a single word

I was reading a blog recently about “one little word” for the year.

I’d like to think of a word to ponder on as a reminder of where I am in God’s story this year.  Today is June 28th.  I wonder what God has in store this year.  I wonder what God can tell me with a single word.

It’s not January, it’s not the beginning of the year… but, it is the middle of the year.  I’m in the middle of this year’s story looking forward to the rest of it.  I’m in the middle of a lot of changes, a lot of waiting.  Yesterday at church, the pastor was talking about not dwelling in the past (in the shame of old sins) but looking forward to the future (as new creatures in Christ)–Phil 3. I thought that might be a nice place to start.

My brainstorm for possible words.








I’m so curious how you read each word, how each word makes you feel, and where your mind goes to when you read them.

I’ll choose one of these words next week and get back to you.

Any words coming to you?

Sunday. Beautiful Sunday

I had the most wonderful Sunday.  There is much to celebrate.  My heart felt such joy today with my family and with “Sunday” things.  We went to a new church today, and Sophia went to the big kids room.  She was by far the youngest, and I was so worried about her.  Will she wet her pants, will she cry, will she suck her thumb too much or be too shy? She did so great.  Color sheet and craft bag in hand, she left the Kingdom Kids room confident and happy.  I asked her on the way home what she did at church.  She said, “Pway, song, color, watcha t.v.”

I said, “Watch t.v.! What? What did you watch on t.v.?”

My baby girl said, “Jesus.” Then a bunch of jibberish and pointing.  This much I made out: “Jesus… Church… Watcha t.v… Jesus…”

I don’t have any idea if she really watched t.v. and whether or not Jesus was on it… Her color sheet was a picture of Jesus as a boy with the caption underneath, “Jesus liked going to church.”  She also had a paper with the Luke scripture of Jesus’ trip to the temple when he began to teach.  I think maybe she was trying to tell me about it.  (Sophia is sort of obsessed with t.v. lately.  She can tell me everything about Caillou and Dora and Brobee and Foofa… So, to hear her tell me about Jesus was the warmest feeling in the world.  I can only imagine how God’s ears must melt when He hears His name spoken by a child.  

Tonight, I decided it was time to teach Sophia to pray.  She repeated me so well.

Dear God. (Deh Goh)

I love you. (I loff you)

Thank you for today. (Cank you day)

Thank you for my family. (Cank you famwee)

Amen. (A-meh)

I’m so excited to share my faith with her.  I’m so excited to tell her about the person of Jesus and about the heart of our Father.

I hope you had a blessed Sunday as well.

Her First Shiner and a Potty Training update

Sophia got out of bed this morning, and she was so excited.  Her diaper was dry and she was about to go have her morning potty.  She yelled, “My famwees!” She grabbed all her favorite stuffed animals: Cowboy, the Mole puppet, and Pooh, and took off running for the potty.  She ran right smack into the end of the changing table.  I think 2 is the year for booboos.

Despite the year of booboos, Sophia is getting more and more brave.  I was nursing Abby this morning, and Sophia came into her bedroom.  She pushed an upside-down laundry basket up to Abby’s crib and hollered, “I go back to bed rie now!  I angree!”  Then, she proceeded to climb into Abby’s crib.   She talks ALL the time.  She’s just a chatterbox; it’s insane.  I love to listen to the sentences and words that she strings together.  She was playing a game with Abby’s crib, throwing Cowboy into it and then climbing in to rescue him.  She said, “I throw Cowboy over Abby’s bed. See look. What now? I love my Cowboy. I get him.”  I hear so many things that I say that it’s unnerving.  Yes, I say, “What now?” to her all the time when she does something, says something and then looks to me for what to do.  I didn’t realize I said it all the time, though, until she said it back to me.

We’ve also been discussing feelings a lot lately.  She’s obsessed with how we’re feeling.  She always asks, “Mommy, are you happy?”  Notice she said angry before?  That’s her new favorite feeling.  I guess we talk about how angry Abby is all the time.  (Yeah, she hollers a lot.  When she’s upset, she can scream and cry like I’ve never heard a baby cry before.  Shew, she get’s angry.)  Sophia thinks that when Abby’s angry she needs to go to bed.  We tell her, Abby’s angry because she’s so tired and doesn’t know what to do.  We seem to be doing a lot of discipline/training with her by how we look at her–happy or unhappy.  We didn’t mean to do it.  It just sort of happened.

Potty training is probably how it all started.  It threw all of our emotions (mine and Sophia’s) out of control.  For a while there, she would incessantly ask, “Are you happy?” all the time.  Right after nap, right after she did something wrong, right after I looked at her sternly, right after I looked at her questioningly.  It was driving me mad.  We’ve exited that stage, though, and she’s making some associations.  Like at night time, she has to keep her diaper on.  “Diy-pa on.  Daddy happy.”

A potty training update:  We stopped Sophia’s habit of taking her diaper off at night time by using duct tape for a week.  She loved it.  She thought it was a belt.  Then, she just got used to keeping it on and eventually made the association that Daddy’s happy when it stays on.  We’ve had a week of no accidents and dry diapers at night.  It feels so good.  I’m starting to feel like I can trust her answer of no after I ask.  She’s also beginning to act on her own urges without accidents.  It took a while.  It took longer than I thought it would, but it was easier than I thought it would be.

My advice for anyone getting ready to potty train is one word: patience. Oh, and be positive. I got some advice from this great website I found.  Nearly erything’s there.  Oh, and training panties.  Gerber training pants are great.

Here’s some other great advice I got from friends that was really helpful for us.

