Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thank you Mr. Postman! - And guess what? He may bring a package your way....

I have received some very fun things in the mail recently! I was so excited when I won a giveaway from Rachel's blog! Her package was filled with so many fun things - she wished that it would be like Christmas in June for me - and it was! I especially like the Mom's Ultimate Family Organizer - as it's come at the perfect time because I am trying to get lots of little details in order before Baby Brother comes. There's a lot of info that I know - that the out of town people who will be coming in to help don't. I am trying to get most of it written down - and the family organizer is the perfect tool! Another great surprise was book called Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman. "The book identifies 22 behavior problems in children (such as disobeying, lying and tattling) and offers examples of Scripture passages that help parents address heart issues." (taken from her website)

It's super brief and to the point - a great reference tool - even during those tense times of disobedience. I had never heard of Ginger or her books and am really looking forward to reading some of her material. Thank you Rachel for such a generous gift.

Another special treat was a Kari Jobe CD from my friend Joanna. I was telling her that I was so sad that I couldn't attend the Women's conference at the church we attended in CO - and she very graciously sent me the CD of the worship leader from the conference! I have been really enjoying the sweet and gentle spirit of her music. You can listen to some of her songs on her website - so be sure to check it out.

So, now it's my turn to give away! I'd like to give away a Kari Jobe CD - and I'd like to give away a Wise Words for Moms. I am going to give them away separately - so just leave a comment and let me know what you'd like. If you'd like both - that's fine - just say so! And, I am happy to ship internationally - so comment away!

The giveaway will end Thursday evening, July 3rd, 8:00 central time.

p.s. I just re-read this post and I think there are some major run-on sentences and places that should have commas that don't etc... but it's very late, and I am very tired. So, we'll just have to ignore the grammar mistakes this evening. :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Your uterus has expanded to 1,000 times its original volume...."& so have my tear ducts!

I have a calendar that counts down the 279 days of pregnancy. Everyday it tells you a fact about what's going on with that miracle growing inside of you. Interested? You can find out more about it here. I personally think it makes a great shower gift, or just a congratulations on your pregnancy gift...


My expanding uterus has taken over my mental and emotional state of being. I mean, seriously, is there any reason to burst into tears because your two year old got a hold of your brand new chunky eye liner/eye shadow pencil and used it as a pencil? Or, because you looked at a map and couldn't tell if you should go north or south from your current location - and you just want to get in the car and be there - resulting in a sobbing wife on a cell phone - asking her husband for directions. Brother! Oh, and let's not forget my outburst when I looked in the mirror and didn't like the way my shirt looked with the new color of my hair. (yes, I colored my hair a dark brown/red to get rid of the blond hi-lite roots that had grown half-way down my head)

Oh the tears! And these tears I've been crying lately are the kind that are big, no-stopping, nose running tears. Little One says "Momma sad? It's kay Momma..." Bless his sweetheart.

The past few days I have been a cranky, teary-eyed momma. My temper is short. I have an enormous uterus, and I'm not sleeping well, and I'm having lots of sporadic contractions, and it is stinking HOT in Texas (104 degrees at five in the evening!). So many times today I have had to ask the Lord for grace and forgiveness because of the way I responded to Little One. Sometimes I fail to forget that he is just two. He did nothing wrong when he wasn't quite tall enough to sit at the table in his "big boy chair" (trying very whole-heartedly) to manage feeding himself yogurt with an awkward spoon - and the dish flipped over and yogurt went everywhere. My response to the mess was anything but full of grace and love.

The other evening Little One had used a not-so-pleasant winy voice with me at the dinner table and I scolded him. Hubs commented on the interaction with "he's just being a mirror of you..." Ouch. Again, another example I could give you of my response not being full of grace and love. But since, I've thought a lot about that comment. And, he's right. My response to the flying dish of yogurt - resulted in a screaming toddler demanding more yogurt. I wonder what his response would have been if mine hadn't been so tense and full of frustration?

I am reminded of the Proverb - A gentle answer turns away wrath. hmmm...

