Tuesday, December 29, 2009

a piggy? christmas

well, our Christmas was not too bad...we were blessed with our families and many wonderful gifts... but, k was sick the entire time...i think she may have had H1N1 or maybe just the flu (whatever the difference is...)... she had symptoms of something or other before we left VA...sneezing, a cough, a low-grade fever... i had toyed with taking her to the doctor before we left, but she seemed a little better on Wednesday...so i took that as the "end" of whatever she had... so we packed up the van to head north...
the trip to PA wasn't all that fun...she cried after about an hour in the carseat...not a happy camper. she may have slept for a total of 45 minutes the entire trip... we had to stop a few times to just "get out" and look around at different things to quiet her crying... but, we finally made it...and the symptoms of whatever K magnified a few hours after we got to my parents' house... the cough got really bad, accompanied by a runny nose, and her throat had to be raw from all of her coughing (just guessing). she was very congested, and her fever was around 101.5 with Tylenol...and then we had a bout with diarrhea...it was awful... the nights...they were long (or maybe short?)... the first night, she cried from 12 midnight until after 1:45...nothing i did made her happy...she didn't want to be held, she didn't want to be left alone, etc. - she would just crawl on me and try to crawl up my torso...it was so sad... the next few nights, she did the same thing, but for not as long... she wouldn't nap or sleep in her pack n play...but we made it... she was a trooper...she managed to open some presents...and that was fun for her for a little bit... she seemed to feel much better by Saturday night...
hopefully, next year, she will feel better so we can REALLY enjoy our time with her at Christmas and she can, too! :) here are a few pictures from our PA Christmas to enjoy... DE will come later when the pictures are loaded... :)

the fastination with presents this year was the wrapping paper...after she'd tear off a piece, she'd just play with the paper and forget the present :)

she put her pants around her neck like a scarf...she does this with any piece of clothing she gets :)

more presents :)

opening a present with grandma and her smile looking on... :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


that's how many inches of snow we have laying on every inch of the outdoors right now in beautiful VA... it started snowing at 4:30 PM on Friday and ended sometime Saturday evening...it's beautiful! :) but we'll be staying put for the next few days, without a doubt... :)

we took K "sledding" in the laundry basket...we copied some friends of ours who posted pictures on facebook as they took their little boy in the snow! :) it worked perfectly, though...and K really seemed to enjoy it... we got some great shots.... :)

the dogs enjoyed the snow for about 10 minutes...until their paws got caked with snow. we tried socks, but they didn't stay on for long! :) as far as going outside for business, both struggled a bit...but we dug out quite an area for them...it took lots of encouragement, but they finally went. we're glad that a few crazies decided to try to drive their cars in the 2+ ft. of snow... they made rivets in the snow that we could walk on for a short distance to get "things moving" for the dogs... :)

and now...the digging out continues... we shoveled for ~4 hours today and we're still not to the end of our driveway... we have to shovel in layers - top, middle, bottom...3+ shovels before we get to the ground... incredible... and the saddest thing is that we have a snow blower...but after 1+ hours of trying to get it up and running on Thurs. night, i gave up (it's been sitting in the shed for a few years...i think the fuel lines have gummed up b/c we left fuel in there - dumb, i know...) hopefully we will finish up tomorrow (if we can move), but getting out depends upon whether anyone from dept. of transportation comes to plow... :) they have to be seriously overworked right now...they're not used to this sort of weather, i'm sure... but, i don't really mind being stuck at home... :) there's enough here to do and i have two sweeties & two hairy beasts to keep me company. :)

enjoy our pictures...i am trying a new format... :) hopefully they won't be super small! :)

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

giving in...

while i am still kind of "new" at this parenting thing, i have had the chance to watch several hundred parents "raise" their children from afar (children were the ones in my classroom for the 9+ years i was teaching)... and kids i was friends with while growing up...and even people i come in contact with now...

something i'm thinking a lot about is when and why a parent gives in...not only for me, but for other people i've seen parent in my 30+ years... are you challenged when you're tired? would you rather just do something else instead of being with your child? what do you give in about? is it something so basic...or something more important... at times, i wonder if it really matters if it's a significant thing or not...instead, i wonder what message giving in sends to your child? when, as a parent, do you draw the line and give in to your child?

we've all be in the store watching a child throw a tantrum because a parent didn't give in...
or you see the cute little girl walking around in unmatched clothes, in public...

i will probably be one of those parents with a child throwing a tantrum...well, maybe not - i hope K will not find tantrums to be OK, but i also hope that i don't give in to just "keep her quiet"

like last night, at the doctor's office, a young mother, a grandmother, and a little girl - who was maybe 3 years old, were waiting to be called... the little girl wanted a piece of gum from her grandmother's purse, but the grandmother told her no... so the mother, in annoyance, says, "just GIVE her some GUM! I ALREADY have a HEADACHE and I don't want to hear HER act up here while we wait."
without missing a beat, the grandmother got some gum, gave it to the mom to chew first (as per the mom's request...she wanted to chew the gum for her daughter first so she wouldn't "eat it"), and the little girl went skipping around the waiting room while chewing the already been chewed gum... (will i really do that - chew my child's gum for her before i give it to her??? it sounds so gross...)

but there are other things...like my child's health and well-being...

like giving in about brushing her teeth...and yes, at 13+ months of age, she brushes her 6 little teeth every night and has for about 2 months... and maybe i have my dad to thank for the whole importance of brushing your teeth... as a kid, i can remember a few nights when i was asked to get out of bed (i was already sleeping) to brush my teeth. when he'd come to get ready for bed, if my toothbrush looked dry, he'd feel my toothbrush (kinda gross, now that i think about it). if it was dry, i was up to brush my teeth. but i didn't forget very often, if you know what i mean...
but i know people who don't make their kids brush their teeth...i'm not really sure why. some say it's such a pain to fight with their child about brushing... are you kidding? do you think it's going to be better when your kid is sitting at the dentist getting shots of Novocain to get fillings??! and, plus, that's just gross... plus, what message does that send to a child???? shouldn't we establish our expectations early?

and what about washing your face at night...? i know, for a fact, that when i wipe K's face several times a day after a meal and at night, it's not her favorite thing in the world...but it has to be done... and, when she's entering puberty and facing that nice, oily teenage skin, i know that we will have hopefully instilled the importance of keeping yourself clean...

how about clipping nails? yes, it's not the most pleasant thing in the world, but is it really teaching your child anything if you let them go around with sharp, claw-like nails on the fingers and toes? granted, trimming nails may take a few days to complete in little increments, but if you think about the alternative...ewww and OUCH! i don't think any one likes to see people out and about with unkempt, long, and dirty nails...

how about taking pride in your surroundings? i know that ry and i tend to be a bit on the cluttery side, but we have to work almost every day to pick up our things... but i will expect K to clean up her toys and to keep her room in a semi-decent condition (at least until she becomes a teenager, maybe...and then, i'm sure she'll be spending time in her room cleaning when she wants to do something or go out :))... i want to be able to vacuum her carpet regularly and to keep her living area in proper order...and i want her to also feel the same way about her home, room, and living area...

now the one thing we're challenged with a bit is eating...K is a very picky eater, but she's getting better. but i know a lot of people who give their kids any foods that they want...even if they're not that good for them...like hot dogs for every meal because "it's what he likes." or a range of choices in case he doesn't like the other 3 things you've provided for him so far.
for the last few nights, K has gone to bed with a nearly empty tummy, i'm sure, because she will not eat the main course of her meal that she's given. there's nothing wrong with the food...she's eaten it before...but i don't want her to think that she can just refuse to eat what's put in front of her only to expect another meal instead.... like our wonderful pediatrician told us, "don't cater to her tastes and make her another separate meal. pretend like you have 10 kids; would you make separate meals for every one of them?" of course, he piggy-backed this message and advice with not giving her 5 alarm chili, but you get the point...

