Hello, Two

Although we may not quite be chronologically greeting this second year, we are definitely greeting it mentally, socially, and developmentally. Let me just give you some "for examples"...

Oh the days of, "I can do it myself": Cole no longer needs help putting shoes on, getting from point A to point B, opening and closing doors, or even successfully singing about wise and foolish men or little Christian lights. Please do not try to participate in these activities. He is quite big enough to do them on his own.

My, how our relationships have changed: Sometimes Cole is in the mood for friends. Sometimes he is not. He will make it very clear to you if he is not in the friend kind of mood by holding up one finger and sternly blurting out the word, "NO!" If he finds that you must be reminded of his mood, he will do so, sometimes over and over and over.

Mom doesn't always know best: The days of believing this falsity are long gone. Sometimes her warnings can be heeded. Often times, they need not receive attention.

Which parent will give me the answer I'm looking for? How, may I ask, at this stage in life does my little half-pint know that if Mom doesn't respond favorably to what he's doing, checking with Dad may be a brilliant strategy? Luckily he hasn't come to the realization that the best approach to this method is to ask Dad only when he doesn't know what Mom's original response was.

My, what a large vocabulary we have! Everyday Cole has more new words on his list of things to say. Not only can he repeat what Mom says at the drive through window ("milk, chips, thank you"), he can also forecast weather ("sunny, rain, windy"), identify body parts ("tummy, fingers, hair"), discuss matters of hygiene ("shampoo, brush, jam" [as in toe-jam, which is an important daily task]), discuss what he sees in the car ("motorcycle, digger, mailman, window"), and use his words to request attention ("Mom, wook [look]!" "My daddy! Ewww!")

While this hint of two is definitely challenging us, we're loving it just the same as 6 months, 12 months, and 15 months. Check with us again later, though, and we may be singing a slightly different tune. I can definitely understand why it is so often said that two is the first glimpse at what kids are like as teenagers.


Lovin' Phil Joel

Last night Gilbert and I had the chance to go to a Christian coffee house in town and see Phil Joel perform. To tell the truth, I really didn't care to go. I mean, I don't have anything against Phil Joel. We have a CD of his that I'm crazy about (and now, with my fancy new CD-playin' van, I can actually listen to it), but I almost sent Gilbert on his own. Most of my lack of enthusiasm was due to the fact that I didn't want to hunt down a babysitter. Okay. That was the entire reason I didn't want to go. But I sucked it up, asked a sweet family at church for a favor (which I hate to do), and they were glad to keep him. So off we went to see Phil Joel, and I am so glad we did.

I would say that I appreciate music. I like it, I enjoy it, but I don't love it in the same way that some people do. I understand that there is great power in music; that it has the ability to speak directly to a person and meet you where you are, but it isn't a hobby of mine. I'm not a music connoisseur, if you will. This, however, was my kind of concert. Not the get up and yell kind of concert but the sit, listen, and soak-it-up kind of concert. The entire building only legally held about 250 people, and I wouldn't guess there were even half that many there. We sat in the perfect spot, close enough to the stage to feel the intimacy of the place. To be honest, and at the risk of sounding ridiculous, it was a strange sort of emotional experience for a music-liker such as myself. Each song was so heart-felt, personal, and easy to relate to. I guess that's one of the great things about Christian music, but being in that type of setting made me feel so connected to each line that was sung.

Anyway, my point is that not only did last night make me appreciate music a little more, it made me appreciate Phil Joel a little more too. He was funny, personal, and down-to-earth. I even grew to appreciate his hair in the hour that we spent with him. We begrudgingly left at ten because we promised the Tilleys we'd pick up Cole by ten, but we didn't want to. I had to scold Gilbert this morning for imagining what songs we'd missed after we left, and we both woke up with Entertaining Angels stuck in our heads. It was quite a night.


An Update

Well, I didn't get the English position that I interviewed for, but my prayer the whole time has been that God will give me the perfect place to be, so I'm just thankful to know that this isn't the perfect place for me.

The better news is that the word at the rumor mill is that there are two counseling positions in the county system that will be open. Neither are posted to the public yet, but I have spoken to a couple of my teacher friends from church about the middle school counseling position and they are going to put in a good word for me there. (Both are connected to the principal in some way.) I'm keeping my eyes peeled constantly for the new openings so I can pounce on them, but I haven't seen them yet.

What has been so great is all the people at church who are helping with my search. I get random phone calls and emails at various times from people saying, "Hey. I just heard about a position at such-and-such." Or people walk up to me at church and say, "I heard that this place has someone retiring." I have had lots of people offer to drop my name into the ears of the powers-that-be at schools all over the place, even to the point of badgering the principals they work with. I can't believe how willing people are to help me out. Just another reason I know that we are truly loved around here. And the feeling's mutual.


A Trip to The Windy City

Okay. I know it's been a while since I've posted anything, but I haven't been able to come up with anything interesting enough to devote an entire post to. I do, however, feel bad for those of you who check on me, anticipating something new, and find those same old corny pictures of me in my vehicles. So I'll let you know about something we've done recently that you might find a little interesting.

Gilbert and I went last Friday to Chicago for a Cubs game. We'd purchased tickets in April with intentions of the three of us going, but as time got close enough for us to get the weather forecast, we realized that it was going to be in the mid-fifties that day, with Chicago wind and a chance of showers, so we decided to leave Cole here. I agreed to this only with a promise from Gilbert that we'd go back again later in the season when the weather is warmer. Our sweet friends the Andersons kept Cole. (Mandy should get most of the credit. She had him for 12 hours that day and also lugged him to the doctor with her own three boys. When the two who were waiting for their exam stripped down to their undies, Cole was determined to do the same. Sweet Mandy let him get mostly naked too and run around the exam room in just his diaper. She knows exactly how to make him happy!)

Gilbert and I had a good time at the game. We got to see a win, and the trip to Chicago is a piece of cake--just about two hours. Gilbert's dad says that's how he realized how very far north we are. When you get about halfway up Indiana, the interstate signs start providing guidance for a journey to Chicago. Now that's NORTH! This is the best thing about our move, according to Gilbert. This season he's quadrupling the number of Cubs games he was able to attend in the past seasons, and he's doubling the number he gets to watch on t.v. (He sees almost all of them. That's like one game every day! I, personally, am thrilled about this.)

While we're on the subject, the Fed-Ex guy just rang the doorbell with our tickets for the July game we'll be going to. We've been enough times to figure out the areas of shade and rain protection, and I hope I chose tickets correctly. I don't want Cole missing out next time. And next time, I WILL take my camera, and there WILL be pictures to share. (I'm hoping for one of Cole being held by one of the players. Yeah. I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.)