Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My happy place

So, that last post was really a downer, wasn't it? Wow. Pretty heavy. Seriously, though, I appreciate all your advice and input on my situation. Most of you encouraged me to follow my gut/heart. That's what I'm trying to do. But right now I'm a little guarded.

You see, before she sent the e-mail the next day, I was going to wait until Monday and then sent an e-mail putting out some feelers. Well, after the e-mail she sent, I didn't feel like doing that. I still don't. And several of you mentioned waiting a few weeks. I thought I'd want to talk to her sooner than that, but as time goes on I'm leaning towards that anyway.

And yes, you are all right, it was very immature the way she acted. I don't know if I want that in my life. If I do make amends with her, I will always have a more guided approach with her. I know it won't ever be the same again. There is very little that I held back before, but I know now there will be a lot I don't discuss with her.

So, here is my plan of action for now. We'll see what happens. I will wait a week or so, then send my friend an e-mail. I will tell her that I'm upset that we're not talking, and I really miss her and want to know if there is anything I can do to mend things. Then I'll pretty much leave the ball in her court. We'll see where it goes from there.

****
Aaaand, on we go...

Today when getting lunch around for my son, I had a realization. I am pretty happy with my life the way things are. Of course there are things I want to change from time to time, but I'm just happy right where I am. I have a lovely husband who cares so much about me. My son is at a great age where he is learning so many things, is very helpful, and is funny as can be. I just love it. I love being a mom and wife to these two wonderful men. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to do the things that I do.

Every day things may not always be the most fun, but overall it's a good life for me. I'm just plain happy. What more could I ask for?

I'm determined that the rest of my posts this week will be happy happy things. Because that's what I want and need right now. If you know/knew me in real life, you'd see that I'm a very happy person. I usually have a smile on my face no matter what else is going on. That's who I am, and I just want to be me.

The Break Up?

I am feeling really blah. I want to talk about it, but I'm having a hard time forming enough thoughts to pull together that make sense. Does that ever happen to you? No, maybe it's just me.


Usually when I sit down to compose a blog, I do it rather quickly. (Duh, I'm sure you've gathered that from reading my posts.) But I think tonight the only way to share what I'd like to share is to start this post and work on it throughout my evening. Matt is away for the night, and I'll have the house to myself very soon after Zachariah goes to the bed for the night. It will give me plenty of time to think and form my thoughts into a readable blog post.


On Friday afternoon I had a bit of an argument with a close friend of mine. I thought it was just a bit of a disagreement, but she was so mad at me. She made it clear that she didn't want to talk to me again. And basically "broke up" with me, I guess you could say. All of that without me saying a thing. I felt like I was in the back of the room, not seeing anything, and saying "What in the world is going on here?"

We were chatting on IM and in the discussion we were having she started getting really upset with me. Defensive, really. So I told her I didn't want to argue about it right now. Maybe we could discuss it again later. Then I said goodbye and left the conversation. Apparently that pushed her over the edge.

Without any chance for me to explain, she acts as if she's washed her hands of me. She sent a hurtful message to me later when I wasn't around. I was upset, but I thought I'd let her cool off a bit then try to smooth things over. I didn't feel like I did anything wrong, but I didn't want to lose a good friend over such a minor issue. I thought about calling her, but honestly I was afraid she'd yell and scream at me or just hang up the phone. And that would just hurt me more.

So instead I decided to wait and see if we could both calm down and maybe talk about it in a few days. Maybe we could get together again and talk things out in person.

I guess that was not to be. The next afternoon she sent me a truly nasty e-mail telling me not to bother calling her (among other things).

And that's what I've done. I haven't even tried contacting her, because I think it will just make her madder. But I don't understand how she could throw away our 4 year friendship over such a minor thing. So so minor. I don't even understand why really.

There is a battle inside me. Part of my wants to be mean and nasty right back to her. I want to tell her about all the times I was there for her as a good friend, since she felt it was necessary to point out things in my life. I also want to say that she didn't display any sort of good character by being mean and saying all the things she's said to me.

Then my real self says, nope, you don't need to sink to her level. Be the bigger person. Repair the friendship. Apologize (for what I don't know) and try to work through this with her.

That is who I really am. That is what I should probably do. But for now I'm too hurt to even talk to her. I haven't signed into my IM for days. Just seeing her name pop up there once in a while upsets my stomach. I don't know if I want to repair a friendship with someone who could do this again. I'm better than that, and I deserve better than that.

Such a big conflict. So much drama. I'm not about drama. I think that's what's really getting me the most. She's being very dramatic, and I won't do that. It's just now who I am, and it's not who I want to be. We're adults here, let's act like it.

