...Your Daddy and I taking you to Chick Fil A to play, and you climb all the way to the top of the enclosed tower - look out the window and smile and say "Hi Mommy Daddy!" and you wave until we wave back. You smoosh your face up against the plexi glass and yell "I Love you Mommy Daddy!" before running off to go down the slide or play up in the maze of tunnels. The other parents in the room smile and "awww" and say "well, that was sweet".
...Giving you a haircut lately. You would think we were pulling your teeth one by one with no anesthetic. You cry and bawl, so bad that one time there was snot and drool everywhere. "I don't want a hair cut either" and you'll beg ever so pitifully, "I want down, please!". Most recently it went a little better, Mommy took the reins and she likes to think she was a little gentler on your head than Daddy is. We went shorter than I would have liked, but it needed to be done to even out the mess that was the previous haircut. And shorter than I like because you age at least three years when you get your hair cut, and something about shorter makes this Mommy's heart flutter. You couldn't get in the shower fast enough, you sure hate having hair on you. Afterwards we were sure to praise you for getting your hair cut like Daddy and teling you how handsome you looked. We even would have you touch your head and remark "Ooh, look how soft it is!"
...Standing on the bathroom counter and and patting Daddy's chin/face stubble and asking "Daddy, you have an owwie?". Once we told you what it was, you now remind Daddy when it's time to shave. So cute.
...Loving playing hide and go seek. Daddy will hide at night when it's dark and you will insist on getting your Mickey Mouse Flashlight and we will use it to look in every.single.room. You will scream with delight when Daddy scares you, then you will ask "Lets do it again Daddy".
...Crying because you took your big boy underwear off, and alternately crying because you don't have your diaper on. It's like you can't decide if you want to be a big boy or like you say all too frequently, "No, I too small".
...Singing your ABCs and always leaving out M and N. And saying "Now I my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me" and always leaving out the "know" part of that line.
...Singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and always starting it with and A from the ABCs. Then completely botching the lyrics, but oh-so adorably.
...Always ending a sentence with ..."right, Mom?".
...The way you bring up crocodiles multiple times a day. You are fascinated by them!
...Demanding to do things " Allll myself". Like zip your coat. Buckle yourself in your car seat. The list goes on and on.
...The fact that you can tell the difference between your right and left hand. Such a smart little kid, at only 2.5!
We love watching you grow and change each day, stay sweet little man!
There is nothing quite like a boost to your parenting self esteem. You wonder if you are doing it right, if you are giving too many options to your toddler, or if you are gently steering them the way they need to go. It's the hope every parent has, that you are guiding them properly and molding them into behaved young people.
It's definitely challenging with a two point five year old.
Every morning before I drop off Camden at school he gets to play on my phone for five minutes before I leave him. He's the most popular kid around, his friends get excited when he arrives and they crowd around to either watch him play Mickey, game, or do a puzzle.
The other day he was a bit of a mess. He wanted to sit on my lap to watch, which was a little out of the norm. I obliged, and he seemed to get whinier from there. He is normally really good about obeying and turning the phone off when it's time for Mommy to go. But that day he wanted to throw a fit, flailing his body around and hollering, pushing his peers and causing a ruckus. I had to pick him up and hold him so he would look me in the eye. As he lay there with tears running out of the corners of his eyes, begging to watch Mickey Mouse, I had to be firm with making him turn it off. I told him that he was not allowed to play on the phone with that kind of behavior. He did turn it off, but continued to cry and fuss. I had to hold him and discuss how he needed to obey to play on the 'puters (his favorite thing at school) and if he didn't obey he wasn't going to get to play. He slowed his crying to hear me tell him he would lose a privilege, and then I told him he needed to tell me "sorry". So he says in his adorably pitiful voice, "I sorry Momma". So to make sure he's comprehending what I am asking him to apologize for, I ask him to tell me what he's sorry for. He responds with an equally as pitiful, "for throwing fits".
At that point he had slowed on his crying but then started to fuss again about "not wanting to play with his friends". At that point he had to option to sit on the couch by himself without the phone, or to go play with his friends. He chose to lay on the couch. I promised him that if he obeyed his teachers and helped clean up breakfast at school he could play on the computer. (After all, those are the rules of the room). He was able to be reasoned with at this point, less tearful and seemed to understand what I was saying. He answered me in a tearful and higher pitched tone with an inflection at the end of his one word answer, "okayyy". I told him I loved him and asked for a kiss.
