Friday, October 30, 2009

Brawl at Bartells

Yesterday evening I decided to go for a walk with Christina to our local Bartell Drugs store.  Basically, Christina was having a rough night (lots of tantrums and crying for no apparent reason), and I thought we could both be helped out by getting out of the house and getting some fresh air.

The walk went pretty well, and Christina actually walked most of the way (I brought along the stroller for if she got tired).  She really enjoyed splashing in the mud puddles we came across on our way to the store.

So we arrived at Bartells, and as soon as I walked up, I knew something wierd was going on.  There was a man in a baseball cap (from here on out I'll refer to him as Baseball Cap Guy) standing behind a big pillar and looking into the store's windows.  A lady walked out of the store, and he grabbed her and pulled her aside (she must have known him, because she seemed fine with this).  I heard him say "They're pulling a scam in there!" and point to someone in the store.  Christina and I went inside the store, and shortly thereafter, the lady came back inside (presumably to tell someone about the "scam"), but then I heard her ask one of the clerks where a particular item was and then go to find I was a bit confused.  Christina started looking around in the makeup aisle near the front door.

Then, Baseball Cap Guy came in the front door, pulling a woman along with him.  He was saying something along the lines of "I saw what you were doing," and she was asking him to let her go.  Now I was starting to get really worried.  He pulled her into the aisle next to me, the shampoo aisle, and he motioned for this young guy in a black shirt (from here on out referred to as Black Shirt Guy) to come with him.  The lady was telling Baseball Cap Guy to let go of her, but he pushed her up against the shelves, holding her by the collar, knocking over a bunch of shampoo bottles (seriously, I felt like I was watching a movie).  Then Black Shirt Guy ran over and tackled Baseball Cap Guy, and as far as I saw, everyone fell to the floor.  One of the Bartells employees at the front of the store yelled out "Call 911!"

There were sounds of a tussle, and Christina started walking in that direction to see what was going on.  I told her to come back over by me (my heart was beating so fast!), and just then Black Shirt Guy got free and ran out the front door (thankfully, he was careful not to run into Christina, because she was right in his way).  Back in the aisle, I saw Baseball Cap Guy and a Bartells employee (she was wearing the Bartells red vest) getting up from the floor (I don't know how the employee got in the middle of the fight, but she did).  Baseball Cap Guy ran out after Black Shirt Guy (I have no idea where the lady went, but she wasn't there anymore, so she must have run out at some point).  Basball Cap Guy came back in a minute later and said "He ran over into the Safeway parking lot!"

Now that all the action had died down, I turned my attention to Christina.  She was pretty shaken up, and she started crying.  I kneeled down and talked to her - we talked about how scary it had been, but how it was all over now and wouldn't happen again.  I went with her to the back of the store and we went to the restroom, where she cried some more and then calmed down.  Then we walked around the store a bit, and I saw that a police officer had arrived and was talking to Baseball Cap Guy and some of the employees.  On our way out of the store, the lady employee that had somehow gotten in the middle of the fight said "I hope we didn't scare your little girl too much," and she asked Christina if she was OK.  Christina said yes, and we headed back home.

Christina decided to ride in the stroller most of the way home, and at one point she started crying again.  I asked if she was still scared, and she said yes.  She kept saying "I want to go home."  I told her that we were on our way, and that as soon as we got home, she could tell Daddy about how we saw the men fighting.  That seemed to cheer her up, and as soon as we walked in the door, she ran right up to Sean and said "We saw men fighting!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Angels in my midst?

Recently I started reading a new book, Angels in my Hair, by Lorna Byrne.  As you can see, on the cover there are two white feathers forming a circle around the title.

The book is a memoir about a lady who has seen angels for as long as she can remember.  These angels can appear in many different forms.  Sometimes they appear as a shaft of light, and sometimes they look like people, only brighter, as though they have a light radiating from inside them.  And yes, sometimes they have wings.  She communicates with the angels, and she said she wrote the book because the angels told her to.

Well, beginning a couple of weeks ago (before I even started reading the book), I've been finding little white feathers around my house.  I usually find one or two small feathers every day or every other day, either on the living room floor or the kitchen floor, and I have no idea where they're coming from.  Then, a few days ago, I remembered the picture on the cover of the book.  I'm honestly wondering if my angels aren't trying to leave me a message, telling me that they are REAL, that what this author is saying is true.  I'm sure this sounds crazy, and maybe there's a completely logical explanation, but I really like the idea of my angels reaching out and sending me this message!

