Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pillow Talk with Phoebe

Every night when I tuck Phoebe into bed, I say and do pretty much the same thing. I snuggle her under her blanket, tuck Lamby under her arm, and kiss her forehead. Then I tell her that Mommy loves her, Daddy loves her, and Nora loves her... but most of all, Jesus loves her. Same thing, every night.

Tonight when I tucked her in, I did the usual. Except I reverted back to the original version of the script, which did not include Nora's name. Before I could tell her that Jesus loves her, she sweetly said, "Nano? (Nora)"

I quickly corrected myself, and then for fun I told her that Lamby loved her too, before adding that Jesus loves her. This of course elicited a smile.

Usually, my tucking-in conversation is one-sided. But evidently telling her that Lamby loved her opened up the door for her to chat with me before drifting off to dreamland. She then asked, "Mock? (Mops)", to which I assured her that Mops does indeed get included on the list of those who love her.

So then I asked her, "Who else loves you?"

And this is who she listed:
  • Pops
  • Winnie
  • JT
  • Oscar (the Grouch)
  • Elmo
  • Elmo's Blanket

I didn't prompt her here, just simply asked, "Who else?"

I think it's delightful that she jumps immediately to puppies (and yet, strangely excluding Jake) to Muppets. I'm fascinated by the way that sweet little mind works, and it's fun to have her thoughts now revealed in conversation. Sweet dreams, little one!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extra 20% Off

I just deleted what must have been the tenth email from j.crew to have come into my inbox this week. Offering a tantalizing twenty percent off any final sale purchase, the email really should have sent me straight to the website to buy. But sadly, twenty percent off final sale still means t-shirts (and oh, how I love a j.crew t-shirt) are still something like forty percent more expensive than a stretchy Merona tee from Target, which works just fine.

All the style gurus (and by that I mean Stacy and Clinton) suggest that you buy really well made (expensive) wardrobe items that will last forever. And I suppose they would suggest that I go ahead and splurge on that $35 perfect-fit long sleeved tee. I also suppose that in my former life that shirt would've been a good investment, because I wasn't coming into contact with bodily fluids and little people all day long. But I've seriously gotten spit-up (and flour, and cooking spray) on two separate articles of clothing today.

I don't suppose I'm a paragon of style these days. But I'll gladly wear my $8.99 Merona v-necks if it means I can snuggle this messy little Critter without fear.

I guess there are days where one could say that by becoming a mom, I've lost all sense of personal style. But what I've gained -- including spit-up and an extra inch around my waistline -- is worth so much more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Red Chair

I love the chair in Phoebe's room. It's a striped glider, and it's the perfect place to perch while letting Phoebe (and soon, Nora) play at my feet. I've spent countless hours in that spot feeding babies, singing songs, reading stories, rocking sick children, and watching my little ones play. Phoebe's room has been our perfect play space, with lots of room to spread out.

When we move Nora in with Phoebe (hopefully in just a few short weeks), we'll be losing a lot of that space. A second bed will take up plenty of room, and won't leave enough room for easy play. I plan to keep our glider in there for its intended use, but it will no longer be my perch for the observation of play.

Our dining room wasn't getting much use as a dining room, and I've long considered that area wasted space. Even after an attempt to make it prettier last fall, it just wasn't reaching its full potential. I knew it would be the perfect place for our new play space after we moved the table and chairs out. The only thing I needed was a perch.

I had a very small budget for this room. I had a small stash of rainy day cash that I could use -- and that was it. My only option for furnishing this room was the thrift store. So I started praying.

I think this is the first time I've prayed so specifically for something. I prayed that
  • the chair would easily be within my budget
  • it would be comfortable
  • it would need no repairs
  • it would look nice -- that it wouldn't scream "thrift store"
  • it would match my current decor (I already had a rug and window treatments)
Any time I started worrying about this chair, I started to pray about it. And y'all, I knew God had a chair for me.

Mom came last week to help me wrangle kids and set up the room. On Saturday morning, we went to the Salvation Army...and do you know what?

The chair was there.

Eleven dollars under my budget, the chair didn't even smell. It was absolutely perfect for our space. This chair is such a visible reminder to me of God's faithfulness, even in the little things. He knows and cares about my needs. God was even gracious enough to provide this chair in the exact way that I hoped He would.

