39 Weeks

Monday, November 5, 2012

I don't do weekly progress posts with Ladybug anymore, but I had to mention that today she has been out of the womb as long as she was in it.  Today she is 39 weeks old.  I honestly wouldn't know how many weeks she is anymore, if not for the weekly progress emails I get.

It's hard to believe that 39 weeks ago, my water broke a few hours before I was scheduled to go in for a cesarean.  I wasn't sure if my water broke, because it was a gradual thing.  However, Miss Lucy knew something was wrong.  She got upset and had to be taken outside for a bout of diarrhea.  Then she stuck like glue to me in bed, while I took a shower and shaved my legs, put on my makeup, and fixed my hair a little.  Yes, I was in denial.  It wasn't supposed to happen that way.

Nothing in our plan really changed, except B got to watch my contractions come and go until I went in to surgery with the joy of an engineer.  I was not impressed.  All in all though, the end result was worth all 39 weeks of nausea, back pain, swollen ankles, and eventual waddling.

Oh What a Night (Firecracker's First Halloween)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yesterday was one of those big days you can only imagine before you have kids, or one of those days that gives reason for some people to have kids at all.  It was Firecracker's first Halloween.  What a Halloween it was, too - at least for an almost nine-month-old.

As married adults, B and I have never really been the biggest fans of Halloween, as stated in previous posts.   Having two big, silly, protective dogs who are honestly afraid of more than they're not (at least Lucy is), we haven't been very interested in entertaining trick or treaters.  We aren't anti-Halloween people per se, and when Firecracker is a little bigger, I'll happily read Edgar Allen Poe to her by firelight.  Also, in previous years I was able to enjoy Halloween at work with Trick or Treat On the Square.

This year though, we had Firecracker.  For years we've been saying that we needed to have a kid as an excuse to do this or that.  Now we have a reason to get into Halloween again, and we did.  She was a ladybug, so for at least the rest of this post, she's Ladybug.  It may become a thing and replace Firecracker as her alias here.

I put Firecracker down for her nap a little earlier than normal yesterday, so that we could meet B at work a little before 3.  From there we would go down to the Square.  I forgot that B had never seen what a big deal Trick or Treat On the Square is, because after six years I was very used to it.   B got quite the surprise and by the time we left, agreed that if possible, it's best to get there earlier rather than later.

At first, our little Ladybug wasn't quite sure what to think of everyone putting candy into her bucket.  Nor was she too sure about some of the costumes.  However, once she saw someone dressed as a puppy dog, she was very into things.

She saw a couple of our friends from the TV station in front of its old location, she got autographs from the Women's Razorback Basketball team, she met the Three Blind Mice from Shrek the Musical which is touring at the Walton Arts Center right now, got to sit on a Police motorcycle, and another person in a puppy dog costume.  That was pretty awesome in the Ladybug book of awesomeness.

After we made our trip around the Square, we went down to The Dickson on Dickson and visited our friends at KNWA and KFTA.  It was the first time we had been to see everyone since they made the big move to the new station and got to look around at everything.  Let me tell you, it's nice.  It's an especially nice improvement from the old location on The Square.  That place will always hold warm memories for me, but other than the location itself, the building wasn't all that great.

It was right before the Five, so we got to take a look at the new studio right as Neile and Jonathon were getting ready to go on air.  That meant Ladybug got to have her picture taken with Auntie Neile and Mr. Jonathon on the set.

She has no idea that most little Ladybugs don't get to do that.  She was more interested in playing with Neile anyway.  Aunt Neile is just a whole lot of fun.  Daddy and I were in awe of the set.  Knowing what everyone worked with for years at the old location... well I'm impressed.  It's especially far safer a place to work.  The other location was just a little too accessible to the public, trust me.

Ladybug doesn't know it, but there are probably lots of girls who are jealous of this picture.  She had been getting kisses from Mr. Brad.  I think she was less impressed than some older girls would be.  Mr. Brad is just one of the sweetest guys I'll ever know.  I'm very proud to say that I've been able to watch him grow from a production assistant to Emmy winning news anchor.  We alway love visiting our KNWA / KFTA family.

