Saturday, December 29, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Such grace comes at a good time as Jacob spent Friday through Sunday sick with fever and cough. He is now almost back to being all the way well, although still a little congested in the mornings. Being sick has turned him into a real grouch. He gave us some real humdinger temper tantrums this weekend. It's hard because one part of you knows that he isn't feeling well and wants to excuse his behavior and the other part of you feels like he is old enough to have some level of self control and the other part of you is just in shock that he just did whatever it was he just did (i.e dumping completely untouched plate of dinner into the kitchen sink!) At times it just seemed like there was not one single thing you could say, do or suggest that wouldn't set off a torrent of tears, whining, crying, and dramatic tossing about on the floor. I really am grateful there are two of us, I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be a single parent - right about when one of us runs out of patience the other can step in, or makes a joke or just share a glance with you across the room. It takes a team, it really does.
The other aspect of raising a three year old is the chronic Obsessive Compulsiveness. Don't worry, he doesn't really have OCD - it is just normal pre-schooler behavior but man can it drive you nuts! Jacob has preferences about every nuance of life - he wants to put the right shoe on first, he wants his socks folded around his ankle a certain way, he wants a spoon not a fork, he wants a certain color cup, the list is endless and it changes every day. Sometimes we indulge him - small things aren't worth battling over, other times we obviously have to put our foot down on, because we just aren't going to have our household run by a three year old!
Bella continues to be an easy happy baby. She is sleeping pretty well, we had to adjust her meals at school a bit, she seems to prefer smaller bottles more often - (I like to eat this way too!) She is really smiling and engaging these days. I had fun picking out some Christmas wish list items for her because I tried to think about what she would enjoy in a few months, things like stackers and toys you sit up to play with and it seem so crazy that she is already growing so much, not a little teeny tiny baby any longer.
Our neighborhood has Santa each year down at the pool house by the park. This year "Santa" turned out to be a guy we know from church. Jacob wouldn't take a picture with Santa. In fact, he refuses to even discuss Santa - when asked he refers to Santa as Father Abraham. He also says that he does not want presents at Christmas, because presents are for birthdays only. After telling me this he thought for a minute and then he says "Oh, and Bella doesn't want any presents either!" We've tried to talk with him about the nativity story but he is confused by the Wise Men and wants to know where are the foolish men (from the childrens song based on the parable about the wise man building his house upon the rock) and is the stable going to go "Splat!". This Sunday, Will, Bella and I will be in the Living Nativity at church as the Holy Family and that is bound to confuse him further. Sigh. This whole parenting thing is complicated sometimes. Don't be too concerned, I have a STRONG feeling that come Christmas morning he will be most glad to get presents!
Here's Bella on Father Abraham's lap:
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Faerie photos of Bella are now available to view online. Family members, you might want to wait and see what Santa has for you before you order any!http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/thumbpage.aspx?e=3313669
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It is 10:49 PM and I just went in to put an extra blanket on Jacob. Given how late it is, you can imagine my surprise at finding him still wide awake, crying into his pillow. "Baby, what are you still doing up, are you OK?" "No mommy, I feel sad." "Why are you sad?" "Because Mommy, just because."I guess it just feels kind of shocking to come upon my little one crying to himself, rather than yelling for me or getting up to find me. As the mother of a baby or a very young child, you still feel like they are part of you, an extension of your own feelings and experiences. But on some level this is not so - they are immediately their own person and they have their own inner dialogue and their own thoughts and feelings and stuff going on that you as a parent can only guess at. Even as a grown up married woman, it is weird to realize there is a tipping point beyond which my husband begins to know me better than my own parents. I couldn't tell you at what point this began to be so, it is just something that happens as you spend daily life with your spouse and time goes on. It isn't sad, it is natural and normal and part of God's plan (Mathew 19:5). I look at my little son in his PJ's and I think that I know him best, and yet here he is, sitting awake all alone in the dark in his room, feeling sad. So I sit down and kiss his cheeks and rub his back and whisper, "Tell Mama why are you sad little one?" and he looks up at me with great big eyes and says "Because... (big gulpy sob) because Nemo is gone." I reach down and get his stuffed Nemo off the floor and he wraps his arms around it and says, "Thank you Mama." So, OK, someday he will grow up and away and apart from me. And he will feel things and need things and I won't be able to fix it all for him. But not tonight...
