Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts on Family

Against my better judgment I'm writing a few posts. I had good sleep last night (as good as it gets with a 7 week old) and I'm dying for some quiet time to write out my thoughts. I might regret it later! ;0)

If I ever thought I was busy before with just one child, I am doubly busy now! It's true, you become more efficient and organized with each one and you let the things slide that are not as important. Unfortunately sometimes you don't know it's important till it's gone. It's particularly true with children as they grow so quickly. I'd been meaning to get around to doing some pictures of Keila. Particularly a picture of when she does that perfect newborn Cheerio lip look. It's so darling ... but as usual it pushed it aside for other things and suddenly my chance is gone. She doesn't do it anymore, and while it's great that's she's smiling, I'm sad I missed capturing that other look. Who'd have thought that 6 weeks could pass so quickly?

Just the other day Kent was asking if I remembered what it was like without Keila. We've all adjusted and we couldn't imagine being without her. Isaac's adjustment has been the roughest but despite that, you know he loves her. There's something about a family- the one we came from and the ones we create - that God uses to teach us how to love, sacrafice and find true joy. I see it when Keila coos at Isaac and he stops to smile and talk to her, how he thinks of 'sharing' peaches (a personal favorite) with her and how he's learning to be patient when we are busy with her needs. As Keila grows older, she will learn this things as well. Sometimes it's hard, but it's a gift in the end because everything is richer in life when it's shared.

Isaac in one of his more tender moments with Keila. I've also learned not to underestimate how much children understand. The times Isaac 'battles' his moments of jealousy, he tells me he is sad. We sit down and talk about it, how he's sad that we don't go out to play as much or that Mama is busier. We talk about the changes and we talk about the things that will never change, such as how we love each other 'always and forever'. In the end he is happier and accepting. Sometimes his understanding amazes me, particularly at the times I need it the most. Isaac's noticed how hard it is for me to get up in the mornings at times and has taken to quietly playing in the room next to the bed. Sometimes I have to laugh at his ingenuity in finding QUIET things to play with. Below is such an example. He found his stickers and proceeded to tatoo his arms and legs. When he ran out of space he climb up into bed with me and decorated my face! I pretty much slept through the first half of it. ;o)

We've been so amazed at the spirit within Isaac it makes me wonder at Keila. The moments I have a little more time I can't help but gaze at that darling little girl and wonder at the woman she might be someday. I love hearing her 'talk'. Her smiles have a way to lighting you right up inside and I love most of all how when she's tired she lays her head on your shoulder and gives a sigh of contentment. May we always be blessed with such simple but deep joys!

Keeping the Ball Rolling

Kent took the day off to recuperate from the numerous stresses as of late. Since he's been called to the calling of Scout Master he's had less time in the evening to play with Isaac and the little man sorely misses his best friend. We wanted an activity for the day that would be fun for everyone. Being the boy that he is, anything with a ball or that involves hitting something would bring the greatest pleasure - so we opted for bowling.

Isaac has never been bowling before, but he has seen it on Curious George. Of course anything Curious George does is ... shall we say, curious ... so I'm sure Isaac was imagining us riding a bowling ball down a hill into a valley aimed at home. So his response wasn't the enthusiastic 'yeah' that we typically hear. Nevertheless, once we arrived and he saw the object of the game, no one could have a better or louder cheering squad. He was so excited to play that he grab his 6 lb ball without hesitation and we'd have to rescue his toes from being crushed.

Here he is with Papa on his very first bowl. Sometimes his ball would roll so slowly we'd be afraid it'd stop or worse yet, start rolling backwards! The funny thing was that he scored better than us most of the time.

Our sad attempts. Don't let my serious expression fool you, if it weren't for the bumpers, Mama would have nothing to show for. I was starting to consider bowling the ball the way Isaac does just to do better!

The game was fun, but not enough action to keep a little girl awake!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Scary Monsters!

It's amazing to me to watch the growth and development of children. They learn so much so quickly that you can't help but wonder at their future capabilities. Isaac's creative mind has made leaps and bounds these last 5 months. At first it was slipping papers through a slot and the connections to a mailman, next thing you knew he was taking a tube of sorts and spraying a 'whoa, big fire' and carrying an imaginary baby he'd rescued. (which he treats with amazingly tender care - if only Keila could receive the same treatment!) A pop gun is everything from a golf club, fishing line to a lollipop! But with this amazing new territory comes the horrors of imaginations - yep, you guessed it - MONSTERS!

