first to keep us from hearing him. He did that at 22 months old. It also reminds me of some of my parenting techniques which were totally frustrating, but worked because now Nathaniel is a fairly well behaved 4 year old. It's a great motivator to keep on going as Aaron enters fully his "terrible two's".

And how!

Aaron no longer says, "No!" in a cute, high pitched way. It is an absolute, "there is no way on God's green earth that you are going to make me do/eat/touch/go whatever, woman!" I swear he says no just out of response to what I'm saying or asking. Even if it's really something he wants, his first response is "No!"

Ah, the joys.

And have I mentioned the biting? He is my little juvenile delinquent when it comes to biting. He is on his last straw at daycare, and still openly bites his brother here at home. Although, today I saw bite marks on Aaron's leg and had to have a stern talking to with Nathaniel ("But Mommy, he was hitting me!"). Today I thought someone was going to call CPS on me because while we were in the bathroom in Disneyland Aaron bit me on the arm and my response was to give him a firm smack on the mouth. Which echoed in the bathroom and he immediately cried (it was three cries and he quit). Then, because he's a white boy, he has a red mark on his face for a few minutes (it was totally gone 10 minutes later). Of course, the cleaning person happened to be sweeping right outside the stall where this all went down. No comments were made, however, and he was fine.

But, between the biting and the fighting and the wrestling and the whining, the boys are amazing. Aaron's vocabulary is starting that fun "picking up the pace" stage where the words are just exploding. He calls Nathaniel "bubba" or "Naaaa", but today I distinctly heard, "aniel!" come from his mouth. They play together well and love each other fiercely. Nathaniel is super protective of Aaron, to the point where he doesn't want him to go on any rides at Disneyland that he deems scary. If he thinks something is too scary or hard for Aaron, Nathaniel will get super upset and cry and try to hold him back physically. I love the protective nature, but keep reminding Nathaniel that Aaron has to learn how to do things for himself and learn how to make decisions. It's the same with talking. Nathaniel keeps answering for Aaron, which makes it so that Aaron doesn't feel the need to answer any of my questions. He just looks to Nathaniel.

I've entered my second trimester with baby number three. It's been a good and fairly easy journey so far. My morning sickness hasn't been too out of control, but I have been more tired lately. I have definitely felt this one kicking for the past week, which is very cool. It's that great part of pregnancy where I feel like I have a secret because while people know I'm pregnant, no one can feel the kicks but me, so I have this neat little bond happening. :)

Nathaniel is asking a lot of questions about babies and development and how they get into the tummy, which has led to a few interesting conversations and child safe pictures in magazines. It's been great, but I think he's a little confused because when Sam asked Nathaniel if I swallowed a baby he said, "No, mom swallowed an egg." hmmmm....

That's about it here. I'm going to try to update at least once a week with anecdotes of my children or of life in general. At the very least I want to post some pictures! I don't even know if people read this any more, but at least it will be good for later.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Similiarities and differences.

I once heard someone (or rather, I've heard many people say many different times) that we see ourselves in our children. That can either make us super proud, or super uncomfortable, depending on what traits are coming out. For example, Nathaniel loves to read, which is totally a trait from both Sam and I. But, Nathaniel also gets into these "Mr. Cranky Pants" moods where nothing can satisfy him, which is totally me. Ugh.

I have noticed, however, that Nathaniel is much politer than I ever was at that age.

I'm not known for being the most tactful person in the world. Forever I was hearing people tell me that I needed to think before I spoke. Thankfully, now that I'm 30, I can say that about 70% of the time I actually put that into practice. My apologies for the other 30%.

However, Nathaniel's sense of appropriateness amazes me!

He's a little (lot) type A when it comes to certain things. Like rules. Once Nathaniel hears the rules about something, he follows them to the letter. And he freaks out a little bit if other people aren't following the rules. But, he freaks out quietly, which is nice because when I was little my freak outs involved punching whoever the offending rule breaker was.

I'm not exaggerating. I punched my friend in the mouth and knocked her tooth loose for cheating in a game (sorry, Erika!). I also pushed a kid and bruised him up pretty good for cutting in line. I spent a lot of time in Kindergarten in the Principal's office.

But, Nathaniel, while he is freaking out internally about a rule being broken, has enough self control to whisper his concerns. On Monday we were at Disneyland and were riding the tram back to the parking structure. In front of us a little girl was sitting on her dad's lap. Nathaniel started to squirm next to me and started tapping my arm and whispering, "Mom!!" When I asked him what was wrong he slyly pointed to the girl sitting on her dad's lap and said, "No lap sitting!" (I must pause here and point out that every time we get on the tram the announcement says 'no eating, drinking or smoking and no lap sitting except for small children'.) I had to quietly explain to Nathaniel that it was okay for the girl to sit on her dad's lap because she was small. I'm not sure he was satisfied.

I hope that this type A personality works well for him and doesn't turn into an OCD thing. I want Nathaniel to be able to loosen up and have fun (which he totally does, most of the time).

With Aaron, however, it is a totally different story. It's like we had an invasion of the body snatchers. Someone took my sweet, agreeable, 'always nods yes to my questions' little boy and replaced him with this willful little toddler.

He has decided that it is time to push against every boundary that we have set up for him.

My formally great eater has started throwing his utensils at dinner time, tossing food over the side of his chair and spitting his food out onto the floor. So, our usual peaceful mealtimes now involve Sam or myself getting up, removing food from Aaron's grasp, correcting behavior, and listening to fits being thrown at the travesty of it all. Luckily, I'm not worried about him starving, because at least one meal a day ends up with Aaron having his food taken away (he's not eating it anyways, he's just throwing it around).

