Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Reflection of 4 Years Ago Today...and Maybe More

I know I've written about our wedding day before and how we've met, but I honestly don't remember how much I've written. I'm sorry if I'm repetitive...afterall, it has been awhile since I've consistently blogged. I blame it on the dead laptop. I'm just not on here much anymore, especially when I have to sit in a metal folding chair! Anyway...

4 years ago today, I married Matt. The ceremony began at 2 (and pretty well on time if I remember correctly)...that's only an hour from typing this. I look outside and remember how it was 50 something degrees that day and sunny. Today, it's cold with snow covering the ground. I was so disappointed to not have snow on our wedding day. Afterall, who gets married in December hoping for 50 degree weather? At least the weather was nice for those who traveled.

As a little girl, I dreamed of a summer wedding, possibly outdoors, with daisies in my bouquet and beautiful yellows and blues. My "wedding dream" hadn't changed that much as I grew older but timing certainly did. I met Matt in the May of 2005. It was a quick meeting after church, you know the story how I was terrified he thought we were being set up because I thought we were (totally not my style), so I stood by my parents after church. I did not want to be cornered alone by some "cupid" waiting to introduce us. My mom went on and on about my "accomplishments," and I sort of added a little more reality to those with my own thoughts. Anyway, after that brief meeting, he left back for Hawaii. I began summer courses, and there were rumors certain letters from a certain man may be headed my way...my dad wouldn't say from who...and well, that man had no idea about such letters. Another story for another time I guess. From what I hear, Matt thought about calling me a lot but never got up the courage until September that year. Boy did he muster up some courage he thought he lacked...you see I was still living at home, and he left a message on my parents' answering machine for me. (That was one possibility he said he hadn't played out in his head...haha.) From that phone call, our mostly online relationship began (haha...some phone calling too) since he was way out in Hawaii. Sidenote: That is one of the things I admire so much about Matt. I'm not sure I can fit it into one adjective about him, but from the very beginning, he was so upfront with me and my parents and so honest. His intentions were pure and right, and he just had this respectful boldness that showed his serious intentions towards me. I even sort of challenged him on that upfrontness in my own way....and he passed with flying colors. (On our first date we ended up swinging by my parents' house for a bit. I don't know many guys who would be gung-ho about that!) Fast forward to December 14th that year, the day he came home. We started our "courtship" soon thereafter. Talk of marriage didn't take long for us...as it was discussed in early spring. He was ready to get married that summer. I was not. It just felt too soon. But, as you now know, I had likened the idea of a summer wedding, so do we wait till the next summer? That felt like light years away for a young couple in love. I know, I know...most of our generation in this world would be saying that's still pretty soon. What was a girl to do? Well, I surprised Matt, and for some reason this was over the phone, but I felt like he needed to know as soon as I did, and I told him, "I think I'll be ready earlier than next summer. What do you think about December?" I would have a break between courses (I was getting my Master's), and he also would have a break from his classes as he was going back to school as well. Plus, I love Christmas time! In May 2006, we were engaged and set the date of December 16th, 2006. Looking back now, it was perfect timing (and God coordinated the matching dates). It wasn't "too soon," and only the Lord knew then that Matt would be recalled to the military in March and leaving in October. How disappointed and even more stressed I would've been had we not been married yet when he received his orders. That also would've meant less time to spend together as husband and wife before he left.

An outdoor wedding and daisies wouldn't really fit our December day, so we began to build excitement for deep reds and of course, blues (as in Matt's dress blues). I fell in love with a dress that I thought fit well with the wintery feel and would look so nice with Matt's blues. My bouquet of red and white roses would be perfect for the "unity meaning" and go back with history as we began our courtship like the olden days with a bouquet of red roses...and also back in the day, the wedding day bouquet was to be red and white. The timing of a December wedding was blossoming into a perfect and unique idea to me.

Our rehearsal and set up day, however, was a nightmare for me. Matt was gone all day, unintentionally, and I struggled with carrying out our wedding prepartions without him by my side. Among other circumstances, poinsettias filled the church...what to do with those...I can't stand those flowers of death. I still will be forever regretful of my bridesmaid dresses (a wedding is not the best time to try to continue with frugality when it comes to what your friends will wear...do not buy online! lesson over). The flower girl dress also turned out differently than I'd hoped. I am disappointed we forgot to blow out the taper candles after lighting the unity candle (which I was afraid would happen...and if you watch the tape, you can see Matt stole my hands away before we could! haha)...does that mean we're still attached to our parents forever? haha "Leave and cleave," my friends, blow out the candles! (lesson 2 over...though I love my parents dearly) And of course we didn't know to unroll the aisle runner in practice so it would be ready to unroll smoothly the day of (because really, who wants to roll it back up after it's been unrolled?). Well, yeah, it only took 15 minutes for my oldest 2 brothers to get it down the aisle with assistance from those in the seats. (lesson 3 over) I also wasn't as careful as I should have been (a distracted bride? no, that never happens) when lifting my gown to go up the steps, and put some tears in the borrowed poofy slip underneath. I felt terrible...and still do. (lesson 4 over) The dress will enivitably be a bit tight...that's the way they seem to make those things...but maybe we should've left the straps (which I loved, "capsleeves" actually) a little looser. They were attached with snaps so if at the last minute I didn't want them, wa-la! Well, almost every time I hugged someone after the wedding, one would pop off! Seriously, hug the bride and part of her dress comes apart?! Thankfully, it was a quick and easy fix, but I had people telling me "that" was supposed to happen later...thanks, blush. (lesson 5 over) And of course there were other mishaps (like cold food, and on and on), but despite all the things that sort of went wrong (it certainly could've been a lot worse), nothing got my panties in a bunch that day. I could've cared less. I noticed most (probably not all, haha), and really smiled or laughed at them as silly memories of our day. Nothing was going to get in the way of me marrying the one I've waited all my life for.

And the good memories...oh the good memories. The way my groom looked at me while walking down the aisle, seriously folks, we should've been in a movie or something. This handsome, strong man in his uniform, had a tender smile and tears running down his cheeks. I believe that was about the first time I had seen him cry. That, I will never forget. The music was beautiful and just what we wanted, the ceremony was way long (sorry to families), but it included every aspect we wanted. Of course, the wedding ended with our kiss...our first kiss. Yup, it was a little awkward having our first one in front of a whole crowd, but most people didn't know it was our first (until after the fact), so that helped me feel better. I still don't regret it though. Matt has it all...every kiss, every hand-hold, every date...it was all saved for him! And that honest, patient man: he respected my wishes (as crazy as they sounded to him at first) and waited till then to kiss me too! We didn't have any dancing at the reception. That was my personal choice, not Matt's. I told him we'd dance later, and we did (he chose the song "Ok" by Chris Rice which became oh so fitting for that first year and beyond). I just always felt uncomfortable watching the bride and groom dance...like it's personal and intimate. I don't watch people make-out, why should I watch this? And I am no dancer...so I didn't want people watching me! I never said I wasn't weird. Even though we didn't have dancing, we did have music. (Most of it was not what we selected...but I'm talking about the good memories now, haha.) My dad brought out that giant project he had been working on, the rocking horse. Matt carried me to the horse for a final ride. As a little girl (possibly dreaming of summer and daisies), I would ride my spring horse with all my might while my dad played the guitar and sang. And so we did (though I rode a bit gentler on that big thing in that big dress) one more time.

Each piece, is just part of our story! The silly and the wonderful...it is all ours. It was a dream come true in so many more regards than the flowers or the setting. I married the man God led to me in His timing, the one I love with all my heart, and to us, it was the most beautiful ceremony and day we could have imagined...and a perfect start for our life together.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Stephen

Dear Stephen,

It's been awhile since I've written one of your letters. You've been up to a lot lately. At 17 months, you zoom all over the house. You officially took steps at 15 months on your own and took off at 16 months. You pretty much never crawled again after you figured out that was so much better. You still like to play with the broom and dustpan, and we're working on you bringing the dustpan to the pile when I need it. It often doesn't work, and while I go fetch the pan, you manage to dance in my dirt pile and eat the cheerio that was sitting in the middle. Yeah, you don't really care about gross-ness. When I'm behind with the laundry, I often dump the baskets on the dining room floor (because we don't have a laundry room) to sort. While doing a load, I have found you swimming in the piles of dirty clothes...and doing your version of what looks like a snow angel. Yeah, that's gross. We're working on the word, "yucky" and "dirty." You've got the word, "Eww!" down perfectly...but it's just because you like the word and think it's funny.

When we're outside, sticks are the greatest. They would probably be the greatest inside too, but we keep them outside. I guess I didn't need to get those Christmas gifts I already got for you! (Which you discovered, but only grabbed a gift that's for your cousin and carried it around the house.) You love being outside to play, swing, or go for walks. You loved watching us rake the leaves, and boy did we have a lot of leave raking to do. "Wow! Whoa!" was heard down the street as the leaves flew in the air. You liked to try yourself with a stick in the leaf pile...and every time, you'd yell something...very loudly, and sometimes you'd go up to the clothesline pole and give it a good whack with that stick to get your point across. You are a total boy.


Leaf pick-up is sadly coming to an end, so our mornings are no longer spent at the window watching the big trucks suck the leaves up. But, have no fear, snow plows will be coming! I tried to take you out for our first sticking snowfall. You wanted to play so badly but those snow boots and huge snow suit (yeah, and the mittens), made it super frustrating. Maybe next year, winter will be easier.

