Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disney Cartoon "Suzie Car"

This was really cute and there are others on YouTube just like it. :)


I never thought I'd be so excited about poop! Specifically, poop in the POTTY!

Anna & Daddy

Paul and Anna! Anna is so funny--she loves her daddy so much! She wouldn't even go to bed last night without him. But look how big she is! She's so tall! Some day she'll be reaching the highest shelves for me! hahaha xD


I've always been the kind of person who has tried to be a perfectionist... the teacher's pet... I hate making mistakes. Maybe it's just all too clear that I'm weak and fallible and HUMAN when I make mistakes. It's so easy to just let them follow you around for years, sucking the joy from you. But what would happen if you realized that our God is a God of second chances? Would the weight be lifted from your shoulders? Would your tears have a tissue to fall on? Would you feel the weight of His arm around your shoulders just that little bit more? Sometimes these mistakes have a way of tearing you down. Sometimes they wind and twist their way into your life little by little and you don't even know it's happening. Reality check. You're one of us after all. You're a sinner. You are weak. You are indeed fallible. Take your second chance and make the best of it. And if all else fails, there are third chances. Fourth. Fifth. Sixth... As long as you keep running to Him, second chances are...

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I just found out by way of my mother-in-law that my mom's health insurance is 100% taken care of! She gets full benefits because my dad and brother are veterans! :) It's such a weight off from my shoulders, knowing that is one less thing she has to worry about.
I've mentioned my mom before on this blog. She's in 3rd Stage Renal Failure. She is going into surgery soon to hopefully regain some use of her kidney and slow the process. I hope it's successful!

Oh Yum!

I found a Western Family knock-off of Samoas (Girl Scout Cookies!) in the store today! Actually, ANNA found them! She grabbed them off from the shelf. She's one smart cookie! :D *drool*

My Sister

Tonight I had a looooong talk with my sister Melissa. Very unusual since her husband never let her talk on the phone and whenever we did talk, she had to hang up almost immediately because he was either checking in on her or he was instigating a fight with her. Anyway, so we got to talk for a long time, several hours. It was so nice! She told me about this man named Dave that she's been talking to for a while. He is a good Christian man and he seems to have excellent values. I talked to him on Facebook. I just want to pray that he is the man he is portraying himself to be. I want happiness for my sister and if he is honest, then he could be that man! Someone who would love her and be a strong Christian man in her life and who would treat her well and gently and with respect. I just want everyone to pray that he is being honest and that he's a good man. :) I so badly want this joy in her life! :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Delirious-Did you feel the mountains tremble?

I've had this song on my mind & heart all day.

All I Possess

1 Corinthians 13:3

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Yay! :D

My sister Melissa just called me. I told you about her a while ago. Her husband beat her up and left her, throwing away everything she owned, all of her clothing, everything! But she just called me and told me that she's been talking to a CHRISTIAN man who is all about Family Values, who doesn't cuss or drink. He sounds like a really loving and wonderful man! It makes me so glad! :) I hope this works out for her if this is the man for her. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beach Day

Today we went to the 'beach'--Lake Washington's beach. :)

How much has changed since her first trip to the beach two years ago! Of course in the photos from when she was seven months old it was the OCEAN beach and not the beach of Lake Washington, but I think that Anna doesn't know the difference quite yet. :) A beach is a beach. (We're going to visit the ocean again in a few weeks!) =D

Hi mommy!






Check out more FFF Posts Here.


Check out this awesome site: Factropolis.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pike Place Market

After living here for as long as we have, we've FINALLY gone to Pike Place Market! We're officially Washingtonians lol. These are some of my favorite photos.

Wordless Wednesday

The following is what happens when you leave your two year old alone with hand lotion:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mental 2

The pilot was lame lol. And another good thing, IT WAS NOTHING LIKE MINE! Woo! :) My idea was much darker and focused more on the main character than the cases or the 'defiance of the system' (as this show is).


I'm watching TV for the first time in AGES and they just showed a commercial for a show on Fox called Mental. It's set in a psychiatric facility and it said that the craziest person in the facility is the person running it!

