Tag Archives: Bakersfield

Ethan and Peter

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Awhile ago we came here, soon after we moved back to Bakersfield, to do a hike with homeschoolers. Today, I decided to go back in search of green grass growing after the rains. When we bought our house on this side of town years ago, it was a wet year and the hills all around our development were green and rolling. It seemed like a whole other country and definitely not Bakersfield. The last few years have left things parched, dead, hot. This fall the rains returned and I am remembering why this area sold us.

We found ourselves next to the river with rounded boulders, the long green grass I was hoping for growing up in tufts between them, the fog rolling in just as golden hour brought the promised honey hues. It was magical and ethereal, like something out of a fairy tale. However, earlier this week my kids had a meltdown because we went to a park and *gasp* there was no playground equipment. It took them 20 minutes to get over themselves and realize that they could be having a whole lot more fun with the other homeschoolers playing tag. So after that experience, I did not exactly expect them to enjoy today’s outing.  And yet there they were leaping from rock to rock, making up a story about being wolf hunters and not wanting to leave even though it started to get cold and we had a birthday cake to bake.

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Today my Ethan is five. It doesn’t seem real or possible and yet here it is. This month is also his youngest sibling’s fourth month on earth.

Ethan has so many fun little quirks. I call him my little engineer. He always wants to know how things work, take them apart and put them back together. He is very sensitive and will wear shirts with tags inside out and hates pants most days (the colder weather is breaking him of this because he really hates being cold more than any other discomfort). His skin is sensitive and prone to outbreaks. His emotions are sensitive too, but in a less explosive way than his next in line brother. He is definitely a giggler though and often laughs his way through life. He goes through periods of loving to dress up. He wore his Beast (of Beauty fame) costume three days in a row this week. He even wore it to his sister’s ballet lessons. A few months ago he wore his Flynn Rider costume in much the same fashion. Yesterday it was traditional Korean birthday clothes. I made him change and wash his face for the photo shoot because I’m mom like that. He is a collector and today was no different, we brought home several clam shells and bottle caps. The usual hunt for the perfect stick was also on.

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Peter has rolls upon rolls that I could kiss all day long. They are so puffy and soft like clouds upon clouds. He is very vocal and he is starting to make a noise that sounds something like “Mama.” Or at least that’s what I think. He has the stub of a tooth and as such his cheeks and chin are chapped from the drooling. He’s still easy and sweet. He’s full of smiles and as delightful as babies can possibly be. He sleeps well and tags along on our day to day with ease.

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Daily, 11/24


Sunset in Grimes Canyon today.


This is such a Bakersfield parking job. I am going to park here because I can. Check out my ride.


Sprout enjoyed his pizza tonight.

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Daily, 11/6

My kids are playing with model NASCAR racers. We must be in Bakersfield.

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Week Thirty Nine

Week 39 happened to fall on the same day that Bean turned nine months old. I was contemplating switching to months at some point, but I figure I’ve made it past the halfway point with weeks so I might as well continue until she hits a year.

It was a big day for Bean and I. We drove to Bakersfield all by ourselves in the new minivan we got this past weekend (Honda Odyssey for those that are wondering). First stop was my lovely midwife’s house for a prenatal appointment. Got to hear baby #2’s heartbeat! Even though he couldn’t be there Stephen also got to hear because I called him.

After that, Bean and I headed over to my friend Tiffany’s to hang out with little Lucy for a playdate. Oh how refreshing it was seeing her. I have to say that one of the things I grieved most about leaving Bakersfield was the new friendship we were forming. Tiffany just gets me! We have very similar philosophies about so many things from parenting to doing research about everything to the fact that we both cloth diaper our kids to our love of crafts. The couple hours together was gone so fast and much too short!

Once both of our kids were tired out I headed over to my old station to say some hellos and then to my sister’s apartment for a few minutes before heading back home.

Driving around town gets more weird the longer I am away. I know where stuff is and I know how to get where I need to go, but I find myself making silly mistakes and getting confused much more easily. Streets that were once so familiar seem strange and distant. Maybe it’s just the realization that Bakersfield isn’t “home” anymore. Even the cute downtown houses that I used to count on as unchanging when I passed them each morning on my way to work are drastically different. So many of them are getting gutted, stucco facades, and completely “made over” from their quaint demeanor of decades past. I guess change is the only constant in so many aspects of life.

