Monday, December 29, 2008

Things that Go Bump in the Night

MaryBeth, her husband Rob, and I were talking today about the weird things that people do in the middle of the night. They had some funny stories but I haven't gotten their permission so I won't share them.

If you have ever slept in the same room as my husband, you have a funny story about him in the night. He is a very active sleeper. He regularly talks and moves around. When he used to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, he used to rent me cars in his sleep. It's about once a month that I have to turn the lights on in the bedroom at some awful hour of the night to prove to him that there are no spiders in the bed. The funniest part about that is that he's not afraid of spiders during the day. Ryan's dad even has told me that his camp counselors used to complain about his excessive talking.

During our first couple months of marriage, this was something that I had to get accustomed to. If you know me, I like things very quiet and very dark when I sleep. My sisters often refer to my sleep patterns as cave like. I was always trying to remember what it was that he said to me in the middle of the night but usually forgot.

There was one night that I will never forget. It was somewhere in the middle of the night when it began. I started to feel my head being lifted off the pillow. I opened my eyes just in time to see Ryan above me. He was getting ready to head butt me. No joke. He picked my head off my pillow and head butted me, a full on head butt. He then proceeded to roll over and fall back asleep. Since I was still mostly asleep myself, I just rolled over and went back to sleep, although I was a tad angry. In the morning, he nicely pronounced to me that his head hurt. No kidding. Mine did too. This is exactly what a girl dreams of when they start sharing a bed with their husband.

What is the weirdest thing you have experienced in the middle of the night?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Great Time Was Had By All

Last night was our annual Christmas Dessert. It was a great time. We ended up having about 65 people show up. There are always a few that cancel at the last minute. We had a great time and want to thank any of you who came. I took some pictures before people got here. For some reason I didn't think to take a picture of Ainsley in her cute Reindeer PJs. Sorry.

Here is the drinks table. There was coffee, punch, sangria, and beer (that red bucket was full shortly after I took this picture - Thanks Bob).


One of the hits of the party was the Hershey Bar Cake. It looked pretty if I do say so myself. Also notice the labels for each of the desserts.

This Chipsy Turtle Cheesecake is amazing. It's one of my favorite desserts of all times.

This is the other cheesecake. It's a Chocolate Cheesecake that I got the recipe from Emerill. Can't go wrong with him!
I had to have a few desserts that weren't chocolate so I made this Strawberry Cake. It tasted great even if it was leaning a little.

Of course we had to have cookies. I made Spritz Cookies and Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (which really should have been called butter chocolate cookies with how much butter went into them). I also made some mint covered pretzels.

In the past I have always made candies. This year it was too much but I decided to make fudge instead. I made chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge. Yummy!


Not pictured are the things that other people brought. I would like to thank...
Jody for the Better than Sex Cake
Krystal for the Millionaire's Cake
Lori for the Chocolate Pie
Mary for the Pumpkin Roll
Ashley for the Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Treats
Jessica for the Pound Cake
Debbie for the Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beth for Peanut Butter Toffee Bars
Anne for the Honey Bun Cake
I sure hope I didn't miss anyone but if I did, Thanks! Until next year...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everyday Unwrapped

My friend Emily is doing a special with her blog. She is asking everyone to notice the everyday.

The Christmas season is a hard time to do that. We all have our commitments, our gifts to buy, our love ones to visit. It's why it's often referred to as the "hustle and bustle". I am no different than anyone else. In just the past week, I have gone to 2 parties, decorated my house, shopped online for my family, researched what to buy for Ryan's family, and of course baked for my party with the 75 person guest list coming up in 2 weeks.

Last night Ryan got home from work and I declared to him that I was in a bad mood. I was feeling down and I couldn't figure out why. It was classic hormone issues. I didn't want to do anything. I had baking I could have been doing. I had dinner to make. I had packages to put together for our health business. I had laundry to fold. I had bottles to prepare for the next day.

But then there was this moment. We had given Ainsley her bath. I had put her in her red reindeer pajamas. It was time to feed her. This is when I absolutely love breastfeeding. It provides me with the 15 minutes to sit down every couple hours. We sat down on the couch and I began to feed her. She was really sleepy so she was super cuddly in her fuzzy pajamas. She nuzzled right in and went about eating. She was just about done, when she slowly drifted off to sleep, which is something she never does. She lay in my lap, still, quietly loving me. As I gazed on her, I was overcome with my everyday. As Ryan carried her to bed, still asleep, I was overcome with love for my family. My everyday is good.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Away in a Manger

My favorite part of Christmas is my collection of nativities. About 7 years ago, I decided I wanted a nativity as part of my Christmas decorations. I started looking for one and couldn't find one. I couldn't believe how hard they were to find. It started to bug me that Santa decorations were much more prevalent that Jesus decorations. Isn't this holiday completely about Jesus? What happened to remembering that baby in a manger? I made it my mission to make Christmas about Christ in our house. I started to collect nativities.

To date I have 17 of them. They are all different. I have them from all over the world. No two are anything alike. Each year I pick up another 1 or 2. My parents bought me a really nice traditional one. My mother in law buys me them from different countries. Each year, I am most excited to get these boxes out. I enjoy my tree as well, but nothing compares to bringing out these nativities. It's like my own Advent. I look forward to it with great expectation.

Here are a few of my favorites.

This one is Greek.


