Friday, April 29, 2011

Let it be, let it be-e!

Elton John or the Beatles? I'm drawing a blank as to who sang that song...

Anyways, I have some sad news, friends: I'm not sad. Yesterday, I went with Noah onto the deck and instantly noticed an ugly brown scar in the midst of beautiful, green grass. The dogs had dug. I called Stephan and he rained down wrath and punishment on our dogs. It didn't help the dogs' case that we soon noticed two other small dig sites.
   When Stephan first laid down that pallet of grass, after all that hard work and money was spent on improving our back yard, he looked at me and said, "If those dogs dig even once, they're out of here." and I knew he was being very serious. At the time when the threat was made, and even now as we start the task of finding a new place for two large, messy, stubborn, outdoor dogs, I was and am not sad. I feel guilty. -ish. I feel like I should be sad. After all, Stephan had Toby for years before I came into the picture, and Roxy was a gift from my beloved. And they're not bad dogs! They are both affectionate and sweet tempered and very patient around our son. (Noah likes to poke eyes and grab hand-fulls of dog-lips. ICK!) Sure, Roxy is weird in that she will sometimes forget who Stephan and I are for a moment and bark at us like we're a threat, but she's never bitten or even charged anyone. In fact, I think her defensive nature around some strangers is a good thing. That's what guard dogs are for, right?
      Roxys' aggressive-esque tendencies are going to make it hard to find her a home. I have no doubt that once she gets to know the person or family that is willing to take her, she would be as loving and attention-seeking as she is with me. It's the getting people over her possibly frightening first impression that is the problem. Toby won't be an issue at all. People "ooh" and "aww" over that dog any time we take him any where. He's super sweet and looks so mopey all the time that people can't help but wanna tousle his floppy ears and snuggle his head.
     As we face getting rid of our dogs, (and possibly putting Roxy down), I feel no heart break or sadness of any kind. It's very much like when I had to get rid of Tizzy the cat. I enjoyed that cat very much, but her presence was becoming a blight and a burden on my family, so I knew that I had to get rid of her. It's more an acceptance of a fact than an emotional splitting up of a family. Does that make me a bad person?

     In conclusion, friends, if anyone out there wants to take in a Great Pyrenees or Great Pyrenees/lab mix, or maybe knows someone who would like one or both of said dogs, please let me know! They would do best with a person, couple or family that has plenty of space for them to roam around and can give them plenty of attention. Of course, they would be for free, but only to a good home.

      Have a blessed day, readers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Behold, the power of God

   Last night, a tornado was seen touching down on the campus of UT Tyler. That's about 1 minute from my house. For three hours, heavy rain and frequent forecast interruption on the t.v. had Stephan and I watching and waiting for the signal to grab Noah from his crib, corral the dogs inside and bunker down under a mattress in the hallway. That signal came at about 8:00. The sirens in Tyler had been going off in the distance for about half an hour, but Stephan wasn't too worried, as the weatherman was only urging neighboring areas to seek shelter and not us. Then the wind picked up and the sirens sounded right outside our door. I went into the nursery and scooped up Noah who wasn't quite asleep after waking up to a loud crash of thunder earlier, but was out of it enough not to struggle or make a fuss when I sat down with him in my lap in the hallway. The electricity went out as Stephan dragged the mattress from the guest bedroom to lean over me and Noah.
      Noah and I laid down under the mattress and listened to the sound of the wind howling furiously. It sounded so spooky and terrifying, but I was not afraid. I was in awe. I realized that Noah was experiencing his first tornado. Also, as Noah snuggled into my belly and our panicking cat huddled at my feet, I prayed. I didn't ask for God to make the rain stop, in fact, I think I'm partially to blame for the storms last night since I've been praying for a lot of rain for a week. No, instead, I asked for God to protect us from this glimmer of His power, this mere glimpse of his awe-inspiring strength, and then I praised Him in the storm.
      It really was magnificent. I could hear the winds raging and the rain thrashing against windows, doors, and walls, but I knew my family was safe in the house God gave us. Stephan told me later that, as Noah and I were laying in our mattress safe-room and he stood watch, He watched the trees in our back yard bend in half under the fury of the wind. All that, and I knew that God would keep us safe. As you can tell be the fact that I am typing up this story the next day, we all lived and no trees were dropped on our house. Noah will probably not remember last night, but I'll treasure it for years. Our God is bigger than tornadoes and hurricanes and any natural disasters that threaten our lives. That one of the many things that makes God so great. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good smells

       Friends, since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, nothing in this world is perfect. Beautiful nights with cool breezes are ruined by mosquitoes. Sunny days with blue skies and kite-flying winds are ruined by oppressive humidity. Quiet mornings with the Bible open in my lap and a drink on the little table beside my comfy lounge chair on our back deck are, once again, ruined by those cursed mosquitoes! Yet, friends, I have been blessed by God with a husband who has worked long and hard to grant me a back yard that, to me, is very close to perfect!
                         I give you, the Du Toit's humble slice of heaven! (if heaven had mosquitoes) 
 Ah, a hammock. Swaying  in the shade of a green tree, this relaxing new addition to our back yard was a surprise from Stephan. Whew, I love that man.

