Thursday, May 29, 2008

So, You Wanna Hear Something Really Gross?

This morning we were up early to listen to a friend who was on the radio. Ok, I'll be honest, I slept through half of it, but the baby finally made me get up at 7:30. Ugh, that is not my favorite time of the day.

After the radio show, hubby made a yummy pot of coffee and then we walked a couple houses down to meet some friends who were checking out a home for sale. It was interesting to say the least. The house has been vacant for over a year, the previous owners having vanished into thin air. (KIND OF LIKE THE ISLAND!)

Frankly, it wasn't nearly as horrible as I was expecting for the price at which it was listed. We wandered through imagining with them what it could be like and what could be done for improvements.

Baby happily looked at each new room and peered cautiously around every corner.

I happily sipped my hot coffee with foamed milk. Mmmm.

I noticed some had spilled onto my sleeve (sometimes I over fill my travel mugs) so I slurped it up. What? I didn't want to waste it!

Yeah. That was not foamed milk on my sleeve.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stuff I've Done (Beacase It Makes me Feel Good to Make a List) (Also Because It's Nice Not to Have to Check Grammar)

I've kind of been a bit of a Suzy Homemaker the past couple of days. Daddy's gotten extra baby time as I occupy myself with various and sundry domestic tasks including, but not limited to:



tortilla chips



banana bread

spaghetti sauce

Cooking several actual dinners for my family

Weeding both flower & vegetable gardens and planting my front step planters. (Granted, I had an excessive amount of help weeding & planting from a friend. Even though she did it out of the goodness of her heart (Plus? She likes weeding!) I paid with dinner & DQ, but I am still indebted!)

Cleaned for and had a fantastic Memorial Day BBQ



aprons (hooray for a sale!)


binkie straps

I have another big sewing project I'm working on and will post pics after I'm done. It's something I've never made before so I'm really hoping it turns out well!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just Like That

I realize that the following information is only momentous to me, but here goes anyway.

Baby decided to sleep through the night again. She took a few weeks off in order to eat several extra meals and grow a bit, but now she seems to be back to her regularly scheduled program.

At least she was last night. We'll see how tonight goes. My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Baby Goes to Bed

I'll warn you right now that this is over 6 minutes, so if you're not a relative you may not necessarily be enthralled for the whole time. However, if you do watch the whole thing, the end is humorous.

Baby Goes to Bed from Anne on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time for Crunches

I often find that I fall so far short of my goals. Right now, life is good. Baby is healthy and happy and learning new things every day. Summer is around the corner and the world is fresh and green again. Andy & I are coming up on our 7 year anniversary while discovering our love to be stronger all the time.

In spite of all of the goodness around me, I am unsettled. My procrastination seems to be at an all-time high in a time when I have so much to do. Ever-growing mounds of laundry, dishes piling at every turn and my garden needing vast amounts of attention. Not only do I want to be successful at motherhood, I want to be a better housekeeper.

This spring I paid to go to exercise classes and every week something comes up to prevent me from attending as often as I should. The excuses are usually pretty weak. Last night I just wanted to spend time with my baby and this morning, well, I think it's just gotten to a point where I don't care any more. Sure, I should go. I'm even up early enough to have time to eat long enough before I go. But I don't.

Budgeting has also fallen by the wayside for me. I feel as though I have been pretty good about not buying extraneous items, but at the same time I am off the mark from where we need to be. Stupid mistakes that end up costing a lot of money. Stupid and so frustrating.

Worst of all is my spiritual life.

So here I am, highly frustrated with myself and throwing my vulnerability out into the world. They say you should only work on one new habit at a time, but I feel as though there are so many things in my life that need complete overhauls.

Debbie Downer signing off.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Last night hubby and I took a stroll with our bebe on our local walking/biking/running trail and chatted about the year to come. He's turning thirty in a month and I asked him what he was hoping and dreaming for this momentous year.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk. Birds were chirping, everything was green around us and the mosquitoes were just beginning to bite. Ok, so the mosquitoes weren't quite so beautiful. I did make the decision that we won't be going back on the trail until I purchase a baby bike trailer.

The bike trailer was part of our year-goal-chat last night. One of my goals is to sell more and buy less. Sell more products that I make as well as to start siphoning off a lot of extraneous items around the house. I keep listing (and relisting) things on craigslist in hopes of reducing my material goods. Not to mention the fact that I work less and therefore make less nowadays.

At the same time, there are a few things (bike trailer) that we want to buy in the upcoming year. Or week, as the case may be. Our tax refund was mailed to us yesterday (according to the official irs schedule) and I want to use the majority to pay off some debt, but also use a bit to purchase a little camcorder.

Baby girl just keeps getting sweeter and cuter and we would love to be able to record some of her cuteness on tape! Or on hard drive, in our case. We want to do our part to stimulate the economy anyway.

What are you using your refund for?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Epic Tale

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind whipped each drop of rain fiercely so that they felt like needles against my skin. Eternity stretched before me as I took each staggering step forward into the inky blackness. Fearing what was behind me yet terrified of what was ahead, I could only move blindly toward what would later prove to be one of the greatest moments in my life.

