20 July 2009


It's been a while, I know. And to be honest, it's going to be a much longer while. I very much need to make life simple, and obviously, blogging is not high on the priority list. I may be around, I'll always be reading your blogs. But I won't be back to this one for a while, at least until serious inspiration strikes. Hope you all don't mind...

29 May 2009

Help A Mama Out

Quick question for you all (mamas, babysitters, people who are otherwise brilliant with children, etc....).

What did your kids eat for snacks at around age 18 months? Or, what suggestions do you have for healthy, yummy, creative, toddler-friendly snacks?

We're running out of ideas and getting a little bored around here with our regular snack times and I'm looking for new ideas!

I know my *many* loyal readers (snicker) all either have kids and/or love cooking so I thought I'd ask you all first!


UPDATED: I'll take meal time suggestions, too, not just snacks!

26 May 2009

Elmo pees.

Sorry for the title...I'll explain, I promise.

Brian and I have been singing to Liam since his birth, and very early in his life certain songs seemed to calm him more than others. The monotone and repetition of songs like "Old MacDonald" and the alphabet song were particularly soothing, especially when riding in the carseat. So Liam heard these songs very, very often. And we've realized as he has gotten older that he was listening and absorbing a lot of what we were singing to him.  One of his first words was "E-I-E-I-O," in fact. We'd stopped using that song as a calming technique as he got older and needed less soothing, but suddenly probably months after hearing the song the last time, he started singing it back to us. We were stunned and thrilled that he remembered.

After that, it is not entirely surprising that Liam has begun singing the alphabet to us. He heard it many times when he was very small, and even has a Leapfrog toy that sings his alphabet to him as well.  So several times in the last few days I have heard him going about the house singing, "ABCD.....e..c...d.... ."  He's got the first part down, and the tune is pretty close, but after that he jumbles a little. Well, yesterday afternoon he added a bit more.

"ABCD..e..c...d...*pause*......elmo peeeee..."

Perhaps I should suggest that as the next "must-have toy" this year....Go Potty Elmo?

12 May 2009

Trader's Joes and other thoughts

A funny thing happens whenever Brian and I move to somewhere new.

The place we left seems to get...cooler.

We lived in downtown Rome, Georgia for the first year of our marriage, right on Broad Street in an old and rundown but pretty cool little loft apartment. We spent our evenings wandering up and down Broad Street, which is the heart of downtown Rome, eating at Schroeder's New Deli and window shopping. Then we moved to North Carolina. And Rome got STUFF. Like gourmet food shops and bakeries on Broad Street. And a Ru San's - our very favorite Atlanta sushi place, the sushi place where we had our first date. And Starbucks in the Kroger that we shopped at. Meh.

But we lived in Charlotte which was pretty cool. And then we moved to Shelby, NC. And guess what happened? Our road in Charlotte got STUFF. The very road that we lived on for TWO WHOLE YEARS now has a SUPER Target, a Mimi's Café, and A STINKIN' IKEA. An Ikea, people. Now. After we're gone. Why, oh why???

Ok, so the point. We've discovered something else that our old neighborhood in Charlotte has now that it did not before. A Trader Joe's. And boy, do we love Trader Joe's. Have you ever heard of them? Been to one? If not - GO!  Check out the locations, find one near you, and go!  Trader Joe's is a great little grocery store that people in California are lucky enough to get to shop at all the time. They carry lots of organic and all natural products, gourmet and hard to find foods, and their own product brand which is well priced and delicious!!  So far we've tried Trader Joe's brand cookies (yum), Korean short ribs - a must buy, and several other items including Israeli couscous (large pearls of couscous instead of very small), cheese, pizza dough, and French onion soup.  The only thing we have not been crazy about so far was the soup - Brian thought it was a little bland. Trader Joe's is also home to Charles Shaw wines, better known as "Two-Buck Chuck."  We've tried a couple of bottles with some of our dinners, and for cheap wine it's pretty good!

One of my very favorite Trader Joe's purchases of late has to be the pizza dough. They sell fresh made pizza dough in little bags. You take it home, roll it out (which includes tossing it in the air if you are brave like my husband), top it, and bake!  We made two, one with olives, peppers, and mushrooms and one with fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushrooms (hey, we like mushrooms).  It turned out like fancy artisan pizza that you get at overpriced pizza places but cheaper and made at home!

