A few more days...

of Gammie and Auntie time. We'll be on hiatus for a few more days until we get home and find the camera cord.

Until then, Happy New Year!

Not Too Sharp(ie)

Hey Y'all!

We have been driving all over the southwest the past few days and are finally settled back in Dallas with Gammie and the aunties (and Uncle Will). But not before a few eventful days in New Mexico including 2 Christmases with Nana and then Papa Ray Ray, a sweet visit with Auntie M and family, lunch with friends and the Sharpie incident.

Tuesday morning we went to Papa Ray Ray's office to say goodbye and Sweet P was in oral fixation mode. Papa Ray Ray tried to give her a few things before settling on a basketball signed by a State Champion basketball team from 10 years ago. A few seconds into her playing with the ball, Papa Ray Ray said:
"Whoops, look what she did to the ball." We all looked to see the smeared name on the ball.
Daddy: "Look at her face."
Chaos followed.

Sweet P had Sharpie all over her face (and tongue) and jacket. Freaking out a little (okay, kind of a lot), I cleaned her up the best I could with a paper towel and some soap. She was furious after that and wouldn't stop crying. I can't imagine Sharpie tastes very good. But not to worry, Auntie Rosita googled to see if there was anything serious to worry about and found that there wasn't.

So at the end of the day Sweet P was fine. That Championship team signed basketball, however, has seen better days.

We're Off to See the Wizard...


Not really. We're going to see Gammie! And Nana! And Auntie Rosita! And Auntie K! And Papa Ray Ray! (None of them are really wizards, but I liked the sound of that title).

We're going South for a few weeks and out of the frozen igloo we call home. I'll do my best to post from there (especially because being with family always makes for good stories) and hopefully we'll have some great pictures (because I'm crossing my fingers that I get a new camera!). Here are a few things I hope will happen here in the great state of Iowa while we are away:

1) The door in our bedroom will be fixed so that it no longer allows a draft and drops that room 30 degrees lower than the rest of the apartment.

2) The snow will melt, all 12 inches of it.

3) The temperatures will rise to above 25 degrees.

4) That spring will be here.

Now, I'm really only counting on one of those things to happen because I'm pretty sure the other three are in the dictionary under the word "Impossible." I'll let you take a guess at which one.

So until we meet again, Merry Christmas to you and yours! Have a fabulous Christmas season! We'll see you soon!

Creative Bones Part 2

Remember how I said I don't have many creative bones in my body? Well apparently this Christmas season, I seem to have grown a few (or at least one). This blog talks about my present for Auntie K. I'm about 99.9% sure that Auntie K doesn't read my blog. How do I know? Because Auntie K once said,
"I don't read your blog."
So with that statement I'm pretty sure she still doesn't. (Don't worry, Auntie K isn't some mean, "don't care about what you write about" sister. She's a junior at LSU, captain of the swim team, biology major. So I forgive her for not having time to read my blog about things that are pretty useless to a 20 year old--I digress).
I decided to make Auntie K a t-shirt quilt out of all of her old high school and club team swimming shirts since she doesn't wear them anymore (and my family can't seem to get rid of things like that). Having made my own t-shirt quilt from old sorority shirts (and could probably make another out of cheerleading shirts--I know, the stereotypes keep on coming), I had a pretty good idea about how to make one for her. Here's the cut and dry version:

Cut t-shirts into 13x13 squares. I use both the front and back of most shirts. With pocket graphics, I cut them into smaller pieces and sew them into a 13x13 square to use in the quilt. There were enough t-shirts to make 2 sides so I don't use a sheet or other material for the backing. I simply make 2 identical sides and go from there. After cutting them, lay them out in the order you would like them to be on the quilt. Hers ended up being 5x5 (mine is 5x6 so it can be bigger if necessary). I sew the rows together first, then take the rows and sew those together until I have what looks like a blanket of each side. I then use batting (the row kind, not the fluffy cloud version) and sew the sides together along with the batting leaving an opening through which to pull the quilt to make it right side out. Once you have it pulled through, stitch up the opening. You can sew down each square corner to ensure the batting stays in place or leave it as is. Auntie K's isn't finished just yet, so I don't have a picture; but I'll try to get one up when she opens it on Christmas Day.

I just hope she likes it! So try it out. I am NOT a pro sewer, I have sewn 3 projects (counting this one) in my lifetime. If you have t-shirts that you can't bear to give away, dust off that sewing machine and put it to work. Make a t-shirt quilt!

Note: T-shirt quilts are EXTREMELY comfortable. They make a heavy blanket and are great to snuggle with, but watch out--it might get snatched from you because the Farmer loves mine.

