Thursday, December 30, 2010

rockin twinkle twinkle little star

sometimes parents do things they know they shouldn't do. like giving your kid a treat to squelch an untimely tantrum. or buying your kids a drum set for christmas AND putting recorders in their stockings.

it's been kinda loud here at the watson house, but at the very least, it's been very entertaining.

here's lily and topher rocking out to 'twinkle twinkle little star'. you have to have your volume up loud enough to hear lily singing, but not too loud lest you deafen yourself from the instruments.

enjoy! (note: the music lasted about a day and a half. the instruments have been hidden/put away for the time being...)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

white christmas

today it was over 70 degrees (over 20 celsius) here in arizona. ah global warming...
i know if i were in toronto i would be complaining that it's too cold, so i will not complain about anything and just inform you that i had a really really warm christmas that started off in high heel boots, but quickly changed to flip flops.

this morning was so wonderful. the kids woke up, and we had to remind them that it's christmas and that we should check under the tree to see if santa brought them anything. with the craziness of cancun, chris and i agreed not to get each other anything this year, but 'santa' had a giant box wrapped for me under the tree-

a box of my old shoes!!!!! i have not seen these shoes since i packed up the apartment in september. my glorious shoes. thank you santa for finding this box in the black hole, otherwise known as our garage. you're da bomb. and santa even found our stockings and filled them with goodies. the kids had a ton of trinkets from the dollar bin that they liked more than their 'expensive' presents. oh kids... we should have not bothered with their real presents when we saw how excited they were with the balloons and recorders (the flute-like instrument, not something that records stuff) they got in their stockings. we could have returned their presents if they were still in their original packaging.

after our small family time this morning, we packed up for the main event- Watson Christmas. chris' grandparents, and their four kids and spouses, and their kids and spouses and kids, show up to a family member's house and eat, laugh, catch up, and do a white elephant gift exchange that takes over an hour to complete. this morning we had 30 adults and 13 'kids' running all over the place. great times.

then we headed over to wes and kim's for a psychotic lunch and present extravaganza. i got a sewing machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as did all of my sister-in-laws! wowee zowee. i really really wanted a sewing machine and now i have one. so awesome. the kids got spoiled rotten, and christmas isn't even over yet! we still have barb and jerry's to go to tomorrow! lily got her first Barbie from her aunt lindsay on thursday night, and topher has been inundated with paraphernalia from Toy Story 3. which is great cause Topher Hearts Toy Story 3.

even though there is no chance of snow, pretty much ever, for us in the east valley, on christmas, my christmases are always so very 'white' as i am constantly surrounded by about 40 of the best watsons in the world. (and according to some website i just looked at, there are over 256,000 watsons in the USA)




see! watsons all over the place!

our christmas was a very very merry one, and i want to throw out a shout out to my boy- Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. thanks for being born so that you could die for our sins. our kids know we were celebrating His birthday today, but i just hope and pray that in the near future they are more excited about Jesus than they are about Barbie and Toy Story 3.

from our family to yours- Merry Merry Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

preschool funtimes

december is not a good blogging month! so much happens that you want to share- but there is no time!

kids are still napping, so here are a few pics from the last few weeks of lily being precious at preschool.

she had her first ever 'concert' before we left for cancun. my parents also happened to be in town, so it was great having 4 out of lily's 6 grandparents at her concert. (and 2 that were missing live in arizona but had to work.) lily was not into the 'rehearsal' that morning, but it's cause she was saving up her voice for the performance at night. she was awesome. more awesome than my camera would allow me to capture. sorry for the darkness.

then when we got back from cancun, lily had her last day of school, and she made a gingerbread house! it was very cute. the kids decorated a pint-size milk carton with graham crackers, vanilla frosting, and a ton of candy. more candy and frosting landed in lily's mouth than on her gingerbread house. but that's ok. one of the many joys of the holidays.

and the last pic (i think it's the last pic) is of lily building a tower while she was waiting for her first parent-teacher conference. i love how she has different toys perched on the different levels of her tower. her teacher said she is doing so great and we could not be prouder of our blossoming lily.




Saturday, December 18, 2010

what's gonna work? teamwork!

that's a line from 'wonder pets'. i would hate to get sued by nickelodeon jr for stealing one of their best lines.

anyway, i am back! and moved in! cancun was awesome. i am not pregnant, but thanks for wondering. my fatehr-in-law picked us up from the airport on wednesday night. he gave me a big hug, patted my back, and said: "yup. i'm pretty sure you're pregnant." my mom called the next day and asked how my trip was. before i could say "amazing!" she asked if i made a baby. good times. my sister also called me to see how my trip and ovaries were doing.

i am definitely glad to know that i am not pregnant cause i was at an all inclusive resort and i drank til... well, i never got drunk, but i think i had three drinks over the course of 6 days. a total of about 12 sips of alcohol ;)

we had dinner at this mexican restaurant at the resort. it was after a long day, we went on an excursion to 'chichen itza' (if you watch 'the backyardigans', also on nick jr. then you may have caught the episode called 'chichen itza pizza'. man, i watch too much tv, and i really should be getting paid by nick jr for mentioning them so much!) i was just going to have some water and lay low, but my waiter mentioned the words 'mango margarita' and i was sold. chris had one too. strawberry. you don't have to be a girl to appreciate a good girly drink.






chris really wanted to get a picture of our two empty margarita glasses/bowls. but it wasn't going to happen without a lot of teamwork.

we had a great great time in mexico and more posts will follow. but for now- i am off to bed. buenos noches my friends.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

nine months...

that's right folks. i know. you've all been waiting with baited breath for this post for years, and here's the big announcement-

WE STILL DON'T HAVE A HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wow. anticlimactic. i know. you didn't think i was going to tell you that i was pregnant, did you? cause i'm not. (did you have a heart attack/anger attack watsons and harrisons?) and even crazier yet- you didn't think i was going to announce that we actually have bought a house, did you? good.

so, we started our new home search 9 months ago. i could have conceived, baked, and popped out a baby in less time. but much like pregnancy, there has been much anticipation, nausea, exhaustion, and ice cream consumption.

last week we heard back from a house that i REALLY wanted. the location was wonderful, the price was right, the square footage was perfect, the lay-out was a dream, and there was an option to rent it before closing. perfect, right?

until the bank showed up. here's the abbreviated version of what happened with this house:
we put an offer on this house in august. 4 months ago. not too bad. we put an offer on it right away cause i liked it so much. it had previously been listed for $15,00 more than what we are willing to spend on a house right now. but it dropped to a VERY reasonable price, which was below our ceiling, so we put in an offer. they asked for our best offer once they received a handful of offers that weekend, so our best offer was $100 over the asking price of the house. they accepted our offer and we moved forward from there.
things were actually going really well, until we received the counter offer: $35,000 over our offer. exsqueeze me? that was actually $20,000 higher than the originally high asking price for the house. so we offered an additional $3,000. then they came down to the original asking price of the house, you know, the price that was out of the question for us. so then we went up an additional $2,000 and that was all we were willing to pay for the house. all the realtors and even most of the folks at the bank agreed that this was a very fair price for the house. very very fair. but apparently there were investors involved. and they were unconvinced. so our papers got moved around to higher levels of morons, i mean bankers and investors, who said we would have an answer in two weeks. all we got in two weeks was an e-mail saying it would be "any day now, to two weeks". we waited on an answer for about four more weeks. and when we finally got an answer, it was that the investors wanted their original counter offer of $35,000 over our best offer."
now THAT was anticlimactic.
so, here we are. still loitering at our in-laws, who all deserve nobel prizes for generosity and patience. my parents were here from sunday til this morning (a post on that to follow any day now...) and today i am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, in preparation for my honeymoon which begins promptly at 5:20am, when chris and i get in the car to go get greg who will drive us to the airport so we can go to cancun!!!!! yippee!
i will return about 10 lbs heavier- from food, excess of sleep, and a spirit full of good vibes. we get back on wednesday and then we are moving into a month-to-month rental on friday.
if and when we finally move into a house, i am going to start my own business of packing and unpacking suitcases for others. cause at this point- i'm kind of amazing at it. and i've still got at least two moves to go.

