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Monday, December 30, 2013

Glad to Be a Mom (GTBAM)

...cuz footie pajamas have never been so much fun :)

<3

2013, you were a good year.  Thanking God for His grace that flooded our lives this past year - and an increase in joy and love that coincided with the arrival of a certain dimple-faced girl I know... :)

Here's to even more love & joy in 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

That Was Fast...

Jonathan and Aug took an evening walk tonight to enjoy both the unseasonably warm weather (70 degree weather in December? I'll take it!) and the neighborhood Christmas lights.

When they returned, Jonathan excitedly reported, "I saw Christmas lights!"

Just to be sure, I teasingly responded, "What about Crickcrum trees?" but he very slowly and seriously repeated, "No, I saw Christ-mas lights."

Is it possible for your heart to simultaneously break (with wistfulness of the fleeting times) and swell (with pride for my growing boy)?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Crickcrum Time

I don't think I'll ever tire of hearing my boy calling them, "Crickcrum trees."  He is so into Christmas trees and lights this year! It's so much fun to experience these new (to him) things right along with him!

Here's a little video I took in the car last weekend. He was in the backseat, playing his BFF's guitar (which he's had for the past couple of months, so he's memorized all the songs it plays).

Bonus - if you listen carefully, you can hear him call it a "Crickcrum tree" at the end of the video :)

video

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Glad to Be a Mom (GTBAM)

...when I am greeted by this gleeful smile every day. :)  

Baby girl is 6 months old already!

Can't help but smile back...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

On-the-Go Fun for Toddlers




When you have an energetic toddler and errands to run, being armed with fun activities becomes pretty important for keeping your sanity :)

Unfortunately, not every place with a line has a fish tank to keep the kiddos entertained while you wait...
Often, my go-to items are obvious:

1. Ball
2. Books
3. Crayons and paper
4. Toy cars

I'm not sure if this is a no-brainer for other moms out there, but in the recent months, I've also made sure to pack along something else:

Yup. Dot stickers!  306 stickers for 1-2 bucks?  Yes, please :)

These little babies, I've found, are perfect for two year olds' small fingers.

They lift up from the sticker sheet easily, they're relatively large, and they're bright and colorful!
They also have the perfect level of stickiness - enough to stick without immediately falling off, yet not so annoyingly sticky that they are impossible to remove!

As an added bonus, they add practically no bulk to the diaper bag you might be lugging around, which is always a huge plus for me!

Playing with stickers is a great way to develop those fine motor skills!

While waiting at the doctor's office, we stick them all over the exam table paper (it gets pitched after we leave anyway).

We make it a learning activity by counting all the stickers.  Then we identify the different colors and count how many we have of each color.  We also use this opportunity to discuss shapes and identify circles in the world around us.




This is a page from my journal that I quickly made to keep Jonathan occupied during a youth event at church a few months ago.  The goal was for him to place a dot sticker over every circle he saw on the page.


You could probably have a whole sheet of pictures prepared ahead of time, but I had him identify each picture and add a sticker immediately after I drew each picture (to help keep him engaged and focused).

I love these stickers!  When I taught first grade and kindergarten, I always kept them on hand to quickly label things or color code books.

Ironically, I don't think I've ever used them for their advertised purpose (garage sale labels)...but they sure are perfect for entertaining a toddler on-the-go! :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Peaceful

If I have to wake up in a place other than my own home, I would choose my parents' house any day of the week.

There is something so peaceful and calming about morning time in their home.  Coffee brewing, a breakfast with some sort of meat, and always - always! - a dish of fresh fruit.  Sunshine pouring through the kitchen windows.  My mom bustling around the kitchen, offering us way too much food, and my dad playing with his grandkids and telling corny jokes.

Fuzzy phone pic but sweet moment

It is never a chore to wake up early while visiting my parents. Earlier this week, we spent a couple days at my parents' home.  One morning, after feeding Abby, I crept into my parents' room after hearing their voices and footsteps.  I plopped myself down on their bed and told recent anecdotes about parenting and relished both their laughter and the moment we shared.

