Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, when I last came around these parts I was optimistic for a full return to normal. And the optimism is still there, but let's just say we've hit a speedbump.

Thursday afternoon, I started feeling that tell-tale scratchy throat and sinus headache. Things stayed pretty much the same until Saturday, when I was sure I was coming down with something. And then, by Saturday afternoon, Michael was sure he was coming down with something, too.

And come down we did.

Michael and I are both hopped up on Mucinex and Advil, and we're burning through some Disney Princess and Wall-E kleenexes. Yesterday (Sunday) was pretty much awful, but today we wised up and called in the grandparents. Thanks to Nan and Boom, Phoebs is out of the house and we can recover in relative peace.

I've got a low-grade temp this afternoon, but Michael did yesterday -- and then felt a little better when it was gone. I'm hoping for the same results, especially since our Thanksgiving is supposed to begin tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Do say a little prayer for our girls, that they don't get this nastiness. That would be a Thanksgiving miracle!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tummy Time

Sorry to be so scarce around here... it's been a trying few days.

Last week, Nora's feedings had gotten awful. As in, she would scream through them. And it took forever to get her to eat. Not my idea of a good time! I finally took her to the pediatrician, who informed she had an "unbelievable" amount of gas in her stomach, visible on x-ray. She'd also had diarrhea for over a week. The pediatrician suspected a possible stomach bug, but we're also treating her for reflux -- something her sister dealt with as well. She's been doing a lot better since then, but our preferred position?

Let's just say she gets plenty of tummy time, day or night.

Phoebe's teeth are also doing something nightmarish for us. She's not sleeping well, and no matter how exhausted she is at night... it seems she can't fall asleep. The other night, it took her until 9:00 to finally settle down (her usual bedtime is 7:00). I believe I will be throwing a major party when these teeth finally come in.

I'm also hoping that Hand, Foot, and Mouth can only be contracted once... because Phoebe won't leave her hands or her feet alone. I noticed a few little raw spots on both her hands and her feet, but they don't seem to look like what she had last year. Let's just say I don't want to go through that again!

Anyway, we're hoping that things quiet down a little more these next few days. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Song for Today


Hungry, I come to you

For I know You satisfy
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary, but I know
Your touch restores my life

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

- Kathryn Scott

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lessons from the Laundry Room

This weekend I started a miscellaneous load of laundry. In it were a few towels, some of Michael's jeans, a few baby blankets, onesies with spit-up... basically, anything I could jam together into the washing machine to make a full load. I started the load Friday night, just after Phoebe went to bed. I had good intentions, and I was going to send them to the dryer before I crashed for the night. But there were clothes in the dryer, and I really couldn't muster the energy to fold them at that moment. So the clothes were forgotten.

Saturday morning, I realized I'd forgotten the clothes. The telltale aroma wafted from behind the laundry closet doors, mingled with my percolating coffee. Gross. So I did what any reasonable person would do: I washed them again.

This time, I didn't forget the clothes. I sucked it up, folded the dry clothes, and then tossed in my wet load of laundry. I knew I probably wouldn't fold them right away, but that was okay; a few wrinkles never hurt a towel, right?

Unfortunately, my dryer only half completed the job. Evidently my Mom knows what she's doing when she splits up a load of wash to dry in two separate loads. This afternoon, I pulled out the clothes to fold them...only to find that they were still damp. Evidently I had overloaded my poor little dryer, and it just couldn't finished the job. Mildew grew and the odor returned. In the thirty-six hours since they entered the dryer, they experienced a brief period of activity (tumbling in the dryer)...and then they sat, growing nothing but mildew and foul smells. The entire load would have to be washed and dried again.

I realize that laundry is one of those never-done chores, but this was too much. As I tearfully loaded the clothes back into the wash (for the third time), I realized that I am that load of laundry.

