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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shoulda, coulda...

It's one of those fateful situations when I KNOW I should be down doing chores, but alas and alack, I haven't the motivation.
I'd rather sit with my girls whilst they watch "The Little Princess" (Shirley Temple version, of course), and avoid the inevitable.

We made great strides in the getting-ready-for-baby department today. Our stores of paper towels and toilet paper and napkins are indefatigable...or you know, for a few months anyway. Emery had took the van and had it washed and vacuumed. {Hallelujah, no more beach sand! It's only been plaguing us since September.} And the car seats are all arranged nicely for so-to-be three child seats filling up the back.
These are very good things.

Emery's off at a men's meeting at church, and I suppose we'll feast on leftovers from lunch. Isn't it funny how when the daddys aren't home for dinner, there's suddenly no need to make a real dinner at all and just any old thing will do. I - for one - don't mind this fact of life at all, but I am glad that most of the time Emery IS here to have supper with us. It's so nice to be all cozy together over our evening meal.

Smiles from today:
-Hattie singing Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down. Oh! Joshua fought the battle of Jericho.... (again and again and again and again). I could keep from busting out laughing as I was singing with her and her energetic, "Oh!" starting the next verse kept cracking me up. 
-Sweet husband, delighting in buying things for his girls that make us happy - just because. 
-Adele playing with duplo; she's very persistent in getting the pieces together. In our house, it's called "Dupelo" ... cause we lived in Mississippi, I guess. 
-A bouquet of purple clovers, when admired very closely, are positively breath-taking.  They're adorning Hattie's bedroom windowsill. 

The feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. 
(quoted imperfectly, from Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts)




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A month later...

I don't love going a whole month or more between posts here on my corner on the interweb.
But, at the same time, there's life to be lived....and I don't always want to take time out of real life to document and save the memories - though I should because I have pretty much no memory in and of myself at this stage of life.
Speaking of, I'm 30 weeks into this pregnancy! Woot! If you ask people around me, they'll tell you I have a basketball inside of me - so you can use your imagination to what that looks like (because I think I've taken zero pictures with a real camera this year, and virtually zero of my pregnant self this time around).
I drank my first cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea this morning. Which was both exciting and daunting. I haven't cared for the stuff much in the past, and wasn't particularly looking forward to starting the regimen, but to my delight, it tasted palatable, and I think I shall be able to bear up for the next ten-ish weeks with it.

Last week, I had a big spurt of energy and cleaned my whole house and was feeling generally groovy. However, this week I've been dragging around like I overdid it extremely - and it's been a little discouraging. But such is life with small children and big belly.

Adele's birthday is coming up next month. I can't believe she's going to be two! A very small part of me wants to tell time to slow down, but the large part of me is saying, "Come on spring! come on baby boy!"
I got my crafty on in the last few weeks and made him a sweet little mobile. I enjoyed making Adele a mobile when I was expecting her - especially as she'd be using pretty much all of Hattie's hand-me-downs. And I loved pouring love into every stitch of Baby Boy's mobile, and matching pillow since I had a bit of fabric left over. I don't have a sewing machine, nor do I really like to sew -  and thus, I'm not all that great at it....but my imperfect efforts satisfied my need to make something just for him. And that makes me happy.

March is coming. February has been thoroughly winter, in spite of my longings for flowers and greening grass. Here's to a new month coming up quickly, and spring, and baby!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Whoa.

I get the emails.
Every Monday.
(I wouldn't have any idea how far along I am, if it weren't for these things.)
You're ___ weeks pregnant! ___ weeks to go!

This week: 25 weeks along, 15 to go.
Say what?

15 weeks sounds like no time at all.
It's the kind of number that makes me think, "I'd better get my act together and get ready for this baby! Today."
Actually, ever since 17 weeks to go popped up, I've been on a little higher alert at how much time until Baby arrives.


.....but then I get comments to the effect of, "Are you going to make it till May?!?" and I think to myself that I have three more months to get bigger. And then time slows back down to it's normal pace, and I keep doing my daily motherhood thing: eating my protein and drinking my water and taking a handful of supplements, and mostly taking care of home and family.

My little Hattie is a planner. Sometimes an anxiety riddled planner. We've been having the conversation frequently how we just have to live each day as it comes, and not worry about what might happen down the road because it doesn't help anyone to worry. Accordingly, living each day the best I can, as it comes, is pretty high on the priority list.
And if it weren't for those dog-gone "__weeks to go!" - I'd do a better job of it.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Small thoughts.

