Thursday, September 29, 2011


I went in to tuck William in, and he grabbed the sleeve of my robe and said, "I want this blanket!"

Joy has a favorite now.  I was rocking her, and she started crying and scrambling to get down.  I let her down, and she walked over to her crib, crying and reaching for a fat stuffed blue pony inside.  I got it out for her, we sat back down in the rocking chair, and she squished her face into the pony and went to sleep.

Leaving daycare, William saw one of the other kids' mom walking in.  He told me, "That's Ashton's mom.  That's not my mommy.  You're my mommy.  I don't want her to be my mommy."

William started to run off in the grocery store, and I called him back and told him no running in the store.  His response: "But I neeeeeed to!"

I put some honey mustard on Joy's french fry.  She didn't like it.  She gagged a little bit, then grabbed a napkin and wiped off her fry.

Coming downstairs one morning, William saw his empty dinner plate from the night before sitting on the dinner table, and he told me, "I ate all my chicken nuggets!  I listened to Daddy!"

I had to be out and missed bedtime one night.  Omar told me that Joy had missed me and was crying for me.  When I got home, she was asleep, but I went in and rubbed her back lightly.  She peeked open one eye and looke at me, then closed her eyes, snuggled down and did her "happy kicks."

We had pancakes for dinner one night.  Joy loves pancakes, so at the end of dinner when she was full, she kept putting pancake pieces in her mouth, sucking off the syrup, then pulling the pancake out and throwing it on the floor.

I told William to drink his milk so he can grow big and strong like dinner.  His response: "Daddy is big, and he doesn't drink milk!" (Omar is lactose intolerant.)

I was trying to get Joy to say "bye bye" for Omar to hear, but she wouldn't do it.  I went into the kitchen to clean up while Omar stayed with the kids in the living room.  After a bit, I heard Joy saying, "bye bye, bye bye!" I looked in and saw Omar sitting with his back to the stairs, but he had left the gate open and Joy was halfway up the stairs waving through the banisters!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

My first photo recipe blog!  I always thought these looked like fun, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I've really been into baking lately.  I was going to try a blog with my noodle hot dogs, but I didn't like how they came out. Yesterday afternoon, I made Apple Coffee Cake.  I got the recipe from Betty Crocker. I had a few problems with the assembly, but you can learn from my mistakes.

I've started writing my recipes on 4x6 cards, in preparation for the recipe box that I will one day own.  Since I've had a history of forgetting to turn on the oven until I'm ready to put the pan in (come on, you know you've done this), I write the oven temperature right next to the name of the recipe at the top of the card.  So my recipe title reads "Apple Coffee Cake 400F."  Helps me to remember to turn on my oven to preheat while I assemble my recipe.  I thumbtack the recipe to the wall next to my mixing area.

Here's the start: Bisquick, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg, just mixed together with a wooden spoon.  After reviewing the recipe (always read the whole recipe through a couple times before starting), I decided the Kitchenaide wasn't necessary, all the mixing can easily be done by hand.

This made me a little excited.  I don't often get to use my pastry knife. =)

I cut the butter into pats, and started cutting it in until crumbly (bottom).  It didn't take long.  The pastry knife got gummed up some, and I stopped a couple times to clean it off, but found that if I just kept going, it cleaned itself off. I set my crumb mixture off to the side, and started on my batter.

I was out of milk, so I borrowed some of Omar's Lactaid Milk.

Look!  I can crack an egg with one hand. 
I learned it from Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. "It's all in the wrist."

On the left is the batter just stirred together, to the right, after I beat it "vigorously for 30 seconds with spoon."

 Got my greased 9x9" pan.  Don't you hate it when you put the batter in (this is half the batter), and it looks like there's no way it will cover the whole pan?  All it takes is a little patience, though.  Notice I ditched the wooden spoon for a spatula.  It's a pretty sticky batter, so the spatula was much better for spreading.

 Apples!  I have always been horrible peeling apples by hand. The day I realized I could use the vegetable peeler was a Eureka! moment for me.