Puppy Chow

Love me some puppy chow. Not that kind! Gross!
The homemade powdery Crispix kind. Although, I didn't use Crispix. Hy-Vee had hexagonal crispy rice on sale for $2 less than Crispix. So it was my obvious choice. I also shook up the recipe because the Farmer doesn't like chocolate. (I can hear the gasps of women everywhere!) Because I love him, I made it with butterscotch chips...which don't melt quite as easily so I had to make some modifications. Read on for the yummy recipe.

Butterscotch Puppy Chow
9 cups Crispix, Corn Chex, Hexagonal Crisps, etc.
12 oz. pkg butterscotch chips
1/2 stick of butter (I use salted)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky because again, the Farmer doesn't like creamy...picky isn't he?)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or more if necessary)

Place cereal in large mixing bowl (I use a huge popcorn bowl so it's easy to mix around). Heat butterscotch chips in microwave until soft (I used a large glass measuring cup for this), add butter and microwave again until butter has melted (this will help the butterscotch chips to melt). Stir until you have a butterscotch liquid. Add peanut butter and stir. Pour on top of cereal (another reason the glass measuring cup is good to use-it has a spout!) and stir until evenly coated. If your bowl has a lid, dust powdered sugar on top, close lid and shake! If not, pour contents into gallon sized baggy (I've also heard of using a paper grocery bag) and shake! Put into freezer for 10 mins to allow to harden. Break apart (if frozen together), EAT!

It is SO good. I love the chocolate version, but this version is yummy! Try it, you'll like it! (Can also use peanut butter chips, white chocolate, etc.)

Warning!!! This stuff is addictive!

Oooh baby it's cold outside

8 degrees (feels like -6) to be exact.

After being shut in the house for two days, Sweet P and I ventured out to Target today. The Farmer dug out our garage (the snow drifts were 5 feet high!) and we were on our way. Today was the first time I've ever worn the Cuddl Duds I got last Christmas. I still have them on! They are so warm and toasty.

It was also the first time Sweet P wore her new car seat blanket from our friends Amanda and Lydia at Liddy Loo and Mommy Too. She loved it! (And so do I!) Check out Amanda's awesome creations and how cute her little model is!

Here's a picture of my little model in her blanket:

It's beginning to look a lot like...

a blizzard!

We are on blizzard watch today. Never thought I'd say those words, but I should have known blizzard would become part of my vocabulary once we moved to Iowa. So we're on lock down.

Well, Sweet P and I are.
The Farmer is at work (not on the farm! don't worry!). So we are hunkered down in the apartment for the night. And we're going to have homemade pizza for dinner! Is your mouth watering? No problem, I got ya covered.

Homemade Pizza Recipe!

Homemade dough (fast and easy)
2 c. flour (we use whole wheat)
1 tbsp yeast (we use Fleischmanns, can also use quick rise)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 c. warm water

Add one c. of flour to other ingredients, slowly add 2nd c. of flour and form dough into a ball. Cover with a towel and allow to sit for 20 minutes (you can let it sit for longer if you want!). Knead a bit, then roll into desired shape (we use a cookie sheet, but feel free to use a pizza pan!)

Add sauce (sometimes we use homemade, but tonight we're being lazy and using Prego!). Top with lots of veggies! Broccoli, onions, olives, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, whatever you have! Add a bit of minced garlic (yum!) and basil if you have it (during the summer we had fresh basil from the garden, SO good). Top with pizza style cheese. Bake for 10-15 mins at 350'.

Edit: I was going to take a picture of this, but it was gone too quick! We added jalapenos and woo!!! hot! But nice when it's snowing 14 inches outside.

Creative Bones

I don't have many creative bones in my body, but every so often I put them to work.

This week I decided I was going to start making Sweet P's hair bows. She has WAY too many as it is, but I really wanted to make a Christmas tree bow for her. So I did.
And it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. Take a look:

So that's a little of what we've been up to this week. Isn't Sweet P a great model?

Where Have You Been?



Good question! Where have we been? Going crazy!

Just kidding.
Sort of.

We went to Colorado for Thanksgiving and woo! what a fun time we had there! There was a lot of new family for Sweet P to meet and she did such a great job in the car! 9 hours and barely made a peep about it! She had a great First Thanksgiving (thanks for asking)--even managed to stick her hand in "cousin to be" Kevin's mashed potatoes.

