Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Riding Geoffrey

So, Korben wanted to ride Geoffrey today. I said..."Why not??"

A few short clips

Here are a few short clips from the evening:

The first clip is Korben dancing to "The Adams Family" theme song before the costume party started.

The second clip is of Connor McGinnis pretending to be Aaron, getting "Korben"(the doll) to give people "the rock." Totally something that Aaron does.

The third clip is just so you can see how cute Korben looked in his Elmo costume.

GSM Costume Party

Tonight was our annual costume party specifically for Grand Student Ministry. It was soooooo much fun! There were 100+ people there, and there was so much energy in the room. The students costumes were so creative this year!

You can always count on Aaron to kick things up a notch. This year he was a friar/monk. He had his head (professionally) shaved and everything! We wanted our costumes to go together in a way, so I was a nun. Korben went as his favorite character in the world, Elmo. Korben was such a good boy, and actually wore his costume! I dressed him in it while he had an audience of people cheering and telling him how cute he looked. He obviously liked the attention, because not only was he willing to wear the costume...he actually wore the Elmo head (which he hadn't done before)! He probably only had the costume on 15 minutes at the most because he went to the nursery while the party was actually going on, but before it started he got to greet everyone while he was still dressed as Elmo. I took his hood off of him for a little while because I knew his head was getting hot. One of our students had just arrived at the party and she walked up to Korben, he then actually tried to put his hood back on and said "Melmo." It was so sweet! He wanted her to see his full costume, so she could see that he was "Melmo." Made my night.

Korben with his great drummer buddy, Adam Lucas!

Amy Goodrum dressed as Hannah Morehart! I LOVED this costume! She had a red wig that looked just like Hannah's hair, made a dance team outfit to look like her, had Hannah's face on a mask, and even mimicked her laugh. Incredibly creative!

THEEEEE biggest hilight of my night was seeing Connor McGinnis walk in dressed as Aaron. I instantly knew he was dressed up as Aaron because he looked JUST like him. He had him down to a "T." Paisley shirt, flip flops, gelled/spiked hair, glasses, gotee on chin, and to top it all off...A RED HEADED BABY. I walked up to him laughing my head off, and he proceeded to ask the "Korben" doll to give me the rock! TOTALLY something Aaron would do.

Swine Flu. I loved this!

The Grand Student Ministry Staff. Taylor is dressed as her big brother, Brandon Stokes (former intern), Callie dressed as Brittany (Aaron's secretary), Hannah dressed as Scott (our worship leader, who is also a math teacher...notice the calculator watch), and of course, Connor dressed as Aaron.

I don't know if any of you watch "The Office", but are these not dead-ringers for Jim and Pam?? ESPECIALLY PAM!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Infected ears...STILL!

Korben woke up this morning with rosy red cheeks. For Korben, that always means fever. Sure enough, he had 100.3. I was instantly fearful that his ear infections were back, or maybe never went away. He JUST got off 10 days of antibiotics last Friday. Dr. Beene got him in at 10:30 this morning. She looked in his left ear and said it looked really bad, then looked in his right ear and said it looked worse. It made me sick to hear that, even though I was almost expecting it. He has been SO fussy the past couple days that Aaron and I were just positive we were dealing with an incredibly cranky little boy with a bad case of the "terrible 'almost' 2's." Since he had just gotten off his antibiotics, not once this weekend did I think that his fussiness could have come from his (still) infected ears. So, I must confess that I feel royally AWFUL for that.

Dr. Beene referred Korben to Dr. Gwartney to talk about getting ear tubes. He is a well-respected, experienced, ENT here in Fort Smith. I just found out late this afternoon that Dr. Gwartney will be able to see us next Thursday morning at 9:45. I was thrilled to hear that because Dr. Beene warned me that sometimes it may be more like 2-4 weeks before we could be seen.

I am very, very eager to meet with him. Dr. Beene and I reviewed Korben's medical history and it made me so sad to think that Korben has had recurring (or the same, unhealing) ear infections basically since mid July. So not cool! Everyone has told me that when their child got their ear tubes they felt like they had a new child. I know that he will probably still have fussy days, and the occasional toddler tantrums, but SURELY this will help make him feel a whole lot better. I pray that if this is the right thing for Korben, it will be obvious, and we can move quickly to give our boy some relief.

