Friday, June 29, 2007

Check-ups and Fun In the Sun

This is why I haven't been able to post many photos or send out many Snapfish highlight albums lately...

We went to a splash park near our home after the boys' check-ups this morning. We had Gabe's 9-month check-up (He's 9 months today) and Ladan's 3 year check-up. First of all, can I just say that I LOVE NURSE PRACTITIONERS!!!! I have always found them to be a bit more thorough, ask more well-rounded questions, and offer more helpful advice. Back to the details...

Ladan was 39.5 inches tall and weighed 29 pounds. Can you even imagine only weighing about 3/4 of a pound for every inch of your body???? He was in the 90th percentile for his height and the 25th for his weight. Still a skinny guy, but he's so much farther up on the weight chart that we're really excited!

Gabe was 28 inches tall and weighed 17 pounds. My little peanut. He's at about the 50th percentile for his height. The NP told me that he was in the 25th percentile for his weight, but when I looked at the chart I have at home, he wasn't quite that high (actually, only 5th percentile on my chart). Either way, he's a skinny little man. She was pleased with his developmental achievements and did a quick blood test just to check his hemoglobin and white blood cell count. Both were good. We just have to work on getting him to eat lots of solids, which should be no problem. He now eats small chopped pears, toast, mac and cheese, Rice Krispies, and other such things. He seems to want food from my plate regularly, which is a total shift from Ladan at this age. Pretty exciting, actually!

I'll end with a few more photos from today. Have a wonderful weekend!

This is actually from Tuesday, but it's at the same park. These are two of Ladan's friends from church.

It appears as though Ladan is no longer afraid of the water! He's had two successful baths in a row during which there was no screaming when Chet poured water on his head to rinse the shampoo out. And he can also have loads more fun at the park because he isn't afraid to get wet!
You might remember our neighbor, Hannah, from the March photos. In those photos, Ladan was tackling her. Well, now she can walk, and it's clear that she's ready to get him back! Actually, I think she's waving at someone here, but it sure looks like she's going after him!
And this his my personal favorite from the day's photo log.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Daniel Daniels

I think this will be the name of Ladan's new band. I took the boys to a little splash park/playground with some of the other moms and kids from our church today. Ladan's good friend, Daniel, showed up after a while. Daniel is 9 days older than Ladan. They always have a great time together. Today, the two boys ended up standing on one of the lounge chairs playing their tummy guitars and "singing" at the top of their lungs. Then they would crack up at themselves. I wish I had taken the video camera so Chet could see it. It was priceless!

Gabe was pretty cute in his little swim outfit as well. It was his first water fun experience, and he seemed to really enjoy himself. Well, at least he didn't cry. He just sat in the water trying to figure out what was going on around him. He "played with" (i.e. sat beside) his little friend, Ryan, who is two weeks younger than him.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Hear Ladan Screaming

I'm working on another post that will highlight much more of our weekend, Ladan's birthday, my mom's surgery/recovery, etc. In the meantime, I wanted to jot a few stories down from today...

Chet and I were debriefing at the end of the day, and Ladan was interrupting and being generally defiant. When we corrected him, he began to argue with me (which he knows he's not supposed to do). I told him he needed to go sit in his room for a few minutes and that I'd be in to talk to him when I finished talking with Chet. He happily went into his room as if he didn't know he was in trouble.

After a couple of minutes, he obviously figured it out. He started crying. And then he started calling my name very loudly.... "Mommy! Mommy!" (repeats this at least 10 more times)... then "Phyllis! Phyllis!" (repeats this only a couple more times)... then he calls out down the hall, "I hear Ladan screaming! Do you hear Ladan screaming? I hear Ladan screaming!" At this point, Chet and I cracked up (quietly of course so he wasn't totally encouraged to continue interrupting our conversation). But I couldn't wipe the smile off my face before I went to his room. When I arrived, Ladan quickly apologized, we discussed his behavior and what he should do differently in the future, and we moved on with the evening. Of course, he ended up disobeying in the same fashion a while later and didn't get off quite as easily. Apparently, "Yes, Mom" is not a natural phrase for a 3-year-old to say when he's corrected or when he's asked to wait patiently.

He ended the evening playing with the new toolbox and tool set he received for his birthday from Gigi and Danny Joe. He's loving it so far. Because of the rushed nature of our arrival here in Louisville yesterday and the fact that I've worked two shifts since then, most of his birthday gifts are still out in the van. Tomorrow night's project...