i guess that we all face our own tests and challenges with parenting... but it all boils down to "who is in charge" and what values you'd like to instill into your child... i know that i will face my own battles with K as she grows more independent and willful...however, i hope that i will not waiver in my expectations and requirements of her... i want her to grow up knowing what's expected of her and i want her to be internally stimulated to take pride in herself, her surroundings, and in her family... i know we're not perfect, and we have areas where we do need to improve, but that's part of the learning process...

but i really wish, for some of the children i know, that parents would stop giving in... it's really showing the ultimate form of laziness as you "parent" your child/children, and it's only going to create more challenging issues as the years pass...

i need to remember this, too...because i want to be my daughter's mom first...so that we can be friends later... :) ...what an honor that will be... :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

a little less than three days...

that's how long it takes for the rag used to wipe up split milk, left in the bathroom (by mistake), takes to smell...like something died...seriously...

and i even rinsed it out afterward...

and to think...i couldn't believe ry had been so...fragrant that morning...and i couldn't figure out why my sweet smelling Glade spray just wasn't doing the trick...not once, but TWICE...

but i think the worse thing is that i overlooked this rag for 2 1/2 days... was i tired? probably... but when you are watching 3 kids, seriously, the only time i'm in the bathroom to see these things is for like 30 seconds...i can't leave the kids alone for long! :) i did see the rag...but whenever i thought, "you should put that in the washer..." it was when the kids were all up...so i figured i'd just do it later...

and the funniest part is that i left it there after i discovered that it was smelling up the bathroom really badly b/c i wanted ry to smell it when he got home... he comes out of the bathroom with a classic frown and says, "what smells in the bathroom??? it smells like something died...."

i laughed...i laughed pretty hard... :) he thought it was me making the bathroom all fragrant and whatnot...but i told him my mistake...

so if you want to just call the experiment "complete" for your life, feel free to take the final conclusions from me... if you spill milk and clean it up, put the rag in the wash before you reach the point of ugly smells...


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's hard to believe...

that 14 years ago today, i met my future (and current) husband... :)
after several months of our "pen pal" relationship, we decided to meet...
and he was so cute in that first picture i got of him...hugging is 4 year old sister...
melted my heart... and that smile...made me weak at the knees... :) (i'll hafta see if i can find that picture of him...wouldn't you like to see it?! he'll just say, "I had hair then...")
and he was a christian...score!
anyway, he and his friend drove all the way from albany, ny to pittsburgh...a lot of hours...in the car...to meet some 19 year old girl at the University of Pittsburgh...
in Tower A...room 1204...but i was "living" in room 1205, with my mattress on the floor, pretty much full time because of my psycho roommate...
he had an upset stomach when he got there...maybe from the bad turkey sandwich he brought on the trip... the lingering joke of him being sick when he saw me hasn't ever grown old...at least for me... :) poor guy...
and the girl he came to meet was so shy (imagine THAT) 'cause she thought he liked her other friends more than her... she was wrong... :)
we went on our "first date" to station square and the incline in pittsburgh...beautiful night...christmas lights...fun times...and with some of my best pals from the 12th floor...
and we stayed up almost all night...talking...and maybe even sharing a kiss or two (or three)...but that was it....despite my then super weird and psycho roommate thinking we were doing the "no no cha cha" when she walked in the door and promptly left... goshhhh... we were just in that room because that's where all my stuff was - we were looking at my photo albums...

anyway...who would have ever guessed that our innocent pen pal connection would have ever resulted in 14 years of a growing, fun, exciting, comfortable, sometimes difficult, and amazing relationship that would bring marriage (finally!)...and one of the sweetest little girls that i know... :)

i am blessed, indeed! :)

happy 14 years, dear...and here's to 14 more years... :) (we'll be so old then!) :)
love you :*

Monday, November 23, 2009

the cold (?) that lingers...

K has her first real cold of life now...and to be honest, i'm not even sure it's a cold... i'm not really convinced that it's not something more...but i'm not sure...

we started this on late wed. night/thurs. morning with a night of almost no sleep... she woke almost every 30-40 minutes...sometimes she'd go back to sleep...sometimes she'd cry for awhile until i went to get her and rocked for for a little bit...

on thursday, we did the sneeze feast and a runny nose all day... and, on thursday night, we had a temperature... friday, more sneezing, runny nose...and a cough... we've pretty much had these symptoms for the last several days...no fever...but you can tell she doesn't feel well... she's also INCREDIBLY moody, impatient, and not a happy camper at various points... thankfully, she's had a pretty good appetite...and when she feels like playing, she's happy and content... :)

we're running the humidifier...she gets a few drops of saline drops in her nose to help thin out her runny nose...and i found some wonderful Vicks BabyRub that i put on her chest, back, and neck at night...

a cold? teething? something more? i am not sure... but i have read that your baby isn't sick unless they're running a fever... so, i will give it a few more days before i think about calling the doctor... but for now, i'm just hoping that this cold goes away very soon...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who's "Bobby"? :)

we're enjoying the little voice of our girl more than anything in the world. i've looked forward to hearing her sweet voice as she begins to stay words...
we have...
and this weekend, we added "Bobby."

we have no idea who Bobby is, but it's still pretty darn cute... :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Full of Thanks Friday

"...Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." ~Psalm 100~

for the next few weeks, i thought it would be good for me to think about and write about 10 things for which i am thankful... :) don't we all need a little reminder now and then? :)

1. my baby girl... who would have thought that a little 7 pound bundle of joy would have changed my life so? in the months before her birth, i was in denial that i was pregnant (until i saw that ultrasound), i couldn't believe i was going to be a parent, i didn't know how i was going to juggle life with a baby, and i figured life would just return to "normal" (aka: heading to school to teach, working late at school each night, grading papers, sleeping late, etc.). Once she was born...boy my world changed almost instantly... i have never known love like the love i have for her... :) <3

2. my husband... first my pen pal and then through 4+ years of a long-distance relationship, and then even more time before saying "i do," 'my guy Ry' has shown me unconditional love...and for that, i'm so thankful... he's faithful, he's helpful...and he tries his hardest to make our life as wonderful as it can be... but, even more, i stand amazed and am so thankful for the daddy he is to K... he plays with her, sings with her (melts my heart), reads to her, puts on the strainer hat to make her laugh...and he's amazing. :)

3. my family... funny how years and experience add wisdom to your life... i've always had great parents and family...but you don't really realize how incredible they are until you're a little older. through the years of being annoyed that my dad wanted to read my papers for school (and thus critique them...which translated to more hours of work for me)...to those rides in his car, windows down, when we'd stop for a water ice in Roxborough... :) so many memories... :) and my mom...without a doubt, my hero... i want to cry just thinking about how incredible she is...and being a mom myself now, i understand, just a little, how she has loved me for 33 years... from the days of shopping for dresses (hehe - i was not a fun girl to shop with!) to sitting next to her on the couch with my head on her shoulder and holding her hand... i'm so blessed... :)

and, while my grandma is really my only close relative who is still living (she's going to be 88 in a few weeks), how blessed am i to still call her house and hear her voice? and my grandparents who have already passed away....again, still molding me... :)

4. the decision and opportunity to be a stay at home mom... it was probably one of the most difficult decisions that i've made, but being about to stay home with K has been, without a doubt, one of the best decisions i've made in my 33 years of life... every single minute is a gift... :) and i'm so glad that my husband supports me...even if that means a tight budget for us... :)

5. friends... i don't have an abounding number of friends, but i do have a few close friends that i am so thankful for... only a few are "old" friends - from my childhood...and the memories we share are so fun and neat... and my "shorter time" friends, even if we're not really close, they offer advice, confirm my feelings, support me in an instant (even when i don't i need it), make me laugh... i am so thankful for their presence in my life... :)

6. a house... seemingly simple, but as the winds and rains of tropical storm Ida hit in the last few days, i'm so glad to be in a house that is strong and sound... so many people in our world are living in sub-par conditions...and having a roof over my head and 4 walls keeping us safe...we have a lot to be thankful for (even if the house IS a little messy :))

7. my eyes... i am someone who looks at everything that i encounter... from the yellow leaves on the trees to the tiny bird nest that's now exposed in the leafless bush in our yard... we have so many incredible sights to take in and appreciate...and i try to always see the beauty around me...

