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Phones Aren’t for Kids

My kids are visiting their grandparents for a couple weeks. And I’m really loving the break. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk to them.

The kids, however, are much too busy. There is always better stuff to do at Papa and Gran’s than talk to Mom. I mean, would you rather go swimming or talk to your parents? That’s a tough one.

So when we get Isaiah on the phone, it goes something like this…

Me: “Hey Buddy! How are you?!”
Isaiah: “Good.”
Me: “Are you having fun?”
Isaiah: “Yeah.” (said in a monotone)
Me: “Are you taking good care of Leah?”
Isaiah: “Yeah.”
Me: “Do you miss me?”
Isaiah: “Yeah.”
Me: “What’s your favorite thing you’ve done?”
Isaiah: “What?”

Leah is definitely more animated, but delivers about the same amount of info…

Me: “Hey Cheeky!”
Leah: “What?”
Me: “How are you?”
Leah: “Good! We’re eating ice cream! Bye, love you!”

I guess I’ll just talk to them when they get home.

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Arkansas Visit

We just got back from visiting Chris’ family in Arkansas. Besides the obvious enjoyment of seeing family we don’t get to see that often, here are some highlights from my trip:

I ate at the same restaurant as Mike Huckabee’s wife! Yes, for true. We were sitting at lunch after church and Chris saw her walk in and told me, “That’s Mike Huckabee’s wife!” I said, “No it’s not.” After a little arguing, he had me convinced. I shouldn’t have been so faithless, since both the Huckabees are from Chris’ home town. What fully convinced me was that every time a new person joined their table, Chris’ mom said something like, “And that’s her sister-in-law. That’s her brother-in-law.” I guess I just didn’t believe former presidential candidates’ spouses ate at restaurants like normal people. We kept hoping that Mike Huckabee would walk in, but no such luck. Celebrity sightings in Hope, AR! Who knew?

The second most exciting thing that happened to me is that we found out that Leah takes after her Mommy. She HATES the out of doors! Chris’ parents have a miniature pony for the kids, so we took Leah outside to give it a try. She wanted no part of sitting on that horse! At first we thought she was just scared of the horse, but long after we took her off, she was whining and asking everyone to hold her. Chris put her down on the grass and that really freaked her out. My daughter was literally scared of being outside! I love it!

She also learned to say, “Praise Jesus!” on the trip. Gran had a little book where you pushed buttons and it played Sunday school songs. Isaiah would sing them to Leah and Leah would end the songs by saying, “Pws Jsus!”

Going back to the horse. His name was Porche and he was absolutely adorable. I hope my kids appreciate him better the next time they visit. Isaiah didn’t like him any better than Leah, but Isaiah’s concern was that he was too high up. Isaiah seems to have inherited my fear of heights, something I’m not so happy to bequeath to my child.

Plus, Isaiah just wanted to play in the dirt. Everyday! Papa had a big pile of dirt and Isaiah had a digger truck. What a perfect combo! Everyday he begged until he got to dig and he cried every time he had to come in.

Leah also learned to say Papa on the trip, although she never actually said it in front of Chris’ dad. We even got on the plane to go home and she started saying Papa… a little late!

More about the plane trip home, next time!

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Chris has been fussing at me to blog… but I just haven’t “felt” it. You’d think I didn’t talk to him, so he had to read my blog to find out what is going on in my life. Actually, I think it’s because he’s been blogging every day, so he wants me to share his new found passion! If you haven’t been reading his blog, you should start… he’s smart and it’s good.

We have a library! That might not seem that exciting to you, but after two years in Salinas (a city that made national news by closing all its libraries for lack of funding), I’m pretty excited! Our first visit, I picked out a bunch of mystery books like Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark. Chris has encouraged our youth staff to read a book a month and being the devoted staff members that they are, they’ll probably do it. So with my mystery books under my arm, I innocently asked my husband, “Do these count as my book a month?” He responded with great disdain, “No! You have to read something with substance!” To which I replied, “Well, I’m glad I’m not youth staff, then.” He said, “but you’re my wife.” I agree… but that is completely different than staff.

My sister is visiting us. My parents are in Peru, so she’s staying at our place for a couple weeks. We’ve been showing her the great sights of Pittsburgh, or at least the great shopping! Oh my goodness… we found the best Mexican restaurant!!!! I’m so stinkin’ happy! It’s on a street with old buildings, a few bars, some law offices, and not much else. It’s called Mexico City, which I find amusing. My husband has always dreamed of some day moving to Mexico City. I have some issues with the idea and we teasingly spar about it every once in a while. So I told him it would warm his heart if I started asking to go to “Mexico City.”

But back to the food… it was fabulous! The prices were cheap and the food was served more gourmet style than I’ve ever seen in a “hole in the wall” Mexican restaurant. All the workers were Mexican (always a good sign) and they cooked the food in the front windows, like I’ve seen it done in Mexico. The atmosphere was nice too. And the sign said they even have live Mariache bands once in a while.

