Thursday, December 31, 2009

Six months down...three to go!

We are in somewhat of a denial that there are less than 12 weeks left in this pregnancy.


I'm not completely sure where 2009 went. Between the birthdays, activities, work, weddings, weekend trips, and watching two children grow, my belly has found the time to expand greatly in what seems like the blink of an eye. We know that March is just around the corner!



This pregnancy is going just fine so far.



Um, well, actually, let me take that back and be quite honest with you: this has been the toughest one yet. I absolutely loved being pregnant with our first...I'll dare say I missed it after she was born. I felt great the entire time and bounced back quickly after she was born.


Number Two was slightly different, probably because he was a 10-pound Butterball who made my back ache like crazy and gave me crazy leg cramps and nerve pain down my leg. Even though he was two pounds heavier and two inches longer than our first, his labor and birth were BY FAR easier and more manageable. (I attribute a lot of that to where I had him, which is where I'll go again with this one...more on that in a later post, since there are lots of varying opinions on it.) ;o)

Now, with Number Three, things are just...different. I ache often, have stronger Braxton Hicks contractions, have difficulty sleeping, and feel quite large for being 6 months pregnant. The looks and comments are daily and include things like, "When are you due? Oh...oh my..." and "Are you sure there's only one in there?" and "Did you calculate your due date right?" My daily mood can usually be summed up as irritable/tired/not fun to live with.



Oh, how I hate to complain, especially since being pregnant is truly a gift from the Lord and should be taken no other way! Please don't get me wrong...we are downright excited for March to come and to meet this little boy or girl (nope, not finding out...not even getting an ultrasound this time).

We know it will be a time of challenge, but we also know that this child will be loved like crazy and adored by his/her big brother and sister. But if you want to know the truth on my current status, there it is above. I'm a tired crazy pregnant lady who is really, really, really looking forward to March. :o) Will I miss being pregnant? Probably, especially since this might be the last one. But I'm realizing that my short stature and small frame wear out quickly, and having bigger than average babies can take its toll on me.

So, there you have it. Six months down, three to go, and feeling large and in charge. :o) Thanks for reading my ramblings and actually liking me throughout the past six months!

Happy New Year to you and yours, and may it be a blessed one!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day - the recap

Merry Christmas (a few days late) to you! Oh, how our day was great! Here's the run-down:



Mr. Caedon cried on and off throughout the night, probably due to the four teeth he's cutting.




My phone alarm went off at 6:15am so I could prep the newly-thawed bread dough for cinnamon rolls, then go back to bed and bake them later.





I heard the crying, footsteps, and commotion...and instantly knew what I'd meet back in bed: Hubby, a little boy and his bear, AND a little girl. At 6:30am. On Christmas morning. Still dark out. *sigh* We attempted to make everyone go back to sleep for at least an hour. It turned into an hour of whispers, laughing, and pretend sleep. While not the best kind of sleep, it was still the funnest kind.




We headed downstairs at 7:30am to make coffee, throw cinnamon buns in the oven, get the camera ready, and start the gift-opening. Hubby read Jesus' birth to us from the Bible (our annual tradition), and the opening commenced. The kiddos loved the fleece blankets we made for them (tie & knot blankets, not sewing machine...very easy!), Danae loved every Hello Kitty item we put in her stocking, and Caedon has been carrying around his new dinosaur like it's attached to him. A small Christmas, but that's what we like!










Next up: Grandma and Grandpa's house (Hubby's parents) to see everyone and open gifts there.



















The kids lasted until 12 or so, then the crying and eye-rubbing began. We headed home for lunch and an afternoon of kid-naps while Hubby and I packed for our trip to NJ to Nana and Papa's house (my parents). I thought about making an awesome Christmas dinner, but when the idea hit us to have Chinese food (just like the Parker's in A Christmas Story), we quickly changed plans and ordered out. Oh, how awesome to just enjoy take-out and watch a movie on Christmas night! We played, laughed, enjoyed food, and played with princess toys, motorcycles, and trucks.





Next: An early Saturday morning departure for NJ. The kids were up at 6:30am (crazy, I know!), so we ate, packed up the car, and were out the door by 7:30am, arriving in time to wake up most of the house. Danae is in love with her cousins, Meagan and Madison, so waking them up was pure joy for her. Saturday brought games, food/snacks, naps, and a visit with my cousin and her family. Her daughter is two days younger than Caedon, so it's fun to see them interact and play (or hit each other...whatever!). :o) At night we did a Secret Santa exchange and a White Elephant exchange, laughing at the crazy things that people brought.