My passive little boy who used to do whatever his brother wanted to do, and who put up with a lot of wrestling and pushing around from his big brother has realized that he wants to play in his own way. Of course he doesn't have words for, "Dude, get OFF of me!" so he has resorted to biting. Poor Nathaniel has bruises on BOTH arms from Aaron's teeth. Time outs aren't working for this one because he bites his brother and then happily walks over to time out. Luckily the one little swat on the butt that he gets for that totally works. He looks at us with these pitiful, "I can't believe you just did that to ME!" eyes and bursts into tears. So far it's been two days since the last incident.

Finally, the sweet little boy who happily picked up his toys has started resisting. We spent 15 minutes last night rotating between time out and the mess of refrigerator magnets he had dumped all over the floor. In the end he happily picked them up, but for those 15 minutes it was as if we asked him to walk on broken glass! Luckily, Sam and I both remembered doing the same thing with Nathaniel at this age (once Nathaniel spent an hour between time out and Sam because he wouldn't hand Sam his sippy cup, but kept throwing it on the ground. Another time Nathaniel spent nearly two hours in time out because he wouldn't pick up the crayons he dumped*).

*Note. We do not make our kids sit in time out for the full two hours. This is one minute in time out, a quick, "You are in time out because of X" and then an opportunity to do what it is we asked them to do. It just took Nathaniel that long to finally do what it was we asked him to do.

And so, we are moving into that frustrating time of parenting. But, looking at Nathaniel and his general obedience and how easy it is now to correct him, we know that we are doing the right thing and that it is easier NOW when we can physically move Aaron into time out and help him pick up toys by moving his hand to the toy and to the place it goes. I would MUCH rather have the battles now than wait until he's 7 and people are wondering why my 7 year old doesn't listen to me.

So, that was quite the update, but with two kids at two different developmental levels, it's hard to keep it concise. Just wait until #3 comes along!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Here we go again!

With all of the amazing things that God has blessed our family with in the past few months, one of those things we have kept close to our hearts.

We are expecting another precious baby sometime in May of 2011. We are thrilled. Notice I have not given a due date, nor will I give out a due date this time around. When I was pregnant with Aaron I was overwhelmed by the number of "Hasn't that baby arrived yet?" comments, which while I know they were given in love and excitement of a new baby, they were not encouraging to the overdue, giant pregnant woman. So, know that the baby will be born by Memorial Day. (No, Memorial Day is not my due date, but my doctor will not allow me to be pregnant that long)

I'm going to share something that is kind of personal and close to my heart right now. Given that I am sharing this on the family blog, please understand that I would appreciate a few things. First of all, what I'm about to share is straight from my heart. No rude comments about anything. Second, know that I've been through a lot in my past two deliveries and that I'm not going to be dumb or go into this whole thing uninformed.

With that said...

We had our first doctor's appointment last Wednesday. I was super excited about the appointment because I just wanted to see that cute little peanut hanging out in my womb. It's also nice to have that confirmation so I know I'm not losing my mind and that I actually am pregnant. Plus, the knowledge that only one little bean is bouncing around in there is also kind of a nice thing to put my mind at ease.

Before we even stepped into the examination room my doctor (who is FABULOUS) took Sam and I into her office to talk about the nitty gritty details of pregnancy. Since I've been through this two times before I figured I wouldn't get any new information. But, since technology is always changing, I was informed of MORE genetic tests I could have done, etc. etc. We declined a CF genetic test for both of us, and the general "no thanks, I don't want you to stick a needle into my uterus to tell me something that may/may not be accurate and will not change my view of my pregnancy" stuff.

During this time we talked about my previous deliveries and pregnancies. During this time I said to her, "Well, I'm definitely a good candidate for a VBAC (Vaginal birth after Cesarean) so that's what I want to try for." My doctor looked up from her computer and said, "You are NOT a good candidate for a VBAC." My heart fell. My doctor then explained the whole, "you have had two large babies and they only get larger and we can't guarantee that you won't have a 10 pound baby again..." thing. She explained the risks of the VBAC and how I couldn't have pitocen (one of the things I was looking forward to avoiding, so no hard feelings there on my part!) if my labor wasn't progressing.

Before I go any further with this, my doctor is a firm advocate of VBACs. She knows that there are times when it is completely doable. She lets her patients make their own decisions and only counsels them with their own best interest in mind. She reminded me that at the end of the day what was important was a healthy mommy and a healthy baby.

But, she also made it clear that while she can't tell me what to do, and she won't tell me what to do, a planned C-section is what she is recommending me for. I have to make my decision by 36 weeks.

My heart is heavy with this decision I have to make. I so desperately want to have a labor and delivery that is not riddled with drugs and crazy interventions. I nearly died the first time I had a child, and was whisked into the OR for my second child. I have this image of delivering my baby and holding him (or her) right away and getting to keep him (or her) with me for awhile. I want to walk around during labor. I want to labor at home for awhile before going into the hospital. There is so much I want to do. But, I also don't want to labor for 30 hours again and end up in the OR anyways.

So, right now I'm praying about it. My doctor said that if the baby is a girl, the chances are she will be littler than my boys. That's going to play into my decision. Also, I'm praying that I go a little early. If I schedule a c-section, they will do it when I'm 39 weeks. Any time past 37 weeks is considered full term, which makes me wonder if I can schedule a c-section, but if I go into labor naturally before then if I can try it naturally. Who knows. I have some time.

So, all of that said, please pray for us. Pray for wisdom. Pray for my health. Pray for the health of the baby.

And please, do not message me with statistics either way about VBACs or C-sections. I have done my homework and I know the stats. Don't make me feel any more guilty than I already do. It's bad enough that my body hasn't handled delivery well (although, my pregnancies have always been a dream), I don't need a reminder that I just can't hack the getting the baby out part. Thanks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pics and a cute video

Nathaniel's room (Aaron was sleeping so I couldn't get a picture of his room)

Our bathroom

walkway through the living room to the backyard.



