Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sushi Baby

Our little Fiona is eating anything that comes close to her hands and it is so exciting! We were at WOK in Motion last night to witness B.J. propose to Sable...and she said "Yes!" and I am so excited that I will not be the only outlaw, uh hem, I mean in-law in the Joseph family. It was great that we were able to sneak in and grab some photos AND video footage of this very momentous moment.We also got to eat sushi! I would eat sushi every day of the week if I could A)afford it and B) there wasn't such a risk with mercury poisoning. Jake and I ate an obscene amount of sushi when we were dating, and almost every meal on our honeymoon was sushi...well we had our fair share of burgers also. Anyhow, Fiona had her first piece of sushi last night and she was very excited! She tried stuffing the entire piece in her mouth and her excitement was so cute. I barely had time to get the camera out and get this moment preserved! The little pig pig eater had MAJOR snacks at home before heading to WOK, and then she downed two pork pot stickers, a little pile of seaweed salad and the California part of the Rainbow sushi roll that we had. She was screaming for more, but we didn't want to over do it on her first trip we always eat every last piece of sushi between the two of us. We are pig pig sushi eaters as well.

Iain is completely disinterested in any type of ethnic food, even though he was just as eager to eat sushi when he was a littler man. He found great pleasure in dipping his chopsticks into the pot sticker sauce and licking it off, but then flinging it around everywhere. He threw his pot sticker pieces back on the dish which has been his best signal to us that he doesn't want to participate in the food we are eating. He is fine to share his portion with the rest of us, and in this case it was sent to the baby garbage disposal. First night with a Tootsie pop, and he remained fairly content with his "trUck" and Gideon Bible.

Looking up photos in the January 09 folder, I accidentally clicked on the January 08 folder and saw my little Prince looking back at me. It is almost difficult to imagine a year ago that it was just the three of us, but Iain was for sure trying to reach around my belly. My little cuddle bug is still a joy each and every day and growing into a great helper around the house, a good friend to his sister and a ball full of energy! He was still in his "Lotion Head" phase in this photo, one of Jake's personal nicknames. He called him a lotion head because his hair was so fine and smooth it felt like it had been covered in lotion! How do parents come up with these nicknames? That one hasn't stuck very well, but what a cutie.
Even though this photo was taken right after Christmas, this would be the smiling face in the suit that heads out the door to "sell bling" to the masses each morning. What a hunk. I'd buy jewelry from him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mommy Duds

