Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Fun

I snapped some pictures of the boys on the couch this morning. Micah was playing a game on the iPod (the one where it plays a song and you have to guess which one it is). Owen wanted so desperately to see that he first climbed into Micah's lap like it was story time, and then proceeded to do his best tackle in an attempt to get his big brother's attention. Despite Micah's face, he didn't say anything and kept right on playing the game. I love these boys!

Videos of the Boys and a Little about Micah

Micah is loving his piano book (a play by number book with a small keyboard attached.) He is quite good at it and can even tell us what note we are playing without looking. I think we are going to invest in a real keyboard for a Christmas gift. I have to confess, I haven't always welcomed these interests. I love it that Micah loves to learn because so do I. But about a year ago, we started discovering that there was more than just an interest in learning. Now I have been faced with the challenge of parenting a child with special needs. He has a need to figure everything out and know exactly what is going on at all times. If he can't figure it out, or if something goes differently than he thinks it should, we are often faced with a meltdown. Case in point: he will ask what the trip meter says in my car every two seconds (he can't see it from his car seat) because he is trying to understand what makes it count up. Sometimes I want to scream because even after I explain that we are measuring a distance, and that the speed that the trip meter counts up will vary with the car's speed, it isn't good enough. He has to try figure out the system on his own, and he wants me to aid him by telling him every time we go 1/10 of a mile. I just want to enjoy some music and peace and quiet while in the car! I will become frustrated and so will he. We have come up with a system. I will tell him what the trip meter says every 15 minutes if he asks politely and with respect (it is often a demand). I am learning to embrace Micah's obsessions, while trying to simultaneously teach him moderation. I used to get frustrated and try to divert him (just because of the obsessive part because believe me it is an OBSESSION!, not because of the topic of interest) but this is just the way he is. When he was obsessed with letters, we taught him to read; when he became obsessed with numbers, we taught him math and how to tell time. Now he is very interested in playing music. So I figure, why not teach him how! It dawned on me that maybe he would start to feel like I didn't love him for who he is if I continued to get annoyed every time he glanced at my watch or if I kept trying to get him to play trucks or something. I mean, isn't that what three year olds do? Well, not this one. I am reminded of the verses:

For you formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:13-14

The Lord gave Micah his own special interests and gifts. While they may not be like other children his age, we love him for exactly who he is.

Psalm 100:4-5
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Here is sweet Owen saying answering question #1 of the children's catechism. I like how he is "vroom vrooming" on his tractor before I ask him. Also notice his adorable t-shirt. Thank you, Taylor for mentioning them. We love it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Really Matters?

I would love to urge all of my faithful blog readers (all 20 of you!) to check out one of our pastor's blogs. Click here to see several video clips exposing the Obama campaign's views on human life. I am sickened by the thought of a baby being born alive and taken to a dark room to suffocate to death. How could anyone in their right mind think that is okay? At the same time I am reminded of my own sin and run to my Savior again asking for deliverance. An acquaintance recently said "I hate when people choose who they are going to vote for based mainly on abortion." I don't know the best way to fix the economic crisis in our country today, but I do know what the Bible teaches about human life. We are created in God's image, and no human has the right to decide which babies should live or die. It is absolutely our government's job to protect human rights, one of which is life at any age. If this is not one of your priorities this election year, I pray you spend some time finding out why it should be. May the Lord have mercy on our country.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend in Memphis

We went to visit my side of the family this weekend. It was Nana's birthday, and we thought it would be fun to also see my aunt, uncle, and granddad. They all live under one roof, so it makes it easy to spend time with everyone. Friday night we went out for Mexican at a restaurant that has the best chicken nachos (and a pretty good margarita too). Saturday, we made some Italian beef sandwiches and ate chips and dip, fresh veggies, and fruit while we watched SEC football. Our teams let us down big time. We had Arkansas fans, Tennessee fans, and there's no question what team we root for; so that tells you our day was filled with disappointment. We were pleased that Auburn had a good showing though. I think we have next weekend in the bag!

