Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm Back

Well, Caleb and I made it home safely today. I've been spending the past 4 days at my sister's house in Norcross. I was enjoying the break from everything normal. I guess that's why I didn't visit here and tell you about my adventures. But, I am here now. It took us about 5.5 hours to travel what should've been 4 hours. I was proud of myself, though, because I was able to wind myself through downtown Atlanta with barely a hiccup. The main problems occurred right outside of Atlanta due to some rather major accidents. We got through and after a pit stop in Macon and many naps for Caleb, we are home. We are hosting a game night tonight and Chris is having a wonderful time doing that. I'm just sitting around and enjoying free time because Caleb is already in bed. Yeah! I was worried about that because he slept so much in the car today. The weekend promises to be rather busy due to Chris redoing the home computers and other parties going on around us. It will be fun and hectic at the same time. I just hope that Chris and I can have some quality time together despite the busyness. I guess you read that Chris will be redoing the computers this weekend. Well, that means I will have no access to them during that time. So, I will have to take another hiatus from here until they are done. I will be back as soon as I am able. Until then, have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day. I am looking forward to what this year will bring for my blog. See you then. Bye!

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's Christmas!

Yeah! Today has been pretty great. We did our usual thing this morning. I browsed on the computer while Caleb played in this jumper. I ate breakfast and then he had his morning bottle. I got dressed in my work out clothes and then achieved a wonderful goal (did you see my pretty certificate?). Caleb napped in his swing. I showered, got dressed, and got Caleb ready for the day. He ate his solid breakfast (PEAS...he ate PEAS!!!). We did some errands and then we came home. He went down for his nap at one and I packed for our trip to my Dad's house. I packed so efficiently that I now have some time to relax before Caleb wakes up. I'm just hoping that Chris doesn't have to work late and I'm hoping the weather holds up. It is supposed to keep raining the rest of the afternoon and tonight. I might even get worse. We have to make a decision if we want to travel in that. I'm thinking we might just go because I worked so hard to get us ready. We'll see. We are also taking two cars because I'm going to my sister's house after Christmas and Chris has to come back home work. That will be interesting. One of us will have Caleb and the other will have Eowyn. I guess you can say we will both have a baby in our car. ;-) I am so happy it is Christmas. I'm not sure how much I'll be writing before the New Year. I will be relishing in the company of my family and Caleb's first Christmas. If I don't write, I'll see everyone after the new year.


Holiday Challenge 2006...I DID IT!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Wonder of a TAG!

This morning I was playing on the computer and I had Caleb in his jumper in the doorway. That is routine we've fallen into. I wake him up at 7 am. I say "wake," but he is usually up and waiting for me to come to him and he always has that "It took you long enough. I've been waiting," look on his face. We see Chris off to work and then we proceed to the computer and jumper. I eat my cereal while I catch up on news and email and Caleb plays. I usually hear him play with the loud toys and talk away or squeal at Eowyn. He will start to fuss once he's tired of the jumper and VERY hungry. Well, this morning I noticed that he was being remarkably quiet. I turned around because quiet is never good with little kids. He was absolutely mesmerized by the tag attached to his jumper. He had it in his hand and just kept fingering it and putting it in his mouth. I swear it looked like he was studying that tag.

I was reminded of what I saw in a magazine at Walmart. Some Moms developed a whole line of toys and such based on the concept that babies really do prefer the tags on toys. They call their product Taggies. You can find their website here. I am sure Caleb would be all over that.

I think it is so much fun to watch Caleb discovering things. It is all so new and wonderful to him. It does me good to slow down at watch him as he learns and discovers his world. It isn't long till he starts crawling and I know the true adventure will start then. Here's to learning and the adventure called LIFE.

"A Different Christmas Poem"

I saw this poem at Mommy, Are The Toys On Sale? I thought it was wonderful and definitely worth mentioning.

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Wish I Had A Carseat

Today I was so glad Caleb had a carseat that I can carry around with me. I met a friend of mine from the small group at Wendy's. I usually carry Caleb with me in his carseat and he sits up on the table with us. He can charm the whole place even from that confined space. I was walking into Wendy's and I was talking to my friend when the sun got in my eyes and I didn't see the curb. My foot got caught and I tripped. At first I thought it would be just a stumble but then I couldn't catch myself and I just kept falling forward. I guess I could be thankful the BRICK WALL caught me as I crashed into it. Poor Caleb was slammed into the wall too. BUT, he was in his carseat and that took the brunt of the impact. I don't even think he was fazed by this whole thing. I came away with a scraped elbow, bruised shoulder, and a thoroughly injured ego. I am so glad that Caleb was in his carseat! I can't even imagine what would've happened if he were in my arms and not protected. I just wish I could've had my own little cocoon to enclose me as I am falling down. But, alas, that is the lot of take the falls for the team.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Consider Your Ways

I got a wonderful idea from reading Keziah's blog at A Woman Who Fears the Lord. She came upon 31 questions provided by Don Whitney at The Center for Biblical Spirituality. I've read through the questions and they appear to really provoke thought and prayer. I think I too will slowly and prayerfully answer these questions as I start 2007. I pray that my spiritual life will be touched and strengthened as I ponder these questions. Thanks Keziah for the idea.

The Beauty of Salvation

This is my second week participating in The Carnival of Beauty. I'm loving it so far. This week's carnival is on The Beauty of Salvation and it is being hosted by Allison at The Autumn Rain. Go visit her and see what other people are saying about the most beautiful gift of all, Salvation. Thanks!