Notice the lush, green grass surrounding the smooth slate stones of Stephan's walk way. We now have a path that is good for both man and beast to tread upon. And much prettier than the paths the dogs wore into the yard with their pacing.

 I hate to ruin the surprise for Aubrey, but I had to show these pictures. Above is the new deck that attaches to our bedroom. We're still debating whether or not we want to build stairs to it from the yard, or close it off entirely to the bedroom, but I love it as it is, so I don't care either way.

  These, friends with babies, are for you! I think I mentioned before how Stephan bought a second swing for the sole purpose of having other babies over to swing. This is our swings with chairs nearby for mothers to chat and rest in while babies swing and say "woooooo" like Lucy does.
       And this, my friends, is the man that does it all for his wife and baby, by the strength and skill that God has given him:
(I had to use this picture cause Noah's face is priceless)
     To God be the glory, great things He has done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Poor, unfortunate soul!

My sweet baby has six teeth. I tell people that when they ask about it.
"Six teeth, and he's working on some more." I say proudly. I fail to mention the trouble that teething is for Little Bit. Noah has, of course, been teething for months. His first tooth or two came in easily; he didn't even fuss. His next few were a smidge troublesome. He would be uncharacteristically fussy or cantankerous for a little while and then I would find a new tooth and think, "oh, that's why." Yet, thus far, the worst part of Noah's teethign experience has been the drooling.
    Then, along came tooth seven and tooth eight. (I think he's working on two). For the past few days, Noah has lost a bit of his appetite due to the discomfort in his mouth. I bet chewing while cutting teeth is quite unbearable, indeed. At the same time, Noah is less thirsty, probably because of all the drool he's swallowing. Then, yesterday, his poopies turned ugly. As a result of loose, drool-fueled stool, Noah's hind-end is red as a bad sunburn and it must hurt just as bad.
       Last night he woke up screaming. I gave him his pasi and tried to calm him by rocking him and singing, which usually works like a charm. He wouldn't stop. Stephan wanted to try, so I handed him off. I didn't smell a stinky, so I didn't change him straight away. After Noah still would not stop crying like he hurt very badly, I decided to check his diaper anyways. There was very little poop, but the diaper rash in his pants was so bad, Stephan and I both cringed and went "ooch". I felt guilty wiping him clean, because he cried like I was spanking him and tried to squirm away every time the wipe touched the inflamed skin. I sent Stephan to fetch the baby tylenol, for Noah was burning up as well as hurting bad. After I finish Noah's most painful diaper change of his life, we gave him some medicine and I rocked him and sang to him until he calmed down and fell asleep.
       This morning, at 6:11, Noah woke up with the same issue. The Destin I had slathered on him last night had healed the rash on his hiney, but now, his, well, 'wee-wee area' has got it bad. I changed him carefully and Stephan gave him some more Tylenol, as he is still super warm all over, and we crawled into mommy and daddy's bed to snuggle until breakfast.
           I type this long, wordy post, friends, to raise awareness. 10 out of 10 babies this year will have diaper rash. Some will recover quickly, and probably wont even need any ointment or cream, but some babies will cry hard and need lots of diaper changes and special treatment for their read rumps. So please, friends, do what you can to spread awareness, because the rash is trash, and needs to be taken out just as quickly.
                           I'm Colette Du Toit, and I approve this message.

But on a serious note, please pray for Noah to get well. I can handle the rash, it's the fever that worries me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monday Thursday

I was kind of confused when I first heard of Maundy  Thursday. I thought everyone was saying "Monday Thursday".
  Anyways, today we get to commence the celebration of our Lord and Savior's redeeming act of death and resurrection by commemorating His tragic, undeserved, yet for our salvation, entirely necessary death. I do enjoy this service. At Sylvania, it is a solemn service. There's no excitement or jubilant praise. No, that's saved for Sunday. Today, we focus on Jesus' death. Though I still can't help but praise God that He did indeed die, and that He didn't decide to forgo the pain and condemn us to eternal separation from His Father. Thank You, thank You, thank You, Jesus!

     Noah and I welcomed Sheryl and Lucy in for another time of play. Crisi and Madi were both sick. We Still had fun.
  I love it that these two have grown up together. They are so comfortable with each other and they play quite rough. Noah's not a big fan of sharing. Lucy likes what Noah has, and vice verse. (Versa?) It is the same with all of Noah's little baby friends. IT brings me great joy knowing that Noah will have good friends with Godly parents for years to come.

