Tuesday, May 4, 2010

praying for our bodies...

yes, it's another blog entry about praying, but this is too good to not share.

tonight mike was praying with the girls while he put them to bed and calla starting praying for their bodies.

thank you, Jesus for my body.
thank you for mom's body.
thank you for greta's body.
thank you for daddy's body.
thank you for dad's long tail.

i don't think you need me to explain what the "tail" is.


while i'm sharing callaisms, i don't want to forget these two:
1) you bird-ed (her version of "you burped")
2) while singing "grand ole flag" (yes, we are very patriotic around here these days), instead of singing "it's a high flying flag" she sings, "it's a highhhh-ing flag".

i know these pale in comparison to praying for a "tail" but i don't want to forget them.

and then there were five!

i can't imagine there is anyone who reads this blog who doesn't know the big news yet...BUT...just in case...we've had ourselves a BOY!

Samuel Michael Johnson was born April 18, 2010 at 4:09pm. 6 lbs, 6 oz, 20 inches long and every single part of him is perfect! we are loving having a boy. i'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a hard transition (think lots of high fevers, sickies, jaundice, emotions flying all over the place, etc), yet with all the chaos going on we are trying to soak up every minute of our new baby boy. and he could not be more perfect. we are so thankful to have a healthy, happy (we are getting lots of those newborn baby "smiles") baby- it's going to be fun watching him grow up with his two older sisters. it definitely feels like our family is complete with Samuel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

but MoM!

a few days ago greta came to me wimpering about a scratch on her face. i looked at her check and saw a line that was welting up and blood was showing. i asked greta what happened and she said, "calla scratched me." when i asked calla about it, she responded with, "but mom- i didn't scratch greta, i was just trying to pull her hair!" once again, at least they're honest!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

fierce determination

greta is a girl who sets her mind to something and doesn't stop until she accomplishes her goal. case in point- about a week ago she decided she wanted to learn to snap her fingers. she started with "snapping" her thumb and pointer finger. we showed her the right way to do it and she practiced...and practiced, and practiced, and practiced...and after a week of practicing she did it! seeing the satisfaction on her face was priceless, she was so proud of herself. after reaching this goal we were driving to school while she practiced her new-found skill of snapping, making sure she had it just right to show her friends. now we have the - "it's fun to share these things with your friends, but be sure you're not bragging..." talk. i have a sneaking suspicion that while at school there might have been some bragging going on!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

yellow tooth

the girls have developed this habit of waking up together and climbing in bed with us in the morning. it's their "wake up" call to mom & dad (usually by 7am every morning). a few days ago we were in this morning routine and greta suddenly said, "mom- you have a yellow tooth. dad, look, mom has a yellow tooth!" she proceeded to point to my canine and said, "see, it's yellow." looks like all my coffee drinking is catching up with me. time to break out the crest white strips. nothing like a 5 year old to tell it how it is!

Monday, March 1, 2010

moving, the willamette, and mary

we have had a whirlwind several months, which all culminated this past weekend with our move from corvallis to portland. mike got a job in portland and we are staying with my folks until we figure out a house. we spent the past weekend moving all of our things to a storage unit & then cleaning up our cute little bungalow- oh, how we loved that little house on 7th street. even though we were busy moving & cleaning, we had a wonderful time with friends- we are SO thankful for our corvallis community & will MISS it (we're glad it's driving distance!!!). so that is the story of moving (a brief version- there were lots of tears shed, frustrating moments of "what the frick are we doing!?!?!", and of course the task of packing- i so hope our next move is into a house which we will live for a long, long time!)...now come the funny stories.

as we were pulling out of corvallis last night greta started yelling, "GOOD BYE CORVALLIS!" "we will miss you corvallis!" "we will come visit soon corvallis!" then as we were crossing the bridge over the river she said, "Good bye Willamette River" then quickly, "wait a minute, i don't need to say good bye to the willamette river, it travels all the way to portland!" hello smarty pants!

today's story is one of my all-time favorites though. calla and i were at tj maxx buying some gifts and as we were checking out in line calla says (keep in mind, she has no indoor voice), "mom, look, it's mary." i look back in line and there is a woman with a blue head covering, her whole face showing, who did look just like a 3 year old version of mary from the bible. the woman clearly could hear us so i said, "yes calla- she is beautiful." and calla responded, "mom, she looks like mary. she looks beautiful." i was pleased to look back, smile at the lady and see that she had a huge grin on her face- no offense taken. whew. much better than last week when calla saw a woman with rather long, big, puffy gray hair walking down our street and said (again, loudly), "mom- look- she has CRAZY hair." and then she proceeded to laugh hysterically. that- not so sweet, today- very sweet, both totally innocent. i am daily reminded how much i love this age, both the good & the "bad."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

cutie pie

somewhere along the way mike started calling greta his "angel girl" and calla his "cutie pie". and somewhere along the way calla took the cutie pie to heart, to the point that she prays that God makes her a cutie pie (regularly) and announces it loud & clear to all who will listen. tonight we were watching the game with neighbors, when she declared- "i'm a cutie pie and can talk all day!" oh boy, we'll have to make sure she doesn't get too big of a head on those cute little shoulders! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

they are only little once.

I found this today and love it...words to live by with young kids. as we potty train calla & teach greta to read i need to enjoy every moment of it. even the poop in the underwear accident & the "please, can we read right now?" (while i'm in the middle of making dinner). we love these girls & butter baby (as the girls refer to the bun-in-the-oven).

"On Being Mom" by Anna Quindlen

If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of dark bangs and the black-button eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringletsand the high piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin. All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past. Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I susp
ect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations -- what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed onhis bellyso that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is te
rrifying, and then soothing.Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can ta
lk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all
insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons...What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

calla's prayers

for whatever reason it seems we have a lot of posting about prayers, which must mean our children are very holy- right? :) whatever the reason, last night i was listening to calla for about 30 minutes as she rambled prayers in her room (it was way past her bedtime, but i enjoyed listening to her so much i let her keep going...).

just to give you an idea of her ramblings...

"dear god, please pray for my daddy, and for my grandma get better, and pray that i go to bed and stay in bed, and for going poops and pees on the potty. amen."

the girl kills me!