Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Randomness

     So, I've decided one of my Top 5 Temporary Cures for Depression is: doing something totally silly & random...like changing your home answering machine to the clip from Elf, "Buddy the Elf- what's your favorite color?"  Hey, its December, so a Christmas inspired message is due....now the fun part is waiting to see how long it will take hubby to notice...so far I've got a good half hour...
     Our "usual" v-mail is a long, drawn out monologue in my husband's voice which includes all of the service times for our church (our home number is the church's too).  Despite numerous complaints from friends, we've kept it...and kept it...and kept it... So, I took it upon myself to change it (and it took me quite some time to actually figure out how to change the recording) and hopefully enjoy it for a few days.... (Hey, he hasn't found out about my snowboard yet, so we'll see how long it takes him to get this one).
    The kids loved watching me record the exact phrase off of "Elf" and enjoyed hearing it on the phone speaker. Thankfully my kids don't have the vocabulary to accidentally tattle on me & my husband isn't fully facebook literate ;)


                                   


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Weekend From....

This past weekend has been an adventure we hope to be able to laugh about 10 years from now... It all started Friday night in a supposed reputable hotel in Lancaster, PA.  I flew with the kids to DE to visit my ailing grandmother and mom who was getting surgery.  Friday night my mom, dad, sis, kids & I spent the night in Lancaster.  After a busy afternoon of driving and recuperating from our Thursday flight, we ate dinner at a local pizza place and ended then night by swimming in the hotel pool.  The children were pretty much wiped from the events of the past couple days, so I went to turn down the bedcovers so my 4 year old could sleep comfortably....
Instead of tucking my son in for the night, I ran screaming from the room as a mouse flew from under the pillows on his bed.  In my hormone induced state, I cried for about 20 minutes and was inconsolable.  Thankfully the kids just chalked the screaming up to "mommy's usual self" and didn't see the mouse.  All the hotel did for us was 1.move us to the 2nd floor (we had to walk quite a ways and my son was passed out by this time) and 2.give us 20% of the cost of the rooms.  Needless to say, we will not be back.
Saturday we anticipated a nice lunch at a "famous" Lancaster restaurant.  It did not turn out as "nice" as we had expected... My 4 year old has a sensory precessing disorder that limits his enjoyment of things "normal" people take for granted.  Silly Mommy forgot about his issue with crowds...and this eatery attracts loads of people from all over the place... Well, Mommy went to the buffet to accrue food for the little ones, and sensory overload kicked in and wouldn't stop.  My poor mom tried to calm him down, but apparently his "display" was so disruptive that the manager approached her and told her to take him out, even though she explained he would calm down once I appeared (and she wasn't going to leave my 2 year old alone at the table).  Thankfully he did calm when I returned, and we attempted to enjoy the scrumptious food.  This proved impossible for me because all I could think about was my son being kicked out of a restaurant and the stares from the other customers.  When tears started streaming down my face, my sensitive 4 year old look at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mommy.  I'm sorry".  Unable to eat anymore, I left with him in tow.  The manager did refund my meal price, but it was made evident that we would not darken the threshold of that place again.
Sunday morning was enjoyable as we took the Strasburg train for a short jig (my son LOVES trains).  The morning started to turn unenjoyable when my son wanted to get back on the train...but at least we got a few good pics, and the joy on his face as we rode was priceless (he could actually imitate the pitch and length of the  "chooo,chooo" almost perfectly) ...And we had another "episode" in the restaurant we tried for lunch...but they didn't kick us out.  The waitress was actually very understanding and helpful.
So I guess we did experience a few good moments as a family (my bro & his fiance' joined us Saturday) but we might just need to stop planning things for a while, lol....

Life Goes On...

     The reason I have not had any fresh blog entries is due to the fact that I am lacking in the energy department...I am about 19 weeks pregnant, and I am helping a friend retain her clientele from a previous business enterprise.  Add two kids & a hubby to that, minus the caffeine, and that is why I have been neglecting my blog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Potty Training....Day???

