Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lesson to Learn

I probably get a racial slur thrown at me about once a year. Twice if I hang out in really ignorant parts of town. My first 'racist' experience in Arizona was right outside of Freestone gym. I just finished 'working out' (sitting on an exercise bike, watching tv.) I was walking out to my car when two high school aged boys started 'Ching Chong-ing' it up. I was livid and speechless. I really just wanted to get into my car and run them over. Seriously. Not Christianly, but that's how I felt. Fortunately I was dumbfounded for so long that the boys were able to peddle away on their bicycles. Racist slurs really get me fired up. So fired up I usually say nothing, occassionally cry, then think for HOURS what I could have and should have said and done.

Today I was up in Scottsdale, playing with the kids in the playground, while Chris and James played flag football. A beautiful day to be out! There were tons of people all over the place. I was having a fine time with my babes, when all of a sudden two girls, about 13 years old I would say, started singing a song: "ching ching chong chong..." Really?!?!? This is the same 'song' I have heard sung all my life! It was my theme song when I would go play in the playground at school. Over 20 years ago! C'mon people! We can't come up with something better than that???

Anyhoo, my blood started to boil, but I calmly looked at these two girls and said: "Hey, you guys wouldn't happen to be singing that song cause you think I'm Chinese, would you?" I don't have a problem with CHinese people. So this is not a statement against them. If I were Chinese, I would be proud to be Chinese. And I would probably be a part of voting Yao Ming into the All Star game's starting line up every year. (except for this year!... is it cause he's injured? I've not been up on my NBA news this year.) Anyhoo, the girls looked at me in surprise and said: "Uh no. It's a song on YouTube." Clever, and yet still so ignorant...

I don't want my kids to be the victims of racism. No one should be. Race is not something you can choose. Just like you can't choose the parents who genetically created you. Or how you can't choose skipping dessert even though you are full. It's impossible! If someone sings terribly, but thinks they're amazing- sure, laugh at them. That's what American Idol is for, right? If my kids have a stupid looking hair cut that I gave them- sure! Yuk it up! It'll give them thicker skin. But don't make fun of someone because of the color of their skin. There's just no point. They can't change that!

Chris tells me I should not let this kind of thing bother me. Easier said than done my love. I have to say this incident has bothered me less than other times- but I think it's cause I said something. I know you can't cure stupid. My comment may not have enlightened these young girls at all. My running those two high school boys over with my Jeep 4 years ago probably wouldn't have taught them the lesson they needed to learn. But what is the lesson that needs to be learned?
-If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?
-Don't judge people by the color of their skin?
-Don't assume every Asian person is Chinese, even though there are about 1.3 billion of them in the world, and about 3.5 million of them living in North America?

What do you think the lesson should be? What would you, or do you say to people if you have ever been racially slurred at? I am very interested in knowing what you think the 'proper' response would be. I am working on proper responses every day, so this would help me out a ton. Thanks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

this is why...

chris is why, actually.

chris is why the kids have crazy poops. and chris is why the kids are crazy- cause he's crazy.

my beautiful husband got home from work at about 8:30pm. which is the time i was expecting him. the kids stayed up a hair longer to see him. and boy were they happy to see their old man. hugs, kisses, chaos ensued. finally the kids were in bed.

chris ate the leftovers from dinner while catching his breath on the couch. my poor husband and his crazy schedule. i had some work i had to do, so i encouraged my husband to go on the run he had been talking about since yesterday. dang it, maybe some of this is my fault... anyhoo, he digests for about another 5 minutes or so, takes a work-related phone call, downloads Glee Volume 2 to his MP3 player (with the happiest look on his face. i just got this for my birthday and he could not be happier about the gift that he did not give me.) then he was out the door.

about 15 minutes later i get a text from him: "Yikes!! Poop attack."
i respond: "Don't poo in your pants! Lily will be mad at you. So will I."
he responds: "I might go in a field."
i respond: "Wow. Eww. I still love you. Don't get arrested."
(we aren't on twitter. cause we don't unerstand it. and no one would follow us cause all we would do is talk about poo. like i do on this blog...)

then silence. for about 30 minutes. no response from the running pooping fool. and as i work at the computer, beside the window, i can hear the rain starting to fall. gingerly at first. then it really starts coming down. and all i can think of is my poor husband with his pants around his ankles, listening to Glee, pooping in a field with a bunch of cows staring at him, rain pouring down, police lights flashing. A mix of terror and delight (just from the music. it really uplifts the guy) flood over him.

