Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fun Stuff

OK, I stole this from Janelle who stole it from Patti and it is a ton of fun! Here are celebrity look-alikes for Erik and I. Neither of us got a really high percentage with any of the matches but some of the celebrities are pretty interesting...

Who knew I had Johnny Depp for a husband!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Family Trip to the Zoo

On Monday afternoon we braved the heat and went to the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Erik had some days off this week, so we took the opportunity to have a family day and avoid the weekend crowd.

Micah enjoyed the animals, but seemed more interested in the blackberry bushes lining the paths and the little choo-choo train that kept circling around the zoo grounds.
We brought along a picnic supper and found a nice little table next to a pond of ducks. We didn't realize we'd be chasing the ducks away the entire meal...

A few family pictures from the day...

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Mama's Boy

This has been a bit of a frustrating week as a Mommy. I've been reading some other blogs recently about motherhood-related issues and so I know I'm not the only one who doesn't know what I'm doing sometimes :)
Micah has been going through separation anxiety for the past few months but it wasn't until this week that I realized how bad it really is! At my First-Time Mom's group on Wednesday he was SO clingy that I could barely walk in the house because he was hanging on my legs. He wouldn't let me out of his sight the whole time we were there. He's even a little scared of family (except Grandma) and won't usually go sit with them unless there's incentive (i.e. a treat). And it's been months since he's been able to stay in the church nursery without Erik or I there. Yesterday morning at church I didn't even bother to try to leave him because I knew it was futile - and I wonder if it makes it worse that we are always trying to sneak away. As frustrating as it is to have to deal with his "clingy-ness", I think what worries me most is thinking ahead to 2 and a half months from now when he will no longer have Mommy all to himself. I was expecting to have an adjustment period with Micah and the new baby, but now I'm starting to think we may have some really bumpy weeks ahead of us. I can't help but wonder if I'm doing something to make him more clingy. Is it possible he's getting too much - or not enough - of other people? Am I not playing with him enough - or providing a "secure" enough environment? Maybe the best remedy for this problem will be a sibling - he may not appreciate the change at first, but he'll have to get used to it whether he likes it or not!

The other frustration has been the apparent need for discipline with Micah. Up until this point we've been pretty inconsistent, but I think he definitely needs some rules and consequences. Last week I decided I would use his crib as a 'time-out' location since he no longer uses it for sleeping. Well, he had a BLAST in there! Running around in circles and making himself dizzy. I couldn't help but laugh and pull out the video camera even though part of me was thinking - what am I going to do? Time out isn't supposed to be fun!!

So, now the crib has taken on a new purpose - a fun "play pen" to put Micah in when I need to get him out of my hair for 15 minutes or so. Just toss a few books and toys in there and he's pretty happy!

So as for the time-out, I think we will try to implement a "naughty stool" or something of that nature. I know some of you (like Janelle) have been dealing with discipline issues already. What's working for you?

And here's a collage of pictures from Erik's Dad's birthday supper on Saturday night. Micah with his Uncle Doug; Micah & Daddy playing with a tortilla chip box (Micah preferred it to be on Daddy's head and not his own); and Micah helping Grandpa blow out his 9 birthday candles (I think there were about 40 more missing...)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Phoning Granny

Micah doesn't know his Granny & Grandpa Harder like he knows his other Granparents simply because they live far away in Manitoba. But, he likes to talk to Granny (a.k.a "Manny") on the phone. Here he is yesterday pretending to make the call to Boissevain.

OK, let's see here... 1-2-0-4...
"Granny, are you there?" Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Erik convinced me to let him give Micah a buzz cut the other day. We were kind of thinking of letting his hair grow out for awhile, but it was just starting to look like a helmut of white fuzz on his head.
Here are a few pictures from the last couple of days - Micah enjoying some cream cheese icing and playing outside yesterday afternoon...

The view from up here...