At about midnight, Gabe woke up to drink a bottle. Random aside... he's almost 9 months old, and he almost always still wakes up at least once. He's pretty skinny, so I always go ahead and feed him, but if we go to that 9-month check-up, and he's beefed up a bit, he'll be crying it out in no time. Okay, back to the story at hand... I was holding him while he held his bottle. He doesn't use his thumbs in an opposing fashion when he drinks; rather, he cups his hands--kind of funny and pretty cute. Well, I couldn't help but look at his tiny little hands holding that bottle up and just enjoying how the Lord designed such an amazing creature. He's my tiny little guy, but Lord willing, one day he'll grow up to be a man. I started to imagine his much larger, very strong hands. It's my job to protect him now, but in no time, he'll be the one protecting me. God is so gracious!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ladan is 3

This post is going to be more of a journal entry recording things that I'll want to remember and tell my kiddos about in the future. So if you don't make it through the whole thing, don't worry. Here goes...

What a fun weekend! I worked on Wednesday and got off at 8:30pm. Then I went home and packed while Chet went to work. Neither one of us went to sleep at all, and we set out driving toward Missouri at about 6am. We made it to St. Louis for breakfast with my mom, which was lots of fun! She even brought Happy Birthday napkins along. One of the things she gave Ladan was a little ribbon that said "My 3rd Birthday" on it. She asked him if he wanted it pinned on his shirt. He had it on the front of his shirt for about two minutes before he asked her to put it on his back. He kept calling it his nametag, and at church they put their nametags on their backs, so he only thought it was appropriate for it to be where it belonged. People all over the restaurant thought this was pretty funny.

We arrived in Novinger at about 3pm on Thursday, which happened to be Glenna's (Chet's mom's) 50th birthday. She wasn't expecting us until MUCH later in the evening, but we were able to go to dinner with her and then go out on the boat dock at the lake afterwards, so that was a special treat. Megan (Chet's sister) brought her new man, Mike, home as well, so we were able to hang out that evening.

On Friday, Ladan's 3rd birthday, we went to Grandpa Kermit's house for lunch and some tractor riding. Ladan and Gabe were both able to go for rides with Grandpa Kermit, so that was really fun. I was kind of bummed because we had taken a picture of Ladan at 9 months right inside the door of the first farm house, and I wanted to do the same with Gabe. However, there were carpenter bees nesting in mass numbers right under the house, so we weren't able to get close enough. It's likely going to be torn down soon, so we might miss our chance.

Ladan was much more comfortable and much more social this time, which was so exciting to see. When we visited before, he was always very shy and took a very long time to open up to the people and new homes. It was so exciting to see him recognize places and even know where to find toys in each person's home. Gabe, of course, was satisfied no matter where we were and particularly enjoyed all the open space that all of these houses had to crawl around in.

That evening, we went to Danny's (Chet's dad's) house. Ladan received his very first bicycle for his birthday. He was so excited! Of course, he's not too sure about how to work it yet, but he'll get there eventually.

Saturday, Chet, Meg, and Mike went fishing at Grandpa Kermit's. I slept, but I was planning to wake up when the boys woke up. Apparently, Glenna was able to get the boys before I even heard each of them or was conscious of her talking to me (I don't remember), because she came up at noon and told me it was time for lunch. Can I just tell you what a huge blessing this was for a totally exhausted mom?! I felt so refreshed and ready for the day... something about eating lunch in my p.j.'s was just what I needed.

On Saturday evening, Glenna's side of the family came over to celebrate a few June birthdays, and we had a BLAST! Aunt Twila and Megan apparently wrestled and threw water on one another. We played some back yard volleyball. Ladan and Mazynne made a waterfall in the dirt. Gabe met Julianna (Chet's cousin's baby) for the first time, and they had fun crawling around together. Mike busted out his guitar and played as he was sitting on a hay bail... a very cool country thing to do. We didn't see the entire family, but we saw so many people that we hadn't seen in a long time. It was GREAT!

Sunday was Father's Day (as you probably know by now). We went to church with Danny. Ladan had a good time in his Sunday School class. When I went to pick him up, he asked, "Are you ready to go see my daddy and my Mike?" Then he led the way until we found them. We went to lunch with Danny and then went back to his house so the boys could nap before the rest of Danny's family came over. Grandma Rosemary showed up in a very cute and flashy outfit full of color to accent her white hair. And then she proceeded to tell us plenty of great stories throughout the evening. The boys played baseball and eventually got Megan to play catch as well. Paisley (Chet's cousin) turned 14 on the 15th. She brought some of her new fashion design drawings with her, and they were really great! And when they all drove away, Ladan cried and said he wanted to get in that car with "Tooper" (Cooper is Chet's youngest cousin). Definitely good to be with family.

Funny Ladan Story: We were sitting in Danny's living room when suddenly Ladan said, "Mommy, I fell in love." What?! Did I hear that correctly? I had no idea where this came from, but when he said it again a couple days later, I decided to think long and hard about this. As it turns out, it's a line from the movie, Cars, and he was repeating it. Random but very funny.

