Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the Way Home from Grandma's House

"Look Boys.  There are sheep outside Gavin's window."  I announce.  Both boys start craning their necks to look outside.

"I see them!!" Gavin shouts.  "And they ARE sheeps!"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

this is post by Dan...Emily will return shortly.

One of the gifts that Caedon and Gavin recieved was a set of Little Einsteins figures that have space helmets on their heads...basically fishbowl-like bulbous globes.  Anyway, here is the conversation that ensued after he put one in his mouth.

Caedon-  Ahhh...Oww!  I hurt my mouth.

Dan-  How did you hurt it?

Caedon-  I put this in my mouth and then it was stuck.

Emily-  you couldn't get it back out?

Caedon-  No!  I used all my opening-up power to fit it in there...then there was no power left to get it out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Caedon thinks he's ready...

Tonight I went to the PTA meeting at Caedon's soon-to-be elementary school.  The boys went to the school with me where they had games and pizza while the parents were in the meeting.  I told Caedon earlier in the day that we'd be going to the school where he will go to kindergarten next year and he mistook that to mean that today was his first day of kindergarten.  

We got to the elementary school and Caedon immediately turned to Gavin and said, "You can't come are not old enough for kindergarten."  "Caedon," I reminded him, "you are not going to kindergarten tonight.  You are going to play with other kids and have pizza in the school where you will go next year."

After the meeting, I went to pick the boys up and Caedon ran over to another child and announced, "My mom is here.  I have to go now.  I'll see you tomorrow in kindergarten.  I do need to call Mrs. Halligan (preschool teacher) and say Goodbye now that I'm a kindergarten kid."  

On the way home, Caedon asked me, "Mom, will the bus pick me up tomorrow when I go to kindergarten?"  Somehow, I don't think he's getting the concept of next year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What Santa Says

As we were driving home today, Gavin spoke up, "Mom, Santa has a beard."  "That's right." I said and continued, "Do you know what Santa says?"  I was expecting the typical Ho Ho Ho, but instead Gavin piped up, "He says, 'Hiya Folks.  It's good being here.  I'm glad you're my friends.' That's what he says to me."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Date Night

Last night, after an extremely long two weeks, Dan and I found a babysitter at the last minute (a miracle in and of itself) and went out on a date.  Oh, how I needed this.  I love my children and I love my life, but it feels so good to get a little break every now and then.  Fancy dinner, adult conversation, no spills to clean up, no screaming children to is really refreshing and so necessary.  

The kids stayed home with the babysitter.  Aislynn was already down for the night when we left and the boys were settled in to watch a movie.  We went to Mothers Bistro and had a delicious meal and then went to a movie.  We talked about things other than the kids and discussed the underlying themes of the movie all the way home.  When we got home, the house was quiet!  

It can be so hard to get away.  With three kids, it's hard to find a babysitter and expensive too!  But, whenever we do, I feel more connected to Dan and more alive for my kids.  I guess the old saying is true that if we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of anyone else.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conversation Over Carrots

Caedon and Gavin are sitting on the couch eating some carrot sticks.  Dan asks, "Can I have a bite of your carrot?"  Caedon responds, "No because then you'll get your slobber all over it and you have grown up slobber and it will make me grow up too fast if I eat your grown-up slobber.  I don't want to be a grown-up too fast."  

Dan continues this fascinating conversation, "Why don't you want to grow up too fast?"  Caedon looks at him like he's completely clueless.  "Because I have to play with my toys a lot while I'm waiting to grow up.  And watch shows on Noggin.  And play with Aislynn when she's awake.  Then when I grow up, I'll go see what heaven is like.  I don't know what God looks like."  Dan replies, "No one knows what God looks like until we meet Him in heaven."  

"Well, let's all hold hands when we leave for heaven and we can go together."  At this point, Gavin pipes up, "Jesus is God's son."

What a deep conversation considering it started with Dan asking for a bite of carrot!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Growing Up

Tonight at dinner, the boys were talking to me about what will happen when they grow up.  Gavin said, "When Aislynn gets grown up, she's going to move to California, that's a long ways away from us."  

I asked him, "Where will you live when you grow up?"  

He answered, "I'll live with a different mommy who will be my wife and I'll have 3 kids, all baby boys."  

"Oh?  What will you name your kids?" I questioned. 

"One will be named....uhhhh.....let me think about that." He replied.  

Caedon decided to chime in at this point, "I will name my kids Pascal, Lilah and, um...Liteliker."  

"Liteliker???" I asked.  

"Yep!" he said.  

Gavin piped up again, "I know.  I will name one kid Aiswacker too, of course!!"  

I really hope that I don't end up with Grandchildren named Liteliker and Aiswacker, no offense to anyone with these names!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Sausages

On the ride home from lunch today, Gavin started crying loudly in the backseat.  Knowing that he was all alone in the 3rd row of the van, I knew that it wasn't instigated by his brother.  "What happened Gavin?"  Dan and I both inquired.  "I hurt myself!!!" Gavin replied.  "How did you hurt yourself?"  I asked.  "I bite my finger."  He cried.  "Why did you bite your finger?"  I questioned.  "I didn't know it wasn't food!"  He exclaimed.

