Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And then the house was gone!

Daniel and I were taking a nap this afternoon when I heard a big truck on the street outside. I didn't think much about it (except hoping it wasn't a package coming to our house and so I wouldn't have to get up to answer the door!) I still heard it when we got up - sounded like they were digging up the street or something.

We looked out the window and saw that the house on the corner was gone and a pile of rubble was in it's place. It was a sad house - falling apart, missing windows and the front door wide open - but it's been part of our landscape and I was a little disappointed to know that it's gone (is that crazy!?). If I'd known they were tearing it down, I would have at least taken a picture of it first.

It's sad to me because it's something familiar that's gone, but I think it's more that in it I could see hope for restoration - even though realistically it would probably never happen. I could see its former beauty and now that it's demolished, restoration of the house as it was can never be. Maybe something better will grown in its place, but it can never again be as it was intended. I guess that's how life is too, sometimes.

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
- Isaiah 43:18-19

So be it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

4 months

My baby is four months old today. In some ways it's flown by and in other ways, it feels like he's always been here.

In the last month, it seems like there's something new every day. He's making lots of different noises; today it was a trilling noise. He likes interacting with people and smiles when you talk to him, sing to him or make faces at him. He likes music. He likes being snuggled close but also likes to get down and wiggle around.

He watches everything pretty intently and reaches for things he sees. This week he's been reaching for just about anything I'm holding. He's getting pretty good at grasping things with one or both hands. For a while, he's been pulling his burp cloth or bib up over his face, but today was the first time I saw him grab it and pull it back down himself.

We have a lot of fun laughing together. He'll laugh, which makes me laugh, then he laughs some more and I laugh some more and then we're both cracking up! Sometimes, it looks like he's being shy. He'll look at you and giggle, then turn his face away.

He does tongue tricks too. The other day he started twisting his tongue around sideways. He definitely got that one from his dad - he can already do more with his tongue than I can - and we're guessing he'll have the ability to wiggle his ears too.

He's not rolling over yet. Dave said he rolled onto his side, but I haven't seen it. He can sit up assisted, but not quite on his own. He has great head control and can stand well on his legs with some support for balance.

I absolutely adore him and we definitely have a good, strong attachment. Heck, I miss him when he goes to bed! He's as cute as can be and he gets lots of kisses every day on his chubby little cheeks.

These last four months haven't always been easy, but they've sure been wonderful!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daniel and Marshall

I guess with me, it's all or nothing. (Is it all or nothing with you? It can't be in between. It can't be now and then... Extra points if you can name that musical!) I either write regularly or not at all. Hmm.

Marshall (the cat) has taken to jumping up in my lap while I'm nursing Daniel and curling up in what space is left on my knees. I've always wished I could get Dave to take a picture, but he really only does it in the middle of the night or when no one else is home, since that's when he doesn't have any other options. A couple times, I've ended up with Daniel on one shoulder and Marshall on the other and I did manage to get a picture of that yesterday.

Now that Daniel is becoming very aware of what's around him, he watches Marshall a lot more. Since Daniel moves around more and has more interesting toys (things that hang, swing and play music), Marshall pays a lot more attention to him too. Daniel has been reaching for things, and now he reaches out to touch Marshall whenever he's in range. He mostly just pats him softly, and as he does, I've been saying, "gentle." I'm hoping this will reinforce what gentle means and we'll be able to use that association later when he tries to grab Marshall's fur/tail/leg/etc. or pet him a little too enthusiastically.

It has been fun watching them interact and get to know each other. I'm guessing they'll be buddies later, though I'm sure there will be plenty of times when Marshall has to go hide!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I did it!