I'm happy to report that my bladder/kidney issue seems to have resolved itself. I haven't had any more irritation or pain since Monday evening and I'm hoping that it won't return! I think that I may have passed a very small stone, but we shall see in a few months. Last they checked, I had 2 stones in my left kidney. I'm scheduled to have another kidney x-ray after the baby's born to check things out again so we'll see if there's one less in there!

Monday, August 21, 2006

28 weeks and Problem-Free??

Today marks 28 weeks of pregnancy for me! This afternoon I had my 6 month appointment. Erik and Micah came along today and Micah freaked out when he saw the doctor (bad memories, I guess). He didn't feel safe, even though the doctor was poking at me and not him. When he was measuring my belly and listening for the baby's heartbeat, Micah was very concerned for me! What a sensitive soul - good thing he won't be in the delivery room!

Baby’s heart rate was about 156 today. What is it they say? A low heart rate means boy and a high heart rate means girl? I always forget. I had a strong “girl” intuition during the first half of my pregnancy but now I have absolutely no clue. So, it will definitely be a surprise!

The bad news is that I'm feeling the onset of a bladder infection – except that there is no infection. The last time I felt this annoying pressure and irritation was just before my body tried to pass a very large kidney stone about a year and a half ago. The stones that remain are much smaller and should be easier to pass and yet I do not relish having to do so while pregnant. In fact, I even started experiencing some pain in my left kidney today right before I went in to the doctor, but it never really intensified and it hasn't returned. Could that have been the worst of it? I recall having much more intense pain last time around. I did some urine tests today to see what's going on and hopefully all will be well. In the meantime, this bladder discomfort is sending me on frequent trips to the bathroom with little relief. I hope it's all over soon...

On a less painful note, this baby has been SO active ever since I entered the third trimester. I remember Micah keeping me up at night when he was still in my belly and this baby seems to be following suit. It’s making me so excited to meet this little one. Feeling this baby move so much is causing the reality to sink in that in 3 months we will have another child! It’s hard to imagine since Micah is such a huge part of our lives. How will it be to love another little person this much? I know that we will, but I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around it! I worry that my time will be divided – how will we give both children the attention they need and deserve? I guess we'll just adapt when the time comes - just as many other parents have done before us!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Weekend

We had a pretty relaxed weekend. Thursday night we spent the evening with some new friends from church – Alf, Kelly and their adorable daughter Taeya. They also had invited Brent & Angela – some friends Erik met at CBC. It’s funny how in Abbotsford, everyone gets connected to each other eventually! We had a really great time with them. It’s been fun making new friends and it’s great to go to church on Sunday and feel like there’re plenty of people to talk to. We have been going to South Abbotsford Church since January and have been surprised at how quickly we feel connected and involved.

On Friday night we ended up at Doug & Elissa’s new pad – very cute, I must say – along with the usual family crowd: Nathan & Rosanna and our newly adopted family members, Todd & Brianne. We rented the Disney movie Eight Below – a good movie in and of itself, but I must say that the company definitely contributed to the overall enjoyment of the film. We laughed through the whole thing – especially when we started making up our own commentary for the dogs... funny stuff.

Saturday was pretty quiet around here. But I had to include these pictures from my attempt to make biscuits for supper. Whenever I start to make something on the kitchen counter, Micah pushes a chair up to the counter and says “bake”. It’s his new favourite thing and he’s usually good at staying on his chair and playing beside me. Well, I was measuring flour into the bowl while talking to Erik on the phone and Micah leaned over a little too far to dip his own cup into the bowl. He fell right off the chair and took the whole bowl of flour with him. Micah freaked out - mostly from falling but also from being covered in flour.
Erik happened to be pulling up to the house just as it happened, so I hung up the phone and he found us in the kitchen like this...

And here is the bath that shortly followed.
It seemed to do the trick in cheering Micah up!

