Monday, December 29, 2008

Crud & Thrush

We have all been under-the-weather for a while. Evelyn started us off with an ear infection in early December and then Jason and I have had progressive random virus things that are spiraling into other things. We have had massive sore throats, swollen glands, goop coming out of eyes, and phlegm up the wazoo. I was really in pain from my glands being so swollen and was annoyed that swallowing was so painful so I went to the doctor on Friday assuming that if I didn't, I would end up in urgent care over the weekend because my sinuses would be totally infected or I had Strep somehow despite my 6th grade tonsillectomy.

Mrs. Doctor was "on the fence" about giving me an antibiotic, but since I had been sick for so long, she gave me an Rx for 5-day Zithromax. I know I have taken WAY too many prescriptions in my lifetime already and probably should not have gone in to get this one because lo and behold, I have taken 4 days and even though I think it took the edge off of my sickness, I am coughing now (yay), my throat still hurts, and now I think Evelyn has Thrush in her mouth from the antibiotic. Nice. And, since she's been sick the whole month I have been letting her nurse more and it has become a favorite pastime of hers to just want to sit and nurse. So, since Thrush sounds like a doozy to get rid of, I am wondering when I will get it on my ni**les (don't want my blog coming up on naughty Google searches!)

So, instead of a lovely Christmas wrap-up, I am asking my faithful bloggy friends to let me know any secrets you have to:
1) Dealing with Thrush (we both had some chewable acidopholus tonight and I am considering getting powder to make into a paste for E's mouth. Anyone tried the dr prescribed cure? I might get that soon is the acidopholus doesn't do the trick right away).

2) How to keep kids healthy and off of antibiotics? Evelyn has been on them three times already in her 16 months for ear infections (too much already in my opinion.) And, I am the queen of hand sanitizer already! :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

4 Years of Wedded Bliss

Happy Anniversary, my Love!

You are already in bed, but for 10 minutes it is still our anniversary and I wanted to shout out at the top of the bloggy world how much I love you and am so blessed to be your wife! I will save the rest of the mushy stuff just for us - I said a lot of it in your card! But, I truly adore being your wife and I am so proud to call you my husband. I do hope and pray that I can always make you happy and that I enrich your life and fulfill my role as a help-mate to you.

I would say we had a great anniversary, wouldn't you?

Brittany was gracious and watched Evelyn last night so that we could go on a date (our whopping 3rd since she was born! :) Evelyn did great away from us and we enjoyed a HOT and a bit fancy-shmancy meal simultaneously and engaged in great conversation. We drove around and looked at Christmas lights on our way home - just like we did on the way to our wedding reception. Such great memories!

I loved your card to me and will always treasure exchanging cards as it is a time when we both sit and write a love note to each other - those words are always so tender and great reminders of how much we love each other and what we appreciate in the other person. I loved sharing bowls of Kemp's Candy Cane ice cream as we watched parts of our wedding DVD (oh-so-glad we have that) and talked about how great that day was, but about how the adventure of doing life together is even better than that one day in our past.

I love you SO much, Jason! Happy Anniversary!

Love your wifey who adores you,
Amber
p.s. Don't be surprised if I break out my wedding day tiara sometime soon - seeing myself in it makes me feel like getting my "princess on" someday soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

BFF's


My sister Brittany and her daughter Sophia have been staying with us for a little while. It has been fun to have the company during the day and the girls LOVE having each other to play with! Sophia is almost 1 - the girls are one day shy of exactly 4 months apart. But, Sophia is already a great little walker, so they keep up with each other just fine. It is simply hilarious and so sweet to see them play - they'll talk baby talk to each other and will chase each other around the house. They do everything together now including snacking, bathing, and walking into dark rooms together on little adventures. Evelyn calls Sophia "Baby" and her favorite things are gently stroking the top of Sophia's head and trying to pick her up while saying "Up! Up!" They are also feeling comfortable enough with each other to play tug-of-war with toys or snatch things out of each other's hands...Jason said he's gotten a few glimpses of what it will be like some day when we have more than one child!
It has been so precious to watch these two playing and growing in their friendship! I just know they'll be Best Friends Forever! (And, I am hoping that also elevates me to Sophia's favorite Auntie too since I'll be her BFF's Mommy!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

She Takes Her Oral Hygiene Seriously


Apparently Evelyn hadn't flossed recently enough because on Sunday she was sitting on my lap when I felt a "plop" and realized it was the button off of my sweater. Evelyn had pulled the string all the way off and was flossing her teeth with it. This is me pretending to have a "stern" face while she continued to floss away!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meme

I should be packing for our trip, but I am holding sleeping Evelyn, so I will do Madeline's meme instead! Tag - anyone who reads is welcome to do this too - you're it! Let me know if join in!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mom liked some movie called Forever Amber. Still have yet to see it! Her middle name is Elizabeth, so is mine and Evelyn's!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Hmmm..I am surprised to say that I can't remember. Oh, now I do. Sunday at church listening to a man with Parkinson's talk about how much he loves the Lord and he cried and then I did.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not really. I wish mine was like my sister Brittany's instead.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Turkey
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'd like to think so!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Less than I used to. Evelyn doesn't get sarcasm yet!
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope. Out in 5th grade after lots of Strep and Mono too. Not fun!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Maybe...
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Quaker Toasted Oat Squares
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? After pushing out a backwards baby with no drugs, yes. :-) I guess I'd like to think so.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Dairy Queen softserve.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If they are friendly or not.
15. RED OR PINK? Both - my fav colors.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My insecurities. (copied Madeline's answer!)
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Grandma Jan
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? It would be fun, so sure!
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? None. No shoes allowed in the house.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Yogurt and banana bread. My typical morning breakfast.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Evelyn breathing and keys typing.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Hot pink?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Pumpkin spice, baby's heads, Jason's cologne, chocolate, and the list goes on.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A lady at the ospital denying me to promote Punkerdoops at the maternity classes.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes - a new bloggy friend!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Dance.
27. HAIR COLOR? Brown highlighted with blonde (way overdue for a highlight job might I add).
28. EYE COLOR? Brown.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yeppers.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings for sure.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Kit Kittredge, An American Girl.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither - spring and fall.
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Both.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything with chocolate or ice cream or bars or brownies or soft cookies...
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Probably no one! I rarely do these things myself!
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? See above.
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Sunrise I think - Karen Kingsbury's first book in the most recent series. It takes me forever to read books these days.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The word "Dell."
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Ace of Cakes
42. FAVORITE SOUND. Anything that comes out of Evelyn's mouth!
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles.
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? England.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Depends who you ask! Evelyn thinks I am a good milk maker!
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Minnesota

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alphabet Soup

I have a fondness for language - especially things like onomatopoeia, homonyms, and the like.

Evelyn has the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnets and she loves them! One day, we tried to make the longest word that we could without repeating a letter. I came up with "flamingos." Not bad, but of course I had to look up the real longest letter with no repetition. This is what I found on a language web community forums:

"I found 38,000+ words with no letter repetition; the longest were.. dermatoglyphics (15), uncopyrightable (15) This was from an indexed dictionary of 'normal / regular' words.