30 posts in 30 days. My friend Heidi asked this morning if I felt a sense of accomplishment, and I told her not really. I felt like I did great for the first 2/3 but not so great the last 1/3. What the heck was I thinking!? I posted every day. It wasn't always easy, but I posted every day. A few posts were just a picture, but I posted every day. I set out to do something and I finished it (and I am NOT a compulsive finisher who has to finish something just because I started.) Just because every post wasn't stellar doesn't negate the accomplishment. Perfectionist? Check. Too hard on myself? Check. When you do something day in and day out, not every day will be perfect. A writer writes continually, not because what they write is always just right, but because in the discipline of writing you find just what you want to say. A photographer takes tons of pictures to get a few truly amazing ones.

So yes, Heidi, I am proud of myself. My goal when I started was to get back in the habit of blogging and I have. I'm glad not to have the pressure to post every day, to take more time to craft some posts instead of just posting something, but I'm glad to be moving again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fun with Daniel

My family had a blast with Daniel this week. My parents hadn't seen him in two months. (I thought I had a cute picture of my dad cooking with Daniel, but it must have been on their camera.)

This was also the first time my brother Scott got to meet him. It was so. much. fun. watching Scott with Daniel. Here they are in their matching outfits.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Windshield Wiper Adventures

Today we were driving home from Louisville when it started to rain. I turned on the windshield wipers and, much to my dismay, one was missing! Where exactly a windshield wiper goes I have no idea, but it was definitely not on my car! We got off at the next exit and stopped at a gas station. They didn’t have windshield wipers but they directed us to an auto parts store around the corner. Closed. We tried another gas station and they sent us to another auto parts store around the corner the other way, but they were also closed. We tried to think where else we could find a windshield wiper in a small town on Sunday afternoon and decided to call Google(1) to find out if there was a Sears or Walmart nearby. Of course there was nothing right there.

We switched the right windshield wiper to the left side so the driver could at least see straight ahead and pulled the right wiper arm so it was sticking out away from the windshield. That was pretty funny looking and we could certainly laugh at the idea of driving down the highway like that, but decided it was probably not the best option. Dave asked if we had any tape in the car to cover up the end of the wiper arm so it could go without scratching the windshield. I fished around in the glove compartment and didn’t find any tape but did find a first aid kit with one regular band-aid and one square band-aid. That should do it! I wrapped the square band-aid around the end of the wiper arm, but it didn’t quite go all the way around. I used the regular band-aid on the end to help hold the first one in place and to add a little extra cushion. Perfect! It looked like an amputated limb going back and forth, but it got us another 15 miles down the highway until we could stop.

1. I love that service and have used it WAY more than I ever thought I would. When I first heard about it, people were talking about it as a way to save money when calling for directory assistance. I thought that was silly because I never spend money calling information. Besides, I thought, I always look up what I need online before I leave. Until I realized that I can call when I’m out and about and need to find something nearby. Now I use it all the time. Just call 1-800-GOOG-411.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We just got back from my 10 year high school reunion. It was better than I expected. We're far enough out of school that nobody felt the need to make small talk with people that they weren't really friends with and there were enough people that I did want to have a conversation with. I wasn't sure how it would be. In high school I was friends with a lot of different people, but not really part of any one tight group. There were still a lot of those same groups of people hanging out together, and I still floated between them. They also had our class picture out and I was surprised to see how white our class was. As a magnet school, we had a lot of diversity, (geographic, economic, ethnicity), but I guess not as much as I thought. I'm much aware of things like that now.

This was the first time I left Daniel for more than an hour and a half. We put him to bed before we left and he slept the whole time. I did pretty well too! But now I'm wishing I were in bed a little sooner, since I'm gonna need to be up again within a few hours. I might not have taken time to post tonight, but I haven't posted for 27 days straight to miss a post with 3 days left!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Count Your Blessings

We were at my parents' church this morning for the annual Thanksgiving service. Someone mentioned in a prayer about counting our blessings and God knowing that we are truly grateful as we do so. As she prayed that, my mind recounted the words of the old hymn sung so often in western Kenya: "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessing, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

For me right now, I need to count my blessings not so much for God to hear my gratitude but to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness. To see what God has done. I am so blessed. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful, healthy baby boy and a fabulous family. We have a safe, warm place to live and plenty of food to eat. We have clothes to wear and cars that still run. Dave has a good, secure job. There's so much more, but that's certainly enough to be thankful for.