I did feel bad for him, but I couldn't help but laugh just a little bit.  Caedon then scolded me.  "Mom!  It's not nice for you to laugh at Gavin when he's crying.  He was just hungry and he forgot that his finger wasn't food.  You're being sneaky to Gavin!"

When we got home and Gavin stuck his finger out for me to inspect, all I could find was what looked like a paper cut on his finger.  When I told him that it looked like a paper cut, he assured me that his tooth was sharper than paper and a sharp tooth made that cut!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Caedon's turning 5!!

Tomorrow is Caedon's 5th birthday.  My oldest baby is 5 years old.  Here are some of the many reasons that I can never thank God enough for the gift of this amazing little man:

1.  The way that he used to talk like a Russian when he was a baby.  Most babies say "GA, BA, GOO."  Not Caedon.  He used to shout sentences that sounded like this, "Oshkarishnik valtommir akh nashid commicanal."  My funny little red-headed munchkin...which brings me to...
2.  That beautiful red hair.  Who ever would have thought that mixing a brown skinned, brown haired, and brown eyed man with a brown haired and hazel eyed woman would create the most gorgeous auburn haired, blue-green eyed boy in all the land??  Since the day he was born, I have women stop me in the store to tell me that they wish they could find his hair color in a bottle!!
3.  Caedon is passionate.  He is one of the most passionate people I know.  I don't worry about Caedon ever following the crowd b/c I'm pretty sure he'll be the one leading it!  I love that he is such a strong little boy with a good sense of himself for a 5 year old.
4.  The way that he loves his brother and sister.  Granted, he and Gavin have their fair share of knock-down, drag-out fights as most brothers so close in age do, but if anyone else messes with Caedon's little brother, he's the first to stand up to them.  And the way that he coos over Aislynn and makes silly faces to try to make her smile melts my heart!
5.  I love his stories!  Caedon loves to talk and he talks in detail.  He will not only tell you what he did at school that morning, he'll tell you what he had for snack, how it tasted, what color the book was at circle time, the funny thing that his teacher said and how it made him laugh when another boy told him a joke.  I hope that it is always this easy to get him to talk to us about his day.  I love seeing experiences through his eyes.  
6.  He has an amazing sense of humor.  Granted, I don't love the potty talk, but he can come up with some real zingers.  Just yesterday, as we were driving home, I told the kids that Daddy would be home when we got there.  When we turned onto our street and Caedon spotted Daddy's car, he said, "Wow, were right for once!!" and then erupted into laughter. Perhaps I should have been offended, but it was just so darn cute and funny!!

Happy Birthday to my first and oldest baby.  Like he reminded me the other night, "Mom, I'll always be your baby even when I'm grown up and have a wife that makes my dinner."   

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things I've Found in Gavin's Bed this last week...

1.  An apple with one bite taken out of it
2.  One of Cooper's dog bones
3.  Superman cape
4.  12 different hot wheels cars
5.  Diego DVD and case (Note: the dvd was not in the case)
6.  Spiderman lunchbox
7.  3 Crayons
8.  1 piece of sidewalk chalk

Apparently Gavin does everything imaginable in his bed...except sleep!

Friday, September 19, 2008

That Sounds Familiar

Today I had to sub in Caedon's preschool class.  As the other teacher was leading circle, she read a story called, The 3 Little Rigs.  Basically, it was the story of the 3 little pigs, but instead of pigs, the characters were little trucks that built their own garages and then the big, mean wrecking ball came to smash them.  After the story, some kids were asking questions about the story.  Caedon looked lost in thought and suddenly blurted out, "That story reminds me of the 3 little pigs!  It seems familiar!"  

As the discussion continued, Caedon asked, "But where is the Mommy and Daddy trucks?"  His teacher replied, "Well, the little trucks went off on their own to build their own houses just like you'll all live on your own when you grow up."  Caedon quickly responded, "No!  I'm going to live with my mommy and daddy forever even when I'm big!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Boy Humor

I knew when I had 2 boys so close in age that eventually I would be subjected to that inevitable boy humor.  You know, the laughter at all bodily functions and telling jokes about stinky stuff.  I had no idea that it started so young!  I assumed I had until the pre-teen years, at least.  Not so.  I am knee deep in "potty talk," passing gas, burping and telling jokes.  The latest joke that Gavin keeps repeating goes like this, "Why did the chicken cross the road?  Because he had to go POOP!"  This is followed by uncontrolled laughter for several minutes.  He even had to call Grandpa Rick to tell him this great joke.  It's going to be a long road to college.  Aislynn and I will have to team up against the stinky talk!  At least I'm not the only female in the house anymore.  Don't even get me started on the name calling.  Who knew that adding a "poopy" to any insult made it 10 times as insulting??  Help!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yes, We are still alive!!

Dan reminded me this morning that I have a blog and that I haven't updated in over 2 weeks.  So sorry friends and family.  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  I hosted baby showers for two very close friends, ran the Orientation for preschool, the boys had their first week of preschool, I suffered from a very painful kidney infection and we all had colds.  Breathe.  

