Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where am I?

Evidently, I always choose to update while there is noise coming from Phoebe's bedroom... so this will be in list form:
  • Mom came down Tuesday, and we're trying to get this house clean. It's hard when Phoebe is so. much. fun.!
  • Yesterday, Michael came down with the yuck, and is now in quarantine.
  • We are supposed to leave for the mountains with Michael's family this afternoon. We're waiting to see how Patient X is doing.
  • Today, I will either be packing like a madwoman or taking care of Mr. Sick at an arm's length. I definitely do not want to get what he's got! (I still love you, Honey!)
  • More to come, seriously.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Exciting Stuff!

I've got about two seconds before I need to get up the Sleeping Critter, but I'm so excited about all this stuff I could just bust!
  • Our friends Drew and Kimberly are having their long awaited baby boy today! She was induced at 6 am, so we're expecting news any minute (or hour)!
  • Our friends Derek and Margaret are having their long awaited baby girl tomorrow!
  • This makes babies #5 and #6 in the past year for our small group. WOW!
  • Less exciting than a baby, but still super wonderful: Mom is coming down tomorrow to help me get some stuff done around the house and to just have some girl time. Much needed, and much anticipated. It has been since before Christmas that mom has been able to come and play!
  • Even less exciting, but still cool: I got my check in the mail from the consignment sale I did a few weeks ago... I made WAY more than I thought I would! I must've sold everything I put up for sale! It's always a blessing to have a little unexpected money in the bank.
And... now I must go. More tomorrow!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Morning Confessions

Friday night is usually our homemade pizza night, but since Michael is going to a conference tonight, I decided to let dinner cook itself. Sort of.

Pot roasts were on sale this week, and we didn't eat it earlier in the week, so tonight was Mr. Roast's lucky night. And fortunately for me, pot roast night means about ten minutes of assembling in the morning, and very little work come 5:00. This is always a good thing.

So I'm chopping my onions into wedges, tossing them in the pot... and the tears start a-streamin'. Although I'm usually immune to eau d'onion, this morning was the exception. (Perhaps it was the morning time?) So I did the only classy thing.

I wiped my eyes with my sweatshirt.

Only to discover that the cuffs of my sweatshirt are now streaked with mascara. From last night, of course. I am such a winner.

I am so bringing sexy back.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rainy Days

So, I am all about a good rainy day. When I woke up and heard the rain this morning, I knew I'd be in trouble. Everything is going in sloooooow motion. Which is not a good sign, because we're about to kick off a very busy three days!

Case in point: Phoebe's down for her nap, it's 10:00, and I'm already contemplating my own personal nap for the day. It's not too early, is it? I didn't think so.

In other news (but then again, is my laziness really news?), Phoebe made my day yesterday. After three months of saying "dada" and "Jake", she finally began babbling "mamamamamama". And while she wasn't saying it to me per se... it almost made me cry to hear her make that sound! It was one hundred percent exciting.

Anyway, I'm off. This is a worthless post. I shall close with a picture, to reward you for sticking around even this long:

And now I return to lazytown.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Financial Freedom -- WFMW

For me, budget used to be a four-letter-word. When Michael and I first got married, I had this debilitating fear of money. Like, I was okay with using it... but on a very frugal, as needed basis. But I did not want to know how much we had, if we were in trouble, how much I was spending, etc. I just knew that I didn't want to go into debt.

So my sweet husband handled all the bills, really, all the finances for the first two years we were married. For those two years, I didn't even open a bank statement. I just trusted him to tell me that we were doing okay. Which brings us to last summer.

I was no longer bringing in an income, but we did have another mouth to feed. And our "cushion" from my working days was beginning to dwindle. If we didn't begin to make and stick to a budget immediately, we would be in trouble. See, it wasn't that we didn't have the money to make my staying at home work... it was that we just weren't handling it right.

But remember, budget is a four-letter-word to me.

So Michael solved that problem. Programmer that he is, he's always looking to write simple software that solves basic, life problems. It's a hobby of his, really. So Michael wrote myBudget. It's a very simple, easy to use budgeting software that would help us keep track of our spending. And somehow, it was nonthreatening enough for me to consider using. And in fact, I did use it. And I continue to use it!

