Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Took His Hand...

This is a poem that I swiped off of Slightly Crunchy. I cried...it speaks so loudly to me!

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I...
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood...
My kitchen wasn't swept today
But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill...
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lion Love

Ok, so I have watched this 3 times and everytime, I cry!!! It's AMAZING!

Pronouns and Owie's

A Solomon Update.

Solomon's newest speech advancements are he/she/him/her's and I just love it. He has started referring to himself as "he" which is too funny! He loves to point out a "little boy" or little girl" and it just really impresses me.

Another funny word, that I do not love, but still amuses me is "can't." Here is where the "he" comes in. I ask him to clean up his toys. "Momma, he can't!!" haha. Funny bug.

Probably his biggest "owie" yet...he was trying to climb up the laundry basket. It has little hard plastic diamonds cut into the side and he slipped and ripped of all of the skin on his pinkie toe, between his pinkie toe and his fourth one in. It was a bloody mess and very traumatic. He kept telling everyone that his toe was pink, so sweet. Every time the bandage falls off he has a total meltdown and we MUST get one on asap. He is "recovering" well though. He is a tough cookie.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

His Greatness Surpasses All...

We I have some incredible news!!!

Well the meeting went well (though I still don't have the details...thanks Sara for not calling meback you bum! :)) and so I have some awesome news.

Gregg and Eileen, Sara's parents, got approved to take Bri in as their foster child!!!! WOOO HOOO!!!! It is just them and Sara's little brother Josh, who is 8. It is close to ideal for many reasons. It's a two-parent home. They are financially stable enough to be able to offer over and above what she needs. Eileen is a stay at home mom. Gregg and Eileen have at least 10 years of experience working with foster kids (could be way more, they always had foster children when Sara and I were growing up), even violet, very troubled one. The only down side was having Josh because a big trigger for Bri is competition. However, the odds of Bri being able to be placed into "the perfect" family, being that she is currently "unadoptable", she is 7, she has a psychiatric and voilet history...probably not going to happen. Sara gets to see her on a weekly basis. Sara gets to be her mommy. Nana and Pop-Pop are still Nana and Pop-Pop. She doesn't have to add another "split" to hear years of pain and abandonment.

The thing we will need prayer for is this: This is like the last possible solution. We are confident that God can heal Bri and that this very well might be a life changing experience. If for some reason, God has other plans for her, then that will be His will. But for know, I ask for prayer for wisdom for all involved, for comfort and healing for Bri and for healing for Sara, Kimberly and Melody as they recover and now adjust to, yet another change.

How great is our God...

Just Today

First, at this very moment, Sara, her mom, Bri, 2 social workers, and a psychologist in reguards to the current situation with Bri. PLEASE pray. It's at 3:30 and I expect to hear from Sara as soon as she is out. I just spent some teary time in prayer for the whole situation.

Second, EARTHQUAKE time! Haha...I have been in tons of earthquakes but never one while sitting at a red light. It was quite an experience. At first I thought someone was ramming us from behind, then thought our car was going hay-wire, then, Will who has been in about 6 earthquakes, but never felt any of them (as he grew up on the East Coast) says "OHHHH it's an earthquake!!!" Phone severice was out for about an hour but all in all it was pretty uneventful. It was a 5.4 centered in Chino Hills, which is about 40 miles from us.

Thirdly, I heard this extremely disturbing commercial on talk radio. A woman was urging listeners to write state representatives and ask then to "leave BPA in our plastic's because if they remove it, it will cause great harm." Um, synthetic estrogen, not good, for anyone. Made me mad. I have looked all over on the radio's website for that person who was putting out that commercial so that I could give them a piece of MY mind...to no avail...

Lastly, I'm getting really tan. haha. God bless a husband and sister who hook me up with free tans haha! Oh and we had yummy Open Sesame lebonese today. Yeah, I think that's it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trash, Save The Babies!!! (and their momma's!) and Blink

THIS looks like a must have for my next child.... uh...not!

And I thought these were great stat's from Walk Slowly Live Wildly

1.4 millionAmericans who suffer from hoarding or clutter.

80Percentage of things Americans own that they never use.

300 MillionNumber of shoes thrown into landfills in the U.S. each year (donate them to www.giveshoes.org instead).

11Percentage of retired personal computers that were recycled in 2001 (visit www.techsoup.com for info on donating computer hardware).