In some ways, I was keenly aware of how things have changed since the days when I actually lived with them.  Yet somehow, at the same time, it felt like things had not changed at all...like I was back in elementary school again, climbing into my parents' bed in the wee hours of the morning.

One thing was for sure: it was peaceful.  I can only pray that my own kids will feel the same way about our home as they grow up. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Things About Two-Year-Olds

Gonna be honest here.  This past week, my patience has been tested more often than usual by my little boy.   While we have our regular ups and downs with behavior, several days this week were harder than usual to remain patient and calm.

During the most difficult moments of parenting (thus far), I have to stop and remind myself that one day I will miss these times...that one day he will be old and grown and out of the house.  And I will be sad.

So in the midst of the hair-pulling and in between the time-outs, I decided to stop and focus on all of the wonderful things that come with being two.  I owe that much to my future self.

*Please note: this is in no way a comprehensive list :)  Also, all of the items listed are observations based on my own two year old.  I apologize if the generalizations are bothersome.


1.  The way they talk.  I've already mentioned here about the way Jonathan pronounces "animal crackers").  I love this age because (for Jonathan, at least) he's got the intonations and rhythm of conversation down, but just lacks some key vocabulary.  So he'll relive a story with me (e.g. Samantha getting scared by a goat at the petting zoo) but his story will sound more like: "Samantha...goat...cry..."with filler intonations in between that sound like "dadadadadada." :)
I could listen to a two year old yammer on forever.  And when two year olds talk to each other?  Oh man, I die of the cuteness.


2.  They forgive and forget so easily.  They say that toddler tantrums are like summer rainstorms - they come on suddenly and pass just as quickly.  The best part about it is that they don't hold grudges.  I can learn a lot from my two year  old.


3.  They are easily distracted.  (Think: Dug from the movie Up)  Except instead of "squirrel!!!" the magic word can just as easily be "balloon!!!" or "garbage truck!!!" or "airplane!!!"  But the most powerful and potent of all is something you likely have to spell out when they are around. Like C-A-N-D-Y or I-C-E  C-R-E-A-M.


4.  They love babies.  Even though they aren't too far from being one.  Jonathan just adores babies and takes extra care to be gentle (for the most part) around them.  I can tell he thinks they are cute by the way he smiles and gently strokes their cheeks.  That, and the fact that he says, "cute" when he sees them...
Love is allowing your baby sister to pull your hair and grab your face...and actually enjoying it.
I'm especially grateful because one thing we prayed about (every day of my 2nd pregnancy) was that Jonathan would not be jealous of his sister; that instead, he and Abby would be good friends.  The bond they have is like nothing I've ever seen. He will drop everything he has to go to her side if he hears her crying, and comforts her by saying, "Shhhh, 's OK Abby- don't cry..."  It's enough to melt this mama's heart.

This happens during nearly every weekly photo shoot.  Superman swoops in to kiss his baby sister...

5.  They are fascinated by the little things.  Grown-ups, with our places to go and people to see, tend to stop noticing the small wonders of everyday life.  But when you're two, everything is amazing and new.  Jonathan could sit on our front walk and be entertained for hours - with dirt to be stirred, rocks to be found, flowers to be picked, bugs to be examined, and butterflies to be chased, how could he not?


6.  They are keenly observant.  Jonathan will often talk about and point to a tiny detail in a book's illustrations that I would have otherwise overlooked.  He's been known to point to the bright blue sky and shout "moon!" only to hear me tell him, "No, the moon is what you see at night...oh wait, you're right, buddy - the moon IS out!"  He is also the best at finding things we've misplaced, which is awesome for someone like me who's constantly losing things.  We make a good pair. :)


7.  They are (often) willing to help.  I won't deny the fact that I've taken advantage of this now that I have two kiddos.  When he is willing, Jonathan has fetched many a diaper for frequent changes.


8.  They LOVE repetition.  I know this is not unlike babies ("peekaboo," anyone?) but the funny thing about two year olds is that not only will they revel in the repetitive game during the moment, but they will remember it and request it over and over again the next time they see you (or the object you were playing with)
video
Ever since this day, he insists on doing this to his buddy - Every. Time. He. Sees. Him.