Friday, December 3, 2010

trying to get a shot

two weeks ago we got our family pictures taken.
barb, my mom-in-law, is a jack-of-all-trades kind of woman, so she kindly took our pics this year. as she does most years actually.
this works out pretty great cause 1. she's got the talent to take pics AND edit them 2. the kids love hanging out with her, so they act naturally crazy when they are around her.
topher was in a particularly crazy mood, and barb captured a ton of great 'classic topher' shots.
here is one of my favorite set of shots:

we told lily to give topher a kiss on his cheek. topher heard "kiss" so he turned to give lily a kiss.

lily was not happy with topher's inability to pose for a simple shot.

success!

topher is pretty happy that he managed to make us all crack up with his crazy antics.

i will try to post more pics later, but for now, it's past midnight and it's time for bed! good night moon. good night red balloon....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

a thanksgiving treat


this is me on thanksgiving morning in Heber, AZ. heber is about 2.5 hours away from where i live in Gilbert/Mesa, AZ. chris' dad has a wickedly amazing cabin, that they affectionately call The Abbey (big beatles fan). we were up there last year, and had the good fortune of being up there again this year.

this year, i am SO thankful for my two and three year olds! man- they are so much easier to hang out with than the one and two year olds they were last year! they slept like champs, ate like champs, and played like champs the whoelt ime we were in Heber. and they did it with style (check out the pics below. i love the winter gear they finally got to wear!) they were so good that i actually felt like i was on vacation! it was a miracle. i even managed to play a card game with a friend while the kids watched Toy Story 2 on the laptop, and the men watched the 3rd and final football game of the day.

lily and topher had really great thanksgiving prayers last night. lily said: "Jesus, thank you for our dinner of pie." (she ate turkey too!) and topher said: "Jesus, thank you for thank yous." so precious! it's a blessing to be able to have things to be thankful for. topher is so deep for a two year old :)

obviously, i am thankful for my family. cause where would i be without my chris, my lily, and my topher? but this year, i am so superthankful for my four incredible in-laws. and after 2 and a half months of being homeless, i am thankful that we weren't able to move into a house right after our apartment lease. cause this experience of being able to live with all my in-laws has truly been more incredible than i could have ever imagined or hoped for. i have been able to strengthen my relationship with all of chris' parents, and the kids have just LOVED hanging out with 4 out of 6 of their grandparents on a daily basis. God is so good and He knows exactly what He is doing. His ways really are better and higher than my ways.

happy post-thanksgiving/black friday everyone!



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

samchoon

samchoon means "mom's brother". and my brother, well, one of them, was fainlly able to come out for a visit!

alex came out last summer, which is great cause we did not get to go back to toronto this year. he was only out here for two and a half days, but we made the most of our time together.

the kids took a while to warm up to their uncle, but once they did, they loved having him around. i was very impressed when my brother was reading the kids a bedtime story, cause while he was reading, he followed the words on the page with his finger. that's good reading-to-children technique! (he's single ladies! marry him! we can be sisters!)

here are some pics from our brief time together:





Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hedges


i used to have this thing from amazon that let me show you a picture of a book that i was recommending and then you could order it right from my post. but i took it oof and now i can't remember how to put it back... oh well...

today i want to talk about a great book called HEDGES. it's not going to win a pullitzer prize for riveting writing any time soon, mostly because the word 'hedges' appears in every other sentence. kind of annoying. but they are trying to make a point, and the point is: every marriage needs hedges.

i am writing this post cause i love marriages. each one is so special and unique. but the thing that is the same for all marriages is that they are sacred and meant to last FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i am so thankful that God has surrounded me with a plethora of married couples. most of them are great. a good number of them have struggled and come out on the other side stronger and better. and a sad number of them have just straight up dissolved into nothingness. although marriages don't just disappear, do they? when marriages end, there is always baggage. so much frickin baggage. it makes me sad thinking about the marriages i know that are no longer, and all the baggage the no-longer-weds carry around.

back to this book though- it is by Jerry B Jenkins, one of the 'Left Behind' writers. again, do not read this book thinking it's going to be a literary treasure that will rival the likes of Pride and Prejudice. if you want a good read, then read Pride and Prejudice. but if you want to protect your marriage- read this book. it just gives you practical advice on how to keep your marriage safe. the advice might seem a little 'too practical'- like not having private jokes with people of the opposite sex, and not flirting with your coworkers, etc. but i would say that most affairs start off as 'innocent friendships', where one person is unhappy in their marriage, or just unhappy with one aspect of their spouse, but one thing leads to another, and BLAMO! disasterville.

"many a man CLAIMS to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"
prov 20:6

and that's not just a dig at men. women suck too. a marriage is composed of two people who made a commitment on their wedding day, and the only way that commitment will stick is if both parties work, daily, to remain faithful with their eyes, their bodies and their hearts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

all our special needs

as i mentioned before, i have the great pleasure of volunteering with the special needs ministry at our church. ok, it's not always a great pleasure. i've been slapped, tackled, and assaulted by very very loud and piercing screams and cries. some days are harder than others, but for the most part, it's a great way to spend an hour every sunday.

at the 11:59am hour, we have 6 kids with diagnosises (that's not a real word, is it?...) ranging from autism, mental retardation, and downs syndrome. when the 6 are together, it makes for a pretty loud hour. but for the last few months, we were lucky enough to have another classroom space open up, so we have been able to seperate the kids. it has made a world of difference volume-wise, which is great for me and the other volunteers, but more importantly than that- the kids are starting to thrive in a super-small classroom setting.

i have two kids that show up regularly- D and E. one has mental retardation and does not relate well to his peers and prefers to hang out with adults. the other has autism and doesn't relate well to... almost anyone. but they have been forced to hang out, pretty much just the two of them, with their 1-on-1 helper, every sunday, for the last few months. and this week- miracle of miracle, we had breakthroughs. like a million of em:

E showed up on sunday with his tired mama. E had a terrible week and had to be picked up early from school 3 times last week! he wasn't sleeping well (thus mama and dad were not sleeping well either) and no one knew what cause the change. maybe he was getting sick? no one knew. so mama E was telling us all this and said that we shouldn't feel bad if we needed to call her out of service. we never call the parents out of service- they need a break! and a break with Jesus is all the better. D was listening to mama E and said: "i'll bring E some sleeping powder next week!" ok D. that's sweet. so mama E left and E calmed down very quickly. then D and E went to music time with the other elementary kids. E loves music and singing praises to Jesus! but sunday was an off day for him, so he started crying during music time, and expressed that he was scared. his helper held him and gave him tight squeezes and then E asked for D. so they stood together and sang for the rest of music time. then during our small class time, we listened to a story, did a craft, had a snack and then played. regular stuff. the boys played together, setting up an obstacle course in our little room, and racing around the room, laughing like crazy all the while. it was so wonderful! what a great sunday.

then i got a couple e-mails today.

the first one was from D's mom. she wrote that D had been praying for E several times a day since sunday. he was praying specifically that E would sleep well. D's mom was just so proud of her little boy, who has been growing in confidence over the last few months, for standing up for his friend in need, before the Lord. what a great story.

that e-mail was passed along to all the 11:59am volunteers and E's parents. then E's parents wrote back. she said she had been very tired and frustrated because there was no rhyme or reason to E's change in behavior. he had been sleeping so well, and was doing well at school. but all of a sudden, he was waking up 4-5 times a night, staying awake for hours on end. no fun for anyone. and then sunday night- E slept well. and he did again monday, and tuesday as well. now THAT's a great story!

thank you Jesus, for the special needs ministry at our church. thanks for the kids that we are able to serve, and in turn their families. thanks for loving all of us equally and not judging us according to our abilities or our needs. but thanks for giving us different needs and allowing us to lift up those needs to you in prayer. thanks for providing for our needs and regarding them, not as annoying or cumbersome, but as really kinda special.

