Sunday, May 29, 2011

Change is in the air...

This month has been full of change. All of it good, but some more difficult to transition into than others. Today marks the end of our internet for a while, since we share it with our upstairs neighbors who are moving this afternoon and taking their modem along with them. We most likely won't have internet in our new apartment until July.

New apartment, you say? We finally found one, here in Albany Park (about a half mile south west of where we currently are located)! The lease will be signed on Monday, with the move in date set for June 15. Eric and I have until July 1st to move out though, so we will probably take our time a bit. Moving shouldn't be rushed....(in my opinion, anyway).

Now for the crazy part - we are living out what we feel that God has called us to do and are moving into a 3 bedroom apartment with another couple, our friends the Langenbergs, with the purpose of living in intentional community. It is a huge transition, but one that needs to happen. We are committing to a full year of living together (since we have a one year lease anyway) in this way. One of the great things about living in intentional community in the same apartment is the ability to divide and share all the household chores. Our goal with this is so that all of our time will be more freed up to be able to really get involved and serve in this richly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park that we are so fortunate to live in. I am excited to continue writing about our new adventures as they begin to unfold!

Now for the fun part...
Lexi shocked us with the fact that she was not walking by or before her first birthday. She has always been a big mover - nothing stops this kid. What happened, though, is that she learned to crawl so early and became so good at it (not to mention speedy fast!), that walking is more of a luxury than a necessity. However, after a week of independently standing on her own, and taking a step or two while falling, Lexi has finally begun to learn to walk! Last night she took eight running steps!!! (For those of you who don't know her, Lexi never does anything halfway...if she is going to walk, she might as well just run instead! ;) She still has a bit of balance to get the hang of, but she will probably be running marathons by the end of next week at the pace she progresses! Yay for Alexandria and our new phase of life with a toddler!!! :)

As for not having the internet for a solid month.... I fully intend to keep writing and taking pictures, but things may not be posted up here for a while.

And as for this post, Lexi would like my full attention now, please, and is kindly requesting that I end it. Have a happy June, everyone!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birthday Extravaganza

Happy 1st Birthday Alexandria!!!

May 17, 2011

Epic cupcake chow down...

New birthday dress from Great Grandma

Lexi and Jenny, our good friend and delivery nurse

Happy Parents of a frosting faced one-year-old

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Bleach Miracle

I haven't really told many people this (other than the ones who come into my home on a regular basis), but back in February, Eric bought me new couches for my birthday. We had picked the couches out at IKEA a few weeks prior, but still hadn't decided on what color covers to get. I wanted Beige, Eric wanted Arctic White. Since we couldn't agree, we put off the couch purchase for a while.

On my birthday, Eric and Lexi and I went out to lunch at Panera and then rummaged through Borders for a while, since everything was on clearance. When we got home, Eric said he had to do an errand with Luc and took the car and left, promising it wouldn't take long.

Four hours later, he came home.

With the new couches! Surprise!!!

....and Arctic White covers.

Now to be fair to Eric, who I love more than life itself most of the time, he did plan to get the Beige covers, but they were out of stock. And of course, the white ones were all the store had left. We probably should have taken that as a warning sign. Instead, I think Eric saw it more like an "it's your destiny" sign.

So we now we have gorgeous couches with pretty white covers, a spring green area rug, sheer white window curtains, and blooming geraniums on the windowsills. It really does make a pretty picture. And while hesitant about the white at first, I really fell in love with how beautiful the room now looks.

That is, until this morning.

Bleary-eyed, and holding a whimpering baby (who has been feeling rather neglected lately due to a dramatic decrease in her breast-milk supply), I walked into our pretty living room this morning only to find that one of our *&#$*#!!!# cats had barfed brown goo all over one of the cushions of our Arctic White couch.

Now I know what you are probably thinking... The only people dumb enough to buy white couches are either very old or very rich or just plain stupid.

The very old folks who buy their sitting furniture in white will put plastic covers on everything just in case the one visitor they have twice a year may spill something on it. That way, it stays white, just like new, and is completely stain resistant!

The rich people who buy white couches can of course justify it, given that they are probably never home (due to the fact that they have three other houses as well) and their living rooms are constantly photographed for Better Homes and Gardens magazines.

But a young couple with a baby, two cats, lots of young friends who come over all the time, and lots of other baby visitors, can hardly justify the practicality of Arctic White couches. Hardly. It's just down right ridiculous.

And yet, I really do love them.

Deep down.

Which is why I spent the entire morning hanging over the bathtub trying to scrub and scrub and scrub and devise some amazing plan to get the huge, horrid, now yellow cat barf stain off of said Arctic White cover.

