Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This is What Christmas Looks Like

At least, this is what it looks like in our household this year. Yesterday I had called the nurse at our peds office and after listing of a litany of symptoms she had said it sounded bad but to keep doing what I was doing (humidifier, Tylenol, fluids, etc) and if wheezing came into it to head to the dr at that point.

Baby girl was worse today with the added bonus of shallow breathing so we decided to take her into the med center. How do you not have mommy guilt when they point out the pneumonia on her chest x-ray? Because I 'should have known' sooner and been more worried and fretted more. However, my girl did have some great doctors, nurses and techs today. The x-ray tech had a Furby talking to her to keep the baby distracted and all of the doctors were very friendly, patient and great with my girl. In spite of working on a holiday, everyone was fantastic.

After a trip to the med center, a long visit at the children's ER, several pulse and heart checks, a few unpleasant temp readings, more doses of Motrin & Tylenol and a big pink bottle of Amoxy from the pharmacy, we are home and the babe is tucked into her bed to await Santa tomorrow.

She's hoping he brings her piles of presents and something to make her sick go away.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In Which We Are Cold, Sick and Stuck

Ok Michiganers (is that what we call ourselves? Michiganites? Michigites?) have we had enough snow yet? Because this is really getting out of control and someone should do something. I don't think I've seen this much snow in January or February, let alone December.

Frankly, I'm ok with it, but I don't have anywhere to go and can stay hunkered down in my jammies all day. I would seriously revolt if I had to leave the house. Those of you who work, maybe you could send in a memo? "End snow please. Thanks." Or something like that.

My kid is still super sick. Snotty all over the place, achy, wimpery, feverish and coughing. All she wants to do is snuggle and cry and while I love the snuggling part, I just feel so bad for the little rascal.

We're currently wrapping presents (baby is playing with ribbons and tape) and listening to Christmas music. Merry Mixmas, to be exact. Loving this album this year.

Our ornament winner is....

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-23 18:34:38 UTC

Dawn, you are the winner!! You'll definitely appreciate this ornament. It's not much, but it's a happy tree addition. I'll send it out for you first thing...Friday.

Happy Christmas, my bloggy friends!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Free Book & Ornament Giveaway

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-20 16:47:45 UTC

Joy, you are the winner of the book!! Email me your address and I'll get it shipped out to you on Monday. Just in time for Christmas.

Now, your next assignment, dear internets, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me your favorite Christmas present you've ever received. Everyone can play along here! I'll go first.

My dollhouse.

Me in my footie pajamas in front of the dollhouse that was bigger than I was.

Note the fantastic 80s glasses. (not the best picture, I know, but it's a photo of a photo, what can ya do)

It was originally my aunt's dollhouse and had been in Grandma's basement for me to play with for years. One day it was gone. Missing. Just like that. I asked and everyone said that my aunt had sold it. SOLD it?! How could she possibly?!

I'll be honest. I found my present before Christmas. My mom had sent me into her closet to get something or other and apparently she forgot she had hidden this huge dollhouse in the back. Sure, she covered it up with a blanket, but really? That was supposed to deter me?

Regardless, I was still (as you can all see by the maniacal look on my face) completely ecstatic on Christmas morn. For years I would play with this dollhouse, rearrange the furniture, vacuum the rooms and generally adore this toy.

Then, I became a teenager (ok, I was probably at least 16 or 17 at the time) and I gave the dollhouse back to my aunt to use with her daughter. When she was done with it, it came back to me. I may have had to plead and cajole and beg my aunt not to sell it, but instead to let me use it for whenever I would have a child. And maybe to play with it a little in the meanwhile. And maybe to redecorate, and wallpaper.

The house is in my basement now. Wrapped carefully in blankets to keep it safe and dust-free. Someday it will come out again. To finish the renovations and get it nice and spiffy for my baby girl. The trick will be hiding it from her for 8 or 10 years.

Randi's favorite toys are the ones that aren't. For example, see here this cooking pot. Bring along a large spoon and it becomes an amazing drum. She's going to love the wrapping paper and boxes this year.