Jacob & Grandma Theresa take an elephant ride:
Chasing goats at the petting zoo
Lost in the music
Our Thanksgiving this year was a little different. Try as we might, Will and I just couldn't seem to gear ourselves up for the usual meal. We just didn't want to shop for, cook, eat or clean up the typical Thanksgiving meal. Most of our family were other places and it was only going to be Will's parents and our little family and it just seemed like a huge production to go through for only four adults. So we made the craziest decision - we just decided to skip it this year and go to Benihana instead! Then it turned out that Will's poor daddy got sick and they couldn't come for fear of getting our children sick too. So, in the end it was just our little family going out to eat on Thursday. We had shrimp, steak and lobster and Jacob loved the show put on by the cook. It was wonderful! Then we came home and took long naps and lounged around in our PJ's and all in all were very thankful to have such a quiet relaxing day together!
Our family, Thanksgiving 2007
Jacob enjoys his first visit to a hibachi style restaurant
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Just a quick update - things around here are so great! My life is busy - it is insane but in a good way. Our days start early - around 5:30 AM. I got back to work and was instantly plugged into a huge project with my first deadline on 11/30- aaak! During my busy work day I have to find time to go to the Mother's Room in order to keep up with Bella's needs (she's throwing back the bottles - about 16 ounces per day!) while we are apart.
This coming weekend will be an exciting one, on Saturday we will go to Texas Renaissance Festival with all of Will's family plus my Mom & Randy. I LOVE ren fest, I have gone every year with Will except one since 1998 and it is so much fun. Each year Jacob enjoys it more and participates in more things, now we spend more time in the kid's area called Sherwood Forest, and less time at Ye Old Beer Stand but that's probably for the best! On Sunday, Anabel's being baptized which will be a very special day for our family. So lots of good things to look forward to. Off to bed, 5:30AM comes really early!
Here's a few snaps of Ren Fest in year's past -This one is from 2004 when Jacob was about 7 weeks old:
This one is from 2005 - what a cutie pie!
Some year's I dress up & some I don't, here I am being silly:
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Today was my second day back to work. It is HARD to leave my children at school in the mornings, and I miss them like crazy. Until Monday I had never left Bella for even an hour. On the bright side I'm looking forward to all of us being back into a stable routine. It was hanging over me that I knew I would have to go back to work, and as with most difficult things, it is better once it actually comes and you can deal with it than it is worrying about it in advance.
Sorry if I'm just blathering, I have no outlet for baby talk since all my Mom girlfriends from work have left to go work at another company. Now it is just me and a bunch of guys and one other lady who doesn't have kids. I miss my church friends already, they were so good to welcome me into their lives for a while. I thought it would be less lonely to go back to work and be around adults but I find it strangely quiet (no Elmo, no Monster Stomp, no Wiggles guitar). I'm trying to adjust from being at home with a very active little boy and a newborn (can you say major multi-tasking!) to just sitting at a desk working uninterupted. I do have to admit that it is kind of nice to go the bathroom with the door closed and not have anyone crying or calling my name.
I'll leave you with two photos, one of Jacob & one of Bella so you can decide for yourselves if they look alike as babies or not.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
I'm sorry it has been so long since I've posted. I have many excuses! As mentioned in previous posts, our Internet connection has been down a lot lately. We had another repairman out on Sunday (for over two hours!) so maybe it will be better now. Also, Will has been working some from home in the evenings, poor Will! Lastly, Jacob has started taking computer classes at his preschool - can you believe it? And he has discovered that he can watch videos of many of the shows he likes online, so now there are three of us competing for computer time at our house! We had an exciting morning today so far. I wasn't able to go see my absolute all time favorite band Dave Matthews Band this year because Bella was still too tiny to be away from me. So, when I saw that my very favorite Christian band, Jars of Clay was touring together with my second favorite Christian band, Third Day , in December I asked Will if he would take me for my birthday present. The tickets went on sale at 10 AM and my plan was to buy them online, so I was careful to be ready at the computer right on time in order to get good seats. So at 10 AM the "Buy Tickets" option appears and I click the button - oops, there is so much traffic that the server puts me "in line" meaning I just have to sit there and wait my turn to buy the tickets. While I'm waiting, I'm holding Bella and she's just cooing, smiling, and generally being extra cute. And I just WAIT and WAIT. After about ten minutes, Bella decides to entertain me by hosting her own event - POOPALOOZA 2007. Now I am a mom, I am not squeamish but this was the most poop I have ever seen. It totally blew out her diaper. It was all over her, all over me, our clothes, the chair, the floor - everywhere. See, it turns out that today was Bella's "Third Day" too! (In case you missed this tidbit of Bella trivia - she only poops every third day) Of course, I have to abandon my computer to get everyone cleaned up. Jacob pulls up his stool by Bella's changing area and just starts handing me baby wipes - what a great big brother! Finally I get her in a fresh diaper and get upholstery cleaner and floor cleaner and load the clothes in the washer and the whole time I just know that I'm missing out buying concert tickets! Don't worry though, I was able to get tickets. They aren't the best seats in the house, but they aren't too shabby, so I'm happy. And now, for some pictures! There's two visits to two different parks, and a trip to the Pumpkin Patch plus a few ones of Bella just being cute - enjoy!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Jacob is finally, finally in bed. Bella is too. Will's snoozing on the couch. All is quiet....Dinner tonight was just OK - I made a recipe for pasta with shitake mushrooms and a pumpkin gorgonzola cream sauce. Despite about 20 ingredients it turned out to be bland. Oh well! The turn of the season always makes me want to cook with earthy ingredients - mushrooms, brown rice, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin etc. Oh, that reminds me, I was reading the bible this week and found the ultimate blogger's bible verse in Psalm 37:23 "The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives".