8. good teachers... i have been so incredibly blessed with talented and loving teachers throughout my schooling... this isn't just limited to a 'classroom' teacher, either...because there are many people who have taught me a lot without a classroom setting. :) from my very first pre-school in England...to my years through college and beyond... i could name every single teacher... :)

9. the military... i stand in awe of the soldiers who fight for my freedom... we forget, as we're here in the US in relatively safe surroundings, what these men and women are doing for us... we have freedom...and that's something that i never want to take for granted... and, i wish there was a way for me to tell the men and women fighting for our country how thankful and appreciative i am...

10. good health... while i could do some things to be healthier, i am thankful to be in generally good health... i need to drop some serious Lbs., but i am thankful to be free of disease or serious illness so that i can experience life to the fullest....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

why advertise???

anyone who knows ryan and me knows that we are not "early" people. we are rarely early to any location. we usually get to where we're supposed to be right on time...or fashionably late... i'm not sure why we're like this... i think both of us were raised with parents who made sure we always got to where we needed to go - and always early!

so, this morning was like every other morning... we were heading to Madison to do our usual "drop off" and picking up of a little cherub... we get stuck behind a person who is driving...errr...crawling along... the speed limit is clearly 35 mph...and we're not even going 20...seriously. as we're approaching the light that doesn't stay green long enough for a race car driver to go through, we see it change to green....to yellow....to red...and we're still crawling... seriously, i think we saw a few slugs passing us...waving their little antennae eyes at us with a slimy smile...
we get to the light (with mumbles from the driver and passenger)....and wait... and plastered along the top window of this snail-mobile is the compound word "redneck" written in script. (kind of an oxymoron, if you ask me...)

now, could you please explain to me why anyone would advertise this? do other so-called rednecks get excited when they see another proclaimed redneck in their midst? to they flash a 'thumbs up' and a sheepish smile as they pass one another?

so the light turns green and we get to turn with "redneck" (and how happy we were...). we pass her pretty quickly...and upon glancing over as we pass her, we see her talking away on her cell phone...

there are two issues here...one minor and stupid...the other is more important... i see plenty of cars as we drive on a daily basis...and i'm not really sure why some people plaster so many things all over their car window and bumpers... i guess it's a desire for passing strangers to know as much about you as possible... but even more importantly, why do people find it acceptable to talk on their cell phones while driving? too many clearly ignore their responsibilities as they are behind the wheel...

so, to our "redneck," talking on a cell phone, jeep friend: please get off your phone, follow the speed limit...and don't advertise your obvious ignorance...

Friday, October 30, 2009

photo shoot

for K's 1 year old pictures, we decided to do something a little different from Sears...
i have admired Jessica's photography, as a stranger, for several months... her daughter, Kailey, was in 3rd grade last year, and when Kailey became a big sister for the second time in the Spring, Kailey encouraged me to check out her new little sister on her mom's website. i searched to find Jessica's site and I was blown away... it's hard to really even put words on my feelings about her photos... they're so beautiful... they're real... i love the beauty of the land in many of her photos...i love the lighting and the vibrant colors...
so, after realizing that we could afford such an incredible talent (thanks to a special Jessica was offering), we had a photo session a few days before K's first birthday. we headed up to Graves' Mountain, which happens to be very close to where Ry and I said our "i dos" a little over five years ago... and, since i love autumn, i was so excited that we were able to have photos done outside when the trees were gorgeously painted with colors... :) and the day was beautiful... :)
while our little lady wasn't the most cooperative, the 4 shots that jessica has shared with us so far capture my baby girl and make me want to cry... breathtaking... k wasn't smiling much...she was more entertained with rocks, leaves (which she liked to eat, too), not looking at Jessica, and turning away from the camera... :) kudos to Jessica for stickin' with her subject and for being incredibly patient... :) (it must be her experience with 3 adorable little subjects of her own! :))
i'm eagerly awaiting the rest of Jessica's incredible talents in our portfolio... but for now, i will share our sneak peak with you, too...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10.23.08 05:41

Happy 1st Birthday to my beautiful baby girl... :)
A plethora of emotions surround my feelings about this wonderful event... :)
As I stared at her little hands and fingers tonight as she lay sleeping in my arms, I'm constantly reminded how beautiful and amazing our God is for creating such a perfect little human... When you think about all of the little minute details...and how they must all coordinate at the same time in special ways to make such a perfectly formed little girl... :) how humbling...

And time...I would really appreciate it if you would slow down a little bit... please..........

Words can't describe how much I love her...
She's incredible...and amazing...
And I can't believe I've been chosen to be blessed by her each day...
She's a gift from above, no doubt... :)

And while I could write for hours about my feelings...I won't...
Just suffice it to say that my life has changed so drastically...for the better...
and I'm loving every.single.second... :)

Happy Birthday, Baby... :)
I am beyond blessed to be your Momma...

(party and pics to come later... :))

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I love watching and hearing her "oooo." :) It can bring an instant smile to my face... :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The tongue's secret power...

For the last few weeks, any time K is fully focusing her energies on some serious play, out comes the tongue... It's pretty funny... We're wondering where she picked this up, but we can't figure it out. I think both Ry and I are guilty of the same habit, but it's probably pretty rare that she sees us with our tongues poking out... The only explanation is that the tongue, while slightly protruding from the mouth, must hold some secret power in concentration and exploration... :) Adorable... :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

fruit fly infestation

Go ahead and say "HELLO" to our little friend...Mrs. Drosophila.

At chez Rakow, lately, I'm taken back to my high school days of AP Biology. We had a great time with our little drosophila (the scientific name for the fruit fly) pals - doing genetic crosses to see what color eyes or what "pattern" they'd have on their abdomen. It was actually a very neat project... Our little flies were contained in these little vials that were similar to tall, clear pill bottles. They had their food and a "reproducing medium" within these vials. When we'd need to count, sex, or check the colors or patterns, we'd insert a little "q-tip" sort of instrument soaked with what was called "Fly Nap." (Yes, this is why I know the fly above is a female...the male would have a striped abdomen! My AP Bio teacher would be proud... :))

I'd like to have some Fly Nap right about now. About 4 weeks ago, we made a trip to Kroger, a local grocery store found about 15 miles away from our house. We went to Kroger instead of our local Food Lion because I wanted some decent produce. I love to feed Katherine good, fresh fruit, preferably organic, and I'm always on a mission for the best fruit around. While at Kroger, I was sort of disappointed with their selection but picked up a few peaches. They weren't quite ripe yet, so when we brought them home, I sat them out on the counter top for a day or two of ripening. Thus, our problem began... Apparently, one of the peaches was a little breeding ground for some fruit flies, but I didn't know it. I think some flesh at the stem of the peach was infected while at Kroger, and I brought home a whole extended family of fruit flies. They are STILL driving us nuts. We are loudly clapping our hands together at random times while in the kitchen or while eating meals ourselves. They love to hover and annoy us at the most inconvenient times. I have even started setting them up for mass killings by leaving fruit peels out on a paper plate. Within a short time, the little buggers come to my little trapping ground...but we're only able to kill a few here and there when we try that method.
Now, they must be very evolved...because we can slap our hands together and open them...only to find a stunned fly that escapes our grip within a second or two. I swear, they must have bodies of steel...

We actually celebrate when we kill a little fly...seriously...it's that bad. Yesterday, while I know this may be too much information, but I found two mating on the pear peel I left out and was HAPPY because I got a two for one deal!!! And, of course, forget about those offspring who were being created in that moment of fly passion! :)

I think we're making a dent in their population. I've bagged up our bananas...and the other fruit are in the "green bags" that you'll see advertised on TV (they really work). While we still see about 3 or 4 roaming around in our airspace, I think we may be near the end of our fruit fly infestation. Lesson...on your next trip to the store, don't pick up fruit if you see lots of fruit flies. And, if you happen to be in the neighborhood and hear a "SLAP" and someone cheering from the kitchen, you'll know why! We're on a fruit fly mission...beware! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

I really blew it...

