Sunday, May 31, 2009

A day in the life...

Need I say more?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dress Up

Dylan has recently inherited a bin of dress up clothes from his cousins. I posted about a month ago about his favorite "princess" dress, and sadly, I have no updates to suggest that he has given up his dress for anything more remotely boyish. Sometimes though, he will stray from his default just for a few minutes with the giraffe, ladybug, Winnie the Poo, Thomas, and of course cat and tap costumes (my favorites)."I'm a cat, I'm a kitty cat and I dance dance dance, and I dance dance dance" (My sisters are the only ones who will get this, but if you are interested go to:
Look at those dainty little hands holding up his dress. My little princess, I am so proud. This was my tap dance costume for a recital I had when I was about five. We will have to make up a routine and video tape it for this site. Dylan loves wearing his pretty costume while he's dancing.
Calling Mister Miiiiiike!
There is my jungle boy, thats more like it Dylan!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Faith and Answers

I had a neat experience this week and I wanted to share it, and have it for my journal. In our church we pay tithes and offerings. This comes straight out of the Bible, (not just the Book of Mormon), and we are asked to pay ten percent of our income. (I only explain this because I know there are many skeptics out there.) The money that we give helps build temples, churches, and most importantly it helps with humanitarian aid across the world. It does not however pay the church bishop or other positions in the church.
For me, paying this 10 percent has never been a struggle. I have always thought of it as just another bill that I owe monthly, and that it really is not an option for me to pay. I think I just look at all that I have and I can't really argue not giving a little bit away to help those in need. So anyway, this month was the first time in a long time where I looked at our budget and everything and realized that we just couldn't make the payment. I have such an awful feeling when this happens, so we have been praying and picking up extra jobs here and there to try and raise the money that we needed to pay, but we were coming up short. After about two weeks of doing everything and I mean everything, (I have been cleaning houses in the morning, helping out a friend almost everyday last week, and making things to sell on ebay) I stopped really worrying about it because I knew that with my faith, and the fact that I was doing all I could, God would provide (I mean lets face it, I have finally been going back to church , I knew I would be blessed! haha, have I not been saying this for weeks? :) So, I received a call from Cameron yesterday saying "you won't believe it, but the CEO's had a meeting today and decided that we are all getting a $500 bonus this month". If you know Cameron's job, they absolutely NEVER gives bonuses, not even anything during Christmas, but randomly they decided this year, this month, to give every employee this bonus. Is that not unbelievable!? I love when things like this happen, it just reminds me that I am being looked after and that I really can't ever lose faith and sight of what is important. LOVE IT!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Adventures in motherhood

These last few weeks have brought about new and not so exciting moments as a mother and aunt. My Dylan has finally hit the terrible threes. Everyone says it the terrible two's but OH MY GOSH, three doesn't even come close to that of the two year old behavior. Dylan is a nightmare, literally! I actually wake up in the morning hoping that I am dreaming and that I can go back to sleep without having to see or hear my child. (I know this sounds awful, but I know all of you mothers out there have experienced this at one time or another, don't pretend you haven't). Dylan is so hyperactive, and so sassy! Lately he has started using my phrases such as, "I have asked you 3 times, please get me some juice!", or, "I told you, you needed to get me some juice". He also starting to ask the infamous "why" after everything I ask him to do. The most frustrating thing of all however, are the tantrums that he throws every 30 seconds. He spills his food, "waah"; he can't find his car, "waah"; Sydney is reading one of his books or playing with one of his toys, "wahh"; he put his shoe on the wrong foot, "waah". It is so annoying! There are so many days where I just go to th bathroom and lock the door only to just sob into my hands. (Of course there is kicking and screaming outside the door due to the fact that my kids do not like giving me an ounce of privacy, awesome eh?) Luckily, Sydney hit some kind of milestone and is easier than ever! I guess it is a good trade off right? I always think of the quote, "God never gives us more than we can handle", and I am comforted by the fact that he is looking out for me by helping me out even if it is just making one kid easier when the other is a beast...If Dylan had hit his terrible threes two months ago, I don't know how I would have survived. You've gotta see the poitive right?

