Friday, September 26, 2008

Jesus, find my wheel!

Enoying the weather as much as possible before our outdoor activities are slightly hampered by cold and wetness, we have been getting to parks, fields, farms and playgrounds as much as possible. (note: I only said slightly hampered, because I fully believe that we will still be outside, we'll just bundle a bit more! I got out Anna's 'bundling' clothes yesterday, Hudson's closet comes today. ;) Recently, we were at a local park for an evening with the Flamingo Mama and her 3 (soon to be 4) beautiful babes. Our hubbies were doin' the worship team thing together and when her man is on the team, we usually hook up to pass some of the evening time.

We arrived at the park, Hudson's favorite car in tow (a cool car he got for a gift called Automoblox). We had a discussion about the car before we left on what would happen if he took one of his favorite toys somewhere else. We explored what might happen, that he would have to share, how he would feel if he lost it....I bet you know where this is going. No less than 10 minutes after our arrival, Hudson came over and started to take his puzzle car apart and put it back together - and he realized he was missing a wheel. Now, at this point, he was not too concerned with this fact, merely because his friends were there and he was having fun. I convinced him that we should search for it, but we were unable to find it. I suggested to him that maybe we should pray that we find it. He ambled away from me in another direction and I heard him say, "Jesus, find my wheel." After another 20 seconds or so, he turned around and yelled at the top of his lungs, "JESUS, FIND MY WHEEL!" He then spun to me and said, "Mommy, I don't think Jesus heard me." My, how hard it was not to grin too largely. I did smile and say, "I am sure that he heard you that time!"

We proceeded to go on a walk around the neighborhood and as I was walking I was contemplating all the possibilities of the meltdown scenarios upon arriving home and Hudson realizing that the wheel was gone. To say the least, I was a bit worried....especially since I knew I was on my own for the bedtime routine, and it would be hurried as we had decided to stay a bit later. We arrived back at the park and all of us fanned out to look for the wheel - the Flamingo Mama volunteered a quarter for the one that found the wheel (I love bribery!) and in less than 3 minutes, it was found. No quarter was rewarded though, because the Flamingo herself found the missing part. Hallelujah - crisis averted. Thank you Lord for helping us find our wheel!

Sometimes I feel like that - I mean I really feel like I lost a wheel. My life is off balance, off kilter, that one of my 4 wheels is missing. (I'm going with tires here, not the wheel like in the Carrie Underwood song.) I often cry, Jesus, help me find my wheel...and while not all stories of missing toys turn out quite as favorably as this one, I do know that my heavenly Father always hears my cry of help and I eventually find that balance again - usually because I forgot to include Him as a part of my day and once I ask, he takes the load of my life (car) and rolls it along.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Anna's First Birthday Collage

372 days of living life.
Hundreds of diaper changes.
Over 1,000 times of nursing with mommy.
Almost 9,000 hours of seeing the world in a brand new way.
Thousands of kisses and just as many hugs.

Anna's life. A beautiful life. A wonderfully, blessed, healthy little girl life that smiles at every new thing that comes her way. Thank you God for the gift of this little girl to our family. Her squeals, her belly laughs, her big brown eyes framed in enviously long lashes, her super-human speed in crawling, her investigative spirit, her contentment, her babbling and the very pronounced Uh-Oh. We pray Lord that she knows you early, she loves you continually and that she praises Your Name to the ends of the earth. God, Thank you for our Anna Banana.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autumnal Delights

Fall officially comes tomorrow but it has been in the air here in Pennsylvania for a few weeks now. Although we loved living in Arizona for 8 years we always missed the fall - the leaves changing, the cool, crisp nights and the special seasonal treats (apple cider, pumpkin anything, etc.).
Morning is my favorite time of day - brewing the coffee, looking at the backyard and seeing the fog slowly lift over the hills, getting my son breakfast as he watches the latest antics of Curious George.

I took this snapshot of our kitchen the other morning to give you a little "taste" of some of my favorite fall breakfast drinks. I am a sucker for the pumpkin-flavored creamer - it reminds me of worship practices in Arizona (Jenny bringing the coffee & the creamer). Next comes the espresso roast that goes in my Mukka Express (courtesy of Kris & Tracy!). If you get tired of coffee all the time the Mukka is the best for cappuccinos and lattes - you do it on the stovetop (genius!!). Last but not least - and I just found this at the grocery store - is the Tazo Chai tea latte mix. I had a cold this past week and Chai tea just hit the spot. Equal parts Chai concentrate and milk.

By now you are thinking I am the most frou-frou coffee drinker in the world. And you may be right. But a man has to have options...and this is the perfect time of year for a veritable cornucopia of treats.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Anna!

Just wanted to post some pictures of the cutie on her first birthday photo shoot out in the meadow. Tomorrow will come the fun pictures of her cake experience!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not for the weak of stomach

WARNING: if you are easily nauseated or have germ-a-phobe issues, this post is not for you. The words poop, diarrhea, squirts, and partially-digested foods in fecal form may be used.

Ok, so you get from the "warning" what this post may eventually be about, so let me start from the beginning, or somewhere close to the beginning. This afternoon after my blessed (that's bless-ED) Hudson had to run to the toilet for the third time, I realized that this was not just your average bowel movement day, that we had crossed the line into post-potty training diarrhea. Poor guy - he kept saying, "My body says I need to GO!" And then while sitting, "Why is my buns and tummy making sounds?" (poor bubba!) He went down for a merciful quiet time and slept past 4 o'clock. I usually wake him up if he happens to sleep until 4, but I knew his tummy was upset and let him rest. He woke up and seemed to be ok, but still kept things on the DL and let him lay in our bed and watch Toy Story 2 (Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!). Sidenote: I think I have listened to this movie at least 100 times over the past 10 months. Really.