So, I will try to keep things more up to date from now on.  On a funny side note, my kids are always mispronouncing words.  Here's the latest one from Caedon.  After hiking up to the top of Multnomah Falls yesterday with Daddy while I was busy with a baby shower, Caedon told me all about the climb.  "Well, mom, I got a little nervous because some parts of the hill-ll (yes he pronounces the ll twice) were very Steve."  I replied, "They were very steve???"  "Yep.  Some parts were steever than other parts." he said.  "Oh, the hills were steep?" I questioned.  "Yeah, mom.  They were steve."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Apparently, I Need to Watch More Cooking Shows

Caedon and Gavin have figured out what the Golden Arches are.  Now, every time we pass a McDonalds, they start talking about how hungry they are, how they can't wait until we get home to eat, how there is a restaurant right over there with good boy food.  

We've been having several conversations with the boys about junk food.  We've said that while it is ok to eat junk food on occasion, we can't eat it all the time because it will make our bodies sick and unhealthy.  They seem to get the concept, although it is not their favorite topic  as it limits their intake of the things they see as essential to their survival, things like fruit snacks, candy, chocolate milk, etc.

Yesterday, as we were driving to Dan's work to do the kid swap (I had to go to an evening work meeting), we passed a McDonalds and Caedon immediately launched into the spiel about how hungry he was, how he couldn't wait any longer to get the picture.  "Caedon, I already made dinner for you guys at home.  You are going to eat with Daddy when you get home."  I reminded him (he had been talking about how good the food in the crockpot smelled all afternoon).  "Awwwwhhhhh Mooooooommmmm!" he whined, "McDonalds is a better cook than you!!"  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Family Bed

Dan and I have never been fans of the "family bed."  We don't even like to touch each other when we're sleeping...we need our space!  Plus, I'm pretty positive that if my husband can sleep through the kids crying out at night or my constant moans and groans when I was pregnant and had to turn over, then he could sleep through rolling over onto one of our kids in the night.  So, no family bed for us in the traditional sense, however, this is a common scene in our bed early in the morning (long before the rest of the world wakes up).   Aislynn wakes up and comes into our bed to eat.  Right about the time she finishes and I lay her between us, the boys wander in. Inevitably, Gavin always asks, "What ya doin?"  They climb in and try to elbow their way in between us and practically on top of their sister.  We all manage to rest happily for about a minute and a half.  Then, the boys' "Ninja instinct" kicks in and they start moving around, kicking each other, standing up and falling down with loud shrieks when they bounce back up.  Finally, Dan and I can't take it and we're forced to get up to officially start the day.  I'd love to hear how others start their day each morning.  Leave a comment and let me know!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Secret Agents

I have figured out how to get my boys to do all those pesky things that they don't like to stop playing to do (clean up, get dressed, take bath, etc.)!! What is it? Why, turn it into a game, of course.

Dan has been gone for the last couple nights running in the insane Hood to Coast relay so I've been chugging along with all 3 kids by myself. Last night, as bathtime approached, the boys were busy playing a game of Superhero (which is really just a game of "Let's be as rowdy as possible until someone gets hurt or mom loses her mind). I knew that my request to start getting ready for bath and bedtime would be met with the inevitable screaming and gnashing of teeth (just kidding on the teeth...but just barely). So, I decided to use my many years of education and experience as an early childhood educator and turn the chores into a game.

"Secret Agents Hawk and Hawk, I have a very important mission for you." I whispered. They were instantly intrigued. "The bad guys are coming and we need to clean up all the evidence that we've been here. Quick, let's clean up all of our spy gear!" I continued. The family room was free from toys and clutter faster than I've ever seen before. "Are you ready for your next mission?" I questioned. "Yes!!!" they screamed and then Gavin continued, "Betause we are the special Setret Agents and we have a MISSION." (Imagine his arms waving wildly in big circles as he overemphasized the word Mission).

" we need to go get in the bathtub and get cleaned up so the bad guys don't smell us when they come in." Off they ran to their room. After the bath, they needed to get their "Secret Agent Super Suits" on (you know...the ones that can turn invisible at any sign of trouble aka their PJs). Then came the all important brushing of the teeth to make sure that they didn't give away their location with their stinky breath. Next they needed to take their "Super Power Tablets" aka gummy vitamins. You get the drift. Of course, we had to whisper the whole time so the bad guys wouldn't hear us which also had the added side effect of not waking Aislynn!!

Here's the beauty of the whole situation. We didn't have one meltdown. I didn't hear "But, I don't want to ______" the during the entire evening. And, I had a blast playing with them. If only my Mommy brain would remember to make fun out of the small things more often!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The King of Ideas

Caedon has a lot of ideas. He loves to announce, "Mom! I have an idea!" several times a day. Yesterday, I was trying to decide what to make for lunch when Caedon asked me what I was doing in the kitchen. "Well, I'm trying to decide what we should have for lunch,"I replied.