Now I'm sitting here, after a night of continual child-waking, feeling quite exhausted and wondering where 2009 went! It seems that the years go by quicker as you get older!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Happy Snow Angels

This past weekend we experienced our first major snowfall of 2009: somewhere around 9 or 10 inches total. (It looks like more because our WONDERFUL neighbor plowed for us.)



(the view from our back deck)



While our children love to look at the snow, playing in it doesn't seem to come naturally. Oh, yes...they (well, Danae) wanted to get those snowsuits and boots on, don all the usual cold-weather apparel, and get outside. I wanted them out there, too...makes for longer afternoon naps. ;o)




They tried to play with toys and attempted to enjoy the Winter Wonderland.




BUT, once their noses start running, or snow gets in a sleeve, or the hands feel even the slightest twinge of cold, the crying/whining/screaming starts, producing frozen tears and colder faces.



Danae didn't mind it too much. Her limit was about 20-30 minutes...then she'd start the breakdown.







Caedon, on the other hand...well, let's just say getting the snowsuit on was a miracle in and of itself.



He cried. He threw himself on the ground. He got outside and kept an "I'm so annoyed" look on his little face if we wasn't being held or pulled in the sled.



Most likely it was the temperature. Or the feeling of cold snow. Or the chapped cheeks.


Or maybe it was the fact that his new snowsuit is at Nana and Papa's in NJ, so we shoved him into Danae's old 24-month size pink snowsuit, complete with Dora the Explorer boots. Here he is, looking somewhat happy for a second or two, but probably thinking that this Mama-lady is crazy for putting a boy in a pink snowsuit that was too snug.




Yeah, that was probably it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to make your 16-month-old baby look like a 2 year old

I love little boys with curly hair.


Yes, my little man's hair was getting a bit long-ish, and even though Hubby kept pointing out the "mullet look" that was forming, I was trying to hold my ground and NEVER get this kid a haircut.


On Saturday night, I gave in, and the clippers came out.


There he is, reddish curly hair and all.



Big sister, acting as the Barber's Helper.

His little hand on Daddy's knee...it kills me!



Afterward:

Instantly changed from my 16-month-old baby to looking like a tough 2 year old. I must say, he does look rather handsome with a buzzed head, and I'll take him either way! :o)

Monday, December 14, 2009

5 Months...again, late

Here you go, folks...some belly shots for your entertainment. These were taken when I was about a week past 5 months along. But still...they count.





I've been feeling quite large in the belly lately. I don't know what it is, but they say that the belly does get bigger with each pregnancy. And this one is no exception.

Just for fun, we compared my 5-month current belly with those from my previous two pregnancies. Even though I am measuring right on track and not any bigger than the number of weeks I'm at right now, we definitely noticed a size difference.

Of course, it doesn't help when a certain little 4-year-old Princess tells me yesterday, completely out of the blue, "Mommy, you weigh a ton!" When asked what that meant, she said, "Well, that means you have a big number." Ah, yes...out of the mouths of babes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Charlie's Soap: We Have a Winner!

Thanks so much to all of you who entered the Charlie's Soap giveaway! I would have LOVED to win this one myself!



We now have a winner! Using a True Random Number Generator, the lucky winner is...




Ashley Elaine! (comment #13)



Congrats to Ashley!



And keeps your eyes peeled for more giveaways in 2010!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Variety is the spice of life

It's amazing how the blog reflects the week I've been having...the mode that I'm feeling stuck in...the "funk" that has developed...



Between a root canal and a chipped tooth, a prenatal appointment, four dentist appointments, desperately trying to find babysitters, breaking up fights, (Yes, they fight! And it's usually the younger trying to take down the older!), bad puppy behavior (as in, a dozen Buckeyes in the belly of a whale Princess Lucy), finishing Christmas cards, Board meetings, church meetings, two holiday events, gymnastics class, Hubby's church class, learning tons of new stuff at work for a change in position (more on that later), figuring out Christmas gifts, forgetting and missing a writing deadline...the "to-do" list from the past seven days could go on!


And on


And on


I'm usually pretty good at pacing myself. You know, sticking to the daily list that I put together and knocking off the tasks. But not this past week. Without my list, my outside world and my inner world have been utter chaos. Full of "funk". Blah.


So every time I tried to escape and write a post, the words wouldn't come out. They were stuck inside, mixed up with things like "general ledger", "accrued depreciation", "How much of a tournament refund do I owe you?", "Why does the dog smell so bad???", and "Don't bite your big sister's behind ever again!"


Don't get me wrong...I love variety. I thoroughly enjoy the many different hats I get to wear each week, and I know it's a true blessing that I can have such variety and flexibility. But I also know I will have weeks where 40 more things are thrown in, and it all becomes a jumbled mess.


