Wednesday, April 30, 2008

13 More Mother's Day Ideas

Okay, my family probably thinks I am desperately trying to angle for the BEST Mother's Day present. (See previous gift idea posts here and here.) Really though, I'm not. I just keep coming across fabulous options. These would work well for birthdays too!

I received an e-mail in my inbox recently from World Vision about 5 gifts they think would make excellent gifts for moms this year. I agree but decided to expand the list to 13 for this weeks edition of Thursday Thirteen. They are:

  1. Hope for sexually exploited girls - If a family sells their daughter into prostitution, it is often done out of desperation. That family needs food or medical care for another member. WV has shelters to take these girls in and rescue them from 12+ sexual encounters a day. ($35)
  2. Provide a goat for increased income - If a mom has a goat, then she has the means to feed her family a sustainable product. Then, one day, that goat might have babies that she can sell. ($75)
  3. Enroll a girl in school - As an educator, this one really hits home. Many times, girls in third world countries must stay home to care for their younger family members and miss out on the valuable skills and tools an education would provide. ($35)
  4. Supply malaria prevention for a family - Bed nets and education. It is so simple. Those two things can be enough to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. ($20)
  5. Feed a mother and her children - We count calories to lose weight... mothers in Angola count calories to make sure they gain enough weight. ($50)
  6. Care for a caregiver - Given the AIDS epidemic in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there are many people who need loving care. Help support one of these caregivers by providing some basic medical supplies. ($28)
  7. Help the orphans and widows - The AIDS crisis requires it and the Bible commands it. ($100)
  8. Pick up the pieces - Hurricane Katrina's effects are still felt on the Gulf Coast. Building materials are still needed by many. ($35)
  9. Tutor a US student - This gift provides one month's worth of tutoring to a student in need, specifically targeted towards urban elementary students. ($55)
  10. Grow fruit trees - Like the goat above, this is a gift that keeps on giving. Fruit trees offer shade, sustenance, and a source of income. ($60)
  11. Gather water - Purchase a treadle pump and an entire community will have access clean water that can be used for crop irrigation. ($392)
  12. Spread out your giving - Consider purchasing a Gift of the Season package and four separate cards will be mailed letting your favorite mom know you think about her all year long. ($196)
  13. Sponsor a child - We know it costs a lot more than $30 a month to raise children in the US, but that relatively small amount of money can make a huge difference in the life of someone like the child you will see when you click this link.

Finally, they have one special gift designed specifically for Mother's Day. By donating $85 to their Maximum Impact Fund you allow World Vision to use the money where they see the greatest need. As an added bonus, you will receive a beautiful cream-colored scarf for mom.

"Each scarf is hand-woven and dyed through a World Vision income-generating program for women in Thailand. At your request, the scarf will arrive with a beautiful card explaining the impact of the donation."

Visit Thursday Thirteen for more 13 fun.

Flowers Too

Bok isn't just a great place to take pictures of people... they also have gorgeous flowers. Bruce took these last weekend. These are his straight out of the camera shots. I may try and play around with them some in Picnik if I find the time this week.






Bok isn't just a great place to take pictures of people... they also have gorgeous flowers. Bruce took these last weekend. These are his straight out of the camera shots. I may try and play around with them some in Picnik if I find the time this week.

More Bok Pictures

I asked Bruce to take a picture of the 3 girls while we were at Bok Tower. Here's the first shot, before we knew he was ready (obviously we weren't):

Then, once we all got settled (mostly), he took this shot:
Much better, isn't it? And my hair didn't look too bad, did it?


When was the last time you were this flexible?!

Lessons Learned with Age

Eye Make-up Remover can't remove dark circles unless they are caused by make-up.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Kind of Park



Bok Tower, last Sunday

Baby Bok

Here are more pictures from Bok Tower.
Charlotte had fun playing in the shade with her daddy.
And she had fun playing with his shades.

I think Charlotte is getting ready to cut her 2 top teeth. She seems to ALWAYS have her fingers in her mouth. Watch out though, if you are close enough, she'll try to stick her fingers in YOUR mouth. Maybe she will grow up to be a dentist?

Chickies, not Dickies

Given the fact that the fashion industry has forgotten that some women enjoy being modest... I need these!