AFTER going to the station, we had dinner at our usual place, Feltner Bros.  Then B wanted to see what things were like at the NWA Mall, since it was on our way home anyway.  We were all getting really tired, so we didn't stand in the trick or treat line very long.  Instead, we went to Bath and Bodyworks to stock up on antibacterial soap for all six sinks in our house.

As we were leaving the mall though, we ran into non other than Mickey Mouse.  There was a sort of line to get to see Mickey, that people kept cutting in.  B wanted to just leave, but once Ladybug recognized her pal Mickey, we had to stay and see him.  Being loved on by all of our friends at the station was great, but for Ladybug the best part of the night was getting to see Mickey Mouse.

I think our first foray into Halloween festivities for Ladybug was a huge success.  She certainly had a great time last night.  B and I had the joy of going through all that candy she can't eat.  Lucy and Dory even got dog treats in Ladybug's loot.  

Next year we may even try to hit a few houses of friends, rather than go to the mall.  We thought about going by one in particular that I know is always decorated to the hilt and has a new little lady presiding over things.  Our Ladybug was pooped and hungry though, so next year.  All in all, it was a good night, and I look forward to all of the Halloweens future.

Catching Up: Part One

Monday, October 29, 2012

The problem with having planned posts for basically two weeks in a row, is that I don't get a chance to blog about anything else that's going on in our lives.  Despite having been down and out with a cold some, the world has continued to turn.  So, I'll take a couple of posts to catch up on everything.

Ever so slowly, we are recovering from the horrible cold that Firecracker picked up in church two weeks ago and subsequently passed on to us.  Ever.so.slowly.  I mentioned on Facebook at one point that recovering from my cesarean was easier than getting over this thing.  I still don't remember the last time I had just a plain old cold.  Firecracker and I are mostly well now, save for our noses still being a little snotty.
Out Cold

For B, well the cold settled in his chest, and I had him go to the doctor Friday after he choked on a little Benadryl tablet Thursday night.  Thankfully it hadn't progressed into anything more.  B's doctor prescribed a cough suppressant - antihistamine with hydrocodone in it.  I swear the doctor knew B well enough to know that B can't rest.  He always has to be doing something.  It can be downright maddening for this girl who enjoys sitting down in the evenings to a good book or knocking out a blog post in the quiet.  This stuff knocks him out cold.  So much so, that Saturday night before I left to pick up some supper at Feltner Bros, I had to wake him and make sure he could stay awake to watch Firecracker, who is crawling now.  I think that it's a given that we didn't make it to church yesterday.

Yes, you read correctly.  Last Monday, the Firecracker finally decided to start crawling.  Now she is everywhere.  I am thrilled and freaked out at the same time.  It's funny, but she decided to start doing several things at one time.  She's crawling, she's trying to push and pull herself up now, and she's giving kisses like crazy.
She crawled into the toy basket.

I think what I like the most about Firecracker crawling is that she'll pick up a book and bring it to me to read.  She'll pick the book that she wants, and it's just so, so , so amazing to watch her personality grow and develop in front of me.

Today I took her to a pediatric optometrist for her infant eye exam.  She has a healthy set of eyes, but she is her Mom and Dad's girl.  She also has astigmatism.  Right now, nothing will be done correctively, but when she's three we'll have her examined again and go from there.
She is NOT a morning girl.

We would joke about the probability that she'll have to wear glasses, since B and I both do.  Still yet, knowing that my perfect baby girl with her perfectly sweet eyes will likely have to wear glasses in a few years is something to get used to.  I can't wait to try and have a three year old keep up with glasses.  It is good to be aware of this early though.  B and I both weren't diagnosed until we were fairly old.  Things like sports might have been much easier for us.
She will wake up for shopping.

As usual, a little retail therapy at Barnes and Noble, Target, and PetSmart made Little Miss Firecracker a happy girl.  Be sure to check out for Part Two of Catching Up later, whenever I get around to writing it.
Protecting our eyes

Oh, please pray for my friends E Louise Bates, Cath, and beautifulmonday.  They are all in or have been in the path of Sandy.

Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week

Friday, October 12, 2012

~ Let your actions make it clear to your loved ones that you love them, and for all to know whose child you are.  All of our days are numbered, and we never know when it may be our time.

~ I think that our Vice President moonlights as The Joker.