I think I've met my first true parenting challenge... My little girl, is, without a doubt, one of the most stubborn eaters...

From the first spoonful of cereal back in the Spring, I prayed that she wouldn't be so difficult, but I will admit that, deep down, I knew food was going to be a challenge. I was hoping that her refusals were because the whole eating thing was so new for her...but nearly 5 months later, we're still fighting...

Rewind to the cereal tastings... I actually stopped feeding her cereal for about 4 -6 weeks because the experience was so negative... I feared that she would have negative associations with food...and I don't want to do that to her. When I reintroduced cereal, it was a little better, but it wasn't an easy time...

Yes, she "Mmmmmmmmmmmmms" and smiles when she eats...and she has her favorite foods... She loves yogurt, cheese, ANY fruit, and this week, pudding. She also likes macaroni and cheese, which I didn't want to feed her...I heard it's pretty much the worst thing you can give your child. But, she loves it...and to be honest, we love it, too...
She will hardly touch any vegetables - except sweet potatoes. She especially loves sweet potatoes with apples. Every once in a while, she'll eat a little bit of waffle...and crackers... But, generally, she will not eat anything else...

I will admit, she's come a long way...and about 70% of the time, we have pretty good meal times... But, the other 30% of the time - they're fierce battles. I go back and forth with my feelings.... Everyone, especially my mom, promises me that she won't starve...and she'll eat when she's hungry. But, I just feel like, in general, she doesn't eat enough... Why?? She fell into the 10th percentile for weight at her last doctor's appointment and that doesn't help... She's a petite and tiny little thing (not my genes!) but doesn't look unhealthy. She's thriving...and active...and happy.
But, the words from the doctor's nurse keep replaying... "Hmmm, let's weigh her again....Yeah, she'll probably need to come in for another weight check next month..." (Translation to a first time mom "Your child is disappearing in front of our eyes...are you feeding her at ALL? She should be plump and round...")
And the feeding schedule, of course, a guideline, that they gave us, made me feel like we were starving her. Basically, the schedule had 3 meals plus two snack times... When we were at the doctor 2 months ago, she was BARELY eating 2 meals a day...and of course, she wasn't having any snacks...(Translation: People like you go to jail for not feeding their kids...) And, the doctor wasn't as concerned about K's weight as the nurse lead me to believe...but he did tell me that he wanted her to nurse no less than 4 times a day. When I left, I felt like I had been stamped with "FEEDING FAILURE" on my forehead...

Oh, and forget the week after when I tried to meet those guidelines... All she was doing was eating and sleeping...I was trying so hard to get those 3 meals and 2 snacks in...on top of nursing 4 times... She had like 10 minutes to play between naps and eating... So sad...and she was so unhappy...and so was I.....

So, last night...our feeding challenge came to a head... I was tired...I had a day filled with kids, whining, and poop...and we had a late night the night before b/c we attended a teaching friend's mother's funeral (and she managed to cry almost the entire way home)...and I have been at home almost every night this week with K, by myself, as Ryan helps a friend out and comes in around 9:30 PM .....
I know that I lost my cool...
For dinner, I made her:
cooked apples
ziti with a little pasta sauce
buttered noodles

and offered her:
sweet potatoes with apples
mandarin oranges
and pears.

She refused almost everything...and wouldn't even try the new foods. She blocks the spoon or my hands...oftentimes swinging her arms to knock the food all over the place. She tosses the food over her shoulder onto the floor (the dogs love this!)... And, she managed to use her arms as windshield wipers on her high chair tray flinging food all over the place... And, I had mopped a day before...on my hands and knees...

I raised my voice and loudly placed the bowl of food on the table, slammed my palms down, and said, "THAT'S IT!" She looked at me...her face changed...and she cried...
She cried so badly that her arms were shaking in fear. She was scared...and it broke my heart.

I am so disappointed in myself
...and so incredibly sorry for making her so upset...

I have never seen her like that...and I pray I will never do that to her ever again...

I suck...
I really felt like a failure...and the guilt...
it's overwhelming...

I look at her little sweet face and listen to her laugh...and her smile...it melts my heart...
How could I do that to her??????????????? How could I lose my patience with her????

So, I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying...and taking deep breaths at mealtimes when she refuses her food...
and I work really hard not to lose my patience...
I smile a lot while I offer her food and talk to her in a sweet voice.

It's going to take awhile to reverse my thoughtless loss of reality yesterday...
I remind myself that she will not starve...
Who cares if she's not eating 3 meals AND snacks

She's crawling like a fiend...she's active...she laughs...she's observant...she's thriving... She can't be doing that bad......I can't be doing that bad of a job at keeping her energized and fed...even if I am a feeding failure...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Little K has been dancing for a few months now... Whenever she hears music play, regardless of what she's doing, she stops and begins her irresistable moves... We have arm flapping...bouncing...clapping...and genuine glee as she moves to the beat...

Ry started telling her, hours after her birth, that she could kick or throw the football for any team...and he dreams of tossing the ol' pigskin with her... While I am almost positive she'll have a mean spiral for a little girl, I think we may have a little dancer on our hands! :)

And, even though we see her dance all the time, we never get tired of seeing her dance... :) She's our Tiny Dancer... :)

Spaghetti Dinner

My baby girl is growing to be a real charmer at the dinner table... We have our good days of "mmmms" and happy mealtimes...but we also have our days of flailing arms that knock food all over the place and general unhappiness. We had spaghetti the other night, and while she's not eating table food completely just yet, I always try to give her some of what we're eating to try. She loved spaghetti, but she couldn't quite figure out how to eat the noodles. She didn't have a lot of sauce, either, but you can see she's done a nice job of getting a little messy. I especially love the plastered down hair look... :)

Loving her spaghetti! :) Notice the noodle on her nose (she put it there in her efforts to get some in her mouth).

Here she is, all smiles, after eating some spaghetti :)

She's thinkin' about eating some more... it's a real chore to try to get those noodles in her mouth, but she wants to do it herself...

Starting to get a little tired at the end... :) I love these pictures :)

So cute... :) love those eyes...
And we've worked for weeks on the "all finished" arm motion. She's now throwing her hands up in the air to let us know when she's had enough! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"I Gotta Feeling"

I needed to see this today... :)

I keep hearing all about this amazing dance on talk radio...so I had to search it out for myself. And ya know the saddest part? I recorded the kickoff block party for Oprah's 24th season to watch...and I thought I watched it! I don't even remember Oprah's reaction or seeing the people dance... Obviously it was playing on the TV but I wasn't paying attention... :)

In listening to Oprah's reaction on talk radio (On the Gayle King radio show yesterday morning), she admitted that she didn't know ANYTHING about the 20,000+ fans learning this dance...and as you watch, you can tell she was truly surprised. :) The dancers/audience did rehearse, but Oprah said she was doing interviews BEHIND the stage, so while she heard the music, she didn't know what was going on visually. :) She said, on the radio, that she's RARELY surprised by anything, but her staff really got her this time. And, you'll notice Oprah holding a T-mobile camera because her staff member asked her to take the camera out to record the audience. Oprah admitted that she's technologically challenged - she needs help finding CNN on her channel line-up! :) So, she had no idea how to use the camera...but she looks like she did a pretty good job recording it (or faking it!). :)

Enjoy... :) It's neat to watch nearly a mile of people all move in time... :) I just wish the camera angle would have showed the entire dance... :)

You'll have to go to the link (below) to see the video - Harpo claimed the rights to it... :)