I'm Keeping My Eyes on You

Caleb rolled over from his back to his tummy yesterday. Yeah! He has been trying to do that for the past two days. He would get half way there and then get stuck. It was usually his shoulders that got in the way. Yesterday, when I went into his room to get him up from his nap I found that he was sleeping on his tummy. WHAT?! I put him down on his back like any other good mother does. We have the "Back to Sleep" motto drilled into us from day one. He must have actually rolled over. Wow! Wait, I MISSED IT!! DARN! I was sure there would be other times that I could watch him do it. Well, I was working on the computer and Caleb was on his back in his gym playing and being happy as he could be. I turned around when I heard an especially cute sound and I found him on his tummy again. Aaawwww! He rolled over. NO, I MISSED IT AGAIN!! I can't believe it. I told Chris when he got home last night that I wasn't going to take my eyes off of Caleb today so I could watch him achieve any milestones he may choose for the day. Of course, though, I missed him rolling over. What's a mother to do?

Monday, December 18, 2006

We Will All Be Together Someday...

SALVATION...What a beautiful and yet elusive word. What is there to say about salvation? I could talk about how Jesus is the source of true salvation and it is through my complete acceptance of him and his forgiveness that I am SAVED. I could talk about the peace that comes with knowing my sins are truly forgiven and that I have Christ's grace to cover me whenever I mess up (...which is plenty). I could talk about how there are so many people everyday who are experiencing the same thing as me and starting on the wonderful journey called SALVATION.

But, those truths are sometimes very hard to grasp. It is so hard to understand what it means to be saved sometimes. When those times come I have to remind myself of what Jesus did for me and that it what HIS sacrifice that made SALVATION even possible. That is such a daily process and it can be so hard and tiring. There is peace in it but there are some battle scars to go with it.

Let me tell you what is the most BEAUTIFUL thing about SALVATION is for me. It is that "We will All Be Together Someday." Every single person who is in Christ's family will meet together and stay that way forever. It makes my heart warm up knowing that someday I will see my Mom again. I will meet my big brother whom I never met because his little life died way too early in the womb. I will ask him what it was like to be with Christ from Day One. I will get to walk the streets of gold with old friends and new friends. I will be able to meet people long past who's lives I have studied. I will sit and talk to the likes of C.S. Lewis, Hudson Taylor, John Wesley, and Jim Elliot. I will shake hands with Stephen, the first martyr, and I will discuss with the Apostle Paul what it was like to write the book of Romans. I will never have to say goodbye or farewell to my new friends because we will be a brand new family. There will be no curfew. So, I can talk to, sit with, and embrace whomever I please, whenever I please, and for however long I please.

Life will be perfect and our time together will be perfect too. I love to be with people a lot of the time. I guess you could say that I am a "people person." Sure, I can be pretty shy around new people but that goes away with time. I guess you could say that FELLOWSHIP is my favorite part of being a Christian and being part of such a wonderful church. I have learned that my faith grows the most when I am around people who can build me up and I can build them up. For this reason, the idea that I will be able to be with all my friends and family, old and new, for ETERNITY is best part of Christ's grace and salvation.


A Unique Greeting...

I found this Greeting at A Gracious Home. It was forwarded to her by her husband. I don't know where he got it. Read and enjoy. I just had to pass this along.

"Please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive and gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice and with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all, and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year of 2007 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preferences of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal; It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting; It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first and warranty is limited to the replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

After all that I just have to say,


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Formula Jug

I am sure there are plenty of Moms out there who do this but I just had to share. I was blessed with being able to nurse Caleb for four months. I kept trying to give him bottles so it would be easier for him to go into the church nursery or to be babysat. During my efforts Caleb decided he preferred the bottle over the breast. I thought I would be so happy to have some freedom but sometimes I grieve those times of closeness.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I used to make each bottle individually until I realized that took way too long especially when Caleb was fussing for some nourishment. It was too difficult to pour the water, measure the formula, close the bottle, and then shake and shake and shake. It is especially hard when you are doing it one-handed while the other hand is holding the screaming baby. One day it came to me in a light...Why not premix the formula for the day?! WOW! So, I went to Walmart and bought a cheap jug that can hold up to 32 ounces of fluid. Every morning or so, I measure out the day's formula. I pour the water...once. I measure the formula...once. And I shake, shake, shake, shake....once. I then put it in the fridge and just wait until bottle-time. It has saved so much time and energy. I know my husband likes it because it is so much easier on him when he babysits. Another babysitter thanked me too. You would think that something so easy would come to me much quicker, but alas it didn't. I'm just glad it did and everyone is that much happier because of it.

The Beauty of Christmas Music

I just wanted you to know that I participated in the Carnival of Beauty. Go visit Susannah at Through a Glass. She is our gracious host this week. I wrote about my experience Christmas Caroling this past Saturday night. The post is directly below this one. Let me know what you think. :-)

Monday, December 11, 2006

An Evening of Caroling and Worship

I had a wonderful weekend. The best part of it was most definitely going to REVIVE. For those who don't know what REVIVE is, it is a get together hosted by my good friend and Mentor, Barb. She opened her house up a year ago for young, single women to come and have a wonderful time eating, fellowship and worshiping Jesus. I was never part of the single population when I started attending but I have been welcomed just the same. All the girls have loved on Caleb whenever he has attended as the only allowed male. I always leave REVIVE feeling just that, revived. Yes, I have to give up my Saturday night with Chris, but I know I come back a better wife and mother.

