Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Magna Doodle Fun

P-man is learning to recognize some words now. We were playing with his Magna Doodle recently and before I took this video he was impressing me by saying the names I was writing without hesitation. I grabbed the camera and tried to catch it on video for family's sake. Like usual, as soon as the camera came out, P decided not to cooperate. At least, not at first...

video

The next video is just P-man doodling and a fun conversation we had about his picture.


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Monday, March 30, 2009

Mama's New Blankie and P's Cool Orange Car

In the beginning of March, P-man and I took a trip to San Bernardino to visit Christine and her family for her birthday, but we were the ones who walked away with gifts! Christine's mom, Daphne, knitted me a new blanket. It is my new favorite nighttime couch blankie. P-man and Dada fight with me over it, too.


Christine's husband, Mo, also let P take home one of his son's collectible cars. P-man calls it his cool orange car.

See the monkey driving it? Elmo's in the passenger seat.

When he first got the car, he incessantly asked me "what's this, mama?" pointing to all the different parts of the car. I tried to answer as best as I could, having a limited knowledge of cars. ;)


Here's a video of us going over the different parts of the car:

video

(FB users click on "view original post" button to see video)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Dan!

One night Pman got a hold of my cell phone and pretended to talk to Grandpa Dan. So I let him call Grandpa and he didn't say hardly anything to him. As soon as their real conversation ended, he went into pretend mode again and chatted away to no one on the phone. In honor of Grandpa Dan's birthday, here's the second round on video so Grandpa can see what P really wanted to say to him:

video

Rough translation: "How are you doing today, Grandpa?" Something unintelligible follows. Then, "Hi Grandpa. How are you doing today, Grandpa?" Continues unintelligible sentences. Gets distracted by piano. "Play the piano?" Realizes he's still "talking" to Grandpa. "Bye bye Grandpa." Shuts the phone and looks up at Mama. "I play the piano?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Drew!

video

Vitamins

We decided to introduce P-man to Flintstones multi-vitamins and at first he wasn't too keen on them, but now he asks for them. These pics and video are from his first time trying one.


video

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Quiet Reading

I apologize for no Thankful Thursday post last week. I had done all my other blogs in advance and just didn't have the motivation to write one that day. I will try to make up for it by doubling my thankful list this week...

I'm thankful for a foggy night walk.
I'm thankful for cold mornings and warm afternoons.
I'm thankful for the beautiful view from my window right now.
I'm thankful for my Bible.
I'm thankful for pancakes on weekends!
I'm thankful for Children's Motrin (P's cutting his miserable molars).
I'm thankful for my hubby's 3-day weekend!
I'm thankful for my fuzzy socks.
I'm thankful that our TV fixed itself.
I'm thankful for my hubby's handiness. Now we don't need to get a new toaster oven!
I'm thankful P took some good naps this week (even if it was only because of less sleep at night).
I'm thankful for shin splints. It means I have a good excuse to splurge on new sneakers. :)
I'm thankful P-man wasn't heartbroken over losing one of his new shoes.
And I'm especially thankful for the moment when I went to find P-man one day when I got suspicious of his activities because it was so quiet. I walked in on him in his room doing this:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Water Colors Again


P-man is really getting the hang of painting with water colors now. He's quite the little artist. Our walls are rather full and cluttered with his pictures, so I've been saving his most recent ones and decided I'd make a scrap book instead... let's see if I ever get around to that! Watch his technique in the video below!


video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spider!

We have had a few visitors with eight legs lately. Here's a fella I am proud to say I took action on 'cause he was crawling towards P's room and he freaked me out. I didn't know if he was a biter or not.

I got him off the ceiling with a broom and then caught him in a cup. I got P-man to open the front door and we kind of threw him down the stairs. *shudder* He was creepy.

Here's a video of another time we were trying to catch a spider in a cup. The spider was too fast and hid and P thought that he could get him to come out by calling him. That's when I grabbed the camera 'cause it was too funny.


video

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conversations with P-man: Private Parts

This boy cracks us up! This morning out of nowhere:

P to me: "Mama has no penis."
Me: *laugh* "That's right."
P with sly grin: "Mama has fagina"
Dada and Me: *laughing loudly*
P: "See mama's fagina?" tugging on my robe.
Me: "Um, no, buddy."

Not too long ago after a bath, P-man was helping me put lotion on him. We were sitting on the toilet facing the mirrored shower door. Here was our conversation that day:

P: "Help me put lotion on"
Me: "OK, you can help me put the lotion on."
P: "Put lotion on... nipple! Put lotion on.... toe! Put lotion on penis!"
Me: "Oh, on your penis, huh?"
P: "That feels nice!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spectrum Day

Recently we met up with Jake's folks at the Spectrum. Grandma Connie took Parker on the cool "train." He loved it.


