March 31, 2012

Success! And Summer Days

Well, our adventure to Hamilton was a success... we came home with a new running stroller! No excuses now... I signed up for a 5k for May 26th - a goal to get me out the door :)

The stroller's previous home was in Ancaster - a little town I had never been to before. Wikipedia says it is a "picturesque and historic community located on the Niagara escarpment, within the greater area of the city of Hamilton, Ontario." The area I saw was definitely picturesque... I bet it's gorgeous in the fall with all the colours! 

After an hour and a half drive out, I didn't think AJ would want to stay put for the drive home without a break, so we walked a little street of shops and found a library - a convenient place to hang out for a little guy who can't walk yet. He crawled around and played at the train table for awhile. There were lots of people to charm, so he was happy! :)

I uploaded the pictures from my phone for the past little while, and was reminded of the gorgeous 2 weeks of spring/summer we had recently. Watching AJ experience the warm outdoors is fun. He's a true little boy - finding every little rock and twig to taste... and immediately finding dirt to dig into - even if it's only between the slabs of concrete on a sidewalk! :)

Here are a few from those nice "summer" days:

AJ and I enjoyed wandering downtown one afternoon... we went through the Distillery District, got a coffee at Balzac's and played in the square ;) We strolled through St Lawrence Market and leisurely walked the waterfront while soaking in the sun and water. I love downtown! We met up with the Man of the house and had supper at The Old Spaghetti Factory before driving home in the twilight night. It was a perfect day!

I need to upload the pictures from my actual camera - I think they tell a better story of the fun day we had downtown. 

Oh, and at 9 1/2  months, AJ got his 7th tooth - top left next to the 2 middle teeth. THe 8th one (top right) is coming any day now. He seems to be a "tooth machine"!

March 29, 2012

Running Stroller Hopes

I'm so excited... I've been searching for a running stroller for a little while but good ones are SUPER expensive (even used ones), and... I already splurged on our regular stroller. After missing 2 Running Room strollers on Kijiji, I was getting discouraged... then this afternoon, this suddenly popped up!

Beautiful isn't it? ;)  I still have to see it in person on Saturday, but this Baby Jogger has never been used since her son preferred biking (he's obviously older than my 9 month old!) to sitting... it's a trusted brand name and far more serious a running stroller than I - a runner. It's been almost 2 years since I ran  but I have been craving it for awhile. But to go out after so long to "run" ... well, it wouldn't be called a "run" in reality. I need to work back up. My hopes and intent is that this beautiful beast will help.

So... am thinking about signing up for a 5K at the end of May. A flat course around a lake... seems like a good goal and doable. Won't be a fast 5k, but.... I think I should be able to get there. Who's with me? :)

But I'll wait until Saturday to make sure this doesn't fall through....

Oh, did I mention that I have to drive an hour and 20 minutes to get it?? Yes. To Hamilton.

Hope it's worth it. ;)

March 23, 2012

Grandmothers... leaving a Legacy of Faith

We received sad news yesterday.  E's Grandma passed away quite suddenly. She had been in the hospital for about a week, but when we talked to my mother-in-law on Wednesday, there was no indication anyone thought she was near the end. She was confused, but they weren't really getting any medical answers as to what was wrong. We're not sure (at the moment) what happened, but it was a surprise when we received the call yesterday to hear that she was gone.

I'm so thankful we were in Vancouver for Christmas this year and that we made it out twice to visit with Grandma. I love the picture below - 4 generations.
Isn't she cute?

Grandma F was a missionary for many years in Venezuela. My father-in-law was born and spent his childhood there before coming to Canada for school. Grandma lived a life well for the Lord and I know she has heard her Saviour say "well done, faithful child."

Grandma will be missed. If you have a moment, pray for the family as they go through all the preparations and decisions that come at a time like this.

Ironically (?), on Wednesday we heard that my Dad's mother, Grammie R had "taken a turn" and the family was called in. Not quite sure what that means. Unlike E's grandmother, who was mostly coherent and mobile, my grandmother has been lost in her world because of Alzheimer's and deafness. Her body is weak and she doesn't move on her own. But my mom was in yesterday afternoon and Grammie seemed to be doing "ok". Obviously, who knows from hour-to-hour; it's like that with many her age. But yesterday she looked like this:
The Grandmother I remember would "DIE" if she knew this picture would be seen by anyone, but... she won't know. :) When this picture was taken she was surrounded with love - her 2 daughters, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. 

What a day it will be when she enters her eternal home and sees her Saviour face-to-face. Her mind will be clear and she will be able to HEAR. I can't wait for that for her. Reality is, we have been missing her all these years, mourning the loss of the grandmother/mother we knew and loved. It will be sad to hear when she is gone, but for her sake there will be relief and joy.

Someday soon, both our grandmothers may be rejoicing side-by-side in their Saviour's presence... lives lived on earth for God's glory and pleasure. They lived knowing their treasure was in heaven, and the longing of their hearts have been there for a long, long time. Both ladies raised families with their husbands gone for long periods of time sharing the gospel with others. Both ladies lived by faith - not having a steady income, but trusting God to meet their every need. Often meals were beyond simple, and the same night after night. At times, they didn't know where their next meal would come from to feed their little family.... but God always provided. Both ladies were strong women - holding the fort down during difficult times while their husbands were away.

