Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #5: Thirteen Online Articles/Posts/Websites I Liked This Week

1. Curly vs. Straight one girls social experiment to see which hairstyle men really prefer. Interesting since I myself have gone back and forth on which style I prefer.

2. Healthy baby proves doctors aren't always right. I think sometimes our culture has too much blind trust in the medical community and I kind of enjoy seeing them proved wrong from time to time.

3. Who doesn't like funny church signs?!? Ok, so its not exactly deep thinking stuff - but its fun!

4. Midwife encourages women to make out during labor! Who wouldn't love that suggestion?!? And why didn't we try that?!?

5. Organization Junkie's Blog post on How To Get Started - Organizing your Home. I'm finding that I've become a little bit of a pack rat in recent years and am hoping to minimize the clutter and junk thats been collecting here and there.

6. Blog post from The Well-Read Child on the Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children. I loved reading as a kid and love that my son seems to be developing a love for books as well.

7. How to make housework a family affair. I can't wait until my kids are old enough that I can actually get help from them! Right now my two year old follows me around un-doing everything I try to get done! Ah!

8. Toddlers Sharing - is it possible? I mean, seriously! I hear SAHM urban legends about this one two year old that was a friend of a friend of a friend who shared but you never know with stories like that. I don't think its possible. jk

9. Better Homes and Gardens Scrapbooking Techniques How To's. I've been a fan of scrapbooking for awhile now but haven't done much of my own until recently and I'm really excited!

10. Top Ten Most Ridiculous Diets. I might have a few or twenty pounds to lose but I'm hoping to lose it the old fashioned way - not eating too much junk! But thats just me.

11. City Boston info. We're hoping to take a trip there this summer. We used the CityPass in San Francisco a few years ago and its a pretty darn good deal!

12. Family Fun toddler games and activities/ideas. As a SAHM I sometimes get lost in the day to day and need help being creative with things to do with my boys.

13. Romance at a Glance - Christian ideas for recreating romance in marriage. Its hard sometimes to keep things fun in your marriage after you have kids.

So, there you go - my Thursday Thirteen for this week! To participate or check out some other Thirteeners just click here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

As Long As I Live

Well.... if you read the previous post you got a glimpse of what my days have been like lately. They've been filled with "stop that", "I said not to touch that", "don't hit your brother", etc. Very challenging. I've been told its normal, all kids go through the twos and we all survive and eventually they outgrow it. But I'm in it up to my ears right now and its HARD! He is exactly the boy on the cover of the book. Even though I have wanted to just pick him up and shake him at times lately he will still surprise me with his love and cuteness sometimes and reminds me that he's more than what he does. He's my baby, my firstborn, my growing little boy.
Tonight when I tucked him into bed I read him the book "Love You Forever". Now I've read the book before, many times. I know how it goes, and yet I still get emotional when I read it. I'm just one of those girls. I do ok during the first part of the book, but as it nears the end I get choked up. And I have more than a few tears in my eyes as I stumble over my words to finish the story. I think Nate was confused. Even though he's a challenge and frustrates the heck out of me alot lately - I'll love him forever, I'll like him for always, as long as I'm living my baby he'll be.

Tuesday Toot!

No, I'm not talking about what happens to my husband after he's eaten Steak and Shake chili. This is my first time participating in Tuesday Toot.

I was a little proud of myself for having bathed, and fed Nate and vacuumed the downstairs (with Nate's "help") all before 9:30am this morning. Thats pretty productive start to the day for us - we don't do mornings well in this household. But as I was writing this post I heard him in the kitchen and glanced over to see him holding the JetDry bottle (which is kept in a "baby proofed" cabinet - but he must have wiggled his skinny little arm in there anyway). Chaos ensued. I freaked out. He says he drank it but I don't think he had yet. He didn't have any blue-ish color anywhere on his face, hands or mouth. And the bottle didn't say anything about what to do if ingested. Isaac said if it was something to worry about then the bottle would have warnings about it. Right? I swear, nothing is out of his reach anymore! He's climbing on chairs and toys and just about anything to get what he wants from nigh shelves, the top of the desk, you name it. I've just about had it! On top of that, I've not had alot of sleep lately (Joe is teething again and has been keeping us up at night) and I'm just worn out, stressed out, ticked off, tuckered out, used up, drained..... you get the picture.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Few Words on Friendship

I am very blessed to have many wonderful friends in my life. Some are older, some are younger, a few have come in and out of my life quickly, others have stayed through thick and thin, a few are family, others sisters in Christ, some have grown with me, some have outgrown me, I have history with some of them, others I am only beginning to know. God has time and again brought different people into my life at just the right time to bring love and encouragement to me in their own special ways. I am blessed by so many wonderful women. This is a small tribute to all the the great friendships that I've had throughout my life and those to come.

