Thursday, February 16, 2012

Addicted to God

So, Whitney Houston died last week. I definitely loved some of her music but wasn't overly emotional over her passing. But then a couple days later I thought it would be appropriate to listen to a couple of songs, you know, pay my respects so to speak. Though, is it really paying your respects when you're listening to "I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody"? Probably not. I let the girls listen to "I will always love you" and they both liked it. I told them she died. Claire's response was "she died? Oh." Sophie, on the other hand had a brain full of questions for me. Is it normal for a 4 year old to be so inquisitive? I really can't see Claire like that in 2 years, no offense to her, but anyhow. Here's kind of how our conversation went, over folding laundry together. S: why did she die? Me: Well, she had an addiction to drugs and alcohol. S: What's an addiction? What's alcohol? Me: An addiction is when you try to make yourself happy with anything other than God. Alcohol is something people drink, like wine or beer (yes, she knows what those are) but they drink too much to try to make themselves happy. One glass of wine is ok, but having 10 is bad. and it's bad for your body. S: (getting a little emotional already) Can kids be addicted, can anybody be addicted? Me: Well, usually it happens when people are older S: are you going to be addicted when you're older (pretty upset by now) Me: No, no! By God's grace mommy and daddy will not be addicted to anything. Thankfully, we know and love God and want to please him with our lives, and He will help us to stay that way. S: (crying now) I'm only addicted to God! And then we got on the subject of hope, and what's hope? And I was trying to explain how we should hope in God, and not in say...getting a package. You can be excited about a package and thankful if you get one, but you don't want to put your hope in getting a package. (She was expecting some valentines packages that day). She said ok, I won't put my hope in a package, well maybe just a tiny little bit. :) It was all precious, and made me think of 1 Peter 3:15 that says "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" You certainly never know when a conversation about a pop star's death will lead to an opprtunity to teach about life, sin and God!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life, Pregnancy, Etc.,

I've decided that I should start blogging again, at somewhat of a regular interval, mainly because I love having a record of silly stories and just looking back on the past.  Not that this the most opportune time for me to blog a whole lot, but maybe I can get rollin' again.

As I was scrolling through my blog, I was revisiting 2 years ago, when I was pregnant with Claire and moving out of our condo and into our house.  I have NO idea how I managed to do this, except that it was by the grace of God.  Now, even the thought of doing all of that frightens me. I have 8 weeks to go, exactly from today.  My c-section has been scheduled for April 3rd. So yeah, 8 weeks to go and I already feel done.  I mean done.  I take 2 naps a day typically, spend a lot of time on the couch or just sitting or laying down because I have this thorn in my flesh - not referring to the baby, don't worry.  What I do have is this radiating middle back pain that ends up moving to my right side, and stays there, it lingers.  Even visiting the chiropractor/massage therapist isn't really helping.  What triggers it is standing.  Whether a trip to the grocery store, or standing up to prepare a meal, after so long it just flares up and I all I can think about is when I will get to sit down. It's kind of a nuisance when there's life to be lived, meals to be made, little people to be taken care of.  The couple of positives that I am trying (forcing myself) to remember is that the extra rest is probably necessary, I get a baby out of this, I get to read more, and spend more quiet quality time with the kiddos.  And they do get a little extra tv watching in...but really, it's fine :)

I keep thinking, man, I would be coasting if it weren't for the pain in my side, the random heart palpitations, sleepless nights due to insomnia/ or a stuffy nose....BUT obviously that is not what God has intended for this season of my life and I cannot live life in the "if only" state for too long, otherwise I go into despair mode.  I need to keep asking myself, what am I letting rule my heart - my circumstances or my God?  With which will I find peace?  The answer is obvious, now if I could only apply this on a regular basis! I am so thankful for the constant mercy He pours out on me though.

Ok, thanks for listening to my rant!  Hopefully my next post will be a little perkier.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello

Wow, it's been a long time since a post.  That seems to be the norm these days.  However, with these days turning dark so early, there seems to be more time for things like blogging.  So, why not.  Here's a little update on our happenings.