"Mom! I have an idea about what we could have!!" He announced. "What?" I said. "Well, I have lots of good ideas about lunch because I'm a boy with good ideas. But first, I need to look in the cupboard." So, I opened the cupboards up for him and he climbed up on the counter. I stifled my laughter as he seriously checked each shelf before finally shouting with glee, "I know my idea! I like graham crackers! Let's have graham crackers."

"Well, graham crackers are a good snack, but I'm not sure they'll make a great lunch." I explained. Not deterred, Caedon replied, "Well, I have lots of other lunch ideas, but I have to check the refrigerator first." After scanning the contents in the fridge, he said, "Mom, I really like chocolate sauce. It's good in milk, but it taste better on graham crackers." Now I really tried not to laugh. Caedon was suggesting graham crackers with chocolate syrup on them for lunch. Again, I gently turned him down. I suggested a few other options such as tuna sandwiches, grilled cheese, tomato soup, etc. All of the sudden, he interrupted me, "I got it Mom! This is a great idea!!! Let's have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we can have graham crackers and chocolate syrup for dessert! That's a good idea!"

I was so impressed with his reasoning that we had the following for lunch:
Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
String cheese
Graham crackers with a swirl of chocolate sauce for dessert.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8 Years

Dan and I have been married for 8 years today.  The number 8 has always been my favorite number.  When I was a little girl, I always thought that I would have 8 kids (HA!).  So, I'm pretty excited to be here at our 8 year mark.  Here are 8 reasons why I would marry my husband all over again today:

1.  The way I feel completely and wholly loved whenever he wraps his arms around me.
2.  Laughing together over the most silly things
3.  Watching him wrestle with my boys
4.  Seeing him cuddle with Aislynn
5.  His commitment to support our family
6.  Seeing him tear up whenever he sings certain worship songs
7.  The way that he loves me for who I am, but challenges me to grow 
8.  Realizing that there is no one on earth that I would rather be next to as we maneuver this life together.

Happy Anniversary Dan.  Thanks for the best 8 years of my life so far.  Looking forward to more!  

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Art of Sharing

Mine!  That's a word I hear a lot in my house.  It's usually followed by screaming and fighting.  Ahhh, the art of sharing.  When, exactly, does it get any easier?  Today, I was at the park with a good friend of mine and her two kids.  It was a little cloudy out and her son was feeling cold.  I had already asked Caedon if he wanted to wear his sweatshirt to which he had replied, "No Way Mom...that will make me sweat on my head!"  So, I offered the sweatshirt to my friend's son.  He wore the jacket happily the entire time we were at the park.  

As we prepared to leave, I told Caedon, "We'll need to get your jacket back from Jonathan so you'll have it at Grandma's house."  All of the sudden he realized that someone else had been wearing HIS sweatshirt.  "MOM!!  I was SO COLD this whole time and I NEEDED my SWEATSHIRT!!!"  He shrieked.  "Caedon, I asked you if you were cold and if you wanted to wear it when we got here and you said no."  I reminded him.  "Mom, that's just because I wanted to surprise you when I told you how cold I've been."

Caedon had no desire to wear his sweatshirt, but couldn't believe I had loaned it to someone else.  How often to do we see this as Mommies?  A child wants nothing to do with a particular toy until another child goes to play with it?  Then is is "MINE!!"  

I was wondering when it gets better and I realized that it probably never will.  We all have certain things that we don't like to share.  We all have to make a calculated effort to be more giving and less selfish, despite our human nature.  But, we are so greatly rewarded when we do give selflessly.  

On the way home, I talked with Caedon about how he shared his coat (albeit unknowingly).  "Jonathan was very cold and it was a kind thing to do to let him borrow your coat." I said.  Caedon thought quietly for a minute before saying, "Yeah time I'll make sure to bring my coat so Jonathan doesn't have to be cold because he's my friend and I want him to be happy."  Sweet progress, if only for a moment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Four months in...

Aislynn is already 4 months old. Where have the last few months gone? She is already smiling, laughing, shrieking, sticking out her tongue and trying to roll over (she gets about 3/4 of the way). Anyone who knows me knows that I was really nervous about having a third child. It seemed like my life had all the chaos it could hold with my husband, 2 boys, big yellow puppy and grumpy orange cat. Plus, I love those 2 boys with such ferociousness that it didn't seem like there would be enough love to go around with 3 kids. But, God amazed me yet again. Not only can my heart not contain the love I have for this little girl, it justs wants to burst open, but the love I have for Caedon and Gavin has not diminished in the slightest.

I am so thankful for the blessing God has given me in this little family of mine. He has shown His love for me through the love of my husband and children. And He has shown me how to love more fully, more compassionately, and more selflessly through these little people.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Mummy

The other night Dan went in to check on the boys before we went to bed and immediately came in to get me.  "You have to see Caedon." He said.  I walked into the room to see that my son had become a mummy.  Caedon had completely covered his body with his blanket (including his head) and had somehow managed to tuck in all the edges nice and tight.  The most hilarious part was that he was snoring very loudly from within the mummy suit!  What a funny kid!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Aunt Summer

Last night, Aunt Summer came over to watch the kids so Dan and I could go have some alone time and adult conversation.  Thank goodness for Aunt Summer.  The boys love to play with and around her.  Whenever she comes in the door, they immediately start running circles around the house because they can't contain their excitement.  

