Monday, September 29, 2014

Curtis' Chronicle: 7 months


Howdy, everyone! It's Curtis again. The last time I wrote to you, I was only 3 months old. Can you believe that?! {you can read all about it HERE}

. . .

So much has happened since then! One of the most obvious changes is that I graduated from tummy time :



to being able to roll from my back to my belly {and getting stuck there} :




to rolling over completely! And now I use it to shamelessly to carry out any {and all} cunning plans, of course.



 And speaking of graduating, I'm really close to moving from my Bumbo-thing to sitting like a grown human.

'Dats me, yo.


See? I'm so sly.
 

. . . and also ridiculously cute.



Moving on.

. . . 


I'm fond of showing off my impressive physique, from my toned thighs. . . 




. . . to my ripped abs. . .


. . . to my. . . double chin?



Well, regardless, the ladies just can't get enough.

See what I mean?








. . . 

Some of you may remember seeing my outrageous dance moves when I was fresh from Heaven. In case you missed them, check this out :



Well, I'm pleased to announce that I have come out with a new release . . . of the same song. 'Cause I'm cool like that.


. . .

Unfortunately, I've had a fun run-ins with my sister thus far. She loves me to pieces and I love her, but sometimes she likes to "help" in a 2-year-old kind of way. . . and mom comes in to the room to see this :



Uhhh, yeah.

She started digging me out {I was just chillin', by the way. Not even fussing at all.} and after she took off the basket and blankets and miscellaneous toys, she saw that sister was quite thorough at covering me up. . .



. . .

Then there was that one time when Hannah decided to see if I tasted like chicken . . .

 

I didn't.

. . . 

Speaking of eating, I figured out that rice cereal and fruit is yum, yum. yummy!





Green beans, however, are certainly the most horrific things I've ever tasted. 

Hands down.

. . .

I'm working on perfecting my "selfies" : 



. . . but Mom kept photo-bombing me. So rude.

. . . . 

I love, love bouncing.
My favorite song is "The ABC Song".
I get bashful when people make me smile.
My armpits are profoundly ticklish. 
I am a cuddle bug and want to be held primarily when you sit down to eat a peaceful dinner or your hands are otherwise engaged.

I have the time of my life every single day, and can't wait to see what new things I learn in the months to come! 
  


Monday, September 22, 2014

The Wild Side: A Trip to the Zoo


Well, we went to the zoo again. 'Cause we're cool like that.

This time, we went with some family so that Hannah and Curtis could enjoy playing with their cousins. We managed to go during the week so that we didn't have to compete with the entire Southern hemisphere. It was glorious.  





Hannah had her first-ever carousel ride, and I'll be honest-- I expected a complete meltdown. However, this picture pretty much sums her feelings up. . .




The girl LOVED it! {and shout out to Uncle Daniel photo bombing off to the left! 'Sup!}




We got to watch an elephant chow down on some yummy hay {?}. It was oddly fascinating to watch her cute little trunk yank the food out and stuff it in her mouth :)





Hannah got friendly with a lion. . .



. . . And the cousins rode the train around the new "Savannah" exhibit.




They were kind enough to pluck us a souvenir on the way back 'round and so, naturally, we were kind enough to put it to good use. . . 


{You can plainly see that Chuck was tickled pink that I made him pose with a sunflower. . . as was Hannah}

Little Miss Mae even got to play on the nearly abandoned splash pad while bother snoozed in his stroller. She was lovin' life until her dad convinced her to hang around on an area that periodically shoots water into the air like Old Faithful. She wasn't too terribly pleased.

 




All in all, the day was a total success! Yay for animals :)




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tender Mercies : Costco-Style


Hello-hello! Long time, folks! I apologize for dropping off the planet. . . it just seems like life has been speeding up lately! I'm sure you know how it goes.

Yesterday was an interesting day.

It all started when Hannah decided to sleep in. Ordinarily, the angels would begin singing at such a feat, but it just so happened that we had planned on going to a nearby{ish} park with our friends that morning. Thankfully, our friends were also running a tad behind schedule so it all worked out. But, I mean, come on. What are the odds that she sleeps in on the exact day I need her to be a reliable alarm clock?

Well, they're probably the same odds as having my battery poop out in a Costco parking lot in the middle of a rather-warm-and-toasty afternoon.

{photo source}


Uh, yeah.

I had 2 gallons of milk, $20 worth of chicken and a massive chunk of Tillamook cheese in the front seat, two sweaty kids in the backseat, and a whole 'lotta other stuff weighing down the trunk.

I sent an SOS to Chuck {whom I knew was in a meeting all blessed day long} and thought to myself, "Well, isn't this swell? I guess I had better call AAA and have them tow my sorry behind home."

I tried to give them a call, but for reasons that shall be explained shortly, my phone decided that it was going to just sit there and pretend to be a phone in the middle of the call. It was about as helpful as having a brick up to my face. Once I sat there looking dumb for a minute, I decided to hang up and try again. At that exact moment, Chuck called and we exchanged some pleasantries. We remembered that I had jumper cables in the trunk and he asked if I could see anyone nearby that could give me a "jump.

I began stealth-ily scanning the parking lot.