In case you need a moral booster to strengthen your modesty resolve, here are some excellent posts that approach the subject from different perspectives.

Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing... 1 Timothy 2.9a (CSB)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Night 20 - No Cry Sleep Solution

It has been a few days since my last sleep update and I'm not sure if I can report this as progress or not. For the last several nights (with the exception of Saturday night) she has been going to bed right around 8 pm and then waking up at 11 pm, 1 or 2 am, and 4 am.

Last night, after she pulled off, she kept shaking her head back and forth about 5 or 6 times, until she finally got it nestled in just where she wanted it. I'm not sure though, how her leg ended up propped up on the wall while she slept last night though. Bizarre.

I was hoping we'd have more to report about sleeping through the night by now, but since we don't, I keep reminding myself that even Elizabeth Pantley said it can take a minimum of 2 months to see any improvement.

So Much to Talk About

There is just too much wonderful information in the blogsphere... I could literally spend hours a day finding useful stuff. Since I don't have that much time, and I know you, my faithful readers don't either... here are the highlights of what I read (or skimmed) this weekend.
  • Women Against Pornography: Carolyn really hits the nail on the head. Dontcha think? (Not a subject for little people, and by that I mean kids, not people who are short, but legal)
  • CVS & Walgreens: People often ask me how I figure out all of the good deals at these two stores. I don't. I read people who do. Click the links and learn!
  • It Takes A Village: But not necessarily in the way Hilary Clinton meant it. And yes, I do practice attachment parenting.
  • Where are all of the Titus 2 women?: I wonder about this too... where are the older women to step in and help those of us who are younger figure things out? I try to practice this in my life with a couple of teenagers I know... but who is going to help me?
  • How I Survived Post-partum Loneliness: Since I have been a mom that has had to work outside of the home, I have felt this less to be sure. But summer is coming quickly and Bruce will still be working. What will I do to make new friends?

And a quote from Abraham Piper that struck me as profound:

Understanding teenage rebellion only as sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll implies that the goal is celibacy, sobriety, and employment. It’s not.
It’s Jesus.

Bok Baby

Knowing that the weather would soon make being outside in the middle of the day unbearable, we went back to Bok Tower this past weekend. As usual, I took a lot of pictures. I'll share some of them with you this week.


Aren't her ankle rolls cute?

I'm still trying to teach her that camo does NOT match everything!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Random Stuff

I just looked over my posts from Thursday and realized I had 5 posts! I think that might be a record. :) Then, on Friday I had 3 posts.

I found some more links that I would like to share, especially because I know other mommy's read my blog.

  • Pantley's Parenting Tip #160 - Excellent point about bribing kids to get desired behavior. This tip is from the same woman that wrote No-Cry Sleep Solution.
  • Hot!! $5 Huggies Rebate - Angie sure does help my family keep up with Charlotte's diapering needs. Combine this rebate with sales and coupons and it is a score. Thankfully, Charlotte hasn't been picky about brand.
  • Save $5 - If you've never purchased something from Half.com, I have a $5 off $10 purchase coupon I can send you. You can either leave a request in the comments section or contact me via the About Me page to the right. Oh, and I've listed a TON of our books on Half.com so go and check out my store.
  • Pass the Smores and Watch Out for Baby Kangaroos - Michelle was definitely creative with her post title here... She has actually compiled a list of things to do if you are bored. I'll be coming back to this over the summer when I am home all day with Charlotte.
  • RSS Awareness Day - Still visiting your blogs one by one? Move into the 21st century and use an RSS feed reader. I prefer Google's Reader.

RSS Awareness Day

P.S. - I wrote this post on Friday... but I didnt' want to overwhelm the world with my words this week, so I used a new draft version of Blogger to schedule it to appear on Saturday. I've done that a few times lately. Pretty cool, eh?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Night 16 - No Cry Sleep Solution

I am happy to report that last night was much like the night before. Charlotte woke around 11, 2, & 4. Momma feels more rested after 2 good nights than she has in a very long time. Let's pray it keeps getting better.

