I took you to check out the new play space in our local mall today. You loved it. In one moment I was watching my active toddler boy jump off different play structures per usual and the next moment I blink and notice my toddler is actually a big four year old boy. You were playing with a boy similar to your size and suddenly I hear you initiating conversation. “How old are you? I’m four.” (insert response) “When is your birthday? Mine is in January.” (insert response) “This is my sister.” And just like that, you made a new friend. It’s not uncommon that you have conversations with your friends, but I just had a moment and realized wow, he’s all grown up. Making small talk with kids you’ve never met and reaching out to new friends.
I want to share another impactful moment from earlier this week. You and your sister were climbing up the stairs and you were playing rough with her which was making me frustrated. I’ve told you many times before that it’s especially dangerous to be rough on the stairs but you couldn’t control your excitement. I also kept asking you to be a good example, don’t play with the gate, don’t climb the rails. With each reminder I was getting more and more aggravated and then suddenly I had enough and sinfully said the meanest thing I could to a four year old. “You are a BAAAAD brother!!!” Hours later, as we’re eating dinner, you start stumbling for words trying to string together a sentence. “You know mom…when someone is mean to you…you shouldn’t use mean words back. You should be nice back.” And it hit me. You’re really processing what I’ve been trying to teach you in situations when friends are using mean words. I was so humbled and had to ask for your forgiveness because you’re right, even if you’re not being nice or listening to mommy I should still be kind to you. Mommy fail moment, sorry.
As you guys get older, my sinfulness is more exposed. I can’t hide anything from you guys which will keep me accountable to make sure I’m in check. I hope you never stop calling me out. Thanks for that, z.
Hi baby girl. =) Sometimes I forget that you’re already one. You just seem like my forever baby and then I see you running around with your brother and realize how quickly you’re growing! And today, you are 14 months!
Lately you’ve been picking up new sounds and words left and right. I just wanted to take a moment to jot down things you can say as of today.
- gege (older brother in chinese)
- Wa-wa (water)
- Wo-wo (socks in chinese)
- nana (banana)
- poo poo
- thank you
- ca-ca (crackers)
- Bao-bao (hold me in Chinese)
(top left: your first pony tail, top right: cuddling with brother’s bear when he’s not watching (and happy about it!), bottom left: post bath time at auntie’s house Christmas eve, bottom right: pretend drinking coffee in Las Vegas)
Also, most of your skin has cleared up from eczema but you still have a few stubborn areas on your body. You scratch aggressively any moment you get to – bath times and diaper changes. Ayiyi. Hope you will feel better soon, until then I will keep moisturizing you like crazy!
Love you my sweet baby turning into a crazy toddler (noooooo! … heh jk..jk)
You often hijack my phone and take random photos all around the house. A photo of the ground, a spoon, a corner of a table, a post-it note complete with your filter of choice. Anything and everything. I often get annoyed because I have to then later delete hundreds of photos off my phone, but once in a while you surprise me with what you capture. Something beautiful, something real, everything you. (that angle of your selfie tho…)
When I saw the picture of myself on my computer (left), it kind of left me feeling a little sad. It appears I’m distracted, not fully present, doing something other than playing with you. Granted it’s not like this all day, but it was a gentle reminder to be more engaged even if I have emails or other things vying for my attention. But on the flip side, looking at the picture of Joey bear cuddling a blanket (per usual) is the cutest thing ever. Thanks for capturing these moments.
I’ve probably mentioned once or twice that you’ve always been an “all in” kind of guy, both emotionally and physically. There’s no holding back with your emotions whether you’re super excited or sad. It’s a quality of yours that brings us much laughter but also can be difficult at times to help guide you through the rollercoaster of emotions. There are so many times when you try to express your joy to your friends/family but your over-enthusiasm coupled with your brute strength doesn’t always result in a mutual match. For instance, when you’re happy to see someone you
tackle hug them and often times they cry once they start to feel your weight. It must confuse and even sadden you that your excitement can unintentionally leave someone else in tears. The ironic thing is that you never do anything maliciously and if anything, you have the sweetest spirit. You’re just so strong bud, even grown ups like daddy and me often get hurt :P
I got a helpful tip from one of my friends who is also in touch with her emotions and often relates to you a lot even though she’s closer to my age than yours. She told me instead of telling you not to do something, I should suggest another way to show your emotions. Because if I tell you to simply stop being rough (the way I see it) you may interpret that as me asking you to stop being yourself, since from your perspective you’re simply being affectionate. I’m trying to help you express your emotions in a way that would be well received by those who do love you but wish you’d be a little more gentle. My friend’s tip makes sense because often times it confuses me when you start whining when I pick up your crying sister after you’ve been
rough housing trying to love her. Shouldn’t she be the one upset, not you? But I realize you’re sad because your affection feels rejected when I take her away.
