Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Because I Said So!

So, today, we're going to talk about me. Me, me, me, me, me. Why, you might ask? Well, because I said so. And, because I can. Also, because it's my blog. And mostly, because I had one of those moments where you open your mouth to speak, and your ears can NOT believe they are hearing what is actually coming out of your mouth.

You see, as you may (or may not) already know, I have three 100-celled embryos that are frozen and waiting for transfer (via IVF). My husband and I lovingly joke about our kidsicles or children on ice... and sometimes joke about how God has given us such a wonderful, calm, complacent, and totally happy baby for our first, that the three we have frozen will probably be a handful of mischief, energy and Trouble, with a capital T.

But today, as I was talking to someone in the ladies room (because that's what we womenfolk do... socialize in the ladies room), she was telling me that her second was so different from her first. The first child was calm and good. The second one was wild, and had the attention span of 5 seconds. That's when I opened my mouth to tell her that I had 3 frozen embryoes and they were probably all going to be demons. Demons. WHAT? Did I just say that? Why did I say that?

I walked away in a state of shock that I had referred to my future children as demons. I had confessed that with my mouth! I was always taught that the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart (Matt. 15:18a), and my mom always said that if you confess it, you will possess it... (I'm sure that's in scripture somewhere, I just can't pull it out of the old memory bank right now).

So, what have I done? I have basically said that I am fully expecting that the precious gifts GOD gave to us (our future children) will be so awful and ill behaved that people will be able to compare them to demons.

Sometimes, I just open my mouth without guarding what I say. Some people lovingly refer to is as a sickness -- diarrhea of the mouth. I refer to it as -- stupidity of the worst kind.

Oh, Lord, please forgive me. FORGIVE ME. These are your children, and I know they will each be unique and wonderful in their own way, and we will love them so much. I am so thankful each and every day when I think of what my future may hold, and I confess right now that I will have wonderful children. Lord, please help me guard my tongue ... DAILY. Amen.

I guess I need to memorize this: "If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom." Job 13:5

And this: "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." Prov. 13:3

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Musings -- and Getting Real

Random thoughts ... in no particular order...

1) What is up with retailers?!? I mean, isn't it still, oh, I don't know ... winter? SHORT SLEEVES and SHORTS are NOT appropriate attire right now! Don't they realize that there might be some parents out there that have a 4-month old kid growing like Jack's Beanstalk, wearing 6-9 month clothing? What is a child to do without a warm jacket? Granted, we have a really cool little snow suit for him, but as big as he is, if we put it on him, he won't fit in his car seat. Its like trying to squeeze him into a tic-tac box. Seriously.

2) Ever notice how frequently I use ... my beloved ellipses ... ??? Is that what they are even called? Let's just lovingly refer to them as ... three dots ... and move on.

3) I overheard these two guys in the hallway at work today. One said (to a very overweight guy) "Hey -- you are looking better than sliced bread! Seriously - are you loosing weight?" And the other guy said, "Yeah, I lost three pounds." And I thought to myself ... why would he say that? And then I thought to myself, I guess if I were dieting (and should be) and someone said that to me, I'd be flattered. And then I thought, but would I really think they were sincere? At which point I thought to myself, why am I thinking about this? And moved on.

4) Sunday's message was soooo good -- the Pastor reminded us that worry is stinky and yucky, and totally not necessary. Okay, maybe he didn't use those words, but ... he reminded us that Jesus felt pressure, temptation, and had great responsibilities. He was busy with a lot of work he had to do, in a short amount of time. He had plenty to worry about, but He knew who to go to -- His Father. He "found calm" in God who really has the "last say." And oh, how I love one of the scriptures he shared -- "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7). Hmmm -- do I really cast all my worries and anxieties to him? Really? Or am I just fooling my self? (And I'm a good tricker, to!) Oh, it's so reassuring to know that I can cast all my worries and anxieties to Him, and HE WILL LIFT ME UP in due time.

That said ... I'm going to GET REAL as suggested by Randi and seen at I Have To Say -- also check out Lauren Getting Real at : Created For His Glory

Here's me getting real --

Let's begin with the kitchen... Notice the lovely broken faucet (handle off to left on counter). Dishes are from Sunday night pizza fest. Also, be kind enough NOT to note the yucky wall behind the sink -- We've been in this house for TWO years, and still have been unable to pick tile out for a back splash. Too many choices.

Next, we'll pan over and see the stove, with the pizza stone, and the wire racks used for cooling one fantastic pizza (can you see the flour everwhere?) --

Moving on to the Family room -- All the shades are pulled DOWN. I hate it like that, but the windows reflect on the TV, and we were watching movies yesterday. Any way, note the mess, well, everywhere. TONS of baby equipment. Very depressing!

FINALLY, so Lauren doesn't feel so bad about her forgotten wash ... here are two pictures ... one of my dryer that contains a load of towels I had to was three times because I kept forgetting them in the washer (eeewww, stinky), and one of the ever so sterile laundry room floor/carpet I dropped my son on... face first ... we won't go there again.

Okay -- off to feed one hungry boy, pay attention to one pouty husband, and nab the last of the iced tea, because my husband makes the absolutely BEST sweet tea.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

From bad to HORRIFIC

This evening has been a nightmare for a new mom. It started off with my son's first official diaper Blow-Out. He grunted ... and grunted ... and grunted. And then nothing. Silence. And all of a sudden ... the smell - and it was bad - hit my nostrils. So I took him to his changing table, and began to pull his pants off to change his diaper, when all of a sudden, I felt something on my hand. I had been chit-chatting with him and not really paying attention, and when I looked down, that's when it all became quite clear. The Blow-Out. This was bad. I had to call my husband to help me get him un-dressed! It was all over his legs, his socks, his shirt, his onesie, his hands. It looked like he had painted himself with it. It got all over the changing table -- and -- yes, it got all over me. It was so powerful that I was gagging ... literally. My husband thought that was just hilarious. Yeah. Real funny. Ha, Ha. So, we had to give him a bath 2 full hours before he was due one. And, being that my son is very schedule driven, he thought we were putting him down for the night, and fell dead asleep. At 5:30. Waaay too early.

So at 7:30, we had to wake him so we could feed him, because he had hardly eaten all day long. He was so out of it. Groggy. It was so sweet to look at his face. But when he finally woke up, he was in such a lovely mood, that it totally wiped out what had happened mere hours earlier.

At 9:10, I called my parents to chat with them -- and that's when my evening went from bad to Horrific. I had picked my son up, and walked upstairs to transfer the load I had to wash (after the Blow-Out incident) into the dryer. I had the phone in one hand, my son in the other, and I was bending over to open the dryer door. My son's head was leaning backwards, so I thought I'd flip him over to face forward.

And that's when it happened. As if in slow motion, but ever so fast, he fell out of my hands... down, down, down. He hit the floor face first -- partial vinyl floor, partial carpet. The smacking sound he made as his face made contact with the floor was so horrific. It was a sound I'll never forget. I screamed, threw the phone and grabbed my son. I stayed calm. Hugged him, comforted him, looked him over, and got back on the phone to tell my parents what had happened and to hang up. My husband had heard me scream and came running up the stairs. I think he got so upset that I was trying to do three things at a time... and rightly so. We calmed the baby down, my husband went downstairs, I put him down in his crib so I could go heat up a bottle, and followed my husband downstairs. He called me over to him, and put his arms out to me, and that's when I totally lost it.


