Friday, February 29, 2008

A 1st Time Mama's Thoughts on Co-sleeping

DON'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, we don't co-sleep with Matthew. He loves his bed, and I am glad he does. But we are traveling right now, so he is in a bed with me at night...and this is what I have learned that co-sleeping means:

- a finger in my eye
- a headbutt to my mouth
- an elbow to my throat
- a foot in my face
- getting up more tired than when you went to bed

Monday, February 25, 2008

First Time Mama Tip #43

Never let your baby eat half of a mini-watermelon at dinner. Why?
1. Dinner is right before bedtime.
2. There is a reason it is called a WATERmelon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prayers for America

New intercessions for the nation posted at my new site.

NEW REFERRAL FOR REBECCA!!!

Rebecca has a new baby boy!!! Check out his precious photos here and leave a comment congratulating the family on their new son!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mr. Sandman





Today we got out Matthew's new sandbox, a gift from Grandma&Grandpa Garner and Guinnie! I purchased green and blue sand from Wal-mart to make it extra fun. We played with all of the sand toys and even threw in our rocks from yesterday's rock hunt in the lot next door. Not too much sand ended up on the patio, although I did find some in his hood!


L-O-V-E
We have magnetic letters on our fridge and whenever Matthew is playing with them, I will spell out the word LOVE and then say it while doing the sign. Yesterday we were eating lunch and I said, "Matthew, mama and daddy love you very much. Love!" and he immediately pointed across the room to the word on the refrigerator!

OOPS, NOT QUITE
Yesterday we went in the backyard to break up bread for the birds. I explained that the birds were hungry and that we were giving them bread to eat. Then I showed Matthew how to tear the bread in pieces. After demonstrating, I gave him a whole piece of bread. He looked at it and then held it up in the air towards the construction workers next door. Guess he wants to feed the boys nots the birds.

OOPS, NOT QUITE #2
For some reason the song that goes "I dropped it, I dropped it, On the way I dropped it" popped into my mind but I couldn't remember the rest of the words. So I started singing "stole a penny from my mom and on the way I dropped it." (Sorry, mom). Anyway, when I began the part about dropping the penny, Matthew started looking around on the floor thinking that I had really dropped one!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kickin' Blog Redesign Giveaway!!!

Rebecca at Artistree has teamed up with fellow blogging mama Chelley to create the Kickin' Blog Redesign Giveaway! The Giveaway is an opportunity for you to bless the life of an orphan...with the possibility of you being blessed with a new blog design! For a suggested donation of $5 you get a chance to win a beautiful $75 blog design, and ALL proceeds will go toward the adoption of sweet Shepherd!

For full details and to enter the drawing, please visit Ni Hao Ya'll.

NOTE: This is not just for adoptive parents! You can check out Rebecca's designs to see blogs created for organizations, pets, and special interest, as well as families.

Even if your blog is already beautiful, you can still donate to help Shepherd's family bring him home!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Attention all you little ladies....

Since I have been posting regularly about Matthew's housecleaning skills, he has received a number of love emails, phone calls, and marriage proposals. So I just thought I would post a reminder about who the ONLY lady is in his life:
An exception may be made for Isabelle, Sophie, or Helena...when he is 35.

Light Bulb!

Helping repot a little plant (yes, I laid down an old blanket I found in the garage)
A rock and a measuring cup...and just look at that smile!
Of course mud-cupcakes don't really work with potting soil, but we thought we'd give it a try!


When I was in college there was this girl who would say "Light Bulb!" whenever she would figure something out. At the time it was pretty annoying. But, for some reason, that came to mind this week in regards to Matthew. It has been so cool watching things "click" for him at such a quick pace lately. Like he was looking at a book that had an illustration of a balloon, and he started pointing at the book, then pointing toward his balloon in the other room, then back at his book. Then later he pointed to a light in the room, I said "light"...and he immediately started pointing to the lights in the kitchen. It is neat to see the connections being made without promptings on our part. This week we were taking batteries out of toys so he could see how they don't work without the batteries, and he loved it. He would turn over toys he found and want to unscrew the back panel. It is also neat to see how quickly he responds to questions/commands without me repeating. For example, I said "Matthew does walrus want a drink of your milk?" and without missing a beat he got the walrus and put him on top of the sippy cup for little gulp. Or I can ask him to get out/put away items, and he knows just what to do. He really seems to pay attention to the sequence of events, like when I am cooking, because for example I can ask "what do we do with X?" and he will point to the pot on the stove knowing that is where it goes. He knows the right buttons to push on the dryer and garage door opener, and is always eager to help. ONE IS FUN!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cinder-Fella


