Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Binky Thief Strinkes Again

Grace is growing away. She has been sick the last week or so, but even when she is not feeling well she is still pleasant. She is now sleeping very well through the night and I’m a little sad and a little happy to tell you that I’ve completely weaned her. She is standing up on her own. She can stand, without holding onto anything for over a full 60 seconds! She’s crawling all over the place and we’ve pulled out the baby gate again. If you shake your head back and forth at her, she’ll do it back to you. It’s one of her favorite things to do, actually. If you grunt at her, she’ll mimic you and grunt back. And she’ll continue as long as you will.

Last week, at about two in the morning, I heard (in the baby monitor) Grace cry out in outrage. Then I heard a little voice sweetly, with an edge of I’m-gonna-get-in-trouble desperation, say, “It’s okay Gracie, It’s okay.” Conrad went upstairs to discover, Isabelle had woken up, snuck into Grace’s room, reached into her crib and pulled her pacifier out of her mouth. Who knows what else she did?! That night Grace didn’t go back to sleep till 5 a.m.!

Needless to say, the next morning I took Isabelle to the freezer. I showed her her beloved box of popsicles. I told her if she ever steps foot into Grace’s room at night again, I will throw out all of her popsicles! We haven’t a problem since

On a sad note. We are having technology breakdown in the Michael household. My palm died a rather sudden death. I’m currently without my calendar or contacts on a day to day basis. I’m constantly nervous that I’m going to need someone’s phone number that I won’t have it! Then, last Monday, the girls and I were at the Easton fountains playing and my camera just gave out. Now the display and the pictures are nothing but weird jiggly lines. Now I really feel like I’m missing a limb! Of course, both of these are great (albeit expensive) reasons to upgrade/upgrade.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Creative Solutions

As I've mentioned before, Grace is getting to the stage where she's getting into things. When we found her playing in Isabelle's full potty, we decided we needed to move the potty out of her reach. Our thought was that we would just move it back down when Isabelle needed to use it again. But Isabelle had other ideas.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

37 years and counting

Last weekend we celebrated my mom and dad’s 37th anniversary by going out for a great dinner at Mon Ami! Can you believe 37 years! Wow! I’m really thankful that they have stayed together. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but in today’s culture, it’s unique. Not only are they still married…they are still happily married! It’s such a great foundation for Jona and I in our own families. I just wanted to say thanks Mom and Dad for sticking it out, even when it was rough. Thanks for thinking of us, and maybe sometimes even putting each other, Jona, and I in front of your own needs.

Before Conrad and I got married, I quizzed him for endless hours and hours on his values, perspectives, and past. I even made him take a Meyers-Briggs personality test! (He is an INTJ, for all of you Meyers-Briggs junkies out there) I figured if he took it and didn’t run away, he must be a keeper. On the flip side, he only asked me one question, “How do you feel about divorce?” I answered, “It’s not an option.” So we moved forward.
Besides all of the many things I love about Conrad, certainly one of the top reasons I married him was his commitment to marriage. I knew that marrying a strong Indian Christian was an almost sure way of having a life long intact family. And I have to say, it was the best decision I have ever made!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meanderings of a Lunch Time Walker

On the days that I work, and I’m in the office, and the weather is nice in Ohio, and I don’t have other appointments, and all of the stars align, I spend my lunch time walking. I love walking in downtown Columbus. Every day I can walk a different direction for a couple of miles and see so many interesting sights.

Unlike a walk in the country, where my attention is drawn to nature, in the city, my attention is always drawn to humanity. Sometimes I find these people funny. Often I find them weird. And once in a while, especially if I’m walking in a secluded area, just a little bit scary.

But I’ll just tell you about my walk today. Today I walked north to an area called, “The Short North” I love this part of town, it’s been completely gentrified and I used to live there before I moved to the suburbs, got married, and basically turned very suburban-white-mini-van-soccer mom-ish.

As I’m walking north, I pass the convention center where I like to play “Guess what conference is here today” with myself. Last week there were loads and loads of Asian men: Indians and East Asians. I guessed some kind of technical convention, but it was actually a patenting conference. My favorite conference is the one every year that draws hundreds of middle aged blond ladies who wear every kind of denim known to woman-kind and sport basket-purses and wear bee pins…the Longaberger basket ladies, of course!

Anyway, after I pass the convention center I see this little old black lady sitting on the corner. I love the homeless folks. Hmmm…maybe they aren’t homeless, maybe they’re just street squatters. Maybe that particular corner is just where they hang out during the day, like I do in my cubical? Anyway, this little old lady is drinking her bottled…water(?) and yelling like a referee at a football game. At who? About what? I couldn’t gather. But it was interesting. My first reaction is curiosity, then usually followed by wonder, then honestly sometimes disgust. At some point in my meandering of judgment, the Lord speaks to me and says, “Why don’t you just shut up and pray for her?” So I do.