I cried for what seemed like forever. I just couldn't get out of my mind that after FOURTEEN and a half years of trying to conceive, God had given us this miracle child ... he had entrusted him in our care ... and I had dropped him. Me. His mommy. The one that is supposed to protect him, love him, care for him. I dropped him.

I know this happens to a lot of people, and their kids are just fine, and really, within 10-15 minutes, Hunter was cooing, blowing bubbles, and giggling again. But the thing is, it happened to me. And it took quite a while for me to calm down and be "just fine."

I don't think I'll ever be able to erase "that sound" from my head.

Product Review Guidelines


Recently, vendors and/or PR firms have started offering their products for review by moms that are in the trenches of every-day living … and I must say that it has been one of the wisest decisions they could have mad

Moms all over this little blogsphere are reaching out and connecting with each other across the globe, sharing tips, information, secrets, encouragement, and advice, and when one mom tries something she loves, she stands at the highest point she can climb to shout it out to the world … her blog.

So, I consider it an honor to try out products that might interest fellow moms and housewives alike!

My Guidelines:

Products that I review on my blog are given to me free of charge, and I agree not to receive any compensation in exchange for a review, with the exception of the actual product.

In general, I will not review books.

Products must be sent to my home address, which will only be provided if contacted via email, and once I agree to review the product.

My Promise:

I will be very selective on the products I agree to review, and in exchange, you can rest assured knowing that you will not find any products being reviewed that are NOT family friendly. I promise to be totally honest and unbiased in my opinions regarding the products – whether it is a good or bad review. I’m very picky about what comes into my home for my family, and with that in mind, I will try to be fair and accurate in all of my reviews.


Any vendors that are interested in having your product reviewed may reach me via email (located on my sidebar) to submit your request. And as I mentioned above, I will be very selective on what I choose to review.

All products will be sent to my home address with no financial obligation on my behalf. Products will not be returned unless agreed upon prior to the review.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Food Fun

As promised... here is the recipe for my husband's yummy, thin and crispy crust pizza dough and homemade sauce, along with important tips... He wanted me to stress that food is a personal preference, and not everyone may love this as much as his awesome wife does (that's me!).

First -- two quick tips:

Use flour with a high gluten content in order to make the crust crispy. The King Arthur Flour Company manufactures a high-gluten flour that contains 14% protein which is excellent for this recipe (see their "Sir Lancelot" brand). If you don't have Sir Lancelot handy then use a quality bread flour. Do not use all-purpose flour.

Unfortunately, a stand mixer with a dough hook is the best thing to use for making this dough recipe. I'm not even sure what you could use in its place if you don't have one. ;-(

And now ... after all the anticipation ... The Pizza Recipe ...

Dough Recipe
3 1/2 cups flour
About 3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 & 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 & 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, activate the yeast with a couple tablespoons of warm water and the sugar.

In a heavy-duty stand mixer (like a KitchenAid) fitted with the dough hook, add the water, oil, activated yeast with sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly until yeast has fully dissolved. Slowly add flour and mix on low speed until all of the flour and water have mixed and a stiff dough ball forms, about 3 to 4 minutes. You may need to add a bit more flour or water until the dough balls up (it should not be crumbly). Stop mixing as soon as the dough ball forms as this type of dough should not be kneaded.

Place the dough ball into a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest on the counter for about 2-3 hours, and then for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using. This is sooo important. Do not skip this step! This is what makes it so crispy and gives it it's special taste.

Homemade Pizza Sauce
28 oz. can tomatoes in heavy puree
1 teaspoon fresh yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Saute onion, garlic, salt and spices. Add tomatoes and incorporate. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour back into saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Don't let the sauce to boil, because it will make it acidic. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.

When you're ready to put your pizza together:

Preheat your oven to 500 °F about one hour before you plan to bake the pizza. Thin crust pizza needs the high heat to cook it without getting soggy. While the oven is preheating, set the dough out on your counter so it can come to room temperature.

Turn the dough out onto a large surface and dust with flour. Using a heavy rolling pin, roll the dough out very thin to form a 24-inch or larger circle. Dust the pan lightly with flour, place the dough in the pan and prick it with a fork. Trim off the excess dough drooping over the sides of the pan. If you are using a flat pizza pan or a pizza stone, fold the edge over 1-inch all the way around and pinch it up to form a raised lip or rim.

At this point, you can pre-cook the crust for 4 to 5 minutes before adding any sauce or toppings. Remove the crust from the oven and pop any large air pockets that may have formed. Add the sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings. My husband will brush the exposed crust on the edges with a mixture of olive oil, garlic powder, salt andItaliann seasonings just to give it an extra punch of flavor (mmmmm). I prefer when he uses coarse sea salt (kind of like an everything bagel... but I digress).

Continue baking, on the lowest oven rack, rotating the pan half way through so that it cooks evenly, and crust is sufficiently browned and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and slide pizza out of cooking pan onto a large wire cooling rack (or cutting board). Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. This step allows the crust to stay crisp while it cools, otherwise the trapped steam will soften the crust.

This is a great recipe to make on a yucky weekend. And honestly, we have been known to use the dough after the first 3-4 hour rest on the counter, but it really is better if it has been refrigerated. I bet it would be fun for the kids to help with, too!

If you try this, let me know how it turns out!

Part 2 of... Are you a Homemaker or a Homewrecker?

I promise to post a recipe for a Friday Food Fun later this afternoon, but first, I was so excited to get to the main post that I wanted to share with you that the Fun Friday Food is just going to have to wait a while.

So... I'm sure you're wondering about friend number one that I mentioned in yesterday's post... I'm sure you're thinking that I had some nerve to even mention something like that in my post. And I'll get to them in a moment.

I want to start off by clarifying something. Yesterday, when I mentioned that two of my friends husbands are successful, I was referring to being successful at what they do at home, church and work... I was not referring to being successful financially (although, that wouldn't hurt!) ... it doesn't matter what they do for a living -- they can even be shoe-shine men -- what matters is the confidence, support, etc. that they have, and it matters, because it starts at home.

Back to friend number one. What ever happened to her? Well, seven years ago, her world was crashing down around her. She and her husband were fighting all the time. It was the only means of communication they had in their lives. They freely threw out the word DIVORCE (a no-no!), and constantly would storm out of the house in a fit of rage, slamming every stinking door they could possibly touch. They criticized each other, blamed each other, tore each other apart. There was no unity in the house. On the surface, they were a happy, spiritual couple, but deep inside, they were on the verge of hating each other. In fact, friend number three lived with them for a while, and she came into their house one day to hear the most horrific argument. It was so bad, she hid in the laundry room so she wouldn't be caught in the middle. Yeah, that bad. The covenant of marriage that this couple had taken only 7-1/2 years before this day was rapidly careening to an end.