Summer is an amazing sister to Dan, sister-in-law to me and auntie to our kiddos.  We have frequently talked about how Summer is the most reliable, trustworthy person we know.  She is a friend to everyone and is almost always smiling a big, happy, contagious grin.  

Dan and I had a fun time at dinner and a movie.  It was a much needed night out without the kids and for that I am thankful.  But, I'm even more thankful for the time my kids got to spend with their Aunt Summer.  I hope that they glean from her all of her goodness, love, compassion and contentment.  We are all blessed to have her in our lives!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where Honey Comes From

Gavin has been telling anyone who will listen the story of where honey comes from.  Here's his version in his words:

"The bees go out flyin' and they get da nectah.  Then the builder bees make da nectah into honey.  Then those bees give da honey to da beekeeper.  Then da beekeeper puts da honey into a pastic bear and he takes it to the grocery store.  Then we buy da honey and we make peatut butter and jelly and honey sandwiches!!"  

It is all explained with elaborate hand gestures and lots of extreme punctuation.  And no, there are no spelling errors in the above quote...just trying to emphasize how he says it all!  Today, he stood outside the shower with his head leaning in and told Dan this story while Dan showered.  He came running in my room after Dan got out and his hair was soaking wet!  But, it was worth it, because he made sure that Daddy understood where honey comes from!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back to Work

Today was my first day back to work.  I have been dreading this day for the last several weeks.  I've always had a hard time going back to work after the kids were born, but I do end up enjoying my job and having some time in the "adult" world in the long run.  Today, as I drove away from the babysitter's house on my way to the school, it felt like my heart was being ripped out!  As much as I complain and talk about needing time away from the kids, it is so hard to walk away when it is actually time to go!  When Dan and I first went away sans kids a couple years ago, we called them about 3 times a day FROM MEXICO!  Our cell phone bill was about triple the normal fee that next month.  

All 3 kids did great today.  The boys ran right in and Gavin immediately started asking Tina for the Buzz Lightyear that he played with on his last day there 4 months ago.  Aislynn flashed her adorable smile and had the whole place "ooooohing" and "aaaaahing."  

I know it will get easier.  I know that I am blessed that I have a great PART-TIME job that I really do love.  Today was just a big hurdle to get over.  Now, as I sit here decompressing after sending Dan to get me some orange and vanilla ice cream (my drug of choice), I am thankful for these fierce little people that bring about so many forceful emotions in me.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Dog...Bad Dog

As far as dogs go, Cooper has been pretty good.  He gets overly excited when people come to visit, but he also calms down rather quickly.  He's only 1 year old and most labs take about 2 to 3 years to really calm down.  He can be such a great dog.  He's very loyal and extremely tolerant with the kids.  They climb on him, fall on him, run all around him and he never gets nippy at all.  He loves to be near us and follows us from room to room.

However, he also has a tendency to act like a BIG DUMB DOG!!!  He eats cat poop out of the litter box (or as my sister-in-law calls it, Kitty Roca) if we ever let him get to the basement.  The other day I found him playing what looked like a game of bobbing for apples in the toilet (turns out he was trying to eat a little floater Gavin left behind...GROSS).  Even though he is a big male dog and our cat is a small male cat, he still tries to procreate with him...if you catch my drift.  He goes ballistic whenever we leave him alone.  He barks and barks and barks AND BARKS (do you get the point?).  Today, my neighbor came over to check to see if we knew that he barks the whole time we're gone from the house.  Which was her polite way of saying, "Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, Make your dog SHUT UP!!"  So, we're going to have to resort to the bark collar again.  We thought he had learned not to bark from our first stint with the collar, but apparently it takes more than that to get through his thick, happy-go-lucky head. But, we really do love him and he's part of the family, so he is definitely worth it.  We just need to make sure to keep the toilet seat down.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bribery...Great Parenting Trick or Horrible Mistake??

We use bribery a lot in our house.  If you go potty on the potty chair, you get a piece of candy.  If you get your pjs on quickly without complaining, you can have a bowl of blueberries.  If you don't fight all day with your brother, you can watch a movie while Mommy makes dinner.  If you get in the car after a fun day at the fountain without any monster tantrums, you can have a cookie on the ride home.  You get the idea...

I've justified this with the thought that the boys are able to make decisions based on a reward system...that is, we reward good behavior.  But, I'm starting to wonder if we're overdoing it.  Shouldn't my kids want to obey because they know that they need to obey their parents and not always be expecting some sort of reward?  Have I resorted to this method simply out of frustration and laziness?  It's not worth the battle to try to get them to do what I want without treats, so we reward good behavior.  But, I'm wondering, is this a better way to raise a puppy than a boy?  Our boys associate going to Target with getting some sort of treat.  Almost every time we are out and about, Gavin announces, "I wanna go to Tah-get and get a treat."  Even if I tell him we're going to the park, fountain, friend's house, etc, he still whines that he wants to go to Tah-get first.  It really gets under my skin, but I do realize that this is the monster I helped to create.  I don't want my kids to grow up, however, and ask their boss what special bonus they get just for performing the basic functions of their job.  Can you imagine??

