Sunday, January 31, 2010

Callie's Favorites

I'm not one to tell you to have your kids watch a lot of tv. But we have gotten into a habit over here...when Callie and Sammy wake up, they get their cups of milk and some cereal and eat while watching some tv. I go to bed way later than I should and the tv is definitely more for me...it gives me time to wake up. It's really horrible. I can justify it all I want. This is the only time they watch tv. But still. I feel really bad about it, but not bad enough to completely cut tv out of our mornings, because it really is nice to be able to gradually wake up. hmmm

So, Callie has her favorites. She really likes Caillou. I still don't get why she likes it so much...but she does.



Of course she's a huge fan of Monkey George. She actually loses a little interest during the show...usually she'll go off and play for a little bit...but she loves monkeys. So she's excited for a bit. If George actually spoke, I think it'd make a difference for her.

Then, there's Sid the Science Kid. It's a little over her head, but she loves the music. She sings and dances along to this little number that they do each episode.




And finally, nothing gets her more excited than Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! She LOVES this show. Again, I think it's because of the music, but she loves love loves Mickey and Goofy. At anytime during the day, if you say "Meeska, Mooska..." she'll yell "Mickey Mouse!" (These, of course, are the magic words in the show.) Or she'll yell "oooohhh Toooootles." It's really quite cute. If only I had started having her watch tv sooner in life...had I only started rotting her brain at an earlier age...then she would have enjoyed Disney World so much more! I will forever regret this. So...here's the theme song that gets her running into the room.





And...obviously we need to start slowing down on the tv watching.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blog Etiquette

When someone asks you a question through a post, how am I supposed to respond? What is the proper way to do this? Marcus' aunt once asked this on her blog...and I just don't know. Am I supposed to post a comment back up in the comment section, assuming that you will come back for a looksy? hmmm Or do I send an email directly to you? I can and have done that, but sometimes I have new people come...and as much as I'd love to know you, I don't. So, being that that is the case, I don't have email addresses for all of you.

What's a girl to do?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fresh Start

Last year I made a goal to read one book a month. I had been feeling a dark mist of misery hover over my head due to my lack of reading, and I wanted to change that. (Ok, it wasn't that dark. But I missed reading.) So, that was my goal. I read 14 books last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is no longer a goal of mine to read so many books this year, but hopefully I have reestablished a habit of reading in my life that is relaxing, enriching, and fulfilling.

So, with sadness, I delete the books that I've read last year and start with an empty slate. Let the reading begin.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We All Do Our Part

When it comes to chores...there's no exception. Everyone must pitch in!
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crazy Talent


I am constantly amazed at how much pure t a l e n t those around me possess. This past Christmas, a friend of mine -- a friend and artist -- drew a portrait of Samantha for me to give to my in-laws. I was impressed with her skill and quite happy how it turned out. I love her hair, her eyes; there's even something about her ears that I love. Is that silly? It is. I love her dress...the detail of her buttons. I love it. It was taken from a picture of Sammy when she was around 2 years old...when her cheeks were a little fuller -- an age when I just think Sammy looks so pretty.

Rebecca Scott is her name...and her skill goes beyond portraits. It would be worth your time to visit her website and seeing some of the work she has up. She does gorgeous landscapes that would compliment any living space. Worth a visit. Contact her for a quote on a portrait. You won't be sorry you did.

In addition to her paintings, she just opened an etsy shop selling incredibly fun and cool pop-up cards! I'm in love. The intricacy of her cut-outs are amazing -- they are just beautiful. Once again, very much worth going to her etsy shop. Peaden Scott Designs...makes my piddly little cards seem so very pathetic. They are very reasonably priced -- especially considering how awesome they are. When was the last time you got a pop-up card? When was the last time you got a homemade card? Friends, when was the last time you got a homemade pop-up card? How fun!

Turning Two

Turning two means a lot of things. For one, you officially are no longer an infant...and with that comes a lot of added responsibility. On Callie's birthday, her Grammy took her to lunch and Toys R Us. Callie, being the new responsible little girl that she now is, chose an Elmo and a little stroller. She loves it. Not only is she pretty much obsessed with Elmo...has to sleep with him, feed him (which has proved to be messy), give him a bath (drying time for Elmo is much longer than it is for other babies I assure you)...but she loves taking him on walks. I love walking beside her as she pushes the stroller. What's even better is when she tells Elmo what he's passing. She'll point out the bushes, the flowers, big rocks, etc. It's really quite cute. That Callie -- she's sure going to be a great mommy one day.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sisters

Samantha and Callie love each other. They're a great match as sisters. Callie insists that Sammy jump on the trampoline with her (which really is Sammy's trampoline anyway) and Sammy loves jumping with Callie. See what I mean? Great team.