Pregnancy: So far it seems to be going well.  I've been feeling the baby kick for a few weeks now.  It is the best thing about pregnancy!!  My official due date is April 7.  I get an ultrasound this coming Tuesday and I think we're all looking forward to it, especially Sophie.  She keeps asking when it is, and I think it will be fun for her to see the baby on the screen.  She might be disappointed, or even scared when the image that she sees looks more like an alien than a baby.  I mean, even I have a hard time following the ultrasound tech.  I just nod and agree for lack of feeling dumb that I can't make out what exactly she is describing.

Regarding baby coming, I feel extremely at ease.  I was worked up for a while about organizing baby stuff and do we need to get a new stroller, should we find out the gender and on and on...but that by God's grace has all worked out.  Clothes are organized, room is ready (it's easy when everything was already there just being used by Claire), we're not going to find out the gender (my only exception to that is if I find out we're having twins!), and I'm keeping the same stroller.  Ahh, that was easy.

The girls: They started sharing a room (Sophie's room) Halloween weekend.  It's going pretty well.  We did realize that Claire is probably done napping for the most part because the days she napped she wasn't falling asleep until 10pm!  So, although it makes for a longer day, having her asleep 2 hours earlier is huge!!  Sad, that it seems to be in both of my kids' DNA to give up naps early.  Oh well.  :)  I do feel like we're in a new phase with 2 diaper less kids who don't nap - freedom!!  We can leave the house at any time of day!

Claire remains full of energy, and full of danger.  The girl finds so many ways to hurt herself, falling off of swings, stabbing herself in the nose with a pencil, those are just 2 I can think of off the top of my head. Sophie is still enjoying school, and learning so much!  She loves practicing writing her letters, and coloring(in the lines) has been of utmost interest lately.  I think it was about a year ago that I could not get her to color!  What a difference a year makes. She's also been taking gymnastics for the past several weeks and seems to like it.

Bill and I are doing well.  We seem to be getting into a good rhythm and schedule.  I have spent a lot less time following facebook statuses, blogs, all that stuff.  It's been good for me.  I've been able to focus on being home, kids, house and I really think it's made a difference.  I don't seem to be rushing around, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, feeling like things aren't getting done.  Things are actually getting done in a consistent manner.  And my attitude with it for the most part has shifted as well, praise God!  Woohoo!  And at night, we have time to sit together, read books, drink tea, actually relax!  It's amazing.  Oh, the little things.  And I know this is probably the calm before the storm but I'm going to enjoy it to the fullest.  And of course things are far from perfect, but by God's grace we're making strides in the right direction.

And here are some pictures from the last month or so...

Modeling winter accessories

Sophie with her fuzzy stick vase creation

Another modeling opp

One strawberry and one ladybug for Halloween

Who can resist a little dress up?  I love having girls!

The girls at the American Girl store on our trip to Chicago in October





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Excitement

Lots of exciting things are happening around here.

First, we celebrated Sophie's birthday.  She is 4!!  I say this every time she has a birthday, but seriously it is so fun to watch her grow into a little girl. We celebrated with a pink themed party.  Pink treats, pink drinks, and the girls had to wear something pink.  We had so much fun with her little party.




Then, we took a fun trip to Michigan.  The highlight of the trip was having a surprise birthday party for my Grandma who turned 80.  She is such a sweet and giving woman and for once it was so wonderful to give back a little, and celebrate her!  Along with that, we spent time with my aunt and uncle from Poland who we only get to see every other year or so.  We also did some other fun things, like the Detroit Zoo, Buddy's Pizza (which, if you know my love for Jets, well this is just a teency bit better).  Ahh, mouth watering already!  In the town that Bill and I went to high school,  there is also a great spot to get ice cream, except that it reeks of cow manure.  It's called Cooks Farm Dairy, and well, you guessed it - it is a dairy farm and it smells, but the ice cream is exceptional!  Why are my posts always about food???  But really, it was fun to take the girls there.  They loved seeing the cows and some pigs up close.  Claire liked it so much she had no problem trying to pet them, smelly or not.

