Tuesday, February 27, 2007

PyCon 2007 Day 3

Day 3 has now come and gone, and after some rest my brain has recovered from information overload. I would like to give a big shout out to the Pycon organizers. They have done a wonderful job!

Keynote: Robert Lefkowitz - The Importance of Programming Literacy

r0ml getting ready for the keynote
r0ml gets ready for the keynote

The last day of pycon began with a very strong keynote for Mr. Lefkowitz. Not only was the talk very engaging, but thought provoking as well. The talk weaved through lingustics, history and computer science. His basic premise is that he wants to change how we define Computer Literacy. Today's idea of computer literacy is teaching children how to using Powerpoint. His desire is to redefine that to include computer programming as well. If this were to come true, it begins to bring up some interesting thoughts and questions. For example, most kids can't get through high school with out studying one of Shakespeare's works. Are there any works of code that would be worth having students study in school? This idea also makes you want to think a little differently how you write your code. There's way too much that I could get into in this blog post, but I highly recommend checking out the video and audio of the presentation when it is available.

Testing Talks Galore

The last day was jammed pack full of testing talks. The highlight for me was finding out more about twill, scotch, and figleaf. At a very basic level, twill is a scriptable interface to the web that you can use to test web interfaces. Mix in a little wsgi, and you get a very easy to write unit testing for your web interfaces. Scotch is a web transaction recorder that will record all of the actions going through the web, so that you can play them back at a later time. Figleaf is a more powerful code coverage tool for python that will report how much of your code has been tested.

On a bit of a related note the trac talk included showing off a new plug-in called Bitten. Bitten is a continuous integration tool that fits very nicely in trac. As code is checked in, it will build, and test everything, and provide nice reports showing how many tests passed or failed, code coverage, etc. If you are using trac, you should be using this plug in :)

Every good thing comes to an end

If you haven't been to Pycon yet, I highly recommend it. I found out a lot about new technologies, and made a lot of friends. I hope to see you there next year!

Quick Recap of the Week

he loves Mommy's drink

I guess I'm a little behind on blogging. Not much has happened lately that I really want to remember...or at least I've been too out of it to notice what's noteworthy.

Starting about a week ago, Chance decided to wake up early every morning again. We had been enjoying a great reprieve of that for the last few weeks. However, 7 am was his time of choice. No more sleeping until 9 or 10, no matter what time I put him to sleep the night before. That alone makes for a hard day. Then Chuck left Thursday for his conference, and BOTH boys decided they did not want to sleep through the night. For the next three nights, Charlie woke up at least once wanting chocolate milk and to sleep with me. Chance woke up every few hours. The longest he went was 6 hours on Friday night. Most of that time we were in Austin, visiting the grandparents and helping my dad with a yard sale. So by the time Chuck got home, I was a zombie. Thankfully, he took yesterday off, and let me get a 2 hour nap. There is truly something to be said about uninterrupted sleep, ya know? Anyhow, I took Chance to the ENT today thinking this must be an ear-issue, and surely enough he has a slight infection in conjunction with his cold. Luckily since he has tubes in his ears, all he needs are some ear drops and benadryl (yay, no antibiotics!). Although he also has been taking shorter naps, he's been really happy during the day, which makes the sleep deprivation bearable.

Some new things: Chance is understanding commands, like: "Sit down on your hiney," "Don't touch that," and "Come here." And the other day as we were playing in the front yard, I watched in amazement as Chance climbed up the slide and then slid down it all by himself! Even with the second, I still get surprised by how fast they learn!

100_3358


On the downside he's wanting his way more. Today we were at Chuck E Cheese and he kept wanting to run around. I let him do that a lot, but when I'd pick him up, he'd wiggle with all his might for me to let him back down. So finally I put him up on my shoulders, so he reached down and bit my finger! I spanked his hand (that's a first), and he cried quite a bit. He also did the wiggle thing while I was trying to get my keys out of my purse at the car later, which sent my camera flying and broke my filter! Sigh. I guess he can't be perfect all the time.