I was worried though because our routine was a little off yesterday. After we came home from daycare and nursed, Charlotte fell asleep for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. When she woke up at 6:45 or so, I knew she probably wouldn't want to go back to bed at 8 pm. So I fed her about half a jar of Apples and Apricots (which she liked much better this evening), then let her play with the Cheerios before finally bathing her around 7:45.

We quickly worked through the routine and ended up skipping story time with Daddy because she became suddenly very hungry and tired all at once.

We have some plans for this afternoon which mean we will get home late. Hopefully she will stay happy while we are out and we can do the routine when we come back. At the very least, I get to sleep in tomorrow morning.

Aloha Frday

From Kailani:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the
weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too.
Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing heavy or too
thought-provoking.

I thought it would be fun to post a question today for Aloha Friday.
Do you remember the first blog you ever read? What was it?

Answer in your comments and head on over to Kailani's blog, An Island Life, for more Aloha Friday questions.

The Blair Baby Project

Here's another video from last night.




Blair Witch Baby from Jennifer S on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Charlotte is On the Move



She's about 8 1/2 months old and right on schedule, despite her tiny size. I don't know what the deal with using the knee/toe push-off combination is though... but it gets her moving!

Crawling from Jennifer S on Vimeo.

Thanks for the tip on Vimeo Steve. I just needed a place to put my raw footage so I could share it here. This works great!

Linking Love

I've got some more links to share, but don't worry, they aren't contests... just things I thought were interesting.

FLDS Children Get Their Momma's Milk

To update my post from yesterday:

As of yesterday afternoon, all FLDS babies under 12 months who are nursing have been allowed to stay with their mothers. Or rather, their mothers have been allowed to go with them into a foster care setting.

I am glad that Judge Walther let common sense prevail and made the state work out something with the affected women's attorneys so the breastfeeding relationship could continue.

Mama's Day Gift Guide

As a follow-up to my own list of 13 gifts for mothers (well, for this mother at least), I want to share a gift guide created by the women at Mama Speaks.


From their Pamper Her collection of ideas... I know I mentioned Godiva chocolate in my list, but this 48 count box of Dagoba chocolate sounds so appealing... I think it might compete with Godiva for my chocolate love. Really, it should be required that every woman can tell the difference between Peruvian and Ecuadorian chocolate. If we are lucky, chocolate might be on our woman final!


From their Any Mama, Any Age collection, it didn't take long to realize I NEEDED the Gelaskins Growth cover for my cell phone. Just last night I tell you, Bruce had to pick my cell phone up off of the driveway after I dropped it. I didn't have any pockets so I thought I could put it in my mouth while I took Charlotte out of her car seat. Even my mouth isn't that big, so down it tumbled, bouncing off my car once before the concrete added to the pock mark collection on the phone. OH wait, I just realized they don't do a cover for my cell phone... can I have a cool laptop cover instead?




While I am not much of a Hobby Mommy, I still checked out their list for the crafty mommas out there. Who knows, maybe one day I'll find time to finish my scrapbook, sew matching mother-daughter outfits, and learn the fine art of knitting? Of the choices they listed, my number one pick would be the engraved moleskin notebooks. I always have ideas to blog about but often forget by the time I get back to my computer. I think I would choose a custom cover and try to figure out how to use the picture of the family from my blog header for the cover.


I'm going to skip the Expectant Mama section, since well, I've haven't been that since August. Though I will say, the body pillow was my favorite accessory when I was pregnant! I'd still use it now if it didn't get in the way of c0-sleeping. Go check it out yourself.


Finally, they have a list for the Not-So-Stationary Mama. As mentioned previously, I already have my mommy business cards, so my next pick from this list would be the one item from Etsy (Have I mentioned my love affair with Etsy? It is what I browse when I can't think of anything else to do online and I don't want to fold laundry or do dishes.) These creative note cards have a touch of whimsy and elegance, which works for me!

Night 15 - No Cry Sleep Solution

We've been trying to adjust Charlotte's sleep patterns for 15 nights now. I'd like to report that we have consistently moved in the right direction. But, instead it seems like one step forward then two steps back.

Last night was a step forward. Charlotte went down at her 8 PM nursing and stayed down until about 11:15 PM. I brought her into bed to nurse her again and we both fell asleep until 1:15 AM or so. We nursed again, only this time I stayed awake and put her into her crib when she was done. Then, praise God, she didn't wake again until 4:30! That 3 hour stretch is the longest one so far since we started more than 2 weeks ago.

