March 27, 2012

who is he like?

the other day, my prima thais asked me if cruz was more like me or more like tovi, personality-wise. we certainly can't decide who he is resembles looks-wise, so figuring out his inherited personality is the next way to go.

when we found out that we were having a boy, i assumed that he would turn out like tovi. a little snuggly, a little stubborn, detail-oriented, obsessed with sports. and you know, he is some of these things. stubborn, yes. sports-- it's growing. on our walk this afternoon, cruz pointed out every single basketball hoop ("b ball!") in the neighborhood. snuggly? only if you count getting headbutted.

but he's also a little bit like me.

the books, for one. the kid has asked for "the cat in the hat" at least four times today. he sits through the whole book and asks for it again. friends, it is 61 pages long. i don't think that convincing him to read 10,000 pages of harry potter will be any kind of big deal.

and then there was this little glimpse into his personality: while we were babysitting my niece in new york, we borrowed a double stroller from her daycare. the stroller needed to be back at the daycare at the end of the day so that it could be used again for the children, and we would pick it back up in the evening. the daycare is located on the first floor of their residence hall, so it wasn't a huge deal to bring it back, but the first night i forgot. the kids were bathed, jammied, books had been read when i suddenly remembered that i needed to take back the stroller! if you have ever put 17 and 18 month olds to bed simultaneously, you will sympathize with my regret that we hadn't done this earlier.

i needed to psych up the team.

"it's a jammie stroller party! yay!!" my hands were in the air, fake smile on my face. julia, my niece, looked at me like i was a crazy person. smart girl. i felt like a camp counselor, like i was the r.a. at westmont again, trying to get my girls excited for an early morning hike. "let's do this!"

"we're going in the elevator! we're going to see the buttons!" i chattered at them incessantly to prevent a meltdown. they were so cute, sitting in the stroller in a line, like my own personal ducklings. we were in the elevator when cruz stuck his hands in the air. "stroller! yaaaaaay!" then the rest of the walk: "stroller! yaaaaay!" when things got quiet, sure enough, "stroller! yaaaaaay!"

my gosh, i thought. he's the r.a.

and you know what? that's just perfect! someone who loves sports, books, was an r.a. at westmont... dear college friends, does this remind you anyone you know? do you know cruz's middle name? it's justin! yes, after justin hjelm, our brother from another mother. seriously, if i raise cruz to have half the smarts, wit, loyalty, sense of humor (and fine, love of sports) as justin, we will part ourselves on the back with a parenting job well done.

(apparently the moral of the story is to name your kid after one of the coolest people you know. we better never have a girl because her name will be like ten names long!)

March 22, 2012

book review: the fault in our stars

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

i hope you've already bought or downloaded a copy of the fault in our stars. oh, not yet? stop reading and go get it right now. i may have read it in less time than it took to get through the hunger games. i had to steel myself to slow down and savor this book; it's really that good. 

i was very excited when this book arrived in the mail.
back? perfect. pour yourself a cup of coffee and let's chat.

the fault in our stars by john green is the story of hazel ("hazel grace." "just hazel.") and augustus waters. the book follows these teenagers through their relationship, love of books, video games, america's next top model (naturally), and yes, their journey with cancer. 

are there any faults in the fault in our stars? yes. for me, the story seemed to drag when hazel and augustus visit peter van houten. if you've read the book, what do you think green was doing with this section? the obstacles that they continued to be thrown up against frustrated me, and seemed to add little to the story. i loved these characters so much that i could have read an entire book of them sitting around in augustus' basement. they didn't need transatlantic travel to capture my interest. 

teenagers with cancer would be a pretty depressing topic to start writing about, but hazel and augustus face the world with a sense of humor and wit that would make lorelai gilmore proud. do you have a heart? yes? then pull out the kleenex box because you will cry while reading this book. but it will be the good, cathartic cry that reminds you of why it's so good to be alive and to have friends and love, to have picnics, to travel, to cultivate your sense of humor. the fault in our stars will remind you that sometimes authors really, truly love their characters. you will be reminded that in the midst of pain, it is good to live loudly and well. 

want to chat more? join in the book club discussion happening over at blogher

don't push your luck

yesterday morning, cruz had a bit of a run-around wearing only a diaper before we had breakfast. 
i love his little chunky belly so much, and sometimes it needs to protrude forth in all its glory.

cruz wandered over to his crib, stuck a hand between the slats.
"sassy?" he asks, innocently.
"no, baby," i say, straightening up his bookshelf. "you don't need a paci right now."
he tries again. "sassyyyyy?" the lower lip starts to quiver.
"no," more firmly. "the paci went night-night."
"nigh-nigh," he sighs and walks over to me. he smooshes between my legs, looks up, one head cocked to the side, the sparkle in his eye says that he's up to something.

don't push your luck. 