The Farmer's grandparents live on a farm in Colorado (not the same farm we'll live on--remember, I'm the IOWA Farmer's wife). They live about 15 minutes from the nearest town, err place with a grocery store and a few houses. But it was nice to just be out there with no obligations. Regardless, we had quite the eventful visit starting with the Farmer discovering a dead cat in the basement when we arrived. Gag.

Thanksgiving was yumm-o. If you didn't know (and now you do), the Farmer and I are vegetarians. We get asked (A LOT) what we eat on Thanksgiving. Ummm, everything but the turkey (oh and the Farmer's picky about dressing, sheesh). We played some Scrabble and Monopoly and the Farmer kicked our pants at both! Grr.

Sweet P got to spend lots of time with Nana, Uncle Rhett and her Great Grandparents. We came back on Saturday and watched Elf while we decorated our tree! I love it and thankfully, Sweet P hasn't been too attracted to it...yet! This week has been pretty busy for us...more on that tomorrow!

PS. If you look closely you'll notice the gash in my kid's nose from her self-mutilation on the way there. Lovely.

Hanging out with Dad

Uncle Rhett

I'm not Oprah, but...

I have some book suggestions for you!

I may have a 6 month old, but that doesn't mean I can't feed my brain with great fiction. Here are just a few books I've read lately:

The Time Traveler's Wife: I haven't seen the movie, but the book was a good one. Definitely makes your brain hurt with all the time traveling, but such a heart-wrenching love story.

My Sister's Keeper: Also haven't seen the movie. MAJOR tear-jerker. Get out the tissues for this one.

The Red Tent: A fictional story about Dinah from the Bible. She is the one daughter of Jacob (he had 12 sons). If you aren't familiar with the Bible version (and even if you are), keep it close by for references.

I'd recommend the Twilight Series as well, but c'mon...who hasn't read that?

P.U.

Tired of alcohol-based hand sanitizers?
So is Sweet P.

So what can you do about it? For starters, get rid of the alcohol-based stuff that isn't good for you or your baby (and smells bad AND burns!). Then, check out CleanWell products. Sweet P and I just ordered 4 bottles! You can find it online (we got ours atLuckyVitamin.com or at Target (our favorite place). Thyme, a natural disinfectant, is the active ingredient. It kills 99.99% of germs (including E.Coli, MRSA and Salmonella) and smells good, too! It's 100% biodegradable, alcohol-free and never tested on animals! AND it's non-toxic. Can't get much better than that. So what are you waiting for? Go get some.

And while you're at it, join the Million Baby Crawl sponsored by Seventh Generation to demand toxic chemical policy reform. Make the world a better place for Sweet P's generation (and those to come!).


The Remedy

Cold and flu season. Yuck.

My cold always starts with a tickle in my throat and then moves to my sinuses. When I was pregnant with Sweet P, I swear I was congested for a month. One of my midwives told me I might be sick the entire pregnancy. "Excuse me?" That didn't fly so I went in search of home remedies. Here are a few for you to try.

*Drink hot/warm liquids (and lots of them!). I drink hot tea in the mornings (and throughout the day if necessary). Here is the concoction that I came up with to use.

1 tea bag (I use lemon or peppermint)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (this stuff works WONDERS)
pinch of cayenne pepper
a few drops of lemon juice
tbsp of honey (makes it all taste halfway decent)

I heat the hot water and put in the tea bag. Let is steep for a few minutes and then add other ingredients. Drink while it's hot.

*I swear by Simply Saline (so does my mom). It's non-addictive nasal spray and it works! I use any time I feel congested (or fell congestion coming on). I also spray a little on a Q-tip and use in Sweet P's nose.

*On top of hot liquids, drink lots of water!!!

*Drink Emergen-C. A lot of people say Airborne, but when I was pregnant I called the midwives to check on Airborne (because you know all that stuff has "consult your physician if pregnant" written on it). Airborne has a lot of Vitamin A which is not a vitamin that is good to have in multitudes. Emergen-C has the vitamins you need and if anything you will only get an excess of Vitamin C--your body flushes out any extra Vitamin C.

*And last, but not least. I just started using Natural Creations Cold/Flu Comp. They are homeopathic drops that I use for both Sweet P and me. They taste TERRIBLE, but they do the job.

That's what we do around here to keep the bugs away. What do you do to stay healthy?

Sleigh bells ring...

Are you listening?

It's so close! Of course, we have to get through the gluttonous Thanksgiving first. But then! It's Christmas! Around these parts we LOVE Christmas. I can't wait to put up our decorations, hang ornaments on the tree (and then keep Sweet P from pulling them off and eating then), celebrate the birth of Jesus (and tell Sweet P the Nativity story) and make oodles of Christmas candy.

