A new member of the family

We have our first imaginary friend in our household. I asked Lucy to describe him, this is what she said:

 His name is Tuddy. What does that start with ? t-t-t. What does that rhyme with? Muddy. He is blue and a bear.* Tuddy is a friend. He likes to hug his friends. He likes to eat kleenex. Actually he doesn't**. He eats dates and peanut butter and turkey and jelly and garbage and paper and ketchup. He lives in a house made of leaves in a town, the town of B__ (our town) in the country of USA in the state of tissouri. He visits the basement and makes noise. When we do laundry we have to be careful not to bump into him. His eyes are blue and his mouth is green. 

*Yes, she likes to ask and then answer her own questions... What should we do next? How 'bout a snack.

**his being a bear probably explains why she felt the need to describe his name so clearly - earlier I asked several times if it was "teddy" but no it's not. 

***She starts laughing and laughing at her joke. 


If it's not one kid, it's the other.

Good news: Jonah is back to his happy, sleep loving self.

Bad news: Apparently, Lucy decided to take his crankiness upon herself. Today was not a good day. I had a meeting and while it was kid friendly, Lucy was not in the mood. Honestly if I had known, we would have skipped but as I am not a psychic, we just spent the meeting going in and out of the room to work on her behavior. Even after we got home, she was just being ornery and then spent her naptime, not only not napping herself but also preventing Jonah from napping, which did not help anyone's attitudes. I really wish 2 year olds had a a better understanding of cause and effect because if she could understand that waking up her brother from his nap is the worst possible way to get more attention, my life would have been so much easier today. At one point this afternoon, she was actually growling at me. Growling! At least we got her into bed before Craig left for work (he's back on nights). And then I found my stash of chocolate. It helped a bit.

Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. That's one of my favorite "Anne" quotes. Do you think Lucy Maud Montgomery's boys were toddlers when she wrote that? It seems like it would make a good parenting motto. Of course  tomorrow's coming soon and it won't stay mistake free for long, for either Lucy or me, but I'd settle for 1/4 of the mistakes we had today. Cross your fingers. Or maybe say a prayer, that would probably be more effective.


Cute but fussy

Ugh. I don't know if we've hit the "4 month fussies" or if Jonah is still feeling the remains of the virus (fever, snottiness, etc) he had this weekend but it's been a rough going lately. So if you've emailed or messaged me and haven't gotten a response, that's why. Sorry but someone hasn't let me put him down. I will even confess to using the Boba to get basic bathroom activities accomplished. I will not take his normal easy going happy spirit for granted after the past two days - I'll just hope it comes back soon so I can appreciate it!

But both kids just woke up from a nap and are happy right now! Lucy's "fixing" my hair, I'm writing this while trying to pretend like it doesn't feel like my scalp is being rubbed with legos and barbie shoes, and Jonah's tummy timing it with his mirror. I know as soon as I try to do something actually productive like start dinner or respond to those emails I really do need to send, he'll start fussing so I'm just not even going to try and instead will share this cute video I just took of him being cute...and then in 2 hours when I'm walking him around in the boba in a futile attempt to get him to sleep before he has a meltdown, I can entertain myself. Enjoy.


Jonah @ 4 months


4 months and getting bigger every day.

You are a super smiley baby (well, not today - today you are sick, snotty and a bit cranky but under normal circumstances) but now you've added little giggles to your repertoire. You really like to be kissed. If I'm kissing your feet and I stop, you'll even put them back up so I can keep kissing them.

You're pretty "talkative" now too. And you make the best expressions:

You've started grabbing things deliberately when we hold them in front of you. You can't hang on for long but its fun to watch you try and get something then get so excited when you actually grab it so if you drop it, it's just another chance to practice grabbing. Your favorite toys are your skwish and your keys.

You also really like to play with a burp rag and will suck on it for a while. This is nice because you've become very drooly and it's nice when you clean it up yourself. You've become a finger sucker/chewer. You often have your pointer finger and sometimes your middle finger in your mouth.

