Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Very Hungry Vera-pillar

Anyone who knows my kid knows that she likes to eat.  Vera even knows where the snacks are kept at our friends' houses.  I thought I should record what she typically eats in a day.
For breakfast she ate through:
* 2 bananas
* 1 c. cooked oatmeal with honey and pecans
* a handful of blueberries
* 6 oz. skim milk
But she was still hungry.

For lunch she ate through:
* a bowl of chicken and noodle soup
* a large spoonful of mashed potatoes
* 10 red seedless grapes
* 5 carrot sticks
* 5 chunks of cheddar cheese
* 3 crackers with almond butter
* a cup of water
But she was still hungry.

For dinner she ate through:
* a bowl of applesauce
* 1 c. steamed zucchini and yellow squash
* 1/2 c. whole wheat spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese
* 8 oz. of strawberry agua fresca (purred strawberries, strained, thinned out with some water to make it drinkable in a sippy cup)

And finally she was satisfied.  She waddled to bed with a rotund tummy and fell fast asleep.

The End.

What'd you eat for lunch?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Girls

Vera Corrine will turn 2 in October and I can hardly believe it.  Like her hair, she is wild and carefree.  Her element is amongst other kids her age or running outside, anywhere.  She loves to be dirty, still loves to eat, and really enjoys books.  Right now her current love affair is with Elmo and occasionally she gets to watch old school episodes of Sesame Street from the '70s.  Her booty just got smaller in the sense that she no longer wears a diaper during the day.  Using just two diapers a day now (nap time and bedtime) is amazing and is saving lots of money.  We never officially started potty training but just sort of merged our way into it, so it's been about a month now and she's doing great.  When she is caught up in playing with other kids, I still need to make sure she is aware that potty opportunities are available, but all in all, she has been accident free for over a week.  Can't believe what a big girl she is now.  This afternoon I stripped Lydia's bed to wash the sheet and left the mattress on the floor.  Vera spent about a half hour making all of her stuffed animals 'jump' on it.
Lydia Ruth is 4 months old and a tank of love.  She enjoys hearing her own voice.  Each day she becomes a little more opinionated and her current obsession is kicking.  Her smile melts my heart and my biceps are getting stronger the more I carry her around.  I am still so thankful that both girls sleep so well in their own beds, sharing a room.  Life is really fun right now; each day an adventure.  I feel extremely blessed with two beautiful, sweet girls that rock my world.
What was your favorite TV show as a child?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last Week

The Executive of Quality Control in the kitchen
Cold Pizza (pizza crust, goat cheese with herbs, raw veggies) 
I died and went to heaven.
A missing appendage
An Elmo care package from the grandparents
Apple Pie in the works

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I'm not sure if I've ever truly carried someone else's burden before until now because it feels like it has broken my own heart.  I have been up the last two nights, not being able to sleep.  I've tossed and turned and prayed that it would be just a nightmare that we could wake up from.  Nothing else is on my mind and it's hard to find joy when some things are absolutely devastating, heart-wrenching, and full of grief.  I am hurting alongside a friend, and knowing there are no words that I can say to make things better makes it worse.  My heart is just sick and my body feels ill, too, carrying this burden with her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Ain't No Leap Frog

There are so many neat learning activities for kids out there, but gosh, the costs can really add up.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather utilize stuff I have on hand without spending any money.  I used to be a scrapbooker/card-maker, but I have been freed from that bondage!  So I've got lots of extra supplies to use now for creating lessons for kids.
My friend gave me the idea of using poker chips for developmental lessons.  I decided that it's time we start teaching colors.  Vera's totally not there yet, but I figure repetition has to count for something, right?  For now she enjoys just 'clinking' the chips into the cups (extras I had on hand from hosting parties), but I hope working with her will help her comprehension.  I will have to try to dig up some more solid color paper, otherwise there will be important colors she won't learn because of me.  Just kidding.
What's your favorite color?

Therapeutic Crafting

I bought a boring "laundry" sign from Hobby Lobby, 50% off for $5.  To zhoozsh it up, I decided to decoupage!  A craft from the '80s, but fun and relaxing.  In the picture above you can see the mound of ripped paper that Vera and I created--we were a bit too ambitious with our tearing up of the Crate and Barrel magazine advertisement.  Mod Podge is awesome stuff.  I've had it for several years since the last time I used it in 2007.  (I know, I have a strangely good memory.) I finished it in about 4 hours, which might sound like a lot of time, but I was particular with how I wanted it to look and making sure to cover the edges and corners.
A craft like this takes awhile, but I find it to be therapeutic in a way.  While we watched 'Mad Men' last night on Netflix, I was working on it and enjoying the repetitive activity.  Gave me time to think through some thoughts.
Agree or disagree?  Crafting can be therapeutic.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ick, That Feeling In My Heart.

