Saturday, April 19, 2014

He is 18 Months Old!

Jude had fun with his "Halfday" cupcake
I. Love. It.

Really. I may love having an 18-month-old more than any age yet. I am so serious.

I love that he understands us. Or, at least he tries and gets it most of the time. I love that if he doesn't understand, I can "teach" him what I mean usually in just a few minutes. 

I love that he is becoming more independent. I love that he can communicate. I love that he loves to make us laugh and likes to make us proud.

In honor of Jude's Halfday (which has become an official thing in the Powell household), I wanted to list some cute things Jude does. (Disclaimer: I know these are not spectacular and are totally normal developmental milestones, but grandparents read this blog and well, they eat this stuff up!)

So, here's the list, in no particular order:

He has begun pointing and asking "Autsis?" (translation: What's this?)

He tries to entice us to wrestle with him. Yup, all boy. Loves to roughhouse.

He still loves books. Maybe all kids adore books at this age, but I promise we could read book, after book for hours and he would not be bored. Also, it amazes me that he never brings the same book twice - he remembers which ones we have read already.

He loves the "Bah-bull" (translation: Bible). He will grab it, get in a chair, and turn the pages. He has never ripped a page, which is still beyond my understanding.

He loves to take all the pillows off the couches, make a pile, and fall into it, face first.

He loves rocks, sticks, acorns, and dirt more than any toy in our house. 

He sneaks the above objects into the house and deposits them in random places. 

He still gets plumb giddy about brushing his teeth. This is not an exaggeration. We say, "Jude let's brush your teeth," and he runs, giggling, into the bathroom saying, "Teece" (translation: teeth).

He loves Curious George.

When watching Curious George, he gets upset (and cries) if something goes wrong or if George does something bad.

He offers kisses without being asked! Melts a mama's heart!

He copies my and his daddy's actions during cooperate worship. I love seeing him raise his hands, pump his fist, clap, say "Amen," and bow his head. What a precious thing!

He plays jokes. His favorite is to point to Daddy and call him "Mama" just to be silly. Then he will call me "Jude Dude" and point to himself and say "Daddy."  Then, he switches the names up and does it again. 

He calls anything that is crunchy "kackihs" (translation: crackers).  Even celery, dried seaweed, and nuts. He was disappointed with the celery, loved the seaweed, and was denied the nuts.

He will say almost every animal's name AND sound. Except cow. He will NOT call it a cow. He will only say, "Booo" (translation: moo).

He dances to his daddy's beatboxing. Actually, he will dance to any music, but daddy's beatboxing is the cutest.

Every morning, when we get him out of his crib, he hands us several items as he names them:
"Orsch" (translation: George) - His stuffed Curious George.
"teur-dool" (translation: turtle) - His light-up turtle pillow pet.
"aimpit" (translation: blanket) - His blanket.
"aimpit" (translation: blanket) - His other blanket.
I then carry all of these items into the living room and plop them on the couch where he cuddles up with them and watches Curious George.

When we say, "I love you" he says, "ah -djew" (Translation: I love you soo sooo sooooo much.  Ok, I embellished that a bit.)

It's a great season. We love our 18-month-old. Happy Halfday, Jude Dude!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Toddler Nos

I knew it would happen, but that didn't make it any easier.

Our cute little 17-month-old started telling us, "No."

Honestly, sometimes it is hard not to chuckle at how cute he is when he says it. It's not yet that ugly, screaming, "NOOOOO!"  that I know I will hear one day soon. Right now it's just a cute, almost innocent sounding,"No?"

But, it is not honoring and obeying his parents.

It seems like with each new development I'll text Stephen: "Jude has started _____________, what do I do?" And, thankfully, he always has just the right answer.

As we parent a little sinner, I am becoming overwhelmingly thankful that the Lord has led us to a gospel-centered approach to parenting. I'm thankful that Stephen and I are on the same page. That we are a team. I know it is not that way in all homes. But, by the grace of God it is a blessing to be a parent alongside my man.

It is so sad to see your child's sinfulness. I mean, you KNOW it is there. Yet it hurts so much to see it come out in defiance and tantrums. And as I see it, I am reminded that he needs a Savior. And, I am reminded that I need a savior to navigate these parenting waters. 

So, what do we do when he says "no?"

We discipline defiance.  For issues of defiance, we remind him that the Lord wants him to obey mama and daddy (Ephesians 6:1) and help him practice. If it is a "no" to something he doesn't want like food or a toy we remind him to be thankful for what he is given rather than coveting something better. We pray with him that the Lord will one day save him and give him a new heart - one that desires obedience to God and therefore his parents.

It's hard. So far, the "toddler nos" are not fun. But, I know that how we deal with sin is an important foundation for the gospel. I pray the Lord will save him one day.

I know that he does not understand it all. But, I try not to grow weary from doing good. The routine of discipline and training may be more for us at this point. We are getting into the habit of pointing him to God's word and praying with him about his disobedience every time we discipline. 

The "toddler nos" are no fun.  But, they bring an opportunity for us to teach the Gospel and I pray we not forget it.