Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Does That Spell?

T was trying to decide if he and D.L.F. should run some errands. T was looking through advertisements online and finally said, "I'm not finding any compelling reasons to go anywhere."

I said, "Well, maybe we should all stay home and have C-O-C-O-A."

D.L.F. said, "Let's have some C-O-C-O-A!"

T asked him, "Do you know what C-O-C-O-A spells?"

D.L.F. just kept saying, "Umm...umm...," hoping we would clue him in.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Today is the first day in about two weeks that we've been able to dig our car out of the snow. We got about 18 inches of snow--virtually unheard of around here. We've had to postpone most of our Christmas plans until next week, but we did read the Christmas story and act it out with figurines from the manger scene. T's parents sent some gifts for the kids...a little wooden train set for D.L.F. along with a conductor's hat and red scarf (which Cupcake has claimed for herself).



Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowed In

D.L.F. has been saying this for a long time, but I don't think I've ever posted it here. Whenever he is really struggling with something, he will say, "It's too turkey!" (he means "tricky").

We are really snowed in here with about 8-10 inches of snow on the ground, and our balcony has over two feet of snow (the snow is really fine and powdery and blows off the roof onto the balcony).

We don't have chains for our car, so we're not going anywhere for a while.

As I am writing this, D.L.F. is quoting this little poem from one of his books--"I am just a wooley sheep; please help me count myself to sleep!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008


T told me this morning that he had dropped one of his prescription thyroid pills in his bathroom and hadn't been able to find it. T had to leave for work, but I prayed and prayed while searching every square inch of that bathroom several times, wanting to get the pill before D.L.F. did. T's pills look very similar to these homeopathic teething tablets we used to give D.L.F. (which he liked because they were sweet). I searched the rest of the house, too, thinking maybe the pill had bounced out or got tracked out of the bathroom, but it was nowhere to be found.

D.L.F. seemed to be acting normally, other than looking a little puzzled as to why Mama kept crawling around on the bathroom floor. Still, I began to fear that he had already swallowed the pill, so I called poison control just in case. I described the pill and was thankful when they told me that just one wouldn't hurt D.L.F.

A few minutes later, D.L.F. was laying on his tummy in the kitchen looking under the fridge (what can I say--he's two) and found a tiny piece of lint that he wanted to throw away. I went with him to the garbage can, and when we opened it up to throw away the piece of lint, T's pill was lying right on top of everything! D.L.F. had found the pill, but had fortunately put it in the garbage rather than his mouth. What a relief not to have to to wonder "What if...?"!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Days

T has been volunteering lots of his time at a local homeless shelter for families. He's been setting up computers and doing lots of techie stuff that I try to understand, but really don't. All I know is that when he tries to describe to me what he's doing, these words come up a lot: VPN, firewall, server, network. I just smile and nod and say, "That's great, Honey."

D.L.F. is a quick memorizer. It's fun to hear him reciting poems and singing songs. His tunes are becoming more accurate and recognizable. He wasn't into puzzles for a long time, but just today I got some out and he seems to be getting better about putting pieces where they belong. He and T had colds last week, but they are better now.

Cupcake is getting in two more teeth. She is sitting up well on her own and is a very cheerful, adaptable little girl. I let her take a piece of banana off my plate the other day. When she put it to her mouth, her eyes got wide and she got so excited. She sucked on it until it got too slippery to hold. That's the only solid food she's had so far. There are a lot of good reasons to delay solids.

I have been listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss when I go for walks (except the past few days--it's been too snowy and slippery to walk), doing a little light reading (the first two books of the Seaport Suspense series by Kathy Herman), crocheting a wool diaper cover for Cupcake, and researching various options for taking some college classes either online or in the evenings.

This past Sunday we finally put up our Christmas tree and manger scene. D.L.F. helped set up the tree, but we put the manger scene up after he had gone to bed. The next morning, he was playing in the living room and all of a sudden he looked up at the manger scene on the mantle and said in astonishment, "There's people up there!"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

D.L.F.'s Creative Interpretation of "Baby Beluga"

(That was "red fire truck," if you didn't catch it.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

7 Quick Takes

I have enjoyed reading Catherine's 7 Quick Takes every Friday. Here are mine for the week:

7 Quick Takes

1. The battery in our bathroom scale is almost dead. I am considering not replacing it, because I kind of like it when I step on and the screen says, "LO."

2. The one night that you toss and turn and can't get to sleep until 2:30 A.M. will be the same night your infant (who usually sleeps through the night) will wake up to nurse at 3:30 A.M.

3. Just because it is sunny outside does not necessarily mean you don't need a coat. Especially if it's December.

4. They're not kidding when they tell you never to use chlorine bleach on cloth diapers because it will make them deteriorate faster. We have three sizes of cloth diapers--newborn, regular, and toddler. The regulars are the only ones I've ever bleached, and they're just about dust rags.

5. If you need an addicting entertainment option in your life, watch a show called "The Pretender" on

6. My camera can create a secret, hidden sub-folder and put pictures in it without my permission, causing all manner of angst and whining about losing the cutest. pictures. ever. of my daughter. But my resident geek darling husband figured everything out. My hero! ::swoon::

7. I got this squash to use as part of our Thanksgiving centerpiece. D.L.F. liked it because he thought it looked like a shark. T says it looks like a zerg, which is apparently a creature from a computer game called StarCraft, which I have vague recollections of trying to play with T when we were dating. What do you think?

Bizarre Squash


(Image from StarCraftWire Gallery).

For other people's 7 Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Look Who's 7 Months Old (Tomorrow)!


She may not have much hair, but she has a ton of CUTE!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Frozen Cranberry Salad

1 cup heavy cream
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 can (16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Whip heavy cream and reserve. In separate bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sugar; mix well. Stir in cranberry sauce, pineapple with its juice, and pecans. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into 8x8x2-inch pan and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 5 minutes before serving.

You Must Be Quiet!

D.L.F. went through a long phase of throwing a fit whenever he was told he couldn't have or do something. He seems to be getting better about controlling his emotions. Lately, if something upsets him, he tells himself, "Stop crying! You must be quiet! [Cupcake] is sleeping in her playpen!", and then he calms down. It's pretty cute to hear him getting firm with himself.

I really don't know where he got the line about "You must be quiet." It sounds so quaint. T and I don't say that to him; we might say, "Please be quiet," or "You need to be quiet," but not, "You must be quiet." The only thing I can think of is that in the Corduroy bear books, Corduroy says to Lisa, "You must be a friend."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Third Child

Now, now, don't get excited. That's not what I mean. I'm talking about Baseball Guy:


He was given to D.L.F. when he was a baby by our friend Anna. We call him Baseball Guy for obvious reasons...he has a baseball in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. He goes pretty much everywhere with D.L.F.

We used to tie Baseball Guy on to the toy bar of the bouncy seat for D.L.F. It was the first (and sometimes the only) toy to make D.L.F. smile and giggle. Until D.L.F. was eight months old, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, so he was in a crib next to our bed. I used to look over in the middle of the night, and Baseball Guy would be spread out over D.L.F.'s face. I didn't want D.L.F. to suffocate, so I'd carefully remove Baseball Guy and place him next to D.L.F. in the crib. The next time I looked over, there Baseball Guy was again, spread out over D.L.F.'s face. I stopped worrying when I realized if D.L.F. was skilled enough to artfully arrange Baseball Guy over his face just how he wanted, then he would be able to take him off if needed. These days, D.L.F. doesn't sleep with Baseball Guy over his face any more, but he does still hold him to get to sleep.

Baseball Guy talks in a high, squeaky voice and likes to ask D.L.F., "What's your favorite food?"--always a good conversation-starter with a toddler.

We almost always take Baseball Guy with us when we go for walks in the stroller. Yesterday, we needed to walk to the produce market. However, Baseball Guy was taking a bath in the washer because he had earlier that morning been baptized with chocolate milk. I told D.L.F., "We can't take Baseball Guy with us because he is in the washer. Do you want to take Doggy with you instead?" D.L.F. said no. A few minutes later, I put Baseball Guy into the dryer and asked D.L.F., "Don't you want to take one of your friends with you instead of Baseball Guy?" D.L.F. said no. As we were going out the door, I again asked D.L.F., "Are you sure you don't want to take Doggy with you?" D.L.F. was sure. At that point, I realized I was asking more for my own sake than for D.L.F.'s. I'm so used to making sure I have all three of them--D.L.F., Cupcake, and Baseball Guy--whenever we go anywhere. I actually missed Baseball Guy when we were out and about without him. His absence was keenly felt, at least by me. I don't think D.L.F. even gave him a thought.

