01 December 2008


If you did not know it, today is World AIDS Day.   Today is a day to pray, hope, give, love, touch, and remember.  For me especially, today is a day to remember. 

My status on Facebook has been about remembering today. I commented on a friend's blog post about World AIDS Day as well (http://soulache.posterous.com/).  And several people have sent me prayers and love.  See, 15 years ago my dad died of AIDS.

But the comments just feel strange.  I appreciate so much everyone's kindness, but I want to tell each of them - don't pray for me.  I'm fine. I loved my dad, he loved me, I miss him, but I have a wealth of wonderful memories that will last me forever and that ease any sadness I might have. I have the blessing of time that eases hurt. I have the peace and assurance that my dad no longer hurts so badly like he did 15 years ago. I have the faith that I will see him again.

What I really want to tell everyone is to pray for the others. Pray for the hurting. Pray for those who are suffering now. Pray for their families. Pray for people to love them and care for them and not make them feel ashamed. Pray for the doctors and researchers and nurses and Hospice workers. Pray for the little kids who have lost/are losing parents who do not yet have the benefit of an adult perspective to make things ok.

Pray that all of us will not forget how important this is. 

See, I guess 15 years later I forget a lot. I think about my dad and our relationship and who he was, whole, healthy, complete.  I don't really think about AIDS the way I did when I was so much younger, even in college. I was so profoundly affected by it then, but life has continued forward and the memories remain but the passion for the cause has taken a back seat to everyday life.  

But what happens if everyone lets this happen? That's a dangerous thought.

So pray that apathy does not set in. Pray that we will remember the loved ones we've lost but not forget to do something about the disease that took them.

Remember World AIDS Day is December 1, but we can make a difference every day.

22 November 2008

Some Charming Kids, and a contest!

Have you all ever followed the link from my blog to My Charming Kids, home of MckMama and her lovely children?  It's a great blog - a real hoot, and a real inspiration.  Plus tons of info about having a household full of small kids and making everything run smoothly. And you cannot miss the story of little Stellan, also known as MckMuffin, who is their miracle baby!

Anyway, check it out, it's tons of fun, and she's holding a cool contest (which I'm entering via this blog post). But..I would want to tell you about her blog, even if she was not holding a contest. Because it's a good read, and we love a good read, right?

Also...I have been tagged by Bethany.  Response post in progress!

10 November 2008

Whatever works.

Mr. Liam has been sick for the last few days, for the first time in his little life. I'm very proud that my baby made it to 10 months old without ever getting sick. But of course, he could not just get a simple cold or anything the first time. Poor thing had to go and get strep throat. Ouch!!!  For the past three nights when he awakens at night he has just been coming into the bed with me.  This of course has its benefits for both of us - Liam can nurse as often as he likes, to soothe his throat, stay hydrated, and be comforted by Mama. Mama on the other hand can get a little more sleep and steal as many kisses and snuggles as she wants.

Other perks for Liam:  Sleeping for thirty minutes with feet propped comfortably upon Mama's face.  Turning upside down in bed, propping feet upon headboard, and nursing upside down. All of this must be especially comforting to my sick baby.

Another new remedy discovered by Mr. Liam: 

Dove soap must work wonders on a sore throat or something. So much for threatening to wash his mouth out with it when he gets older!!!  (Yes, he did spit it out. And yes, he DID pick it up and try to eat it again.)  Whatever works, I guess.

05 November 2008

04 November 2008

Patients and Pillow Books

When were you most happy? 
When were you least happy?
And what do you love? Say everything. 
Water. Fish in it. And hedgehogs. I love hedgehogs. Marmite. I'm addicted.
And baths, but not with other people.
Islands. And your handwriting. I could go on all day. 
Go on all day.  
The title of my blog is taken, obviously, from the above dialog
in the film The English Patient. I've mentioned here before that
it is my favorite film, and while most people find it dreadfully
boring, something about the imagery resonated deeply with me.
When I set out to create a blog, I knew immediately what the title
should be. But there is much more to this title than just a line
from my favorite movie.
I've also mentioned here before that at one time in my life I
journaled almost obsessively. My journals were always much more
than just chronicles of the mundane details of my life, however.
A person once told me,after being allowed to read, that when I
wrote I held back nothing, and that while I desperately tried to
make order of my life, my journals contained all my chaos. It was
true. Raw chaos, yes. But also my heart.
Another of my inspirations is the idea of The Pillow Book.
I love the exercise of making lists and observations in my writings.
One of the first lists I composed in this journal of my heart was
a list titled, of course, "What Do You Love?"
I set out to say everything.  And when I began to blog, since
I have so little time to put pen to paper now, I originally set
out to do the same thing here - to say everything that I love.
This is much more than just the obvious. I love my husband,
my son. I'm learning to love Jesus more and more. Of course those
will be topics of reflection here, hopefully more often
(as I'm also inspired by NieNie to grow and share a more positive
outlook on the daily tasks of being a wife and mother.) There are
so many more things on those lists, however; not so obvious things,
things meant to remind us of the beauty in life. So I begin now.

