Friday, May 28, 2010

Wave to the World

Annette is feeling outblogged by her brother, so here's a hello to let you know she is still here sitting pretty.

Sleeping on the Job

This morning Josiah was very happy to do some painting,

but soon his early morning began to catch up with him and his eyelids grew heavy, but he kept on painting

for about five minutes his eyes were shut completely, but he was still painting,

until he could fight it no more.

Being the great mom I am, I decided not to take this exhausted boy to his crib, but rather see how long my amusement would last. Still sleeping. . .

The Silliness Continues. . . .

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Starfish Bay

This week Jason has been taking his Biology classes a few stops on the train from school to a little beach called Starfish Bay. Since we have been having beautiful California weather this week (oh, the things I used to take for granted!) I decided to bring the kids along. We were so excited to discover this "secret" beach because it is just a couple minutes from our new flat. The students loved finding starfish and crabs and I loved seeing Jason wear his "teacher" hat! The crabs made Josiah very nervous, but he loved the water.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cozy Quarters

We are preparing to move in 2 weeks. This will be our 6th move in 8 years of marriage. Our current place is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath 650 square foot flat. Our new home will be roughly the same size. In preparing for the move we've been measuring every sqaure inch and plotting like a jigsaw puzzle to maxamize our precious space. While there are moments when being up high (our news place is 35 stories up!) with two little ones leaves me longing for the spaciouness of solitary confinement, there are also distinct advantages to having a small place.

So, in the spirit of optimism, here are the pluses of cozy quarters
- simplicity: you can't and don't accumulate too much! I love that I can pack up my entire house to move in one evening. We say "no" to lots of things simply because there is no space. This good because we want our lives to be about relationships, not "things".
- sharing: because we don't have much space or storage we share with our friends a lot; baby bouncers, books, clothes, balls, bikes all get borrowed and passed around. As soon as we outgrow something we pass it on.
-easy to clean: it doesn't take long to clean the house (unfortunately it doesn't take long to get dirty either!)
- Togetherness: makes us literally a close family. I also enjoy knowing Josiah is not far away since he has an "explorer" personality

p.s.- If you think we are cramped, the Chinese family moving into our flat has 4 adults and 3 kids, yikes!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Josiah Jiggle

To entertain Josiah on the train I let him listen to music on my phone. He really got into the beat and the whole train was entertained by his stroller dance moves.

I thought this was pretty good, til my friend Anna showed me her daughter Naomi "working it" in the car seat So funny!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Well Annette's morning got off to a rough start. It began with Josiah's metal tractor rolling off his play table onto her forehead, leaving a red bump and lots of tears. After kisses, a good swaddle and snuggle she fell asleep. I laid Annette in her bassinet, closed the bedroom door and did some housework while Josiah played. When she woke up about an hour later I went to get her and found the door locked from the inside (any guesses as to who is now tall enough to press the button?)

A wave of panic flooded my body as her screams became more urgent. I called my friend Emily and asked her to run to the management office to get a locksmith. She left her toddler sleeping at home (what a good friend!) and got them to call someone right away. Meanwhile, I tried every random key in our basket, but couldn't open the door. For a while I thought Annette might fall back asleep, but then came the "I'm hungry" cry that I knew would not relent until she was fed. I tried talking to Annette through the door, but this only made her cry with a more frantic desperation. Josiah also was trying keys in the door and was certainly the calmest member of the household. They said the locksmith would come in 30 minutes, so I willed myself to listen to some worship music and be patient. After about 25 minutes 4 people came in our house and within minutes busted the door open. Annette and I were tearfully reunited.

Upon re- reading my story, I think "what was the big deal, you knew she was fine" On a cognitive level yes, but there is something about a newborns helpless cry that will drive a mother to do anything to be with her baby. Another one of God's amazing designs. Annette is getting lots of snuggles this afternoon. . . as much for me as for her.
Busting in

Natalie and Fonnie helping to save the day

Friday, May 14, 2010

Plump and Pleasant

Annette is two months old now and peoples' comments have changed from "so tiny" to "so chubby"! I take great pride in her rolly- polly thighs, arms, and cheeks after all that "demand feeding". At the clinic today she weighed 10.65 lbs, placing her in the 50th percentile. Hard to believe she is about double her birth weight (starting in only the 3rd percentile. She has grown 3 inches and is now 22" long.
Another nice change, her expressions are transforming from pained grimaces to heart melting smiles. Although she still is a bit colicky and fussy, it is slowly starting to improve. And that is making everyone in our house (and within ear shot) happy too!