Bean is certainly a testament to that. It is amazing how much she has changed in just nine short months of life. Tiffany kept commenting on how big and different Bean was today. Last time we hung out Bean was barely sitting up on her own and certainly not crawling yet.

Her current phases are “everything in the mouth” and “pulling stuff out of containers”. She is also still very much into climbing on things and pulling herself up to stand no matter how stable the items used for support are.

She tends to get very fixated on things that she wants or wants to do. Usually no amount of redirecting, “no” or even getting hurt can dissuade her. For example, yesterday I came home really quick in the middle of running errands to go to the bathroom among other things. I basically walked in the door and put her down and then ran to the bathroom. I forgot to make sure that the gate on the stairs was latched. Bean of course immediately headed for the stairs and climbed up them. I was telling her “no” (which she knows what that means) as best I could while disposed of, but she was not listening. In fact, she was looking back at me and giggling as she went higher and higher. She got about to the third step, looked back at me in her very “haha Mama” way, and lost her balance rolling down the two stairs below her. She sat up, cried for a second, then laughed and set about heading back up the stairs again. At this point I was able to stop her and close the safety gate, but she probably would have continued to climb and then hurt herself as long I let her because she is just that determined about stuff.

I am sure this is going to make my life so much more interesting in the future.

She can also layer the drama on thick if she doesn’t get her way. I probably have to sweep her mouth for various objects (leaves, carpet fibers, hair, etc) about 20 times a day. If I find one and take it out she immediately errupts into a puddle of tears. This also holds true if I try to redirect her from something I don’t want her to do or have to another toy. The other toy is NOT good enough. The tears begin flowing, the face turns bright red and the upper lip juts out. Where do kids learn to do this? Sometimes it just makes me laugh because her pouty face is so funny and cute.

She does have an extremely funny and silly side too. Lately she really thinks that this head bang, hip thrust, bounce type dance move that she does is extremely hilarious, especially if you join in with her. She gets to laughing so hard that she sounds like she is almost gasping for air. I think the gasp noise is probably just another thing that she finds to be really funny. She is extremely ticklish, just like Mama. You don’t even have to actually touch her. You can just wiggle your fingers at her and she’ll start giggling away.

She continues to be more and more vocal, though she isn’t as big on her words as she was at first. Actually, the only time she says “Mama” now is when she is crying. We’ve tried and tried to get her to say “Mama” and “Papa” on command, but she just won’t do it anymore. Sometimes it does sound like she says “yeah,” but we’re not completely sure on that one. Mostly it’s just a lot of “aaaahhhh ba da la der di di di.”

Anyway, here she is at 39 weeks/nine months:

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Clarity

So I feel like there have been a couple blogs here that require some further clairification.

The first one is on the move. Because I think some people think we are a little crazy for leaving a beautiful house, family, friends and a secure job in Bakersfield. While we are leaving friends and family here, we are also going to some great friends and family in Thousand Oaks. We will be living about 10 minutes from Stephen’s sister, Ruth. Stephen will be working with Ruth’s husband. Our girls are going to have so much fun together. Through various events that Ruth has had over the years, we’ve also had the opportunity to already meet some great friends in the area. So I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better and hanging out more often. We also just love the area. I’m also already signing up for some Mommy & Me classes through the parks district and hoping to meet some friends there. In a lot of ways, what we’ve seen of Thousand Oaks is like what we think our neighborhood was supposed to be before the building bubble burst, only on a much larger, city-wide scale. As much as we love our home we’ve discovered that the location within Bakersfield is less than ideal being on the opposite end of town of many friends and family, we are frustrated at the neighborhood’s unfinished look, and Bakersfield in general is not the place we would ideally like to end up. Thousand Oaks, on the other hand, definitely makes our list of top places we want to live and watch our kids grow up. The other thing is that Stephen grew up in Ventura County and so I think in a lot of ways he feels like he’s going back “home,” even if we aren’t going to be in the exact town he lived in. We also love the proximity to so many southern California attractions (beach, Camarillo outlets, baseball, concert venues, etc), but without the crazy rushed feel of LA or the hauty feel of OC. Thousand Oaks just seems really friendly and family oriented.