This past REVIVE was, of course, of a Christmas theme. We started gathering around 5:30 and had fun talking and snacking. Around 6 pm we headed out into Barb's subdivision, carrying candles, and singing Christmas Carols. I can't remember the last time I went Christmas caroling. I know I don't have the best voice and that voice was made even worse by the super cold temperatures. But, you know, we were kept warm by the love in the group, our common love for Jesus, and for the love we showed all the neighbors. Some of the people came outside and enjoyed the music. Others didn't know what to do with us. One couple even went inside and rummaged for some change to pay us.Geez ! We serenaded some dogs who were the only occupants of one house to greet us. There was one couple that came outside and sang and danced right alongside us. The joy in people's faces was quite plain. We ended our evening of
caroling by stopping at an older couple's house. The wife was newly
home from the hospital and she was quite frail. They couldn't open the door and let in the cold air, but they stood right there and soaked in the music and our love for them. Christmas music sure does take on a deeper meaning when you can see how singing carols can lift someone else's spirits. It helps to remind us all of why we sing them in the first place.

After caroling at about ten houses, we returned to the house and warmed up with coffee, hot buttered rum, hot chocolate and other goodies. We even made homemade pizzas. After everyone was full of food, we gathered in the living room and began to re eive our fill of our Lord. We sang worship songs, prayed, and read scripture. It was wonderful. I fell sleep on the couch like I always do but that sleep is always so sweet and peaceful. I can feel Christ's arms around me, comforting me. It is like a warm blanket. We ended the worship time singing "O Holy Night." That has always been my favorite Christmas carol and singing it in such setting made it that much more wonderful and meaningful.

Finally, around 1 am we started decorating our Gingerbread houses. I have never done that and mine was so cute. They called it the "Hansel and Gretal house" because it was covered with all kinds of candies. I climbed into bed around 2 am and talked with my friend Brandy for awhile. (I spent the night there while Chris and Brandy's husband took Caleb for the night...ultimate Non-Mommy time.) I drifted off to sleep around 2:30 and slept well until I woke Sunday morning. Brandy and I drove home and
greeted our husbands. I was so happy to be home with Chris and Caleb. I was REVIVED and ready to be a better wife and mother. I also listen to the Christmas music on the radio and I think about all those faces of the people we touched by a fun evening of caroling.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Half Way in the Holiday Challenge

Yeah! I have now rowed 50,000 meters of the 100,000 meters Holiday Challenge. I am so excited! Next week will be a bit rough because I have to miss a day and that puts more meters onto each day. But, I know I can do it because I am determined to do this Holiday Challenge. I am going to meet a physical fitness goal/challenge at some point in my life and it might as well be this. Goooo Me!

Frugal Fridays--Homemade Baby Food

Homemade Baby Food

While I was still pregnant with Caleb I became intrigued with the idea of making my own Baby Food. I researched it and now I am implementing it. Caleb loves his homemade baby food. Not only is this food fresh and healthy, it is also VERY frugal. Here is a sample recipe:

Sweet Potatoes

Buy 3 medium to large sweet potatoes. Wash, peel, and chop into small pieces. Put the pieces into a microwave safe dish and add 2 Tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave for 10-12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. The sweet potatoes are done when they are easily poked with a fork. Put the sweet potatoes and the cooking juices into a blender. Add 1/2 cup water. Puree. Add 1/4-1/2 cup water, as needed, to give a smooth, velvety texture. Transfer the puree into ice trays (preferably with lids) and tightly cover. Freeze for 8-10 hours or overnight. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into freezer bags and return promptly to the freezer. These are good for 2 months in the freezer.

When it is time to eat. I just take out two sweet potato cubes and microwave for approximately for 30 seconds. After checking the temperature, I feed Caleb his yummy, healthy food and he LOVES it. His repertoire has expanded to apples, pears, and butternut squash. We will try peas and carrots next.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Whoo! A Much Needed Break

Caleb and I are finally getting a much needed break today. Of course, "break" is relative. We aren't planning on going anywhere today. Gosh! The car may not even move out of its spot all day. We were supposed to have lunch with a friend today but her car broke down and she is stranded at work. So, that's not happening. Caleb is still in his jammers and I probably won't make him change either. Why? There is no need to dirty up a nice outfit when I will be his only audience today. I am dressed but in a comfy t-shirt and sweat pants.

I say that having a "break" is relative because I am doing plenty of stuff today. I've gotten the fireplace ready for a cold front that is coming in tonight. I'll probably need to bring in even more wood because I forsee some major burning the next couple of days. I've already made Caleb some baby food. Carrots! Yum! There will be some computer work when Caleb goes down for his afternoon nap. I'm not sure what Chris is doing tonight but I'm sure I will have to get dinner ready too. Chris might be meeting with a former business partner to discuss business and I'm not sure how that will affect dinner. We'll see.

The past couple of weeks have been rather crazy. I have loved it to be honest. Before the holidays hit I was going nuts because I didn't get out of the house very often. Sure, I did my regular errands and I attended MOPS. I also went to Wednesday night church and other stuff like that. Chris' Mom hurt her knee and that opened up more opportunities to get out of the house to help her out and to just hang out because she was out of work. Then came the holidays with Chris' grandparents coming and other happenings. I was actually busy and out and about a lot. I've gotten used to taking Caleb to all sorts of places. A few weeks ago I never thought I would look forward to and enjoy a day spent at home. But, here it is and it is great. I thank the Lord for the change and I pray that when things slow down again around me that I can keep myself busy and productive.

