Thursday, August 30, 2007


Lately Jonathan has taken to spouting nonsense words. I think he's just playing with sounds, having fun with it. It makes it a little trickier for me to know when I ought to be listening to him, though!

A few days ago he said something while we were driving in the car (not the easiest place to hear him). I turned off the a/c so I could hear better and asked "Jonathan, what did you say?" He thought for a minute and then said "Mommy, I'm just talking nonsense."

Sleep stuff

Well, sleeping is still rather hit and miss at our house. But it is improving. Thomas occasionally goes to sleep, in his crib, without crying at all. (And there was much rejoicing!) More frequently he'll cry for one or two (sometimes three) five minute cycles before falling asleep. Sometimes when he wakes in the night he'll fuss back to sleep quickly. Sometimes he wants to be nursed but then goes back to sleep in his crib. Infrequently (e.g. last night) he'll cry and cry and cry and nurse twice before finally drifting back to dreamland.

If you'd caught me yesterday (after a full, uninterrupted night's sleep) I'd have said things were rapidly becoming peachy. Since I'm typing this today (after a short, very interrupted night) I'll say we're definitely improving. :)

Keep praying, will you? I'm a much better mother when I get enough sleep.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back seat driver

Yesterday evening I took the boys to Downtown Brea to play in the fountains. Does anyone else think that they look remarkably like upside down toilet plungers?

Maybe it is just me.

On the way there I had the radio on, listening to the news, until I realized that Jonathan was talking to me. I turned it off and asked him to repeat himself. He said "we're goin' to the Brea fountains! Go straight, Mommy, and then turn." I thought he was just making conversation, so I said "ok, we'll do that. You tell me when to turn." Of course, I didn't think he actually would. But as we came up the the turn onto Brea Blvd, Jonathan got very animated and said "Mommy, mommy, turn!" And after we turned onto Brea, J repeated "now go straight and then turn," which is exactly how you get to the fountains.

I've noticed for some time that Jonathan has a very well developed sense of where he is when we're driving in the car. In fact, if I tell him we're going to place X and then change plans or want to stop at place Y first, he'll get very worried and ask why we're not going to place X. He knows where he is. But I didn't realize he could actually give me directions!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I never said I was rational...

particularly on night after night of disrupted sleep.

I took Thomas to the pediatrician today for his six month check up. At the top of my list of things to discuss: sleep problems. Dr. Miyamoto listened sympathetically, answered my questions as to why (why
why WHY???) was this happening, and then asked me how badly I wanted to be able to sleep again. I'm guessing my face told him the answer, but I added "this can't go on" for good measure.

His advice sounded fairly middle-of-the-road as sleep advice goes. He's not a cry-it-out advocate, but he doesn't think the parents should just deal, either. His recommendation:
1) get rid of the pacifier and definitely don't nurse him to sleep.
2) put him down sleepy
3) don't rock him - basically don't do anything that you don't want to have to do again in the middle of the night.
4) lay him down and walk away.
5) if he cries, come back in five minutes. Pick him up and snuggle him for about 30 seconds, then lay him back down and walk away.
6) repeat until he's asleep.

I don't like this advice, because I don't like listening to my baby cry. And I have a nagging feeling that I'm not being a good mom if I let him cry
at all, ever. It may well be that I've simply read too many attachment parenting books...but that is how I feel. Good moms don't let their children cry alone. Good moms do something. Good moms don't mind never sleeping more than an hour or two at a time.

I'm afraid I'm not a good mom, at least by those standards. So today for Thomas' afternoon nap, we gave it a try. I turned on the "night night" cd (the same one we used for Jonathan), laid him in his bed, and gave him a diaper that smells like mommy (we lay it on the bed with us when we nurse). And I walked away. And he cried.

But while his wails began as

By the time five minutes had passed (with me standing by the door, waiting for the clock to say I could go in and comfort him) he was sounding more like *hiccup* wahh *hiccup* wah wah *hiccup*

And I was pretty sure that going in would simply rev him up again. So I didn't. He was asleep at T plus 8 minutes.