75Percent of employed people of recycle at home (yet only 49 percent recycle at work).

5Number of items needed for “zen-cleansing” (baking soda, borax, lemon, salt, and white vinegar).

25Percent more headaches experienced by pregnant women who use air fresheners and aerosol cans at home.

92 BillionNumber of plastic bags grocery stores and pharmacies go through each year (San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban large grocery stores and pharmacies from using them).

Sources: treehugger.com, soles4souls.org, techsoup.org, Rastad USA survey, The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing, New Scientist, Newsweek.

Angie has done it again...really shown me such a perfect image of the God I long to serve. I struggle immensly with this. I want so much to be perfect at serving Him. When I fail, I tend to give up. I just want to look at my life as she explained..."Wow. I don't look like myself in that one. Let me try that again." I need to remember this constantly...what a beautiful image of the mercy and love that I absolutely do not deserve.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bri

This entry is going to be the hardest one I have ever written.

I post this some time ago. My best friend, Sara, has had Brianna since last October (or around there.) She is 7, and I adore her with my whole heart. She is the first person, outside of our family that Solomon recognized, loved and talked about non-stop. She would cuddle him, try to wrap him up in his blanket (which didn't go over very well, condidering he's a very active little big), and he adores her like he adores no one else. I feel like I have this connection to her...I cannot explain it, but, aside from Solomon, no other child has touch me the way she has. I love her so much!

She has had a slew of issues well before she was given to Sara (Sara also fosters and is in the process of adopting 2 of her other sisters, Melody, 5, and Kimberly 20 months. She has had both of them since Dec 2006). In the first two weeks of Bri being with Sara she was put in a psyciatric hospital on a 14 day hold for suicide attempts. It has been a really long road for Sara. She has constant episode with Bri, where she literally consumes every ounce of her strenght, causing Melody and Kimberly to fade to the background. Bri is violet, hits, kicks, bites, throws things, screams, tries to hurt her sisters, kicks the living crap out of Sara, becomes like a tornadoe and just rips through the house. Sara has to restrian her in, what looks like a straight jakcet hold for up to 15 minutes at a time to keep her from harming herself and others. Sara is an angel. I don't know how she does...did I mention she is single...yeah...again, I really don't know how she does it.

Things with Bri have been getting progressivly worse, where there are no triggers and each fit bring a new high. She used to be very remorsful, now, she isn't. Tuesday, Solomon and I went to Sara's to hang out with her and the girls, go the park and just have a nice day together. We all started piling into our cars to head for the park and Bri starts complaining that she doesn't want to sit in a damp seat. The day before, she purposfully poured a bottle full of water in her sisters seat because she was mad at Sara, and was told that because she made that choice, until the seat was dry, she would be the one sitting there. Anyway, Solomon wanted her to come in our car, she the potential blow out was avoided there. We stopped at Jamba Juice b/c I hadn't had breakfast, and while I was inside Bri started ranting about how unfair it was that she didn't get to have a Jamba and she was mouthing off to Sara. I told Sara (who I was following) that I would have a talk with her. I firmly told her that she had two choices. She changed her attitude, apologized to her mom, and acted kind, or we would go home and she would sit in her room. She said she wanted to apologize and she did. We played at the park for a long time. Bri started complaining that she doesn't want to play with her sisters, Solomon, or me or her mom, she wants someone her age. Sara and I both said we were Sara that she was unhappy but there were lots of kida to play with and she needed to be thankful for that. We gave a 10 minute warning before leaving and here, my friends, is where it began.

"Mom, I AM NOT sitting in a wet seat!!!" (I was going home straight from the park)

Sara looks at me and mouths, "Greeat! Now what do I do?"

We talk about it for a second and decide since we want Bri to succeed, we let her know that if she has an attitude change, and talks kindly, we will find a blanket or towel for her to sit on.

Sara calls, "Bri come here sweetie."

NO!

I say, "Brianna, your mom called you. Get up and come here please."

NO!


I say, "Take Solomon, I'll get her over here." Ha...so I think.


I give her 2 choices, come when she is called or get a consequence, she goes.

Sara explains that if she changes her attitude we will keep her from being wet with a towel or blanket. She says, "I am NOT choosing ANY OF THOSE" and proceeds to kick her mom in the shins and run away.