In addition to Matthew's dusting, drying the floor, washing the cabinets, taking his clothes to the laundry room, cleaning his highchair, and wiping off his toys...he now SWEEPS! I found this little hand broom w/dust pan in our cabinet, and he loves it! He knows that the food under his chair is supposed to go in the garbage (although at times he finds a morsel too tasty to pass up), so he will pick up the pieces and then point to the garbage can. I'll walk him over so he can throw the food in, but sometimes the parting is such sweet sorrow that he can't let go (until I shake it loose from his fingers!) What a helper!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Lazy Day Pillows"

For any mamas gettin' ready to bring that baby home, here are some cute pillows for a nursery. You can check them out online by clicking here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

CrAcKeD Lullabies

I love to sing to Matthew and, fortunately, he is too polite to comment on my lack of talent. But the problem isn't just my voice. My repertoire of children's songs has diminished over the years, so I end up singing songs like "Baby Got Back" (I tried to make it G-rated by singing "baby got bottle") or "Canadian Wilderness" (nope, not from Canada).

When I do remember a lullaby, I usually don't know all of the words and have to make up my own. For example, when I sing "Hush Little Baby" I end up singing that I'm going to buy Matthew things like jet skis, a stack of hay, and a shopping mall. It just doesn't seem right to get his hopes up like that. Side note: I guess I could google the lyrics but who has time when there are blog operas to keep up with (What new designs has Rebecca created? How many days til Shepherd comes home? Just how many different languages do Yvonne's kids speak?)

I felt a little bit better about my unrefined lullaby skills after hearing my husband sing to Matthew the other night. Instead of singing "the bear went over the mountain," Scott thought the words were "the bear went under the mattress."

Poor, poor Matthew!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Prayers for America

New intercessions for the nation posted at my new site.

Party Day!

We went to precious Layne's 3rd Birthday Party today at Chuck E Cheese! Matthew was a little tired to begin with, but I think he had a great time...especially since there were balloons everywhere! He missed his nap, but the birthday cake kept him going! Layne was so sweet with him as you can see in the photos below.
Sweet moment:
Fric and Frac play skeeball:Sweet Layne holding on to Matthew:
Layne still holding on to Matthew:
Still holding on (I'm gonna have to pay her for babysitting!)

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Check out this video which I saw posted on The Hausam's Blog. It highlights a new orphan ministry and showcases families sharing their unique, and yet also common, perspectives.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Playing with Daddy

video

and, yes, we have one whole room (well, two, since it is a dining/living room) that is completely empty except for toys...not a good precedent

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New post & photos

New post & photos -- Valentine's Day & 6th Month Family Anniversary -- on Matthew's site.

This will be the last post on Matthew's site so -- even if you typically don't comment -- we would love to hear from you! A cd will be made of his site as a keepsake, so please leave him a comment! We hope that one day he will be encouraged to know of all the people who were loving and praying for him.

Happy Day of Love!

Happy Valentine's Day! We started off the morning with PINK pancakes to celebrate!!! Today is also our 6 month anniversary as a family, so an appropriate day to celebrate LOVE! I will put a post and photos tonight on Matthew's site. I think this will be the last entry on his site so, once the post is up, I would LOVE for everyone to leave a comment for him! We will get a cd of the site as a keepsake for him, and I would LOVE for him to know how many people were loving and praying for him.

When I was reading my Bible this morning, I couldn't help but think of all of the lonely people in the world...and how that lonliness is often magnified by a day like Valentine's Day. I'm not just talking about people who don't have a significant other, but also those who have no family or loved ones in their lives. May God be their comfort and companion today, and may He use us to show them His great love.

"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in Him." - 1 John 4:16

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:9-10

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A post about some stuff

I have no clue why I even have this red bandanna, but Matthew and I found it and decided to try it out. Of course, he is looking a little "Aunt Jemima" in these photos...but, nonetheless, CUTE! If you are wondering what he is so sad about, just pick any possible topic. These shots were taken yesterday when everything was wrong in his world. We met with our social worker for our 6 month post-placement report, so I asked her about his decreased sleeping and increased fussiness. Based on her recommendation, we are going to start trying 3 short naps/day. Today was our first try, and it seemed to go well (plus he actually slept last night so we were off to a good start this morning!). The difference in Matthew after a good night's rest was AMAZING! I haven't seen him giggle, play hard, explore, practice walking, squeal, and sing for any significant period of time in a long time, so it was refreshing and enjoyable. We still had some fussy moments but they were definitely much, much fewer than as of late.





Setting: Dinner at our kitchen table

Mama: Matthew, can you say daddy?

Mama: Can you say daddy?

Mama: Say daddy.

Daddy: Matthew, can you say fiduciary responsibility?

