Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's your language?

I've been thinking a lot about love languages lately. You know, from the book by Gary Chapman. There are 5 languages mentioned: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. The idea is that each of us has certain things that show us love, and if we can do/say the right things for each other, our "love tank" will be full.

They say you can tell what your language is based on what you naturally want to do for others. While I don't think I can rank them 1-5 for myself, I do know that touch and time are at the bottom and service and gifts are at the top. I really enjoy serving other people -- while I might never want to do dishes in my own house, I'll surprise my best friend by doing hers while she's away. I find myself always asking Rocky "can I get you anything? something to drink?" etc. And when he does the dishes for me... oh I feel so loved!

I've come to acknowledge that my other top language is gifts. I know exactly when the mailperson is supposed to come, and I check the box before noon every day. I have a box downstairs of all the letters and cards and random things Rocky gave me while we were dating. I even saved the petals from my first bouquet of flowers from him. We're doing a Secret Santa exchange at school right now, and I have the name of a 5th grader and another student has me. I'm having so much fun! I love to leave little notes for people to find, or to stick in lunchbags.

And of course there is Christmas shopping. This is where things are a bit troublesome for me. Because I love to give gifts, I spend so much time pouring over what to get each person and I have to really limit myself. This year I'm following the concept of "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" when I'm getting gifts for Rocky and Abby.

Unfortunately I have to put from my mind any sort of expectations when it comes to receiving gifts from others. Rocky has told me that gifts is at the bottom of his love language list (and of course time and touch are at the top... remember what I said my lowest were??). So I struggle with wanting him to be as excited and joyful as I am about getting gifts for others (and not just for me).

How would you sort the list of love languages for yourself?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This and that

I need to get better at this.

I always have such good intentions. I'll write for a few days straight. Then be MIA for a month. I would love to have more followers, just for the satisfaction of knowing I'm writing about interesting stuff. But who wants to read a blog that only posts sporadically?

I think one of my new year's resolutions is going to be to write every day. Or at least try to. Even if it's just a paragraph.

It's not that I don't have things to write about. I find myself thinking throughout the day "Ooo I should write about that!" Or something happens that is worthy of posting, etc. etc... I just never stop to take the time to write. Mostly because I have a 6 month old, and have you ever tried writing and being creative with a squirmy baby next to you?

So this current post (which is getting long already) is going to include some of the random stuff that's been in my head lately. And hopefully I'll get better at posting more often.

Cloth Diapering
Since Abby is now 6.5 months old, we've been cloth diapering for about 6 months. It's been working out really well. Yes we've had our share of leaks and explosions, but overall I'm happy with the experience. I do keep a pack of 'sposies on hand, I'll use them when we're out and about for more than a couple hours at a time. And we used them at night for awhile (since Abby continues to be a 12-13 hour sleeper), but I've discovered the joy of hemp inserts. I open up my Flip cover to the highest rise, put down two of those inserts plus the stay-dry insert the Flip came with, and voila! A super-fluffy butt that doesn't leak at night.

The only thing I might do differently if I started cd'ing all over again would be to start with a bunch of different diapers and see what we like best. We started our stash exclusively with Flips, based on price and the all-in-two type of system, and have stuck with them ever since. Luckily they've worked out well for us, but there are so many other kinds out there that I would love to try... but I can't justify spending more. So I resort to entering giveaways. :) I follow a number of blogs that have weekly or monthly giveaways (such as Nicki's Diapers and The Cloth Diaper Whisperer). This will probably be the only way I'll ever have a chance to try all-in-ones or pockets or prefolds! (I did win a Snappi once but have yet to use it!)

SAHM
So I'd like to still consider myself a stay-at-home-mom, but I don't think I can. My 13-hour-a-week secretary job at FCCS has been awesome! I'm loving the chance to use some of my computer and writing and other skills to serve this little school (and I think they enjoy having me...??). And quite honestly, I enjoy having some time away from Abby each week. I think being away 3 days a week would be too much, but 2 days is just right. And I'm leaving her in very capable hands (love you Debbie!), and I think the best part is I'm able to leave her at home. I do find myself missing her every so often, especially now that she's jumping across some big milestones (sitting, crawling, etc.). BUT I'm home by 4:00 on those two days, with Rocky not far behind me, so I still get plenty of hang-out time with her. :)


I think that's all I'm going to post today, as it is I've been working on this post for the last 3.5 hours. Abby got up in the middle of it so I had to come back to it at naptime!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...