Plus, I've had one of those weeks where it feels like I am giving all the time - and am completely empty as a result. I never quite know what to do when I am feeling this way. Sure, there's things I can do. But, who's going to fold the laundry, and load the dishwasher, while I take the time to take care of me? It seems that if I take time for myself, then the tasks fall behind, and then I am left with more stress. I do know that taking time for myself is a necessity - and I always feel better as a result. But, it comes with a fight with myself if things aren't just so...

Lord, please give me what I need to give to my precious family, to walk fully through these last days of my pregnancy and to reflect and rest in you. Tomorrow is a new day, and your mercy will be new. For that, I am sincerely grateful.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Are you a tired momma? Read this for some wonderfully sweet encouragement.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buckets o' Fun!

We have new boots - that are a little cooler than miderman boots. These are garden boots my mom bought him last summer on clearance at Target. They are still a little big. Little One calls them Elmer boots. (There's a blue puppet named Elmer at Sunday School) This morning he couldn't resist taking a dip in a bucket full of water - boots, pj's and all.

This is how he came downstairs from his nap today. He told me he was a "baseball player! Running so fast!" It looks to me that he is ready for the pool....
Check out the combo bed-head hat-hair! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

You know your in your last trimester when...

  • You are down to about two outfits, because all of your maternity clothes barely fit, yet you can't justify spending money on clothes that will only be worn for one month.
  • Things stay on the floor - simply because it is too much to bend over to pick it up.
  • Water gives you heartburn.
  • There are not enough pillows in your bed to support all the different parts of your body that needs to be supported.
  • You're counting the days based on the number of prenatal vitamins are left in the bottle.
  • You're tired of eating, yet you just can't quite get enough.
  • An amazing amount of tasks get done around your home - and you wonder -why you cant always be this productive when this tired?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Front Loading Washers and Mildew - Help!

Not a pleasant topic, I know. The house that we rent came with a front loading washing machine. I love it - except recently I have noticed that musty mildewey smell when opening the door after it has sat dry for a day. I called the washing machine company asking for cleaning advice, and they said that it was a common problem because the washers are so air-tight. As a result, there is a product called Affresh that is a cleaning tablet designed to kill the mildew if used once a month.

I can guarantee that no one has maintained or cleaned the machine prior to us moving in. Therefore, there is a lot of build up. Last week I scoured the inside of the machine with bleach, and ran the washer with the Affresh tablets twice. There is still a faint smell of mildew, although it is much better. Has anyone out there had this problem - and what have you done to fix it? Do you have any tips for cleaning out and maintaining front loaders - other than what I've already done?

Taking it OFF!

Yesterday I had a great day to myself. Hubs took care of the Little guy and I pretty much played all day. Some of my play included registering at Babies R Us and Target - which I probably should have done months ago - but oh well. It's done now.

Anyway, when I got home Hubs and I were talking upstairs and Little One went downstairs. Pretty soon we heard him say "drawing! green!" and then the sound of a marker cap hitting the tile floor. We scooted downstairs. He had pushed his stool right up to the counter, grabbed a green sharpie out of my pen container and drew on the tile counter top. Hubs and I looked at each other.

"Do they make some kind of sharpie remover?" He asked.

Then I recalled a previous conversation that I had had with Carrie. She had told me that bug repellent - that's right, OFF or anything of the sort - will take permanent marker off. I ran to get our bug spray - sprayed the counter, and viola! It came right off using a paper towel! Easy as pie., it's okay to put something that removes permanent marker on our skin??

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quick Breads

The other day the grocery store had zucchini on sale. Mmmm...zucchini bread! I bought five little squashes and have made four loaves of zucchini bread. Yesterday, I went to a local coffee shop and they had a bread that was called haven bread - and it was loaded with nuts, raisins, carrots, coconut, and I have no idea what else. It was delicious! I am finding that quick breads are a great snack for this prego momma. I need little protein boosts throughout the day - and breads with good things baked inside are the perfect answer.

So, my question for you is do you have any recipes for quick bread that you'd like to share?

Here's mine for zucchini bread. Actually, it's a recipe from my Aunt Polly - and it's totally my favorite.

Aunt Polly's Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 teas salt
3 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup oil
2 1/2 Cup shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teas soda
1 teas baking powder
1/2 cup raisins

Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients together and combine with squash, eggs, oil, raisins and nuts. Mix well. Divide mixture into two greased bread pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day Weekend - Me and the Boys!