Both the husband and wife lacked tremendously in self confidence. The wife (who I feel is always the driving force behind the husband) was not supportive, loving, kind, or submissive. They didn't have anyone they could lean on (which should have been each other!). Their finances were in chaos. Their spiritual lives were very superficial and crumbling, at best. Fortunately, (and I can only say this now as I look back) this couple had no children, because it would have been a frightening home for them, indeed.

But ... the one and only very thin strand that held this couple together was that very covenant they made before their friends, family, and God. They knew that it had been God's plan, indeed, for them to be husband and wife. They knew they were failing God, themselves, and their covenant. They knew something had to change. The husband begged the wife to go to counseling, or to go to their Pastor... to do something. The wife was proud, and refused. The husband told his wife that either she did something, or he was leaving. This time, for real.

Well... even though things were not great, the wife and husband really did love each other. So they did do something. They met with the Pastor and his wife. They held the couple accountable, and things began to change slowly, but still, things were just "okay." But God really began working in the lives of these two people. He began changing them. The wife began taking medication to help with depression and anxiety (she still takes it). They got prayer partners and accountability partners. Two years later, the couple began going to a Christian counselor. They learned how to communicate all over again. They learned how to do things together. They began doing devotions together, praying together, and going out on date nights. They learned how to forgive each other for the horrible things they said and did to each other in previous years. They changed the order of priorities in their lives. They began speaking to each other with tenderness, encouragement and love. Their relationship changed, strengthened, blossomed, and became what it should have been ... a relationship centered around God.

The wife saw such an astounding change in her husband's attitude, that it made her want to change, too! She began to encourage him with his spiritual life, his role as a husband and friend, and with his work, too (which he was finding unsatisfying). She prayed for him, uplifted him, and vowed to herself that she would do all she possibly could to make him feel like he was important, intelligent, talented, strong, loved and cared for. With her encouragement, he applied for another position at work that he never thought he could get. He took a test for it that he never thought he would pass. Not only did he pass the test, but he got that job. He has since been given outstanding evaluations. He even applied for a managerial position, but had to decline the interview, because it was on the same day that his wife was in labor with their first child -- fourteen and a half years into their marriage.

Today, this couple is totally committed to their marriage, and are fully involved in their church. They are loving and kind and encouraging with each other. They have a beautiful son that was a total gift and blessing from God. They aren't perfect by any means. The wife even still manages to bounce a few checks every now and then, but the husband no longer tears into her like he's going to kill her (thank goodness for that!).

If you haven't figured it out by now... the wife I'm talking about is me. The husband is mine. And the miracle child is ours. We have a great life now, but we couldn't have done it without allowing God to change us, mold us, and make us better people.

I know first hand that a woman can change. Even if you think you don't love your husband any more. God can place that love back into your heart. And if there's one thing I've had to learn ... it's that "a mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise pours out knowledge, but the mouth of fools spurts forth folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one crushes the spirit." (Proverbs 15:1-4)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Are you a Homemaker or a Homewrecker?

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down" (Proverbs 14:1).

What kind of influence do you have in your home? I've always felt compelled to have a somewhat orderly home. To make sure my husband had clean clothes to wear. To put a nice meal on the table... especially if we had guests joining us. I love to use my fine china and best "stuff" so that guests feel special. I love to make delicious desserts. And now, I don't want to do it just for my husband, but I want to do the same for my son -- "the boys in my life -- my boys." (sorry, I just love the sound of that and I had to roll it around my mouth a bit).

Now, I'm not saying that my home is always spotless, and my laundry is always caught up, or that I always have a good meal on the table (because my husband cooks, too). And occasionally, I'm just too tired to wash all the dishes in the sink (gasp!). But I try. Real hard. And with a child now, it's not easy.

But for me, it doesn't stop there. I have seen so many friends, coworkers and acquaintances destroy their home life. They are just too busy. They rush around all the time. There is no organization. Their home is disorderly, dirty, unkept. The laundry has piled to insurmountable levels. I have heard and seen them tearing their husband and children down with name calling or with harsh words like butt head, stupid, worthless, lazy, or ignorant. Those are powerful words. They hurt. They cause pain and tears. They break relationships.

It is so important to be wise in how we relate to others -- our spouse, children, friends, coworkers... but where does wisdom come from? If you know and abide in Christ, then you have available to you God's own wisdom through the Bible and God's revelation in our hearts through His Holy Spirit.

As women, we have a certain amount of responsibility. For instance -- As the woman of the house, you have the ability to change the mood in your home. Yeah! You really do! (PMS is not a good enough excuse to be grouchy and short tempered... so sorry!) You can cheer your husband up. Encourage him. Uplift him. You even have the power to divert arguments! Now, think about it! That's real power right there!

I have a friend who publicly degrades her husband, and she thinks it's funny. She'll do it at a restaurant, a store, church, or Bible Study. She will call him names, complain about his inadequacies and point out his faults. This man is very intelligent, but lacks in self confidence and "drive" or ambition. He has had dreams, but he has never been able to accomplish them. I have never wondered why. I know why. Trust me when I say ... your husband already knows his shortcomings and faults without needing you to point them out.

I have another friend who has a lovely family. Her home is always welcoming and tidy (even though there's a few baskets of laundry to be done in the laundry room). Her children are well behaved. Their home is loving and gentle. The family is devoted to God, and their fruits are evident of this. Her kids excel in school and athletic ability. Her husband is successful. Is this a coincidence? I personally don't think so. She takes the time to build her family up in many different ways. Her home is not always orderly, the meals aren't always gourmet... but she is always available for her family. Encouraging them. Uplifting them. Loving them. All of them (yup, even the dog).

I know yet another person... she's a newly wed - only one year. This is her second marriage. The first one was disastrous from the start. The husband was controlling. Abusive. Mean. Critical and hurtful. The split was inevitable. Her new husband, a fine Christian man, cherishes her. He treats her with love and respect. But it's mutual. She encourages him. Loves him. Wants to rush home and take care of him. Their relationship is tender and totally centered on God. Her husband is also successful. Again, not another coincidence, in my opinion!

The funny thing is -- both of these women would probably say something like ... "you see all that? Please! You're not looking in my home, because you make it sound perfect, and I'm far from perfect! My home is a disaster!"

No. Not so. I am not looking at the perfection of their home. I'm looking at the foundation of their home.

So, are you building a stressful home with a weak foundation? Do you criticize your family? Ridicule, disapprove, condemn? It's easy to do, I know. But it's also easy to change. Work is stressful for both husband and wife. School is stressful for children. Many things are out of our control. But whether you are a full time, stay at home mom, or you are a full time work out of the home mom, you can build a home of peace.

You are the center of the whirlwind called your home. You can make your home a sanctuary for your family. But just because you are the center of your home, doesn't mean you control it. You can't spend your day forcing everyone to do everything in your plan. And knowing we can't control our home might be a frightening thought (especially for a type-A personality such as mine). But we were not meant to stay awake at all hours of the night to plan on how we can control our spouse, children and homes, and how we can make them perfect in every way. That's God's job!

As contradicting as I may sound, you are still the builder, and you are a wise woman. But, it is up to God to do the building. Allow him to be your foundation and help you build a beautiful home -- allow him to be the cornerstone - the reference point for the whole structure - a constant reference point for all your thoughts and actions as a wife and mother.

