Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Where has the time gone?

I can't believe November came and went and it's been well over a month since my last post. It's been a very full month for us. It all started off with a visit from my parents who live in England. They hadn't met Pearl yet and it was so fun to show her off when she is starting to develop such a cute personality and give lots of sweet smiles. She is very charming! Johnny also loved his time with his Nonnie and Poppie.After their visit and my trip up to Palmdale and Simi Valley to see even more family, before I knew it Thanksgiving was here. We spent the day with Evan's mom and siblings. Saving the best for last, we ended our already great month with the beautiful baptism of our daughter. She did so well, and it was a wonderful day for us and we are thankful for all the family and friends who shared it with us! I know this is kind of brief, I am just too tired to get into all the details right now. Since having my second child I don't have the time during to the day to blog and at night when they are both asleep I just want to be with Evan and enjoy the peace that only a mother whose children are both sweetly sleeping knows.
A friend of ours from church made this slide show with the photos he took from the baptism, I thought I'd let you all get a glimpse into the beautiful service and you get to see how much Pearl has grown!.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Me!

Here we go, six things making me happy..
-two mornings in a row of my two year old going poo in the potty. (didn't realize just how happy this would make me)
-homemade rolls and yummy soup eaten on a cool fall night. (last nights dinner)
-a clean kitchen (okay, technically it's only almost clean. I still need to mop)
-the funny things my son says. like, " i not pretty, i a lumberjack!"
-when evan does really funny voices while reading books to the kids. (he has us all cracking up)
-the monkey and the frog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Smoke and Ashes

... everywhere, but we are home. Sadly, many are not, including atleast one family from our church. All the different stories of how this fire has changed people's lives are being told. Some are really heartbreaking and others quite beautiful. For me, I am just made me more grateful for my family and friends and a little less concerned with my stuff. That's always a good thing. All those who have lost are in my prayers and on my heart. Thanks for all the concern and the prayers said. We ended up stayeing with Evan's mom who took such good care of us and Johnny loved his long slumber party with Grandma. It was a very relaxing evacuation, except for the hour where the fire almost evacuated us from our evacuation spot. Needless to say, we were happy to come home yesterday morning. The internet connection was down, so I couldn't blog any sooner. Our church is just fine, however, Pearls baptism will be postponed. The Bishop is sending a Chancellor of our Diocese to visit our community this weekend. which I think is just wonderful!
So, life goes on for the Keelings..I've been cleaning and trying to keep Johnny entertained since the air is too gross for outside play. Although, today his Grandpa came and drove him to the beach where the air was clean and the weather cool. I guess it's about time I put some recent pictures of Pearl up. She has changed from the newborn to a chunky, smiley, happy baby. By the way, I feel have to admit thatI don't think I am doing a very good job with this whole transition to two kids. The house is often a mess, meals are not terribly thought out, I am just happy when I make anything, and I am a wreck to behold. In case I've ever made myself sound like I have it all under control or something please know that I don't. It's been hard. But, I do have two amazing kiddos, and a loving, hardworking husband that don't seem to mind too much. Atleast for now. I know I have to cut myself some slack, but somedays I just feel very overwhelmed by the smallest chore. Okay, I feel better having blurted that out.
Here are some recent pics..

Monday, October 22, 2007

our cities on fire

As many of you are aware,these Santa Ana winds have created horrible fire conditions in San Diego County, as well as other parts of Southern California. We evacuated our home around 7 am this morning, the fire was just beginning to enter the outskirts of Escondido and that was close enough for us. We headed south and are safe in Point Loma with family. We are most concerned for our church family and friends living in Rancho Bernardo where the fire is destroying neighborhoods. Our church itself is in the path of the fire. Pearl was going to be baptized next Sunday, I just pray that St. John's will still be standing. I ask for your prayers for those who are in harms way or who have already lost their homes and for all the lives being affected by this.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll try to be back with a real post next week.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pearl at Five Weeks..

...Is giving very sweet smiles when we work really hard for them.

...Is growing some cute, squishy cheeks that seem to get bigger by the day.

...Loves her big brother.


I admire all of you bloggers who write with wit and intelligence. Detailing your days, your thoughts and opinions. For now, I am just posting pics of the kids. It's about all I can manage these days. I know this will pass, I am hoping that the books I plan to to begin reading this weekend will inspire some good posts. We shall see. Oh! In exciting news, I am being churched this Saturday evening. I am really looking forward to getting back to Liturgy and introducing her to our church family. Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our baby girl..