I am not really sure what made last night different. Could it have been the Cheerios before bath time? The 3 different types of baby food she did NOT want to eat? The trip to the mall, did it wear her out? I don't know. But, I do know:
  • She likes Honey Nut Cheerios and can eat them if I break them in half now.
  • She didn't like Apples & Apricots, Corn & Butternut Squash, or Peaches upon her first tastes last night. We will try again tonight.
  • She still loves her Baby Bjorn and flashing smiles to everyone she meets at the mall.

Sorry I don't have any pictures... I need to pull them off my camera.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

13 Places I've Been

This week we have a themed Thursday Thirteen. I'm going to share with you 13 places I've been and what I liked about each place.
  1. Orlando, FL - Umm, this is the vacation capital of the world! There is literally something for everyone. Well, okay... not quite. If you like climbing mountains, then FL isn't for you. We are below sea level and flat as a board. Remember 2004 when we had all of that plywood everywhere?
  2. Chicago, IL - Visiting the Field Museum and seeing a baseball game were the highlights of my time there. Oh, and the shopping. There is a LOT of good shopping in down town Chi-town.
  3. New York, New York - I've been here a couple of times and need to go back. The energy coming off of the street is amazing. Must do's - Broadway, morning talk show, and breakfast at a diner.
  4. Beijing, China -For a completely different experience... wow! And if you like shopping, this place was made for you! The Pearl Market actually sells all kinds of jewelry and silks and miscellaneous do-dads. Your souvenirs from this trip will be loads better than some lame "My aunt went to China" t-shirt.
  5. Washington, DC - My husband just came back and brought me pictures of the cherry blossom trees. I wish I could have gone with him. Between the trees and the gazillion free things to do there, this is a must for every one.
  6. Pacific Ocean - I'm kind of copping out on this one. I don't actually remember where I was when I first dipped my toe in the Pacific Ocean, but the experience was breathtaking. Wherever it was on the PCH that I stopped, there was the Pacific Ocean on one side and rocky cliffs on the other. (Yes, I know that describes most of the PCH.)
  7. San Antonio, TX - I think I've made 4 trips there and each time vow to go back. Between the Spanish mission, Alamo, and the excellent and authentic Mexican food this place is a winner for the whole family!
  8. Addison, TX - This is the city to visit if you like to eat. Make sure you stop by Truluck's. I think I tried everything on their menu at least once, maybe twice for the desserts. Last I heard, Addison had more restaurants per capita than any other city west of the Mississippi River.
  9. Rome, Italy - To be honest, I only spent one night in Rome, and I was alone with no Italian language skills. But I think I should go back. If for no other reason, than just to try more authentic Italian food.
  10. Cayman Islands - To be even more honest, I've never even been here! But my friend John lives there (and so does this guy Thababti, whose blog I read) and I think I should go visit them.
  11. McGayhesville, VA - Never been here either, but figured I should include it since it is where I will be during the 2nd week of June. Anyone know what I can do there?
  12. Alaska - My first visit to Alaska was on a cruise. I really enjoyed my day in Skagway and learning that the SE part of Alaska is actually a rain forest. My second visit to Alaska... well, that is still being negotiated with my husband.
  13. Leaving this one blank so my faithful commentors can give share their ideas.
What is one place you've been that you've really liked? Why?

See what other 13ers said!

Giveaways Galore

In case you live in the caves of blogland, you might not know that this week is the Spring Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. I've had lots of fun entering giveaways and finding new blogs that I don't have time to read.

I wanted to point out a couple to you that I thought my readers might enjoy.

First, is the humongous giveaway from Crunchy Domestic Goddess. This isn't part of the carnival, but it celebrates mothers and the earth all at once. Impressed? I am!



Earth Day/Breastfeeding Bumpersticker - I actually got an e-mail today that everyone who had left a comment as of today would get one... not sure if that is still the case.

Field Guide to Produce - Edi's blog is one of my favorites and I was super pleased that she decided to give this guide away again. Especially since I didn't win it last time and I'm on a book buying ban for the time being.

