Friday, December 18, 2009

Cookie Fest '09!

For several years now, my sister has gone to my aunt and grandmother's house to bake Christmas cookies on one day close to Christmas.  They pick a few recipes, bake double batches, and split the goodies between the families.  I've always been left out, because I was teaching on the day they got together. 

But not this year!!!  This year I'm a SAHM, so I was able to join in the fun of baking oodles of cookies and visiting with my family.  I gathered my ingredients, containers, and apron, and I was ready!

Only one problem...JACK!

I brought the pack-n-play for him to stay in while I worked in the kitchen.  It turns out he didn't like that idea.  So, patiently, I strapped him in to my ring sling while I worked in the kitchen.  He didn't like that idea either.

I had my 11 and 9 year old nephews try to play with Jack and keep him occupied while I worked in the kitchen.  Turns out he hated this idea the most. 

So, I was stuck holding my child the whole time.  I was no help at all to my family!  I did manage to roll a few cookies in sugar, but that didn't count as much help in my book.

Since Jack didn't get his afternoon nap, he was a bit cranky all day.

 Finally, he and I sat in the big, comfy chair, while he took a late nap in my lap.  That was the best part of the day for me.

He can't scream when he's sleeping.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Okay, so it's not really like a disco, but recently it probably seems from the outside that our house has a strobe light in it every evening.  Jack has figured out how to turn the lights on and off, and requests (okay, demands) to play with the light switches every night. Every last switch!  I have a feeling our neighbors think we are having a dance party in our living room and kitchen every night! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Back! But Not Really...

Well, thanks to Aaron, I have a new power supply cord!  THANKS AARON!!!  

So, I'm back!  But not really.  We had a new Growth Chart Moment yesterday, and it's still with us today.  Jack got his first high fever in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and it's been coming on and off since then.  This morning it was down to 100, but he seemed more irritable today than yesterday. He has a clogged/runny nose to go along with it, so we'll see what happens, and then call the doctor if it doesn't go away soon.

Yes, he's one week away from being 11 months old, and this is his first high fever.  Can  you believe it?  I guess it's the combination of breastfeeding and staying at home that has done the trick.  This works well for me, since I have no clue what to do when he gets sick. I've used my free sample of Tylenol and offered him water or nursing as often as I can, which I think is all I can do, right?  I'm trying to figure out if he needs to be snuggly warm or kept in cooler clothing when his fever spikes.  Daddy's been a great help.  Especially since he's recently had a few fevers himself and knows what helps him. 

Because of Jack's fever, I'm not able to get online much to read my favorite blogs.  That means I missed 7 days of blog reading, giveaways, and mom tips, and I will continue to miss even more! (I did get three books read this week though!)

I hope you had a great week, and a great one to come! Feel free to leave me a link or two of really great entries I shouldn't miss from last week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Unscheduled Computer Break

Ok, so I've had some issues with my laptop.  I'm not very easy with it I guess.  I broke the original power cord that came with it, so I had to buy a universal power supply cord to charge it.  I broke that a few days later, so it now has toothpick splints and electrical tape to keep it from falling out of the computer.  The battery has decided to 'die' and won't charge anymore.  I can still use my laptop while it's plugged in, which is what I do, but it will only work for a few minutes when it's unplugged. 

I don't have a usual spot for my laptop to sit while I use it.  It is a real LAP top.  I sit many different places around my house with- it on my lap, arm of the couch, or kitchen table.  All the while I am trying to keep little baby fingers from ripping any more keys from the keypad.  Thanks to my friend Aaron, I have a new keypad and a fixed monitor hinge. I'm not sure he can fix my latest problem.

I dropped my laptop this morning from the arm of the couch to the floor.  It landed on the power cord.  It broke.  Do you know how much those cost?  LOTS$!  So, now I have a busted, expensive, power supply cord and no way to charge my battery.  My laptop is slowly becoming a big paper weight.  I'm not sure we can afford to buy yet another universal power supply cord.  (Aaron!!!  HELP!!!)

So, if you would be so kind as to stop blogging while I'm out of my internet office, that would be so kind.  If you would not post a funny Facebook status while I'm gone, that'd be great.  If you could not post adorable pictures of your cute babies, I would much appreciate it.