We were both very happy to retrieve Baseball Guy out of the dryer when we got home. Probably one of us even more than the other.

Two Quick Notes

1. I had to take the ElfYourself videos off my blog because they were making it extremely slow-loading.

2. After watching a video with me on YouTube (it's called The Homeschool Song...hardee har hee hee), D.L.F. said, "Do you want to watch another one? Okay! That's a great idea!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Good Big Brother

While I was changing Cupcake's diaper, D.L.F. came up to her and asked, "Are you tired, sweet, precious baby girl?"

Then he answered himself: "Yeah, she is."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Don't Walk 60 MPH

T got a free Global Positioning System (GPS) for signing up for a Discover card (which he canceled as soon as the GPS arrived). I think that deal may still be on...Google it if you're interested. Anyway, sometimes I take it along with me when I walk so I can see how far and how fast I've walked. You set it to pedestrian mode when you're walking. Well, we forgot to switch it back to driving mode, and when we got on the freeway on the way back from Wal-Mart yesterday, the GPS got so confused! It knew that no pedestrian should be barreling along at 60 miles per hour on the freeway. So it kept saying, "Recalculating! Recalculating! Recalculating! Recalculating!" until T shut it off.

Then D.L.F. piped up from the backseat, "RECALCULATING!" (giggle, giggle). "RECALCULATING!" (squeal). He cracked himself up, and us, too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So. We went to Wal-Mart today to buy a potty chair and underwear for D.L.F., some gel for T's hair, and some towels for a local homeless shelter that is opening soon. We got through the line and as T was grabbing the bags from the cashier to put them in the cart, he said, "Hey! What's this?" and held up a foam Spiderman potty seat that is supposed to go over a regular toilet seat.

"Uh...did you mean to buy that?" I asked.

"No," T replied. "Did you?"

I shook my head and asked the person standing behind us in line, "Is this yours?"

She said it wasn't.

We were momentarily perplexed until T realized D.L.F. must have put the seat into our cart on the sly. Since the sale was already rung up, we had to go stand in line at Customer Service to return the seat. I tried to explain to D.L.F. that he can't just put things in the cart or Mama and Papa might accidentally buy them, but my mini-lecture did not seem to register. Who knows what other objects will strike D.L.F.'s fancy and be unwittingly purchased?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Quotes from D.L.F.

Yesterday when I was putting D.L.F. down for a nap, he pointed to the smoke alarm on the ceiling and said, "There's a monitor in the sky!" (I think he called it a monitor because the smoke alarm has a small green light on it just like the baby monitor in his room).

Today as he finished the last bite of his lunch, I overheard him having this conversation with himself: "Can you say, 'That's all you get?' That's all you get! Good job, Buddy!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cute Cupcake


A dear couple from the church I grew up in sent us two outfits for Cupcake. Here's one of them. I think the embroidery on it is so pretty! We took this picture to include in a thank-you note, but I thought I would post it here, too.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Just Melissa

This morning T was laying in bed and I playfully dropped a couple of pillows on his head.

"Oh, you want to have a pillow fight?" he asked.

"No," I replied, "I don't want to fight. I just want to bop you on the head with pillows."

"It's always the same with you," he said.

"Yeah," I agreed. "Just Melissa."

The phrase comes from our wedding day, when someone painted on the rear window of our car:

Just Married
T and Melissa

The "Married" and "T and" were in one color, and "Just" and "Melissa" were in another color, and guess which color washed off in the rain? We thought it was funny, and now we say, "Just Melissa," whenever I'm being unreasonably selfish.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Could Post, Or Not

But I will anyway, since T is working late and the kids are both in bed and the house is relatively clean and I have nothing better to do. So please feel free to read the mundane drivel that follows, or not:

1. I am finding that all of a sudden (okay, in the past six months or so), I am preferring stronger flavors than I did before. For example, a while back, I suddenly craved blue cheese. I had always thought blue cheese tasted kind of gross. But I gave it a try and it was great. I've been buying blue cheese salad dressing ever since. And tonight I was browsing through a cooking magazine and came across a recipe for a sandwich on rye bread, and now I'm craving rye bread, which I've always detested. I blame my crazy postpartum hormones. Then again, I blame pretty much everything on my crazy postpartum hormones.

2. I got a haircut because it was cheaper than not getting a haircut (I'll explain that in a minute). So for the past several weeks I've been working on assembling matching Christmas outfits for all of us for pictures...a dress for Cupcake off Craigslist, a sweater for D.L.F. from a children's consignment store, etc. Yesterday I mentioned to T that we pretty much had everything we needed, and he suggested trying to make an appointment for this morning, since he would be working later hours and thus would be off in the morning. So I called the studio and got an appointment (it sounded like they were wide open; apparently, not many people get Christmas pictures taken on a Thursday at the beginning of November). I wanted to get an up-do, so I called a hair salon to make an appointment. They said up-dos start at $45, and that was just the neighborhood el cheapo chain hair salon, not some fancy-schmancy establishment. Okay, plan B...try to do my own hair? I did try, but it was just too long and heavy and impossible to work with. On to plan C--at least get my hair cut--which would be cheaper and longer-lasting than an up-do, anyway. So that's what I ended up doing at 8:30 last night.

3. We only do family pictures once a year for a reason. Between getting everybody dressed, trying to not get muddy (it was raining), getting two kids to look reasonably happy when they were uncomfortable and tired of smiling, and narrowing down the fifty (bajillion) shots they took to just a few for prints (Cupcake was crying during that entire hour-long process) while trying to keep one eye on D.L.F. (who at one point was thisclose to pulling the shiny red fire alarm), I was about ready to collapse when we got home! But we did get some smiles from the kids, so it was worth it. However (note to self), never, ever, ever again let them position you again so that your legs are the foremost object in the picture. Ever.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So Now That He's Almost Potty Trained

Just kidding. We haven't even started potty training yet, although we're planning to soon. I just think it's kind of ironic that I've finally finished crocheting a wool soaker for D.L.F. that actually turned out well, and he won't even get to wear it all that long. But I guess we can pass it on to a younger sibling. I used the HoneySuckle Shortie pattern from Ladybugz Farm.


D.L.F. seems to like his new "wooley" (what we call wool soakers). I didn't make a drawstring because I find them annoying (and a strangulation hazard), but the ribbing around the top of the wooley seems to help it stay up anyway.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Very Helpful

T was searching for a certain Christmas song on our computer. He muttered to himself, "Where is that song?"

D.L.F. repeated, "Where is that song?" and then added, "I don't see it. Maybe it's at work. Maybe it's at Fred Meyer" [a grocery store].

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cupcake at Almost 6 Months

I can throw all these toys on the floor in 3.8 seconds!


Hmm...maybe I should change that to E flat.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Fine

D.L.F. seems to be feeling mostly better. He's still a little emotional, but no more stomach issues.

Cupcake is her usual sweet, cheerful, dear little self. I can't believe she's almost six months old!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What a Day

Today was "one of those days." All morning D.L.F. was really whiny and into everything, which made it difficult to get ready to go. I have a friend who comes over every Wednesday morning and we take the kids to the park. Eventually, we were all dressed and ready, and we did have a good time at the park. But as soon as we got home, D.L.F. was crabby again. I fed him lunch and put him down for his nap. He woke up after only an hour (he usually sleeps for three) and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got him up and ready to go grocery shopping with me (T was at home, waiting for his friend to come over, so he stayed with Cupcake). A few minutes into our drive to the store, D.L.F. suddenly became very upset and started crying inconsolably. I asked him if something was wrong, and did he hurt himself? He said that his mouth hurt. I thought that he must have bit his tongue or something and he would be all right in a minute or two. But he kept crying and cried hard the entire time we were shopping (which I'm sure all the other shoppers appreciated). I was kind of flustered and couldn't think what to buy, but I grabbed a few things and tried to get out of there as fast as possible. I promised to give him a cracker when we got to the car. D.L.F. kept saying he was tired. I buckled him into his carseat and gave him a cracker, which he didn't eat. He kept crying all the way home.

