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Friday, February 20, 2009


If any of you had a mom like mine, you often got called by your sibling's or pet's names. Most of the time if mom wanted us, she'd just rattle off all the names she could think of and expect us to read her mind as to who on earth she actually wanted. Well, Rhainwen has taken care of this problem for mommy and decided that combining names would do just as well as rattling off a list of all of them. She came up with Rhialden the other day. Perhaps we should change the blog name or domain to that. Then as each child comes along, we'd just have to add a few more letters on to the end of the name. Pretty soon it'd sound like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (yes, this is how wikipedia spells it). No, not really. We don't want 20 kids.

I knew if I complained about excrement, we'd get the stomach bug. I just thought it would be God's way of getting even with my griping attitude. Rhianwen got it for the first time in her life yesterday right at the end of her nap. She's handled it like a trooper, and probably rather enjoyed herself in the process since she only threw up 4x, and got to get 2 baths in one day, watch hours of dvd's and eat lots of strawberry jello in her own room, and got read a book at 10:30 at night as a result. Thankfully, her last episode was at 10pm last night, so we actually got an unexpectedly good night's sleep. We are just waiting for the windfall though, when we or Alden get it. So far, none of us has. I've cloroxed and lysoled everything and put the entire house through the washer. It didn't help that at the time Rhianwen got sick we had already used up all of our paper towels. Thankfully, this sickness happened right when daddy got back into town from a 2.5 day trip to Atlanta. I must say, his presence always makes things go smoother. I'm not sure if we really work well as a team or if he's just able to save an otherwise desperate situation.
Alden has been just growing up. Just look at how much he looks like Grandaddy now:
Oh, I mean, just look how much this old picture of Grandaddy looks like Alden! It's amazing.

Alden now has one tooth. I had a suspicion that it was coming in when he bit down hard on something and just cried out in pain, so I felt around later and found it. I must confess I cried. My little baby is growing up! For some reason other milestones seem to come more gradually than the first tooth. It just seems like the first tooth pops out overnight whereas things like interacting, sitting, crawling, are all long drawn out learning processes. Speaking of crawling, we are just waiting for Alden to crawl. Finally tonight, he did an army crawl to get to the little toy radio of Rhianwen's. He loves that thing and likes to "dance"/bob his head when it plays music (see the video below).

I know, I say "He's so cute!" about 100 times.
We had a fun Valentine's Day celebrating as a family. Rhianwen painted a bunch of cards to send to our family members and then covered them in hamster heart stickers. She gave Great Grandma the most hamsters, and I was afraid perhaps Great Grandma might not appreciate those little rodents, but she loved the card and the hamsters according to Grandma Nanny Kim, so all is well!

Alden's favorite Valentine gift was a balloon orignally chosen by Rhianwen and intended for mommy, but once Rhianwen saw how much Alden loved it, she decided it was Alden's balloon instead. He just loves yanking on the string and making the balloon bounce.

Grandma Nanny Kim graciously came while Daddy was gone to Atlanta to help keep mommy sane and the children safe.

Well, maybe not safe....but happy and warm.
Spinning in the new swing that Daddy made. He's like Atlas or something...he somehow got this huge log bolted way up high on 2 tree trunks and 2 swings hung on it all on his own. Our neighbor came to watch part of his feat and then decided to retreat to safer quarters. I just find it scary to trust a log bolted to 2 tree trunks to hold my kids up. I know, you say, it's probably stronger than those rickety old swing sets you used to swing on.
Our last couple of days in a nutshell. Rhianwen reading and playing with Nanny Kim and Alden wanting to do nothing but stand.

And, mom and dad, you will be happy to know that we have purchased a walker. Alden promptly pushed off backwards and cried. It's just not the same as running down the hall with mommy and daddy! I guess he will learn.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Be Forewarned

This has been an week of interesting discussions with Rhianwen. It's fun to realize that she takes things that we say and ruminates over them on her own. Days later she'll say something seemingly out of the blue until I piece together her thought process back to an earlier conversation. For example, Wally had been talking to Rhainwen about guardian angels and the next day we were sitting at the supper table when she said:

"Oh! My angel is here!"

Of course we said: "Where?"

Rhianwen, peering out at the VUE: "Oh, he might be in the car doing something" (short pause) gasp "Oh, there's an elephant at the door too."

Try as we may, we think the elephant thing truly is out of the blue.

We've had mixed success with poo in the potty, which is better than no success. We had a most golden moment when Rhianwen dumped her poo in the toilet, flushed, and as it disappeared fondly saying, "Bye bye poo-poo. I love you." I thought to myself, "I'm sure you do. It means getting 5 M&M's." (If you've gotten to this point and are completely grossed out, I warned you in the title)...

