Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year Indeed!

Guess what?!!?!? We paid off Ben's school loan!!! We still have mine to pay off, but then we'll be free of debt that's not a mortgage. My loan is currently deferred since I'm not working, so we plan to focus on our savings for a bit until we have at least three months worth of paychecks saved up, right now we have almost a month and a half's worth. Our hope is to buy the next car outright and hopefully it won't take up all of our savings. Then, we'll decide if we need to replenish the savings or dive into paying off my school loan. We'd like to be completely debt free by age 35, that's only three years away though, so it's a bit ambitious as my school loan is HUGE...like $30,000 huge. I'll start a ticker for that when we start paying on it. I love tickers, they so motivate me!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas!!!

We just had our family Christmas and put Z to bed. He loved his train set and didn't want to go to bed and have to leave it. We can hear him over the monitor muttering, "Choo choo" to himself between sobs. We had an impromtu dinner with our friend, Dale, who stopped by to give our "Christian dogs" presents (he says he caught them praying one time). We had Mexican Mole over chicken and bean filled corn tortillas. Ben got SmartWool socks as requested and I got a HUGE surprise...a serger!!! I couldn't believe it! I can't wait to try it out! Juju got a gym membership...well, more like a monkey gym that she lays under. I didn't even know it played music till she grabbed the middle monkey and pulled it! There's a picture on the slideshow of that. This morning Ben's sister, Debbi came over to help with the kids while I finished some secret Christmas sewing.

The next couple of days are busy with Ben's family. I talked to my folks tonight, they arrived in Germany safely today. I'm so thankful I got to spend seven of Juju's first twelve weeks with my mom. I cried a lot yesterday after she left. I hope you enjoy the pictures in the slide show. Some were taken by my Dad, my mom, Ben and myself. Below is a short video Ben took the other day that we wanted to share to give you some holiday cheer!
video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Random Wigness

Every year there's usually at least one present I'm super excited about giving, mainly because I felt inspired about it. Like it was a really clever gift for that person. This year that person is my Grandpa V in Iowa. Are you excited, Grandpa? I am!!! I'm also really excited about the presents I made for people. I've never made quite so many gifts as this year. I was telling Ben how making gifts helps me grasp a better understanding of God's love for us. All the effort I put into making something isn't my effort to top other gifts (sometimes it actually feels cheesier to give a homemade gift "Oh, it's another one of Becca's bags! heh heh), but rather to give the person a glimpse of how much they're loved. The whole experience gives me a tiny glimpse of how much God loves us and it overwhelms me.

I found my first gray hair today. I'd been praying it would go white, not gray, but we'll see. Looks pretty colorless, can't tell.

Atticus (aka BooBoo)

I just made a bed for my dog, Atticus, in the bathroom. Ever since Juju was born Z's love for the dogs has turned more and more violent. Scout quickly found respite in our bedroom during the day. We kick her out for nap time, then she goes right back in afterwards. Anywhere Z is, she is not. Finally, Atticus, the slower, slightly special one figured out that he's happier alone in the bathroom upstairs than downstairs amidst the chaos. It's a sad existence for our poor dogs right now. Especially compared to their previous life as our sole babies. Someday, Z and Juju will be their best friends and life will be better than ever for them, but for now they're in purgatory and it stinks.
Scout as a puppy

I haven't mentioned our dogs much as I started this blog after Z was born and he completely overshadowed them, but they're actually very special dogs. They're American Hairless Terriers. We bought them in Spotsylvania, Virginia from a wonderful breeder who is very selective about who she sells to. We made the cut somehow, but were given lots of rules. We actually had to promise not to tattoo our dogs. We have to bathe them weekly and cover them in lotion afterwards. They don't get fleas and if they would get a tick, it would be easy to spot. When they've gotten a cut, it's easy to put neosporin on it and a band aid if in a spot they can't reach.

Dogs donning freckles
Yes, they get cold, that's where I started my sewing career. It was way cheaper for me to make outfits than to buy them custom made at $35 each. Most doggie outfits at the store don't cover enough to keep a hairless dog warm enough. So, I made long sleeve, long legged, turtle-neck outfits that covered most of their bodies. I made a bunch before Z was born and I haven't made any since. I recently bought fabric to do so as their coats are starting to wear thin. They wear them year round as the air conditioning is pretty cold in the summer. Some people ask us why they wear clothes when it seems fairly warm outside and we explain that if we're wearing clothes, they need clothes. Only when it's so hot we wish we didn't have to wear clothes do we take theirs off. Yes, they need sunscreen. Another funny thing about them is that they develop freckles in the sun that cover their whole bodies. They lose them in the winter.

Scout just after Z was born.
She's had post-partum depression ever since.

They're good tempered dogs and easy to train. Surprisingly, they're not test-tube dogs, but rather a naturally occurring species that was just born of a rat terrier! If you're interested in learning more, here's a link to their history.

