Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pursuit of Happiness

Oprah had a show the other day about happiness, and I have been thinking about it ever since. The show was titled "Are You Happy?" She claimed that things like knowing your neighbors, watching less TV, and having close friends increases your happiness. Those have been true for me. However, she also claimed that having kids does not make you any happier. I disagree...and here is why:

Cal and Jack bring out this smile in my mom....extending past the lips to the eyes and eye brows. They seem to do this to everyone.

The boys also seem to bring out the kid in all of us. Dan and I like to be playful, but it rarely happens without a little encouragement. Calvin asked Dan and me individually to lay down in the entryway to play catch. He joined us for awhile.

But we still enjoyed playing together after he left. That was a pretty happy moment.

The boys seem to just make everyday happenings more fun. Cal was trying to put Jack's shoes on here while Jack was swinging/jumping around in the jumper. We all thought it was hilarious!

And watching Calvin say "hi" to Jack like this sure made preparing dinner a lot of fun!

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Not to mention sweeping out leaves from the garage with this on the sideline =).

Maybe Oprah's conclusion about kids not making you happy is from a wrong definition of happiness. Sure, the boys make life much more complicated and much less about me, but they sure bring joy!
The show also brought up the nature of happiness as being either genetic or environmental. I'd say that this 6 month old shows that it is in all of us from the start. As we grow, it fades.

I am trying to learn to follow the recipe for happiness that the Bible teaches....trust. With the same trusting eyes with which Jack looks at me, I need to trust in the goodness and soverignty of God instead of trying to control everything myself. That may not make me happy as Oprah defines it, but it will bring joy and contentment. That is true happiness.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Big Headache

Calvin fell off of a chair and onto our laminate-over-concrete dining room floor last night. I've never seen a knot develop so quickly as it did last night on Calvin's forehead. I picked him up less than 5 seconds after he fell, and his head already looked like this.
Thankfully Dan was already on his way home from work and called just as Calvin was screaming and squirming away from my bag of frozen mixed veggies. Apparently it is not essential to keep ice on it...thankfully, and Calvin was much happier when I stopped trying to ice it.

A couple hours later it already looked a lot better....just spread out, maybe. Today the bump is pretty much gone, but Calvin still has the bruise.

We woke Cal up a couple times last night to make sure he didn't have a concussion. He seems to be doing fine other than being tired (and thus whiny) from having to wake up throughout the night.

So, the question remains: How could a mom let something like this happen to her little guy?

My mom and I were cooking dinner, and Calvin was watching. He loves pulling his little chair up to the counter to watch...kind of like he was doing in the picture while playing with play doh. And he fell off.
Last night I was considering not letting him stand on the chair like that again. Today I'm thinking I'll let him...but using the dining chair with the arm rests (and no cushion). Terrible idea? Maybe the little buddy won't even want to, though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pine Cones and Kisses

We went to the park today with Nana and our neighbor Rebecca (aka. "Hockey"). Calvin loved collecting squirrel-stripped pine cones with Nana.

Cal has been talking by giving meaningful words only and waiting for us to connect the dots.

His version of the story: Tree! Coke...down... hit.....ma-chi-chi! Back!"
Crystal clear, huh?
Translation: The pine cones fell down from the Christmas trees and hit the ground. Can we go back and see them?

Unfortunately, the answer right now is "no." Calvin is not too pleased with this response.

On the other-hand, Jack is quite pleased with a few kisses on his neck....

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And his dump truck.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tummies, Bikes, Trains

Jack's life is all about his tummy right now. He is finally loving his tummy time! He maneuvers to put toys (that Cal giveth and taketh away) into his mouth, looks around at the constant action above, and rolls over onto his side and back. My favorite is when he pushes himself up onto his elbows and just hangs out.
Of course, Mr. PR loves it when direct attention comes his way. He's pretty hard to resist with his smiles, little screeches and drool-covered chin.

