Thursday, May 31, 2007

SOOOO BIG or SOOOO Stubborn?

Our littlest angel just cracks us up. We've been working hard on getting her to play "so big!" It has finally appeared to click in her little mind...however...she raises just her one hand. She usually thinks this is hilarious and just smiles and smiles. We know it is probably due to her favoritism of her right hand...but we keep working on it to get her to raise her left too...She is just so stubborn!

Another story to support this: As part of her therapy, we are supposed to place toys/pacifiers far enough away from her to deliberately cause her to move/bend/stretch/roll for them. She was laying down and I was working on her rolling and she really wanted her pacifier. Well...instead of rolling...the little stinker reached for the paci with her toes...picked it up with her toes...and brought it to her hand, which made it to her mouth! So cute...but SO stubborn!

What an imagination!

So you all know by now my son's fascination with trash and recycling. He had a really hard time this week since the trash man came a day late due to the holiday. Usually the trash man comes on Tuesdays while Kate has therapy and Jane (a wonderful wonderful lady!) comes and plays with Seth. They go on a hunt for the trash man. Well...Jane came and the trash wasn't out! Pretty traumatic.

But...trash day came and he was all excited. He told me he was going to play trash man/recyclable man...below in a series of three'll see my little mastermind at work...
1st: He takes all the "trash" (every toy and tub in the house) to the curb (the hallway in the kitchen.)
2nd...the "trash man" comes and picks up the tubs and dumps them...notice each tub is turned over...just like the "real trash man."
3rd...All the trash is at the dump.

The "trash" has to stay at the dump for a while...but then finally, we can put everything back in the tubs and he'll do it all again the next day. He loves it...his imagination is at work...and he just talks to himself the whole time he's playing "trash man" Several times throughout, he'll come to me and tell me "We've got ALOT of trash and or recyclables today." I just keep telling myself it's his way of playing, and it gives me a chance to organize and clean the toys every other day or so!

Seth running after the "real thing" The neighbor saw him enamored with the trash man and said..."think positive, maybe he'll become a hydraulic engineer and design the trucks"

Added note: Today...when I went to the pantry...every food item that is pre-packaged and in a box was on the shelf and the boxes MIA...must be "recyclable" day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer Fun

Since summer is "unofficially" here and it was really hot today...we thought it would be fun to go swimming in the backyard. I blew up the little kiddy pool with all intentions of that being for Kate and getting out the sprinkler for Seth. Well, Seth just hopped right in with Kate and the two of them had a blast. How fun to see the two of them in the beginning stages of playing together. Amazing how much fun 6 inches of water can be!

The pool has inflated padding on the bottom, and combining that with it being was a little challenging for Kate to sit. She took a couple face dives into the water (We'll just call it "therapy")...but after a very quick cry to let me know "mom, you are supposed to catch me," she was back splashing and chewing on toys.

Front Page Celebrities

As mentioned in yesterday's post...Andy and Seth made the front page of the Portland Paper. The article is now on their website...check it out! If you look after today (Tuesday) it might be under the local news link...under the title: Tradition of Honor.

I'm so proud of Andy...he made a promise to his grandfather and has continued to put out the flags for many years. It is fun to see Seth get in on the tradition too!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Memories

Wow..the 3 day weekend is over...but Andy only has 2 more days with kids and 2 days w/ teachers....summer is here.We had a pretty good Memorial Day are the highlights:

--Andy, Seth and Larry (Pampaw) put up flags on veterans gravesites near Portland. The local paper gets wind of Andy's tradition of doing this and they make the front page of the Portland Paper. (I hope they put it on their website...I will post a link as soon as they do!)

--Andy, Seth, Grandma and Pampaw put flowers on grandparents graves in and around Portland. Kate and Krista stay back to eat and nap!

--Lots of great food and time spent with grandparents on Friday/Saturday in Portland. Grandma gets up with the and dad sleep in! YEAH! Thanks Cathy!

--1st Pool Vandalism of the Year. Andy is the "pool boy" for a local association pool. It opened on Saturday for the season and the local punks thought they would be funny by "leaving a deposit" in the pool. YUCK! An extra hour spent cleaning and disinfecting the pool!

--A very lazy Sunday spent reading the paper, taking naps and playing in the sunshine when it peeked through the clouds.

