Monday, January 30, 2012

Moon smiling

I’m watching “A Smile as Big as the Moon” on my DVR right now.  I’m about 25 minutes in and so far it’s cool.  And it doesn’t hurt that there’s a particularly handsome young man featured.  I might be biased. 

Anyone else see it this week?? 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tell me once again

It’s been a rough week. Heck, in some ways it’s been a rough month. Few months.  I can’t so much elaborate, but it has definitely brought about the need for some important reminders…

**It doesn’t matter what she thinks, it matters what HE thinks about me, and He thinks I am “wonderfully made.” Ps. 139:14

**When the love around me and hope for my future seem no longer sure, HE will not fail me. HIS love is unfailing.  Ps 33:22,   Jer 29:11

**My silent tears are not unnoticed. HE comes to my comfort.  Ps 145:19

And music is always the avenue that reaches me in the strongest way…

“You are God, You are God, Of all else I’m letting go…
I’m running to your arms, I’m running to your arms,
The riches of YOUR love will always be enough.”
--Hillsong “Forever Reign”

“In the mirror all I see is who I don’t want to see,
Remind me who I am…
Tell me once again who I am to YOU…
If I’m you’re beloved, can you help me believe it?”
--Jason Gray “Remind Me Who I Am”

“Try and do the best you can, hold on and let Him hold your hand,
Go on and fall into the arms of Jesus…
He knows how much it hurts, and I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this...
When the waves are taking you under, hold on just a little bit longer, He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger.
The pain ain’t gonna last forever, in time it’s gonna get better, believe me, this is gonna make you stronger…”
--Mandisa “Stronger”

I must soak in these truths, in the reality that is so very different from my perception.  I need not dwell on these times of sadness. HE is here. He IS here. He is HERE.

Thank Goodness.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young but talented arranger

Lately KiKi has been taking to all kinds of new creative endeavors…

She’s been into painting, play-d*h, stickers, coloring, and fashion choices. 

Most recently, she is all about the singing.  Maybe it’s that one show with that Seacr*st guy on it… she’s seen a few seasons of that now.  On Tuesday evening, she took to her “stage” (aka laundry basket upside down) and put on a little show. 

I was impressed with her arrangement of the old classic.  Some nice inflection, making it her own. 

Then she moved on to another favorite…

Again, showing some interesting choices in musicality.  The whisper effect is nice.  The sudden southern accent is a little surprising. 

The little “arm out then swing across the body for a bow” move is new as well. She rocks it. 

She is NOT always this agreeable to being captured by the camera, so I’m glad to get these little shots.

The other thing she has taken up, as in just yesterday, is taking pictures with my camera.  It’s a very small simple point and shoot.  And don’t forget that SHE has a very cool kid’s digital camera that she got for her birthday last year.  But suddenly, she prefers mine… 

And honestly, they weren’t too bad for the first day…  (She named these herself. No editing done.)




Floor Toe

Braska Arm

Maybe this will be the beginning of years of great photography. 

Don’t miss the little logo/watermark… created with her favorite pooch.  She’s savvy. And Mommy has exposed her to plenty of photography websites…


(Don’t worry Pean*ts trademark people… no money being made here.  )

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Then and Now: My girl

Just looking over old pics today, hunting a couple for M’s new digital picture frame… 

Came across this one… pre-OHS, heart failure worsening, but stylish nonetheless.

Almost exactly 5 years later… healthy as a miniature 5-year-old can be. With twice the attitude…

Sometimes I wish I could go back a few years, do a lot of things differently.  But for just this split second, it’s all ok. Her heart’s fixed and she’s a spunky little chatterbug who loves playing with her sister.  If that’s all the happy I have left (and I’m sure it’s not), then I can’t complain.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Well it’s about time

I mean, come on.  You’re gonna be 3 next month.  I was getting concerned about your development. Really.  Reading at a first-grade level is great and all, but you gotta be able to do more than “just” read. 

Whew.  Now I don’t have to worry…..

Nice writing, little sis. And spelling, too.

