Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Projects Piling up

I've been itching to create lately; unfortunately I haven't had too much time to do so. BOO.

In my very limited time I've managed to cross a few off of my long to do list.

Bunting for the boy's room. I love big happy polka dots!

A crib bumper

Laminated covers for the kitchen chair cushions

Embroidered drawing for Grandma and Grandpa.

Currently I have a few projects in the cue ready to be sewn

1 skirt

1 dress

A couple Spiderman backpacks.

Does anyone else wish there were more hours in a day?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Loving all that strong will

Ohhhhhhhhhhh my sweet perceptive, tenderhearted Calvin. I do love him so very much. He's such a sharp one, and constantly amazes me with his creativity, his ability to problem solve and he NEVER forgets anything. It's quite amazing actually.

Last week was rough and I've went toe to toe with his strong will day in and out. Thursday I had finally had enough, in tears I called Marvin and asked him to come home 30 minutes early. I'm so thankful he did.

I was exhausted, mentally and physically.

I was heartbroken over the sin I was witnessing in our little three year old's heart.

Frustrated that nothing I tried seemed to be working.

Feeling like my child was ………… (dare I even whisper it?)………….a monster

Feeling like a failure as a mom.

Thankfully shortly after Marvin got home and I was able to verbalize some of this, of course accompanied with tears, my sweet husband led us to the cross and together just poured out our concerns to Father. I had been praying, but it's amazing what happens when you pray with your spouse, I'm so thankful for that gift.

It's hard stuff, parenting a strong willed child. (Mom I'm so sorry for all the grief I gave you through the years. Seriously, sorry.) But we love this little guy too much, and plan on trying to figure out what works with him.

You know if you have a strong willed child, it doesn't take long to figure it out. Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about, here's just a little example: I usually give Calvin two choices every morning at breakfast: a green cup or a blue cup and 99% of the time chooses yellow or something that is not a choice. You may be thinking, "Oh not a big deal." But it's like this every. Single. choice.

Being strong willed myself I completely understand this and after being so exasperated I dug out a stack of books, Thanks E! I flew threw Cynthia Ulrich Tobias's "You can't Make me" and it was so good. It was a good to hear someone define a strong willed child and some of their traits.  It made sense how he operates and the importance behind the rules, having a good answer to the infamous why question. Being strong willed myself I say she did a faboulous job writing this book. I highly recommend it to anyone.

So here's where I seek your advice. I know several of you are parents to strong willed children, parented a strong willed child, even are strong willed yourself. Please I'd love any advice I can get.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Burning some carpet

Micah started crawling on Monday, a huge milestone and he's thrilled to get to the things he wants. He still has the elephant crawl going on, I love that high centered little bum, but it gets him places. I've already heard several times, "Mommy, make sure Micah doesn't get my stuff." Let the fun begin.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When it rains.......

........and it pours our streets become rivers.
We never appreicated storm drains while we were in America.
Here's to more soggy shoe soaking spring weather!

Friday, May 20, 2011

About that boat

About a year ago, we were eating lunch at the lake and Calvin saw some boats on the tiny lake.

For some reason he became convinced that his Uncle Aaron was going to buy him a boat, a real one. We tried to bring him back to reality but nothing we said convinced the little guy. Fast forward to this year, my parents brought some gifts from my brother and guess what Calvin got?

A boat…well a pirate ship lego set. Once I pointed out to Calvin that Uncle Aaron did get him a boat afterall, he said, "He did get me a boat, he did." He was pretty pumped Uncle Aaron. Thanks for the other gifts too. Micah loves his Huey, it was perfect. (Growing up my bro had several imaginary friends, Huey, Duey, Louie, and Philip, so this was an extra meaningful gift.) Of course Marvin and I loved our gifts too. Thanks for being so thoughtful and way to go with the boat.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Suitcases of surprises

My parents brought us a new toy. It's been fun to play around with it.

I haven't had too much time to read my list of tutorials on photography but I can't wait to learn how to take some beautiful pictures that will capture our family memories.