What do I love?
I love a cup of tea in the morning.
Listening to the radio in the middle of the day.
Boys with blue eyes (of which I now have two!).
A meal outdoors. Warm days with the windows open.
The scent of Dove soap. Pretty pajamas. Farmer's markets.
New books. A massage. Pens and paper. The milky breath of a baby.
This is just the beginning.  What about you? 
What do you love? 
Go on...say everything. 

03 November 2008

Schedule for a Day

 Have some breakfast.

Cruise a little. 

Greet the neighbors. 

Have a snack. 

Make a joyful noise. 


30 October 2008

Do you know Nie?

I read lots of blogs. Tons, really. The ones listed on this page are only a few.  And in my link-following and reading one day I came across a lovely, charming blog called the NieNie Dialogues.  The NieNie Dialogues is authored by Stephanie Nielson, wife and mother of four. I began to enjoy this little blog so much because of the positive outlook shared by NieNie, her creativity, and her ability to focus on the beauty in her life. In the pages she writes odes to her children, their dog, and her adoring love for her husband, Mr. Nielson.

Well, I certainly was not the only one who was inspired by NieNie.  In August of this year, she and her husband were in a private plane crash in Arizona and Stephanie in particular was critically injured.  The blog world united and has so far raised nearly $150,000 to aid in the medical expenses for their recovery, which will cost into the millions.  The family even made an appearance on the Today Show to talk about this internet phenomenon. I have linked to her page on the left, and to her sister Courtney's blog as well, for updates.

If you have never heard of the NieNie Dialogues before, check out this sweet and inspiring story. You just might be inspired to post a love letter to your husband on your own blog. I might be as well. 

29 October 2008


Obviously. To be completed soon.

06 October 2008

I'm IT!!

I've been tagged by Alli at When in Rome.  I'm supposed to answer this survey using only one word answers. So here goes!

1. Where is your cell phone?

2. Where is your significant other?

3. Your hair color?

4. Your mother?

5. Your father?

6. Your favorite thing?

7. Your dream last night?

8. Your dream/goal?

9. The room you're in?

10. Your hobby?

11. Your fear?

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?

13. Where were you last night?

14. What you're not?

15. One of your wish-list items?

16. Where you grew up?

17. The last thing you did?

18. What are you wearing?

19. Your TV?

20. Your pet?

21. Your computer?

22. Your mood?

23. Missing someone?

24. Your car?

25. Something you're not wearing?

26. Favorite store?

27. Your summer?

28. Love someone?

29. Your favorite color?

30. When is the last time you laughed?

31. Last time you cried?

I'm tagging Bethany, Carrie, Mary, and BRIAN so maybe he will BLOG for once!!! (I'm not sure anyone else reads me...maybe I should do followers and find out??)

05 October 2008

Greenville Pics, etc.

Well, I came to post my baby video, but all of a sudden the little video thingamabob is gone, so I'm going to have to figure out what to do now.  I will post some pictures of our weekend, though.   I've got more on my mind however than just baby pics. We're doing a small group at church on parenting using the video series by Chip Ingram, "How to be an Effective Parent in a Defective World."  It's a great study, and Chip Ingram brings up so many great points (if you are not familiar with him you can find him at Living on The Edge.)  Two things in particular have really struck me and I'd like to share them with you.  Most of the series, particularly the first session, talks about modeling for our children.  We all pretty much know that our kids are going to do what we do and not what we say.  But Chip puts it in different terms - could we instruct our kids to do everything exactly the way we do?  Would we be comfortable telling them to handle every single situation EXACTLY the way we do?  Because that's exactly what our children are going to do.

