Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On My Mind

It's one of those weeks where my thoughts are scattered. Here's what is on my mind.

  • Jury duty. I have the privilege (?) of doing my civic duty in April. This means I can not plan more than the evening ahead. I hate imposing on people, even people who love me, for child care. When I ask for child care I would prefer for it to be for something that I really want to do. Just sayin...
  • Material things. This topic needs a post of its own. I'll work on that.
  • My neighbor had us over for lunch this week. She also invited my 93 year old neighbor so that she could hold Anna. It was a lovely lunch and my children ate and behaved so well.
  • I have seen marked behavior improvement recently. I give a lot of credit for that to our meal time rules.
  • On the other hand, we had a horrible play date this week. It was with Mom's that I didn't know well and I had both of the older ones in time out. Embarrassing.
  • I'm still processing my MOPS experience.
  • Jeremy and I had a night alone last weekend. We attended a friend's ordination service. It was very nice to have some dedicated couple time.
  • This week I am consciously slowing down our schedule.
  • People who are disloyal disturb me.
  • Josiah was wearing earrings and necklaces when he greeted Jeremy tonight.
  • I still look at Aliza and can't believe I have a 5 year old.
  • And I've decided that Anna is just growing up too fast.
  • Like many other Moms I am so so so so ready for sun and warm weather. Our baby swing is already up and waiting.
  • I desperately need to be more creative in entertaining Aliza on the afternoons she doesn't nap. My excuse for now is that there will be school in the fall.
  • Tonight I finished a scrapbook of Josiah's 1st and 2nd year--ending with his 3rd birthday. I must look at it now so that I can be reminded how fast time flies. And then I'll go kiss his cheek and shed a few tears because he is so handsome and sweet and funny and cuddly and going to grow up and leave home way too soon!! (I won't do that last part, but that's what I'll feel like doing.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

This Afternoon's Thought

First of all, Anna rolled from her back to her tummy this evening. It seems too soon! 4 months and 3 days.

I have no idea what started this line of thinking. I was feeding Anna and Josiah and Aliza were watching Diego (I think). Just a very ordinary moment.

My children have been the source of spiritual lessons over the years. They have really opened my heart to realizing how much God loves me. I love my children so much and so deeply. To think that God loves my children even more than I do is almost unimaginable. To think that God loves ME that much is also almost unimaginable.

And this is what I started thinking...

I know how much I tell my children I love them and how much of an effort I make to show each of them that I love them. I just bet that since God loves me so much he goes to great lengths to show me that he loves me.

Then I thought how sad I would be and how my heart would hurt if my children missed it. If they ignored my affection to them. If they brushed away my efforts to show them my love. I thought how crushed I would be if they grew up and left home with the belief that Mom and Dad really didn't care and certainly couldn't/wouldn't love them.

How often do I/we do that to God? He loves us like crazy and he goes to great lengths to show us and tell us and I/we brush Him off, push Him away, think he can't possible love the likes of us. It is tragic! I bet it breaks his heart even MORE than my children could break my heart.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unpacking Treasures

This week my grandparents have been moving in to their apartment (a renovated garage attached to my parents home). There is not much I can do to help, but tonight I went over and helped Gramma and my Mom unpack and arrange the corner cupboard and china cupboard. I was really pleased to be able to help.

Many of the pieces have been in the family for several generations. My Gramma was so happy to see her treasures again. Gramma counted 60 teacups in that china cupboard. I arranged them to her specifications. She has a bottom shelf yet that used to house a set of china.

I jokingly said my children would not be allowed in her house. I really meant it though. I know it will be impossible to keep them out completely, but, my oh my, there is SO much glass.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anna--4 Months

Anna had her 4 month well check today and weighed in at 14 pounds 11 ounces. Our big milestone for 4 months is introducing cereal. We basically use it as practice so that by 6 months they are ready to actually swallow baby food. I start out offering cereal once a day for a couple weeks and when they start to get the hang of swallowing I give it at every meal. It also helps to set up a regular meal schedule.