My parents also were our mules and hauled 3 suitcases of stuff to us and a car seat. (I think they were very thankful to lose the extra baggage on the way home.) They mostly brought clothing I ordered for the boys, and some I had left over from when Calvin was a baby. But they did bring us some unexpected surprises. We devoured the twizzlers, and reeces and they also brought some Dr. Pepper and 2 bottles of Squirt, which happens to be my most favorite soda. Mom brought me so much felt; I can't wait to do a few projects that require felt when I have some time. Thanks mom and Dad, you saved us a TON of money by bringing clothes for the boys.

Thank you Harry and Kathy for once again loving on the boys. We love all the new books; Calvin's been busy working on his new coloring book. I can't wait to take our new game outside this summer; it's been a bit too wet on our playground to give it a try outdoors yet.

Lacey thank you for loving us with your gifts. I loved the fabric and Calvin adores his new shirt. He had to wear it on Easter, the day after we gave it to him. Also the shirt you got for Micah has helped clothe our boy who is rapidly growing out of all his long sleeved clothing, and we're not quite to short sleeved weather yet. Thank you so much. You're such a thoughtful friend.

Grandpa and Grandma thank you so much for the cowboy hats. They are already worn daily. Thank you also for the books and clothes for the boys. You've blessed us so much.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

7 times as sweet

How can it be that Micah is already 7 months old? It seems like just yesterday we were just getting to know this little man and today I know so much about his likes and dislikes.

He's certainly an active baby; he does not stop moving until he falls asleep.

He's sitting like a champion now and even lunging out and getting on his hands and knees.

The boy desperately wants to crawl….forward that is. His attempts usually get him the opposite direction but he's getting SO close.

He loves to stand and is very, very close to pulling himself up to a stand, he can already pull himself to his knees.

He loves bath time. Today he almost lunged out of my arms to get to the water, like I said he's a squirmy one.

He got to celebrate his ½ birthday by meeting grandpa and grandma T. They loved his little kissable cheeks as much as we do.

He also showed them his happy tongue. He generally sticks out his tongue and smirks when he's having a good time.

He devoured his first taste of baby cereal, and so far has loved bananas, pears, and carrots. He's not sure what to think of avocado.

He loves his jonny jump up. Loves it even more when his brother is dancing in the living room and he's in his jumper.

Started saying "Ba, ba, ba, ma, ma, ma" when he wants to be picked up.

As wiggly as he is, he still loves to be held and walked around.

His hair is starting to grow.

Finally he's topping the scale at 21#s and 28 3/4 inches long.

I'm savoring this sweet little 7 month old.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Investing in our family

Marvin finally was able to pick out his Christmas present, a TENT and a few supplies that we need to go camping. Now anyone who knows me knows I am not a camper, in fact when presented with this option I would decline every. single. time. However we have two little boys, and I have a husband who also adores the great outdoors. When I think about Calvin having the opportunity to tromp around in the mountains, getting excited over sleeping in a tent, it changes my attitude. So I'm actually excited to camp as a family. Here's to lots of family memories!

Marvin was so excited (although if you asked him, he say he did it for Calvin) he had to set it up in our living room, well only half way it's a pretty big tent with a neat set up. Two seperate sleeping rooms and a little space in the middle where you can stand up and put a few things. We hope to make our first family camping trip the end of this month.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Part Kangaroo

My parents bought this little jumper ("hepticopter" as Calvin calls it) for Micah after seeing how active he was and how much he enjoyed jumping on our laps. Oh my goodness does that boy love it.

Thanks mom and dad it's been such a blessing and he loves spinning and jumping, I'd say it was a great purchase.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The windy day

Marvin's mom brought Calvin the coolest kite when they visited us this fall. Unfortunately we hardly ever have any wind, which makes kite flying pretty difficult. We had a break from the rain the other day so I took the boys outside; once we stepped out on the playground I felt wind, so we rushed back upstairs to get the kite. I'm such a horrible kite flyer, but we had fun with it, and Micah had fun watching me run around like crazy person, as I'm sure most of our neighbors did too.

We also brought it with us on a trip we made last week and it was the perfect thing to get some wiggles out. It certainly helped make the 6 hour drive easier. Thanks Kathy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Love at First Bite

While my parents were here Micah got his first taste of real food and he LOVED it. He was ready for food. By day two he had it figured out.