You did so well during Thanksgiving as we spent time with your dad's family. You were great the 3 hours down, you did ok with the crowds you didn't know, ate a ton of food, and survived the 3 hours back home. We stopped in for leftovers at my parents', and your first sentence was formed! Grandma was bringing Grandpa's deer meat down to the freezer in the basement. You watched and waited for her at the doorway. You made noises when you couldn't see her anymore, so I said, "Say: Grandma, where are you?" Don't you know, you said, "Where are you?" More like, "Wheyahyou?" The reaction you received egged you on to say it over and over again, making our night. Today, while I took a moment to use the bathroom, you came around the hallway not knowing where I went and said, "Wheyahyou?" You melt my heart Stephen Matthew!

We set up our tree a week ago during your nap time. For the first few days, you wouldn't go near it. I think you thought it was alive or something. After those first days, you'd give a branch a nudge with the toy in your hand, watching ever so carefully to see what it would do back to you. You got a little more aggressive within another day and would whack the branch and take a step back. I think you have discovered it's not going to get you. You have found the ornaments to be super interesting. They are things you are to be "gentle" with. I know you're curious, but we are gentle and we leave the ornaments on the tree. I found evidence of little fingers being more curious than allowed. Ornaments are upside down on a tree branch....or my favorite, I saw, from the next room, you threw a ball ornament back in the tree because you didn't know how to hang it back on, or you figured that was how we got them on there. (Our ball ornaments are plastic.) I definitely had to muffle my laughter from that one. It was just so innocent and boy-ish. You love those ball ornaments the most...and the little red bells around the tree.

You sure are growing up. You no longer put your head over my shoulder after bed time bottle. You just want to sit on my lap...because you really just want to go to bed. None of this snuggle business. Now, your legs hang down past my knees in the rocking chair (yes, that means you are huge). It was sad for me because you were never a cuddler...that was the closest we got. You have just started to come over and sit on my lap every once and awhile while we play on the floor. I love those moments. Earlier on in my pregnancy with your little brother or sister, I being overly tired, would end up falling asleep on the couch. You'd come over and toss a toy at me or get in my face and start talking! You always woke me up within a minute of dosing off. That began our game of patting the couch. I would pat the couch to ask you to sit with me...you know, so I could relax and snuggle with you and not have to chase you around for a few minutes. You had no idea what I was looking for and would rather not sit, so you'd look so cute at me and just pat the couch back. Now, random times, you come over and pat the couch next to me...so I will pat it...and you will pat it again. But, you'll sit with Grandma G. and you'll even fall asleep on her lap. Umm, where is this when you're tired with us? :)

You are just so busy, and thankfully, my energy is starting to come back a bit. I am still so thankful to be able to spend my days with you. You're my partner at the grocery store (even if you're wearing clothes with food on it, I forget the wipes, and then you get free cookie all over your face), you're my partner at the post office (even if you got your finger stuck in the trash swing door from swinging it the first time I let you walk and stand next to me), you're my partner at story hour (even if we went to the wrong class our first time and you picked your nose through the whole thing), you're my partner on the swing (even if I have to put you in your own swing because Mama's stomach doesn't tolerate the swing together thing anymore due to nauseousness and a growing belly), and you're my partner at play time (even if I end up dosing off), and snack time (even if a few of the crackers have fallen on the floor). I'm still learning as your mom, and I know you're still learning as my son. I love you so much, Stephen. And, I'm so thankful to be right here with you.

Love,
Mom

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm still here...

Well, I guess I'm around...just haven't been blogging. It's my 199th post in case you were wondering.

Where have I been?

*Raking, raking, raking. I love big old trees. They don't love me back apparently. I have raked more the past few weeks than I probably have my entire life. The trees are ginormous and looked oh so nice when we moved in to this here house. Mm hmm. I'm supposed to be out there now in fact. I decided to say hello instead....then I'll make my way...

*Not blogging. In fact, I haven't even been able to read and catch up as often as usual on my favorites. I can't even find some of my favorites any more. My laptop died. (I saved my favorites under my "favorites," you know?) I should have a ceremony for that thing. It got me through a lot. It was the one I was given and used through Matt's entire ordeal that first year of marriage (aka his recall and deployment). It was not always loved though...because it crashed after loading his homecoming pictures from a friend's camera. I only still have them because I posted some on here and facebook. Friends, do you know how to get the original quality and size out of them? I would be forever grateful if we could rectify that. Anyway, it let me talk with and see my husband from afar. I began my blog on that old (yeah, 3 years old?) laptop. It gave me an outlet to spill some thoughts and emotion. I was able to keep in contact with some awesome cousins with it. I dragged it with me wherever I went so I wouldn't be tied down at home. Poor Bethany's sleep overs, I slept with my cell phone next to my ear and my laptop practically nailed to my sleeping bag. You military wives know what I mean. It held onto the memories of expecting Stevie and the pictures of his birth...and since. Thankfully, I think I have most of the pictures on our old desktop. I better back those up. It became a dating tool for Matt and I post-Stevie's arrival. After Stevie goes off to dreamland, we would often snuggle up and watch a show online. Afterall, we went to bed shortly after, and all the shows come on tv after we go to bed. Oldies.

We had shared some memories that old laptop and I. I'm thankful for the time we had it. (Just don't ask how many laptops have died or been damaged by us...just during that year.)

*I've mostly just been busy with the Stevie man and taken a break from a lot of computer-y stuff. I've also been falling asleep...boy I need to pass this tired stage. Baby's been moving! More on that another time. I have stories to share...because I always forget to write them. Like the time I zipped Stevie up in his sleeper for bed, and Matt started laughing at the huge bulge protruding out of his leg. Apparently, the lotion...yeah, the big Aveeno lotion container, somehow jumped in his pantleg before he was all zipped up. I had no clue until Matt's laughter snapped me out of pregnancy brain (not sure that really works though). It didn't bother Stevie a bit, but I did take it out...and laugh. What did you say? You've been missing such stupid--I mean silly--stories? I'll be back.

But first, I must go rake.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life Around Here

My days don't always go as planned. I was going to get lots of outdoor work done. I was going to rake the deep layer of leaves in our front yard. Well, I got some done, but my rake is falling apart...and Stevie had enough of stick time I guess. Then I was going to do some scrubbing of our siding. I have no idea what's stuck to it or what's growing there, but it needs to be off. It started raining. So, here I sit, eating a waffle and blogging instead.

Stevie loves it when he says "Ow" and we repeat him. He's not hurt. He just likes the word. Where did he learn it? Umm, Full House. We rented season 1, and DJ was singing to her favorite artist (remember she skips school in that one? ...yeah, I used to really love that show). Anyway, she ended with a screamed, "Ow!" He repeated it right after and has thought it's hilarious ever since.

We still take walks to the post office. I manage to pinch my finger/s in the stroller snap...a lot. Ugh. I got this really nasty blood blister that turned black. Nice, huh? Well, I'm sharing that because I thought this was funny: Stevie and I were sharing some sort of dessert, can't remember what, and he kept picking at my finger to get the "chocolate" off. He won't let any go to waste. Boy after my own heart.

Speaking of sharing, I never really liked sharing my Reese's peanut butter cups. But with Stevie, it isn't hard at all. Amazing how things change, huh?

I did a little diaper bag fall cleaning and took the swim diaper out. It may or may not have been used as a hot pad for a plate since it was conveniently on the table.

Matt and I were watching something the other night, and he was eating a piece of pie. (We like dessert around here, ok?) I watched him out of the corner of my eye and then demanded to know why he was blowing on his chocolate pie which obviously was not hot. He was adamant that he wasn't blowing on the pie on his fork. We both rolled with laughter as I realized and remembered he had a bit of a cold and was breathing out of his mouth...apparently, he was breathing heavily. I never said we weren't weird.

We went to the zoo last weekend. It was the first fun family outing we've had in a really long time. Stevie loves dogs, so we figured other animals would be exciting for him as well. Well, I wouldn't say he was entirely amused, but we still had a good time. He seemed to like the monkeys best since they were the most active, but the big stuff...the elephants, the polar bears, we were only able to see their butts. I didn't go wild about that either. I think they know we're paying money to see them. Rude. It was the zooboo thing. So, Stevie was dressed as Superman and got some candy and a little stuffed monkey. He wasn't too interested in the whole candy receiving process either. I'll cut him some slack. He's 16 months old...and we switched him to 1 nap a day that week. He was soo ready to fall asleep the whole time. He was good, just tired. Oh well. After his nap, he was all about digging into his bag to see what was in it. He also learned if he bit some of the wrapper he'd get to the chocolate. Yeah, we need to watch that. You should see this boy's smile when he eats an M&M. I have to tape it. His first taste, he's unsure because it's different. After a couple of chews, this smile starts spreading across his face till his eyes light up and his eyebrows raise. Then he looks at me ever so sweetly for another.

Apparently, I have a lot of food thoughts today. My cravings went wild last night, and really the most I've had so far this time around. I kept telling Matt as he was trying to go to sleep that I wanted mashed potatoes and gravy, french fries with ketchup, so and so's green beans...on and on.

My birthday's coming up. My request is dinner at Boston Market. (I like how I can get a million sides, and they're so good. Their mac and cheese...) I also wanted a vaporizer for the cold I had for a month. I got the vaporizer early and my cold has finally gone! It doesn't always take much to please this girl!

Little man is cruising around the house...on 2 feet! We are so excited! It's been a long time coming. He used to think crawling got him where he wanted to go quickly, now he's traded that in. A few days after taking lots of steps he already attempted to run. Hilarious. It was sort of a gallop of a few steps and then a fall. He's a trooper though. He got right back up to do it again.

The sun is out again, and Stevie should be up from his nap soon. Maybe I needed the rest today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You're Worth It

I'm going to be honest here, I'm not the most happy pregnant person you'll ever meet. I feel guilty about it. How I wish I could be one of those moms who savor every moment of pregnancy. I feel super yucky. I feel totally out of control, nauseous, crazy, uncomfortable...among other things. Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of time head first in the toilet bowl.

