Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Okay, Seriously.

Seriously, you boys are tiring this mamma out.  I try and I try, but some days nothing is good enough.  Jaden - seriously?  You don't want cereal, eggs, banana or bagel for breakfast?  None of that is good enough for you?  You have to be the one child in a million who doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? Seriously?  You really think you can just survive on a diet of Goldfish crackers and juice?  And you have to protest my 30 minutes of cooking dinner by throwing it across the room?  Honestly.

And Micah.  Don't even get me started.  Boy, God must have some major lessons to teach me through you.  A lot of kids your age want to do everything by themselves.  But not you.  Nooooo, I must be the one to wash your hands, to take you potty, to pull up your underwear for you AND to pull up your pants.  You want an easy life of no effort yourself.  And when I try to make you do it yourself, WWIII breaks out in this house.  Everything I ask you to do turns into a fight.  I swear I am raising a teenager already.  I'm thinking of writing my own book on the Strong-Willed Child, although it would have no solutions in it yet, because I have no idea what to do.  

It's a good thing you two are so stinkin' cute that I just can't help but love you new each morning.  And that with your gigantic mood swings, at least there are some sweet kisses in there and some great big bear hugs.  And after the big screaming episodes, you still just want to be held and cuddled by your mommy.  Mamma loves you more than words can express.  But seriously.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The last four days we have gone through the ups and downs of realizing that we have to move out of our house. We have waited for this day to come, hoping it would come, but now that it is here, all the memories of the last 7 years are floating by us. There is some sadness mixed in with all of the excitement.

This is the house where we spent the first three years adjusting to being a married couple in full-time ministry. We took in a college student for a month. This is the house where I surprised Martin one day by walking in the house with a cat I adopted at PetSmart (without consulting him first), because I made an emotional decision after having a bad day teaching. (He took to it surprisingly well) That cat was our baby for almost 3 years. This is the house where our two boys were born, and we stumbled through those scary first few weeks and months of being new parents. Our boys took their first steps on this carpet, spoke their first words and grew from babies to toddlers. This place is etched in our hearts forever.

We have called on about 10 houses so far and driven around the entire city about three times, looking for the perfect place where we will live next. This is important to us because we really don't want to have to move more than once in the next few years. We are realizing that the house we have been in, with the low rent, is the nicest one in the entire area for what we are paying - literally. The low rent we've been paying equals a 1-bedroom apartment in a bad area around here. We need a miracle. (We don't want to buy yet for many reasons, since so many people have asked us about that). Thankfully we have a lot of people praying for us and keeping their eyes open.

On another totally different note, I had a very embarrassing experience at a photo shoot today. I had to "shoot" a family of about 17 people all together, including about 4 individual families separately. Well, one of the families (I thought) had two children, and this third older girl wanted to be in all of the pictures. I thought she was a cousin (she came to the shoot alone in her own car), so I had her sit out on a few of the pictures I took of the family, and then put her back in so they could have some shots with her, too. The parents then told me it was okay if she was in every picture, so I proceeded to take all the pictures with her in them. Well, after the two hour shoot, I found out that she was their older DAUGHTER, not cousin, and I had been asking her to step out of the photos!!! They were very polite about it, but I didn't realize it until the VERY end of the shoot and did not have a chance to explain or apologize to them! Oh man, I really need to figure out what to do about this "mommy brain." It's getting worse!! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moving On

Last night we got a call at 9:45pm from our landlord. We knew it must be important for him to call us so late, and it was important. He said that he had a family emergency arise and we would need to find another place to live by May 1. He was very apologetic and sorry, and said he had tried all available options, and this was his last resort. It sounds like he will be letting some family members move into his larger house, and he will move in here.

When Martin got off the phone with him, we were shocked. Yet at the same time, we were excited. We have felt ready to move for over a year now, and every day I have scoured craigslist and the newspaper for rentals in the area. None of them have appealed to us, though, and the prices have been so much higher than we've paid. We do feel that this is part of God's plan and we already see God's hand in this. The timing is fast, but it is actually perfect. Next month Martin actually gets an extra paycheck because of how the paydays fall. That will be perfect for a deposit on a place. We have no idea where we are going to live, but our hope is to find a 3 bedroom a little closer to the church.

Moving excites me. I actually LOVE packing. It's like playing a real life game of Tetris to me. Just the thought of packing the boxes makes me smile. (I know, I'm strange) I am actually not scared at all; just wondering what's around the corner. Please keep us in prayer. Ideally we'll find something in the next 2-3 weeks so we can know at least 2 weeks ahead of time where we'll be living and plan accordingly. Fast, I know.

Today is also Tuesday, and last week I posted that I would update everyone on my "2009 health goal." Last week I had lost 4 pounds total (I had originally lost 7 but gained 3 back). Well, I worked hard this past week and lost that 3 pounds again, so my total is back up to 7 pounds total lost. It has been 5 weeks since I started, and it is becoming a little easier to make wise food decisions now. It's becoming more automatic, I guess. ALL I'm doing is counting calories every day, and trying to keep them between 1200-1500. I'm not being perfectionistic about the calories, and that's why I probably could have lost more in the last 5 weeks, but I do like the pace I'm going. I feel like it's more realistic and doable.

