Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yesterday Samuel came with me on a diaper-run after school and it was so nice to spend a little bit of time with just him; something that doesn't happen very often these days. As we were pulling into the parking lot he said, "The clouds looks so fluffy and soft! Are they made out of cotton? Can we get one down?"
After fumbling through an explanation of what clouds are made of (science refresher anyone?), I explained that we couldn't get one down . We got out of the car and he paused and said, "Couldn't we get a really tall ladder and get one down with a rope? They have some ladders at school.."
I love kid's imaginations!!
I tried to get a picture of Z today but he wasn't feelin' it. So he ran away:)
I took Eliana to the Dr's today because she just hasn't been able to shake this virus so I wanted to make sure that she is okay. It was as I suspected: a virus and I was told to cut out dairy products from my diet for a few days because after a gastrointestinal virus, you are temporarily lactose intolerant. So that may be the cause of her continued symptoms, I guess.
Thankfully today she seemed happier and more lively than she has in a week so that is good news! Here is a video for your enjoyment of her trying to roll over:) She tries (sometimes half-heartedly) many, many times (as you can see)before she finally gets it. She thinks it's funny to roll away and come back to us and has really enjoyed time on the floor lately!! She getting so fun!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
*Eliana rolled over from back to stomach!! She was so happy, too, and had her brothers and I cheering her on all the way:)
*She also started pushing herself backwards in her walker. She is changing so fast everyday! Samuel said, "Stop changing so fast, Eliana!" We wholeheartedly agree!
*Poor little thing just keep fighting sickness. She just hasn't been herself 100% for a few weeks. She has some stomach virus or something and had a rash for a few days, a runny nose and has had diarrhea for the past 3 days. Her poor bottom is raw! I just wish she could fight this off and get healthy!
*Zakkai came home from preschool the other day and told me that one of his teachers, Mrs Darby, wasn't at school. I asked why and he said, "Because the boy that is Mrs. Darby's son was growing up." I said, "Are you sure he wasn't....throwing up?" He shook his head adamantly and said, "No! He was growing up!" His teacher got a kick out of it when I told her the next day:)
*Tonight at dinner Ben was telling me about how a fellow student has a new girlfriend and suddenly Samuel leaned over and really softly said, "I have a girlfriend." WHAT??? My baby has a girlfriend? How does he even know what a girlfriend is? (Never mind the fact that I had a "boyfriend" in first grade. His name was Sam and he ate paste.) I hastily choked down the food in my mouth, tuned Ben out (sorry, my Love!) and carefully looked at him and said, "Oh really? A girlfriend? What's her name?"
He said, "Carlina." and added shyly, "She likes me." Ben was still talking in the background so I stopped him and casually drew his attention to our little side conversation. Then Samuel said, "She likes Eric, too." I asked him if another girl (who sits next to him) was his girlfriend and he paused and said, "Yes. They are all my friends."
Whew! Crisis averted. My baby doesn't know what a girlfriend is. And I hope that lasts til he's 23.
*This morning, we tromped outside for school only to find the weather was cold and there was actually frost on our car windows again. Samuel looked confused and said, "I thought it was Spring? Is winter...coming back?" I had to explain Chicago's unfortunate tendency to prolong winter and delay spring. (as in: Winter=7 months, Spring=1 month.) Poor kiddo got a good taste of spring in the past week and has so enjoyed going to the park. Soon!
*Zakkai, who has wanted to be very close to me lately, was sitting on my lap this afternoon and he turned and looked at me with his gorgeous blue eyes that are going to melt some girl's heart someday and said, after a moment, "Mommy, you're pretty." What a charmer!
*And speaking of charming, these sweet boys have been complimenting me at every dinner saying how wonderful the food is and thanking me. It's a very nice reward after working hard to get a nutritious meal on the table!
*I am still on a roll with weeding through our overwhelming material possessions (where did all this stuff come from?) and have 3 more bags of stuff in my trunk to give to the Salvation Army! Somehow that is always the hardest part. The bags sit in my house forever and then I finally lug them out to the car where I drive around with them for so long that they blend into the car interior and I forget they are even there!
*And last but not least, today I am wishing a very Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet nephew Jacob!
Yea for Friday tomorrow!
ps. sorry no pics! I need to empty my camera because the memory card is full!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Everyday is new. Not one day is exactly the same. They say funny things, get into mischief, say sweet things, get into more mischief....
