Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lauren's First Prayer.......and other Lauren updates

Yesterday, (January 27th) Lauren said her first prayer. We were about to eat our lunch when I asked the kids who wanted to bless the food. I have asked Lauren a couple of times in the past but she always gets shy and shakes her head "no." Today when I asked her she actually said "yes." She gave the sweetest little prayer. I love the way she says, Heavenly Father (sounds more like "Fader") and thank you "tink ooh." She was quite pleased with herself and after the amen, "ahhhhh men," I ran to grab my camera to take a picture of this moment.

I've been meaning to write down some of the other cute things that she's been doing recently. Along with gathering some pictures to remember her at this age (28 months old).

Lauren recently made the switch out of her crib and into a regular bed. After family prayer and scriptures Aaron will put her to bed while I read a chapter to the boys in their room. For the first couple of months she would stay in her bed and go right to sleep but now that she has learned how to get down off her bed on her own AND open her bedroom door she will frequently sneak into the boys room while we're reading. She'll slowly open the door and peak around the corner with this guilty little face looking for approval to come in. If she's quiet I'll let her stay but lately when I go to put her back in her room (after the boys are tucked in) she reaches her arms out for her brothers and cries with little tears in her eyes "I wanna sleep in JoJo's bed"....(or Jacob or Ben-whoever she's feeling attached to that night).

So we started letting her take turns in the boys beds (because they were arguing-and sometimes crying over who got to sleep with her). At first she was sleeping in their room only once or twice a week but recently it has become almost every night. So (because Aaron said so-I don't really care) (; we started getting strict with her and this past week we've been making her sleep in her own bed at night. It's funny though because the last couple of nights after I've read to the boys and tucked them I'll go downstairs and a few minutes later I'll hear the pitter patter of little footsteps over to the boys room. When Aaron and I go up to check on the kids before we go to bed we usually find her asleep in one of their beds.

Lauren loves to wear a "Pitty Dresh" (pretty dress). She has started taking her clothes off and getting herself dressed in skirts and dresses several times throughout the day. Sometimes she'll even put on her see-through slip, (and nothing else)-she's started taking her diaper off and going on the potty but not putting it back on before I notice.

She also likes to wear all of her necklaces at the same time. Not just one. She will put on her shoes (or mine) and clomp around the house with her necklaces, shoes and sunglasses (or other unique combinations of accessories). It is pretty cute.

he also asks me to "make her pitty" which means she wants me to do her hair. Sometimes she will make herself pretty by getting the same squirt bottle that I use on her hair and taking the brush to her soaking wet sprayed hair.

Ben has also taken an interest in doing his little sister's hair. He went through a phase recently where he would ask her, "Lauren, do you want me to make your hair pretty?" I'd find them in the bathroom or on the floor somewhere with a brush in Ben's hand doing her hair. So sweet!

Before Lauren got her Baby stroller for Christmas she was known to push her babies around on a little kiddie car that we have. She would push them around the house proudly and (when they fell off the seat) she'd start crying in frustration, "Baby fall down, help Mama, baby fall down!"

Lauren has quite a sweet tooth. When I'm cooking or baking something she ALWAYS wants to be right up there with me helping. I think it's cute how she wants to help but when I'm making cookies or something sweet she is TERRIBLE at getting into the brown sugar or chocolate chips. It cracks me up to hear her say "shoogah" (brown sugar) and "chawk wet" (chocolate) and "tandees" (candy). One time I caught her in the bin of brown sugar with carmalized sugar on her "scooping hand" and her mouth, cheeks and lips completely covered in sugar. She will look up at me with a smile and say, "Mmmmmm, that's nummy!!!"

Lauren has also started hopping up and down any time she gets excited about something. Sometimes she'll even flap her little arms. For example if she asks me for some juice and I say yes, (which is rare) she will start hopping up and down happily the whole time I'm filling up her sippy cup.

She has also started enjoying cartoons of her own. I guess the only one she really watches is Blue's Clues (I have old VHS tapes from when the boys were little that I'll put on for her almost daily). She will frequently come up to me during the day and ask if she can watch a "Boos Coos." It's pretty cute.