So for now, as I wade through the swamp, know that I'm around, alive, kickin', and getting a larger belly by the minute. ;o) I haven't given up on you, oh blog...but taking the one-year-old football player's sock out of the toilet and body off of his sister's screaming head must come first.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Charlie's Soap: The Giveaway!

Let me get it out now: Oh, how I LOVE Charlie's Soap!





I've been anticipating this post and holding it in for so long. Whew...I feel better.


Charlie's Soap is a blend of natural-based detergents derived from coconut oil...free of dyes, perfumes, and the yucky stuff that most detergents leave behind on your clothing, making it perfect to wash our Baby Boy's cloth diapers in. Besides being non-toxic and biodegradable, Charlie's Soap has met the challenge of keeping the cloth diapers smelling great after each wash load.


And it gets better.


Since we were already users of "free and clear" detergents because of the skin sensitivity issues in our household, I decided to start laundering everything in Charlie's Soap in order to keep the washing machine free of residue build-up left behind by other non-natural detergents. (This is what's recommended by the Charlie's Soap folks.) Our family has continued to stay rash-free and smelling fresh, and our clothing has stayed looking great, too!


And it gets EVEN BETTER!



I recently had the opportunity to try out the Charlie's Soap All-Purpose Cleaner, which is also non-toxic and completely biodegradable. This Cleaner is known to tackle even the toughest "dirt and grime" jobs. It gently removes stains from carpets, laundry, and showers, yet can degrease your car engine safely and effectively! After our recent bathroom remodel (Yes, it's done! And yes, pictures to come this week!), I used the All-Purpose Cleaner to remove the dirt, grime, and dust left behind on the new shower and tub from all of the work that was done. The Cleaner left it looking brand new in a matter of minutes! I just sprayed it on and wiped it right off with a wet cloth...quick and easy!


But you don't have to take my word for it. Just check out the Charlie's Soap website, and you can read up on all of the research that was done on their Laundry Soap and their All-Purpose Cleaner. Nothing but straight facts and honest answers. OH, and while you're there...you might notice the "Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sale!" banner at the top of their home page. It's a great time to get awesome deals on their products!


NOW, you get a chance to win some Charlie's Soap items for yourself! The company is giving one winner the following:

- one bag of Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder
- 16 loads of Charlie's Soap Laundry Liquid (for comparison)
- one sprayer of Charlie's Soap All-Purpose Cleaner
- one Pocket Charlie's (portable version of the All-Purpose)
- one Charlie's Soap grocery tote bag


Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Friday, December 11th.


Here's what you need to do:
1) Check out the Charlie's Soap website by clicking here, then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me something (anything!) you found interesting about their products or the company.


That's it!


To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).


If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fix, Freeze, Feast Winner!

Thanks so much to all of you who commented on the Fix, Freeze, Feast contest post!



The lucky winner has been chosen (using a True Random Number Generator from Random.org), and...



the winner is...



Sara over at There she grows (Comment #2)



Congrats! Sara will be receiving a copy of “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik (Storey Publishing, 2007).




And...calling all Charlie's Soap users or those who are looking for an AWESOME natural laundry product! We have a great Charlie's Soap giveaway coming next week! Keep your eyes peeled! :o)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Choosing your words carefully...

This past week has been challenging, to say the least. Although the tub and shower walls are in, we still can't use them until all of the drywall is done. It's been a week of showering at our neighbors and me looking like a mess for most of the time. But soon...very soon...it will all be done. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!



Not having a functioning main bathroom can really take a toll on my attitude. Wow! I have been a snippy, cranky lady this week, and I've had to work extra hard to not blow my top or say things I shouldn't say. Yes, I do admit...some of the things that came out of my mouth in the past week weren't so nice, and I had to be really, really careful in choosing my words. Thank God that some of the things my kids say and do have provided a bit of comic relief.



Take this little guy, for example...






I went upstairs for two minutes while he and his big sister shared a snack of Sun Chips, and this is what I found when I came back down. I thought my words through, as did he when he realized he was caught and in trouble. I took enough time to snap a picture or two, call Hubby in to see what happened, and suppress a smile before scolding him for eating the food that was to be the next morning's breakfast.



Of course, besides being snippy about not having a bathroom, pregnancy does all kinds of amazing things for your mental health. Right, ladies??? From irrational thoughts to hating all clothing, I've felt it all over the past two weeks. So when the following conversation ensued yesterday, my words and thoughts had to be picked through very carefully...



Me (wearing a pair of velor maternity pants, borrowed from a friend): Danae, what do you think of these pants on me?


Danae (while swiping one hand across my leg): They're okay. (Then she runs off and plays.)

A little while later, as we are getting shoes and coats on to go out the door...

