Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The 2's are herrrrrre

dun. dun. duuuuunnnnnnnnn.

Aaaaaaaand we've hit the big TWO.  As in, Olivia Hope is 2 years old and how in the HECK did I get a two year old?  For YEARS I would have said I wasn't a baby person and then after Jaxson and infertility and everything I was so desperate to be a mom I kinda forgot about the non-baby-person thing.

Now I don't have a baby anymore.  I have a toddler and I want to amend my previous statement.  I'm not a toddler person.  BUT.  I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY love MY toddler.

But she's still 2.

Honestly, she's hysterical.  I mean, some of my friends with kiddos coming up on 2 are mourning the baby months and are ready to have another.  Not me.  I think every new thing Liv does is better than the last thing she did.

Except.  Well, she's still 2.  So let's start with the not-as-stellar stuff.  Like:

1. She's taken to throwing things when she's not happy.  And we're really trying to not pick up after her but have her learn first of all, not to throw, and second of all, that she has to pick up whatever she threw.  But ya'll know that's an imperfect and lengthy learning curve so basically the bottoms of my feet are bruised and beaten from stepping on said thrown items.  sigh.

2. She's a screamer.  She screams when she's happy but more often she screams when she's angry.  And when she doesn't get her way.  Or when she's been told no.  Or when she wants to watch Peppa and I haven't been fast enough with the remote.  sigh.

3.  Why didn't anyone tell me baby-proofing your house is not for when they're babies?  I thought you baby-proofed when they start crawling and toddling about learning to walk so they don't fall into stuff.  Now I know.  It should be called toddler-proofing and it's for when she falls behind the TV while I'm in the shower.  Or when she climbs up the front of the microwave cart for whatever she thinks she needs off the top.

C'est la vie.

And now for the stellar stuff:

1. Girlfriend knows how to run a ruse to get you out of the way so she can steal your chair.  It's unreal.  She'll bat her eyes at you and say please and when you get up to find out what it is that she's asking so nicely for she cuts left, runs around you and straight up steals the recliner.

2.  She's. So. Ticklish.

3.  I love hearing her learn new words.  Like "mouf" for mouse.  And Two.  Now that she IS two she's been saying the word two a lot more.  She so chatty (TOTES like her momma that way) there's a sort of nonsense bunch of sounds she makes before she says an actual word you'd recognize...but I absolutely love trying to figure out what she's trying to tell me because she's trying so hard to get me to understand.

4.  or funny...sometimes she won't say the word but instead uses a sound.  Like water...she won't say the word water.  She has a very specific sound for that.  And she won't say the word monkey...she makes the sound a monkey makes when she refers to them.

5. She LOVES to be outside.  She digs in the dirt in a large basin I  used to plant flowers in.  Now it's for digging, naturally.  She had swimming lessons this spring and she really loves the water.  Yesterday I bought her a tiny swimming pool for the yard and I have a feeling it's going to be a major hit.  She loves stomping all over my ground cover in the front yard, squishing bugs, blowing bubbles and playing with sidewalk chalk.

6.  She's got a major crush on our friend Max who is about to graduation high school.  I've been friends with Max's parents since college and remember when he was born...so to have him be so grown up now and playing so well with Liv is adorable.  Last night at youth group, Max's little sister came through the door first and she shot up and ran towards her but immediately kept going past her looking around the corner for Max.  She knew he was coming.  And she knew he'd hide behind the wall in our living room and jump out and scare her.  She runs and dives into the couch and gives Max a great workout.  But it wears her out before bed so I'm grateful.

Oh my heart.  I love you so much and I can't believe you're 2.  sniff.  They say it goes by fast.  I had no idea just how fast.  xoxoxo

Monday, October 23, 2017

Almost a year and a half...

My kid said, "Dang it all" the other day.

One guess who she learned that from.  :/

She can say "shoe" but it comes out more like "shoo-hoo"

She can say "Phoebe" (beebee), diaper (dye-puh), mama and daddy.  and kitty-kitty-kitty

18 months old is a scream. 

She is asserting her preferences whenever possible. Demanding where her morning bottle will be consumed: NOT in her room in the dark where mom hopes she might fall back asleep at 6am but out in the living room with all the lights turned on and cats accounted for.  She points to different places in the kitchen depending on what she is hungry for: the bread box, the fruit basket, the cupboard with the goldfish crackers, etc. 

