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Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmastime

Emery indulges me. Thoroughly.
And he let us have our family Christmas on Friday night. We're going to be away from home on Christmas anyway, and we already planned to have it a little early…..but I kept voting for earlier and earlier.
This is because I'm no good at surprises. If I've bought a gift and wrapped it, I want to give it to the recipient pretty much immediately. {I tried to do the "12 days of Christmas" with Emery one year, and of course, I made him open the whole bunch the first night. No self-control in that area}

Oh it was fun to have Hattie bring in the presents and yell "Merry Christmas!!". Adele loved all the wrapping paper and had an eagle eye for little scraps that would fit perfectly into her mouth.
Hattie's big gifts were a tea set and a lincoln log set, but she was also very excited about a purse and stick-on earrings. Adele wasn't too enthused about any of her gifts, but like I said, wrapping paper was a big hit.

The only draw back of having Christmas so early, is that now it feels like Christmas is already over and it's time to pack up the decorations and move on to the new year. Don't worry, I won't do that.

Hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Backfire.

I have grand dreams of establishing fun family traditions that will endure the test of childhood, especially at Christmas time.
Last weekend, I threw caution to the wind and decided we would make Christmas cookies with sprinkles and icing and everything. We had to go buy some cookie cutters and sprinkles first, and I didn't even check the label. I didn't want to. I didn't want my health-nut mentality to interfere with the prospect of fun family time.
And we did have fun. After much looking, I found a gluten and dairy free recipe that would withstand being rolled out and cut and it was really quite delightful. Emery enjoyed more than I expected, too.
The problem came after we ate several and the artificial coloring made my child act like she'd lost her mind. Tears and Tantrums. I should have known better. I should have read the label and let my conscience get the better of me.

And then I did it again today. I dreamed up a fun picnic at the park with some Chick-fil-a. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Except that I KNOW that the grilled nuggets in the kid's meal have MSG - which Emery is allergic to, though I wasn't certain about Hattie….but I got them anyway. And what happened when we had to leave the park (which was way too cold in the wind) - Tears and Tantrum. Ugh.

Somebody please remind me to plan fun outings that don't stray from our normal diet. It's such a let down to be excited for their enjoyment and then to have to pick up the pieces after total meltdown. Oye.






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My playdoh! my soccer ball! My table!

After nine days on the road, Hattie was thrilled to be back to our home sweet home,
and I am too.
I'm determined not to put my girls in their carseats today, even though the only things in our fridge are carrots and gf flour. We'll muddle through, and Kroger-ing can wait till tomorrow.

Christmas decorating today. Is it too soon to look out for free evergreen clippings at Home Depot and Lowes? I'm feeling a need for some garland.
And gingerbread houses
and Christmas lights
and oranges and cranberries
and festive sprinkles.

I like being home.
It's a nice place.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A two year old's perspective

You need a hair cut on your face.

{Ouch}

This is said as she pokes my face with a bobby pin, pretending to have tweezers.


There's something beautiful about the way a toddler perceives the world….uh, except when the need to tweeze is involved.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Approaching - Tis the Season

Is it just me or have Christmas cards gone up in price considerably in recent years?
Actually, it probably IS me because I don't think we've paid full price for a photo-Christmas card since we started sending them out.
I've been looking around and gathering prices from various sites: Shutterfly (my usual favorite), Snapfish, TinyPrints, Office Depot….etc, and I found them to be crazy expensive and way beyond my budget for even thirty cards.
Then through a link on MoneySavingMom.com, I found York Photos. The link wasn't for Christmas cards, but I figured if they were selling personalized desk calendars, the odds were good that they'd sell photo cards too. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at their prices. Emery was so surprised that he decided we could get 100 cards instead of just 30, and with shipping and everything our total was UNDER $35.
That means we could stamp and mail the cards for around 75 cents a card, total. And, uh, I couldn't even find ANY cards anywhere else that could be produced for that price.
SCORE!
If you're suffering sticker-shock from Christmas cards, wander over to York Photo and see if you can't recover.



---York Photo doesn't know me, and I don't really know them. I can't vouch for the quality since our cards haven't arrived yet. But the frugalista in me has to share a great deal when I find it. Happy 6 weeks to Christmas!-----

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sometimes it's about self-control

I deactivated my Facebook account back in July. I've had several people ask why, and I've proceeded to tell them an entirely too long story concerning Little House on the Prairie and how it was nice seemed for people not to know what has happened in every person they ever met's lives for the past twenty years, whether or not they had seen or spoken to them. {There's some weird grammar in that one.}
But the short of it is a self-control issue. Because I'm really not that good at moderating how much time I spend scrolling and scrolling through my newsfeed, and I'd rather just eliminate the temptation.

After being away for some four months, I'm not sure how I had the time to look at Facebook anyway. I don't want to fall into the trap of distracted parenting. I don't want to be too busy looking at the computer (or smartphone - for the rest of the population) that I'm not paying attention to my children. I don't want to miss out the little moments of these tender years. It's not worth it.

I do get curious. I want the easy way of finding out how people are doing (without actually talking to them), but after a few minutes of reactivation this morning (to get a blog url), I realized that I'm not at all interested in maintaining Facebook anymore.
Granted, I don't think you're a sinner for having a Facebook, but for me it's not a good fit.



Monday, November 11, 2013

A Mama's Hats

Saturday, I was looking around {the internet} and learning about essential oils. I'd been afraid to sick my toes into the depths of that subject, but I'm in now and the water's fine! And if I had a few hundred dollars just laying around with nothing to spend it on, I'd really take the plunge…..but I don't, so I won't, yet.
I'm really interested in trying some of the oils blended to boost immunity, especially this time of year. Do any of you lovely readers use essential oils? What brand and which ones??

All the research the other day got me to thinking (again) about all the hats a mama wears during this journey of motherhood.

  • Head Chef (of course)
  • Nutritionist
  • Allergist - at times
  • Dr/Naturopath
  • Laundry Master
  • Cleaning services
  • Book Reader
  • Educator
  • Dance Partner
  • Song Singer
  • Van driver
  • Night Duty
  • Boo-boo Kisser
  • Wardrobe Specialist
  • File Organizer, house organizer
  • Football tolerate-er
  • Imaginary food tester
  • Dental hygienist
  • Diaper Changer
  • Researcher
  • Gift-giver
  • Personal assistant to husband
  • Cheerleader
  • Frugalista
  • Interior Decorator
…….Mother.
What a resume!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

First World Problems

You probably seen the video of children in Africa saying statements like "I hate when I have to sit on the floor because my phone charger cord is so short."

The gist is that our "problems" are so insignificant compared to what plagues so much of the world.

I was thinking about that today as I had to give Adele her first bit of discipline for touching the outlet. And I speculated that most babies in first world countries have to learn that lesson very early, but in much of the rest of the world, it's probably not a lesson that gets learned at all.
First world problem.

Or when at the grocery store, attempting to maneuver cart with car on the front and using all my body weight to get the thing going because it's heavy from children and food….

We are richly blessed!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good-Will Hunting.

It's been a long while since I've been to a Goodwill. Actually, I think it's been four years, but it just happened that there weren't any close by where we've lived, so I didn't go. It wasn't about avoidance.

But to my great pleasure, Goodwill opened a new store right next to my good friend, Big Lots, and today brought my first venture into the treasure trove. It was an excellent day of shopping. The girls were patient, and Hattie liked "helping" me shuffle through the dresses and shirts. I came away with almost 13 new additions to my wardrobe, each one averaging less than $4….and that fact makes my face smile. I can't deal with paying thirty or forty dollars for a shirt, but four dollars is RIGHT up my alley. :)

The Lord knows our needs. I'd been feeling frumpy and faded with concern to my closet, but not feeling the liberty to spend much….God clothes the lilies and He clothes me, too.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Crawling, Worry, and WEEKEND!


