Sunday, August 30, 2009

Miss Hadleigh Claire Poops

For those of you who have been following our poop saga with Hadleigh, I have good news. Our little crazy withholder has been making great progress recently. For the past two weeks, Hadleigh has pooped everyday. That is a huge milestone for her, since she used to poop once or twice a week. Not only has she pooped everyday, but those poops have been in the potty. I cannot believe that she is finally doing it. I set out this summer to really work on this issue with her, and I feel like we have conquered a lot. I am so proud of her.

If all that wasn't awesome enough, we had another break-through today. In the middle of lunch, she jumped up from the table and said, "I have to go poop" and ran to the bathroom and pooped. She did it without us being there, and she did it of her own free will.

This whole summer I have been trying to schedule her poops to come right after lunch and before her nap. Everyday after lunch she will spend some time on the potty and I have read to her. We have read Winnie the Pooh, Pooh Corner, Cappyboppy, Milly Molly Mandy, and are now working on Mary Poppins. She has ony recently gone willinging, and today she did it on her own. What a big girl.

I really hope this whole withholding thing is over for has been really difficult to deal with overall. I think we are making good progress. Yea!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jesus Whispers

I know I need to write more about our trip to Belize, but I have a book club meeting this Saturday for "Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I have to finish it! So hopefully next week I can spend some time writing. Until then, I wanted to post this song. We sang it last week in worship and I have been singing it ever since. It is from one of my fav cd's Red Mountain Church's "Gadsby Project". Love it! I continue to be a hymn loving girl...there sure are plenty of dumb ones out there with ridiculous theology...not much better than some of the "Jesus is my boyfriend" worship songs...but there are also some awesome ones...I obviously only like the awesome ones, and this is one of the good ones.

Lamb of God, we fall before thee,
Humbly trusting in thy cross;
That alone be all our glory;
All things else are vain and loss.

Thee we own a perfect Savior,
Only source of all that's good:
Every grace and every favor
Comes to us through Jesus' blood

Jesus whispers this sweet sentence,
"Son, thy sins are all forgiven."
Faith He gives us to believe,
Hearing ears and seeing eyes.

When we live on Jesus' merit
Then we worship God aright,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Then we savingly unite.

Hear the whole conclusion of it;
Great or good, whate'er we call,
God or King or Priest or Prophet,
Jesus Christ is All in All.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I love having two girls. They love each other and have so much fun together. I never had a sister, so this is all new territory for me, but it is sweet to watch them take care of each other.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miss Hadleigh Claire is 3.5

This past month with Hadleigh Claire was certainly interesting. With the girls I sometimes feel like we have 2 good months and then 1 BAD month. Actually with HC, I think we were on a really good roll of like 3 good months, so I should not complain when things get a little crazy around here. It just always leaves me at somewhat of a loss...what happened tto my sweet girl? Why does she want to make me so angry? Why can she not follow simple instructions? Why is she time after time choosing disobedience when she knows the consequences with be the same?

So, anyway, this last month was a bit rough, but it looks like we have emerged on the other end, so we are all happy and getting along much better.

Here are some positive things that have come out of her using her independence. One day we were in Belize and Annelise had an accident. I rushed her to the bathroom, and when I returned, Hadleigh declared that she had cleaned up the mess. She had pulled a chair over to the counter, grabbed the paper towels, and cleaned up the pee on the floor. What a sweet, caring and helpful little girl! And seemingly she is always willing to help me with whatever task I am doing. She loves doing laundry, putting away the silverware, changing sheets, etc. I think I need to find some more jobs for her, and more creative ways of letting her help me.

While in Belize I certainly saw her cautious nature. She always wanted me to be within an arm's reach, but she also wanted to be in all the action. And I could see within her this real desire to be part of what was going on...she just did not want to do it without me. For example when we went to the church for VBS, she wanted to go play with the other kids, and she just had a huge smile on her face as she watched them play, but she couldn't get up the nerve to go over with them. One of the days I took her into the middle of the action and we started playing with a frisbee. In a matter of seconds there were several other kids around who not only wanted to play frisbee with me, but also with Hadleigh. And she just LOVED that. After a little while I was able to sit down and she continued to play with her new friends. So sweet.