It's official. Jacob has now been up for 12 hours straight. I've been up since Bella's feeding at 3:30 AM because I didn't get back to sleep before Jacob started stirring at 4:30 and was actually up at 5:15. I went ahead and gave him a bath and put him in his PJ's. Surely he will crash soon, right?
On the down side - Our Internet connection has been spotty. Jacob has regressed this week with regards to potty training. He has developed a sinus infection which involves a lot of coughing at night. He has also been "off" behavior-wise which is probably related to the lack of sleep & feeling icky. On Tuesday he refused to come and say hi to his grandmother choosing instead to pee on my bedspread. Today I took both children to the doctor - Jacob for his sinus infection and Bella for her 2 month check-up. Bella received four shots and an oral vaccination and Jacob got a flu shot. This was after he peed all over the floor. The pharmacy took over an hour to process our prescription and everyone was hungry, grouchy and tired by the time we finally got home. Jacob has been up since 5:15 AM and IS STILL NOT NAPPING. On the up-side - both new recipes I have tried this week, vegetarian mushroom stroganoff and Korintje Pork tenderloin with a pineapple jalapeno glaze, have been a major success. I've found out that it only costs $35 to dry clean a king sized comforter. Also, it turns out that our pediatrician is not phased in the least by opening the exam room door to find a three year old Donald Ducking it (wearing just a shirt and naked on bottom) in a puddle of his own urine singing the bear cha cha cha while his mother attempts to stop his sister from screaming. AND he will even watch your dancing 3 year old and screaming baby while you run to the car to get a new set of clothes. We LOVE Dr. Stanley!!! In other good news, since our deductible has been met for this year thanks to Anabel, I paid for Jacob's prescription out of the change drawer of the car. I could get used to that! The cable guy came and began the process of fixing our Internet and I'm eating yummy leftovers for lunch. A little more on the doctor visit itself. Bella had a great check-up. She weighs 10 pounds 6 ounces and is 22 1/2 inches long. I have no idea what percentile that is, I just know she is the right size for Bella. I explained about how she has her own pooping style. She only poops every 3 or 4 days and on that day (known in our house as Poop Day) she will go all day. He says that is just fine and not to worry at all. I also asked about Jacob's behavior and how long it generally took for kids to adjust to life as an older sibling. He said that his behavior was perfectly normal and that it usually takes around 6 months for kids Jacob's age to process all the changes. He gave us some good tips to help improve the situation, so I left feeling pretty positive about both children.
This has been a week of ups and downs.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
From Left to Right: Emmet, Eiffel, Mickey, Other-One Duck,Froggy Bear, Mango Bear, Nemo & Noah's Ark.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This week Will had to attend a conference in Austin for Internal Auditors; sounds exciting, doesn't it? I decided to go too (to Austin, not to the conference) and the children and I stayed with my Mom. We were able to see Will in the evenings and visit with all our family. We went out to eat at Trudy's, one of our favorite restaturants, with Will's brother Robert & his wife Leigh. We visited with my brother Paul and his wife Heather and their children Ke'chara (3) and Ashke (2). We went to Burnet and had lunch with my grandparents and we toured the Blanton museum on UT campus where my Dad works. It was a little hectic but we always try to see everyone if we can. One night Jacob stayed at home with his Grandma Julie and Grandolph while Will and I had a "date". I write that in quotes because Bella came with us. Even after almost ten years in Houston, Austin still feels like home to me and I always feel sad to leave.