I get so excited to see that positive on the stick. I love my babies. I want my babies. I can't wait to meet my babies. However, once the yuckiness sets in, I can't really even think about it. It happened with Stevie, and I just needed to get over the hump of this stage of pregnancy, and then the excitement will kick back in....just until the huge stage and when the due date passes...hehe.

Pregnancy is hard. But, it's true. I forgot. Well, I sort of forgot. After Stevie was born, it didn't take long for that desire to kick in again...that desire to have another baby. Then, I remembered. I joke with Matt (though half serious) that this is the last time! I said that with Stevie too..."you know, you just might be an only child!" Going through the morning sickness, the mind and speech crazies, the HUGENESS (Stevie likes the word "huge" ...go figure), waiting and waiting for labor to kick in, pushing and pushing for 2 1/2 hours, to birth that 9 lb 1 oz baby, having a terrible time in the healing department including infections and ultimately, surgery. Sounds lovely, right?

But, you know what? I look at my little boy and cannot imagine one day without him. I hardly ever even leave him with a sitter. When I'm away, I miss him. I love my boy ...I love him HUGE (right, Stevie?). The moment he was born, I heaved with the rest of my energy (I think I only had one pillow behind me....next time, when I push, I'm making sure I have a little something to prop me up! Flat on my back may not have been the most effective.) to see our boy....that big, curly headed boy. Immediate love. No matter how bad I'm feeling right now, he can still motivate me to get off the couch and play on the floor with him for a bit. I'm beyond thankful to have been given the opportunity to be Stevie's mom.

So, baby, even now, you are so worth it! We're in this thing together, and I think it's pretty special to have your big brother as a reminder and a glimpse of the treasure you are and will be on the outside in this family too! Boy or girl, curly haired or straight, big or small, we look forward to who you are and who God makes you to be. No matter how this goes until we meet, you're worth it all! I. love. you. baby. #. 2.

(P.S. Sorry about the whole "baby #2" thing...referring to you as a number. We'll work on a better nickname.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

It hapened again

A few posts ago, I mentioned I was nervous I might have another episode and end up in the ER again. Well, I had another episode 2 weeks ago, but I was thankfully able to skip the trip to the hospital. I was checking something online, and I felt the pins and needles in my chin/jaw area. I tried to ignore it. Then I felt it on my nose. I thought maybe if I laid down, nothing else would happen. Sounds reasonable, right? So, I laid on the couch. On my trip there, I told Matt I was having some numbness, and it spread to my right hand...through the fingers and then up my arm. Here we go again! Same side and everything. A short while later, I tried to tell Matt how I was feeling...and I messed up one word. I warned Matt that "it" was beginning. My speech was way worse than it was with my episode with Stevie...which doesn't seem to be very possible, but I also think I tried to limit my speech then because it really required too much work. I decided I needed to call my dr about it...but of course took a shower first just in case I was told to go to the hospital. Because I'm like that. By the time I got out of the shower, it was difficult for me to dial the dr's number....and the nurse, the poor nurse on the end of the line was so patient and kind. It's the strangest thing to have half of your vocabulary but to be missing the other half. I started by telling her that I have some of the same symptoms as my first pregnancy. She was probably real thrilled to waste her time with this...."sure, honey, nausea, fatigue?" But, she didn't say that. She just said, "such as..." That's where I was blank. All I could say was, "Umm, umm, I'm sorry (a little slurred)...I can't..." Matt had to mouth words to me. Headache, numbness, pins and needles, arm....those words were out the window of my brain. I had quizzed Matt beforehand on words. "What's the word?" The one I remember most clearly was trying to remember was "headache." The closest I got to it was "haireed." I should've handed the phone to Matt at this point, but at least she got an idea of what I was going through! I can't remember half of the English language, but I could clearly think, "This lady is going to think I'm on drugs!"

Because this was pretty much identical to the last time, I was able to stay home and rest. Another trip to the neurologist is in order soon. Fun. Speaking of that, Matt was asking about me going in...and I was like, all they're going to do is have me touch my finger to my nose over and over again (what they did last time)...and so I modeled it sarcastically...and my finger involuntarily went to my cheek instead of my nose. Nice. Exactly what they're looking for. Check me in, now. Matt told me I said some pretty crazy things to him...but I had no idea because I thought I was saying the right words. A short time later, the actual migraine kicked in.

If I'm pregnant again, I just plan on staying home for the entire 8th week of pregnancy. Apparently, that's my hormonal craziness peak...one of them anyway. They are still calling them complex migraines due to hormones. I was hoping the 2nd time around my body would have a better idea of how to handle them, but I guess not. I'm just really glad I haven't been out anywhere when it's happened.

So, that's my adventure of late...and now I'm just battling a cold...but my speech is a whole lot better!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Does it Ever Drive You Crazy?

It drives me bonkers when I can't think of a word I'm looking for...or have vague memories of things of years past and want to know what it is. I'm not making sense yet?

Well, this is dumb I know, but for years, I have been trying to think of a breakfast cereal. I have this memory of bringing the puzzle (I think it was) to preschool from my cereal box. On the puzzle, was the cereal character. I've been dying to know what cereal it was. The character was this yellow thing with a big nose. It was a he. The only thing I could compare him to was a combination of some sort of Teddy Ruxpin character. Remember him? haha Yeah, I still don't know how to pronounce his name correctly apparently. I had to look it up for the spelling.

So, I looked up breakfast cereals of the 80's once and for all this morning to satisfy my irritating curiousity. Does anyone remember Crispy Critters? Feel free to click on the link and scroll down about 3/4 of the page to find the yellow critter. I think that just might be it! I don't remember the cereal at all. It was probably either bad or expensive because I think we only got it once, haha.

Having figured out that long time wonderment, a little stressed is released. :) Does it ever drive you nuts....and you have to figure out what you're forgetting?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And just like that...

Matt has a job. that will provide for our needs. just in time.

Yup. He cares for us.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?..." Matthew 6:25-26

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blessings

*Just when I thought I would go insane and cry (mmhmm) if I felt any worse, my late afternoons and evenings have been so much better in the nausea department (if I eat a TON of hearty foods earlier in the day). Saturday, I was feeling so good, I was able to make a "good" meal for my family...and do it joyfully. (Sundays we have big family meals...so we're still working on left-overs. :) )

*This Sunday, I started teaching a 1 year old Sunday School class with Stevie and another little boy. I was feeling awful before it began, and my wonderful husband gave me just the snack I needed, and the class went wonderfully! Totally exceeded my expectations! The lesson, including "coloring page", took all of like 5 minutes, but I was so encouraged for the first week with such active, little learners!

*Matt still does not have a job, and I really needed to get Stevie some more fall/winter clothes. Lo and behold a few shirts and pants that he wore last spring still fit! He was so chunky, he needed the big sizes rolled up! Now, he's slimmed down a bit and can still wear some! I received some hand-me-down clothes for Stevie yesterday too...including 3 sleepers and shirts he really needed!! He only has 1 sleeper at the moment that fits him well, and he wears it every night! Total blessing to have a few more! They are exactly what we've been praying for. God knows just what we need!

*I was able to get Stevie a box of overnite diapers for $12! I was also able to get another good cloth diaper for cheap. We are now able to go at least 2 days of cloth...which makes things a lot easier for laundry!

*I was given "left-over" prenatal vitamins from a family member...so I should be good on those for awhile!

*We were given a double box of my favorite cereal, a giant container of snacks for Stevie, and a huge jar of salsa for Matt...just so we know we're thought of...and for some groceries.

*My husband is seriously the best. He cares for me so much (and it's not always easy when I'm not feeling 100%). He always takes care of the "nasty" jobs that need to be done here too. Whether it's fixing the toilet or killing things...he's my hero!

*My 1st appointment, and I think ultrasound, is this Friday, and it looks as though Matt will be able to be there. Our insurance lasts through the end of this month, so I'm thankful it will be covered...just in the nick of time.

*Stevie took 3 steps for Daddy yesterday!!! I missed them, but I saw his first step last Thursday! We're very excited!

Sometimes the waiting is hard and confusing, but I wanted to stop and count some of the recent blessings God has given us. We've been through challenges before...Matt's deployment, desiring children, in need of jobs, etc. He has always provided for our needs, as well as given us additional blessings along the way. I want to be sure I keep aware of those blessings for my own heart and share the ways God has provided with my children. I want them to grow up sure of the love of God for them. He certainly is a loving, providing, trustworthy God. In my own humanness, I need that reminder as well. Reflecting on some of those blessings...that are so much more than coincidence, is one of those ways I'm reminded of His greatness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Thoughts

Well, I'm feeling it. I forget that I'm pregnant, but I don't forget feeling sick. It doesn't help that the weather has been feeling more Fall-like. I'm on almost the same schedule pregnancy-wise as with Stevie, and I felt terrible through the Fall...my favorite season. Last Fall, the weather reminded me of my nausea...and the waves just keep coming back now. At the moment, I'm trying to ease it with Cheddar and Sour Cream chips. I may regret typing that out...for I know that sounds ridiculous to eat when feeling like you're going to chuck it back up. But, I tried. I tried so hard these past couple of weeks to not eat as much. With Stevie, I gained 13 pounds my first trimester. Yeah. The reason: the only thing that helped my nausea was to eat. I know, ridiculous. Then it would come back 10 minutes after a snack, and I'd have to start all over. So, this round, I thought, maybe I need to not eat so much. Well, I tried. The nausea got worse the longer I tried to stretch it. So, here I sit, eating. And, I've never had super great hormones...soo, I never really had the cravings to eat a ton during "that time." Well, I suppose my body makes up for it when I'm pregnant. Not only does it make my stomach feel less sick, I am needing food...I'm basically ravenous. I'm pretty sure I'm on my way to another big baby. And some people like to think it's twins. Both my mom and I had dreams it was. Heavens to Betsy if I have to carry 20 lb twins! Matt says he'd love twins. The other day he mentioned it, and Stevie had gotten into everything imagineable, and made messes of everything. His sippy cup of milk was all over the floor (my mind was who knows where, and I forgot to put the rubber stopper in it to keep it from spilling), he had dumped a new package of snacks all over the floor, and he was just generally keeping me super busy. I was able to laugh through that day, but I was like, really, you think twins would be fun? ;) Back to the hormones, I'm a little nervous. I just want to get over the first trimester hump to breathe a sigh of relief. It took me longer than that to get rid of my nausea with Stevie, but hopefully, I won't go through another episode and spend the day in the ER. I'm a little nervous it might happen again. That was really scary...and so was the decision making.