A proud little girl after her first prayer.
(She's growing up so fast!) ):

Monday, January 19, 2009

A savored "Last"

n Sunday during sacrament meeting Jacob was sleepy. He was sitting to my left trying to get comfortable up against the end of our pew but was not having much success. I prompted him to come closer so he could lean up against me. After a few minutes of shifting and settling up against my side he climbed up onto my lap, brushed my hair back from off my my shoulder and lay his head down to rest. I rocked him gently, scratching the back of his white shirt and resting my cheek against the side of his head.

The realization hit me as I was sitting there in that moment holding my oldest son that this was probably one of those "lasts." I savored every moment thinking of how much he has grown and remembering the sweet little baby and toddler boy that had climbed up into my lap hundreds of times before and sat in much the same way. I could not hold back the sweet tears as I held my growing boy who all too soon will be a young man.

Years ago I bought a children's book that has left its mark upon my mother heart. It was that book that came to my mind as I sat in that moment holding my son in my lap. I felt such love for him and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for not just giving me that special moment but helping me to realize that it will most likely be his last.

I share this book with each of you in the hopes that we as mothers may hold onto those potential "last" moments and celebrate and savor them as much as we do their "firsts."

Would I have held on Longer
(from the children's book "Let Me Hold You Longer")

Written By: Karen Kingsbury

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.....

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips.
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.
The last night when you woke up crying, needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you'd marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if I'd know they were your last?

Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten, those last days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-will I recognize your lasts?
The last time you catch a frog in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images will represent your past.
I kept on taking pictures, never quite sure of your lasts....
The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle with a book, just me and you.
The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.
The last piano lesson, last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days that haven't come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss today's sweet, precious lasts....
The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that "yes," your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.
My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass.
I want to hold on longer-want to recognize your lasts...

The last time that you need my help with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high-school team.

I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning, you'll be going far away.
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed.
I'll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.

Thank you Karen for your inspired words. You have truly opened our minds and hearts to help us all look at our mothering in a whole new way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Joseph's new trick

Joseph has been entertaining us lately with what he calls his "midget man." He learned this trick one night from our babysitter and has been proudly showing it off to anyone and everyone who comes over to the house.

Bowling with the Boys

The boys are always asking to go bowling. You can bribe them to do just about anything if you tell them we'll go bowling afterward. A good example of this was on Saturday. Aaron was out of town visiting his uncle in the hospital and the house was getting pretty messy. I told the boys that I wanted to clean the house top to bottom and get all their laundry done. So while I cleaned the other rooms they busily cleaned their bedrooms, picked up the toys in the playroom (quite a project when it hasn't been done for a few days) and sorted, washed, dried and folded all their laundry then put it away. (These days that's about 4 loads for a weeks worth ).

Here are my hard working boys folding their laundry......JoJo does all the pants, Jacob does the shirts and Ben helps me with the socks, underwear and pajamas. They actually started folding their own laundry a couple months ago and it is a lifesaver. They each are in charge of one thing and they fold up their pants, shirts,etc. into 4 piles (one for each kid) and then when it's all done they are each responsible for taking their own clothes piles upstairs and putting them in in their drawers.

Soooooo, we finished by 5pm, headed to Wendy's drive-thru for a quick dinner (another fun treat) and then headed to the bowling alley. I was not surprised that they had a blast but I was surprised (and SO happy) that Joseph got first place this time. Ben actually took second followed by Jacob and then me. They were all playing to win and kept looking up at the monitor after they would bowl to see how many points they got and how that compared to each other's scores.

Here is a funny clip of Ben after one of his sets. (the quality isn't very good because it was taken on our camera) but it's still so funny to see how into it he gets. He cracks me up!

Here are some more pictures of the boys
(we are lane 6).....

Jacob hooting and hollering after a spare.

Ben jumped up and Koala hugged Jacob after hitting down 9 pins with one bowl. It was so cute!

The boys "schooling" Ben with a strategy for how to get that last pin.

Joseph in utter exhilaration after bowling a strike on only his second set.