~ I'm a huge supporter of "Beans" everywhere and their rights.

~ I'm also a huge fan of the ladybug invasion that has taken over our house.  You know, when the bean sprouts.

~  I've started listing raising Firecracker as part of my exercise regimen when going to the doctor.  My GYN didn't say anything against that.  Of course, part of that exercise is this... Try walking a golden retriever who wants to chase squirrels and rabbits while having twenty pounds of happily flailing, screeching eight month old on you.  It's a workout, trust me.

~ Oh, tomorrow is OU / Texas.  If you know me, you know where my loyalties lean.

Source: via Leah on Pinterest

Leave Nothing To Doubt

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Every night between 10:15 and midnight Firecracker sort of wakes up, needing to be pulled from the top of her crib or given a lost paci.  Most nights, I'm the one to go upstairs and take care of whatever she needs.  Last night when I heard her, I found B upstairs, standing over her crib, seeing to her needs, and just watching over and cherishing her.  I stood there with him for a bit, but then I left him alone to watch over her as she slept, because I knew that was what he needed just then.  He needed to just watch his baby girl sleep.

You see, by then we had spent a great deal of time the past two days watching the coverage  of tributes to my friend Matt Turner, whom I mentioned Sunday was killed in an automobile accident Saturday evening.  It's been difficult for many reasons.  Watching our friends who had the unenviable task of first breaking the news Sunday during the five and ten, then memorializing our friend yesterday was particularly difficult.  However, the most heart wrenching aspect of all of this was that Matt left his brother, his widowed mother, his wife of five years, and especially his beloved 10 month old daughter, Preslee.  Throughout a debilitating illness, he and Julee tried for so long to have a baby, and Preslee was the product of successful IVF.  You can read about their journey on Julee's blog, which she is still updating.

The public lost a trusted anchor whom they allowed into their living rooms every night.  Those who knew him lost a friend.  Julee lost a devoted husband and best friend.  Preslee lost her Daddy, and she's too young to really remember him and to know him.  I think that's what gets a great many of us the most, you know.  They tried so hard to keep Matt alive, quite honestly, always trying to diagnose what was wrong with him.  I watched him struggle day after day to make it on set, only for the public to never know anything was wrong with him.  Then they tried and worked so hard to have that precious baby girl, and he's just gone now.

So, I completely understood why B needed to just watch Firecracker sleep last night, why he almost didn't want to tell me goodnight after then as we went to sleep, and why I found a particularly sweet and insightful Facebook status that he posted after I was asleep.
It's days like this - hearing all the stories about Matt Turner - and thinking about what he left behind, that makes me stop and think how precious life is. How tomorrow it could be a loved one or myself in his place or going through what his wife is experiencing. I just can't fathom not seeing Firecracker grow up or having to raise her without Adrienne; yet I feel very deeply for Julee and Preslee and their future without Matt. It is a good reminder to make sure those around you know you love them; because as the Garth song goes, "If Tomorrow Never Comes". One day, possibly all too soon, each of us will see the day when our tomorrow doesn't come.

Even if you didn't know Matt, please pray for Julee and Preslee - for strength and guidance for years to come. Also pray for his coworkers that have had the most difficult job of grieving while being on and behind the scenes of live TV reporting on and honoring their friend.
My husband, while being a very sweet, feeling man is still a man who rarely shows when something affects him - much less publicly.   Matt's passing has truly touched us at our very core, reminding us that we should never leave anything to doubt.

No one doubts that Matt loved Julee, Preslee, their dog Romeo, or the rest of their friends and family.  He was a caring person who was always taking care of others.  One of our last conversations was when I took Firecracker to the station after she was born to show her off, and he wanted to make sure I wasn't suffering from post-partum depression.  We also don't doubt his faith, and where he is today.  He didn't have to wear an "I'm a Christian" shirt for people to know it.  His life showed it every day.

It's so easy to take our loved ones for granted and not let them know how very precious they are to us.  Don't let them ever doubt or wonder, make it clear.  Also, please don't leave eternity up to doubt.  Know where you're going and live your life so that others know it as well.  Appreciate each day you have with your spouse, your children, and all of your loved ones for the gift and blessing that it is.  Thank God that you have them, and that they still have you as well.  I know that I do, even more so now.

