heart in the clouds

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nighttime is the right time...for stuffing things in your pjs?

Anyone who knows my Z, knows he literally never stops talking. I'm telling you that he even talks in his sleep and we have strange conversations at night. He usually sleep talks more when he's really tired, or when he's worried about something.

Wednesdays are pretty long and Z leaves church with David before I do and he's asleep when I get home. I always promise to come in and give him a hug or a kiss when I get home and he usually doesn't sleep very heavy until that happens. But last night - ha, I'm still laughing about it - I came home, took a shower, got ready for bed and then went into his room to turn his CD player off and cover him back up and give him the promised kiss. Even in the dark, I noticed something strange; he looked....well...pregnant or just really fat. I kept trying to adjust my eyes to the dark to figure out why my eyes were playing tricks on me. I try not to touch him too much because I don't want him to wake up.

This time, however; I couldn't help myself. I reached down toward his belly and realized that he had his "blankie" stuffed under this shirt. I was having such a hard time keeping my laughter quiet. I put my hand over his ear and then told called to David. He came in and he was having a hard time not laughing too. So we started to gently pull the "blankie" out....and it was sort of like a magician pulling that scarf out of his hand...it just kept coming. He had all three of those "blankies" in his shirt. Oh we were really struggling to maintain quietness at that point.

We finally got him all covered back up and then I just stood there holding his hand and listening to him breathe. I was thinking about what a blessing he was to me and how much I love him and all the silliness and joy he brings to my life.

(UPDATE, forgot to add this in the first draft) About 30 minutes later he started talking in his sleep...mostly gibberish, but then he yelled for daddy to come in there. He was pretty scared. David went and I followed...he was crying, but we could tell he was only half with us. He started asking where his blankies were and feeling around the bed. David handed him one and then picked him up; he fell back asleep and we didn't hear from him again until about 5:30 a.m. I guess he really was worried about those blankies.

This morning he called me when he woke up and I told him about the "blankies" being in his shirt last night and he said "I know." I asked him why and he said..."Because I was trying to exercise in my bed." WHAT?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Ashgrove Pike Incident...and a heart made of stone

Wow, two days in a row...now how many days until something becomes a habit?

I've really been trying to get Zachary to understand the world does not revolve around him (it revolves around me!...kidding), but seriously, the quicker a kid knows this, the happier they'll be. I truly believe that. But selfishness is a part of human nature and I think we all struggle with it almost on a daily basis. So although I'm not immune to being selfish, I am the adult here and I need to bestow some wisdom on my little dude.

I keep having to remind myself of Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

I believe that doesn't just refer to the disciplinee...but the one handing it down as well. It's just not a fun experience. I will heretofore describe all discipline as "before Ashgrove Pike Incident (API) and after API and I'll tell you why.

Many of you know that life before API was a struggle with tantrums, strong-wills, defiance and such. After API, I have a more compliant, yet still strong personality-filled child.

You see the day of API, we were on our way to Panera Bread in Regency Center to meet up with someone who wanted to buy a spare lens I had for sale. Zachary was demanding to listen to certain music...said please, so then I turned it on. After one song, he said "fast forward it, I don't like this song." I told him that was his only fast forward and that I was not his DJ today (something we struggled with quite often). He said okay and listened to that song...but lo and behold the next song comes on, he doesn't like it, he demands it be changed, I say no and he began to come undone. So I turned it off completely and told him we were not listening to any music. He didn't like that at all and promptly threw the cell phone he was holding at my head. The phone bounced off my head and onto my right foot, which was on the gas. Mind you, we were still in the 55 mph area of Nich. Rd.

We were coming up on Ashgrove Pike and I remained silent, turned on the blinker, turned right and then found the first driveway I could...the long winding one on the left that goes up the beautiful white-columned house. I unbuckled my seat belt, opened the door, got out and then opened the back door. Now up until that point Z was just staring at me wide-eyed wondering if I was going to say or do anything. When he realized I was coming in the backseat for him he literally freaked out screaming, yelling, holding his carseat straps yelling "YOU WILL NOT SPANK ME MOMMY!!" He was literally out of his mind at that point. David had to hold his arms back while I unstrapped him and pulled him out of the car. I still hadn't said a word...and finally I broke my silence. In a calm voice, I told him to put his hands on the backseat of the car. He sat on the door frame and screamed at me some more. I waited for him to finish, then repeated that he needed to turn around and put his hands on the seat.

He kept asking me if it was going to hurt, if I was going to do more than one, and then told me the car was burning his leg...exaggerate much Z? I told him we were staying there as long as it took until he complied. I finally got him to turn around and spanked him twice while he continued to scream...he got back in his seat and cried and cried. I was still calm; I got back in the driver's seat and started back to our original destination. He calmed enough to hear me talk and I told him how dangerous it was to throw things at people, especially in the car...how awful it was to kick my seat and scream in my ears...then he said "okay, I'm sorry, but where we goin?"