    Well, its been a few weeks since we started the task of toilet training our 2 year old.  She is now able to tell us when she has to use the potty during the daytime.  The only problems we are encountering are 1.she still pees at night, and 2. she sometimes confuses her bowel movements with gas, so she doesn't make it to the potty in time.  For nighttime, we are using Pull-ups with the "cool alert" sensation in hopes that she will stop peeing at night.  We are aware that this will take time for her to learn.  As far as her pooping on the potty, at least she hits it sometimes.  For that we are grateful (our son pooped his pants for 2 months during potty training).  At least we are no longer purchasing diapers (just the pull-ups), and she can go a few days without having an accident.  Bottom line: it is possible to potty train a 2 year old!

*Chipmunks*

      Last Sunday afternoon we took a trip to the lovely ghost town of St. Elmo.  As a family, we've made it a habit to go up there every year at the end of summer to view the changing aspens and feed the cute little chipmunks...but apparently some people are not aware of this smaller species of animals, because on this last trip, we overheard some tourists calling them "little squirrels".
     Whats great about taking the kids up every year to this ghost town to feed these little animals is that the chipmunks are so accustomed to humans that they will climb all over you.  Literally.  The people who own the "general store/souvenir shop" (only open during the summer) provide little baggies of "chipmunk feed" (I'm thinking unsalted sunflower seeds) for 50 cents.  Hold a few of these seeds in your hand, and you'll be amazed at how fast a little critter will sneak up and devour them.  (I've also discovered that they will eat chewy granola bars, but I'm not sure how nutritious they are for the chipmunks)
      Picking the "right time" to see the golden trees, feed the little guys, and avoid mass amounts of tourist traffic has been an experience for us.  Last year we went up in October and were greeted with snow and few chipmunks.  Our last trip seemed to be "just perfect"-it was still warm in St. Elmo, there were plenty of chipmunks to feed and we were able to see the fall beauty enveloping the mountain side.
     Sometime last summer, the children and I went up with friends, but the aspens hadn't all turned, it was too warm, and there were too many people (my son has sensory issues)...but we did get to feed the chipmunks...until my son (2yrs at the time) stepped on the tail of one...and I'm pretty sure he almost pulled it off.  Poor thing let out this pitiful squeak and we took off.  That was during his "stomping phase" where it was fun to step on things that moved quick...I'm sure a few chipmunks remembered him from last year and hid when they saw us....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mercy

     I spent an amazing weekend with fellow volunteers from pregnancy resource centers located all over Colorado.  Two days and nights of fellowship, encouragement, and worshipping God left us feeling refreshed and ready to minister to the women, children, and families of our towns for another year.
     The keynote speaker was the wonderful man who followed God's leading to create Project 127, which is meant to eradicate the number of orphans in Colorado (and eventually the U.S.).  His message for the weekend was "Mercy".  Mercy is what we get when we don't deserve it.  We all need it.  God loves to give mercy, but as His children, we are probably not seeking it as often as the Psalmists and other people of the Bible did.  Jesus gave mercy continually in His earthly ministry, and as "little Christs" or followers of Him, shouldn't that be something we should strive to be proficient at?
     What would this "mercy" look like to you?  Is it forgiving that friend who left you for another?  Or bringing coffee to the coworker who seems to seethe at the mere mention of your name?  For me, this mercy looks like forgiveness.  Forgiveness of the wrong that I feel was done to me by people.  People don't always know when they've harmed you, so holding a grudge does you more harm.  Others will be able to see the light of Christ in us when they see the mercy He has given us to give to them. 
     Mercy...Its not just for me...
    

Adventures In Potty Training...