Charlie is doing well. Yesterday he went to play at his "dudes' house" while I cleaned house (thanks Holly!!). Holly was telling me that he was so well mannered the whole time. That's always so reassuring! I can hear a friends' advice when I hear things like that: "When you discipline your children, you give them the gift of being liked and accepted and invited into people's homes." Of course it could also be because I told him that if he didn't behave I'd come get him! ;) Ha! He had a blast though, and for the first time, he got in the car without fighting me or crying because he didn't want to leave. He's also playing better with Chance, and sharing a lot. He often wants Chance to play with him and shows him how to do things, and gives Chance toys. It really is so fun to see how their relationship is growing. It's so much greater than I thought it would be at this age!

And with that, I'm out. The boys are napping, and I think I need a nap too!


wind chime hat

Sunday, February 25, 2007

PyCon 2007 Day 2

Day 2 at pycon came and went faster than day 1. Another exciting day, with lots of stuff to talk about.

Keynote: Adele Goldberg - eLearning Does Not Belong in Public Schools

Keynote with Adele Goldberg

While I highly respect Adele for the contributions she has made to Computer Science, I was very disappointed with this keynote speech. She gave a very impassioned diatribe which basically said that eLearning is why public education is as bad as it is today. This is one of those subjects that's much like trying to argue politics, or religion, or vi/emacs :) I have thought about all the things that I would like to say about this, but then I would basically be no different, so I will leave it at that. Though I will add that I found it highly entertaining that after this long invigorating speech, she then demoed the "new" eLearning software that she is developing.

soaplib: an easy-to use SOAP library

I am very excited about this project. Python has needed a good, pythonic, easy to use SOAP library for a long time. If you have ever used soappy or ZSI in a large production environment, you will know what I mean :) soaplib makes it super easy to expose SOAP web services in python. And guess what! No writing WSDL!!!!!!! :) It was also nice to see that out of the box, it will support integration with Oracle SOA Suite, Axis 2, .NET, and Java 1.6. While it is still a bit young, they are heavily using it at their company Optio, and it seems to have a growing community coming around it as well.

The Star Schema in Python

This was a highly entertaining talk about how he used python to implement the star schema pattern. He showed how there are times you can do things efficiently directly in python without the overhead of a database. I think that unfortunately several people got lost trying to figure out what a star schema is.

Scaling Python for High Load websites

I was disappointed in this talk as well. I'm very involved at work with improving the performance of our web applications, and was hoping to learn some nuggets that might be able to help. Unfortunately, they brought up some of the first things that you look at. The one thing that they were way off on though, was suggesting to cache static content (javascript, css, images, etc.) with memcached!!!! Please!!!! Don't do that!!!! Use a squid cache or a separate media server instead to serve the static content.

UPDATE -- Please read Jamie's comment below as he clarifies what they were presenting. Thanks Jamie!

Extracurricular Activities

Hanging out with some of the Pylons and SQLAlchemy guys was a lot of fun. Dinner was great, and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. I also got to hang out while some of the TurboGears and Pylons people had some amazing discussions. Before I knew it, it was 12:30! Sometimes I feel like a fly on the wall when history is being made, and a big thank you to those guys for letting some random geek hang out.

Friday, February 23, 2007

PyCon 2007 Day 1

Pycon is here! (And to all of Angie's friends: Yes I am a geek, you will just have to suffer through it :) )

The first day has been very exciting. Some of the highlights included:

Opening Keynote: Ivan Krstic - One Laptop Per Child

I wasn't sure what to expect from this talk, but it became very intriguing very quickly. Many of us are aware of the goals of the project -- change how kids learn, which is cool by itself, but it got really cool when he got into the nitty gritty details. I also knew that they were using python, but I didn't realize how much. They even have a view source button! At any point while a kid is using the laptop, they can hit the button, and it will show the source of whatever piece they are looking at. How cool is that?!!! Python is used in the GUI, communications, security, cryptography, file system (yes... filesystem!), and most user space code. Pretty much anything that can be done in Python is. All of that on a 366MHz AMD Geode processor with 128MB of RAM and 512MB NAND flash drive. I've watched this project from afar for a while, but after this talk I have been much more impressed by this project, not only in a humanitarian way but from a technological stand point as well.