finally i stop working/thinking about chris and decide to just call him. "where are you? are you ok?" i ask. trying not to sound panicked, but also listening for any sirens in the background. chris is ok. he's actually still running. he's 15 minutes away from home. he found a gas station. how anti-climactic. and that's the end of this terrible story. but at least i don't have to clean another poopy butt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Got Pony?

does anyone have a pony i can borrow?

ok. i was just joking about promising the kids a pony if they pooed on the potty. but yesterday, topher pooped on the potty all by himself!

we were just hanging out in the living room. i was doing something. lily was chillin. topher was hanging out. then he saunters over to the potty, which is strategically placed in the middle of the living room, drops a deuce, then yells out: "Mama, I did pee pee!" I walked over to my boy, very proud of him already, and was so surprised to see the most beautiful little poop sitting so pleasntly in our little green potty.

"Topher! You did a poo poo! You get a cookie!" I say with a giant smile on my face.
"Cookie? Yeah!" All Topher ever hears is: "Cookie".
Then Lily chimes in: "Topher, poo poo? I'm so proud of you! She is not jealous or embarrassed by her little brother's achievement. Nothing in her makes her want to poo on the potty.

She has now pooped twice on the carpet. Fortunately for me, they were very solid and did not leave a mark on the ground. Fortuntaly for her, though the poops were solid- they were neither the size of babies, nor were suppositories involved in prying them out.

So Lily is 100% in undies during the day. 100% in Pull-Ups at night. And butt-naked when she has to poo. On the floor. Topher pees and poos on the potty, and often tells us when he has to go, even when we are out and about. But he also still pees in his undies, which is the main thing we are working on with him. I don't know if it's comfusing for him to be in undies/free-ball/Pull Ups during the day, and then Pull Ups at night, but he is doing pretty well in our books. (and yes, I said 'free-ball.')

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

working on it...

'it' is not poop in this post.

i am going through my many posts and trying to label them. this is going to take awhile... i'm working on it.

i am also working on trying to post more stuff about our crazy and wonderful week in potty training last week... i'm working on it.

i have a gigantic list of things to do today. i am very very slowly working on it...

but one of the things i have on my list is to post about a geat conversation i had with my co-worker yesterday. she was giving me some 'tips' on having quiet times for a friend of mine who is leading high school girls and wants to encourage them in their quiet times. since my friend and co-worker is a pastor's wife, this kinda makes her a 'professional Christian', so i knew she would have something great to say. and she did!

she was telling me about how her church is going through the book of Mark in a year. YES. a year. there are 16 chapters. i'm not sure how they are going to do, it, but it sounds very interesting.

anyhoo, so she has been reading Mark chapter 1 for quite some time now, and she made an observation that she had never realized before in all the many times she has read Mark. This is right when Jesus is being baptized by John the Baptist:

"And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him." Mark 1: 11-13

the thing that struck my friend was how God said He was please with Jesus and IMMEDIATELY threw Him into the desert to be hungry, alone (well, he was with the devil, but you know what i mean) and tempted. This was a blessing. This was God's will. Sometimes we look at people who have it all and we think:"wow! that person is blessed! they have it all." Then we look at others who don't have it all, who look like their lives are very long desert experiences, and we tend to think: "what did they do to vex the Lord? what sins could they have committed to make the Lord so mad at them?" and this isn't the right way to think at all! and i do it all the time! so shame on me. and shame on you if you do it too. God is blessing us by bringing us through the desert- cause He is the one bringing us there, which is something we tend to forget. His angels are there to attend to us, if we would just let them.

i finished reading Job on my reading schedule, and at the end of Job's trials it says: "All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring." Job 42:11

i love it when things just fit together like a neat little puzzle. if you are hurting, or feel like you are in the desert, don't go it alone. don't let the devil tempt you into thinking you are alone, or unloved or forgotten by God. cause you are not. He has brought people around you to comfort and console you. let them do it. let them feed you. let them pray for you. and if they have it- let them give you pieces of silver and gold rings. (i've got the former two, but the latter two i am fresh out of!) this is definitely something we can work on together.