HC loves reading, and I truly LOVE that. One night we went over to some friends house for dinner. They did not have any children, but they had a shelf of children's books. As soon as we walked in, HC went straight for the shelf and literally sat there all night. I could spend hours reading to her. We have read Winnie the Pooh several times, chapter after chapter she will sit and listen. I took her to the library last week and she was in heaven. We picked out several fun new books for her to read. I think next time I want to get Mary Poppins, she loves the movie and I think she would enjoy the book.

Speaking of movies, we have been watching a couple musicals lately. Of course she loves Mary Poppins, and I checked out Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for her last week. The best part was during the big fight scene I asked her what was happening, and she said, "Oh they are just dancing Mama!" OK, if you think so!

Another thing she wants to do a lot is "read about God". We read about God a lot, which is fun. I love reading from her two little storybook Bibles and then reading her the real story from the Bible. She knows which stories are in which we can read about Naaman in the Jesus Storybook Bible, but we can read about Nicodemus in the other one. We continue to work on our verses. She has so many memorized now that I need to start writing them down on 3x5 cards so that I can remember the different ones. This week we started working our way through "Big Truths for Little Kids" which goes through a catechism. At first I thought it was the Westminster Shorter, but then I just realized, it must just be a generic catechism for children (well, I suppose the Shorter Catechism was for children, but in any case). Anyway, we'll see how this goes. My thought is to go through one chapter a week, memorize the questions and answers and memorize the scripture that goes along with it (the scripture is the proof text for the answers). Hadleigh actually knows all the answers from this first chapter, which includes, Who made you, etc, but she doesn't know the verse, Isaiah 40.28, "Do you not know, have you not heard the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom." I have been looking for a more organized way to teach her things, so this seems to fit it. The hymn that we are singing this week is Father Long Before Creation, whic is a great hymn redone by Andrew Osenga. I also want to become more diligent at teaching her to pray, so I am going to get a little box that has pictures in it, pictures of people that we will pray for. We'll see if that works. I think that since we have been taking this little break from specific ministry at church I have been pouring more effort to organize myself at home and with the girls. This is probably a good thing, and I am enjoying being more intentional with my time with them.

OK, what else can I say about my little girl? She is so big. I love learning more things about her, even though it sometimes pushes me near the edge. Sometimes it is good to be pushed to the edge and to Christ to give me wisdom as a mama. Sometimes I realize her behavior is truly just foolish, and sometimes I realize she just needs me to speak a soft word. It is hard to distinguish...and there are times I have no desire to speak a soft word, or to look to anything outside myself for the answer. But it is good to know that I do not know everything, but there is much wisdom that can come if I spend time praying for her and asking God to show me what to do. Novel idea, I know. I look forward to many more month of being her Mama.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Broccoli Salad

I cannot remember if I have mentioned this before, but a few months ago we started experimenting with vegetarian recipes. This past spring Dave applied to up his life and disability insurance, and we thought for a month before they came to run his blood work we would eat meatless...well at least I would cook meatless and then we would eat meat when we ate out. Dave was up for the challenge and I was anxious to see if his cholesterol would be lower without the meat (at the beginning of the year we cut out butter and went to skim milk, so I am sure that has helped as well).

The funniest moment was one evening when Dave arrived home to find me putting together Shepherd's Pie. "Lamb or beef?" he exclaimed. When I turned and excitedely responded "kidney beans" his face fell. The dish was fairly yummy, but afterwards he mentioned that he would prefer his shepherd's pie to have meat...ok...anyone have a good meat filled sp recipe?