Wow. That's rough. Hard core. Do I want Liam to talk to his dad like I do? Do I want Liam to handle stress the way I do? Get lazy like I do? Even more profound - do I want Liam to be faithful in prayer like me? To study God's word the way I do? To love God the way I do?

Because he will. Ouch.  If I want my son to grow up to be a godly man of integrity (which I do),  I sure had better model that for him (and Brian had better too) because no matter what we say to Liam, the lessons that he will learn most will be the ones we teach with our actions.  Talk about motivation!!!

The other point that resonated with me from our recent lessons was this:  One of the worst things you can possibly do to your child is to do for him what he is capable of doing himself. Basically Chip says that in doing so you are crippling your child.  I loved this, because it rings so true.  I know adults who cannot do basic tasks for themselves because a parent always did it for them.  I remember so clearly being embarrassed in middle school because my friends knew how to do some things for themselves that I did not (like, at the time, how to iron a shirt). I sometimes think moms are especially bad about this with their sons, and then they send overly dependent sons off to depend on their wives (this is not at all a reference to my husband, let me be clear).  I do not want to be that kind of mother to my son.  Of course, at 9 months old there are not really any age-appropriate responsibilities to give him yet, hahaha!!! 

I'll probably have further commentary about this parenting study as the weeks go along - and I would encourage you all to give Chip a listen (not just the parenting stuff, but any of his studies).  Now...let's have just a few pics from the weekend, shall we?

Check out the pumpkin shoes....

Falls Park in Greenville, SC:

(Alli, the onesie fits perfectly, see?)

04 October 2008

Two posts in as many days? What?

Today Brian and Liam and I drove down to Greenville, SC to meet up with his parents for the day. We strolled around a gorgeous park in a newly developed area of downtown (I think it's pretty new, anyway - Mary? Am I right?) and let Liam crawl around in the grass and on a little stage there. A 2 year old little girl came up and crawled around with him for a while, and he LOVED it. I've got to get him around more children. He loves other "little people" but there are not many other babies in his life right now. We ate lunch and dinner with the grandparents and walked downtown, visited the Mast General Store and O.P. Taylor's toy store, and just generally had a relaxing day. It was so great to get outside and spend some time with family instead of being stuck inside at work all the time! At the toy store, Liam became particularly attached to a miniature grand piano and howled every time I tried to pick him up and take him away. He loved sitting at the piano and pressing the keys and "singing" along. It was a moment that I wished my dad could have seen - he loved to play and sing so much, and he would be so thrilled that Liam seems to love music already. I've got some pictures to post tomorrow...none of the piano, though, because he would not let me put him down even long enough to pull out the camera!!

03 October 2008

One more thing...

Oh, and if you happen to enlarge the photos below (which I would NOT recommend doing, by the way), those are NOT dust bunnies on the floor where my baby was crawling. Nope. Not a single one. And that is NOT what it looks like in the reflection on the floor. Nope. I would never put that on the internet.

And truthfully, that's drool on the floor. Not what it looks like. (I mean it this time.)

23 September 2008

Trying Again

Do any of you find yourselves making list after list of projects, dreams, intentions, "to-do" missives, etc. with the "If, then" stipulation attached? When this happens, this will get done. If this is complete, then I can do....

Yeah. And of course those projects rarely all get completed. And the conditions are never quite met. But we make ourselves crazy sometimes thinking those perfectionist thoughts. I'm terrible about this. I have this sense of order that makes me think these thoughts almost constantly - and what it boils down to honestly, with me and I'm sure a lot of us, is that if we can just achieve "blank", THEN we will be happy. Even if we don't specifically name it "happiness," that's what we're striving for. And that's completely wrong. I know that happiness, contentment, and joy can be found in Christ alone, and that we are to be content no matter the circumstances. I know that I will never find true happiness in all these other things, even if I got every single tiny thing on every single "to-do" list in my head completed and checked-off. Even so, knowing this in my heart, it's still difficult to convince my brain of this, and so I strive. And we all do sometimes, subconsciously, because we're human. But anyway, that's where I've been.