Ok, as for another event that took place this week that I want to keep as a not so proud memory was this: I was getting the kids out of the bath, and after drying off Syd I went to dry off Dylan. All of a sudden, I see out of the corner of my eye Sydney playing with something in her hands. I went over to see what it was, and oh yes, it was non other than her own feces. I am pretty sure she had put some in her mouth too as evidenced by the smear on her lower cheek. Nasty!

Lastly, I had another Aunt moment that I was not so proud of this week. My oldest Nephew, Conner, is 14. Let me first preface this by saying that when we went to the beach in Florida last summer, I was hit hard by a wave and came up out of the water with my top a bit skewed (meaning off on one side). Of all people that could have been there to see it, to my horror I see my nephew Conner looking right at me, or should I say, "them". Ughh, his face turned beet red, and we haven't spoken of it since. So, a few days ago, I was getting in the shower when all of a sudden I heard a noise in my living room, I went to go check on Dylan and to my astonishment, there was Conner seeing me in nothing but my birthday suit, YET AGAIN! Full Blown! I quickly turned around and yelled in mortification, "Cameron, I did it again!" Horrible! I am so sorry Heidi, and so so so sorry to you Conner!

So there it is. I will end with a Dylan quote of the week, "If mommy's a nice mommy, she wouldn't take juice from little people."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Syd speaks!

The last few days Sydney has officially become a girl, as she NEVER keeps quiet. She started talking a lot this week as we were reading books at night, and now she just flips through seeming as though she is telling herself a story. I just had to share it because we were getting worried there since she never babbled much. She still says "dadda" or "daddy" but that is it for least she is making an effort though!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Hot Morning

I know I post a lot about slip-n-sliding, but I just love the pics. We slip-n-slide about three times a week if not more since the kids absolutely love it on those hot Georgia days.

Family Day!

Dylan was a bit freaked out by this giant cow, he was scared to take the pic because he didn't want to turn his back to him. Daddy and D having an ice cream taste test . (There was no real winner since they are so different and each can be a craving depending on the weather...the Chick-fil-a Ice dream cone being the best for those super hot days)
Cameron recently lost his weekend job which makes things financially a bit harder on us, but also creates more time for family fun! We have been really taking advantage of his Saturdays now, since we aren't sure how long this will last. This week Cameron decided to sell his Wii in order to buy a PS3 (I am so excited! *sarcasm*) So, we drove out to Atlanta to meet up with someone that we found on craigslist to make the transaction. While we were in town we decided to make the best of it. We went to the big mall in town, where we met the Chick-fil-a cow and decided to do a taste test between dairy queen and Chick-fil-a ice cream cones. We then decided to go to Centennial Olympic Park and let the kids run around in the water fountains. They had so much fun despite the cold. Here is Syd all "maken" and her poor little herniated belly button is sticking out (I think we are going to have to have surgery on that next year :( ). Next time we will wear our bathing suits!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Something to think about...

Ok so Dylan told his first lie yesterday, and though I was so upset with him, I was a little excited that he is growing up and starting to have a mind of his own. He came into the living room with a face full of caramel and when Cameron asked if he had a caramel apple he said, "no I just got juice daddy". We couldn't help but laugh at his messy face and the look he was giving us like he was about to get away with something. After giving him a big talk about it, he now has started blurting out, "tell the truth mommy" whenever I get asked a question. Kinda cute huh, for about five minutes.