In GEMS this year I'm back to teaching the 7th & 8th grade class. It'll mean some extra work for me, since I'm still in the role of club coordinator, but I'm super excited. GEMS just came out with brand new curriculum, and one of them is about the names of God. In college, one of my Bible studies worked through the book Lord I Want to Know You, and ever since I've loved digging into the names of God. I like looking into the Hebrew and Greek of certain passages and seeing those words pop up in other contexts. So needless to say, this curriculum is the perfect one for me to teach.

It's called MTN, and is tied to the verse "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord..." (Micah 4:2b). My girls will actually get a devotional book with 5 days of study for them to complete on their own time inbetween classes. As I was looking through my leader guide this morning I realized there is not a lot of structure, at least to this first lesson... At first I was slightly upset, since all of the other GEMS curriculum are very structured -- do this opening activity, read this, answer these questions, read this, do this craft, etc. But then I started doing my own research about the first name of God in the study, and now I hope I'll have enough time tonight to cover everything I found! :)

Anyway, I hope to post some of the things I've read about and lessons I've learned along the way as I study this material right along with my girls. Our first name is El Elyon -- God Most High. I'll either type up my thoughts later today or sometime this weekend...

What is one of your favorite names for God?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Over the Rainbow

"Somewhere over the rainbow..." So begins one of the best-known songs in America. What is it that draws us to this song? The catchy tune? The imagery portrayed? The fact that it's been around for 70 years? Or is it the longing in the lyrics? "...way up high, there's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby..."

I'm currently reading a fiction book about three sisters who leave their homeland of Sweden in search of a better life in America. Yet the land they imagined flowing with milk and honey continues to show them hardship and trials.

Why are we never content where we are? In both small things and big things, we each want something to change. Growing up I was always looking forward -- school starting each fall, graduation, getting engaged, my wedding day, my baby's birth...

Even with Abby, I find myself thinking ahead to when she'll be able to get around on her own and I won't have to entertain her so much myself, or when she can talk and tell me what she wants or what hurts, or when she doesn't have to rely on me for all her food and diaper changes.

But if I'm not careful, the little things will slip on by. Already my daughter is 5 months old. I don't want to miss a thing. The little laughs and smiles. The 20 times she rolls over in a day. The look on her face when she tries a new food. The way her head snuggles next to mine as she drifts off to sleep.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:34 The Message)


"...birds fly over the rainbow, why oh why can't I?" Because if I did, I'd miss the joys that are only found on this side of the rainbow...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

how does your garden grow?

Did you know many European homes do not have lawns? Neither front lawns nor back lawns?

They have gardens instead.

I got my package of bulbs in the mail today that I've been waiting anxiously for the last month and a half. I got a catalog that had a $25 off coupon any purchase of $25 or more. So of course I bought 2 kinds of bulbs, totaling $24.99. I only paid shipping.

So I am excited to get out and take another look at the area around my front porch and front side of the house, think about what I did and didn't like this year, and weed and move bulbs accordingly.

Then I look at our front lawn and cringe. The previous owners of our home didn't take care of the lawn. In fact there was no landscaping whatsoever around the house. So I was excited to start with a fresh slate, and this summer I was mostly pleased with the perennials and annuals I'd planted. But the poor lawn. It needs help. The good grass only grows in little round patches, and in between are patches of bad grass and weeds. And a lot of it is brown. Granted, we didn't water it as often as we probably could have, and it's been awhile since it's been mowed. I'm hoping by putting down some fall weed & feed, and getting a jumpstart on weed control and fertilizer in the spring, it'll be better next year.

But in the meantime, I envy my European distant relatives. This picture is from the backyard of one of Rocky's cousin-aunt-removed-something-or-other who we visited when we were in the Netherlands a couple years ago. Her front yard is just as amazing.

Maybe next year I should just forget about having a lawn...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The artistic spirit of a 4-month-old...

The new bumGenius Artist Series of cloth diapers posted a very thought-provoking question:

How do you encourage a creative, artistic spirit in your baby, toddler or young child?

I thought this was an interesting question since my daughter is only four months old, so I have yet to really see much creativity from her... I thought I could change the question around a bit and answer how I will encourage her, through activities such as enrolling her in library book programs or praising the childish artwork she creates someday.

But then I realized that even at four months old -- really since before she was even born -- my husband and I have been encouraging her to develop a love for music. Rocky plays guitar and piano, I play the drums, and we both sing. Even when Abby was still in the womb she loved to hear her daddy play piano (seriously, I loved to watch my belly dance around while he played!). This picture is actually from the day we came home from the hospital.

We have often joked that our biggest fear is that she will be tone-deaf... We both have such a love for music (Rocky has even written a handful of songs for our church), that we can't imagine having a daughter who can't even carry a tune in a bucket...

But I suppose if that becomes the case, we'll just have to find another outlet for her creativity (sidewalk chalk maybe?)...



Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Year

It's amazing what can happen in a year... It was one year ago today we found out the most surprising and life-changing news. Yup, on 09-09-09 we learned Abby was on her way. The next three weeks were the longest and most stressful September we've known... We were nervous and anxious for our first doctor's appointment to come on the 30th, after experiencing two early miscarriages a few years prior... We were also in the midst of packing and preparing to close on our first house on the 29th...

Here we are one year later. We love our baby girl, we love our house. What will happen between now and September 9, 2011?.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 22

Day 22: A picture of yourself
Our engagement picture! We were so young... six years ago!

Picture Challenge - Day 21

Day 21: A picture that makes you think of your loved one
This one might be a little hard to see, but it is of the night sky, specifically the Big Dipper. Before I met Rocky, the Big and Little Dippers were the only constellations I knew. Now I know so many -- Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Delphinus, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Scorpius... not to mention a few specific stars like Arcturus, Vega, and Sirius. We've also seen Jupiter and Saturn through a telescope. And have you ever looked at the moon through a telescope?! It's beautiful! Thanks, Rock, for teaching me to appreciate this amazing part of creation...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 20

Day 20 - A picture of where you want to honeymoon
Ok so this is where we actually DID go on our honeymoon. Hocking Hills State Park is in southern Ohio, so we were able to drive down in a day (about 8 hours). It's absolutely beautiful!! We rented a cabin (the Honeybee Hideaway :) ) and spent the week hiking around amazing caves, waterfalls, gorges, and the Grandma Gatewood Trail

Picture Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 - A picture of your favorite musical instrument(s)
This was a tough one. I love music! I played clarinet in school, and the djembe and drumkit at church now. I can do a little with an acoustic guitar. I took violin lessons for a couple of months. But I think the instrument I most enjoy listening to is just the piano. I loved it when Rocky would play for Abby before she was born and she would move around in my belly. The piano can be used as an accompaniment or a solo instrument. There are so many styles of music that can be played. This one started in my grandparent's house, moved on to my mom's house, and now we have it. So here you have it - our piano. 

Picture Challenge - Day 18

Day 18: A picture of your room
It didn't specify which room. ;) Yup, this is our kitchen. I like our kitchen. I made the curtains. The yellow walls were already there. We seem to have just enough cupboard space. Most of the time...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Walklog

Wow, a post that's not part of the picture challenge... Yeah I've kind of sucked at keeping up with that, let alone regular blogging...

Well in spirit of Rocky's joglog, I thought I would post my "walklog" for today:


2.5 miles, 50 min.
Ashfield is a really steep street! It took me 15 min to get to the library - that's the important one. :)

P.S. Google Maps are awesome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 17

Day 17: A picture of your dream house

Well since I don't really have a "dream house", here's a picture of our first and current house. We've been here since October, and I love it. We got a good deal on it, and have had fun painting Abby's room, and now we're working on finishing the basement. It's a great place!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 16

Yay I'm over half way done with this picture challenge thing... :)

Day 16: A picture that sums up your life

My life = My God, my husband, my baby. Although God is a little difficult to photograph...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 15

Day 15: A picture of yourself
Oh another one of those "picture of yourself"... Yup, this is my baby picture. We had this with us at the hospital when Abby was born, and the nurses couldn't believe how much she looked like me. Now, 11 weeks later, Abby is looking less like me, her hair is lighter and she doesn't have as much of it as I did. More people are saying she looks like Rocky, especially some of the facial expressions she makes. She's a cutie. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 14

Day 14: A picture of your favorite teacher

Sorry hun, but yes I took this picture off the NPC website...
Ok so maybe this one isn't fair... ;-)


Ok, ok, I'll post a picture of a teacher I actually had during school...
I joined band in 6th grade but had already known Mr. Wilson a little bit, as he lived down the road from me. I even babysat his kids a couple of times. I played clarinet, and was a drum major of the marching band my junior and senior years (this picture is of the 3 drum majors on my last day of high school). Mr. Wilson has an amazing passion for music, and I learned a lot from him. For awhile I even wanted to become a music teacher. :-) He often pushed us hard, but the results at concerts and competitions were worth it. If there is anything I miss about high school, it's band. Especially marching band, although concert band was fun too. Every so often, a "Wilson-ism" comes to mind...

"You guys sound like a bull in a china shop!"
"My tongue got in front of my eye teeth and I couldn't see what I was trying to say"
"...you bloody..." "...those bloody..." "...the bloody..."

Thanks Mr. Wilson for a great 7 years! TC will be sorely lacking when you finally retire...