How to prepare for becoming a parent

This was posted by a member of my yahoo group:

HOW TO PREPARE FOR BECOMING A PARENT
Lesson 1: Go to the grocery store. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2: Find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience and parenting style in general. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's feeding schedule, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it, because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3: To discover how nights will be...Walk around the livingroom from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound)playing loudly. At 10PM, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the livingroom again, with the bag, until 1AM. Set the alarm for 3AM. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink. Go to bed at2:45AM. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4AM. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Lesson 4: Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stickyour fingers in the flower bed. Then rub them on the clean walls.Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5: Dressing a toddler is not as easy as it seems. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6: Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars have a certain look. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a dime. Stick it in the CDplayer. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.There. Perfect.

Lesson 7: Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full- grown goat is excellent). If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out ofyour sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8: Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air. You are now ready to feed a nine- month old baby.

Lesson 9: Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy'repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 10: Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your pant leg, shirt sleeve, or elbow while playing the mommy' tape made from Lesson 9 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You're gonna love it!

This time my ultra creative BBFF Rebecca has totally outdone herself! Check out her new blog design HERE! It is the coolest blog in the bloggy universe and is only missing a referral photo...which we trust is coming soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

C'mon Spring!

Great weather today...so we went to the park! And afterwards to Twisters for a bean and cheese burrito then to Walgreens to touch all the Valentine's Day balloons! We are so ready for spring!














A snack before the park













Lovin' the swings
































Not quite as brave as last fall
















Gotta have some sand time

AN UPDATE ON SLEEP
For a while...a short while...we had a few nights where Matthew wasn't waking up throughout the night! We were happy...we were rested...we were SUCKAHS! Oh, it wasn't that our baby wasn't waking up, it was that our monitor was broken! We could still hear the white noise sounding stuff, but no baby! Just within the past few nights, his sleep has become worse...possibly from teething...and he has been restless much of the night. Today the poor guy was sooo tired all day long...even with his naps.
You may remember that my doctor told me to turn off the monitor if I would still be able to hear Matthew cry at night. So why do I still have it on? Because it has been cold and to keep the bedrooms warmer at night, we have been closing the doors. There are four closed doors between me and my boy, so the monitor is a must for this new mama. I actually don't like this set-up and was whining to Scott about how, if anything happened, I would have to go through four doors to get to the baby. His response: "Babes, that's why God gave you opposable thumbs."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New prayers for America

New intercessions for week 7 are listed at my new site

More dirt...



Yes, Smooch, I know he doesn't match!





This picture reminds me of the famous photo of the man leading the skinny cow across the parched land. Our ground just looks cracked; it's not that dry...at least not right now!



Here Matthew is breaking 2 house rules:
1. No wearing hats at the table
2. No wearing hats gangsta style at the table

Today we were in the kitchen, and Matthew was in his walker. I asked him to take a dishtowel to the laundry room, and he took off! With just a little help after a run-in with a column, he made it! His piggy bank is getting full from all the allowance we have to give this hard-working boy!

Matthew eats like a champ! In fact, he could probably eat non-stop all day. If he sees me starting to make a meal, he gets a little nutty til I give him something to eat. His spoon skills are really good, although he turns the spoon over once it gets to his mouth to dump the food on his tongue. I'm trying to help him get out of that habit because sometimes he turns and dumps before he gets to his mouth!

Friday, February 8, 2008

White Rose Blooming

Little Gwyneth Rose is a month old! To check out her video go to this site and scroll down to the "White Rose Blooming" post.

Men at work




just a cute one i threw in



Matthew washing his chair after dinner




washing the cabinets, washing his car



doing some business deals over the phone with daddy (can you see the phone in matthew's hand?...this shot was not set-up!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

If the boy can't go to the dirt....





bring the dirt to the boy! Too chilly to play outside, so brought the outside in.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More than you wanted to know:

I got "tagged" by Rebecca! Normally I'm not great at answering these things but, in order not to be shunned by the blogging community, here goes....
Four jobs I have had in my life:
- Recruiting & admissions for Eureka College
- Serving at Killer Shrimp in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter --my FAVORITE!
- Working with intensive support kids in a middle school
- Assisting the Associate Pastor at our church

Four movies I could watch over and over: I have no clue. I asked Scott if he knew what movies I should list, and he said "Battlestar Galactica." Whatever!