My life is full of funny, mischievious, sweet things. And their names are Samuel, Zakkai and Eliana;)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
And today....today he suddenly came out of his room with a stuffed animal I've never seen before in my life! His eyes became very shifty upon close questioning and his little creative brain was working hard to come up with a plausible reason why a strange beanie baby is in our house tonight.
The thing I love though is that he always tells me the truth in the end. He can't help it! I just wish he'd tell it to me the first time;)
First he found the stuffed mouse in their closet. And then as I insisted that it wasn't ours, he moved to the story that he "found it at school on the carpet." It then changed from being no one's stuffed animal to suddenly being his friend Taylor's that she accidentally forgot.
He sat out for a very long time and after which, we had a serious talk about "stealing." He's been known to come home from school with paper clips and little random things he picks up, even a cell phone battery a couple weeks ago!
But even as his orneriness moves to a more mature level and changes from coloring on our very white walls to sneaking things, his conscience and sweet heart seem to be maturing as well.
He has been voluntarily admitting to wrong lately, even when I didn't know he did anything in the first place! He came out with my booklight the other day and before I could say a word, handed it to me and said (with his big baby blue's), "I'm very sorry that I took this, Mommy and I won't do it ever again!"
How can you possibly be mad at that???
How if only we can get his itchy fingers under control, I think we'll be okay....
Eliana is really growing fast! We are starting to get lots of comments at school like, "She's like a real baby now instead of this tiny sleeping creature!" or "She is so big now!"
She's really blossomed again this week, finally showing that she is back to herself after her illness. She's congested again but seems to be happy still. She is talking a lot again (she has a lot to say!) in her sweet, soft voice and laughing. I put her in the Moby wrap a couple of times when we went to the park and her little head just swivels left and right as she tries to take everything in! She really loves to be outside:)
She's starting to move her body around a whole lot more, too. She rolled over (stomach to back) 3 times this afternoon and is rolling halfway over from back to stomach. She is always turned sideways in her crib, too, with her feet up on the side rails:) We love this little creature!
Samuel is learning so many new things at school now! They are starting to work on telling time, the value of pennies and nickels, telling the temperature outside, and more. It is funny when he comes home spouting off facts about things I didn't even know he knew about! (take a minute to decipher that sentence....)
He loves to argue with us, like we don't know what we're talking about. Must be something just born in kids: "Watch out, that's hot!" Kid's response: "No it's not." "Bananas are yellow." Kid's response: "No, they're not!"
Wow, I wish I'd known everything I needed to know at 5 years old:)
But even if he thinks he knows everything and raises Zakkai right along side us, he does have this amazingly wonderful ability to elicit immediate smiles and laughs out of his sister with his sweet, high-pitched voice and gentle spirit. He's a great big brother!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When I figure it out, I'll let you know! I am constantly trying to "take every thought captive" because it's the little thoughts that creep in and try to steal my joy and spread dangerously like a fast-growing cancer. Just for once in my life, I'd like to believe that God really loves me and that I am worth a gift or two.
It's just such an example to me of the power of a parent's words over their child and the life-long lasting effects they can have, whether good or bad. I am thinking of my earthly father and the devestatingly powerful effect his mocking words had on my life. So much in my life has been healed but I know that I will continue to fight to break the power of his words over me with God's words. And the main message of those words that I continue to battle is: "You're not worth it."
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
We were talking tonight about how when you get married, you mean the vows as you pledge them to one another before God and family but you don't really know what it will mean to keep them. I feel like we have really had a chance over the past 8 years to fulfill our vows and love each other through sickness (some serious, some not) and health, for richer or for poorer (but mostly poorer!), through good times and bad (some of both). We have had chances to test our commitment to God and to one another many, many times and have grown so much through our years together.
It's amazing to be able to have the chance to love and be loved like this. So Happy Anniversary to the most faithful, loving friend I've ever had in my life. I love you, Ben, and feel honored to share in this life with you!
Favorite memory of our wedding:
Ben~"Riding in the car with you and getting Rally's (fast food) right after our wedding."
Heidi: "I think my favorite memory is our first dance where you sang 'My Girl' to me and seeing and feeling everyone's smiling faces around us while we danced."
Were you nervous the day of our wedding?:
Ben~"I mean, just excited. Not nervous."
Heidi~"Not one bit! I felt such amazing peace that day!"
3 Things that you like about our marriage/each other:
Ben~"1)Your smile 2)I like that we get the privilege of parenting together. 3)That our love gets stronger."
Heidi~"1)How we laugh together and have a lot of silly inside jokes. 2)How sure we are about our commitment and faithfulness to each other. 3)I still like holding hands with you."