Here's the top lot! 15,"dermatoglyphics" 15,"uncopyrightable" 14,"troublemakings" 14,"dermatoglyphic" 14,"ambidextrously" 13,"documentarily" 13,"consumptively" 13,"copyrightable" 13,"endolymphatic" 13,"flowchartings" 13,"hydromagnetic" 13,"lycanthropies" 13,"troublemaking" 13,"unpredictably" 13,"unproblematic" 13,"subordinately" 13,"metalworkings" 13,"multibranched"

Pretty fun, huh?!?

Friday, November 21, 2008

This and That

It's cold and it's beginning to look and feel like Christmas! Christmas always has been my favorite time of year! I look forward to putting the tree up next weekend. I know it will be one more thing to keep Evelyn testing us, but I just love sitting in the glow of Christmas tree lights.

I did some Christmas shopping on Wednesday - Macy's had a great sale. We have a lot of people in our family to buy for - we have 21 IMMEDIATE family members - that is just parents, siblings, and the 4 nieces/nephews (no grandparents included - there are 11 grandparents.) Personally, I would rather skip presents and do just birthday presents throughout the year. Less pressure. Hard to focus on the meaning of Christmas when you're trying to buy gifts on a budget that aren't junk for people who complain they have too much stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to give and totally understand the joy of giving. But, we all promise to scale back every Christmas and I feel like we do, but then everyone else doesn't, and then I just feel guilty when I realize people spent WAY more than we did. Hope I am not offending too many people with that paragraph... And, who do you buy for? Where do you draw the line? Do you reciprocate with a gift for everyone who gets you something? I have generous aunts and uncles that give to me - do I need to give back?
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Punkerdoops Diapers is going well thanks to supportive family and friends. I have yet to drum up any business outside of family and friends, but hopeful that day will be sooner than later. I went to a business networking breakfast yesterday. I know that I need to have word-of-mouth advertising, but the dues are more than I can afford right now. I will have to stick to my current marketing plan which includes distributing fliers at local natural businesses and clinics, and handing out cards to pregnant women and people with babies. Evelyn is a cute little buffer and I think she helps from too many strangers being freaked out when I approach them in stores or at the library to hand them a card.

I also want to try to get the chance to talk at the hospital's Lamaze/birthing classes and fliers at a local birthing center. I also hope to contact the local paper and check out advertising in some local publications. I contacted the local farmer's market about having a booth, but have not heard back yet. The marketing budget is low. And when I say low, I mean really low! I want to drum up business, but I also need to buy stock so people have choices. Advertise to attract customers with my resources, or buy stock to give customers more choices? Decisions, decisions... Did I mention lately that I take forever to make decisions?

I am thankful for the business I have received and for how supportive Jason has been. He sat and cut and adhered tiny stickers with the web address onto 100 business cards in prep for the networking breakfast. What a guy! And, he built me a beautiful shelf and table with storage to display items in my "shop" room. I just sewed up the curtains that hide the storage area - I'll have to post a pic - it turned nicely. I am also proud of how much I have accomplished since starting the business in less than two months. God is great and He has blessed me abundantly. I keep going to Him for wisdom regarding all of the decisions and He is faithful to answer. The Word says He freely gives the gift of wisdom to those who ask! Thank goodness, because I sure ask for wisdom a lot!
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Speaking of the Word. I have never loved a Bible study as much as I love Beth Moore's study on Daniel that I am doing! I am sad to only have one week left. The study is on Friday mornings and is full of many neat women - two my age, the rest older mentoring age. Here comes another decision - should I stay in this study group? I love the women, but have issues with the childcare. Evelyn has never liked the nursery much, but has become so frightened of it that she screams and clings for dear life at me setting foot in the door, let alone setting her down. The ladies love her, but I know she is distracting to the other ladies when she fusses. She likes to run around the room - basically run out of the room, which I don't let her, and then the crying begins. I like to think that the ladies are just glad that I am there and that my desire to learn the Word outweighs Evelyn as a distraction. This is how they make me feel. But, I still worry that they are all secretly annoyed! The same issue is affecting our couple's study that we are in on Sunday nights. We want to be in Bible studies, but we also don't want Evelyn to scream for an hour - I can hear the screaming and I can't concentrate on anything else.

I know some of you think I need to just let her get used to it and deal with that she'll be fine. I just can't do it. She doesn't cry on and off or just whimper. She screams bloody murder. Non-stop. Barely breathes. Face turns purple. All-out rage, horror, and terror in her face. I have gone 15 minutes. That is my limit. It is just not worth it. Anyhow, I am thinking about doing a night study, but that cuts into family time. Also considering a study at my house, but I do like the women I am getting to know and will miss dialogues with them. We'll see...maybe Evelyn will have grown out of her separation anxiety issues by January when it starts again?... Lately, Daddy can't even keep her happy for long. Not even long enough for me to run and get the take-out pizza on a Friday night long. She wanders around the house from room to room looking for me saying "Mama! Mama?" Breaks my heart just thinking about it. Her little bottom-lip-pout melts me.

All of this paired with the whole phenomena of "how many things/studies/choirs/committees can I join before I no longer am helpful in any of the roles because I am spread too thin" has me at a point of making lots of decisions.
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In attempts to stop the rambling, I leave with two of my favorite Mommy tips. I have been meaning to do them as "Works For Me Wednesday," but who knows when I will do it. But, the tips are worthy - here I go!

1) Baby hair washing. My friend Tessa showed me how she dumped a bucket of water over her daughter's head to rinse her hair in the tub. She told me to brace myself before she did it as some people think it is cruel. I kind of thought it was until I really thought about it and saw her do it. Her daughter totally didn't care and Tessa explained how nice it was that there were no tears at bath time due to getting water in her daughter's eyes. As soon as Evelyn could sit up, dumping water over her head with a cup to rinse tear-free shampoo was implemented. She does great with it! She sometimes gets a little in her mouth and it takes her breath away, but she kind of likes it I think! She has never cried at hair washing time. I was inspired to share this after another bloggy mom showed an adorable pic of her son cuddling after getting his hair washed. He did not like it!

2) What to do with baby while you do your make-up? Put her in the bathroom sink! I set Evelyn on a towel in the sink while I do my make-up. She likes looking in the mirror and playing with the make-up - great practice taking on and off little caps and the like. And, I can totally watch her while I am getting ready.
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Have a phenomenal weekend everybody and stay warm! Do lots of cuddling with your favorite people! Mine are playing in the other room!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wonderful World of the redbox

Tonight we rented our first movie from redbox located at our local grocery store. It was nice to get eggs and lettuce and the movie at the same time. And, a new release for only $1 - unheard of!

I had seen redbox kiosks in bigger cities before and then saw one when we moved here. Sarah is also a huge redbox lover and says she gets emails for free movies on weekdays a lot too! Nice bonus!