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 13

Day 13: A picture of your friends


Since I don't have one single picture of all my close friends... I created one. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 12

Day 12: A picture of your favorite food

Ok, another difficult one... I enjoy a good steak, pizza, ice cream of any flavor, watermelon... but this time of year I could eat corn on the cob at every meal. I remember when I had braces for a year and a half, and the day I got them off my mom asked what I wanted for dinner. I HAD to have corn on the cob.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 11

Day 11: A picture of your favorite drink

This day was a tough one. I thought about Starbucks frappuccinos, homemade sweet tea, Cherry Dr. Pepper, and all those wonderful cool-weather drinks like hot caramel apple cider, chai tea lattes, and Michigan cherry coffee with french vanilla creamer... But a simple glass of chocolate milk hits the spot every time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 10

Day 10: A picture of what you like to do


Sew, scrapbook, bake, read, sing...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 09

Day 09: A picture of what you had for lunch:
Mac and Cheese... mmmm.  Thanks Riss!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 08

Day 08: A picture of yourself.


Ok so I'm cheating a little. Three days in a row now I've used pictures that I did not take that day. Oh well. 
There are too many "A picture of yourself" days in this thing. Well, here is another picture of me -- but it's from almost 10 years ago. It's one of my senior pictures. We're going to Rocky's 10 year class reunion on Saturday, so mine will be next year. Wow. 

Picture Challenge - Day 07

Oops I'm a day behind now...

Day 07: A picture that makes you cry.



It was tough to think of a picture that makes me cry. This one is more tears of joy, but there are also some tears of sadness. You see, we had two miscarriages during our first year of marriage. Those pregnancies were not "planned" -- then again, neither was Abby -- and about the time we were beginning to accept the fact that we were going to be parents, we lost them. There are still times when I think about how old they would be, and I wonder if they were boys or girls. So there is sadness when I think about our losses, plus I'm reminded of others who have struggled with various forms of infertility.

But there are also many tears of joy with this picture. Joy as I see our little girl, who was a day old in this picture. Joy as I see my husband sleeping next to her, with is arm protectively around her. And joy as I think about the future of our family.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 06

Day 06: A picture that inspires you


This picture itself isn't anything too special, but it brings back wonderful memories that inspire me. It was taken almost exactly 2 years ago at the Annual GEMS Leaders Conference in Asheville, North Carolina (this coming Fri-Sun is this year's conference in Minnesota, but we're not making the trip). I had just gotten to the top of a hiking trail with about 30 other GEMS leaders. It was a unique hike because while we were on the trail, we were not allowed to talk to each other. We all hiked in silence, thinking our own thoughts and praying our own prayers. It was a great experience -- being surrounded by others yet being alone in my thoughts. I could stop whenever I wanted to look out over the hills and think about the vastness of God.

The rest of the conference had been tough for me. I was really hoping to experience a "spiritual high" like I had at other conferences I'd been to during high school. I never got there, and it was disappointing. I tried not to desire it, but the feelings came anyway.

During this hike I learned to appreciate God in the simple things. The hike didn't give me the "high" I wanted, but when I got to the top I felt refreshed. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'd learned that experiencing God didn't have to involve that high feeling. And that's encouraging and inspiring to me now -- I don't have to go searching for God; He can meet me in the simple things.

And of course this picture reminds me of GEMS, and right now I'm getting really excited for leading our group this fall. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 05

Day 05: A picture of your morning


A typical morning for me involves these things. A cup of coffee and devotions. A check of Facebook. A walk around the neighborhood. Playtime with Abby.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 04

Day 04: A picture of where you went today.


This is our church, Oakwood CRC. Rocky has been a part of this church since he was born (except for the years at college), and it's been mine since we've been married. I've come to really love this church and the people there. We've been through some rough times lately, but God is doing some great things here, and I'm excited to be part of the ride.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 03

Day 03: A picture of what you did today



Meet Samurai Jackalyn. Aka Sammi. She is about 10 weeks old and the newest member of the Roer household. Ninja was pretty jealous when we brought Abby home, so we thought she needed a friend. So far today she hasn't been very friendly. We're hoping that will change in time. And that is what I did today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 02

Day 02: A picture of what you wore today.


I made the skirt myself.

I've been sewing for about 4 or 5 years. Rocky's mom made lots of beautiful quilts (and started lots more that are still boxed up) and Carissa has made lots of clothes and other projects. One year for Christmas (I can't remember if it was the first Christmas after we were married or the next), I asked for a sewing machine. They gave me Rocky's mom's old one and a gift card to take classes at Smith Owen.

My first class and projects were a simple drawstring bag and pajama pants. After that class I was hooked! I made a couple more pairs of pants to give as gifts, then I signed up for the "Sassy Skirts" class. I made a simple layered skirt with the class, then bought new material to make one on my own. This skirt was what I made.