Hopefully I'll be back before Christmas. *sniff, sniff*

(and I didn't want to take battery time to check my spelling/grammar errors, so please ignore them today) :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This is my last Thankful Thursday post. It's been a great blessing to me to share what I've been thankful for. If you'd like to read the first three posts from this series, go here for #1, here for #2, and here for #3.  When I finished my post last week, I thought to myself, 'will I be able to come up with anything else to be thankful for?'  I hit all the big ones - Jesus, family, friends, chocolate.  What else is there in life to be thankful for?
(Sorry, no pictures this time)

First, I'm thankful for a roof over our heads.  It's a nice home, but in a not-so-nice neighborhood.  If we are still here when Jack is ready for kindergarten, I'll become a homeschooling mama.  I love the space we have, and that there is plenty of room for the three of us. This is a great house for a big family. There are plenty of not-so-thankful parts about this house, but not so many that I can't appreciate the good parts. 

Along those lines, I'm thankful for the means to pay for this house.  Since quitting my job as a teacher to stay home with Jack, I have not had to worry about finding part-time income.  Rick has budgeted us out the wazoo, and we are blessed to be able to live comfortably off of one income.  We have done some reading and studying of Dave Ramsey, who is the mastermind behind Financial Peace University.  (Some people refer to him as Damn Ramsey, which I think is hilarious, because at times, you do want to curse his name!)  Working very hard with what we had, we were able to get out of all of our debt.  Not many people can claim that, and I am VERY thankful to be in this situation.

I'm thankful for the holidays.  I love that they are a time our families set aside to get together.  We don't always get to see everyone throughout the year, so the fact that we will get together over the holidays is a real treasure.  We know we will see everyone eventually!  Also, the holidays give us a time to reflect on our blessings, Jesus coming to Earth to save us sinners, and His death and resurrection that covered our sins.  Wow.  What a great God we have!

And finally, possibly most importantly, I'm thankful for peanut butter.  It's my favorite food.  There is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter, but it really does go with EVERYTHING.  Bananas, toast, graham crackers, bagels, apples....the list is endless.  (I'm pretty sure my father ate a peanut butter and pickle sandwich - I'm not willing to go there)

Thank you for taking the time to read my Thankful Thursday posts.  I hope that you were able to relate to one or more of the things I'm thankful for.  I've really been very blessed, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to share my thankfulness with all of you!  (And good for you if you read them all!!) HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  I hope you have a blessed day!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I just realized that today's theme for I Heart Faces is Sun flares.

Let me reiterate that I am not a photographer.  But I remembered a photo of my son back in April that had sun flare in it, so I thought I'd post it today. I warmed it up a bit, but the flare is all accident. I like the bottom right corner.  Whatever that is called, I like it.  A sun spot?  I don't really know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Here we are with our third installment of Thankful Thursday.  This is when I take each Thursday in the month of November to say what I'm most thankful for.  If you'd like to recap, here is the post for the first week  and here is last week's post.  I love that I haven't run out of things to be thankful for! I don't think I could, really.

This week I'm thankful for my joyful attitude.  Or I could call it my eternally hopeful attitude.  I know my hope comes from the Lord.  I don't  have to constantly remind myself that He gives me a hope for my future, like some people have to do.   I don't even think about it.  It just is the way I'm programmed. Sure, I have been known to get into a funk now and again, but I've never suffered from depression, and I am always seeing the glass as half full.  My parents are both happy people as well.  We may have other generational curses (such as laziness), but as far  back as I know about, none of us has struggled with a curse of depression or pessimism. I am so thankful that God has given me a joyful attitude.  

I'm thankful for my In-laws.  When I married my husband, I married into a terrific family.  My father-in-law is a pastor of a small church in a small town, and they live a quiet life.  He takes care of his family, home and church with respect, patience, and a touch of humor. He has the biggest laugh, and his voice sounds like the voice of God.  (Jack is always captivated by him when he talks)   My mother-in-law is the sweetest woman I think I've ever met.  She will do anything for anyone, and doesn't think anything of her amazing generosity.  (And her pecan pie is the BEST ever!!) My sister-in-law is homeschooling a small army 5 great kids in their tiny home (anxiously awaiting the time when their new home will be finished). Those kids are AMAZING.  They are so kind, compassionate, friendly, funny, and beautiful (or handsome - I don't want to call the boy beautiful!) She is a role model for me as a mother.  My brother-in-law is very kind, and he has the same laugh as my husband.  When they get together, it can be an endless amount of fart jokes, or it can be an deep conversation about theology.  I love to see them spend time together.  I couldn't have asked for a better family to marry into.  They are supportive, encouraging, and loving.  What more can you ask for?

