Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008 Adventures

Beware, this could get pretty long, although I don't know yet. I'm still feeling remarkably weak after our adventure. Also, if you have a weak stomach don't read this. I tried to leave out as much bad stuff as possible but well . . .Here is the whole story:

We left Ohio at about 5:30 pm last Tuesday to travel part of the way to visit my family in Kansas. We heard that there might be a little snow/ice mix but we left anyway. Traffic was pretty bad about 15 minutes after leaving home. We thought it was just the section of road we were on and that it would clear up soon. It did, eventually and we hit Indianapolis just slightly off schedule. Then the fun began. In the 58 mile stretch between Indianapolis and Terre Haute, IN, we spent about 7 hours . . . on the Highway . . . most of it with the car in park . . . with an 11 month-old baby. Abigail really did remarkably well seeing as her bedtime had passed by many many hours. She slept part of that time on my lap, since the car was in park or we were going until 5 miles an hour!

We were finally able to pull off the highway at a small town in Indiana. The place was absolutely packed. It looked like a refuge camp (this was at 1 am). We stopped for gas, a bathroom break, and I ran into one motel to see if we could get a room. Since I could see people sleeping in the lobby, and by the pool, I don't think I need to go into detail that there was no room for us in that Inn.

We decided to just drive on. There was no point in stopping. Abigail doesn't sleep all that well in her car seat anyway, and the car was a bit too cramped for Andrew or I to do any sleeping. Since everyone had gotten off at this one exit, the roads were clear and we were able to make it another few hours. We stopped at an exit around 3 am (2 am central time) that had two hotels. We pulled up to the first one and I was told that there were NO rooms! I felt hopeless but we decided to try the second one anyway. Well, the Relax Inn did have a room, just one, and it was a smoking room but we took it anyway.

Abigail seemed to realize that we NEEDED to sleep because she proceeded to scream her brains out in our hotel room once we stopped. I did everything I could to keep her quiet. Nursing, patting, holding her hand, etc. . .none of it worked. Since we had a king sized bed, I finally brought her to bed with us and she fell asleep after a few minutes. I didn't sleep all that well, however, because every so often she would wake up with a loud scream. Very startling. I might have slept 3 or 4 hours. She woke us up at 7 am (8 am - Ohio time) and was ready to go for the day. So, instead of listening to her cry anymore, we got up and left.

The rest of that day was pretty uneventful. We actually made it in time for the Christmas Eve service (we were 15 minutes late). Abigail didn't sleep all that well for the next few nights. Travel always throws off her schedule a bit and sharing a room with us is NEVER good. She wants to be near us but when she gets near us, she wants to play! Anyway, the saga continues . . .

We had a very nice Christmas. It was wonderful to see all my family and to have them get to know Abigail better. She is at a very fun age right now! :) Then it was time for the BUG . . .

On Saturday night, we had a large meal of pizza, fruit, and veggies. Abigail woke up around 10:30 pm crying, so I nursed her and put her back to sleep. I decided to head to bed, since I was feeling very bloated and well . . . rumbly in the tummy.

Andrew stayed up to watch a movie. I could not sleep. When he came to bed around midnight, I still had not been asleep. Of course, I was using the bathroom frequently, as well. Around 12:45 pm, I heard a splat and then a cry from Abigail's crib. I rushed over to her and felt puke everywhere, so I turned on the light. Thankfully we had a blanket in her crib that caught everything. We got her cleaned up and put back to bed. About 10 minutes later, the same thing happened again. This time she was laying on her back trying to throw-up. Poor girl! It scared me to death! I thought she was going to drown herself so (after getting her cleaned up again), I rigged up a place for me to sleep next to her on the floor with lots of towels around. I laid with her on the floor until my aching body made me move into bed. She was sound asleep when I transferred her to the crib.

She proceeded to get sick for the next two hours, every 15 to 30 minutes. I let Andrew sleep through most of it because I wanted him to get some rest, in case I needed him later. She fell asleep around 3 am and was resting peacefully. That's when the adventure started for me (I'll spare you the details). Abigail did get sick one last time but was fine in the morning. She had milk and ate normally that day.

To make a long long story into just a long story, I'll just say that Andrew and I both had this "bug" for most of Sunday, complete with aches, headache, chills, and a total body cleanse.

We decided to wait a day to make our return trip. We left on Monday in the late morning. I still had a bad headache and hadn't really eaten anything, so I was a mess. We made it (by God's grace!) to a hotel in New Florence, MO to spend the night. Well, Abigail again sensed that both of her parents needed a little extra help from her because they weren't feeling well, so she proceeded to scream for 1 1/2 hours before bed, sleep for about 4 hours, be awake and cry for about 4 hours, and sleep for one more. I tried everything (again) . . . rocking, sitting by her bed, putting her in bed with us, walking the halls, nursing, etc. Nothing worked to get that child to sleep!

It was the most tortured I have ever felt in my life. I love my daughter more than anything but I was about ready to kick her out of our room that night. Rough times.

We woke up about 8 am and by the time we got done getting ready, trying to eat something, and packing, we left around 9:30 am.

Thankfully . . . the rest of the trip was uneventful.

We got back around 5:00 pm last night and went over to Andrew's Grandma's house to visit and open some gifts. She made soup that tasted so good to me! Abigail did have some trouble falling asleep and she woke up crying three times but she did sleep from 11:30 pm until 8:00 am without waking so I did manage to get some sleep.

Our newest adventure today is that Andrew's shoulder is hurting him severely. He was just laying in bed with a hot pack on it when I left and he is taking care of the baby today. We're hoping he can get into the chiropractor later on.

Here are a few things I have never done before:

  • I have never been thrown up on before. I guess that comes with motherhood. Abigail's favorite place to unload her stomach was on my shirt.
  • I have never licked a package of baby food applesauce because I'm desperate for something to eat at 3:00 am in a hotel room.

I'm still so tired. I'm sure it's a combination of motherhood with a sleepless baby and a virus that makes you wish for death (partially joking here).

I'd like any more adventures to stay away from me for a long long while . . . please!

(more pictures coming soon)

Monday, December 29, 2008

What a holiday!

Wow. I have not written on here in a while. We have had quite a holiday. Our trip out here was quite an adventure with ice and traffic and our trip back has yet to begin. Our whole family has been attacked (yes attacked) with a nasty case of the stomach bug so we still haven't left for home yet. We're planning to leave in the next few hours. It all started on Saturday night with Abigail throwing up, then me, then Andrew. Several other family member have had it too. My Grandma actually ended up in the hospital! Pray for her!

I have never been this sick before. Anyway, I don't want to bore you (or make you sick) with the details so I'll conclude with a few things I'm thankful for.

  • My parents!! They took care of Abigail all day yesterday (besides nursing, of course) because I felt like dying rather than living. I have no idea how we would have managed with out them to help us out.
  • I am thankful that Abigail was really only sick for about two hours and then ate normally the next day.
  • I am thankful that she got sick first so I could take care of her before my turn came!

Ok, I'll write more later . . . probably when we get back to Ohio.

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Time

Hello all! We're having a blast visiting my family in Kansas. We had a bit of a rough trip in the car on the way here, due to weather and traffic but that is a post for another day. I kept thinking that even though the ride was rough at least it would make a good blog post. That is for another day, however. In the mean time, I will leave you with a few pictures of our adventure. I'll put more on later today from Abigail's first ride in Grandpa Fairchild's new 2008 tractor!


Abigail with my grandpa.

Abigail with my grandma. She's holding her new Elmo remote, which she LOVES!


Abigail and Uncle Brett. It took her a bit to warm up to him but just 30 minutes ago she was snuggled on his lap while he read her some books!


Aunt Jenny playing with Abigail while Abigail's grandpa (my dad) plays with Puff Daddy the cat. Isn't Abigail's face cute in this? She's been making a kissing face lately and she was doing it here.



Abigail is chilling out with Aunt Jenny after opening presents.


Abigail looking at her new "cell phone" with Grandpa.


Christmas family photo. I'll probably have another one taken since I don't have my hair done or make-up on!


Abigail in front of all the gifts and the Christmas tree.


Abigail in her ducky bathtub. It's a blow-up one and worked like a charm to bring along with us.
We are having so much fun (as you can tell, I'm sure). Abigail has done remarkably well at warming up to people. She does much better if I'm not in the room! :) Anyway, I'll post more another time with the tractor pictures.