The Vaccine Book - This is a book I've really been looking forward to reading, but haven't bought due to above ban. I really don't like the way Charlotte has handled her last 2 sets of vaccines and want to know more about spacing them out.

Flirty Apron - OMG! These aprons are so adorable... every woman should have a fun apron like this. I don't even think it has to stay in the kitchen either. Tess!

FLDS Children Need Their Momma's Milk

Anyone who has read my blog for more than 2 days knows that I am passionate about encouraging breastfeeding in all mothers who are physically able.

To that end, I was apalled when I read that the Judge in the FLDS case is refusing to rule on whether or not mothers may stay with their breastfeeding babies.

From a blog set up to help these women:
Judge Walther acknowledged that she recognizes that breastfeeding has
nutritional and bonding benefits and stated: "But every day in this country, we
have mothers who go back to work after six weeks of maternity leave."

I went back to work when Charlotte was 12 weeks old and I still breastfeed her. It is possible because I am only away from her for about 8 hours a day. I can pump at work and nurse her at home. Our breastfeeding relationship is not harmed in any way by my being at work. Judge Walther needs to realize that just becaues women do something, it doesn't mean that it is the best thing. She needs a reality check into the nutritional needs of infants, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If I can find a way to contact Judge Walther, I will let you know. Her decision adds a whole new dimension to the word abuse!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Equal Opportunity

I may not care for Obama, but at least I want to make sure we don't like him for reasons that are true.

Recently, I received a message claiming,
"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides," Obama said. "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it."

Immediately, I thought... this does NOT sound right. So I googled it. And I found this link on the Urban Legends site that explains what the statement really is - political satire. Funny. But not true at all.

So, in the interest of fairness, I replied to EVERYONE that was on the forward list and made sure they knew it wasn't true too. It won't look too good if all of us who don't want Obama to be elected argue with stuff like this. We have to be smart about our arguments.

Now, this is me, hopefully, stepping off of my poiitical soapbox.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

imageAt times, I have been as inspired by Barack Obama's rhetoric as the most liberal of Democrats. I can see why he is such an appealing candidate to the thoughtless masses. If I suspend my thinking brain and just listen with an emotional heart (that doesn't connect with my brain), I can allow myself to be swept away with his prose.

That is why, when I saw a blog post titled "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" by Voddie Bauchman that discussed Obama's stance on abortion, I wanted to share it as a reality check to myself and to others. I highly recommend you read this post. One part that stuck out to me is when Bauchman writes:

I am absolutely amazed that at a time when Margaret Sanger’s Darwinian, Eugenics inspired dream of eliminating the poor, the lame, and the inferior races through targeted abortion is being propagated at record rates, black people still support the man who epitomizes her murderous philosophy.  Black and hispanic women make up less than 13% of the population, but account for nearly half of all abortions.

As a white American, I find it difficult to tell black Americans that their supposed political savior (only dubbed this because he is black also), really does not have their best interests at heart. It appears Obama would have little to no regard for the specific injustices of abortion against minority communities.

Even if I had been tempted to vote for Obama in the past, there is absolutely no way I could now. Even if one believes that abortion laws in this country will never be over-turned (I pray they are wrong), how could I, a Christian, in good conscience vote for someone as radical on abortion as Obama?

I believe, ultimately, that everyone has their own pet issue that they vote based on. Why shouldn't the sanctity of life be the Christian's issue?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vampire at Daycare

No, this isn't a post ala the Enquirer. Just a post about a confused vampire baby at Charlotte's daycare. See, this baby thought he was supposed to bite her on her leg.

bite mark 004

I did not notice the mark until I was nursing her. At first, I wasn't sure what it was, but it slowly dawned on me. I called her daycare and they didn't know anything about a baby vampire, so I decided to take Charlotte back to show them her bite mark. They agreed, but still didn't know what happened.

Two of the workers who watched Charlotte today were still there and they said no one was drawing blood on their watch. The 3rd worker had already left for a vacation so we won't know anything else until next week when she gets back.

I'm not mad per se. Just really upset that no one told me that my daughter got bit. We filled out an accident report and I guess I'll have to wait until Monday afternoon to know more.