Anna wasn't quite sure at first.

I'm still amazed at how laid back Anna is. I can't wait to see how her personality develops. She got two shots today. On the first one she grimaced. On the second she let out one wail, collected herself and started smiling and talking again. (I don't think she get laid-back-ness from me!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Surprise Party

Jeremy's Grandpa turned 80! We spent the weekend in PA to attend his surprise birthday party. I think he was surprised and enjoyed the party. The party was from 1-4 in the afternoon. That is not a time of day that I have confidence in my childrens' stamina or behavior. They did very well. So well that I was able to enjoy the party. Anna was fabulous. She was passed around to so many people and didn't fuss one time.

We stayed with Jeremy's aunt and uncle. They really adopt us while we are there. The children are super comfortable with them and we make ourselves very much at home. Uncle Darryl does construction for a living so he has a truck full of tools. Josiah LOVED going out to the truck, sitting on the tailgate and looking at all the tools. He convinced Darryl to take him out to the truck at least 5 times. Darryl patiently described all the tools to him and answered all of the Josiah's "What's that?" questions.

Now that we've been married almost 10 years I'm starting to feel like I'm making a few connections in Jeremy's extended family. It's a good feeling.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Couple Firsts

It's funny. I almost did not post our mealtime rules. I thought it was too insightful into my household. Thanks for your comments. It is good to know I'm not fighting a unique battle!

Tonight was the first night that Aliza cleaned up her plate. That included her 5 green beans. They have to take as many green beans as they are old. It was very exciting to give her a snack! Josiah, well, he ate everything except his 3 little green beans.

This was not Josiah's first haircut. It was the first time he sat by himself for his haircut. I was a little bit sad because he used to cuddle right into me because he was a little scared about getting his haircut. It was nice, though, not to have hair all over me.

This is how very, very close Anna is to rolling from her back to her tummy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just Call Us the Berenstein's

We have been reading a lot of Berenstain Bear's books recently. They seem to follow a pattern. A certain behavior deteriorates over time. Mama Bear gets fed up with that behavior. She gets Papa Bear on board. They tell Brother and Sister Bear the new rules and the family is much happier.

I suppose that is what has happened in the Heslop household. Mama Bear got tired of the craziness at the table and her childrens' pathetic eating habits. It happened over time for many reasons not the least was a pregnancy and subsequent newborn baby in the house. I made some rules, got Papa on board with me. Papa presented these rules at the supper table, and they were posted where everyone can see them. There has been an immediate attitude adjustment in the children; however, no one has had any snacks after supper yet.

There are going to be more measures taken in other areas of household life. That means Mama Bear is working hard during wake time and thinking hard during sleep time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aliza's Birthday Party

Aliza was feverish and miserable on her birthday. I was so disappointed for her. She said she was going to smile all day because it was her birthday. Aliza had a great attitude. She sat up long enough to open up her presents and put her Strawberry Shortcake costume on.

Aliza's birthday party was scheduled for the day after her birthday. I really thought Josiah was getting better that day. He didn't have a fever and was more active. Aliza had a bit more energy and Tylenol in the morning kept her fever down. (Little did I know that night would be horrible!) Jeremy's parents came for the party so I decided to just keep it as scheduled. Aliza had a super attitude when several people decided to avoid the germs and skip the party. She said, "It's ok. We'll take lots of pictures and put them on Facebook." For Aliza, the most enjoyable part of her birthday was the anticipation, the decorating and the planning.

One of the things Aliza really wanted was Strawberry Shortcake's friends. I splurged when I found them. I just couldn't resist. I think she was surprised when she saw her cake.
The decorations were completely Aliza's idea. The papers on the wall have Strawberry Shortcake stickers on them. She picked out the streamers and told me she wanted a line of yellow and a line of pink. Aliza has printed and cut out many, many Strawberry Shortcake friends. She wanted a friend where the streamers went "up."