I have since made a couple other skirts, some from the sassy skirt pattern and some from other patterns I've bought. I joined a sewing small group at my church and learned basic quilting skills. We made potholders and table toppers, and last summer I decided to try and make a full-size (well, crib-size) quilt. I finished it in time for Mandy's baby shower last August.

I've learned a lot, and each project I learn something new. Just yesterday I started a pair of sweatpants that I needed to make buttonholes for. I have lots of ideas for projects to work on, I just don't often take the time to work on them. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 01

Day 01: A picture of yourself.


So now I should probably post something profound about me, since this is a picture of me. Um. Right.

I guess I'll write about my hair. Yes, my hair. Like Abby, I was born with a head full of hair. My mom tells me she had to cut the bangs out of my eyes when I was two months old. My hair grew and grew, and we just let it go, except for my bangs. I had bangs until about 3rd grade when I decided to grow them out. That was the same year I got glasses. My 3rd and 4th grade school pictures are NOT my favorite.

My hair grew and grew, and every so often my mom would just trim up the ends. It never really got long enough for me to sit on, but it got pretty long. It wasn't until the end of 8th grade that I asked mom to cut it shorter -- all the way up to just below my shoulders. Gasp. And I started wearing it up a bit. Who was this new girl at school?!

Through high school, I hated my hair. It had this natural wave to it, and I could never seem to get it to do what I wanted. I wanted it straight. Everybody I knew had straight hair. Or super curly. Not in-between like mine. It wasn't until college, when one of my roommates had hair just like mine, that I discovered I could put some gel in it and make it curlier. Yay!

My sophomore year of college, during spring break, I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It was the first time I had ever had my hair cut in a salon. It was actually layered and styled. And it was the shortest it had ever been. I got home and I cried. Nobody else was around except my cat, and she did a good job of comforting me. Then I re-looked at myself in the mirror and decided to make the most of the change. I put on some new clothes I had just bought, and finally liked what I saw. I couldn't put it in braids anymore, but I found other things to do with it. 

A couple years later, I discovered the straightener. Wow! Now I could choose if I wanted my hair to be curly or straight. Or somewhere in between. Although I still didn't like the "in-between" very much.

People have told me how jealous they are of my hair. I've finally come to the point where I generally like my hair too. It's taken awhile. I still haven't found a cut that I like when I just let my hair dry into it's natural wave. Oh well.

And that's the story of my hair.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Day Picture Challenge

I've been watching a friend on Facebook the last few weeks participating in a 30 day picture challenge. After googling it, I've found it seems to be something that was started on another blogging site, and people are now doing it on Facebook too. So after stalking Katy's pictures for awhile, I've decided to give it a try. It will give me something specific to blog about each day -- hopefully I can stay diligent enough to actually accomplish it in 30 days... :) I hope to make as many pictures as I can be one's that I've taken myself, even taken that very day.

Here is the list of what will come each day:


Day 01 - A picture of yourself
Day 02 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 03 - A picture of what you did today
Day 04 - A picture of where you went today
Day 05 - A picture of your morning
Day 06 - A picture that inspires you
Day 07 - A picture that makes you cry
Day 08 - A picture of yourself
Day 09 - A picture of what you had for lunch
Day 10 - A picture of what you like to do
Day 11 - A picture of your favorite drink
Day 12 - A picture of your favorite food
Day 13 - A picture of your friends
Day 14 - A picture of your favorite teacher(s)
Day 15 - A picture of yourself
Day 16 - A picture that sums up your life
Day 17 - A picture of your dream house
Day 18 - A picture of your room
Day 19 - A picture of your favorite musical instrument(s)
Day 20 - A picture of where you want to honeymoon
Day 21 - A picture that makes you think of your loved one
Day 22 - A picture of yourself
Day 23 - A picture of your dream cell phone
Day 24 - A picture of what you did today
Day 25 - A picture that you edited
Day 26 - A picture that makes you angry
Day 27 - A picture of you more than ten years ago
Day 28 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 29 - A picture of yourself
Day 30 - A picture of you and your best friend

Anyone want to join me in this challenge??


Day 1 coming soon...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Operation: Get Healthy!

So Rocky already talked in his blog about using Microsoft Outlook's ability to create to-do lists to get things done. I'm using it too, starting with basic household chores that occur once a week or month or every couple of days. I love being able to cross things off of lists when they're done -- I've even gone so far as to create an item on the list that I've just accomplished, just so I can cross it off right away. :)


Well one of the things I've been meaning to add to the list is exercise... Yes, once again I have the desire to get fit and healthy. Body image is something I've struggled with for years. Finally last summer, I was able to be content with how I looked and was able to find clothes that fit me well and I looked cute in! Then I got pregnant. :) I'm thankful I was one of those women who truly "popped" -- and I popped early. So I still felt cute -- in a new way.