"I just have to push it over here where there are better acoustics."

"Stop laughing. Music is serious business."

Now, tell me your favorite gift ever received! Could be from childhood, or it could be from last year. One of your lucky comments will win a little Christmas ornament!

Comment by Monday night to enter!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Thursday and I Love Stuff

I have had a cold for the past 4 weeks now. It's not surprising that it has lingered so long since I don't ever get enough sleep and for me, that is key to my health.

Now, a while ago I talked about the beauty of Zicam. You can't fault the Zicam. The key to that product is also it's largest flaw. It depends upon you taking it at the right time. Human error is always highest. Doggone it, I knew better.

My colds always progress in exactly the same manner. Sore throat and sneezing. Congestion and runny noses. Finally, after about a week I'll get a barking cough for another week.

Fortunately, this year there is a new fantastic product for those of us suffering with that annoying, yet common, cold.

Unfortunately for me, this cough has lasted for about three weeks and I kind of think I got a new cold as well or something.

Regardless, one day I saw a commercial for Delsym. I generally am a sucker for commercials. Especially for a product that says that it will prevent coughing for 12 hours. Generally, when I get a cold, there will be a couple days when my hubby has to sleep in the spare room because of my coughing.

It's bad. And uncontrollable. I use Vicks VapoRub (I still love you, Vicks!), cough drops, Nyquil (never actually helps me sleep and I hate the taste), and my humidifier runs on high. In spite of all this, I still wake up to coughing fits. Fits, I tell you!

Until Delsym. This Thursday, I declare that I am in love with Delsym. It WORKS. I have not once woken up coughing with my three week cough.

I could even likely sleep through the night if it weren't for my sweet babboo. She's darn cute but has us currently in the middle of a new round of sleep training.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Who?!

"Hey look! It's Santa!"

"What!? Santa's not real!? Waaahhh!!

We really haven't talked about the Santa or no Santa issue a whole lot. I kind of think we'll keep him around for stockings and the "it's a good story" aspect of it all. I mean, the guy is really generous. That's not a bad thing at all.

Since baby girl has 4 different Christmas-y outfits this year, Saturday she got all dressed up for pictures and the subsequent oohs and ahhs at church. So fancy.

I just picked up my pictures from the drugstore to put in Christmas cards. Tonight I'll be watching some tv and addressing envelopes. If you haven't gotten a card from us before but you'd like to, please email me your address and I'll put you on the list!

One more thing. You've got until Thursday night to leave a comment on the book post (see one post below) to be entered to win! I'll announce the winner on Friday. At which point I'll be having a contest to win a Christmas ornament! YAY for free stuff, huh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Books and Winners and Real Girls

I meant to do this much sooner so forgive my behind-the-times-ness. It's been winter cold central around this crazy household. Snot is flying everywhere.

According to the random number generator,

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-11 16:11:03 UTC

Luanne is our t-shirt winner!! Yay!! If you'd email me your mailing address, I will send you your shirt asap.

Along with that, I have another giveaway for you all! Hoo-ray for free stuff, right?!

I talked a little bit before about Dove and what they are doing as a campaign for girls across the country. Last time I reminded you all of how beautiful YOU are. (Cuz, geez, you're gorgeous!) What I need you to do this time is read the Real Girls, Real Pressure report. It's not very long and honestly it's amazing to me. As I usually work with elementary girls (who are surprisingly already feeling way too much pressure) the crisis isn't quite as apparent as if I were in contact with teens more frequently.

When I was in high school I know I totally felt the need to be better. To be "perfect." To be like everyone else (aka: what the media told me I should be). However, coming 15 years later and looking at our culture now it is so much more prevalent and difficult to be a tween now. The media is much more all-surrounding and impossible to ignore.

Take a minute to read the report and then leave me a comment about something that you didn't know before to be entered to win this book. It's a really good read and a great tool for encouraging yourself, someone else or even for the guys to read. Our brains are seriously ridiculous sometimes with the pressures we allow to be placed on us.