Whew. What a few weeks it's been! I finally feel close to normal and we adjusting to our family of four pretty well. Johnny loves his little sister who he usually calls her "Pearly" or "Pearl Alittlebit". I guess Elizabeth does sound an awful lot like a little bit. I call her that now,as well. It's just too cute. Pearl was 4 weeks old yesterday and she is such a sweetheart. I am surprised by how attached she already is to me and she is oh, so snuggly which I just love! She is eating and sleeping great and I am once again so thankful that nursing has been going so well. I try not to take that for granted anymore. I've been wanting to post my birth story for some time. I actually began writing it days after she was born while it was all still fresh in my mind.I am still in shock at how easily she came into our lives. I went into labor at four in the morning on Monday. Honestly, when I felt that first contraction I wanted to cry. It came after a difficult few days of Johnny being sick and sleeping with us everynight, as well as me starting to feel under the weather. When I knew that it was indeed labor and wasn't going away I stood in front of our icons and prayed for mercy and strength to get me through because I was already so tired. I called Evan's mom around 4:30 am to let her know so that she could come be with Johnny, then I called my midwife to let her know I was in labor. I never questioned whether or not we should go in, I just knew things were progressing rather quickly. Around 5 am, when contractions were strong enough that I needed to focus, Johnny woke up and came downstairs and snuggled on my lap. Not the most comfortable thing, but I clearly remember thinking, "enjoy this moment..". A little after six Evan and I were on the road making the 45 minute drive to Hillcrest where the birth center is located. We didn't hit any traffic and we actually got there before the midwife. I had to sit on a cold cement bench through about six more contraction before she arrived and I was so glad to see her. I've found with both of my births that I am most comfortable and progress well in a rocking chair through my difficult contractions, so I began to rock. Evan rubbed my feet, held my hand and was just there right where I needed him to be. My midwife checked me at 7 am and I was at 4 cm. She checked me at 8 am and I was at 5cm. One hour later, I was ready to push. My prayers for mercy and strength were truly answered and two hours after I arrived at the birth center and only a few good pushes Pearl was born. I had planned to deliver in the water but when midwife checked me when I was at 6cm, my water broke and immediately her head descended and I was ready to push. She came out screaming and she wasn't the only one! Pushing a baby out that quickly is incredibly intense. Fortunately, I had minimal tearing and felt really good almost immediately after. She weighed 7 lbs. 11oz and was just under 22inches long. At her one week appointment her weight was up to 8lbs 4oz and at her two week she was 8 lbs. 12 oz. I am sure she is well over 9 lbs. by now. I just love seeing those little rolls pop up here and there. Despite the difficulties of this past couple weeks and all the attention Johnny has needed, I still feel very bonded with my baby girl. It is also seemed to make Evan and Johnny a lot closer and I think Johnny has come to find more comfort from his Papa.
Anyways, there are some of the details for those who are interested. Now here are some recent pictures of Pearly. We were so happy when her cord dried and we could start using the tummy tub again. She really seems to enjoy it and it mellows her out in the evenings which seem to be her fussy time. Ain't she sweet!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Look Who's Feeling Good!


Good enough to play in the sandbox his Grandpa made for him.

Good enough to enjoy his new little sister and let Mama take pictures of it.

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. It is so good to have our happy, sweet, active boy back. The lack of sleep from the past week was catching up with me. I realized this when I found this note on my car windshield after a quick trip to the mall with the kids...

I came home and put Johnny down for his nap and then I fell asleep nursing Pearl. I awoke to find Evan home for lunch who informed me that I had left my keys in the front door. Yikes.
But, like I said, we are ALL recovered now. We've even gotten to enjoy some of the tantrums I spoke of in a previous post. Johnny is pretty emotional but overall doing great with the baby. Pearl is as sweet as can be and has been very easy on us so far. I'll have more to say about her later, it's bedtime.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Peace






-Thank you all for your kind words and for the prayer said for Johnny and us. This week has not been good and I have not always been the most patient, in control mom through all the crying, sleepless nights and thrown up medicine in my face. He looks really bad but I do think he is improving. His spirits have been up lately and we see glimpses of the happy, active, fun and loving boy he is. Oh, I pray the worst of it is over, I miss my Johnny! Pearl is just sleeping and nursing through it all and I am thanking God for that. I am more at peace with all that's been happening, I know that Christ loves him far more than I and I have to rest in that truth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Please pray for my boy..

