Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog Moved

I have moved my blog to a new location:

Visit me there!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Year Ago!

One year ago today, I was a brand-new mommy, in shock and awe of the amazing process I had just been through. There is so much to say about this past year. I am thankful for the amazing gift of Kirsten Jael in our lives. Today was her birthday, and unfortunately she has been running a fever since yesterday. I felt so bad for her. She has been crying and fussy, and just not herself. So we didn't do too much celebrating today. We did give her a little birthday gift this morning, and then had a "birthday cookie" tonight. But the real celebration is tomorrow night, and I am praying for a healthy little girl by then!

Monday, October 26, 2009

40 Days of Grateful

Last night in our small group, our application was to choose one discipline to practice for the next 40 days. This is not an attempt to become "more spiritual", but simply a way to allow God to use us, and to ultimately love God and love others more. There are SO many disciplines that I could choose, because honestly, I am very undisciplined when it comes to my spiritual walk. This is something I have struggled with for a long time, because I know that I should do better with daily devotions, etc. Thankfully, God is full of grace and does not base our salvation on how many hours per day we think about him, or read the Bible, or pray.

So rather than choose a discipline based on "doing", I decided to choose a discipline based on "being." More of an attitudinal discipline rather than something that I can "check off my list" of things to do. Since I typically have a rather critical attitude, I am choosing to focus on being grateful over the next 40 days. Now this is something I have been working on for quite a while, but I really want to be intentional about this and truly think about what I am grateful for each and every day. And I am going to write it down each day. Perhaps I will even update my blog with the list.

So, day 1 (yesterday): I am grateful for my small group! They are a great group of people and I am glad we are able to share with each other.
Day 2: I am grateful for the sunshine and the yellow leaves outside my window.

So what are you grateful for? I'd love to hear, and let's put together a great list!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Pain in the Neck

Well I woke up Saturday morning with a huge pain in the neck. No, it wasn't Scott... LOL! It was a literal pain in my neck! It was about 5:30am, and Kirsten woke up for one of her many awakenings lately. As I sat up to decide whether I was going to go in to her or wait it out, I felt this pain all around my neck and upper back muscles, and could hardly turn my head. "Oh, no!" I thought, remembering the last time this happened (about 3 years ago). That time it was so bad that I actually had to go to the doctor's office - and Scott had to drive me because I couldn't even drive.

Well, thankfully this time it wasn't as bad. But, it did cause me tons of discomfort, and after feeding Kirsten (with the hopes that it would buy me some extra sleep time), I went back to bed. I couldn't fall back asleep for about an hour because the pain was keeping me up! I put some pain creme on and that helped some, and eventually I went back to sleep. Once Kirsten woke up again, thanks to the dogs barking a lovely chorus downstairs, I had the joy of feeling the tense muscles in my neck. I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to do my normal activities while having limited motion of my head and neck. It's not easy, people!

Thankfully Kirsten wasn't too fussy Saturday, or I don't know what I would've done. It was great that she took 2 good naps, and I slept during both of them! But by the time 5pm rolled around, I was starting to really need some help. I called Scott (he had been gone on a youth trip all day long and was scheduled not to return until after the missions conference that night) and asked if he might be willing to leave after the potluck and come home to help me. He did, and I was so grateful. He brought me some Chinese for dinner, and as soon as he got home, he took over with Kirsten and allowed me to rest.

Now, on Monday night, I am still feeling some dull pain, but it's not nearly as bad. I have done tons of stretching, neck rolls, etc to try and work it out. I have also used my pain cream plenty, as well as my prescription muscle relaxers from the previous incident, and ibuprofen as well. However, I am looking forward to this stupid pain being gone. It makes me ever-so-thankful for my otherwise healthy body, and the fact that I don't have any major ongoing health issues! Meanwhile, I may be checking out some local chiropractors and/or massage therapists if this type of thing keeps happening!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sleep is NOT Overrated

Many people say that sleep is overrated. I couldn't disagree more. I think that most people who say sleep is overrated are not moms. Every mom I know LOVES her sleep! When something becomes scarce, it becomes more valuable, right? At least that's my experience.

When you have a baby, your whole concept of sleep changes. Sleep becomes anytime you can close your eyes for longer than 10 minutes, not necessarily a full 8 hour night. Sleep becomes the thing that you long for when you are making breakfast, folding laundry, or taking your baby for a walk. Sleep becomes more important than eating sometimes! (And if you know me, that is saying a lot!)

Thankfully, I am getting a lot more sleep than I was when Kirsten was a few months old. I definitely get longer chunks of sleep now. However, there are still days (and nights) when I just long to sleep with NO interruptions. To close my eyes and not be awakened until I want to be... approximately 11am, thank you. However, I realize that will probably not happen anytime soon! And that's okay. Because as much as I would love to have a full night's sleep or the ability to take a 3 hour nap, I wouldn't give up my baby girl for anything!

It's definitely a life-changing experience to become a mother, and sleeping becomes a much-loved pasttime, but the joy of seeing a child grow and change is priceless.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall is Here!

I love fall. I have officially decided that it's my favorite season. While I love summertime, and all the adventures it brings, there's something reassuring about fall. It's the time that everyone starts to come back home, settle down, and enjoy life. The leaves begin to turn and we're reminded of just how fleeting life is. The cooler weather prompts me to pull out my sweaters and fleece coats, which I love to wear. And now, another great thing about fall is that my beautiful daughter's birthday is right smack-dab in the middle of it!

So, to celebrate fall, here are a few of my favorite photos of this season!

Below: my daughter's hands inspecting a beautiful red leaf.

Below: Kirsten enjoying a stroller ride on a breezy fall day.


I have been thinking a lot more lately about my love of writing. I realize that as I have gotten older, and in some ways, busier with life, I have spent a lot less time writing. Yet, when I do write, I love it, and I sometimes get comments from others about how they enjoy my writing. So I am going to *try* and write more often, if only to get better and practice more. Perhaps one day I will decide to write a book. But for now, I will have to focus on writing on my blog. Hopefully my 5 readers will oblige me!

Of course, when one decides to begin writing more, one's mind goes blank. So this will be it for now, although I have another post with some updates on life in general.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kirsten Meets Her Great-Grandparents Pier

My Grandparents Pier (my dad's parents) live in North Carolina, so they have never had the chance to meet Kirsten - until yesterday. I was so excited when they decided to come visit Maine for a special event going on here in the area, both because I would get to see them and because Kirsten would get to meet them! So on Sunday, I took Kirsten and we went to church at CPC, where I went growing up, since Grandma and Grandpa were going to be there. Then after church, we went back to my grandmother Lawrence's home for lunch. Thankfully Kirsten took her nap after church, so when she woke up, she was super-cute, and she thoroughly entertained all of us! Here are a few of my favorite photos of this first meeting!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Incident

Picture this:
It's a quite Saturday night. We have spent the entire day working around the house, getting yardwork done, and just having a nice family day. Kirsten went to bed early, around 7:15, because she refused to take her afternoon nap. It was a wonderful chance for Scott & I to just chill out, watch some TV, and get to bed at a decent time.

That is, until we hear some extremely loud noises from the bathroom. It's a combination of barking, whining, and growling, and it's much more than Mia's usual freaking out at squirrels, etc. So we both got up and went into the bathroom to figure out what was going on. In the bathroom, we saw Mia but not Moxie, which was odd since they both had been in there previously. But the bathroom window had been open about 4-6". Now, it was open much wider and the screen was popped out of place. Scott ran outside, because it's never good when there's a dog missing. I followed shortly behind him with some treats, but they weren't needed.

Scott came walking towards me with Moxie, who was totally freaking out and had porcupine quills all over his face! We managed to get him inside, but he continued to freak out and whine - obviously in a lot of pain and confused about what had happened. I called the vet and they told us to bring him in, which I was already planning to do. Scott had attempted to remove a couple quills, but Moxie wouldn't stop moving long enough to even get to his face. He did, however, manage to take a couple photos before I left with Moxie.