There was a big burly man collecting carts in a reflective vest but despite his burliness, I figured he probably didn't hold a sufficient electrical charge. I kept scanning, but came up empty.

Just as I was about to give in to despair and fling myself onto the asphalt in defeat, I saw a man walking toward me who looked to be moderately helpful and handy. I flagged him down {thankfully he didn't run away screaming} and had Chuck run me through a rapid "Battery Jumping 101" class.

Long story slightly shorter, the kind man {let's call him Bob, shall we?} got his car and pulled it near mine. We needed to push my car out of the spot so that he could connect the cables, so I hopped in the driver's seat, promised him that I was in neutral and not first gear, promised him I had the E-break off, and hoped that eating that extra bowl full of cereal that morning wouldn't add noticeable weight. :)

. . .

Let's take a quick break here and ponder some things. The Lord had my back, you guys. Big time. Let us count the ways.

1) It wasn't snowing. :)

2) The chicken I bought was practically still frozen {which has never, ever happened to me in the four hundred million times I've purchased chicken from Costco} so it was able to keep the cheese and milk chilled much longer than normal.

3) Despite it being a potentially hot day crammed into the backseat of a stationary car, there was a stiff breeze that helped cool off the kiddies.

4) My battery had enough juice left to roll down the windows, thus allowing said breeze to grace said kiddies.

5) My phone decided to glitch out at just as I was calling AAA, thereby saving me unnecessary grief waiting around for a tow that I didn't need in the first place.

6) The only man I saw who exited Costco within that five minutes of scanning the parking lot also happened to do so without a cart-full of perishables. Not only that, but he just so happened to walk right past my car and was willing {and able} to help.

7) I had those battery jumper cables in my trunk and, miracle of miracles, was able to access them without unloading the entire hoard of groceries I had just crammed in there.

8) I was parked on a slight hill, so when it came time for "Bob" to push the car all by himself, we rolled back practically under our own power. . . but not so fast that I scraped into every car and plastered every unsuspecting pedestrian within a five-mile radius. That's an important thing, to be sure.

. . .

Once we had the cars in position, "Bob" started hooking up the jumper cables and I took a stab at calming Hannah. For those who don't know, she has a level 5 meltdown whenever she suspects that the car is broken. That shouldn't come as too big of a surprise as she is a car fanatic and her daddy's daughter. {Her heart truly grieves whenever the horsepower is lacking}.

Hannah refused to be consoled and continued to let the snot flow freely. Not even her now-wrinkly balloon from our morning in the park could take her mind off of the carnage playing out in front of her face, so I went to check on the progress at the other end of the car.

My car uses hydraulics to hold up its hood {which works out tolerably well under normal circumstances, but not when the wind is blowing}. Another man walked up to offer some help the exact second that the hood tried to smoosh "Bob". The man caught it, saw that matters were under control, and walked away. He was probably at the car for all of, like, 20 seconds. I've no doubt that "Bob"'s noggin considered that dude's impeccable timing a tender mercy.

Meanwhile, Curtis should have been joining in on the backseat hysterics because he was long overdue to nurse, but he chose to just hang out instead. Praise be! Tender mercy #9 right there.

Tender mercy #10 wasn't fully realized until we got home and I remembered that Hannah had asked to go potty before we left the store but I had completely forgotten. We all know that toddlers have bladders the size of, like, a bean. . . so it was amazingly awesome that she managed to hold it until we got home.

. . .

It might seem silly, but I'm really grateful for this experience. I hate when my car breaks down, yeah, but it always works out in the end. The thing I like best about situations like these is that I'm given a front row seat to the compassion of complete strangers as well as the omniscient compassion of Heavenly Father.

You might think, "Poor little Jessica. Doesn't she realize that all of those things were nothing but coincidence?" But I disagree. Coincidence is when I stub my toe before my toenail polish is dry or it rains after I curled my hair. Maybe I picked up the slew of abandoned panties on the floor and vacuumed before a friend dropped by for an unexpected visit. You could even say that it's a coincidence when I go to the store to get something and it just so happens to be on sale.

When things like this happen, however, I like to take a step back and notice all the things that could have gone wrong but didn't; the little tender mercies from a loving Father who knows me personally and cares about me indefinitely. The only thing that really stunk about this whole ordeal was that "Bob" had himself a full cup of soda when he left Costco, but the wind knocked it over as he was helping me. So, yes, little cup. Your day probably sucked. But in the grand scheme of things, it could have been much, much worse.

And so I'd like to challenge you. . . to dump a bucket of ice water on your head. Oh, wait. Just kidding. No ALS challenges here. ;)

I'd like to challenge you to look for the tender mercies in your own life. Trust me-- they're there even in the hum-drum of daily life, not just when your car breaks down or your basement floods or your dinner goes up in smoke.

Heavenly Father is aware of you and the little moments in your life. He sends those tender mercies to remind you that he cares.

Some days it might seem like "the mercy machine" is plugged and none are sent your way. I get that. I've had days like that, too. But what if we're just so wrapped up in the momentary stinkiness that we simply don't look for them? Sometimes they're really, really subtle. . . but I know they're there.

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