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In other Micah-related news, he is starting to string words together more and more, i.e. ‘hockey puck’, ‘Daddy work’, ‘more please’. But the coolest thing is that he can count to three! At first I thought I was just hearing things. He would pretend to be counting and somewhere in all the gibberish I would hear something that sounded like ‘one, two, three’. We have one game we play where I count to three and then pick Micah up and toss him on our bed. The other day when I asked him to count he clearly said “one, doo, wee”. I was so proud :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blackberry Season

As I mentioned before, Micah has gained a deep appreciation for blackberries. The other morning we found the mother-load of berries just up the hill and I picked this whole bowl-full (plus all the ones we ate while we picked, plus the first bowl-full that I accidentally spilled).

Every time we go for a walk now (or sometimes just a drive) and Micah sees some bushes, he yells "back, back!" He is absolutely addicted. I have been finding very interesting diapers in the last few days :)

Here is his response the other morning when I told him he couldn't have any more blackberries.

But as always, he forgot about them soon enough. Here he is saying "CHEEESE" for the camera...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mid-Week Update

It's Wednesday and there's not too much to report. The big news is that Sunday marked Micah's 20-month birthday and the beginning of my third trimester. I still can't believe how fast it's going! Today I went in for my glucose test (gestational diabetes screening) and had to drink the sugary orange drink. Everyone complains about having to drink it, but I have to admit, I kind of like it. It's like drinking orange crush - maybe a little sweeter. I actually looked forward to it this time around because I remember liking it with my last pregnancy :) I think the baby liked it, too, because about half an hour later it started going NUTS in my belly.
On Monday I have my regular 6-month check-up. Last month my doctor told me I had gained a little more weight than I needed to - not what I wanted to hear! And despite my attempts to keep active this month I know that my ravenous appetite has probably been working against me. We'll see what the doctor says on Monday - his weigh scale never lies.

Here are some pictures from today. Micah has been playing with his baby bath tub a lot since he saw his cousin Noah getting a bath in it during their visit. Today I showed him how we could give his baby a bath. He decided it would be more fun to get in the bath with her. He was so cute, washing her face and her hands and feet. I'm sure he'll have fun being a big brother...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Portable Toddler

I was SO proud of Micah this weekend. We were invited out 2 nights in a row and I said "yes" even though Micah has never done well going to sleep at other people's houses. He has never really needed to learn since Erik's parents live upstairs and when we're with family he can always still sleep in his own bed. If we do go out, we usually have to head home when it's Micah's bedtime because getting him down in a strange place is futile. We've learned it's just easier to hang out at our place. But, I figured that he might be able to handle it now that he's transitioned to a regular bed. I was willing to give it a shot anyway.
Friday night we went to Nathan & Rosanna's place with Doug & Elissa and Todd & Brianne (friends from Calgary who just moved here). 8 pm rolled around and Micah was obviously tired. We got him all ready and put him down on their bed and he didn't make a peep! We even played a rousing game of Cranium and he slept perfectly fine in the next room.
Saturday night we were invited over by our friends Rocky & Melanie. Micah stayed up until about 9. We put him down on their bed and, once again, not a peep! I feel like this is the beginning of a new era! Add to that the fact that Micah rarely wakes up in the night anymore and is sleeping in until almost 7 every morning - I feel like we've finally "made it" ;) Of course, in 3 months we'll be starting all over again...

This morning Micah and I headed over to Mill Lake for a walk. The Abbotsford Air Show has been on the last few days and we had a good view of it from the park. Micah has been fascinated by all the big planes. We also took time to enjoy the blackberries that are starting to come out in full-force. I think Micah's found a new favourite food...