Of course, as a wife and mom and employee there are things that really do have to get done - dishes pile up and laundry accumulates and babies outgrow clothing and so forth. So I've been trying to catch up on the necessary things and maybe to get a little beyond the necessary. I get a lot of inspiration from blogs that I read (more on this later) about some of those projects that I want to do (maybe healthy inspiration, sometimes maybe not) but I realized that I was spending way too much time just looking at the ideas. So I needed to take an internet hiatus to try to tip the scale back in the direction of action. Basically, I needed to get off my tail, out of the desk chair, and actually DO some things in my house/life/etc. rather than just thinking about what I wanted to be happening. I guess in all that striving for "happiness" there comes a point too where I get overwhelmed and sit and think about it rather than putting anything into motion. I can sit for hours and look at pictures of paint colors and decorations for the baby's room, but if I never get up and put the paint on the walls and decorate, then what good does it do?

The most difficult lesson, of course, is learning to be content if the paint never gets to the wall and the decorations never get put up, AND learning to be content if they do. Remembering where my happiness truly comes from, and remembering that being a perfect housewife does not add any more days to my life or give me any more true value, that's the hard part. Thank goodness I do not have to fix all that on my own.

On a lighter note, Liam is 9 months old today. And crawling. And cruising. And saying "bye-bye" with a little wave. And cutting his 6th and 7th teeth. And definitely NOT sleeping well, hopefully due to those pesky little incisors. Possibly, a video of baby hilarity is coming soon. Until then, a naked baby on the run for your amusement.

09 September 2008

So Much for Ambition!

Lots to say, but the most important thing is this: Brian and I are taking an internet hiatus for a week, and hopefully after that time I will be back to blogging on a regular basis. Obviously I have jinxed myself before, however, so I cannot promise exactly when. Please don't give up on me, I don't want to lose the few readers that I have!! 

12 July 2008

Now Playing..

I've finally updated my books, and also my now playing list. Brian got me the new Jhumpa Lahiri book for my birthday (thanks honey!!) and so I'm saving it for the beach, but it has moved off of my wishlist. Regarding the now playing...we watched the movie Across the Universe the other day. If you have not seen it or heard of it, it's a really cool movie that uses Beatles songs and tons of Beatles references. Brian is a big Beatles fan and could explain so many of the references that I would have totally missed otherwise. I did not grow up listening to their music like he did, so watching the movie made me realize just how little of it I know. I'm trying to catch up and learn some!

11 July 2008

A Night Alone

I'm sorry that it has been so long, my friends. Tonight is a rare night, so I'm taking some time to finally write again. Brian is chaperoning a lock-in at the church, and the baby is asleep, so I'm curled contentedly in bed with the laptop, listening to the quiet house and the crickets chirping outside. Brian cooked an amazing vindaloo last night, and my mouth is still suffering a little from eating the leftovers tonight for supper (ah, but a delicious pain)! It was actually so hot that he could not finish his supper last night, and my esophagus burned for several hours afterwards. I love Indian food.

So much has been happening here lately! Liam has turned six months old, cut two teeth, started solid foods, started (and stopped) sleeping through the night (lovely teething), and is trying desperately to crawl. I promise to post some pictures tomorrow, but do not have them saved to the notebook to post now.

What I really came here to say tonight though is that I'm going to attempt to make some changes to this blog over the next few weeks. When I originally set out to start blogging I had something different in mind. Beginning in childhood and then especially for several years of my life during and after college I used to journal obsessively. I'm not really in the mindset to do that anymore (and really do not have the time!) but I would like to have that outlet somewhere. I also used to consider myself a decent writer. I have not practiced that craft in years - since college, and we will not have a discussion on this blog about how long ago that was. But I've written poems and stories for as long as I can remember, and I do not want to lose that part of myself completely. So. I may not succeed, but I'd like to turn this blog into more than just random commentary on the baby every month or so. I'm going to make an attempt to post much more often as well. Like I said...success is not guaranteed, but I'll give it my best shot.

Having said that, next week Brian and I are helping out with VBS (Bethany, Brian is leading the music - any tips?) and the week after that we're going to the beach with the Samples clan. So possibly all of my ambition may have to be put on hold for two weeks. I'm going to try to smuggle the notebook to the beach and sneak off while Brian's sister plays with Liam (yea for family members to hold the baby!!) but no promises.

Prepare yourselves, though, for a barrage of blogging, possibly even tonight - yippee! I've got tons of stuff on my mind. For now, at least, off to browse all the other blogs that I never get the chance to read. I hope Brian is having as much fun chasing the kiddies at church as I am here!

