Monday, December 28, 2009

Benjamin Timothy, 2 months old

Ben is doing really well-- sleeping 7-8 hours a night, starting to coo and interact with us, putting on weight like nobody's business... he's a joy to have around! Will came trotting in from the grocery store with Daddy tonight, and Ben was in his seat while I was making dinner. Will marched right over to Ben with a cheery "Hi, Ben!" and sidled around behind the seat to plant a big kiss on his forehead. Then, " 'Cue me, Ben!" as he squeezed back around the front and marched back out to help Dad with the groceries... what cute boys we have!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

first supermarket toddler debacle. never again.

James was meeting his brother Chris for coffee at the mall, so I gamely decided to attempt taking both boys to the Pak N Save supermarket by myself for the first time. First mistake. Imagine 4:30 on Friday afternoon at the most popular supermarket in the most popular mall in Christchurch. What was I thinking!?!?

James dropped me off and helped me put Will in the cart while I optimistically strapped Ben into the front pack-- second mistake. I will never again ask my body to grocery shop with a 10 pound weight strapped to my front. (I naively thought it would only take half an hour!)

Apart from struggling to make decisions and focus on the task with Will interrupting all the time, I did pretty well. I did stretch Will's patience though, and by the time we got to the checkout he had had it with sitting in the cart. So while I packed the groceries I lifted him out and let him ride the toys at the front "for a treat for being so good". Third mistake. Never un-contain a rather large and strong, safely contained toddler in a public place unless you are supremely confident of being able to re-contain him.

The debacle commences. I'd given Will several 1 minute warnings, and was already half an hour later than I'd told James I'd be, so I had to push the issue and get him to leave. Of course he didn't want to get back in the cart, and since he's so huge and I had Ben in the frontpack I was afraid to try to lift him and force him in myself for fear of hurting Ben. So. First I tried the "walk away" technique, expecting Will to get insecure and follow before I got too far away. So much for that. It took him until I was almost out of sight around the corner and I was getting nervous, before he started coming after me, and even then, he stopped at a comfortable distance away to look at a red car parked in the middle of the mall. When I went back towards him, he ran back to the toys again. So much for all our training to "come" when called... he just completely disregarded me. At this point I started getting a few sympathetic looks from passersby (and a few not-so-sympathetic "why don't you have your kid under control" looks too).

Next, since "sheer force of Mommy personality commanding at a distance" wasn't working, I went back to him and grabbed his arm and started making him walk with me. Of course that resulted in a royal melt-down-- kicking, dragging his weight, screaming at full volume right down the center aisle of the mall.

After a couple seconds of that, I shoved the shopping cart into the wall at an angle and knelt down to make the third side of a triangle with my body, pushing Will down to sit on the bit of floor inside. Since it's illegal to spank in New Zealand and we were in a VERY public place, I was paranoid not to do anything that could get me arrested! He's screaming at the top of his lungs, hitting and kicking me, trying to crawl past me the whole time. I just stayed as outwardly calm and emotionless as I could, and kept pushing him down into that little space with one hand on his chest, holding on to Ben with the other (who of course was starting to stir and fuss by this time, poor little guy). I just kept saying, "You have to get in the cart, William, you have to get in the cart. You have to obey Mommy. We're going to sit here until you're ready to obey."

So here we are, on the floor in the middle of the mall, no sign of Will calming down, I'm not making eye contact with any of the passersby, mortified that it's actually MY child making the horrible scene, my knees are aching, and panic is starting to rise in my heart because I truthfully felt I could not physically force him into the cart without him hurting Ben, and nowhere else to put Ben... Boy, was I praying hard!!! And, of course, I had left my cell phone at home so I couldn't call James for reinforcements!

Finally, at my wits end, when it looked like this could go on indefinitely, I just stood up, prayed for strength, grabbed Will around the torso with my free hand, pushed the shopping cart with the other, and practically dove the last few yards to the conveyor belt up to the car park. Right in front of the conveyor belt, I somehow superhumanly swung him up into the cart and forced his legs through the holes (he's still screaming at the top of his lungs and resisting me with all his strength), muttering threats about spankings under my breath that I hoped no one else could hear...

As soon as he was in the cart with no where to go, he kept crying for a minute or so, but by the time we got to the car he had settled down. I just left him sitting outside in the cart while I sat down shakily in the front seat to nurse Ben. Praise God, right at that moment I saw James sprinting toward us, and as soon as I saw him I burst into tears! I blurted out the whole thing, and he felt so terrible for not being there, but it was nobody's fault. I volunteered to go on my own, and the whole thing would never have happened if I had just made Will stay in the cart the whole time.