Now, for those who were thinking, "I want to hear about the kids, not the dogs!" I'll throw you a bone. Juju got weighed yesterday and was 14 pounds and 24 1/4" long! The doctor said over and over how big she is for almost 3 months. Juju holds her head up consistently and rolls from belly to back and from her back to her side. She loves to stand up like a big girl and lifts her knee like she's doing a jig. Her favorite thing is to have conversations with people. She likes eye contact and will responds to being spoken to with great enthusiasm.

Z who is almost 2 1/2 years old now, weighed in at 37 lbs. Not sure how tall he is, but he's slimming out a lot. He's the best big brother ever and kisses the baby and nuzzles his face to hers everyday. He cries whenever she cries, which is not fun for us. We're very eager to retire his car seat and move to the booster, and we're just a few pounds away. He's absolutely, positively smitten by Thomas the Tank Engine, which is why we got him a Geo Trax Train set for Christmas. It has a remote control for toddlers! He likes everything that "goes" be it cars, planes, tractors, boats or trains. He's very social and loves to play with other kids at our Play Group and play dates with friends. Oh, and if you've ever called our house, you know he loves to talk on the phone. He has a pretty big ornery streak and I just found that he's been painting my bathroom wall with liquid hand soap as I typed this. At least the one thing in the house will be clean!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome Zerbik!

Some of you know I have kept another blog, Zerbik, for about two years now. I call it "My deep thoughts blog", but it's really where I journal my spiritual struggles and revelations. I've decided to import the entire blog to this one.

The move is symbolic, I think, of my own being ready to integrate my faith into every area of my life. As I write this I realize it's an answer to prayer really. I'd been praying that God would teach me how to share His Love with others. In putting this on my heart, to move my Zerbik site to this one, I learn that I need to be my whole self with everyone. In the past I'd compartmentalize friends as those that I can talk about spiritual things and those that I could not. I didn't want to make people uncomfortable. I'm not out to bash people on their heads with my Bible, but it's really good for me to be myself, my real self, all the time.

The name Zerbik came about from what my parents call "Raspberries" that you give each other on your stomachs. We called them "zerbiks". I grew up to find that the word was actually "Zerbert" and it was made popular by the Cosby show in the 80s. I think there's a lot of things like that in life where you grow up thinking one thing only to find out it's actually another, but actually someone just made both of them up. I think we're supposed to reevaluate what we were taught growing up and then continue to reevaluate what society continually tries to teach us. Perhaps the way most people raise their children isn't beneficial for your child! Perhaps the common view of God isn't the true picture. Perhaps how we act as Christians isn't that Christ-like most of the time. Zerbik is about my search for truth in every area, especially the gray ones that the Bible isn't explicit about.

You'll find posts about circumcision, balancing freedom and discipline, loving others (even competitive moms), handling self-imposed crisis and lots more. I
hope you enjoy this "new" addition to WigLife. Click on the label "Zerbik" in the list of labels on the left to read some of my heart poured out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

WigNews*

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels crazy busy lately. I just wrote out a to do list this morning that seems nearly impossible with two little ones. Two big things in our house of late: We've switched Z's nap and bedtime schedule around so that he's getting a shorter nap and going to bed much much earlier.

Old sleep schedule: 2 hour nap with wake-up call, 10pm bedtime, wake-up call at 7:30am
New sleep schedule: 1/2 hour nap, 8pm bedtime, sleep in

So far, we're really liking the change, we wake him up just one time a day instead of both times, he's sleeping through the night just fine even though it's longer and he seems well rested. Oh, and we're getting a couple hours at night together with just the baby.

The other is that after a month of the dairy free diet for me, we didn't see much change in Juju's congestion. So, last Thursday I reintroduced dairy, but every time I ate much I got nauseated! Sure enough, two days later, Juju's sniffles worsened to the point where we had to leave the bedroom so the boys could sleep. We realized that her congestion had improved, we just hadn't noticed until the hand saw noises sounded more like a chain saw. So, I'm back off dairy. Now, I suspect there's something else I shouldn't be eating to help her even more, but I've no idea what to cut out next. Eggs, wheat, soy...?

In other news, I've made two new friends and they're both really interesting. One is from Mexico and the other is from Germany. Both moved here six months ago and have been having to learn English. They both had English lessons growing up, but it's still like a foreign language for them. I've been learning so much about their cultures. Last week Clara (from Mexico) taught me how to make Chicken Mole and sushi! She also sews, does dry wall, plumbing and regular Handy Manny type stuff. She's quite impressive. Alexa, the German one, has two little ones like I do, plays the stock market and is super duper fit, like she runs triathlons fit. I so want learn from these women! They are the ones who inspired the schedule change for Z and a few changes in our meal plans.

Here's a clip I took just today, just for you!!!
video
Enjoy your day!

*Note: New pictures in sidebar slideshow!