Thursday, April 28, 2011

In the Moment


I make so many promises to myself. I will be kinder to strangers, I will cut back on Starbucks, I will read my Bible more often, I will work out regularly, I will write every day, and so on and so forth. When I am ninety, and my life is captured in my fleeting memories and stories I can still recall, will I care about the five pounds I wanted to lose or the cleanliness of my kitchen floor?

No. I think not.

These promises aren't unimportant. They just aren't the most important.

So I make new promises.

I will never look back and say that I wasn't paying attention or I wish I had enjoyed it more. The sleepless nights or the frustrating I-can't-wait-til-you-can-put-on-your-own-shoes moments. Because someday I'll have time to myself. A lot of time.

Someday I won't be their whole universe.

Someday I'll long for the little boy who wanted my attention.

I am here. Now.

I will not wonder or doubt that I
cherished appreciated loved drank deeply
every day I spent with them.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me to overflowing with sweet words, gentle hearts, and more boys than I ever thought my life could hold.

I will live inside the tired, the dishes, the toys to put away; I will live in the sippy cups and diapers and potty breaks; I will live in the playtime, the imagination of littles, the hugs and kisses and laughter. Live inside it all and roll around and take up residence. Comfy cozy and all mine.

I will do this quickly and without thinking because as surely as it is here, with me now, sitting on my lap and holding my hand...

it will soon be memories in albums and blog posts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Little Happiness

A year of heart-fullness
A year of learning to mother two
A year of sleepless nights
A year of chasing Joy
A year of two boys taking room in my soul
A year of being tired (so.very.tired)
A year of love unimagined and unfathomed
A year of gratefulness
A year of hard times and bliss
A year of snuggles, runny noses, and so much laughter
A year with the biggest and best toothy smile
A year with my little happiness
A mommy heart celebrating one year of being twice as full
Happy One to you, my baby boy!
Caleb is our little happiness. No one smiles more than him. The bottom picture is fuzzy, but quite accurately portrays his personality. He never stops moving, he never stops eating, he never stops keeping us on our toes, and (as long as he sleeps and eats enough) he is always happy. We love you, baby!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Three!

In a week, my baby will turn one. I can hardly believe it. However, before I blubber a post about that, I'd better touch upon another huge event that happened in February.

My big baby turned three.

What???? I know, crazy, right? But I was there and I saw him open his presents and blow out the candles (three different times on three separate days). Those of you with older kids are like, "Wow, that's nothing. Wait until they turn 10, or 16, or 21 or 30!" Those of you with no kids are probably saying, "What's the big deal?" I get that. That used to be me. Let me tell you though, as someone on the other side, turning three is HUGE. Here's why.

Theyarenolongerababy. Whew! I had to get that out as fast as possible. That's a really hard thing to admit, but so true. I remember after Caden was born, our friends who had "big kids" (mostly ages 2-3) would always refer to him as "Baby Caden." That lasted a long time. I thought, my son will NEVER be that old. I was barely adjusting to the idea that I had a baby. Caleb, at 11 months and 3 weeks, is still referred to as "Baby Caleb." It lasts a long time because it's hard to let it go. But somewhere along the way, they begin to toddle and then really walk and then really talk and away goes the crib and off goes the diapers and suddenly that baby is gone. Turning three solidifies it. I still need to kiss his owies to make them magically all better and he still wants to be held more often than my back says I should, but he now wants to take the world by storm, all by himself.

"I do it, momma."

He is officially a little boy with a hearty laugh, a sweet spirit, and a way with words that sneaks into your heart and plants roots of joy and love leaving you irrevocably changed for the better. Happy birthday to you, my love!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Heart of Change


I know, I know, I don't write. I get it. I keep our other website fully stocked with pictures though, so if you get mad at me, just click on over to http://claarfamily.aboutmybaby.com. I save this site for my musings, and often, when I am the most overwhelmed is when I have the least to say for fear I will break down and be completely incoherent.

We are moving, selling our house.

It. Is. Scary.

And completely the right thing to do. This house has drained us financially, so we either go back to a double income and our kids go to daycare or we move. The decision was easy in that respect. The problem is that I love this house. It's our first real home and we brought both our babies home to this house. We have had countless gatherings here for birthday parties, playdates, coffee dates, bible studies, family dinners, holidays...countless moments that I will always associate with this place and the feeling it gave me when I walked through the door every day.

I'm okay though. Letting go of something this big opens another door that leads to a freedom we have not felt in a long time. Letting go means realizing
that it is just a building, a building that God lent us for awhile, and now we are free to really ask the question, "What now, Lord?" It is refreshing. And scary.

So, I've started a list of things I can't stand about this house. Weird, I know, but I like so much about it, that this list is helping me move on. So far, this is my list:

1. Ants. I never seem to stop killing them inside. I can't stand them.
2. Creaking. Whenever you walk upstairs, no matter how qui
et you are trying to be, the floor alerts any almost-sleeping child that you are close by. Ugh.
3. Temperature differential. The upstairs is about ten degrees warmer than downstairs, always, no matter what. This sucks in every season.
4.
5.
6.

I will try to come up with more; it helps. Don't judge me, please. Sometimes thinking of the negative brings light to the positive. Like how in changing houses I realize that I only love this house because of the faces I see in it and that love will move with me, no matter where we go.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Breathe (Slow down, de-stress, and load up on stickers)

I decided a few months ago that my life was a lot less stressful if we just stayed home. This was a novel concept for me. I was used to coming up with fun outings for us to do together, and I just assumed that baby Caleb would tag along. Don't laugh. I really did believe my life could continue it's regularly scheduled program. I thought we would (weekly) go to the children's museum, the zoo, the park, the science museum, etc.

My children, however, are teaching me to breathe.