I've been working on getting my birth story up here but this week has proved to be a difficult one. Johnny had been recovering slowly from some nasty infections and was taking antibiotics which helped. I have always avoided antibiotics in the past but with a double ear infection and sinus infection we decided it was best. He had one more dose and was going to be done with them but yesterday he woke up with horrible welts all over his body, his hands and feet are swollen and his whole body red and hot. We now know that, like me, he is allergic to penicilin which is in the amoxicillin he was taking. It's heart breaking to see him looking so bad and SO uncomfortable, especially when I have a sweet little newborn who requires much of my attention. Having a new baby can be stressful enough, this has me feeling pretty overwhelmed. Honestly, just looking at him brings tears. Thankfully, I have family, friends helping out and a very loving (and exhausted) husband who is up with Johnny at night and still going to work the next day. I appreciate your prayers for his recovery and that we can just get back to dealing with the normal hardships of having a newborn and toddler. I'd take a tantrum over this any day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pearl Elizabeth


She is here and she is lovely! I will keep this short, but my sweet baby girl was born yesterday morning at 9 am after only 5 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing. (crazy fast compared to the 23 hours of labor I had with Johnny) She was born at a birth center so, we brought her home around three in the afternoon yesterday. Poor Johnny is recovering from both a sinus and ear infection but he still has plenty of love for his Pearl. (snotty love)
I will have plenty more to show and tell in the coming days.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Okay, I need to get this post written while Johnny is sleeping and while I am still pregnant, otherwise it's just not going to happen.
So much to tell. I hate that I completely skipped over blogging about my sweet boy's second birthday. I think he's convinced it just always his birthday now. Between an early birthday trip to Legoland with Mama and Papa and his actual party, not to mention visits from good friends and godparents who came bearing gifts and more birthday wishes, it been a month long celebration. We were grocery shopping this morning and he was singing "Happy Birthday" to himself rather loudly. Sheesh. I love seeing him so excited by all of the hoopla this year. Ofcourse, I think he's pretty amazing. It's so fun to have conversations with him and hear him come up with original statements and ideas and to watch him think things through. Yes, we are definately seeing a more defiant side as he further realizes and asserts his independence but I love that I can talk to him about it now and he truly has a kind heart and wants to do whats right.(well, most of the time) I am so proud of my big boy! He has brought us two years of laughter and joy and parenting him has taught us invaluable lessons.
In other news, we are recovering from yet another move. Our housesitting gig in Carlsbad is up and we are back in Escondido. As much as I enjoyed being so near the ocean it is good to be here. Evan's office is walking distance and I have a close friend around the block. We found a cute town house which met all my requirements ( has a yard, washer/dryer hookups.) I was really hoping to avoid an apartment and this place definitely has more of a "home" look and feel to it. It's been a frustrating move for me because I am limited by what I can lift and move around. Actually, part of why I am blogging right now is to help me get my mind off the sofa and boxes of books I SO want to move around the room. (what's the worse that could happen?....labor?..that wouldn't be so bad.) I would like to get a little more settled before the baby comes but at the same time I really want to meet this kid! I am due on the 16th but Johnny was eight days early,so, who knows. It dawned on me now that it was just over a year ago that I painfully letting you all know that I had miscarried and the hurt I was feeling but here I am now, full as the moon with this sweet child and oh, so thankful. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers in these coming days. I am so excited to announce the birth of this babe and post pictures for all to see.
In the meantime, here is a recent family picture and probably the last to be taken of us with only one child in our arms. I would put up a better belly shot but this is the most recent picture I have available right now so you just get a peek.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Johnny is So Punk Rock


Nellie the Elephant by the Toy Dolls has been one of my sons favorite songs ever since Evan put it on a mix cd for him. When I found this video of them on youtube I knew he'd love it. He cracks us up dancing and singing and he asks to watch it numerous times throughout the day. We've started burning him cd's with music that all of us can enjoy because nothing keeps him happier on long car rides or even while sitting around playing then some good music. Here's a list a few songs we ALL enjoy...

Uncle Joe-Red House Painters (he likes this one because he has an Uncle Joe whom he adores)
This Little Light of Mine- The Corn Sisters ( a very fun version of this Sunday school song)
I've Been Everywhere Man- Johnny Cash
I'm My Own Grandpa- Willie Nelson ( I find this song hilarious and it's even funnier when a two year old is singing along.)
Train to Skaville- The Ethiopians
Chicago-Sufjan Stevens

But before you start to think my kid is too cool, keep in mind this is also one of his all time favorites...