This is another reason why I can't wait to be a stay-at-home mom. I know I won't be able to protect my daughter from all of the ills in the world, but I should be able to protect her from getting bit by a 10-month old. Right?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bye-Bye Altima

I sold my 1998 Nissan Altima tonight. I listed it on Craig's List around 6:30 pm and by 6:45 had a buyer. They drove over from Largo and the car was gone by 9:15 this evening.

The Altima was my dream car when we bought it in 2001. Even Click & Clack loved it. I don't miss it. Frankly, I am just glad that it is gone. It had been in our driveway taking up useful space since July when the radiator cracked. We had already been issued a warning from the county code department to either register it or comply with code regulations for unregistered vehicles.New Car 2007 003

While the Altima was a good car, I've moved on and love my Kiwi Green Ford Focus now. You can see the Altima next to it in this picture. The Focus still pretty much looks the same, but not me... my weight is now more evenly distributed.

Sleeping Peacefully

sleeping 003

Taken this morning, just before I woke her up to get ready for daycare. I can't wait for the day I don't have to disturb her morning sleep. I just know it will make a difference in her sleeping patterns over all.

13 Gifts for Mother's Day

Since this is my first year as a mother, I thought I would help Charlotte out and make a list of 13 things I would like to receive this year.

  1. Momma Bling - Doesn't every mom need a piece of jewelry that proclaims her title? And what better way to receive it than in a Tiffany Blue box?
  2. Less Expensive Momma Bling - I've been following Lisa's designs for a while now and she always has an interesting take on expressing emotions. If Tiffany & Co. is too far out of Charlotte's budget, she should check out Lisa's site.
  3. Chocolate - What woman wouldn't want a box from Godiva?
  4. Quiet Time - Can I have some time to quietly enjoy that box of chocolate?
  5. Massage - After endless nights of laying on my side to accommodate Charlotte, my back is not the same. I am too young to feel this old.
  6. Pedicure - Does anyone see a theme here? I need some pampering!
  7. Sleep - As in, may I please sleep in more than 1 time in a month? Bruce and I have a deal that on Saturday mornings I get to sleep in while he watches Charlotte for a couple of hours. Our schedule hasn't allowed this hardly at all for the last 2 months.
  8. Fancy, Schmancy Sleep Mask - It would help me to sleep in on bright, sunny Saturday mornings if I had a luxurious sleeping mask.
  9. Photo Keychain - What mom doesn't need something like this for bragging on her children? I've got a lot of photos to share.
  10. Flowers - What woman doesn't love flowers? I love them too, but hate when they die off, so buy me these cool eco-friendly metal ones instead.
  11. A new Bible - Bruce and I have looked at a lot lately, and I think I like the Holman CSB the best. There are lots of different versions of it though and I can't decide which one I want. I bought this Holman CSB for a friend recently and really liked it.
  12. Baby Kisses - Okay, enough selfishness... Mother's Day is a chance to celebrate being a mother. I think I kind of need a kid to do that. So tell Charlotte I need to get loaded up on kisses. She has a few weeks to practice.
  13. Family Day - We've been so busy lately, that I would really just like a day for us to lounge around together. No blogs, no tv, maybe a picnic lunch at Bok Tower, soaking up the sun and one another.

Have you Thursday Thirteened yet?

Night 8 - No Cry Sleep Solution

Again, I think we only woke up 2 times last night. Charlotte spent a few hours in her crib and the rest in bed with me. I still find myself co-sleeping because it takes less mental energy from me in the middle of the night. That's okay with me. My main goal is to get Charlotte to not need to be latched on and for her to sleep more than 2 hours straight.

Charlotte's BirthDay 061I was worried about how the night would go since her routine was a bit off last night. I ran an couple of errands up to Lake Wales and didn't get home until almost 7:30. I did a quick nursing on one side and then let Daddy do his part of quiet play and story time. When we laid down to go to sleep it didn't take as long though since she was probably extra tired from our trip out.

Here is a picture of both of us sleeping the day we brought her home from the hospital. I really can't believe how much she has grown. Last night one of our errands was to church and many people to chatted with hadn't seen her in more than a few weeks. They almost all commented how much she is changing. I like to look at these pictures myself to remember that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Night 7 - No Cry Sleep Solution

Yesterday Charlotte took 2, 2 hour and 15 minute naps at daycare. When I saw that as I picked Charlotte up, I was really hoping that Erica's theory about sleep begetting sleep is right.

