Friday, September 28, 2007

At least we'll eat well

Everyone has been talking about food lately. I have so many recipes that I'd like to try. I don't know where I'll begin.

Shannon just posted a yummy sounding recipe for Deep Dish pizza. I know that would be a hit in our house. She's also posted recipes for pork chops, manicotti, and these. Wow, what a cook. I think I'll just go move in with her.

Then Sarah tells me about making zucchini brownies, cookies. Then she hosts an Internet potluck and gets tons of recipes and shares her stew recipe.

Swistle has super scrumptious brownie recipes. And I hear that her soup is good too.

Kelli has a cool breakfast recipe that I'd like to try sometime. Oh, and I'm dying to try this chicken recipe of hers, because I know we'll love it.

Then Jennifer started a whole new food blog. She's had lots of good things there.

Don't you people understand that I have a limited food budget to work with? I guess not. Looks like I'll be trying lots of new things in the next month or so. Maybe I'll get ambitious and share a few new recipes of my own. Until then, you can learn from these ladies. Thanks for the great recipes!

Do the caterpillar roll

Nope, it's not a new dance craze. This is a family tradition that is too good not to share. When I was a teenager, my dad showed us this fun trick he did while driving. We lived close to the middle of nowhere, and there were lots of open country roads.


Dad calls this "caterpillar buzzing". Here's how he does it. When you're driving down the road, you can spot caterpillars crossing the street in front of you. This of course occurs in the fall when the caterpillars are out. So, you line up the outside of your tires with the caterpillar. Then just you come just short of squishing it beneath the tires of your car. If you just barely miss it, and strange phenomenon occurs. The caterpillar will ball up and go rolling across the road. You have to be quick to look in the side or rear view mirror to see it happen. This is what we call "Caterpillar Buzzing".

It's so much fun to watch for the little things crawling across the road in front of you while you're driving. But you have to be careful, if you get too close you'll just squish them. Or sometimes the best way to get them would be to swerve into oncoming traffic. This is not recommended.

But if you have wide open road and lots of caterpillars, this may be the sport for you. Happy caterpillar buzzing! This is one of my favorite things about fall.

If I feel like it

I feel like I want to blog a lot today. We'll see if I still feel like adding more posts later.

It's Friday! Yeah! It seems like less people blog on Fridays. That means I'm more bored, because I'm home with not much to do. Friday is always the start of the weekend for me. I do not tutor on Fridays. Usually by Friday I have all my errands done and things around the house done. I keep up with it and sometimes Zachariah and I go out for no purpose other than to get out of the house.

Tonight Matt is going to an all men camp out at church. They'll cook hot dogs, laugh, play games, and have a good time. I'm glad he's going. Matt doesn't really have any close guy friends that he does things with. He gets along well with and does things a lot with my dad and his dad and sometimes my sister's husband. Other than that, he doesn't have anybody. And we don't see them often. They all live at least an hour from us. My point is I'm very glad that Matt is getting out and doing something with "the guys". I'm hoping he'll make some new friends. It's not that he doesn't have other men to talk to, but there isn't really anyone for him to do things with occasionally. He needs a golf buddy or someone to go watch "the game" with, etc.

So, I'm home alone tonight. I'll probably end up staying up late. I hope no spiders come to visit. ;) (Matt sprayed for them last night, so hopefully they'll leave me alone.) Matt is coming home for a few hours after work. Then I'll put Zachariah to bed soon after he leaves. So I have the whole evening to myself in a quiet house. I'm actually looking forward to it.

In other random tidbits: I got these oh so yummy cookies at our local grocery store today. They make all sorts of wonderful cookies: sugar, chocolate chip, monster (which have oatmeal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and m&m's), and pumpkin in the fall. I got the pumpkin ones. It's been a long time since I've had them. They only make them for a few months in the fall. They come with a little cup of cream cheese icing for you to ice your own cookie. And they are super good! I can't wait to eat one.


Zachariah was hilarious in the grocery store this morning. I told him we should get hot dogs to make for lunch. He quietly started making his panting noise (how he says dog). I thought he made some noise but didn't catch it, so I asked him if he wanted hot dogs for lunch. He panted louder that time. I burst out laughing right there in the middle of the frozen food aisle. I told him no, not that kind of dog. So, he shook his head no and panted. Then laughed at me. He kept doing this. I tell you, my kid is a little comedian.

It's a good thing I keep buying clothes for Zachariah. He has ruined two shirts this week alone. The one I put on him today, I didn't even notice until he'd been wearing it a while. It has a big mark on the back. I'm not sure what it looks. It looks like a water spot. Maybe it will wash out, but if it doesn't I guess it will be a good play shirt for at home.
OK, that's enough randomness for now. I'll probably be back later today or tonight. (Plus my 200th post is coming up...yeah! I haven't decided whether or not I'll do something special and fun. Guess you'll have to wait and see.) Have a great Friday and weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's an addiction




Somebody stop me...I'm a shopaholic. I went to Toys R Us to use my 20% off any clothing or shoe item coupon before it expired. (Our store has a Kids R Us clothing section inside.) I looked and finally settled on one cute item, pictured first.


