Friday, January 30, 2009

ABC, easy as 123

M has an intense love of letters and numbers. His eyes are always on the lookout for ABCs and 123s, for example:

He picked up our shower squeegee and said "Big T, Big T"
A coffeee table was moved and left an indentation on the carpet. M said "L!"
When he noticed a horseshoe nailed to the ceiling of an art gallery, he exclaimed, "C!, C!"

This morning our plans were changed, so I needed to get ready quickly. I decided to let him watch a cartoon and there was a show called "Super Why" on PBS. From my bathroom I heard the character ask, "What letter makes the "tuh" sound?" and M responded "T!" I went in to see what was up. This continued with the letters O and P. He got both correct. Then I asked him "what word did you spell?" He said matter of factly, "stop." (Now I must say that we have talked about the word stop before when we see stop signs).

I listened to M participate in the rest of the show...answering all of the questions correctly. I decided to take him to the PBS SuperWhy website for some more action. In the "spelling bee" game, he correctly spelled cat, can, and bell all by himself by listening to the sounds and picking the right letter.

I am astounded not only by his development in this area but also by his interest. We haven't tried to push learning the letters and numbers on him. In fact, I have been a little leery about it wondering what in the world he will do in kindergarten if he already knows such things. But M is just really interested in them (intense looooove), so we have tried to follow his lead.

Now if I could only get him to love sharing his toys!

b-day pics

Listening to the Birthday song:

Trying to blow:

Excited to see Elmo...not knowing that he will have to hit him! Charles kept making the pinata go up and down, so M stood there with a smile on his face saying, "up....down...up...down."
Listening to dad's instructions
The big hit...check out that sucker flying towards his face

Holding Elmo's hand afterwards...
Happy boy

A couple pics of little S. I was trying out the "eye enhancer" on they are a little "overdone." He is still as cute as can be!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Smooch is on her way!

In an hour I will be picking up little sister from the airport but, due to the craziness of her trip so far, this may be her last visit! Let's just say it has involved a loose dog in poop on her suitcase...and dr. pepper all over her brand new uggs and her suitcase (which I said would at least take away the dog poop smell, right?)

We heading into a weekend of mall-ratting (is that a word), late nights of mancala tournaments, a fun photoshoot...oh, and I guess I will let M play with her, too!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

some shoots and stuff

Before I post anything else, I want to again share sweet Abby's site and ask that you pray for this precious little one. The strength of this family is an amazing testimony to God's grace in the most difficult of trials.

On Sat, I had the pleasure to hang with my friend, Chelsea! She agreed to let me photograph her and didn't cancel even though she was sick! She is super cool...and gracious...that way. Here are a few from our afternoon: is M in the BIG TWO shirt!!!!! Sorry there are so many, but how is a mama to choose?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

oh, happy saturday!

On Friday we had a playdate with the adorable M kids. I was worried that M would be a crazy man when he saw the kids playing with his toys...but he did so well! He was even proactive in sharing, so I was relieved! When we were at the market buying some snacks for the playdate, he was all worked up about about the idea of having to share Elmo crackers, so I stopped the cart and asked, "Do you want me to pray for you?" He nodded. So next to the canned vegetables, we asked God to help M have a generous heart. This morning we were talking about the playdate, and I reminded M about our prayer in the store...and how God answered our prayer by helping him share. He nodded.

Here's a few photos of the three monkeys...M is laughing because my friend said "poop."

OK, if you can't sleep at night do I have a site for you! POLYVORE. It is like a virtual mall. You can put together outfits from the comfort of your own computer chair. They have so many cool, funky things...and yet, I STILL came up with a very plain jane outfit! I didn't even choose a purse! The super thing is that a wide variety of stores are represented...which means a wide variety of prices. I just picked what I liked and later realized that quite a few of my items were from very affordable KMart! So this is the outfit I would choose for dinner out with Scott (I think you can click for larger view): For anyone who knows furiture...I am looking for a couch like the one below for our family room. I actually really like this one, but it is a total only 2 feet high. So if you know where I can find a taller version, let me know. BTW, I like inexpensive!
FACEBOOK BACK! My friend, Kari, is a facebook member and the other night her husband took a picture of her hunched over her computer...he said she has "Facebook Back!" Quite funny...but leads me to ask what kind of exercise other mamas are getting. Do you workout regularly? If so, at home or gym? Does anyone know of a great workout program you can do, in say, 10 mins or less? haha!

