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Happy Birthday, Leah!

It’s hard to believe that our little Leah turned 1 last Thursday! It’s crazy how the time has flown. We went to Rita’s for Italian ices and then had a little party the next night. I’m really happy because Leah actually like the Little People castle we got her. Usually we buy our kids toys that seem really cool to us, but they aren’t interested in them or they are too young for them. But the castle was a hit. She spends a lot of time putting the people on the turrets and banging the dragons together and fun stuff like that!

In the midst of all the birthday celebrating, we’ve discovered what a little drama queen Leah is. She started not feeling well the night of her party and it persisted through the weekend. By Sunday, she was just laying with her head on my shoulder and moaning. We knew she was teething, but she kept tugging her ears, so we were afraid it was more than that. Chris took her to the doctor, who told us that she had a mild virus… it was not serious, she did not need medicine, and we should just give her tylenol (which we’d already been doing). So basically, she was making a big deal out of nothing! I’m so not used to little girl style.

Isaiah is obsessed with birthdays, ever since he went to a party for one of his friends. He is convinced that people give HIM gifts on their birthdays. So we weren’t sure how he would handle Leah’s birthday. He actually did pretty well. He understood that the presents were for Leah, but he still couldn’t wait to get his hands on them to play.

Overall, I think Leah’s birthday just gave him more ideas for planning his own birthday. Everyday, sometimes more than once a day we have a conversation that goes like this:

Isaiah: “But it will be MY birthday later!”
Mommy: “Yep.”
Isaiah: “And Mommy and Daddy will get cake for my birthday! You will do that!”
Mommy: “Yep.”
Isaiah: “And eberybody will come for my birthday. And Pastor will come for my birthday.”
Mommy: “Probably.”
Isaiah: “And Sara will give me a present for my birthday. It will be a car. That will be real cool!”
Mommy: “We’ll see…”

There’s a lot more details he has all planned out too, so I just hope his birthday lives up to all his expectations!

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I think being a mom has made me extra resourceful… or something. I had finally got both of the kids down for naps. I brewed some tea to enjoy in my few minutes of peace and quiet. I was seated at the computer, enjoying the peace and quiet and my nice Earl Grey, but little did I know a disaster was about to ensue. One minute all was tranquil and quiet, the next minute there was a whole cup of tea in my lap (being a mom has also made me clumsy). Paper towel was all the way upstairs and the tea pool was dangerously close to the computer. So I did what anyone would do… I pulled off my jeans that were 2/3 soaked with tea and wiped up the mess with the remaining dry spots left on them. Not what you would do? I don’t think I would have either, 3 years ago! But a mom does what a mom has got to do.

Being a parent also makes you very resourceful in your explanations. A while back, Isaiah became enamored with a cartoon character that Chris wasn’t so fond of. He felt that this cartoon character was advocating ideas that we didn’t want Isaiah embracing, so Chris told me not to pick up any more of his DVD’s at the library. Of course, the next time we went to the library, the first DVD Isaiah picked out was the vetoed one. So we told him that the character was yucky. Isaiah said, “He got poop on him?” Chris decided to go with it and told him that the cartoon didn’t have Jesus in his heart so it was like his heart had poop in it. Isaiah’s eyes were pretty wide at that explanation and it stuck with him. A month later, we were at the library again when Isaiah spotted the banned DVD and exclaimed, “He got poop on him!”

Isaiah and Leah like to play together. Every time I put Leah down for a nap, Isaiah asks where she is. When I tell him she’s napping, he says, “When he done with his nap, he will come play with me?” (We’re still working on our male and female pronouns). He also tries to stand up for her. When I tell her it’s time for a nap, he tries to convince me she doesn’t want to go to bed.

Leah can climb stairs now, so we have to really watch her. She’s fast and before you realize it, she’s halfway up! She’s getting big in so many ways. I’ve put a recent picture of her up for you to enjoy!

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Another blog, just for you!

Everyone has been telling me to blog. Chris even gives me suggestions about what I should blog about. We’ll be talking about something, like my opinion on the Emergent Church or why large grapes always have seeds, and he says, “You should blog about it!” To which I reply, “I don’t blog about stuff like that.” Someone else told me I needed to blog and I told them I probably would in the next week or two. “I feel a blog rising up inside of me,” I assured them. I have to feel it! Others think I should skip the blog step and just write a book. Find me a publisher and I’ll think about it.

So on to THE BLOG!

Leah has a tooth and a half. She’s almost 11 months so it’s about time. The half one is really not very visible yet, but the one you can see is the cutest tooth ever. She tried it out on mom a couple times. I didn’t appreciate it and it was one factor in the “it’s time to ween” decision.