It may seem odd, but I'm thankful for Facebook and Blogs.  Since having Jack and getting into Facebook and reading blogs, I've reconnected with a TON of old friends, and I've learned so much about parenting, cooking, homeschooling, photography, cloth diapering, baby wearing...the list is endless.  Being an extrovert, I'm recharged by interacting with people. Being a woman, I like to share my feelings with other women.  The internet has allowed me to do that without even leaving my family room.  (often times still in my pj's).  There are two friendships in particular that have been reintroduced through Facebook that have been vital to my journey as a new mother.  All three of us had our first babies within a few months of each other, and we share common parenting philosophies.  When you're a new mom, you need to find a support team, and I've been blessed with two great friends who are my support team.

Wheww!  That's a lot to be thankful for!  I'm planning on posting next week for the final Thankful Thursday, but that's only if I figure out how to set a post to publish when I'm not around.  We'll be traveling to my in-law's for the holiday, so I won't actually be around on Thursday.  I hope you all have been able to take a little time to think of what you can be thankful for in your life.  It can change your attitude for the day when you stop to ponder the positive.  Again, feel free to link up to this if you're sharing a Thankful Thursday post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Small Step...

Jack took his first steps last night!  I think there were two real steps in all.  We captured the second set of real steps.  The first ones were a surprise to us, but as soon as he did them, I ran for the camera and set him up to do it again.

I thought he may walk before his 9th month was over, but he decided to wait until 3 days into his 10th month. He should be running around by Christmas, right?

If someone would like to tell me how to upload a video, I'll share my 6 second video with you. :) Until then, I'll share this picture of him standing by himself from last week. You'll just have to trust me that he took the steps.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Skillz

Jack is working on his skillz.  His gross motor skillz that is.

Sorry, once a 6th grade teacher, always a 6th grade teacher.

He has taken to crawling over Mommy every time she lies on the floor.  (Why the third person you ask?  I don't really know) This game can go on over and over and over and over again with endless giggles and squeals of delight.  Once he makes it over one direction, he immediately turns around and goes the other direction.  Every once in a while, he stops to bite.  THAT'S not fun at all!!

I love to get down on the floor with him and see how many times he'll climb over Mt. Mommy.  He's getting a bit of rug burn on his little nose because of how hard he lands, but he doesn't seem to mind that at all.  He LOVES climbing.    And I love playing with my little man.

Here he is climbing over his cousin.  He really likes to climb over people!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I've never participated in this 'linky', because I'm not a photographer. But this week, I saw that the theme was "Autumn Beauty", and since I've recently had a lot of fun taking pictures of Jack in the leaves, I figured I'd go ahead and link up with this photo. This is one of my favorite photos of him. I did plan the outfit to match the fall colors, but that red hair is all his doing!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Important Growth Chart Moment

This may not seem like a big deal, but to me it's HUGE.  As of today, Jack has started taking undesirable objects out of his mouth. 

Let me explain.

Jack likes to put things in his mouth.  EVERYTHING in his mouth.  We can't stay outside long, because I get so  frustrated with having to constantly take the acorns that he can't seem to resist out of his mouth.  I keep a pretty tidy house (not CLEAN, but tidy) now because of his curious adventures he likes to take around all the furniture, but there are still small objects to be found on my floor.  Sometimes it's old food he's thrown or dropped on the floor, or sometimes its a tiny pebble brought in on a shoe.  Whatever it is, if he finds it, it ends up in his mouth!  He puts up quite a fight when I try to fish it out, and sometimes he ends up swallowing it before I can get my finger in there. 

But the time has come!!!!  Today, he had something in his mouth that he shouldn't have been eating, and he PICKED IT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!  He stuck out his tongue and got it out of there!  I know this will carry over to the food department, where he won't keep good food in his mouth that he should eat, but for now I'm happy about this new milestone.  Maybe we can spend more time outdoors!  (Just when it starts to get cold, right?)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday again! It may be a little late in the day, but I'm still thankful, none the less. If you weren't here last Thursday, let me invite you to check out last week's post. I am posting a Thankful Thursday each Thursday of this month, and you're welcome to link your post to my blog. You can even post it late! Lord knows I'm rarely on time anymore!

I'm thankful for my friends. That's a huge thing for me. I am an extrovert by nature, so I love to be around people. But I don't love to be around a LOT of people, just special people. And by special, I don't mean 'short-bus-special!' (Though, we've often left people wondering...)

