Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm in the midst of reading the Old Testament right now (Phew! I made it through Leviticus). It is the first time I have read the Old Testament as a partially-actualized adult (not college student), and I am surprised. The God who I thought presided over the people of the Old Testament is different from who I thought he would be. So far this realization has caused me to rethink how I have studied the Bible in the past. I thought I would find God to be a rule enforcing dictator, and there are A LOT of rules in Leviticus, but when I finished reading Leviticus (and I read it, every stinking word), I was struck by how God gave those rules with the purpose of making the Children of Israel his. It is about being God's people vs. being a pagan people; being set aside for God. The "rules" aren't rules for rules sake. God is VERY about culture.
The point I am trying to make is that God changes the "rules." The rules are different in the Old Testament than they are the New--why? It seems to me that the purpose of the Bible is to show us that God strongly desires a close relationship with his people, not strongly desires "rule following" people. He is so strict in the Old Testament because the people are sooooo far from the people he desires them to be (Hello? Bestiality?). By the New Testament, they have cleaned up their act a bit, but they are so focussed on the rules that they forget about God.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Logan is TWO!!

My Big BOY!!

My next post was going to be about Moses and being called to things that we don't feel talented at (in?), but in the midst of my deepish thoughts, my baby grew up. I mean really grew up, as in started having temper-tantrums, started pushing, started saying "no" and "mine" A LOT, started playing with the contents of his diaper, and started doing weird things like sticking his hand down his throat to see what happens- grew up. My sweet little boy who I worried about the first few months of his life because he was sooooo quiet has started running, climbing, squealing, yelling, jumping, and demanding to be put in time out (I figure that is what he is doing when he pushes me and says, "No"). But even with all the "asserting himself" he's been doing lately, he still has moments when he flashes that stellar smile of his and melts my heart.
His first birthday was a kind of a sad affair. Logan had double-ear infections, and I had been staying up with him for days. I was exhausted; he was so miserable. He did manage to eat a little cake, but it was not the blowout that we had for Emma on her first birthday.

Logan at his birthday party at Grandma and Grandpa's a week before ear infection madness.
trying to smile while, but you can tell he has uber-chapped lips and feels horrible a week later at his real birthday party.
Since I am determined to not short-change Logan (as much as possible), I wanted his second birthday to be more festive. For Emma's first birthday, I made her a delectable Pablo cake (from the Backyardigans), so I decided for Logan's second birthday, I would make him a car cake since he is obsessed with carrrrs (and motorcycles, vroom, vroom) right now.
We also had non-family guests--The Woodwards. The Dentons are kind of anti-social when we get home, so having people over was a BIG DEAL. Emma did not have friends over until last year, but she is more individualistic than Logan (she is carrying on her mother's tradition of talking a lot, but enjoying time to herself). Even though he is quieter (MUCH quieter) than she is, he is also friendlier and enjoys being around non-family more than she does. And he has such a good, little friend in Charlie (or Lolly as he likes to call him). Charlie and Logan (Lolly and Lolo) are at Ms. Margie's together, and they have Sunday school together. They truly do have a great little relationship and enjoy one another. And I am trying not to hold it against Lolly that Logan said his name regularly before he said, "mommy," regularly :-).
I was a little afraid that things might not go well for the party when Logan was still asleep when our guests (Mimi, Wells, Shelley, and Charlie) arrived. However, when he finally woke up (with some help from his sister), he was ready for a good time. We had hot dogs, hamburgers (with rye buns--note to self: Do not send Brad out for buns again), apple slices, chips, and CAKE. Charlie and Logan ate supper at Logan and Emma's little table and looked adorable doing it, and then they moved on to the high chairs for some major cake demolition.

I think much fun was had by all, and I sure enjoyed having a better birthday party for my sweet little boy. And, yes, I should have put pants on him after his nap before we started snapping pictures. Live and learn. Live and learn.