And I think it is. But it is hard to know because I only remember waking up a couple of times last night. Charlotte only slept in her crib for the first 2 hours of the night and then came in with me, but she wasn't attached to me all night thank goodness. I think we are making progress.

Cheap

Charlotte's daycare took studio style portraits earlier this week and I got the proofs back today. I'm too cheap to pay their prices for prints, but I still wanted to share the picture so I figured out how to get around their website controls so I could show you this (ignore the watermark). Isn't she adorable?

Yeah, I thought you deserved to see a picture where she isn't covered in green peas and brown rice.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day Blues

Jennifer has gone to sleep, so I'm taking this opportunity to hack into her blog and share a song I wrote. I hope she doesn't mind. If she does, she'll just delete the post. Anyway, my favorite restaurant, Sticky Fingers, had the idea of asking people to write a blues song for April 15th. Well, it got me thinking, and here is what I came up with:


Tax Day Blues
by Bruce Sabin

My wife took one good rib
And Uncle Sam took all the others
Men, you all know what I mean
'Cause in this we all are brothers

In this life we're all one fam'ly
But Big Brother is not kin
All he does is steal our work, friend
The way he treats us is a sin

We work all night and day, Lord
We clock in and we toil
We can barely make it through, Lord
The cost of taxes on our soil

They ride me like a mule, Lord
To them I'm just a cog
I've got to cheat to stay afloat, Lord
That's why I deduct my dog

These taxes make me blue, Lord
Can't you see my sinking mood?
All that's needed as the day ends, Lord
Are some good friends and great food

I can taste it in my mouth, Lord
My sticky fingers holding ribs
They'll replace the bones I lost, Lord
And I'll come prepared with bibs

Green Peas & Brown Rice

Yummy!

Yesterday:

 bath & floor time 008 bath & floor time 010 bath & floor time 009  bath & floor time 007

Today (we got smart and took the clothes off first):

peas 001 peas 002

peas 003peas 005

Night 6 - No Cry Sleep Solution

What a difference a schedule makes! Yesterday we were back on track and our night time was so much better. I don't really remember the specifics, but I know we didn't wake up every 60 minutes... couldn't have based on how I felt this morning.

Still praying for 3 hours of solid sleep from the girl so I can get my beauty rest!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Strawberries, Apples, and Blueberries

Last year I discovered how much fun it can be to can my own fruit. It was a lot of hot work, but my friend Angela, her daughter Stephanie, and I made up quite a large batch (think 15+ quart jars) of strawberry jam. It was a big task for first time canners. Our family went through our half of the jam in about 4 months because we found every excuse to add strawberry jam to our meals.

Then, in the fall I was inspired to make my own apple butter. I tweaked a recipe I found on-line by adding more spices. Without a doubt, I made the best apple butter I had ever had. Using my crock-pot made it easy-peasy too!

Me Picking BlueberriesFor this year, I want to do the strawberry jam again, but I haven't found strawberries cheap enough. Over spring break though, I did find U-Pick blueberries for $10 a gallon. This is a steal given that a small pint is worth $3 at the grocery store. After hanging out in the blueberry patch for 30 minutes or so, and with the help of friends, I had my gallon of berries.

The blueberry fun started with muffins. They were awful. While some kitchen staples are fine past their due Carolyn Picking Blueberriesdate, shortening isn't. My shortening was rancid and no matter how sweet the blueberries were, they couldn't over come my shortening falls. (hahah... I crack myself up!)

I still had the baking bug and wanted to get those plump berries into my oven so I found a recipe for Blueberry Buckle in my Disney Kid's cookbook. (As a side note, this book was a wedding present from my friend Stephanie Aho almost 10 years ago!) This came out much better and kept me happily in blueberry baked Sandy Picking Blueberriesgoodness for several days.

Once the baking bug had worn off, it was time to can me some jam. I followed the recipe on the Sure-Jell pack and it came out perfect. Of course, how can anything less than 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of blueberries be less than perfect? I only have 3 1/2 1-quart jars of this though, so I might have to go and pick some more blueberries. 