And I have to admit - this just makes Trader Joe's even cooler.  They use proper grammar.

I can't help but wonder what will come to Shelby after Brian and I move, and what we will miss from this town when we move on to the next.

30 March 2009

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab...

I said no, no, no..

I've been thinking more thoughts about my baby crush and wanted to share.  In all seriousness, I'm loving having a one -year-old around.  I have to be honest that having an infant was at times painfully difficult for me, moreso that I ever imagined it would be.  I think this is partially due to the fact that we brought Liam home into a bit of an upheaval (having just moved and having no family close and having Brian in school the day after we came home from the hospital, etc.).  The first two weeks were a cloud of sleep deprivation and serious baby blues (which thankfully did not descend further into postpartum depression as we feared) and I spent a significant amount of time very worried over my "bond" with my infant. Much is made of  "bonding" in a lot of parenting circles and some doctors/authors/so-called experts put a lot of pressure and guilt on mothers to have a perfect birth and home and bonding experience, and I knew better than to get too sucked into that kind of thinking, but nevertheless I knew the feelings that I was struggling with and knew how at times Liam seemed to respond to those feelings. I had anger and resentment and literal chest-crushing anxiety for a while; in those first two weeks I often had trouble going to sleep when I got the chance because my anxiety became so severe that I would drift off to sleep and stop breathing and then wake up to breathe again. I wish I was kidding.  Luckily that passed after the first two weeks at home. Do I need to mention that I don't do well with sleep deprivation?   The worry over bonding with Liam did not pass, however, until I tucked him into our bed and slept with him close to me all during the night and sensed an immediate change in our relationship.

Now Liam is no longer a tiny infant, but a walking, talking, tantruming motorboat. Maybe it comes from getting used to this mothering thing, or maybe it comes from his ever-emerging personality, or maybe a combination of so many different things. Probably I'm the last mom on the planet to figure this out.  The older Liam gets, the more I fall in love with him. He's becoming affectionate - he kisses and hugs and I think even says something resembling I love you (when prompted, of course). He's got a ridiculous sense of humor.  He understands so much, and perhaps it helps that I understand so much more of him now than ever before. The wild tantrums in which he bangs his head on the floor don't rattle me at all like the tiny, undecipherable baby cries did.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to eat at a restaurant in peace like I could when he slept in his baby sling for the whole meal, but getting to know this little person makes up for all of the toddler antics.  Getting to watch his emerging independence, his eagerness for learning, his longing to be helpful, his little mischievous grins - getting to do all of this is giving me a serious baby crush.

Well, that and he sleeps (mostly) all night in his own bed again. A good night's sleep always helps!

Love Affair

I guess it's time I confessed.

I'm in love. My heart has been stolen and I'm head over heels. All the clichés apply.

His name is Liam and he is a dashing little gent who has swept me completely off my feet.

Ok, so there's a bit of an age difference, I'll admit. But never you mind, I'm convinced this 15 -month-old is the one for me. He only has to take my face in his hands and kiss me and I swoon.

Wouldn't you?

Just this morning at around 6:30 he nuzzled next to me as I slumbered, curved his little back against my belly, and snuggled happily until 9:00 a.m.  When he finally drifted awake, he sat up next to me all chicken hair and blinking eyes and matter-of-factly declared,"Apple pie."    Which I believe was not as much a request for breakfast as a statement of his philosophy for the day. The sun is shining, we've had a good night's sleep, therefore, apple pie. 

Who wouldn't fall in love with a fellow who thinks like that?

29 March 2009

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive....

I'm not an addict...maybe that's a lie....*

I decided recently to go through all of the pages that I have bookmarked and add them to my blog. I thought that it would make it easier to keep up with blogs and sites I like to look at but sometimes forget about, not to mention that my bookmarks are getting quite numerous. I thought you all might be interested in some of them, too. I thought that my reading habits were not getting out of hand.

I was wrong.