The other factor is that Chris and I have an anniversary coming up. Last spring our Pastor’s wife did a Bible study with the ladies of our church. Since I’d already done the study in California, she asked me to do childcare. When she told me, “I owe you, Hannah,” I grinned evilly and said, “Watch my kids for our anniversary?” And so the deal was made. I have a babysitter for our anniversary. An overnight babysitter! And we’re not using her for a youth event! Oh yes, Leah will be weened by October!

Actually, she already is. My plan had been to transition her right to sippy cups, but Leah disagreed, so I finally broke down and gave her a bottle. She liked those a lot better, but I still always nursed her when she woke at 4:00 am. Finally the night came where I had a bottle all waiting for her when she woke for her nightly feeding. She took a few sips and then threw it on the floor. So I put her back to bed. An hour later she woke again and Chris decided to give it a try. She took one look at him through the crib bars and threw herself down in her crib, protesting intensely. She definitely knew Daddy didn’t have what she wanted! After we made it through that traumatic night, she has been willing to take her bottles. So I get to have an anniversary!

Leah has known how to clap her hands for a while, but the other night she learned to raise her hands. She claps a little and then if we say, “Praise Jesus!” she’ll lift her hands up in the air! The Sunday morning after she learned this skill, she saw people in church raising their hands, so she joined in. She threw her head back and her hands up as high as she could get them, much to the delight of those around her.

Chris just redesigned the kids’ site. When he was working on it, he showed Isaiah pictures of him as a baby. Isaiah thought about them and then asked, “What happened to me?” When we see how big he is, we wonder the same thing.

The other night, Chris came downstairs to find Isaiah hiding behind the couch, peaking over the top to watch Wallace and Gromit. Chris asked if he was alright and Isaiah responded, “Yeah, everything’s OK.” Chris asked him if he was scared. “No, not really,” Isaiah assured him, but then went on to tell him what was so “scary” about the movie.

As for the third child (the one that enables us to have 2.5 children… commonly referred to as the dog), he ran away again. Really, we’re getting used to it. The odd thing is that he escapes for a different reason every time. Never has the same part been at fault in our collar/leash/run system. So it is very hard to prevent these expeditions. We just left the door cracked open for him. An hour later he came in growling, with his fur standing on end. He’s such a big baby, something must have scared him and he came running back home to Mommy.

I always say Chester should be called Cinderella. He’s like the step-child that gets the second-rate treatment. When the whole family piles on the couch to watch a movie, Chester has to lay on a pillow on the floor. When we all go out for some fun activity, Chester gets put in his “house.” When family vacation time comes, Chester goes to the kennel. Poor guy… it’s no wonder he runs away.

If you want to check out the new design of our kids’ site, go to

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On My Own

So, in my investigation into who makes the messes around our house, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 suspects… and neither of them is me.

Chris took a team of our youth to Baja, Mexico for a missions/leadership building trip. He’s been gone for 2 weeks! And during that time, Isaiah is at Papa and Gran’s in Arkansas. So it’s just Leah and me, and of course Chester. And the housework is surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) light!

Chris called one day and I put him on speaker phone. When Leah heard his voice, her whole face lit up! She made a happy grunting sound and then she said, “Da da!” Awww… She’s also trying to say Chester. She’s a little unsure of herself so she just whispers something like, “Teh-Teh” or “Cheh”.

Speaking of the evil beast we harbor in our home, he ran away tonight… AGAIN. I was bringing him in the house and his collar just slipped off; I don’t even know how. He took off and I knew there was no way I was going to catch him. He stayed within my sight for a bit, but he never let me get close and then I couldn’t see him at all. I left the back door open so that if he decided to come back he would have a way in. After an hour and a half he strolled in like nothing had happened, with a big wad of black junk in his mouth. He happily dropped that on the carpet and ran upstairs to get a drink.

I offered him a treat and enticed him into the pantry and shut it, so I could inspect whatever it was he’d deposited in my home. My worst fears were correct. It was a beyond rotten animal of some kind. I don’t know if if was a rabbit or some type of large rodent, but it was the most disgusting thing ever! I got a tongs type thing, but I couldn’t bring myself to grab it with that, because you could still tell what its feet were and it was just too horrifying. For a while I just stood down there and squealed and debated if I should call Pastor. Finally I shoved it into an old cardboard box with the help of another box and threw the whole thing down the hill, into the woods. Yes, I know it might be bad for the environment, but cardboard is recyclable, so I’m sure it’s kind of biodegradable. And there was no way I was going to do anything else with it!