Anyway, on to the point of my ramblings. We’ve been preparing for a family reunion in Las Vegas and for the first time we were going to be on the same flight with your cousin. I knew that you would be excited to the max. Leading up to the trip we talked to you about a more gentle way to greet your cousin at the airport since just a couple days ago he cried after your infamous bear hug turned tackle episode. I suggested a high five would be nice and you can use yours words to say “I’m so excited!!!” Well the moment finally arrived when we saw your cousin running up to our gate and I saw you run over to him with glee. I didn’t expect to see what happened next. I saw you exercise self restraint, hold up your hand….for a HIGH FIVE. I was so proud of you because you totally remembered. Everybody was happy and tear free!!! You did it!
Love you bud,
Hello? It’s me…(get it? Sorry, that song is overplayed.) It has been so long that this blog has been collecting a load of virtual dust. Life has gotten busy the way it always does and I haven’t had much time to reflect or process. But here’s to me blowing off the dust and attempting to start fresh. Hurray for new beginnings.
As we’re quickly approaching 2016, I’m inclined to pause and think on how I want to live my life in the new year. What is it that I most desire for myself and my family? What changes do I hope to make? At the core, I want to experience God more deeply and I want Him to continue to mold and change my heart to be bent for His glory alone. My prayer is that I would be fully satisfied in Him and that my joy would be known plainly to you. I hope to be a consistent and faithful example to you both and that I would be unwavering in building you two up in the gospel. Because I want you to be so in love with the gospel. I want you to experience life in its fullness, the way God intended, without the fluff distracting you. My prayer is that God would orient our hearts to desire His glory above all things.
A practical goal mom will strive for – to read His book more. I admire the idea of a faithful woman so much. Does it need to be so far-fetched? It seems so hard with two littles ones, but 2016 is my year of no excuses. I feel like a mindset of “I’m so exhausted to do xyz” was birthed during pregnancy – rightfully so – our bodies are working overtime to make a tiny miracle so rest is necessary. Then we enter motherhood and we continue to get a lot of kick back. “She’s a nursing mom, I understand she can’t commit to this or that.” But when does this stop? It’s like we’ve become so accustomed to the idea that having kids gives us an infinite amount of “get out of jail free” cards. Well 2016 is my year to stop making the excuse that I don’t have enough time or energy to spend time with God and I need to prioritize finding rest in Him. I don’t want to simply excel in providing for your daily needs, but I want to take ownership of ensuring that I’m faithful to care for both your spiritual well being. Perhaps I can use this blog as a way to reflect and share with you what God has been teaching me too. Can you keep me accountable?
Recently you’ve been very eager to pray for all our meal times. Your prayers are pretty much the same every time and it goes like this –
Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for da day. Umm.. Thank you for daddy mommy joey…and ummm thank you for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Thank you for toys. Bless Jesus. Amen.”
I hope you never lose your excitement to pray to God who hears. Your prayers are sweet music to my ears!!
Happy Birthday Zachy!
You’re officially three now! This post is a bit belated but It’s been on my mind because turning three is a huge milestone! Hopefully turning three means it’s the end of an era – the “terrible two’s”. Frankly, I think the “terrible two’s” started around 18 months for you. Your mental development was more advanced than your speech so there was a lot of frustration for everyone. We made it out alive though! puhahaha :) Some moms warn me about the “terrible 3’s” but let’s just pretend that’s not a real thing.
Over the past three years, I’ve learned a lot about who you are and who I am as a mom…as your mom. You’re my spirited, high-energy, sweet, expressive, and emotional Zachary. Your highs are high and your lows are low. Some days it’s hard for me to keep up with your ranging emotions and when you’re inconsolably on the floor having a meltdown I feel at a loss. As my years and struggles increase with motherhood, so have my prayers. I’m beginning to see God’s great design for parenthood – it’s sanctifying and drawing me nearer to Him. That’s such a beautiful gift. YOU are my precious gift, son. We’re growing and changing together and though we have hard days, it’s all part of our journey and it’s one that I’m striving to appreciate each day. Another mom recently reminded me that though our days are long, the years are short and I believe it! With that perspective in mind, I want to cherish each blessed day with you.
For your third birthday, you really wanted a party. How could I deny that from you? You are well loved and many of your friend’s wanted to celebrate with you! We went to one of our favorite places for your party – Ardenwood Historic Farms. It was the perfect January morning – God gracing us with plenty of sunshine. You had the best time – laughing, running, and being the free spirit that you are. You have so much heart and I love seeing you love life…and cake :)