Friday, December 17, 2010

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Owen's current favorite "toy" is this empty tissue box. I showed him how to put his blocks in it yesterday and he's been carrying it around with him, searching for other small objects to put in it, ever since. He also enjoys all manner of empty containers. Currently, we have one cleaned out peanut butter and one applesauce jar lying around the house (he's playing with one of them as I type this). I'm glad he finds creative ways to entertain himself with items from the recycle bin, but it kind of makes the closet full of unwrapped Christmas gifts we've bought for him seem a little pointless.


Is it odd for a 17-month-old to enjoy Wheel of Fortune? Owen will stop whatever he is doing when it comes on at 6:30 every night and check it out. Tonight, he even sat down in the middle of the living room to follow along. Maybe it's all the applause (he loves to clap along with any and all applause on TV, radio, etc.), or maybe the colors and clicking sound of the wheel. Or maybe he just enjoys learning his letters by shouting them out after the contestants call them, which is way cute! Who knows???

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We've got it! By my estimation (which is based solely on looking out the window), I'd say we got about 3 or 4 inches last night and this morning. It is 2:00 P.M. now and ours is still the only driveway in the cul-de-sac that hasn't been cleared. I did manage to shovel a path 2 shovel-widths wide from the garage to the street (which is a loooong distance, and steep, too!) so I could get the garbage can down to the curb this morning. Initially, Owen was out there with me. I got him all bundled up in two layers of pants, two jackets, hat, mittens, and new snow boots that I can't quite get his feet all the way into. Maybe it was the boots, but he did not want to leave the garage. So I just kept an eye on him while I shoveled until I got about half-way down and heard him screaming. He somehow tumbled over, face-first into the cold, wet stuff. I'm sure it was stinging his little face, so I whisked him inside right away and...after peeling off all those layers...he was fine. Not a scratch on him. But I'm thinking now, "those boots were a waste of money!"

Ryan just touched down in Moline. He's been in Boston on business for the past few days. I'm sure he'll be excited to try out his new snow plow attachment for the riding lawn mower. He told me over the phone earlier that I was welcome to try it out. HA! I'm certain that I would crash into something; that is, if I could even figure out how to get it started! That thing is a total mystery to me and I'm fine with it that way. That's his domain. I'll stay inside and make my grocery list for the extensive baking I'm planning for the next few days. Once I can get out of our driveway, that is!

We've been working on getting Owen to understand that "no" means NO and have started implementing time-outs as punishment when he doesn't listen. Sometimes I think he's getting it, but then other times, I think he thinks time-out is just another form of playtime. The other night, I threatened him with a time-out if he didn't stop doing whatever it was he was doing. He did stop, so I started to praise/thank him, but then I realized that he only stopped to walk over to the time-out rug and put himself in time-out. He just sat there and smiled at me like he was having the best time! So, I counted to 10 (which is how long I make him sit there when we are doing it for real) and then he got up and went back to his toys. Hmmmm. I guess we'll keep trying and hope that he gets it eventually.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feeling grateful and grace-filled

I should be working on my Christmas letter right now during Owen's nap time. Instead, I am sitting here contemplating the powerful testimony I was so privileged to hear at this morning's Bible study. The woman who spoke shared her tale of tragic child abuse and later, the unexpected death of her husband (that's a nutshell if I've ever seen one - it was an amazing story, made even more captivating by the way she told it). Her message was not one of sadness, however (despite the near "sobbing like a baby" tears that I, and most of the women at my table, were reduced to), but one of redemption, forgiveness, and grace.

I feel compelled to share with the world how grateful I am for all of the blessings in my life. I have never know such tragedy and, although I am constantly fearful of the loss of a beloved, so far I have lived what some (including myself) would call a "charmed" life. I know that things won't always be this way. The Negative Nancy inside of me is fully aware that one day, tragedy will strike. (Nancy also seems to take for granted on a daily basis so many of those beautiful blessings. Bad Nancy!) From my current perspective – which is, essentially, "easy for me to say" – I believe that I can trust in the Lord to see me through whatever life throws at me. As our speaker reminded us, He will NOT forsake us, and we should never forsake Him.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

There's a whole lot more on my heart about this topic, but that's all I think I can say in words at this time. I'll keep praying about it...

In other news, I taught Owen about "knuckles" today. Here's a cute video of our lesson:

When I picked him up from the nursery this morning, the woman who's in charge (I always forget her name, even though it's been told to me no less than three different times) was impressed that he knew some sign language (no doubt it was "more," displayed at snack time, little glutton!) and that he was saying so many new words. Here are the latest:

  • "ha" - i.e., "hat"
  • "abba" - i.e., "apple"
  • "too, too" - i.e., "choo, choo" (when playing with his toy train, naturally)
  • "ssss" - i.e., "shhh" (with finger pressing on the tip of his nose)
  • "wow, wow" - i.e., "Yo Gabba Gabba," his favorite show! (This one's been in his repertoire for a while now and I have no idea how he gets "wow, wow" from it, but whatever.)
  • And recently, after his Daddy sneezed during a car ride, Owen repeated, "oh choo!" Guess I need to teach him "bless you" now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Who's house is this??

So, I've never claimed to be a stellar housekeeper, and I know that my friends with multiple children will tell me to "just wait...," but how does my house end up looking this unrecognizable every single night? Our evening ritual now involves putting Owen to bed and then assessing and repairing the day's damage. That is not to say that I don't pick up after him (and myself) throughout the day, but I just can't seem to keep up. So each morning, the house starts off relatively picked up and organized and each evening it ends up looking something like this. I officially apologize for all the snobby things I thought (but never said) about my friends-with-kids' messy homes in the days before my own. I get it now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I am pleased to announce that the Peterson's very first live Christmas tree is sitting proudly in our living room this year! It seems that since we've been married, there has always been some very good reason why it makes more sense to do an artificial tree or no tree at all in our home. But this year, we have a house large enough to accommodate one, we are not in the process of moving/selling our home, and we do not live 2,000 miles across the country from where we will be spending Christmas. 2010 is the year!! And I couldn't be more excited! Have a look...

In other news, after 5 weeks of on-again, off-again icky sicky stuff, I called Owen's pediatrician and said, enough is enough. He prescribed ammoxicilin and almost immediately our happy, fun-loving little boy returned to us! My, how we missed him! And after a bout of flu myself over Thanksgiving week, I am fully healthy again, too. Praise God! Since all is finally well, out came the camera again...

Posing with his special Aunt Jackie during a play date with cousin Brody.

Best buddies! Owen with his cousin Brody.

Check out my Batman jammies!

Daddy with his two best boys. And they're all smiling!

After about 17 attempts, we finally captured a decent family self-portrait for the Christmas card. Too bad O isn't smiling in this one!