"A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.
Before him I may think aloud."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the VU/CCF girls at my wedding!

"Thus nature has no love for solitude, and always leans,
as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support
is found in the most intimate friendship."
- Cicero

Me and my VU/CCF girls(and Lauren, my sis) this January.

"If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through
life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir,
should keep his friendship in constant repair."
- Samuel Johnson

Me and a few of my mommy friends!

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own
reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."
- George Washington

A few of my GFC girls at retreat!

"True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand
the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."
- George Washington

*I did not wish to leave anyone out. Sadly I do not have pictures with all the people that I consider to be my friends. I wish I could have included everyone but alas, these are only a couple of group shots. For those who I don't have pictured here..... we should take a pix together sometime soon! If you have any pictures of us together that I might not have a copy of please send them my way! Love you all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Under the Microscope

Here's an update on Josiah. Yesterday some therapists from First Steps came out to do the evaluation. There was a Physical therapist and a Developmental therapist and they spent an hour or two asking us questions about Joe's development and playing with him, testing him to see what he could and couldn't do, etc. The ladies were both very nice, but I still felt a little under the microscope. Every little thing that he did and didn't do was documented. They were challenging him to do things that I knew he wouldn't even attempt. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but I think I was bracing myself, waiting for blame to be placed or something (I know, I'm paranoid - it's my mom-complex flaring up again). They kept saying what a sweet boy he was... which a normal person would take as a compliment, but no, I have to read imaginary things into it. Isn't that the kind of compliment you give to someone when there is nothing else to say? I know, I'm a sick person. But he really is a sweet boy - so why do I have to taint a genuine compliment and true statement with my negativity? sigh... I get on my own nerves sometimes! Anyway, after much paperwork they got ready to go. Joe was so tired from being challenged so much. Technically they weren't supposed to talk to us about their findings/diagnosis but off the record they both said they'll be recommending that he see both a PT and DT along with getting his vision and hearing tested. They did give us some exercises that we can be doing with him in the mean time - because it will be a few weeks before therapy actually gets started. I'm weary just thinking of all the days/weeks/months/maybe even years of having to do physical therapy with him. I have days when its all I can do to just get through a normal days activities now. Sometimes I don't feel like I am strong enough to do what needs to be done to help him. But I guess thats probably exactly where God wants me to be, so all I can do is rely on Him.
So, I wouldn't quite say that I feel much better than I did before. I still have concerns and worry about whats gonna happen in the next few months especially, but at least we are moving forward now. Friday the 29th will be a meeting to discuss his treatment plan, etc.
We'd still appreciate prayers at this is likely to be a long and tedious process.
By the way.... yesterday was my 28th (gasp) birthday. It was nice to have the calls and emails with birthday wishes. I got out of cooking! Yeah. My sister made me a wonderful loaf of banana bread... mmmmm.... I might have to go have a piece now. My mom and I went out to lunch (her birthday is today). My husband's gift to me is going to be setting up a craft/scrapbooking area for me upstairs in his music room. So we're shopping around for a desk. I'm so excited! Right now its so hard for me to get any crafts/scrapping done because Nate is always getting into my stuff when its out. So I'm really limited as to when I can do stuff, then its a pain to get it down out of the closet every time. Anyway, so I'm really looking forward to having a little space where I can be organized or at least try to be. All in all it was an alright birthday. Once you're a "grown-up" and have kids your own birthdays become boring and uneventful and I look forward more to my kids' birthdays! So, yeah, I guess I gotta explain this Strawberry Shortcake cake... well, when I was a little kid we didn't usually have big birthday parties with our friends over. But for my eighth birthday I had a Strawberry Shortcake party. My mom made this awesome cake and we had party favors... the whole works. She is supermom. Not perfect, but amazing none the less.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Yesterday our church reserved a local roller skating rink and invited the whole church body to bring their families for a time of family fun. Now I haven't been skating in probably 10 years.... but Nate has never been at all. I think his little two year old body adapted to skating better than my almost twenty-eight year old body did! He didn't even hesitate. He was clambering to get his skates on and would have cruised our onto the skating flour by himself if we hadn't insisted he practice on the carpet for awhile and then have assistance when he did get out on the floor. What an amazing reminder of how much my boy is growing up! Even now as he is trying to do so much on his own I am picturing the day when he won't need me anymore. Sigh.... I know, I know, they'll always need me even when they're grown up. I mean, I still need my mom - probably more now that I am a mom. But its so amazing and difficult to stop and think about what they'll be like when they're grown up. Will he be a man strong in body and faith? Will he be artistic or business minded? Will he live close or will he move away? * Like I don't have enough going on that I need to let myself wonder and worry about things that won't happen for years to come.