We found a stunned bird on our doorstep one freezing day this week. It was a wood thrush (not that I knew that at the time). Of course, I felt responsible for it so I called all kinds of people to find out what I was supposed to do. Catch it first then call CLAWS (a non-profit that takes in wounded animals). By the time I got the box together, the bird was alert enough to run away from me. It must have been an interesting sight seeing me run around barefoot through our flower bed as Rhianwen cheered me on at the doorstep. Alden was lying safely on the rug in the house (not in his bouncy seat which has become something of a place to perform tricks of daring and bravery) wondering where everyone went. Happily, the bird is safe and sound and will be released when the weather is warmer. Guess what story Rhianwen chose for nap that day? No One Noticed Ralph, her favorite bird story (she always has to have crackers when she reads it b/c the bird in the story loves saltines.)

No One Noticed Ralph.

A new bouncy seat position. I know I should use the straps, but he enjoys it so much more if I don't!

We've found the knack to easier feeding time with Alden. If you put one spoon in each hand, you can feed him without him grabbing the spoon you are using. This does not prevent incredible messes, but it does allow for more food in his tummy over a shorter period of time. Daddy has been finding ways to let Alden stand and play. This mostly consists of standing him up against something and piling a ton of pillows all around him in case he should fall.

A moment of mutual enjoyment...ah, if only this happened all of the time!

Alden is sick with his second cold of his life. He's not as bad as the first time. He still has a good appetite and good demeanor, but he's SO snotty and drooly and has had a hard time breathing at night. So mommy had to stay home with him while Daddy and Rhianwen went to church today. When they came back, Daddy asked Rhianwen to tell mommy what the sermon was about. She said, "Rabbit ears and Paul." But of course!

Rhianwen built this "church" ALL by herself!!! No help or suggestions from me, and she put a bunch of stuffed animals in it. The monkey has historically been baby Jesus. I'm not sure if he is in this picture or just a humble parishioner.

Tea for 3.

We've had some spring-like weather recently. So of course, we headed to the park along with the majority of parents in the city. Alden was enjoying watching until Daddy decided he needed to be introduced to the slide:

He went down on his tummy all by himself and loved it!

A moment of discovery...the taste of sand (the shovel and bucket had remnants from Rhianwen's trip to the sand area of the park).

A sneaky way to get them both happily to the car: Rhianwen loves helping to push the stroller. Today she did it all by herself! I was amazed that she could guide it so well! Especially considering that this past Wednesday at Bible study she was careening down the sidewalk crashing and veering off into the grass with him. Alden seems utterly unaware to the threat to his life that this poses.

On a more serious mommy note, I've been reading books on God-centered shepherding/guidance. One interesting thought from "Don't Make Me Count to Three": "When you reprove your child in front of others, you take his focus off of the sin in his heart and onto the embarrassment and humiliation that you have unnecessarily caused him." The goal for the child is repentance and you've hindered it when you do that. I mostly try to avoid reproving Rhianwen in public, but it's usually b/c of my own selfish desire to not make a scene. It was interesting to think clearly about the godly perspective. The author listed Matt. 18:15 about going to your brother in private. And speaking on impure motives, "Our children can sense when they are being violated by impure motives, and God knows the motives of our hearts. If our motive is sinful, we will give reproof in a sinful way, and our children will view it as a personal attack or an act of vengeance."


Monday, February 2, 2009

A Rather Poop Filled Time

Today I felt like all I did was deal with excrement of some kind. Spit up, poo-poo, pee, drool, food. I keep reminding myself that my children probably will have to deal with all of that when I am old. It's not very comforting, but it does make me realize that even now I can choose to model a right attitude about it so that when I am old, they won't be the ones saying, "I TOLD you, you aren't supposed to go in your pants but in the potty! I know you know this!" or "Ugh, this is SO nasty and disgusting. Why can't you go in the potty?"

Alden is aware of the camera and has started hamming it up. Most of the time this means, he opens his mouth really wide and closes his eyes and kind of laughs.

He's 6 months old now, and I feel like we've turned a tiny bit of a corner. He's more flexible, enjoys playing on his own, and loves interacting. He's in the first stages of crawling which means he can move backwards but doesn't like it much most of the time. I remember how Rhianwen did this too and would back under the coffee table fussing the whole way. Alden is a little happier and will back across a room babbling baby talk as he does it. But he tires of it quickly especially since he knows mommy and daddy can help him walk from point A to B which is much funner (see following video). At his well visit, he weighed in at 16 lb. 13 oz. (50th percentile) and 27.5 in (I think) 80th percentile for height. The doctor said he couldn't be healthier and to quit worrying about his weight, so I guess I'll try :)!

As I've mentioned before, we've been keeping Rhianwen in church with us, and she's actually learning many of the things that we do most Sundays like the Lord's Prayer. Most of the time we aren't aware she's picking anything up until she just says the entire thing out of the blue. In the video she needed prompting, but she can say it much better when she's not on the spot. On the other hand, devotions with Alden, well, I don't think he's getting as much out of them.

Reading time.

I keep wondering about whether this violin interest will go somewhere for real.

Alden's new girlfriend, he loves grabbing her face, chewing on her fingers, and pulling her hair. I figure better her than me or Rhianwen.

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