Thursday, September 10, 2009

a little bit of heaven...Crunchy Topped Baked French Toast

I will be the first to admit that I "blogstalk." Other friends' blogs link to their friends' blogs that link to their friends' blogs...and before you know it, you're reading about someone else's life that you don't even know... I enjoy reading about other moms and their experiences with children...what to look forward to with K, confirming feelings or emotions that I have...it's just neat. I think it's weird, but I will admit that you feel "connected" to these people that you don't even know... Of course, these "blog friends" don't know me, but I still feel glad to participate in their lives. I'm also thankful that they blog more than I do... :)
Anyway, now that I'm at home and not earning that "big" paycheck, I'm trying to be more of a Suzie Homemaker by getting dinner together each night...it saves money and I have time to think about making a decent meal. Some blogs that I read outline great menus for a budgeting family...and some blogs post about a great recipe they've tried...thus today's topic. :)

I made something called Crunchy Topped Baked French Toast...it was so daggone good... :) I admit that I was a little excited about making my own syrup with it...never did that before (sorry Mrs. Butterworth!). I wish I would have noted the blog when I wrote down the recipe (actually, I copy/pasted the recipe into an email to myself so I don't lose the recipe between finding it and making it! :))...so I can't give credit to the lady who wrote about this... We had this for dinner...with some smokey links (for ry) and some turkey bacon (me)... :) I encourage you to try it... :)

First, you Need:
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
6 slices of Texas toast
2 cups crushed (not too fine) cornflakes

*Mix these ingredients together. Dip each piece of bread into egg mix and then coat both sides with cornflakes. Put these on a greased cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

WHILE that's baking you need these items for your syrup...
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup white corn syrup
1 Tblsp. cinnamon (I think it was a little too cinnamon-y, and I like cinnamon... I won't put this much in the next time...)

Bring the above ingredients to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and add...
5 oz. Evaporated Milk (which equals 5/8 cups - yes, I did the math :))
1 Tblsp. butter

*Stir until butter is melted. By now your french toast should be baked and you can drizzle this yummy cinnamon syrup over it. (Don't put too much syrup on it, either...it is too sweet for it - made that mistake myself! :))...

It's yummy... :) K even had a few very tiny pieces of it...and if her "mmmmmms" won't convince you, I don't know what will... :)

And, I used some of the syrup this morning on my waffles...(we have a lot of syrup left) :) mmmmm :) so good... :)

With this being said, I want to do a better job at blogging... :) I'm going to try... :)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is it wrong...?

...to say that, on this first day of school in Madison, that I don't miss teaching?? Are there a few kids that I miss and students who I will miss having the opportunity to teach? Yes... Do I miss my friends at school at the opportunity to socialize daily? More than ever... Do I miss the stress of getting a room to look like a classroom? Not at all... Do I miss the stress of carrying home a bookbag full of work and playing with my wonderful daughter all evening and carrying it back out to the car the next morning, never even unzipping the bag, day after day? No way... Do I miss the stress of teaching but not making my "goals" for the day? No...
I will say, however, that I will miss the moments of learning in the kids' faces...and them knowing that I really love them... Now, I have a precious student here who is loved beyond words and is learning new things by the minute...and the look on her face is so worth this decision to stay home... :)

I'm a blessed mother... :) My heart is full... :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I love surprises....

I think it's neat how people grasp onto things that remind them of times in the past. I am that way...I guess you'd call it nostalgic, huh?
Anyway, I have many incredible and wonderful memories of my grandparents, and I'm truly blessed to be 32 years old and to have my grandmother in my life still... As a pre-teen and teenager, I spent several weeks during the summer in Illinois with my grandparents... During those summers, this incredible flower would bloom next to my grandparents' house. They are a breathtaking transparent pink...and I swear they glow...
Whenever I'd ask my grandma about them, she'd refer to them as surprise lilies... They have that name because one never knows when they'll bloom. So, sometime in July, they usually appear in one day. There isn't any foliage...a long green stalk just emerges from the ground with little cocoon-like pods waiting to bloom.
Of course, when we moved into "our own" house, in my nostalgia, I had to get some of these surprise lilies... After searching for awhile, I finally found the bulbs...and let me tell you, they're pricey little buggers ($20 for ONE bulb!). So, I bit the bullet and ordered 2 for me and two for my mom (who is also nostalgic :))... We planted them...probably 4 years ago. For 2 years, nothing appeared...and I'll admit, I was sad. I so wanted to have these flowers next to MY house, too...
Last year, the surprise lilies surprised me in early July. They bloomed again this year... :)
For some reason, these surprise lilies just give me warm fuzzies... And yes, they really do take your breath away... :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God's Beauty vs. Nature's fury...

We've found a beautiful creation in our cherry tree in our front yard. Ryan actually discovered the masterpiece...or maybe it was Beezer... I'm sure if dogs could talk, Beezer would claim this...
Ry took the dogs out late last week...and Beezer, being a boy doggie, likes to lift his leg on anything. On this particular afternoon, he chose the drooping branch of this cherry tree. When he was finished and his leg was heading back toward the ground, I guess it hit the branch in such a way as to disturb our guests. Several stinging creatures went at him...but he wasn't stung, thank goodness. After my super hero husband came in for me, put away his cape, and checked Beezer for any stings, I took a look at it. I wasn't sure what type of nest it was, but after some investigating, it appears to be a hornet's nest. It's actually quite beautiful...it's amazing to see that these little insects can build such a structure... It reminds me of those tops that we played with that had the "push down" rod that made it spin...

I stood outside watching the little fellows (err, maybe "little its" since some of them are drones?) for awhile... They fly right into or out of their perfectly shaped circular entrance/exit... They go to search out whatever they like...and return back. They didn't bother me...I wasn't that close... I was amazed at how they created this nest but also wove in part of the leaves...incredible...

I guess hornets aren't the best architects, however, because on Sunday night, we came home to find the lower part of the nest on the ground. Only about a quarter of the nest remained... We were a little excited because we thought we'd been relieved of having to spray the nest and risk being stung. But, alas, upon my further examination with a flashlight, the little buggers were still in the nest!!! I could see ALL of them working there...WOW... I didn't stay around long, however...but figured that, by morning, they'd be smart and leave...

Now, today is Tuesday, and in less than 48 hours after the apparent destruction, they've rebuilt the entire nest. It's not as big as it was, but they've sealed up the whole lower half with a dome and have a new exit/entrance pointing directly at the ground beneath... I'm thinking it will be hard to spray in there...unless we're lying on the ground, which I don't think we plan on doing.

In my research, I've read that the nest is usually vacated in the winter months... So, knowing how we tackle projects around here...we'll wait until they move to Florida in November... :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dogs and Gas

There have been a few interesting (and now humorous) events of the last few weeks... :)
As you know, we have been doing some traveling... Our first leg - the PA/NY leg - was in mid June. We came back to VA for a few days before the second leg - to Illinois - and in those few days, we had some interesting dealings with a dog and some gas...
First, Hooch, as we called him, because he looked a little like the dog in the cute Tom Hanks film... :) Ry was out walking the dogs when a "large cat" approached him...only to find out that it was a dog. The dog was friendly...and well behaved (put our dogs to shame :))... He appeared to be well-cared for...he was clean and used to people. We petted him for a little bit in hopes that Animal Control could come to get him, but it was too late (1 AM)...and we'd have to wait until morning. So, Hooch spent the night on our deck... We fed him, gave him some water, and gave him some comfie rugs to sleep on...and he was good. :) He never barked or ANYTHING... When we got the things all set out for him, he ate, drank, and then laid down on the rugs we put out for him. So cute... :) Animal control came in the morning to take him, but the officer said he thought that he was probably a fighting dog...or he'd been in some fights. He noticed some scarring on his face/muzzle and legs. :( How incredibly sad........ The theory may have also explained why he was on the skinny side, too... We hope that the predicted history for Hooch wasn't true... The officer loaded Hooch up and took him back to the shelter. He thought his owner had called and reported a dog missing that matched his description...we hope so! Gosh, I wish we could have a dog haven here at the house...we'd have no room at the inn. :)