Have a great Thursday everyone and wish Chris a Happy Birthday!! He's a Pearl Harbor Day baby.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

A Much Cheaper Diaper Genie

My husband and I got a Diaper Genie for a baby shower present a long time ago. It has been great...until Caleb started eating solids. No matter how hard I tried to clean the Genie the smell of the diapers permeated the plastic and even an entire night outside on the porch, open and airing out, would not get rid of the smell. I threw in the towel on that one. Well, I took our diaper bag solution and put it to work in our house. You see, we keep Ziploc bags in the diaper bag to put diapers in once they are changed. I try to be considerate of other people when we throw diapers away at their house. The Ziplocs really cut down on the smell. If it is a particularly smelly diaper I just double bag it. Sure, it doesn't cut the smell out 100%. I don't think there is anything that can do that. But, this way I don't have to throw every diaper away outside. We just use an old trashcan from our storage room and we put Walmart bags in it and put the diapers in there. Once there starts to be a smell I just tie up the Walmart bag and throw it away. Brand name Ziplocs do work better because I think they are thicker. The only cost to you is the Ziplocs and that really is minimal compared to Diaper Genie refills. Walmart Bags are free too. Let me know if anyone has tried this.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Few Pictures of My Kids

The Ever Present Breastfeeding Debate

I was reading some posts at Blogging Baby today. I was reading the post called "Boobs on Parade...breastfeeding or marketing?" and I followed the links to this very clever post on the BabyCenter Message Boards. I thought this was very clever and really shows the struggle for breastfeeding mothers. Why is it that our society has not problem looking at women flash their breasts all over magazines, the internet, and tv and yet they raise a ruckus when a mother exercises her PROTECTED right to feed her baby in public. You see far more skin on those magazine covers than you ever do when I woman is nursing her baby and yet it is the nursing mother who is offensive. GOOD GRIEF!!

I was able to nurse Caleb for four months and then he just decided he preferred the bottle. I am so happy for that time. I am one of those mothers who are just modest enough to not really want to nurse in public. I would usually go out to my car or find a back room to nurse him. That was my choice though. I support and respect women who have no problem nursing their babies completely in public. I support their right to nurse in public 100%. I am not the only who supports this. So, does the state of Georgia. In 2002 , the Georgia Legislature passed this law:

Ga. Act No. 922 (2002) changes the previous law, § 31-1-9, and inserts the phrase: "The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be." (S.B. 221)

I guess the law is one thing but people's opinion is much harder to change. I just wish it wouldn't be that way. What can I do? I can't change the entire country's opinion but I know that I can support mothers as I see them and speak up for a woman's right to nurse her baby whenever and wherever she feels is needed. I can also speak about the benefits of breastfeeding your baby and that far outweighs other people's opinions. Who really matters here anyway? That's right, the BABY.

5 Months

Caleb is Five Months old today! Yeah! He is so big and energetic. He is can almost sit up on his own. It can be a bit wobbly at times but he is coming right along. He loves his toys and actually complains if you take one out of his hand. I think he is about to cut a tooth. The teething rings have bedome his best friend and I think I can feel a little bit of a tooth pushing through the gums. Sweet potatoes, apples, butternut squash, and pears are on the menu now. I'm trying oatmeal cereal by itself before I start mixing it in his other foods. I have made some peas but I confess they look terrible (ugly green) and I'm just not looking forward to giving them to him. But, who knows. Caleb may love peas. If he does he will be doing better than his Mommy. I hate peas. Eowyn and Caleb are really starting to form a friendship and I swear sometimes Eowyn tries to give her toy mouse to him to play with. It will be fun to watch those two develop in their time together. Caleb continues to be the star of the family. Chris and I have gotten used to disappearing when we are around other family members. Sometimes I would like more attention but I feel so blessed that Caleb is so loved by his entire family. So, I don't complain. Caleb is such a wonderful kid. Chris and I love him beyond words. Life is so exciting now and we can't wait to see what it brings us.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It is Time to Start...Again

In a previous post I said it was time for me to start watching my food and to exercise more. I said that Caleb was old enough and I was recovered enough to warrant me trying to lose more than just the baby fat. Well, I am doing pretty well with the exercise. I am 30,000 meters into the Concept 2 Holiday Challenge and I am enjoying. I love my rowing machine and I plan to row regularly for a long time. However, my eating habits have suffered from when I was pregnant. Being pregnant was excuse for me to eat what I wanted to eat because I figured that freedom only comes when you are with child. I didn't not think about that logic instilling in me some terrible habits that are VERY hard to break. Now that Caleb is weaned and taking only the bottle I don't have the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding "allowed" me to continue on with those bad eating habits because my body needed those extra calories, right? I was even saying that the rowing required that I consume more calories to fuel my body. What?! My brain is running away with my body. I stepped onto the scale today and I saw that I put a couple pounds back on since Caleb was born. I lost all my pregnancy weight and apparently a couple of those pounds have come back. Aaaahhh! I must stop this now!! I wish I could write out some elaborate plan for how I'm going to tackle this. But, I can't. All I know I can do right now is finish the Holiday Challenge with some room to spare and drinks LOTS of water. With food, all I can do right now is try to make right choices one choice at a time. On top of all that and most importantly I pray that God will give me SELF-CONTROL. I need it and only the Holy Spirit can give the self control I need to tackle this. Lord, give me self-control especially during the holidays. I know I can enjoy the wonderful food but I can also be reasonable. I'll keep everyone posted on how I'm doing. Thanks for the support!

One Thousand Gifts, Part 3

33) Caleb learning to nap in his crib
34) Learning to bake bread
35) Going an entire week without having to cookdinner
26) A gift card to a new restaurant from a MOPS Mom
27) Best Friend is pregnant and due in June
28) Wireless Fence for Eowyn so I can throw her out and not worry about her running away
29) Christmas parties
30) A whole night alone with Chris
31) REVIVE--I'll explain later
32) Our piano--we got it free from the church because they were getting rid of it. It is still a great instrument.

