Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We finally accepted the fact that Tim's Subaru is more of a money pit than a mode of transportation and decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy a new (used) car.

After hours and hours and HOURS of research on Tim's part, it came down to a couple models. We
really wanted the Honda Fit but our price range just wouldn't allow us to get a decent one. So we settled, very surprisingly, on the Chevrolet HHR - a car neither of us expected to like. But in the end, it feels very solid and safe, has a lot of cargo space and is kind of a lot of fun to drive in.

This isn't the car, but its the same color and year. It closely resembles the PT Cruiser - which again, I don't think either of us would have said was our first pick - but we're happy with the car and
(hope&pray) we got a good deal on it. So we're now a "Chevy Family" since I drive the Aveo. Chevrolet always makes me think about Ramona Quimby and how that is what she named her doll.

In other news, we've been playing a whole lot of Settlers of Catan - which I cannot, for my life, win a game against the boys.... though I was on a winning streak prior to this - as well as Killer Bunnies which Cameron taught us how to play. I bought it about a year ago because I'd played it once and liked it. But then Tim and I couldn't figure it out on our own so its just been sitting around, fielding resentful remarks and glares from its owners for costing so much and being too complicated to play. But now we are fans and all's well that ends well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Jack.

This letter is long overdue. I know of other mothers who write their babies a letter every month for the first year, and then once a year after that. Well, it's almost month five and I'm just getting started. I guess if you read my last post, you'd know why it took me so long.

The past four and a half months have been quite the life changing experience for your dad and I, but I think *especially* for me, because being a mother is not something that's always come naturally to me. While you were still in my tummy, I thought taking care of you was going to be very difficult - but boy did you prove me wrong! Thank goodness you are such a good teacher when it comes to how to love a baby, or make a baby smile and giggle, or give a baby your all. Changing your diapers are a cinch and giving you a bath couldn't be more fun!

Speaking of baths, you definitely took to them right from the start and have loved them ever since. That is one routine Daddy and I have managed to uphold (for the most part) for bedtime - bath (or shower), get your jammies on, have your bedtime milk (sometimes with story - mostly Paddington Bear), and then sleepy time. You have been a real champ lately when it comes to sleeping. So long as your toasty warm and full of milk you can sleep anywhere from 8 to 10 hours at night without waking up once. That's amazing!

I always say you're the little sunshine in my life because it's just so true. I get excited in the morning when you wake up and instead of putting you back in your crib, I can bring you into bed with Daddy and I. I think you enjoy this just about as much as we do. I also love when you wake up from your nap and I can say "Good Morning Sunshine!" and you smile at me and look all pleased. That little grin is something I try to draw out as much as possible throughout the day. My favorite is when I'm nursing you and you stop every now and then, turn your head to look at me and give me a little smile as soon as I look down. Sometimes you even make a cooing sound so as to get my attention. I can't tell you how much I covet those special little moments we share.

Some new things you've been discovering and enjoying the past few months are the jolly jumper (you're just starting to get the hang of it), eating rice cereal (though you weren't sure at first), and chewing on daddy's fingers (mine are too skinny). We also discovered, to Daddy's delight, that you like watching football. Oh, and how can I forget your affinity for the song Halo by Beyonce? Some things you've decided you definitely don't like are going in the car, falling asleep, and most of all - people other than Daddy and I holding you. Your poor grandads are so eager to cuddle you and you always give them a hard time. We're hoping you grow out of this soon, because there are a lot of people who want to hold you.

Something that was prophesied over you twice, while you were still in the womb, was the word "feisty." And boy is that true sometimes! You can be very determined and vocal when you want something - just like your mom :) You also tend to go from zero to a hundred in terms of emotion - just like your mom :) But I think it's that feisty spirit, that determination, that was given to you by God in order that you would overcome many things both en vitro and later in life.

Oh and did I mention you're cute?! And not just kind of cute... really cute. SUPER cute, even. I can't tell you how many people stop to tell me just how beautiful you are. People from far far away even took the time to write and tell me that you are the "cutest baby they've ever seen." Strangers - men and women, young and old - stop me in the stores, at church... all over! ... just to let me know how cute you are. Now, don't let this go to your handsome little head, because God values character over cuteness... but I do feel blessed to be given the privilege of laying eyes on such a pretty baby every day. I think you must get your good looks from your dad....

Well, I think that's about it. Thank you for being such a wonderful little man and for bringing so much joy into our lives. I never knew just how much the love of a child could mean to me until you came along!