The ride to the vet's office was not very pleasant. I had to listen to Moxie growl and whine at him self. And he tried (and succeeded) several times to get into my lap while I was driving - I had to pull over once to get him to move. It is very difficult to see a dog in pain but not be able to do anything. Once at the emergency vet's office, I had to wait for at least 1/2 hour before they did anything. THEN, the technician tried to take his pulse (didn't work) and THEN she tried to take his temperature - rectally. Yeah, not happening. The poor thing was in pain and then someone tried to shove something up his rear. I wouldn't want that either!!!

Thankfully, they were able to get him in, give him anesthesia and remove the quills pretty quickly. It was 10:30 by the time I got home, so my relaxing evening was toast. But I was glad to have Moxie back to "normal", even though he was pretty doped up still. Oh, the joys of having a dog!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kirsten's Birthday

Kirsten will turn ONE in just under 2 months! This is hard to believe, but I find that I am growing more and more in love with her as she gets older. She just continues to become more fun, and I love seeing all the funny things she does now.

I know that this is a bit early, but at the request of my friend Jessica, I am putting a few ideas of things she might like for her birthday. By no means do we expect gifts, but obviously some people might want to buy something. So here are a few ideas:

-Stacking Toys like this one
-Linking toys like these
-Duplo blocks or something similar
-Swirly Orb
-Bead Toy like
this one or this one
-Little Chef Set
-First Words
-The Poky Little Puppy
-Bear Snores On board book
-My First Word Touch & Feel
-Going to Bed Book or Opposites or any of the Boynton books
-My Big Animal Book
-One Fish, Two Fish (board book)
-Polar Bear, Polar Bear
-Panda Bear, Panda Bear

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Squirrel Saga

Well some of you have heard this story already, but it must be documented for all the 5 readers that I have.

This past Friday morning, we were sound asleep with Mia cuddled up at our feet (she snuck up because I forgot to put the gate up). Well, she started getting anxious for food, so she got off the bed. I thought she was going downstairs, when all of a sudden we heard all this thumping. Scott got up to check it out, and then there was a lot of commotion, followed by Scott forcing Mia downstairs. When he came back into our room, he told me that there was a squirrel in our office! I was half-awake, and I think I asked him a couple times whether it was really IN the office (rather than just in the wall) and whether he SAW it. The answer was YES and YES.

Well we both had to get ready for the day - I had to go to work, and Scott had to leave for Man Camp. When I got home that day, Mia was still obsessing (i.e. pacing the kitchen and standing at the gate whining incessantly), and the squirrel was still upstairs in the office. Kira was also quite interested in this whole ordeal as well. That night, when Kira alerted me to the squirrel's location, I decided to attempt to catch it. I brought a pair of oven mitts and a tupperware container upstairs. I thought maybe I could grab it out of the drawer where it was hiding, but I was super scared of getting bitten or scratched up. Hence, the oven mitts! Well, let's just say that was a silly idea! As soon as he saw me coming towards him, he freaked out and jumped in behind the drawer again.

I went to bed that night, trying not to worry about a squirrel coming to visit me in my room. I also had to lock Mia in the bathroom so that she did not drive me crazy. The next morning, I checked on the squirrel, and he was still in the drawer. He looked a lot calmer, so I thought maybe I could capture him this time. First, I went outside and got the live trap and set it up. That, in and of itself, was quite a job. Then I took part of the graham cracker that I had put in the trap and stuck it in the drawer for the squirrel. Then I got my tongs and thought, perhaps I can just reach down and grab him and then dump him in the trap. Attempt #2 to capture him was not successful either. Once again, he was a lot faster than I was, although he was definitely a bit slower after sitting all night with no food or water.

I had to leave that day for a trip down to a birthday party, so when I returned home, I went upstairs to check things out. Kira ran up with me, and we saw the squirrel scrambling back and forth between two windows in the craft room. That's when it occurred to me - open a window! I did that while the squirrel hid in the heating register. I was hoping that he would realize that the window was open and escape that way.

Later that night, I looked around and listened and determined that attempt #3 was successful! Thankfully, I can report that our home has been squirrel-free since. Now, if we only knew how he got in...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

To Florida and Back!

Well, we have been home since Monday but this is my first chance to sit down and blog about our trip to Florida. On Monday the 10th, we headed out from Bangor and flew to Orlando. Scott was really nervous about how Kirsten would do on the flight. Thankfully, none of his fears came to fruition. She did fabulous overall. She did get a little fussy, but that was because she was tired. So I nursed her, and she fell asleep.

Once in Orlando, we got our rental car and headed to our hotel. After a few minor disagreements, Scott and I decided to try and do our best to get along and not fight over silly things. So that night we got settled in the hotel, and then the fun began! Tuesday we headed out for our first day at Sea World. Based on the map I had, Sea World was very close to our hotel. And since we knew it cost $12 to park at Sea World, we decided to walk instead of drive. Well, needless to say, in 90+ degree heat and high humidity, this turned out to be a very sweaty walk! Scott was pretty soaked by the time we got there! Thankfully, we discovered a secret parking lot on our way back that afternoon, and the next day we drove instead!

Sea World was definitely one of my favorite places when I went to Florida as a kid, and it remains so once again! We saw all kinds of fun animals, from sea lions and seals to penguins and puffins to dolphins and whales. Since it was so hot out, we often visited the indoor attractions, such as the penguins, because there was AC in there and it felt really nice to cool off! Kirsten did pretty well, but did get fussy due to the heat and tiredness during the dolphin show. We endured a looooong walk back to the hotel, stopping off at McD's to get something cool to eat/drink. We first checked a "supermarket", but it was really sketchy and didn't have anything that we were looking for. That evening we were invited over to Sheila & Tim's condo for dinner, and we got to go swimming in the pool. Kirsten LOVED it!

The next day, we had breakfast and then DROVE to Sea World, parking in the "secret" lot. That meant that we started off much less sweaty, which was nice! On the second day we saw the killer whale show, "Believe", and it was pretty awesome. We also went into the Arctic Zone to see the Polar Bear, Beluga Whale, and Walruses. God's creation and the variety and intricacy is just incredible! We splurged and got Kirsten a little stuffed penguin to "remember" Sea World by. Plus, we videotaped and photographed tons, so even though she won't remember it, she'll be able to see what we did.

Wednesday afternoon we had to head over to the airport to pick up my mom. Then we rushed back to get ready for a special celebration that I had earned. Mom watched Kirsten while Scott and I attended. We got to see comedian/juggler Jeff Civilico, and he was pretty incredible and funny! Thursday through Saturday were full of training, workshops, etc, for my business. It was so much fun and a lot of exciting announcements were made. It re-confirmed my dedication to building this business, as I see how the company continues to grow and find ways to help the average person get ahead. Scott was amazing, taking care of Kirsten during the times that I was in my business sessions. There were a couple times that I had to leave to help him, but that was pretty minimal, and she was my priority, of course!

Sunday was our final day of "vacation", so we went to Aquatica with Mom. Aquatica is Sea World's water park, and it is tons of fun! We found a place to keep all our stuff, and then we rotated - 2 people going on rides while the 3rd person stayed with Kirsten. This worked pretty well, and we all got to go on several rides. The lines were pretty long, but we discovered a few that had fast-moving lines, and we went on those. I did wait really long to go on the "Dolphin Plunge" - that is the one that has a clear tube for part of it, and you actually slide through the Commerson's Dolphins' tank. It was pretty awesome, and I got to see the dolphins when I went through (not everyone sees them - it all depends on where they are in the tank).

The week ended on a great note, with Mom agreeing to watch Kirsten on Sunday evening so that Scott & I could go back to Sea World and do some of the rides (since we couldn't do them when we had Kirsten with us). We did the "Kraken" and "Manta", and both were CRAZY, scary, and fun!

Here are a few photos of the week:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Summer is Here

Well given that I've seen more sun in the past week than the past month, combined, I officially declare that summer is here! I am enjoying being out in the sun as much as possible, doing lots of fun summer activities. This past weekend, my sister arrived from Pennsylvania, so we have been trying to hang out as much as possible. On Saturday evening we spent time out at the Dunfee camp, and we went for a boat ride at sunset. It was so beautiful, and we saw a group of 5 loons!