My challenge to you (and myself): Be wise. Build your home. Encourage your family. Love them. Don't seek perfection or control. Seek to create a sanctuary for you and your family.

Try it for a few days, a week, a couple weeks, and then a month. Let me know if you see a difference!

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding" (Proverbs 3:13).

"Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Let the Silliness Begin!

Lots of things are muttered around my house, and it's funny how those very things sound like they could be, if not are, lyrics from Veggie Tales. For instance:

Saturday, my husband was walking around our bedroom muttering something that sounded almost like this: Oh where is my hairbrush? Oh where is my hairbrush? Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where ...is my hairbrush?

To which I replied something very similar to ... Back there is your hairbrush. Back there is your hairbrush. Back there, back there, oh where, back there, oh where, oh where, back there, back there, back there ... is your hairbrush!

And, I find that, like this song, I tend to have to repeat myself many times to make sure he is looking, because otherwise, he just glances, and nothing gets found.

Of course, if I was feeling mean-spirited, I could have replied... No hair for your hairbrush. No hair for your hairbrush. No hair, no hair, nowhere, no hair, no hair, no hair, nowhere, up there, no hair ... for your hairbrush.

But because I'm a loving and supportive wife, I did not take the time to remind him of his rapidly receding hair line. Now, granted, we don't really say stuff like this, but our conversations sure do come close to this! In fact, this very conversation resulted in my husband asking me to cut his hair ... Sunday morning ... as I'm frantically trying to get ready for church. Now, I've never cut his hair before. I can't even cut my bangs in a straight line, so... this may not have been a wise thing to do. Okay -- it wasn't a wise thing to do. But I did any way, because I'm just a rebel like that. And folks, I was laughing so hard while I was using the clippers to cut his hair that I couldn't see from all the tears in my eyes! Needless to say... he won't be asking me to cut his hair for a very long time. And... he won't need that hairbrush for a while, either.

Moving on ...

I may not have mentioned to you, my dear internet friends, the clever and oh so "adorable" nick name my loving husband gave me while I was pregnant. Yeah. It's after one of the Veggie Tale songs he heard on the radio one day. If you're a Veggie Tales fan, then I'm sure you can guess where I might be going with this. Any way, he thought it was just the perfect nick name for his beloved wife, and during a quiet moment at night, with the lights off, and a very pregnant me trying to sleep, he leans over to hug me and kiss me goodnight and says, "come here, my little water buffalo, woooo!" You're probably thinking to yourself, "Whaaat?!? Did I hear right?" Why yes, yes you did. From that moment on, I could hear his voice echoing through the vast mansion that we own, singing at the top of his lungs... "water buffalo, woo! water buffalo, woo!"

Hmmm. Clever.

Fortunately, after I had the baby, he stopped using that very clever nick name (and a good thing, too)... that is ... until ... this weekend. Yeah. You got it. He said it AGAIN. So, we had a good laugh and all -- hardy, har, har -- and then I made him pinky promise to never, ever call me that again, or I would break his pinky.

So, in honor of the silliness you're reading about today, and because I know you're just dying to know ... here are the words the The Water Buffalo Song:

Everybody's got a water buffalo. Yours is fast but mine is slow. Oh, where we get them, I don't know, but everybody's got a water buffalo! I took my buffalo to the store, Got her head stuck in the door, Spilled some lima beans on the floor, Oh, everybody's got a water buffalo.

Okay - let me just clarify something right now -- When I was pregnant, it is possible that I might have been slow, and most likely that I went to the store, and I might have gotten my head stuck in the door, but I never, ever spilled lima beans on the floor. Ever.

Monday, February 20, 2006

All is well -- All is well.

Okay -- I walked into the kitchen and my husband was holding his hand over the sink. His finger was bleeding and he was squeezing it shut so it would stop bleeding. I ran over and got a wet paper towel for him to put on it and he says to me ... "Honey? Can you put that piece of bread in the oven for me?"

We both just started laughing, because you need to know how much my husband loves food to appreciate that comment. As it turns out, he did not need stitches, but the wound was pretty yucky and deep. Lesson learned (which I thought he would have learned from the last time I sliced my finger with the same knife) is -- don't cut bread (especially stale French Bread) while holding it in your hand. Bad. Very bad. Cut it on a cutting board. Novel idea!

So here's how the past hour and a half went: look at cut; bandage cut with gauze, tape, and neosporin; put bread in oven (I'm just nice like that); go get crying baby that is now awake; give baby bath; baby vomits in bath; put jammies on baby; go down to change tight bandage so finger can have blood circulation again; feed baby; baby vomits - again; change baby into fresh jammies, rock baby for a long time. Put baby into crib. Go down to update blogging friends that husband isn't dead and find husband back on the computer (now he's dead meat). Fight over using computer; ask husband how he can possibly type with hurt finger; husband informs me that it's a 'sissy cut' not a 'manly cut'; I win fight and get to finish blog.

No wonder I'm so tired.

Going to go put my jammies on and go to bed now. Nighty night, sleep tight.

Monday Musings

Things worth musing over ... maybe ...

1. Funny how far behind I can get on reading my most loved blogs, and other new blogs when I'm home for the weekend. Real funny.

2. Funny how busy Sunday, the day of rest, can get. As in -- NO rest.

3. Funny how much I love my sister-in-law, because she brought her new lap top over and let me play with it. PLAY with it. Not just touch it. Well, I'd love her even if she didn't, but wasn't that nice of her?

4. Funny how my husband wants to live on a budget and save all kinds of money but doesn't want to eat leftovers, refuses to eat hamburger helper (which I adore) and insists on healthy vegetables and fish. Oh ... and don't mention Aldie's ... we had a little 'incident' with the Pastor and an Aldie's store, and I think he's staying away from this store just to prove a point. He's sooo mature.

5. Funny how we can be out all day long shopping at the outlets, and when we get home, suddenly, I have to change our son, and I have to feed him, and I have to fix dinner (yeah -- leftovers -- and he's pouting), and I have to entertain our son, and I, and I, and I, and I ... while my husband sits in front of the computer and drops threads all over the fishing websites he likes to hit.

And the funniest thing...

6. Funny how when my husband finishes his thread dropping (or whatever), and I ask him to play with our happy child while I get some blogging done in the den, this is what I hear coming from the family room...

baby: eeehhh, eeehhh, eeeehhh
dad: honey, do you think he needs any Tylenol (he's teething)
mom: yeah - he probably does
baby: eeehhh, eeehhh, waaaaaa
dad: he's really drooling really bad and he's chewing on his fingers
baby: waaaaa, waaaaa, waaaaaa
dad: think he needs some orajel or something?
mom: yeah - can you get it? I'M BLOGGING.
baby: WAAaaa, WAAAaaa, WAAAAAA.
dad: honey, you need to come here. I can't take this. He's in a lot of pain, and it's making me tear up too!


dad: ummm... I think he wants a bottle, too.

mom: Of course you do. But don't worry. IIIIII'll get it.