12 June 2008

Fun with Flickr

This is just a neat thing I saw on Mary's blog and really wanted to try. You're supposed to answer the questions, search for each on Flickr, and use a picture from the first page of results. I cheated a bit on the first page thing for my name, because there is NO WAY that I'm putting a picture of Lindsay Lohan on my blog.

Anyway, my answers:

Age you'll be on your next birthday:

Place you would like to visit:

Favorite place:

Favorite object:

Favorite food:

Favorite beverage:

Favorite animal:

Favorite color:

City where you were born:

City where you live now:

Favorite band:

First name:

Last name:

Favorite store:

Favorite item of clothing: AND
Favorite movie:

25 May 2008

AWESOME contest!!!

If you look over to the left, you will notice a button for the coolest blog giveaway I've ever seen. The blogging mommy at An Ordinary Life (see link lower on page as well) is giving away a DYSON VACUUM CLEANER. Which is just about the best vacuum on the planet. I know I'm entering for the chance to win - why don't you all go hop on over and check it out too!!!

08 May 2008

MomOktdid (from Thoughts, Ponderings, Musings) says that she cannot click on any links on my blog...I want to know if any of the rest of you have this problem, too...but if you cannot click to comment, how can you tell me? Ha!! I'm working on this!!

In other news, Liam went for his 4 month well baby checkup today, meaning that he had to have the next round of immunizations. FOUR shots in his chubby little baby thighs. It's heartbreaking. Both times he has gotten shots the nurse has made the comment that he would grow up to be a singer, because each time he has cried so hard that he was holding his breath for what seems like an eternity. The initial pained shriek is followed by a gulp of air that he just cannot seem to let go of, so he holds on, and on, and on, until you almost have to remind him to breathe again. What killed me this time is that he has lost a lot of the "baby" sound to his cries, and now he sounds so much like a little boy, with sobs and sniffles and gulps. Big tears roll down his face and he buries his nose in my shirt and hangs on to me and I could sob right along with him. Everyone told me it would be rough, but I had no real clue. He's sound asleep now, completely worn out from this morning.

I guess he has been pretty tired out a lot lately, because this past weekend my stepmom drove up from Florida with my grandmother and my nana. Nana and Grandma had never seen Liam before and spent the weekend doting on him, which he loved but which also exhausted him. He slept like a rock at night while they were here!! Liam has 4 great-grandmothers, 2 great-grandfathers, 3 grandmothers, and 2 grandfathers. Talk about spoiled!! It was really neat for him to get to meet his grandmas finally. I grew up surrounded by grandparents (obviously) and they are a very special part of my life, so I really hope that my son will be able to have the same in his childhood. I had a neat realization this weekend concerning my Nana - her oldest great-grandson is 21 years old, and Nana is 77. It's very possible if my cousin gets married and starts a family that my Nana could live to see her great-great grandchildren. We actually have a photo of this particular cousin with his great-great grandmother, Nana's mother, who I called Grandy. It amazes me to see all of the generations that have come from what started out as a marriage between two kids (Nana was 15 and Papa 16) 62 years ago. Amazing!

Ok. So, none of this was what I actually came here to blog about. I'm not sure I remember what the original thought was anymore. This is just one of those random thought days, I guess!!! If I remember my original intention, I'll come back. Until then!!

01 May 2008

Random Things!!!!

Ok, so Marcy originally tagged me to do this in February, and it has taken me until May to get it done, but I'm finally going to post the random things list! FINALLY! I promised that I would!

So here goes, 10 random things about me:

1. I hate to have dirty hands and feet. I especially hate to get food on my hands, so I use utensils for strange things sometimes just to avoid getting my hands dirty. I also wear flipflops around to keep the soles of my feet from getting things on them (this talks about the state of my floors, too, haha!!) and will wash my feet before getting into bed if I feel like they have gotten dirty.

2. My favorite TV show is Ghost Hunters. I'm fascinated by "ghostly" or "supernatural" things and love to watch the shows where they actually find paranormal stuff. But I know also that if confronted with such a thing in real life I would be completely terrified - I'm scared to death of "ghosts" and can creep myself out enough with my own imagination!

3. I have a slight obsession with The English Patient, the book and the movie. The title of my blog is actually a line from the film.

4. I'm a tea drinker. I'm addicted to sweet iced tea. Just. Can't. Quit. But also, a cup of hot tea is one of my favorite comforts.