--Got Krista's bike down from the attic (I haven't ridden in 2 years!) and hooked up the bike trailer. Took both kids for a ride! Both kids loved it, especially Kate who didn't even mind her helmet and we all enjoyed a ride around the neighborhood. Lots more bike riding to come this summer!
--Attended a cookout hosted by Nana and Oompa. Enjoyed some great food...took Seth on a canoe ride and Kate was the center of attention. Lots of awesome people were there who have taken great care of us this past year!

Hope you had a restful weekend...God Bless

Friday, May 25, 2007

Funny Friday

Funny Moment in the life the Laymans:

A couple weeks ago, we made Seth take a bite of cooked carrot. He held it in his mouth for 5 seconds, proceeded to spit it out into a napkin and then state: "I need to go brush my teeth!"

Joke of the day:

For weeks a five-year-old child kept telling his kindergarten teacher about the baby sister or brother that was expected at his house. One day the mother allowed the child to feel the movements of the unborn baby. The five-year-old was obviously impressed, but made no comment. Moreover, he stopped telling the teacher about the awaiting event. Finally the teacher sat the child on her lap and said, “Lucas, whatever has become of that baby brother or sister you were expecting at home?“Lucas burst into tears and confessed, “I think Mommy ate it!”

Picture of the day:

I love this picture of Kate...I can just picture in my mind the thoughts going through her head...."Who is this and what is he doing?" I think she'll be thinking that alot in the future!

Have a great holiday weekend! God Bless!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Just one more ounce....We went in for a weight check today. Kate came out just one ounce shy of 16lbs, our goal for the past 3 weeks. She was cute...she was bouncin' on the scale...hopin maybe it would bump her up!

Dr. Jim was pleased with her weight gain and her sitting up. He thinks she will probably always be a tall thin girl! I remember talking to our cardiologist way back and he said he would be happy with 16lbs at a year...we still have over a month, so we're optimistic that she will certainly surpass that goal! YEAH KATE! And all this after pretty much cutting back to just 5 bottles a day...she (and mom and dad) have slept right through her 5 am bottle the past week.

Have a great day!

Yum Yum Thumb

In an event that has happened only 3-4 times as a mother of 2...both my kids were taking naps at the same time today. They both just conked out on the couch/floor. As I was adoring my sleeping beauties...I noticed they both had their thumb in their mouth (Kate's was inside her pacifier!) It must bring such comfort as they are both avid suckers of thumbs and pacifiers/thumbs.

I'm always on a search for comfort. I'm on the computer now at midnight since I couldn't get comfortable in bed. Since having Kate, I've never been comfortable in regards to temperature. (I'm so hot...all the time) I want to be comfortable with Kate's health...with how clean the house is...with my relationships...with my spiritual walk...with the time I spend one on one with Seth...with my weight...the list goes on.

I often find myself looking in all the wrong places...usually food! Perhaps if I just learned from my kids and stuck my thumb in my mouth, I'd be a lot better off. I know where I need to go....God. I found encouragement from this tonight!

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. (From Life Application Study Bible)

And Lord knows I need the strength...for the big things in life like Kate and for the little things too! And...I want to be the comforter (another reason Kate was brought into our lives!)

So, I have a new time I need comfort for whatever reason...I'm sticking my thumb in my mouth and reading a passage of scripture...God will bring me comfort! He is just that good! Maybe not as quick as chocolate...but a lot more eternal!

God Bless!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trash Night

Seth and his proud stash!

Things are pretty exciting here at the Layman household. We've been counting down the days! The trash man and recycling man come tomorrow and that means Seth can finally take everything to the curb. Our little guy is just fascinated with trash and recycling. He can spot a trash truck a mile away and gives detailed descriptions of trash cans ("it's too full, it's backwards, it fell down, the lid is open"!) It's a running commentary as we pass trash cans along the road. And...heaven forbid, you put some paper in the trash...he can sniff it out quicker than anything and gets it promptly in the correct recycling bin! Maybe we could all learn a lesson from Seth about finding joy in the simple things in life....but does it really have to be trash???

He drags all the bins and boxes "all by myself"

As far as doesn't take much for her to find joy...her pacifier taking 1st place right now! But taking a close 2nd is paper..what is it with paper and babies? (She can't have it for long before Seth takes it to the recycling bin though!)

Kate...what a ham!