Caden actually likes being at home. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I think he is learning to entertain himself as opposed to being entertained by our errands. In order to keep busy at home, we started doing craft projects. Every day we do a letter or a number. He loves it and, as you can see from the picture, does not feel constrained by the paper. I also have really understanding friends, and so we have lots of playdates at our house. (Thank you!)
Until just recently, going places was more work than it was worth. Caleb never stops moving. Ever. He is tiny. He is mighty. He is strong. He is fast. He is only seven months old. It's getting better though. I think I stopped long enough to learn about who he is and what he needs.

The older he gets, the easier it seems. Maybe we'll go to the children's museum today after all. Or maybe we'll just all sit on the ground and play trucks in the living room. The important thing, I'm learning, is to take deep breaths and enjoy them. Everything is for a season, after all, and seasons change so fast.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dreaming of You

Every morning when Caden wakes up, I ask him what he dreamed about. I'm not sure if he really understands the concept yet, but almost every time, his answer is the same, "I dreamed about momma." Of course, he will also say that he dreamed about trucks or dad or blocks, but the first thing he always says is that he dreamed about me.

The last few days have been rough for the Claar boys. Caden has some kind of stomach bug. He's been getting a tummy ache that doubles him over in tears. Caleb is teething so badly that he just screams, mostly at night. They take turns waking each other up. Caleb, who is not even six months old, has decided that now would be a good time to start crawling. He doesn't even sit up yet, but there he goes, straight to Caden's toys. We also had to lower his crib because we found him almost out of it last night. High maintenance does not even begin to describe the last few days. I know I only have two kids, but yesterday, I felt like I had ten.

I know the saying "the days are long, but the years are short." I say it to myself a lot. Tomorrow morning I will ask Caden again what he dreamed about. I will remind myself that in many ways, I am their whole world. I am their healer, their protector, their boo-boo kisser, their playmate, their boundary-giver, their love and joy, their comforter. And I will tell Caden that never in a million years could I have dreamed of a life so filled to overflowing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Few Words...


Today is the day of days.

Today is the day that he, the boy that I have loved the longest, gets married.
Today is the day that he becomes a husband, the day he irrevocably becomes One from two.
Today is the first day of his new
forever, and I am at a loss for words.

For how do I tell this boy,
who built garages for my dollhouse, who beat me at duck hunt and mario brothers, who made up silly "butt" names for me, who went to all my school plays, who tackled his Hulk Hogan pillow doll, who let me teach him a terrible choir song just so we could sing together in the hot tub, who got all of the athletic genes, who understands me, who also experienced "Say So" at Malibu and Palancas on the Encounter,
who has the most contagious laugh, who makes me so proud I beam, who lives his heart out loud and on his sleeve...

Yes, how do I tell this boy that I look up to him? And how do I tell him that I am so happy for him?

I think the truth is that I can't adequately do justice to my heart with words alone. I will have to let the past 25 years speak for itself, and simply say that before there were any boyfriends, before there was the boy, the one that I married, and before I had two baby boys of my own, there was you.

There was always you.




Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm Full

Caden's newest phrase is, "I'm full," and it doesn't mean what you think.

Me: "Caden, do you need me to change your diaper?"
C: "No, I'm full."

Me: "Caden, are you hungry?"
C: "No, I'm full."

Me: "Okay, honey, let's put your toys away."
C: "No, I'm full.

To Caden, "I'm full" means "I'm okay, mom, I'm good." We aren't sure how it started, but it's become so commonplace nowadays that when he says it, it makes perfect sense to us. So many words and phrases are like that. Other people might need a translator, but we think he speaks exactly the way he should. Another one of our favorites is the color orange. He says "orange juice" when talking about the color. This from a kid who has never in his little life had orange juice. He also calls himself "Bubba" which makes people look at us strangely.

The way I figure it, pretty soon he will start to realize the correct vernacular for things and before we know it he will be using words like vernacular and we will miss the little baby voice, adorably incorrect words and all.

So for now, my sweet Bubba, "I'm full" and my heart overflows.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Negotiator


I have never seen anything like it. At two, he has discovered the perfect head tilt, half smile, and phrases to get exactly what he wants. He is so sweet and precious and subtle that you hardly realize you compromised. Seriously. This might get out of hand.

Me: "Okay, Caden, put the bubbles away. It's time to go in."
Caden: (head tilt, half smile, lovely blue eyes...) "I do bubbles just one more time?"
Me: "Okay, one more time."

Then he does it one more time and he put them away. That's it. No more asking. He negotiated with me and then he didn't push it. Amazing.

Me: "Caden, put your trucks away. It's time for a bath."
Caden: "Play with me for a few minutes, Momma."
Me: "No, honey, it's time for a bath."
Caden: (head tilt, half smile, lovely blue eyes...) "Please oh please oh please, Momma."
Me: (thinking, wow, he's good) "Sure, baby, mommy would love to play with you."

So, I am officially the world's newest pushover. There is no doubt that I have been had by one of the smallest negotiators on the planet. Someday, though, this boy will be too big to play with his momma, and I will be calling him up, trying to negotiate a time when he can meet me for lunch or coffee. I might miss this sweet little boy who has all the time in the world to play trucks or blow bubbles. So let's play, my baby, just one more time, again and again and again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Twos Have It

I am in love. I am in love with Two. Never before have I been so amazed, so in awe. Never have I laughed so often or fallen to my knees in thanksgiving so many times in my life as I do now.

Two is captivated by a leaf that crunches or a bee that buzzes, two is serious about his playtime, two is imagination in it's raw blossoming beginning, two is playful and silly, two is discovering his strength, and two is unexpectedly joyful in all things common and everyday.

Two is magical as his thoughts materialize into full blown conversations.

His wonderment fascinates me.

He laughs and my heart spills out.

I am in love with Two.