Just last week, I had an ear infection of my own. I woke up in the middle of the night with so much pain in my ear that I wanted to wake up Aaron just so I could cry to him. I didn't...but I wanted to! I started googling things I could do to make my pain go away. I ended up finally falling asleep almost two hours later, after using a heating pad and taking tylenol. I'm kind of glad that happened to me because it showed me why Korben is not sleeping well at night, and why his naps are pretty much non-existent. Lying down makes your ears hurt 100x worse. Now it makes since why he is screaming when he wakes up from his naps, instead of jumping and laughing in his bed. Hind sight is 20/20 I tell you.

I will let you all know how next Thursday goes. In the meantime, Korben is taking a stronger antibiotic for the next 5 days. Hope it does the trick!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A very unhappy Elmo

Ever since we went to see Sesame Street Live in August, I just knew Korben had to be Elmo (MELMO!) for Halloween! He is obsessed with him! We ordered him a precious costume that is even complete with a giggle box that you can push and hear Elmo laugh. When it first came in a few weeks ago, he was willing to put the costume on, he just didn't want to wear the head piece. Not ideal, but I thought, by Halloween he will probably be willing to wear it. Well, we've gone downhill. I put the outfit on him this morning, only to find that JUST wearing the suit sent him into a frenzy. He now knows how to unzip, so he was frantically trying to do that while I tried to snap a quick picture. I slipped the hood on just in time to get a couple of shots, and that really sent him over the top. Sooooo, unless a miracle happens, or Aaron can talk Korben into wearing his cool, awesome, studly Elmo costume, it looks like Korben will be wearing a halloween themed shirt and some jeans to our youth costume party on wednesday night. Not quite what I was envisioning, but you do what you gotta do.

Let me just say that Korben actually does love the costume, he just doesn't want it on his body. He begs me everyday to take it out of the closet...he likes to carry it around...he says Hi to it...but he just doesn't want it on his body. However, he does have these new sesame street pajamas. I had just gotten them out of the dryer today and they were folded on top of a laundry basket. He got them out and started trying to slip them on his arm saying "ON, Melmo, ON, Melmo." So, he spent the majority of his day in his Elmo pajamas. Ironic, huh?

Like Father, Like Son

I am told all the time that Korben looks just like me. I tell everyone that sometimes I think Korben looks just like me, and sometimes he looks just like Aaron. It just depends on what expression is on his face.

Here is some proof. This picture of Korben and me was taken before church yesterday. He wasn't in the picture taking mood, and this is the only shot we got. As soon as I uploaded these picture to my computer, I thought..."Hey, that looks just like a picture I have of Aaron as a baby." So, I took a picture of the picture of Aaron and Julie from his baby dedication day when he was 1 year old.

What do you think?

I know the picture quality isn't great, but you can still see what I'm talking about! Even their hair is the same!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Terrible Two's Article

I stumbled across this article online tonight, and it brought me comfort in regards to our past several weeks with Korben. Our ears are still ringing from some of the fits he threw this weekend. We have entered into this challenging phase with Korben, and we are doing our best to "help" him through this process. Although, we are the ones who REALLY need some help. :-)

Terrible Twos and Your Toddler
Ages and Stages

By Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Although many parents don't expect the terrible twos to start until their toddler is two years old, it is important to note that it can begin anytime during your child's second year, and so anytime after their first birthday, and unfortunately, sometimes even before.

Characterized by toddlers being negative about most things and often saying 'no', the terrible twos may also find your toddler having frequent mood changes and temper tantrums.

To help you cope with this normal stage in your child's development, you should always remember that your child isn't trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. He is just trying to express his growing independence and doesn't have the language skills to easily express his needs. This can also be the reason why your toddler frequently gets frustrated and resorts to hitting, biting, and temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

By learning more about this normal stage in your child's development, it can make it easier to get through it and make sure that you aren't contributing to more battles than are necessary.