Lets move on to other news, Sophie started preschool last week.  She loves it!  When she came home the first day, she didn't seem overly thrilled.  When asked, what was your favorite part?  Her reply: leaving.  Great, I thought.  However, since then she has really really come to like it.  Today she asked why she couldn't go every day and for full days?  I guess being home with Claire and I is a lot less exciting than preschool!

  And there is one last bit of excitement to share, one that involves some tiredness, waves of nausea, a popping belly...that's right, the blessing of pregnancy.  We are excited and thankful for the opportunity to bring another life into the world,  Lord willing, at the end of March 2012.  If you think of us, please pray for the growing life and the growing family.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer

Ahh, summer...I love it.  I am already thinking about how much I am not looking forward to cold weather.  I should stop that and just focus on the here and now.

It really has been wonderful.  We started our summer out with a tour of the East Coast...a little stop in Hershey, PA, a weekend in NYC, family in CT, more family in Boston, a wedding weekend in Maine (right on the harbor!), more time in Boston, a day trip to Cape Cod, and a final stop to Niagara Falls on the way home.

But the fun didn't stop there, folks.  It just keeps on coming.  :)  I think the best part of our summer has been hanging out with our neighbors, staying up late, playing hide and seek outside, getting Kona Ice on monday nights, fireworks, chalk all over the driveway and on the kids' clothes, summery treats like frozen yogurt tubes or homemade keifer popsicles, oh and swimming of course!  We are sooooo thankful that the ban on swim diaper children has been lifted.  We've enjoyed the pool ever since and our girls are loving it.

I've totally let go of the fact that the kids won't be in bed by 8:30, that there might be a tantrum the next day because we stayed up late and had too much sugar the night before.  It's cool.  We go to bed later and sometimes even Sophie takes a nap during the day.  Like today.  A trip to the pool in the afternoon means a nap first, and so she goes, willingly.

Oh and did I mention a special anniversary getaway for us 2?  No kids.  We went to a bed and breakfast in Versailles, KY.  The pronunciation of the town here in the midwest just kills me, but we still managed to have a lovely time.  Picture a long back porch and patio,  vines and branches growing into the awning, twinkling lights overlooking a perfectly landscaped garden with lightening bugs fluttering by (never mind the mosquitos that attacked my body and cut our time short on this lovely patio).  But besides for that minor mosquito incident, it was quite charming, relaxing and picturesque!  And we slept in till 8:15!!!  That may have been one of the highlights of the trip, that and a visit to the mall in Lexington where I bought a few things, and went to different stores all in like 45 minutes.  It's amazing what can be accomplished when you don't have to take potty breaks, feed little ones lunch, walk through the build-a-bear store, etc., at the mall.

And summer has also brought a fresh inspiration to do some cooking.  Don't get me wrong, I usually like cooking but sometimes it seems so monotonous/boring/same old, same old.  Of course it's not so boring when you can get your food from a farm, or a farmer's market, or even dare I say the grocery store when it provides something fresh and new!  We have stocked up on some grass fed pork (I didn't even know that pork came grass fed, still need to look into that) but nonetheless it has been delicious as pulled pork in the crock pot.  A couple of recipes worth sharing: chicken kebabs with the perfect salsa accompaniment, and a carrot soup recipe that is refreshing every time I make it!  Thanks Jane, for that last one!

That's it for now, happy summer to you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hi Blog

Truly, this has become a once a month event for me, but thats ok.  Once a month is fun too.  We went on vacation for 2 weeks and have been home for almost 2 weeks now and I am still trying to get my ducks in a row, or my kids in order.  It seems like lately I have had a spiritual/child rearing amnesia.  I seem to forget God's goodness, His control over my days, His presence and strength with me.  And on the child side,  I feel like I've forgotten how to do anything!  I have so many good resources for help yet I feel like I've done nothing but get frustrated lately!!  Part of it may be God stripping me of a feeling of reliance on those resources (because when things are going well and the resources are working,  I can find in myself a self righteous pride) and part of it is just being on vacation for 2 weeks and...I think that explains everything!  Resources are good, a right view of God is good.  God is merciful and gracious, because even our best efforts are filthy rags.  

