Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shift Change

There are two things that will make a police wife quake in her boots. The first is the THE phone call. You know the one that ends with the wife racing out the door to the hospital. The second is shift change.

Seriously, shift changes are like earthquakes to the police officer's family. While not always bad enough to cause the pictures to fall off the wall, it will at least shake things up a bit and leave you not wanting to open the soda for a few days.

In our 7 1/2 years of marriage, we have had 6 shift changes. Five of those were in the first 4 1/2 years. But, for the last three years, and for all of Snugglebug's life, we have been on the same shift. We have thoroughly enjoyed not having to shake up our little world because to be honest, Snugglebug shakes it up enough by himself.

For the last three years, we have been on 3rd watch. It is not the easiest shift and certainly not the hardest. I can attest to that since we have literally had every possible schedule.

This shift change is from 3rd watch (evenings, 4pm to midnight) to 2nd watch (days, 8am to 4pm). We actually were given a choice this time, which is also unusual. We weighed the pros and cons and decided that it would be nice to have dinner together as a family in the evenings.

Less than a week after making the decision and being notified that the transfer had been accepted, we learned the move would only be temporary. In four months, my hubby will be transferred back to third watch. So, in two weeks we begin the shake-up. We have already started changing schedules and thinking about new routines. And about the time we get used to the new schedule and routines, we will change back to what we have now. How's that for confusing?

With the shift change, we will eat dinner together as a family every night for the first time since Snugglebug's birth and since our first year of marriage. (He was working days when we first married.) For the last three years, we have been on opposite schedules, for the most part and now, we will be on the same schedule. It will be odd.

As it stands now, I am used to eating with just Snugglebug and going through the bedtime routine without help. I've never had someone there to look after Snugglebug while I get dinner on the table or to help with the bedtime routine. I don't really know what I am missing, but after four months of being a family, it will be hard to go back to dinners without hubby and being on opposite ends of the day from one another. Ah, the joy of being a police wife. One never has to worry about boredom.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review: Dad's Bible: The Father's Plan with notes by Robert Wolgemuth

The Dad's Bible is the companion to the Mom's Bible which I reviewed a few months back. I am not sure what I was expecting when I received this Bible but was a little disappointed to see it is basically an exact replica of the Mom's Bible. The exception is where the word Mother appears it is replaced with Father. It also has a Question and Answer section in the back as well as a topical index. Nether of these are in the Mom's Bible.

While the notes are attributed to Robert Wolgemuth in the Dad's Bible the same notes are also credited to him as well as his wife and four other women. I find it interesting that the women as well as his wife are not credited in the Dad's Bible.

This Bible has the same basic characteristics of the Mom's Bible in that it seems to condense and simplify the scripture. For a quick read, this Bible is fine but for an intensive husband and wife study, I would not recommend this Bible. The notes are interesting but when paired with scripture that has been simplified it is not worth using as a study Bible.

To read the review on the Mom's Bible follow this link: Mom's Bible

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Cat Chase

I was beginning to wonder today if I am actually going to survive this age known as "something twos." I hate the word so I won't utter it, write it, or even confess to it. But, alas, my 2 1/2 year old son has been two ALL day. I keep asking him to be four for just five minutes. But, it doesn't work that way. I was pondering the odds of my survival after having placed him in time-out for at least the tenth time in an hour.

What did he do to deserve such treatment you ask? The even better question is what was he doing that he didn't seem to mind being placed in time-out.

My story begins an hour earlier when Snugglebug grabbed a window-perched sleeping cat by the tail and gave it a good yank. The poor cat woke from her slumber and tried to fend off her attacker only to get tangled in the curtain. Snugglebug thought this was grand....And the chase was on. The cat extricated herself from the curtain and ran like mad. I can only assume she hid under the bed because even though Snugglebug took off after her the chase ended abruptly. All this was related to me by our babysitter who was with him while I was grocery shopping. Snugglebug was distracted from the cat while I brought in the groceries and started re-heating our left-overs.

But, just as I am putting dinner on the table, the cat reappears. Faith, the cat, hops onto the dining room table (I'm sure smelling the delish pork chops). Snugglebug hops into the chair and proceeds to climb onto the table after her.