Another interesting thing that happened this morning actually, took place at the bank. Dylan saw a woman smoking in her car with the windows rolled up and he turned to Cameron and said, "daddy, that girl is a bad girl". Cameron said "why", and he just said very stearnly, "she is just a berry bad girl". Where would he get that? I don't even think he has ever seen anyone smoke, and I know we have never talked about it in front of him...strange eh? Does the spirit really let him know what is wrong and what is right this young? I dont know, but it sure seemed like it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mayfest In Carrollton

Every year our city has a little festival in the historic square. This year Dylan couldn't get enough of the police officers and firemen in uniform. He would never have left if it hadn't been for the rain. He loved talking to the officers and checking out their cool rides, especially when he got to sit up front with the crew.This was Dylan's second time on a pony ride, and by the looks of it he was just a little underwhelmed, he just wanted to go see the firetruck again. What a boy. I will keep that 5 bucks next time! :)

My new favorite...

Sydney has found her new favorite spot in the house, could it be any more irritating?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

I awoke this morning to the sound of Cameron making a fruit puree to top off my favorite breakfast, fruit crepes. I love Mothers day, not just for the yummy food that gets cooked for me all day long, or the sweet hugs that I get from my sweet kids, but for the reminder that I am doing, (and somewhat succeeding at), the most important job on the planet. As a mom there are many days when I feel completely unappreciated, undervalued, and sadly, unimportant. I see Cameron going to work everyday to touch the lives of teenagers. I hear his stories of the progress he makes and of the hardships he overcomes, and I see the paycheck that he is rewarded with every two weeks. When I look at my life it often frustrates me as I feel that I am missing out of something bigger and better in this life, that I am failing at contributing to society. But then, I have days like today where I am reminded of the important work that I put into my children every single day. I stand back and see the progress that they have made in the last year, the last month, the last week, and I realize that in large part it IS because of me. I don't get to hear the validation from others because I am the only one around to see how much I put into it. I don't have a boss or coworkers who I have to report to throughout the day or who see me succeed, I don't get promotions for doing a good job, but, I DO get to stand back and see that my children are succeeding in life because of the lessons that I teach them everyday. I am so grateful that I have been given this sacred opportunity to have and raise children. I am so grateful to Cameron for trusting me with his babies, and for working so hard so that I can be with them all day, everyday.

I also want to say, that I am so grateful to all of the women in my life who have raised me, and who help in the mothering of my children. It takes a village to raise a child, and I am so grateful to the women in my village who help me mother everyday, you know who you are and you know I couldn't do it without you. There have been three specific women in my life who I want to take a moment to think about and thank for raising me and being such great influences in my life:

My mother Abigail Hodges Spransy West -She is in the hospital now battling another terrible exacerbation in her brain due to her Multiple Sclerosis. She has spent the last 10 years confined to a wheel chair battling the loss of her body functions, depression, pain, and the loss of her dignity. But, today she is more optimistic than I have ever seen her. Through it all she has become a woman that I don't even recognize. She is positive, soft spoken, humble, grateful, understanding, and so much more. She has grown in so many ways and taught me so many great lessons because of this disease. She constantly says to me "I have been given this disease for a purpose, and I know it has helped our family". How amazing is that? For the second time in two years, she is going to be riding in the MS race riding a bike with her hands...she is an inspiration to me, and to so many around her and I am so grateful for that example. I love you mom.

My Mother in Law Elaine Stoddart Mount-This is a woman that I have known since childhood. She is the mother of one of my closest friends growing up (Allan), and the mother of my amazing husband Cameron. She has always been an example to me. At a young age I remember walking into her home, smelling the cookies in the oven and feeling the spirit so strongly. She created a place of love and peace through her kindness, her service, and most importantly her open arms to anyone and everyone in need. Just last week I was telling Cameron, "your mom is ALWAYS there for me when I need her, and she probably doesn't even know it". She has helped me in so many ways I couldn't even begin to explain how, but I owe her so much for who I am today. She is a comforter, an example, a supporter, a listener, and a friend. I love her so much and I am so grateful to have her in my life.