Then since Zachariah was being so good and we had nothing better to do, I decided to walk around the mall (since it was right there). When I went into Children's Place I saw that they had 50% off all sale prices! Over half the clothes in there store were marked with a sale price, so there was an extra 50% off that. Wonderful! I got a few more things for this winter for Zachariah. But even after both stops, I only spent $25. You can't beat that. And Zachariah loved the construction shirt. He wouldn't put it down. Now, that is worth it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm being watched

I'm usually up for a little while by myself at night. I tend to be the night owl in my house. Now I don't go to bed terribly late, but the rest of my family goes to bed early. Zachariah turns in around 7:30, and Matt is usually in bed by 10:00 and sometimes earlier. Me, ideally I'd stay up until 1:00 or so, but I can't do that when my son wants to get up at 7:30. I need about 7-8 hours of sleep. So I try to go to bed around 11:00. Most nights I can handle that, but once in a while I get involved in something or other around the house (or just relaxing or blogging) and I stay up later.

Lately, the change of seasons has me feeling a little funny. I feel like someone else is up with me every night. Yes, the dog is usually lounging on the couch, but this is different. It's starting to creep me out. It's like someone can tell I'm up late alone and easily scared.

Well, it's really rather a something than someone. And I know what it is. And it comes back every fall. It's big, hairy, and creepy. What is it? It's a wolf spider. These are such ugly spiders. They are huge. They run across my floor. When you try to catch them, they will rear back and almost hiss at you. **shudder** Here is how I take care of them...I get out the vacuum cleaner and suck them up with the hose. Luckily, they don't like the be bothered, so they are easily chased off. They don't spin webs, they don't usually climb walls, and they only come out after dark. But still...ewww!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I don't like to see these in my house. Matt better remember to spray soon. Every night this week I've seen them scurrying across my living room floor. Now that gives me reason to hurry and get in bed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome Fall

... now go away summer!

Fall (or Autumn if you please) is my favorite season! I love the cooler weather. My favorite is warmish days (in the 60's or low 70's is ideal) and cooler evenings/nights. I love the fresh air and the changing leaves. The caterpillar buzzing is fun too, but that's for another post.

The holidays are nearing. It's something fun to look forward to... only 90 days to Christmas. There are always lots of fun activities. The pace of things begins to slow down in fall. It's getting darker earlier, and I have the urge to snuggle under a blanket on the couch in the evenings.

I love the change of clothes. I prefer jeans, long-sleeve shirts and warm sweaters.

There are so many great foods that are great in the fall. We begin making warm, comfort foods. Then there's cider, pumpkin cookies, cake donuts, candy corn, and other yummy things.

These are all things I crave about this season. It's just so lovely.

But, it's still hot here. Summer just won't go away. We've only had a few cool days, and the rest have been unseasonably warm. I'm ready to pack away the carpis and t-shirts, so I can pull out the sweatshirts and jeans. I want to dress my son in his fun new fall clothes. I want to be able to take him on walks and not get eaten up by mosquitoes or sweat from the humidity.

I'm in no hurry for winter to be here, but could summer just leave for the year? Is that too much to ask?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mixed batch

I wasn't sure I was even going to post today. I've been trying to post at least once a day. Today has been to blah for me. Even worse than the normal Monday blahs. Zachariah has been into everything today. And he has been deliberately disobeying me...very frustrating. And he hasn't been wanting to take naps...grr. And I've had this awful headache for the second day in a row, but it finally went away after some Tylenol and chocolate. So here are the rest of the things I wanted to tell you about:


1. I have other things I want to blog about, but I will save them for later since I don't feel up to it today.


2. Last night we went to a meeting at church. It's supposed to help get people hooked up with a small group. We've been involved in several small groups since we've been at the church, but it's been about 3 years (or more) now since we have. I've been itching to get back into that again. I miss having a "community" of support around me. We need it. It was Matt's idea (he's why we didn't do it earlier), so I was thrilled about that.


3. I'm not sure what I think about the small group that we've chosen for now. There are two younger couples (one married for a year, the other engaged to be married next summer), and two older couples (the leaders who are a little older than my parents and another who might be old enough to be my grandparents age- though I don't know for sure). The two younger couples get along very well and do things outside of the group together. I'm guessing we're just a few years older than then, and we're the only ones with a young child. I hope that we fit in. I have some hesitations about it, but only time will tell. We'll go to the first meeting next Sunday night.


4. Matt has committed to going to Mali, Africa next year. They're looking at the first part of November. Now we need to raise at least $3,000 before then.


5. His leaving may alter plans I had in mind about trying for another baby. I haven't talked to him about this yet, but I know I need to. I made these plans after we discussed it back in the spring. I think he's conveniently forgotten the conversation.