I pulled into the parking lot, ready to just get inside, fix a quick dinner, and get D.L.F. to bed....but someone had double-parked a couple of feet into our (already narrow) assigned parking spot, and there were no visitor spaces open in the lot, so I drove back out to the street, and there were no spaces to park all down the street, either! I called T and explained my dilemma. He and his friend were just finishing up their meeting, so I ended up grabbing his friend's spot on the street as he pulled out. D.L.F. was extra-upset about driving around and around looking for a spot, so he was still crying hard as T lifted him out of his car seat...and then D.L.F. threw up all over. Fortunately, it hit the pavement, and not our car upholstery. But then everything started making more sense. T took D.L.F. inside, got him cleaned up, and let D.L.F. lay down in his tent, where he promptly fell asleep and is still sleeping almost two hours later. Maybe he'll sleep in there all night. I hope he feels better in the morning. Poor little guy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter

This morning D.L.F. picked up a couple of tiny screws that were lying on the computer stand. He said, "Screw. And Jesus screw!" (There is a song called, "And Jesus Grew," based on Luke 2:52, on one of D.L.F.'s Bible memory CDs.)

I guess it's appropriate, considering Jesus' earthly occupation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Great Deals

1. Check out Catherine's instructions on how to get 5.5 pounds of ground steak delivered to your door (in a cooler) for only $1.98--that's $.36/lb! I did meat should be arriving in about a week!

UPDATE: The ground steak offer is no longer valid.

2. You can sign up at EMusic and download 35 songs for free. You can then cancel your subscription and you won't be charged anything, and you get to keep the 35 songs. I just downloaded a bunch of beautiful Christmas songs from The American Boychoir and some fun Pete Seeger folk songs.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back Home

We got back yesterday from a fun weekend of camping with my parents. T and I and the kids stayed in a cabin (with heat, praise the Lord!), and my parents stayed in their trailer in the same campsite. There was a lake with lots of ducks and a playground. D.L.F. liked going for walks with "Westley Dog" (my parent's West Highland White Terrier) and tried very hard to exert some authority over Westley ("Westley Dog, get down!"), who ignored him. D.L.F. got to try his first marshmallow. He was not impressed and didn't like having sticky hands.

Sleeping in the cabin with the kids was a challenge. Two of the three nights there D.L.F. kept waking up every couple of hours and crying inconsolably at the top of his lungs for no real reason. Cupcake slept pretty well even with D.L.F.'s crying spells.

We all had a good time, but now we are all glad to be home.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Always Enough

When I was cleaning out the pantry yesterday, I found this poem I wrote for a class at Bible college in 2004 (don't ask me what it was doing in the pantry). T and I were engaged, the date of our wedding was fast approaching, T did not have a job, and we had no savings. So the story this poem is based on, found in I Kings 17:8-16, was especially significant at that time in our lives. The poem is far from a literary masterpiece, but I hope the message is encouraging.

Always Enough

In Zarephath, a widow lived, when drought and famine cursed the land
With heavy heart and downcast eyes, she gathered kindling in her hand
And sadly considered her son

They had enough for one more meal, but after that, the time would come
When either she must watch him die, or die herself and leave her son
Alone, all alone in the world

Approaching footsteps startled her; she looked and saw Elijah there
A leather belt around his waist, his garment made of camel hair
His weariness mirrored her own

"Please bring me water in a cup to quench my thirst," the prophet said
And as she turned to go, he called, "Please bring me back a bite of bread."
The widow replied in despair:

"I swear to you, I have no bread, and what I do have won't go far:
"A dash of oil in the jug, a little flour in the jar
"I tell you, there won't be enough"

"Don't be afraid," Elijah said, "First bake a little loaf for me
"And then prepare yourself some bread with flour and oil, and you will see
"That surely, there will be enough

"The God of Israel has said your jug and jar will yet contain
"The oil and the flour you need until the time the Lord sends rain
"To water the crops of the ground"

The widow baked Elijah's bread; as she obeyed, she realized
Her jar of flour was not used up; her jug of oil did not run dry
For days they continued to eat

And for the widow and her son, the Lord was faithful to provide
Thus God fulfilled His promised word: her daily bread was multiplied
And so there was always enough
With God, there is always enough

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I Fought the Pantry and I Won!

So I've been meaning to organize my pantry since...uh...well, probably since we moved in a year-and-a-half ago. The main problem is that we buy a lot of spices and grains in bulk, and I have been just tossing them into the pantry, unlabeled and still in their plastic bags. The pantry was really, really, really a wreck.

But now (are you reading this, Mom?), everything is in jars or other containers and labeled! So, Mom, now if you come over and want to make spaghetti, you won't have to guess what's in all the mysterious baggies.

And it only took me seven hours (yes, it was that messy). I need to go put my feet up!

Monday, October 06, 2008


Me: Oh, I see you are sitting in your wagon. What color is your wagon?

D.L.F.: It's red! And it is interesting and comfortable!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Stating the Obvious

The error message that always elicits a cynical "heh" from me after I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for a page to load:

"The server at is taking too long to respond."

Yeah. Tell me something I don't know.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quotes from D.L.F.

D.L.F. has a pair of earmuffs that look like baseballs over each ear. He was playing with them the other day and called them headphones. I said, "Well, they are like headphones, but you can't hear music through them. They are only to keep your ears warm. They are called earmuffs." D.L.F. thought for a moment, and then said, "Not headphones...muffins!"

When he was washing his hands today at the kitchen sink, he saw the green loofah-ish thing I use to scrub pots and pans. He said, "It's a green flower!" I said, "No, that is my scrubby. It is for washing dishes." D.L.F. responded, "It's a green scrubby flower!"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I was just tearing up some lettuce and remembered something funny. Last January for our anniversary T and I stayed at a nice downtown hotel with its own restaurant. I think one dinner at the restaurant was included in the price of the hotel, otherwise, we probably wouldn't have ended up eating there. But anyway, I ordered a $10 side salad and was amused when it arrived to find that it consisted only of three whole romaine lettuce leaves, four croutons, and some white dressing. FANCY!

A Milestone

A friend of mine came over today and we took the kids to the park. While we were talking, D.L.F. climbed onto the play structure and went down the slide--all by himself! He seemed pretty pleased with himself and did it again several times before it was time to go home. He wore himself out and was very ready for his nap this afternoon!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Pointless Post

So I left the house shortly after 6 this morning to go for my walk. I was simultaneously walking along the sidewalk, messing with my MP3 player, and evaluating traffic flow from both directions to see when I could cross the street. It was still pitch black outside. I paused, intending to cross the street after a few more cars passed, then looked up and saw a man standing there, probably waiting for a ride. I was so surprised that I jumped/gasped/snorted. He smiled (probably trying not to laugh out loud) and said (I hope) something like, "Sorry I scared you." Only I'm not really sure what he said because I was already listening to a program through my headphones. I mumbled, "That's all right," so I hope he didn't actually say, "Good morning" or something, because then what I said would have made no sense. Bah. I'll probably see the dude again, and he'll think of me as the girl who snorted.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Change in Plans

Well, this weekend did not go as planned, but it turned out all right. It was our church's annual campout. T took Wednesday off work, and all that day we planned and shopped and ran errands and packed. Then we continued packing all day Thursday, and finally got out of the house, exhausted, around 4 (we had intended to leave at 1). We were the only ones able to make it for Thursday night; everyone else was going to come on Friday. The camp site was very shady and woodsy (as it should be...that's real camping to me--being out in the trees), so it was already cool when we got there, and the temperature just kept dropping after the sun went down. We bundled the kids up as warmly as we could, but they were freezing and miserable all night in the tent and woke up crying just about every hour. I was grumpy, too, because when they cried, I didn't really want to get out of my sleeping bag to change, feed, or comfort them, because I was so cold that my teeth were chattering and my toes were numb, and so tired that I couldn't think straight. It was awful. I count it among one of the hardest, most stressful days of my life. Finally, around 4 in the morning, we all piled into the car and cranked up the heat so we could thaw out. I vehemently declared that there was absolutely no way I was going to go through one more night like that, so we packed up the kids' and my things and T drove us back home. He helped us bring everything in, took a catnap, and then set out again for the campground.

It was actually good in a lot of ways that T was there by himself with the rest of the group. He was able to help others in ways he probably wouldn't have been able to if the kids and I had been there. He helped people set up and tear down and shared some of our blankets and other things.