Strawberry Shortcake. My Little Pony. Princess. Crafts.

The other thing Aliza really wanted was a pinata. I'm glad I found one one sale! Aliza picked a string to pull first and she picked the one that opened the pinata.

Aliza, Grandma Karen and I took a trip to Wal-Mart together. Aliza got to choose one thing as her gift from Grandma and Grandpa. The only stipulation that Grandma gave her was that it had to cost less than a thousand dollars. This was the hardest decision that Aliza ever had to make. She would narrow it down to 2 or 3 toys and then she just couldn't decide or she would see something else. I had to tell her that a few things cost a "thousand" dollars. Ultimately she narrowed it down to 2 things and said, "Mommy, you choose."

I can't believe I have a 5 year old. It feels like I've entered a new era in parenting.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Between birthday parties Grandad built his birthday present for Aliza and Josiah--a sandbox. A very very big sandbox. It was my idea. I had a flowerbed that I wasn't keeping up with so I thought if we squared off the corner it would make a great sandbox. It does! A sandbox big enough for the entire Sheats family community of cousins!

Yeah. That little square is 12 feet by 9 feet.

The first day Dad brought a truck load of sand. It was enough to play in, but didn't go very far in filling up the box. Aliza and Josiah had a bit of fun that day. (They were getting sick.)

On Friday Grandad brought basically a beach to our house. The kiddos were pretty sick that day, but did their best to enjoy it.

They helped shovel the sand off the trailer and played a little bit.

Thank you Grandad!!!! We will have lots of fun this summer.
(and I'll have lots of fun cleaning my house! haha)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Josiah's Party

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming... It sure is nice to have everyone feeling better.

Josiah's birthday party was perfect. He absolutely loved it. The next morning he woke up and told me that he lost his birthday party. He wanted it back.

Before his party started he could hardly contain his excitement. He and I were talking about what was going to happen at his party and he stopped, thought for a second and said "Thanks Mom" and gave me a big hug. All my efforts were totally worth. (The moment made his Grandma Karen cry!)

Trucks, tractors and tools. That sums up the party. Meghan helped me with his cake. I was thrilled to find these candy filled tools for favors.

Josiah was so excited about his cake. I had an extra truck that I gave him. I also gave him free run of the back of the cake. He drove his truck and tasted the frosting.

A shovel and rake just his size. That's a craftsman shovel. He can abuse it however he can be replaced for free. Thanks Grandad!

Caleb's idea for a gift for Josiah was a tractor calendar. Perfect. 3 year old Caleb knew just what his 3 year old cousin would like.

Josiah thanked everyone and just genuinely enjoyed every gift. Of course all of his gifts were trucks, trains, tractors, or tools!!!

He was exhausted by the end of the evening. At 7:30 he said he was tired and asked to go to bed. He took his trucks and tractors upstairs, played for a little while and then went to sleep. Little did I know he was getting sick.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He's Thirty Something!

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

I'm so glad Jeremy is feeling better. A week with him in bed was a very long week indeed. Jeremy is a natural teacher. He was maybe more excited about Joel's good shot than Joel was.
Of course Jeremy is going golfing today!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What We Look Like

I know they are sick when they can both lay on the couch without kicking each other and fighting.
Josiah has wanted me to hold him--a lot. At least once today I was holding a bottle for Anna (while holding her) and holding Josiah at the same time.

Josiah was showing signs of improvement this evening. Of course yesterday I thought Aliza was improving and today she had a fever again. Who knows what tomorrow will hold.

I haven't forgotten about those birthday party pictures!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some Cuteness

My little finger sucker. I'm also happy to note that is her left hand. =) I needed some cuteness tonight. Our house remains a desolate desert of sickness. Antibiotics, please work your magic...quickly!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Disruption Continues

(I just noticed this is my 500th post!)