If there's one thing I think of when I think of Christmas (thanks to my dear mom) it's toffee. My mom's toffee is the BEST. Ever. Ask anyone who has tried it. And tonight (approximately 40 days from Christmas) I made our first batch. Of course only half had chocolate (the Farmer doesn't dig chocolate. I KNOW right?!) and we didn't have pecans so we subbed in black walnuts. YUM.

But all this Christmas talk has me thinking about Christmas cards! How do you send yours? With a picture? Without? Who doesn't love getting Christmas cards? And who does a better job at creating them than our very own Auntie Rosita?! She can custom design your cards or you can pick from her collection. Whatever you do...you will not be disappointed. You can also visit her blog for more about Rosita Designs. We can't wait to show you our Christmas card. But for now, go get your own!

On the Go


Sweet P can crawl. It's been happening slowly over the past few weeks, but on Monday after her 6 month check up, she took off. Needless to say, there is no more leaving her playing on the floor unsupervised. Here is a list of a few of the things I have pulled out of her mouth this week while my back was turned. The nasal aspirator (seconds after I'd used it on her), my water bottle (it never made it to her mouth, she just knocked it and all it's contents to the ground), a kleenex, a paper towel, the tiny bow that had previously been in her hair, the silver part of a hanging rack at Kohl's (don't even ask how, she was in a stroller) and currently, a small stuffed animal that is so soaking wet it is dripping saliva on the carpet. I think I just threw up a little.

Speaking of stomach's turning...Turns out the Farmer and I can change poopy diapers all day long, but a little snot makes us both gag. Why is it that boogers are worse than poop? I don't know, but they are. And my last bit of news on the home front...I have loved her new teeth until yesterday, when she took her first bite of you know what. Yeah. Not fun. Not fun at all.

6 Month Stats:
Weight: 20lb 8oz
Height: 27 in.
Head circ: 45 cm.

I thought for sure it'd be time to say goodbye to the infant carseat, but it turns out we get it for one more pound!

The Haps

I admit it. I'm not a very good blogger. I wanted to be this exciting blogger who wrote about great stuff that could change your life (or at least help it a little bit). Unfortunately, I find it difficult to sit down and write a blog. Don't get me wrong, I have the time. I know this because I read plenty of other blogs written by mamas or women with smart and eco-friendly ideas. So I have tried to be a good blogger (ok, not as hard as I could), but this is what it is for now. A mediocre blogger. With a super cute baby. And a few good/okay ideas.

Today isn't about an idea though. It's about a cause. A recent occurrence in my apartment complex made me realize how fragile life is. It also made me realize that I don't agree with our justice system. And on top of all of that it made me realize that now that I am a mom, I have a lot more to worry about. An incident occurred involving domestic violence and it saddens me to say that it did not end well. I'd like to encourage you to donate or give time to victims of domestic violence. Here are a few places you can start. And I ask for you to pray for the 8-month old baby who was left behind.

Hanging with daddy

With daddy at the Farmer's Market

Last week we went to our last Farmer's Market of the season. I had to teach a class that morning so I left Sweet P with the Farmer and met them at the market. Before I left I looked through the closet for an outfit for Sweet P until I decided, "Honey, I'm going to let you pick out her outfit today."

Honestly, the Farmer did a pretty good job. Just fell a little short on matching and she had on a hoodie that doesn't really fit anymore, but I showed him the part of the closet that has clothes that fit so it's my fault if that hoodie was still in there. She had on a yellow kimono onesie, pink fleece pants, a maroon fleece hoodie, a pink hat and green socks (he couldn't find the socks so he just put her back in the ones from the day before). I left her in the outfit all day and while I never would have put this outfit together...it was cold and she was warm. And daddy did it.

What do you think of daddy fashion?

Teefies and sleepies


Guess what?

Sweet P has two new teeth! They are still small and growing in, but they are dang cute. It took awhile, but she's finally showing them off. Not quite for the camera, yet, but we're getting there!

Remember a few months ago how I bragged about my child sleeping through the night. I haven't told you yet, but she doesn't do it any more. It was a sad, sad day when I realized she was going to start waking up again. Sometimes it's once a night, sometimes it's three; but it's always difficult. It makes me tired, ya'll.

Really tired. So all of you thinking "she doesn't know what it's like to have a baby" when I bragged about her sleeping habits, you win. And so does Sweet P. For now! We're working on it, but until then I need a nap.

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The Great Pumpkin


On Monday night, the Farmer and I took Sweet P to a Halloween event at a local church.