Apples layered on top of the batter, then sprinkled with half the crumb mixture from above. I've tried various methods of sprinkling crumb mixtures like this (using a spoon, gently shaking it out of the bowl), but I've found that the best method is just to use my clean hands.  Grab a handful and sprinkle!  This method gives me the most control.

Seeing as how the batter was so sticky, I knew the crumbs would stick to it.  My strategy was to put little blops all over, and then gently smooth out and connect the blops.  It didn't work.  Not only did the crumbs stick into the batter, the apples did too!  I was about ready to give up, I was so frustrated.  But I just kept trying, and ended up with the last photo on the bottom.  Please, if anyone has a better way to do this, let me know!

Luckily, there were more crumbs to sprinkle over the top and hide the imperfections! Also, chopped pecans.  The recipe said 2 Tbsp of chopped nuts, but that didn't look like enough to me.  So I added a little more.

While the coffee cake was in the oven, I cleaned up my kitchen, and gave the leftover apple bits to the kids for a snack.

Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean!

I love my little whisk! It's perfect for these small jobs like the glaze (also good for scrambling a couple eggs for the kids).  I started with 2tsp milk at the top right, but that was way too thick for drizzling.  I added the entire 3rd tsp, and that was perfect (bottom picture).

A couple practice drizzles in the bowl with my spoon, and then all over the cake!  Go faster for a thinner line, slower for a thicker line, but don't really worry about it too much, it looks beautiful in the end.

I recommend it served with a cup of Don Francisco's Vanilla Nut Coffee.  My favorite coffee!  The cake was pretty good, a little dry, but good flavor.  Love the cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering and Moving Forward

I was in school, 10th grade.  I was walking back to the classroom from the library with my world history class. A student passing in the hallway told our teacher that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.  Our teacher didn't believe him.  When we got back to the classroom, he turned on the TV, and there it was.  Most of the teachers had the TV on for the rest of the day; very little work got done. I went home and turned on CNN for probably the first time in my life, so that I could keep watching, even though I had no idea who Al Quaida or the Taliban were.

The high school was right across the street from the main entrance to Cherry Point Marine Base. The base was on such high security, a lot of the kids had trouble getting home that day.  For months after, they searched every car going on base. The line backed up for about two miles every morning.  The teachers quit counting tardies; even the buses were late most days.

I remember meeting up with my brother in Spanish class.  He'd been trying to call our dad, but couldn't get through.  Dad was ok.  He told us, later, that he'd gone over to the church, and they went out to the front steps and passed out lemonade to the droves of people just walking to get out of downtown.

But even as I paused this morning to reflect on these things, I was interrupted by a little boy's voice, demanding to have his shoes tightened.  Because even though it seemed like everything stopped that day, life did go on.  And I'm so glad it did, because I have so much to be thankful for today.  Since that day 10 years ago, I graduated college, got married, had two beautiful kids.  And one day, my kids will learn about 9/11 in a history class.  They will learn what a horrible day it was, but it won't be burned in their memories like it is in ours.  But as I remember today, I am proud to be an American, I honor every one who has given their lives for our freedom, and I hug my kids just a little bit tighter.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Parent's Love

As I was buckling Joy into her carseat this Sunday morning, I had one of those moments.  If you're a parent I'm sure you've experienced it: this moment when you are suddenly overwhelmed by how much you love this child.  It amazes me to think how much love my heart holds for my two precious children.

Of course, since it was Sunday, my thoughts must tend towards a religious direction.  I began to think about how God's love is often compared to a parent's love for his child.  I thought, "I love these kids so much, how amazing that God could love me the same way."

But then I realized that I was wrong.  A parent's love is a shabby metaphor for God's love.  Because as a parent, my love is still flawed by human sin.  I am greedy, I am selfish, I lose my temper.  But God's love is perfect (reference 1 Corinthians 13, you know, the "love is patient, love is kind" passage).  Now that really is amazing, probably beyond what my feeble mind can comprehend.