James put groceries and belligerent toddler in the car while I nursed Ben and calmed down. When Will got in his carseat and saw me crying, he immediately started saying to "Sorry, Mom... sorry, Mom..." which ordinarily would have melted my heart, but I do have to say, I was so upset with him that it took me a minute and a prayer to be able to say, "I forgive you, William". I was so furious with him! I felt so humiliated, helpless, panicky, like my hands were tied, like a terrible disciplinarian... Oh man, the emotions were running high! James and I both agreed together that it's almost better not to give him any treats at all, his behavior is so terrible afterwards-- he just cannot tear himself away from anything, and one is never enough.

Lessons learned:
1) At the supermarket, put both kids in cart, not on you!
2) Better to endure the noise of a contained toddler, than deal with the noise and challenge of containing said toddler!
3) Don't go to busy supermarkets in malls on the busiest night of the week!! And definitely don't go when you've missed your nap and it's already 5pm. In fact, just don't go shopping with children at all. Much better to starve.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Will turns TWO!

Will had a great 2-year-old birthday party!

Grandma Ros made the train cake... (Will's favorite part was blowing out the candle)

Will enjoyed eating it... (although he preferred the ice cream)

Zannah & Meg, Will's best friends in New Zealand...

His big boy cousins, Josh & Elijah ("Joss! Yijah!")

Airplane set from Grandma Ros...

Car carrier from Auntie Helene & Uncle Pete...

And a great drum from Grandma Mary (no picture yet, sorry)-- trains & cars from Uncle Chris & Aunt Julie, a hilarious book from Zannah & Meg... thanks to everyone. We had such a great time! Can't believe my little boy is TWO years old already! Time is flying by!

William Hunter, 2 years old

Benjamin Timothy, 1 month old

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Passport Photo

Oh yes. The inevitable infant passport photo shoot. New Zealand passport photo requirements are ridiculous and they are ridiculously enforced, even for infants. Eyes open and looking at the camera, mouth closed, both ears showing, shoulders straight... 6 home photo shoots and about 100 photos later, these are the "Best Of". The last one is the "winner"-- we're sending it up with his application this week. Pray it passes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mom's visit

Oh, the amazing things that come out of Grandma's crayon!

Happy Birthday, Will! A whole airport of your own!

Riding the 10 minute ferry from Lyttelton over to Diamond Harbour

Mom & me at Diamond Harbour

Grandma Ros with her TWO grandsons!

We have had a wonderful time with my Mom these last two weeks... it was really hard to say goodbye at the airport yesterday. She was amazing-- cooked meals, cleaned our bathrooms (only a mother could do that!), played with Will hour upon hour, burped & changed Ben and Will (she didn't even mind doing the dirty parts!), babysat so James and I could have some time out, encouraged all of us, and just generally brought sunshine.

The hardest part for me yesterday at the airport was not actually saying goodbye to her myself-- it was watching her say goodbye to Will. When she said, "I'll see you when you're 3, Will!" that's when I started crying. And I just kept crying all the way home. The real cost of this life God has called us to is sinking in even more deeply. It is so incredibly hard to think about our family not getting to see our precious, adorable boys until they are 3 whole years old and 1 whole year old... All the growing and moments and relationship-building we are all giving up... I said to James on the way home, "I know God promises to reward us for giving up family, houses, lands, etc, for Him, but even though He gives us surrogate grandparents for our boys overseas and my parents have surrogate grandchildren, there just really can't be any replacement for specific relationships-- between my sweet Mom and my sweet Will, for example. I guess that's why the second half of that verse says 'not only in this life, but also in the life to come'... some things are just simply irreplaceable and we just have to wait for heaven. It makes heaven seem a long way off..." :(

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

more pictures of Benjamin

Ben fell asleep with both hands in the air-- praising God early?

sunbathing for jaundice... posing for the camera?

proud Dad

Saturday, October 31, 2009

such a loving big brother!

Benjamin Timothy Broughton

We are pleased and proud to announce the birth of

Benjamin Timothy Broughton
("son of my right hand") and ("one who honors God", after Carolyn's Dad)

born October 26, 2009 at 5:33am

7.7 lbs
54.5 cm / 21.5 in

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children (sons) of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"
Ps. 127:3-4

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Less than two weeks to go!

