Urban Mama

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Find me here...

I switched to wordpress so find me over here.

Sorry my blog is messed up.

I do not know what is going on with blogger right now but it seems that wordpress is messed up also. I hope to get it back to normal soon.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My top ten for 2007

1. The finalization of our adoption, one of the happiest days of my life

2. Our new house with lots of room for guests, a big backyard, and a kitchen that I love to cook in, I hope I never have to move.

3. Movies, ">Once and ">Juno. It is a tie. If you have not seen these, you should. You will not be sorry.

4. The book Ten Thousand Suns... one I could not put down.

5. My trip to Burkina Faso, a trip of a lifetime

6. My son losing his first tooth and my middle girl becoming a little fashion designer

7 Our time in Tahoe this last summer... swimming, hiking, and just enjoying being on vacation

8. My road trip with my friend helping her move to Vermont. We went though the craziest storm I have ever experienced.

9. Discovering that I like sushi...this makes my husband very happy

10. My bike and double stroller. We went on our first bike ride all together (all five of us) and it was wonderful. The stroller has made walks much more enjoyable and we get outside a lot more.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas with my family...

We celebrated Christmas with my family yesterday. As we were getting to my parents house LuLu said, " we are in Nana's woods and there is just a little bit of snow". That girl makes us laugh everyday with the things she says. We had a great time. They had the tree up that the kids had helped cut down and decorate. We ate really good food and lots of it.We drank hot apple cider and hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream. We opened presents. The kids got great presents and have been enjoying them all day. We walked around the little lake that my parents live on. LuLu wanted to trail very far behind the rest of us and pretend that she was lost in the woods. She was very proud of herself for "finding her way back". We looked at the pictures from my trip to Burkina Faso. And before we left my dad made us a bon fire and we stood in the cold, warmed by the fire and enjoyed just being together. It was a very enjoyable day for us and the kind of day that makes great memories for everybody. Tomorrow we head out for Tennessee. We are hoping for a smooth flight, no delays, and patient kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A little catch up

I feel like I need a catch up post. I have been holding off talking about my amazing trip because there is going to be video and blogging by my friend coming pretty soon. I think that will tell the story so much better than I would be able to do here.

. We have been pretty busy like everyone else this time of year.

. We are going to spend Christmas with our good friends in Tennessee and hope to have a tender Tennessee Christmas just like Amy Grant promises.

. This is the first Christmas that I have not been as into the normal traditions that we do. I am still going along with it because I have the kids and cannot disappoint them but it is just not the same this year. It is also the first year to celebrate Christmas without my great-grandma and this was her favorite time of year so it is sad without her.

. I took my girls for a check up yesterday and they are both doing great. I am so thankful for healthy kids.

. My son is on Christmas break so we are enjoying slower mornings, hanging out more together, movies, games, and all the things you are supposed to do on vacation.

. Our friends had a baby boy a few days ago and we are really happy for them. He is healthy and well.

. I have so many ideas of things that are on my heart but it is hard to find time to completely think through an idea. I am hoping over the next year to be able to act on some of these things. One will be more awareness of the project we are working with in Burkina Faso and one would be some more awareness of the fos-adopt program that we used to adopt our little girl.

. I think I will take a break for Christmas. I hope to be able to expand on some ideas and share about our Christmas later.

. I hope everyone has a very blessed holiday

Monday, December 10, 2007

This cool kid turned 7 today!!!

I am so proud to be the mom of this great kid. It is amazing to me that he is seven years old already. He has learned so many things since the day he came into our lives. He writes stories now and reads really well. He draws me welcome home monster pictures and has the most amazing imagination. I am so happy I get to have a front row seat to his life. It is a blessing to be the mom of such an amazing boy. Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I'm home

It is four in the morning and I am wide awake. I slept to much yesterday and now I think I am going to pay for it. We had the most amazing trip ever. I have been finding it hard to find the words to describe the time that we spent with these amazing people. They treated us like we were family even though we had just met. They accepted us right from the beginning. They shared their best with us, laughed with us, and traveled many miles with us.

