Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joe's Advent Words

I could do some whining about Sophie and Jossie having a stomach bug...again, but I think it would be more beneficial for me to post a note Joe wrote to a friend. I found it deeply meaningful and profound (if I do say so).

I will not pretend that Anj and I have suffered nearly as much as other families that we know. However, our recent experience with Sophia has been coming to a poignant climax during this Advent.

I had thought through my own response to bad news like a serious diagnosis in my own life. I had a carefully planned heroism all worked out. It was fueled by my own critiques of lots of other people and how they had worked through things both well and poorly. When the monster of disease came to my house however, I was not prepared for it to come for my 5 year old girl. I was completely without a plan. I have been left only to watch in awe as she wrestles with things that have bested many older and wiser than her.

She has struggled with behavior problems, she has had a lot of questions and comments about death, she is constantly reminded of her own and everyone else's mortality. She was always a melancholy and a bit of a mini-philosopher. Now she actually wrestles with questions like mortality and the goodness of God. We have begun to teach her about spiritual warfare and standing against thoughts from the enemy. Not something you normally teach at 5. She didn’t pick the fight though.

As children, we are infinite as far as we know. We can hardly conceive of our own ending. Until something happens which introduces life-threatening trauma to a child. Suddenly, their infinity is limited and they are faced with their own frailty.

Here is the amazing thing. From my own vantage point, I can see that this "limiting" disease has caused Sophia's spirit to sprout wings like never before. She has a familiarity with Christ that I have not found in some adults. She does not question God's goodness or fairness. She says (direct quote), "I know Jesus can heal me, but if He doesn't yet, I'll still just trust Him anyway. He knows what to do." I didn't coach one word of that.

There is something of the Incarnation in this thing she is going through. Christ chose to leave His invincibility, to take on vulnerability that we might follow Him to immortality again.

When we refuse the unfairness of the world and live with “happy-faith vision” we stand and watch the dying Christ. Not participating, but wondering what He did to get Himself crucified; how His faith must have faltered somehow.

When we “face the pain” we take up our cross and, in partaking of our own vulnerability, we partake in some of the death of Christ. Here is the deep magic though: because it is the death of Christ at work in us, our wounds are imbued with the hope of resurrection. Our wounds are no longer the senseless, unfair, and hopeless curse that they are to the rest of the world.

Appropriately, at Christmas I find myself following a child through this journey. John Milton wrote in his work about the Nativity that every worshipped demon and false god felt “The dreaded infant’s hand” from the moment of His birth. Even the babe in the manger was threatening to their kingdoms.

The other day, I was in the kitchen making drinks for dinner. Sophia and Jossie were at the table starting their dinner. Sophia decided to take it upon herself to pray before the meal. I overheard her prayer: “Jesus you are SOO big and you are always with us. Jesus you are just so good to us and you love us and you are so strong. Thanks for being so good.” This was not our normal prayer, this was straight unadulterated worship from a tested soul – at the age of 5.

It hit me like a punch in the stomach, brought tears to my eyes and I stopped pouring drinks. I heard the Holy Spirit say this: “That is the sound of giants falling in the spirit. The evil one will rue the day he ever picked a fight with that one.” The Holy Spirit was cheering on my 5 year old in her own battle.

There are still lots of things that are hard about it, but the deep magic has started to take hold. In her strong moments, Sophia has even started to relish the battle. The wounds of Christ have made her wounds mean something.

After watching her, I echo your call:

Face the pain.

Embrace the cross.

Let the death come.

Let the Christ child be born in you again.

Smile, and do it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Here

We're still here and making it.

Christmas preparations have such a way of taking every bit of mental energy from us, yet it is not what is supposed to be for this season.

Trying desperately to maintain that appreciation and awe of a very special "Silent Night." And, not just worry about if we've bought the right gifts.

How to teach the kids the art of celebration and relaxing, as well as putting others first. Ahh...the pressures of a parent! :-)

More on life later. Much too tired tonight, but haven't completely forgotten the blog.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not to jump the gun, as they say...

It seems we've had a much better weekend. I hate to speak too soon and assume it's all behind us, as weekends are usually easier with two of us tackling the parental duties. We've had a few outside inputs (as in teachings, conversations, etc.) and they gave us enough inspiration to really be clear with the girlies on what we were expecting, consequences they could expect, praise, rewards, etc. I feel like we usually are clear, but maybe we've put it in a fresh way that they are responding to. Maybe it's just a fluke (I sure hope not), but good behavior definitely feels good right now.

We've had some cute moments this weekend.

We went to a square dance last night. It was in a barn in the country. And when we got out of our car, Sophia looked up at the sky and said, "What are all of those flashing lights? Are they all planes, or something?" I laughed. "No, Honey, those are called stars." City folks we are, I guess. Of course it's not like we're outside during the nightime much with them. She had a great time at the dance. And even started to do better about responding to adults who talk to her, without just looking away.

Jossie had a great time at the dance too; couldn't stop dancing and twirling all the way to the car. Jossie also bonked her head a dozen times at least this weekend. That isn't actually news, just one of those funny facts about her. She can't walk through a doorway without hitting one side of it, or running into the doorknob. She can't watch a movie without walking on the couch or wiggling and eventually falling off of her chair. This morning we were all loudly singing Christmas carols, and she hushed us all so we could hear her song that she was making up, "Quiet! I want you to hear my song!" "Holy Spirit," (Sang very loudly and emphatically, then takes a very deep breath...very serious face here too) "In the Manger!" "Ok, that's all. I'm going to go sing it for Daddy in the shower now."

The other day, I was needing a snuggle moment, so I was laying on her floor, and I pulled her to me and we were both staring at the clouds painted on the ceiling. I said with deep meaning in my voice and heart, "Sometime, Mommy wants to go lay on a grassy hill and look at real clouds with you. Just you and me." (Expecting a meaningful reply here...) "OK Mommy. Can I go now?" She's a stitch.

Norah has been so sweet and fun too. She's starting to enjoy cleaning up her messes. She likes to get a sticker on her hand for helping to pick up her toys. She also really wants to be included in anything her big sissies do. She loves to hold babies, which she's good at calling "Baby." And she even is trying to figure out this "lotion world" thing that Jossie does. She has been giving a lot of real kisses too. She has an Elmo book that asks for a kiss at the end, and she gets the biggest smile and kisses him several times. I love it.

Well, I just wanted to share a few sweeter moments from this weekend.

We've had some very sweet prayers, comments, and support from friends and loved ones. Thank you as always!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Refiner's Fire

I've felt compelled to write for a while, but have been unsure what to say.

On the one hand, Diabetes is getting easier to manage. Sophia's blood-sugars have been in a decent range. She's occasionally low, and very rarely over 200. That's the really good news, and answered prayers that her body is responding as it should.

