October 31, 2007

Treat

I had a nice leisurely shopping trip at Target today. All by myself. It was wonderful. (Hubby has the day off.) I literally forgot time existed while I was there- and found this dress to wear for an upcoming event. And now I can dream about the many ways to accessorize it. Red heels? Tall black boots? Gunmetal flats?

It was such a successful shopping trip, or much-needed getaway time for me, because I got two new sets of measuring spoons (one green, one red) that I keep forgetting to get only to remember each time I am in the middle of baking something. Bath bubbles, winter gloves, vanilla flavor coffee syrup, you know, the important necessities. The Halloween aisle was being transformed before my eyes by many red-shirted Target elves- placing ornaments and Santas and snowmen on shelves as bright orange jack-o-lanterns were marked red for clearance.

Today is Halloween, and I've dodged the topic long enough. Do we celebrate it? Notsomuch, but tonight the boys will dress up (two pirates and a frog) and we'll Trunk or Treat at a church. The boys are really looking forward to it, and so am I. No need to buy costumes around here as we have a mecca of fun dress-up outfits for pretending- so it's nice to come up with something we have on hand. I'm hoping for some KitKats, but I can't have chocolate anyway. I'll probably end up with the gum.

Life of the Day, Day 18

Wordless Wednesday: This Year's Holiday Card Photo?

October 30, 2007

Freedom



Noah has officially been seizure-free for 3 years!









Life of the Day, Day 17

The Wheel And Me

So, I have always wanted to be on The Wheel of Fortune. Who wouldn't? You can come in last place and still walk away with cash & prizes! When I heard there was a contestant search coming to the area, I had to go. It wouldn't be right if I didn't at least try.

I was forewarned about what to expect, and had once tried out for Jeopardy years ago, so I had a rough idea of how things would work. The Rosemont Theatre was filled with hopefuls, and all the applications were drawn at random to see who would come up on stage to play a quick game. They would call five people up at a time and then once a puzzle was solved, another five people were brought up. They won exciting prizes like a Wheel of Fortune hat, fanny pack, or duffel bag. Once someone even won a light-up pen!

You really wanted your name to be called so that they could see your likeable personality and hopefully they'd choose you to be a contestant for the real show. But, if you didn't get to go on stage, they promised to still choose from all the applications. So there is hope for this Mommy Blogger from Indiana.

That's what I'm banking on, since my name wasn't called. The Wheel will be taping in Chicago next March and I really hope I get to be a part of it! I still had fun, and am happy that I made the effort. I'll just have to get my fanny pack elsewhere.

video

October 29, 2007

Wish Me Wheel...



I am off to the Wheel of Fortune auditions!









Life of the Day, Day 16

It's A Fall Y'all Giveaway!

It is time for another really big really bloggy giveaway, hosted by Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer and her Bloggy Giveaways site!

I knew exactly what I'd love to offer up for my giveaway! One of my Sassy Knit Handbags custom made for you!

Just leave a comment here if you'd like to be entered to win a cute bag, hand-knitted by me! I'll pick a winner at random sometime Friday morning and announce the winner. Anyone may enter! Just please enter only once!

Comments are now closed. Winner has been posted here!

October 28, 2007

The Other Mother


The Chicago Moms Blog and its sister blogs are discussing
The Other Mother, the newest novel by Gwendolen Gross. I found this book compelling and I literally could not put it down. I love when this happens with a book! Some may think The Other Mother is about the Mommy War between stay-at-home Moms and working Moms. I saw it more as a familiar story of two Moms and their very realistic feelings, actions, and emotions through Motherhood. I think in many ways both Mothers have something about them to which you can relate, and you'll find yourself saying I know that Mother or maybe even I am that Mother...


I have always been a stay-at-home Mom and have no idea what it would be like to work while my kids were taken care of by someone else. To be honest, just thinking about that makes my heart race and my palms sweat. I am a very attached Mama to my babies and like to keep them close under my wing. I do not desire to have anyone else caring for my children but me, so strongly do I feel this that I've made the choice to not work and instead stay at home. We do make sacrifices and have a small house, not many luxuries, and go without extravagant vacations. And still, I know many working moms that live in a small house, don't have many luxuries, and go without extravagant vacations. All Moms, working or stay-at-home, make sacrifices.

But, we're not the type of people to really care about that stuff anyway. The important things are taken care of- and that's what matters to us.
I know without a doubt that someday I will not look back on this time with regret. I personally am very proud of my decision to stay at home and parent my children full-time. I am thankful as a woman that I have this choice.