So, that's the latest! Off now to take J to the doctor for HIS sinus infection. We were there just last Tuesday with both boys but Jaden was healthy at that appt. This has been an expensive month!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Last Night

Last night I was up the entire night, holding my baby with his rising fever. It peaked around 102.7 although a few times the thermometer actually said 103.5, but then went back down, so I'm not sure. He didn't want daddy, or to lay in his crib, only to lay on MY chest the entire night long. Sounds dreamy, right? Not so. It was a long night.

The worst part of it was the fear. He was shaking all over and I have never seen him do that before. I had taken him to the doctor on Tuesday for shots, and he was the picture of health that day. But he got the dreaded MMR shot and HepB, and so I have been watching him since then for signs of adverse reactions. I wasn't sure if his fever and shaking were from the shots or something else. However, I soon realized that it wasn't the shots, but he was fighting off the same cough that Micah has had for the past 7 days. We made it through the night, rough as it was, and I was so thankful to see the morning light.

Why is it that kids always get so sick late at night - not during the day when you can actually take them in to the doctor? Or on weekends. My boys always seem to get sick on weekends, when the only option is Urgent Care or the ER. Oh- and I am preaching the message on Sunday at church, so of course my two boys would be sick the whole week before! This has actually happened every single time I was scheduled to speak. I'm always sweating it the day before, not sure what I'll do with my boys as their dad leads worship and I speak. But somehow it's always worked out.

But as I was holding my baby last night, my mind wandered to thoughts of the prairie mothers of old :) The moms who lived out in the country with no phones, no medicine, no way to get help unless their husband trudged the snow to fetch the doctor. They didn't have Baby Tylenol to drop the fever or immunizations to ward off major illnesses. I'm sure with every major sickness they wondered if it could be the end. They couldn't even call their girlfriend for prayer or advice, like I did last night. I'm glad we have episodes of Little House on the Prairie to remind us what we have to be thankful for :) So, we made it through another night, and now my baby is pulling on me, so I must go love on him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Been A Month

Today it has been four weeks since I started my "lifestyle change" - Ha! (AKA - DIET). Last Thursday I weighed myself and found that I had lost 7 pounds total in 3 weeks! I was ecstatic. So, I guess I thought I could take a few days off, and Wah-La, I gained back almost 3 pounds! So, here are my honest to goodness facts:

Pounds Lost in 4 weeks: 4.5
Days Exercised in the Past 4 weeks: 7

Sad, I know. I'm really trying to keep motivated now. I realized last week that my motivation had started to wane, I had stopped walking daily and was starting to eat more poorly. It started with our vacation and I had a hard time getting back on track.

The frustrating thing is that you work your BUTT off to lose weight, but then if you skip even 2 or 3 days, you can suddenly start gaining it back so fast! I am going to post next Tuesday just to let you all know how I'm doing - it is a way of holding myself accountable. Thanks for reading... I think it really does help to know there are people out there and I need to do what I say I'm going to do!

Friday, March 13, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Conversations with Micah:

Yesterday: "Micah, how was school today?" Micah - "I don't want to tell you, Mommy". I tried to ask him again and he said "I don't want to talk about it." Who is this child? A teenager?!

Last Night: Martin finished reading Micah the story of Jonah and the Whale. When he put Micah to bed, Micah said "I want to disobey God so I can go inside a whale, too".

Tonight at Dinner: "Daddy, go away and die on a cross!"

Oh my goodness!!!! I guess these are signs that speech therapy is working, right? :) We could not help but laugh hysterically when he said that to Martin tonight at dinner. We don't know where he learned that or if he made it up himself, but it was pretty funny.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brotherly Love

Tomorrow would have been the day that Micah was going to have surgery.  We are just so relieved and thankful that we are not having to go through that.  Micah is continuing to make so much progress with his speech and language development.  On that note, I recently responded to an advertisement at our speech therapist's office for parents who might want to be on a TV show to talk about their journey through speech therapy.  After 2 interviews, yesterday I got called and asked to be on the show!  So on Friday, March 27th I'll be taping a show as a panelist for "A Place of Our Own" on KCET.  I don't have the air date yet but I'll keep everyone posted!

Micah has really started to grow into the "big brother" role lately.  This week I took them to Kid's Concepts, and I watched Micah help Jaden get down from a ledge in the play structure. He wrapped his little arms around Jaden's waist and helped him get down. It was so cute!  The day before, the boys had been playing outside and it started to rain.  Jaden came inside with his hood on and we said "how did you get your hood on?!" and Micah said "I put it on his head so the rain wouldn't get him wet."  My heart just melted :)   (The funny thing was that Jaden's ears were stuck outside of the hood, so I just had to take a picture).

Today they were playing outside and Jaden threw a ball, and Micah said "You're a big boy, Jaden!" It is fun watching these boys grow up together and seeing how their relationship is growing and changing. I hope they'll always be close! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back from Winter Wonderland!