She wore her Tiger costume (and if one more person called her Tigger I was going to scream) and I put a red bow on the ear so people would know she was a girl. That, however, did not stop the photographer at the photo booth from saying,

"Can he sit up by himself?"

To which the Farmer replied, "SHE can sit up by herself, yes." So he plopped her down on a bale of hay of which she promptly grabbed a handful and stuffed in her mouth.

Why is it that the words never come out fast enough when you're in a situation like that? Here I am as a bystander while the Farmer is sitting next to her and I can't get the words out. But I eventually did and we got the hay out, too. I know babies like putting stuff in their mouths, but ours is sometimes a bit overboard.

They had a lot of made up games downstairs (like throw the ball in the bucket), but also had a battle of Guitar Hero where two kids about the age of 5 were going at it (and one was a girl). We got a kick out of watching kids and looking at the costumes. It was VERY apparent who got to pick out their costume and who had to wear what mom and dad said to wear. Like the kid dressed as this:

Funny costume? Absolutely. But the Farmer said, "Did you see the look on his face? You know he's looking around at all the kids dressed as Transformers and thinking, 'Man, why am wearing this?'"

We wanted to see if it was worth bringing her to again and we probably will. Our one complaint though?

They weren't giving out enough candy to the adults.

The Pelican State


In case I haven't mentioned it before, I have an Awesome husband. That's right, awesome with a capital A.

So Awesome that he allowed me to once again whisk Sweet P away on a trip to visit my family. Destination? The Pelican State, otherwise known as Louisiana. (Don't worry, I had to look up the nickname too and I must say, it's a little silly.) Two of Sweet P's favorite people live in Louisiana (Auntie Kandida and her Godmother, Maria). And 2 of her other favorite people (Auntie Rosita and Gammie (we're testing the spelling of Gammy)) came to visit as well.

This was Sweet P's 3rd time to fly! She is quite the jet-setter! And she did great! I'm frowning as I type remembering all the people who passed by the 2 empty seats next to us just because Sweet P is a baby. We don't really mind it though, because then we get to sit next to people who reeeally want to sit by us. Grandmas!!!

On Saturday (in a tiger costume, Sweet P--not me), we went to watch Auntie Kandida swim her heart out against Tennessee. Sadly, the Lady Tigers did not win the meet; but Auntie K did great! I liked this trip because my arms got a rest from Sweet P's 20 lbs of sweetness. With all those Aunties and Gammie, I only held her when she was hungry! After the meet we tried to get a picture with Mike the Tiger, but he was sleeping (and who really wants to wake a live tiger?).

Monday afternoon we went to New Orleans to see Auntie M's house! And had yummy beignets in the French quarter. Yum!

As a seasoned traveler, Sweet P would like to leave you with a few tips. When traveling with an infant (and by yourself), bring as little as possible. This makes it easy to go to restroom, leave the plane, walk around, etc. in the airport/airplane.

I take a diaper bag (with plenty of diapers), a few toys, my wallet, cell phone and a sling for Sweet P. And the tiny changing station in the tiny airplane bathrooms really aren't that bad. I'd say only use them in emergency (poop) situations. Unfortunately, the air pressure does something to Sweet P so we've used them twice.

We had a great time with the Aunties and Gammie, but we were both ready to get home to see that Awesome daddy/husband of ours. Click on over to the Farmer's blog to see what he was up to while we were gone.

Sleeping Beauty

So here I am sitting on the floor while Sweet P is sleeping in her car seat near the front door and hear what I think is the neighbors loud T.V. blaring up from the floor underneath me. As I get in position to pound on the floor as I normally do (they have no idea I'm trying to communicate that they need to turn it down, but it's worth a try right?), I decide to listen a little closer. I realize that the sound is not a muffled talking voice coming from underneath me, but from the little person sleeping 10 feet away. It is Sweet P. Snoring. I had to laugh out loud a little bit (and lower my foot from it's "pound the floor" position).

Sweet P is a bit tuckered out today. This is due to the fact that she has slept in her "big girl" bed the past 2 nights. The first night (fluke) went great. Last night. Not so great (but still progress). She woke up as soon as the Farmer and I came to bed, like, "Hey ya'll! Is it bedtime for you guys? Oh then I guess it's time for me to get up." But I got her back to sleep fairly quickly and was woken up by the Farmer getting out of bed at around 1:45am. What woke him? Our daughter's scratching. The child loves to scratch the mattress while she sleeps. He was dreaming about styrofoam scraping together and couldn't take it anymore so he got up to rock her back to sleep. When she woke up at 6:30am, I put her in bed with me until 8am. And yes, I sleep until 8am. Don't judge.