So my husband comes home tomorrow night. And this is a very good thing, because I’ve had it with this on my own stuff!

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Who needs a comedian… I have Isaiah

Chris took Leah to the doctor for her well-baby checkup. Before they left, I was laying Isaiah down for his nap and explaining that Daddy was going to take baby to the doctor. Without even hesitating, Isaiah asked in a worried tone, “We’ll get another one?” “Another baby?” I asked. He said, “yeah,” so I tried to explain that Daddy would take her and bring her right home. We both agreed that we didn’t want another baby and that we wanted to keep this one. “He will miss me?” he asked (We don’t quite have our male and female pronouns sorted out).

I tried to explain that Baby was part of our family, so I told him that she was a Davis and that he was a Davis too. He said, “No, I’m a boy.” After a little more explaining, he started to get the Davis concept down. He asked some important questions to figure it all out, “Isaiah a Dabis?” “Baby a Dabis?” “You a Dabis?” Then things became more abstract, “Thomas bed a Dabis?” I agreed, since the Thomas bed belongs to our family. “Lib’ary books a Dabis?” “No,” I explained, “They are the library’s.” I think we sorted it all out eventually.

You may have read this in Chris’ blog, but while he was at the doctor, his cell rang and it said it was me calling. He answered it, but only heard a dialing sound. When he finished at the doctor he called me back. It rang a few times and then our son (who was supposed to be napping) answered. In a whisper he said, “Hi.” Chris said hi back and Isaiah pipped up, “Hi Daddy!” Chris tried to find out why Isaiah had my phone, but all he got was a long jumble of an explanation. So he told Isaiah to go take the phone to Mommy. Isaiah promptly hung up. Right about that time, I poked my head in his door to make sure he was behaving. “I talk to Daddy!” he proudly informed me. I was confused for a moment, until I saw my phone lying on his floor.

I was talking about Jesus the other night with Isaiah and he told me, “They throw Jesus in the water.” I was a little confused about which Jesus story we were referring to, so Isaiah went on to explain, “Then da’ fish ate him!!!” It took me a while to convince him that was Jonah, one of Jesus’ friends. Turns out they had learned about Jonah that week in Sunday School.

Another night I was telling Isaiah that Jesus lives in heaven. He said, “Yeah, up in the stars. He made dem!” So we talked about all the things that Jesus made… the sun and moon, the trees, etc. Then he said, “An’ Jesus made da Pittsburgh house!”

Isaiah is a super big brother. One of the elders from our church was holding Leah at a party. Isaiah saw her sitting with him and his wife and got concerned. He came over to were I was sitting and said, “Where’s baby?” I told him Mr. Anthony had her. He wasn’t satisfied that I was doing my job, so he said, “Come wid me…” He took me by the hand and led me over to the area were they were sitting. When he saw that I knew where she was and was OK with it, then he was fine with it too. I guess he was just checking up on me.

As much as he loves his little sister, Isaiah does have some objections to her new crawling abilities. When she starts getting to close to his toys, he’ll say, “Mommy, get Baby!” Or he’ll exclaim, “No Baby! No Baby! No Baby!” He also tries to tell her what toy to play with, which doesn’t get very far. He’ll bring her a toy and say, “He wants to play with this… Here, Baby. Here, Baby.” Of course she doesn’t ever want to play with the thing he wants her to play with.

Leah went to her first fireworks show. She was a little overwhelmed. She didn’t cry, but her face looked kind of shocked as she watched the sky. Isaiah was intimidated by the big booms at first, but pretty soon he figured out it was fun to try to make as much noise as the fireworks! This picture is us eating snow cone and cotton candy at the carnival by the fireworks.

And, last but not least… I saw the snake! It definitely lives under the rocks behind our house. I was taking Chester outside and heard something in the grass, and there it was slithering away for all it was worth. I didn’t see it’s eyes, which is OK by me. But I still screamed for a good bit! Chris thinks that is funny, but it’s just an involuntary reaction. Snake=scream.

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Can you bark?

I know I fuss a lot about not enjoying the country, but there is one thing I think is pretty cool.  We have fireflies!  Fireflies are something I’ve always read about in books, but never actually seen, so this is definitely a novelty for me.  Sometimes when I’m laying in bed at night, I can watch them flickering outside my window.  And I never knew fireflies glowed green…

Leah has almost got crawling down.  She kind of throws both knees forward at the same time so it kind looks like she’s hopping!  But she can get around.  We keep finding her playing with random things that she’s gotten a hold of, like her brother’s flip-flops!