On Monday, Naomi and I decided to hit the road and enjoy the beautiful day at the coast. We went to Schoodic Point, and it was a great day for adventuring. Kirsten slept the whole way down, which worked out perfectly. Once we were there, we climbed around on the rocks and watched the waves. Kirsten really loved climbing on the rocks, too. In fact, she got mad whenever we picked her up - she just wanted to explore... a girl after her mother's heart!

Last but not least, one of my favorite summer activities is blueberry picking! I stopped today on my way home from Machias, and there were loads and loads of blueberries right on the side of the road. No signs, nothing saying not to pick... so I did. I got 4 quarts in about 1/2 hour. It was crazy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days when...

  • Scott was gone from 8:30am till 9:00pm, and I really could've used his help!
  • I tried to do too many things and felt like I didn't get anything done.
  • Kirsten was into everything and I couldn't look away for 2 seconds.
  • Kirsten wasn't happy unless she was into everything.
  • I had piles of dishes to do... got a few of them done, but still more to do.
  • I had piles of laundry to fold & put away, and more piles to do, and did neither putting away nor washing/drying.
  • You want to have lunch but it takes you 2.5 hours just to get to eat.
  • I felt like crying and did.
  • I was happy to see the sun but was stinkin' HOT and wished I had A/C.
  • Just when I thought it wasn't going to get any worse, I walked into the kitchen to find dog puke on the floor and on the carpeted cat stand.
  • Kirsten should've gone to sleep by 7:30 but at about 8:15 I gave up and just let her play on the floor.
Thankfully, Scott got home and rescued me. And my day got a lot better. Scott got Kirsten to sleep in about 5 minutes. I ate dinner. At 9pm. And now I'm going to have a big bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream and then go to bed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Good Deal

We have never bought a new vehicle... until now. When our friend Wendy mentioned the "Cash for Clunkers" program, it got us thinking. Then when I saw an ad for a vehicle that looked like what we were interested in, for a decent price, it got me thinking more. On Monday, we drove to Charlie's Motor Mall in Augusta to take a test drive. Knowing that we could turn in Scott's old Toyota Tacoma and get $4500 towards a brand new vehicle made us very interested. We couldn't do anything that day since the program was not finalized. Things finally were finalized yesterday, and Chrysler had also announced that they were matching up to $4500 for qualifying vehicles. Ours did not qualify for the full amount, but it did qualify for $3500. After all was said and done, that means we had $8000 off the price for 2009 Jeep Patriot! Now that's a good deal... one that we decided would be a good one to take advantage of, especially since Scott has had his truck for 7 years and we had been thinking that it would be time to upgrade soon. Scott went and picked it up today. He says I can look at it.... haha. I am hoping to drive it sometime soon!

Another bonus: lifetime warranty on the powertrain, plus 3 year warranty on other stuff. And, it gets much better gas mileage than his truck did.

So here's a low-quality pic, but I'll post some better ones soon.

Beautiful Jewelry

I am so excited about this contest! You can enter to win $500 of free jewelry from this beautiful etsy shop. I am in love with this bracelet:

Here's to hoping I win! (Or, if you win, you can share the love with me!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sample Scrapbook Page

Here's one of my pages from a book I am working on. You can see why I love this so much!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Into Everything... and More

I am inspired by all my friend's recent blogs, and I realize that I haven't blogged in quite a while. That is probably because I've been busy keeping up with Kirsten getting into everything, working part-time, doing business, and getting Scott ready to leave for 10 days. Speaking of which, he left last night for Belize, so keep him in your prayers!

Kirsten is now 8 and 1/2 months old, and she is constantly pulling herself up to a standing position. She likes to stand by the rocking chair and the couch the most. She also likes to do a little swaying dance, which often results in a tumble and then the crying ensues. Thankfully it's fairly easy to distract her, and I find that stepping outside works the best for this. Although with the weather lately, we haven't been doing that as much!

Along with standing up, she is also crawling all over the place and seems to want cords, outlets, and other dangerous items the most. It is wonderful that she is developing so well and gaining independence, but she defintiely requires constant supervision!

We are still struggling with bedtime, since due to this newfound skill of standing, she often wants to stand up in her crib when it's time to go to sleep. Sometimes when she wakes at night, and I go in to nurse her, she's actually standing there! It's crazy. So we are working on trying to get her settled down more before going to bed, and that is working some of the time. Other times it is requiring me to go into her room several times to lay her back down and pat her back and help her to calm down. I asked for advice on this topic on facebook, and boy did I get responses! There are definitely tons of opinions on this issue, and I am finding myself somewhere in between the two "exteremes". Generally I let her cry for a bit before I go in, but then I also try to settle her down when I am there. But the best option is to get her much more sleepy before laying her down, and then she just falls asleep without much fuss at all.

Well I am off to give her a little bath and get her ready for bed. I'd love her to go to sleep around 7 or 7:30pm, but it's usually closer to 8:30 by the time she goes to sleep. Perhaps we will get there earlier tonight!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Obsession: Digital Scrapbooking

Ok gals (I am figuring it is mostly gals who read my blog) - I am now obsessed with digital scrapbooking. A while ago I purchased the Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus. I have heard from many others that this is a fast and easy way to create photo books, while still using a lot of the paper and stickers that are available from CM. As a former CM consultant, this appealed to me. Not to mention that with a new baby, there is not a lot of time for scrapbooking.

So the other night I finally decided to try it out. I downloaded one of the power pallete kits that you can buy to go with the program. I chose the Delight Baby Girl since of course I would be doing mostly baby photos. It took me a bit to get this program figured out, but I am finally getting it. And let me tell you, it is SO COOL! The program comes with a few kits already installed, and then you can add on as I did. The neat thing is, once you have a particular kit installed, you can use that paper over and over again. And you also have a variety of embellishments, different fonts, stickers, etc that you can use. So the possibilities for creating your pages are truly endless. And unlike traditional scrapbooking, where once you use one element or piece - it's gone - with this, you could create 20 of the same pages if you wanted to! Then when you complete the book, you are able to get several copies made if you choose.

I am excited about this as it will make for great gifts, as well as being a lot easier and faster to create than a traditional album. I still love my albums and will probably continue doing them to some extent, but I am definitely in love with this new digital thing as well! Here's one example of what the pages can look like - since I haven't figured out how to upload one of my pages here:
And here's the link about how to create this if you are so inclined!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kirsten Growling

Not Too Much To Say...

I'm choosing to write a blog post right now instead of folding laundry or doing dishes - two things which desperately need to be done around here! I figure it's time for a little update of what is going on around here. I can't believe it's already June! It is truly crazy how quickly this year is passing by. I am seeking to enjoy each moment, though, and take advantage of the time I have rather than wasting it. Although occasionally, I do sit and watch mindless television.

Well anyway, as for an update, let's see. This past weekend we were at home on Friday night for the first time in a long time. Now that our Marriage Course is over, we have our Friday nights back. We definitely enjoyed all that we learned during the Marriage Course and would recommend it to others, but it is nice to be able to just chill out on Friday nights and have no where to go. On Saturday, I had to "work" by going to Kohl's for a kids' event where F.A.C.T. had a table. I got to do face painting and temporary tattoos for kids of all ages (including myself - haha). I have freaked a couple people out since then when they noticed the tattoo on my ankle - no, it's not real! After that we headed for Charleston for my step-brothers graduation from high school. We saw some people we hadn't seen in ages, so that was fun. Sunday was of course a church day, and Scott had a meeting for Belize afterwards, so my friend Jess and I went out for Chinese. That was lots of fun. Then amazingly when I got home, Kirsten fell asleep and I got a nice long nap in, which was definitely needed! We finished off the night with small group, and since it was super small that night, the guys installed Steve & Jessica's overhead light and then we played wii bowling.

Kirsten has been continuing to amaze us with all of her changes and development! She has learned to "growl", which is extremely hilarious. I will post a video for anyone who hasn't seen it on facebook. She also has a second tooth coming in now, so we've been dealing with lots of fussiness. She has had a hard time the past few days and has been crying more than usual, but thankfully it seems to be getting better. She's also continuing to work on crawling and is incredibly fast at getting around. She is not quite sitting up on her own yet, but she is getting pretty close. It is just incredible to see all of her changes. I truly enjoy her more and more every day. Although I have loved her ever since she was born, I feel like the past few months have been a lot more fun than the first few months. I now feel like I have a little bit more of a clue what to do, and she's also tons more interactive. Kirsten also doesn't need to be held 24/7 anymore, which is kind of nice on my back!