The living room


Our kitchen





A cute video of the boys dancing to VBS music.


video
There are more pictures, but I will upload them another time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So much going on!

Luckily, most of the people who read this also are friends with me on facebook or at least talk to me on a semi regular basis. I've been a slacking blogger.

There are a few reasons that I'm a slacker. One is because we are pleasantly busy and the last thing I really have the creative energy for is to sit down at the computer and craft a blog that tells of the cuteness of my children and the adventures we've been up to without sounding like a complete bore. Another reason I haven't really updated is because there has been a lot of personal stuff going on and I really haven't figured out how to come onto this blog without over sharing or offending someone with a thought that might be a rant in disguise.

Here is a quick run down of our past month and a half-ish since I've updated.

-Sam went to his Annual Training up in San Louis Obispo. It was rough for him. He had evenings free where he was free to roam around in wine country, taking in the views and going to street festivals. (Do we sense my sarcasm?) But, while he was up there he was given the opportunity to take on a two year job with the Army, which means full time pay and benefits.

While it seems pretty obvious he should take it, we still had to do a lot of praying and seeking out of God's will. On the one hand, Sam taking the job meant stability for us, the opportunity to get out of apartment living and the ability to be a blessing to others more so (more missionary support, opening up our home to Bible Study, etc.). On the other hand, taking the job meant that Sam had to put his professional goals on hold for yet another year (most of you know what that means, can't mention it on the public blog, if you have questions message me).

After a lot of prayer and seeking the wisdom of others, we decided that this was a great opportunity for our family and so Sam decided to take it. He started last week and so far, so good. He's currently in Kansas learning what it is he's supposed to be doing here in California. It's such a great job because he's working at the base which is about 10 minutes from where we live. It's a stable job and all of our health benefits are paid for and we get a housing allowance.

Which moves me to exciting news part two:
-We are moving out of our apartment into a three bedroom house.
This is super exciting because we have lived in some sort of an apartment the entire 8 years we've been married. While I know deep down that we are super blessed to even have a roof over our heads (and the Lord knows that sometimes we weren't even sure how we were going to pay for a small apartment, but He always provided the means), it was time to move. There have been super sketchy things happening in our apartment complex as of late, and it makes it hard to allow the boys to play outside and not hear/see things that they shouldn't (older kids cussing, vandalizing, engaging in sexual activities, etc.).

Again, I understand that we are very blessed and that in some places in the world the boys would be exposed to much worse, but if I can protect their innocence as long as I can, I would like to do that.

-I got to take my wonderful Junior High group to Hume Lake Christian Camp.
This was my first summer at my new job and with it came the opportunity to take them to summer camp. I love camp, even though it takes me away from my family for almost a week, the excitement and spiritual awakenings that happen there is totally worth it. Hume Lake is up in King's Canyon and it's absolutely breath taking. After we move I will post some pictures of camp and our recent trips. Right now I cannot find my camera cord. I think it's packed.

Camp was great. The kids bonded together really well. I was also really happy to have the opportunity to just let myself relax a little bit and show them my fun side. It was good. I can't go into too much detail in order to protect the identity and personal issues of the students, but we had a ton of fun, and I know that God is still using the teachings in their hearts.

-We took a family trip to San Diego.
This is only a trip we have done as a family when Sam has been on deployment or about to be shipped away, so this was a new experience for us. We got to go and do things without the dark cloud of a looming separation hanging over our heads. We enjoyed the San Diego Zoo (a place Sam and I went pre-kids and enjoyed showing the boys. My favorite part was when we decided to go get ice cream and Nathaniel, who had been a little grumpy at this point, immediately cheered up and proclaimed, "Wow, Mom, I really love the zoo!") and we also visited the San Juan Capistrano Mission. It was very relaxing and just a fun time. Again, I will upload pictures in a week or so after we are done moving.

Oh, and Sam also got a job teaching as an adjunct philosophy professor online with Ashford University. It's great for him to be able to keep his philosophical mind in gear while doing Army stuff full time.

That's about it here. I have tons of cute kid stories. Aaron is growing like a weed and is really becoming more verbal. It helps that he's in daycare now so he's around kids who don't speak for him. Nathaniel tends to speak for him, which makes him perfectly happy, so it's nice that he has to work for his words now. Aaron also realizes that he's funny, so he does super silly stuff all day long with a silly grin on his face. Tonight he was pretending to eat his green beans (because, bless his heart, even though he tries and tries, he just doesn't like them) and so he was putting them near his mouth and then moving them outside of his chin and down his neck and tucking them into his shirt, pretending to eat them. He's really coming along in the potty training. He is super stubborn, but it's working in my favor because he throws a fit when I try to put diapers on him. Tonight I had to put a Pull Up on him because he wouldn't wear the diaper. Once I am more consistent with him, and once he's a little more verbal and coordinated, I don't think it will be a problem. Especially since he uses the toilet about 25% of the time.

Nathaniel is doing really well. Something clicked for him and now he is drawing pictures that actually look like what he says they are (this was after months of just scribbles). He's reading pretty well too and has really taken to math. We had a battle with Preschool earlier this month. I think it was just that Sam and I were gone so much this summer at different times that it threw Nathaniel off. He is super sensitive to one of us being gone. I know it's because Sam was gone so much of Nathaniel's early life. But, this past week he's had a good attitude and has been excited to go.

So, that's my book of an update. Lots going on and almost all of it is fantastic. I promise to update more often and put pictures as well. Especially before Aaron gets his first haircut (which is coming soon as he is starting to get a mullet). Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is it birth order, or simply personality?