We're all enjoying the space so much now. I think we've gotten more use out of that room in five days than we had in almost four years of living here. Michael calls it my little coffee shop; I call it an answered prayer. And honestly, these days I can be so dense that I need an actual chair to remind me that God hears my prayers.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-26

Monday, February 23, 2009

Like a Child

I was changing Phoebe's diaper today, and she asked me to pray. I held her little hands, we closed our eyes tight, and we prayed a sweet, simple little prayer. When we were finished, Phoebe smiled and said, "Mama pay (pray)?" Delighted by her heart that is tender to prayer -- and yet totally onto her scheme to delay a diaper change -- I told her that she could pray all by herself, without Mommy. So she did!

Phoebe shut her eyes tight, folded her hands, and prayed, "Dada home?" And then she opened her eyes, and gave a hearty "Amen". What a delight to her mommy!

just before family prayers at bedtime

Phoebe loves to pray with us, and especially gets a kick out of closing her eyes really tight. It's our prayer that she will always have a heart for prayer, and that her enthusiasm will never diminish.

(Daddy did not, by the way, come home before her nap... but he did come home for lunch while she napped! Perhaps this is her first lesson in prayer being answered in ways different than we might expect?)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eager Reader

For those who are interested, last night was a little better. Nora did wake up to eat, and I did feed her -- and that was it. I'm trying my hardest to keep her on a tight three-hour today, if indeed she will let me. (If I try to feed that sweet little child before she's good and ready, I might as well forget about it. She has the bottle snub down pat.)

Anyway, I was up another time last night, to tend to Phoebe. She occasionally wakes up disoriented in the wee hours, and she's a little bit scared. Now that she's talking like nobody's business, she'll often cry out for Mama or Dada... last night, it was just a whimper that I heard while putting Nora back to bed. I came in to find her sitting up, feeling around for Lamby. But she looks up with those big eyes and says, "Mama hold?" Oh, melt! After a sweet, through-the-crib-rails hug... I laid (lay?) her down, cover her back up, and tuck that Lamby back under her arm. And then, with a sweet, quiet voice she says...

"Mama book?"

Oh honey. It's 2am and you want to read. You are more like your mother than I care to admit.

No, I didn't indulge her request. But I already have visions of that little bug squinting by the light of her nightlight trying to devour her latest Clifford or "mouse" tome when she wakes at 2am in a big girl bed with a basket of books by her bedside. Sounds like someone I know!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh Sleep, How We Miss Thee

Can I just be real here?

Friends, I am tired. I feel like a broken record here, but I also feel like it's dishonest not to talk about it. Last night as I hurled myself out of bed for the third or fourth time, I remember thinking that it will probably be ten years (or more) before I get a real night's sleep again, and that I ought to get used to it. But I'm learning that I am a pretty miserable creature after a few nights of interrupted sleep.

I think it's all in the expectations. When there's a newborn in the house, you know you're going to be up all night. And you exist in survival mode, doing basically nothing but feed the baby. You get a free pass on housecleaning, meal making, and all the other normal stuff for at least a few weeks -- when the sleep is really, really bad. And then you sort of get used to getting up once or twice a night, and it's not that big of a deal. You slowly start adding things back in, until finally your baby sleeps through the night... and you remember what it was like to wake up feeling rested. After that, you can start to expect things to get back to normal.

Which is how things went for us. Nora eventually started sleeping through the night at around ten weeks, and she did beautifully until the last week of January. And then with RSV and a growth spurt back to back... something regressed. She's been waking frequently, and she's even gone back to needing to eat again. I can't seem to persuade her to eat cereal, and her liquid consumption during the day just isn't cutting it. We've settled into a vicious cycle of not eating enough during the day and then making up for that during the night. Nora and I had a nice little heart to heart today about needing to buck up and eat better, or I'm going to have to listen to her cry at night... and I totally don't want to go there. I'm all about feeding her if she's hungry, but we've got to break this cycle somehow!

I think the most frustrating thing is that we know that Nora is capable of sleeping through the night. She did it for six weeks, no problem. And last week, when I took her to the pediatrician for her checkup, she had slept through the night for something like three days in a row that week. So I know it's not beyond our reach! But y'all. This not sleeping thing is killing me. It is a total gift from God that Mops will be here tomorrow, because Mops has this strange penchant for being up at weird hours in the night anyway... and if she gets to be awake with a baby, that's practically heaven on earth for her.