Well that's it for now, I guess. Nothing major to report. We have a busy month ahead and we are trying to find a way to celebrate our 7 year anniversary which is next Monday. We are hoping to do a day trip without Kirsten to just focus on us sometime before the end of the month!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Want to Remember

Dear Kirsten,
I want to remember how you sound so cute when you try to "talk", saying "bababa" and "mamamama".
I want to remember how it feels to have you snuggled close to me while you nurse, eyes closed, in the middle of the night.
I want to remember how you look up at me, neck cranked back, with this goofy smile when I am trying to put you down for your nap or bedtime. I try not to laugh, but I can't help myself because you look so silly, even though I know you're tired.
I want to remember how you light up when you see the cat walk by, and you reach out to try and grab her fur. She's not a big fan of it, however.
I want to remember how you lean into Daddy when he has you in the sling, and how you will gradually fall asleep, looking so precious.
I want to remember how you are so very active, always wanting to move and explore, never sitting still for even a moment. Perhaps, like Mommy, you'll have to work at being still and not always doing something.
I want to remember your big blue eyes staring, focusing, studying new things that you encounter... and how shortly after studying them, you put them right in your mouth!
I want to remember how these first 7 months have flown by, and how I should truly savor and appreciate every moment I have with you.
I want to remember how you are already looking like a little girl instead of a baby, and that is just crazy!
I want to remember these moments, even though you won't, so that I can tell you about them later on.

Your Momma

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun at the Fort & 6 Months Update

Today we had a great time at Fort Knox. I went for Foster Family at the Fort Day to represent my workplace. My boss is so cool that she said I could take my family with me! So, I got paid to hang out at a fun place with my daughter, husband, and nephew all day! All I had to do was set up a table for my workplace and talk to people if they wanted to know more about us. I also helped paint some kiddos faces, which was a lot of fun. Here are some of the pics from the day:

Also, as of April 29th, my daughter was 6 months old!!! I can't even believe that she is this old! Here are some of her stats and what she is doing now:
17lbs, 27" long
She is not crawling, but she IS moving pushing up on her hands and knees (and sometimes tippy toes) and moving forward. She kind of pushes up, pushes forward, and plops down. But she is getting more and more coordinated every day, and moving faster every day. I put blankets down for her to play on, and she's off them in 30 seconds. Oh joy! She is also starting to LAUGH. I love it! I try to get her to laugh frequently, and she has finally started to. It's not a real strong laugh, but it's definitely there! She is so stinkin' cute! Kirsten is also taking solids very eagerly - so far she has had rice cereal, avocados, bananas, carrots, and today we tried a little bit of pears. She has liked everything so far, although carrots were not her fave. Kirsten also is showing more of her personality and her likes and dislikes. She LOVES being outside. She also loves bathtime. She enjoys putting things in her mouth, and she adores the cat and dogs. She does not like being confined, and she doesn't like it when she can't have what she wants. There is so much more, but I can honestly say that I am enjoying Kirsten more and more every day. There are moments when I just look down at her and feel totally overwhelmed that I get to be her mommy! When you look into her eyes, I think you can see why I feel that way!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Forward Movement

In the past week, Kirsten has been making tons of developmental changes. She turned 6 months on Wednesday, which I can hardly believe. But even more unbelievable is her progress towards crawling. She is pushing up on her hands and knees, then pushing her legs up so that she moves forward. She hasn't quite got the hands moving yet, but she'll flop them down and then start the process over. She can move across the length of her blanket on the floor, approximately 4 feet. Not only is she moving on the floor, she's also moving around a ton in her crib. When we lay her down to sleep, she is often turning herself over as well as moving sideways. The other day I laid her down on her belly facing one direction, and then she was crying a bit so I went to check on her, and she was on her back facing the complete opposite direction! I have yet to figure out how she did it.

She also laughed for the first time this week! I was sooooo excited! I was doing "This little piggy" with her, and she laughed when I tickled her belly. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get her to do it again. I'll keep trying, though! It was so cute to hear her laugh.

Well here's some proof of her "forward movement" she's been making. I've officially decided that it's time to babyproof the downstairs!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marriage Time and More

Scott and I are participating in our church's Marriage Alpha program. It started a couple weeks ago, and we go every Friday night for 8 weeks. It's a way to focus on your marriage and learn skills and tools to help improve and strengthen it. These are Biblically-based principles, but someone does not necessarily have to be a Christian to benefit from the program.

One of the first principles that they introduce is the concept of "marriage time." They recommend that you set aside approximately 2 hours each week to focus on your marriage - free of interruptions like kids, phones, dishes, etc. During the program, you have "homework" to complete during the marriage time. Last week, we had the blessing of having Steve & Jess babysit for us while we went out to Starbucks for a bit. This was a great time to connect and discuss some things that affect our marriage. Thankfully, Kirsten did pretty well while we were gone and was well-cared for by Steve and Jess, of course.

This week, we decided to try and do marriage time one evening without having someone babysit. And guess what, tonight is that evening! I was very excited when I got Kirsten to sleep around 7:00, because it meant we might actually have some time together. Well, shortly after I came downstairs triumphantly, I heard her crying again. I waited a bit and then went back up to try and soothe her back to sleep. Once again, I thought I had succeeded, only to look down and see her big eyes looking up at me as she pushed her entire torso off the mattress. Nope, not sleepy time. Argh! So, I came downstairs with her and Scott said she'd take her for me. So currently he's outside walking her around the yard attempting to get her to sleep. Meanwhile, I am chilling inside and attempting to relax a bit.
********************* Blogging Break *************************************************
Okay, I took a blogging break because Scott came inside with a sleeping baby! So we had time to talk and do our marriage time. Although we didn't do a full 2 hours - hopefully we can snag another hour somewhere in the next few days.

Other news: I have recently found out that I have an issue with my thyroid. Apparently I have hypothyroidism. I am not good at explaining this whole issue. What I do know is that some of the symptoms that I have been having are most likely related to the thyroid issue. So I will be taking some medication for this and hoping that perhaps it will make a difference. And I will also be making an effort to get more sleep and take better care of myself. I know that sleep-deprivation is par for the course when you have a little one, but I also know that my constant fatigue and exhaustion has been affecting all areas of my life, including my mood. So I am thankful to perhaps have some answers and hoping that these changes might make a difference. Not to mention that spring is definitely here, and getting outside will be good for me and Kirsten too! Watch for another post about Kirsten's latest developments!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dog Meets Lobster

Okay, I know I also posted this on facebook and some of you have already seen this, but it's really funny. This is our dog Mia last summer when she met a lobster for the first time. I had to tie Moxie out because I knew he wouldn't be afraid - he would just grab the thing in his mouth. Mia, however, is much more cautious about these things.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Slowing Down

Well, as you can probably tell by my serious lack of posting for the last few weeks, things have been crazy. I can't even really tell you why, I just know that it has felt like I haven't stopped moving until tonight. And I am realizing my need to just slow down - in a variety of ways. This post really sums up how I feel a lot of the time.

I feel like I am never able to get caught up on everything, and therefore I am constantly trying to get things done while also caring for Kirsten. Instead of just savoring and enjoying the moments with her, I often attempt to "get something done." Whether it means trying to fold laundry (which never seems to end), do the dishes, work on business stuff, or check my email - I am always doing something.

Yet when I sit down and just focus on my girl - just watch her, talk to her, and listen to her - I have such a great time, and I feel more relaxed. It's hard for me to let go of needing to do something. Especially when I feel like I am probably letting someone else (or myself) down by not getting those things done. But it's so important to take this time to just savor, love, and snuggle. I know that I can't give Kirsten 100% of my attention 100% of the time. But I do want to take time every day to just focus on her, and enjoy that time so that I don't just let it pass by.

Here are some fave photos of recent times with Kirsten:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Free to be Happy!

