Saturday, April 25, 2009

Markers of Growth

Just last week Kent felt our little girl move. It was subtle, but he knew what he was looking for this time. She's an active little one and seems to start kicking when Isaac is sitting on my lap and pushing up against the belly. Is this a sign of things to come?

Isaac is also doing well. We only 'intensely' toilet train for about 2 hours before lunch (from the time of consuming juice like its going out of style to the 'critical release') and he will successfully go twice and the last time with no accidents. After a nap, he's able to go easily and I'm hoping this will translate into greater confidence. It's a bit of work, but when I think of the diapers saved, I'm happy.

Incidentally, is it a bit undignified to be blogging this for the world to see? I can just picture the day he comes home with a fiancee and he groans while we laugh at these old posts of him. It's as good as the naked bath pictures all kids have!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unsolved Mysteries

I have my angel boy Isaac back! I don't know what happen, when, or how the switch was made, but Friday night we got him back. No more fights about medicine, cleaning up or food. Just our sweetie heart back again. One of life's unsolved mysteries.

Sleeping in heavenly peace ...

Random thought: mothers being sick should be outlawed. I've been coughing so bad that my rib and diaphragm ache. Not to mention the Braxton-Hick contractions that happen right after the coughing fit. Baby girl isn't too pleased either, it's that or else she's having the ride of her live and kicking up her feet for it.

Did I just jinx myself with this post?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

War and Peace

The lines are drawn, boundaries were violated ... choose your weapon ... I declare us to be in a state of war!

For those who have followed the history of these 2 growing independent individuals, you will be saddened to know of yet another great upheaval. It began only days ago when Isaac- the smaller, cuter but much deceptively more cunning opponent - ran a fever of 104. Mama,- the larger, less intelligent but just as stubborn - in her sympathy began to give way on previously clearly set boundaries. These were but small violations- not putting toys away immediately, allowing someone to be too picky about dinner - but it quickly escalated to previously unheard of arguments resulting in a red-faced scream session on both sides. Physical violence ensued from the smaller one, thankfully the damage to Mama was minimal, but she realized the enormity of the problem.

Today Mama drew out the lines clearly, was emphatic that consequences would follow in the violation of such boundaries. She was prepared for the worst. Isaac, knowing of his great powers of persuasion, decided to test it out, he would not clean up his puzzle before going to playgroup. The declaration given, Mama responded, "You can clean up the puzzles now, or chose to sit in the corner until you feel like cleaning up the puzzles."

Isaac displayed weapon one: immense screaming and crying at the corner - results, one very red-faced boy. Weapon two: whimpering, begging to be held as he lovingly dropped his head on Mama's lap. Mama holds out strong though the sweet face causes a moment of indecision - result, back to a red-face screaming boy. Weapon three: silence - result, Mama looks back at him a number of times to see he is okay and then asks, "Are you ready to clean up your puzzles?" Weapon four: reverse psychology, Isaac declares, "NO!!! Isaac CORNER!" - results, Mama nods solemnly knowing the battle is nowhere near its end and continues with her work.

Weapon five: Time. This is the most insidious weapon of all, it leaves the defendant unsure of the opponent's state of mind, is he really happy there? how long will this go on? What do I do if he wants to stay there ALL DAY? Thankfully she sees signs that his resistance is wearing down ... over 2 hours later she emerges from cleaning the bathroom to find Isaac happily chatting with himself and slowly putting away the puzzle pieces.

Did she win the victory, does anyone EVER win? Only time will tell, meanwhile, they enjoy a moment of reprieve by eating lunch and snuggling. The saga continues ....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was spent at church and with the Johnson family for a wonderful dinner. Isaac loved the attention and we had another small egg hunt for him and Papa.

Here's Isaac experiencing a major sugar dose! If you can't tell, that's a Peep in his mouth, but instead he looks like a boy with serious hypoxia with Angelina Jolie lips! Incidentally he didn't like it after the first bite .... YES!