I met up with some friends tonight at a nearby dog park to let our pups sniff butts and hump each other.  We chatted until it got dark and slowly meandered our way back to our cars to head home.  While driving away, there was this sickening feeling in my heart and it did not resonate well with me.  I had to shoot out an email to them once I got home because I identified that feeling as sin.  You see, while it may have seemed like innocent 'catching up,' my psyche was desperately desiring some praise from women.  I told how awesome potty training has been so far, how awesome it is that I walk my dog so frequently, how awesome work has been for me, and (the kicker) how awesome my quiet time in God's Word has been lately.  I was gloating on myself to get some recognition from my friends, to lift up myself, and to ultimately bring myself glory.  How ugly is that?  For they loved the approval of man more than the approval of God. (John 12:43)  Yep, that was me tonight, folks.  Thankfully, I have loving friends who forgive and are willing to look past it and not write me off as a self-centered, gloating bag of poop.  (Picking up dog doo-doo at park + dookie in Vera's little potty = poop on the brain)  Moreso, I am incredibly grateful for God's continual redemption in my life.  I loved being reminded on Sunday that there is nothing I can do to become separated from the love of Christ (Romans 8:39).  There is nothing I can do to make God love me more.  And get this, there's nothing I can do to make God love me less.  Nothing.

Foil Packet Dinner

I didn't go to the grocery store last weekend. I was lazy and we were all getting over the 24 hr. flu that invaded our house. I need to go at some point this week to get some odds and ends, one of which are more sweet snacks because I may or may not have eaten Vera's potty treats all gone. How she is satisfied with one mini M&M for each pee is beyond me. But hey, I'm not complaining.
Back to the food picture.
This is my kind of meal.  Foil packets are the easiest thing to throw together for dinner. I like them so much because they are not fancy, there's no clean-up, and they are prepped and ready to go at dinner time. I had some navy beans, instant polenta, goat cheese, julienned peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli on hand. I tossed the broccoli with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, but the rest I simply layered on top. Season with salt and pepper, then just seal the packet and stick in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes before dinner time.  Easy peasy!  This is a great "clean out" meal in the sense that you could add any number of elements in your pantry or fridge and it would be tasty.
To make it more 'husband-friendly,' add a protein or some bread on the side.
What's a go-to meal in your home?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Than Just The Movies

We are pretty fortunate that we have a close-knit group of friends whom we trust to watch our kids, therefore date nights are not foreign to us.  We know this isn't the case though with a lot of people, especially parents with little kids, so we count ourselves blessed.  We get in a rut though when coming up with ideas, especially without spending a ton of money.  So we did a little brainstorming tonight to make it easier to decide what to do.  Chris added some suggestions and I came up with some, too.  The only thing that did not get added to the pile of ideas was shopping.  Chris + shopping = complete meltdown.  For the both of us.  We have been shopping twice together in our marriage and both times I've had to bribe/reward him with pizza and beer.

I digress.

Hopefully this little tool will help us branch out and take advantage of our great city!

What are some of your favorite date night activities?

Strand of "Beads"

I found a cute little onesie on Pinterest that I decided to make myself.  Hers is much more precise-looking.  I used a Q-Tip to make the painted black "beads" because that's the only thing I had on hand during nap time when I made it.  The pink rosette was actually part of a broken hair accessory that I reused, and the green button from my extra button box.
What craftiness have you got up your sleeve?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Creature of Habit

I wouldn't say that I'm much of a made up lady, (My 5-minute face, after all, includes Suave moisturizer and Chapstick) but I do enjoy color on my nails every now and then.  I have heard good things about the Essie nail collection at Target and since I was there yesterday, I thought I'd pick up a new color to try.  But then I got home and realized I had three other almost identical shades.  I guess it's what I'm drawn to.
Do you branch out easily for change or stick with the tried and true?

Not Your Average Membership Photo

I went to Costco today to get a new card since somebody* most likely threw it in the trash along with some gift cards from last Christmas (boo).  They let me get photographed with my lil shopping sidekick.

* sneaky, mischievous, curious little girl who lives in my home

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On My Knees and Out of Luck, I Look Up

(Sorry, Steph, I didn't have a group picture with all of us...had to steal one off your Facebook and figured I'd pick a good one!) 
That is, our humorously coined acronym for Fostering and Adopting Together.  The ironic thing is, I am neither fostering nor adopting right now, but these girls are and I've somehow happened upon their group and get to be invited to all their fun gatherings.  It's nothing official, really.  We just meet, eat great food, hang out, and talk about our families.  Tonight we met at a friend's house who will be bringing home their fresh-out-of-the-womb, adopted baby boy.  We wanted to shower their home with some love and prayer before they arrive tomorrow.

I truly, truly feel blessed to be among these gals.  I wonder why I am even in 'their group' sometimes.  I think it started one time with the default that we all love homemade, fresh, real, delicious, beautiful-looking food...and somehow we all just kept meeting and eating together and it formed a friendship.  A God-inspired one, in fact.

You see, there's something about this group of girls.  Regarding motherhood, life, and faith...they are raw, and that is refreshing.  During our get-togethers, we often find ourselves confessing out loud over lots of red wine ways we feel like we failed that day as a parent.  We admit that we make mistakes.  We admit acting out of selfishness.  We admit giving the Devil a foothold and choosing our flesh over our spirit.