-I get disappointed every time I don't win a Pioneer Woman give away. I'm determined to win…one day. She gives away so many lovely things, I'm just bound to win SOMETHING, even if there are 30,000 other people vying for the same thing. Except I'm always afraid that I won't remember what I wrote as my entry in the comments, and that when I do actually win, I won't be sure that it was actually me.

-Adele learned to crawl on Saturday. And life has changed. She is going places. She hasn't quite got her form down, but she can cross a room, and clearly that's all that matters to her. How did my baby get to be 7 months old?!? She anxious to be included in mealtimes and she loves her Hattie. Hattie still makes her laugh better than anyone else.

-Hattie had a check-up yesterday. I was so pleased and thankful for how well she's growing. Above 95% for her height (and head circumference) and 40% on her weight. She eats so much, I guess all of those nutrients are just growing straight up, instead of around.
You know, mama's going to worry. I had her pegged with type 1 Diabetes, which is why I made her an appointment. And it was fairly agony to have to wait ten days for the appointment to come. She was having so many odd symptoms; I was just sure we'd be having to stick her finger at every meal for the rest of her life. But, GLORY HALLELUJAH, her sugar and iron counts were both right as rain, and this mama is some kind of relieved. You know what the Dr essentially said everything accounted for? Two-year old-itis. (Granted, I made up the term.) She just said that she's two and two year olds do things like this.
Well, I'm glad to know. Maybe I won't be diagnosing Adele this way when she's two.

Hattie was a champ when they pricked her finger. I hadn't told her it was coming because I didn't want to scare the life out of her. But she didn't even flinch at the prick and the nurse just squeezed drop after drop into her little vial, and I was so thankful they didn't try to put a needle in her little arm.

In other news, it's (FINALLY) Friday. Our company is coming in tonight and we're going to have a some fun weekend. Although tomorrow's wedding will mean my good friend is moving off to Memphis, where a large portion of my good friends reside - and I don't like that part one bit, but I suppose I'll have to just deal with it and not interrupt the nuptials.

Happiest of Friday's to you. And Happy November! Is it too early to get out the pilgrims??

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pleasing to the eyes.

Friday. October 25th.

The world is still plenty green here in Mississippi, though there are some noticeable shifts towards...brown.
We revelled in a little color on our last trip to Kentucky, so that will have to suffice us for this season.

This week we've made pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice lattes (just one, actually), and this morning, pumpkin pancakes. The pancakes have been my favorite thus far. If you closed your eyes and chewed slowly, you could pretend it was pumpkin pie instead, and I enjoyed that.

My brother has been waiting for this day for three months. The results from the bar exam are to be posted today. Only one. more. hour. of waiting!

We have company coming next week. My home thrives on the prospect of company. Linen clothes get re-organized. Window sills get cleaned. It's delightful. And then, more than just the pleasure of a clean house, the company really does come, and it's so cozy and fun to have folks stay at one's house!

I can't believe I've made it to just a week out from people coming and I still don't really know what I'll cook. In my defense, I don't know for sure how many we'll have at mealtime, but I need to get my thinking cap on.

I had an impossible ache to go shopping today. The girls and I loaded up and set out with a very frugal mindset. I don't have money to burn, but sometimes just looking helps my feelings. We looked at three stores, found the right size picture frame at Michael's and came home. Michael's is such a satisfying store. They also had some beautiful wrapping paper for nice and cheap, so I bought two of those.
The truth is, the last time we went to Michael's we bough Christmas presents for all the family (CLEARANCE RACK!!) , and I wrapped those babies up the very next day. It's been fun having a closet full of wrapped gifts to gaze upon. I suppose when Christmas does come, I'll get to be just as surprised at everyone else at the gifts because I only very generally remember what I wrapped as it is. All that to say, I don't know exactly that I'll need anymore paper this year, but was so pretty, I'm sure I'll like just looking at it on the roll.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Parenting a two year old...

...is tough. Seriously.


But when she's not throwing a fit, she's the sweetest, most lovable little person.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday...Tuesday.

We were out of town this weekend.
We got home Tuesday night, rendering Wednesday to feel thoroughly like Monday. Accordingly, today is feeling like Tuesday.

I guess all I need is a little day-light savings time to complete the wackiness. {Is that a word?}


The girls and I went to Big Lots and Kroger this morning. It was actually the first time I've attempted multiple stores on my own (since we got our van a month or so ago). The girls were fabulous, and saved their out-of-sortedness till we got home - which I much appreciated.
I like Big Lots.
I like that sometimes I can find "Enjoy Life" cookies for two dollars a box. I like that so much that I bought six boxes and tucked them away neatly in the closet...after opening and eating the majority of one with Hattie at lunch. So make that five in the closet for a rainy day or craving day or whatever.
Kroger also had a very tempting jug of Honey-crisp apple cider which I tried to refuse, but couldn't. Honey-crisp apples are nearly the only ones I'll bother with eating. They're SO delicious, and to have cider from that special variety is indeed worth buying in my opinion.

Warm cider can't help but make you believe it's fall, whether or not the weather is cooperating.
It has been slightly cool today, but damp, and not at all crisp like autumn ought to be.

I haven't made one single pumpkin flavored thing yet.

There's a gnat in my house and I don't know why. There's also an odor since we got back, and I can't seem to locate the source. My most recent speculation is that something crept into our attic and died. {ICK.}

Today has been one of those days when three'o'clock rolls around and I still haven't decided (ahem, or thought) about what to make for dinner, but Hattie and I decided on vegetables and then I could rest easier since there wasn't any thawing out to be done.

This little bloggity is drifting into obscurity, and I don't have must time or zest for writing in this season of life.....but the facts remain that whether I blog or not, God is on his throne and He is so good. And I'm thankful to be busy about my home, even at the languishing of blog.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Scrumptious.

I think I bake more than average. The rate in which I empty a bottle of vanilla testifies to this.

I didn't expect to keep baking after I married my gluten- free man, but I didn't know that gluten-free baking was possible and can yield enjoyable results.
And then we went dairy -free, and yet another adjustment to my cooking methods was needed. Being dairy-free is a little more painful than being gluten- free. The other night we managed to create a mock pasta alfredo. And I was elated. Shell pasta goes so nicely with cream sauce.

Perusing the internet this morning for a recipe that suited my fancy, I stumbled across these Spiced Carrot Muffins. I used maple syrup for the sugar, halved the recipe, and used GF flour (of course), and they were DELISH.
Like really.
Like maybe I'll make these again for Emery's birthday. They don't even taste healthy! Bonus!

You should make some too.


In other news, we bought Honda van the other day. It's a joy to have. But it's very hard for me to want to stay home and save money now that we have a second vehicle that I can jump in and go buy stuff!
Do you remember that Rich Mullins song? "The STUFF of earth competes for the allegiance, I owe only to the giver of all good things."

Happy Monday little bloggity. Happy October Tomorrow!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Of a Morning

The birds are singing this morning and the sun is just rising beyond the trees.
It seems like the birds were quiet all summer, and now that fall is upon us, they've tuned their voices once more.
I like a quiet morning, alone with the tea kettle warming while the rest of the family sleeps.

It's a rare situation and doesn't last long. "I found you," says Hattie, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

And the tenor changes. I'm no longer just a girl in the quiet, but a mama in the morning routine.

Being a mama is the joy of my life, but it's pleasant to sometimes be just a girl. To relish the quiet, before a busy day starts racing along.


----------

By the way, we took Adele to her six-month check up yesterday and found her to be throughly growing. :) She's in the 75th percentile for length and head circumference, and 50th for weight.

Those percentiles are a little funny. If you say without much thinking, you might say that Adele is 75% longer than all the other babies - and of course, that wouldn't be true at all.



Monday, September 23, 2013

A yesterday

Gorgeous. Day.
We don't get many of those around here.