5. I used to play the harp when I was in high school.

6. I "co-sleep" with my baby. Yes, Liam sleeps snuggled between Brian and I. HIGHLY controversial topic, this. But...I sleep. Enough said.

7. I have moles on the back of my left hand that form a perfect triangle. When I was a kid I pretended it gave me magic powers.

8. I generally get cold if it is under 70 degrees. I never used to be this way. Guess I'm getting old.

9. I can type over 100 wpm, but I make too many mistakes.

10. The first diaper I ever changed was in the hospital with Liam, and he peed all over me, the bassinet, and the floor!

This random thing list, and reading a few other blog entries lately has gotten me to thinking about some things I would like to learn to do. I really have spring fever - I want to get outside, I want to create things, I want to learn something new. So instead of tagging anyone else to create a random list, I'm posting a list below of things that I'd like to learn or improve, and I'm curious to hear from anyone who reads - what are some things that you would like to learn to do, or improve on that you can already do??

My Goals to Learn:

1. Html/web design
2. Knitting/crocheting/quilting
3. Better photography
4. Cooking
5. Gardening
6. Piano

22 April 2008


Brian brought something to my attention the other day after reading my last few entries. He actually asked me if I blamed him for our poor eating habits lately. I was stunned and said, "Did it come across that way???" Of course I do not place the blame on Brian! Since it's my job to do the clean up after he cooks the meal, I'm often the one who initiates going out to eat to avoid the cleaning. I have of course clarified this with my husband, but I really hope no one else thought I was blaming it all on him.

At least for the last 2 weeks we have been doing really well - each Sunday night we have planned out menus for the entire week AND we've stuck to them almost every night. We've swapped a few nights around a couple of times, and had to go out once because the meat had not thawed as planned, but I'm proud of us at least for making the change. Brian seems to be enjoying cooking again like he used to - he's experimenting again!

Right around Easter he went grocery shopping and came home with something new he had been wanting to try for a while. It has been in the freezer up until a few nights ago, when he finally cooked it, and convinced me to try it. Believe it or not - we had RABBIT for dinner!!! He joked about having Easter bunny stew around Easter and I told him he was terrible! I have to admit though that I enjoyed it a lot. The meat was not as dark as I expected, and the texture a bit like chicken. Overall it was pretty good!! (This might be nothing to anyone who is used to eating game meats, etc.) I'll keep you updated on any other new things we decide to try!


17 April 2008

I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better all the time..

Hey everyone! I'm finally updating again, yay!!

Admittedly my last real post was pretty grumpy and bleak sounding, so I'm happy to report that things seem to be improving. I really feel like we are making progress! Maybe it's the warm sunny weather and the hope that spring brings. Maybe it's that Liam is almost 4 months old. Whatever it is, I'm thankful!

Today has been a beautiful day. We've got the windows open with sunlight and fresh air streaming in, and today on my lunch break Brian and Liam and I took a moment outside to enjoy the weather. We've got two apple trees in the back yard, and Brian has set up his hammock between them. While he lounged in the hammock Liam and I snoozed on a blanket on the grass. The apple blossoms sprinkled down on top of us when the wind blew and it was so peaceful, a really nice break in the middle of the day.

I'm really enjoying seeing things come alive in the spring, especially here in our yard and around our house. For those of you who don't know, we are renting this house from our friends from church, Kelly and Brian. The house was built by Kelly's grandfather and she purchased it from him in his old age to keep the house in their family. Before we moved in in October, the house had been empty for 4 or 5 years. We're finding that the yard is full of flowers and trees that Kelly's pawpaw planted and tended, and animals that he encouraged to make their homes here. We've got apple trees, blackberries, and cultivated muscadine vines, and possibly plums or pears (we're not sure which yet). There are pecan trees and great giant oaks. There are azaleas, daffodils, irises, and tulips, and things that we have not even discovered yet, I'm sure! It's nice to have a yard again after living in the city for several years. What is also so neat is that all the animals in the yard are used to the place being empty. Kelly's pawpaw had bluebird houses and I think other bird houses in the yard, and so we have a birdwatcher's paradise around here. The birds and squirrels will perch and climb on the windows and look in at us. I hope that our presence here does not eventually scare them off. There is a red-headed woodpecker that lives in the yard somewhere, and I watch him from the bathroom window a lot of mornings. Yesterday I watched a hawk sitting in the oak tree in the backyard. I hope that when Liam is old enough to see all this that the animals are still around (well, except for the skunks that come around at night...). All these things remind me of my nana and papa's house and yard, and make me feel at home. Liam will never get to run around their place like I did growing up, but I want him to enjoy the simple joys of playing outside like I did. Those of you who know me well know that I wanted to live in the city for a long time, but I realize now that I don't want my little boy to grow up surrounded by concrete and tall buildings!

