Thursday, December 30, 2010

Potty Training Round 2

The first time I tried potty training Desmond, it didn’t work.  I gave up after watching him like a hawk and not leaving the house for six days rushing him to the potty every time. 

Davin wanted to give it another go on his three day Thanksgiving weekend.  I let him head it up this time and took a much more relaxed approach.  I didn’t think it would just magically work in three days or less this time.  And I was right.

We are now five weeks into potty training and we’re still not there yet.  Let’s just say the three day method isn’t for Desmond.  He knows what to do and how to do it, but he just lacks the inner motivation to actually do it.  At this point it’s more about me being vigilant and taking him to go often enough. 

Some days Desmond doesn’t have any accidents.  Today we’ve had two.  The worst so far was when he pooped while we were at Target.  It was extremely difficult to clean up in a tiny bathroom stall with a shortage of wipes, but it felt good tucking the undies in a baggie and tossing them in the garbage on the way out.  Not worth washing.  On weekends I let Davin take the messy ones.

It’s nice saving money on diapers, but I find I have to do laundry based on Desmond’s underwear pile now.  Who knows when everything will click and he’ll make the decision to be in charge of going potty, but for now it’s going okay.  Just maybe he’ll take over by May.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!



Christmas morning 2010 started off with Desmond finding his big train set we had assembled the night before.  He is ecstatic about his new toy and has barely left it since except for when we make him eat a meal or go to bed.  

After gifts we had a yummy bacon and eggs breakfast and read about Jesus’ birth in Desmond’s Bible.  Then we headed over to Aunt Marcia’s house for lunch and festivities with my family.  I think Desmond’s favorite gift that afternoon was Duncan or “Dumpkin” as Des calls him, his first Thomas train for his set.  He also got lots of puzzles which he loves… if he can take a break from his trains long enough to do one.

We were able to video chat with Davin’s family so it was great being able to see everyone.  Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmastime is Here!



The other day we made our first Studer gingerbread house.  I picked up a kit because it was super easy and fast.  Desmond was so excited to build it, and though it had potential to be a beautiful little house, it ended up with the design work of a two year old free to decorate as he pleased.  And it was perfect.  It lasted a grand total of four hours before we started devouring it.

Today is Christmas Eve and the advent calendar only has one more spot left.  Desmond is excited for Christmas but doesn’t fully understand how fun it’s really going to be.  He knows it’s Jesus’ birthday and that there are presents to open under the tree.  Tonight after he’s in bed we build the train table.  I’m excited to play with it and can’t wait to see his reaction in the morning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Roof Over our Heads


This was the week of the new roof.  The contractor said he’d call us to schedule the day, but on Tuesday a big truck pulled in unannounced and unloaded all the supplies to our roof. 

IMG_2707Wednesday a guy backed in a trailer and not long after that a crew of men pulled in with ladders and the pounding began.  They ripped off and repapered the back half of the roof that day.

IMG_2710Thursday they were back bright and early to finish the rest of the tear off and repapering.  I’m not sure when they reshingled the back half because we can’t see that part from our yard.  They also added more vents to prevent our mold problem from returning.

IMG_2715Today they were working where we could see them out the window, and I got my first look at the new shingles.  Desmond liked the guy with the orange hood.  I tried talking to these guys when they first arrived because we hadn’t heard from the contractor at all, but they only speak Spanish and my minimal high school Spanish skills have left me.

IMG_2718I was worried about the color we picked and wondered if a different color might look better because we didn’t really have time to discuss it, but now that it’s on I think it looks great!  (And you’re right, it’s pretty close to the same color as before.)

Next for the exterior would be a new garage door, but that will probably be a year or two.  Then after that we need a whole new fence because it’s falling down in a few places.  And someday it would be nice to repaint and landscape.  Anyway, it feels great to have a new roof over our heads! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reflections on 2010

Yesterday I finished my family scrapbook for 2010.  It was good looking back on the year though not everything was a happy reflection.  This year has had it’s share of pain, misunderstandings, loneliness and loss.  I really struggled through the first half of the year culminating in the death of our second child who I named Emery.  He or she was due two weeks from now, and nothing can explain a mother’s anguish during this time. Through this year’s pain I turn confused, heart broken to the only One who is unshakeable.  God is opening my eyes to new possibilities and treasures to be found although the rebuilding is a slow process.

We had our first two hospital experiences this year with Desmond getting five stitches in his chin and my heart unexplainably going into atrial fibrillation for a couple days.  We are really not the ones in control, are we?

This year also holds treasures I never want to forget.  Watching Desmond grow is such a joy.  He has left his baby ways and entered into the ups and downs of toddlerhood.  He makes me laugh (and cry sometimes), and I just want to love him better as our simple days go by.  We’ve enjoyed family outings to Dozer Days, strawberry picking, camping, and the beach as well as our sixth anniversary trip to Seattle.  It’s easy for me to dwell on the sad things I wish were different but cannot change.  I am challenged to renew my mind with the happy things that really do outweigh the sad ones.