Hope you can find joy in the simple things today!
God Bless!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Working for Good

I have learned many a lessons via our experiences with Kate. One of the major things I have come to realization about is the many things in life I take or have taken for granted. I know...we've heard this all before...but it is really hitting home with me the past few weeks. We had a wonderful weekend...the weather was awesome...the kids were great. What a treat to spend the weekend in the beautiful sunshine with my family. The weeks we spent in the hospital, with our family separated, really taught me how much I took that for granted. But...after days like this weekend, I just have to thank God for giving me my family and a daughter who is able to sit outside in the sunshine with us.

Kate sitting in the grass...loving every minute of it.

Her toes just wiggle and she pulls the grass and puts it straight to her mouth!

Seth finally pedaling his bigwheel. We're all so excited!

Why is it that we have to have things taken away from us before we really appreciate what we do least I find this true sometimes for me. I don't want to take things for granted. I don't want to live my life assuming everything will stay the same or the way I expect it to. I do want to look at each minute as a gift from God. I want to find the good in all things.

I was reminded of this at church this morning as our pastor preached on Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to His purpose.

I love how the scripture says: all things--the good things and the bad things. God is working for Good...AMEN! I know...bad things are going to happen in my's inevitable. But in the meantime, may I enjoy/embrace/appreciate/acknowledge each good thing and know that God is working the next time something bad happens.

BTW...Larry, my father-in-law, is doing great! He has never felt better and did not even get sick after this last round of chemo. WOW! Praise God...and there you go...Romans 8:28 at work again! What a God we serve!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Funny Friday

How did the butcher introduce his wife?

"Meet Patty"

A Woman's Dictionary

Argument (ar*gyou*ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you're right, but he just hasn't realized it yet.
Bar-be-que (bar*bee*q) n. You bought the groceries, washed the lettuce, chopped the tomatoes, diced the onions, marinated the meat and cleaned everything up, but he "made the dinner".
Clothes Dryer (cloze dri*yer) n. An appliance designed to eat socks.
Diet Soda (dy*it so*da) n. A drink you buy at a convenience store to go with a half pound bag of peanut M&M's.
Eternity (e*ter*ni*tee) n. The last two minutes of a football game.
Exercise (ex*er*siz) v. To walk up and down a mall, occasionally resting to make a purchase.
Grocery List (grow*ser*ee list) n. What you spend a half hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.
Hair Dresser (hare dres*er) n. Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again. See "Magician".
Waterproof Mascara (wah*tr*pruf mas*kar*ah) n. Comes off if you cry, shower, or swim, but will not come off if you try to remove it.

Pictures of the Day

Seth (one year old)---just after a nap on a very humid day...much in need of a haircut! How cute is he?
Have a great day...what's left of it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is so important....

I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally...but this one is real, and it's important. So please pass this warning along....

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!! They only want to see you naked.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

This made me laugh...a much needed laugh on a crazy, hectic day. Thanks Deanna for passing this along. Here, I thought it was all serious at first, since I've already found 2 ticks on me this year. But obviously...

Isn't it great to get a good laugh! I'm saving up all my funny jokes and pictures for a weekly installment, I'll call Funny Friday. Check back later this week.
Hope you find something to laugh about today!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Teething Trouble

I think (hope) we're in the midst of some new teeth. Kate has been CRANKY! She (and her brother) were up at 4:30 this stay. I don't know who woke the other one up. I think they are already ganging up on me. She gnaws on her pacifier like nothing else...almost sticking the whole thing in her mouth... and wants held all the time. I pray to God that she is teething...perhaps in a day or two we will see couple peeking through the top.

I did get an hour of contentment...those teeting biscuits really did the trick. I highly reccomemd them, however, they are a mess! Straight to the sink for a quick bath after this one!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's The Word

Seth and mommy enjoying a day on the lake!

Kate and mommy enjoying a nap on the chair!

What a nice day...what a joy to be a mother. The day started with breakfast in bed after a good straight 71/2 hours of sleep (thanks Andy!) Then, Seth and I (as well as my parents) had a real treat today. We were invited to Mother's Day Brunch at the Lake Tippecanoe Country Club thanks to my brother's wife's parents (got that?) Walt and Linda Buroker were so kind in inviting us and letting us induldge in some wonderful food---fresh shrimp! YUM YUM. Thanks so much!

Side note: Andy and Kate were invited too, however after much discussion, we decided it might just be too hard and long of a day for Kate, so Andy so graciously offered to stay home with her while Seth and I enjoyed the lunch.(What a sweet guy!) Seth even got a speed boat ride with his cousins on the lake after lunch.