(More over here… including video from earlier in the week. Really good stuff.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Love/Hate interchange

In the playroom, while I’m folding laundry in the living room a few feet away…

K: Braska, are you silly?

B: No, I’m happy.

K: Braska, do you love me?

B: No.

K: Why do you not love me?

B: (Almost sweetly) Because I will hate you… (See here for more on this odd response…)

K: You hate me???  (Pause) Braska, we don’t say hate. We don’t say that word.

Then the play continues.

No hard feelings.

(Any input on the strange “why” response always being the “hate you” thing?  Feel free to share.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I’m done at noon


That’s what I said last night before I went to bed.  I was scheduled to work from 6:45am to 12pm. 

I left the house at 6:37am and arrived back home at 1:40pm.  Only to almost literally throw clothes on the girls so they could hop in the van and go back with me by 2:00pm. M had to go do a side job, and there was a baby shower for a coworker at the branch.  So the girls came with me.  Oh, and I still hadn’t eaten my breakfast apple I took with me at 6:37am.

When that was done at 3:15pm, I clocked in again in order to finish what had to be done today and I left the rest to work on tomorrow when I’m there again for another 5.75 hours.  The girls waited somewhat patiently until I clocked out again at 4:30pm. Thankfully, another coworker was gracious enough to play silly song games and entertain them for a lot of that time.

Best laid plans… 

Most days I don’t miss the responsibility of management. Occasionally, though, I sure wish I had the power to make some changes. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The joy of being Kinlee


She makes me smile, she makes me yell, she makes me laugh… She’s Kinlee.