But seriously. Even without sleep, I am in love with this little cutie.

Doesn't she look so big?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Phoebe at 23 Months

I think I might be smelling Lysol for the next three weeks. We're sick, again. Or were sick. More specifically, Michael was just sick with a nasty little stomach bug and I'm praying fervently that he's the only one that gets it. But since this is something like the ninth illness we've had in the last three weeks, I'm getting particularly militant with the sanitizing around here. I'm still in my pajamas, but beds have been stripped, towels have been washed, and the Lysol -- oh, the Lysol! No surface has been left un-sprayed! I was tempted to take a Lysol bath, but thought better of it.

It hasn't been a pretty few days around here, so I unfortunately let Phoebe's 23 month day lapse without a post. Since next month she will be two and will thus mark the end of her every-month-on-the-14th updates, I wanted to make sure that I documented some of the delightful things about our Doodle.

At twenty-three months old, Phoebe is...
  • talking, almost nonstop. Yesterday, I had a ten minute conversation about "kippies" (hair clips) with her. She asks questions, she labels, she expresses needs... it's incredible to me how much her vocabulary has literally exploded. Phoebe loves to share her thoughts, and is almost always giving a running commentary of her surroundings.
  • starting to sing along with some of her favorite songs -- a few words, here and there. A few nights ago, she sang "me" and "Bible" in Jesus Loves Me. When we sing the ABC song, she will usually sing five or six letters with me. Phoebe's love for music seems to be growing, and she'll often request songs or CDs. Her favorites right now are Psalty (thank you, Callahan!), "Round Round" (from Wee Sing, about David and Goliath), and any song about an animal (Baby Bumblebee, Five Little Frogs, Five Little Monkeys). She will also express her dislike for a song fairly readily, too!
  • reading any book she can get her hands on. Some books that we're enjoying right now are The Napping House; Ten, Nine, Eight; The Jesus Storybook Bible; and any book by Kevin Henkes (we're enjoying Chester's Way right now).
  • learning a lot about self-control and boundaries. Currently, we're working on sitting quietly; she's successful up to twenty minutes, and I believe that she has the self-control to handle at least thirty. She knows this is a big deal, and is very proud of herself.
  • sensitive to discipline. When she's disciplined, Phoebe often quickly adjusts her behavior and demonstrates a marked difference in her heart for a significant period of time.
  • sensitive to the emotions of others. Phoebe is quick to point out if someone is sad, whether it's one of us or a character in a book. The other day, I had a good little cry on the kitchen floor. Phoebe said, "Mama sad...hold you, Mama..." and gave sweet hugs while I cried it on out. Occasionally, I'm lucky enough to get a back scratching out of the deal, too.
  • fiercely independent. Just today, Phoebe added a new phrase to her vocabulary: "Phoebe do". Yikes! She loves to do as much on her own as possible, and occasionally gets frustrated if she has to ask for help.
  • learning about letters, numbers, and colors. Phoebe can readily identify the letter P, and has surprised us by identifying other letters such as O and A. When asked to name letters, most letters are either P or A. She'll hold up a finger for the number one, and will occasionally count out loud with me. We're also working on learning our colors, and she can accurately identify blue, green, pink, and red. She loves to wear colors that she can name.
  • starting to be more affectionate with Nora. She is becoming more comfortable around her, and we're working on sharing things with Nora -- including Mommy. I was delighted the other day when Phoebe didn't panic about having to share a lap with Nora for storytime! We're hoping to move them into the same room very soon.

These are just a few of the things that Phoebe is doing right now. She is such an extraordinary delight, and an abundant blessing from above. What a fun little girl she is!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Letters

I have approximately three minutes before I start hearing "Mama book?" from the other room, and approximately six before Nora asks -- nicely or not -- for her bottle. That said...

Michael and I agreed to write each other a letter for Valentine's Day. Whether he knows it or not, he already wrote his last night. Feeling yucky, I was sent to bed and told not to get up until morning. He meant it, too.

Nora was up at least three separate times last night (why, oh why??) and had, in general, a hard time sleeping. Michael fed her once, loved her twice, and made me stay in bed.

This morning, I'm awake and, while I'm not feeling 100%... I can guarantee that I'd feel a heckofalot worse if I'd done all the legwork last night.