In other news, Jacob has moved up to the next classroom again at his school. The children in this room are 3 to 3 1/2 and they seem SO big to me. He wasn't too pleased when I dropped him off and it was hard for me to leave him, even though I know he is always fine within a few minutes. In this class, Sweet 350, there are several new things. First, they will begin to go to computer classes. We don't have any children's programs on our computer at home so that will be something totally new for him. They will also go on field trips. In previous classrooms the kids would take bus rides to see airplanes by the airport or farm animals but they never got off the bus. The first real field trip is next week to go to Old Macdonald's farm and I know he will have a blast. And this classroom uses a bigger playground and I have already heard all about the "great, big, hearty" slide from when he visited last week. "Hearty" is his new word lately and he uses it to describe everything.
This slide show covers our trip to Austin. There is one shot of Bella from a series that Mom took. The photo session went really well, but I'm saving the best shots for her birth announcements so I'm not showing them here. There is also one particular photo of Jacob where I can see how he might look when he is older - made me catch my breath when I saw it. Luckily he looks little and cute again in the next photo because I am not ready for him to look grown up yet!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
This past weekend we went to a birthday party at Chuckee Cheese. Neither Will nor Jacob had been to one before so they didn't know what to expect. At first Jacob was a little overwhelmed but after the pizza and cake he warmed up and rode all the rides and played games with his dad. It was at this point that Will discovered the ski-ball type game that gives out tickets. Once I explained that you trade in the tickets for prizes, I couldn't get Will off that machine! Eventually Jacob lost intestest and went to do other things but Will kept on playing (so that he could win a prize for Jacob of course). Something I thought was funny was how they are still playing the same music they played when I went there as a kid - Huey Louis and the News - which in the 80's was popular but now is kind of odd because I doubt any children these days are familiar with "Happy to be Stuck with you"incredible park that I had read about on other Mom's blogs. Holy Cow - they were NOT kidding, this park is amazing. Jacob is usually reserved at first when we go to new places, wanting me to play with him and I have to encourage him to explore on his own and play with other kids - not this time! This park just drew him in and since it is a universal park (meaning it is built for children of all different abilities i.e wheel chair ramps etc.) it is extremely safe - no surfaces that are hot or sharp, very well padded underneath, and you can see your child from almost any vantage point. You might think that a park this safe wouldn't be any fun - wrong - this was the most awesome playscape I have ever seen and he loved it. Did I mention it has shade structures and even misters to keep you cool? We will definitely be going back soon! On Tuesday we baked 20 dozen cookies for the Kairos prison ministry. Jacob helped me put the dough on the cookie sheets and also helped me count out the finished cookies into ziploc bags(since it is for inmates the cookies have to be packaged very specifically). Anabel "helped" by being a happy girl in her sling. She is beginning to smile responsively now and here is one of the first times I was able to get it on film.
Monday, October 1, 2007
This week is "Banned Books" week at the library. The event takes a look at books that have either been banned or challenged in the last few decades. This is a topic that is important to me because I believe firmly that ALL people should be able to read ALL books regardless of their content. Past examples of banned books include "Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger; "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck; and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain. From the American Libraries Association website:"Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them". A while back I asked the librarian if they kept a record of the books I had checked out because I wanted to re-read something and couldn't remember the title. The librarian told me no, they kept no such database because if they did, then the government could ask for those records and they would have to release them under the PATRIOT act, so rather than do that, they just don't keep the records in the first place. Interesting!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
We've had a great weekend. OK, so for those of you whose lives do not involve raising children in the suburbs, it might sound pretty mundane. But from where I'm sitting, it was pretty awesome.Friday night we hit our favorite Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Atzeca, where it is so loud and boisterous that no one can hear Jacob's magnadoodle clattering to the floor for the twenty seventh time. Yes, this would be the same restaurant where I took Jacob into the restroom with me and he very helpfully and loudly advised me to "POINT IT DOWN, MOMMY!" Yes, indeedy - kids do listen to what you tell them, and they repeat everything. As further proof of this fact, on the way home, we hit a very important milestone - Jacob used the phrase "Y'all" for the first time! I was so proud! On Saturday, Bella and I hit the mall. Now, I'm not really a mall person. The consumerism gets to me. Yes, I am somewhat of a liberal hippy and walking by Hollisters/Abercrombie and Fitch and seeing rich kids with no jobs shell out $48 for a t-shirt really bugs me. It also bugs me that its so dark in there and what's with that smell they sort of pump out through the front? The throbbing music and bare chested mannequins and shuttered windows all give it that seedy night club feel and frankly I think it is a little weird. It reminds me of high school when we used to go to a teens only night at a club for Battle of the Bands. We'd sit there at like 7 p.m on a Tuesday and listen to our angst driven friends belt out covers of