She wants to pet the kitties SO BADLY.  She's getting much better about not hitting them but instead pets gently and wants to cuddle them.  All. Day. 

The other day she was watching Goofy cartoons with a fistful of Cheerios in one hand and a graham cracker in the other.  She was leaning on 1 foot against the couch and when Goofy did his yell off a cliff she giggled.  It was so...innocent.  pure. fresh.  the laughter of a child that made all the drama in the world just drain off and fade away.  She brings so much light into our world.  The way she pads around the house in her sleep sack in the morning looking like a little ghost or how she runs across the kitchen floor when Ken is on all fours chasing her.  The belly laugh she does when either of us makes puking noises (still not sure why that's so funny...apparently she has the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.) 
She's in a very lovey phase right now.  She might crawl up in your lap, grab your cheeks with both hands to make her face her and then plant a kiss right on your lips.  over. and over. and over. and over.  and she won't let you turn your face away.  We're going to have to go over this kissing etiquette eventually...
Case in point...this is Liv trying to give her friend Noah a kiss...
She's also really attached to me right now.  I knew that would be a hard phase but it's especially hard that she won't let Ken give her a bottle before bed.  Now that it's much more difficult to have her with me all day at work occasionally it makes it harder for me to consider some child care options with her being like this.  Ahhhhhhh, the transitions of babyhood.  sniff.
Luckily, she also takes pretty well to people fairly quickly.  I love watching her play with Sami and Grandma Dixie at church, Rocky and Michelle at the office and Macy and Brooklyn whenever she sees them.  She plays so well with kids of all ages...so grown up on the inside....as evidenced here by curling up in a blanket just like daddy:
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a
fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”  
Luke 1:45

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thoughts on marriage

" I see you, Devil.  And I declare war."

A wrote this on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago.  Not surprisingly, I've felt like a target has been on my back, so to speak, ever since.

You can't shine a spotlight on the undercover plans of the enemy and not expect them to come out swinging.  And so he has.  Bring it on.  All it's really done is riled me up even more.

I'm seeing the goal: undermine an individual. destroy a marriage. bomb a family. forfeit a society. repeat.

Gotta start somewhere if you want to take the system down.  Personally, I'm seeing the strategy where I live as taking out marriages.  The devil feeds a bunch of lies to one spouse, who gulps them down, turns on the other spouse and bails.  By taking out 1 person you effectively take out an entire family.

The consequences of those decisions then send a ripple effect for YEARS.

In a couple of generations of this you end up with a broken society with a bunch of hopeless, confused, angry, wounded people running around inflicting their own pain on everyone around them.

I'm aware that I'm seriously over simplifying here and I'm aware that both spouses have a share of blame in the demise of a marriage...but in general, this is what I see at work.  And to set off the chain of dominoes you really only have to take out 1 person.

In the 8 years we've lived in Oroville I personally know of 24 divorces that have been filed.  In a town of less than 2,000 people, 24 is a ridiculously high number for those more or less in my circle.

Now let me temporarily flash side-ways.

Have you heard of the Nashville Statement?  It's an evangelical "manifesto" of marriage and gender identity.  And it's blowing up social media.  Of course there is a ton of backlash on anyone having the nerve to state that the Bible declares marriage to be between 1 man and 1 woman in lifetime covenant under God. 

My point isn't to argue the 14 points of the manifesto, or whether or not it should have been named after a city in TN, or argue about how we should treat people who genuinely feel that were born in the wrong body or fight about if someone should be allowed to name their domestic partner in their insurance papers.  I have varying opinions on these matters that could fill a blog another time.

My point is to state that the objective of the enemy is clear: If we can break down the family unit, we can destroy society. 

And newsflash:  it's working.

Without going into a lot of detail, I've been privy to some statistics recently concerning kids in my community and some of the details are alarming.  I'm shocked at the number of kids saying they are depressed or full of anger they don't know how to direct.  They find illicit substances in their own homes and have easy access to alcohol.  Rarely is anyone policing these items especially if there is only 1 legal guardian in the home (and frequently that person is not a parent but another family member.) 

Why would a child find themselves in need of medicating their depression and anger?  Why would they need to numb low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness? Why would they turn to addictive substances if they felt loved and cared for at home?  If their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs were being met?  For a millions reasons, really, but there is NO WAY you can convince me that there isn't a connection between rising emotional and mental issues with kids and the increasing number of broken homes in our society.

