Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm back!!

Hello everyone....I AM BACK!!What a whirlwind of hecticness (yes I just created a word) we have had the last month! I am sorry I haven't been able to keep up with the blog, I have had several emails asking for pics and videos of Sammy and they will be coming.... soon. Just not today, lol as I only have a few min before I need to pick up Hannah. Now, on to my big news...... are you ready for this??? I SAW SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right my friends, real snow, not the fake stuff at Disney's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party but the real thing. I waited 29 years to see it and it was beautiful. I have to admit I was like a giant 5 year old exploring the world for first time but I don't care, it was fun and definitely one of those life moments I will never forget. For those who didn't know I was in Denver for a conference, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), last week and the few weeks leading up to it were so painfully stressful! It was such a relief to have my presentations done and over with. Pshewy! Don't get me wrong, conferences are always a lot of fun- exhausting- but fun. This was a chance to learn about the latest research, network, meet up with friends from afar, and just have fun in a new city. I had three presentations at SRCD this time, one related to research on low-income children's problem solving skills, one on Joe's work on microgenetic aspect of learning while problem solving, and then one on the kids with prenatal cocaine exposure. They all went great.. more to come on conference later.

What was interesting was my little lesson in pride I learned along the way. The saying "not enough hours in the days" was literally true for me. I can only pull so many all nighters before it starts to affect my health. It just worked out that somehow everything came at once before I left. I had 150 papers and group projects to grade, we had our biggest meeting of the year for the World Impact Team which required us to generate our "action plan" for the year (very exciting things to come for local ministries!!), lots of data processing and analyses for Denver, and I had to lead the discussion for my class which took a lot of prep time. I had recently read Mrs. Freda's update where she discusses what she had read on pride. She described it as spiritual cancer. She then stated how pride can come in various forms, one being comparisons. I was thinking, oh pshew. I am ok there..I am a very confident person and try not to compare myself to others. Don't get me wrong, I am human so it happens without realizing it, but I try to remain very cognizant of tendencies to make social comparisons. Then I read her next line..

" or, is the comparison with myself? Do I let pride about a past accomplishment keep me from doing something today because in the past I did it “better?” That steals contentment with who I am now. It is so easy to deceive ourselves about our thoughts and motives in all areas of our lives"

Uh-oh. I was caught red handed! I had been so guilty of just that comparing the new me (mommy/grad student) with the old me (baby free grad student). I had been so upset the weeks before the conference with how I had no time for anything, and all my work was just too difficult, oh my complaints went on and on. I had even contemplated dropping out of my program! Reading Mrs. Freida's blog sure helped me realize that it does nobody any good for me to compare my work prior to Sammy and now. I simply have less time in the days now which means I just can't get as much done. It is as simple as pie! I had long ago stopped comparing myself to others in the program b/c I really and truly have an audiance of one. Now I realize that I also needed to stop comparing me to me! Sounds silly but that is what I was doing. It is difficult when I still have the same deadlines and still need to complete the same amount of work albeit my significantly decreased "available work time" BUT I am soo close and I have resovled to stay focused and push through and come next spring, I will walk across that stage and get my degree!!! I am so ready for the next chapter of our lives to begin! So ready to come home and be freee.... not have to worry about working after Sammy sleeps. Pride.. you're outta here! No room for you in my life! I love that my Jesus is never done with me. He is always working on me, instances such as this are prime examples where he is molding me into the woman He has planned for me to be. Not easy stuff, changing how you view things and your typical response in situations, but I trust He knows what is best for me so painful little lessons such as this are welcome.

In other family news.. Sammy is just growing faster than we can keep up with! He has crossed the 30 pound threshold and is still wearing size extra wide in shoes, which means still special ordering them, Ugh! He just amazes me each day with the words he pics up and how he constantly says one in spanish and then english. Like yesterday, he was eating string cheese and looked at me and pointed to it and said "cheese.. queso". He has also started imaginary play, which is a good indication that he is developing theory of mind on track. He now "shares" his play food with his stuffed animals and makes the eating sounds. He makes his car sounds and says "beep beep" while he drives them. His running is getting more normal, rather than waddling while he runs his legs are going more in front of him ( no worries, his cheeks still jiggle!) and he really is just looking and behaving more like a little boy rather than a little baby. It amazes me how rapid this onset of toddlerhood is! I know I am a developmental psychologist so I should fully understand these things, but wow! To see it occur before my own eyes in my own child is just breathtaking! Especially language development. Honestly I have always found that area of research rather boring but it is just so cool to see him build on prior concepts, God is so amazing!!! Just think, a year ago at this time Sammy still couldn't even sit up! We had to prop him up to take his pic b/c he wasn't sturdy enough. Wow. The difference a year can make.
I have learned to handle those annoying comments from strangers regarding his "wildness" as Sam calls it. We still get the phrase "wow, he sure is a pistol" and "you sure have your hands full" when we are out in public but I just smile and say "oh thank you, we sure love his big personality". Ha! What good is it to compare a child to a gun anyway??? Makes no sense.

Biggest Sammy news of all...... NO MORE BITING!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!! We are DONE (or so I am hoping and praying!) Many of you know (unfortunately b/c he bit you or your child, sorry again for that) that we had a time with biting. He had started biting when really excited and overstimulated. So, for instance, he would be having a great time and then run to hug me in the midst of his excitement and bam, would sink one into my shoulder!! Owwie! He even had an incident report at chruch b/c he bit a little girl and drew blood through her dress! It was his second time in his new toddler room in the nursery and I think he was just overwhelmed with the new friends and toys. It had gotten to where I could predict when he would bite, and exactly what situations. We tried everything- discipline techniques, with holding attention, sensory stimulation, do you want to know what I honestly think did it?? Prayer and books! His two favorite things! He loves to pray and gets so serious, really listens when we pray. So every night while we prayed we would pray for Jesus to help him remember not to bite and we ordered 2 books geared to his age group on ebay. "Teeth are not for biting" and "Biting hurts". He LOVED his new books and would bring them to us and sign "please" so we would read them over and over. Within literally 2 weeks biting was obsolete! After reading he would touch his teeth and said "No no!" while he shook his head no. So, I think he finally "got it". Wow, if only I would have thought of books first! =(

Last bit of family news.. Sam and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary next Tuesday, April 13th!! Yay!!! We will both be working that day but are going to have a nice dinner and hopefully a weekend getaway sometime in May. We shall see!!!!

Pics and video to come soon!