In honor of my friend, I won't post here or on Twitter tomorrow.  I, like so many of our friends, am unable to attend Matt's funeral, but I will still give him and his family the curtesy of a silent, prayerful day.

Some day, I'll see my friend again.  He'll probably say something like, "AG!  Hold all my calls, I'm expecting one from the governor!" That was always a joke he liked to say when someone new was around.

Matthew 11:28-30

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

What I've Learned In Eight Months

Sunday, October 7, 2012

~ It is possible to take a road trip with a seven-month-old.
~ Firecracker is not in any hurry to crawl, especially if anyone is looking.  She'd rather be devious about it.
~ Being read to is getting much more interesting, and she reaches for books more often now.
~ She doesn't really care for snow in her face.

~ Lemonade is the best drink - ever!
~  She absolutely loves hiking and walking across the Royal Gorge Bridge.

~ Her baby cousin is all right, but he'll be more fun when he takes the toys she tries to share with him.

~ She's a little afraid of eating big people food.  She wants to eat it.  She knows it's better than baby food, but you can tell she's afraid of choking.
~ Lucy likes to curl up on the spare bed with her for morning catnap, but she doesn't want any proof in pictures to exist.
~ "Mama" is a word Firecracker uses when she's upset or angry.
~ FacetTiming with Daddy is almost as good as having him home with us.

~ She is just so much fun these days.
~ Each and every day is an adventure and a blessing.

The Smaller World

Friday, October 5, 2012

B has been and will be in Chicago until Saturday  We'll have him home a couple of days, then he'll have to be out of town again.  This seems to be our pattern for the next several weeks.  Though it is a little lonelier and a bit more difficult for me with him away so much, I understand that it's a part of his job.  That job pays for our home, our clothes, the food we eat, and allows us to be comfortable enough for me to stay home with Firecracker.  It's really more difficult for Firecracker than any of the rest of us, because she misses her "Da Da."  Though I have to say that with the conveniences of modern day technology, it's nowhere near as difficult as it could be for her.

My dad was a brakeman and conductor for the Kansas City Southern railroad.  That meant he was "out" for stretches at time to places like Shreveport, LA, DeQueen, AR, and Pittsburgh, KS working on the trains.  Twenty-five years ago, no one had cell phones, and no one made long distance or collect calls unless it as an absolute emergency.  That was back in the day when long distance companies would air commercials telling us how special and important long distance calls were and basically show us how special they were.  So, I would go days at a time without seeing or talking to my father.  I never thought that it was odd really.  It was just the way things were, and honestly most everyone else in town's dad worked on the railroad as well, so it was the norm in Heavener, OK at the time.  Being able to talk to him on the phone nightly would have been wonderful.  Being able to FaceTime with him....  let's just say I might not have quite so few memories of him.

So, B is having to be out of town a lot this fall.  It's not always ideal, but it's doable.  Every night, B can bid Firecracker a good night not just with his voice, but they can see each other.  It's truly a wonderful thing to witness.  So, when I may start to complain because he's out of town so often, I have to remember that due to technology the world is a much smaller place than it was when I was in Firecracker's shoes, and she can see her Daddy every day - no matter where he is.

Where, Oh Where Have I Been?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things have been a little quiet here lately.  Why?  Well, last week we were on vacation.  So where all have I been?  Let's see....  Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas again, Missouri again, home to Arkansas, then yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with my head in the toilet with one NASTY case of food poisoning.  B had to come home and take care of Firecracker.

I'll tell you all about the vacation soon, but not today.  Today, I'm just getting my strength back though. You can learn a little about our trip by reading a blog created for Firecracker's Monkey.  http://monkeyadventres.tumblr.com/

Toeing the Mommy Line

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Firecracker has always been exceptionally good about going to bed.  She's been known to push her Daddy away, because she was ready to curl up in bed with Lady and Lambie.   Never has she ever shown any sign of separation anxiety when we've tucked her into her crib and gone downstairs... until tonight.

Tonight was a little different from the get-go.  She and I went grocery shopping at Walmart (having been to Sam's and Target the two previous days) this evening while B mowed the yard.  When we got home, we ate supper, and it was too dark to play outside with Lucy and Dory like we usually do.  I got her into her bath later than usual, because we were having too much fun downstairs, trying to get her to crawl.  After her bath, she took her last couple of ounces of formula, then I turned off the TV and sang "Baby Mine" to her.  She seemed calm and ready for bed.