With the role of Motherhood we know that there are things to be lost. For example, a loss of style, a loss of time, a loss of patience, a loss of cleanliness, etc. etc. I have a daily battle with the loss of time, since I am chronically late to everything that involves my offspring. Yesterday, I realized that if my babes are tucked in their beds, or in the care of the father, I am able to get most places with precise punctuality. I can remember being late when I was single, but not chronically late. On Monday morning, I started getting everyone ready an hour before our meeting time with Nani Becky. We were still late! Uggh! Fiona woke up, so I changed a diaper and changed her into her clothes. Iain had a poopy diaper, so I got him all fresh and then put on his coat and all of the trimmings, but he was irked about I was trying some toddler interpretation for about 15 minutes. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth, and I finally figured out he had more cars to carry then he had hands. This posed a problem for only a moment. I tried the reasoning thing for about 15 seconds, and realized that we were going no where fast with feet stomping and hands with matchbox cars in the air. I found a not so girly old cosmetic bag with a nice handle and zippers, and all of the cars went into the bag and then into the car. We then had to track down the duck blanket and a drink of water. So child #1 was ready to go,and I was ready to get Fiona suited up in her coat, but there was a smell on her, so it was back to the changing table for diaper #3 within 20 minutes.My adorable Fiona-9 months
Today, in our joint effort against the never ending laundry, I had to take care of the loss of style. A very decent pair of chinos, needed some special treatment because of a rather ridiculous incident on Sunday morning. So jumping back in the week again to Sunday, we were running late again with the babes in tow. Unloading everyone, and one parent per child, I reached for a piece of gum in the console and passed one to Jake. Those Sunday morning bad breathe situations where you are meeting and talking with friends can be compounded by the hour or longer where we sit without talking...a perfect time to chew gum and fight off the bad breathe army. So we find our place, we are singing songs during worship time, and we get the announcement that we are sharing the Lord's table. Cool! So we sit down, and this time instead of going to the front to pick up the elements and bring them back to our place, they are passing the bread and grape juice. I had Iain on my lap, and Jake had Fiona and we were doing well with keeping their clutching fingers and hands away from the bread basket and juice cups. I realized that I would not want to be taking the bread and juice with gum in my mouth, so I stuck my gum on top of my bulletin. Jake's new snow removal technique with the leaf blower.
Iain was very interested in the "food" items that we were sharing, so I took the time to explain to him what we were doing and gave him a small portion of the elements to "share" with him and and gave my first explanation of these symbols. We had another song before the message, and Iain was excited to be standing in his own place and clapping along with the worship team. We brought his ribbon stick along and he was waving it around, and it was so precious. We sat down again and started into the message. About 15 minutes into the teaching, Fiona started her normal descent squealing like a stuck little pig. So Jake and I did the quick switch with the babes and I grabbed Fiona and started to make my way out the back of the....wait! What was this stuck to me??! I noticed this crumpling noise and, felt that my attempted silent retreat to the foyer was becoming louder and louder. Fiona kept up with her unpleasant squeals, and I grabbed at the bulletin that seemed to be stuck to my butt. Still walking and still trying to get into the foyer, it dawned on me that the bulletin did not have an unusual form of static cling to my chinos, YET it was attached by the piece of gum that I had "rested" on top of the bulletin while taking the Lord's table!Fiona in a Nani Joseph bunny hat and matching sweater.
As I reached behind and realized that there was a long string of gum walking right along with me, my loss of style was joined with a loss of poise when I realized I am losing my mind by sticking a live, chewed up piece of gum on an open sheet of paper with the intention of saving if for later. So I had a wad of my own gum on my butt, and I was so annoyed with myself for being so careless with something so deadly to clothes. I was very thankful that the gum was Trident Original flavor and that khaki color and therefore, matched my pants perfectly. I really would have been an eye sore with bright green or cinnamon red hanging off my rear end. I remember walking in an amusement park in the summer and my dad giving loud cautionary advice against a piece of melting gum on the sidewalk, "Don't step in the gum! What idiot just spits their gum out on the ground? Don't ever do that!" All I could think was, What idiot leaves their gum on an open piece of paper and sits back down on it! and especially in church! I was replaying the entire incident in my head today as I was desperately trying to get the gum of of my pants. Not only did the remnants not wash out the gum section was now full of black fuzz from other laundry. I kept rubbing peanut butter through the grains of my chinos and was hoping that I could save these pants from an untimely trip into the garbage can. Iain and Auntie Doodie watching Veggies
I am quite thankful that I haven't had a loss of clothes because of my own mishaps or that of the sticky fingers and baby barf that attacks me like projectile bird poop on my mommy duds. I am also thankful that my wardrobe remains deficient in many areas. Mommy duds are appropriate for the tasks at hand, and I would rather wait until my babes are past the puke burbs all over me and thinking that I am a walking napkin their adorable little munchkin hands. I can't break down and buy new jeans or shirts knowing that something nice and new could potentially get annihilated with any number of baby things or my own stupidity of improper gum disposal. Fiona, Iain, and...Jake sleeping on the couch watching Veggies

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We can't stop laughing!

Jake and I have a very odd sense of humor...therefore, we find this German prank to be extreeeemly funny!! The commentators that were commenting on this video have it exactly right. At first you think, "Oh that is wrong!" Then second you move into, "That is enough. How many times are you going to let people fall prey to this horrible prank, and it really isn't that funny anyway." BUT! after a few more victims, it is hilarious! We have been laughing our butts off.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Note from Brutus

