Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's Go to the Movies!

Everyone remembers their first trip to the movie theater! My dad tells me his first movie in the theater was to see Davey Crockett and that he fell asleep half-way through it. My sister's first movie theater experience was Sleeping Beauty, and it's been one of her favorites ever since. I saw 101 Dalmations, and though I don't recall my emotions regarding the film, I have a few vague recollections of the experience of being in the theater. I remember the screen being big, the sound being big, and the room being big. With the walls draped in scarlet tapestries, I felt I was in a very important place and I remember feeling very honored to be there.

All this being said, I've been putting off taking Abigail to her first film in the theater for a while for two reasons. First, I wanted her to be old enough to perhaps make some memories of her first movie. Second, I've been waiting for the right movie to come along. Certainly there are hundreds of "family" movies or "kid-friendly" movies that come out every year. But I'd argue that the majority of them are full of nothing. In fact, I find that even the movies that are rated G often have subtle adult themes. Even if they are "squeaky clean" there is often no memorable plot or moral, and the kids are often bratty, rebellious, and model terrible behaviors. As a parent, I come down a little hard on movies that are made for kids. That's why it's been so hard for me to find a movie that I can trust will be of good character without having to preview it. The Disney-Pixar movies have been excellent in moral regards, but I feel they're still a little too much for Abi's sensitive heart to take in just yet (she asks me to fast-forward almost the entirety of Sid's house during Toy Story and we skip the Tom and Jerry cartoons that have the bulldog with the sharp teeth in them). I realize I'm a rather HARSH judge of today's "family" movies, and I'm okay with that. I'm not judging what others take their kids to, and goodness knows we have plenty of "twaddle" on DVD in our cupboards! But I do want Abigail's first movie in the theater to be special, and something that I don't come away from feeling icky about.

SO! I've been getting excited hearing that a new Winnie the Pooh movie will be coming out - the first "big screen Pooh adventure" in 35 years. She knows and loves all the Pooh characters and (and so do I!) so I think AT LAST I've found the right fit for my girl. The movie comes out July 15th, so we'll probably go to see it for her birthday in early August! I feel I can trust the Winnie the Pooh characters to not fall TOO far out of line :)

So I'm curious! What was your first movie in the theater and what do you remember about it?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Quickening!

I'm about 16 1/2 weeks along in my third pregnancy. Yesterday I witnessed the miracle of what many call "the quickening" or when a mother feels the first kicks of her baby in the womb. This is my third child, but the miracle of this moment never ceases to take my breath away. I think this moment especially blessed me due to the various circumstances transpiring that day and throughout my pregnancy.

Since getting pregnant with this little precious one, I've battled a fear of miscarriage. Several close friends tragically lost their little ones just before or just after I learned of my pregnancy and my grief for them transferred into fear (and guilt) over my own pregnancy. I mourned with them, but I realized (with the help of my husband, friends, and the grace of God) that I should put my hope in the Lord and not to give up on my own baby. Since then I have spoken God's word of Truth over this pregnancy - that God's plan for us is for good, and not harm, that my hope is in the Lord, and that His ways are higher than mine.

We've also been experiencing a battle of health insurance. Without going into all the details, our insurance was dropped at the end of February, just after my first appointment and the hearing of the heartbeat. I've refrained from going to my monthly appointments because I didn't want to get billed until our insurance was stable again. We had received the worst of the news (the denial of health coverage for the family) yesterday morning. Yesterday evening God blessed me with the first kicks of my little one. As I sat there holding my little belly I thought about my God. He is the one who knits this child together, He is the one who holds his or her future, and He controls not only the time when he or she will come into the world, but also how it will be paid for. I am overwhelmed with joy thinking about the life inside me. Doubts and fears may swirl about us, but the Lord is our Rock. And our child is in the most loving hands imaginable.

Today we received good news on our insurance, so don't worry about us. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Both Abigail and Lucie had their Half-Birthdays in February. We don't celebrate them, but I do like to take inventory of what my kids are accomplishing, what they are liking and disliking, and what they are learning at this phase. When they're this little they're still changing by the hour, so a 6-month inventory seems a little underachieving, but well, I've tried.

While Abigail at 3 1/2 isn't boasting of brown paper packages or wild geese that fly with a moon on their wings, she does have a capacity to relate to you her favorite things. In an intimate chat with her a few weeks ago while walking around Lake Harriet, I was able to gather these details of her personhood.

Favorite color: Pink. No surprise. (although she specifies that she prefers light pink over dark) Favorite song: Mighty to Save (from Hillsong). I hope this tops her charts for a while.
Favorite TV show: Sid the Science Kid on PBS. She even has her own microphone and magnifying glass and she explores and investigates just like him. I love it!
Favorite movie: Beauty and the Beast. She's starting to get into the princess thing - I think Belle happens to be a nice role model.
Favorite food: Mac N Cheese. Again, no surprise. I'm hoping her tastes will mature as she does.
Favorite game: Chutes & Ladders: Princess Edition. But this is because the playing pieces are little plastic princesses and she likes to take them out of the box and play pretend with them.
Favorite subject: Math. She likes "letters" also, but she must feel more confident in her math skills. Go for it, girl! She also loves science (for reasons mentioned above).

Favorite book: When asked this question she looked at me quizzically and stated matter-of-factly, "ALL the books, Mom!" I looked through our books to see if I could spot a book that is more loved than the others, but after scanning over 100 children's book titles in our little collection (yes, easily more than 100) I came to the same conclusion. She really loves all the books! They all get equal amounts of reading time and she could probably recite them all to you word for word. She recently has been interested in reciting nursery rhymes to Lucie.
Favorite animal: Is this even a question? Goats. Goats are her favorite animal. Which will clue you into the fact that yes, B the Goat is still very much a part of her life!

And now for Lucie. At a year and a half, she can't relate to me what her favorites are. But it's pretty easy to tell where her obsessions lie!

Favorite color: Actually, she hasn't shown a preference yet. I tell her it's purple because purple is awesome.
Favorite song: She loves Twinkle Twinkle, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABCs, and the VeggieTales theme song. She'll dance and wave her arms and sing along with anything that has any semblance of a melody. She carries a tune quite well; from a musical standpoint, I'd say she hits her intervals better than any 18-month-old I've ever heard.

Favorite TV show: She watches whatever Abi is watching, but like any almost-two-year-old, she especially enjoys Elmo's World.

Favorite movie: She doesn't really sit through movies yet, but she is pretty crazy about VeggieTales. At least the theme song part :)

Favorite food: It was one of her first words: CRACKER. Graham crackers, soda crackers, cheesy crackers, really anything crunchy. She would also eat all the cheese in my kitchen if I allowed her.

Favorite game:
Peek-a-Boo, chasing, and playing catch. Definitely more kinetic than her extremely focused sister.
Favorite book: Five Little Ducks and the Curious George Anthology.

Favorite animal: Ducks (and all related foul: chickens, songbirds, geese, etc. They're all called "Quack-Quacks") and monkeys. But mostly dogs. DOGS DOGS DOGS.

Favorite octave: Super-sonic. Especially when she doesn't get her own way. We're working on correcting that.

So there's my girls in a nutshell. And although they have plenty of differences, the two are starting to play more and get along like sisters do (best friends one minute and worst enemies the next!) I pray their relationship deepens as the years go on!