I also followed a link on their site before I went that gave me a code for a free rental (of course I forgot to enter the code, but oh well! :-) You can reserve movies online to make sure you get what you want and movies aren't due back until the next day by 9 p.m. We can totally swing that.

So, we enjoyed Ben Stein's "Expelled" documentary tonight courtesy of redbox. Good movie. I am personally a huge Ben Stein fan and have been since high school when I used to stay up way too late to watch "Win Ben Stein's Money." I miss that show. If Ben Stein ran for president, he'd sure get my vote! He is just a really rational, uber-intelligent, and thoughtful man.

Check out "Expelled" and check out redbox! And, of course, have a super-de-duper weekend!!!! (Yep, super-de-duper, a Barney-exclusive word, is in my vocab now. Evelyn has been wanting to watch Barney at least once a day for the last 10 days ever since we watched him on a long car trip midweek last week. She even threw a Barney DVD case into the shower when after showing the case to me and pointing and saying "ah, ah" I didn't immediately jump out of the shower to put it on for her. And I always said my kids would never watch Barney....)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shoe Fetish


She's the only one allowed to wear shoes in the house! :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

International Babywearing Week!

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing is having a special blogging week to celebrate babywearing. In celebration with International Babywearing week she has teamed up with Nonny & Boo for a contest to win a free sling!

Steph wants us to share a babywearing picture and our favorite things about babywearing.

So, here I go!

Evelyn was a baby who never wanted to be put down (well, I never really wanted to put her down either!) So, I had to come up with a way to still get things done (like eat and do laundry). So, I started babywearing! I started by using a sling from Target. Not so good... I moved onto the Baby Bjorn which was truly a lifesaver. I wore that thing at least once a day for months and would not go anywhere without it. I loved how close I could hold Evelyn but still get things done. I loved how she would fall asleep every time I would blowdry my hair while she was in there.

The problem came when she got a little older and heavier. The Baby Bjorn was really hard on my back and shoulders. I bought a Peanut Shell sling off of eBay but never really got the hang of it. I hope I can use it more when we have another baby - it is super cute! :-) This was actually about the time when I started reading Steph's blog - when I officially declared I was a Babywearer too!

The best thing that ever happened to me in terms of my babywearing was being introduced to the ERGObaby Carrier! I could not have survived life without mine! It is an investment (a $105 one to be exact), but I am still using it almost every day! I can wear the carrier as a front carrier, back carrier, or a side "hip" carrier. I always keep mine on the hip carry setting as I find it is the best for keeping her able to see what is going on and participate in life with me. I admit, now that she is walking she doesn't like to be in it as much, but she still likes it a lot!

I love babywearing and really advocate it now! I found a ring-sling by Nojo (horribly ugly, but oh well) at a garage sale this summer. Brand new and only $2 - what a steal! I know I will get tons of use out of it when we have another baby.

But, I would recommend an ERGObaby Carrier to any and every parent! It distributes the weight of the child on your hips through the waist belt and so it is not hard at all on your back or shoulders. Shameless promotion...I also sell them on my website, Punkerdoops Diapers!

When I decided to sell cloth diapers, I knew I also HAD to carry the ERGObaby carrier because it is probably the first thing I would blurt out if someone asked me what every mom needs.

I realized I do not have many photos of me wearing Evelyn because I am mostly wearing her doing things that aren't frequently photographed (grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry). But, I did dig out a few pics from the archives!...

Don't mind how dreadful I look...this was the morning after we moved into our house. It was an across the entire state move that had lots of drama at the closing and this mama was T-I-R-E-D. So was Evelyn, as you can see! I wore her on my back during the moving in/UHaul unloading, and wore her on my hip for the box unpacking.

My friend Tia and me at a country music festival this summer. She had to have a carrier just like mine after seeing me use mine every time we got together! We both loved wearing our babies and they loved enjoying the concert right next to us. (Yes, Evelyn is not in my carrier! She was playing with Daddy at the time!)

Happy babywearing everyone!!! Who cares what kind of carrier pr sling you have - use what you've got and just wear that baby!!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Check out my new business!!!!

I have officially "launched" the Punkerdoops Diapers website!!!

It is located at www.punkerdoopsdiapers.com. Please check it out!


As most of you know, I use cloth diapers on Evelyn and have really fallen in love with cloth diapering! There are so many great products that make modern cloth diapering easy and convenient. The cloth diapers of today are not what they used to be! Cloth Diapers now fasten with durable snaps or velcro and some versions are all-in-one - modeled exactly like a disposable diaper - just velcro on and go! Modern cloth diapers are washed in your own home washing machine every other day - no need for pails filled with water or a diaper service for laundering.

We have noticed such a benefit to our family from using cloth diapers! Evelyn no longer deals with diaper rashes, we save a TON of money, she looks so cute with a cloth booty :-), and of course the HUGE environmental benefit - we are contributing to saving the earth by keeping more diapers out of landfills and eliminating the use of natural resources used to make disposables. I am putting a few statistics from the Real Diaper Association at the bottom of this post for your review. You can also find more info on the economic, environmental, and benefits to baby of cloth diapers here.

Punkerdoops Diapers is both a small "shop" in our home as well as a full e-commerce website (www.punkerdoopsdiapers.com) where customers can purchase and have items shipped to them. We are carrying products for all aspects of cloth diapering - prefolds and covers, pocket diapers, all-in-ones, wet bags, pail liners, Snappis, wipes, wipe sprays, flushable liners, diaper sprayers, and more! We also are carrying ERGObaby carriers and organic teething oil. I am hoping to carry more brands of slings and baby carriers as well as more brands of diapering supplies as the business grows. Please let me know if you have any product suggestions!

I know many of you do not have anyone in diapers right now, but please consider taking a look at the site and letting friends and family know about cloth diapering and Punkerdoops Diapers. We all know that it takes word of mouth for a business to grow! Those of you with babies, I encourage you to take a look at the website "Why Choose Cloth Diapers?" and "Cloth Diapering 101/Basic Info" sections of the website to learn how truly easy and convenient it is to switch to cloth. I will be adding more information to the website weekly as I find the time to do so!

Thank you in advance for your support and for passing the word on about cloth diapering and Punkerdoops Diapers!!!



A Few Cloth Diaper Facts from the Real Diaper Association:

National Costs:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 19 million children under four in 2000. We could probably assume that there are about 9.5 million children under two and therefore in diapers at any one time. Based on previous studies, we estimate that 5-10% of babies wear cloth diapers at least part time. We will average these figures to 7.5% of babies in cloth diapers and 92.5% in disposables. This means that about 8.8 million babies in the U.S. are using 27.4 billion disposable diapers every year.

Based on these calculations, if we multiply the 8.8 million babies in disposable diapers by an average cost of $800 a year, we find that Americans spend about 7 billion dollars on disposable diapers every year. If every one of those families switched to home-laundered cloth prefold diapers, they would save more than $6 billion14, enough to feed about 2.5 million American children for an entire year15. Coincidentally, the 2002 U.S. Census reveals that 2.3 million children under 6 live in poverty.