I find myself sitting in the "dampness" of my own sin and selfishness. When I ignore it or just plain forget about it, it festers. When I fail to do something about it -- fail to run to the Word, or to Christ in prayer -- a foul smelling film of mildew grows over my heart. The only way to get rid of it is by allowing myself to be cleansed by my Savior. Just as the clothes can't clean themselves, I am powerless to cleanse myself of my own filth. But if I submit myself to His grace, He will make me fresh again.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me! Psalm 51:1-2, 10

So often I wonder why I have a wrong spirit -- why I'm frustrated, discouraged, or despairing. I wonder why my heart smells like mildew. I need Christ to give me a clean heart; then my spirit will be right! I need to allow Him to send my heart through the hot water spin cycle, and then tumble dry until I am clean and new...even if my heart laundry needs to be washed seventeen times a day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

When Daddies Are In Charge, Part 2

I took Nora to the doctor this morning, and Michael ended up getting to play Mr. Mom until lunchtime. Phoebe desperately needed a bath, so Daddy was thrilled to take care of that responsibility. They may have had a little too much fun with the bath crayons.

Michael thinks she looks like one of the Lost Boys from the movie Hook. I think she just looks adorable, in a strange sort of way.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

20 Months Old

I'll spare you the whole bit about how I can't believe a whole month has passed again... because I just did that the other day with Nora. But seriously.

Also, a disclaimer: I'm sleep deprived and I'm working on this after 10:30pm, trying to determine whether or not Nora's going to stay put in the crib. So typos and incomplete/run on sentences are completely forgivable, right? Right.

Okay. My big girl is 20 months old. And I think this is the month that she went from baby to little girl. Examine my evidence:

Phoebe is...
  • talking more everyday. She uses mama, dada, help, up, shoes, cookie (as in, cookie monster), socks, nay-nay (paci), wuh-wuh (puppy) and bye-bye independently just about every day. We can coax her into saying several more words (grandparent names, animal sounds, animal names), and she is much more eager to try to repeat words. I've cried (shocker) over the progress she's making. She seems most confident with b, c, and s sounds -- most of her words sound pretty much the same.
  • really into counting things. She loves to point while I count out loud. Phoebe also has taken an interest in printed numbers -- we love to walk down the street and point out the numbers on mailboxes and painted on the street.
  • reading longer books, and a greater variety. Her favorite books have illustrations that can be easily identified, and she can tolerate larger amounts of text on a page. She's also more receptive to books that I suggest, although she just plain likes what she likes right now.
  • hilarious. She makes me laugh all the time. She injects joy into my days when all I want to do is sleep or cry. And then I get over it, because she really is a delight.
  • taking more of an interest in structured activities. Can I get a hearty praise the Lord here? If you have spent any time with my exuberant, energetic little girl... you know that she does not sit still well, and that she pretty much likes to do her own thing. So for her to sit at the table with me and work on a craft for twenty minutes is huge.
  • aware of when she needs a time out. While we don't use time-outs for discipline, Phoebe responds really well to taking some quiet time in her crib a couple of times a day. Sometimes she needs five minutes, sometimes she needs thirty-five. I think it is so cool that she can tell me that she needs a break, and that she can communicate when she's ready to come out and play again.
  • cutting teeth. And it's a nightmare right now. Pray that we can get these three teeth in and have a little teething break before her two year molars...and Nora will start teething about that time, too.
  • Some of Phoebe's favorite things: Lamby, her cardboard box house, telephones, Sesame Street, puppies, singing with Mommy, coloring (and she's now big enough for markers, with supervision!), stickers, looking at pictures, her sister, Daddy (she asks for him about every fifteen minutes, every day), raisins, feeding Jake, animal sounds, sip stealing, books, dips, and being outside. (And of course there's more, but...)
I can't really even describe how wonderful it is having Phoebe in my world. The Lord surprised me with her pregnancy, and He continues to use Phoebe to surprise me (and challenge me) every day. I tell her all the time that I love her more than she loves her Lamby... if only she knew how much more I love her!

Note: Phoebe's month-day is the 14th; I really don't feel like figuring out how to post this in an hour, though, so... the 13th it is!

I Think I'll Move to Australia

Moving to Australia wouldn't have worked for Alexander, and I don't think it'll work for me, either. But honestly, yesterday felt like a no good, horrible, very bad day. And at the end of it, I just wanted to move to Australia. This morning, Australia still doesn't seem like that bad of an idea.

Our week started off innocently enough. In fact, I think Tuesday was our best day yet. It was Tuesday evening that I went to bed dog tired, but feeling like we were finally getting it. Nora had kept a predictable routine two days in a row, Phoebe and I had some really good "learning" time together... I was starting to feel like I was sufficient.

Which is exactly when the Lord likes to humble us a little bit.