Danae: Mama, I really like those blue pants on you. (Feels them.) They're so soft...and...(longer pause)...jiggly.


Me (not sure what to say): Did you just say 'jiggly'? What does that mean?


Danae: Oh, well, you know...when you move, they go like this. AND SHE PROCEEDS TO MOVE HER LOWER BODY AS IF SHE WERE BEYONCE!






Nice...reeeeeal nice. I would have run upstairs and changed, but since coats and shoes were all on, time didn't allow for such a luxury. Stay in there words. Stay. in. there.

But, honestly, how can anyone stay upset at those two faces?! :o) Life will go on, projects will get done, so I need to keep it all in check.
Have a happy Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review...and a Giveaway!

I try to stay organized.


I really, really do.


I have to-do lists, a chore chart, and lists for my to-do lists. I L.O.V.E. crossing things off of my lists, feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment every time I click my pen and put a checkmark in the little box.


But there’s one department that seems to get pushed back and neglected almost every weeknight.


Dinner.


My afternoons are filled with work and completing tasks, and the duty of “figure out dinner” usually gets pushed back until 5:00pm…when it’s too late to get a really awesome dinner prepped, in the oven, and on the table within an hour. That’s when I look through the refrigerator and pantry, trying to throw things together and make it taste good without admitting defeat and offering bowls of cereal. (Although, I wouldn’t mind that…I absolutely love cereal…more on that at a later time.)


A solution to this dilemma arrived a few weeks ago: a really AWESOME book that I was recently given to review, entitled “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik (Storey Publishing, 2007). This book is chock-full of delicious recipes that are prepared ahead of time, in bulk, and easily frozen – with directions to attach! There are over 125 recipes that include meat and meatless main dishes, sides, soups, marinades, breakfast items, and even cookies. Each recipe is detailed and descriptive, telling you exactly what ingredients you need, how many freezer bags, how to label the bags, and how to prepare the food. Then, all you do is get your ingredients, follow the directions, and TA-DA! You have several future meals in your freezer, ready to go when you need them. Just follow the directions, and you will have dinner on the table in no time.




Last week I made the Sticky Ribs (p. 126), Rice Pilaf (p. 151), and Dave’s Swamp Blues Barbecued Chicken (p. 30). All received a "thumbs up" from Hubby and the kiddos, with Hubby saying that the pork ribs were “one of the best-tasting and most tender pieces of pork he has ever had.” Plus, now I have several more servings of each recipe in my deep freezer for future meals. Don’t you just love finding solutions to your problems? :o)


Now, YOU get a chance to WIN a copy of “Fix, Freeze, Feast” and try it out for yourself! Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Sunday, November 22nd.


Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you currently do to get dinner on the table. Any creative secrets that you can share?


That's it!


To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).


If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!

Fuzzi Bunz Winner!

Wow! Thank you to so many of you who entered the Fuzzi Bunz diaper giveaway! I was floored to see 78 comments on that post!



So, the lucky winner has been chosen (using a True Random Number Generator from Random.org), and...


the winner is...


Jodi over at Granola Mom 4 God (Comment #4)



Congrats! You should be receiving an e-mail from me. If not, please contact me ASAP.



Thanks again to Bryana at Diaper Junction for providing the Fuzzi Bunz diaper for our winner!





And be on the lookout! Another giveaway is coming this week, and one in December!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the walls came tumbling down...

The bathroom project is in full swing!



Here's a sneak peek:




Yes, that's my shower and tub, filled with wall debris from Hubby's handy-work. He's in charge of this, the vanity, and the flooring. My baby is the painting.



So, it looks like we are without a tub and shower for at least a day or so. Anyone want to let us clean up at their house? ;o)



Before and after pics to come...once everything is done!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scuttery Thoughts

You have been the bane of my existence for almost one week now.



Last Saturday morning, I dismissed the slight scurrying I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye for maybe a million-legged bug (of which we have no shortage). But deep down I knew it.



You were the mouse. In my house. And you HAD to go.



Hubby set the traps, complete with a tasty peanut butter treat.



But they were no match for you. In fact, your picky palate didn't go for it. Maybe you were allergic to peanuts.



For a day or two we thought you left. Until we noticed the remnant of candy wrappers in and underneath my stove burners. Boy, was I steamed.



You liked Danae's candy treats...so much, in fact, that you stole two Tootsie Rolls and two Hershey's Kisses. Then we got smart.



That last Tootsie on the trap did you in, huh? Maybe next time you won't make your eyes bigger than your stomach.



Oh, wait...there won't be a next time. You're outside, in a trash can, and I'm inside praying that your potential little friends get the hint. This isn't Candy Haven, so stay out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where's Waldo Caedon? - Wordless Wednesday Edition


Can you spot him???