Friday, June 29, 2007

a meme

RULES:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So, I actually was tagged for this by my friend Rose. Sorry, Rose, I forgot. And thanks, Aaron, for the second tag to help get me out a my blogging funk.
Here it goes...
1. I spoke my own language as a child. Even had a name for it.. Katu-meenu. What is really strange is that my older sister could translate for me. It wasn't until I was around 3 that I could speak English clearly.
2. I was baptized at a waterslide park.
3. I lived in a foreign country for ten years yet never learned the language and never felt at home. ( I regret that)
4. While in that foreign country I appeared in two different television commercials for Del Monte juice and one magazine ad for hair perm solution. All at the age of 13. They are pretty hilarious!
5. I once applied make up and fixed the hair of a 75 year old woman as she lay naked on the floor of the shower she had just slipped in. She wanted to make sure she looked good when the handsome paramedics arrived to help her. The memory of her always makes me smile.
6. I talk to myself a lot. Maybe, I think out loud, is a better way of putting that. Makes me sound less crazy.
7. I accidentally killed my beloved pet parakeet. I then lay him in a tampon box with a poem expressing my grief and buried him in the yard. I was 14.
8. I still know all the words to the songs in the HI-TOPS musical that was a big hit in a lot of So-Cal churches in the 80's. Regretfully, I no longer remember all the dance moves. Darn. Anybody else remember that one? ..."Look at me run with my hi-tops on!"...

There you have it..I really can't think of 8 people to tag. I 'll just say, Evan and Raina, since their blogs have been neglected for some time now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What I see when I look down..

Oh, right. A big belly....
These are what I see when I look beyond the big dome of baby. My new mayrjane Crocs. Aren't they cute! Thanks to my mother-in-law, I have happy, comfy, plum perfect feet!

I know that isn't a very exciting thing to blog about but life is getting busy again and I just wanted to post something before the chaos climaxes. The baby will be here soon and we will be moving back to Escondido by the end of July. Giving us only two weeks (give or take a week) before the baby is born to settle into a new place. Yikes! Your prayers are appreciated as we try to find a nice place where we can hopefully stay for awhile and also for the last few weeks of this pregnancy. I am really having to trust that God will provide and will orchestrate the timing of all these things. I have been very emotional and stressed about this on some days.
We did recently have an visit from family. My mom was in the country ( she lives in England)and she spent a few days with us, as well as my sister and her two kids. It was really wonderful to be with my family and see Johnny with his Nonnie, Auntie and cousins. We all went to Legoland which was SO much fun. I highly recommend it, there were plenty of rides and attractions for even young toddlers and Johnny is still talking about it. Unfortunately, most of the pictures were taken on my Mom's camera, but here a couple I had. I just can't end a blog without a picture of my kid.
He loved the barn!

Saying goodbye to Nonnie at the train station.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Photo Booth Fun

Not in much of a blogging mood but here are some silly pictures. Evan got a new Mac and we all seem to get a kick out of the photo booth. Johnny calls it the "punny pace pictures." Haven't really gotten our "F" sound down yet. Smile!



Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Evan!


My man turned 30 on Thursday. Unfortunately, blogger wouldn't let me blog about it until now. The celebrations haven't ended just yet. We have a dinner with family tonight and a dinner with friends in a couple weeks to mark this turning point. So many friends hitting 30 this year. I still have a couple years to go but it is strange to be reaching this age. I have a very clear childhood memory of my parents throwing a surprise 30th party for one of their friends. Weird! Instead of it making me feel old it just makes me realize how young they all were. I remember them being goofy with their friends and kids and well, acting like us.
Anyways, I love you, Ev. All 30 years of you. You were always a good man and have been an amazing friend to me all these years but I never could have known what an incredible father you would be. Thank you for loving me and our children. Thank you for leading me on this journey and helping me up when I fall, dusting me off and allowing me to do the same for you. Can't wait to see this next baby in your arms. And even though today was a little irritating and we weren't the kindest to each other, I still so enjoy your company whether it be watching Johnny play in the back yard or sitting across the table from you staring at your face, I am just content when you are near. Let's always stay near.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Summer in Spring


It's been so warm this week, feels like summer already. (well, a mild and lovely summer, which isn't really how summer in So Cal is) We've been spending most of our time outdoors. Today we visited the Carlsbad Flower Fields. It was beautiful and has fields of my all time favorite flowers, ranunculus. We rode in a wagon pulled by a tractor to tour the fields which was a lot of fun. Aside from a lousy experience with a maze,( I remember now why I hated mazes as a kid) and bad diaper rash on my boy's booty ( the flowers must have blanketed the stench of a dirty diaper), it was a good day. Tomorrow we are headed to the beach!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Toddler