Lucky OLPC Winner
This lucky guy won an OLPC

WSGI

This talk gave me a much better understanding of WSGI. It's a thing I have been wrestling with for a while, and Ian simplified it quite a bit. In reality WSGI is such a simple concept. As Ian put it, wsgi is basically HTTP serialized as a function call. Not only does this allow you to easily hook WSGI based apps to multiple servers, or have this idea of WSGI middlware where you can intercept the HTTP stream and do some really cool stuff. But you can also link together several WSGI based apps into a single application. I really hope that the momentum behind WSGI continues, and we seem more integration in to the plethora of Python web frameworks.

Various other talks

There was a talk about unicode and internationalization which wasn't quite what I had hoped for. Basically I learned that unicode and internationalization is really hard :)

While web panel was fun, not much was said that I'm sure most people would know already if they lurk much around any of the web frameworks presented. Hopefully, at the very least, it introduced many to the plethora of options that are available. A transcript of the events can be found here.

I did get a chance to talk with someone with Enthought, and was excited to find out that there is some interest with integrating their Traits project with an ORM, and building a web front end for that. I'm really excited about the possibilites that could result from that, and hope to talk with them some more about that.

Meeting new friends

I got to meet many people that I had only talked to virtually. It was really great to meet some of the faces from some of my favorite projects, and I look to meeting more tomorrow.


I'm looking forward to see what tomorrow has in store. And in a closing note, I know that anyone at Pycon reading this will roll their eyes, but the company that I work for is hiring python programmers. If you are interested and happen to see me, let me know, or leave a comment -- at least I didn't do it in a lighting talk ;)

And a last special thanks to all those behind the scenes putting this event togther. Each year it gets better, and better!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Portraits!

I'm so excited about these pics, I have to post'em. Here are my 2 favorites from a few weeks ago at WalMart. If you want to see the rest, just click on one and it'll take you to them...

Charlie Valentine

Charlie & Chance

Monday, February 19, 2007

Paper Foundations

Charlie at the creek

Yesterday in Bible Class, Charlie learned the story about building your house on rock versus sand. He had glued a little house on construction paper and even glued some rocks underneath it. So I asked him to tell Daddy what he'd learned. Daddy asked, "What'd you build your house on?" to which Charlie exclaimed, "Paper!"

I did ask him who was the Rock and he said, "Jesus!" He says Jesus with this Southern twang, it's really cute. He also twangs "last night" a lot.

For this weekend I tried letting Charlie skip naptime again because our schedules usually included something during naptime. Saturday night by about 8:30, Chuck told me he was trying so hard to stay awake watching tv. Last night he was sitting at the dining room table around 8, eating chips, and nodding off. As his eyes would close, his head would fall backwards, but then he'd wake up. It was so funny. I wish I'd gotten video!

This morning as we were backing out of the driveway, Charlie began cheering, clapping and saying, "Yay, Mommy! You not hit the rocks!" (I ran over our rock wall around our flowerbeds a couple of weeks ago). It was so funny! I can't believe he remembered that...

Today as we were sitting at a table eating at Costco, Charlie noticed a woman nearby with her daughter, who was maybe a little older than Charlie. "That lady have a little girl, Mommy." I was wondering where he was going with this. Then he says, "And you have a big boy!"

After Costco, we went kite flying. I had bought a cheap kite at HEB and an expensive one at Costco. Which one flew better? The cheap one!!

Charlie got bored with the kites and decided to take his own pics with my camera...

kite flying

I took this one on the playground...

Chance in a tunnel

Charlie took this one later that night at home. He even tried one with a flash and one without. Little prodigy, I'm telling ya!

Charlie's pic

And this he took also while we were flying kites. Can you see him in the (dirty) reflection?

Charlie's Self Portrait

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Food for Thought about Sex

Hey y'all,

My church has been doing a series of sermons on sex lately, and have posted the notes on the website. I'm finding these to be very interesting, insightful, and rarely spoken in our culture.... So if you're interested, Go to:

http://www.oakhillschurchsa.org/about/teachingseries/

You can download the podcast to hear the sermons, or just read the postings. I think there's one or two more to come.