And amazingly enough, my fear of things financial has dwindled. I can see, at a glance, where I have wiggle room and where I have to tighten up. In fact, we already know that next month we're going to have to re-evaluate our budget for groceries -- because I've busted it twice in the past two months. (Diapers and formula, anyone?) The trick to myBudget is that you actually have to use it -- it doesn't budget for you!

If you're interested in reading more about myBudget, check our Michael's blog about the software, or go to the myBudget project page. You can download it for free there. It is truly worth your while, and I promise that if you are committed to using it, it will simplify your budgeting and will bring you a greater sense of financial peace. I promise.

For other great tips and ideas, check out Works for Me Wednesday!

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm really not feeling up to posting right now, but I couldn't help but throw a picture up from our trip north. It was a beautiful, almost spring-like day, so we decided to go feed the fish and ducks before we left town. Mops always has a great collection of bird-worthy bread, so our park dwelling friends thoroughly enjoyed their treats.

I was amazed at how not into it Phoebe was, but we pretended for a minute with this picture. Don't worry: Mops is holding on to the back of her overalls, so she's not about to flop in. Phoebe did, however, enjoy being outside, so that was a plus.

It's always a challenge to ease back into a Monday after a weekend with Michael home, but it seems especially hard today. Hopefully I'll get some pep in my step before the end of the day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


It wasn't that long ago -- a year, to be precise -- that I was a working woman. I pulled long hours at the elementary school, and I didn't particularly love it. I mean, I loved teaching, and I loved the kids...I just didn't love all that it required to actually be a teacher. It meant that I was spent at night and didn't want to do anything but eat dinner and rest. It meant that my housework piled up, and I never really had the energy to do anything fun.

My working days also seemed to keep Sunday from being a day of rest. Sunday somehow became laundry/grocery/project day... and thus, I perpetuated my exhaustion. It was this vicious cycle, and I hated it.

Now that I am a stay at home mom (who works even harder than I did during my teaching days!), my work is all that housework stuff that I piled into two days on the weekends. So it's not that there's not anything to do on Sundays (there is), it's just that I can feel a lot better about not doing it.

We've tried to quite literally make Sunday a day of rest for us. The second Phoebe goes down, Michael and I get into bed and take a nap. We rest our tired bodies, even for just a half hour. I got up a little bit ago from that nap to pick up and unpack from our trip, but I felt the siren call of rest. So I grabbed Michael's laptop and jumped back into bed, where I can instead gaze upon our packed bags and piled up shoes.

And strangely, I'm okay with this.

God is so good to give us a day of worship and rest. This isn't to say that I won't wash bottles before bedtime, or put away some clothes if I feel the urge. I might even pick up a few essentials at the store in case it does in fact snow tomorrow. But the spirit of our day is worshipful and restful, and I am so thankful. What a world of difference it makes on Monday!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eleven Months

Phoebe and I have been living the lush life since about noon yesterday, having arrived at to the retreat that is Mops and Pops's house. Free of to do lists and schedules, we are just hanging out which is this blissful, wonderful thing. It would only be more wonderful if Michael was here to enjoy it with us!

Yesterday was both Valentine's Day and Phoebe's 11 month birthday. Eleven months! That means, friends, that she will be a whole year old in less than a month. I can scarcely believe it. There's really more that I want to write, but that would be betraying the spirit of "doing nothing"... so I'll add my customary list of what Phoebs is up to and call it a day.