Kyle Johnson introduced Isaac to the concept of a garden hose. The boy was most intrigued!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Other Plans that You Don't Plan!

Holidays take on a whole new meaning with a little one. For whatever reason, they become more special, a time to create memories. That's what we set out to do this Easter season but as often happens things don't go as planned.

Issac had been having a slight fever for a few days, but his appetite and levels of activity were totally normal - meaning Mama was run into the ground before every nap time! We had a special Family Home Evening lesson about the Savior and what the Easter season was about. A few days later we began introducing the concept of eggs and candy.

Since we've been home, we've been toilet training Isaac and using jelly beans as rewards. Needless to say, he was rather excited about the idea of candy. As a side note, toilet training is going well, better than I thought. When he's given the choice, he wants to try wearing his underwear and practicing his potty. When we're both tired and frustrated, we take a break for the day and go back to diapers. This way I'm not trapped at home and he's not so upset that he wants to give up. I know it'll be a long process, but I'm willing to take it, he seems to be happy in his growing independence.

Anyhow,a few girls from the playgroup put together an Easter egg hunt for the little ones. The grass was dotted with colorful eggs and the youngest had a chance to head out first. I tried to prep Isaac by telling him to go and get eggs quickly and not to open them and eat them until he'd gotten as many as he could.

Once the older kids were let out, he learned quickly to not debate whether he wanted that egg or not. I'm not sure if 'Survival of the Fittest' is what I had in mind for a lesson, but caught on quickly!

Enjoying his treasures!

Playing afterwards. It was a beautiful day. Kent had it off, so he was able to take pictures of us.

He was a little fussy that day, but we figured it might be the sugar. Later that evening Isaac's fever peaked to 103. He'd done this the day before, but after some medication, he went back down to 99, so we didn't think to much of it. We gave him Tylenol and sent him to bed. He woke up 4 hours later, back up to 103. Thankfully we found a Pediatric Urgent Care open just 2 miles from us. We took him in and by the time they saw us he was 104.

I swear the Lord preps us for the littlest of things. Earlier that day Kent and i had crashed for a nap that ended up taking 2 hours. We don't typically do that, but nothing could have woken us if we wanted. That extra sleep got us through the evening, until we got home from Urgent Care at 1:30 am. They ran blood tests, took a good look at him, swabbed for Strep, etc and got nothing ... nothing except a good throwing up on when they accidentally gagged him. ;0) Poor kid was such a trooper, even when the evening was topped by having to take a bitter antibiotic he willingly took it. That's my angel.

In all this, he clung to my neck with both arms saying,"Stay, no go, stay, please." when I tried to put him to bed. I didn't have the heart to leave him so I laid down next to him until he drifted off. It was in this time I took to look at him with the wonder of the pass years of growth and appreciate his just 'being him'. He's my little man and I felt an immense sense of gratitude to my Savior that families do go on to the eternities because of his sacrifice for us.

We missed out on the Saturday Easter activities, Mama and Papa were hardly coherent, while Isaac was totally back to normal, in EVERY way! Figures! But we managed to decorate our own eggs at home. I thought he'd enjoy putting stickers on them, after all, he does it to himself and his coloring book, but he was having more fun eating them.

He kept complaining about the sun, so we bought him shades to see if it helped. He doesn't know what sun is until this summer hits him!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts

Aside from my ranting and raving about how terrible Planet Hollywood was (see Disney World Day 4) it was a really good trip, refreshing for one and all. But when I reflect back on it, the trip was mostly for Kent and I. We enjoyed getting away, seeing green again and experiencing different cultures and shows. Isaac on the other hand, could have been just as happy at home.