Why is this putting a grin on my face???? I was thinking about writing a script for something similar! DEAD SERIOUS. (Actually, not just THINKING about it. I actually wrote a little bit on it.) Where it's set in a psychiatric facility, it's kind of like a mixture of House and Bones in a way (in the sense that there's a team solving mysteries), and the person who's running it has psychiatric issues of his/her own (and he/she would use their issues to their advantage in solving the mysteries and connecting with the patients). In the case of my script, it was a woman, not a man.

Darn it. lol. xD But it's good to know that I have marketable ideas. ;)

Pictures of Anna

And two days ago Anna had the cutest ponytail. I also put her hair in a pony yesterday, but here are pics from two days ago. ;) Anna's bow was made by Chesapeake Ribbons! She finally has enough hair to wear it! :)

I am...



Here's another random photo. This one is of me and Anna. I like how it turned out after being edited in PS3.

Comic Strip

I saw this on someone else's blog a while back ago and had a good laugh.

Memorial Day

I didn't know if I was going to write anything about Memorial Day, but then last night I watched a little piece on the news about suicide in the Army. Basically it talked about how so many soldiers were being simply medicated and then sent to the front lines again to fight, without any mental health help. They showed many families talking about their loved ones and it kind of got me thinking. I never really ever thought of my brother as being a hero at all. He died selfishly, not heroically. But then after watching that piece, I started to think of it from a psychological standpoint. Perhaps he was mentally ill and he was never properly helped. That would not have been his fault. I don't know if he ever sought help or ever let anyone know about his depression or suicidal tendencies, but no matter what, he was never helped properly. He was fiercely patriotic and he did go overseas. Fighting in wars is not pretty. It's terrible. It's horrific. It creates strain on your mind and body and soul. So today, I remember my brother.

Anna, 6 Days Old

These are dangerous photos of Anna (Dangerous because they remind me of how little and adorable she was at this age... she's still adorable, don't get me wrong, but she certainly isn't that little any more). These were taken when she was six days old while I was in the E.R. Her umbilical cord fell off somewhere between the wardrobe changes. I was so sad that I missed it. It was Anna's first FIRST. And I was in the E.R. :( But I'm glad to report that I've been there for every single FIRST since!

Sleeping Sweetly

Sweet Anna

6 Days Old

baby girl




The woman in the pink shirt holding Anna is Grandma Teresa (Paul's Mom... also known as Mamma to Anna). The photographer is either Aunt Mary (also known as Auntma for her grandmotherly loving although she's technically Paul's aunt/Anna's great-aunt) or Paul's cousin Brittney.

Random Pic

Cape Lookout

Paul found Cape Lookout. Looks like a great campsite. Check it out. :D We both can't wait. This will be so wonderful!!!


Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

This scripture sure does hit the nail on the head, doesn't it? I can't tell you how many times I've been a servant of man before being a Servant of Christ. I don't know if it's something about being human, but it sure is easy to blend in... serve others... serve habits... serve obsessions... serve hedonistic pleasures... all before serving the very God who created those things to begin with. We just twist it. It's too easily done. It's too easily justified. It's too simple to say that today those pleasures will come first and God will come second... someday I will put him first... someday. Why not today? Why can't God come first today? I've blended in too long. I've lost my individuality in Christ. I've become just another face in the crowd. Let not another day pass away before I put You first in my world.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I liked this photo of Julie Andrews as Cinderella... date? 1957 I think... but isn't she pretty? I loved it. Click to enlarge.