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Small Victory

Micah has been very pre-occupied with sitting on the potty since we had our little training session last week. I have to be honest - it's been a bit of a pain! Yes, I should be happy that he wants to be on the potty, but I think the only reason he likes it is because 1) he gets to be naked and 2) he gets to play with his "potty toys" (a selection of toys I kept in the bathroom to keep him occupied while training). So, I have to take off his pants and his multiple layers of cloth diaper, and, because I don't have a portable potty (rather just one that fits on our toilet seat), I have to sit in there with him. Of course, nothing usually happens.
Well, yesterday he was asking to go on the potty again and he ended up pulling his diaper right off and running to the bathroom. Since he was already naked, half the work was done for me, so I figured, why not? I heard him say "uh-oh" from the hallway and saw that he had made a little puddle on the rug. It wasn't very big so I thought maybe there was more where that came from. I stuck him on the potty and within a few seconds I heard the unmistakeable tinkling. I don't even think he realized at first what was happening since he was so enthralled with his new beaver bath-toy from Granny. But, I made sure he saw what was going on and let him know that this was a REALLY good thing. We clapped and gave high-fives and I showed him how to press the flusher and say "bye!" Then he got a little treat just to seal the deal.
So, a small victory in the big scheme of potty-training, but at least he knows what he needs to do in order to celebrate (and get the all-important treat!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Faithful Father

Micah and I have been fortunate these last couple of weeks to have Erik at home as he tries to set up his construction business -- of course, it's not so fortunate for the bank account, but we're hoping that will come in time :) There's been a lot of leg work to get things going - applying for a business number, deciding whether to become incorporated, meeting with accountants and financial planners and experienced residential contractors... It's been a little overwhelming to say the least.
Yesterday morning we were both feeling especially in-over-our-heads. Erik was told by a few people that he should become incorporated right away, but the corporation application was immense and intimidating and we didn't even know if we could provide all the information that they needed. He had a meeting to see our financial planner at 10 and we were both feeling discouraged. We spent some time praying together before he left, wondering if any of this was even possible anymore. I had a strong sense that we could continue trusting in God, but I didn't have a clue how things were going to work themselves out.
Erik called me an hour later to tell me that he was advised not to become incorporated at this time but to remain a Sole Proprieter. What a relief! The amount of paperwork, time and money that will save us is HUGE! There is still a lot of ground to cover before construction will begin, but it's amazing to see how God is opening doors and being faithful to us even as we step out into the unknown.
With a lot of the paperwork and meetings taken care of for the time being, Erik decided to head back to work today and Micah's been asking for him all morning! They had a lot of good Daddy-time over the last couple of weeks and I think Micah is slowly switching his allegiance from me to him. Here they are at Deception Pass last weekend. We took another day trip down there - this time with Doug & Elissa - and Micah didn't get an adequate nap on the way there. He was getting cranky at the beach but didn't want to snuggle with me - he was all about Daddy. Of course, he never did fall asleep, even though I knew he desperately needed to...

As for the big-boy bed, Micah's done very well the last few nights and I think his crib-sleeping days are over! This was a relatively pain-free transition and it makes me hopeful about how he will adjust to a new baby in a few months...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Success... maybe.

Here is Micah sleeping on his 'big boy' bed for the very first time! We decided to set it up on Saturday morning and he was pretty excited about it. He went down for his nap perfectly fine. That night was a repeat performance - I don't think he realized that he could get out if he wanted. In the morning he actually cried until we came and got him even though his door was wide open. Sunday night was not so great. He cried out several times and after Erik lying down with him, etc., we just ended up putting him in his crib for the rest of the night and he slept better. I'm not sure what the problem was. He wasn't getting out of bed, but I think he just felt disoriented or something...
So, tonight we'll see! We were at the beach all day and he had a long nap on the way home just around supper time. He's been wired ever since and is still kind of crying in his room right now at 9:30 pm. It sounds like he's in his bed though, so we'll leave him be. There's not too much trouble he can get into in there ;) Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Plan B