He always wants to "turn turn" Grandpa's "truck" so before we parted, he got a chance to "drive" us around. Watch the video below to see Grandpa Dan racing beside us and the awful crash he experienced!

video

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Silly boy





Just a few pics from another adventure walk day in Dana Point. Parker was being a total ham for the camera. I've seen many kids lifting up their shirts like this. Not sure what the reason behind it is, but I think it's cute.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dada Truck and Baby Truck

Parker discovered one day that two of his vehicles had very similar colors and decided the larger one must have begot the smaller one.

This is in honor of all the green beer drinking dada's out there. Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

To Dish, or Not To Dish?

I love my husband dearly. He is always helping me out around the house without me even having to ask. Which is why I hesitate to even blog about this... but I can't help myself. I also love to pick on him whenever I can. So I decided to take a poll from our readers regarding a little disagreement we had (if you're getting this via email or via notes on Facebook, you will have to click on the link to go straight to the blog if you want to participate in the poll).

Not too long ago I noticed my husband hadn't washed out the sink before cleaning the dishes in it. I asked him about it and his reply was, "What does it matter? You're cleaning the dishes in dirty water anyway." I was a little flabbergasted and didn't know how to reply.

Here's my nit picky way of doing dishes:
  • Put away all previously cleaned and dry dishes. Place fresh towel down for new dishes (we don't have a dish strainer because we like to have that counter space available if need be).
  • Rinse and place all dishwasher safe dishes into dishwasher.
  • Rinse food off all other dishes and set on opposite side of counter.
  • Thoroughly run garbage disposal and wash out sink with cleanser and pre-designated sink sponge.
  • Fill up left side of sink with water and dish soap. Proceed to wash, rinse, and neatly stack dishes to produce best drying (I'm usually too lazy to dry the dishes with a towel and put them away the same night).
Jake's dish stacking

How I might have done it
(I just did this for the sake of the picture, normally I wouldn't touch them, I promise!)

I don't expect Jake to do the dishes exactly like I do them... I mean, is there a wrong way to do dishes? But some things that just seem like common sense to me are tedious and silly to him. So, without further ado, please vote in the poll above!

Creamy Chicken Pasta

I thought this recipe was worth sharing because the last time I made it Parker was so happy about it that he even asked for more! The secret ingredient was mini wheel-shaped pasta. Oh man, I had a feeling that was going to be a hit as soon as I saw the box of pasta at the grocery store. They were on sale so I bought like four boxes since not every store carries them. This recipe was originally created by an old co-worker of mine, Lisa, and I made just a couple modifications for our taste buds.


Creamy Chicken Pasta

Ingredients
  • 8-10 tomatoes (preferably vine-ripened), de-seeded & chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Dried basil, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken tenders or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh basil, washed & chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 lb pasta of choice
Directions
  1. Pre-chop tomatoes & garlic and place together in large bowl. Mix in dried basil. Cover and refrigerate (Optional. I like to do this step during Parker's quiet time to save me some time and effort later).
  2. In large pan, cover bottom with olive oil. Add the tomato mixture and saute for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in chicken broth. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer until tomatoes are mostly dissolved (20-30 minutes). Shortly before serving, add sugar, whipping cream, basil, salt & pepper.
  3. In the meantime, tenderize chicken, trim as necessary, salt & pepper both sides, & saute in separate pan with olive oil or canola oil (I prefer canola with this step just because it doesn't burn as easily) for 5 to 7.5 minutes on each side. Set aside and cut or tear into strips before adding to pasta mixture.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. Add chicken and sauce onto pasta and stir until pasta is covered.
  6. Enjoy!
Serve with side salad and garlic bread. Easily feeds 6-8 or a smaller family with plenty of leftovers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Everyone tells me this is the fun age...

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Just another day in our household.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

  • I'm thankful for a husband who's willing to hold/tie my hair back while I puke in the toilet (no, I'm not pregnant - just had an adverse reaction to Vicodin).
  • I'm still thankful for the Vicodin, even if it upset my stomach.
  • I'm thankful my back pain settled down quite a bit after a good night's rest.
  • I'm thankful that I've survived 6 days in a row of Parker not sleeping during his nap time. He's broken his record and then some! We'll find out if today becomes a full week! Yikes.
  • I'm thankful that the time change has not affected Parker's (night) sleep negatively.
  • I'm thankful Parker has been a lot more cooperative this week and willing to climb up and down the stairs so I don't have to pick him up.
  • And last but not least, I'm thankful for a new first this week, even if it was "no, that's mine!" I'd never heard him use that dreaded word before. *laugh* My first reaction wasn't, "Parker, that's not nice, you need to share." It was, "What did you just say? Whoa! You've never said that before!" Heehee. Oops!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"A" Fun Day

