Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Boy Likes Girls

I've already posted before about my 3 1/2 year old's fascination with Miley Cyrus. Well, a few months ago we found out he had a crush on a girl named Sophia in his preschool class. I still can't believe that a crush at his age is even possible, but it's true. He talks about Sophia throughout the week, prays for her at night, and wants to show his new toys to her. Today he came home from school and said "Two boys hit me, mommy." I said "Why, Micah?" and he said "Sophia." Now, I don't know what the heck that means, but he didn't say much more than that and I don't know if I even want to know.

On Monday we found him on the living room floor looking through the Target ad. When Martin went over to see what he was looking at, he found Micah staring intently at the bikini-clad girls advertising their latest sale. I was aghast! Martin tried to take it away from him and he got really upset, so Martin tore out that page and gave him the one with the toys on it. Could it REALLY be starting THIS young? This is really scary.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Being Married to a Pastor....

-Means that you can pretty much expect that before the “big day” (Sunday or any other said special spiritual event), Satan will attack you with a vengeance and everything that could go wrong will go wrong (see story below for details)

-Means that people may drop by your house (or call) at any given hour. We’ve only gotten a midnight call maybe one time, but there was one time somebody stopped by and we were NOT in the mood for visitors, so we quickly ducked and crawled back to the bedroom where we hid. I know! We are SO BAD!

-Means that you better be nice to everyone, because you never know who knows you – even if you don’t know them! (That driver you just screamed at – yeah, they visited the church last week!)

-Means that everyone watches your children for the slightest misbehavior, but you don’t care because they are KIDS, people! You let them be who they are.

-Means that your children may get overwhelmed by all the people who want to touch them and hug them, so you don’t make them go to every single thing.

-Means that sometimes it is fun to hide out in the nursing mothers room and lock the door, and then just watch people milling about outside the room with no clue you are in there ☺

-Means that you know ALL the nice hiding places in the church if there’s ever a person you want to avoid ☺

-Means that there will be some nights you feel like a single mom, because your husband is gone AGAIN, but then you feel convicted because you have nothing to complain about. You are not a military wife or anything (well, in a different military)…

-Means that there will be “needy” people who try to suck the life out of you, and you have to be really good at setting boundaries.

-That when you’re husband is having a bad day, someone may come and complain to him about yet another thing he’s not doing and you need to be able to throw open your arms when he comes home.

But it also means…

-There are amazing blessings that come with the territory – emotionally, spiritually, and materially. Some people are so loving and giving it is unbelievable.

-His schedule is so flexible, he can be there for (almost) everything.

-You have the opportunity to serve the people in the church which is very rewarding.

-You are often showered with wonderful food, especially at Christmas or after you have a baby.

-Your kids are growing up with a built-in “family.”

-Some people may even offer to watch your children for FREE! (My favorite)

-You get lots of hugs on Sunday mornings

-You have the opportunity to see and help people grow spiritually

Because I am also a pastor, I could write a whole separate post about that – “What it’s like to be a Pastor who is married to a Pastor,” but I’ll wait on that for now…

This post came about because I have noticed that the craziest things happen before a “Big Day” (in this case, Sunday). Martin was scheduled to preach at both services AND lead worship for those services (which happens only a few times a year). He had slightly hurt his back a few weeks ago, but this Sunday morning, at around 4am, he woke up yelling out in pain. I’ve never seen the man in so much pain, and he seems to have a pretty big pain tolerance. His back was hurting him so bad he couldn’t move. I tried massaging it, putting Ben-Gay on it, putting heat packs on it, etc… It was not making it any better. He knew that he could not go to church in four hours if this did not get better FAST. We talked about going to the ER but knew they would make him wait for hours and then just give him a muscle relaxer or something.

The only thing I knew to do was to call my old chiropractor’s office (who I hadn’t seen in two years) and see if they do emergency appointments. When I called, a message said that if you had an emergency, to press “0” and the doctor would call you back within 5 minutes. I pressed “0” and then had second thoughts and hung up after it rang about 4 times. I went back to report to Martin what I had done and if I really needed to do it, and he said yes. I called again. “Um, hi doctor, I haven’t seen you in 2 years, and I’m so sorry for calling you at 4am, but my husband is in horrible pain and he is a pastor and has to be at church in 4 hours. We don’t know what to do…” After 45 minutes, he called back very sleepily. I felt SO bad. “I’m sorry I called so early.” “Yes, it is VERY early,” he replied, sounding annoyed. I went on to explain. To make a long story short, he ended up talking to Martin and told Martin to come in right then. So at 5am, Martin left and had an emergency appt. for about an hour. He said the doctor was amazing. He was kind, took x-rays, treated him in a few different ways, gave him a back brace, and they even had a good conversation about church and the Bible. (The chiropractor is a Christian).

Martin went to church, was on time, and was able to lead worship and preach with minimal pain. He went back to see the chiropractor yesterday and found out that ALL of his treatments will be FREE, because they have a policy to treat clergy-members for free. We are just so thankful. Another adventure on a Sunday morning, but God was watching out for us.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waiting is Hard.

