Friday, June 30, 2006

We survived!

The move is behind us and we're grateful to have lived to tell about it. The experiences we've had since last Friday have been incredibly exhausting. Moving any time of the year is bad enough, but a summer relocation is the worst, in my opinion. It is a true miracle that no one suffered a heat stroke.

The night before the movers came, hubby and I relaxed for a moment on the couch and praised ourselves for what a great job we'd done preparing for this move. We were so much more prepared for this move than the previous one, we both agreed. After all, we'd been packing for three months and with the help of a U-Haul trailer had already moved every single box over to the new house by Friday afternoon. My, we were on top of things. Or so we thought.

The Day of Reckoning came early the next morning, and very quickly all our self praise turned to condemnation. How in the world could we have been so stupid as to believe we were really on top of things? When all the furniture had been loaded on the truck, we were faced with the reality that there was still a LOT left to be boxed. What had seemed like so little the night before suddenly seemed huge and overwhelming. While I should have been settling into the new house that evening, I was frantically packing up the remains in the old house and shuttling load after load over on the U-Haul. In the end, I'll bet we made at least 30 trips with that silly trailer ferrying all of our junk across town. The massive job was finally completed at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, a full three days and five nervous breakdowns after moving day.

As a result of this dreadful experience, hubby and I have a new motto: Less is more! We are posting our new mantra on bathroom mirrors, shower walls, fridge doors, steering wheels, commode lids and any other prominent place we can think of. We repeat it to each other as we help each other over boxes stacked shoulder high in our hallways and garage. I have sworn my dear mother-in-law (who took up a LOT of slack in the aftermath of my packing failures) to two promises:

1. That if we ever so much as HINT at moving again, she will make an appointment immediately with a psychiatrist to have our heads examined, for we surely will have taken leave of our senses.

2. That EVERY single time she sees me or talks to me on the phone from now on that she will ask the question, "What have you gotten rid of this week?" The reality that we have WAY too much stuff for five people has been waved prominently in my face all week, and if I know I'm accountable to someone for weeding through this mess and taking some serious steps to eliminate the clutter that has plagued us for years, I am much more likely to do something about it.

That's all I can write for now, but there is more yet to share. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What's in a name?

This from Birmingham, Alabama today ...

The divine Trinity — "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" — could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb" or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend" at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.

Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive" a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them.

"This does not alter the church's theological position, but provides an educational resource to enhance the spiritual life of our membership," legislative committee chair Nancy Olthoff, an Iowa laywoman, said during Monday's debate on the Trinity.

A panel that worked on the issue since 2000 said the classical language for the Trinity should still be used, but added that Presbyterians also should seek "fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God" to "expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder."

One reason is that language limited to the Father and Son "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women," the panel said.

Conservatives responded that the church should stick close to the way God is named in the Bible and noted that Jesus' most famous prayer was addressed to "Our Father."

Besides "Mother, Child and Womb" and "Rock, Redeemer, Friend," proposed Trinity options drawn from biblical material include:

— "Lover, Beloved, Love"

— "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier"

— "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love."

I have to wonder if a single one of these delegates has consulted the Most High about His feelings about having his name changed. Or if they've read his clear warning in Exodus 20:7, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

And just try singing "The Doxology," with "Praise Mother, Child, and Womb" or any other substitution ... there's nothing lovely about it.

Some things just shouldn't be messed with.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Potty Training Updates

I'm deriving comfort tonight from reading the posts of Katherine over at Raising Five who has been sharing her knowlege of potty training. Last night I was ready to bang my head against the wall after yet another day of soggy, soiled training pants. But tonight, I'm encouraged. So what if my brother and his wife had both their children completely trained before age 2? And who cares if my child is the last one in his class at church to graduate out of diapers? No one is handing out any awards for the most rapid success in this area, and even if they were, I'm not sure the added stress would be worth it. I love what Katherine writes:

My pediatrician tells me that the average age for potty training a child is 2-½. I personally think his other patients are just too embarrassed to admit the truth, or are just trying to make him feel good for statistical purposes. I love him dearly, but Get Real.

I like how those words sound. They're liberating to a mom who has flat run out of ideas for dealing with a very busy boy who just doesn't have time to stop his games of pretend to visit the restroom and who doesn't mind at all the feeling of being wet or dirty. I think I'll practice saying them for our visit to the pediatrician in a couple of weeks. Get Real!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Potty Training Blues

Kind, well-meaning folk started in with their well wishes before I'd even gotten Little Guy home from the hospital. Talk of how different little boys are. How much easier in some ways and more difficult in others. And the subject of potty training was inevitably invoked as The Primary Difference between little boys and little girls. The difficulties of training boys were expounded upon by mother after mother who had walked the path before me.

And I would nod my head as if to agree that yes, boys sure must be harder to train than girls.

But what I was thinking was, "After MY two girls, NOTHING could be more difficult."

And, indeed, for a time, it appeared that Little Man was going to defy the Laws of Potty Training. Shortly after his second birthday, he seemed to be well on his way to an underwear drawer full of SpongeBob boxers and Spiderman briefs. He could stay dry and clean for HOURS at a time and very quickly began staying dry during naptime.

I prematurely rejoiced with a few fellow boy moms, and then ... the new wore off.

And here we are nearly 2 weeks after his third birthday, and he can barely stay dry for 30 minutes.

So, imagine my frustration while we (the kids and I) were out on our daily box-gathering mission Saturday (we're moving in 12 days) and in the middle of the store, Gavin bellows, "I'VE GOT TO POTTY!!!!!" Of course, I did what any frantic, busy, overwhelmed mother would have done. I stuck my hand over his mouth! Only the second I removed it, all the noise I had been holding back suddenly escaped again and with 100 more decibels, he screamed his request again.

With my nose to his, I stared him in the eye and said, "Son, you have not managed to stay dry AT ALL for the past SIX MONTHS! Why then would it suddenly be such an emergency right here in Sam's that you have to blow the roof off with your screaming?"

Suddenly calm, he asked, "Oh! Am I wearing a Pull-Up?"

Friday, June 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Little Guy!

My baby turned three years old yesterday. I guess it's safe to say that I don't really have a baby anymore. He's learning new words everyday, and with the expanded ability to communicate verbally have come fewer nasty toddler tantrums. He's completely quit riding in his stroller, and I noticed last night when I took the kids to play at Fun City that he could (finally!) climb to the highest levels all by himself. Yes, Gavin is officially a Big Boy now. With the exception of those pesky Pull-Ups which we just can't seem to get away from, he has shed all vestiges of babyhood and wants to be seen as the little man that he is becoming.

When I put him to bed last night, I leaned over to kiss him and said, "I want to be the last person to wish you again a very happy third birthday." I asked him if it had been a good day, and he just looked at me tiredly and said,

"I cried a lot today." (Not sure why he would say this. It didn't seem any more than usual to me)
"Were you sad?" I asked.
"No," he replied, and with his cute little lisp, he announced, "It wath becauth I wath DEPRETHED!"