And some gas...............
On Father's Day, when baby K went down for her nap in the afternoon, I went out and trimmed some of our bushes. We could hardly make our way up the sidewalk to our front door due to an overgrown bush...and there was a honeysuckle along the side of the house that was out of control, too. I LOVE to garden, but since I was pregnant all last summer and just don't have the time to garden THIS year, all of our areas have sort of gone to pot. ANYWAY, I was determined to do a little trimming before Ry mowed...
So, I plugged in my trusty Black and Decker electric trimmers and managed to pretty much butcher the bush in the front near the sidewalk enough so we can walk without being attacked... :) Since I had time, I decided to also tackle the honeysuckle. Well...while I knew the propane gas tank and lines running to the house were near the honeysuckle, I was careful... BUT, the honeysuckle vines managed to wrap themselves around another one of the lines that I DIDN'T see (camouflaged)...and well, the clippers stopped and all I heard was "psssssssssssssssssssssss." The gas was pouring out...Ry was in the back yard walking the dogs...so we immediately got away from the house... I ran in to get the baby and the phone. We called 911 and had a visit from the local fire department... They were able to get the tank shut off (Ry tried but the smell was too much for him even after a few minutes)...and there was a large nest in the top of the tank where the shut off was... The fire fighters (who looked like they were about 12 years old but very sweet!) evacuated us and the neighbors (the other set of neighbors was camping) to another friend's yard...turned off the gas and then walked in the house to check it for any overabundance of gas...it was clear... So, our gas company had to come out to repair the line...what a joy... *sigh* Happy Father's Day.......................
Thankfully we were A-OK...and while I was very embarrassed, it could have been much worse... :)
Lessons learned...
~Black & Decker makes one heck of a set of hedge clippers - if you are in the market... :)
~Don't go too wild with your clippers when you have a few bushes to tame.... :)
~Don't call me to trim your hedges or bushes :)
~Donate to your local fire department because they're really important to us all... :)
~Always love a stray pet... :)

More stories to come later........... :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2 months...in a quick post :)

It's been a long time...sheesh... :) I am glad I don't have many blog followers... :) No wonder, huh!? :)
First, I resigned from teaching on June 5th... A difficult decision only because it's another major change from the "pre-baby norm" for me...and in the economic state of our country, how many people are quitting their jobs??!! Me... :) I can't wait to have every day with my Babe... :) I will be keeping a few other teachers' kids, too, to help with the income... :) It's going to be lots of fun! :) Who wouldn't want to see this kid every day all day?! :)

We're in the traveling mode for the next few weeks... Right after we were free from school, we got in the van and made a trip north...stopping in PA to sleep over, then onto NY (with lots of traffic!) for a visit with Ry's family... :) We had a nice time... :) K got baptized...we went to a few picnics...fun times... I had some sort of flu...which made traveling pretty interesting... :) After around 7 days of the fever/achy/upset stomach/can't keep anything in for more than 20 minutes, I think I'm finally feeling a little better... :) Then, we headed back to PA for another sleep over...and stayed an extra day to shop and to hang out with my parents... Then, onward to VA, again...home sweet home. Our trip back took 8+ hours (instead of the 4-5 hours) due to a 24+ car pile up on 95 just outside of Baltimore... We hung out at White Marsh for a little bit...a nice little shopping area... :)
On Monday, we'll head out to go to Illinois so that we can visit with my grandma... I'm always excited to see her and to enjoy a very relaxed time there... But this trip is even more special because my grandma gets to meet her great-granddaughter... That's super special... :) My parents are there, now, too, so we'll all be there together... Thank God for Aerobeds! :) hehe :)

Now that it's summer, maybe I'll have more to post about...and definitely more time... :) Nap time is short, but at least it gives me some time to do things on the computer... :)

Baby K is growing so much... She's got two teeth now (bottom) and seems to be chewing A LOT...so maybe there will be more to cut through in the coming weeks? She's REALLY pleasant for a teething baby...altho we have had some choppy nights of sleep... She's turning over and back very quickly... She's most definately talking A LOT...she doesn't mince her words in baby babble... :) I guess that she gets that honestly, eh?! :) She's sitting up... I guess the next milestone will be crawling... :) She claps and waves...and even makes a "hey" sound when she puts her arm up to wave... :) She loves to swim... She doesn't get a sippy cup and would rather get her water through a straw that we hold, cover the top, and then put it in her mouth... When the water is cold, she always gives a little growl as she swallows...so cute... :) Oh, and she doesn't like the word, "No" when it comes to her putting her hands on dishes when she's got her food in front of her... Boy, what a temper! :) The joy...it's so indescribable... :)
OK...I need to do some things to prepare for the trip before turning in for the night...her 6:30ish wake up call every morning to eat comes so early when you go to bed so late... :)
Oh, and Happy Father's Day to every father out there! :) What a priceless gift...to be a parent... :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

I always wanted to take up photography...

Here are a few shots from this evening after a nice springtime storm... :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the proof is in the soup...

First, can I just say that I am watching the weather forecast for the next 7 days...and they're predicting SNOW on early Tuesday morning...after temps in the 60s and 70s... crazy...
:) I can handle another snow day...really...no problem!

So, there's no foolin' that I'm pretty much a zombie by the end of the week... It used to be that I'd be beat on Thursday but could muster up enough energy for Friday... Lately, I'm beat on Wednesday, drag on Thursday, and I just want to go to bed at 4:00 PM on Friday... I don't know how to balance all that's required as a momma, teacher, wife, housekeeper, etc.... I'm not very good at it... but, that's not the topic... :)

Yesterday, Ry sends me an email hinting that he'd really like pizza from a local pizza place because he had a faculty meeting after school (I don't get the connection...but again, off topic...)... At the end of the school day, just before I'm to walk my kids out to the buses, I shoot him a quick email saying that soup would be good...and grilled cheese...the weather was rainy and cool, and it was just perfect weather for it... But...he never got it...

In my tiredness and attempt to hurry, I sent the dinner email to my PRINCIPAL, who had just emailed after Ry... She didn't really mind, but imagine how dumb I feel wondering why she's replying to the email SHE sent about the xerox training time since I hadn't written to her... :)
Her response: While having soup with you sounds wonderful...maybe you want to forward this to Ryan. :)
I'm glad she has a sense of humor...

So when she stepped in my room this morning while I was teaching math, I paused (making sure she didn't need anything) and she simply replies, "I don't need anything...just peeking in...and seeing about my soup..." I don't blush often, but this gave me good reason to do so...

Lesson... When you're an exhausted momma and teacher, always make sure you're replying to the correct email... :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

a few cute pictures :)

going out in the snow for the first time (early March) :)

posing in the cutest V-tine's Day outfit... :)

another V-tines Day outfit...i am in love with her ears

getting ready to leave for school...wearing her cute
hat...Ry calls this her Russian hat... :)

uneventful :)