Friday, December 01, 2006


I was reading a post on the Voice of the Martyrs Blog, Persecution Blog, and I was amazed about the post called, The Rage Can Be Tolerated. I am always amazed when I read about the trials that many Christians have been through and I am reminded that my life is so easy compared to "Our Brothers and Sisters in Chains." The Persecution Blog makes for excellent devotional material and for keeping my feet planted firmly on the ground.

Concept 2 Holiday Challenge

I have said before that I am rowing my way to One Million Meters on my Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine. To help me jump ahead in that goal I am participating in the Holiday Challenge over at Concept 2. The challenge is to row 100,000 meters between Thanksgiving Day and midnight on Christmas Eve. I missed the first four days due to Thanksgiving and traveling. So, I'm having to play catch up. But, I have rowed 25,000 meters this week and I have 3 more weeks to go. I am on schedule and I can take the weekend off. Yeah!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Hey Everybody! I just wanted my readers to know that I love getting comments. There are days when I really don't want to post anything because I just don't feel like anyone is visiting me. I question the point of my blog if I'm just writing for myself. Every so often I get a comment or someone tells me they miss my blog and I feel so rejuvinated and I want to do it more. So, leave comments and let me know what you think. Thanks!

One Thousand Gifts, Part 2

11) Firewood
12) Chris teaching me to build my own fires
13) A fire on a cold day
14) Christmas lights everywhere
15) Christmas trees...especially real
16) Caleb likes squash!
17) The chance to sell books on eBay
18) Our Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine
19) Jack Russell Terriers--Eowyn
20) The Church Nursery
21) Non-Mommy Time (a time for me to get away without Caleb)
22) Caleb sleeping in the car (almost like Non-Mommy Time)
23) Being able to stay home with Caleb
24) Have both sides of the family so close to us
25) My Small Group
26) Netflix
27) Criminal Minds--my guilty pleasure on tv
28) Our Teaching Pastor turning the Bible alive each Wednesday night
29) Voice of the Martyrs
30) Dates with Chris
31) How readily available babysitting is for us...usually just one phone call away (even last minute)
32) How supportive and encouraging Chris is with my crazy ideas

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I am having a rough moment right now. I put Caleb down in his crib hoping he would fall asleep and take his nap. For a long time I've allowed him to nap in his swing or on my bed and without any sort of a schedule. I've known that "forcing" him to spend time in his crib was inevitable but I just didn't want to listen to his cries. Well, I've finally done it and he is squawking his head off right now. Have strength, Mommy, have strength. Whoo!

One Thousand Gifts...

It sure has been forever since I've been here. I could say that I am too busy or that I have better things to do. But, the truth is that I just don't want to be honest and vulnerable right now. I've been coming to a lot of conclusions lately as I TRY to regain some sense of a devotional time with God after Caleb's birth. Some of these conclusions have been rather how much Mom's death has really affected my relationship with God. I guess you could say that God and I are working things out even though the truth is that I am doing the working because God never really changed nor moved in this whole situation. I am sure that more will be said about that whole process. I've been really desiring to write here lately and perhaps it will be good for me to have a creative outlet to be honest and vulnerable but to also have fun. I was told this past weekend that my blog was actually missed by my family and that gave me a twinge of guilt and also motivation to do it again. So, this is what I'm proposing. I am going to do this One Thousand Gifts thing from Christian Women Online to start me off again. I am sure that jotting down One Thousand Gifts in my life will do me and my faith a world of good. I am sure I will probably start out broad and have to start going more and more specific. Here I go...

1) A Wonderful Thanksgiving with both sides of the family
2) Caleb
3) Beautiful Fall Colors
4) The joy of homemade baby food
5) A sweet dog named Eowyn
6) MOPS...thanks ladies at the Savannah Christian Church MOPS group. Y'all are GREAT!!
7) Baby and Doggie toys all over my floor. The clutter reminds me of the love in the family.
8) Wednesday Night Church
9) Grandparents
10) Warm Savannah Temps. in November

Friday, September 08, 2006


I am trying to create an incentive schedule for my rowing efforts. A few years ago I had to lose a lot of weight after college. I didn't gain the Freshmen 15. I gained the College 50 . Ick! Well, I was able to lose 40 lbs. of those 50. Chris and I developed an incentive system whereby I got something once I achieved a quarter of the way to my goal. That would be 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. I obviously never got the 100% treat. Oh well! So, I am looking at doing the same thing for my rowing. I am already at about 238,000 meters. I am going to plan this for every 100,000 increment until I hit 1 Million meters. The first cool thing will be at 300,000. I don't know what that will be. I have to put something together and get it "approved" by Chris before I can implement. Once I have it going I will post it here. I am rowing my way to better fitness. I'm telling you, indoor rowing is the way to go. It is the best full body workout you can get in the time you spend on it. Wow! Try it out sometime.

Stock Trading...

I have found a new little hobby that is kind of fun. I am messing around on the Virtual Stock Exchange that can be found here. You get to set up your own rules for the "game" with how much cash you can work with, broker commissions, and other rules. Chris and I set it up to be tougher than the real conditions. Do you remember in school how a good teacher would give you a study sheet that was harder than the actual test? That way you learned more and you were prepared for the test and actually found the test to be easy. That is what we did here. The VSE, as I call it, mirrors the real stock market to the best of its ability. It is a good way to learn how to trade in safe conditions. If you lose money, that's okay because it is play money. I've already done that but I looked back and I made a note of what I did wrong and I learned from it. I am slowly learning how stock trading works. I even implemented a successful trade today and I actually made a profit. Yeah! The plan is to work on the VSE until I am good and ready and then to dive into the real thing. SCARY! But, I am so glad I have this resource. Not only am I learning about stock trading but this is also an outlet for my need to learn something and to keep my brain from turning to absolute Mommy Mush. Who would've thought that I could actually get into stock trading. Huh! Could this be the answer to my "What can I do from home to make money" question? We'll just have to see. I'll keep you posted.