This is why we do not let our 15-month-old boy out of our arms in stores...he tends to run away and hide. And so it begins. :o)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fuzzi Bunz Review and Giveaway!

Many of you know that we cloth diaper big boy Caedon (and will cloth diaper baby #3). After much research and testing of diapers last year, we decided on a brand and instantly loved their ease of use and absorbability.


However, the Brute has been leaking through his cloth diapers at every bedtime for the past several weeks. It’s not fun to change a pee-drenched boy and his crib sheets every morning…makes for a lot of laundry! We could not figure out the problem; Caedon is within the weight range for the diaper, and nothing has changed in our use or washing.


Something needed to change...and not more crib sheets!



Thanks to Bryana over at Diaper Junction, I had the chance to try out an awesome, orange-colored Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size pocket diaper (in size Large) on Caedon.




It was "diaper love" from the beginning! From the thick, plush insert to the majorly adjustable snap/elastic system, this diaper seems to correct so many problems that people have with cloth diapers. I can adjust the elastic at the waist and the legs just by picking a different snap, making my Brute look comfy and leak-free every time. Most babies fit into Fuzzi Bunz's size Small or size Medium, eliminating the need to buy several different size diapers as baby grows! Perfect!


We realized that the Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size diaper was a keeper when Caedon woke up dry after a full night's sleep...almost 12 hours straight! No wetness, no sheets to wash! Just one happy, cute kid!





Now you can have the chance to try out a Fuzzi Bunz diaper! Diaper Junction, an awesome online store (and physical store located in Virginia Beach, VA) is dedicated to helping families make "greener" choices for babies and toddlers by providing a variety of cloth diapers, accessories, baby gear, and items for breastfeeding mamas.



One winner will receive a Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size pocket diaper, (retail $17.95), in his/her choice of size and color, from Diaper Junction! Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Saturday, November 14th.


Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on this post. Any 'ol comment will do!

That's it!

To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).


If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!


Happy diapering! :o)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And the color is...

Is the room color blue?














Nooo...that's the primer...tinted for a darker color. :)







Here she is, in all of her almost-finished glory! (We still need to touch-up the trim, upgrade the outlets, put on new outlet covers, and decorate.)












Yup, we chose Royal Red, by Olympic. (Low-odor, safe-smelling stuff...I was a happy pregnant lady.) We were a bit scared before the first coat dried, since it looked a little more raspberry-ish. But once it dried and the second coat went up, we fell in love. The room is large, so the darker color doesn't really affect it's size appearance. It's much more cozy and inviting...the way we wanted it. :)

Now that I totally dislike wallpaper, the kitchen project is on hold until later in 2010. Next up: the bathroom!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Personalized Baby Spoon Winner!


Thanks SO much to all of you who entered the personalized baby spoon contest from Lisa Leonard Designs!



Our winner is...



Whitney!



Congrats! If you did not receive an e-mail requesting your shipping and engraving information, please contact me.



Coming tomorrow:

* Living room pictures (the painting is DONE - praise GOD!)



Coming up in the next week or two:

* Fuzzi Bunz giveaway

* Charlie's Soap giveaway

Friday, October 30, 2009

4 Months

Is it really possible that I am over 4 months preggos...halfway already?! Are you sure?






Well, the pics seem to show the proof. (And thanks to my little Peanut for taking them!) :o)




How do you like the herniated belly button? Real attractive, huh? Last week, my dermatologist felt the need to point it out to me...as if I didn't notice the finger-like object projecting from my midsection or have it there with my first two babies. I should have acted totally shocked and grossed out when she said, "Hey, look! Did you know you have an umbilical hernia?" Ha!



Again, don't forget about the jewelry giveaway...AND, keep watching for a few more giveaways in November...such as a Fuzzi Bunz One Size cloth diaper and a cool package from Charlie's Soap. Oh, I just love giving things away!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gymnastics...and some reminders

Thanks to many of you, Peanut came in 2nd place in the Trix video contest a few months ago and won money to be used toward educational classes and/or items. So, we now present to you...our gymnast (in the blue and brown). (Sorry for the not-so-good pictures taken through a glass window. You understand.) :o)


Warm-ups

Stretching (She'll love me for this pic when she's older!)



Fun time!


She had her very first gymnastics class last night, and to say that she was excited is a huge understatement! She definitely wasn't the leader of the pack, as most of the kids in her Chipmunks group had already been there before. But she did have loads of fun, 45 minutes of movement, and details to give to every listening ear today.



So, there we shall be, at the gymnastics place every Tuesday night from now until sometime next year.




OH, and a few reminders...


