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.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heslop Family Pictures

So I just got my pictures and couldn't wait to post a few. I didn't post the one I'll use in our Christmas cards so ya'll will still have something to look forward to! haha! My favorite is the one of Aliza kissing Josiah.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Times, Bad Habits, & Anything Else that Come to Mind

Jeremy and I had a good time together last evening. We left the children with my parents....for the night....and spent some time together. This was the first time Josiah spent the night away from home. We had a romantic shopping trip buying socks that we were both in desperate need of and had dinner. There was a great deal of discussion as to whether we would go home or get a hotel room. We got a hotel room so that we would actually talk. If we would have come home we would have each found 10 separate things to do and then it would have been midnight and we wouldn't have spent any time together! I don't know about anyone else, but we have to be really intentional about making quality time for each other.

I've been guilty of letting Aliza develop a bad habit--eating lunch in the living room while watching a DVD. The problem is that she now wants to eat all of her meals in the living room. So I'm in strict consistency mode. "You have to finish your lunch BEFORE you watch your DVD." Today she still asked for "something else" to take in the living room. Did that mean that she didn't eat enough? Or that she is in the habit of eating while watching TV?

I wish I had answers to these parenting issues. Why does Aliza think that it's ok get in Josiah's face and scream? Why does she hit, push, or throw things to make him cry? Where did she get the exclamation, "oh god!" and how do I explain the difference between praying to God and taking god's name in vain? When will Josiah's tooth come through?

Josiah is just miserable. His nose is runny. He's having poopy diapers all the time. His gum is SO swollen. I'm giving him Tylenol, but it must only take the edge off. When I hold him, he wants to get on the floor. When I put him down, he wants back up. So insanely frustrating and tiring! It's GOT to get better when that tooth comes through!

On an entirely different note, we got some very cool .pdf files from our architect. (Now we can meet with the solar panel guy.) We've got some changes in mind and the guy who did the design is throwing in his two cents. I'm thinking you all are going to have to come see it for yourself when it's done! =) I'm not sure how I'm going to live through the horrific mess it's going to create, but the end product is something to look forward to. I had a moment of reality check when I realized that the first thing to go is the deck leaving our back door (that we use ALL the time) and the sliding door useless. That leaves me with our front door and means I walk all the way around the house to get to the car. Think....carrying children, groceries, all of the things Aliza takes with her in the car..... I'm thinking the car will get parked in a different spot!

Ok, that's all! I won't let anything else come to mind! Good night!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Big Sister

Aliza and Josiah are watching Grandpa cut down a tree with his chainsaw. When Aliza gets scared or nervous she starts worrying about the people around them. She'll say, "Mommy, it's ok." and rub my back or hug my leg. This time Josiah was outside so she kept saying, "Josiah, it's ok, you ok." Then she sat up on the deck bench and wanted to hold him. She hung on to him really tight all the while saying, "it's ok, you ok." It's nice to know that she can be tender. I'll try to remember that the next time I'm ready to clobber her for hitting, pushing or plain old pestering her brother!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Early Morning

I woke up at 4am this morning to some unusual rustling noises. I laid there for awhile and soon heard a little girl voice. So I got up to investigate. When I peeked into her room, I saw a little girl sitting on her bed intently flipping the pages of her new library books. I went in and told Aliza that it was still night and that she needed to go back to sleep. She said, "ok, just one more minute." She wasn't bothering me so I went back to bed. I think I still heard her at 4:30 so I don't know when she fell asleep. I don't mind if she looks at books as long as she goes back to sleep on her own and wakes up happy in the morning. Josiah got up at 6am on the dot. That's what made for the early morning.