Sunday, December 28, 2008

quotes from nov, dec.

"moses lost his pharaoh." 11-01 (watching 'the prince of egypt')

sp: "where's moses?"
me: "he's in heaven."
sp: "...and he's coming back!" 11-02

"when she gets older, she will have some teeth and eat it!" 11-02

sp: "you look like a roly-pop." (lolly pop)
me: "how do i look like a roly-pop?"
sp: "cause i'm gonna eat it!" 11-05

"when i get bigger, i'm gonna be a mommy and i'm gonna wear a wedding dress!" 11-05

(it's really cute in general that she thinks every long gown is called a wedding dress.)

(singing) "i got a mommy and i got a sister, i got a golden and i got a daddy toooooo... i got an aya and i got an uncle and i got everything i neeeeeeeeed." early nov.

11-19: we were reading a book about a normal kid going over to a rich kid's house for a sleep over. on the page where he enters the house, sparrow looks at the illustration and says, "well...this is uncle rod's." she remembered what uncle rod's house was like, i was amazed! the last time we had been there was in the summer.

"kay, here's what you do. you dip it, then you taste it, like this!" 11-03 (eating carrots or something, and talking to herself

"kay, i got some cheese and i cannot think about it, and i cannot pay money for it, and i cannot eat it!" 11-06

sp: "God always goes pee."
mom: "well, you know, He's in heaven, so He doesn't have to go pee. when Jesus was on earth, He did have to go pee, but now he's in heaven, so he doesn't have to."
sp: "but He's coming back!"
mom: "that's right, He is. And He is God, but God is with us all the time."
sp: "well, where is God's hair?"
mom: "we're gonna have to ask Him when we see Him, sparrow."
sp: "i'm gonna say, 'Jesus, can i borrow your hair?'" 11-08

"swan lake needs more money." 11-09

"we're going to parks class. would you like to come, God?" 11-10

"God is getting SO tall! and he will be able to play play doh, (thinks twice) ...he is with me when i play play-doh." 11-10

"God, you died on the cross!" 11-10

me: "your shoes are on the floor."
sp: "oh! i thought they were in the basket!" 11-10 (pretty good sentence structure for a pre-3!)

"i love my baby! i wanna name her spot! i wanna name her stripe!" 11-10 (golden was wearing a stripey onesie)

me: "come over here!"
sp: sticks her legs under her nightgown and says, "I don't have legs to walk!!" 11-16

me: "don't touch her eyes, that's very very dangerous."
sp: "that's very, very owie." 11-10

sp: "what's that?"
me: "it's the couch cushions. they're made out of corduroy."
sp: "no, they're made out of pillows." 11-10

(sparrow sitting on the toilet)
sp: "it splashed me!!"
me: "yeah, sometimes poopy can do that."
sp: "um...poopy splashes me ALL the time!" 11-11

"maybe next week we could get some money and then maybe we could go to trader joe's." 11-12

we had just come back from viewing the ocean at sunset and i was talking to sparrow about how the ocean was all pink and purple. she says,
"can the ocean be like a dress?" 11-13

"i will pray for lily and i will pray for asher, and we'll pray for bananas." 11-19

sp: "i'm eating the wind!"
me: "what does it taste like?"
sp: "it tastes like chicken. tastes like vanilla." 11-21

sp: "are you doris?"
me: "yeah."
sp: "auntie christy calls you dodie." (how does she remember!?) 11-21

(going pee)
sp: "i like it!'s like rain!"
me: "your pee is like rain?"
(stops peeing)
sp: "the rain stopped!" 11-21

me: "do you want deck the halls, or joy to the world?"
sp: "i want duck to the holes." 11-24

"mom, is your scissors eating the leaf?" (i was cutting out a leaf for our thankfulness tree) 11-26

"look! the wall has a nose!" thanksgiving day 11-27 (putting a pointy object on the wall)

(borrow your hair! hahaha, but it's amazing, she does know the concept of borrowing. sometime in sept. or oct., we were going to the lomelino's and in the car i was all bummed when i realized i had forgotten Golden's pacifier. sparrow said, "you can borrow Hope's." and i did!)