As I am still trying to think this idea through, I go on to church, the service starts, and Jeremy Bell begins to preach.  His passage was Ephesians 6:1-4, and he was talking about parenting.  He was primarily speaking about the need for godly fathers, but there was still room in the message for us mothers.  A key point in his message is that the purpose of discipline is to bring your children closer to God, and when we discipline, our children should see Jesus in us.  We need to be demonstrating God's love to our children.

But wait, I just realized this morning how flawed my parental love is, and how perfect God's love is, how am I suppose to achieve such a high standard?  Just that morning, even, I had lost my temper with William.  There was no godly discipline involved, I was just angry with him when I put him in the bathroom for time out.  How can I demonstrate God's love to my children?

Don't worry, God wasn't done speaking to me yet.

Scene: a little downtime in front of the computer the next morning, perusing Facebook of course.  What's this?  Lindsay and Britney are talking about a Christian author named Rachel Jankovic who writes about motherhood.  I go to check Lindsay's blog, and find a link to an article.

One of my favorite lines in that article, about those moments when we lose control: "And when this happens, our own sinfulness does not detract from the power of the gospel, it illustrates why we need it."

In those moments when we fall so short of showing God's love to our children is when we need to cling to God's love ourselves.  We fall on His gracy and mercy, accept His forgiveness, seek His guidance, and plunge back in to try again in His strength.  And this is how we learn to show His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and yes, His love, to our children.

Dear God,

Thank you for your amazing love, beyond what I can comprehend.  Thank you for your grace and mercy that You shower upon me daily.  Help me to rest in that assurance, to find my strength in You.

Thank you for blessing me through my children.  Thank you for the joy they bring to my life.  Please guide Omar and me as we raise these kids to know You.  Teach us daily, so we can teach them.  Help us to rely on You, so that we can show Your love to our kids.


Friday, September 2, 2011


Dropping William off at daycare one morning, I paused to talk to Faye about his last eye appointment and prognosis.  As we were ending our conversation, we both looked over at William sitting at the breakfast table.  When he saw us looking, he shouted, "Rock and roll!" with appropriate hand gesture.

Joy got her twelve month shots last week. She started crying, and I picked her up as soon as I could, and the nurse quickly scooped up her supplies and left.  After a few minutes, Joy calmed down, looked over at the door where the nurse had exited, and in a firm, angry voice said, "Dah! Ba dah! Ah!" and shook her little fist at the door.

Conversation as I tuck William into bed:
William: "Sleep with me!"
Me: "No, I have to sleep in my bed."
William: "No, your bed is too big for you!"

We went to pastor's house for lunch last Sunday.  Miss Sandy had saved a dead butterfuly for William to look at.  William held it gently in his hands for a few minutes admiring the colors.  Then he sat down on the ground and said, "Here he goes!"  When the butterfly didn't go anywhere, William looked up and announced, "It needs new batteries!"

William did so good getting his flu shot.  He didn't cry at all, just gave a little shout/whine when he got the shot, then said, "I need a lollipop."

Joy was standing at the couch, and I went to take her hand so she could walk to the stairs to go to bed.  But instead of forwards, Joy started walking backwards!  She was so proud of herself.

Joy likes to drape articles of clothing around her neck in an attempt to dress herself.  And her idea of helping with the laundry is to pull all the clothes out of the basket and scatter them across the floor.

William rode his tricycle all the way to the park, played for over half an hour, then rode his tricycle all the way home!  His first complaint when arriving home was, "I'm hungry!"  Then he napped for 2-1/2 hours.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I have a younger sister.  Her name is Melissa.  We've been friends my whole life.  But I'm not going to talk about her in this post.

This post is about two of my sisters that God has blessed me with through marriage, Erin and Connie.

Erin and I got along from the start.  I helped time her wedding processional.  But we didn't really get to know each other until January 2010, when we both found out within days of each other that we were pregnant.  My second, Erin's first.  Of course, that was an instant connection.  Then we both started having symptoms that led us to believe we might be having miscarriages.  That was pretty much an instant bond.  At that point, we were emailing each other every day, sometimes twice a day, to check on each other and comfort each other.  What a relief when we found out both the babies were ok!

