Thursday, March 29, 2012

25 Rules for Mothers and Sons

I have heard lots of rules for fathers and daughters, but this is the first time I had seen one for mothers and sons. I take no credit for writing it, the credit goes here, however, I did want to share it. I can't wait to teach these thing to Landry.

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment. He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement. Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference. Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion. Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry
and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games. There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics. There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts. There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade. He will tell you to stop. He will say he's embarrassed. But he will know that there is at least one person that is
always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry
..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt. He may not always choose to do it. He may not ever have to do it. But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents." Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass
along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals. No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three. It doesn't have to be good. Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity
The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things. If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this: If you have done any of the following: a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero. do not doubt yourself for one second. Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners
because it’s nice. and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there. Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle
like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes. You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable. Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes. Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football
or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song. Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him
turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away. Just go outside and follow him around. Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions. It's like magic.

15. Let him lose
Losing sucks. Everybody isn't always a winner. Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't. He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids. This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....) Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

16. Give him opportunities to help others
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help. Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities. Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together.

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better listener by listening. You become better speaker by speaking. Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing. Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip. Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"
Answer him, or search for the answer together. Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches). Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself. Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.' If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, someday down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers. And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom, you will stay connected to what is happening in his life. Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy
drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog. Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff. and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts
Forts have the ability to make every day normal stuff into magic. Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders. For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

23. Take him to new places
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

24. Kiss him
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet. They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day. But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender. So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?' Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild. Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old. You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it. p.s. (this one is just as important for dad's too).

25. Be home base
You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will
come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking at things differently

It's funny to me that things I have heard hundreds of times before now take on a whole new meaning since I am pregnant.

One song that has done that to me is Rascal Flatts "My Wish".

The other one is "The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets. And really its just the first verse of this song.

Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,

Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

I wish I could write because I feel like those are the things I would say to Landry. There are other examples, but those are the two biggest ones.

Monday, March 26, 2012

25 weeks

how far along?  25 weeks
how are you measuring?  25 weeks
size of baby? According to the Baby Bump app on my phone our baby is about the size of a rutabaga 13.5 inches and the weighs about 1.5lbs.
heartbeat?  138 bpm (at 22 week appointment)
total weight gain/loss? 10lbs
maternity clothes? Yes
sleep? I am still falling asleep pretty easily, but waking up is really hard to do most days.
best moment this week?  Went shopping with my mom for our guest room. It was great to have some mother/daughter time.
movement? I felt the hiccups for the first time this week. It was really cool, Joel even got to feel them.
food cravings/aversions? Not this week
gender predictions? It's a boy, Landry James Howard
what i miss: Easily shaving my legs... I can see how this is only going to get more difficult and we are heading into summer. Not a good thing.
what i'm looking forward to: Putting everything in Landry's room. Joel and I are taking off work on Friday and Monday to try to get things done around the house.
how are you feeling? I am feeling much better this week. Cutting out most of my salt and sleeping on my left side seem to be helping.
pregnancy moments: I don't know how I am going to make it through the heat of the summer... I am already dreading it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do you see anything wrong?

I discovered while showering tonight that apparently when I went to the store the other day to buy shampoo AND conditioner, I came home with two conditioners...

I blame pregnancy. Guess I will be going back tomorrow to return one. The funny thing is they are the same thing in to different bottles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

24 weeks

how far along?  24 weeks
how are you measuring?  24 weeks
size of baby? According to the Baby Bump app on my phone our baby is about the size of a corn 12.5 inches and the weighs about 1.25lbs.
heartbeat?  138 bpm (at 22 week appointment)
total weight gain/loss? 8lbs
maternity clothes? Yes
sleep? I am sleeping really well at night, no complaints here.
best moment this week?  Almost finished with the walls in Landry's room. Then we can move the furniture in the room.
movement? Lots
food cravings/aversions? Not this week
gender predictions? It's a boy, Landry James Howard
what i miss: Not much
what i'm looking forward to: Putting everything in Landry's room.
how are you feeling? Well, at my last dr. appointment I told my doctor about my charlie horses. She went ahead and ran a blood test just to make sure all of my levels were normal. It turns out I was low on vitamin D, so I am now taking a supplement for it. Also, Thursday of this week my feet were so swollen. I hadn't even been on them very much. I posted a picture on facebook and got lots of advice. I tried to stay off of them as much as possible this weekend and they seem to be doing better.
pregnancy moments: I don't know how I am going to make it through the heat of the summer... I am already dreading it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Christmas in March?

