Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let it Snow

Micah and Caelan enjoyed their first snowfall this week. There's something so pure and delightful when you watch little children experiencing snow for the first time!

All of Tobacco Square kids club came out to play.
This picture (above) looks a lot like
last year's picture of Micah's first snowfall (below)

He looks much shorter last year. We couldn't get him to stop
tasting the snow. As long as it wasn't yellow snow, ha ha.
Since I'm archiving,
how about his first snowfall the year before that?

He was almost four months at the time,
thesame age as Caelan today

Micah's first snow angel photo in 2007, and
now in 2009 - Caelan's first snow angel.

We couldn't get a smile because
it was snowing all over my baby's face.
These moments are too precious.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Celebrating New Babies, Celebrating Motherhood

The secret to a great baby shower is fun, food, and friendship. My new moms small group which started meeting at my house when Micah was 10 weeks old, faithfully gets together to celebrate every new baby that joins our small group family. This particular celebration was to honor Tanya (below) and Jodi, who have sons they are both calling Michael.

It's so amazing to grow together as nervous new moms, with all of our joys, fears and mishaps of becoming new parents---and then years later watching confident moms do it again with their second children. These women have been my support for so many reasons:

1. They tell it like it brutally is ---as a new mom
2. They are not your mother
3. They get it like your husband can't
4. They help you de-stress
5. They've been there, done that

Who else can commiserate with you on a daily basis with kids at the same age and in the same stage? The connections you make with women through motherhood are made to last because of all your shared trials and hardships. On days that you just want to quit and go back to work, your mom friends understand and encourage you to get through the day, and see the end goal: healthy, balanced children who love the Lord!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nap Time Dilemma Solved!

I am pretty darn proud of myself. Case closed: The nap time dilemma is solved!

My mission impossible was to get both children down at the same time for their 1:00 nap so I could have some quiet time. Since Caelan is now on a nap schedule, it hasn't seemed to work yet. Some days we'd get home from our morning playdate/errand/event and Caelan would fall asleep prematurely in the carseat. He sleeps immediately and for a longer period of time when the car is moving. When I transfer him to the crib, or leave him be, he would, without fail, wake up right away. Other days, he would wake up from his cat-nap crying, and in turn, wake Micah--- which was very frustrating for mommy who is so much saner when her toddler is well-rested.

So, in my sleep deprivation, I was doing the laundry and listening to the dryer and being lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the dryer--and a light went off ! It worked like a charm. Caelan is right now sleeping like a baby, in his carseat, on top of a running dryer! So, he think it's the car and he sleeps longer, and when he wakes up wailing, he's on an entirely different floor so Micah man gets his full two hours. Some days I don't have clue, other days - I am simply a genius!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thai anyone?

Patrick complains that I'm too difficult to shop for because every gift I've received I either took back or exchanged. Well, not this Christmas! Patrick got me thai cooking lessons. Not only do I get to go three Saturdays in January from 2:30-5:00, but I get to go without kids!!! The impressive instructor is the owner of Thai Basil, and used to cook for the King of Thailand. She is also getting ready to air a show on Food Network with Bobby Flay.

My first class was last Saturday and I learned to make chicken with thai basil, crying tiger (legend was that dish was so spicy a tiger ate it and left crying), and mango with sticky rice. We had a few friends over last night and they tried it. I'm proud to say they were members of the clean plate club, after their second helpings! Patrick is really enjoying the fresh, light, and tasty cooking of thai cuisine! Next week is Pad Thai and a Red Curry Dish. Can't wait!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Help! My baby won't take a bottle

Well, the saga continues. I feel completely, totally, utterly defeated! I post this cute picture of him so I can remind myself why he gets to live another day.

Caelan is a wonderful, cooing, giggling-in-delight, squishy, heaven-scented baby and I love him more than my limited words can express. HOWEVER, he's not very cooperative when it comes to taking a bottle! And I need him to take a bottle so I can get some sleep and sanity.

After my nursing issues with Micah, I was so determined to do breastfeeding right with baby #2. I read books, I watched videos, I refused to buy a pump or bottle within the first month so that I wouldn't cheat myself or my milk supply. Well, the bittersweet of success is that I've exceeded my expectations so much that my child ONLY prefers me.

I've tried every nipple imaginable, including the guaranteed-to-work adiri shaped-like-a-boob bottle. I've tried it when he's drowsy, when he's asleep, when he's hungry, when he's starving. I've tried jiggling, I've tried the old boob bait-n-switch, I've tried it on a boppy, in a bouncy, in a carseat. Hmmh...this is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book. Patrick has tried. My mom has tried. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO, Sam-I-am.