And the bond stuck.  We continued emailing each other (though not quite as often), about our pregnancies, and then about labor, and then about our babies.  And our topics of discussion just started widening out more and more, until here we are a year and a half later, and we literally talk about everything (seriously, you probably can't name a topic that we wouldn't talk about).  If anything happens, Erin is one of the very first people I have to tell!  Getting an email from Erin is always a highlight in my day.  Or a text.  Neither of us likes the phone very much. Having Erin as my sister has been, still is, and I'm sure will always be a huge blessing in my life.

I took longer to adjust to Connie.  The first time Omar took me to visit Connie, when we were just engaged, I was so uncomfortable.  I didn't know how to talk to her, or what to do.  Now that I've gotten to know her better, I absolutely love her.  I can tell she likes it when we visit; she smiles when she watches the kids, and likes to see photos that we bring for her.  She pays attention when I talk to her, and she likes to be touched: rubbing her arm, or especially stroking her hair. She always closes her eyes in enjoyment when I stroke her hair.  I enjoy the time we spend with her now; it feels natural just to sit and chat with her and let her know what's going on in our lives.  This last time we were there, I showed her some pictures of Titus, so she could see how big he is getting.  I showed her some of the scenery in Wyoming, too.  I think she agrees that would be a wonderful place to visit. We always try to take the kids, because Connie likes to watch their antics, but they limit our visits, because by the end of an hour, they are pretty restless and ready to go.  But they are getting used to visiting Connie, too.  William used to be afraid of the big wheel chairs and everything, but he's much more comfortable now.  And Joy was so sweet to Connie this last time, she stroked her face a little and waved bye-bye when we left (Joy doesn't wave bye-bye very often). We need to get down to San Diego to visit her more often.

My beautiful sisters.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crockpot Magic

I am currently in love with my crockpot. Cooking only one or two times a week?  Five minute clean-up after dinner?  Yes, please!

The last few weeks, we've simply been doing a large crockpot meal at the beginning of the week, and eating the leftovers for the rest of the week.  Saves money and time!

It's so wonderful to come home and not be rushing around trying to figure out what's for dinner and cook.  Instead, I can come home and play with my kids, knowing that when it's time to eat, I just have to put a plate in the microwave for a couple minutes.

And after dinner?  Stick a few plates and glasses in the dishwashers, wipe down the table and counters, and actually have some time to relax after the kids go to bed!

I've also found that I really like crockpotting overnight.  It's an idea that has come to my attention many times before, but I always forget about it before actually trying it.  Now it's my favorite.  I discovered that after the kids are in bed, I can actually relax while I'm cooking, and I enjoy the process of chopping and sauteeing and mixing things to put in the crockpot.  The next morning, I transfer the food to tupperware and put it in the fridge, and then quickly wash the crock before the food dries onto it.   Then I head to work already feeling a sense of accomplishment in the day!

And we're cranking out some great meals.  My sister Erin gave me a taco meat recipe that is so delicious!  And this week, we produced our own version of beef stew served over rice that came out quite good.  I also have a southwest chicken recipe to try, from one of my coworkers.  And of course, there's always my classic crockpot stand by: chili!

If you have a great crockpot recipe that I can try, please share!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Stories


As I buckled William into the carseat this morning, he started singing (to the tune of Jesus Loves Me): "Jesus buckles me in my seat..."


I don't usually put shoes on Joy for daycare, just for things like going to the store or the park.  This morning, though, Joy sat and watched while William and I put on our shoes.  Then she crawled over to the shoe rack and grabbed her shoes, and started calling me and waving her shoes at me.  So I put her shoes on, and she was happy. =)


3am, I am awakened from a sound sleep...
Omar: "How is William?  I need an answer here. How is William?"
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Omar: "I don't know.  How is William?"
Me: "I don't know, I haven't heard anything from the kids in 3 hours.  You woke me up."
Omar: "Oh. How is he?"
At this point, I ignored him and rolled over and went back to sleep.  Of course, Omar remembers none of this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

True Story

So yesterday, I just had a kind of rough day at work.  I was slammed with more work than I was expecting, and nothing went smoothly, and I was trying to train two new girls in medical records.