Speaking of little boys growing up....he certainly is!! The pictures below were taken almost 3 weeks ago:

27 March 2008

Entering a contest

Hi All,

A brief post while I have the chance - I'm entering a contest to win a SleepyWrap. I'm loving wearing little Liam around and really want to try one of these wrap carriers! An Ordinary Life (http://kailasmommy.blogspot.com/) has all the details on the contest.

Taken from www.sleepywrap.com: " It's easier to use than my Hotsling, cozier than my Bjorn, great for nursing, and it's easy to machine wash and dry. I couldn't ask for more!"

I promise a longer post with Easter updates and pictures very soon!!

25 February 2008


I'm venting today, I suppose. I feel like my life is a series of contradictions that I am constantly trying to reconcile.

Food, for example. I'm married to a true foodie. Brian loves to cook, and he does it exceptionally well. But more than that, he loves to read about food, talk about food, learn about food. His (non-spiritual) heroes are chefs - Fergus Henderson, Ferran Adria, Mario Batali. Brian knows what excellent food is, and he has taught me so much about delicious (and also healthy) food over the course of our relationship. So WHY ON EARTH do we eat such crap? We've fallen into a rut of Chick-fil-A runs and frozen pot pies. Our cabinet has over 5 varieties of potato chips in it. We went to the grocery store yesterday and left with Easter candy, Gatorade, and other junk. Nothing good or healthy. I admit the way we ate when we first married was more expensive, but we both know how to eat really good food that we cook at home (ok, that HE cooks at home) for just as much as we spend going to Chick-fil-A in a month. We just don't do it. Why? My answer is laziness. Cooking means work, and clean up, which is more work. It's easier to run through the drive in and sit on the couch. But we're both miserable doing this, and we know it. We know better!!! UGH.

Which brings me to the next contradiction. Housework. I've never been able to cook, but I have always prided myself on being able to clean. I'm happiest when my environment is clean and neat and I used to be at least relatively good at keeping things that way (minus periods of clutter from time to time). Now...if anyone was to come inside my house I would be mortified. Beyond embarrassed. HORRIFIED. It's a wreck. And worse than just a "we have a new baby" wreck. It's putting me in a serious funk.

All of this matters so much more with Liam to consider. It is extremely important to me that my son be raised on a healthy diet and in a peaceful, comfortable home. I know that with kids your house is never perfect and they don't eat the right foods ALL of the time. But seriously..it has to better than this. It's time to straighten up and get back on track, and get out of this funk for good.

I guess this has just been one of those days. I slept late this morning because Liam was inconsolable for a good portion of the night until he completely wore himself out (wondering..does my snack of edamame make him gassy??). I tried to start work at 8:30 - he woke up starving right at that moment. He then proceeded to poop out the side of his diaper all over my hand while I was nursing him. Then he pees AND poops all over the changing table before I get a clean diaper on him (and then smiles gleefully at me, so proud of himself). I lie him in his bassinet to wash my hands and soak the changing pad cover, and Brian says.."I think he's spitting up." Of course, the sheet underneath him is soaked in an absolute puddle of spit up, which he has all over the 2nd outfit of the day AND his hair. YUCK. By the time all of this is cleaned up and he is consoled, it's time to feed him again. Needless to say, I did not start work until after 10 am. I just hope they don't lose patience with this and fire me!!

Like I said...venting. Thanks for listening...I should probably get back to work now, huh? Just had to get that all off my chest.

18 February 2008

So much to say, so much to say...

"Mommy, why haven't you updated your blog yet???"

Hi Folks! I'm sorry it has been so long since the last update! So much has happened. Liam is 7 weeks old tomorrow. I've been back at work for a week. We finally took the baby to church last week. I'm starting to feel like my old self again!

I've thought of so many things that I want to say over the past few weeks and of course now that I have the chance I can't remember everything. First of all, thanks to all of you for the comments and advice and support!! It's good to know that you are reading and that I'm not alone! Second - Marcy has tagged me on her blog, and I have every intention of creating my own list very soon. No promises as to exactly when, but I WILL do it, Marcy!