As I was preparing to walk out the door, one of the teachers at school said, "Courtney, do you want to teach a parenting class? We've got some parents that could use that sort of information. Or some kids that just need to be parented in the first place".
Whoa. Holy compliment!
Did that really just happen? Its definitely a boost to my parenting self esteem when I hear a comment like that. After having all of the morning staff members sit and watch me parent my kid, it's good to know that they felt that I had handled it appropriately.
I left daycare that morning with a confident feeling about my abilities. Not only from that compliment, but from the way I was able to calm C, to get him to listen and apologize, and the way he seemed like he was able to hear what I was saying. He still wasn't completely done being upset or fussing, but we made some baby steps of progress.
Now, if these little lessons in obeying would start to sink in for good...
I know I have written before about how much I love my church, but the love just continues to intensify.
I was thinking the other day about different people I have invited to church. Sometimes it's hard to invite people and not seem overly pushy. It's just that I have come to love the place so much, that I can't wait to share what I love with other people. I have people that I have invited and they turned me down, those are the ones that I continue to pray that they find comfort in Him or in some sort of support group. I continue to pray that they will one day take me up on that offer.
Then there are the people that I invite, and they come. And more often than not, they love it too! They see what my family loves about it, and often times they make it their new home. Its a great feeling being able to share something that is so important to me with others, and to see them fall in love with it as well. This not only goes for friends, but for family. It started years ago and the only person I was able to bring with us to church was my mom. She enjoyed it - and over the years we have started adding more family, including my Dad, my mother in law and father in law and my mother in law's parents. Also? My mother in law's sister started going and then her daughter started coming and so going to church is like an exciting family reunion once a week! I love that people can be just as moved as I am by the weekly messages. It's not a traditional church - so much of it is via satellite which would turn almost any person off once you hear that mentioned. But, once you try it? It's pretty awesome. And you can't help but fall in love with the people, the staff, the message.
Just recently the Senior Pastor made a visit to our campus. (Our church is one church but multiple locations. We are spread out over various states - 15 different campuses as well as pioneering Church Online.) The senior Pastor is a very busy man, so a campus visit was pretty darn exciting. (Don't worry - we have a campus pastor as well who is AWESOME, but the Senior Pastor coming was a real treat.) Pastor Craig came and spoke to a packed house, the air was electric, everyone was excited and motivated. It was amazing. He talked about growth in the past year, as our campus is only one year old. In that time we went from having two services, to eight. Seeing over 4,000 people a weekend. In one year we have had 1,667 people raise their hands to commit their lives to Christ It's just amazing the work God is doing in our community and through our church. Hearing him speak in person, hearing his emotion behind his voice and his excitement over what is going on in our little slice of the world was just powerful.
Husband and I are so proud to be part of the team. We have a list of core values that I am going to list right here.
Lifechurch.TV Core Values:
1) We are faith-filled, big thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking and safe living.
2) We are all about the “capital C” Church! The local church is the hope of the world and we know we can accomplish infinitely more together than apart.
3) We give up things we love for things we love even more. It’s an honor to sacrifice for Christ and His church.
4) We wholeheartedly reject the label mega-church. We are a micro-church with a mega-vision.
5) We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing.
6) We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive.
7) We will laugh hard, loud and often. Nothing is more fun than serving God with people you love!
8) We always bring our best. Excellence honors God and inspires people.
9) We are spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us. We are the church and we exist for the world.
10) We will honor Christ and His Church with integrity. If we live with integrity, nothing else matters. If we don't live with integrity, nothing else matters.
I want to point out number 7 and 9. I absolutely love those.