Over the weekend Grandpa, Great Grandpa and Uncle Carter came to visit. They were here for two days - which went very quickly! It was such a treat to have them here. The highlight for Little One is that he got to check out Uncle Carter's bass guitar. They had a couple of quality jam sessions - at which The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Old McDonald were the biggest hits. :) And now Little One knows where to locate the Neck, Bridge, Strings, Knobs on the guitar.

The four generations - All of these men have the same name - and there were three whom preceded them - our son is the VIIth.
They left early Sunday morning - giving us a day to relax. We tried out another church - and then just rested and relaxed for most of the afternoon. Thank you Dad, Carter and Grandpa for coming out and seeing us - we love you and look forward to next time!

play care for mom care

Since moving to Texas, I've had a hard time finding a babysitter. There is something to be said living in a community with family and friends that you know and trust. I know that will come with time, I just haven't found it yet. We have used the local YMCA numerous times, as they host parents nights out, and we get 12 hours of off-site care (meaning the parents don't have to be on the campus) a year with our membership.

Lately, Little One and I have needed some space. I find that there are days when he gets super craby - and I get super frustrated - and we need a break from each other! I feel a little guilty saying this - but that's really the truth.

A couple of weeks ago I was taking Little One to get his haircut and noticed a brand new place called a playcare. My interest was perked - and I popped my head in to get some details.

It's a drop in day-care center. Open from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm (later on weekends). No need to make an appt. All workers are required to take early childhood classes - and have gone through criminal checks and all that stuff. Walking through the center my child-care background was thoroughly impressed - and I was even more impressed with the director as she was showing me around. They'll even feed him a meal if we ask, for a few more bucks.

The best part, is the cost. There is a once a year 35.00 fee - and then they charge an hourly fee. The hourly fee is less than what I would pay a babysitter - no complaints here!

Right now my plan is to give myself a couple of hours a week - of me time - and he can have his time at the playcare. I think it's worth it - for I know I am a better mom if I have some uninterrupted time for me.

Little One LOVES our new playcare find and calls it school. I have no idea how he put that all together - as we have never talked about "school" before. He gets to have interaction with other kids, new activities, and new toys. Every time I have picked him up he is giggles and grins.

Last night Hubs and I wanted to go out to dinner. We dropped him off at the playcare - and on the way there Little One was telling me he was tired. We had had a super busy weekend, and he had been a grouch and testy all day long. I was really tempted to cancel - but knew the date night was important to Hubs - and figured Little One would probably just go to sleep at the center.


When we returned from our dinner out at 10:00 pm, he was WIDE awake and having a ton of fun. This morning he has been much more independent and very obedient. Plus, Hubs and I had a very relaxing and enjoyable time - both feeling refreshed and renewed in our relationship. As Hubs put it this morning: "He got a break, we got a break, and everyone's happy!"

I am realizing that there are so many sides to look at when making my "mom" decisions. There are times when abandoning the "common sense" plan and schedule is actually much more beneficial - for everyone involved. I am learning that there is so much value is saying "Why not?" verses "We shouldn't" or "We can't". And I am learning that we need to have little breaks from one another - and that's perfectly okay.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Shoo Fly!!

Friday evening a bug exterminating service sales guy knocked on our door (AKA My Life-Saver). We were an easy sell. First of all, he had come earlier in the evening before Hubs got home and stopped mid-sales pitch and said:

"Would you like me to come back when your husband is home so you can decide on this together?"


Second of all, he had a picture and a name for the little bugs I have been finding around our home - that I had never seen before moving to Texas. He even gave me an explanation as to why and how they get in our home. I thought it was because I wasn't keeping our house clean enough or something of the sort. Nope! It turns out this is a common problem.

Third, it's been on my list to research and find a bug service. In Colorado, we never needed such a service. Not so here. Little One has received so many bug bites this spring - and I am so sick of killing spiders and whatever else happens to crawl my way. We've found some big guys creepin around. And, we have an aunt farm that likes to move around our backyard - from our patio furniture, to underneath the planter, to who knows where else. Little One now walks around the planter saying "ton of ants!!" Because momma's been saying those exact words the past couple of days. Every time we water the nest is disturbed - and they come bustling out. Every time I have found their hide out - I treat with ant killer - and they locate a new home. The bug man said that really, only 20% of the ants die when they are treated, and 80% of them move to a new place. Ha! And they thought they were tricking me.