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 in Review

What a year! I know it is a bit early for a year-end blog but I may not get a chance before 2009 rolls around so I decided to write this tonight.


January: This was a month of waiting and working. I did a lot of waiting for Abigail to arrive and working when I suppose I should have been resting. Here is a picture at 35 weeks and about to pop!








February: The bundle of joy arrives on February 2 and our lives were forever changed. I became a natural birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering (which we dropped later), natural health-minded momma. We enjoyed a visit from my family to welcome Abigail.









March: I was still on maternity leave and enjoyed a visit from my grandparents.







April: I returned to work and had to leave my baby. She grew by leaps and bounds. Here she is in April being read to by Daddy. Also, my brother graduated from Sterling College.









May: My cousin, Laura, got married on my birthday. Andrew and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss! Abigail learned to roll over at the end of this month. (sorry, these pictures are at work. Oops!) My sister graduated from Wheaton College with her doctorate.












June: More working and in the middle of the month we took a trip to Hocking Hills for a Schechter family reunion. (Photo: Second cousins, and Abigail with Aunt Cindy.) Andrew started his new job at GBBN.









July: The long-awaited trip to Hawaii happened. We had so much fun on the trip but I learned a few things. First of all, I will never travel over so many time zones with a baby again, for as long as I live (unless it's an emergency or something). It was hard but well worth the trek.







August: Spent the first few days of August still in Hawaii. Upon returning home, we spent several weeks getting our systems and routine back to normal. Abigail has learned to sit up pretty steadily by this point.







September: My sister and Luke got married! Abigail starts crawling on September 14th. (sorry, these pictures aren't digital and I don't have the time to scan and upload right now!)







October: Andrew celebrated his 27th birthday. Abigail starts to pull up in her crib and on the coffee table!








November: Fairly uneventful. I enjoyed Thanksgiving and hosted a week of Thankfulness on my blog. The picture below (of the tree) is of weird people who like to climb trees on Thanksgiving.








December: Abigail starts to walk! We are looking forward to her first Christmas in a few short days! This picture was taken by Daddy on 12/21/08. Tonight she walked all the way from the living room to the kitchen.









I cannot believe so much has happened in one year. Whew! It makes me tired just to think about it all. I am so unbelievably blessed!



(sorry that I couldn't get some pictures uploaded and that the format looks weird. Blogger is being kind of stinky tonight.)

Happy Monday

Whew! I guess I'm now into skipping Friday blog writing. I had an extremely productive day on Friday. I got loads of laundry done, master bedroom, Abigail's bedroom cleaned, upstairs vacuumed and kitchen cleaned all before Abigail's first nap. It helped that she woke me up at about 6:45 am. After the nap we went to Target to do Christmas shopping. It was the first time that she was whiny and fussy while riding in the cart. Her "whiny-ness" is not a new thing. I think it comes with the age she is but still, she had plenty to look at and keep her entertained. I didn't get it all purchased so Andrew and I ended up returning on Saturday. We got all the gifts wrapped and some delivered yesterday and of course I gave my husband his Christmas present . . . several games of Age of Empires. If you don't know, it's a highly addictive computer game that he taught me how to play in college. I hadn't played in a year but it comes back to you quickly! Anyway, he wanted me to play and so I did, instead of cleaning or laundry but sometimes you have to improvise with what you consider quality time to be. It makes him happy, so I play! :)

I can't believe that we're leaving tomorrow night for Kansas. I have so much packing to do. Our house is pretty clean, believe it or not. Andrew's cousin is back in town from Texas, and he came over and played Age yesterday with Andrew, so I spent the time that they were playing, cleaning. I got the bathrooms cleaned, laundry done, buttons sewed, etc. Abigail was asleep, of course.

Oh, I suppose I ought to mention that Abigail got another tooth in this weekend. She's been in pain and working on this one for a while, so I'm glad it's in. It is a bottom right (her right) tooth. I think the molars are next! Yikes!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heavy Sleeper

I hesitate to share this story. I don't want anyone to think that I'm absent minded (ha!) irresponsible (ha!) or any of those things. Well, I suppose that because this happened, I am those things so here is goes!

Last night I was getting some things done around the house before Andrew got home (he got in around midnight). I needed to make more baby food, bake a few things, clean up, etc. So, I had my baking in the oven, my steamer going on the stove top to steam Abigail's carrots, and I decided to take a break. I was watching a bit of TV while those things cooked for a while.

I jumped out of my skin when our smoke alarm started to go off after a few minutes.

*I must explain that our smoke alarm has NEVER gone off before and I have burned things. Since we live in a newer house, to have the house pass inspection, we had to have a series of smoke alarms (in all the bedrooms, etc) and they had to all be hardwired. Therefore, if one goes off, they all go off.*

I jumped up and ran into the kitchen, thinking that something in the oven was smoking. Nope! I had left a kitchen towel on the stove top and it had caught fire! We have an electric stove top and I didn't think it was anywhere close to the one burner that was on for the steamer. Guess I was wrong.

Anyway, I was able to quickly put the fire out but the smoke alarm was blaring and shreaking this whole time. Very loud. Dewey (the dog) was going nuts and following me everywhere. Finally, I got another towel and started to fan the smoke away from the smoke detector and it finally quit blaring. I opened some windows and doors, even though it didn't seem terribly smoky in there (like I said, there have been other things that have smoked worse from the oven and the detectors didn't pick it up).

I was thinking that Abigail must be a wreck. She was asleep in bed and was probably scared senseless by the very loud noise. Remember, she has one of the hardwired smoke detectors in her bedroom! I quickly ran up the stairs and burst into her room to bring her my motherly comfort and . . . THE GIRL WAS STILL ASLEEP!

The alarm had probably been ringing for anywhere between 2-5 minutes and she just either didn't wake up at all or just laid in bed and fell back asleep after the alarm quit sounding, since it had taken me a few minutes to get upstairs to her.

Our house is all wired together, due to code, so the smoke alarm then shut off the heating system (I guess it does that in case the fire started there) and so it got rather cold for a while, until I figured it out and turned it back on.

Ok, that's my story for the day. All is well and I didn't burn the house down (really . . . it was thanks to the smoke detectors for detecting the fire).

I'm glad Andrew is home!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gnashing of Teeth

It is time for an Abigail update, don't you think. She's been doing so many fun things lately and some not so fun things.

  • She's walking. If she isn't concentrating on walking, she can walk all the way across the room. She is getting steadier every day. Her primary choice of mobility is to bear crawl. She can move very quickly that way but she also seems to love walking!
  • She is playing peek-a-boo on her own. By this I mean that she will put a towel or blanket over her own head, pull it off, and want me to say, "Peek-a-boo" or "Where's Abigail?". So cute!
  • She is grinding her teeth (hence the title of this post)! I know she has one front tooth trying to come in but it seems like that one shouldn't be giving her fits like it is. When the other side came in, I didn't even know it. One day I looked in her mouth and presto, there was a tooth! I'm suspicious that she's working on her one-year molars. I don't think they're ready for an entrance yet but perhaps they are moving some. Her tooth grinding is constant. I keep thinking she'll wear the teeth she already has down to little nubs!
  • She does not like to ride in the car. She whines and sometimes cries every day in the car on the way to and from work. I know she's just bored and wants out of her seat but this newest development has made me very nervous about our 15 hour car ride next week. I suppose she may learn that whining doesn't get her out of her car seat during those 15 hours. Thankfully we're staying overnight both ways so we'll only have to listen to her whine and cry for 6 to 8 hours a day, instead of a full 15.
  • She can find what you ask her to (for the most part). I can say, "find your dolly" and she'll pull it out of the toy box or pick it up, if it is already laying in the room. I THINK she also knows where her number book is, the piano, and her sippy cup. She doesn't do this all the time. I think she has to be in the right mood. :)
  • She waves good-bye now. She also doesn't do this 100% of the time. The right (un-fussy) mood must be present.
  • She claps her hands when I do. Most people think she's playing patty-cake but I don't think we've done that enough for her to be wanting to play that game. She does love getting applause, so I think she wants us to clap for her.
Abigail's daddy is coming home (late) tonight! Yeah!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bright Side

I am not a fan of winter. I have said that before. There are a few things, however, that you can only have in the wintertime and so, I'm enjoying those things!