You know, it took a long time for Husband and I to take the plunge and serve at church. We were regular attenders, making sure not to miss and if we had to? We caught it online. Well, we helped to launch the campus we currently attend and in doing so, we signed up to volunteer. We love volunteering. I don't know why it took us so long, we have met so many great people and there is nothing quite like the feeling of being the church and existing for the world. We have since transitioned from being regular volunteers on the parking and experience prep side of things to being Host Team leads every other week. That may sound like a step down, but it's a step up. It puts us in charge of the entire Host Team of Volunteers for one service - coordinating about 40 volunteers that do everything from assist with parking, greeting, ushering, hospitality (we serve sweet tea, Starbucks coffee and chips and cookies and granola bars at each service) and Experience Prep for those that help reset the auditorium after services. Its a lot of people to keep track of, to email on our week and encourage them, make sure they are still going to be coming, and then before the service we check them all in, print nametags and lead a huddle. The Huddle invovles more encouragement or any news as well as leading the entire group of people in prayer. INTIMIDATING!
But? We love it. It gives us an "off week" to have less commitments and it gives us a chance to learn more names and meet more people and feel that much more involved. The networking has been so fun! It has been enjoyable serving, and I'm so glad we do it now. I'm sad it took so long, but thankful we are invovled now. And like number 6 says, it is more blessed to give than recieve. And giving of my time is something I can definitely do, and love to do.
So I just thought I would write a little about my love for my church. I love those core values, I love the people, I love serving and I love learning. And there is so much left to learn, that's for sure!
Total weight gain/loss: I think this question is just funny. Loss? Really? Who does that? Jerks. I'm up like 18. I think. I never remember to weigh in the morning which is when I originally weighed. Pretty sure that's it.
Maternity clothes?: Yes, for pants. Tops are still mostly non maternity - which is good, Mommy needs her sweaters to fit for a few more weeks!
Sleep: I can't complain in this department. I mostly sleep on my side now, and can kinda do my stomach if I'm angled. I haven't had to get up to pee as often which is a total blessing. I just need to be able to get into bed at a decent hour! Heartburn is starting to rear it's head, ignoring it the best I can.
Best moment of the week: Seeing 2.0 on the Ultrasound. Looking good, all organs are accounted for and appropriately sized, right amount of chambers for the heart, and the placenta is high and in a good place.
Movement: Yes, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep. Honestly, sometimes I forget I'm pregnant. I have so much going on and so much to do, that those little baby kicks will often zero me back in to reality. OH yes, there is a reason why my belly sticks out, I'm growing a human!
Food Cravings: Guacamole and cereal, and smoothies. I had just Guacamole for dinner a few nights this past week. And cereal on the other nights. And? I love it. Husband isn't so thrilled since he would prefer that I cook, but I'm not craving much else! Does water count? I really go through a LOT of it in a day.
Gender: Boy FOR SURE! I saw the goods at my appointment this last week, and you could see clear as a whistle it was a boy! He showed me the face, but I sure didn't see that as well as I saw the parts!
Belly Button: Still innie and will stay that way like last time, I'm sure.
What I miss: Not being so winded or dizzy when I move quickly. Also I have been doing really well at going to the gym, but when I come home my ab muscles literally HURT. I don't know if I am unconsciously trying to hold them in the entire work out so they are sore after I leave, or if the bouncing of the belly is too much. I don't remember this from last time, but I'm just being careful about it.
What I am looking forward to: Well last \week I was looking forward to my appointment. Making sure it was a boy! I got a special treat and due to weather related conditions I picked up Camden early and took him with me to reduce my driving. He was a little angel baby at the appointment, playing on my phone and obeying everything I said. He sat in the chair and played on the phone, looked up when I told him to look for baby brother, and instantly perked up when the doctor loudly played the heartbeat. It was pretty cute. And he was even cuter to me walking out. When the doctor first came in the room he brought him a sucker. Camden was excited for it and said thank you with a little prompting. On the way out, WITHOUT prompting - we walked by a man in scrubs (who was not my doctor - but it was still adorable nevertheless) and he said "thank you for sucker" and my heart. melted. right. there. What a thoughtful little boy!
Weekly Wisdom: heartburn strikes again right around 20 weeks. Awesome. Or not. Don't use pepcid cause it doesn't work.
Milestones: Past halfway! Whee!
Big C Update: He's adorable. He can tell me now that baby brother is in Mommy's belly. He knows it's not in Daddy's belly, and not in his belly. We pray for baby brother every night to grow big and strong. He's loving books and reading, still addicted to Mickey Mouse and astounding us with how smart he is on a daily basis. He still requires time outs to control himself, but he's progressing with learning how to get himself under control - unless he's super tired. He's doing well at obeying and he is honestly just such a joy. Love that kid.