"make sure it doesn't get dark so much." 11-22

one november day we saw an X on the sidewalk.
sp: "oh look! a cross!"
me: "ooh, what is a cross for?"
sp: "it's for God."

"some children are good and it makes God happy." 12-05

sp: "we're getting a kitty in two months."
me: "we can't get a kitty, daddy's allergic. do you know what allergic means?"
sp: "yeah."
liz koppa: "what does it mean?"
sp: "it means we can't get a kitty." 12-08

"dolphins don't have butts." 12-08

"they scampered along! and the little one is gonna scamper along!"
(bouncing carrots on her tray) 12-10

"mom, i'm eating a brown valise." 12-10
(she had no idea what a brown valise was, but she remembered the word from a book)

"God is with me when i'm washing my haaaaaaaiiiiiiiirrrr!" 12-09 (wailing in the tub. at least she knows God is with her at this *traumatic* time!)

"i began to fall down!" 12-13 (when she almost fell off a chair)

"is she gonna sleep for 20 minutes?" 12-14 (when i put golden down for her nap)

sparrow singing so accurately:
"you are beautiful my sweet, sweet song..." 12-15

"oh--we LOVE cardamom!" 12-15
(hearing me read a recipe aloud)

me: "sparrow, you're so observant! that means that you really look at things, and you see things, and you notice things..."
sp: "and i grab things!" 12-16

"the cars are going in time-out." 12-16

"a dog is not gonna eat us!" 12-16

" i saw a boy-lion in einstein!" 12-16 (she was referring to a baby einstein video)

"i'm cough-able." 12-17 (coughing, of course!)

"we live in january." 12-17

(holding a red candle)
"it's as red as a tomato!"
then, "mommy, remember not to eat it!" 12-19

"this soap is very smell-ful." 12-19

"YOU cut the banana. RIGHT NOW." 12-20

"i was eating an orange and i was watching the little prince of egypt!" 12-22
(telling me when she learned of hippos wanting to eat the baby moses basket.)

"mama, you smell like a wildebeest!" 12-26 (something she picked up from thomas!!)

sparrow was playing an alphabet game (god forbid) on a baby lap top. you were supposed to fill in the missing 1st letter in the word "moon." she looked at the image of the moon on the screen and said,
"it starts with goodnight!" 12-26

me: "do you have to go to the potty?"
sp: "no."
me: "then why are you clutching your bum?"
sp: "it means that i want to read a story." 12-26

(singing 'the lord is my shepherd, i'll walk with him always')
"always, always, i'll walk with camel ways!" 12-26

(we were looking at the lines in the sky created by airplanes and i wondered aloud if it was pollution that created the lines.)
sp: "wow, pollution! i love pollution!" 12-27

then she said, "that grass is named pollution." 12-27

"God pretects us! God pretects us in the cloud!" (we were driving to the beach and it was really foggy at the coast. we drove right into it and i told her we were going into a cloud. then she broke out with the "pre-tecting" heha, not protecting, mind you. then, since i always ask her in the car if the sun is in her eyes, she decided to let me know:
"the fog is in my eyes. I would like the fog to move." 12-31

"oh, there's a santa claus outside!" 12-31 (it was a bum with a white beard off the side of the road!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

prayer and wet socks

we were supposed to drive to tucson on christmas for the missionary-kid reunion, which we decided we were going to attend after all--just before the deadline to register. so i was immensely excited. i love planning trips, getting ready, talking about the fun times ahead, the anticipation of new things. now i would get to introduce thomas to a bunch of the kids i grew up with! and we would get to remember my childhood in mexico, and how formative that experience was to my life. i felt a grace to go. holly had sent us a check for gas money!--what a sweet christmas present!!! and i really felt that we were all going to get a boost on this journey. change of scenery, get out of the rut we have seemed to be in lately... we celebrated christmas a day early in high excitement, and drove down to san diego christmas day, to spend the night with friends, planning to travel on to tucson on the 26th.