Owen was fascinated by Bill's walking stick. He followed him into his bedroom where Bill gave him a funny back scratcher to use as his cane. Owen thought it was great and followed him around the rest of the morning using his walking stick!

My family lives in a cove, and Owen loved walking around on the asphalt. He also climbed everyone's driveway and ran down the hill. Mimi (my aunt, Micki) was nice enough to walk him around a few times for me.

The boys loved singing the fight song and shaking their shakers. Owen has a pretty good Warrrrrrrr Eagle, Hey! too.
Micah absolutely loves his Nana. These two have a special bond, and we loved our break while Nana kept him entertained with numbers, clocks, and talking their crazy special language. Micah is counting down the days until October 10, when Nana is planning a trip to Nashville.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Healthy Immune System Tips

We are all battling a cold here at the Morrison home. I suspect this might be the case all winter, since this is Owen's first cold season without the aid of breast milk and because this is Micah's first time around many children and germs multiple times per week. I came across an article today about foods to boost your (and your children's) immune system. I agree with what I read and thought I would post some tips here for any of you interested.

Foods to Boost Your Immune System

Vitamin C-Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Don't rush out and buy those ridiculous pills with millions of grams of the stuff. Your body can't absorb it all at one time, and most will get flushed out when you go to the bathroom. Do, however, eat several servings of fruits and veggies daily including some of the top 7 fruit sources of Vitamin C: Guava, Papaya, Strawberries, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Orange, and Grapefruit. Try to eat the whole fruit if you can as the Vitamin C is more bioavailable when it is accompanied by all the other "stuff" that is in the fruit.

Vitamin E- Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, the ones that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Some good sources include: wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and almonds. I keep a jar of wheat germ in the fridge. You can add it to practically anything. I put it in pasta dishes, any muffins or breads that I make, and in oatmeal for breakfast.

Carotenoids: Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Look for foods that are orange, yellow, red, and green. Carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Choose greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens for beta-carotene and lutein. Tomatoes, guava, and pink grapefruit have lycopene, and Salmon, shellfish, milk and egg yolks also provide carotenoids.

Bioflavenoids: These protect the cell membranes against pollutants trying to attach to them. Consuming at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day will help ensure that you are getting adequate bioflavenoids.

Zinc: This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. Try some fortified cereals or beef, dark meat turkey, and beans to help fill your requirements. Hmmmm.... Maybe some chili with ground beef and turkey, beans, and lycopene filled tomatoes (the lycopene is actually increased in the cooking of tomatoes. So unlike most veggies, open that can and save some work and money!)

Garlic: This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production.

Selenium. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they're grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.

Omega-3 fatty acids: These are the healthy fats found in many oils, walnuts, oily fish such as salmon, and avocados. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. You can buy flax oil in the vitamin section of most stores. I found mine at Target. It is not expensive. Start out slow as it can have a laxative effect. You can also purchase flax meal in health food stores and can be added to almost anything much like wheat germ.

So, I got my fix in for today. If any of you are still reading, please don't be overwhelmed. It is possible to get these healthy foods in your family's diets. Try by adding a few items at a time and work yourselves in. We have been cutting up veggies at the start of the week and storing them in baggies in the fridge. Make up some dip or hummus and grab them as a snack or appetizer. Our Kroger has red peppers (my favorites) on sale for $.77 right now. I am not sure if that is a local thing or not, but peppers keep for a long time in the fridge so stock up with your Kroger plus card! I have also found that my boys love smoothies. Even when they don't feel well and don't want to eat, they will drink these. Lots of juice brands are now making veggie/fruit blends so you can pour that in for the liquid. Add some frozen berries and a spoonful of flax oil, and you will have a healthy meal for them. Also try yogurt. The probiotics are also helpful in keeping a healthy immune system.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cute Pictures

My Kids Say the Darndest Things

Owen's new phrase is "uh oh," and he says it about EVERYTHING!  A misplaced shoe--"uh oh," a hair in the tub-"uh oh," a spill on the floor- "uhhhhhh ohhhhhh!"  If there are no "uh oh's" he will create one.  He will spill the bag of cookies just so he can say "uh oh."  He falls asleep saying "uh oh."  I guess his blankets are in the wrong place?  He wakes in the morning saying "uh oh!"  Now Matt is saying "oh no" because it appears that we have a third person in our home bordering on OCD!  