Going places, like her Wednesday co-op school has gotten less stressful. I feel OK about her missing the classroom snack, or giving her a shot to eat it. The first day back, I choked back tears, because I felt it just wasn't fair. But, she likes the attention the shot gives her, and so it's worth it to get one for a snack, it seems. Plus, who wants 12 goldfish crackers, when you could have a blueberry muffin like everyone else? She's getting some affirmation from the parents and peers there too, so that helps.

On the flip side, her behavior has been off-the-charts bad. I won't go into details, because I don't want to embarrass her or uncover her (not that she's reading this, but in principle). She's still an amazing soul, but I feel she's in the anger stage of grief, and is a bit stuck. It's been a little depressing, thus the writer's block. It's something I thought was just blood-sugar related (and it can be at times), but it's also just sheer anger, and her need to control. I don't even want to write about this, because I earnestly desire to be back to happy days, and funny stories.

It makes me realize how judgmental I was. Here I am, a trained counselor, and yet somehow, I held on to this belief that the kids who acted naughty were not given enough direction, love, discipline, etc. at home. I also believed that I would have kids, and I would love them, and guide them, and they would act REALLY good all of the time (or at least always in public, and usually at home). A visiting pastor recently said , "It's amazing how you can have zero kids and 5 theories on how to raise them right, and then you have 5 kids and you have zero theories!" I laughed. Yep! That's me! What's worse, is you can be a supposed counselor and think you have a lot of tricks in the bag......sigh. I also, thankfully, have this sweet friend who had two very well-behaved kiddos, and said she used to think "Look what I've done. I've made them this way." (totally paraphrasing), and then she had her third, who is very strong-willed and realized, "Oh! They just come out this way."

We can only beat ourselves up so much, bottom line. We pray. And then we pray some more. Then, when we are totally worn out and confused, we, well, we pray some more. And that's not to sound religious at all, we just truly can't lean on our own understanding. We cannot figure this stuff out alone. We're learning some ways to get better at communicating with our kids. We're learning things that seem so basic, like, we should be more affectionate (Joe and I) in front of the kids. That may seem silly or like a No-Duh!, but we honestly were every evening in this rut of just surviving until their bedtime, and then we can have quality time and relax. But, we were reminded by a friend married for over 50 years, that our children's security and understanding of healthy marriage is by what they're observing now.

We're trying to teach Sophie how to pray too. She's starting to understand that Jesus can help her. She's not alone in conquering these angry feelings. I never thought I'd be teaching my 5 year-old about how she chooses her thoughts, behaviors, consequences. But, also, how much I'd be teaching her about the spiritual side, like how to take control with the Lord's help. We're not alone in these battles, and the sooner she recognizes that, the better. Phew! It's a lot to swallow though!!

And don't let me fool you into thinking we haven't made some poor choices, or downright embarrassed ourselves at times...we have. Joe and I too, have our temper tantrums and look ridiculous in public at times. Humility....we're getting some. And we've been able to model to our kids how to own-up and accept responsibility for our choices. Good times!

Refiner's Fire! We're in it! Thank God we're considered worthy of refining. So much to learn still, but hoping to come out looking like gold, or at least a nice shiny penny!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


An older cute story... (Pic of Sophie when almost 2)

When Sophia was about two, she couldn't say the first 'S' in her name. Joe decided to mess with her about it one day.

He said, "What's your name?"

Sophie: "Fophia Belle."

Joe: "Fophia Belle?"

Sophie: "No, Fophia Belle."

Joe: "OH...Fophia Belle."

Sophie, getting a little more angry and frantic," No! I said, Fophia Belle!"

Joe: "That's what I said, Fophia Belle!"

Sophie: "NO! It's FoPHIA Belle!!!" (yelling)

Joe: "OH, Sophia Belle?"

Sophie: "YES! Fophia Belle."

Joe: "OH, OK."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Some cute fun

I have to post some Halloween pics. They were so cute! Our church's theme was "through the years."

So, I suggested Sophia could be like a prairie woman, or someone from Little House on the Prairie. She immediately wanted to be Mary (the oldest, not Laura). It so suits her. She LOVED looking like she was from a different era. She loved that she could kind of hide under her bonnet, and look like the matron-sort. She was a sweet heart, and every time I said how beautiful she looked, she'd get the biggest smile and throw her arms around me.

Jossie had seen the pink poodle idea in a magazine and wanted to do it. It cost maybe $10 to do, and wasn't even that time-consuming. She was such a hit. She won first place for her costume at church. Yea!! She didn't care, but I did. She gets to spend $25 at Wal-mart for it, so I think she will care when that happens. :-)

And Norah, well, I didn't have the energy for another "new" costume. So, I pulled the smallest princess dress I could find out of our dress-up box, and bought her a princess crown and wand at the dollar store, and Voila! Cutie-patootie! Princess Cinderella Norah!

It was fun. The big girls both declared the next morning, that they wanted to be each other's costumes next year.

The Diabetes clinic gave me a sheet with all of the carbs for the fun-size candy that they got. So, I can work in the candy to her meals, and she doesn't have to really miss out on much. I'm not the type to let them just gorge on several pieces anyway. Our Halloween bags are usually still being picked through like 6 months after the fact, so her illness won't change much of that.

I did a fun new invention for a sweet, healthy treat tonight. I mixed 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta with a packet of splenda and a heavy shaking of cinnamon, and it tasted like snickerdoodle cookie dough. They both scarfed it down with dinner, and I thought it seemed like something I would even want to snack on.

Hope you enjoy the pics.

As I look at the past month's blogs...Wow! It's been a long and wild month. It makes me sad that "Spann Laughs" hasn't been very funny. Thank you for letting me tell you how it's really going, and not sugar-coating our lives. Thank you for loving us regardless. I hope that "you" actually exist, and that "you" actually read this from time to time.

Joe's parents babysat tonight so we could go on a date. It was such a needed night. I can't even explain. They, by all reasonable means, should not have had the energy to come do that tonight, as they both had a really long day today. But, they did anyway, and we got to escape and come home with fresh perspective and renewed energy for tackling life.

We pray that we continue to grow as a family through this. We hope to be more intentional and fierce in our pursuit of the Lord through this. I want to feel passionate about God's ability to get us through the most difficult of times. I want to learn this now, and not years from now.

He is real. He does love me no matter what. I'm so grateful. (Same goes for "you.")

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No help, no time.

That would be this week in a nutshell.

Not that I can blame anyone. That's not even entirely true. I did have one friend offer to come help me clean and organize so I could get on top of things (does that ever really happen?). But, then I remembered Sophie's first follow-up appointment was that morning. So, she watched Jossie and Norah while I took her. Good thing too, because it was almost 2 1/2 hours long! More of the same..."How do you define Diabetes? How do you prime her needles? What do you do when she's 'high'? How should you treat when she's 'low'? How many carbs should she have before exercise? Don't forget, if she doesn't exercise right away after those carbs, she should have a shot."