If Tuesday was the best day yet, then yesterday was... well... maybe not the worst. But close to it. Neither of the girls was content. Ever, really. Phoebs has been working on her canine teeth for forever, and I think the pain peaked yesterday. Actually, let's just say that I hope the pain peaked yesterday. And Nora is beginning to have a lot of trouble eating. My good little eater and content little baby is starting to shriek at meals, and is having a lot more trouble resting. Add that to a very tired Mama, and you have the makings of a hard day.

The night wasn't much better. And by "not much better" I mean, "was worse than the day". Phoebs literally was up and down all night in major amounts of pain; our Motrin/Tylenol/Hyland's/Orajel cocktail did little to relieve it. And Nora struggled to sleep, too. Michael and I were in the same bed at the same time for no more than an hour and a half throughout the entire night. We're hitting up the coffee this morning, obviously.

Neither girl is showing marked improvement today, but Phoebe at least seems to be responding to her pain medicine this morning (and Lamby, and Sesame Street). And Nora is resting, but don't tell my pediatrician that the only way she'll sleep is on her tummy. And since Michael took Nora instead of Phoebe last night, I actually got a few hours more sleep than he did.

I'm trying to dwell on hope today. Hope that this will pass soon (these teeth can't stay underground forever, right?). Hope that Nora's doctor's appointment tomorrow will reveal why she's having so much trouble with meals and sleep all of a sudden. Hope that Michael and I can stay awake through dinner tonight, our first date in... a really long time. But most of all, hope that God's going to make good out of all of this yuck.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nora's One Month Day

It's so hard to believe Nora has already been with us a whole month! If things are fast with one, it seems like time flies exponentially fast with two. I feel like we're all adjusting to one another very well; it honestly feels like Nora has been with us all along. And it's been awfully fun having an Itty Bitty in the house again!

Although Nora's day mainly consists of eating and sleeping, here are a few things I want to remember about her at one month old. Nora is:
  • a total cuddlebug. She loves being held, but is content out of arms, too.
  • starting to settle into a more predictable routine. She eats on a 2 1/2 - 3 hour cycle (most of the time), and naps for the last hour to hour and a half of that cycle. Nora's a great eater (2-4 ounces at a meal), and does a pretty good job falling asleep on her own in the crib. She is generally a pretty content little girl.
  • beginning to "stretch" at night. We've had a couple of nights in the past week where she'll go for a 5 hour stretch. We feed her at our bedtime, and then she'll generally wake once in the middle of the night, then again around 4:30-5:30ish. Most of the time, she goes back to sleep right after she eats -- which is such a blessing! She also loves to be swaddled and snug.
  • more alert and bright-eyed for more of the time. She loves bathtime, and especially having her hair washed. She also doesn't mind tummy time, when I remember to make her have it.
  • having some of the same digestive issues as her sister did at this age, but we seem to be making progress. (I don't think she would appreciate me discussing that any further!)
  • still wearing newborn diapers and clothes. She will probably graduate her diaper size in the next couple of weeks, but her clothes are still pretty big!
We are continuing with our tradition of mini-cakes for month day celebrations... so here is our family with Nora's first cake!

Happy One Month Day, Nora!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Have More to Say Than This

But Wishbone is on PBS right now... and it's totally all about David. As in, King David, in the Bible. He's talking to King Saul right now about taking on Goliath.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Reason to Vote

I should do something better with my time when I'm holding my breath hoping that Nora stays asleep in the middle of the night.

As it is, I've stumbled on some election day freebies...and if you're lucky, you might live somewhere Chick-fil-A is giving away free sandwiches. (We are not so lucky.) But we are lucky enough to have free Krispy Kreme!

So go vote! We're bringing the whole family, which might be an act of patriotic sacrifice.

(Scroll down for a real post, by the way.)

Good Medicine

These past few weeks have been unbelievably hard. As in, these have been the hardest few weeks of my life. In less than a month, our roller coaster ride has included two hospitalizations, one new family member, a two thousand dollar furnace, two new teeth, and a stomach virus. Add to that sleep deprivation, and you have an award winning recipe for despair.

The days have started to blur together. Between Phoebe and Nora, there is seldom a moment in the day when I'm not with one of them. Which is truly a wonderful thing, but I often find myself wondering: will I ever settle into a routine? Will this ever become normal?