So thank you, lovey! I love you! Happy Valentine's Day! (This is not, by the way, my letter... but I wanted everyone to know how wonderful you were!)

To come later, some vintage lovey pictures!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Dose of Happy

Just in case you needed something to make you smile today...

This is Phoebe, in all her after-nap glory. Her hair was wild, and she immediately requested "kippies" for her hair -- more is more, right? She pilfered my water bottle, and was extremely pleased with herself for having taken a drink successfully. I love, love, love this little girl!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Too Much, Too Soon

It's no secret that things have been a little crazy around here lately. The girls have been sick, and Nora has been sleepless -- which means that Michael and I haven't been sleeping, either. It's been fun for all!

In the middle of all that fun, I decided that it would be a great time to break up with Nora's swaddling blanket. She'd gone without it while we were in the throes of illness, so I figured -- why go back? I honestly didn't anticipate that it would be that big of a deal. But when Nora's naps started lasting about 30 minutes and her nighttime sleep became terrible, I realized what a horrible idea that whole cold turkey thing was. And did I mention that we also tried to quit this thing during a growth spurt?

Since I've said we tried to cease usage of the swaddler, you would be correct in assuming that it has made a triumphant return. Nora honey, you can stay swaddled 'till you're two, if it means we'll all get some sleep. (But I know you'll want out of it sooner than that!)

Anyway, this whole swaddle experience has gotten me thinking about how often we try to do too much, too soon. Nora wasn't ready to grow out of the swaddle, and it led to frustration and tears (and not just for the little one). Nora was completely unprepared to handle that new-found freedom. While coming out of the swaddle blanket will eventually be a necessary milestone, it was too much freedom, too soon.

I've been rereading some selections from Babywise lately (think what you will about the book, it's worked for us), and the author talks about parenting with appropriate freedoms. I'm paraphrasing here, but as children grow, they need appropriate freedoms to become more independent. With feeding as an example, it is appropriate for a nine-month-old to feed herself Cheerios with her fingers; give her a spoon, though, and it becomes a tool for inappropriate behaviors since she isn't ready to use it. The spoon is thrown, banged, or used to shovel O's off her high chair tray -- but isn't used for eating. It's too much freedom too soon.

I'm so guilty of doing too much too soon with myself, too. I had these great intentions of jumping back into "normal" in January, and heaped all kinds of responsibility onto my proverbial plate. I dove headfirst into a Bible study that's already proven to be more commitment than I can reasonably handle. I thought it would be great to start doing some freelance work, and I'm already behind on a deadline. And did I mention that I thought it would be great to start some formal "preschool" with Phoebs in January? I don't think I need to tell you how that worked out.

All of those expectations I had of myself are great things -- and things that I still plan to do. But it was too much (maybe only a little), too soon (maybe just a few weeks too early). And instead of being good additions to my life, they simply became new frustrations.

Change is happening almost daily with the girls. New schedules, new milestones, new freedoms to come. Phoebe is almost two, so that means we're headed down the path of potty training, big girl beds, and more. I'm having to remind myself all the time that I'd rather do a little bit at the right time, than too much, too soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

4 Months Old

Nora is four months old today, which I find pretty much unbelievable. Just about a year ago, we found out we were expecting this sweet little thing... and I think it has been a full, wild year since then

Four months seems to be the time -- at least for me -- that I feel like I can start joining the "normal" train. After a long year that included all-day sickness, a rambunctious toddler, weight gain, back aches, energy loss, childbirth, and sleepless nights, it's nice to see a slow return to routine.

And since we've had two children in less than four years of marriage, it's apparent that I have no idea what routine really is.

But back to Nora.

This sweet bundle of love brings us more joy every single solitary day. What a happy baby! And I mean it! Face-filling grins and belly laughs are de rigeur around here. Nora is one fantastic little distraction, for all of us.