     Well, it's Day 15 of potty training our 2 year old. That means we are on week 3.  The first week was a major learning experience for everyone, and we had to clean pee off our floor multiple times.  Week 2 went a bit better, and now Amber will pee on the potty every hour (if you take her).  Her main problem is wetting the bed at night, so we have decided to use Pull-Ups during bedtime (not nap, tho).  Tomorrow we will start taking her every hour & a half, and hopefully increase it to every 2 hours by week 4.
     As she learns control of her bladder, we have been learning to control our tempers.  She seems to know when she has the urge to go, because she will announce "Mommy, potty!" or "Mommy, I go poot" and proceed to head to the bathroom. 
     As of this moment, she is sitting on the regular potty, and her potty chair is in her bedroom for nighttime use (not that she uses it).  When we started this journey, friends of ours had made it seem simpler than its been, but now that we have overcome the first two weeks, we see how easy it has become.  She reads our cues, and we read hers.
     As far as "incidents" in the bathroom, its apparent that 2 year olds have no sense of hygiene.  She will stick her hand into pee to push the toilet paper "all the way down".  She has finally mastered the art of flushing (just goes to show how simple of a task we take for granted).  And for an encore, the lollipop she received from the Dr's office today saw more than its share of germs when she set it on the floor next to the toilet so she could climb up...and popped it back into her mouth afterwards...
     We are hoping for maintained sanity as our journey ventures forth....for all...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Potty Training, Day 5

     On Monday we started the daunting task of potty-training our independent 2 year old... By Tuesday evening, I was *this close* to shoving diapers back on her... Our method (this time around) is a fairly simple one- Amber wears nothing but real underwear and sits on the potty every twenty minutes.  We are attempting this for two weeks.  Needless to say, the first two days had crushed our confidence and sanity.
   Wednesday she finally peed in her potty chair (she was sitting on it during breakfast & had her underwear on, but hey-its a start)...not once, but twice! Yay!  After this, we've been letting her run around "commando" so we can "catch" when she starts to pee...
   Day 4 didn't go so well....more pee ended up on the floor than in the potty chair....
   Day 5 (today-Friday) she woke up dry (no changing bed sheets!) & by 6pm has successfully gone on the potty chair 3 times today (2 of those times were half&half-half in, half out)!  After her nap, I rushed her to the potty, but it was too late...and she only had one more accident today!
   After all these little victories, my hope has been renewed, and we shall see how well she is doing by next week! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amber's 2nd BDay

    Last week we celebrated our 2 year old's birthday by taking her the Chuck E. Cheese's (2 hrs away) then coming home to cake & ice cream with friends.
    When I was inviting Amber's friends (and friends of ours) I was not counting. I was just inviting. For those of you that have been to our apartment, you know how small it is...and now we know we can cram 25 people into the living room (half of which were kids)! But it was good. It seemed like everyone had a good time (although I've not heard of guests telling their hosts they had an awful time, so perhaps they're just keeping it 2 themselves....)
     And now we know how much cake and ice cream is enough for 25 people!

    

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Verbally Challenged, Anyone?

     My 3 year old may have told his first lie today!!! I am so excited!!! (wait...what?)
     No, we are not teaching bad morals in our family...we are teaching our son words.  We have spent almost two years dealing, coping, figuring out, and working with our wonderful son and his speech delay.  His coping mechanism came in the form of screaming.  When he wanted something, he'd scream; when he was agitated, he'd scream.  When he was scared, angry, or happy, he'd scream.  Even when he has to go potty, he'd scream.  (Our coping method with that was earplugs.)
     We taught him ASL (American Sign Language), but he would only use the signs when he verbalized the corresponding word. It seemed for a while that after he "mastered" a word, he wouldn't say it again.  He said the word "cow" for two days. That was it. By last summer, he was able to verbalize (with one word) what it was he wanted. It's a year later (he's still not where he should be in verbal development), and now he can actually tell me something that happened! (well, his view, anyway) So whether or not it was a lie (no valid witnesses), I am celebrating the fact that he actually told us a "story".  He told us his viewpoint of a situation that happened earlier in the day and I am so proud of him!  So judge me if you must, but my son can talk to me!

