Sunday, December 08, 2013

Sam: 57 Months

Dear Sam,

My little buddy, here we are in December, the end of another year, another month closer to your 5th birthday. It doesn't seem possible (other than the frequent additions to your ever-growing "wish list" of things you want to get). It seems like just a few Christmases ago that you were pulling ornaments off the tree, unwrapping wrapped presents with those pincer fingers, and gnawing on a turkey leg with just a handful of teeth. Now you're riding a bike, writing letters, reciting Christmas poetry and singing Christmas songs I didn't teach you. How the years go by so quickly!

all photos in this post by the incomparable Becky Fisher of Wurzbach Fisher Photography. How I love her and the way she perfectly captured you, my sweet boy.
Of course, there are the times that I wish would go by a little more quickly. Take this past month, for instance. Your Daddy described it perfectly: "It's like they (you and your sister) drank a big bowl of naughty."You've been soooooo difficult. The kind of naughty that drops me to my knees in desperation. I find myself fighting for you while at the same time fighting you. I'm broken in prayer and I'm broken in spirit. I'm poured out and tapped out. This is what makes motherhood so hard! It's like my heart is out there, walking around on two legs in the body of a four year-old boy, all the while being dropped and scarred and bruised, all in love. I know you love me, I know you desire to obey, but for reasons I can't yet see or understand, right now is just really hard.

So I do the only thing I know to do, which is to press on. To press into Christ, who is my blessed assurance in a world of constantly fluctuating emotions, momentary obedience, fleeting desires and changing affections. It is so good that HE alone is unchanging. I need a little of that in my life right now. And even though I mess up each and every day as your mom, I hope that I can somehow point you to the perfect parent, the unchanging one, Jesus whose affection for me and for you never changes.

You went from a balance bike to pedaling a bike in the course of an afternoon. After months of prodding from your Dad, you finally made up your mind to ride a big bike and off you rode, without hesitation or issue. Your Dad, bless his heart, ran alongside you all afternoon, despite it being Thanksgiving and having just eaten a large meal. Your smile and confidence was visible from far down the court as you rode your little heart out! Can't wait until Christmas morning, when you get your very own first big boy bike!

Your new speech therapist noticed right away what a talent you have for art and for building (both with great intention and precision). You've been known to throw away many a drawing because it didn't quite meet your expectations. One night this week you figured out "HO" was what Santa says and proceeded to fill, I don't know, twenty pages with HO after HO. You were SO PROUD of yourself and I didn't really have the heart to tell you about wasting paper. You are doing a lot of prereading, using context clues in books, remembering phrases, recognizing letter combinations. It's so fun. I'm excited to see all that Kinder will hold for you next year. Every time we go to school to get Maddie, you remind me that you'll be there next year. 

As part of Advent, we spent some time the other night praying and listening to God. After a moment of waiting, you said, "I asked God how humans are made and he said, 'In my image.' Then I asked him how babies are made....but he didn't answer." I laughed all night about that one. You are incredibly funny without even trying. I love it. You also are so generous with your Advent chocolate. Every night, without fail, you eat one bite of your chocolate and give the other half to your Daddy. Heart officially melted.

This month we had our family photos taken. You were quite the handful. We had to bribe you with M&Ms to get you just to hold still. I was worried that none of the photos would turn out because you were so much more interested in finding stick "guns" than you were in sitting still. I kept reminding myself that the photos capture a moment in time, not just a perfect, smiling family. When the photos came back this week, I found myself drawn to all the images of you. There you were--smiling, sweet, hands folded, eyes sparkling. These photos are such a gift, because they remind me that deep behind the crazy, chaotic, frenzied boy that is characteristic of these recent weeks is a sweet, gentle, generous boy who is a love. And I'm so thankful for these frequent reminders in the midst of it all. 

Thanks for letting me be your Mama. I love you, Sambino.



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Nursery

Evan is truly a third child. Here it is, eight and a half months after he was born, and I'm posting pictures of his room. Of course, Evan spent the first half of those 8 months in our bed, so technically, I'm only four months late. :) 

Shortly after ordering a bunk bed for the big kids, we realized that Maddie's room wasn't exactly the right size or shape for such a big bed. So the bunk bed went into Sam's (smaller, but better suited for a bunk bed) space and you were left with Maddie's previous digs and our original nursery. I didn't want to repaint. I didn't want to get new bedding. And, I had a very specific item I was working around. So it took a few months, but I'm really so pleased with the results. 

When my beloved grandma Evie (short for Evelyn) lay dying, I came across this gem in a closet in her house: Grandma's handmade baby quilt, used by my dad and both his brothers. I wasted no time in snapping it up. It's trimmed in a perfect baby blue satin that is softer than silk. The cotton backing is deliciously cozy and also so soft from years of wear. The multicolored animals are hand sewn in a black blanket stitch onto the quilt. I absolutely love that I have something made by my grandma, for her babies, that I was able to pass onto my last baby. It is the centerpiece of the room. It is also sweet that I started to refer to Evan as "Evie boy" without even intending to use my sweet grandma's nickname. He loves this blankie. Every time I lay him in the crib and layer the quilt on top, he reaches down and tugs at the satin, rubbing it between his fingers as he drifts to sleep.

I went with a pretty simple color scheme of navy and light blue with the PB Kids Madras bedding. Then I added some handmade buntings (my first. I'm pretty stoked about their cuteness). And I ordered the name banner from CM Handmade. It all came together this week and I'm just thrilled with the results. We've got an etching by Daddy, an antique dresser from Tutu & Boppa's house, and handmade bunting on one side of the room...

Baskets of books and toys and your own stuffed animals on another...

A hand-me-down crib with your new and old bedding, and a couple more buntings!

Evan likes it (even cutting those two top teeth, which means the thumb never strays far from the gums)!   Thanks for joining us for this tour of the nursery!