Right before I left, I was chatting with my coworker and said, "You know what would make everything better? A peach milkshake from Chik Fil A."

I picked up Omar and the kids, and told Omar about my day as we all got settled in the car and left the church parking lot.  I did not mention my conversation at the end of the day with my coworker, and Omar doesn't know her (just for the record). Omar said we needed to go to the Target in Foothill Ranch because we needed handsoap and breakfast food for Joy.  I agreed, but asked why Foothill Ranch because the one on Jeronimo is much closer.

My absolutely, amazing, wonderful, loving husband said, "Because it's next to the Chik Fil A, and you need a peach milkshake!"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

OC Fair

We took the kids to the Orange County Fair yesterday!  I hadn't been in years, and it was tons of fun to go with the kids.
We left home around 9:30, right after Joy's morning nap.  The first stop was Target, to get a leash for William.  Yes, I put my son on a leash.  I always thought I would never do that to my kid, but we knew it would be so busy at the fair, and William is prone to taking off suddenly.  So we got him one of the monkey backpacks, with a leash for a tail.  It worked out so great!  It was slightly problematic, because William thought that pulling on it and running in circles around us was a great new game, but it was very reassuring to know exactly where he was all the time.  For Joy, we tried out a new wrap with the Moby: the hip hold.  Joy loved it, she could look around and see and reach for things, but she could also lay her head on me and snuggle close when all the sights and sounds got intimidating.  And it was a better hold for me, because she is getting too heavy for the traditional front wrap.

The excitement for the kids started in the parking lot of the fairgrounds.  William was so excited to see all the cars, and he could see the ferris wheel, and Joy was pointing and smiling at everything.  We walked past a charter bus that backfired, and William jumped and screamed, then laughed.

We made it through the ticket booth just in time to catch the Early Bird $2 admission for me and Omar, and of course the kids were free.

First stop was livestock. We saw cows, sheep, and pigs.  The sheep were quite noisy, and every time one bleated at William, he jumped and yelled back.  One of the girls from the youth group at church had a lamb there named Thor, so we saw her and got to meet Thor.  That's the one in the video on Omar's Facebook, if you saw that.

As we came out of the last barn, we saw two HUGE oxen yolked together.  They were giving a small demonstration.  Their shoulders were taller than Omar.  William was mostly unimpressed though, until one of the oxen starting peeing, at which point, William stopped in dismay, "Oh, maaaan!"

We wondered through the fairgrounds and soon stumbled across the pony rides.  Of course, every horse William meets now must be Bullseye from Toy Story.  So William got a ride on Bullseye.  As we continued our walk, we kept passing signs for roasted corn on the cob, giant turkey legs, fish and chips, hot dogs, and of course fried everything.  Joy start shouting out in excitement everytime she saw some one with food, so we realized it was probably time for some lunch.

Despite all the exotic offerings, we determined that the thing the kids were most likely to eat were hot dogs and french fries.  (Actually, Joy would probably have eaten anything, but William is pickier.)  We paid a small fortune for some sunscreen, because of course we had forgotten to bring any.  I lathered up Joy and myself while Omar took William to the bathroom.  Then I did William while Omar got us some food.  The hot dogs for the kids, and some chicken fajitas and roasted corn for me and Omar.  Joy sat on the table smiling and being adorable while waiting, charming everyone sitting nearby.

William ate a decent amount of food, and Joy ate everything she could get in her mouth, and took a hot dog bun along for the ride when we got up to continue exploring.

We were running out of time, energy, and money, so we just wandered a little further into the fairgrounds.  We stopped a minute to hear a band playing, but William didn't know why he couldn't go up and play the drums.  We saw more signs for foods, and stumble upon the kids rides, but decided not to do any that day.  

Then we found a "Backyard Monsters" exhibit.  It was a tent of bugs.  There were several giant robotic bugs that moved.  William screamed a little when the massive wasp lunged towards him a bit.  But William liked looking at all the samples of bugs in the cases, all the beetles and walking sticks and stuff.