In the past month, it's become obvious to us that Nora is no longer a newborn. A few highlights:
  • She's eating a lot. We're about to graduate to the "big bottles", and I don't think Phoebe even saw those until she was six or seven months old.
  • Nora can wear some things in a 3-6 month size, depending on what it is. Yes, she's a little roly poly... but I think she's outgrowing things in length before they become too tight. I'm about to have to bring down my next tub of clothes to find sleepers that fit!
  • She's rolling over when I put her on her tummy. When she's on her tummy, she also pushes up pretty well on her arms -- when she's not trying to roll over, that is. Nora has also rolled over once from back to tummy, but mostly she just winds up on her side.
  • She's started moving around on her back, turning her positions. It's fun to see how she scoots around while I'm doing the diaper derby!
  • Nora loves to be tickled...especially by her own hands! I can usually coax out a great belly laugh that way.
  • Nora talks all the time, with this sweet gurgly coo. I love, love, love to hear her talk!
  • She sits in the bumbo, but gets pretty squirmy in it. I'm thinking we might have another busy baby on our hands!
  • Nora's really starting to interact with toys more. When you put something in her hands, she'll grasp it, crinkle it,'s fun to see her start to focus on things more! However, her favorite entertainment is US!

I'm not even going to attempt to detail her schedule right now, since we've been off a bit since she got sick. She's been waking up again during the night to eat for the past week or so, but slept through the night last night... so right now it's pretty hit or miss. We're hoping to get her back on her usual schedule as soon as possible! (I'm thinking I may have moved her to a four hour schedule too soon!)

We are so thankful for our sweet Norabelle... what a delight it is to watch her grow!

Edited to Add: At the pediatrician, Nora weighed in at 13 pounds 8 ounces (50%ile) and 25 1/4 inches long (80%ile). She's a growing girl!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Randoms

I'm a little behind on a deadline, so obviously this is a good use of my time. However, I can hardly form complete sentences... so maybe this will wake up my brain and get me going.

About fifteen crazy people have tagged me on facebook to do the 25 random things about you survey thing... so I thought I might give it a go. So here goes!

  1. I have been married to Michael for 3 1/2 years. When we got married, we had a "four year plan" to have children; I'm so thankful that God's already given us two, instead of giving us "our way"!
  2. I love to read, and am learning to carve out time to read more challenging books... as in, books that aren't easy "beach" reads.
  3. I hate to nap (I think they're a waste of time), and will only do so under dire circumstances. Today was one such day. Michael came home at lunch to feed the ravenous Nora, while I retreated to the bedroom for over an hour. It was wonderful.
  4. I'm more introverted than I thought I was.
  5. I'm not a fan of dealing with anything financial: bank statements, bills, budgets, taxes, etc. As in, I hate to even open mail that I know is money-related.
  6. I'm very much a perfectionist, and I don't deal well with failure.
  7. Michael and I are currently addicted to NCIS. We watch an episode or two every night after the girls have gone to bed.
  8. I love to snuggle on the couch with my Green Blanket, which was the comforter on my dorm room bed. It's enormous, and it's seen me through some major life changes. It is an entity all its own!
  9. Michael and I feel led to homeschool our children, which is both exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.
  10. I'm not a fan of sweet things, but I LOVE chocolate -- the darker the better.
  11. One thing I'm learning a lot about right now is control, and how I'm not the one in control. It's so hard to let go and lean on the sovereignty of God!
  12. I love to travel with Michael, especially to out-of-the-way places. Our favorite destination is in the Shoals -- which isn't exactly a vacation hotspot -- but we love it!
  13. Michael just bought me a domain name, and I'm hoping to "launch" there soon.
  14. My dad got us all furry crocs for Christmas (even Phoebs), and I think they're the ugliest things ever. However, they are my most frequently worn pair of shoes these days.
  15. I love to make lists, and even have a giant home management notebook that's full of household related lists. I haven't cracked it since Christmas, though!
  16. I'm a home-body, and like to stay home as much as possible. It's not that I can't get out with small children, it's that I'd rather not. We like being home!
  17. I am currently reading: A Mother's Heart, Jean Fleming; The Shaping of a Christian Family, Elisabeth Eliot; Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, June Oberlander. I'd recommend all three!
  18. We're watching Mary Poppins in installments with Phoebe after dinner each night. We all love it!
  19. I like the idea of having hobbies, like sewing or scrapbooking... but seriously, I can't find time to do the things I need to do, much less crafty things! Maybe in another season of life?
  20. I'm handicapped when it comes to decorating. Anything pretty in my house is usually the result of my mother or my husband helping me out.
  21. I don't think I deal very well with change -- which is not a very good trait to have when you have small children running around! I like to have a plan, and to know what to expect, on a daily basis. Things seldom work out that way!
  22. I love the beach, but I'm totally afraid of the ocean. Or the lake, for that matter. I can't stand the idea of swimming with fish or snakes or other sea creatures.
  23. I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes. When I was pregnant with Phoebe, we had to call the Pelham police to come put to death a snake that crept into my living room. (Michael was at work 30 minutes away.) I ran to the bedroom, camped out on the bed, and let the officer let himself in. I never saw him, or the snake, after I retreated.
  24. I am a serious morning person, and love to be up well before the rest of the house. I try to wake up at least an hour before everyone else, but if I could still function in the afternoon, I'd get up even earlier.
  25. Michael's going to shoot me if I don't stop doing this and start working on my article.
So now that's done... it's time to get to work!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

