Friday, June 5, 2009

Family Watermelon Picnic

aka "white trash Clappers"

Picture this....a spring like Sunday evening in the "charming" (I use this term loosely) town of Audubon. The Clapper family has just been reunited after the parents took a fabulous vacation for a full 36 hours. To celebrate our time together we break out a recent favorite-WATERMELON! My ever so brillant husband just decides to bring the watermelon and knife on the front porch. No plates, not cutting board, no nothing....just a watermelon and knife. He proceeds to start handing out wedges of watermelon. Given how the event began, I decided that there was no class left in us nor any dignity and promptly began stripping the children so that their clothes could be spared. Although you couldn't tell from our front yard picnic, their clothes were not items I picked from a trash can 20 years ago-I did think they were worthy of wearing again, without watermelon stains. Although we certaintly looked trashy spread out in our "spacious" front yard, they sure had fun which, in my opinion, is all that counts!
Ellie likes to eat her watermelon big girl style. If you hand her a piece, she turns her head as if to say "I am so over eating small pieces. I can hold it myself!!". I do not allow her to hold it herself....that is even messier than biting it. She gets stripped down anytime she eats watermelon.
Unfortunately this picture was taken at the beginning of our "picnic". Literally 5 pieces later, his stomach was covered in juice. I literally had to take a wash cloth and scrub it off. And he wonders why I make him take his shirt off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's son is a boy!

It all started as an innocent game of "hokey poky". Since I spend every waking moment caring for my children's every need and furthering all areas of their development, never spending time blogging, e-mailing or on facebook, I was taking the time today to teach David some new songs. I began "Hokey Poky" and went through all obvious extremities that one would use for this song. I thought he would think it was funny if mommy "stuck her bum in, stuck her bum out, stuck her bum in and shook it all about". Well, I was quickly informed "mommy, we only talk about our bums in the bathroom, not in the bedroom". He DOES learn from me-amazing!!

I proceeded to ask what else we could put into the hokey poky game. He responded "eyes". Ok, eyes it is. "What else?" I should have known to stop with eyes....just do the basics! Why was I trying to be supermom and invent new verses? WHY? I ask you!!!??

David:"mommy, we could put our balls in."
Mommy, trying to not jump to a conclusion in my mind, thinking maybe he means his baseball which he has grown fond of...nope, not what he meant.
Mommy: "what balls do you mean David?"
David: (While giving instructions while pointing, with an element of disgust that I don't know what he is talking about) "the balls that hang underneath my penis".

Oh, right, of course. Song over! I do not remember exactly how I handled the comment although I am sure there was some muffled laughter, turning of the face to laugh and a rub on his head and a "i love you buddy. you sure are mommy's boy!"

Note to self: When I tell him that we only talk about bums, poop, etc. in the bathroom only, I apparently need to add "balls" to the list! Well, at least he knows his anatomy! He may not know his numbers or letters, but he knows his anatomy. Whatever-letters and numbers are highly overrated!

P.S. Sorry this is a post without pictures, but I did not know exactly what picture would be appropriate for a post of this nature! I figured you should appreciate a pictureless blog in this instance...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

David to Me "Mommy, play with me".
M to D: "I am playing with you".
D to M: "I don't think you are mommy. I don't see a toy in your hand".

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Look alike?

I can never really decide if I think David and Ellie look a lot alike. I can definitely tell that they are siblings, but I don't think I see the big resemblance everyone talks about. I will let you be the judge......

David 8 months

David 9 months

Ellie 9 months
David/Ellie 9 months

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a God thing

I often hear people use this phrase and I can attest to so many God moments in my life myself. I recently had such a special God moment. On Friday night we had dinner with David's boss. It was a last minute thing and we didn't know if it would be a good idea to go because of the kids and a few other things. Since they were kind enough to invite us, we decided to go. It was a lovely time. The Shabbat meal was delicious and the company just wonderful. We met various people who were friends with this family. Our kids really took to them and that is always nice to see. Even Ellie enjoyed being held by Paul, David's boss. For anyone who knows Ellie just a little, this is unreal. She usually cries as people's arms are being stretched out to get her. She smiled at him and seemed to really enjoy herself. I was amazed. He had the touch. It was just a wonderful night and I am so thankful to them for inviting us. The evening was great, but I expected it to end just that way-as a great evening with friends. I had no idea what this evening would mean to me in the next 24 hours-that it would be another God moment in my life.

