Monday, September 5, 2011

for mothers of boys (and mothers of girls)

almost all of the children in our lives that are my son's age are girls. and although he spends a majority of his time with these girls, he is somehow still all "boy." masculine in every way. 

for the first 2 1/2 years of his life i've compared him to all these other little girls, sometimes to the point of driving myself crazy wondering why i can't get him to act or do things a certain way that i see these calm, prim and proper, sweet little darlings acting. it's only recently that i've realized that to compare my son with a girl is like comparing peas to carrots. 

so i've started to do some reading and research on boys, and now i realize that my friends who only have girls and no boys, just cannot understand my world. and for good reason...they have girls! it's just that raising a girl is a whole different ball game. neither is more difficult or more important, they are just different. 

but what i am saying is not PC at all. recently i read an article about parents who are raising a "gender-less" child. they are not telling anyone the gender of their child, and are allowing this child to be completely free in choosing what to wear and what to play with. and i'm sure many are applauding this couple's choice to do so. see there is this idea that is growing in society, that we force a gender-identity into individuals from infancy by doing things like dressing them in blue or pink, by encouraging them to either play with dolls or play with balls and guns. but this idea has done nothing but caused confusion about what the role of a man is, and society is suffering because of it. that's why we have to take seriously our roles of raising boys--raising men. Dr. Michael Gurian said, "Every time you raise a loving, wise, and responsible man, you have created a better world for women. Women today are having to bond to half-men, with boys who were not fully raised to manhood, don't know how to bond, don't know what their responsibilities are to humanity, and don't have a strong sense of service."

mother's (like me) of the 'typical' boy know that there is something just inherently 'boy' about him from a very young age. one time while my husband was away traveling for months at a time, when i was concerned for him always being around only his mama and little girls, he woke up one morning completely and utterly obsessed with trucks. he's aggressive, he doesn't know the meaning of gentle, he is constantly being reprimanded for being too rough with me and hurting me, and he wants nothing but to be just like his daddy. not mama, not baby sister--daddy. i did not instill this into him. (in fact i'll go ahead and admit right here that i did buy him a baby doll because i noticed he liked playing with them. but even when he gets the urge to play with that doll, he's still very masculine about it, if you know what i mean. basically, he pretends she's his baby sister and he takes care of her like he would his real baby sister if she were allowed to be thrown in the air and flipped and dropped and folded and so on...) he's around girly me all day long, and i even must admit that i hug and kiss him and baby him way more than i should. he can certainly be kind and sweet and precious, but he is 100% without a doubt, a boy.

this is what Dr. James Dobson, in his book "Bringing up Boys" says about why raising boys is different than girls, and why the task must be taken so seriously:

"...boys are more likely to get off-course when they are not guided and supervised carefully. They are inherently more volatile and less stable emotionally. They founder in chaotic, unsupervised, and undisciplined circumstances. Boys are like automobiles that need a driver at the steering wheel every moment of the journey, gently turning a half inch here and a quarter inch there. They will need this guidance for at least sixteen or eighteen years, or even longer. When left to their own devices, they tend to drift toward the center divider and into the ditch, toward misbehavior or danger....Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone upon stone. Never assume for a moment that you can 'do your own thing' without serious consequences for him and his sister. I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling. I feel obligated to tell you this, whether my words are popular or not. Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility. Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity."

phew, what a daunting task! 
so mothers of girls, you may give me that "why is your son acting that way" look as much as you want, you can judge me, you can judge my son, you can call him wild or even my means of discipline too stern. but you can also thank me later for trying my best to raise a good man for the future of your daughters! 

(and now, i have to also learn how to raise a woman!  advice, please, mothers of girls?!) 

love you you ladies, and cheers to all of us mothers trying our best! 

and, just for giggles:

oh, just another Biebs post

i just had to give one more props to the Biebs. did you watch the MTV VMA's? well, our family has to watch all those award shows. it is, in fact, our livelihood.

Justin Bieber won Best Male Music Video for "You Smile", and here's his acceptance speech:

"I just want to say thank you so much, not only to God but to Jesus. Because I wouldn't be here without Him. He's really blessed me. He's put me in this position. So I want to say thank you so much."

these days, thanking "God" is so cliche. way to be specific:)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


my.goodness. it has been quite a while since i wrote a post. the move (ahem, the entire summer) turned into quite an odd season, and i only recently got internet hooked up at our new house. 

moving out into our own space brought a huge, unexpected, adjustment for me and my 2 year old. he had friends to play with all day, every day, for 10 months. it didn't even occur to me the problem that it would create for later.....namely, that he now needs someone to play with at all times. he used to be wonderful at playing alone, but he seems to have forgotten that skill. instead, he wants me to sit and play with him all. day. long. and while i do absolutely adore playing with him, teaching him, watching him explore his imagination, i simply cannot  do that every minute of the day. what mother can? not only do i have a house to keep up with, laundry and dishes, but i now also have another child to take care of. and let's not forget that we have to eat meals, which means i do need to spend a few minutes in the kitchen 3 times a day. these are things that little man firmly objects to. he's learned (God knows where) to say things like (imagine the sweetest voice in the world)  "don't you wanna play with me?" and "I thought you wanted to play cars with me?" and just the other day, after saying my name about 29 times without me responding to him, he told me that i was "making him sad." *sigh* melts my heart.