Our pastor often says, "Even if God doesn't do another thing, he's already done enough for me to praise him." I need to be reminded of that sometimes, but it's so true!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My son is now a manly man

Daniel and I were going to take a walk with my brother Scott this morning, and I got out his light blue hooded fleece jacket that has little ears (what is it with everything with hoods having ears!?). Scott took one look at it and said, "Uh-uh!" Scott went shopping and came home with a hat and hoodie that he got for Daniel. They're really cute! Here we are about to go out:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've started 5 posts so far, trying to come up with something to say! I don't have anything striking me that I want to write about. I knew that blogging every day for a month must get tough, because otherwise there wouldn't be a challenge to do it. At first, I just enjoyed getting into the habit of posting every day. I got halfway through and still felt great about it. By 2/3 of the way through I was starting to run out of steam. Now I'm getting to the point where almost every day I'm tired and ready for bed but everything I'd like to write about is long or it would take more time and effort than I have to craft a good post. This month has been good for getting back into the habit of blogging, but I'm looking forward to having a little more freedom in blogging once the month is done - no need to post every day just because. Tonight I was hoping to get to bed early, but by the time I made a couple phone calls and kept sitting here writing and deleting, it's late again (well, late by my mom-of-a-little-baby standards!) So this is all you get and I'm going to bed. Good night!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Check out the sweater and hat my friend Carol made for Daniel! There are matching booties too. This is enough to make me want to learn to knit, except that I don't really want it enough to practice as much as it takes to get this good.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I've been forgetting a lot of things lately. Yesterday I forgot to go to my friend's birthday party. I forgot the pot of milk boiling away on the stove. Today I forgot clothes that needed to go into the laundry. I forgot to finish hanging up the clothes to dry. I even forget what else I forgot! Dave's been forgetting a lot of things too. I chalk it up to lack of sleep, but at least we haven't forgotten the baby!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Considering it Joy

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that they testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Um, yeah. This month has been very trying and I have not considered it even a smidge of joy. This testing has shown me to be woefully short. I've been complaining, grumbling and feeling sorry for myself and I've been letting myself get irritated easily.

So this morning, I read several of the "trials" passages and was encouraged to turn my attitude around. When I was tempted to complain, I quoted this verse again to myself. It doesn't help at all to have a bad attitude and it only helps to keep a positive outlook. Here's to a new start!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not quite the Nikon

It's been harder than I thought to get good pictures of Daniel. The lighting in our house isn't great. The camera isn't always where you want it. But a big problem is that it's often just me and Daniel. He's very responsive to me - laughing, smiling, talking, etc. but it's really hard to interact with him and catch it on camera at the same time. Plus I'm not very creative about how to take pictures of a 3 month old. This evening as we were getting ready for a bath, we were making faces in the mirror, and I pulled out my phone. These aren't the best pictures ever, but they give you a little glimpse of my precious and fun little guy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today is a new day. Same challenges, but new grace and a new attitude. This morning as I prayed for more sleep, I told God that I needed sleep, but what I needed even more what His strength. And that's what I got. Somehow, I'm doing better today with even LESS sleep than I'd already been struggling on. Daniel took two naps in the co-sleeper instead of my arms! Woohoo!! We're heading to a friend's house for a little bit. Then back home and I'm going to bed as soon as I can after Daniel does. The Lord is faithful and He is good. Always.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too tired and busy

I'm too tired and busy to have any thing to say today. Just keeping it real. If I weren't intentionally posting every day this month, I would not even be thinking about this blog tonight. This has been a challenging month with Dave's schedule and not getting enough sleep. Today, I feel like I'm not gonna make it, but I know I will. Got to stick to the basics - if we're all fed, happy and have clean clothes to wear, it's all good, right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Apple Picking

So we forgot to take the camera out of the car when we were actually picking apples, but we took pictures when we were done, enjoying a beautiful October afternoon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Was it a race thing?