So I spoke the truth and here's how it went:
Me: We are going to Panera to meet the sheriff
Z: WHAT? (his eyes were WIDE open)
Me: yep, gotta go meet the sherriff
Z: Are you gonna tell him what I did?
Me: Maybe
Z: (starting to cry again) Will he ...sniff sniff ...take me to jail.
Me: Well, what you did was pretty serious and dangerous, but I don't think you'll go to jail.

Fast forward to Panera...the sherriff was there...off duty, but IN his patrol car! I could not have planned it more perfectly myself. I went out to his car by myself, sold him the lens, came back in to a transformed 4-year-old...but at the time, I was wondering how long it would last.

I haven't had to spank him since then. Sure we've had a few issues and he still cops an attitude at least every other day. But, for the most part, he's a totally different kid who respects his mommy and all I have to do when he starts to get out of control is give him a look...cock my head a little to the side and stare him down and he'll say "Yes, Ma'am" or if he needs to "I'm sorry, mommy." I've not really had to even raise my voice.

Maybe the API ushered him more quickly into a new stage of maturity that was coming all along, or maybe it truly put the fear of mommy into him...and by fear I don't mean scare...I mean respect. He's been extra loving lately ...telling how awesome his meal is, how wonderful I am, how much he loves me...I'm all over it! I think we really have turned a corner.

One day when I picked him up from school he told me he found a heart rock and he pulled out a rock he found on the playground. It really was a faint heart shape. I took it home and put it on the counter and thought hmm that's cute. But two days ago, Z found it and told me that he got that rock for me and he wanted me to always hold it. I told him I'd put it in my purse so it would always be with me, he seemed okay with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apparently I took the summer off...from my blog

So I'm almost embarrassed that I haven't blogged all summer. It's not that I had a lack of topics; I just had a lack of motivation...oh and time, yes that trumps it all I suppose. I started feeling a little mommy guilt when more experienced moms (notice I didn't say older) kept saying "oh I hope you wrote that down!" when Z would say something profound.....I did write it down - in my head. And then as usually happens, it's hard to recall what I wanted to transfer to the blog. But a few things stick out and I'll concentrate on those here and then try to be better this fall about updates.

First of all, one of the big things that sticks out in my mind is money. Zachary has been trying to understand the almighty dollar...and the coins too. He was curious about the people on the bills and we explained who they were and I guess George Washington made an impression on him because I gave him a few dollars, told him about the first president and then told him he needed to put one of those dollars in the offering at church. He sat quiet for a few moments and then said "But mommy, why do I need to give George Washington to Jesus?"

I think the highlight of our summer was spending more than two weeks with family in Oklahoma. We stayed a few days at MawMaw's house in Mustang and then drove to Stillwater to stay with my sister and her kiddos. It was so nice to watch the kids play together and see how much they've grown. My nephew has grown into an amazing young man with many talents. He started guitar lessons while we were there and incessantly practiced his baseball skills...it paid off too...he tried out for and made the AA traveling team!

My niece Sarah was attached to my Z. Those two were pretty inseparable and they were really good at catching frogs, avoiding copperhead snakes and generally chasing each other through the trees. I loved sitting in the kitchen and looking out the huge picture window, just watching them run and laugh and get filthy dirty. Yes, that's right - Z got dirty willingly and many times over. One day when my Nanny, Aunt Debbie and cousins came up from Texas, Z changed clothes at least 5 times. We were all joking about it because, he'd run in and go to Clay's room and come back out with a different outfit because either got the other one wet or dirty. At least he was doing it all by himself..but the laundry wow, never had to do so much in such a short time!!!

My mom came up the same day as the Texas clan and it was good to see her see Nanny for the first time in almost 30 years. It truly was a special day. The next day, we ALL went to Mexico Joe's for lunch...I don't think they knew what was coming haha. So much fun. I got to photograph my cousins' children in my sister's field...it was just zen for me really. Z loved playing with all the second cousins...and yes, they all caught frogs.

My friend Kim and her family came up to get pictures of little Zander, who's grown so much since we saw them at Thanksgiving! They also introduced us to the most heavenly grilled peaches EVER. Basically you half and pit peaches, put in a ziploc bag with LOTS of honey, cinnamon, and I can't remember what else....then grill them peel side up until the peels get wrinkly...they slide right off. Plate the halved, grilled peaches, fill the pitted area with strawberry preserves, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the marinade over the top....OH MY GOSH!

So eventually we did have to get on the road back to Kentucky. I was doing so well not getting emotional while I was getting ready that morning, until my niece came in and said she thought I was staying one more day and then she cried...then Zach started crying about leaving and my stupid eyes welled up. Just seeing their little hearts hurting made me hurt too. I SO wish we lived closer!!

So yes, back to life, back to reality (that's a song lol) and when we got back it was like the whole summer had slipped away...and I guess it has for sure by now. It's been so hot this year for so long, I'm actually REALLY looking forward to September! Cooler temperatures...at least 3 newborns to photograph that I know about so far! Definitely going to be a good fall.

Tomorrow I'll write about life after the Ashgrove Pike incident :)