After that, we decided to call it a day. We headed back towards the parking lot and decided to get a sweet treat to end our day.  We were a little short on cash, so no cotton candy, but we were able to get a large cherry lime icee to share.  Joy was really into the icee; she kept trying to climb out of the Moby wrap to get to it when it wasn't her turn.

Into the car and trying to navigate our way out of the fairgrounds.  Both kids were gone before we hit the freeway.  Unfortunately, they both thought that the half hour ride home was enough of a nap and proceeded to be cranky the rest of the day.  William only sweetened up when Elvis and Lauren came over to hang out, and he told them about everything he saw at the fair.

We had a blast, and we're planning on going back again before the fair ends.  We'll go a little earlier to do a little more before the kids hit their limit.  I want to let William try some rides, and some cotton candy.  I want to see the glass blower and the Ice Museum. And then Omar and I want to abandon the kids one evening and go on our own to have some fun.  Maybe with the Illescases.  I need to eat something fried.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long Overdue

I am long overdue for a post about my kids.  So here you go, an array of stories, in no particular order:

My brother was in town this weekend, and we had lunch with him on Sunday.  While happily chowing down on french fries, Joy paused a moment to wave a french fry at Chris and tell him, "I like that!"

William was asleep when we arrived at the restaurant.  But as we tried to lay him down across some chairs, he started to stir, and spotted the basket of chips on the table.  Instantly he sat up, look around, said, "chips!" and started eating.

Omar's car had to go to the dealer for some repairs.  After work, the kids and I took Omar to pick up the car.  We hung out in the parking lot for a few minutes to make sure Omar got the car okay, and I told William we were waiting for Daddy.  When I saw Omar start driving in his car, I backed out of my spot to follow.  William started yelling at me, "No, no! Don't go! We have to stop!  We have to wait for Daddy!"  I told him that Daddy had his car, and pointed it out as Omar drove by.  Omar honked and waved as he passed, so I told William, "Let's follow Daddy home," and he agreed to that plan.

Our couch reclines, and last night Omar laid back in the his section.  Joy seized the opportunity to try to crawl back there.  I saw her go around the corner, but thought she was just going to rattle the gate at the bottom of the stairs.  Omar and I stared at each other in surprise when we heard a squawk from right behind us.  I jumped up to find Joy stuck in the spot where it got narrow again after the wider opening from the recliner.  I told Omar not to move, and with a little squirming, Joy got backed out enough for me to grab her and pull her out.  She was a little upset and covered in lint and dust.

William keeps telling me that Joy wants to sleep in his bed with him.

William likes to share his granola bar with Joy.  They sit on the floor together, and William takes a bite, then gives Joy a bite, and they eat the whole granola bar that way.

After William threw up last Friday, I took him downstairs to tell Omar.  After I told Omar what happened, William nodded very seriously and said, "It's yucky."

Joy's favorite book is "Baby Says Peekaboo."  It has lift up flaps, and textured objects, and a mirror on the last page.  She always finds that book for her bedtime story.  Even if I hide it in the back of the book cabinet, she'll pull all the other books out and find it.  When my mom babysat last Sunday, I forgot to tell her that we had added that to the routine.  But after my mom put Joy in her pajamas, she said Joy crawled over and opened the cabinet and got that book out for my mom to read to her.

And that concludes this installment of William and Joy stories.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Kind of Woman I Want to Be

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the kind of woman I want to be.

There's a woman at my work named Judy.  She's one of my favorite coworkers.  She's not a Christian, but if you could get to heaven by good works, she would be there in a heartbeat.  She's the kind of person who will always go out of her way to help you.  Even if she's busy, and it's not in her job description, and she doesn't know the answer, she will still drop everything and help you figure it out.  She's the kind of person who always shows up with little gifts and trinkets because "I saw this, and I just thought of you..."  She's the one who always remembers the birthdays, and holidays, and special occassions, and celebrates with decorations, cards, or cakes as needed.  She's the kind of person who not only brings doughnuts to the office, but when she hears you mention that you like the blueberry doughnuts, she always remembers to include a blueberry one in the box.  She so rarely speaks ill of some one, that when she does, you know something must really be wrong.  And even when everything at work is extremely hectic and stressful, she still keeps an upbeat attitude and helps us remember to laugh.  Last week, she received the Values in Action award for Service, and I can't think of anyone more deserving.