Now... I'm 7 weeks postpartum and struggling. I knew that after having a baby you still look 6 months pregnant, but I gave all my maternity clothes back to the cousin I borrowed them from (since she's now 7 months pregnant). And I have this flabby belly... Last week I purged my closet. I tried on EVERY shirt and pants I own, and only kept things in the closet that fit. The rest is going to be boxed up and stored away. It was an emotionally draining exercise, but now that I only have a half dozen shirts hanging up (I didn't go through my t-shirts), 3 skirts, and my maternity jeans, I know I have two choices: go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, or get my butt in gear so my butt can fit in my old stuff.

So I've added exercise to my daily to-do list. But I've separated it into two separate items: exercise and walking. I've looked up some postpartum exercises to help my belly and to strengthen other parts of me. Plus I want to try and walk for at least 20 minutes every day that it's not too hot or raining. I can proudly say I crossed both items off my list today! I tried out all of those exercises I found while Abby was sleeping this morning, then after she woke up and ate mid-morning I loaded my tiny ipod shuffle with praise & worship music, laced up my tennis shoes, and put Abby in the stroller.

We have this big paved square attached to our subdivision, it looks like a place they wanted to develop more and put more houses but it's completely empty except a couple condos on the far side (that attaches to another street). I think somebody told me it's a 1/2 mile around. And it's just a big open field in the middle, with a farm on one side and forest on the other. Occasionally I see other people walking or biking around it, but it's mostly empty. So Abby and I spent 25 minutes outside today. It was great.

I got home and crossed walking off my to-do list. But it just "regenerated a new task" of the same thing to be done tomorrow... Hopefully by making this to-do item public, I can stick with it! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spoiled

I can't believe how spoiled we are. (new moms out there: jealousy alert...)

I am one who gets cranky and headaches when I don't get enough sleep. I've never been a night owl, even in college my brain would start shutting down by 10:00. I function best during the day after I've gotten 8 hours of sleep the night before. I am so affected by sunlight -- Once the sun sets at night I start to get sleepy, and as soon as it's up in the morning I can't fall back to sleep.

So needless to say, this whole baby thing had me worried. I've read so many stories about moms not getting more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time until their baby is 6 months or older. Even when some of my friends would post things on facebook about their little one "finally sleeping through the night", it was a maximum of 6 hours. I was honestly dreading the need to get up and feed Abby every couple of hours.

One night when Abby was just over a week old (we were running on adrenaline before then!), she had gone to sleep around 6 in the evening when we were out and about. Once we got home it was just after 10, so I started thinking oh no! It's been 4 hours since Abby last ate, and with the way the nurses at the hospital were talking, I think she's going to starve if I don't feed her now!! I tried everything I could think of to get her awake enough to nurse. No luck. Frustrated, I went to bed. She woke up hungry at 11:30. And 2 hours later. And 2 more hours later. And 2 more hours later...

The next time she had an evening schedule like that, I let her sleep. She woke up on her own when she was hungry, then slept 6 more hours after that. I've never again woke her up to eat.

A few nights later I woke up on my own around 3 am, and frantically calculated how long it had been since she had last eaten. It was over 6 hours. I drifted in and out of sleep, expecting to hear her cry soon. Another hour went by and I started wondering if something had happened to her... I told myself nothing was wrong, I was worrying about nothing... but my head wouldn't stop thinking of worst-case-scenarios. Finally I got up, peeked in her room, and heard her tossing and turning in her sleep. I was flooded with relief and went back to bed. She woke up a half hour later to eat. :-P

The last couple of weeks, with our family often being gone with evening meetings/activities/over-at-the-lake-house, we started getting into a more predictable routine. Abby will eat for the last time at night between 9 and 10. She'll frequently be awake for another hour or so after, and be down by 11 at the latest. We just let her sleep until her cries wake me up. In the last 2 weeks, I think I've gotten up twice in the night where it's been dark enough in her room to need to turn on a light.

Last night Abby ate around 10 and fell right to sleep. We didn't hear from her again until 7:30 this morning. She's only 7 weeks old.


We are so spoiled...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cloth diapering update

So I've been meaning to write about how cloth diapering has been going. I posted how excited I was at the beginning of May when I ordered them, and some people have been asking how we like it. Well, it's good for the most part. We ended up choosing the Flip diapers, which is an "all-in-two" type system. The covers and inserts come separately, so we started with 4 covers and 12 inserts, plus we already had a package of 12 pre-folds that we use as inserts too. A week ago we were in Rockford and stopped at Gumballs & Overalls and got one more cover. We're currently doing a load of laundry about every other day (on the extra-small cycle).