This topic applies to everyone: the single adult, married folks, parents, etc. I hope it encourages you as much as it did me...

Grace & Peace,
Angie

Friday, February 16, 2007

Who's Who?

Ok, so this blog is interactive. Because I can't get enough of marveling how wonderfully made we all are, and how much our kids resemble us... posted below are 10 pics. Please look thru them and then give me your guess as to who it most looks like, Charlie or Chance...

1.
Angie

2.
Angie

3.
Chuck

4.
Chuck

5.
Chuck

6.
Angie

7.
Chuck

8.
Angie

9.
Angie

10.
Angie

Thanks for playing!!

Wow, I feel really stupid (I'm so sorry y'all!)

Ok, I had told Chuck the other day that I wasn't sure if anyone reads my blog on this site, because I never get comments. I usually get some on my myspace page (www.myspace.com/angiethier). So, I was looking back at my archive and low and behold!!! Comments!! I just needed to approve them! Duh! Wow, I'm so sorry if you left a comment and I never replied!! One entry had 856 comments...all but 1 was spam. But the spam is fixed, so I should be able to see your comments now. I had no idea I was supposed to approve them. Just goes to show you I'm not very techie (sp?).

And thank you so much if you've left a comment in the last year!!! I just got it, and I'm so encouraged to see how other people were interacting with my blog!!!! So keep'em coming, I'll read'em now, I promise!

PS If you check out Gallery of pics, you may have noticed I've been lagging. So today I caught up. I added lots of pics to "Life of Charlie, the third year" and "Life of Chance, 6-12 mo and 12-18 mo"

Funny Charlie

Charlie up close


A few days ago, when Chuck got home from work, as usual he came in and embraced and kissed me hello. Charlie walked up behind him and said, "Y'all are married!" with a big grin on his face, like he just made fun of us or something. It was so cute.

Today as Charlie saw a Beauty and the Beast toy on a tv ad, he said "I want that." I told him it was for girls, so he replied, "I not want that! Mommy, you want that!"

There are so many other things he says that crack me up, I need to get better about recording them. Sometimes when I type them out, they're just not as funny... Anyways, one other thing, last week we were eating a restaurant and we all joined hands and I had said, "Let's pray, Charlie." So for the first time, of his own initiative, he led our prayer. He said "Dear God, thank for this day. Thank you for our food. Amen." I was so impressed! He's done it a few times since, although he usually forgets the food and just thanks God for Mommy and Daddy. I love it!

Chance


As far as Chance goes, no big milestones this week, except that he's starting to fight for what he wants. Until now Charlie would take away his toy and he wouldn't care. Or he'd just cry. But now, he holds on tight to the toy and screams. Or he takes it back. Which is not good since Charlie just got lots of new toys for his birthday that are his "special ones," as he likes to call it. I'm becoming more and more of a referee. Any tips on how to deal with this would be much appreciated!!

Chance has been sleeping a lot this week. Tuesday he didn't get many naps, so he slept from 6 pm - 10:30 am! He hasn't been waking up at 7 anymore (which makes Mommy very happy!). Today he woke up at 10:45 am, only because Charlie woke him. I guess he's growing again!

Also Chance has been trying out new sounds, and putting sounds together. He'll say, "Dada, (grunt)(grunt)" and then he'll laugh. You can tell sometimes that he's telling you a story. Or he'll cough, then fake it a few more times and laugh at himself. It's too cute.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lonely on Valentine's Day?

Lonely on Valentine's? Maybe my story could help. It's a long read, but the end will explain...

10 years ago today, my life would be forever changed. I was in the middle of my senior year of high school, and the middle of a commitment to not date. Previously, anytime I would go to church conferences, I would wonder if there was a guy there that I could date. But not this time. It was a first for me to attend a youth conference without distraction, of pure motives. The first night they told us about a movement called "Tru Love Waits" and how they wanted us to sign little commitment cards to save sex for marriage, and stake them in the ground in front of our high school, so people passing by would know that other students were waiting. So the next morning, I staked my little card, which promptly wilted with the rain and was basically pointless. Did I mention it was Valentine's Day that day?