As we were walking into church, I declared that I voted for outside worship......but you know, we went inside anyway.

The park later that afternoon had about 3 million people at the playground, and I found that I clearly don't let Adele have any fun for I always just hold her and people-watch while Hattie plays. Her peers were riding the swings and the little cars on springs, oh well, my baby's too little for all that yet.
I'm not anxious to rush her baby days. She'll get to play on the play ground for many years to come, but for  only a short while can I hold her and hold her, so I will.

We walked and saw some knights sword fighting. I didn't see anyone with turkey legs, but it seems like there should have been some turkey legs in that group.

There are some hard things afoot in our family. Situations that remind you of your mortality. Pray for us if you think of it.

But we also had a new niece born yesterday. Baby Lucy. Life is so precious.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pause to think. Pause to thank.

I read a few blogs. Less than half a dozen. Three of the bloggers I don't know at all, except for what they blog, of course.
And in the last month, I've found myself praying for these ladies because they're confused and I want God to reveal himself to them. In the midst of praying for them, it feels a little odd because I don't know them and sometimes all I can remember is their blog titles instead of their names......but I know God knows who I mean.

The confusion and/or lack of appreciation for God's design and His word makes me tremendously sad.
 I want to shout out about the God of the Bible, but I'm timid and fearful, and I take it to God; He'll do the work anyway, if it's in His will.

But it also makes me SO SO SO thankful that I know who I am in Christ. I don't wonder. I know that no matter how far short I fall, God gave his only Son for ME, and he forgives me and gives grace to try again (and again and again).
I don't have to perfect because I serve a perfect God.

Thank you, Lord.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Park

We went to the park on Saturday. It was so lovely and fall-like. I got sunburnt without thinking for an instant about over-exposure.
I sat on a bench with Adele while Hattie and Emery played. An expectant woman sat down beside me. I asked when she was due, and before I knew it, we were knee deep in conversation about - what else? - babies.
She had a happy smile and a ready laugh.
We talked on and on about potty training, child birth, and many things in between. I knew her children's names and she knew mine, and yet when we got up to leave, I realized I had never asked her what her own name was. Funny how that happens.
We laughed like old friends and never even knew each others' names.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I always do this

I stated in the last post that I wasn't quite ready to embrace fall's approach....well, I guess I got over it since then because I started thinking about:
  • Molasses cookies
  • shopping at Michael's
  • changing out the wardrobes
  • and pumpkins
In my defense, I have not yet succumbed to wanting to make every pumpkin flavored thing in the world. Give me another week, and we'll see how I'm doing on that one. 
I also started dreaming about winter gardening, which probably I should have been thinking of in August if I wanted to plant seeds, but oh well. 

So, I've got my gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free molasses cookie in hand, and I'm ready to take the plunge into Autumn.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

--all the cool moms blog one handed...right?--

I loved being at the beach.
Our first night we went out the beach and beheld a double rainbow, dolphins, and the sunset. Ahhh.

we got up extra early a few days to beat the heat of the sun on the beach. it was so nice, and gorgeous.

and we had our anniversary and went on a DATE! so far, our track record seems to be that if having one date per year....and we were siked (uh, and a little nervous - I'd never left Adele before). We had a nice dinner, and the girls did great, but it took adele a while to forgive me for leaving. Understandable.

we had to come home, of course, and try to adjust back to real life. I'm still working on it.

I've still been trying to keep Hattie off of dairy, and it seems to definitely be helping. I'd like to stay we're make progress by leaps and bounds in the potty training, but we're not. We're trying, though.
When we first started potty training, I thought I could get us through the transition without buying pull-ups, and for several weeks, that was true. But after things went down hill, I had to get over my pride and buy some ---and Oh, how much easier! The stars that fade when wet proved to be a helpful incentive for Hattie, too.

Adele's cutting a tooth. I wonder what kind of difference those amber necklaces would make. We've had a rough few nights.

On the way home from Florida, we came through love-bugs so thick that we had to stop and wash the windshield just to be able to see. They're kind of ick.

They say fall is coming. I'm not sure if I believe it. Last year, probably because I was pregnant, I had our pumpkins on the mantle by early September.....but this year, I haven't been ready yet. Of course, we did need to get our summer vacation out of the way before I could begin to think about the change of seasons, but I think I'll be waiting for the official equinox and maybe even a change in the weather before I get too gung-ho about decorating for fall. Are you already indulging in pumpkin spice lattes?

Remembering the families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11. It's hard to believe it's been 12 years.

And happiest of birthdays to our friend Gabby, who is going to get married a move away...I guess we'll forgive her.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Moonflowers

 For some reason unbeknownst to me, we decided to plant moon flower seeds in the spring. The idea sounded charming and alluring, and maybe even romantic...however the real facts of the matter are that the girls go to bed early and we don't linger around ourselves. Consequently, last night was the very first night we've seen it bloom. The flowers were stunning, and had there been a nice, bright moon shining on them, the effect would have been sublime, but I was satisfied to have at least seen them bloom once. Who knows, maybe I'll take a wild hair and starting staying up with the very intention of seeing my flowers bloom....I wouldn't bet on it though.

 Our little five month old baby has learned to sit up by herself lately. Her balance is improving quickly and she's catching herself from falling over more and more. How is she to this stage already?!?

Hattie really enjoys reading her "Bible". We've been doing catechism questions with her for about a month, and I watching her little heart and mind be filled with the truths of the Bible.




 Hattie's new booster is the one we bought at the consignment sale. I'm excited that Adele is big enough to sit in the other booster and be at the table with us during meals. It was always a little frustrating that she had to be way down on the floor while we were eating; now it feels like she's more included, and I like that.

And here is our two-going-on-six year old. She looked so grown up this day. :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Toxic Food

We hear a lot of talk these days about products being "non-toxic".....which I guess is one way of saying that it's okay for your child to chew on/drink from this. And I'm for making sure there isn't lead in the paint on toys or BPA in the plastic, but I think a large part of the way we, as Americans, eat should be labled toxic.

And it's killing us, and wreaking havoc on our kids. The poor youth of today have to struggle with taking x,y and z pharmaceutical to just be able to sit still, when so much, SO MUCH, could (and should) be helped by being mindful of what goes into their little bodies.

Red 40, High Fructose Corn Syrup, All number of preservatives. Filler and chemicals. Oye.

You probably knew we're gluten free. Almost a year ago, we learned that dairy and coffee can be cross reactors for people with gluten sensitivity....which is to say they can trigger the same reactions as wheat. So Emery went off dairy and coffee, and he felt better. We took Hattie off of wheat all together, and almost immediately, she started growing by leaps and bounds. I'm thinking that dairy is starting to give her trouble too, and here on her first day of me being purposeful in not giving her any cheese (a great love in her life), she's doing so much better. And she's been asleep for two hours. Ask me when she's napped for two hours? I haven't any idea; a long, long time.

It's not just belly aches. It's tantrums and set backs in potty training, and you could see in Hattie's face that she didn't want to be standing in a puddle. And that makes a mama's heart hurt.

I believe in real food.

But I hope I never become the mother who looks down her nose at someone else over a food choice.
"Oh, my child can't eat that."
I hope I can speak with grace about what's healthiest for my child and family.

...because these precious ones are my responsibility, and I believe feeding them well is an investment in their health for the rest of their lives.
Pay the grocer now or pay the doctor later.

I wasn't raised this way. It hasn't come easily. I still sometimes let my eyes linger on the Little Debbie snack cake section, knowing full well how tasty they might be. But my conscience gets the better of me, and I keep moving.
When I was in college, I -admittedly- didn't know much about nutrition and I really tried to weigh whether it was better to buy apples or a box of cookies, if each were the same price. To me it was all about calories....I needed to get the most calories for the money. (Which is why I bought honey-buns from the vending machine in high school at times, because it was really all about the calories to me.) Marrying Emery settled that decision for me, thankfully. I had to learn to cook gluten free, and of course, all of the processed foods were immediately scratched off the list.
I really do thank the LORD that my internal debate was answered in my husband. Really.
And the longer we've walked together, the more I've learned about being healthy and being healthy is important because we're called to be good stewards of what we've been given.