God is in control

God has been so faithful over the years to provide for Sean's and my financial needs.  There have been times in our lives when we've been living practically paycheck to paycheck, with very little money in savings (like right now), and yet He always provides for us.  We always have enough to pay the bills, and we rarely have to use credit.  (The only debt we're in right now is a small car payment, along with our mortgage, if you would count that as a debt.)

Sean and I have wanted to buy a dining room table ever since we moved into our townhouse at the end of February, but we never had enough money to buy one.  There was always something we needed to buy that was a higher priority.  Both of us really like the idea of eating dinner at a table, rather than while sitting on the couch watching TV.  We did have a small, 2-person table at our old apartment, but we wanted something that would seat at least 3 people, since we've got Christina with us now.  On top of that, we like having friends over for dinner occasionally, but it's a bit awkward without a table to eat at.

It just so happened that our friend Kena's boyfriend was moving in with a new roommate, and he needed to get rid of most of his furniture.  Kena told us he had a dining room table and four chairs that he was looking to sell.  We got in touch with him, and he offered us the beautiful wood table and chairs for only $50.  Of course, we took him up on his offer, and now we have a dining room table!  We've only eaten at it once since we got it, but it was great to just have a quiet dinner and talk about how our days went.  Now I'm planning to get a large, unscented candle for the center of the table, and maybe some flowers to use as a centerpiece.

I've also noticed that whenever Sean and I come into a large deal of money, that's the exact time that the car breaks down or we have some other expensive catastrophe.  Honestly, this is such a blessing.  God has always made sure that we have money before we have any large, unexpected expense.  We're going to get a large tax return next year, since we were first-time homebuyers this year, and the government has a program going on right now where if you buy your first home, you get $8000, which you pay back in $500 increments over the next 16 yearly tax returns, with no interest.  We've got a few big expenses that we're expecting around that time, like buying a new hot water heater for our place.  But I wouldn't be surprised at all if some other big catastrphe happens around that time that costs us a chunk of that money.  And really, I wouldn't mind.

God is so good to provide for us when we're in need, and make sure we're NOT in need when we need to shell out the big bucks for something.  He helps us to always stay pretty even as far as how much money we have, which is good, since:

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." - Matthew 6:24


"...if riches increase, do not set your heart on them." - Psalm 62:10

Monday, October 26, 2009

Favorite Quotes from "Stepping Heavenward"

I suppose to those who look on from outisde we must appear like a most unhappy family, since we hardly get free from one trouble before another steps in.  But I see more and more that happiness is not dependent on health or any other outside prosperity.  We are at peace with each other and at peace with God; His dealings with us do not perplex or puzzle us, though we do not pretend to understand them.

Katherine, speaking about her younger brother and his new love:
I have a strange and most absurd envy when I think what a good time they are having at this moment downstairs while I sit here alone, vainly wishing I could see more of Earnest (her husband).  Just as if my happiness were not a deeper, more blessed one than theirs, which must be purged of much dross before it will prove itself to be like gold.  Yes, I suppose I am as happy in my dear precious husband and children as a wife and mother can be in a fallen world, which must not be a real heaven lest we should love the land we journey through so well as to want to pitch our tents in it forever and cease to look and long for the home whither we are bound.

Mrs. Campbell, on her deathbed, to Katherine:
But before I go, I want once more to tell you how good He is, how blessed it is to suffer with Him, how infinitely happy He has made me in the very hottest heat of the furnace.  It will strengthen you in your trails to recall this my dying testimony.  There is no wilderness so dreary but that His love can illuminate it, no desolation so desolate but that He can sweeten it.  I know what I am saying.  It is no delusion.  I believe that the highest, purest happiness is known only to those who have learned Christ in sickrooms, in poverty, in racking suspense and anxiety, amid hardships, and at the open grave...To learn Christ, this is life!"