I hope you all have a great weekend! It is sunny and warm here, and I have a photoshoot with a friend today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

adios, ONE!

Oh, ONE, we are so over you. You and your baby ways. We're moving on to bigger and better number TWO. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!! Two????? I hadn't given it much thought...until I ran across this photo:

Just look at that little baby! Baby. Not big boy. Not even little boy. Baby. Where did he go? Sadness depart, leave gladness in my heart.

So we're heading into the week stretch before M's birthday! Smooch is coming to town, so excitement is in the air! We've got a superstar guest list for the fiesta, including the M kids, Layne and Baby Mia, and an Elmo pinata (that's right, go ahead and beat the idol of your little heart with a big stick til hoards of sugared candies come crashing down on your head). Good times are a comin'!

M says goodbye to being one:Below are pics I took right before his first birthday. Soon we will retire his "1" shirt, and I will post his "2" photos!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

buckle's long

I was encouraged by the comments and emails I received to this post. I know I write about and and share some pretty heavy stuff, so to see others in agreement was wonderful.

I have posted about many international issues, but I think that we can often feel detached from the suffering of those who live so far a world so much different than our own. And so we say a prayer or write a check because we know of no other ways to help.

I have been struggling with this and just last night was discussing my feelings with Scott. I know that I am not supposed to strap my baby on my back and head to Africa or SE Asia, but yet my heart burns to do more. While this is not Scriptural, I envision meeting people in Heaven only to say, "I'm sorry I did not help you. I'm sorry I did not act when your little girls were stolen from your arms and sold for sex. I'm sorry that I did not share when your babies were dying because they had no milk."

I was reading World Racer Kim Daniels' blog and, after watching the movie HUMAN TRAFFICKING, she put into words exactly the way I have been feeling:

And now that I know, I can't go back to not knowing. I can't pretend like its not happening. I can't have mere coffee table conversation about it, and then move on to the next subject of politics and the weather. I can't find a place of reconciliation in living comfortably at home while over 18,000 children, both boys and girls, and young women are kidnapped and swept away with force from their families and homes, coerced to be sex slaves for hundreds of men over the course of their young lifetime... and then just thank God for my American given freedom.

I can't find a place of peace in thinking that I'll just let other people deal with it, or some other kind of cliché that says "its just not my calling in life". I am not satisfied with excuses or every reason in the world why WE can't be the generation to actually DO something about it.

I have more questions than answers. I don't know where to start. Except to begin raising awareness to my family, friends, and anyone else who will listen. I WILL yell freedom off of the rooftops and I WILL pack up and go to where its dark when God says so. two "nevers" happened. 1. M fell asleep in the car. 2. Because M fell asleep, I turned on the radio. I was just about to change the channel when I heard the announcement that the Focus on the Family broadcast would be about Human Trafficking. At home I watched Focus interview Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope Int. While Shared Hope is an international program, Mrs. Smith focused on the sex trafficking epidemic in the United States. It's worse than you would imagine.

IF YOU DESIRE TO HELP, THIS MAY BE FOR YOU: If you visit the Shared Hope Int. website, there is a TAKE ACTION section on the upper right side of the screen. Even a small action is better than no action. Below I have included a sting video that was conducted by this organization.

Here's another thing...I think that women have a naturally soft spot for helping the defenseless, the oppressed, the children. However, I would encourage you to share this with a man you know (your husband/father/brother). Men are designed by God to be protectors...defenders not only of their own children, but of all children. The men of America need to take a stand against the evil in our country.

