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.

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


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


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!


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!