Now for an update--
The TWO-year-old Logan

Cars, motorcycles (sahcles), trucks, his car table, buckling things, taking his clothes off, strawberries, opening and closing doors, outside, pushing and saying, "MINE," asserting his will and saying, "NO," even when he means, "yes," using a fork and spoon, music and dancing, turning the lights off and on, brushing his teeth, standing on Emma's stool, coloring, kissing, saying, "Ah-men," and "Oh man," counting, singing the ABC's and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", placing his cars in places that others might step on them, having his daddy "wetify" is hands after supper, running, climbing, taking off all of the pillows on the couch, throwing everything in his crib out of his crib, Emma's sippy cups, The Wiggles, the book "My Truck is Stuck," tickling, running around naked with shoes on, and clean diapers.

having a runny nose, not getting his way, being frustrated, cheese, having food in his mouth when he is suddenly full (he will just all of a sudden spit out his food), having his nose sucked, having a blanket on his feet, messy hands, putting a jacket or pants on, getting his diaper changed, Emma getting a whole rice cake and him getting half, sitting in his car seat all the way home, sitting still in restaurants, teething, a poopy diaper (it must be removed IMMEDIATELY), using words (he'd rather point and pull), mornings (when he has to leave the house), and being restrained in any way (he wants to be free).

We are really learning who Logan is right now (sometimes he tells us LOUDLY). I am really liking the little boy he is becoming. We are working on normal two-year-old things like temper-tantrums, sharing, not pushing, and not getting your way all the time. I have found that time-out works really well with him, as does talking to him calmly. Yelling, spanking, and anything extreme just causes him to dig in his heels and act worse (I know your shocked. Those are such good parenting methods :-)). At this stage, he is more challenging than Emma was because I think she was so clear from the beginning in telling us who she was and what she wanted. Logan has just all of a sudden started caring about things, so it is taking us longer to figure out what works with him.

Parenting him thus far has been an adventure, and throughout the good and the bad, I am always so proud of who he is and so thankful that God has allowed me to be his mommy. What delightful children I have been blessed with! Here's to another great year with my little Logan.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


In case, y'all hadn't heard the news, IT SNOWED in Atlanta last week. I mean really snowed. And we got out of school for a whole week--not one measly day, but a WHOLE week. It was amazing and astounding.

Sunday night, I did all my Sunday rituals--"finished" laundry (made sure Emma had underwear and uniforms, that Logan had pants, and that Brad and I had at least one clean pair of underwear), made lunches, and cleaned the kitchen. I just was not gonna believe that snow was going to fall. I'd been burned before. Newscasters had promised snow days, and I had woken up gleefully at 5:30 AM to find out it was a beautiful day--urgh. So when Brad opened our front door at 10:30 on Sunday night and exclaimed, I was in shock (and totally prepared for a day of doing nothing--well, nothing except putting up the Christmas decorations that were still lingering).

Here's what our patio looked like Monday morning:
This is the front of our house.
Then the most amazing thing happened. It was truly astounding. A bigger miracle than the snow. MY CHILDREN SLEPT UNTIL 9. Just so you know, sleeping children is not the norm in the Denton household. Logan has maintained since around 4 months that sleeping is for sissies. But for some reason on the first snow day, EVERYONE slept. And then we played (or Emma played and Logan fell in the snow, got up, and fell again).

Here's a picture of Emma's neck and Logan touching the snow.

Monday was truly a blissful day. We played, we had hot chocolate, we went on imaginary adventures to Japan, Logan laid down and took a nap without being rocked (Again, A-MA-ZING!), I got the Christmas decorations taken down and Brad put them in the attic, and we ended the day watching Beauty and the Beast.

The rest of the week was just as blissful (except for Saturday. By Saturday, the children were ready to scream until someone came looking for them and rescued them from the confines of the Denton home. I thought about screaming, too (and did briefly), but then I remembered my New Year's resolution.). We painted, we made snow cream, we baked, we ate the food that we baked, we sledded, we made a snowman, we watched movies, we played games, we did puzzles, and we totally veged and watched countless hours of Caillou (sp) and The Wiggles. It will go down as one of the best weeks of my life. It was like it was some kind of reward for the struggles of last year. Just a week to be and to enjoy the precious children and wonderful husband God has blessed me with.

Emma sledding on her stomach:
Brad attempting to belly sled, forgetting that he weighs a bit more than Emma.
Emma and her gInormous piece of ice. Logan and his smaller piece of ice.
Logan all Aquaphored up.
My beautiful girl.
My silly boy.
Emma having hot chocolate by the fire (in case you couldn't figure out the picture)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Yeh, I'm late. So sue me. If you know me, then you know lateness is a state of being for me. Yeh, this blog is trite. Again, sue me. Sometimes I'm trite. I also have sentimental moments, and I can be incredibly cheesy. Oh, and I'm ditzy, too. And a horrible speller. Now, let's finish this disclaimer and get down to business.