So, I'm going to try to reverse some of the damage.  There will still rewards for good behavior, but I'm hoping to make them more natural.  For example, if you get your pjs on fast without complaining, we'll have more time and we'll be able to read 2 stories before bedtime!  If you leave the fountain without throwing a fit, we'll be able to come back next week and have another fun time.  There will also be times when the boys are expected to obey just because I'm the Mommy and God put me in charge.  Granted, this is going to be more work for me and require me to think much more creatively.  But, I think it will help my children to grow up to have better work ethics and ultimately be better citizens.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bad Dreams

Last night I had one of those fitful nights of sleep....the kind where you keep having weird dreams and waking up in the middle of them only to fall into an even weirder one.  I'm having trouble shaking one of the dreams I had last night.

Here in Portland, we have a new sky tram that flies overhead and takes passengers from OHSU down to the waterfront.  We took the boys on a ride right before Aislynn was born.  Last night, in my dream, the whole family was riding up to OHSU on the sky tram and Gavin was on Dan's shoulders.  It was just like the real tram except we were flying over a big body of water and the sky tram had open windows at the top.  We went over the big tower and when the tram started swinging on the rope, Gavin flew off Dan's shoulders and out the window, falling into the body of water.  I screamed (one of those dream screams where you are trying to scream loudly, but you can't actually here anything).  Then I started to climb up to the window so I could jump out and try to save Gavin.  This is where it gets even weirder...a man jumps in front of me and says that I need to stop and think before jumping.  "God has Gavin already," he says, "You need to stay here...your family can't lose Gavin and you."

What in the world??????  My heart keeps skipping beats today.  I'm a person who struggles with extreme unrealistic fear have a dream like this just sets my mind spinning in a thousand different what if scenarios.  What exactly in my subconscious led me to have this dream?  Does anyone have any explanations?  Would you analyze my dream for me??

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Working the System...

We have a haircut routine at our house.  The boys were scared of getting their hair cut for awhile so we started bribing them with lollipops.  Then, a new Jamba Juice went in right next to the Haircut store.  So, now we have the following routine: every 6 weeks the boys sit still and get their hair cut and then we walk next door and they get to have a "juice shake."  I always order a regular size drink and have them put it into 2 cups for the boys to share.  

During our last trip, Caedon and Gavin both did really well at the haircut store.  They climbed into their seats and sat tall and straight without complaining throughout the whole thing.  Afterwards, as we walked to Jamba Juice, I was complimenting them on what BIG boys they were and how well they did during their haircuts.  We went inside Jamba and I asked the boys what kind of fruit shake they wanted.  Caedon replied, "I want one with all the different kinds of berries and also some mango.  Oh...and Mom...I think I can handle a big cup now."  Meaning, now that I'm such a BIG boy, I don't want to split a shake with my brother anymore.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Laughter with Friends is the Best Medicine

This is an old story, but as I was chatting with a friend this evening, I was reminded of this and couldn't stop laughing.  I thought to myself that this is a story that should be shared with the world wide web!  I hope you find it as funny as I do.  

We were at my good friend, Karen's, birthday party and were playing a game that is similar to Taboo.  It was Aminta's turn to give us all verbal cues while we tried to guess what word she had on her card.  This was all she said: "It goes on your foot or your butt!!!!"  Have you guessed yet?  We all just stared at her.  Then a few people bursted out things like, "Shoe, boot, underwear."  ?????  Am I the only one who doesn't wear shoes on my butt or underwear on my feet?  The answer was thong!  I'm not sure why that is so entertaining to me, but it still makes me laugh.  It is times like these that help us all keep our sanity.  Times when we get to eat, laugh and share fun times with each other.  We walk through all the tough times of life together too and it is so wonderful to have all these ladies to share life with, but man, sometimes there is nothing better than a good laugh!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Commentary on a Stranger

Today, we were walking behind a lady who was wearing a tight tank top and smoking a cigarette.  Gavin yells out, "Mommy, that lady doesn't have a shirt on.  She forgot her shirt!!"  I tried my best to keep a straight face as I quietly said, "Yes, she does have a shirt on Gavin."  "NO MOM!  A BRA IS NOT A SHIRT!!"  Gavin shrieked.  Just when I thought it couldn't get any more embarrassing, Caedon decided to join in the commentary with this observation, "She's making a bad choice by sucking on that smoking stick!!"  This poor lady had no idea that her life choices would be subject to a couple of toddlers' criticisms when she went out for dinner today.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

When easy babies aren't...

I've never had an easy baby before.  Both of my boys came shooting out to this life knowing exactly the way they wanted things and knowing exactly how to go about getting those things.  They are very opinionated and extremely stubborn.  Whenever I would read baby books telling me, "If you follow this schedule, then your baby will ________."  Those books were always very good at predicting what my boys would do...the exact opposite of whatever the book predicted.  I know this is a good thing...that they will have the tenacity to be strong leaders and take a stand for things that matter.  But, it can also be very challenging...especially to a mommy that just wants her baby to eat, sleep, wear pants, etc.