6. For Sara and Devan - Google reader is really easy to do. Go to their page and sign up for it. Then you "add subscription" for blogs you follow. For instance put in: http://mommydaisy.blogspot.com/. Then whenever I update my blog, the reader will find it and post it right on there for you to see. It's way easier than compulsively checking people's blogs all the time for updates...not that I ever did that.


7. Kelsey - I watched the movie "Disturbia". It was pretty good. Pretty much like I thought it was going to be. I don't like horror or scary movies, but this was just a "suspense" movie.

That's all for now folks. I can't think anymore at the moment, so I will just post this. I will get some better posts out soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Please leave a message

If you would try to get in touch with me this weekend, you would get my voicemail. We've been pretty busy, and tomorrow will be a long day too. We went to visit with my family Friday night through Saturday evening (which it is while I'm writing this post). We arrived home about 8:30ish and by 9:00 everyone was in bed except me...and the dog. I'm watching TV and doing laundry. Fun.

There are 29 new blog posts in my google reader. I just can't bring myself to read them all now. I think my problem is once I start reading I want to comment, then I want to read more. I know I don't have time for all of that before I decide I need to crawl into bed. And since we'll be gone most of the day tomorrow, I'm thinking I'll spend Monday catching up on blogs like I usually do when I'm busy. So if you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll understand why.

Tomorrow we'll be at church most of the day. I decided this week to join choir. (Shoot, that reminds me that I really need to listen to the song that we're performing tomorrow. I'll have to do that now before I forget. Well, maybe after I post this.) I have to be at church earlier than I usually am, because the choir practices and performs for two services. Hopefully Zachariah will do well being there for that long. Thank goodness we have a wonderful nursery with such caring volunteers. After going home to eat lunch and rest for a few hours, we'll head back to church. There is a meeting in the evening that we'd really like to attend.

So, this weekend I've been busy, ate too much junk food, spent time with my family, took Zachariah to the park to play (and play and play), got Zachariah's Halloween costume (probably something for a future post), watched a movie, ate more food, and so much more. How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Across the ocean

That's where Matt wants to go. My husband wants to leave us for two weeks in October 2008. His point of interest is Mali, Africa.

Matt has been interested in doing a missions trip for a few years now. He had considered going with a work crew to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. The timing of that trip was not meant to be. They were scheduled to go in March 2006. I was pregnant with Zachariah and due on March 8, 2006. I told him that probably would be a bad idea for him to be away. It was a good thing he didn't go, because Zachariah would have been about 2 weeks old when the group went.

Ever since then he has had the idea of a trip in the back of his mind. This week he found out that the church is scheduling a trip to Mali. He went to a meeting last night to learn more about it. I've been encouraging him to look into it more, because I think it would be a great thing for him to experience. I'm a teeny tiny bit jealous that I can't go too, but it's just not the right time with a young son. I think that someday I'll be able to do a missions trip too. Maybe we'll be able to do one as a family when our children are older. Like I told Matt, we have our whole lives ahead of us.

We looked over all the information last night. It will cost quite a bit to make this trip happen, but we know that we can probably raise the money from family, friends, and other church members. There are various fundraising options that we have. As I was listening to Matt read over things, I knew in his mind he was already going on the trip. But our goal for now it to pray about this and make sure it's God's plan for us. If it is, things will come together. I think Matt's heart is already in it, and I hope that we can make this happen for him.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why I'm mad at my car

Monday night was fun. I went to a mommy's group at church. It's the first time I've ever gone, and it was about time. I wanted to go last year, but I felt like I should stay home with Zachariah. He was so young, and he and Matt had problems getting along then. So I felt tied to the house all the time. When the group started back up this year, I only gave it slight consideration. At the last minute Sunday I decided #1 it would be fun, #2 I need to meet other moms, and #3 I need to get out by myself more often. What really drove me to this decision was Matt planning to go to several church activities in the next few weeks...alone. Which means I'll be home with Zachariah all evening. Not that I don't like spending an evening with my son, because I do, but I figured if he could get out then I could too. Anyway, I had a great time. I already knew about 1/2 of the moms there, and then I got to meet a few new really nice ladies. Everyone was great, and I didn't have problems talking to anyone there. Plus we made a really neat calendar that looks great on my fridge.

I drove home feeling relaxed. It was nice to have an evening child-free. And I knew he'd already be in bed when I got home. I was contemplating stopping to do a little grocery shopping on the way home. But I decided I'd like to spend a little time with my husband before he goes to bed, so I better just head home. About half way there, something seemed odd about my car. Then I looked down and noticed that the engine temperature was getting hotter than normal. Then check engine light never came on though. I prayed that I'd make it home without any problems. The needle continued to dance from hot to very hot. And when I stopped at a red light about two miles from home, it went to very very hot.