Funny Ladan Story #2: Ladan was sitting on the couch with Megan, and he noticed her nose ring for what seems to have been the first time. He looked at her face and then looked back again. And suddenly he got a very concerned look on his face. He pointed at her nose ring and asked, "Are you okay, Megan? Does that hurt your nose?" She assured him that she was indeed okay and that her nose did not hurt. He touched the tiny little dot and asked, "Megan, does it hurt my finger?" He was comforted to know that it did not hurt his finger, and he didn't say another word about it. As you can tell from funny story #1 and funny story #2, Ladan is clearly seeing the world with new eyes and a new level of awareness. This makes for all kinds of fun conversations in our house. I love it!

Monday morning, Chet and I left the boys with Glenna and took off down the highway. It was so great to drive away knowing that if she had a question, she'd call, but otherwise I'd just see her and the boys in two days. What a blessing! We stopped in Columbia to have lunch at the Artisan. If you live in Columbia, MO and you haven't eaten hummus at the Artisan, you have to go RIGHT NOW!!!!!! I can't believe that Chet worked there and we didn't get the recipe at the time. We were obviously not thinking at all. I think I'm going to have to contact Susan (the owner) and ask her if she'll tell me how to make it as long as I promise never to sell it.

Then we walked down the street to the University of Missouri bookstore to get a little treat for the boys. We ended up with a set of three little balls with the MU logo all over them (a basketball, soccer ball, and football). On our way back to the car, we stopped at Shake's (which, by the way, should really be spelled Shakey's but some random people from Minnesota or something said they stole the name--crazy) for some frozen custard treats. I think I had taken for granted the superior taste and quality of Shakey's because I wasn't even expecting it to be as good as it was. Oh my goodness! We have frozen custard here in Louisville, but it doesn't stand a chance against Shakey's. I just added one more thing to my list of reasons to go back to Columbia as often as possible... in addition to:

  • hummus at the Artisan
  • Smart chicken
  • thousands and thousands of college students
  • trails and parks all over town
  • a lovely downtown area
  • and friends too numerous to count or visit in any period of time

We didn't see any of those friends while we went through town, but it was really great just to spend some time together in the place we met and started our marriage. What a fun impromptu date in the middle of the day!

When we arrived in St. Louis, we went to see my mom in the hospital. She had her knee replaced on Friday the 15th and was recovering well in her room. I took Chet to the airport so he could fly back to Louisville to work that evening. Then I went back to Mom's room for a while. I have to say that I experienced some pretty severe alarm as I went back into her room. I was supposed to be preparing to help take care of her for two days, and I kept feeling really sick to my stomach. I thought that it might have been because I was having a hard time dealing with envisioning the stitches under her bandage or the fact that they had just ripped out her real knee and put in a manufactured one. I wasn't sure how I was going to be of much help if I wanted to puke every time I went into the room.

Then relief came with a few squirts of body spray. You see, the entire hallway smelled like hotdogs, which was totally disgusting to me at the time. I kept thinking that there was no reason for a hospital to smell like hotdogs. I think it was just the chicken sandwiches they had fixed for the patients, but it smelled like ballpark franks in there. I was having the hardest time handling it, but I went ahead and tried to help as much as I could. I thought maybe Mom would enjoy getting cleaned up a bit. So I helped her brush her teeth, take a "bird bath", and fashion her hair a bit. She decided to go ahead and put on some deodorant and a splash of body spray. I wasn't expecting it, but relief came immediately! I could breathe easier, and most importantly, I knew without a doubt that the Lord had answered my prayer to give me what it took to help my mom for the next two days. It wasn't her knee that was making me sick at all! That evening I went on a hunt for a few things that she needed at home, and the next day I packed her in the car and helped her settle in. What a treat to be able to serve her in this way after she's done it for me so many times in my life!

Backtrack to Monday, June 18... this is the night that Mike proposed to Megan on the porch swing at the house Megan and Chet grew up in. She said yes in case you were wondering or hadn't heard yet. She called the next day and said they carved their initials in the swing. Fun, huh? They haven't set a date yet, but they're going to be working on that soon. More details to come....

I haven't written much about Gabe in this post. He did a great job on our trip, and he ended up getting one of his top front teeth while he was with Glenna. He struggled hardcore with this particular tooth... major diaper rash, some high fevers, lots of runny noses and slobber, and fewer smiles than normal. I'm just grateful that it's through. (The other top tooth came through exactly one week later... on June 26th. Maybe my happy baby will be totally back to himself!)