This is my traditional one that sits on the mantel

This is my Advent calendar. Each day is a member of the scene

This one is wicker

This one may be sacrilegious but its cute and goes in Ainsley's room. Is snowman Jesus wrong?
What are your favorite decorations and traditions of Christmas?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Randomness

I haven't posted since Thursday. I have been really tired but that's not really an excuse. Here are some highlights from the past week:

Hanging Rock
Ryan and I love Hanging Rock, a local mountain we hike with a great view. We had one of our first dates there, we got engaged there, and we take just about everyone important in our lives there. My scrapbooks are full of pictures of people we have taken including Majid and Andrea, Tim and Lindsay, a group from college, my parents, Jason and Leah, and Omar. It only felt right to bring Ainsley up there early. Here are some pictures.





Lost Brain
I have lost my brain again. I went to work this morning without one of the most important parts to my pump. I had to have MaryBeth come to my office with Ainsley so that I could feed her. I felt pretty retarded.

Omar
Omar has been out of work since his assault. His bills are piling up like crazy and are all due right now. He was about to be evicted and lose his car. We put out a call to our friends and family and a good friend of my mother in law's is stepping in to pay all of his December bills. What a blessing.

Christmas Party
Our Christmas party is only a few weeks away. I am starting to freak out. We have 66 confirmed guess with a bunch of maybes and over 40 that haven't responded yet. I started my grocery list and I am going there tomorrow. I will start baking on Friday and probably not stop until the party.

So that is all that is going on with me. I will try to be better about posting but can't promise anything between now and the party.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

Today I thought it would only be right to post a Thankful Thursday post. This year we have so much to be thankful for. I can't possibly list everything but here are my favorites from the past year:

1. A relationship with the King of Kings
2. The birth of our extremely wonderful baby - Ainsley
3. A continued loving healthy marriage
4. An incredibly supportive family
5. A wonderful job
6. A great house that we can call home
7. A country where freedom is the rule, not the exception

There is so much more. As the day passes today, I encourage you to spend some time thinking of what you are most thankful for. Remind yourself that today isn't just about food and family, its about being thankful to the One that gave us life and life abundant.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Sweet Voice

I hadn't talked to my mom since Saturday morning. I got busy on Sunday and then on Monday she had her episode. I didn't talk with her when we found out she was headed to the hospital. I didn't get to talk to her throughout the day today. I was starting to feel very frantic.

I know I was probably overreacting but I have a tendency to think the worst. I was beginning to feel like I would never hear the sweet voice of my mother. I spoke with my dad twice today, fairly early. Even though my dad told me that she was going to be OK and that they were still running tests, I needed to hear in her voice that she was doing OK.

I think about people who I have known and lost and I realize that their voices is what I miss the most. You can always look at pictures, but so much of who we are is communicated with our voice. Our emotions, our feelings, and our souls all come through.

At 2:30 today, I finally got to talk with my mom. The familiar "Hallow" greeted me at the other end of the line. I felt the instant connection that I was craving. My mom was OK. There are still issues, but she sounded good. I know someday I won't be able to hear that voice again. That day will break my heart. For now, it looks like that day won't be today. I can only thank Jesus for that.

As for those of you who want the real health update, here it is...She is staying another night in the hospital. They did an MRI of her brain and they found a small spot where an artery had expanded and calcified. This seems to be an old issue and not the current problem. They are going to do an ultrasound of her kidneys tomorrow to check for artery blockages. They have given her new medication and are observing her for now. She will be in the hospital again tonight. If all goes well, she will be released tomorrow. They will wait for her BP to stabilize and then she will need to take a stress test. To sum it up, they really don't know the cause but they are trying to stabilize with medication. Continued prayer is appreciated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do Not Fear

My life verses are Isaiah 43:1-4. I have relied on them many times in my life. They were the verses I turned to during labor. They comfort me grately.

Tonight my dad called for the second time in a week saying that he and my mom were at the hospital. My mother has high blood pressure naturally, but twice in the past week, it has gotten dangerously high. They ran all kinds of tests on Friday and sent her home not knowing what was causing it. She has been monitoring it for since then.

Today she took it again and it was 216/102. They called the ambulance and headed back to the hospital. They live in the middle of no where (I mean it) and the closest hospital is 45 minutes away.

As I sit and wait it out, my human nature tells me to freak. I am a worrier by nature. I think to some degree, we all are. I always forecast the worst. This is why I must cling to my Jesus. He is the great comforter. When I have a need to fear, I must remember that he has conquered the grave. Even if the worst were to happen, I know that I am a daughter of the King. So is my mom. Grace has covered us. So tonight I again rest in this...

Isaiah 43:1- 4

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Here You Go Ryan

Ryan has been asking for pictures on my blog. Here are a few from the past few days.


I've been experimenting with Picasa this morning. Click on this for the full size view.






Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holy Crap!

****WARNING: This story is not for the weak stomached. My co-worker literally gagged this morning****

This morning started out like a normal Wednesday. I got up and got Ainsley's stuff ready to go. I woke her up, fed her, and dressed her. When she was all set, I put her in her Bumbo on the kitchen table to watch Ryan eat breakfast. My choice of the Bumbo (a molded rubber seat) was divine intervention as we don't usually use it in the morning...but I'm getting ahead of myself. I kissed my sweet girl and my loving husband goodbye and headed to the shower. Normal day so far.

As I was in the shower, Ryan comes in and says that he thinks that Ainsley has "crushed" her diaper. If you know Ryan, he often refers to "crushing" the toilet. I calmly say, "Well, I am in the shower so you are going to have to change her". His response was that it would make him late. I told him that I was in the shower and couldn't help him right now and to bring her in her poopie diaper to Grandma Anne's house. She would understand. He walked away. I thought, "My goodness, must I do everything"

Not even a minute later, Ryan walks back into the bathroom and says "You need to finish up in there, I need help NOW! Ainsley is sitting in a puddle of poo". If you know Ryan, you know he has a tendency to over exaggerate. I figured she had pooped a bit out of her diaper. Not a big deal, just change her outfit and head on. I quickly got out of the shower, dried off, threw my hair up in the towel, and draped myself in my bathrobe. I was going to make him feel bad.