So when Aislynn came along, I was pleasantly I was flabbergasted!  I had no idea that a baby could follow a schedule for eating and sleeping, could fall asleep in their own bed within minutes, and could be generally happy with life.  It did not take long to get used to it, however.  I love this little girl who does everything on cue.  Sure, she has fussy moments, but usually she is only upset when there is actually a reason to be (unlike the boys who seemed to cry just so they could make sure that my ears were working every minute and a half or to make sure I was aware that this earth was not living up to their expectations).  

Can you sense a bump in the road coming?  You got it.  Aislynn was bound to formulate an opinion at some point and she has decided she found a grievance worth complaining about.  Aislynn has decided she does NOT want to take a bottle.  Nope, not in the middle of the night (when Dan graciously takes one of the feedings so I can get a long chunk of sleep), not in the daytime (when I try to run an errand only to return to find a full bottle of precious breast milk sitting in the dirty sink) and certainly not from me (when I try to wait until I know she's absolutely hungry and she defiantly pushes the bottle out of her mouth and nestles her nose into my chest while trying to latch on to my t-shirt).  

This wouldn't be such a big deal if the following two statements were not in the equation:
1.  I do NOT love breastfeeding to the point of exclusion (I like to be able to leave occasionally for more than 2 hours or sleep for more than 4-5 in the night...I know what you're thinking and you're right...I'm completely selfish and should be shot).
2.  I go back to work part-time in a month!

So, Aislynn and I are preparing for battle.  Well, I'm preparing...she's sleeping peacefully in her bassinet right now.  I am going to buy a few different kinds of bottles to see if maybe she will like a different one better.  I'm going to pump just before each feeding and try to bottle feed her several times a day.  I've seen the glimmer in her eye...the glimmer I recognize from her brothers' eyes.  She will not go down without a fight!  In some ways, I'm really bummed that there is a bump in the road, but in some ways, I'm relieved.  I'm glad to know that this little princess has some fire and grit in her too.  And that when she truly cares about something, she's not just going to lay down and take it. No, she will make herself be heard.  She will be a strong and passionate woman!!   She is her brothers' sister, after all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When it rains, it pours...

I'm actually NOT referring to the weather in Portland.  No, it has actually been quite decent these last few days.  Not that we've been able to enjoy it.  Remember how I fell down?  Hard?  Remember how I bought my boys Happy Meals so I wouldn't have to cook dinner on my severely hurt ankle?  That decision came back to bite me.

I whined all evening long after falling down.  I told my husband every detail of the fall and the pain that ensued.  I kept my foot up all evening with ice on it.  When we went to bed, I was so very ready to fall asleep and forget about the pain and the events of the day for awhile.  And I did just that...until 2:00am.  I hear what sounds like coughing and gagging coming from the boys room, followed by Gavin yelling, "Daddy!!  Help Daddy!"  I wake up Dan (who could sleep through the apocalypse if it wasn't for my trusty elbow in the back trick!) and he goes to check things out.  Sure enough, Gavin is vomiting.  I think to myself...Maybe, just maybe, this was just a coincidence...perhaps he was just coughing too hard and gagged himself.  I keep telling myself this when he vomits twice more over the next hour.  I almost have myself convinced that he must just have a bad cough and the phlegm is making him vomit when Caedon wakes up and vomits all over his pillow.  

We were up the rest of the night...changing clothes, washing out bowls, hobbling around the house on my non-functional foot.  By morning, the boys seemed to feel fine and were running around the house playing "Superhero" while Dan and I tried to force our eyes to stay open.  So yes, Portland has finally entered the summer season, but no, the Hawks have not been outside to soak up the sun!  And to all the naysayers out there who like to say things like, "Bad things always happen in threes," Aislynn has a cold!  So there!  We are ready for the good times to roll our way any minute now... 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Result of the Wipeout

The doctor said my foot has a hairline fracture and is severely sprained.  I have to wear the boot for at least 2 weeks, maybe up to 6 weeks!  Needless to say, I feel humiliated.  Cooper keeps eyeing my boot...I think he's waiting for me to take it off so he can give it a taste.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ok...let me just begin this post by saying that my boys fall down and skin their knees and bump their heads about 10 times on any given day.  Sometimes they cry...most of the time they just jump back up and resume whatever it was they were doing.  

I fell down today and I did not jump back up.  I was visiting a friend who just had a baby.  As we were leaving her house, I was loaded down with my diaper bag and the baby car carrier (with baby in it).  I was trying to maneuver my way between her minivan and the fence that surrounds her front yard while holding the very heavy baby seat out in front of me and pointing out a passing convertible to the boys (who are obsessed with cool cars).  All of the sudden, my wedge sandal (which I must admit I should NOT have been wearing as I still haven't totally regained my inner balance after being pregnant) got caught on the edge of the driveway and my ankle rolled underneath me.  Down I went...hard.  I realized as I was falling that I  MUST PROTECT THE BABY so I twisted my body and managed to lightly place her seat on the ground while ALL of my body weight landed on my opposite knee.  The only damage she sustained was being startled when the diaper bag fell off my shoulder and into her lap.  That, and she was covered in little leaves and blooms off the big bush we were next too.  