May this prayer, which, under the inspiration of the moment, I can offer without a misgiving, become the habitual, deep-seated desire of my soul:
"Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  Take what I cannot give - my heart, body, thoughts, time, abilities, money, health, strength, nights, days, youth, age - and spend them in Thy service, O my crucified Master, Redeemer, God.  Oh, let not these be mere words!  Whom have I in heaven but Thee?  And there is no one upon earth that I desire in comparison to Thee.  My heart is athirst for God, for the living God."
Stepping Heavenward: One Woman's Journey to Godliness (Inspirational Library Series) Stepping Heavenward: One Woman's Journey to Godliness by Elizabeth Prentiss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I dare say this is my favorite book. It's not just good reading - it's life-changing. This story of a woman's life journey with God is so inspiring and so REAL. Even though her story takes place in the 1800's, I can easily relate to it today. It's not just one struggle that she overcomes - it's a lifetime of getting to know her Heavenly Father. She has successes and failures, triumphs and tragedies, and through it all, she gradually comes to see God's hand over ever area of her life. This book has inspired me to want to know God better and love Him more. Of course, I can't do this on my own, but above all I am reminded that when I draw near to God, He draws near to me.

I highly recommend this book!

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Prowl

Christina and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle this evening for their annual Pumpkin Prowl.  It's an event where a portion of the zoo is decorated (the rest is blocked off), and there are lots of designated spots for kids to "Trick-or-Treat" and get candy.  A friend of mine went last year and said it was lots of fun, so I thought I'd check it out.

Man, was it crowded!  I mean, I expected it to be popular - I guess I just didn't expect that such a small portion of the zoo would be open, so there were lots of people in small spaces.  We had to wait in lots of LONG lines in order to get any candy.  Not to say that it wasn't a good time - actually, Christina was surprisingly patient waiting in all the lines.  She really enjoyed looking around and seeing the other kids' costumes.

Christina saw the wandering peacock shortly after we entered the zoo.  It wandered off (naturally!), and she didn't realize it was in the bushes right behind her.

Then, it almost came out of the bushes right in front of her.  Don't worry, I moved her out of the way before he stepped out!

I got a couple pictures of her in front of some jack-o-lanterns.  (In case you can't tell, they've got glow sticks inside them.)

Then, we headed over to the "Family Farm" area of the zoo.  We saw some goats while we were over there (the only animals that we saw the whole time).  And Christina enjoyed playing with the (non-working) water pump, while having a lollypop.

After that we went to the "Bug World" building and saw all the bugs, and by the time we got out of there, it was pretty dark.  We got in line to go into the "Boomazium" (typically called the Zoomazium).  It's usually a play area for young kids, but tonight it was decked out as a (fairly tame) haunted house.  It goes without saying that we had to wait in a HUGE line to get in.  So while we were waiting, I snapped some pictures!
Here's some jack-o-lanterns on spikes!  (And the reason the picture is so washed out is that it was TOTALLY dark by this time.)

A nice gentleman offered to take a picture of Christina and I in front of a huge jack-o-lantern.

Here's a creepy scarecrow that was just outside the building (sort of "Nightmare Before Christmas," I thought).

Once we were inside, it got pretty spooky.  It was one big, dark room, with BIG displays.  Christina was a little scared when we first walked in, what with it being so dark and the noises over the speakers so LOUD, but I explained that everything in the room was "pretend.".  I pointed out that the ghost and the bats flying overhead were attached to strings, so they could only go in a certain path.  That seemed to help her feel better about it.

There was a tall witch decoration that reached nearly to the ceiling, and over the speakers near her you could hear her cackling and saying, "Watch out for my spider friend over there, heee heee heee."  I didn't know what she was talking about until we rounded the corner and saw this:

A HUGE spider!  And keep in mind that the room was very dark - the display was only lit by some spooky blue and green lights.  The only reason the picture is so bright is that my camera's flash was on.  And not only was it a big, scary spider, but it was robotic, so it MOVED!

Christina didn't want to get too close to that one, and I don't blame her!
This scarecrow was quite spooky as well, but Christina didn't seem to mind it very much.

Christina was pretty relieved to exit the "Boomazium."  She said "It was scary in there!"