If you want to see another big, beautiful baby check out my adorable niece, Anya Elizabeth born 2 weeks ago weighing 9 lbs 7 oz, and 21 inches. Although Annette is 7 weeks older than her cousin they are almost exactly the same size. How fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Living up the twenties (one last year!!)

"Wow Mrs. Paine, that is so cool you were born on your birthday and mother's day. I was just born on my birthday." ~Jason's 6th grade student

I had a fun weekend celebrating my birthday and mother's day. Jason took a personal day on Friday and surprised me with a night away in HK's Gold Coast! I had such a chill time enjoying family, beach leisure, a pedicure, beautiful views, and an amazing buffet breakfast.
I got a new camera for my birthday, can you guess who my favorite subjects are?!

On Sunday we took our friend Teresa out to a mother's day lunch. Teresa (pictured on the left) is a refugee from Nigera and an amazing single mom. Josiah and Junior always have so much fun together!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I was taking pictures of little A when . . .

Josiah enters stage right.

You know he's in a silly mood when he starts to take his clothes off. . .

But he couldn't stop there. "Uh- Oh!"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

High Flying Birthday

Josiah had a fun second "birfday" as he calls it. In fact on May 2 he woke up asking for "more birfday?" We planned a very simple party with some of his favorite things; friends, food, and aiplanes!

We just invited a few of his closest friends because we had the party at our house

The goodie bags were "barf bags"... ha, ha

We played land the airplane on the runway and the boys played run on the runway!

Annette celebrated Josiah's birthday by "singing" to us most of the night .. . but there were many willing friends to hold her

Jason and I had fun making an airplane cake together, but we had some issues with the frosting running . . . Laura we need lessons! Josiah liked it, but was a little nervous of the "hotie" candles

It has been so fun to watch our little man grow this year. And we are so thankful for the awesome friends we got to celebrate with! To see the amazing book Emily made Josiah click here
If you ask him how old he is the conversation inevitably goes like this
M: Josiah how old are you?
J: one!
M: Can you say "two"?
I give up (:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mother Musings

It has been quite a ride for me the last seven weeks adjusting to this new life. Everything from mountaintop highs to meltdowns. What used to be small inconveniences about our lifestyle in HK, have become major annoyances now with two little ones. I think about how ridiculously easy everything used to be. For example, the bank (dun, dun, dun, dunnnn). After carrying a stroller laden with a two year old up a flight of stairs to the bank, while wearying Annette in the bjorn, I’m greeted with a 40 minute line. Entertained with food and objects from my purse Josiah did great till the last 5 minutes when he’d had enough and began screaming “NO” and throwing things off the stroller, including Annette’s pacifier. She then woke up screaming, starving, with no pacifier to calm her. All eyes in the bank were on the bleary eyed, unshowered gwailo watching to see if I would keep my cool. By the time it was my turn in line the kids were wailing so loud I couldn’t even complete the transactions I needed to. Too far to walk home I bought myself some time and Josiah a Mc Donalds ice-cream so I could nurse Annette before walking home defeated and emotional.

Other moments seem too beautiful for words, indeed sacred. Like cuddling with Annette during the first good thunder storm of the season or exploring the magic of Richard Scary books with Josiah. Or watching Annette’s first open mouth, toothless smile light up her whole face, and seeing the determination in Josiah’s eyes as he works to pedal his new red tricycle. A woman at church, who I don’t even know, came up to me to share that God told her that just as I have expanded my heart to make room for my children, so God has expanded His heart for me. How encouraging as I fumble along as a mother to think of God loving me with a Father’s love. Every sacrifice I make of my time, energy, sleep, patience, personal hygiene, pales in comparison to the intense sacrifice and love that my Father has for me. I could keep rambling on and on because I am learning so much, like to see my children as a gift not a burden. . . and to let go of somethings, for starters the banking, Jason can now do that (: