Thursday, June 25, 2009

LOTS of Pictures

Andy, Caedmon, and I recently enjoyed a trip to Michigan to visit Andy's family. This was our first time to see them in almost a year. It was such a great trip! The pictures below are from our time with Andy's mom. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at Andy's mom's house so I don't have ANY pictures of our time with Andy's dad's side of the family. Sad times. I'm hoping that I get some via email and, if so, I'll make sure to post those later.

Caedmon refused to ride in his stroller through the airport because he was so excited about his new suitcase. He's wearing his pajamas because we took the red-eye.

James, Samantha, & Leah

Carrie & Chelsea

Grandma Marcy & Caedmon

Pete, Andy, & Caedmon

Andy with his brother Dalton
(playing with the iPhone)

Andy's other brother, CJ, is the one in white.
He pinned both of his opponents in less than a minute!

Caedmon The Giant Hot Dog
at the Henry Ford Museum

CJ & Caedmon

Me & my boy

Riding the Carousel

The family outside of Greenfield Village

Andy's other brother, Josh with Caedmon
(I know, I know, he's got a lot of brothers!)

Group shot at dinner

Marcy with her boys
4 sons and one grandson
I'm her only "daughter" so I get spoiled!

Grandma Marcy says she gets to spoil Caedmon a lot whenever she sees him because she doesn't get to see him that often. Every time I turned around it seemed she was giving him another present or some ice cream or something! She's an awesome Grandma!

Me, Andy, Josh, and Jamie

Andy's Birthday

Andy's 28th birthday was June 15th and we celebrated it 3 different times! The first time was with some of our friends here in California. The next two celebrations were with his family on our recent trip to Michigan. Below are pictures of our very yummy dinner at Claim Jumpers, where over-eating is an art form.

The Santos Family

In this pic starting on the left side: Elaine, Rebekah, Archie, Filipe, Mandy, Lily, Caedmon, Andy, Calvin, and Jennifer

Caedmon saying, "Cheeeeeeese"

Red Velvet Cupcake...Mmmmm!

I love my man!

Andy ate that whole thing by himself! (j/k)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Raising a Strong-Willed Child

I've been having a rough time with Caedmon the past few weeks. He's 2 years 9 months old and extremely strong-willed. He typically does well in public (which is a huge blessing) but when it's just our family, it can get pretty ugly.

I don't want to go on and on with all the details of issues that we're struggling with (mainly revolving around obedience and self-control) because that would be depressing and perhaps boring to read. But I've been living it every day, every minute, and it has been exhausting.

I did want to tell one story, though. Not so that you would feel sorry for me (or judgemental of me, whichever side of ditch you fall into), but because I know that there is probably another mom out there who is at her wits-end and just needs a little company and encouragement.

Yesterday I was putting Caedmon down for his nap like I've done every day of his life. Lately, going down for a nap has turned into something similar to an arm wrestling match between Caedmon and me. I think he's getting close to no longer needing a nap, but he's a bear without one so I'm trying to hold onto it as long as I can. We went through our naptime routine (potty, brush teeth, read book) and then I closed his door and hoped for the best. It was another day of Caedmon getting out of his bed multiple times and me having to go back in there multiple times to spank him and talk to him. (Yes, we believe in spanking...don't be so shocked!)

The last time I went in, I sat on his little stool and held him as he kicked and screamed and tried to slap me. He was facing me and I had his arms restrained down by his sides. He would start to get quiet but then get going again. I just stared at the wall not knowing what to do or what to say. I kept running over all of my options in my head and couldn't think of anything brilliant or magical to calm him down and make him go to sleep. I felt so inadequate in that moment. I'm his mom. I'm a pastor's wife. I majored in early childhood development. I've read a ton of parenting books. I should know what to do. But I didn't.

So we just sat there. Caedmon screamed and kicked and slapped. And tears ran down my face as I stared at the wall trying to maintain my composure. Finally, after maybe 15 or 20 minutes, Caedmon wore himself out and went to sleep. So I went out in the hallway and just sobbed...thinking, "I can't do this. I'm not even sure if I want to do this. What am I doing wrong?"

Last night I recounted the days events for Andy and I said, "I don't think I have the strength to face him tomorrow." Andy said (with compassion in his voice), "Yes, you do." And we both knew that was true.

I don't know what exhausting circumstance you're facing in your life right now, but there is a God in Heaven whose strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He gives us wisdom when we ask of Him (James 1:5) and grants us more and more grace to sustain us (James 4:6). He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29) and rest to those who feel burdened (Matthew 11:28)

I did get one thing right yesterday: I am inadequate. But I serve a God who is MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Uncle Teve

My brother, Steve, is in town for a training event with his job! Yea!! Haven't seen him since we moved to California last August. He flew in last night and we went out to dinner at The Counter. Best burgers in San Jose. Mmmmm! Tonight I'm cooking "Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce" (from Giada's Kitchen) with a side of asparagus. It's a delicous recipe and I'll try to post it later this week.

As a surprise for Caedmon, Uncle Teve brought a Seasame Street bicycle helmet with matching knee pads and elbow pads (perfect for all of that high-speed racing we do on the tricycle)! Well, Caedmon LOVES them! In fact, he has hardly taken them off since receiving them. I have managed to talk him into leaving them in the car when we go in public places by convincing him that they may get lost if we take them with us!
Over and over today Caedmon has said to me, "I like those Elmo things," and "I have to say "Thank You" to Uncle Teve for those Elmo things." Uncle Teve, you hit a home run with your gift! Who knew it could be so easy to win a child's heart?!