(this is a shameful plug, but if you are at all interested in serving in the special needs ministry at sun valley cc, please feel free to leave a comment or throw me an e-mail!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

road trip

lily and i went to california last weekend and we had a GREAT TIME!
traveling with a talkative and giant-bladdered child is the best and i highly recommend it.

the keys to our success:
- lily is awesome.
- when we left on sunday, it was daylight for our entire 6 hour ride. no sleepy mama at the wheel!
- we found a very nice and clean mc donalds in indio (about the halfway point between phoenix and l.a.)
- we walked around l.a.'s cultural district for about 4hours on monday morning, then got in the car, and drove a million hours to get back home due to traffic in l.a. traffic! at 2:30 in the afternoon! really? why are there so many people on the road? i am an out-of-town-stay-at-home-mom! what's everyone elses' excuse???

we drove as far and long as we did, because one of my dearest friends, jenn, was in l.a. for her sister-in-law's wedding. jenn and her hubby jimmy live in beijing and are both architects. they met at MIT. and actually, the last time i saw jenn was when i went to visit her in boston when i was in my first trimester with lily. jenn and i went to high school together, and attended the University of Toronto together too.

anyhoo, we went to see her, but we were very fortunate to see our other friend who lives in l.a., minhee, and we stayed at her house sunday night. we walked around The Grove, which is one of my favorite places in l.a. it's kinda like san tan mall, only much bigger. and there's a farmer's market with a bunch of restaurant/stand type things, so we ate some brazillian bbq for dinner and had hot chocolate and cupcakes and walked around. just the perfect thing for a bunch of ladies to do on a sunday evening!

here's some pics from our 36 hours away from home:




my absolute favorite part of my time with lily was driving on the mountains. on our way to cali, we were coming down the mountain and lily started shouting: "my ear is not working!" so awesome. i told her it was because of the mountain and pressure and blah blah blah and that it would eventually pop and that her ear would be restored after said pop occured.

then, on our way home, we were going up the mountain and lily shouted: "don't do that!" and i told her i was just driving, and that she is not to yell at mommy. and then lily said: "i'm not talking to you! i'm talking to the mountain."
ok. so i let her yell to her heart's content.

lily: "mountain! don't do that to my ear! that's not funny! i'm not playing right now!i don't like it when you do that! you can't do that. stop it! that's not funny. say you're sorry!"

jihae/aka mountain: "sorry lily!"

lily: "mom! did you hear that? the mountain said sorry!"

jihae: "wow! that's so polite of the mountain!"

lily continued to tell at the mountain for about 5 more minutes. she stopped when chris called to check on us. then she wanted to talk to her dad.

"dad? is topher with you?... hi topher! it's noona. did you miss me?"

so hilarious.

meanwhile, back in az, chris and topher had a great time together. what started out as a joke-picture-message turned into a pretty serious new look for topher:



he loves the look and does not want to get his hair cut.

it was tons of fun hanging out with the kids seperately, but it is so great to be back together again!

Friday, November 12, 2010

happy...

happy veterans day (yesterday, USA)
happy remembrance day (yesterday, CANADA)
happy peppero day (yesterday, KOREA)

happy marine birthday (11/10, USA)

11/10 i s a big day in our family because chris is a former marine. not an ex-marine. that would mean he is dead. but apparently when you are a marine at some point in your life, you are always a marine.

chris was a marine for 6 years, actively, and has been non-actively a marine for the last 5 years. we have been very actively celebrating his 'other birthday' since we started dating 6 years ago.

this has been a seriously hectic week. i went to california for 36 hours. i watched a ton of kids. my brother, alex, came out for a brief visit, arriving on wednesday and leaving today. and now it's already been a week since my last post. and of course, we still have no word on where we are supposed to live.

but i still find myself happy. maybe delusionally so. but i am happy and thankful for all the distractions we've had the last few days. i am SO happy that my brother was finally able to come out and hang out with his niece and nephew, and that they were able to hang out with him! i miss me some Hams. i am so happy that our family here continue to tolerate us in their homes. i am SOOOO happy that i got to go to california and have a girly road trip with my favoritest girl in the whole wide world (major post on that later). i am happy that a snack called 'peppero' exists- which is a chocolate covered pretzel/cookie stick and that crazy koreans made a 'holiday' around it (i will have to dedicate an entire post to peppero day. this week! i promise!...)

i am happy to live in a land where i am free and therefore i am thankful for all the veterans who gave of themselves, their time, their comfort, sometimes their lives, so that we can live the lives we live here in North America.

and i am SOOO happy to know some really great marines. one in particular really really floats my boat:



here is chris staring at our waiter, and not paying attention to the camera. he is happy about his birthday treat at On the Border.

Happy Marine Birthday to ya former Sgt Watson!

Friday, November 5, 2010

quick update on monsieur H

the hobeman is home! yeah!!!!!

he got home yesterday evening at about 5. he is officially on anti-seizure medicine, which he takes twice a day, and something else for his ear infection. there is a permanently-residing bottle of baby tylenol in his diaper bag, because the minute he starts to feel a little bit feverish, we are to medicate him asap styles.

hobey had a long string of tests done, MRIs, spinal taps, etc etc. everything came back looking clear and fine. i admittedly feared some brain damage because of the sheer length of his seizure. God may have spared him from that for my sake alone. who knows. all i know is that God is good! he also has no signs of epilepsy, tumours or cancers. also major fears. he just hates having a fever i guess.

thanks so much to every one who prayed for him and his family. they really needed it! and for those who prayed for me as well- thanks so much. hobey's parents called me often with updates, but every time they called they would ask how i was doing with the utmost concern. it was sweet, and i think maybe i am doing as well as i am because of your prayers too.

we are back on our regular schedule next week, for the most part. i just need to get a video baby monitor (if anyone is getting rid of theirs i will buy it off of you!) and maybe create some kind of device that sets off alarms and whistles if hobey should happen to make a strange movement or two while napping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

got common sense?

"common sense" is an oxy moron, much like "short sale".
common sense is not as common as one might think. and sometimes we are choc full of common sense, but we still need 'professionals' to tell us things that we already know. like before we did the 'Financial Peace University' program (which i highly recommend to all) chris already knew what Dave Ramsey was going to tell us- don't use credit cards, save your money, don't live beyond your means (he has a billboard here in the valley that says "act your wage" which is cheesy, but hilarious, and great advice) but we didn't necessarily do these things until Mr.Ramsey told us to.

anyway, i realized this week that i lack common sense in a certain area in particular- and that is the health area. i've had a broken toe, an ear infection or two, a bunch of colds, flus, and allergic reactions, but other than that, i know little about illnesses and stuff. since i feel like your common sense barrel gets fuller with experience, my medical common sense cup does not floweth over.

monday i went to work with a strange-feeling stomach. i was drinking coffee and my stomach started to burn. i've had this feeling before. it's called an ulcer. so i stopped drinking coffee. but the pain got worse. i went to the potty, had a movement. went back to my desk. still in pain. hours go by. i go to Sprouts to get some basic groceries and some soup for my poor stomach. at this point i am nauseaus now too. not pregnant though. so stop thinking that. i go to Sprouts and all of a sudden i can't really walk any more. the pain is crippling. i pretend to be looking at a box of something organic near the ground, and i call my doctor. i tell them i am having really sharp pains and i am nauseaus, so they tell me i can come in at 3. awesome. i pick myself up off of the floor, and go to the bathroom. i have another 'movement'. similar to the one i had that morning. nothing spectacular, but 5minutes later, i feel better. embarrassingly much better. so with my tail between my legs, i call the doctor, tell them what happened and i cancel my appointment. so glad for telephones. apparently constipation can cause serious crippling pain and nausea. i didn't think i was constipated (the two movements i had par example)but apparently i was. another morsel for the common sense tank.

then yesterday i almost had a heart attack. not a real one. though i should probably teach lily what to do should i ever have one. anyhoo, yesterday i was hanging out with my boy hobes. he went down for a nap at 2:30ish, even though he had napped for about 2.5 hours in the morning. this boy loves his sleep. ipso facto i love this boy. his mom called me at about 4 to tell me she was on her way to get him. but still about 45 minutes away. no problem. so i go to wake the boy up at about 4:20. and he is sleeping facedown in his crib. and his arms are twitching. ok. so i pick him up, and he is VERY WARM. ok, he's sick. so i bring him into the living room to change his diaper. i lay him down and his eyes are open, but he is not focusing on anything, he is still 'asleep' and he is twitching A LOT. i call his mom and tell her i am pretty sure he is having a seizure. but i can't be certain, cause i have never seen anyone having a seizure before. but even though i've never seen a chicken with it's head cut off, i'm sure that if i saw one, i would know what it was. anyway, what little common sense i had before, was vacating the premises at an alarming rate.

his mom is trying not to panic, so she tells me to get in the car and start driving to her pediatrician, who is about 7 miles away from me, and that she will call him to see what he has to say about all of this. so i get the 3 kids in the car at a pretty quick, yet calm manner. i am calm for everyone except for chris, who i have called to beg him to pray for me. and hobey obviously. chris, the awesome husband that he is, left work immediately. so i am driving my kids and poor hobey and trying not to crash and run red lights. hobey's mom calls me back and tells me to go to the hospital. which is about 7 more miles away from where i was. chris had advised me to call 911, but i told him i was waiting to hear what hobey's mom wanted me to do.