I'm not going to go furntiture browsing again too soon. We spontaneously decided to go to one place to look at couches/loveseats. We have my parents' old ones that are almost as old as me. :) Well, I was a bit moody (so was Stevie), I was not feeling the greatest, and the salesman had me look through every fabric sample imagineable. I'm totally not interested in new furniture any time soon...you know, unless it's free....and doesn't smell weird...I can't take the smells right now!

I got a few baby girl clothes from a garage sale last weekend. We aren't planning on finding out the gender again, so I need to be prepared if it's a girl. And, oh how I love finding those garage sales that sell baby and children's clothes for 25 cents a piece!

Stevie went with Matt to the auto parts store this morning. So cute. I should've taken a picture. Stevie gets heart broken if one of us leaves or goes outside without him. So, I asked Matt if he would take him. They were both very excited. After his nap, I'll take him outside to watch Daddy work on (Stevie's uncle's) car for a little while.

We went to Wegmans last night. It's like a little date for Stevie and I whenever we go. I usually only get a few things from there, but instead of rushing, we take our time. Stevie gets his free kid cookie. That, I need a picture of too. He chomps away as he watches all the people. He always manages to get chocolate chips all over his face, and I always manage to forget the wipes. Then we stop by the train. Oh boy, he would watch that for hours! Do I have a little boy or what?

Tonight, I'm going on a little date with Matt. Stevie's going to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa. We haven't been on a date in a really long time. I honestly don't remember our last date. Yikes. But, we already have another planned in 2 weeks.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some Changes Around Here

And, I like them. :)

Stevie seems to be aware of some things that just make me smile...and be in awe. Earlier this week, for the first time since he was pretty much a newborn, he sat with me. I'm talking, he sat with me on the couch for a good 15-20 minutes or more. This does NOT happen. Though he is still not walking (but seriously, any day), he is a zoomer. He doesn't sit still much any more. Right before he sat with me, he was running his little walker toy around the house...then it was his train. I thought it was so special to sit with my boy and enjoy some Wheel of Fortune together.

He also started doing this thing where he lifts up my shirt. I have no idea how that started. Is it an age thing? I remember my nephew around that age doing this when I was newly pregnant with Stevie, but I think he was trying to tickle me. Well, whether this is the real case or not, I like to think he knew something before I did. I like to think he was trying to get a glimpse of his little brother or little sister in there.

Yup, baby #2 is on his or her way to the family. That's why I liked the quote in my previous post for a "couple of reasons." I know, I've used that quote everywhere, but I just love it so much. It truly speaks my heart. Anyway, I just found out last Tuesday, on my parents' anniversary. I'm still very early pregnant. I can't hold out 12 weeks or so before spilling the beans!

I was really surprised to see that plus! (I like to have the tests with the plus...because I'm weird and figure I'd rather it be "positive" than a negative positive...umm, yeah, makes total sense.) I had been having a bit of nauseousness and hot flashes the weekend earlier that have left me wondering, but all that didn't start for a couple weeks into my pregnancy with Stevie so I was pushing that wonderment away. The morning I tested, I was up early, like 5:30. I had to go to the bathroom. I wanted to test the day before because of my potential symptoms, but thought that it was a bit ridiculous, so I said I'd wait till the next day. While the test was working, I was totally shaking....exactly like when I got that plus for Stevie. I waited a second while the line went across. Then I saw the plus!! I was shocked! Don't get me wrong, we were hoping for a 2nd baby any time, but I just didn't think this would be it...I went off my herbs that help regulate my hormones, I started running again which messes my body up, and we were a bit stressed with Matt having lost his job. I was thinking it'd be highly unlikely. But, this Sunday at church, we sang a song that the beginning of this journey has been so close to my heart, "Mighty to Save"...which is the meaning of our boy's name if this is a boy. (We're pretty sure we already have the boy and girl name picked!) I suppose that leads me to think this is another boy because of that but who knows. Anyway, back to the stick. I couldn't believe it. I, unfortunately kept saying, "Holy cow, holy cow"...over and over. It's a phrase I used a lot as a kid and prefer not to use now. I was just so shocked. Then I realized what I was saying and was like, I mean, "Wow!"

I stumbled into our dark room and tried to find the flashlight in the closet. I couldn't find it and tripped over a screwdriver instead. I got in bed and said, "Hey, Matt"...then got out of bed because I didn't have a flashlight to beam the stick, so I turned on the light, got back into bed. Excited and crazy, much? I wanted to say it in a memorable ...surprising...way, but I was just wayy too excited to get too creative. I just said to Matt, "How would you like to be Daddy to 2?" He popped up like a shot! "Are you serious?? No way!" I showed him the plus! We laughed, I teared up, we laughed some more...and chatted about boy or girl. We were both SO excited, but I'm a little more nervous having an idea of pregnancy already. We talked about Stevie being a big brother, and we gave thanks to the Lord for this blessing! I looked at Stevie a few months ago, when I wasn't sure if I was expecting...and Stevie just didn't look ready to be the big brother. The day before the positive, he had this mature look...he looked older, and I thought, "Whoa, I think he's ready."

Can you believe how big this boy is? He'll be 15 months on Saturday! And a big brother sometime late April/early May!!




For some reason we tend to have pictures of Stevie in the morning while he still has his ...morning look, haha.

Ready or not, we are so excited to meet the newest member of our family!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some say it better than I could

I love this quote...for a couple of reasons:

Here is a little mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

Elizabeth Prentiss

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Who's a Smartipants?

We're still cloth diapering over here. Previously, I was trying to do about half and half...half cloth and half disposable. I wanted to save some money, but I also didn't want to be doing too much extra laundry. It was working out nicely. I bought one box of 70 diapers (we get Up and Ups) to last us each month. I'm bothered that they've increased their diapers by about $6 though. When they first started that brand or whatever was $8.99...now they're $14.99. I try to use coupons when I can, so I can usually get them for a dollar or 2 cheaper. Anyway, evenstill, $14.99 a month isn't so bad for diapers. However, to be completely honest, we spend more than that because I use Huggies overnites ...1 per night...so a box lasts about 2 months. I guess it comes out closer to $25/month in diapers then.

With Matt laid off right now, I'm doing a lot more cloth. What a wonderful thing it is to have the cloth option so money can be used in other places. We use the Flips, which I still really like. I just wish I could get the stink completely out of the inserts. They're better after using some bleach. Maybe I need to bleach them again. I had also been using some Proraps with the Flip inserts. I love those covers! The velcro gets a bit annoying (sticking to things) at times, but those covers are all business! And, they're so cheap. We had been given some hand-me-down ones, but the biggest we had was medium. I'm going to try to pick up a large one with my swagbucks.

I decided to invest in a 3 pack of Smartipants, since I was relying pretty much on my 6 Flips, and they arrived this week. I'm really excited to try them. They are a 1 size system similar to the Flips. The main difference is they are pocket diapers, so I can't reuse the cover. They feel like they are made with very similar materials. I haven't used pocket diapers yet, but because the insert comes out in the wash all by itself...I'm willing to try them. They are snap diapers as well, and what's cool is, the flaps can overlap if you have a skinny baby. Not that I know anything about that...hehe. At first glance, they look like they'll do just fine. I'm just a little disappointed the colors are so pastel, and well, quite girly. I bought the boy pack, but the blue is really a light purple. Oh well. I'll let you know how those go.

I also ordered 3 additional homemade covers, one large, and 2 XL. I still have those big prefolds...so I'm hoping I can use the bigger covers with those. Those prefolds made Stevie's butt very large, haha, and he would leak out of the diapers because they were just too big for the covers I have. I splurged on these covers because they were 3 for $15 (it was a remnant sale)...and free shipping. I figured I couldn't beat that! If Stevie is too small for the XL, I'll save them. I really think at some point he'll outgrow the onesize diapers and covers...even though they grow with your baby, and these could be a good option at that point.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Stephen

Your baby days are just slipping away. Because you're not quite walking yet (but you are getting so close), I'm able to hold onto some of that baby-ness a little longer. I'm going to miss those loud thumps of your big hands and legs as you crawl over these hardwoods. You really do resemble a bear or dinosaur when you crawl...in a cute, strong way. You've grown so much you don't fit as comfortably on me anymore when I put you over my shoulder in the rocking chair at bed time. I still cherish that you snuggle right in...though with a bit more adjustment due to your tall body. One night a couple of weeks ago, you laid your head on my shoulder, we rocked, and you started doing your kiss sound (lips and tongue smack). I delayed your bed time that night as we "kissed" back and forth for several minutes. You melt my heart little boy! And that curly head of yours, I could just kiss up all the time.

I just went in to turn down your nap music and peeked in on you. I love how you snuggle your beloved lion during naps. You almost always have one arm around him as you snooze on your belly. You've even snuggled that penguin a time or two. I'm finding them tossed out of your crib less and less. They are becoming more like buddies rather than toys.