I got to the kitchen and there was my sweet girl sitting in her Bumbo laughing at us. She was literally laughing. I took her shoes off (thankfully I had that fore site) and picked her up. Ryan wasn't over exaggerating. She was sitting in a huge puddle of poop. I picked her up, turned her over, and ran for the tub. Ryan followed picking up the drops of poo that we were leaving. She was dripping out of her pant leg.

I set her down in the tub and started to undress her. It was cold today so she had a onsie on under her outfit. Figures today would be 2 things that had to go over her head. As I took her clothes off, I was smearing this poo all over her arms and her belly. She loves putting her hands in her mouth and so I was freaking about not letting the poo get on her hands. As I lay her back down on the tub, she started to pee down the tub. Why not empty everything out? I reached for the wash cloth and turned back and she had poo on her upper lip. There is no doubt that she has eaten some poo. I got her in her tub and rinsed her down. I emptied the tub and started over again. I then got her re-dressed and ready to go.

Meanwhile, Ryan is cleaning up the rest of the house. He is already dressed in his shirt and tie and worried about getting poo on his nice clothes. I ask him to put Ainsley's clothes, diaper and all, in a plastic bag on the front porch. I will deal with that when I get home.

I finally finish all this and send them out the door. I get dressed as fast as I can and throw my hair in a bun (OK, that's normal for me these days anyway). As I am in our bathroom, I smell more poo. I look in our shower and there is the Bumbo with the puddle of poo still in it. I rinse it out and run out the door. I make it to work at 7:58. I was so afraid I was going to have to call my boss (who doesn't have kids) and let him know I was going to be late due to poo, but I made it. Ryan emails that he made it to work at 7:59.

All day, I can think of one thing. There is a bag of crap on my front porch. I worry that I have sent my child to Grandma Anne's with poo still on her, especially in her hair. So when I say my day was crappy, I mean it literally.

What was your worst baby poo story?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Love My Doula

I have eluded to my birth before, but I wanted to talk about my experience in relation to having a doula. I gave you my doula's perspective a bit ago with our birth story and I think its equally as important to give you my perspective of her role in the birth of Ainsley.

For the first half of my pregnancy, I firmly stated that I wanted the epidural early. I didn't want to feel anything, I just wanted my baby. It was about the mid point that we went to the child birthing class at the hospital. I began my journey of learning more about birth. At first I was frightened. I was still set on the drugs. By the end of the class, I began to feel differently. I was beginning to realize that this was what God designed my body to do. Birth was meant to be experienced and not just survived. I changed my tune. I wanted to be a part of the most important day of my baby's life.

I still had fear. I wanted to be able to give birth from a position of confidence, not fear. We began to think about doulas. We were given a name of a local doula who was early in her practice. Being who we are, we thought that this might be a more inexpensive way to go than the most experienced doula. God used that lapse of judgement for our benefit. I called Mary on a Sunday afternoon and she and I immediately "clicked". I felt as if I knew her from the start. She was such an advocate for God's plan. I knew she knew my Jesus and I knew I wanted her there for the birth of our daughter.

She met with us extensively before the birth. She tried to prepare us for what was to come. She encouraged us to read some great books. She looked up scriptures for me. She was giving me the confidence I needed to really be involved in the birth process. I felt good about what was to come.

The week I was in labor (I consider the prelabor that I experienced to be part of that week), Mary was never far. We spoke regularly on the phone. We emailed. We were very in touch. She coached me through the beginning contractions over the phone. She told me to rest. She just encouraged me. I felt very loved.

As the week progressed and it became obvious that this was "it", she was there. She came over at 3:00 in the morning as we were having contractions at home. She used many great doula techniques to help ease the back labor that I was experiencing. She regularly helped me keep my focus on our baby. She gave Ryan and I space to experience this process as a couple and stepped in when we needed more support.

At the hospital she did all those things as well. She helped us through some rough decisions. She helped me to read the signs my body was giving. She helped me decide the appropriate times to call for interventions. This was hard for me since I had the idea of doing this 100% naturally. She helped me to realize that taking Pitocin and an epidural isn't the end of the world and that I wasn't a failure for doing so. I was doing what was best to ensure a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

As we pushed for hours and felt like days with little progress, Mary encouraged both Ryan and I to continue to trust on Jesus. My body was doing what it needed to do. Our baby was just a short time away from arriving.

As Ainsley arrived, Mary was the one that captured the early pictures. She aided us in our initial bonding experience. I don't remember much of that time but I do remember that it was exactly as I wanted it. I remember feeling complete. I remember feeling empowered. I remember feeling like I had experienced this life changing moment and I would be forever bonded to the people in that room.

Since Ainsley's birth, I have continued to be loved by Mary. She is a member of our family now. Nothing will ever change that. She loves us and we love her. I know this for sure, the first call outside the family if I get pregnant again will be to Mary. I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Parenting Books...Love Em or Hate Em

It's very interesting to watch your parenting styles unfold in front of you. I am quite different than I imagined I would be. I am a very uptight person in most of my life. Surprisingly, I am not that way as a mother. I am actually very laid back. Ryan is the uptight one. Today he told me that he though Ainsley had Measels when she only had a little scratch on her nose.

In light of that, I have found that I have not been overly interested in parenting books. I have been committed to reading Your Baby's First Year Week By Week. They did a great pregnancy book so I thought it would be a good book as my 1 parenting book. Each week it gives you milestones that your baby should be hitting, the average weight and height, potential illnesses, types of play that baby might enjoy, and general parenting suggestions.