I made it home fortunately and noticed it was sounding a little funny before I shut it off. Of course I came right in and told Matt that it was acting up. He went outside with a flashlight and checked under the hood. He noticed that the coolant was low. After searching the garage for some, he realized we didn't have any and took off for the store....without telling me he was leaving. He was just upset about having car problems, and he went into "stewing" mode. He told me later that he realized half way to the store that he should have told me he left. After not hearing him for a few minutes I thought he may have left to get something. That was confirmed with a quick glance out the window and seeing that his truck was indeed gone. Anyway, he came back with anti-freeze for the car. He poured the whole gallon in, and half of it was gone immediately. (The rest leaked out overnight.) So we went to bed knowing it could just wait until morning, and we'd take it to the dealership for repair.

Matt did apologize before going to sleep that night for being upset about the whole matter. He wasn't mean, but he just got a little testy. I'm used to it...that's what he does when things go wrong. In the morning he was very sweet and apologized again a few times through the day. I was just happy for an "I'm sorry" once.

Anyway, I called the dealership and scheduled an appointment for Thursday. That's the soonest they could get it in. Then I arranged to have the car towed to the dealership. Thank goodness for AAA. Then in the afternoon Matt took off from work early, and we drove out to the dealership. I made sure they had my car, and I got a loaner car from them while mine is there. Usually I just get a newer version of my car (Ford Focus), but this time I got a new Ford Fusion. It's nice. Just a little bigger than my car, but it drives very nice like mine. So for the week I have a nicer car and everything is OK until I find out how much it will cost to fix mine. I think they can just keep it, and I'll keep their car. Ha.

So, all this car trouble has me thinking maybe it's time to start looking for a different car. Mine is already 5 years old. We've maintained it well. When I got it, I knew it wouldn't last forever. It's a small car, and I'll be in trouble if I have anything more than two car seats in it. I doubt we'll get anything new soon. But it might be fun to think about for a while. I'm hoping mine has a few more years, so I can save up for a new vehicle. But for right now (today anyway), I hate my car.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shorty McShorter

"Older siblings may stunt younger children’s growth." Could this be true? These are just statistics that researchers have found.

My son is very tall for his age. He always has been. There really aren’t too many tall people in our family. Matt has a few uncles who are taller. And we’ve been told that both of his grandfathers were a bit taller. That’s about all the tall people we can find in our family. Most are under 5’8” actually.

After reading this article, I wonder will the rest of our kids be short just because Zachariah is tall. Did we use up all our tall genes on him? If you have more than one child have you noticed anything like that? Do you think it’s different for girls/boys? It is just interesting to me.

Then there is this: “Having a male twin sibling reduces a woman’s fertility.” Strange.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A social butterfly

My son is such a little social butterfly. He's not usually afraid of other people. He will go to almost anyone. And he thinks that everyone will automatically love him.

At church on Sunday he wanted to visit everyone around us. We were sitting on an aisle (for quick toddler problem escapes) and he wanted to go see the man in front of us. This is someone we know, and he knows Zachariah so it wasn't a problem. He has grandkids and loves children. So, Zachariah went up with him and sat for a little bit. Then he came walking back to me. The whole time I was on the edge of my seat waiting to grab him, because I didn't know when he might just dart off across the sanctuary. After sitting with me for a while, he decided he'd like to go see the man in front of us again. As he was heading back to me he heard a baby fussing and stopped to try to figure out where it was coming from. Luckily it was coming behind me (from Eli actually), so he didn't run off. But he did peek back at Sarah to figure out what was going on. (The kid loves babies, so we're probably lucky he didn't crawl up in Sarah's lap to touch Eli's head.) At that point I knew it was time to take him to the nursery.

I think if I'd let him, he would just wander the sanctuary during the whole church service finding people to "play" with. He would crawl up on anyone's lap who looked inviting and would smile at him. He would smile at people, laugh when they laughed, and climb all over the pews. I can just see it now. And that would make him happy.

He is like this everywhere I go. He will befriend anyone. I'm interested in seeing where this quality leads him in life. He seems to be a sensitive soul too. I could see him being like I was in school. I could make friends with anyone. In fact I usually made friends with everyone. Sure, I had my group of friends, but I could hang out with almost everyone else too. I always had compassion for the person without any friends who always ended up on their own in the dark corner. Especially when I was in elementary school, I remember trying to include these people. My youngest sister always went one step farther and made these people her close friends. I was always pleasant to them, but I remained loyal to my friend. When around adults I always felt comfortable. I could carry on conversations and feel like I fit in better with them than the younger kids most of the time. (Could this be part of being an oldest child?) This explains why a person we went to church with thought I was a senior in high school when I was really just finishing 8th grade. I was completely flattered, as you might imagine.