sparrow had had a cold the week before. i was so happy that she had kicked it a few days before we were due to leave. but the day after her coughing stopped, she got a new little cough, a very little one, and i was SO worried. why are you coughing!?! thomas said it was nothing. but sure enough, the cough got worse and worse and by the 25th she was so ill that all she did was lie around all morning and shriek instead of talk. shrieking. all. day. i was really not inclined to cancel the trip because of a cold so we prayed for her and headed down to san diego anyways. i was of the opinion that 2 days in the car wasn't gonna hurt her too much. it would be either sitting around in the car or sitting around at home, right?

the shrieking, however, did not stop in the car or at our friends' house. i had just run out of elderberry syrup (powerful natural cold fighter), and of course all the stores were closed christmas day so i couldn't get her any. it just seemed to be getting worse and worse. i felt so bad for sam and judy that their christmas was getting overtaken by this high-pitched wail... we tried EVERYTHING to get sparrow to calm down. movie, milk, blanket and pillow, hot water bottle, back rub, mac and cheese, stories... we would ask her something: "do you want some mac and cheese?" (which judy had specially made for her) "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" or she would periodically just burst out into painfully loud cries. what have i done? by nighttime i was so scared that this was something serious--meningitis? should we take her to the emergency room? no. no. all they would do is give her tylenol after waiting around for hours. i knew how hospitals worked. and she had a cough. this was not meningitis, i told myself. just a cold. but i had never before seen her this way, even though she gets PLENTY of colds. we kept inquiring as to where she was hurting, and all we got out of her was "MY MOOOOOOOOOOOOOUTH!!!" but her breathing was semi erratic and like shallow little contractions. other symptoms: fast-beating heart, lethargy, pallor, bad breath, high irritation. (she kept screaming at sam and judy's dog, poor pup.)

i sent out a text message to some friends asking for prayer because i didn't know what to do. i was ready to turn around and drive home that night. lauren, who is in naturopathic med school, responed to my text with the strangest treatment suggestion: put a pair of wet socks into the freezer, then put them on sparrow's feet. cover with dry socks. wrap the rest of her up so warm that she is sweating. leave the wet socks on all night, and they will be dry by morning. "knocks out most acute illnesses." thomas especially was QUITE sketched by this proposal, but i was desperate. sure, she would hate the wet socks. but she was hating life anyways, so might as well. so that is what we did to see what would happen. the night was awful, and golden wasn't doing so hot, either. she wasn't sick, but she knew she was in a strange place and had a hard time going to sleep. at one point i got off a brief phone call with holly and walked back into the room. sparrow was shrieking in the bed. golden was wailing in her pack n play. thomas was in the bed with a pillow over his head! he had given up. hahahaha...(i found out later that he was getting sick at that point too.)

i crawled into the little bed with my butt falling off and trying not to inhale sparrow's germs too much. crying, praying, i managed to doze off a few times and survive the night. the next morning we made our coffee and headed straight for home. sparrow's personality was back to its normal chatty self! wow. what a relief. she was still coughing, and we were exhausted. arizona was out of the question by then. she would have infected the other children anyways.

and that is the story of our family christmas trip 2008. bizarre! i was so disappointed to have missed the reunion. but as always, God knows best.
here's to prayer wet socks!


christmas is so much more exciting with young children in the house. i love being the mom who gets to coordinate the christmas and advent activities, and create traditions and stimulate the excitement that the kids have for this day.

my mom was like that in our household growing up. she died when i was 15, and we tried to keep a semblance of christmas together for a year or two, but the magic had flown. i remember that first christmas; here's how my dad did presents: we all went on a shopping outing at some point in december. he gave us each $50 and told us to buy ourselves christmas presents, and to meet back in an hour. it was kinda fun, but it wasn't christmas. my mom had always known what to get that we would love, even though we never made christmas lists in our family. after a few years we didn't even bother setting up the tree anymore because we couldn't be bothered to take it back down again. i am so glad that it has all become fun for me again.