Aliza was a trooper and did her very best to enjoy her birthday. She had such a great attitude when she found out her party was going to be smaller since she was sick. I thought Josiah was getting better yesterday. He was not feverish and had a pretty good energy level. Jeremy put in a full day of work and tylenol kept Aliza's fever under control.

Then last night was horrible. Josiah got hotter and hotter throughout the night. Aliza and Josiah were both crying in their sleep, kicking their legs and waking up frequently. Jeremy's parents are here for Aliza's birthday party so Aliza and Josiah are both camping out in our room again. We heard every noise and really got no sleep. At 5am I decided that I was taking Josiah to immediate care today and soon after Aliza woke up I decided I was taking her also.

Jeremy woke up feeling bad again. He went to immediate care on Thursday and is on antibiotics for a sinus infection. So Grandma Karen and I took Aliza and Josiah to immediate care. Bottom line. Josiah has a throat infection and Aliza has a throat and ear infection. Could be strep but neither one allowed that test to be done. They are both on antibiotics and hopefully will feel much better in a day or so.

I will be so glad when everyone is healthy and happy again. I held up pretty well during the week, but last night and today just about did me in. Having my partner in life down for just about a week now has been tough! There have been many moments that I have been thankful that Anna is such a content baby. She has had to entertain herself more than once this week while Josiah or Aliza or Jeremy has needed my attention.

Speaking of Anna. She has started to laugh out loud more easily. It is so cute.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

She's 5 Today!

Happy Birthday Aliza!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Disruption in the Festivities

I still have great pictures from Josiah's birthday and the huge sandbox that was built at our house today, but they will have to wait. I'm done in tonight. Jeremy has been in bed sick for 2 days now. Josiah is sick and I'm very afraid that Aliza is getting it. We have what everyone else has had. Fever, low energy, little appetite, cough etc. It is icky. I am hoping beyond hope that 1) Aliza can enjoy her birthday tomorrow and her birthday party on Friday 2) Anna stays healthy and 3) I stay healthy so I can keep on taking care of my family.

I need to wrap birthday presents and then I'm crawling in bed so that I can respond to all cries during the night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Parent Child Dedication

The first event of the weekend was Anna's Baby Dedication. This is always a special time of committing ourselves as parents to training Anna to love the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind and to love her neighbors as herself. What an awesome responsibility. I'm so thankful for our families, our church family and friends who contribute to her walk with the Lord and who support Jeremy and I as we raise our children.

I was really looking forward to this service. Jeremy put together a song list of Jesus Culture music. Music that really means a lot to me right now. Mom was off work so she was taking care of children so I thought I had a chance to listen to the sermon. It didn't happen that way. During worship Aliza and Josiah collided and Aliza busted her lip. Her lip was huge within minutes and upon closer inspection that piece of skin at the very top of the upper gum was torn. I could see a hole in her lip. I had a moment of fear that I was going to the Dr. instead of dedicating my child. Aliza was screaming and carrying on. Clearly I was out of the service at this point. I got her calmed down and found some ice. She was still howling whenever she felt her fat lip, but she stuck close to me and we survived. When I came back in the service it was time for the dedication and it was all I could do to keep Aliza quiet in the front. Disappointing...

I have some pictures though!

Anna. (I love that little face! Just a side note.) As I prayed for Anna during my pregnancy I prayed for lots of things, but I always came back to praying that Anna would choose to passionately follow Jesus through her life. That was, by far, the theme of my prayers. Elizabeth, Anna's middle name, means "consecrated to God." The Bible tells us about a woman named Anna in Luke 2:36-38. Anna was a prophetess. "She never left the temple, but worshiped day and night, fasting and praying." The other important part of this story to me is that Anna recognized Jesus when she saw Him. I want Anna to recognize Jesus when she "sees" Him. My hope is that Anna chooses to follow Jesus as the Anna in the Bible did. With a life devoted to Him. A life that honors Him above all. And with a heart completely surrendered to God.