So -- I fed him, rocked him, put him to sleep, and here I am ---

Shoot! I gotta go - husbandjustcuthisfingerwithabreadknife. Might need stitches. DRAT Pampered Chef Bread knife.

This only happens in real life, floks. Real life.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Things in my Purse

And now, a very boring blog in which you'll get to know me a little bit better. In fact, my husband just looked over my shoulder and said, "What are you doing and why?" So, I told him, and he just shook his head and said, "you guys are weird."

Can you believe he had the nerve to call you, my dear friends weird? Well, worry not! I got all up in his grill about that and defended your pure honor.

Okay (in a staged whisper) he's gone to bed now -- Soooo ... back to important stuff.

Here are several things I have hanging out in my very cute purse -- Believe it or not, this post was on my list of things to blog about... Why? I don't know... maybe because I'm strange. But by all means, consider this an open invitation to comment about some things we might find in your purse! (you know... so we can get to know each other better!)

1. A check book -- with lots of checks, coupons and stamps! But, sadly ... no money.

2. A wallet -- with lots of money, but sadly, no value ($1.52 in change, to be exact)!

3. Red and white striped baby socks worn on Valentine's Day -- ehhh -- stranger things have been found in my purse.

4. Thank you notes and stickers for over due thanks to friends waiting in desperation by their mail boxes, the inside cover of the current worship CD I am wearing out in my car (so I can sing all the RIGHT words at the top of my lungs while I'm driving -- yeah -- I'm THAT person).

5. A Rattle, infant tylenol, an extra pacifier (because you never know when you'll need one -- and I panic when I need one and don't have one. You would too if your 4-month old was screaming for one.)

6. Tons of lipstick, lipgloss, chapstick and a mirror -- hey! A girl's gotta look her best! Even if she does have baby spit up all over her shoulder and is wearing a ratty (but comfortable) nursing bra.

7. 4 pages of notes and outlines from a very very important meeting I attended last week (wink, wink).

8. Keys, gum (the kind that prevents tooth decay), my i.d. badge for my very important and top secret job, two cell phones (because I'm too lazy to go to a store and have them transfer my new numbers over to my new phone), pens, a marker, pencils, and a good orange highlighter (because you just never know when you'll need a good highlighter!).

9. A very loved and well used pocket calendar which I could NEVER live without - there is something written in almost every single day of the month of February -- I'm soooo popular like that.

10. A starbucks gift card, and one emergency dose of my migraine medication (very, very important), spare AA batteries (in case the ones in my digital camera that I carry in my diaper bag go dead).

So ... what's in YOUR purse?

p.s. -- I am feeling quite clever for finally having figured out how to upload pictures! Whew that took a long time! I'm exhausted and it's only 9:45! Must get into bed now, because important people (ahem) like me (ahem) have important things to do tomorrow, and I must be well rested. Kisses!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Oh, My Achin' Head!

See? I am NOT perfect by any stretch of the imagination, because I have already deviated from the well thought out 4-page outline and notes that I furiously took while attending a very, very important meeting at work, as evidenced in yesterday's post. I was going to be all clever and what not by posting a link to it, but -- well, I have no clue how to do that. Look what I just figured out??? A link to my own works! (if I only knew how to strike out) UPDATED -- ... as evidenced in yesterday's post (click there! last 2 paragraphs). I'm feeling very smart right now.

Anyway -- Last night, I went to bed with my head spinning -- which leads to my achin' head. You see, we watched a special on the Duggar Family. Lookey there -- a link! Now if all worked according to plan... that's an html link you can click on ... So go ahead and take a few seconds to surf their site. If the link doesn't work, than do a search on Google for them. Go ahead... I'll wait a few minutes...

Are you back now? Good. Now. Do you see why my head is aching? So many children! SO MANY CHILDREN! I can see that their website hasn't been updated since at least October 2005, because they now have 16 children. Yes, SIXTEEN.

Now, I am NOT judging. Please don't think any less of me (because I desire your love and approval in a really bad way). I'll let you formulate your own opinions on their decisions for choosing the size of a family, etc. And, yes -- the reason why my head was spinning, is because of the thought of having 16 kids ... but, I must share with you what impressed me so much about this family.

First of all, she homeschools. All of the children -- sixteen of them. God bless her. I have to admire that a lot. Next, this woman is so incredibly organized! They showed them living in a 2000-ish sq ft home -- Now, I'm thinking "hey, that's pretty spacious..." But squeeze 18 people in there, and suddenly, you better hope your sibling has showered in the last, oh, say ... DAY. Their pantry looked so organized. Their laundry was caught up. Their closet was O-R-D-E-R-L-Y. And, yes (if you must know), this is the second time in a matter of 24 hours that I've had to deal with my personal weakness -- jealousy. I'm praying about that.

But -- but, but, but... Not only was her home run like an absolutely TIGHT ship, including schedules, calendars, rules and chores ... but the children were so lovely! They were so well behaved, and it really looked like there was a lot of love in that home! They didn't watch TV, and while they have 7 computers, they use filters. They do daily devotions in the morning, and they read the Bible with Daddy at night. I can only pray that I get just a few of these things done with my kids.

And, if you're still stuck on the 2000 sq foot home, it's not too bad. They are building a 7,000 sq ft home that will accommodate their growing family. They, as in the dad and the older sons... along with some help from all the other kids. Wow! AND -- did I mention the words -- DEBT FREE??? With sixteen kids? Okay, I'll stop going on and on and on.

I may not see 16 kids in my future... EVER ... (three or four would me nice!), and I may never have the patience to home school my own children (but if we feel the Lord leading in that direction, I will certainly tackle that challenge with open arms... at that time) ... But I was left with such admiration for this family. Many might think they are crazy... Some may think they may not have heard about birth control. Others may even think that the parents have fallen out of their collective apple trees and hit each limb on their way down being rendered unconscious. And honestly, all those thoughts ran through my head while I was watching the show (which is a repeat, and for those that missed it... don't worry - they will be showing an updated one on Discovery Health in May - Sixteen Kids!). But like I said... I honestly was impressed.

They obviously love the Lord with all their heart(s). They want to obey what they feel God is calling them to do. And... they are living orderly lives that put my tiny little three member family to shame. God is also blessing them... continuously. So -- who am I to judge? I'll just wait quietly in the background for May's show ... for now, though, I'll continue to be impressed.

But in the mean time, I have to go take some Excedrin and lie down for a bit while I process. And pray. A lot.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Note from the Editor

I am not quite sure what blogging etiquette requires me to do when I add someone's blog as a favorite link ... but I just figured out how to add links (yea me!) ... and to everyone I've added, please know that I've done so because I love your blog and want to share it with others. Shout out if you want me to take you off of my list.

Disclaimer: I may not hold to the same beliefs that each person publishes on his or her blog. Then again, I may. But I hope you can tell what I do believe from my blog. And if you can't -- shame on me, and drop me a note! But, know that while you may find some colorful language on some of my links, you won't find it on mine. So don't be insulted if you link over to another blog and are horrified by the language (and don't leave me comments like: "oh, my eyes and ears -- they are bleeding! Why did you link there?").

Thank you -- and have a stupendous day!

So many things to say ... in such a little space!