After that we did some more trick-or-treating and then headed back to the car.  All in all, we had quite a good time.  I'm not sure if we'll go back again next year, just because of all the long lines, but it was definitely worth checking out.  At one of the trick-or-treating "sites," we even got a beanie baby toy (Soybean the pig, whose birthday is January 3, 2007, just a couple weeks before Christina was born.  I thought that was pretty neat!).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Clever Girl

Sean, Christina and I were in the car on the way home from dinner at Larry and Melinda's tonight.  Sean decided to tell a joke.  Here's how it was supposed to go:

Sean: "What did the dog say after he got home from a long day at work?"
Me: "Ruff?"
Sean: "No, silly, dogs don't talk!"

Here's how it actually went:

Sean: "What did the dog say after he got home from a long day at work?"
Christina: "Noooo, dogs don't go to work!"

Even better!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I love Fall!

Here's Christina playing in the leaves outside our front door - so beautiful!

August 2007

October 2009

Gearing up for Halloween

Here's my measley attempt at decorating for Halloween.

Some cute window clings for our front window...

...and a banner on the front door (check out Christina's cute new raincoat!):

I was planning on having Christina dress up as a witch - I actually bought the costume the day AFTER Halloween last year, since all the costumes were on sale.  But when I tried it on her, I found that it was much too big (even though the label says 2-4 years).  The skirt and bloomers kept falling down to reveal her diaper underneath.  So I've decided instead to dress her in her bumblebee costume, which we've had since last year, but she hasn't officially worn for Halloween (she wears it every now and then to play around the house).  But here's a pic of the witch costume, which I hope to be able to use next year!

I know I've mentioned before that Christina loves trying on all the Halloween hats and headbands when we're out at a store.  Here's a mask that she decided to try on.  (After I take pictures of her, she always wants to look at the back of the camera to see how it came out.  When I showed her this picture of herself, she actually got a little scared.  I did too!)

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Answered Prayer

God is so good.  Allow me to ellaborate...

Last night I was kneeling beside my bed in prayer.  Usually I pray while laying in bed, before going to sleep, but last night I felt especially convicted that I needed to do some good, HARD praying.  See, I've been reading this book, Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss.  Through this book, I've been convicted about what a completely selfish, weak creature I am.  I've tried so many times to change certain aspects of myself (watching less TV, eating less fast food, drinking less pop, spending less money).  Once I make up my mind to change something, I'll do pretty well for a day or two.  Then, I just settle back into my old ways, as if nothing had changed in me at all  It's just as the apostle Paul said in the book of Romans:

"I want to do what is right, but I can't.  I want to do what is good, but I don't.  I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." - Romans 7:18-19

This book has further convicted me that I consistently keep my thoughts focused on myself, rather than on God.  I get annoyed at difficult circumstances, rather than entertain the thought that maybe God brings hardship into my life to change me, bring me closer to Him. 

One character in the book, Mrs. Campbell, explains to the main character, Katherine, that God brings "difficult" people into our lives for one of two reasons: 1)for the good that they might do us, or 2) for the good that we might do them.  I see how little self-control and self-denial that I have displayed with certain people who I have deemed "difficult."  Instead, I got angry and frustrated.  I determined that I would get my way and would not let them impose on my life.  I wanted to keep my BOUNDARIES.  Only now do I see how much teaching I may have missed out on by failing to deny myself and focus on Jesus.

So during this prayer session, I was not only confessing my sins, but asking God to change my sinful nature.  I was crying.  A phrase came into my mind that I kept repeating over and over: "More of you God, and less of me!"  I'm so tired of myself, so ready for God to transform me into the person He wants me to be.  I'm not sure who that person is, but as long as He's in control, it's got to be good.  Of course, I'm also fully aware that God does not change us overnight, but over a lifetime, drawing us closer to him in small steps.  To quote my book:

Katherine: "I have a great many little trials, but they don't do me a bit of good.  Or, at least, I don't see that they do."

Mrs. Campbell: "No, we never see plants growing," she said.

Katherine: "And do you really think, then, that perhaps I am growing, though unconsciously?"

Mrs. Campbell: "I know you are, dear child.  There can't be life without growing."