Monday, August 19, 2013

Consignment sale love.

Children's consignment sales. LOVE. I mean, really. Really, really.

I come away feeling so satisfied and triumphant. And I like that feeling. Saturday's sale was no different.
We were buying for Hattie as Adele is already set for the fall and winter, and as I skimmed the receipt, I found we bought 37 items for under a hundred dollars. Score!

And to further my excitement about our purchases, I just looked up a booster seat that we bought for $5 and it retails for $65! Wow, thank you LORD!

Hattie's is all girl and is thrilled with her new (to us) clothes and shoes.....and I am too. 

My word of advice: only go on half-price day. 

I love consignment sales. I'm like a kid in a candy store. You should go, too.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Liberation from the diaper bag

I've been liberated.
I wasn't sure it would happen. I didn't dream that it would.
But of a truth, I have graduated to my smaller purse, and what a glorious feeling it is.

I do love my diaper bags, aesthetically speaking. But one does tire of lugging around such a load, and especially if things are prone to fall out when you reach down to grab something. And we bought and fold-and-go potty seat for Hattie, so that fits in my bag MUCH better than its predecessor.

It's a small triumph, but it gladdens my day considerably.



......and yet it feels so insignificant to even type such a post after I've just read the blog of a friend whose baby boy just underwent cardiac surgery. So many people are bearing such heavy burdens, and I almost feel guilty that my little family is so happy and carefree at the moment. But we serve a God of joy; joy that goes beyond the circumstances of life, joy that is rooted in Christ.
I read the other day, "Joy is not the absence of trouble but the presence of Christ."
WOW.

So, I'll be joyful in my situations, and I'll pray for those in the midst of the valleys, that they may find joy in the God of their salvation, however hard their path may be.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hobbiting

If I were in the Hobbit, I'd never leave the Shire...or Rivendale, if I ever got there.

How could anyone resist those round doors of the Shire?

We started watching the Hobbit for the first time last night. Hattie was watching too, so we skipped through all the scary parts, but I didn't mind. I didn't want to see all the trolls and orcs anyway, and truly it didn't seem like we missed hardly any of the storyline.
This comes from the girl who fast forwarded through the Gladiator and just watched the dialogue scenes - there are remarkably few.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Addictions

Addictions are hard to break.

Today, we kicked the pacifier habit for Hattie. She knows in her mind that they're broken and in the trash can, but it doesn't stop her from asking for it. Nap time was nonexistent today. Red, puffy eyes and a mouth that just keeps talking -- without her 'stopper' to slow her down a little.
Maybe tonight will be better and maybe tomorrow will be too, but today felt like if Emery happened to arrive in the midst of several moments, he would be walking into a Pandora's Box.

This summer has held many transitions for Hattie. She started by cutting some molars and needing something to chew on, the paci was a natural choice....it was that or the flip-flops, and the paci was certainly more desirable. What was an aid for sleep times and church became a crutch almost 24/7.
And then we started potty training. I don't know much, but it didn't seem right to take away the paci and expect her to do well in the potty training all at the same time; so we waited a while longer.

It's been a gradual process this week. Throwing away a broken (ahem, cut) pacifier here, and another one there. We had five to get through, and the last went in the trash today. Lord willing, she'll get some sleep tonight without wailing and gnashing of teeth.


In other news, we spun doughnuts in the living room this morning. Hattie in the front of our double stroller, we span around and around and around. And it made me laugh.

I got my hair cut short last week. Hattie asks me almost every day if I got a hair cut. I'm enjoying it being short enough that chubby fingers can't get too entwined, and it's much less likely to get an application of spit-up at this length, too - and that IS a good thing.

German Chocolate Cake. From scratch, gluten free, no icing...it was a dream cake. So soft and fluffy, the antithesis of all heavy gluten free cakes. I usually shun recipes that require me to dirty so many bowls (like mac'n'cheese), but oh, it was very worth the effort. You should make one too, and if you don't do the icing, it doesn't seem nearly as sinful to eat it for breakfast. In fact, I didn't feel bad about it at all.

Sweet Adele is a ticklish little thing. Her laugh is a delight. And her bangs, it's a good thing her hair is growing fast. :) Emery said they looked like something from the 60's. Ha. He's right.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I haven't been a very faithful blogger these days. {Obviously.} Confession: I don't mind that fact because being faithful in other things -- namely potty training and breastfeeding -- trump frequently updating my corner of the internet.

anyway...

We made a quick trip to Memphis this weekend. It's always fun to ride through the old stomping ground. While we were reminded that we certainly do no miss the city all that much, we do miss our good friends and kindred spirits (Race of Joseph) and our church family there. It was a joy to reconnect and fellowship over the course of the weekend.

At the mature age of four months, Adele had her first hair cut today. Bangs, sort of. I had to get the hair out of her eyes, but she wasn't keen on me using the comb to get it nice and straight, so it was a free-hand hair cut...and I'm sure it looks precisely that way.
Hattie didn't have to have a hair cut until she was six months old. If we continue at the same rate, babies number four might need a hair cut at birth. ha. Think of it.

Hattie did fabulously on our little road trip. I was so nervous (foolishly), but the LORD answered prayers for clean restrooms and for her to be able to hold her bladder until we could stop. In fact, she didn't have any accidents at all. Champion potty-trainer, I'm telling you.

Emery said the other day, he felt like July had been a month of Mondays. I think I agree. And I'm glad there aren't any more Mondays left in this month. My brother is taking the bar exam today and tomorrow. I'm sure he'll be glad when this month is over, too.

Onward to August.

Monday, July 22, 2013

We made it through the weekend!

Admittedly, I was tired of the potty training thing at the time of my last post. The culprit was the juice. For some reason, juice makes my child unable to hold her bladder....but leave off the juice and WHAM, she's got this potty thing down pat. I mean, I still take her to the potty like every hour or so, and we do naps with a "just in case" diaper over  her bloomers, but she's a champion and wakes up dry. :)
I'm  proud mama.

You know, parenting is humbling. Majorly. And I thought I'd be embarrassed to carry a potty seat in my bag to church, but I wasn't at all. My skinny baby not falling into a big toilet is way more important than my pride.

On a different note, we tried our hand at healthy cookies this morning. Peanut butter, flax, stevia, and chocolate (and an egg, baking soda and vanilla), and they weren't bad. They tasted healthy and reminded me of something I couldn't put my finger on, but maybe Emery can figure it out when he gets home. I may have put too much stevia; a scant 1/4tsp may have been too much for the situation, but I was guessing altogether.
Do you bake with stevia? We mostly make tea with it.

How is July almost over? These months are going too quick. Little Bit turns FOUR months old this week. How can that be?!?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Whew, potty training.

I've been nervous. Hattie has been asking to sit on the potty now and then for months, but I haven't been mentally prepared enough to really get started....I'm not sure if you're ever prepared enough. But today we began our journey. Hattie did really well in the morning and through nap time. Staying nice and dry in her big girl panties, 'bloomers' - as she refers to them. The last hour has held two accidents, and I'm losing a little courage, but I feel confident that she's ready, so we'll press on.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Did it again

I started off my Monday with two items on my list, granted, the first was laundry and that would take all day.....but by bedtime I was furiously scribbling items on my list that had already been done and NEEDED to be checked off.
Checking things off a list is so gratifying, even if they weren't on the list when you did them.

We had tuna salad and salad for dinner. And all I felt when we finished eating was: still hungry. Need something fattening. Need more calories.
So we had brownies. Which was a nice treat and change, I've been forgetting about how yummy brownies are and haven't made them in a quarter of an age. Calorie intake, fulfilled.