Here, Sammy giving that older sister glare to the younger. I imagine her thoughts to be something along the lines of...
"You're so embarrassing. Gosh."
"Duh."
"Um, what are you smiling at?"




What love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Improvements

The other day I asked Sammy's teachers how she was doing. And, behold, there are improvements being made. One really exciting thing is that she is "attending" better, which means she is spending longer amounts of time on certain tasks. The goal is 5 minute chunks of time working on certain things. Now, believe me, I know Sammy can focus on something for longer than 5 minutes. Give her a door and she's there for 45. But, she needs to learn to focus on things that she doesn't want to do as well. So, yippee for our little Sammy.

Also, she is beginning to parallel play a little bit -- she's starting to play with other kids. It's in her own Sammy way, but that skill is emerging. I have noticed it the past few months when she plays with Callie. Callie initiates the play, but Sammy will laugh and giggle and look at Callie, expecting more. It's great fun!

Finally, this past weekend we noticed something new. We were all sitting around the table eating lunch. Something funny was said. We laughed. Well, Sammy piped right in and started laughing with us. She belted out a laugh that was similar to ours, and then stopped. She did this 3 times that day. And it was different from her laughing because we were laughing and she just thinks that's funny. She was imitating us, like Callie does.

So, hooray for Sammy. Her teacher informed me that Samantha will be getting a report card in March! Ha! I love it. Sammy's getting a report card! I can't wait to do a scrapbook page on that...but Marcus has already informed me that it'll be going up on the refrigerator first.

Alas...

the videos on my blogger aren't working. I've tried to upload and reupload this again and again. It's not working. You'll just have to imagine Sammy opening and closing a little children-sized oven door. It's really cute.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moving On

Samantha has recently decided that she's had enough with opening and closing entry and pantry doors (not really...though I'm sure my father-in-law would love it if she did) and has moved on to opening and closing oven doors. It's much more sheik.



video

Monday, January 18, 2010

Influences

I've had many influences in my life...some good, some bad. I like to remember the good ones though, for they have made me better. And really, isn't that what life is all about? Yes, say I. So, today, I came face to face with a really good example. I've come face to face with this influence many times, but today, I recognized the gift in front of me.

Analisa is my sister-in-law. I met her when she was, oh, 13 I suppose. I liked her then. (I still like her, let me make that clear.) She was cute and fun, and she seemed to really like me. That made me happy. Four years has come and gone. She's graduated, gorgeous, and going to BYU-I. Because of the crazy track plans they have, she went one semester and is back home for another. Which, though it seemed crazy when she got her schedule, has worked out splendidly for me. You see, I get to spend time with her. And it's not holiday time. Holiday time is good, but day to day, normal living time is best. I think. It's the daily rubbing of shoulders that you really get to know people.

So, Analisa (who I affectionately have called "Leese" many times {pronounced "lease"} -- because that's what I call my sister, Lisa, and the more I get to know Analisa the more natural it is to call her "Leese"...) and I have planned to get in shape together. And we recently planned to go running tonight. Well, it has rained all day. Not just a little bit either. And when it was time for our run, not only was it still raining, but circumstances were such that it would have been really easy to say "Ya know, why don't we do this tomorrow?" But I didn't want to be the one to say it. Analisa said to me..."If you don't want to go, I totally understand. I mean, it doesn't seem like you want to go anymore." And she was right. No way did I want to go. "Hey, I'm up for it if you still are." Right. I was lying through my teeth! "Ok, let's go." Oh man.

When she opened the door, it wasn't raining anymore! It was pouring! But run we did and it felt great.

If it were not for Analisa, there's no way I would have gone running. And because I would have not gone running tonight, that would have been off the hook all week. I mean, it is supposed to rain all week. For one more week I would have sat on my kiester and done nothing, planning for the next week of good intentions. So my dear Analisa, thanks for your stellar influence on me. You are molding me into a better person.