"It Worked!!!!"

so we are having tons of fun potty training still. topher is getting better at tellingus when he has to pee, especially when we are in public. lily is a professional pee-er now. her downfall is the almighty poop though. mostly because every bowel movement is like givng birth.

last week lily pooed on monday, the first day of potty training. she had a pull-up on for nap time, and i think she knew it was going to be her only pull-up opportunity, so she took it and dropped a load. awesome.

then we got to friday and i realized she hadn't pooped since monday. yikes. she was crying and pushing and complaning about her stomach hurting. i kept telling her the poop just wanted to be in its home in the toilet. i didn't pressure her to poo on the potty. i just wanted her to poo. she stood on a plastic bag in the middle of the living room, pushing and crying, and squeezing out some pee cause she was pushing so hard. she was not a happy camper.

finally by the end of the night, when she was already in her pull up and jammies, she was crying cause she really had to poop. so i decided to take some drastic measures. i still had my bottle of glycerin suppositories from when topher was a clogged up little infant. they were good till the end of the year! so i grabbed one of these giant glycerin 'bullets', grabbed a half a cookie, and went into lily's room. i told my little girl that i had medicine that was going to help her poo. her face lit up at the mention of the word 'medicine'. she LOVES DRUGS! loves them. if topher needs some tylenol, she needs tylenol. topher will get the real stuff, and lily will get some juicewater in a syringe. everyone's happy.

anyhoo, so i explained to lils that i had to put the medicine in her butt. she still looked excited, especially when i gave her the cookie. and then the excitement stopped when i tried to insert the suppository. 'OUCH!' she cried. i didn't even get it in yet! when i got the clear little bullet close enough to her butt hole, it got sucked right up, as if lily's bum was a cute little vaccuum. this is when the hooting and holering went to the next level.

we went back into the living room where lily proceeded to cry and complain about her 'owwie bung' for about 10 minutes. it was so sad. the bottle said it would take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to work. all of a sudden lily started tooting. toot after toot emerged from her bung. then came the labor-like pushes and the serious lamaze breathing. lily was still weeping, but happy that something was happening. when the poop finally dropped, there was a moment of silence. lily looked up to the heavens, as if to thank the Lord, and exclaimed: "It worked! It worked..."

We changed her out of her soiled pull-up and went to put her giant Chipotle-burrito- sized turd in the toilet. right where it belonged. lily waved good-bye to her giant brown baby (proportionately to her body, that poop was probably the same size she was if i had been lily's size when i birthed her and her giantness.) and then the toilet was clogged. and it was the second toilet my girl has clogged in the last month. like i said, we are having a crap load of fun potty training at our house! and by the size of lily's poops- that's a LOT of fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letting the pictures tell the story

Note: all these pictures were taken at the end of the day when the kids went to bed and potty counts were over and i was scrubbing the carpets more...

Day 1: Monday

-made potty charts for both kids. 3 categories: sit, pee, poo. kids got a mini m&m for sitting. a skittle for peeing. and a pony for pooping. many m&ms were consumed (almost every 20 minutes) a good number of skittles were consumed. no ponies were given out.
-yes, that says that lily only peed 2.5 times today. she peed in her diaper a ton when she was napping. i guess that was enough for her.
-there were NO TEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from either chris, myself, lily, or topher. huge victory.
-only 3 little accidents on the floor.
-easy-ups were worn for napping and sleeping only.
-kids never actually left the apartment.
-great day!!!

Day 2: Tuesday

-praising Jesus for giving us patience and the ability to pee in things other than diapers!
-only 2 accidents on the floor. one from lils and one from toph. lily cried for a few minutes when she thought she couldn't pee on the potty. then she remembered she was a big girl and started peeing like crazy.
-still no ponies. lily pooed in her easy up yesterday. topher is constipated? time to fiber up!
-kids peed on the toilet at Nana and Papa's house. Super! they aren't attached to the toilet at home, or just peeing in front of me and Chris, all good things!
-progress for lily. a little regression for topher. not feeling sad about any of it!
-another great day of praising Jesus and peeing on the potty. this is going WAY better than i thought it would! Chris being home has been supergreat and absolutely essential to the process.