Ok. That might be a bit of an overstatement. It wasn't night and it wasn't raining either. Aaaand I suppose I wasn't really scared about anything, nor was it quite that monumental.

The actual story just didn't have a whole lot of pizazz to it so I figured I should try to spice it up a bit. Ah well.

Today was baby's First Shot. I don't want to go with the regular immunization schedule for a lot of reasons, but for one, I'm just not comfortable giving such a tiny person so many shots all at once when she's so young. We're just taking it slow. What goes in can't come back out and I don't want any regrets. So she just got one today.

I gave her a bit of Tylenol before we left to go to the doctor's and hoped for the best. The visit was uneventful. I was mostly just nervous about whether they would be okay with my choice or if it would be a big deal. No worries needed. Everything went perfectly smoothly and I don't think she even noticed the poke. Frankly, I think she was more grumpy about how our arrival at the office interrupted her nap.

The cat seemed to be more needy and clingy today than the baby was. So they both got a little extra snuggling and everyone is happy.

Time for bed. Lately, Baby has been getting up earlier than usual. Earlier than I would prefer, if the truth be told. I should just be thankful that we have gotten as much sleep as we have up until now. I know it will only continue to get earlier, so remind me of my thankfulness in a few months, ok?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Momma's First

Mother's Day always causes one to think of their mother. Obviously. Yet, this year I get to think of myself as well. What kind of mom am I going to be?

Will I overprotect? Will I be too free? Will I be able to fall somewhere comfortably in between?

I remember my mom as having plenty of rules, yes, but loving my brother & I so much in spite of the rules. She made each of us our own stuffed animals. Even when we didn't have much money, she made sure we got presents we loved. I remember her sending me cards when I was at "camp," (Grandma's) and my brother got care packages all the time at college. She showed us her love with her gifts.

Will I be able to have enough rules that Randall will not feel claustrophobic yet she'll know we care enough to make the rules and stick with them? Will I be able to shower her with gifts, yet teach her their value and meaning? Will I be able to make her feel special yet not spoiled?

My mom loved to cook, to bake, to can food. She ate incredibly healthy herself, yet let us eat things we preferred while still getting our veggies in us. She showed us her love with her cooking.

Will I be hardworking? Will I put the effort into making healthy, sustaining food for my family? Will I put the time into working to be frugal and pinch pennies where I have to in order to insure we have enough?

Mom was always a hugger. She never shied away from hugging us and hugging others. She showed us her love with physical affection.

I don't have to ask myself if I will succeed at this. I know that I will want to hug and kiss my daughter even when she prefers I stay away.

Andy got me a pink rose plant, a sweet card and a huge cookie that said, "Mom." Frankly, the cookie is super corny, but it still made me tear right up. I gotta love the guy for his corny-ness. Today will involve church work this morning, prep for a party tonight, a party for my volunteers and then hopefully going to bed early!

I want to cherish my first day. I want to ponder what it means to be good at this job. I want to thank God for the reason I get to participate in this holiday. I want to enjoy being honored. And tomorrow I want to work all the harder to deserve it next year.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Month Four

This month has been full of all kinds of craziness! You met your namesake, your grandma, tons of great-aunts & uncles and even great-great aunts! Our trip to New York, while planned, ended up being completely different than we expected. Even though mama was stressed out the entire time, you took it all in stride and loved everyone you met.

You were spectacular on every flight and slept through the night like a champ. Granted, you refused to sleep in the pack & play we hauled around with us and chose your carseat instead, but we were just happy you slept!

This month you learned to roll from your back onto your belly and as soon as you found yourself there for too long, you let us know how unhappy you were about it! Rolling back and forth and all around was your favorite past-time for a few weeks and then you just stopped doing it. It was as if you had accomplished a task, checked it off of your list and moved on to something new.

We have started instituting "nekked time" every evening for about a half hour. There are few things that make you happier than rolling around and playing without your clothes or diaper on. I always make sure to keep a couple cloth diapers under you to protect the carpet, but so far there haven't been any squirting problems! You are so stinking much fun that I love to just watch you play and roll and smile you gummy little smile.

Bath time is still one of your favorite times of the day. You never seem to laugh or smile during your bath, but you are so quiet and content and enthralled with the whole process. We just bought you some new bath toys too...not that you can play with them yet, but you'll have fun with them when you are able.

It seems as though you will only take short naps during the day unless you are being held and snuggled, in which case, you'll sleep for hours. Sometimes it is frustrating as I want or need to get stuff done, but when I'm holding you and watching your sweet little face, I don't mind one bit. I don't think there can be anything better than snuggling with a sleeping baby.

We haven't heard it very often, but every now and then your laughs have come out as actual giggles. Usually, you will laugh at our silly faces and get so excited to "run" and "jump" and love being held up high and then float down to our laps. Yet it's rare that we hear a giggle come out...but this month we have heard a few. It's amazing the things we'll do to try to get you to laugh and smile. We must look like complete idiots, but you love it.