I was wiping my eyes when Sean came into the room.  Seeing that I had been crying, he asked me what was wrong.  I told him about my struggles, about how I've been trying to make changes and failing miserably.  He asked me if I'd like his help, to keep me accountable in the changes I want to make (like I said before, less TV for me AND Christina, less fast food, less pop, spending less money).  I accepted his offer, knowing full well that he WILL keep me accountable, and that will make this much harder for me.  I won't be able to fall back into my old ways as easily, because now I'll be disappointing not only God, but my husband.  Maybe that sounds funny, because disappointing God should be worse to me than disappointing my husband.  But I think I unconsciously know that God will forgive my misgivings, while my husband may not.

Sean and I talked for quite a while, and I got some great ideas.  For example, the reason I think I have so much trouble with spending too much money is that I use shopping as recreation.  When Christina and I are at home, and I'm being good about keeping the TV off, we inevitably get bored and want to go somewhere.  The weather is getting pretty cold, so going to the park isn't as inviting as it was during the summer months.  The only indoor thing that I can think to do is go to a store.  And somehow, I always end up buying something that I don't really need.  So Sean's idea is, when I go out, leave my money and credit cards at home.  That way, I have no opportunity to buy anything.  (So simple - why didn't I think of that?!)

Sean also reminded me that I shouldn't expect to change all of these things overnight.  It's a process (God is all about the PROCESS, remember?).

I'm just so blessed to have Sean as my husband.  I don't think a lot of husbands would be as understanding and helpful as he was with me.  When we laid down to go to sleep last night, I told him, "I knew God would answer my prayer.  I just had no idea He would do it this fast!"

God is so good.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I just read in a magazine that the average age that girls start using the potty is 35 months, and for boys it's 39 months.  So why is it that as soon as a kid turns 2, everyone starts asking if you're potty training yet?

Christina is not potty trained, and as far as I can tell, it will be a while before she is.  She couldn't care less whether her diaper is full or not.  And, honestly, I think it's easier dealing with diapers than potties.  Once she IS potty trained, I have to worry about always knowing where the nearest bathroom is when we're out and about.  Because when a kid's gotta go, they've GOTTA GO!  They have no concept of "holding it."  I'll deal with that challenge when it comes, but I'm not rushing to get there!

Hopefully by keeping the pressure off, it will be a quick and painless transition when Christina decides to start using the potty.  I know some parents who think that if I don't encourage her, she'll never learn.  But I don't recall ever hearing about a high schooler still wearing diapers because their parents never taught them to use the potty!!

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago, since that's when it actually happened.

I decided a while ago that I would do extended breastfeeding (breastfeeding beyond one year) and child-led weaning (allowing Christina to decide when to stop nursing).  Nursing was always such a special time between Christina and I.  Even on our worst days, when she was nursing, she would calm right down and relax in my arms.  It was great therapy for both of us, so I wasn't in any hurry to bring it to an end.

She nursed almost exclusively until she was about 18 months old.  At that point she started eating food, but she still nursed quite a bit.  Somewhere around 2 years old, she stopped nursing during the day. She would still nurse before going to sleep (for a nap or at night), and then a few times during the night.  By 2 and a half, she had given up the feeding before going to sleep, and she would just nurse when she woke up during the night (although really she'd just latch on for a minute or two and then be done, so I knew she wasn't getting much milk anyway).

A few weeks ago Christina came down with a cold - this was before the cold last week when I took her to the doctor (two colds in a row - no fun!).  One night she woke up asking for milk, but once I got her in position on the Boppy pillow to nurse, she wouldn't latch on because she couldn't breathe through her stuffed-up nose.  So I laid down with her and we cuddled while I ran my fingers through her hair.  Eventually we both fell asleep.  She woke up a couple hours later, again asking for milk, but I knew she'd have trouble again, so I said "No milk right now.  Do you want me to play with your hair or rub your back?"  She was OK with that, and fell back to sleep.

The next night I tried nursing again, but after skipping a night, my nipples hurt like crazy when she latched on.  So that feeding only lasted a few seconds before I stopped her, and for the rest of that night, whenever she woke up, I'd just run my fingers through her hair or rub her back until she fell back to sleep.

I was surprised not to have any feeling of fullness or engorgement after she stopped nursing, although like I said, she wasn't getting that much milk from me at her feedings anyway.  Then, about a week later, I felt that engorged feeling again, and was in pain for a couple days.  It was wierd that it took a week for enough milk to build up to make me uncomfortable.  I even tried getting her to nurse again on one of those painful days, but she just looked at my nipple, then looked up at me as if to say "What am I supposed to do here?"  It's like she already forgot!

