Wednesday, May 28, 2008

i'm hopeless

I made a plea for input on good books to read a few weeks back. I visited our local library and have frequented the online catalog. I reserved a few books, and picked them up when they had been transferred to the branch in town. And since then, I've been useless for doing anything but sitting on my rear end and reading.
Oh, trivial little things get done - I've unpacked from our weekend adventures, and I tidied up the living room & kitchen... and there's a load of diapers in the wash right now. We haven't gone hungry (yet). But mostly, I'm just waiting until I can snuggle into the couch again and disappear into my book.
It's not such a bad habit, as far as bad habits go... but I probably should set a timer or something.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Here's the update on my Adventures in Going Green:
1. I've used the reusable bags when I go shopping - and I love them!! Not only does it feel good to not have a gazillion plastic bags at the end of a shopping trip, but they are sturdy, they stand upright, and they hold so much!
2. I like my homemade cleaners - although they do require an extra step (wipe down with clean cloth & water) - the ones with baking soda or cornstarch in them will leave behind a film if I don't wipe up. However - the fact that they are so cheap to make and aren't full of icky harsh chemicals makes up for it.
3. I like using the rags instead of paper towels for cleaning - we still have some paper towels in the house, so I'll use them up, but then I'm hoping to not buy anymore.
4. There are plants growing in every single one of my pots on the front porch!! I have no idea if any veggies will actually grow - but it's so fun to see them coming up. We have snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and green beans planted. Yum!
5. Recycling is going well - still haven't made it to the recycling center to empty my bins (and they ARE getting full...) but I've noticed how much less trash we have.
6. I haven't gone any further really with the whole canning/preserving thing - but I'm still interested.
7. I've been looking into more natural beauty/skin/haircare products and techniques. I'm now using a natural deodorant (no anti-perspirant, which scared me at first, but I actually found that after a few days, my body adjusted and I actually sweat less. Weird) and washing my face with oil (once again, scary sounding, but your skin adjusts - I used to have some oily patches & some dry patches... now everything feels nice & smooth - no flaky spots, and once again, no icky chemicals). I use a mineral foundation, and am still looking into stuff for my hair. We're on a budget, so it has to be natural AND inexpensive... those two don't often go hand-in-hand.

Anyway - that's how things are going. Thanks for keeping me honest! And ENJOY the holiday weekend!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a girl, a duck and a bib

She's not quite sure what the duck is doing by her face... or what her mama is doing with the camera. (I told you she makes great faces!)

In casting aside the ducky, she has managed to flip the these-days-very-necessary-bib up onto her face. She doesn't seem to mind, and waits patiently for me to fix the situation.

And oh, it does feel good to breathe again!

I guess the feeling of bib-on-face is a nice one... because the bib is back. And it seems like we may just have to taste the bib, just in case it turns out to be a fabulous (and oh-so-handy) snack.

Maybe not. I guess she'll just stick to chewing on her lower lip. And her mama.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

tag... I'm it!

Runaway Mommy tagged me for a meme on Friday (shows how much attention I'm paying to things...)

So here goes (this was harder than I thought it would be!!):

5 things under $5.00 that I couldn't live without:
Mascara (I don't leave the house without it)
Flip-flops from Old Navy (I get new ones every year)
Starbucks - but my drink changes depending on the season, so I won't list them all here
My MaryKay lip balm
toothpaste & toothbrush (ick!)

5 favorite movies:
Good Will Hunting
Top Gun
Catch & Release

5 favorite baby names I love:
William (called Liam for short)
and of course, Hazel Maryn

5 songs I love:
Twenty-First Time by Monk & Neagle
How Great is our God by Chris Tomlin
When You Say Nothing At All by Alison Krauss
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
pretty much anything by Joshua Radin

5 positive influences:
My husband
My friend Kristen
My little sister
The kids I know through working with YoungLife
My family

5 life changing moments:
Accepting Christ as my personal savior in middle school
May 2, 1999 - my first kiss with my future husband
Mark asking me to marry him
June 6, 2007 - found out I was pregnant
February 12, 2008 - had my beautiful baby girl

5 current obsessions:
waiting for it to be warmer
losing the last 5 or so baby pounds
keeping the house moderately clean/organized
finding new ways to be environmentally friendly
finding mommy-friends

5 places I want to go:
Houghton, MI (I hear it's gorgeous & I've never been)
Spencerport, NY to visit my friends
Out with my husband (sans baby)

5 appliances or kitchen tools I could not live without:
Washing machine
Bread machine
Can opener (I just think it would really tough to not have one...)