Late Saturday night I checked our home voicemail from my parent's home. There was a message from our pediatrician telling us that Ellie's blood/urine work came back and that there was concern with it. He suggested we see a Nephrologist. As soon as I did my mad internet research, I started to come up with a plan. I instantly remembered that I had met a Nephrologist, Carol, the night before. I have no recollection of how her profession came up into conversation, but I remembered that she said it and we spoke about it briefly. I had never known a Nephrologist and now I meet one 24 hours before this preliminary diagnosis. I asked David if we could call Paul and ask for Carol's number. I thought it would be helpful to talk to her to gain more information.

David e-mail Paul first thing Sunday morning. We went from just wanting a phone number to Paul making numerous calls and landing us an appointment with the Chief of the Nephrology department at CHOP for the coming week. I am still amazed at Paul taking the time to make the calls to get us in. I am very thankful that he cared enough about our Ellie.

God knew all of this would happen and He worked out every smallest detail. I am so thankful to God for these small, yet significant details....
  • God knew we were going to go to dinner even when we didn't know if we would make it.
  • God knew that Carol would be there.
  • God knew that Ellie would take to Paul. God allowed Ellie to feel comfortable with Paul which made Paul really fall for her too. Paul now calls Elllie his girl.
  • When Paul went up to check on Ellie and happened to wake her up and bring her downstairs at 9:30 at night I was a little like "why did you wake a sleeping baby?" But, God knew that was part of the plan. It was after Ellie was awake at 9:30 that Carol held her. It was while Carol was holding Ellie and asking questions about her that I realized her profession.
  • God ordained that this was the week our doctor was finally going to do the blood work and he knew that the results would come back after our dinner meeting.
  • God had given David wonderful work talents that has made him successful at his job. His success gave us the opportunity to even meet Paul and his family. Because of his God given talents, he has created a good relationship with Paul.
  • God knew that Paul knew people at CHOP who could get us an appointment.

God is just so awesome....He works every detail out in our lives, in ways and through people we would have never imagined. I know that all that God does may not feel good in our lives, but just knowing He is there is so very comforting. He does care about every detail of our lives. We are being told that this is likely a very treatable diagnosis for Ellie and we pray that is true. God cares even though it is minor. But, if it isn't an easy road that we are about to walk, we know that God will walk with us-through whatever. I serve a very great God and I am so very thankful that He died for my sins. That He calls me His child. That I can call him Father. That He cares about every detail of my life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My son is obsessed with butter

I don't know why, but David frequently has an obsession with butter. When he was about 2.5/3, he would frequently ask for butter in EVERYTHING! He would lick his butter off of his toast. His obsession subsided over the past 6 months or so. However, about 2 months ago, while riding home with a friend, he was asked if he wanted cream cheese on his bagel. I wasn't there, but I believe said "I like butter." Well, on Saturday he asked if he could have a piece of butter bread for breakfast. I put the butter on the table (my first mistake) while I went downstairs to get a new loaf of bread. This is what I found I came back upstairs.....

Needless to say, the butter was destroyed!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Brother

David decided he wanted to feed Ellie today. Me, being the calm and adventuresome mom that I am, said yes. It was messy, very messy. David said, before every bite, "open up Ellie". These were pictures after I had cleaned up a bit. If she ate for him well, then he would have become her #1 feeder. But, of course that didn't happen! I wonder who she would eat for??

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

David's first swim lesson

This was a first that wasn't exciting to watch. He was soooo excited for swimming. He just jumped up and down as he waited his turn. He even wanted to jump in the water, which he did. Then, for the next 10 minutes he just held onto his coach and cried uncontrollably saying "I want to get out, I want my mommy" over and over. Hopefully the 2nd swim lesson is better than the 1st.

I love tights.....

.....and little girls in them.

This is what happened every time I tried to sit her down for a picture. You know, I may abandon her if I sit her down. The only safest place is in momma's arms. What a momma's baby-LOVE HER!

Ellie's First Park Date

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day...the first taste of spring. AHH....wonderful! While daddy and David went to the driving range, Ellie and I took a trip to the park. She has been to the park before, but always tucked in the sling. This was the first day that she went for a swing ride, went down the slides and had her first taste of bark. It's always so enjoyable to see your children having their first experiences with things. Well, not always. But more on that in another post. She loved the swing. I believe she will be my dare-devil. I kept pushing her higher and higher and she just squeeled. Here are a few pictures....

She enjoyed chewing on the swing...I did not enjoy it. I think it was because she couldn't stay sitting since we were going so high.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Practice What You Preach Brother Man"

This is a new phrase I used with David tonight. He said something to me and I did not hear him. I, inappropriately, responded with a "huh"? To which he replied "remember, mommy, you shouldn't say "huh", you should say "pardon me?". Yea, kid, I know. Try doing that yourself sometime. I learned the "huh?" from you!!