So, will my son be like me? I don't know. But it's so funny for now to watch him interact with people. He's happy in a room of strangers (if I'm there too). He'll have them all wrapped around his fingers before the night is over.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A little birthday love

I didn't know it was Semi-Desperate Housewife's birthday until I read her comment on Swistle's blog that mentioned it. Sorry that I didn't wish you a happy birthday when I saw you today, Sarah. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it was a good one. So, everyone else, go over and tell Sarah, Happy Belated Birthday too. Maybe she did something fun for her special day and she'll tell us all about it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ten

1. Zachariah’s 18 month check-up was last week. (I guess he’s about a week and a half late, but that’s ok.) He is still TALL ! He is 34 ½ inches, in the 95th percentile. He’s always been in the 90s for height. And he’s still skinny. He only gained a pound. He is now 24 ½ lbs. This leaves him in the 30th percentile. Now do you see why I have a hard time keeping pants on this kid? They have to be long enough, but then they fall off. (His head is in the 75th percentile.) Anyway, his development is right on. The only thing we really discussed in any detail was his lack of speech. I have not been concerned about this yet. I think he’ll talk when he’s ready. He makes LOTS of different sounds and noises. He does say a few words, and he signs at least 30. He knows how to communicate. And no, I don’t think the signing it delaying his speech. I know he’ll just start talking when he’s ready. The signing keeps our sanity, because we know what he wants and he can communicate with us.

Wouldn’t you know it, he started saying “ball” when we got home that night. It sounded like he said it at the doctor’s office, but we couldn’t tell. In the bathtub he was reaching for a ball, and I said “Get the ball.”. He kept reaching for it and pronounced loudly “baaaallll”. YEAH! I cheered for him. Then Matt and I saw on the floor playing with him before bedtime with a ball. We kept making him ask for it by name before he got it. He would sign and say “ball”. This is a good step. I think he has all these words inside of him just waiting for the right moment to shock us. And it wouldn’t be the first time we talked to the doctor about how close he was to doing something, then within the next few days he’s doing it.


2. Zachariah decided to choose his own clothes this morning. It’s been a little chilly here lately, but it’s not going to be too bad today. I was going to put him in a t-shirt and pants. I decided to let him choose whether he’d like to wear shorts or pants. I showed him one option, and he found a long-sleeve shirt he wanted to wear. So I said OK…why not. It’s the first real time he’s taken any interest in what he’s wearing. Luckily he was OK with the jeans I directed him towards and the socks were satisfactory to his taste too. Then he tried putting on Matt’s flip-flops with the whole outfit. Yikes, I don’t think so.




3. Cheryl is still in the hospital. She ended up in the Cardiac ICU Monday night and most of Tuesday, because they thought she had a blood clot in her lungs or leg. They finally ruled out both, but she was still sick and had a high fever. She was moved back to the same floor as the twins, but she was unable to see them. She sent a message this morning saying her fever was going down and if it stayed down all day, she’d be allowed to go visit the babies tonight after 8:00.




4. And Matt thought I was nuts for wanting 4 or 5 children. Now this family has their hands full. They were saying that they laugh at families on Super Nanny who can’t handle their 2 or 3 kids, and they successfully deal with 10 every day.



5. We’re thinking about upping our cable plan…just so we can watch more college football. Ha ha. Am I crazy? I thought we watched a lot of football on the weekends now. But still we currently only get 12 channels (plus a few bonus channels). I need to make a few phone calls and be sure it will fit in our budget.




6. Matt and I get to go out to dinner by ourselves tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to that. His mom has been talking a lot lately about wanting to watch Zachariah sometime. I think she's just been looking for an excuse. We have gift certificates to Red Lobster, and they are finally running the endless shrimp special that Matt loves. So we decided to see if his parents would come spend the afternoon with Zac while we go out. It was even Matt's idea to do an early dinner, so they didn't have to deal with bedtime. He knows that would be hard for someone else to do. I think that was very sweet and thoughtful of him. And he asked me to cut his hair before we go tomorrow, because "he wants to look nice for me". How sweet. Now I wish I would have bought that cute dress I found last weekend.






7. Have you seen raspberry M&Ms? My mom found them at walmar+ yesterday. They're pretty good if you're into the chocolate/raspberry combo.








8. I got a few more fall clothes for Zachariah. I think he's pretty well set for a while. I might get him a few more things around Christmas time, but he has a lot for now. Between yesterday and last weekend, I got quite a few things. Cute stuff, though.




























9. Zachariah is doing really well using a spoon on his own now. YEAH! I gave him a pudding cup and a spoon for a snack the other day. He ate the whole thing on his own with no help from me. And he used the spoon most of the time. I went to the other room to get something when he was almost done. When I came back in his spoon was on the floor, and he had cupped his fingers and was scooping pudding out of the bottom with them. It was really funny. He looked at me and said "Mmmm". He had pudding all around his mouth and of course on his hand. I just laughed, it was so funny.






10. I think that’s all the random thoughts for now. I’m sure I’m missing something I wanted to blog about, but maybe I’ll have a whole post later. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Follow-up

I have posted before about Matt's cousin, Cheryl. She was hospitalized at 20 weeks along in her pregnancy. Her cervix was thinning, and she was having contractions at that point already. Everything before then had gone smoothly, so it was a surprise to her and everyone else to find out this problem. They discovered it at her 20 week ultrasound.