Well, I'm going to end this post. If you read the whole thing, you're a champ!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

He's Everywhere!

So, last Wednesday I mentioned that Gabe was becoming increasingly mobile and that he'd soon be everywhere. Well, he's now officially everywhere. He's become quite brave and crawls far off the small carpet we have in the "family room" which had previously provided plenty of room for his adventures.

He also enjoys making this horrible screeching sound to get attention. He makes the noise and waits for someone to look at him. If we look at him, he gets this huge smile and pretends like he didn't just make that terrible sound.

Speaking of that sound, he's making it right now, and I know Chet is not going to be able to sleep through it, so I have to do something about it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What is Your "Stuff" Worth?

One of our friends sent us this link, and it's right on...

May God be praised for being EVERYTHING we need!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Big Trees and Horses

Today was an amazingly beautiful day outside. And since we've had some pretty intense days here in our house for about the last couple of weeks, we decided to spend an afternoon playing. We went to a park that's about a mile from our house (we walk there sometimes, but today we drove). We sat in the shade of a massive tree and ate our PB&J and fresh pineapple. There was a cool breeze blowing, and the sky was as blue as can be. (You can see how small Chet and the boys are sitting under the tree.)

Across the street from the park is a riding club, and they were getting ready for their annual horse show. We walked around and saw some horses being bathed and chatted with some in their stalls. Ladan really enjoyed this. He loves horses, so it was a special treat for him. Gabe just enjoyed being outside.

We finished it off with a bit of playground time before we went home to rest before church. After church, Ladan and I went to the store to pick out a treat for the family. He likes to hold my hand while we walk (make that run) through the store. But it's not because he's afraid. It's because he wants to show me the way, so he drags me everywhere we need to go. I just tell him to turn left or right when it's time, and he "shows me the way". He enjoys this form of leading. He picked out ice cream (which he never eats because it's too cold) and donuts (the small chocolate kind--he does eat these).

What a great day! The Lord knows just what we need and when we need it!

Backtrack a day... Gabe started pushing himself to a standing position by the couch yesterday. He's really quick! Man, he's going to be everywhere in no time at all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4..... GO!

It's my new favorite thing that Ladan says. Whenever he races his cars or planes, he says to each one, "One, two, free, four, GO!"

Pretty soon he's going to be saying it to Gabe. Gabe is officially crawling as of June 1, and since then he's been able to make more and more progress across the room. He still flops down after a few moves, but he can definitely get where he wants to go. And apparently, he's interested in getting into all kinds of things already. So, for those of you who we're planning to visit here in the next couple of weeks... get ready!

A while back, I mentioned that Ladan has been learning some memory verses. Well, we hadn't really gone over them for a couple of weeks (not sure why), so about a week ago, I just started by saying the first word or two of each one, and he remembered them ALL perfectly! I knew that there was one that I was forgetting, and I finally remembered which one I was leaving out. It was "All have sinned. Romans 3:23a" So, tonight I said, "All," and Ladan finished with "Have sinned!" After almost four weeks of not reviewing this one, all I had to say was "all" and he knew exactly what I was talking about and finished it up right away.

His verse for the past month is, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1" He's got this one down really well... the words anyway. Chet was smart to ask Ladan tonight if he knows that Mommy and Daddy are his parents. Kind of funny, but you can't assume anything. I thought it was a great question. Ladan affirmed that he does know that we are his parents. Obviously, we'll be working on the practical application of this verse for the rest of his life with us. :)

I really enjoy it when he says, "God created the heavens and the earft (earth)," and "Do evewyfing wiffout argooing or compwaining."

When we pray at night, Ladan prays for different things, but we always include a prayer something like: "Thank you, God, most of all for sending Jesus to die on the cross and rise again to save us from our sins if we believe and trust in Him. Please help us trust in you, God." Tonight Ladan said all of that all by himself (except he said "save us TO our sins" and sometimes he says, "save us FOR our sins").

And, before I leave his room at night, I always ask Ladan what he can do if he gets scared in the night. He responds, "I can say, 'Please help me, God. I'm scared." He knows that God is everywhere, and since God created the heavens and the earth (earft), He is in charge of everything. When we're scared, we can call on God, and He will be with us. And since he's in control of everything, we don't need to fear anything.

I told Chet that these examples provide motivation for all children to start scripture memory early on (as in, as soon as they can talk)--it's not nearly as difficult for them as it is for me. It's very fun to hear your almost-three-year-old be able to articulate so many of these things. I pray that both of my boys will be able to store up the Word in their hearts so that they have comfort and direction whenever they need it. I pray that they will know the promises of the Lord so well that they know they can call on the Him and find peace and help in their times of need. May He graciously save them and lead them down the path of joy everlasting!!!!