Earlier today we were leaving a friend's house and traveled home via their backyard. There was a random miniature toy in the backyard-it had clearly been laying there for a great period of time and was long forgotten. David asked if I thought Casey would let us borrow it. I said I was sure he wouldn't mind. The RIGHT thing to do would have been to go back inside and ask permission to borrow it. Well, I did the WRONG thing. We had only gone outside to take Casey home so none of us had coats on-it was to be a quick trip. I didn't feel like going back inside and asking to borrow a toy that Casey had likely forgotten even existed. And, I knew that as we had left Casey was going up to take a nap. And no mommy wants to be interrupted when children are going down to take a nap. Anyway, I said I was sure Casey wouldn't mind if we borrowed it-so we headed home, toy in hand. Once inside, David said "mommy, we took Casey's toy and did not pay for it. We stole it like I stealed candy at the coffee shop yesterday". Since I was feeling guilty that I allowed him to "borrow" the toy without asking, I took the opportunity to explain, in detail, the difference between stealing and borrowing. I conveniently left out the part about needing to ask to borrow something before actually borrowing the item. I knew I would get caught red handed if I had done that. So, although I got caught, he obviously learned from yesterday stealing incident. It may have also been because I asked him what happened to the thieves in the Bible-He told me they died on the cross next to Jesus. That's right-steal another piece of candy and you might have to die on a cross. How is that for changing a child's heart or should we say scaring them into good behavior??? I know that I really do want a child with a pure heart and a desire to do good because of their care. But right now I just want him to not steal and if he doesn't because he thinks he might be crucified, so be it!
P.S. Casey, your toy will be returned promptly!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A First Time for Everything

Today David and I, together, reached a milestone....a first in our mother-son relationship. He stole chocolate and I helped him confess. It was a beautiful moment. There was lots of beautiful conversation, loving touches....I just hope I can remember this time together forever! Back to reality...I wanted to hide under a rock or throw up (or maybe a combination of them both).

We were at the Treehouse Coffee Shop in Audubon where a friend and I were leading a discussion group. I say what we were doing that to show that I actually know the owners-they recognize me and know my name! David had been asking for something to eat and I had told him repeatedly that we were going home soon and we would eat when we got home. As I was preparing to leave, I couldn't find him. Of course, I panicked. Then I found him in the corner with the children's treats. This is what I found.....said child with an obviously full mouth, said child with an empty candy wrapper in his hands, said child standing next to a bowl full of candy identically matching the empty wrapper in said child's hand. I asked him if he ate the candy to which he very willingly replied "yes, I was hungry". Ok, you got a point for yourself there because you didn't lie. That should help you during your sentencing. He was very nervous looking. I think he had no idea that he stole or what stealing was even about. I think he was nervous because I told him that he could not eat and then he went ahead and did it.

My first thought was to grab our stuff and hit the road. I didn't want to confess that MY child, my wonderful son stole something. I thought better about running. This was a learning opportunity and I had to take it. After David and I "spoke" about the incident, I gave him money and made him go and tell the owner that he took the candy and needed to pay for it. He did that. I also told him the money would need to come out of his bank when we got home. He was very shy...I think maybe he got it.

I don't know when I can show my face again....but I know that I dealt with it and I believe I handled it well. Hopefully this little learning experience will be the last of these sorts. However, I am sure the "firsts" in the future will bring even bigger and better embarassment! Oh, how I love being a mother!!

Lessons Learned:
  • bring extra change with me in the event I must pay for $.25 candy stolen
  • feed the kid before you leave the house. feed him extra good in the event he gets really hungry.
  • only visit places once...his way they can never get to know you in the event your kid steals from them.
  • scope out "private" places in public in the event you need some "private" time with your resident thief.
  • rehearse your "i am shocked he did this. he has NEVER done this before".

    Does this look like the face of a thief???

A Prayer for Ellie

David's prayer for Ellie tonight:
Dear Eldie (aka Ellie), I mean dear Jesus,
Thank you for our baby. Thank you our baby is growing. Help her to keep growing and help her heart (I think he was referring to having Jesus in your heart or possibly when we talk about his heart needing to be clean, etc). Thank you for our lego's, thank you for my toys, thank you for my bible. (This is where I asked if he was done praying for Ellie). Thank you for Eldie. Thank you that I can rub her head, thank you that I can pat her bum. Help Eldie to sleep good. Goodnight Ellie. I love you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm adopted, are you??

