Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It is Well with My Soul

It has been a long week with Peter. He is not sick. He has gotten plenty of sleep. Yet he has been absolutely contentious from morning until night. I'm irritated and exhausted with the whole thing, and when he had three tantrums before 7:00 a.m. this morning, I was ready to shut myself in the bathroom and not come out.

Then I went to church, where we sang "It is Well with My Soul." Knowing that this hymn was written by a bereaved father after the death of his four daughters put my trial in perspective. If he can find the peace of God, then certainly so can I:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come

Let this blessed assurance control
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

My sin, 0 the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but in whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 0 my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

Friday, October 24, 2008

Move Over, Jackson Pollock

You'd think, as a former art major, that I might have pulled out the paint for my own child before now. But the cobbler's son has no shoes.

I'm a nut for homemade Halloween costumes, though, so it was fun to involve Peter in the making of his Indian costume. Final product soon to be displayed.


Monday, October 20, 2008

A Mother's Weaning

It is my goal to get Peter out of his smocked jon-jons by his 3rd birthday, four months from now. It certainly doesn't help me that all his longalls from last winter still fit. As incentive, I've made Peter a slew of long sleeve t-shirts with smocked inserts and matching pants. Ironically, though, my favorite new ensemble for him is an applique top and pants that I made to go with a sailboat sweater I saw on ebay.

Here is GQ Junior:


Much as I like this, it still broke my heart seeing him off to school this morning. Tall as he is, he looked like a four-year-old when he turned his back. Sniff...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Pleasure of Disagreement

We're starting a new phase.

"We're going to the park this morning," a statement that would usually be greeted with glee, is met with, "I don't want to go to the park."

Oh, really?

"Okay," I say, "We'll just stay home."

"I want to go to the park," he responds.

In the past 72 hours, we've had this same conversation about 20 times, just insert a new subject into the blank.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thoughts on Temperament

In a lot of my reading, I've noticed that most authors seems to take either a positive or negative approach to personality traits. Either a child's strong will is seen as something to be conquered or it's viewed as the persistence that will enable that child to one day cure cancer.

As a Christian, I agree and disagree with both viewpoints. All of us have tendencies that lead us to sin, and those same tendencies can be used for God's glory.

Yet at times it has been hard to believe that. In his first six months, Peter's perseverance against my determined efforts at sleep training seemed nothing more than a thorn in my side. His perseverance in refusing solids until almost nine months seemed nothing more than a thorn in my side. His perseverance in crying for the entire duration of my absence every time I left him for his first year and a half of life seemed nothing more than a thorn in my side.

But lately, finally, I am seeing his perseverance used in a positive way. At church recently, his Sunday School teachers were impressed that he spent fifteen minutes helping them clean the room, while his peers got so easily distracted. While subbing in another one of his classes, I noticed that Peter focused on the teacher for the entire duration of Circle Time, while other kids were easily distracted by nose picking and the velcro on their shoes.

Peter can stick to a task. When it's learning a new skill or following through with a teacher's instructions, it's awesome.

Of course, when that task is throwing a tantrum, it stinks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Operation Time Change Update

Dare I jinx things by sharing that, for the past three mornings, he's slept until 6:20? I'm going to keep the alarm there until the end of the week, then try and get to 6:30. And I've now decided that 6:30-- which will soon amount to 5:30-- is the perfect new wake up time for introducing a new baby. It doesn't seem quite as early as 5:00, but it will allow us an extra 30 minutes in the morning.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I can hardly bear early Christmas talk, but with a baby due in November, I'm shopping now. As in, tonight. And I'm riding the Etsy train.

The prices are great as far as handcrafted items go, since you take out the middle man. My favorite store is Grandpa John's Wooden Toys, with Clickety Clack not far behind.

As for the new baby, I'm inspired to make some toys of my own, sort of like these.

Monday, October 6, 2008

5:00 a.m. is Awfully Early

And if I can't get Peter to sleep later, that's what time he'll be waking when the clocks change on November 2. Two days before my due date.

Since putting him to bed later has always proved fruitless, and putting him to bed earlier a la Weissbluth fails us too, my magical solution was to re-train him on the alarm clock. Rather than waking himself up, the alarm would wake him up. I started at 5:55, then added a couple of minutes every day. I even sweetened the deal by telling him that he would get a prize for staying in bed until the alarm goes off (each day he gets a car or truck cut from a fleece scrap).

This worked great for over a week. I considered myself a genius. We made it to 6:15.

But for the past three days, he's regressed. I hear him wake at 6:00 and sing to himself until the alarm goes off fifteen minutes later. Impressed as I am with his ability to wait things out in his bed, that is not the goal. And I'm all out of ideas.

So we may just be waking early this winter, as we did last winter. It may even be for the best. As it is, with Peter waking at 6:00, we have just enough time to accomplish all we need to do-- and at a leisurely pace-- before leaving for school. But once the new baby is here, I'm going to have one more mouth to feed, one more bottom to dress, one more person whose needs I cannot fully fathom now. The extra hour may serve us well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Praying with Peter

For the past couple of months, Peter has sat on my lap while I pray through the Lord's Prayer, adding my own intercessions under the appropriate "category." While I don't invite him to join in, Peter does sometimes suprise me with his own interjections. A few weeks ago, when I said, "Forgive us our trespasses", Peter said, "tantrum at Mrs. Barrett's house."

This morning, when I said, "Thy kingdom come," he added, "Thy kingdom come in Curious George's life."