On a more positive note, we have also had the joy of watching our little guy go from crawling (7 mo) to pulling himself up (9 mo), to taking his first steps while we were back in the States for Thanksgiving (10 mo), to walking (10 1/2 months). Now that he is 11 months he is running everywhere, making it a constant challenge for mom to keep up. He loves playing chase with Siena back and forth through the house, waving his hands wildly in the air, and often smacking himself in the face with some hard object. It is no rare occassion to see Sammy or Siena go flying across the room onto the hard granite floors and to see their little faces go from red to purple with their mouth wide open, as I clench my stomach and wait for the blood curdling scream that says, "the world is coming to an end!" With a few hugs and cuddles, mom sends them off with a new distraction such as a fun toy or a cookie, and the world can once again start its course.
We had an epiphony recently in our "on the job training" as parents. After the birth of Sammy, we didn't know what hit us, Siena included. The poor little thing was used to getting all of the attention and now she had to share the attention with someone else. She never objected in word...but in deed, she was objecting all over the place. Of course, we didn't know what to do with these outbursts of stubborn anger and frustration. It seemed that we were correcting Siena around every turn. Things were getting quite difficult and so I sought the Lord and He responded. A friend of mind lent me a book on "Raising Respectful Kids". It was a nice shift from the typical rigid-minded Christian parenting books, but not as wishy-washy as the modern, psychological nonsense advice of other secular parenting books. Rather it kindly shifted the responsibility onto the parents for "setting the example" and to seeking the gold in their children rather than the dirt. Unknowingly, we had shifted our attention from Siena's positive behavior to almost strictly disciplining her negative behavior. The poor little thing! Once again we refocused and began to encourage Siena every single time she did or said something possitive, and IMMEDIATELY we saw a HUGE change in her behavior, her attitude and her overall joy factor. It was incredible! It makes me just want to tell every parent out there! But, I don't praise this book for teaching us anything new. I praise God! It was God who openned my eyes to understand the truth and who gave me the desire and the strength the change. Amen!
Here are some recent pictures of the kids:
At the petting zoo with Nanna Nancy and Papa Sam
Nanna Nancy and Sammy
Aunt Jamie and Sherman celebrating Christmas with Siena at Grammy's house
Grammy and Siena playing with the dollhouse...a huge hit!
Grammy goes crazy over Christmas. Here she is with her 12 foot Christmas tree!