Phoebe is...
  • Cutting her third tooth! It appeared yesterday, much to my surprise. I'd been watching a different tooth for its appearance, but then this little booger showed up unannounced! Hooray!
  • Standing up like a big girl, on her own, for about ten seconds. But only if she doesn't realize she's doing it. As soon as she realizes it, she squats down on the floor.
  • Seeking out little cubby holes to hide in. The smaller the space, the better -- I'm nervous that she's going to discover the space behind our couch soon!
  • Really dancing and shaking her little hiney to music
  • Signing "more" and "all done"
  • Kissing just about anything we ask her to kiss, including that mysterious baby in the mirror.
  • Playing ball with Daddy (and Mommy, too, but it is a special delight to Daddy) by rolling it back and forth. She claps when she rolls it away from herself. She knows she's kind of a big deal!
  • Waving "bye bye", at least most of the time that we ask -- but sometimes she gets pretty shy about it.
  • Sharing anything she can -- toys, food (especially pre-soggied food), hugs, etc. She LOVES to share!
  • "Talking" all the time... dadadadadada and babababa are her favorites, but occasionally we'll hear a "Hey Jake!" which only we can interpret. No progress on the "mama" front! She is beginning to babble more and imitate less. In other words, she's less enthusiastic to perform and much more into saying her own thing.
I know there's more, but that's all for now! We love our little one so much... can you tell? I'll get back to my regular posting enthusiasm when I'm not distracted by spontaneous trips to Target or a fresh issue of People Magazine!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Need Help

It's a miracle I haven't made an appearance on "What Not to Wear".

As I mentioned earlier, I'm cold. It's cold outside and our heat is on the fritz, so I'm cold. I'd been wearing slippers (at 4 in the afternoon) but decided that my legs were cold and that I needed to put on my high heeled, warm, up-to-the-knees boots. Because they'd look great with that marker streak on my forehead and my pink hat. And because they might warm me up a little bit.

But first I needed socks.

So I reached in my drawer and found my cozy red socks. And do you know what my first thought was?

"Wow, these would make great Birkenstock socks!"

And that, my friends, is why I need help.

Snow Day?

Is it possible that yesterday I was sweating to a temperature of seventy-something? No really. It was at least seventy degrees while we were on our way home from the doctor yesterday. I had an urge to throw on some flip-flops and a skirt, and I definitely remember thinking that spring was on its way.

So imagine my surprise when I saw snow this morning.

What the heck?!

First of all, it never snows here. But after yesterday? Good grief! The dusting of snow lasted on the deck and rooftops until lunchtime, which is pretty impressive. The only unfortunate thing is that our heat is on the fritz, so it's just a tiny bit chilly in here. I'm definitely using the laptop as a warming device right now.

I imagine that the forecast for tomorrow is somewhere in the sixties or something ridiculous, but for now, I'm appreciating that this southern state is pretending that it's winter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Naptime is Probably Almost Over

Tuesdays are always so whirlwind, so it's good to catch a few minutes to sit. I am not going to spend the three minutes I have to post regaling you with stories of our trip to the doctor today -- but I will tell you that Phoebe's doing fine. I'm just anxious to get all of this infection out of her, and for no more weird things to crop up.

Sleep was wacky again last night, but we are making progress. But I have great news!

Today is my Valentine's Day!

My sweet, sweet Valentine is actually going to share me on the real February 14th. On Thursday, my mom is coming to pick up the girls, and we're going to have some much needed R&R with Mops and Pops. The weekend popped up free, so we're taking our chance while we can; the next five weekends are wild and woolly! But since I won't be here on Valentine's Day, we decided to move the party.

Now, we've never been huge Valentine's people. We agreed to do handmade cards and have a date night. With Phoebe's sickness being so wonky, we decided to do an at-home date tonight. We're going to cook a fancy, rich, and altogether delicious meal together (which we love, but seldom do anymore for reasons of practicality -- someone has to entertain the baby a little!), have some great cuddles and face time, maybe watch a movie (if I can stay awake!), and just enjoy an evening together. I'm so excited!

Anyway, my time is up any second, so off I go! Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008


It seems like we've turned the corner! Sleep was better, she put herself to sleep for her nap (PTL!), and she's been generally happy this morning. Which means I have no excuse but to get caught up on all of the things that we let slide during the five-days-of-no-sleep. Which means that blogging is so not on my list. Whoops!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Walk in the Park

Praise the Lord, we are fever free! And I am confident that this ear pain and congestion is going to work its way out of little Phoebe's body so that we can all sleep again. Another hard night, but we had a remarkable day yesterday... and so for that, I am grateful! I am so thankful that the Lord gives us just what we need when we need it. Today, Michael is teaching our Lilies with Jim (thank you so much for bailing us out, again!) and I'm at home with the Little getting caught up on Bible study and hoping that today will be our last official "sick day".