I don't really know what else to say about it. I guess those are my emotions in a nutshell. And I'm open to any advice you might have. Or just tell me what you would/have done in a situation like this.

For now I am praying for my friend. I still love her. I miss the relationship we have/had. I care abour her family, and I have great memories of things we've done together. So, I am praying for patience and guidance and wisdom in this situation.

Also, I have to say...I'm so glad I never told her about this blog. I almost did, because I tell just about everything to this girl. I just didn't know if I could bring myself to tell people about it, and I am very glad I didn't. Now I have somewhere to vent and talk about it and seek other advice.

Barney DVD Winner

Thank you those who signed up to win the free Best of Barney DVD. There weren't too many entries. The rest of you don't like Barney or what?

Anyway, I went to the random number generator and it picked lucky number...

...2! That is Emily at Live with David and Katy.

Congrats Emily! I'm checking now to see if I still have your address. I do, so I will be sending this to you very soon. Enjoy!

For the rest of you, I do have another DVD here to giveaway soon. And I'm also expecting some things before Christmas that I will be reviewing and hopefully a few giveaways too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Funny stuff from the toddler

Zachariah cracks me up some days. Well, every day to be honest. And some days several times. I should keep better track of all the things he comes up with.

Yesterday he woke up telling me he wanted brothers or sisters RIGHT NOW. He told me that when I got him out of bed that morning. Then as soon as he came out into the living room, he said "Zacky wants brothers and sisters right here" and stuck his little finger on the floor in the middle of the room. Ha. Funny, because we haven't said a whole lot to him about us trying for another baby.

Then later in the day he told me "Brothers and sisters will play wiff Zacky". Aha, so that's why he wants brother and sisters. BUT, I have no idea where he got that idea. We only ever talk about having a BABY brother or sister. We've never talked to him about them being able to play with him. He has come up with that all on his own, and I don't know where he came to that conclusion. Maybe he saw something on TV or heard people talking about that. I don't know.

That evening he told Matt the same thing "Zacky wants brother and sisters now". Funny kid! Little does he know that we're working on it.

Which brings me to an interesting question. When did you tell your children that you were expecting again? Did you let them know right away? Did you wait until after you'd announced it to other people? Or did you not tell them until you started showing and everyone else had known for a while? I have a feeling we may have to wait and be careful what we say around Zachariah once we are expecting. If we don't want other people to know quite yet, he would surely tell everyone. Then they'd all know before we had a chance to tell them. Not sure we want that happening.

OK, and the other story I wanted to tell you was something funny he did tonight. He literally cracked me up. I laughed so hard I was almost crying. He was giggling and doing it over and over to see me laugh. First he wanted me to play my trumpet. Matt just recently showed him our trumpets, and it was the first we've had them out in years. Well, Zachariah was very interested in them. He loves "playing" piano already. So he told me to get out my trumpet and he'd play piano. So I did. I got out my trumpet and played a little for him. And I showed him how to make sounds in it. He tried and tried and did get a few squeaks out of it.

Then I put the trumpet away and I got out my Veggie Tales piano book. I played the theme song for him and sang too. He loved that. So then he'd turn the page and say "Next". I kept playing bits of things here and there and singing. He was thoroughly enjoying himself. Then I got to the "Water Buffalo Song". I asked if he remembered this song (he's been listening to the CD), and he said "uh huh". So I started playing it. Then he says "water buffaloooooooooo" and does that part perfectly. He kept doing it. I didn't know he knew that much of it even! It was so cute and hilarious. For those of you who don't know the song, you have to go listen to it. You'll know what part I mean. I will have to get it on video. Hi-lar-ious! I'm telling you.


***Don't forget to sign up for a free DVD giveaway. This is NOT a pay it forward contests, so there are no strings attached. Not too many signed up yet, so get your name in there.

Please pray with me

Matt's cousin notified us recently about a terrible accident that happened to her friends' young son. I will just cut and paste the message she posted. There is a little here from Matt's cousin, and a message from the father of this little boy. Please pray with me that this boy will be healed. I can't imagine what these parents are going through. They will be waiting in the next few hours to find out if their son still has a chance at life.


****The rest of this is a message from H (Matt's cousin):

One of our very closest friends from **** has a 16 mo old son, Owen, who was involved in a terribly tragic accident this weekend. M*****, Owen's dad, was outside playing at his sister's home with his sons (Owen 16 mo and W**** 4 yrs.) and 3 nieces and nephews. His brother in law was outside with them as well. Little Owen was literally sitting right behind M***** playing with rocks, and M**** was turned toward his oldest son helping him with something else. M**** literally turned around and noticed Owen was gone. It took less than 1 minute for him to "disappear"...but unfortunately over 15 minutes to find him. He had walked around the corner of the house and fallen into a decorative yard pond...that was empty...but had accumulated 3 inches of rain water. They had run past it 20 times looking for him, but somehow didn't see him. When they found him, he was not breathing and totally unresponsive. The doctors told them that medically there is nothing to be done...that it will take a miracle for him to survive. I am asking you to pray for that miracle. Here is copy of an email I sent out to my friends and family this am....

