Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Windy Day

It's very windy today. I was surprised to see this evergreen on the ground when I looked out the sliding door after lunch. With our old windows I'm glad it is 50 degrees and not 20 degrees!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Josiah--10 Months

He stands alone--the length of time is getting longer! It's that really frustrating stage where if he is in reaching distance he will grab your leg and pull up and then you are STUCK because if you move he will fall and he doesn't want to sit down and you can't do whatever it was that you were doing in the first place.

At Josiah's well check this month, he was 20lbs 2oz and 28.75 inches. What else.... He imitated "moo" this weekend, eats all kinds of table food (I personally can't wait until he feeds himself completely!) and is starting to grab things back from his sister. lol. Hooray for him!

Christmas Memories

A picture post of Christmas memories.

Josiah did well opening presents on his first Christmas.

It wouldn't be blogger without an "out of order" picture! Aliza was very patient while Jeremy put her trampoline together...twice! This is my plan for excess winter energy!

Probably the best reaction. VeggieTales Queen Esther. She's been wanting a replacement. The reaction was something to the effect of "You bought it for me!!??"

She immediately put her present on the couch away from Josiah. And she sat up there and opened them. Four presents was enough. She was overwhelmed by the end....tears. But so much fun in the process.

At a distinct moment Aliza grasped that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday. She said in the conversation, Happy to you, cake, presents? We said yes and I knew I had to make a birthday cake to drive the point home. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and she blew the candles and licked the frosting off the candles when she took them out.

My nephew, Caleb. He carried around his jackhammer all afternoon. All boy and so handsome!

I was very tickled to buy bags for my sisters from a gal I went to jr. high with in Oregon. She has an etsy shop and blog
I was really excited to buy something unique and be able to support her.

And the big boys got marshmallow guns.

Christmas Day 2--We headed off to West Virginia for the weekend.
Not sure how Grandma got this picture when they were waiting for their presents.

It was a Dora Christmas for Aliza.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Days 3 & 4

On night 3 Josiah slept the whole night, woke up saying Mama, felt fever free, drank his bottle and ate Cheerios for breakfast. He slept for 2 hours in the morning and almost 4 hours in the afternoon and could hardly make it until 7:30 for bedtime.

He slept all night again last night--13.5 hours. Fell right asleep for a little over an hour this morning, was awake for two hours and then was ready for his afternoon nap. He talked for a little bit when I laid him down this afternoon. He's now been sleeping for 2 hours.

He's happy when he's awake and he's eating and drinking, but he's just not quite himself yet. It's sure easier now that he's sleeping instead of crying, but I'm just not quite completely relaxed about him yet.

Christmas is making me tired just thinking about it. So much happens around here in such a short period of time! I'm hoping the children wake up early enough tomorrow for us to be able to get ready for the day, open presents and enjoy them for a bit before we head to my Mom's for noon dinner and presents.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teething Stories Anyone?

I can't wait to see the cute little smile Josiah has in the previous post. Right now I'm chalking his fever up to teething, but I suppose it could be viral too. I'm as sleep deprived as he is! Maybe more so since I lay awake worrying about him when he falls asleep.

It started Saturday night. He was stuffing his whole fist in his mouth during church and started getting fussy by the end of the evening. He woke up a couple times early in the night, but by 3am he was definitely feverish. I held him, he dozed off on me. I tried to lay him down, he cried. By 5am he was just crying. I let Jeremy know that at 7am the shift was changing and set about trying to figure out how to get Josiah quiet enough that Jeremy could sleep. At 5:45 I decided my only choice was to get in the car and drive. It was pouring rain and cold...but we drove and he slept until 7am.

We got Tylenol and Motrin flowing yesterday so by evening he was doing pretty well. Playing a little bit. He drank a lot and ate enough yesterday so I was hoping for a decent night. It was a bit better than the previous night. We didn't have to hold him, but he cried frequently (like every 20 minutes for a couple hours) so Jeremy went in and gave him his pacifier. I was awake, of course. Isn't that the innate duty of a Mom? Wish I could turn that instinct off.

He slept late this morning and was quite warm when he woke up. (I don't have a thermometer yet. Sister-in-law to the rescue on that this afternoon!) Got the meds going again and gave him a bath. Fluid and food and he was ready for another nap. I was too. But he insists on crying every half hour for a couple minutes and then falls back asleep. Hence the reason I am writing now instead of sleeping!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Too Precious for Words

I'm positively crazy about this kid!

Josiah loves to look out the window.

He has to stand ALL the way up on his tiptoes to see out!