1) The Lisa Leonard Designs giveaway posted about here ends this Saturday, so if you haven't read the post, checked out Lisa's site, and commented, get to it!



2) Remember the Make Time for CHANGE post from sometime in September about Frigidaire's new campaign? If not, click on over and learn about spending your extra hour coming this Sunday with/for a child.



Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm here, I promise!

Sorry for the lack of posts for the past few days.


Nope, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth.


Didn't go on a luxurious vacation with my husband. Just the two of us. Alone. *sigh*


We've been hard at work, taking off wallpaper from the ceiling (wait...I guess it should be called ceiling paper, right?), fixing holes in the ceiling, sanding, and slapping primer up on the ceiling and walls.


But guess what??? The ENTIRE room is ready for paint! This week! YES! Some evening this week, in the midst of three separate church meetings and taking Peanut to her first gymnastics class, we'll find the time to paint the ceiling a nice white and the walls...well, again...you'll just have to wait and see! :o)


For now, I'm going to go and try to get the primer out of my hair and clothing in preparation for the real color to get on there. Can't wait until this room is done!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life's teachable moments and Visa

Some people experience trials and struggles (we'll call them "teachable moments") in small doses throughout their lives. A small problem one month, a family issue two months later, and so on.


Not us. After over 7 years of marriage, Hubby and I have realized (and accepted) the fact that God likes to slam us with multiple "teachable moments" at once. It was difficult at first to navigate through those muddy waters when life issues mounted on our backs, but I must say we've gotten a ton better at it.


Here's a glimpse of the past week in our lives (yes, it all was within one week). I made it into a Visa commercial for you to enjoy. :)



* New parts needed for Hubby's truck. Cost: Waaay more than we (or you) would ever expect.


* No money to pay people at work (which is what most non-profits are experiencing these days). Cost: A little less income, a little more prayer, and a lot more God-trusting.


* Baby boy burns his hand, resulting in a trip to the ER, several doctor's visits, and hours of work pushed back. Cost: Lots of pain and tears, $0 (thank you, God, for his awesome health insurance!), and more time spent playing work catch-up.


* After a week of wallpaper removal, wall spackling, and wall sanding, the primer finally went up, only to discover the ceiling needs more work than we thought. Cost: A few more hours of work, $20 for yet another gallon of primer, and 2 more days behind schedule (the schedule we set in our minds, that is).


* A blinking engine light in my car, along with other vehicular issues. Cost: The vomit that almost came out of my mouth when the mechanic told me his total, the love and admiration in my heart when Hubby said he could do most of that work himself (saving us a boat-load of money), some more schedule-juggling, and a little more time playing catch-up at work.


* A hole in the shower wall after the soap holder (and surrounding grout) fall off into the tub, revealing the lovely-looking plaster wall and nastiness therein. Cost: Moving up the bathroom project by a few months in our timeline of projects and some time figuring out where the money will come from. Actual $ cost: Oh, who knows.


* Dog rips out stuffing from the already-existing large holes in our old, decrepit couch. Cost: whatever it costs to get a new couch (the already decided upon Christmas present between Hubby and I)




* Two beautiful children, a devoted and snazzy husband, a warm home to live in, coffee to drink (just HAD to throw that one in there), a beyond-flexible job, health insurance, family and friends who love us and lift us up in prayer, and a God who promises to NEVER give us more than we can handle: PRICELESS.



We may not understand it all, including the "whys" of life. But we do believe that it all happens for a reason, and if it's just to grow stronger in our faith, then so be it.



"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our First Giveaway!

You have NO idea how excited I am write this!


EXCITED!!!


I have a giveaway for you...my first one, at that!


I recently came across Lisa Leonard Designs, and her awesome jewelry was too much for me to handle! As I write this, I'm telling my husband to get on our other computer so I can show him what's on my Christmas list: the "be still" necklace...this simple yet stylish sterling ring...the "sweetheart tree" necklace...my list goes on! Not only is this woman beautiful and creative, Lisa's a mom who gets to do what she truly enjoys. How cool is that?!


So, interested in winning something? One lucky person will win a personalized baby spoon from Lisa Leonard Designs with your child's name on it!





All you have to do is 1) check out Lisa's website by clicking here, then 2) leave a comment on this post before midnight on Saturday, October 31st telling me what design or item of Lisa's you liked the most, as well as your e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the big winner. It's that simple!


And remember: the coupon code for 2 chix (SEEBESSRUN) is still good up until the 31st as well.


Happy shopping! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Day of Remembering

Four years ago today, our friends Clark and Kara experienced a loss that most people never have to go through.