Christina still wakes up in the middle of the night asking for milk, but I always just tell her "No milk, but I can play with your hair or rub your back."  She's always fine with those options and falls quickly back to sleep.  I'll really miss breastfeeding - all the cuddling and closeness.  It was a really nice way to just stop and relax, for both of us. 

My little girl is growing up!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Love and I

Here is a fun survey from a blog that I follow . I hope you enjoy it!

♥How long have you been together?
In January, we will have been married 8 years.  We dated for about a year before that, so 9 years altogether.

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About a year.

♥ Who asked who out?
Sean asked me, but it was quite a while before I said yes - I really wasn't interested at first!

♥ Who made the first move?
Sean made it very clear that he wanted to kiss me early on, but he waited until I was ready.  So officially, I kissed him first.

♥ How old are each of you?
We're both 26.

♥ Did you go to the same school?
Yep, we met in high school.  We were in American Sign Language class together.

♥ Are you from the same home town?
We're both from Mukilteo.  I was born in Ellensburg, and when I was 2 year old, my parents moved us to Bellevue.  But I lived in Mukilteo from 4th grade on, so I still consider it my hometown.  Sean was born in Edmonds, and lived in Mukilteo from when he was very young.

♥ Who is the smartest?
That's a dangerous question!  I think it depends on "smartest at what?"

♥ Who majored in what?
Neither of us went to college.  Sean joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, and he was trained in aviation mechanics and parachute rigging.  I had lots of different jobs, but right now I'm getting my major in Motherhood!

♥ Who is the most sensitive?

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Probably The Olive Garden.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
We moved from Washington State to Fort Worth, Texas for four years when he was in the Marines.

♥ Who has the worst temper?
He does.  I've learned to endure the yelling and cussing that go on during some of his online games.

♥ How many children do you want?
We're happy with one.

♥ Who does the cooking?
I do, but occasionally Sean will make us a delicious breakfast.

♥ Who is more social?
It depends on how you mean "social."  Sean has more friends that he interacts with on a daily basis, but his interaction is online, over the computer.  I'm more social as far as getting out of the house and seeing people face-to-face.

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
I would say neither of us, but Sean seems to think he is.

♥ Who is the most stubborn?
He is.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
Definitely him.  It's tough for him to sleep later than 7 or 8AM, even if he's been up late the night before.  I could sleep much later if I didn't have Christina waking me up!

♥ Where was your first date?
Our first official date was at Billy McHale's, a restaurant in Lynnwood (which just closed down - sad).  We did go out to dinner together once before, at Kosta's in Mukilteo, but we weren't actually dating yet.

♥ Who has the bigger family?
He has one brother - I'm an only child.  So he has a bigger family, but not by much.

♥ Do you get flowers often?

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
Thanksgiving is either at my Aunt Teri's place or his dad's place.  Christmas Eve is at my Aunt Barb's, and Christmas Day is at his dad's.

♥ Who is more jealous?
I don't think either of us is particularly jealous, although we don't give each other any reason to be.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
I remember knowing that Sean was the one for me on that first date at Billy McHale's, because he asked if this was the official day (January 21st, 2000) that we were starting to "date."  He wanted to know what day to celebrate our anniversary.  So it was pretty serious right from the beginning.  We got engaged just before Christmas of that year.

♥ Who eats more?
I don't really pay attention.  I hope it's him!

♥ What do you do for a living?
Sean works in security at Boeing.  I'm a stay-at-home-mom.

♥ Who does the laundry?
I do.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?

♥ Who drives when you are together?
Usually Sean, but if he's had a rough day, or is just tired of driving, I will.

♥ What is "your" song?
I would have to say "Come What May" from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (although I think I've already mentioned that in a previous post).

Now it's your turn!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Hidden Art of Homemaking The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Don't be fooled - this book is not just for housewives and stay-at-home-moms. This is a book for everyone. It's about re-discovering your passions. Since this book covers such a wide variety of subjects, there were a couple of chapters that I skipped/skimmed through, but most of the chapters were such an eye-opener for me.