We saw so much in the five days in Burkina Faso. We traveled many miles down bumpy dirt roads, squeezed in a land cruiser with the windows down and getting covered in dust, but talking and laughing the whole way.

Journey Mama will be writing about it on her blog and on the LJ Urban blog also. She has a gift with words and will be describing it so well. I suggest you check out her writing. We have a lot of photos that Journey Mama took and some video that we will be putting on the LJ Urban web site also. I will let you know when all of that is up.

It is good to be home and be with my family. I missed my kids so much. I am also so thankful for this opportunity to see this part of the world. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before and beyond my wildest imagination. I will try to write more soon when my time is not so messed up.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm on my way

Today is my last day in the U.S. for the next ten days. We leave at an ungodly hour very early in the morning. My kids go back and forth between saying they are going to miss me to being very excited about their plans with their dad. I am looking forward to the adventure and challenges ahead. We have a lot of work to do but I do not think it will feel like work. I am packed and ready. There is always that weird feeling before I leave for a trip where I just never quite feel ready and have to just decide that I am ready. So, I'm ready. This trip is good for my soul. That sounds weird I am sure but it has done good things for me already and I have not even left yet. I look forward to coming back and sharing all that we saw and did. There will be a lot more to see and read when we get back. There will be some blogging going on during our trip at my husbands work blog LJ Urban so you can always check that out. I hope to have many stories to tell soon. Until then pray we have a safe journey and do what we have set out to do.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Truth

There is a movie called Once that I loved. It was one of those movies that you sit there and watch it and as soon as it is over you want to watch it again. We have the sound track from it and there is this song that I love. One the the lines in particular. It says, " sometimes the truth has a habit of falling out of your mouth". I am not sure exactly why I love that. Partly because I feel like I do that sometimes where I say the truth on accident and am not sure if I should have but there it is and it is the truth so I can't really take it back. Partly because I wish that the truth would fall out of my mouth more often. I have a friend that is really good at just stating the truth if you like it or not. She is so bold and I like that. I never have to wonder what she is thinking or if there is something going on because if there is she would tell me. I love that and want to be that but it is hard for me to not think about what the other person will think or feel or how will it come across. If the truth is said in love and not in judgment is it better received? How do I handle the truth when I am confronted with it? I want to learn to be real. Who I am no matter who is around or what people think. I want the truth to have a habit of falling out of my mouth.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's today, it's today

That is a quote from Stewart Little. The day that they are going to go pick up his new little brother. Well, for us it is the day that we finalize our adoption. She has always felt like ours. We have loved her since the day we first saw her but today we have a legal document that says it is true. No more having to explain at the doctors office why she goes by two names. No more keeping perfect track of everything we do. No more calls when we are going to leave the county. All of that was well worth the outcome but it will be nice to be done. We have our court day this morning and then we are throwing a big party in the late afternoon at our house. We wanted to celebrate this big day with our friends and family. I am so glad as I look back at this journey that our family has gone through. I am so thankful that we made this decision. Our lives will never be the same and we are all thankful for that. Last night we were talking about the upcoming court date and telling the kids that they might ask them if they want to have Little Bird as their sister. My son took it very seriously and told LuLu that she cannot even kid around if they ask her if she wants to or not. I thought that was very sweet. The love the three of them have for each other is amazing to me. So, we are off to the court house and then back home as a legal family and ready to PARTY!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A day in the life of little bird.

Little Bird update.

She is fully crawling now. She is fast. She pulls herself up to a standing position at the couch and today she walked along the couch. She has four teeth. She says Mama and DaDa. This is all happening way to fast. Her whole world view has changed in the last couple of weeks. She can get where she wants to be. She can get into things. She can find the smallest little anything that is left on the floor. She has also become much more clingy to me which I love and dislike at the same time. I think she is a little afraid of all this new found freedom and she wants to make sure I am there in case she needs me. What a girl. I cannot believe the love that I have for this sweet, lovely girl.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here is another one...