We are now at Week 19 and I have decided I hate it. I'm thinking about not replacing it with any other book. Each week, I find myself wondering if Ainsley is behind or too big or if I'm ignoring some grave illness. This is the 3rd week in a row that it has mentioned that baby should be rolling over with ease. Rolling over isn't even on Ainsley's radar. They are going into great detail about eating solid food. Ainsley is not ready for solid food yet. They say she should weigh 14 1/2 pounds. A week and a half ago she weighed 15lb 3oz. Frankly, I hate the games they come up with for play. They often involve a song I have never heard before or some silly motion. They described playing "So Big" but instead used "So Tall". Whatever!

So I am putting my book aside. I give up. Is there another parenting book that I might like better? Will I forever feel like my child is not normal if I continue to read them? Is she so far behind because she can't roll over at 19 weeks? Am I stressing for no reason?

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Hard Reminder

On Tuesday I spent some time talking with one of my oldest friends on the phone. She and I grew up in Connecticut and have always been very close. I have always felt very welcomed by her family and I hope she can say the same about mine. I consider her one of my best friends. We have one of those friendships that you don't need to talk all the time to still be great friends. We often go months at a time without speaking but everytime we do, its like we just talked yesterday. Outside my family, she knows me the best. Our relationship is nice and easy.

She called to wish me happy birthday and to find out the goings on of the Krumroys. I updated her on the joys and hardships of motherhood. Overall, the Krumroy update was easy and good.

Her update was a little bit more mixed. She told me of the trip to Hawaii that she took with her now serious boyfriend. It was a great to hear the joys of this relationship in her life. Then she got to the hard part. Her parents, who started dating when they were in high school, are getting a divorce. It's hard to believe it. Her parents are like a second set of parents to me. I spent many weekends at their house when I was young and even a few since we have been married. I know that people don't air their hardships for everyone to see, but this took me by complete surprise. This couple had been together for so long and seemed so stable and together. My friend seems to be handling the situation with the grace that echos through the path of her life.

As I got off the phone and Ryan asked me what was wrong, it really hit me that marriage is work and that no one is without a vulnerable spot here and there. I don't know all the details of this break up so I can't judge it at all and that's not my point. My point is that it was a reminder to me that we need to continuosly work on our relationships. We can't just assume that since we have been together for a long time that we will always be together. We must continuosly rely on the One that has put us together. Without His strength, we can not even begin to be a success at marriage.

Now I will pray for my friend and her family. I will pray for our marriage. I will pray for the marriage of my parents. I will pray for the marriages of my friends. I will pray for all the marriages that I am surrounded by. Chances are we all need those prayers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I May Be Insane

Every year since we have been back in NC, we have thrown a Christmas Party. Its a dessert party. I love to bake and it's my one time a year that I commit to it. I usually make a ton of desserts. I make cheesecake, layer cakes, cookies, brownies, candies, eggnog, sangria, punch, and more. I even make fancy place cards to label all the food. Every year people tell me that I have done too much.

Last year, I was 11 weeks pregnant and I had a very bad cold. Of course, I couldn't take anything for it because I was pregnant. I plowed through and ended up flat on my back in bed for 5 days after it.

I sent out my evite yesterday. It wasn't until this morning that I actually looked at the numbers. I sent it out to 120 emails. Holy crap. 120 emails means that it could be 240 people if everyone brought a guest. Of course everyone won't come. But what if they did?

Am I nuts? Be prepared for my blogging to cease leading up to December 20th.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mixed Bag

Yesterday was my 31st Birthday. It was definitely a mixed bag of emotions.

Last year as I was turning 30, I was very upset. I didn't want to turn 30. There was one major thing that I wanted to have done before I was 30, have a child. I was barely pregnant by the time I hit the actual day, but it was a very hard couple months leading up to it. This year, I really didn't think too much about my birthday leading up to it. It wasn't a major milestone. It just wasn't a big deal.

My day started out at 6:05 when MaryBeth called to tell me that she wasn't going to be able to keep Ainsley. She was cramping and bleeding and was going to the doctor to check on the baby. Right then, I knew this was going to be a hard day. I quickly called my mother in law who graciously agreed to watch Ainsley for the day. I was off to work.

Work was a horrible Monday. I am a computer programmer and there are times that my job makes me irritated. If you know anything about system administration, you know that when Microsoft forces automatic updates on you, things can very awry. This was the case on Monday. I was putting out fires left and right.

By the time I left work, I had gotten an email from MaryBeth that she had been to the doctor and they couldn't find a heartbeat. She was scheduled for a DNC today. My heart broke for her. I just can't imagine the pain that she and Rob are going through. Please pray for them.

When I got home, I had scheduled for my neighbor to come watch Ainsley while Ryan and I went out. I had no idea where we were going. He came home and we rushed out to Sweet Basil, one of the nicest restaurants in town. His mother and stepfather met us there. I thoroughly enjoyed my goat cheese risotto with a portabello mushroom on top. Ryan, who doesn't drink wine, ordered us a fabulous bottle of wine. I have to admit that I drank more of it than anyone else. It was awesome.

From there, we left and headed downtown to Gnache. The display case of desserts is at least 20 feet long. They all looked so good. I finally decided on a Chocolate Cake soaked in Baileys (although it wasn't too noticeable) with buttercream and toffee icing between the layers covered with a rich chocolate gnache. What a heavenly dessert.

By the time I got home, I was still feeling happy from the wine and the cake. I talked to a great friend on the phone for a bit and headed to bed. I am still incredible sad for MaryBeth and Rob but all in all, it was a pretty good birthday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

4 Months

I can't believe that 4 months have past. Here are some pictures from the past week. She looks so grown up

With her Mommy and pugs.


