Thursday, July 30, 2009

Control Issues

It never ceases to amaze me the faith that a child has in his/her parent. The other day Isaac and I went on our mile jog around the neighborhood. It was one of those very rare Arizona mornings where a hint of rain was in the air. (In other words, we'd get 'spit on' if we were lucky!) He was excited to see a real rainbow and the usual animals that accompanied our walks, wild rabbits, quail and other birds. All of a sudden there was a flash of lightening and Isaac 'ahhhhh' at the wonder of nature. In the past while living in Houston, we explained that lightening and thunder talk to each other during a storm and so I reminded him in case he became frightened at the noise. To my surprise, he was thrilled by it and promptly said, "Mama, more lightening, more thunder ..." which is to say, Mama make more for me!

I chuckled and explained that Heavenly Father creates that and that Mama has absolutely no control whatsoever in that department. (much less in ANY department!) He refused to listen and when it became apparent no hocus pocus magic would be forthcoming from his Mama, he decided he'd settle if Mama would make more wild rabbits appear. Needless to say, he was a disappointed little boy.

I wonder if it stems from the the little game we play while driving around town. "Green- Go!" were among some of his first phrases and he hated waiting at red lights, repeatedly 'beep-beeping' at the cars in front. (hmmmm wonder where he got that from?!) We'd make it a game to see who could 'change' the light to green and of course I'd have the advantage of watching all the signals so I could magically change it at the right moment. Now how did Mama do that?!

But in all seriousness it worries me a little that my son thinks so much of me. My inherent weaknesses makes the fall from his pedestal ever so much harder to take. With the physical, emotional and mental strain of the baby coming, I have been more short tempered as of late. We often 'chat' after we've both had a nap and some time off where I apologize for being so grouchy (grrr, grrrr - Isaac says) While it's a long fall down, I've become increasingly grateful for the forgiving nature of children. When those 'blow up' times come close and I draw him aside to say, "Mama needs space, please go play in your room." and he willingly complies, I am so appreciative of this little man of mine. And when those times come that I've hit boiling before I knew it, he is quick to give a kiss and hug and let the event go. Now if I can learn that same gift of forgiveness with myself and others I'm sure I'd be a happier and healthier person. Perhaps this is what the Savior means in asking us to become as a little child.

As a child, enjoying the simple things of life!

At the zoo brushing the 'nice' goats, which he distinguished as the ones who'd been fed and wouldn't maul him!

Monday, July 27, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

Got back from the doctor today and amazingly, she has dropped even further! If I felt to complain of aches and pains in bones and areas I knew not of before ... I feel it more so now! ;0) In the week I have effaced 50% and dilated to 1 cm. Dr. DeSalvo said he wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor today. All I care is that she is healthy and strong, ready for the birth itself. Am I ready ... what a question, is anyone ever?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baby Step Milestones

I love waking Isaac up from naps. I usually stretch out on the bed next to him and put an arm around him, kissing his cheek and whispering his name. Most of the time a small smile creeps across his face, he rubs his thick long eyelashes (why is it boys are always blessed with that!), and flops over and rubs the edging of his favorite blanket. It's times like these I look at him, how much he has grown. With him lying next to my belly I think of the little girl I carry and wonder at how he was once that size too. Two years seem to pass in a few breaths!

The other night Isaac jumped with 2 feet off the ground while mimicking a cartoon show. If you've ever watched little ones try, it's quite a difficult feat. For whatever reason, lack of faith or coordination, getting both feet off the ground at the same time takes a lot of work. But he did it and landed with a bump on the hard tile floor. It didn't faze him though, he realized his accomplishment and immediately raised both hands in the air yelling, "I did it, I did it!"

This has become his mantra lately. Frustrations come so easily to such little bodies and yet when he does accomplish something on his own, he's quick to celebrate and make sure the world knows it. He put his own socks on, cleaned up his toys without help, put on his shoes, helps wash blueberries for Mama, etc. All these little things are markers of growth that are so easily missed. Sometimes I wonder if we were quick to celebrate our own 'baby step' milestones if we wouldn't all be happier and less judgemental people.

