Monday, January 29, 2007

My daughter learned a dirty word from LeapFrog.

That's right, folks. An seemingly harmless educational toy has taught Katrina a dirty word. For about a week or ten days we've noticed that Katrina has been saying 'caca' ('poop' in Spanish, for the truly naive out there) and couldn't figure out where in the world she learned it. Well, the mystery was solved tonight on the way to swim class.

Katrina has this fun little alphabet thing from LeapFrog that hangs on our fridge. It's magnetic and teaches the sounds letters make. Ryan's parents gave it to her for Christmas. It has a catchy little tune that says, "Every letter makes a sound and S says 'sssss,' 'sssss'" and so on. We have the letters in Katrina's name out so she can learn her name, and tonight in the car I sang, "Every letter makes a sound and K says --" when Katrina shouted "CACA!!" K, of course, says "cuh, cuh" ... which sounds like a dirty word when a toddler says it.

Thanks, educational toys of the world, for teaching my daughter a dirty word.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CPC and the Girls Letter

I spent Wednesday - Saturday at Children's Pastors' Conference. I loved it. Awesome speakers, challenging topics, fun workshops, tons of new ideas and resources, and I even connected with a couple of old friends and made some new friends. God is good.

Debbers sent the girls' letter tonight. How my heart aches to be reuinited with my dear friends. The years and miles may separate us physically, but the Holy Spirit continues to bind us together into a cord not easily broken. My hopes and prayers for the girls:

Debbie - may God continue to heal you, both physically and emotionally. I miss you too much, I think sometimes. I wish you lived closer so we could get together. Are you SURE you don't want to move to DC? :)

Char - may our Father continue to richly bless you and Jeremiah as you raise little Reece. How much he has surely grown since this fall! I need to see pictures!!

'rika - How I love to read your blogs! You are one of God's most beautiful creations, and I don't think for one moment that you need to compromise your standards. You deserve only the best in a mate! Keep praying and waiting for His guidance.

Megs - Okay, showoff! Not one but TWO triathalons?! You are amazing!!! Good for you for keeping healthy and stretching your body to do more! I'm proud of you! And I promise, I won't tell anybody your duplex secret. :)

Jill - I should have checked to see if you were going to be at CPC! I'm sorry VA didn't work out for you ... it was nice to have you for a semi-neighbor, even though we didn't get together. And happy birthday yesterday to little Ethan! I can't believe he's a year old already!! What did you guys do to celebrate?

Leah - my almost-sister who's closer than a sister, what would I do without you? I think of you so often, and my heart aches to know your sufferings. But your faith and determination to shake College Park and the surrounding communities are an inspiration! Hang in there, my dear friend. One day we will see the fruits of our efforts. (And by the way, I still have Christmas presents for you guys! Didn't I do the same thing last year and give them like a month late or something? I really need to work on getting organized.)

Melanie - I was going to say that you cheated and didn't really update, but then I realized my contribution wasn't any better! What's new with you? Where are you working? How is your family? Tell us more!!

Sara - I needed to cry in the shower this summer and wished you were here. A major ministry event I planned was a huge flop, and although no one said it, I know everyone was doubting my leadership abilities. I was so embarrassed! I knew that you would know just the right thing to say, and that you would listen and let me cry it out. Those days at camp seem so long ago ... God has really brought us a long way, hasn't he?

Amanda - Sometimes 'uneventful' can be a good thing, as long as you are in God's will. And remember, "This too shall pass." :) Sooooooo .... what's the exciting changes in the near future that you mentioned??

Amy - It sounds like the last year was really rough for you. I'm so sorry, but I am very glad to hear that you were able to make the best of it and get a new position in Herscher! I attended grade school through senior high at the next district over (Tri-Point) and Sidra attended Herscher schools, so it's a blast from the past to hear about it. And congratulations on the romance! If you submitted your update in the fall like some of the others, has much changed since then?

Allison - I don't know where to start. Congratulations on Gabriel ... and I'm so very sorry to read about Donovan. Has anything changed since you wrote? I am definitely praying. We serve and are loved by a God who wants the best for us and who proved His might when He rolled the stone away. I am certain that He has a plan for you. Please let me know how everything is going.

Krista - Okay, you get the award for the "Least Informative Submission" - after Marte, of course. :) Girl, I know a ton has happened in your life in the last year ... you have got to share how God has been at work in your life, leading you all over the world and back to Kankakee and such! And you have to share about your kittens, too. Trish says they are adorable! :)

Krissy - Congratulations on your marriage!!! I am SO happy for you!! It does sound like you are very busy, but it also sounds like you love what you are doing. I'm so glad you have John beside you.

And last but not least, Sidra Schkerke - Marte!! No more AWOL allowed for you!! And you didn't call me back after your cryptic message last week or so, either! I'd better hear from you soon or I'll ... I'll ... I'll call your mother and tell on you! :)

My dear girlfriends, I love and miss you. I am thankful for each of you, for the trials and triumphs we shared in school and beyond. May the Lord bless you and keep you, as we continue to journey through another year.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Katrina caught a stomach bug from another little girl at day care, and the symptoms are showing in full force tonight. She got sick all over Ryan just as we were about to leave for the grocery store, and has thrown up/spit up several more times this evening.