This past year (2008) I felt like month by month we were just waiting.  We are still in that season right now.  We are waiting for changes in many different areas of life.  Normally I am not one to welcome change, but something in me now says "bring it on."  I need it.   I have found that when things get mundane, predictable, boring, I can get a bit depressed.   The last 4 years were full of changes: 2 babies being born and growing fast; every minute was full of a new adventure.  But now that the baby stage is over, we have settled into every day life and it is just very routine.   However, as much as I'd like for things to change right now, sometimes we just have to wait.  Here are some things we're waiting for:

-A bigger house (I know I've written about that many times before)
-A dog.  We want a dog.  Can't have one in this house.
-A cat.  Same story.  Can't have one in this house (we're renters, no room for a litter box, etc). Micah says he wants a "baby white kitty" numerous times every week.  His heart beats after mine!
-Moving Jaden into a toddler bed.  We could do it now, but I think it's still a few months away.  I do like being able to put him in the crib and know he can't get out for a few minutes every day.  (I hope that doesn't come out wrong).  Once we put him in a bed, we know we may have many interrupted nights coming our way.
-Getting Jaden out of diapers.  I do love his little, tender age, but diapers are expensive!  And Micah waited until he was 3 1/2 to be fully potty-trained.  I don't think I can do that again!
-A foster child.  This one has been tugging at my heart for months now.  I can't stop thinking about it.  But we cannot have one in this house, and I know right now is not the right time.
-A job for me.  I really want to get back to working part-time in a ministry setting,  yet again, I know this is not the right time.  I know I am supposed to stay home with my boys right now at this stage in their lives.  But sometimes I see opportunities and feel like they're passing me by.
-Student loans paid off.  We've been making constant payments for over 10 years now.  These things are not going away!  So frustrating.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you with all the details.  I hope that some things change in 2009.   It would be REALLY great.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ode to My Son

My, My, My
How could this be
That my child is a dictator
Who is only three
I thought you were easy
When you were just one
But now you are quite the high-maintenance son

Your list of demands
Makes it hard to keep up
With your "no sauce on my pasta!"
And "ice in my cup!"
You're the three year old ruler
Yes, that's what it's like
Who still wears Pull Ups
Since you pee at night

You cry "Get Away!
I can do it myself!"
But still want me to dress you
and to buckle your belt
You hate wearing socks
And any long-sleeved shirt
You want to be "free"
but that's just one of your quirks

You hate getting wet
And don't want dirt on your clothes
Is my list done yet
Of the things that you loathe?
No, it's just the beginning
Yes, that's just the start
Yet somehow you still manage
To capture my heart

Some days I see you
And see pieces of me
And some days I wonder
If you're three or thirteen
Lord, help me love you
The best that I can
And not tear my hair out
Or forget who's in command

I know we'll get through this
And I'll look back and smile
But Lord, give me patience
Because I've been here awhile

So as you lay sleeping
I'll kiss your sweet face
Tomorrow's a new day
Lord, give me grace.

(Copyright 2009 - by Jaimie Bowman)

Friday, January 16, 2009

5 Minutes for Mom

This is a great website full of encouragement, stories, ideas, ways to save money, etc... They are having a contest that ends today to win a Wii Fit: Visit here to enter!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

Last year we had a bad experience with a new mattress.  In my effort (okay, obsession) to find a good deal, I found a mattress company on craigslist that said that the mattresses were factory-direct and we could get factory pricing on a Cal King (which are so expensive!).  Off we drove to downtown LA, and $500 later, we had a new mattress.

Fast-forward one year:  We called after 6 months of having the mattress because it was sagging. They hassled me, so I threatened to contact the BBB, and they promptly brought a new, better pillowtop mattress.  Well, it has been less than 6 months now and the mattress was sagging again.  I really prayed about this, because I didn't want to ever have to deal with them again.  I was really disappointed we had a 2nd bad mattress and we were out $500.  Every single morning I was waking up with back pain and feeling tired all day long.

Last week someone posted a Cal King pillowtop mattress on Freecycle that was 4 years old ("like new" it said), but they wanted a new mattress because it was too soft for them.  I immediately emailed our story but knew it was probably gone.  Well, we ended up getting it.  I was ECSTATIC!  It has now been about 4 nights since we've had the mattress- a beautiful, new (to us) Serta pillowtop with memory foam.  It is absolutely amazing.  And the best part?  I have had the BEST nights sleep the past 4 nights, woken up with no back pain, and I wake up not even tired!  It is such a huge blessing.  Good things come to those who wait!  

Bad news?  We discovered in the process that our box springs are broken (which we got from that first company), which may have caused the sagging mattress (although M says that happened not too long ago when he stood on the bed to change a light bulb).  Anyway, we need to buy new box springs so it doesn't happen again, but I don't mind that cost - it shouldn't be much.

Here are some more pictures taken recently- in the leaves across the street from our house, and in Palos Verdes overlooking the ocean.  