Environmental Costs:

Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.

The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.

Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Mommy Lessons Learned

I learn lessons in mommy-hood every day.

The three mommy lessons that I can remember learning yesterday:

1) When you get the new idea to put your toddler in the playpen to keep her from getting into trouble while you clean, don't think you are so clever. As soon as she realizes you are not going to get into the playpen with her, she will be mad at you, very very mad. The time spent to haul out the thing and assemble far outlasts the time she will spend in it. Don't bother with this "great idea" again!

2) Vacuuming the stairs with a toddler on your back is probably a huge safety "no-no." The toddler swinging her legs back and forth really throws off the balance. I credit the many years of ballet for my ability to keep balance and not fall off of the stairs. Next time I vacuum the stairs I think I will do it when Jason is home to watch her.

3) If you don't get totally upset when the toddler knocks a huge glass of water off of the counter, she won't get upset either. She will just help you clean it up with you. You both might get wet socks though. I am really proud of this one - been known to overreact a little in times like these. See, I really am learning!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our lil' Punkin' went trick-or-treating!







Our little Evelyn isn't so little anymore! =( She was a big girl all dressed up in her poodle costume. We went downtown to do some business trick or treating and then came back to the neighborhood for some more. It was a beautiful fall day and perfect weather for being outside. We had some of our friends over with their cute daughter and Amber made Chili for all of us. Great chili love! I think Evelyn loved her first Trick or treating day...now mommy and daddy get to eat it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Worth the Read

This is a Party Platform Comparison Resource and is highly informative as to the direction that each party wants to take our nation. It is an unbiased resource that merely "cuts and pastes" statements from each party's platform and gives links to the full platforms of each party.

Check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Expired?...

I used some deodorant that I had in a bin. I used to have a bad habit of stocking up on toiletry items that are on sale and then forgetting I have them... I also seemed to go through a stage when I received tons of bottles of smelly lotions as gifts. I am a plain lotion plus perfume kind of gal. Not a scented lotion kind of gal. That is beside the point. But, what I was trying to get to was that I found of stash of Secret deodorant tubes that were living amongst an assortment of smelly lotions in a random bin when we moved.

I used a brand new tube of the deodorant one day and found myself with stinky armpits by lunchtime. So, I gave that tube away to one of my teenage sisters thinking that it maybe my mom pits had outgrown Secret or something. (Sorry to Moriah...I think she was the unfortunate sister that inherited said deodorant...if you haven't done it yet - THROW IT AWAY! Or, you might find yourself alone at the lunchroom table :-)

You see, I found more of those deodorants from that lotion bin and inspected them more carefully to see that they had all expired in April 2006. Who knew deodorant expired?!? My brief experiment with the old deodorant would make me a firm believer that deodorant does indeed expire and should not be used if more than two years has passed since its expiration.

Now go and inspect your deodorant stashes for expiration dates! :-) Wow, I really used the word deodorant a lot in this post!

Friday, October 17, 2008

There's Nothing Quite So Dangerous As The Average American Voter

My oh my! I borrowed this clever title from Jennie - one of my favorite bloggy friends! Take a listen...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Learning to "Meow"



This is a time of great learning - she understands and attempts more language every day. Babies are great!

She walks!



Not the best quality, but it is something to start with! We noticed her arms have already lowered considerably as she walks - she used to walk with them straight up in the air!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She...

...Makes messes! This was while I was trying to make dinner.
..,Plays "peeks" with us!
...Walks - very well! With her arms up in the air, I might add! She is already FAST, too! Sorry - the camera was full and the action shots are hard to get. Video and pics coming soon!
...Pats her babies - aw!
...Climbs! And, subsequently, gives Mommy mini heart attacks!

...Gets bigger every day. Sigh! :-)

Happy Autumn!


Jason has been busy raking lately, too. Evelyn loves to be outside more and more every day. She begs to go on the swing by going "ah! ah!" as she points out the window!




The apple orchard a few weekends ago was great fun! Evelyn had her first jump in a "bouncy house." Good times! They had my favorite, Haralson apples. And, the best part was we bought "seconds" which are just too small to be "premium" apples and so we got 5 lb bags for $2 each - what a steal! Crunchy and tart - yum!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Invasion

Our political yard sign was stolen two nights ago. I am SO angry about it! How DARE someone come on our private property and steal. Do you really think that action is going to make me think any more highly of your political party?!? Absolutely not.

As Jason put it, the vandal would get so much more accomplished campaigning during his/her time than going around stealing. This morning we noticed the identical sign missing out of our neighbor's yard. The vandal was apparently back!

Apparently many signs have been stolen in our area as well as burned right on the metal stake. Break-in's have also occurred. Nice. We live in a very nice area and I never thought this would have happened around here.

Frustrated and angry? Yes. Deterred to vote for what I believe in because of some immature person's action? Heck no!

Now I just have to decide if I want to play a game with this vandal and go get another sign for him/her to steal. Or, save the campaign headquarters' money by not putting more bait out on the lawn.

***Updated: Jennie had a good point in her comment that I forgot to include - we did report it to the police as soon as we noticed. The good people who gave it to us at the headquarters gave us an instruction sheet that told us to report stolen signs! :-)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage









Jason and I went to see this movie tonight and it was really wonderful and such a blessing. I encourage anyone to go see it - especially people who are married. It touched me in many ways and moved me to tears many times - be sure to bring the tissues! My mom asked Jason if it was a "chick flick," and he replied with a strong "no." So, wives, you can tell husbands that it at least has Jason's vote. They also have a great website for the film here.

This movie is worth the splurge of going to the theaters and is really worth not waiting for the DVD to come out in January!!!

Step By Step


Evelyn has been standing well for at least a month - getting steadier by the day. She LOVES to push her toys around - Mr. Hippo, Pony - the favorite, and the $0.75 garage sale push cart. She can really whip and maneuver her toys around. She pushes them from room to room and stops to exchange one for the other. She rarely crawls anymore, just pushes something to her next destination instead. We really need to get more of the action on video and pictures - this pic is a month old but was the only one I had of her standing.
Tonight, after we all put our shoes on to go for a walk, Evelyn totally shocked us by taking 3 steps!!!! She did her 3 steps twice, then refused to repeat it for the rest of the night. But, it was a big deal for us - we are so proud of her and enjoy watching her grow and change each day. Today was also the first day she blew kisses! A big day for the baby book!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Win a Free Custom Blog!

Photobucket

Good luck (eventhough I want to win, of course!)

Trick or treat?



For us it is definitely a TREAT! Isn't she SO cute!
So Amber bought 2 costumes for Evelyn. Even though Halloween is a month away, a lot of the good costumes were gone. So she first bought the lady bug costume because it was all that was left that was "cute". This week she also found this puppy costume. Evelyn LOVES puppies. Every time she sees one on TV or in the street or as we're out and about she points to them and says "wuuff, wufff". We're not sure yet about how she feels when she actually gets to pet them.


