Sunday, September 28, 2014

Todd + Ryan

Yesterday we had the honor of going to Todd and Ryan's beautiful wedding. Todd and Brad have been friends for a long, long time (even in two different towns growing up).

We headed up to Kansas City for the 10:00 am rehearsal. Lincoln had a great time running around by the lake. 

Instead of programs, they just had their wedding party on the window. Awesome idea for an outdoor wedding!

Brad was one of the groomsmen, so he got to get spiffed up.

Lincoln thought this desk (they found it on the curb for free and painted it pink to match!) was there just for him. It is just like his at home...

Lincoln spent most of the wedding walking and running around with Grampy. Thank goodness Brad's family was there, too!

Not only are Brad and Todd friends, but their parents are as well. 

Lincoln also spent most of the reception running around. I got a good workout in to make up for the cake and the candy I devoured! 

 He was grunting and pushing really hard to push the sign over. He failed, so nice work, Gary!

 It was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding - warm but not hot, and there was this amazing sunset over the lake!

You pick up the dirt and then you throw it!

Barb (Brad's mom) and Barb (Todd's mom)

Congratulations, Todd & Ryan! We hope you have many, many years of adventures like catching fish and hunting Sasquatch! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Letter to Lincoln

Sweet little boy,

Lately, I've been clicking on lots of posts with titles something like "Things I didn't know until I raised boys," or "What you can look forward to when you have a girl." You know, those titles that seem like they'll reveal all the secrets I'm missing. The lists are interesting, sure, or sometimes funny, often applicable, but they leave me feeling a little strange. It could be the sexist or stereotypical nature of the labels they put on boys and girls and children, but it's not (and that's perhaps a letter for another day). It's something else I couldn't put my finger on until now.

Reading these posts feels weird to me because I'm not raising a generic child or just any little boy. No parent does. And that distinction matters.

Lincoln, my sweet boy, your daddy and I are raising YOU. We aren't raising "a boy" or "a kid," we are raising Lincoln J, as we often call you... our Buster Boy. And if there's one thing I've learned over the last year and a half, it's that what really matters about raising a child is knowing each child's beautiful, unique self.

So here's my own list, my list of things I learned when I started to know the gift that is our Lincoln.

I learned how compassionate, how empathetic, a toddler could be when you first noticed mommy's or daddy's "owies." We had to reassure away the worry in your eyes, to let you know that everything was okay. Even weeks or months later, you will point to an old scratch and search our eyes, concern written on your face. When you hear a baby cry in a store, you will say "Baby?" and a frown knots your brow until you feel reassured that the baby is fine. Never forget, sweet boy, how much your genuine concern for others can mean to them.

I learned how much someone could love to laugh and make others laugh the first time you asked for more tickles, please, and the time you made faces at everyone around the dinner table until Uncle Daniel finally gave in to loud laughter. So many times daddy and I have had to turn away to hide our giggles at times when you should be eating your dinner rather than being a little ham. It is a joy to share in your joy, to see the grin spread so quickly and easily across your face. Lincoln, you light up the world with your smile and your laugh. Share these often.

I learned how early on a passion could be realized when you discovered the farm this summer and wouldn't stop asking about it, talking about it, playing it. Your interests may change soon, and that's just fine. Follow your passions. See where they lead.

I learned the meaning of boundless energy, of what it means to be constantly "on" when you started spending your days simply running around the house. Invest your energy in meaningful experiences, in your passions.

I have learned what "hangry" actually looks like. I learned how to accept tantrums as a normal response when anyone is unable to express their emotions. I learned how fragile life feels when someone you care for is sick. I learned that I really don't care about the lists or what other people think it means to raise a child.

And, every day, I am delighted to learn a little bit more about you, Lincoln J. I certainly don't know who you will be, but that person is sure to be incredible, especially considering who you are already. What an amazing privilege it is to be your mama.

I love you to the moon and back, around the sun, and all the way to infinity and beyond!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What does the fox say?

Since the weather turned so cold so suddenly a few weeks ago, I decided that I would pick up a stocking hat and mittens for Lincoln the next chance I got.

I found this cute little fox for just $10 at Target. I wasn't sure if he would like it since it's a little different from the ball caps he normally wears and loves, but he wouldn't take it off!

Just a little fox rocking a little dog?!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

18 months!


You are 18 months old! I can't believe how grown up you are getting, especially the last few weeks. 

You definitely have your own opinions about what you want to eat and wear. You aren't really picky, but if you're not in the mood for something you will refuse it. You really like condiments and will eat just about anything that has "dip" (usually ranch or ketchup) or "bar bar" (barbecue sauce) on it. Some other favorites are "yo yo" (yogurt), "ra-in" (raisins), and "bar" (cereal or granola bars). 

Lincoln, generally you like things to be in their place and know where they belong. You are usually a willing helper when we are picking up (more so for mom and dad's stuff than your toys) and sometimes even get irritated if things are not where they belong. If we ask you to get something, like your toothbrush, you know exactly where it is and run off to grab it.

Your vocabulary is growing like crazy! One day Grandma Valerie said to you, "You're just a little parrot, aren't you?" and you responded with "pa-it?" You will also fill in words in stories and songs that are familiar to you. You know some colors, but not well enough to name them consistently. (For example, you can point to the blue ball.)

This is one of my favorite gestures of yours. When someone asks you a question you can't answer, or if you can't find who/what you're looking for, you'll gesture and say "I o no?" (I don't know). 

You will sometimes get very close to a big tantrum if things aren't going your way. We can usually head it off by naming what we think you're feeling (Are you frustrated that the blocks won't stay up?), but not always - as with all toddlers, I'm sure! 

You are 2' 10" tall and about 28 lbs. You had a bout of strep in August with a lingering fever (four days)! Other than that, you're a pretty darn healthy guy! I've lost count of how many teeth you have by now... at least 14, with maybe two more coming in!

You're a loving kid, pretty in tune with others' "owies" and feelings. One day, daddy fell and you went right to him to check and make sure he was okay. 

During a Chiefs game, they made a great play and daddy went crazy cheering (seriously, crazy). You thought something was wrong and got so upset you cried for quite a while. 

I think the farm is your absolute favorite place and thing in the whole world. You went for a couple of weeks only wanting bedtime stories and songs about the farm, "veat" (wheat), "torn" (corn), "neigh-neighs," "moo-moos," and related events/objects. Grandma came last week and helped you make a house out of a box. You are mostly interested in sitting outside it and looking at the farm pictures.

During corn harvest you spend a solid hour in the combine, first with me, then with Grandma. I couldn't believe you weren't restless or fussy. You were just enthralled!

You and Jazzy are still really good buddies, but you get very mad if she hovers or, worse yet, steals when you are having a snack. She hears "No! No!" whenever you have food, even if she's across the room.

You also love to play with your blocks, making tall towers and proudly showing us.

What a whirlwind of a year and a half it's been. You are a special, loving, original little guy and we love you lots!