Prior to have children, I worked at Bethany Christian Services in their foster care department in Philadelphia. I learned so many life lessons, way too many to count. In the past several years I have been so busy trying to figure out this mothering thing that I have not given a lot of thought to my time in foster care and adoption. Recently, God has been really laying adoption on my heart. I don't exactly know what that means for us-will we adopt in the future, are we meant to support more adoptions, pray more for those who needs homes? I really don't know-that's why I pray.

However, through all of my prayer and reflection over the past few weeks and months, I have become more thankful for my own adoption. Not an earthly adoption, but my adoption as a daughter of the Lord. Oh, how glorious my heavenly father is to me. He is so awesome-in so many ways. It's hard to explain it all here, but if you ever want to know more-look me up and I would be glad to share. The great thing about this adoption is that it is can all have it! All Christ asks of us is to believe in believe he has died for our sins....that we cannot, in our own power, achieve live good lives. We need his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. He took His sins upon Himself. And, if we accept His free gift through faith alone in Christ alone, we are guaranteed eternal life with Him someday. I don't have to lots of good things to win His favor. I believe I WANT to do good and be more Godly, but my actions don't dictate my eternal life with Him. All I have been required to do is to accept Him as THE Savior and my Savior.

Why do I say all of this? I don't know really-it's my blog and I can do it, that's why. No, really, my heart has been so burdened for the people in my life that do not know the Lord as their personal Savior. They put their faith in the church, in themselves, in their good deeds or whatever, but at the end of it all-that all does not matter. Life ends-either through death or through the eventual return of the Lord. When those times come, our eternal life will begin. It is my prayer that all I know will one day live in Heaven with me because I love them and I do not want them to face the other eternal alternative.

I feel like I am rambling and I likely am. I began this blog as a personal (yet public) journal and I guess tonight I decided to share what has burdened my heart with all of you.

Thank you Lord for adopting me as your daughter!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"we're getting old, mommy"

Tonight while he was going to bed, David told me his legs were getting old. Here is the rest of the conversation...

D: "We're getting old, mommy"
M: "Really dude, why are we getting old?"
D: "We drink too much."
Me to myself: Really? Where is he going with this? Am I up for whatever it coming?
Me to him: "What are we drinking that is making us old?"
D: "Mommy, we are drinking too much water and that is making us too old. And too much juice too. It's making our legs old".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Learning to Rhyme

David is beginning to recognize when words rhyme. It is neat to see this skill developing in him. Or should I say it WAS, that is until he rhymed these words tonight while doing his Thomas the train engine puzzle.

me: "R" rrrr Rheneas, Rheneas (i mis-pronounced it Rhenes) begins with "R"
David: Rhenes rhymes with Penis. Penis. Penis rhymes with Rhenes.
Although no one wants to encourage potty talk, I couldn't help but giggle. He asked why I was laughing and before I could answer he said "mommy, I guess you are laughing because you thought I was telling a joke. I am not telling a joke. I am rhyming words. You shouldn't laugh because I am not telling a joke." Sorry, kid. Oh, I think we are beginning the boy world of potty talk. yea!

A Child's Prayer Addition

Tonight David added a new line to his standard prayer and it touched my heart.

Thank you Jesus,
Thank you for mommy, daddy, Ellie, bear guy, David, grandma Rutt, grandma Clapper, grandpa, pop-pop. Keep them safe, bless them. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins. Amen

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My baby is 8 months old

Ellie Elizabeth Clapper

Dear Sweetest Little Miss Ellie,

I cannot believe you are already 8 months old. You are still my little peanut that it is hard to believe that you are so close to your first year milestone. I am so very thankful that God has loaned you to us-I love you so very much. Your smile coupled with those big brown bright eyes light up a room and my heart. The best part of every day is when I walk into your room in the morning or after a nap and you look up at me with the biggest smile. Then you start playing being shy and you put your head down, suck your thumb and then look up at me again with a huge smile. It's such a fun game. Oh, I love your smile. I love your eyes. I love all of you!

You are beginning to explore your world through rolling over. It's a little late in coming, but that is OK with me. I have been able to enjoy holding and snuggling you longer before you push me away in return for your freedom to explore. I enjoy seeing you roll over and attempt to reach your toys. You pure joy while you are playing is so neat to see.