Oh yeah.... back to the roller rink.

There was a game area with video games, ski ball (my favorite!) and other stuff. Of course Nate wandered around "playing" the games. I love that he doesn't yet know the difference between just sitting and watching the game preview and actually playing it. Grandpa Dane took Joe over and he loved all the flashing/moving lights and everything that was going on around him. Since he usually only has minimal interest in toys and such it was neat to see him so engrossed in something.
After the roller rink we went to dinner at Red Robin with Doofus & Sniz's family and a few young singles. Most of us had not been to Red Robin before including myself. I was very pleased. I got the SantaFe Burger..... mmmmm.... it was so good! It had guacamole, caramelized onions, special sauce.... all stuff my husband hates and I love! he he! We got a tower of onion rings that kicked butt. They're dipping sauces were really good too.
What a fun evening it was. We are really blessed to have a great church family and it was a blessing to be able to spend the evening fellowshipping together with the body of Christ.

** I've had a few people ask for updates on Joe.... there really isn't anything to update yet. First Steps comes out tomorrow to do the evaluation - I believe they mostly observe him in his natural setting and also challenge him to see what he can and cannot do physically, etc. It'll be another week or more before we find the results of the evaluation and meet with them about setting up a treatment plan for him. Thank you for your encouraging comments and prayers. I will post another update when we've gotten more information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Vision in Plaid!

When we were pregnant with Nate we didn't find out the sex so we bought alot of neutral stuff including the nursery bedding. I found a cool plaid patchwork set with stars on it that was not girly - not too boyish. It has sage, yellow and red (similar to the colors I have going on in decorating elsewhere in the house) which I love. I've had ideas come and go on what else to use with the bed set to decorate the boys' room and nothing has really stuck. Everything I tried was just ok, nothing special. But then I saw these custom name canvases on ebay awhile back that I just fell in love with. Now I'm pretty cheap and somewhat crafty so I didn't want to spend alot of money on something that I thought that between my mom and I (she's artistic, I'm just crafty) we could do it ourselves.
So I got some canvas and paint at JoAnn's and was pumped about getting these things done. Well, that was months ago and we were just not getting anywhere. So finally mom broke down and came over one night and we got started. As we started to pin down exactly how we wanted them to look we realized that this wasn't going to be the quick and easy project that I originally thought when I saw them on ebay - there was alot of details to consider. We are both perfectionists and at times had conflicting ideas of how it should look. But we finally chose the plaids we wanted to match , the font to use, the size of the plaid and the color scheme, etc. We worked on them awhile that night but mom ended up taking them home with her to finish them. A week or two later she says my dad is bringing one completed canvas. But when he got here he had both! I was soooo excited! They turned out even better than I had imagined! My boys' room finally looks complete! THANKS MOM!