Other tips for helping your toddler during the terrible twos include:

* having a regular routine for meals, naps, bedtime, etc. and try to stick to them each day

* offer limited choices only, like 'would you like apples or oranges for your snack' and not just 'what do you want for your snack.' This helps your toddler feel like he is making some decisions and has power over things, but he isn't able to choose unacceptable alternatives.

* learn to set limits about things and don't be surprised when your toddler tries to test those limits to see what he can get away with

* don't give in to tantrums

* begin to use time-out and taking away privileges as discipline techniques

* provide your toddler with a safe environment that is well childproofed to explore and play in. It really isn't fair that your toddler should get in trouble for playing with something he isn't supposed to if you left it within reach.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Sunshine!

It may have been 45 degrees this morning when we left for church, but it has been an absolutely gorgeous day! Even if it hadn't been a sunny day, we have our own little sunshine in our house. Korben woke up bouncing in his bed this morning and has been non-stop with his enthusiasm ever since. It is so great to see him when all the world is right, and he feels well!

My mom bought Korben this little sweater vest and shirt for him to wear on Easter last year, but it was too big at the time. It fit PERFECTLY today, and I have to admit, I thought he looked so adorable! He also wore some dress shoes that were hand-me-downs from his Stewart cousins! They look brand new, and made him look like such a big boy!

He did so great at church this morning! This was the FIRST time on a Sunday morning that WITHOUT prompting, Korben reached out for his Sunday School teacher (Mr. Paul...who he calls "pawpaw"). He didn't look back at me once. It made me so proud, but I didn't make a big deal out of it at the time because I didn't want to jinx anything! Of course, I bragged all the way down the hall! The end of August and beginning of September were especially tough times for us with separation anxiety. I am so thankful that things have gotten this much better in such a short amount of time!

Playing with my necklace while watching Sesame Street.


I didn't realize that either of us were making this face until I saw the picture! Notice the gaps where you see no teeth. Those are the four spaces (two bottom and two top) where Korben is getting his eye/canine teeth. They have already all started to slowly come in, and then he will have his full smile!

My studly little man.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Parenting is challenging.

So, Parenting is challenging. I feel like everyday is a guessing game. Sometimes, Korben is really fussy, and seems impossible to please. I am left wondering...Is it an ear infection again? Is it just teething? Could it be the flu? Is his antibiotic upsetting his stomach? Is he just sleepy? Is this just what toddlers do?

..............AND then sometimes, he makes it so easy. He'll give me random hugs and kisses without me asking for them. He'll snuggle with me for a LONG time. He says new words and blows my socks off with how smart he is. He'll come up to me tickle me while saying "tickle, tickle, tickle." He'll hold my hand and want to pray.

Parenting IS challenging...but the rewards are already so great they are impossible to describe. It gets better everyday. I'm just praying daily for wisdom, discernment, love, creativity, and grace. Every child deserves the best and I just want to be the best mommy I can be to my child. I am exploding with pride for my sweet baby boy.

Thank you Jesus for every single blessing. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from you, and I believe it!

Weekend thoughts

Here is a weekend update of some things that have gone on at our house this week!

On Monday I took Korben to the doctor because of his fussiness and runny nose. To no surprise to me, he had double ear infections (again). Dr. McClain started him on an antibiotic. Tuesday he started to have a fever, and by Wednesday it was even higher. His fussiness was only increasing, so we went back to the doctor. Got tested for the flu and strep, both tests were negative (Praise the Lord). Turns out the antibiotic wasn't working at all, and his ears were still inflamed. He wrote us a new prescription for another antibiotic.