  1. Snow. I like it in December and January (maybe February). I've had enough come March.
  2. Soup! I love soup, all kinds of soup. You can't really eat many soups in the summertime so I'm really trying to eat as many I can right now. Yum! My favorites are corn chowder, bean soup, chili, broccoli (with cheese, of course), etc, etc.
  3. Winter clothes. As much as I don't enjoy taking the time to get bundled up to go outside, or my daughter whining and crying as I wrap her up in a snowsuit, jacket, hat, etc, I do enjoy wearing sweaters, long pants, turtle necks, etc.
  4. Christmas. Of course, Christmas would be weird if it were warm outside. I enjoy a cold and white Christmas.
  5. Snow Days. I live in Ohio and I'm from Kansas. This means that most of the population is flipping out when they see a snow-flake. I rarely take a day off of work for snow (or even arrive late) but it's nice to work in a quiet peaceful building during those snow days. It gives me an excuse to leave early, even if the roads are fine!
The husband is still gone and won't return until late tomorrow. I realized this week that I would not make a good single parent (if (God-forbid) that I be forced into that situation). Nothing has happened to warrent this thought really. She's not sick, extra fussy, or anything. I just miss having the other parent around to bounce things off of. We do this constantly. "Do you think she's tired?" "Is it time for bed?" "What should I give her for supper?" "Should we give her a bath?" It's just nice having that second opinion. I guess I'm just trying to say that I appreciate having the big guy around! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

On my own: Day 1

Last night went fine. I forgot to shut the garage door, actually I tried to shut it but the dog chain must have caused it to go back up. Abigail went to sleep easily. She cried out once at about 11:00 pm but promptly laid back down to sleep without an intervention. I had a difficult time sleeping. I guess I was missing Andrew's tossing and turning. I suppose I will get over that pretty fast! :)

It is weird, though. This is probably the longest he has been away from home. Just feels different, but that's a good thing, I guess.

Not much else is going on.

Christmas is coming fast. I think I'm done shopping except for two gifts. I have lots of wrapping to do, though!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On my own!

Wow, it has been a bit since I posted. I guess I missed Grateful Friday. Not that much was going on, I just didn't get on the computer. Abigail is definitely going through an independence stage right now. She is clingy but then wants to get down to try out her walking but then realizes she can walk and wants to come back to me. I spent a lot of time Friday playing with her in the living room. That's a good thing! :)

I'm going it alone for a few days. Andrew is on his way to NY to conduct some training seminars for his company. It will be fine since it is the week (not weekend) and all will go on like normal with work. I'm not a huge fan of being alone for long periods of time but I'm sort of looking forward to a few evenings alone to get things done. Abigail went to sleep about 7 pm tonight, so it feels like a long stretch of evening before my own bedtime! I'm doing some cleaning and then I'll read. I'm very thankful to have my in-law close by, just in case I need something. I keep thinking that another mouse episode may occur but so far, there is no evidence of that! :)

Our church is having a Christmas program tonight and I wish I could have heard it. I knew that it wouldn't work out because of Abigail's bedtime and Andrew being gone. Our girl slept almost 14 hours last night (6 pm to 7:45 am). I think she's still catching up from last Thursday night. Walking must also take a lot of her energy!

I had a blast yesterday hanging out with some girlfriends of mine. Andrew was a very nice husband and daddy and took care of Abigail from 1:00 pm until she went to bed. I got in around 11:00 pm. We went shopping at an outlet mall and then had a late supper together but the whole day was very fun. I'm also almost done with my Christmas shopping.

Night all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do I have a blog for you!!

I came home early today to let Andrew have a chance to look at my car fan before we left to go to our Christmas party. I was inside preparing Abigail's food to take with us while Andrew worked on the car. Here is the gist of the story:

Andrew was on his back with his head under the glove compartment, working on the fan. Picture that for a moment. . . He pulled out the fan and saw that it was, once again, packed with all sorts of debris. It crossed his mind as to what the culprit what might be but he couldn't believe it. As he slowly moved the debris packed fan over his face, the culprit fell out, struck his cheek, and lay twitching next to his ear. Andrew let out a loud "yelp" and scrambled madly out the door of the car. His heart had stopped for a brief moment but he managed to escape unharmed. He then flung the twitching MOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! out into the yard!!!!

Apparently, some mouse with the brains of a . . . . well, mouse, tried to make its nest, twice, in my car fan! Yes, folks! As I turned on the fan this morning, and it made a louder grinding and vibrating sound than usual, I was actually spinning a mouse in the fan. The critter, unfortunately got caught in the fan this time and did not live to see another day of making nests. Andrew had the fun job of cleaning out the debris and the blood. Ugg!

I am totally and completely creeped out, if you must know the truth. There isn't much in this world that I despise more than mice. At least the mouse fell on Andrew's cheek instead of mine, because I'd probably be in the insane asylum right now if it had been me.

Night all. Sweet dreams!

(Andrew helped me write this post, by the way).

Change of Plans

My blog post this morning was going to be about my wonderful fix-it husband. He fixed my car heater last night. The fan was clogged with all sorts of junk including Kansas wheat, so that had to have been from long ago! However, that won't be what this post is about since when I got in my car this morning to leave, it didn't work. It worked last night though! More time will be spent fixing it tonight. By the way, he is wonderful and can fix things. This problem just may take another fix-it session! :)

I'm hoping to get time this weekend to take Abigail's Christmas photo (and one with the whole family - I want to try to do this every year, now that we have a kid). It will be difficult to find time to fit it in with meetings, girls outings (yeah!), Andrew leaving for NY on a business trip, gift wrapping and shopping, etc. I may have to pick and choose what activities I participate in. I'm trying my hardest not to make this holiday season rushed or busy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Things (Day 2)

I guess I don't have enough material or brain power for a complete post, so here is more randomness.

  • My car heater decided to quit on me this morning. Actually, it hasn't quit completely but when it turn on the fan it sounds like a very loud massage chair. The ride to work was actually not bad. Abigail had her snow suit on and a blanket (which she kicked off after a while, so she must have been comfortable) and I had on a coat. I was a little concerned about how I was going to defrost the window, if the need arose, but I never needed to. I love my car and I'm not being sarcastic! (Don't worry, Andrew will fix it tonight.)
  • I was laying in bed last night wondering if any human being in history has lived a completely sin-free day. With God, all things are possible, right? Hmm, pondering, pondering.
  • What are the chances that my husband will read this blog? He does sometimes but since he is not riding the bus, I think it has been a while. I have a Christmas gift in mind for him (it's free!!!!) and I'm not sure if I should spill the beans or not. I'm not going to chance it!
  • Andrew and I were discussing the ever-present topic of patience last night when I realized that I wasn't 100% sure of what it meant. Here is the definition: Patience: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. Ha! I told him that if that is the case, I have never been patient for one second of my life. I must work on this!
Themes that keep recurring in my life: leading by example (yikes), patience, thankfulness, and self-control.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Random Thoughts Today

  • I had a MOPS meeting at church last night. I love making new friends, seeing "old" ones, and our church. My husband was sweet and stayed home with the baby (she slept, he worked).
  • Abigail is so good in the mornings. She has been waking up before I have a chance to take a shower (6:00-6:15 am) and so after I feed her, I put her back in her crib and hand her a book. She quietly plays with the book until I'm done with my shower, doing my hair, and getting dressed.
  • One of my most favorite things to do it to spend time with my husband. I don't feel like I do that enough!
  • I am looking forward to our young married group Christmas party on Thursday. What should I bring? I have too many ideas! :)
  • I hesitate to write this because I may be jumping the gun but I think Abigail might be working on her first year molars. I saw some bumps back there the other day and she has been a little more mouthy lately.
  • My house is in disarray. I scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees the other day, since Abigail is playing in there so much (ah, that felt so good) but I haven't cleaned or done much laundry since then. What have I been doing? Oh yeah, getting Christmas gifts ready (I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about giving one in particular - it is hard to wait since we won't give it until after Christmas).
  • Tonight will be (another) baby food making night. She is a big eater! I am more resolved than ever to buy as little store baby food as possible after considering several things: 1) The price! Wow, I can make stuff for a fraction of the price of store bought food and 2) the health benefits. I know what is going into the babyfood I make at our house and you never know what sort of preservatives or coloring they put in the jarred stuff. I need to try get her to eat a few more foods but it seems like I can't find the time to investigate what they should be. She ate Kale last week and seemed to like it. It was mixed in with other stuff but we need to encourage her to keep eating super foods like that.
  • We ate the Kale too as we are trying to lead by example. Not long now and she'll really be paying attention to what we do! It wasn't bad. I "fried" it with garlic and olive oil.
  • This random list got a lot longer than I thought it would! :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

What to do about Christmas? (Part 1?)

