Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Big Boy Turns 4!

On Wednesday we went to Disneyland to celebrate Micah's birthday. He had been eagerly awaiting this day for months. We had always said (before we had kids) that we'd never take young children to D-land (under age 5) because it seemed to us that the kids we had seen were always cranky, tired, and their parents couldn't go on any rides anyway. (I still don't understand the concept of taking a newborn or baby there, but to each his own). Well, once Micah saw the commercial on TV for Disneyland (at age 3), it was all over. He couldn't stop talking about it. So we planned in advance for the big day.  

We had learned awhile back that if you buy a pass ON your birthday, you can get the lowest level pass for only $65. Since all of our birthdays are within 6 weeks of each other, and we only live 30 minutes away from there, we have each been making a trek to get our pass on each of our birthdays. Because of that, we had to wait in a few lines, and it took us almost two hours to get into the park from the time we parked the car to the time we entered. But for our boy, that was just what he needed.  (While we were waiting in line at guest relations, he looked in the window and asked me "mommy, is my birthday in there?") :)

Micah is not like a lot of other kids. He takes awhile to adjust to his surroundings, and really needs to "take it all in" before he has fun. The two hour wait ended up being a blessing in disguise, because it allowed him time to get comfortable and loosen up a bit. It was so cute watching his face as he saw the first character - Fox from "Fox and the Hound" (is that his name?). Micah had NO interest in actually meeting any of the characters, except for Mickey, who we didn't actually meet because the line was too long.

He had LOTS of questions for us throughout the day like: "Does the princess live in the castle? Why? What does she do in there? Why does Snow White sing in the well? Is she inside the well? Why is she in there? (Hey, I would be confused too) Does the Little Mermaid live inside that waterfall? Can we go in there? What does she do in the waterfall? Why did Mickey's dog eat a hole in that big shoe? Why did he do that?!" It was so cute. To him, all the characters were REAL and it was so fun seeing everything through his eyes. Today he recounted riding "The Jungle Cruise" and referred to the islanders wearing masks as "the mean aliens. They were NOT NICE, mommy." He has a shirt with a Tiki on it, and keeps referring to the picture on the shirt as the "aliens we saw at Disneyland." :) His favorite ride by far was the Monorail, which to him was a "rocket spaceship." He also enjoyed "It's a Small World" and the train ride. He did NOT like the Winnie-the-Pooh ride, where he plugged his ears with his fingers the whole time. Unfortunately that was our very first ride and it scared him a bit. The day was made more special by the fact that my BFF Heather watched Jaden for us so that we could have one-on-one time with Micah. At around 4:00, Martin went and picked Jaden up and brought him back, and the boys ran around Toon Town for awhile before we ate dinner and went home. It was also my mom's birthday, so she was with us the whole time, which made the day even more special. Overall the day was PERFECT! We are really looking forward to going back in the near future, and all through the next year. I'm sure this was a birthday Micah will never forget.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pick Your Battles!

Micah continues to make us laugh with his burgeoning language skills. He thinks it's hilarious to say "Mom, pick your battles!" when I'm so frustrated with him. He overheard me say that to Martin one day in a conversation (where I said, "babe, I think we just need to pick our battles with him.") Now we hear it 2-3 times a day, despite telling him that he will get in trouble if he says it again. Yesterday he tried something different: "Pick" (waited two seconds) "Your" (waited another two seconds), and then whispered "Battles!" (hoping I wouldn't hear). I could not help but laugh at this stubborn child! Indeed, I do need to pick my battles.

Today he told Martin, "Daddy, I want to be a bad guy when I grow up." Martin said, "Why, Micah? You should be one of the good guys!" and Micah responded, "No, I want to be a bad guy. I don't like people!"

Jaden is a character, too. Lately every time he sees a picture of something or someone smiling (like Thomas the Train in ALL of his coloring books), he says "Mommy, Mommy! He's Excited!!!" And he will repeat it over and over - "He's excited! He's excited!" until I say "Yes, Jaden!! Thomas is EXCITED!!!"

Jaden also keeps telling me that a bunch of his toys are "scared." Tonight in the bath, he held up a toy and said "he's scared." And I said "Why is he scared?" and Jaden responded, "Firetruck. Too loud." Then later he held up another toy, telling me that it was scared, too, and when I asked why, he said "Daddy chase." (Martin had played "chase" with the boys in the backyard earlier). Jaden is talking all day long, and both of the boys are asking me so many questions I feel like I'm going to go crazy. If I don't acknowledge EVERY single question, they both will start screaming until I give them the answer they are looking for.