Four places I have lived: Illinois, Arkansas, California, New Mexico

Four shows that I watch: The computer takes up all my TV time

Four places I have been:
- in the tidy front room of a little home in Fengyuan meeting my baby boy
- on the big rocks of Coronado Island beach trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life
- at the front of the tiny Horizon Park Chapel sanctuary giving my life to Christ
- on a sunny beach in Kona, Hawaii marrying the love of my life
Four people who email me regularly: Rebecca, my husband, West Elm, my grandma
Four of my favorite foods:
- Raw cookie dough

Four places I would rather be right now:
- Visiting my mom
- On a warm, sunny beach
- Hangin' out in San Diego (Fashion Valley, Balboa Park, Point Loma tidepools)
- In my husband's arms

Four folks I think will respond: ? Battlestar Galactica!
Four things I'm looking forward to in the next 12 months:
- Seeing God's plans for my life and my family
- Watching Matthew grow
- Celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary
- Watching my mom become a cancer "SURVIVOR!"

Four goals for the New Year:
- Become better at talking (& listening!) to God all day long rather than just right before bed!
- Learn to make a grocery list and then remember to take it with me to the store
- Stop being so self-absorbed
- Be faithful to keep up my prayer blog for America

Four gifts I got for Christmas: a new baby, a new house, a handmade card from my husband, and a Savior

Four places I want to visit:
- someplace very dark and very clear at night so I can see millions of stars in the sky
- an orphanage
- the home of a friend of mine from Mexico...with whom I've lost touch
- the beach (of course) to watch Matthew have fun in the sand!

Four things you did not know about me:
- I once cut my lip while shaving my armpits.
- I have a MA in Education with a concentration in teaching English as a second language, and I have never used it professionally...although I am still paying on the student loan!
- I don't like when people/things are lonely...I even put my silverware into the dishwasher in pairs.
- When I was young I had a crush on Rick Springfield and would daydream about going to a fancy restaurant with him.

Four things I wish I could be better at:
- Praying
- Time management
- Filing paperwork/receipts/etc. rather than throwing it in drawers
- Cooking

Four things I can make without a recipe:
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Cap'n Crunch Cereal
- Papa Murphy's Take Home Pizza
- Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

Four musicians that I really like:
- Nick Crespo (our church's worship leader)

I am tagging Reed's daddy, Cormac's mama, Andy's mama, and Helena's mama.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Starting early

You have seen video of Matthew drying my kitchen floor. And photos of him washing the kitchen table. Well, the other day we were in his room and, after taking off his socks, I told him to take them to the laundry room. He completely understood and started crawling off...socks in hand...toward the laundry room. He got a little distracted by a cool piece of cardboard on the way, but he eventually made it! Mission accomplished. Guess I better start paying him an allowance!

Here is a video from Matthew's birthday. If you are looking for fast-paced excitement, I'm telling you now...don't push "play!" I left it unedited for the grandparents...and for Cam, a faithful blog follower!!!

video

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Prayers for America

New intercessions for week 6 are listed at my new site

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Attack of the Mama Mush-Brain

I'm supposed to be working on tax stuff right now. But instead I have this thought on my mind: If you are an absolute full time stay-at-home mama, I think that you can fall prey to "mama mush-brain"... a disease which seems to attack and conquer your noggin with Mach 3 speed. I feel like my brain has been utterly destroyed...or has liquified and seeped out my ears...or maybe something even worse. This "mama mush-brain" seems to have affected me in the following areas:

1. Multi-tasking skills - I used to have excellent MTS...in fact, one night when working in a restaurant in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, I waited on 17 tables in less than an hour and a half by myself. No hostess. No busser. No other waitstaff. Just me, two kitchen staff, and a serious rush of customers! NOW, however, I cannot even boil Matthew's frozen vegetables and do ANYTHING else at the same time or I almost burn the house down. TWICE I have ruined the veggies and the pots they were in! I'm running out of cookware!

2. Organizational skills - When working in college admissions, I used to plan weekend-long scholarship competitions for 60+ students...from the big details to the small. Now I can't even throw a baby birthday party without even forgetting to invite dear friends!!!! Or making sure I had the presents purchased BEFORE the party!

3. Memorization skills - I used to be a memory machine...but now my brain is like a sieve. Tonight I walked out of the grocery store and didn't know where I parked. In fact, I couldn't even remember driving to the store. Lots of people do that, I know. SO what about this? I had to ask my sister if we sang "Happy Birthday" to Matthew at his party!!!!????!!!

4. Conversational skills - Let's just say that the conversation I initiated with Scott when he came home Friday night wasn't about politics...or doctrine...or even parenting. It was "Did you put a cricket in the toilet?"

I feel like I need to exercise my brain with some sudoku...or an algebra class...or I guess some tax stuff that is staring me in the face right now...UGH, I'm off to sort through receipts.....

Photos from San Diego just because they make me happy.....

Photo of a dog that I don't know...but that is stylin' nonetheless

New post & photos

New post & photos -- Story Time -- at Matthew's site.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Houston, we have a...

TOOTH! Bottom right popped out today with the left one close behind! No photos yet!