it's been awhile since i've blogged... i always have good intentions of writing something fun or interesting that's happened, but usually, i fall asleep or have to tend to baby K...so my thoughts are fleeting! :)
i think we've officially got 46 days left of the school year... i'm eager to be at june 9th... i spend most of my weeks exhausted and playing catch up...wishing for time at home with my most favorite little girl... but, i can feel the end in sight...and that's what's getting me through right now... :) with that being said, our spring break is late this year (since Easter falls in mid-April), so the kids are ready for some time off, too... very chatty, argumentative, and just tired, too... i'm ready to see those big yellow school buses pull away for awhile... :) of course, the passing days moving me toward the end of the year mean that i am going to be making a pretty important and serious decision about returning next year or taking some time off to be a momma... i plan on doing some number crunching to see that it will work out, but i'm leaning more toward the being a momma idea...
while i'm totally fine with this being a momma thing, it's so scary to break from the "norm" and branch out to another endeavor... i have a number of ideas for some income...but it takes courage to leave a job that you really enjoy knowing that you're going to fill your heart and soul... :) i will be praying a lot about this decision in the coming weeks...
baby K is doing wonderfully... she's growing and is more entertaining each day... :) she's rolled over in the last several weeks...she loves grabbing at her feet...she giggles and smiles all the time... :) i love her babbling and talking...she gets so serious and passionate about talking. :) i love her little furrowing brow as she shows her serious nature...and of course, in the next moment, she flashes that gorgeous toothless grin...
we gave up on cereal after giving it the good ol' college try for about a month. we were having issues with her "staying regular," she'd fuss non-stop with us when we'd feed her, and she never really seemed to get the hang of keeping the cereal in her mouth... so, after some excellent advice from some special ladies in my life, i decided to stick to my gut feeling and take some time off... we'll revisit it again in the coming weeks. :) she continues to grow and thrive...and she's doing so well... :) we're still battling with her refusal to nap at the sitter's during the week...and that makes for some grueling evenings of crying and absolute exhaustion, but we're managing. :) generally, she naps all evening, eats, has a bath, and heads back into her slumber! we won't talk about what happens for the hour or so BEFORE she finally gives up and falls asleep in the afternoons... :)
she's loving her toys - rattles, blocks, her smurf, her dolly, and her cute lamb. :) i can't believe that she just turned 5 months this past monday... time is flying...
i'm eager to get outside with her more... we took a long walk last weekend since it was so nice...she loves the fresh air and the new sights... :) of course, it would be nice if it would stop raining so we could go out more... :) but, it is spring! :)
we bought a white noise machine a little over a month ago, and it has been wonderful for her sleeping... we've never really had a problem with her sleeping through the night or anything (she's done that since she was only a few weeks old), but she does tend to wake a lot throughout the night for no real reason...and, when your alarm goes off at 5:30 in the morning and you have to function with 22 kids at school, after a few nights of those multiple wake ups, i pay the price... :) anyway, a sweet parent of a student in my class (and a co-worker!) mentioned that her two kids both slept with a white noise machine and they sleep like champs... :) i happen to agree - it has been wonderful...and i like sleeping with it, too! :)
my last confession here...buying baby clothes is a lot of fun and addicting...i see sooooooo many cute things out there and i can't help myself, oftentimes... :) my mom has the bug, too...so needless to say, baby K will be well dressed for the many months to come! :) i keep telling ry to not let me buy anything, but he just gently reminds me that i asked him to tell me not to buy anything, and we put the outfit(s) in the cart... :) i was thrifty today and went to a local consignment sale at a church nearby... i got 18 high end items (gap, gymboree, janie&jack, oshkosh, ralph lauren) for $100...the clothes range in sizes for now through 3 years of age... :) fun times! :)
and, can i just say that my most favorite kid's show right now is Handy Manny? :) he's so daggone cute...and the tools...adorable. :) we watch at 7 before we have to leave for school...and i spend the day whistling or humming the songs in my head... :)
that's all for now... :) i know it's a boring post... :) but, i got tired of seeing those "100 questions" on the blog and wanted to write something else... :)
i hope i'll have something more newsworthy to post another time! :) until then, be well! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

100 questions

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? mine are open only b/c of the stuff hanging on them! :)

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels? yeah :)

3. Are you afraid to fly? no

4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? no :)

5. Do you like to use post-it notes? yes, i'm a teacher :)

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? yeah, we cut them but we don't use them all...only some :)

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? ouch...what kind of question is this?! bees? :)

8. Do you have freckles? no...

9. Do you always smile for pictures? most of the time :)

10. What is your biggest pet peeve? parents not being parents

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? no :)

12. Have you ever peed in the woods? yah, when I was younger and far from home on a walk :)

13. Do you prefer the beach or mountains? mountains

14. Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing? only for Katherine :)

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? no, not usually

16. Favorite reality TV show? "American Idol"

17. What size is your bed? King

18. What is your Song of the week? probably "I'm Yours"

19. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? yah

20. Do you still watch cartoons? Sometimes... I have a feeling that, when Katherine grows a bit more, we'll be watching them a lot! :)

21. What's your least favorite movie? anything with serious violence

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? i have no idea :) in a cemetary :)

23. What do you drink with dinner? usually water :)

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in? honey mustard, if it's good...katsup...bbq sauce... I LOVE Chick-Fil-A's honey bbq sauce... :)

25. What is your favorite food? depends on the day... probably mac n cheese :)

26. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Flashdance, Dirty Dancing, and many others :)

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you? ry :)

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout? yeah, i was... :)

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? no way...not unless the magazine would want to go bankrupt!

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? thursday :)

31. Can you change the oil on a car? no, i haven't ever... :)

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? only once...

33. Ran out of gas? no :)

34. Favorite kind of sandwich? turkey club :)

35 Best thing to eat for breakfast? pastries? :) muffins... i love a good toasted bagel, too... :)

36. What is your usual bedtime? between 11 pm and midnight

37. Are you lazy? yah :)

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? a witch, woody woodpecker, a clown, a baby, a bug... i can't remember them all... :)

39. What is your astrological sign? Scorpio

40. How many languages can you speak? one - English...a little bit of French... :)

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? too many...Parents, Women's Day, Real Simple...

42..Which are better legos or lincoln logs? I like them both... :)

43. Are you stubborn? yah

44. Who is better...Leno or Letterman? Leno...I'm sad to see him going...

45. Ever watch soap operas? Yah...Days and GH...a LONG time ago

46. Afraid of heights? no

47. Sing in the car? sometimes.

48. Sing in the shower? no.

49. Dance in the car? no :)

50. Ever used a gun? nope

51. Had picture taken by photographer? Yes

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy? no...i love them :)

53. Is Christmas stressful? it has been until this year... :)

54. Ever eat a pierogi? yeah, YUMMY! :)

55. Favorite type of fruit pie? probably rhurbarb or black raspberry/blackberry :)

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? teacher, doctor

57. Do you believe in ghosts? no...

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yes, several times...

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yes, several times... :) (hahaha)

59. Take a vitamin daily? yes

60. Wear slippers? no, usually socks with my crocks

61. Wear a bath robe? no

62. What do you wear to bed? t-shirt and PJ pants

63. First concert? Yanni or Sarah McLachlan...I forget :)

64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? Target

65. Nike or Adidas? Nike

66.Cheetos Or Fritos? Cheetos

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Peanuts

68. Ever heard of the group Tres Bien? No.

69. Ever taken dance lessons? No

70. Is there a profession you picture your significant other doing? anything with space, the FBI, working with the elderly...he has many talents :)

71. Can you curl your tongue? yes

72. Ever won a spelling bee? haha...no :)

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy? yes

74. Own any record albums? yah, but they're at my parents' house :)

75. Own a record player? at my parents' house :)

76. Regularly burn incense? no

77. Ever been in love? yah :)

78. Who would you like to see in concert? "Casting Crowns" again would be good...Sarah McLachlan, Michael W. Smith again... :)

79. What was the last concert you saw? Dave Matthews Band

80.Hot tea or cold tea? hot :)

81.Tea or coffee? hot tea

82. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles? hard choice...probably sugar cookies

83.Can you swim well? I can swim...but I wouldn't bet on myself in the Olympics or anything :)

84. Can you hold your breath without plugging your nose? yes :)

85. Are you patient? Yes, but being a teacher eats it away...

86. DJ or band, at a wedding? probably DJ

87.Ever won a contest? I don't think so... :)

88. Ever have plastic surgery? no way

89. Which are better black or green olives? neither - ew!

90.Can you knit or crochet? I learned to do both... :) I am not really good though...