And remember: You are freaking gorgeous. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Month Eleven

This month was a whole bunch of crazy.
We flew to Seattle for a fun week with our favorite new West Coast buds. Your first flight (without Daddy), first ferry ride and first Canada/America joint Thanksgiving!

You had plenty of airport adventures, but were quite the little trooper with all the time changes, schedule changes and complete change of scenery!

You find great joy in climbing up the stairs this month! We're slowly teaching you how to carefully slide back down so you don't crack your noggin on the hard wood floors at the bottom. Most of the time you are just trying to chase the cat who is forever running away from you. She doesn't seem to understand that you just want to play.

Wait. Baby's come from where?! Eew.

The huge open mouth smile has been new lately. Especially when I'm pushing you around the house on your little wagon. I'm pretty sure you're likely to catch a whole lot of flies.

Oh, that's so embarrassing. I hate it when I blink in pictures. You are so funny about your food lately. Some days you love chowing down on a rice cake and other days you won't have anything to do with it. I swear you change your food preferences every other meal. Don't tell, but I've been sneaking the veggies in with the bites of cottage cheese or yogurt. Those are your favorites no matter what.

"Ha ha! That's a funny joke, Daddy." Your Daddy can always make you giggle. He plays the best games of peek-a-boo ever!

You seem to be recognizing some things in books. At least the kitties. You turn the pages slowly and just stare intently at every page.

Yay! It's your favorite puppy! He barks at you and licks your face and you love to bark back at him and bury your little face in his fur. Poor guy gets so wet.

I'm afraid we're going to have fewer and fewer chances to take walks nowadays. It's so snowy out and super duper cold. Fortunately, you can be bundled up warm and cozy in your snow suit when the weather breaks enough for Mama to brave the wind and ice.

I seriously think you have started posing for pictures. You absolutely know that when we break out the camera it's time to ham it up and smile as big as you can.

Could you get any cuter?

Even though most people believe you are always perfectly happy and sweet you've definitely got your sad and cranky moments. Especially when you don't get a long enough nap. But no matter what, Mama can always make you happy if I give you a few more cuddles and kisses.

Or else bribe you with a snack. That always helps too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My posting has obviously been rather low lately. It's not going to get any better this week...

We had a guy we were getting our internet from in our neighborhood. He was only charging $10 a month which we thought was stellar. However, he now charges per PC and we have four in the house, so it's just as cost effective to go with ATT.

But it takes a while to get that set up.

Since it was on sale for Black Friday, we ordered the AirPort that we want so that we can not only have networked computers, but also be able to print from anywhere or play our itunes from our stereo speakers. Very handy, that AirPort. Except that it won't be here until next week. Sigh.

I guess I'll have to stop at a coffee shop or something. This would mean I'd actually get my housework done and be able to get a decent start on making all my Christmas gifts, except that there is a huge work event going on and I have not only a ton of work to do, but also a ton of running around.

PLUS, my regular babysitter's kid has a fever and some sort of infection so we'll likely be bringing the baby to work with us at least for tomorrow, maybe Wednesday too...Fantastic. Gotta love this time of year, eh?

I for one am heartily fighting off my cold. It keeps trying to attack and I keep battling back with the Zicam. Have you guys tried this stuff? Seriously, this is the most amazing cold fighter. As soon as you think you're getting sick get started on it and it will knock you right back to healthy in a day or two! It's on sale at Meijer right now. It's my favorite.

Aaanyway. Hope you all had fabulous Thanksgivings. Thank you so much for your encouragement with my grouchy post last week. I think once I got my grumpiness out of my head and out into the interweb I felt much better. It's still floating around a bit, but not nearly as bad.

It's also hard to be grumpy with Christmas tree lights lit and hot cocoa in your belly. Mmm.

Me Too

Maybe it's just this time of year. Insane busyness, events, holidays, colder weather--they all lead to a greater likelihood of being in a funk.