God has richly blessed us.  Davin got a new job here in Vancouver, we bought a new house and found good renters for our condo.  In this struggling economy God has provided for all our needs.  The richest gift is the life of our new baby girl who I feel moving in my womb daily now.  We can’t wait to meet her in the spring!

Monday, December 06, 2010

New Roof for the Winter

We finally signed away a good chunk of our savings to a new roof! Hurray and ouch all at the same time. It will be nice to get this done. We toyed with the idea of tackling it ourselves to save some money but there's the time factor, the learning curve, and the peace-of-mind knowing it's done right. In a few weeks we'll have to post some pictures to show it off. Also if you haven't heard here's our baby news: "It's a..."

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Test and a Tree

Today was Davin’s first test for Tae Soo Do black belt.  Hurray!  He did very well going through all his basics, kicks, and speed drills.  After three more tests and a demo he’ll be an official black belt.  So don’t mess with him.  He could beat you up for an hour and still have something left.

Later after Davin and Desmond had a good nap, we went to a nearby tree farm.  They had hot chocolate and farm animals which was Desmond’s favorite part.  We didn’t get there in time for a hay ride, but Desmond got his first ride in the truck as we drove back into the farm to find our tree.  It will be fun to decorate it together tomorrow.  This is Desmond’s first real tree since the first year he was born we were packed up for moving back to our condo and last year we went to Disneyland and didn’t want to come back to a dead tree.  The house smells so good right now!





Friday, December 03, 2010

Money, Money, Money

Life sure gets expensive all at once it seems. We recently got a free truck from Davin's dad, and it's been a great luxury to have two vehicles! However, the truck died this week and it cost us over $600 to get it fixed. Ouch. After talking to my brother about it I think we paid too much but what's done is done. I'm trying to see it as acquiring a $600 truck which is still a good deal. Now as long as it doesn't break again. We also had to recently pay off my $1000 hospital bill and Davin is testing for his Tae Soo Do black belt test tomorrow (hurray!) but the series of four tests costs $400. Ugh! Our house still needs a new roof and I'm afraid we'll need to do it soon before our savings is too far gone. I wonder what's down the road - you know, other than delivering a baby in May - that will need that money, too. We're also in the midst of the Christmas season when we like to give lots of gifts, but I'm working on handcrafting what I can to save some money. It's more thoughtful that way, too, right? It just takes several hours to put together one gift so I've got to keep moving on those. God has always provided above and beyond for our needs and I know He won't stop meeting our needs now. Still I like to have my safety net in the bank where I can see it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had fun getting ready to host Thanksgiving for our family.  Sadly, Davin’s parents were snowed in up in Spokane so they couldn’t make the drive down.  We missed them, but did video chat before Desmond went to bed. 

Our turkey was a 24-pounder and I had to buy a new roasting pan to hold it.  We enjoyed tons of delicious food, and filled in our Thanksgiving tree with God’s blessings to our family. 

It was fun to watch Desmond playing with everyone, and I enjoyed the respite from being his main entertainment.  As soon as Aunt Marcia came in he wanted to do puzzles with her.  He called Uncle Daniel away from the table to go play, and he had everyone take turns lifting him up for his Buzz Lightyear game.

We are thankful for God’s work in our family, for Davin’s new job, our new home, our new baby, our health, and carrots.




Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Snow of the Season

altOn Sunday it snowed during Desmond’s nap and when he woke up there was enough to go play.  Desmond loved running around it in and his first comment was, “There’s too much rain!”  I made him snowballs out of the slushy snow and he’d throw them on the driveway and watch them break apart.  Hopefully it will snow more later so we can play longer.  I just need to find him better gloves.



Monday, November 01, 2010

The Loved Bay-deht


Before Desmond was born I made him a blanket with lots of different textures because I thought he’d like the feel.  In this picture he is ten days old on his blanket.  He grew to love it and always sleeps with it.  I have to sneak it into the wash now and then but it’s showing wear.  Desmond likes to feel the corners and they’re getting holes.  I’ve been meaning to fix it, but now he falls asleep by finding two corner holes and putting his index fingers inside.  Once he was trying to get his finger into one of the corners that didn’t have a big enough hole yet and he said, “It’s not working.  Fix it?” so I helped him find a new corner with a bigger hole.  Now I’m not sure I should fix the holes because if I did then his blanket wouldn’t work right. 

Last October Weekend


Davin took Friday off work– a small but welcomed compensation for all his extra work lately– and we drove to Spokane to visit the grandparents.  Desmond enjoyed seeing them, their two dogs and playing with Davin’s old Lincoln Logs.  We even got to eat breakfast in a train which Desmond loved.

