Monday, September 28, 2009

Toddler Translations

"Tuh-skeena" = Christina
"Chicklet chop-it" = chocolate chip, as in "Are you having a chicklet chop-it cookie?"

And my favorite, in context...

Christina likes to play with my bottle of sunscreen lotion after I'm done putting it on my face in the morning.  When the bottle is getting low, often times it will have an air bubble that "explodes", sending a small bit of lotion flying out of the bottle.  Christina really enjoys this, and whenever it happens, she says "It's explodious!" (Sounds like ex-plo-dee-us.  I can only guess on the correct spelling of this made-up word!)  I corrected her once a while back, telling her that "It's explosive."  But I just love the way she says "explodious" so much, that I've decided to let it go on.  I'm sure she'll learn the correct word eventually, and for now, it's just SO CUTE!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A change in priorities, Part 2

OK, so here's the thing - this is my third day staying at home with Christina, with no official plans.  This is primarily because she came down with a nasty cold yesterday, so we had to cancel the plans that we had.  And I am SO BORED!  Now I find myself thinking that maybe I'm trying too hard to convince myself that I need to stay home more.  After all, God made me this way - outgoing and social.  I remember different times when I've been unemployed, and while it's nice for a while to sit at home and watch TV or read books, after a little while I find myself NEEDING to find a new job, if only for a way to get out of the house and back into the world.  I really like to have a specific reason to get up and get going in the morning - otherwise I'll just stay in my sweats all day and feel like I haven't accomplished anything.  I don't know why for me "accomplishing something" means getting out of the house, but it does.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret passing on the Bible study.  Even if I did feel like I had room in my schedule for it, I still don't think Christina would do very well separated from me for those two hours in the children's class.  Even at Sunday School at church, I've been told that Christina mainly sticks close to the adult leaders rather than the kids.  Evidently Christina likes to "help" Miss Janet (one of the teachers) take the older kids to the bathroom when they have to go potty!  This really shouldn't be a surprise to me, since my parents told me that as an only child, I always felt more comfortable around adults than kids.

So now I'm just confused.  I can't figure out which part of this argument in me is the Flesh talking, and which part is the Spirit.  Of course, I need to remember that God is all about the PROCESS.  Maybe it's not about making all of these changes in my life all at once.  Maybe I just need to reduce my outside activities to a few days a week, and spend the other days at home.  It's hard for me to believe that BOTH of these voices inside me are the Spirit, since they are such opposing viewpoints.  So again I pray: "Dear God - help!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Phone call

Christina was playing in the car for a bit before we drove home from church yesterday.  As usual, she grabs the cell phone out of the glove compartment and pretends to make some calls.

"Hello.  How are you?  (Pause)  I'm good.  Are you going to the hockey place?  (Pause)  OK, I'll see you later.  Bye!"
"Who were you calling Christina?"

"Hi Grandma Brenda.  How are you?  (Pause)  I'm good.  (Pause)  OK, I'll see you later.  Bye!"

Making pasta

Christina and I went with our friends to a playgroup at the Learning Express in Mountlake Terrace last week.  We read a book called "Strega Nona" and made pasta!  Christina enjoyed putting all the ingredients into a bowl (flour, eggs, water), and she didn't mind mixing it all up with a spoon, but when it came time to knead the dough, she didn't want to get her hands dirty, so Mommy did all of that part!

The owner of the Learning Express, Mila, brought her pasta machine.  The kids took turns cranking while Mila fed the dough through the machine.  Christina really seemed to like it, so while the other kids kept playing and ignoring Mila's invitations to help, Christina just kept cranking away!

And by the way Sean, the pasta that you had for dinner last night was some of Christina's pasta that we brought home, so make sure to thank the chef!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things you may not know about me

1.  I have two tattoos.
2.  My middle name is Annette.
3.  When I was in school, I was always at the end of the line, whether it was organized by last name (my maiden name is Ziebarth) or by birthday (December 29th).
4.  I've had glasses since the first grade.
5.  I met Sean in high school.  We were in sign language class together.
6.  We were friends for a year before we dated, and most of that year he was pursuing me, but I wasn't interested!
7.  I really wish my grandmothers had lived long enough to meet my daughter.
8.  In a lot of pictures (especially ones of me laughing) I think I look like my mom.