March 14, 2012

we will bless them with lions

so we traveled, cruz and i.
two hours in the car.
two hours at the airport.
six hours on the plane.
one hour in the car.

two minutes of crying.

i know. i know.

like a normal person, i had been stressed about a solo cross-country flight with a toddler.  (maybe i should wait to post this until after we make the trip back?) really, really stressed. cruz is good natured, but active, and doesn't like to be penned in. 
i think we can all relate to feeling penned in on a plane, baby in tow or not. 

i was starting to have a negative attitude about the travel, and when i start feeling negative, i turn to my friend zoe for some inspiration. she wrote here about her "hello ministry" and i thought to myself, yes! instead of being a pain to those around us, cruz and i are going to bless our fellow travelers with snacks, laughter, trucks, elmo, and perhaps even a lesson in patience. if he cries the whole time, i am going to bless that plane by being a patient and compassionate mother. we will bless them with our sweet bond. we will bless them with a sense of humor. we will bless them with lions. 

here are some of the people we met:
+ while we waited for the plane, cruz did laps around the concourse restaurants for thirty minutes. two businessmen started cheering every time they saw him coming around the corner.
+ cruz walked straight up to a construction worker and delighted in his hard hat. the worker gave him a high five.
+ the row of orthodox jewish men sitting behind us on the flight to new york made the best funny faces and kept cruz in peals of laughter.
+ over lunch, we sat next to two brazilian businessmen and we practiced our halting portguese with them-- excellent practice for our week in new york with my precious niece!

it made the travel a delight, honestly. around every corner, in every row of the plane was someone else we could meet and connect with. we weren't penned in-- we forced ourselves into the space of others and spread that sweet baby joy (and okay, some sweet baby crumbs too!). 

March 9, 2012

five for friday

+ there are loads and loads of things i miss when tovi is out of town, but here is one: the man always keeps my water bottle filled up. i don't even notice it happening, but i'll turn around and the water bottle next to my computer is full. it will appear later next to my night stand, and mysteriously at my breakfast spot in the morning. come home soon, tov. i'm very thirsty.

+ hey other parents: does your kid have a thing? the wuhlie is starting to travel with us everywhere. this evening we went to trader joe's ("joooooooes!") with both lions. we have become a one family menagerie. so what would you do? do you indulge this? buy a cabinet full of back-up soft animals? ignore it and he'll move onto something else? the fact that he loves his lions absolutely melts my heart, but remember my parenting motto? don't start something you can't finish. the wuhlie's are getting me worried. 

+ i'm just going to say it: there is nothing better than having a toddler. yesterday morning we painted our backyard with an old paint brush and a bowl of water. love. every. minute.

+ there is a women's ministry event at our church called "storynight." we eat some food, tell hilarious stories at our tables, and then one woman shares her life story with all of us. it's just a precious night. sadly (?), it was the same night at the "women tell all" episode of the bachelor, so i had to dvr it. my friend krista had also been at storynight, missing the bachelor, so she and her ten-month old came over the next morning and we had a yoga-pants-mandatory viewing of the episode. i think both of these events perfectly sum up my personality.

+ i can't stop reading poetry to my kid. there's this line in one of his books:
after i dabble down in the muck
and nibble reeds like big ducks do
so fun to read and listen to. i have rediscovered that poetry is just meant to be read aloud and i think it's mutually enjoyed. we read dr seuss, mary oliver, robert frost, jack prelutsky, christina rosetti, james whitcomb riley. i was raised on a steady diet of james whitcomb riley and he must be read out loud, preferably by my grandpa. 

..... and one more more just to be fancy .....

+ our kids expo on saturday was a huge success! about 125 exhibitors and 2000 attendees made for a hectic day, but i couldn't have been more pleased. one of our proudest accomplishments was having be the match as our charity beneficiary. i had my cheeks swabbed and i'll be added to the bone marrow donation registry. this can save a life. want a little more inspiration? check out my friend lesley's story here

March 6, 2012

sometimes i just need the reminder

you're picking up toys on the living room floor 
for the fifteenth time today

matching up socks and sweeping up
lost cheerios that got away

you put a baby on your hips, color on your lips
and head out the door

well i may not know you but i bet i know
you wonder sometimes if it all matters at all

let me remind you that it all matters just as long 
as you do everything you do for the glory of the One who made you

{lyrics by steven curtis chapman, life by me}
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...