Tonight in the bath, Owen was standing up.  I told him to sit on his bottom, so I could wash his feet.  He quickly plopped down, said "haaaaaaaa" which means hot, stood back up and then proceeded to blow on the water to cool it off.  

Micah apparently told his teachers that his dog was named Timothy, because on Friday we picked him up along with a sculpture titled "My Dog Timothy."  When we asked him about it, he laughed.  It has been an ongoing joke at our house now as Micah calls Ellie Timothy.

The other day we couldn't find Micah.  He was in our room at the computer.  Matt said, "Micah, what are you doing?"  Micah said "wanna check it out?"  He had opened a word document and typed out his multiples from 3 to 11.  

Friday, September 12, 2008

More of the Bunnies

The babies have opened their eyes! We took the boys out for a peak yesterday of the rabbits in action. Micah loved holding the less active one.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Our New Tenants

Meet Flopsy and Mopsy, the sweet baby rabbits who are buried under our swing set. Owen, Ellie, and I were outside playing a couple of days ago when Owen went into the would-be sandbox of our play ground. It was a bit overgrown with grass, and I saw something moving. Well, Ellie saw it too and was instantly on it. Of course my motherly instincts kicked in, and I wanted them both out of there quickly for fear it was a snake. My other inclination was that there were babies, and I certainly didn't want mama whatever coming to get onto my little one for disturbing the nest. After things calmed down a bit, I went to check it out and found these two precious bunnies. Ellie is thoroughly intrigued. I don't want her to hurt the innocent things, so we are currently keeping her out of the backyard. This is much easier said than done, as she wants so desperately to investigate her new friends. I did a little research and found that mama rabbit will only come back to the nest once a day to nurse the babies so as not to attract predators. So, if you ever find baby bunnies and can't seem to ever see mama, don't move the bunnies. As long as they look healthy and alive, she is coming to feed them. She is just smart enough to wait until Mr. McGregor is sleeping for the night!

*I took Micah back there this morning for a peak. We gently uncovered the burrow and his face lit up. He wanted to touch them. I prodded a bit, and one started jumping. It will be fun to let him see the bunnies grow. I think when they open their eyes, they will venture into the yard for a few minutes a day. Maybe we can catch them in action soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of Preschool

Micah is a sleepy head, and 7:30 is almost unheard of around here. He loves sleeping in until 9 or 9:30. Must be nice! He did pretty well after a few cries. Believe me, I want to cry too when have to wake really early in the A.M.

Micah's Schedule of Events
He is very meticulous and loves schedules. I find it much easier to convince him to get going when we have an agenda. It worked rather nicely, no complaining about eating and getting dressed. We went over it several times yesterday. He really loved it.

I snapped a few pictures outside before loading up in the car. Micah was having some difficulties with his allergies, so he was having some trouble looking at the camera and smiling while in between sneezes.

With Dada outside of school
Thankfully, Matt was at the office in Franklin today and was able to go with me to drop Micah off. I really think it made it much easier.

About to go to his classroom
Saying goodbye! There were no tears, but he did get a glazed look on his face. I don't blame him, it was rather chaotic with so many children in a new place.
This is what we did while Micah had fun in school. I have been needing an eye exam terribly, but knew I couldn't keep my eye on two babies and get my eyes checked. Healthy eyes is what the doc says: just some allergies and a clogged tear duct, which he cleared up with a scary needle in my punctum!
Owen got his two second eye exam too. It looks as though he is already a little myopic in his left eye. Uh oh, may need some glasses before we send him off to preschool!