You are quickly moving on to new things. A month ago, "tricks" were all the rage. You had seen Grandpa do his ball trick (where he pretends to throw a ball in front of him, but he really tosses it behind his back) at your birthday party. You laughed and laughed. A couple of weeks later, I realized just how much you understood. You picked up your ball and put it behind your head...laughing and laughing, looking at me. Sometimes you'll do it with 2 balls one in each hand. Other times, you'll put that one ball behind your head and switch hands. When Grandpa's around, we can be sure ball tricks will happen. Yes, you just might have a career with the Harlem Globetrotters some day!

You just never cease to crack me up. You enjoy playing with the brooms in the dining room. You've started this new thing I call "swimming." You lay flat on your stomach on the floor with your hands out front. Then you push yourself across the entire room backwards with your hands. I'm thankful that we don't have to have the fancy toys to entertain you! I'm sure once you get those words together you'll be a chatter box! You jabber all day long, and it makes your dad and I giggle when you ask questions. You talk and end your "sentence" with clear question inflection. Daddy and I are starting to run again, and you come with us in the jogging stroller. You think it's the best. Daddy usually pushes, and sometimes I'll run up next to you. You melt my heart again as you give me a grand smile and say, "Hiii!" and jabber on. You started pointing a month or so ago, but you point with pincer fingers, your thumb and index finger pinched together. So now, you often talk about what you're pointing to.

Your coordination is amazing me these days. You can put your little car on the ramp bump perfectly. You put your farm animals in the silo even though it requires some maneuvering and changing of positions to make them fit. You love to turn the pages in the books when we read. Sometimes, since you're still gaining the skills, you get frustrated. We're working on patience and good attitudes. And sometimes, we just need a break from hard work!

Bubbles are the new thing in our house. I'm going to end up cross eyed and out of breath with all the bubble blowing I do around here. You like me to blow bubbles over and over. Then you find something new to play with for a second...just until you notice I've stopped with the bubbles, and then you want me to start all over. I guess that awareness starts early (like when my dad would fall asleep with a game on tv and I'd change the channel...he'd immediately be awake and want it back). During one of those moments, we created a new "Minute to Win It" challenge. I try to get the bubbles to go through your little basketball hoop. I love how we have so much fun together.

Everyday is a new adventure. I try to make it "relaxed" fun...basically not planned fun. We've been discovering butterflies and toads and caterpillars in our yard. We enjoy toys, we enjoy cleaning (usually), we enjoy reading, we enjoy God's creation, and most of all, we enjoy each other. I'm so thankful I'm able to spend these days with you, Stevie. It's a dream come true. I love you so much!

Love and a kiss,
Mom

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reunion 2010

Just a few pictures of our time. None of them were taken by me because we forgot our camera! You can tell in some of them that Stevie wasn't quite up to his best yet. Hopefully, next year, he'll be his healthy and happy self all week. (And of course, Stevie hasn't been sick in months...so it had to be that week.)

Chrissy's photography of Stevie and Noah in his wagon pulled by Bethany:










Then my dad got a couple of Stevie playing in our tent:




My Grandma with just some of her great grandchildren:


Some of my cousins (yup, all 1st cousins) and their spouses:


This was Stevie and Noah last year:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We're back

We've been away on a family vacation for our family reunion, and this week is VBS at church. It's been a busy couple of weeks, and I'll fill you in on a few things.

A few days before we left on "vacation," Matt was laid off. I'm only putting this on here to ask for your prayer. It honestly makes me nervous having just moved into our home, and we are a 1-income family. But, we know that God works for the good of those who love Him. We just don't know what He has next for us yet.

We've all been thrown for a loop a bit...it's been nice having Matt around so much more, but at the same time it's not always relaxed. We have some worries, and he's busy applying to and looking for jobs. He's really working hard.

The reunion was fun as always, and I was able to enjoy it more not just having had a baby 3 weeks earlier. My dad is one of 10 kids. 8 made it...and their kids...and their kids. Anytime we're able to be with my cousins is a blast. Stevie exceeded my expectations while we were there. I was nervous about the car ride because his previous history riding in cars has been less than stellar. He started crying and screaming any time we'd go somewhere more than 5 minutes away, and especially if it was anywhere near nap time. He did really well for the 9/10 hours out and 9/10 hours back. There were a few times of crying but nothing outrageous. He really needs to start walking though because he couldn't stretch out during our stretch breaks. He doesn't like to crawl in the grass...and so...he was pretty much held outside the car. He even did ok coming back into the car if snacks or meals were visible. The 9 or 10 hours were way better than 14 1/2 last year...trying to nurse and all that deal in the car and on a butt area that just wasn't going to heal...among some other nasty complications. Yeah, too much information. We also stayed in a tent the entire week...Saturday to Saturday. I was honestly nervous about that too, haha. Stevie doesn't nap well unless he is home. That's all there is to it. He cries and cries at my parents', and if he doesn't get naps, well, it's not pretty. He adjusted wonderfully. He had his own room in our tent with his pack and play. There were only a couple of times the whole trip he cried when we put him down, and it was literally only for seconds. His naps and nights were shorter than usual...which showed by the end of the week, but all in all, I vote him camper of the week. I commented to Matt a few days into our trip that because he was doing so well and adjusting beautifully, I was able to really enjoy our time there to the fullest. Then Wednesday came. Wednesday night, Stevie had the highest fever of his little life, about 103 something (102.7 under arm). Nothing was helping that little boy feel better that night. But thankfully, the fever only lasted the night (which he slept through), and he seemed to be ok by morning...just a little tired and cranky with a smaller appetite the next couple of days. One of my little cousins looked like she had fifths disease...so Stevie may or may not have gotten that. He only had what might have been a rash for part of an afternoon...and I think, since it didn't last all day, it was probably just from his Daddy wrestling him and leaving him with "scruff scratches" from not shaving. Who knows? I was just so thankful his fever went down, and he was pretty much back to normal. He conked out the moment we pulled out of the campgrounds. He's happy to be home...and I'm doubly happy and thankful Matt has been available to take him home early from VBS to try to get some morning naps in. He definitely fits the category of a "scheduled" boy...a well rested boy = a happy boy...the opposite also applies.

Anyway, that's where I was...and where I wish I still was.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kindergarten Stevie

I had a dream last night, Stevie was at his first day of kindergarten. While he was there, I was at the doctors...apparently pregnant. Anyway, I peeked in on him. All of the kids were working on letters on laminated pages. They could trace the letters and then write their own next to them on the lines with a dry erase marker or something. My little Stevie (who is super large for his age) looked like the littlest in the class. He was not much bigger than he is now. He was just working along without a care in the world (I'm sure his little legs were just swinging under his seat as he happily worked), and that's when I realized I hadn't taught him his letters yet! He made all these squiggly lines and tried to do the outline of the letter A. I was panicked (umm, and horrified) due to my lack of teaching letters to him. He was not. He started tracing the little bicycle picture when I came to pick him up. He proudly told this mama, "I'm going to stop now. This is a good stopping point!" I picked up my boy with brown curls and blue eyes and gave him a big hug and kiss.

That's when I woke up laughing hysterically and crying. Him telling me he was going to stop because he'd made it to a "good stopping point" was extremely funny to me. The fact that he was a kindergartener was too much though. My baby boy is growing up way too quickly, and I'm certainly not ready for it.

So, my Stevie, won't you stop growing older? This is a good stopping point. This age right now is my favorite so far. But, I'm sure your kindergarten age will be my favorite too. I'll just work on getting you a bit more prepared for that special day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well, I wouldn't do that

I was too late posting for Not Me! Monday last week, so I saved it for this week, and she's not doing it...so umm, can I still do it?

I certainly would not allow (er, put) my child to eat on the living room floor.

I especially would not allow my child to eat spaghetti on the living room floor. I would have to be nuts. I certainly also would not post these pictures only on my blog instead of other places to avoid ridicule from others about poor eating habits and spaghetti sauce flung about.

I may or may not say this will only be allowed for the first child...and possibly the tenth...since at that point, I really won't care! While going to prepare Stevie's drink, I certainly would not have heard muffled cheering and music, to come back in and find he had pulled his little basketball hoop over (yup, from in his chair...I underestimate his wing span apparently) and was dunking spaghetti. And, look at my boy's hair! I may not neglect to tame it after naps just because it looks so cute and makes me laugh.

During a quick trip to Target, I did not chuckle out loud when a pregnant woman and her husband were walking down the baby aisles having disagreements over what would be "best," and the husband, frustrated, very audibly said, "I wish I never had sex then!" I'm sure he'll feel better about all this when that sweet baby arrives. She'll probably be happier too. I would not be considering writing separate posts about "The things I hear at Target" (or ya know, some other better name) because I've heard a few more interesting exclamations during shopping trips since.

Speaking of Target, I certainly don't get more excited than my little boy when we go down the frozen food aisles. And, we certainly would not extend our shopping experience to go down those aisles...when we really don't need to. We (or maybe I...Stevie's just starting to catch on) don't zoom down at rapid speed just to watch the lights turn on. What better fun could we have on a blistering hot and humid day in blissful air conditioning? We also would not get bummed when someone has already gone before us, thus ruining the fun of seeing the lights turn on just for us.

In the heat this week, there is no way, I would crank the oven up to bake some cookies. Since I was already making a batch, I figured I would drop some off at the neighbors as a thank you for the ones they gave us when we moved in. I packed Stevie's belongings up to leave, started the car to cool it off before we got in, hiked down the road...Stevie in an umbrella stroller, me pushing with cookies in hand fearing for the cookies lives as they jiggled uncontrollably. I did not wish I had just driven up the street to deliver them safely. We did not get "all" the way there, to find no one home. In fact, they were on vacation. I decided to ring the doorbell a few times anyway because I was not about to have walked "all" the way there for nothing. I gave up, and we jiggled the cookies back home. We were dripping and getting eaten alive by mosquitos when we got back to our door step. Great... I had not locked the house door already, figuring we would be on our way after delivering the cookies. I jiggled Stevie over to the car, turned it off, jiggled back to the front door, through the front porch, dug for my key in my pocket, went to put the key in the knob, and did not watch in utter frustration as the door just creaked open, mockingly, because it hadn't been shut all the way!

