Currently Bubba

IMG_2159   Eating:  Cheese toast, PBJ, craisins, applesauce, vanilla yogurt, goldfish, “Daddy’s cereal” (aka Cracklin’ Oat Bran), and strawberries with whipped cream.  He’ll eat English muffin pizzas these days too, but they must be topped only with sauce and bacon bits.  No cheese allowed.  He also loves Hot Tamales.  Gets it honest, I guess.

Reading:  Before nap he was begging for When Sophie Gets Angry–Really Really Angry.  We got this book and the read-along CD from the library yesterday and listened to it for the first time before bed.  Sophie’s major temper tantrum made for an interesting discussion about good and bad choices over lunch today.  When I wouldn’t let him listen to the book again before nap (I think it was scaring him, and I didn’t want this to prolong nap time), he got really, really angry himself and did a complete reenactment of the book.  Lovely.

IMG_2158Listening:  If he’s in Daddy’s car, it’s the music from Frozen.  In Mommy’s car it’s whatever chapter book on CD that happens to be playing.  Right now–Mary Poppins.  Except that yesterday we heard Mary Poppins in about 20 second spurts.  That’s as long as it took for him to formulate a new question about her, thus forcing us each time to stop the CD again, answer, and try to convince him to just listen.  No luck there.

Singing:  Ten Little Monkeys Swinging From the Tree.  Also, approximately every tenth word when singing along with the Frozen songs.

Watching:  Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Frozen, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Strawberry Shortcake.  Daddy’s not very happy about that last one.

IMG_2137Saying:  This morning I read my Currently Bubba post from a year ago and chuckled at the fact that I was celebrating that he was finally putting two words together.  It took him a while to get there it seems, but he is certainly following Chica in his verboseness.  I couldn’t pick just one, so here are a few of my favorite things he says these days:

corny–This is what he calls any coin.  It’s his own funny cross between coin, penny, and money, I guess, and I can’t bring myself to correct him.  I admit we’ve started calling them cornies too sometimes.

A-duh-LEE–After a long weekend at the lake a few weeks ago, he started copying Grandma’s way of saying his sister’s name.  I don’t think Bubba will understand our explanation about stressing the first and not last syllable any better than Grandma did.  : )

Can you lay w’me for a widdle while?–Man, it’s hard to say no to that cuteness.

I like your wet hair–Every morning after I’ve had my shower, he says this.  I’m still not sure why.

Playing:  The marble game.  Bubba hasn’t figured out how to build with this toy yet, but he’s all about dropping the marbles and watching them roll down.  Daddy originally said he hated this toy because the approximately 347 pieces just ended up all over the floor.  But once I built a run that actually used every single piece (and left none on the floor to step over), Daddy decided he had to get in on the action too.  He totally showed me up with his design stair-stepping off of the end table.

IMG_2149Hoping:  Daddy will buy us another giant bag of Hot Tamales at Sam’s.  (Hint, hint.)

Learning:  To jump and climb….off of and onto everything!  Which means that I’m simultaneously learning to take deep breaths and pray more.

 

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Fractions of an Inch

I just finished a super indulgent, Sunday afternoon nap, and can you guess what was on my list to do first when I finally rolled out of bed? Right up there next to check Facebook, pee, and grab a handful of Hot Tamales? I’m quite surprised by my new obsession, but I couldn’t wait to go outside and take a peek at my plants.

As I walked outside in my bare feet and bed hair, I had to wonder what my neighbors might think. I wonder if they catch me strolling out there, five or six times a day, seemingly inspecting the exact same plants that were there just two hours ago. They can’t possibly be any different, can they? Except they are.

IMG_1498This time I noticed the basil. Not the almost-mature plant that I got at the market because I wasn’t patient enough to wait for some to eat. This time I noticed the teeny tiny seedlings that Papa planted from seed for us to transplant into our own bigger pots. For weeks they’ve looked seemingly exactly the same…no progress. But today, after nap, I noticed new leaves. Specifically I noticed that, just like the bigger plant a few feet away, the baby plants also have leaves that grow at right angles to each other, in perpendicular pairs all the way down the stem. There’s something orderly about the way that basil grows that I think I like.

Last week I watched with anticipation as blooms appeared on these irises and then finally burst into their beautiful, floppy selves.

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Yesterday I found buds on these super spiky stems for which I still don’t know the name. Lillies, maybe?

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Today I noticed the mystery sprouts Chica brought me for Mother’s Day are taller,

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and the once questionable beefsteak tomato plant looks like it just might make a comeback, new healthy leaves sprouting from the center.