we got to the hospital, hobey's mom, and her friend (so thankful for the friend for SO MANY reason!!!) were walking up as i was pulling into the pediatric emergency ward. they pulled out the still-seizing little guy and brought him in. i parked in the parking lot (common sense hadn't left the building completely!) and then the friend came out and said they wanted to ask me questions inside. so she drove off with my kids and kept them very entertained for about 20 minutes. see what i said about how great it was that she was there?) i went into the room and there were TONS of people working on hobey who was laying on the hospital bed being poked and prodded, while still seizing. i told them we had a VERY normal day. which we did!
and his mom said this was only the second time in his life that he had been sick. but of course the last time he was sick was that time he didn't wake up from his nap... man this kid is dramatic! and cannot handle a fever!

hobey is doing MUCH better today than he was yesterday. he has undergone a billion tests. and hopefully they will actually find something this time. apparently he seized for another 30-45 minutes after i left the hospital, which makes his total seizure time which brings his seizure to having lasted well over an hour. and who knows when he started seizing before i went to wake him up! did you know that a 'normal' seizure lasts 1-2 MINUTES! omg. i did not know that. i know i should have called 911. i don't know why i didn't. lack of common sense? perhaps. but that's just another coin for the common sense bank. not that i am EVER anticipating this to EVER happen again (cause i will have hobey nap on my lap from now on!!!!) but 911 is there for emergencies, and i was in the middle of an emergency, even though i was unwilling to admit it.

there are some people who just have A LOT of common sense. there are others who have common sense but need people to tell them to act on their common sense in order to look like a person who has common sense. then there are others who need to experience things, occassionally painfully so, to be able to learn things and add to their common sense pot. read my stories folks. they are here for you to add to your common sense container.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

paradise in paradise valley

this friday the kids and i went to paradise valley to support my girlfriend with a fundraiser her students were putting on. my girlfriend, becky, is an awesome awesome woman. she's in my small group, and she just is a big ball of love. she loves her family, she loves her job, she loves Jesus, she just loves. she's all kinds of wonderful.
so, this year, she has had a huge task to raise tens of thousands of dollars so that she and two other teachers can take a hand full of students to hawaii next year, as they have been selected to represent Arizona for a Pearl Harbour ceremony. it's an honour and a burden. a very expensive burden. and it's made all the worse since becky's students are on the lower end of the socioeconomic line. but these kids are trying very hard to raise money and to have fun doing it.
they have already held a number of fundraisers, and this week they had a little fair at their school. so i decided to take the kids and go. i didn't really know where paradise valley was, but i heard it was near scottsdale, and i've been to scottsdale plenty of times, so i didn't think it could be too bad. until i started driving. and didn't stop for about 40 minutes. and it was amazing to think that my friend becky makes this drive twice a day five days a week. yowsers. that's true love for her job- she goes the distance. and i was driving opposite to where traffic was, so i can only imagine her drive is actually longer than mine was.
the fair was quaint and cute, and PERFECT for my kids. they thought they were in paradise. and i guess they kind of were. ah to be two and three! give these kids some face paint, cupcakes, and some bouncy houses, and the world is a darn good place to live.




Friday, October 29, 2010

m.i.a

sorry i've been a terrible blogger lately.
i usually don't have a great excuse (still playing too much bejeweled blast. and still not very good at it.) but this week i was sick. it started sunday morning with a giant migraine. which is fine. i've had my fair share since i was sixteen. so i thought little of it. then i went and hung out with the kids i get to serve on sundays. and i went to look at one of our students who was in the other room, and she was really not herself- quiet and able to sit still. she was clammy and pale and the other volunteers wanted to see if we should call her parents out of service to come and get her. since i figured they had already brought her to church, i thought if we just kept her segregated, than maybe we could just let her parents enjoy the message, and she could take a nap or something. i interacted with our sick student for 2 minutes.
then i went home (wes and kim's again!) and took a nap with the kids. glorious nap. i felt much better. no more migraine. but maybe i slept on my neck weird? i was starting to have some pains.
i went to the store for dinner foods. came home. started cooking. and started feeling worse. note- when you are starting to feel ill, eating curry is not a good move. burping and stuff in the middle of the night and being reminded of dinner is not good. not good at all. went to bed that night with the dreaded "i'm hot, no i'm so cold, no i'm actually hot, even though i am feeling oh so cold..."
anyway, long story short, i had body aches monday til wednesday, went to the doctor to make sure i wasn't contagious, and they said as long as you don't have a fever you aren't contagious. interesting. they gave me a prescription for antibiotics, which i filled the next day, and felt immediately better after that. they might have just been dark pink sugarless candy- but my body was convinced that it was medicine and i was healed.
i was very lucky that chris happened to have monday and tuesday off, and he was all over being super-dad, super-husband, he also led small group discussion for me, and still managed to do ihs school work. what a guy. my favorite though, was one of his days with the kids, he was not in the best mood. he said he had had a hard day with the kids and felt bad about how he executed certain things. it brought a smile to my face (internally!) cause i know those days make him a little more sympathetic when i'm in a crabby mood after i've a bad day with the kids.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

my buddy hobey


here's hobey again. i've mentioned before that i watch this seriously dense bundle of wonderment. but that was back in the day when i only watched him twice a week. we've now upped the ante to three times a week- and i am still loving it! or, i am still loving him i should say.

hobey just turned 1 on wednesday and we had the intense pleasure of getting to hang out with him on his very special day. which i love all the more because he had no idea it was his very special day. we went to mc donald's to hang out in the toddler zone, but we (i) quickly tired of it when hobey found out he loves to climb up the slide and faceplant on the steps. he is 32 lbs of love, which is wonderful to receive hugs from, but not so wonderful to have to lift over and over again for 10 minutes straight, in order to save his face/life. i was also reminded of how crazy it is to have a non-walking child with me when topher said he had to go potty. the toilet at mc donalds is pretty high so topher definitely needed me to lift him up to pee. but i was holding the tank child, and there was no where i could safely place him. so we left.


here's lily living it up in the short time we were at mc ds.

anyhoo, i love my hobey cause he is one happy boy. i feel like i am from the school of thought of 'children should be seen, not heard', but you know this isn't true when you meet my kids, who are not quiet beings at all. and so i thought about it, and i feel like i have a lower tolerance for noise BECAUSE my kids are kind of loud. the way kids just are. and that's fine. and that's also why the idea of watching other peoples' kids never appealed to me before. before i met hobey that is. i would say 90% of the noises he makes are happy noises. and those are definitely sounds i will never tire of hearing.

i thought and thought of the perfect gift to get my boy. a steak? a cake all for himself? and none of them seemed just right. so instead i introduced him to his future wife. my little friend colbie seems 'bigger', mostly beside her pint-sized cousin brielle. but next to hobey, she is a delicate and beautiful little flower.

i hope you enjoy your future husband colbie, i have already started to teach him that doing the dishes and laundry are manly chores. :) and happy birthday to my hobester. thanks for giving me a serious workout- physically and emotionally, three times a week :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

i can't see the keys

i am typing on a very well-loved/well-used keyboard at my father-in-laws house right now. it is so well-used that a lot of the letters have rubbed off of the keys and gone to the place where often-used letters go to rest... and all this is fine because i don't look at the keys on the keyboard while i type anymore anyway...

i think i had my first typing class in the 3rd grade. maybe even before then. that was over twenty years ago!!!! (depression at the thought.) i've been through high school and college, having been a serious computer-user. i know where the letters are on the keyboard. and even having been a bookkeeper for the last five years, i am pretty dang good at the ten-keys all the way to the right of the keyboard. so much so that it messes me up a bit when i am actually dialing a phone number in my phone (cause the numbers are in kind-of reverse order.)

anyway, i know keyboards. they are pretty much all the same. i am a big girl now, i don't need to look to see where the letters are. except when they're not there...

i actually have made more typos on this keyboard than any other keyboard i have used in a long long time. the 'c' and 'v' and 'n' and 'm' are not to be seen on this keyboard at all. and this has messed me up in a big way this week. i've written a lot of 'ecem thoughs' (even though...) and 'bevause i meed nore nilk.' (because i need more milk. ok. that's not a sentence i have ever tried to write before, but you get my point.)

anyhow, i think this is all so amusing in light of my new hobby of trying to find God in everything. and it's not hard once you start looking. you just have to make the effort to start.

my sudden inabililty to do something that i have been doing for a very long time, just because visibility is at an all time low, translates into my faith life. i am cruising along with Jesus when times are good, but when things get a little hazy over yonder and i'm not sure where God is taking me, i suddenly seem to think He has disappeared altogether. it's like when Peter was walking on the water, going to Jesus. but once he looked down at the water and lost sight of the Lord, he began to sink. and i don't know if you are a judgemental christian like i am, but everytime i read a story about Peter, i just shake my head and think 'oh Peter, you idiot. i NEVER would have done that, had i been walking and talking with Jesus in the flesh!' but what does that say about my relationship with Jesus now? that it's not as strong as it would be had i lived 2000+ years ago? just because i haven't seen Jesus in the flesh, does that make him less real? and just cause i can't see where he is taking me, does that mean he has left me? or you? surely not. why am i so reliant on being able to see things? even when i KNOW that they are there? cvnm... cvnm... cvnm...