I handed her to B, who had just gotten out of the shower, and he took her to bed.  My first sign should have been when she reached for me as I handed her to her Daddy.  I realized that I hadn't kissed her goodnight, and ran upstairs to do so.  We got ready to come back downstairs once she was tucked in, when she just started screaming and crying.

Once she saw me, she stopped.  We tried this again and again, so I picked her up and rocked her in her glider a bit.  I put her back in bed and more of the same happened.  Every time I walked out of her sight, she would cry - complete with tears streaming down her face.

Finally, I decided that I didn't need to foster this behavior and would just go on downstairs even if she started crying again.  I left, she started, I didn't come running, and she stopped very after just a few wails.  For some reason, she didn't want want me out of her sight.

As a mother, part of me is thrilled that she needs me and wants me.  Then I remember how my own mother still craves that thrill, and says and does things to her adult children to try to unhealthily cultivate that need in us.  Also, as stated earlier, I knew that I didn't need to foster a need to have me in the room with Firecracker at all times.  I want her to always love sleeping in her own bed.  I want her to not need to sleep in the same room as us.  Yes, she can join us when she's scared or doesn't feel well, but I don't think it's healthy for her to have to sleep in our room every night.  It's not healthy for her or our marriage.

Still yet, because she has never done this before, I was tempted to stay with her.  Hearing those cries; those "Momma don't leave me!" type cries, just tore at my soul.  I am not a cold, unfeeling person.  I don't want her to ever think that I'm a cold, unfeeling person.  I want to pick her up when she really needs me, and always - always give her love and comfort.  I don't want her to think that she needs me when she doesn't.  I want her to be strong on her own.  I definitely don't want to become the mother who secretly loves when her child is upset and needs her.  Oh what line we toe as mothers.

The good news since I started this post after midnight last night, is that Firecracker slept all through the night once she went to sleep.  She was fine, and she knew it.

The Need For Routine

Monday, September 3, 2012

"That's another thing we could do today...."

B has been spouting that line off to me this long weekend.   It's hot again here thanks to Isaac pushing the jet stream to the north, and B is trying to fill his free time.  Yesterday I went along with some of it.  Saturday we already had plans, so it wasn't an issue.  Today though...   Today is pretty much a normal Monday for me, which means Laundry Day.

Now, don't get me wrong, I wash laundry almost every day of the week, but Monday and Tuesday are when I do the bulk of the washing.  I still keep the house picked up, do dishes, and take care of other every day things, but I mostly spend my work time sorting, washing, folding, and putting up laundry.  I hate to get behind in the laundry, because that means eventually there will be a giant stack of clean things that needs to be folded and put away just sitting, waiting on the spare bed.  Right now, we've got too much going on for me to not do the laundry today and instead find some other special project.  So, I  nipped that talk right in the bud and told B that he could stop finding things for me to do today, because my day was already filled, and that I also had the added job of ironing his clothes to wear to work this week today, because we didn't do that yesterday.

Basically, the thing is that I HAVE A ROUTINE!  DON"T MESS WITH IT!!!  Firecracker and I have a very good Monday - Friday routine that allows some flexibility to get out, go to appointments, see people, and such, but when we're home we try to stick to our routine.  It makes for a much happier Mama and baby.  I know, because it took us two-three months to develop a good routine.

When we first brought Firecracker home from the hospital, I don't know what I was thinking or even if I was thinking clearly or at all.  We were all three a little lost and rather than set up a routine, we just let things happen.  A bit of a routine started when we were told we HAD to make her wake up and eat every three hours.  Oy, I don't miss that part of those days.  I started trying to create a routine when B went back to work also, but Firecrackers napping schedule was all over the place.

By the time she was two months old, I had almost reached my breaking point, because I couldn't really tell if Firecracker was hungry, sleepy, or just fussy.  She wouldn't nap properly, and I wasn't getting any time to just breathe.  Then I realized that she really needed a set routine just as much as I did.  We both needed to be able to rely on knowing what to expect and when to expect it.  So I did a little online research and found info on The Baby Whisperer's EASY method.  Everything I read made complete sense to me.