1)Completely get rid of diapers/pull-ups, i.e. just use underwear.  That was key with us.  That just means you’ll have some accidents and clean up.  But, you expected that, right?  By the way, if you decide to go cold turkey on the diapers, you’re going to need a LOT of underwear.

2)One way you know if your child is ready to start potty-training is if they wake up with dry diapers either in the morning or after a long nap.  That was only occasionally the case with us.  That could take the pressure off of some parents who don’t think that their child is ready emotionally or physically.

3)Lastly, when you’re first beginning potty-training put them on the potty when you expect that they need to pee and keep them there until they do.  With a book.  Read to them, and every couple of pages ask them to try.  Eventually, they’ll pee and learn how to use those muscles.  Sophia LOVED all the extra reading time and all the cheers when she was successful.

Sophia loves to dance

Mammaw: Sophia, tell Nana what you did at the wedding.

Sophia: I dance.

Mammaw: Can you show Nana how you danced?

Sophia: No, I don’t have a dress.

A post NOT about my children…

I’m in the process of categorizing my old posts, and it occurred to me that nearly all of my posts are in the category “Sophia.”  Yes, she’s 2 and she rules my life, but I do occasionally think about other things.  Here’s my latest thought with a question for you:

I just got up from lying down during the girls naptime frustrated with the way my current novel is going. I’m reading Jodi Picoult’s “Handle With Care.” It was a poorly researched choice during a recent Barnes & Noble venture.  Well, 200 pages into it, and I’m just bored and cranky.  It feels like pop trash.  Not trash like trash-y, but there’s no substance.  The writing is decent, not great.  I feel like she’s spoon feeding me plot, with predictable situations at ever corner.  Controversy and drama for the sake of controversy and drama…  The chapter’s are each from a different character’s point of view but not at all convincing that they are actually from the different character’s point of view.  Okay, this is my first Jodi Picoult novel, so I’ll not judge all of her work.  She’s got quantity for sure; somebody likes her.  But so far, I’m not impressed.

Here’s my problem.  My husband listens to my rants and says, “You can never go wrong with a classic.”  Yes, that’s his line and it has been his line for the 10 years I’ve known him.  Here’s the thing, though, I want pop without getting trash.  I want the drama and the pull of a newly written treasure without the work of wading through classic literature–that is, I’ve only got so much time (2 hours of naptime) and only so much functioning brain capacity (foggy-headed thyroid/new-mommy brain.)  The husband with the masters in literature says that finding novels like that are going to be hard to come by.

What do you think?  Can you recommend me a treasure that you’ve read in the last few years?  I’d love it if you’d leave a comment.  Tell me why you love it.

I’ll trade you. Here’s a few of my favorite novels of the last year.  (I’ve started many more and tossed them aside, finished a few others that aren’t worth mentioning, and am in the middle of a few that I can’t seem to get motivated about finishing.)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff

6-months old

Who is this precious 6-month old?

She’s my princess.  She’s sweet and particular. She’s excited and vocal.  She’s sensitive but a fighter.  She loves to holler and grab your face.  She loves eye contact.  She loves to be talked to.  She loves her sister.  She loves music.  She loves outside.  She loves variety.  When she’s tired, she wants to be put in her woombie and for you to walk away.

She’s my Abby--my princess. I thought I’d never call one of my baby girls princess, but Abby knows what she wants and she wants it that way.  And, if she’s not tired or in pain, she’s the sweetest baby in the world.

Abby pics

Discipline Blunders

I made a mistake this morning.  I’ve got a parenting problem.  When should I teach Sophia to apologize and how should I do it?

Here’s what happened.  Sophia had been attacking Abby all morning, ripping toys out of her hands.  I’m not sure that she new what she was doing other than, “That’s mine. I want it. I will take it.” After the 4th or 5th time, she wounded Abby in the process–hit her in the mouth.  Of course, Abby cried.  I think that might have been punishment enough…  But, I thought that Sophia should apologize.  About 30 minutes later, I realized that she’s not quite emotionally ready for this expectation.  Or is it that I went about it all wrong?

Here’s what went down.  After I told her to say, “Sorry, Abby,” she cried and said, “Mommy happy!” Again I asked for her to say “Sorry, Abby.” She cried and asked for her stuffed dog, Cowboy.  I told her that she could have it after she said, “Sorry, Abby.”


I said something that I then needed to follow through on.


I didn’t think that through.  She got so emotionally devastated about her “Cowboy” that she wasn’t capable of saying anything, let alone, “Sorry, Abby.” And, eventually I realized that I had parented in a way that I never want to parent–forcing an apology by keeping away her comfort toy.  Ultimate shaming.  What had I done?  But, then I was in a situation.  I needed to follow through… I have to follow through… Thirty minutes later and the help of Daddy, she got Cowboy back and we’re trying to not remember the whole event.  How did this happen that I had absolutely no idea what to do?

The thing is, I know she’s capable of saying the words, “I’m sorry.” She says it when she accidentally bumps into  you. I realize, though, that she doesn’t know what the words mean, only that that’s what you say when you run into someone.  How do I teach that that’s what we say when we hurt our loved ones?  Ah!  Discipline sucks.

Too much Sesame Street?

Sophia was drawing this morning. After drawing a few blue scribbles, she put her hand up over her mouth, “Hmm. Something’s missing.  Needs more humongous meatball.”

I said, “What? Humongous meatballs?”

She said, “Draw dinosaur. Something’s missing.  Need more humongous meatball.”

If any of my blog fans ever watch Sesame Street, then you’re probably rolling on the floor laughing.  Either Sophia watches too much Sesame Street, or Sesame Street needs some new material!  (There’s an episode of “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” in which the case is a ‘humongous’ macaroni dinosaur that can only be tamed with a ‘humongous’ meatball…)