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coloring and Tattoos



Parker woke up cranky after his nap one day and I hoped that he would be happy coloring while I worked on dinner. He whined a lot wanting me to color with him, and when I told him that I couldn't color with him at the time, he was rather resentful. Coloring himself was his way of getting back at me for not spending time with him. I laughed when I saw him and he seemed rather offended.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Clarification

Following some concerns of family members, I just thought it might be a wise thing for me to clarify some things after my last Thankful Thursday blog. I have not, nor ever intend to join the Jehovah's Witness group. My sole intent in that blog was to give them credit for getting me to read the Bible again and getting me to start finding some spiritual balance in my life and to let people know that even if the large overall group of JW's has some coo-coo beliefs, that doesn't mean every person in that group is a complete nut job. The women I've spent time with seem down to earth, very warm and friendly, and overall I would classify them as good people. Perhaps it was the way I was raised; my father left a church if he found one thing odd that he couldn't agree with and (correct me if I'm wrong here, Dad) went on to get his masters in Theology. Eventually he started doing Bible study from our own home every Sunday because of some of the issues he had with organized religion and belief systems of the Christian church. I think because of this I tend to also be wary of organized religion, but I also think it would be wrong to not accept someone into your home just because of their system of beliefs.

On the other hand, I am well aware of my faults and know that if I'm walking along a path and come across a huge puddle in my way, I tend to jump right in two feet first without thoroughly analyzing all the consequences. Being aware of that, I can completely understand why people who know me well might be afraid of what I might get myself into. Fortunately, my husband is the exact opposite of me in that respect. If he came across the same puddle, he would have to investigate every inch of it, put on the right gear so that he wouldn't get completely soaked, know where the deepest part of the puddle was and the exact depth, and if all of that still didn't satisfy his safety requirements, he would find an alternate route to get around the puddle. We balance each other out well. For example, if Jake were not the way he is and I had been the only person making the decision, we probably would have bought a condo at the peak of the market and not only would have bought one that didn't fulfill all our needs, but I would have been forced to work to keep us financially alive (and even that might not have stopped us from going into foreclosure). On the flip side, if I were not the way I am and Jake was the sole person making decisions, we'd probably still be engaged and not married, we wouldn't have a child (at least not at this time), and we'd never complain about any meal at a restaurant where the order was wrong or the quality of the food was terrible.

So relax, sit back, wipe your forehead and feel comfortable knowing I'm not going to be coming round your door in the near future with a Bible in one hand and a Watchtower pamphlet in the other. Happy weekend everyone! It looks like it's going to be a beautiful one in this neck of the woods... no puddles to speak of for me to jump into!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Future River Dancer?

Fun Video Friday

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Changes

This past week has been all about change for me. I'm so grateful for the responses, advice, and words of encouragement I received from family and friends after last Thursday's post. I felt a change come over me as soon as I wrote it and hit that "publish" button, but it wasn't until reading all your emails and posts that I truly let go and let all the emotions and stress come out in a really good cry.

I have been pulling patience from every corner of my body this week while taking care of Parker. I have surprised even myself that I've done as well as I have because he has been needier and crankier than ever! He went four days in a row without a good nap. Jake's parents took him on Friday night for us, but the timing was difficult and I tried to give him an early nap but it didn't work. We ended up leaving for their place around his usual nap time and he had a little cat nap on the way to their place, but that was it. Saturday he wouldn't nap for Jake's folks, but he at least got some quiet time in his crib. Sunday we visited my friend Christine in San Bernardino, and Monday I had a doctor's appointment during his usual nap time (again, an early quite /nap time didn't go over so well). While he did surprisingly well during those days, going to bed early wasn't cutting it and he was starting to wake up earlier and earlier every day. By Tuesday, I was dealing with a very tired boy. His eyes even had dark circles under them. We didn't go anywhere that day (except on a little walk around our neighborhood) and he took a much needed solid two hour nap. Yesterday he went down for his nap late because we got caught in the rain and it made everything take longer, but at least he eventually slept, even though it was very apparent when he woke that he needed more sleep and I think he would have slept more if I let him. I didn't though because it was already 4:15 PM.

I mention all of this because considering it, if all of this had happened a few weeks ago, I would have been stressed to the max about Parker not getting enough sleep. But this week, while I have worried about it a little (I'm not going to lie) I didn't really feel anxious or stressed about it like I normally would. I just put it in my head that sometimes we'll have busy weeks like this and there's not much we can do about it and as long as I didn't try to put him through it every day, we would eventually get past this hump. At least I do know for sure now that he is not ready to give up his nap /quiet time as I feared. He definitely still needs quiet time every day and a nap on at least some of those days.