Adele is responsible for consuming quite a bit of my calories - she takes that job very seriously, as her rolls will attest - and it won't do for mama to be hungry!

I'm thankful the baby weight has started slipping off the last few weeks. Seems like the first three months, the only thing I lose is the actual baby weight (approx 13lbs of baby, placenta, and fluid)....and it's ever so nice to be able to wear some non-maternity clothes more and more. Funny how it's so exciting to get out the maternity stuff when you're expecting, but it's not so fun to keep wearing it and keep wearing it and keep wearing it after the baby is born.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Recap

We got home the other day, and while I mentally blogged about how lovely it is to be home after being on the road, the reality was that our computer's keyboard seemed to be kaput. And from that point, I couldn't get past how ridiculous it was to have a laptop whose monitor and keyboard wouldn't function.
Thankfully, a few restarts later, all was well again, and I can begin to tell you about how nice it is to be home....even with the laundry and suitcases exploded everywhere, I love it. We had a good trip, saw lots of family, and took much longer driving than we would have before children, but exhaustion had surely set way before we reached home.

I had a birthday while we were away. I've ended a lot of sentences with, "...because it's my birthday {week}". I like birthdays. I like that this was the first one I've celebrated with Adele, though she probably didn't care much. I like feeling my heart almost over-full with love for family and friends.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Power of clean.

I've known it for a while. I don't deal gracefully with clutter. And yet, when things are less than tidy, I can manage to overlook the mess for a while, and pretend like it isn't bothering me.

But oh, to have things clean! It makes me want to step into the freshly cleaned room and breathe deep and appreciate the order presiding. With the clean-ness comes peace that couldn't be had in the chaos of clutter.

I appreciate peace, especially.



On an unrelated note, we had our first blueberries of the summer today. Talk about delicious. I'll always think of picking blueberries at my grandmother's every summer. She was always so much braver than I, going into the very middle of the thicket, while I stuck resolutely to the edges. Better berries could not be had.

Friday, June 14, 2013

J-J-J-JUNE!

I guess I was kidding myself when I thought June was going to laid back and we'd be home most the time. Because it hasn't been happening. And it won't be happening, but that's okay.

I've had a few blog post topics float through my head, but we've been so busy that they've floated right out again without ever coming to fruition.
{fruition is such a good word. it's right up there with fraught.} Just now, I couldn't tell if I'd typed a comma or a period because our monitor was decorated in pencil by someone who shall remain nameless. (Starts with an H- and ends with an -attie).

Camp Moriah is coming up next week. Hattie and I went last year (which you can read about here), and this year is pretty much the same. If you'd asked me yesterday morning whether we were going, I would have said "no", and by yesterday evening the Red Sea had parted and all the right doors opened, and so away we'll go. The thought of packing myself and two babies for camp was pretty overwhelming at first, but now that today's here we're just packing up ship-shape and it'll be great.
This year's theme is Revival. It's going to be powerful, I'm certain.

Hattie enjoyed her third singing school this week. Her very first one was when she was a wee babe about Adele's age, and Adele has gotten her first taste of singing school too - though she slept through most of it. I love that toddlers can sing a scale as well as anyone and make a wonderful, joyful noise unto the Lord. Hattie sings with gusto these days, and it warms my little heart to hear her.

Can someone please tell me how June is halfway over? And Father's day is THIS weekend?
It's flown by.

Folks on the radio said not to get the dads in your life ties or cologne or #1 Dad mugs. That pretty much takes care of everything I was thinking. Actually, no. I picked him out a tie clip in May that he needed and has been wearing, but you'd better believe it's going straight back in the box to be opened again on Sunday morning. I'm thinking I'll do extra big meals all weekend...partially to apologize for the fact that the girls and I will be gone most of the next week and he'll have to fend for himself.
But Y'all, Emery IS the best daddy. No contest. I'm so thankful for that man.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Reactions and Gradual Exposure.

I try to be very aware of how I react to situations these days because my little sponge of a toddler is absorbing every word.

Friday night at OEC (our FAVORITE Japanese restaurant), I very ungracefully knocked my glass of water over into my lap. That 10oz of ice water felt like a gallon, and I was Soaked.
The coldness was shocking. And the laughing teenagers nearby were irritating......but there was my sweet baby watching every moment, and what was important to me right then was showing her a smile in spite of a rather unfavorable situation.

My younger self would have been steaming mad at being laughed at, and I would have silently sulked the rest of the meal. I'm thankful I'm not that person anymore.
I'm thankful to realize there are bigger priorities than my foolish pride at stake.

Appropriate reactions are kind of huge.
Like our reaction to sin needs to be one of abhorrence, rather than the more typical, "Oh, that's not SO bad."

Pintrest makes it easy to be exposed to unsavory language and thoroughly immodest clothing. That language gets into your mind whether you intend to use it or not, and the more exposure you have to it, the more likely it will come out of your mouth. Likewise, as you see more and more exposing outfits, the less you think how immodest they are. And suddenly, the shorts that you used to think were too short to ever wear become tolerable.

Gradual exposure is one of Satan's devices. We become numb to what used to shock us when exposed gradually over time, and a numb Christian is useless in the Kingdom.

Lord, help us to be shocked by sin and flee from it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

There and Back again by Not Bilbo Baggins

Traveling is alluring. Exploring new places, meeting new people.

But y'all, the getting there wears. me. out.

Nevertheless, we try to do our duty, and trek to see both of our families a few times a year. This past weekend we headed to Georgia questioning whether we were being good parents by bringing our sort of sick child to be around everyone else, but the glaring fact was that if we didn't go then, it would be Christmas before we'd see everyone. And that wouldn't do at all.
With boogie wipes packed, off we went. Emery did all the driving and I did the twist and shout, minus the shout...though by the time we arrived I may have groaned a bit from all the twisting to tend to the children. The perk of having two children in the car is that you have to twist both directions and so at least your stiffness is balanced, rather than being all on one side of your back/neck.

Hattie and her dear cousin Elliott played together for the first time this weekend, instead of just playing near each other. That was so much fun to watch. Elliott is big and likes to play rough with his daddy, but he was the perfect gentlemen with Hattie, and was always the one to take the fall in their game of tag. Sweet boy.

We saw family, visited a little, and tried to catch as many naps as the girls would take. And then rose up early Tuesday to make it back home in time for Adele's pediatrician appt that afternoon.

Speaking of, my little lady is in the 90% for length, and 75% for weight and head circumference. You grow, baby!
The two-month appointment is supposed to be chock-full of vaccines, and I was pleasantly surprised that no one had a hissy fit when I declined them. Hallelujah. I hate confrontation.
I had a great reason in my back pocket should I need to whip it out in defense, but I ended up politely sharing with the Dr how vaccines can overstimulate the immune system and trigger autoimmune disorders, which our family already has a history of, and which I would like to avoid if possible in my children. 

{I SO appreciate having a reason not to vaccinate that has nothing to do with the mercury/autism discussion and is scientifically sound.}

With traveling and dr visits behind us we can get on with this Monday of a Wednesday. I'm sure I'll be struggling to figure out what day it is ALL week.



P.S. I love being home.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Colliding Romance

Four years ago this week, my brother married his high school sweetheart. The weekend of their wedding was also the first I'd gotten to be around my dear Emery since we began writing four months prior. We wrote as friends, to get to know each other, to see if we were interested in pursuing a relationship, and that wedding marked the shift from being 'just friends' to 'courting' (though that was never said officially).
I lived in Maryland. He lived in Mississippi. Seeing each other with any regularity was borderline impossible, but the LORD opened the doors for me to be able to attend Camp Moriah that June -- from which he lived only a few miles away, and he could come to Camp in the evenings after work.
The heat index was 113 degrees that year, and I suppose we had the opportunity to see each other at our least attractive and smelliest states. One afternoon during the week of camp, Emery took me on our very first date, to "Burgers and Stuff" for ice cream. :)
In July, Emery made a trip to GA to talk to my dad. He didn't know he was going the weekend of the family reunion, but even after spending the day with my extended family, he was still willing to ask to marry me. And two weeks later he was on a plane to Baltimore with a ring in his pocket.
And a mere seven weeks from our engagement, we said "I do".

