My Little Stud Muffin

I have had several projects in the works over the last few weeks. They have taken up most of my free time, and now that they are completed I can return back to my other hobby. I have a few things I want to write about in the next few weeks including product reviews and recipes, but the first order of business is an update on the little guy. I could post dozens of pictures, but I’ve chosen a few (mostly from my phone – don’t always have time to to transfer and edit from the DSLR) favorites to share with you.

Gideon has been home and sick since Sunday, and he is making a slow but sure recovery. Poor little guy has a little ear infection and a bad rash over most of his body, so we’ve hunkered down and focused on keeping him as comfortable as possible. He finally slept through the night last night. The three of us were in desperate need for a long stretch of sleep! I’m hoping that if the rain lets up tomorrow, we’ll get him out of the house for a bit.

Any ways, here are some pictures from the last month.

Gideon breaks in his new back pack.

Gideon breaks in his new back pack. “Mochila!”

He looks like such a big boy!

He looks like such a big boy!

Gideon and his love for books.

The boy loves his books!

Gideon Reads

He’ll take every single book from the bookshelf and pile them all around him

Gideon Reads

He makes himself right at home at the library.

He makes himself right at home at the library.

Read and Play

We recently discovered a park two minutes away from our house. And I’m reading “Wheat Belly” which is rocking my nutrition-knowledge world.

2 going on 20.

I’m in trouble. What a stud muffin!

We are watching Robin Hood, and then it’s bed time for Gideon. Tonight’s project is working on Gideon’s Halloween costume. More on that later!


“Mommy, I’m So Happy”

Today we hit the ground running, and still haven’t stopped. Daniel got up with Gideon and let me sleep in for an extra hour which was wonderful. After the three of us took a few moments to wrestle and pillow fight, we got ready and headed downtown. There is an area behind the football and baseball stadiums called “The Banks”, right on the Ohio River. It’s full of modern apartment buildings, restaurants, and a really nice riverside park called Smale Park.

We’d heard through the grapevine that an old WWII warship was docked at the river, and open for tours. So we made today a family outing day.

boarding the ship

boarding the USS LST 325

Every time I take a tour or walk through a museum that is war-related, I always get a little introspective and quiet. Today’s tour of the USS LST 325 was no different. This particular ship is called a landing ship. I didn’t know what the meant at first, but then Daniel explained that these were the ships that would land on beaches and unload soldiers as well as heavy weaponry and tanks. Naive as it might seem, images of “Saving Private Ryan” crossed my mind, and I realized that for me personally this was not going to be a fun, happy-go-lucky experience. While I enjoyed learning and taking pictures, I had a great sense of appreciation and honor to walk through the places that men once walked who lost their lives fighting for … well … me, and Daniel, and Gideon. They were thinking of their families and their descendants for years to come. Not to mention, men and women on this ship knew their fate would almost surely result in injury or death, and they didn’t cower. I really respect and appreciate that.


Gideon helped order our tickets.

It went on and on!

It went on and on!

The Mess Hall. It was significantly downsized when the Greeks bought the ship. But this is where the men and women would play cards, write letters, and eat.

The Mess Hall. It was significantly downsized when the Greeks bought the ship. But this is where the men and women would play cards, write letters, and eat.

LST 325

This part of the ship was truly sobering. These cots could not have been more than 5.5 feet long.


This part of the ship was truly sobering. These cots could not have been more than 5.5 feet long.

We followed the LST 325 tour with a trip to Whole Foods for groceries and lunch, which we always look forward to. Once Gideon was down for a nap, I headed to a nearby park to photograph a dear friend with her wonderful 5 year-old son.

perfectly unedited. It was such a delight to be around them.

perfectly unedited. What a delightful family. It was a very special experience.

After a dinner of Cod with salad, which I will never make again because – while it was yummy – it stunk up the entire house, we loaded our bikes in the truck and went for a little off-roading adventure. It was a single track trail, so we rode with Daniel in the lead, Gideon in the middle, and I took up the rear. At one point, Gideon stopped in his tracks, got off his bike, walked up to me, smiled and said “Mommy, I’m so happy”.  I think everyone in the park heard me yell time after time as he rode away “I love you! I love you so much!”. I never want to forget he did that.