Sara walks away, comes to me and both of hearts begin to pump a little faster. This isn't the first episode that I have been present for, but it's been awhile...they are more infuriating that I can adequatly express. Never have I wanted to knock a 7 year old upside the head more... It is jsut so rude, so defiant, so angry, no matter how kind you are, how much time you give her, how many choices you offer her, how stern you are, literally, everyone has tried everything!

Bri climbs to the highest point of the jungle gym...this is the place that encloses the highest slide, so that sweet little ones do not get hurt, and she is, indeed, on TOP of it. Sara tells her to get down. MAGIC, she listens. I think she was a little afraid. Im holding Kimberly, Melody is playing momma to Solomon, and Sara is pleading/demanding that Bri come to the car because it is time to leave. She is getting nasty no's from Bri. Sara climbs the jungle gym, I stand at the bottom of the slide with Kimberly in tow, and we pretty much flush her out. By this time, Sara and I are devestated, sad, angry, pretty much wanting to collapse and cry. I grab Bri by the arm until sweet Sara crawls through tunnels, braves bouncy bridges, and makes it down the slide. Bri instant unleashes all furry on Sara with kick, punches, "I don't have to listen to you"'s, scratches, hair pulling and any other pain causing action she can manage to get in on the 20 second walk to the car. Sara is trying to carry the 7 y/o turned attack animal, protect her from hurting her and herself, and let's just say she is out of breath and sweating in about 20 seconds. Bri is flailing...and completely out of control. It is like something takes her over...it's the only way I can explain it.

I, while somehow holding Kimberly and Solomon, take Kimberly's carseat, load it into my car, get both toddlers and Melody buckeled up, and all the while Sara is still trying to negotiate a plan with Bri to get her into her car. She gives her another mintue to decide and then asks for my help to get her into the car. We put all the child locks on (as she has attempted jumping from a moving car before) and as she tries to attack both of us, the secure her arms and legs and spend a good bit of a struggle trying to get her into the car. (there isn't really a happy or funny side to the story, but on a lighter note, I cannot imagine what the other mom's at the perk were thinking about us!!!)

Once Bri is "safely" into the car, Sara starts to drive. I immediately follow. I can see, from a few car lengths behind Sara's car, Bri kicking and punching Sara full force. She pulled out a huge chunk of hair and proceeded to play with the hair for a moment. She tried to rip Sara's earrings out. I am seeing Sara swerving, trying to avoid Bri's attacks. This 7 year old has more rage in her than most 26 year old's can imagine...and rightly so. She has a drug addict birth mother, who has no parental rights, gave her up, and God only knows what kind of abuse she has endured from men in her birth mothers life, and any of the ohter horrible adults in her life that have caused her heart to be so maimed.

Melody told me on the drive home, "I get so angry at Bri when she acts like this Auntie Amber!!!"

"I know baby. I am angry right now too. It's ok to be angry. What happens to your anger?"

I just hold it all in until it disappears..." Uhhh...yikes...serious issues, creating more serious issues.

We pulled up to Sara's and Bri wwould not stop hitting her. Sara was hysterically crying. She has called the social worker and he was on his way. I get the other kdis in the house and start making lunch for everyone. Sara calls from outside, where we have to, again, with all of our might, restrain/drag her into her room. She had the chance to walk in. She chose otherwise. Sara had to sit in her room with her, in the "straight jacket pose" for about 30 minutes.

When the social worker got there...his advise was beyond useless. He said she should have done the straight jackt pose at the park. I don't think it was really my place but I couldn't take it. "Wait she has a toddler. She can't be having a physical brawl for up to 3 hours at a park while her other kids take off." He said he knew it wasn't practical but... and but was about all he had to say. No practical solutions at all!!! I was furious. These should be the people helping her, giving her solutions...NOTHING!!! Apparently it has always been like this...I had no idea. I felt like a lousey friend.

Sara ended up talking to another socail worker who asked if she wanted an honest opinion...UH YEAH!!! She told Sara and Bri will be a teen that pulls a knife on her. It is extremely unsafe for Sara and the other girls for her to be living there and if Sara hadn't wanted to adopt Bri, they would have taken her out of Sara's home after the first incident!!! Wow...ok...well there were some very obvious miscommunications...but at least everyone was on the same page now...

I got a text from Sara t bout 7 pm. "I cannot believe this. Bri is having another massive fit. My mom just got her and 2 social workers are on thier way."