On Wednesday evening, one of our favorite students, Rebecca Atkinson, from our Arkadelphia youth group came to visit us. She was a freshman in high school when we started working with the youth in she is a freshman in college. Wow, time is flying by in a hurry!! We were incredibly humbled that she asked to spend her fall break with us! Korben and I didn't get to go to church on Wednesday night, but Rebecca went and got to go and experience what our youth ministry is like here. When she came back to the house, we all stayed up past midnight talking and catching up. Since Korben was still getting over being sick, we just stayed in the house on Thursday. He was a little unsure of her at first, but it wasn't long until he was really attached to "Beppa" (Becca). He took a nice long nap that day, and we watched "My life in Ruins." It was really funny! We played with him some more when he woke up from his nap and then after he went to bed, she helped me cook a big yummy supper! Then we stayed up late watching another chick flick, "The Proposal", which just happens to be one of my new favorite movies EVER. We all four had so much fun together. She left on Friday after we went shopping around town and had lunch at the house. Thanks for coming, Beppa! We love you!

We had a couple "firsts" occur with Korben while Rebecca was here. First of all, I tell Korben "Good morning" every morning. I guess it finally clicked with him because first thing on Thursday morning when I was changing his diaper he said "Morning" with the sweetest smile on his face! I, excitedly said, "MORNING!" back to him. He thought that was funny, so now he loves to say "morning" in the morning! Ha!

I was driving down Rogers Avenue with Rebecca and Korben in the car. I was about to tell Rebecca that the building next to us was Korben's doctor's office, but before I could get the words out of my mouth, Korben pointed and said "Doctor!" It is amazing to me that he is already knowing his surroundings.

He is also really into "trash." As soon as I take his diaper off, he points to the trash can and reminds me that it is now "trash". After each wipe I use, he reminds me that it is "trash." If I give him anything and tell him it is "trash", he will find the nearest trash can and throw it away.

He INSISTS on helping me unload the dishwasher. I now let him unload the silverware basket (don't worry, I take out all the sharp objects first). He puts them all in the one correct drawer, and I sort them out later. It really does help, and it is so sweet.

We had a family outing to Target, and happened to pick him up his first crayons and coloring book. He really likes his "colors" and will sit very quietly at the table playing with his crayons. He is really growing up! I also just have to share that his cutest new word is "popcorn." It seriously melts my heart when he says it. It sounds like "Pawwwp-Orn" He really loves it! Especially at Target!

Tonight, Korben got to have one-on-one attention with one of his favorite people in the world, Linda Cain. Aaron hosted a "Parent Summit" tonight, which was a dinner and meeting specifically for parents of students in the youth group. Aaron shared his heart and vision for youth ministry, while presenting the calendar and other details like that to the parents. Childcare was available, but most parents don't have children that small. It turned out to just be Korben and his buddy Will Rollans, who is 4. There were two nursery workers, and two kids. Those boys had it pretty good! They had the playroom all to themselves! When I went in to get Korben, he was having a ball playing hide and seek with Linda and little Will! Linda said Korben was showing Will where she was hiding. Korben was soooooo tired when we got home. I'm assuming he ran for at least 2 hours.

Here is a picture of him enjoying playing with his crayons today.

P.S. Have I told you guys lately how BIG Korben is? He has grown SO much just withing the past month! He is so tall! Most of his pants are starting to look like capris and a lot of his shirts that looked great a month ago are now way too short! How does this happen so quickly?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Yogurt in the bath

One new food we have successfully added to Korben's menu this week is yogurt. Even though Korben has a history of being lactose intolerant, I have read that yogurt is usually tolerated by lactose intolerant people thanks to all of the live cultures in the yogurt. He has tried it a couple times this week and he has had no problems. Tonight, we let him practice his spoon skills in the bath tub with his yogurt. We made a few videos for your viewing enjoyment. Please note the new language Korben has invented. He speaks in full sentences to himself right now, we just can't quite interpret. I laugh at the beginning of one of the videos because he says "cheese" right when Aaron turned on the camera. He is such a ham!


A great fall Saturday!

After Tiger Tunes was over last night we actually drove back to Fort Smith. We got home around 11:15, which means Korben didn't get to sleep until 11:30. This was a FIRST for our child. He has never gone to sleep that late in his whole life. We were exhausted, and praying we would get to sleep late. BUT, as you know, kids are odd, and sometimes the later you put them to sleep, the earlier they wake up! Well, by the grace of God, Korben slept until 10:30 this morning! I don't even remember the last time I got to sleep that late! We were sort of in college mode after last night, so we put Korben in his OBU hoodie we bought him last year at Tiger Tunes, and headed to Waffle House (another OBU tradition).