Now this stinker should be glad she has a sibling because this wouldn't have happened if she had my undivided attention. I was giving Josiah a bath. Meghan let me borrow me this little Playschool DVD player for a long road trip we have coming up. I left it on the dining room table with good intentions of promptly hiding it. She found it and pressed the play button. Dora was already loaded and she was in heaven. She was in 7th heaven when she realized the centerpiece had peppermints in it. She helped herself to two while she watched Dora. She was super disappointed when she woke up from her nap later in the day and I told her she had to save those DVDs for a LONG car ride. It's hidden now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I think I'll Survive Now

Jeremy had to work last night which meant a night home alone for me. I'm not even close to being good at that. My sisters came over and spent the night with me which was great. I wasn't scared, but I still couldn't sleep. My brain just would not shut down. Funny how just having the presence of that special person next to you is so calming and how dependent I've become on having him there.

I finally fell asleep around 2:00am only to wake up in a sweat at 2:20. I thought I was going to get sick. I fell back asleep sometime and jolted awake soon after. That routine continued for a couple hours. Then I actually was asleep and sleeping seemingly good at 5:53am when I was awakened by the computer backup battery supplies...all 3 of them...beeping to alert me that the electricity was off and I needed to go down and turn them off properly. I just had this figured out in my foggy brain when Aliza frantically calls for Mommy and starts crying. The beeping had woke her up and scared her. Then my priority becames figuring out which is most likely to wake up Josiah....Aliza or the computers.

I tell Aliza what is happening and put her in my bed. Thankfully she understands well enough to keep quiet. I go downstairs and call Jeremy because I have NO IDEA how many and where the beeping is coming from. His brain is foggy. I get two turned off and can't find the third one. He says "turn the lights on so you can see." Now I'm getting frantic thinking that any second Josiah is going to start crying. I say "there are no freakin' lights that's why it's beeping." I get everything turned off and go back upstairs.

Aliza is awake. No remote chance of going back to sleep so my only goal is to keep her quiet in our now silent house so Josiah doesn't wake up. It worked for 15 minutes. He started crying at 6:15. It was the darkest rainiest morning ever. I tried to find candles in my stupor. I found a few, but it hardly cast enough light for them to even play. By 7:00 the sky was getting light, but the house was getting cold. I couldn't figure out how to light the pilot on the fireplace. Thankfully electricity came on right about 7:30 and I immediately began my countdown to afternoon nap time.

The nap was good. Aliza is still sleeping and I think, just maybe, I'll be able to survive until Jeremy gets home. He is on his way.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Old Fashioned Giggle

Every kid does it. Aliza is learning to play hide and seek. Here she is "hiding" under the couch. She was so proud of her spot. I laughed until tears were running down my face. Of course it took Jeremy a very long time to find her. And her giggles didn't give her away. ;)

And here's the part I've been pondering the last couple days. The conclusion I've come to is that I'm just old fashioned. I baked cookies for my neighbors. They didn't all get visits, but the 90 year old lady did and the couple behind us will. I'm am so loving this neighborhood that looks out after us, talks to us when we walk past, and let my child ring their doorbell and/or look at their horses or play with their dog.

Then last night we went to a Christmas party of one of Jeremy's clients. The first thing the Doctor's wife said to me was "Are you still considering homeschooling?" I'm thinking...yup, I'm old fashioned. Then she asked if I have help with having two children. What??? Thank goodness for family, but I do this child raising thing myself! And what will she ever think when we have another child? In fact what will any of my friends think (not that it matters in the least), but I don't know of one family our age who is planning to have a larger than usual family. Yup, old fashioned again. Then as this woman was feeding her almost 4 year old plain spaghetti because that was all the child would eat she asked me what theme Aliza wanted for her birthday. What??? Three year olds get to choose themes for their birthday parties? Her daughter wants a High School Musical birthday party for her 4th birthday. Yes, it was official at this point. I'm old fashioned. I kept to myself that we use our computer for watching DVDs, that Aliza sings Away in the Manger, Jesus Loves Me, and Joy to the World for her entertainment. I will keep my children in a bubble until it bursts and I won't mind in the least. I don't care if my children are the most innocent and naive children on the block. They will also be the most most likely be the happiest and most carefree children on the block. They can be teenagers when they are 13 and adults when they are 18. And they will learn the ways of the world in due time.