Day 3: Wednesday

-chris was still home today! so great. such an awesome husband and amazing dad. and superb potty training coach. he is officially adding that to his professional resume.
-left the house to go to Target! Topher peed his pants almost immediately and we tried to pee in a public bathroom with no success. Lily has yet to pee her pants. good girl!
-topher tried to poo on the potty, but no one was watching him so he stood up mid-poop and got it on the carpet. fortunately it was pretty solid. and i have an awesome carpet cleaner. he tried, and therefore got a cookie, but no pony.
-lily is a peeing champion and we are SO PROUD of her! And Topher too.
-thanks so much every one for praying for us!

will update more thoroughly later!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oh girl...

topher had his day in the sun, so now it's lily's turn. i have recently been having glimpses into lily's future, and i like some of it, and some of it makes me just want to get down on my knees and pray. the above pic for example. lily did not want to take a nap the other day, but then she passed out in the living room. it just so happened that she passed out on her potty. flashforward 20, no THIRTY years, when she gets drunk as a skunk (in the privacy of her own home!) on half of a glass of a wine cooler (like mother, like daughter!) let's say this is a picture of her future, and she is drunk in public, hugging a toilet, not a potty, imagine her father standing off to the side of this picture, ready to arrest his daughter, and every person who serves alcohol in the state of arizona.

another peak into her future that kinda freaks me out comes to me when lily is trying to poop. lily has some bowel issues. she just has very firm poops. we are trying to insert A LOT of fiber into her diet. but sometimes it still takes a VERY long time to get it out. sometimes there are tears. sometimes there are screams. sometimes lily wants me to go away. but sometimes she wants me to hug her and push with her. i count to three and we 'PPPPPPPPPPPPUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!' then we take a break. breath. then get ready for another big 'PPPPPPPUUUUUUUUUUUSHHHHHHHH!!!'
again, maybe this will happen in 30 years... but not while she is drunk on half a wine cooler. obviously, that's not ok.

then there is this picture. i hope this is a picture of her future. it's almost as good as a chastity belt. that's 6 pairs of undies on top of her diaper folks. impenetrable! yes, these undies have been put on haphazardly, but somehow she got them all on, and she even fell asleep like this for awhile. this picture was taken last week when she was getting pumped about potty training. we are in the midst of potty training week, and i will have pics and posts aplenty of that in the very near future. just know we are all alive, sane, there is some pee pee on the carpet, but there is plenty of joy in our hearts and praise for Jesus!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh Boy...

Here's Topher playing with his bristle blocks in the kitchen. While I was getting dinner ready, he was just busy playing with his toys, having a grand time. Then he stood up and I noticed something wasn't right...

Topher had a loose string on his jeans, and he managed to get that string caught in between two bristle blocks, so the blocks were just hanging from his pants. And he LOVED it. i tried to take it off, and he freaked out. He was very impressed with how well-endowed he was suddenly looking, and he wanted to show it off.

Boys will be boys.

And here's another picture. Not of Topher fortunately. This is Chris' bloody sock after he ran in the PF Chang half marathon yesterday. Chris pretty much never grabs the camera to take a picture of anything unless it is a giant poop, or an overflowing bottle of urine. So in staying with Chris' obsession with body fluids, he snapped a pic of his owie foot. Considering my husband just barely trained for the event, I think his time of 2 hours and 8 minutes is pretty great. Congratulations husband- though you are gross, you are pretty dang awesome. Same goes for you son.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mean Lil Machine

i mentioned before that chris got me the Little Green Machine by Bissell. it's a handy dandy little carpet cleaner. even though i got it for our anniversary on december 19th, i just took it out of the box to use today. i am a loser. a lazy loser. our carpet here are the apartment is gross. especially since you are in the living room, and practically in the kitchen and dining room as soon as you open the front door. we are all about taking off our shoes, but the carpet still manages to get filthy. so today was the day i chose to say good bye to the numerous dirt, yogurt, milk, dirt, and juice stains that litered our carpet.

the little green machine is super light and easy to use. there is only one container to fill with solution and water. there is another container where all the dirty water goes. easy to use. easy to clean up. and the nozzle is pretty small, and can only spray so much water, so your carpet never really gets all that wet. i even used it on my couch. pretty good stuff!

we used to have a giant bissell carpet cleaner, but it died after 4 years, and being shuttled between my house and lindsay's (since barb bought it for us to share.) i was pretty sad when it died, but am happy to have this much lighter and smaller replacement. i am hoping this one lasts longer than 4 years though. i may need a bigger carpet cleaner when we have a bigger house, but for now, this will do just fine. i am anticipating getting a lot of use out of this bad boy this weekend as we give potty training another shot...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Good Support. Part 2

what does good support look like? a good bra makes you look, well, good. that's good support. i have AWESOME support AROUND me. (don't even get me started on the sad state of my chest-al region...)but my support system makes me look goooooood.
lots of people think i am a lucky person. i am lucky to be married to chris. i am lucky to be able to love ALL of my in-laws. i am financially lucky. etc. etc.
but the thing i chalk all this up to is that i have a network of people who pray for me. a lot. i know my mom prays for me and my 4 siblings a lot. i know chris' grandparents pray for us alot. as do his parents. all four of em. and then i even have friends who pray for me. it's amazing.