Micah continually asks me what everything we pass by is "doing." For instance: "what is that car doing?" I respond, "Um, it's sitting there, Micah." "NO, mommy! What is that car DOING?" And then I have to answer something like "Well, it's sitting there waiting for it's owner to come out of the school and drive it back home." That seems to satisfy him. My voice gets more and more sarcastic as time goes on. Micah also wants to know what everyone's name is who we pass by on the street. So, I'm continually making up names so he'll be satisfied. I have tried saying "I don't know his name, Micah!" but Noooooooooo. That is not good enough. I must say his name is "Michael Jones" or some other contrived name, or he will throw a fit until I tell him a name he is satisfied with.

Car rides have been exhausting lately, can you tell? I am being interrogated!!! I have to admit, though, this is a really funny stage that they are in.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The "2 Kids, 2 Years Apart" Club

Sometimes I wish I could start a club for moms who have 2 kids that are 2 years apart. Maybe we could all get in one place and pull our hair out together. Or whine as we share about how worn out we are. I just met 4 other moms in my MOPS leadership group who also have kids that are two years apart. It was so fun (and funny) sharing stories about how similar our struggles are. We all learned that our first-borns are picky eaters (and won't eat peanut butter & jelly Sandwiches), and our second-borns will eat almost anything. Our first-borns were difficult to potty train, and our second-borns are easier. Our first-borns were more pleasant, and our second-borns are more "testy." And on and on it went. It felt SO good to have other people to relate to!

Before I had my second son, everyone told me "oh, it's going to be so great!! That is the BEST age difference there is between siblings! Just wait until they can play together! And ohhhh, it is so fun when they get older." Well, those people must have repressed their memories of the period having 2 kids between 2 and 4 years of age! Don't get me wrong - there are great benefits; but there are also great challenges at this particular age!

My week has been spent playing the disciplinarian A-L-L -D-A-Y -L-O-N-G. Disciplinarian, referree, mediator - whatever you want to call it. These boys love each other so much. But now that they play together all the time, like all the same toys, watch all the same shows, and even have some of the same friends (and are in the same Sunday School class until Sept.), I think they might be getting tired of each other! They are in the "mine!" and "me first!" stage right now. A simple, pleasant period of watching Super Why! for 30 minutes turns into an all out WAR when it comes time to turn it off. They both race to the television, knocking each other down to see who can turn off the TV first. As the screams reach a new decibel level, they then fight over who SHUTS the TV armoire doors first, for pete's sake! When it comes time to wash hands for lunch or dinner, same story. Micah's favorite phrase right now is "I'm winning!"

If I give one boy attention, I better be sure I give the other boy attention, or another war breaks out. If I rock one boy to sleep, I better rock the other one. Tonight there was a war over a piece of bread. Micah keeps telling me he's hungry at bed time. Because he ate all his dinner (and he's still underweight), this concerns me a bit. So, I offered him a piece of plain whole wheat bread. I figure if he's hungry enough to eat a plain piece of bread with the crust, he must really be hungry. Sure enough, as Jaden's nodding off to sleep, suddenly he bursts out of bed with "Me bread, mommy!" After 10 minutes of me saying "no" and him screaming, I did it. I gave in and gave him a small piece of Micah's. But it wasn't good enough. "NO! BIG piece, mommy!! Big piece!!" Of course I did not give in, held my ground and put him right back in his bed. Yeah right. After ALL day of this, I did give in. Well, I compromised. I gave him 1/2 a piece of bread, and he ate it, crust and all. Ugh.

If I just had a "2 Kids, 2 Years Apart" Club, maybe we could put our heads together and figure out how to handle 16 hours of this a day. I'm just so glad I go to MOPS -that is close enough for now :)

Here are some of the things the boys have done this week:

Jaden coloring his tongue!

And his ear!

(Oh, what's that? You noticed the binky STILL in this 2 year old's mouth? Yes, that would be because mommy can't bear to hear the shrill screams that emerge from this child's lungs 100+ times each day. The binky is my friend. Don't judge me.)

The boys playing nicely in the backyard (in the dirt)!