I have been pondering this for some time. It's the new parent in me perhaps. I am always striving to live my life with a purpose that pleases God and raise my daughter in a similar manner. By the way, I fail miserably all the time but I keep trying! During this Christmas season, I am in a constant debate with myself on how to celebrate the holidays with my daughter.

Thankfully it doesn't matter so much this year as she is only beginning to get a sense of what is going on. She isn't really aware of what all the hype is about. That's a good thing. The main statement that I want to teach my daughter is that Christmas is not about gifts, food, lights, parties, even family gatherings. The real reason to celebrate this time of year is that our Savior came to earth.

I am (mentally) trying to find that happy balance. I do not want to be a scrooge or grinch and ruin any Christmas joy for my daughter or anyone else for that matter. At the same time, I wrestle with the very weighty fact that Andrew and I are given the great responsibility and joy of raising her in the way that the Bible instructs. It is more important for her to believe that Jesus came to this earth as a baby in order to save us from our sin and consequently, hell, than it is for her to believe that there is a mystical person named Santa Clause who brings her loads of crap (sorry for using that word, Mom) that will only cause her to be self-centered, spoiled, and unappreciative of the things that really matter in life. I'm struggling to find that balance of "holiday" cheer and teaching her what really is True.

First of all, let me say how thankful I am (yet again) for my husband. He agrees with me wholeheartedly on these issues and has come up with half of these ideas himself. I am so glad that we agree on this. Second of all, nothing is set in stone. We haven't made any decisions about how our Christmas traditions will play out yet because we have time. We desire to teach her that receiving time from someone is a much more precious gift that receiving a toy.

As I have been pondering all of these seemingly weighty decisions (as they effect others as well) and found this blog, written by a college friend of ours, very interesting. I wanted to share.

http://live-life-abundantly.blogspot.com/2008/12/take-christ-out-of-christmas.html

Do you agree? What are some family traditions that have helped shape your kids into appreciative, giving, thankful Christ-following people instead of spoiled brats (that's what we're trying to avoid here). I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Walking!

Abigail is better today. She woke up with no fever and has only had a very slightly runny nose. Good news! I expected her to wake a lot last night since she cried out several times between her bedtime (6:15 pm) and when we went to bed (10:00 pm) but she never woke up during the night. She slept until 6:00 am, then I fed her, and back down until 8:30 am! She really slept about 14 hours. I guess that's why she's better today! :0

In other news, she is really starting to take some steps. She took 5 steps towards the piano yesterday when she thought I wasn't looking and continues to try walking again today. She is stepping but when she walks towards a person she eventually just lunges towards us. It's pretty funny. She really goes the furthest when no one is coaxing her to walk. I wonder what the next few weeks will bring.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Grateful Friday and Updates

Well, I'm home this morning with a sick kid. She has pretty good timing really, as it is my day off. I'm not totally surprised by this fact, since another kid at her sitters had the croup this week. So far we just have a fever (between 100 and 101), a runny nose, and a slight cough. Hopefully she'll recover fast. She still slept through the night last night, even though she was feeling a little crummy yesterday. So, yeah for that! She's trying to go down for a nap right now but she keeps throwing her pacifiers out of the crib. I have to figure out a way to get more of them to her without her seeing me. This will be interesting.

  • I'm grateful that it is Friday and I have the day off.
  • I'm grateful for my nice warm house on this cold day.
  • I'm grateful for my loving and supportive family.
  • I'm grateful for the Christmas season.

Have a great day all!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pics

Here are some pictures I took of her this week. She tried taking a few more shaky steps towards me tonight. She's not necessary walking on her own but can be coaxed into taking a few steps. I suppose that counts, although I don't really know. Enjoy!


Hello. I look like my daddy!



Hello. I'm crazy and goofy like my daddy (ok mommy too).

Being silly and getting close to mommy and the camera.


Standing tall.



Look at me, Momma. I'm going to try and take a step!


I'm getting pretty close to walking.


I'm shuffling my feet and ready to take off!


Good night everybody!

Missing . . .

*Sorry, no pictures yet. They are still on my camera. I'll try to get around to that tonight.*

I have been rather reflective lately. Perhaps it is all this thankfulness I have been practicing on my blog and (hopefully) in my life. I have noticed that something that has been a big part of my life, from a very young age, is missing. What is it you may ask? Music!

I have always been a part of performing, sharing, or creating some sort of music. I grew up singing in church and joined band and choir as early as possible. I continued on with competitions, lessons, choir, solos, band, etc, in high school and became extremely involved with everything in college. Even after college I was involved in music in church, in teaching lessons, and just through being connected at the college. Upon moving to Ohio, I thought I'd try my hand, or my voice as the case may be, at singing with the May Festival Choir, which I did for a "semester". After I stopped doing that because of the huge time commitment and the building of our home, I started teaching voice lessons and continued to do so until Abigail was born.

Since her birth, however, she has been my only audience. She puts up with me singing all sorts of nonsense around the house (thankfully I control myself and only do this around Andrew and Abigail - the rest of you are spared my goofiness). I was listening to some choral music the other day and I realized how much I miss singing it! Right now, however, I cannot imagine adding one more thing to my busy schedule. Family is my priority right now but I do miss having that outlet in my life. I will be content with my once or twice-a-year appearance at various churches until I find time to add something else.

I suppose this would also be an appropriate post to admit something else. I am a music snob. There I said it. I appreciate people's efforts to make music. It's when they think the effort of singing a 3-part pop song takes as much time/effort/talent/practice as performing say, Claussen's Magnificat (for example) I shutter! I enjoy a variety of music! I just expect live music to be performed well and not over-sung or a classical piece butchered by a pop style (again, I'm not against pop music. It just needs to be performed in the appropriate arenas).

Ok, enough ranting. I'm not sure that even will make sense to anyone but me!

The conclusion of this post is that I miss singing and music (listening and singing in my car doesn't really cut it).

Sorry that this post isn't very exciting. I will do my best to get some lovely, fun, and cute pictures posted of Abigail tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Mobility *Updated*

First of all, let me correct a mistake in my last post. Abigail pulled out some bowls from our cabinet, not bowels. Sorry, I didn't reread it before I posted. That would be quite disgusting if she found bowels in our cabinet! :) Ha! (Thanks for pointing that out to me, Dad).

Yes, we have some new pictures. I'll try to post them tonight.

It seems to be that Abigail is just moments, hours, or days away from walking. Of course, I'm a first time mom, and don't really know what I'm doing (obvious, isn't it?!) but she sure seems close to me. She can now walk holding onto just one of our hands and has taken one step independently but didn't move her second foot, so I'm not counting it as walking. Then this morning, as I was leaving her at the babysitters, she was kind of standing and sliding those feet towards a toy she wanted. I'm very curious to see where we are at lunch time with all this mobility business.

If I could guess, my guess would be that she would be walking within a week, or at least by Christmas. We'll see. I guess she could totally fool me and not walk for months, but it seems like she's so close.

Also, I'm a bit nervous and frightened at the prospect of her walking. I doubt anything will be sacred or safe in our house now! :)

*Updated - She took two unassisted steps towards me at lunch. She was actually going for a toy that I was coaxing her with but I'd like to pretend it was me. I'm not sure if that counts as walking or not but I think we scared her with our squealing after she did the two steps! :) *

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

10 months old

Dearest Little Abigail,

Happy 10-month birthday. You are such a fun age! You are so interactive. We love that you will respond when we "talk" to you. I will say things like, "Say, 'Momma'". And your sweet little voice instantly says "Dada". So cute! I love hearing you babble and enjoy every new sound you learn to make.

You are beginning to return our love with your little "kisses" on our cheeks, although you did try to take a bite out of Momma's cheek at lunch. That's ok. I know you're teething. Your snuggles and hugs are beginning to become more consistent and we love to snuggle with you! You are a sweet heart!