Ladies, leaving a legacy of faith. They lived by faith. And they were faithful servants. And we love them dearly. May we continue on as they did... and keep our eyes and hearts on what matters... having our treasure in Heaven.

March 19, 2012

My Rwandan Son

Isn't he precious?! My heart melts whenever I look at his picture; he is a gift to me.

I had talked about sponsoring a child for a long time... another good intention going stale without action. For my birthday, my Man gave me a wonderful gift through Compassion Canada - a Rwandan 'son' born on January 10th - my birthday. He's 10 years old. 

I wish I had clearer pictures of his precious face, but am thankful for the visuals I do have.

Correspondence is relatively slow in this age of instant messaging, text messages, facebook, email, etc. I have received one letter from David so far; it seems someone in his family wrote it for him before it was translated for me. I hope over time, as David gets older, letters and pictures will be more frequent and personal.

But that is just an added bonus.

I have the gift and joy of praying for David and his family, and offering just a little financial assistance to hopefully ease their burden in a small way. Giving a little help in the name of Jesus, knowing the gospel is reaching this family.

I urge you to visit Compassion Canada's website, or the US site for my American friends, and look at the sweet faces waiting for a sponsor to love them. Maybe you are being called to be a friend to one?

March 13, 2012

Bath Time

Full on joy in the tub :)
(Taken over the Christmas holidays... but thought it was cute enough to still share)

March 6, 2012

Eight Month Update

Disclaimer:  Please remember I'm treating these posts as a stand-in for the traditional baby books... sorry for the boring details!

I started this post over a month ago... sad right? Guess I should start it fresh...

In seven days, little man will be nine months... W.H.E.R.E. does the time go??

Tooth update: five little chicklettes - top two middle and three bottom center... four in seven months and the fifth one came in two weeks ago. And by the amount of teething signs this week, there will be more very shortly.

Moving:  When I started this post, AJ was ready to crawl - up on all fours, swaying, going from a lying down position to sitting on his own...  milestones I was excited about. ;)  But on February 9th - it clicked.  I was looking after him in the church nursery during our Thursday night ESL class, and he was exhausted and clingy... I was across the room, and I guess he just wanted close, because up and over he came! Crying/whining as he speedily crawled. Crying to my cheers... haha

On the move...

He's much happier about it now... and loves to get under my feet no matter where I am in the room. He has yet to venture too far away for exploration, but that day will come soon enough. It's amazing how quickly things progress once the crawling kicks in. He's pulling himself up all over the place as if he's been doing it his whole life.

One of his favorite past-times is playing with clothes...
Is this a hint I should fold more frequently??

... his socks are a favourite!  Who needs toys?!

Most days AJ is a pretty chatty kid. Especially at church. Always at church. At full volume. He doesn't really have a gradual volume - just silence... to full on noise that can't be ignored. Happy! But loud. I love hearing all the new sounds he can make. I especially love hearing "mamamama"... whether or not he knows what he's saying has yet to be decided. ;)
At 7 months - pre-crawling days... and this video really doesn't show the cute gibberish - just the volume

Eating:  When we first started AJ on solids, I thought he was going to be a great eater. Unfortunately it seems he's more of a moody eater. Some days it goes great, others - meh. Food? Who needs real food? YOU DO AJ! :) He's more into eating with his hands now instead of allowing me to spoon feed him... it keeps him busy longer, but pretty sure he's getting less IN his mouth. He will eat pieces of pasta, rice, chicken, apple, tomato, etc... but his favourite is the Gerber Puffs... loves the peach ones. Maybe THAT'S why his nose is orange?? (See pictures - can't figure out why his nose and cheeks are leaning toward the orange colour... certainly *not* because of an overabundance of carrots unfortunately)

AJ loves water... he would go nuts seeing us drink a glass of water without sharing, but now that he can hold his own sippy-cup, he's happy with that.
(sorry - my video clips are a bit long!)

Is it a bad thing that the child has figured out exactly what to do with a coffee mug?

Sleeping: Well, we won't really even go there. Sleeping habits (night and napping) plummeted downhill after Christmas. I'm not sure if it was the time-change, new places (Vancouver and then Grand Bend), and/or just a 6-month twist in habits. January was a bit of a nightmare for naps - I gave into his crying most days and took drives for my sanity and AJ's sleeping health. But things have improved quite a bit now, and while not perfectly scheduled (ha.), naps are in his crib unless we are out for other reasons. Nights are getting there... we had to work through a nasty cold in February and then all those teeth coming through.

Growth:  The constant growing has slowed down a bit right now (thankfully), and he's been in the same size clothes for a couple months now: 9-12 months or 12 months  AJ's legs, which seemed shorter in proportion, have now seemed to have caught up to the rest of his body. His weight is holding steady at 20-21 lbs. Not sure his height at the moment.

AJ has no fear of dogs... he loved this beautiful Golden Retriever he met at a friend's place.

He went for his first swing in February (at 7 months)! He wasn't quite sure what to think, but that may have been a result of the frigid temperatures that his mom dragged him out in!

Uncle Lucas came to visit on his spring break - how fun!! :)

AJ loves books... and who better to enjoy them with than Grammie?

The whole tongue out thing had slowed down for awhile... then Grammie came to visit and out it came again! It really seemed like he remembered she was the one to laugh hysterically at it in the past...

Finally - we've gone to the zoo quite a few times during the day, but AJ thought it was a lot more fun when Daddy came along on a Saturday! :)