  • Kinlee is the Braska translator and analyzer. Braska speaks well and often, not really needing someone to speak for her at home.  But her sister will often pipe up and clarify what she said.  And she always adds a commentary on how Braska feels about it or what her motivation for the statement or request was.  Very helpful.  Or maybe just amusing, usually.  We do have to tell her regularly that she has to let Braska make her own choices and say what she wants or needs.  Braska would be happy to let Kinlee speak for her most of the time, but recently, she has taken to getting a bit miffed when KiKi interjects, yelling “It’s Braska’s turn! My turn!” 
  • Recently Braska asked for milk, KiKi said, "I'll get her milk!"  She went into the kitchen, opened the fridge, climbed up on the ledge and grabbed the milk. Then she brought it to Braska and told me, "I'll help her drink this time"  And she held it for her, Braska took a drink and said, "Thanks, Kinlee!"  Adorable.
  • She is ridiculously smart and intuitive. She can tell a person how to get just about anywhere in our local area.  Not like giving directions, but put her in the car and go, even from a different starting point, and she’ll tell you where school is and where Daddy works and where the Y is and how to get to Costco and Aldi.  She knows a full grocery list for Aldi and loves being my shopping buddy there.  She is very into feelings, and asks often how someone feels and why. She can tell you about right choices and wrong choices, and she gets very frustrated with herself when she makes “a lot of wrong choices” as she laments when she’s had a rough day. Her reading is now gone past the “1st grade level” mark.  And she’ll be 3 in just over a month.
  • She is still SO dramatic at times.  Very extreme in her own emotions.  She can get excited and happy like a full-blown party, and then totally devastated and in meltdown soon after. 
  • She is Braska’s biggest cheerleader.  She helps her with so many things, and she sounds so teacher-like when she does it.  She explains things to B, she walks her through steps of tasks, and she congratulates her and tells everyone when Braska’s done something great.
  • She is a pro at technology, which is fun to watch.  She can operate her dad’s phone, my phone, and Auntie Rachel’s iPhone, all of which are different. She can access apps on each, and now she’s into sending messages. Typing. So funny.  She loves to go to the photo galleries and scan through, reminiscing about what was happening when they were taken.  She watches the videos over and over.  She watches her favorite things on YouTube.  She is a big fan of on the computer, too.  It’s fun to see her enjoy the stories and read through them all.  She can operate the TV remote, the DVR, the VCR (yep, still have one), and the DVD player.
  • She’s very into painting right now.  Her favorite color is black. That’s what she says, and that’s what she uses. A lot.  She prefers to have blank paper, then I have to write her name in LARGE block letters, then a couple flowers at the bottom.  Then she’ll paint with watercolors for quite some time.  I did this once a couple months ago, and now it’s a must have for each painting session.
  • The kid is obsessed with Red Lobster.  She loves the sign. A lot.  She finally got to go for the first time back in November, when Auntie Rach took her there for Auntie Ju’s birthday dinner.  I didn’t go, but she tells me often about how she and Auntie Rach pretended they were gonna eat the lobsters in the big water tank. And since there’s a RL location about a mile from us at a major intersection we pass numerous times a day, she comments frequently about it and tells the stories of the birthday party dinner and the silly lobsters swimming.  If we’re traveling and there’s a RL sign on an exit “food” sign, she is all about it.  BUT—she didn’t really get into the food. Didn’t eat a whole lot.  Doesn’t care anything about that.  It’s all the experience and… well…the big RED Lobster on the sign.
  • She has great grammar for a 2-year-old, which is something I like a lot.  She uses A and AN properly, she has most of her tenses figured out, even some of the catchy ones like BRING and BROUGHT.  She asks for things with “May I please…?”  But then again she refuses to talk at times when politeness would be appreciated.
  • She has some strange fear and anxiety issues…and she can comment often about something that “frightens” her.  There are a couple red lights on TVs in our house that for some reason bother her.  She sometimes won’t walk past the playroom to get to her bedroom because the TV in there has a tiny red light on it.  “I’m frightened, Mom. I don’t like the playroom TV. Can you put my blanket back in my room, please?”  Of course, we don’t do it for her.  Sometimes we’ll tell her she can close her eyes or turn her head when she walks by.  If she’s especially tired or in a mood, one of us might stand in the doorway as she goes by.  It’s kind of funny sometimes what startles her or makes her anxious. But it’s very real to her, so we try to use it to teach, we help her work through them, and we do not make fun. 
  • The insight and the anxiety sometimes make for interesting conversations.  She was recently at Grandma C’s for a sleepover, and as the news channel that was on went to commercial, they mentioned a teaser for upcoming news on a small plane crash.  She became very concerned about what happened, why it crashed, and why they weren’t telling her how it happened.  Not in a crying/fear type of way, as I understand it, but in a need for information way.  After waiting her allotted amount of time and getting no acceptable answer from the TV, she was persistently asking Grandma C what had happened.  She asked Kinlee why she needed to know.  Kinlee said, very matter-of-factly “When I get big I’m gonna fly one of those, and I need to know how to not crash it.” 
  • The kid has one crazy sharp memory.  Amazing.  She can remember things that happened months ago, in detail.  Some things she recounts often… like the fact that almost a year ago she was feeling sick as we walked into Costco and she threw up on the floor as we were trying to get to the bathroom.  She had told me that she felt funny in her belly and that she needed help.  It upset her a lot at the time that she threw up on the floor.  Daddy taught her right about that time what vomit is.  And when we go into Costco still, she will tell me about that time, all the events and feelings, and how she is not going to “vomit” on the floor this time. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’m not going to vomit today. I don’t need to vomit right now.”
  • She will tell in full detail what happened at Y-school or at Thursday school or at Sunday school.  She shares about what each kid did, how the teachers responded, and how everyone felt about it all.  And then, if I ask her a few weeks later about the time she went to Thursday school and made a pumpkin, she will go through all the happenings again if asked. 
  • She’s been doing the big-girl potty thing for almost a year, which is very nice, but she has some strange quirks about it recently.  She has taken to going as rarely as possible.  It seems that she has one strong bladder.  And her little memory/anxiety skills have brought about big issues with public bathrooms.  We carry this with us at all times, in her little backpack, and it’s a lifesaver for both Braska and KiKi since they’re way too small to deal with a full-size public toilet. But--There was one instance, back at the end of the summer, when we were playing at a park nearby.  She went to the restroom with me after saying she needed to go.  I sat her on the toilet, (didn’t have the Primo with us) and I stepped away to the sink while she held on to the big thing.  It had an automatic flush, and it was THE LOUDEST flush I have ever heard. Think freight train under your tush. It scared her half to death.  She was screaming and trembling and hanging on for dear life.  It took her a bit to recover that day, and she has since been terrified of public toilets.  I often show her that it’s NOT an automatic flush toilet, or I promise her I’ll stay right there so it won’t flush.  But she often just refuses to go and pleads to get down.  I feel kind of bad about that one… wish I’d have thought about it and avoided that little trauma.
  • Overall, she is a lot of fun.  A lot of work. And a lot of blessings.  I’m excited for her future and I’m scared, too.  She’s going to be a challenging kiddo, and I just pray often that we raise her very well.  We aim to help her be all God designed her to be, for that is our job as parents of the gifts he has given us to care for. If handled appropriately in these early years, the girl will be a superstar at whatever she chooses to do.  Can’t wait to see it…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Re-entry via Random Street