All of this would not have happened the week after being hit with bird poop! And Stevie's swing would not be covered in bird poop at the moment either. The birds out here would not be driving me nuts. And that would not be how I end because I've been on here long enough.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Yup, I'm going to do this. I often write posts of "memories" from that dreaded year of Matt's deployment. You may be sick of them. But, I just have to make sure I remember.

I was just on "that social networking site" and came across a friend's picture album. She's in San Diego right now. One of her pictures was of Point Loma Nazarene University. A gush of memories and emotion flooded back. Matt had been recalled to the Marines. We found this out 3 months into our marriage. Thankfully (but also unfortunately), we were given about 6 months to prepare. We thought that we would move together whereever he'd be stationed, just as happens when in active duty. We had 3 possibilities (Hawaii, North Carolina?, and California). He ended up getting the one I preferred the least...we knew people in Hawaii because that's where he was stationed before, and North Carolina was so much closer to home. California... was just not what we wanted. (In the end, I think we both "enjoyed" it being there.) Well, because being recalled is "temporary," we found out at the last minute that his orders only included him. In a nut shell, I wasn't really allowed to be with him... even though he'd be put on a regular base with regular active duty who lived with their families. We had to scramble to come up with any way we could spend some time together before he shipped out on deployment. Like I said, we were newlyweds, and we were not rolling in dough. Because of his orders, we had to pay for ...everything. I couldn't even stay on base with him (to save money on hotel) because he was put in the barracks with all the single guys. (We cut that corner on my first weekend visit. I did stay in his room with him. We could not afford beyond the plane ticket...and just prayed. But, you didn't hear that rule breaking from me.)

Anyway, we had to pay for flights, food, hotel, rental car (they didn't move his car out...once again because this was considered "temporary"), etc. Matt wasn't to deploy for over 2 months after he got to San Diego, and I wanted to be with him while possible. I called all the military service numbers I had any idea to call (as prepared as I was by the military...cough, cough) to try to figure something out. I called asking for names and locations of any hotels that provide military discounts and was told to look them up online...individually, myself. I spent more time investigating, but even military discounts (which seemed to be rare and not in the right locations) were not going to cut it. I was stumped. There was no way I could visit my husband after that weekend in November due to financial limitations. I was devastated.

When I was about at the lowest during this time, the blessings began to pour in. A dear family we've known for years went through a similar time when they were young newlyweds, and they called thinking about me. They ended up providing us with the blessing of some funds. We were also able to connect with a couple living out there who my parents and landlord knew. They were able to hook us up with a wonderful church. Grappling for reasonable accomodations, I decided, why not call the campus where the church is and see if there is any way we can stay there? It would still be a little drive for Matt to get back to base each day, but we needed a rental car anyway, and it was worth it to us just to be together.

So, I called Point Loma. I believe I ended up talking with a student, possibly alumni (but she was young). I explained our situation and hoped for the best. I don't remember exactly what she said except that they had an alumni house with rooms, but it was only reserved for alumni. She asked if I could hold while she talked with someone about making an exception. I'm telling you, this girl was an angel. And, I don't usually use that word to describe a person. She just kept saying, "I want to help. Let me see what I can do." By the end of the call, I had found out they would make the exception for us and we could be provided a room for 5 nights. They were really sorry, but that's all they could give us because it was booked full after that time with alumni vacationers. We then spent the remainder of our time together at the on base hotel. The amount we were able to "save" staying at the house was nothing short of a miracle. If I remember right, the charge for staying there was like $30 a night. This is in San Diego...and I was looking at the high hotel costs. I cried over the phone. After a billion phone calls looking for some kind of help...any kind of help, this dear girl went above and beyond for us. I wish I remembered her name to send her a note. This is the girl you want representing your Christian college! Anyway, this $30/night wasn't for some sleasy motel. It was like a little inn. It was homey and simple but had air conditioning, cable tv, and internet...which was just what I needed to occupy some time while Matt was working. We had one bathroom to share between all of the rooms, but there was only 1 other couple there one night. No biggie at all. The campus was really pretty, but for some reason, we never took a full tour. I think we were busy going to beaches and out on dates around the area when Matt came home from work. Even the church had big windows with a beautiful view. And, the people there were so kind. Most importantly, I was able to spend those days and nights leading up to my husband's deployment with him. It was truly a gift I am forever grateful for. Point Loma Nazarene University will always hold a special place in my heart! If one of my children go "far away" to college, I wouldn't mind if that one was chosen. It would be really special to visit there again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stevie Sweeps

Some of Stevie's hobbies are sweeping, swiffering, and mopping. I don't know what it is about those long-handled things, but he's in love. And, where there's a will, there's a way. This is where I store such things:


Our laundry room is just a converted closet in a somewhat narrow hallway. He pulls the broom or swiffer or mop out...the end hits the wall across the hallway...and he somehow manages to manuever it around (he's apparently good with angles) to get it out in the open in the dining room. Here, he is sweeping in the dining room. I caught him in the act today.



I'm just hoping he'll enjoy doing these things when he's older! He'll be a great helper with all of these hardwood floors!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Week!

This week has been really busy.

*Matt's still taking his class, and it's been hard on us all but mostly on Matt. It's not so easy to have class from 6-9:30 3 week nights, and then have to be up between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning for work...and try to squeeze in homework, have family time, eat, sleep...oh, and that little move we did. Tonight, he needs to get fitted for a tux for his friend's wedding that is ...well, really soon. I hope he doesn't "get in trouble" for being so late. He just hasn't had a moment to breathe. Seriously, my man needs a vacation. Thankfully, he's done with class next week. Wahoo! Or something.

*I tried surprising Matt at work one day during his lunch. Because he's an "early worker," his lunch is early. I had to forgo Stevie's morning nap in order to make this happen. Things just weren't going right that morning. I tried to print a picture Matt had never seen yet of him and Stevie on Father's Day, and we had run out of colored ink. I called my parents to see if I could swing by there first and use their printer. They also had run out of colored ink. I stopped in the gas station to pick up his favorite candy bar, and was blocked in by a gas truck filling up the tanks. I took a wrong turn and thought I'd be lost forever. The clock ticked on. Then I got myself headed in the right direction and thought I passed his work somehow (which baffled me) because the numbers started going the other direction. I called Matt. He still had a few minutes of lunch left, which was miraculous. He was really surprised, and we were relieved to have made it. Stevie had the multi-colored funky looking picture and candy bar in his lap for Daddy. Well, we tried. And, the rest of the day...we knew Stevie hadn't gotten his nap in. :)

*I finished my chore schedule. Since we moved, my last one needed revamping. There's something within me that really likes organization to a "t"...but it just doesn't always come out.

*I was pooped on walking Stevie to the post office a couple days ago. At least it wasn't on Stevie. Oh, yes, it was bird poop. It was pretty gross. At least it landed on my arm. I used some weeds from the yard of the crime scene to wipe it off. I hope the owners don't mind. I need to bring baby wipes from now on apparently, some hand sanitizer...and maybe an umbrella. But, then I might have to throw salt over my shoulder if I bring the umbrella....or something like that...if I believed in that stuff. I think we'll stick to the other side of the street where I haven't gotten pooped on. You try something new, and that's what happens.

*On a wonderfully, positive note: I became an aunt again yesterday! I have 8 nieces and nephews on my side and one nephew (with another baby coming soon) on Matt's side. I was once again invited by Pete and Laurel to the delivery. (Remember 2 years ago? My mom volunteered to get the balloons this year. Thanks, Mom. It's harder to swamp jump with Stevie in my arms.) Why I didn't go into nursing...I don't know. Yes, I do. I would probably only like to be a labor and delivery nurse, and there's all the training and clinicals in the other areas I wouldn't enjoy as much. That's probably why I didn't. Anyway, I made it literally in the nick of time. Laurel had started pushing, and Luke had already been barreling his way out. I mean it...he barrelled! (She was recorded as checking in (umm, checking in to the hospital) at 3:25 and he was born at 3:36. 11 minutes. Barrelled. Faster than a speeding bullet, he is. And Laurel, well, she's my hero! (Next time, she may need to spend her last month at the hospital...so she doesn't have her baby on the kitchen floor like my other sister in law. I'll have to ask if quick deliveries are a blessing or not!) I wasn't prepared quite yet with the camera out, considering how late I got there...so I missed getting those first few pictures. But, that's ok. He's a cutie and healthy 7 pound baby, and Laurel's doing well! I was privileged to be there the last few moments. There is nothing more miraculous than the birth of a baby. Nothing. To me at least. Seriously, gets me all choked up. I cried after he was born (though still a little flustered and shocked since I just got there)...and after Annabeth was born too. Let's face it, a good "Baby Story" on tv (ohh, and the adoption stories) can make me cry too! You can ask Matt about that. He laughs. When he's a mom, he'll understand. But anyway, being there for the experience, there really isn't anything more special. I can't wait to have another baby!

*I've been helping the grandparents out with the grandbabies during the week (I'm usually helping at least one day a week), especially with Annabeth while her parents were busy delivering her baby brother. I asked her this morning about Luke. (Don't you love his name...Luke Daniel?). She told me, "Matt held him." (Referring to our cousin Matt, Megan's husband...not my Matt...he hasn't seen him yet.) And, "I held him at the post office." I said, "Ohh, you mean the hospital. You held him at the hospital." "Yeah, the hops-pital. (Something, something) post office." "Ok." Then she went on to yell for the dog and "whistle" (her 2 year old version of the whistle, which is adorable and hilarious all in one).

