Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Pictures

I made all the kids smile for me in the front yard before we headed off to church for the day. I'm not all that keen on posed pictures but I didn't have that much time to follow the kids around the house catching good candids. Graham is without glasses because his were accidentally crunched in the midst of a brotherly fight. I hope they are fixable.

Speaking of brothers, here's mine, Jerod, making Canaan laugh his cute little head off.

Malachi did not enjoy the forced photo-taking but he's sure handsome anyway!

Aww, here they all are! Aren't they lovely?

Here's Mr. Little and Tiny in his handsome big-boy Easter outfit!

Canaan was a funny boy with this pencil in his mouth while we rode around in the car. And isn't his car seat cover the cutest?

Caris actually posed herself in this darling, girly way. I made her dress and was thrilled for her to have a dress that was long enough without having an enormous bodice. She picked the fabric all by herself. I wasn't sure how cute it would be but even after the first few seams were done I fell in love with it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My peeps

We went for a walk today with the Coxes, our dearest and nearest friends. We had a nice time, though it was warm and Lynette and I definitely spent too much time chatting at the end so that the kids became restless and started to bicker. I can't remember how, but somehow the phrase "peeps" came up. As we separated ways, Graham asked, "what are peeps?" I said, "they can be those marshmallow-ey treats you got for Easter, but in this case it is short for 'my people' - my peeps! You guys are my peeps! C'mon peeps, let's walk home!" In that very silly moment, I was so endeared to my peeps! They're MY PEEPS! They'll ALWAYS be my peeps! Don't worry, I literally never use that phrase. But for some reason, it made me feel closer to them today. Gosh, I love those children beyond comprehension. I'm so thankful that they're mine!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Homecooking. ROFL

April 13, 2099
Reunited Press

After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed
today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their
families in their homes. The children must have annual physical
examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to
require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down.

A spokesperson from the National Association of Nutritionists (NANs)
condemns this decision. "These children are being denied the rich
socialization and diversity that is an essential part of the eating
process. Without the proper nutritional background, it is impossible
for the average person to feed their own children. We, as child
advocates, see this as a step backwards and speak out for the sake of
the children who cannot speak for themselves."

Homecooking parents say the benefits of eating at home include
increased family unity and the ability to tailor a diet to a
particular need. Elizabeth Crocker, a home cook, states, "We started
cooking and eating at home when we realized that my son had a severe
allergy to eggs. The public kitchens required him to take numerous
medications that had serious side effects in order to counteract his
allergy. We found that eliminating eggs was a simpler method and our
son has thrived since we began doing so."

After this experience, the Crockers decided to home cook for all of
their children, and converted their media room into a kitchen.
Elizabeth says, "We have experienced so much closeness as we have
explored recipes and spent time cooking together and eating together.
We have a dining circle with other families where we sometimes share
ideas and meals together."

The Crocker children have done well physically under their mother's
care, weighing in at optimum weights for their ages and having health
records far above average. It should be noted that Mrs. Crocker, while
not a professional nutritionist, has a family history rich with
nutritionists and home economists. "Surely the success of the Crocker
children is due to the background of their mother," responded the
spokesman from NANs. "The results they have achieved should not be
viewed as normative." Mrs. Crocker counters that her background was
actually a hindrance to the nutritional principles she follows. "Our
paternal great-grandmother was a home economist, but she prepared most
meal from pre-made mixes. In our homecooking we try not to duplicate
public-kitchen meals, but to tailor our meals to the needs and
preferences of our children."

In a related issue, legislation is in committee that would provide
oversight for the emerging homecooking movement. Says the Home Eating
Legal Defense Association (HELDA): "We want to provide umbrella
kitchens to aid parents in the complicated tasks of feeding their
children. Many families lack the expertise of the Crocker family, yet
desire to eat at home. As we have seen, the umbrella kitchens meet the
needs of all concerned. We are happy to provide this service."