The weather was downright gorgeous yesterday -- postcard, even -- so we decided to pack up the kids and head to the park. We all had cabin fever, and it was good just to be out for a little while. The last time we were at this park, I was exactly 4 days away from Phoebe's delivery -- and I thought it would be fun to compare! What a difference 11 months makes!

3/10/07 (sorry you can't see my enormous belly!)

2/9/08 -- Out of the belly and into the grass!

Our little tiny girl is officially too small for the little girl swings, but she had fun crawling around, exploring rocks and sticks and dirt, and just being outside. She is such an outside girl! I have a feeling we'll be spending a good bit of our spring and summer at the park.

For the moment, though, I'm going to enjoy the total silence in the house and finish up a cup of coffee. Hopefully today will be a total walk in the park!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slow Motion

A few minutes ago, I was standing in the kitchen. Staring. Pondering. A little bit confused as to what my next task should be. I feel like I'm in some kind of slow motion movie right now. It literally took me thirty minutes to figure out that my task should be dishes, and then to actually complete that task. I'm now drinking some illegal caffeine in hopes that I might move into normal-speed before tonight.

So anyway, yesterday started out innocently enough. The fever was gone in the morning, we all seemed to be a little bit happier. I even made plans with Michael's mom to go to a home clothing show that afternoon. But by 10:30, Phoebe's sad little whimper told me that something more had to be going on, so I caved and made the doctor's appointment.

At 4, I showed up at the pediatrician with about five hundred other kids. We even ran into a friend from church in the sick child waiting room. Except Phoebe looked anything but sick. Her fever was down, she was "talking" to anybody who would look her way, and waving at all of the sweet nurses. This did not look like a sick child, and I felt pretty silly even being there. But the sweet doctor confirmed: it's an ear infection.

So no big deal, we fight traffic home, get our antibiotics, and plan on a settled night. We're back by 5:30, and Michael's making plans to pick up the prescription and some lo mein. But at 6, the plan changed when her temp (which was normal two hours earlier) skyrocketed to 103.1. Smart Mommy said, "Okay, we'll give her meds and feed her dinner." After one bite of cereal, Phoebe had her first major throw up of her life.

After a panicked call to the after hours nurse (who assured me that she would live, and that it is okay if she doesn't eat on a schedule while she's sick), we managed to control the temp a bit and get her settled long enough to eat a hot dog (us, not her).

The next several hours were the "get baby to sleep" dance -- between fever, ear, upset tummy... I don't blame her for not being able to sleep! She finally settled for the night at around midnight, woke at 3:30, and then settled back down until seven.

It was a long night, folks.

The good news is, it seems that she's doing a lot better this morning. She's still having a hard time sleeping (did I mention she's also teething?), but Michael managed to get her down for a nap a little bit ago. Please pray that our little girl will start eating and that her ear pain would subside. Also, sleep would be beautiful... she's not getting it during the day or at night -- so neither are we!

In all of this, however, I'm reminded of God's faithfulness. I was talking to my friend Becca this morning, and she said it was such a good thing that we weren't having to travel this weekend. Which triggered the thought: we were supposed to be! We had planned, about six weeks ago, to go to San Francisco with my parents for a business related excursion (Phoebs and I would be along for the fun of it). My parents are traveling today... several hours on a plane. Could you imagine a baby with a fever/ear infection/tummy bug on a plane? I am so thankful that the Lord has protected us from that!

Hopefully my next post will be filled with good news... but for now, I'm going to drink some coffee and relish the fact that Phoebe is sleeping in the next room, in her crib.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Quick Update

  • I am now on antibiotics and should be doing much better in a couple of days. For now, I have to limit my caffeine, which is about zero fun when sleep is way interrupted.
  • Phoebe was still running a fever as of 4am, but she's still sleeping -- which is a blessing after our late bedtime and 4am rock session. The good news is that she slept a lot more last night than the night before -- and so did we.
  • I'm taking Phoebs to the doctor this afternoon if possible, just to make sure this isn't a bacterial something that we could get rid of.
  • I intend to update at Everyday Gourmet with a hummus and pita chip recipe, so stay tuned!
  • My closet and drawers have thrown up all over our bedroom, because I was halfway through the process of cleaning them out when sleeplessness/sickness hit our house. The good news is that my drawers are beautifully organized and half the closet is, too!
  • More to come, after my one cup of coffee has kicked in.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Think Happy Thoughts

I am not so delusional as to think that "thinking happy thoughts" has any more power than your regular old hocus pocus or superstitious behavior. But really, I'm having to pray every six seconds or so that the Lord would orient my mind to more joyful thoughts right now. I mean, I am really having to look up instead of around at what all is falling down around these parts.