I took a pretty good spill during our adventure, so Daniel gave me the night off and is doing kitchen clean up. Love him! Going to take a nice long shower and relax with my honey.

An Emotional Day

Today was such a great day where Gideon was concerned. We just clicked, and things went so smoothly. I didn’t get all of the items checked off of my to-do list, but what I did get done was so pleasant because Gideon was involved, and we took turns doing what the other needed or wanted. He helped me with my chores, and then it was time to wrestle and tickle or just play together. I thank God for giving me this day with Gideon. He’s such a blessing in my life!

In another aspect of my life, today has been very emotionally charged and not for the reason that you might think. Even as I type right now, it’s so distracting. There is a wide rainbow band covering the top of my WordPress browser and I just have to roll my eyes because #truelovealreadywonlongagorightoutsidejerusalem and #rainbowsareasymbolofsomethingmuchgreaterthanlgbtpride.

No, today was emotionally charged because here in the Cincinnati area thousands of people were tuned into the funeral events for a city police officer who was killed in the line of duty a week ago.

Officer Sonny Kim and family

Officer Sonny Kim and family

Daniel was recently promoted from Corporal to the position of Sergeant (so proud of him) and is a member of the Honor Guard, and so he was one of the many faces present at this event. He stood in the pouring rain, one of many officers lining the path to Officer Sonny Kim’s grave site.

Daniel is second from the right.

Daniel is second from the right. [source]

There is no question I know the risk Daniel takes every time he puts on that uniform and does his job. The community he works for can feel more at peace because he is making it safer place.

But sometimes, days like today, the selfish/weaker part of me wants him to find another career. I would much rather he spend his days in an office or somewhere business or retail-like where the risks are minimal. Then I realize that, while there is no place that is immune to safety risks these days, he is a great part of the reason there are still places where risk is minimal. And I respect that.

The strong/unselfish part of me tells me that Daniel is wonderful at what he does, is with a great group of people to support him, and this cannot be an added area of fear in my life.We have made dear friendships with some of his co-workers and up until work schedules did not allow, we led regular Bible studies together. To this day we attend weddings, and each other’s children’s birthdays. I’m so glad Daniel is part of such a great team of men and women.  Fear already has enough of stronghold in my life, and it won’t have this part of me. The part that prays and has full faith that God is watching over him, and will have His way in Daniel’s life, no matter the outcome.

My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the Kim family.

Terrific Two’s: Meltdown City Part 1

 Gideon is officially of age to begin taking some daily activities into his own hands. He wants so badly to be independent, and have control of something. When he feels too tightly bound or like no one is listening, those famous toddler tantrums ensue. I avoid talking or reasoning with him too much when he is in the throws of a fit simply because he’s too upset to process whatever I’m trying to communicate. 

a toddler fit? me??

I am learning that no one discipline style fits all the moments of Gideon’s life that require discipline or guidance. He’s not a robot and I can’t presume to help or “fix” him with a manual-following approach. 

Parenting Gideon has become more difficult – not because of Gideon, he is a 2 year old who is acting and behaving appropriate for his age – but because this new important phase of his life requires me to humble myself and practice self-control and self-awareness like never before. He needs guidance, and I find myself being the one who requires the discipline.

My goal is to model the fruits of the spirit for my son, and show him how much better life is if we confront the challenging moments in life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That means I’d better get cracking! And it’s tough!   

I’ve been making my way through this book

I read books like these with the goal of finding things that apply and are useful to my personal life. While I don’t agree with everything the author believes, she makes some pretty solid points. Not to mention, although she appears to be  a secular writer, she inadvertently emphasizes how vital the fruits of the spirit are in raising happy kids. More to the point of this blog entry, she believes that parenting has more to do with the parents’ behavior and how we act, and less with how children perform at different stages of development. I could not agree more!   

gideon and his cousin taking it easy at the pool today

Next up in part 2 of this little series I want to note the strategies that help me keep my mommy meltdowns to a minimum and guide Gideon through his age-appropriate ones.