You like to be sitting up or on your tummy. You really don't like to be on your back much. You can roll over from tummy to back but you'll start to roll and then frantically start leaning back because you don't actually want to go over. I don't think you've actually rolled all the way in a couple weeks. You rolled over back to front once. You can get almost all the way there but haven't figured out how to move your arm out of the way so you'll spend 10 minutes kicking and wiggling and trying to get there.

You love to sit in your chair and watch/listen to me playing the piano. On the rare occasion you are having trouble napping, I'll put you in the boba and play for you and within a few minutes you are normally asleep. You love to be worn but you are super mellow and almost always happy even if you are playing on the floor by yourself for 20 minutes. Allthough even when you are "alone" you do normally have a 2 year old around to provide some entertainment for you.

You actually like to be alone sometimes - that's a totally new thing for me. Sometimes when you are fussy, you just want to play by yourself for a few minutes, or be laid in your co-sleeper to fall asleep by yourself. You new thing at bedtime is to nurse until you fall asleep lying on my bed, then about 10-20 minutes later, you wake up screaming and if we try to pat/rock/nurse/cuddle you, you just get more and more mad but if we pick you up and put you in your bed, you look around, stop crying and fall back asleep. Or if you are up a bit late and won't fall asleep, we just let you play on your tummy in your co-sleeper and you'll go to sleep on your own. As long as you can see me in bed next to you, you're happy. You like to stay up late, 10-11ish but then will sleep all the way through to 6-7 before you want to eat again so I won't complain one bit.

We've also figured out that if we style your hair when it's wet, it stays that way. Endless entertainment for mommy!

To summarize: You're pretty much the easiest, cutest and overall bestest baby I have right now.



How is it already the 15th? Today snuck up on me and I really have no excuse since our anniversary was the 13th and I didn't let that day go without notice (our 6th, we ate cheesecake :-). I did get my 1st verse memorized but didn't have a new one picked out. So I "cheated " and went through the comments for today until one jumped out at me.

Proverb 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding

God must have known this was what I needed. Too often I get discouraged with my bible reading that I'm not learning enough or getting enough out of it and I blame myself or worse, start to slack off because I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything. I want to start trusting God - that He will reveal the truth He wants me to know. My job is to read and ponder, His job is to give wisdom.

That is all.


Mother Culture Part I - What it isn't

I wrote this post quite a while ago but haven't posted it since I really want to write a follow-up but haven't gotten around to it. So I'm posting it anyway with the hope that it will inspire me to finish. But  it still may be a while, just warning you.

I've been reading quite a bit of Charlotte Mason's original series as well as some books about her and her educational theories lately and I've added a couple CM blogs to my regular blog circuit. One thing you need to know about CM is its vocabulary - there are definitely CM buzzwords that you quickly learn. Twaddle (a trivial or "empty reading" book) is one. Another is "Mother Culture". Unlike almost every other CM idea, I didn't immediately take to this one.

You see, as a mom, I hear a lot of advice about how moms need to take a lot of time for themselves. These "experts" talk about how you can't be a good mom unless you put your needs first. Often times the airplane analogy is used - in the event of an emergency on an airplane, you're told to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your kids so put your kid in mother's day out so you can go shopping, go out to eat weekly with your girlfriends, get your nails done. And us moms are listening to them and doing just that. I even know of teachers who keep their kids in daycare during the summer so they can have their days to themselves. It seems like this advice is just as prevalent in some of the Christian resources I've seen but in these cases, it's not just personal opinion, it's "backed up" with scriptures with statements like "Even Jesus took a break to go off and pray."

It just never seemed to quite feel right to me but I couldn't really articulate why.  Because in one sense, they are right, mothering is a very draining job and there are many days when I can't do it any more and I really know it. Like, "Oh child, you had better not say/do that again if you want to live to see tomorrow" know it.  Wouldn't a morning away from crying and tantrums and feeding/cleaning/training little people, a morning when I could go to the bathroom by myself, or eat a whole plate of food without someone asking for some of it help prevent those moments?

