"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exltation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." _Ralph Waldo Emerson_

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fingerprinted...and so much more.

(I am having to work back-wards here from Memorial day weekend)

We had the craziest weekend! But before I can get to that and include pictures, I wanted to say that steps 1-2 are completed on our adoption checklist! And 3-4 will follow by the end of the week! But the worst part of the fingerprinting process was not that it took almost an hour because they had some new guy trying it out. Nor was it the fact that we had Isaiah with us and he was less than impressed with this one room windowless office. The worst part was all it took to get my fingerprints/backround check done was for me to show my drivers licence to an elderly lady (Rob and I both happened to be wearing hats that day). Some safety check.

What an incredibly busy and fantastic weekend we had over Memorial Day!

Friday I got to have lunch with some nursing class mates of mine from Chico. Although half the time I had to spend chasing Isaiah around, it was so good to see these old friends. Some of them I haven't seen in a couple years. A week before this I also got to have lunch with Jana my old room-mate from school (she's sitting to the left of me). It was a lot of fun. There is something special about the bond between nurses. I found it interesting that of this group of friends, we all are in an ICU unit of some sort...this is very rare, and it must say something about our personalities that formed the friendships. Good to see you girls!

That night I worked of corse. Saturday night we went to a restaurant/bar in down-town sac, and got to follow that up with a night at the theatre. We saw Fantom of the Opera. This was my third time seeing it, and I have decided that it isn't my favorite play. The interpretation of this one kind of soured my enjoyment of it. From such a standard, familiar play, it was interesting to get such a different impression of the characters etc.

Sunday - Mom and dad came to church with us and afterwards we enjoyed the church memorial day BBQ. It was pretty fun watching the kids run around. Mom and I followed that up with a trip to the Vacaville outlets to catch some deals (while Isaiah and daddy slept). Then I dropped off mom at the Jazz Jubile down-town. At about 65th, I exited the free-way and made a u-turn, deciding to join the party down there (after all daddy assured me that him and Isaiah were having a great time together...and I wouldn't want to interupt that). So I partied it up with my parents at the Jazz Jubile, and met some great people.

And finally Monday we enjoyed our time with our family/friends at the park for a Memorial Day BBQ. It turned out to be a lot of work, but was worth it in the end. Enjoy some pics.

(Rob and Grant 'manning' the BBQ)

(Are these the cutest kids you've ever seen or what? I just love them all so much!!)
(Poor Noah, layed up from surgery still. Looks like he's on dog duty)
(I just loved this picture of Haylie and Jacob playing)
(The girls - seriously I don't know what I would don without them)

(The Papa's enjoying every minute with their little bud)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MY MAN!!!!

Today I want to brag about my man! Last night Rob stayed up late finishing a new project. He made a new rail for our back porch. The slats went lateral before and were very spaced out, making it not so safe for toddlers. So he removed all those and replaced them with vertical code. I love it! It looks so great, and I am so proud of him. He amazes me with all that he can do, and even if he doesn't know how, he always figures it out. What a stud. Here is the finished product which I promptly took pictures of this morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Viagra for Babies

Every now and again I come across something at work that the outside world would think is crazy...well, maybe more often than every now and again. But to me these things are just normal. I thought for you 'outside' world people, i'd give you an interesting nugget into our crazy world.
And so, yes it's true. The other night I gave my baby patient a few doses of viagra. Although, we don't call it that. It goes by it's trade name in pediatrics because when treatment was first being tired, people flipped their lid at the idea of giving viagra to babies. And so it's called sildenafil....same drug....different name. Now, I know what your question is (particularly you, Grant, if you're reading this)....and the answer is no.
Sildenafil is used to treat pulmonary hypertension. In other words it lowers pulmonary vascular resistance and thereby increases the ability to oxygenate. Esentially it's a dilator...we all know that. But very interesting huh?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


No we were not camping - this is taken from the very seat I am sitting in right now...from our office window. HOW COOL IS THIS!!!! You can see how close to our window they got. Is it weird that I said a prayer for them, and their safety? Some many beautiful deer get hit on the roads around here. There is so much building going on, where will they go? Our backyard apparently....following the creek.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Chuck Swindol has said this quote before, and I had to run home and write it down the other day, "One ship sails east, one ship sails west. Reguardless of how the winds blow, it is the set of the sail and not the gail that determines the way it will go."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WHOA - How could I forget to blog this!!!!