That night, back at the conference, there was an intermission before the sermon, so I went outside to the concession stand. As I was walking back in, there was a guy walking in front of me. All I could see was his back. But what I saw was a Promise Keepers baseball hat and a Christian t-shirt. So, in my head I was thinking, "Wow, that guy wore all that to his school. He must be unashamed of Christ." I was impressed. So that led me to my next thought, well more like a prayer, in my head, "God I want a man like that, who will be bold about his relationship with You. One that will be united with me about what's important, namely, following You. I want us to be a team for You."

And my reverie was interrupted, as I saw a couple of my girlfriends, and reached to give one a hug. At the same time, the other one then says, "Hey Chuck!" and that guy walking in front of me turns around. What a coincidence! Out of at least three thousand people from the Austin area at this conference, my friend who had ridden with me there, knew this stranger. So we began chatting, laughing about how our Tru Love Waits cards had wilted that morning. I mentioned that one girl had been smart enough to put a baggie over hers, and it stood erect all day long. "Yeah, that was my youngest sister, Tammy. My sister Melanie did the same thing on my campus at UT." So we put two and two together, and I realized that I knew all three of his sisters. So not only did my friend know him, but he was from my area of town! I was amazed, because I'd had a few classes with one of his sisters, but had never heard her talk of him. I also found out that they all went to a nearby church, and Chuck was at this youth conference because he was a youth leader. Anyhow, our time ended, and we went back in to hear the sermon and finish up our conference for the night. And I went home with a "that was wierd" feeling.

One more little detail. During this time of not dating, I'd been praying and searching Scripture often to see what my future boyfriend/husband should be like. And in my anxiousness I had asked God to just let me meet "the one." I didn't have to know it was him, I didn't have to start dating as soon as my commitment was over. I just wanted to know him.

Later I mentioned to a friend that I had met Chuck Thier, whom he had graduated with. My friend told me, "Oh, Ang, he's got a girlfriend." I was still in my commitment, that truly wasn't my motive in asking, but still that information told me to he was not in the realm of possible dates when the commitment was up.

Then a few months later, my commitment had ended, and my family had decided we couldn't attend my church anymore. I was devastated about having to leave. Then a coworker invited me to his church, which his parents were the youth pastors, and the group met at his house. So I gave it a try, and from the moment I walked in the door, I felt like I was "home." But then it happened... I saw Chuck Thier. This was his church! I instantly thought, "Oh no! Dear God, please don't let him be a distraction. He's not the reason I'm coming here." Besides, he had a girlfriend.

So my family joined this church, and it was incredible. The people were so awesome and I learned so much. Somehow I became close friends with Melanie, and therefore I saw Chuck a lot, not only at youth group, but at his parents' house. Pretty soon I joined their college group, where I also got to see what he was like among friends. I later became a youth leader, serving with him in ministry. And I found out he was single. ;) And I continued to be impressed with his humility and kindness in all facets of his life. Thus began the time of, "Is he the one I could date? Does he like me? Is this the the right time? Am I showing how I feel when I shouldn't?" So, I let the peace of God rule* for two and half long, even torturous, years, and held back. *or at least tried, although sometimes I flirted when I shouldn't have! And of course, Chuck was totally confused, poor thing! But underneath it all, I was observing him in every situation, and he was constantly passing tests he didn't even know about. Did he honor his parents? Did he care for his sisters? Was he honest? Did he act different when his friends were around? The more I watched, the more I liked about him.

One thing I learned about him was that he had dumped a girlfriend on Valentine's Day. It had been a two year long relationship, but he had heard a sermon at a Christian conference that made him realize he needed to end it, and had done so that very day...Valentine's Day... That's right, just after he met me, he heard that sermon and became single! God was preparing both of us, and I think His timing is amazing. I joke that he became single because he met me, but really he was just being obedient to God...