   Now I must go shower. and do BSF. To end, I will leave you with a video that shall once again make you smile. (If you don't' smile, you have no soul.)
video

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm a slacker

Sorry, faithful readers, for my lazy updating. Life has been full and happy, but not too exciting, thus; a lack of photographs. Hopefully here pretty soon I'll start crankin' out more pictures, but I'm not too worried about it.

    Today, Monday, I cleaned the house. More specifically, the floors. I'll worry about dusting and windows tomorrow. For now, the crisp, clean smell of Pine Sol, or a pine sol knock-off brand that's a bit cheaper, fills the air in my house, fooling anyone inside into believing that my house is immaculately clean. Noah is down for his nap, and I am all done with BSF, so I don't have a Bible Study to do today. Until BSF tonight, that is. (YAY!)
 
Someday, Lord willing, Stephan and I and our little family are going to travel. I'm not talking about a weekend stay in Dallas or even a week-long trip out of state. I'm talking about months worth of pond-hopping, plane-riding, sight-seeing and distant family-visiting in far away lands! That's the dream, at least. We'll see how realistic that pipe dream is as life goes on.

   Enjoy today, friends! It is a gift from a loving God.

-----------------later that same day------------------------------------
Fooled you!!! I have pictures! Actually, I just returned from the park and Noah's first picnic in le park. Therefore; pictures!
     A little back story, I was bored and wanted to get out of the house. Happily, Sheryl felt the same. We met at the park and found out that we were a bit unorganized. We did have the necessities for a fabulous snack picnic, i.e: snacks, a blanket, sunblock for the babies, drinks, and toys, however, we did not predict the weather very well. Instead of a sweet, springtime day, we had a pretty accurate preview of what this summer will feel like. I have never seen Noah get so red or sweat that much. (Don't worry, we stayed hydrated.)
   Anyways, here are a few pictures of Noah's first picnic with his friend Lucy:
munchin' on snacks

Aren't they cute?

A rare picture of Noah and Mommy! oooooo!

Lucy had a bite of her mommy's ice cream bar. Can you tell?

And finally, a clip I saw online that was delightfully entertaining.
I am amazed at this footage: I am amazed that parents and teachers would allow children to be terrified so. And yet, I think this is one of the neatest things I have ever seen! Check it out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFf3ZWNF6EY

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Woah, what just happened?

Does anybody else feel like we skipped a day this week? I was certain that yesterday was Tuesday. Stephan informed me last night that it was, in fact, Wednesday, which means that today is Thursday and Friday is tomorrow. (Then Saturday comes after) What the?? What did I do on Tuesday?
   Anyways, ya'll now know why I didn't update on time. I slept through a day or something.
So, this glorious Thursday, I went to the gas station to buy gas for I needed to travel to Wally-world to buy diapers. I made a face at the gas pump. It told me that I had to pay very close to 4 dollars a gallon. 15 bucks got me a quarter of a tank of gas. Therefore, I am on driving strike. Take that, whoever is responsible for this madness!
    Noah's napping, so I must go forth and indulge in BSF goodness. I am REALLY enjoying Isaiah! These wrapping-up chapters are interesting, to say the least. How could the pharisees and the scribes not connect the dots and recognize Jesus for who He truly was? Anyways, tallyho!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

God, my God, give me patience!

My son has suddenly turned into an opinionated eater. He will stubbornly refusing to even allow anything he deems icky into his mouth. He fusses and whines and sticks out his tongue and he even swats the spoon away. My precious son used to eat anything we'd put in front of him. Outside, he'd eat sticks and leaves and grass if I'd let him. But if mommy wants him to eat a little bowl of chicken and veggies or mac 'n cheese; oh heck no!
    In response to this, his first notable and continued act of rebellion, I feel an unreal amount of pressure to respond the best way possible. I could be the mom that gives in to his rants and hunt around until I find something he likes and then feed him that from now on; or, I could be the mom that forces him to stay in his high chair and choke down his spaghetti noodles in meat sauce and mandarin oranges until they're all gone. I admit, the way I was raised and my personality tends me towards the latter option. However, this kid gets so squirmy, messy and loud that I have thrown in the towel before he has finished his fruits. WHAT DO I DO? Oh perfect mothers of the world, what is the most child-nurturing, God-glorifying, peace-keeping response to this??? GAHGAHGASDGHAHG!
    That being said, my family is whole and healthy again! Stephan's finally feeling 100% and everything has returned to the way things were. (Except for the eating thing.) Tonight is BSF and I am sincerely, truly, eagerly looking forward to going. My gurl Ting-ting is supplying my homework, thanks gurl!

     In closing, I ask for input from experienced Karens, I mean, mothers, who may have dealt with a stubborn eater in their past and have tender and loving solutions to get babies eating. My sanity and my son's well being depend on your responses.