This is how I feel, and I don't know what it's like to be on that other side. But Gwendolen's story of two Mothers in The Other Mother sheds light and opened my eyes on an area I have never treaded upon. I have compassion for all Mothers- as we're doing the best we can. I don't want there to be a war, if there really is one going on between Moms. If anything, we need each other's support more than ever.

I think The Other Mother is also a good reminder that what appears so lovely and perfect on the outside is not always a true reflection of the inside of a person's heart or home. That is something I am often reminding my own self of. We are all that other Mother.

An Interview With Me

Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess has sent me some interview questions…

1) Steph, you have built yourself a very successful blog here. Congratulations. :) To what do you attribute your success?

Thank you. I really started this blog to just randomly jot down my thoughts and feelings, and before long I realized that there was a growing community of bloggers just like me. As soon as I started getting comments and visited other blogs, it all just grew from there! Also posting regularly and participating in the different blog carnivals and fun goings-on really get your blog noticed! I do think that when 5 Minutes For Mom had their big Blog Party earlier this year, my blog readership grew and I met so many wonderful bloggers!

2) You are one of the baby wearing queens. Please tell us about your all-time favorite carrier for a toddler.

My current favorite way to wear Gray (now 2 years old!) is in the mei tai front or back carry. It’s convenient and comfortable, and easy to nurse in!

3) As a mom to three children, you've gained oodles of hands-on experience and wisdom over the years. If you could share any parenting advice with an eager mom-to-be, what would it be?

I always say, go with that gut feeling, the Mommy instincts. You have to weed through the parenting books and suggestions you’ll get from doctors, family, & friends, and just go with whatever works best for you and your baby. I would also advise every Mom to give breastfeeding a very good try, and also to be well-informed about vaccinations and medications.

4) Your faith is obviously a big part of your life. How did that come about?

I grew up going to church, but in my early twenties completely realized my soul’s need and desire to live a life for Christ. It’s the basis for my marriage, my life as a mother, and as a strong, influential woman. Our faith was stretched and tested greatly during Noah’s illness, but it was also that faith in God that kept us hanging on. Every day is a new step of faith!

5) Let's say you are going to be stranded with your family on a deserted island for 90 days. What 3 things would you take with you and why?

Oh my, I am never good at questions like this! I’d say the computer, a bunch of books, and a really nice hut to live in! (Assuming we’d have plenty of fruit to eat on the island!)

Now it's your turn. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment including the words "Interview me." I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don't have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

A Good Day For A Walk In The Woods


Life of the Day, Day 15

October 27, 2007

Old Friends



I was gone the entire day to visit with very dear friends Jil, Tiph, & Deliverance.
We ate the most yummy meal at Cerulean and I liked their chairs and decor. So I took a picture.








It was a wonderful day.







Life of the Day, Day 14

October 26, 2007

What Are You Into This Month?

This Month...

The Book I Am Really Into (or one I want to get into!): I need to finish Eat, Pray, Love and then Ashlee gave me a couple that I can't wait to dig into, like Serve God, Save The Planet.

TV Show Worth Watching: I'm all about America's Next Top Model! And Heather is from where I live (I saw her out & about one day!) and she's still going strong!

Movie I’ve Seen (In or Out of a theater): Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School- seriously, get your tissues!

The Candle I'm Loving: Orange by Way Out Wax

Blog I Am Always Visiting: Lifenut never fails!

What I'm Most Looking Forward To Next Month: Actually, something exciting, as well as the new season of Project Runway!



Bag Lady




My knitting tote is broken and this one is longing to hold my needles and yarns... just dreaming about it makes me happy today.








Life of the Day, Day 13

October 25, 2007

Babywearing Tip Of The Week: Improvisation

I recently met Stacy from Mama-Om through NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, which starts in November!) You can find me at NaBloPoMo here. I just had to share Stacy's fun Babywearing Tip:

I have two boys who are three years apart in age. Last spring, when my youngest was around six months old, we were attending an art class at the community center. It was a challenge to get there on time with everything I needed, and one time I forgot to bring the Ergo -- and the backup Didymos that I always kept in the car wasn't there!

It was too late to drive home and get a carrier, but I remembered that the teacher had some big scarves in the toy area, so I decided I would try that. I spent art class with Mica wrapped up in a big rainbow silk cloth. It was pretty, but not very comfy, and he wouldn't fall asleep.