How's that for a soap box post! =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cookie Baking

Today was cookie baking day! We each brought a batch of dough and Mom had the gingerbread men ready to decorate when we go there. Aliza was an expert at rolling dough and cutting out cookies. Later she was eating more than decorating, I think. She was not very happy about having to let Daddy have a piece of "her" gingerbread man when we got home. And Josiah was in his ultimate playing place. She plays so happily at Grandma's house. All the space and the carpet and things to explore.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kid Cuteness

Aliza helped put the M&Ms on the pretzel treats.

She's been singing a lot these days. Some times I understand the words, other times I don't. The other day in the car I totally understood the words. It went like this. "I love my hair. I love my feet. I love my mouth. I love my hair. I love my forehead. I love my mouth. I love my hair. I love my eyes. I love my hair." It went on and on and on. I said, "Do you love your voice?" She said no and kept on with I love my hair. Sure wish I could bottle up some positive feelings toward self for later years! I have a video of her singing/screaming Away in the Manger. It will be a classic some day. Jeremy will have to help me edit it before posting.

I was opening up mail in the kitchen while Josiah got himself in this position. He just had to cry while I got the camera. That's the modem back there by the wall. I figured I better have a picture to document why the internet wasn't working when Jeremy got home!

This smile. I think I smile about every time I see it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

At least I tried to surprise him...

First of all you have to understand a few things about my husband. He LOVES all things technology. And he loves surprises. Herein lies the problem....those two things are not compatible. I don't know enough about the latest and greatest products to be able to surprise him. He has to send me a link to a website that has the exact model that he wants. No fun for him.

But this year I had a Christmas idea for him. An iphone. He's been wanting one for a long time and has held out on buying one waiting for the perfect model with the right amount of memory and new cool features to be released. I knew a couple generations (I think they are called) had been released so I thought I was pretty safe.

What follows is the story of my attempt to purchase technology as a surprise for my husband. It's kind of long--sorry.

Tuesday: Mom took Aliza for the morning so Josiah and I ventured up to the AT&T store to purchase an iphone. Attempt failed because I was not an authorized user on the account. That's right. We've been married for 7 years and I'm not on the cell phone account. The salesperson says just tell your husband you want to change the plan....have him call and add you. Totally UNbelievable. I would never change the plan and Jeremy would know something is up. I call Mike, Jeremy's partner, who says that he will convince Jeremy to add him to the plan. Far more believable.

Tuesday afternoon: Chrissy tells me that all I have to do is log in to Jeremy's online account and add myself as an authorized user. She has walked through it herself and it looks easy enough. I go for it. In the process I reset Jeremy's password. He receives a text message from AT&T with a temporary password. Thankfully, he calls Mike....and I tell Mike to make up a good story. He does because Jeremy never suspected me.

Wednesday night: Jeremy and Mike pull a 14 hour night 8p-11a fixing a server. I email Mike and suggest that he pull up the AT&T site and add us as authorized users. He doesn't do it and so I assume he is never going to do it and take matters officially into my own hands!

Thursday at supper: I tell Jeremy that I have something I want to give him for Christmas. I want to surprise him, but he has information that I need to purchase it. I ask him to write down all his passwords. When he went to a movie later that night I hijacked his laptop, added myself as an authorized user and Matt helped me erase the history.

Home from the movie:
Jeremy: Did you use my computer?
Carla: Does it look like I used your computer?
Jeremy: No.
Jeremy: You erased the history.
Carla: Matt erased the history.
Jeremy: I got a text from AT&T.
Carla: Oh.

Friday: I knew that he had a good idea what was going on. So Chrissy and I took the children to AT&T store again to buy the phone. Once again no luck. They would not sell me a phone without activating it. Apparently people are reselling iphones via internet. So once again I had to leave without a phone.

Friday night: I told Jeremy the whole story in as much dramatic detail as I could! He had to agree that my story about needing his passwords was pretty good. I also concocted a story about how I was worried that if something happened to him there were accounts that I wouldn't have access to (That was after he was gone all night.). He also said that I could have added the iphone as a new number. He always has a good idea. Why didn't the talented salespeople at AT&T help us come up with a plan? Don't they want my money? As soon as our conversation was over he started looking for accessories so I figured he was happy.

Today: We went TOGETHER to the AT&T store and bought the iphone. Finally. It was anticlimatic for me, but he likes his new phone. Now I still have to come up with SOMETHING for Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Toy Organization and Ownership

Finished Product

10 seconds after the finished project was complete

Climbing in the tubs

I bought this toy organization system from Target. I decided it was time for some toy organization and lessons on ownership...hence the reason there is are girl tubs and boy tubs.