On another note, fall is making itself known a little more and more these days. The colors here are just starting to show themselves. It's pretty cool how God threw that detail into His creation. He could have made everything turn brown, but instead we get the deep reds, yellows, oranges, and so on. And to all who commented on Amber's previous post on fall....I too LOVE fall. I love the cool air, the changing colors and the idea that winter is just around the corner.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another crown?

You have got to be kidding me!?! I am pretty sure I need another dang crown! I owe it all to my chocolate obsession...

You see, tonight I was eating a good ole Heath bar (which I was so excited about since I love Heath bars and I found mini ones at Target and I let myself indulge in mini candy bars.) Anyhow, I was chewing the last bite and felt like I was chewing an awfully hard and gritty piece of toffee. As I continued to try and figure out what was so gritty whilst simultaneously clean the toffee out of my teeth I realized that a chunk of my tooth was missing. I also realized that I never found that gritty bit of Heath bar. Not only was I missing a big chunk of tooth, I also ate a big chunk of tooth. Yum. Hope I didn't make any of you lose your breakfast!

I checked it out in the mirror at the next commercial break during "The Office" (I couldn't miss part of the season premiere even for missing teeth chunks - that just wouldn't be right!) Yep - part of my top 5th from the front tooth on the right is gone. Now, you can just see the filling in the middle. A beautiful, old, amalgam filling. Funny, I never even realized I had a filling in that tooth.

So, here I am, giving myself a migraine (literally) over the stress of knowing I more than likely need another crown. I just had my first one put on in May and it was kind of stressful because I grind my teeth at night and I ground my temporary crown into a peak that made my tongue bleed. Not to mention, it forced me to go to the dentist a billion (actually just 4) times and need to leave Evelyn each time to do it, I have a small jaw that really hurts when I have to keep it open for more than .5 seconds, I hate that numb mouth feeling, dentist drill noises are scary... Need I go on? Argh...

And, of course, there is the ridiculous cost of all dental work, especially things like crowns. We do not have dental insurance. Jason's company is nice enough to reimburse us some, but because I just had a crown put on, our money for the year is completely gone. Do I wait 3 months with a jagged tooth and exposed silver filling to have it done? Can I just pay the nice dentist man for this year's crown next year? Would Jason's company fall for that? Why are my teeth so brittle (other than the night grinding of course!)? Why didn't they see my tooth had a crack in it when I had panoramic x-rays last at my last visit? Hopefully my call to the dentist tomorrow will give insight into a few of those questions.

Sorry to be a downer. Oh yeah, Jason just went to the dentist two weeks ago and they recommended a crown on one of his fillings sometime soon. Nice.

Well, at least it will be Friday when I wake up! Have a great weekend y'all and please, pretty please, stay away from the Heath bars. (Do you think I can at least have a few more if I chew them on the other side of my mouth? They are so good! :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Our Neck of the Woods

Things are good - just busy!

Last week flew by...I can't even remember the highlights.

The weekend was fun. Friday started off with a bang - I started a new Bible study at a local church. It is a Beth Moore study for women on the book of Daniel. Great study! I am learning a lot and love how the study forces me to become a scholar again - she really focuses on LEARNING the material and synthesizing the information she presents and that we read in the Word. The ladies were very welcoming and I felt like it was a great choice of study. I met another mom with a baby daughter as well as other women in their 30's through probably 70's. It is great to be in the company of wise women who can mentor a young mama. The only thing that wasn't that great was the childcare. There are two young girls and one woman doing the childcare. None of them seemed very enthusiastic... Evelyn was in the study with me after a half hour in the nursery when she had checked out all the toys and kids and decided she was done! :-)

My mom came to visit on Friday and gave us our FIRST DATE IN OVER A YEAR! I was very nervous to leave Evelyn, but I knew she was in good hands with a woman who has raised 8 kids and taught me all my mothering tricks. Evelyn was in her own home with someone who looks like Mommy and plays all the same games Mommy does. Jason and I left the first restaurant we tried (way too expensive...even with our coupon) and opted for Mexican food. My milk came in several times as I thought of Evelyn and worried. The cell phone sat on the table and I checked it often. We rushed out as soon as we paid for our over-priced dinner (note: ask how much non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris are before you order or you may pay $7 like I did...argh!) As we pulled up I saw Evelyn in my mom's arms in the kitchen. She was feeding her a few small bites of ice cream (apparently Evelyn indicated she wanted some as they were playing with the fridge magnets). It was so strange to see her on someone else's hip. I rushed in before Jason even parked the car in the garage and Evelyn hardly cared. My mom reported that she never once even whimpered and she is pretty positive she didn't miss either one of us. They played with the neighbor girls, collected leaves, went on a walk, and made and ate all "p" foods for dinner. I was glad, yet a bit disappointed that she didn't miss me! The date was nice, yet we felt so strange without Evelyn. It just didn't seem right.

My mom and Evelyn's fun times have made me think about how I need to play even more with Evelyn every day. I know I too often get caught up in household chores and other tasks and only take minutes here and there to play and teach. I know I could be better at incorporating more teaching and more playing into the day. My mom says she now knows what people mean by the whole grandparenting joy - you just get to focus on the fun of being with the child and don't have to worry about the discipline and daily care like parents do. I am so glad she likes being a Grandma! Thanks Mom for watching her! Most of all, thanks for teaching me how to be a Mommy and for letting me feel so safe and secure leaving Evelyn with you! I love you!

Saturday gave us a lazy morning and fun afternoon at the International Fall Festival in our historic downtown. Evelyn got to have two firsts: a parade and cheese curds! The parade was fun and we were thrilled to see that they don't have any city ordinances about throwing candy at the parade. Our last town was such a downer - no throwing of candy! Evelyn had a third first, I guess - a taste of Smarties! Ah, parade candy! She also scored a hot pink pom-pon and some literature on the local theatre performances coming up. We are due for a theatre performance!

Sunday was church - Evelyn lasted a half hour again in the nursery. We heard an uplifting sermon from a missionary the church sponsors in Chad, Africa. Wow - what a reminder that we need to pray more diligently for the unsaved and for the missionaries and their families who are serving in cultures that are so different than our own.

Sunday night we started a young married couples Bible study at the same church that I am doing my Bible study at (we have been looking for a church since we moved here and haven't officially decided where we are going to attend/join). This was a great experience and the childcare girls we GREAT! Evelyn was in there for an hour and was just starting to get sad at the end, but the middle school girl was so smart and just decided to start walking her around and showing her things to keep her distracted. Way to go babysitter! She reminded me of all of my sisters and their innate abilities to play with babies and kids so well.

Typing all of this sure makes me realize what great strides I am making in entrusting other people to watch Evelyn. I just cover her in prayer and give very specific instructions to call/page/come and get me AS SOON as she cries! I can't let my baby cry!