Yes, yes, I got it.

My questions: Are her eyes going to fail? Does she need to see an opthamalogist? Oh, she could have a lot of cavities from this? Are you sure I shouldn't wake her in the night to test? How will I know if she's having a seizure in the middle of the night? (reply: You'll hear her knocking into the headboard. Yep, pit in stomach returns).

And then there's what I couldn't ask in front of her: Are these mood swings of hers normal? Am I just being manipulated, or does she really feel that bad? Do we need counseling?

So I politely said instead: "Yeah, we're adjusting just fine."

Each morning, I wake up optimistic. I think about how I'm going to take charge of the day, and we're all going to be happy, prayerful, peaceful, etc.

Then someone screams at me, then someone else desperately needs me at the same time, and someone else spills something, or pees on something, and then I need to test blood sugar, and prepare a meal, count carbs, give shots, etc.

Why can't I keep up with the laundry, the dishes, the clutter, my personal time, giving some attention to my husband, and making each child feel equally important through it all? I don't know.

Today actually ended better than most. I was getting flustered, as usual. I declared that everyone in the house was going to use calm voices and there would be no more yelling, including from me. (I know, you can't imagine me ever yelling. I hope you do feel that way, and I hope you keep that image of me). And we agreed that even Mommy and Daddy would have consequences if we yelled. They thought that was pretty funny. And then, for whatever reason, (well probably for the reason I just mentioned) the yelling stopped.

Jossie for the rest of the day kept catching herself and going, "oh, I meant to say, 'Mommy can you please help me?'" And Sophie kept trying to help around the house, and worked much harder at being peaceful. And somehow Norah must have caught on and blessed me with a little peace as well. I needed it. Truely.

Sophia really hates it when she gets moody. She's been very self-depricating when she's in a funk. It's a bit concerning. It's so extreme at times, and so sad to watch, yet so maddening too, because I can't let her set the standard in the house that screaming, hitting and throwing things are acceptable behaviors. She always apologizes later, and says things like, "sorry I was stressing you out." Or "Sorry I made us have a bad day." Even her apologies make me sad.

This too shall pass, right?

I have to just pray for them all. God is sufficient to get us through.

The details of diabetes are getting easier, but we'll still take all the prayers we can get.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nudey Booty

Don't worry.

Tonight, I managed to make dinner (small miracle, and not the point of the story).

Sophie had just gotten home from ballet with Joe. He quickly tested her and got her shots ready. She had on her practice leotard and tights and had to pull the whole thing down to her ankles so she could get her shots. (OK, I don't know why all the way to her ankles, but that's where they ended up).

So, Norah's screaming at me from being overly tired, and tired of being in the highchair for too long. Jossie's playing around with her food and the flowers on the table, and between the two of them, I don't notice Sophie come back to the table. We get all the way through dinner with her eating without her leotard on (since I don't like her to spill dinner on it, I always have her take it off or put on jammies first). I don't know what made me do it, but just before I got up, I thought I'd look under the table to see if she still had her tights on. Much to my surprise, she'd been totally naked the whole dinner.

I said, "You're a nudey booty!"

She giggled and stood up. "No! Hee! Hee! They're still around my ankles!"

You have to admit, we all wish we were that carefree sometimes. Key West, here I come!

Just kidding! Eeww!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I haven't posted in a bit for a number of reasons. Mostly, very busy trying to wrap my brain around all of our changes.

I've thankfully had constant help since last Monday. My dad was here, then my sister-in-law, Christy, then Jeanette (Joe's mom), then my momma. I can't explain what a blessing it's been to have the extra set of hands. I'm not a queen multi-tasker, so to meet everyone's needs and keep a together house...not really happening on my own. I thought I was busy and falling behind with adding homeschool to my life. Ha! Ha!...heh, heh, uh, (crazy lady laugh here). Everything I've whined about in the past, I take it back. Not that the Lord doesn't give me fresh perspective daily. There is always someone I can see who is struggling with a much worse circumstance than us, yet, with apparent grace and strength. Which doesn't make me feel bad, it just motivates me to find the positive in each day.

So, I've pretty much been that hermit I mentioned previously. It's so much easier to just stay here and not try to add many activities to our lives. Not a hermit enough though (more of that to follow). I had no idea what all juvenile diabetes meant, and how many misconceptions I had. I still feel like I have much to learn as I slowly emerge from my fog and can possibly do personal research. What I have learned is that it is not much like Gestational Diabetes (which I had with Norah), or much like Type 2 (though they can get as insulin dependent I understand it). It is not controlled or reversed or made better by simple diet and exercise. Her pancreas doesn't make insulin. So, every morning I wake up and think should I go check on her and make sure she hasn't crashed in her sleep? Don't be paranoid, but I am...hmmm. Then I go to what am I going to make her for breakfast? Will it make her shoot high in glucose? Then I have to carefully measure with measuring cups and spoons every aspect of her meals. If it's measured in grams or ounces, then I have to use my food scale. If she doesn't eat it all, I have to weigh the remainder, and hope my algebra skills don't fail me as I try to calculate how many carbs she missed for the insulin I gave her, and then give her something to make up for it (luckily for her, it's generally a little sweet). It goes against my mother instinct to make her finish everything I give her. I feel like I'm feeding her more than normal, because I was so thoroughly educated last week on the balance of fruits and veggies, and proper numbers of carbs for her age/size. By the time I meet all those desired goals, she has a huge plate of food. Plus, I have to take into account any stress she seems to be under, or any exercise she's had or I anticipate her having. Then I have to figure her shot based on carbs on her plate, current blood-sugar, and all those other factors. Ugh.

Before I give her the food, I have her plate completely ready, then I make her test her blood sugar, then I give her the shot(s), then her food. Then, I try to rush and make meals for Jossie, who at this point is going "Hey! Where's my food Mommy?," and shove Norah in the high chair with something to tide her over until I can focus on her. Once my helpers are gone, I may forget about feeding myself or making coffee for a while.

Sophie has gotten so much calmer about shots which is good since she has to take 4 at a minimum. She even willingly takes one to have an afternoon snack. She's also been fairly stable with her sugar levels, even at night, which helps us sleep a little better.

Now to the Seriously? part:

Today, Sophie woke up with a stomach bug.

Yep, you read that right, a stomach bug.

This is one of those things that people have said in the last 2 weeks, "Oh, you really want to avoid that at all costs. That really throws diabetes off, and you're not even used to diabetes yet."

Uh-huh, that's what happened though.