After a tummy settling meal of mashed potatoes and a few nuggets, Daddy and Hudson played in the backyard for a bit and we all walked Chris over to worship practice. Big stuff, it is apparently quite a trip to walk to the church to where Daddy works. We dropped Daddy off and played in the parking lot for a while, climbing light posts, rolling down hills and racing up steps. While Anna was dutifully and very proudly conquering the steps, Hudson said, "I gotta go poopy!" Uh-oh. We're in the middle of the parking lot, sans shoes because we are in the grassy hilly area, and this kid's gotta go. We quickly assembled ourselves, and Hudson and Mommy (holding Anna) ran home as quickly as we could. Hudson tried to strip himself, but couldn't get the underwear down far enough for the long pants were in the way - he's used to shorts - yes, he was wearing long pants, it was cool today!

Eventually seated on the potty seat and Curious George Rides a Bike book in hand (one of many obsessions - Curious George) he allowed his body to let go, so to speak. I was busily running bath water and attempting to strip Anna's clothes, because her new idea for the bathroom is crawling like lightning to the toilet to investigate. She was placed in the tub, enjoying the water, Hudson was reading me the pictures (which works really well for those pre-reading skills, but honestly he pretty much has the book memorized, so he did a very nice job. My kid's a genius :) I was helping Hudson and listening to him read and Anna pulled herself up to the side of the tub to look and grin at us. Then she tooted. OR, so I thought.

I walked over to soap her up and realized not toots, poops. Not just any poop that you can normally scoop out of the water as a Mommy - you know, the poop balls. Nope, big terdies and then the partially-digested beans from the chili last night turned fecal matter. This was no scoop, drain and clean job. THIS was much more involved. And let me tell you, I can handle bodily fluids from my kids. I mean, really, Hudson had Reflux so badly his first year that he puked on me several times a day and I would carry an extra outfit for myself in the car when we were out. In .3 seconds, I evacuated the tub, wiped Hudson's buns, sat Anna on the potty seat (just in case, because she's done this before and pooped on the toilet more - see picture below) and told Hudson not to sit on anything in the house because he was sans underwear and a not as cleanly wiped bum as usual (or at least i didn't get to inspect as closely as I usually do).

I removed Anna from the toilet, sat her naked self on the floor and looked at the tub to see how to tackle this. Mainly because we don't have a normal drain. We have a sieve drain, the holey kind (Lord have mercy, certainly not Holy at this point in time!). At this point, I look over to see lighting Anna has made it to the toilet and stuck her hand in the water. Immediately she is taken to the sink and fully sanitized. Then I asked big brother to follow Anna around and make sure she didn't poop anywhere in the house (now, why didn't I diaper her? I don't know, I am asking myself the same question). I I tried to clean out the big pieces from the tub, and then started gagging as I removed the sludg-y type leftover stuff. I gagged. Really, I thought I was going to hurl into the tub, which would've made things worse.

Tub gets cleaned with Soft Scrub. Wiped Down. Hot water with Bleach wiped down and then rinsed. All toys that were in the tub go to the kitchen sink to be bleach sanitized at a later point. Then I go and find both my naked buns children in the kitchen playing on the floor with balls and step through a huge puddle, realizing immediately that Anna pee-peed all over the kitchen floor. Deal with that later. Pee I can do later. Gotta prioritize at this point. Both chilluns go into the tub, and we uneventfully get ready for bed. But really, I had to share that story, because for all those parents out there that have had the anticipation of putting their children to bed uneventfully (because that only happens on nights when there are two adults in the house), you know that this happens at the most inopportune times, the time when you know God is already stretching you and you don't think you can stretch anymore. Well, Hudson heard me say it many times during this ordeal, "Dear God, Please Help Me!" He helped. He stretched me. He taught me to prioritize. And, hopefully, He helped you get a good laugh.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Loose Ends

So, I had to tie up some loose ends on this National Anthem story. Plus, there are some great shots to share as well.

1) They loved Chris so much, that they asked him to come back to try outs next year so that he can sing on a regular basis. Yea, that's my superstar husband. Oh, and I asked Chris, "How much do they pay?" :o)

2) Hudson had a blast at this game. There was a whole kids' area that had bounce houses and a play area and a Noah's Ark. And lest I forget the carousel...that was a winner in his book. Grandmom and Daddy were great in making sure Hudson was entertained.

On to more recent Hudson stories;

Yesterday we were out at the market and Hudson looked up at us and said, "Did you hear that?" We shook our heads and he continued, "There was sounds coming from my body (and pointed to his buns)!" Chris and I nearly lost it.

Today we are experiencing the leftovers of tropical storm Hanna, and went outside to play in the nice warm rain and puddles. Good for picking weeds, too. While picking weeds, I found a worm and he has instantly become Hudson's best friend. He in now in a jar, sure to be suffocated or drowned by his caregiver's insistence that he needs more water. "wormy" is now a family member and has to sleep in Hudson's room so that he won't be scared (at least that is what I am told.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chris singing the National Anthem

So Chris had the opportunity on Labor Day to sing the national anthem at the Lancaster Barnstormers' minor league game. Since it was "Labor" Day, the OBGYN practice my mom works for sponsored the game as a fun way of capitalizing on the double meaning of the word "labor". Expectant moms were especially encouraged to come out to the game because if someone went into labor and delivered within 24 hours they would win $5000 (no one did).

Here is a video of my husband's all-star performance :)

He made us all proud...and we had a fun time at the game even though I spent half of it pushing Anna in the stroller so she could take a much-needed nap.