Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Not Be a Dragon

This is how it's suppose to be worn.
After all, it's a size 12 months.


This is how it was being worn the other day.


I just hope it isn't all stretched out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brandon Stats - Age 7

Brandon had his 7 year check-up today. All is well in Brandon-land. He is now up to a whopping almost 4 feet tall, and weighs in at just over 47 pounds. Brian was busy today, so only Brandon and I went to the pediatrician's office. I can't remember the last time that happened! It's so much calmer with just one child.

Height - 47 3/4 inches (50th percentile)
Weight - 47 1/4 pounds (25th percentile)

He's back in the 25th percentile in weight. It doesn't seem to matter how much he eats. Caitlin has a much more varied palate as far as food is concerned, but Brandon eats better. He eats more, and we don't usually have to get on him to eat a decent amount at each meal. This year he has discovered the joys of hot dogs (okay - it's a mystery meat. I get that. But at least it's something he can eat at a picnic or BBQ) and granola bars. He's still growing, and I'm still struggling with finding clothes that fit him, and least girth-wise. He is widening his circle of friends at school. He's always been on the shy side, so this is a good sign.

Other things Brandon is up to:

  • Playing soccer again, for the fall season. We're much warmer this time around.
  • Making new friends.
  • Reading at the top of his class
  • Wrapping his mind all around math and science. At this rate, we aren't going to be able to keep up with him in a few more years.
  • Swims all by himself, thanks to a week in Florida.
  • Waters his Daddy's tomato and rosemary plants.
  • Exploring "Star Wars" (but not yet obsessed with it!)
  • Can be very sensitive and caring with others. This is displayed especially well in his tenderness towards our neighbor's little baby (born in January), and his niceness to her older brother, who is 3.
  • Acting in all other ways like a 7 year old. Compared with the other boys he hangs out with, he seems much more mature. Time will tell, I guess, but that's what I see.

Fall

Around 4:00 am, in the early morning hours, I got cold. My sheet and quilt, which have been far too many covers for most of this summer, were not enough. I tried to snuggle up to Brian, but he was already cocooned in the bedding, leaving little warmth for me to glean from him. I got up, finally, and shut the window.

Cold.

I haven't felt that for a while.

Summer came early this year. It was hot in May. Early May was cool. We even had snow on the 12th. But after that, it was hot, and it stayed hot. My May pictures show children running through sprinklers. Children in bathing suits. The town pools were not yet open, and we were hot! Summer was hot, too. Not as hot as parts of California can get, but hot. Air conditioners running. Cool showers. At least a third of the summer days were in the mid 90's, and didn't cool down in the evenings. 75 is not a nighttime cool down in my opinion. The issue you run into in Colorado is that the sun is intense. That's great in the winter, when you crave the warmth of the sun. In the summer, though, it makes your skin crawl. I seek shade so that my arms don't hurt. Summer isn't my favorite season. My allergies get worse the hotter it gets. I have headaches that last for days. I don't sleep well. I try to appreciate it here, as it's the only time Colorado is green and looks alive.

But now..... it's cool.

Brian noted that it was suddenly cold last night. I smiled. I am so looking forward to fall. I am looking forward to the busyness of the season. The busyness of routine. School, events, soccer, activities. Some is old and much is new. I'm looking forward to fall colors - even though they lead to the barrenness of winter in these parts. Fire reds, hot pinks, brilliant oranges, muted browns. So beautiful. I'm looking forward to sleeping with my windows closed. Silence. Snuggling under the down comforter. Fireplace. Cool days. Open windows during the day. Happy children. Being able to bake again. I am looking forward to the big, fluffy clouds that have been absent (along with the rain) this summer. I look forward to the possibilities that recent changes will bring. It's a new start. A new season. Cool, crisp air to breath in and breath out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On Having a 7 Year Old

I have a 7 year old. It's wonderful. He gets up (most of the time) to his alarm clock. He can get dressed all by himself. He reads, he writes, he's independent and friendly. He walks to school. He plays soccer. He divides numbers in his head, and has a theory for how everything works.


He also waits patiently by his presents until it's time to open them.



Happy Birthday Brandon!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

School Celebration


Since there's no school tomorrow, Brandon's class celebrated his birthday today. I didn't manage to catch all their birthday song, but what I got is cute. Brandon loved being celebrated!


video

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unanswered


We joined a small group at our new church. Last night was our first meeting, and everyone seemed pretty low-key and normal.  I'm resisting the urge to assign a value factor to this first meeting, but I did get a positive vibe from the experience.  We'll be heading back in the near future to meet up with them again and see if this is the right small group for us.

But that's not the point of this post. For a few months now, we've been in the process of "moving on" from our previous church to a new church. Joining the new small group was just one piece of trying to make this puzzle. Prior to joining FCC, we weren't thinking about leaving our LifeGroup. At least not yet. But the new small group met on the same day, same time as our previous LifeGroup, and we can't be two places at once. Deciding to be pro-active about the situation (since we'd never heard anything one way or another about our old LifeGroup starting back up again this fall), Brian sent an e-mail to the leader last week, on Sunday. He explained that we'd left CBC and joined another church over the summer, and that we were joining a small group there. Coincidentally, but for another reason, I had sent an e-mail to another member of the group explaining the same thing. Our e-mails were polite and nice. We read each other's messages. No edge at all. It's been over a week, and we have never heard anything back.

Nothing.