9.  Sean and I decided on a girl and boy name for our first child during a drive from Texas (where we were living at the time) to Washington (to visit family and friends).  This was June of 2005.  We decided on that trip to start trying for a baby.
10.  11 months later I found out I was pregnant.
11.  If I had been a boy, my parents would have named me Daniel Joseph.
12.  If Christina had been a boy, she would have been named Eric Sean.
13.  I am a passionate follower of Christ.
14.  My best friend is gay.
15.  Wearing makeup has never been important to me, and I use it very rarely.  In fact, I don't think I even own any makeup.
16.  The same goes for styling my hair - I like to air dry.
17.  I cannot watch a movie about animals in peril - I cry every time.
18.  For a very short time, when Sean was in the process of joining the Marines, I considered joining too.  I'm so glad I didn't.  I don't think I would have survived!

19.  One of my vices is celebrity gossip.  I'm trying to quit, but if there's a magazine in front of me, I'm probably going to read it.
20.  I've been told that I talk too much, and I'm very self-conscious about it.
21.  My body cannot handle alcohol.  I get nauseous from a very small amount.
22.  When I was younger I loved to perform.  Up through elementary school I was in tap dance class, then in middle and high school I was in the school choir.  I loved it when I got chosen to perform solos.
23.  As a child, when I was sick, my mom would crush up Children's Tylenol into chocolate ice cream because I hated the taste.  For years I couldn't eat chocolate ice cream because I swore I always tasted medicine in it!
24.  While there wasn't any formal music at Sean's and my wedding, Sean's brother Kevin and his friend Ryan played the guitar and sang us Green Day's "Time of Your Life."
25.  If I had to pick Sean's and my "song," I would choose "Come What May" from the Moulin Rouge movie soundtrack.

A change in priorities

I was going to go to a new Bible study yesterday.  It's an international study known as Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF.  They meet in various churches around the world, and they study one book of the Bible per year (It runs in a seven-year cycle, so it doesn't cover EVERY book of the Bible).  I participated one year at my church down in Texas when Sean and I were living there.  That year we studied the book of Genesis.  And I'll tell you, I learned more about that book than I ever knew before - even though I had read it at least a few times (After all, when you're trying to read the Bible, you usually start at the beginning, and I started at the beginning more than once!).  It was a fantastic group, and a fantastic study.

I didn't participate after moving back up to Washington because they don't provide childcare for kids under 2.  But now that Christina's old enough, I thought I'd go back.  I was all set - I had a friend scheduled to babysit Christina for the intro. day (until you're officially "in the system" at the particular church, childcare isn't available).  Then, the night before, as I was praying in bed, I felt God speaking to me.

See, God's been dealing with me for a while about slowing down my lifestyle and spending more time at home.  Granted, I am a "stay-at-home mom", but I'm not actually AT HOME very often.  I get together with friends and go to lunch or to the park or shopping - basically anything to entertain Christina and I. 

God spoke to me through a particular book ("Come Home" From Homeschool, by Marilyn Howshall), and I felt Him telling me that I need to stay home - that being at home more will give Christina opportunities to develop interests of her own, rather than ME having to find entertainment for her (and this is going to be particularly important when it comes to homeschooling, as I plan to let her follow a "delight-directed" learning path, rather than a set curriculum - of course, this could change, but it's my current plan).  My issue then is, whenever we truly stay AT HOME all day, most of our day is spent watching TV.  Not to say that's ALL we do, but we do it a lot.  Ultimately I know this isn't productive, and I need to just stop allowing so much TV. 

I guess it's just hard for me because I feel that I need entertainment too.  I don't have any major interests that I want to develop for myself (other than doing things online, and I can only really do that when she's occupied with watching TV or napping).  But how can I possibly expect Christina to change if I don't change?

In any case, when I was praying the night before BSF, I felt like God was waving a big red flag in front of my face, saying "STOP.  I keep trying to tell you what I want for your life, and your daughter's life, and yet you keep doing things your way."  I realized that even though I was going to a Bible study to learn about God, God Himself didn't want me to take on another commitment.  I need to pare down my schedule, not add to it.  So I skipped the Bible study and let my friend watch Christina while I got my hair cut, and then my friend and I had lunch together while our kids played. It was a really nice, relaxing day.