She had surgery right after that appointment to close her cervix. They hoped to keep the babies in there until at least 32 weeks. And they put her on hospitalized bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Last week she found out that one of the sacs was leaking. They were concerned. She had the babies on Sunday night. They are Ethan David and Josie Lyn. She said that Ethan has an infection and some other medical problems that are keeping him critical, but Josie is a bit stronger. The family has not posted many more details, so I really don't know how serious the situation is. Her mother did send a message to the family the next day that Cheryl has an infection and wasn't feeling great, but she's getting better.

Sorry that I can't offer more details, but I wanted to update those of you who were wondering how she was since I mentioned it before. I know these babies will remain in the NICU for a while. If you would, please remember Cheryl, Brett (her husband), little Ethan and little Josie in your prayers. And the rest of the family who is helping them out right now, please pray for them too. Thanks so much, and I will let you know when I find out more.

EDITED TO ADD: The babies were born at 23 1/2 weeks (from my best knowledge).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mom's Chili

Sarah at No Whey, Mama wants to have an Internet potluck. I think this is a grand idea. And I was just about to get things for chili yesterday. I'm in the mood for warm, yummy food too. If you'd like to add your recipes, please let a comment or post on your site and make sure you let me know that you did. I'd love to try some new things. (And Sarah is giving out bonus points for dairy-free recipes.)

This is my mom's simple chili recipe. I even put it in the crockpot. Yummy.

Mom's Chili
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
1 large can tomato juice
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 large can Brooks Hot Chili Beans
chili powder or crushed red pepper to taste

All you do is brown the ground beef in a pan with diced onion. Then drain the meat, and put everything into a pot until it is hot. It doesn't take long to make, but it won't hurt it to sit and simmer for a while either. Or I brown the meat, then put it all in the crockpot on high for about 3-4 hours. It's good to serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos (if you like it hot) on top. It reheats well too. And you can serve leftovers on top of spaghetti for a change.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back in Action

Oh what a glorious weekend I had. I went away for 2 days/1 night with a friend of mine. It was good for both of us to get away from our families and constant job as "mom" for a few days. And of course we enjoyed being together. Being with friends is always refreshing. I, unfortunately, only get to see this friend a few times a year. We live just far enough apart that it's quite a drive to her place, so it doesn't happen often.

What did we do? Lots of fun things. Mostly we just shopped and talked. But that worked for me. I don't usually get much adult conversation during the day. After days, weeks, months, year(s) of that, it gets old. It's nice to carry on intelligent conversation. And it's neat to learn more about a friend that I've only known for about 3-4 years. I think we're all caught up on each other's lives now...mostly. I'm sure we'll still find things to talk about next time we see each other.

We shopped all day long on Saturday. We hit two big malls/shopping centers and other stores in between. On a trip that was supposed to be for me, I didn't spend most of my money on me. I bought a really soft pair of socks/slippers. But I bought for Zachariah 2 pairs of socks...and two shirts, and two pairs of jeans, and two pajamas. Who got the better end of this deal? Oh well, that's how life as a mommy goes even when the kids aren't around.

This was the longest that Matt's ever been alone and the sole care taker of our son. I left around 9:00AM, and they left for breakfast just before I left. We knew that would be easier for Zachariah. (He is OK if he leaves with someone else, but I can't leave him.) Then I didn't call until 7:00PM. I knew it was bedtime for Zachariah, so I wanted to say goodnight. I, of course, asked how Zachariah had been all day. Ha, ha, I should have known better. And the problem wasn't that he'd been bad, it's that he'd been super good. Matt was putting pajamas on him when I called, and he said that was the first fit he'd thrown all day...he didn't want pajamas on. WHAT??!! For me, he'd had at least 5 or more fits by that point. What's a mom to do? I guess I should leave more often. But they did have a good time. They even went out for breakfast again on Sunday morning.

I feel more rested, more happy, and more ready to be a good mom (and wife) now that I've had a break. I have a feeling that it will leave me craving more time to myself, but only time will tell. With Zachariah getting older, it may be a little easier for me to get away in the evenings for different things. i know Matt appreciated me coming home. Hopefully he'll act more appreciative for all I do now. I'm glad for the reprieve, so I will take it and be thankful.

Friday, September 7, 2007

To feed or not to feed

A few months ago I swtiched to short feeds. Now this won't mean anything to you unless you read your blogs through a feed reader. I've been using Google Reader, and it makes it much easier. I get through blogs much faster. If I want to comment, then I just click the link and I comment.

I know Jen recently brought up the topic of switching back to full feeds. It did make me think about it. I'm not sure why I switched in the first place. I guess I thought I'd have a better idea of how much traffic comes to my site, because they'd have to come finish reading the post.

But, I don't have ads on my blog. I'm not making money doing this (nor do I plan to for now). So what's the point really in making people come to my site? I don't know. I wonder if some people skip over me now, because they don't want to mess with coming here to read the whole blog posting.

That said, I've decided to switch back to full feeds. I hope that you'll still stop by and comment once in a while though. I do try to comment on many of your sites. I just want to be loved.

I also need to update my linky love. I have found some more blogs recently that I heart. So, thanks to all my readers. And I hope you like the full feeds again!