Hopefully by now most of you have realized that we have not vanished into vapor and that I have, in fact, just been unable to blog in the preferred regular-and-with-worthwhile-content manner. 

But after being gone, missing so much that has been so bloggable (IF it were not that I have too thoroughly mixed the IRL and blog worlds), where does one begin again?

Who knows.

So I’ll just throw out some stuff that’s been rattling around or that has happened in snippet form.

**Braska came in to my room this morning, and as she does often, paused at the light switch to flip it on. Only it’s already on with the light part of the ceiling fan turned off at the fan.  Because I’m not a big fan of SURPRISE! It’s time to get up! lighting.  She’s diligent, though, and she still attempts it every time.  And for the few times I forget to properly arrange things, wow. Good morning to me.  Doesn’t seem to bother her one single bit.

**Last night we went to the Y after a quick dinner.  We don’t go often enough, partly due to the fact that I work there… and entry always comes with answering questions or explaining something.  But the plus side is that when I do go to work out, especially in the evenings when “my” crowd is there, I know lots of faces and names and it kind of feels home like. 

**I’ve learned more lately that I apparently have a bit of a craving for a Cheers-like environment.  (not the bar part, the “everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came” part.) And I also realized that it’s been years since I’ve felt like I had one.

**Kinlee is really an interesting little being.  One little girl—so many facets.  This is a whole post in itself. Coming soon…

**The holiday season went pretty well.  The past few months have been especially stressful for me, with work issues, family issues, kid issues, more family issues, and just life in our current world.  All that stress made me much less able to enjoy the sweet things of the season.  It also made me a grinch for many of the events.  In the end, I feel like I’m reaching the point where I want to pare back the get-togethers and holiday parties and just be home more, making traditions of our own, enjoying the fun parts of the season that are free and simple and require no small talk or feigning interest in acquaintances that really only show up for holidays. Harsh, I suppose. But when my favorite holidays are marked by just wanting them to be over, something’s gotta change. 

**I was doing well with healthy eating choices for a while before Christmas.  I made it through Thanksgiving (my FAVORITE meal of the year) with no mashed potatoes or pie.  Seemed so wrong.  Then Christmas knocked me off the wagon.  I’m back on now, and the damage is not too bad.  Got some goals for the coming months, so here’s hopin’.

**My work schedule is finally easing up this month, that is, AFTER I get the two new trainees up and running to take over the weekends I have been doing far too often.  I’m looking forward to cutting back and having weekends again to just be home a bit.

**I know I’ve mentioned this before, but seriously, who was crazy enough to name what I do as “stay at home mom.”  It’s nuts.  If I’m home 3 hours during the “working day” time, I’m thrilled.  It’s just constant running these days.  I’ve caught myself hoping for a very very big snow storm lately…electricity stays on, but we can’t venture out.  Good combo.

**New Year’s Eve was kind of pathetic this year.  A couple came over, friends that we’ve spent New Year’s with for 3 years now.  But this year I was ready to be in bed by about 10.  When did life get so exhausting?   But so far, the new year is proving to be doable.  Which is a good thing, and not something I take lightly.  Recent times have done me in too frequently.  I’m working on a new outlook and the changes to help it come to be.

There you go.  All the excitement you hoped for, isn’t it?