I feel like all I want to do is complain. The words may not come out, but they're definitely rattling around inside.

People don't do the things they promise they'll do. Little things, like they say they'll bring me a box from work I need and two days later, nothing. I go find one myself and grumble the entire way. Tasks they say they'll complete, but the trash sits waiting while the truck rumbles by.

Snow falls thick and heavy, sticking to the roads. My car slides into the curb and instead of finding myself at a breakfast meeting with a friend, I need to call for a ride and a tow truck and think only of the repair bills.

Work feels like it is harder and more complex than usual. It's probably not, but my mind is foggy and grumpy.

I don't want to clean, but the house is a mess.

I don't want to work on gifts or projects, but my pile is ever-growing.

I don't want to go outside, but I have planters to bring in and summer stuff to put away.

I want to sleep. I want to sit and read with no interruptions. I want to be selfish.

I don't want to do the hard stuff. To be encouraging, to work on relationships, to spend daily time with God.

I want to be lazy.

But I also want to be inspired. I want to be a part of something. It just seems like nothing is out there right now.

So I burrow into my cocoon. I do a couple little tasks here and there. I snatch 5 minutes to read, an hour to blog. I'm a grouch, even if only inwardly.

Ugh. I think I'm already ready for spring.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've got lots of stories to tell about a great time last week in Seattle. But first I want to complain about my flight. The two flights there were no problem! We got two seats together on the way down and she happily was buckled in and played with her toys and books. The second flight was very long but she napped most of it and was pacified enough the rest of the time.

Then there was the trip home. Sunday night she didn't sleep well at all. We basically fought for three hours that night and no one won. I ended up having to pay extra for my bag because it was too heavy and with the long lines to check in and then the security checks, I barely made it in time.

All I really have to say is that my kid screamed. No one was happy. She was tired but not tired enough to fall asleep for quite a while. Finally, she settled enough to nap restlessly for an hour or so.

The second flight however, was magic and she was a little angel. The couple next to us moved to sit in the back and give us a whole row to ourselves. (unfortunately, karma tricked them and they ended up with a crying infant and toddler in front of them) She didn't fuss one bit and charmed the pants off of everyone around. Even the college kid who called her a little boy. Pink binkie, buddy!

All that to say that you need to watch this clip. I needed a good laugh tonight and this was great. SO true.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Than Just Soap

I've always been highly impressed with Dove's campaigns for real beauty. The first video I saw was evocative and very compelling.

It's so true, isn't it? Whether we are 10, 16, or 36, we are pretty sure that we aren't what we should be. That even though we know God created us exactly as He wanted us, surely He didn't want us to carry around that extra 5 or 50 pounds. Since we aren't His perfect image anymore, we aren't as valuable.

I'll admit that I would prefer to lose five more pounds. But you know what? If I did, I would want to lose five more. Or I would wish I didn't have that extra belly skin. Or I would want to be taller. Or, or, or.

Now that I have a baby girl, it hits even closer to home. She is the most beautiful little girl in the world and it kills me to think that she would ever feel otherwise.

I know a lot of you have girls. Sweet, beautiful girls. Girls who either will or already do feel the pressure to fit in physically and look like the media tells them that they should.

Dove has made a bunch of fantastic resources for us.
Workshops, books, videos and all kinds of tools for mentors, girls, moms of girls, or for women in general. Don't we all need it? A reminder that we ARE beautiful? We need to help the next generation grow up knowing the truth and not be blinded by the images of the media.

You are. I tell you today that no matter what you are wearing, whether you have showered today or not (it's ok to admit it, I will!) or what your shape is, you are freaking gorgeous. You are a woman made by a God who loves you and you are amazing!

PLUS! Now, you can win something. For the next couple weeks I will be having giveaways, and we all love free stuff.

First, I have this fabulous t-shirt to give away to one lucky winner. It's a great chance for all of you to de-lurk. I know you're out there...

To enter, leave a comment listing your favorite physical trait about yourself. Tell me why you love that part of yourself.