The following are pictures of Isaac that Kent took while he was scribbling with sidewalk chalk. I love his focused looks, he puts his heart and soul into everything that is before him in the moment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Stretch

We're in the home stretch and down to those weekly doctor appointments where you find out with some trepidation how close the 'big event' is. Most of the times you're disappointed since the discomfort has finally reached a point where any joking about it elicits a strong desire to slap the individual teasing. On the other hand, there is a sense of relief as you think of all the little things yet to be prepared for the tiny person's arrival.

Four days prior to the appointment I had the distinct impression that she had 'dropped'. While it's great to be able to breath a little easier, there have been sharp pains in the region and whenever I pick Isaac up I get Braxton-Hicks contractions lasting for over 20 mins. It's a little early, I have 4 weeks left and so my cervix is have the workout of a lifetime trying to 'suck it up' with a few pounds resting directly on it. Dr. DeSalvo confirmed all of this in his own words, "Whoa baby.... yeah she's right there!!!"

Kent came with to the appointment and was given a stern reminder to be full of sympathy since this was definitely not a walk in the park. Permission granted to gripe! No effacement yet, but I'm taking it easy from this point out, it's just a touch too soon for her to come.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Feeling Like Home

It's here, our newest and brightest arrival! Though long awaited, we're glad to announce it's here in once piece and couldn't look any cuter, ..... introducing our sectional sofa!

Isn't she beautiful! Between cleaning the grout and resealing the tile, things are really starting to feel like home again! A coffee table, pictures, some pillows for added color and before you know it, there's no place like home!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Music Critic

When we left for residency, Kent and I decided to leave the piano with some friends. Little did we know how much we'd miss our venting sessions on it. Bach when we want a challenge, Chopin for the moments we just want to show off, Beethoven (especially for me) when we're moody, Debussy and Mendelssohn for our mellow times and the occasionally Rachmaninoff with all it's passion. Since coming back to our house Kent and I try and find the opportunity to play piano like we did once before but find it difficult with a little boy who wants to play just like his parents. The few times we really get some of that practice in we come off refreshed - better and cheaper than a session of counselling!

Unfortunately we've had a commentator of sorts while we play. It isn't Isaac; he doesn't seem to have too much of a discriminating taste. Rather it's our pet rabbit Sunshine. It's obvious the moment we finish warming up with technique, she wanders over and settles herself comfortably at the base of the piano. She'll sit for a moment and if things sound good eventually she'll stretch our like a little brown pelt and lay in peaceful bliss. The moment I want to work on a few measures, perfecting that Chopin run or when I feel the need to pound out some Beethoven, she gets up, give us a baneful expression and hops off to the other room. Amateurs! Well I guess you can't make everyone 'hoppy'! ;0)

The soothing effects of Debussy's 'Clair de Lune'.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We Are Being Watched

Little ears and little eyes see everything and Kent and I find ourselves asking "Where did Isaac learn that?" only to discover it was from us. Classic instance, when Kent tickles Isaac and they have a wrestling match, he will in jest say, "Knock that off!" When Isaac was just learning to speak his first full phrase was exactly that, "Knock that off!" but without the teasing tone and to our utter dismay, it was always clear as a bell. We often find ourselves apologizing for words or phrases that would never have bothered us before because coming out the wrong mouth with an utterly different tone seems to reflect a verbally abusive upbringing. (which I'm sure all of you know is totally not true ... or maybe somewhat untrue ... ;0)

I once had the gall to judge a parent by what their child said, I'm not so quick to do so now. After all ... Kids say the darndest things! Children have such a way of pointing out the worst in you - and they do it with such grace. Never is there the 'I told you so' tone or any demeaning words, but nothing is clearer then when you see yourself imitated in such exactness you can't help but know it is you.

On the up side though is when you do see your child imitating you in an act of kindness or love, nothing could be sweeter. I'm grateful for my little mirror who teaches me in the most loving and effective way possible.