As everyone is painfully aware, "It's firkin' freezing in here Mr. Bigglesworth!" We are staying in, no matter what the cost, and we all have on sweatshirts over top of the long underwear pajamas on the kiddos, legwarmers for me, and the incredibly mobile space heater: kids room at night, play room during the day. Brutus, being the decorative dog that he really is, does not approve of this weather. He loves snow, and will run around in it very excitedly, but these Siberian temperatures do not go along with his delicate constitution.When I just let him out, for his second time today in the backyard facilities, I could tell that he was wishing he was paper trained. He barely took a step and then peed. Then he immediately started pooping, but his legs seemed to get frozen in mid-walk. He was just past the door, now done pooping, with one back leg in the air, and he wasn't moving. I called for him to come in quickly, since the bare skin on my hand was being frozen in a matter of nano-seconds, and as he seemed paralyzed by the cold I was afraid I was going to have to retrieve him. These things with the dog always become complicated when I am running around the house in my slippers, and trying to keep the young human offspring away from the door and the elements. I kept calling him, and he somehow managed to turn the corner of the house, where I assume he was able to turn around and come back in the little path he had made in the snow. He came in as quickly as he was able, still with the back leg hiked in the air. Very gingerly, he stepped over the threshold of the door and then made a dash for a rug to sit on. I went after him, hoping that I could warm up his little paw in my hand, but he wanted to deal with it on his own. I was afraid that his dignity had also been frozen.The only beings to leave the house have been Brutus and Jake. The rest of us are perfectly content to stay in the house and watch the thermometer bounce between -16 and 6 throughout the day. The sun was shining and the sky was a perfect blue, and under that same sky both sets of our parents are in warmer climates. Becky and Toby picked the perfect week to head to Hawaii, and Lynn and Brenda are snuggled safely on Marco even if their windows are closed during a "cold spell" down there. The phrase of "you have my deepest sympathy" in regards of the weather that we are all experiencing, does feel like a prison sentence and for some reason I am not picking up on the sincerity in those comments.The cabin fever is hitting and it is getting to all of us. In one of Iain's many fits today, he did want to go outside. He kept saying, "Snow, snow, go go!" and he was very upset when I refused to bundle him up in his "boot boots!" Fiona started repeating "Uh oh" yesterday after she slid her plate off of the highchair. She was very pleased with herself about the plate and about the talking. She does not seem phased in the least with the weather outside. She is playing more and more each day. Yesterday and today she has decided that the two steps in the playroom will be perfect for her to spend time climbing. Unfortunately, the babes both like the steps and they are becoming littered with toys for Jake and I to fall over.We have been battling some serious diaper rash for the past couple of weeks. Jake went out to buy some replacement caledula cream by Wendella. He was referring to it as Caligula cream, so now that is all I can call it. It smells so wonderfully hippie, I do love it, but I don't like that my babes little tushies are raw. They are getting much better. My quest for cloth diapers has been moved to the back burner and may remain there permanently. In hopes of getting some more air down there, I put Iain in a cloth diaper yesterday, only to have him peepee through the entire diaper, cover, onesie, baby legs, and outfit. We had to over from naked skin, and this was of course after he had a bath. I don't know that it is cost effective to have to wash all of those items of clothing for one diaper change. The poop that does not roll out is really taking a toll on me as well, so I don't know that I will be able to make the quantum leap that many of my friends have made in switching to cloth. We are still dealing with Sir Piss Alot and Fiona PooPoo and the idea of shaking off all of the doodoo in the toilet just...I don't know...all of the germs and filth and grime. No. Not doing it today or tomorrow. Maybe in a couple more days, I will try it out again.My very fun movie review is for "P.S. I love you." Great chick flick, great love story, great love letters, and hunky Irishmen. After a second time through tonight with no babes to interrupt, I realize I had missed some of the great little things throughout the film that all fit together in the end, and so my initial A- has been moved to an A+. I also realized that James Blunt has a song in the closing credits, and it does that great thing of perfect lyric fitting that I seem to always be butting heads about with my little little brother. This little film got me through my three overflowing baskets of laundry to be folded tonight, and for that I was extremely grateful.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Could we have 4 babies in 3 years?

Jake and I had our first EVER babysitting experience, as a couple, last night. This wouldn't seem like such a big deal, since we already have our own babies...but when you think about it as four children under the age of 3, it was kind of a big deal. (Big apologies to any of you who thought I might be pregnant AGAIN and you would want to throw peas at my head and say, "Don't you know where babies come from??!?? Yes, that would make it 3 babies in 3 years for us, and let's just not anyone be joking about that since Jake and I don't need any more help from Murphy!)
So we had the delightful Chisholm men over Sunday night, while their parents hit up the town. We had an overall good night, and time flies exponentially the more babes you are watching. As we were all sitting around the table, I asked Jake, "Would this even be humanly possible? To have four babies in less than three years?" He chuckled and said, "Well yes, if we had a set of twins." I thought for a moment of the comment by Anne Shirley, "Twins seem to be my lot in life" and how grateful I am that twins are currently not my lot in life.