Jack has also been learning to fill his tummy with "solid food." The watered-down rice cereal and sweet potatoes can barely be classified as solid, but he seems to be enjoying the new flavors. Most of it ends up getting down to his tummy...I think.

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Calvin got a new bike for Christmas/birthday from my mom, "Nana." He LOVES it! He was up in the middle of the night this week, and in his half-awake stupor he was able to mutter two words....first, "bike." Second, "dada." Yeah.

Calvin started out by pushing the bike around the house with our help. He said "Na-nee," push, and bike over and over and over again.

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He has since graduated to sitting on the seat while we push...a big step given the seriousness of his "no" when we initially asked him if he wanted to ride.

Calvin has also been pretty obsessed with "choo-choos." This all began with the book, "The Little Engine That Could." We've read the book at least 30 times, and now we are building Lego trains all the time. He asks to see this picture of one of them all the time now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cookie Power

Today I gave Calvin a haircut. By myself, with both boys awake, in the dining room. This took quite a lot of courage on my part. For one, I am definitely not a hair stylist. And for two, the snotty, tantrum with hair all over it that was thrown during our last attempt outside, with Ace's help (and two sweet neighborhood girls, too), and with Jack sleeping is still burned in my mind.

This morning while feeding Jack, I had a stroke of brilliance: a cookie!

Annie Woodruff made quite the impression on Cal over Christmas with some (quite tasty) cut-out cookies. He was immediately her best friend! These pictures are priceless. Pure happiness on Cal's face upon receiving the gift!



I asked Cal if he would like to eat a cookie while I cut his hair. I told him he could keep it as long as he did not "fight mama." Only 10 minutes, zero tears, and half a cookie later, voila!





Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How he likes it, anyway

Calvin turned 2 the day after Christmas. I've spent (well, only a little) time feeling guilty about not making more of his birthday this year. But now I've concluded that his "big" day was just like Cal would have wanted it had he planned it himself.

Calvin is happiest when he is part of something bigger than himself (though, don't get me wrong, he certainly enjoys attention, too!). When Dan and I are working on a project and he's just along for the ride, he loves it! That is pretty much what happened the whole week of Christmas surrounding his birthday.

He got to go outside with Uncle "B", Uncle Sam, and Daddy.
And he got to tag along with Grandma while she hiked into the woods with Dan and Uncle Sam to find a good spot for a future treehouse.

Calvin loved eating his meals like a big-guy at the bar and with Pappa. This could also be what helped him gain weight recently.

And he sat on Uncle Sammy's lap to watch him play dominoes.

For Cal's actual birthday celebration, we went to Culver's with my mom, Aunt Kim, Uncle Jason, and Addie. It was fun to just be together...even if there were not hats, noise-makers, or streamers. Thanks for taking this picture, mom!
We put 2 little candles in a big Texas sheet cake and Calvin stifled a smile while we sang to him. He then watched as Dan blew out the candles.
And of course he liked eating it! Though he resists eating most of the time, he has a sweet tooth like his mama.
Calvin recently gained enough weight to register just above the 1%ile. The doctor was pleased, though I think unless we keep eating sweets like it's the holidays, I think he'll probably drop back down.

Calvin got one really special present from my dad, who I wish Calvin could meet. My dad made this rocking horse for me when I was a little girl, and my mom kept it for us to give to our children. My dad would love Calvin (and Jack and Addie) up one side and down the other, so I'm sure he would love to see Calvin riding this horse that he built 30 years ago.



A Covered Cue-ball

I enjoy adopting uniforms for myself.....vests, sweaters, and hats. I guess I like finding something that I like and sticking to it. Jack has been subjected to this, too, poor guy! Aunt Kim gave him this hat, and it just seems to work perfectly for warmth and cuteness.

Aside from when it is in the washing machine, it was on his sweet little cue-ball head the whole time we were visiting family in Indiana over Christmas. No quite so much here in North Carolina since it's a bit warmer here.

He didn't seem to mind it too much!