9.  They know when they are being misunderstood and will try very hard to effectively communicate what they mean until you get it right.

10.  They want to be just like you.  Jonathan loves wearing dress clothes and dress shoes (and his backpack) - all because his father does.

It is simultaneously eye-opening and amusing when you witness your two year old doing or saying exactly what you do.  Like when someone knocks on the front door and Jonathan scurries toward it, yelling, "I'm coming!!!"  Or when he sits in my room and calls for his daddy, "Aug!  C'mere!"

But when he smothers Abby with kisses, whispers "I love you," and calls her "baby girl" or "girlie"(the way I do), or imitates this strange lip thing I apparently do when I take a sip from my coffee thermos, I have to smile.

And *poof* - all of the frustration, stress, and irritability from the moment disappears.



These are the things I want to hold onto and remember from this year - the supposed "Terrible Twos."  And (I already know) these are the things I will miss, years down the line when he is old and grown...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Off the Blog Wagon

It seems that I've lost some steam in blogging these days...so I thought I would just ease myself back in (not unlike the way I used to get into swimming pools) with some random thoughts and photos.

1. We've had a number of milestones around here lately.  Abby recently started rolling over, so now if I lie her down on a floor mat, she's rarely in the same spot a minute later.  To be specific, she's usually on the other side of the room...

Abby turned 5 months last Friday, which is difficult for me to believe!  Tonight she had her first taste of "solid" food.  I think her expression says it all. :)

"Um, what IS this you're feeding me?"



2.  I've always expected the most significant milestones/changes to occur in the first two years, so this third year has been a pleasant surprise.  I think it's mainly because I notice nearly every day the new words Jonathan is picking up.  His sense of humor cracks me up, and so does his laugh.

Reading Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton  (Admittedly, it is a pretty funny read)



3.  A couple weeks ago (right before sickness struck our household), Aug and I explored a new (to us) restaurant for a lunch date.  My fortune cookie at the end of the meal:

When you're in the business of raising kiddos, this can be encouraging to hear.

I actually love the taste of fortune cookies and think the fortunes can be really amusing.  The funniest one I've ever opened said, "Smile if you like this fortune cookie." Ha!



4.  Jonathan has been really into looking through our photo albums lately.  He calls them "books," and I have to smile at the sight of him "reading" our history via photographs.

His favorite thing to do is point to someone and ask, "Who's DAT?"



5.  I love baby cardigans.  And this baby in a cardigan.
What, you don't laugh wildly whilst wearing sweaters?
My brother's mom-in-law, Sherry, is one of the sweetest, craftiest people I know. She's constantly creating things for other people and this little sweater is one of the many gifts she's made for Abby and Jonathan.  I'm so inspired by her thoughtful and generous heart!



The end.  :)


And what about you?
What's the best fortune you've ever gotten from a fortune cookie?

Friday, November 1, 2013

DIY Dalmatian Costume

Since her older brother dressed up as a firefighter this year, I got the idea that Abby should dress up as a Dalmatian.  Jonathan really adores his sister, so I knew that he would approve of their coordinating costumes.

After jumping onto Pinterest, I discovered that this wasn't such an original idea after all - in fact, tons and tons of search results turned up with siblings (or couples) dressed like this duo.  Oh well, I shrugged and continued on my merry way.

My first thought was to paint little spots all over Abby's white clothes with black fabric paint.  However, I hesitated because I didn't like the permanence of the idea, especially for just one night.  Then I was inspired by John (of Young House Love)'s costume as featured here.  Duct tape!  So genius.

I loved the idea of using duct tape because it meant easy-peasy clean-up and a fresh outfit that could be worn "spot-lessly" (har har) for the rest of the year.  And, admittedly, I was curious to see if the duct tape would really:
1.  Stay on for the duration the evening (which I doubted)
2.  Not harm the fabric at all

So I guess you could say that this costume was an experiment of sorts.  (This is as science-y as I get!)  Let's dive in, shall we?