Below are some pictures of Isaac imitating his clean freak Mama. We've never had him wash dishes before, but after playing tent and camping with his panda, I asked him to "clean his dishes" to give me a minute of free time. It was too quiet - the ominous sign of something new being explored. I found him in the hall bathroom, he'd dumped nearly half the bottle of hand soap on his frying pan and with a giant wad of toilet paper was vigorously scrubbing! I had to laugh.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The ever pop-u-lar 'Wicked' 'defied gravity'! For weeks I was experiencing 'unadulterated loathing' for all those who were seeing the show before me and I'm typically 'not that girl!' But 'I couldn't be happier' than for the chance on Saturday to see the matinee performance with Kent. With the music rampaging through my head, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Persian Room after. Thank you my darling for a wickedly wonderful day! ;0)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Little Helping Hands

Isaac is a firstborn child through and through. Everything is about being grown up just like Mama and Papa. Often you hear the sound of a chair scraping across the tile floor as he tries to get his own breakfast, or needs a little extra height to 'help' cook dinner. While heartwarming, it's often more terrifying than anything else, especially when he knows where all the knives are and wants to cut veggies or fruit. When I discourage it he becomes upset as if to say, "Mama, you worry too much!" and disregards what I say anyhow. So I've learned to re-direct his attention, to find a small task for him to do, re-arrange veggies on a plate, hold a spoon or fork, pour flour into the mixing bowl. He's a bright kid though and knows when he is truly of help or simply being distracted. During the times I can give him a 'real' task to safely do he always is sure to give me a kiss at the end and proudly say, "You're welcome, Mama!"

Such was the case a few days ago when Sprouts had a sale of $3.50 for 4lbs of strawberries. We washed and froze nearly 15lbs and saved the rest for a strawberry whip cream waffle lunch.

Enjoying the fruits of our labors!

Isaac is a rather particular child and was sure to lay each strawberry with the cut side down.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I tried writing Happy USA Day, but it just wasn't right. Maybe it's the Canadian in me, but what other country uses the date to signify the birth of it's nation? Now that I have all my Canadian friends cheering (score one for non-USA people) and my American friends questioning my loyalty (maybe she's really Communist!) I hope to explain my strong love for both countries without further offense ...

I remember clearly watching the TV and all the events of Tienanmen Square. It made such an impact upon me that I wrote a poem about the cost for the rarity of freedom and liberty. I see the blessing of it in so many ways, in my country, in my eduction, in who I am and what I enjoy. While I was born in the US, I grew up in Canada and both countries have contributed so much to my life - Canada for it's richness in culture and people, the USA for it's powerful sense of unity and strength - that I call both places home. I never fail to get a little teary eyed when either national anthems are sung.

In celebration of these the Independence of both countries (July 1 for Canada, July 4 for USA) Kent and I planned an outing out to the mountains to enjoy the cool air. I can't begin to describe how refreshing it was to be able to sit outside without sweating copious amounts of water! The sky was just slightly overcast for some of the most beautiful lighting for pictures. Isaac loved everything about it, especially the chance to throw rocks into a cold mountain stream. The simple joys of a free country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blessings for a Daughter

The 'nesting syndrome' has a strong hold on me. I find myself cleaning everything within a safe reach - tile and grout, baseboards, cupboards, window sills and blinds. Unfortunately for Kent even though he's not the one pregnant he is still enlisted in the chores I am unable to do - cleaning ceiling fans, wiring, shelving for the children's closet, backyard work, etc. 'Enlisted' really is the perfect word, he hasn't much choice and has graciously learned that to heed a list is the best response! ;0) Once most of that was achieved, I began squirreling away food into the deep freeze for those sleepless, incoherent moments when I will need a good meal. I have a rather impressive store of wonton meat filling, steam buns with meat and veggies, spring rolls, potsticker filling and even tang yuen when I'm homesick for a dessert. That's just for the 'Chinese' side in me. I'm working on other stuff, like quiche and pasta as well.

Amid all this, we realized we had yet to work on a Chinese name for our little girl. Chinese names are different in that it is a set of characters chosen to represent characteristics or blessing you wish for the child. In Isaac's case - Tien Ahn - it was a wish of heaven's peace to reside in his soul. Many Chinese girl names reflect beauty, a flower or a precious stone. Perhaps it's because I am a woman and I know the difficulties that she will face as the world tears at her inherent worth as a child of God that finding the right characters means so much to me. To all those who have daughters, what wish or blessing would you give your child that she would hear each time her name was spoken? There are only 7 weeks to go!