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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Tribute to Ethan's 2nd Birthday

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October thirteenth marked yet another year of life with our son, Ethan. Duane and I often look at each other in amazement at his dare-devil approach to life and his ability to turn on the charm in a split second!

Just the other day, Melina had one of her girlfriends sleepover. She is tall, blond and beautiful... we laughed in amazement as Ethan found a little toy flower and gave it to Melina's friend with a little coy smile! This he did NOT get from Duane... hee hee hee!

He is slowly learning the art of self-control (something I am still trying to master when I know cookies are in the house). Anika and Ethan have been playing beautifully together but every now and again, what seems like a great time for them quickly turns into what looks like a cat fight between declawed cats! They begin yelling and wacking each other's heads and will sometime even take turns! Anika will smack him on the head while Ethan just stands there, then he'll reach out and smack her on the head while she just stands there, etc... I am doing my best not to start laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing looks! Eventually, I finally intervene and remind them that this is NOT how we treat each other.

"Ethan, say sorry to Anika for hurting her body."

"Sorry, Anika"

"Anika, you say 'okay, thanks Ethan'."

"Okay, thanks Ethan."

"Now Anika, you say sorry to Ethan for hurting his body."

"Sorry, Ethan, for hurting your body."

"Okay, Ethan... now you say 'thanks Anika'."

"Thanks Anika."

"Now remind each other that you LOVE one another."

"I wuv you, Ethan."

"I wuv you, Anika."

And the two give each other a great hug and sometimes even a kiss on the head where they smacked each other!

However, the other day, I could sense that the two were building themselves up for another cat fight and luckily I walked into the room to watch Ethan winding up for a big smack on Anika's head. He stopped in his tracks, looked at me and said,

"Mommy, can I smack Anika?"

"No, you may not smack Anika."

Slight pause for a moment... and then with his hand still wound up he said, "Mommy, can I smack YOU?"

"No, Ethan, you may not smack Mommy. How about you go smack that big soccer ball and see how far it can go?"

And thankfully, Anika was spared a whack on the head and I successfully held back my snickering. And I was impressed with my son for stopping himself in his tracks before initiating a fight... a self-control so few of us possess even in our "wise" age!

Another funny incident recently was that of Duane growing a beard for the month and a half he had off after Sivana was born... well, growing the beard wasn't the funny incident (completely). Ethan LOVED Duane's fuzzy beard and once again I was able to refer to the two of them as "itchy" and "scratchy" as I watched Ethan rub his head against Duane's fuzzy face like a cat against a scratching post!

The funny incident was when Duane shaved his beard after the kids went to bed and was the one to greet them first thing in the morning. I could hear over the baby monitor the whole interaction...

"Good morning Ethan and Anika!" said a chipper daddy.

Long pause and hesitation... and then Ethan's voice "Daddy, what's wrong with your face? You have a funny face!"

"Ah gee, thanks Ethan."

"Daddy, you have funny face!!"

"Yes, Ethan, you pointed that out already. Now come see daddy."


And with that, Duane and Ethan required a little more re-acquainting before Ethan would go to his daddy, given his new funny face.

Lastly, (because I really could go on forever) is the fact that my dear sister Linda (who has been living a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle these last few months) found a cake recipe that was actually edible! Not only edible... it was DELICIOUS! And what we call, Ethan-kosher!

So with that, our son was able to enjoy his very first birthday cake, which he told EVERYONE and ANYONE about for the last month!

"I had BIRFDAY cake!!! I had CHOCWAT Birfday cake!!! I WUV it!"

And when we celebrated his birthday with Duane's family, he was gifted with the most perfect mini firefighter suit and some toy tractors! Our mini firefighter/farmer! He actually lay on the floor (wearing his costume) and just rolled those tractors back and forth quietly for nearly forty-five minutes! Quiet and still for forty-five minutes!! This is a miracle, folks!