You're kidding? No... Bri was trying to light the house on fire using the burners from the stove, and any random thing she could find to throw on the stove...so after a warning Sara had to restrain her again!!! Bri bit her so hard that she bled. Sara's mom helped her out some and when the social workers got there, they decided she would go to a respite home until they can all have a meeting. Bri will likely not be returning to Sara.

I am angry. I am angry at all the adult who have injured Bri. She is only 7. She, in a perfect world deserves more than she will ever know. I am angry that she wont let people love her. I am angry that her heart is broken. I am angry that Sara has put her life on hold to help this little girl who will not allow anyone to help her! I am angry that Bri hurts Sara so deeply. I am angry that Bri's sisters are feeling pain because of her actions. I am angry because I am going to miss Bri with my entire heart...I love her so much...and I am completely devastated. Those three girls are the only "nieces" that I have and I will miss her terribly!!!

I am at peace. I know that Sara has done far beyond what she ever could have tried. I know that Bri needs something far more than I think ANY one person can offer...she needs an army of people! I am at peace because I know God has his hand on her. I know that only He can heal her little shattered heart. I am at peace because I know that God's strength is big enough for all of us to tap into and help us get through this hard time...Oh God help us...we love her so much!!!



****UPDATE*****
Please pray for Jen and Justin lost a close friend, Chris Laurie, in a car accident today. He leaves behind a wife, Brittany, who is 6 months pregnant and a 2 year old, Stella. Please pray for them!! Their lives will never been the same...

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Whole Lotta'...

Things...they are overall going pretty well.

The bottle...to update, has resurfaced, mostly by my (and Will's choice). Solomon had one of his famous fevers on Wednesday night, which thankfully broke on Thursday morning, but since he had a fever, we decided he deserved a bottle...haha...mostly, we just wanted him to have the bottle for a little longer, until, as an AP family, we all feel like its time to move on. We all just weren't ready yet. After reading yahoo questions and finding all kinds of answers about pretty much every 2 year old on the planet (haha not really, but there were hundreds) having a bottle and eventually coming off of it, we just decided that it would be worth it for us all to be comfortable...

Will's dad came for a visit. He arrived Thursday and left Saturday. He was so sweet and plesant. Solomon has only seen him a few times so it was nice to reintroduce him, and see just how much they adored eashother. On Thursday Bill (Wills dad) wanted us to go toys'r'us, which was also his first visit there, and said he could get whatever he wanted...ahhhhh...He was even willing to get him a $500 ride on powered jeep thing...whew...we escaped it though. We ended up leaving with a big talking Mater from CARS, a powered by remote control CAT backhoe loader, and a Mack from CARS that opens up to be McQueens living space. Pretty awesome.  We were very grateful that Bill wanted to do something so special like that for Solomon. It was very sweet. We also attempted a movie...haha...attempted. We saw about 20 minutes of Wall-E until Solomon decided he had DEFINITELY had enough. Overall, it was a great day. Friday we picked Bill up from the hotel and were off to the LA Zoo. Bill and Solomon really enjoyed their time together. It was a great day. Saturday we just met him for dinner and talked about the upcoming move to PA and what it would be like to start a practice there (he has a great Chiro practice there as well) and Solomon entertained us...it was great to have such a pleasant visit with him.




I have been a little down lately. Solomon seems to hate me! He cries with I walk in to get him up from his nap. He SCREAMS for daddy. It takes me ages to calm him down. I just feel awful  At night/in the morning, if I even show my head before Will does, he just completely melts down! Thanks a lot buddy, I birth you and this is the thanks I get...it makes me sad. I have heard a lot of people say that it's common but it doesn't hurt my feelings any less. Will is gone a lot! But not so much so that I think it makes it worse. Solomon gets to upset when he sees Will start to get a dress shirt and tie on...he just goes crazy thinking of excuses to get Will to sit down and stay. I just feel like a boring old maid...I miss my cuddly boy who loved me...hopefully this passes soon!



My sweet  friend Sophie (she and her son, Adam (who was 4 at the time), were pretty much my "other half" while living in Uganda...they are just AMAZING!!! She has since married, she has a beautiful step daughter and a little 3 year old name Josh and new baby Jude) had a baby 2 weeks ago...here is a picture to enjoy of her two boys, Adam and Jude and her hotness...TWO weeks after giving birth. She said her home birth went really well, apart from he midwife dropping Jude as he came out...yikes!!! oopsie!



