Holidays-An All In One Package

 Halloween 2012 • Ironman • Loki • The Avengers • Trunk/Trick-or-Treats

 Thanksgiving • Utah • Cousins • Volleyball • Games • Heiss' Wedding

Christmas Season • Gift Exchange • Santa Train • Gingerbread Cookies • More to come!


Trunk-or-Treat 2012

My first picture really has no relation to the Trunk-or-Treat festivities, other than I took this picture on the same day. My curls came together very nicely and sometimes I become a little self-absorbed and want to remember good-hair days.
 I was thrilled to see the donut-on-a-string game at the church for no reason other than I recently saw the pics on Nancy's blog and thought it looked very fun. I have decided if Michael is to ever eat a donut again, this will be the way he has to do it so at least he can burn some calories why downing the sugar.
This video is nothing other than watching Michael hop around the cake walk, but you do get a a glimpse of Richard in his sombrero with his fancy (real) mustache. I like the mustache. :) Unfortunately he is going to shave it off for the debut of his real Halloween costume.

You eventually do what you gotta do!

Michael & the move

I took a nap this afternoon and now with a quiet house I, myself, am not ready to go to bed. I've also been unpacking a lot today and don't quite have the motivation to do anymore of that. I've managed to check my Facebook about 100x already and nothing really changes there.

So I guess I'll write on the blog.

When I first moved to Seattle, in March of 2008 I had just started my blog. With the lack of friends and new surroundings, I consistently blogged and kept up-to-date status of Michael, because he seemed to be growing and changing so rapidly. He still is, and I still manage to whip out my phone to take pictures (probably far too often). It just never makes it to the blog.

Here's my most recent picture of him
Well, that's not true. THIS is actually the most recent.
Michael and I like to make silly faces at each other. He is learning to expand his facial expressions in all kinds of ways.

He bit his lip a lot after getting a cavity filling

In many ways, he reminds me of my favorite little brother named Philip. *Not to be confused with my favorite little brother named James.
I was trying to find the perfect picture of Phil, but this one will do. It also works nicely because whenever we mention Philip in our house, Michael always puts the word "WII" in the same sentence. Unfortunately, Phil told me his plans to sell the Wii before our next visit to Utah. Michael may be sorely disappointed. 

Michael is currently 4 years old. He is intelligent, helpful, and generally obedient. Oh, and he's also addicted to chocolate/sugar. This morning, he was up at 6:15 going through all of our boxes and waking me up by asking, "Where's my candy?" I knew where it was, but told him it was still packed away and we'd have to get it later. Silly to think that would somehow appease him and that I'd get a little more sleep. He persisted in his searching and finally found the his candy bag from the trunk-or-treat in the box by my bed. Luckily, he didn't notice how much more empty it was from when he went to bed the night before. And being tired--I let him take 2 candies as long as he went and watched a movie. 

He picked the full size Reeses cups that he got. And, do you know what? He came back in a short while later and said, "Mom, I took a bite of it and I didn't like it so I threw it in the garbage. Can I have another kind?" Truly, my son threw away a Reeses--I would've dug it back out and ate it myself, but our garbage can is full of all kinds of stuff from the move, I resisted. :)

I keep talking about this move--it's pretty much forefront on my mind at the moment. We've barely lived in the place for 24 hours. We are still in Issaquah and not too far from where we last lived--after a few months of living in our previous apartment, we knew it wasn't going to last too long which was unfortunate. I had a beautiful bright, large kitchen that I will miss. But here we get a garage! There--well, lets just say, we had to deal with street parking--and it took me approximately 5-7 minutes to walk from the street to my apartment. Kinda ridiculous. Pros & Cons.

Here's Michael and best friend, Ben playing while we were unpacking. Stairs is a new commodity for these boys.

We're excited to have a new place to call "home". We feel fortunate even to have a space to call home. And to be surrounded by wonderful people who make home worth it.


Random Video

I decided to upload a random video on my blog. I didn't watch this before choosing it, but the fact I never deleted it initially meant there must've been something cute on it. I think this is from a morning when Michael came in to wake me up, but I didn't want to get up, so I distracted him by making videos on the phone.


Trying to be like Jesus

Michael: I want to try to be like Jesus.
Mom: I'm so happy to hear that.
Michael: But how? How can I try to be like Jesus?
Mom: Well when you choose to be happy. When you help other people, or be kind to your friends that's being like Jesus.
Michael: No, Mom. I want to try to be like Jesus! How do I do that?
Mom: Umm.. you can choose the right.
Michael: No, Mom! Like this! *Pulls blanket over head* Do I look like him now?


