Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quiet Night In

Fellow parents, how true is this?! SO true.

Tonight--once the children were in bed, of course--Allen and I enjoyed some rounds of Bananagrams, some hot cocoa, and nice, soft music in the background.  We didn't set out to make it a "date night" but I'd say that's how it ended up.  Sunday is the one day of the week where neither Allen nor I are working, but the day usually is busy anyway.  Church, soccer, and sometimes GROW meetings (Germans from Russia of Oregon and Washington) fill the day.  Add to that shopping and other assorted errands that somehow don't make it into the rest of the week, and it can still feel like we're not really spending quality time.  I know that this is a phase of life that requires a lot of "shoulder to shoulder" work rather than the newlywed/empty-nester phase of "face to face" time. There's also plenty of stress from parenting a two year old (and a strong willed one, at that) and a 7 month old who is just on the verge of crawling (and therefore getting into everything).  So I am very appreciative that we just had a quiet night puzzling through words together and enjoying one another's company.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A few more gray hairs

Seriously, they are coming in and I know why...I have children!!!
This afternoon I was switching out my summer clothes for my fall ones. It's raining, gray, dreary, blehhhhhh! Everything that Portland is from October to June.  We've just had an unusual reprieve from the rain for the past few weeks and I didn't realize how much I was loving it until it was gone. I guess it goes to show I'm not a true native Pacific Northwester; if I were, I'd be saying something like, "Finally!"
But I'm getting off track.  I was sorting out clothes.  Max was on our bed right behind me.  I had just looked at him, and he was smack dab in the middle of the bed having some tummy time, looking pretty happy with toys in front of him.  What felt like thirty seconds later (although it could have been a minute), I heard a THUD and Max's cries.  I looked back to an empty bed.  I hollered and ran to pick him up.  I can't even remember if he was on his back or his stomach.  I cuddled him and he stopped crying pretty quickly and started to fall asleep.  That's what gave me the gray hairs.  For the past few days this boy has been FIGHTING sleep with every one of his 272 ounces (that's 17 lbs, by the way).  And now, after falling off the bed, he goes to sleep just like that?! Of course, I did what any modern parent does: call the nurse advice line and while I'm waiting for a return call check out WebMD and other such websites.  I was reassured that he wasn't throwing up or having irregular breathing, but still, I just wasn't 100% comfortable that he had gotten so sleepy so quickly.  The nurse called back and said to bring him in to the pediatrician "just to be sure."  Thankfully, Andy was home and I put Ruby down for a nap (ha, yeah right) and, double thankfully, Whitney's old car was around and Allen had left the car seats on the patio.  These are the moments when it ROCKS to have the houseful of people that we do.  Actually, all day I've been feeling grateful to live in a houseful of (mostly) family members.  Andy and I had good chats this morning, and I learned that he took two years of animation classes! This might be helpful since one of my 8th graders wants to study animation for her senior project.  Alishia is going to mentor another one of the girls who wants to train mustangs.  I have talented in-laws, what can I say?
Hmm, off topic again.  Anyway, we went to the pediatrician (and the roads were not nice!).  We got in to see the doctor right away.  In fact, we got in a lot faster than for Max's scheduled visits, go figure.  By then, of course, Max was doing his best to be my own personal Michigan Frog and acting alert and cheerful and perfectly fine.  The doctor said he looked like he was okay and that we just needed to keep an eye on him for barfing, excessive fussiness, etc.  While I was at the doctor's office, Andy, Toby, and Allen all called to check in on us and how Max was doing.  It was nice to feel well-cared for.
Now Max is sleeping again (safely buckled into his carseat this time!) and I can breathe a sigh of relief. What an afternoon!  Thank God (once again) for Max's health insurance, living with generous family and friends, and no apparent head trauma.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Picture Post!

I should be sleeping, because I have to go in to school tomorrow (making up for missing today) and that means getting up early-ish.  But I just uploaded some pictures and they're so cute, I just had to share them with y'all (as they would say in Missouri/Missourah).

Ruby's Haircut
No, it's not her first haircut.  She got that around age 1, but she hadn't had a cut from August 2011 until September 2012, so that was a year's worth of growing.  I decided not to do anything much, just take her to get it trimmed by a pro, since I discovered that I am terrible at cutting even bangs. I took her to a cute kids' haircut place called Sit Still Salon near our house.  Her haircutter was so awesome; unbelievably patient and skilled.  Ruby enjoyed watching Elmo on tv while she got her hair cut, too.
The "Before" picture: getting shaggy and horribly mangled bangs (yes, all my fault)

At Sit Still Salon

After: look at the pretty glittery princess braid!

Ruby's favorite part, of course

That's my girl!

Max-Pascal Joins the Table
Max turned 6 months on September 25th, so we decided that it was time to introduce him to the wonderful world of baby food.  So far he's had cream of wheat (which he seemed to like), peach (which he did not seem to like), and avocado (a winner).  He's still kind of wobbly so the eating thing is more novelty than actual sustenance at this point, but it's fun to see them sitting up in their respective booster seats at the table at meal time!
Don't eat the bib!

Ruby shows him how it's done!


Max looks a little indignant here...
 In the following series of three pictures, I (unsuccessfully) try to get both kids looking at me at the same time.  