I'm a firm believer in something called Generational blessing and cursing.  There is a strong correlation between 1 generation experiencing things like addiction, divorce and teen pregnancy and the next generation following in it's footsteps.  Often broken homes beget broken homes.  Teen mothers have kids that also become teen mothers.  And so I firmly believe that our society doesn't function within a bubble.  The choices we individually make absolutely DO affect those around us.  The Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthian church that when 1 part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.  This isn't just in reference to the Christian Body but is also a picture of human interaction.  We do not live isolated lives.

And so when someone hurts and feels broken and makes broken choices, it 100% affects those around them.  First and foremost, your marriage partner, your children, your immediate family, your extended family and then on to your neighbors and friends.  Think of the last time you knew a friend was struggling with something...you felt their hurt, right?  And when you see the consequences of someone's actions you feel those consequences yourself.

Why does it matter that I'm writing about this?  Because the broken lives of friends around me...those 24 broken marriages... makes my heart hurt.  The suffering they are experiencing is walking around in their spouse.   In their children.  In their church.  In their workplace.  The broken identity, the hopelessness, the anger, the entitlement, the pride...it rubs off on others and we wear the stains of each other on ourselves because we are bound together. 

So yeah.  It matters to me.  It matters to me if you walk out on your marriage.  It matters to me when your addiction makes your children feel like they have to compete for your attention.  It matters to me when your identity is skewed by the devil's lies...an entire generation's morals is being re-written to accommodate your choices. It matters to me if you are imprisoned in depression, anger, greed, fear or hatred. 

Why do we Christians talk about our faith and supposedly interfere in the lives of other people?   The World says, "They should just mind their own business.  They just want to make everyone exactly like them.  They want to strip everyone of their rights and interrupt everyone's fun."

If there's a way out of your chains, don't you want to know about it?  If there is a light at the end of the tunnel don't you want to be led there?  If there are answers to the things you search for and are not finding do you want someone to tell you?

This is the Good News.  That Jesus Saves.  That faith in Him can CHANGE YOU.  That we don't all have to be exactly the same but when we see another in bondage we should SAY SOMETHING.

World:  I'm not always going to say what you want to hear.  I can't always pat you on the back and tell you the path you're on is going to eventually make you happy.  I can't always tell you it'll eventually be OK.  Sometimes you gotta hear that you're wrong.  That what you've been fed is a bunch of lies.  That you're letting the enemy win.

I'm speaking my truth.  #sorrynotsorry

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I have a toddler


I cannot believe how fast that happened.  One minute she's 6 pounds and seems so breakable.  I'm terrified that she's not breathing in her sleep and check on her every 10 minutes.  I worry about her rolling off something or being swaddled too tight or the cats licking her face.

Now she's walking.  Toddling everywhere.  She's absolutely filthy from the office tile floors and the other day I caught her just as she was about to eat a bug.  I pick Cheerios up off the floor and give them to back to her.

Liv is such a JOY.  My bestie mentioned the other day that she seems to be such a happy baby and I couldn't agree more.  She is CONSTANTLY babbling happily.  When we drove to Sunnyside a few weekends ago she talked. the. entire. way. all. 5. hours.  :/

She's also quite...shall we say, aggressive?  :/  Hilarity ensued when she and her twin cousins wrestled at Grandma's.  All 3 just giggled and rolled all over each other.  But Liv was extra WWE.  She body slammed poor Teddy.  Thank goodness they are so gentle with her but as she gets bigger we may be giving them permission to deck her in order to get her off them.  #girlscanwrestletoo

Now that's she's walking I can REALLY see her babiness melt away into this feisty little girl.  She also finally learned to take a sippy cup.  She wandered past my desk drinking the sippy and holding graham cracker and I just though, "where did this kid come from?"  I thought I had a newborn still.

She just LOVES to be outside with me while I garden and she LOVES animals.  It's joy overload when she's in the front yard and all the neighborhood dogs are barking.  We all have chain link fences so she can see them running, jumping and barking.  What usually annoys me about these loud animals roaming the streets has turned into a laugh fest as I hear her happy screeches.

Ken and I laughed so hard the other day by some expressions on her little face...she cracks herself up and has this certain hahaha that lets us know she knows something is a special treat just for her.

I honestly don't even know how to end this post...I never ever knew how much fun babies could be.  Never really having been a good baby-person (give me teenagers any day)  I just love how much joy bubbles up in me when I'm with this child :D

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Almost 1!