I have friends who keep me accountable, encourage me when I'm down, are a shoulder for me to cry on, a listening ear for my venting, a partner in crime, a role model for me, as well as someone for whom I can be a role model. God has put exactly who I need in my life, when I needed them. I've often looked at my life and friends as God's tapestry. Friends are weaving in and out of my life to make a beautiful piece of artwork, but I can't zoom out to see the whole thing right now. I have (mostly) learned to look at the place where I am now and see it's beauty alone. I believe that God will continue to add friends to my life, and, sadly, He will take friends away. If I trust that it is His timing and will, I will be able to appreciate both of those times.

I am thankful for my family. I have a very supportive family.

I grew up always knowing that I was loved. I never questioned my value, because my mother drilled it into my head that I am valuable. I always felt beautiful, because, again, my mother drilled it into my head that I am a beautiful girl - inside and out. She was my constant supporter in everything and my biggest fan.

My sister and I haven't always gotten along. I remember a time when all I did was pester her and all she did was close her door in my face. I can't blame her. I was a bratty little sister. But since we've grown older (her MUCH older than me), we've become much closer. 700 miles separated us for quite a few years, and I believe that helped our relationship. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Now that we're only 50 miles apart, it's even better. But what has really brought our relationship to a better place is the birth of my son. We have that ultimate connection now - we both have sons.

Even if you're not a blogger, or if you don't want to link up to my (late posting) Thankful Thursdays, please take some time to think about what you are thankful for this month. If a person pops into your mind, TELL THEM that you're thankful for them. Who wouldn't want to hear that? Have a great week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thursday. (Thank you Capt. Obvious)  There are 4 Thursdays until Thanksgiving. (What would you do without me?)  I've decided to take each Thursday and express what I'm thankful for.  I have a lot to be thankful for, so spreading it out like this is a good idea.

I'm thankful for my husband.  Rick and I have been married for 4 years now.  We met on EHarmony (I KNOW!), and there's a fun story there if I ever get around to sharing it.  Though, maybe it's just fun for me, and the rest of the world (you know, the 15 or so of you who read this blog) may not find it as interesting.  Sometimes it seems like it's been forever that we've been together, but other times it seems like our wedding was just yesterday. I'm thankful that Rick and I complement each other so well.  When he gets down, I (try to) brighten his day, and when I'm not being very thoughtful, he reminds me to think of others first.  When I make dinner, he does the dishes entertains Jack so I can clean up in the kitchen.  He is a really great father, and I couldn't imagine my life without him.

I'm thankful for my son.  Jack is the best thing that has ever happened to me!  He is a constant blessing to me.  His little smile can melt my heart.  His dimples are going to be the death of me, I just know it.  He loves when I sing to him, and I love when he gives me kisses.  He loves to be with me, and I love that I get to stay home with him to watch him grow. Now, if only he would lie still during a diaper change!

I'm thankful for Jesus dying on a cross for my sins.  There are many, and I would be a lost person without His saving grace.  Because of his grace and love, I am a hopeful person.  I am thankful that He is the one who gives me hope and joy.  I am currently in a 'lukewarm' stage of my life right now, but I'm making changes.  I'm trying to get back into a habit of praying and reading every day.  My bible has become a little dusty, and I need to change that A.S.A.P!

I'm thankful for chocolate.   I can't imagine how much weight would not be on this body if I didn't have a love affair with chocolate.  Just imagine how cold I would get in the winter!  Chocolate and peanut butter.  Need I say more?

Ok, I'll save the rest for the next three weeks. Feel free to link up with this post if you're a blogger.  Maybe there is someone out there doing this already. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Some Small Growth Chart Moments

Here are just a few things Jack is doing at 9 1/2 months.