She's done ok with it, and her blood-sugar hasn't gotten as crazy as it could have, or they expected it to go. I don't know if the doctor on-call appreciates us for calling him several times today, but he kept assuring us that she was ok. He adjusted her insulin down. Her blood-sugar was still low before bed, which makes us nervous. We get to test her a couple of times during the night though. Should be fun. She doesn't exactly sleep through it, we've learned. It's a HUGE deal to her. The more crying and screaming she does, the more her sugar can go down too (or up). I think that's the most frustrating about this all, is how unpredictable it seems sometimes.

I was reminded by a friend last night, to call on the Lord by name, and He will be there. She also reminded me to live in the present and not to worry about the future. It was a good reminder.

I trust He'll get us through. On another post, I'll mention some of the deep insights Sophie has shared. They're actually quite special. She's ridiculously mature for 5 sometimes.

We of course still welcome all prayers, especially in the next couple of days. In trying to get back to "normal," they're having to realize that discipline is still a part of our lives, and t.v. isn't the only activity we can do. due time.

I'm so thankful for all of my family. I'd much rather have Diabetes to deal with, than to not have my beautiful babies and loving husband.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Ups and Downs

Well, we're trying to adjust to our new "normal." I know eventually it will be this tiny part of our lives that doesn't make us sad, it just is. But, as a parent, we're still grieving in a way. We can't just jump back to life as normal. Eventually, I assume, we'll have a feel for what her body does and the Dr's will know if they have her on enough insulin or not. Until then, I am still struggling with doing last-minute activities and meals, etc., which is really how we've operated until now.

We left from church today and realized I'd left the "correction factor" worksheet at home. Sophia's blood sugar was 315, and she was fighting mad, and I didn't enjoy trying to reason with her in front of others at church. I knew she was probably high, but then was frustrated that we couldn't go out to eat, because I'm not going to guess at how much extra insulin she's needing at the moment. Plus, I'm getting the sense that a lot of fast food places may have their "nutritional information" available, but then their portion sizes are not what the worksheet says. So, it totally messes with my guessing for the insulin.

It's hard not to want to just become a hermit. I'm not up to risking her carb intake at this early stage, and I'm also very paranoid about germs right now. I was nervous about going back to church today. You can say that you could pick up a germ anywhere, but the truth is, my kids get sick on Tuesday nights or Wednesday mornings, and I know they got it from church. It happens all winter long for us. We'll deal with a cold, but the stomach flu will throw us into a real tailspin for a while. If she can't eat and she's vomiting, it's a whole new ballgame, as they say. I know it does no good to worry about these possibilities, but I'm also just a little fragile right now. I want to get this new lifestyle ironed out a bit and to feel confident in her getting back to close to normal before juggling another stressor in the mix. Does that make sense?

Another one of our battles is to guess if her angry behavior is blood-sugar related or typical 5-year-old stuff. How much do you punish? Do I prick her finger every time she's being rude? Do I overlook high blood-sugar behavior? I'm pretty sure I'd be unreasonable if I were at a 400 and I was supposed to be at 100. But, I don't want her to just be hateful either. How much control does she have at that point? I just don't know. It's all still affecting Jossie and Norah too. They are still quite demanding in their own rights, and we're not always as patient with them as we'd like to be in the moment. It's still early in our struggle, but it's hard not to beat yourself up and think I should be better at handling this. Is this a test and I'm failing?

Sophia is getting better and better about shots. She was hungry this afternoon and said, "I want a real snack. I don't mind if it means I get another shot." She also reminded me after dinner that I had forgotten to do her bedtime shot. She's a rules girl, and she knows how many shots she gets and when. Yesterday she was so hungry for dinner, she was laying on her bed with her butt hanging out waiting for her shot, and I was still in the other room getting everything ready.

Tonight we went bowling. We'd never taken the girls before. It was a lot of fun. They seemed to enjoy it. Well, Jossie enjoys everything. She danced around and didn't ever pay attention to how many pins she knocked down. We didn't say the words diabetes or carbs the whole time, and that was really nice.

Thank you all for crying with us and praying for us. We feel carried in a way right now. Like others are sharing our tears, so we don't have to cry as many.

I stumbled upon these verses earlier. I know it's a famous passage, but it wasn't to me and I found it so comforting and empowering:

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusing him.

For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.

He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers, His faithful lpromises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that salks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you, but you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling.

For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.

You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you wil crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.

When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rexcue them an dhonor them.

I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Poetic

This is a picture of Sophie and I at a birthday party on Saturday. A lot has happened in the last few days. It feels like it's been a lifetime, yet, it still feels like anytime now, I'm going to wake up from this nightmare.

First: The Good

Some of the sweet things we've seen in the last few days:

Norah playing peek-a-boo with PaPa and laughing hysterically at him.

Sophie has started to prick her own finger for her sugar tests.

Jossie rubbing Sophie's back when she was crying during a blood test, and then laughing when Sophie tooted, and saying, "OH! I must have rubbed it out of you!"

Norah singing "PaPa, PaPa, PaPa" as I'm trying to rock her to sleep.

Friends bringing meals...that really takes a load off at the end of the day.

Sophie singing ABC's to distract herself during a shot.

The nurses and helpers at the clinic are so impressed with Sophie's fast progress and her taking initiative in her own care so early on.

The girls' laughter at PaPa moving his scalp without touching it.

The touching words of encouragement and countless prayers from our dear ones.

Family members taking care of us and carrying us.

The Bad

Diabetes Sucks! I truly hate it. I know I should be thankful that it's something manageable, and she can live a mostly normal life, and blah, blah, blah. But,'s awful. To say it's life changing is such an understatement.

Our education has been for 2 days, learning the in's and out's of shots and balancing carbs, and when to be alarmed, and "oh by the way, you shouldn't need this, but here's a special shot for if she's ever so low that she's having a seizure or is passed out and you can't revive her. Just shoot it into her leg, and she might throw up, and it might be the longest 10 minutes of your life waiting for her to come to, and you might need EMSA, but don't lose sleep over this stuff, and certainly don't wake her up in the middle of the night to check and make sure she's not too low...that's just silly." OK, maybe it wan't that cold, but it felt that awful to listen to.

I think our low point has hit us as we've watched the fear and sadness come over Sophia. I nearly screamed at the phlebotomist as she was scolding Sophie for screaming in fear of the needle she was about to draw blood with. I kept saying to her, "she's really been through a lot in the past two days," and when she finally saw she'd had other recent pokes, she said, "Oh, have you been in the hospital? Well, no wonder you're upset." But, come on now, who scolds a child for being so afraid of the needle. Does that ever help??!! On top of that, making her scream over every shot has been heart-wrenching. She's slowly getting better, but it made me sick to learn yesterday that every snack she has during the day doesn't fall under the meal-time insulin, it instead gets it's own injection if it's over 5 carbs. So, if she wants more than 12 goldfish, she gets a shot. So, with food scale in hand, I get to weigh and measure, and think about, write down, analyze, and give insulin for, every single morsel.