I guess you got the subtle hint -- this is a long-ish post. Deal or move on, lovey. ;-)

Update -- Valentine's Day with the in-laws after shots with the baby -- Well, the baby was crabby and irritated for just a short time. Then we fed him and gave him a bath, and he became his usual kiss of sunshine. He is so resilient! Brutish, in fact. He didn't cry when three of the four needles poked him, but by the fourth, he let out a wail that said "hey ... I'm in pain overload right now!" He's strong and brave like his daddy!

We had carry-in Chinese food, and expected my in-laws to walk in at any minute to give their Valentine's Day lovins to their adorable grandson. But they didn't show. And didn't show. And didn't show. And we got worried. We called the cell phone (just one, because my FIL refuses to get one). It went into voice mail. By 8:15, Hunter was very unhappy and just wanted to go to bed, and I just couldn't prolong it any more. I was putting him in bed when the in-laws finally arrived at 8:30... What a relief to find out that their cell phone was merely dead, and they were enjoying a Valentine's Day dinner by themselves! After 40 years, their love is still strong and faithful. A witness to us all.

So, as it turns out, I was unreasonably stressed over a silly situation, because by 8:30, I was ready to leap into bed out of sheer exhaustion ... not romance. And I could care less who was in the house watching TV until whatever hours of the night. I just wanted to close my eyes. And we really did have a little bit of time alone before Grandma and Grandpa arrived. Besides -- they took such incredibly good care of my son on Wednesday -- he ended up with a fever of 101.4, and they fed him, rocked him, held him, medicated him with Tylenol, and loved him back to great health. Who can ask for more? In fact, my FIL said something cute... he said, "if we keep spending so much time with him, I'm going to get very attached! I miss him when I go home!" (to which I replied -- I HOPE SO! -- to the getting attached part).

Next -- I am so GREEN with jealousy, I tell you! GREEN! Last night, my sister-in-law (my husband's dearly loved baby sis) brought her new (gulp), micro-thin (sigh), super-deliciously large-screened (tears), LAP TOP to church to show us. It was a magnificent conglomeration of shiney, glowing metal and plastic that brought you to your knees anhd made your finger tips ache with desire to touch it. I wish you could have seen the happiness on her face. Sheer delight. I'm so happy for her, but I hope she brings it over to the house every now and then so I can at least ... touch it. Actually, in all fairness, she's the kind of generous person that would give you her last pair of clean underwear if she thought you needed it -- she's that awesome -- so I'm sure (wink, wink) that she'll let me look at it up close like!

Finally -- I was in a business meeting this morning. Long and boring. Here's a brief recap of what I heard at said business meeting -- "First and Foremost, Safety -- reduce fatalities (blah, blah, blah, blah - huh? fatalities?); something about performance based leadership and vision and leading by example (yada, yada, yada, yada); I think there was something about communication, performance and tools for analysis -- wha? did he say 'fishbone diagrams'? (la, la, la, la, la) droning on and on about problematic high data collection, low analysis and adding value to the organization (ho, hum, ho, hum).

So, being the good note taking employee, here's what I had on my note pad (and what, I might add, was at the foremost of my brain function at he the SAME meeting this morning): A detailed outline of what I want to blog about over the next week; notes on new friends I've met through the blog-sphere that I want to keep in my prayers for various reasons (infertility, personal struggles, children, fame, etc.); a list of thank you notes I need to send out; a small inventory of Hunter's 'dress clothing' that still fits that I might want to use for his portrait; a reminder to my self to do a search for a particular house-warming gift for a friend of mine. Various other little things that don't need to be mentioned (in the spirit of professionalism).

I'm such a responsible employee who is exemplifying Christian behavior, wouldn't you say so? Hm. Guess I need to work on that a bit more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Quick Note of Concern

An extra post for today -- oh, the deliciousness of it all!

So, I had just arrived at the building where my chiropractor is, and I was going up two flight of stairs behind an older woman, a younger woman, and a child. I followed behind them long enough to get this conversation (as they walked into the glass doors for an office called "Behavioral Health Somethingness*"), and it really left me concerned!

Older woman walked ahead of younger woman and Child --

young woman: (speaking to child) Now - where do you live?
child: with you.
young woman: right. And how are you doing?
child: fine.
young woman: no -- how are you feeling ?
child: happy?
young woman: right - okay - hold my hand now and smile (as they entered behind the glass doors)

I know this, because I wrote it down as soon as I got into my chiropractor's office -- I was that disturbed by the whole thing. Am I over reacting here? Is there any reason why I shouldn't be concerned by this very "coached" exchange?

*Name slightly changed to protect the intrest of whoever might need to be protected (but the Behavioral Health part is true).

Confessions of a No-longer Breast Feeding Mom

I need to get personal for a few minutes. I feel like we have that kind of relationship by now, don't we? Here it goes...

Five weeks. That was all the milk my body could muster. I dealt with it in my own adult-like way (weeping and sobbing), accepted it for what it was (nature failed me!), packed up the pump (thank the Lord for THAT), put away the breast pads, and moved on to bottles.

But... I couldn't put away my nursing bra. It is the MOST comfortable bra I own. And it shows. It’s white -- mostly -- but does contain some stains in certain areas (what? My baby has projectile vomit, and it usually ends up on me… and down my chest … and all over the white nursing bra!), and while it’s clean (really -- it is), it looks filthy! It’s well loved, and well worn, and my confession is... (insert dramatic drum roll) I still use it. Three months after I stopped breast feeding. In fact, I always reach for it first when I get dressed, and I wear it most days (except for when it’s in the wash). In fact, I have it on right now.

So -- it was quite an embarrassing surprise to me, when I became ill... so ill that I went to the doctor ... last week ... in a frantic attempt to get better ... with drugs. I had a sinus infection that was sinking into my chest and turning into bronchitis. And to my HORROR, the doctor asked me to lift my shirt so he could listen to my lungs. "Um... is it necessary," I questioned. "Yes, I need to know what’s going on in your chest." Needless to say, I was wearing "that" bra.

Oh, how I hung my head in shame while deeply breathing in ... and breathing out.

Lessons learned: NEVER purchase a WHITE nursing bra; NEVER wear an ugly, yucky bra of any kind to a doctor's appointment.

I guess it’s time to grow up and go bra shopping.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Am My Beloved's and My Beloved is Mine!

Ahhhh, yeeesss... Valentine's day is here. And we will be spending it in SUCH a special and romantic (yeah, right) way... but first, you will be subjected to my miscellaneous ramblings ...

My ever so un-romantic husband (who really is romantic, just not in a flowery, chocolatey, goo-goo eyed way) just called me at work to wish me a happy Valentine's Day and to tell me he loves me. Sigh. That's my beloved! I HEART him. In fact, that's just one of his ways of being romantic that I love so much.

You see, he wakes up at the crack of dawn every day. He takes our son to daycare at 5:00 in the morning. Then, his day at work begins at 6:00 in the morning. Mine doesn't begin until 7:30, and I'm usually still in bed at 6:00 in the morning (who isn't?). Any way... what I'm trying to get at, is that there are many, many days through out the year that my beloved calls me at work, before I even get out of bed, to leave me a message on my voice mail telling me that he loves me and hopes I have a beautiful day. Now, I ask, how can you NOT have a good day after hearing THAT first thing in the morning?