Next thing I wanted to address are my statements about adoption. I just don’t want anyone to think that the only reason I’m even considering adoption is because of the pregnancy I went through. This isn’t just some new idea or whim. I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time. I distinctly remember talking about it with friends as early as high school. Long before Brangelina made it cool, I wanted to have a beautiful little rainbow faced family. For some reason whenever I talk about this I always remember the song “Jesus loves the little children” that I used to sing in Sunday school as a Sparkie in Awanas. Over the past few days I’ve come to some more conclusions about pregnancy and adoption. I even think that the more I pray about it I’m becoming open to domestic adoption too. Here’s my theory so far… adding another person to your family takes sacrifice. When you get married you sacrifice time alone, being able to do whatever you want etc. That’s your first experience with sacrifice in growing a family. When/if you get pregnant you sacrifice your body. If you adopt internationally you sacrifice financially. If you adopt domestically you often sacrifice emotionally before things are finalized. And through all three you probably go through various levels of those sacrifices (physically, emotionally, financially). I think sacrifice is good. Sacrifice is the picture of grace that God gave us. It seems to me that in order to show love you have to sacrifice and take risks. I think sacrifice takes great trust in our Creator. I think that the sacrifice in adding to your family is there for a reason. I think God intended it to be there.

And then one last point. I sort of left you hanging with asking you to pray for my friend over a week ago. Her water broke in the early morning hours of Feb. 27. They of course went to the hospital where she was told there was no hope and they would begin an induction. She was told the baby boy would not survive much longer. Amazingly enough he continued to move (she could feel him kicking!) and have a heartbeat and survive day after day. He was finally born March 3. She was told by nurses that if he survived delivery she would maybe have a minute with him. Well, his heart continued to beat for over an hour and a half giving this precious family some beautiful moments with him. While my heart breaks for them, I am just amazed at everything… their faith in God, the love so many people have for them, the fighter that he was, the miracle of his hour long survival. There are even pictures and seeing all of his tiny features just really gives whole new meaning to Psalm 139:13-16,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

I guess these next statements might get me in trouble with some readers, but here goes anyway. After seeing this little form of a boy, I just really can’t understand abortion. I can’t. Especially since like these friends, Stephen and I have struggled with fertility and pregnancy and all that. There are so many couples that desperately, desperately want children. I just can’t comprehend killing something that is so obviously a life. A few months ago when Kourtni shared her story about struggles with miscarriage, the part that really stuck out to me was this,

“Though relatively common, miscarriage is a topic whispered around obstetricians’ offices and rarely discussed in a society that regards the unborn—especially at the earliest stages of pregnancy—as disposable nonentities. Many people undermined my feelings with platitudes such as “You can always get pregnant again” or “These things just happen.” But I believe life begins at conception; my unborn children were people with a soul. The loss of that unique person left an enormous void in my life, leaving me physically and emotionally empty, lonelier than I’d ever been before. All I could do about it was cry.”

Today Stephen , Bean and I went to the funeral. While I do not at all like that my friends had to loose their baby, that they had to have a funeral, I absolutely loved that they did have one. Instead of this just being a “common” miscarriage, by having a funeral we all got to recognized that this little boy was a life. That he had a unique soul that was known by God.

Well anyway, this thing is starting to ramble. I’m sure I’ve trampled plenty of toes at this point and Bean just woke up so I’d better tend to her.

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Eye Candy Friday: Wildflowers Galore

Right by the entrance to our neighborhood wildflowers have cropped up in massive amounts. It’s like the olive trees are sitting on clouds of yellow and orange. It makes for quite the spectacular view to come home to each day. We totally love living out on this side of town and will definitely miss it a little.

And of course the scene would not be complete without my little flower child:

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Eye Candy Friday: Just 5 miles away

Wednesday afternoon as I drove down the hill into the little valley where our neghborhood is, the view was absolutely gorgeous. Sun streamed through the clouds creating patches of brightness on the rolling green hills that lay ahead.

I just couldn’t resist. I stopped at my house long enough to grab my camera and then continued to head eastward.

The XM radio starts fading in and out as you reach the mouth of the canyon so I turned it off and enjoyed the winding drive in silence while Bean continued to nap.

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