Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the potty is indeed exciting

One poo poo and five pee pees IN the potty today leave me feeling flabbergasted. I had so many thoughts in my head since Bentley was born about how potty training would go and this way was the furthest from my mind. God definitely exceeds expectations. While I don't want to get my hopes up, we set up a small potty borrowed from our friends Kathy and Alex (and their son Brady, who reminded me on the phone today that he now uses the big potty and Bentley can use his little potty), and Bentley sat for about 10 minutes this morning after breakfast on this potty. I got up for a moment to retrieve my phone when I heard it... the amazing sound of not only pee pee, but pee pee IN the potty.

Bentley had been skittish about the big potty, so I wasn't sure what she would think of this other potty, even though it was her size. I think there is something to say for having a potty where it gives the child the most opportunity to do it by themselves.

So when she went pee pee in the potty this morning, without incentive I freaked! (Trust me, we have an arsenal of cookies, I was prepared to hand her a bite if need be.) We wiped, put the diaper back on, snapped the onesie, pulled up her pants and we did a major "pee pee in the potty" dance. I realized, we needed to get some pull-ups and the onesies were going to have to leave her wardrobe.

Bentley and I went to good ole Half Price Books and found a potty book called "Once Upon A Potty". While we had been at the book store for a bit, though bouts of snacks and up and down off the chairs seemed to suffice for a little while, I knew I couldn't be picky, Bentley was done. So if you're looking for a recommended book, don't ask me, this book is the only one I have come across so far, the photos are anatomically correct (ha, think cartoon-ish) and there was one for boys and a different one for girls. The illustrations are cute and flowers collage the endsheets of the book. We also got a sheet of stickers and a package of pull-ups. Here we go into potty training! I even made up a song for her as we waited for the pee pee to come out. I forget it now, but it was good stuff.

So if pee pee in the potty for the first time wasn't enough, try two more times after that! Once after snacks and one other time when she went into the bathroom and sat down on the potty herself! She forgot to take her pull-up down, so I helped her and she held it and finished her pee pee in the potty. After this she still wanted to sit on the potty and seemed to want to go poo poo. So we sat there for awhile and I read her this new book. I was SUPER shocked to see her then go POO POO in the potty. not just a little, but a pile. ha! I can't help myself, I have to write about this! I am so excited. I don't care that I have already written five paragraphs about poo poo and pee pee and still have more to tell you!

After that we did a BIG pee pee and poo poo dance. And I threw her up in front of the mirror several times and we said "YAY" over and over. She is probably just as excited as I am.

We did one more potty time just before her nap today and sure enough, she went IN the potty again. Just a little, but hey, that makes 5 pee pees! I hope today wasn't a fluke, ha. I hardly know how to contain myself. We called Drew and left him a message to tell him and Bentley excitedly said "potty" into the phone. You go my girl.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

why I take photographs...

I have a deep desire for people, especially women, to see their true beauty, not just their inner beauty, but in fact, that they would see that God made their outside uniquely beautiful too. It is for this reason, that I have a passion for photography, especially portraits, to reveal both the inner and outer beauty. Being on a women's retreat this weekend through our church body, soma communities, gave me an opportunity. I told a few girlfriends that I wanted to do a photo shoot. Truthfully, I wanted to show them how beautiful they are.

(I wouldn't let Kathy know what I wrote on the wall behind her.)

you can see more of the photos here: portraits of friends

and for my family, here is one my friend Kathy took of me

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Bentley painted her first painting today. It took mommy a few trips to the children's museum to warm up to the idea of letting Bentley into the painting part of the studio. Orange apron adorned, magenta paint brush in one hand and teal in the other, she slowly glided the paint across the black construction paper. As she watched the colors mix on the paper, I felt a little joy in my heart at the thought of really teaching her about color theory some day (I am a nerd, I know.) I thought the black paper would make her painting more unique but instead, it perhaps turned out a bit morbid. oh well for my attempt for 'creativity' with that gesture.

With the sunshine-y spring days we've been having lately, I love opening up all the curtains in her room to let the midday light stream in. She has her alone playtime, which allows me to clean, make dinner, sit and thumb-through Drew's Rolling Stone magazine or catch-up on my 'read-the-bible-in-a-year' chapters.

We had Brady over for a little playdate which involved drawing 'animals and moons' with chalk, playing train with the radio flyer and wooden whistle as well as a few rounds of Tic Tac Toe that Brady was super pleased with himself for "winning". wink wink

and we can't forget the new-found cupboard fun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

a milk and cookies kind of day...

She is saying "cookie" here. ("tookie") I thought I wouldn't allow my kids to have any sugar until they were two, and even then, just a little. But how can Bentley help me make cookies and not taste-test?

tea bag conversations

Without my typical daily cup of big train chai tea (due to our lack of funds right now for such a delicacy), I am currently enjoying a plethora of new tastes via the variety of herbal chai teas from my father-in-law. This feat sparked conversation between my hubby and me based on the little "sayings" individually printed on each tea bag label.