Then, as expected, (because he ... um ... errr ... read (gulp) my blog ... and saw what I wrote about him) he asked me where I wanted carry-in from for dinner tonight ?! He's so creative.

In all fairness, I took him out to dinner last night for Valentine's Day (Spanish food-yum!) -- out of respect to him, of course, because he hates crowds. Actually, I really think he doesn't want to be the only man in the restaurant not presenting his wife with a little box full of sparkley bling --- just like the commercial. ANYWAY ... he ordered one of the "specials" because it sounded really good... scallops with a cream sauce on top of a bed of shredded plantains, served with white rice, black beans and steamed vegetables. I ordered a mixed Saltado of shrimp, scallops, and beef (a Peruvian dish -- my mom is from Peru so I love Peruvian food, but I digress, and that's a story for another time). Our son had Gerber green beans with a side of bananas.

Now, my husband has quite a healthy appetite, and by this time, he was hungry. So, when our dishes came out, you can imagine his surprise. My dish was huge... full of good stuff to eat. His was -- well, you be the judge -- he had exactly 5 small scallops, 4 green beans, 2 pieces of broccoli and 2 pieces of carrots. I know, because I counted. How tacky! He looked crestfallen. So, being the loving wife I am (because I AM my beloved's), I shared half of my meal with him. If I had my wits about me, I would have taken a picture of the two meals with my phone camera... but NOOOOO ... I'm not that sharp.

So ... here's what I've been saving as the cherry on top for our very special Valentine's Day celebration... Since my son is getting 4 shots this afternoon, and since I've been told that the 4-month vaccinations are AWFUL, and since I'm expecting him to spike a fever and be all grumpy and what not tomorrow and not be able to go to daycare, and since I already took three days off last week because he was sick and wanted his mommy, and since I took one day off because I was sick and wanted my pillow, well ... my husband has called in the troops to come take care of my son tomorrow... the Grandma and Grandpa troops, that is. His parents. My in-laws. It's very generous and kind of them... but along with that, they will be spending the night at my house. Tonight. Valentine's Day. Yeah. I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it too. I love my in-laws, a lot, but it sure throws a wrench into a romantic evening at home, doesn't it? Because at some point, my son has to fall asleep, and then we'd have time to ourselves... but at nooo point can I send my in-laws to bed so we can have time to ourselves.

Oh well. The true reason for Valentine's Day is to share your love ... and I can still do that ... sort of!

Have a blessed day, and --- tell someone you love them!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Musings ... in no particular order

Here is a quick list of items worth musing over:

  • I was eating a dove candy bar (the mini ones... so actually, I was eating several dove candies), and the wrappers have these little sayings printed on the inside. One of them said... "A smile is worth more than a dozen roses." Why, yes... yes it is... especially if it comes from a child!
  • It's funny how two adults can spend hours in total fascination as they watch their 4 month old discover his voice... he has now gone from saying "Agooo" to screeching at the top of his lungs like a Velociraptor (or something like that) while sticking his tongue straight out. He then thinks about the sound he just made, and proceeds to make another one just like it ... and look ever so proud of himself. Amazing.
  • Eleven inches of snow is actually FUN when it falls over the weekend and you don't have to go anywhere.
  • Weekend things that ROCK -- sleeping in on a Sunday when church has been cancelled (due to inclement weather, of course!), add to that a comfy couch, a funny movie, along with some warm chocolate chip cookies, a tall glass of ice cold milk, and a warm roaring fire... all weekend long. So much for my Valentine's Day idea! oh, yeah... and a tall warm bottle of formula, lots of cuddles and kisses, and many, many grins from a toothless babe ...
  • Laundry takes longer to get folded and put away when you have a child in the house.
  • Homemade pizza dough and homemade pizza sauce taste much, MUCH better than Dominoes, AND is cheaper, too!
  • An 8" high, 9 pound white Maltese CAN get lost in 11" of snow.
  • A man and his snowblower is the equivalent of a man and his dog ... best friends in a big snow storm! Just how many neighbors do you think can be blown out with one tank full of gas? hint: many!

I have to say that at this time, I have nothing deep nor profound to write about. But, man! Did I have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Lesser of Two Evils, or something like that...

Evil number ONE: The terrible pain a child feels in the middle of the night when he/she is teething. You know the kind... where they wake up shrieking and crying inconsolably because a razor sharp pearly white is ripping through their tender gums... The kind that scares you so badly that it has you sitting completely straight up in bed because you think your child has been beaten half to death by the dust bunnies under his crib ... and you go running into his room in a state of shock, banging into the, um... heater in the middle of your floor, and stub your toe, as you walk into the door jam because you're so disoriented by the horrible screams coming from your child's room ... and he doesn't calm down until you DO. SOMETHING. ABOUT. IT. STAT. Yeah... that's number one.

Evil number TWO: The terrible shriek of shock and disgust and wails of pure torture that comes out of your child's mouth ... in the middle of the night ... when they taste that baby orajel you're trying to shove into their mouth ... in the dark ... half asleep ... in the middle of the night ... two-ish in the morning, to be exact. And three-ish. And four-ish. And six-ish. And ... oh, why bother sleeping at this point.

So, a mother has to decide in a split moment... Decision # 1: just give the baby Tylenol, and hope he goes back to sleep ... because that's what I did first, and trust me... it really didn't work. At all. Hence, the three-ish, four-ish, and six-ish am wake-ups. Decision #2: Rub the foul and horrid tasting orajel on his precious gums, and listen to about 10 more minutes of frantic wailing and spitting as he tries to rid himself of the horrid taste in his mouth.

Either way, my heart breaks for him. He's just too little to suffer like that. And, I'm a bit of a vain-ish mom, in that... I want him to like me, not run from me in terror when he sees me coming with my finger extended towards his little mouth!

Do the makers of this stuff actually taste their handy work before they market it as "cherry flavored?" I can't imagine anything tasting any more bitter and, just plain FOUL than the "cherry flavor" they use!

Isn't there something better out on the market?

Friday, February 10, 2006

I Am So Fortunate!

Valentine's Day is so around the corner... I usually dread Valentine's Day, because let's face it ... my husband isn't the most creative person around. He rarely buys valentine chocolates, hates to go out for dinner because it's so crowded, and despises spending a fortune on roses. So, I probably won't see any of that next Tuesday. To top it off, my son has a doctor's appointment that afternoon, and he'll be getting 4 shots. How utterly un-romantic. My heart will literally be breaking for my little man as he howls in pain.

So, as I was trying to figure out what we could possibly do that would make this Valentine's Day more than just a howl fest, I started thinking about my life as a whole...

It struck me hard ... How incredibly fortunate can one person be?

