Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brenda Maple and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Okay... Maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but it was pretty darn bad. The kids and I were in a car accident on the freeway today. Basically, traffic (just MY lane) stopped and I wasn't able to stop in time, and I rear ended the car in front of me, and then I was rear ended at 35+ miles per hour. FUN! Of course I've got two children that need to be in car seats, and my car was out of commission, so Andrew had to leave work to come and pick us up. We all seem to be okay. I don't even think Joshua knew what happened. He was more concerned about his shoe laces at the time. My back seems to be tightening up a bit from the rear impact, so I'm hoping I'll be okay in the morning. So now we have the fun task of dealing with the insurance companies and all that nonsense. The car has some pretty extensive damage, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fixable. I should have a rental car tomorrow, so at least I should be able to function as normal, barring any injuries.

Here's the good stuff (anyone who reads my blog knows I always try to shed positive light on whatever I can!)... I have already seen that this situation has been completely covered in blessings. Despite this bad thing, I know that God's hand is in it all, and that provides me with tremendous comfort. Of course we are totally blessed that the accident wasn't any worse than it was and that none of us are hurt, especially the kids. We have better insurance coverage than we expected that we did. We didn't think we had rental coverage, but we do, and we thought we had a $500 deductible, but it's only $250. Also, we are needing to upgrade Ben's car seat to a convertable, as he's almost grown out of his carrier. The insurance might pay for new ones since they should be replaced after any accident, but even if they don't, I'm glad this happened right before, instead of right after, we replaced it. We are blessed enough to have a cushion in our savings account so that we don't have to worry about where the money is coming from to pay the deductible (and traffic school for my ticket) =( I have been surprisingly calm about the whole thing, and I'm sure everything will be okay.

When we were on our way home from the accident, the new Casting Crowns song came on the radio, that talks about how far the east is from the west, and that it's from one scarred hand to the other. Although the song is actually talking about God's forgiving grace, it also reminded me of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, and that this trial that I am going through is NOTHING compared to what he endured for me. Kind of puts the whole thing in perspective. I am reminded of Jesus' words in John 16:33 - "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." It doesn't really matter what happens here on earth. This world is temporal and not our home. What matters is where our hearts lie. My heart is with my savior and I know that he will not give me anything I can't handle, as long as I remember to turn to him.

Any prayers through this whole thing would be greatly appreciated. I'll keep you posted on any updates.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here!

This has probably been the best Christmas season I have ever had. Sure, Christmas is fun when you’re a kid. The anticipation of Santa and the gifts you get, and all the fun stuff leading up to Christmas. But to me, it is even more fun to watch my kids experience the same things that I got excited about when I was little. This year, Joshua has begun to understand Christmas, and has really been having a great time with all of the festivities. We have made all sorts of cookies together. Josh is a great helper in the kitchen and loves to help mommy cook, so those have been some really special times for us this season. This past weekend we made and decorated sugar cookies, which was a blast! Josh did such a great job. He decorated his own cookie sheet full of cookies with m&m’s, colored sugar and sprinkles. He helped decorate the tree, and of course helped Daddy put the angel on top (a job he is still very proud of).

We are also really enjoying passing down our traditions to our kids. When we decorated our tree, we got to explain some of our ornaments to Joshua. Everyday he points to the “Parents to Be” ornament from 2004 and tells me that was when he was in mommy’s tummy. One day we hope that both Josh and Ben will enjoy reminiscing while decorating their Christmas trees with their families. We’ve also been sure to catch all of the traditional Christmas shows on TV this year. Charlie Brown Christmas (which is by far Joshua’s fav... every time he hears the music from the show on the radio, he yells “Snoopy!!!”), the old claymation Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman (Happy Birthday!).

We are enjoying everything so much this year, I can’t wait for Christmas 2 years from now when Ben is Josh’s age and they both are excited about Christmas. What a wonderful time of year!!!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

I recently took the boys for our annual visit with Santa Claus at the Chandler Mall. If anyone remembers my experience from last year, I am happy to say that this time went MUCH better! For those of you that don’t recall, last year Joshua wanted nothing to do with Santa. When it was our turn Josh wouldn’t go near him. Our picture was mommy sitting next to Santa with Josh on my lap. So this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I asked Josh one afternoon if he wanted to go sit on Santa’s lap, and he said “YEAH!!!” and was super excited about it, so we jumped in the car before he could change his mind!

The whole way to the mall he was talking about sitting on Santa’s lap. I’m thinking, this might actually work! We got there at the perfect time... Santa was just coming back from his break as we got off the elevator. We were about the 5th family in line, so we only had to wait 5-10 minutes for Santa. I did not bring the double stroller, so I was able to keep Joshua entertained by helping Ben keep his binky in his mouth.

When it was our turn, I told Josh to go see Santa, and he walked right up to him and sat right down on his lap. The look on his face was so cute. It kind of said “okay... I know I was excited about this. I’m just not sure why.” So he just sat there without saying a word. So I took the best picture I could get (I’m sorry, but I refuse to pay $25 for a picture with Santa when I have a perfectly functioning digital camera of my own!). Then I gave Ben (who was tired of his stroller and therefore screaming) to Santa and got the rest of my pictures. So I got what I went for. Afterward, Joshua was super excited that he sat on Santa’s lap, and is STILL telling us about it. We celebrated our successful Santa adventure with some cookies at Mrs. Fields!

Ben's 4 Month Checkup

I took Ben for his 4 month check up last week, and his doctor was amazed at how healthy and strong he is. She told me that most 4 month olds still are a little bobbly headed, but not our little Benny. He has a super strong neck, and He-Man legs. He even keeps his head straight as an arrow when he is being pulled from his back to a sitting position, which I guess is somewhat uncommon at this age. He also met or exceeded every other milestone on the checklist, so he’s doing great! He weighed in at 13 lbs. 15 oz. (25%) and measured 25 1/4 inches (about 70%). So apparently we just make them long and lean! We’re holding off on the solid foods for now, as he doesn’t really seem to need them yet. Mommy’s milk seems to be doing a pretty good job, so if it ain’t broke....

Over the last few days, Ben has been working really hard at trying to roll over from his back to his tummy. He can get himself about 3/4 of the way there, but can’t quite figure out how to finish the job. We’re sure he’ll get there soon, which (sadly) will put us on the road to mobility! I keep telling him he doesn’t need to be in any hurry for that, but he doesn’t seem to agree. I can’t even keep him in one place while changing his diaper! He loves to plant his feet and scoot around the table. I think we’re in trouble!

Ben has also started laughing over the last few weeks. He’s got such a cute little muted piggy type laugh. We just love it. He’s also quite the talker lately. He is just the happiest baby we have ever seen. It has been so fun to watch him grow over the last few months.