My baby girl is 25 days away from turning a year old.
 Wow...had no idea 12 months could fly by that fast.  Especially when all the years before crawled by at a snails pace.

Buggy is SO. FAST!  She started crawling about 2 months ago and it's amazing to watch her discover that something new improves her life...as soon as she figured out crawling would get her close to something she wanted to inspect she was OFF!

A little over a week ago she started pulling herself up against the couches and now she barely holds on with one hand as she reaches for whatever is in the pillows...include sleeping cats.  Phoebe. is. not. impressed.  Thankfully, Pheebs also does not scratch/swipe/bite/attack her.  Praise the Jesus. 

They could be friends. Sometimes.

She also does this:

If there is any doubt that I was involved in making her (since she looks exactly like her daddy)  just listen for her screeching like a banshee.  Or watch her get excited around her little friends when they come over.  She gets right up in their face and she lets loose a scream of glee that generally makes them burst into tears.  Yup. That's all me.
She still doesn't eat solid foods very well although we are making strides with the puffs snacks.  finally.  But small pieces of bread/fruit/veggies are a no go.  pureed only.  So we head to Seattle next week to have her tongue tie snipped.  I've got all my eggs in this basket that after she recovers we'll see major strides forward in her ability to chew. 
chewing = eating more = staying full = sleeping longer = happier mom
Liv still comes to work with me in the mornings since daddy's on night shift until the end of the month.  I have a makeshift baby gate to contain her in the corner of the office foyer.  she can't see me.  she generally doesn't like it.  So most of the time she sits in her high chair looking out the office window.  Once daddy moves to day shift we'll have weekends off and nights together but mom will be bringing her into the office ALL. DAY.  pray for me.  she refuses to sleep at the office. except when she accidentally dozes off in her jumperoo...
She is a MAJOR giggler.  and SOOOOO ticklish.  I love that sound.  LOVE the sound of her laugh.  It echoes around the room.  It's so easy to get her going and it's funny to see her sorta wiped out after laughing so hard for so long.  Yesterday she tried tickling Ken's knee!!  So cute how they copy everything.  So cute for now, I'm sure.  haha.  And then there's the pillows.  Put a pillow or blanket on the floor and she's all about it. 
She has 5 teeth and a 6th broke through yesterday.  She's got such a beautiful smile anyway but the pearly whites only enhance that.  Sometimes I just can't stop staring at her.  Her wide, beautiful hazel eyes and long lashes.  stop it. 
Nana and Papa and Grandma are all coming for her first birthday and we've invited her birthday buddy, Dwayne, and all his family to join us.  I'm thinking smash cakes for both the 1 year old AND the 44 year old.  *smirk*
It's been a whirlwind of a year.  Sometimes it's sad to see a season go but more often whatever she's on to next is so much fun I don't miss what we left behind.  She's not so tiny or innocent :D anymore but she's so curious and funny and sassy.  I can't wait for her to be able to tell me what she wants and needs.  I think she knows what Mama and Dada are but usually it comes out mamamamama and dadadada or as my mom loves: nananananana
At the end of the day there are still snuggles.  I hope she never grows out of that.  Happy almost 1st birthday, Buggy.  Mama loves you to the moon and back. xoxo

Monday, December 19, 2016

O Night Divine

A year ago we were finding out the little bump I showed was a little girl growing.  Now that peanut is a giggly, chatty, sassy 7 month old.  Our Christmas miracle.

As I write this she is rolling around on the quilt Nana and Papa made her surrounded by toys passed down from her twin cousins.  On her tummy she constantly taps her foot like she's contemplating something.  Probably how exactly to get the tabby-thingies off the toy.  A cat walks by and she lets loose a squeal several octaves higher than humans can generally hear.  Even though her voice is generally in the lower range, she can screech with the best of them.  Once she gets a little sleepier I'll put her in her swing and she will turn her head to stare at the lights on the Christmas tree next to her.  She'll get really quiet and if I could lay a soundtrack down to the scene before me it would be O Holy Night.


I digress into weepy sentimentalism.  In truth, while being our Christmas miracle, she's also either in a sleep regression and/or a big growth spurt because she isn't giving me much sleep these days.  She's also coming with me to work 2 days a week for the full day now due to Dad's new shift.  We're getting through it (she refuses to nap for me) thanks to the high chair I brought in and placed in front of the big picture window.  She watches all the people go by and happily kicks her legs while gnawing on a toy.  With 2 bottom teeth popped through, everything goes in her mouth and watch out for fingers...she can bite hard!

