Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day

Dean has been working Saturdays a lot lately, so weekends have just been Dinah and me for the most part. He finally had a weekend free last weekend, and a three-day weekend at that, so we were pretty excited. Dinah loved having that much time with mom and dad both. It’s amazing how much difference it makes in her attitude when she has plenty of time with both of us, especially when we’re together, as opposed to just one or the other.

Saturday morning, we had some errands to run, so we went in and had breakfast at the airport. I’d always heard good things about breakfast in the little cafĂ© there, but I had never been. It was fun. It’s just a small airport, so there isn’t much traffic, but it’s still just cool to be able to see and watch the planes while you eat. After breakfast and our errands, we spent the day hanging out in town and doing a little shopping. Dinah was most impressed with the gummy candy we got from the candy store in the mall, and the bunnies we saw at Atwoods. Seriously, judging by her reaction and interest, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up with a bunny one day.

Sunday was spent as usual. We went to Church in the morning, where she had a great time playing with her friends. She sometimes has issues being left with people, but that day she had only people that she’s very familiar with and one of her Sunday school teachers had duty during church too so she didn’t have to deal with him leaving.

Monday we slept in, and started our day with plenty of rest. We went to the park and played at the splash pad. It was our first time at the splash pad, and we had a blast. Dinah loves water, so she just went from one sprinkler to the next. She wanted one of us close by, as usual, so she would lead us to one thing and play around and then, without ever looking back she’d reach for our hand and move on to the next thing. I also started over on my fitness goal, and Monday started the first day of my exercise routine and getting back into using the myfitnesspal app to track food intake. So, after the splash pad we went to Panera for lunch where we could get a good lunch that was easy to track and easy to find something healthy, but yummy. After lunch, we headed to the zoo. I didn’t get many pictures (and by that, I mean I only took one) but we enjoyed it. Dinah isn’t all that impressed with birds, but she particularly liked the goats because she could touch them. She couldn’t figure out why her crazy parents kept calling that gray thing a donkey, though, when it was clearly a horse.

We had a great holiday weekend. And, I actually got around to writing about it in a timely manner! Success.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Little Girl With A Big Attitude

Dinah is so much fun at this age. Her little personality keeps blossoming (and so does the attitude). Some observations of our 20 month toddler:

•She often doesn't want to get dressed, and when she does she has opinions about what she should wear, particularly shoes.

•She loves dogs. She particularly likes it when they do what she wants, and my Mom's Maltese isn't big enough to resist much. And if she does resist, all Dinah has to say is, "Granny... I need Val" and she gets her way.

•She likes to be up and going all the time, and she wants you to be too. If you sit down, she starts asking, "You want up?" If that doesn't work, it turns to "I want you up!"

•She still loves to read. Several times a day we hear, "wanna read?" She has her own names for some of them. Where The Wild Things Are has become "Rawwwrrr," and The Boy Who Wouldn't Share is referred to as "Mine."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

It’s funny how much my view of motherhood has changed since I entered into that role. I always knew mothers were important. I always knew it was a hard job. I just never quite understood the extent of either. There was a time when I thought mothers who wanted to be stay-at-home moms had no ambition. Oh, how naive I was! It also never occurred to me that just because a mother doesn’t work outside the home, doesn’t mean she doesn’t do plenty for her family, church, or community.

I read an article several months ago about how parenting does not bring enough happiness to counter all the stress and cost associated with it. The author must not be a parent. If he/she is, I pity their children. I’ve thought on several occasions that if I was going to pick a name that perfectly suited Dinah, it would have to be Joy. She just exudes joy. I’ve had people stop me in the grocery store and ask if she’s always that happy. And, the answer is yes, most of the time. She provokes it in others too with her smiles, giggles, squeals, singing, running, jumping, most everything she does. When I was pregnant, and freaking out a little over the changes about to come because I liked it being just the two of us, my friend told me once she was here I wouldn’t be able to imagine life without her. She was absolutely right. Nothing in my life has ever stressed me out as much as she can, but nothing has ever been such a constant source of joy either.

Being a mother is unlike any other relationship or any other responsibility in the world. There will be many factors shaping Dinah throughout her life. The people she meets, and relationships she has. The joys and hurts she feels. The books she reads. The examples of others, and the situations she encounters. But, the first thing she sees, and the greatest influence is what she experiences at home. It’s my job (and Dean’s) to show her love, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness. It’s our job to direct her. What could be more important than that? People are always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. Motherhood makes a difference.

I’m thankful (and terrified) for that opportunity to make that big of difference in someone’s life. I’m thankful for my own mother and the difference she made in my life. She wasn’t perfect, and I’m not either. But, I knew she loved me. She did her best to direct me in the right ways, in the things that mattered. She has always put me and my brothers first. Our needs were always met before her own. Still to this day, she cares more about how she can help us than how she can help herself. Thank the Lord for mothers.