Thursday, January 28, 2010


Being a parent is a precarious sort of occupation because you never know exactly where you stand. Some days you find yourself the idol of you child - the best comedian (EVERYTHING you do is funny), a superhero (what can't Mom do?), a guru (a sage in all things of life and play) and a most of all, the warmest and most comforting living security blanket! When little ones hit the bumps and bruises of life, it's their Mama they want and something magical occurs when you simply hold them and love them. It gives you a heady high that you really can do all for your kid. Then the next day, for no reason at all (other than existing) you can't do anything right, you know nothing and everything you do makes the child cry. (compound this by 10x when they become a teenager) But the one thing that reassures me my place with the child is when I can still hold them and love away the little pains of life - and then I can't. If there's anything that is sure about being a parent is how insufficient we are, I had just such an experience the other night.

Isaac had been sick and like a typical 2 year old, he covers his mouth AFTER he coughs. It was inevitable that Keila would get it. I kept a close eye on her low grade fever, ran a humidifier and fed her more frequently to keep up her fluids. At night we'd dose her with Tylenol so she'd sleep better and give her body a break from the fever. A few days later she woke up at her nap running at 103. The Tylenol did nothing to break it and worst of all, her eyes began rolling to the back of her head. I rushed her into the Pediatric Urgent Care where we got in right away. Because she is so young, they ran the gamut of test, drew blood, tried to insert a catheter to test urine and swabbed any opening with fluid to identify what it could be. Thank heavens she tested negative for RSV (unlike the poor mother in the next room) as well as pneumonia and influenza. In the end they simply injected an antibiotic into her thigh that stings for a day or two.

Normally Keila is so good-natured and laid back, but she screamed and cried so hard and for so long that she lost her voice. For those 4 hours my heart broke as I rocked, and sang and held and kissed. It was not enough. And wouldn't you know it, just the night before we watched a movie where the child had leukemia. I can't begin to imagine what parents go through when they have a child that has a disease that results in more painful procedures. I felt so insufficient.

A mixed blessing resulted from all of this in that we discovered she has a vaginal adhesion making UTIs and other infections more possible unless surgery is done to open the area more. While it's not a huge surgery, it's causes me enough anxiety to know that she has to go under anesthesia let alone be cut in any way.

As a mother, I'd much rather I bear the pain than to see her in any pain, but it just isn't the way life is. Life presents more that the tiny trips and falls that Isaac blunders into lately. Sooner or later there will be teasing, bullying, failures and physical pains that Mama cannot make better. My hugs and kisses will be nothing more than band aids.

But someone once told me that children are more resilient than we think, sometimes more so than their parents. Even so, I just wish that her first year of life could be surgery free.

Here's my sweetie Valentine girl.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling

Sometimes we get visitors to our home and they ask why we have a wash behind the house, after all, we live in the desert. What they don't understand is when we do get rain that area becomes a river sending the coyotes, javelinas (wild boars) and jack rabbits running. This was just last weekend.

We're due for another rainy weekend, anyone want to go sailing?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I love how children explore things. While at times it is rather crazy what they can get into, it's still fun (once you're over the shock) to see them discover the world around them. Isaac's starting to understand the differences between boys and girls. For example Mama and Keila wear flowers and he and Baba don't. I have pink toe nails and make-up and boys don't. Most of this has come as he plays around with the things in the bathroom. Some of them I'm hard pressed to explain (such as tampons) but he seems to accept my awkward explanation or finds a better use for them (stir sticks for his food toys!) Today he discovered the night guard I wear to prevent myself from grinding my teeth at night:

Mama: Isaac please don't touch anything.
Isaac: I'm just looking!

(a few clinking noises)

Mama: Isaac ... Isaac ... what are you doing?

(ominous silence - Isaac comes around the corner with an expression of terror)

Isaac: Mama?
Mama: Yes?
Isaac: Mama? Your TEETH!!!!!! (screaming ensues)

Speaking of teeth, this is Isaac sinking his into whatever remained of the cookies we were icing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm Not Alone!

I use to think that playdates were really for the kids, but with this recent bout of sickness, I've decided that ultimately it's for the mother's sanity and the safety of the child! ;0) With the last few days of sleepless nights, battling a high fever and 2 fussy children, I've often wondered how the women of yesteryear did their job. They had less amenities, money and more kids and more work. How did they do it? How did they not go wonky and tear their hair out? The work of a housewife often seems futile and so there's something about being around other women who understand. (Can anyone hear the refrain: "You're not alone!") Funny how we live closer to others and yet we're more isolated than ever in our work. Thus is born the need for playdates and other such arrangements where a mother can have a 'normal' conversation for a few minutes of her day. Hooray for playdates!