And, last but not least, I have been extremely preoccupied with something I am calling "Punkerdoops Diapers." Yep, I caught the entrepreneurial bug. I am planning to distribute quality diapers from several manufacturers. I want to take a teaching spirit with this - guiding moms in my area through their choices in cloth diapering through "Cloth Diapering 101" sessions and one-on-one walk-throughs of their options. Things will initially be in the basement with the hopes of one day branching into an online store. This is a HUGE endeavor and there is so much work to be done. I am just in the initial steps of getting my business registered with the state and so on. I am stuck right now - should I be a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Do I need a lawyer? An accountant? Overwhelming to say the least. Most of the manufacturers/wholesalers will not even communicate with you until you have an issued state business ID and in some cases a full and running website. I have so many websites bookmarked about getting this thing launched - I am up to my eyeballs in to-do lists.

That's about it! Hope all of you are well! Maybe I will catch up to reading blogs by the end of the week! :-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

In Denial of Fall

The windows are shut at night. I had to wear a jacket yesterday. Today's forecast brought wearing jeans. Evelyn has donned socks for the past few days (which completely drives her batty!) Fall is here!

I always was excited for fall. Up until just a few years ago, I was always starting school in the fall - I went straight from high school to college, then to grad school. I had the excitement of buying new school supplies, getting books, and taking great classes. The last two years I was at least working at a university and so I was surrounded by that certain energy that comes with the beginning of the school year.

This year has been completely void of that feeling and thus my denial that it is fall already! But, the cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets are reminding me of what is looming around the corner. Winter. Yuck.

By the end of summer the past winter is so far back in the remnants of your mind that you forget about the cold temperatures, shoveling, scraping of car windows, and isolation that winter brings. It is so much easier to jump in the van and go during the summer - no jackets, hats, boots, and warming up of the van to bother with.

So, I am determined to get out and enjoy the freedom that good weather brings while this lasts!

I miss not being around school, but I do still love the crisp fall air and the turning of the leaves that fall brings.

Happy Fall everyone!

Recovering

I am - from a bad haircut. This "curly" hair I have now is a pain. If it was all curly it would be fine. But, it is just the back of my hair. The initial haircut she gave me was a "modern shag." I felt more like an 80's rocker.

I went back and she fixed it the best that she could after I told her how much it was not "me" and that I was much more "glam" than "rocker." I think when I told her that I wanted a trendy cut she misinterpreted me.

I know that it will grow out, but it is so frustrating to have a bad haircut. I feel like my hair looks bad as soon as I am finished styling it. Argh. Oh well. Just venting into cyberspace and maybe making someone else in bad hair recovery feel a little bit better knowing that I feel their pain.

The Birthday Princess Had a Party

Any decent party has streamers, right? Trisha keeps reminding me that I have neglected to post pics of the house. I keep waiting until it is all painted - like a "reveal" for each completed room. But, here is one project completed - the new yellow kitchen and window treatments.
Daddy had the backyard looking great - complete with signage for the coolers, garbage, and recylcling containers. My sister accused me of being way too organized with signs. I was proud to tell her it was Jason who made them! Evelyn is doomed with two detail-oriented perfectionistic parents. I know we gave ouselves way to much stress over a family party! But, the family is big - we had 33 people here! I tried to keep the menu simple, but still ended up spending many hours in the kitchen.

Evelyn enjoyed opening gifts with all the uncles, aunts, and cousins around her.





Mommy baked strawberry cake because strawberries are Evelyn's favorite food.
"Hmmm....this is good!"
"Yeah, I'm about done now - can't find anymore strawberries in there."
Cake clean-up!
Trying on the new fairy costume from Auntie Hannah.
She just couldn't stay awake any more, so the peanut caught a quick nap towards the end of the party. Don't worry - she woke up after the traditional I-only-sleep-half-hour-Evelyn nap length to say goodbye to all the guests.

Thanks to all the family that joined us and for blessing Evelyn with so many gifts. She is enjoying having new play things. It was a great party!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Evelyn's Birth Story, Part 4 Happy Birthday!

My midwife decided to let me push through the lip on my cervix, which I was able to accomplish in one push and get her quite far into the birth canal. I was so pumped, thinking she would be out in another push or two. This is when things got frustrating – with every push I would get her down, and then she would retreat back up. We figured out later that it was because she was “sunny side up” (posterior) and so her head was getting caught and was pushing her chin to her chest instead of allowing her to extend her little neck and kind of “dive” out like a normal position would allow. This also explained the tremendous back labor and tailbone pressure that I was experiencing. Pushing was HARD work. I somehow had this impression in my head that pushing was “nice” and provided “relief” and “rest.” It was hard, hot, sweaty work. Labor, just like it is called.

Evelyn’s head sat way down into the birth canal and the poor thing had her head rammed down over and over again, push after push, until my midwife finally resorted to an episiotomy. At 11:16 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 our adorable little “punkin” Evelyn Elizabeth was born! She was put onto my bare chest immediately and I got to keep her there and cherish her for a good five minutes while I warmed her skin-to-skin and helped her regulate her breathing with my own breathing. It was the most beautiful and incredible thing that I have ever experienced. There really are not words to describe the joy and awe of these moments.

Jason cut her cord and they did a few quick things to her before they brought her back to me to nurse for the first time. That was incredible as well – to watch this tiny little being that I grew inside of me, now being nourished by me. Nursing is such a special bond between a mother and baby. I love when Evelyn nurses now and looks up at me and smiles so big that she can’t even keep sucking! Ahhh…I get so emotional thinking about all of this! At first, she was having a hard time latching on because she would not open up her bottom lip. But, I was obsessed with practicing over and over and making nursing happen.

Evelyn was a healthy, yet tiny peanut weighing in at 6lbs, 8 oz and 18 inches long (although I think she was longer than that). I could not take my eyes off of her and would not allow her to be out of my sight. I watched with my eyes wide open as Daddy and the nurse gave her a bath at 3:30 in the morning and just kept praising God for my healthy little girl. I just couldn’t wait for them to be done and for her to be back in my arms.

We really never slept until the next night as we had the midwife, baby doctor, nurses, phlebotomists, lactation consultant and food deliveries interrupting us every time we tried to sleep. And, I was obsessed with nursing. I think I pretty much nursed non-stop (maybe that is why she still loves to nurse in her sleepJ)! I was wary for weeks to let anyone even hold her – my “mama bear” protective instincts were so intense. I also was having a lot of “flashbacks” to the pain and images of labor when I would try to close my eyes…I was a little traumatized. So, I opted to just constantly hold Evelyn and stare at her rather than sleep!

Recovery went quite well. I did have a lot of pain from her posterior presentation making so much swelling and internal bruising. Ice packs and the inflated doughnut ring were my friends for a good week afterwards. Then, there was the giant incision and the raging postpartum emotions – typical recovery hurdles. But, Jason was so great and our church family was so supportive in bringing us meals when we got home that the recovery went quite well.

