Thursday, April 28, 2011


Yesterday was a bit of a disaster at our house. It turns out watching three 1 1/2 year olds and a baby with a nasty diaper rash is a bit much for one person to handle. I think Christian wins the daddy-of-the-year award.

Today, however, it's just the boys at home.

And this is what happens when it's just the boys. They play together.

Graham loves hanging out with Liam. Liam loves watching Graham.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

big boy bed

Lately when we say, "Do you want to go night night? Do you want to go to bed?", Graham has been getting up and walking straight to his room. So we thought maybe it was time to transition him into a bed. You never know--one of these days he may just walk to his room and go to sleep when he gets tired. Hey--you never know.

So we put the twin mattress on the floor and gave it a try on Friday night.

The first night it took a little (and I emphasize little) convincing, but he went to sleep on the mattress. We peeked in a couple hours later and had a good laugh to find him asleep on the floor. An hour later I was brushing my teeth and heard the "twang twang" of something hitting the doorstop in Graham's room. I thought Christian was in there making noise, so when I came out of the bathroom to check, I saw Graham's door open slowly and a tiny little head came crawling out--surely half asleep. It was the most adorable thing. I took him back in and he went back to sleep. He ended up on the floor again by early morning, but he slept all night.

Since then he has slept on the mattress. Even for his naps. Christian and I have both peeked in on him around the time he should be waking up only to find him just sitting on his mattress waiting for us. Other times he gets fed up and yells for us. This morning we left the door open and he came out on his own. So strange!

Since the first night, he hasn't fallen off the mattress. Oh, except for that one time that he somehow landed on his face and was stuck half upside down and crying for someone to come rescue him.

Tonight is night 6 in the big boy bed. At 17 months old. Where did this little guy come from?

Monday, April 18, 2011

the boys

I'm bored and need a break from medical student schedule change petitions... So here are some pictures of my boys from my phone!

Liam playing in his exersaucer. Christian sent me this today. I miss my boys! (All 3 of them...)

Liam helping me garden a few weeks ago.

Running with the boys. No more infant car seat for Liam! He sits in the stroller like a big boy now. I honestly think ditching that extra weight helped. I had an awesome 4-mile run. (It was a nice evening. The picture makes it look freezing.)

Graham has taken to laying down or sitting down next to Liam to hang out with him. He loves his little brother!

Graham's favorite place: Pinkberry. My favorite chairs...

I'm building a fence to keep the kids out of the vegetable garden. It's the only way little sprouting plants will survive little feet and curious fingers.

Graham now devours whole pears. No more cutting up little pieces for him.

On the way home from Hollister: sleeping and holding up his bottle at the same time. Impressive.

Cute little picture of Liam from a few weeks ago.

More to follow. My phone decided it has worked hard enough for today and won't send the rest of the photos. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

why are europeans just so dang cool?

From bike to stroller in 20 seconds... AND there's an option to put 2 kids on it as well. Let's all move to the Netherlands and ride around on a Taga

Instead I am thinking about strapping our umbrella stroller and Moby wrap to our bike trailer so I can maneuver the farmer's market tomorrow...

Monday, April 11, 2011

weekend 15:52 - Mountain Bike Expo

Christian and Josh's company, Discrepancy Clothing, was a sponsor at the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival on April 9th and 10th. A couple of Discrepancy's sponsored local riders were supposed to compete, but one has a broken bike and one has a broken ankle (or something like that). Blah, blah. Excuses, excuses. ;)

Chelsea (Josh's wife) and I decided to take our boys down and check out some of the mountain biking. Graham liked watching the bikes, but threw a fit most of the time, because we wouldn't let him run out onto the bike tracks or run wherever he wanted at the expo (everyone was riding their bikes through the expo). Looks like we need to get that little boy a bike of his own sometime soon. I even won a $150 WTB saddle in the raffle. I love it!

Christian and Graham watched the boys on the big air jumps.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

we just don't know

So many of us just don't know real hardship. Many of my students do. And let me tell you--they are the most humble, happy, loving people I know. Let me share some of their stories:

Emilia: Emilia went to first grade in Mexico for the first time when she was 7. Then her parents split up and she moved. She returned to first grade again when she was 10. She never went to school other than that. She is one of my brightest and most advanced students. She has been in the US for 20 years and now that she is a grandmother, she's taking the time to work on her own education and learn English. There just wasn't time while raising a family and working.

America: America has been in the Level 1 class for 4 or 5 years. She tries hard. She learns slowly, but she comes, and I am definitely seeing improvement. I'm so proud of her. Last year when the students were supposed to write about an important day in their past, she wrote about the day her husband died in the hospital in El Salvador. Just about broke my heart. She moved here 5 years ago to be near her daughter (and now her grandchildren as well).

Jaime: Jaime was a karate master in Mexico. He owned his own academy and his students were nationally ranked. He earned a scholarship to teach workshops in Michigan one summer. When he tried to get his visa, the agent he was working with accused him over and over of buying his papers. He was denied the visa. He lost the scholarship. He came to the US anyway a few years later for his family.

Ana: She and her husband tried for years in Mexico to get pregnant. They did the fertility treatments they could afford. Eventually her husband moved to the US to work. He came home occasionally. One time he came home for a month and they were lucky enough to get pregnant. But because he had only been home for such a short time, people in her town gossiped that she had cheated on him and was pregnant by someone else. When she should have been rejoicing, she was instead having to defend herself. She and her son eventually paid a coyote to bring them to the US and join her husband. They now have a daughter, too.

Morena: Morena comes from a family of 11 or 12 children. 2 of the children have epilepsy and 1 is a quadriplegic. She came to the US to work so that her family back in El Salvador can afford the medicine her siblings need.