Some of your loves right now-your big brother for sure. You turn towards his voice every time and laugh at absolutely anything he does. I do hope you think he is this cool when he is breaking your toys, torturing your dolls or using your lipstick for hunting paint. And he loves you too...he is getting into you more and more each day. He holds you more now than he did when you were first born. Even tonight, you were crying when I put you in your crib (which is highly unusual-I think you were overtired). David said that you were crying because you didn't want to go to bed. He brought a toy over and told me to put it into your crib because it would make you feel better. You are enjoying moving more and being able to play with more toys. You love your always have and nothing has changed. I love watching you suck your thumb....too darn cute. You love people....watching people smiling at people. You love when I sing to usually smile wide and give a little laugh-am I that bad?? Last night when we were at the store and you were in the sling, I held your little head in my hands and sang to you. You smiles the widest smile and just stared at me. AHHH, I loved it.

Some of your Now that's one I just don't understand. You already just eat to survive. That will be good for you in the future, but it does cause mommy some stress now. It will likely cause me stress in the future too because I eat because I enjoy it and if you are never like that, I will be stressed that I am the only woman in the house who enjoys eating. Sometimes you suck down a bottle, the next day it takes you an hour to drink oz. You will eat your baby food, but if it's not offered you don't complain. And snacks like puffs, forget about it. You still do not like to sleep on your back and if you roll to your back you just lay there and cry. One of these days I would love if you could remember that you can indeed roll back to your stomach. You do not like being tired and not being able to sleep when you want to. You are fine sleeping on a shoulder or in the sling, but you need to sleep when you want to sleep. You are a great sleeper. 7 p.m.-8/9 p.m. And two 3 hour naps. You apparently don't like to grow hair either because you don't have too much of that yet. It is growing however slowly that may be. It is such a shame that your brother had his first haircut before 10 months and you don't even have enough to comb yet.

Although I thought I couldn't make it one more night without sleep when you were a newborn, there are days that I yearn for you to wake up at night just one more time. I just want to hold you in the silence of the night just one more time. To hold you when there is nothing else to distract me....Every night I go upstairs to kiss and pray for you and your brother. There are times when I crawl into bed with David and just lay with him, listen to him breathe, study his growing features and pray for him. I usually end with your room and I pick you up and hold you, sing to you and pray for you too. I do pray that you and your brother will grow up to have one passion...Christ and your relationship with him. Sure, a mother wants their children to succeed in life and have employment, but most of all I want you to be on fire for the Lord. The time will come where your light will want to be extinguished yet I pray that you stand strong and keep your light burning. Oh, my heart aches when I think of you living life without the Lord. It keeps me on my knees....I pray for you and for wisdom for daddy and I as we parent you.

I didn't know if I wanted more than one child. I was scared by the thought of it (since I was an only child), but oh I am so happy we made the decision to have you. You have enriched my life in many ways. I love you and your brother so very much. I love seeing you both grow and learn new things. I really enjoy seeing the two of you together.

Happy 8 months baby girl. Momma loves you!

Chocolate World

Last week the kids and I went to Lancaster to visit friends and family (and to give dad a guilt-free week where he could work as much as he wanted). Grandpa Rutt took off one day to do something special with David and I. Grandpa works a lot and we don't often spend a lot of time with him. We so greatly enjoy the time we have with him. David loves his grandpa so very much and loves being with him. Our day trip this time was a visit to Hershey Chocolate World. David loved the little ride-we rode it several times. Why not? It's free and they give you candy at the end. After several trips, I said we had to stop because the people were going to start thinking that we were going through the ride just for the candy.

After the ride we went to a 3D show. He loved the glasses. The show, not so much. There were definitely some sound effects that could definitely frighten a child. He still talks about the elephant that spit water at him and the spider that came to his face. Our time could not be complete without some chocolate, of course. Grandpa, being the sucker he is for high priced yet fun things for kids, allowed David to become a Hershey Kiss packager. $10 later we walked away with a factory worker hat, "official" badge and 20 kisses. Oh well, he loved it (and grandpa paid).

Our day was not complete without a visit to grandpa's fire house. My dad used to be a firefighter when I was younger and he is a lifetime member of his firehouse. That allows him access to the firehouse. We just sat in firetrucks for what seemed like eternity. Oh, but he loved every minute. Grandpa and I were given orders as to what we were to do when we arrived at the fire, where we were to ride, what maps to look at, etc.

We had a great day together. I always treasured my times with my dad as a kid-I was a true daddy's little girl. Things haven't changed yet-I love our times together. It is so awesome to see how much he loves my children. His time is very scarce and it means the world to me that he gave it up to spend it with us. An even bigger thanks has to go to my mom who watched Ellie given that she has a strong preference to being with me other than any other individual. She was a trooper to love on Ellie all day despite Ellie not reciprocating that love!