The links that I have added are only a portion of the pages that I have bookmarked. Of course, most of the time I see something that I want to look at later and I bookmark it and forget about it. But a lot of these pages I visit on a regular basis.

Is there such a thing as blogger rehab?

*Bonus points if you can name the song and band referenced above. Bonus points for what, you say? Um..I'll get back to you on that one.

27 March 2009


Can I just ask what is up with the tattoo on the model's neck in the picture below? Ouch!

I'm just sayin'...

26 March 2009

Should I do it?



In this color: 
(image via The Sartorialist)

15 March 2009


Yep, testing out some new templates. I'm hankering for a custom made one...but trying these out until then. Just hold on with me until I get things settled!!

26 February 2009


I've mentioned before that my son has an apparent fondness for the taste of Dove soap. Well, he has grown so fond of it, in fact, that I've had to begin hiding the soap from him. Unless I'm actively washing him, the bar of soap is put out of his hungry little reach. Tonight, I slipped. I forgot and left the soap on the edge of the tub, and before I could retrieve it he had taken a mighty chomp and started chewing.  He scoffed at my admonition that "we don't eat the soap, Liam" with a hearty "MMMMM-MMMM!"  Which made him cough. And sputter.

At which point he gazed at the stream of soap bubbles pouring down his chin and onto his chest, proudly announced, "BUHH-BLE!!" and started splashing with glee. 

Yes, son, when you eat soap, you can blow lots of bubbles.

13 February 2009


I toyed around with changing my template, and now look what I've done! Blogger has eaten my blog lists and all my lovely links are missing. I will set out to fix this very soon, and will return also with some fun updates. Tbc...

26 January 2009


A little blogger thrill. There are commenters coming out of the woodwork lately that I had no idea were reading. And I discovered a link to my blog on someone's page, again having no idea she was reading. These things make me smile inside.  Just thought you should know.

25 January 2009

what was missing and why

This was really supposed to be all one post, but last night I realized that things were just getting WAY too long and so I figured that I'd come back later and finish up. I don't want to drag on and on and chase you all away!

When I set out planning and thinking of the things that I love, my first thoughts were "Brian and Liam, and Jesus." So I started typing that out. But as I did, I realized that my words just did not feel right, and did not ring true in my heart. So I started over. When I typed out the sentence "I love Jesus" it had the feeling that this was a completed thing, a done deal. When really, to me, it's so much more of a process. Truthfully, I'm in the process of learning to love Jesus each day, and I'm far from reaching that. I guess really the same thing could be said for my love of Brian and Liam as well. I love tea and design and creepy stories as much as I'm ever going to. But loving my husband and my child and my Savior? I hope that for the rest of my life my love grows and changes and moves and is never finished. So I can't say that I love Jesus, end of sentence. I'm just not there yet. Loving my Savior is not something that I always know how to do, or something that always comes easily. But I'm learning.

Something Alli said in her comment on my post about restlessness really rang true with me - we're all a bit "meh" inside. Because that's true, I think we are. I think that "meh" feeling in our hearts is an emptiness that was put there for a reason. We're all searching for how to fill that up, how to satisfy that feeling. The only thing that works is Jesus, but that's so hard to realize sometimes! Learning how to completely let go and let all of our desires be met by Him is part of the lifelong process of learning to love Him. I like what Maya Angelou has to say about this. I don't know the exact quote and Liam is not being patient enough for me to Google it, but she calls herself a "practicing Christian" because she's not an expert yet.

I guess I have to leave Brian and Liam out of the "love" post too. I'm certainly not an expert wife, and Liam is letting me know right now how much of an expert mother I am NOT.

So..... enough for now. Back soon!

24 January 2009

Warning...really long post ahead!

Hi! Remember me? I'm Southern Wife, and I'm a blogger. Ok, really, I'm just Linz. Once upon a time this blog was going to be anonymous, but then I had a baby, and all thoughts of anonymity flew out the window because when you have a baby to update about, folks like to know who you are. And, well, you're proud and stuff. And about that blogger thing...not doing so well at that lately, am I?