  • He has learned how to point.  He points at something specific that he may want or just think is neat, but he also points just to see his fingers point.  He'll study his fingers, marveling at the new contortions they're doing. 
  • Jack is standing by himself now.  At first, he didn't realize he was doing it. He would switch a toy from one hand to the other, while standing, and not fall on his rump.  I even 'fought' him over putting on a jacket one time, the whole time he was standing without holding on to anything.  Now, I think he tests it out every so often to see how long he can keep his balance.  He does a great job!  My prediction was that he will be walking at the end of his 9th month.  We'll see!
  •  His crawling is getting better and better because of his new sense of balance and strength.  He can crawl right over me (I call it climbing over Mt. Mommy) and through the bottom rungs of the kitchen chairs.  He also loves to crawl in and out of his big Fisher Price toy.  I think he'll be the boy who builds forts to climb into.  
  • He loves to play the throwing game.  He will throw a toy off of his highchair endlessly!  When Daddy is holding him, he'll throw the toy (or spoon, vitamin bottle, or shoe...) down, and Daddy will lower him to the toy to grab it.  This game goes on until Daddy can no longer bend over.  Jack LOVES it.
  • And as I mentioned in my last post, he's becoming quite the talker.  It's so adorable to hear him talk to his toys, mimic sounds from a toy, and talk to us as if asking us in depth questions.  Or maybe he's telling us something important at the time.  We just don't know . 
I am really looking forward to the holidays when we'll get to see all of our family.  My prediction will be that he'll be running around, trying to keep up with his many cousins come Christmastime.  We'll see!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Jack has begun speaking a lot recently.  He's been a babbler for a long time, but something has changed recently.  His babbling has taken on a more conversation-like rhythm.  Sometimes it even sounds like I should be able to understand it.  I have to say that it is the cutest thing! 

Our conversations go like this:

Jack : Ooo ta da!!

Mommy: What's that, Jack?

Jack: Oooidy Oooidy da!

Mommy: Oh, I see.  Good idea, Jack!

Jack: Faa dadada ooi.

I could go on.  It cracks us up every time.  Even funnier may be his parents repeating everything back to him in his baby-language.  We're really enjoying this age!

Friday, October 30, 2009

My JACK-o-Lantern

 Get it?

His name is Jack. (just in case you didn't know that part - it's kind of crucial for it to be cute)

I think I'm going to use his name as a springboard for all of his Halloween costumes.  At least until he develops a voice and can pick what he wants to be on his own.

Let's see, he could be a Jack-in-the-box, a Lumberjack, a Jack hammer (don't know how to do that one), a Michael Jackson, an Andrew Jackson (he could be a big $20 bill!).  The list is endless!  Do you think he'll be scarred for life?  Naaaaa!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

See, I Can Be Creative!

I don't want to bore you with the "why" story of how I came up with this idea.  Let's just say that I saw a need, and I fixed it.  Have you ever seen the site "There I fixed it?"  I feel like I could submit this.  Maybe it's not that wacky, but it certainly made me think, "there, I fixed it!"

This is my grocery list*, held by a small binder clip, attached to a carabiner key chain, attached to a grocery cart.  I even cut a piece of cardboard to put behind the paper so it's easier to scratch off items from the list. 

Now that I have this 'contraption', my darling son won't eat my grocery list, and I can still put it down to continue my shopping.  (I'm experimenting with hanging the pen on the binder clip, but so far, the pen just goes in my pocket when it's not in use)

Go ahead.  Call me a nerd.  I deserve it*.

*I created my own grocery master list.  I even listed everything in the same order that my grocery store aisles are stocked.

Stop by We Are THAT Family to see what other nerds creative people are coming up with these days to make our lives a little easier.

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Pants Allowed

My son is member of a gang. I just know it.  Not a bad, break the law, color specific type gang.  A 'no girls allowed', meet in a clubhouse, secret handshake type gang. 

He has decided that diaper changes are not for him, and therefore will NOT lay still for one second of them.  I have tugged, pulled, pried and turned him back over to get him to lay on his back, but it seems that nothing works.  So, I've decided that the gang he is in must have this rule - NO PANTS ALLOWED!

I will not be following this rule, but I'm not speaking for Daddy. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That Darn Squeaky Door!!

There is nothing worse than getting my 9 month old son to sleep in his crib, only to have the squeaky door of his nursery wake him up when I'm trying to leave his room.  Sometimes, when Daddy comes in to check on him at night, he inadvertently wakes him up because of that darn squeaky door!

Yes, we have WD-40, and yes, I could walk it from the garage up to his room to fix this situation.  But when I think about needing it, I'm holding a baby-sleepy or sleeping-and can't go out searching the garage for this wonder oil.

So, the other night, I thought to myself, "What else would work?" I know PAM will work (as well as potato chip grease from your fingers-just sayin'), but I had the same problem as before. I'm upstairs when I think of it, and it's downstairs.

So what did I have upstairs with us when I needed it?  BABY OIL!! I put baby oil on some cotton balls and worked it into all of the hinges on the door. 

No more squeaky door waking up my sleeping baby! And no more waking Daddy when I come back to bed after being with Jack (because I used it on our door too!).  That's what works for me.  Stop on by We Are THAT Family to find more tips and what works for others.  Have a great day!

