Meier Family Deliveries of 2013

Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up after many months of silence.  My writing endeavors have been limited to reminder notes for the daily basic things of life and random posts I’ve managed to put on Facebook.  I have to admit that only about 50% of the witty and charming ideas I have thought of putting on Facebook actually make it there. Usually, my thoughts hit on something especially “Facebook” worthy at a moment when I cannot access my computer.  By the time I’ve actually sat down and logged in, I can’t remember what I had wanted to post several hours (or days) earlier.

So, when I think about writing for my blog or attempting to work on re-writing the first few chapters of my dissertation, it usually becomes a fleeting thought that never quite materializes in during the busy, awake time of my day.

The last time that I attempted to update my blog, I was still pregnant with my fourth child.  We were expecting another boy.  We had decided that his name would be Seth Adrian Meier and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have any major complications in giving birth.  We were also praying for God’s provision since our health insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs. We made our final road trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break and returned to Lake Jackson, Texas to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s and to await the birth of our son.

FamilyPic FamilyPic_cousins

(Cristina’s side of the family took pictures in Gainesville, Florida)
White – Philip’s family / Red – Cristina’s family / Black – Anita’s family / Black with design – Tim’s family

Christmas_MKMeier1 Christmas_MKMeier2

(Christmas / Maternity Photos – December 2012)

Now, we are nearly half way through 2013, and our fourth child is nearly five months old. The months in between have brought many adventures our way.  If I were to summarize the highlights in a series of Facebook posts, it would probably look something like this:

*New Year….Baby on the Way.  We can’t wait.

(39 weeks pregnant)

*Luke had a blast at his firefighter birthday party. I can’t believe he’s four already.  I’m glad I didn’t go into labor today.

birthdaycake birthdayboy

*Uh-oh.  I found out that I do have placenta accretta and will not be allowed to go into labor naturally.  They are going to schedule a c-section for January 17.

*Praise the Lord! Seth Adrian Meier was born with no complications.  My placenta came out without any problems.  I am looking forward to going home in a few days. I am grateful for my mother being at home with my other three kids.

Seth_waves Seth_unhappy


*Jared enjoyed celebrating his “half” birthday at school today. He’s five and a half today (January 25).


*My mom went home after her three week stay.  I miss her already.


*Grace keeps getting ear infections.  She might need to get tubes in her ears.


*Valentine’s Day is so busy! I’ve spent so much time making valentines for all the kids in Jared’s kindergarten class and in Luke’s Cubbies group that I hardly have time to make anything special for my family.

Valentine's Day1 Valentine's Day2

*We’ve been discovering the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate missionaries worldwide.  I might even try to make some Irish soda bread.

StPattysDayFamily IrishSodaBread

*Grace is the first in our family to start seeing a chiropractor. I never would have guessed that these adjustments would work so well to help clear the fluid in her ears.  The ear specialist agreed that she doesn’t need ear tubes and that her hearing is perfect.


*We enjoyed Easter with the kids this year.  No one was sick this time around.

EasterFamily EasterTrio EasterBoys EasterEggHunt

*Grace turned two years old!  She loved being dressed up as a lady bug for her lady bug birthday party.


*Seth is 100 days old today (April 27)! It’s the only time I dress up in my Korean hanbok to celebrate the occasion.


*BCS had a successful auction and was able to raise a lot of money for the school.  Several scholarships were donated so that more students will be able to attend in future years.

BCS Auction

*We celebrated Stephen’s birthday at school today (May 1).  Jared’s kindergarten class came to his office to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.  Jared made a birthday cake for him all by himself.


*Another school year is quickly coming to an end.  Jared graduated from kindergarten on May 21. We are so proud of our eldest son.


*The weather is finally staying warm enough to bring out the pools.  The kids are excited about this summer.  Jared is already planning on what he wants to do for his sixth birthday.