I'm reminded that I don't have to be in a specific situation to enjoy the hobbies that I used to love. I may not be in a choir anymore, but I can still sing along to my favorite songs at home, for the entertainment of my daughter and my God. I've also become inspired to start gardening (just indoors so far - it is October after all!). The chapter about Interior Decorating showed me just how important it is to surround yourself with things that comfort and inspire you, even if no one else will see. And the chapter on Food gave me the great idea of taking a sack lunch along with me when I go for walks, just in case I come across one of the local homeless men, who may want something to eat.

All in all, this book is totally inspiring!

View all my reviews >>

Monday, October 12, 2009

My sick girl

Saturday night at about 11:00, Christina woke up in a coughing fit.  I went in and tried to comfort her, but every time she tried to take a deep breath, she started coughing uncontrollably.  I thought it was croup, so I bundled both of us up and headed outside for some fresh air (and to check the mail, since I hadn't checked it earlier that day).  I've read that when a child has croup, you should either get into a steamy bathroom or out into the cool night air, since both will relax a child's vocal chords and make it easier to breathe.  She did seem to breathe easier after a few minutes outside, so we headed back in, and I cuddled with her until her cough died down and we both fell asleep.

Sunday morning, she woke up coughing and with a runny nose.  I knew we wouldn't be making it to church, but Sean and I still strapped Christina into her stroller for our weekly Sunday morning walk.  The fresh air seemed to be really good for her, and apart from having to wipe her nose several times, she did great.

Later on, as I was reading a book to her, I noticed tiny red spots on the skin all around her eyes.  They weren't bumpy or itchy, but I was still a bit worried, so I took her to the walk-in clinic.  We had to wait for a while before we got in to see the doctor, and while we were waiting, the lady at the front desk said Christina had to wear a mask since she had a cough.  She handed me a little surgical-type mask the perfect size for Christina.  I can't decide if it was terribly cute, or just sad.

Of course she took the mask off after a few minutes, and eventually I gave up trying to convince her to put it back on.  Most of the people in the waiting room were wearing masks themselves anyway, and I made sure we stayed away from everybody else.

Eventually we got in to see the doctor, and as it turns out, he said the red spots are most likely little blood vessels that popped when she had her big coughing fit.  As far as her being sick, he said it seems like a virus, and it should get better within a few days.  The spots, however, may take a week to a week and a half to go away.  So we're homebound for now (watching lots of TV of course), and I'm just trying to get her as much rest as possible.  The tough part is that whenever she lays down, she starts coughing, so it takes a really long time for her to get to sleep.  Hopefully this won't last long!

Fun at Ikea

Christina and I went with my mother-in-law, Brenda, to Ikea on Saturday, and we had a lot of fun.  Christina really enjoyed trying out all the kids' beds.

She also liked playing in the toy section. 

Here are some little "egg" chairs.  The fabric at the top pulls down all the way, so the child can be completely hidden in the egg.

We had a great time hanging out with Grandma Brenda, giving her some Christmas gift ideas and grabbing some lunch!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Left Behind Left Behind by Tim LaHaye

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a fictionalized account of endtimes Bible prophesy coming to pass. It's the first book in a series of 12, and it begins with the Rapture. It tells the story of those who were not followers of Christ, and therefore were "left behind" on earth.

I started reading this book a few years ago, and about half way through I gave up for lack of interest. I recently picked it up again, and this time, I couldn't put it down! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I know a bit more about endtime Biblical prophesy than when I first tried reading it. It was really neat to match up what I had read about in the Bible with what was happening in the story. There were parts of the story that dragged a bit, and the book probably could have been a bit shorter, but all in all, I really enjoyed it. And I definitely plan on reading more in the series!

To be fair, if this book had a different subject matter, I probably would have given it three stars instead of four, but I'm so glad that someone decided to write a book about this, since the subject matter is so important!

View all my reviews >>

Playing with her shadow

Too cute!

Our day with Daddy (a sequel to "Our weekend without Daddy")

Sean got home from his trip to Canada late Sunday night, and since he had already requested the day off Monday, we decided to go to breakfast.  I got a couple cute pictures while we were there, and I learned just how much Christina likes having her picture taken.  (I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but just about every time I tell Christina that she looks cute doing/wearing something, she says "Wanna take a picture?")

