Thursday, January 29, 2009

A visit from friends

My EM friend Sarah came into town Tuesday night with her husband Dean and son Khai. They came in late so we basically said hello and I showed them to their room.

Luckily, I was off Wednesday so the kids and I stayed home and hung out with our friends. It was nice talking with Sarah and Chloe enjoyed hamming it up for our company. Stacey took the afternoon off work and the men talked shop (Dean is a QA tester for Activision games). We ventured out for dinner to the Mexican restaurant up the street. Yum!

They made the long trek from St Louis to Minneapolis (they stopped on the way back from Tallahassee, FL) over the night and arrived this morning.

We're planning to trip to Minnesota this summer to see Sarah and some other friends who live in the area. I can't wait!

Here comes the sun

We got our first and probably last big snow of the year this week. I think we got about 6 inches total over the two days. Chloe has been itching to get out in it and I'm really looking forward to playing outside with her this weekend. Luckily our backyard is pretty shaded so I think we'll have plenty left by then.

This morning the sun was shining and the snow made everything look clean and bright. It was just one of those great mornings. I took the kids to the new sitter before heading to work. Chloe was singing along to Here Come the 123s (thanks again Amber!) and Benjamin was staring dreamily out the window and smiling. She was excited to see her new friend Cameron (sitter's son) and it seems that getting the kids out of the house has been a good thing.

My work schedule has switched to 9am-6pm but Stacey has really helped out by picking up the kids after work so we at least all seem to land at home at about the same time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The arrival of Jesus from the birth perspective.

I will first note than i am not a Biblical scholar so if I bungle up anything, please feel free to correct me although I'm not really getting into theology here.

When we talk about Christmas and the "Birth of our Savior" it rarely involves any actual talk about the birth, but to me it's a little sad when you think about it.

Mary was a young woman. If I had to guess I'd say abou 15-16 years old. She was living her life and found out that she was pregnant without having sex. Ok that right there is pretty amazing. Her fiance (understandably) almost leaves her which will leave her in shame but luckily gets the message and marries her. Ok, so she's young, married and pregnant not by her husband. Right.

Now, this young, married pregnant woman finds out that she must travel on a donkey with her new husband to be counted for a census. Can you imagine how unfun traveling pregnant on a donkey must have been? Oh and she's left her family and I'm almost certain she's never been away from her mother, siblings, friends, etc.

Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem where Mary goes into labor... or perhaps she's been in labor while riding on the donkey... we don't know for sure. She delivers her baby with only her husband around. In Bible times women in labor would've been surrounded by midwifes and the important women in their life. They would've pampered, encouraged and supported her as well and been able to assist with any problems and gotten her started on breastfeeding. They would've celebrated with her.

Mary had none of this. She has Joseph and they were in a barn and the weather may or may not have been favorable. I seriously doubt she laid him in a manger like the popular song says. More likely she wrapped him up, they cut his cord somehow, and she put him to her breast (no GoodStart for the world's Savior).

I know it should be happy because after all she IS giving birth to our Savior, but I can't help feel a little sad that she had to do it without her 'women'.

By the by, if you haven't read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My kids are different morning types

Chloe is much like me in the morning. She needs a few minutes before she's ready to talk, be touched or be civil in general. Once she fully wakes she's her usual active self but it just takes a few minutes for her to get there. However, we call Benjamin pop tart because from the moment he wakes, he sits up and is ready to go. His eyes light up and he puts on his ornery smile. He especially enjoys antagonizing his sister. His favorite activities are whacking her in the head with his hand or a toy and laying right next to her on her blanket so she can't move. He's laughing and she's hollering "Benjamin I need a few minutes; I'm not ready to play!"

Stacey is out of town until Thursday and despite having kept both kids by myself for a year, it seems so much harder now. I didn't get anything done in the house short of a hot meal (and no clean up). I also couldn't convince Chloe that since her Daddy wasn't home she could indeed scoot over in the bed so we weren't all crammed on one half while the other remained open. Had I moved there myself, she simply would've readjusted herself to be crammed next to me on that side. :)

Why Conservatives Should Enjoy the Inaguration

Article on Slate

This is a good article, but I do feel like today's events are a bit of a circle jerk for the liberal media. Also, Bush was chastised for spending half as much as Obama is on the Inaguration and ceremonies.
My take on the next 4 years is that Obama will remain the moderate he seems to have become already and will be praised for fixing it all when he's really just acted like a pseudo-conservative. Uhm, Rick Warren much?
Also, I see the media suddenly downplaying the 'terrible economy'.
Now, I am not blaming anything the media does on Obama and really I have no actual beef with him. I disagree with him but I don't think he's a bad guy.
In all honestly, I probably would've watched today had McCain won but only to see Palin. She's still my girl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I may be at work, but we're rolling on with the homeschooling

We have been lucky (I won't say that too loud) to have finally found someone who is excited to do some school work with Chloe.

I got this cool CD for $50 and it has an endless supply of ideas, lesson plans, print outs and flash cards. Her site also has tons of free stuff so I encourage you to check it out. It also has recipes and ideas for setting up a home daycare/preschool if you're so inclined.

I printed off a bunch of things thinking it would last at least a week and they did over half of it the first day plus they made Chloe flashcards, did an art project and Chloe did some painting on her new easel from Grandma.

I guess I need to get more materials ready!

Since Jacky started Chloe's behavior in the evening has already improved and it's obvious she's getting much more attention and active play and less TV time than before.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Small reasons why Chloe rocks

Chloe is a great sister. She sings to her brother when he cries, she insists on kissing him goodnight and this morning I found her gently brushing his hair. She shares her snacks with him and is proud to tell others that he's her brother Benjamin.

She has such a great sense of self. She is happy in her skin and loves clothes that are comfortable. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she says "ME!" She sings and dances without feeling self-conscious.

Chloe makes sure to give me a piece of fruit everyday on my way to work. I'm munching a crisp apple as we speak.

She is wonderful to buy gifts for. She's grateful, appreciative and never asks for more. When asked about gifts, she request cool things like telescopes and hair ties.

I love the way her brain works. Looking at pictures last night, I asked her to identify one. When shown a picture of a bird, she said "It's a pidgeon". I had to laugh out loud at that one (she was right though).