Even THIS girl has her limits.
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Typically, for me, anything goes. I try not to sweat the small stuff, or let the opinions of others influence the way I live my life. It's not uncommon for me to be seen in public without makeup (although I do try to make such outings as brief as possible), or just after a smelly, sweaty run. I suppose it's due in part to the fact that I really don't think I look all that bad without makeup, and partly because I just really don't care what strangers think of me (non-strangers I may run into already understand this about me and realize that I am indeed capable of showering and looking presentable when the occasion calls for such things).

But I must say that I absolutely draw the line when it comes to having my teeth publicly whitened in the middle of a crowded mall. I can't believe people actually do this! Surely not, I thought to myself yesterday, as I strolled by the makeshift circle of compact dental chairs and technicians in white coats and masks waiting patiently for unsuspecting mall-goers in need of a quick fix. But sure enough, I watched with wide eyes as a gentleman confidently took his seat. Embarrassed for the poor guy, I quickly proceeded onward--left with only my imagination of some dude's coffee stained teeth on public display just in time for the lunchtime rush. Shudder.

Life After Pigtails
Friday, January 23, 2009

There's just something about a little girl in pigtails that makes my heart skip a beat. I'm not sure if it's the way the tails bounce with every wobbly step, or if it's just that, with all of the hair pulled back from the face, smiles seem bigger. Brighter. Full of life and energy. One little pigtailed girl in particular knows all too well this weakness of mine and will seize every opportunity to play on it when she deems necessary.

Avery is now 19 months old, and just in the last month her personality has really blossomed. She's discovering more of her independence, her ability to vocalize her opinions (and boy, does she have some opinions), and that much more interesting activities lie just beyond the boundaries. It's usually when she's trying to test those boundaries that the beloved pigtails turn into weapons. She's learning, however, that in a battle between pigtails and The Evil Eye, The Evil Eye always wins. That...and counting to three.

When she's not testing the boundaries, she can usually be found rifling through her books. She has committed each and every one of them to memory, so we'll often find her acting out the scenes as she's reading. Sort of like this.

Another favorite past time is playing "kitchen". Here she is playing the part of cauliflower, just about to be steamed (at least that's what I tell her when she fails to get out when I ask her to).

With food as Avery's one and only nemesis (but yet, she likes to play kitchen), it was of no surprise to learn yesterday that she dropped in weight from 40th percentile on the growth chart, to the 15th percentile (wt: 22 lbs, ht: 32.5 in). She essentially has not gained a single pound in 6 months, but has grown 2.5 inches. Needless to say, it makes meal planning kind of tricky when one child requires fatty and fried while the other requires lite and lean. Sigh.

Speaking of "the other" child, Avery absolutely adores her brother, although I can't imagine why. He steals her toys, trips her in mid-stride, and tackles her to the ground the minute Mommy turns her back. Yet the first thing she says when she wakes up for the day or from a nap, is "See Bubba?" I suppose they just have one of those unique love/hate relationships. But occasionally, she gives him a taste of his own medicine by locking her grip on a few of his curly locks--usually requiring Mommy's assistance to pry open the pint-sized fists. It's so hard not to laugh, because really, the kid has it coming to him most of the time.

Sometimes they make her feisty, other times flirty. But overall, life after pigtails has been oodles of fun. Now, when we get to braids, that might be a completely different story. She might be two by then, which means something"terrible". I think we'll just stick to pigtails and just hope for something "terrific".

Seize the Day
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

While reflecting on yesterday's observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and today's historical transfer of presidential power to an African-American for the first time in our nation's history, I couldn't help but ponder (as I find myself doing quite a bit lately) my own life's purpose, and the type of footprint I hope to embed on this earth and in the hearts of my family for generations to come. I think of the many people who have made such profound differences in our world--armed with what seems like an arsenal of undeniable passion, unshakable perseverance, and unwavering conviction--and I can only hope that God will someday open doors to amazing opportunities so that I too can make such profound differences in the lives of others--to leave footprints not just in the sand where they will eventually be swept out to sea and forgotten, but in wet cement where they will be carved forever into stone.

To be quite honest, I've been lacking fulfillment in my current role as wife and mother. I know it sounds crazy, for what could possibly be more important (and gratifying) than raising your children to be principled, high-functioning members of society? I wholeheartedly believe parenting a child, although incredibly challenging at times, is one of the most important jobs I will ever have in my lifetime. Yet, I still can't help but think there is something more looming beyond the horizon, just sitting there waiting for me. So lately, I've been tossing around the idea of going back to work part time. I certainly wouldn't be doing it for the money, since money earned would completely cancel out the cost for childcare. But the hope is that a part time job would provide me with a little bit of balance in my life that I seem to be longing for these days.

And wouldn't you know....God placed the right people in my life at precisely the right time (and the exact same time, as a matter of fact) with the right words flowing from their mouths that immediately seemed to put everything in perspective. During our bible study last week, we entered into a discussion about how we, as a society, have become so easy to please by accepting intermittent bouts of happiness when what God really wants is to bless us abundantly. It was then that Kristen, a young mom with a sweet smile and a genuine love for people, shared a story of another young mom who (upon doctors orders, of course) was instructed not to feed her toddler after a certain time of day. As the day wore on, her baby grew hungrier and began begging for food. It made the mother feel awful, of course, but she remained strong and refused the tear-stained requests. The baby became so hungry that he eventually crawled upon a little moldy cheerio that had made a nice, comfortable home beneath the refrigerator and he proceeded to "go to town" on it, just a few hours from being able to return to a normal diet. Horrified, the mother quickly snatched it from her toddler's hands and tossed it in the garbage.