the other thing i grew up with in my family and plan to continue for my children is the lack of the santa claus fable. of course we knew "about" santa claus--how can you not these days--but my parents never made him out to be real, and i am grateful. people who grew up with the fable of s.c., for example, and then become christians, have the dilemma of what to do about santa, because they remember how magical it was to believe in him, and yet probably don't want their kids having that focus instead of Jesus. for me--not an issue at all, see? i didn't know what i was missing! christmas, let me tell you, is magical for a child, period. santa or no santa.

well every time december rolls around, i start singing christmas carols to sparrow in the car. i know she loves it when i do these things for her. this year she would ask for christmas songs at various times. like one night when she was going to bed. "can i have a christmas carol?" "ok," i said, "which one do you want? joy to the world, deck the halls, or silent night?" she said, "duck to the holes!" alright!
"duck to the holes with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, lala la laaaaaaa..."

another great christmas moment happened this year when we encountered our neighbor janny out in the parking lot one morning. she was wearing a sweater with houses, snow, snowman, etc. depicted on it. sparrow said, "is janny wearing a christmas sweater?"
me: "yeah!"
sp: "christmas lives in winter."
j: "and you live in warm weather."
sp: "no, i live in january!"
oh, naturally! i was half expecting her to say california.

it was a lovely christmas season. we did advent every night that we could manage it, including a wreath with candles, and a jesse tree with specific readings about jesus' ancestors, and crafts. i haven't got a lot of advent songs down yet, but christmas songs work just as well. i cut out a jesse tree out of paper grocery bags (the blank back side) and made up the crafts as we went along. i had gotten some suggestions for characters and their symbols from a website (abraham-star, boaz-sandal, etc.) but we improved the craft and method according to our materials and creativity. sparrow still asks for advent crafts, and the jesse tree looks so fun that i don't want to take it down!

we celebrated christmas eve and christmas a day early because we were supposed to be traveling on the 25th. it was all really fun, i made a nice dinner on our "christmas eve." and mince pies--vegetarian (the idea of sweet beef grosses me out)--which i had been really excited to try, but have concluded that a simple apple pie is more satisfying. and we read the nativity story and had good family times.
From december 08

From december 08

on our "christmas day" we had french toast, bacon (which i seem to never eat anymore but on christmas), sweet chicken apple sausage, and opened presents and packages from germany! these are my favorite nowadays. my sister sent a fabulous one, as did this woman erika motzkus, who was like a second mother to my mom. she never forgets us at christmas time, even though i bet it's been over 10 years since i've seen her. it's not christmas without the german chocolate. a friend had given me money to buy sparrow (and golden) christmas presents, so i had thought about it and ended up buying her s bunch of clothes, which she really needed. i had gotten a bit panicky about which gimmicky toys she would like best and then i remembered: she doesn't need more "stuff." she says she wants something but usually doesn't end up playing with things that much unless i am playing with her. what she needs is more focused time with me. that is what she'll remember. but i had the best time picking out clothes at naartjie. we had been praying for months for some long-sleeved shirts for sparrow, expecting them to show up at the doorstep, but this is how God provided for that. along with another friend who had asked us what she needed and bought shirts for her! her really special present was a pair of real ballet slippers. she had been confiscating golden's mary-jane socks and stretching/wearing them out, calling them her ballet slippers, so i thought it might be time she get some real ones. melissa had also found a kids' ballet bar and saved it for us. the other favorite was a pink suitcase/backpack with stuffed pig included, from uncle. and a pink princess blanket/pillowcase that i had found at ross several months earlier, and had saved for chritmas. as for golden, she didn't care that she didn't get much. the only year i can get away with that! but i wrapped for her a little stuffed dog and soft blankie that cybil had given me for golden's baby shower. and a blanket that larry and paula had handed down, that we hadn't used yet. basically, golden just wanted to eat the paper and curly ribbons. yeah!

we had several soups, as well as crackers with a cheese torta thing, dates, cuties, cookies, etc. set out to eat throughout the day. the soups was an idea from one of the MOPS ladies. she said her family never cooks big meals on christmas but has a variety of soups cause no one wants to be that busy in the kitchen all day long. what a brilliant suggestion. plus, it was really christmas eve for everyone else, so we were going to church in the evening. i think we should have church on christmas night every year. a great way to end christmas. and when the kids were in bed, i listened to christmas music and sipped mulled wine while i packed our things for arizona. too lovely, and the weather all cold outside. see, the kids brought the excitement back into this, but it lingers on even when i am by myself.