On the way home we brought back a pick up truck that Davin’s dad generously gave us.  It’s an ‘83 but it still looks and runs great.  It has less than half of the mileage of our well-driven Honda so that’s a plus.  After five hours in the car alone with Desmond our entertainment had degraded to who could do the funniest fake yelling.  I needed a break so we switched and I drove the truck the final hour into town.  That was an experience!  It’s a stick but feels totally different than the Honda, of course.  And it was getting dark and started to rain so lets just say I was a bit tense.



Before heading home we decided to stop in at Real Life, a friend’s church here in Vancouver that was doing a fun festival for the kiddos.  Desmond had a lot of fun in the bounce houses, riding the horse-drawn wagon, and going through the dark tunnel maze with a flashlight.  He got cars and some candy to take home so he was very happy.  Desmond was the cutest Buzz Lightyear.  In the car on the way home he kept saying, “I am the real Buzz!”  He fell asleep right away when we got home. Another full, fun weekend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bit of Excitement


Story #1: Yesterday morning Desmond and I came home from Target and this wall heater was running.  It’s turned itself on once before – faulty thermostat or something.  It was in the off position and if I cranked on it hard I could get it to click off, but it wouldn’t stay off.  I was standing there holding the knob trying to decide what to do when the smoke detectors went off.  Great!  I made a mental note of where the fire extinguisher was and where Desmond was as I dashed to the garage to throw the breaker.  All was well and I safely got the thermostat unwired from the wall (my first dabbling in electrical work).  Thank you, God, for protecting our house!  Note to everyone: make sure to clean these things twice a year like they say.

Story #2: This morning as soon as Davin closed the door I said I forgot my keys and turned to go get them.  “I did too,” was his reply.  What?  We were locked out at 7:30 am with no keys to the house or car.  Looking up I saw that the bathroom window was open.  Davin hopped up onto the fence and easily pulled himself up on the garage roof.  After a bit of finagling he popped the screen off and was in.  Whew.  Thank goodness we left that window open.  Now we need to remember to never leave it open again… as long as we have our keys. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fun Outings

Desmond and I were stuck at home all week last week because we were both sick.  I’m making up for it this week by doing something fun every morning.  Monday we went swimming at Firstenburg Community Center.  Tuesday we went to the zoo.  I’d never been by myself and it was actually a lot of fun just the two of us wondering around.  Then today we had Chloe over to play and we all took a walk to the park.  It’s great having two kids.  They play so well together… most of the time, anyway.  Chloe couldn’t always understand Desmond’s words which was funny. 

Des: “Draw?” (Referring to coloring, but he doesn’t pronounce the “r”)

Chloe: “There’s a doll over there.”


Des: “Chloe, tent too?” (Asking if she wanted to come into the tent we made)

Chloe: “Yeah, I have a tattoo.”

IMG_2420 IMG_2444 alt alt

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Little Red Hen

On our walk back from Safeway this morning Desmond and I - no kidding - found a young little red hen along the side of the road. It was clucking and hunting for bugs and hoped we had food. I couldn't just leave it there to wander into traffic, and I knew a guy had roosters down the road about a block and a half and I wondered if it had come from there. We turned around to walk back to this house, and the little red hen followed us. I was calling to it, "Here, chick, chick, chick," and it would come running. Desmond was laughing. Gotta say I felt a little silly coaxing a chicken to follow me down the sidewalk of a busy street. I was concerned about getting it to follow me across the crosswalk when we came to a side street but the chicken finally crossed the road. We got to the house with the roosters and the guy was working outside. He said he wasn't missing a chicken but could use one unless we wanted to keep it. I'm not ready to take on a pet right now so we left it in good hands and it was getting fed as we left. I wonder if we'll see it on future visits to our park which is adjacent to the rooster house.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Desmond’s First Camping Trip

On Saturday we packed up and headed over to Swift Forest Camp to squeeze in a camping trip before the fall rains are upon us.  We enjoyed nice weather and since it is off season the site didn’t cost anything.  Desmond’s favorite activity was chasing me through the trees as I tried to get far enough ahead to hide.  He also liked the tent, the fire, throwing rocks in the lake, and pretending to be “Bugs Lightyear.” 

It took forever to get Desmond to sleep and then he woke up for a couple hours at 2am.  So it wasn’t a very restful trip, but fun none-the-less.  Maybe next time Desmond will sleep for us a little better and we can stay a little longer.  Then again, we’ll probably have two kids next time we get out for camping so who knows.

IMG_2359IMG_2275 IMG_2417IMG_2386 IMG_2389 IMG_2391

Sunday, September 26, 2010


altThis picture was taken the day I went to the hospital.  Desmond and I had painted wall #2 in his room that morning.  Desmond loved helping out and since the carpet needs to go it didn’t really matter where the blue paint fell.  After I was checked into my hospital room I discovered that I still had paint on the bottoms of my feet.  Whoops!

I haven’t touched his room since.  I need to get back in there and paint another wall.  There’s still a lot to do before we can move on to the nursery.  Glad I started early!