I want you to walk around today and remind yourself every time you look in the mirror that you are beautiful. Then when you see a friend, remind her too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bad Mommy Award

Our house is highly child-proofed. There are very few things that my kiddo can get into that either a. she shouldn't or b. she would hurt herself on.

So today when she started crying all of a sudden I didn't know what she had done to herself at first. She was just sitting in the middle of the floor in her room with the "owie" cry going on. I quickly realized that she had stuck her hand directly on the humidifier that I thought was empty and therefore not running.

I scooted her off to the bathroom to run cold water on her little fingers. Checking the tiny digits over, I determined that she must not have done it directly or long enough and judging by her lack of tears, she must not have burned them.

An hour later, I noticed her fingers were actually quite red. A while after that, I saw that there were little blisters. Wahh!

Oh, the mommy guilt, it is pervasive.

Her baby hand has been bandaged and ointment applied. She keeps wanting to fiddle with the band-aids, but I keep distracting her so she doesn't pull them off. I figure they should at least last until bath time.

The only thing that makes me feel a smidgen better is the fact that she doesn't seem the slightest bothered by the burns or blisters. (Ahh! My baby is burned & blistered!) Even when I lightly touched them or she was eating crackers with them she didn't fuss a bit.

Either she has a high pain tolerance or she's amazingly forgetful. All I know is that I'm feeling all the pain for her.

Edited to add: she may or may not have eaten one of the aforementioned band-aids. For bedtime she was re-band-aid-ed and then wrapped loosely but not too loosely with an ace bandage. Here's hoping.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Madness

Be careful.

Souls 4 Soles

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Just put in my 5$. Now it's YOUR turn!

Less than 2 minutes for 2 pairs of shoes. It's a Monday, do something great!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Month TEN

How did you get to ten months so fast? One of mama's dear friends had a sweet little girl this week. You looked so big compared to her tiny new baby! It is so fun to remember how small and bitty you were but I am also loving all the new things you are doing. This month brought out a new pile of sweetness in you. You are enjoying life to the fullest and getting cuter and more fun every day.

There's my little virtuoso. You always play a note or two and then turn around for approval of your song. And of course, we always give it to you. G, G, G, G, G... Yay, baby girl, good job!

You are everywhere now. There is nothing cuter than watching you make your way across the floor. Or hearing the 'plop, plop, plop,' of your hands on the hardwood as you try to chase the cat across the room. She is somehow just too quick for you, huh?

I think we are both pretty sad about the fact that our daily walks are going to fall to the wayside with the colder weather. In fact, the other day you threw a little bit of a hissy fit when our walk got cut short! You were all bundled up and ready to go when one of the nuns from the school across the street needed a ride home. You wailed in the car the whole ten minute drive to her home and back. I'm sure it didn't help that Mama forgot to bring your paci or dolly.

You can successfully say "Cat" (ok, there is no 't', but you gesture in her general direction and say it, so I'm going with it) as well as "Mama." Yesterday, while I was listening to the monitor as you slept the first thing you said upon waking was simply, "Mama," and my heart just went all to mush.

Little girl, you are one good eater! From peas and carrots to black beans and chunks of cheese, you will eat whatever I put on your tray. Some of my toast in the morning, banana chunks or a pile of fuzz from your seat. Sigh. We have to watch you with hawk-like intensity to protect your tummy from the findings of the floor.

Fortunately, you still love your pureed food. Spinach with banana. Squash of all kinds with pears. I have a bag of brussels sprouts to cook up and mix with some fruit. We'll see how well that goes down.

We got to take lots of little field trips this month. From the Zoo Goes Boo to a hayride in the apple orchard, we made sure to enjoy the fall as much as possible.

And of course, we had to plop you down amongst the leaves to take adorable pictures of you. Kid, could you BE any cuter?

You are not afraid of any animal in the least. The big huge horse's mouth was just so soft to pet! When we were at friend's for Halloween, they had a big dog who kept slopping your face and while it startled you, you didn't seem to mind one bit. Even when he would bark out loud you just laughed and clapped your hands like it was all a big joke! You're such a brave little baby.