Last week we spent Tuesday-Friday up in the mountains. We were able to stay at a cabin that is located within a Christian camp I grew up going to, so I have a ton of memories there. My favorite memory of all, though, was when Martin proposed to me on the amphitheater stage 10 years ago! We had been staying in a local older couple's cabin with about 15-20 friends, and they all knew (except for me) that Martin was going to propose that beautiful, snowy day there at that camp. This was the first time I had been back in about 5 years, so I was just so excited to go stay there for the week.

The boys had a lot of fun while we were there; Jaden did not like the snow all that much because he was cold, so he cried a lot when we were playing in the snow. But Micah just loved every second.

On the first day we went into Lake Arrowhead and visited the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - my favorite :) and then played in the snow around the camp. On the second day, it rained and snowed lightly all day, so we had to stay inside for hours. Not easy to do with 2 toddlers, especially considering there was no tv in the cabin, but Martin is creative and thought of games for them to play. That night we had a "movie night" with our tiny little DVD player :)

On Thursday we went sledding, built a snow man, and visited Lake Arrowhead for a second time. At the very back of the shopping center was a playground, and Jaden fell and cut his lip open really badly and it was bleeding everywhere. We were nowhere near a bathroom, so I had to improvise. I had no Kleenex, and all I had on me was a maxi pad. So I ripped that sucker open and stuck it in Jaden's mouth to absorb the bleeding. Worked like a charm, but I was laughing and hoping that nobody saw what I was doing! He was okay but cried a lot that day :( Poor baby...

We stayed until Friday morning and made it home in time for lunch. We were so blessed to be there. We even got to eat for free in their cafeteria for every meal since they had about 150 kids there for a Science Adventure Camp. The entire trip only cost us $60 since we didn't have to pay for the cabin either! It was such a blessing.

However, within 10 minutes of being home, we got a $57 parking ticket for being on the street during street sweeping hours, and then I tried to turn on my MAC and found it was totally dead. I cried a lot that day, from not only being tired, but the thought of potentially losing EVERYTHING on the computer. All of my photo sessions were on there, every document from the past few years, baby photos, etc... I had only backed up about 50% of what had been on there. I made an appt. for Sunday at the MAC store, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was asked to leave it there and was given an estimate of up to $1000 to fix. I came home and prayed like crazy, and within 3 hours they called me and said it was fixed! The technician said it was just a loose cable inside and he wasn't going to charge me ANYTHING! I can't tell you the joy I felt! I went to pick it up and said to the man who brought it to me, "Are you the one who fixed it?" He said "No, Todd's in the back." I said, "Oh, okay, because I just want him to know that I LOVE him!" :)

Here are some more pics from the trip (and I'm loading some new videos to the right as well) :) Have a great week!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Bet This Will Make You Laugh!

My friend Renee has a video on the America's Funniest Home Videos website that you just have to vote for! It is SO cute. Please vote for her today! Let's hope this makes it on the show and she wins $10,000!! :)

Funniest Home Videos - Baby DJ Laughing

Monday, March 2, 2009


Today we visited Micah's surgeon for his pre-op appointment. M and I have both been having reservations about the surgery for the past few weeks. Micah has a history of ear infections was sick about 14 times in 2008 (with colds and the like), so the doctor was going to put tubes in his ears and remove his adenoids next Friday. We really prayed that the surgery would not take place if it truly wasn't needed. Thankfully, the doctor said he saw no traces of fluid in Micah's ears, and they look pretty good (one is better than the other). He recommended that we "wait and see". We are going to bring him back in May for a hearing test, and then wait until the Fall ("sick season") to see if his ear infections come back. If so, then we will schedule the surgery at that time. Needless to say, we were very relieved and so happy. Just the thought of having to put him under anesthesia made me cry. Micah also freaks out (to put it mildly) if he thinks any medical procedure will cause him pain. So we avoided a major breakdown as well.

Now we are officially ready for our vacation tomorrow. We are going up to the mountains, and it will be the first time the boys have seen snow. They are SO excited and Micah has talked about it all week. I'm still a little behind on the preparations; I have NO snow jacket for myself, and tried to find one all week long but to no avail. (Well, actually, I found a light blue number at Kmart that was on clearance for $12, but I thought it was so ugly I just could not bring myself to buy it). I'm going to take one of my lighter jackets and hope to find one up there :) I also do not have snow boots for J, but searched over 10 stores looking and finally gave up. I figure if we need them badly, we can get them up there somewhere.

Truthfully, I think it will be hard for me to be without any TV or internet or cell phone service for 3 days. It gets dark early there, and after we put the boys to bed it will be VERY quiet. We're bringing some board games and books, and I plan to study a little for my sermon in 3 weeks. But it is hard to not have noise! Even though I enjoy it, I also get bored quickly. We haven't been away in a long time, though, and we need it. I'm really looking forward to the place we're going, though, because I went to camp there all through high school and early college, and Martin proposed to me there too. It is a place that holds a TON of memories, all of them good and beautiful. They have these cabins that they let ministers use for free, and they are even letting us eat for free! We couldn't pass that up! So, signing off for a few days. When I get back, look for lots of pictures! :)