Anyway, after Dave's tests this spring we took a bit of a meatless break and then jumped back into it a bit this summer. We aren't vegetarians...oh we like meat too much, we are just trying to eat less of it. Some weeks I succeed more than others. In any case, this summer we have perfected our version of Oriental Salad. Ya know, the great old Betty Crocker cookbook? There is a yummy recipe in there for Oriental Salad, but it is made with coleslaw. I am sorry, but cabbage is just roughage in my book...nothing horribly nutritious in that, but after stealing a number of ideas from a bunch of varying recipes, Dave is happy with the turn out, and so am I...and so was my playgroup when I made it for them a couple months ago. So here is the recipe...special thanks for Amy for the broccoli idea and Kathy for the sesame seeds idea, and Betty Crocker for the dressing!

1 bag of Broccoli slaw (the stalks of broccoli have been shredded and it looks just like coleslaw, only it is done with broccoli...yummy, and super good for you! In my store it is in a bag above the whole broccoli)
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
4 green onions, chopped
1 pkg Top Ramen Oriental Flavor Noodles
2 T. butter/margarine/olive oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 T. sesame oil

Chop green onions, and mix in bowl with the broccoli slaw, set aside. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in seasoning packet from ramen mix. Break block of noodles into bite-size pieces over skillet (I usually smash the noodles while they are still in the wrapping); stir into butter mixture. Cook 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in almonds and sunflower seeds and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and cook until everything is golden brown; remove from heat. Mix sugar, vinegar and sesame oil together until sugar has dissolved. Add noodle mixture and dressing to other ingredients and toss. I also think it tastes better after it has chilled and the flavors all mix together.

Dave and I will eat this for dinner, and there will not be anything leftover. Yummy!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Elf is 21 Months

Little Annelise is becoming such a big girl. She is talking up a storm, though a lot of it is not understandable to folks outside our family, but she can communicate exactly what she wants. My favorite part of all her words is when she sings. Her favorite songs to sing are anything with "Hallelujah". One of these days I will get it on video, but usually if we make a big deal of it she will stop singing. During our family worship times we sing a lot of "HoHoHo Hosanna" and "Praise Ye The Lord" so that she can get all her Hallelujahs in.

Of course I love to see the girls together in action, and Annelise is just desperate to do everything that HC is doing. Annelise doesn't even want to be awake if HC is not awake too. That makes the afternoon hard because Annelise is usually up for an hour before HC wakes up from her nap. But as soon as she hears HC rumble around she is up the stairs in a flash calling for her the whole time.

Annelise has started calling herself "Anna". I figure it is easier for her to say than Annelise, but I do look forward to when she can say her whole name. For now, she can use the abbreviated version. On occassion we will call her Anna too, but I try to stick with the full Annelise.

Poor Annelise is right in between ages of children at playgroup. She is a year or more younger than the oldest ones and a year or more older than the youngest ones. She is great at hanging with the big kids, but I am looking forward to her being in a Parent's Morning Out one morning a week this fall and hope that she will enjoy playing with kiddos her own age. There will be two other little girls from our church in her class, so I hope they will all be great friends.

Annelise loves baby dolls, which is super fun. Of course she loves everything that HC loves, trucks, planes, trains, and helicopters too. She does a great plane sounds which is super fun, but I am also happy that she is finding things that she enjoys. Who knows, maybe she will be my girly girl...or not. Either way.

Oooo. A potty update. She is doing great! What can I say, she is amazing. She still has some accidents but that would happen to any newcomer to potty training. She poops and pees and is just a natural. I am so excited, and just glad to have this come easy to her.

She continues to be a super sweet girl. She is very loving and affectionate. She always has a kiss and hug for you, and is becoming a great back scratcher. Yesterday I was suffering from food poisoning, and everytime I ran to the bathroom, Annelise was right beside me rubbing my back. So sweet! Not that I really wanted someone touching me, but she is a very sweet girl, and very loving and affectionate.

I love my Annelise.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Am an Overachiever

Maybe it is because I am a first born child, I am not sure, but whatever the case may be there can be no doubt that I am an overachiever. OK, not the kind of overachiever that decides to bike up a 90% grade incline in Colorado. Or the kind that decides to run a marathon or even the kind that works out everyday. I never cared about being successful and ridiculously rich, so not that kind either. When we applied for life insurance a couple years back our financial advisor said that while if Dave died we needed to have enough insurance to cover his salary, if I died we just needed enough to cover services. Yea, that is me. My first job out of college I made $9/hour. It is probably also fitting that my last job before Hadleigh was born I made $9/hour...oh wait I think I did make it up to $9.60...ah the joys of being a contractor for the Army.