In other news, while eating lunch Solomon looks at me and says, "Momma, poop on potty." I was like, "uh now.....ok!" And I got him up from the table, sat him on the toilet, and Ta-Da!!! I have a picture of it haha, but I will spare you.

Also, I burnt my lip. I was having this tiny little vegan pizza pocket type thing, that was WAY hotter than I thought. Some of the sauce, which was SOOO hot, shot out on my lip and it was just so painful. I had this big blister for 5 days. Gross...the picture doesn't really do it justice, but yes, not fun.


Will and I have been at each others throats lately...again. You know, of all the things that can cause stress on a family, you add in, living in a country that is illegally at war, which is causing oil prices to soar, which makes everything else more expensive, you have the economy plummeting and the housing market bottoming out, our planet is so polluted it's causing horrific climate change that is terrorizing the whole world, toxins fill the air, not to mention the sad state of the church, and it's A LOT to take in as a young family. Our parents don't understand the level of stress that we are under because they bought houses that were 60K and had a secure economy and, at that time, only a semi-corrupt government. It is sometimes hard for us to even talk to them about it because "they made it" and "they have been there." Then there are the super fun conversations that end with "Well Amber needs to get a job, and work when you get home." Which is 7pm...so I guess I need to be a bartender, work 7pm-2am and wake up with my son at 5am...yeah...You understand right...? It all puts pressure on us and we just take things out on each other. It doesn't help that we don't get alone time together, we don't have our own room and we just long for a time when we will have it. We know it's just a season and we are trying to just take it as it comes and enjoy all the happy moments, that hopefully some day we can look back at, and laugh! I am so grateful that I have a husband who works so hard for our family...so that I do not have to be a bartender haha...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Against My Inner Grain

In trying to help Solomon sleep through the night, (as I have already said in previous blogs) we are trying to wean Solomon off of bottles and reduce his (what seem like, very needed) 2 naps to 1. This is the first time we, as an AP family, have kinda forced him to do something before he initiated/showed signs of being ready for it. For us, the main motivation is trying to help him sleep through the night. He just keeps waking up terribly early (we're talking like 3:45-4:30) and wakes 3-4 times a night and can't fall back to sleep with out some form of soy milk.

Our plan was to try and switch from a bottle to a sippe cup at first, which transistioned with few tears, almost seamlessly. Then, we thought we would start moving the milk closer and closer to meal time and furter away from nap/bed time. It hasn't worked yet. he cries for water at meal time and cries for milk at nap time. We are still stuck with a sippie of milk before nap/bed time and at a loss of how to change. We really try, if he wakes at night and begs for milk, to offer other things, ie: cuddling, rocking, giving him "chills", singing, but for the most part, he will wait up 3 hours if we make him, until he get's his milk. Part of me thinks, if this is how it is going to be, then we should just give him back his bottle. At least the bottle goes straight back to be swallowed, instead of swishing around in his mouth as with a sippie cup.

I want him to feel comfortable over all. He is very active and when he is tired he is a complete bear! So cutting out the nap and trying to nix the bottle has been tough. I don't want to make life tough on him. My gut tells me to just let him have his naps and his bottles, as he likes...because going against him like this is just so against the grain of our family.

I need suggestions...anyone?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Excitement


SO SO SO sorry that I got crazy and flipped the camera around the wrong way...I always do this!!! Please...stick with me!



Our sweet friends, Patrick, Candice and their amazing daughter Jillian, got Solomon this AWESOME motorcycle for his birthday. I know I know, this is a little outdated I haven't had the time to sit down and post everything that I have wanted to in forever!!! Will's work decided to eliminate their Sunday hours, which is a big bummer in the financial area but a big horray in the "I get to see my husband" area. So here I am, posting all the things that I have wanted to post for the last month.

As you can see he was SO excited about this gift. It was the first gift he got and he was in heaven!! He loves it. He is getting really good at navagating it. he loves to compare him self to papa, my dad, who has a Harley. It is one of the most awesome gifts ever!! Thanks guys!!

Sandbox With Rachel


Solomon and Rachel (who is one of the little ones that my sister April nannies for) are 6 days apart and they play SO well together.