The trouble comes when we have poop that leaks off the insert onto the cover near her legs. (we've only had it actually leak out of the entire diaper a couple of times) Sometimes it's cleanable -- using an extra wipe -- sometimes it's too much to bother with. The 5th cover has helped, we don't feel like we're constantly running out of covers. And I've heard that as babies get older they'll have less bm's each day, so we'll be able to re-use the covers more often.

Overall, I'm happy with our choice. We only spent just over $100 on all of the diapers and inserts, and they've just about paid for themselves already:

     It costs about $20 for about 100 disposables = $0.20 per diaper

     $0.20 * 10 diapers per day = $2.00 per day

     We spent $100, divided by $2.00 per day = 50 days worth of disposables

So if we use these cloth diapers for more than 50 days, we're saving money.

And these ones are designed to last from birth through potty training...

P.S. We do keep a package of disposables on hand, and put a handful in the diaper bag when we go out and about, just in case we have cover issues...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Control Freak

I want dinner cooked my way, since I think I know best... but you never asked for my help.

I want things organized a certain way... but it's not my house.

I want people to drive like I think they should... but that's their responsibility.

I want my baby cared for a certain way... but does that mean I don't trust you?

I want my baby to behave a certain way... but she's too young to know any better.

I want you to have confidence in yourself... but I can't force your feelings to change.


I want my house to be clean again.
I want my pre-pregnancy body back; I was finally learning to be content with myself.
I at least want some shorts that fit. Or skirts. Or a swimsuit. Something. 


Hey, those last items are things that I can actually fix! But have I taken steps to make them happen? Not really...

Hello, my name is Carrie, and I'm one messed up control freak.


Untitled

I'm having a hard time blogging. I'll think of things to write about, but they always come at the most inopportune times, such as when I'm in the car. And when I finally get the chance to sit down and write, like now, all profound thoughts escape me... 

Plus I have a crying baby who wants to eat. Guess I'll have to blog later...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blessed

I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given at the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Across a crowded room
I know you know what I’m thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we’re lying in the quiet
No words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

When I’m singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know I am so blessed

--"Blessed" by Martina McBride

This song came to mind the other day, it's been years since I've heard it. But it really is how I'm feeling at this time in my life. We do have tough spells with Abby, times when we've needed to just put her to bed and let her cry while we set the timer and wait in our own bed... Times where she just wants to be held, but we have other things we need to do... She's been awake a whole lot more, for hours in the morning and hours in the afternoon, and ALL evening... and she gets bored if we just lay her on a blanket or on the couch. 

But slowly she's growing up. She's making more eye contact, and today was fascinated by the toys hanging from her chair in front of her. She's doing more cooing and gurgling, and I think is trying to smile on purpose now. And we're still getting 4-6 hour stretches of sleep each night. She really is a great baby.

I don't know how I would make it without Rocky. This whole pregnancy-baby thing was completely unplanned, but even if we had planned it, I don't think the timing could have been more perfect than it is now. Rocky will be home most of the summer and so 1) can watch Abby's growth and milestones with me, and 2) can spend time with her and take her off my hands when I need a break. Not many wives are lucky enough to have that. And I love watching him interact with her. Sometimes it's just as simple as holding her while she sleeps on his chest, or putting her on his lap and playing with her. Thank you for being here with me, Rock, and being willing to love on Abby as much as you do. We love you. :)

I am so blessed...


Monday, May 31, 2010

Tears

I remember reading somewhere that when newborn babies cry, they don't shed any tears, because their tear ducts haven't completely formed yet. Well I've shed a few of my own tears in the last few days to make up for Abby's lack of them...

The past couple of afternoons have been rough. We've been spending a lot of time at the lake house with Rocky's family, and Abby has gone quite a long time each day without a nap. Oh, she'll relax for 10-15 minutes at a time, but then be back wide awake again, sometimes looking for food and sometimes just staring and listening to all of our voices. Come late afternoon/evening, she'll get fussy. Yesterday was pretty bad.

I tried everything I could think of to get her to calm down -- nursing, changing her diaper, singing, rocking, cuddling, swaddling -- no luck. I figured with how the day had been going she must just be overly tired and needed to sleep but couldn't get there. I spent over an hour trying to get her calmed down enough that I could lay her on the couch upstairs and let her sleep for a few hours. Every time I thought she was almost there -- her eyes were closing and her breathing was changing -- she'd fight it and we'd be right back to the beginning again.

