Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! 

We are grateful for all this holiday season brings -- family, friends, and a reminder of Christ's coming.

Happy Christmas, all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Short snapshots of our week. 

S was grading final exams today. "Argg!!! These people do not know the difference between long run and short run! [he looks down at his toddler] E, give me two decent policies that you would propose that would result in long-run economic growth."

E, without missing a beat, claped her hands together with great excitement, and started running to the next room.

"Honey, I think all she heard in that was 'long run.'" Apparently, for E, a "long run" means "into the next room."

Brilliant. Steve gave her half a point for cuteness.


K was on the floor this morning, having her "play time" (also known as "MOMMY TORTURES ME BY PUTTING ME ON MY TUMMY!" time.) K generally spends this time talking to us, letting us know that this is hard work, but not crying, as she reaches for her toys or arches her back so that her feet and arms are no longer on the floor.

This morning I slipped into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Shortly after I did, I heard her vocalizations suddenly go from babbling conversation to a suprised cry. When I ran out into the livingroom, there she was, face up, staring at the ceiling with a concerned look on her face. "Mommy, how did this happen?!"

"GOOD JOB!!!" I said, "You TURNED OVER!!"

When Daddy, too, came in the room and showered praise on her for the new feat accomplished, she looked a little less concerned, and gave us great big, baby-proud smiles.


K is, indeed, growing up fast. She turned 3 months on Saturday. In addition to the "rolling over" milestone, she has recently reached another wonderful milestone. Last night she slept from 7:30 pm until 5:45 am. That's right, folks, over 10 hours!! She woke up briefly at 4:30, but decided all she wanted was a pacifier. AHHHH... there's a LIGHT at the end of the tunnel!


Since finishing the semester, we have had fun spending time with family. Last night we had a birthday party for my brother. I got to meet my new neice and nephew. We now have many cute pictures of the three little ones together. Pictures to come, I am sure!

E was very cute (as always) as we drove to see family. Instead of "Are we there yet?" (which, mercifully, she doesn't know how to say) she'd periodically say "All done" in English and ASL (in English it's "Ah-dah" so the ASL helps for clarification). When she realized that that was NOT getting her out of the car, she tried a new tactic. She clapped her hands together, said "Eyyie, Annah, Eyyie, yeah!" (Translation: "I'm excited to see my cousins, Ellie and Hannah, and I know that we're on our way to visit them now, and we'll be there soon, right mom?") Then she said "Ya-ta!" and threw her hands up in the air (translation: "My parents have been watching and quoting _Heroes_ too much, and so now I've picked up how to say 'I did it' in Japanese") and then clapped her hands together again and said "did it!" (Translation: "Just in case you don't know Japanese, I meant 'all done, we did it!'"). She put the icing on the cake by then granting me the LARGEST grin she could muster.

"No, E... We aren't there yet. Sorry."

Poor, patient, little girl.

Friday, December 12, 2008


A while back my sister in law, a new mom, asked me how I do it with two under two. My initial, gut response was "neglect." I didn't tell her that, though. Honestly, most days I simply shuffle between the demands of one and the demands of the other. Sometimes I even get to go to the bathroom in peace. I do the best I can, and it's getting easier.

Some days the oldest is quite helpful. As helpful as a one year old can be.

Since we haven't had video on here in a while, let me demonstrate with the help of youtube. Enjoy.

A Question of Lifestyle 

Yesterday we visited a couple of houses around town. Both within our price range. We were excited to see that, with our limited income, we could still get a nice house! The realitor told us, before we headed to the second house, that they were as different as night and day. She was right. One was a beautiful, completely updated Victorian with almost no yard (and no garage) near a lively district of town (with lots of coffee shops, my favorite hippy yarn store, and a vegetarian restaurant). The other was a boxy, boring, one-story bungalow with a large back yard within walking distance of work, but not near any thing else. It is in desperate need of some asthetic repairs. For example, it's got a finished basement, but when we went down to look at it, the ceiling fell in on us because it was poorly hung. We know this is something we can fix, but this is one of many "projects" we saw around the house.

So, do I become urban and trendy (in a house that needed no repairs) or suburban and boring (in a "fixer-upper"). At first, I screamed "Urban!! Coffee shops, book stores, neat neighbors!" And then I realized that the choice was not mine to make. My children had made it for me. We could fix up the boxy house, it would take time but we would fit better in it in the end. We cannot add a yard and a garage to the Victorian, however.