Children never cease to amaze me.  Especially watching them grow from teeny, tiny infants who can’t do anything but lay there and cry to giant children who have definite wants and desires.

Nathaniel and Aaron are pretty similar in their temperaments.  They are both pretty easy going kids who are fairly happy most of the time.  Of course, that there is where their similarities end, and I LOVE it.

Take Nathaniel, for example:

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(Riding a camel at the zoo)

Nathaniel is timid.  He has always been timid (and that is perfectly okay).  In a new situation, he is more likely to stand off to the side and watch.  He has come quite a ways from last year however.  Last year at this time, a new situation brought Nathaniel to tears.  It wasn’t that he was fearful, he was just cautious.  He was (and still is) unafraid of attempting physical challenges, it’s just social situations that cause him to stop.  Now, he will join a group and begin playing near them if he doesn’t know them (this is HUGE!).  He will also speak to someone when he is spoken to (most of the time).

However, Aaron is a completely different child:

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(At Crystal Cove Beach)

This child is completely fearless in nearly all situations.

He is the kid who waves at everyone while walking down the street and says “Hi!!” and “Bye!!!”  He climbs to the top of the playground equipment without even thinking that he could possibly fall.  He has a sense of things being “fair”, which is really hard because he is not quite 18 months old and not 4 like his brother. 

Aaron is a climber.  Today alone I had to pull him down from the top of the monkey bars at church, pull him off of the top of the kitchen table, and pull him down off of the bathroom counter.  Ugh!  Also, he knows what he wants and refuses to compromise. 

Aaron desperately wants to be big.  He sees his brother doing things, and really wants to do it too.  Every day he throws a fit when I try to diaper him.  Which is great, because if I leave his diaper off he will go in his potty.  But, he doesn’t have the words to tell me he has to go, so he can’t go diaper-less in public.  Today, however, he saw Nathaniel pee standing up and was completely enthralled.  About 20 minutes later I saw Aaron standing in front of his little potty trying to pee.  He threw a fit when I made him sit down. 

Oy.

One more cute story of Aaron’s bravado (and a comparison to how Nathaniel reacted).

This past week we took part in Cypress Church’s VBS.  It was “High Seas Adventure” which meant there were pirates involved.  One of the main actors in the skit was ‘Captain Curly Beard’.  Kellan (the guy playing the part) was completely decked out in his costume.  One morning we walked into the church and Captain Curly Beard was there with an Air Cannon.  Aaron got a blast in the face, took one look at the pirate and burst into tears.  He clung to me tighter than he ever has before and just cried and cried.  I felt bad for him, but secretly relished the fact that he still needs his mommy.  The next day I was watching Aaron during worship time.  I saw him standing on his tip toes trying to see the dancers on stage.  Then, he looked over his shoulder and came walking over to me.  It was this weird combination of hugging me and looking at the door and waving uncertainly. 

I looked over my shoulder and saw Captain Curly Beard standing by the door.  So, I asked Aaron if he wanted to go say hi to the pirate.  He gripped my arm but nodded.  So, we went over to where Kellan was standing and Aaron faced him and waved.  He still freaked when the hat was removed, but he was brave enough to wave.

By Friday he had hugs and kisses for the scary Pirate.

Nathaniel, on the other hand, would cry every morning that the pirate was scary and he wanted to stay with me.

I love my kids.  I love how different they are.  I pray that we can always encourage them to be the young men that God has created them to be.

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Nathaniel sunbathing with his friend Kaatje.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Four Years Ago

Four years ago we were blessed with our own little "Gift of God".

After 30 hours of labor (yes, I will milk this until the day I die, for both of my giant sons) Nathaniel Lawrence Grummons entered into this world on July 14, 2006 and forever changed our lives.

Four years later, we can't imagine our lives without him.

Our prayer for him every night is that he will continue to grow in his knowledge of Jesus and that he will always make good decisions and choose to serve the Lord his whole life. We know that there is only so much that we as parents can do, and pray that we do those things and that Nathaniel will listen and find his own way as well.

Thank you God, for our son.


Today I asked him what he liked to be called, Nathaniel or Nathan. He said, "both!" and smiled. Which is good, because I call him Nathaniel and Sam calls him Nathan (and all of his little preschool friends call him Mathaniel, except for the Indian family in our complex, they call him Ethan). Whatever, we just know that we love him.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Help, someone replaced the baby with a little boy!

It has happened.  Our cute, roly poly Baby has been replaced with a rambunctious toddler.  It’s so sad, but exciting at the same time.

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Showing off his belly to be “gotten”

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Pretty proud to be standing on the stump while camping.

Aaron has gone from not saying much, to speaking the strangest of words.  When asked to say “Daddy” he says “Mama” with a grin on his face.  He says, “teeth” “cheese” “ball” and “Steve!” (from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the monkey’s name is Steve and he says it a lot).  He nods yes and no in answer to our questions and does a lot of pointing as well.

But, the most exciting thing in “Aaron’s world” is his use of the potty.  About a month ago we started putting him on the potty when we noticed he was about to poop.  That went on pretty regularly for about a week but then we quit because he didn’t seem too interested.  This week he walked over to his toilet and pulled at his pants.  I took his diaper and pants off and he sat down and actually went.  This has happened about four times since then, even with dry diapers  as well (instead of a full diaper and then pee in the toilet).  I’m super excited about this because he actually seems ready to train.  I’m ready.  We’ve been buying diapers for four years!

So, our little baby is now on his way to becoming a big boy.  I’m sad.  I miss my baby!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What do you do when you see a bear?

You take a picture, of course!!