I'll try to write you another letter in a month or so - if my procrastination doesn't get the better of me! Hopefully you won't inherit that trait from me :(

Lots of love,

Mummy (and Daddy)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have a bad habit of putting things off that should be done right now. A stitch in time saves nine? I'd rather just throw it out. Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today? The answer is in the question : because I can put it off till tomorrow, so I will.

There are very specific things I chronically delay on, including but not limited to:
  • Pumping
  • Drinking my "Mother's Milk" tea
  • Doing laundry (until there's no clothes left)
  • Emptying the diaper pail
  • Getting up in the morning (hello snooze button)
  • Getting ready for bed (I hate the routine)
  • Going to bed
  • Putting gas in my car (I almost always let it go down to "E")
  • Writing thank you cards (a credit to laziness, not ungratefulness)

On a completely different note, I had a really weird dream yesterday where I was staying at some sort of youth camp that was infested with cats and I broke out into this really crazy rash that had a circular pattern and included bright red "growths".... ugh, it was gross. Needless to say it was a relief to wake up this morning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good Decision, Bad Decision.

First bad decision of the day:
Trying to get some extra sleep this morning before work
and then waking up at exactly 8:30 when I should be getting in the car.

Second bad decision of the day:
Eating Swedish meatballs.

Speaking of decisions, I still haven't decided completely about going up to Canada this weekend. I'm such a terrible decision maker to begin with, especially when I have to pick between two things. I've been in the process of making the "Do we go to Canada?" decision for about two weeks now. Yep, two weeks. Gah! I told Tim earlier today, "Let's just go" but am already biting my nails in anxiety over whether I really want to do that.

The biggest factors holding us back are Jack (who's sure to wail for some part of the 7 hour drive up there) and money (it's going to cost us about $100 to do it). Even now the idea of 7 hours in the car with Jack - who hates his car seat - is not appealing. He's ok if he's asleep (obviously) or if the car is in motion (most of the time) but we're talking 5 1/2 hours driving time ( that's without traffic delays) plus the several pit stops we'll have to make to feed him.

If it were just for a visit I'd have nixed the idea ages ago, but it's to bury my Nanny's ashes (who passed away several months ago) and I can't decide if that's something I'll regret missing if we choose to stay put.

One of the greatest things about being married is I can always defer to Tim to make a decision when I don't want to. Except in situations like these, where the decision is personal to me. Drat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knock Before Entering.

Number of men that work in the office with me: 4
Number of men I work with that have walked in on me pumping: 2

That's 50%, people! It stands to reason that before my pumping days are through, 100% of the men I work with will have walked in on me pumping. Need I mention that while doing my motherly duty, I'm pretty much exposed from the waist up?

Thankfully I have the whereabouts to cover up before they have time to see anything of consequence. And before you ask - yes I usually lock the door, but occasionally forget. And yes, I've made a point of saying "When the door is closed, I'm pumping." And yes, when they do knock I say "Just a second!" or "Come back in a few minutes" or "I'm busy!" but in both cases of entry while pumping, neither man heard this cry for privacy and came in anyways.

Number of men I work with that walked in on me pumping and then continued to talk to me for a few minutes while I pumped: 1

Did I mention I hate pumping? For reasons above as well as the sheer hassle of getting it all set up. Though thank the Lord I have an electric pump and not a hand held.

There's nothing like hooking yourself up to a machine and being milked like a cow.

Kelly Green Knit Wool Beret.

I've recently started wearing hats. My favorite hat is a kelly green knit wool beret that is warm and sort of quirky, but still embraces hat coolness. Sunday at Bible study I was looking at a tiny little hole at the top of the hat where the wool comes together. That's when I made the unfortunate discovery that the tip of my finger just fit through that hole and the even more unfortunate discovery that it was fun to make the hat go around and around on the tip of said finger.

So there I sat, spinning away, carrying on conversations, completely oblivious to the fact that the more I spun, the bigger that little hole got and next thing I knew the hole had gone from the size of a tiny pea to the size of a quarter. I tried to let myself be reassured that the hat was still wearable - that the hole wasn't strangely big, just biggish. Others affirmed me in this effort. But alas, my tendency to not want something once its been ruined in some small way reared its ugly beret-wearing head and I've only felt regret towards it since. Today I tried to pull the wool back together but this only resulted in more unraveling, at which point I wanted to pull it to shreds in frustration.

Instead, I did the sensible thing and went on Target's website to try and find another one. To my delight, my dear hat's many twins are sitting at an array of store locations in my area, including the one near work. At some point today I will be picking up my new kelly green knit wool beret and wearing it on my little head, not the tip of my little finger.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tired. Cold. Hungry!