I read a book this summer that suggested that every toy needs an owner therefore eliminating the guessing game over whose turn it is to play with the toy and for how long they deserve to play with it. At the time I didn't agree with the idea. I thought that toys could be mutually owned by siblings. Well, it doesn't work in the adult world and it doesn't work in the kid world either.

In our house a dictator has taken over and has ensured that the weaker party has nothing and plays with nothing without being pestered and seemingly tortured. I decided that this dictator needs to be overthrown before Christmas so that she doesn't think that she has gotten double the gifts!

So I'm buying into the theory I read about. (You have to ask me for the name of the book because it is needs a few disclaimers before I generally recommend it!) Every toy has an owner. If someone wants to play with a toy they essentially "rent" it from the owner. If a squabble develops the toy reverts back to the owner. No discussion. No negotiation. The character quality of sharing and generosity is instilled in the child through the parents example and teaching of the child. And the hope is that as they grow and learn to be generous they will offer to let their siblings play with their toys.

It doesn't work exactly that way with a toddler and a baby. Obviously Josiah can't ask for permission or grant permission. But Aliza knows that she can't take Josiah's books up to her room and that they go back into his tubs. And that little step is at least a start!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tree Decorating

General disclaimer! Jeremy recently called me a "crazy blogging woman." I'm really not obsessed. I just have to write these little stories down before they disappear from my memory forever!

And now I can't seem to get rid of the italics. Anyway, we put up the tree tonight. I cut out decorations using my Cricut and used ribbon for hangers. I figure with two toddlers you can't go wrong with paper, ribbon and an artificial tree. The less policing I have to do the better this holiday will be. We also included a set of Nativity character ornaments. Aliza was particularly excited about them. She put them up...and took them down....and put them up.....about 5 times. I expect that she will do that tomorrow and the next day and the next. I'm only hoping that she won't wake up too early tomorrow. I know she won't want to lay around in Mommy's bed like normal. She will want to go downstairs and check on the tree!

That's chocolate around her mouth. I made pretzels with Hershey kisses and M & Ms on top. I don't think she ate too many pretzels, but plenty of kisses.

And Josiah was right in on the action. Aliza quickly decided to hang "her" decorations higher on the tree so Josiah couldn't reach them. He crawled around under the tree. Apparently Aliza tried to pull him out from under the tree by his pants. When we walked into the living room he was crying and pantless. He chewed on this paper decoration until it was in shreds. He giggled and smiled the whole time though.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving Day we had our meal at my parents. Thank goodness for a Mom to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I am so not ready to tackle turkey responsibility. It was a different experience to be the only child home for Thanksgiving. Aliza had fun pulling out every new toy, game or puzzle that she could find. And Josiah speaks for himself up on the dishwasher door. He was quite the explorer that day.

Friday morning we headed off to Jeremy's parents. It was our first trip since Josiah was 7 weeks old. Both of them were great in the car. The first night was a circus, but the second night was perfect. Both slept 11.5 hours. I slept about that long too! I was still exhausted from the first night. Somehow Jeremy slept through most of the circus. Why is that??? Anyway, Aliza had an interesting second Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma had bought sweet gherkins pickles since Aliza and I like them. She put about 12 or so in a bowl and asked Aliza to carry them to the table. Aliza took ownership of the bowl. Jeremy and I each convinced her to share one with us, but that was it. She ate every last pickle in the bowl and enjoyed every second of it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Josiah--9 Months

He's been out as long as he was in! We spent some time in the car today. 9 month olds are much better travelers than 7 week olds. He's pulling up on everything and letting go. He only stands for a couple seconds until he falls down. This month has been full of runny noses and fussiness. The problematic tooth FINALLY came through today!!! Hooray!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Things are Better Left Unknown

This is the week that marks the anniversary of my thyroid cancer treatments. Four years ago this year. Along with that I feel especially grateful for my voice. There has not been a Thanksgiving since when I sit at the table and think about what I'm thankful for that my voice is not right at the top of the list.

Today I am doubly thankful for my voice. Not only a voice that can speak words, but a voice that can sing a full range. Since I was told 4 years ago that "the vocal on the left side of your neck are not moving" I have had a bothersome cough. It is infrequent and has become less frequent over the years, but when it happens I feel like I can't breathe in and when I do breathe in makes a horrible sound. It is quite frightening which was reinforced last week when that cough happened four time since I had a cold and every time Aliza said, "Mama, you scare me." The fact that Aliza was scared sent me to the doctor--something I had avoided for four years.