This bear was digging through the garbage of our camping neighbors on Friday morning. We were relaxing after a morning hike when we heard someone yell, "Bear!" I looked up from my knitting and, sure enough, there was a bear! Vanessa called for the kids while I yelled to Sam to get the camera. We then all ran after the bear. Both to chase it away, and also to get a better look.

Nathaniel was super excited to see a bear in the wild and we all learned a good lesson. Put away our food because the bears will come after it during the day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vocabulary

Nathaniel has started playing more online games lately. While Sam was in school he had a lot of afternoons where he was either grading papers or working on school work while Aaron was napping. That left Nathaniel to play by himself so often times Sam would let him play for a bit on the pbs kids website. While online Nathaniel would watch Martha Speaks (a show about a talking dog that has a ton of new vocabulary words) and Sesame Street's "Word on the Street". He learned words such as amazing, dangerous, excited, and exhausted. This has made for some interesting (which is also a word he's learned) conversations with the three year old.

"Mommy! That is amazing!"

While watching UP yesterday, "Mommy, this movie is too dangerous."

When talking about my brother coming to visit, "Mommy! I'm so ee-sited about Uncle Ian coming out!"

And whenever he doesn't want to do something that we've told him to do (like clean up his toys), *giant, dramatic sigh* "I can't, I'm ee-sausted!"

On the other hand, Aaron stilll communicates mainly with tribal yells and pointing. He says, "Mama" "Daddy" "Hi" "bye" and everything else is either "oh!" or "AHHH!".

He'll get it eventually. :)

(Yes, we have a lot of other stuff to update on including our trip to Catalina, Sam's graduation and other fun stuff that has been going on, but I haven't uploaded pictures yet and the kids are currently taking turns punching each other and screaming so...that's for another time.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Milestones

It's a busy month for us. Sam graduates next week and his family is coming in starting on Sunday. Add that to the school year winding down for Nathaniel and my junior high students and you have one busy family. But, I still thought I needed to jot down some thoughts about what's going on with the family because this is kind of my "my children are growing up and hitting new milestones" journal as well as a way to keep people updated with our lives.

Aaron is growing like a weed. He had his 15 month check up last week and has hit 28 pounds and 31 inches. Luckily his car seat is large enough for him to still face backwards until he hits 34 inches (apparently the new guidelines want kids sitting backwards until they are 2). He got a vaccination at the doctor's office and it was pretty cute. He cried for about 2 seconds and then, as the nurse exited the room he smiled and waved and said, "byeeeee!" in his sweet little voice.

He doesn't say much. He can say "Hi" and "bye" but he doesn't say much else. He signs A LOT but his verbal skills consist mostly of pointing and giving a tribal yell. We're working on getting him to be more verbal. He does shake his head yes and no a lot, so I know he is completely understanding everything we say. He is also really good at following simple instructions, I just think that Nathaniel speaks for him most of the time.

Nathaniel is winding down in school. His one day a week preschool co-op ended a few weeks ago and Cubbies ends next week. I'm not sure when his school year ends since his preschool is more daycare and goes year round. We also haven't decided whether or not to keep him in the program through the summer. It all depends on Sam's job situation.

The other day Sam and I were talking about my job and some of the difficulties I've been facing. Nathaniel was sitting at the table with us and he turned to me and said, "Mom, why is it hard for you?" I was taken aback because this was his first question where he actually showed empathy and interest in someone else. I almost cried, but then I answered his question. He really is an empathetic child, which I love. I love his heart for others and the sensitivity he has towards others. Whenever something sad happens in a movie that he's watching he cries, even if it's the 15th time he's seen it. I hope that he can continue to have empathy towards others. Although, yesterday he was talking about different friends at preschool and he said that he played with "J" this past week. Then he looked at me and whispered, "Mom, I thought that 'J' was a girl because of his curly hair, but he's actually a boy!" I think it was his first encounter where he wasn't sure of someones gender. I thought it was cute.

That's it here. We went camping last weekend with the junior high students and had a blast. Sam graduates next weekend and after everything I will be able to blog a bit more and post pictures.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quick updates, list style

Well, Sam is finishing up his final semester here in Talbot land. That means a lot of us sitting in the living room on our laptops in the evening rather than watching movies or hanging out. I can't wait for him to be finished!

Here is a recap of some of the stuff I've mentioned in the past few weeks on this blog.

  • Nathaniel was continuing to not tell the truth, so last night Sam gave him a teaspoon of vinegar. He cried (Nathaniel, not Sam) and said it tasted yucky. So, we explained that lying was yucky and that he needed to tell the truth and that if he told the truth he would get into less trouble than if he lied. Today was good. He started to lie about a few things (mainly, hitting his brother or flushing the toilet or washing his hands, little stuff like that) but I gave him a look and asked him if he was sure that he wanted to lie and he thought for a second and told the truth. *whew* Hoping that it worked.

  • Aaron used the toilet for about three days, and now he'll go to the bathroom to use the toilet, but usually he's just peed. He's more interested in playing than going. But, at least he's connecting it!

  • Work is cranking up for me. I've got a camping trip in two weeks (woot!!) and eighth grade promotion is coming up as well. I'm co-teaching a sex respect class at the Academy for 7th graders which is amazingly awesome. It's funny how it's not awkward when you're in the teacher's shoes! It's fun to make the kids squirm. I'm terrible. But, it's going well overall.

  • We made it to Disneyland two nights ago. It was great and we managed to ride on 5 rides in two hours. We basically walked on every single ride and, for the first time, Nathaniel did not cry when he got wet. He laughed and said, "Oh man, my pants are wet!!" Silly boy.

  • That's about it here. Just finishing up May (even though it just started). We went over budget so I'm trying to be creative with the food we have in the house (we have a lot of frozen meat, but not a lot of other food so I'm figuring out what we do have so I can use it up before going grocery shopping). I figure we can always eat pancakes. We have two kinds of pancake mix so we're good.