I just wanted to ask you if you would be willing to pray for little Owen again today. Last night I traveled up to **** to be with my friends M**** and J** and visit with Owen. The family is in such need of prayers. Today will be a very critical day. From what I gathered from the doctor's explanation, around noon today will be what is typically considered "the maximum swell period" for Owen's brain. When a near drowning patient has gone without oxygen for as long as Owen did, it obviously deeply effects the brain. When the brain is actually working to heal itself, it tends to swell. Some swelling means things may be healing....too much healing pushed the brain into the skull. If this happens, the brain is signaled to start shutting down the body's organs. To this point, no one knows how much Owen's brain is swelling. The only way to find that out is through a CAT scan, which puts radiation on the brain.... and that radiation causes more swelling. So... needless to say, the doctors didn't want to do a scan until the perfect, critical moment. That will come at about noon today. I am asking that you pray with all your heart specifically for Owen's brain to heal without too much swelling. This is the hurdle to try and cross today. There were times yesterday when he tried to wake up, which could be a positive sign...however, it could be a negative sign as well. The doctor's goal at this point is to keep Owen completely sedated so that his brain does not have to do any "work" at all....because ANY kind of work, even if it seems to be progress, will cause additional swelling. Owen is such a beautiful boy. Looking at him last night, he just looked like he was peacefully taking a nap. Talk about putting my life into perspective....wow.

Please also pray for W****, Owen's 4 year old brother. Unbelievably, yesterday when he was playing outside he stepped on a bee's nest and was stung over 20 times. He is in much pain and very swollen. This family is dealing with so much, any prayers of protection and healing for them ALL would be so appreciated. I will do my best to keep you updated as to how Owen and his family are doing. Below is an email I got from M****, our close friend and Owen's father late last night after I got home. I hope that by sharing it with you, you may see how God is so good...even in hardships...and that He is in total control. Please keep praying that it is in God's will for Owen to recover. Words can not express how thankful I am for you to be praying for our friends. --H****

First, I want to let everyone know how much you mean to me and my family.
We have heard from people across the Country that state that they, their
church, or both are praying for Owen. Today, both J** and I felt a little
peace and hope that Owen was going to make it.

Tomorrow at 11:35 will be
72 hours from the accident. The Dr. and nurses have said that this is a
critical time because if the brain has swollen too much, Owen's organs could
start to deteriorate and things could go downhill quickly. He did wake up
several times today, which is hopeful, but we were told that this could also go
away very quickly. Nobody knows how much his brain is swelling. I
will try my best to update everyone. This is the best way to do it for me
or I would be on the phone for hours. Continue to pray for Owen and our
family.

I want to share something that happened to me today. I spent last
night with W**** as he was still hurting from over 20 bee stings. On the
way to the hospital today, I was thinking that nobody that we had talked to on
the phone or in the hospital knows exactly what we are going through.
Steven Curtis Chapman came to my mind because he lost his 5 year old daughter in
a accident in his driveway. I was wishing that I could talk to him or
someone that had been through this, but ultimately thought it wouldn't happen.
Several hours later, at the hospital, a nurse brought a note to me with a
man's name and telephone number on it. She told me that he called and had
been through a similar accident and would like to talk to me. Not 30
minutes later, another note with the same thing on it was delivered to me.
I put the notes down and had every intention of calling them when I had a
chance. Some time passed and the nurse came in and told me we had another
visitor and his name was D*****. I saw the man walk in, but hadn't a clue
who he was. I went out to greet him and he told me that God had told him
to come to the hospital and pray for Owen and our family. He had lost his
daughter in a drowning accident and was in the room next to ours. We
talked, I shared this story with him, and we prayed. I called the other
man later in the evening and talked to him for over 30 minutes. His story
was almost exactly like Owens and their Grandson survived and is doing well.
They were also in the room next to Owens.

I share this because I used to
look at this and say, it must be a coincidence, but I can honestly say that God
knew I needed these men to come and talk to me. It brought a peace over
me that I have not felt during this ordeal.

Please believe that a miracle will
happen. Please continue to pray for Owen and his recovery. Know
that you are giving us the strength to believe that a miracle WILL happen and
Owen will be back with us in the future.Keep Praying. M****

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DVD Review & Giveaway: The Best of Barney


Barney, the big purple dinosaur with a bright green belly, is celebrating 20 years. Who else can put purple and green together and get away with it? Yeah, I'm not sure he can't either, but kids love him.