I also used it on my metal shower curtain rod to help the metal curtain hooks glide a little more smoothly.  It's not quite as loud either, which helps eliminate yet another 'wake-the-baby' sound.  

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jack's Family Photos

I don't remember where I got this idea.  Maybe I came up with it all by myself.  Sometimes I have waves of creative genius.  Not often though.  Most of the time, I steal borrow ideas from others. I'm sure this one came from a friend who did this a long time ago with her kids.

Jack has a lot of family members that live 3+ hours away.  This makes it hard for Jack to learn these family members by face and name. We don't get to see these relatives very often, but I want him to learn who they are and that they are part of his family.  I decided to collect pictures of everyone, and make a photo album for him.  But instead of putting it in an album that may get forgotten, I decided to put the pictures on the refrigerator.  

(PLEASE ignore the dirty fridge. You'd think I'd wash up the streaks before taking a picture I knew would go online, but I guess I'm not that thoughtful )This isn't everyone that I need to put up, but I ran out of magnetic frames.  They are at the bottom of the fridge, so they are at eye level for him.  I have visions of him looking at the pictures and studying his family while I'm working in the kitchen.   I decided to put their names on them so that when he's older, maybe he'll learn to recognize their names.  I like the way they look.

A Fate Worse Than Death

And by death I mean SLEEPING.

Because my little Jack has a snotty nose (sorry), there is a need for me to help him out with that snot (sorry).  I have now found something that my son hates worse than sleeping:

Having me suck out his snot (sorry) with this thing is a fate worse than death for the little guy. 

He hated it before I bloodied his nose with this weapon, but now I'm sure he hates it even more. Sorry, Jack!!

For the record, I think I must have scratched the inside of his nose getting in there.  It's not like he's calm and cooperative when I'm going at his nose with this weapon.

He's okay, really. A couple of wipes with a tissue, and it was fine.  Please don't call Children's Services.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Award

I received an award! (And I immediately say in my head "What's it all mean, Bazil?")

Mandy, at Mommy Musings, passed this award on to me this week, and I'm honored!   I don't remember how I found her blog, but it was shortly after I started mine.  I was hooked on her blog, because she has a little girl only one month older than Jack, and a lot of what she was posting was what I could relate to.  I love Mommy Blogs. Thanks so much, Mandy!!!  (I hope Little M gets her naps figured out!)

Okay, now down to business....Here are the rules:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

 Here are 7 things you may not know about me (though, since most of you reading this are family, you may already know this stuff).

1-I've recorded a CD.  In a real studio.  So maybe it only has 5 songs, and none of them are my songs, but it's still a CD, and it's still really cool!  And I'm also credited on a real album.  One that's sold to the public. (so it's name's still in there!)

Avenues by Canvas (Audio CD - 2002)
9 Used & new from $24.49
This item has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
4.5 out of 5 stars (2)

2-I have been on TV.  This is a running joke in my family.  I really was on TV, but it's even worse than the 'I recorded a CD thing.'  I won a Karaoke competition in a hole-in-the-wall bar years ago (before I met my hubby).  The prize was a trip to Vegas to be in a big competition for a karaoke CD maker, which would be aired on TV. was an infomercial that aired at 4:30 in the morning.  Once maybe.   But I had a blast in Vegas with some great friends!

3. I've been to Great Britain THREE times.  Can you believe that?  I can't. The first time was with my Dad when I was 16, and the next two times was with my college choir on a choir tour.  They were  the most amazing vacations I've ever taken.  I LOVED being in the cathedrals and castles.  My favorite place was Wales.  All of it.  I would go back in a heartbeat if we could afford it. 

4.  I ramble.  A LOT. I can go on and on.  You may have guessed that. 

5.  I went to Alaska last summer with my husband and mom (Thanks, Mom!!!). That is my other most favorite vacation ever.  We took a cruise tour from Fairbanks down to Vancouver. Rick and I often toy with the thought of moving up there.  It was so beautiful

6.  I love cooking new things. It may stress me out to try new recipes, but I really do love making new meals for me and Rick.  But I always end up forgetting what I've tried and never making it again!