I was so grateful to be home that taking care of the kids by myself for the rest of the weekend seemed like a breeze compared to what we had been through. We went to the library (twice!) and the park, read lots and lots of books, and D.L.F. watched a sign language video several times that we checked out from the library. I was able to spend some good time with the Lord, and I repented of my selfish attitude (still, we will think twice before going tent camping again in cold weather with small children!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Having Fun


Cupcake has some johnny-jump-up skeelz. She's getting the bouncing part down and can whirl around to face you if you call her name.


D.L.F. often requests to "wrestle on the bed with pillows with Papa!" That's what's going on here.


Cupcake and D.L.F. chillin' in the tent.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Last night T and I were talking about things that take up a lot of space in our (small) house, and I thought of my wedding dress slip/crinoline thingy. Only I didn't know what to call it (I still don't), so I said, "You know, my wedding dress...tutu."

T didn't miss a beat and said, "Honey, that thing is a three-three, at least!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yes, Son, Some Days It Will Feel Like That

D.L.F. and I were comparing the sizes of our hands. I told him, "Your hands will keep growing and growing and someday they will get bigger than Mama's hands. They will get as big as Papa's hands." D.L.F. appeared to be thinking this over, so I continued, "You will grow and grow and someday you will be a man like Papa. And you will have children of your own, and they will call you Papa. Won't that be nice when you are a papa and you have your own children?"

D.L.F. replied, "At the ZOO!"

A Random Quote

From D.L.F. this morning: "Open your mouth and 'bout...MEOW!"

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I took Cupcake to get her first professional pictures taken today. She didn't fuss too much, but we didn't get a really good smile out of her, either. Still, we got a couple of cute poses where she's at least looking at the camera. I've been very pleased with a studio called Portrait Innovations. We've used them a couple of times now, and they do a great job, give you lots of different poses to choose from, have some nice props (like rocking chairs, etc.) to use, and seem to always have a special running where you can get 1 10x13, 2 8x10s, 4 5x7s, 4 3x5s, and 32 wallets, plus 6 portrait greeting cards, for $9.95. That's a really good deal, considering that they print the pictures immediately, so you can take them home right away. Of course, you have to sit through their spiel where they try to get you to purchase tons of additional photos and decorative options, but my experience has been that they're still nice about it even if you say you just want the special.

We have friends coming over for dinner tonight, so I'm off to cook and clean.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big 2-5, Or, I Hope My Children Inherit Their Father's Sense of Direction

So now I'm a quarter of a century old. T came home for lunch and brought me cashew chicken from my favorite Thai place, a cute card, a shiny rainbow-colored helium balloon which D.L.F. has claimed as his own, and a new watch.

BUT, before all that happened, I thought I would try taking the kids to a park that I had seen recently on one of my morning walks. We entered at one side of the park, had a good time playing on the toys, and then exited the other side of the park. I walked along at a good clip for a while until I saw a street sign and realized I was going in the wrong direction and was now over twenty blocks from home. By this time, I was completely turned around and didn't have any idea which way to go. I knew if I got to a major intersection, I could figure out where I was, but I didn't want to walk any farther in the wrong direction. So I did the only logical thing--picked up my cell phone and called T, hoping he could bail me out with Google Maps.

Me: Hi...ummm...are you in front of a computer?

T: No, why?

Me: Well...this is going to sound sort of silly, but I took the kids to a new park, and now I'm at (such-and-such street) and don't know which way to go.

T: Where's the sun?

Me: Um...I don't know. I guess it's kind of...up...and behind me.

T: Okay. Walk away from the sun and then take a right.

How does the man do it? His directions got me home without a hitch. However, now I know why I have never walked that direction with the double stroller (or any stroller, for that matter). 14 (bumpity, rumble, rumble, bump, ka-THUNK) of the 20+ blocks on the way home had no real sidewalks...just trampled down gravel and grass alongside the busy street. The vibrations actually put both kids to sleep, although I kept squeezing D.L.F.'s knee and telling him to wake up so he would still take his afternoon nap.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Three Things

I have been a little under the weather for the past couple of days, but I'm on the mend. I made chicken soup today, which seems to nourish both body and soul.

Cupcake rolled over from back to front yesterday for the first time and has been practicing that new skill a lot today.

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Such a Sweetheart!


Cupcake is four months old today!


One of D.L.F.'s favorite birthday presents this year was a little tent given to him by a boy in our church who had outgrown it. T set it up in D.L.F.'s room. We put all the balloons from his party in the tent. D.L.F. wanted T to come in and share the fun, so T managed to squeeze in there with him (no small feat, considering that T is 6'4")!




D.L.F.'s First Ice Cream

Here are some pictures from D.L.F.'s 2nd birthday party. It was his first time eating ice cream. Please excuse the dorky T-shirt. We always use one of T's old T-shirts over D.L.F.'s clothes as a bib whenever he eats, but I would have taken it off for pictures if I'd thought about it in time! Picasa will only let me post four pictures to Blogger at a time, so I will have to put some more up in another post.

Ice cream? Hmm...what's that?


Oh! It's kinda cold...

But I like it!

The Birth Survey

If you have given birth in the last three years, you are invited to take The Birth Survey here.

Here is a quote from the web site:

Our goal is to give women a mechanism that can be used to share information about maternity care practices in their community while at the same time providing practitioners and institutions feedback for quality of care improvement efforts.

At the heart of the project is an on-going, online consumer survey, The Birth Survey, that asks women to provide feedback about their birth experience with a particular doctor or midwife and within a specific birth environment. Responses will be made available online to other women in their community who are deciding where and with whom to birth. Paired with this experiential data will be official statistics from state departments of health listing obstetrical intervention rates at the facility level.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Avoid Hormonal Birth Control

This story makes me sad. A 22-year-old mother of one died from a blood clot in her lung which may have been caused by the hormonal birth control method she was using (NuvaRing).

Hormonal birth control methods (ALL of them, as far as I understand--every brand and variety), as well as IUDs (both hormonal and copper) have the potential to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman's uterus. If life begins at conception (and I believe it does), then that is abortion.

Here are a couple of informative sites:

A Short Condensation of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?

The Pill Kills

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What I Was Doing 2 Years Ago

It's D.L.F.'s 2nd birthday tomorrow! Here is his birth story, if you missed it the first time around (it's slightly graphic, because, it's, well, you know, birth):

At 1:30 A.M. on Saturday, August 26 (one day before Baby’s official due date), I got out of bed to use the bathroom and discovered a bit of clear liquid trickling down my legs. I tested it with a nitrazine strip and found that it was amniotic fluid. It was the first sign in my body of any progression toward labor, and I was so excited I couldn’t go back to sleep for quite some time. Later that day, I began having bloody show. (I didn’t lose any more amniotic fluid until the pushing stage of labor.)

I began having contractions around 10 PM on Saturday. They didn’t seem much worse than bad menstrual cramps. I thought, wow, this isn’t so bad after all. I went to sleep, but woke up with a contraction every forty-five minutes or an hour all night.

Throughout Sunday, the contractions gradually got closer together. By nighttime, they were eight to ten minutes apart and extremely strong and painful. I mainly felt them in my lower back. Every time a contraction would start, I would start the timer, get on my hands and knees, and Hubby would rub my lower back for me, while one or both of us sang a few lines from whatever song came to mind to help distract me. We went back to sleep for eight to ten minutes until the next contraction started, and then went through the process again, all night long.

By Monday morning, I was pretty tired, but I assumed Baby would be arriving sometime that day, so I tried to stay cheerful and positive. Hubby and I finished packing our bags and gathering snacks for the birth center. We went for a walk at a park, which helped to bring the contractions closer together. By lunchtime, the contractions were four or five minutes apart. We called the midwives, and they told us to come on over to the birth center.

Hubby drove, of course. We took the freeway, and traffic was light, so we got to the birth center in about ten minutes. I only had one contraction along the way, but it was very uncomfortable to get through in a sitting position.

We arrived around 1:30 P.M. I was the only woman in labor when we arrived, so I was able to get the birth suite of my choice: a pink, feminine room with a double-wide birth tub. The midwives asked me a few questions and then allowed us to get settled in. They checked on us periodically to see if there was anything we needed, but for the next few hours, they mostly left us to labor on our own.

At 5:15 P.M., the supervising midwife asked if she could check my cervix. Because I was still pretty calm and collected, she was amazed to find that I was already 8 centimeters dilated. She told me I could get into the birth tub if I wanted. Hubby and I got in together and turned on the jets. The warm water and the jets really helped dull the pain of contractions. Hubby stayed in the water with me for a couple of hours, rubbing my lower back with each contraction. Then he got out, but he still came over to rub my back every time I had a contraction. The pain in my lower back was excruciating. I didn’t realize at the time that the baby was posterior, so all the contractions I had experienced to this point were “back labor.”