Apparently they're everywhere and Mama and Papa don't have the right 'powers' to see them, but Isaac does - and oh the horrors! At first we tried the tactic to telling him there were no monsters and showing him what creates the shadows or effects that he fears. That was pointless and I realized it would squelch him imaginations. We didn't want to be the ones always vanquishing the perceived threat since, to be quite frank, we have enough to do just keeping our kids feed, clean and safe. More than anything, literally and figuratively, Isaac needed a means to conquer his own fears and monsters. We explained to him that he was a child of God and as such has no need to fear. There are always hard or scary things to face, but if he is living right, listening to His Spirit, they he will have the help of his Heavenly Father. He seemed to understand to some small degree because now when he sees them he loudly says, "Scary monster, go away!" and runs up to touch it, to ensure the threat is gone. That's my little man!

Here's my little guy enjoying his raspberries. He'll eat a whole pint for breakfast if you let him!

Unexpected Family Reunion

A few months ago we received my brother's invitation for his wedding which was to be held at the Las Vegas LDS Temple on September 4. Keila wasn't due to be born till August 20 and between who Kent had to be on call to cover for work and the unknowns of how the birth of Keila would go, we gave our regrets. I was a little sad at the miss opportunity of reconnecting with Joseph but kept it in my prayers that if there was a chance we could go, if the Lord would make it possible.

A small series of miracles occurred (everything from easy birth and recovery, to unexpected time off from work) and lo and behold, we found ourselves driving out for the BBQ before the wedding on the evening of the 3rd. We had a nice time getting to know some of Joe and Becky's family and friends. Becky's mom, Linda served up some amazing food, we were entertained with stories from the couple's dating life and Kent and Isaac and Keila got to meet 'Uncle Joe' for the first time.

The following day we drove up for the temple sealing where I saw James and my Dad for the first time in 7 years. Little brothers sure do sprout up fast! We finished catching up on each other's lives later that evening at a dinner reception. It was a little harried and although it was too short, it was an enjoyable trip.

Most of Saturday and Sunday was spent with Kari and Brian Yang (old college friends) who treated us to wonderful meals and side-splitting laughter sessions. Isaac adored their children, Logan and Juila, who he insists on mentioning in his prayers at night as his 'good friend'. One of the most memorable things we did was feed the fish at the lake, it was frenzy! They came in so thick you could pick them up with your hands. Thank you guys for hosting us, we had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh Scout Master My Scout Master!

So Kent got a new calling in our church just recently - yes the much spoken of calling of Scout Master. The spouse of the Scout Master was once referred to as the 'tenured widow' by a friend of mine. I'll be honest and say I wasn't thrilled at the idea of it, due mostly to the fact that he would be gone often in the evenings and many of the weekends. I'm a personal easily overwhelmed if I don't have 'me' time. On the other hand, we know it'll be a rewarding experience for Kent, something totally new that he would enjoy and that would ultimately make him a better father to Isaac. But regardless of my reservations, we've decided to make a go of it and I'm happy to see Kent's excitement over it once he got over "What the heck am I suppose to do with these 12-13 year old boys every week" shock. Now all I have to do is figure out the best way to sew on the million of patches without impaling my fingers on the needles!

Kent showing off my hard work!

Growth and Changes

It's finally cooled off here in AZ it's tolerable enough to go for walks in the evenings or sit out front while my 'men' are working. Kent trimmed up the olive trees and Isaac mimicking him, set out to pick up stray branches. How he loves his Papa! Here he is wiping the sweat off his brow working alongside his favorite guy.

Keila's starting to smile ... a real smile! I love it and yet a small part of me is already missing that 'newborn' look - so utterly innocent and vunerable that it takes your breath away with how much you want to love and protect her. Here's our angel girl now at 5 weeks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Month

It's amazing how quickly time passes. Keila is already 4 weeks old as of last Monday. On our way back from Vegas I began noticing all the changes that have occurred in her features in just the last week. She's filling out pleasantly, 'little chubs' as I call it are found in the folds of arms and legs. Kent stopped a moment to admire her and discovered her eyes are losing the blue-grey color of newborns and taking on the chocolate brown of my eyes. She holds her head up steady and wakes only once in the night to feed. She's much more vocal and I'm having trouble deciding if all the grunts are complaints about the differing flavors she finds daily in her milk or if she's wanting a little more variety! ;0) Already she loves classical music and after a good feeding I can lay her down to listen happily for a good 40 minutes. She HATES tummy time and grunts out the injustice of having it daily. Such a personality in such a little body!

This is her after a good feeding ... she resembles the 'Happy Buddha' in deep meditation. Anyone want to rub that cutie belly for good luck! ;0)