Mommy Gets A (Free) Makeover
In September I went on my church's women's retreat, which was...a mixed bag. But one of the highlights (ha, no pun intended) was that my friend Candace brought all her makeup and gave me a makeover.  I rarely wear makeup anymore, but it was fun to get all prettied up (although I don't have the patience or the budget to do it every day!).  My hair, however, was decidedly NOT given a makeover.  Tragic!

Ruby Makes Mischief
Ruby is your typical two year old, getting into EVERYTHING.  Lately she's been enjoying raiding my dresser drawers for shirts and shorts.  I suppose I should relish this brief window in time wherein my daughter will like my style enough to steal my clothes.  Then again, considering that Ruby's style is to wear as many articles of clothing as possible in any configuration she can manage, I'm not actually that flattered by her clothes thievery.  It is amusing, though.

This evening, I was changing Max's diaper when I heard Ruby run into the bathroom, followed by a splashing sound.  Uh oh. As soon as Max was changed, I took him in to see what had happened, and this was the scene that met my eyes.  
Luckily for me, I had my camera in my pocket.  Not so lucky for Ruby about 16 years from now when these pictures come out to embarrass her in front of future prom dates!

Ruby is holding a balloon, very shrunken because I think it is leftover from her birthday party several months ago.  Oh yes, those are napkins in the bathroom.  They are from a local hot wings establishment (although we got them in bulk from Gleaners). I guess someone didn't know we had more toilet paper in the closet...resourceful.  My money's on Andy.

My Sweeties
They may cry for no reason and cause calamity, but I do love my two children very much.  And though I'm biased, I can't help but think they are pretty cute kiddos!
He's getting close to being a crawler!

Ruby's exotropic amblyopia is getting much better...her eye is not wandering nearly as much, and now she only has to wear the patch for 2 hours a day! Yay!
The Amazing Quilt
Last but hardly least, my grandma made THE MOST amazing quilt for Max.  She made an adorable snuggle bug themed quilt for Ruby, but she really outdid herself on the quilt for Max. It is art, I tell you, not bedding!  Its theme is "Where the Wild Things Are" (since the protagonist of that book is also a Max). Each panel is a scene from the story, remarkably faithful to Maurice Sendak's art, too.  Wow.  It's amazing!  Thanks, "Great Gumpa"! (Ruby doesn't verbally distinguish between grandma and grandpa...they are all "gumpa" in her lexicon!)

Update on the Maxy-Moo

For those who have been following along, we took Max to the craniofacial disorder unit at Doernbecher Children's Hopsital at OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) today to have his head evaluated for plagiocephaly (basically, flat spots on his head).  The nurse-practitioner was very nice and determined that the plagiocephaly was positional in nature, that is, due to him holding his head cocked to the right all the time.  She measured his head and said there is a 10 mm asymmetry, and 10-12 mm is the range at which OHSU recommends a helmet...but that's no guarantee that insurance will pick up the tab.  So, we're going to meet with the orthotist and have him fitted for a helmet.  The orthotist will send all the information and the prescription to insurance, and they'll either say yes or no.  If they say yes, hurray!!!! If they say no, well, Max gets to have an asymmetrical head, because helmets cost between $1900-$2500, and we don't have that!  But the good news the NP shared with us was that in OHSU's studies where they follow up with families who pursued the helmet option and those that didn't, both groups felt equally happy with the decision they made and felt that their child's head looked fine to them.  For Max, it will essentially be a cosmetic thing.  I'm still hoping that insurance will pay for it, but if they don't, it's good to know Max is going to be okay.  His head is growing at a proper rate, and the most important thing is that he continues to get physical therapy and stretching for his torticollis.  If that gets corrected, the NP assured us that his head shape will take care of itself.
I'm so grateful that we live in a city with a Children's hospital and lots of specialists.  I can't imagine living hours away from a hospital.  I'm grateful that Max has excellent insurance and to all my fellow taxpayers in Oregon who are contributing to it.
And I know, I need to get some pictures of the boy up here! It's been a while. But for now, I need to get Ruby up from her "nap" (i.e. quiet time in her sleeping took place during that time!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Hmm, you may have noticed my distinct lack of blog posts surrounding the book of Colossians and Good Morning Girls.  I did keep up with it (on Facebook) for the first week, and then went away to our church's women's retreat, and fell off the wagon.
I know what you're thinking: shouldn't a women's church retreat get you back ON the Bible wagon?
You'd think so.  But you'd be wrong.
The retreat was a mixed bag.  The speaker was awesome, but overall it was not a restful and happy time. Partly, it was because she gave excellent advice: think about the people in your life and choose to spend your time around people who are encouraging and uplifting.  Don't choose negative people.
This, of course, has nothing to do with why I haven't been getting up early to do the Bible study.  Perhaps it does in a tangential way: since I came back from the retreat, I feel like life has just been shaken up a little bit.
Today feels like we are inhabitants of a snow globe, and someone just shook the living daylights out of it.  Woah!  Hang on to God, because everything else you thought you knew just went kablooey!
I'm pensive more than upset.  It was a wake up call, a reminder; there's more hope for a fool than for one who is wise in his/her own eyes.
I'll end on this note: I am loving Lecrae's music right now.  Here's a song of his that I'm really into right now.  It is called, aptly enough, "God is Enough."  Even if you're not a fan of hip-hop, you should give it a listen.