91. Best room for a fireplace? living room?

92. Do you want to get married? already am! :)

93. If married, how long have you been married? a little over 5 years

94. Who was your HS crush? Probably Jeff

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? no way :)

96. Do you have kids? one so far... :) More to come, Lord willing! :)

97. Do you want kids? yep :)

98. What's your favorite color? yellow and purple

99. Do you miss anyone right now? my family - mom, dad, grandma... :)

100. Did you watch Next Great American Band on FOX? no... what a stinky question to end with... :)

If you're reading my answers... let's see yours now! :)

passing time...too quickly

say it cannot be... yesterday, i spent the better part of the late morning putting away Baby Girl's clothes that are too small...and i went through hand-me-downs, de-tagged new outfits, and washed the newest sizes. i held up the sweet little fleece sleeper that we brought her home in...so tiny... i can't believe she fit in it a mere 4 months ago... it's only been 4 months! if i put the little ducky sleeper now, i'm not sure it would cover half of her little body! what am i going to do when it has been a year...or 5 years...or high school!!?? god help me!
while i love her at this age, i miss the days of her newborn little body...even waking me up every 2 hours... :) now, she takes a few spoonfulls of rice cereal...she loves to stand on her legs with support...she's grasping at things...jabbers a lot...loves chewing on her hands, and she even found that she could suck on her thumb yesterday... it's so amazing to watch her develop and grow...yet, it's bittersweet, too.... :)
but, in the two trashbags full of adorable girl clothes, rests my hope that another baby girl (or boy, but with some different clothes of course :)) will wear the cute ducky sleeper or the infamous "twinkle" outfit...or the winnie the pooh onesie...things that we hardly even wore...the things that once graced the little body of Katherine... :) but first, let me enjoy every moment with my incredible little beauty! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

nuthin' much

:) i haven't written in forever... i just don't really have a lot of interesting information to report, i guess...plus, when i do, i'm just too daggone tired to even sit and write... i'm in that daggone tired condition as i type this, but i'll overcome it for a little while to write a bunch of nothingness... :)
work...kicking my butt... the energy it requires to teach 22 very energetic children is lacking in this momma of an almost 4 month old... i grade a lot, it keeps piling up...it's like you never see the end of the pile... i used to put it off and have grading marathons...but i can't do that now...little one requires too much attention... :) is it june yet??????????
little one...melts my heart every single minute i get to spend with her... the mornings of goodbyes are still not something i even smile about... i hate leaving her for the 7 hours that i do... like i said, is it june yet?? she's doing well with the absolutely rediculous schedule for a baby...up before the sun, eating, getting dressed...and then packed up to head to our angel, mrs. s., who loves her like her own... we got an adorable valentine's day surprise...she was all dressed up in this incredibly cute outfit...little jeans, a "mommy's love bug" shirt, a priceless heart sweater and matching hat...and cute little socks... incredible. i have some cute pictures, but i just haven't posted them yet... mrs. s is just so good to us... :)

but, baby girl is growing and changing daily, it seems... she turns 4 months old on monday...which is hard for me to believe... wasn't i just meeting her for the first time?? she's playing with her hands, doing ab exercises with her legs in the air... we're about to start our first 'food' of cereal...she's giggling and laughing all the time... we love splashing our feet in the bath and kicking whatever is in the way...our very own karate kid... :) she's playing and grasping her toys...and continues to fight sleep like a real champ... but, she's the best ever...and i would do nothing else but be with her if i could... :)

i'm eager for spring to come... while i dream of the unexpected gift of snuggling back to sleep on snow days, we seem to have been cheated... but spring...flowers, fresh air, walks with the babe...birds chirping... it just seems like it's been awhile since spring... :)

the "zzzzzzz's" are fast approaching, so i really need to wrap this up... :) i know, you're thinking, "this wasn't anything worth reading..." :) see...i tried to warn you with my title... :)

have a fabulous weekend...and enjoy every minute doing whatever makes you happy! :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

extreme crying

seriously, i think my baby could win this event if we'd put it in the Olympics...

i know i'm probably trying to impose "adult" ideas onto this 90ish day old little person... but, honestly, how hard is it for a little baby to sleep well? i had always thought that babies were supposed to sleep...and sleep a lot. well, my little munchin...she's a sleep FIGHTER, and she's quite a good little fighter...

while, on most mornings, we wake up with a big toothless grin (i LOVE this :)), it's the lack of sleep during the day that's turning my pride and joy into this screaming, sleep-deprived zombie from around 3 PM until she just finally gives up and sleeps... how long does this occur in a given day? a few hours, usually... she's so exhausted...her eyes, red and puffy...sheesh!
but before she gives in...her blood curdling cries and beet-red face...wow! i hafta yell, "BREATHE" over her cries...seriously...she doing the "i'm.not.going.to.breathe.for.a.few.minutes.just.to.make.you.really.understand.my.anger.and.sadness" cry...i'm talkin' about a baby who screams even louder when we're trying to make our way home in the afternoon when we have to stop at lights and stop signs.
i've explained...err, YELLED over the crying, "I HAVE TO STOP AT STOP SIGNS AND STOPLIGHTS...IT'S THE LAW...." (me, reasoning with a screaming child?!)

"uhhh, yes, officer...please forgive me for not being a law abiding citizen, but my daughter...she doesn't sleep and gets REALLY really upset when i'm stopped...so...."

and when she does decide to sleep, it's usually all evening, which means she misses feedings or really pushes our feeding schedule out of whack... speaking of...feeding schedule...yah, what's that...? :) and, who says that she has to eat a decent amount when she decides she wants to eat?

so, me, being a working mother, who is trying her hardest to keep this babe on a schedule....i'm failing miserably...or she's resisting... my poor baby... i wish, so badly, that we were like other countries (europe, canada) in that they give their mothers serious maternity leave...

but, i regress... so yah, my daughter will be recieving the gold at the Olympics for extreme crying... :)

i pray this isn't any foreshadowing for the teenage years... :) if it is, please come and visit me...in jail. ;)

i love my daughter so much...and i hope, soon, we can help her find the joys of some good shut eye throughout the day... :)

until then, here are some cute pictures... :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


So this was the 3rd week back to work for us...and it was only a 4 day week. I can't begin to describe the exhaustion...it just consumes me by Thursday and Friday. Next week, it will be exhaustion on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday since I have a 5 day work week ahead? Or will it snoooooowwwwwww?? *Praying*. And, what will Friday be like if it is a 5 day week? I'm so tired after day 4 now, what will day 5 be like? I guess I should tell you that on day 3 this week, I napped for 2 hours before getting bottles ready and going to bed... On day 4 of this week, I was showered and ready for bed before 10...and fell asleep within minutes of nursing Katherine... I don't even remember falling asleep...that's how tired I am.
And, I do OK for the first two days or so...and while I know I'm still taking great care of The Precious One, doing the "other" things just fall by the way-side... Getting her bottles ready for the next day takes me forever because I'm so tired...making dinner - ugh!...picking up the drinking glasses that are randomly scattered around my bedroom from bedtime water and morning OJ - we have a small kitchen in the bedroom at this point! Don't even look at the floor - it needs to be vacuumed...badly. Where's the kitchen table? Oh yah, it's under the pile of mail and newspapers...which I don't even get to look at any more... Dusting? Please feel free to leave us brief written messages in our dust blankets... :) Laundry? Watch out French Alps...we have some mountains of our own...
BUT, my toilet is clean *grin*...the dishes do get washed on most nights...and Ryan is just an amazing help with lots of things (which is why he refers to himself as my slave...hehe). The dogs are fed and walked several times daily...so they are still smiling...and we both go to work and the kids learn despite our fatigue... We still laugh and joke...and smile... We shower daily...and have clean clothes to wear... But, I think the most important thing is that Katherine is happy and thriving... So who cares about all the other things that silently irritate me... :)
It's just after 9 AM...and I think I am ready for a nap... :) Seriously...

Monday, January 19, 2009


Our first real experiences with Baby K giggling... It happens to be the day after 4 shots and one oral immunization... We were getting ready for a bath and realized that when we were taking off her Bugs Bunny band aids, she would giggle when we asked, "Do you like Bugs?" (as in Bugs Bunny) Her initial giggles were SO cute, but we didn't have the camera... Here is our attempt to reinact it!:) Not as good, but still cute! :) :)

Our first attempt just before the bath :) She's cute and give lots of smiles but doesn't giggle! :) Maybe it was because Beezer gave her a little scare!? :) hehe :)

A true giggle here...on our attempts after the bath! :)

And another video...not as giggly, but still cute! :)