No, or at least not in my case. Those few times I did get those times, it didn't seem to. I certainly enjoyed them but I was just as impatient when I got back. This morning is a prime example. I was having a rough time with Lucy and was so glad to be able to go MOPS for the first time this semester and leave her with Craig for some daddy-daughter bonding. And I had a very enjoyable morning catching up and conversing with friends. It was a completely edifying event. And yet, as soon as I got home, Lucy behavior had me counting down the minutes until naptime. And I was so frustrated. Not at her, she's two and is in the middle of a very training-intensive part of her life so it is only to be expected, but at my impatience towards her. What is wrong with me?!

Oh wait, I'm sinful. And then I realized that that scripture that's so often used seemed to miss a crucial part of what Jesus did - he went to PRAY! He didn't go off for "me time", he went for God time. And that is completely different. And that oxygen mask analogy is great but me time isn't oxygen, God time is. If I want to feed my children the love of God, I have to experience it. And I need the oxygen mask of God's word flowing through me if I want them breathing it too.

Please please note that I'm not saying that pedicures are bad. If I had the time and money to do so, I'd probably get them more often than every few years myself. But they aren't keys to good mothering. And MOPS and mother's day out can be a blessing. But I can't expect them to fill my cup. That's God's job.

So when I'd start to hear something similar to that airplane analogy speech, I'd just shut my ears and move on to another topic. But I'm such a fan of Charlotte Mason that I really couldn't give up on it yet. Then I stumbled upon some other posts that lead me to the original Parents Review Article that used the term "Mother Culture." And guess what, I found myself totally in agreement with it! I guess you shouldn't judge a educational philosophy by its catch phrase.

Now this post is already really long so I'll save my opinions on what Mother Culture is for next time. Or go read that article above and fine out for yourself.


Swimming, singing and scrapping

I can't ever seem to get accomplish everything I need to get done. I seem to hover at 90%. Now I'm not particularly upset about that, it's just how life with little ones has to be. My plan to deal with that dilemma is to just rotate the things that aren't getting done so eventually it all evens out. This week, the dropped item was the blog. Ah, the irony - too busy doing stuff to have time to write about it. In fact, the only reason I am even writing this is that I fell asleep with Jonah in the early evening and now it's almost midnight but I can't sleep. So I thought I'd tell you all what has been keeping me so busy.

We spent last weekend with my dad and brother, spending one day at the Great Wolf Lodge. Lucy loves pools and playing in the water so I thought she would enjoy it but it ended up being a little bit loud and crowded for her. But we forced her to have fun and it worked well enough. The 4 adults to 2 kids ratio was great - we could take turns going on the bigger slides and Craig and I even got away for a little while Saturday night while Jonah caught up on sleep and Lucy caught up on Dora. It was our first time leaving Jonah so after about an hour I was itching to go back and check on him but we did enjoy relaxing the hot tub .Although I'm going to vent a bit and ask what is so hard to understand about sign that read "adults only hot tub" - why were there 3-5 children in there the entire time?! There is a perfectly nice family hot tub area just 20 feet away. Perhaps is it because you parents want to enjoy a nice quiet conversation away from all the kids. Yeah, me too!

On our way to storytime!

Sunday morning when the pool was less crowded, Lucy really did enjoy playing water basketball with uncle
Ben and she even tried a few slides (just don't ask her if she was having fun, the second I did, her smile disappeared and she said "no" - her resemblance to her Uncle Ben does not stop at her looks, he was exactly the same as a kid. According to her though, her favorite parts were watching Dora with Grandpa and Uncle Ben and eating fudge.

Here she is not letting me take a picture of her standing next to the bear. 

 Somehow she was told she was getting a treat (Craig thought I told her she was, I thought he told he but someone must have since she insisted we told her she would get one after dinner :-) so we stopped to get a square before heading over to storytime in our pajamas. I tried to break off small pieces to give her but she quickly caught on and started grabbing chunks and shoving them in her mouth.

 It was highly uncivilized and obviously not something she learned from her mother nor did her father encouraged said behavior by laughing and trying to take a picture. He didn't really get one as she is in the new phase of hating her picture being taken (haha - another Uncle Ben trait!) but she did let us take her picture with Violet so I'm happy.