I really lost track of time after that, and with all the endorphins coursing through my system, I got a little spacey. I really wasn’t thinking clearly, and absolutely all I could focus on was the contractions. As it was getting dark outside, Hubby and I went for a walk around the block. I had two or three contractions along the way, which were hard to deal with after the milder birth tub contractions. I got back in the birth tub for a while, and then forced myself to get out and labor on the bed for a while, as I was concerned that the birth tub contractions weren’t “doing enough,” because they were nowhere near as painful as contractions outside the water. I was frustrated that I still felt no urge to push, and I was getting extremely tired.

I think the supervising midwife could tell at that point (around 4 AM on Tuesday) that I was becoming somewhat discouraged, so she took over. She had me lie on my side for contractions (even though I told her lying on my side hurt the worst), and put a “husband” back-support cushion between my legs, so that they were spread about two feet apart. She spoke soothingly during contractions, reminding me to keep my legs wide open to make room for the baby, which was difficult, as I just wanted to clamp them together to help deal with the pain. It was during this time that the baby finally rotated to a face-down position and I began to feel the urge to push. Also, I felt a lot of wetness between my legs and had the fleeting thought that the amniotic sac must have broken. I did a few gentle experimental pushes, but not too hard, because I wasn’t sure if I was really supposed to be pushing yet.

After a while, the midwife checked my cervix again and said it was at 10 centimeters, and that I was free to push. This was encouraging news. I thought that I would give a few pushes and the baby would be out. I pushed on my hands and knees on the bed for a while. After maybe half an hour, I felt something start to slip out a tiny bit, and Hubby said he saw some membrane. One of the midwives suggested that I try sitting backward on the toilet to push, so I did. Hubby sat on a chair behind me, and with each push, I alternated between squeezing his knees as hard as I could and scratching and pounding the wall with my hands. I couldn’t help screaming with every push. After pushing on the toilet for about half an hour, I returned to the birth tub, where I was determined to be done with labor and meet my baby. I pushed super hard and fast on my hands and knees, and the baby was born in the water at 6:44 A.M. I heard Hubby exclaim, “Baby!” with astonishment and relief in his voice, and I knew I was done. One of the midwives immediately scooped the baby up and placed it on my chest. Hubby asked if it was a boy or a girl. He had to ask a couple of times, because I was too engrossed in just staring at the baby’s adorable face and marveling that the baby was finally outside me. Finally I processed what Hubby was asking, looked, and announced, “It’s a boy!” We greeted him, using the name we had chosen early in pregnancy for a boy.

Baby Boy’s head was perfectly round and not cone-shaped (thanks to my “roomy pelvis,” as the midwives put it), and his Apgar scores were 10 and 10. After a few moments of holding him in the tub, Hubby and the midwives helped me over to the bed, where I continued to hold Baby Boy to my chest. I was amazed how his sucking instinct kicked in right away, and that he was able to snuggle up to my breast and know what to do.

After a couple of pushes, the placenta came out, which felt good, as it was such a huge relief of pressure. After the cord stopped pulsing, Hubby cut it. The midwives left us alone for a while to bond with our baby. Later, the head midwife did an exam on me and found that I had torn pretty badly and needed stitches. Hubby gave Baby Boy his first bath and dressed him. Then we were given a breakfast menu from a nearby restaurant, and we both ordered omelettes.

Eventually, I got stitched up, and then Hubby and I watched the midwives gave Baby Boy his newborn exam. He was found to be normal and healthy. He was 7 pounds, 14 ounces (the exact same birth weight as his papa), and 21 1/8 inches long. His hair is light brown and his eyes are dark blue, at least for now.

Around noon, my parents came by the birth center for a few minutes to meet Baby Boy. Shortly after that, Hubby and I and our new baby went home.

I am very grateful to have given birth in a birth center instead of in a hospital. If I had been in a hospital, I’m sure the doctors would have wanted to give me drugs to help speed things up, as it was such a long labor, or pressured me to have an epidural and episiotomy. I was determined to have a natural birth with no interventions if at all possible, and I am pleased to say that I did, even though it was difficult. Baby Boy was very alert and content after his birth as a result of not being drugged up. I feel like he is my precious reward for all the hard work of labor. We prayed for this baby, and now we hold him in our arms. Thank You, Lord.

(Originally published September 2, 2006)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

You know your husband is a geek nerd multimedia technician when you hear him singing to your son, "You can't brush your teeth with a network cable...."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Beach

We took a family trip to the beach today. It was D.L.F.'s first time, and he loved the waves! In fact, he even roared at them (I think that's a compliment coming from him). He was sad when it was time to go, but we got cleaned up (D.L.F. was drenched from head to toe!) and then went to lunch at a seafood restaurant right on the beach. The kids slept all the way back home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Family Antics

We managed to make it to storytime at the library today in between rain showers. D.L.F. is really getting into doing the motions of songs and rhymes. Ah, library. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Not really. I talk about the library enough as it is. But it's still my favorite use of tax dollars.

D.L.F. loves to help me wake up Cupcake. When I say it's time, he rattles the doorknob (with childproof cover) until I get there and open the door, then he runs into her room, grabs the side of the playpen where she sleeps, and says (loudly), "HI, BABY (her name)! DO YOU WANT SOME MAMA MILK?" Cupcake loves her big brother and doesn't seem to mind this rude awakening. She just smiles up at him. She is almost always happy and content and just takes things as they are and accepts them (even when D.L.F. roars at her, she just stares at him unflinchingly. When D.L.F. does this, he is just trying to be sweet and include her in his games. His favorite thing in the world right now is when he and T chase each other around the house on hands and knees ROARING at each other like lions.)

Also, I don't know how it started, but we've all started saying "ooga booga" to each other just to be silly. Sometimes D.L.F. will be in one room, stop what he's doing and pause as if suddenly struck by inspiration, and say, "Say 'ooga booga' to Baby (her name)!" Then he'll run to whatever part of the house she's in, get right in her face, and say, "ooga booga!" She thinks this is funny and laughs at him. I never knew it would be so fun to have two. I'm looking forward to having more children (eventually). We've even got some good names picked out already.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Staying Humble

The parking spaces at our apartment complex are extremely narrow. The problem is compounded by the fact that, although the spaces are clearly marked "compact," many of the vehicles parked there are anything but. I've had to get in through the passenger's side and slide and shimmy over to the driver's side on multiple occasions because someone parked too close. What makes this even trickier is that something is wrong with the passenger's side lock, so our keys don't work in it--the car can only be unlocked from the driver's side. So even if I'm planning to get in the passenger's side and crawl through, I still have to manage to wedge my hand in the driver's side far enough to hit the automatic lock to open the rest of the doors. At least once when I was pregnant I had to call T to back the car out for me because there was no way I could get in on either side.

Practically every time I need to drive somewhere I have to think skinny thoughts and plaster myself to the car in order to get in. So imagine the thrill in my heart when I went out to the parking lot yesterday morning and saw, much to my delight and relief, that there was no car parked to the left of ours! I would be able to walk straight up to it and get in a completely calm, dignified manner! I giddily flung open the door (you understand my joy if you've ever had long-term parking issues), and proceeded to bash my bicep on the doorframe and tumble awkwardly into the seat. No one saw that, right?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our Family


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Were It Not For Grace

This song has been running through my head today. It's a good reminder that: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us," and "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (from Titus 3 and Ephesians 2).

I've been thinking today how my life could have gone a completely different direction as a result of difficult circumstances in my past plus my own sin and foolishness, but God graciously had a better plan for my life and rescued me from a life without Him. Thank You, Lord, for saving me.

Were It Not For Grace

Time measured out my days
Life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God
But knew I'd never be so strong
I looked hard at this world
To learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began
Where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace
I can tell you where I'd be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
I know how that would go
The battles I would face
Forever running but losing this race
Were it not for grace

So here is all my praise
Expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place
And ran a course I could not start
And when He saw in full
Just how much it would cost
He still went the final mile between me and heaven
So I would not be lost

-by Larnelle Harris

Friday, August 01, 2008

T and Me

I found this meme on Stephanie's blog, Sojourner in a Strange Land. I thought it was cute and unique, so here goes:

1. Who is your man? T...philosopher, poet, and connoisseur of all things geeky

2. How long have you been together? 4+ years

3. How long dated? dated 5 months, engaged for 6 months after that

4. How old is your man? 32, almost 33

5. Who eats more? I do, especially when I'm pregnant or nursing (which has been most of the time we've been married!)

6. Who said "I love you" first? T

7. Who is taller? T is 6'4"; I'm 5'5".

8. Who sings better? I do.

9. Who is smarter? He is.

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine.