What a babe.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting Away from Comfort

This past Sunday I had a thought, that later bothered me. We were in sitting in church. Callie was sitting on Marcus' lap. He was reading a book to her. Samantha was sitting on my lap. I also had a book in my hands, but she was just flapping the pages back and forth. She likes that. I thought, "This is nice."

Samantha got a little fussy, so I took her out. In the foyer were a couple other moms with their kids. I started talking to a friend, Valary. Valary mentioned some tricks she uses to keep her baby, Sabrina, occupied through Sunday School, and for a split second I thought "Sunday School?" And it occurred to me that of course she takes Sabrina to Sunday School with her because Sabrina's not yet old enough for Nursery. Oh how quickly we forget. It was not that long ago, 6 months in fact, that we were still bringing Callie with us to Sunday School and Relief Society/Priesthood. And, I thought "This is nice." It's nice having that time while the kids are in nursery and I can really pay attention and listen to the lessons. It's nice to not have to juggle a baby and try to keep them quiet or occupied.

I'm comfortable.

I've been thinking about that a lot, and it's really bothering me. I'm excited for another baby. I am excited to have a newborn in my arms. A part of me -- the crazy part -- is even looking forward to getting up and having to feed a baby. I know. I told you it was the crazy part of me. It's just that I'm really wanting that...and I think it's Heavenly Father preparing me in small ways for a new baby in our home and for the added responsibility we'll have.

But the fact that I had those thoughts of how "comfortable" I am worries me. I know it's human, but this is a tool that the adversary uses on us, and I don't want to fall victim of that. When we allow ourselves to be comfortable with life, we cease pushing ourselves -- and we often cease seeking guidance from the Lord because we start making our own decisions. At least that is my pattern that I've noticed in myself. So, out with comfort! Yes, enjoy life. I believe in that, but for me, I believe I need to more actively seek the Lord out...or at least once I have, and once I feel like I've received an answer, I need to have faith in that plan and look forward to that -- keeping an eye single...

Life's a journey. Since when are we supposed to be comfortable and coast?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wicked Awesome

Arguably not the best picture of me. I admit that. What is my face doing -- really? For Christmas, Marcus -- the dear, sweet, hunk of a man that he is -- got me/us tickets to see Wicked in San Francisco. It was soooo great! Haven't seen it? Well, you should. Make plans and do it. It's well worth it.

Funny part is this...we thought it would be sooo easy to find parking. I mean, there's got to be a ton of parking by a theater downtown right? Well, it was raining, and dark, and we couldn't find anything other than this small parking lot in a sketchy part of town. Turns out, it was. As we were running from the small parking lot to the theater (because we were pushing it for time), we passed what we think was a drug deal, and a few other ....mmm... scary people. We did have time to take this picture before getting into the theater. Mind you, it was raining so my hair isn't as beautiful as it most certainly was before we got out of the car...and I think I was telling the guy to keep holding the button down. Oh well.

Towards the end of the show, I was getting worried about going back to the car. I considered asking a policeman to escort us. I know. Silly. But it was that creepy down the street where we parked I assure you. I was also almost positive that I'd get mugged and I was planning what I'd do. I know I know. Perhaps I was over-reacting, but you have to have a plan. Even in Primary they tell you to make decisions ahead of time so you'll know what to do when put in certain situations. I was just doing that. So, we're fine going back to the car until we turn off Market Street and head towards gloom and doom. We decide to step it up a little and start running, the best I can anyway in heels. I'm sure people were thinking "these rich snobs" but ya know what? I didn't care. I was never going to see them again, and I was honestly kind of scared. I really don't want to seem judgmental here, but maybe I am. Ya know what? I was. I was judging left and right. Everyone around us was heavily intoxicated, it was dark, and it felt very very uncomfortable. And it didn't help that I was wearing a leather jacket, leather boots, a nice outfit...we were clearly not from there and stood out. Anyway, we got to the car and left. After we got on the road, we laughed and Marcus said "We'll never ever forget this night."

Later on we found out that we had parked in San Francisco's Tenderloin...really a not-so-good part of town where there's higher crime and things of the like. And, really, I believe that had it not been for the rain and our visibility...and had we prepared better...we would have found the parking lot that we saw many other theater-goers going to after the show. Oh well. Lesson learned. Find out more about parking before going to the city. It really was a great night!