She is also learning to bark.  Yes, bark.  When she hears Chester barking outside, she’ll yip back.  Talking is a ways away, but Leah and Chester will be communicating in no time!

I told Isaiah that he needed to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” when he saw Chris today.  I only told him a couple times, but first thing when he saw Daddy at church he ran up to him and said it!  He’s a smart little boy!

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Our Weekend

Chris’ brother, Phillip, was visiting us this past weekend. It was his first time to see Leah, so that was exciting! We showed him the sights of Pittsburgh, which was interesting, since we hadn’t seen most of them ourselves. He liked Pittsburgh a lot and I’ve concluded that I do too!

Everything is a lot older here, than it was in CA, so the buildings have tons of character. On Thursday night, we found some fun cultural places to hang out and shop in. Friday, we rode a tram type thing up The Incline on Mt. Washington. As I understand it, it used to be for transporting miners, but now that the mines are shut down, it’s mainly a tourist attraction. It taxed my fear of heights a little, but it wasn’t too bad.

We ate at Buca Di Beppo, which was fabulous! They had a statue of Michelangelo’s David in the lobby. Isaiah quickly realized that the only clothes David wore was his slingshot on his shoulder, so he started a running dialog about this interesting fact. It went like this, “Look at the guy! He got a pee. He need big boy pants. He take a bath?” I found it pretty amusing!

Another exciting feature of Pittsburgh is the sale prices. I found $5 shirts at Urban Outfitters and AE… that never happened to me in CA. We also really like H&M, which has super cool stuff at great prices. But the best part PA doesn’t charge sales tax on clothes! Of course they get it out of us in other ways, but it’s still fun to buy a $6.89 shirt and only pay $6.89!

Going back to funny stuff Isaiah says, he calls donuts, “burgers.” He has called them that at the grocery store. Then we stopped at Krispy Kreme today and Isaiah, who can’t read, but knows his labels, said “I want a burger!” I guess they kind of look like a burger.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Isaiah’s preschool class sang a couple songs in front of church today. I laughed so hard I cried… it was the cutest/funniest thing ever. None of the kids really knew what they were supposed to be doing, so they were either improvising their own thing or staring off into space. First service, I think Isaiah was still kind of asleep. He just stood up there, completely oblivious to what his teacher was trying to get him to do, just sucking on his finger. Second service, there were more kids and he was more awake. He still didn’t sing the songs. Instead he and another little kid were climbing all over the steps, trying to grab the mic, and generally enjoying being in the spotlight. We’ll try to post the video later, but I’m sure it won’t do justice to the moment. The church enjoyed it, even if the kids didn’t sing three words of their song.

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Never dull…

So I was shopping for a new dog today. Not because we want another one. No… it was because Chester ran away. His lead broke and he disappeared into the woods. He’d only been gone for about 15 minutes when we realized it, but a dog can get far in 15 minutes. Especially when he’s got open woods for miles.

Chris went looking for him, but he eventually gave up and came back. I was all positive, and said, “Maybe he’ll come back!” But Chris was pretty sure his nose would keep him chasing stuff permanently. Our biggest concern (besides not wanting Chester to suffer or something) was how Isaiah would take it.

It didn’t take him too long to ask, “Where’s Chester?” We already had a speech prepared, so Chris told him how Chester went to play with the other animals and that he might not come back if he made lots of animal friends. Isaiah had my positiveness. He said, “Chester will come back.” A little later he told me, “Chester want to come back, be with Mommy, Daddy, Isaiah, Baby Sister!” I tried to tell him Chester might like his new animal friends better.

So that was when I started looking online at dog breeds. At first Chris had said we would wait a while before we got another dog, but with Isaiah being so concerned, we started thinking we might need something to distract him. I shied pretty clear of anything houndish or big. The last thing we need is a dog who loves his nose more than his family.

As I was searching for something small, low maintenance, good with children, and not butt ugly, Chris heard a bark! He ran outside, but if it was Chester, he was super far away. We put Isaiah down for his nap and then heard more barking that was definitely Chester! Chris decided to walk along the road in the direction it came from.

About 20 minutes later he came back and announced, “The prodigal has returned.” He had found the dog by following his barks. All in all, Chester had been missing for about 3 hours. When Chris found him, he thought Chester was hurt at first because he acted all droopy, but it turned out he just felt guilty. He knew he’d been bad.

So it turned out OK. I had helped Isaiah pray that Chester would come back safe and I guess Jesus couldn’t refuse the prayers of a sweet little boy… and girl, because if Leah had understood, she would have been praying too. She loves Chester better than any of us!