Although it may seem so, I have not disappeared forever from the blogging world. Life has been calling, and I've been answering, and I have many lovely updates from our holiday season to report, although I probably will not report them and will just upload pictures from Halloween forward to my Facebook account. Maybe. Before next Halloween. Maybe. I also have a very overdue tag to respond to (thank you for your words of encouragement, Bethany! Here I am!). I did not realize that it was all the way back in November that Bethany tagged me to post a list of five things that I love. Of course I have to answer this tag - it's the theme of my blog!!!

I have really wanted to get this post done. Some little things this weekend threatened to stop me, like having no water for 12 hours (well pump broken, then fixed), having our dryer quit (which Brian fixed - brilliant!), and having a Liam vomiting on me and everything else (bed, couch, floor, daddy, high chair tray, younameithethrewuponit) all day today! An aside - Allison, aren't you glad you didn't come to visit this weekend?? Nevertheless, I have persisted, and I'm determined to finish this post tonight!

I've been asked to tell you five things I love. Since the name of my blog is, after all, "What do you love?" I thought it would be rather appropriate for me to answer this tag. So here goes! (I'm starting with the not-as-obvious and working my way to the most important things).

1. I love design. Interior design (although you can't tell it by looking at my house, but one day..one day...), graphic design, letterpress design, fashion design, etc. I'm not creative enough to actually BE a designer, but I love to look at the beautiful things other people have done. I used to wonder why I like magazines so much, but then I finally figured out that I love to look at all the images - the design of the ads, rooms, clothes, layout, and so many other elements. Instead of a picture for this one I'm adding a couple of awesome design links:

Design Mom
Apartment Therapy
Domino Magazine

Aren't those just so much fun!!!

2. I love the South. Yes, that's with a capital S. I'm deeply rooted in the Deep South - I grew up in Georgia, and part of my family comes from Louisiana and Mississippi. I love the culture (not always the history, but the culture nevertheless), the people, and the food!! I'm proud of our music, our traditions, our manners, our literature. I think the southern US is a place of great confusion, and sometimes I think it is populated with crazy people. I also think that's what made writers like William Faulker and Flannery O'Connor write what they did - I think we're all trying to make sense of this strange, beautiful place!

3. I love ghost stories. My very favorite TV show EVER is Ghost Hunters. I love to hear and watch all these creepy things, but I know that in real life if confronted with anything "supernatural" that I would just fall apart. I'm not talking horror - I hate horror movies with a passion. I'm talking about good old fashioned "grandma's house was haunted" kinds of stories. But...not if you're telling them late at night around a camp fire or something. Yikes!!

4. I love tea. I think you all probably know this one already. I do not drink coffee. I even order tea at Starbucks. I like black tea, green tea, herbal tea, white tea, red tea (did you all know there were this many kinds of tea??) Iced or hot. Actually, preferably hot. In the morning with cream and honey, at night before bed, when I'm sick, when I'm working. There is always a perfect cup of tea for any occasion! My preferred teas:

Plain old black tea for breakfast or anytime: PG Tips
For trying new kinds of tea: Teavana
For tea and accessories: STASH tea
For gorgeous packaging (see #1 above): Harney & Sons
And for night time, an old favorite: Sleepytime

There are so many more that I could link but I'm getting carried away and I need to move on now.

5. I love Family. I love being surrounded by my relatives, even though most of them are nuts and drive me nuts! I grew up having family gatherings at my Nana and Papa's. All of our extended relatives would come over, and my papa and my dad and my uncles would gather around the fireplace and play bluegrass music. My papa played banjo, my uncles played guitar, and my dad and Nana would sing harmony. Sometimes the neighbor, Nana's uncle, would come over with his fiddle and play. We'd play and sing and laugh and eat, and as a child I loved the feeling of being surrounded by all that love. Brian's family is the same, maybe without as much music. We gather and visit and eat and have fun. I'm thrilled that even though my family is more spread out than it used to be, Liam is still growing up surrounded by people who love him so much.

Part of my love of family, of course, is Brian and Liam. I love having my own little family of three, as well. We're creating our own traditions and trying to create that same atmosphere of loving warmth right here, as well as with all the relatives around. The picture below reminded me of Brian, and I just had to add it:

(image via A Cup of Jo)
I love my husband! And, I love this little boy...