Oh my darling. You have given your Momma the greatest gift recently, you have turned into a good sleeper! It has been almost 3 weeks straight of 12 hour-a-night sleep (no waking!) and Momma feels like a new woman. Because you are so wonderful, we are just now finally considering giving you a sibling, although we'll wait a bit for that.

You have also recently discovered the joy of opening cabinets! :) Last night while I cooked dinner, you pulled everything out of one bottom cabinet. Thankfully it was just paper plates, bowels, and napkins. You can keep playing in that cabinet.

You continue to be a wonderful eater. You are still slightly picky with taste and texture but you can eat a man-sized bowl of food, if you like it. You ate a helping of carrots and squash the other night that would have made me full! We're amazed. I'm having a hard time keeping enough food around for you! I made a big trip to the grocery store last night and I will have a big baby-food-making night tonight, to try and get ahead. It's ok. I like that you are into eating real food!

Happy 10-month birthday sweet girl! I can't believe how old you are. Only two more months and you'll be a year old. It is hard to believe!

Love,
Momma

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gratefulness and Updates

Wow! I didn't mean to miss grateful Friday or to miss telling you about our Thanksgiving. Time got away from me since we had a little break from work. Ok, here is my grateful Friday list:

  • I am grateful for a wonderful Thanksgiving (two celebrations) with family.
  • I am grateful for my husband who has to put up with me daily, and does it with such graciousness! :)
  • I am grateful for my daughter who is learning and growing and amazing us every day (and is also sleeping well!).
  • I am grateful for blogging. I have met wonderful friends this way and have been blessed to read some great blogs! :) (see my list to the right if you want to read them too!)
  • I am grateful that we got our Christmas decorations up yesterday and that Abigail hasn't paid any attention to the beautiful glittering tree in our family room. :)
  • I am grateful that it is Christmas season, a wonderful time of the year to be refreshed, grow spiritually, connect with family, and to celebrate the greatest Gift ever!
  • I am grateful for the cold, snowy, nasty weather, because it makes me appreciate the warm spring and summer days all the more.
We had a wonderful break. It went by way too quickly. We were busy with family gatherings, and preparing for those, but it was good to get together with family and reconnect in that way.

I hope that I am not jinxing things but Abigail has turned into the most wonderful sleeper lately. I guess she just had to hit that magical "age" or our "training" has finally paid off. She has slept through the night, all nights, but one, in the last three weeks! I'm spoiled! :) Not only that, but she goes to sleep on her own. We just put her in her crib and she falls asleep. She doesn't always fall asleep right away, but it is very rare that we have to go back upstairs to help her out. She usually will sit up for a while, grab a pacifier, and then lay down and go to sleep. The most amazing thing is that she has been doing this for naps too! :) I cannot tell you the freedom that this has given me. I finally feel like everything is not a struggle anymore! :) I know there will be set-backs and times of sickness that she will wake up and need us, but at least it's not a daily battle at this point. I AM THANKFUL!!!! Last night she slept from 6:30 pm to 7:10 am, without a peep! :)

Well, I have more ideas of things to write about, but I'll save them for another day. Have a happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A week of Thankfulness- Thursday (Thanksgiving)

When I first started this, I couldn't imagine filling all these days up with things, but the more I'm thankful for, the more I'm reminded of everything I have to be thankful for. I'd love to hear from more of you . . . for what you are thankful for.

Here is my Thanksgiving Day list:


  • I'm thankful for enough (more than enough) food to eat today and a loving family to share it with.
  • I'm thankful for my dad and brother. I was taking a bath this morning and heard the sounds of people hunting behind our house and was reminded of them. I'm thankful for their convictions and for the example of hardworking men that they are.
  • I'm thankful for my grandparents. They are givers, pure and simple, and have set a wonderful example for me to follow.
  • I'm thankful for my husband and daughter. My husband has been helping me all morning with stuff and my daughter went down as easy as could be for her nap.
  • I'm thankful for the memories that came to me this morning. . . of large Walter family gatherings and the fun that we had getting together with extended family. I have such fond memories of going to (invading) my Great Aunt and Uncle's house in Hutchinson, playing with their pin-ball machine, playing in their leaf pile, watching football, torturing all the nice relatives, who would sit and listen, with our musical selections! :) Ha!

What are you thankful for today?

A Week of Thankfulness - Wednesday

Thanks for the comments. I love reading all of them. It is good to practice thankfulness. It is something that I have been working very hard on.

Here is my edition for today:
  • I am thankful for my family. I cannot begin to express the wonderful family that I grew up in. I am privilaged to have been raised in a loving, caring, and mostly importantly Christ-following family. That is the most important legacy that I could have ever asked for and one that I hope to pass on to my children.
  • I am thankful for my mom. She is always a phone call away for support, advice, encouragement, etc. She does research for me with regards to baby matters, health matters, mothering, etc. Most importantly, she prays for me consistently and often (and lets me know she will pray). I hope I can continue this legacy with my daughter, that she will always know, as I do, that I will go before the throne of grace on her behalf.
  • I am thankful for my doggy. He drives me nuts sometimes (ok, a lot) but he is a wonderful companion and will be a very fun pet for Abigail to play with in the future.
  • I am thankful for my church. I love my church. I love the people, the mission, the music, the sermons (yeah, they're awesome), etc, etc, etc!
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Week of Thankfulness - Tuesday


Ok y'all. When I checked my stat meter at 9:00 pm on Monday, it said I had 30 hits for the day and only 3 comments! So, if you are thankful for something, leave a comment.
  • I am thankful for technology that allows me to stay so well connected to my family. We enjoy video conferencing with my parents, usually once a week. This is such a wonderful way for us to stay connected. I can't wait until Abigail is old enough to really chat with her grandparents. It is a great way to say hello. We can also keep my Grandparents updated by using a digital picture frame, since they don't have internet.

  • I am thankful for my wonderful husband (everyday!). When he got home from work he played with Abigail, fed her, and put her in her PJ's for the night - he is a great daddy. Then he headed off to Bible study. I am also thankful that he is a godly man. He is always willing to listen and offer support.
  • I am thankful for my sister and my new brother-in-law, Luke. I promise to visit you guys soon!

  • I am thankful for enough food to eat and enough money to buy food. Check out this link: http://embracingandbeingembraced.blogspot.com/2008/05/america-says-im-poor.html

  • I am thankful for Andrew's grandma who cooks us all a big yummy meal every Sunday and always makes us feel welcome and at home at her house.

  • I am thankful for Abigail. Her newest adventure (as of today) is to be totally into playing with trucks at the babysitters house. Hmm! :)

  • I am thankful for my space heater at work. I have it running right now so my feet are nice and toasty!

What are you thankful for today?

A Week of Thankfulness

It is no secret that Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. I'm just not a fan of cold weather, winter, and everything that entails and Thanksgiving falls during that season. I do like Christmas because of family get-togethers and the fact that the holiday is celebrating the birth of my Savior.

This year, I have decided to try to help myself get into the Thanksgiving spirit by hosting a whole week of Thankfulness on my blog. I want to encourage everyone who reads this (not just the regular commenters, although I want them to join in as well) to post a comment at some point during the week, to share what you are thankful for. This will help me! :) So, I'll start my list and continue it throughout the week. I'll probably mix in a few other posts as well.

Today (November 24) I am thankful for:
  • My in-law's who are lovingly taking care of Abigail right now. My mother-in-law willingly changed Abigail's poopy diaper yesterday at lunch. Ah, we love grandparents! :)
  • Abigail has been sleeping through the night all week long (like 7 days straight)! I'm not taking any night for granted and am celebrating every single one of them.
  • My job. They are so flexible, fun, loving, and enjoyable to be around. It's a busy season right now but I enjoy getting things ready for people . . . to help them worship on Sunday morning.
  • Good books.
  • Watching 24 with my husband last night. It was tense but fun!
What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I wish I had written this but . . .