I love the Victorian home. But I love my children more. The other house is messy, but then again, so is life with kids. Goodbye, trendy "Carrboro" self, whatever of you existed in me! Welcome, to all the "mess" that comes with motherhood!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This Happy Mama Is Updating Her Blog at 3:30 am 

The good news: K just slept through the night for the first time!!! (8 hours)

The bad news: She thinks "the night" is 7 pm until 3 am.

Still, she's all smiles this "morning." I'm proud of her, too! (Last night she woke up every 3 hours, so tonight was VERY unexpected!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mimi vs. Me Me -- Big Cheek Edition (round three) 

K and E both put on weight (and thus nice big baby cheeks) for their 12 week growth-spurt. Can you tell which of these full-cheeked babies is which? The third round of "Mimi vs. Me Me" begins!

Photo one -- "stunned baby"

Photo two -- "stunned baby take two"

Photo three -- "a lesson in economics, on a bib."

Photo four -- "mom should learn to focus the camera"

Photo five "Ahh.. that's better."

Photo six -- "Do I have to smile?"

WARNING: It will be considered cheating if you read the next blog post (which has updated pictures) BEFORE guessing on this blog post.
Alright, this is just a spacer, so that you don't accidentally look at the ADORABLE pictures that follow.
Have you made your guess yet? Please do! Then, check the comments section for the correct answers.

Awww... isn't that sweet? 

Thought y'all ("y'all" being my parents, in particular) would enjoy these pictures.
S and I had our first go at Christmas last weekend, as we both realized that we didn't REALLY want to drag our gifts for each other with us for the holidays, only to have to drag them back. So we made rice pudding, cinnamon rolls, and some other goodies. Then we dressed our girls up in Christmas-y clothes, put on some Christmas music, and unwrapped a couple of presents!

Ahh... it's good to be the parents! (My mom and dad would never let me open presents early!)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bitterly Sarcastic (but not angry), Shoes, and Babies 

On the way to the grocery store today, I tuned in to one of the many Christian radio stations in town. There are, like, a gazillion in this area.

The song on the radio was some hip new song I had never heard. The words of the song were something along the lines of "Don't be afraid of death, Jesus, because you'll be raised again in three days."


I promptly switched the station. There were JUST SO MANY things wrong with that line. (So, I may have misquoted the line, I had never heard the song before, but that was the basic message -- if you know the song I speak of, please let me know what the real words were.)

FIRST -- don't be afraid of DEATH?! Gee, thanks. Condescending. That's the sort of thing I say to my one year old! "Don't be afraid of the melting snow on your sock, it'll dry." SECOND, way to trivialize the death! He didn't just die, dummy! He died on a TORTURE device, one of the worst ways invented TO die. THIRD -- "because you'll rise again in three days" Hm... first, he probably ALREADY KNEW THAT, second, does he really need you to write him a song 2,000 years later to TELL him that? Third, is that a reason not to fear a huge torturous ordeal that will ultimately take your life? I think not. I would still fear. I would still cry out to my God asking him to take the burden from me. I'm actually quite glad for the record of Jesus's time in the garden before his death. It's nice to know his struggle. It makes his obedience that much greater.

So, basically, what I heard in this song is, "Silly Jesus, you don't need to be pouring your heart out to God in the garden, asking him to take this burden from you. This is, after all, just death, and you'll conquer it. Sure, it's torturous death, but what are you afraid of? What's a little pain?"

AAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!! [Alright, so I wasn't really as outraged as this blog post seems to indicate, I didn't stew over the song for more than 45 seconds, but I did stew a bit. Wouldn't you? Or am I way out of line here?]


So, I went into the store, bought my food, came back out to a nice rendition of Walking in a Winter Wonderland on the station I'd tuned to in haste after listening to bad Christian radio.

Ahh... much better. "And pretend that he's a circus clown. We'll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman..." I sang along, picturing the clown snowman with a group of kids. Good music. Nothing wrong here.

Then the song ended. It was immediately followed by, "This is station W---, bringing the gospel to the air."

WHAT?!? The gospel?!? Gospel. The good news.

FOLKS: NEWS FLASH -- the GOOD NEWS is that it's snowing outside and we can make snowmen!!! Wahoo!!!

