Monday, January 24, 2011

So glad that I am still enamored with the "growing" process.

Aaron will be 2 in 3 weeks. I still have no idea when we are actually going to get to celebrate his birthday as a family since every single weekend in February one of the parental units is traveling and on his actual birthday I have the Annual Business meeting at church, which is kind of a required thing for staff to be a part of.

It's so funny though, because even though this kid is really bright (he knows some colors and some of his letters and is SUPER coordinated, giving even this relaxed mom of boys some mini heart attacks with his bravery), I still get worried about his general skills. I could be remembering this wrong, but Nathaniel was saying two word phrases by this point and Aaron is still pretty much just one word at a time (although, he does have plenty of words and never fails to get his point across). Part of it is being the second child, I think. Nathaniel really does most of the talking for Aaron. Plus, he is super content to play by himself, even going so far as to leave the room while Sam was trying to play with him one night. Sam found Aaron sitting in his bedroom reading books by himself. I guess the kid likes his alone time! (Note: I'm not worried about any developmental disabilities because he totally engages with people, looks people in the eyes, isn't afraid of touching others, etc. He has zero flags for autism or anything like that).

With that, I'm totally enjoying this season of new discoveries for Aaron. I love it when he suddenly starts saying a word clearly. Elmo is no longer "Melmo" but is actually "Elmo" (which actually makes me sad!) and Nathaniel is no longer "bubba" but "Naniel!!" (which is pretty good considering most of Nathaniel 4-5 year old friends still call Nathaniel "Mathaniel"). The parent of choice is still Daddy, but I do get the occasional cuddle time where Aaron drops all that he is doing to cuddle up on the couch with me for a few minutes. I cherish those moments because they are fleeting.

Last night we went to Disneyland and Aaron was officially tall enough to ride the Matterhorn. I was slightly nervous for him, not wanting to totally traumatize him, but Sam took him and Nathaniel and I waited on the side. I was greeted exuberantly by Aaron when he got off of the ride. He was giggling and running and pointing to the roller coaster and telling me about the monster. That makes me super happy.

Nathaniel has his moments. Last week was a rough one for the family. It's like he's taking every boundary we have ever set up for him and pushing it. We had a few days where he was lying about nearly everything, so we told him that if he lied again he would have to face the punishment (which is a spoonful of vinegar). Lo and behold, he did it again and fought us like crazy about the punishment. So, he went to bed after knocking the spoon out of my hands and then had the vinegar in the morning. Since he also was not listening, yelling at mom and dad, calling people names, and throwing fits at every turn he lost pretty much all special privileges. No t.v., no Disneyland, no friends was a pretty rough time for him. But, as soon as his attitude improved, the special things came back. After the vinegar incident he was truly repentant and the minute a lie started to come out of his mouth he quickly stopped, apologized and told the truth. He is even saying, "Mom, I'm going to pretend now!" Then begins his stories. His attitude is much better this week, and we've been quick to point it out and praise him for it. Last night after Disneyland we stopped for Jamba Juice as a treat/snack and I asked Nathaniel if it was more fun to listen and have a good attitude or throw a fit. He agreed that listening was better.

That's about it here. Sam's thinking of planning a Superbowl party since his team made it (boo). I think it will be fun and maybe we can celebrate Aaron's birthday a week early since I will actually be home from camp early in the afternoon. Hmmmm....

The pregnancy is still going well. I had some pretty bad aches this past weekend, but I think it was round ligament pains and the general "getting bigger" aches. After a few days of moving around more I feel much better and slept better too.

Oh, and as if life isn't going super fast anyways, Nathaniel's school has a new parent meeting in a few weeks! I can't believe we're prepping for Kindergarten!! (Nathaniel will be attending Bethany Christian Academy in the fall since that is where I also teach so it will be super easy to drop both kids off at the same place I work while keeping the baby with me until he's big enough for daycare/too big to not be a huge distraction while I work).

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year equals new adventures.