right now i am reading the Bible chronologically in a year. that means i usually read 3 to 4 chapters a day. it's easy to read for the sake of reading just so i can check that off of my list of things to do. but i am actually getting a lot out of it. for some reason, my schedule has me reading Job and Matthew. that's not chronological, but whatev. i am doing as the reading plan tells me to do. these two book don't really go together. and that bothered me, until i was able to apply lessons from both on how to be a good friend.

in chapter 8 of Matthew is the story of the centurion who has the sick servant at home. the centurion's faith provokes Jesus to heal his servant: "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." (v.13) then in chapter 9, there are some friends who bring their paralytic friend to Jesus: "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.'" (v.2) the servant and the paralytic did not ask for help or healing. it was their friends and master respectively who came before the Lord and asked for healing for them. this is the kind of friend i am striving to be.

and then i am also reading Job. if you know the story of Job, it is about a guy who is in the midst of some serious suffering, and he has these 3 friends who are 'trying to help him'. but they don't help. they make things worse. but sometimes as you are reading what they are saying, it kinda sounds like they are giving pretty good advice. not so says the Lord! The Lord says to Eliphaz: "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as mt servant Job has... My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly." (Job 42: 7,8)

i am very fortunately not identifying with Job right now (thank you Jesus!) but i definitely am trying not to identify with his friends either. i unfortunately have some friends who are kinda in Job's shoes. things just aren't right right now. so i am in the midst of trying to be there, give good advice and support. but the best thing i can do is pray with faith. cause then it's not about me, or my friend, but about Him who is able to heal and fix and create and comfort and change. i can't remember who said this, but i think about it when i pray: the power is not in the one who is praying but in the One who hears them.

Good Support. Part 1

i was going to write a post about having good support around you. and then i got this e-mail from chris' grandfather, so i thought i would share it, cause it made my day:

"To my Dear, Dear, Jihae,

I throughly enjoy reading your blog, it's a daily thing for me and I'm disappointed when there is a lapse for a few days but I plug on, knowing that another one will eventually come. I'm pleased with your blog on Serious Rambling. Your (that's plural, including Chris) desire to grow in Christ and recognize dissatisfaction that there is more to life than just satisfying yourself is very reassuring. The very first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is "what is the primary purpose of man?" And the answer is "To glorify God and enjoy him forever." That really sums it up very beautifully. It's a real trap though to think of what you could or should be doing (and being dissatisfied by your "failures") when in reality God calls us first exactly where we are, both in time and maturity. The old maxims "Bloom where you are planted" and "when God gives you lemons make lemonade" etc are really quite valid. The ministries and opportunities in your life now will be quite different from the ministries and opportunities you'll find yourself in ten years from now when the kids are becoming teenagers, and twenty years from now when the kids are grown and gone, and thirty years from now when you're slowing a bit but have greater opportunities to do more. Every decade brings new and exciting relationships and opportunities, and as long as your vision is fixed on God, He will use you for His glory. So hang in there, take time to meditate on the Word, follow the good impulses that keep you in obedience to loving your neighbor (and your friends), and keep on being the wonderful granddaughter that you have become. I love you and we love you, and your husband, and your sweet children, and any future children that you may be blessed with.


thanks grandpa/ggpa! i, we, love you too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tough morning

topher got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. which is a weird expression because he is still in his crib, and he only gets out on one side. but this morning, that side was the wrong one. he had peed through his diaper so his pjs, and bed were wet. boo. but once i got him nice and cleaned up- he made a huge pee pee on the potty! way to go topher! gotta take the bad with the good.

then i got a text from a good friend of mine and it said: "meeting at my house now! can't wait!" she meant: "we are meeting at my house instead of the other place we had talked about. can't wait to see you later tonight." but i read: "get over to my house now. i can't wait till later. having a serious meltdown. please hurry." isn't it funny how you can read one thing in two totally different ways??? so needless to say i rushed over to find my friend doing great, and surprised to see me. i could have been embarrassed, but i got to hang out with my friend for a little while which is always a big bonus for me. take the good and the bad.