I stopped in at one of our neighborhood grocery stores this afternoon to pick up a few things and tried to use three coupons that I printed online. The cashier told me they didn't take those and I responded with something like, "Oh, you don't take those anymore?" since I had used them there before. She called over the supervisor and he said to "take them from her." She did take them, but commented to me that he'd told her earlier that day not to take them.

I suspect that he told her to take the coupons because I was white and perhaps looked like a middle class shopper. My brain was going several directions at once. My first instinct was to thank him for taking the coupons, because I'm used to having to convince cashiers to take printed coupons. Then I realized it was probably because I was white, and I felt like I should say something, but I wasn't sure what to say or who to say it to. My mind didn't think fast enough and I just took my groceries and left. Now I'm looking back wondering what I should have done. I know that racism persists as long as those who benefit from it keep quiet, but I'm not sure what would have been the best thing to do.

Part of me says that maybe it wasn't because I was white; maybe it was just because I was polite and looked confused about the policy. I wouldn't want to accuse someone of racial profiling/preferencing if they were just trying to help a customer. But even if he was just trying to help me out, the fact that I'm white most likely played into his decision, consciously or not. And my reaction bothers me because white people so often brush racial issues under the rug, not wanting to upset anything or raise any trouble. It was too easy for me to just walk away, and I can do that because I'm white. In the end, this wasn't a huge issue or a gross example of racism - it may have been nothing - but my gut said something and I didn't do anything about it. It isn't just the large injustices that perpetuate racism. It's all the little things that slip by unchecked. It's the thoughts and perceptions, the looks and the judgments, and the slight differences in how people respond that systematically favor one group over another.

(I would appreciate some feedback here, so don't be shy - please tell me what you think.)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Our marathon week is officially over. This one was tough. Dave was working Monday night and Wednesday night (all night). He got home about 8:30pm on Tuesday, 7:30 on Thursday and nearly 8:00 tonight. Since Daniel's in bed at 7:00, Dave did not see him awake AT ALL on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Today he was at a conference nearby, so he was able to come home for lunch, which was great. I really thought he was gonna end up having seen Daniel on Sunday and then not again until Saturday! Holy cow.

This kind of schedule is tough for Dave as a dad - being at the hospital all the time and not being able to see your baby. It's tough for me too as a mom because it means that it's pretty much all me all the time. It's been a tough sleep week too and this mama is TIRED. I know I'm not the only one in this kind of situation, which helps, but it's still hard. But now it's Friday and Dave is off all weekend. Time to catch up a bit and hopefully rest.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My child is not a condiment!

I have to remind myself to call Daniel by his name. I often call him buddy or buster or kiddo. This week, it's been my-favorite-baby-in-the-whole-wide-world! "Hey my favorite baby in the whole wide world" has a nice rhythm to it. But sometimes the names get mixed up before they come out of my mouth. I've called Daniel "kitty" and Marshall "kiddo" more times than I'd like to admit! I've mixed up buddy and buster and gotten "butter." And this morning I got buster and Marshall mixed up and I called him "mustard!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily Discipline

I really like the discipline of writing every day. I am a procrastinator by nature, so I often have something in mind I want to write about but don't get to it before the end of the day. I think, oh, I'll write it tomorrow instead. Then another day comes and goes. Then I have something else I want to write about, but I feel like I can't write about it until I've written about the first thing. So then I go weeks without writing at all.

I have the same problem with other things too. That's why it's no good for me to do something 3 days a week, or 5 days a week, or need to make a phone call "sometime this week" because it always gets pushed off because "I still have 5 more days" to get it done. Then all of a sudden it's the end of the week and either I'm scrambling or it just doesn't happen.