Monday, February 11, 2008

First Steps

No, its not what you think. My 10mos old is not walking. Thats the part of the problem. Over the past couple of months I've been holding something in that has actually been causing me great concern, stress, tears, anxiety, fear, regret, guilt... you name it. Considering how much its consumed my thoughts - I've actually talked about it very little.
I know everyone says not to compare your kids but I don't know how not to.Nate was born a few weeks early and was right on with his development. He rolled, sat, crawled and walked all right on target with what the "books" said he should. Joe on the other hand was almost two weeks late being born. I didn't go into labor until I was minutes away from trying Castor Oil. He hasn't reached the milestones that he should have for his age. He is a beautiful boy and the sweetest tempered baby ever and such a joy in our life. But he's 10 1/2 months old and he isn't sitting unassisted or crawling. He rolls..... sometimes. He babbles but hasn't attempted to say any words. He hardly takes any interest in toys or people most of the time. He doesn't have much eye contact or interact with us quite like he should be. We've wondered if he even recognizes us. When we go down the developmental milestone checklists we check off more things on the side labeled: possible concerns/warning signs of developmental problems.
Over the past few months my concern has grown, but every time I would get on the verge of seeking professional help he would do something new and I would question myself. Things like "Am I just being paranoid?", "Does he have autism, cerebral palsy, or something else?", "Is it something I'm doing/not doing?" and "Is he just a little slow in developing and he'll catch up if we give it some time?" keep running through my head. I've been dreading social situations where there will be other babies close to his age because of the "comparing" that goes on. I'm so tired of hearing about other 10mos old babies who are already walking and talking. I imagine in my mind all the judging and pitying that is going on when people realize that my 10mos old only has the motor skills of a 4-6mos old. Well, we finally called First Steps and arranged for them to come out and do an evaluation (which will take place on my birthday - isn't that special). I don't think there is any question that he is developmentally delayed at this point. I think its just a question of what kind of therapy he will need and if its just a delay or something more.
I have a couple of friends who have kids who were a little delayed in their development and after some therapy they caught up and are just fine now. I have spoken with them and hearing about their experiences is encouraging. But we have cousins on both sides of the family that have disabilities. So the thought obviously has crossed my mind that this could be more than just a developmental delay. I hope I don't sound awful here. I love my son more than words can say. I love my family. If there is something seriously wrong with my baby that will not change my love for him. As a mom I want my boy to grow up strong and healthy and I try to do everything that I can to help that happen. I feel so limited right now. I don't have answers and that drives me crazy!
I know I should just "let go and let God" but its just not that easy for me. I know He has a plan for my baby boy and for me and that whatever happens will happen. But I'm human, I want to fix people, I want things normal, I don't want to be challenged, life is hard enough as it is and I don't want my son to have to deal with being labeled L.D. or facing the challenges that come with a physical or mental disability for the rest of his life. I'm trying really hard to pray and leave things in His very capable hands but its so hard not to try to be in control of everything. I don't know why its so hard to not be in control - its not like I know what to do. But God does. He knows exactly whats going on with my son right now and why its happening, and how its going to play out - for better or worse. God isn't worried. Maybe He is just waiting for me to learn some great thing from this whole situation. Maybe He's waiting for me to relax and really relinquish my son into His hands for guidance or healing or whatever he needs. In a way posting this is my own first step toward releasing the power this has had on me and my thought life and letting God take over. I don't know what is going to happen but I know He will see us all through it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Comfort Food!

So, when we were planning our homebirth my mom said she'd cook us a meal to have ready for us right after the birth and she asked if I wanted anything in particular. If you ask a pregnant woman what she wants to eat generally she'll have some kind of preference, and believe me, I did. Immediately I said I wanted my mom's homemade chicken pot pie. Its always been one of my favorite dishes that mom makes. It is not a secret family recipe or anything, its Betty Crocker's (but I checked and I could not find this particular recipe on their website). I think I ate it for every meal the first day after Josiah was born. I LOVE IT! So, while its still this cold yucky winter weather (here in the midwest it is anyway) you should try this out and let me know what you think.

Chicken Pot Pie
1/3 cup margarine, bitter or chicken fat
1/3 cup all-purpose four
1/3 cup chopped onion (optional - my husband doesn't eat onions so we do without)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 package(10oz) frozen peas and carrots
*we usually add some frozen corn also

Heat margarine ove rlow heat until melted. Blend in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and frozen vegitables; reserve.

My Grandma's Pie Crust Recipe - maybe its from a cookbook, I don't know - but its so flaky.
- cut in the following ingredients:
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups shortening
- add all at once
1 egg (beaten) in a measuring cup - then fill cup with water to equal 1cup
Mix until even consistency. Roll out and put into pie pan 9x9x2 in; pour chicken filling into pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining dough into 11in square; place over filling. Roll edges under; flute. Cut slits in center to allow steam to escape. Cook uncovered in 425degrees oven until crust is brown, 30-35 minutes. 6 servings - give or take

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Answers about me in pictures

Play if you want - no pressure, just fun!

1) Answer the questions below
2) Take each answer and type it into Photobucket
3) Take a picture from the first page of results copy the html code.
4) You can’t copy the persons answers who posted this before you!

1. The age you will be on your next birthday:

2. A place you’d like to travel:

3. Your favorite place:

4. Your favorite object:

5. Your favorite food:

6. Your favorite animal:

I know its gross.... but I couldn't pass it up! I've never seen anything like it. And honestly hope I don't ever again.