A glorious weekend!

This Memorial Day weekend we packed our bags and headed out to eastern Ohio for a few days in the countryside.

Gideon enjoyed some new toys and activities I had prepared specifically for the trip.

Gideon enjoyed some new toys and activities I had prepared specifically for the trip.

My sister-in-law’s family owns 80 acres of land in that part of the state. A farmhouse that dates back to the Civil War has been beautifully rehabbed, and other relatives have built log cabins and lodges through the years. There is a myriad of trails and a few ponds scattered through some of the wooded portion where you can often find beaver and enjoy some fishing. It’s lush with woods, prairies and hills. In short, it’s a countryside paradise!


The three-floor lodge we stayed at. Such a neat place!

The three-floor lodge we stayed at. Such a neat place!

Log cabin in the woods!

Log cabin in the woods!

One of my favorite things about the whole weekend (besides the natural beauty around us) was how welcoming and social my sister-in-law’s family was. We took walks to see who happened to be on the property, and family members rode golf carts up to the lodge where we stayed at to visit us. Kids played and ran around while adults sat and caught up on life.


Taking a hike through the woods.

The barn cousins at the barn IMG_9384 IMG_9387

It was such a refreshing experience. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be in nature, and an opportunity to decompress. This place lent itself to that completely. The we had no agenda except to do whatever we wanted, and there was no schedule to follow. We ate when we wanted to, the kids went to bed much later than usual and we didn’t mind one bit.

It's all Gideon talked about on our way to the property.

It’s all Gideon talked about on our way to the property.

Push me papi! Swing!I am so thankful! It was a weekend to remember.

“I don’t like this song!”

Is Gideon’s longest uttered sentence that I have recorded. My 2-year old is producing 5 word sentences! Clear as day, from the back seat of the car he said “I don’t like this song!”. Daniel and I looked at each other in disbelief.

Thank you for the scooter, Fin! We love you!

Thank you for the scooter, Fin! We love you!

On a more scary note, he has become a true parrot. I exclaimed “shoot!” one time when I stubbed my toe, and Gideon tried his hand at it. I’ve since worked on taming my tongue to say things like “ouch!” or “aw man!”. Another time I was at my in-law’s house watching an episode of Doc Martin. Someone on the show said the word “bloody!” as British expletives go, and of all the things for Gideon to say out loud while playing with cars on the coffee table he said “Bloody!”. We all gasped, and covered our mouths to keep the shocked laughs to ourselves. No more Doc Martin for him! Even Thomas The Train likes his expletives. “Bust my boilers!”, “cinders and ashes!”. But I digress…

Gideon had his 2 year checkup a few days ago, and we learned that only 2% of all 2 year olds in the United States of America are taller than him. He went from being in the 95% for weight to the 75%. Gideon is basically tall and lanky like his dad. Everything checked out perfectly, and we were given kudos for not bringing him into the doctor’s office since his first-year check up. Knock on wood his second year will be doctor visit free!

Our big eater has become a big picky eater. Gideon continues to have a huge appetite, but has become more selective about what he chooses to put in his mouth. At first I thought he had simply developed a distaste for certain foods, but I’m beginning to think that there is more of a texture/sensory issue going on. I’m leaning towards Gideon being a picky texture eater because he spits out food as soon as it enters his mouth, but not before really tasting it. He is also more receptive to certain foods (namely vegetables) that have been cooked a certain way, which only supports my theory.

I’m thinking some sneaky broccoli brownies are in his future. You do what you’ve got to do, am I right?

Likes/favorites: being outside, riding his bike, his big wheel, riding his scooter, daddy’s truck, bugs, waffles, pizza, strawberries, cheese, tuna, milk and cuddles first thing in the morning, puzzles, Abby, putting shoes away as soon as we enter the house (is not content unless they are lined up perfectly), praying, his sand/water table, washing his hands, flushing the toilet, brushing his teeth, cars (toy and real), airplanes, trains, helicopters, throwing and catching a ball, jumping with both feet, singing “Jesus Loves Me”, counting to 10 (in Spanish primarily), the alphabet and what sounds the letters make, being tickled, wrestling, being chased.