*Now, we'll move into a busy holiday weekend with baby visits, tux fittings, a few errands, homework for Matt, homework for Matt, and more homework, and a trip to Camp on Sunday...possibly Monday too. Oh, I remember Pete got pooped on by a bird at camp a long time ago. I suppose that's another story. Oh, and that time the superintendent's son and I tried to help Pete, literally, escape from children's church at camp. I suppose that's another story too. I miss going to camp, but at least we're able to go for a day or two.

Friday, June 25, 2010

another lesson learned

Stevie is a great teacher, at least an eye opener. I've learned so much already being a mom. Mostly, I learn more and more about God's love for us through Stevie, how God loves us as His children, and what an absolute blessing that is.

This is a long one...

Stevie is hitting that age... He is hitting that age where he'd like to be more independent and do things when he wants to and how he wants to. I could never be like that. Ahem. When his desires are interrupted or squelched altogether, he is now throwing fits. This most often occurs at the changing table (he must be a boy not to care about having a messy diaper), but it also occurs at other times. The other day, I was stopped in my tracks right in the middle of one of his fits. Stevie had been heading in some direction, on some mission, and I swooped him up before he got where he wanted to go. I don't remember what his mission appeared to be, but I honestly don't think (remember) it was something he wasn't allowed to do or a place he wasn't allowed to go. I just had other plans. So, I scooped him up, and the fit ensued. Right in that moment, as I held him tight so he would not slam himself on our hardwood floors, I realized...

I realized how Stevie is like me (and yes, probably you too). There are times that I have strong desires, but I'm halted. It's as if I'm being picked up away from them, and I don't always like it. I suppose there are even times I may throw an adult version of the "fit."

Back to Stevie. He doesn't know what I have planned for him. He doesn't know what is about to happen soon or why I picked him up. There are a variety of reasons I swoop in, sometimes because of danger and other times to meet a need (food, diaper change, etc.), and even other times, I just have something better up my sleeve for him. I know Stevie. He had a desire, but I knew that did not compare to what I had planned for him.

While he threw his fit (a short one), I began to prepare him to go outside. He still didn't know why I was preparing him, but he calmed down and surrendered to me. I put his hat and sweatshirt on. When we were ready, we went outside for a walk and some swinging time. These are some of Stevie's favorite things in the whole world. I knew that. I knew they were better than getting into one of the unpacked boxes or whatever he was planning to do.

So, what exactly was the part that hit me the most? I know my boy. I love my boy. I want what is best for him, and I know what that is...even if he doesn't know it himself. I really do care about him. I care so much that I'll even give him something better than he can think of or see right now. First, he needs to stop and be prepared. Sometimes, when I'm going through life or rough patches, I can have human blinders. I can lose sight that maybe there is something to come of this, maybe there is better. God really is watching me, caring for me, preparing me. He really does know me and what is best.

A beautiful example of this is the home we are living in. We looked at several houses. We put a couple of offers in that were declined. One house, I really, really liked. Others, just didn't seem to fit our needs. We came to one, the one right before this one (well, 2 houses before it) that we were considering. This house needed a lot of work, honestly, more work than I wanted to have to deal with. It was tiny, really tiny, and it had a couple of other issues. We looked at it a 2nd time with both sets of parents. My parents were less than thrilled about it. I was a bit discouraged. I knew they just wanted to see us in the home of our dreams, but I wanted to be realistic...and them to be realistic for us too. Afterwords, I ended up sending an email to my dad, explaining a whole myriad of considerations surrounding purchasing a house or not and the timing...and a brief overview of our capabilities. Matt and I decided to wait on moving forward with that house. In the meantime, we found 2 more houses to look at. The first one, was a definite "not for us house." It was certainly liveable, but the kitchen had a hmm, 16 inch entry way? Seriously. I said to Matt, if I'm ever pregnant again, I will not be able to get in the kitchen, and then off of the kitchen was the laundry room. It was a really odd house. Anyway, I was a bit discouraged...not overly so, just sort of, "man, is there anything we can afford that will suit our needs and be pleasant?" We had one more to see that day. I remember clearly our realtor saying, "Maybe the next one's the one."

Well, as soon as we walked in the door, we knew. We knew it was the house God had planned for us all along. And you know what I just love? There are things about this house that were "dream home" qualities for me. I knew we didn't have tons to work with financially, and I knew I would need to be content wherever we moved...to joyfully make our home wherever/whatever our house was. God dreamed bigger for me, and gave me even more than what I desired or hoped for. He gave me an old house with beautiful hardwood floors (I love hardwood floors), white trim, woodwork, and crown molding throughout (which is gorgeous), super tall ceilings that my men need and would comfortably move about with, and a remodeled kitchen. Let me pause with that...a remodeled kitchen. The other houses we looked at, I just decided that one day, we would try to fix up the kitchens. I didn't like many of them, but even though they were old and tiny, I could deal with several of them. When we walked into this house to the kitchen, it was like God was saying, "How about this?" with a twinkle in His eye. Our jaws dropped. This was the 2nd or 3rd room in the house that we saw...hadn't even gone upstairs yet or around the corner of the first floor, and we knew, we just knew this home had been set aside for us. More things beyond our hopes came to our attention. The town is working on creating a trail right next to our house. One of my frustrations was having no place to run and walk with Stevie. We would drive to a canal path...and when we did, Stevie would inevitably fall asleep, ruining his naptimes. This house is also near a park and has streets with sidewalks...so we have our pick! What a blessing this would be! Another fun piece of info: I found the house posted for the first time online just that day. We were the first ones to see it. We were the only ones to see it. Interior pictures hadn't even been posted until after our offer was accepted.

My dad had written an email back to me in response to mine to him before we were led to our house. He told me to continue to keep our eyes open and to pray. His last words to me before, "Love, Dad" were, "If you find a hidden treasure in the field of a place, bury it quickly and buy the field!" Well, here was our hidden treasure, for our eyes only. After walking through it, we went back to the office to put our offer in. After we moved in, one of our neighbors jokingly said, "We don't have any town gossip to tell you, just that we heard this house sold in like 3 hours!" And remember all those "road blocks" I wrote about vaguely in our process? So far, they seemed to have melted away.

This may be my longest post ever. I'm frustrated my writing is not flowing well lately, but I wanted to get these thoughts down anyway. So, here's my conclusion: I have heard similar analogies before about children's actions and adult actions, but experiencing it through my child hit home more personally. I really hope the next time I feel like I'm scooped up from where I think I should go, I can rest in God's arms and surrender myself and trust to Him...instead of throwing a ridiculous fit. He really does love me. He really does know me. There are times He even has bigger dreams and plans for me and our family than I may even have myself. We have so many examples to prove how He has shown us that...and our house is a wonderful gift from Him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How 'bout Some Birthday Pictures?

Some little boy had a birthday!

We took a few pictures at our apartment before some moving later that evening. Stevie had tired eyes for the pictures (he was probably up all night excited about his birthday), but he's still as cute as can be!





The next day was his party at the new house. It was a little nuts. There wasn't any furniture but the folding table and some folding chairs! It worked out nicely though. Here's the cake. The picture is a little tilted because I had to hold the camera above my head...we didn't have the chairs there yet for me to climb on to take the picture.



I actually had a lot of fun making the cake. However, once I made the crum coat and it looked hideous, I was nervous. I was even more nervous as I had to transport that ugly, florescent pink, crumb coated cake from the apartment to the new house with a load of stuff to be moved. Ha. It made it though! In the end, I was pleased with the way it turned out, being my first cake. I had grander plans of making more cupcake animals (duplicates of what I already had), but I had to call it quits somewhere for time and sanity sake. So, we had cupcakes with plain white frosting too. I figured that was better anyway since most people probably didn't want marshmallows and coconut all over their cupcakes. I know I didn't.

Stevie enjoyed his first cupcake too!



All in all, it was a great day, and we really enjoyed being able to celebrate in our new house. Without furniture, we fit, haha, and the kids and uncles were able to run around and play outside.

I know what I said

I have said it before: that I'm more of a country girl. I am.

Except...

I cannot stand snakes! I also don't like coyotes (my dog was killed by a coyote when I was young...so I haven't been a fan since).

There was a snake under our recycling bin this morning. It took me by surprise. I gasped and sort of hopped back...then quickly ran inside the door a few steps away. I'm hoping it doesn't slither inside that back porch door to seek it's recycling bin home I removed. Oh man, maybe I should've left it outside! Our back porch door is an old, old door without a seal around the bottom. Yes, I'm ridiculous. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before too. (I'm just a little bit frazzled anyway lately.) Yes, it was only a little brown snake. However, "only" never belongs in a sentence with a snake. I was reading online to get close enough to take a picture of it. First of all, I don't always have my camera on me, and second of all, I'm not going to hang around and be close enough to kiss the thing to take a picture of it...just so I can know it's a snake! So, this is another post in which no pictures are contained.

My brother also said be on the watch for snapping turtles. My poor boy is not going to see his backyard until Daddy gets home. Well, ok, so that's a bit of an exaggeration. We'll go outside, but I need to bring a shovel! (Haven't I mentioned this before?...I'm losing it.) And Matt, well, he needs to take care of the recycling and garbage from now on!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm still here! I may be swallowed by boxes and newspaper and have to do lists up the wazoo, but I'm here. No, I don't know what the wazoo is, and no, I don't know how to spell it, but I do know I'm not usually a fan of the wazoo.

Anyway, I had intended on doing a Not Me! Monday post, and well, our internet, phone, and tv went out last night. We got it connected yesterday, and well, they decided to wait and disconnect the previous owners' last night...which was actually ours at this point...so our service went out...leading to many a frustration. So, has been our story lately. I also forgot all the fun stuff I was going to share! I'm a bit overloaded...