Isaac's List of Favorites:
- sliding down the banister at the Mayan temple
- sliding down a steep playground slide
- watching ducks and birds
- chasing a hula hoop
- running and jumping through water
- playing with Lego
- picking up rocks and sticks
- playing with a golf ball
- playing chase

Mama and Papa's Favorites:
- trying all sorts of food in great variety
- snacking on bakery goods all day
- enjoying shows and music from other cultures
- spending time together
- watching Isaac laugh and play

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the greatest joys are often found in the simplest things. We were there in the moment, and the moment simply happened on its own without any prompting from us. Now if we can learn not to let the tasks of the present take too much of our attention away, we can hopefully capture it again and again everyday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Disney World Day 6

On our final full day in Florida we made it to the Magic Kingdom. I know that it's the 'symbol' of Disney with it's castle and all, but to be frank, it was our least favorite park. We went early on a Thursday and the place was packed! Lines were heinous and the rides were not up to what Kent and I would enjoy and Isaac himself was not all that thrilled. Despite this, there were a few highlights.

Mama caught the line up for Pluto early and Isaac was bouncing with joy at the prospects of hugging 'Poo-to'.

The next three pictures took place in the only uncrowded area of the park, the Winne the Pooh playground. Isaac really enjoyed wandering Pooh Bear's house, ringing his bell and going down the slides.

Of course the classic picture to prove we were there. We were pretty pooped out by this point and left. Later that evening we headed back to Downtown Disney and had an Irish dinner with classic fish and chips. Talk about yummy grease!

Isaac is a cautious child and never really lets go when he slide, but he accidentally did this time and he couldn't get enough. Even the Lego play area was no match and I sat and watched him do it over and over for a half hour.

When we got back to the hotel Isaac played with giant blocks of Lego and Kent discovered another fun game. By spinning the hula hoops out, Isaac went crazy trying to catch them. The kid was screaming with absolute delight. Kent and I laughed so hard at his response.

The following morning we had planned to be packed early and head out to the Animal Kingdom again, but it was pouring rain. We opted to wait play at our hotel. Mama curled up with a book and Papa played some arcades with Isaac.

Disney World Day 5

Kent and I really enjoyed EPCOT and all it's variety and shows, so we headed back for one last day there. Incidentally, the giant Siemens ball that seems to represent EPCOT is known as the 'Meatball'. He was rather emphatic on that point no matter what we said.

I had to stop by the Canadian pavillion. Talk about a 'Small World', the fellow working there is from Calgary like me. Not only that, we discovered he lives behind the grade school I went to, 2 mins drive from my parents home! The second picture was their tribute to the beautiful gardens of Victoria B.C. - where I served my mission.

After our meal at the French Resturant we had to stop by their bakery. Europe is absoultely amazing when it comes to pasteries.

At the Japan pavillion there was this amazing artist who worked with candy. Within 5 minutes she'd shaped and painted a beautiful hummingbird. It drys and hardens into hard candy. Her slender fingers were amazing to watch as they flitted, tugged, smoothed and painted at an indistinquishable blue lump.

I finally convinced Kent to buy a small started kit for bonsai. He's loved looking at those things for years. On the left is a Bougenvilla - the only beautiful one Kent has ever seen. He hates those plants! On the right is my favorite, it's over 80 years old.

Isaac loves Stitch!

In the Imagination pavillion they had an area where the children could run around and stand on various instrument pads. The music above would change to whatever they chose. Isaac loved it!

Each of the Kingdoms has a playground area where little one can run off some energy. Kent loves this picture and wishes I could photoshop the black net out, then it would look like Isaac is jumping through hoops.

My two little Vikings! After our dinner and dessert we had to stop by the Norweigan bakery for their school bread, a bun filled with a delicate custard. Are any of you adding up the pounds on us yet?! My excuse is I'm preganant! ;0)

That evening we went for a German buffet. Isaac inhaled Macaroni and Cheese and chocolate milk - things he never really gets at home. We did the polka to a life German band.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Disney World Day 4

I know this is rather drawn out for you all, but this blog is very much a family journal, so forgive the endless details of the trip.

The following day was the last day of conference. The Animal Kingdom just about killed me, so I opted for something a little quieter. We had a voucher for one free adult pass to miniature golf. I didn't have to pay for Isaac ... so what the heck!! The set up was darling and Isaac was thrilled to have a ball and stick - of sorts! Such a boy!