I'll never, ever forget Kara's beyond-long hospitalization, the small group girls' visits to her room, her visit to me while in labor with Danae and again the day my girl was born, and hearing the news two days later that Baby Logan was born but only lived a short while.





Today we remember Logan, Danae's buddy already in Heaven. Clark, Kara, and family are always close to my heart at this time of year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Birthday Incident

We tried to make Peanut's 4th birthday as fun as possible, despite the freezing rain and the fact that both Daddy and Mommy had to go to work for a bit.



We gave her presents in the morning (yes, she got up with us, as excited as could be, at 6:30AM), sang to her, put on her "Birthday Princess" button, declined the shots at her four-year check-up (seriously, I'm not going to make my kid get shots on her birthday!), took her out to dinner (her choice: Chinese food), and took her shopping for a new outfit. All in all, I think she had a fun birthday, despite the mid-morning madness.



Ooohh, yes...the mid-morning madness. Our neighbor was babysitting Caedon while I had Danae at the doctor's, and during that short time, my little man managed to touch their wood-burning stove and burn his right hand. Badly. Just five minutes before I got there. Five. stinking. minutes. Just imagine the things flowing through my head: if only I had not stopped at the house before picking him up, if only I hadn't asked the doctor that extra question, if only...



So, through my poor boy's screaming, we managed to get him home and let me look at his hand, only to discover big blisters had already formed on all five fingertips and one big one on the palm. After a tearful call to Hubby and a call to his doctor, Birthday Girl headed over to the babysitter's and Caedon and I headed in to the ER.



The ER took us right away, saying that burns to the hand are the absolute most painful. The nurses quickly asked how much he weighed and gave him Motrin, Tylenol with Codeine, and one other thing to help with the pain. They put on saline, bandaged the hand, had to re-bandage it after he ripped the gauze off, and had me hold him until the meds kicked in. After a short 30-minute nap, the screaming and thrashing was much less. One more re-bandage, and we were sent home.




His pediatrician saw him this morning, opened the bandage, saw that the palm blister was massive and hadn't broken open, and re-wrapped his hand. Overall, Caedon seems to have gotten used to the bandaging and the fact that he will have a club for a hand for a few days.


Yup, back to his old climbing, boyish ways! :) Please pray for continued healing and no infection!

Friday, October 16, 2009

She's now 4...how'd that happen?!

This little lady came into our lives 4 years ago today.




And we were forever blessed and changed.


She's an intelligent beauty, a joy to be around, a chatterbox beyond the regular sort, my fellow snuggler, a true Daddy's girl, and my best friend.


We sit here, truly wondering where the last 4 years went...and looking forward to the many adventures we have to come.


Happy 4th Birthday, Princess Danae. We love you forever and always!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wallpaper

I don't like wallpaper.


In fact, we are enemies right now.


We are in the throes of a big living room project, which (if you haven't guessed by now) involves wallpaper removal. It's a big room, so lots and lots of wallpaper removal. Wallpaper that's been on plaster walls for probably 80+ years. NO.LIE.


This stuff is like a second skin. There's nothing else under there. Just paper against plaster. But it's on there so snug, and the glue is so thick. And I no likey.


But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Soon...very, very soon...this paper will be off. And the primer will go up. And my ceiling will be painted white. And my walls will be...well, I'm not going to give that one away quite yet. I will say, though, that they won't be your ordinary tan, cream, or even pale color. You'll just have to tune in sometime next week to find out! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

3 months...a little late

I need to play catch up with most things lately...emails, birthday gifts, pictures. But I thought I'd post these...better late than never! :)


3 months preggers on September 24:




(sorry for the blurriness!)

It's hard to believe that almost 17 weeks of this pregnancy have gone by already! It feels like it's going by faster than the first two did. Probably because we are constantly on the go and running after two little babes plus a dog. That would do it.

Have a happy Monday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

She's My Daughter

Hubby says she's just like me.


Sassy yet snuggly. Smart...especially when it comes to getting her way. Gets frustrated easily. Loves her brother tremendously. Very helpful. Independent.


Maybe we've taken the independent thing a little too far.




Here's what I found out happened one morning this week when Danae took the dog out to "do her business". Danae apparently had to go, too. And, in her mind, doing this (notice the wet ground) was probably much more efficient than running in the house to use the bathroom.


That's right. Efficient and a multitasker. She's my girl.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Cloth Diapers and Planet Ultra Detergent

Many of you know by now that we decided to cloth diaper our youngest last year when he was born. While many of our friends were “going cloth” with their babies, we didn’t just jump on the band wagon. ;o) Friends provided us with websites to check out, price comparisons to read, brands to research…and in the end, we feel we made a cost-effective decision that was right for our household. We will also use the diapers with #3 when he/she debuts in March, saving even more money. Cha-ching!