Then on my way back, I’m patiently waiting at a stop light when a young man with a beard and a Reds jersey weaves his way toward me. He smells like a brewery. I think to myself, “Oh, please don’t talk to me.” He passes me and stops to ask a couple next to me for money with his slurred speech. Then I start my ole’ head games again. “What is so bad in this guy’s life that he’s drunk at two in the afternoon? If I gave him money, what would he do with it?” On and on I go until the Holy Spirit talks to me again, “Hey, why don’t you shut your pie hole and pray for him.” (Does God talk to anyone else like this?)

Soon I stop at the Starbucks. I’ve walked two miles and with a killer headache, I might add. I deserve/need a nice caffeinated beverage. I grab my drink and look around. A well dressed slender man prances in. He orders a ssssmall ice coffee. I start thinking, “Oh yes, I’m in the short north. I remember his type. I remember my fabulous neighbors and their fabulous boyfriends” Again the Lord starts calling me out. “So what do you think brought him to this place in this life? Is he hurting? Do I love him any less than I love you?” “No Lord. Maybe more. I think you’d leave me, just to chase after him.” “So pray for my lost lamb.”

I always have a lot to think about after my afternoon walks. I think the Lord requires action from me too. Not only prayer. But for now, it’s prayer. Judgment comes so easily for me, maybe it does for everyone. Life seems to require judgment calls, so the only antidote I find to BEING judgmental seems to be prayer and keeping my nose to the grindstone. So, here is the meanderings thoughts of a lunch walker. Take something with you or leave it here. It’s up to you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby Food and Baby Proof

Grace is growing up! As you can see from the last post, she is crawling, and even pulling herself up on furniture. This brings a whole slew of problems we hadn't yet prepared for. This isn't our first baby, after all. We had UN baby proofed our house long ago.

First of all, we have a toddler who drags lots of things out and around. She LOVES to "count" things. Coins she can find, vitamins she can get too. She also leaves these things laying around. If I don't find them in time...well, you get the picture. I have found a miriad of things in Grace's mounth already: A Penny, a rubberband, a frozen grape (snack left on the floor!), and my personal favorite, a rock. Who knows the things I didn't get to in time! So far, she's still breathing, so that's good! When I'm tempted to really worry about these things, I comfort myself with all of the children who have survived this stage of life with older siblings (of course, we won't even mention the times Isabelle karate chops the back of Grace's knees as she's tettoring precariously on her new baby feet, or the times I found Grace swishing her fingers through the Isabelle's toddler potty.)

Grace is also just about to ween herself. She really would prefer food to milk, anyday. She has never turned any type of food away, that I recall.

I also have to brag that I am quite the Granola-y Tree-hugging parent. I have been making my own babyfood...thanks to my best friend Rachel, who lives in Asia, and bought me Super Baby Food and inspired me to make my own. I cook, puree, and freeze baby food once a month or so. Grace LOVES it! And I feel better because I don't have to spend so much money on canned food, AND I save the envirment all of that packaging. Good all around. Oh ya, AND it's good for the baby!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

She's Mobile!

Grace pushed into full fledged crawling this week. She has been moving in a four foot radius for a few weeks, but she is officially crawling now. Lock up those cabinets and gate off those stairs, folks!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Deep Creek Lake

We had a great time last week on vacation with my family. My sister and her family came, along with my parents, and my Grandma Margie. My parents rented a really nice three story condo and we ate and talked and played all week long! The event we were celebrating was my Grandma’s 75th birthday! But I have to say that we all really enjoyed this birthday present!

Some highlights for us (besides the extra hands to help with the kids…and of course the extra sleep!) was the day we spent out on the lake in a pantoon, and the mountain roller coaster.

There is so much to do there. We had never heard of Deep Creek Lake before but after the fact I’ve had several people tell me that they vacation there!

Isabelle was a ham, as usual, and she rode to Maryland with my parents. After a few hours of riding in the car, she woke up from a long nap, looked around, and asked my Dad, “Opa, are we going to Africa?” She also locked herself in a bathroom and had a heyday with my mom’s make up. We were banging on the bathroom door, and she’s yelling, “Hold on! Hold on!” when she finally unlocked the door, this is what we saw:

As is typical in my family, the children become sermon illustrations and my dad preached a message on Sunday called “The right idea, but the wrong application.” Inspiration by Isabelle.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I have been dying to try my hand at making jam. I called our local pick your own farm around the 17th of June only to find out that I had missed strawberry season!! Really!? Missed it?! Luckily, the grocery store had some strawberries out so I bought a few pounds and headed home to jam!

I had no idea how to make strawberry jam, but I bought some sure-jell and lots of sugar and called 1-800-Grandma. She walked me through it (all THREE times I called her) and mostly told me to OPEN THE PACKAGE of Sure-Jell and READ the instructions. I know, rocket science, right? Who knew there were instructions on the inside of such a small box?

It turned out yummy, and all of my jars sealed over night. We had strawberry jam on English Muffins for breakfast and everything. Watch your stockings for Christmas, I’m sure some of you will be getting jars of jelly from me for Christmas ;)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Don't Leave, we're here!

We are vacationing this week in beautiful Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. It's nice to be away. it's nice to have enough adults to help with the kids! We will be back on line next week. Have a great fourth!