Now I'm at a place of uncertainty.  I want to stay at home more and watch TV less - I want that for myself and for my daughter.  I want to find an interest that I can develop in myself, and allow Christina to find her interests as well (although I know at this age those interests will be very general).  I read that it's good to "Remain at home more often so that you will be forced to deal with the void that surfaces."  But the void just seems to point me in the direction of the TV.  I guess I just need to face my fear (and I guess that's what it really is, FEAR) that it will be boring around here and just keep the TV off.  (It feels really wierd to admit that I have a fear of boredom, but really I bet that fear is pretty common.)  God is good, and I have trust that if I will obey Him, he'll show me what to do next.  So here I am God - HELP!

Scenes From Everyday Life

Coloring at her table

Playing on the fold-out couch - She loves to cover herself up and pretend to go to sleep (which means laying there with her eyes open making a snoring sound!); then stand up and give me a hug saying "Good morning Mommy!"

Playing peek-a-boo on the stairs

Hanging out in our ottoman/toy storage

Finger painting

Finding a mushroom in our backyard (yuck!)

Wearing oven mitts on her feet

"Reading" to her doll

I love my girl!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I love you not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,
but for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Christmas Catalog: The Good, The Wierd, and the Utterly Disturbing!

My MIL introduced me years ago to the LTD Commodities catalog.  It's a HUGE catalog full of all sorts of things - household items, decorative items for whatever holiday is coming up, clothes, gadgets - just a lot of stuff.  I received their Christmas 2009 catalog in the mail yesterday, and spent the better part of the evening combing through it's 508 pages to get some Christmas gift ideas, and to see if there was anything in there that I just couldn't live without.  (In reality, I try to take myself off of most catalog mailing lists, because I will spend so much time picking out just what I want, only to decide I don't really want to spend the money and don't really need all the STUFF.  It ends up being a big waste of time.  But it is almost Christmas after all, so I justify it to myself by the fact that I'm not buying for ME - I'm just finding the perfect gift for all the people on my list!)

Anyway, at 508 pages long, there's bound to be some off-the-wall items, so I just thought I'd share some of my findings.  I'll start with the GOOD - the stuff I actually like and/or think is clever.
You can use this to make pancakes or waffles in the shape of Disney characters.  I don't think I'm quite creative enough to go through the trouble of doing this, but it's a really cute idea!
You just tie the fringes of each square together, and you can make a blanket, shawl, or scarf.  It's probably really thin, but it's a great project for a kid who's not old enough or interested enough to learn to use a sewing machine.
Find out what your pets are up to when you're not around!  You just hook this camera up to your pet's collar and set it to automatically take a picture every 1, 5, or 15 minutes.  When your pet gets home, you just plug the camera into your computer to see what they've been up to!
I am totally considering getting this blanket for Christina's bed.  It is SO cute!
As long as you don't have anything else on the front of your fridge, why not make it look like a snowman for the holidays?!
OK, now let's get on to some of the WIERD ideas.  These are the things that I know I would never buy myself, but I kind of see why other people might like them.
This kit comes with two sheets of camouflage fabric, 8 feet of rope, 6 giant clips, 6 suction cups, and 2 glow wands.  I'm sorry, but whatever happened to a sheet laid out over some chairs?
Can adults actually get away with wearing tie-dye anymore?
For those who go ALL OUT with their Christmas decorating!
The description reads "Plug it into any Windows-based PC or Mac to read the complete King James Verson of the Bible anywhere you go."  Because I can't carry my Bible with me everywhere, but I do always have a computer on hand!
Need I say more?