I have an awesome husband, who loves me totally and unconditionally. He helps me around the house. He cooks, he vacuums, he gets on his HANDS AND KNEES and cleans our hardwood floors for me because my back goes out each and every time I try to do that. Not only does he help around the house, but he also is totally hands on with our baby. He helps me give our son a bath EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. But before he even draws the water for his bath, he throws our sons towel in the dryer so he has a warm and cozy towel when he comes out of his bath. How thoughtful is that? He wakes up with me at 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, or 4:00 (which ever time Hunter decides that he's starved and needs a middle of the night snack), and he goes downstairs to heat up a bottle for me ... even though he wakes up at 4:15 every morning to go to work. In the evenings, when I'm tired from working all day (as if he's not) and I'm sitting in my comfortable chair with my legs up on the ottoman, and my son in my lap, he will get up from his own comfortable chair numerous times to get me a heated bottle, or the burp cloth I forgot to get, or a can of diet A&W Rootbeer (oh, so addictive), or get out the frozen cookie dough to bake some cookies (okay ... he benefits from that, too) and serves them to me with a glass of ice cold milk. He prays over our son each and every night. He prays with me, and for me. He studies the Bible with me. And all this is just the TIP of the iceberg!

He is so sacrificial, generous and caring. He puts mine and our son's needs before his own.

After years, and years, and YEARS of trying to get pregnant, God blessed us with a beautiful child. But more than that, God worked on our marriage during that time. He strengthened it, molded it, changed it, and just plain ol' made it better. We learned to love each other more. We learned to rely on each other. We learned to value each other. I know he loves me, and he knows I love him. We tell each other all the time, but more importantly, we show each other. Okay, maybe he shows it more than I do, but hey ... I gave him a SON. And he watched the entire birthing process with much fascination, so that puts me pretty high up on his list right now! Oh, how I love this man.

You know what? This year, Valentine's Day doesn't sound so dreadful after all. I think we'll just hang out in front of the fireplace, and eat carry-in food, and maybe some homemade cookies and milk. How incredibly fortunate can one person be?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

From Infertility to Motherhood

Thank you to all who gave me wonderful advice on starting over. Today, I have finally chosen a new blog name to mark a new start in life. After fighting years of sorrow and pain that comes from infertility, God has blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. Our son is a miracle. A gift from God that warms my heart like kisses of sunshine.

Thank God for his promise that "...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5b --- I have found joy!

So today, I mark the beginning of a new life, and a new blog. As the song says ... I've traded my sorrows for the joy of the Lord. Yes, Lord, yes, Lord, yes, yes, Lord!

If you would like to read my entries while I was going through many fertility procedures, miscarriages, and then my pregnancy and the birth of our son, please go to http://infertilemeanderings.blogspot.com/ and you will find my entries dating back to July of 2004. I hope you may find strength and comfort in them, and if you too are battling with infertility, know that you are not alone. If you have any questions or need encouragement, please feel free to email me or comment on my new blog spot... Kisses of Sunshine.

To a new beginning!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Seeking God?

Many people spend their lifetime seeking peace, happiness, fulfilment, security... when all you need to do is simply seek out a God that offers all of this, and more! God offers us a love that crosses all boundaries and breaks all barriers -- God offered us his own son!

Beth Moore once said that she could comprehend laying her own life down for another person, but could not, under any circumstances, lay the life of her own child down. That's just how much love we have for our own child! I couldn't have expressed my own feelings any better.

With that in mind, the understanding that God sacrificed his very own child for us is quite overwhelming. And no matter what translation you read scripture in, the message is the same for each of us: God loves us with an endless sort of love that crosses all barriers. A love, that as humans, we would never be able to match. His love forgives. His love renews. His love purifies. His love saves. His love gives us peace. If you believe in him, you will never die, but have everlasting life -- not here on earth, but in heaven. There is, in fact ... no greater love.

So, really -- why did God allow his own child to die on the cross? Glad you asked.

Imagine this: let's say that we were to get a blank sheet of paper and make a "diagram*" with God's name at the very top of it. Then, draw a straight line down from God's name, about 5 or 6 inches. Now -- let's select the names of two people that have lived (or currently live) lives that are Godly and holy -- how about Billy Graham, and Mother Theresa. Place them somewhere on that line where you think they would fall under God. Now add your name wherever you think represents how close you are to God. We would probably place ourselves pretty close to the bottom of the line.

So ... are you wondering how we can "bridge the gap" between us and God? Well, it's through Jesus. God sent us Jesus to take all the weight of our sins so we wouldn't have to. Jesus is what gets us to God... So, when we add him to the "diagram*," you can see how much easier it is for us to get to God with Jesus than without!

If you are seeking God, and haven't received Christ into your heart, might I invite you to do so today? Here? Now? Among friends? And then, let me know either in my comments section or by email that you have made the choice to follow Jesus. I would love to celebrate with you this life changing decision.


So ... you want to take this step ... what now?

1) First, you need to understand and acknowledge that God loves you more than anyone on this planet could, and he wants you to have life -- not just any ol' life, but rather, life that is eternal.

2) Next, you need to understand and acknowledge that you are a sinner -- in fact, we all have sinned, and we all fall short of God's glory... it's not just you! ("...For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24)

3) Then, you need to acknowledge that because of God's ultimate sacrifice that I mentioned above -- the death of his son, Jesus Christ -- the "gap" between us as sinners, and our Holy God, has been "bridged." Jesus did this for us when he died on the cross for our sins. He took the ultimate punishment so that we would never have to face that. Jesus is the only way to God. ("For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men." 1 Timothy 2:5-6a and "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6)

4) Finally, you need to accept this gift. Simply, pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and then, ask him to come and live in your heart. It may sound confusing or difficult, but it's not. Just let go of your burdens and sins ... turn away and repent from them ... give God the bad in your life, and allow him to replace it with beauty and freedom. And for heaven's sake, don't carry your burdens back with you. Leave them with God!

Here's a prayer of salvation you can pray if you don't know what to say:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me now with your blood. Come into my heart and save my soul right now. I give you my life, and I receive you now as my Savior, my Lord, and my God. I am Yours forever, and I will serve you and follow you the rest of my life. Amen.
Yay!!! From this moment on, you are a child of God. You belong to Him, and you no longer belong to this world or to the enemy. It won't be an easy road, as Satan will tempt you from every angle, but it will be rewarding! That, I promise!


But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:8-13

*Diagram from Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across the Room

About Me

I am a Christian woman who loves the Lord God with all my passion and energy. I was born in 1967, and have been married since June of 1990 to the most AWESOME and loving husband. After having battled with infertility for over 14 long years, God has blessed us with a beautiful son, who is like Kisses of Sunshine in our lives.

My hope is that through all that I've experienced, (and continue to experience) I can bring a little humor, encouragement and God's shining love into someone's life. While our years of infertility struggles were filled with difficult months of temping, three years of (un-monitored) clomid treatment (which eventually led to PCOS), followed by three IUI's, 2 IVF's, six miscariages (yes... to add insult to injury, one was on Mother's Day, 2004), and a lot of pain and sorrow, we praise God and honor his name, because He is faithful to complete the work he began in us. He has blessed us tremendously with our beautiful son. We had our third IVF procedure and had all or our frozen embryos (2) transferred, which resulted in my sixth miscarriage.

Even through all the pain, we place our hope and joy in the Lord, and celebrate each and every day with our precious son!