Hasn't he grown??? This is his happy face on his first Christmas morning. What a wonderful sight!!

Ok...I guess after all that I need to be done for now. However, something is missing from my post above. Can you think of what it might be? My next will explain at length what was left out of this list and why!

Oh, and seriously, I have not one ounce of energy left to tag anyone right now. Maybe next time. Phew.

12 January 2009

Entitled Honesty (or Why I'm So Restless)

I actually do have another blog post in the works, but I had to spontaneously dash this down to get it off my chest. Hopefully I will get the chance to publish my response to being tagged, finally, this week (thank you Bethany for missing my words - I'm still here!)  But for now..honesty.

I'm sitting here at my desk, waiting for the doctors to download more work for us. I'm simultaneously browsing at least five different web sites, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. I'm bored. Profoundly bored. Liam is "helping" Brian fold some laundry in the other room, and I'm putting off all the other housework that I should be doing in a slow period at work (although I did just run and take a shower, the first one I've had before 10 pm this week). And this is pretty much what every day looks like. I get up, feed the baby, try to do what needs to be done in the house, and then come to my desk and sit for anywhere between 8 and 12 hours a day. I worked this weekend too, so I've been sitting at this desk every day for 8 days straight now.  While I'm here I work, and browse, and venture into so many other people's lives via their blogs and Tweets and Facebook pages. Then I get up, feed the baby, bathe him and try to get him to sleep, and rush to get to sleep myself before I have to wake up with him (still) in the middle of the night. And do it all over again. And today it strikes me more sharply than usual that I feel sometimes as if my life is slipping away while I read about everyone elses. 

I'm bursting inside with the want to produce - I want to write, read, make things, listen to music, eat, travel, even just get outside in the sunshine while it lasts. I want to live and enjoy the good things in life like conversations, meals, songs, and books. But I'm stuck in this house, at a desk, with headphones shoved over my ears, and it seems sometimes like all the rest of life is shut out. Or passing by outside me. 

I get terribly cold sometimes during the day, even when it is 70 degrees inside the house, and when I think about why, I realize it is because the only parts of my body that move for hours at a time are my fingers and one foot (the pedal that controls the dictaphone). It's really no wonder that (with the help of having a baby) I'm now a staggering 70 pounds overweight.  I've been doing transcription for almost 8 years now, so that's a lot of time spent sitting instead of moving.  That's the nature of my job - I sit at my desk with headphones and a pedal, the radiologists read x-rays, and I type what they say. All day long. Once you've learned the terms, the format, the programs, and the voices, it's the same thing over and over and over again. And I'm bored stiff!!

Yes, I chose this career, or at least chose to continue doing it for all these years.  I love to type and I love words and I am really interested in medicine, and the solitude does suit me much better than it would most people. I know a lot of my friends would have lost their minds after a week of doing what I do, never mind 8 years. It's nice to not have to get up and dress up for work every morning, although I do miss that sometimes too.  And yes, I'm home with my son. But often lately I wonder if working here with him all day is not just as bad as having him in day care. I mean, he sees me, but he cannot understand why Mommy sits at her desk and cannot get up and play with him. I'm honestly a little afraid that he will grow up thinking that a computer was more important than him. It makes me feel neglectful.

If you wonder why I blog so little, when I'm at the desk so much, it's of course because I have to try to stay on task. And when I'm not working, our schedule is still so harried with Brian in school. We both crash, exhausted, at the end of the day without getting done nearly what needs to get done each day. Granted, we're both awful at time management.  Still, I'm longing for the end of the next two years, when Brian has a full time career and no school work and maybe, just maybe, we'll be closer to our family so we can get a little help. These endless days of the same routine (or lack thereof) are wearing on us both.

I talked with Brian a little bit about all of this today. He wants me to go back to school when he is finished. I don't know what I want, except for a little time to think outside the box, or perhaps outside my window.

Disclaimer:  Please don't think I'm Negative Nellie.  My next post, regarding things that I love, hopefully will dissuade you from that opinion.  Today I'm just a woman whose body is at a desk while her mind is on an airplane to somewhere beautiful, or at least perched in the oak tree in the back yard. Today I'm just wishing the two could meet up more often.