A few days ago we got a bunch of boxes we had ordered from Amazon. I posted on facebook that it was like Christmas.

Then this past weekend we got all of the furniture in...

AND THEN... today right after we got home, the FedEx man knocked at our door. Joel's cousin has two little boys and said she was sending me some stuff they had out grown. Boy was I surprised! The box weighed 18lbs!!! And was full to the max with all kinds of goodies and clothes for Landry! I am beyond excited to get them all hung in his closet!

We are so grateful for all the clothes, bibs, blankets, etc!

It's been so much fun this month getting all sort of packages and we're only halfway through!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sneak Peek

We have been busy bees working on Landry's room. I can't wait to show it to you all, but for now here is a sneak peek.

PS- The blue isn't as dark as this picture makes it look.

Stay tuned I will post more pictures as we work on it.

Our New Ride

I call him Dave. As in this is our Dave Ramsey car. We traded down and in the process eliminated about $8,000 in debt. He's not new, luxurious, or expensive, but he gets the job done and will help us pay off our debt faster!

23 weeks

how far along?  23 weeks
how are you measuring?  23 weeks
size of baby? According to the Baby Bump app on my phone our baby is about the size of a large mango 13 inches and the weighs about 1.1lbs.
heartbeat?  138 bpm (at 22 week appointment)
total weight gain/loss? 8lbs
maternity clothes? Yes
sleep? I am sleeping really well at night, no complaints here.
best moment this week?  We started work on the nursery! We also went and registered for baby things. And best of all, all of Landry's furniture came in and is now in our office. Can't wait to finish up the room so we can put it in there.
movement? Lots, normally it feels like kicks and punches, but occasionally I feel his whole body shift. It is one of the coolest feelings.
food cravings/aversions? I wasn't craving it this week, but I had a cucumber and it was even more delicious than normal. Seriously, I ate two entire cucumbers (in two days) and then I add two salads in one night because the cucumbers on them were so good.
gender predictions? It's a boy, Landry James Howard
what i miss: Being able to clip my toes nails without being completely winded.
what i'm looking forward to: Putting everything in Landry's room.
how are you feeling? I feel great! I have been so blessed during this pregnancy.
pregnancy moments: I am going to miss blaming all of my absent mindedness on pregnancy. I forget little things or say things that don't make sense, I always just blame it on the pregnancy. ha!

Monday, March 5, 2012

22 weeks

how far along?  22 weeks
how are you measuring?  22 weeks
size of baby? According to the Baby Bump app on my phone our baby is about the size of a spaghetti squash 12 inches and the weighs about 1lb (officially!).
heartbeat?  141 bpm (at 18 week appointment)
total weight gain/loss? 8lbs
maternity clothes? Yes
sleep? I am waking up twice most nights to use the bathroom. Most times between midnight -1am and again between 4-5am.
best moment this week?  We picked up the paint, our furniture came in and we found Joel's cousin is having a little boy. Landry is going to have lots of friends to play with.
movement? As we speak.
food cravings/aversions? I need to stop going to the grocery store. I always pick up something that sounds good at the time that is not on the list. Oh and lately I have been loving Dr. Pepper! I try to limit myself because caffeine is not good for Landry.
gender predictions? It's a boy, Landry James Howard
what i miss: Nothing
what i'm looking forward to: Putting everything in Landry's room. We are painting it today and the crib came in this week, so we are going to pick it up soon! I also have a doctors appointment this week, so we get to see Landry again. He didn't cooperate at our last appointment so they weren't able to get all the measurements they needed.
how are you feeling? I am really waiting for nesting to set in. I need it to set in.
pregnancy moments: I had a moment this week where I forgot I was pregnant. Joel and I were just sitting in the car driving somewhere and then all of a sudden I got kicked in the stomach. It was really weird. I also called Landry Leo this week when talking to my belly. I wonder how many times that will happen.