After class, we went to the playground with friends, and I decided to use my sweater as a sling. It was a somewhat stretchy sweater with buttons up the front, and it worked great! I held it up like I was going to put it on backward, and then placed one sleeve over my shoulder, the other around my ribcage, and then I tied the sleeves in back/behind my shoulder. Then I wrapped the bottom part of the sweater around me, and buttoned the bottom few buttons in the back. In the front, I tucked the sweater under a bit and voila: I had a little pocket for the baby to sit in!

I did have to support him most of the time with one arm, but we spent over an hour at the playground, and he actually nursed to sleep. I had TWO moms come and ask me what kind of sling I was using! LOL!

So, if you haven't figured it out already -- you can use your sweater (or almost anything else!) as a sling if you need to!

Thanks, Stacy!

Photo courtesy of Stacy Lewis

Question?

I am feeling empowered today by having the freedom to question anything I want. And when I have a question, I do my best to find an answer. Knowledge... it's a good thing.

I believe that there is a time and place to ask questions, and I would never do so in a way that was inappropriate or purposefully humiliating to someone else. But a thing I love about blogging is that it's a great place to question pretty much anything and everything. It's mine. And it's so alive.


Life of the Day, Day 12

October 24, 2007

This Business Of Being Born



Last night I had the privilege of viewing a private screening of the new documentary film The Business Of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake.



I had just finished reading Tina Cassidy's book Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born and was even more convinced that my next baby will be born at home. So, going to this movie had me excited and eager to learn even more about birth in American hospitals, birth centers, and homes.

It's shocking, the misconceptions and misinformation that Americans (especially women) have about the labor and birth of a child. Many people view childbirth as a life-threatening medical emergency when really it was intended to be natural and beautiful with little need for any interventions.

I had Gray in the hospital completely natural (aside from the fact it was in a hospital)
with no interventions, no inductions, drugs, etc. This was my third birth and first one that I did completely naturally. It was also my most peaceful and most comfortable. I did have a birth plan, but I also think that part of the reason everything went so smoothly was because the doctor wasn't there, and didn't make it on time. I moved around and labored in positions that I felt my body was telling me to do. I refused to have an IV inserted or to be hooked up to the fetal monitor. Too often women are hooked up to the monitors and IVs and thus stuck in one position lying on the bed. And what worse position to deliver a baby than lying flat on your back!

In the film, it is demonstrated how much smaller the pelvic opening is when lying flat on your back with legs in stirrups. But stand, squat, or get on all fours and it opens up, allowing for the baby to move through without much need for pushing at all!

BUT- having the patient lie flat on their back with legs in stirrups is much better for the doctor's position. And you think that pain relief is just about making you feel better? The doctors and nurses consider it a better way to manage you as the patient, too. Ahem.

Many things done during hospital births have helped and saved lives- yes. But should everything be so strict and standard for every single birth? Are we losing sight of God's design in all of this?

There are so many helpful, factual statistics in this movie that I think anyone would find eye opening. Having a midwife and doula present- in hospital, birth center, or home- statistically will do wonders for your labor and delivery. Your chances of having a c-section go up as soon as you walk through those hospital doors. Should everyone stop having babies in a hospital? I am not saying that. But, women need to be informed when making their choices and then stand up for those choices in order to have the birth story they deserve.

This movie is not specifically about home birth. It's about birth in America and how far off track we have become.

When I say that our next baby will be born at home, I expect to hear the obvious concerns that it's not safe! But I know the truth. I think you should, too.

I wanted to add that
I don't think anyone should be judged for where they choose to birth their baby. I think there is a lot of misinformation and assumptions about just what those choices are regarding labor and childbirth, and this movie is a wealth of information and fact for that whole spectrum.

Click here to see if there is a screening near you, and please go if you can!

Cross posted at The Chicago Moms Blog.


Sky


I've decided that the fall sky always has a story to be told.

Tonight, the view on my drive into the country, where I took this while driving (the moon roof comes in handy!)

Life of the Day, Day 11

Wordless Wednesday: Tadpole














My Hawaiian friend Kailani at An Island Life is hosting a fun Costume Contest at her blog with some nice prizes! Enter for Best Child, Best Adult, & Best Pet Costume here!!

October 23, 2007

Shadow



Yesterday I took the boys to a park and we had the place all to ourselves. I completely forgot to check my camera for the pictures I took and was pleasantly surprised today.