Not even the polite sort of "sorry to see you go" response. The kind you send even if you aren't sorry to see someone go. Just... nothing.

Crickets chirping can be so loud.

We're not really all that surprised to have heard nothing. Brian decided last night that we need to stop feeling sad or offended about it, and keep pushing forward. Maybe, he said, God is using their lack of response to our leaving the group as a means to reinforce the reasons we're leaving and moving on. Even though this complete lack of response is hard, I don't have any more energy to pour into this situation. I'm so tired. I'm exhausted.

I've tried not to take this lack of connecting in a meaningful way personally, which is very, very hard for me not to do. I read a quote today that said "It doesn't take long to realize that if you're just passing through, people will only give you passing interest." It resonated with me, but not quite in the way the author intended. We are not just passing through here. We are trying to be part of this big, rather unfriendly place. We are trying to enmesh ourselves in community, choosing to be with people and live as believers. It's not as if we were just passing through at our church, either. We were there for several years. When we came to the realization sometime around Christmas that we were still outside, we had to make some hard decisions. And the main decision was that we needed to move on. At that point I started to withdraw myself from the the communities I was part of. I stopped attending MOPS (which I was only sporadically attending anyway), and finished out the semester of my Bible study small group on Wednesday mornings. We attended church as long as our LifeGroup met, and stopped when it ended for the summer. Now we are somewhere else. Colorado is fine, but has so far proven to be a tough nut to crack. I have to believe that God has good things in store for our future, but I have no idea what they are or where they'll take place. Who knows how we'll feel in another year. The same? I hope not.

**On a side note, I need to stop writing about this. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a complainer at heart, which is something I need to change. And, at this point, I'm just complaining. It's taken over a week for me to push the "publish" button. Sorry for one more post on this subject, but I have to get it out.**

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Soccer, Soccer and More Soccer

Two kids in soccer is just, well, crazy.






Caitlin and her buddy, Mia. They go to preschool together, carpool together, and love playing together.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Moving On.........

I've been part of a large women's Bible study at our old church in Boulder for 3 years now. You all know how much I loved it (not). You're all aware of how I was told by my two small group leaders that I had anger management issues, and that is (their reasoning) why I was catching so many colds over the winter. What you may not know is that one of those leaders now leads the entire women's group, which has been hard for me. I'm not into listening to all her "pearls of wisdom" each Wednesday morning. I've built up a wall, I guess. I'd like to just show up late to the larger group to avoid her "teaching", but feel guilty taking Caitlin to the child care rooms an hour after class has begun. I've also been having an aversion to people using the words "lovely ladies" and "precious" in every other sentence. Thanks to only a few people, my time with this group wasn't precious. It was hard.

So, last year I spent many hours searching for other women's groups, or mom's groups, anywhere in a 10 mile radius of my house. The population gets bigger as you head south towards Denver, so I thought that a group wouldn't be hard to find. I was wrong. Days were wrong, hours were off, studies were extremely involved (I'm not there yet). I found a lot that met in the evenings, but with no childcare, I was out. Brian travels too much for that. I felt stuck. Not wanting to stay home alone all the time, I went back to my regular women's group, but wasn't a big fan of the larger group aspect - or the group leaders, for that matter. One is the former group leader mentioned above, the other is someone who acts so friendly in public, but no where else. It's so fake with her that even Brian's noticed (and he thinks it's rude). I was so undecided that I didn't make the decision to return until the day before the group began. But return I did. My desire to not be alone all the time once again won out. My small group was wonderful, but the larger group didn't thrill me as much. I was torn again this summer - do I return, do I not bother - until another option came up. Our new church! Last week I signed up for a women's Bible study. Gasp! You're all shocked, I know. She made a decision! Same day of the week, same time, new church. I don't know anyone, and that's fine right now.

I had pondered returning to CBC for the women's group all summer. We were attending RCC for three months. It had a Bible study coming up in fall, but when I was told how many hours per day it involved at home each week, I wasn't thrilled. Even with my few hours per week to myself, I'm still a stay-at-home mom with young kids. Also, it was on a day that I have preschool carpool duty, so that would always be a factor on how long I could stay. I decided, reluctantly, with some pain, that I would probably go back to CBC on Wednesday mornings. *sigh* But now I have another option. Once I signed up at FCC, I had a sad little thought of all the people that I knew that I'd be leaving behind. I sighed internally, and felt a little forlorn, even though I'm the one doing the leaving. But then I realized this - I'm not leaving behind any great friendships. Not even any budding friendships (if they haven't budded in the last few years, they're probably not going to). I'm only leaving behind acquaintances and familiarity. It's not like I saw any of these people over the summer. Of course, I never called, either.

In all reality, much of this is my fault. After opening myself up, being vulnerable, and then being harshly criticized, I shut down. I stopped letting people in. I complained a lot (mostly to myself, God and Brian, but still...). I regret staying with my first small group and not trying out something different. By doing this I think I just simmered in my mad juices for too long. And while I don't consider myself a quitter, I have come to a point in my life in which I will quit something I view as futile. If it has an end date, I will usually continue until that end, and then stop. But either way, I quit. In this case, I guess I should consider it "moving on" instead of quiting. In as much as I'm a fan of familiarity, there's nothing to be sad about here. I have no idea what this new group is like, and I'm not out to make fast friends this time(although I wouldn't push them away), and I'm okay with all of that. The study, at least, seems promising. It's fresh. It's new. If nothing else, it's something that's moving me in the right direction. "Moving on....."