It was nice to spend time with my mom! What a role model and inspiration for me. I admire her in so many ways, but the thing I appreciate most is that she is always willing to drop/stop/change her plans to help us in our moments of need and/or crisis!

A mother is one who takes the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.....that's my mom! I love you have taught me so much about being a mom and raising my two little ones. You are the best!

BTW...I lucked into a pretty great mother-in-law too! Thanks Cathy for all you do and are! Love ya. there any other greater privilege or responsibility in the entire world? Thanks, God, for giving me my family and guiding me along the way.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Marketing or Genius

So...tonight Seth is helping me put several months of receipts through the shredder. I'm not too amazed when he notices the receipts from Kroger and Meijer (two of our most visited spots!) However, he continues to look at each receipt and in his own special way tell me where it is from:

Walgreens: "the medicine store"
Scotts: "the doughnut store"
Do It Best: "that's where Pampa and me got new mower parts!"
Star: "the bank where I get a sucker"
Midwest America: "the bank" --we go there once a month to pay our car bill
Babies R' Us: "the baby store"
Lowes: "the flower store"
Applebees: "where we went and it was too crowded" (3 months ago!!!!)
Blockbuster: "the movie store"
CVS: "the store in Portland with grandma" (we never go to CVS...but Grandma does!)
Kohls: "the shoe store" (that's where we bought his last pair of shoes!)
Pizza Hut: "the pizza store"

And...a month or so ago, he saw a business card with the St. Vincent Hospital Logo (3 birds) and proceeded to tell me that was Kate's doctor--it had been at least 5 months since we had been there!

So...Andy and I sit in amazement asking each other: is this normal? Is he super smart or is marketing just that good? Obviously, at the age of 2, he can't read, however the symbols/logos/store names mean something to him and he gets it!

I'm curious...all you moms out this normal? Not to brag on my child (but I will!) is he just super observant and smart? Or...perhaps since Seth is our first to "grow up", maybe this is "normal" for this age....any way, I'm impressed! don't have to have a Google account to leave a comment...just do it as anonymous and sign your name at the end of your comment!

Junk for Sale

Counting up the profits!

We had a garage sale this weekend...what a beautiful weekend to be outside and get rid of our junk and make a little extra money! Seth had a great time...Kate loved watching people...Andy took great care of the kids and I got a killer of a sunburn....who knew in May?

Garage sales must be really hard concepts for almost 3 year olds. Seth loves going to garage sales and looking for treasures. However, when it came to selling some of his "treasures" he wasn't quite sure. It was so funny...he was outside with me, wearing an apron like mom's with a little bit of cash in it. A lady gave him a quarter for her quarter purchase...Seth was quick to take the quarter and offer her a dollar for change! Yikes! He kept telling daddy that mommy was giving away money and wondering why people want to buy our junk. He was also very confused when we closed up shop and all of our stuff wasn't gone...(We'd be out there till 2022 trying to sell some of that junk.)

Kate enjoying a windy sunny day!

It was confirmed man's trash is definitely another man's treasure. But whatever it may be.. may we all find our true treasure in Jesus Christ. God Bless you all!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Scream, You Scream....

We all scream for ice cream at the Layman house!

So, we ended up bribing Seth with a stop at our favorite spot, "The Scoop" for ice cream, if he smiled nicely and behaved during our photo shoot this evening for our church directory. Well...the only one of the four of us who took a decent photo was Kate...but we ended up at ice cream anyway.

Seth absolutely loves it...he loves picking out a new flavor each time...especially getting to taste the flavors....anything pink, blue or brightly colored is a hit with him.

Kate...I wish you all could see her when it comes to ice cream. She just squeals, smiles, grunts, licks her lips and obviously enjoys every bite. I guess it will never hurt with the weight gain...however, we are going on midnight and she is raring to go!

It's funny, how blessed we felt tonight with our family...simply eating ice cream together. What a joy to be able to get out...and have Kate enjoy one of the "finer things in life!" Today...I am so grateful for ice cream...sometimes, it doesn't get any better! And....I highly recommend a new flavor: Monster Cookie....YUM YUM!

If anyone ever has the hankering for ice cream..give us a call!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Workin' Hard

Everyone is working hard around our house.