We feel so helpless when she's sick. This is reminding me of when she first caught the rotavirus bug just about a year ago ... March 2006, when she was almost ten months old. Our poor little baby was so miserable. She had vomiting for several days followed by diarrhea which led to the rotavirus diagnosis. I remember she went from 16 pounds to 13 pounds in three days! If she lost any more weight she would have been hospitalized.

I pray she doesn't get that sick this time. The good news is that subsequent bouts of rotavirus tend to be not as bad as previous episodes. And there is a new vaccine called RotaTeq available for newborns and infants that protects against rotavirus. You can read about it in this Washington Post article. Please, moms and moms-to-be, get this vaccine for your babies. I can't tell you how scary rotavirus is. Most people think, "Oh, it's just a stomach bug," but it can quickly lead to weight loss and dehydration in infants and toddlers, which in turn leads to hospitalization and sadly, sometimes death. The RotaTeq vaccine came out after Katrina was past the age of getting it, but we are most definitely getting all of the rest of our babies vaccinated for rotavirus, and we'll encourage our friends to do the same.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I can see clearly now!

The rain IS gone (and the snow flurries, too), but I hope tomorrow's not too much of a bright, sunny day because I'm still light-sensitive. Yes, folks, I survived laser eye surgery. My surgery lasted all of maybe five minutes (seriously) and I was on my way home less than an hour after I arrived at the vision center. Immediately I noticed improvement ... I could see the ceiling tiles in the surgery room! And I could see down the hall through the recovery room door. The irritation and light-sensitivity kicked in about 15 minutes after surgery, and that was rough. I wore those dorky sunglasses they give, plus I had my eyes closed, plus I held my coat over my head to block any light. I slept for about two hours and awoke to find the numbing drops had worn off. Ouch. But the steroid drops they gave for post-op care help a lot, and by 4:00 yesterday afternoon (6 hours after surgery), I felt GREAT! I could see fine, the achiness was gone, and I honestly felt like nothing had been done to my eyes. (Except that I could see without glasses or contacts.) So, if you are at all thinking about getting it done, I highly encourage it! It's been great!

We put Katrina's mattress back in her crib for the past few nights because Ryan was back in Colorado and we didn't want to try to deal with her getting up all the time. Just tonight I moved her back to her toddler bed, and sure enough she got up after I put her to bed. I ignored her for about 20 minutes (which is hard ... she's so darn cute!), then my friend Trish told me about Super Nanny. I seriously don't watch much television, but good ol' Google pointed me in the right direction. I'm not the only parent who struggles to keep their toddler in bed:

A huge 'thank you' to Trish for sending me help just when I needed it! (Don't you think Trish would be a good mom? I think so.) :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bed Time at the Herberts

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted last! Highlights of the last two months:

- We traveled to Illinois for both Thanksgiving and Christmas; flew at Thanksgiving and drove for Christmas.

- Katrina moved from a crib to a toddler bed just before Thanksgiving.

- We wrapped up the State Department proposal at work on December 6 with an oral presentation. Hopefully we'll hear in March if we won an award, but then again, this has been the procurement from hell (originally due in July 2005, finally submitted 2nd printing in October 2005 only to be destroyed and reopened for oral proposals in December 2006)

- My friends from church (Jackie, Debbie and Lenora ... none have blogs, but Lenora does have a Creative Memories page) and I went to Super Suppers in December and it was a blast! I had to laugh when I read Jaime Bartling's post, because she wrote almost exactly what I had in mind! Except that Ryan doesn't care for cooking, like her Andy does.

- I had a great conversation with my boss just before Ryan and I left for IL for Christmas ... kind of an annual review, but not technically since I didn't fill out my portion ahead of time like I was supposed to do. Gordon was super sweet and encouraging and had a lot of great things to say ... which only confused me more. I so don't know what I want to do about working vs. staying home.

- There's some exciting news I want to tell you but I can't, not until after January 22nd or so. :)

- I'm getting my eyes fixed on Tuesday! LASIK surgery, that is. And of course, Ryan has to go to Colorado Sunday through Wednesday. My friend Laura is going to pick me up from the surgery instead.

- I'm also heading to Florida at the end of this month for the annual Children's Pastors' Conference. Some of you may remember I went in 2004. Our church is sending me again, along with my friend Jackie. We are very excited! (And yes, Sara, it's at Disney World!)

- Call me "Soccer Mom" - we bought a minivan! It's a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, light blue with Stow-n-Go seats and power sliding doors. I love it!!! It made driving to Illinois (a 14 hour trip) very nice.

Ummmm, that's about it. Life has be busy around here, but I'm not sure what we've been doing! It's good to be home after traveling. It's bedtime, but Katrina is refusing to stay in her bed. She's not crying or anything ... she just keeps getting back up and walking to the baby gate. Then she stands there until one of us takes pity on her. (This has been going on for 30 minutes.) This is so not like her! And of course Ryan and I are exhausted from traveling yesterday and can't wait to get to bed. So sleepy ....