She quite a bit more mobile and upright too.  She rolls consistently and can get across the floor much faster than I anticipated.  She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to bounce: on someone's knee, standing up on your lap, in a floor bouncer toy, in a johnny jumper...anywhere.  She likes her high chair and her bouncy chair because now those 2 things mean food: oatmeal cereal, squash, peas and sweet potatoes are a hit.  Carrots were met with a lot of "meh."  I've tried my hand at making food too and it's been very successful! Plug for a cool baby contraption that no one needs but is super cool anyway: Infantino Food Storage squeezable baggies and matching spoons.  Very. Cool.

Our girl is SO Happy.  She giggles and squeals easily and for no reason at all.  She grins at strangers and has found her voice at home: super loud cawing like a parrot.  Hilarious. Of course, she is strongly encouraged by her father to mimic his sounds and loud squawking is his specialty.

We're encouraging her to entertain her social side (I doubt she will be shy)...we've been on several road trips, we have a weekly new-moms-first-baby coffee group (Mr Noah has a crush on her...super cute because he's a younger man), we've left her with a couple of babysitters already and she charms everyone she meets...especially our ever-growing list of grandma's from church and Bible Study as well as self-proclaimed Grandpa Rocky who can get a bit distracted by her at the office.  Most importantly, we went on our first family vacation in early December to the Oregon Coast.  She didn't seem interested in the sea lions but I think she liked the ocean :)

Well, Merry Christmas from our family to yours...and if I neglected to send you a copy of our Christmas card just know that it's this picture with a loving "Bah Humbug from Olivia" on the bottom.  xoxo

Monday, November 7, 2016

6 months!

This is the face I'm admiring today:

Leaves me breathless.  Today we are halfway through that marathon 1st year when practically EVERYTHING happens.  I cannot believe how fast this is going!

Those cheeks are just irresistible! 

We have a full-fledged giggler on our hands.  Such a happy girl, it's so easy to make her laugh and get her to respond to us.  She's starting to mimic sounds and even "growls" at daddy.  She recognizes us and visibly responds when we walk in the room...squirming and chittering and giving wide grins when she sees us. 

She's a little jumperoo now too.  If she's on your knee better get ready to hold her FOREVER while she bronco rides back and forth :D  Had to get a jonny jumper to save our tired arms and legs!  She bounce, bounce, bounces like Tigger now!  Ken calls her his little cowgirl and credits lots of country music in the house lately for influencing her.

She can FINALLY roll over from her tummy to her back and her back to her tummy.  Stubborn lil critter!  She just wouldn't put her arms down!  But she figured it out and now tummy time is more fun for her and us. 

She recognizes the kitties now too which is hilarious.  If you didn't see the video of her squealing at Phoebe, I'll send it to you...poor Pheebs...as Ken's aunt commented, kitty doesn't know that squeal is going to follow her soon once she gets moving!  Zoey is still staying far away but Phoebe just can't help herself.  I see scratches in everyone's future. 

I need to give mad props to this punkin.  She is a great traveler!  We flew to Boise alone, went on a girls overnight trip to Wenatchee, Blossom Retreat, the Tri-Cities...for living at the end of the world, she's seemed to figure out we have to be OK in our car seat for hours at a time.  She keeps it together pretty well...but there's no place like home. It's adorable to see how well she sleeps once she's back in her own bed in her own room.  She even snores a little.  *squeal!*

So we've started trying solid foods...the rice cereal we tried first was NO BUENO.  That face.  Oh gosh, it was like I was poisoning her!  Oatmeal cereal has gone over much better.  Sweet potato has been OK too.  I'm already teasing Ken that peas are on the list and he cannot feed them to her with a clothespin on his nose...now who's the baby?

We've given up on breastfeeding due to her milk/soy allergy and while it's not my first choice, formula is infinitely easier.  oh well....she's a happier camper with her tummy not hurting, of course!

With the holidays coming, I look forward to seeing everything through her eyes this year.  I can't believe I'm so lucky.  How did we get here?  A beautiful baby getting bigger by the day, blessing our lives and making us so happy.  Next, crawling, walking, talking?  EEEEEEEEEEEEE!