So, there you have it.  That is a rundown of the most important events that have happened this year so far.  I look forward to adding more posts in the future.  I hope all the writing ideas that formulate as I’m driving or folding clothes or making dinner actually get typed at some point in the near future.

The Chick-fil-a Mystique

It all began when I decided that I didn’t want to make breakfast on my birthday.  I had several coupons in my purse for different restaurants and fast food places.

Free Gifts At Chick-Fil-A in Lake Jackson, Texas

I guess I chose Chick-fil-a because I had been avoiding it all summer. My kids love restaurants with playgrounds, but their playground was outside and I just couldn’t justify letting Jared and Luke swelter within plastic walls and tubing on a day when the outside temperature was already over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (not to mention the extra heat building up inside the playground area).  But now, we were finally dropping into the more reasonable temperature range of 80 to 90 degrees, and I thought it would be fun to eat breakfast there and use some of my neglected (but still valid) coupons.

After piling the kids in the car and getting them all excited about eating some yummy Chick-fil-a breakfast food, I got quite a shock when I came to the site of the restaurant.  The entire building was gone.  All that was left was a stack of debris being moved about by a demolition vehicle.  As my visions of Chick-fil-a meals vanished before me, I saw a sign stating that a temporary Chick-fil-a was going to open soon in the Brazos port mall across the street.

Later on, I heard that Chick-fil-a was planning to rebuild their restaurant in the exact same spot, but would be available in the mall for the time being.  As the months passed by, I could see the new building slowly being built.  I took note of the fact that the new building had the playground built indoors.  They were also making room for a double drive through.  Finally, a float in a Christmas parade advertised the news that the new Chick-fil-a would open on December 15.

As that day approached, I decided it would be fun to take the kids there on their grand opening day.  Several days before the store opened, the drive thru was opened to the public.  Those first customers received a free breakfast that morning.

The night before Chick-fil-a was to open there were people camping out in tents in the new parking lot area.  Why? They wanted to be among the first 100 customers to go through the front door, because they were promised to receive a special gift of “a free meal for 365 days.”

Now, we were not among the first 100 customers.  But we were there early enough to receive a toy Chick-fil-a cow for all three of the kids.  Jared and Luke had so much fun in the new indoor playground that was so well air conditioned that I made the boys wear their sweaters.

There were so many people working that Chick-fil-a that morning.  Every few minutes, one of the employees was asking me if I was such and such a person who had ordered the tray full of fast food goodness they were carrying around.  I would smile sheepishly and say, “I haven’t ordered just yet.”

After all, I had arrived at Chick-fil-a at 10:15 that morning so that the boys could enjoy a good long romp in the playground before ordering their lunch.  I ended up placing my order around 11:30 to avoid the lunch crowd that would be coming through after noon.  Chick-fil-a staff helped bring my order to my table and continues to come by periodically and make sure we didn’t need any refills on drinks or any other items.  One lady was carrying around helium-filled balloons and promised to give Jared and Luke a balloon if they finished all their lunch.

During our time there, I got to meet the manager of the store.  She told me with great pride that this was the first time any Chick-fil-a store had ever been completely demolished and rebuilt in the same location.  I asked her why they had demolished the building in the first place and she said that there were so many changes that needed to be made that it merited a complete make-over.

Indeed, it is a modern building that smells of new furniture and filled with enthusiastic people ready to serve anyone who comes through the front door and those who drive around the building to be served at their windows.

A Busy Grand Opening Day

Jared and Luke eat lunch with friends

Grace at Chick-fil-a

Experiencing Dora Live

For those of you who might think that kids are getting a real glimse of Latin culture and Spanish language through the Dora the Explorer videos sold in the U.S., think again. 

We were recently at the birthday party held for the first birthday of a couple who work at the school.  The husband has been teaching the elementary Spanish classes for the past two years.  He and his wife and entire family are Ecuadorian.