We also took lots of baths this week :) Hats off to all you moms of 2 kids, 2 years apart!!! We can do it!! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I just wanted to post a warning to all my friends and readers about a few of the various scams online right now that have affected me. If you visit Craigslist regularly like me, you know there are great deals on there that cannot be beat. But in the past few months, we have almost been scammed, and most certainly would have been had we taken even one step further. Here are a few we encountered:

1) Housing scams- There were 4 different houses that I found for rent on Craigslist, all that had a low rental price. However, when I joined Westside Rentals, I noticed that 2 of them were being rented out for more money by different people. After calling the rental agency that was renting out two of the homes, I told them that I had also seen the ad on craigslist for a lower rental price. Sure enough, there are people out there that are driving around, looking for "For Rent" signs, and posting these homes for cheaper prices on Craigslist. Some of these people actually get in the houses and show them to potential renters and collect deposits. With the other 2 houses I found, I got an email from the "landlord" who said that she had just moved to the UK for business, and I needed to fill out the rental application and wire her the deposit, and it would be mine. For 2 of these houses, I got an email from the same person. I actually called the police about these scams because I know that there are people probably falling for these daily.

2) Anything For Sale Scams - Today I posted 2 pieces of furniture on Craigslist that we are selling before we move. I got an email back that said this:

Thanks for the prompt response. I am satisfied with the information provided about it at the craigslist. I will love to make an instant purchase, so please do withdraw the advert from Craigslist, I don't mind adding an extra $50 dolls for you to do that so that i can be rest assured that the item is in hand. I will also like you to know that I will be paying via check due to the distance and it will be over night payment. My secretary in the state will issue the check for the payment. I am presently on a business trip and will be back soon. You don't need to bother your self with the shipment. Ok? My Mover will handle that .So I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check. Name, Address and Phone number

Have a nice day.

This just seemed a little fishy to me. Anyone that offers to pay for the item by check overnight, and has a "secretary in the state" who will write the check, and send movers over, and wants my personal information - I'm a little wary of. There are warnings all over Craigslist that say to deal with people locally and in person and you will avoid 99% of the scams out there. So true.

3) Work from Home Scams. My brother just sent me a legitimate email from a news organization about how to work from home by posting ads for google. Upon further research I discovered this was a scam as well, as are 99% of online work from home jobs. If you're wondering, just go to google and type in what you want to do, followed by the word "scam" and see what comes up :)

4) Blog Scams. Many Christian moms who blog are aware of the huge scam that was discovered just this week in the story of Little April Rose. This was a woman who blogged daily about her pregnancy with a baby that should have died in the womb (due to a disorder), but she was carrying it to term and delivering it. This was a Christian mom who asked for prayer, and many other Christian moms had linked to her site. On the day of the supposed baby's "birth," her scam was discovered, when the pictures she posted of her baby were actually of one of those real-life dolls instead. Many people recognized the doll and called her on it, and her blog was taken down. There were many people that sent money to this woman. More than anything, this woman needs our prayers, because she obviously is hurting to have a blog like that. (Read further here).

Does this mean that we should not get online anymore, throw our computers out, and react with anger and frustration, not trusting anything online at all? (Do I even need to ask that question?) Of course it doesn't mean that. But we have to be wise, to pray for discernment with anything we come across, and be sure to ask lots of questions. God has given us discernment, and many times we are just so excited about what we came across that we don't listen to His voice inside. So be careful, take heed, and use caution. And don't forget that there are still GREAT deals on Craigslist and other sites, and I'm still listing my own furniture on there right now! :)

(If you want more tips on not falling prey to scams on Craigslist and other sites, read their post here.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

We are Moving!!

The past 24 hours has been exciting, and I am officially now tuckered out. Last night at 6pm, I went with my friend Laura out to eat. She is my amazing, relatively new prayer partner, with whom I meet each Sunday. She is an amazing woman of God, full of wisdom and love, and is a former missionary to the Philippines. I shared with her some hard questions that I have been having about God. We talked in depth about unanswered prayers, waiting, not understanding God's ways, and that Scripture "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." We've both pretty much been there these past 6 months or so. Someday I'll do a post about Waiting on God and the lessons I've learned on that, but I don't even know what I've learned quite yet.

Anyway, to make a long story short, at 9pm I got a call as I was returning from Laura's house (where I had been whining and complaining about our situation), and it was a landlord who wanted to show me a house I had inquired about last week to rent. I was literally about 2 blocks away so stopped by to look at it, and felt like "this could be the one." You know - the house we have been waiting for; the house I have written about here and here. Martin drove over at 9:30pm to look at it, and by 9:30am this morning, we called and told them we wanted it. At 12:30pm, we went and signed the lease agreement and put down our deposit. We are officially MOVING! To a house where we wanted to live, in the neighborhood we had looked in for months. It is finally happening. The wait is over.