Piece of advice to newlyweds:
Ben~"Keep God first."
Heidi~"Never stop making time to talk and share with each other."
Something you look forward to in the future:
Ben~"I look forward to owning a house with you."
Heidi~"I hope we get to travel together someday and see all the places in Europe we've been dreaming about for so many years."
(Ben's question)Did you like our wedding cake better on the day we got married or on our first anniversary?
Ben~"I enjoyed it more the year after because it had been preserved well and I didn't really have a chance to enjoy it on our wedding day."
Heidi~"I only got one bite on our wedding day and was afraid to eat much of it on our anniversary. As I recall, I ate one piece and you finished the cake!"
Monday, March 14, 2011
5) The boys, as you probably know, have a prize bucket where they can pick out a small prize after earning a certain amount of stars in their jars. The Target dollar section can be hit or miss so sometimes (like now) the bucket dwindles to practically nothing. So I decided to add some of my "own" prizes
Can I tell you how excited the boys are to pick out one of these??? And the nice thing is that most of them don't cost any money! Zakkai has already laid claim to the candy one....as you might be able to tell:)
6)Life Simplification Tips: I know I am no record breaking genius when it comes to figuring out how to simplify my life. As a matter of fact, I'm probably a little slow on the uptake! But I feel pretty proud of myself when I do change something small or big in our life that makes a big difference with time (of which I never have enough of!) or just makes living...easier!
*Today's Simplifying Thoughts: I have a friend who helped me figure out how to manage the crazy dinnertime hour with having multiple children, one of whom wants to go to bed at 5pm (AHEM, Little Miss!). She encouraged me to prep for dinner earlier in the day to save time at the end of the day. So now, during Eliana's naps, I start chopping veggies or even just measuring out ingredients for something to be made later. It really helps! Today I went a step further: while she was sleeping and I was making dinner early, I went ahead and sliced up ALL my veggies instead of just the portions I was using.
Now I have vegetables already washed and sliced, ready for easy snacking (I don't know about you but I eat fresh fruits and vegetables much easier when they are easily available and I don't have to do a lot of prepping) and ready for easy dicing for other dinners this week! Why I haven't been doing this all along....
So now after a produce market run (like today), I plan on washing all produce (that won't get moldy, like berries) and preparing it for the week in one afternoon! Genius.
*My friend also does a really smart thing and as soon as she buys a package/bag of chicken, she goes ahead and cooks the entire thing, dices it up and freezes it so she has ready made meat for meals. I, who cannot stand the sight, touch or thought of raw meat (shuddering now...), totally put off doing this but I know it would make my life so much easier. Maybe next month....
And one last thought: While I was wielding my trusty (broken) knife in the kitchen, I was thinking about my latest urge to simplify our life here by getting rid of things, selling things, cutting down on "stuff", organizing.... and I was wondering why I am feeling this way, almost like I am "nesting." And I had the thought that I am "preparing" for something or perhaps "being prepared." That maybe God is going to bring some change into our life soon and I am starting to get ready. I don't know if we'll be moving on (it would be a miracle for this next year) or what but I'm really curious to find out what/when it is!
Whenever it is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we are feeling a lot of things change within us and around us, sure signs that something is coming.
I'll give you a hint to one thing that is coming...tomorrow!
Hint: "Here Comes the Bride..."
Sunday, March 13, 2011
*Effective at 8:15am tomorrow as soon as I get back from dropping off the boys.
*Doesn't matter how cruddy I feel....all germs must go!!
2) "Operation Sunshine" (otherwise known as "Operation De-Stress")
*We are on a prayerful mission to somehow find the money to go on a little
family vacation, as we find ourselves reaching the stress limits of 5 1/2 years of
graduate school and big-city living and are desperate for a little time away!
*The boys and I pulled out our coin jars (the large jars we toss loose change in) and began the tedious process of counting. So far we tallied enough for 1 whole tank of gas:) woohoo.
*Not much we can do to hurry this one along but we plan to take full advantage of any fresh air/warmer temperatures that come our way in hopes that outdoor exercise and a little Vitamin D (not to mention happier spirits) can chase the icky sickness away!
E having tummy time on our wonderful couch-bed:) She loves watching her crazy big brothers!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
(Cue heroic civil war battle music)
It began with Zakkai. And passed quickly to Samuel and back to Zakkai. And then Zakkai again. On to Eliana and just when she began to show signs of recovery, back to Zakkai (again). And then on to Ben, most recently.