Sean was sitting with his arm around Christina, and they looked so cute, I decided I wanted to take a picture.  By that time, Sean had moved his arm away, so Christina pulled his arm back around her to get in the perfect pose!

And as soon as I was done taking the picture, she pushed his arm away, as if she were saying "OK, I'm done with you now!"

A little while later I noticed that Christina was copying the way Sean was posed while sitting at the table, so I just had to get a picture of that too!

Then Sean hammed it up a little, copying Christina.  (Have you noticed that in most of the pictures I take of Christina, she's wearing a big, FAKE smile?  She knows that when the camera comes out, it's time to put on your happy face!  This makes it very hard to get candid shots of her.)

After breakfast we all headed over to the ice rink, because Sean wanted to get some skating practice in before his hockey game on Friday.  I planned for Christina and I to stay and watch Daddy skate for a little bit and then head to a nearby park to play until he was done.  But Christina decided that she wanted to stay at the ice rink the whole time, watching Sean and getting some chips from the vending machine to snack on.

When we first went into the rink, the lady at the front desk asked us if Christina wanted to skate, because it's free for kids under 5.  We said no, but then we got to talking about it.  The more Christina heard, the more she wanted to try it out.  But Sean and I decided that we definitely needed to get her a helmet before we would let her try ice skating.

So after Sean was done, we all headed over to Fred Meyer and bought Christina a bike helmet, which came with elbow and knee pads, and some mittens.  (She's already got a winter coat and warm pants.)  So the next time Sean wants to go skating, Christina can have a try too!  I figure I'll sit on the sidelines, because
1)  I'm not a good skater at all, so having her hold my hand would probably be more dangerous than helpful!
2)  My guess is, she won't want to stay on the ice for more than 5 or 10 minutes, at least at first, so it wouldn't make sense for me to pay to skate for such a short time.
Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to seeing her out there, or if I'm just totally nervous and scared about it!

When we got home, it was time for Christina's nap, and when she woke up, she wanted to try on her new stuff!

The rest of the day was spent at home (except for Christina and I going grocery shopping like we do every Monday evening), but we had a great time hanging out with Daddy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our weekend without Daddy

Sean was away in Canada this past weekend for a friend's wedding.  He left early Friday morning (with the car!) and returned late Sunday night.  I wasn't sure how Christina and I were going to do without him (and without a car!) for the weekend, but as it turned out, we had a great time.

Friday morning, my friend Ashley came over with her daughters, Kirsten and Natalie, known to us as Baby Natalie.  Here's a picture of Christina with Baby Natalie (taken a little while ago).

We hung out and had lunch over at my place, and after they left it was naptime.  That evening, Melinda (my step-mother-in-law) picked us up on her way home from work and drove us over to her and Larry's house for our weekly dinner over there.  Christina just loves seeing her Grandma Lindy and Grandpa Larry, and their dog, Barney.  She and Barney have lots of fun playing together.

Saturday morning was spent at home.  Christina helped me clean the bathrooms.  She helps out by holding the box of baking soda and sprinkling it in the sink when I ask her to.  Then she scrubs it in with a washcloth, and I get the spots that she misses.  She also likes to hold the bottle of homemade vinegar/water cleaner and spray it where I ask her to (the counters, the toilet, the sides of the tub).  She sprays it other places too, but it's not hard to wipe up, so I don't mind.

Saturday evening my parents came over with dinner.  They also brought a couple of those thin wooden airplanes that you can put together (very old-school!).  Christina really enjoyed throwing those around in the back yard, and chasing them after Papaw (my dad) threw them across the yard.

Christina also had fun playing on her little slide.  For some reason, even toys that have long since been forgotten (like the slide) are all of a sudden a ton of fun when Mammie and Papaw come over!

While they were here, Mom stayed with Christina while Dad drove me over to get Melinda's car - she lent it to me so I could go to church Sunday morning (Thank you Melinda!).

So Christina and I went to church Sunday morning, and then we went to Taco Time for some lunch.  Christina enjoyed climbing on top of the booth.  She said she was just taking a nap!

And after we drove back home, Christina spent some time playing in Grandma Lindy's car before going inside to ACTUALLY take her nap.

All in all, we had quite a nice weekend just the two of us, but we're definitely glad to have Daddy back home now!