Two Years

It has been over towo years now that Solomon has been apart of our little family. It has been so many things...a joy, hard, frustrating, defeating, trying, a seriously learning experience, incredible, lovely, and the biggest adventure we have ever been apart of. Solomon is just incredible. We have gone through tons of "stages" but the one we are at now is just awesome. he talks so much now that it seems like situations no longer arise, where he cannot communicate to us exactly what he wants. He has this memory...oh my gosh...it's frightening at times. You just cannot believe that he know which freeway leads to Papa and Cheryl's house and the name of a friend has only met once and hasn't seen in a month. It's honestly one of the most incredible memories that we have ever encountered...and he's only TWO! We wanted to take some time just list out several funny things, special things, semi-milestones...so that we have them documented...somewhere at least.

He can count to 20. He skips maybe two numbers or so, but he has it down really well!!

He has recognized all of his letters and their sounds since about 18 months, but now he is saying things like "letter A" as he points to words.

He has learned the phrase "In a minute" which as you can imagine, is the response to everything. I guess he hears this a lot from Will and I. It's really funny/slightly irritating to say, "Solomon, come here" and have my two year olds response be "In a minute momma." haha.

Last week we were having dinner at Ruby's (we love this place because it serves great vegetarian options!!!) and there was an African American couple sitting a booth away from us. Solomon sees them, his eyes get all big and he points and starts saying, with quite the volume, "OBAMA OBAMA!!!!" I was trying to hush him, hide my complete shock/embarrassment, and not crack up laughing all at once. It will be something I will never forget!

Yesterday, Solomon was up at about 5am. Will was determined to get him to go back to sleep. Solomon, as always, was thinking of what kind of conversation he could strike up to help Will forget about said determination to get him back to sleep. My sister sometimes tries to get Solomon to say things in Spanish. When she leaves she always said "Adios" but it's been awhile since that has happened. Solomon looks at Will and says, "Adios Dada...Aunty April." haha...I'm telling you, his memory is out of control.

One of his favorite toys is this little maglight flashlight. He used to call it his microphone, but has now graduated to "flashlight." He loves taking it everywhere, playing with it, shining it in peoples faces...it's always a good time.

Solomon recognizes Madonna...how does this happen?? I will thank Will for that one, as he is all but head over heels in love with her.

A struggle that we had with Solomon when he was about 1 was he head banging everytime he would get frustrated. It seemed to eliminate itself but has resurfaced again. I hate it so much. if he cannot find somethings to slam his head on, he hits himself in the face. From what we have read, this isn't too uncommon and since it is self-regulating, it's nothing to worry about it. But how can we not? It breaks my heart. We do lots of prevention when he starts. We talk about not hitting anyone. We talk about using our words when we are mad. I am hoping that it will vanishing again for good...soon.

We have made a few new purchases, which have turned out to the the greatest purchases we have ever made for Solomon.

-Play-doh-He LOVES it. The child who NEVER EVER sits, sits for at least an hour to play with play-doh.

-Ikea Train Tracks- We got some wooden train tracks and trains that were incredibly cheap. He was in heaven!!! He loved them so much. Because they were so inexpensive we decided to splurge on the following...

-Small Battery Operated Thomas- This little Thomas fits on Solomon's new tracks and pulls the rest of his wooden trains via a magnet that they all have. I must say, it was a painful purchase...I was sick about it...but it is by far his favorite thing in the universe. he hasn't let it go in days. I was $21...gasp...sick I know!

-Ikea kid's table- First of all it was $20!!! It came with two chairs and he loves it. He plays all sorts of things at his table...trains, des lots of art work there, play-doh, eats snacks there. He just loves it.

We decided to move Solomon to our table and retire the highchair. Mostly because with Solomon's new table, there was no room for the highchair. He loves sitting at the table in his booster seat. Considering his extremely active self, he is adjusting really well. It is still new and exciting but he is listening to rules and getting the hang of it.

He is such a joy to parent. Will and I are so thankful for him. We (well mostly I) have been struggling for these last few years because we are so crammed and so financially strapped and feel so stiffled and smothered as well as rarely every feel like adults yet because we still technically live with my mom. We always talk about how excited we are for "our lives to start." Over the last week or so it has become increidbly apparent that, um , our lives have started. We are just letting what we have now pass us by because we are looking for the future to come and rescue us. We (again, mostly I) made a decision to start living like we/I want to live, right now. I am sad that I have wasted so much time. The change begins now.