On that note, I bid you adieu as I smile gratefully for the adventure in my life that I call "Ethan". And I reflect on how far he has come and how much he fills our family with shaking heads while laughing.

Much love to you all out there!!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Hubbub of life & attempts at prayer

Alright, now before you think there is not anything beautiful to "seek" around here, let me confess that I did not in fact get around to taking some beautiful pictures around the farm since my last post.  As always, "life" swept me up and every time I thought of it, I was in the middle of cooking, or running out the door for something, or changing a diaper.


I am in awe of the mothers out there who manage their time effortlessly.  Or maybe it's with a great deal of effort and self-discipline on their part... something that seems to be lacking in my life right now given the amount of rice puddings I have consumed over these past two weeks... sigh (again).

Even my conversations with God are so fragmented:

"Heavenly Father, I know I complain about... ETHAN, GET DOWN FROM THERE!... how busy my life is sometimes but I want you to know... (sniff) AH WHO JUST POOPED??... that I am truly "OUCH! WHO LEFT THE TOY ON THE STAIRS??... appreciative of the fact that my life is... HEY! I SAID THAT WAS A "NO" CUPBOARD!... truly blessed with the abundance of... MINA, CAN YOU PUT ANIKA'S PANTS BACK ON?... excitement and plethora of beautiful children.  Instead of complaining, I should be... SHOOT!  CAN SOMEONE GIVE IZZY HER WATER?... praising you for the gift of... WHY IS THE FLOOR WET HERE?? ANIKA, DID YOU NOT LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AGAIN??... MINA, GET THE PAPER TOWEL!!... ok, God, where was I?  Oh yes, praising you for the gift of... YES ANIKA, YOU HAD CORN IN YOUR POOP.  THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW... the gift of... ETHAN, NO MUDDY BOOTS IN THE HOUSE!... thank you God for the gift of... for the gift of... ARGH!  Honestly God, I cannot remember what I was trying to say.  Is it enough to thank you for knowing my heart at this phase in my life??  WHO LEFT BANANA ON THE FLOOR WHICH IS NOW ON MY FOOT???!!!  Sigh... Amen.  Sorry God, I guess I'll try to connect with you again later."

Honestly, by the end of the day, my brain starts hashing through all the conversations that were started but never ended and I wonder how many other people live in this lovely world of "intentions".  It is like the tower of Babel all over again!  Or at least a mother's version of it!

But even in the midst of all the chaos, Melina helped remind me of the beauty of it all the other day when she asked me, "What is the best part of being a mom?"

And in that moment (while two little ones were running around making a racket, the baby was nursing and Isabel's feeding pump alarm was going off) I shut my eyes and thought about it.  There was so much to love about being a mom and finally I spoke these words (over the calamity of Ethan yelling about his toy firetruck falling over)...

"I think the best part about being a mom is being witness to all the stages of life of these precious children of God!  I get to watch you guys discover God's creation... how gravity works, how the little ones discover logic (mom, if this is my pee-nis, is this my poo-nis?) - while pointing to bum, right up to the stage you are at now, Melina.  Watching you discover the various aspects of truth and opinions to choose what your own values are going to be.  I get to play a key role in each of you discovering 'life'.  I just pray I do it in such a way that brings glory to God."

So when I am whirling with exhaustion from the hubbub of another day, I know this is just a season in our lives right now and all too soon, these precious lives will be grown and gone and I will be longing for the day when I did not have a moment's rest... when my life was wrapped around serving these precious lives with all of my heart and abilities.

My life story has an ending and life will continue through the story of my children... or rather, God's children whom He has trusted in my care... and I hope that I can face my ending with readiness and acceptance that my life has been full of God's grace and abundant in the joys of life.

And my prayer for you today is that you take a moment in the hubbub of your own chaos to reflect on what has filled the pages of your life story... that you can smile at what has made you who you are and that you can give thanks to a brilliant Creator who took the time to write that book with you.  My love pours forth from these words to find you wherever you are, to love you as my brothers and sisters in God's creation.  Bless you all!!