Home Eating a Threat to Public Kitchens?
State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home
by Angela Paul
Copyright © Angela Paul, April 13, 1999

April 13, 2099
Reunited Press

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thanks, Amanda!

We had co-op at Amanda's house on Saturday and planted quite a bit. I got inspired to stop the half-hearted researching and just start planting! Here's what we've planted so far:
Early Girl Tomatoes
Ace Tomatoes (Malachi's pick)
Roma Tomatoes
Celebrity Tomatoes
A pink Azalea

and ready to plant are

For now . . . we'll see what we find to plant next week!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Canaan, 14 months

Length 30 3/4" = between percentile 50 and 75
Weight 27 lbs = between percentile 75 and 90
He will be walking along and suddenly do a little penguin dance like on Happy Feet. It's the cutest thing ever!
This boy can THROW! When he rears that little right arm back, watch out!
Stops to gaze at trees when he spies them through a window, especially if they're swaying in the spring breeze.
When he's trying to get something and can't and I say, "it's stuck!", he grunts and tries harder.
He loves to go outside! When the door opens he runs gleefully. Oh yeah - he runs!
3/31 Got his first eye tooth - the top left one.
4/3 Second eye tooth

Monday, March 10, 2008

Virtual Collage

I joined this site called and it has tons of great tools for weight loss and healthy living. You can track your calories, exercise, water intake, keep a blog, post on message boards - they write up a diet plan for you, etc. One of the motivational tools they ask you to do is to make a collage of some things that motivate you to lose weight. Here are some of mine, not in order LOL:

Have more self esteem/confidence

Feel more confident when speaking in front of a group

Prove to myself that I can do it

Feel more like myself

By VBS (in June), feel more fit, active, in control

Be stronger

Be more active with my kids (these are not my kids LOL)

Be fit in case of another pregnancy

Be healthy enough to be active with my grandkids

Have more energy

Enjoy more active hobbies with my husband

Have thinner thighs

Look and feel fit

Like how I look naked

Enjoy wearing fashions that I love

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Photo Essay

Alif & I apparently are big goofballs since we both look a little crazy here. We were about to serve Canaan his chocolately and rose-decorated birthday cake.

Cute pic of Grandma P. and Canaan at his Birthday party. It was a cupcake theme and you can see two of them peeking at you in the bottom of the pic there. Thanks Lynette for frosting them for me!!

We were hanging around last night in the living room and Canaan laid on his back very still. A few minutes later he rolled over and went to sleep, right there on the living room floor. I had to take a quick pic before I carried him up to his bed.

One day we tried making a meatloaf without a loaf pan, because I couldn't find one. Isn't it pretty? Caris asked me to take a picture of her with it because we were having such a good laugh about how it looked. Luckily it looked a lot more attractive sliced up and tasted even better. Don't worry Mom, I'm not bringing meatloaf for dinner tonight.

Sometimes we stick his little hair up just for fun. Don't you love the Pedipeds Grandma B. got him for his Birthday? He does too. He brings them to me and asks me to put them on.

Canaan really, really likes his big brother. Malachi's almost like a third parent to Canaan. They're very close, and Canaan will go to Malachi for comfort instead of me sometimes.

On Canaan's Birthday I climbed into the tub with him and had Malachi take a picture of us. This is where it all began! He was born in this very tub one year ago today (2/4). Doesn't he look thrilled to be reminiscing with me?

Friday, March 07, 2008

I love him.

10 years ago today, Alif & I were married. We had fallen in love nearly four years prior and finally the right time had come. I can't exactly figure out my feelings today. I'm amazed that ten whole years have gone by so quickly. I feel kind of like I do when my kids have a birthday - in awe, excited, wistful and even a little depressed. Like I said, I can't figure this out. It could be that I'm tired because I was literally up half the night with a sick baby. While I was awake, in fact, I was composing a blog in my head about my husband. Oh, I love him. I love him so much I have butterflies in my stomach thinking of it. Maybe I could stop worrying about my lack of excellent writing skills and just say what I want to say without wondering if anyone will enjoy it.