11. Who does the laundry? I do.

12. Who takes out the garbage? He does.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you're standing at the foot of the bed, he's on the right.

14. Who pays the bills? He pays all the online bills. I write the rent check each month.

15. Who is better with the computer? Definitely T.

16. Who mows the lawn? We don't have a lawn.

17. Who cooks dinner? I do.

18. Who drives when you are together? He does.

19. Who pays when you go out? He does.

20. Who is most stubborn? Well, we're both pretty stubborn, but honestly, T is right about things more often than I am, so I usually end up giving in when I see he's right.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? He is.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine.

23. Who kissed who first? Our first kiss was at the altar.

24. Who asked who out? He asked me out, but...I think I made it embarrassingly obvious that I liked him (another story for another day, or maybe not!)

25. Who proposed? He did, at the beach, on a ledge overlooking the water. He planned everything out to the second (literally). There was music, sparkling cider, a red rose, a beautiful poem he had written, my engagement ring in a special was very romantic!

26. Who is more sensitive? I am.

27. Who has more friends? It's probably about equal.

28. Who has more siblings? We each have one sibling.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? T does.

30. How did you meet? I was in college and he was in seminary at the same school. I was a singer in a small ensemble, and he was the sound guy. The group often went to a restaurant after our Sunday-evening concerts. One night I sat by him and listened to him talk about his master's thesis he was working on. Wow, I thought, he is really smart, and godly, and funny. I want to marry someone like him! So I did! :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Few Recent Photos





Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just Like Papa

D.L.F. loves to imitate T. The other day D.L.F. decided he was ready for dinner (even though it wasn't done cooking yet), so he climbed up into his high chair and prayed something like this: "Thank you for this food, thank you for my Missy wife, AMEN! Okay, let's eat!" (Can you tell that T is usually the one who asks the blessing at dinner?)

Hair, Hair, Everywhere

The shedding, it has commenced.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cloth Diapering

Stephanie asked about cloth diapering, so I'll give a quick overview of what we do. We use diaper-service-quality Chinese prefolds (currently newborn size for Cupcake and regular size for D.L.F., but soon we will be putting D.L.F. into toddler size when Cupcake needs the regular size) with Snappi diaper fasteners (you can get them on Ebay pretty inexpensively). We use hemp doublers inside the diapers.

Over that we use Aristocrats wool soakers. We have two for each of the kids. It would be better to have more, but they are expensive, so we make do with what we have (we do have some cheap back-up plastic covers, but I don't like using them because they leak). Because we only have two soakers each, we wash them pretty frequently with a soap containing lanolin (lanolin helps make the wool more waterproof). I occasionally lanolize the soakers (we call them "woolies") with lanolin balm.

My favorite cloth diaper resource is Diaper Pin. It has articles, product reviews, a sale page where retailers can list their current promotions, and more. Here is a cloth diaper "how-to." Also, Candy has written some posts about cloth diapering, which you can read here and here.

Whew...that's a lot of links. Okay, any more questions?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Really Busy!

We've been super-busy lately...with having family members over to our house, attending weddings, running errands, and the like.

I've gotten into the habit of walking 2 miles every morning before T goes to work. I actually really enjoy it and look forward to that time (well, except for the getting up at 5 AM part...but at least Cupcake sleeps through the night, so it's really not so bad). I've been listening to audio sermons and messages on my MP3 player that I download from Lately I've mostly been listening to Revive Our Hearts, with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

I've also been in an organizing mood lately. Today I worked on our bedroom closet and a small table in our bedroom that was piled high with baby clothes and accessories.

There are often Christian books I hear about that I want to read, but they aren't available from my public library. I just recently figured out that I can use the interlibrary loan service my library offers that allows me to get (for free!) almost any book in almost any library in America. What a blessing, as I certainly couldn't afford to purchase all those books! I visited the library by myself tonight (a rare occurrence!) and put a whole bunch of Christian books by Carolyn Mahaney, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Anne Ortlund, and others on hold through the interlibrary loan service.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Homemade Natural Deodorant

I like it! I finally tried it because I kept having to switch brands and scents of deodorants because of skin irritation. Also, I was concerned about the health effects of the aluminum that is in most antiperspirants (aluminum has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer's disease, etc.).

This all-natural stuff feels great and it honestly works better (read: I don't stink) than any store-bought deodorant I've ever used. I think it is important to use a good-quality unrefined coconut oil, because of its antibacterial properties.

Here's the recipe at Tammy's Recipes (which is a really great blog/recipe site; many of Tammy's recipes have become standbys at our house!).

Update: Okay, now that I've been using this stuff for a while, I have to say that sometimes if I apply it right after shaving, my underarms get irritated. I still like it, and I really like the light coconut scent, but I think next time I make it, I will use less baking soda.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cupcake is 2 Months Old!

I had my last appointment with my midwives yesterday. Cupcake weighs 13 pounds now, and my midwives all said she seems very mature for 9 weeks. Midwife L. said Cupcake is allergic to something I'm eating (indicated by scaliness behind Cupcake's ears), so L. recommended I stop eating peanut products, which are the most common culprit. She said if eliminating peanut products doesn't help, then the next thing to go will have to be dairy. Hopefully it won't come to that....

I am going to start walking a few evenings a week. There is a 2-mile fitness trail near our house, and last night I walked it twice (4 miles!) in 70 minutes. I have a couple of albums specifically intended for exercising. The songs have strong beats, and each song flows seamlessly into the next. The beats per minute gradually increase and hold at a pretty fast rate for quite a while, and then slow again. Today I'm feeling the burn!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Family in Town

T's parents are here from out-of-state and spent the weekend with us. I only wish we'd had more time together, but we'll get to see them a little more next weekend.

Lately, whenever D.L.F. wants something, he phrases his request in the form of a question, and then answers himself with an enthusiastic, "Okay!"

"Do you want some raisins? Okay!"

"Do you need some help? Okay!"

"Do you want to get the mail? Okay!"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cradle Song


What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Summer Haircut

We finally broke down and took D.L.F. in for a real haircut (as opposed to my clueless and haphazard scissor-lopping).





Saturday, June 28, 2008

11 PM and Finally Cooling Off

We attended a lovely outdoor wedding today. D.L.F. and Cupcake did pretty well, although D.L.F. started to get cranky toward the end for lack of a nap (plus the heat--it was 100 degrees today with 50% humidity--and neither our car nor our home has air conditioning!). Also, since we moved into our home over a year ago, we had been storing a queen-size bed in D.L.F.'s room. He played on it, it was where we changed his diaper, it was where we sat and sang songs and read books before nap and bed times. Some friends of ours are getting married soon and needed a bed for their new home together, so we were happy to give the bed to them, but it was kind of traumatic for my little buddy. His room looks so empty now! Change is so hard on kids, but they are also resilient, so I know D.L.F. will get used to his room's new look soon. We were able to move some of his larger toys out of the living room and into his bedroom, since there is more room in there now.

I've been expressing to T a lot lately that I need to get serious about losing the weight that I put on when I was pregnant with Cupcake. T tells me he likes the way I look, but he also understands that losing weight is something I want to do--not just to look better, but also for my health and comfort (I've been having back problems). So tonight he showed his support by surprising me with an MP3 player that I can use while exercising, and he said that he wants to help me do what it takes. He and I still need to talk about options, but I'll probably be joining a gym and/or getting some exercise equipment soon. Oh, and, uh, cutting back on the chocolate. That will actually be extremely difficult for me, because I really like chocolate and eat it pretty much every day and get headaches if I don't. Anyway, I love my hubby and appreciate his thoughtfulness and support so much.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My favorite use of tax dollars

I walked to the library this morning with the kids (hooray for the Ergo! It's so much easier to deal with than the double stroller, and Cupcake likes it much better). We signed up for the summer reading program. I did it last year with D.L.F., and it was a lot of fun. For every 15 minutes (or whatever parents decide for their own children) of reading, you mark one space on the path of the child's game board (like Candy Land). There are several check-in points, where you take the gameboard back to the library and pick out a prize. When all the spaces are filled, the child gets to choose either a T-shirt or a gift certificate to a book store. I remember doing summer reading programs when I was a kid, and they were fun, but all we ever got were stickers to cover the spaces on the game board. I was always jealous of my friends who lived within city limits and got to participate in the city's summer reading program that had actual prizes. :-) I'm over it now.