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My daily inspections have me pondering growth these days. I’m fascinated by the tiny plants taking root in the dirt, thinking ahead of the fruit I might enjoy in the summer months. The excitement I feel over the fraction-of-an-inch growth and a new leaf or bud or two is great. But I’m constantly looking for it. Slowing down enough to look and compare and be excited.

My morning’s stroll made me wonder if I would see the same kind of tiny but steady growth in my kids if I started slowing down and looking for it. There are the physical things, like the fact that Bubba is now just tall enough to push the green button as we leave his school or dexterous enough to blow bubbles without spilling the bottle three seconds later. That Chica, when motivated, can get dressed from head to toe without it taking two eternities, or put together a 100 piece puzzle without help. But there are also the more important things, the growth I really have to watch for to realize. Like the moment when Chica just went ahead and gave Bubba the book he wanted to carry into the dining room instead of insisting on keeping the one she found first. Or, just now, when Bubba asked for a treat only 6 times (instead of 20 + a tantrum), gave up, and went willingly back downstairs to play.

And what if I celebrated that growth with them? Even more, what if I attempted to water their growth like my thirsty plants at the base of the driveway? I do know the Source of living water, after all.

As much as I am reluctant to go there, I guess I have to. Don’t you think Jesus must be watching us (er…me) with just as much anticipation, searching for that millimeter of growth to celebrate? I know my peppers and cucumbers and tomatoes and squash are likely months from producing fruit, but I keep watching, keep watering, keep celebrating. I’m tempted to think most days that He gives up watching for my growth after months of being stagnant, stuck spinning my wheels with the same regrets and promises for “once the summer comes.”

But now that I’m tending my own little garden, I’m thinking it’s not like that at all. I’m thinking He’s pleased and maybe even celebrating the millimeter steps I take towards Him once in a while. Like the apology I issued my kids after my own mini-meltdown in the parking lot of the Plaza Dollar Tree last Sunday. Or the prayer I prayed with Bubba when I realized all my own words in the world would ever be enough to help him make better choices at school. Or the grace I (however reluctantly) extended to three boys that irked me in a big way last week at school. Millimeter steps. I’d like to think He may rejoice over those tiny steps instead of just thinking that it’s never enough, always waiting for the fruit of the summer.

Maybe I should do the same.

All my changes come from Him
He who never changes
I’m held firm in the grasp
Of the Rock of all the ages

All is well with my soul
He is God, in control I
know not, all His plans
But I know I’m in His hands

All is Well by Robin Mark

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My garden companion this evening, growing bigger every day.  I love that kid.

 

Recipe for a Perfect Spring Saturday

Ingredients:

3 flat miles of creekside trail
5 tiny seedlings of mixed variety (Roma tomatoes, sweet peppers, basil, etc.)
6 classic children’s books on CD
2 dozen pieces of toddler boy clothing (YardSale brand preferred)
3 free market-fresh tomatoes
1 sweet conversation with a finally pregnant friend
6 cubic feet of potting soil
5 hideous orange buckets
4 bowls of ice cream on the porch
2 new pairs of kiddie shoes
6 clean-out-the-fridge quesadillas
80 photographs with a new camera
4 chapters of a Flat Stanley book
2 100-piece puzzles
600 papers to grade

Directions:

  1. Awake late and run three fast miles with a delightful friend. Talk non-stop about school and summer and everything in-between.
  2. Collect seedlings from Master Gardeners, in-laws, Home Depot, and the market. While these are waiting, peruse the library, childless and slowly.
  3. At the yard sale, gather a mound of 4T and 5T clothes for less than the price of one item at the store.
  4. Spot the pudgy belly of a friend while scoping out the first of summer tomatoes. Throw caution to the wind and ask. Celebrate because the fourth time’s a charm for this blessed mama.
  5. Take the whole family to Home Depot to complete Project Bucket Garden. Move quickly to combat the grumpiness that comes with no lunch and no nap.
  6. Soak in the perfect day while eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and willing the tiny seedlings to grow.
  7. Catch another whim and take both kids to get summer shoes. Pray your kid will follow through with soccer camp while buying tiny cleats, shin guards, and socks.
  8. Eat dinner with no yelling. Whatsoever.
  9. Practice with the new camera while the little people fight the tree in the front yard, David & Goliath style.
  10. At bedtime, read a book that both mom and baby girl enjoy. Work a puzzle together to fight the I’m-not-tired complaints.
  11. Leave the papers in the car. Don’t worry about them until tomorrow.
  12. Serve it up with joy. In Joy.  Enjoy.

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