As most of you know, my March has been insane. I was away the first weekend for the youth group snow camp. Then the following weekend was Kirsten's dedication. After that was a weekend away for scrapbooking. So last Thursday, I was really debating whether or not to attend our church's women's retreat. I really wanted to, but with all the time away, plus working, business, etc, I was feeling the need to stay at home and relax. But, in the back of my head, I heard a voice saying: "Go." I was pretty sure it was God telling me to go, so I decided to brave the 3-hour drive with a 5-month old AGAIN, and see what would come of it.

All I can say is WOW. God knew what he was doing when He told me to go - imagine that! Kirsten did have a hard time in the car, and there were moments that I was thinking: "Why am I doing this to her again?" But we made it there, and thankfully my lovely friend Shan was in the backseat trying to keep her calm. Once we arrived at Blueberry Mountain, we managed to get settled and Kirsten was super happy to be out of the car.

The theme of the weekend was "Free to be Happy", and it was based on a Beth Moore DVD where she talks about the blessing of Asher from Deuteronomy 33. The weekend was a perfect mix of down time and structured time, allowing us to have time to process what we were learning. Friday night we had some fun playing the game "Two Truths and a Lie", and I found out that I was not able to lie as well as I thought! Saturday brought personal devo time, times to watch the DVD and discuss, free time, and of course lots of meals.

I have never done much with Beth Moore before, but I have to say I was completely impressed as well as inspired to truly dig deeper into scripture. It was amazing how God spoke through her directly to me and to my situation. I learned that God truly wants us to be happy, and we can be when we recognize the amazing works that He has done in our lives. That's a very simplified explanation of what I learned - I just don't have the brainpower to go further into detail at the moment.

One of the most moving moments of the weekend for me was when we did the "20 Things I Love" activity in our small groups (we had been broken up into small groups for discussion and activities). We had to make a list of 20 things we love, then read them aloud twice to our group. We then had to turn our chair around while our group "talked behind our back" about us. This was meant to be good things, of course. I sat there with tears rolling down my cheeks as the women in my group said things like "adores family, Proverbs 31 woman, high expectations of self, a woman to look up to, and a fear of letting others down." I was overwhelmed by the love and support of these other women who had listened earlier in the day as I shared my struggles as a new mom and learning to balance it all. And now they offered words of encouragement and support, affirming me in every way. After they were done, I said, "I think I needed to put 'I love crying' on my list, since I seem to be doing that all the time!"

Sunday was our last day, and we had breakfast followed by personal quiet time, and then our final DVD. After the final DVD session with Beth, we had a time of sharing in the big group. It was amazing to hear how many women had contemplated not coming, but once they were there, God moved in them deeply. One woman even shared how Christ had met her there, and she had made a commitment to Him even though she had thought of herself as a "Christian" for years! We rejoiced with her and it was truly amazing to see the change in her face - she was truly HAPPY!

I am so thankful that God prompted me to go this weekend. God truly showed me that I am not alone, and that there are so many women with a wealth of wisdom and experience who are willing to help me in this journey. I am also thankful for dear Shannie who roomed with me and Kirsten so I wouldn't be alone, and gave me an afternoon free so that I could just do whatever I wanted. Although Kirsten screamed for part of it, thankfully she calmed down and I was able to enjoy some quiet time alone.

Well I am off to bed as Kirsten's been sleeping for 2 and 1/2 hours now and she'll probably want to get up early!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scrappin', Tea, and Sleep

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a scrapbooking retreat at the Bar Harbor Inn. Yes, this beautiful inn was the location for a weekend full of cropping, arranging, and attaching photos to pages. I went with my fabulous friend Amy, and she brought two friends from church. We all shared a room together, and thankfully the inn was gracious enough to move my room closer to the scrapping area since I had Kirsten with me! I was so grateful for that, and was able to use my monitors all weekend for whenver Kirsten was asleep in the room.

I tried to go into the weekend with minimal expectations, although looking at the amount of stuff I had with me, you'd think I was going to scrapbook my whole life! I worked whenver Kirsten was sleeping, as well as when she was content to be in her bouncy chair or laying on the floor with toys. So although I did not get as much done as I usually would have, I DID manage to complete 36 pages in her baby album, and got caught up to the beginning of March. Overall, a pretty good weekend!

As I continue on this journey of motherhood, God continues to teach me to be still, to be patient, to cherish the moments. And during the weekend, I was once again reminded of my need to do this. Saturday evening, I spent several hours getting Kirsten ready for bed (i.e. feeding her, giving her a bath, snuggling and bouncing, etc). By 9:30, she was still not asleep, I hadn't eaten dinner, and I was feeling frustrated and annoyed. I am thankful for such good friends (new & old) who offered love and support. Amy took Kirsten so I could eat, Sheila took her for a bit, and Amy's friends told me that I was an amazing mom and that I was doing great. After a few tears, realizing that I needed to let go of my goals and desires and just be, I was able to go back to the room, get Kirsten from Sheila, and finally get her to sleep.

Another recent happening was a Mother's Tea that took place today. I took Kirsten with me as I did not have anyone to watch her, but I hope that the next time I go, I'll be able to go just me! I have to say that this Mother's Tea was just amazing. Amy & Rachael put this together and they did a wonderful job. It took place at the Lighthouse Cafe, and they had it all decorated with candles, tea pots and tea cups, delightfully yummy food, and an atmosphere of fellowship. As one of the newest mothers there, I felt completely surrounded by people who were full of wisdom and experience that I do not yet have. It was fun to meet some new people and hear about their journeys in motherhood. And, once again, I was reminded that I am not alone, that other moms have felt the same things I feel, and how important it is to savor the moments and not wish them away.

And as Kirsten grows, she continues to be more and more funny, amazing, and beautiful. One thing that is also changing is her sleep habits. Last night she went to sleep around 8:30pm. She was up around 2am to eat, and then again at 5:45. But then she slept until 8:15am! She never sleeps that late anymore. It was so amazing, and it gave me time to get ready before needing to tend to her. And today, I've been trying something new: putting her down when she is sleepy but not totally asleep yet. And all three times that I did it, she went to sleep! I just turned on a sound machine, patted her back a bit, and walked away. Didn't hear a peep from her at all. Now, this could be a fluke, so I'm not going to expect the same tomorrow or the next day. Nonetheless, it is still exciting to see that she is feeling safe & secure and being able to fall asleep on her own a bit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun Times with Kirsten

I have so much to update on, but since my eyes are heavy and I want to take a quick nap while Kirsten sleeps, I'm just going to post these two videos that are super adorable! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Giveaway - Very Cool Stuff

Well I just found out about this giveaway through my friend's blog. This gal, Shey, is giving away some fabulous stuff! I am totally in love with these scrabble pendants from HomeStudio. All I can say is WOW, I want some. That is just one of the great things you can win during this giveaway. Now yesterday was the final day, but I think you can still enter between now and Monday. There are also some other great things you can win. Another one of my favorites is the beanies from the Portland Beanie Co. If I had tons of disposable income, I'd be buying lots of these for Kirsten!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Times of Refreshing

Well it's been a bit since I've posted and I realize that I need to update folks on the weekend away at Snow Camp. I was feeling quite nervous about going, seeing how I would be taking my 4 month old daughter 3 hours away from home into a totally different setting, surrounded by teenagers all weekend! Thankfully God calmed my heart, especially after talking with a few friends, and I realized that I really needed to go. And I am very thankful that I did. Here's a rundown of the weekend and a little about what I learned.

Friday afternoon: We left the church around 3:30ish, and Kirsten had eaten and was quite happy. 3 girls piled into my car along with Kirsten and I, and I knew it would be a fun ride. Kirsten did well for a while, but around Skowhegan began to fuss and cry. I figured I'd stop at a gas station or something, but I passed the first one only to realize that there were NO MORE to come! Thankfully she calmed down and we got to another gas station in about 15 minutes. There I had fun trying to nurse her in the backseat of the car while everyone ran inside to get a snack. Back on the road again, and she fell asleep for a while. But about 1/2 hour before we arrived, she began to cry, and she continued to cry - no, SCREAM - for most of the rest of the ride. Once we got to Blueberry Mountain, I was so relieved, especially when I was able to just drive up the hill without having to wait for everyone to switch vehicles, etc. As soon as she was out of the car, the crying stopped and she was happy! Yay! Friday night consisted of FOOD - yum - and then an evening devotional, followed by night sledding. I got Kirsten to sleep around 9 and then I went to bed by 10 cause I was exhausted!