"Don't chase the cat," I yell from the kitchen. But the cat dives under the table, followed by Snugglebug who doesn't seem to care that I haven't swept the floor in ....Well, I won't finish that sentence.

Faith runs around the outside corner of the table followed by Snugglebug who is slowed down only because the table is so close to the wall. Faith leaps onto the back of the sofa where only months before she had been safe, but no more! Snugglebug had previously placed his jumping horse next to the sofa and leaped onto the back of the horse and was immediately eye level to the cat. In an instant, Faith leaped onto the sofa, under the coffee table, and around the end of the sofa.

"Don't chase the cat," I yell again as Snugglebug also dives onto the seat of the sofa and under the coffee table. "Stop chasing the cat," I say again, presuming that my son can hear. I must have a word with that audiologist. She is obviously wrong! (No comments correcting me because it is easier for me to accept that my son is deaf than disobedient.)

Snugglebug attempts to dive under the end table by the sofa only inches from the cat who lets out a loud "rowr, hiss." Snugglebug giggles. And I grab him by his disappearing feet and say again, "Don't chase the cat."

I explain while wrestling him into time-out that we don't chase the cat. She doesn't like it. And there he stayed for two minutes while I and the cat catch our breath. In case you are wondering why he stayed in time-out, it is because time-out is a good old fashioned play pen. You know the kind with the wooden bottom and chicken wire sides. There's no escaping!

But, alas, chasing the cat was well worth two minutes in time-out. Obviously, giving the cat a two minute head start just added to the fun. After releasing Snugglebug from time-out and explaining that we don't chase the cats, he immediately went in search of the cat who was again on the dining room table.

"Rowr,hiss," she dives. Snugglebug giggles. "Don't chase the cat!" I demand, as if it matters.

"Rowr, hiss, Faith jumps. Snugglebug giggles. "Don't chase the cat!" I command, like I have any power at all at the moment.

Repeat time-out process. Repeat the cat chase about 8 or 9 more times. By 20 minutes till 7:00 I am wondering if I will actually survive all this. Even though Snugglebug is only supposed to be in time-out for two minutes, the last session was a bit longer. Faith thanked me later. This time I didn't turn Snugglebug loose. I realized at this point that it was far more fun to chase the cat than it was agonizing to sit in time-out. We spent the next 15 minutes coloring while he sat in my lap. Yes, that works too. Faith thanked me later for that, too.

At 7:00 sharp! I put Snugglebug to bed and finally got to eat supper.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Summer Entertainment

The temperature index this week is supposed to be around 105 degrees. This is good because it means our summer entertainment will hang with us for a little longer.

Hanging outside the kitchen window, the dining room window, and the living room window are very well visited hummingbird feeders. I go through about a 4 lb bag of sugar a week to feed these flying creatures. Every morning the feeders are visited by at least a half dozen hummingbirds. They flit and light and feed and flit off again. We sit at breakfast and watch them come and go and fight for a seat. I'm sure they wish for call ahead seating, but alas the restaurant has no phone.

This is our third summer to put out hummingbird feeds, but this is the first summer in several years where we have had a second visitor to entertain us.

The second visitor is a giant garden spider. She has made her web across the span of half of our dining room window. It is an incredibly elegant web with perfect angles and a perfect zig-zag down the center. Every morning she either rebuilds the web or patches and repairs it.

I have jokingly called her Charlotte for obvious reasons, but she doesn't seem to like the name so we have just called her "She". She is perfectly harmless, eating only bugs. She would never eat a human or even bite one. And if She did, it would be harmless as they are not poisonous. She is called a Garden Spider because that is where you typically find them. They are the gardener's friend. If you have one of these in amongst your plants, you count yourself lucky and count less bugs.

She has eaten her fair share of bugs this summer. We have watched her roll up grasshoppers, beetles, and wasps. This in itself is an all day process and incredibly fascinating. But, it is watching her spin her web that is the most fascinating. Typically, the sun is rising while we eat breakfast and the eastern sun glints off her web and each strand that she adds to it. It's as though a spotlight is on her alone.

She has been a great advocate for her species. My husband, who is no defender of spiders and despises them, seems to be admiring her if not even enjoying watching her. Just yesterday, he excitedly announced, "She's caught a grasshopper." Then stood and watched her wind it up into her web.