Sunday we went back to my dad's and met up with my cousin and her kids then on Monday, we loaded up everyone and a few extra items and drove home. The extra items were my childhood piano and my dad's old leather couch and some other furniture we were taking off his hands (aren't we nice :-). Craig drove the truck and I had the kids by myself. I was a bit nervous but luckily Jonah was so worn out from the busy weekend that he slept almost the whole 6 hour drive. And Lucy did pretty well until the last hour when she started complaining that she was "just so uncomfortable." She told me that the next time Grandpa should visit us because it was "too long and my legs hurt so how about we just be there already mommy." If only it worked that way!

We hired a couple guys to help us bring the piano inside but even so, moving a piano is a big job and both entrances to our house have obstacles (tight door with turn on the back, steps up to a deck on the front) so for a while thereI was afraid I would have to play the piano in the garage but eventually, they got it in. I'm still tweaking the living room but I think I'll like it. And I'm really excited to have the piano again. I forget how much I missed it. I hadn't played in 9 years and the first time I tried, it sounded like I hadn't played in 9 years but it is starting to come back to me now, especially if I don't think to much about it. Lucy enjoys it too but I can't say having her sing along while I'm trying to play really makes things easier.

Other than that, I've been busy scrapbooking the last bits of 2012. I actually worked on it in the car on the way to Kansas. It's a little difficult to do fine tweaks in Photoshop while driving down the highway but I don't have very many opportunities where both kids are completely contained so I took advantage of the situation. And I got it done. Our 2012 scrapbook is ordered and on it's way! I think being caught up to the current month with photos is some sort of mothering miracle isn't it? Lucy is obviously trying to help me out with her no picture attitude and if nobody grows and we don't do anything fun in 2013, maybe I can stay caught up. Maybe not.


The things she says: Part III

Lucy (Listing people we are thankful for)...Grandma and Grandpa and Grandpa. I have two grandpas! Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Melted.
Me: Do you mean Grandpa Milt?
Lucy: No, Grandpa Melted.

Lucy: May I have a cracker please?
Me: Here you go
L: This is different.
M: It's a saltine. You normally eat Ritz crackers.
L: They have names? That's silly. They are crackers. They aren't people!

Lucy's memory passage for christmas has had two consistent errors - "firstborn son" is normally "favorite son" (hmm, is there a reason for that error?) and terrified becomes "terrifrightened."

Lucy - I want a snack please.
Craig - Would you like an apple?
Lucy - No. I want an apple.

Lucy: I want to watch Thomas because I watched that with Uncle Ben and Grandpa yesterday. (Note: this did not happen)
Uncle Ben: I don't remember that.
Lucy: I don't remember that either!

Craig had to pick up "emergency" bread on the way home from work before a storm but they were out of wheat bread. Lucy's response - we don't normally eat white bread, daddy. 

MacKenzie: Would you like some hot chocolate?
Lucy: I don't like hot chocolate. I only like warm chocolate. Actually, I like "just right chocolate."

Craig: Lucy, what are you doing?
Lucy: I'm bothering Jonah.

Craig installed a dual-flush system in our bathroom. Since I'm the one that empties Lucy's potty and does the flushing around here, I didn't think to explain in to her but apparently she was curious. About a week after the install she excitedly proclaimed "I think I've figured it out mommy. I know what button you are going to push this time!" And she was right. Now, for an adult, it isn't that hard - one button has one dot, another has two :-) but for someone who has never heard any expressions that equate bathroom behaviors to numbers, I'm actually pretty impressed with her reasoning skills. 

She got the American Girl Bitty Twins for Christmas. So now in addition to her doll named "baby" she now has "girl" and "boy." She's so original with her names.

Her new phrase is "That's so embarrassing" but she doesn't really understand what it means (she's asked and I've tried to explain but its a hard one!) so she uses it at random times. Sometimes it works - she trips and says "That's so embarrassing!" Sometimes it doesn't - I tell her we are out of oranges or it's time to check the mail and she responds "That's so embarrassing!" Close, but not quite.


