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. 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."