Saturday started with morning personal devotions, meal, morning group devotional, then outside for sledding. Kirsten did great all day on Saturday and took naps like a pro in her pack 'n play which was in our separate room. Scott even gave me a chance to go sledding while he watched Kirsten! That was super fun. The evening was not as smooth, but it wasn't horrible. Scott did a neat devotional in the evening and had everyone do a lectio divina. I ended up staying in my room after I got Kirsten to sleep to do this. The reading we did was Matt. 6:25-34. God really spoke to me during this time, and the theme that I was hearing was "DO NOT WORRY." It is so easy for me to worry about little things, as well as big things. And I think I have allowed worry to steal the joy and peace that God wants me to have. I am very thankful for that time of prayer and that I was able to sense God speaking directly to me through that scripture.

Sunday was our final day, and we had another morning devotional time. During this time Scott had each of us write a note of encouragement to each other, and although it took quite a while, I think it was a great idea. It gave everyone something to take home with them to remind them of the love and encouragement that we should each share with each other as Christians. After that we had lunch and then we headed out on the road. Kirsten did great on the way home and was very entertained by the 2 girls in the back with her.

Overall, the weekend was a blessing to me. I have a hard time just stopping and doing nothing, and being out in the sticks with no internet, no cell phone, etc, really forced me to do this. One scripture that caught my attention this weekend was Acts 2:19b: "so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." I thought that phrase "times of refreshing" was really powerful - that is what God wants for us in our relationship with Him! He wants us to be refreshed in His Spirit. I am thankful I was refreshed - I think God knew I would need it, especially given the kind of week I am now having. (More on that later!) Now I just pray that I can continue to seek Him and enjoy His presence every day and not just wait until another weekend away.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Kirsten Being Cute

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learning About Myself

Becoming a mother forces you to learn more about yourself... both the good and the bad. One thing I've been learning about myself lately is just how independent I really am. I'm not sure if independent is even the right term. What I'm referring to is actually more of my need to have time when I am just by myself - just me, nothing and no one else. And as a mother, I am realizing that those times are very few and far between. Sure, I have times here and there, when Kirsten is sleeping, or when I go to work, etc. But there is always something that needs to be done, something else that I am responsible for. And what I realize that I crave, especially when I'm stressed, is time to just sit and do absolutely nothing.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE being a mom and I wouldn't give up my girl for anything in the world. And I realize that other people probably have the same desires that I am talking about. For me, I feel like it's actually part of my makeup as a person. I am naturally an introvert, even though I love hanging out with others. I've always been someone who has to work hard at getting to know others - it doesn't always come naturally. And while I love parties and hanging out with people, I gravitate towards those I already know or have something in common with. Sure, I've chosen career paths that involve people, which is kind of funny for an introvert. In my job, I work with kids & adults, and in my business I interact with others on a daily basis. So perhaps the reason why my internal desire to sometimes just be alone is even higher is that now I've added a little person in my life that basically needs me 24/7.

While I realize that part of this is a healthy need, I also recognize that deep down, I am a selfish person. I want to do what I want, when I want. I hate having to give things up. I don't enjoy having to plan my day - or not plan my day - around another person. Becoming a mother has forced me to recognize I need to learn a lot more about being selfless, rather than selfish. I want to learn about giving up what I want for the sake of someone else. Learn how to care more about someone else's needs than my own. Another thing that changes when you become a mother is our relationship with your spouse. As I learn to be patient with my baby, I must also learn to show patience & love to my husband. Boy I am glad that God is not done with me yet!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kirsten Update

Kirsten is doing such a great job of holding her head up for longer periods of time now when she is on her belly. I love this pic of her staring at her octopus!

Another thing Kirsten is doing is reaching for and even holding on to some of her toys now. She especially loves her giraffe. She sometimes manages to grab it, and it immediately goes to mouth. She's sucking everything these days..
Kirsten also enjoys sitting up. Of course, she can't sit up on her own yet, but she likes to be propped up in that position. She also likes to "read" - this night she was actually grabbing the pages and turning them, as well as eating them : )

Friday, February 20, 2009

"I Told You So"

The following little incident took place about a month ago, but I totally forgot to blog about it. So here goes:

Recently we had a lot of mice taking over our house, and we finally decided to buy some traps instead of letting our cat catch them, only to let them go. We discovered this mice problem when I was getting some chocolate chips and walnuts out from my cabinet and found the bags with lots of little holes and bites in them! ICK! (Note: I then was inspired to completely clean out that bottom cabinet, get rid of any food that may have been touched by the mice, as well as anything that was expired - so it was sort of a good thing!) So we set the traps with some peanut butter and placed them safely under the kitchen cabinets where the dogs and cat could not get to them, of course. We always knew when a trap had caught a mouse because our [capable of drug-sniffing] dog would be sitting right in front of the spot with her nose pressed against the cabinet. Quite funny, actually.

So one morning when we came downstairs, we discovered Mia staring at the cabinet, and we knew there was another dead mouse. Scott got the trap out and sure enough, there was Mr. Mouse. So sad. Of course, Mia & Moxie were all excited and quite interested as Scott picked up the trap. Kirsten and I observed, and she was quite amused at all the commotion. Well, as Scott was getting ready to take care of the mouse, he wondered aloud what would happen if he held it up for Mia and Moxie to "look at." I said, "Well I think that Mia would just grab it - she's pretty quick." However, Scott chose not to heed this advice and instead attempted to show them the mouse. He held it slightly above their heads, and before you could say "boo", the mouse AND the trap were inside Mia's mouth! At this point, I think I said, "I told you so."

Scott then proceeded to attempt to get the mouse away from Mia. Let me tell you, when she has something in her mouth that she wants, she DOES NOT give it up easily. Other dogs, like Moxie, will let you push down on their lower jaw enough for you to remove the item. Or they will respond to a command such as "leave it." Not Mia. She is very adamant about holding on to things that she likes. The one way that we often get her to leave things alone is, oddly enough, by telling her to "sit." Somehow, that triggers an obedience nerve in her brain and she usually drops the item out of her mouth. I believe this is how Scott got the item from her, although I had to walk away in exasperation as Scott ate his words...

I only wish I would've had the video camera!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Two Valentines

Today is Valentine's Day, and it has been a great day. I woke up earlier than I would've liked by one of my valentines... my dear Kirsten wanted to be awake at 6am. Thankfully, she was content to lay beside me and look around, and only required an occasional interaction with me. So, I was able to close my eyes for a bit longer. Well once Scott was awake we had fun just chilling out and watching Kirsten with all of her faces. Then I gave Scott his gift, which was an album full of pieces of cards that Scott has received as youth pastor at CCOD. It is something that hopefully will encourage him each time he looks through it. Scott then gave Kirsten & I our gifts, which were PJs for both of us : ) He said he's starting a new tradition, and that's a lot coming from a guy who doesn't really like traditions! So Valentine's Day will be PJ Day in our home. Scott also got me a movie that I really love: Dan in Real Life. I'm looking forward to watching it again soon.

Since Kirsten got up so early, she was back asleep for a nap by 9:00. That allowed Scott & I to have a nice breakfast of pancakes together. Then we got ready for the day as Kirsten napped for quite a long time! I was able to get my budget figured out for the rest of the month, plus finish my grocery list. Once Kirsten woke up and I fed her, I headed out for the day to do groceries and some other shopping. The grocery store was mobbed - not sure exactly why, but thankfully I survived. Then I went to Kohl's since I had heard from several people that their baby section had huge clearance sales going on. Well, I was NOT disappointed! In fact it was rather scary that I went there! I got several items for our girl, most of which are 12-24 month sizes. The most expensive item I bought was $7.50! That was for a winter coat that was regularly $50.00! It was quite exciting to find so many good deals, and these are things that I won't need to buy for her later on because we'll have them.