He continues to love food, but absolutely loves drinking water from a cup. He's splashed himself pretty good a few times due to his eagerness, which makes him laugh and leaves the biggest grin you can imagine on his face.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Easter 2011

It was so fun to have my parents here for Calvin's first Easter where he can really understand much. Rewind a few months and his favorite bible story was the empty tomb. He was glued to it. So this year I really wanted to do resurrection rolls with him. We had friends over for dinner and decided to just do it with them too. He was pretty impressed and loved seeing the empty tomb. I hope that will be a tradition we keep for a while.

Easter morning we had an early gathering with other foreigners in town. It was a great time and glad to celebrate together. I'm glad my parents could meet so many of our ex pat friends too.

The rest of Easter was pretty mellow, after we spent some time resting and my parents packed, Calvin hunted for eggs. Mom and Calvin had fun doing a few Easter crafts on Saturday, and they had a few practice egg hunts so he had some experience under his belt when it came time to the eggs that mattered. Calvin enjoyed all the goodies inside the eggs and oddly hasn't asked about them as much as I thought he would.

I made ham and kept everything very simple. The last think I wanted to do was to slave in the kitchen on their last day here. My parents brought us some jello so we could make my favorite jello ever, Rainbow jello. For some reason a holiday with my family is not complete unless you have some sort of jello involved. It was a good way to end their time with us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Since spring appeared a few weeks ago, I receive flowers almost every day. Usually they look something like this:

And to be honest I love them and a baby food jar works perfectly for their vase. It's okay to be jealous.

Since we're on the topic of dandelions, this week we were on a walk and all of a sudden Calvin finally spotted a white dandelion, the kind you can blow, and with so much excitement and wide eyes said "I knew it! I knew they'd be here!" They've added so much excitement to our walks.

A while back I asked Marvin if he could put up a few more shelves on our balcony off of our kitchen. Since we weren't sure if our landlord would sell our apartment we held off on a few projects like these. But guess what this girl got for Mother's Day, the best gift ever, shelves. **This weirdness is not new when I was 10, I didn't request any toys for my birthday but a day bed.** 

To further show how weird I am Marvin also put up a new shower holder, now we can take showers like normal people and don't have to hold the sprayer. I am still pretty pumped about these two additions. Thanks for rocking my Mother's Day this year honey.

Apparently shelves and a new shower aren't enough presents; the boys outdid themselves this year and brought home the most beautiful Calla Lilies are, they are such a beautiful unique flowers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poop mountain.

We took my parents on a little excursion outside of town to the mountains. We stopped by the Blue Lakes, had some lunch then drove on up to some ruins of an old city.

It was cold so I stayed in the van with Micah while the rest of them hiked up to one of the old defense fortresses. 

There were lots of cows, and sheep. They even woke up the shepherd who was sleeping behind a rock. Marvin had a great chat with a slightly inebriated shepherd then they kept on going. 

Micah had great time playing in the van then it was time to feed him, so while I'm feeding himthere was a knock on the window and Marvin's shepherd friend is standing there. Talk about awkward, but he didn't care. I had a nice chat before he made his way further down the road where he stopped to rest again.

So we were telling our friends how we went to the mountains, and Calvin piped up and said. "Yeah we didn't go to the Snow Mountains; we went to the Poop Mountains." He's requested the next time we go we go to the Snow Mountains instead. Apparently he wasn't a fan of dodging poop the way up and down.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mom and Dad in Nineveh

We were able to meet my parents in their stop over city and enjoyed some time touring. Both boys were troopers through our long hike all over the city.

Calvin was glued to my dad; the candy in his pocket helped to reinforce that connection.

Micah won their hearts instantly.

We enjoyed some yummy western food while we were there too. My parents traveled all the way around the world and the first place we take them to is McDonalds, classic. Thanks for humoring us.

We traveled back to Nineveh together. We're so glad we were able to travel with them. We tried out a new airport since tickets were almost half as much as it is to fly out of our city, and the plane was even a Boeing. It was a wonderful drive and a hassle free experience. Plus people were helpful and nice.

We ate a lot. They had to a taste of the local cuisine.

It was much different than their last trip, to the place where the boys were born. Grey pretty much sums up our city. They also got to experience our "beautiful" spring weather, grey, dreary and wet.