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Christmas 2009

Christmas afternoon most of the family went down to the park to let Sammy and Callie play with their new toys and run around. Sammy enjoyed Callie's new bike with the help from Analisa.


Then later that night we headed to Scott and Arlene's to visit with extended family. And wouldn't ya know...Santa showed up and brought presents, again, for the little cousins.



Sammy liked her gift, but I think she was just as excited about chewing on the ribbon the rest of the night.

Love This





Isn't this so cute? A little Sammy and Callie. I love these the more I look at them. Not sure which one I like better for Callie. Maybe the second one 'cause I really like her outfit. But I like the big eyes in the first one, and her hair. But I love the little ringlet on the second one. Anyway. (It's not as if I can buy these now anyway.) I'm pretty sure Marcus would hate these, but I think they are darling (we don't share the same tastes)...to put in the girls' room. Love these. And they are reasonably priced. Check out her shop, Tollipop, on Etsy. You can even ask for a custom made one. If you want, say...a black girl and a white girl together in a picture. Sooo cute my friends. So cute.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas 2009

Well, I'm a little behind...I hadn't posted any pictures of our Christmas, but it was awhile before I could find the cord, and then I just didn't think about it. But family, here you go.


Callie ready to celebrate Christmas Eve with a fine glass of apple juice.



We went to Granny and Grandpa's for Christmas Eve where Kirsten and Chris put together food and fun family splendor. Here's Sammy with her Uncle Scotty -- chewing on a cup naturally.


When we got home, it was pretty late for the girls. So we quickly did the family traditions. We got our stockings out (which Callie thought she was supposed to wear. They are stockings after all.)..........



opened our new jammies....


and took a family picture in front of the tree (this is before we changed into our new jammies)...


and hung up our individual crystal stars on the tree.


Christmas morning brought exciting times for the girls. Callie loved her bike, and Sammy loved her trampoline.



All in all, it was a great Christmas morning.

Just Another Day

Well, just another day around these parts....

We've been sick for e v e r.
I have pink eye.
Sammy fell on her face today -- swollen scratched eye, possible bruise on the horizon.
Callie keeps informing me that "Callie fall down car" -- which she did, weeks ago now.

All three of us having eye trauma. Beautiful.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Protein Shake Anyone?

While I was preparing a meal the other night, Sammy got into Marcus' protein powder. Looks like Marcus won't be drinking too many of those anymore...but at least she had fun. It all happened so fast! She had a really big smile on her face when I looked down and said "Oh Sammy." I mean, really, there was no way I could be mad. She just seemed so proud of herself -- creating a blanket of powder on the floor.
And then later that night, she got into her dried tropical fruit mix. Not sure how she does it, but that girl is one fast chica. (This picture does not even capture a glimpse of the disaster she created, but it's a small demonstration nonetheless.)


That's our little Sammy. Always keeping us on our toes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Home Study

Good news! So, things are progressing with our adoption stuff. We are in the final stretch before becoming approved as an adoptive family. Our caseworker will be coming over in about 1.5 weeks and do our "home study." That's where they come to check out the home, make sure it's safe, etc. Wahoo. We're getting closer. I'm a little giddy!

Enjoy the Process

When we moved to California, some things that I was really working on fell by the wayside.

I was really working on being organized and tidy. I was really working on my health. I was really working on becoming a more inter-active parent. I was really working on getting back to the basics in several different areas of my life. We moved and I got lazy. Usually, I consider myself someone who can adapt well. This has always been a strength of mine. However, this time, I have proven myself a fraud. And no one likes that. So, I'm starting over.

There are f i v e things I really want to be when I grow up:
1) True Disciple of Jesus Christ
2) Stellar Wife
3) Amazing Mother
4) Inspiring Writer
5) My Best Self

I will be working on these forever, but I felt like towards the end of our stay in Spokane, I was starting to get a grasp on the things I needed to do to become these 5 things. Then I came here and went back into old habits and became lazy and started thinking "later." Circumstance changes me. I feel like I have to reboot every time there is a new change. I wish I didn't have to do that...that I was more constant. But alas, I'm not. So I continue to reboot as much as I need to until I become who I want to be.