So all in all, not a bad day. I picked Micah up at 1:03 and believe me, he told me that he wants me to get him at 1:00! Darn dump truck. I will have to leave even earlier apparently. His teacher said he did well besides being a little distracted and wanting to look at everyone's watch. I asked him if he remembered music class today, and he said "I looked at her watch!" They also commented that Micah is an escape artist. Not something you want to hear when you are already a wreck about leaving him in someone else's care. I know this about him, and I really can't ever let him out of my sight. He will often quietly slip away, so he can check everything else out. I wonder how long it will be before he is wearing one of those leashes. Thankfully the nearest exit is locked and alarmed. Oh Lord, please watch over my baby. I know I can't protect him all the time, and we beg you to keep him safe.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Our Friends, the Browns

These are our wonderful friends, Nathan, Taylor, and Dylan Brown. For those of you new to our blog, we lived with them for a month last summer when our house unexpectedly sold early in Memphis, and our new house in Nashville wasn't quite ready. They have always selflessly opened their home to us, and this weekend was no different. We are in a bit of an adjustment phase. Matt is working more. we are both more tired, and Micah is more sad. This, coupled with a busy week of social interaction for Micah, (new gymnastics class and new preschool) had really taken a toll on us. Nevertheless, we loaded the family and went to Atlanta because we were all so looking forward to our time with friends. Nathan, Taylor, and Dylan, thank you so much for loving us this weekend. We all feel so refreshed after our relaxing weekend. Our boys had a blast. Micah has been talking about you guys all day and even became teary-eyed in the grocery store today. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he wanted to go back to "Nathan's house." Taylor, thank you for the wonderful meals (I am now craving more of the cinnamon crunch bagels, and I picked up some marinara at Kroger today!). Nathan, thank you for loving Micah. He loves his time with you and thinks you are the greatest think next to Dada. Dyl-bop, you are such a sweet heart. We love watching you grow into such a beautiful little girl, so full of personality. You made us smile with all your kisses, and bows. I forgot to take pictures as usual, but you can click here to see Taylor's post from the weekend. I did take one video clip of an outing. Dylan and Owen were having fun playing in the car, and Micah was busy figuring out an alarm clock in the back with Matt.

One adventure that I wish I had photographed for memories was the trip home. Upon leaving, Matt mentioned to me that the steering felt a little funny. We dismissed it as our lopsided packing job. Yes, we are phlegmatic ;). About an hour into the trip, we heard a funny sound and knew we had a flat tire. We tried to make it to the next exit, but soon heard the sound of metal and smelled the foul odor of burning rubber. "You have got to be kidding me" is what I thought, and I think Matt mouthed something a little more explicit. So, we eased over to the grass where I tried to entertain the boys and keep Ellie quiet. Matt proceeded to unload the entire rear of the car and get to work (on the interstate side of the car, no less!) I couldn't stay in my seat, so I gave the boys some cookies and stood lookout while Matt changed the tire. I must give some props to Matt for having us back on the road in less than 15 minutes. Good work Baby!

So now, the summer is over, and my baby is starting his first day of preschool tomorrow. I must say that we are all a little anxious about how it will go. Micah has some social anxiety and hates change, so I know this will be a challenging couple of weeks for him as we adjust to his new schedule. He is telling us tonight that he doesn't want to go to preschool, and that is hard. If you are reading this, please pray with me that he will find his niche there, that he will make a friend this year, and that he will overcome his fears. We are trying to teach him that Jesus is with him at preschool and that when he feels nervous or scared, he can talk to Him. I should probably heed my own advice tomorrow, as I know I will be having similar feelings. I am sure to have a post with pictures of the morning tomorrow so stay tuned.