We're considering a few things this summer:

1. Some sort of sports lessons for Anna. This is very important. Anna is extremely active. She usually out maneuvers boys who are twice her age. She as dragging around a three year old the other day on the playground, trying to get him to climb things, swing, take risks.... almost felt bad for the mother of the kid. Anna is fearless. She is a climber. She's also pretty strong for her age. We need a physical outlet for her. SERIOUSLY. I've looked around at nearby places.
a. Swim lessons at the YMCA will cost 84 dollars for about two months. We can apply for scholarship, but really what a mess that would be. Plus there are certain requirements as far as uniform go (specific swimwear, etc.) that would need to be considered, bought, researched...
b. Soccer lessons would be 100 dollars. This would be through the Sounders foundation (Seattle's soccer team). That would be pretty cool. It sounds quite interactive and fun, but a HUNDRED bucks to teach a two year old to kick a ball???
c. Gymnastics. This is seeming much more likely than the other options. It's fifty dollars for a 'session'. A session includes 10 lessons. We could easily get her a leotard at Walmart for very little money. She would get to climb and tumble to her heart's content. And the price is right.

Something else we've been considering: A FAMILY CAMPOUT. Just Paul, Anna, and me. Doesn't that sound nice? No computers, no fans, no internet, no television, no SpongeBob. Just US. We havet o book a place, though. Last year when we tried to find a place over our anniverary, we realized that we got married over FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND (not too smart of an idea looking back on it... should've gotten married in August!) and there are no places open without prior reservation. So hopefully that will work out. We haven't gotten a chance to do something like that EVER. Not once in our five years of marriage (five years June 19th!!!) have we been camping. And we certainly haven't done something like this with just the three of us. It sounds special and very, very relaxing. I'm going to go do a little research now. ;)

Hello Family

I recently invited a lot of family to read this blog. This has been kind of my own personal refuge for quite some time, so hopefully you don't think I'm too insane. I'm really rather tame. Mostly I just brag about Anna. She is, after all, the most beautiful little thing I've ever laid my eyes on. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Swear...

I have no idea where she learns these things! She's crawling along the back of the couch and jumping on my legs. I keep telling her no. Just now she went on the back of the couch to do it again and I told her no. She said, "OK, Mama. One more." No, not one more! Where does she learn this? lol

Car Seat Safety! Please Read & Pass On!

Post written by Laura Bower

Sure, we strap 'em in, hopefully nice and tight, chest clip level with the armpit, not able to pinch the webbing of the harness together at the collarbone (visual here - We followed what we were told by the Pediatrician or what it said on the box of the car seat we bought. But, did we put the research into this area that we did when we chose to (or not) breastfeed/cloth diaper/delay vaccinations? Chances are we didn't. In fact, the chances are actually that 85% of us are putting our children into car seats (or sadly not) that are either installed incorrectly, or we are using incorrectly. So, here is a little informational post to help you instead of 'just get by', to 'do your best' in this area - possibly and arguably the most important area.

Before you start wringing your hands worrying that this is going to cost you money and possibly money that you don't have, in the area of car seats, thankfully exponential price does not equal exponential safety. Chances are that the equipment you already have is fine (it is important to check that your car seat has not been in a crash or has not expired though - usually that is 6 years following the date of manufacture.) Thankfully, the safest car seat is one that fits your budget, your child, your vehicle and which you use 100% correctly 100% of the time.

To tell if your car seat is installed tightly enough, it should not move when lightly tugged at the belt path (where the seat or LATCH belt threads through the car seat) more than 1 inch side to side, or front to back. It is best to make an appointment with a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) to have your car seat installation and usage checked professionally. This is a FREE service and you can locate your nearest tech. through this website - - click on the button that says "Find a Technician".

It's important to note that every promotion through different stages of car seats is a demotion in safety for your child. So let's take a little trip along the stages of your child and their life-cycle through car seats.

When your little one makes their (hopefully) smooth entrance into the world, you will be taking them home in an infant car seat. This is sometimes referred to as a 'bucket seat'. It's the type with the handle which attaches to a base in your vehicle and can be removed from the base with baby still inside as you go to the grocery store, for example. (Now, please do not balance your infant seat on the top of your grocery cart - it should be placed inside the basket.) The infant seat is a rear-facing seat which goes from around 4lbs - 22lbs, though some do go to 32lbs today.

