Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas pictures

Here are a few pictures I was able to get from Norma's camera:

On Christmas Eve, in her new pajamas and slippers

Christmas morning with her new play kitchen from Mimi and Papa

Our white Christmas!

Hamming it up on her new bike from Grandma and Grandpa Ramirez!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ziva, baby Jesus, and poo poo

Norma has a carved wooden nativity set that she brought back from the Philippines years ago, and on Christmas Eve, she used the figures from the nativity scene, along with the angel from the top of the tree, to tell the Christmas story to Ziva. Since then, Ziva has been intrigued with baby Jesus. She points, says "Baby!", holds him, carries him around, and puts him back in the manger when it's time to sleep (face down, the way she sleeps). It's cute, but here's the best part. This baby Jesus has a bit of cloth covering his front but on his back side, his behind is bare. Ziva noticed this, and after examining Jesus closely, she declared, "No poo poo!"

We're getting closer and closer to potty training...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What we never knew about Christmas Eve (sorry, Mom and Dad)

Okay, Vince and I decided tonight that THIS is what officially makes us parents: working all hours of the night Christmas Eve putting toys together. We've been saying, "So this is what it was like after we went to bed on Christmas Eve!" My dad is probably re-living all those long moments. As I write, he and Norma are working on a ridiculously intricate play kitchen set. Vince has finished the toy bin organizer (with a tad, tad bit of help from me), and he is now working on Ziva's first tricycle, which is a very cool hot pink. We are taking pictures, but I'm going to have to work out a new way to post pics now that we're out of our place. All our pictures are on our laptop, but we don't have wireless here, so it may take me a little time. I'm sure there's a fairly simple solution, but I'm not that tech savvy.

(Interlude while I tend to a crying Ziva who has fallen out of bed, which reminds me...)

In the midst of all our craziness this week, I forgot to announce that we have moved Ziva to the "big girl bed," which looks a whole lot like her crib except it's missing one side and has two small guard rails on the ends. She has taken two excellent naps in her new bed (the very first one yesterday took her about 45 minutes to fall asleep, but ultimately it was successful), and last night was her first full night. We have nothing to compare it to, but we thought it was a pretty huge success. She only slipped out once, and went right back to sleep. She didn't wake up and cry any more than usual, and during daylight hours, she LOVES climbing in and out (and jumping) on her "new" bed. I am extremely thankful for the training she has received at school....she already has a good understanding that a bed is meant to be stayed in during sleeping times, so that's not something we really are going to have to train her in. (I hope.)

Now before I go, to our Florida parents, Vince would just like to say "sorry" for always orchestrating such early Christmas morning risings, now that he knows how late you stayed up the night before. Thanks for all you did and do for us. We love you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Adventure

Hmm, where to begin?

I don't know that I've posted anything about how icky Vince's job has been lately because of the new apartment managers. But to understand this story, you need to know that it has been icky with a capital I. The new people are just...well, we're trying not to be bitter and angry and strongly dislike them, so I won't say. By now you probably want the bottom line, right?

On Monday, Vince was fired. For no good reason. And since he worked at our apartments, we had to be out in three days. Today is the end of day three. Whew.

From the very first day (literally!) that we arrived in Oklahoma, we have been what I can only call opposed by the enemy of our souls. We always have and still very much so believe that God has extraordinary plans for us (and I believe specifically for Vince, in ministry) here, and that makes the devil angry. Think back over our time here so far: our moving truck was over three weeks late arriving from Florida; despite two solid job leads when we got here last year, it took Vince over three months to find a job, and it wasn't one that made him happy; all three of us have probably been sick more often than ever (although I'm not sure we can really count Ziva in there since her "ever" is much short than ours); we were stymied again and again in finding a church to call home; and now, most recently, when Vince had spent less than 6 months at a job he originally loved, he got fired. 4 days before Christmas.

And we're excited! Because we see these struggles for the warfare they represent, and we know we are on the victorious side, and God's plans for us won't fail. We trust Him completely and know that He has an amazing, bring-tears-to-our-eyes-beautiful kind of plan up His sleeve, and we just need to sit back and watch Him work. We know that He will take care of us every step of the way. Already He has blessed us so, so much. In my two scavenger trips to Walmart, looking for boxes, I scored more boxes than I ever have in my life. Small victory, I know, but it felt huge since we had to pack everything in three days. We posted our couches and ottomans and a few other odd things on Craigslist, and sold them for just a shade under our asking price. The weather, although drizzly, held out for us to get everything moved. Three wonderful women came to the rescue yesterday and helped pack and/or keep Ziva happy. And my parents have welcomed us in for as long as it takes for us to figure things out.

So, as we've been telling Ziva, "God is taking us on an adventure." We can't wait to see what's next.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mental Health Day

Today I played hooky. It was for a very important reason, though. :) Our tail lights have been out for quite some time, and we've been driving at night when necessary in spite of the lack of lights, but it definitely needed to be fixed. I took it in yesterday afternoon and got it fixed, but the lights went out again almost immediately. So I called in, took today off, and planned to spend the whole day if necessary getting those lights fixed. I dropped Ziva off at 7:30 for PJ day at school, and the lights were fixed by 9:00. I do feel a little guilty about this, since I missed a whole day of school (and right before finals), but the day off was good for my soul. I got to clean, de-clutter, organize a bit, plan meals, catch up on laundry, pray. Good day.

We have one more week of school and then, Christmas break! I'm counting down the hours, and now with even a little more excitement. Vince and I are thinking of making the switch to a big girl bed for Ziva over the break, since sleep won't be quite as important for me while I'm out of work, and I can train her to stay in bed and not be a zombie at work. AND, I think Ziva is on the verge of readiness for potty training! So we may even give that a shot during break too, who knows? I talked with Angie, one of Ziva's teachers today about it a little bit, and was beyond thrilled to hear that she and Donna are happy to help with the potty training when she's at cool is that?

I think Vince is going to post some more tomorrow and we'll do pictures. Check back soon!