Anyhow, we also unintentionally showed up just in time for storytime. We had never attended storytime before at this library, and D.L.F. had a great time. The librarian read books, sang songs, did fingerplays, blew bubbles, and handed out shakers for the kids to dance around with. The funniest part to me was when all the kids joined hands and walked around in a circle and sang "Ring Around the Rosie." D.L.F. sort of just stood there and allowed himself to be pulled along, but he didn't get that he was supposed to pick up his feet and go around in a circle. It was cute. :-) Cupcake seemed to enjoy watching all the big kids (it was a multi-age storytime for kids 0-6) . Pretty soon she'll be right in there with them!

Eggs are a few of his favorite things

Last night T asked D.L.F., "What did you have for breakfast?"

D.L.F.: "Eggs!"

T: "What did you have for lunch?"

D.L.F.: "Eggs!"

T: "What did you have for dinner?"

D.L.F.: "Eggs!"

T: "What did you have for dessert?"

D.L.F.: "Lasagna!"

He did have eggs for lunch, but his other answers were made up. :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Contemplating Her Navel

We're back from a whirlwind trip to visit my parents and grandma for Father's Day. D.L.F. and Cupcake were pretty good travelers. We took Cupcake in to my midwife today to have her belly button looked at. She had this weird bubble-like thing, about a quarter-inch in diameter, growing inside her belly button. My midwife said it was a little piece of leftover artery from the umbilical cord and just snipped it off. Also, Cupcake has an umbilical hernia, which basically just means that her belly button bulges out. According to my midwife, it will resolve itself when she starts walking, and she'll probably end up with an "outie" belly button.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Melt My Heart, Why Dontcha?

This afternoon after I had put D.L.F. in his crib and told him I loved him, he said (for the first time), "I yuv you, Mama." AWWWWWW! That made my day!

I haven't blogged lately because, although I have two laptops, they both only work on their terms, not mine. The "good" laptop has been overheating lately and shutting itself down, and only T knows how to fix it (it involves taking off the keyboard with a butter knife and carefully resetting something inside the laptop...if you don't do it right, you risk permanently ruining the...something...I don't remember...but anyway, I let T do it because I'm too chicken and don't want to be responsible for killing a perfectly good--okay, not perfectly good--laptop). So the laptop I'm using right now is a behemoth that has keyboard issues. The shift key only works about one time in ten, and letters often repeat like ttthhiiiiiiiiss. So I don't enjoy typing on this laptop. I'll blog more when my other laptop gets fixed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pants Dance

Here is a song (made up by T) that we often sing to D.L.F. as we are getting him dressed. It is sung to the tune of that song that people always sing, "Can, can, can you do the Can Can?" (What is the name of that song, anyway? I played it for a piano recital once--and no, I am not good at piano).

Pants dance
Can you do the pants dance
In your little [insert D.L.F.'s pants color here] pants
Can you do the dance
Dance dance dance dance dance dance dance


Monday, June 09, 2008

I Like This Papa Guy







The Dress Code, According to D.L.F.

D.L.F. came into the bathroom just as I was stepping out of the shower. He took one look at me and said, "Mama needs socks!"

Well, that's an understatement, I thought.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cupcake is 1 Month Old!

She had a check-up today and is 10 pounds, 6 oz. She has gained two pounds in the last two weeks! My arms can tell it when I carry her. And her cheeks are getting so cute and chubby. She is a great sleeper. I don't know if that's thanks to the advice in Babywise or if it's just her temperament, but either way, I'm not complaining! :-) She is so mellow and sweet, and is just learning how to smile. Her first month went by so fast! Before I know it, she'll be a year old. Hard to believe....

Time for a Trim

This morning D.L.F. was watching me use kitchen scissors to snip small pieces off strips of bacon. He said, "Bacon...haircut!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Precious Girl


Here are Cupcake and I right before we went out the door last night to a tea party/baby dedication in her honor. :-)

I was so blessed and encouraged by the support of the women who came, most of whom are part of our house church. I'm glad Cupcake in growing up in a community with godly women to be examples for her.
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Monday, June 02, 2008

4 Things Meme

Oops...I just realized that my friend Lani tagged me almost a month ago to do this meme. Sorry I'm just getting around to it now, Lani!

4 jobs i've had:
1. occasional babysitter
2. sheet music organizer at a band teachers' workshop
3. full-time nanny
4. college cafeteria cashier

4 movies i've watched more than once:
1. The Sound of Music
2. Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)
3. The Man from Snowy River
4. a video of myself reading books and singing songs to D.L.F....he requests it almost every day (it's getting old!)

4 places i've lived:

1. a house
2. another house
3. a dorm
4. an apartment

(What, I'm supposed to be more specific than that?)

4 TV shows i watch:

We don't have a T.V., but if we did, I would watch:

1. The Waltons
2. Little House on the Prairie
3. What Not to Wear (I've seen it several times at my parents', and it's addicting)
4. I heard about a reality show where a family has to go build their own home in the wilderness and "rough it"...I don't remember the name, but it sounded interesting.

4 places i've been:

1. Germany (on tour with the Continental Singers)
2. Ohio (a year of college)
3. Alaska (choir tour)
4. Hawaii (a couple times as a kid and then with T for our honeymoon)

4 people who email me regularly:

Eh...I dunno. A handful of people, including T and my mom, E-mail me occasionally, but I wouldn't say "regularly." I pass on this question.

4 of my favorite foods:

1. omelets
2. dark chocolate
3. cheddar cheese
4. natural crunchy peanut butter

4 places i would love to visit:

1. The United Kingdom
2. Hawaii (again)
3. T's parents who live in a different state
4. a family-owned farm to observe their daily operations

4 things i'm looking forward to in the coming year:

1. hanging out with T's parents when they visit us this summer
2. watching my kids as they learn and grow
3. losing some (okay, a lot) of baby weight
4. seeing what God will do in and through the house church we are a part of

4 friends i'm tagging:

Hmm...I'll cheat and make it simple. If you're reading this and you would like to do this meme in the comments here or on your own blog, consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

WANTED For Being Too Cute!



A lady from the church I grew up in recently gave us several outfits for D.L.F. and Cupcake. This is one of D.L.F.'s...the shirt has a cowboy on it and reads, "WANTED for being too cute!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Too Busy

I have been too busy to blog. Everything is going well around here, though. Cupcake was up to 8 lbs., 7 oz. at her 2-week checkup, so she has regained her birth weight and then some. Dear Little Fellow is doing really well now with having a little sister. He is getting better at entertaining himself while I take care of Cupcake. She still sleeps a lot, but my midwives say that's fine--since she's gaining plenty of weight--and that I should enjoy it while it lasts!

Some friends of ours (who just got engaged--yay!) brought dinner over to share with us last night, and we had such a nice time together.

I took both kids out by myself for the first time on Monday. Wow! It took so much preparation...getting myself ready, getting D.L.F. and Cupcake dressed, nursing Cupcake, figuring out the double stroller, packing everything required for a trip out with a baby and toddler, and then hauling everything down a flight of stairs! Oh, and Cupcake spit up all over me right before we were ready to go out the door! I figured, since we were only going to the park, no one would really get that close to me, so I just wiped it off as well as I could, and we were on our way. Five years ago, the thought of doing that probably would have disgusted me to no end, but...things change when you become a mom. :-) It's been too rainy the past couple of days to go anywhere, but if the weather clears up today, I would like try to take the kids to the library. We'll see.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One of Life's Little Mysteries

How is it that, by adding one child to our family, our dirty laundry has quadrupled?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The First Week

I am not as utterly, totally exhausted after Cupcake’s quick birth than I was after my long, very difficult labor with D.L.F. Aside from the normal discomforts of the early days of nursing, I physically feel pretty good. Cupcake is proving to be a good nurser, but she is quite the sleepyhead. I sometimes have to tickle her or pat a cool, damp washcloth on her face to get her to wake up enough to nurse. I am working really hard to get her to nurse eight times a day, which is the minimum number of times recommended. She seems to be getting plenty of milk, though, based on her, uh, diaper output. I am starting to get Cupcake on a routine (more about that later), which is helpful for her and the whole family. In general, she is so far a pretty “easy” baby and not very fussy.