The sadness was overwhelming this morning as I lay in bed (not sleeping anyway) and listened to Sophia screaming in her sleep, "NO! No! Don't prick my finger. No! I don't want a shot!" I just grieve for the loss of her simple life and simple childhood. Just the other day she said, "there are so many good things in this world," and I wonder if she'll keep that belief through this all. And it may be that God will use this for great things some day, but honestly, I just feel a bit robbed right now, and I feel Sophie is robbed. And the "someday things will be better" thoughts just aren't helping right now. It's just sad. Period.

And, I can't help but wonder how my other kids will fare through this all. Jossie has had potty accidents of both kinds...totally not like her. They both are so clingy and cranky, it's not even funny. How do you balance out your time and attention, when so much of your time is going to one child?

I know we'll all get better eventually, but I won't put on a fake smile and say, "Oh, it's all OK" right now. It's hard not to question God in it all. Yet, I don't want to try to go through this without Him.

The Poetic

From "The Magician's Nephew" by, C.S. Lewis

[Aslan asks Digory a question] "Yes," said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying "I'll try to help you if you'll promise to help my Mother," but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. But when he had said "yes," he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out: "But please, please--won't you--can't you give me something that will cure Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now , in his despair, he looked up at it's face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Road to Diabetes

Most of you have heard by now that Sophia was diagnosed yesterday with Juvenile or Type 1 Diabetes. I hope to get the facts out in this post.

As I put the pieces together in my mind, this has been developing for a long time. Sophia has always been what we called "strong willed," but the mood swings we'd gotten in the last couple of years were so strong. Her sweet moods were so amazingly sweet, and then all of a sudden she would snap and would be screaming, or throwing things, hitting, running away from me, etc. I say all of this, because this was a big part of what tipped us off yesterday.

The last few weeks she has been more tired and complaining of that, even often asking for a little coffee in her milk to help wake up. She's struggled to have energy for much at all, and mostly begs to watch tv all day. I was out running to the doctor for Jossie on Friday, and then out running errands with Sophie on Saturday. Everywhere we went those two days Sophie was begging to use the bathroom and had plenty when she went. I of course just thought it was a behavior thing, and she was just cranky and trying to get under my skin by using the bathroom everywhere (good reasoning, huh? Feeling proud of myself there). On Saturday, I Googled frequent urination in children, and had "urinary tract infection" and "diabetes" come up. I thought, well she's not complaining of pain, so it can't be UTI, but it can't be diabetes either, because our nephew just got diagnosed with that and I'm just being paranoid...reading into the symptoms too much.

So, I dismissed it for the rest of the weekend. Took her to our church dinner on Sunday, where I looked like quite the mother of the year snapping at her, as she was screaming at me everything she wanted on her plate. I mention it, because it was part of what pushed us to thinking something is seriously up. I reasoned it to be that she just doesn't get enough sleep and we need to move her bedtime up by 1/2 hour.

Monday morning came, and she was cranky from the start. She had a major blow-up right before Joe left for work. He said, "you need to take her to the doctor." I told him that I needed to just test her with my glucometer first (I had gestational diabetes with Norah and had a glucometer). So, right after he left for work, I found my glucometer and forced her to be tested (she was not happy with me). It said "Warning! High Glucose Level! Over 600" I did my best not to panic, and assumed that it was just an old strip or I had done something wrong. I immediately re-tested her and it said the same thing. My heart sank. I knew what it meant immediately. I knew that there was no other explanation, but I didn't know how bad it was going to get.

I, through trembling hands, immediately called the doctor's office to find out if we should come there or the emergency room. Called Joe, to tell him to be ready to leave. Quickly ran around the house, desperately trying to keep the nice mommy face on and pretend everything was OK. Though inside, I thought I was about to scream. As we were gathering snacks and drink-cups, and throwing clothes on everyone, I had to tell Sophie that she probably had diabetes like Forest, her cousin. She started crying and said, "but I asked Jesus that nobody else in our family would get sick!" Ugh! How do you even go there? But that's Sophia...she has such pure faith, yet she has this uncanny ability to work out her theology in the midst of whatever is happening in life. We hugged and cried for a minute and prayed for a cure and that we would all be brave and peaceful as the day went on. We had that prayer answered for sure.

I'll try to shorten it from here. We got to the hospital and they did blood-work and confirmed it was diabetes, but that thankfully, we had caught it much earlier than most, and would not be requiring hospitalization. So, they sent us to the pediatric endocrinologist, and Joe's parents took Jossie and Norah home. Within a couple of hours time, I learned to administer her first shot of insulin, and within a couple of hours of that, she began to feel a little better. Of course, I was heartsick with it all...watching her being pinned down and screaming while getting her blood work, the fact that our lives are going to forever change, and so many other aspects.

It's still been crazy today. She's just on a long-acting insulin shot until tomorrow, when we'll start our education and her regular mealtime shots. So, today she started off in the normal range (164), and by lunchtime was up to 512 (which I suspected when she started randomly screaming at me...I'm learning these cues). Then she went to over 600 again. ugh! Joe had to come home to wrestle her down so we could give her another long-acting shot. We checked blood-sugar about 6 times today, and she's learning to deal with that OK. I pricked my own fingers a couple of times today to show her it wasn't a big deal (but I have to tell you, it really stung more than I had remembered, and I felt even sorrier for her).

Our families and friends have been so supportive in these last two days. We're so thankful. Thanks for the calls and the emails, and especially for the prayers. Pray for us in the next few weeks as we adjust and help her little body adjust. The one positive, is that when her blood sugar has been down in the normal range, she's so sweet and on top of her behavior, and it's quite an exciting thought to think she'll have a lot more times of feeling good than she has clearly had in the last few months or possibly years.

Well, I have so much more I could say about it all, but can barely keep my eyes open.

Hopefully the funny stories will return again soon! :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jesus Put His Hands on Me

Jossie had been sick again...yes, indeed we only went another 4 days without sickness in the house.

This morning she seemed a lot better, with no fever. She says out of the blue, "hee, hee...Last night Jesus just put his hands on me and made me all better."

Me: "while you were sleeping?"

Joss: "yeah, while I was sleeping, he just put His hands on I'm all better."


How do you argue with something like that? Give me any critic or doubter, and I'll give you her childlike faith and experience. That was her true experience, unprompted and untainted.

People Can't See You

Tonight we had our annual chili/dessert cook-off at church, where I one first place in the pie contest (honk, honk...that's me tooting my own horn, and this has nothing to do with the story). We were getting in the car around 8:00 and it was dark outside.

Sophie says to Joe, "Daddy you have to be careful out there at night. People can't see you. Your skin is too dark."