And I feel rather betrayed. Here I am, trying so hard to be a good mom, rocking him, nursing him, snuggling him, sleeping with him, and getting very little sleep myself, and as soon as I give up and go with a method that makes sense but doesn't feel to sleep he goes.

I'm glad he's sleeping. I really, really, hope that it works tonight too! But I wish that a method that felt right instead of "necessary and logical" had worked, instead.

I told you I wasn't rational. Maybe things will look better in the morning?

Menu Plan Monday

My menu isn't particularly interesting this week - no new recipes - but at least I have a plan! Given the way the last 5 weeks have gone, this is a serious victory. (Thomas has been waking us up every hour or two during the night, which leaves me finding it very hard to care about, oh, anything, during the day!)

In any case, here it is:

Monday: marinated/breaded baked chicken with mashed potatoes and salad
Tuesday: homemade pepperoni/pineapple pizza (Trader Joe's crust - yum!)
Wednesday: nachos with taco meat, beans, cheese, and tomatoes
Thursday: ravioli with alfredo sauce and brocolli
Friday: tacos (using leftover taco meat from Wednesday)

It may not be fancy, but it will taste good and no one will be hungry. :)

For more interesting menus than mine, visit Laura's site!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ich Liebe Dich

This morning I've been preparing for teaching today's voice lessons. I'm considering assigning a piece by Beethoven, to be sung in German, but I wanted to be sure that I had the pronunciation correctly (you know, before I teach it). :)

Being a true product of the age, I checked YouTube for a performance.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten that YouTube is a multinational phenomenon. And so instead of finding a performance of Beethoven's art song, I found lots of scantily clad girls telling their (boyfriends? I assume?) that they love them.

Perhaps I'd better warn my student NOT to look this piece up online!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Car wash

Did you know that there is a car wash inside Jonathan’s tummy? He assures me that there is. He drinks water so that there is plenty to wash the cars, and the cars are very small and drive in through his belly button.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Weary wheels

I just settled Jonathan in his bedroom for his afternoon nap. He climbed onto his bed, and as he lay down he sighed, "I must rest my weary wheels."

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me which story that is from. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Neighborhood playmates

One of the things that I love about living here is the fact that we have neighborhood kids. Directly across from us live Phillip and Marcos, ages 10 and 7. I never would have expected that boys that age would care about a two-year-old, but they do. So much so that when I tried to keep Jonathan out of their way (thinking he was annoying them) they showed up at my door asking "can Jonathan come out and play?" Jonathan LOVES them and they will happily play together for hours. Sometimes Joshua and Andrew from a few houses down will join them as well, and oh, the yells of delight that ensue! They play ball and frisbee and ride on skateboards (they taught Jonathan how, sort of!) and ride bikes (Marcos pushes Jonathan on his tricycle) and dig in the dirt and make mud puddles and draw with chalk on the pavement. And even when all four bigger boys are playing together, they always watch out for Jonathan - making sure that he can keep up, doesn't get hurt, and follows the rules I've laid out (thus far and no farther - I have to be able to see you!) I'm impressed with their maturity, and grateful that we live in a place where they can play safely. It is nice to be able to say "go outside and play with Marcos" while I'm making dinner! More than that, I'm glad that Jonathan has kind older children to play with and learn from.


This morning during quiet time, I heard Jonathan crying. This is highly unusual, so I hurried in to investigate.

Me: Jonathan, why are you crying?
Jonathan: I'm crying because my pants won't stay on my legs.

Usually I take his pants off during quiet time to make it easier for him to use the potty. Today I had left them in the room with him and he was doing his best to put them back on!


He's awfully good at language, but there are still definitely some hang-ups to work on...