I wouldn't have had it any other way. Fast? yes. Whirlwind? yep. Man of my dreams? Completely.
Engagement picture. Sweltering that day, too.

I'll never forget the surprise from my church family at Mt. Carmel when Brother Steven announced that he was glad to see "Sister Elizabeth's fiance, Emery"...I think there was an audible gasp. I'm sure for them it WAS very sudden for me to be engaged to a man they'd never even seen before.

So, many thanks to Jon and Meagan for getting married and giving Emery and I an occasion to get to know each other in person. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Coastal Dreams

Beach Day 2013...











Oh, it was glorious to get out on the beach for an hour or so on Saturday!! A friend of Emery's was getting married that afternoon, and I was more than happy for an excuse to be down on the coast, even just for the day.
I think I wouldn't mind living on the coast. Morning walks on the beach and the salt air are so positively rejuvenating.
Hattie thought the water too cold and didn't play in it. I thought the water was just right for sticking your feet in, but they were working on the port nearby and it was so murky I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go any deeper. Hattie did enjoy playing in the sand, and Emery was such a dear to bring her many cups of water for building.
There was a splash park and playground nearby that we thought Hattie might enjoy, but she wanted none of the water and only the swings and slides. She's a predictable little thing, nothing sudden or startling will do.

The wedding was nice, though the wife submitting to the husband was nowhere mentioned, and I hope that doesn't bode ill for the marriage.

We were thoroughly exhausted by the time we got home that night.
It was worth it.
Hattie truly relishes getting home after a trip and runs down the hall laughing in delight (maybe it's more that she's just out of the car?).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shifting gears

It's been a little over 7 weeks since we welcomed our Adele. And today I realized that this week we've had a shift. We've made it past the chaos of transitioning to having two children, and when I wasn't looking, we achieved a new normal.
Different? Certainly, but happy.

Do you know what made me realize it? Bread. I baked bread today (gluten free, of course), and I don't EVER bake bread when things are chaotic. So we must have gotten there, to that normal place.

Thank you, LORD!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a good day

Before Adele was born, I thought nothing of doing most of my housework for the week on one day and play more with Hattie the other days. These days are different. I knew they would be. But it seems worth celebrating that dinner will be ready when Emery gets home and we've washed a couple of loads of laundry and done a little ironing. It is worth celebrating.

I also enjoyed phone calls with both of my brothers, and that makes it a special day indeed.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothering

I love being a mother. I love loving mothers on this special day.

But sometimes Mother's Day makes me feel a little sorry for myself because as my brother put it on facebook "my experiences with my actual mother were far from satisfying." He said it well, and he said it respectfully. Our mother wasn't involved in our lives, and still isn't. 
As a child, I craved normalcy in my family. I didn't want step-family and theoretical weekend visitations and emotionally volatile phone calls. I wanted my mother to be a mother, and yet, being around her was so exhausting that I didn't mind her absence.
The thought of posting a picture of my mother on this mother's day is almost laughable. And that makes me sad. 

But God sets the solitary in families. And He has blessed me with wonderful, strong women who, in the spirit of Titus 2, have taught me about loving my children and husband and keeping my home. Where one mother fell short, God has given me a handful of mothers in her stead. How amazing. I have many mothers, and I cannot feel sorry for myself when I think of that blessing.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Toddlerhood and Tuesdays

Y'all. My {bigger} baby is going to be two in an unbelievably short amount of time.

I'm not ready.


I love these days - even with their frequent need for discipline - but seeing her grow grow grow up makes me want to stick my pouchy lip out.

Last night she was singing her ABCs and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. She also slept in her big-girl bed for the first time last night. She went to bed and stayed in bed like a trooper!

What a fast two years these have been! How strange that she has spent half of her life in this little house in Brandon.



It's true about first babies vs second. Hattie probably had 500 pictures taken of her by the time she was 5 weeks. Adele might have 50......and if we are blessed with more babies, they might only have 5 total.
And "sleep when the baby sleeps" totally doesn't happen when you have a toddler. 

Some friends of ours are going through a very sad time. I've prayed and cried for them because I've been there before.  My dad likes to say "You can't think and feel". Emotions aren't rational things, and that's okay. At the end of the day, God is still on his throne - and we can rejoice in that in spite of sadness.

In MS, we have Confederate Memorial day, and state workers get a holiday. This is one of my top ten reasons I like living here, maybe top twenty. Emery being home yesterday felt like we had an extra Saturday, and since we avoided all our Saturday chores and went to the Natural History Museum, this proved very beneficial.

Adele hit 10lbs last week! It always makes me so proud - as a nursing mama - to watch babies grow well. She's cooing and smiling more each day, and I fully expect her to roll over pretty soon. I've seen her come fairly close a few times already. :) Her skin color has been lightening up lately and she's looking more light she belongs to her pale parents, rather than islanders.
I love her fat cheeks. They are very kissable.

From the land of nap-time, one-handed blogging, may you have a happy and spit-up free Tuesday.
(because our latest jingle that Folgers won't want anything to do with is "The best part of waking up is spit-up on your shirt." except it really isn't....but when you have a three day streak, you've got to sing it and laugh and cringe a little.)
 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's humbling

This parenting thing. Very humbling.

Because sometimes your baby's spit-up runs right down your shirt.

Because I couldn't remember Adele's name last night when asked for a solid five seconds. (Name? She has a name?).................at least the person who asked was gracious enough to write it off to exhaustion - though I didn't actually feel tired.

Because sometimes Hattie attempts to drink from a much too large cup and ends up soaked, and the baby wails, and after mopping up all the water the baby spits-up down your shirt (again) before you can even get the wet clothes off Hattie.

But these moments of calamity usually just make me laugh - after all is resolved, of course - because, well, what's the point if we can't laugh about our thoroughly imperfect life?
Don't let your pride get in the way of being able to enjoy life.

A merry heart doeth good like medicine.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Time to Think

I've been wanting to blog a little for a while. But you know life, and especially life with a newborn and a toddler...I don't often have any hands free to type.
I wouldn't change it a bit though.

Hattie learned to sing most of the words to "You are my Sunshine" this week. It makes my face hurt from smiling. And when she says, "Baby Dele, She's precious." I'm a melted heart mama.

Adele is a growing little thing. I can't believe we've been able to hold her in our arms for almost a whole month. She's running out of room for her toes in her newborn sleepers. :)

I love how infants look so relaxed when they sleep. Their arms tell the story. Out and up near the head, yeah, that's Good sleeping.

Are Clif Bars a food group? They have been for me the over the last month, especially when I get convicted about my protein intake for the day (um, or caloric intake for the day).



My brother graduates law school next month. A law degree is the equivalent of having one's doctorate, but instead of getting to be Dr. Jon, he just gets to be Jon, esq.  Which is still thoroughly cool, and I'm extra proud of his accomplishments.
Both of my brothers are extra cool, I've always thought so. And watching them raise their children confirms it altogether.
{I've got some pretty cool brothers-in-law too.}




Friday, April 5, 2013

A baby

 Our sweet daughter was born last week. She has captivated our hearts.

7lbs 12oz. 20 1/4'' long

Adele Elizabeth.

Adele's was our first hospital birth experience. It seemed so surreal packing up and driving to the hospital in the middle of the night. None of the hospital people seemed to mind that I had to get through the contractions before I could resume answering their questions and whatnot. I appreciated that. 
We were admitted an hour and a half before Adele made her appearance. The Dr. didn't make it in time. She was born on the birthing ball (which wasn't what I'd intended....but once I started pushing she was out in 8 minutes, so I didn't have much time to think about positioning).