I've recently created a plan. Starting yesterday, I have worked on number 4. Now, I may never be an inspiring writer, but I can aspire. I'm in a writing group. We share what we write and critique for each other. I love being a member of this group, but it's intimidating and scary. I've had hopes in the past to write a book. I still have those hopes. But I would always get stuck as I wrote. Darn plot. It always got me. I have so many different beginnings of novels, but no middles or ends. Yesterday, I decided I was going to write 5 days a week, and not worry about the end result. Here is my plan.

Take Sammy to school.
Come home.
Lay Callie down for a nap.
Fill up my water bottle and head to the computer where I will write.
I will continue writing until I feel like I'm done or at 2pm when I need to go and pick up Sammy, whichever comes first.

These past 2 days have been successful. And instead of forcing myself to write about a certain topic, I just write. In these two days, I've written two essays. Funny thing, a mentor of mine once suggested I just sit down and write, and perhaps I'd just come up with a million essays before I was able to sit down and write a novel. Why I didn't do that these past 2 years, I don't know. But I'm doing it now, and I love it. I have found joy in writing again. And, I know it's only been two days...but I feel a change. And I don't care about my writing groups' individuals talents over mine. I know they are more talented, but that doesn't bother me anymore. I'm enjoying the process.

I need to create plans for all these areas in my life so I can more fully enjoy the process of becoming. I've always been the personality that puts too much energy or excitement in the idea of the end product without stopping to think about what it all entails. If I can start to do that, I think I will more fully enjoy the process. Hopefully. And I think I will be an even happier person. Now, that sounds great to me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy!!!

We've all been sick here for a while, and so I was quite pleased the other day when I took Sammy to a neurologist appointment and she was actually happy. I was pretty positive her happy days were over forever based on her recent behavior. It's amazing how quickly her demeanor changes when she starts feeling better.


I was so grateful for this neurology appointment. Since moving here, things have been slow going for Samantha. We still haven't been placed in therapy -- still waiting on lists -- and we've been having trouble getting her medications, etc. Each month the pharmacy has to get approval from our insurance company because they don't want to have to pay for her expensive meds. Well, we finally got into a neurologist here, and that should make the approval process move along more quickly each month, and it will help for various other reasons.

I took Sammy up to meet with Dr. Duane up at Stanford. I couldn't have been more pleased. We recently have had some horrendous doctor visits (pediatrician), so it was so refreshing to enter a clean, beautiful building and meet with competent health care providers who I truly trust and have faith in. I've decided that I'm actually going to change pediatricians and make the drive up to Stanford for routine visits. It's not as far as I thought it would be, and I am just so impressed with the one visit we had with the neurologist, they have won my business in other areas.

I know this is an early call, but it makes me leery to move from this area. I knew we were in Spokane temporarily, but if Marcus had had a job there, I wouldn't want to leave. The therapy and services there was incredible for Sammy. The level of training by therapists in that area is quite honestly superb. I didn't know that Spokane was known for this when we found out that we were moving there -- but the more I heard, and then experienced for ourselves, made me very glad to have been placed in Spokane for that year. Now we are in the Bay Area, and we will be approaching the time when we'll have to "settle" down and find a real job. If we have the choice, do I want to uproot Sammy again like we had to in August? I don't know. I know there are other places that are great, or could be great for her, but we're close to starting up therapy again, we have a great neurologist, and possibly surrounded by phenomenal resources for her. It's hard to think of moving only because I want to buy a house sooner than we'd be able to here -- and it would be a much smaller one at that. Oh, I hate life decisions. Grrrr

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sewing it Up

There are many things I want to do and learn. Sewing is one of them. While I was in Spokane, a friend (thanks Heidi) gave me her sewing machine. I love this! What a perfect time for me to learn. So, on New Year's Eve I began a quilt for Callie. Technically, I suppose, I started it in Spokane. There's no way I could have done this alone (not that I'm d o n e).