Eat - Feed the baby.
Activity - Play with the baby, do tummy time, that sort of thing.
Sleep  - When the baby starts to show signs of sleepiness, put down for a nap.
You - Use baby's nap time for you to sleep, clean yourself, eat, rest, WHATEVER YOU NEED.

At first this routine should be repeated every three hours, until evening when you might not want baby to sleep so long, but eat more so he/she'll maybe sleep more through the night.  Sleeping through the night has never really been an issue for us though.  Anyway, there are charts to use.  When Firecracker was between four and five months old, we transitioned from a Three-hour EASY to a Four-hour EASY, with longer intervals between everything.   Basically now we've built our own routine based on EASY, but that works.

Firecracker wakes up in the morning, and I feed her a cereal/fruit mix breakfast.  Then she takes most of a six-ounce bottle.  We then go upstairs so I can shower.  She plays on a blanket in the bathroom floor.  Once I've showered and dressed, I clean her and change her into her day's clothes.  Then I dry my hair with her on the spare-room bed.  She usually passes out for a short nap while I do this.  Then we go downstairs, and play until lunch time.  At lunch she eats a jar of fruit then takes eight ounces of formula.  We play a bit, then she goes down for her long afternoon nap.  We'll play some more, then she'll have an afternoon bottle of eight ounces.  We play some more, and she'll usually take a cat nap in her jumparoo while I cook dinner.  She eats a vegetable while we eat dinner, then we play with the dogs.  After that, she gets eight ounces of formula, takes her bath, comes down for a moment and takes a night-cap two-four ounces of formula then is ready for bed.

I'll get up before Firecracker to take care of the dogs' morning needs, unload the dishes from the night before from the dishwasher, and start loading any that have since accumulated.  I may also pick up around the house and take the previous day's laundry upstairs to sort.  Throughout the day, I'll do my tasks that keep the house running in fairly good order.  This leads to a fairly busy and full day for me, but it works for us.

Everyone in our family thrives on routine.  The dogs expect to be fed and pottied at certain times throughout the day.  B has grown used to having a dusted house, clean sheets every week, clean and folded laundry in the drawers, and such.  Firecracker is happy knowing what to expect.  I'm happy, because there is order.

Some people may be better letting whatever will be will be, but in our house routine is a wonderful, wonderful thing that allows us the ability to enjoy ourselves more when we have free time, because there's little that needs to be caught up.  To me, messing with routine is a lot like wearing a bathing suit to go snow skiing.  It just doesn't work.

Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week

Saturday, August 25, 2012

~ It was supposed to rain today...  It was supposed to rain today, so I planned my day and attire accordingly.  I planned to spend the day just hanging around the house,  I threw my hair into a ponytail, because it was going to be all rainy and gross outside.  I wore a pair of yoga pants which when last I wore them some time in the spring were still skin tight and now are quite loose on me, because it was going to be cold and damp.  It didn't rain today.  The ponytail was no big deal.  The baggy yoga pants felt very hot when we all went outside to play with Lucy and Dory this afternoon.  It will likely rain tomorrow when we're out and about, going to church.  So goes the world.

~  I'm am so sick of seeing and mostly hearing Target's back to school ads, that I'm tempted to never shop there again.  They're really that annoying.  Of course, once those are shelved for the year, they'll probably bring out those annoying Black Friday and Christmas ones with that horribly annoying woman who played "Carol of the Bells" with Christmas cards last year.

~  Eating grass isn't good for Dory.  She was about one day away from visiting Dr. Turner and getting a plug of grass surgically taken out, because it was starting to cause a blockage.  Thankfully it came out on its own eventually.

~Dory hates listening to Taylor Swift, and I love it.  You can see her reaction here.

~  In my house, a reading of Goldilocks and the Three Bears constitutes a lesson on thermodynamics.

~  The Firecracker likes to swing.

~I've decided that I'm going to load my phone full of Sam Phillips music and play it as I go about my day so that I can feel like I'm in Star's Hollow or Paradise, the small towns where Gilmore Girls and Bunheads are set.

~ We're still debating between Hulu Plus and Netflix Streaming.  What are your thoughts?  I, personally am leaning more toward Hulu Plus, because I'm more of TV watcher than movies.