I do not know why this guy makes me laugh so hard but he does. I just had to share another one. I think the humor reminds me of my friends from high school or something. I laugh everytime I watch this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My arms are really sore

Four shots. A pack of malaria pills. Some mosquito nets. A bottle of insect repellent. And we are just about to leave for West Africa. Just 11 more days.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Only Two Weeks

I have not written about this yet because I am not sure how to put it all into words. About a month ago my husbands business decided to do a project that would require some traveling. My husband asked me to head it up and so I got to work on it. (I am being vague because they want to launch it all at once so I cannot say to much). The thing is, I am going to a country called Burkina Faso in two weeks. It is in West Africa. I will be going with journey mama and a lady that works at LJUrban. We met with one of the guys that is heading up the program in Burkina Faso last Friday and got a lot more details. LJUrban will be posting pictures and video on their web site after we get back. Then it will all come together. The main thing right now is that I am leaving for 10 days in two weeks. My mind is going crazy trying to think of everything that needs to be done before I leave.
I need reading material.
What should I wear?
Will it all fit?
I need to load my IPOD.
The laundry needs to be done.
And food in the fridge.
Will they really all be ok without me?
I know they will.
I am so very excited. I cannot even put into words what I am feeling. I hope to be able to explain it more when we return.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What a great day.

I had such a great birthday. I got to go get my hair cut. Which I always really enjoy. I spent time with my kids. I opened the presents from them. I had great friends who gave me gifts and called me and wished me a happy birthday. And my husband totally surprised me by having my mom come and watch the kids while we went on a real date. I was not expecting that at all. We went out for sushi and then to the movies. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. I have one amazing husband. One of the presents that I got from my husband was an object that allowed me to take these yesterday. Can you guess what it was?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I have learned.....

1. My kids make me laugh every day
2. I really did marry the best guy in the world.
3. That is really is possible to become even better friends with your sister.
4. I still love going to the library as much as I did as a kid.
5. My son would learn to ride a bike the first time he tried.
6. My daughter would sing songs to me almost everyday.
7. My baby would learn to crawl and say mama in the last week.
8. That going for walk with my family after dinner is a sanity saver and we all enjoy it.
9. That my mom was right, a lot more than I thought.
10. That I am starting to sound just like her.
11. That I enjoy baking more than cooking.
12. Moving is hard and I hope that we do not have to do it again, ever.
13. I don't like to shop as much as I used to.
14. The beach is one of my favorite spots to read a book.
15. Good friends will stick by you through a lot of stuff.
16. That I am a stronger woman than I used to believe I was.
17. Family is really important.
18. I will always pick the slowest line at a store.
19. I like sushi.
20. That I would miss my friends that are far away the most on days like today.
21. I love the smell of rain.
22. I do not really like gardening as much as I thought I would.
23. That good shoes are hard to find.
24. So are good jeans. It is a never ending quest for me.
25. To be more comfortable with who I am, not who I think other people want me to be.
26. I enjoy people with a good sense of humor.
27. That parenting is a scary journey, but God has so much Grace.
28. I am not really dreading today.
29. That today I start the first day of the last year in my twenties.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


The other day driving in the car with my kids my son, looks up from the book he is reading and asks me, "what did I do before I could read?" I started to answer and he pipes up with,"did I just look at books?"

That is my son. His love for books is so complete that he cannot even imagine doing anything else.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Getting Closer

Today we signed the adoption placement papers which officially take Little Bird out of the foster care system and into the adoption phase. We are that much closer to finalizing. It was a strange day because the office we went to was the same one we met at to find out about her for the first time. I was remembering all those feelings again. The wondering if this would be the one, how do we make this decision, what if they do not pick us. And then the driving away knowing that we would be picking up our little girl the next morning. The excitement, fear, business of getting everything ready. It was just a lot of emotion. They gave us her full file today since they are closing it out and we got to keep the Polaroid picture that they showed us that first day. That is the picture that we made a life changing decision on and I am so glad we get to have it. I am so glad we were the ones that God picked to parent her. She is such a joy in our lives.