We thought we had lost her during the recent storms (courtesy of Tropical Storm Hermine). The wind and rain tossed her to and fro. She desperately tried to retain her web. Running from one side to the other and one end to the other anxiously repairing the wind damage. We, of course, had a full day and as usual were out the door, rain or not, by 8:30 am. When we returned late in the afternoon, She was gone. I was saddened that our friend had not escaped the ravages of the storm, but that is nature for you. I was pleasantly surprised the next morning to see her and her lovely web right where it belonged. She gave up on her web and sought shelter in the storm and returned with a new web and ready to start again.

As I type this, She is hanging outside the window and just beyond her web is the hummingbird feeder. The hummingbirds come and go and will occasionally peer through the spider web and through the window to thank me for my hospitality.

Beyond the spider and the hummingbirds and all their antics is an amazing sunrise!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who's Next?

We have an interesting phenomenon going on in our church. It's causing those of us left stateside to look at each other with side-long glances and wonder what conversations are taking place behind closed doors.

Three years ago, our pastor and his family were called to Brazil as missionaries. Two years later, a second family was called to the mission field. Only this time to Honduras. This summer, we sent them off with much prayer to share God's love with Honduran orphans.

Now, the jokes fly amongst those of us who are stateside. Who's next and don't be my friend because my friends end up in the mission field.

But, all joking aside, there is an intense quest by the members of our church to know the Lord and to follow his calling. Families have adopted children from CPS and from overseas as a result. Others are intently studying the Word of God. Books on missions are being read. Postings on Facebook appear to be rather book-club-like, yet it is mere coincidence that two people read one book on missions at the same time, while another began it shortly after the other two had finished. And yet, two others set out to find said book on missions after seeing the postings.

As I stand worshiping on Sunday mornings, I can't help but wonder, who's next. Who will God call next to witness to the lost and hungry. My husband and I joked that it could be us. And, all joking aside, it could be. Both sets of friends underwent an amazing transformation as God knocked on their hearts and requested their services. While we think, no never, not me, and we pray, please don't send me to Africa, God could just be waiting for us to take a breath so he can invite us to join His grand plan to bring his love to all nations.

Overall, in my circle of friends and acquaintances and even a friend of a friend, I am aware of 5 families who are entering or have entered the mission field. That's a lot of people sharing the goodnews of Christ. And while you read this, I send a side-long glance at you and wonder, "are you next or am I next?" Which one of us will be the next to say, "send me"?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Of Papas and BowBays

The most frustrating thing about 7q11 duplication is the inability of a child with a brilliant mind to share his or her brilliant thoughts. I often look at my 2 1/2 year old and wonder what is going through his head. What would he say if he could make his mouth make sounds? What questions would he ask? What words or phrases would he repeat without ceasing? The understanding and comprehension is there. I can see such comprehension on his face and through his actions. I recognized that a year ago when we began speech therapy with our wonderful speech and language pathologist.

We began therapy a year ago almost to the day. A year ago at 1 1/2 years of age, Snugglebug barely made a sound. It was rare to hear anything at all from him, let alone speech appropriating sounds. We began with sign language, and now, he has a vocabulary over 100 words. We celebrated each word as that was a step toward communication. Then grunts showed up and the occasional repetitive sound. More sounds crept into his repertoire, but nothing significant and yet all building blocks.

In August, we took a vacation and a week and a half break from speech therapy. The second session after our break, he officially crossed over from single sound repetition into multi-sound babbling. The therapist and I were overjoyed, cheering, and encouraging more sounds from him.

A week after that Gabriel said his first official word. PAPA...He was visiting his grandparents, my husband's parents, and called out to Papa in the other room. "Papa, Papa" he shouted loud and clear till his grandfather answered him. Yes, it's official! We have a word!

Then this weekend on Labor Day, while visiting with my family, Snugglebug, who adores his newest cousin, announced the 6 month old, "BowBay" he shouted while also signing "Baby." If he hadn't also been signing, I don't think I would have realized he was speaking his version of the word Baby. Yes, we have another word! BowBay for baby! Again I was rejoicing and jumping up and down and telling him what a wonderful word it was.

So, in one year of speech therapy, we have two words and over 100 signs. If another year of speech therapy gives us 100 spoken words, I will be the happiest mom on the planet!