It was such a fast labor. So fast and so intense. 

Honestly, I didn't even realize Adele's head was out until I heard her cry. That seems absurd, but it's true.

Our nurse didn't realize at all how quickly things were progressing. All of the sudden, she's yelling for "Everyone to get in here, NOW!" But by the time a dozen or so folks came rushing in, there wasn't anything for them to do. Adele and I were settled in the bed getting to know each other. The Dr. did show up shortly after. He didn't seem to be offended at all that I'd delivered the baby without him, and I appreciated that too.

I'm so thankful to have our sweet girl here and healthy. So thankful to finally get to know the baby that's been wiggling around inside of me for many months past. I'm thankful for my family. My family of four. 

Hattie is a precious big sister. She hasn't quite grasped how to be gentle enough with Adele, but she is trying. She enjoys shaking her hand and giving her kisses and poking her face.

We've enjoyed having Emery's mother in town for the last three weeks. It's been a blessing to have an extra set of hands, especially since Adele's arrival. {It's also meant that we've had a guest in our office space...and one doesn't feel too much liberty to spend time blogging while in someone else's room.}

I'm off to kiss my baby's fat cheeks. Breathe in her baby smell. And tickle her double chin.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oh hey.

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. And no, I haven't had the baby yet.

So, hello, forty weeks pregnant. It's nice to see you. I'm not going to pretend I don't love telling people my due date is tomorrow and watching their reactions. It's pretty hilare.

We went to our first big consignment sale this morning. It was GREAT. I'm sold. Especially on half-price day. What a grand invention, and it was so well organized and non-chaotic...I'll take that over thrifting any day!

In other news, we had BBQ for lunch at Emery's new favorite BBQ place: Dickeys. And while the food is delicious, you get the added pleasure of smelling like BBQ for the rest of your life....or until you take a shower, and even then you can smell the smokiness in the vapor around you. I wish I didn't smell like barbeque.

Friday, March 8, 2013

These days....

These days I'm so clumsy that if I happen to be pregnant for another four weeks (heaven forbid!), we probably won't have a single glass remaining in our cabinet.

And my arsenal of shirts long enough to cover my belly is dangerously low.

And I'm so forgetful that half and hour after telling Emery I want to keep Hattie off of dairy for a while so she can get rid of her lingering congestion, I offer her milk with dinner. Oye.
    --->I did write in big letters on our dry erase board not to have any dairy today though, and so far we've stuck to it. However, without the dairy I'm very certain I won't achieve my protein goals for the day...because I can't seem to remember how get hardly any protein without dairy.

And my OB said that he was going to be out of town all next week, which just adds one more layer of complication to the potential of having this baby next week, so I guess I'll wait. Or she'll wait. Or both.

I decided that having a baby is kind of like being engaged. The longer the engagement, the more you'll spend on the wedding (in my observations); similarly, the more impatient one gets about having a baby, the more money she'll spend while she waits.
Pedicure. Big sister kit. Spring decor....nothing we really need, but that I still want.


Hattie has been growing so much lately and has started saying little sentences. She also talks more about what she's thinking rather than just talking about her surroundings. Her friends from church come up very regularly. "John. Pyles. <giggle>. Friend." "Da-vid. Preach." And our family members, especially those we get to skype with, get talked about often too.
She can sing her do-re-mi's and knows most of her shapes....I guess we could have her reading the shape notes if we put our minds to it. :)

Children have such beautiful minds. I love to listen to how they associate things and have such a fresh perspective on everything surrounding them. I love that Hattie and I can ride down the road and be as excited about tractors, planes, trains, and fed-ex trucks as we are about our destination. I love how she stops and listens to the dogs bark down the street or the car horns or sirens. I love to see who she chooses to wave to as we run errands (usually older black ladies).
I love being a mama. Thank you, LORD, for giving me such an inestimable gift. And please help me to be patient as we await the arrival of our newest addition.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4 and Mondays

I like March the 4th. February seems to need the first three days of March to make up for not having the 29th, 30th, and 31st days.
Kind of vindictive, no?

But today is March. Breezy and warm and gorgeous all around.

It's also a happy Monday. I love to get busy on Monday mornings and get the house back in shape after a restful weekend. Mondays mean Hattie doesn't get as many stories read to her or block castles built, but she's usually right along side of me folding clothes or 'sweeping' the floor, and I don't think she minds.

I was sick yesterday, sicker than I might have realized. I entertained the notion of going to church, but I got all tired out while trying to get dressed Emery gave executive orders for me to stay home and rest. Rest I did, and I barely got out of bed at all while they were gone. More than that, I didn't even feel well enough to read or anything, I just laid there and slept, which is very unlike me - even on sick days. Today, I'm mostly better, but certainly feel like I need to go a little slower than usual and give my body time to convalesce. {I'm not actually doing a good job going slower, but I am sitting down when I get winded.}

Baby Girl and I have made it to 37 weeks! I'm not feeling very patient about meeting her, but when I look at our schedules, I have agree that her due date would be the most optimal time for her to be born, and I'm praying we'll all be over our colds and thoroughly healthy by that time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cloudy Tuesday

February has been chock full of rain, storms and cloudy days, with only a very few lovely days thrown in to boost our spirits somewhat.
Hattie and I waited for it to rain all day yesterday and the storms didn't come till after dark. We did manage to have a very productive Monday in spite of it.

My little bloggity is nearing it's first birthday. :) But it will have to be three more years before we can celebrate it properly considering that it was begun on February 29th.

Want to see the baby bump? 36 weeks along. And here lately we've embarked upon the, "Oh girl, you're not going to make it {to your due date}" stage. It's kind of humbling.
BUT we did make it through last night's full moon without going into labor, so I reckon I can wait a few more weeks. Baby girl is sort of posterior and my right side is always full of feet and knees and elbows (sweet little appendages that they are).
I'm excited we're right on the cusp of March - Baby Month! I'm excited for spring time and flowers blooming in the sunshine, and even the clouds of pollen wafting around. I'm excited about my mother-in-law coming in a few weeks, and mostly that SOON we'll get to lay eyes on our precious daughter.
Thank you, LORD, for babies!
We're also excited to have several new babies added to our circle of family and friends in the coming months, and I can't wait to love on those little ones either!



Thursday, February 21, 2013

I don't mind

I appreciate doctors. I do. But I don't mind politely disregarding their opinion either.

Because I don't think antibiotics are a miracle drug, and that they can cause more harm than good at times. Because I don't inherently trust the big pharmaceutical companies to make vaccines that are safe and effective (and we're not even talking about the autism thing, I talking heavy metals and all sorts of toxins being injected into your newborn's blood stream, and they expect me to be okay with that? Uh, not so much.)

I do believe in sunshine, probiotics, vitamins, coconut oil, and butter. I believe the American diet is making us sicker and sicker, and trying to treat the symptoms isn't helping anyone actually get better.

And I believe we're called to be good stewards of our bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19) We need to nourish our physical bodies with good things as much as we need to nourish our souls with the Word of God and prayer.

So, I don't mind ignoring the doctors and the medical establishment from time to time. Yes, I absolutely want them to set broken bones or to perform surgery, but for daily health I'd much rather go the Titus 2:4 route and glean from the older women who've been there before and know how to help keep their families well without running up a bill at the doctor's office.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Recap

Sometimes when I'm laying in bed, I mentally blog. The problem is I rarely remember everything I thought of while on the verge of sleep.
My Valentine's post was one of these. The title "It's easy loving you"...the content, other than how much I love and appreciate my family, I don't really know.