This picture pretty much sums up Johnny. Overall very sweet but if you look closely in his eyes you see a hint of mischief. Some days feel non-stop, if I turn my back for a second he is into or on or under or eating something he shouldn't. Makes me a little nervous to think of trying to sit and nurse a newborn when this little hurricane will be running rampant. Also it forces me to try to discriminate when he is being downright naughty or when he is simply being the vivacious and curious lover of life he was made to be. I don't want to encourage the naughty nor do I want to discourage the wonder. I need to keep him busy, that's for sure. It's been pretty challenging the last few weeks because I am exhausted. I hate it, I want to enjoy these last months when Johnny can have me to himself but I am realizing he is already sharing me now. I can tell he senses this because as it becomes more and more difficult to carry him around he is asking me to hold him much more than he used to. Pregnant or not, at nearly 35lbs that is no easy task! I know I wrote about how fast this pregnancy is going but suddenly it seems to have slowed to a crawl and I am really eager to be done. Maybe it's because I've been reading the blogs of some very expectant moms or maybe it's because I held a precious little nine week old today. Sigh. In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me busy. And by plenty, I mean this crazy kid..

By the way..thank you all who commented on my last post. I just received those comments today. I guess I accidentally changed a setting that requires me to publish those comments. I tried to undo the setting but it hasn't worked. Argh!
Anyways, it's nice to know that others share my plight. My dreams have left me alone for the most part, now if only my bladder would let me sleep!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gray Day

Last night sleep did not come easy and I feel the the last few hours were plagued by a series of really stressful dreams that revolved around me being a terrible parent. I rarely have "sweet dreams". They aren't nightmares, they are just intense, dramatic and when I wake in the morning I have to question whether it was real or not. Although, I was relieved to find it was ALL a dream ( no, I didn't actually leave my son in the car for hours, only to return to find him out of the car wandering around a parking lot) but I also awoke feeling a little ill and with a feverish toddler. Ugh. What a contrast to yesterday; the sun was shining, we explored a wonderful new park, Johnny was happy playing in mud and running through sprinklers. Oh well. Looking at the positive, it is Friday, Johnny is now peacefully sleeping and I think I will join him, hopefullly, dream free.
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!



...and so has my blog. Not quite the same, though..
We had a wonderful Pascha! Never has the glory of Christ's resurrection been so real to me until participating in Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha. This year was unique in that we got to share it and see it through the eyes of our one year old. He loved participating in all the Holy Week services and had so much fun at the late night Pascha service. He stayed awake the entire time! Wide awake, talking, pointing, imitating the Priest. The drive home at 4:30 a.m. put him to sleep but he was still up by 7:30. Needless to say, we were pretty sleepy during the church potluck on Sunday. But it didn't slow Johnny down. We were fortunate to have Johnny's godparents and their daughter in town for the weekend so he got to spend time with his Uncle Nate and Aunt Annie. The only thing missing from our celebrations was our dear friends and precious goddaughters. They moved this past March way too far away and we miss them sorely.
Here are some pictures from our Pascha..
..as you can see I made Pascha bread and cheese for the first time this year. They were delicious. I got the recipe from a fellow blogger. (thanks, Elizabeth!)

..here's Johnny asleep on the way home (still holding his candle) and on Sunday, jumping in the bounce house they had at Church. So fun!

Since it has been some time since I last posted, I thought I'd give a little update on our comings and goings. There's been a lot of them. As I mentioned, our good friends, Greg and Julie, moved. They had been housesitting for friends living overseas until March, when Greg got a job out of state which required them to move. To make a long story short, we moved into the house they were watching. We figured it would provide us an opportunity to save up some money, pay off some debt and enjoy the beautiful city of Carlsbad. We will only be here a few more months but we are enjoying it. Johnny loves having a nice, kid friendly yard and best of all, a DOG! Here he is with his new best friend..

March was a very busy and fun month for us. Evan and I celebrated our seventh anniversary and we set out on our first real roatrip/vacation since having Johnny. Our main destination was Sacramento where we would meet up with my family to see my little brother graduate from the California Highway Patrol Academy. We proudly watched Joe get his badge and enjoyed being with family. If you ever get pulled over while driving in East L.A and out steps a 6'9" giant of a cop, be thankful because you are about to meet a very kind and genuine man (he still might write you a ticket, though). We visited other family and friends all the along the way. On the way home, we spent a night in Monterey and attended Liturgy at a church in Salinas where our first Priest now serves. It was wonderful to see him and to visit a Greek Orthodox Church again. (He is one of the reasons we named our son John.)
Here are pictures from our little trip, I'll let them speak for themselves..








As far as everyday life goes, we feel very blessed. I had my ultra sound and a healthy baby is growing and thriving. We aren't finding out who's in there this time but I was thankful to see that beautiful heart beating and adorable profile. Johnny is changing and growing so much, too! Everyday he cracks me up and surprises me with how much he is learning. We can actually have conversations now and I love hearing his take on things. I can't believe how much life I've experienced with Evan by my side and I am full of excitement and hope for what's to come.