7.  I struggle with knowing what to do with Jack all day, every day.  I want to be a great mommy, but sometimes I worry that I'm not doing enough.  *sigh*  

These are the 7 blogs I'm choosing to pass this award to.  *You don't have to pass it on if this isn't your thing.  No pressure.  But it's kind of fun coming up with those 7 things and seeing who you 'read'. * (I'm learning a lot about praising my son from her!) (she has a ton of ideas for rhymes and songs and FELT!) stories about her kids are so funny!  And she takes great pictures!)'ve read her blog longer than I've had mine.  I always end up laughing or learning something) (I just recently found this one, and I've told ALL my mom friends about her.  GREAT ideas!!) (she's in Wales!  I've been to her town!  That makes me smile) has a daughter with special needs and is so honest about dealing with it all) 

Ok, so that's it.  You don't have to leave a description telling why you nominated your 7 blogs, but I thought I'd add it to my list.   I hope you at least check out some of those blogs.  Thanks again, Mandy! 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting Up To Speed

It's been a while since I've mentioned any Growth Chart Moments, though they're happening almost every day around here now.  I'm going to try to remember all of them, and get you up to speed on Jack's accomplishments. They are in order as best as I can remember.

He can now walk (assisted with our fingers) with shoes on.  He had a good solid month of walking like this barefoot, but with winter coming up, I wanted to get him used to having shoes on his feet.  He had to learn how to walk all over again the first time I put shoes on him.  But now he's back to normal, cruising and walking all the time.  Baby shoes are adorable!!!

He is now 'crawl running.'  When he sees what he wants (like the doorstop that makes LOUD noises when hit), he crawls really fast towards it.  I call it crawl running.

Bath time is now in the big tub!  We went from the baby tub on the kitchen counter, to the baby tub in the big tub, now to just being in the big tub.  He loves it.  He scoots around on his little bottom, and sometimes even tries to crawl around. 

We decided it was time to get a convertible car seat.  A friend of ours gave us her old front-facing car seat for him to use, but we don't think he's old enough to be front facing yet.  His infant seat only goes to 22lbs, and I'm pretty sure he's over 20lbs now, so we had to get something soon.  Craigslist is a wonderful thing!! 

His top teeth are coming in.  One has been there for a few weeks now, but the other one is still trying to come through.   It has wreaked havoc on nursing!  Without going into detail, I'm going to take a little break from it for a few days.  If any of you have advice or encouragement, I'll take it!!!  This is painful stuff!!

Jack finally tried to climb our stairs this past week.  And he did it on the first try!  I turned around to see him on the first step.  What did I do? I ran to get the camera of course!  And then I kept my hand behind his bottom and encouraged him to go up further.  He made it about half way before he fell and decided it wasn't for him. He hasn't tried it since.

As of yesterday, he understands what "I'm gonna get you" means.  It's so cute to hear him squeal with delight and anticipation when you say those words to him.  He crawl-runs away as fast as his little knees can take him!  It's so fun! He has yet to figure out what "come and get me" means.

Today, Jack clapped for the first time.  All it took was taking him to the PBR Rodeo!  He was sitting on Daddy's lap, and all of a sudden he just started clapping.  Every time he did it, we encouraged him.  Tonight at dinner, he clapped between every bite of chicken.  Yay for meat!

Whew! That is a lot of Growth Chart Moments!!!  I can't believe how much growing he has done in his short 9 months.  (He will be 9 months on the 14th.)  That's about how long I had him inside of me.  It amazed me how much growing he did in that short time while he was in my womb, and now it has amazed me how much growing he's done in our home.  What a little guy.  We love him so much!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Petroleum Jelly Flammable?

This isn't a sentence usually heard when someone is carving a pumpkin.  But last night, I texted my husband those very words while I was having a pumpkin carving party with my friend, Beth.

Beth and I have been BFF's since we were in the 3rd grade.  It's fun to say, "We’ve been friends for almost 25 years."  Then again, maybe it's not so fun.  That makes me feel very old.  We shared a locker every year from 6th grade through our senior year.  Sometime in middle school, she crossed over from being my best friend, to being my sister.  In high school, we did some wild and crazy stuff.  Not the kind that gets you in trouble with the law, but more like the kind of stuff that made our moms roll their eyes and wonder what was wrong with their daughters.  We used Kool-aid packets to dye Beth's blond hair almost every color of the rainbow.  We dressed up for spirit week in over-the-top outfits.  And we spent the night at each other’s house almost every weekend.

(I wish I could dig out my old yearbooks and pictures from the back of my basement, but I'm not that energetic right now)

As we got older, we went our separate ways, but we never lost touch.  She sent me a care package every year I was away at college.  (One year she sent me a box of Nerds and said "don't hang out with any nerds this year!" That was my favorite).  She came out to my school one year for Halloween dressed as a pregnant nun.  This is her humor.  She's my BFF.  (Love you!!)