"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

God is so good that he loves me desppite my weaknesses/lack of faith! he reveals himself to me when i am walking through the fog every time. he is so good. i am so weak.

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20: 30-31

Saturday, October 16, 2010

kids' prayers answered

on tuesday chris and i were driving our truck over to chris' dad's house so that he could have it to use after work, so that he could go to his high school small group. which actually was cancelled. but he didn't know. and that's ok. but all was not lost in this truck-drop-off-mission, cause God is the master puppeteer, and sometimes we are good little marionettes that do His bidding. in a good way. of course.

so, chris was in the van with the kids, and i was in the truck. we were waiting to turn off of the highway at a red light. i noticed on the opposite side, a woman in a black civic, with a baby in a car seat in the back (i did not notice that there were actualy two babies in car seats though), and her car was stalled. she was not in the middle of traffic, but she was on the off-ramp. we live in arizona, land of idiot drivers, and i just did not feel great about seeing a poor lady stranded in her car with her baby. so i called chris on our way to his dad's house and saked if he had noticed the lady. no. that's ok. i asked him if he thought he could do something to help her. he said he would try, but was positive that someone would help her by the time we dropped off the car, about a mile away.

so, we dropped off the truck, and i drove the van, and we headed back up to the highway. we looked. lady still stranded. there was a big ol' SUV beside her. surely someone who was helping her. nope. when their light turned green, everyone drove away. except for the stranded lady. so chris jumped out and the kids and i proceeded to drive around and wait.

"where did daddy go?" the kids asked. i told them that there was a lady who was in her car, and her car was stuck, so daddy was going to go and help her. this thrilled them. "go dad!" lily screamed. "you can do it daddy!" topher chimed in. oh they are so sweet! and supportive. but to be truthful, they love their dad so much, they would have supported him even if i said he was going to go drop a log behind a tree.

anyway, so we drove back and forth to see how chris was progressing. he had just gotten over to her car and was talking to the lady. then all of a sudden topher said: "Jesus!" so i told him it was a great idea to pray and ask Jesus to help the lady out too. (i can only assume that's why he screamed out the Lord's name.) so we prayed. "dear Jesus, please help the lady to not be stuck anymore. amen."

so we drove around some more and waited for chris in a nearby parking lot. chris called and said he was walking over already. apparently he went over to the woman to see if she needed help. she said she was waiting for AAA. chris suggested that she maybe wait somewhere other than the off-ramp of the highway and that he would be willing to push her to safety. she was very thankful and said she was glad that there were still good people left in the world. chris asked what happened to her car and she said it just died and wouldn't start again. chris asked her to try to start it again. she did. and it started. PRAISE JESUS!!!!

so when chris came over to our van, he told us the story, and the kids were very excited to hear that Jesus helped the lady to not be stuck anymore. we have reminded the kids of this answered prayer a couple of times since tuesday. i want them to see and know that Jesus is real and He answers prayers and that He truly cares for all of us. and everytime i remind them of this story, it serves as a good reminder to myself that God knows exactly what He is doing, and that He is at work in lots of different ways for lots of different reasons, even though i think all i am doing is dropping off the truck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

there's an app for that...

last week i got a call from my mom asking me if i had called my dad that day. i said no, cause i hadn't, and i asked her why. she said it was my dad's birthday and that my sister was a terrible person for not telling me since she had already called that morning and Sungu had already sung happy birthday to his grandfather. advantage: Malloy. i was very surprised to hear all of this because my mom had told me a couple weeks earlier that my dad's birthday was in november this year. so i was very unprepared for the bomb she dropped on me.

now, i know what you are thinking- what kind of terrible daughter doesn't know it's her own father's birthday? and what kind of terrible sister doesn't call around to make sure all of her siblings who live in arizona know that it's their dad's birthday? i know. my excuse is that my parents celebrate their birthdays on the lunar calendar. i don't know what my sister's excuse is...

anyhoo, i never know when my parents' birthdays are. it is the responsibility of the spouse to inform the children a few weeks in advance that the other spouse's birthday is coming up. this is just how my family has been rolling since the beginning of time. and my excuse for not being responsible myself is that i do not understand what the heck the lunar calendar is all about.

so after 29+ years, i've decided to look it up. this is what i've found:

"Most lunar calendars are, in fact, lunisolar; such as the Chinese, Hebrew, and Hindu calendars, and most calendar systems used in antiquity.
All these calendars have a variable number of months in a year. The reason for this is that a year is not evenly divisible by an exact number of lunations, so without the addition of intercalary months the seasons would drift each year. This results in a thirteen-month year every two or three years.
Lunar calendars differ as to which day is the first day of the month. For some lunar calendars, such as the Chinese calendar, the first day of a month is the day when an astronomical new moon appears in a particular time zone. For others, such as some Hindu calendars, each month begins at full moon. Others were based in the past on the first sighting of a lunar crescent such as the Hebrew calendar.
The length of a month orbit/cycle is difficult to predict and varies from its average value. Because observations are subject to uncertainty and weather conditions, and astronomical methods are highly complex, there have been attempts to create fixed arithmetical rules.
The average length of the synodic month is 29.530589 days. This requires the length of a month to be alternately 29 and 30 days (termed respectively hollow and full)."

interesting...

and more interesting facts:

"There are many different reasons to have a lunar calendar. There are many people who perform rituals that require the moon to be in certain stages to be effective if at all possible. Many women like to believe that their menstrual cycles have something to do with how the moon interacts with gravity and everything around them to rely on conceiving their children. Although these and many other moon specific events do occur and many people use lunar calendars for specific reasons such as these there are plenty of different advantages of having a lunar calendar."

also interesting...

but since my parents are non-ritualistic, and my mom has been menopausing for the last decade, the question that begs to be asked is- why bother with this lunar calendar business?!?!?

and the answer is- i don't know. and did i actually learn anything from the two articles i straight-up plagiarized from and didn't cite? no.

when i lived in korea, it was a bit easier keeping up with this lunar calendar lunacy because many calendars had the 'Solar/Gregorian/Christian/Western dates' on them, with the 'Lunar date' written on there as well, in smaller script.

so the best way i can explain birthday celebrating on the lunar calendar is that my mom was born in the third month on the 14th day on the lunar calendar. on the western calendar, that is March 14th, which i believe is what it says on her canadian drivers license. i don't know exactly what it says on her birth certificate, i don't know if paper was even invented that long ago... (haha. just joking. had to make a joke about my mom's age cause the opportunity presented itself, and cause my mom has been celebrating her '29th' birthday for the last 35 years...) anyhoo, so depending on when the beginning of the lunar new year is, will determine when the 14th day of the third month decides to appear in conjunction with the 'westernized' calendar.

this all sounds so complicated, which is why i don't keep up with the lunar calendar at all. i just thought about designing an 'app' for it, but wouldn't you know there already is one. (i just checked. i thought i was on the cusp of being a millionaire!!!) i actually have not spent a single cent on an 'app' yet, even though i've had my itouch for about a month now. i guess spending $1.99 is a small cost for actually being able to know when my parents' birthdays are. ah, if only the price to pay for being a good daughter was only $1.99...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

the world according to lily and topher

- topher says: "dolphins are girls. sharks are boys." i don't know if he means that dolphins are for girls and sharks are for boys, or that dolpins and sharks are the same but they just look a little different because of their gender.