Wearing her new outfit from Uncle Taylor and Aunt Jenny


Fists in her Mouth - Her most favorite thing



Wearing her first bow



Thinking that Daddy must be crazy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ah the Memories

On Wednesday night, our friends Jason and Leah welcomed a new son into the world, Logan Thomas. He is so adorable and little. He looks just like his Dad.



Last night, Ryan and I arranged with Papa B to come watch Ainsley as we went to the hospital to visit them. When my sisters had their babies, we always lived too far away to go to the hospital. It was such a fun experience to be on this side of a birth.

As we sat in the hospital room, visiting this new family, I couldn't help but think back to our experience. Having a baby is one of the most exciting things that can ever happen in one's life, and yet the process seems to blur so quickly. It has only been 4 months and yet it seems like a lifetime ago. I was asking Ryan about specifics of our experience and neither one of us can remember.

For our birth, Ryan and I hired a doula. It was one of the best decisions that we made. Not only did she help us through our extremely long labor process, but she also wrote out a birth story for us. I have to warn you, it's long. It would have to be for the 32 hour labor that I had. For those of you who would like to read it...Here it is

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daylight Savings Time 4 Days Late

I really figured Daylight Savings time was going to screw us up with Ainsley. She is such a scheduled child that I assumed it was going to throw her for a loop.

Sunday morning, she woke up at 7:30. I was psyched. She adjusted. No problems there. That night she went to bed right on time. Sweet. No problems. It wasn't until Tuesday that things went haywire. She has been getting so cranky at 6:00 for the past few nights. She usually goes down at 7:00/7:30. I have had to stretch her through an hour of crankiness for the past 2 nights.

I had heard from a friend of mine that they adjust their children by 10 minutes every night for the whole week before. I always thought that was crazy. Now I'm not so sure.

What does everyone else do? Has anyone ever experienced a delayed reaction?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toy Confusion

There is mass toy confusion happening at our house.

My dogs love their toys. They have a basket of both soft toys and bones in the family room. They usually tear all the stuffing out of the soft toys. They don't leave much of the toy intact.

Libby will gladly play with any toy that is around. Tucker is very picky about his toys. He is partial to the pink bears and the frogs. Sometimes he mixes it up and goes for a bone. He always searches the basket for the toy he is looking for. Last night he even climbed through the handle of the basket to get to the toy that had fallen out on the other side of the basket.

Tucker is fully aware of what toys are his and what toys are Ainsley's. No problems there. Libby, as usual, is the problem dog. She thinks that every toy in the house is hers. Ainsley has a pink bunny with long ears that Libby likes to steal. Today I caught Libby with a large teddy bear that was just given to Ainsley on Saturday. It was still in the gift bag on the floor. Libby pulled it out of the gift bag and started to play with it. I had limited time to get it away from her before it lost its stuffing.

My real question is, how much of a problem is this going to be when Ainsley starts thinking the dog toys are hers?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Part 2

Here are the promised pictures of her in costume.

This picture of Ryan and I didn't showcase our costumes well. For those of you who are wondering, Ryan is a bag of tea (his Lipton tab doesn't show in this picture) and I am Black-Eyed Peas.






Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Part 1

Here are pictures of Ainsley's Halloween outfit. Pictures of her in costume to be posted later






Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...
  1. 7.5 ounces pumped before 7:00pm
  2. The ExerSaucer courtesy of Aunt Jill


  3. Cute baby clothes - Those are socks with a pattern of shoes, not actually shoes. That's a homemade sweater from a co-worker's Aunt.


  4. A supportive husband
  5. A new work schedule that allows me one more full day with Ainsley

By the way, it is such a good exercise to think of what you are thankful for weekly. It puts all the hard things into perspective.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being a Mom can be Hard

WARNING...I am about to talk about breast feeding. Continue on at your own risk...

Before I even got pregnant, I was committed to breast feeding a baby for at least a year. I knew there would be difficulties but I was going to do it no matter what. I know that breast milk is best for the baby and it is also much cheaper. I was committed.

Today, I am questioning that commitment. I know this is just one of the difficulties that I will have to endure, but it's really hard this week. Let me start by saying that I have never had a huge supply of milk. I hear stories of people leaking. I am not one of those people. I have always had enough for Ainsley. Surplus is a dream, not a reality.

I have been back at work for 3 1/2 weeks now. I had arranged with my boss that while at work, I would pump twice. Everything was going fairly smooth until this week. Typically at work when I pump, I get at least 4 ounces. I also pump right before I go to bed. Usually another 4 ounces. That puts me even for the day.

Yesterday I struggled to get my 4 ounces at work, but I did it. I pumped before I went to bed and only got 2 ounces. I was down 2 ounces. My freezer only has about 3 days surplus so I can't afford to go down. I decided that I would get up at 1:45 to pump again. I did it. And then I was up again at 4:30 with Ainsley.

Today I struggled even more. My first pump I got 3 1/2 ounces. The second only 3. I called the Women's Hospital. They told me that I am doing everything right and to just keep feeding her alot and pumping alot. They said to try pumping after I feed her. I got home today and thought I would give this a shot. I had my bottles on the coffee table attached to the pump on the floor. My dog, Tucker, ran by and knocked one over. I only lost a tiny bit but my heart broke. I work so hard for each and every drop.

So here it is 7:30 and Ainsley is down for the night. I am down 5.5 ounces. I will pump at least 2 more times tonight. I can only pray that I will get enough to be even by the time I wake up and start it all over again tomorrow.