Many men don't want to speak out against porn and sexual immorality thinking it is none of their business what another dude does in his private life, but Mrs. Smith shared that so many of the "sex buyers" of these young girls in America are the white collar business men. Perhaps your husband/father/brother knows of men who are actively involved in porn...they may not be the ones stealing away at lunch to have sex with an underage girl, but they are glued to their computers every night...they are buying the images of these girls and, therefore, perpetuating the crimes against them. Perhaps it's time for these men who are living in sexual bondage to know that God loves them and wants more for their know that they have been created and designed to care for and protect the innocence of children, not rob them of it. Perhaps God will use your husband/father/brother to share these words of freedom.

This is heavy stuff...and it would be too heavy for us to bear IF we didn't know that there is victory in Christ. Because of Him, we can refuse to turn a blind eye...refuse to settle back into our comfortable, happy lives...and instead shine His light in the darkness.

nose growth?

do little boys' noses have overnight growth spurts? M's nose looks bigger...perhaps the bridge, but he hasn't hit it this morning at all.

p.s. i'm ridding my house of all burnt pot at a time.

p.s.X2 fat brain toys. check out the site...sorry i'm not linking it, no time right now.

hope everyone is having a great wednesday!!!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

m's first medal!

Today was M's last day at the gym, and they had a little awards ceremony! We have only been attending since mid-November due to all of our travel back to IL, but even in that short amount of time, I saw a huge improvement in M's confidence and gross motor skills. We have decided to try out a different, but similar, program run by a lady from our church. It is about $30+ LESS per month, so it is worth a try. I'm sure God has a good place for that extra $ to be used.

Yes, today my baby had a good day. A great day. Playing at gym. Getting a medal. Helping pick out fun items for his upcoming birthday party. A great day.

This is not true for all the babies in the world, but you know that.

In case today you are feeling a little too comfortable...a little too self-absorbed...too full of complaints rather than gratitude, I ask that you read this blog post. After you read it, feel free to weep...not only over Michael Angelo, but also over your own selfishness and complacency and ingratitude. But then don't forget to read the P.S. link...and then shout cheer and praises over what God can do through a willing and available life.

Friday, January 9, 2009

if loving you is wrong....

i don't want to be right.

Yes, Moose Munch, you temptress, you...beckoning me to the pantry with your sweet siren song. Utterly irresistable, and you know it. You have my number, and I don't mind.

Seriously, who buys their "friend" FOUR in FORTY OUNCES...of Moose Munch for Christmas??? A friend who lives too far away to throttle, that's who. Yeah, secretly it was my favorite gift!


A little "action" shot as M "runs" down the "hill"....hmm...just so you know, every time I use quotations, I stop typing and make little air quotes with my fingers for effect. Not.

Not an exciting photo, but I love the color of the bushes behind M:

Not sure what to do with the mud on his hands. It ended up on my jeans...but I didn't mind!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

isn't she lovely...

isn't she wonderful?

I was blessed with the opportunity to welcome Baby A into the world early Wednesday morning! Since I left the room when Mama A was ready to push and was invited back moments later after Baby made her grand entrance, it was as close to childbirth as I will ever get! And without the epidural, thankyouverymuch!

She's a precious little peanut, and we're so glad she is here!

total off-track sidenote: I took M to a storytime at a library today. I envisioned in my mind what it might be like and was excited for a little interaction for our Mr. Antisocial. When we walked in the room...the dark eerie feeling came over me. In the corner, the storyleader danced...a very strange dance...which made M point at her and yell, "WHOA! WHOA!" She began to sing and read stories in a manner that would give Edgar Allen Poe the chills. M sat on my lap with his head pressed into my chest. I started doing the slanty-eyed look around the room. Was I the only one who was wiggin' out? I mean, this lady was FREAKY! Everyone else seemed mesmerized by her and I swear I started hearing the Twilight Zone music coming from the closet behind us. Is this some kind of Stepford Mamas thing, I wondered? And then...the lights came on, storytime was over, and the storyleader wheeled out a huge cart full of fun toys. Big sigh.

We're going back next week...they have slinkys.