I had the best Mother's Day Gift this weekend. And although my husband got me a steller gift (honey they are awesome!!!! I love them!!!!), Isaiah's gift to us this weekend was seeing him master the fine art of WALKING!!!! I love it. He is so cute and has so much fun doing it. You can really see it in his face how proud of himself he is. Wow, what life leasons there are packed deeply away in the process of watching a baby learn to walk. He went from 10 steps being his most at one time, on friday, to walking almost the entire length of the hallway on tuesday. SO much fun! Let the chasing begin.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Preface to 'Maybe a little Different'

I wrote the Maybe a Little Different, and after a day removed it. I feared offending my closest friends. At work tonight, my co-worked, who had read the blog asked me why I took it down, and reassured me that she was not offended by it. A second co-worker then handed me this book that she was reading, "Trees make the best Mobiles," by Jessica Teich and Brandel France de Bravo, and I now had in hand some reassurance that my musings where not off the wall, and that there was some founding for them. I have gotten through half this book tonight, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Here are some great quotes from it:

  • "They (baby) taught us that a tree outside the window can become a mobile, if we forgo the cheery, disposable stuff that litters the landscape of childhood in contemporary life."

  • A Zen Buddhist saying, "Haste is a form of violence."

  • "Very young children learn by doing, by living in the three dimensions. Television only offers two....There's no reason your child can't play on the bath mat when you're in the shower." (Isaiah's only 't.v.' time - to my mom's horror- is while I'm in the shower...but I think we'll be turning it off....there really is no need for it.)

  • "Active toys excite and entertain, but they don't enrich. The best toys are those that can be used in myriad of ways, depending on a baby's skills and imagination, as opposed to the sole way predetermined by a toy designer. After all, the designer has a single goal: to create something complicated enough to warrent the price tag."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

What a fantastic Weekend. Here's the Picture Story:

I took my Mom to coffee on Thurs. morning since they were leaving for Roatan Honduras on Sat. (I asked my mom to have a few pina colodas for me!) We had a great time while Isaiah played with his truck...what a boy.


We went to a park with Rob's Family and had an awesome afternoon. A day at the park is my kind of fun!

It seems that being a ball player is genetic...just look at that form :)

Isaiah had a blast playing with all his cousins (From Top to Bottom)
Gigi and Gino walking with Isaiah, Isaiah and Gino (he was being so sweet helping Isaiah walk), Isaiah and Genevie (alreadry fighting over a ball), Morgan coming down the slide, and Anthony with Isaiah (he was so sweet, playing ball with Isaiah).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Maybe a little Different

I am very very excited. Isaiah's 1st birthday is coming up. I had a funny thought about that too. In some cultures they don't celebrate the baby until he turns a year for fear that it might jinks the baby or something (and where infant mortality rate is 500 how can you blame them). The other day, as i was sending out his invitations, i thought, "wow, I can't believe I've been able to keep my baby alive and thriving for a whole year." I know that sounds weird and morbid, but maybe if you saw what i see on a weekly basis you might understand. I work in a place where keeping kids alive from day to day seems almost futile in some cases, and things can turn on a dime without any notice. We may work for months with a child to bring them to the point of health to go home, only to get notice a few weeks later that they died unexpectedly at home. It's so discouraging at times. So anyway, all that to say, that I am very excited that Isaiah is turning one, I can't believe that I have been his mommy for almost a year, and that he is healthy, and is meeting all the milestones appropriately, and seems to be thriving. I guess i forget just how resilient 'normal' children are.

But you titled this 'maybe a little different', you ask. Yes, and that is because on Isaiah's birthday invitation I requested no presents from our friends. What a strange thing to do I suppose, counterculture maybe. But I am solely acting out of conviction, and it is not an easy road. First, it's hard to explain 'why,' and second maybe hard for people to understand me, I know that I can be weird (I even have reservations about writing this because I don't want anyone to think that I am applying these things to anyone else. These are solely personal convictions/thoughts). The hardest part of this decision is the fact that I know friends are only wanting to show their love for you when they come and bring a gift. Here's the problem. In wanting to celebrate this fun milestone for Isaiah, we are inviting many friends and family to do so with us. I want everyone to come whether they have money for a gift or not. But I fear a couple things.

The first is that at this time in his life Isaiah is not in need or want of anything. This is a fact that I don't want to take for granted. It has happened by no effort of ours, but only by God's grace and blessing. If Isaiah continues to have more than he needs or wants what will he learn to appreciate. If the things around him are in abundance, than he doesn't learn to take care of his things because they are replaceable and disposable. And what about his character, what becomes of a boy who has it all. I grew up in 'the hills,' babysitting for many families where toys were so abundant they didn't even know what toys they had. The toys were carelessly tossed aside as soon as they were received. If a toy had many parts, then well, forget it, cause you couldn't find all the parts in the 'mess.' From the book, To Train Up A Child, "A child raised with commercial gadgets heaped upon his lusts is much more prone to be envious and covetous than the poor child who finds satisfaction in the simple things in life."