Hope people are well. I'm going to bed!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dealing with the truth

It has happened.

I'm not sure if it's a new developmental milestone or what, but Nathaniel told his first lie last week and has continued to lie almost every day since then.

The first time he did it he had dumped out the blocks that we were picking up. Sam came in and said, "Nathaniel, why did you dump the blocks out?" and Nathaniel said, "Mommy did it." So, into time out he went with an explanation that we do not tell lies. I was hoping that we would nip it in the bud and just move on. But...no.

I have heard that we need to not give him the opportunity to lie. Like, if we catch him doing something wrong (or we know he did something wrong) ask him why he did something, not if he did something. But, even doing that he has just been lying straight out.

I've thought about using soap in his mouth to teach him that it's wrong, but I don't want to put chemicals in his mouth. I've thought about pepper, but some kids really like the taste. I may try vinegar. If he were older, I would make him write sentences, but he can't even write his name yet so...*sigh* Does anyone have any ideas?

We keep telling him that he needs to tell the truth and that if he tells the truth he will still have to face the consequences, but if he lies it will be worse (and he's seen that first hand).

On another note: Aaron has been using the potty. It's crazy because he is only 14.5 months old, but sure enough, he's going. When I notice the "potty" look on his face we go into the bathroom and sit him on his little potty chair. He has pooped his last three poops in the toilet (not in his diaper). I'm hoping that by starting now he will train earlier. As long as it's fun for him (and it is so fun because Nathaniel does the crazy "hooray for you!" potty dance for him) we might as well work on it!

That's it here. Oh, and Nathaniel is reading like a pro. He usually only needs to see a word once or twice before he "has it" in his mind. He easily reads words like, "look, see, go, mother, father, Sally, Jane, Dick, up, car, work, play, down, pop, hop" The other day he was actually reading with slight inflection in his voice because he knew all of the words by sight and didn't have to struggle with them.

Crazy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Adventures in the Pacific Northwest

Last week our family packed up and headed out for another adventure.  This time it was a family trip up to Portland and Seattle to visit the various friends and family who have settled in that area.  Last year I took a trip up there with Nathaniel and a very tiny Aaron and decided that it was definitely a trip to take with the hubby as well. 

He was happy to take part in the trip this time around.

We flew in Monday evening and stayed in Portland until Friday morning, then drove up to Seattle to visit my brother and another friend.  On Sunday morning we headed out of Seattle area (Silverdale) back down to Portland to catch our flight.  It was a whirlwind visit, but it was awesome!

Tuesday we spent with our friends the Weavers just hanging out.  Jen is on bed rest for the final weeks of her pregnancy so we just hung out with her and let our kids play together. 

They live in family housing at Multnomah Bible College and the community has an open courtyard where all of the kids run around and play together.  That is what our kids did while we just sat and visited.  VERY relaxing and fun (although I didn’t take any pictures of that day).

On Wednesday we headed up to Multnomah Falls with my friend Marcie (whom we stayed with while we were in Portland).  She has a daughter who is two months older than Aaron so it was fun to hang out and let the kiddos play near each other.  The hike up the falls was nice (although it was slow going with a 3 year old who was distracted by every single stick and rock along the way). 

The falls are beautiful!  I enjoyed every minute of our hike and sight seeing there.  Here are a few pics.

 

On Thursday we used our Santa Ana Zoo passes to get into the Portland Zoo for free (woo!).  We took Nathaniel’s friend, Zeke, with us and enjoyed the beautiful day walking around with our friends.  It’s always nice to watch Nathaniel play with good friends, and it seems like Zeke and Nathaniel are cut from the same fabric because they get each other.  They have similar senses of humor and both know when to leave the other one alone so they can have “me” time.  Needless to say, we were worn out by the end of that day.

 

Friday we managed to take almost five hours to get up to Bellevue (which is right next to Seattle) to visit our friends Ben and Jen and their new baby, Alex.  Traffic was terrible when we hit the city.  Combine that with a couple of potty breaks and it makes for a long day.  It was great to see our friends though.  They showed us a beautiful garden/park right next to their apartment complex.  Then, we ate a quick dinner and headed over to the ferry to get to my brother’s house.  I wish we had more time to visit with Ben and Jen, but we needed to get our kids into bed.

 

Finally, we hung out with my brother and his family all day Saturday.  Friday night was a rough night for the boys.  For some reason, Aaron was crying most of the night.  He was so tired but would cry, fall asleep mid-cry, and then jerk himself awake and continue crying.  Somewhere around 4am I heard Nathaniel start crying saying, “I puked!  I puked!”  So, I ran to where he was sleeping and, sure enough, he had puked.  I hustled him into the bathroom and started the clean up process when he started crying again, “I pooped!”  Yup.  Total poop as well (thank goodness I had put him in a Pull Up before bed since he still occasionally has accidents at night and I didn’t want to have him pee someone else’s bed).  So, between the hours of 4 and 7 Sam and I were up with a puking kid and a crying baby.  Luckily, everyone settled down around 7 and we were able to sleep until 10am. 

Needless to say, we didn’t go anywhere on Saturday.  We hung out in our jammies and did laundry while Nathaniel’s digestive track settled down (he was sick all morning).  Sam and James took Aaron on a quick trip to the store and he managed to completely fill his pants (and socks, and shoes and shirt and car seat…) with poop as well.  Ugh.  But, it was all cleaned up and we had two very tired and “empty” boys by the end of the day.

What was great was watching Nathaniel play with his cousin Bryan all day long.  Bryan is 5 and they are finally at the age where they will play with each other (and not fight).  All day long I heard laughs and giggles as they played games together. 