You keep getting bigger and sweeter every single day. I love to dress you up and show you off. I love to take you for a walk and let you look at everything around you. I love to kiss your little mouth and chubby belly. I love to hold your tiny hands and nibble your teeny toes.

This month we dedicated ourselves and you to God. Hopefully, we remember all that we promised and that we will do our very best for you.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Nursing News (aka: guys, please move along)

I don't know that there are a whole lot of guys that read this, but I have given fair warning that you need not read any further. Seriously.

That said, I am happy to announce that we have been silicone free for about a week now.

Medela has been my best friend since I first had Randall. They say that you should not give up nursing until you have tried it for at least six weeks, but after less than a week of fighting with my child for every single meal, we switched to my pumping and her receiving a bottle. For as much as I wanted to only breastfeed her, I also didn't want to spend every moment with her angry. She wasn't getting enough to eat and she was always mad. With bottle feeding my expressed milk, she was calm, full and happy. Pumping was simple and much faster as well. To me, this seemed like the best way to go.

Until I heard from a friend who had had similar nursing problems and solved them with the nipple shield. Now, the nurse in the hospital had mentioned this option to me when we were working on the latch there, but I didn't know what it was and when she asked if I wanted to try one, I just said (for the second time), "I don't know," and they didn't press the issue. I wish they had.

This little guy was magic. She latched onto it immediately and from then on all was well. Pumping was getting rather tedious for every feeding and was very difficult when I was home alone during the day or at work with the baby.

We did spend a couple days where I had to keep fighting with her to stay awake for a full feeding, but she quickly grew out of that as well.

While we were in New York last month, we had a very bad feeding incident. I had only brought one of my three shields with me (mistake #1) and the one I had I left behind (mistake # 2). The best place to keep it is tucked happily right in my bra, but had I put it there? No, I left it on the dresser instead.

The decision had been made to stop at my mom's for one last visit before flying home and when we arrived there and the baby was hungry I discovered my glaring error. She would not nurse without the shield and it then took another ten minutes to hunt down a cup & hot water to warm up the bottle that I had brought along in her cooler. All in all, it was not a pretty situation.

I knew I couldn't rush her to stop using the shield and that she would wean off of it in her own time. Frankly, I wasn't too concerned. Even if she ended up using it for the next six months, at least she was still eating well and happy and it was not that big of a deal on my part, so long as I don't lose them.

So here she was, approaching her four month mark and she just decided one day that she was done. Eating was a bit fussy one evening, so I popped the shield off and gave her a shot at silicone-freedom. She hasn't looked back since.

I tell you all this (quite personal) info not just so I can document it for myself, but because I don't think enough people know about this option. It saved our nursing and my sanity many a time. If you know of someone who just had a baby and is having a hard time nursing or teaching her baby to latch, let them know that this is a fabulous option to be able to nurse and not have to switch to formula or have to pump all the time!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Baby Dedication

Dear Randi-

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and cleverly and thoughtfully named as well. Randall Gabrielle F is a name with a strong family connection and one with a lot of history. We chose this because family is important to us as well as a sense of your heritage, but more than in a genealogical way. We believe that as children of God we are part of a lineage that traces back to the foundations of humanity itself. May your name remind you that you are part of something that is bigger than what we know and broader than what we can imagine.

You will grow up surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses; parents and grandparents and great grandparent s; sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles; generations of our family have chased after our Lord and Savior and we pray that our stories and examples would challenge you to do the same. Never forget that you are part of something Big. Our God has spent all of history building for himself a nation, a kingdom, a priesthood… a family who will be his light and blessing to a very beautiful yet broken world in need of redemption and restoration. But in this big story our prayer is that you would come to realize the unique and individual way that God has called and designed you to be His child in His world.

We loved the name Gabrielle and it reminds us of the angel Gabriel. In German, Randi means beautiful and you, our sweet daughter, are our Beautiful Angel. Every day you are more precious and more beautiful to us. We can’t stop looking at you and loving every moment of your life.

Everyone is always commenting on who you look like. Sometimes it’s Mama and sometimes it’s Daddy. We just know that you are going to be a part of us both and altogether yourself. You are becoming your own person more every day and it is going to be so much fun to see you grow up and discover who you are! May you rejoice in who God has made you and always strive to become the woman He designed you to be.

You will always be loved unconditionally. Even now, there is nothing that you could do or have done to make us love you more or less. God has specifically given you to us, and us to you and we love you for exactly who you are.

We hope you are fun and silly and can appreciate your Daddy’s sense of humor! We hope you will love art and music, animals and the beauty everywhere around you.

May you grow in wisdom and stature (but not too tall!). May you grow in favor with God and with man (but not with men until you are at least 30!). May you know the goodness of your Savior and show His love to everyone you meet. May your heart be soft yet strong, and your mind sharp and thoughtful. May you be pure and honest, full of grace and truth. We desire the very best for you and your life and will do everything in our power to teach you and raise you up in the way you should go. By the grace of God we give you back to him. Today we dedicate ourselves in His service to bring you up in His Word and with His love.

We love you our blessed daughter.

Love, Mama & Daddy