~  I love local t-shirt shops and wish they all did this.  I'm thinking of getting B this for Christmas, and would love to be able to do it with the shops up here.  Actually it would be cooler if somehow we could do it with onsies too.

~ Lucy wants Firecracker to be about four years old, so she can really play.

~ RIP Neil Armstrong.

~  There's only ONE week until the College Football season starts!!!  I am so ready for football season, even if Landry Jones is still OU's quarterback.   Can I get a Boomer Sooner or a Woo Pig Sooie?

~  Books are good - in every way.

What I've Learned In Six Months:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ok, so this one is a couple of weeks late, but it's still good.  I'm trying to not mix in things that will apply to seven months, because it's getting fun now.

~  Don't let Firecracker take a different stuffie to bed, because she'll just get upset and throw it as far away from her as possible.  It MUST be Lady to her right, and Lambie to her left.

~  Baths have always been fun, but they're so much more so now that Firecracker can sit without help.  Just NEVER turn your back.

~ Toes are meant to be sucked.

~ Playing piano is very fun.

~ Clapping hands isn't interesting, but clapping feet is.

~ The dogs' nylabones look very tempting.

~  Tree leaves are to be studied.

~ The Olympics are fun to watch.

~  When it's too hot to do anything outside, things get boring fast.

~ Marching bands are fun, but then they get too loud.

~ Don't put Firecracker in her dress until you get to church.  She'll always poop a big, nasty one on the ride in the car.

~Coloring looks fun, but colors don't taste good.

~Prunes apparently taste good.  So do carrots, squash, pears, apples, and a lot of mixtures.

~ Pureed ham and ham gravy does NOT taste good.   We're not trying that again.

~ Feltner Bros. fries are yummy.  Any others aren't.

 ~ Six months is I think a blessed grace period for Mommy.  Firecracker can now sit unassisted in the floor and play by herself for fairly long periods of time.  However, she can't yet crawl.  This is wonderful for me.  Just wonderful.

A Weekend In Pictures

Monday, August 20, 2012

I spent my blogging time this morning finishing the rough draft of a special post I have scheduled to publish Labor Day Weekend, so today I'm going to take it a little easy and show you our weekend in pictures.  It was quite a busy weekend for us.

Friday after B got home from work, we went shopping for several clothing items we all need before our trip to Colorado next month.  Poor Firecracker needs everything.  The summer's been so hot that she has been getting by wearing just onesies over a diaper around the house, and maybe shorts with a onesie or a jumper when we've gone somewhere.  Though she has sandals, shoes have basically been something to wear to church.  Tracking down one stray sandal in JCPenney once is enough for me.  It's getting colder though, and I don't want her to look like an orphan child, so she now has shoes, pants, hoodies, a new dress, and she talked her Daddy into a pair of pink, suede boots.

After shopping, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Fayetteville, Celi's.  It's on the Square.  Our date couldn't stay awake for fried ice cream.

On Saturday, we had to fight the crowds to buy groceries.  Then, when we got home it was time to do something we've put off for way too long... bathe the dogs.

As you can see from the pictures below, neither was impressed, and it just exhausted poor Firecracker.

Sunday morning was church.  It was great to be back after having missed the past two Sundays due to being out of town and Firecracker running a fever from her shots.  Our pastor has been preaching some really outstanding sermons lately, and Firecracker loves going to the nursery.  Can't you tell, she just hates going to church?

Sunday evening, we had our usual weekend dinner at Feltner Bros. then stopped at Lake Fayetteville on the drive home so Firecracker could play on the swings.  She hated those too, can't you tell?

I live for days and weekends like this.

Not Quite Fifty Shades of Crazy

Friday, August 17, 2012

I often say that I'm going to end up in a straight jacket some day.  Usually I add that thus far, Firecracker isn't the one sending me there.   Most of the time B isn't either.  No, the two culprits who will someday cause me to need a straight jacket and a padded cell are none other than Lucy and Dory.  How are they crazy, you ask?  Oh let me just count the ways.

