Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me! Happy Birthday dear Meeeee! Happy birthday to me! :0)

It was a wonderful day today with more hoopla than I'm accustom to but I learning to enjoy it. Keila thought to wish me a happy birthday first by waking at 5 am and refusing to go back to sleep. ;0) Kent and Isaac brought me a homemade card accompanied by 'tong-tong' (chocolate and Swedish fish .... definitely a toddler's gift!) a few hours later. The kiddos and I then went to the water park for a few hours of fun. I loved watching their interactions!

Kent came home with roses, a romantic way to start an evening and we went for dinner at the Melting Pot. For those who've never gone, it's an experience and their 'Big Night Out' dinners are changed every 6 months and never featured again. I love indulging in the cheese and chocolate ... pure gluttony at it's finest!

I thought the evening was complete but came home to find an Coldstone ice cream cake with candles and a group of close friends hiding to yell and enthusiastic 'surprise'. It was a wonderful day and at the end of it I jokingly asked Kent how he planned on topping it next year. He smiled and said, "Maybe we ought to go for a week cruise!" At this rate I can't wait until I'm 50! ;0)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Deep Waters

Growing up I had reoccurring nightmares of various things. As a child it was of drowning and as I got older it became car crashes. Needless to say it wasn't until I was 20/21 that I finally got my drivers license. As for the swimming ... in college I perfected swimming on my back. So long as my face wasn't in the water I didn't panic. I especially hated the idea of being in water too deep for me to stand.

One of my roommates my freshman year thought to help me by taking me swimming in the evenings several times a week. We moved gradually to where I could swim on my back in the diving tank with a little apprehension, but not enough to hyper ventilate. One night, she she'd deemed that I had sufficiently gotten over a fear of deep water, she thought she'd try something known as 'shock therapy'. She pushed me down in the diving tank with her hands and then stepped down on my shoulders. I went down far enough to see the observation window and panicking, I kicked myself up. My lungs were ready to burst when I felt her grab my hands and yank me up. She then said she hope I could see that it wasn't so bad and after I had caught my breath she did it again for a total of 3 times. As much as I love her, I never got in the diving tank again with her and I never quite found words to express to her my feelings about the experience! ;0)

This summer and opportunity came up for me to receive private swim lessons with a young lady in our ward who had plenty of experience teaching all levels - including paranoid, hydrophobic adults like me! I had to take it up, it was time. Besides, how in the world was I to explain to my son the need for him to learn how to swim without doing it by example.

Thanks to Amber I can proudly state that I can swim freestyle across the pool and even into the deep end! In some aspects it was easier than I thought it would be and in others, a thousand times harder by producing triggers I never knew were there. Though battered and worn, I'm am still swimming and even slightly enjoying it! Dory's mantra couldn't be better, "Just keep swimming!". I did, now I can, and I do!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kindred Spirits

I LOVED Anne (spelled with an E) of Green Gables growing up. I had all the books from her first introductions into Green Gables to her marriage to slate head Gilbert and all their subsequent children. The thing I loved the most about her was her ability to love and open up despite all the challenges she had. Something I'm afraid I have lost somewhat of as I've grown older and dare I say, more jade with life.

Having children though teaches one to trust again and hope for more. Isaac is more social that what is typical for his age and especially as a boy. He LOVES watching Caillou and longs to experience ALL of life as this little 4 year old character does. Most of all, he wanted a best friend and would often sigh and say, "Isaac has no best friend" as he watched Caillou and Leo play. I think he was looking for that kindred spirit that Anne always spoke about.

At long last he found it in a little boy named Tanner. We met up with them at swim class and the two of them hit it off. It makes his day when he knows he'll get to play with Tanner. They give hugs goodbye and during the week Isaac's sure to ask if Tanner lives very far and if we'll see him for the day. Like a cherry on the top, Courtney and I get along great as well and have has many play dates and outings already. We both find ourselves beaming as we watch our boys interact. It doesn't have the feeling of an older child that caters to a younger one, or bosses them around or teases them mercilessly. Isaac and Tanner are only months apart in age and their personalities are similar so that you hear that running dialog of a 2-3 year old as they plan out what to do - working as a team and having the joy of someone else that catches their same vision and imagination. It truly warms a mother's heart to see their child find that connection with someone else.

Here are the pictures of the two in their adventures together.

At the water park with Tanner giving a rather exuberant hug!

The following are at the science center.

This is my goofball son who figured out that he could set the computer to distort an image in a certain way and then he stuck out his tongue and moved around to create a goofy moving picture of himself. I can tell I'm going to be in trouble, this boy just might be the ultimate class clown and his mother, a former teacher will be pleading for patience (and mercy) from his teachers!

This is at Jump Street where they had a special section for 7yrs and younger with 2 large blow up toys with slides and a trampoline for the little guys.

If you look carefully Tanner's at the top waiting to come down. The two are never too far from each other.