We DID have a lovely Valentine's Day. I used my grandmother's china for the first time and tried my hand at gluten-free rolls to go with our spaghetti. {The rolls turned out fabulous, by the way, but as with all gluten-free items, they weren't really worth eating the next day.} Hattie and I had decorated the dining room with hearts and red/white paper chains. It was festive and fun, and I wouldn't have changed it a bit.

One of the things I love about Emery is how flexible he is and how graciously he deals with my changeable-ness like it's nothing at all.
On Thursday night, he asked me if I wanted to go to GA for the weekend (my Pawpaw was in the hospital at the time), and I replied that I didn't unless it was really necessary. And then Friday morning, before the dear man had even had a chance to be at work an hour, I call him asking about making the trip I had declined the night before. Without so much as a murmur or complaint, he says that he'll work till 9am and then we'll head out for GA.
Did I mention that I love him?
The usual, last-minute scurrying to pack for the weekend ensued, and thankfully all the laundry was caught-up and there wasn't any need to lug dirty clothes all the way to Georgia.
We found Pawpaw much better than we expected, and in very good spirits. He was even able to make to church on Sunday. :)
We got to visit with lots of family, and in spite of the exhaustion that comes with travel (especially at 35weeks pregnant!), we had a peaceful and very enjoyable time.

Speaking of being pregnant, only FIVE more weeks! Hallelu - as Hattie would say.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Greek Yogurt Souffle

Today, I saw a recipe on pintrest.

I'm an impulsive pregnant woman, especially where food is concerned. I saw the recipe and needed to make it, NOW.

(Not my picture)


Fluffy. Beautiful fluffiness. And high protein? Can't beat that with a stick.

So I taught Hattie to say souffle. And she held my hand while I tried to beat the egg whites into submission, I mean, peaks. The peaks actually never happened because my arm was getting tired of hold the mixer, and also probably because I didn't put in the cream of tarter. {Do you keep cream of tarter in your pantry? I don't. I don't like to keep things that might only get used once a year.}
But nevertheless, into the ramekins the batter went and I didn't even peak while they were cooking, as per the instructions, and to my great surprise and delight, they turned out fluffy!

Scrumptiously cheesecake-like. Would be divine with a little chocolate and strawberries. It's a keeper of a recipe for certain, and fancy enough for special occasions. What's not to love?


I might as well go ahead and tell you that probably going to eat the whole batch by myself, and I'm not feeling one bit of remorse - though I am feeling kind of full. It's the happiest 30-ish grams of protein I've had all day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Diet

Nutrition and diet are complicated subjects. Everyone has a different opinion of what's "healthy". And of course, the plain fact is that what's healthy for me may not be for you.

We read an article some months ago about how people with gluten intolerance may also be having reactions to coffee and dairy products. While it's been a genuine struggle for Emery to give up dairy, he does feel better for it, and I'm thankful for progress. However, so many of my recipes were chock-full of dairy that I'm having to learn how to cook for my family all over again.

{I cannot manage to get enough protein without having dairy in my diet, so Hattie and I are still happily indulging. In this stage of life, I don't worry about fat or calories, I worry about hitting my 90g of protein...and there's another "it's healthy for me, but maybe not for you."}

Over the last several weeks, I've been trying to come up with meals that I could make ahead and freeze for those chaotic newborn days ahead. My earlier lists were full of lasagna and baked ziti, but as those aren't good for the family anymore, I've had to start afresh.
And what have I come up with, you ask? Well, after cooking up a storm yesterday, I've got a ham and egg casserole, two pans of baked oatmeal, a double batch of protein bars, and half a dozen applesauce muffins adorning my freezer.
Breakfast foods. All breakfast foods. I'll take what I can get. 
I was hoping to do more along the lines of dinner, but maybe I'll get some extra inspiration in that department soon.

You know what my other problem with freezer cooking is? It's the lack of instant gratification.
When Emery comes home and sees I've been cooking all afternoon, naturally, he's looking forward to reaping the benefits. But then it all gets whisked away into the freezer with little left for indulgence. That's not so fun, is it? Nope.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Confessions

I stayed home (and indoors) almost all day yesterday because I kept expecting it to rain. I'm thankful Emery talked me into taking a walk with them in the late afternoon sunshine. It never did bother to rain.

Today, however, has been glorious. We enjoyed a lovely hour outside this morning walking and chatting with friends. Hattie couldn't keep her seat in the stroller after the first lap, so we slowed down to a crawl while she pushed the stroller and worked hard at staying on the pavement.

After walks like these, and sometimes by the end of them, I'm not sure if I'll be able to walk at all by the evening, but the LORD has been good to me so far and I usually feel better for it, in spite of the temporary discomfort.

I can't stand overly sweet chocolate. The darker the better for me. I bought some chocolate chips that boasted being 42% cacao, and I tell you what, they are Way too sweet....and they almost have a honey-ish taste, and that doesn't float my boat either.
Thankfully, we have some good chocolate that does satisfy the craving quite nicely.
I wait till Hattie's napping to eat chocolate because I don't want to share.

I made lemon bars the other day. They were delish, but I zested my finger in the process of zesting the lemon, and that IS rather unseemly.

We've been living here a good while now, and I STILL haven't figured out why so many people use our street as a turnaround spot. I mean, it's a crazy-odd amount of people every day just turning around, and some of them do it so expertly it's like it's part of their daily routine. Why is that?

Know what? I love being able to say that the baby is due next month. It's so gratifying. The older folks at church don't often remember when the baby is supposed to come and I've received some startling comments like, "When are you headed to the hospital" and "Will you fit {through the door}?". Of course the pastor's "I'm going to need longer arms to hug you" takes the cake of things not to say to a pregnant woman (and that was THREE months ago).
I'm thankful I have a healthy sense of humor, otherwise tears might have ensued.

Oh! Hattie's sleeping is back to normal. Praise the Lord! She's getting in a solid 11hours at night and 1-2 hours at nap time, and I'm very thankful we've gotten through that bout of extra neediness at sleep-times.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The conclusion of the Lizard Saga

I told Emery about the lizard situation after he arrived home last night. He laughed at my impression of the lizard sticking his head and half his body out from under the window, and then without hearing whether or not I had smushed the lizard to little lizard bits, he opened the window to see.
I did not smush him to bits, as it turned out, but only caught him just above the break away point on his tail, and he dangled from the window when Emery opened it. But with a little poking, and much wiggling on his part, he shed the tail and scurried away OUTSIDE (thank heaven).

I am glad I won't have to clean a lizard carcass out of my window sill when spring comes.

The lizard's buddy who was on the outside of the screen at the onset of all this commotion stayed there a moment too long, for just after I'd invited Hattie to come look at him, a rather fierce bluebird snatched him clean up and made a meal of him. It may have been slightly traumatizing for Hattie. She did say 'bird' several times over after the incident....nothing like seeing the food chain in action for educational experience.

Do you remember the play stove we made for Hattie back in August? You can see the post about it here. It was lovely in the height of it's glory, but that lasted all of five minutes. The rest of the stove has been well loved since that time, but Hattie decided today was the day to rip as much of the construction paper off as she possibly could. Now we have a poor, mutilated diaper box with shred of green here and there where the glue was stronger than her will. I held the grocery sack for her to put the torn off pieces in, and Miss Determination probably spend 45 minutes at tearing the paper this morning. I'm not sure whether to keep the thing or throw it away.
I think it's been a winning situation overall. I had fun making it. She had fun tearing it up, and had six months of play with it meanwhile.

Know what? I decided not to even ask Emery to move the boxes for my paint brushes yesterday. And I painted my letters with a Q-tip. They happen to be made of paper/cardboard, so that made it easier and I just had to apply a few coats of paint. I don't think I would have had the patience to paint them with a Q-tip had they been wood. I finished them this morning and am quite pleased. I was tempted to do polka-dots or a chevron stripe on them, but Emery wisely told me to leave them alone and that he liked them just as they were.
I like that man.