However, moving to a bigger house four months ago also brought with it laundering challenges. We found out within a week or two that we have very, very (and I do mean VERY) hard water. Besides noticing that my bath towels were coming out dingy after a full wash cycle, we also noticed the telltale odor that stayed in the baby’s cloth diapers, even after two wash cycles. The real kicker, though, was when we would change his diaper and the ammonia smell was so strong it would burn his skin and our nostrils. Really, really not cool.

I recently had the opportunity to try out Planet Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent on Caedon’s diapers to see if it would kill the mineral build-up problem. You see, you can’t just wash cloth diapers with any old detergent, as most of them on the market have additives and stuff that stays in your clothes to keep them (and you) smelling fresh. With cloth diapers, additives and build-up are a nightmare and make it so that the diapers don’t get fully clean, leading to yucky smells. Planet Ultra is free of dyes, phosphates, softeners and enzymes, making it a perfect candidate for cloth.

The first diaper load came out smelling clean and ammonia-free. Success! The second load, however, contained a lot more, umm, “soiled” diapers, and after the two wash cycles, I wasn’t too happy with the odor coming from my washing machine. The diapers smelled like I just rinsed them with the hose outside and did nothing else. Bummer. (I did follow all instructions, adding the correct amount at the right time, etc.) I did one last wash cycle, adding a little white vinegar to the water (which is known to help with hard water issues), and that did the trick.

While I do praise Planet for making an eco-friendly detergent that has great potential for clothing, I cannot say I’d use it again for my cloth diapers. I need my son’s hiney-coverings to come out clean after each wash and not need a third wash cycle. While Planet is probably great for regular clothing and softer water, I’m not so sure it can handle the hard water flowing through my house.

At this point, I might need to just stick with vinegar (Sarah’s suggestion) and then bleach the diapers once per month, as suggested by BumGenius (the diaper brand we use).


If you have hard water and/or if you cloth diaper, do you have a favorite detergent that you use? Any recommendations for me?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Susan G. Komen Soapbox

I'm going to get on my soapbox for a minute. And I hope I don't offend you.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you'll be seeing more and more products in the stores that support breast cancer research, treatment, awareness, etc. Pink will be everywhere, making it difficult to leave the candy aisle without those too cool rosy M&M's .


While I truly believe supporting the research and destruction of this horrible disease is of great importance, I also think you need to be educated in the decisions you make.


Most (if not all) of the products and campaigns you see out there support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. You probably have also heard of Komen for the Cure, the Breast Cancer 3-Day, and other various runs/walks intended to raise money for the organization.


BUT, what you probably won't see reported is the fact that Komen is a huge support for Planned Parenthood and gives massive dollars to that organization every year. YES. The same Planned Parenthood that advocates killing children in the womb and performs HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of potential cancer-causing abortions every year gets beaucoup bucks from the very organization that claims to want to eradicate another form of cancer. Unbelievable.


Why am I writing all of this? To inform you. If you are a pro-lifer, a survivor of cancer, a witness of someone else's cancer battle, or even a pro-choicer who doesn't want to be duped, I URGE you to be informed and to put your money to use by another breast cancer research group. Even though Komen might have the biggest campaign, there ARE others out there! Do your homework and know where your money is going.


Ok...I'll step down from my soapbox now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2 Chix...and 20% off!

Here we go...time to dig out the maternity clothes that I have and hit up my friends for the borrowings. I'm blessed with friends who lovingly lend out their clothing...you rock! :o)

At three months preggos, I'm surprisingly still fitting into much of my regular clothing...with the exception of tops. Many of my "cooler" or "modern" tops now hit me in the belly button region, and walking around with the lower-half of your belly hanging out isn't too cool these days. You can get away with it when you're 3, but not when you're 30.

On the flip side, I'm not too fond of many of the maternity tops out there. You're already feeling house-ish, and many tops take away the form-fitting, stylish look you're going for. With my first two pregnancies, I felt like I was wearing different colored tents from months 5 through 9. Not cool.


SO, SO, SO not the case over at 2 chix.
These people know how to make you feel good about the way you dress! From the 40-week skirt to maternity tanks, tees, and hoodies, you can look great through the whole nine months. They even have funny tees for dads-to-be. Go on over and check 'em out: http://www.2chix.com/.
Leave a comment here letting everyone know your fav item and what you'd stick on your pregnancy wish-list. ;o) I'm just curious what people like these days.
AND, if you find something you want to buy, here's a little treat for you: use coupon code SEEBESSRUN at check out, and you'll get 20% off your order! How cool!
This offer is good through October 31 2009, so act fast! And Happy Shopping!