Most of my life I have been a huge goal setter. I used to set goals, put them on index cards, and tape them to my mirror so I would see them every morning. Every night I would pray over the goals and give myself a mental (and hypercritical) update. I would try to do crazy things like only eat 1,000 calories a day. And then when I would fail miserably, I would feel miserable. So a few years ago, I quit goal setting cold turkey. It wasn't a conscious decision. It just kind of happened. I had just had a baby and I was happy. For the first time in my life, I felt truly content and OK with myself. I didn't want to mess it up with stupid goals.

Then along came Logan. Sweet, cuddly Logan, who was a fabulous sleeper and eater. Who was the perfect baby, until--ear infections. Then my sweet, cuddly fabulous sleeper and eater became a challenging baby, and my life was spent trying unsuccessfully to help him to be comfortable and to sleep. It was also spent eating--a lot. I didn't really gain a whole lot of weight, but I didn't loose any of my substantial baby weight either (let me write that in capital letters, SUBSTANTIAL BABY WEIGHT). I was kind of maintaining.

But again, my life was full to the brim with being a mother. When you have a baby who wakes up every hour screaming, well, your personal stuff just has to be put to the side. In a way, I lost myself. It was necessary. For a period of time, I needed to be totally focussed on my kiddos.

Over Christmas, I realized something. I WAS SLEEPING!! Finally, Logan, Brad, and I had achieved a huge success: Logan was sleeping through the night (it was a group effort). With sleep came clarity. I have spent 4 years totally immersing myself into my children. It was a necessary and important immersion. They needed me desperately (and I LOVED being that needed), but now, they are striving to be their own people. They don't need me as much. Oh, I still make the best peanut butter sandwiches, and I am the only one who knows the secret location of the diaper bag (under the kitchen counter) and the tape (in the junk drawer), but I have a lot more free time now. Time I could/can use to get a little of me back.

So without further adieu here's the list of things Jami is going to do to reclaim herself this year:

1. Lose this freaking baby weight (and this weight is totally not Logan's fault. It is totally the fault of a Dunkin Donuts being built on my way to school--and maybe my own decisions). I have had the goal to lose weight before, but that goal usually came from the place of self-yuck-feelingness. Now, I don't feel like a horrible human being because my waistline is larger than I would like. I just want to be able to fit into my cool, smaller-sized pants in the back of my closet, and (this is the big one) I want to be able to play with my grandchildren one day. I really want to be a cool grandma, and to be that, I have to get healthier, and to get healthier, I have got to get my large behind off of this incredibly comfortable couch.

2. Get my feet back. Somewhere along the way, I have REALLY let my feet go. Emma is soooo bothered by my cracking heels. She gives me daily updates and encourages me to moisturize. I figure if my 4-year-old has noticed my gnarly feet, maybe I should do something about them. Really, they are just a symbol of how I have let myself go. Really? I don't have time to slather lotion on my feet? So today, I painted my toenails. Emma approves. I also bought new socks. They are actually made for women and they did not come in a pack of 100. Let the Heaven's rejoice!

3. Daily Bible Reading. I know from times in my life when I have been a daily Bible reader that being Spiritually intune with God makes my life better. It fortifies my soul and gives me strength. Just like I have let my waistline go and my feet go, I have put my Spiritual life on auto-pilot. This year, I am going to feast on God's word. I want to have a family who loves the Lord, and I desperately want to have all of us in Heaven together one day. I know that in order for that goal to be met, I myself have to have a wonderful relationship with God. So I'm going to read the Bible. And I'm on day 15, and I have to say, I am loving it!! I have never done the One Year Bible before, but it is excellent. And I am reading the New Living Translation, and so the language feels different(ly?) than what I have read before. Plus, I am older and a parent, so I am reading it through new eyes. Weren't those Old Testament people HORRIBLE? My goodness!

4. Not yelling unless someone is in danger or I am cheering someone's success. I don't yell often. I'm a pretty even-keeled person. I like my life and I enjoy it--most of the time. However, when I am upset, I AM REALLY UPSET. It is NOT pretty, people. I have told Emma that if she will work on whining, I will work on yelling--and like the feet thing, she is really holding me to it. So I am going to enjoy my life, calmly address things that are upsetting to me, and not let things fester to an overwhelming point.

And while I'm at these, I'm going to go to bed at a decent hour, beat Shelley Woodward at Scrabble, blog more often, and floss :-).