Joe says, "Yeah, I better not wear all black outside at night...I'd just disappear."

Sophie: "Yeah, you would."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

So Yummy

I love Norah kisses. Well, I love them from all of my girls, she's just the only one who still loves giving them. I know that eventually they'll be much less frequent, so I'm soaking up every one I get. I've warned them all that I will kiss them every day until they're 25! Jossie told me the other day, "you have to stop, I'm 23!" I said, "good, I still have 2 more years." To which she got angry and eventually remembered the number was 25. Now she runs away from me every time I say "Jossie, come here," and she screams, "NO!! No Mommy! I'm 25. You can't kiss me." Then I have to sometimes forcefully remind her that I'm 33 and she's 3, and I'm going to kiss her. I don't always get my way on as many things as I'd like, but I win on that one. :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sorry about the rant

So sorry about the previous rant. I don't know that anyone reads this much anyway, but if you do, funny stories will return soon. Getting the house as caught up as possible today, then I'm hoping my sense of humor returns. :-)

I got a lot of kisses from Jossie today, which made me tear-up, I was so gushy happy about it. I also got some serious hugs and giggles from Norah. And, Sophia's first baby tooth fell out today! I feel like she was just my baby, and now she's losing teeth. She was so proud of herself for pulling it out. So cute. She's colored a picture to leave for the tooth fairy. We're gonna have to give the fairy a call tonight. :-)

Motherhood is sweet on so many levels.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ready for a Better Week

OK, not trying to be dramatic about life. But, I feel no shame in saying I'm ready for my kids to be healthy this week. For about 23 days now, we've had a constant illness in our house.

It started the Sunday night we returned from St. Louis. Sophia woke up to the sound of Jossie throwing up in her bed. Thankfully, she had the wisdom to call us in there. By us, I mean Joe. Seriously, he's the BEST when it comes to dealing with sickness, and they all know it. Actually, it doesn't bother me, but since we have Norah in bed with us, it's often hard for me to leave the bed to go help, and so he handles a lot of the yuckies in the middle of the night. Yea Joe! I love you. Anyway, so he gets in there to Jossie having puked in her sleep and not woken up on her back. It's everywhere. So, he has to wake her up, throw her in the shower, change her clothes and sheets. Gets her settled into bed, and Sophie suddenly feels sick and pukes. She's a freak-out puker and won't put her head down in the trash can, so that's another ordeal. So, he gets all that dealt with and decides to make a palette on the floor to sleep. Starts to doze and Jossie starts puking in her sleep again! Ugh! Why she doesn't wake up is beyond us. It's so scary. Long and short of it, Joe sleeps in there for 3 nights, because Jossie is still sick, and we're too scared to leave her. Then, he's so tired from not really sleeping well on the floor, that he moves back to our bed. We go into pray and trust God mode, and turn up the monitor. She stays sick for a week, and pukes about once a night, in her sleep. Once we didn't notice it until about 45 minutes later when she fell out of bed.

To put it mildly, stomach bugs create lots of laundry. I probably did about 10 loads of laundry that week, which consequently sat on the couch or living room floor in baskets for another 5 days. I also disinfected my house and shampooed my carpets (thanks Dad for the shampooer for Christmas last year, works great!). I'm desperately trying to keep it out of the house. At the same time, trying to balance homeschooling Sophia...OK, I missed a few days due to all of this. And, as a result of one child constantly getting more attention than the other two, there's always one of them willing to step-up and force some attention, though not always positive.

So, 4 days after Jossie stops puking, Norah starts. (What am I complaining about I had like 4 good days). She pukes for 5 days/nights. She's also a sleep puker, but I don't have a problem with her sleeping through it, because she's usually in bed with me when it happens and I'm wearing it. Yummm.

After that, I spend a couple of days getting the very messy house back in order so we can have company on my birthday. Then, snotty noses begin with the big girls, and voila! sick baby! Norah has had a HIGH fever f0r going on 5 days now. By high, I mean like 104.5 kind of high. Not the whole time, but, we've been doing a routine of Tylenol and Motrin rotations every three hours for the last few days to keep it down to like 102.5, give or take a degree. Talk about freaking out. We called the doctor on-call like 3 times this weekend. Needless to say, didn't sleep much with a hot brick on my side. Made her puke a few times shoving more Tylenol and Motrin down her throat.

Joe had to have a "come to Jesus" talk with the big girls about their sleep. Because, in the midst of the Norah sickness, probably because they weren't feeling all that great themselves, they have also been getting up in the middle of the night. So, after severe lectures (OK, more like, "here's a sticker chart. You can have a sticker if you sleep through the night....Please!!! Please! Sleep through the night?!"), they finally slept through the night last night. We didn't, because, though Norah's fever was a little lower last night, she was up crying and fussing for about 4 hours straight. With my less than rational mind, I'm thinking she's got Juvenile Diabetes (my nephew just diagnosed recently), and Joe's thinking she has meningitis. OK, we know we're not so rational in the middle of the night, but that's what sleeplessness does to your thoughts.

So, today I'm tired, and I'm back to about 7 loads of laundry, eating my kiddos lunch scraps for lunch, about 100 dishes to clean or put away, and enough clutter to kick around on the floor in every room. Norah's still not wanting to be put down much though, as she's still a little warm, so I probably will have all those same things waiting for me tomorrow.

As my dad always says when these things come up, "This too shall pass, honey." Ah, so true. I do keep some perspective through it all. It's been a long stressful month, but not the worst month we've had this year. My sister-in-law hasn't slept all night for about 10 weeks (since her baby was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and she gets to test him sometimes hourly all night long). My mom friend down the street has brain cancer and has 3 boys to take care of. Another friend of mine has breast cancer, and a 1-year-old with Cerebral Palsy, and yet, another friend of mine has a 9-month-old with kidney cancer undergoing weekly chemo treatments.

As I write all that, I feel like I should erase all of this post previous to that. I guess, it's all relative. I still am a bit overwhelmed by my own life this month. I still feel a little sorry for myself that I don't get to just do things for me sometimes, much less live in a clean house. Yet, I also know that if I don't count my blessings and see how easy I have it, I'm really missing out on life's lessons. I know I have a God who can do immeasurably more than I can think or ask. Therefore, I know I can trust Him and have peace in all circumstances. I'm so impressed with my family and friends who have much worse situations and handle them with total faith that God is in control. He is Sovereign.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Snake Sounds

I had flipped on a cooking show to veg with for a few minutes the other day. Anytime the tv's on, my kids are sure to plant themselves in front of it and offer up their commentary.

So, Sandra Lee was cooking with a guest. Her guest was a male whom, by all mannerisms, one could assume was gay.

Sophia is of course watching it with me. She pipes up, "Mommy, that man sounds like a snake when he talks."