Add to this description, some elements of Pastor David's sermon on Sunday about loving others as Jesus loved us, and there you have the woman I want to be.  Some one who shows God's love in every action and word, always thinking of others and serving.

But I fall so short.  So very short.  Lately, I've been having trouble just taking care of my family and keeping my house tidy, and I never even remember to send birthday cards to my nieces and nephews. And I'm very selfish. And I definitely complain. A lot.

So how do I get from here to there?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Heartache and Forgiveness

I have started the process of weaning Joy.  We are taking it slow, just eliminating the mid-day feeding right now.  But one of the steps I'm trying to take is to un-associate nursing and sleeping.

So this evening, I nursed Joy before her bath, then went to just put her to bed after her bath.  She did not like that idea at all.  She cried and screamed at me.  I held her the whole time, because nursing is such a close bond, I didn't want her to feel like I was abandoning her by refusing to let her nurse.  She kept crying and reaching her arms up at me.  It was so heartbreaking, because I knew exactly what she wanted and how easy it would be to give it to her.  But I just kept holding her, rocking her, and singing to her. 

It felt like forever, but I guess it was just about 5 minutes before she finally calmed down.  I layed her down in her crib and gently rubbed her back and kept humming until I saw her eyes beginning to drift shut; then I quietly left.  I felt horrible and just wanted to sit down and cry.

5 minutes later, she started fussing again.  I went in to check on her.  She had rolled over onto her back, and when she saw me come in, she smiled at me.  I walked over and rolled her back onto her tummy, and she looked back over her shoulder and smiled again, and just kind of squirmed around getting comfortable.  I said good night, went back out, and she went to sleep. 

I felt so much better.  It was like she had called me back in to tell me that she forgave me, and she was sorry for acting the way she did.  Now I feel like this whole weaning process is going to be ok.  I know there will be many more hard moments like tonight, but we'll come out all right in the end, and I'll still have my special bond with my special girl.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beautiful Day

First off, Joy wore this today:

Everytime she wears this outfit, I want to start singing "You Are My Sunshine."  So I do.  All day.  She loves it.

Second, although I was loving my cuddle time on the couch with my kiddos, which looked something like this:

It was such a beautiful day outside (see that sun shining in the window?) that I knew I had to get them outside.  We stay inside so much, because I'm usually trying to get chores done, but I ditched all that today, and we went outside.

We spent about an hour outside.  For the majority of the time, we were just right outside the front door.  We took out a blanket for Joy, and a ball and his tricycle for William.  At first, I spread the blanket on the grass for Joy, but she kept reaching over and trying to eat the grass, so I had to move her to the sidewalk and just keep close to be sure she didn't fall over and hit her head.  William rode his tricycle a little and chased his ball around.  Our next door neighbor's son who is 6 or 7 came out and played ball with William a little, too.  When we got bored of that, we put our things inside and went for a walk.  I just let William lead the way, and we counted stairs and found flowers before looping back around to our house.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous today: sunny and beautiful without being hot.  We had a great time.

When we got home, I made William and Joy hot dogs and peas for dinner.  I made french fries, too, but they got burnt.  They both ate really well.

Isn't she getting good with her sippy cup?  Although I think she's chewing more than drinking.

Joy was exhausted and went to bed at 6:30, so I got some extra cuddle time with William before he went to bed.  It was a good way to end the day.  And there is nothing sweeter than when my little boy spontaneously tells me that he "looooves" me.


I'm going to end with a prayer request for my boy.  This is him in his new carseat.  Look at his eyes.

We first noted a couple months ago that something didn't look right, and it's gotten noticeably worse.  Omar had him screened at the school last week, and they confirmed that something was wrong and labeled it.  He's got severe strabismus, which is a problem with the eye muscles, as well as severely impaired vision in his left eye.  He has an appointment with an ophthalmologist on May 4th.  From my research, I've learned that surgery is a common option for strabismus, and then he may still need glasses for his vision.  But we won't really know anything until his appointment, but his eye keeps looking worse, so please keep William's eyes and vision in your prayers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conversations with William

(William is in the bathroom doing his thing on the toilet.  From the bedroom, Omar and I hear a what sounds like a small explosion, and then a small whine.  I go to check.)
Mommy: Are you okay?
William (with a smile): I made a big poop!
(It's true.  He did.)