Boredom giving birth to creativity!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stir Crazy

Whenever one of the kids are sick, I'm sure to have a photo session with the other one otherwise I go absolutely stir crazy with nothing to do. Yeh, yeh, I know what you're thinking ... I'm sure you have CLEANING to do ... and yes I have the nitty gritty deep corner cleaning which inevitably will get done, but I need something fun to do! The one thing about having a daughter is the driving need to dress her up like a doll and take some pictures. So here's Keila in her latest and greatest outfits.

She has this crazy cute tongue smile right now that just makes me laugh.

The red flowers and headband I made, one of the few small crafts when I have the time. Is it sad that I'm more vain about my daughter than I am about myself?

This dress was a gift from my dear friend Abby and is among one of my very favorites. Someone at church said she looks like a Catholic school girl with that drop waist plaid dress - I think she's just a doll!

My lady-bugga boo playing with her lady bug. Note the tongue smile! She works hard to use her stomach muscles to try and sit up on her own now.

I love used kids clothes, I got this for $4 and she looks like a princess!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Uncles and Aunts

Growing up anyone who was a family friend was addressed as and Aunt or Uncle thus making it extremely confusing to a child who was truly blood related. Joe, my brother who recently married, called to say he and his wife, Becky, wanted to visit for a few days. As always we try to prep Isaac for things and I explained that Uncle Joe and Aunt Becky were coming and that Uncle Joe was my brother. I showed him a picture and pointed out how similar we were in appearance in the hopes of conveying that Joe was related to him. I don't think this worked too well since while they were visiting, Isaac pointed out a middle aged Asian man and called him Uncle Joe. Then again, we Chinese do all look alike! ;0)

Regardless of fact, Isaac does know that Uncles and Aunt spoil him in ways that Mama and Papa never do. He adored Becky and Joe (especially Becky) to no end and since their visit our prayers have gotten even longer .... bless Uncle Matt, Aunt Margaret, Uncle Joe, Aunt Becky, Uncle Lee, Uncle Brian, Auntie Karri, Auntie Shannon.... and all their children too!

We went out to the Wildlife Zoo and captured a few shots with them.

Aunt Becky was Isaac's favorite as he'd grab her fingers and tow her anywhere saying, "Play with me!" I was worried she's have dislocated fingers after the visit.

As always I love touching the sea animals.

A nice shot of the beautiful Discus they have at the new aquarium.

Isaac with Uncle Joe.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Fond Farewell to 2009

Life can be such a ride sometimes that it's nice when it gives you a break and you just coast for a while and enjoy the view. 2008 was crazy for us and so I grateful for the quiet events of 2009.

Kent has finished a busy year at Maricopa Hospital as a clinical pharmacist for the ICU. It was a strange adjustment moving from an intern salary to a 'REAL' salary, but we managed and the best part is that Kent likes his work. The hardest part of the job (any job really) is the politics, but Kent has maneuvered through that landmine nicely and it looks like we're there to stay for some time. His 'free' time has been spent on weight lifting (no, holding Keila and Isaac don't count - though it should!) and being a Scout Master. He just recently celebrated his 30th birthday.

I have been busy with kids, cleaning, kids, cleaning .... you get the idea. But along the way I've managed to spend some of my energy towards decorating our home which I found a daunting task initial but I'm starting to enjoy. I experiment with new recipes often and have taken to making my own yogurt, hummus and tzatziki. I still post on the blog whenever I get the chance, do a few crafts and keep up with my book club reading (it's my line of sanity) Plenty of stuff for a busy mom of two.

Isaac has grown up to be such a little man. He's in the 'what and why' stage, which is always amusing. I've often been amazed by how much he pays attention to in order to ask question. For example, while we were reading the 'Night Before Christmas' he kept asking me, "What is dash?" He's quite persistent until he gets a satisfactory answer and as a consequence, he's picked quite a vocabulary. Words such as shin, collarbone, cement and blinker (which he always points out when I don't use it while driving) His latest favorite phrase is "Not yet!" which is applied to any request you make. He loves going to his weekly 'playschool', reading books and being a big helper around the house when he'll proudly announce, "I'm working. Working hard!"

Keila ... well she was born, which is an achievement in and of itself. Perhaps it's because she's a second child, but she seems to have grown and developed over night. She holds her head up steady, can roll over on one side and just a day or two ago her first tooth poked it's nubby head out with the second one right next to it soon to be visible. She loves food already and adores Isaac. Simply by talking to her he can get a smile and a giggle. She's our little angel heart.

We're grateful for all the blessing the Lord gives us and excited for this upcoming decade. Happy New Year to one and all!