I have fought a valiant fight, amidst kissing and loving little sick ones, caressing fevered brows, administering medicines and hugs; changing bedding and tossing snotty rags in the laundry. I stood firm through 4 drs visits in 1 1/2 weeks, through being sneezed and coughed on with alarming regularity. My hands were cleaned thoroughly after wiping noses, disinfecting toilets, door knobs and light switches daily. I plowed on with the enduring strength that only a mother, who has no time to consider anything else but keeping on with the daily schedule despite the attack of germs on every side, can have.
Yet tonight I find myself sinking into the mucky mire faster than a torpedoed battleship. I'm going down, down, down with the best of them. But even as I feel the claws of sickness grasping at me, trying its hardest to lure me in, I will still fight.
Because when the mama goes down.....we all go down.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
My name is Eliana and I'm cute.
P.S. I am just 1 lb bigger than Daddy was when he was born. Crazy, huh?!
(pic taken while sick:( But still cute!)
Hi, my name is Samuel and I'm really brave. Sometimes going to school is really hard for me, especially when I have a substitute teacher or things are uncomfortable for me. But I try really hard when mommy and daddy ask me to and they are really proud of me!
I adore PB&J sandwiches, any kind of bread, fruit snacks and t.v. I also love hugs, kisses and time with my family.
My name is Samuel and I am super special.
P.S. I don't suck my fingers ANY more! I worked hard to stop and I'm proud of it!
Hi, my name is Zakkai Nathaniel Thomas, as I like to tell everyone lately:) I am proud to be 4 and am getting pretty tall and skinny! Today I got into the freezer while mommy was busy and I turned it off. I guess she and daddy didn't realize it until an hour ago when they noticed the ice cream was all melted. I love to do stuff like that!
I also like to hide things in my room. Let's see....I hid the car keys in my bed during my nap yesterday so Daddy was late picking up Samuel from school because they couldn't find them anywhere. I just wanted to see what they looked like! I also hid some Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs under my bed and some boxes of tissues (my newest obsession) behind the window curtain.
My name is Zakkai and I'm stinkin' cute! (or mommy thinks so anyways...)
P.S. I really like to wear my shirts backwards and wear mismatched socks. It's my own style!
Samuel, Zakkai and Eliana
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It's hard to feel down with 47 degree weather and sun, though!
It's the cutest thing ever to turn around and spot this little dainty butterball sitting in her little "couch" on the table!
And speaking of dinner: The boys (with a little help from Daddy) made dinner on Saturday night! We are instituting a new weekly dinner where the boys get to plan it out and help prepare it. This is in addition to weekly homemade pizza (Fri nights) and Breakfast for dinner (Sunday nights).
The fruit salsa was accompanied by cinnamon tortilla chips, which everyone loved!
Proud Chef #1 thoroughly enjoyed his meal! Makes everything taste a little better when you put a little work into it:)
They are already happily planning the next edition of "Boys in the Kitchen." :)
Recipes adapted from: www.jrcuisine.com
Monday, March 7, 2011
Just waiting for my million dollar check to come in the mail first....
Sunday, March 6, 2011
My mommy says she saw a little spark of life come back into me today because I smiled at her a couple of times. I haven't felt like smiling much this past week. Or talking or playing. I've been feeling pretty bad.
It's been a rough 6 days, as you can see... Please don't judge my hair, okay? This is what happens when you can't sleep too well 'cuz your nose is all stuffed up and you cough a lot. Your hair sticks straight up! Mommy called it "bedhead" or something like that...
All I have to do is get sick, you know...red-rimmed, water eyes, tons of snot, nasty cough and cry a really pathetic cry and then my mommy will hold me lots and rock me and even let me take naps on her just like this....
I learned a secret though...
I've got her ALL figured out! She's a softie, you see. I think I've got her and my daddy wrapped around my little finger. My brothers, too. I like this family! It seems like I was made for them:)
Mommy says she hopes tomorrow I'll turn the corner and start feeling more like myself and then I can be all happy like in this picture. This was before I got sick. And maybe I'll feel like playing with my toys again and sitting in my "new" Bumbo seat that mommy's friend sent me.
But boy has it been a rough week. I sure don't like this "sick" business. I was feeling fine one day and then BAM! the next day I was feelin' all cruddy and it just hasn't stopped.
Say a prayer for me to get better soon and for mommy NOT to get sick! It's a lot easier for her to take care of me and my brothers if she feels good.