Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Little Old Man

One of the ladies at church is always amazed at how verbal Isaac is. She says he sound like a little old man and he does! Somehow he picks it up from everything and anything around him. For example, today we ate strawberries and whip cream on angel food cake. Amids all the yummy and 'hmmm'ing, Isaac stopped to say, "Tastes just like a dream!" Kent was shocked and I had to laugh. It comes from a book called 'Whopper Cake' and I always read it with a cowboy accent. What would be truly funny is if Isaac adopted that accent as well!

At night, as a delay tactic, he's sure to ask Kent to "So, tell me about your day!" and sigh deeply when asked about what he did and reply with, "Wellllllll was okay." While walking he point out a curb and say, "Watch out! Be careful and don't trip!" I wonder where all those phrases come from? ;0)

We've borrowed a few videos from the library and from it is born a love of Diego, an animal rescuer with a rescue pack that can produce anything from a coat to a hand glider. (On a side note, as I mother, I would LOVE something like that! The ultimate purse!) He's always wearing his imaginary rescue pack watching out for rock slides and saving deer. While at a Kid to Kid the other day, Isaac was playing with a little girl who was a year older but about an inch shorter that my son. At some point I found him wrestling with her on the floor. She was trying hard to get away while still being gentle and Isaac clung to her exclaiming, "I'm rescuing you!" I think he was pretty disappointed that this damsel wasn't in any real distress. When we got ready to go, he asked if he could give her a hug goodbye. She smiled and let him and at the last second he planted a big wet kiss on her lips. Talk about taking advantage of the moment. I'm in deep trouble when he's a teenager!

Here's the little charmer with our neighbor's daughter. He's such social butterfly already and his favorite friends are all girls!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Hiking We Will Go!

With Kent's new calling as Scoutmaster, we're starting to learn quickly about all the natural recreation areas around us and endeavoring to give our little children a taste of it so hopefully they grow to love it. Last weekend Kent took the Scouts out to the White Tank mountains and they took a one mile hike up to a waterfall. It seemed doable with 2 young children so we took off early this morning to go.

I grew up in Calgary Alberta at the base of the Rocky Mountains so I had to chuckle as Isaac pointed to the scrubby hills and said, "Whoa, big mountain!" The water fall more of a steady trickle, but rather impressive when one considers that it's in the middle of a desert. Isaac tuckered out rather quickly but he enjoyed throwing rocks into the water and eating his chocolate muffin that I made for the trip. I kept trying to bribe him to walk by telling him the muffin would taste better once he got to the end!

The little ones on the onset of the journey.

THIS is a waterfall in Arizona!

Keila, the little stinker, wouldn't sleep on the way out until the 5 minutes just before we parked for the hike. She was a little fussy but eventually learned to conk out in the carrier.

Despite having some growing pains in his legs lately, he was a trooper and seemed to have fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catharsis Through Furniture

Sometimes the best therapy comes in the most surprising forms. In an earlier post I mentioned getting a headboard and foot board for $20 - an Asians absolute delight. Originally we were going to stain some side boards but when I finished with one, the knots in the wood were too obvious to match the head and foot board. Painting everything became the next best option.

I've always admired painted furniture but have never had the gumption to do it. My excuse was that it wasn't really me, but the real reason was fear. Funny how such a small word has the power to incapacitate you. I was fearful of making a mistake and worst of all, that i might be stuck with it. But having very little options, I began the process anyhow. I must admit I put it off for an hour or two. The idea of sanding beautifully stained wood was akin to making war on a piece of art for me. Once I began there was no turning back and I found myself thinking of why it was such a difficult thing for me.

In all my dusty pondering I decided it had alot to do with growing up and feeling like a mistake was the worst thing possible. And yet I've taught children how many scientific discoveries were first mistakes - things never intended and yet learned from that benefited humanity. The tragedy in a mistake is not that it is made, but so much more that it isn't turned in to knowledge and then wisdom.

My thoughts then wandered to antiqued furniture. The flaws are considered beautiful - a sign of usefulness and love. I guess I could either be a perfect item on display, never used or touched or be one that gets a good scratch or ding but has a 'lived'.