I do a lot of wondering about our days to come. I look at the (clean) laundry covering every inch of the dining room table, and I wonder if I'll manage to put it away before we wear it all. As I consider suppertime, I wonder if I'll be able to get something that wasn't delivered or previously frozen on the table at a decent hour. As I watch Phoebe entertain herself with a basket of books, I wonder if I will ever be able to plan some "just us" time into the day. A lot of days, I wonder if I'll make it through the day without a lengthy, ugly cry.

If I look at these days to come, it is so easy for me despair. I don't easily see the hope for "normal" in these coming days. It honestly feels like we'll be in this survival, just-getting-by mode for, well, ever. My head knows that's not true, but it just doesn't feel that way, most of the time.

Friday (the 31st), I was reading Proverbs 31. I almost skipped it, because I really did not want to think about the Proverbs 31 woman that I so am not right now. (Okay, I don't resemble her when things are normal, either.) But as I read it, I was drawn to verse twenty-five:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

The days to come don't always look good. Not for me, not for you... not for anybody, really. But the thought that I can -- and should -- be strong and take a lighthearted approach to what's to come. Instead of dwelling on the frustrating things about what's to come, I'm trying to remember to look for reasons to laugh.

Have you laughed today?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Last Few Days

I had forgotten that having a newborn baby in the house puts you in some sort of time-sucking black hole. Time literally disappears during the day (and night) with one of these sweet little ones under your roof. And when you have an adventurous toddler in the house... let's just say that time disappears at an exponentially fast rate. Trust me, it's true!

We've been up to plenty of fun these past few days, though, and I wanted to go ahead and record that here with a few pictures. Besides, I feel like it's required that I post our pictures of our Fairy Princess, right?

Wednesday was a regular day, as far as I can remember. The days are literally all blurred together, but I'm sure we did something fun. Oh yes! We did! Phoebe had her first adventure with sticker art! This is significant, because I'm pretty sure that Phoebe has never ever sat still working on any kind of project for more than fifteen minutes. Sticking stickers to a paper for Mops and Pops? Totally took almost an hour. We will be doing this again. (I do not have photographic evidence of this, but it was cute. Trust me.)

Wednesday night, we dressed up Phoebe and bundled up Nora for Nandy and Boompah's fall festival at their church. Our Fairy Princess loved having a wand to use, and she also had a blast prancing about in the great outdoors. Nora enjoyed being bundled... I think the fall festival was a little too advanced for her? Anyway, also notable is that Phoebe willingly ate her first hot dog. Anyway, a fun time was had by all.

Nora's night Wednesday was pretty rough. As in, she didn't sleep. So neither did I. Nandy rescued us on Thursday morning by taking Phoebe for a morning of playtime while I rested with Nora. Thank heavens for grandparents! Thursday progressed in a blur.

Friday morning, we met up with Carolynn and Callahan at the park for our first trip since Nora joined the family. It was wonderful. Phoebe had a blast; she started squealing as soon we got there. She was also fearless, tackling slides by herself. She also took it upon herself to use her body to dry off the slides for her friend Callahan. We had a good time, and it was really, really good to get out.

Friday night, we joined some of our LIFE group friends for dinner. Our little ones played while we enjoyed some sweet fellowship with some friends we hadn't seen since our group multiplied. Phoebe loved seeing her friends, we loved getting to introduce Nora, and we were thankful we decided to blow off bedtime for the festivities. Besides... who goes to bed on time on Halloween?

Mops and Pops also arrived Friday night so that we could head to Tuscaloosa on Saturday. It was Homecoming, and I really wanted to go... and also wanted to take Phoebe to her first game. It was so much fun to be on campus again, especially since I didn't think we would make it to a game this year. I also loved bringing Phoebe there. It helped that we won big!

Unfortunately, Phoebe's experience was not as wonderful as I'd hoped. She had been acting funny when we got to the stadium; I assumed it was the atmosphere. She slept in Michael's arms, even through the noisy pregame festivities... and then when she woke up, she seemed a little off. At the beginning of the third quarter, we figured out what was wrong after she vomited her apple juice all over her Pops.

We thought Phoebe was better when we got out of the stadium, but as soon as she put something in her tummy... let's just say we all got to see it again. She's still running a fever today, but we haven't had any more vomiting. We're just praying that Nora stays well; if she catches this, we're headed back to Children's for two days.

Anyway, I told you it had been an eventful couple of days!