From december 08

From december 08

From december 08

From december 08

in our christmas (eve) finery

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

christmas cards 2008

well... in the interest of saving stamps, time, etc. but mainly stamps, the christmas card will be an e-card again this year. and there will be two of them! here they are:

From december 08

From december 08

sorry that first one is a little small. anyone whose email i have will be getting one emailed anyways. i haven't quite figured out yet how to work the picture function here in the best way yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a blessed morning

this morning as we were praying before thomas left the house, sparrow said "pee! pee!" we had JUST asked her before we'd started praying if she had to go potty and she hadn't responded, so i whispered to her now that she would have to go by herself. she ran off in her footed pj's. i was a bit concerned about her ability to get them off in time, but resolved to stay with the prayer. but sure enough, a minute later she started to wail. she had not been able to loosen the button, and had peed all in her pajamas and undies and all over the bathroom floor. i had gotten a pretty good night's sleep, so i wasn't gonna trip too much. it was only pee. we'd clean it.

when thomas left, i resolved to give sparrow a bath so she could wash the pee off. i also planned to wash her hair, which is always an enormous challenge. but i was letting her play in the tub a little before we started that process. i had to tend to golden with something for a few minutes. it was rather quiet in the bathroom. finally i hear sparrow's voice cheerily coming from down the hall, asking me to come in there. i walk in and sparrow says "look, mama!" and points into the tub. whot! poop! she had made a whole loaf in the bath water! i quickly got her out and told her that that was not really an ok place to go poop. then i drained the water, scooped the poop out with paper towels, and cleaned the tub. then she got back in and we did the hair washing. and though i talked to her a lot about pooping and where it's supposed to be done, i can tell you that i was thinking about my great blessing in being a mom to these kids. i should be so lucky as to get to scoop their poop. here's jen and joseph who will forever feel the loss of their baby sarah, and here i am with not one, but two healthy girls. who am i to deserve this. i know i don't. and today that knowledge was with me as i wiped out that tub. on a tired day i might have yelled. but reading the sarah pages blog last night made me completely sober. i was a better mom today because of it.

new and improved baby burping!

thomas and i discovered a new and improved baby-burping method the other week. why the need for such a thing, you ask. well. i was sitting around one day just thinkin' "hm, i wonder what it feels like to golden when i smack her back like this to burp her all the time!" because seriously, the nurses in the hospital will tell you, "don't be shy! don't be timid! give the kid a good solid whack!" i think one of them even laughed at me when i first tried to burp sparrow with nice, gentle taps. well here's news to the nurses and to every mother out there: getting hit on the spine by hard, bony hands is NO fun! it rattles your brain! try it on yourself.

so my innovative husband comes along and takes this information to the next level, creating a back-burping alternative. instead, you can use this very effective method: tap the baby--gently--on the side/back right about where their ribs end, near the stomach, but not on the front side of the belly. (if i had a scanner i would draw an illustration of exactly where and add the visual. perhaps i can do a video tomorrow!) this works so well that the baby usually burps huge burps in a matter of seconds. when thomas tried it on himself, it worked on him too! he wouldn't stop doing it and burping. anyways, the medical/social peeps are soooooo concerned about people shaking their babies (legitimately), and spankings (way too paranoid), yet they inoculate youngsters with poorly tested rabbit-brain, monkey kidney, formaldehyde vaccine cocktails and tell mothers to hit their babies on the back 8 times a day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

golden the smiley and other short tales

golden is an amazingly smiley and sweet baby. she has wide cheeks and it just kills me when i look across the room and she is beaming at me for no reason. she learned to roll over about 2 weeks ago or so, onto her belly. by now she has even rolled herself back a few times. anyways, at first she didn't so much like being on her belly, but she felt the urge to move, so she would roll anyways. then she'd be stuck on her belly and would start to complain a little. now that she can lift herself up with her arms a bit more it is loads more fun. she just stares at everything and smiles. she loves to stare at sparrow in her activities. i just can't believe how mellow she is. at naptime today i put her in her pack-n-play and sparrow in the crib, and told them both to go to sleep. neither of them did, but they were both very quiet, and i must have slept for about half an hour. when i got up, golden was turned all about with her head on the foot end of the pack-n-play, but she was all shiny and happy and sweet!!! m, i want to eat her all up!