That night they all had a “camp out” in my niece, Brianna’s room where my sister in law told stories with shadow puppets.  All night I kept hearing Bryan say, “I don’t want them to go home!”  I agree, we didn’t want to leave either.  I totally miss having family near by and wish my kids could know their cousins well as they grow up.

Overall, it was a great trip.  We got home yesterday evening and this week we have to hit the ground running, but it was worth it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not much to report...

It's been kind of quiet here lately. Sam finished up midterms, I started out a new gig as a secret shopper (woo hoo! Free trips to local amusement venues plus a little bit of extra money for filling out a couple hours of paperwork afterwards) and the kiddos have been keeping us entertained.

Sam and I were reminiscing about when Nathaniel was Aaron's age and he would walk around saying, "gilly-gilly-gilly". It was so cute and we were sad that Aaron's choice phrase was, "dubba-dubba-dubba". Well, a couple of days ago Aaron realized that his tongue makes noise too and so he's been running around saying, "gilly-gilly-gilly". We are happy.

Sam also noticed yesterday that the boys are getting big. It took him by surprise that they are such "kids" now. It was a little sad for him (and nice for me to feel like someone else is seeing what I'm seeing).

I think for me it's this weird feeling because while they love me, they absolutely adore each other. They look at each other across the table and start laughing hysterically. I don't know what is so funny, but they do. It makes bedtime a little long because they keep laughing at each other instead of sleeping. *sigh*

Finally, I leave you with a video. I posted this on facebook yesterday, but I have to put the story behind it.

We went to Disneyland late one night as a family to enjoy our passes before spring break blackout set in. We went on the merry-go-round and Nathaniel wanted to sit on a bench so Sam and Aaron sat on a fish. I told Sam to take a picture of Aaron and so he got the camera ready to take a picture. But, it was set on video, and as he was trying to take the picture Aaron fell off of the fish. He didn't hit the ground, but my heart stopped because he slipped sideways (the seat belt caught him and Sam wasn't far behind). Yesterday when I was loading the pictures on the computer I found the video and didn't know what it was. I feel like a bad mom because I laughed so hard when I saw it (probably because I knew that he was okay). So, here it is!


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Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's hard to correct your child when all you can do is laugh until you cry.

Nathaniel's most recent favorite movie is 'The Sandlot'. For those of you who don't know, it's a PG movie about young boys playing baseball all summer. It's definitely a great "coming of age" movie. In fact, Nathaniel has totally gotten interested in baseball because of this movie and last week we spent every afternoon outside playing catch and hitting the ball around.

But, if you have ever seen the movie you would know that there is the occasional curse word, and there's the whole "let's ogle the lifeguard" scene (which I used as a teaching moment of how we do not treat girls that way and definitely right now we don't kiss girls). Sam and I had a talk earlier this week about the movie and realized that although Nathaniel hadn't repeated some of the words yet, there was always the possibility that he would, and the last thing we needed was the pastor's kid calling another kid a butt sniffer at preschool.

Tonight we had dinner with our friends and we were all hanging out in the living room. I had one of Aaron's old baby toys out for our friends' baby to play with and Nathaniel walked past me, around the toy and said quietly, "Oh sh*t".

I looked up quickly and said, "What did you say, Nathaniel?" He calmly looked at me and said, "Oh sh*t". I darted into the kitchen and about died! This was exactly what we were afraid was going to happen!

Once I actually composed myself and could speak without laughing, I got Nathaniel and said, "Hey, I know you heard that on the movie, but it actually isn't a very nice thing to say so don't say it again, okay?"

We'll see. I hope my kid isn't blacklisted at preschool!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teaching a three year old.

It's Holy Week and I'm absolutely loving experiencing the different worship services and times of remembrances that have been going on around me. From the various youth groups who got together last night to worship, to tonight's worship service at my own youth group, and looking forward to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I can say that my worship cup is overflowing.

Part of this week has been sitting down with Nathaniel and talking with him about the death and resurrection of Jesus. It's something that is an ongoing conversation in our house as we try to teach Nathaniel the Bible, but this week his memory verse was Luke 24:6 "He is not here, he has risen". So, we sat down this afternoon and talked about Jesus' death and resurrection.

Except, Nathaniel was in a squirmy, goofy mood and I was in a "I only have an hour before I have to head back to work, please for the love of God just sit down and let me do this with you since you have Cubbies tonight and I really want to do other things like play with you" mood.

At one point I found myself feeling the same way I do when my junior high students act up and don't listen to what I'm trying to share with them. Coincidence? I think not :).

Anyways, we were talking about Jesus being the boss of our lives and I asked Nathaniel what happened when we put Jesus in charge of our lives.

He looked at me and said, "I don't know" (since that is his standard answer for most things -sigh-). I said, "Well, when we trust in Jesus, where do we someday get to go?"

He looked at me with a big smile and said, "Disneyland!!"

Yup, we definitely need to keep talking about this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

They amaze me...


I love my family. I have been so blessed with an amazing husband and two amazing children. Sometimes I sit back and just want to pinch myself because of how incredibly awesome they are (and how awesome my life is, I can't believe that this is what I get to live with every day!).


Do we have our moments? YES! This morning was one of those moments where one child was whining non-stop and we were all just taking deep breaths so that we would all survive the morning. But, those moments aside, I love my family.


I love how servant minded my children are. Okay, so Aaron is still just over one and in his little mind the world revolves around him, but Nathaniel's heart amazes me.