In addition to not getting things done, trying to do something irregularly makes me more anxious. I get worked about what I should be doing first, or about not getting to something that's been on my list. It starts becoming an emotional burden. But having a daily discipline takes all that away. I don't have to decide whether to do it today or wait until tomorrow (which so often becomes next week, next month or never!) I know that before the end of the day, I will sit down and write something. Despite the fact that I'm writing more than I have in a long time - or rather, because of it - my list of things I want to write about just keeps getting longer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Word Speaks

For a long time, I've been reading the Bible in the morning while I'm eating breakfast and/or drinking a cup of coffee. So lately, since Daniel's right there with me, I've been reading it out loud. One, it's including him in what I'm doing and two, I'm speaking the Word over him and into him, with a little commentary along the way. But the unexpected blessing is how much more deeply the Word speaks to me and how much more I understand when I see it, speak it and hear it.

Monday, November 09, 2009


It's been a long day of Daniel not sleeping. Following a night of me not sleeping much. I tried and tried and he just never slept more than 15 minutes or so at a time. Tonight he was so exhausted it took twice as long for him to get to sleep than normal. Poor thing. Every little thing seemed to disturb him.

We were away for a bit in the evening yesterday and Daniel was in bed at 8:00 instead of 7:00. I can't believe how much of a difference it makes. It reminds me why we're normally so vigilant about his bedtime and bedtime routine and why we're trying so hard to get into a good daytime nap routine. I'm finding that I can get Daniel to sleep, but he doesn't stay asleep when I try to lay him down.

Do any other parents out there have ideas about how to get him to nap lying down in his bed? I'm okay with him fussing a little, which is what he does when we're rocking him to sleep during the day and he's fighting it, but I'm not willing to put him in his bed and let him cry himself to sleep. Our routine right now is putting on a lullaby CD, walking/rocking him to sleep and then either holding him or swaddling him and laying him down. I haven't been trying the swaddle/lay down for very long, though, and I'm hoping if we keep trying, eventually he'll start staying asleep. Does that sound like it will work? At night, I rock him to sleep, swaddle him and put him in bed and he does great. But during the day he wakes back up within 5-10 minutes.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Dave and I were putting clothes away last night after Daniel went to bed and we started swapping out 3-6 month clothes for 6-9 month clothes. It made me a little sad to realize that my baby boy is growing so fast. We're still counting his age in weeks, so I know this is nothing compared to how fast it will go when we're counting by months or years, but I still feel it.
Today I left Daniel with Dave for an hour and a half while I went to the grocery store. It was the first time I'd been away from him and I did surprisingly well. I was in a hurry to get there, get what I needed and get back in time to go to a friend's house for dinner, so I didn't have much time to worry about them. They did okay, but Daniel was kinda fussy.
We gave Daniel a bottle for the first time last Saturday. I sat downstairs and cried while Dave gave it to him upstairs. He ate it right up and I didn't know whether to be glad that he took it so well or disappointed that he didn't reject it because it wasn't me. We've given him a bottle twice more since then and he did fine. I'm doing better too. After talking about it with some friends, I'm finally convinced that it will be helpful for him to be able to take a bottle and I did feel better leaving him today knowing that Dave could give him some milk while I was gone. I'm trying to make sure I pump at least a little bit every day or two and it's easier than I thought it would be. All that said, though, I still like feeding him myself the best.
Daniel has been smiling and laughing a lot. Sometimes he just cracks up, which of course cracks us up! He's started reaching for things and grasping them. He's enjoyed laying on his play mat and looking at the items hanging down and he likes to hit the one that plays music. He's been sucking on his fist or his fingers for a while, but today he managed to suck just his thumb for the first time. At this stage, he's growing and changing so much and it seems like he does something new every day. It's really fun to watch and we're trying hard to soak it all up and cherish these days.