Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wow, it's been a while.

So, a lot has happened since my last post. We moved to another house. Jillian is walking. She has a weird, redneck configuration of teeth (still). She's saying all sorts of words. Life is crazy! I hope to post more soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Things have been really crazy lately. I guess that's probably not a change, actually, but I think they've been even more crazy than usual. We're getting ready to move to another area of the city, and I'm very happy about that. As part of that process, we're paring down all of our stuff to only the stuff we really need and use regularly. Everything else is getting donated. We're doing a lot of weeding and pruning and purging. It's great, but it's also keeping us really busy.

And, of course, Jillian is changing so quickly. She's got a top tooth, but it's not a front one--it's on her left side. She looks a little redneck, and it's hilarious. She is still the cuteness, though. Last Sunday, when she was with Daddy, she started taking a few steps. She's close to walking, but still isn't showing all that much interest. My guess is that she'll be walking within a month or so. Time will tell! She has started saying some cute stuff. She said "doggie" the other day, and followed it with "woof woof!" She's also started shaking her head and saying, "Mmmmm-mmmmm," especially when she's doing something she knows she shouldn't. Dang, but it's cute. She's also into screeching at the top of her lungs. You'd think we were torturing her, but it's usually just to hear her own voice or to express her highness's displeasure. She also expresses displeasure by slapping anyone or anything that is annoying her or getting too close. We're still working on that.

Katherine is a wonderful big sister, even if she is the bossiest bosser who ever bossed. She is definitely 3. Independent, opinionated and whip-smart. I'm hard-pressed to get her to wear anything that is not a dress. I would end up with a girly-girl. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apoocalypse Now

I took a meal to a friend with a new baby this morning, then stopped by church on the way home to drop off some clothes from our recent closet purge for the ministry to the needy & homeless. As the girls and I headed toward home, Jillian was quite fussy. I pulled over to check on her before we got on the freeway. Her diaper may have had a little something, but it didn't smell stinky, so I figured it could wait until we got home, since there wasn't a good place to stop and naptime was fast approaching. About halfway through the drive home, she seemed to calm down. I even asked Katherine if Jillian was asleep, but she wasn't. When we got home, I went to get K out of her car seat, and I looked across at J. At first glance, I thought she had barfed. There was orange, chunky gunk on her face, hands, arms, etc. Apparently, K hadn't noticed this, or she would have sounded the alarm. Upon closer inspection, I could see that J had executed one of her phenomenally talented sideways booty aims, and had, instead, had an impressive diaper blowout, the contents of which were now covering her upper extremities. Yeah. Cue rushing, bathing, scouring, crying, and praying against stomach ills and/or pinkeye. Oh, and throwing the carseat top pad into the washing machine. I don't want to know how much of that mess got ingested.

Good times in Mommyland today. At least I have a strong stomach.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Big Trip, Part 5

I have to say that Robert is the man. During this trip, he displayed such awesome leadership skills. He is not, by nature, particularly patient or pastoral, and he will be the first one to tell you that. Nonetheless, he was sympathetic and considerate to the whole group for the duration of the trip, and was quite flexible. He did all of this while in extreme amounts of pain from his heel spurs and from an injury he sustained while walking through the market, not to mention a major sleep deficit. I was amazed at how well he handled the whole thing.

The day after the market, I can’t remember exactly what we did. I think it was mostly getting the lay of the city, and time in prayer. The following day, the girls had a chill-out day with grandma in the hotel room (a nice break from the sensory overload they were experiencing) while Robert & I shot a video with his new Canon 7D camera. As we were getting ready to find a good location, we decided to test the sound equipment first. Turns out, that was a good idea, because one part of the equipment was totally dead. Once again, Robert is the man. He figured out that the problem was some corrosion on one of the parts, so he took a Q-Tip and some Diet Coke and fixed it right up, MacGuyver-style. Amazing.

I was in front of the camera for this one. We shot my part relatively easily. Of course, I had to do a number of takes, but it went pretty smoothly. An older gentleman did come up to us at one point and caution us not to film any women walking from the back (we were shooting on the street). This is a big no-no in their culture, so we were careful. Later, we met up with our friend, Jeremy, who was also in the country, and he shot his part. Afterward, we had lunch with him, Jared and Blake. Good times and good conversation. The plan was for Robert to be in front of the camera for the third part, but that didn’t work out, so I ended up speaking that part instead on the last day we were there. I think it turned out pretty well, even if it did end up being quite heavily edited.