Pictures of before ...

.... middle ....

... after ....

So here I am vicariously living through my $20 headboard and finding it a rather enjoyable experience. More than anything I think I'm learning to be more forgiving - like how paint is. Between that and the Lord something beautiful can be made! Wouldn't it be neat to see pictures of me in the before/middle/after!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Will to Choose

All women should be allowed to make a disclaimer as soon as they become mothers. This disclaimer reads: Amateur at work, please do not sue until work in progress is finished! By finished I refer to the Lord fixing everything that I can't seem to do right but tried my hardest!

This all relates to some recent events with Isaac. He had developed a nervous habit of picking at his nose whenever he felt the slightest distress. We set up a system of giving him 10 pennies a day and each time he touched his nose unnecessarily, he had to give one back. Although he's only 2.5 years old, he's grasped that money buys things we want and need. His 'want' being candy which I am forever telling him that we need to spend the money elsewhere. So when given the opportunity to 'earn' some for himself that he'd have full charge over, he was thrilled. It was hard the first 2 days but then after that, you'd see his finger hover near his face and he grab it and sit on it to ensure the safety of his pennies! The bad habit was kicked and Kent and I were thrilled. We went to the grocery store where he bought a sucker and a package of M&Ms, devouring them immediately.

Naturally we thought it might work for potty training. He's been trained - to a point. He can pee on the potty when asked, he can hold it through a 2.5 hour nap and on occasion when you get him on there, he can even do #2 - IF he CHOOSES so to do. So I placed him in training underwear for a few days and with the first accident, he quickly would yell when he needed to pee and run back to the bathroom to do his business all by himself. We'd award him a penny each time. But #2 was a whole different ball game. We'd offer him 2 quarters (until I discovered he thought the pennies were prettier), or we'd grab him and run at the first signs of it coming. He fought and he fought and then out of rebellion, he started peeing in his pants again. It was a nightmare for all of us and worse of all, I was getting to be pretty darn witchy!

When something doesn't work, quit banging your head against the wall! Kent and I reassessed and have decided to try some reverse psychology. We told Isaac that in order to wear underwear, he needs to chose to use the potty for everything. Until he wants to do that, he'll have to wear diapers and when he wants to be changed, to let us know.

I was gratified to hear him protest a little, he liked wearing his underwear, it was softer and more 'cozy' but he understood that he didn't want to use the potty for #2. While this is the pendulum swinging to the far right, it's taken a huge amount of stress away. He chooses now to tell us when he wants to change (which means no fighting) and although it means the diaper practically sags to his knees, he's okay with it. It's only been day 2 of this alternative but I'm happier and so is he. I'm learning there are many things that I can encourage, coax, bribe and 'strongly' suggest, but in the end, it is his will. Heaven knows if I can't learn this now, I'll have to learn it to my detriment when he's a teenager. They really are 'little people'!

The ever gracious volunteer for licking the bowl clean. I think it may be easier to clean the bowl than him but what's the fun in that!

Keila loves the sound of the hula hoop as she shakes it. Isaac had her roaring with laughter one day until she was gasping for breath!

I LOVE Keila's expression, as if to say, "Mama, what in the world....!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Immortalizing Memories

We rarely had pictures of our family growing up, a total of 2 that I can recall. It was a shame really. There a certain nostalgic feeling that sweeps over you when you look at pictures from yesteryear. It always generates other feelings and memories that remind you of all the joy that you had - and better yet, the ones you have yet to experience.

I swore that things would be different once I got married, but one small hurdle prevented me from doing so - I HATE pictures of myself! There's too many reasons (both real and not real) that make me shudder when I see a photo of me. It's taken quite a few years to get use to it and look objectively enough to say, "Hey, that's not too bad!"

The work was done by Steve Watson who does this as a side job. He's incredible given it's not his day job and more than anything it felt natural, which meant I didn't end up grimacing in some awful fashion as if I was constipated! ;0) I'm even daring to consider blowing one up this first one to an 11x14.

Someone was a little tired of smiling! Here's to making memories last forever!