Life of the Day, Day 10

Get Your Prayer On

One of my real-life bloggy friends Lisa from Heaven Sent (we met through blogging!) just had her baby last Friday- YAY!- but there has been some complications and it would be really great for you to send your thoughts and prayers right now.


October 22, 2007

Event Is The Category


Guess what I'm doing this weekend.


Life of the Day, Day 09


5 Interesting Things Meme



I was feeling so left out that no one tagged me for this meme, and Robin from Life With All Boys took pity on me!



1. I used to work part-time at Bath & Body Works and had to stop when I became pregnant with Gray because I could not stomach the scents (and I still have a very hard time even passing by that store.)

2. Growing up I had many pets- like cats, dogs (dachshunds), gerbils, fish, turtles, a chinchilla, and one of my most favorite of all was my pet rat Hendrix. I used to ride my bike with Hendrix on my shoulder.

3. I've never: been stung by a bee, tried sushi, used a lawn mower, or visited Florida.

4. Nicknames I've had in my lifetime (all from my Dad): "Rooty" for my middle name Ruth, "Chipmunky" for my chipmunk cheeks, & "Grace" for my lack thereof.

5. I haven't shopped at Walmart in almost a year, and don't plan to. I'm definitely a Target kinda girl.

I am tagging the first 5 commenters of my last post that haven't done this meme yet:
1. Jenn
2. Pickel
3. Summer
4. Amanda
5. Tanya

And I'm adding Happi because just like I wanted to be tagged, she wants to, too!

October 21, 2007

Miracle

Friday I took the boys for haircuts and overheard a Mom talking to another stylist about seizures. Of course my ears perked up and later I approached the Mom and said that I had overheard her talking about seizures. She told me that she works in a neurology office. I asked which one, and it turns out to be the first place Noah had been "treated."

Pointing to Noah, I said, "That doctor told us he would end up in an institution."

Normally I am not so aggressive, but I still nurse sore wounds on occasion from our earlier horrific experience with Noah's illness. I explained to her Noah's story and how he was seizure-free by day 4 of the Ketogenic Diet, the same treatment we had asked the doctor she works for about, but he didn't believe in it.

She looked at me confused and said she had never heard of a diet- let alone the "Ketogenic Diet" even after I explained to her how it worked and what it entails. And to be honest, I am not sure if she wanted to believe me.

I was appalled. How can it be that someone treats children and adults with epilepsy, but has never even heard of the Ketogenic Diet? How many parents out there are not given the option for this successful treatment- this treatment that took our son from having hundreds of seizures a day to ZERO?

Just Google "diet and seizures" or "diet and epilepsy" and it comes right up. I don't expect just anyone to have ever heard of this diet before, but if you specifically treat epilepsy, um, call me crazy, but shouldn't you know about this!?

I obviously didn't know about it when Noah first started having seizures and I sure wish those doctors had at least suggested it or offered it as a treatment option. True- it's not a pill, and it's not easy. Noah was on the diet for over 2 1/2 years, and although it is tough, it's totally do-able. And it was much easier than watching him have seizures all day and night long.

The Ketogenic Diet is not a guaranteed cure, but neither is any epilepsy medication. It's a valid and successful treatment option that should be offered to every parent with an epileptic child.

And I will state the obvious: Unfortunately, if doctors in our area suggested the Keto Diet to their patients, they'd lose them as a patient as they'd have to refer to a bigger hospital in Chicago where there is a trained Ketogenic Diet staff. So, they will lose money. BUT they might possibly save a life. I would hope they'd make the right choice.

I dream that someday there will be more Ketogenic Diet centers available, and not just in big cities.

After Noah was seizure-free, I did send that first doctor a kind note telling him about Noah's success and asked that he please give the Ketogenic Diet more consideration next time. It breaks my heart that his own staff still knows nothing about it.

I'm on a mission to spread this message again- we've done newspaper articles and so forth, but now I'm contacting all the neurologists in my area directly. They should expect to be receiving a nice card from me soon- telling the good news of Noah's story and requesting that they at least consider the diet for their patients, and train their staff to know more about it. Now, they will never be able to say they didn't know.

Below is a video of my miracle, Noah- progressing wonderfully in the 1st grade, improving amazingly with his reading, and next week he will be 3 years seizure-free.




You can read more about Noah's story here.

This video has my heart bursting with pride.

Life of the Day, Day 08

October 20, 2007

Pay Day

In the mailbox today was my very first-ever paycheck as a soon-to-be published writer. I'll fill you in on all the details as soon as it's in print. A pretty awesome feeling. And an answer to prayer.