Stacking cheerios with Daddy is fun!

"I'll have one chocolate chip waffle, one scrambled egg, and a side of toast."

I love my daddy!

We are just alike, Daddy!

I am about to go buck wild. You can see the "crazy" in my eye.

Just for old time's sake, here is a picture of Aaron and Korben this time last year. He is wearing the same OBU hoodie, even though the colors in the pictures make it look like it is different.

It was a perfect fall Saturday here in Fort Smith. It was cold, the hogs were playing (and winning!), and there was a fall festival going on at the Neumeier Nursery. After a great Waffle House breakfast we took Korben to the festival. It was complete with hundreds of pumpkins, pony rides, craft booths, and food galore. It sounds fun, right? Well, it would have been, but we forgot our stroller and our child was WILD. I can not explain just how wild he was. He wanted "DOWN", and if we let him down he was gone in a flash. He has this strange obsession right now with ice, and he kept running away trying to get "IIIIICE" from one of the vendor's ice chest's. If Aaron and I said the word "Wild" once, we said it 500 times today. Y'all, Korben was WILD. He wasn't mean, or anything. Just FULL of energy, and would not tolerate being held. Needless to say, we didn't stay there long. Right as we were leaving, we walked by a lady who was pulling her grandson around in a little red wagon. She dropped the handle for a brief moment to talk to someone and Korben picked it up and started to try to take her grandson for a ride. She thought it was the funniest thing and wanted to take a picture of them. Her grandson wasn't very excited about this little red-headed wild man taking control of his wagon. He said, "He's going to squash my pumpkins." Haha!

We then had a family outing at Target and Korben got to eat popcorn throughout the store (while confined to the shopping cart, I might add!). Then, we headed over to Petco to see the Humane Society animals. Korben and Aaron were begging me for a dog (well, maybe just Aaron). If you would have known me as a child, you never would have believed that I would EVER turn down a dog. I was the girl who would sit in the dog house with my dogs and have conversations with them, okay? I love animals, trust me. There are just countless reasons why we can not have a dog at this very moment in our lives. As a side note, we do plan to go back to Petco sometimes for educational experience! We kind of felt like we were at a free zoo. Korben got to see puppies, kitty cats, fish, reptiles, was pretty much the same experience!

Today was one of my favorite family Saturdays to date!


Tiger Tunes. My two favorite words that describe my Ouachita Baptist University experience. It is the greatest show on earth that I had the privilege of participating in all 4 years in college! Although Aaron and I attended Tiger Tunes last year, we didn't quite think Korben was ready to attend at just 7 months old. However, this year, he was just one day shy of 19 months old. We really had a good inclination that he would love it, considering how much he loved Sesame Street Live. As the show got closer, I started to worry we were making a big mistake. Well, guess what? He LOVED it! For the first 45 minutes he sat in Aaron's lap, and I kid you not, did not move a muscle. He was mesmerized. Then I believe he sat in my lap for half a second, then moved on to Emily's (My BFF) lap, and eventually sat back with his daddy. Intermission came at the perfect time because he started to get a little ansy (which really just consisted of flirting with the cute 5 year old girl down the row). After intermission he sat perfectly for another 45 minutes in either Emily's lap and then in Brandon's (Aaron's summer youth intern, who is now a student at OBU) lap. It was so apparent that he knew Drew (Korben's photographer friend who just happens to be Emily's husband), Emily, and Brandon when he saw them...even if it was practically in the dark! The show was over two hours long and Korben only had to leave during the last 15-20 minutes just because he insisted on standing up and poking the little boys in front of us in the back of the head. (He thinks everyone should want to play with him!) Aaron was happy to take him out, and it actually worked out well because they ended up getting to see a lot of friends and former students in our youth group out in the lobby. We were SO incredibly proud of Korben. Even though he is growing up so fast, we have a hard time remembering he is only a year and a half old. He is so smart and seems to understand so much sometimes! We even had him saying "Tiger Tunes" before the show! This was definitely an unforgettable memory for us!