Being back at work has been interesting. I'm not accomplishing nearly as much as I used to, but it has actually been good to have the structure to my day. I was getting a little lost there when all the days looked exactly the same. I need a routine imposed for me as I'm not very good at creating one for myself - something that I am working very hard on improving. I am learning to breastfeed and type at the same time (also interesting), and Brian has been feeding Liam one bottle a day too. I love that because it gives Brian a chance to share in something that up until now only I have been able to do. I'm also very thankful for being able to work at home. I cannot imagine leaving Liam all day, especially when he is this small. He actually loves to nap in the sling while I type, which allows me to work and snuggle my baby close at the same time. (Awful picture of me, but you see how much he likes the sling - note the little hands grasping the sides.)

It's amazing what you learn to do in order to get things accomplished with a baby. Sunday morning we were trying to get ready and get to church on time, and I found myself gathering my church clothes and Liam's church clothes and brushing my teeth, all while walking around the house nursing the baby. I never thought that I would nurse my child in some of the places that I have nursed him, too. I bought a Bebe au Lait cover (also called a Hooter Hider - haha!!), a GREAT invention, so I can be discreet. I actually fed the baby on the front porch of a country store with a crowd of bikers sitting in rocking chairs next to me. I never thought that I would do that before I became a mom, but now I realize that feeding my son is more important than where I am or who is around me. No one has really seemed to care all that much, even at the sushi place we frequent!

Anyway, I guess I have rambled on enough for now. I'll post some new pics for you of Liam's newest skill - the SMILE!!! Maybe if I still have time I'll work on that list of random things that I have been tagged to create!

29 January 2008

The Worries of Motherhood

I learned pretty early on in my pregnancy that motherhood was going to be full of worries. There are so many unknowns when you are pregnant, and I once thought to myself, "If I can just get him here then I won't worry so much." Immediately the absurdity of that thought hit me and I realized that the worries would only multiply once my son was no longer safely snuggled in my tummy. And it's true - of course Liam will never be safer than he was before he was born, and there are so many things that I'm unsure of as a new mother. I try very hard not to overreact and be ridiculous with my concerns but I'm sure to veteran mothers I would be hilarious. For example, we have spent so much time in this first month worrying over getting enough sleep and getting the baby to sleep at night. Last night he slept for six hours straight - and at 6 am when he had not woken up to feed, I promptly sat upright in bed in panic and rushed into the nursery to wake and feed my slumbering son, pleading with Brian to assure me that he was all right. The baby was fine, of course, and in the end I was thankful for the rest, but in the moment I was terrified!

Along this line, I've been thinking a lot lately about routines and schedules. We've pretty much let Liam control every bit of our time up to this point (as if we've had a choice) but I'm starting back to work very soon and I'm considering the need for a more predictable routine. I'm really not sure how much of a routine a 4 week old baby can be expected to have, but I'm freaking out a little about trying to work and care for him too. In some ways I have an ideal job with being able to work at home and stay at home with him, but at the same time I'm paid based on how much I produce and I'm questioning how much work I'm going to be able to actually get done with my baby needing to be fed and changed and soothed, etc. So I'm asking you all, especially those of you reading who have children (but I'll take any advice I can get!), what tips do you have for making life a little more routine with a baby?

I suppose I've rambled on enough for now. Until the next nap time!!!


25 January 2008

Three weeks already!!

I can't believe our baby boy is 3 weeks old already. Thank goodness for baby slings, because I'm finally getting a chance to post an update. Liam is (thankfully) asleep while attached snugly to my chest. The past 3 weeks have moved by so quickly, but at the same time his birth seems like an eternity ago. He's growing so much already!! I spend most of my time breastfeeding, day and night, but at least he's sleeping in decent stretches between feedings. The first four nights at home were insane - nothing could have prepared me for dealing with zero sleep and the "baby blues" at the same time. Poor Brian had to deal with both Liam and I sobbing uncontrollably on several occasions!! That seems to have passed now and I have mastered the ability to fall asleep instantly whenever I get the opportunity. I also have learned to eat all meals very quickly with only one hand, too - he has the uncanny ability to start wailing right when I put the first bite of food in my mouth!! What a sense of humor our son is developing! Speaking of..time for lunch. Here are a few more pictures for you all!