Baby #2 is due to make his or her appearance in 11 days (key word is "due"... it could be any day!)... I said to James 2 days ago, "Ok, I'm officially sick of being pregnant!" I'm not nearly as big as I was with Will, and thankfully no sciatica nerve pain down my leg like I had with him near the end, but this baby is active! Every time I eat anything, my stomach erupts with golf balls popping out under my ribs and a big "bum lump" sliding around the front... instead of staying put in the "ideal" birth position (like my compliant little son), this one likes to flop back and forth every couple days or so-- great for labor nerves (less with this one, but still present)... serious judo practice starts at 10pm, right when I lie down to sleep... I keep thinking, who IS this person?

Will continues to be totally into every sport he can figure out... the latest developments are drop-kicking the rugby ball ("dop-kick, Mommy!") and using his tennis racket to pull the ball towards him from under a table (Daddy taught him that one). Rain or shine, his favorite place to be is outside, playing with his favorite object: a ball.

(video coming soon)

Yesterday he counted all the way to 10 (with a little help) on Skype for Grandma Ros! That achievement looks so basic and normal when I write it-- but there's no explaining how amazing it feels to listen to your son pronounce all the numbers in the right order, in his little baby voice! "One... toooo... fwee... fowuh... fife... six... seh-ven... " He likes me to sing songs to him when we're driving anywhere in the car, and every time I stop he says "How'bout...?" or "An den...?" He's started singing along with the ABC song-- he finishes the end of each phrase. "...ehf, gee....mno, pee... dubble-yoo...wy, zee... ay bee seees... meee!" His favorite colors to draw with at the moment are black and brown-- maybe he likes the contrast? Too bad they also show up the best on shirts... thank God for washable markers. He's really good at having manners - "sanks, Mom!" and "bress you!" and "moah peez!" and will even give goodbye hugs and say hello and goodbye to people he's just met (which they love).

AND this placid easy-going (almost two-year-old) son decided a week ago that, all of a sudden, the most excruciating thing he can think of to do is to take off all his clothes and get into the bath. Never mind that he spent the whole summer loving swimming, loving water... never mind that most kids LOVE taking off their clothes... take him into the bathroom and show him the bath, and he gets this look in his eye, and squeezes as close to the door as he can get.

"No, ON! ON!" he says very decisively, if I suggest taking off an item of clothing.

"Pants first, Will, or sweatshirt?"


"Look, Mommy's taking off her shoes... how many toes does Mommy have? Shall we count your toes?"

(Getting more distressed) "NO! ON!"

Inevitably it boils down to a battle involving all THREE of us-- James and I trading off tugging limbs out (Will is meanwhile flexing his feet, arching his back, clenching his elbows and making fists on the end of his sleeves, screaming like we're murdering him)... pants, socks, diaper, sweatshirt, long-sleeve shirt, t-shirt, undershirt (it's supposed to be spring here but it's still freezing)... somewhere in the middle, James and I both burst out laughing-- this is completely irrational.

Feeling guilty for laughing at our miserable son, and slightly nervous about what sort of very real fears he might be having that he can't tell us about, into the bath he goes... and after about one minute, he's asking for the boat and playing away, tears forgotten. He even turned around, pointed at me and said, "Out!" (Daddy is the usual bath manager-- maid dismissed!)

Any ideas what this is all about? Has anybody else's child suddenly developed out of the blue an irrational dislike of removing clothing?

In other news, Will is sleeping in a "big boy bed" now! Several days ago, he decided he wanted to take his nap in one of the single beds in the room he's using. So we tucked him in, piled pillows around the edges, and prayed he wouldn't fall out... here's what we saw when we checked on him ten minutes later:

(discarded portacot next to the bed)

(He absolutely LOVES that dog)

So now he's slept 4 nights in the single bed, without wanting to go back to his portacot... The first night he woke up twice looking for his dog (which had fallen down the side), so the next night we pushed the top mattress flush against the window at the head, and made sure the cracks were all stuffed with pillows.

Night #3 I was going to the bathroom next door at about 10pm, after he'd been asleep for a couple hours, and I heard a thump on the wall... going in, I found him on his hands and knees pushing his head up into the corner, really disoriented. I sat him up and cuddled him, and gave him his dog, and after a few minutes he laid back down again.

Last night I checked on him at 2am (after a potty stop), and he was in exactly the same position we'd put him down in: on his back, in the exact middle of the bed, under the covers, holding his dog. What a model child. Here's hoping for the next one... (yeah, right-- I think we're in for it this time)