Going back to Monday's doctor appointment, I'm also very grateful to have been referred to this new endocrinologist. At first I thought it was silly of my doctor to refer me since my Graves disease has been treated in the past already and all that really has to be done now is monitor my thyroid levels and change medication levels as necessary. But now I realize it was a blessing. The endocrinologist seemed to know more about how thyroid dysfunction could be affecting other things in my body and that the symptoms I've been having were probably not solely a result of my medication levels being off. He had me do some more blood work a few weeks ago and I got the results on Monday. It turns out I have a mild case of iron deficiency anemia, which I discovered through WebMD can be brought on by hypothyroidism. It can cause fatigue, insomnia, and racing heart (all of which I've had but thought it was solely thyroid related). I also have a vitamin D deficiency, which does not 'cause any real immediate side effects, but can lead not only to your body not absorbing calcium, but potentially lead to heart problems and auto immune disorders (mostly diabetes). I think he mostly just checked that because studies lately have shown that over half of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, and younger women are especially at risk since we tend to wear sunscreen more than men. In any case, both of those things are fairly easy to fix and even just after a few days of taking iron supplements I've noticed I've been feeling better and have had less heart symptoms and have been sleeping better (when I do sleep, that is). I also had the energy to exercise a couple of times this week (although my back protested a little).

The other major thing I'm grateful for this week is an ever increasing closeness to God. I have gone through quite a few years without the same faith I used to have. In the beginning of college, I was very spiritual. I hung out with other Christians and studied the Bible a lot. Then I met people (good people) who were not Christians who started planting seeds of doubt in me. I mean, it is hard for me to believe that so many good people who do not believe in God will not go to Heaven. I still can't really accept that idea. Then there are the judgments and wars and overall terrible things that people have done in the name of God that just turned me off. The final thing that turned me away from Church and organized religion was the hypocrisy of the church members. The last time I went to a church service, a couple of women behind me spent the entire service talking, just about every day things, like it was no big deal. I was so upset I never went back. I never really stopped believing in God, but not reading my Bible, praying and spending time with other Christians has led to some serious lack of spirituality and balance.

I realize now how unhappy I've been without that spirituality. What has changed? Most of you will probably be very surprised. It's kind of a long story, but one day I let in a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses who had been coming to my door frequently with pamphlets and showing me passages from the Bible. I treated them at first as many people do. I avoided them like the plague. But when they did catch me, they were very nice and pretty soon these women wore down my shield and I asked them to come in. What I've discovered since then has really surprised me. I had always thought that Jehovah's Witnesses were like a weird cult with strange beliefs that didn't follow Christianity. What I've discovered is that they are not like that at all. In fact, I had many difficult questions for them and they had an answer for all of them, directly from the Bible. They seem to have a huge knowledge of the Bible. They study it and try to pass the message along. Here are some things that are different from other Christian groups: 1) They do not believe in praying to a cross or using a cross as a symbol. It is actually a pagan symbol (anyone who's read The Da Vinci Code knows this) and it is almost like worshiping an idol. 2) They call God Jehovah because it is the most ancient Biblical name that was given to God. 3) They believe Jesus is God's son and appointed king, but they don't believe Jesus is God or at the same level as God and showed me Bible passages where Jesus has stated this himself. After learning all of this about them, my original judgment has been altered. So now, every Tuesday, a couple of women drop by and we study the Bible. These women are normal, caring, loving people. I was surprised by their warmth and friendliness and I feel like I've finally come across some "real" people. It is especially surprising knowing all the rejection they face all the time.

I have been hesitant to admit all of this to many people because I know the stigma that's attached to Jehovah's Witnesses (and even my dear hubby gives me a really hard time about it), but I thought since I'm getting free Bible study from them and encouragement to read my Bible again, it would only be fair to give them credit and let people know that they aren't the freaks people make them out to be (I guess anyone who doesn't believe in God would still consider them freaks, but anyone who does should know that they're not bad cult-like people!) This seemed like really good timing because I've been considering joining MOPS for awhile (which is a Bible study / talk group for "Mothers of Preschoolers"), but the cost to attend was surprisingly high. I have a renewed peace in my heart feeling like I have found a treasure again that I lost long ago.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blink Already!


This is why I don't like to let Parker watch TV. He doesn't blink. His eyes just tear up. Do a lot of kids do this? And isn't it instinctive to shut your eyes if someone comes near them with something? Well, Parker won't. When I wash his eyes with a washcloth, I have to ask him several times to shut his eyes first or else he'll just keep them open while the washcloth goes over them. Gives me the heebie geebies thinking about it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Playing: Volume 3

Parker sticks his tongue out when he's really concentrating on something. I used to get teased by my sister's for doing that when I played violin. Parker's Grandpa Munns does it, too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Playing: Volume 2

Circling... he can only go counter clockwise. Must be right handed?


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