They put together a huge party which included blow up bouce house, face painting and a cotton candy machine (all which their one year old couldn’t enjoy, but her elementary aged guests could).  After a couple hours of free play, the kids were brought together for the great “show.”  A very animated lady on a microphone greeted all the children.  Behind her it was hard to miss the “Dora the Explorer” theme in the decorations and the birthday cake. 

But we didn’t expect what came next.  Suddenly a live “Dora” came out from behind the bushes to dance and sing with the children.  Soon, a live “Boots”  (“Botas” in Spanish) who was actually taller than the Dora figure, also joined the circle of children.  The kids were going crazy trying to shake their hands or give them hugs.  Jared and Luke weren’t sure what to think about the people with the big plush heads. 

Luke does a double-take on Dora's large head.

Then Dora and Boots began to sing and dance and encourage all the children to join them.  However, I’ve never seen Dora shake her hips on the video as much as she did at this birthday party.  That girl had some real latin moves going on. 

At one point, the kids were sprayed with white foam during the singing and dancing.

Of course, all this activity was taking place completely in Spanish. The two characters led the children in some jumping and dancing games and then finished off by breaking a pinata over their laps so that everyone would have the same opportunity to get some birthday candy.

It was a birthday party that Jared and Luke will not forget for a while.

Celebrating 34 Years of Life

On September 29, 2010, Cristina Meier celebrated her 34th birthday.  Even though she was very tired, she didn’t mind too much when her boys woke up extra early so that they could give her some birthday gifts.  Jared jumped up on the bed and gave his mommy a big pink stuffed dog.  He was so proud of himself.

Jared and Luke present their gifts to their sleepy Mommy.

“Look what I got you for your birthday, Mommy!” Jared said.

Luke couldn’t express himself as verbally, but he babbled a few things and showed his mommy the birthday balloon he was carrying.  He wasn’t quite sure he wanted to relinquish it at first.  But Jared “helped” him give up the object.

Then Stephen brought in a large bouquet of flowers that the boys had helped him pick out. 

It was a lovely start to a busy day.  At the end of the day, when everyone was back home, we gathered our things together and took off on an adventure to find a restaurant that Cristina had not visited since she was 18 years old.  It used to be her favorite Mexican restaurant in Quito, called “La Guarida del Coyote” which translates into “The Coyote’s Haunt.”  Although she had some challenge finding updated information about the restaurant on-line, they were able to find the place while driving past in a taxi. 

Cristina and Stephen enjoyed some authentic Mexican food, while the boys tried to eat some of the kid’s menu of chicken and French fries (accompanied by some fresh fruit, veggies and cheese mom brought from home).  It was an enjoyable night and they were able to get home in time to have some dessert at home and go to bed early.

Yep…this pregnant mother of two was ready to make it an early night.

The World of Baby Luke

As the New Year begins, there are two things that Luke Evan Meier is approaching: his first birthday and his first steps.  Although it appears that he will reach his first birthday before he reaches his first steps. 

Luke may not walk yet, but he loves to climb.  At least, he loves to pull himself into a standing position on whatever object is closest to him.  If it is Mama or Dad’s leg, Luke will climb up and cling for as long as he can.

 Jared has a little walker that he used to help him learn to walk.  However, he refused to give it up and let Luke use it until Christmas day.  That was when we officially wrapped up the walker and told Jared that he was giving Luke the walker as a gift for Christmas.

Of course, this was incomprehensible to our toddler.  Jared cried and cried when he saw his brother open his new gift and play with it.  Jared would not be pacified until he opened his big gift from Mama and Dad.  Once he saw the little fire engine scooter, he became quite happy to give up the walker. 

Jared and Luke test this toy before Mama decides to purchase it.

Luke is still trying to get the hang of the walker.  Most of the time the walker ends up going a little faster than his little legs can walk.  I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it soon.

Luke has six teeth already and two more coming in and is having fun exploring the world of solids.  He’s doing so well that Mama is considering weaning him in the next few months.