I was hoping to catch a nap in the afternoon but was unsuccessful because of timing issues. But I did make a splendid dinner for Scott and I, consisting of this scallop recipe, along with roasted potatoes and asparagus. And, if I must say so myself, it was DELISH! After this, my mom came to babysit Kirsten so that Scott & I could go out. We went to see Sonja from church play with a jazz band at a local theater - Next Generation Theater which is located inside Between Friends thrift shop in Brewer. It was a lot of fun, and we got some yummy dessert while we were there as well.

All in all, a good Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Very Sad Story

Ok, I don't want to be a downer. But I just heard about this story today and I am so saddened. In a nutshell, a mother left her twin babies on her bed while she prepared supper. (Note, these are about 1 month old babies). And, apparently her dogs had access to the babies. One of the dogs (a husky) ended up killing one of the babies. The dog took it off the bed and out into the hallway. It's unclear whether the baby was crying and that's why the dog went to it or what. Anyway, I am just outraged. Unfortunately the dog is being blamed, of course. But honestly why would a parent leave their babies in a place where the dog(s) could get to them? As a mother with 2 dogs, I make sure that my dogs are NEVER left unattended around Kirsten! That would be so stupid. I know that my dogs would not do anything to purposefully hurt her, but they could very possibly do something by accident! And most likely this dog was simply doing something instinctual - if the baby was crying, the dog may have been trying to take it to the owner. Or the dog may have just thought this was a toy. I know that Mia and Moxie have been very curious about Kirsten and at first really didn't know what to think.

So while I definitely think that this is the mother's fault for leaving the babies unattended, I also do feel very badly for her. I cannot imagine the guilt she is experiencing. If anything ever happened to Kirsten and it was something that I could have prevented, I would feel awful. And we are all human, and we do make mistakes. But please, if you own a dog, please make sure you don't leave your baby with the dog unattended!!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Wrap

So Sarah, my dear creative genius friend, who previously made me a great baby sling, gave me yet another gift yesterday. This time it's a baby wrap modeled after one of the most popular ones out there. But it's basically one long piece of fabric that you wrap around you in a certain way and then put the baby in. It's totally comfy and Kirsten really seems to like it. I had her in it this morning at church and she fell asleep, and stayed asleep for quite a while in it. So cozy. Plus, it's totally hands free and I don't have to try and support her, even if I bend over! So, here's a photo of the fabulous gift:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Favorite Faces

These are some of my favorites of my girl. It's amazing how that smile makes me feel happy down to my toes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where have all the good baggers gone??

Today I took advantage of my awesome friend Amy who babysat Kirsten while I worked from 9-2. After work I called her to find out if she was cool with me doing my groceries before picking Kirsten up, since grocery shopping without a 3 month old tends to be much faster and easier than with one! So I did my best to get through Hannaford as quickly as possible and without spending a fortune (I succeeded only at the first task). As I was checking out, one of life's unanswered questions came to my mind again: "Where have all the good baggers gone?" I remember the days when the bagger smiled and asked you how you were doing. Then they intelligently bagged your groceries and put them in your cart. Sometimes they even asked you if you needed help out to your car. Instead, this is how it went:
No personality bagger boy bagged my groceries similar to how a 4 year old would. Oh no, I take that back, I know some toddlers (namely the very organized Natalie) who could have done a better job. He put cans in with cereal boxes, bagels in with jars of pasta sauce, and so on. I think the only thing he did right was put all the veggies in the same bag. Then when he put the stuff in the cart, it somehow took up at least 50% more space then when I had them in the cart (this is probably due to his inability to group like items together). Finally, no personality bagger boy walked away without a simple "have a nice day" while leaving medium personality checkout boy to hand me the last bag of groceries. So I am supposed to be putting away my receipt, carrying my purse, and finding somewhere in the overloaded cart to put my last bag. Oh the joys. Anyway, I thankfully made it out without too much trouble, but as I tried to load my car with the randomly loaded grocery bags, I found myself wondering what happened to the good baggers of the old days??? Don't even get me started on customer service!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ever Had One of Those Days???

Ever had one of those days when...

  • You want hummus with your chips but your husband ate the last of it...
  • Your baby sleeps only in 20-30 minute chunks all afternoon and evening, so you can essentially do nothing...
  • You get a lot of "no's" and feel that you must be doing something wrong...
  • You have a fight with your husband about money because he wants to buy another camping accessory...
  • You fall asleep on the couch at 9:45 and decide to go to sleep early that night since your hubby got your baby to sleep (which partially redeems the earlier fight), but once he puts her down at 10:15 she wakes up so all chances of sleeping are gone until after midnight...
  • Your little one then thinks it's time to get up for the day at 7am on a Saturday... and you feel like crap with a big headache and just want to have ONE NIGHT of uninterrupted sleep...
  • You attempt to go out to eat at 4:30 in the afternoon and there's a 40-50 minute wait, which is too long when you have a 3 month old sleeping baby...
  • You come home and have PB&J instead...
  • You feel like everyone else's life is somehow better than yours even though you know you have so much to be thankful for...
  • You can't seem to get out of this funk...
My answer: YUP. I've had one of those days. Or two, or three. But, somehow, I am reminded of the simple things. The important things. As Scott holds Kirsten tonight while I'm begrudgingly making my PB&J sandwich, I look over at her as she coos, and she gives me this sweet smile. And I realize, LIFE IS GOOD.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well I haven't blogged in a bit so I figured I'd give an update. It's not going to be real coherent as my brain is a little tired after working today. But here goes:

  • Water Pressure: We FINALLY have both water PRESSURE and HOT water! It's amazing, and I feel like I'm in heaven. Monday our plumber came and fixed the last few issues and got the heat working upstairs again. Woohoo! It was expensive to get all of this done, and I'm thankful that I got a great business paycheck this month which allowed us to pay cash rather than using credit or emergency funds. Praise the Lord! So now we can take hot showers and it doesn't take 20 minutes to get wet... plus I can take baths - oh, how I've missed having baths! And doing dishes is no longer an extremely long process.
  • Kirsten: She's now 12 weeks old! I can't believe it - time is going by quickly. One of the funnest things she's been doing lately is lots of coos and gaas and all kinds of cute noises. She's especially "talkative" in the morning (and sometimes the middle of the night). Speaking of the middle of the night, the other night I fed Kirsten and then went to the bathroom myself. When I came back up, she was mostly asleep again and I wasn't going to bother changing her diaper. Then I smelled something... something not good. So, I unwrapped her swaddle, and saw a big green stain on her sleeping gown. When I lifted the gown up, I saw green poo all over her leg! Oh, it was not good. I very delicately removed her gown while Scott helped by wiping off her leg. Then I changed her diaper as quickly as possible. Wow, the things you see as a mother. That was definitely a good one. Anyway, Kirsten continues to provide tons of joy as well as sometimes frustration and tears... but thankfully we are getting into more of a groove lately, it seems. She's sleeping pretty well at night and rarely needs to be picked up and rocked/walked back to sleep after eating. She usually just drifts back into lala land with a gentle patting, which is fabulous for mommy. And she is beginning to realize that the bottle is not the devil, and it's okay to drink from it. Today she took 1.5 oz while I was at work - not much, but it's better than nothing at all! Then tonight she ate 4 times between 5:15 and 10:00! Yeah, she missed mom I guess. : )
  • Other stuff: Scott & I went on a date this past Saturday night. It was a wonderful time to get out of the house together and focus on each other. It is definitely a challenge to do that now, and we want to be intentional about staying connected to each other. So Scott planned the evening and I didn't really know what we were doing. We left the house at 5:00 (Scott's parents generously babysat for us) and headed to town. Scott informed me that we'd be going to a movie at 6:20, so we didn't have a ton of time for eating. After discussion, we called the Texas Roadhouse to find out the wait time. 45 minutes. Okay, that won't work. Then we decided to head to the Olive Garden. On the way there, I suggested checking out the Longhorne Steakhouse since we'd never been there. Once inside, we realized that wasn't gonna work out: 60-75 minute wait. Alrighty then, let's head to the Olive Garden as originally planned. I didn't even bother finding out the wait time there - the entryway was so full I could hardly find a way to get through the crowd. Finally, let's check Applebees - a favorite of Scott's, and one where I can always find something I like. 30 minute wait. But by that time it was 5:30, and with a 30 minute wait, we obviously wouldn't be making our 6:20 movie (Marley & Me, which our previous attempt to see had been sold out, and I really wanted to see this). So at this point I am starting to feel rather disheartened, and almost in tears because this is our one chance to hang out together and I was looking forward to a nice meal & time to talk. We left Applebees and tried to figure out what to do. So, we finally ended up eating pizza at Little Ceasars in KMart. Okay, not the most romantic thing, but certainly memorable. We had about 10 minutes to chow down in order to head to the theater in time. Once at the theater I had visions of our previous attempt to see this movie with Steve & Jess: the line was extremely long and the theater looked packed. Thankfully, though, most people were there to see Mall Cop instead, and we got into our movie without a problem. I had just enough time to go to the bathroom before the movie started. Steve & Jess had warned us to bring tissues, and I did (well, actually napkins from Little Ceasars), and it was a good thing. I loved the movie and I think it made be cry even more because it seemed like so much of what happened was basically where Scott & I are at right now. The whole process of starting a family and feeling like you're losing yourself, not really knowing what you want to do when you grow up, etc. All stuff we have felt or are feeling currently. Not to mention the relationship with the dog - me being a dog person, I could totally relate to that. Well I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I highly recommend the movie. Although I wouldn't take young children even though it's rated PG.
Okay, I need to go to bed. Really a lot. Tonight I took some time after I put Kirsten down to fold laundry and watch LOST since I missed it Wednesday night. But now it's really time to SLEEP before she wakes up for another feeding!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Oh, the pressure! Not the pressure of being a mom, paying the bills, or getting places on time. No, that's not the pressure I'm referring to. It's the water pressure! URGH! Ever since we moved into our house (5 years ago this month), we have had water pressure issues. I've been able to adjust and manage for most of those 5 years. And it's not just the pressure - it's also the temperature. Not so hot. So last fall, my mom was here helping prepare for our new little arrival, and she was appalled at both the pressure and the temperature. So my stepfather helped out and got the temperature thing fixed - apparently all we needed to do was turn up the mixing valve to totally hot. Anyway, that also helped the pressure issue for a while because it was SO HOT that we had to add in cold to take a shower, wash dishes, etc. And the cold has lots of pressure.