Bad news -- my friends in North Carolina rarely get to experience the gospel, and my mom's friends in central Africa must make a trip WAAAAY north to see what this gospel is all about.

Arg. So, bro, you work in Christian radio. Can you come over here and help these folks clean up their act?


In other news: Lake effect snow. Yep. They weren't kidding. It just keeps coming. We shoveled before going shopping today. My brand-new two-inch high heels barely did the job keeping my feet above the snow when we returned. But at least they got me up to six feet tall, so that I blend in a little better with the uber-tall Dutch locals. (E picked them out for me. She did a good job. At 20 months she has better fashion sense than I EVER have had.)


And, for my mother -- Cute grandkid story of the day.

E and K went to bed at the same time tonight. This is a first, as K usually isn't tired until an hour after E's bedtime. They sleep in the same room. 20 min after putting both girls down, I heard E talking in something between a whisper and her normal voice. "Mimi... Mimi... Mimi!!!" She stopped as soon as she heard me. I went in her room. She obviously had been obedient and stayed in bed, but she also obviously had not been IN her bed -- her sheets were pushed aside, she looked like she had just flopped down on her pillow as I opened the door. I could picture her leaning over her safety rails, whispering to her sister on the other side of the room with all her might, "Hey, baby sister, it's time to wake up now so we can talk and play! The parents are gone now, let's have some sibling time! Hey, Mimi, are you up?... No? How about now? ... How 'bout a nice hiccough, so that I can mimic you? Wouldn't that be fun? Any noise at all would be fun, wouldn't it? Hey, Mimi.... Mimi... " -- Mimi, being only 2 months old, was of course, not stirring a bit. Sorry, E. You're going to have to wait a bit longer to have slumber parties.

Oh, but Mimi is growing up fast! She now sits up fairly well, and is FULL of smiles! She loves having us chat with her, and even coos back most of the time. She's very verbal, and seems quite bright. Her worried looks still come, but usually only when E is around trying to "play" with her.

Friday, December 05, 2008


K's night schedule usually includes waking around 1:30 or 2 and again around 5. Last night I prayed for K to sleep through the night. S said afterwards, "don't worry, she will eventually -- likely the night you have insomnia. God has a sense of humor." He turned out to be right.

Last night K slept 9 hours straight. 9:30-6:30.*

We (S and I) were awake more or less from 2:30 until 4 am with E, sick with a fever and congestion. Around 3:15 am, blurry-eyed and crawling back into bed, hoping this time E would sleep, S looked over at me and said, "Indeed, God has a sense of humor." (Or maybe I said it... hard to remember at that early hour.)

Oh, the irony.

*So, I may have helped K along a BIT. Several weeks ago some girlfriends of mine were discussing "sleep feedings," something I'd never heard of before. The basic concept, they explained, was that you don't waken your baby, but instead simply feed your baby while she sleeps (baby reflexes are great like that) right before you go to bed, regardless of how long she's been asleep, and then that'll help her sleep longer. She usually goes to bed at our bed time, so I hadn't tried it but once -- it backfired big time that time, and I was up four times instead of two. That said, last night I thought it was worth a go again. At 3:30 am, I fed her about half of what she normally eats that time of night. She slept through the whole thing, including the burping and screams coming out of her sister, so I decided not to feed her the other half. That said, she was well on her way to breaking records before I fed her, I think she probably would have gone 7 hours regardless.

I am excited and hopeful that this may be the beginnings of a new, beautiful pattern for K. Even if she only sleeps 6 or 7 hours straight from here on out, that'll be SOOOO much better than 5 and then 3.

For those concerned about E -- she is acting like herself again this morning, no temp, but still obviously stuffed up.

For those wondering where the prayer came from -- you obviously haven't been a parent of a 2 month old. (Smile.) What prompted it last night may have been my discovery that my body can only tolerate two cups of coffee in the morning. Three makes me jittery and affects my ability to feed K because coffee does NOT help hydrate a person. Even one affects my supply, I'm fairly sure. That makes a cranky K. Good news, I've figured out how to optimize. One cup = fine, Two cups = okay, three cups = bad. Bad news, I definitely need to be producing more than I am, especially given upcoming daycare plans. That said, K's sleep patterns make it VERY HARD to for me to live without the coffee. The pattern needs to be broken.

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