Dislikes: getting his diaper changed, when his play time is interrupted, when it’s time to say bye to family or friends, when he doesn’t get a 5th serving of food, when you mess with or disrupt his little routines (bedtime, etc.).

New Developments: Gideon will call to us from upstairs “Hey guys!”, call out to perfect strangers and wave frantically “Hi guys!”, “Bye guys!”. He probably asks us “what’s that?” like one hundred times a day. Once he’s regained his composure after falling or hurting himself, Gideon will relate the story of what happened by going up to the place or item he hit his head/knee/face on and saying “bam!”.

Our little boy is growing so quickly! I’m looking forward to a fun, active summer. I’m also looking forward to pre schooling him at home. Hopefully that will happen in the Fall. We shall see!

Murphy’s Law, but not quite.

So this happened this morning.

Bye bye Mazda.

Gideon and I were headed to our Thursday morning Mommy Bible Study. We were not running late, I was enjoying the beautiful downhill road to the river.


It’s uncanny how this picture resembles the curb where I spun out this morning.

All of a sudden, I started to skid a little. I took my foot off the pedals, and held the steering wheel still to try to regain control. That did not work, and a little bit of skidding turned into heading downhill completely sideways. I ever so gently tapped my breaks to try to slow down, and that’s when physics took the wheel completely. Physics was always my worst subject, worse than chemistry. To this day I don’t know how I passed my physics classes and after today, I’m further from understanding it then ever before.

We were headed towards the ledge, and I screamed. I screamed because I’ve had dreams of losing control of the wheel. I screamed because the possibility of my car flying after falling off a ledge is non-existent outside of the land of dreams. I screamed because I had precious cargo in the back seat, and no way to remove him from the situation before the inevitable.

We hit the guard rail head on and I could see the creek below. There was a stone draining wall 10 feet down, and I did not want to land on it. Somehow that guard rail held the weight of my car, and more physics action took place to make my car spin one last time. My car finally came to a full stop. It was leaning up against the guard rail, facing opposing traffic directly on a downhill blind curve. Thank goodness there had not been any cars around for me to run into while spinning around uncontrollably.

I took in the fact that the action was over, and looked in the rear view mirror. Gideon was sitting in his car seat just looking around like “what just happened??”. I asked him if he was ok, and he said “uh huh”. I wanted to climb into the back seat and check on him, but I didn’t know how stable the car was, or how close we were to the edge. I was scared to move. I couldn’t get my door open, and just sat confused for a few seconds. I didn’t realize how distraught I was until I reached for the diaper bag. I could barely hold anything because I was shaking so badly. The diaper bag contents had fallen all over the place, and of course my phone was the one thing I could not readily find.

I called Daniel who was home and two minutes away from me. He said he would call the police. I very slowly climbed out of the car through the front passenger door. A sweet lady named Julie pulled over and kept me company while I waited for Daniel to arrive. Bless little Gideon, he was completely unaffected by the whole thing and was pointing out all the trees, and chatting it up with his new friend.

What seemed like hours later, I was sitting in Daniel’s truck with Gideon. He could hear me crying and knew how upset I was. All of a sudden he says so sweetly from the back seat.

“I’m fine, mama.”

Those three little words.

He was telling me “No big deal mom, It’s all good.”

He’s barely two years old, and he’s already comforting and reassuring his mother. Who is this child?? How did I ever get to be the mother of such a tender hearted little boy??

The sweet lady officer was really thoughtful, and told me before leaving “someone was watching out for you.” And of course a whole other level of weeping ensued.

I’ve been weepy all day, and I only started feeling better after Gideon and I took two and a half hour naps. When we woke up we spent some time enjoying the beautiful weather on the front porch, and the rest of the evening was enjoyable.

It sounds like the car is totaled. We just put new brakes on it a few weeks ago. Murphy’s law? To a degree. But Gideon is safe, and I’m safe. Murphy’s got nothing on God.