I wish I had written this but I didn't. It was the most beautiful and inspiring thing I have read today, so please go over and read it. My heart does love to hear Abigail "talk" as she begins to make sounds (her favorite being "da da") and this is such a wonderful post about that. Enjoy!

http://onething.typepad.com/one_thing/2008/11/out-of-the-mouths-of-babes.html

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grateful Friday

I'm grateful for:
  • My husband who works so hard, knows how to have fun and enjoy life, and let me win our bet on the Bengals game last night (um, sorry but I bet that they would lose).
  • Our beautiful daughter who is learning new things every day!
  • Having Fridays off (have I said this yet?)!!!
  • Our nice warm house!
  • Thanksgiving is next week then . . .it's Christmas season!
  • Good friends and fellowship.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter's Curse for Babies

I have a dilemma that I need advice on. Ok, here's the problem.

Problem: It's cold outside. Yes, VERY cold.
Solution: Abigail needs to wear a snow suit to protect herself from the cold.

Problem. Abigail HATES her snowsuit. In fact, she really hates to be bundled up by anything very long, even blankets at night.
Solution: ???

So, what do I do? I know that this problem will probably fall under one of those things where we do what is best for our kids, even if they don't like it, because we're protecting them. I just want to check and see if there is an alternative.

When I say that she HATES her snowsuit, I mean she cries when I put her in it, she cries, screams, kicks, and squirms when I carry her to the car. Then she proceeds to scream, throw her body around, scream again, and cry while I buckle her into the car. This continues until she arrives at the destination. I had to pull over on the way to the babysitters yesterday because she was crying so hard. I gave her a pacifier and a book and she was better, but still. Part of it was that she was tired. I kept her awake by talking to her. I wanted her to have a good morning nap when she got there (which she did).

I wish they made a lightweight and flexible (she just wants to be able to get to things) material that protected babies from the cold and the wind. Any suggestions?

We returned her Bundleme to the car seat but really, she needs to graduate to a new carseat as she has technically out grown her pumpkin seat. Which brings of the whole issue of having to buy two new carseats (we have one already). That's a post for another day. Kids are so expensive (in America, anyway)!

So, if any of you have advice on how to keep her warm, yet (for my own selfishness) keep her from screaming her head off all the way to and from the sitters in the car, I'd love to know. Perhaps this will have to be the time that I learn to deal with her crying and screaming (I've never been able to stand to listen very long in the past).

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose this isn't a very bad dilemma to have!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best Ice Skating Teacher in the Tri-State . . . maybe the world!

I accidentally forgot one of the greatest family businesses in my post a few days ago. My sister-in-law, Jennie Schechter, has her own business teaching ice dancing in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. I don't know much about ice dancing but I have always really enjoyed watching Jennie perform. Please check out her website! If you're looking for an ice skating teacher in the Cincinnati area, I know of a great one! :) I am very excited for the day when my daughter is old enough to take skating lessons from her Aunt Jennie.

http://jenniferschechter.com/default.aspx

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not a whole lot. . . .

Not a whole lot to write about today, so I'll just give a few updates:

  • After two weeks (or so) of some pretty bad sleep at our house, we all slept through the night. I had to wake Abigail at 7:15 am to leave for work and drop her off with Grandma. I wonder how long she would have slept. I slept from 10 pm (I think) until about 6:15 am but still feel tired. Perhaps I need an even earlier bedtime.
  • We made an IKEA run last night with Andrew's saved "blow money" (i saved it when he didn't spend it) and got a small cabinet for our mud room.
  • Abigail's nose is still a bit stuffy. Could she have allergies? Just a long-running cold? Hmm.
  • My house is much cleaner thanks to a little motivation last night. I cleaned off our kitchen pennisula (a major hot spot for clutter) and the kitchen looks great. If I just spend 5 minutes or less every day, I think I can keep it clutter free.
  • The office needs some major decluttering and cleaning. If I can get to that this week, our house will be in a pretty clean state.
  • I created a toy box from a basket in the living room and it looks much neater as well. Abigail loves to pull toys out so this will be an added bonus.
  • Andrew and I got out to a movie on Saturday. I think that's the first one we've seen (together) since April or May. I can't remember. This is an astonishing fact if you think about how many movies we used to see. We have a pretty low entertainment budget but since we never hardly use it, it has built up over these few months. :)
  • It's snowing here. Yes, I said it and I can't believe it. Cold - winter - snow - being inside all the time - not my favorite time of year (besides Christmas, of course).
Ok, that's all. Scattered brain = scattered post, I guess.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Andrew and I have decided (and done this many times in the past) to not get each other gifts for Christmas. We'd rather give each other the gift of not spending money, so that's what we're doing. It's no big deal to us. However, I do like to think about gifts I can give him that are free. He loves back rubs, back scratches, certain meals (corn chowder), nights with the guys, etc. I love making coupons and giving those as gifts. I think they are thoughtful yet inexpensive.

So . . .

If any of you happen to talk to my husband, you could let him in on a little secret. All I want for Christmas is . . . a clean house! Seriously, I feel like I fight this all the time. I work and work and don't get very far with my house. The main reason is that when I do have the time to clean (on Fridays & Saturdays) I am also dealing with a little person who has a very short attention span and nap period. I can do things that take 10 minutes but I can't, say . . . move furniture, sweep, and then mop the floor. It has been so long since that's been done. I swiffer often, since that takes 10 minutes.

Folks, I'm not asking my husband to clean because I want a deep clean and I want it done a certain way. All I'm asking for is an hour or two of uninterrupted time at home to clean. For this gift to come from him would mean so much! I feel like the last time my house was clean was when Abigail was born and we had the best gift given to us in the world by Susan (mother-in-law), Maggie (cousin-in-law), and Anne (aunt-in-law), when they cleaned our whole house. I hope I didn't leave anyone out in that list! Let me know if I did.

If I have another baby, will you guys come clean my house again? Hmm, it might be worth that! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Andrew does read this blog, occasionally, by the way. So I will admit that I'm putting in a shameless plug for what I want. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grateful Friday - What a day!

I am grateful for:

  • A great check up at the doctor. He said she couldn't be any healthier (even though she has a stuffy nose still). She weighed in at 19 lbs, was 29 1/2 inches long, and has a big head (18 1/2 inches). She is in the 99% for height and head but has dropped down to 50% for weight. The doctor said, "Look at her though, she weighs enough." Ha ha!
  • I am grateful for the day off. Got laundry done, some cleaning, and some shopping.
  • I am grateful for my father-in-law who installed our baby gate upstairs. It allowed me to clean the whole upstairs while Abigail was "loose". We both had fun! :)
  • I am grateful for my nice warm bed. Since Abigail has been getting up at night for the past week or so, I'm going to hit the sack EARLY!
  • I am grateful for my washer and dryer. I really am! I was just thinking how lucky we are to have all these things that wash and dry for us. Just imagine how people spent their time before these appliances were invented. Lots of work!

I am pretty much on my own today. Andrew is at a guys night tonight. I am grateful (should have put this above) that he has the chance to hang out with friends. He came home for 45 minutes or so and fed and bathed the baby to give me a break. I'm grateful for that too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Links, Blogs, Etc.

Please take note of some changes to my sidebar. I listed my church website, my work website (also a church), and some family member websites. These are random and varied but if you are looking for any of these services, I can highly recommend these people.

If you are in need of some fine woodworking or handyman skills, please check out my father-in-law (Wayne Schechter)'s website: www.yankeeww.com. He is an awesome woodworker (I have benefited from many a Christmas present from him) and can fix/install/repair pretty much anything! You will not be disappointed if you order one of his products.

You will also find my mother-in-law and sister-in-law's tea website (Susan Schechter and Jennie Schechter): www.theteaparlor.net to the right. One of my favorite relaxing activities is to enjoy an afternoon tea in their tea room with friends or family members. Their food is absolutely delicious and there is a wide variety of tea choices to choose from. If you live in the area and get a chance to visit their tea room, I promise you will want to be a repeat customer! If you have children and don't think it is possible for you to come because of them, I'll even offer to keep them occupied so you can have tea. How's that for an offer?!

Also Andrew's Aunt Wilma Mathews has her own business has well. She is a horse trainer and offering boarding at their very cool barn (which is also part house - very cool). Check out: www.barw.net. I don't know much about horse training but I have never met anyone so dedicated and in love with horses as she is and I grew up around farmers and ranchers, so that's saying a lot.

If you get a chance, check out these family websites. I hope I didn't leave anyone else out!

TV and Honesty

Here is a link to one of the articles regarding TV and infants/toddlers. Go read it and then come back.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/tv_affects_child.html

Ok, you read that, right?