But recently, like in the past 2 weeks, the hot water has become worse than EVER before! It's a trickle. Seriously people, a trickle. Like it takes over 45 minutes for the washing machine to fill up for a SMALL load of hot. And taking a bath... forget it! Definitely over an hour and even then it's not even half full. So your ankles might be covered with water, but nothing else.

So once again, mom to the rescue! She talked to a plumber that she knows and he is over here right now. Who knows if he'll be able to fix anything - but the good thing is that he is charging us a lot less than he usually does. Big help! Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the pressure issues... I'm praying for a miracle because I'd really like to take an actual shower that is both warm AND having pressure (rather than the choice of a scalding hot trickle vs. freezing cold full pressure)!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oh the decisions!

As a new mother, there is one thing we are never lacking - advice! Be it unsolicited or not, there are always plenty of opinions to be shared by others who have walked this road before us. Of course, most of the time this advice and opinions are shared in the most well-meaning manner and with the desire to simply help the sleep-deprived, exhausted new mom like myself! As a new mom, we have to weed through all the advice and figure out which things we want to use, and what we want to perhaps discard, or what things we want to file away for "later use."

So this post needs a disclaimer: In the following paragraphs, I am in no way attempting to demean or criticize others who have chosen to use or not use the methods I will be mentioning. I realize that parenting is an extremely personal process and each person has their reasons for the choices they make. So in this post I am simply going to be sharing some of my personal choices and preferences and the reasons why I am making these choices. I am not attempting to create a debate, although am always open to a healthy exchange of ideas.

Decision #1: Schedule or no schedule? As a new mom freshly home from the hospital, I was overwhelmed with the task of taking care of this little baby. And part of that was figuring out whether to develop a "schedule" for Kirsten or not. There are some books, such as Babywise, which advocate using a schedule for your newborn. Many other moms that I know have recommended this book or at least the concept of putting your baby on a schedule. While my personality and lifestyle is generally pretty scheduled and organized, I have decided against this concept with my baby. Part of the reason is that I want to be sure to be focused on my baby's needs and not my needs. If I were using a schedule, I believe it would primarily serve my own need for structure, etc. The other reason is that I have read and researched a lot and found some reasons not to follow this method ( Another reason that this schedule concept is promoted is to get the baby to "sleep through the night." While it seems that people have different thoughts on what that actually means, most of what I have read indicates that this means a 5-hour stretch. Again, I have to consider whether sleeping through the night at this young age is serving my own needs or my baby's needs. There are studies that show that a young baby shouldn't go excessively long without eating, especially breastfed babies. So I don't feel an urgency to have my baby "sleep through the night" because I want to make sure she is eating when she needs to. That's not to say that I don't absolutely enjoy when she does sleep a longer stretch (which, by the way she has been doing even though we haven't been doing a "schedule"). But it's not my ultimate goal to get her to "sleep through the night" anytime soon. Even we adults don't typically sleep through the night - we wake up or are in lighter states of sleep throughout the night, but we quickly fall back asleep.
In all of this I believe there is a balance. I am choosing to create a routine based on my baby's needs. But I will not attempt to have set times for eating, napping, etc. I will follow her cues and recognize when she is getting hungry, tired, etc and help her get what she needs.

Decision #2: Feed on demand or on a schedule? Another decision is the question of feeding "on-demand" or based on a schedule/time frame. I determined early on that I wanted to breastfeed on-demand. This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as La Leche League. Again, I believe that my baby knows when she is hungry and it doesn't really matter to me if it's 20 minutes or 3 hours after her last feeding. Another reason a schedule is promoted is to make sure our babies don't comfort nurse or "snack". Again I have to ask myself - is this about my needs or my baby's needs? If she comfort nurses, is there really something wrong with that? I actually enjoy the emotional connection during nursing and knowing that she is feeling safe, secure, and loved when she nurses. And why not have a snack? I know that I wouldn't enjoy it if someone planned my day out and told me I could only eat within certain time frames, even if I just wanted a little snack.

Decision #3: To let cry or not? Another challenge is figuring out whether or not to let your baby cry. This can apply to various situations, but the main one people think about is whether to let the baby cry before falling asleep vs. holding/rocking/wearing the baby to sleep. The argument on the "cry-it-out" side is that baby will learn to fall asleep on their own and develop the ability to self-soothe. And if the baby is not hungry, wet, or otherwise in pain, then it's okay for them to cry. The other side says that you should respond quickly to the baby's cry, and that babies often need help to fall asleep in the form of walking, rocking, etc. I have made my decision based on two things: 1. The research I've checked into - many articles and studies show that babies left to cry (even for a short time) may experience trauma and learn that their needs will not be responded to consistently. Sure, they probably will fall asleep eventually - but what do they learn in the process? Do they actually learn that they are safe, secure, and loved and it's okay to fall asleep? Or do they learn that crying, their only form of communication, will not result in a response? Here are some of the sources I've checked out:
-Dr. Sears Article on Sleep Problems
-Mothering Article
-Storknet Article
-Children Need Touching
There's lots more, of course, but those are some that I found helpful.
2. My gut. You know people tell you to trust your gut. Well there's something that just tells me to respond when my baby girl cries. Even if it's when she's going to sleep and I know there's nothing major wrong - perhaps she just wants to be held, comforted, etc. I know there's times when I want that even though I can't pinpoint what I'm crying about it - I just want to be held. So my choice is to help Kirsten get to sleep until she is old enough to be able to go to sleep on her own. At this age, I don't believe that her crying is manipulative and I don't think I can spoil her by responding to those cries.

Obviously, as I stated at the beginning, all of these things are a very personal choice and also something that I believe is a learning process. Five years from now, my ideas may have and probably will have changed. Overall, as for right now, my approach leans towards the Attachment Parenting method. This method makes a lot of sense to me and a lot of the concepts are things that I think I would have been inclined to do anyway. So, feel free to comment, criticize, engage, whatever! It probably won't change my mind but you never know...