Let me just say this: God has grace for His children. You know - those children who complain and whine, as though we were the Israelites wandering in the wilderness?

Today at the park, this young boy had a t-shirt on that said: "Patience: To wait or endure a difficult situation without anger or complaint." Hmmm. That is definitely not me. Nope. I admit it. That should be one of my "fruits," but it is still in the "seed" stage apparently.

I'm still learning my lessons. But for now, I am so excited about our move. We are going to go from 800 square feet to 1200. From 2 bedrooms to 3 (we will use one for our home office/exercise room/guest room). From no garage (and 8 parking tickets for parking on street-sweeping days) to a 2-car garage with TONS of storage. From closets that are currently 4 feet wide, to over 8 feet wide. From no neighbors to tons of neighbors (wait - maybe that's not a benefit - I don't know yet).

God still has a sense of humor, because we are moving on my birthday weekend. Martin thought I'd be sad, but I said "No Way! It is like God's birthday present to ME!" :) We gave our "32" days notice today and could not be more excited. Yeah God!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Notes to Self

Note #1 to Self:
Do not turn on a video for Jaden since he woke up early from his nap, and go back to my own bed and sleep for 30 minutes, since Jaden just might find a packet of spicy Buffalo sauce from Chik-Fil-A, open it himself, and consume contents, only to run in and wake me up crying, sticking out his tongue and frantically slapping it to relieve the pain. No more videos for him while I continue napping.

Note #2 to Self:
Do not turn on a video for both boys to watch for 30 minutes since I want to continue napping, assuming they will be fine, since their daddy just might return home early from work and find two unsupervised boys sitting on the couch and daddy just might think this happens all the time.

Note #3 to Self:
If you decide to go to Costco and take an unruly child with you, make sure it is at 11am on a rainy Wednesday (when everyone is at home), and bring a Dum-Dum Lollipop for the said child to suck on in between the sample stations. Make sure you bring an extra t-shirt and pair of pants since he will likely spill at least 6 samples all over himself and you have to return to Micah's speech therapy session with your newly soiled, sopping wet, sticky child for everyone to stare at.

Note #4 to Self:
Make sure you go to bed before 11:59pm each night so that #1 and #2 don't happen, and be sure that nobody from Child Protective Services reads this blog.

(P.S. For the record, I sleep with one eye open, and my house is only 800 square feet, so they were literally like 8 feet away from me the whole time. My brain is wired to immediately wake up when I hear the credits running) :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

20 Questions

Since Micah is no longer considered speech-delayed, he has now been making up for lost time. He skipped right over the "why" stage at age 2 and has now entered the "what, why, how, when, tell me every detail" stage. Take tonight, for instance. We were driving home from a Bible study and passed a Mexican food restaurant that was closed. It was an old hole-in-the-wall place with a wooden cutout of a chili pepper (that had a weird face on it) at the entrance.

Micah: "Mommy, what is that?"
Me: "What is what, Micah?"
Micah: "What is that?"
Me: "I don't know, Micah."
Micah: "NO, mommy! What IS that?!"
Martin: "It's a restaurant, Micah."
Micah: "What is that guy doing, Daddy?" (referring to the chili pepper sign)
Martin: "Um, he's telling people to go in the restaurant, Micah"
Micah: "What kind of restaurant, daddy?"
Martin: "A Mexican restaurant, Micah."
Micah: "NO, what kind of restaurant, Daddy?"
Martin: "I told you, Micah. A Mexican food restaurant."
Micah: "Oh, that's YUMMY!" (we laugh)
Micah: "What are you laughing at, mommy?"
Me: "You, Micah! Because you're funny!"
Micah: "NO! What are you laughing at, I said!"
Martin: "We're laughing at what you said, Micah"
Micah: "NO! What are you laughing at?????" (getting irritated)
Me: "We are laughing at the sign Micah." (out of desperation)
Micah: "What sign?!"
Me: "The sign that says Mexican Food!" (Martin laughs)
Micah got totally silent.

We had about 2 minutes of silence before it all started again - this time with a different sign. Everything we drive by brings the question "what is that?!" while we whip our heads around to see what he's looking at, knowing if we don't answer the question we will hear screams of frustration for the next 10 minutes.

Jaden is starting to do it too. But truthfully, I am so thankful that Micah can talk! Look on the bright side, huh?! :)