I'm flailing around trying to get things accomplished...yet enjoy this lovely process at the same time, and it works sometimes and other times, not so much. Matt's at class a million nights a week (yup, a million), making this a longer process. However, he surprised me by taking the day off work yesterday! It was such a great surprise, and he actually pulled it off! He even got up at his usual 4...whatever...I'm not usually coherent to know what time it is, ate breakfast, came back to bed...I watched the clock...waiting for his alarm to go off to leave. Yes, he often gets a little nap before he leaves for work. It's what he likes to do rather than waking up later. I don't know why he does it, but I kind of like it. When I finally said, "you should probably get going" and he told me he wasn't going to work. I didn't believe him. I had to see if he was still wearing his pajamas to see if he was telling me the truth, haha. I was so excited...this being 5:30am, I said I wanted to watch a fun tv show or something with him. Umm, we just ended up falling asleep at some point instead. Anyway, later I found out the real reason he stayed home. It was because the phone/internet guy was coming...and you know, Matt's my mighty protector. I like that. I told him I had some pretty good Jack Bauer moves to use if needed, and he was aware of that. He just wanted to be sure I had back up. So, what did we do with our half day together (he still had class)? We were able to get our yard work done and go to the post office. We went to the post office 3 times yesterday. We can't have a mail box out here...or, I guess we could, but no mail would be delivered to it, so we need a good old PO box. Apparently, we live too close to the post office (I noticed we are at the very end of that limit...because there are mailboxes just down the street, nice.) Man, I wish I knew this before we got the house because it's a pain, haha. We take walks to it (I'm certainly getting in some degree of shape), but come winter, we may be getting our mail once a week. Anyway, we didn't have enough forms of ID for the 1st time we swung by. Then we filled out the paperwork at home and went back in...and forgot the paperwork. So, we indeed went to the post office 3 times to get that in order. Like I said, so goes our days.

Speaking of yard work...we had to do the old raking deal because it had been so long since it'd been mowed. We still don't have a mower of our own quite yet (working on it), so, I foresee that as a common chore to add to our list for awhile. Our yard isn't huge, but, umm, for a 1st timer, it's big enough. Wild flower garden here we come! Raking's not so bad, I just feel like I have SO many things I need to get done, and we still have a couple loads of stuff at the apartment. We need to be out of there by Sunday. It's really hard to do this stuff on my own with our little guy. His nap times are my more productive times (or my blogging times...but you didn't hear that from me), but I obviously can't leave to go move more of our stuff then. Stevie has been a "helper" unpacking for us (you know, pulling things out all over the rooms)....and sweeping...and swiffering. The boy loves those things, and I let him. Anyway...all that was a huge side note from our yard work. I hear mowers going outside. The sound of mowers is stressing me out. Our neighbors really, really, really like to mow their lawns. And, there is a wave effect. If one neighbor is out, you better believe the next neighbors follow. It's like a competition....or maybe it's just what they really love doing. We've been here 11 days and neighbors have mowed 3 times, possibly 4? Is this how often you all mow? I'm feeling so far behind, and we are losing the mowing competition. It's certainly not one I aspire to win because...it's silly...right? However, I don't want to be one of "those" neighbors who don't keep up. So, this is stressing me out a bit. I'm not made to live by close neighbors. I'm a country girl...

Pictures are coming. I'm guessing people don't really read these long posts but look for the pictures of a cute little boy. Right now, batteries are drained, so I can't transfer the pictures to my computer yet. I think the laundry just finished. Off to hang it on the line. Yup, I'm hoping the neighbors are ok with that. I'll spare them the underwear! Stiff underwear and socks really aren't that great anyway.

To not end on a negative note: I found a cute storage box/bench/toy box on craiglist. I'm very excited about it! At the moment it's light purple though, haha. I'm still debating what color to make it. It's in our living room beneath our windows to hold toys and to be used as an additional seating area...and to just sit there because it's cute!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random thoughts

So, we're here (mostly anyway...we still have some more at the apartment) in the new to us house. It was new to somebody in 1885 or whatever. It's old, but I like a lot of old things. Right now, I'm doing laundry in our new to us washer and dryer! It really is a dream come true. I'm not a fan of laundry mats (except it only takes 1 load worth for all laundry to be done) and being dependent on others' schedules while sharing laundry was difficult too. Now, I can just throw a load in whenever I want. Maybe it's time for me to dream bigger, but I'm very happy right now. The only bummer is it's a Thin Twin....one of those stacked units, and the capacity is small, but it's perfect for the cloth diapers. I sort of get my head stuck in it checking to make sure there aren't loose socks in the washer to transfer to the dryer, but, oh well. Our laundry room is a closet area. The previous owners had fancy shmancy front loaders stacked up in it. We're not quite there yet. For now, I am loving our own machine, and having it on the 1st floor! Dream come true, I tell ya!

I'm debating whether to post pictures on here...after they're taken of course. I've been busy with other things. Oh yes, a birthday party post is to come. For now, I'll share a few things about the house. It has beautiful hardwood floors throughout. I fell in love with them the moment we walked through the home the first time. The ceilings are so high, which is wonderful because we have big boys in our house. Yes, Stevie is 32 1/2 inches, as of his 1 year appointment. The little paper they give us shows us he's >97th percentile. I guess they don't go higher than 97% on the chart? On an incredibly ridiculous note, our toilet is really tall. (I think giants lived in this house in 1885...or...maybe when the toilet was installed.) Umm, great for these big boys I guess. I'm a little worried about the whole potty training experience though with a tall toilet. I'm also worried about the potty training experience with the only potty being up a very narrow windy stairs...to the very tall toilet. It's a good thing we have a washing machine...and those hardwood floors...err not?! I'm debating whether or not to buy a potty seat or just get one of those little seats that go over the toilet with the handle bars, haha. No, I'm not planning to potty train Stevie yet, but crazy as this may be, I'm thinking of trying to have him use the toilet for his BM's. He will love that I'm putting this on here when he's 16, but sometimes, he won't go until I change him...as in, while I change him. I think it's too hard to push while sitting on the floor...if you know what I mean. I'm sure it will be better once he's walking too. Speaking of these floors and his movement (no, the other movement), it's taking some adjustment of skills for Stevie to crawl around here. It's a bit slippery! Mental note to self: I need to buy more socks with grip on them from Old Navy. Yes, Old Navy has wonderful baby socks. They fit him well (better than any other kind we've tried), and the sizes are right on the bottom...genius! No more digging through mismatched sized socks!

Umm, back to the house. I love natural woodwork...and usually in natural wood color, but this house is full of white woodwork, trim, and crown molding...and I'm in love. I also like the paint colors that are already here, which is great. We did paint our bedroom though...yes, Matt did it the morning of Stevie's party. That was so crazy. Anyway, we both really like the color, but it's a little more periwinkle than I hoped for. It's a soft but bright blue (does that make any sense?). We have never painted our own room before this! In our last apartment, it was pepto bismol pink! Puke! (My apologies if you like that color.) And, the bedroom carpet was also pink. We were allowed to paint and change things...but knowing it was temporary and would cost us money, we decided to just grin and bear it. So, you can imagine this is very exciting! Our living room is a warm yellow, our kitchen a sage green, and our dining room, a cheery? red. The dining room is my least favorite color at the moment. I prefer a more country red...I feel it's a little pinkish, but it will do for now. There are several old windows with stain glass. I'm not exactly in love with them (to put it nicely), but they're also not high on my priority list to change. If only money did grow on these trees... I want my curtains first! I figure, maybe I can just cover them up with curtains for now since they are up high on the windows!

The stairs. Well, this is one reason why we're not entirely moved in yet. As I said, the house was built a long time ago. The stairs are narrow with a 90 degree turn...and the stairs are completely enclosed. Our queen box spring is never going to see our bedroom. Matt and my dad are drawing up plans to build separate ones. For now, we are sleeping on our mattress on the floor, which was bent in half to make it up the stairs. One dresser will also never see the upstairs. It may need a new home.

The backyard is still a favorite. We have the swing set and so much room to play! Well, it was a favorite. My brother came over (they happen to live a mile away) with his boy, and the boys were on the swings. He told me to be checking for snapping turtles after rain days, since we're by some water and we have reedy growth on our side yard. Umm, no thank you. I'm going to have binoculars in the bathroom window to check things out before Stevie and I go out. Matt's going to have to equip me with some defensive gear too. Maybe we'll just go for walks after rainy days and leave the swing set time for after Daddy gets home. Yes, walks! I've been able to take Stevie for walks some mornings and afternoons already! What a blessing! There are sidewalks and soon to be a trail right outside our street! Before, we lived on a street way too busy to go for walks outside our driveway. Last night, we went on a celebratory date. The 3 of us walked down to the gas station in town to get a treat...candy bars, haha. It was too cold for ice cream! We'll do that when it's warmer! Of course, it started to sprinkle on our way home, so we had to walk and eat quickly. I've never really desired to live so close to the main part of a town or village (I like the country), but it's working out nicely.

We're figuring out the quirks of the home. Stevie is doing well adjusting to the loud creaks of the floors and stairs, and we're working on making the doors close...because right now, they don't. We figured this out about the bathroom door during Stevie's party. Oops. I may need to make a little sign for the bathroom like the elementary classroom bathrooms to signify it's availability.

This house is really more than we could've dreamed. There are certainly areas that need work (and a little animal de-smelling that we didn't notice till after the sellers moved out), but like I announced to Matt after our 1st walk through: This house has 3 prong outlets! (a "luxury" not found in many of the houses we looked at)...and certainly a lot of charm! It's really nice to have a place to call our own and a place to raise our family. We're really thankful for the way the Lord has blessed us. And of course, we're happy to be home!