Aren't sisters great?

Yesterday, my sister Rachel popped in for a visit. She had the afternoon off from work, so she wanted to come visit Zachariah and I for a while. We had a great time with her here. She is one of my best friends, and I miss her when she's not around.



She loves her nephew and spoils him all the time. We walked around Toys "R" Us for a while, and she bought Zachariah a dump truck that he fell in love with and wouldn't let me put back on the shelf. Let me tell you she made a little boy's day. It's a cute Little People's toy and makes sounds and signs a song. He thinks it's great and hasn't stopped playing with it since he got it.



Rachel also went along with me to tutor. She's great with kids (and I still think she'd make a great teacher). She helped a few children with homework. Then she was very gracious and went outside with them to play. That was right up her alley and she jumped right in a enjoyed the activities.



Thanks, Rachel, for all your help. We all owe you. Zachariah is sitting on the couch right now playing with his new toy from you. He'll treasure it for quite a while. You're a great sister.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Aww, that's so nice.

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. ~Author Unknown



Jennifer Playgroupie has blessed me with an award. My very first blogging award I might add. Of course it suits my personality that the first one I receive is the Nice Matters Award. Thank you, thank you.

I would like to pass the Nice Matters Award along to all these super nice bloggers:

Erica (All Dressed Up)
Kelli (Holding the Mirror Up to My Soul)
Mother Bunny
Semi-desperate Housewife
Jen (Amazing Trips)
Sara (Crazy Little Thing Called Life)

There are so many other "nice" bloggers that I read, but I figured I'd stop for this time. Maybe I'll pass something on to the rest of you someday. So, pass along the love you nice bloggers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Here we go

Matt is finally back to work today after being home sick for the last 3 days or more. He wasn't too whiny being sick this time, so I'm thankful for that. He is still a little stuffed up, but he sounded good this morning.

Yesterday I could tell I was getting sick. I probably have the same thing that Matt did...sinus problems. Yuck. All I know is all day I've just wanted to go back to bed. Zachariah got up earlier than normal. But he did take a morning nap. I crawled back to bed after I laid him down. He only slept for an hour. Boo. Right now my nose is a bit drippy and my throat is scratchy. Those are my only symptoms, but I know it's coming. I would rather be sick now and then feel better by this weekend. I don't know to be sick this weekend. Grr. I really need my mommy's night out....especially since it's my first every.

Now you know what I have to worry about...Zachariah getting sick. I hope that he'll manage to stay clear of what Matt and I have. I don't know if I can handle being sick with a poor sick baby too. It's bad enough that he's bouncing off the walls and getting into things and not eating meals and wanting to snack all day. I just want to rest. Doesn't he know that?

I guess I've been lucky that I have been healthy so far in motherhood. This was bound to happen. Lets hope it goes quickly, and I don't get really sick.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh Poo!

Otherwise titled "How to relieve constipation, Zachariah style".



#1 - Don't poop all day. You wouldn't want to mess up a diaper.

#2 - Eat lots of grapes, apples, and other "binding" agents all throughout the day.

#3 - Get all excited when Mom mentions bath time. Do a little dance in front of the bathroom door even. She'll see this as your cute way of anticipating a fun bath.

#4 - Get undressed and then refuse to sit on the potty.

#5 - Get in the tub and then refuse to sit down in it.

#6 - Enjoy the feel of the warm water on your bum.

#7 - Let the urge to poop take over.

#8 - Resume the squat position and grunt and groan loudly.

#9 - Scream like a banshee when Mom tried to take you out of the tub to put you on the potty. Hold your legs, so she had no choice but to put you back in the tub.

#10 - Grunt a little more until you feel relief.

#11 - Now that you feel better, go ahead sit down in the tub and splash away.

#12 - Ignore Mom with she fishes out the poop with a cup and flushes it.

#13 - Throw a fight when Mom drains the water, starts a shower, and rushes you through a bath.

#14 - Wait one night and repeat.

Monday, September 3, 2007

547 Days

18 months ago my little baby was born into this world. Where has the time gone? I can’t turn my back from one minute these days, because he’s always doing something new. It seems like Zachariah’s had an explosion of learning these last few months. If he keeps learning at this rate, how many more new things could he possibly do in one day? I’m afraid to find out, because I’m astounded by something new constantly.

Zachariah is a smiley, loving, cuddly, rowdy, energetic, curious, smart, adorable little boy. I love him with all my heart. I can’t imagine what I’d be doing without him in my life. He’s lead me down paths I didn’t know I’d ever travel. He’s taught me things about myself that I never before knew. He tries my patience almost daily. (How much can one person handle? I’m finding that out.) But he fills each day with more joy than I ever knew possible.

Zachariah has taken climbing to a new level now. He can successfully get onto the couch, recliners, and dining room chairs. Fortunately that’s as far as the climbing escapades have gone to this point.