A post about everything I want to blog about

Things I think about blogging about but haven't gotten around to:

1. Book recommendations. There are several books that I've read over this last year that I have absolutely loved and consider change-makers to my attitude, parenting, and just general perspective of life.

2. Vision Therapy. I truly believe that I have one of the best jobs in the world. Before applying for this job, I had never heard of vision therapy. Unfortunately, so few optometry doctors are involved in it to the extent my doctor is because of the extra time, commitment, money and employees. But, it's an incredible resource that has helped improve the life of many children and adults. Just recently I had an adult patient (who claims he doesn't want to be there, and that he's just there because his wife is making him), admit that he has noticed a change. Quite simply put he told me, "I can actually read my emails without getting a headache from staring at the screen." I didn't even realize doing that was so hard for him.

Anyway, there are a billion more stories I wish I could tell, both from books I've read to real-life experiences I am involved in. I'm not only learning optometric procedures, but I am integrating my education as I am teaching and encouraging these patients. Positive reinforcement is key. And my job is far more than doing eye exercises, its also enabling (mostly) kids to leave feeling better about themselves, and drop labels that have been placed on them like "lazy, dumb, learning-disabled, inattentive" and recognizing that they can do amazing things.
Just a random picture I pulled off the Internet. But, I love it, because it's a procedure I do several times a week.  Any guesses on what it is?

3. Just overall updates on my family. Where we live. Where we swim.

4. A post on my friends, and how grateful I am for the people I know. I consider it a complete privilege to know most of the people I know. Since finding a counselor to meet with periodically, I think I have a developed a greater empathy for people and deeper desire to hear their stories. My therapist has helped me "own my story" and of course, I am still writing it. But I rather like my story. I can't do much to change it but I like who I am, and my story has made me. Now I just gotta figure out where I am going from here.

So there you have it. Maybe I'll get around to blogging about it, someday. 


Anger Management

Michael got angry at me the other day. I can't remember why. Chances are he doesn't remember either. I had grounded him from something and he marched angrily into the livingroom, shifted materials around in the desk drawer all while grumbling under his breath, "I'm so mad at my Mom." 

Then I heard the marker scribbling as Michael spoke aloud what he was "writing". I thought for sure he was going to copy Alfalfa from The Little Rascals and say, "Dear Mom, I hate your stinkin' guts. You are the scum between my toes."

I turned on my camera when I heard him approaching, although what he presented was a lot nicer than what I heard him grumbling originally.

We have replayed this video several times since then because it is, in fact, quite hilarious. That poor boy insisted on wearing some pants that were quite too large for his skinny waist and the proof is in the final seconds of this clip.

ps-its kind of quiet, you may want to turn up your volume.


When the music starts playing...

...Michael is sure to bust out his moves. I love this kid.


Mariners on the 4th

We got the pleasure of going to a Mariner's game with some friends in the ward on the 4th of July! It was a perfect activity for the date, don't you think?
We first made a stop at the Mariner's team store, because Richard likes to look around. We dressed Michael up in Mariners gear, and he only wanted to wear his hat backward, and he wouldn't smile, but suitably would only give me a classic look similar to the one below. He knew how to get into character--somehow. And then the music started playing, Michael enjoyed watching himself dance (as did many people around us). I luckily pulled out my camera to catch the last of it.

A fan nearby let him hold his #1 finger

Of course, some people preferred to sit inside the suite and just watch the game on the TV. ??? It was sure nice letting Michael and his betrothed play around up there. 9 innings is a little too long for his attention span.



I have to say, these "free" swimming pools we have are truly awesome. Michael and I spent 5 hours there yesterday with friends, and his sitter took him again today. We are just soaking up the sun.

Typically Michael just plays in the knee-high kiddy pool, but occasionally I bring him in to the big pool for a swim. He is scared of it, clings to me tight and uses a lot of energy in just staying alive. It's at that moment when I finally get him out of the pool that he breaks into tears--and no, he's not sad that he had to get out, rather it's a release of the emotion that he couldn't manage while he was in the pool. It's sad to watch that.
But yesterday we had a breakthrough. We finally bought Michael some floaties (which he believes he magically transforms into the Hulk with them on. I mean, look at those muscles!) During our 4th hour at the pool, Michael asked me if he could go in the big pool! Away from the stairs, I let him go; he floated, he realized that he wasn't dying and it was a huge breakthrough. For the rest of the hour, he would jump in the water to me, swim to the stairs by himself and do it all over again. I was all smiles. He was all smiles. It was another fabulous Thursday.