One of the great things about being not all that smart (like in the decision to buy white couches), is having smart friends. Take Jenny, for instance. You can visit her blog here and know just by looking at it that she is one intelligent gal, who would never buy a piece of white furniture. So after an hour of unsucessful, desperate scrubbing, I dried my chapped and raw hands on a towel and called her up. Of course, she came right over to my rescue, toting along a large container of bleach.

Thank God for bleach.

Jenny mixed up a bleach solution, poured it over the stain two different times, and within ten minutes, the stain had completely vanished.

Again I will say it: Thank God for bleach. And for smart friends who know how to use it, and who, while recognizing the idiocy of purchasing Arctic White couch covers, still choose to love me anyway.

Lexi Time!

Due to popular demand (aka all my facebook-free family out there), I now present you with some relatively recent pictures of Alexandria. These are mostly the beginning of April, when I spent ten days in Mexico with my family.

Papi and Grama with Lexi

Her mouth is a little small for this orange....
....but she enjoyed it none the less!

Her new trick: sneaking up to play duets with Auntie Elena

Exploring the wonders of the playhouse

"Hello, hello, can you hear me Joe?"

(and yes, she really is that skinny...)

Music is something Lexi has become very passionate about...

Now we know where those eyes come from. Like Aunt like Niece.

A little dirt snack to satisfy those tummy rumbles

Little bug-eyed elf baby

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Teeth and Lies

I read somewhere in a baby book that babies do not experience any discomfort while teething. If the baby happens to be fussy while teeth are coming in, the parent is just finding something to blame instead of admitting that their child just an unhappy baby in general.

Up until two weeks ago, I half believed the author of this book.

Now I think he is an outright, bold-faced lier.

After a week of being abnormally fussy and whiny, and last week's crying/whining/demanding fest, we awoke yesterday morning to the happiest, most cheerful little girl around. In complete disbelief of her newly found optimism, I pried open her gums to take a peek. Sure enough, that stubborn top front tooth FINALLY broke its way through her gum. Now pain and discomfort free, Alexandria is back to her normal, happy and overly active self!


Did I mention that this is only her THIRD tooth?


Only 17 more to go...

On the bright side, now that Chicago has skipped spring and moved straight into summer (we just jumped from the 50s to the 80s in two days), juice Popsicles will be in high demand!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mud, Anyone?

You know you're not a paranoid Mom when you look over at your daughter playing in the grass and see thick, black globs of mud oozing out of her mouth and, instead of screaming due to your lack of attention, end up doubled over because you're laughing so hard at the hilarity of the situation.
Meanwhile, my whimpering Lexi is standing there, black mud filled mouth wide open, spitting and trying unsuccessfully to scrape the mud off her tongue and out of her mouth with her uncoordinated fingers. When my laughing eased so I could breathe again, I did go to her rescue and used my handy dandy "finger hook swipe" to get the majority of the mud out (and there was a lot) and then cleaned off her tongue with a baby wipe. Poor Lexi. I would think that mud would taste a whole lot better than a baby wipe, but she didn't seem to complain. She did drink her entire cup of water afterwards though.
I don't think she will be putting dirt clods in her mouth again anytime soon. Now if she could only get the same idea when it comes to the cat food....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My friend said on her blog today (which you can find here) that if were all totally honest with how hard life is sometimes and the emotions that we go through, then we could all encourage each other better. Because let's face it: we live in a broken world. And I am a broken person. And sometimes, life is just hard.

So here it is. With all this talk of moving and life changes and intentional community, deep down, I am scared to death. The funny thing is that I am not really phased by the fact that our vision might bomb and we will be back to square one. I am not even scared about living in the same apartment or house with other people (after all, I grew up in a family of 9, so how hard can it really be?). I know there will be challenges and hard times and misunderstandings and disagreements, but I know that these things can all be worked out and we will all be the better for it. So I can't even say that I am scared by the inevitability of those things.

Sometimes I feel like being a Missionary Kid is more of a curse than a blessing. All the moving and transitions and leaving loved ones behind does something to you. Saying goodbye to someone you love, knowing that you will never see them again, does something to you.
It has caused me to hate moving more than anything in the world. I emotionally withdraw from people when I know I am leaving, since it's easier than saying goodbye. I have few friends, but the friends I do have are closer to me than my own siblings. I struggle with change, transition, and anything that threatens to disrupt my "safe" and predictable life.

So the thought of leaving this home that we have made here in this apartment, with our close friends surrounding us, is breaking my heart. I feel like if we leave, we are going to lose everything, which I can't bear the thought of. But if we stay, will anything change? We have been waiting it out here hoping that someone else would be the one to be the one to move on and naturally disperse the group. Praying that it would not have to be us. Please don't let it be us.

I can't picture our life without our friends here making it complete. God give us wisdom to know what to do.

[Just a note in case anyone out there is wondering what on earth happened to my daughter Lexi, and why I haven't talked about her in so long, I have two words for you: Teething and Tantrums. Apparently, the two work in tandem.]