So, they are scheduled to come today and shoo the bugs away. The salesman gave us fair warning that after the treatment there will be an emergence of bugs because their homes will be destroyed. Oh great - at least I had fair warning.

Then there are the fruit flies. The question of the month has been "WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?" Originally I thought that they were living in our house plants - so I banned all of my two house plants to the garage. They still buzzed around and drove me absolutely crazy. Well, I figured it out this weekend. It's my pretty fruit basket that I had sitting on my island. I keep (kept) it filled with fresh fruit - and that seems to be their main attraction. I asked the bug guy and he said put all fruit away in the fridge - and cover the drain at night. They are drawn to moisture. I did that - and they are gone after three days. But I do miss my fruit basket.

Does anyone have some handy tips as to how to get rid of fruit flies without banning the fruit to the fridge?

I can tell you what doesn't work - These little sticky fly traps.

It cracks me up how they painted little flies on the trap to draw the real fly in. I had this hanging in various places in my kitchen for a week (I even put it in the middle of my fruit basket) and caught not one fly - big or small. The fly-swatter is a much more efficient tool - and Little One now knows the reality that it is not a pretend guitar - but we "Hit Bugs!" with it. :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Random thoughts from the expectant mother.

  • Today I got out all of Little One's newborn clothes. Oh the sweet memories! Meanwhile he was climbing boxes in the closet, hanging on the rail shouting: "doing 3 shinups! 4 shinups!" Translation: he saw a sesame street where one of the actors was doing chin-ups and counting as he went. This is the only place I can think that he learned about chin-ups - as his momma certainly isn't doing them!
  • I ran into a mom at the Pediatrician yesterday who recommended I look into a local Stroller Strides group. It's the first I've heard of it - anyone else familiar? It's really interesting that this meeting happened - because I have been longing (like crazy!) for the prenatal water aerobics class I attended before and after the birth of Little One. I can't find anything like that around here. Maybe this will be a good option.
  • I am definitely in nesting mode - as I have a list of recipes to cook and tons of unfinished projects that I started last week and am determined to finish by tomorrow. (Ha!! :)
  • This morning I made an early morning trip to the grocery store to buy more blueberries. I bought some last night, and decided they were such a good deal I needed more. Now I need to go freeze them! *Was it really worth a 6:45 trip to the store??*
  • I am stumped about what to do with Baby Brother's nursery. My original thought (back when Little One was three months old or something) was to reuse all of Little One's crib bedding - we got it from Pottery Barn Kids and it's so cute. BUT - Little One is totally attached to the quilt - and it's kinda become his thing. I don't really want to spend a ton, I don't know if I should even put bumper pads on the crib, and am ready for a new look. But what should that look be?
  • To register or not? There are some things that we will need - but not a whole lot. Did you register on the second time around?
  • Do I get photos taken of my belly? I've seen some really cool ones, and kinda want to - but then don't really. I kinda regret not doing this with Little One - but then I don't. Heather, I wish you were close by so you could just take them - it'd be so much easier with a friend!!
  • Little One went to bed early tonight - Hubs is working late, and I have the house to myself!! Hmm...what should I do? Bake, paint, put away all of these piles around my computer? (where do they come from anyway???) watch a movie? I'll go decide right now.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Words for Thought

One of the gifts we received for our wedding was a subscription to Marriage Partnership a magazine published by Christianity Today. I really enjoy the magazine - it's always a treat when it arrives in my mailbox. This afternoon I was reading the latest issue while Hubs was on the couch playing a computer game. When I finished the magazine, I asked him if he wanted to read it. He replied with a quick "no". At first I was a little offended. My first thought was "Why doesn't he want to read about how we can have a better marriage??" And then, I think the Holy Spirit stepped in and reminded me that every week he gets Sports Illustrated and various Business Magazines that he loves - and he never asks me if I want to read them...and if he were to ask, I would say "no" just as quickly. However, if there is an article that he wants me to read, then he brings it to my attention. And I gladly read it. I know the same would be true of him if I were to do the same...