Do any moms out there have any suggestions or words of encouragement? I could sure use them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on Omar

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for Omar. Surgery went well. He had to stay in the hospital for 2 days but is "home" now. He is actually staying with an older Iraqi couple that he hangs out with regularly. They have welcomed him into their home.

We have had a few people provide meals for him while he is recovering. For those of you who have done this, thank you so much. His recovery is going to be slow. Right now, his perspective is that he should feel no pain when he takes pain medication. For those of you who have had surgery or had an injury like this, you know that just isn't true. Pain medication is meant to make the pain bearable. This has been a hard concept for him. It will be interesting to see what happens when the pain medication runs out.

We are trying to help Omar learn from this situation. I spent some time trying to explain that when people say things that are not true about you it is sometimes best to walk away. He stated that the people told him that he wasn't a man and that hurt him. I tried to explain the "walk away" strategy again. The whole concept is completely lost on him. We believe that is due to culture and his thick skull combined.

I ask you to continue to pray for him and his recovery. Most importantly, pray that he will get to know the Great Physician in which many of us trust.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congrats to Ms. MaryBeth

I can finally say it. Ainsley's other nanny, Ms. MaryBeth, is pregnant with her second child. She is due June 6th. We are very excited for her.

She announced her pregnancy in church on Sunday, so I am now safe to talk about it here. It's been tough not to mention it because it has had some affect on our child care situation. She was very very sick in the first few weeks. During that time, Grandma Anne stepped in and took over. It seems the major sickness has passed now. Ainsley is very happy to be spending her Mondays and Tuesdays with her and her son Robbie.

Ryan, Ainsley, and I just wanted to publicly take this space to say...

CONGRATS MARYBETH, ROB, ROBBIE, AND BABY!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cloth Diaper Update

I have been doing the cloth diapers for a week now. I only have 4 so she isn't in them all the time. We usually do 2 a day and then use compostable disposable diapers the rest of the time (which work great and don't kill the environment). So far, it has been pretty easy. I just throw them in the wash with all the stuff in them and they come out spotless again. I was shocked the first time.

I have bought 3 more diapers off of Ebay. I am looking forward to when they get here. I won't have to do the laundry quite so much once I have more. I can see how buying these diapers would become addictive.

My only beef with the whole thing is that they are bulky. My girl is already big on the bottom with lots of rolls and this makes it worse. I am going to have to pull out some of the 6-9 month pants for her to wear when she has the diapers on. It's not a huge issue, just something that is a little annoying.

Overall, we are happy with the process. Ainsley is still enjoying them as well. She still laughs at me when I put them on her. It's just too cute. I'll be sticking it out for awhile longer. I'll let you know if my opinion changes after time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Other Child

Since November of last year, Ryan and I have been working with a Iraqi refugee named Omar. I have to admit, it's about 90% Ryan and 10% me. He has a very tragic story that will absolutely break your heart. We have adopted him as our "son". We have recruited Ryan's family to step along side him with us. This really has been a "village" effort. Omar has been quite a challenge.

He came here in the early fall of last year and we got hooked up with him through the ESL classes at our church. Ryan has been a regular participant in that ministry. The relationship started because Omar just needed a friend. It has grown into so much more. We call him our other child.

He is a 28 year old man who has the maturity of a 16 year old boy. This is in part due to his tragic story. He left home as a refugee when he was 17 years old and has been on his own ever since. Many of the issues that we have dealt with have been maturity issues. He doesn't understand a budget, he doesn't want to go to work, he doesn't understand bills, etc. Our biggest struggle has been his abuse of alcohol. I know that he abuses alcohol as a way to shelter his feelings of loneliness, fear, and tragedy, not that this is an excuse. We are hopeful that he will seek treatment for this disease in the near future.

This past Saturday, Omar was at a coffee shop and got beat up really badly. It was a 4 on 1 conflict, Omar being the 1. His aggressors beat him up with a pool stick. They were aiming for his head but Omar blocked it with his arm. The result was a very badly broken arm. He is recovering from surgery right now.

I write all this for one reason. I need those of you who are believers in the Great Physician to pray for Omar. He needs not only physical healing but emotional and spiritual as well. Pray for us to give Godly counsel. Pray that we would have the words to say when there are no words. Pray that Christ's love will be shown to him in more ways than we can ever imagine.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Call Me Crazy

Ryan and I have always lived somewhat "green". I think I have gone over the edge now. We went to the store yesterday and purchased 4 cloth diapers. Ryan brought this up when we were pregnant and I flat out refused him. I thought that was too far on the environmentally friendly scale.

Don't ask what changed my mind. I have no idea. Yesterday, without any prompting from Ryan, I asked to go to the baby boutique that sells cloth diapers. We went, and I purchased 4 diapers.

I have to say, these are not the cloth diapers that we were in as children. These are so different and they make it so easy. I bought 2 different kinds so that I can try them out to see how I like them. One kind is what is called an all in one diaper. This is a diaper that has the plastic outer with velcro and its lined with fleece. It's a one size fits all diaper that will grow with her. The other is a hemp diaper that is super soft. You cover that with a plastic pant. These plastic pants are not what we wore. They are soft and cozy. They breath so that she's not all sweaty.

This morning, after Ainsley woke up, I put her in the all in one diaper. It was hysterical. I put it on her and she just laughed. I really think she liked the feel of the fleece on her bottom. Not 45 minutes in, she pooed in it. Figures the first one we use and she poos. Oh well. Surprisingly, it didn't bother me at all. I rinsed it out and we were on our way to church (She wore a disposable to church because I'm just not that brave yet).