There is a golden rule to follow, and it particularly seems to apply to the infant seat stage (as in, it is the most ignored rule at this stage) - if it didn't come in the box with the car seat, it's not safe to use it. So that means, all those cute little head pillows/harness strap covers/dangling toys/JJ Cole Bundleme's are not safe to use with your seat. Your seat was not crash tested with these items and their use may affect the seat's performance adversely in a please walk on by that section of the car seat aisle....m'kay? The harness should be routed in the slots in your infant seat which are either at or below your child's shoulders. Do not move the strap up to the next slot until your child's shoulders are even or slightly above the next slot. The infant seat should be installed so that there is a 45 degree recline angle - your seat, or the base, will have a recline angle indicator to help you get that correct. This is important, especially with young infants, to keep their airway open until they get good neck control.

Ok - so junior is getting big in his car seat. Well, how do you know if the infant seat has been outgrown? Junior has either reached the maximum weight limit for the seat, OR there is less than 1 inch of hard car seat shell above his head. Leg length/legs touching the vehicle seat back are not a concern, nor an indicator of the seat having been outgrown. Some people chose to move their infant over to the next stage of seat (the convertible seat) once the combination of Junior and the infant seat gets too heavy to lift. You can of course continue to use the infant seat until it is outgrown by weight or height and leave the seat in the vehicle and just put Junior in and out of the seat in the car.

So onto the convertible seat, so named because it can convert from a rear-facing to a forward-facing seat. First, an important note about rear-facing and this can get a little technical, but I'll try to keep it light. The statistics are that rear-facing is 5 times safer for your child than forward-facing. Because a picture (or in this case, a video) can tell a thousand words, here is footage of a rear-facing crash test - - notice how the child's head and neck stay in alignment and the car seat absorbs the forces of the crash? Let's look at that again from a different angle - Now compare that to a forward-facing crash test - In that video, you can also see a rear-facing seat in the background. Notice how the head and neck are violently thrust forward in the forward-facing seat? That will stretch the spinal chord of your child and it could cause enough stretch to cause paralysis, or worse, death. Not to be alarmist, but the spinal chord can sever from the brain stem - this is termed 'internal decapitation'. K, so it is safer to rear-face for as long as possible. Thankfully, your convertible seat will rear-face to between 30 and 35lbs, and Graco has released a new seat called the My Ride 65 which rear-faces to 40lbs - Again, the harness should be in the slots at or below the child's shoulders when rear-facing. The child should rear-face until they reach either reach the max. rear-facing weight limit of your seat, or there is that 1 inch of hard shell above their head. DO NOT LISTEN to anyone who tells you to forward-face your child prior to these limits being reached. Again, legs touching the back of the seat is not a concern nor an indicator of needing to turn a child forward-facing. Here is a 3 year old, 28lbs, sitting very comfortably rear-facing -

Ok, Junior has reached a rear-facing limit, so now is the time to turn that convertible seat around. Remember, you've just decreased his safety by 5 times. Some things need to happen before you install that seat forward-facing. If you are using either the LATCH or the seatbelt belt to install your seat, you will need to change how the belt is routed through the seat and use the forward-facing belt path. There should be stickers on the seat to help you locate that. You also need to move the harness into slots which are at or above your child's shoulders. Finally, always use the top tether strap/anchor on your car seat when forward-facing. It will reduce the amount your child's head is thrown forward (remember the video above) by between 4 and 6 inches. If you have a vehicle that was manufactured before 2001, you may not have top tether anchors in your vehicle - don't panic! They can be retrofitted into your vehicle and often for free. Your local CPST can provide you details on part # and free retrofit programs for your vehicle. Junior is going to outgrow this convertible seat when one of the following three things happen:

1) The top of the child's shoulders creep above the top harness slot.
2) The child reaches the maximum harness weight.
3) The top of the child's ears are level with the top of the shell of the seat.

When one of these things happen, it's time for a new car seat.