I also was sure that if God wanted us together, He would have Chuck make the first move. So after those 2.5 long years...that finally happened. He held my hand. The funny thing is, he doesn't remember it. Then he did it again a few days later, so I knew, obviously there's a confrontation coming. But then we went separate ways for a week on trips, which gave me lots of time to think and pray. I was camping with my family, and met a woman who told me how her husband had left her for another woman after many years of marriage. I thought, "Here's my sign. I'm not supposed to be with Chuck. How do I know we would make it?! How would I know it'd be a successful marriage?!" Then that woman said, "Is your Chuck a Christian?" Yes. "Then he won't do that to you. He'll love you like Christ loves the church. (Ephesians 5)" Not that Christians are immune from infidelity, but THAT was the real sign I needed. I read Ephesians 5, and learmed that in Christ, we would have the ability to have a successful (and faithful) marriage! And I realized that I didn't just want to date Chuck, I wanted to marry him, and I was completely ready.

So we both get home and then see each other at our college group, we end up talking til 5 am about how we'd been searching through this matter for years, and laugh at how we'd confused each other along the way. A few days later he asks my dad if he can date me. Of course all this came as a surprise to just about everyone because we'd been just friends for so long. Two weeks later, as we both felt like dating was pointless because we knew each other so well, so Chuck asks me if I'm ready to get married. I know I said I was, but I didn't expect it to happen this fast! But the peace of Christ was there, and I said yes. You should've seen my dad's face when he asks to marry me a couple of weeks later! It was hilarious! Anyhow, one month later he made it official, and four months after that we were married.

So here I am, 10 years later, still in awe of how God worked in my life so long ago. My fears have been replaced with confidence that a successful marriage can be attained. It has to constantly be "worked on," but it is amazing. I'm often totally blown away about how we agree on so much (not that we don't disagree, too!). We are united, and truly a team- in ministry, in raising kids, in life. I'm humbled when I think of how God answered my prayer to know my future husband, even when I didn't know it, and to introduce us on Valentine's day of all days?!. And that God taught me how important our friendship was, how it needed to be grown over time, and it is the foundation of this marriage. And true love does wait...

I share this story because I think if God could do this for me, He could do it for anyone. God knows your needs, and He is faithful to care for you when you surrender your life and plan to Him. And, if you're alone this Valentine's Day, take heart! (That's not meant to be a pun, really!) I never had a date on Valentine's, until I had a husband. And I'm so glad. I wish I would've never dated anyone before Chuck. Just trust God with your love life. His plan is always the best, no matter what it may be.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Charlie's 3rd Bday Party

Charlie had a great birthday party this weekend at Chuck E. Cheese! I am in awe of how blessed we are, to have such supportive friends and family! Thank you so much to all those who came, and especially those who travelled from Austin! As I filled out invitations a couple of weeks ago, I came to realize that San Antonio is truly home. I'm so grateful that my son has friends! And that those friends came to play and celebrate his birthday! This year was our first to stay home for Christmas, and now to have Charlie's party here instead of in Austin...the transition is ending, and we're truly "home" now.

Charlie's 3rd Bday Party

My youngest sister, Anna, and her boyfriend Charlie, even came up from Louisiana. It was so great to have some time with the family and friends. Of course, we didn't get much of a chance to visit since Chuck E. Cheese is naturally chaotic due to all the loud fun going on! But still, it meant so much to have everyone there. Just like Mary "treasured in her heart" all the things people told her about her baby Jesus, I treasure all of the love that has been poured out on my son.

On a lighter note, there was a moment this week that I'm not sure I treasured so much:

A Rocketship

I heard Charlie making this artwork, and thought he was moving his cars along the wall as he often does. So when I came up the stairs and saw his creation, I confronted him. "What is this?" I asked, meaning "Is this paper, or is it a wall?!" "A rocketship!" Charlie answered without as much as a hint of shame. He began to tell me all about it, without giving any thought to the fact he might be in trouble for this endeavor. We've been through this before (a year ago!), and I thought he really understood we only draw on paper. Although I guess I'm partly to blame because I usually make sure the coloring pencils are out of reach, but I had left them out the night before. Anyhow, Charlie learned that when you make a mess, you get to help Mommy clean it up. So I scrubbed with the magic erasers, and he came behind me with a wet cloth, and we cleaned the walls 'til they were good as new. "This hard work" he said. I thought that was cute (and confirming to me that I chose the right consequence!).