Life of the Day, Day 07


October 19, 2007

Brotherly Love

Tonight after I got the boys in their pjs, I nursed Gray for a moment in my bedroom. Noah & Carter came in, apparently looking for Gray, because: "We promised him that after he got his jammies on we'd play some more. Is he almost done?"

My five-and-six-year-olds can't wait to play with their 2-year-old brother. How many sizes did my heart grow then?

Life of the Day, Day 06.

Going Barefoot



I've always loved to read, and am thrilled to watch my boys have the same desire and love for books of all kinds. I am always looking for stories that will challenge their already-wild imaginations. Since I am doing most of the reading, I prefer the non-TV character books, but rather ones with beautiful illustration and unique storytelling, and hopefully a life lesson tucked away somewhere.

Yo
u have probably heard the buzz all around about Barefoot Books- and these books are so worthy of all the praise. Their stories are a cultural blend of art and heart and inspiration.

I sat down and read Mama Panya's Pancakes, A Village Tale From Kenya, as soon as I received it in the mailbox. I loved using the different voices for Mama's feistiness and her son Adika's heart and compassion. The story draws you in, about these wonderful pancakes to be made for many guests, but you also get a feeling for the Kenyan village life. By the end you'll want to taste those pancakes! Thankfully, a recipe is included as well as 8 pages of impressive easy-to-explain facts about Kenya, its people, and the language.



I want to fill all our bookshelves with Barefoot Books! I think our next read must be Storytime: First Tales For Sharing- an area that Gray is, let's say, working on right now. And if you purchase $30 or more by Oct 31, you'll receive a copy of Storytime FREE!


I have a copy of Mama Panya's Pancakes for one special reader!
Please leave a comment here if you'd like to win! I'll randomly pick a winner after Monday Oct. 22. One entry per person, please.




For more information about Barefoot Books, contact Rebecca Wolpinsky at


Visit PreschoolRock.com and sign up for their email newsletter (scroll down the left-hand side of their site's main page)- they'll send you a free coloring book and a 10% off coupon code for Barefoot Books, among other great special offers! Feel free to tell them I sent you! : )

Winner was #1 (I don't see that happening often!) and that is Lisa from Sunny Side of the Street!

October 18, 2007

Babywearing Tip Of The Week: Trying It On

I often hear from readers wishing there was a way to try out all the baby carriers before committing to buy- especially when you're spending $50-$100 or more. I wouldn't buy a pair of jeans online unless I'd tried them on before, and a good baby carrier is worth just as much as a good pair of jeans... And you also have to consider if your baby will even like it, too!

Here's some suggestions:

1. Seek out babywearers near you- check online at places like TheBabywearer.com and Mothering.com- they have forums for finding local babywearers. You might have to register to view the forums, but it's worth it! Most babywearers own more than one (sometimes several!) slings. Meet up somewhere and try 'em on!

2. Find your local La Leche League and/or Natural Parenting group in your area- most often they will at least sell ring slings and are more likely to have babywearing Mamas with slings you can ask to try out.

3. Call around to local baby and maternity boutiques to see if they sell baby carriers you can try on. You might be surprised where slings are sold (ahem, I think even Target is selling some good ones now!)- and if you don't find any close to you, maybe you can suggest they start selling them!

4. Check out helpful resources like the Tummy 2 Tummy DVD, a babywearing instructional video, or the awesome Sling Comparison Chart at Mom4Life.

5. Know the return policies for the online sites you are interested in purchasing from. Many sites are flexible with returns if it's not what you had expected.


Cross-posted at Smart Mama, where you'll find more Mama-to-Mama words of wisdom!


RETRO ROBOT BUTTONS!

They are here! Finally! Do you realize how long I've been waiting for them? And the whole 911 call over it?

Turns out the original yarn shop couldn't get me the longed-for must-have retro robot buttons, but some digging around on the Internet led me to the Button Shoppe and they had two sets left in stock. They came today! If I could only bottle up the excitement that I felt when I found them in my mailbox! Yes- people can feel this way about buttons! I immediately finished Xavier's sweater... just in time for the chilly weather.

This is definitely a good entry for my Life of the Day, Day 05.

Throwback Thursday: In Costume

Growing up, my brother and I dressed up for Halloween and went trick-or-treating.

At present time, we don't go trick-or-treating with our boys and are still not sure how we wa
nt to approach the celebrating or not of Halloween. Ah, but I'll save that for another post!

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of me at about 3 & 4 years old dressing up as a really cute witch? (What was I, Mom?)