So, in any case, there are some areas of my life that I have realized I am an overachiever. I have realized that the fun thing about being an ENFP (well besides the fact that word on the street has it that Jesus was an ENFP) is that not only do I have tons of energy (supposedly), but I have a high tolerance for chaos (so they tell me), I can multi-task like no ones business (hmmm) AND I can put on a great show with all my tricks as if it was absolutely no problem and I never sweat doing it either!

Bring on the move from across the world, being jobless for 6 months, having two children under 2, buying a house and moving yet again, all the while hosting a community group at my home and serving on a ministry team at church. No problem, and if that wasn't good enough for you, there is so much more. I can scrub my floors everyday while keeping the rest of my house immaculate, and clip coupons while I am changing a diaper. Do you want more? How about spending hours reading Martin Lutheer's Bondage of the Will, while simultaneously doing a "not-so-easy to mostly difficult" sudoku puzzle. And on the side I'll watch your baby, cook you a meal, listen to you cry about a lost boyfriend or job or whatever you want to tell me about. OH yea, and did I mention that I am an expert in payroll, insurance shopping, will-making, and bank account changes and investing for retirement and college savings. Bring it on!

I am certainly tired and the thing is I am not even done yet. Let's also paint the walls in our let's tear down the walls in our home and map out a schedule to catechize the girls, and not only should I be teaching them scripture and hymns and the Westminster Catechism, I better also be reading the classics to them, now I have to find out what the classics are.

Anyway, this is all a rant because last night I was too tired to sleep, so I got up at midnight to come downstairs and google "circle time with preschoolers". I am not even sure what circle time is, but I am certain I should be doing it with my girls. SO I sat up and researched different ideas and then found some good book lists for not only teaching them scripture, but for also reading to them good literature...move over Sandra Boynton (don't you love Moo Baa LaLaLa?). So today I am bone tired, and thinking through, should I really attempt to implement this whole circle time idea, and if so, should I consider not doing all the other things that I have been thinking about doing this fall? Like cleaning my house and going to play with refugees and their children?

The thing is I am not really stressed, I am just so ADD that I cannot decide what is important and what is not. I want to do all these things well, and the reality is I cannot. If I choose to make you a meal I will likely yell at my girls before I have dropped it off. And I will probably leave the dishes for Dave to do when he gets home. And though my house MIGHT be clean when you pop over to tell me about your woes, it was because I put the girls in front of a video.

So, now I will continue to wrestle with how to be totally me...while also being slightly responsible. How can I care about all the things in my head, while truly caring for the ones that I am directly in charge of? And what does it truly mean to take care of my girls anyway? Some moms provide wonderfully calm, tranquil, beautiful, clean homes to live in...I drag my girls to Belize to play, sweat and get heat rash all over their poor little bodies.

I am sure this is a common struggle for moms. We are told we can do it all, but it is just not true. At some point I have to decide what I care about and what I don't. I know one thing, I'll be happy to have you over to my unclean, undusted house, and listen to your woes, that is by far my favorite thing to do and I hope I never get too busy to do that.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Things We Love

We just returned from our first family mission trip to Belize. We had a great time and I will post more pictures and stories later, but I wanted to post some pictures of things that we LOVE/things that we could not have lived without this week.

Pamela or "Lela" as Annelise liked to call her. She took great care of us while we were in Belize.
Hairbands...Hadleigh and I usually had 6 in our hair and Annelise had 8.

Xiabe Country Club and Golf Club...wish we would have discovered this before Friday!

The Truck...and The Cat, both provided much entertainment.

New friends at VBS


Burt's Bees Insect Repellent, all natural and safe for children.

Screens that mostly cover the windows

Baby powder that take some of the itch out of heat rash, and keep really hot, sweaty skin dry

Did I mention fans, and mostly fans that run.
That is all I have for now, but more to come!