we took the girls to the sb museum today. i told sparrow that when we woke up, we would go see picasso. i told her who he was and everything, and she said "he was a man" and "he was a daddy." all true. anyways, she remembered after the nap, because when i asked her to tell daddy what we were gonna see today she whispered "picasso." it was the last day of an exhibit of "picasso on paper," and sundays is free. i was really excited to get to go see it. there was also a gorgeous chagall with the red horse; i think that is one of the museum's permanent pieces, which is SO COOL! i love it. i wanted a shot of me and golden and the chagall, so i stood in front of it with her and took it myself. i love those kinds of pictures, and i was not at all embarrassed to do it, but soon enough someone came along who offered to take the pic. for me so i let them take one too. then i felt a little embarrassed. hee hee! but i do love art.

here are sparrow and thomas with one of the picassos:
From december 08

here is golden with picasso:
From december 08

golden and me with the chagall! sorry about the blur in all of these, they didn't allow flash in the museum.
From december 08

more detail on the horse head
From december 08

the cage

sparrow's favorite toy at the moment is the laundry basket. she goes under the empty basket and says, "you're in a pet store!" she pretends to be a lion or tiger. yesterday she spent 20 straight minutes in "the cage!" she insisted on going in there at nap time. i told her that when she changed her mind about sleeping in the cage, she could come out and get in her bed, but she would have to tuck herself in because i was going to sleep now. and i dozed off. but i was still aware of her little shuffles and sounds 20 minutes later. i realized she hadn't changed her mind, and yet she couldn't fall asleep because she was too cramped, and i couldn't properly fall asleep because she was stirring! HA! i had her get into her bed at that point, shaking my head in confounded awe over her cage-endurance!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

tree decorating adventures

today was such a lovely day; the family got to go get a christmas tree at home depot. sparrow and i were REALLY excited and were chanting "christmas tree! christmas tree! we want a christmas tree!" in the car as we waited for thomas to join us. thomas ended up picking out one of the all-tied-up ones without us even looking at it; we were going in faith. and it turned out perfect! it has the gorgeous A-line that you want, with a nice, full bottom. tonight as we decorated it, i was half encouraging sparrow to get involved, half directing her with "NO!"s because she really wanted to throw the globes around and such. she was in complete christmas glee and was jumping around in a fairy dress while vigorously swinging around her crazy purple swirl/bell ornament that she had picked out at the store. this ornament is huge and i don't believe any of the branches on our douglas fir can actually support it, but nevermind. i had told her i would let her pick one out and that is what she chose. i like the tree decorated in just white and red, so it was quite the exercise in restraint for me not to direct her to the red ornaments and say, "no, pick one out from heeeeeere."

well, purple ornament in hand and bouncing around with her dad, she was laughing vigorously until suddenly she began to shriek and jump, crying, "hurt! hurt!" and clutching her bum. wot! we realized she hadn't put her panties back on after going potty last time around, and that she had scooted onto a pine needle! thomas got it off her and showed her what it was, but she made no change in her behavior and kept screaming "hurt, hurt!" and dancing about. i thought there might be a spider in her dress or something, so we took it off, and finding nothing unusual on her body, i realized i had to check the butt again. sure enough, in the anal cavity there was another pine needle, stuck perfectly straight in! i extracted it at last, which required some precision. immediately sparrow returned to her happy play as thomas and i continued to chuckle. naked toddlers and pine needles are evidently a dangerous mix. panties back on, the evening continued in peace, harmony, and the glow of twinkling little lights.
From december 08

From december 08