And that brings me to my next reason. I have a theory that toys that light up /glow/sing/make noise/spin/shake/giggle/dance are stifling our young babies minds, and possibly even damaging them (just my personal theory). But have you noticed that items such as Baby Einstein videos that were all the rage 8 years ago, now have critics saying whoops, maybe they aren't the best for baby. What happened to books that mom reads (instead of books that read themselves), or instruments that you play (instead of ones that play a tune from the first key you touch), or balls that roll from throwing (instead of the silly ones that baby looks at sideways rolling around by itself), the animals that mom teaches baby the sounds for (instead of the stuffed ones that make their own noises) or even just a plain piece of paper for coloring (instead of a coloring book that tells you what to color). There isn't anything left to be interactive with anymore except electronics (VERY SCARY - for more on this read article 4 referenced at the bottom). We are stifling our babies creativity and our opportunities for interaction and learning by investing in all these gadgets. It's no cliche that my baby's favorite drawers are the ones that hold the pots and pans. It's not a lie to say that his favorite toy is a giant blue rubber ball. And you could all nod your head to say that the favorite place for a child to be is outdoors, exploring the world of leaves, sticks, trees, bugs, water, sand, dirt, animals, rocks, sap, bark, flowers....climbing, running, walking, rolling, swinging, skipping, jumping, it's endless. Learning simplicity and creativity is challenging in our world today. I want to avoid 'the box.'

And speaking of 'box,' that brings me to a final point. I have often just been overwhelmed with my own 'need' of stuff. I look around and I get frustrated with my lack of control when it comes to the latest trend that 'I have to have.' And so little by little, I have attempted to be better about buying only what I 'need' (although to that extent I have A LONG way, and i do mean LONG). We go to the box store and happen upon something that we just have to have. But the problem is that it eventually ends up as clutter. It clutters are footpath, our home, our garage, our lives, our minds. Not to mention the effect that all this 'stuff' has on our spirituality. And finally the effect that it all has on the environment. My friend Kelli directed me to this site It's about 20minutes long, but is certainly worth the thought. Something to contemplate. I'm not a band wagon girl, and I don't 'go green,' but do think about the implications of the things we do.

And a final quote. This one really stuck with me, it's from TTUAC (see above), "Never consider your affluence to be an advantage to your children. It is a handicap for which you must compensate. " Yikes, we have a major handicap, and I often don't feel like I have the tools to fix it. None of this is directed at anyone but myself. These are only convictions that I apply to myself and never expect anyone to take on for themselves (unless otherwise led to do so). I will always love giving gifts and will continue to do so....I just am looking for boundaries for our family. I am working off of conviction and may change my position in the future. But for now, and for our one-year-olds presents please (except for the cute ones that match the jungle theme in Isaiah's room....just kidding:)

I'd like to leave you with some statistics that are amazing!

by Focus on the Family
Children can begin to distinguish brands during their preschool years. Six-month-old babies can visualize corporate logos and mascots, according to the Center for a New American Dream. Brand loyalty begins as early as age 2. The average 3-year-old recognizes 100 different brand logos.
Toddlers cannot distinguish a commercial from a television show. The same is true for stories and puzzles versus an advertisement.
It isn’t until age 8 that kids begin to realize advertising can be untruthful or misleading.
As children take in multitudes of commercials, they learn to place worth in material possessions. As they grow, this materialism can contribute to discontentment, unhappy relationships and drug or alcohol abuse.
In 2000, $2 billion was spent on advertising to children in America. Today, that figure has increased to $15 billion.1
One-third of young children have a television in their bedroom, as do two-thirds of pre-teens and teens.2
In a study of more than 1,000 U.S. families, researchers found that 40 percent of 3-month-olds and 90 percent of kids aged 2 years old and younger regularly watch television, DVDs or videos.3
Children greatly influence parental spending. In 2008, households are likely to spend up to $2 billion online for children’s toys, and an average of $172 per household.4
According to advertisers, children under age 3 represent a $20 billion market.5

1 W. Greg Rybert, Sen. "Don't Hold Children Hostage to Ads,"*Island Packet, Opinion (March 2, 2008). Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, accessed March 20, 2008.
2 Todd Huffman, M.D., "Turning Kids’ Minds Off Consumersism,"*Op-Ed (February 26, 2006). Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, accessed March 27, 2008.
3 Sheyrl Ubelacker, "TV May Harm Toddlers’ Brain Development,"*Canadian Press (May 8, 2007). Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, accessed March 27, 2008.
4 Adam Leech, "Smart Toys Teach Without Kids Knowing It,"*Seacoast Online (December 23, 2007). Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, accessed March 27, 2008.
5 Jason DeRusha, "How Many Brands Do Young Children Recognize?"* (May 14, 2007). Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, accessed March 27, 2008.
*(Note: Referrals to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quick Quote from M.T.