Water

About a week and a half ago we went to Knott's Berry Farms water park, Soak City. We went with my dad and my little brother Aaron. It was actually super fun. We did the lazy river, the kid zone, which was awesome!!!, and the wave pool. Will, my dad, and Aaron did other rides while Solomon and I hung out with all the other kiddo's, but it was definately a good time. I would go again. Here are some pictures. I didn't get many near the water because all of the kids were splashing like crazy!!





Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not Really Hot

All the news channels are saying we are enduring a "heat wave." Um, this is the coolest July I can remember in all my 26 years. Hot? Its like 75-80 degrees. That is NOT hot. We went to the beach today. It was nice. Will and I bickered a lot of extremely stupid things. We always do this. I don't know why. We have a perfect day, full of potential sweetness and we always just muck it up with our many many imperfections. It's just disappointing. We don't get much, if any, alone time together. What with living in my moms guest house (my moms house is inhabited by a really noisey, intrusive, large family) and always having work/school, we rarely ever get family time, and I think we have had 3 dates in the span of Solomon's life. We just tend to be on edge because we spend so little time together...It's only a season (dear God, I hope so!!! haha) Graduation is coming soon. Then we will have our own space and just room to breath, in so many ways. We are counting on that changing things...at least a little.

Overall, it was a pretty plesant day. Solomon LOVES the beach!! LOVES it. Will took him in the water and ran all over the place trying to keep up with him. He loves digging in the sand and making muddy sand water. He is just too funny!

We are off to church tonight. It has been ages since we have gone. We are looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

P.S. I Love You

Yesterday...well it was an emotional day. Bet you can't guess why. Will and I sat down to watch P.S. I Love You. Wow, so like 5 mintues into, I was completely weeping. Will was teary eyed and we were scooting closer and holding eachother. We bawled the entire movie. It was just so great. I have moved it up to "tied for first" in my favorite movie spots...with The Family Stone. Will said it is his favortie movie now too. I cannot express how wonderful this movie is. It was without all cliche's and the ending was perfect!! It was just perfect. I highly recommend it to any and everyone!

Today, I decided to attempt remove the bottle, or baba as it is lovingly called, from our routines. So far so good. We were on a before nap, before bed bottle routine so no bottles with the nap's were fine. Tonight, when he went to bed, I gave him a sippie cup with some soy milk in it. We read tons of books and rocked, and he sipped a bit, but didn't want much. Then I layed him in his bed and he said "baba"? and I reminded him that "baba's are all done." He just layed right down and went to sleep...yeah!!! I'm excited. He has been waking up at night asking for bottles so we figured this might solve some of the night waking issues...hopefully...

I'm super tired, despite my hour nap today...Solomon is still waking up at the bum-crack of dawn... 5 am this morning, so I am going to sleep early...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mr Postman

Today I had to go to the post office, first thing this morning. Can I just say, I was completely fascinated by the whole postal system. I go to the post office about 6 times a month, but I guess I haven't gone this early before. All the postal workers were loading their trucks and getting ready to deliver the mail. It just hit me that being able to send a package, much less, a letter, is really incredible! Wow...anyway...I know it seems really odd but I was completely amazed as I thought about all the mail in the world and that it most successfully reaches it's destination...

Also, Solomon got playdough. We spent at least 2 hours playing with it just today. I must say, it's definitely one of the best $10's I've spent on him. Oh, puzzles, yes, we also got him a few Melissa and Doug puzzles...the chunky animal one, the chunky vehicles one, and the amazing sounds vehicles one. I am so glad we got them because when he wasn't playing with his playdough, he was putting together puzzles. Great purchases!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireworks and Bombs

Last night, while Will was at work, my dad invited us to go on the top of his 10 story court house (he is a sheriff and works as a bailiff) to watch fireworks that were going to be shot off from a very close parking lot. I wasn't sure if Solomon was going to love them or be terrified, and dispite all of my preping ahead of time, he was terrified at the first boom. I had already gather our stuff, before they started, in the case that he didn't like them, and we quickly walked inside to take the elevator down to our car. He was clinging to me (and honestly, NOTHING scares this child!) and when we had to walk back outside to get inside the car he hugged me tighter and reapeated "all done all done, go home go home."