Here are some other sites I like:
Yahoo Finance

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2 Month Checkup

Today was Caleb's Two Month Well Baby Checkup. I was dreading it because he is always pretty hysterical during doctor's appointments. I usually end up having to nurse him just to get him to calm down enough for the doctor to look at him. Keep in mind I fill him up before we ever leave and it is only 15 minutes there. Anyway, he was an absolute dream throughout the appointment. He actually smiled and laughed for the nurse, slept until the doctor got there and then smiled and laughed for the doctor. I was so happy and feeling good about the whole experience. That was until the SHOTS!! Oh my goodness! Caleb got two shots per leg and an oral vaccine. He was right in the middle of an adorable laugh when he got stuck the first time. His face absolutely melted and so did Mommy. I had to hold back the cries and be strong for Caleb. I have NEVER seen or heard Caleb cry like he did today. He was so red and tense. When it was all done I held him until he calmed down enough that I could put him in his carseat. He fell asleep once we got in the car and that warmed my heart. I was happy that he could sleep after all that. Thankfully, he has been pretty good all day. He's even on the floor right now enjoying his Baby Einstein gym. Happy baby noices are the best music ever.

Now we are off to church. Yeah!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My "Non-Routine" Weekend..

I had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and I have my fantastic husband to thank for it. As most of you moms out there would understand, my life is extremely routine at home. There is alot of sameness...naps, diapers, feeding, and even a little playing these days. I get household stuff done when I can. Come Friday I was fed up with the routine nature of my life. I was craving Chris' crazy, hectic life at work just because it was different and seemed almost exciting compared to home life. Ironically, I think Chris craves my routine life sometimes. Anyway, Friday was bit of a bust because it was a lot of the same thing. Chris came home, we ate dinner, hung out, got Caleb ready for bed, put him in his swing, watched a CSI episode (thanks to Netflix), put Caleb down for good, and then we went to bed. That is what we do every week night. Finally, on Saturday I explained to Chris I needed a change, a break, no more routine. He jumped on it once he understood my feelings. The rest of the weekend was spent being different. I feel refreshed and somewhat ready to return to my routine life....somewhat. My "non-routine" weekend really could've gone a couple more days longer if I had my way. But, I am so thankful for what I got. Thanks, Chris!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Be Still My Heart!

Last night, or rather very early this morning I was up taking care of Caleb. He was hungry, so I obviously went to feed him. Three A.M. is not exactly my most aware or interactive time of the day. I would rather not be up feeding him. Honestly, I would rather be sleeping. But, last night/morning I looked down at Caleb and I saw how precious he looked as he was eating. There was such a peace and a look of total love and contentment on his precious little face. My heart absolutely melted right there in the glider. I forgot about how early it was in the morning and that I wasn't sleeping. All I could see was my son and how much I love him. I thanked God for the moment and my heart has been so soft ever since. I will treasure that moment forever and I pray there will be more.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Separation Anxiety

Last night was yet another milestone for Caleb. Chris and I put him in the nursery at church for the very first time. It was for the Wednesday night teaching time that Chris and I attend now. (Note: Our Teaching Pastor is doing a 12 week series on Revelation...verse by verse. Fascinating!) Anyway, Caleb joined us for dinner and then we checked him in. I figured Wednesday night would be a good time to try the nursery out because it was somewhat less hectic than Sunday morning or Saturday night. Handing him over to the lady was hard. I told them that I am nursing him but it was okay to try a bottle first. I provided the bottle with a probably over supplied diaper bag. They carried him away and Chris and I went on to the teaching time. Soon after we arrived the number '1343' popped up on the pager monitor and I was convinced it was Caleb even though his number is '1345.' I had just written the number down wrong, right? My baby needed me. Well, as can be expected it wasn't Caleb. I did peek in on his room and he was actually doing okay. He was being cared for by a very sweet looking grandmotherly type lady. The whole infant room was grandmotherly type ladies. They can take care of babies. Yes, they can. I had to keep telling myself that until I was able to return to the service. The parts of the lesson I actually heard were very interesting. But, I just kept thinking about caleb. I even left 5 minutes early so I could pick him up before the rush. I peeked in his room first and saw him being cuddled in a blanket and he was fast asleep in the ladies arms. Now, I felt kind of guilty because he looked so comfortable. I manged to pick him up and I felt complete again. The first nursery visit was now over. I did far worse than he did. I know that this will probably be a fluke experience. I know that I will probably be called to the nursery plenty of times in the future. I am just thankful for this good experience. Yeah, Caleb! We did it!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh my Gosh! My House!

Caleb and I were just taking a nap together and I came to a terrible realization. My house is a MESS! There is clutter everywhere and I mean everywhere! Clutter clutter clutter!! When did my house get to this point?! I know, I am the mother of a barely 2 month old son and housework does not have to be the highest priority right now especially when I'm already struggling to keep my priorities straight. But, good grief! This is horrendous. I know I wasn't the neatest housekeeper before Caleb was born. I confess that. I know Chris would agree. I just never thought it could get to this point. Now I have to face the task of tidying up somehow, sometime. I guess I can try to just pick up a little bit each day and the theory is that my house will be much cleaner some day. I just hope my cluttery nature does not out run my attempts to pick up.

Why must you touch?