We love our calendar with daily quotes from Mother Teresa, I liked this one last week, "When life is most demanding and you give cheerfully inspite of it, that is love at it's best."

Hummm, that's a challenging one for me, especially for days like yesturday. It was 'one of those days' for Isaiah, and I only had gotten 2 hours of sleep after getting home from work at 8 in the morning. It has almost become fun trying to challenge my brain/emotion to act/behave better than I feel. I'm not always the most cheerful giver after nights at work.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pics and Quote of the Day

I think I'll have to work backwards...i had a busy weekend and didn't get the chance to upload these pics!

I thought it was a little quiet monday morning. I usually let Isaiah cruz the seems that he has his dads sweet tooth. This would be his first cookie...he decided to try them out on his own. I was laughing so hard. There were cookies all over the floor around him and some evidence crumbs on his big cheeks.


Beach Day! What a blast! Thanks Sandy for organizing this great day at the beach. We had to walk a quarter mile to actually get to the water....but the kids did great, and we had such a good time with the other kids. Got to try out our new sand toys from aunt Jeanette too!

I had to include this pic as well for Friday! Jamie and I had previously gone to a gymboree music class together to try it out. It was a blast, and i was really excited about it...that is until Rob and I discussed the price tag. SOOOO I decided that we would do our own music class at home. On Friday mornings I am very specific with our activities containing music things. We play on the piano, we bang on the drums and we sing and dance to the kids praise music. We both have a blast and we are 'learning' music!

(btw...can you believe this piano was FREE!!! love craigslist!)


Thursday we kicked off Young Life club with a nacho stand at Oak Ridge's annual spring fling. Isaiah was digging the backpack, and he loved handing out the frisby's to the kids that came by our booth. It was a fantastic day, and the kids really enjoyed the frisby's, they were playing with them on the field...esentially we had young life's name 'flying' all over campus!!!! YEAH!

And finally my deeper thought (DT). I am including this link on my list of places to stop. Chuck Swindol is doing a mini series on 'The Woman Who Fears The Lord.' It's great! Which I would expect nothing less from this amazing teacher. I just love my many great things to learn out there, and what a fantastic tool to use. This next quote (as read by Swindol) is from Erma Bombeck. Please enjoy Moms!
Titled: 'If I had it all to do over'
Someone asked me the other day if i had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then i thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away 9 months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadows over my feet, I would have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summers day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the good living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fire place. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rumble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored in the garage. I would have sat cross legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. i would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. I would have shared more of the responsiblilty carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. i would never have bought anything just because it was practical. when my child kissed me impetuously, i would never have said, 'later later, now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'i love you's' more 'i'm sorry's', more 'i'm listening.' Bt mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it. I would look at it and really see it, try it on, live it, exhaust it and never give that minute back until there was nothing left.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Monday's Hike Highlights

(Isaiah (on lf) and his best bud Elijah, kinda look like brothers in these pics)
For anyone reading this blog, and not on my email list, on Monday's I lead a hike. It's been a different hike every Monday. I try to find paths that will allow jogger strollers, although sometimes the best ones require a backpack. If you're interested in going or at least getting updates on where hikes will be, send me a comment. For obvious reasons the info will never be on the blog. So far they have all been fantastic fun. Every Monday has brought different adventures.

So my girlfriends think that i am now snow-white, or Evan almighty or something...i seem to attract animals, and they thought that i should include it on my blog. so this is the picture of the lizard. This particular Monday my stroller was attracted by friendly lizards, yes, lizards with an 's'. It was funny at first (hence the picture), then it freaked me out a little. Last week it was geese...which they all thought was hilarious that i tried to scare them away by kicking one - to no avail (i don't like harming animals, but when your baby's safety is involved it's kind of a mother bear sort of reaction :). Last week there was a deer right under our front door walkway when i came out to go to work. And there has been a neighborhood dog follow me home from a run recently (and again with Rob). This week we were also looking at getting some goats for rent for our backyard, although i don't know if this counts in the snow-white theory.

I thought this was a great excerpt from 'To Train up a Child' by Pearl
"Parents should not wait until their child's behavior becomes unacceptable before they commence to training - which would then actually be discipline. Training is not discipline. Discipline is the "damage control" part of training, but is insufficient in itself to effect proper behavior. Training is the conditioning of the child's mind before crisis arises. It is preparation for future, instant, unquestioning obedience. An athlete trains before he competes. Animals, including wild ones, are conditioned to respond to the trainers voice command..."
This is from the first chapter where it explains the difference between training up a child, and discipline. I am reading the book again which is great reinforcement for me. I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quote of the Day

While I figure out why my picture uploader do-hickey isn't working, here's a great quote that we have on our wall that i thought i'd share:
"Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance." John Petit-Senn