So here she is napping away because after all that waking up, I'd be tired, too. But she's doing it. She's sleeping in her crib. Now if we could just move the Farmer and I back into our own bedroom from the guest room, we'd be set.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

What? What's that? Too early for Christmas carols? Hardly. It's never too early. In fact, I think it's about time to bust out The Grinch, one of my favorite Christmas movies. The cartoon or the Jim Carey version.

Why this talk of Christmas? Well, one thing that reminds me of Christmas is snow. This is probably because I am from New Mexico and if it ever does snow in the southeastern region of the state--it's probably around Christmas.

Not so in Iowa. In Iowa, it can be October 10th and you can wake up to a blanket of snow. Or you can wake up and snuggle even further down into your own blanket with your baby--which is of course what I did. The Farmer, however, had to get up and go coach a soccer game. Poor guy. And poor U13 girls who had to play soccer in that weather. I shudder to think of the day Sweet P plays an organized sport and I have to stand in 30 degree weather (or less) and yell, "Gooooo Sweet P!" from the sidelines in 30 layers of clothing, including cuddle duds (long underwear for you southerners), a long-sleeved t-shirt, a fleece and a giant jacket. As well as a scarf and some gloves and a hat.

October is soooo not the time for all of that. Please, Iowa. Please can you just wait another month? The hibernating bear in me wanted to stay holed up in my house all day snuggled up with Sweet P, but alas, people in Iowa do not hibernate when it snows. In fact, I think there were MORE people out and about because it snowed.

So after a cold and chilly morning and a grocery store trip, Sweet P and I went shopping! We were on a mission to find bedding for Sweet P's new bed! You heard it, Sweet P got a new bed! The poor kid is getting too big for her co-sleeper and can hardly stretch out. We got her a Delta Serenity 4 in 1 crib. It had rave reviews on Target.com and it was super easy to put together. The Farmer and I had it figured out and put together in about 30 minutes (and no they aren't giving me anything free to say that). It also needed some bedding. I finally found some super cute gender-neutral stuff at Target. It's being washed now, but as soon as it's on--there will pictures!

We're not sure how well Sweet P will do in her crib and out of our room, but she has already taken a nap in her bed and did great. Stay tuned for how the process goes.

Unmasked


Probably not the best title for the blog, but it'll do.

Approximately a year ago, the Farmer and I saw Sweet P for the first time. She was roughly an inch in size and I was 11 weeks pregnant. I have one of the photos of her in a frame and marvel at how such a tiny thing can be so detailed. About a week before that we had our first appointment with the midwives and found out our due date was May 2nd (which is now Sweet P's birthday). And 6 weeks before that I peed on a stick and handed it to my husband so he could be the first to know.

"What does it say?"
"Preliminary results say, "Yes."

And the whirlwind began. The point to all of this is that around this time last year I received a package from Gammy (my mother). It was a gift for the baby (who at this point was "the baby" because we didn't know if she was a he or a she, yet). I opened it and there sat a tiger costume. This costume was partly for Halloween wear and partly for her to wear to an LSU outing. I wasn't sure she'd get the chance to do the latter.

I was also a little bummed that the Halloween costume choice had somewhat been decided for me. Thankfully, we have more than one Halloween party to go to so I reasoned that it was perfectly fine to buy another costume. Or 2. So now Sweet P will have the chance to be not only a tiger, but a skeleton and a pumpkin. (Oh, there will be pictures). I figure this is the only time in her life that I get to decide the costume (because I'm sure from here on out she will be the boss of the costumes) so my first choice was a pumpkin. The skeleton is just a pink onesie with a skeleton on it.

And she'll definitely get to wear her tiger costume for what it was meant for at Auntie Kandida's swim meet next weekend. Yes, that's right. Sweet P is going on another flight. I'm a little nervous for this one because she's a bit more mobile and opinionated as this point. But I'll keep you posted.

And as far as I'm concerned, there's not much cuter than a baby in a Halloween costume. So what are you (or your kids) going to be for Halloween this year?

Sweet P joins the church

Last weekend, Sweet P was baptized. She has 2 AMAZING Godparents who were traveled far and wide to join us for this special event. Uncle Ian (not really an uncle if you're suddenly confused) lives in Chicago and Auntie Em (Auntie Maria (M, get it?), who is also not really an aunt if you are again confused) came all the way from New Ahlans (New Orleans)! Gammy (my mother) was also here. So the little farm family suddenly had a very full house (or apartment, I should say).

(Apparently this post is going to have a lot of parenthesis.)