My husbands practical jokes

A little background. A few months ago my husband told my daughter that the sap on the outside of the house was the house peeing. Nice, I know.

This morning she saw a picture of a fire truck and said to me and my husband, " our house won't burn and we said yeah we have a safe house and she said " It won't burn cause it pees.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Coffee and the beach

A couple of weekends ago I went to the beach with my sister, mom, Kli, and LuLu. We packed a great lunch, sand toys, and some games. It was a beautiful day. The kids played in the water and sand. We walked down the beach and found drift wood.

For awhile I have wanted to take our little stove and stuff to make coffee and make it on the beach. The last couple of times I have brought it up I did not have anyone that thought it sounded like a good idea. Finally, I had my mom. Another true coffee lover and someone up for trying new things.

We made coffee on the beach and it was wonderful. I think most things taste better while sitting on the beach looking out at the beautiful ocean. The coffee experience did not disappoint.

Now, the next time I go to the beach I am bringing the supplies to make coffee. Takers or not. But the ones who ridicule will be sorry when I am sitting there with my hot, yummy cup of coffee and they are empty handed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I could not put this one down!

This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I highly recommend it.

My new favorite comedy guy

This ones for you Brody

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Concert night

We had a brilliant night last night!! My husband and I and two friends drove to San Francisco to go to the Phil Wickham and David Crowder Band concert. We got there early and met up with our good friend Brody. He is Phil's tour manager and so we got the "royal treatment" We saw David Crowder sound check and then went to dinner. Then back to the Filmore where the concert was. We got these balcony seats right in front to Phil's dressing room and pretty much the best seats in the place. The concert was amazing. I tend to like music so much more after seeing it live and that was certainly true with the David Crowder Band. It was just an amazing experience. We then got to meet some of the guys after the show and that was fun and weird at the same time. I never really know what to say to them but they were are pretty cool. After the concert we grabbed a late night snack and then headed home. The best parts were spending a whole day and evening with my husband and no kids and getting to see Brody and hang out with him some. The whole night was really great and I am not going to do it justice by writing about it. It is just one of those things that is better in person. But it was great, Brody was awesome for getting us in and the great seats and hanging with us and the music was spectacular. If you have not heard them you should. It is well worth the money.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Look at those pretty trees....

That is what LuLu has been saying as we drive around. I couldn't agree more. Things are looking up around here. Everybody is well. That is a huge plus. We spent the weekend at Tahoe where I got a wonderful pedicure and manicure thanks to some very generous friends of ours and a wonderful husband who watched the kids while I got pampered. It was beautiful up there. The trees are changing but it was sunny. The lake is always amazing and we just had a nice break as a family.

My son wanted to play this game where we would say a word and he would spell it. Then he wanted foriegn words because spelling english words was not hard enough. I cannot believe his love of words. It is an amazing thing to watch.

LuLu was in a great mood and saying how pretty the trees were and then when it got dark how pretty the stars were so we pulled over and looked at the stars. You could see so many because there are not that many lights up there and it was a sight to see. I am so glad she brought them to our attention.

Little bird is all better! That is great by its self but she also has her first tooth, she is sleeping all night again, and she is on the brink of crawling. She gets around but just not in the traditional sense of the word. She is our happy, lovely baby again and I am so thankful for that.

As if all that was not good enough we have one more great thing tomorrow. My mom is coming and watching all three kids so that we can go to San Francisico togther without kids. This will be the first time in a very long time. We are going with some friends to spend the day there and then because we have the hook up we are going to the Phil Wickham and David Crowder show at the Filmore. I am so excited. We get to go out to dinner and a concert like adults. I don't know if we will know what to do with ourselves.