 

Photos (taken with my cell phone):

  • Top Left - Me picking blueberries. Don't I look cool in my shades?
  • Middle Right - Carolyn picking blueberries. Her shirt matches. L)
  • Bottom Left - Sandy picking blueberries. She'll probably be happy that you can't see too much of her... she doesn't seem to be fond of having her picture taken.

Night 5 - No Cry Sleep Solution

I learned the hard way that consistency is IMPORTANT. On Sunday our routine was very different from what it had been and Charlotte made it clear that it wasn't working for her.

Anyone who saw us before 6 pm on Sunday thought we had the world's best baby. She took almost a 90 minutes nap while we were eating dinner to give Mommy and Daddy a chance to eat and socialize. But once we got in the car to go home - someone swapped my baby out for one possessed by a demon.

It took us more a little over 2 1/2 hours to make the 1 1/2 hour trip home. We stopped 2 times. Granted, one of those stops included a new Target, but that was only to give her a chance to get out of her baby bucket (aka car seat) since we thought that might be the cause of her unhappiness. Turns out we we wrong.

All of that to say that Sunday night was one of our hardest nights ever. She cried the entire way home, except while we were stopped. Then, once we got home, she refused to sleep unless she was latched on to me. Right now, I am okay with having to nurse to fall asleep, but needing to nurse to STAY asleep? C'mon Charlotte, give momma a break!

This morning all I could say was, "thank God for Dr. Pepper!"

Erica made some great points in her comment below which I agree with wholeheartedly. Charlotte stopped taking a pacifier sometime around 5 months and will only use them as a teething toys now. I would be forever grateful if she was on a consistent schedule. Unfortunately, I don't think that will ever really happen until I am a stay at home mom. Fortunately, in 7 weeks school will be out for the summer and I can test that theory.

As for fussing-it-out, I am with you all the way Erica. I wait to go to her at night until it becomes a cry, though I might stand near her crib while I wait to figure it out. I've also learned that sometimes Daddy can get her down better than I can because she knows he can't nurse her. :)

I also had a productive conversation with my friend Tess. Well, it was productive if you count the fact that at least 3 separate times she told me she never slept more than 2 hours straight for something like 6 years?! Oh my goodness. Now, she has 3 kids, all 2 years apart so that might have something to do with it... but she is a stay at home mom too.

And then today I chatted with another friend Dawn who said she used No-Cry Sleep Solution on her 12-month old several years ago and it worked. The only catch was, it ended up with her weaning from the nursing completely at 13 months. I am not ready to wean yet, but will be seriously considering it when we hit the 12-month mark ourselves. Only 4 months to go.

My goals for this week are:

  • Nurse her during the day as much as she will let me so that I know she is getting enough to eat,
  • Start her bedtime routine at 7 pm every night (even though this means we will miss revival services at out church).
  • Try 4-5 times to do the Pantley Pull-Off each time Charlotte is done nursing, even if it doesn't work. (slipping Charlotte off while she is asleep to help her realize she doesn't need ME to fall or stay asleep).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Family Musings

Today marks 1 year from the date of my very first blog post ever. I am not really sure I expected to get this into blogging when I made that post. I never knew that I would know about things like RSS and memes. And I certainly wouldn't have been so inspired to keep on blogging if it hadn't been for my beloved Google Reader.

kids_2I'm not going to be be greedy and ask for a lot of fancy, schmancy presents for my blogging birthday, instead, would you just leave a comment and say something nice about me or my blog. If you can't think of anything nice to say about those things, then, well, just say something.

Since I am not lucky enough to live in Charm City and have Duff personally design my cake, I thought I'd just share one or two of my favorite Charm City Cakes with you. If I had it my way, they would all be filled with chocolate cake and a yummy fruit and cream filling.

Double Happiness

They've Gone Bananas!

kids_15

I couldn't pass up a cake with a moon on it! And stars too.

kids_26

There's a good story behind this one, but Angela will have to tell you.

I wonder what my blog would look like memorialized by the artists at Charm City? Don't forget to leave a birthday comment. I want to meet my lurkers! Google Analytics says there are about 30-50 of you on any given day.