5 people who I would like to see their top 5's

Monday, May 19, 2008

on our own

Mark left yesterday morning around 10:00am, and will be back late tomorrow night.
I now (even more than I did before) have new respect for single (or situationally single) mamas everywhere.
How in the world do you gals do it?
I can handle things fine until 4:30 or 5:00 (the time Mark might normally come home)... then I start to unravel. For some reason, fussing & crying start to seem more overwhelming. It becomes harder to go places, harder to get things done. By bedtime last night, I was So Ready For Hazel to Sleep.
Thankfully, God's mercies are new every single morning - and we woke up to sunshine & a smiley baby today.
Let's just hope it lasts until bedtime.
And that Tuesday night comes quickly!! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

in which I am not the least bit overly dramatic or sentimental

My baby is three months old today. That's a quarter of a year. Ninety days. Two thousand one hundred sixty hours. You get the picture... I pray that these days will wind up only being a small percentage of her life, but today... it is her whole life.
I took this picture this morning (no, it is not that warm out... she just got some new dresses from my family and I had to try them on. They're just. too. cute.) She looks so grown up, which I know is a funny thing to say about an infant. But still.
This is a girl who sings along when her daddy plays guitar and we sing praise songs. She kicks her feet like crazy on the changing table and loves to chew on her hands. She looks people in the eye when she meets them, as if she is sizing them up. She laughs at funny faces, smiles when she sees her daddy, and talks to the bug toy that hangs from her carseat. She has chubby cheeks and rolls on her legs and the most precious little drooly smile I've ever seen. She can raise one eyebrow, stick out her tongue, or give you the most intense stare/frown you've ever seen from a baby. She holds her head steady and likes to be held so she can see the world.
This is a different little girl from the one I met three months ago - and yet she is still the same. She makes me smile every single day. Oh, I love her so.
Happy day, little lady. Here's to many, many more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

it might be funny some day...

But right now, it still makes my stomach drop a little bit.
Ladies and gentlemen... cloth diapers saved my daughter's life last night. Or at least, saved her from potentially (probably) severe physical harm. Because her parents... they are not so smart.
Yesterday was a beautiful day - sunshiny & warmish - and a good number of our young friends had a home baseball game at the high school. Mark went alone for a little while, came home for dinner & told me that it was a double-header, and the 3 of us should go back when we were done. Hazel has quite a fan club around these parts, and I was looking forward to being out in the lovely weather. So we packed up and went to the game.
High school baseball diamonds don't have the biggest bleachers in the world, so pretty much the whole viewing area (at least the area with seats) is in the "foul" zone. You know what I mean - those nasty little tipped-foul-balls that go shooting into the stands at 7000 mph. Yeah, well... we were sitting there, with our not-quite-three-month-old baby girl, chatting with some friends whose sons play on the team... and we were talking about Hazel's cloth diapers. (Both of these women had cloth diapered their kids and were impressed to hear about the changes/options available now). As many of you know, and others may guess, cloth diapers give babies a rather fluffy, padded posterior. Kathy reached over to pat Hazel's fluffy bum when a foul ball came zipping. directly. at. my. daughter.
Luckily (for Hazel), Kathy's arm caught the ball and it only ricocheted off Hazel's dipe - but the screaming and sudden movements surrounding the incident made Hazel start wailing. And from Mark's perspective, he thought she had taken the ball square in the back (which I won't think about for too long, it makes my stomach hurt). We walked her off to the side, checked her little body all over, and determined that she was perfectly fine. A little scared, but nothing some cuddles and "snacktime" couldn't cure. Kathy, however, has a lovely baseball-sized bruise on her forearm. And we all had a hard time going to sleep last night, I'm sure.
We felt pretty stupid - but who would really think "Oh NO, high school baseball games?? WAY too dangerous for a baby!!" We'll stick to soccer and football for awhile, I think. Or at least hide behind the chainlink backstop for the. entire. game.
I've never been so glad to be using cloth diapers. And that God watches high school baseball games. And the people who attend them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You Know You're a Mama When... + an actual post

You Know You're a Mama When... you look forward to your yearly *ahem* doctor's visit because you get to go a.l.o.n.e.

Look! Two weeks in a row! :)
I've always been an avid reader. I was one of those kids who would check out 10 books, and be back a week later for 10 more. One of those kids who probably spent more time at the library than at the pool in the summertime (although if you could see my skin, you'd understand why staying out of the sun in the summertime is a Good Thing for me).

I haven't had many new books to read lately, and I'm starting to itch for some written words... And so, dear internet friends of mine, I would like to ask for your input.

Read any good books lately?

I like all kinds of things, but I'm particularly interested in finding some good books about parenting. I've looked up lots of different books online, but I'd love to know if any of you have specific recommendations. My brain needs to be challenged, folks. It's melting away into mommyhood. So hit me with your best shot - I've got parenting-type books in mind, but I'm dying to hear about ANY of the good books you may have read lately (or are still reading and are thoroughly enjoying).