Good. In all honesty, Abigail has the opportunity to watch TV. We do not turn on kids programming "for her" at home. That's all the detail I'm going into . . . on purpose!

That being said, I must admit (to the shock and horror of some in my family) that there are times I wish Abigail would watch TV. Let me explain:

There is a race that I run every. single. day. It is the race between arriving home at 5:30 pm, getting dinner, getting Abigail's dinner, and getting her to bed. My daughter is a very good baby. She is generally happy and content - except when she's tired and then . . . oh my, can the child whine any more?!

When she has a bedtime (her choice, not ours) at 6 pm to 6:30 pm, the 1/2 hour between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm when I'm trying to make dinner and get things around is HAIRY! Usually she spends that time whining while sitting on the floor by my feet, distracted in my arms (hmm, hard to manuver carrying a baby and cooking), crying in the exersaucer, or if by some significant stroke of luck that Daddy is home, she can be distracted by playing while I cook.

Many days I just wish I could pop in a DVD and have her sit there and watch for some peace! That is my honesty dose for the day. I haven't done it and I will try my hardest not too but still . . . the wishfulness is still there. I'm not writing this post to judge others who may choose to let their kids watch TV. Believe me, I understand the draw!

*Scheduled post*

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Zombie World

I am a walking zombie at work today. Between Andrew not being able to fall asleep (his tossing and turning and getting out of bed kept me up until about 11 pm), and Abigail waking up twice (12:30 am and 5:20 am for the record) and not going back to sleep easily, I am very tired.

I wonder why she's waking up. I certainly hope she's not getting sick (again), which is usually the reason. Other reasons, that are not as probable, include a very wet diaper, missing mommy, maybe hungry, growth spurt, and lastly, teeth. Doubtful that it's the teeth.

Guessing . . . always guessing when it comes to the baby.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby #2

Did I scare you or thrill you with my title?! Ha ha ha! I hope so.

Nope, I'm not pregnant. Thank goodness. Several of my bloggy friends have written about this subject lately and instead of copy what they say in my own words, I'll let you read their posts because I'm lazy. Enjoy!

Just for the record . . . THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL:

http://jayesel.net/20081110/number-two/

I am in awe of those mom's who have many children or who have them close together. Seriously, if you survived, please tell me how... Cause I have one who is a good baby, and I have a LOT of help and still feel overwhelmed by all I have to do to keep her safe, healthy, and happy. Perhaps I'm just extremely selfish. That is a definite possibility.

We had MOPS tonight and the speaker was great. She talked about how truly loving someone else is not placing responsibility on them for your happiness. Therefore, she was getting at the fact that taking care of yourself (within reason - it can be taken too far, I think) is very important. She also talked about not striving to be perfect and letting God co-parent.

All things I'm pondering this morning.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So little to say . . .

I don't have much to say today so I guess I'll give a weekend update. We had a good time together (Abigail and I) on Friday with good naps and getting some stuff accomplished in the house. We picked up Andrew from work and then went to spend time with his family and also attend an organ concert. We took turns playing with Abigail in the hall during the concert. Turns out that keeping her up that late is probably a bad idea. She always sleeps better if she's asleep before 7:30 pm and this night it was around 9 pm before she fell asleep. Bad night!

Saturday we worked a lot and then enjoyed visiting with more family and a game of upwords (which I must admit to you all that I won!).

We had a nice Sunday with church (Andrew kept Abigail in the lobby during the sermon), lunch at Grandma's, and then a nice nap for Abigail. I got some reading and a bit of cleaning done.

Ok, I guess I'm wordier than I thought. Abigail's sleep seems to be getting into a pattern. I feel that it is safe to say that she is consistently sleeping through the night (for the last month). She has been going about 11 to 12 hours at a time (yes!) unless she's sick or doesn't eat food for supper (only milk). It's nice, let me tell you.

Just a regular week planned. Abigail has a 9 month check-up on Friday, so we'll see how much she weigh, how tall she is, and other developmental things. Have a good Monday folks!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grateful Friday and Other Updates

I'm grateful for:
  • Abigail sleeping 12+ hours last night (straight through). She's still sleeping.
  • Getting to be home with her today!
  • Andrew staying home with Abigail yesterday so I could finish things at work.
  • This weather. It's been beautiful.
  • The upcoming weekend!
  • The elections are over; no more ads, phone calls, etc. Yuck!

Abigail seems to be improving. She had a bit of a cough last night, so I assumed we'd be in for a long night together. I stayed home with her while Andrew went to our small group. He was leading, so he had to. She fell asleep at 6:30 pm and I straightened up, ate supper, and headed to bed myself. I read until 8:30 pm, then turned out the light. I must have fallen asleep quickly. I did wake up when Andrew got home (mainly because he kept talking and talking to me!) but slept the rest of the night. Yeah!

Andrew and I both have sniffly noses. I think his is a tad worse than mine. It doesn't seem to be getting very bad, however. I have been taking mega doses of vitamin c and some zinc, so hopefully that will hold this at bay.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another song

Here is my attempt to imbed a YouTube video. I haven't had any luck with this before. We sang this song on Sunday and I really love it. I also love the singer's voice on this video. It's not the clipped "popish" sound but pure and sweet (more on this another time).







I'm reevaluating where I serve at church. I've taught Sunday School for three years now and I have never felt gifted at it. I'm not terribly creative and I love the kids but I'm not good at coming up with new ideas for them (I use a lot of my mom's stuff). I've been thinking about seeing if they need my help in music. I feel like I need to be doing something with music, except exposing Abigail to the good ole' hymns, new praise songs, and classical arias that I sing around the house! :) We'll see. . .

*Scheduled Post*

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

These Six Weeks - Not my Favorite

These six weeks, the ones that follow daylight savings time, and head towards the shortest day of the year (Dec 21, I think) are some of my least favorite of the year. I like sunlight and I like warmth and both of these things seem to be lacking during this period. After the 21st hits, the days gradually start getting warmer and "hello" it's Christmas time again! Yeah!

**These posts are on auto-post. I'm writing a few in one day to give myself a few days to sit back and collect my thoughts, to work on discipline, and to get my house/life in a bit more order (ha!).**

Stuffy Girl

Miss Abigail has picked up another cold. No fever (I think), so that's good but we had a rough night. I was up with her at 12:30, 2:00, and 5:00. She slept until 7:45 am, so that's good. If you want to know where Daddy was . . . he was sleeping but I will given him credit. He accomplished what I thought was impossible. He was the one who actually got Abigail to sleep in the first place . . . without a pacifier! It's easier to do this during the middle of the night, instead of initially.

I'm staying home with her this morning and we'll see how she is by lunch time. It came upon her so quickly yesterday!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Discipline

Discipline is an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.

Discipline seems to be a theme that is recurring in my life lately. Hmm, could it be that God is trying to teach me something? I have heard this theme over and over again for about a month. I am not talking about disciplining my child (although I'm starting to ponder all the ins and outs of how to handle this as she grows) but I'm talking about my own discipline; yikes!

The subject first came up in our young marrieds group with regards to money. We talked about how it is all well and good to know about a subject, to understand it and to comprehend its meaning but unless you actually do it, practice it, day-in and day-out, the knowledge is generally worthless. We have been on the Dave Ramsey plan since May. . . sort-of. We didn't empty our savings accounts and put it all on debt and we still over-spent in areas. I also struggled with working with the budget and keeping my bank account balanced each month. I can see clearly now that the issue here is discipline. I feel like we're back on track but I don't want to get off track again!

Also, in our sermon yesterday, the issue of discipline came up. I struggled to think of an area in my life where I consistently (isn't that the point?) practice discipline.

Again, this morning when I was listening to my book on tape, the subject came up about discipline. The writer spoke again of having knowledge of a subject, understanding a subject, but both of those are rather pointless without the practicing of a subject.

Galatians 5:22 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

This morning we will go to the polls and vote. I am continually challenged by the fact that we must take responsibility for our own issues. I don't believe it is the government's responsibility to save us from ourselves. For the most part, financial responsibility and self-control will "fix" the economy, not being bailed out by corrupt politicians who do not listen to the very people that they work for. This is not a political blog, nor do I want it to become one. I'm talking about everyone, myself included...and all politicians, no matter what party. Our freedom to make our own choices is what shaped this great nation in the first place!