Why do people always have to touch babies? Yes, they are cute and cuddly and just wonderful but I don't want perfect strangers touching my baby. I don't know how many times I've been out and about shopping or whatever and people will come up to Caleb in his carseat and touch him, especially his feet. NO! If I don't know you, please don't touch my son. I don't know what you have on your hands. My family and friends are so considerate and they always wash their hands before they pick up Caleb without ever me asking. I never had to mention a thing from when he was born till now. They just know. I've also noticed that from other moms. They won't touch him because their hands are dirty or just cold. I wish that were the case with everyone else. Unfortunately, it isn't. It seems the general rule is that if there is a cute baby you have to touch it. I was at Walmart today with Caleb strapped to me in his carrier. (He hates his carseat and I figured out that if he is strapped to me, I will have a much more pleasant shopping experience). Everyone made comments about him and that is kind of nice. I know my son is incredibly cute and I enjoy hearing it. BUT, please don't touch him. Not only are you infringing on him but you are also entering my personal space. One lady even came up to us in line and touched his feet and mentioned that he wasn't getting good circulation in his legs because of his carrier. Note: Caleb would let me know if he was not comfortable. Then the cashier said his feet were cold, thus the color. So, not only was I getting unwanted advice, they were touching him too. GEEZ!! DON'T TOUCH THE BABY!! Okay, I'm done now. I just had to get that out. Whoo!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Eat like a cow...

I got my issue of Babytalk yesterday in the mail. I'm always so excited about getting magazines. I was so excited that I've already read it through. Oh well, that doesn't leave much reading joy for later does it? Anyway, there was an article that struck my fancy. It talks about eating all day long (grazing, thus the eating like a cow) and still losing weight. I was intrigued because, of course, I enjoy eating. But, the key is to eat small healthy snacks throughout the day and to make those snacks convenient. I realized in my previous post that I have been struggling during the day with headaches because I was actually forgetting to eat lunch. I also had no energy and my patience was practically zero. That really stunk for Caleb. So, I thought that premeasured, easily accessible mini-meals might be the key to me staying nourished and energized. I went to the store and bought some of the foods mentioned, such as almonds, apples, carrots, and yogurt to get me started. I didn't buy the handy-dandy portioned snacks because you pay extra for those. I just took those cute snack baggies and portioned out myself and everything is in a Gladware container in the fridge. Now, I just grab a baggie or piece of fruit when I'm hungry. I am also chugging my water. This is only day one of this new daytime eating plan. I will still eat a regular dinner with Chris each night and weekends might struggle but I will do my best to keep portions in check. I will also keep up my exercise by walking and rowing. Caleb and I actually went walking at the park again yesterday and had a good time. It was overcast and that made it more bearable. It actually started raining right when we were heading to the car. Good timing, huh? Well, here's to a mommy's journey towards healthier eating. :-)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Note to Self...Don't forget to eat!

Before I had Caleb I never thought I could EVER forget to eat. When I was in seminary I knew a guy I worked with in the library who had apparently forgotten to eat during exams. He was complaining of headaches and fatigue. He just couldn't figure out why and was assuming he was catching the flu or something. Nope. He had FORGOTTEN to eat for two whole days! Needless to say he felt much better after a large dinner. Such a thought was so foreign to me until now. It seems that some days that Caleb keeps me so busy that I just don't think to eat lunch. I might munch a little bit here and there but nothing even close to being enough. I get headaches come mid-afternoon and assume I'm getting dehydrated and I drink more water. Amazingly, I usually feel better after eating dinner. No one told me that forgetting to eat could be a side effect of being a mother. I almost feel like I should put "EAT" on my daily To-Do list. Being a mother amazes me more and more each day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A little humor...

I found this on a blog this morning and I couldn't help laughing...makes breastfeeding just a little bit easier.

Twelve Days of Breastfeeding!

by Kelliann Mendez (breastfeeding peer counselor)

On the first day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the second day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the third day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my

On the fourth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to
increase my immunity!

On the fifth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
LESS ALLERGIES!... fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full
breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the sixth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
Zero constipation LESS ALLERGIES!... fewer Dr. visits, minimized
jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the seventh day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
teeth and jaw development, zero constipation,
LESS ALLERGIES!... fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full
breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the eighth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw development, zero
constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!... fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice,
two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the ninth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
skin to skin comfort, reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw
development, zero constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!... fewer Dr. visits,
minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my

On the tenth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
decreased chance of diabetes, skin to skin comfort, reduced risk of
breast cancer, teeth and jaw de

A Walking We Will Go...

Caleb and I went walking together for the first time today. I found out yesterday that Caleb is holding his head up well enough now that I can put him in our baby carrier facing out from me. That way he can look around all he wants. We got up this morning ate breakfast and put on our work out clothes. He was wearing a thin onesie that is really cute. We drove to a local park because I don't want to walk on the streets with Caleb strapped to me. I just wouldn't feel safe. Anyway, we went to the park and started walking. He did so well!! He was just looking and looking. I was able to walk a mile which is one lap around the lake. I might have been able to do more but Caleb fell asleep about 3/4 of the way around and we were both hot. I didn't want to push it because I don't want him to hate going on these walks. I want it to be a fun time for us both. Maybe we'll do it again tomorrow. I just can't wait for the Fall to get here and the temperatures are much cooler. I know it will be more fun and enjoyable for us both then. Until the Fall, we will go out sometimes and I will continue to row in evening sometimes.

Disposable Diapers!