Anyway, in the current magazine issue I found this article particularly challenging. The author, Jonalyn Grace Fincher, talks about the issue of Love and Respect - two words that are commonly used with the idea of Christian marriage. She writes about how the two aren't really gender specific.

A couple quotes I liked:
  • "Despite my womanhood, I am not a naturally loving person. I act with impatience, stonewalled silence, and selfishness just as quickly as a man...."
  • "I have to get to know him, not what I think he should want, but what he truly wants."
  • "I discovered that I could respect my husband beautifully but fail to love him completely."
  • "Loving him means I unlock my opinions to him. I discover what I uniquely bring to our relationship."
Take some time to read the article - and leave a comment - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, June 6, 2008

happy to you song

We've had so much fun doing birthday things this week. However, it seems we can only take a little birthday each day. We still have about five presents to open!
On Wednesday Daddy took the afternoon off and we went to the children's museum and then out to pizza. When Daddy got home he brought a mylar balloon bouquet home - and that has kept Little One very busy! We also brought out one of his gifts from Grandma W and Aunt Ally, which was an easel. Oh my, that's all he's wanted to do for the past three days - draw and paint! When we got home from the museum all he wanted to do was play with his balloons and his daddy. There was no interest in birthday cake or presents.

Last night we had birthday cake complete with birthday hats and party blowers. He loves for us to sing "hap to you song" and every time we sing his name he erupts with a yeah! and clapping of hands.

Maybe we'll get around to the present part of the birthday this could very well last through the weekend. :)
A Blue's Clues Paw-print cake
We've just learned the best part of being "mama's helper" in the kitchen. :)
Singing "Hap To You Song"
Fun at the children's museum

I took a bunch of pictures that I can't find on my camera??? So, hopefully there will be more fun shots once I figure out what is going on.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two Years Ago Today....

Happy Birthday Little One!

It's the little things...

Last night I took Little One to the pool at the Y - it was hot and we needed to kill some time. On our way out a little girl, about six years old, stopped and looked up at me. With great big excited blue eyes she exclaimed:

"Whoa! Are you going to have a baby?"
"Yes, I am. "
"Oh! My mom already had a baby. She actually had three babies. I'm one of them."
We finished up our conversation and then I told Little One we needed to leave -

"Is that your baby too?"
"Yep, we are going to have two babies in our family."
"Oh Wow!"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

With this ring...

My wedding ring is so symbolic - one of my most treasured lines from our wedding ceremony was when we exchanged our rings and pledged to one another:

"Every time I look at this ring, I'll thank God I'm yours."

A few months ago Hubs lost his wedding ring at the gym. :( We had hopes that someone would turn it in, but there was no such luck. About a month ago, I noticed that my ring finger was getting all puffed up and swollen, and that I really couldn't get my wedding ring off. So, a trip to the jeweler was in order. We needed to replace Hub's ring and we needed to see if they had any tips to get my ring off. The girl at the jewelery store suggested that we cut my ring off - and I wasn't willing to do that. I went home determined to find a way to get that precious ring off my finger. During this same trip, we picked out a new ring for Hubs - one that is titanium and one he won't have to take off when at the gym. However, it wouldn't be in until six weeks.

Well, a little hand soap from Bath and Body Works (thanks Jenny!) was the answer to my problem. I lathered my hand up, and it came right off. Phew!

So, the two of us were now walking around with no wedding rings on. I hated it!

We decided that I needed a new ring too - one that was mama friendly - and one that would fit during and after pregnancy. When we were in San Antonio Hubs picked one out. I love it - instead of a diamond, there is a gold heart - which seems appropriate being that my heart is all about my husband and children. Plus, it is much more practical in my everyday life than wearing a diamond everyday.

The jeweler had to order my ring as well - and it wouldn't be here for three to four weeks.

On Saturday, we received a phone call saying Hubs ring was in. We planned to pick it up on Monday. On Monday, my ring came in the mail - sooner than expected! We received our new rings on the same day. That totally made my day! :)