I am so thankful that God gave me the blessing of and strength to endure a completely natural and non-medicated birth just like I had hoped for. I was never hooked up to any IV’s and rarely to any monitors. It was such a beautiful and wonderful birth. I knew that I could do it and still feel empowered that I did it! Giving birth is a spiritual thing too, as you get to have a first-hand account of God’s perfect design in a woman’s body and in His creation and nourishment of babies. You get to be a part of a miracle.

To my precious miracle, Evelyn:
You have brought so much joy to my life! I smile more in a day now because of you than I think I used to do in a week. I love to watch you explore the world around you and learn new things. It breaks my heart every time you get an owie or I upset you when I direct you away from something dangerous. You’ve got me wrapped around all of your chubby little fingers! You keep me on my toes, too! You are very inquisitive and I often see the “wheels” turning in your head as you examine something. You take after mommy and notice and pick up the smallest crumb or piece of lint.

Your little voice and babbling makes me grin, your silly faces make me laugh, and your sweet personality makes me melt. I have tried every day to “take you all in” and burn memories and images into my mind. But, sadly, you are growing and changing so fast every day that my finite brain cannot keep up!

I still love to watch you sleep and I still let you sleep in my arms, for I know that you’ll outgrow my arms one day soon and that someday a sibling will come along for you and my arms will have to make room for them. But, you’ll always be my first baby, and that is something so special and a place in my heart that you will always exclusively hold. You are actually in my arms right now, and even though you barely fit, my arm is tired, and one-handed typing is challenging, you’ll stay right here until you wake up, because we both like it that way.

I am so excited for you to turn one and to watch you continue to grow and blossom into a toddler. But, I’ll hold onto every last day of your babyhood, too. We’ll have another year of milestones and I will rejoice and celebrate each one of them (I am already storing up tears of pride and joy for your first steps as I know they are quickly approaching). You are already starting to leave me in a room to go play in another independently. My big girla!

I love you little punkerdoops. Happy Birthday to the best, sweetest, smartest, and cutest daughter in the whole world! I love you “so much, so big.” and I am so honored that God chose me to be your mama.

Love forever,
Mommy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Evelyn's Birth Story, Part 3

After finishing my shower I called the clinic and asked if I could come in to get checked so that I knew what was going on with my body and if I was in labor or not. My midwife had Wednesdays off, so a Physician’s Assistant checked me and monitored my contractions on a machine. She concluded that I was now dilated to 1 ½ and 90% effaced – those contractions were doing something! She assured me that within the next three days I would have a baby - I was thrilled and motivated!

In the clinic parking lot I called work to inform them that I would indeed not be coming in that day. I also called the hair salon – I had an appointment on Saturday and it looked like I would be missing that. My stylist was able to squeeze me in that afternoon for a cut, but no style. I knew that it might be a while before I would be able to get a trim, so I took the time slot. I made one last trip to Target to exchange a defective diaper pail (funny, since it was a junk contraption that we returned again) and buy some other baby supplies, another nursing bra, and Daddy treats for the hospital – Gatorade and Power Bars.

I made it to the hair salon in time and was still contracting quite hard. I had to stop talking during a few contractions, which totally freaked out the stylist! I took my wet head of hair home and microwaved myself some lunch – leftover mashed potatoes and chipped beef gravy. Then, I was going to pack my bag, but decided instead to take a nap, as I was quite tired. I lied down on the couch and the contractions really picked up. I could not get comfortable enough to sleep and then around 3:20, I felt a “pop” during a contraction. I thought it was weird, but I just kept laying there, the Dr. Phil show in the background. A few minutes later my phone rang. It was Jason checking in on me. As I stood up to reach my phone, there was a small “gush”. I did not answer the phone with “hello,” instead it was a semi-panicked, “I think my water broke! I am hanging up and calling the clinic!”

Rushing to the bathroom, I sat down on the toilet for another “gush” and I called the clinic. The nice nurse told me that my water had indeed broke and to get to the hospital. I remember my legs were just shaking – this was really happening – I was about to deliver my baby! So much for “in the next three days” – she was coming that day! I called Jason back right away and told him to come home. He describes that drive as the slowest drive of his life. He said he got behind every old guy driving five under the speed limit and hit every red light on his ten-minute drive home, making it feel like an hour!

I rushed around the house gathering things for my bag. The contractions had grown in their intensity, and with every one, I needed to stop and breathe through them. They were not only stronger, but were also coming about every 4 minutes. Jason arrived home and we headed to the hospital, carseat in the back and me sitting on a trash bag and a towel. I had so many butterflies – I have them again just remembering the anticipation of that car ride.

We were at the hospital checked-in and in the room by shortly after 4:00. I had my gown on and we started to walk the halls. The contractions were quite intense and at one point I found myself crying in the hallway as I clung to Jason after a contraction. The tears were somewhat out of fear of the unknown, and somewhat out of joy as the moment I had been waiting for was finally here.

I started to get quite uncomfortable and we headed back into the room so that I could get in the tub. It seemed like the contractions were right on top of one another. I was disappointed that I was only dilated to 3, as I thought for sure I would have been a 5 already! I labored hard in the tub, with my awesome coach Jason at the side of the tub keeping me focused as I did deep breathing through each contraction. My midwife was nice enough to come in on her day off to deliver me. She would occasionally pop in and her calming presence at the edge of the tub was also so wonderful.

The contractions became so intense at transition that the pain made me lose my lunch and I also became cold and wanted to get out of the tub. I got out and she checked me – I was dilated to 7. I tried to labor on the birthing ball at this point and standing, but I felt quite weak. I think it was after about an hour that my midwife felt I was not progressing quickly enough and wanted me to have Pitocin. Getting out of the tub must have made me tense up and stall labor a bit. I did not want Pitocin, and I begged my midwife not to make me have it. She told me to lie on my left side and we could wait a few contractions before an IV was hooked up. I lied there staring at that IV and prayed the God would pick up my contractions so that I did not need it. He answered my prayer immediately! Something about my left side kicked those contractions back into high gear and a few contractions later I was feeling tremendous pressure. Sure enough, I was dilated to 9 ½ and just had a small lip on my cervix. It was pushing time - about 9:30 p.m.!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Evelyn's Birth Story, Part 2

On August 26, 2007, Evelyn started giving me signs that she was coming! It was a Sunday and as we sat in church I started contracting every 12 minutes. I sat there in disbelief as I timed them and quietly prayed for my baby, too distracted to listen to a sermon.

We went straight home from church and the laundry brigade began. I think I did six or seven loads of baby laundry that day – washing every item of clothing, blanket, sheet, burp cloth – you name it! I had been waiting to do it so that it was nice and fresh for her. My due date was not until September 9th or so, so I figured I could wait another week. But, the fact that the contractions were still quite regular was great motivation to get that laundry done.

I remember folding little baby clothes while I sat on my big red birthing ball and was filled with so much excitement and anticipation as I daydreamed about my little baby in those clothes. How I yearned to know what she would look like and how it would feel to have her in my arms, at my breast, and with her little hand wrapped around my finger.