In honor of his 20 years a new DVD: The Best of Barney was released at the beginning of September. We've had a chance here at our house to watch this movie over and over...and over again already.

Barney started on PBS when I was pretty young. I never got into it too much, but I remember my sisters watching it when they were little. For some reason it started to annoy me pretty quickly. So when I was pregnant, I knew there was one character that I didn't want my child getting "into"....Barney. And here we are.

When I got this movie to review, I told Matt I wasn't going to let Zachariah watch it. I thought about viewing it myself then passing it along to someone else. But Zachariah has the world's most observant eyes, and he noticed this new DVD here. Of course he wanted to watch the big purple dinosaur.

I stuck the DVD in the player for Zachariah to watch with me. He fell in love with it right away. And you know what, to my amazement I didn't mind it too bad.

The Best of Barney is full of flash-back episodes from the beginning of Barney until now. They highlight some of the fun things that Barney's done over the years. It has many catchy songs and fun games and dances.

Zachariah has enjoyed dancing along with the video. And he found another new person he likes: Fifi. There are some bonus videos of Fifi the Flower, which are pretty cute too.

If I can come around and enjoy Barney, I think you will like it too. This will also make a great gift for any preschooler.

The Best of Barney is available on DVD now. You can find it online and in stores. Or you can stick around here, and I'll tell you how you can win your very own copy for free.

I have a brand new copy of The Best of Barney to give away to you one of my amazing readers. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below to be entered. If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

I will be drawing a winner on Tuesday, September 30th at 12:00 noon EST and announcing the winner here. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaway.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More about TTC

*What brought all of this up was that I finally had my period last week. Well, we'd been talking about it for a while and planning to start trying to have a baby soon. But my period is very irregular (always has been), and I hadn't had one since June.

*I can still get pregnant with an irregular period...this I know. I hadn't had my period for 2 months when I got pregnant for Zachariah. So, can you ovulate without a period? For me the answer is obviously, yes.

*Matt is really getting excited about me being pregnant again. He talks about it a lot at home now. He thinks a pregnant woman is one of the most beautiful things. And he treated me like a queen when I was pregnant. (Not that he doesn't now, but he really spoiled me. Come to think of it, that will be nice again.)

*Ashley mentioned that her biggest worry while trying to conceive was miscarriage. I agree with that. It took us a while to get pregnant the first time, but one of the things I prayed about was not having a miscarriage. I knew that I could wait longer if I had to, but I didn't want to go through a miscarriage. I know many of you have been through this, and you are stronger women because of it.

*Ashley, Bananafana, Sarah, Kelsey, I'm also right there with the relaxing and chilling out. That's what worked for us the first time. I feel like when I finally relaxed and realized that things would happen on there own, is when I got pregnant. So that is our primary approach this time.

*Jen, Jana, actually I'm not too concerned about ruining things for Zachariah. I don't know if I came across that way, but I'm not worried about that at all. I just know things will change, but I think change is a good thing. In fact, there have been times in my life when I have craved change, and I'm there again.

*And thanks for the idea of reading "Waiting for Birdie". I think I will try to get a hold of a copy of that.

*And thanks to everyone else (wanted to link you all fairly) who encouraged me: Devan, Heidi, Pam, Erica, Mommy Brain, Alli, Kel, Ohio Mom Musings, Shelly, and Jen. All the advice everyone gave to me means so much. And I love all the support of other mothers through this time.

*This could be a long journey. It may be short. I decided to write about it here before it kills me. I know that I will share with you all rather quickly when I am expecting. I just won't be able to keep a secret for long. And I really do appreciate your support so much.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where there's a will, there's a way.

So in all my blatherings about our weekend things, I remembered something I wanted to write about later. We just signed our wills this weekend.

The main reason we did it (other than just needing it done anyway) is that Matt will be leaving in a month for Africa for two weeks. We want to have all that stuff settled before he leaves...just in case.

Fortunately I have a sister who cares about my son almost as much as I do. We feel very confident in leaving him in her care should something happen to Matt and I. And we know that he would be loved, cared for, and provided for properly by her. That gives us some peace of mind.

OK, now can I tell you that I'm getting terribly nervous that in less than 4 weeks now, my husband will be headed out to a third-world country for two whole weeks? I am. The closer we get, the more nervous I get.

Yet, there is a calm about me. I know that there are plenty of people around to help me out if need be. My parents are only a phone call away, and so are Matt's. And we have many friends here in town that I know I could call upon.