{Small thoughts. Crammed together.}

A couple of weeks ago, I made chicken and dumplings for the very first time. I know, I'm Primitive Baptist and I'm from the south, and I hadn't been making them every week since I was born? Well, no. I think I helped make them once - mostly cutting the dough - but never on my own. As is such, I'd never attempted a gluten and dairy free version. Well, they turned out stellar. The only rub was that my rolled out and cut dumplings wouldn't come off the wax paper, and I ended up having ball shaped dumplings, rather than neat rectangles. So be it. It was comfort in a bowl.
I'm making another attempt today. I don't have quite as high of hopes because I forgot to look back at the recipes before I started, and forgot a few steps. [Pregnancy brain is in full swing!] Oh well, here's to comfort in a bowl, regardless of whether it's perfectly perfect.


Can anyone please tell me why a freshly mopped floor has such a magnetism to spills? I mean, really. There have been an excessive number of drips and drops splattered on my clean floor. I guess floors are there to be walked on and spilled on and cleaned up again.


My girls think Curious George is hilare.
And we've watched it everyday is this week. It's hard for me to resist that, "Just one more, mama?" I give in almost every time.


Do you know how glad I am for taste buds? Food has been tasting especially good here lately. Chai tea latte, grapefruit, chocolate chip cookie dough. Yes, please! All of them. {I have had all of them, in fact, not at the same time, thankfully.}


I've been watching the internet everyday lately just waiting for the winter coats and boots to be marked down into the realm of my budget. I think I'm blaming this on the baby too because Hattie's coat will probably still fit next winter, and Adele has all her hand-me-downs, and it isn't that imperative, but it FEELS like it is.
Funny how that happens.




Saturday, January 3, 2015

January 2015

Is it really 2015?

Such a year still sounds like a part of a sci-fi title. Except, no one lives on the moon or permanently in space or other things that folks were Sure we'd be doing by now.
I'm glad to still live on earth. The atmosphere is pleasant here.

We've had a busy few weeks in our corner of the world. In a nutshell, it's been stomach viruses punctuated by holidays.
I was sick. Christmas. Hattie got sick. New Year's Eve. Adele gets sick.
But in the midst of those, Emery and I took a weekend trip to Charleston sans children. !!!!! This was the very first time we'd left the littles for the night. Hip Hip Hooray for living near family, and for grandparents keeping the girls and knowing they were well cared for, even if Hattie did start throwing up after we left.
Thankfully, she only threw up three times and then felt better. And also thankfully, I didn't know she was ill before we left or I wouldn't have gone....and if we didn't go then, it probably would have been 18 more months after little brother is born before we'd get around to really thinking about taking another trip by ourselves.
We did have a nice trip. Charleston is lovely.

We spent our New Year's Day cleaning up and sprucing up around the house. Getting the Christmas decorations put away and pulling out our everyday mantle decorations made it feel homey around here...except for that time between having Christmas stuff boxed up and having the other decorations up when it looks forlorn and barren. When Hattie saw our mantle toward the end of the afternoon, she said it looked like our Brandon house and that she liked it. And that made me smile.
I'm afraid all the cleaning made me feel like nesting, and I pulled out the baby stuff to move it up from the basement. And I dug through a huge tote of infant clothes for half a dozen items that would be useful for a boy. And I enjoyed it. Nesting is a delightful expense of energy.
The girls having been playing 'baby' more than ever lately too. Especially Adele. With some receiving blankets and a couple of bottles, they've been in heaven...add in the baby tub and little stroller, what more could they want? :)
Sweet girls.

They also both got their hair cut this week. Sadly it seems what I cut was a large portion of their baby curls. Hattie's hair has been very straight this week, which makes her look grown up and that makes me sad. And Adele also has much straighter hair, but with still a little curl on the end that eases my pain a little.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Life Hack

How do you clean your shower?

Up until recently, for me, it meant kneeling, scrubbing, reaching, rinsing...etc. Less fun than a barrel of monkeys anyway. And then it hit me - or maybe I saw it on pintrest a while back, I cannot recall - the mop. The lowly sponge-mop. Aha! The perfect tool for tub and shower cleaning.

And now I feel like a super hero every time I clean the bathtub because it's so much easier....and maybe I'm the last person in the world to have realized this trick, but I like it.




I've been vegetating tonight. Emery's upstairs reading and singing to the girls, and I'm reading mom blogs because it's been that kind of day and I'm all for being alone for a minute.
But Christmas is only a week away, and I wish I were planning out the things I need to cook/bake in the next several days and be able to avoid Kroger on Christmas Eve, but that one's not working out so well yet. Hopefully, I'll get my brain into gear soon. Hopefully, I won't be making 7 trips to the grocery store. Hopefully, I'll have a plan.
Let's just say I didn't succeed on that front with Thanksgiving and I was right there in the thick of it at the store the day before. It really wasn't so bad, in retrospect, but it hurts my pride a little to be so disorganized.