So, things are looking up around here and I have a great big smile on my face.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A long weekend

Friday evening we were back at the hospital with little bird. She was still having trouble breathing and it seemed to be getting worse. She spent Friday and Saturday night at the hospital. We brought her home on Sunday evening. It was a very long, sad weekend. They did a bunch of tests and x-rays and watched her for a couple of days. After all that they decided that she did just have croup but that because of her tracheal malasia which is where her esophagus is floppy it makes it really hard for her to breath when she gets sick. So we were sent home with some breathing treatments to do at home and told that we need to work really hard at not letting her get sick. That is not going to be easy since it is just the beginning of the cold seasons and we have two other kids but we are going to do our best. We are being good about washing our hands a lot and I am being careful about who she is around. She is much better today and I am hoping to be back to normal in a couple more days. I am looking forward to a time with nobody being sick.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A night at the ER

Around ten last night little bird woke up and was not breathing very well. We called the advise nurse and he said we should take her into the hospital. Since it was that late the only place to go was the emergency room. We live only two blocks away so I walked down there with her while my husband waited at home for a friend to come stay with the other kids.

I hate emergency rooms. They are gross and the wait is always forever. The later at night the worse it gets. So, I got there and the woman working the counter was not exactly friendly. She told me to fill out the form, put it in the basket and wait. All this time little bird is getting worse and worse and I am getting more and more scared. My husband shows up and sees me waiting and decides this is not happening. He talks to the less than friendly lady and gets her to allow us to talk to the triage nurse. He takes one look at her and admits us immediately. I was so thankful. Once they checked her out they said she did have croup, which I figured but nothing we had tried (hot showers, humidifier) was working. So they gave her some medicine, and started the treatment. She had to breath in this steaming medicine air and then plain steamy air. Around midnight I said that my husband should go home and let our friend go home to his family. So he did that and I waited to finish the treatment. Around two in the morning the treatment was done but she was still not breathing very well.

The doctor decided that she would need to be admited but the hospital we were at did not have a children's department so they would have to transfer her. I called my husband and he called my cousin to come be with the kids so that he could be with me. The ambulance guys finally get there just before three and at this point I am feeling like she is doing a lot better. So, I requested that the doctor come and listen to her again. He came over and listened and said, I think you are right. She does sound a lot better and I would be comfortable sending her home. I was so thankful once again. I was not looking forward to spending the night at the hospital if it was not necessary. So, by the time my husband gets there again they are discharging me. We got home and thanked my wonderful cousin for coming over in the middle of the night.

Of course that was not the end to our night. She was not really going to sleep well after all that and the fact that she is still sick so I went to sleep from 3 to 5 and then traded with my husband so that he could sleep from 5 to 7. It was a long night.

I am so thankful that she is ok. She is still not feeling wonderful but much better. The one thing that I learned from all this is that it is good to ask a lot of questions when you are at the hospital. Things could have gone very differently last night if we had not spoken up and asked for what we needed. I am now hoping for a much more restful night for all of us.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The sick house

Everyone in my family is sick right now except for me. I am trying my hardest to stay well but I am really tired of taking care of so many cranky, sad people. Hopefully we are at the tail end of it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still figuring out myself

Do you ever feel like you are going through changes all at once and it is uncomfortable and necessary at the same time?

That is where I am at right now. I gave up on my dreads. I know that if I stuck it out in about two or three years I would have wonderful hair that I would love but I was not willing to be that patient. So, now I look like the little picture on my blog again. My daughter is really happy because she never really liked it. I think she likes it when we look like each other.

I spent some time yesterday planning out a schedule for what I would do with LuLu during the days and cleaning my house and doing the things that need to get get done. Today I realized that I am not that kind of person. We like to go with the flow and see what happens for that day. There are somethings that we do every week but for the most part I like to see what happens with naps and how everyone is feeling and work around that. I thought I was a schedule person but I think maybe I am not.

I also have realized lately that I am parenting LuLu like I did Kli and they are so very different that it is not working. He loved to go to classes and wanted to go to school when he was three years old. He is very independent and likes to do things on his own. LuLu is not like that. She told me that she does not want me to leave her at classes with kids all by herself. She told me that her favorite things to do are go to the library with me, go to my husbands office with me, and take walks with me. Do you see the pattern here? (with me) I have decided that we are going to enjoy this time where she wants to be with me because I know there will come a day all to soon when she will want to do things on her own.