we left my friend's house early cause topher was having a meltdown. again- wrong side of the bed thing. everything was upsetting him. being in the car. having his shoes on. not having his shoes on. it's like he has baby pms for boys. it's not cool, especially since i have REAL pms for women. right now. later i looked into topher's mouth when we were brushing his teeth, and he has 3 teeth breaking the surface right now. that sucks for him. and everyone who is within ear shot of his cries and complaints. i have had two cankers in my mouth this whole week, and i think mouth pain is some of the worst pain you can be in. this coming from someone who birthed two childern, and wore braces for almost three years. so i am trying to have way more sympathy for him right now.

then i got a call from my girlfriend who has a nephew who is waiting for lots of different things to fall in to place so that he can go home to his new mommy and daddy. this little boy lives in an orphanage in haiti. and praise Jesus because he, and everyone at the orphanage are fine. how?? grace of God. i am complaining about a tough morning with my cranky kids, but i am well aware that it is much worse for so many others. please pray with me for those in haiti, and for my friend's nephew to miraculously get to go home sooner than later. only God can make something good come out of something so bad.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First and Only NFL Game

here's a picture of the supercute and disappointed kid who sat in front of me at the cardinals game on sunday. that's right folks, i went to THE cardinals game on sunday, and it was amazing. it was my first ever live nfl game. and it will probably be my last, because there is no way i will ever go to a game that good ever again.

i really enjoy symmetry in my life, and earlier this year, chris and i went to flagstaff to see the cardinals at their training camp with our friends brian and carrie. then our wonderful friends called us up this week cause they had just gotten four tickets to the game and wanted to take us. how awesome to have disgustingly generous friends.

the day was just perfect for everyone. nana and papa were slotted to watch the kids ALL DAY. fortunately they hung out at chruch all morning, which left the afternoon for naps, escalade driving (i'm going to have to get a vidoe of that up here soon), and football watching. thanks so much for being the best nana and papa ever! lily and topher did not even miss us a little!

chris and i were able to have a great meal with our friends- plus adult conversation that was not interrupted by 'don't put that in your nose.' (lily's new favorite thing to do is stuff things in her nose.) the weather was ridiculously gorgeous. our seats were in the end zone where all the good action took place. and after about 3 and a half hours of being on our feet- we, the cardinals, came out victorious, and i, jihae watson, came out a few pounds lighter. a perfect day for a perfect game.

Friday, January 8, 2010

serious rambling

i find it's really helpful to add a cute picture to a boring and long-winded post. i haven't writte the post yet. but i can tell it's going to be boring. and long winded. so enjoy the pic. try to get through the post.

so last night before bed chris and i were chatting about this 'family story' business. and he wasn't sure that he knew what i was talking about. i have lately been feeling really unsatisfied with my prayer life. for some crazy reason, i have friends who think i am a 'crazy prayer warrior'. i truly wish that were true, and i am working on becoming one. but i fall very short. i think my technical name should just be 'crazy. likes to pray. wars with the mirror daily.'

every night chris and i pray before going to bed. unless he is working at night. i love chris. and i love to pray. but i cannot wake up at 4am to pray with him. i just can't. we take turns every night, and it's really good for us. you can't really be mad at someone while you are praying with them. there have been a few times when i have been 'too upset' to pray outloud, which automatically made it chris' turn to pray again. which let chris automatically know that there was something wrong with me. good times.

so last night we were talking after we prayed. prayed for the same old thing- thanks for everything, please help, please bless, thanks again, amen. nothing earth shattering. pretty regular stuff. and that bugged me. we pray for the kids every night. and that's really important. so i don't want to take away from that. but i don't have my sights set on a whole lot outside of my immediate family, and i felt like that was my missing link.

chris said he didn't know what kind of family story i was particularly looking for, but he felt that our family story was pretty simple- to love. to love each other well, to love others well, and to show others how to love well. so cheesy sounding, but it's true. and i agree with him. my main prayers when praying for others often involve praying for marriages to be good and pregnancies to happen and be healthy. those are the two greatest sources of joy and blessing in my life, and i want others to experience the same.

i am doing a 'chronological' reading of the bible right now. i am in genesis, of course, and marriage is a huge deal. it's one of the awesome things God made in the first 6 days of creation. it's important to Him. and it should be important to us. especially if we are already married. and then after marriage, He tells us to "be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." this has been hard for me to get my head around since my prayers for quite a few of my friends is for God to bless them with babies so that they can do what He told them to do in the first place! but that's another post for another day...