Thoughts on some k-dramas

These aren't quite "reviews" as they are just my random thoughts on the series, some of which won't really make sense unless you watch it yourself. Which maybe you should :-)

You're Beautiful - 5 stars

 Love, Love, Love! This is now one of my favorite "movies" and I'm sure I'll be watching it again in the future so I'll just add it to my rotation of chick flicks I've seen a million times but will still watch again when Craig works nights (I could justify making him sit through one sitting of Pride and Prejudice but any more seems mean).

The storyline seems odd - clumsy soon-to-be-nun infiltrates a boy band by impersonating her twin brother. And true to k-drama form, not much happens in the first episode or two but I'm glad I stuck with it because it turns out that You're Beautiful is my kind of funny - the quirky and random kind. I started watching because I had just finished watching Park Shin-hye and Jung Yong-hwa in Heartstrings and wanted to see more of them. Shin-hye is even better in this than Heartstrings and I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed her performance even more if I had a better understanding of the language and formalities. But if she is good, Jang Keun-seuk is awesomeness itself. Somewhere around episode 4 I fell in love with Tae Kyung and never looked back. And seriously, how great are his expressions...and his hair in this series?! Answer - awesome enough that I was willing to sit through Mary Stayed Out All Night, which is definitely saying something (see below).

But beyond the outstanding performances of and and their chemistry together, it also has great side characters. I know I'm overthinking this because I happened to be reading a chapter Mind of the Maker where she talks about character development during the same week but if I look at my favorite shows, from Return to Me and While You Were Sleeping to Pride and Prejudice that is one thing that is constant - a well developed secondary cast. It's what takes a movie from a cute story that you enjoy while you're watching it to a movie that you feel a part of. And this movie has great random characters - Manager Ma, President Ahn with his overzealous use of american phrases (jackpot!), Jeremy, who could easily have just been that third band member but really became a character. The soundtrack is also pretty good. I actually put in earbuds and stared really listening to the show instead of just reading and watching it with the sound as low as possible (so as to not wake up my sleeping baby.)

Favorite moments:

Any scene with Piggy-Bunny

Any scene with Jeremy. As bad as his hair was (what was with the bun and the assymetrical bangs!) I couldn't help but find him adorable.

Tae Kyung Birthday adventures

When Tae Kyung "punches" Go Minam

The grocery store

When Jeremy's affectionate nature is explained by his growing up in Britain. I think I found that humorous for different reasons that may have been the intention but only in  k-drama are the British considered overly affectionate people.

Do you "like" sushi?

Side note: I originally watched the hulu version but rewatched certain scenes with the viki subs and I think I prefer those, although "pig-rabbit" is not nearly as adorable as "piggy-bunny."

You're Beautiful - I give you...100!

Flower Boy Ramen Shop - 4 stars with caveats

First, the caveats. This show is very...korean. I wouldn't recommend this to a new k-drama watcher or one that is still uncomfortable with the k-drama level of bathroom humor/situations. This one has a lot of that, it's pretty much a minor theme through the show.

(FIRST EPISODE SPOILER) Also, the main characters have quite the age difference - he's a 19 year old high school student, she's a 25 year old student teacher. And that gives me the heebie jeebies. That might be hypocritical considering I met Craig when I was 19 and he was 24 but I wasn't in high school! I actually skipped the second episode and wasn't sure I would keep going but I read the recaps and by joined back later when she gives up the teaching thing to work in a ramen shop.

I'd somehow been able to avoid the infamous SMLS until this series but couldn't avoid it here. (SMLS or second  male lead syndrome = where you really really want the girl to end up with the "other" guy even knowing she won't)  But despite the caveats, I thought this was hilarious and finished it in a couple days (it helped that the episodes are shorter than normal and it's on Netflix so no commercials). All three main characters had great chemistry (yep, even the bromance was awesome) and it has a great set of side characters too. Sometimes I think the side love stories are kinda lame but not in this case.