and then there's my adjustment. of going from having a best friend near me all day to talk to whenever i wanted, unable to get lonely even if i wanted being in a house all day alone with two small children. 

so, communal living does come with so many advantages, but there's also many little things that are hard. like saying goodbye. 

and i haven't even gotten to the part about how i just had a baby 4 months ago. i'm going through the time that every mother of multiples goes through--learning to adjust to life with two instead of one. it was easy as pie for about 2 1/2 months. and then it hit me. 
i cried. 
i was ugly to my husband.
 and then i calmed down and we had a team huddle, and discussed how we were going to manage. things have been much better since then, but i still don't feel like i've found that 'normalcy.' and i'm still waiting for my creativity to show back up, and to find time to fit into my week projects, and creating and reading....and blogging.

good gracious, does this get easier?

i think it does, 
i hope it does. 
well, of course it does! after all, i do have friends with 4, 5, 7 children!!....(right?!)
so i am waiting. in the meantime, i'm going to try to be more deliberate about posting. maybe it will help me make some sense of things (so excuse me as i think out loud)

here's what we do a lot of these summer days...
 learning the alphabet letters
 art, art and more art
 his first painting placing the colors in the right spot (notice the yellow sun and the blue airplane?) he's always been a bit behind in the art department, so this was a big deal:)
 sweet pea just works on getting more beautiful every day
pool days--whenever and wherever we are invited!
(otherwise you can find me inside, doing the things shown above. August is no time for a Southerner to be outdoors)

oh, and lots of evening family walks/bike rides through our fabulous new neighborhood in the city! (more on that, to come)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

city mouse

our season living with our friends (a family with 3 kids) has sadly come to an end. i cannot believe what a special time that it was, and we will forever treasure those memories of living in community.
and since we have only lived alone as a couple for 6 months of our entire 4 year marriage, we have agreed that this next season will just be the four of us. just our family. we need this time to be a family.
because my husband and i couldn't seem to figure out exactly what we wanted in our next living situation, we moved all of our belongings out of our house and into a storage unit. i headed to los angeles for a week and then we flew back only to stay in more hotels. one night we stayed in the downtown area of our city, and we walked the city that night, the way we have always loved to do. we walked through an area of downtown that is mostly residential, yet only a few blocks from all the sky scrapers. it is an area filled with trees and parks and adorable porches and balconies and you almost forget where you are. we realized how much we would enjoy, as a family, living in that area, and finally decided on what the 'desire of our hearts' was for our next place. something small and simple, easily manageable with our mobile lifestyle, and completely urban.
so i went to atlanta for a week to stay with family while my man stayed back with the goal of finding our family a home. he did just that, and now we are moving into our new home.
goodbye suburbs, hello center city!

(and so because i have been essentially "homeless" for 2 weeks, i have had no internet and have not been able to blog. i aim to get back in the swing of things in a couple of weeks, after some much needed time at the beach! ahhhhhh...)

the last time that we moved, 5 birds came to our porch to sleep at night for the entire last week of our living there. they would cuddle close together up in the corner and it was the strangest thing i had ever seen. since the meaning of 5 is 'grace', we took it as a sign that we were entering into a new season of grace.
and did we ever.

amazingly, the last month in our house this time, some birds built a nest behind the light on our porch. it was the  most beautiful nest i have ever seen, made from such unique objects. very anthropologie-esq :)

when we looked in the nest we found 5 eggs. and the week before we moved those 5 eggs hatched. i climbed a small ladder almost every day to look at those cute little babies, as the mama and daddy sat perched close by, watching me. and so we are grateful to be entering into yet another new season of grace. thanks to our Father! i SO love joel osteen, and just started getting his "word of the day" emails. i woke up this morning (moving day) and the title of the email was "Get Excited About Your Future!"
:) love that

tiny little eggs in their anthro pad


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

am i crazy?

clearly i am. we traveled from the east coast to los angeles. and no, "we" does not include my husband.
that's right. i toted my 2 1/2 year old and my 2 month old on two flights and one layover, both ways, by myself. and although my kids were well behaved (and i'm a proud mama), i am not going to lie, it is hard work...and not fun at all.
not to mention the fact that there's a time change and a bit of jet lag that's involved with traveling to the other side of the country.

but, it was all worth it in the end, because we got to be with our music man for a week. he worked the entire time, but waking up beside hm is all i really needed.

a post to come about our time in los angeles...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

family night at the rock show

last night the band did a hometown show, and it was earlier in the evening so i got to take the kids to watch. it was my little girl's first show (and i forgot to take pictures!) and my first time taking two kids. i wore her in my moby and still got in some dance moves with my little Indie Rocker:)  before the show our drummer put him on his lap and played drums with him and the crowd cheered--the proud look on his face was priceless. he told me a few months ago that he wanted to play drums first.
but lately he's been getting his mama's guitar out. because his little hands don't fit around the fret board, and our mini-Taylor is right handed and he's left handed, i think we are going to have to buy him a real one soon and let him get to work.
(besides, guitar is a lot quieter than drums. maybe drums can be his christmas present...)

i {heart} JB

so....i have the latest celebrity gossip on our family's favorite teen pop star
here it is:
Justin Bieber has gotten a new tattoo on his ribcage...the word "Yeshua" (Jesus) in Hebrew letters!
that's my boy JB! one of the many reasons i love that (in the words of Tina Fey) "dreamy Christmas elf"