August 26

     In two more days we will be celebrating the fact that a little girl by the name of Amber entered into this world two years ago.  Two years...wow! Where did the time go? (oh, you mean after all the diaper changing, rocking, feeding, consoling, yelling, & screaming???)
     Now instead of crying, she screams (and says "go away, Mommy!"); instead of being fed, she feeds herself; instead of being rocked to sleep, she enters dreamland all by herself; instead of being carried around, she walks (most of the time); instead of meaningless babble, she uses words to her advantage; instead of diapers....wait...she's still in them!!!
     This little fair-haired child has had her daddy wrapped around her finger since she was born.  She was what is commonly referred to as a "good baby" (didn't cry much, slept alot, liked to be swaddled & carried).  And then she turned one. Miss Attitude started to appear around 18mos and hasn't left.  Her answer to everything is "no" even when she means "yes".  She knows how to scream and use pretend crying to achieve her desired goals.  This little person who was only 7lbs, 15.4oz (yes, almost an 8lber!) can manipulate her world according to her desires.  How can all of this happen in just a two year span? Where did my baby girl go? The one that used to give me kisses?
     I can only hope that she is still lurking within.....waiting to re-appear.... (hopefully she'll pop back out before the teens years set in).  But until then, I still enjoy quiet, snugly moments with her...and her captivating smile.  No matter what happens, she will always be my little girl... so Happy 2nd Birthday, Amber Rose!

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Underwear, Potty Chair... I'm a Big Kid Now..."

   It's that time of life again!  Time for my 2 year old to start learning how to use the toilet... Unfortunately she has not been too cooperative... She hates sitting on the toilet and I think she has wet her pants 3 times in the last two hours that she's been wearing "big girl" underwear... The reason I say "think" is because her wet underwear and puddles on the floor did not smell like urine... It was odorless (I'm not sure about taste because I am not that brave) and colorless...
   My first potty training experience was when my son turned one.  I was very naive (read one too many "my kid was potty trained at 6 mos" blogs) and started on his first birthday.  About two weeks later I gave up.  My next attempt was when he turned two. I gave that two weeks as well before throwing in the towel. We next tried when he was 2 & 1/2.  Nothing.  After he turned 3, we tried again, this time with my husband at the controls. It worked (sure it took him two months to do a #2 on the potty, but hey, it worked!)!
   So, we will be spending the next few weeks showing Amber the ropes of toilet training and determining whether or not she is ready yet ;)

Summer Lovin'

     Ah, summer...it seems that romance just flows in the air for some.  For others, the disappointment of not meeting "the one" or "falling in love". I bring up this subject because I have a few friends who recently had anniversaries. Others had weddings, and a select few became engaged (apparently I missed the boat- my wedding is in January). It was with one of these already married friends that I enjoyed a conversation about anniversary gifts. It occurred to me that I could not remember the first anniversary gifts that my spouse and I exchanged. 
     At the time of what should have been an exciting milestone (our first anniversary), we were broke with a 2 month-old baby, and missing our sanity.  I'm pretty certain we at least exchanged cards, lit our unity candle and watched our wedding video.  We are looking towards our fifth, but the lack of extravagant gifts hasn't had an affect on our love for each other...
    Speaking of love, alot of us tend to get the definition wrong... Its not "give, take-take-take, give" but rather "give, give-give-give, give".  I had a teacher in high school that had a wonderful quote about the true meaning of love, but unfortunately, I cannot find it. The idea behind the quote is to cherish the needs of the desired above your own. This is a reiteration of the giving. The best example of true love, selfless giving is Jesus Christ. You can read the amazing story of his life in the New Testament of the Bible.  And while you are leafing through the curiously thin onion pages of God's word, look up Hosea in the Old Testament (very small book, in between Daniel and Joel). This book tells a story of a love between a man and a prostitute. God told Hosea to marry this woman, and then, after she left him to return to her previous life of prostitution (through which she was turned into a slave), God told him to buy his wife back...and he did it!!! Can you imagine how much love it took to do as God asked?
     So as you think of your summer love, consider how much loving (giving) you are doing...it could change your relationship for the better ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