I have gone to the office with my daughters two mornings in a row now and sat in on the morning meeting. I have wanted to be more involved in my husbands business ,LJ Urban, but have not really known how, so we decided this was a good place to start. LuLu loves it, little bird rides in my carrier and usually takes a nap and we are all happy. It has been a good two days and I am excited to see how it goes from here.

And for the next while (for however long she wants it) we will be going to the office, the library, and walks...together

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A little more about me

I feel like I write about my kids a lot and I know they are the most interesting, the cutest, and just all around more fun than me but I thought I should write a little about myself.

A few of my thoughts on aging;

I am actually liking the idea of getting older. I will turn 29 this birthday and it really does not stress me out like I thought it would. I think that the older I get the more I understand about myself. I don't let things bother me as much and I like to think that I have more wisdom. I truly enjoy my friends and family. I am liking myself more and more the older I get.

My thoughts on the health scares;

I think that if everyone would just do everything in moderation we would all be a lot healthier. There is the soy or dairy debate. At my house we drink both and also almond milk, rice milk, and hazelnut milk. We eat mostly healthy food but we have treats now and then. My kids watch some tv but not all day long. Everything in moderation has become my motto.

My thoughts on being to busy;

I do not function well if we are to busy but I cannot be home all day long everyday so we mix it up. Our standing appointments right now are ballet on Mondays, soup night every other Tuesday, our video series that we are hosting on the alternate Tuesday and that is it. The rest of the time I like to play it by ear. Have friends over, go to the library, take walks, and then all the other things that have to be done to run a household. It is a good balance for us and I am glad to have found it. It is always something we are tweaking but things are working pretty good.

And just a little fun thought,

I have been wondering why the parents at my sons school do not really talk to me. If my husband goes there he ends up talking to someone for a long time. The most I get is a smile and a hi. Then on Friday when I picked up my son it dawned on me that they might not think that I am his mom. It might be that they are thinking I am the babysitter, or something. I get this a lot with my kids but I had not put the two and two together. I have been told many times that I will one day be glad that I look young but maybe that is why I am not upset about getting older. Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It feels like fall!

Sorry about all the house pictures. I have a teething baby that does not think night time is for sleeping anymore. I am standing at the bar in my kitchen with my baby in the carrier typing with one hand and trying to get her to sleep.

It is a great day though because it is the first day that feels like fall. I
LOVE this time of year. It has always been my favorite. I like all the seasons for different reasons but fall is the winner.

I love the crisp cool mornings. How it is cool but not cold. I love the food that we eat at this time, the soups and breads and apples. I love the clothes that I get to wear. I love being cozy in the house with a fire.

It rained tonight and the smell was amazing. As we drove home the sunset was a bright pink and just so pretty.

I am getting excited. There is an electricity in the air, I can feel it. And it is going to be a wonderful new season.

Our living room and a peek at our yard

The garage that we spent all weekend organizing and now we can get to our bikes

Monday, September 17, 2007

My house and the history behind it.

I promised pictures of our new house so long ago but you know how it is when you move and it is taking us forever to get fully moved in. I thought I should start this with a little history of our houses and moving. We have been married for seven year. In that seven years we have moved ten times. We have moved for many different reasons but I think this is the house that we can stay in for a long time. We usually say that with almost every house we have ever lived in but I am really hoping it is true with this house. For one because I love this house, for another reason, I do not want to move our family again. This is a house that we could raise however many kids we end up with. It is in a great location. And until God asks us to move again this is where you will find me. I thought I would post pictures of the rooms that we have finished completely. That way I will be motivated to move through the house getting every room done. We worked really hard this weekend on our garage and Kli's room. I got some of the ideas from a good friend who has a great eye for room design. He is so happy with his room and I find him in his loft really often. He reads every chance he gets and now he has his own little place to do just that. So here are the first house pictures.