(This first one is of the boys rocking out - look at Micah's face :) - they wanted to each stand on a drum while they were playing guitar - it was so funny!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where to Begin

There are just so many things rolling around in my head that I've wanted to blog about, it's hard to know where to begin!

Yesterday we visited the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for Micah.  This Dr. was pretty much our last stop, after already visiting an Audiologist and Allergist.  We wanted to find out if there might be anything else causing his incessant runny nose that has not stopped for the past 4 months.  We also wanted to see if there might still be any fluid in his ears.  We didn't want to tell Micah we were going to yet another Dr.'s appt., so at lunch we got him ready and just said "We're going to meet a nice man." Well, he's smarter than that and immediately started saying "I don't want to meet a nice man!" When we got into the Dr.'s office (which had a play area even), he started loudly saying "I want to go home, mommy!" But thankfully we were only there about 30 minutes from start to finish, and it was the most enlightening Dr.'s visit yet.  The doctor took one look and said "Oh yes, I see fluid in both ears right away, especially on the right side." He also took one look at his x-rays and said "Wow, those are big adenoids!" and "Those tonsils are large!"  In the end, he recommended that Micah have both his adenoids removed and tubes put in both ears.  He said we most likely will immediately see the runny nose stop and he will get sick less often.

While the surgery is still to be scheduled and will be at least 4-6 weeks away, I already tear up at the thought of him going under and having an IV in his arm and a breathing tube in his nose. I know tons of parents that have gone through this, but it doesn't really  make it easier.  We cannot  be in the room with him and just know he will be so scared.  I still remember my surgery (having my tonsils out and tubes put in) when I was about 5.  But we'll just pray that he does great.

Jaden, on the other hand, is sporting a double ear infection this week but has no fever or anything, so I'm waiting this one out.  The ENT said he would probably recommend doing that, so I'm fine with it.  But he has definitely stepped up his tantrums lately and now says "NO!" and lays on the floor when he doesn't want to do something.  I can't believe how strong he is, too!  Time to start disciplining :(  He has been making us laugh lately by shouting "Wake Up Jeff!" which is a phrase from the Wiggles (from him it sounds more like "Day Duh Def!!!!")  Tonight we went to a kids puppet show at the mall, and the puppet fell asleep and Jaden shouted "Day Duh Def!!" three times. It was SO funny.  

Other things I've been wanting to write about?  Today we found out that a former church member and youth leader of ours passed away... very, very sad.  Please pray for her daughter who is now without both parents and is in college.

School started this week again... It's hard getting back into the routine.  I always get sad when the holidays are over because there is always something so fun to look forward to from October-January.  I don't know... Martin Luther King, Jr. day is GREAT, don't get me wrong, but no major parties planned, you know?!

Here is a picture from this week; I have been trying to upload more but it's not working so I'll try again later...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Doing Life Over

Have you ever looked back on your life and thought, "If I could do it over, I would definitely do this..." I guess at the New Year I started reflecting on my life, because this question has been hitting my head a lot. These things aren't necessarily regrets, just things I did not do that I now think "Well, if I COULD do life over, I would do this." Here are a few:

-Learn to do a cart-wheel. Yes, it's true, I'm probably the only adult on earth that never learned to do one! :)
-Be in a few plays. Sometimes as an adult, I see a good play (I recently saw "The Sound of Music") and I think "Oh MAN! I would have loved to be in something like that!"
-Travel to another country (like Ireland or Europe or Israel) during or right after college. (Mexico and Canada don't count)
-Date more. I did make the decision not to date throughout high school, feeling "chosen of God", but looking back, I don't think one or two dates would have hurt! :)
-Dance more. Dancing was not really smiled upon in our church circles, so I didn't get much of that in.

Now, I understand that I still can do some of these things at my tender young age of 32. But trying the cart-wheel out might just break my neck. I don't have time for play practices that infringe upon my valuable TV time watching LOST. My buns can't handle being in an airplane for longer than 5 hours, so most foreign countries are out. I do date my husband, thankfully :) And the dancing - well, I get in what I can at weddings.

For the sake of not appearing like I am daily living my life in regret, here are a few things I am thankful that I WAS a part of when I was younger:

-Sang ALL the time, any place I could (solos with accompaniment tracks). I started doing that when I was about 12 and continued all the way through college.
-Had a "Jaimie W--- in Concert" night in Niland, California when I was 16. (Yes, Niland- the armpit of CA - teeny, tiny town). It was advertised with posters throughout the town. Keep in mind that the whole concert took place using a Karaoke machine (which had just come out, so they were all the rage) :)
-Lived in New York for a summer (during college) with my youth pastors' family, which was the furthest and longest I had ever been away from home.
-Went white-water rafting in Oregon with my youth group (life-threatening experience, let me tell you!)

And, more recently, bared my weight to the world to lose 23 pounds when I was on the Dr. Phil show 3x back in 2004. (If you're wondering, NO, with a capital N-O would I ever do that again!) :)

So, I guess we all have different life experiences, some good, some bad... But it seems only natural to look back and wish you had done (or hadn't done) certain things.  I would love to read yours, too! :)