And now for the truly DISTURBING - please tell me none of you own any of these items!
For those of you who want to look like you're wearing ugly jeans, but without the discomfort of ACTUAL jeans.
If you're going to wear these "The Man, The Legend" boxers, you better be able to back it up!
I'd really rather not have any "treats" from Santa's pants!
The description reads "Drop in a coin and hear this bank fart in digital audio."  Yes, I need the digital audio because I want it to sound authentic.
And finally...
"Each player has to reach his hand into Ned's plush head and try to pull out whatever gross, plastic object is pictured on the card he's dealt."
"Game includes: icky tooth, giant ant, lab rat, DIRTY DIAPER, ear wax, old gym sock, bird poop with worm..."
This is proabably a young boy's idea of a fantastic game.  I'm so glad I have a daughter!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eating habits

Christina's favorite foods (not to say she eats ALL of these foods everyday, although I'm sure she would if she could!):
Pirate's Booty, Pop Tarts, Snapea Crisps, Pizza crust
Ice Cream
Sunchips, M&Ms, Cookies,
Goldfish crackers
Potato Chips, Cake, Brownies
Cheese crackers with peanut butter
 And of course her absolute favorite - FRENCH FRIES!
Christina's "sometimes" foods (sometimes she wants them, sometimes not):
Saltines with Peanut Butter, Tortillas, sips of whatever soup I'm having,
Almonds, Hamburger Buns, Chicken Nuggets
Teddy Grahams/Graham crackers
And Christina's "never" foods (These are the things she completely refuses to eat, and I have tried all the tricks I can think of!):
Fruits (fresh or dried, although she has been known to occasionally eat dried apple chips)
"Here Sigrid, have this applesauce - I don't want it."
Veggies (fresh or cooked - at this point all I can get her to eat is the Flat Earth brand chips, which claim to have a half serving of veggies in every ounce), 
Milk, Eggs
To balance out this obviously uneven diet, I try to get her to eat a "Bugs Bunny" vitamin once a day.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I just hope she'll branch out as she gets older and at least TRY some healthier foods.  As it is now, sometimes I'll hand her a piece of fruit or veggie to try, and before she even puts it in her mouth, she'll say "I don't like it."  I try to convince her that she can't know if she likes it if she hasn't even tried it, but she won't have any of it.  But I'm not giving up!

Beach Trip

Last week Christina and I went to the beach with our friends Kristina and Sigrid. Here's some pics from our fun morning.

A train went under the bridge right as we were walking across.  It was carrying wood chips, which smelled great!
 Why is it that for every cute picture like this:
there's a wierd one like this? (mmm..yummy sandwich!)
Christina and Sigrid had a lot of fun running around and just hanging out together.
Christina decided that she wanted to carry around the sippy cup that was being used to hold Kristina's pickle and pickle juice.  She took a sip at one point, then she said "Yucky!  Bleh!"
Christina takes after her Daddy in that one of her favorite things to do at the beach is pick up rocks and skip them (well, really just throw them) in the water.
She and Sigrid also had fun playing with what Christina and I called the "creepy" or "wierd" seaweed!
I was talking to my MIL last night, and she said that MRSA (the antibiotic resistant bacterial infection) has been found in samples taken from several Washington beaches.  
So maybe we won't be taking any more beach trips for a little while.  But we sure did have fun!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do by Les Parrott III

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a great parenting book.  In part one the authors explain why, as the title says, who you are matters more than what you do.  Part two lists ten character traits that are worth considering.  Since all parents are different, we all need to work on different areas in relation to our kids, and this gives us a good place to start.  And part three discusses how to avoid being the kind of parent you DON'T want to be, and how to make the ten traits discussed in part two stick.

This book is about more than how to deal with your kids.  It's about how to become the kind of person you want your kids to someday become.  Whether we like it or not, our kids are watching us, and we are the greatest influence in their lives (at least while they're young).  We need to take that very seriously and examine how we live our lives in light of that.

View all my reviews >>

Some great quotes

I found these quotes in a book called The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do, by Les and Leslie Parrott.  It's an awesome book, and I'd definitely recommend it to any parent.  Throughout the book, the authors throw in quotes from various people, and several of them really struck a chord with me.

"A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit." - Fancois Rabelais

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach

"When we determine to be there for our children, the moment arrives one day when we discover they love to be there for us." - John Trent

"God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without and the tumult of our passions within bewilder us and prevent us from listening to Him." - Francois Fenelon

And my favorite...

"If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is something that could better be changed in ourselves." - Carl Jung