This is what I started with:



Here's the breakdown:

Hat
Thrifted for a dollar.  My plan was to add black felt ears, but I realized too late that we didn't have any.  Instead I grabbed white felt (pink or beige would also have worked) and covered one side with a layer of black duct tape.  (I free-handed the ear shape by looking at pictures of Dalmatians online).

Then I cut them out and secured them to the hat using a small safety pin from the inside of the hat.  After closing the pin, I covered it with a piece of duct tape (on the inside) so it wouldn't accidentally open and prick Abby's head while she was wearing it.


Shirt
Long-sleeved cardigan we already had.  It didn't bother me that it had little bows on it because I knew that they could be easily covered.  I purchased a roll of black duct (brand name "Duck Tape") tape from Target for less than $4.  Then I began the task of cutting out various-sized circles/spots from the tape.  Let me tell you, this is easier said than done.  What I thought might take about an hour ended up taking an entire afternoon (at the expense of a severely-cut thumb, too).

The main issue was that the gummy [note: not a good kind of gummy ;) ] nature of the duct tape hindered the effectiveness of my scissors.  In short, it kept making the scissor blades sticky, so I had to pause between every couple of spots to wipe down the blades (thus resulting in my cut thumb...but I am a klutz, so this may not happen to everyone). 

Be mindful not to make the spots too large (I kept worrying that the costume would be mistaken for a cow).  I read somewhere that keeping the spots about the size of coins (quarters, nickels, pennies) is the key.

**In the above "Before" picture, I included a short-sleeved onesie as well.  My original intent was to cover both with spots, but it proved to be too labor-intensive (and possibly unnecessary).  I kept the onesie plain and simply tucked in the cardigan.


Pants
Long-sleeved pants we already had.  I was pretty pleased that they had feet because I didn't have to worry about socks or shoes (or her toes getting cold, for that matter!)  I covered these with random spots of duct tape as well.


**You might notice that only one of the photos above contains a little doggy collar and tag.  I added some adhesive ribbon under the collar of the cardigan and wrote "Dotty" on an oval piece of yellow vinyl.  It had some trouble sticking to the shirt in some areas, so I secured it with little bits of duct tape.  However, when it came time to put the costume on Abby, the whole thing fell off.  I figured it wasn't worth the battle to put it on again (especially if it would fall off again sometime during the evening) and kept it off.



And here are my "scientific" findings:

1.  Did the duct tape stay on for the duration of the evening?
To my great surprise, none of the duct tape spots seemed to budge at all during the evening.  Abby contentedly was passed from arm to arm all evening, and even took a small snooze for part of the night, but none of the spots were transferred to other people's clothing.
Pretending to be an animal is exhausting!

Since they were stuck pretty well, the frugal-mom in me thought it would be great if I could SAVE the spots on wax paper (for whatever situation that might call for spots in the future)...especially after painstakingly cutting out so many.  I did this, but unfortunately it seems that the duct tape is for one-time use only.  It did stick to the wax paper, but with less confidence :)

Sooo many spots! If you can count them all, I will give you chocolate.
 2.  Did the duct tape harm the fabric at all?
Admittedly, the duct tape again surprised me with its ability to peel off so easily after sticking to fabric so well.  I did remove the tape as soon as we got home, so time might have been a factor.  Both the shirt and pants still felt soft and had no traces of stickiness from the tape, with the exception of one bow on the cardigan that had a little sticky residue.

The cardigan did fare better than the pants - it looks virtually the same as it did before the project.  The pants, however, have traces of black outline (which don't feel sticky).  Both the cardigan and pants are made of 100% cotton, but are different brands (Carter's and Kyle and Deenie, respectively).  I'm thinking the faint black traces on the pants will come out in the wash, but we'll see!

All in all, I was pleased with this simple, low-budget costume.  Two thumbs up for duct tape crafting! :)

Update:  After one wash, all of the clothing looks great! No permanent damage from the duct tape.