Charlie had an exciting event Friday. Big Daddy took him to a Monster Truck Rally. He got to meet the drivers (and still has the autograph on his arm to prove it!), ride in the back of a monster truck, and then watch the rally. Needless to say, he had a blast!

Monster Truck rally

Now the excitement has died down for awhile, although he's spent all day playing with all the new toys his friends and family gave him.

And I'll leave you with this: This evening during the boys' bathtime, I noticed how much you can really see their long eyelashes... I can still hear my Mawmaw (grandmother) say, "He's too pretty to be a boy!"

Long eyelashes

More Long Eyelashes

Fun in the tub

Fun in the tub

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Ages and Stages (Three going on 13!)

Chance Playing Outside

Ok, I guess I'm having blogging withdrawals, because I keep thinking I need to sit down and write something...but I don't have anything really.

This weekend was great. We had our Life Group over Friday night, which was such a blessing. It was awesome to have time to get to know our friends a little more. And, it was our first time to have a group in our home, and I am so grateful to have a home that could accommodate.

Saturday Chuck watched the boys while I took a long nap. It was awesome! That probably sounds odd, but when you have little ones, you know getting to sleep when you want, for however long you want, is a true luxury. Just the fact that I could lay in bed after I woke up, instead of rushing to take care of someone was a great treat! Chuck played a lot with the boys, and we had lots of family time, which I cherish so much. My desire for family time has been making me less outgoing, more of a homebody.

Saturday night we went to church, and I worked in the nursery, which is always fun. Usually I'm with the babies, but this time I was with the 18mo-2yrs class. I missed holding those babies, but I loved seeing these sweet toddlers play and learn. It was the quietest class I've ever seen!

Sunday I also got to sleep in, thanks to Chuck taking the early shift (Is my husband great or what?! What did I do to deserve all this?!). Then that afternoon I had Mommy time, where I went shopping (yay for Goodwill!) and studying, my favorite things.

Monday was Charlie's 3rd birthday, so Chuck took the day off to spend with him. We started off the day with breakfast, complete with singing happy birthday and having him blow out a candle in his biscuit! Then he helped Daddy put his new train table together. It has a storage drawer, so I showed Charlie how he could put his toys in it. Later I noticed he'd cleaned everything off his table and put it in the drawer. I thought that was cute.

He also had many phone calls throughout the day from family wanting to wish him happy birthday, but he decided to be shy and not talk to anyone. Of all days for him to be antisocial?! I also let Charlie skip naptime since it was his birthday (because we sometimes skip it, and he usually fights it when it comes)...but that was a big mistake. He was an emotional basketcase by the evening, so instead of making birthday brownies, he was sent to bed early. Poor guy! One funny thing, though, was he kept asking me "It still my birthday?" I guess he thought it didn't last all day...

Today I had Bible study, which is my favorite day of the week! Getting to study the Bible and having fellowship with other women, what more could I ask for?! Unfortunately, Charlie has been resistant the last few times. He cries when I wake him up, telling me he doesn't want to go to Bible Class, he wants to stay home. I wasn't sure what to do at first, but today I realized I just needed to stand firm and not give him sympathy. This happens to be the only day of the week that I wake him up. And he always loves class, and talks about how fun it was. So, today I administered spankings when he refused to get ready. He hasn't had spankings in a long while, at least a couple of weeks. Surely enough, he began obeying as I dressed him, and was a happy camper. Go figure.

Then afterwards I met some other moms, and we let the kids play on the playground at church. One of their daughters was laying on the grass, and Charlie suddenly ran up and jumped on top of her...for no apparent reason. I got onto him, and told him to apologize. He pointed at me and said, "You apologize. You jumped on her, not me!" I was dumbfounded and trying to not laugh at the same time. His tone was one he has never had with me before. VERY disrespectful. Sigh. Anyhow, so I was talking to the other moms. Both have boys older than Charlie. I told them how I've been lenient on him lately because he doesn't seem to be defiant anymore since he's quit throwing fits...but now he's getting an attitude. I feel like I'm talking to a teenager, with the way he tries to argue with me about anything and everything, plus now he gets bossy and rude. They both agreed that age 3 is harder than age 2. I was thinking the worst had passed. Yeehaw, fun times ahead. It seems like as soon as I figure out the best way to respond to him, he changes, and I'm at a loss all over again.