We showed them the places we frequently shop and eat.

Our neighbor's son got married.

They slaughtered a sheep outside our building.

They met some of our friends, saw where Marvin works and got to meet our language teacher.

We invited some friends over. They saw how much work it is to entertain, although thanks to my mom the dishes were done in record timing.

Were invited to a meal where they got to experience the big fat Greek wedding hospitality. Did I mention we ate a lot?

We went to the mountains.

They spent lots of hours playing cars with Calvin and game.

Micah spent a lot of time playing with Grandma and Grandpa too.

Decorated Eggs and made some cookies. Mom got to see Calvin's love for sprinkles.

Celebrated Easter.

Then had to say goodbye.

That never gets easier.

Thanks for coming mom and dad. We loved having you, Calvin's already talking about the next time you come to his house.

(Oh and dad our neighbor slaughtered another lamb this past weekend.)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Being a Mom and having a mom

Marvin left today for a weeklong trip out of the country. So I'm hanging solo with the boys this week. I'm really praying that it will be a good week, filled with wonderful memories. This morning I was praying for patience and asking Father to give me a willingness to set aside the dishes or cleaning and say yes to a few more requests this week. I've found myself recently saying no a whole lot more than I should and would love to work on it. When I look back on these precious years I don't want to remember having a clean house, but instead the hours playing legos, the countless candy land games, the wonder and discoveries found in the great outdoors. So I'm going to work on some balance because the other stuff is important and necessary but I want to be intentional to play with my kids too. This mom stuff is tough to figure out sometimes.

My parents came a few weeks ago and it was great having them here. I am a little jealous of all of you out there who regularly have these visits built into you lives. The little things were the BIGGEST blessings. Like how my mom did almost all my dishes, THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM, I really loved the break in dish department.

There's just something about having your mom close that is comforting. Mom you blessed me tremendously, thank you for loving the boys, playing games with them, holding a fussy baby, moping my floor, you truly gave me a break and one that was very timely.

I'm so grateful that my parents made the long trip to come visit us. It was a blissful 2 weeks. Since we live so far away from our family it makes us treasure our time with them when we are together.

So today I'd like to thank both our moms who decided to support us on this journey and to embrace how they can be a part of their grandchildren's lives rather than be sad and distant. I know it's not easy, and I know it's not a relationship you had envisioned when you became a grandmother. All the skype calls, the cards, the emails, the packages, the long flights to come and see us are so appreciated. We feel blessed to call you our moms.

Happy Mother's Day. We love you!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Wow, time has flown, but I love every piece of our 6 month Micah man.

Micah's settled into a good groove as far as naps, FINALLY!!! Unfortunately these must be done at home in a quiet apartment, easier said than done friends. But he occasionally surprises us and naps well in the Ergo or stroller, the trick is to keep him asleep long enough for a good nap.

He's sitting pretty well, and still topples occasionally. Mostly to the front, when he face plants as he is attempting to reach a toy a little bit beyond his reach.

He loves, loves, loves his crinkly books, chewing on the links, and sitting up.

He started chillin' in his high chair while I prepare dinner, or while we eat meals. The first time I set him in there I just couldn't believe he was old enough for it.

He's starting to get his belly off the ground more, and soon will be rocking on his hands and knees.

He's the splashing king, and loves it when he splashes himself in the face with water.

He adores his big brother. Calvin can really get him giggling by just dancing and singing. So sweet.

He however did not enjoy the Metro during rush hour, while we were visiting a big city. So thankful for our quiet little city.

He loves being held and walked around. He's still logging some Ergo hours each day while I get house work done.

He's my bouncing boy, he loves to bounce on my lap, maybe we should buy that Jonny jump up after all.

Almost every meal this past month where he's sitting in his high chair he watches intently while we ate.

Still revolts every time I clean out his nose, a daily task, and when it comes time to getting dressed.

And for the records he's 19#s and 27.25 inches long

Has the sweetest puppy dog eyes and such kissable cheeks, don't you agree?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Forgive me


Hello sweet blog of mine. How have you been? I've certainly missed you. I've had so many posts whirling around in my head, but never enough time to pound them out. Here's to some blogging catch up, I hope it won't be so long between posts next time.