The overall cutest moment of the night was when Mr. Daniel, after having a rather rough start after his parents left him in the loud house, managed the courage to join the rest of us at the dinner table. He put a piece of delicious coconut oil fried chicken in his mouth and looked at me with his huge brown eyes. He said, "I'm OK." I was so delighted to hear this to come out of his mouth! A small thing, communicating with words, in English, to me. I tried not to make a big deal out of it, because Jake and I were enjoying a third intelligible voice at the dinner table, so I said, "I'm glad you are OK. Do you want some milk." He said, "No. I watch the tomato." And watching that tomato.

We survived the 4 under 3, and it felt good to return those little men back to their parents in once piece. I felt bad parking the kids in front of the Veggie Boob Tube, but Bob the tomato was the only thing that distracted Daniel away from his parents being out. We have decided that we will continue to put even more months between Fiona and any other offspring.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We got dumped on!

I am sure that we are in for a real treat with our own offspring. The phrase about your children being the embodiment of your own actions as a youth x10! In my opinion, Iain looks just like his father in these photos of our 12th Night Celebration when the kids got their presents from us. The Slinky is a huge hit as well as our new addition to our Veggie collection Sumo of the Opera. I still like snow. Iain loves snow and he is enamored of any type of big equipment that makes noise and has lights while they are removing snow. He was frozen with curiosity when we saw a bulldozer clearing the library parking lot this morning. I had to do a double Mommy hip carry of the two babes. I guess I should be thankful for that extra pudge still hanging around my is somewhat of a ledge for a little butt perched on each side of me. I still don't like the pudge, but I like carrying them together one in each arm. I think my rugby coach would be proud of the pipes I have now.The Fiona girl is starting to stand while pulling herself up against something. She is very excited with her latest milestone, and this is such an exciting time for her to be learning to stand on her feet but I tend to get a little frantic about the falls and the little squirt hitting her melon on all kinds of things, mainly, the wood floors throughout the house.We are officially out of the 2nd batch of 2009 chili. The first batch was gone on New Year's Day, and it was mighty tasty with 1/2 beef and 1/2 venison but didn't have enough kick for me. The last batch was beef and I added Graziano's sausage and more funky looking peppers. I have no idea what kind of peppers I added, but I had one little red one, one even littler green one and four jalapenos. The key this time around was the crock pot, but it needs to go a good 6 hours. The chili got spicier with each round of leftovers, and Jake started to pour a glass of milk with his each time. I know my man likes hot stuff *wink*, but could this have been a little too hot? I didn't measure the other spices out, and I might have accidentally put in a good amount of coriander, I know I had an "uh-oh" amount of oregano, doubled the garlic, and poured the Tabasco. It was fiery! I did dump in some honey as well, but I don't know that I could duplicate this batch. When you eye ball everything, it doesn't necessarily brew the same way twice.The house is finally void of Christmas decorations. I hate taking them all down! The house seems so naked, but also refreshing so I am glad to have more room in the house and all of the boxes back down in the basement. It seemed as though I was not able to get any house work done since I couldn't get a double nap going for the babes. We started to clear a path with the push cart. I pushed the babes around and picked up stuff throughout the house that needed to be moved into different rooms. I would pile things into the car and all over the children, push them quickly to the back of the house making all of those crazy screeching car noises, and they were laughing and giggling and I was getting my house work done! Yippee! This is not an everyday occurrence.We are currently obsessed with the E.D. Smith Blueberry, Raspberry, and Pomegranate fruit spread that we found at our favorite store, Costco. This spread is going on the waffles, the pancakes, in the yogurt and all over every body's face! Fiona is also a big fan, but we don't know if her bunny appreciates that she now looks like Gorbachev.

So since it is a Saturday night I think we will do something fun! Oh yeah...shoveling that beautiful snow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Lost the Bet!

