Wednesday, May 27, 2015

18 Month Stage

This is my favorite stage!  L is 18 months right now and such a riot to be around. He is fun to interact with and his personality is definitely becoming more apparent.  So far this kid has not thrown any of those "slam the body on the ground, writhe, go limp and scream" tantrums yet... couple of my other kids hit it by this age.  So we'll see... maybe we'll skip it with this one...

L loves to imitate!  He especially loves to copy his 3 year old brother.  It is quite comical actually to hear him sometimes echoing everything that his brother utters.  E is having a blast with this as well and will often come up with pretty silly things to say just so he can hear L say it.

So other than language explosion, this is also a time of tremendous growth in many areas.  Some fun things things we're seeing:

self feeding - usually quite messy but he is so proud of himself when he successfully gets food from spoon to mouth.  We usually help feed him in between his attempts for efficiency sake and to decrease clean up but I suppose we really should just let him do this more...

dancing - we'll often see him wiggling, jiggling... bending and clapping to his sister's piano playing or when we have music in the background...

climbing - climbs on everything!  watch out!

hugging -  love that he can hug me back now and pat the back of my neck with his little hands

imitating - as mentioned before, L loves to imitate.  He not only repeats words and syllables but loves to mirror our actions as well.  Often we see him walking around with a pretend cell phone held up to his ear and he is jabbering away... then   "okay, bye!"

stripping - yup, I've walked in on him with his bottom bare... somehow managed to take off his clothes and diapers...

throwing - well, this started close to when he turned a year and has not really stopped.  What is so amusing about throwing stuff on the floor during meals?  All my kids did this...

jumping - kind of.. they are more like exaggerated knee bends right now... but getting there...

singing - not as clear and verbose as his sisters were at this age... but I can make out the tune and catch a few words... he's trying...

competing for attention - o he is definitely trying to get his voice heard above all the bustle and chatter from his older siblings. Not easy being the youngest of four but this kiddo sure knows how to make his presence known.

Cliche I know... but he is growing way too fast! I can not believe we are out of the baby stage for good.  Well, here we go... gearing up to hit the "terrible twos"!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Mother's Day 2015

Happy totally belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! It takes a couple’s retreat with our church small group for me to find time and energy to think and blog. 

We are going through a book and video series by Frances Chan called Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. In one of the sessions, we watched Chapter 5 where Chan was talking about relationships. He used the analogy of his relationship with his kids to demonstrate Gods relationship with us. Chan shows love differently to each of his kids but at the end of the day it is so important to him that each child knows to the very core that he loves them with all his heart… and that is what God desires for us. So this also led me to think about my role as mom and the nuances that make my relationship with each of my children special. I am reminded of Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages of Children and how I use different languages of love to express my affection to each of my children. The 5 primary love languages that Chapman talks about are: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts.

My seven year old is in public school. I spend a lot of time with her especially before bedtime, talking about her day, her friendships, her ups and her downs. She is my super sensitive child and thrives on encouragement and praise. She needs more of my emotional support right now and highly values words of affirmation.

My second daughter loves to hug and kiss. Whenever she senses that I’m upset with her she often wants me to give her a hug right away. This is often hard for me because I need time to cool off… but I realize that physical touch is a very important demonstration of love to her.

My three year old boy is active and loud and likes to play with his imaginary “shoot gun” making shooting noises everywhere and crashing his toy cars and trucks everywhere. At the same time he has such a sweet spirit and will randomly say “I love you” to me, one of his sisters, or a caregiver who is around. He seems to especially love the times right before nap or bedtime when we sit and read together. Since I am running around so much working part time and driving the older kids to activities, the quality time that I can spend with him is truly treasured.

My youngest requires the most amount of my physical attention. He is wholly dependent on others to meet his physical needs. He is uttering many words now and competes for attention by calling out “mommeee”! He has also learned to hug back and pat the back of my neck with his little hands. At this stage I find that I’m showing love to him mostly by my acts of service, though I’m sure I will be using other languages of love as he grows and his needs change. 

 I have made many mistakes as mom and will make many more... but at the end of the day, like Chan, I desire my kids to know that they are genuinely, utterly, and fiercely loved.