Ok - so the convertible seat has been outgrown, what next? A booster? Woa....hold your horses there partner!!! That may not be the best choice. Remember the mantra, every promotion in car seat is a demotion in safety. It is always safer to continue to keep your child in a harnessing seat for as long as possible - more information on that is available on this webpage - Whilst you are on that site, you might want to look around - this is a foundation that was begun following the passing of a little boy named Kyle who was in a booster seat when his seatbelt failed during a roll-over crash. His parents began a foundation to spread car seat safety awareness and they also donate high weight capacity car seats to low income families. The foundation is always in need of donations - no amount too small - you can donate on the website. To learn more about Kyle, you can watch his video here - - Kleenex alert! ;) Here is a video comparing a booster seat with a harness seat in a crash -

There are a set of minimums your child must reach before you can safely transition them to a booster seat using the vehicle seatbelt:

1) The child should be a minimum of 40lbs
2) The child should be a minimum of 4 years old
3) The child should have the maturity to sit correctly in the booster seat - that is upright and still for the entire ride - no wriggling around, reaching for toys, or slumping forward when they fall asleep.

Because of point 3 above, generally, children younger than 6 years old are not ready to sit safely in a booster seat. Now, be careful when you are choosing your booster seat. Just like a car seat, not all booster seats are compatible with your vehicle or child. A correct fit on a booster seat places the belt low on the body - touching the hips. The lap portion of the seatbelt should NOT be across the abdomen of the child. The shoulder portion of the belt should be across the chest and the middle of the shoulder, NOT touching the neck. If the booster does not position the belt like that on your child, you need to try out another booster seat. It is preferable to use a high back booster seat as this provides side impact protection for your child's head, as shown in this video

OK - so many of you will have seen that booster seat laws are being introduced to your State. Usually a booster seat law says something like you need to use a booster seat until your child is 8 years old or 80lbs. Well, that's the law.....but that is not actually what you need to do to keep your child safe. A booster seat should be used until your child can pass what is called 'The 5 Step Test' - In short, your child needs a booster until you can answer 'yes' to the following questions:

1) Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2) Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3) Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
4) Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5) Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answer no to any of these, you need to continue to use a booster. The average child needs to use a booster until they reach around 10-12 years of age. Until that time, the adult seatbelt, which was designed to fit an adult male of ~ 200lbs, they need a booster seat to make the belt fit them correctly. Without it, a child can suffer internal injuries or ejection from the belt.

Wow! Are you still with me? Yes, that's a LOT of information there, but only small parts apply to you at various stages of your child's graduation through seats. There is a lot to know about correctly installing and using your car seat. Always read both your vehicle manual and the car seat manual. Always make an appointment with your local CPST who will teach you how to correctly install and use your car seat. Always do your research, and please, ALWAYS do your best for your children with regards to car seat might just save their life!

A Nice Compliment

We just went to the store and in the parking lot when we were getting ready to go home, a lady came up to me and told me, "Your daughter is beautiful." She said that her daughter (also named Anna) saw her in the store and thought she was adorable. Those kinds of things are just so good to hear. Not necessarily for vanity's sake but because it's just good to hear people compliment your children. :)

I had Anna's hair in a pony tail. Very cute. I'll share soon.

But I took this photo the other day and thought it was adorable:


I realized today that our sunblock was expired! That could have been very bad! Make sure you check your sunblock expirations!

Paul read to me today that olive oil is an excellent moisturizer, that you can put some in a warm bath to moisturize skin, and that it's also an excellent skin cancer preventative. I knew it was good as a moisturizer, but as a preventative measure against skin cancer... that's news to me! I'll be trying it out in my baths for now on!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Waterfront Pics

Today we went to the waterfront. Anna was excited to go to the beach! To-may-to, to-mah-to.


Anna says, "Naked!" while she bends over and grabs her buttcheeks. Where did she learn this?!?!

Prayers for Peace

Another thing that I haven't mentioned yet... While I was away from this blog, something terrible happened. My sister's husband beat her up and threw away everything she owned. He wasn't arrested or anything because she hit him back. I don't know what kind of logic that is. Then after he beat her up, he degraded her in front of her children.