anyway, i am going to close off this post for now cause i am rambling, i pretty much don't have a point, and i am pretty sure no one has made it to this sentence. but just know that i am searching and seeking for something. and when i find it. i will let you know.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

i finished my first book of the new year! sure i started it at the end of november, but i finished it in january!

my girlfriend kendra recommended this book on her blog, so i had to read it. it's by donald miller, a christian guy. he is a lot like francis chan- discontent with america's view of Christianity and the church. but that's not what this book is about. this book is about stories. his story. the stories people he knows are living. the stories he knows God wants us to be living.

this book is written because one of his other books is being turned into a movie. but you can't just turn a book into a movie. lots of changes need to be made so that there's action. something to propel the story forward. even though donald miller was a successful author before this book, in the midst of it he goes to a seminar to learn about story. what is a story? how do you tell one? how do you live one?

basically a story is a character who wants something and has to overcome something to get it. very simply put. and that's what life is about. or it should be. but there are lots of people, characters who don't know what they want. and their stories suck. so they might go and join someone else's story because they are overcoming an obstacle to get what they want.

miller talks about this 16 year old girl who gets caught by her parents with some pot. it's from her boyfriend. her boyfriend sucks. but he is a character overcoming obstacles to get what he wants. he is living a story, but it's a bad one, cause the thing he wants is drugs. this 16 year old girl doesn't have a story, so she joins her boyfriend's terrible story. miller tells his friend, the dad of the 16 year old, all this. and the dad realizes it's his fault. he hasn't created a story that's interesting for his daughter. so he tells his family one day that they are going to buy an orphange. crazy. but it works. his daughter, and his wife, get caught up in their new family story. they want something and overcome obstacles to get it. before this, they were just a dad, a mom, and a teenage girl. no story. no desires. just 3 people living together in the same house. the marriage was dry. the family life was the same.

chris and i are on the prowl for our family story. it's probably not going to involve buying an orphange. at least not in the foreseeable (sp?...) future. but what does God want for us watsons? i don't know. but i am looking forward to finding out what that is, so that we can start overcoming some obstacles to get it!

God wants us all to have great stories. something more than just raising our kids, making sure they do well in school, have friends, and eventually get married. when we get to heaven, God is not going to care whether my kids went to harvard, (cause i am really counting on Him not caring that i didn't go to harvard.) He is not going to care whether or not my shoes matched my outfit every day. He is not even going to care what age lily and topher got potty trained. God cares a bit about the 'what'- seeking Him, not drugs; wanting more for others, not ourselves. but He really cares about the 'how'. how did we live our lives, how did we love His people.

this is a really great book with lots of different stories that challenged me, and in turn my family. i still don't know the big 'what' of our story, but i know the 'who', and that's chris, lils, toto and i. and that already makes this story pretty dang special for me.

Finally! Zoolights!

at the end of the night, lily had had enough. no more pictures. no more walking. let's go home dad. didn't help that she was seriously constipated.

checking out the lights that danced to the music.

lily, happy to be out for a night on the town.

i have lived in arizona for 5 winters now and have said i will go to zoolights every year, and it just never happened. zoolights is over on the 10th (this sunday), so we figured yesterday was as good a time as any! the weather was perfect, as was the company. we had dinner at robert and lindsay's first, where we had a traditional 'vig' (lindsay's maiden name) meal of swedish meatballs and potatoes. superyummy! thanks lindsay.

we loaded up the four kids (in two seperate vehicles. cause even though i have a mini van, we cannot fit 4 car seats and 4 adults in it.) and were on our way. we stopped at starbucks on the way which was a particularly wonderful treat for me. i don't actually remember the last time i had a latte (maybe a month ago), so i seriously savoured it.