Thursday, May 08, 2008


To everyone out there...
~ Who has sat up at night and held a child in her arms
~ Who has looked into the eyes of her child for the first time and realized how much love a heart can hold
~ Who has learned not to bat an eyelash when covered in all manner of bodily fluids... someone else's bodily fluids
~ Who struggles to take up the cross of motherhood daily, that her children might catch the smallest glimpse of Christ in her life
~ Who has prayed for the heart of her child, long before he or she was even born
~ Who has quivered just a bit at the responsibility of tending a child's heart
~ Who has kissed owies, wiped runny noses and soothed tears - all the while wishing she could bear the pain herself
~ Whose life is full of laundry, dishes, diapers and more...

And who wouldn't want it any other way.

Happy Mother's Day!
(okay, I know it's three days early, but we leave tomorrow for a visit with my family, and I wanted to get this post up there - for all the incredible moms I know in real life, and all the incredible moms I've "met" online - Happy Mother's Day!)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I like numbers. Here are a few that are representative of my life.

Last Friday, Hazel and I finished our first 5K (3.1 miles) in 44 minutes and 11 seconds. Not bad for an 11-week postpartum Mama pushing a 14 pound baby in a stroller/car seat combo that weighs about 34 pounds. We finished in 561st place out of 659 people.

Last night, between the hours of 1:31am and 3:24am I changed a crib sheet 1 time, changed the changing pad cover 2 times, fed my daughter 2 times, changed her pajamas 2 times and murmered silent prayers for sleep... oh, I lost count. (No, she's not sick. Just went to bed too early and decided to be awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night. Daddy took the shift for the last 45 minutes or so).

For the past 3 days I've gotten up early and done 3 sets of The Hundred (for anyone who knows/has experienced some pilates - this is an effective but rather deadly move. I have a love/hate relationship with it... but right now, the feelings I have toward my post-baby belly are triumphing over my disdain of The 100. And yes, The Hundred Must Be Capitalized). I've also done 3 sets of 15 reps of a standing side-bend with a 20-pound weight. Yesterday Hazel and I did 3 laps around our 1/2 mile "track" (our street loop). After Three Whole Days of such terrifically hard work - how is it that I don't see more progress? *wink* Have I mentioned that patience is not one of my virtues?

Yesterday I washed my every-other-day load of diapers - 10 prefolds and 8 pocket diapers, 22 cloth wipes and 3 hemp doublers. Today I will wash all the baby clothes that are soaked in spit up.

Gotta run - baby is awake after (finally) sleeping another almost-5 hours. Praise God!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

new frontier

I'm thinking of starting something here on the blog - it may fall flat on its face, but hey - I like trying new things!
Every Tuesday (or every Tuesday that I'm around & remember to do this) - I'll be hosting "You Know You're a Mama When..." The past three months have been filled with so many of those moments (most of them pretty darn funny... at least, after the fact) that I thought it would be fun to share, and to hear from some of the other Mamas out there in bloggie-land.
Now, I don't have a pretty button for linkage purposes... and I have basically no html talents, so it may take me a little while to create something worthy. In the meantime, here's the first installment.

You Know You're a Mama When...
You're standing in the bathroom, blow-drying your shirt because you managed to leak through your nursing pad (again). And since you're going out in public that day, and you actually like the outfit you're wearing - you don't care that you'll spend the day walking around with dried breastmilk on your shirt, as long as it's not visible.
Not that this has ever been me. *cough*

Now it's your turn! Hit me with your best shot!

Monday, May 05, 2008

it ain't easy...

Since 1998, I have attended/worked at a university whose best-known cheer is: "Go GREEN! Go WHITE!" I've been "green" for almost a decade. I've owned t-shirts that claim I bleed green.
But I never really meant "green" in the sense of caring about the environment. As I mentioned a few weeks ago - I've never really been that environmentally aware (or even too concerned, I'm sorry to say...)
Until recently. I'm not sure what switched for me - but I'm suddenly "going green" right and left.
In the past week or so I have:
- switched about 18 light bulbs in the house from regular incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs
- purchased and used the lovely reusable grocery bags available at Meijer
- bought 2 big Rubbermaid tubs to collect recyclables (they don't pick up recycling around here, so we have to transport it to the local recycling center)
- made three new household cleaners from recipes I've found here and here
- challenged myself to start using cloth rags to clean the house instead of paper towels
- planted vegetables in containers on my front porch (after a little research and deciding I couldn't do a "real" garden this year)
- joined a website called Natural Mommy in search of more tips
- decided I want to try some canning/preserving this summer, but I have NO IDEA where to start - that's a new project for me
I'll try to keep you updated on my adventures in the Land of the Environmentally Friendly - it feels really good (and most of the time - it saves money!) And I don't list all these things to brag about how great I am... on the contrary, it's because I need your help!! I can often get really excited about new things like this, and then just burn myself out because I'm too impatient to take one step at a time. I mean, isn't it more fun to try 17 new things at once??
So bloggie friends - keep me honest, ask how I'm doing, and if you have any great tips/insights/fun green things you like to do - please share!!