So here is a picture of my new "green" baby. Am I crazy?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Love My Husband

There are many reasons that I love my husband. Today, I need to think about all of them and let him know them. It's his 33rd Birthday. Here are just a few:

1. His passions in life. He does nothing halfway. He is someone who has strong convictions and rarely strays from them.
2. His love of Jesus.
3. His love for his whole family. That includes not only Ainsley and I but his entire family and my entire family.
4. His pursuit of people. He is constantly connecting with people he cares about. He may not like to talk to me on the phone but he loves to talk to his friends and his family.
5. His hair and beautiful smile.
6. His twisted sense of humor that sometimes only I get
7. His intelligence
8. His devotion to our marriage
9. His ability to beat me at cards everytime even though he never remembers the rules
10. The fact that he finally put the lawn mowing clothes in the wash! (I won)

So, Happy Birthday Ryan. Here's to many more Birthdays to celebrate together. I'm glad you were born. I love you with all my heart.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So Much for Public Humiliation

Remember this. Apparently public humiliation does nothing. The stinky, dirty, nasty clothes remain on my front porch.


Ryan came home that night and told me he thought my post was funny. Do you think that made him move them? Nope. His comment..."My parents always told me to stand up to peer pressure." What?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me?

My response comes in the form of a quote from one of the great heroes in my life. "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen." - Martin Luther

Who do you think will win?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sick Baby

Ainsley is sick for the first time. It's so sad. She has major nose congestion and a low grade fever. She's been sick since Sunday afternoon. It's breaking my mommy heart. I have always heard people say that but now I get it. I don't think Ryan feels the same way. It's something about being the mom I think.

Fortunately, she is a very good sick baby. She doesn't fuss too much. I was expecting a really hard couple days. She is sleepier than usual and is waking up in a pile of drool. Otherwise, she is one happy baby.

This is my best friend now:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What a Cutie?

Just thought I would post a few pictures of how cute Ainsley is getting.

On the way to church wearing Aunt Wendy's favorite outfit


Ready for a trip to the park with an adorable hat on. Check out the chunky legs.

Laughing at Daddy right after he gets home from work. It's her favorite time of the day.


Just too adorable not to post

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

1. Being able to wear my diamond ring again. I'll be really thankful when the wedding band fits
2. A great first week with MaryBeth for Ainsley
3. My Heavenly Lullabies CD
4. Unclogged milk ducts
5. 2 Adorable pugs that get ignored and still love us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lawn Mowing Clothes

Let me start by saying that I hate to mow the grass. Ryan does it regularly despite the fact that he hates it too. I appreciate him for this.


Unfortunately, everytime he mows the grass, he takes his shirt and socks off on the front porch. He leaves them along with his sneakers there. I don't know if he thinks that some fairy is coming to get them and put them in the laundry. I have mentioned these clothes to him more than once. They look tacky on the front porch. People come in that way and as they wait for us to come to the door, there are these dirty stinky clothes staring at him. Frankly its disgusting.


But, I am not a slave. I am a mother, but not his mother. He already has a wonderful mother of his own. So they will continue to sit there until someone else moves them. This is my protest. If you come to my house, ignore the pile. It's not mine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Exhausted

I am totally wiped. Ainsley has been getting up more in the night than her usual 1 time. Two nights ago it was 3 times and last night was twice. On top of that, I have a clogged milk duct which is killing me. The best way that I can describe it is someone hit me in the tata with a baseball bat. Needless to say, I am tired of that.

Last night Ainsley was having a hard time before bed, I was tired, and Ryan was at the hospital with his grandmother. Ainsley was crying, I was crying. It was a mess. I called Ryan in hysterics and asked him to come home. What a mess.

So my tata still is killing me and I'm off to take a nap. Here's hoping the advil will work.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Up the Back

This afternoon we were at our friends, Jason and Leah, house. Leah is pregnant with their first child due on November 18. They are starting to get all the gear put up in their house. One of the first things they put together was their swing. While we were over there, they told us we could put Ainsley in it. They also offered to let Ainsley sleep in the crib. I know that Ainsley drools alot while she sleeps so I declined the offer for the crib. We had our pack and play with us anyway. I did take them up on the offer for the swing. She was so happy and content in the swing. She enjoyed looking at the mobile above. I picked her up because she was starting to get fussy. One of our friends from across the room said, "What is that on her back?" I turned her around to take a look and there it was. Poop all the way up her back. She had pooped in their new swing. I felt horrible. I was so worried about the crib, I forgot to worry about the swing. I should have known. Ainsley didn't poop yesterday so we were bound for a big one today. When we changed her diaper, it was up to her shoulder blades. Enjoyable. The good news is that the swing seems to have made it through the mishap. I still feel horrible but I guess we are letting them in on the things that are to come.

Friday, October 3, 2008

TGIF

I am back in the world where Friday makes a difference. Through my maternity leave, I didn't ever know what day it was. Today it mattered. I made it through my first week of work.

I am very glad to be back at work. I forgot how much I enjoy programming. I know I'm a nerd but I am who I am. Being that I am only working part time, I do feel like I need to get a ton done while I am there. I have been very tied to my desk this week (minus my pumping sessions which I already hate). My brain is taking a bit to remember how I do what I do but its getting there. I guess by mid next week, I will be going a hundred miles an hour again in a hundred different directions.

As I picked up Ainsley today, I was again overwhelmed by how good my situation is. Anne has been great this week. She took over for MaryBeth so wonderfully. I am glad that the schedule is going to be a normal one next week though. I don't want to wear Anne out.

Now I'm off to make a dessert for tonight. We are having friends over to play cards. It's some game that has a game within a game. I don't remember the name but I know its fun. What game within a game wouldn't be fun.