Before Patrick left the house this morning, he and Micah prayed over me and the situation. I ask for your prayers as well. I just need to take a breath, and a nap, and start again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The After-Christmas Christmas Celebration

How clever of us to have one more excuse to celebrate Christmas! Each year, the Ring family makes a traditional christmas meal, something that Patrick looks forward to every Christmas. Since they all traveled to different places this year, we decided for the ones who lived in Virginia, that we would get together after Christmas to.....well.....uphold the family tradition. It's very important you know. :) Heather made the fruit soup and mom made the potece, sticky buns and turkey sausage. Yum!

It was nice to have everyone over and spend time with family! And true to my word, I kept up the christmas decorations for as long as I could....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm gonna Pump YOU up!

How do you get your toddler to sleep in until 9:30 a.m.? Take him to a Pump it Up party and let him run wild for two hours! Micah had so much fun at Joshua's birthday party where he was able to jump on everything inflatable....and okay, I have to admit that Patrick and I had a blast too! Parents were allowed to join in on the fun. Check us out!

Friday, January 9, 2009

An Ode to Mom

January 1st marks my mother's 50th birthday, again! For those of you who have followed my blog, I finally got the fryer and she loved it. After the sacrifices--- she better, right?!!

Well, she is worth every effort. I wish I could write a song or something, or offer some poetic justice in an effort to praise her because she is that wonderful. I get so tender when I talk about her, because she is a one-of-a-kind woman, full of strength, compassion, and a fierce loyalty when it comes to her children.

Now that I am a mom, there are times when I'm holding Micah or Caelan and I just can't seem to catch my breath because of how overwhelmed I am at the depth of my love for them. And I tell my mom this, and she says, "little girl, that's how I feel about you." I've heard her say it all my life, but I now fully understand with a mother's heart, what that really means.

If I were making yet another movie (I wish I had the footage for), it would fade to black.... and you see my mom escaping Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge, holding me over her head all night so I wouldn't be wet from 4-foot floods [fade] She is pushing me on the swing on a warm summer day [fade] she is helping me with my homework when the whole house is asleep [fade] she is mopping dirty bathrooms as a janitor and a cleaning lady, two jobs she took to help our family survive [fade] she's preparing some wonderfully delicious meal, all after having worked a full day [fade] she is standing over my father's hospital bed interceding in prayer [fade] she is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a pure and holy passion [fade] she is chasing after Micah with Caelan in her arms...

Mom, thank you for loving me and epitomizing the verse: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life...." (John 15:13)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Micah or Caelan?

Caelan turned 3 months old on New Years Day! I thought for sure I would show you an amazing shrinking truck, but it doesn't look like he's grown much. I can assure you he is much heavier!! To celebrate his birthday, we did a cake for him, just like we did for Micah. In the groove of comparing pictures, I found Micah's 3 month birthday shot, and just loved seeing the differences and similarities...which then led me to create my newest slideshow game of Guess who: Micah or Caelan? I hope you enjoy it! Please tell me how many you got right. :)

Click to play Micah or Caelan?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008-- A Year in Review

Happy New Year! It's wonderful to be able to reflect on all God's blessings to us in 2008. While our year was less adventurous than years past, it was no less memorable. Here are some of the highlights in our family:
  • In January, Patrick was asked to step up and become Program Manager of a $4.8 million project, which needed to be rescued from the existing team that was failing. While it was a flattering promotion, it often kept Patrick very stressed!
  • In February, Seyla and Halys had their third child, a beautiful daughter named Liliana. She is the first granddaughter in the Seng clan, much to my mom's joy and delight! My mom is still waiting for us to give her a girl cousin!In the Spring, Soryda was blessed to lead a new moms small group in Ashburn. These moms had new babies that ranged from 3 months to 8 months. Pictured our some moms and their babies at one of our socials.In May, Patrick's sister, Heather, tied the knot to a wonderful man named Eric Johnson. She was married in Middleburg on the farm of her Uncle Paul and Aunt Sandra.In the summer, we went on a family trip to Harpers Ferry and one of our scariest moments was when Micah accidentally locked himself in the car. It was excruciating to watch our baby crying and banging on the glass to get out. We had to wait forever for him to get jimmied out.In the early fall, Soryda's pregnancy took a turn for the worst. She was noticing an insatiable itching all over her body, and was diagnosed with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy, a condition which causes sudden stillbirth in the last trimester.In October, with God's faithfulness, we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who we named Caelan, which means victorious warrior in Gaelic. The name fits as he fought to survive!In November, Micah turned two and is now speaking full blown sentences. He continually amazes us every day with all that he is learning. We're so grateful for son #1!
It's also good to record in 2008 that gas prices went up to $4 a gallon, the economic crisis continues, Brangelina had twins, the Writers Guild went on a strike, China hosted the Olympics, and America has elected its first black president. Pretty exciting! We're looking forward to all the Lord has for us in 2009. Our prayer is that He takes us to the place where He is... because Lord, we just want to be where You are.