Me, "Oh yeah?"

Sophie, "Yeah, it's like 'ssss, ssss, ssss.'"

Well, allrighty then. Now we know.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Step Back Kids, There's Poop on the Carpet!

Consider yourself warned!

Last September we were invited to a 5-year-old's birthday party. We'd never met her or her parents, but Sophia was invited as part of the entire new class at her preschool. We thought it would be a good way for her to make a few new friends as school was starting.

So, we arrive at this decent home in mid-tulsa. By decent, I mean like indoor pool kind of decent. Like, the dad's a sophisticated antiques dealer, and the mom has this old-fashioned oil painting of herself on display above the mantle.

Sophie was struggling to interact with these new "friends," so I was near her as the friend was opening gifts. I was also holding my 6-week-old Norah girl. As the friend opened her gift, I leaned over a bit to explain what it was...knowing it was important to Sophie that the girl liked her gift. About that moment, I felt and heard Norah poop. I kind of laughed quietly and was about to acknowledge the akwardness of the moment when suddenly, the mom yells, (seriously yells) "Oh my!" Points to me, "STOP!" Then to the girls, "Everybody move! Step back kids! There's poop on the carpet!!" To which a bit of frantic overreacting followed by the kids and the mom.

Apparently Norah had on a short and shirt outfit and the poop took on the path of least resistance. It flew out the back and landed in the middle of the nice cream colored carpet.

Oh yeah!

Now that's the way to make some new friends.

I turned a bit red, I'm sure (I do that a lot you know), and quickly said with a smile, "We just don't like to be forgotten at parties. Ha! Ha!"

Joe says, "Norah, don't you know it's not polite to poop on people's carpets?"

We were trying desperately to make it a laughing situation...

It wasn't too funny to anyone but us. Oh well. We didn't stay long after that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm not gay.

Sorry if this is an inflammatory subject. It probably comes as no surprise to most that I am not gay. And I am not ashamed to say that. (Not trying to comment on anyone else's status here, but I do love my husband and am proud of that being my status/lifestyle).

I'm at the mall the other day with all three girls. A little frazzled from the day. I pop in to Lens Crafters to try on a few frames. I have no intention of buying at the time, but am humoring the sales guy for a moment while I get an idea of what I like. I'm trying some on and he's trying to be Mr. Cool and tell me how hot I look in all of them. Let me remind you that I had all of my kids with me, the baby in the sling, very little make-up, and I'm pretty sure I had a ponytail, and sloppy looking clothes on.

"Hot"....Probably not!

I wasn't really that flattered, nor really paying that much attention to what he was saying. Just trying to focus on which frames I liked, and keep my kids from putting fingerprints on all the ones I wasn't trying on.

So, he's rambling on about how I need a dressy pair, and a casual pair, and sunglasses, and blah, blah, blah, (he could name a pair for every occasion). So, he's talking about my going out pair, and a pair that looks nice for when I first wake up in the morning and "he" sees me (pointing to my I thought). I quickly said, "she." And he corrects himself without a flinch, "Sorry, when 'she' sees you in the want to look good in what you're wearing."

I'm thinking, I really don't think my baby cares what I look like in my glasses in the morning. Boy, he's really pushing it to sell me on that one....

OH!! OH my Dear Lord!!

I think he was pointing to my wedding ring...not the baby!


Does he really think I'm gay with 3 young girls?? I know it's not unheard of, but seriously??!!

Amazing how many thoughts you can have in a short amount of time. Then I realize, I am not about to walk out of here and blow off that I just convinced him I was gay. Huh-uh! Nope! So, as though it's what was the point of the conversation, I quickly interrupt whatever he was talking about (I have no idea what it was since I was freaking out in my mind for the last several moments), and while my face turned all shades of red, I said, "you were talking about my husband a moment ago right? Yeah? My HUSBAND! Yeah! See I thought you were pointing to my baby...she's a girl. I have a HUSBAND at home." He didn't care. But I did. So there!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Calm Down Everybody!

I mentioned Sophia's name meaning. Well, Josselyn means "joyful." She truly lives up to this name. She is joyful in most everything she does. She's silly and playful, and generally happy. "She's such a goof," as Joe always says.

Anyway, on Christmas morning she did a funny. My Dad, Joe's parents, and his Grandma Reta were all at our house when the girls woke up. It hadn't snowed or anything significant. However, Santa had clearly visited and there were a few piles of gifts to be opened. Those didn't seem to surprise her or intrigue her much. When she groggily walked out in the living room, she quietly climbed up on the couch between grandparents. She looked out the window for a moment. Maybe she was looking for a sign of Santa's sleigh or reindeer, we're not sure. But, she turned around with a big smile and said, "Oh I see, It IS Christmas!" Then, as though we were all squealing with excitement, she hopped down into the middle of the room and looked at us all and said, "Calm down everybody. Everybody, Just Calm Down!" (while motioning with her arms emphatically too). Then she giggled at herself and ran to her presents.

Definitely one of those wish we had it on video tape moments.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How do we hear God?

We've picked each of the girls' names for their meaning, and because we like the names of course. Sophia means "wisdom." Another time I'll tell you about the other two gals' meanings. But, we find that they each live up to their meanings in amazing ways. For example...

So, Sophie is 3 years old in this story. Not kidding. (You'll see why I'm not kidding in a moment). She and Jossie and I are in the car and I'm feeling a bit melancholy about life and not really feeling like a deep conversation. But, it didn't really matter what I wanted this moment, and God really yanked on my heart with this one. Sophie says out the clear blue, "Mommy, how do we hear God?" hmmm?? My amazing response, "You should ask your Dad when you get home. He seems to hear God talk to him more than I do." "Why?" (Of course "why," she's 3!) My thoughts: I'm such a moran. Did I really just tell her to ask her dad on such a real and pertinent question?? So, I pipe up..."well, it's not that we can't hear Him. Well...uh, we don't hear Him the way we hear each other...uh, though you can hear specific things from Him. Well, can hear Him through things like nature, and sunsets, and..." She interrupts, "I think I know. Is it like, the more we worship Him and love Him and get to know Him, then the more He speaks to us and we can hear Him?" Me: "uh, Yeah Sweetie, I think you answered your own question." Then I drove like a happy, but dumbfounded lady the rest of the way home.
(This picture is from the day of this conversation. We were on our way back from Mother-daughter tea party, and I was pregnant...not just large.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mommy, I'm not even kidding...

OK, potty warning! Stop now if it's not your thing. :-)

So, this was about 9 months ago. I was still potty-training Jossie, but, in general, she was going when I'd put her on the potty. So, the girls both decided to go at the same time. They could do this, since Jossie was using the potty-chair, and Sophie the toilet. I plopped them on their respective seats and went back to doing dishes.