- lily has one sweetheart in this world. his name is hobey. last week he had some serious diaper rash and she would come over while i was changing his diaper and slathering his bottom with desitin and bag balm and she would say: "oh sweetheart. your bum is so red."

- after watching UP for the millionth time, the kids have started to look up in the sky, when there are clouds, which doesn't happen everyday here in the desert, and have started to see shapes in the clouds. yesterday they saw a puppy and topher was saying that he wanted to go up and play with the puppy.

- two days ago, while the kids were supposed to be napping, they were playing a game in their room instead. topher would get hurt and call out for 'mama', which ended up being lily, not me. it was pretty hilarious. and then later that afternoon, they were still in 'playmode' and lily was calling me 'grandma'... not as cute, but definitely hilarious.

- topher loves peeing in cups in the car. as in disposable cups. and even if they weren't disposable, i would dispose of them after urine got into them. anyhoo, i usually have one cup floating around, and the other day we ran around a ton and i forgot to stop for a potty break. so we were in the van and topher needed to pee. yeah mc donalds cup under the seat. he peed, smiled at me, and said: "can i drink it?" boys are so adorable. and disgusting.

- lily can write her name all by herself!!!!!! the other day we were playing with sidewalk chalk and she said: "want me to write my name?" so she did it! AMAZING!!!! all the letters were perfect! down the explosion of chalk to dot the 'i'. the onyl thing is that there was a stray 'y' in the middle of her name, and i had to remind her there was a 'y' at the end of her name, so we ended up with 'Lyily'. but still! it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo great! i didn't have to show her how to write any of the letters or anything. i love watching the thoughts in her brain materialize onto paper. before she would show me that she had drawn a heart, a star, and a homeless person, and all that was on the paper were three identical circles.

- topher can write his name with 'veggie straws' (chips that look like fries that come in spinach, sweet potato, and regular potato flavors.) i'm lying, he can write 'T'. which is still good. so lily decided to write topher's name. she doesn't know how to spell it yet, so it's different every time. one day it was 'oioi'. today it was "TITI" hahahahahhahahahahaha.......

Monday, October 4, 2010

cheerful? really?

chris is back. he had a wonderful mancation. did i tell you some of the details to his trip yet? chris' buddy jeff turned 40 last month, so his present to himself was a man-trip to yellowstone national park with his brother and two of his best friends. of which chris fit the bill. jeff's brother and other bff flew in from new jersey on saturday and the boys took off on sunday. they took off in a prius. cause jeff is the most frugal man alive. so these 4 burly men, each weighing over 180lbs, jammed into a prius, and managed to spend $140 in gas for a round trip to wyoming and back. that's pretty impressive. there was lots of inadvertent snuggling in the car, as well as in the double beds that were slept in. so special...

anyhoo, chris came back in one piece, and still attracted to women, and we were so very very happy to see him. then came the 'task' of getting back into our routine, which really means very little to the kids and i, cause we don't have much of a routine. but for chris there was basketball (for the league he's in and payed money for)to be played, and much homework to be done. being a master's student is no walk in the park people.

so, i have these battles in my brain about how i can and should support my husband. though i was missing my hubby for many reasons while he was gone, i was happy he was able to go away to a beautiful place like yellowstone, and hike every day, and even catch 3 fish, and just RELAX and enjoy the glory of God in nature. which is something chris actually appreciates very much. one year chris and his brother were out on christmas watching the sunset and the sky was a mutitude of incredible colors, and chris was recounting the scene to me on the phone and he said: "Jesus really showed up on his birthday today." i thought it was lovely.

but, as much as i knew chris needed this trip, and i was happy he was able to go away, for so long, and it costing us so little (thanks again cheap jefff), with really hilarious guys, i was a bit... bitter? resentful? i don't know.

and then he came back. and i was so glad he was back. but then he had readings, and assignments, etc. etc. and so i was so glad for him to be back, but i found myself once again feeling a bit... annoyed? vexed?

and i am trying to be a really good and supportive wife. especially when the things chris does is good for our family's future. like his schooling, and when he works overtime (another source of bittersweetness for me), or even just goes to work at all! i nmy unrealistic perfect world, we would all just sit around, every day, eating, making merry, visiting with friends and family, and money would fall from the sky and no one would ever have to go to work... lame. i know. so yeah, chris does a lot for our family. and i know that right now, he just needs support. so i give it to him by doing stuff with the kids, and telling him that i support him with words. but my attitude is not reflecctive of the words i speak. and it sucks. chris asked me about 3 times this weekend if i was mad at him. and of course i said no. cause i wasn't. or was i? i don't know...

so then i was reminded of a verse that i sent to a friend of mine who was visiting a very sick friend. the verse is in 2 corinthians 9:8 and it goes like this:

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

so i reread that verse, cause i felt like it was appplicable to me, in the midst of my trying to do the 'good work' of being a supportive wife. but then i read the verse before it: (verse 7)

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

eww. really? cheerful? i definitely displayed zero ounces of cheerfulness in my sad attempts to support my husband this week. or even the last couple of weeks. i've already apologized to him, and of course he tells me that he appreciates me so much and i know that's true, and i absolutely do feel appreciated by him. i told him in our wedding vows that i would always stand by him, i told him (and his bosses) that our family supports his job and his need to be 'on call at all times' kind of thing. it's easy to support him when things are easy and going 'my way'. but once he is actually busy doing a million things at once, or getting called out while I (yeah, i capitalized that one) am busy doing something, then that support gets harder to muster. and to add cheerfulness on top of that? near impossible.

so that's been my struggle of late. and i am trying to deal with it. with some cheerfulness. and what a difference that little ingredient makes!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 days. not bad

so chris has been in wyoming for 5 days now. and i have not complained about it. until now- i am ready for you to be home already christopher joel! (seriousness. i used the middle name.) lily and gravity were not friends tonight, so lots of tears were shed, and tears are not my friends. tears kind of make my skin crawl, especially if they are accompanied by their even-more-annoying counterpart, whining.

now, i don't want to sound like a heartless mother, even though that's what i sound like, but lily used to cry ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so i just need to still get over that portion of our lives and not get angry everytime she cries. especially when it's very legit. but more often than not, it's still not. if she gets hurt from doing something that i expressly told her not to do- SHOULD i express deep sympathy for her? i don't know. you tell me. i tell her that i am sorry she got hurt, but that i am not sorry that she didn't listen to me. i guess no one at any age likes to hear "i told you so", no matter how you mask it.

but i have had a great five days with the kids, and i know chris has missed us terribly, but has also had a really really great trip. so i am very thankful for that. our timing of living with the in-laws has actually been kind of perfect. for me at least. it's definitely hard hanging out with kids 24/7 as the solo adult. but if there is at least one other adult around, even if they were sitting in a chair, strapped down, and all they could do was talk to me and not even lend a hand- that would be ok! i just need another adult to talk to. but fortunately for me, barb and jerry are not incapacitated and help out with the kids quite a bit. so i get conversation, lattes, and help with the monkeys. a great deal to be sure.

today the kids did not nap. that probably also made the day a bit longer. BUT i did wake up in my own bed at 6:05am, and that was a miracle! no one called out for me in the middle of the night, not even once. so great. i was definitely praising Jesus like crazy for that blessing.

anyhoo, i have one and a half more days till the wilderness man gets back from his voyage. fortunately tomorrow night i will be out on a date with mary beth (she set up a babysitter for us! genius woman!!!!!) and the kids will have their second sleepover of their lives, in the same week. at the same house no less.