D.L.F. is adjusting to being a big brother. I try to spend lots of time with him while Cupcake is sleeping. It is obvious that he is craving attention from T and me. He loves for me to rock him in the rocking chair and sing to him (he often requests particular songs and helps with the words!). Today he went grocery shopping with T in the morning, and this afternoon, he and T went to church, which met tonight at the home of a family who has a trampoline in their backyard. D.L.F. was excited to hear that he would get to bounce on the trampoline.

Now, about the “routine” we are working on for Cupcake: in the first days of D.L.F.’s life, I refused to even read Babywise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I had heard of the controversy surrounding the book and the Ezzo’s ministry, and I had read so many “attachment parenting” books that I was quite biased against the concept of putting a young baby on a routine. But then I read about how Jess and Gretchen had successfully implemented Babywise with their children, and I decided it couldn’t hurt to read the book and see if I could glean at least a scrap of useful information from it.

I was surprised to find that the advice in Babywise is very practical, and not cruel or extreme as some reviewers on the internet would make it out to be. The most helpful thing I learned from the book was to make sure that baby is really getting a full feeding, and not just "snacking" here and there. Gretchen does a great job of explaining the basic tenets of the Babywise philosophy, so I will not repeat what she has written, but will direct you to her article here. (Also, it seems that at least some of the negative things said about the Ezzos and Babywise have been proven false. See this web site.)

We have started applying the Babywise concepts with Cupcake, and I am hopeful that they will help her become a content, well-rested, happy baby who understands that we love her dearly and will meet her needs.

Cupcake with Her Papa


A Man in the Kitchen


Hubby, whom I have decided to refer to as "T" on this blog because I feel goofy always calling him "Hubby," came up with a creative solution to a problem the other night. My parents were over, and Mom had made some shortcakes and sugared some strawberries, and all that was left to do was whip up some whipping cream. She didn't know when she bought all the ingredients for strawberry shortcake that I had burned up the motor in my electric mixer a while back trying to mix a batch of peanut butter cookie dough. Mom and T took turns trying to whip the cream by hand with a whisk, but after several minutes of doing that with no apparent progress, T went and got his electric drill, inserted a whisk, and voila! Whipped cream in moments! (By the way, T bought me a new mixer, as well as three different kinds of dark chocolate, for Mother's Day!)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

3 Days Old

My Cupcake


I Have Two Children Now!


Cupcake with Her Grandma (My Mom)


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Birth of Our Daughter


Here is the birth story of our daughter, who will henceforth be referred to on this blog as "Cupcake," because she's cute, little, and sweet. :-)

I woke up at 12:30 A.M. having some moderate contractions. They weren’t extremely painful, but I thought they seemed stronger than Braxton-Hicks. After a while, I started timing them, and they were about ten minutes apart. I lay awake for several hours and then managed to doze a bit between the contractions, which had slowed down.

I continued to have light to moderate contractions throughout the morning and early afternoon. I wasn’t very diligent to time them, because they weren’t even requiring my full concentration at that point—I was able to continue doing whatever I was doing through them.

I managed to take a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which I guess meant that I didn’t have contractions during that time, or they were so light they were unnoticeable.

After I woke up, I decided to take a walk to see if that would help the contractions become more intense. I walked briskly around the neighborhood for about twenty or twenty-five minutes and had four fairly strong contractions during that time. When I got home, I started to make dinner. I had all the ingredients for potato-broccoli-bacon soup, and I wanted to use them up before they spoiled, so I started making the soup, even though the temperature was in the seventies and I already felt hot. I started chopping up vegetables and realized that my contractions were getting closer together and stronger. My water broke at with a gush at 5:00 P.M. while I was standing at the kitchen sink peeling potatoes. I found a contraction timer on the internet and started using that every time I had a contraction. Within forty-five minutes or so, the contractions went from moderate intensity and about five minutes apart to extremely strong and about three-and-a-half minutes apart. My water gushed a couple more times during contractions. By this time, Hubby had called my mom, who was staying nearby, and she said she would be right over. I guess I should have realized how close I was to having a baby at that point, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up of having a short labor, so I continued trying to make the soup. I told myself all these contractions were probably a false alarm, and the baby probably wouldn’t actually come for a couple more days. Finally, Hubby told me to stop making soup and come pack my bag! He had already put in a lot of my things for me, but I tossed in a few more things between contractions, which had me yelling and pounding on the wall. My mom arrived and took charge of D.L.F., who was becoming a little upset about seeing Mama acting so strangely (at first, he thought it was just a game and tried to imitate the sounds I was making, but after a while, he realized I wasn’t playing around). As we were heading out the door, I was giving my mom instructions on how to finish the soup! She said she would figure it out just fine, and I should go get in the car.

We made it down the stairs and about halfway out to the car when a big contraction hit. I was a bit embarrassed to have to moan so loudly while there were other people in the parking lot of our apartment complex, but I couldn’t help it.

We left our house around 6:30 P.M. and got to the birth center at 6:50. During the ride, I sat in the backseat and clenched the handle grip above the door with all my might during contractions, which were getting closer and closer together. The breeze from the open windows felt great. My method of distracting myself during contractions at this time was to slowly sing the ABC song in my head and mentally write the letters in swirly cursive.

When we arrived, Hubby opened my car door for me and extended his hand to help me out, but I was in the middle of having a contraction, so he stood there waiting until the contraction finished. Then I got out of the car and had another contraction. There were three men talking together on the sidewalk at the bottom of the stairway up to the birth center. I tried to ignore them, but was again embarrassed to be making such animalistic noises. We made it up the stairs and into the birth center. I saw my midwives, but couldn’t bring myself to even greet them, as the contractions were right on top of each other and were all I could concentrate on. I requested the room D.L.F. was born in. I collapsed on my side on the bed, and Midwife L. did a quick exam and said I was at ten centimeters and ready to push. Wow! What a different experience from the hours and hours and hours we spent at the birth center awaiting the birth of D.L.F.

Someone asked if I wanted the tub filled. I said sure, but I was beyond caring where the baby would be born. I was just ready to get her out. While the tub was being filled, I sat on a horseshoe-shaped wooden birth stool, gripped the handles, and pushed. Hubby was right behind me rubbing my back the whole time. I didn’t need the back massage this time in the same way I needed it with D.L.F., who was posterior, but it was still nice to feel Hubby’s touch and know he was there supporting me. He kept telling me what a great job I was doing and reminding me that we would see our baby very soon.

I started pushing at 7:07. At first, I was yelling a low “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” every time I pushed, but Midwife L. suggested changing to a more grunty yell, which would help get the baby out more easily. And it did—Cupcake was born at 7:27 P.M., weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and measuring 20 ¼ inches long. It was only thirty-seven minutes from the time we walked in the door of the birth center until she was in my arms. Whew! Her APGAR scores were 9 and 10.

I bled quite a bit, approximately 450 milliliters, and so one of the midwives gave me a shot of pitocin in my right thigh to help control the bleeding.

I pushed the placenta out at 7:36. It was large, healthy-looking, and complete. Cupcake’s cord was extremely long—“Enough cord for two babies,” as one of the midwives put it. Hubby cut the cord at 7:41. I got into the tub and cleaned up a bit.

I started nursing Cupcake at 8:00. She was more interested in trying to get her fingers in her mouth than in nursing, but she did manage to latch on and suck for about forty-five minutes.

Midwife D. brought us take-out from a Thai restaurant. I had cashew chicken, and Hubby had teriyaki chicken. We were hungry, as we never had gotten to eat our soup! Hubby fed my dinner to me, as my hands were busy with Cupcake.

After we ate, Midwife L. examined me and found that I had a small first-degree tear which did not require stitches. I was so grateful for that, as getting my third-degree tear after D.L.F.’s birth stitched up was physically and emotionally as hard or harder on me than the actual birth.

We left the birth center at 10:50 P.M.—exactly four hours after our arrival. Midwife D. said, “What a great way to spend an evening. It only took the same amount of time as going out for dinner and a movie, but you got a baby!”

Hubby and I thank God for our precious, sweet baby daughter. It was a blessing to have such a quick, natural, peaceful, beautiful, relatively easy birth. Mama and Baby are both doing great.