Like, here are a few things I should be pretty down about right now:
  • I am feeling about 70 percent yucky. I'll spare you the details, but it started a couple of days ago, and it just lingers uncomfortably. I have a doctor's appointment for this afternoon to hopefully get a round of antibiotics started and get this thing knocked out.
  • Phoebe is cutting another tooth, which means short naps, short sleep at night, and all around irritability.
  • At around 1 this morning, Phoebe woke us up crying...which is not abnormal during this teething phase. But when I popped the teething tablets in her little mouth, I realized she was burning up. In spite of the constant tylenol-motrin cycle, her fever has stayed about the same, or even gone up. I am pretty sure she's way too sick looking for this just to be teeth.
  • We slept in two hour "spurts" last night. Two hours on, one hour off, repeat.
And yeah. All that pretty much looks like the recipe for a bummer day. But I'm thankful for a husband who helps me remember to "think happy thoughts" -- to orient my mind to the ways God is blessing us right now:
  • Michael is completely over the yuck he had last week, so right now it's only two out of three with a sick-something going on.
  • We got some sleep last night!
  • What's going on with me is completely unrelated to Phoebe, we think. So I hopefully won't spike a fever along with her (unless she shares what she's got).
  • Phoebs is currently napping like a little sweetheart, catching up on some rest.
  • Nandy is going to help out this afternoon however she can, so that I can see the doctor and not bring along a sick baby, too.
  • Winter came back! It was so nice to be able to throw on a jacket this morning instead of flip-flops...I just wasn't quite ready for a balmy 70 degrees in February.
And that's just the short list! And already, that list has outgrown the earlier "bad list", and I already feel better listing that out. So maybe it is about thinking some happy thoughts, counting some blessings.

But I'm going to spend the rest of Phoebe's naptime under the green blanket, thank you very much.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Goodbye, Old Friends

Dear Single-Digit-Size-J.Crew-Jeans,

You and I used to be such good friends. I remember the glee I felt when I was first able to squeeze into you. Vanity sizing or not, I hadn't been a single digit size since junior high... so you certainly played to my vanity and I purchased you on the spot.

We went through a lot together. We walked together across the quad to class on beautiful spring days. We got married and went on a honeymoon. We were thrilled to experience casual Friday together at CVES. We even found out together that I would be having a baby! We even suffered through morning/all day sickness together, and I wore you unbuttoned with a bellyband until I had no excuse.

When my jeans needed to grow panels, you quietly took your place in the back of my closet without complaint. What a faithful friend you were! You said you'd wait patiently for me, that we would be reunited someday... but not for another nine months, at the least.

But, dear Jeans, things changed. You stayed the same, true blue... and yet, I moved on. I grew up a little bit. And grew out a little bit, if we're being really honest. And I think your low rise got a little lower, hanging there in that closet.

I gave you one last chance. See, it's been almost a year since we said we'd get back together, and we never did. So I held my breath, and we were reunited...briefly. Yes, you zipped up easily. Yes, you looked great from the thighs down. And you would have been wonderful with the flip-flops today. But the muffin top was totally unflattering, and if I'm being one hundred percent honest, that muffin top and I will probably never part.

So, Single-Digit-Size-J.Crew-Jeans, the time has come for you to meet a new, younger, skinnier owner. You could do nothing but taunt me now, from your place in the back of the closet. And honestly, I need to make room for some new friends that will do more than just bring me down.

So farewell, and I bid you good luck. You will make a fine, fine jean for someone else.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Irrational Fears

Phoebe has been a pretty easygoing child. In fact, she's turning out to be very different from what I thought she would be, which was basically MiniMe. Before she was born, I was certain Phoebe would be intense, still, thoughtful, quiet, and cuddly. I don't think I could have been more wrong.