So we got home and he went right to bed for nap time today! No way are we having a repeat of yesterday! :) I am thinking we might need to be more committed to naptime again too, if this attitude keeps up.

While he napped, Chance and I played outside. I think Charlie's rebellion makes me cherish my time with Chance even more, because it's so refreshing to be with a child that is at a happy stage, not testing his limits yet. I definitely love both my boys equally, though. I guess Charlie's stage of development just makes me appreciate Chance's stage more, because I can remember how wonderful it was when Charlie wasn't so into testing Mommy's authority...

So here is the fruit of our adventure outside. I hope you were able to enjoy this beautiful day as well.

Chance Playing Outside

Chance Playing Outside

Chance Playing Outside

Saturday, February 3, 2007

It's the Little Things

A few little things that happened today that I don't want to forget:

1. Chance would stretch up to reach the piano keys, play the keys for a few seconds...then he'd peer around the couch to see if I would clap and praise his "performance." When I did, he'd go and do it again.

2. This morning I explained to Charlie that he was going to play at Alex and Zach's house, and that I'd go back home to clean house, then pick him back up. He responded, "That not good idea, Mommy." I thought it odd that he wouldn't want to go to their house so I asked "What's not a good idea?" "You pick me back up not a good idea."

3. Alex called Charlie's new little motorcycle a Harley, which Charlie was quick to tell him, "It not Harley Davits, it just motorcycle." Later I was telling Charlie that they mean the same thing, to which he said, "It not Harley, Mommy, it an Indian Motorcycle." Wow, I didn't even realized he knew the brand.

4. This evening Charlie asked me to hide under his covers as I was putting him to sleep because there were monsters. So I did, and I asked him to hold me because I was scared (imitating him). He said "No, I not hold you, you really big. You only hold Charlie!"

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Paces of Life

Moon at sunset

Another day, another milestone. Such is the pace of life...

~A couple of days ago, as we went to "read" his jigsaw puzzle storybook (thanks Mitsi, great Christmas present!), Charlie told me to not help him. So I held back and watched in amazement as he worked the jigsaw pieces and put them together all by himself!

Cowboys riding their horses

Charlie and his "dude" Alex, riding their horses as cowboys. Charlie's horse was also eating the grass.

On the playground

~And while Charlie's been able to undress himself for awhile, just in the last week or so he's also started dressing himself. He can put on his own socks and pants. Which means he has an outfit change every few hours. Although it's still quite cool outside, he will go change out of his pants and into basketball shorts. I guess he's just exercising his newfound freedom (choosing what to wear and when to wear it).

On the Playground

~Speaking of exercising new freedom, Chance has hit a big milestone in the last couple of days: he can get DOWN the stairs. He's been able to crawl up the stairs for months, but it was the getting down that I worried most about. So he finally figured out how to do it, and efficiently. So after lots of practice, today I let him go up and down without Mommy hovering over him. So he worked about half a dozen trips all by himself! Pretty soon we'll be able to take the gate down! Woohoo! Seems like we just got it up...

Hello?!

Learning to use a spoon

And about this newfound skill of Chance's, this is another way that he is so different from Charlie. I'm realizing this is truly a personality issue, not something that is necessarily learned. Charlie just naturally works at a more hurried pace (and has since infancy) and therefore gets hurt a lot more than Chance. Chance's pace is just a little slower, more time for thought, not so pressed for action. He's not a lazy kid by any means, but he is just less active. These guys give me a good way to see how Chuck and I vary so much in our pace... I prefer to go fast, throw caution to the wind, get a thrill... Chuck prefers to think things through, and cannot stand being rushed. We just have different paces. Personally, I wish my pace was a little slower... How about you?