Yesterday was officially day 2 of potty-training and by mid-afternoon I was ready to throw in the towel. I started on Wednesday - very gung-ho and with a plan in mind. As a side note, Micah's been using cloth diapers part-time since he was 1 month old and somewhere I heard a rumour that cloth-diapered kids tend to potty-train faster (since they can feel the "wetness" more). The problem is that Micah has never cared about being wet. His diaper can be sopping and he'd still be happy as a clam. Anyway, my plan was to put Micah in a cloth diaper, but without the extra absorbent liner or plastic cover, so we'd both be able to tell right away if he was wet.
I set him on the potty very consistently but with no success. We'd hang out in the bathroom for slots of 20 minutes or even longer - reading books, singing songs, naming body parts - until I was sure his bladder must be exploding. But inevitably he'd want to get off and within 5 minutes he would have wet his diaper. The only sign of progress was the handful of times he ran to me clutching his diaper declaring "wet!" Most of the time he didn't even notice.
However, I kept my spirits up and hoped we'd at least have some luck with going #2. On the morning of day 2, Micah was overdue for a "movement" :) and generally early in the day is a prime time for him. I planned to watch him like a hawk and not miss the opportunity to get him to the potty on time. I was relaying my plan of action to Erik while we made breakfast when suddenly Erik commented that Micah was awfully quiet in the next room. The smell was our second clue and the full diaper confirmed it. I guess all of our potty-talk must have put him in the mood or something. Once again, we were too late.
So, after a fruitless (& exhausting) effort, I've decided to scrap the potty-training for the time being. Or, at least back off and let Micah lead the way a little more. I just don't get the impression that he really understands or is interested - and I don't want to push him.
So, onto Plan B: moving Micah into a big-boy bed. Luckily we recently inherited Rosanna's old twin bed when her and Nathan got married, so we'll skip right over the toddler-bed phase. My concerns are a) how do you get a toddler to stay in a bed with no prison rails and b) how do you keep him from falling out of bed in his sleep? Micah tends to cram his body into the corner of his crib to fall asleep and I'm not sure how he's going to cope with all the open space... For safety's sake, we'll start with just a single mattress on the floor and go from there. I'm thinking we might try to set it up for him this weekend sometime.
I'm learning patience through all of this for sure, and when I stop to consider my urge to rush, I can tell myself that it's highly unlikely that Micah will still be a diaper-wearing, soother-clad, crib sleeper 2 or 3 years from now. He'll figure this stuff out eventually. Unfortunately by that time we'll be working on training the next one...
Hmmm, how many kids did I say I wanted??

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Getting Ready

I've started feeling a little panicky in the last couple of days as I've realized that I'm already 25 weeks! The 3rd trimester is just around the corner! Erik and I both agreed that my belly seems to have hit another "growth spurt". All of a sudden I'm feeling big and awkward and cumbersome. But, the panicky feeling isn't really for myself - I've been ready for this baby for weeks already! In fact, I'd love to just skip right over the next 3 months. What I AM worried about, though, is if Micah's ready for the baby. In my perfect world, he was definitely going to be potty-trained and weaned from his soother before baby #2 arrived. And initially I thought we could keep him in his crib for awhile after - and just keep baby in the playpen. But now I'm thinking it might be best to get him used to a big-boy bed before we throw a demanding infant into the mix... So, I've got 3 months to make this all happen and I'm suddenly feeling overwhelmed!
Obviously I would be foolish to try and make all of these changes at once, but I'm just not sure where to start. Potty-training is definitely high on the priority list. Even though Micah's never actually "gone" on the potty, he is showing a lot of signs of readiness & has been quite preoccupied with the toilet and its functions. I think if I devoted myself to it for a week or 2, we might have some success. My sister just told me that she had to put Kailyn on the the toilet every 15 minutes for the first couple of days in order to start the process - so I recognize that this will take time and dedication. (But she also said that Kailyn pretty much potty-trained her brother Josh, so it all worked out for them in the end!)
Anyway, so I'm looking for wisdom, encouragement, advice - whatever you have to offer! And I'll keep you all posted on how things are going! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Micah had lots of time to spend with his cousins over the last couple of days and I think he'll miss having them around. They left this morning and Micah has been saying their names all day! Here are a few more shots from our weekend in Abbotsford together.