I found this blog entry off of today and I loved it. I feel supported and vindicated. I too love Disposable Diapers and I am not ashamed to say it. I use them each and every day and I even confess that I never even considered cloth diapers. That was mainly because of where I live. There is no diaper service in semi-rural Southeast Georgia. I would have to sterilize, wash, dry, and fold all my own diapers. Who knows how many of those cloth barriers I would have to buy. Then there is also the money to use all the super hot water I would have to use to wash the little nasties. I guess I would've at least considered cloth diapers if there was a good diaper service near by but there isn't. Too bad! So, I am a proud disposable diaper using Mommy. They work great on even the biggest disasters and Caleb doesn't seem to mind. Cleanliness and plenty of Butt Paste keeps his tooshy nice and fresh.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What a day!

Wow! Today has been something else! Chris, Caleb, and I are finally in for the night at my Dad's house. I had no idea that we would be doing so much when we came down here. Let me start with last night. Caleb hates traveling in the car. So, he actually cried half way of the 2 hour drive. I was afraid of that. He finally fell asleep after a rapid diaper change that occurred during a stopped train. That was interesting! We go to Dad's house and it went pretty smoothly from then on. Today we woke up and went to McDonald's for breakfast. That was fun. After that Chris, Caleb, and I went to Red Lobster with an old High school friend. That was fun too. I assumed we would be in for the day till dinner time. Nope! Betty, my stepmom, wanted to take Caleb to her parent's house for them to meet him. That went pretty well except Caleb had long passed his tolerance of his carseat by that point. Finally we went out for BBQ at my favorite local restaurant. The food was wonderful but the atmosphere left me wanting. We apparently got the kid's room. It was probably the loudest room in the resturant. Caleb finally had enough and started to cry. Well, some people next to us started looking at us and made comments about "that crying baby." Of course. they had some pretty loud kid's themselves and they weren't making comments about the other loud kids in the room. I finally had enough and took Caleb out of the resturant. I didn't blame him one bit for being so upset. He has never been away from home for so long and he has never been held by so many people in one day either. Poor Kid! We are home now and Caleb is fed, in his pajamas, and sleeping soundly in his crib. I am so glad. I confess I am going to stay home from church tomorrow morning and sleep in and let Caleb have a quiet morning. He needs it terribly. I hope he sleeps well and recovers well from his BIG DAY! I'll be back after we get home. :-)

Friday, August 18, 2006

To Grandpa's We Go...

This weekend is a big milestone for Caleb. He is going to go on his very first road trip. Chris, Caleb, and I are packing up half the house it seems and we are going to visit my Dad and Stepmom. I confess I'm pretty nervous. Have I packed everything we need for Caleb? Do I have enough diapers, wipes, outfits? Thankfully, my Dad told me they were able to score a pack n'play from a friend so we don't need to worry about that. One less thing. But, that is just Caleb. What about me? Am I forgetting anything? Toothbrush? Hairbrush? Socks? I also have to pack for Chris. Whoo! This might take all day. I also have to pack up Eowyn and send her on to the other set of Grandparents to be doggie-sat. Eowyn practically requires her own suitcase. She needs her kennel, food, bowl, bone, toy duck (the duck is almost like a security blanket...she can't be without it), harness, leash, and invisible fence system (thankfully, that is portable). Once all is said and done we have to actually get to my Dad's house. That is what I'm most worried about. We can't leave till Chris gets home at about 6:15 and after we eat dinner. Well, that is getting into Caleb's grumpy time of the day. It would be great if we could somehoe hook up his swing in the car but with a Ford Focus, that is not possible. The swing seems to work well in calming Caleb down. So, I'm just praying that the motion of the car puts Caleb to sleep. If not, it will be a very "musical" two hours. I will do my best to make sure he is happy by confirming he has on a very clean and dry diaper and I will be feed him till he is nice and full and cuddly. Wish us luck! Off we go....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It is time to start...

Caleb turned 6 weeks yesterday. Yeah! He is so big now with an actual double chin. I am so proud at how ell he is growing up. He is even starting to have some kind of daily schedule. You know I like that. Anyway, enough bragging for now. Since Caleb was born I've known I would be needing to lose some weight. I've lost a good bit of my pregnancy weight thanks to breastfeeding. I am very happy with that aspect of of breastfeeding. But, I started my pregnancy already overweight. When Chris and I decided to go off birth control I kept saying, "You need to lose weight before you get pregnant so you'll have a lower baseline." I said that over and over again. Then I got pregnant a lot quicker than I thought. I thought that since I had been on birth control for almost 3 years that surely it would take more than 3 months to get pregnant. I had time right? Wrong! So, these past 6 weeks I've been telling myself to not push it because I am still recovering from Caleb's birth (C-section) and I need to focus on him and getting into a rhythm. Well, he is six weeks old now, my incision doesn't hurt anymore, and he seems to be getting a schedule. I think I've exhausted all my excuses.

So, I'm am declaring that it is time to start on this journey for weight loss. I'll use this blog to document my days as a mommy and that includes my adventure in getting my body back. I confess it is hard to eat right at times when I can only use one hand to eat with a squirming, sleepy baby in the other arm. Drinking water is no problem being that I'm breastfeeding. Granted there are days that I fail and Caleb gets way hungry due to a drop in my milk supply. But, over all getting my water is easy. Most days I think I drink close to a gallon. Whoo! For exercise, I thankfully have an awesome indoor rowing machine that we bought with some inheritance money. I love it!! I actually got Chris to watch Caleb last night while I rowed 2000 meters. I will be using the rower as often as possible and once the weather cools off I will start walking too. I'll be keeping a log of my progress and that weight. Ick! Here goes nothing!

Starting weight: 174 lbs. (fully clothed)
Fat %: 35.5 %

May the adventure begin!