As I wait for my daily tea to steep, I now read those tea bags with God's worldview in mind. It made me want to rewrite them in a way that would reflect what God would want me to meditate on as my tea steeps.

tea bag one

"Serve humanity so that people feel we are kind to them."
My re-write: "Serve humanity so that they might know I sent you."

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

tea bag two

"Uplift everybody and uplift yourself"
My rewrite: "Uplift Me, so that I might be glorified."

My heart has desired so much lately to truly glorify God in all that I do. Just recently, my prayers are more praises than anything. All that is given to Drew and me, from our home to Bentley to even being financially taken care of month after month is all from God. All I can do is point to Him. Like the man that received his sight, or the man that was able to pick up his mat and walk, all they could do in response was give glory to God.

"...he said to the man who was paralyzed—"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home. And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God." Luke 5:24-25

"And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me recover my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Recover your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God." Luke 18:40-43

Yet I know too that God does call us to encourage or perhaps "uplift" each other. All throughout the book of Acts, God calls his people to encourage each other in His work. Not encouraging each other in the way that it would lead toward pride, but building each other up that we might be encouraged that God is with us in His work.

In addition in so many of Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Ephesians, Phillippians, etc., he usually begins with words of encouragement to the people.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25

I suppose the tea label could also be written, "Uplift each other so that you all might be encouraged is His work."

tea bag three

"To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach."
Well said, tea bag.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the parents

If Bentley was a teenager we would lose cool points for this mini photo session.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

little California girl

As a gift to my grandparents, my aunt and my mom sent Drew, me and Bentley to Orange County to be "handyman/painter", "organizer/cleaner-outer", and "little ham-sandwich". I have finally uploaded all the videos, edited all the photos to now bring them to you via this blog. enjoy!


The butterflies returned to their rightful place.

Drew donning Papa's work clothes and Nana's belt. Less to pack for us.

Bentley comes in for the assist...

I have fond memories growing up looking forward to our annual visits to my grandparents home and getting to pick oranges. My dear childhood friend Andrea and I even sold oranges at the end of the driveway one year. I painted a big wooden orange sign and we rigged an umbrella to stand up as our sun shade. I believe we scored about $60 to share. With this I am sure we went to the mall. It is a joy now to watch my daughter enjoying the same experience even at just 18 months old.

We even enjoyed a bit of home with the warm (thank goodness) rainy days.

My new camera came a few days prior to us visiting, so I made myself pack it so that I could practice before my first wedding of 2010 at the end of the month. I have also been teaching Drew a few things... enjoy his capturing the essence of our daughter, Bentley Brooke.

Each morning Bentley would walk down the hallway and ask for Nana and Papa by name. And she made sure to say "Doody" in response to Papa's morning greeting, "Howdy Doody!" As Papa would relax in his chair, she made sure to tell all of us, with her finger to her mouth, "Shhhh" since he was "sleeping" apparently. She acclimated to this new environment very well. Even to the nightly Jeopardy sessions that were a must-see as her bedtime neared.

We visited with Grandpa Hall for breakfast and got to see the boats that were right outside our restaurant near mission viejo. (I can't remember the name of the city we were actually in, dad!) Corrected! We had breakfast in Dana Point.

We nearly missed the Superbowl! Drew was ready to grill me because our tickets were booked to leave DURING the Superbowl. We ended up extending our stay which included homemade guacamole with authentic California avocados from Nana's friend, as well as several chip dips (Bentley doesn't yet understand that double-dipping is a serious social faux-pas), instead she would much rather dip the chip and suck the guacamole off and then dip again. The game ended with a raucous tackle of daddy by Bentley.

The ham-sandwich herself

Nana teaches Bentley the church and the steeple. I love experiencing things again for the first time through her eyes. I love even more that Bentley has had the opportunity to visit her namesakes at their home three times now.

And I can't forget to mention that we tried to see Andrea, J and the girls while we were down there, but alas, it did not work out. We are looking forward to their visit to Washington in April.

We did get to see my brother Matt and my sis-in-law Judy and my nieces and nephew. We went for our second annual breakfast at Dennys and then to this little farm near the swap meet. We saw LOTS of interesting animals. Then Judy and I got away with just the little ones to the Santa Ana Zoo that my Nana thought was just a park around the corner. It turned out that my Pt. Defiance Zoo membership got us all in for free! yippee! Unforntuately I was so paranoid about my new camera, I did not bring it on these excursions to take any photos. ugh. Judy has a few, perhaps she will share? (wink wink)

On our flight home, Bentley accidentally spilled water on her outfit, so we changed her into her PJs. While in transition and just in her diaper, she said "diaper dance" ("dipah da") and proceeded to hold the seat in front of her while she moved her hips wildly!