It's awfully sweet to start buying boy things. Oh, I haven't bought much, but I'm watching the clearance sections and I have gotten a couple of cute onsies and a pack of receiving blankets. I like this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Laptop, portable computer

For the last few years, we've needed to replace the battery in our laptop. Thus, it required it's plug to function for more than 5 seconds. But we've entered a new world...bought a new battery and adapter, and I have golden visions of sitting somewhere other than near an outlet to check my email and whatnot.

Also having our computer functioning again means I feel the pull of getting these crazy Christmas cards done, but you know what? We haven't got a picture. Not one. I don't think I've even taken a picture on my real camera since September. And I just feel like it's not worth it to send Christmas cards if you can't even get a cute picture of your kids.
Maybe I'll just wait till the baby is born and send late-Christmas/birth announcements. "Merry Christmas six months ago and oh yeah, we had a baby!" lol. except it isn't even funny. Maybe I can get my act together by new years? Nobody hold me to that.

I finally figured out that Adele is cutting some molars right now. The light bulb in my head went off, and AHA! that's why you had a fever and prolonged runny nose and general irritability on top of your cough and stuff. Now I get it. I'm thankful for mommy brains that sometimes work.

I hung some pictures today in the girls' room. They make it so nice and cozy. Pictures of us on the wall make a house feel like our home. I like it. I like feeling like home isn't just a in-and-out, no-time to-think-about-it kind of place. I like it to be welcoming and personal...albeit very lived in {Which is to say, give me ten minutes to clean up my house before stopping by!}.

Whilst holed up during this bout of sickness, I've been reading some of my old favorites, Stepping Heavenward and Hinds' feet in High Places. In the latter, the main character "Much-Afraid" is learning to follow the Great Shepherd on her journey to the High Places, and one of the lessons she must learn along the way is: acceptance with joy.
That struck a chord with me. How often when trials come do we want to whine and complain...we our appropriate response ought to be, "Yes, Lord, I'll accept what you've given with joy"----Joy because we know whom we have believed in, not necessarily because of the situation.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Just so you know, I didn't regret the gingerbread house build. it got a little hectic when baby girl lost her self control and started popping the candy in her mouth, and we ended it soon after -- cause, hello, almost bedtime and candy don't mesh. I do regret that I also have no self control and have been popping the sweet-tarts off the roof and road and windows because they're my favorite, and the wonka candy was pretty much the reason I bought that particular gingerbread house set.

My girls are sick. :(
We've been planning for weeks to go to my nephew's birthday party tomorrow, and I hate we'll have to miss. Do you know how many birthday parties we've gone to since Hattie has been around? Two, not counting our own, of course. I was excited. But I guess now Hattie won't know exactly how low-key we do birthdays at our house compared to full-blown character parties, and I don't mind that.

It's been an exciting week for our family. It's a BOY! woohoo! We were very happy to see a healthy, growing boy on our sonogram this week. The name's a secret, so you'll just have to wait.

We moved to our new house two weeks ago. And only yesterday have I gotten around to doing some full-out, much-needed grocery shopping. With an upcoming move, I always cook from what we have until the pantry and freezer are virtually empty. So, as you can imagine, it was an extensive shopping trip. But Hallelujah, we get to shop at Aldi again, it's SO nice to save some moola there!

Happy friday and weekend and december!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the gingerbread house

I have been prepping our gingerbread house for decoration after supper. It's one of those activities that you're so eager to begin, but you KNOW that you'll be regretting before the icing is gone.
Oh well, it's tradition. Except this year, I built the house...cause I never get to (hello resident engineer! ) and I enjoyed it. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sycamore Bakes: Oreo Truffles

Okay, so this one is a no-bake recipe, but oh is it decadent. And simple. And rich.
I made Oreo Truffles to take to church last night, and they were a big hit.


Oreo Truffles
{Gluten and Dairy free!}

1 package gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (or Oreos)
1 package vegan cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
12-ish oz dark chocolate
3tbsp coconut oil


Pulverize the package of cookies. I tried doing this by hand, but finished with my "little chopper" - a food processor would do it beautifully, I'm sure.
Stir in the cream cheese until well incorporated.
Line cookie pan with wax paper. Roll cookie mixture into small balls - you probably don't want these any larger than the size of a chocolate covered cherry. I got a little lazy and started making them bigger, but they get hard to eat.
Put 'em in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt your chocolate and coconut oil.
Use a slotted spoon (or a toothpick) to get the balls coated in chocolate.
Put in the fridge and wait long enough for the chocolate to firm up before giving in to temptation.

Makes about 30 small balls. Like I said, I got lazy, so mine turned out about 20 truffles.

The surprising thing to me about this recipe was that even with the vegan cream cheese, I felt like I was eating real candy, like out of a box candy. Light on the inside, rich dark chocolate.
Delish.