So ladies....here's a shout out to you. Without Heidi Heath, I wouldn't have a sewing machine, and my dream would only be a dream. Without Robyn Bischoff, I couldn't have created my pattern. Without Amanda Pope, I would have bought fabric that didn't go well together. Who knew you needed to think about mixing big prints with smaller prints? I sure didn't. It makes sense, but I didn't know that intuitively. Without Holly Knighton, there's NO WAY I would have been able to cut out all my fabric before leaving Spokane -- or cut it out correctly. You most definitely saved my life here Holly. You're ssssure ssspecial. And without Annie Green, I wouldn't have known how to use my sewing machine. Sure, I could have read books, read instruction manuals, figured it out on my own...but who wants to take the time to do that? Not me. I've never been one to research things out before I jump into it. Not a good trait, but oh well. That's who I am. Thanks Dad. I think I get that from you. Who needs instructions right? I'm pretty confident I'll need help along the way by others, or some of these same wonderful ladies, so thank you from Jenny -- and denk du from Callie -- as it will become her bedspread for her big girl bed. I just wish I could bring this project with me to craft night at Amanda's. Are you still doing that by the way?


Here's me sewing away...just before the clock strikes 2010.


And here's a sneak peek. Oooooh it's going to be a good one!

Callie the Cook

Callie loves to cook. Whether it's pretend or not, she loves being in the kitchen. In the background you can see her new little stove/oven. She loves it. But today was a special day where she got to help Grammy make the rolls for dinner. I try to let her help me whenever I can...stirring, dumping in ingredients, whatever. She loves being a part of it.

You will notice in the pictures that she has a cut on her eye. If you were here, and you asked what happened, she'd say "Callie owie. Callie fall down car." Yeah. She fell out of the car onto her face. It was sad, but she's fine now.




Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Night

...of sharing the room went well. Unfortunately Callie woke up rather early, so they were both up and Sammy was a tad grumpy and exhausted by the end of the day...but all in all, so far so good. We'll see about tonight.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sharing a Room

So, tonight the girls are sharing a room for the first time. We could've/should've/would've done it sooner, but we haven't for 1,000,000+ reasons, but tonight is the night. I'm not sure how it'll go. I'm planning on it taking some time for adjustment...but any of you who have any input (When one cries, do I go in or not? Do I adjust bedtime so it's the same for both of them? Will we survive this change?) please feel free to leave a comment of advice or encouragement. Either one will work. I'm a little nervous, but really looking forward to having a baby-free bedroom again.

And now, a word from Callie (who happens to think that tonight will be "FUN" sharing a room with Sammy)...

n mmcnj cbcbbnjj ghssxdfdf

Callie's Birthday Pictures

Callie's birthday was January 5. I can't believe that she's TWO already. It feels like it wasn't that long ago that we flew out to Michigan to pick her up. But, two she is. And she is quite the two year old.
A little about Callie:
She loves running and dancing.
She loves taking Elmo on walks.
She loves doing things herself.
She loves to color and "write."
She LOVES books.
She can't get enough of anything sugary.
She also loves dried mangos.
She loves Sammy's Pediasure and every morning pathetically requests "chocolate milk," in a tone that screams "I can't live if I don't drink it." (She calls every flavor 'chocolate milk.')
She is concerned with equality. It's important to her that Sammy gets whatever she, herself, gets.
She loves attention.
She loves to vacuum and sweep the flour.
She loves turning the dishwasher on when it's time to start it up.
She loves helping me cook.
She loves baths.
She's gotten really good at letting me do her hair without complaint.
She loves Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Caillou, and Monkey George (Curious George).
She insists on kissing everyone on both cheeks before going to bed.
She won't say bedtime prayers without Daddy present.
She sings "I Am a Child of God" along with us before bed.
And she's one of the highlights of my day.



I let Callie have a spoonful of the frosting I made for her cake. She was pretty happy about that.


Princess and the Frog. I debated over a lot of different cakes for her this year, but The Princess Frog won. I had to work with what I got, but here's the comparison. I know it's not perfect, but as soon as Callie saw it, she screamed in delight "Takanana." So, she knew who the cake was. (Explanation: I thought The Princess Frog's name was Tatiana. So, when Callie got a Tatiana doll for Christmas, Callie started calling her Takanana -- it's close to Tatiana I suppose. Well, we went to the movie and that's when I learned her name is Tiana. Ohhhhh. Woops. Well, she'll always be Takanana in our home. Maybe I'll do some research before I give my kids information from now on.)


Eating cake and icecream.



Reading her birthday "books."