And Strawberry Shortcake. I found this before & after pic. Weren't we too cute? I don't think they make costumes with tiny eye slits like that anymore- isn't it, like, a hazard? I have no idea what my brother was dressing up as here either! Was he a Shirttail? Mom?


Visit Pinks & Blues for more Throwback Thursdays!

October 17, 2007

Leaf Bouquet




Carter wa
s intent on finding the biggest, most beautiful leaf bouquet, and when we went to leave I noticed that he had neatly placed them all in my bag. Precious.


Life of the Day, Day 04.

Wordless Wednesday: Little Carter Pumpkin Patch


Carter Oct 2004.

October 16, 2007

Dessert

Tonight our small group (from church) met for the first time. It was such a comfortable and warm feeling to feel like we already know each other. I see good things ahead.

I needed to bring a dessert, and since I am all caked out, we made a special trip to the orchard with the warm cinnamon donuts and caramel apples. And Gray danced around the pumpkin patch and I didn't even care that I didn't have my camera. He even found a little gourd that looked like a duck. I love how he sees beyond what things really are. I want to always see beyond what things really are.

Life of the Day, Day 03.

Sally Foster, My Kids Will Not Be Working For You!

It's fall and fundraisers are in full-swing. We've already had Entertainment Books to sell (I bought one because, really, they do pay for themselves) but we did not try to pawn them off on any of our family and friends. And this weekend the dreaded Sally Foster Fundraiser packet was in the backpacks.

I don't want to squash school spirit- I am all for supporting the school and such, but come on. How can I, in good conscience, have my kids peddling hideous foil gift wrap at ridiculously high prices? Or 6 oz. of stale peanut clusters for $8. Not including tax and shipping. Really?


And the prizes for the top sellers (read: kid who has a Mom
& Dad with the most co-workers) - oh, the prizes! Such incentive! The Top Selling Student in each class will win a darling, walking, grunting Pig! And in small print: The soft, furry, battery operated kind! AND for every $75 in sales, your name is entered to win a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card! Don't even get me started.

Cross-posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.

October 15, 2007

Dinner

Finished a knitting project- makes me happy.

Dinner together at the table, where Carter sings the Pick-A-Pick-A-Pumpkin song, Noah giggles uncontrollably, and Gray steals all my broccoli.

Life of the Day, Day 02.


October 14, 2007

Um, you think I deserve it?

Look what I won from Mums The Wurd! Could this be more timely? Not sure if you've noticed, but it's been a bit heavy around here. I can use some relaxation.

Tonight, as I was looking at the beautiful fall sky during sunset, I realized that lately colors seem brighter. Everything around me feels more magnified. Maybe that's also why my lows have seemed so low, and the darkness so dark. I think I was numb for a while, and now, I am celebrating how alive I am. It's a very good thing.

In church today we sang a song that mentioned how He makes us new. And I felt like this tired old self that I've been carrying around is due for a trade in. Why am I hanging onto all of this if He can just make me new again?

I am thinking about posting a little something each day that I appreciate or am grateful for. Not sure how it will work, but I want to chronicle some of the little and big things that make me feel alive each day. Today I felt such happiness when I went to pick up Gray from the church nursery. He's never looked sweeter. And he even made a craft. And then the sunset. It was beautiful, and the clouds were shaped like a heart.

Life of the Day, Day 01.


October 13, 2007

What A Difference A Day Makes

I feel so much better. The cake is already cooling and now the cupcakes are baking. It’s quiet here (naptime for the birthday boy) and I feel alive. Not too tired. Just right.

Yesterday one of my favorite instructional Bible verses kept playing over and over in my mind. I felt overwhelmed with too much on my plate… Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths- Proverbs 3:5-6. I would say aloud, Lord, direct my path, like, a hundred times yesterday. When I was moving about the kitchen, lying down to rest, when my thoughts (my own understanding) were trying to take over, I’d say, Lord, please direct the next thing I do.

And I’ve continued to do this today. It’s really helping me get things in order.

I finally went and picked up my finished little gnome. Remember him? He’s cheered up my kitchen and watched over all the baking going on today. It’s just right.

October 12, 2007

I Don't Have To Do It All, And That's Okay

Another birthday party was scheduled for tonight- complete with baking the fancy carrot cake again, but my body had other plans. I just wanted to crawl back into bed or on the couch or under the Thomas train table and curl up off to nap- forever.