Also, I know my husband will only be gone two weeks. Even though it's the longest that we've ever been apart, I know that many other women are without their husbands for much much longer (like my cousin's wife who is here with their son while my cousin is serving in Iraq right now).

And I know that Matt is going for a good reason. For those of you who don't know, Matt is going with a group from our church on a mission's trip to Mali, West Africa. He's been planning for this trip for over a year now. They will be doing some construction work for a women's and children's hospital there.

I know this will be the experience of a lifetime for him. I know that it will be a growing experience for us both.

I am looking forward to spending some time with my son doing some fun things. I'm hoping to do some outings that we normally wouldn't do. And just a little bit, I'm looking forward to having some alone time in the house when Zachariah's napping or sleeping at night. I know two weeks of that might get boring, but I do appreciate a little extra alone time.

I plan to take a week off from tutoring, so that Zachariah and I can just have time to do things without worrying about getting back for me to tutor. My mom and I want to go shopping in Columbus for a day. Then I'm thinking about spending a weekend at my parents' house. It would be nice to spend time with my family (and we'll visit Matt's parents while we're there) and have a few extra hands to wrangle the toddler.

And lastly I have a worry that Matt will want to return to Africa full time. I'm not saying it would be out of the question for us to go into full time missions work sometime, but it would be a huge change. I know that Matt will come back with a heart for Africa and the people there. (And I won't be surprised if he wants to adopt the adorable triplet girl babies they have in the hospital there right now either.)

I'm sure I'll be talking more about his upcoming trip in the next several weeks. If you're the praying type, we'd really appreciate your prayers now too. Please pray that the group has safe travels over and back. Pray that they are well prepared as they leave. Pray that they will be productive while in Mali. And pray for the families of those traveling.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Something for the weekend

My parents came to visit this morning. It's been several weeks since we've seen them, so it was nice to get together. Then they spoiled us by taking us out to breakfast. (Mmm, I have pumpkin pancakes at IHOP.) And they bought a few fall clothes for Zachariah. Guess that's what happens when you walk into The Children's Place with generous grandparents. All in all a fun morning.

They left early in the afternoon. We watched the end of the Ohio State football game and were happy that our Buckeyes won. Zachariah and Matt both got naps in. While they were napping, Matt's father called. He was on his way home and passing by our house in a few hours. So he ended up coming over and taking us out for dinner. The good news is that I finally got to eat at our new Panera Bread. (I love that place and just hadn't gotten there yet.) The better news is that I'd already had something in the crock pot, so we'll have an easy lunch tomorrow after church. And the best is we got some bagels for breakfast in the morning too.

What made my weekend, though, was a big milestone we had with Zachariah. He has always taken a pacifier since he was a teeny little one. He got his first one when he was in the special care nursery at a few days old. (I would have waited a little to introduce one, but the nurses gave it to him.) Anyway, at about 9 months old I had him down to only using the pacifier at night. I had every intention to take it away at about 1 year. But I knew it soothed him to sleep for naps and bedtime, so I let him keep it. He was such a good sleeper, and I was really afraid to ruin that. Our doctor said he should be rid of it by 2 years old. I was hoping that he'd give it up on his own before then. But he continued to use it at bedtime and nap time.

We've tried so many times to convince him to give it up. We've even offered to trade it to things. Or we've asked him if he'd like to give his pacifiers to babies. Nope, never worked. This has gone on for over a year. We keep trying every once in a while. He always gets really upset about it, so we give in and give it back. I knew he wouldn't still have a pacifier when he was in school.

Last night we were getting Zachariah into bed and couldn't find his pacifier. I lifted up his blankets, and he searched all over his crib. I said, "Uh oh, I don't know where it is." He didn't seem too alarmed by that, which was surprising. Then I spotted it all the way under his bed (where he couldn't see it). But I thought Let's try this. "I know what happened to your paci. I bet the Paci Fairy came and took them to the babies who needed them. You're not a baby anymore are you?"

"No," he says with big wide eyes.

"Well, I guess she needed more for the babies. But that's OK. You don't need a paci anymore. You're such a big boy."

"Zacky, Big Boy!"

"I know. And you know what? It's time to go to sleep. We'll have to be quiet so the babies can sleep too. Good night, love."

With that I laid him down in his bed and snuggled him in with all his blankies and stuffed animals as always. Just no pacifier in his mouth. He did ask for music, so I turned on the radio. A fair compromise I think.

Would you believe he never shed a tear? No whimper. No protests. Just went to sleep. I couldn't believe I just pulled that off! I thought it was too good to be true. My baby really is growing up.