5:30am

    5:30am. My alarm just went off. I know I need to get up...but the pull of the covers is just too strong... then I hear it- tiny screams...not just one, but several echoing through my ear canal. Instead of waking, my mind drifts into a dream-like state and I imagine that there's always screaming going on at 5:30am underneath my bedroom window.  When the clock strikes 5:45, I finally peel my eyelids back and rise from my sea of comfort. The memory of the screams fades until later that morning.
   Our normal morning routine ensues, except for the part where Josiah emerges from his room with dried blood on his hands. Apparently it was another late night nosebleed.
   As I recall the early morning incident, thoughts swirl through my brain: "could this be a vision from God?" "were these screams of souls in torment?" "was it just the fan blowing air thru my clogged ear canals?" .  My mind is vividly overactive at times and thoughts just pop out in random succession.  As I leave for work, I implore my husband to check the news for any major catastrophes that would have happened around 5:30am, our time.
     Arriving at the Infant Care Center, I proceed to complete the regular duties when a thought hits me. A thought so reasonable, I had to laugh... (and still am).  The early morning screams I heard may have possibly been those of my son, muted by the white noise of the fan in our room.... And thus solves the mystery of any visions or dreams, or pre-morning delusions I may have had.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Run, Therefore, I Breathe

    Running has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember... My only hang-up? Sports-Induced asthma....it is the kryptonite to my fantasy of running the Leadville 100.  There is no known cure for my adversary, only supposed "treatments" which include aerosol inhalers.  Unfortunately, those medications never diminished the effects of my asthma.  The only real treatment that I (along with my brother) have discovered is continual exposure to the source. That's right- when I couldn't breathe, I would keep running. The more I pushed myself, the easier I could breathe the next time.
     I became serious about running last fall (lose the baby weight, breathe easier).  I started doing about a quarter of a mile near my house. I know that doesn't seem like much of a distance compared to "real" runners, but I couldn't get far with my asthma. During this time I read a book entitled "Born To Run" by a man named Christopher McDougall.  It is an inspiring read for those who love to, or want to love to run (I did interpose the word "creation" with "evolution" as I read). This fueled my continuation of running in my cheap sneakers and my confidence that I was running "the correct way".  Unfortunately, I lost sight of my goal (plus it was freezing cold at 5 am) and went on a holiday "sugar binge".  When January rolled around, I hit the ground running, again.  Unfortunately, my desire was again curbed by the news of a mountain lion lurking in the area, and our of fear, I took a hiatus.  April came and my neighbor had a moving sale...she also had a pretty nice treadmill which I scored for a great price ;)  Since then, my running has been limited to my living room, but now I am able to keep track of my distance and time as I run.
    My running goals include: 1. being able to run 3 miles at least 3 times a week (that's what it takes to train for a marathon) 2. entering and finishing the Hill Climb 2011,  3. entering and finishing the Leadville 100.  Yes, that last one may seem a bit lofty, but I have no time limit, so we'll see what happens! As of today, I can run 1.6 miles, most of which is at 6mph (another reason I love my Tready...it tells me my speed!) and I can actually run up or down the stairs and then talk, without sounding winded.  My asthma may slow me down, but it cannot stop me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