7. The town in which you were born:

8. Favorite toy as a kid:

9. The town you would like to live in:

10. The first name of your love:

11. A bad habit of yours:

12. Your first job:

13. Your favorite book:

So there you go, not as tricky as I thought it was going to be. I’ll not tag anyone but if anyone has a go, let me know. Happy Thursday! For more TT participants click here.

** Special thanks to my hubby who stayed up late last night helping me turn my layout into the pretty-in-pink thing it is today! I love it!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Not Alone

I have been blessed with good friends in my life. Friends from all walks of life, some friends have known me forever and some I'm still getting to know, friends who know and relate to me in different areas, friends who understand and support me in their own unique ways. God has really put some special people in my life. I am so thankful to have friends and family that I can talk to about just about anything. But as I am well into this phase of my life where I'm challenged daily to be the wife and mother that God intends me to be I have been struggling more and more. I am finding that I need to make a conscious effort to be around other women in this phase of life as well so I don't feel so isolated, realize I'm not alone in my struggles, I can give and receive encouragement. God intends for us to lean on Him first and foremost but also to lean on one another.

"God comforts us in all of our troubles so that we can comfort others in their troubles."
2 Corinthians 1:4

Also, at the retreat last weekend we talked about loving our neighbor and witnessing to and encouraging our non-Christian friends to come to church, etc. Well, I felt a little convicted since I really don't have very many non-believing friends right now. Its been awhile since I was in the workplace and being a stay at home mom makes it hard to socialize sometimes, you know? But there isn't an exemption for us SAHMs. God wants His Word to be evident to other in how they see us live our lives. If the only people who see us are believers than what a waste. We - I need to be interacting with non-believers in my daily life.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Anyway, I figured, I could keep making excuses for myself or I could do something. So, for now I've done two things that are both stepping outside of my normal comfort zone: I have set up a regular time to meet with a sister-in-Christ who is also a mom of two little ones to talk and pray for one another - I'm really excited to see our relationship grow. And I found a play group in town that has all sorts of activities through out the month (daytime, evening - you name it) at various places around town (anywhere from McDonald's playland to Children's museum trips, etc), play dates and mommy only outings. I'm actually excited to go and meet some other moms and make some new friends. I think any stay-at-home mother of toddlers will agree that regardless of the reason, just getting out of the house for some adult conversation sounds pretty good!

** I found the photos on and both are linked to their original home on the web

Monday, February 04, 2008

Variety of Taste

I like food. Anyone who knows me probably figured that out easily. I'm not a very picky eater, I eat almost anything. But I do have my favorites. One of my favorite things when eating out is getting sampler platters or a pick-your-own-combo types of meals so I can get a little bit of this, a little bit of that, etc. Maybe it makes feel like I'm getting more for my money... I'm a frugal minded person thanks mom so that may be a contributing factor.

Right now our neighborhood Applebee's has a Three Course Classics deal going on where you choose your appetizer, meal and dessert for a decent price. Its just the right amount of everything. They've got a pretty good variety of things to choose from too. I got the Fiesta Lime Chicken the other day and it was soooo yummy! Food with a Mexican flare is usually one of my faves - maybe its the 1/4 Hispanic in me, I dont' know. I also love dessert.... and I could easily get carried away and eat a full sized one - but shouldn't. So with this meal your dessert is in a large shot glass. Its just the right size to curb that sweet tooth desire but not so much that you wished you'd refrained cause you're so full!
While we were squeezed together in the back of a suburban on the way to dinner at the church retreat this past weekend, Sniz and I discussed how much we liked Applebee's and decided we should go sometime since our husbands aren't huge fans of it.... so Sniz - let me know when you want to go out!

*Could you tell I was hungry when I wrote this?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

Isaac and I had a great time at our church's leadership retreat over the weekend. It was the first time I have left Little Joe overnight (breastfeeding will do that) so I was a little nervous. But he did great and amazingly, so did I. What a blessing it was to have some time alone with my hubby!

But the weekend is nearly over and I'm trying to plan out the week ahead. Meal planning is one that that I've aspired to do for some time now and have only been minimally successful. Among other methods, I will from time to time use a 1Bag-5Meals plan from but for some reason I feel like that is cheating. I don't know why. Its a meal plan, we like the recipes and it helps me shop in a more organized fashion. Thats all good right? Shouldn't that be enough? Why do I feel its not a "real" meal plan if I didn't hand pick every recipe? I am open to suggestions though. So if anyone has any tips for meal planning I'm all ears.