All thanks were given to that one baseball player who hit that one home run during the world series. Yay for baby's first taco! Ok, so I only really let you have a smidge of the shell, but you probably would have eaten the whole thing if you could have. However, you got us one extra taco just by sitting in the back seat. Way to go baby girl!

"Look Mama, I'm helping with the dishes!" Your new favorite thing is getting into the dishwasher and the refrigerator. It's fine so long as there aren't any scary knives around! Exploring all over the kitchen. Oh look, cat food...

I spend as much time as you will let me just snuggling you, kissing your cheeks, blowing raspberries on your belly and nibbling on your toes. I know I say this every single month, but I just can't get enough of you. Sometimes when you're sleeping, I just want to go in there and wake you up so I can kiss you some more. You are only going to get more independent and more wiggly and I'm going to take as much as I can possibly get!

Your first Halloween was a rousing success. Every house we stopped at thought you were the cutest thing they had ever seen. Your daddy wasn't too bad looking either. What a nice daddy he is and a very handsome sunflower as well.

You have just been a bundle of fun this month. Finally getting 'so big,' chasing the kitty around the house, socializing with any and everyone, and just generally an adorable pile of sweetness. Happy number ten, punkin.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


First of all, thank you to all of you who so kindly commented on my last post. From you, and from others who have talked to me in real life it's good to find kindred spirits and encouragers.

Secondly, this week is the paper sale! If you life in GR or the surrounding area, you will want to try to make it out to this annual event. Downtown, there is a building filled with paper goods for sale. Plates, cards, bags, tissue paper, and wrapping paper not to mention ceramics and other fun gifty ideas.

As an example for how great a deal it can be, one year I got about 25 gift bags for $2 and last year I got a large box full of misc cards (about 200) for $5. Seriously. It's the best deal ever.

I'll warn you if you go, it is insane. It can be shoulder to shoulder, people carrying boxes full to the brim of stuff, wading through stuff and sorting among the goods, but it is WELL worth it. It's the best time of year to stock up on bags, cards, gifts or plates & napkins for your holidays.

Plus, it's kind of a rush of excitement there. Everyone is always super friendly (who isn't when they're getting a great deal?!) as well as chatty, which is a good thing as you often have to stand in line for quite a while!

I think I'll be bringing some of my tote bags this time to make it easier. And baby is going to ride behind in her backpack carrier.

Let me know if you want to go and I'll get you directions. They are open today, tomorrow & Saturday only. Then the sale doesn't come back until next year, so stock up now!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Oh no. Here it comes...


History in the making.


High passions. Huge decisions. Free Donuts.

Here's something that is frustrating to me. In talking with several friends over the past few weeks, I know it's not just in my head.

This is such a highly-charged election that everyone who IS decided is very strongly decided. And that's fine. I enjoy a debate with a friend who disagrees when we both know why we are making our choices. It's healthy and good.

However, a lot of the time, it seems as though it's just not ok for a Christian to be a Democrat. There, I said it.

If you're talking to someone else who agrees with you, it's fine. But, quite often if you voice your opinion in a mixed setting there will be anger and heated arguments.

The thing is, it just feels as though it's ok for Christians to be loud about being a Republican, but if you disagree, you have to be quiet about it. It just seems unbalanced.

Is it just me? I wouldn't even necessarily say I'm one or the other, but fall somewhere in between.

I don't want to start any arguments here. If you even want to comment anonymously, that's ok too.

That's all I've got to say. I'm not at all afraid to voice my opinion, but I don't like feeling as though I'm an idiot for having it. Frankly, both sides are right and both sides are wrong!

Regardless, make sure you punch your card. Pull the lever. Make your choice.

Let's just hope that this country will be able to find unity on Wednesday. Because regardless of who wins, I think that is what we really need around here. Take off your bumper stickers and let's move on together.

(climbs down from soapbox)