My friend Fritz Pinney-This is a woman who knows what she wants, and knows what she is about. Fritz is the mother of someone that I was friends with and dated in high school between my sophomore and senior years. Its strange that someone who I had only known for a few years could make such a large impact on my life, but I suppose it is because I knew her during the most troublesome years of my life. This woman was a constant in my life. She was kind, steady, predictable, loving, generous, and just an overall example of who I always wanted to be. She made me feel important, and loved. I will never forget the first time that she told me she was proud of me, I went home and actually cried that night because at that particular time I had felt hopeless in life, and it were those three words that I needed to hear. Fritz was a stay at home mom who had raised talented, smart, respectful children. Her son once told me with tears in his eyes (in high school mind you), that "my mother is the most amazing person I know". I was always in awe of the love that her children felt for her. Fritz was also always doing something for the community whether it be putting up stop signs in dangerous intersections, heading up PTA events, being the class mom, or raising money to send to Africa, she always has helped out her community and the people she loved. She is an amazing example to me, and she is one that I credit greatly to my success as a wife and mother.

There are many other women out there who have been great examples in my life, but these are the three that mean the most to me, and whom I owe so much gratitude to. I love you!

Happy Mothers Day!

An Afternoon at the lake

I finally was able to get a shot of Dylan chasing a goose into the water, isn't he hilarious? He could do this ALL day long and the reaction on his face would be the same every time. Its amazing how he never gets tired of it, (kind of like Caillou in the mornings...what the frak is that show anyway? Who has even ever heard of it?) Oh, and by the way, I don't normally allow Dylan to take his shoes off everywhere, but he is his fathers son and its practically impossible to keep them on.
Sydney all growed up...check her out struttin' her stuff.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Syd Update

Sorry that this took a few days to get back to many of you, but yes, Sydney did have another seizure (tues the 5th) after a 4 month hiatus. It was the worst one yet since her breathing stopped for a bit, and the whole thing lasted about 3 minutes. Cameron and I were pretty shaken up since we were prepared to inject her emergency medicine (if the seizure lasts up to 5 minutes). We have never had to do this, but this time we were certain we would need to. It was also frightening to see her turn color that I have never seen on a child…deep purple. She took a huge gasp of air this time right as she came out of it, and then fell asleep almost immediately for about 4 hours. It was horrible.

This was especially difficult since Cameron and I had both naively assumed that the “phase” was over and she had already grown out of it. We both know it was silly to believe that, but we were just really hopeful since it had been a while since her last seizure. As it is now, we had to up her medicine again, which should hopefully keep her seizures at bay for a while. I think that as her body grows she will just need higher doses. Her little system is taking a beating with these meds, but hopefully in the long run she will in fact, outgrow this epilepsy. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Thanks for all of the support!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Katie, Hani, and Lucus - Day 4

We were able to take some fun group pics before we took Hani and Katie back to Alabama on thier last day. Cameron looks like an NBA player doesn't he? He is HUGE!? Overall it was a fantastic trip, I sooo wish that we lived closer so we could hang out and play "trains" every night. :) But as it is, I guess we are just going to have to visit them more often. I am also going to have to find a way to get Katie to an animal safari again, I will never forget her laugh and freak out over the nasty drooly animals. Priceless! We love you guys! Thanks for coming to our hood and bringing one of the cutest babes ever! Lucus is such a cutie, I miss him already!

Ok, a friend on facebook saw this picture and said that I haven't changed a bit since high school. Is that true? I can take that as a compliment since dude, I looked so dang good in high school (being in shape and all), or, I can take that as a critisism because I am 10 years older and still look like I am 16. I need a makeover! I want to do one of those Oprah makeovers where someone teaches me to be all classy and sassy. I guess it just doesn't fit this sporty, spontaneous yet lazy personality of mine...It wouldn't really make sense to wear expensive clothing and do my hair everyday when I am just going to turn around and run in sprinklers and roll down hills with my kids. Hummm...I guess I really haven't changed...I am a 16 for lifer!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Katie, Hani, and Lucus - Day 3

Our last adventure with the AbuGhazaleh's was by far the most eventful. We went to the Wild Animal Safari (much like the one in San Diego, but better, much more rustic and ghetto). It was so much fun getting up close and personal with so many different animals. It was awesome!