So what are some of these frustrations??  Well there is a little potty training happening which means lots of time spent in the bathroom, a lot of bribery, a lot of talk about pee pee.  We even have an app for that.  Ha! Patty the potty calls and says "it's time to go potty!"  I love it :)  Too bad Claire has totally figured out how to check the box for "I went pee pee in the potty" and press continue which leads her to a celebration - whether she actually went or not.  So as I mentioned we spend a lot of time in the bathroom and this really has me rethinking the color on the walls, I think it might be time for a fresh look!  In the meantime I hope I can grow in my patience during this potty process and not worry if we can't go swimming this summer because of my diaper - laden child.  And then there's an almost 4 year old who is scared to wash her hands by herself because the water is too loud, or "can you get me something else to eat because this peanut butter and jelly is gross (even though she ate 2/3 of it all ready).  She didn't verbalize that last part though.  Or a random tantrum for whatever reason,...ahhhh.  But even as I write this I think, man, they are so worth it and all of small trials (light and momentary they REALLY are, even if it doesn't feel like it) are truly part of God's grace in our lives!!

There have been some joys too, which would be wrong not too mention because after all this is like my digital scrapbook.  This is where I write down funny, cute and random things so don't mind me when you read it and think "guess you had to be there" because that is probably the case.  But if I don't write it here I won't write it anywhere sadly!  Claire has made quite an attachment to her yellow zebra blankie.  She calls it her blank-blank.  She has a lot of words she can't say correctly, so she takes the beginning and repeats it.  Like flower is flow-flow, napkins are nap-nap, and yogurt is yope-yope.  And yope-yope doubles for sour cream because the taste is quite similar...?  Anyway the blank blank goes with her everywhere, including when she sits at the table for meals.  She needs it behind her or wrapped around her.  So needless to say last night she went to bed with a blank-blank that may have doubled as a nap-nap, some taco sauce, yope-yope, the nail polish she spilled...I'll wash it today!  She also loves to say "she's so cute" about other kids.  Regardless of age, gender, real cuteness or anything.  

Sophie has been super interested in the human body.  I think this stemmed from a visit with a friend who had a book about the human body, and now Sophie is hooked.  She knows all about the lungs, the small intestines, taste buds on your tongue, etc.  Today we are going to read about the heart.  She went from wanting to be an animal trainer a year ago to a doctor now.  I just love how she has such a desire to learn, and how she soaks up so much information, and how her interests change.  I can't wait to tell her one day what she wanted to be at certain ages/what she loved to do.  I will obviously need the help of the blog, lets pray I have it saved and printed somewhere because otherwise I will not remember.  

And that is it for now.  I leave you with a video of Claire playing the xylophone with a steak at a children's museum in NYC.  

video

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

She's 2!

I am still having a hard time believing that my baby is 2, I think I had the same problem when she turned 1 last year.  I can't continue to be in denial every year, right?  They're just so precious at each stage, I want to savor it - except for the less than precious moments, those I want to erase...mostly because I end up seeing my ugliness and sinful self in it!

But I press on, to celebrate Claire!  She's 2 years old,  27lbs, and I can't quite remember her height but her pediatrician thinks she'll be anywhere from 5'4" to 5'6."  Apparently, you can figure out how tall a person is going to be by doubling their height at age 2, plus or minus an inch.  Didn't think you'd learn something here on my blog, did you?  :)  Or am I the only one who didn't already know that?  Don't answer that.

She's a fun loving little lady.  She continues her umbrella obsession.  She got one for her birthday and don't you dare pick it up, or there will be a scream of "miiiiiiiiine" coming from those sweet little lungs.  :)  She is a little obsessive and possessive with her umbrella, clearly an idol of hers.  She loves to dance, and will dance around the room saying "dance pawty, dance pawty"...it's kinda hilarious.  She is a girl on the go go go.  Really, she has a lot of energy.   She can also be really sweet and tender hearted at moments but mostly she's just running around all the time!  Can you see my yawns through your computer as I write?  It's hard keeping up with an energetic 2 year old!!  :)