It's a brand new year here in the Grummons' household and we are ready to face this year head on. It's going to be super busy (I think I'm already internally panicking with everything that is taking place between now and May), but there are many adventures on the horizon.

Sam is currently doing the full time Army gig with Los Alamitos base working on setting up a Domestic All-hazard Response Team (meaning, if we have a natural disaster, we have to have a plan in place so that we don't have another Hurricane Katrina-like outcome where everyone gathers and then sits around with their thumbs up their butt wondering what to do. Sorry for the crass visual). He is also currently teaching in intro to Philosophy class for Ashford University online. The classes run for 5 weeks and can be a bit stressful at times making sure everything is up and running, but it's a nice way for him to use his degree and keep himself in the Philosophy world for now.

I'm still doing my job at Bethany Bible Fellowship and mostly loving it. I think that ministry always has a dichotomy of "I love these people so much and I love my job" and "What the heck am I doing?" feelings. At least that's what other pastors tell me. I always have to be absolutely certain that I'm tracking with my own personal studies and connecting with God before I can lead these students through the murky waters of being a Junior High student. It's incredibly difficult at times. Especially when the kids are in a "we're not listening to YOU" mood. I sometimes fluctuate between wanting to throw things at their heads or burst into tears and run from the room. I'm not sure which one would get their attention more. But, I really do adore these students. They make me laugh way more than they make me cry, and there are times where they get it. Yesterday we were reviewing the first part of Romans and I reminded them of a few illustrations that were used, and they immediately remembered the point of those lessons. It was kind of cool. In February we have winter camp, and I'm going to help with the high school winter camp as well and I start co-teaching the Bible Elective at the Academy. I will also be organizing a TON of stuff as we prepare to add another darling little boy into our family. I happen to be due right around the time of our Beach Weekend camping trip, so there is a lot of planning going into this right now so that I don't leave my leaders high and dry.

The boys are in for a huge year of adventure and change. Nathaniel is starting violin lessons this week! These lessons are per HIS request. I promise I'm not turning into a crazy parent. He's seen me playing my viola for different church events and always wants to play with my instrument. I told him he's not allowed to touch my viola, but that if he wanted to he could learn how to play his own violin. He's pretty excited (although, he suddenly changed his mind and wants to play drums. I told him he has to be 10 to play drums) and I've worked out an exchange with my friend. She is teaching him violin while I teach her daughter viola. :) Nathaniel also starts kindergarten in the fall, which is exciting, but super sad for me too. He will be at the Academy so he'll be right on campus with me most days (except for the days I don't work, then he'll be on his own). I guess I'm sad because it's a new stage and I know that once school starts, life goes zooming by.

Aaron is all set on the road to becoming a "big boy". We're going to go get a toddler bed for him this week sometime and transition him into Nathaniel's room. Along with that he's potty training (which is going fairly well!) and he already moved up to the 2-4 year old classroom in Sunday School. He turns two next month and he was the biggest kid in his class so, per the request of the nursery, he moved up. His mind is a steel trap and he is still one of the most sweet natured kids I have ever met. When he's disobeying all I have to say is, "Aaron, do you need a spank?" and he shakes his head no and stops doing whatever it is he's doing. (Time outs don't work for him, he enjoys them, but the lightest little tap on his diapered butt causes him to cry as if he's incredibly offended, so we do what works for him). I'm anticipating a little bit of a regression here since there are so many transitions happening at once, but who knows. Maybe he will surprise us! In June he will start up at the preschool at church for daycare. It will be nice to have all of the kids in one spot since I will be returning to work sometime but will be keeping the baby with me for the first 3 months.

That's about it here. Lots of changes and lots to look forward to. Hope everyone has an equally exciting new year planned! I know that many of my friends are expecting new additions to their own families, which is super exciting! 4 of us from our group of friends from high school are expecting kids. It makes me SO EXCITED! (My friends are awesome parents and they make incredibly cute kids too).

Happy New Year!!