When Alif & I met we were so young. I was 19, he was 20. We'd both experienced a lot out of life already and I think we both knew almost immediately that we were meant to be together. We spent every spare moment together. We laughed, oh how we laughed! He brought me little romantic gifts. He met my parents, and my Dad pinched his butt and my Mom said he looked like one of the New Kids on the Block.

In 1995 I had a moderately bad car accident. Alif became a nurse overnight and along with my Mom, he tended to my every need. He painted my toenails, took me where I needed to go, even convinced me to go on outings in a wheelchair. He was so tender and sweet. I think this is when I really fell in love with him. Really knew, I mean, that I didn't just enjoy him, I really really loved him.

The years went by and we continued to fall further in love. We grew and changed and stuck together. We had hard times and good ones.

One Valentine's Day, I think in about 1997, Alif orchestrated the most romantic Valentine's I could imagine. He invited me over for dinner, and when I arrived I was amazed to see how he'd transformed his home into a Valentine dream come true. There were flowers everywhere, a special little table set up in the study with china and fancy napkins and candles and gifts. He'd done this funny, cute thread craft that made a heart on cardboard with strings. He'd cooked a fantastic meal and served me like I was a queen. I couldn't believe it - I was sure he was going to propose and I sat nervously through the whole meal. We finished eating and he slid a small black box across the table. I maybe even had tears in my eyes as I nervously opened it . . . to find a small, gold, engraved clock. I cried. He sat anxiously, wondering if I liked the gift - was I crying tears of joy or what was going on? Somehow I told him that I'd thought it was a ring and he comforted me. It didn't help. We ended up in a huge, outrageous fight. Ha! Yeah, it's actually funny looking back on it. (Though I won't bore you with it here, his eventual proposal was truly romantic and a dream come true.)

So time went on and it was time to get married, and we did. And we had a baby. Then another one. We hit hard times. Alif was going to school and working, both full time. I was alone with my two precious sons almost all the time, and I was lonely for my husband and exhausted with the workload of raising two toddlers by myself. We hit crisis. We fell apart at the seams, and it took a lot of hard work to get back to a place where we felt solid as a couple again. God is merciful and good, and we did.

I got pregnant again, and it was such an answer to prayer - not just having another baby but what that signified in our marriage. We were totally back on track and in love and so incredibly thankful for God's grace on our marriage. We named our daughter Caris, Greek for Grace.

Last year our fourth blessing came along and in some only-God-can-do-this way, I think in the last year of our marriage I have fallen more in love with Alif than ever before. I so respect who he is as a man. He works hard, really hard and never complains about it. He supports me as a teacher, mother and friend. He STILL makes me laugh literally every day. He says kind things. He calls me several times a day just to see how our day is going or to tell me some little thing that happened while he was out. He lays on the living room floor and watches movies on his laptop while I watch TV. He loves our kids, oh my GOSH he loves those kids.

So last night. Canaan woke up whining right at the time Alif came to bed. I was so tired, I just waited for Alif to go get him. He sat at the edge of the bed and I could tell he was listening to see if Canaan was going to settle in or keep crying. As soon as the whining turned to a cry he went and got him. He brought him into the bed and lined him up perfectly to nurse. Poor baby couldn't nurse because his nose was stuffy. Alif reached over and pulled the baby close to him. He slipped his hand up under baby's pajama top and stroked him softly. Canaan stopped whining, soothed by Daddy's touch. Eventually Daddy's touch didn't work any more and I spent the rest of the night trying to nurse him, carrying him around so he could be upright, dozing . . . when we all woke up in the morning Daddy rubbed baby's back and said, "Poor Mommy." I said, "Poor baby." He said, "Happy 10-year Anniversary."

I know it's corny but I'm just totally overwhelmed with how much I love that man. We both have our faults, and sometimes I want to make his head into a waffle, but I love him dearly. He is such a gift to me.

He's called several times today, just to see what I am doing and how my day is going and to say "I love you". I love you too, I really really do.

Thursday, March 06, 2008