Everyone got in on Thursday (the baptism was Sunday) so we had tons of time to have tons of fun. Friday morning we took a short trip to an apple orchard (Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge, IA). They have a play area for kids (we're not big enough yet, so we just looked). Lots and lots of fun stuff! Plus, the 3 little pigs houses!!! So dang cute, I can't even tell you! I'm just gonna post pictures so you can see for yourself. They have the best honeycrisp apples! (I'm eating one now!)






Uncle Ian juggling apples (and taking a bite of one!)


Saturday was a trip to the Farmer's Market. We hadn't been in awhile so we were glad to spend a lot of time there. And then some shopping with Gammy and Auntie Em while the Farmer and Uncle Ian went to the farm.

Ready for a nap at the Farmer's Market

Sunday was the baptism and she did awesome! She even smiled when the priest poured water on her head and then annointed her head with oil! Gotta love that kid.


Of course, the time with them wasn't long enough and by Tuesday everyone had gone home. We miss them! But we have tons of pictures to look back on (Thanks to talented Auntie Em!).

PS You can read more about Uncle Ian on the Farmer's blog.

Eres tu mi mama?

One way or another (if you're like my mom, you are now singing song lyrics "I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha." Sorry.), I am going to teach Sweet P Spanish. For some reason I am really gung-ho about this. When I talk to her in the little, broken Spanish that I know; it somewhat drives the Farmer nuts. Do you think it's because I talk in a high-pitched, extremely excited voice when I speak Spanish?
You're right. Probably not.

Sweet P's Godfather is fluent in Spanish. I told him that his duty as Godfather was to make sure she knew Spanish. But since he doesn't live here, I figured I better help him out a bit.

When Sweet P was 3 months old, I took her to an Hola Amigos class that was part of one of my Mommy & Me classes. I absolutely loved it. Did she? She liked it about as much as she likes any class I drag her to. But even though she didn't really have a clue what was going on, I learned a lot about teaching her another language. I even know Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Spanish. Here are a few tips for you on teaching another language to your baby.

Speak it whenever you can. Don't worry about pronunciation or if you're doing right. Those silly babies are smart enough to know what's right even if it sounds wrong.

Read to them in other languages. If you know how to read other languages, I say go for it in any language. I am sticking to Spanish because it's what is most familiar (but if you are familiar with French, Italian, German, etc. try those too!). FREE tip: Check out bilingual books from the library. It's free! I checked out 2 today and read Eres Tu Mi Mama? (Are You My Mother?) to her tonight before bed.

If you know songs in another language, sing them to your baby! She'll love hearing your voice and the different sounds that other languages make.

Learn the ABC's and numbers in other languages. Fortunately, I remember this from high school Spanish (and I know French counting from ballet class). You can also make flashcards with simple vocabulary (colors, numbers, animals) such as Ojo Pardo (Brown Bear) or Dos Gatos (Two Cats).

If you really want to go for it, check out local classes in your area on teaching your children another language.

Sweet P may not be fluent by age 2, but she'll at least have heard me talking like a cartoon character in Spanish as often as I can. She'll benefit from hearing different sounds than those in the English language and I bet I'll learn a little bit, too.

Nix the Dryer



I have a big baby. 18.3 lb to be exact (and probably rising since our last appointment). Most would think my child was well into 6-9 mo clothing, with some possible 12 mo clothes as well. However, due to my amazing laundry skills (pthhh, right), my child remains in 3-6 mos (and a few 0-3 mo) right where she belongs.

So how do I do it? I don't dry ANY of her clothes. Now, for those of you with multiple children, this may not work for you. I only have one child right now and don't mind hanging up all of her tiny clothes on tiny hangers. With 3 kids and loads of laundry, I might change my mind. But for now, save money on buying the next size, by not drying baby clothes.

By not drying, you also get to keep the bright colors of the clothes. I don't know about you, but I want to get the most out of my kid's clothes and want them to be in good shape when (if) I have a another girl.

Nix the dryer, you'll be glad you did.

How Great is Our God

A friend of mine posted a blog on Facebook today so I decided to check it out. After I did I was immediately ashamed that I chose to read a post about awkward Facebook "likes" before reading the blog. I cried, tear streaming down my face as I read about this woman and the children of Uganda.

I thought about my own blog and how my last post was to save money on cleaning your comforter. After reading kissesfromkatie, my blog post seemed so superficial, so materialistic. I am blessed to have a comforter. I am blessed to have a bed, a roof over my head, food on the table and a healthy baby. Katie is such a giver, such a servant of our Lord. I can only aspire to be such a servant as she is.