It's refreshing to me because I realize that I am not the only one.  We are broken, dirty, and will always choose ourselves over anything else without Christ.  But among these sisters of mine, I am reminded that we are all in this battle together.  They encourage me to joyfully place God before anything else in my life.

I love these gals, and though we all live in different parts of Austin, it's always such a joy to get together with them.  I figure I will learn as much as possible from there mistakes, ha! before we are in a similar position.  I am just thankful for such encouraging friends who exhort, correct, and give me tough love when I need it.

Nothing in my life has brought about more sanctification than through marriage and parenting.  Motherhood is hard. Today was hard.  Tomorrow might be another hard day, too.  But if it presents more opportunities for God to work on me, then by all means.  I don't pretend to have any answers.  I am on my knees in prayer A.LOT.  I heard a phrase once that has always stuck out in my head--to look up and not sideways.  God has the answers, not the world.
What's something you battle on a daily basis?
*Bonus points if you can guess from whom's lyrics is this post's title.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

She Makes My Heart Smile

4 months old now.
What they say is true.  With multiple kids, you don't love one more than the other, but you love them differently.  I'm loving the infant stage again and Lydia just brings me so much joy.  Her little personality is so sweet, she's a chunk to hold onto, and I'm anxiously awaiting her laugh.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Should Have Asked Bubba

Me: "Hey babe, what should we eat with shrimp this week?"
Chris:  "Um, how about steak?"

...I was thinking more along the lines of how to prepare it, or a side dish perhaps.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

29 Cent Lollipops

One of Those Days

I am blogging this while sitting outside of Costco.

I left the house over an hour ago exhausted and with a migraine, needing to shop for a work event. The girls were down for their nap, so hubs would be able to chillax while I was gone.

First thing, upon entering Costco, I realize I cannot find my membership card. It's not in it's usual place. But then again, several other cards are missing from my wallet, too. I think a mischievous toddler is to blame. So I state my case to a disgruntled employee, get issued a temporary card, and head off to shop.

After a modest (for work) $300 bill, I steer my cart, full of mainly frozen items, in search of my car.  It takes me 20 minutes pushing the heavy thing because I couldn't remember where I'd parked.  And I had a slight suspicion that my keys were locked inside because I'd tried to use the alarm on the remote to help locate the car, but to no avail.

Suspicion was confirmed as I saw my keys resting on the driver's seat.

Predicament ensues. By now the girls have only been napping for an hour and my cart of shrimp and bacon and goat cheese and 5 lbs. of mushrooms are starting to get soft in the 100+ degree Texas heat.

I  called my knight in shining armor hubs to rescue me and he's on his way now with under-napped girls. It's all just annoying today, not to mention the sweat dripping down my back.
Tell me you've had days like this before. Care to share?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

They Called Me Condom Head

 Middle school kids can be crude, but really, what was I expecting from wearing this?  How in the world did I think this hat was cool?  Why my mom didn't stop me from leaving the house like this, I'll never know.  There are so many other things I could mention about these photos, the obvious cheese of the "twin pictures," how much I liked dark nail polish, the closed mouth smile due to braces but let's leave it at that.
What are some fashion trends gone-bad that you wore with pride?

Monday, August 01, 2011

In My Not-Junk Box

I went through and cleaned out my 'junk box' a couple of nights ago.  It's where I store things that I most likely want to keep, but will decide later.  Do you have one of those?  Mostly it was full of old holiday family photos, hand written cards, and memorabilia from my past.  I've kept every love note that Chris has ever written me because I know how much effort it takes him to write down sincere words.  I definitely don't throw those away.  I did get rid of a bunch of invitations that I'd kept, some pictures, and random stuff from vacations.  I did find some treasures though.
One item that I'm keeping just for memory's sake is the below printed class schedule from my last semester at Purdue.  I especially like the blocked out nap times.  That's awesome.  And it brings me back fond memories of my Tuesday date nights with Chris every week.  Oh to be young and in love!
I came across a wedding photo of my mom and dad.  Priceless.
I'm keeping this lovely poster that friends put on Chris's desk at work in Indiana when he had been offered the position at AMD.  Too funny.
There's a bumper sticker from my elementary school days!  "Meadowbrook, Meadowbrook, what do you say?  We're the best in the USA.  We're good, better, best.  We never let is rest until our good is better and our better is best!"  Well now, I guess I've still got some Panther pride in me.

A funny photo of me from my sophomore year of high school.  I was in a photography class and classmates were often each others' subjects.  Your hair is ca-ra-zay.

Also found my hair piece from my wedding day and dog tags from my Army days.
And a stack of hand-written letters from my Grandma J.  Nothing like the original thing.  I love seeing her penmanship.  So pretty.  And it's fun to read back how people used to write letters; telling you about what's growing in their garden, what they did after dinner, and what the lady at the grocery store told them.  Good, old-fashion entertainment.
What are some items you keep just for memory's sake?