Zachariah is not much of a talker (yet), but he has many other creative ways to communicate. For instance, if he wants the radio on, he points to the stereo or remote and dances. He says “choo choo” for trains and “room room” for cars/trucks/tractors/anything with wheels. He pants and recently learned to say “woof woof” for dogs (or cats or other 4 legged creatures). He says “ahh ahh” for a monkey. He moos like a cow. He lets us know when something smells bad by wrinkling up his nose and waving his hand in front of his face …so cute. And he loves to smell our feet, socks, and shoes to remind us that they stink. Lovely, isn’t he?

Sign language is Zachariah’s main form of communication (when crying doesn’t work, that is). He knows how to work the please and thank you’s. He knows quite a few animal signs already: dog, rabbit, monkey, fish (complete with a “fish face”), elephant, bird and we’ve been working on cow. Some other signs he uses frequently are: more, eat, drink, grandma/grandpa (he doesn’t distinguish the difference between these yet), banana, sorry & hurt (which he is beginning to understand the meaning of), hat, car, ball, baby, up, down, potty, snow, rain, and so many more. He picks them up really quickly now.

I can’t believe how big my son has gotten either. Zachariah is always on the tall/skinny side. At his last well baby check up he was over the 100th percentile for height. I guess we’ll see at his appointment next week how he’s grown again. I’m guessing he’s gained about 2 pounds. I’m sure he’s grown at least an inch or more, because his clothes are fitting him differently. It always amazes me to see the growth.

Zachariah has gone from toddling around to running. He can get anywhere pretty quickly now. It won’t be much longer before I can’t keep up with him. He is so active and energetic. But he still has time to stop and come back to me for cuddles and hugs.

He is a friendly boy. He’ll smile, wave, or blow kisses to any friend or stranger he meets. And he pours on the charm with girls already.

He is very independent. We are seeing this more and more, especially where his eating is concerned. He no longer wants us to help him eat. He uses a fork or spoon fairly well on his own now. He wants to try more and more things on his own. He loves fruit, almost every kind. He likes to eat whatever we’re eating for dinner. He definitely has a sweet tooth. He has most of his teeth now (at least part of the way in), so he can eat harder foods too.

Before my eyes my baby has transformed from infant to independent toddler. (No wonder I’m ready for another baby.) Happy 18 months, my son!
Newborn3 months
6 months
6 months
12 months
12 months
18 months
We haven't gotten professional 18 month photos yet. I hope to go in soon!


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Going, going, gone.

This next weekend I am going out of town with a friend of mine. This is just a girls' get away. We are both really excited about it.

Matt suggested the whole trip. About a month back when I was having a few rough days, Matt mentioned that I needed a break. Yep, I do. He decided that he would set aside some money for me to go out of town. He told me to invite a friend and pick a location and time, and then he would take care of the details.

He has lived up to it. I called another stay-at-home-mom friend of mine, and she was so excited at the idea. This particular friend doesn't get much time to herself either. She is the mother of 3 young boys, and her husband has been laid off for over a month now. Their finances are really tight right now, but Matt offered to pay for the hotel and meals for her as well. So, she's bringing some spending money and we'll go shopping.

We have a nice hotel within driving distance of several big shopping centers. We're planning to shop most of the day, eat at nice restaurants, and then relax at the hotel. We might enjoy the pool, or just retreat to the peace and quiet of the room. We can stay up all night talking and reconnecting, or we might go to bed early and actually sleep until we can sleep no more. No matter what, it will be nice to have a break away.

I know that Zachariah is in good hands with Matt. This will be the longest Matt's every had Zachariah to himself. He's never stayed overnight with him alone (which I'm not worried about, because he sleeps really well at night). But it will be 2 long days dealing with every need and want of a toddler. Matt's mom offered to come watch Zachariah, so Matt could get out for a little while too. It's a good thing Matt refused, because I would have been mad. That is so not the point. Matt can handle his child for that long, and he needs to see that he can. This will be a good experience for him and Zachariah. And maybe, just maybe, we'll all come away from this more rested and relaxed. And I'm hoping that I'll be appreciated around here a little more.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ugh

Oh boy, it's a looooonngg weekend, and Matt is sick. Just ask Jennifer how that is. I hate when he's sick. It makes my workload double (at least). But I shouldn't be too harsh yet, because so far he's been pretty good. He's only wanted to stay in bed this morning. Last night he fell asleep in the recline. He didn't complain, though, when Zachariah bugged him. And this morning I've let Zachariah in the bed a few times. He knows Daddy is home, and he just wants to spend time with him. Matt has been very gracious to let him cuddle or sit and read a book with him.

Zachariah has just started learning what "hurt" means. He seems to understand and be compassionate about it too. So, we've told him that Daddy hurts today. He signs hurt and gets this adorably concerned look on his face. Then he gives out hugs. So, it helps that Zac is being careful when he is on the bed with Matt.

I'm just glad that we hadn't planned to do anything this weekend anyway. It looks like my plans with include chasing a toddler around, cleaning up after said toddler constantly, taking juice to sick husband when needed, and taking care of everything in the house by myself. Fun anyone? Oh well, it could be worse.