Things get a little fuzzy at this point about what happened on which day, but I believe the following day was the one when we went to the city to the North of where we were based—the City By The Sea. It is a lovely place, and we were there to see some friends of ours who live there. We only got to stay for the afternoon, but I think this was the highlight of the trip for most of the group. When we got there after a two-hour train ride, the husband met us at the station and brought us to a coffee shop. We were joined not long after by his wife. They both seemed exhausted, a bit discouraged, and as if meeting with us was something they were doing out of obligation. We all headed back to their apartment, where their nanny was with their two young sons (pretty close in age to K & J). She quickly made an exit, and there we all were. The time that followed was amazing. They talked about their life there, the struggles, the spiritual growth, the great moments and the not-so-great ones. They honestly and vulnerably shared their hearts, and all that they’re learning. The kids napped and played together, and we ate some delicious food. Well, our group ate. They were on a week-long fast, but they graciously let us eat in front of them. We felt terrible, but they were totally OK with it. We were also able to bring them a taste of home in the form of green chiles and enchilada sauce, since they were craving enchiladas and can’t get that sort of thing there. I think it was nice for them that they didn’t have to be in full hospitality mode while we were there. We told them not to worry about serving us—we just wanted to hang out with them. Grandma even did the dishes for them! In addition, we were able to leave an unexpected gift for them. They were blessed, and we were, too. We left feeling encouraged, and it was clear that they were encouraged by us, too. After the train ride back, we all piled into one large cab together back to the hotel. David had to sit in Tim’s lap up front. They thought they were suffering. We told them that, last time we were there, EVERY cab ride was like that, so they should be thankful.

I think it was the next day when we went to the major landmark in the region. This is probably the most touristy spot in the country. It doesn’t give you a true sense of the culture or the people there at all, because everyone there is trying to take advantage of you and make money off of you. People will accost you to buy this or do that, and they can be quite insistent. Robert has an awesome strategy. When someone approaches him (it would be a man, as women and men don’t interact much there), he smiles, perhaps puts his arm around the other guy’s shoulders, and says something like, “I have a special deal for you, my friend. Today only, I will be your friend for 100 [currency]. Tomorrow it will cost you 200, but today, it is 100.” They usually don’t quite know what to do with themselves. They either walk away, or laugh and quit bothering us. We were able to get in and out without too many problems. It was, however, quite windy, which made it tough. Jillian was a trooper, and Katherine was very excited that she had stepped in camel poop. She still talks about that occasionally. Robert didn’t get to take the pictures he wanted to get, but he was pretty cool about it. God had other plans, and he went with it. He’s getting good at this whole surrendering thing. :)

Our last day there was pretty low-key. We did some prayer walking, some last-minute shopping, etc. Robert tried to shoot the last part of the video with himself (with David and Tim assisting), and it didn’t work out, so I did it instead (as I mentioned before). As we got ready to leave in the evening (our flight out was after midnight), that’s when things got interesting.

Teeth & Stuff!

Jillian FINALLY started cutting her two front bottom teeth last week. It's about time! She's such a fun little baby. She discovered (via Katherine, of course) that spitting her food is a lot of fun. Sigh. She's so independent, too. She wants to feed herself, and can put up a fight if you try to feed her (although she will occasionally allow it). She and Katherine are regularly cracking each other up. I can't wait until she can walk. Then those two will really have a good time. Well, actually, I can wait, because once she can walk, things will really get interesting. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

More Milestones

Katherine turned 3 recently. We had told her for months that when she turned 3, she would no longer get binkies when she slept, because she would be a big girl, and big girls don't need binkies. She independently decided that she would bequeath them to Grandpa Jim, and would give one to Grandma Lyn. On her b-day, she got to have a special one-on-one day w/ Grandma Lyn, then Grandpa met them at our house before dinner. The hand-off went quite smoothly, but as expected, bedtime was a little bumpy. OK, a lot bumpy. I had the bright idea of doing a sort of "Binkie Fairy" thing, since she had just learned about the Tooth Fairy. We decided not to go the fairy route directly, but instead I went in and gave her one quarter to put in her piggy bank for every binkie she had given up. I told her that we could go buy something at the store soon with her quarters, but that if she kept fussing, I would have to take one away each time I came into her room. That worked pretty well. She's still having withdrawals a bit, but we're making it work.

Jillian is almost one. She's really starting to copy our words more and more. She said "Uh-oh!" for the first time the other day, and used it correctly. She loves saying "Hi, Daddy!" and "Hi!" in general. She's sort-of figured out "Who's/What's that?" and apparently said "Jillian" the other day (not when I was around). She's also figuring out to point at things. Her bedtime book ends with a page of stars, and we always say "Stars!" when we get to that page. I was reading it to her the other day, and asked her if she could point to some stars. To my surprise, she totally did it several times. Awesome! She has also learned "Gimme Five!" and "Gimme Kisses!" (complete w/ the "Mmmmmmmmmm-wah!" sound--so cute!). Her other big thing lately is dancing. She sways side-to-side or bounces up & down when she's standing & holding on to something or especially when she's in her feeding chair. We call it the chair dance. :)

My girls are getting so big! What a blessing they are, even when they drive me crazy. I love being their Mommy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Big Bad Wolf

Katherine is obsessed with stories that involve The Big Bad Wolf. Yesterday, she told a story that started off being about Little Red Riding Hood, then morphed into The Three Little Pigs, but ended up as a hybrid. The outcome was that The Big Bad Wolf blew down the houses of LRR's Mom & Grandma, then ate Grandma & "The Man" (presumably The Woodsman), and they died. Wow.