Isaac really was a trouper, trying hard to play using the club but after a while he just couldn't see the point of it and would simply drop the ball by hand into the next hole. He also couldn't see why Mama kept insisting on doing it the 'hard way', so he helped me out a couple of times by saving me the grief of using a club.

For those thinking of a trip to Disney World, the Mousesavers website was a great help. I found coupons, money saving tips and ideas. One of them was the fact that at a Downtown Disney store, you paid $20 for a box filled with Mr. Potato Head parts. Of course if you didn't have body, that pretty much took up your twenty. We bought one for $5 beforehand and packed it with us, then we just loaded up on parts. They had things to turn him into a Darth Vader, Buzz Lightyear, pirate, Ariel, Cruela Devil. Isaac just loves the toy!

Okay, so I'm going to get on my soapbox for a moment, after all, this is my blog and I'll say what I want to. ;0) We had a $15 voucher for Planet Hollywood and thought we'd take advantage of it. Being this was Downtown Disney and I saw tons of children around, I didn't expect the experience we got. First off, the place was so crowded that you barely had an inch between your chair and the person at the next table. You can imagine being pregnant created some difficulties ... okay, so it was the parting of the sea of people! Beep, beep, watch for on coming belly! And I'm really not all that large yet! This was difficult because of the number of times I had to get up, ie. to use the potty, wash hands, etc.

If that was all my complaints that would be minor. I know the place is a tribute to the movies, but what I can't understand is why there was absolutely NO place you could turn without a massive screen facing you. It wouldn't be so bad, but for the material they were showing. It was most definitely NOT PG-13 material, both in the movie scenes and particularly from the music videos. Not only that, the sound was so loud we had to yell at each other and our waiter to be heard.

The final blow was upon entering the bathroom. One would hope that it would be a place where a person might do their business in private ... An individual sat on a chair by the sinks talking on their cell phone. When I got in, they quickly got off the phone and waited for me to wash my hands so they could hand me a paper towel. Next to them was a plate with money on it. Had Kent not warned me in advance, I would have been so bewildered by the whole thing. Apparently this individual was there offering a service and expected me to pay. Can you imagine what their resume must say: Towel Dispenser at Planet Hollywood. Don't they automate those things now? How are your hands any cleaner than mine? I know I'm pregnant, but I really think grabbing my own paper towel won't strain me. Planet Hollywood is still a far cry from an upper class restaurant ... it's chain for heavens sakes! Needless to say I didn't tip, after all, it was hassle enough to get me and my belly there, let alone haul my purse. The lady gave a rather exaggerated sigh. Sorry to be rude, but I didn't ask for it and I think she needs to get a real job. I'm seriously considering writing them a letter of complaint.

With that out of my system ....that evening we went to another Disney Resort that hosts a Campfire sing-a-long with Chip and Dale. It's free and a great way to meet a character without horrendous lines. Isaac just loved wandering around pick up rocks and sticks. The area was beautiful.

They set up a fire for making smores and you can purchase everything there. But being the frugal Asian I am, I pack everything in advance! This was Isaac's first experience with marshmallows. DEFINITELY positive!

Prior to this, all characters were seen from a distance. I was a little apprehensive for Isaac in meeting one up close, but to our surprise, he hopped down to give Chip a big hug. The last thing I wanted was one of those forced pictures ... you know the one with the red-faced kid screaming for terror next to a giant Mickey with the caption: A Magical Day at Disney. Really it's more for the parents than the kid. I'm glad Isaac enjoyed it himself. On our boat ride back to our hotel we caught the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.

For those who know us well, up until the last few months Kent and I haven't bothered with basic cable much less anything else since he started school. We just don't have the time and couldn't bother spending the money. So we have absolutely no idea where this came from. I don't know if Isaac felt the need to unwind from the frightening 'boom-booms' we saw on the way home, or what, but the kid scurried into the bed, grabbed the remote, made sure the pillow as behind him and got "Cozy" as he says and turned on the TV. Note the glazed expression on his face. Is this genetic? How did he know which button to push?