We've been doing some local ministry with our small group on Sunday afternoons. It is hard work. Not the actual work part, but the 'getting out of our comfort zones and loving people and serving a community that's hard to love' part. There are some Sundays where I would rather just hang out with my friends in comfort and talk about the Bible than get out and serve people. But Nathaniel, he happily knocks on doors and hands out goodies to people and engages people in conversation, opening up opportunities for us to have real conversations with people. He yells in his car as we pull up to where we go, "Wait! I want to go there!" because he loves doing this. He doesn't see any difference between "us" and "them" and has the same smile for all.


I think that's what it means to have faith like a child. I think that's why Jesus loved the children and told us to accept them and come to him like a child. Because it's easy for children to love openly.


Tonight, as we were sitting in the living room watching the boys run off their sugar high, I couldn't help but smile. These two little bundles of joy were giggling happily as they ran in circles and fell down. I could tell that they loved each other very much, and that made my heart happy. At one point I caught Aaron's eye and he gave the biggest grin ever, just letting me know that he was content to run around with his big brother.


I can say that Sam and I are content as well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our job as parents.

Last night we went to Disneyland as a family. It's one of those things we like to do occasionally as a fun thing. Purposely taking the kids out right at bed time and letting them stay up late. It's fun, although poor Aaron tends to have a dazed look on his face most of the night. Kind of like, "It feels like bedtime, I'm in my jammies, WHY AM I ON A CAROUSEL!?"

Yesterday Sam and I noticed, on two separate occasions, people being absolute jerks when it came to the etiquette of line standing.

The first culprit was a mom and her two kids. We were all in line for the tram and the mom had her two small children push up as close to the front of the line as possible (ducking under people's arms and pushing around them), and then "excused" her way to the front to join her children. That was mildly annoying because they got on the tram before us and we had to wait for the next tram because of their actions. Boo.

The second culprits were, once again, in the tram line. This time we were going back to the parking structure and we were waiting in (long) line to ride the tram back. As we were waiting in line three older teenagers calmly walked past every one in line and stood in the front of the line. They openly ignored all of the tired families standing there with their strollers and ignored everyone who threw them death glares.

This opened up a conversation with Sam and I. Do we point out the rudeness and inconsideration of these people, or do we sit there and stew in our frustration with stupid people?

After we got off of the tram I said to Sam, "You know, I don't know if it's our job to point out the rudeness of others, but it definitely IS our job to raise our children not to be jerks."

He agreed.

So, I promise society that I am raising my sons to open doors for ladies, wait politely in line, and generally be a positive addition to society.

Of course, once they hit their teen years, I have no guarantees that the things they are taught will stick, but I can only hope and pray that no one looks at my kid and mutters some of the things that I was muttering under my breath last night.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sure, they play together, but they also fight more now too.

I just got back from doing our weekly grocery shopping (because apparently, having a family of four necessitates weekly shopping now instead of our usual every other week shopping). Since I'm such a nice wife (ha) I took both boys with me so that Sam could have a chunk of time to crank out some homework and study for his midterms.

He owes me. BIG time.

First stop was Trader Joe's. Usually our trips to TJ's are pretty pleasant. The boys get a snack from the sample place, Mommy gets a little coffee and we slowly browse the aisles, grabbing things we need/things that look yummy and the old ladies drool over my adorable kids.

Not today. Today people were steering clear from my clan like we had the plague. I was getting "those" looks (all moms just nodded their heads in agreement of the look I'm talking about), along with the "I'm not sure where to look" looks. Aaron was in rare form, grabbing his brother's hair any time Nathaniel came within grabbing range of the cart, and Nathaniel was super whiny because he didn't eat his breakfast and was hungry. He actually threw a fit because I put Pumpkin Pancake Mix into the cart.

sigh.

Because I was feeling extra masochistic, we went to Ralph's too. I loaded the boys into the double cart (the one shaped like a race car!) and got approximately five minutes of peaceful shopping before the children started hitting each other, pushing each other and (yes, I swear this happened) slamming each other's heads onto the steering wheels of the cart.

I hightailed it out of there as soon as I could.

Of course, as we were leaving the store Aaron so sweetly turned and waved to the store clerks.

Cue unison "Awwwww" sound.

Never again (until next week).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daylight Savings is overrated.

What do you get when you take two boys who are fighting illness, add in an insomniac mommy and throw in a time change?

Craziness at the Grummons' apartment.

Nathaniel has been coughing for over a week now and Aaron spiked a random fever last week so Friday morning saw us in the Dr.'s office waiting room (along with the rest of the world, so it seemed--seriously, it was standing room only!). After looking over my children the Dr. so kindly noted that NOTHING was wrong with the baby (the one who had run the fever the day before) and Nathaniel (who was only coughing, nothing else) had a sinus infection. Ugh. So, off to the pharmacy we went for more of that yummy pink medicine that my children seem to get at least once a year.

Saturday morning Nathaniel woke up with a fever and has been holding onto that fever ever since. It fluctuates, but it has hovered around 100 degrees. Nothing bad, but it makes him uncomfortable and a little irritable at times.

Saturday evening we anticipated the time change and tried to get the kiddos into bed early (or on time, after the change) and while that happened, they still fussed and cried for awhile before finally succumbing to sleep.

I, on the other hand, managed to stay awake until 3:30am. It didn't help that the dog next door decided to bark his maniac "I'm going to eat your face off" bark right as I was drifting to sleep. Then the boys woke up at 6:00 and it was all over.

Last night, thinking that I would get some better sleep, the boys fought sleep until 9:30 and then woke up at 5:30 because Nathaniel peed the bed and Aaron woke up with the chaos that ensued from that. Luckily, we were able to get everyone back to sleep for another hour or so (including us) so I feel a bit more awake.

And Nathaniel? Still running a fever.

Sigh.

But, an amazing thing happened this week.

The boys started playing together. Actually playing together! As in, running around and laughing with each other and building things and playing together.

It's very sweet.