Fighting a cold and some chills and aches, and a heavy blanket of fatigue, I wondered how would I make it to the store for the cake ingredients, then bake it (and then chocolate cupcakes for the kids as well) and then really enjoy our company once they were here?

And as I dozed on and off between Hotwheels being driven over me and banging and crashing in the other room, I played a game with myself- if I get ten minutes of sleep it will be worth whatever has been broken in the other room. If they draw over all the walls with crayon again, that’s worth a little sleep, too. Right now I don’t care.

So, I thought, I don’t have to do it all. We can reschedule (even though this was a rescheduled night already as last week the kids were the ones battling a cold and cough.) Thankfully, I have very understanding family. They’ll come tomorrow. And I’ll be more pleasant. With fancy cake.

I am still waking up from the big nap I took instead of marathon baking in the kitchen. But, I had one of those vividly crazy dreams where I was cooking anyway- but it was something with cheese and I kept wiping up the counter- mad that it wouldn’t stay clean, and then Ashlee was there and we were dressing up Cara’s dog and taking pictures of it (Cara, do you even have a dog?!), while laughing hysterically, baking, (and wiping up cheese.) I woke up feeling like I need another nap after that nap. Hubby will be home in less than an hour. I think I can make it.

Babywearing Tip Of The Week: Quick Ring Sling Tip

Here’s a quick tip when you wash your ring sling: put a sock over the rings so that it doesn’t bang loudly in your washer & dryer. It will also give the rings and your machines some protection! Hang dry if you’re afraid of shrinkage, or if your sling’s tail is too long, dry in the dryer a bit to shorten it up!

Ring slings currently on my wish list:

Mekko by Nest

Avant Gradation in Viola by Psny

Black Silk Butterfly by Oopa

...a girl can dream!

October 11, 2007

cake



Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Frosting from Vegan With A Vengeance






it was a hit.


one last bite...





don't you dare take it away!

October 10, 2007

Seven Burning Questions...

I've been tagged by Carrie at the Natural Moms Talk Radio blog to do the 7 Burning Questions Meme:

1. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be and why?

I'd probably pick pad Thai with cucumber salad. I could eat that for every meal for the rest of my life! Chips and quacamole comes in close second!

2. If you were an animal what would you be and why?

I don't know! I guess I am really glad I am not an animal. But if I were a cat that was treated like a human and served really yummy food, that wouldn't be so bad.

3. If you could only describe yourself using three words, what three words would you use?

confident, feisty, & sincere

4. If you could be a super hero who would you be and why?

I secretly wouldn't mind a bit of Sydney Bristow from Alias mixed with WonderWoman. Would be cool to fly. And kick butt.

5. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

The one that sticks out in my mind the most is the movie theatre incident and also during my wedding vows when I said I DO! really, really, really LOUD.

6. What is one of your biggest pet peeves and why?

Email forwards. Especially the ones that say you must pass this on to seven people within 3 minutes or you don't really love Jesus. Do I actually need to explain why on this one?

7. Out of red, green, blue, yellow and orange which one is your favorite color?

Green

If you chose red what is one of your favorite hobbies?
If you chose green what is your favorite place?
If you chose blue what is one favorite memory?
If you chose yellow what is your dream job?
If you chose orange it’s a wildcard and you can tell us anything about yourself!

My favorite place...

Right now with this time of year I've really been longing for Paris again. But I won't be picky- give me any place that is warm and quiet and I have a book or my knitting and I like that place, too.

-Alright- the first five people to comment here are TAGGED! I'll be checking on you, too!

October 9, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Candles

2920 Days

Then & Now...





And of course an anniversary song...



October 8, 2007

Yes My Kids Are Always This Sweet

Actually to be honest I had to film this partly because I was so amazed they were staying still for so long...

video

P.S. Please take a moment to vote for me!


October 7, 2007

Gimme Gimme Some Of Your Mama Love

The photos are up and now it's time to vote for your favorite photo (photo K) hint hint wink wink in the first week of Mom 4 Life's huge month of giveaways!! (And yes I carved that pumpkin all by myself!) So tell your friends and your friends' friends to come vote (for me!)

Voting closes 9 PM PST October 11!

Be sure to check out all the other awesome contests featured on my Bloggy Contests page- updated daily!


October 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Little Monkey








October 5, 2007

Books, Books, Books

The pendulum swings and lately I am back into reading books more than I am into reading blogs. The downside is that I get a bit behind in blogland, but the upside is that I tend to become a more creative thinker and better writer...