I believe that a self-controlled person is one who God is able to use more effectively. I have a long ways to go, but step #1 is to be consistent in reading God's word every day. I need to choose a time when I am less likely to be interrupted. I have been trying to do it in the morning but I never know when Abigail will wake up or when I will accidentally hit my snooze 10 times (like this morning). I have a huge list of other things that need disciplining in my life but I won't bore you with the details. Today I'm so thankful that I'm still being changed.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy 9 month birthday!

Dear Abigail,

Happy 9 month birthday. It is hard to believe that you have been outside just as long as you were inside! Most of my "reminders" of your time inside me are fading. I no longer have thumb joints that pop out of place, carpal tunnel pain in my wrists, or a numb leg! It was all worth it!

You are growing in leaps and bounds and you continually amaze me and Daddy with your ability to stand like a big girl (yesterday you just stood up in the middle of the room), your little personality emerging, and you are finally sleeping regularly at night.


You are beginning to show us little glimpses of your personality. You generally listen when we tell you "no" but you are beginning to show your independence and preference when you don't like something, like being left alone in a room!



You are turning into such a good eater. You just gobble up lots of good, healthy foods each day, like carrots, peas, pears, bananas, prunes (yes!), squash, peaches, sweet potatoes, and sometimes chicken. We're working on those proteins. Mommy is having a difficult time keeping up with how much you are eating but that is a wonderful problem to have!



You are becoming so adventurous. Your newest thing is to "attempt" to climb the stairs. You want to go up them so badly but can't quite figure out how to lift that knee to go up. We're not about to show you how! :)


I love it that you're a mommy's girl, although it makes it hard to leave you sometimes. Soon you will realize that there are many people who love you and want to care for you and you'll start to go to other people.


We love doing cool and crazy things with you. But you'll always be safe with us and we'll always do our best to protect you. We are so excited to watch you grow up!


It was so neat that our sermon at church was about the story of Abigail in the Bible . . . on your 9 month birthday (although you were in the nursery and didn't hear it). They read one of my favorite verses during church: 1 Sam 25:3b - his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman."

You are a pill, you fight naps, you get fussy, yes . . . but we love you and we wouldn't trade you for the world.

Love,

Mommy

Friday, October 31, 2008

Grateful Friday

Good morning all! Welcome to my grateful Friday (although I should be grateful everyday!).

  • I am grateful that Abigail went down very easily for a nap this morning. It's been almost 45 minutes and she's still asleep!
  • I am grateful that she slept through the night.
  • I am grateful for our small group of young married couples. I love Thursday nights because I get to hang out with all of them. It is truly a highlight in my week.
  • I am grateful (and excited) for friends of ours who are about to join us (in 7 months or so) we new parents! :) Yeah!
  • I am grateful that God placed a fabulous idea in my head for a Christmas present. I am so excited about this I feel like I could jump out of my skin! It is inexpensive but so meaningful! Sorry to my family but it's for Andrew's family. You'll understand at Christmas.
  • I am grateful that I have the day off!!
  • I am grateful for my wonderful husband. He chose to (probably) miss an earlier bus this morning just so he could see Abigail and change her poopy diaper for me. You have GOT to love daddy's like that!
  • I am grateful for the beautiful sunny day. I'm not a big fan of the gloom we've had recently!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why do I do this?

I must make a note to myself to not blog about sleep conditions improving. Whenever I do, we have a night like last night. All in all, it could have been worse, but still. . .

She woke at 1:00 am, wasn't hungry, was wet but not dirty, and was simply restless. I tried rocking, laying her down, holding her hand, etc, but she was still restless until about 2:30 am. Yikes! Not crying (thankfully) just not sleeping either. I checked for a runny or stuffy nose (nope), fever (nope), teeth (nope). No explanation.

To be quite frank, this stresses me out. This mainly stresses me out because the buck stops with me. I'm the mom and so I'm the one who people look to to figure out what the problem is, if she's not her normal self, so when I don't have an answer (right away), I get stressed! Hopefully it was just a little awake period and not anything else. She was pretty cranky this morning but she seemed tired to me, so perhaps it was just the night that made her tired.

I'm enjoying this fun stage she's in right now, but to be honest, I'm also looking forward to when she can talk!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reminiscing

After finding that old blog post yesterday that contained Andrew's poem, I read a few more. The old memories came flooding back from our time in Kansas, our move here, etc. I did laugh out loud a few times at some of the comments that had been made by Andrew's grandpa on my blog and I must say this morning that I miss him. I'm glad I can look back and read those!

Sleep seems to be improving at our house. I hope I'm not jinxing things! Abigail still gets restless between 9:30 pm and 11 pm but she hasn't been waking up as much. She did cry out on Monday night so I went in there and unwrapped her from the blanket, and she promptly went back to sleep. I think she wanted to turn over and couldn't because of the blanket. She has slept through the night several times this week (last night being the fourth night in a row). She's still not a good napper. I just need to be thankful that she sleeps pretty well at night, I guess! We've been feeding her "supper" before bed and I think that helps with keeping her tummy full.

She has become quite the little piggy. Yesterday she ate over 8 cubes of food (ice cubes are the way we measure her food, since I make and freeze the majority of it), although it wasn't all at one time.

That's all for now. I'm trying to find time to study for my driving test, which I will go take on Friday for my Ohio license. It's probably about time to get that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Calling . . .

If you all don't read girl talk, do it! I have been stretched, called, challenged, encouraged, and blessed by reading this blog.

Their most recent topic, "Doing him good" has been particularly challenging and encouraging to me. I am going to give you a dose of total honesty here . . . in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule, one of the last things I have felt like doing is looking for "additional" ways to "do good" to my husband. Most days I feel like just getting the clean clothes upstairs, food prepared, baby taken care of, and most of the junk cleaned up in our house is a huge stretch for me. However, I think God wants more from me. . . read on!

My attitude towards this challenge was very negative at first. I struggle with the "what about me" syndrome and that's not good! I was challenged by my attitude. I mean, hello, it is in the Bible, so obviously, I am called to do it! I am being fed lies from the world that I don't need to make an extra effort to help my husband and let him know he is appreciated. In fact, I have been challenged lately that I am called to put these needs above those of my child. Obviously, with her being a helpless baby, I need to feed her, bath her, love her, shelter her (and we do all those things and more) but I need to have an appropriate balance of these relationships.

I have seen some beloved people go through turmoil lately and this has driven this point home even further. People are walking on dangerous ground when one person in the relationship (or both) feel neglected, unappreciated, unloved, disrespected, or unwanted. So, my resolve is to look for little ways to bless my husband. They don't have to take hours. I started last night by making his lunch. I continued this morning but forgiving him and laughing, instead of getting mad, that he forgot to take the lunch. I am far from perfect and I'm sure I will fail each and everyday in my actions and attitude but it's still worth the effort because I am certainly blessed to be his wife!

In remembering years past, here is a link to a post I wrote on this very blog about Andrew. It seems so long ago, many states away! He no longer makes the bed (since I'm still in it when he leaves) and I am the one who generally handles the money now . . . but the rest is true! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Political Confusion

No, this isn't about who you should vote for. This is a rant that most people don't know what is going on when it comes to voting. See, I work at a polling location. 364 days a year, it is a church, but that one (possibly two) days a year, we have people that come in to vote. I have nothing to do with any of it, except that I open the door for the guys bringing in the polling equipment, and on voting day, I stay huddled in my office, only to be bombarded with people needing things (usually easy things like pen and paper). However, before election days starts, I always seem to get those lost people calling and asking ME for an absentee ballot. Yes . . . umm, please call your county courthouse. I have nothing to do with elections, even on election day, except that my office happens to be in the same building that you vote!!

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We had a grand weekend. We got a lot done, including almost every stitch of laundry in the house. Naps didn't go so grand, however. Abigail's last nap of the weekend was on daddy's lap at 5:30 pm last night. Not good! She was up until 8 pm and was restless in bed until about 9:30 pm. She has also been an eating machine. She probably ate a three-ice-cube size helping of peas, and a one-ice-cub size helping of sweet potatoes last night. She still woke at 3 am to nurse. I keep wondering when her magical age of sleeping through the night will be! She definitely does it more often but it's not consistent. She did act like she would have eaten MORE last night, so we just need to feed her until she's full. I spent a lot of time making baby food this weekend. I'm having to work hard to keep up with her!