*Tuesday Nights*

So every Tuesday night this summer, I've had the opportunity to be a part of a women's softball team here in Salida (yes, someone actually let me join their team!) And props to my kids for behaving in the dugout these past few weeks (of course i keep them supplied with gum & toys)! Now, I played softball in high school...this is where I received the nickname "Tumble Weed"...which was probably due to the fact that my motto was "sacrifice your body parts for the ball" (if you're going to play, why not give your all?) and therefore I reminded the coach of a tumbleweed as I would dive for the ball (the irony of this is that I now see tumbleweeds everyday).  During one of my first games, I freaked out twice and dove (yes, dove-not slid, because that would hurt way less) into the bases.  Apparently you're not supposed to dive into first, though, in women's softball (and you're also not allowed to bunt).  My self-imposed motto has rung true for me as I started the season as catcher (midway through I was demoted to right field) and caught most of the balls in my knees and thighs.  During last night's game (I am now in right field) balls finally came my way (most of the teams hit towards left field)... Unfortunately my body takes my self-imposed motto more seriously than I do.  As I was bracing for a catch, I somehow missed the ball with my glove and hand (gotta get that hole in my glove fixed) and my thigh took the hit instead.  As a souvenir, I now have a bruise (oval shaped) 3 inches long and 2 inches wide on my leg (I measured it this morning).  It might be gone by October ;}  Its been a fun season, and although our team isn't considered "the best", we are a newer team and have room to improve for next year ;) Next week our season concludes with a double-header, and Tuesday nights will return to blah.  So thanks, my wonderful friend Amber, for helping me keep my summer Tuesday nights exciting!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Forgiveness Is More Than Saying "Sorry"

Forgiveness. That sounds like such a hope-filled word to those that are seeking it..but to those who feel it is their duty to bestow it, the word may come with the feeling of drugery... Forgiveness is a process for those who have a hard time "letting go" of incidents that have caused great hurt in one's life... It takes alot of mental willpower and energy for people who have become skilled at holding grudges and allowing bitterness to blossom (I should know-this tends to be me).  I have a situation that happened, and I feel that I was wronged. I feel that an appology is owed for broken promises and hurt bestowed upon me. I feel that I should only forgive if asked, and I could live my life without certain people in it... But Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive his brother if he sinned against him, and Jesus gave him a number....490 times...that allocates for one tresspass a day, for about a year and a half... Now how many people actually count the number of times they forgive someone? After about the hundreth time of counting, you would probably stop, right? I think Jesus' point was that we should forgive continually because God forgives us continually...Matthew 6:14-15 makes alot of sense- how can we expect God to forgive us, if we don't forgive? And for those of you who find that forgiving is a process for you, you are not alone. I have to constanly battle the bitterness and memories that boil to the surface in order to allow forgiveness to reign.  When a person chooses to forgive, not out of duty or with bitterness, it frees them of the burden they have secretly been carrying. Forgiving allows the forgiver to take a step back, and use God's eyes to see that person.  It allows the forgiver to let go of the bitterness that has taken hold of their hearts and allows the Light of the World to shine through once again...For me, forgiving this circumstance will be a daily process until I no longer remember why I was bitter towards it.
     Matthew 6:14-15, " For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ouch

Ugggh...I hate trying to cook new things.... Today's item was sopapillas...the directions sounded easy enough, but I'm still tyring to figure out the whole "cooking things in hot oil" thing...And now I'm starting to think that a deep fryer would probably be a good investment (yes, I am using oil in a pan on the stove). The recipe for tonight's treat stated that the oil needed to be 400 degrees....and unfortunately, I do not have a thermometer that measures that high.... Needless to say, I actually did burn the sopapillas and they were a bit doughy, so I'm guessing I should have turned the hot oil down a bit... It didn't help that my 3 year old tossed his sopapilla back into the hot oil after declaring that it was "hot", which led me to yank the treat (using tongs of course-I didn't need a "more burnt" sopapilla) from the pan, then move the pan to a back burner. My rapid motions caused drops of oil to jump from the pan and land on my hand... Needless to say, I'll be expecting some nice sized blisters in the morning. And, as I am writing this, my 3 year old is sticking his hands into the powdered sugar saying "I like. I like." So who wants a sugar strung child?

First Post

This is my first post, hence the title....i don't know why i haven't done this before. I could see myself becoming an excellent blogger, since I love to write and always have a story to tell ;) I have two kids, ages 3.5 & almost 2 years.  I have been in denial about my little girl entering the "terrible two's" stage, but I am slowing accepting the fact that it indeed is happening...We live in a small town in CO and my husband is the Pastor of a small church that we started.  Our families reside in DE, although my parents hope to eventually move out here.