1. Kate: I think Kate has finally got the sitting thing down. She can sit for 10-15 minutes at a time, especially when she has a toy to balance with. She can even correct herself when she starts to go! YEAH! Another major milestone...Praise God! We, along with her therapists, have been working on this for a long time.
2. Seth: Seth had a great time helping us unload mulch. He kept trying to use daddy's shovel..but once we gave him his own shovel (Thanks Nana!)...his reply was: "This is great!" We had to laugh...he kept telling Andy: "Get to work, Help me! I can't do this all by myself."
3. Andy: Andy has been working hard with his academic team at school. A couple weeks ago they placed 2nd in the state! YEAH! He spends a lot of time after school with the kids and researching. We are all very proud of him!

I am so grateful for my family...each working hard in his/her own way...I am confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil: 1:6) Thank you God, for working in our lives...we are blessed.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Little Boy Heaven

We've got one tired little boy at our house. This weekend was jam-packed for Seth. Friday afternoon he went camping with Nana & Oompa (my parents) and his 2 cousins: Elijah (6) & Lucas (4). They went to Amishville and had a wonderful time playing at the playground, digging in the dirt and roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire. Nana said all three of them sleeping on the same fold-out table bed was quite a sight.
Three very dirty little boys
Saturday afternoon we picked Seth up and took him to Grandma and Pampa's (Andy's parents). The guys went fishin' while the ladies went to the ladies banquet at the church. I guess Seth already has the "fishin" lingo down and says the fish he caught is "THIS BIG!"
How great to see Pampa out fishin, even during chemo treatments!
After dinner, Seth went back to camping and more fun with the boys. He came home exhausted this afternoon...but with lots of fun stories.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents who take such a vested interest in our little ones lives. Thanks for making it a very special weekend for our little guy!

BTW...Kate had a great time at her first Ladies Banquet at grandma's church in Portland...and got lots of oohs and aahs at Baby Day this morning at our church. "I know I'm cute!"
It was a busy weekend for all...but feels so good to be busy!
Have a great week!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Grass is Greener

Wow, I really feel as if we have turned a great corner with Kate these past few weeks. I actually feel as if we have led a "normal" life.

--She gained 11 oz these past 2 weeks bringing her total to 15lbs 5oz. This is her biggest gain to date, even amidst her still spitting up.

--She has been on somewhat of a schedule for the first time in 10 months. She has been going to bed between 8:30-10 which has allowed mommy some sleep and/or downtime. Although I still get up for a 12-1 a.m. feeding and Andy wakes up early for work for a 5a.m. feeding, it beats all those nights she was up till 2 a.m. (No jinxing with this comment!)

--She is well on her way to finally sitting up..we're still a couple weeks away from getting the whole balance thing down...but we're getting there...she even took a sit-up bath for the first time Wednesday night.

"This is pretty neat!"

--We've been to church as a family the past 4 weeks. Although she doesn't always stay quiet for the sermon, we are getting a much need spiritual refill, meeting people and finally getting a chance for her to wear all her adorable dresses.

--With flu season over and the weather nicer, we have finally been out and about: to the zoo (twice already), to the park, to garage sales, to ice cream (her favorite) and for lots of walks.

"All this 'out and aboutin' really wears me out!"

My friend Deanna had a wonderful blog the other day where she talked about that ever so common phrase: "The Grass is Always Greener..." Wow, have I been feeling that way the past few months, feeling like everyone else had it better. In her Blog, she cited a speaker she had heard who said: "The grass is only greener when it is watered and fertilized" Wow! Slap in the face! I have truly realized: My grass is green, my life is blessed...God is good! As mentioned above, good things are happening...I just really need to be intentional about watering and fertilizing my life: whether it be through prayer, a great conversation with Andy or a friend (even with 4 kids at McDonald's), a hug, an hour in the sunshine flying a kite in the park or just a simple smile from an innocent child who thinks you are the world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Let's Give This a Try!

For the longest time, I didn't even know what the word BLOG meant...but here I am giving it a try. My very good friend Deanna has a blog and I really enjoy reading and looking at her she gives me so much encouragement.

So I will attempt to share a little of our lives with you...perhaps an update on Kate's health or one of Seth's many memorable sayings. I'll share pictures (probably too many of my adorable kids) and hopefully encourage you or just make you smile! And along the way, perhaps I'll create a journal of our lives, hopefully highlighting the blessings we have from God.

My prayer is that God be honored through my ramblings...Hope you enjoy! Please occasionally leave a comment so I know who is out there! And so begins my journey into blogging. Love, Krista (and the rest of the gang too!)