Friday, April 8, 2011

YEAH I'm fit!

  Just got back from joggin' at the park. My legs are wobbly and my vision is blurry, but I feel like a champion.

So Crisi and I were the only ones to partake in our weekly playtime yesterday, but it was alright, because we used that time as an incredibly cute photo shoot! Pretty much anyone who reads this blog of mine is also friends with me on facebook, and since Crisi posted all our adorable pictures there, I wont worry too much about posting any here. Plus, I don't have any. Oh, wait, yes I do!
                                    Noah and Madilyn in; "Aren't we too cute to stand?"
Found a good use for his tux! Baby wedding pictures!

And then the baby awkward prom pictures

But you moms out there know that there's nothing cuter than nakey babies!
Yes, Madi, we see you, you're adorable.
  See, friends? This is why you should always attend any play date you are invited to. Otherwise, you miss out on precious moments like these!
     Anywho, bunco was last night, and again, I was too mediocre to win anything. It was still lots of fun, except that I was super uncomfortably bloated. But I'm sure ya'll don't care to know that.
    Alrighty, Noah is quiet now, which means he's asleep, which means I can now hop into le shower. Peace out, mis amigos!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I appreciate you, nurses and doctors,...

...But sometimes, I wish you kept your phones in arms reach, as I do, so that my calls about urgent issues might be answered right away. Or at least responded to in a timely fashion. (called the doc at 8:08 this morning. it's 10:13. No word yet.) Thank you, God, for medically-minded friends. 'Dr'.s Kevin, Krystal, and Emily have served pretty well as our family doctors for a few years now.
       But yes, my poor husband is wretchedly sick. As in, retching and sick. He woke me and Noah up once last night, then me two more times after that. It's frustrating for me because I can't actually do anything to help him out. I warmed up some broth for him last night, but that's it. Meanwhile, Stephan is loosing weight and work because he is miserable. Poor baby. I'm also nervous that I might contract this illness. I have prayed a special barrier around me and Noah and Stephan has banished himself to the guest bedroom. We'll burn the sheets and mattress once he's better and can rejoin our family. 
   Some requests for prayer, friends: My grandmother and family. Please pray for comfort for all of us and peace for my mother's mother. Also, please pray for Stephan and I. You're prayers are appreciated!

   Now, I think I will go and lay down.    

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I LIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

Hello all!
Well, friends, Stephan and I have endured our first vacation without our precious Noah along for the ride. (Since he was born, that is). We, with our friends, the Jimilys, ventured to the incredibly peaceful and restful Beaver's Bend, Oklahoma. We stayed in a lovely cabin, enjoyed lots of downtime, and only ventured out to sight see. We went to the historic national park there to see said sights. While there, we partook of a meal at a quaint restaurant, rented paddle boats to paddle around a pristine river (that was almost a bad idea as none of us realized how strenuous propelling a paddle boat was.), and then enjoyed snowcones! Then, we may have crossed into land not meant to be seen by tourists.
      We drove up to the top of the dam there at the park. At the top, there was a place to park and look out over the dam and beautiful lake. I, however, saw a 'trail' of sorts and decided that is would be awesome-er if followed the trail. It turned out to be a good idea, as the steep, treacherous trail lead right down to the lake shore! The entire lake is carved out of shale, by the way, which is an incredibly neat rock! (Pictures to follow will show some fun we had at the lake with the rocks.) After skipping stones and taking pictures, we returned to our cabin and grilled food and s'mores, then watched t.v. until we passed out.

     Here, Stephan feels sympathy for a native Beaver's Bender who seemed so glum.
      This is the mighty Stephan hoisting some rocks he broke of the face of the hillside with his own brute strength.
 My camera on my phone takes horrible shots from a distance, but this would have been a framer had it turned out alright. You can still tell the water if crystal clear and the lake is beautiful. What you can't tell is that the lake and river water was freezing!
   Here are our traveling buddies. Again, look at the beautiful view of the lake.
Stephan is so hardcore that he found a rusted cable and gnawed it in twain. Under job skills he should add "out-of-control awesome".  
    Remember what I said about the shale being the coolest rock ever? Stephan was trying to lift up this entire bolder, but it broke off into the two handfuls of rock that you can see in a picture above. We spent most of our time on that lake shore prying rocks apart with our bare hands, then skipping the smooth, skinny fragments across the surface of the lake. 

    Meanwhile, Noah was back in Texas having a blast with Bebe and Papa. I was pleasantly pleased that I didn't miss my baby painfully. He played outside and crawled all over their house and got a new bruise and scratch (...?), When we went to pick him up, he looked warily at us, as though in disbelief that we had returned, and then reached for us and held us tightly. That made my weekend great.
His new pastime? Crawling through chair legs.