My appointment was today. In some ways it was like reliving a bad dream. Having to go back to that office and face that doctor again. He looked at my vocal cords and sure enough...he said...."the vocal cords on the left side are not moving. After 4 fours they are not going to move. They are paralyzed." So how do I have a voice? Normally vocal cords meet in the middle of your throat. The vocal cords on the right side of my throat move past center to compensate for the lack of movement on the left side.

My cough is attributed to spasms of my vocal cords. Nothing to do about it. Just be careful about drinking enough, chewing my food enough and relaxing when I do cough to relax the spasm. The cough won't kill me. I'll eventually get air.

This was exactly why I didn't want to go back. I didn't want to know. Nothing changes. I still have a voice. I still have a random cough. My children will have to learn that is just how Mommy coughs sometimes. But now I feel like my voice is fragile somehow. Like at some point it will just stop working for whatever reason. I can't live in fear of that.

I'd like to tell the surgeon to be more careful. To slow down. To remember that he works on people with lives and families that are affected by his decisions. It's also tempting to see if I could get a few dollars of his insurance premium. I won't, but it's tempting.

I still believe God allowed me to speak again. But why did he stop short of fixing the anatomy? Of course if he "fixed" the anatomy I wouldn't have to keep trusting Him because it would all be fixed. This way I'm forever going to remember that I'm dependent on Him.

And I do praise him. I tell my children with a voice that I love them. I tell Jeremy with a voice that I love him. How can I let critical, degrading, judgmental things come out of my mouth when I'm dependent on the Lord to even speak anything?

When I picked Josiah up from his nap today my eyes filled with tears. During the weeks that I had no voice I remember pleading with the Lord saying that I wanted to sing to my babies...I HAD to sing to my babies. And I can! I sing to my babies. They sing with me. And now I'm crying again. I'm so so thankful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aliza Stories

Does this look like a can opener to you? It does to me too. But in Aliza's world it is a harmonica...and...a microphone. Her Grandpa Heslop plays harmonica.

She's always delighted when she rediscovers it. She is singing here. One night it had to go to bed with her.

I win the Way-Too-Trusting-Mom award today. Things went awry while I was in the shower this morning. Yes, that is dry erase marker on the sheets.

And on the walls. The thing is I had those markers on top of her tall dresser. I am still mystified as to how she got them off the dresser.

She knew right away that she was in trouble. As soon as I walked in she said she was sorry. I'm not a huge fan of using shame for punishment. So this is how it went. We bought Mr. Clean Magic Erasers at the grocery store. After supper (I had to wait until Josiah was taken care of and I could focus on Aliza.) we had to go to the Gospel Shop to buy a birthday present and she knew she could pick out a DVD. All the way home we talked about how we had to clean the walls before she could watch the new DVD and about how it was naughty to write on the walls. She got the point. When we got home we came straight upstairs and started scrubbing. She quickly got discouraged because although the marker came off the walls it took a good bit of elbow grease so Aliza wasn't seeing results. She wasn't allowed to go play with the sponge in the water....which she wanted to do. She won't be playing with markers any time soon!

And now we live happily ever after while watching the new Boz Christmas DVD.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mildly Profound!

I listen to the same 6 CDs in the car and it happens that Aliza's current favorite song (that she asks for all the time) is on a grown up CD. Actually it is Deluge by Bethany Prayer Network (a big G12 church in Louisiana).

The point is that there is a line in one song that catches my attention and makes me think. It says, "We don't want blessings, we want You." Isn't that true? Blessings are no good if we don't have the presence of God in our life. So often I spout off prayers asking for this or that, strength to make it through the day...or the minute. But more often I need to take time to experience the presence of God. To let God just make himself known to me.

I'm hoping that God comes up with a great way to show himself to a stay at home Mom who does more child watching than God watching. I think He's big enough to do that!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Does anyone else love hand me downs? Look how much money I saved in that pile of clothes! I love the feeling . haha. Anyway, I hit the jackpot tonight. Sizes range from 3-6 months on the left to 5T all the way on the right. Ok, sisters and sister friends you all are set! You can have boys or girls and I'll have you stocked....and then you can just pass them back if I need them again. =) Now...where to store them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


What do you do when it rains so much you think you may never see the sunshine again? Go puddle jumpin', of course!! That's what we did while Jeremy did a photoshoot. Aliza had a blast. And she was completely drenched.

Laura brought along this awesome umbrella that Aliza had a ball with. And Jeremy caught Aliza in a perfect pose! This is the same Laura who took our family pictures....that I forgot to give credit to in my previous post.