Now I'm really excited about the next drama in the Oh Boy series, Flower Boy Next Door. It seems like it will have a similar vibe and it stars Park Shin-hye and I just think she's so cute, a great next door actress. I'm even excited to see Kim Ji-hoon again even though it took me a while to warm up to him in Stars Falling From the Sky. It might be the first k-drama I watch in "real time."

Heartstrings/You've Fallen For Me - 3.5 stars

Cute story about a traditional music major girl and a western music guy so of course you know what is going to happen (if you don't, go listen to some Avril Lavigne please). Starts out a bit angsty for my taste but that resolves itself a couple episodes in and it gets more of a high school musical vibe. If you've seen You're Beautiful you might be wondering if Jung Yong-hwa (Shin-woo) can handle being a lead character but YB was his first acting experience and he got a lot better. He's still not incredible animated but I think it works for this role.

I had two thoughts while watching it were. Firstly, am I missing something with the parental storyline? I wasn't sure if they were influentially leaving things unclear or I was just lost. But by the end, I had it figured out. I did start to wonder why so many people seem to be going to the hospital but it seems like in one or two of those cases, it was due to an actual accident that they had to work into the script so I guess I'll forgive them.

Then there is the issue of the ending. Some people where incredible annoyed with the last two episodes and wished they had stopped at 14. I read ahead so I would be prepared and actually was okay with it. If you're looking for something fun and sweet, this is a pretty good bet.

Full House - 3 stars

 The gateway drug drama for many. It's easy to follow and super sweet. After her friends sell her house, she works her way back in as housekeeping and then contract wife. Similar to many a rom-com, you have to put logical blinders on but once you do, it's fun. It does lag a bit in the middle when you start wondering just how many times then can possible clean that house but if you're looking for a good place to start, I'd recommend it.

Mary Stayed Out All Night/Marry Me Mary - 1 star for quality/3 for entertainment 

Two guys are both "partly" married to Mary and thanks to the two worst fathers in the world she ends up  sharing them for 100 days as a trial. I know that makes no sense and it is really hard to write this review because I'm so conflicted:

Angel on my shoulder: Mary and My Gyul are soooo cute together. There is such amazing chemistry between them and you really feel like the actors "are" Mary and Mu Gyul will end up happily ever after. I could watch them all day.

Devil: Yes, you could watch them all day if they did anything! Instead you feel like Mary and MG are two people sadly stuck in this plotless movie. At least it was plotless until the show switches writers and goes all Makjong on you and starts kidnapping people and having the evolved characters revert back to their old selves for no purpose other than prolonging the agony. And why did MG suddenly become obsessed with hair treatments - I thought we was supposed to be laid back and cool?

Angel: But I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long long time. The dance scene. The drunken lettuce gift!

Devil: Yes, yes. The dancing scene was hilarious as were the first few drunken scenes (and yes, there were many!) But half the time you were laughing, it was "at" the show, not with it. A indie band that sings a song with lyrics "run run run to the bus?"  And exactly how many backrides can you fit into a series.

Angel: How about I just read the recaps and skip to the parts where Mary and MG interact?

Devil: I guess that will work.


Siesta Scripture Memory Team Verse #1

I can't believe this is my third round of the Siesta Scripture Memory team especially since Beth only does this every other year. Time does fly. I love doing this.  I'm not sure if it's just the twice monthly reminders or the fact that I do it with friends that encourages me to keep going but I end up memorizing so much more than the off years. In the last 6 months, Lucy has memorized more than I have. It's really sad when a two year old beats you. But I have high hopes for this year!

But while I did a good job memorizing last time, I did a bad job document so I make no promises that I'll share them all with you, but I will try. Here's my first:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

I really want to work on being consistent with my prayer life this year and this is my motivational verse for that. Sometimes we search high and low for what "God's will" is and I understand that but it doesn't always need to be that complicated - rejoice, pray and give thanks - that is God's will!

And I would encourage any of you that want to work on memorizing more scripture to check out this fun way. Or just scroll through the verses other choose, that always encourages me.