I finally got so sad (not mad or upset -- just downright sad!) that I swaddled her up and laid her on the couch next to me and just sat there while she cried. And I let the tears fall on my own cheeks for her. Part of me felt like a bad mom, for letting her just sit there wailing her little lungs out, and for wanting to fix her but not knowing how to. Part of me just prayed that this would work and she would wear herself out enough to sleep. A big part of me wondered what the rest of the family downstairs must be thinking, and hoping that no one would come up and see me just sitting there...

After 5 minutes or so I finally picked her up again and paced the floor. She quieted down right away. Rocky came in from working outside and I tearfully explained what had been going on. I laid Abby down on the couch, thinking she might finally be falling asleep, but she started crying again as soon as I set her down. Rocky offered to take her for awhile (I love that man!) and told me to go downstairs and relax and get a drink of water. I did, and he took her outside for a walk in the stroller.

She did eventually quiet down, and overnight slept for almost 6 hours straight. She really is a good baby and I love her dearly. I'm SO thankful for a husband who is willing to give me a break, and to hold me while I shed tears for both Abby and I. We've only been at this a week -- we have a lot to learn, but we've also learned so much already.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hello due date, goodbye due date


Five-fifteen-twenty-ten. It would have had such a wonderful ring to it.

Why does she insist on torturing us like this?? I know, I know... "you've waited 9+ months, what's a few more days?" Sigh... Right now Rocky is playing piano, songs about "come" and "surrender" and "here I am"... hoping to encourage her along.

When will your birthday be, little one?


I only own 3 maternity shirts... and 3 maternity pants... 

I can't wait to wear my normal jeans again. Although I might forget to put up my zipper in the beginning. I've gotten so used to pulling my pants on. 

And I miss my own shirts... t-shirts, button down shirts, tank tops... instead of Rocky's t-shirts all the time... 

And I miss being able to sit close to the table at dinner... and standing closer to the sink when doing dishes... and painting my toenails... and putting on my tennis shoes without it involving a workout... oh and just getting out of bed or a comfy couch without feeling like a beached whale?!

As much as I enjoy your kicks and rolls and watching my belly move... little girl... can I please have my body back soon??

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So tired...

The last few days have been tough on my emotions. I've been pretty down lately. I have no motivation to do anything. And it's not because I'm bored -- I have PLENTY to do around here... I've forced myself to keep up with laundry, and the dishes are mostly done... Then I thought hey, I enjoy scrapbooking, and that's a nice quiet activity and sounds moderately fun... 2 hours and ONE page later I give up on that too. Yesterday the rain made me want to just sleep all day... so I tried, off and on throughout the day. Plus I hadn't slept well the night before. Well I didn't sleep much at all during the day yesterday, and I think that only saddened me more. I've heard of post-partum depression, but is there such a thing as PRE-partum?

Luckily Rocky was able to get me out of the house for a bit last night while he helped with Youth Sunday practice at church. Then we had Debbie and Tim over for ice cream and some laughter... So I went to bed last night feeling a bit better. Still slept pretty crummy, my belly is so big it stretches my skin/muscles/ligaments painfully and it's difficult to roll over... which I end up needing to do every hour or so.

But today is a new day, right?? I'm still feeling pretty tired so I'll probably try and take a nap this afternoon... but I'm praying I'll be motivated to do a few other things in the meantime. Just so I can feel proud to have accomplished SOMETHING today... Please pray for me?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

...are we ready??

Ten days till my due date. 10. Diez. Dix. Tien. X. So basically I could go into labor at any time. Baby's birthday will probably be sometime in the next week and a half. Are we ready??

  • crib/changing table/glider chair set up -- check
  • some clothes washed and waiting -- check
  • cloth diapers -- should arrive today! disposables on hand for the beginning
  • our own laundry caught up -- check
  • dishes caught up -- check
  • hospital bag packed -- check
  • diaper/baby bag packed -- check
  • friends and family on speed dial -- check
Physically, I'd say yes, we're ready to go. Emotionally... the confidence comes and goes. Currently, at this exact moment, I do feel ready to have her OUTSIDE my belly, in my arms, watching her grow. I'm ready for my body to start getting back to normal, I'm ready to have a real reason to spend my days at home, I'm ready to see what color hair and eyes she has. I'm ready to be on the "other side" of everything.

Yet at other times I feel soooo not ready. Not ready for constant feeding, not ready for diaper changes, not ready for getting up multiple times a night. Not ready to have another human being relying completely on me as her only means for survival. Not ready to give up the ability to go somewhere or do something on a moment's notice. 

"Come out!!!" Rocky says to my belly. We have another checkup this afternoon. We'll see how ready SHE is...
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