What other things have you crafted (or heard about crafting) with duct tape? Please share! (I have a large roll of leftover duct tape just calling my name...)


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Firefighter Costume

I'm not too big on Halloween and all things spooky (My husband teases me for the way I jump even at the scary parts of G-rated films!), but I just can't resist the sight of little kids dressed up in cute costumes.

I like to be frugal when it comes to things like this (after all, they only wear them for - what, a couple hours?)  Here are Jonathan's costumes from the past couple of years:

2011 (3 months old)
Scored this at a children's consignment shop for a few bucks.
"NASA, here I come!"


2012 (1 year old)
The original plan was to make a Charlie Brown costume...but the shirt I ordered online arrived too late.  As a last-minute resort, I scrambled to find matching daddy-son clothing.  I think I loved this more than any other costume!
"My daddy is my favorite superhero!"

Our church has an event called "Hallelujah Night" as a trick-or-treating alternative on the 31st.  The kids gather together, listen to a short message, sing praise songs, play games, and go home with a stash of candy.

This year (probably the last in which I get to decide how Jonathan dresses), he was a firefighter!


2013 (2 years old)

Here's the breakdown of the costume:

Hat
Free from the firehouse's community event a couple weeks ago.

Firefighter Jacket
Doubles as a raincoat on all the days following Halloween. (Our boy loves playing in the rain!)  Purchased at Costco (although I can't seem to find the exact one anywhere online).

Pants
Took some fleece pants we already had and added stripes of silver duct tape and yellow vinyl we had on hand.

Shirt
Bought a thrifted long sleeved tee for a couple dollars.  Using my favorite freezer paper stencil method (as learned from crafty mommy blogger Cheri here), I designed the shirt and painted it.  (Freezer paper stenciling deserves its own post, which is coming soon. Promise.)


A couple notes:
**If I weren't feeling so sick this week, I would have either purchased or made suspenders to complete the outfit.

**Also, I realize that using red vinyl for the pants would have probably looked better.  But since the yellow didn't clash horribly and I wanted to use what we had on hand, it worked. :)

**I'll be back tomorrow with a post about his little sister's costume :)



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Glad to be a Mom (GTBAM)

...when my 2 year old, big boy that he is, crawls into my bed to snuggle.

Photo credit: Augustine

This picture was taken by my husband last week, when the whole household was sick.  I was exhausted but I remember waking briefly and seeing Jonathan smile and curl up next to Abby and me.  And we napped like that for 3 glorious hours.  :)

Someday he will be too big to hold in my arms, or too cool to hold my hand.  So for now, I savor every moment like this.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hold Me.

It was a rough morning.  We were running late.  The house was a mess.  Jonathan turned a deaf ear to my requests for him to clean up his toys.  Abby spit up all over herself and me right as we were leaving the house.  Jonathan had a meltdown because he wanted to keep the screen door closed between us.  I (arms full of diaper bag and snacks and baby) opened it anyway.  His screams echoed down the street as I put Abby in the car.  He then refused to be buckled into his own car seat.  I finally managed to wrangle him into his seat and started driving down the street, exhausted, frustrated, and emotions strung high.

Jonathan screamed at the top of his lungs from his seat.  I cranked up the music to fight back.  My patience for his tantrums was running thin.  I was going to win this battle.

But then something strange happened.  Despite the loud music, I could hear him crying/screaming - not "NOOO!" - not "STOP!" -


...but "UP!"

And even though we were a solid thirty minutes late and everything in me wanted to remain firm and strict and teach him a lesson in obedience...

I turned off the radio, put the car in Park, hit the hazard lights, and got out of the car.  I climbed into the backseat of the van, unbuckled his straps, and just held my boy.

That was all he needed.  As soon as my arms wrapped around him, the tantrum was over; his anger dissipated.  His small body, rigid and tense just moments before, melted into my arms.

And so did my heart.

Because, as I rocked my not-so-baby boy, God gently reminded me of the times He's held me, too.  When all I do is scream and turn the opposite way.  When I resist His ways and insist on my own.   When the things I do don't even make sense and I don't care.  