Here Callie models her gifts. Thanks Hunter, Jackson, and Brayden for the princess crown and necklace. Callie loves it! Since Callie loves to cook, I made her a little apron to wear when we cook. I just used scraps from the quilt I'm making her. It's not perfect, and really, for people who sew they will probably think it's ridiculous -- but this was no small feat for me. I just made it up as I went. Oh well. It'll do for now.

Happy Birthday to our Sweet Little Callie Cal

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Callie is Two

Well Callie just about had the best 2nd birthday any little sick girl plagued with a horrendous cold can have. It was a delightful day filled with lunch and Toys R Us with Grammy, dinner, cake and icecream, and presents! I will post pictures, but can't find the cord currently. So, here's my thoughtful thoughts for now.

I love Callie. I mean, I just love this girl. She is sweet and kind, and I frequently think of just how blessed we are to have her. I've been amazed with how quickly she progresses from day to day and how much of a desire she has to learn. At two she's far beyond what is expected of her developmentally, and she just awes everyone we meet. She is beautiful and warm and practically perfect.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking of Callie's birthmom. I imagine that yesterday may have been a painful day for her, but I pray that it will filled with peace knowing that she did the right thing and that Callie is a part of a family that just adores her.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 2010

I have good feelings about 2010. Not that I had bad feelings about 2009...that just doesn't sound like me. I can't picture myself saying on December 31, 2008, "Well now, I think 2009 is really going to stink this year...so let's just get it over with." No, that doesn't sound like me at all. But there's an excitement that I have for 2010. Scotty and Annie will have a little baby boy -- their first baby and first boy grandchild on the Green side. I'm scheduled to run two 1/2 marathons this year. Wow for me. I'll be turning 30 this year. BIG wowsers on that one. This year Marcus will, most likely, get his PhD. That is a great accomplishment, though he'll be embarrassed that I even mentioned that. He's so modest. This year he will, upon receiving his doctorate, find a job. And not just any job, but hopefully one in his field -- something that we could call and occupation, not just "job." That's kind of exciting to think about. With that will come relocation. That's scary and exciting. And in 2010, I hope to have another child enter our home. These are all very exciting prospects for the year and these are the things I've been focusing on the past few days. So, yes, I really believe that a lot is in store for us in 2010.

I've been so consumed with all of the great things ahead, that I haven't thought about anything else...which isn't a bad thing. A couple days ago, however, I was reminded of something. Sammy is 3.5 years old. This week she would have moved up from Nursery to become a Sunbeam in Primary. That's a pretty big deal. Many of the kids in Nursery moved up today to enter Primary. That is a very big step in their little lives. Marcus and I have decided to keep Sammy in Nursery another year. She'll be there with Callie, which will be nice, but mainly it just makes sense for her to stay there one more year. It never bothered me, the thought of her staying in Nursery...until recently. And evenstill, "bother" isn't really what I feel. Or maybe it is. I don't know.

Scotty with Sammy when she was about 3 months old -- maybe younger. She was so little! And she still loves to curl up and sleep this way. Some things never change.


For some reason, I have Primary Envy, a very rare and bad condition. Rare because most parents want to keep their kids in Nursery, keep them young, because after all they grow up so fast. Bad because, really, what's the point of allowing myself to feel this way? And I haven't had a moment like this in a long time. But a part of me is sad today (yes, I'm tearing up...which is only causing my congestion to get worse) that Sammy isn't moving up. And I recognize that she doesn't care -- that it's my problem. I get it. But the logic, knowing that she is happy where she is, doesn't make what I'm feeling any less real, as silly as it is.

And it makes me sad to think that had she moved up, she'd just be a problem for the teacher. I don't want to ever think of Sammy as a problem for anyone. That breaks my heart -- and now I really can't breath out of my nose. I wish I had never caught this horrible cold! I mean, really.



Sammy at about 7 months old. One of her many visits to the hospital after bad seizures -- her arm in a splint to keep her IV in place.

My comfort? I find it in knowing that Sammy is our little Sunbeam. Maybe not "technically" a member of the Sunbeam class, but she brings so much light to our home. And I find comfort in 2010. Silly? Maybe. I know we'll face trials this year, but I also know that there will be a lot of good -- and Sammy's sun beams will keep us smiling. I'm already breathing better. Life is so good that way.Sammy with Grandpa at Scotty and Annie's wedding April 2008.

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