again, i am too blessed to have the family and friends that i do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

still kickin

hey peeps.
i'm here! and i am not depressed!
i got quite a few concerned texts this weekend from concerned friends who read my last post. this is my blog. my pity party are open to the public. no cover charge.
anyhoo, i have been meaning to write an uplifting post, but alas, it's getting pretty close to my bedtime. which is crazy since i have been sitting here, alone, in my room, for the last 2.5 hours.
chris is in wyoming, hanging out at yellowstone national park, with a friend of his who turned 40 this month. and that was his birthday wish- to go to yellowstone with his brother and 2 of his bffs. at small group yesterday we talked about what we would like to do for milestone birthdays. apparently a lot of men have this ridiculous desire to go out to the woods, or at least into nature, and just BE. and BE often included hunting bears. weird.
my thing is, and for no particular birthday, to go to toronto and have coffee at every single independently owned coffee shop. i imagine this would take about a year (or one severely sleep-deprived month) to do as there are tons and tons of coffee shops. i have a dream...
anyhoo, between learning how to set up my new ipod (my first ever ipod actually. i think i need help. i still don't know what i'm doing.) and playing bejeweled blast, and sending out e-mails, and trying to read my book for my high school small group tomorrow, i am running out of time to blog!
i have a ton of cute pics of the kids from this week though. i might just post them all on facebook and you will have to check them out there. but living 'abroad' has brought out the adventurous side of us. or at least the not-lazy part of us. we went to the zoo (not the best idea since it was still 100+ degrees out) rode on the camels, went to a splash pad, had our first sleep-over at a friend's, and we have been playing in the backyard a ton! nice to have 'cooler' evening weather at long last! and having a pimpin backyard to play in doesn't hurt either.
anyway, the last few days have been riddled with other peoples' ups and downs. this morning my girlfriend's sister, who had been trying to have a baby for over 4 years, gave birth to a healthy and wonderful baby girl. praise Jesus! and then we also found out that my sister-in-law Lindsay is pregnant with a little girl! also wonderful. but then i also found out that a friend's daughter, who just had a baby a month and a half ago, is suddenly getting divorced cause her husband announced that he "doesn't love her anymore". what!?!???!?!?!?!?... and then i had the scare of my life when i heard that the little boy i watch on thursdays and fridays wouldn't wake up from his nap. for hours and hours and hours and hours on end. many tests- CTScans, spinal taps, etc have been done. i don't know if they know anything just yet besides the fact that he has a double ear infection. but ear infections make kids cranky, and a little tired i'm sure. but not comatose! the little man is doing better, but please pray for him if you think about it. and for 'k' and her new baby as they begin this ugly divorce process.
life is full of ups and downs. i am thankful my downs have nothing to do with health or love and my ups have lots to do with them. very very thankful. i am so thankful for my new roommates who make me soy lattes (hot in the morning, iced in the afternoon. jerry! you're my favorite barista!!!!!!!) and make yummy dinner, and clean after i make dinner, and provide awesome conversation, and lots and lots of love and laughs for my lily and topher.
this sounds pretty cheesy, but i am thankful for you readers, who for whatever reason, read my blog, even when i'm not writing anything new for days at a time, and occassionally call me to make sure i haven't completely lost it. thanks a lot. i'm still here. and i'm still kickin it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

report card on life: C+

we have moved!
and that's why i haven't been around much.
sunday was dooms day, but every day before that felt pretty 'doomy' if you ask me. i really take for granted the fact that they say moving is one of the top 3 stressors in life. the way that chris and i have been moving of late, has not necessarily been 'easier'. the frequency of the moves doesn't help either. but why do we do it? cause all these different opportunities arise for us to buy houses, so we jump on em. meanwhile we have to land on different family members' hospitality mid-jump to make the most of said opportunities.
right now we are flat out taking advantage of the wonderful barb and jerry osborne pad. we have gone swimming almost everyday. we all could have our own rooms, but we choose to share. i don't have to make dinner to night, which is awesome, cause barb said she wanted to make spaghetti. AND i haven't even asked the crazy woman to do it-but barb has packed chris' sandwich for lunch for the last two days! (she says it's easy cause she makes a sandwich for jerry everyday anyway. great wife. great mom.) man, we might never leave!...
and at the rate the banks are working on our contracts, it kinda looks like we might actually have to stay here forever...
here's where we are at with our future housing-
house 1. we put an offer on it in APRIL. yeah, like five and a half months ago. we just signed something that said we will not close faster than 45 days. but 45 days from when!?!?... sounds like things are moving... but at the same pace my children come running to me when i tell them we are eating broccoli and horse poop for dinner.
house 2. we put an offer on this house a little over a month ago. or maybe it's been two months now. i don't know. this house is definitely moving faster than the other house (since the other house had a 3 month head start!!!) but we're not entirely sure where we are at in the process.
so, we are getting pretty comfortable here, and trying to be on our bestest behavior. i have been trying to pump these people up with korean dinners, to give the impression that we are wonderful house guests...

anyhoo, sunday was moving day and it was a record high hot day in arizona for september. awesome. even when i wasn't moving anything- i was sweating. 111 degrees. boo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and we asked our friends to help us move our crap from our apartment to our storage unit- but strangely enough, we didn't have many takers. shocking, i know. but everyone had a legitamitely good excuse. people couldn't get babysitters, it was their birthday, they were at church for almost 10 hours speaking or singing, etc etc. i don't know why we keep moving on sundays and in the summer, but whatever. we did sucker two of our friends from our small group to come and help us and we are forever indebted to Jay and Shelley. they don't read my blog, but i'm giving them a shout out anyway cause i am in love with their hearts and strong muscles. my girlfriend mary beth also watched lily and topher for me, so i continue to be indebted to her as well.

the move went well enough. we were not as well-packed as we should have been, nor were we as well-prepared as we should have been. basically, we are getting worse with every move we make, not better. i think it's a sign we should STOP. chris started the moving process at about 11 am. we were out of the apartment completely by 9pm. but not without some idiotically ridiculous stuff happening to us first:

i don't know if i mentioned our 'vinegar terror' story from when we moved into the apartment, but last year when we moved into the apartment, there was a bottle of vinegar in a box, and it spilled in our car. nasty. the car stunk. needless to say it made selling that car VERY DIFFICULT a few weeks later. so i pretty much hate vinegar. and the worst part is, we still had that same bottle of vinegar when we were getting ready to move out. i learned from our previous mistake, so i dumped the remainder of the bottle down the drain and then threw out the bottle in a big black trash bag. well, of course, as i am taking the trash out to the dumpster, the bag rips a bit and disgusting garbage juice spills on my legs. yes, it's vinegar. ugh. how i loathe vinegar. and then i had some balsamic vinegar spill onto some stuff in a bin in the front seat in the van. i was fortunately driving by the dumpster when i noticed the rancid reek, so i threw out anything the balsamic vinegar had touched. it was dark so i don't know what i was throwing out. but i didn't care. vinegar and i are not friends.

in the year that we lived in our fairly gross apartment, i had never seen a scorpion. as chris and i were really getting ready to leave, the last item that needed to be brought out was his big ol' gun safe. chris, in all his buff glory, goes to pick the thing up from underneath, and he gets stung by a giant scorpion. really??!?! are you frickin kidding me scorpion?!?!? on chris' middle finger no less. and it, and a good portion of chris' arm went numb soon after. that kinda just stamped and sealed our whole moving process. a scorpion bite on the middle finger. nice touch...

anyway, the next day chris and i found ourselves in a serious funk. i went to work for a few hours. as i drove to work i found myself in the perfect pathetic fallacy. it was a hot sunny day, the mark of a bright new day and start for our family. but it suddenly started raining, though the sky maintained it sunny appearance. ah! perfection. i was definitely trying to keep up a sunny and cheerful front but i was definitely crying inside! i was so physically tired. i was so tired of moving. i was so disappointed we weren't in a house yet. i was kinda just pissed at life and doubting a lot of decisions that chris and i had made that had brought us to the place where we were at. did we make a wrong turn somewhere? were we being greedy and selfish and a ton of other unflattering things?

when it comes down to it, we keep moving because we are trying to secure our financial future. i know it sounds crazy to still think real estate can be part of anyone's financial future, but God has really blessed us with our 1.5 homes (jeehon owns half of one) that are being rented out right now and this next house (should we ever get to officially purchase it...) is going to be a real steal of a deal. what would you sacrifice for your family's future? our sacrifice is our comfort about 1 week a year. (my in-laws unfortunately have to sacrifice a bit too...)

anyhoo... this is a pretty long post so i should probably wrap it up now. but my kids are still napping so i will add this one verse that i was reminded of while driving in the sunshiny rain in the midst of my joys and woes:

"Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."
- hosea 6:3

so as always, God is good. He and nothing else. definitely not me. i started off this week on sunday with an 'F' attitude (as in failing. not anything else. well...) anyway, it's thursday and i am doing better. i'm no all-star so i haven't been able to pull myself up to an A+ attitude just yet. i have not had a ton of internet access, which is good cause it makes me waste my time a lot less. and makes me have quiet time more. i am living in a beautiful, very well-decorated home, that belongs to two people who really love the crap out of me and my family. and they also happen to love Glee, so we had a great time watching the season premiere of that on Tuesday all together. i could not be more blessed. though you wouldn't always know it from my attitude. but i'm working on it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

crazy hair days. fun for everyone

i really really really should finish up packing (aka throwing the leftover stuff that hasn't been put in boxes yet into trash bags and declutter my life!)
but i really wanted to write this post before we put the computer away tomorrow.