it was $7 for us to each get in (not the kids. they're free) cause i have a zoo pass. there were tons and tons and tons of lights. it was very fun to look at it all. the kids weren't really able to appreciate everything, but i think in a few short years, they will come to love zoolights. only a section of the zoo is open for zoolights, and i was surprised at how short the walk seemed. but chris told me we had already been there for an hour and i was shocked. time flies when you're having fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

speaking her language

i wrote in my post the other day ago that lily always asks if i am happy. and i said it's cause she doesn't want me to be sad. then i thought about changing that sentence numerous times. no, she doesn't want me to be mad at her. she doesn't want me to spank her. she does not care if i am sad.
i often do not know what lily is thinking. but here's what i do know- lily thinks in terms of happy and sad. when we sit to draw, lots of different things come out on the pages- giraffes, flowers, tracings of her hands, of mine, numbers, letters, and always happy faces and sad faces. when i draw a happy face, she makes a happy face herself. on her face. then she changes her face to a sad face and requests that i draw a sad face. this is one of her favorite things. happy and sad faces. these mean something to her.
i have embarrassingly enough shown my sad face to her many many times. my frustrated face, my tired face, and my disappointed-with-myself face are all the same to lily. they are not happy faces. they are sad ones. it is something i am going to try to conceal more this year. lily takes my sadness as personally as i take her not being able to use the potty yet. even if i am frustrated with topher's disobedience, lily looks at me and asks: "happy mom?"
i can't explain the concept of joy in pain to her yet. so i take a deep breath and say "yes." cause i still have joy in the midst of her naughtiness, and topher's disobedience. these are my babies. they are so crazy. but i love them so much. they bring me such joy.
today was another crazy day in the watson apartment. a great day. and a crazy day. it started at 6ish. it's 10 and it's finally winded down. but lily for some reason would not go to bed. all these excuses of being scared of something she could not explain, needing some water, needing her blanket to be placed on the foot of the bed just so, no- not like that mom, like this, one more song, one more prayer. not exactly what i was needing after an already too long day.
lily came out one more time. she found a piece of garbage that NEEDED to be put in the garbage IMMEDIATELY lest the apartment implode from the mess. i allowed my girl to give in to her inner streaky neat-freak, and then i decided to change her diaper one more time before bed. between her and sungu, i have changed bedsheets 3 times this week. and they are both still in diapers.
so i changed lillers diaper and helped her pop up the way she likes to after she has received the gift of a dry butt. she popped up, into my arms, where we sat and hugged. i whispered in her ear that she really makes me so happy. and she looked at me and gave me the biggest, juiciest smooch! it was dripping with love and acceptance. i tell her all the time that she is cute, and that she is a special girl, and that she is pretty, and that she is a great sister to topher. but never before had i gotten this huge a response from her. finally! i had said the simplest words that actually meant something to her!
i guess another new year's resolution is to find out the special language that actually means something to lily, and the other special language that will mean something to topher. and this is another resolution that i do not intend to break.

Friday, January 1, 2010

twenty-ten. hello.

three napping kids and a napping hubby too. this new year is looking a lot like last year. sungu is here for the weekend while his parents live it up in vegas, celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary. i can say this now, since my beautiful nephew is asleep- that i am so glad to be able to spend this time with him before he ups and leaves for Korea in a few short months! the kids have been playng together non-stop- first the trains, then sitting in the dark with their new flashlights, then playing hide-and-seek, then running to me begging for a snack and a drink. a good, fun, and exhausting age!
well, 2009 marked my first full year of not being pregnant or giving birth since i've been married! yipee!! but 2009 still had it's fair share of babies- 6 friends added to their families, and 2 of my sister-in-laws blessed our family with more little ones to love. 2009 marked the 10 year mark of my high school graduation. gulp. oldness... we went to 2 weddings and NO FUNERALS! way to stay alive everyone! our uncle Matt, who was diagnosed with cancer in october-ish, is now cancer free for as much as the doctors can tell! he is still undergoing chemotherapy to get everything cleared up, but we are all praising Jesus in a big way for watching over our family!
and now it's 2010. i haven't had much of a chance to really think about and pray about my new years resolutions. the main one i came up with is simple, yet demanding-and that is to be better at all my relationships this year than i was last year. this includes being a better mom than i was in 2009, a better wife, a better daughter to both my mom AND my dad (i am really terrible at picking up a phone to just chat with him), a better daughter-in-law, a better sister and sister-in-law, a better aunt, a better grand-daughter, a better friend (again, especially to my out-of-town friends. just gotta pick up that phone...), a better volunteer, a better one-day-a-week worker, and of course- a better Jesus-follower. maybe i should just pick one or two to really focus on, but you know what? there isn't enough time for that. these are hats i wear everyday. i can't just pick my favorite two and put the others at the back of the closet.
so that's what i've got for now. i will probably come up with a few resolutions that i will surely break, but for now, since this is my one and only resolution, i will do my best not to break it.
here's to 2010 friends! (raising my lukewarm green tea latte to you.)