The swim instructors have remarked that they are like brothers and one of the funniest classes to teach (I'm also sure one of the hardest!) Courtney and I just think of them as our two little stooges!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Warning - Construction Ahead

So we mentioned a few posts ago that we were interested in looking into a larger house for our growing family. My 'ideal home' was a large room for parents, ones for the girls and one for the boys and of course a 'study/workroom' where I could sew or scrapbook ... and then the few romantic 'extras' that I would love, ie. library with shelves from floor to ceiling complete with sliding ladder (just like what the Beast gave Belle) filled with books that I have all read, one or two window seats in a alcove that would feel like a personal retreat ... and oh, maybe a spiral staircase that would be a gorgeous central decor of an vaulted living room. This was of course before I had to pay bills or had children. Now of course I have little time for reading all the books I want, let alone a moment to sit in a private retreat (it's all that I can do to retreat from the day's labors!). Nor do I desire a large staircase that would embody the fear of broken bones or possible lawsuits from play dates. I'm a little more realistic. The idea of a larger home was really due to the fact I'd be losing my study/workroom. But at last, little ones are capable of changing huge things - even a A-type, clean freak mother to give up on that workroom that she can shut the door on projects in progress. So Keila now has the study and my work has become a little more portable. Given some of the nightmare stories we've heard about house hunting in this market now, it's just as well.

So we've finally started to make this little home of ours our very own. I wanted carpets replaced, but of course that entails a discussion about whether we wanted to paint the walls beforehand. Which then leads to other details about shelving, windows and curtains, etc. You get the picture. Thank heavens for a family friend that LOVES to paint. With her help both bedrooms were painted before the carpet changed. Kent also managed to put in shelving into both our room and Isaac's making a place for our food storage as well as a way to rid myself of the much detested drawers. We added railing to Isaac's room and will be trimming his window. This may sound funny, but Kent's skills in trim carpentry (thanks to his dad) have made him the handyman of my dreams putting details in at a fraction of the cost. To an Asian, that is an extremely romantic thing! ;0)

I'm currently painting a bed frame that I found at a garage sale for Isaac. We've have frames and decor for our bedroom that we'll put up once we reassemble our bed frame. Then my hope is to work on decorating Isaac's room. The chaos of having our furniture everywhere threatened to tip me over the edge if not for the hope of seeing the end product. When things are done, I'll be sure to post pictures.

Isaac and I ran and leaped for joy in our newly carpeted rooms. This is his room, colored with Fortune Cookie and Vermilion from the Martha Stewart line. (are those not the perfect colors for me? Just the name says it all!) You can see the much beloved shelves behind him and where the railing will go when finished.

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Go Girl!

Keila is now early 10 months old and hasn't shown the slightest inclination to crawl. Being the worry wart that I am, I wondered if never crawling might result in developmental issues such as a lack of coordination, or insufficient neck strength or worse yet, an inability to understand the proper order of things from crawling ► walking ► running / numbers and letter / to the order of the universe! Yes, I know the latter was extreme, but when I worry I tend to worry about stupid things because worrying is stupid in and of itself. (Did that make any sense?) Not that it stops me from doing it.

So I began asking everyone and their dog for their opinion on the issue and ideas as to how to get her motivated to move. Leaving her on the floor only got me a screaming mad baby that would give me the third degree on the mistreating a darling child such as herself. We tried putting her on her hands and knees and moving her limbs which had similar results but the lecture was accompanied by a plaintive whimpering like puppy deprived of love. It was obvious these were 'less effective' techniques.

I finally hit upon inspiration today while looking at a friend's blog. The post was entitled "Why My Daughter Will Hold a Grudge" and featured videos where Dad held food just out of reach until his daughter would walk so he could get video footage of it. Food is ever a motivator for Isaac in our house so why not! The bait: Goldfish Crackers and Popsicles. The victim: a happy Keila newly waken from nap.

She crawled (really it was something using outstretched hands and pushing toes) for a good 10 feet and this being her very first time. Of course there was much whining, but one taste of the sweet sugary mess of a popsicle, she was hooked!

They keep moving! Argggg...

At long last! (and that's a comment from both of us!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday Wishes

How wonderful it is to wake up first thing in the morning and KNOW that it is YOUR day just because you are special! Well that was Isaac. Normally slow to wake, his brown eyes popped wide open when I leaned over him and whispered a "Happy Birthday" in his ear. He sat up grinning and suppressed a yawn as he yelled, "yeah, it's MY birthday!"

I thought his first wish of the day would be the beloved pancakes, but instead he asked if I would play Frisbee with him in the backyard. How could I resist. After breakfast he got to play with his friend Lucy, who also has the same birthday as him. It was darling to see him open the door and yell, "Happy Birthday Lucy" and hear her reply with, "Happy Birthday Isaac." While they played, Lucy's mom and i decorated the cupcakes I made the night before. Darling aren't they?

Unfortunately his birthday landed on a day when Kent had to worry about Scouts so we weren't able to celebrate to the fullest. The following day had a joint cupcake party at playgroup and in the afternoon we had a little scavenger hunt for his 2 presents, one of which I'm extremely proud of. It's my first full quilting project from start to finish. My mitered corners were PERFECT! ;0) The other was another book for his Tag reader.

The birthday duo!

Finally we went to the Cheesecake Factory where a little boy gorged himself on nachos and had the thrill of being sung to while someone presented his own personal birthday dessert. The candle was his particular highlight since we couldn't seem to light them at the park with all the wind. He was so excited that they had to relight it mid song. Ironically the second time he couldn't seem to blow it out until numerous soggy attempts.

Can't you practically see the fountain getting ready to spout! I asked him what his birthday wish was for: "Tong, tong!" (candy) Oh to be young and so easily satisfied!