If ever there was a laid back, sociable, active, funny, free-spirited child... that's my girl. The child has certainly destroyed my expectations of her, and I love it -- wouldn't have it any other way.

One thing I expected was that Phoebe would be afraid of things. Barking dogs, storms, and other people, for example. Now, I realize that all of these fears may come later, but right now, these things just don't phase her. Like I said. She's very laid back.

Her one major fear right now totally caught me by surprise.

See, we were making pizza one Friday night last month. And I thought that our little explorer would have a great time playing with the flour. (Not so much.) And then, while Michael was rolling out the dough, I thought, "Hey... maybe she'd like to help pat the dough!" So Michael scooped her up, brought her to the counter, and put her little hand on the sticky, cold, mass of dough.

She recoiled a bit. So we returned her to the floor where she was playing.

A few minutes later, we tried to bring the dough down to her level, just so she could experience it. The sweet little thing crawled away in terror. Of course we didn't get it. So we tried again. Screams and more crawling away followed. Bless her heart! Further attempts a few weeks later confirmed that she is still deathly afraid of pizza dough.

I'm still a little bit amazed that she would be afraid of something as harmless as pizza dough, but not at all afraid of our 75 pound dog's tongue. But then, I think about some of the things I fear. (I'll spare you the list here, but let's just say that having a child takes your fears and quadruples them.) And our Heavenly Father looks at us lovingly, saying, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God." (Isaiah 41:10) Our fears of flying or needles or untimely death of a spouse or ____________ are all unfounded. The God of the Universe is with us! Praise Him!

I'm just like Phoebe, about 99 percent of the time. I'm fearful and cry out the second something makes me nervous. But I'm thankful for those reminders in scripture, just like we remind our sweet little girl, that we have nothing to be afraid of. He is with us.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I Caved

So the other day, I was listening to someone else's music while cleaning/reading/blogging/etc. And then I went and confessed to it on my blog, so I felt bad about it. I mean, if I'm going to listen to music for any length of time on any blog, it might as well be my own. So after Little One went to bed and I spent an iTunes gift card, I was sufficiently inspired.

This was totally not what I planned on doing tonight, but hey. This is productive, right?

Anyway, enjoy the music. I am!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Winner

Believe it or not, I'm early! I thought for sure that I would be late in posting this, so I went ahead and got 'er done. Without further adieu...

Congratulations to Katie, lucky number 62, drawn by You have won a custom, handmade onesie. I'll be getting in touch with you asap to find out what you'd like to have!

Thanks to all of you for the great book recommendations and for the kind comments. I've had fun checking out your blogs and stopping by your giveaways, too! Have a blessed weekend!

A Few Random Thoughts

I've been feeling pretty brain-dead here lately, so in lieu of a normal, coherently written post, I am going to present my very random thoughts in bullet form:
  • Last weekend, Michael installed safety latches on the "dangerous cabinets" in the kitchen. I cannot count the number of times I nearly jerk my arm out of the socket trying to open them up. These are not baby proof, they are Mommy Proof. No, really. You'd think I'd learn.
  • Phoebe officially has two teeth. Tooth #2 made its appearance after an extremely rough Saturday night. She is also obsessed with sticking her tongue over her teeth. It is super cute. You can see the major tooth in this picture (isn't my husband talented?):
  • The day after Phoebe started signing "all done", I convinced her to sign "more" with little bits of cookie. (A little bribery never hurts, right? Right?) She'd still rather whine than sign, but we're excited about this new communication breakthrough.
  • Another new breakthrough with Phoebe: the baby boogie. Her Mommy has no rhythm, her daddy doesn't have much more...but Phoebs will now bust a move to the tune of clapping hands or electronicized music from her Leap Frog Music Table thing. It is super cute to see her tiny little bottom move up and down. We will have to video this.
  • Little Miss Brave will stand up on her own for about two seconds, until she realizes she's doing it. I am not ready to have a walking or standing child on my hands. I don't think she cares.
  • I should be doing other things right now. So I'm going to.