I went to work on Monday still contracting quite frequently, yet without a good pattern. I had not begun to clean out my office yet and so that whirlwind began as I realized how many personal things I had gathered over two years and how much it would take to get my affairs in order to leave my programs in someone else’s hands.

I furiously worked all day and managed to get everything packed up and into my car in time to leave for my 5:30 appointment with the midwife. I was only dilated to 1 and was about 50% effaced. I thought for sure those contractions had done more! My midwife said that it was probably just false labor. I was worried that my uterus would tire out since it had been contracting for 30+ hours pretty regularly, but without much progress.

Tuesday everyone was surprised to see me back at work. It was a rainy day and I had to park very far from my office since I slept in a little that morning to gain some much-needed rest. I remember being frustrated that I was back there and was carrying back in items I had hoped would remain home from now on (my important paperwork, my foot stool , daily planner, etc). But, my excitement picked up again later that afternoon when I lost my mucous plug. Yeah…that was pretty weird and gross! I ran back to my office from the bathroom, slammed the door, and dialed my mom as quick as I could to make sure it was indeed my mucous plug. After her reassurance and looking it up on at least 5 websites, I was excited to be having more signs of labor.

I went to Jason’s softball game after work and told my friends what was happening. One friend, Alicia, just about screamed and told me I was going to have the baby soon – she just knew it! I wasn’t convinced though and figured it would be at least another week before Baby Girl made her debut.

Wednesday morning I woke up after night filled with contractions – some that even woke me up. I was also still losing a ton of mucous. I’ll never forget talking to Jason while I was in the shower that morning explaining all of my contracting and mucous. Jason made the determination that the baby was coming and that I would be staying home from work that day! You see, I was a 50-minute commute from home and our hospital. Jason’s “feeling” led him to run around the house that morning and pack his bag. The guy was seriously convinced! I decided to make a call to the clinic to get checked that morning before I would drive into work. I am so grateful that Jason made me stay home that day (and that he made his demand to me while in the shower, thus prompting me to shave my legs just in case he was right!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Evelyn's Birth Story, Part 1

The Birth of Evelyn Elizabeth
Written 8/22/08, in honor of Evelyn’s approaching 1st (whimper) birthday.

I loved being pregnant! I walked around since the day I found out I was pregnant (Dec 29, 2006 in case you wanted to know) feeling just special. I felt like royalty, for I was carrying, GROWING, a little person inside of me. I felt so privileged to be in the baby-growing business.

The first trimester was hard. I felt very nauseous most of the day and the only things that really seemed to taste good were potatoes – especially fried ones, and simplex sugary white carbohydrates like animal cookies. Then, there was the exhaustion. Me, Miss Night Owl was ready to turn in each night around 7:30. Poor Jason. I had no energy to cook, clean, or do much else other than whine about how icky I felt.

Yay for week 12 when I did seriously begin to feel much better! I think it was about week 14 when I was convinced that my clothes no longer fit (it was probably from all the fried potatoes and animal cookies though, not the baby). I couldn’t wait to be showing and wearing maternity clothes. I was ready for people to gawk and marvel and acknowledge how I had the pleasure of growing Evelyn inside of me.

Every day I spent considerable time gazing at my beautiful growing belly and daydreaming about the day that I would get to meet that little baby that I had been falling more in love with every day.

I kept growing and growing, and despite the usual discomforts of pregnancy, I never was “sick of being pregnant” as many women complain about. I was however, SO ready to meet my precious little girl.

Free Entertainment

I can't fall asleep. Weird, since I always feel tired.

Anywho, Jason told me to get out of bed and blog. Here I am!

I think of fun things to blog about all day, but forget them about five seconds later. One of the things that I was thinking about today is Evelyn's new obsession with dogs.

She first realized dogs existed in May when we were at my dad and step-mom's house. A dog barked when we came in and she clenched onto me with her tiny hands and screamed in horror. Even though she had seen a lot of dogs before, she realized then that they were alive and might very well want to interact with her on this particular trip. She spent that whole weekend trying to climb up my chest while clinging on for dear life every time she saw a dog. Poor girl.

The next time we visited those doggies, she started doing a weird noise and arm waving thing when she saw the dogs which confused us as to whether she was excited or terrified to see them.

After a few more trips there and some sights of puppies at outdoor concerts and in the neighborhood, she has progressed to a little joy-filled doggie lover. Whenever she sees one, she makes this adorable little "woof" noise that makes her little breath blow out. Adorable. It really, really is.

This leads me to my title. Evelyn has brought so much free entertainment - from sticking out limbs in my belly, to now her adorable "woof-ing." I have been providing her with much-loved free entertainment in return with lots of looking at her "babies and puppies" calendar, books about puppies, Animal Planet shows, pretending all stuffed animals are puppies, and our newest favorite - watching clips of puppies on YouTube. Good times. Great entertainment.

Oh, and by the way. We will NEVER have a dog! Sorry, punkin! Mommy only will clean up your poop!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Curly???

I had my hair cut tonight. If you didn't already notice, in late April I had my long locks chopped to just longer than collarbone length for a change and a reason not to wear a ponytail every single day like I was since Evelyn was born.

I needed a trim and was surprised when the new stylist I went to here told me that MY HAIR IS CURLY. No way! I have always WANTED curly hair - I don't HAVE curly hair! She told me that the myth about women going curly from pregnancy is true and often occurs to the hair on the back of the head - exactly where my hair has been considerably wavy. I was chalking it up to the haircut + the product I was using + the humidity + the new water + who knows what else.

But, I guess I have curly hair in the back of my head. It's like a new kind of post-pregnancy mullet - a curly party in the back and some straight business in the front.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Month of New Tricks

Evelyn has had a month filled with new "tricks" including waving "hi" and "bye" on command, clapping on command and during "patty cake," listening to directions (i.e. "give mommy the washcloth"), and raising her hands for "so big." It has been fun to see her grow in this area of understanding language versus just immitating behaviors. And, the best part is watching her little face and excitement while she practices her new tricks!

This is Evelyn a few weeks ago showing off her clapping skills.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sandwiched

Last night I was lying (I think it's lying...I always get confused by that one!) in bed and realized that I was in the best "sandwich" one can be in. We were all lying on our backs. Evelyn was to my left and had her right arm over mine. Jason was on my right and I had my right arm over his. I thanked God for the great life I have as I listened to them both breathe heavily (neither one was snoring, but they sure do both breathe heavily some nights in their sleep!:-) I lied there in the light of the nightlight, smiling and thinking about how I was sandwiched between my two favorite people in the world. Pure bliss!

Funny Faces

For a change of pace, some silly pics! I call this one the "turtle face." She does it mostly after eating yogurt or ice cream.
Everyone loves a good "eyes half-shut" picture for a laugh, yes?
Uncle Dawson is a HAM! A chocolate-loving ham that is!
Doesn't she look like she's going to swallow that straw like the sword-eating circus people?


And this is titled, "MOM - you are SO mean - I WANT to eat the window opener!!!!"

Happy Monday!