When I deserve nothing but to face the consequences of my decisions...He extends grace.

No matter how grave the sin, every time I reach out and cried, "UP!" there He is.  Quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

Psalm 139:7-10


Grace has been extended to me over and over again, as He has held me fast and forgiven me plenty.

As a parent, I look to the heavenly Father as my model; my Example -  He who loves perfectly and guides gently.  I only pray to extend that same grace to my own children...that it would point them to the Father that loves them and holds them too.


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The title of this post, ironically, is also the title of one of Jonathan's favorite songs. "Hold Me," by Jamie Grace (feat. TobyMac)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Generosity.

Sorry I've been a little MIA on the blog recently.  We've been a bit busy.


Neon is best.

Just the clothing...

In my first post of this blog, I wrote about my list of ten things.  

Well, I'd like to make a little update:


Here's my list:
1. Potty train Jonathan
2. Start blogging as Gummy Bear Mama
3. Write a draft for a children's book
4. Go running/walking every week & lose baby weight
5. Learn to make pho
6. Complete a project with the sewing machine
7. Download iPad app and make my own fonts
8. Fill up photo albums with all of the photo prints we already have
!!!  9. Raise at least $500 for Carlin*  !!!
10. Finish reading through the Bible and read through it once more

-----
*Carlin is the sweet 4 year old daughter of my friends Catherine & Michael.  She was diagnosed with cancer over the summer and has been bravely undergoing many medical treatments.  You can read more of her story here.  Thanks!

Photo credit: Augustine


All I can say is that God is so, so, so faithful.  But first, let me back up a minute and give a backstory.

About a month ago, we started thinking of fundraising ideas for Carlin.  The first thing that came to mind was a yard sale, so we set a date (no school on that Friday was a major plus!) and got approval from our church to hold it in our church parking lot.

Photo credit: Augustine


We prayed hard for good weather.  God answered.  :)


Photo credit: Augustine


This kiddo was a real trooper.  He actually came down with a fever the day before the yard sale, but kept smiling and had a lot fun that weekend.


Photo credit: Augustine




AND our Team Carlin shirts came in just in time for us to wear them to the yard sale! :)
Back of Team Carlin Fundraiser Shirt:
Nothing is impossible...the word itself says, "I'm Possible!" 


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The week before the sale, someone asked me what our goal was.  I hesitated because I had been reminded of a church yard sale from about five years ago.   Only about $200-$300 was made at that time, so I went into this yard sale with similar expectations.  


After all, the $500 goal was for the end of 2014 and seemed like a lofty one, at that.


How easily I forget that God loves to be generous.



And He works through generous people...

...like every single person who scoured their homes for items to donate (even brand-new and like-new items that could have been easily sold for profit)

...like every person (our youth group kids in particular!) who volunteered their time to help out.  They signed up for three-hour shifts, but most of them stayed the entire day!


...like the mothers who thoughtfully volunteered to spend both mornings in the church kitchen, whipping up Korean goodies to sell (and to feed the volunteers)!

Photo credit: Augustine

...like every person that came to the yard sale and/or gave a donation.
Photo credit: Augustine


...and like Rebekah (my eleven year old buddy who blogs over at Patience is Virtue).  She came a-knockin' on my door one night to donate an envelope full of her hard-earned babysitting money.

And she even apologized because the money was mostly in 1's!


Generosity like that of those above just blows me away.


But not as much as the generosity of our God.

He says:


Too often I tentatively open my mouth just a crack, timid to ask too much, afraid that He might not do as I expect, and fearful of anything unexpected that might potentially rattle my faith.

And every time He responds with lavish generosity, leaving me shocked and in awe.

It shouldn't surprise me by now, really, but it still does.

2,119
That's the magic number.

Not 200-300.

Not even 500.

But $2,119?   That's more than four times the goal I had set for the coming year!!!  Indeed, I am still learning to expect great things from God.

Incredible.  Unbelievable.   Lavish.   That's our God.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mirror, Mirror...