Once we were safe in our car, and driving away from the loud boom's he was back to his usual fearless self. It got me thinking what a life like that might be like. The loud boom's we were looking at were entertainment, by choice, completely safe. What if it wasn't? What if Solomon's everyday was filled with loud boom's that could actually kill him, or Will, or me. I began to think, mourn and ache for children, families, who fall asleep, everynight, to the fear I saw in Solomon's eyes for less than a minute. How would I feel if "war" became more than just a word that we use to describe a land far far away? Most of us just sit here, taking our safety for granted. Do we ever take the time to imagine what it must be like over there, right now? Do we imagine what we would say to our sweet babies at night, to help them feel safe? Do we imagine what we would say when our husbands went to work, the grocery store, out to get the mail, in case we never saw them again? This is how we should be thinking..."whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done to me"...I assure you, these are far from "the least" of these, and we find it paining us to even think of them...much less love them as we love ourselves. Would be bomb our own children? Would we make our neighbor's child tremble in fear? Aren't we doing that now? Jesus told us, "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." What a bad example we have become. God must look down in utter grief...I am ashamed.

Father, lead us to a place where we think, love and act like Your Son...lest we remove His name completely from our title as followers of Him.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Long Beach Aquarium

June 30th 2008

My aunt's friend gave her a free ticket to the Aquarium that expired on June 30th and she wasn't able to make it there before then so she drove it over to me.

Solomon woke up from his nap, eat lunch and off we were. I was really excited. We don't often do "fun things" just the two of us. We grocery shop, run to Target, do random errands but we usually save the fun stuff for family events. I was thrilled that we got to go just the two of us.
We got there, and Solomon is just about the biggest fan in the universe of anything that has to do with water. This was his fourth time but he acted as if it was his first. He had SO much fun. The pictures aren't that great because if you use a flash, it reflects off of the glass but if you don't, you can hardly see him...so work with me now. :)

We got to touch the sharks and the "Uncle Rays" (Mr. Rayfrom Nemo, don't know why he decided Uncle was approprioate, but that's what we call sting rays). We saw seahorses, nemo and dorie fish, all different types of jelly fish, frogs, an octopus, and the best of all, baby sharks, still in the eggs.

It was so much fun. I love being with him. He is such a gem and I am so thankful that God deemed me his mother. He is so much more than I could have ever prayed for...oh how I love him.


















Potty Time

We started potty training Monday...officially (we think). He has been "using" the potty off and on for 6 months or so, but I decided to really see if he was ready or not. I took off his pants, diaper and anything else he had that might appear to soak up his pee and set the timer for 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes, we went to the toilet and went potty. From Monday, up to yesterday, he had 4 accidents, which I think is just fabulous.

Today...a whole other story. He woke up, I changed his diaper, we went pee on the toilet, and I set the timer. He was looking at me funny and I asked him if he needed to go potty. He looked at me, with that really weird look, and ran off. I jumped up to follow him cause I thought he might try to pee somewhere. I ran to our closet, (i couldn't have been more than 3 seconds behind him) and he POOPED!!! IN MY CLOSET!!! Will and I were like...uhh...ok what now? haha. We cleaned it up of course...but the whole thing just really seemed to upset him. He cried for his diaper so I didn't make a big fuss about it. We took a break today and we will see what happens tomorrow. Poor little closeted pooper ha!

Happy Birthday Solomon

(his birthday and birthday party was on June 28th)

As I have previously stated, my mom decided she wanted to throw Solomon and big 2 year bash. So...why not? We went with a Nemo theme and took it as far as little kiddo pools and slip-n-slides. Solomon had so much fun. We had to have at least 40 people here. It was pretty massive. and most of our closest friends didn't even make it...not ALL, most. I don't want to hurt any feelings.

We started out with decorating.



My mom made the cake the day before.





The swimming and slip-n-sliding was a hit!!!






Opening presents was one of the best parts...of course...








We had a blast...and were so glad for the friends and family that made it to share Solomon's special day...






We have been so blessed to have this little monkey in our lives. He is a joy to parent, and joy to love, and a miracle that we, in our wildest dreams, could have never imagined being worth of. Two wonderful years, and a life time ahead of us...we love you Solomon! Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Map

I don't want to forget this. Solomon is obsessed with the word "map" right now. He says it randomly, all the time, to answer questions, for no reason at all...he loves it.

One Million Reasons Why I Love You...

But here are just a few...I suppose this is what happens when an little almost 2 year old gets to dress however he wants!