In 2007, the bet was made over the Iowa-Iowa State game that whichever team won, we would wear those colors for our Christmas card. The cyclones won, and we wore RED!! Go Clones!!2008, was a veddy, veddy bad year for the Cyclones, and since the bet was the same, we should have had on black and gold in the family Christmas card. Jake seemed to somehow feel...bad...about bypassing all of our very cute family photos, and he didn't want to seem to make anyone take a photo of us in black and gold, so we had our elfish prison pajamas. On January 1st, we invaded the Big Josephs to watch the Outback Bowl and cheer the Hawks to a 31-10 victory over the South Carolina Game Cocks. We all tried to wear something Hawk, but the big thing was to try to get me into this teeny tiny Hawk shirt (it really did fit before having the breastfeeding boobs and saggy baby tummy). Becky has made an adorable bumble bee sweater for Iain and a matching hat for Fiona. He has had serious issues with this item, and it was no exception during photo time. So since we didn't broadcast the Hawk photo on our Christmas card, the least I can do to try to make good on a bet is to designate one blog day to the Iowa Hawkeyes and my husband's love for his alma mater and favorite college football team.*Note: I get these confused looks from people all of the time, when they discover that Jake and I are in a "mixed marriage." How on earth could I not be a Hawk fan? I grew up in Iowa City, so why on earth would I not be a Hawk fan?? The world should know, that I made a conscious decision to leave Iowa City and go to Ames to get away from my family. and be in a new place with new scenery. :o) I had a very fun college career at Iowa State University, and my 4 year degree bleeds cardinal and gold. I love the "Bells of Iowa State" and my pride soared when my little brother was asked to kick footballs at Iowa State. I was even more pleased when two years after that, my little little brother also decided to attend ISU!! I am not a Hawk hater, except on those days that we have the inTRAstate rival games in football, basketball, wrestling, know the CyHawk Series. Even if we are beat in athletics, it does give me great pride that ISU students seem to have bigger brains. I could be overstating here, but that is just what I feel.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I liked 2008!

I am all about looking forward, but what was so bad about last year? We have the obvious things, but I wouldn't want to be continually labeled as a grudge holder. I found the valleys of 2008 to be serious character building opportunities for Jake and I, and I think we are stronger through the chaos.
We welcomed our beautiful daughter Fiona Lynn in April, and even though we had a traumatic birth experience, we were reminded that we serve a Mighty God! He is faithful to answer our prayers and hold us in His hands. Not by our own strength, but through His might and His power we are brought safely through the hardships. Walking the halls of the NICU my heart cried in thankfulness that Fiona was a full term baby. The Lord was preparing me with perspective, for the months of colic that she had! The hours throughout the night were long and loud, but when I felt that I couldn't stand another shrill scream my conversations to the Father were still laced with Thanksgiving that she was in my arms.xJake and I learned that those "gut feelings" that we have, are the Holy Spirit using circumstances to tell us to flee quickly or not to approach a situation we "feel" to be unstable. Seeking alternatives to modern medicine, we left a pediatrician who was pressuring us to vaccinate Iain, and we also found that Fiona's colic could have just been a void of good stomach bacteria(that was stripped during the anti-biotics she received in the NICU). When we play detective each day with the babes who can not yet communicate we are always asking questions. After changing a diaper, "What did we feed him?" After barfing, "What did we feed him? Is he sick from food? Who were we hanging around? Were they sick?" After falling, "Did you trip on something? Be careful where you walk?" or "Move that thing to the basement! That's too dangerous!!"
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
My grandfather checked into the hospital, almost the same time that I went to the hospital when Fiona was born. He had been sick for many years, dealing with diabetes and heart disease. When Jake and I were preparing for our wedding, he kept saying, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." With each new milestone that Jake and I passed, so quickly during our first year of marriage, my Grandpa would get excited, but still say that phrase that became so regretful. He was so delighted to meet Iain and spend time with him. Grandpa loved hearing stories about Iain and called him, "my little buddy." I know he was excited to meet Fiona as well, but he never returned home from the hospital. His death was bittersweet because we all knew that he was very sick, but for those that are left behind the finality in those last breaths are excruciating. It was important for me to say something at his funeral because even though he wasn't there, and couldn't hear anything, I wanted to share with others his simple faith and a belief in a Savior who died for him. We never had those deep kinds of theological discussions, but through his simplicity, I learned that the God stuff doesn't have to be complicated.
And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called
according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

The national economy was in the toilet in 2008, but we continue to be grateful for God's protection and guidance through the lean years. I love making bread for the family, and by eating in every night we are eating healthier and cheaper! We rarely watch the news, and if we don't know how much the DOW plunged, then we just don't know and we are OK with that! We have had our barf puddles and blown out diapers dripping everywhere, but we have had another year of good health for all of our family. I wouldn't trade a day of being a mom for any day in the workforce. A giggle from my daughter, a kiss from my son trumps the thrill of a sale any day. I will take every low that I may have with my children for the heights that they give my heart each day. Watching them explore their world and take delight in spotting the moon each night takes my breath away.