this month at lily's preschool is 'color circus'. the kids dress up in a certain color everyday. then on tueday they also added an extra element of fun- crazy hair. lily's back to her old habit of undoing my hair-dos while she sits in the car, which a little bit drives me nuts, but she's 3. what can you do? and actually, the day before crazy hair day, we were just running around town and she pulled out her hair elastics while i was driving, and she said: "look at me mom! i pulled out my hair fings!" ("fings"="things") i was not happy to see all of my hard work of brushing, then parting, then elasticizing her hair go to waste. i asked her why she did thaet in my not happy voice. i realized it wasn't a big deal and i felt bad for using my not happy voice. but of course, i was made to feel a million times worse when lily looked up at me and said: "i'm sorry. do you forgive me?"
sucky mother moment.

anyway, this is supposed to be a post about crazy hair, not crazy mom.

so here is a pic of lily- while we are still at home. getting ready for school (and of course, the hair style did not make it through the car ride! which is ok! don't sweat the small stuff.. don't sweat the small stuff...)


when i was teaching at taht crazy school in korea 7 years ago, we had a 'crazy hair day' too. but ours was way more serious than this little thing at lily's school. why? cause the people i worked with were crazy, which is why i LOVED going to work. i showed up looking kind of crazy, but when i noticed the wig one of my friends was wearing, and the awesome checker pattern another friend had shaed into his head, i decided to step it up a notch. i needed a hair cut anyway, so i started chopping off random chunks of my hair. the guys i worked with took some of my hair, taped it up, and used it for mustaches. gross. i know. but so funny. i guess you had to be there.

so here is a pic of two awesome guys i worked with, who have since turned into missionaries in africa and the middle east. what a blessing to have friends who are believers, and are also a little bit nuts:

we named the 'little guy' on jono's elbow. i can't remember his name. but his locks of love came from me!

Friday, September 17, 2010

happy birthday grandma

i suck at mailing stuff. i want to be good at it. but i just suck. i meant to send something to my niece for her first birthday (which is tomorrow). since i haven't even bought anything yet, you can only imagine how belated her gift will be once it finally gets to alabama. why did you move zoe?!?!?!? now i really look like a bad aunt.

but i'm going to blame my negligence on the fact that we are moving out of this apartment tomorrow and sunday. i am presently sitting on our temporary 'couch', which is really an air mattress with an additional blow-up part that makes the back prop up like a seat. ghetto. and fabulous. the only thing chris registered for on our bridal registry. and of course he got it from a groomsman. thanks perrys. we use this thing every time we move. which means we use it VERY OFTEN!

anyway, this is a little ode to my beautiful grandmama, who just turned a year older, (and wiser!) on thursday. i am not exactly sure of her exact age, but just know that she can be found on facebook where she keeps up with the many many watsons and her other 100+ friends.

i think i mentioned before that i haven't had a grandmother since i was in the third grade. so having gradma watson after not having had one for about 16 years really made up for lost time!

there's a popular shirt that little kids wear that says: "what happens at grandma's stays at grandma's." not true with grandma watson. cause what happens at, or with grandma, is growth, and you can't just keep that bottled in. grandma is a wise, disciplined, and loving woman. watching how she loves her husband, hearing how she raised her boys (4 outstanding men!), seeing her face light up when she is hanging out with her greatgrandkids, watching her dote on her sister who has terminal cancer without ceasing even though she herself is a little bit pooped out! it's amazing! this woman is amazing. and i am beyond blessed to have her as a grandma and close friend. she encourages me to do better at all things- being a mom, a wife, a child of God, follower of Jesus. not just through her words (though she always has great words of encouragement, which is good for me since i am a words of affirmation kind of girl.) but definitely through her example.

grandma! i am so sorry i didn't send you a card in the mail. but just know that i love you so very very much, and you are an inspiration! happy belated birthday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

game time is...

a time of high emotions. good times. lots and lots of disappointing and bitter and sad times. yes, it's football season again, and my stupid arizona cardinals loving husband couldn't be happier! (mostly cause the cards managed to magically win their first game.) also, chris has started playing in a community basketball league, and he also happened to have his first basketball game on sunday after the cardinals' victory. chris' team dominated, and so chris was walking around with the biggest grin on his face. sports. they can make him feel things, that i, as his wife, and best friend, and mother to his children, still cannot.

sunday could have been an annoying sports/chris-centric day, if it hadn't been for how hilarious the kids were. they love sports too! or they love to yell, and watching sports is a great outlet for them to scream at people, without getting in trouble themselves. while watching the cardinals game with his dad, topher was yelling all sorts of crazy things. and at the right times! when the cardinals did something right (oh so rarely so topher really had to be on his toes to catch those opportunities) topher cheered- even before chris did. but when chris would be upset by one of their fumbles or other football follies, chris would grunt and yell, and then topher would let out a giant: "oh gosh!" and then he wanted chris to mimic him, so topher started to encourage chris: "dad, say: 'oh gosh!' " and he would wait. no response. "dad, say: 'oh gosh!' " he did this a handful of times. chris did not say 'oh gosh!' cause topher was being too funny and so he couldn't really say anything.

then after watching the cardinals game, we went to a junior high school where a bunch of grown (some over-grown), sweaty men gathered in a not-very-well air conditioned gym to disply their manliness to the crowds that had gathered to watch them play. aka their families. we had a great time cheering for #8. definite NBA potential... but lily and topher were yelling the funniest things while chris played.

lily: "go dad! you can do it! hey dad! look! i'm over here! hey dad!" and of course, chris looked over, which made lily so happy.

topher: "great job dad! you're doing great! ... oh gosh!..."

hopefully this is the right video, but for some reason i told the kids chris was going the wrong way (away from his basket) and then all of a sudden the kids started yelling really really loudly that he was going the wrong way. a lot of the other spectators were very amused. moms and wives of course.



anwyay, sunday happened to be a really great day for sports in the watson household. there will be some days of mixed emotions, and other days of just bad bad bad emotions. and the Suns are gearing up for their season in a bit over a month too, which will just add an extra dimension of emotions. but for now, we are happy to have spent such a happy and success-filled sunday

Thursday, September 9, 2010

what i can and cannot do

- i can put my kids to bed at a decent time. i can put my kids down at a not decent time. i cannot make them fall asleep.

- i can try my best to tire the heck out of my kids so that they will be really really tired when they go to bed. i cannot cause them to stay asleep until 8am (which is what i really really want! though at this point i will also take 6:15am!)

- i can put healthy food in front of my kids every day, 3 times a day. i cannot make them eat it and swallow it and digest it.

- i can hide junk food from my kids. i cannot keep them from finding it and eating it. and they do! every time! they're such crafty toddlers...

- i can show my kids the right way to treat others and speak to them. i cannot control every impulse or action they make, or filter every word that comes out of their mouths. (but i know i can keep trying to train them!)

- i can tell my kids to hug and kiss people. but i cannot make them love those people. even if they are our family. (i mean this mostly for the family members they never really get to see. like my poor brothers!!!!)

- i can tell my kids not to hug and kiss people later in life. but i probably cannot actually control that either. (but i bet you chris is going to try really hard on this one. surveillance is one of his fortes and all.)

- i can try to be organized with the toys, mail, coupons, general things of life. i cannot keep it up for more than a few short days.

- i can make my kids laugh all the livelong day. i cannot get tired of hearing that wonderful noise!

- i can spend a lot of time doing other things instead of hanging out with my kids- make dinner, do the dishes, fold laundry, etc, etc. but i cannot get that time back.

- i can lead a million small groups. but unless i have some meaningful quiet time and focus on my own growth, i cannot be an effective leader for long.

- i can tell my kids to pee or poo on the potty. i cannot make pee or poo come out of their bodies (that's a little piece of mind for you moms who are potty training! but when we used to have our little dog, meeklo, if you scared him, he would pee on the floor. every frickin time. miss that dumb dog...)

- i can tell my family and friends i love them till i'm blue in the face. but i cannot make them believe it without actually making efforts to grow our relationships through spending time together. even if it's mostly e-mails and text messages due to distance and my lack of owning a jet plane!!!!