It's only 9:51 am and I'm about to eat a rice noodle bowl because I'm that hungry. I always feel weird eating lunch food before 11:30ish - I feel like it puts me in a category I don't want to be in (kind of how people always say that drinking before noon is shameful - except not quite, but yes, just like that) unless said food is brunch food in which case - bring on the brunch!

You know what is never fun? Trying to figure someone out. Trying to crack their shell of politeness and get to the quirkiness I know exists so I can feel better about my own weirdness. The struggle comes when you work to find the balance between trying and trying too hard. That's when things start to feel forced and uncomfortable and then you just avoid the person because of social awkwardness. It's tricky. Very tricky.

It's cold in my office. And I want a nap. And being cold, and tired, and hungry is not a good combination. Trust me.

You know what would knock two of these ailments straight back to where they came from?

A rice noodle bowl. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On.

About six months ago I saw these posters being sold at Target. At the time, I thought them sort of tacky, silly... what have you. Enter baby. Enter family crisis. Enter $2,500 car repair.

Suddenly this slogan (which I discovered was used in my beloved England during World War II) has become a welcomed reminder throughout my day - a tool to keep my wits about me, a giver of tranquil resolve of Biblical proportions (Philippians 4:6-7).

These posters are no longer sold at Target (unless I want it in fire engine red, which hmmm, no thanks). However I did find it on Amazon for about $20 total in a lovely sea green.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pizza Pizza!

Last night was the first night since Jack was born that we were able to go out as a couple; baby-free and fancy. It was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. We did a double date with the Kerneys - who also left their wee ones behind with our friend Amber - and had a wonderful little evening together. It started off in downtown Cleveland at Fat Fish Blue - a restaurant I've always wanted to try. The food did not disappoint, except if you were Steve, in which case... no bueno. The elevator in the parking garage, on the other hand, was definitely the highlight of that part of our night. It was the kind that you're not sure you'll get out of alive. The best part was the sign that hung on the wall with the color-coded floor key. Instead of just normal colors like red, yellow, green... the powers that be decided to class the place up a bit by naming them rose, violet and some other random shades mixed in with your everyday color names like blue.

After that we made a stop at Discount Drugmart (they really DO have everything you need - "....Discount Drugmart saves you the run around"... you know the jingle) to buy a pack of cards so we could play euchre at dessert - which would commence at Cheesecake Factory. Tim shushed me as we walked in, because apparently I was talking too loud. Then he scolded me when he thought I'd opened a pack of play makeup and started trying it out (it was actually Rebekah's lipgloss). Then onto dessert we went and the girl's beat the boys at cards and we all enjoyed our cheesecakes. And that is how you have a lovely evening with your best friends and no children (as much as we desperately love our little ones :)

Tonight tonight! Tonight I made homemade pizza from scratch (that means even the crust) and it turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I feel like there's no going back to store-bought pizza once you've had homemade. It's too much fun to make! Not to mention the fact that its all fresh, natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives like other pizzas.

Ok time for bed. Tim and I have been getting to bed wayyyyy too late these days. And tomorrow is a looooooonnnngg day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Black Cloud.

Tim is sick, so it sounds like I'm sleeping next to a hospital ventilator. Or Darth Vader. Or just a really stuffed-up, gurgling, snoring husband. Not fun - for either party.

It seems that a large, black cloud has drifted over our life recently. And it's promising to hang there for a good while. It's so hard to not become fixated on the "what ifs" and "if onlys." One particular piece of news has left a blemish on the idealistic life I so desperately try to hold onto. And if you know me at all, you know that I tend to let that one blemish overshadow any trace of beauty.

It's times like these that I long for an encounter with God - to hear His voice soft and clear - giving me some word of comfort. Some beam of hope that my worst fears won't soon be realized.

I want Him to make everything ok - to fix the situation to my understanding of a good outcome. It's so hard for me, in times of uncertainty, to trust that His idea of "good" is the true definition of the word.

Lord, help me, I'm scared.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thankful amidst the Trial.

This week has been a wearing one. The kind that weighs heavily on your shoulders.

It's also a busy one at work - which perhaps is a good thing, because it keeps my mind preoccupied. The apartment has been kept tidy since this weekend which is a record for us. I think it must be my subconscious way of keeping one part of our lives manageable.

Jack, while sometimes a stress-adder if he's feeling particularly feisty, is mostly a little ray of sunshine in our hectic life. And truly, when I step back and look at where we are and what we have and how God has blessed us, I really have nothing but praise and thanksgiving for the One who gives and takes away.

A peaceful moment

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