Sunday, January 09, 2011

Milestones

* The Mister turned 38 yesterday. Happy Birthday, Mister C.! We celebrated with the usual Birthday Cake for Breakfast (YUM!)

Po informed us that Cliff wanted a t-shirt with fake bird poop on it for his birthday. "Seriously, he does!" she solemnly told us. "Text him at work and ask him!"

Fortunately for us (and the Mister), Target does not carry such a t-shirt. Instead, the children settled on a green Kermit the Frog Shirt that reads "Awesome Meter", which registers as "Totally Awesome."

For dinner, we took our entourage, plus Jimmy and Boppa, to a hibachi restaurant. This was a HUGE treat as 1) we rarely dine out and 2) the kids had never been to a hibachi before. They loved it. Watching their eyes nearly pop out of their heads at the site of our chef tossing knives, creating flaming onion volcanoes and catching shrimp tails in the top of his hat was one of those awesome parenting moments for us.

We tipped the chef really well, because he told the kids about a billion times: "Don't try this at home!"

Nonetheless, I found a new "secret spot" in the kitchen to house all my knives upon our return home last night.

* My Baby Boy, aka Keenan, aka Ti-Blan, lost his first tooth this afternoon. He looks adorable with a big ol' gaping hole in his bottom row of teeth. He hasn't figured out how to talk without the missing tooth. I don't recall if this is a problem most children have (the top teeth, sure--but one bottom tooth?), of if the problem is specific to Keenan. Either way, he is stinking cute and I'll be sure to get a photo up soon.

* Atticus is my little guy who really holds on to hurt and anger, letting things eat away at him. Being tired or mildly upset triggers him to think about all of these other small upsets, which then pile into a large mountain of grievances that he choses to dwell upon. Getting him to let go and move on has been a huge challenge.

Three weeks ago, the Children Church program (I think we may have found a church to attend, but more on that later) suggested that parents create a "Worry Jar" for children. Because God promises to take our problems (ashes) and give us joy (beauty), children can write out their grievances, put them in a jar, and pray for God to take on their problems and give them peace in return.

I mentioned the idea to Atticus, and he loved it. So, I took a large canning jar, created a label that reads "Atticus' Problem Jar" and placed a stack of paper strips and a pen next to it.

The first time he became upset (easily discernible since he paces and cries while he vents and rambles about the house), I steered him to his jar. A half hour later, he told me he was done and ready to pray.

I thought I'd find two or three slips of paper in that jar. Nope. Nine slips. NINE. Some of the grievances were true grievances, but honestly, I was absolutely amazed by the small events that happened about 4 months ago which were still eating away at my Atticus.

Nonetheless, we began to pray aloud. We read each slip, asked God to take on the problem like he requests of us in the Bible, and that in return, Atticus would like to receive peace and joy.

After we prayed, we burned the paper slips in the jar. Which to me, eh, whatever. Recycling would have worked the same. But to an 8-year old boy: COOL. Now his problems really were ashes.

And oh my, is the difference is noticeable. We went from having trigged "problem attacks" every day or two to only having 3 total in the past 2 weeks. The last attack he didn't cry, pace or vent; he just went straight to his jar and started writing.

Oh by gosh, by golly, I think we're onto something there!

* Hatfield played in her 7th piano recital this afternoon. She played a complicated piece by Bach (from memory), and she was grouped with the teens, some 5 years older than her (yes, this is a total, shameless Mommy brag. Sue me!) Watching my baby girl up on stage, so poised and serious, brings tears to my eyes every time.

* Paloma attended the piano recital (probably the 4th one she's attended) and she sat quietly through the entire thing. Scoff if you'd like, but if you know Po, you know that this indeed is a Milestone worth recording on the blog.

Okay, I realize that I'm in error here. She sat quietly except for one brief moment when she loudly announced that the girl playing "is wearing the exact outfit you have on, Hattie!"

Still, it's a milestone, nonetheless, because for me, life is all about taking what you can get, and celebrating it.








1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The hibachi dinner was the best birthday present ever. From Paloma's yelling in friendly banter with the chef, to Atticus' jaw hanging wide open in amazement, and also catching Keenan mesmerized and Miles having a ball, all of this with Hatfield recording everything on the I-Touch... seeing our kids laugh and having a wonderful time with our family, that was the best.

Thank you for the wonderful time and for giving me (and raising up) a wonderful flock of kids that are becoming (day by day) a testament to your natural gift of being an amazing parent.

-Mr. Old Man