Korben's expression throughout the whole show.

Attempt at a family pic during the show. I didn't realize Aaron was talking to Brandon.

Emily and Me (Yes, it is true, we have won Tiger Tunes together twice)

Mesmerized Korben, as well as Aaron, Brandon, and Korben's first OBU girlfriend in the faint background.

P.S. How could I forget to tell my FAVORITE memory of the night? Emily was sitting to my left, holding Korben. Korben gently reached his right hand out toward me, and I thought he wanted his sippy cup. I tried to hand him his cup, and he just softly grabbed my hand and began watching the show again. HE JUST WANTED TO HOLD MY HAND, PEOPLE! I thought it was so bizarre that he never wanted to sit in my lap that night. I was thrilled that he wanted to go to everyone that he did, but I just thought it was weird at first that he didn't want to sit with me. It absolutely made my night when he just wanted to hold hands! Emily and Aaron were both witnesses of this. I can't lie...I kind of got teary eyed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The past month- LOTS of pictures!

I have been the worst blogger ever for almost a month! Yes, we have been busy, but I have to admit I just haven't felt like blogging. For some reason, in my free time, I've just had no desire to be on the computer. Not even facebook, for that matter! My free time feels like it has been drastically cut back lately, considering the fact that Korben only takes one nap a day, stays up later, and we have so many things to do throughout the week and at night.
When I have had free time, I've been trying to read more, as well as exercise every day. I have decided that I want to train for a 5k. Thanks to my friend Karen Rollans, I now have a jogging stroller. Korben is really wondering what has gotten into me lately. He says "weeee" when we run fast, so that motivates me to keep going! I guess my blog has just not been on my priority list, so I apologize to the Grandmothers!

Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to over the past several weeks. They go backwards (from most recent to oldest). Aaron was gone from September 24th-29th to a youth ministry conference in Los Angeles . While he was gone, I spent that time at my Mom's house. That happened to be my grandmother's 90th birthday weekend, so we were blessed to celebrate that special day with her. My sister came in from Nashville (Whom Korben decided he loved, by the way. He affectionately called her Baby but pronounced it BehBeh). We had a big party for my grandmother with lots of family. It was a busy few days which helped us not miss Aaron too terribly.

Let me take you on a backwards trip of our past few weeks.

These "pancake" shots were taken Friday morning. I made oatmeal pancakes for breakfast on Aaron's day off. Korben didn't want his own pancakes, but he almost ate all of his Daddy's. It was hilarious.

Pictures by the front horse pasture at CC's house taken last Monday.

On CC's porch

Doesn't take kids long to know which drawer has the "Tooooooooooys" in it.

Sitting in his Mommy's old booster seat!

Trying out a Model T Ford that was being showcased at my Grandmother's nursing home.

Visiting Mema on her actual 90th birthday.

Mema's party

Thanks to my pal Rachel Freeman, I actually did something crafty at my MOPS meeting.

Climbs in toy chest, empties toys out of toy chest, puts toys back in toy chest, repeats...

Good times strolling around Target with Mopsy. We spent forever playing with this T-Rex demonstration. Korben might has well have been at Disney World Animal Kingdom.

Our best attempt (sad, I know!) at a family picture on Mopsy's pretty porch on Satruday, September 19th.

My sweet hubby and me at Van's food market (apparently I have a great idea, notice the light bulb above my head)!

Another attempt at a family shot!

CUTE picture of Korben and his Mopsy.

Some precious shots of Korben posing at Van's Food Market in Heber Springs. He is posing in the same rocking chair we photographed him in exactly a year ago. Check facebook for a photo album comparing the shots from last year and this year.

These were taken on September 18th when Aaron and I took Korben to visit Mema (Since Aaron wasn't going to be in town for Mema's actual birthday)

Korben and CC sitting on their "seat." Korben feels so cool when he sits on the stairs to drink out of his cup.

This was taken about 3 weeks ago. Korben was cheesing to show off his new bottom back molars.