I think we had an advantage, because it was already a late bedtime and he was tired anyway. I thought he'd probably wake up in the night looking for his pacifier, but he never did. So after he'd been asleep for a while and no protesting took place, I made him a little card with stickers and confetti from the "Paci Fairy". Then there were 2 sheets of stickers for his reward.

He loved getting that this morning. He was so proud of his stickers and he stuck them all over the card. I made a big deal about what a big boy he was. He kept talking about the babies that took his pacifiers. Ha ha. He didn't quiet get all the reasoning, but the idea worked.

He took a nap this afternoon with no problem and again went to bed tonight. It only takes him a minute to remember that his pacifiers are for the babies, and then he's done looking. (Oh and I snuck in there this morning and cleared them all out of his room. I think in the morning I'll throw them away.)

I am proud of my Big Boy and tonight when I put him to bed he looked so grown up to me. There was no baby there. My baby has been replaced.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I must speak of

I do try to hold back certain things on this blog. But the truth is to my knowledge only a few people I know in real life read this blog. And I respect that they'll keep my musings here private. I'm putting that out there so you all know. And also because I want to talk about something. It's things that I haven't told many people. And I will keep it quiet from my family for the most part too.

Matt and I have decided to start trying to get pregnant. I don't normally announce this to people, which explains why I won't tell my family about it. But I feel like you, my readers, are my girlfriends, and it's something I want to tell you. I also want to be able to talk about it somewhere, and this is the best place for that. Plus I know you all will have encouragement and advice for me.

We had some problems trying to get pregnant before. Well, not necessarily problems, but it did take us a while. We did not seek any help and just let nature and most importantly God lead the way. I think I will want to talk more about my past infertility in another post.

All that said, let me tell you I am excited about trying for another baby. I can't wait to have another little snugly newborn to hold and care for. I also loved being pregnant and am excited about the joy that brings.

As much as I'm excited, though, I probably have more worries. First, will it take us a long time to get pregnant? I hope not, but I'm preparing myself for that. That's all I know so far, so I tend to think that's how it will be this time too.

I am concerned because I have not lost the weight I wanted to. I really want to lose more weight before getting pregnant, so I will be healthier and a better mama for it. I'm at the point that I don't want to put it on hold right now, though. So I will be working on losing weight while we're trying to conceive (well, not at the exact same time...geesh).

I also worry about being able to afford a baby. I know that we can, but I still worry especially with our economy where it is right now. I don't know how it will work out for me to continue tutoring with two kids, but for now that might have to be the way it happens. At some point we plan for me to quit that altogether, at least in the formal center like I'm at now. I might still be able to swing some tutoring privately after that.

And of course I think about how this will change the dynamics of our family. I think it will be a great thing, and I know Zachariah will be a great big brother. But I know that I'll have less one on one time for him for a while. As always we will adjust, and it will seem like that's our normal. And it will be our new normal. I look forward to that.

So tell me, what were your biggest concerns when you were trying to get pregnant? Were they different each time?


And with a nevous tummy I will hit publish on this post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

DVD Review - Strawberry Shortcake

Strawbbbb-berry, Strawbbbb-berry, Strawberry Shortcake. It's addicting...the new song on the new Strawberry Shortcake movie. I was thinking about this review this morning. Then I had the song in my head. And I came out of the shower singing it. Zachariah ran over to the videos and pulled the DVD out. He wanted to watch it again after hearing the song. Must be stuck in his head too.
I vaguely remember Strawberry Shortcake from when I was a kid. We liked watching her cartoon shows when we were little. And here she is again.

In this new DVD Strawberry Shortcake Rockaberry Roll the Strawberry Shortcake gang is back together. The premise is laid out in several sections but about coming together to make something work. It's a great lesson I think. But I would say for that it is probably better targeted at a bit older child. My son is 2, and while he does enjoy this movie I think the lessons it is teaching are completely lost on him.
These is a lot of music and singing in this particular DVD, which you might figure from the "rock..." and "roll" in the title. I think this is what Zachariah really loves about this one. He enjoys music and likes to dance when there is a good beat.
I can picture little young-elementary or late-preschool age girls singing and dancing along with this. Though, I won't discriminate, because obviously my truck/train/plane/car/crane/construction/tractor-loving boy enjoys this too.
The DVD Strawberry Shortcake Rockaberry Roll is already available at stores. Or you can buy it online here. They are currently selling it there for $10.99, which I think is a pretty good deal. This would also be a great birthday gift for any young child.

Where do you draw the line?

So much on my mind, so much in my life. Yet I sit down wanting to blog, and I don't know what to blog about. I feel like I often teeter between being boring to my dear readers (when I ramble on and on about my boring happenings) and revealing too much about my personal life that I may not want others to read (my family and others in my real life).