Thankfully he hasn't shown his face since. But he hasn't stopped being so terrible. He was telling their daughter lies about how my sister was sleeping with men. Who tells a seven year old that?! Forget the fact that it's a lie. It's disgusting, putting those thoughts in a child's head.

She was able to get her job back after the incident. I assume that when she said that, that it meant that he had (once again) gotten her to quit a job. He was so paranoid about her talking to people and wanted her to quit the last time I saw them. Now she's in her own apartment. There's a police officer who lives a few apartments over.

The oldest boy is so angry. He's so verbally abusive to my mom. He even admits that it's because she can't do anything so he wants her to know how much he hates her. Please pray for peace in his little heart and mind. I see so much of my brother in him (my brother who committed suicide in December '06). It really scares me. This anger. This hatred. This fear. I wouldn't want that same fate for my nephew.

I guess that's partially why I disappeared for so long. I just haven't felt like myself for so long. My brother died in such a terrible way. Everyone was effected. Both of my sisters and my mom were on antidepressants, my brother's wife won't let us have contact with his child, and now this. And my mom was diagnosed with 3rd Stage Renal Failure. (PS she has a kidney surgery being scheduled... not sure of the date yet.)

Peace. Peace in our family. I pray for peace.

Toilet Paper

Anna made clothes for her doll out of toilet paper today. I was sitting there watching her wrap it around the doll's body then she tried to make a hat for the doll. Haha. It's so much fun watching her.

Two year olds are so much fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Phrases

Anna's newest phrases:

1. While standing on her head on the couch (her legs propped against the back of the couch), she said, "Looka me! Daddy, looka me!" hahaa

2. Today while in Dairy Queen, she got up from her seat to go look for daddy. She said to me, "I'll be right back, Mommy. I'll be right back." Hahaha. xD

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Your Sins Are Forgotten

I think I'm the kind of person who probably beats herself up about sins more than God Himself. I think I had to hear this song.

She Naps!

Sleeping Beauty is living up to her name as we speak. She hadn't napped in three or four days. I was beginning to wonder if naps were officially M.I.A. b/c it had been so long. She's napping right now.

Dinner's cooking. I'm enjoying my blog once again. It's been so long. I've forgotten how much I've enjoyed connecting and networking with so many wonderful Christian women. And I've forgotten how much fun it is to share Anna's firsts.

I was thinking today about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson when they were on Full House and they were two... I can see now how they got them to say their lines. I can tell Anna to say just about anything and she'll repeat it. Today I was having some fun and I told her to say, "You got it, dude!" Yeah, it's still cute when it comes out of a two year old's mouth! haha :D

Anna... Tomboy or Girlie-Girl?

This is the great debate when we theorize about big-girl Anna Daisy.

Evidence for Girlie-Girlism:
Anna loves to wear dresses and sandals.
She loves to have her hair fixed and loves to look in the mirror to check the results.
She kisses her reflection.
She doesn't like to get dirty.
She takes three or four baths a day (good thing we don't pay for water!)
She usually has me wash her hands several times throughout a meal. Hahaha.

Evidence for Tomboyism:
She never stops climbing.
She's not afraid of heights.
She never stops running.
She can roll with the big boys.
When she plays, I often notice her playing with the boys instead of the girls. Maybe because girls are too scared of falling or getting hurt? I don't know. But she usually plays with the boys. Yesterday we let her run around the McDonald's Playplace. She and two big boys... one that was about four and the other who was about seven were playing in the slide. They would CLIMB to the top of the tube-slide, then all tumble to the bottom. It took everything in me to not save her from impending disaster. Good thing I didn't b/c she was never hurt. She had a great time and was pink-cheeked and hot at the end of those two hours.

Maybe she'll be a wonderful combination. Physically adept, yet loves girly things. That would make daddy happy and mommy. xD ehehhee

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beach Photos

Anna loved the beach. She still asks every once in a while, "Mommy, want go bye-bye beach?" And if we see anything resembling a horse or carousel, she asks, "Mommy, want go bye-bye car horsey?"

Check out more photos at KISS THE FROG 4 ME.