iPhone Hacks, or, How our toddler expresses herself so eloquently

My husband figured out a way to record video on his new-fangled iPhone.

I myself am a lazy videographer, but am thrilled to present this snippet of our Phoebs. In this video, Professor Phoebe explains how she has equated rock sizes to different parts of the family. Big rocks, dada. Not quite as big rocks, mama. Small rocks, of course, are baby. Here she also learns what happens when you find two small rocks, what do you call the smaller one? HEY did you just see that dog?!?!!!11@

I hope our Doodle delights you like she does us!

Growing Pains

I feel compelled to record here that this sweet little RolyPoly downed nine ounces of formula at her midday feeding today. Nine! (She typically eats around 3 ounces.) Growth spurt, maybe? Thankfully, she followed that up with a reasonably normal nap, rather than the forty-five minute jokers she's been having during this time of rapid growth and ravenous eating.

Best part about a growth spurt?

Bigger cheeks for me to eat!

We'll return in full force when I'm not feeding my hungry munchkin around the clock. Growth spurts can't last forever, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day in Review

I sat down this morning with my Bible, a notebook, and a cup of coffee, overwhelmed with what faced me today. Nora had been up during the night for close to an hour, so I was starting the day ragged and discouraged. I needed some wisdom, and I needed to set some priorities for the day.

My priority for Phoebe was some specific training. We're ready for her to start joining us in church, so I wanted to make time today for that training. But we're also in a little bit of "out of town detox", so I needed to make sure I was really consistent with discipline today, too.

I probably should've known today would be a long one with discipline as a top priority, right?

Well, the sit training went better than expected. I'm always excited to see Phoebe exceed my expectations for her, and this was one of those situations. But things pretty much went downhill from there.

Nora hit a growth spurt today, which meant she wanted to eat. All day long. In large quantities. At unpredictable intervals. Whee! Fortunately, growth spurts only last for a few days, right?

But I think the hardest part of the day was the standoff after naptime. Remember the priority for the day was training? Yeah. She wasn't allowed to get out of bed until she said, "Please." After an hour and a half, Phoebe finally obeyed.

Y'all, we partied like nobody's business. I was in the middle of feeding Nora, but we dropped everything to celebrate her obedience. And as frustrating as her hard-headedness was, it made her eventual obedience that much sweeter. I was delighted to see her submit, and we were quickly restored.

And that made it all worth it.

The day eventually ended with a peaceful suppertime, and cuddles on the couch with the first half hour of Mary Poppins. But friends, I am tired. Parenting is so not for sissies.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Februarys

Somehow, February sneaked up on me. Really. I blinked, and the calendar page turned. I think I missed January somewhere in the middle of unkept resolutions and mysterious viruses. I'd like to look back at my blog entries for January to see how many of them reference sick days, but then I think that would be entirely too depressing.

It's been a long day/week/month... so I'm thankful that God is merciful, and that He builds new beginnings into our calendar. His mercies are new every morning. Which is good, because after days like today, let's just say I need some of His new mercies.

In other news, I do think the sickness around here is subsiding. Phoebe's pretty much back to normal, and Nora's happy -- if filled with some really nasty chest congestion and a scary sounding cough. [By the way, we decided it was unnecessary to swab her to determine if it was RSV, but steroid/antibiotic treatments seemed to do the trick.] Also notable is that during the yuckiest part of Nora's illness, we stopped using the swaddle blanket...and never returned. So naptimes are a little shorter, but I think we'll eventually adjust.

Anyway, Michael has just brought the popcorn in and I think he'd prefer if I didn't type while eating buttery, salty popcorn; I'm signing off for now.