It was either the adrenaline rushing through my body as I frantically made sure that the baby was still alive or the crushing embarrassment I felt as my friend called out, "Did you just fall?" but the pain didn't register right away.  Once I got up and assured myself that I didn't just drop my baby on her head, I assessed the damage.  My knee was scraped up and my elbow was bleeding pretty badly.  Nothing hurt...YET.  I collected the remains of my pride while my friend (who is still recovering from a cesarian!!) helped me get Aislynn out of the seat and shook all the debris out for me and her husband got the boys loaded in the van.  I assured everyone I was fine and said my goodbyes.  

About 3 minutes into the drive home, the adrenaline and embarrassment wore off and the PAIN set in.  Oh my goodness...the PAIN!  My ankle (you remember...the one that rolled under me b/c of that gosh darn wedge) was throbbing.  My elbow was throbbing.  My knee was throbbing.  My whole body was throbbing.  It was not hard to check my pulse as my whole body was throbbing with each heart beat.  

Needless to say, I went through the McDonalds drive-thru and bought my kids happy meals for dinner.  Partly because I knew that by the time we got home, I would be in no condition to cook and partly because I have a new found respect for these little daredevils that truly know how to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.  

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christian Worldview

Dan and I went to see the movie, "Lord Save Us From Your Followers" at the Hollywood Theater last week.  It was a great documentary where the director asks the question, "Why can't Americans just have a conversation about beliefs?  Why must everything be such a huge battle?"  He looked deeply at the way Christians are perceived in American culture (extremely out of touch, very judgmental and full of hatred).  At one point he compared that perception with the perception that Africans have of American Christians.  They (generally) see us as full of Christ's love and compassion.  Why is the divide so great?  

The basic perception that Africans have of American Christiansis that we are the people who are over there, giving of ourselves, meeting basic needs, truly being the hands and feet of Christ.  Meanwhile over here, the least of these are very rarely even noticed by Christians.  We seem to be too busy fighting against the gays to realize that these are people...just the same as us.  We are all people who need to be loved.  We all have a story.  Why do we need to travel to Africa to love people and help people?  Of course, we need to be in Africa!  The extreme poverty must be helped and Christians have a call by Christ to help. But, we also need to treat people here with the same love and compassion that we have towards people in other countries.  

It would be a great day when our neighbors felt the same way about American Christians that the starving children in Africa do...that we love them, want to help them and most of all, that we do all of this because Christ first loved us.  Wouldn't that make people stop and listen?  Wouldn't that be so much more effective to sharing Christ's mission than picketing abortion clinics and supporting political candidates who will ban gay marriage?  In my mind, the answer is a huge YES!  Now, if I can just remember to live what I remember that this can be as simple as offering a hug or a meal to someone who is in pain, to stand up for people that the church views as marginal and to teach my children that we are all equal in the eyes of Christ and that God has told us to love Him first and foremost and to love His people...ALL of them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday we were all sitting in the family room talking when Gavin said to me, "Look, Mommy!  I found something!"  I said, "What did you find, Gavin?"  When I looked closely at the finger he was waving wildly in the air, I saw a great, big, green booger.  "Gross Gav!  Where did you find that?" I said.  Very proudly he exclaimed, "Up inside my nose!!!"

Of course I was not happy with the great find or the expedition that led up to it.  "Please go throw that away in the garbage and wash your hands."  Gavin took off for the kitchen and I forgot all about the green goblin on his finger.  That is, until I walked into the kitchen about 20 minutes later.  There, right smack in the middle of my white dishwasher was a big, thick, green booger.  "Gavin!!!  Come here right now."  Gavin ran into the kitchen, "What mommy?"  "Please get this booger off my dishwasher.  That is not where it belongs!"  "But mommy, it makes a good magnet there."  Gavin said sheepishly.  Who knew that boogies can double as magnets?  I guess I'm just too close-minded.  :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm now 3 tens!!

Yesterday was my 30th birthday.  Caedon asked me how many 30 is.  I told him that 30 is 3 tens.  "But, mom!  That is too old.  You should be dead and with God in heaven!!"  Wow.  Talk about perspective!!

Overall, I am happy with where I'm at at 30.  We still have some struggles (I'd thought I'd be completely financially secure by now...pretty funny thought).  But, I've been blessed with an amazing hubby and 3 great kids.  Sometimes it feels like more than I can handle.  Times when the baby has a blow-out up the front AND back right when Gavin decides to whack Caedon over the head causing the greatest tragedy since Pearl Harbor (at least in Caedon's mind).  All of this happens right when I'm opening the door to load up the mini-van to head out to church!  All of the sudden, I'm not feeling much like worshipping!  But, for every rough moment, there are a hundred amazing moments.  Moments when I look at the life God has given me and I can't swallow over the lump in my throat.  What did I do to deserve this life?  I must remember to relish every moment because the days may be long, but the time is so short.

Blue eyed girl

Here's my very first post.  Dan got everything set up for me and added this picture.  I know that I'm completely biased, but this is the most beautiful girl in the whole world!!