Here's a picture of Ainsley with Grandma Anne (as we are calling her). She did have a nicer outfit on when I dropped her off but she peed herself.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am hijacking this idea from some of my blogger friends.

Today I am thankful for:
1. Finding my way to Anne's house successfully without turning around
2. A job that is flexible with me as I adjust to motherhood
3. An electric breast pump after having to use the hand one last night
4. A 50 ft cable that allows me to watch shows on my TIVO in my bonus room. This is mainly for my Fit Channel workouts since there is much more room in my bonus room.
5. Toothless baby smiles

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Losing It

I have been back at work for 3 days now and I think my brain is taking too long to defreeze

The first day, Ainsley was at my house with Deb. Since then, she has been at Anne's house. Everyone must know that my sense of direction is horrible. I once took over an hour to drive to the next town over with my sister Jill while trying to drive to my other sister's college in NY. I bring this up because I have been having some trouble getting to Anne's house to pick up Ainsley. Ryan is dropping her off in the morning and I know how to get there from my house. Getting there from work is causing quite the problem. Yesterday I drove downtown trying to get there. Not quite the direction I was supposed to go in. I told this to Anne and she said I should take the new loop. Having never been on it before, I asked for directions. She said to take the first exit so I did without reading the sign. I headed East when I should have headed West. I was 10 minutes out of the way before there was a place to turn around

Along with these direction problems, I am forgetting stuff. The first day I made a sandwich to eat on my way home (I know I was trying to be thoughtful). I left it in the fridge at work. It was ok though, I ate it the second day on my way home. Today I left work without my cell phone and without my breast pump (including what I pumped today). Thanks to my friend Lori, the milk is in the fridge and my phone has been turned to vibrate.

Tomorrow I hope to make it to Anne's house without getting lost. I also hope to bring home everything I should. I doubt it will happen though. My brain still is defrosting.

Monday, September 29, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

My first day of work actually started yesterday afternoon. I have 2 different nannies that are watching Ainsley while I work. MaryBeth is a young mom of an 18 month old and Ann is a grandmother. Monday is a MaryBeth day. I was getting ready for small group last night when the phone rang. It was MaryBeth. She told Ryan that another child in the nursery at church that morning had come down with Hand Foot and Mouth disease. Her son Robbie was exposed. She didn't know if he had it yet but wanted to let us know. We quickly googled it before small group to realize that it is highly contagious and really nasty. Ainsley wasn't going to go over there. Time for Plan B.

I knew that we would need a Plan B at some point so I had arranged a few different options. 1. Ryan's mom who lives 2 miles away. 2. Ann 3. My friend Leah. So I started at the top. Ryan's mom was in Boone visiting my sister-in-law. Ann had to bring someone to get an MRI this morning. Leah's mom was in from out of town. That was it. My list was exhausted. Just as I was getting ready to call Ryan's mom to come home, I realized that Ryan's Dad's girlfriend, Deb, might be an option. I went out on a limb and called. Graciously, Deb agreed to help me out.

So at 7:20 this morning, Deb arrived at my house. Ainsley was awake and happy. She gave me quite a few smiles and I walked away. I cried the whole way to work. I teared up quite a few times this morning as people would ask me how I was. I called to check on her at 10 and she was screaming. She had woken up mid-nap. Deb quickly got her calmed down while I was on the phone. I called again at 12 and she was up and happy.

By the end of the day, I was helping a co-worker solve a problem with a website user. It felt good to be back.

I got home at 2:20 and Ainsley had just been put down for a nap. I went in to check on her and she wasn't quite asleep yet. She looked up at me with those beautiful eyes and gave me a big smile.

The day got off to a rough start but it sure ended well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back to Work

I am going to work tomorrow. I can't believe that 12 weeks flew by so fast. In honor of the day, I have decided to create 2 top five lists. One for reasons I am glad to be going back to work and one for reasons I am sad.

Reasons I am Glad to Go to Work Tomorrow
1. I love my job. I love the people I work with and I love what I do.
2. I have 2 wonderful people to watch Ainsley so I don't have to worry about her.
3. I love math and puzzles and my job is full of both of those things.
4. I was starting to get bored at home and if I was home much longer I would really have needed to start to deep clean (which I hate).
5. It gives me a reason to work on losing weight so I can fit into my clothes again

Reasons I am Sad to Go to Work Tomorrow
1. Ainsley
2. Ainsley
3. Ainsley
4. Ainsley
5. Ainsley

Off I go tomorrow morning. I will let you know in the afternoon how it goes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Scary

Ryan's mom gave me a couple pictures of him as a baby. Take a look. Its kind of scary. Ryan calls her his Mini Me. Can you see it?


Friday, September 26, 2008

Last Day

Today is my last official day of maternity leave. It's been an amazing time for me. I have enjoyed every minute of it, from the first smiles to the screaming fits. I have enjoyed holding my baby and watching her play on the floor.

I also love my job. I am ready to go back. I spent yesterday installing a light in my kitchen, painting the kitchen ceiling around the new light, updating the look of my blog, posting to my blog, going out to lunch with a great friend, and of course hanging out with Ainsley. My point is, I was bored.

I am not bored with Ainsley. I am bored with her two 3 hour naps a day. Yep, my girl knows how to sleep. I am ready to stimulate my mind again.

In honor of our last full day together (besides weekends), we are not leaving the house. We are staying in our pjs all day (actually, I showered and put yoga pants on - no need to be icky). Its pouring rain outside and we are inside just enjoying each other.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Pictures

Just a quick post with some oh so cute pictures. She was hot that day...thus the lack of clothes.

Laughing at Tucker...There is hope for the puppies


Having fun with Daddy



Enjoying the new bouncy seat
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