(William is helping me with the laundry.  I ask him to push the basket of clean clothes that just came out of the dryer into the bedroom.  He does.  I follow a few minutes later, and find him very carefully putting all the clean clothes from the basket into the dirty laundry hamper.)
Mommy: What are you doing?
William: I'm doing a good job!

(William has been in bed about an hour.)
William: Mommy! Mommy!
Mommy (walking into bedroom): What's wrong, William?
William (pointing to leg pulled up to his chest): My knee is bent!
Mommy: Ok.
William: My knee!  It's bent!
Mommy: Does it hurt?
William: No, it's bent!
Mommy: Well, that's ok, it's suppose to bend.
William: I have to go potty.

Mommy: Are you a bird?
William: No!
Mommy: Are you a puppy?
William: No!
Mommy: Are you a William?
William: No!
Mommy: No? Who are you, then?
William: I'm daddy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Baby Girl

I love my special bond with my baby girl.  Joy is more attached to me than William was at this age.  Maybe partly because of the breastfeeding: I only did a couple months with William, but Joy and I are still going.  Whatever the reason, she is definitely a mommy's girl right now.  I love to see her little arms reaching for me.  She's cutting a tooth right now, and I hate to see her hurting and not feeling good.  My precious baby girl...

I love her when she's happy...

I love her when she's grumpy...

I love her when she's awake...

I love her when she's sleeping...

I love her when she's sick...

I love her when she's healthy...

I love her when she's relaxing...

I love her when she's playing...

I love her when she's shy...

I love her when she's up to something...

I don't think I could love her more. <3

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I feel like I have earned my right to some relaxation this evening.  I got so much done today. 

Last night, Omar helped me kick off my productive day by helping me pick up the living room. I also got the kitchen cleaned up, including wiping off counters and tables and getting into the corners with the broom.  I found so many puffs.  Joy is getting pretty good at getting them into her mouth, but they still seem to end up everywhere.

We went to bed late, but the kids kind of let us sleep in this morning.  Joy was up at 6, but I just took her to bed with me.  William was up at 7, so he came to bed too and we turned on Toy Story 3.  So we didn't really get up until 8.

My big accomplishment of the morning was vacuuming the whole house.  Both my kids are terrified of the vacuum.  As soon as he saw me pulling it out, William yelled, "Don't vacuum my toes!" and ran to climb up on the couch with Joy.  And Joy cried everytime the vacuum came near.  Her face was so sad and terrified; I felt really bad and gave her extra cuddles when I was done.  When we moved upstairs, I put them both in the crib while I vacuumed.  William seemed to think that was a safe spot, but Joy was still worried the vacuum was going to get her, so she still cried and had to have more cuddles.

Mid-day, I found time to take a nap with Joy.  She was so tired, but wouldn't go down, so I finally layed her on the living room floor and layed down with her for a while.  She slept for an hour and a half there; I layed with her for about an hour, then got up.

After naps, we all went to the store, and I practiced some of my new money saving stuff.  Using coupons, we saved over 10% on our Target shopping trip.  Also, I tried out my new iPhone app call Shopkick.  I think it's going to be good; easy to use and rewards that'll I'll actually use.  I just downloaded it last night, and I'm already up to level 4 with 300 points.  We're really aiming to save money so we can both pay off our debt and also be able to give more.

By the time we got home, we just had time to feed the kids dinner and put them to bed.  Then I finished putting laundry away and cleaning the kitchen (including washing all my pump accessories and bottles, which I usually put off until Sunday night on the weekends).  Now it is my relaxation, including a cup of Dunkin' Donuts Strawberry Shortcake Coffee which is so yummy.  And of course, a movie and time with my husband.

I need more days like today.