We're taking some friends of ours to the airport today. Jonathan is excited about this, and keeps asking when we get to go. My response: "After Mr. Ian comes, then we'll go to the airport." About two minutes later, Jonathan asks, "Is Mrs. Anna here yet?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Back when Thomas was a newborn, he slept through the night (5+ hours) very early. And I counted my blessings and thanked God for an easy baby. :)

Unfortunately, he's making up for lost time now. Gabe and/or I am being awakened at night about every 1 to 2 hours. When morning comes it feels like I haven't slept at all. This is not sustainable for much longer, and I need suggestions.

Here are the facts:

- Thomas nurses about every five to six hours during the day (supplemented by solids).

- I'm nursing him about twice each night right now, about every four hours. This was a decision prompted by feeling like a human snack bar all night when these night wakings started some weeks ago.

- If he wakes before about four hours have passed, we simply give him his pacifier, re-swaddle him, and rock him back to sleep. It generally takes five minutes or less. The fact that this works leads me to think that he's not really hungry.

- The problem is not that he wakes up and stays up, it is that he wakes up so frequently that Gabe and I can't get any deep sleep.

- Thomas' naps during the day are still not quite solidified, although generally there is a morning nap and an afternoon nap. I'm working toward making those more consistent.

Ideas? Better yet, tried and true solutions?

Monday, August 13, 2007


Last Saturday was the day for Project Eradicate Mold. Due to leaky pipes, particle board cabinets, and probably other reasons that I'm sure we'll discover later, our lower cabinets had become rather detrimental to healthy living. Something had to be done.

We emptied everything out of the cabinets, bought four spray cans of Kilz, and covered the particle board surfaces. Then we turned on a fan and aired out the house and crossed our fingers.

It smelled like paint. Then it smelled like...nothing. Blessed, blissful, nothing. If you've ever lived with a kitchen that smells like mold for months and months, you'll understand just how wonderful this is. :)

Anyway, today was Project Put The Kitchen Back Together. I don't have the "before" pictures (trust me, you do NOT want to see our moldy cabinets anyway!) but the "after" results are quite pleasant. I put down pretty shelf paper:

And reorganized everything. I'm actually really glad for the impetus to reorganize, because I'd been living with some badly planned layouts and I'm much happier with the new ones. See? Clean and tidy!

I can actually reach everything now. I'm anticipating getting more use out of the wok, now that I can see where it is.

And I moved my baking sheets, muffin cups, etc. over to the hutch cupboard. I'd been bemoaning the fact that I didn't have a tall skinny cabinet for them, and then realized that I did have a tall cupboard. Creativity abounds here, oh yes. :)

I like projects like this. There is an ugly beginning, and a messy middle, but an oh-so-satisfying end result.

A good morning

The past few weeks have been rough. I've felt lost and sad and very far away from God. It has been difficult to be a good mom, because I've been using so much energy trying to stand up against all the overwhelming circumstances.

But. His mercies are new every morning. Yesterday in church I think God directed me to a particular passage: Matthew 11:29. "Take my yoke upon you...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." It was just the encouragement that I needed. God's purpose is not to grind me into the ground with a burden I cannot bear. Although life may feel like that sometimes, that is not his intent. It was a good reminder and more than that, it was good to feel that God was listening to my cry, that he heard me, that he was not far away and inaccessible.

And this morning I feel lighter. Hopeful. Even happy. All four of us went to a coffee shop for breakfast and the boys were pleasant while we had coffee and bagels. I wrote a note to a friend. Then the boys and I went for an exercise walk (and chat!) with my good friend Jessica. After that we filled the car with gas, went to the bank, and did the week's grocery shopping. Thomas is down for a nap, Jonathan has had his quiet time, and we're about to make lunch. With some luck I might get a nap and get some chores done this afternoon.

And if I don't? Well, God loves me whether my house is clean or not. :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mom's recovery update

Mom has written a final post at Sandy's Recovery. It is pretty incredible to see how far God has brought her. She's at a point now where regular updates aren't really necessary anymore - hurrah! Your continued prayers are, of course, very much requested and appreciated.

If you've been following her progress, please go leave her a comment!