How do you draw that line? Part of that for me is keeping my blog anonymous, yet it also means that I cannot talk to my family and friends about blogging.

It's hard sometimes to keep all of my love of blogging from the people I talk to every day. This is a big part of me that I love.

I haven't yet found my answer to this problem.

One consideration is opening a new blog where I can cross-post some of the things here that I would like my family to read. And I can post more pictures there for them to read too. I just wonder if this will be too much upkeep and burn me out. But I'm thinking if I just post the same things I'm posting here (just leaving some out) that it will be a little easier.

What do you think? Have you had to solve this problem yourself? Suggestions? Thanks for your help and consideration.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mike & Ike

Just wanted all my friends who are in the path(or possibly in the path) of Hurricane Ike to know that I am praying for them. I will continue to do so too. (I got everyone that I could think of in that area or has been talking about. Didn't mean to miss you if you are being affected by this too. I am praying for ALL.)

May God protect you and your family.

Lord, let Ike calm down before it reaches the shores of our country.

Bless those who are traveling and leaving their homes for safety. May they return to a safe and unharmed home. Give them a place to rest while they are away from home.

Keep the families who are staying put safe and secure in their houses. May their houses be a strong house and protect them all.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

De Feet

My son currently has pink toenails. They've been this way for over a week. Matt just noticed them last night. I was hoping he wouldn't see. Zachariah wanted his toenails painted when he saw my mom painting hers on Labor Day. So I painted them for him. I used the lightest shade of pink she had...hardly noticeable. I think it's pretty funny. I don't plan to keep them painted, and it's already scratching off. (Goes real well with the camo pants he's wearing today too! Don't worry he is wearing socks, so no one else will notice.)
Horrible picture of my feet, but I just wanted you to see these socks. Not my favorite, but my sister gave them to me for Christmas. And I wear them. It's been chilly in the mornings, so I've been wearing them more. Yesterday Zachariah walked up to my feet and started giggling. Strawberry feet, he said. What do you think? Strawberries? Ha!

Speaking of "de feet"...we're really hoping the our team isn't "de-feeted" this Saturday. OSU (#5) vs. USC(#1). It ought to be a good game. (8PM EST on ABC in case you're interested.) We might need to get Zachariah a better fitting shirt before then. ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baking again

Now that summer is (sort of) over, I feel like baking. We've had some apples in the house that needed to be used up too. I made my mom's Apple Danish recipe. Oh yum. I love this every time I make it. It's been a little while, so it tastes even better to us.

I did the crust a little different this time, and we were very pleased with the results. I put the flour, margarine, and shortening in my food processor and pulsed it until the margarine and shortening were "mixed" in. Then I added the milk and eggs through the top of the processor while pulsing it. Then I mixed it until it was mixed. My crust was much flakier and easier to work with by doing it this way. And it was less messy. I'll make it like this from now on.


Without further ado, here is the yummy recipe.


Apple Danish

Crust:
½ cup shortening
3 cups flour
½ cup milk
½ cup margarine
2 eggs, separated
Cut shortening and margarine into flour. Combine milk and egg yolks. Stir together until mixture is moistened. Divide dough in half – roll out ½ and put into jelly roll pan.

Filling:
6 apples, peeled & sliced
1 ½ cup sugar
3 Tbs. flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup margarine
Arrange apples on crust. Combine sugar, flour & cinnamon. Sprinkle over apples. Dot with margarine.

Roll out remaining crust & cover apples, sealing edges. Brush top with slightly beaten egg whites (don’t use all of them, just brush lightly). Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Glaze:
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. milk
Mix together and drizzle over Danish while warm.
Serve warm or let sit over night and devour in the morning.

DVD review - Care Bears


The Care Bears are celebrating 25 years! Wow. I don't know about anyone else, but I loved Care Bears as a kid. I remember having a Care Bear as a young child, and each of my sisters had a different one. It was fun seeing all the different kinds. I also loved when the Care Bear Cousins first came out. I think my sister had one of those too. I know my cousin had several and I loved playing with them at her house.

In honor of the 25th birthday they have recently released a new DVD ‘The Care Bears: Care-A-Lot Collection’. We have this DVD set and have watched it several times. Zachariah loved it instantly. He watched it a lot at first. It has gone by the wayside for the moment for new favorites, but he definitely fell in love with the Care Bears. I went to his room and dug out his "Baby's First Care Bear" that his great-grandmother brought to the hospital for him when he was born. He's played with this toy a little, and he really enjoyed linking it with the "movie" he was watching on TV.

There are 22 episodes on the DVD set. There is a total of 242 minutes of Care Bear fun. I think it's something you can watch for a while and not get too bored with it.