Growing up, I didn't have the greatest self image.  I fell prey to the comparison game, even from a very young age, and always worried I wasn't "enough"...i.e. I wasn't pretty enough, skinny enough, interesting enough, funny enough (and, as one of only a few Asians in my predominantly white town, even American enough) for others to like me.

Fast forward a decade or two and a whole lotta grace.

This past week, Abby turned four months old.  She's super alert and strong and holds up her head quite well.  She loves to sit in my lap to observe the happenings around her.  And she especially loves to interact with herself in the mirror.

I took this 10 second video about a month ago, but these days she is still just as fascinated (if not even more).

video
She lights up, as if to say, "Hey beautiful! There you are again!"  And she does this.  EVERY. TIME.

I love it.

I realized that I loved this not only because I love this girl... but especially because so often you will see the exact opposite reaction from girls when they gaze into a mirror.  "Ugh.  I'm so ugly!  Eww, what is this pimple?  I hate my  (any body part)!  I wish I had your hair!"

I'm sad to admit that most of these are direct quotes from my adolescence.

I'm a big proponent of humility and not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought.  But sometimes we go in the opposite extreme, which is also not so good.

After all,

Psalm 139:13-14

This is the verse I have been memorizing this week and it is my prayer for my little girl and all little ones (and grown up ones!) everywhere... that they would know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  God takes pride in His creation, which He crafted intricately and purposefully.

And every time we look into the mirror, instead of focusing on imperfections, we can smile and be reminded of a God who lovingly formed us with the greatest care. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Glad to be a Mom (GTBAM)

...when I accidentally launch a large blob of yogurt onto my shirt in an attempt to multi-task (eating + driving = trouble).

Just dab at it with a wet wipe and call it good.  Others will just assume it's baby spit-up. :)

And doesn't she look like she can keep a secret?




Friday, October 4, 2013

Blessed

Parenting is no joke.  

But at the end of the day, I am simply grateful for these babies.  So thankful that I get to spend every single day with them!

Girl time :)

Playing with Photo Booth...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Delight

I am a stickler for correct pronunciation.  Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I always feel compelled to correct someone when I hear something being pronounced incorrectly.

Except when it comes to my kid(s), apparently.

Yesterday Jonathan began correctly pronouncing "Brown Bear."  Until now (almost 27 months of age), he has been replacing the "R" in brown with an "L" sound, which is both amusing and endearing.  Most people would probably be quick to applaud their child's correct pronunciation, but I've been enjoying this mispronunciation so much that it saddened me a bit...after all, it had been a token, if you will, of his remaining babyhood.

While there is a part of me that looks ahead to the future in anticipation (e.g. when Jonathan learns to read, when Abby is able to go on piggyback rides, etc.), there is an even larger part of me that wants to preserve them, just as they are now, forever.

Like when Jonathan calls his favorite snack "aminal crackers"...
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...or when Abby's face completely lights up when we are being silly...
Photo credit:  Augustine


...or when Jonathan randomly puts on his shoes and a backpack and tells me he's leaving to go to school (his only concept of "school" so far is that it's where his daddy goes every morning)...



...or when Abby furiously gnaws on her itty bitty fingers...



...or when Jonathan plays with the guitar picks his Uncle Joe gave him...
Yes, he is strumming the guitar on his robot shirt...

...and uses them to play his plastic toy guitar (while singing songs he learned from the radio)...





...or when Abby sits on our bed like a tiny queen on her throne...
"Farm Boy, fetch me that pitcher..."


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I take delight in my kids through these different ages and stages.  They don't have to do anything particularly amazing or funny for me to love them.  I simply love to marvel at who they are and what they do.  I take delight in them and who they are right now, just as they are.

I am reminded of one of my favorite verses -  Zephaniah 3:17:


God's reminding me that He too delights in me (and you!) through all the ages and stages of my life.  I don't have to do anything particularly impressive or noteworthy for Him to notice me and love me.

He takes delight in me right now, even when all I see are the areas in which I need to grow.  Even when I mess up, lose my temper, or lose patience...

He takes delight in me.

All because I'm His.