Isaiah is so full of conversation and new expressions. The other day I asked him to do something, which he didn’t hear. He came over to me and said, “What did you say?” Whenever we say, “Isaiah,” he answers, “Why?” It’s pretty funny. He has also started saying “well”. He’ll be telling me something about his trains and he’ll say, “Well… Percy is over here.” He’s also really into “scary” stuff, like dinosaurs that roar and suspenseful moments in his little movies.

Leah finally figured out solid food is a meal, not appetizer before nursing. She likes bananas and oatmeal the best, but has also tried applesauce and carrots. She is working on her sitting up skills and she looks like she will crawl soon. She talks and screams a lot!

We’re really enjoying PA life! Especially as it’s finally warmed up! We’ve been to downtown Pittsburgh a bunch now, but always for events and stuff. We still haven’t gotten to explore the city the way we want to. Chris’ brother is coming to visit us next weekend, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to look around it with him.

God’s doing a lot in our church. It seems like every week the atmosphere is different. It’s wonderful to see how the Lord brought us all together with this church to accomplish great things for His Kingdom!

Something else I like about living in Pittsburgh is that we get a lot of cool speakers and events into our area, because it is more conveniently located than CA was. We got to go hear Lila Terhune (one of our teachers from BRSM) this weekend. It was great to see her again and hear her laugh! It was cool because some of the stuff that she was teaching in her session was the same stuff our Pastor preached the next Sunday and he hadn’t heard her speak!

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I’m taking a break from my mad packing (OK, I’m kinda lying… Chris is doing all the mad packing), to share my proud mom moments with you.

Last night I was hanging out at Fervent, talking with the girls.  We were right in the middle of discussing something fun, when I felt a little hand tapping my knee and I heard a little voice saying, “‘Scuse, Mommy, ‘scuse.”  My son said “excuse me” to get my attention while I was talking!  I was so shocked… all my hard work at nagging him to be civilized was paying off!  I was so proud of him!

We have been trying to convince Isaiah to poo-poo on the potty.  He has always refused, choosing instead to do his jobs in his pants.  So every time that happens, we’ve made a big deal out of how disgusting (“‘gusting” as he says) it is.  Today, Isaiah came out of the bathroom saying, “That’s ‘gusting, in the potty!”  We went and checked and sure enough, he had done a little poop in the potty, not his pants!  This was the first time he accomplished this, and I had despaired of it ever happening.  We got so excited that I think we scared him a little, until he realized we were happy-excited!  He got a special train for his set to commemorate the happy occasion.

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Springtime… for Cali!

Spring is in the California air! For all of you poor people who are still stuck in winter, I thought I’d tell you what a beautiful day it is out here on the West Coast! The sun is shining, the air is warm, the trees are budding (I would assume… I haven’t checked), families are out riding bikes, and love is blooming around us. It’s no wonder it costs so much to live in CA; they charge us extra for the amazing weather!

Speaking of love blooming, Isaiah gave his little girlfriend a box of chocolates for Valentines. Isn’t that the cutest? Of course he had a little help from his dad, who is teaching Isaiah how to be a gentleman and how to treat a lady. He had a little valentine treat for his nursery teacher, Rosalina, too. After church, he told me, “Mommy, I gave a p’esent A-E-Ana. I gave a p’esent Lina.”

Isaiah’s conversation skills are expanding. I got him out of his bath the other day and when he saw his Thomas underpants, he exclaimed, “Oh yes! Big boy pants! I don’t want a baby diaper.”

He has always hated talking on the phone, but recently he has been more interested. The other day I got off the phone with Chris and Isaiah said, “I want to talk to Daddy!” So I called Chris back and Isaiah actually talked to him for a bit. This weekend he talked to his Grandma and his Papa and Gran on the phone too.

Leah is getting to be a little chub. Her legs are so fat and adorable. I love them! At her last doctor visit she was in the 75 percentile for height and weight. So that means that even though she was 4 weeks premature, she has caught up to and even surpassed many of her peers.

She has the most amazing smile. Even when she is crying in her crib, as soon as we go to pick her up, she gives us the hugest smile. She smiles with her whole body. Her cheeks crinkle up and she waves her arms and kicks her legs. One smile from Leah and all your problems seem to vanish. It’s her little baby ministry.

Leah is becoming interested in toys. She likes to grab them, look at them and try to chew on them. She is a very oral learner. She chews on her fists all the time and she is pretty happy to chew on anything else we put in her mouth too.

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