We are wealthier than 94% of the world's population and I worry constantly about our finances. (To see how rich you are visit globalrichlist.com) It is our call as Christians to be doers of the Word and not sit idly by. You can't be a lukewarm Christian. Right now I am thinking of ways that I can be more of a servant. Certainly not by reading Facebook or blogging for my own benefit.

May we all be as selfless at Katie in our giving to others and saving the children of the world. Please visit her blog for more information on how you can help Amazima Ministries.


How to save $25

Yesterday I vacuumed my bedspread. No, really. I did.

We have a sliding door in our bedroom that is not sealed (trust me, we've already told the apartment manager). Because of that, a lot of dust comes into our bedroom (yummy, huh?). A lot of hot air in the summer and a lot of below zero air in the winter. It got so bad last winter that we slept in the guestroom until the Farmer duct taped window sealer over it. Supposedly, the apartment has to call a contractor to fix the entire door. I digress. This post is about saving money, remember?

Our bedspread was disgusting. I could hit it and dust would fly through the air. It reminded me of PigPen from Charlie Brown. I wanted to wash it, but the tag said DRY CLEAN ONLY. Oh the dreaded words. I was going to ignore it, but remembered we don't have the most trustworthy washing machine in the world and nixed that idea.

I called a drycleaner and asked how much it would be and she said it depended on the size and quality. I said it was a Queen and she said those started at $25. $25?! Now, I know $25 is not a lot of money. But when you're trying to save money, it is. So after my sister mentioned it, yesterday I vacuumed my bedspread. And it worked just fine and dust doesn't fly up when I hit it anymore. And I have $25 in my pocket.

Ok, it's not in my pocket, but you get the point.

Just a minute

I'll be there in a minute.
Just a second.
Can you hold on for 2 more seconds?
I'll be right there.

I'm trying really hard to remove those from my vocabulary. 2 reasons.

1) Last night I told the Farmer I'd be to bed in a minute. 30 minutes later I crawled into bed next him.
He said, "My watch is broken." (I immediately thought he was talking in his sleep.)
"What watch?" I said. (Still thinking he was talking in his sleep and wanting to see what he'd say next.)
"The one that counts minutes. Because you said you'd be a minute. And on my watch a minute was a long time ago."

It got me thinking about trust and when you say one thing and do another. I said I'd be there in a minute. Full knowing it would be a heck of a lot longer than one minute before I headed to bed. So that brings me to reason number 2.

2) When Sweet P starts asking me to come here or if we can leave or when she can do something and I start answering with "in a minute" when it really means 10 minutes, I'm not helping her out in the least. Well, I am helping her. Helping her not to trust me when I say one minute. I'm also teaching her that what I am doing is more important than what she needs. I owe it to her to tell her the truth. That if it's going to be 10 minutes, then I should tell her that I need 10 more minutes. At least I'd be truthful AND help her learn to patience (which a lot of kids don't have). But better still. I could tell her I'll be there in one minute.

And actually be there.

Besides, who could leave her:

waiting?

An Exclusive Club

I debated and debated with myself on whether to write this post, but I figured since most of the people reading are probably women that I'd go ahead and do it. So if you aren't prepared to learn a bit more about being a mom than you'd like, then stop here. But I already talked about poop so how bad can it be? Right?


When I had Sweet P, I began the initiation process into the exclusive club that is motherhood. You might be thinking, Oh gimme a break, how hard is it to get into the motherhood club? Well, labor is hard enough. That is the second test in the initiation process. Because we all know morning sickness and heaving around all that extra weight is the first test. (And if you only gained 10 lbs, I don't want to hear it.) But this week, I definitely completed the initiation process. I am so in.

Growing up my mom used to tell us about a certain issue that happens after you have a baby. Now I know there are a LOT of issues that happen after you have a baby, but I wasn't quite prepared for this one. In fact, I wasn't sure my mom was even telling the truth (sorry, mom).

I also thought that since it hadn't happened yet, that it wouldn't. Wrong-o.

Wednesday night I was at a fitness instructor meeting and was asked to talk a bit about the jump rope class I'll be teaching. So there I was, doing my thing. Explaining the different ways you can jump rope and going through the jumps when it happened. Out of nowhere. I mean, I didn't even have time to prepare for it. No warning.

I suddenly thought of my mom and all the times we laughed at her when she made this statement (sorry again, mom). And even though I was in a room full of women who have one or multiple children, I couldn't bring myself to tell them, "I just peed my pants."

Thank the good Lord, I was wearing black pants.