Luke’s vocabulary is expanding, too.  He knows how to say “Mama,” “Dada” “bye,” and his favorite word of all, “Yaba-daba.”  We don’t even watch the Flintstones, so I don’t know where he picked up this phrase.

Let’s Have a Ball

Jared and his Basketball Pinata

Jared and his Basketball Pinata

Cristina had been planning for Jared’s birthday party for nearly three months.  She began to plan it before the school year ended, because she wanted to find out how many of the staff’s families with young children would be around for it.  Jared’s birthday falls on July 25th, which is right in the middle of summer vacation.

After several families responded that they would be available to come to a party on Friday, July 24th, Cristina sent out invitations and began to plan out the party theme, “Let’s Have a Ball.” 

One of Jared’s favorite toys is a ball.  It doesn’t matter the size or type.  Jared loves to play with circular objects. When Jared was first learning how to say the word, “ball,” he would wake up in the morning whispering it to himself. 

“Ball….ball….ball,” we could hear him say through his baby monitor.

Naturally, Cristina wanted to create a theme around this fascination. She purchased goody-bags and put basketball, soccer and football stickers all them.  She found little hacky sacks in the shapes of different balls and little toys that matched the theme.

Jared's birthday cake

Jared's birthday cake

She ordered a birthday cake that would have gumballs around the edges and little sponge soccer ball stuck in the middle of the cake. This matched the little soccer ball candles she had purchased in the U.S. during their summer vacation.

She was also able to find a piñata in the shape of a basketball.  Since Jared would be celebrating his birthday in Ecuador, she wanted to follow the Latin custom of having a swinging piñata that the kids could attempt to hit and break.  Breaking it open would allow the treats and candies inside to spill to the ground.

When the day arrived, Jared helped his mom put up balloons and streamers all over the house.  Then, dad took Jared out to the playground to wait for his birthday party guests to arrive. 

Although some families had to cancel at the last minute, two families brought their children over in time to join the fun and games.  They played with Jared’s wide collection of plastic balls in the playground, before coming inside for a snack and an “inside game.” 

It was very interesting for Cristina to try to teach toddlers how to play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”  A few of the children were too shy to make an attempt.  In that case, Jared took their tail for them and stuck them up randomly on the poster.  Jared had a hard time understanding that you were supposed to put the tail ON the donkey’s rear end.  He just liked to stick them anywhere on the poster.

After admiring the donkey with nine tails, we all went outside again for a few more games.  We had a little race around the dorm building.  Every kid who crossed the finish line received a metal around his neck, because “anyone who finishes the race is a winner!” 

Then, the kids took turns trying to hit the piñata.  The two and three year olds weren’t even able to make a dint in it.  Finally, the last one up, was a four year old who figured out exactly where to hit the piñata to make it slip open in the middle.  As soon as all the candy tumbled out, the kids began to pick up the candy from the ground and added it to their goody bags. 

It was hard to keep them from eating too much of their candy because we were about to eat lunch.  I believe Jared got to taste a chocolate bar for the first time in his life.

As the older children at their lunch, Cristina took care of her baby, Luke, and put him to bed.  He was tuckered out from all the morning’s excitement.  Lunch was followed by the lighting of the candles on the birthday cake.  Jared managed to blow out some of the candles on his own, but had some help from little friends to help him finish.

While Cristina cut the birthday cake, Jared opened his birthday presents.  He received an art kit from one family and a play dough set from the other family.  After the boys were given their piece of cake, their parents began to pack up to go home.

By then it was nearly 1pm and everyone (guests and hosts) were ready for an afternoon nap. 

As for Cristina, she is still trying to grasp the fact that her baby is now a full-blown toddler.  Jared has reached the “tremendous” twos.  His vocabulary is expanding more and more every day.  He is gradually learning how to eat by himself and communicate more clearly to the people around him. 

Being two is sure to provide plenty of adventures and excitement for both Jared and his parents.