Freddy: Freddy works here so his sister can go to college in El Salvador. He should be in college, but instead he's here paying her way through college. He loves his family.

George: George moved to the US so that he could afford to buy his parents a house in Mexico and take care of them. Now that he's here, he misses the small town life in Mexico. He says there are too many drugs and problems in East Palo Alto, but his daughters have been here their whole lives and don't want to move to Mexico. He misses it.

Gerardo: Gerardo has been here for 2 years. He has a 6-year-old son back in Mexico whom he misses dearly. When I commented on how hard that must be, his eyes lit up like I've never seen before and he said, "But I get to talk to him on the phone every day!" I almost cried.

Santos: Santos is an older gentleman who has an 8-year-old daughter. She is his life. They are best friends. The mother lives in Redwood City but is barely a part of the little girl's life at all. He calls himself her mommy and her daddy. Santos never went to school in Mexico. Not one day. Now he is going to school to learn English for his daughter.

Victor: Victor came here to work for his family. The plan was for him to work for 5 years and then go back to Mexico to be with his wife and kids. He was here for 2 years when he found out that his wife (and the mother of his 3 kids, the love of his life) had found someone else. She got lonely after he left. His heart was broken. Unfortunately this is a common story.

Juan: When I had the students write what they used to do when they were little, Juan wrote that when he was a boy in El Salvador, he used to "bathe in the river and hide from the war." As a child.

Vanessa: Vanessa is in her early 20s. When she left El Salvador to come to the US, it took her a month to complete the journey. We buy plane tickets and travel in a day.

My students work as house cleaners, in housekeeping, in construction, in masonry, in landscaping, painting. It's hard work. If you ask them if they like their jobs, every single one of them will say yes.

Those with children are making sure their kids go to school so they can go to college. Some of them have kids in college.

As we live our cushy lives, we sometimes forget that other people are raised without education, leave the place they love to provide a better life for their children, and live in a foreign land with a foreign language they don't understand. And for the most part, they are genuinely happy. I'm honored to help them learn English.

Monday, April 4, 2011

goal for the month of April

My goal for the month of April is to use every appliance and/or pan in my kitchen at least once.

Cake pans
Bundt pan
Springform pan
Bread pans
Ebelskiver pan
Pie tins
Cupcake pan
Food processor
Waffle iron
Bread maker
Banana split bowls (from Braden and Cheri--I think of you guys every time I see them!)
Ice cream maker

Now that I made that list, I've changed my mind.

My new goal for the month of April will be to pick 2 or 3 lonely pans from the depths of my cupboards and use them.

Otherwise I will be a big, big girl by the end of the month...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

weekend 14:52 - Biking

We decided to test out the new bike trailer seat we got for Liam. We strapped the boys in and went for a nice 8-mile ride along (mostly) quiet roads and bike paths. Liam was as happy as a clam for the first half of the ride, then sound asleep for the second half. I'd say he liked it!

Of course, we had to stop at Pinkberry on the way home... Yum. We had had a pretty disappointing week with yet another job rejection (from a job Christian was really excited about). Riding, chatting, laughing, and being outside together really lifted our spirits. We needed it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

disappointment, perspective, and comfort

Today has been a whirlwind of emotion, yet it all fit together so perfectly, like everything was planned.

Event #1 of the day:

This morning I read a post on Five Real Moms about how sometimes what seems to be a trial at the time ends up being a huge blessing (in her case, a leaky pipe led to the prevention of a household disaster). I commented that we had noticed the same thing in Christian's job search. He had some decent leads that didn't pan out. He made it part way through the Deputy Sheriff application process only to find out that the county had to cut budgets and was no longer hiring. These were big disappointments at the time, but through this laborious process of job hunting, Christian has discovered what he really wants to do in his career. If he had gotten the previous jobs, he may have ended up going down a path that wasn't right for him. It was through the disappointment that he discovered something valuable.

Event #2 of the day:

A) A few days ago I posted about an infant seat adapter for our bike trailer. The seat is only sold in Europe and with shipping would have cost us $150. Yuck. The next best thing (in price and most likely quality) would have been a $70 seat sold in the US.

B) Yesterday, Brooklyn introduced me to the art of sharing Facebook posts with select groups of people. This allowed me to put a link to my blog on Facebook for only close friends to see.

C) Today, my coworker/friend, Evelyn, (who saw my blog yesterday thanks to the Facebook post) happened upon someone who was selling the same infant bike trailer seat I had posted on my blog. She sent me the link. I emailed the lady, who happened to be German and had had the seat since she lived in Germany. I bought it for $55 -- 2 miles from my work.

Event #3 of the day:

Not long after I made arrangements to pick up the seat, I received word from Christian that he had not gotten the job for which he had been interviewing. It was essentially a dream job for him. This crushed my day. Christian not getting his dream job also means that I don't get my dream job. Back to the drawing board. It's a tough thing to take in, especially when you start to think that there might be light at the end of the job-search tunnel. And not just any light. A light that seemed like the perfect fit for us.

So the question is, how did this all fit together perfectly?

I could be sad (which I am) and bitter (which I'm not). But after putting in writing this morning that I've witnessed blessings from the trials of this job hunt, it would be hypocritical of me to wallow in my sorrows now. I know things will work out. The blessings will come. I said it myself this morning just in time to need my own advice.

And I felt like the chain of events leading up to us getting the infant seat adapter today were more than just coincidental. Heavenly Father knew we'd need some comforting this weekend. While we could have sat around watching TV, he knew that a Saturday ride down a beautiful bike path with our beautiful boys would be much needed therapy for the disappointment.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.