My latest read was The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross. This novel is an invitation for a raw look into the lives of two very different mothers- one working and one stay-at-home. You will find yourself saying I know that Mother or maybe even I am that Mother! If you have a book club (and I think I need to start one), this would be an excellent selection. If you just need a good book to escape into, I highly recommend it for that, too.



Hitting bookshelves today, you'll soon be hearing the buzz about Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious- a fabulous way to sneak good food into your child's favorite recipes. I love the retro appeal of this book and how completely down-to-earth and simple it is! You'll drool over the delicious photographs and be amazed at how easy it is to sneak squash puree, beets,
carrots, or spinach in places your kids (and you!) would never know! Jessica will be featured on Oprah this Monday, so you might want to grab your copy fast!


A new hip and trendy breastfeeding manual is here to save the day! Mama Knows Breast is a beginner's guide to breastfeeding and covers all the blunt, basic, and complicated questions and trials for every nursing Mom. I'd like to add to the Breastfeeding Etiquette chapter that wearing baby in a sling is a courteous and fashionable way to nurse discreetly- no matter the time or place! Mama Knows Breast is a great gift for a new mom friend or the perfect pick-me-up if you're in the midst of nursing adventures. Available now!

What are you reading? I always welcome your suggestions!

October 4, 2007

Babywearing Tip Of The Week: When & Where...


It seems with Gray turning two this weekend I'd be wearing him less and less, which is partly true. He wants to run around and have his freedom, but he also still benefits from being worn close to Mama. This past week he has been overcoming croup and an ear infection, and at one point last night just about had a melt down. I needed to finish making dinner, so I put him in the mei tai on my back and he calmed quickly, resting his head on my back as I finished what I had to tend to. This is the type of magical moment many babywearing Moms have testified about. When you just can't put something off, but must also tend to baby at the same time.

Of course there are still plenty of times I try the sling and that's not what he wants, but I'd say more often than not, the sling does the trick.

Here's my top 5 places and times I wear Gray as a toddler:

1. Going to the park- I'll always bring the mei tai for our park playdates in case he needs to nurse (usually much more convenient and discreet for us this way), needs to nap, or in case he needs to be confined (this happens often at the park with other little ones he has to share with!)

2. Church- I always have the sling handy in case he's asleep in the car when we get to church. This way I can keep him with me and hopefully he can continue his nap while worn in the sling or mei tai. Lately, if he's awake, he's enjoyed the church nursery and last time didn't want to leave when church was over! (What a blessing!)

3. Shopping- whether it be grocery shopping or at the mall, I always am sure to bring along the sling. Gray starts out riding in the cart (unless he's asleep then we do like #2 above) and then if he tries to climb out or needs to nurse, I can just put him in the sling and then finish my shopping with no further inconveniences.

4. Home- As described above- the meltdown times, sick times, or just times baby wants to be held close. The sling can save your sanity!

5. "No-No" times & places- for those quick visits to stores or someone's home that you just don't want your little one breaking something or harming himself. For example- Barnes & Noble is ok to roam, however the salon while big brother gets a hair cut is more of a sling time & place. Dropping off something at your Aunt Mabel's with her Hummel collection on full display- also a "No-No."

Also, for any quick trip that you think you could just leave your little one in the car while you run in to pay for gas or pick up the pizza, it takes just a few seconds to get them in and out of the sling. NEVER leave your child in the car unattended. EVER.

So, what is your number one time & place to wear your baby or toddler?


Every Little Bit

A fellow blogger, Jodie from Jodie's Random Thoughts, has some very big news about a very tiny little baby boy soon to come home to her family.

She and her husband Brent have been chosen to adopt a beautiful baby boy. He was born on September 1- 15 weeks early. He was 1 lb 12 oz when he was born. They are both thrilled and humbled at this new adventure, but because they weren't exactly planning this adoption, they are in need of some help.

Please stop by their blog and send your prayers and donations their way if you can, even if it's just a kind word of encouragement or just $1, every little bit counts.

-Steph

October 3, 2007

Throwback Thursday: My Girls

We go way, way back- like kindergarten on the playground way back. Jen, Me (with a broken wrist), & Sarah at an InStyle event in Chicago summer 2003. Sarah just recently moved away this past weekend, but we are never far apart in our hearts. That's how it's been for over 25 years now!

More Throwback Thursdays at The Pinks & Blues Girls Blog...

October 2, 2007

Wordless Wednesdsay: Mom 4 Life


See what this is all about right here!


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