We rented a ghetto van so that our car wouldn't get destroyed with dents and slobber. The amount of slobber that came out of the mouths of these animals was so was thick and slimy, and oh man did it smell. I am so glad I did not drive my own car.Here is one of my favorite shots, the zebras were my favorites. Their teeth are hilarious!Sydney enjoyed petting and staring at the animals. She wasn't scared and she didn't really have much of a reaction. She did however sit still, which we all know means something right?

Here was one of our favorite cows. he reminded me of the "Heathen Coos" in Scotland. He had a mouth full of drool, and from my reation you can tell that I wasn't quite ready for it. It felt like a cup of water spilled on my pants. EWWW!

This giraffe was so tall. It was so fun seeing them lean into the car and tounge everything. Syd sure enjoyed it.

Once Cameron started feeding the animals with his mouth, surley I had to show my bravery and do the same. I don't know what it is but he unleashes the inner child in me (as if i need help doing that). I love it! I would have never even thought to do this before him. I must say though, that I didn't get tounge in my mouth which is more than I can say for him. Yuck!

Dylan LOVED feeding and touching the animals. He was quite fearless at first, but I think after hearing all or our screams (from the drool) he got a bit scared and started throwing the food on the ground.

After driving through the park there was a little zoo that we went to. they had a Liger, Heina, Kangaroos, monkeys, and a few others. It was fun. Dylan and Cameron actually spotted someone transferring a boa constrictor and asked to pet can imagine Katie and I didn't hang around for that.

It was an awesome day, and we will definitely be going back again, it is by far my favorite thing to do in GA thus far.

Katie, Hani, and Lucus - Day 2

On day two of Katie and Hani's trip, we decided to venture out into Atlanta. We decided to stay away from the ultra touristy expensive places, and do some other low key activities. The first place we went to was The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple. It opened up earlier this year and I had been dying to check it out. It is the sixth BAPS traditional Hindu stone temple built outside of India. It is also the largest Hindu temple of its kind outside of India. It was one of the most amazing places I have ever been, with the most intricate deatail you can imagine. The inside was breathtaking (pictures were not allowed of course).
We really ejoyed ourselves despite the fact that we had 3 children with us that we needed to keep quiet. At one point Dylan had to use the potty and I was horrified. For any of you potty training parents, this is your worst nightmare, (being at a sacred place as an outsider, and having no toilet within walking distance). I couldn't find a bathroom and I couldn't let Dylan go outside and go on the lawn of course (even if i let it dribble down his leg, there was no way to no defile this sacred place) don't judge me...this is what i did; I was in panic mode...I looked around corners trying to make sure nobody was around...I pushed Dylan into the corner in the shoe area where you leave shoes (it was deserted), and I luckily had found a cup in the trash. And yes, I did the unthinkable. If anyone, ANYONE, had seen me, it would have been the worst moment of my life. Luckily, Dylan did the deed quick enough and it was over. Whew...close call huh? I was so embarrassed, but so relieved Dylan didn't just pee inside the sanctuary. About an hour later, don't think that Dylan didn't yell from the top of the steps and say, "Mommy I just went peepee on the bench". I just wanted to die...can potty training be more difficult? Dylan is fine when there is a toilet nearby, but forget about it if it is not 2 minutes from when he decided he needs to go. Urgh! LOVE my life!

After the Hindu temple, I put a pull up on Dylan and we were off to our next destination which was Stone Mountain. This is the world's largest relief carving on the world's largest mass of exposed granite. The Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. This is a pic from down below before we went up on the mountain. Dylan and I had just run through some sprinklers, that is not sweat people. Check out that Atlanta Skyline! Love it! Bow-chika-bow-wow!Don't ask how many times that apple touched the mountain and still ended up in D's choose your battles right?
I love all of these pictures that Hani took. He is such an artist! The view from the Mountain was awesome, but dealing with my two kids (especially with an active three year old), not so much.
I will not be going back there anytime soon, but it was neat to see.