Sunday Bloody Sunday and People are People and think we were so cool. All that aside, I was able to get some things and am very happy to finally be out of maternity clothes. On Sunday we took Bella to church for the first time - she did great, no fussing or diaper blow outs. We even attended a luncheon afterwards and she was happy the whole time. Afterwards, Will and I drove around to look at Open Houses. We go to Open Houses like some people blog surf (you know who you are!) - we just like to look. Since Bella was asleep in the car we took turns at one house, one person going in and the other waiting in the car with the kids. So I went into one place and the real estate agent asks me "So, when are you due?" Not the highlight of my day, especially since I had thought I was looking fairly good for only 6 weeks post-partem. Let me tell you, she couldn't have sold me the Taj Mahal for a buck after that! Sunday night I went to the grocery with Bella. Our HEB has lots of organic foods and plays very good music and has warm tortilla samples, so I really don't mind going. I wear Bella in her sling and other than the fact that she toots a lot and people can't see her and assume it's me, we have a good time. I came home and Will and Jacob and I cooked up a variety of meals to have for the week. Jacob helped me with the Mexican casserole, he is very good at adding ingredients and stirring. We had Bella in her bouncer and it was nice to all be in the kitchen together. At one point Jacob picked up the wrong end of the bag of shredded cheese and it all dumped out. Two observations 1. Three cups of cheese looks like a lot when it's dumped out of the bag. 2. Sheltie dogs really like cheese. So, that was our weekend! Sometimes nothing special is special, isn't it?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Last Saturday, we held what Jacob calls his "Big Big Birthday Party". We had a lot of friends and family there and everyone had a good time. The party was held at a gym with games, music and activities led by Kids In Action. This was the first birthday where Jacob could understand that something was coming up in the future and could begin to really look forward to it and talk about it ahead of time. It was really fun for Will and I as we put together a party with all of his favorite things - the cake was decorated with scenes from his favorite book and all the music was from The Wiggles. There was one point at the party where Jacob was dancing to the music in the middle of the room and he just looked so happy!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Jacob has become quite the traveler this summer. First the trip to Paris in May and now last weekend's trip to Colorado & Wyoming for Great-Great Aunt Lou's 85th birthday. Not bad for a two year old!In other news, today Jacob joined the Tadpole Club at Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center. This is a weekly program for preschoolers where they learn about nature, animals etc. It is led by Park Rangers and involves puppets, stories, crafts, nature walks etc. Jacob was very impressed and interested in everything but decided to "play it cool" by hiding behind my chair most of the program. He was eventually won over by a juice box and a particularly realistic hawk puppet. I'll try to get some pictures when we go back next week.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~RajneeshThe Monday afternoon that Anabel was born I was sitting at my desk at work listening to the CD that my friends made for me for birthing music and I just kept playing this one track by Steven Curtis Chapman over and over, here are the lyrics -
I watch you looking out across the raging water So sure your only hope lies on the other side You hear the enemy that's closing in around you And I know that you don't have the strength to fight But do you have the faith to stand and... Believe Me now Believe Me here Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear I am with you and I am for you So believe Me now I am the One who waved my hand and split the ocean I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead And I've loved you long before I set the world in motion I know all the fears you're feeling now But do you remember who I am? I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure My words are true, and all My promises are sure So believe Me now Looking back, I think I've learned, or at least been given the opportunity to learn, something about the power of just being still. Psalms 46:10 says "Be Still and know that I am God" - by following the command, we reap the promise. Maybe it has it taken all of this to get me to a point where I can appreciate the strength of accepting and trusting and getting out of the way. Maybe Bella's birth story is a birth story for me as well.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The hardest part so far I think has been keeping up with Jacob - he is handling things so well but there have been some major temper tantrums and it has been hard for me to discern when to apply discipline and when to just give him extra hugs and patience. He is grown up in so many ways that I have to stop and remind myself that he still really can't verbalize most of his feelings yet. Over the past few weeks there have been times when he has responded so fiercely - throwing a toy with such anger and deliberation or climbing into my lap and wrapping his arms around my neck so tightly and just sitting like that for 10 or 15 minutes - he just has this intensity that I haven't seen in him before, so I know he is processing everything in his own way.
This weekend Will and Jacob are in Wyoming visiting Will's great-aunt Louise. I miss them very much! I have a bad cold, so Bella and I have been doing some major vegging. I don't honestly think I've had this much uninterrupted time to myself in years. I've actually read two issues of Texas Monthly cover to cover. I've watched bad movies on Lifetime and ordered Chinese and surfed the net. Apart from being sick, it has been quite nice although I'll be more than ready for my guys to come home on Tuesday! Enough about me, on to the pictures - Is that a smile?
Lady feeling left out these days -
So peaceful -
This one isn't in focus but it was still so sweet I had to post it!