It has plenty of different plots and adventures throughout the episodes. There is a new scenario for each one, but you know the Care Bears always join together in the end and save the day.

I enjoyed watching it and reminiscing about when I was a kid. It was fun for me to step down memory lane and fun for Zachariah to find something new.

This DVD set is available at stores now. Or you can find links above that will help you purchase it. It retails for about $22.98 (but I've seen it cheaper already) and is available now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

She has talent

My sister, Mary, has some serious talent. She struggled through school. She chose not to attend college like her older sisters. But when she took her first real art class in high school, we knew she had a raw talent that the rest of us could not touch.

The first time Mary put paint to paper in high school, it was beautiful. And every time she has done it since has been amazing.

She's had no formal training other than her few small school art classes several years ago. But she's good.

I love Mary's paintings. Here are some that I have in my house. This doesn't even touch the other things she's painted for my mom, other sister, grandmother and other people. Her specialty and passion is for ocean/water scenes, but I think she could paint anything she put her heart to.
Mary made this painting for me while she was in high school art. It was right about the time that she was finding out her passion for ocean scenes. I love dolphins, so she added one in the water just for me. I still haven't framed it, but it's always in a prominent place in my home. I like to look at it often.

The photo I took of this second painting doesn't even begin to do the photo justice. It's framed (with glass and I couldn't get a good picture without a glare) and hangs in my kitchen.

I rescued this painting from the trash. Just before graduating Mary was helping clean out all her art projects from school. She was decided which ones to keep and which to just get rid of. There were so many. This one was in her throw away pile. I feel in love with it instantly. She never liked it much, but it's my favorite. There's just something about the colors that I love.

This painting is what Mary created for me for Christmas. She asked what kind of painting I'd like, since she was making one for everyone. I didn't have any ideas, so I told her to try to do something similar to the painting you see above. And she does awesome sunsets, so this is what she came up with. It sits on my piano, and I like seeing it when I walk by it all the time.


This painting is one that Mary recently gave me. She saw the idea somewhere about painting an above/under water scene. When she was finished, she knew it was perfect for me. So she gave it to me a few weeks ago. I'm very proud of it, and I wish the photos could capture the image better. This one sits in my bathroom (I had reservations about leaving it in there, but she thought it would go best there) behind the toilet (not much other wall space). The colors on this are superb.

I wish I had half of the talent that my sister has.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

When kindness has to end

I just have to say, I don't like being lied to. I don't like when someone does something over and over and over again. You give them another chance and another chance, and you think they'll come around. Grr.

I'm a pretty optimistic person. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to see good in all people. And I've always had a heart for less fortunate people than me.

But sometimes when you're kind and compassionate, you get burned. Why do people have to take advantage so much? To the point of taking from others? It does not make sense to me. I just don't get it.

It makes me mad. And when it comes to that, it's time for me to give up on that person. Nothing lost from me. Just leave peacefully, please.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I randomized a number



This morning I "drew" a winner for the Bob The Builder giveaway. Thanks to the people who signed up. The lucky winner is....


The #1 comment came from Jana at Dress-Up and Diaper Changes. (If you don't already read Jana's blog, you should go check it out. She has adorable pictures of her little boys on the front page right now. And if you go down a little farther you can see her sweet little girl on her first day of school.)
Congrats Jana! I will get in touch with you soon to get your address, so I can send you the DVD. Hurray! I know your kids will enjoy this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just keep blogging...

I can't believe I've gone a week without blogging. I miss it, and I've missed reading all of your blogs and commenting. I didn't mean to disappear, but I did and it was OK. I didn't even read any Twitter messages after Thursday. I will probably do a quick scan of blogs and Twitter posts to see if I missed anything good. And I'll try to comment a little. Otherwise, I'm not going to fret too much about it. I'll get overwhelmed if I have to completely "catch up" every time that I'm gone for a short while.

My Bob The Builder contest ends tonight, so if you haven't signed up for that yet, go check it out. I will be drawing one winner to receive a new DVD that just came out. I'm hoping to get a hold of another DVD to giveaway for September. There is a cool Halloween one coming out that I know you and your kids would like.

I'd like to do some major blog editing here sometime. There are links and things that I haven't updated in eons. I feel bad that some of my favorite bloggers are not linked on the sidebar. I did do a big list a while back with most of the blogs that I read linked there. There are more now that I've added, so I'd like to update that list. And I think I'll link to that list from my home page.

Today I'm happy that we had a nice weekend with family. I'm happy that all my laundry was done before we came home, so there is none of that to catch up on today. I'm happy that Wonder Pets is back on Nick, Jr. (It was off for the summer.) Zachariah loved seeing that again, and it wasn't one of his videos. And I'm happy to be home.

What made you happy today?