I could hear them talking and just giggling away in there. I was in my happy mommy world, thinking how nice it was to be getting something done (dishes) and to hear my lovely and beautiful girls laughing and enjoying each other so well. Thinking "They are so sweet to each other. I am so blessed." For some odd reason, I never had the "it's too good to be true" thought. That was until I hear Sophie yell, "Mommy, I'm not even kidding...Jossie just wiped my poop on the wall!"

What's that she said??????!!!!!!

I do my best to not scream and pass out. Ok, maybe that's a bit much, but seriously, GROSS!!! I say as I'm sprinting to the bathroom, "Did you say Jossie wiped your poop on the wall???!!!" Sophie, (laughing hysterically and a little afraid) "Yes, Mommy, I'm not even kidding."

Of course a series of lectures and scouring of hands, walls, and toilets were to follow. But, what can you do? I had to laugh at the craziness of the situation. Joe thinks he has exciting days at work...he's got nothing on me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

When do we go to Heaven?

Nothing like a question about eternity from your 3-year-old. So, I do my best to explain that God gives us a lot of things to be happy about on Earth. And that there are two alternatives: we die and go to Heaven, or someday Jesus will come for us all. She says, "I think we should all go at the same time." I said, "Me too. Let's wait for Jesus to come get us." Then she's quiet for a few moments, and pipes up with a big smile, "If I don't like God, do you think I can go live with Nana and Wa?"

Don't feel bad to the rest of you, we didn't get picked either.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dee-Doo's and Abomacados

These are a few of the things I don't want to forget that they've said. They're cute, and you should think about using a few yourself. Sophie has had the most of the unusual pronunciations/words. Or maybe since she was the first I remember them more. No, couldn't be that!


Dee-Doo (Thank you)

Me-me (Excuse me)

Oh Nee (Oh Man! or Oh My! or Oh No!)

Beanarina (Ballerina)

Zuzic Twuck (Music Truck...which is what we called it in an effort to not make her aware of what glorious treasures were for sale in the rusty driving mobile. It was going great til Uncle Johnny visited one time and thought it hilarious to spoil our little secret. Now we hold our breath when we hear the music, hoping their little ears are too occupied to notice).

Lellow (Yellow...also taught to Jossie by Sophie)

Bressis (Breakfast...still uses it today)


I Nungy (I'm hungry)

Fee Fee (Sophie...we still call her that as one of her nick-names).

Abomacado (Avocado)

Bisgetti (Spaghetti)


Oy goy boy doy oy noy doy (Her best shot at conversation...says it over and over very emphatically).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Him's Bottom's on Him's Head!

Jossie cracks us up all of the time! She is funny, and I don't know if she knows how funny she is sometimes. She is constantly in a make-believe world. She's making anything that's in her hands have a conversation. Literally, anything, like two scraps of paper, toothbrushes, bottles of lotion, dinosaur toys, hair ties, whatever!

So, the other day, she is laughing to herself, and not really making a big deal about what she's doing. Though, this time she does think she's a bit funny. She's playing with a Mr. Potato Head, and had taken the bottom off to get the accessories out. She says, "Look! Him's bottom's on him's head!" Sure enough she had stuck it on his head. Then back to talking for the potato head and in her own little world, she says very seriously in her best potato voice, "Shoo-wee! It smells like bottom in here!" And giggles. Of course her immature parents giggle too, and snap this lovely little picture!

Little Norah

Ahh, she's so stinkin' cute! Where to begin? She turned one yesterday, and though she hasn't grown much hair in the last year, she definitely took on a bit more of a one-year-old attitude. Not too naughty, just proud of herself. She's starting to point at everything she wants with a very serious face, like, "you're going to give that to me." She knew that her presents were her's. She was reaching in the bags, and of course loved the tissue paper as much as the present. But, definitely made some ooh's and ah's about each of her gifts, including the clothes. When she got her own soft chair to sit in (like her sisters', only smaller), she squealed and hugged it, and squealed and hugged it. So precious.

She has been such a precious little baby for us. I can't decide if she has me convinced that babies are easy, or that we should stop having them now and end on a high note. Ha! Her favorite words right now, are "Mama!" (said like a little Italian), and "Hi Daddy!", and "Hi Sissy" (though that sounds more like "shishy"), and the other day she picked up a baby doll and said "my baby". She also has this cute thing when she's doing something new that she's proud of, like standing up, she'll say "ah-oooh" in a very sing-songy way.
She loves to play peek-a-boo with anyone, but even herself in the mirror. She'll say "Hi Baby" and then look behind the mirror to find the baby, and then look in the mirror and say it again, and just laugh. She has the cutest little giggle and just belts out the giggles anytime you tickle her, or try to get her (which is her favorite game with Daddy). In public, you wouldn't know if she's too giggly though. She's very serious with people she doesn't know. People all the time will comment that she's serious, or even giving them a dirty look. Her Uncle Johnny calls it the "stink-eye!" We think it's hilarious, because you never can be too certain about those strangers.

She's not walking yet, but she will stand up in the middle of the room. By the third baby, we've stopped worrying about when she'll walk. In her own time, and when she's not meaning to. Jossie, had a definite goal of walking, and was purposeful in making it happen. Norah, thinks you're pretty silly when trying to make her walk.

She still nurses, and I love our little alone times together. She strokes my skin, well sometimes grabs my fat, but mostly strokes gently. She puts her cheek against mine still, and I get to sway with her and hum "rockabye baby" or "go to sleep little baby" until she's asleep. I often still cry when I do that, because I know how quickly they grow, and what a precious gift it is that I get to hold her, and give her security, and assure her that all is right with the world. Oh, that baby skin and baby smell...I just love it! And, in case it isn't obvious, I just love her.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm not a woman yet

This happened in December...Tonight, Sophie had on mascara for her ballet dress rehearsal. Before bedtime, she said, Mommy I'm going to need you to take my make-up off in the morning before school. I'm not a woman yet. I don't want people to think I look like a woman. I don't want to grow up too fast." I said "OK", but inside I'm thinking, "Do all 4-year-olds think this deeply about the impact of their make-up?"

A little too much for preschool

Please tell me that sex education doesn't begin in preschool by peers. Sophia often calls her private area her front-bottom. She was getting dressed today and started giggling, and says, "My friend from school said that your front bottom, you know in the middle, is called your China! Can you believe that? It's not a China!" I of course giggled, because I don't know how to refrain sometimes. Then during bath I told her to wash her China. Joe yells, "Honey!!" I said, "what?"

God is so Hoooge!

Jossie said the other day..."Mommy, I can't hardly believe it that God is sooo Hoooge! I mean, He's bigger than the whole world. He and Jesus are sooo Hoooge! Can you believe it?" I just giggled..It was cute.