Isn't it interesting how we often settle for moldy cheerios in our own lives, instead of waiting patiently for God's plan (which bears more fruit than we can imagine) to unfold? This spoke volumes to me. That, and the pure wisdom of another woman (with two grown children) in our small group whose words echoed what I already knew to be true in my heart--that time with our kids at this age (of Wyatt and Avery) is to be cherished, for soon they will be in school, developing their own interests and hobbies--leaving us mothers to long for the good old days when the kids clung to our legs while we made dinner or incessantly demanded to sit on our laps all day while reading books.

There may be more out there for me, for this I am certain. But right now God has given me the rare opportunity to be spend day after glorious day watching my kids grow, and reveling in their extreme cuteness--and right now, goofiness. I've realized that now is not the time to take a part time job, for it would be nothing less than settling for moldy cheerios. God knows the desires of my heart, and if it is His will, I will patiently seize opportunities as He presents them.

Besides, if I were working outside of the home right now, I would have never had the opportunity to watch the Presidential Inauguration today, thus never capturing Wyatt's enthusiastic political message in support of our new President.

Wine Selection: Liberty School Chardonnay
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****


Beam Me Up, Scotty
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wyatt and I had a very unique experience at the Marriott last night. I wish I could say our visit was for pleasure, but the Marriott is actually the place in which OHSU's Pediatric Sleep Clinic is located. Oh, yes. We've finally bitten the bullet to have Wyatt tested for a sleep disorder.

We knew very little about what to expect other than the fact that some poor technician would have the glorious opportunity to affix several sensors to the scalp of a three-year-old little boy who can't stand to have his head touched. Lovely.

The tech must have made a great impression on Wyatt because he surprisingly tolerated each and every poke and prod. We also convinced him that, by the end of the process, he'd look like a robot. I'm pretty sure that helped.

Cringing at (but tolerating) the excessive head touching.
(Is it me, or does it look like my little prince is giving me The Bird?)

At bedtime, he crawled into a nice, cozy, king-sized bed and fell fast asleep--each little sensor capturing various stages of sleep, bodily movements, and breathing patterns. He actually had a pretty decent night, with only one prolonged awakening, so I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing in relation to the sleep study. But we'll have to wait a couple of weeks for the results since there will be over 800 pages of data to analyze.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the experience and very proud of my little robot from outer space. He thought he looked pretty cool, too.

"You're NOT fat...
Saturday, January 10, 2009

...You're just BIG-BONED!"

I can't tell you how often I heard this as a child. I would hear it every time I came home from school sulking over how awkward I looked and felt in relation to other kids my age (bless you Mom for always trying to make me feel better). I was always the biggest kid in my class, but as Eric so eloquently put it this morning, "Catrina, you weren't fat. You were just ridiculously malproportioned."

As if looking ridiculous is superior to looking fat. Thanks, my love. You really know how to dish out the compliments.

For those skeptics out there, I present proof of my adolescent beastliness. And you have my permission to laugh until you pee your pants.

On a field trip with my 1st grade class.
Yes, I was 6 years old.

What I find most hilarious (and quite paradoxical to what I was feeling at that age) is a journal entry I had made shortly thereafter. I must have been struggling to accept the idea of being a Giant, and trying to convince myself that it was cool.

(click to enlarge)

At some point during my life, I must have been loved and kissed by a prince; otherwise, I have no explanation for why I've turned into the beautiful princess I am today. Hehe! My life...a real Beauty and the Beast experience.

As luck (and genetics) would have it, I passed this beastly trait to our son. Fortunately (in my eyes), it's not as much of a social death sentence for a boy. Wyatt has always been a big boy, but incredibly muscular...not fat (Or perhaps that's just the contemporary term used to descibe us "big boned" or "husky" folk). But when I took him in for his annual check up (about 3 months late...oops), we got the excellent news that he's nearly off the charts in relation to his BMI (body mass index). He's in the 90th percentile for height (3'4") and 97th percentile for weight (41.8 lbs). Because he is such a muscle machine, his doctor expressed no concern. But don't think for a second that I won't be enrolling this kid in every sport imaginable. If he ain't runnin', he's gonna be blubbin'. I know if it weren't for my own discovery of gymnastics and a love for distance running, I'd be in a very different boat. In fact, I'd quite possibly be a boat!

Avery, on the other hand, struggles daily to exceed her birth weight. She's a tiny little thing (must get that from her dad's side of the family :-)). But perfect gymnast material...2024 Olympic Games, here we come! With her stature, she might actually enjoy and benefit from having a Giant for a big brother--although I'm pretty sure that means she'll be without a boyfriend until college...at the very least.

I don't know about you, but I've never seen a Giant with a smile so sweet and eyes so expressive. No matter how big (sorry..."muscular") he gets, he'll always be my little baby. Love you, Sweet Boy.

Life Goes On
Friday, January 9, 2009

For some college football fans, losing the national title game is the end of the world. Sure. I was completely frustrated and disappointed with the missed opportunities and interceptions, but it certainly was not the end of the world. In fact, I spent the rest of the evening drowning my sorrows in two full hours of riveting medical drama on television (after all, who wouldn't feel better after watching a doctor "get in on" with her doctor boyfriend while in the presence of her dead fiance? Bizarre, yes. But hysterically entertaining nonetheless).

Eric, on the other hand, spent the rest of the evening drowning his sorrows the way he usually does when his team loses. And so far, my somewhat minimal assessment of the garage this morning indicated no permanent damage to the walls or my precious elliptical (the only two things I really care about out there), so I suppose I'll cut him some slack. Hehe! Besides, I think his lounge pants suffered the brunt of it and will sadly need to be retired.

Sports aggression. It's an ugly thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

BEAT THOSE GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771