Kid update? Leah sits up all by herself, now. She laughs super funny sometimes too. She squints her eyes and kind of snorts. It’s hilarious and I’m not sure who she is trying to copy… hopefully not me! She isn’t quite crawling, but she squirms her way around to get to the toys she wants. And she eats cheerios like crazy!

Isaiah just keeps getting smarter and bigger. He’s still infatuated with Thomas. It’s fun watching his little personality develop.

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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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It’s cold in Wisconsin!

Family is forever, but it’s a good thing vacations only last for a week. We’ve been visiting my family in WI for the past week and my son has been terrorizing their house. I’m sure my parents are glad that they have their home back to normal.We had a great trip! It was Leah’s first airplane ride, but it was something like Isaiah’s ninth time. He’s a pro! Leah slept the whole way there. Isaiah wiggled a lot, but we made it.

Of course, Wisconsin was freezing. We thought we’d be all tough, since it’s only been two years since we’d lived there, but I guess we’ve gotten used to our nice California weather. We were so cold! I actually bought gloves! The upside of the cold is that it snowed while we were there! Isaiah got to go outside and play in the snow a little and he thought that was great.

Isaiah loved being at his Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Aunt Emmy played with him and Grandma helped him build tunnels for his trains, but his favorite part was Grandpa. With Isaiah, Gran and Grandma and even Mommy are nice, but Daddy and Papa and Grandpa are the best! He really likes the men in his life. Before we left he said he wanted to take Grandpa home.

My mom made all my favorite meals and we went to all my favorite restaurants, so I probably gained a bajillion pounds. Food is never as good as you remember it. And, because every day I had one of my favorites, it kind of took away the impact. A favorite once in a while is a treat, but a favorite everyday makes them all not as special. But it was still fun… because I love food!!!

We visited our favorite WI Mexican restaurant. Of course it isn’t as authentic as the amazing taquerias we have out here in Cali, but everyone who works there is Mexican, which is an important criteria in our minds! One of the ladies that works there remembered us and couldn’t believe how much weight Chris has lost. She made her husband come out and see Chris, because he wanted to lose weight but didn’t believe in diet plans. Chris is such a walking Weight Watchers advertisement!

Everywhere we went, people didn’t recognize Chris. They’d say hi to me and then look around a little and realize Chris was with me and then they would figure out who he was. The funniest was when we stopped by the Wal-Mart where Chris had been personnel manager. His old boss walked right past him and even greeted him in a generic way, thinking he was a customer. Chris’ old assistant was with us and she had to stop the boss and make him look at Chris again before he realized who he was.

It was fun to see family and friends that we haven’t seen in a couple years. Isaiah went to a Children’s Museum. And we got to shop at Buckle. Buckle is our current favorite store and we don’t have one very close to us. It’s kind of sad that we live in California and we go to Wisconsin to shop!

I had a cold when we left for WI and I still have it! Isaiah caught it half way through the trip and now Leah has it too. Leah is the saddest, because she has this little baby girl cough that would melt your heart. She was feeling really yucky yesterday and she slept a lot to try to get over it. She started smiling again last night, so I think she’s feeling a little better.

Chester is glad to be home. Poor guy, he’s been staying at the puppy hotel. He’s nice and skinny again, because he doesn’t get people scraps at the puppy hotel. He was pretty excited when he came home, but now he’s happy to go to sleep on our couch.

Isaiah is starting to tell us when he has to go potty (thank the Lord!). Today he even went in the bathroom and went potty all by himself, of his own free will. There is hope in sight! My son will not be 14 and still wearing diapers!

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I think Leah may be starting to sleep through the night! A couple days before Christmas, she slept from 9 pm to 6 am, but I thought it was just a freak thing. Then, a couple nights ago, she slept from 10 pm to 7 am. The next night she did the same thing! Last night she woke up about 3 am, but I wrapped her back up in her blankets and put her nu-nu back in her mouth. She slept till 5:30 am! So I definitely think we’re headed in the right direction. I’m going to try to help her, because Isaiah didn’t sleep through the night until he was 10 months old, mainly because I always fed him when he got up. He got in the habit of getting up and it was hard to break.

Isaiah is working on his computer skills. We got him JumpStart Preschool for Christmas. Right now he’s just trying to figure out how to use the mouse. He’s got clicking down, but moving the mouse to the correct object is still a little hard for him. The games on it seem a little abstract for a kid his age, but hopefully he’ll get the hang of it soon, because right now we have to play it with him.

We’re busy packing our bags for our trip to WI. This will be a fun vacation, because my family hasn’t seen Leah yet. I just hope traveling with 2 kids won’t be too stressful. Leah shouldn’t be too bad, but Isaiah is a handful. He has a lot of wiggle! But he is really excited about going on an “ai’pane, up in the sky!”

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