Sometimes it's hard for me to like my toddler. It's easier to like and love a newborn because they don't disobey you yet. They still seem so perfect. And when you compare that to a willful 3-year-old, it's hard sometimes to not choose favorites. Of course, this is all a stage-soon, Caleb will begin showing his sinful nature and hopefully my dear Ella will become less willful as she learns more about the Savior who died for her. And hopefully her Mommy will spend more time in the Word so she too can become more like Jesus. I am so very much not like Him most of the time.
My Aunt Miriam, my dad's sister, passed away Tuesday. She battled with cancer for years. We attended her funeral yesterday. What was impressed upon my heart was the simple but sobering truth that she has finished impacting lives for Christ. Her time on earth is finished. And I believe she now has her reward. And this made me think. What about the lives I have before me every day-my two precious children. How am I impacting them for Christ? Will they be drawn to Christ by my actions and even more telling, by my reactions or will they be pushed away? I only have now. Life is short. And I want mine to count. The only way to do that is to invest in people-nothing else matters.
I want to be fully here. Embracing this stage of life. Thankful for this wonderful opportunity and yet awesome responsibility I have to train my children up in the ways of the Lord. To not be weary in well doing. God's pointed out some changes I need to make to this end and I ask for your prayers that I would be faithful to make them. That I would be diligent in this most serious task of child-rearing.
And we're desperate for a church family. We so need the fellowship, the ministry of the Word, and the service to others. We have visited so many different churches and are getting weary thinking we'll never find where we're supposed to be. Please pray that we will be open to His direction in this and will find a church home very soon.
Now about how much my Caleb has grown! He'll be 14 weeks tomorrow and weighs over 17 pounds now and is 26 inches long! He's in the 90th percentile (according to the World Health Organization charts) while our Ella was always in the 5th. What a difference. We call him our "Chunky Monkey." And he's lost most of his hair and no longer has his Elvis sideburns. He does have a nice, big bald spot at the back of his head though! He gets it from turning his head from side to side at night when he wants to nurse. That and wiggling all around are how he wakes me. He nurses about every 2 hours but at night sometimes let's me sleep for 3 hours at a time. It's really not so bad since he's still sleeping with us. Though even rolling over to let him latch on seems to take so much energy when you're in a deep sleep. And speaking of nursing, I LOVE my bebe au lait nursing cover. Now I can feel totally comfortable nursing even with Dad K. in the room. :-)
Caleb loves to grab things now-the burp cloth, my shirt, my hair! I literally have to pry his fingers away one by one. And he's cooing so much; he'll carry on a conversation w/anyone who will listen. "Gu", "Ge", "Caaah", "Huu-aa" are just some of the sounds he enjoys making.
And Caleb lights up whenever Ella comes near-as long as she doesn't get too close to his face. :-) He loves to laugh at her while she's jumping on the bed singing the monkey song. You know, "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed; 1 fell off and bumped his head...." She is my little helper. And I don't seem to appreciate how much she helps until a day like today when she's gone duck hunting w/her daddy. Suddenly there's no one to bring me a cloth wipe when I'm done pottying the baby or a fresh diaper. And she has had to sacrifice a lot. She was the center of our world for 3 years-and now she has to compete for time with a newborn. That would be hard on anyone. One of the changes I realize I must make is carving out segments during the day that are just "Ella and Mommy time." Even if we only get 10 minutes together before the baby cries, it will be special for her. I also just bought this book and plan to begin it soon with her. Another important change is getting to bed earlier so I can wake up before she does in order to have some time with my husband before he goes to work and some time in the Word.
Ella ready to go hunting!
Ella and Caleb (6 weeks old)
And I am practicing infant potty training with Caleb though the ultimate goal is not to potty train my baby faster than someone else. It's more about communicating with him by learning and responding to his cues. I'm able to catch most of his poops (he latches off while nursing to let me know he's ready to go) and do catch some pees after his naps. But considering the child pees about 40 times a day, I don't get most of them. I probably could if I really went diaper free-it would make me pay attention to him more when he's in the bouncy seat or whatever. But honestly, then I feel like I'd really get nothing done around here. He's still on the potty about 10 times a day and seems to enjoy going on it. We got a toddler insert that fits on the toilet and though it was a little big for him at the beginning, now it fits him just fine. The only problem is it's too awkward taking that with me when we do errands and if I try to potty him without it, he makes a fuss. Even if I sit on the potty with him. But at least he gets to use the potty at home which is where we are most of the time. And at least I know when he is ready to go by himself, he won't be afraid to use it.
Caleb at 6 weeks.
At 12 weeks-now a little pro!
I'm also using cloth diapers though I do supplement sometimes w/disposables (White Cloud brand-why I ever thought I had to have Pampers, I'll never know. These are so much cheaper and work just as well. You were right, Cil!). Kimberly let me use her Fuzzi Bunz that she used for awhile on Jonathan and I love them. I have a couple Bum Genius as well and some prefolds but prefer the Fuzzi's. There's no toilet dunking-since he's just on breast milk now, they can just go straight into the wash-even with poop on them. When he starts on solids, I'll probably invest in a toilet sprayer. And I'm using cloth wipes-why not-I just throw them into the wash with the diapers. Since Kimberly is due with her 2nd in June, I'll have to look into getting some of my own Fuzzi's soon. Unless of course, Caleb decides to walk and take himself to the potty faithfully by the time he's 8 months old. Ha!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!