Since I've gotten married, she and I started a semi-annual tradition of carving pumpkins. (This is us two years ago)

My husband says we are cheaters, since we use patterns, but I say we're resourceful!  Beth brings over her carving supplies (what did we ever do without these!?) and we carve away.  We had recently read a tip about how to extend the life of our carved pumpkins, and we were excited to try it out.  We were so excited to get to the carving that we almost forgot to open up the pumpkins and clean them out!  After the pumpkins were cleaned out, carved up, and ready to light, we tried out the preserving techniques re read about.  We sprayed the outside of the pumpkins with shellac and started to coat all the cut parts with petroleum jelly.  What a mess!!!  It was so hard to spread it in all the nooks and crannies.  As we were spreading it around, one of us thought to ask "isn't petroleum jelly flammable?"  After all, there will be a candle burning in this thing!   Instead of looking it up online, Beth decided to do a little test burn. She held the lighter up to a glob of petroleum jelly on the pumpkin.  She decided it was only going to melt and not burst into flames.  (Here are our pumpkins this year.)

Thanks, Beth!  My fears are put to rest.  Should I tell you now that I'm never going to light a candle in this pumpkin?  (Love you!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Cleaning Tips

This week has a theme!  We were asked to submit our cleaning tips this week.  Now, my family will laugh when I say I do have some cleaning tips, but really, I do!  I may not keep the cleanest house, but here are a few random tips I've used to make things just a little cleaner in my little world. 

Let me start by saying I use cloth diapers.  And because I use cloth diapers, I use flushable diaper liners.  They're what keeps me going in my cloth diaper endeavor!  Here is how I make dealing with a poopy cloth diaper just a little less messy  When I change my son's dirty diaper, I put the dirty liner in a little basket I keep by the changing station. After I put it in the basket, I use the antibacterial hand sanitizer on my hands.  When we're done with the diaper change, I say "let's go put your poopy in the potty!"   We walk to the bathroom and watch the poop go down the potty, sometimes saying "bye-bye poopies!" (meaning I say it, because my son is only 9 months old)  I have only had to touch the liner once, I've cleaned my hands quickly, and I didn't have to move his changing table to the bathroom!  (And just maybe I'm getting him used to the fact that poopy goes in the potty, so potty training will go quickly!) 

When I made this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls, I knew it was going to get messy.  I was going to have to mix crumbled cake with frosting.  Luckily, I knew my hubby had a box of disposable, vinyl gloves in the garage.  I grabbed some of those and mixed away.  Not only did it make the cleanup practically nothing (just throw the gloves in the trash), it made it kind of fun to play around in the cake-play-do-like mix.  By the way, I highly recommend making this recipe, but be prepared for a lot of mess and a divinely rich dessert. 

When we bought our new van over two years ago, it had that "new car smell" and it also looked spotless.  I loved it.  I don't know about you, but my cars have never stayed very clean for very long.  This time I thought I'd try harder to keep my new van clean.  I went to Wally-world and purchased a Dusting Microfiber cloth for around $2.  I keep it tucked in a bottom compartment in the van console, and pull it out every so often to dust my dashboard. Every once in a while, I throw it in the washer to get the dust and dirt off of it.  I've also used it to wipe the rain off my door when I have to open my window in the rain.  It has kept my dashboard clean for these 2+ years.  If only I could keep my cup holders clean too!

And finally, back to the cloth diapers.  I found this company when I was looking for cloth diaper tips that sold trial-run packages of cloth diapers.  They included a bunch of different brands of diapers in this package so you could "test drive" different brands before you spent all your money on them.  They send out a pack, let you try them for a few days/weeks, then you return the pack to them.   I loved that concept, but like some others who commented on their site, wondered how they kept the diapers clean.  It turns out that they strip them every time they get them back. So, I took this bit of wisdom, and strip my diapers every few weeks as well.  It really helps to get the stink out.  All you do is put your diapers in the washer with HOT water, dissolve some Oxi-Clean, let them sit in the water for a while (usually I let them sit for a half hour), then finish the wash cycle.  I also do an extra rinse on the days I strip them, just to make sure they're squeaky clean.  This has kept my diapers looking great, with very few stains.

Those are all of my random cleaning tips for this week's What Works For Me.  Stop by We Are THAT Family to see what other cleaning tips you can find. 


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