  1. Lucy is afraid.... of everything.  She is afraid of umbrellas, roses, cats, spiders, thunder, lightning, fireworks, old people, little dogs, and the dark at least.  She also has to sniff any food we give her lest it be poisonous.
  2. Somewhere in my potty training of Lucy, she got it in her head that I have to witness every poop she makes.  So, I have to go outside with her to poop.  If I don't, she'll often do her business in front of a window so I can see.
  3. That has rubbed off on Dory, and though she'll poop without me, she'll show me her latest one whenever she gets a chance.
  4. Dory doesn't like to eat without Lucy.  Lucy would rather eat whenever and often skips meals until odd hours of the day.  Dory will sometimes not eat because of this.  Sometimes, she'll herd Lucy into the kitchen and force her to eat with her.
  5. Dory loves to swim and splash through lakes and rivers, but won't do her business outside if the grass is wet.  She had to go this morning, so she pooped as close to the house as possible.
  6. The can both spell P-L-A-Y and B-U-B-B-L-E-S.
  7. So help me if someone does handy work on a neighbor's house, they'll bark non-stop, all.day.long.
  8. If we don't clear the dishes as soon as we eat supper, Lucy will get in our faces until we do.  Then Dory will get in her face for getting into our faces.
  9. Dory wants me out of bed with her by eight every morning.
  10. Lucy would prefer to sleep until nine.
  11. If the battery is dying in a smoke detector, Lucy will hide in the tub until the beeping stops.
  12. They both love watching football.  Dory takes pointers and will tackle you when you play football with her.
  13. They can hear a package of cheese open from a mile away.
  14. They snore and are bed hogs.
  15. Lucy has to be force fed pills.
  16. But, I love them.  I even love them for their quirks.
Oh, and just to show that B and Firecracker are also crazy, here's a few for them:
  1. B marks each pair of his white socks with a symbol, then always has to match each sock accordingly so they all get equal wear.
  2. Firecracker has to sleep every night with Lady on her right side, and Lambie on her left.  She brought Lion to bed with her one night recently.  I heard her yell after a while, found her on the opposite end of the bed, and she had thrown Lion to the other.  He didn't belong.
  3. Firecracker also must sleep with one soft blanket next to her, and a quilt on top of that.  Never change the order.

A Day In the Life....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Once upon a time in what now seems like a very, very long time ago, I had this hair-brained idea that once I was a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I would get up around six every morning and bike a mile with each dog before the start of each day.  It wasn't entirely unfeasible either.  When Lucy was an only child, I did that with her one summer when it was really hot, and I wanted to make sure she got enough exercise.  Back then I even got up around 5:30 to do it, because I got up at 6 for work.  Now, I sometimes struggle to get out of bed at 7:30.  Why do I have such a hard time getting up in the mornings?  Let me tell you....

Sometime after six in the morning and dawn, two dogs start to wake up and decide that they A.) need to potty, and B.) that they're hungry.  Usually both Dory and Lucy decide to snuggle up with me about this time.  We all know that we need to get up, but none of us want to.  Then around 6:45, B's alarm will go off for the first time.  He will reset it for ten-fifteen minutes more usually at least twice more before he decides to get out of bed.  Some days, the girls (or at least Dory, because Lucy likes to stay in bed longer) and I get up before him, but most days we at least get up when he finally does.

While B showers, we'll go to the back yard, and Dory will go pee pee.  Then, after sniffing around the yard a while, Lucy does too.  Sometimes they'll both poop then, but often Dory at least has to eat first.  So, then we'll go in, and I'll feed them breakfast.  Dory will wait either for Lucy to start eating or until I tell her not to wait on Lucy.  Sometimes Dory makes Lucy eat her breakfast when Lucy would rather roll around on the floor or find a pair of dirty socks to carry around the house.  Then, we'll go outside for round two, and once everyone or at least one of them has pooped, they'll get a Dentastix treat.

By then, if Firecracker isn't awake, I'll unload the clean dishes that were washed in the dishwasher the night before and start filling it with whatever has accumulated throughout the day.  Then, if there is time, I'll sort the previous day's laundry and maybe pick up the house some.  There are always baby and dog toys to be put up and shoes that should go in our closet.  Then, Firecracker is usually awake, and I'll eat a bowl of cereal while feeding her a small bowl of her cereal and fruit after changing her out of the previous night's diaper.  After she finishes her cereal, we'll sit in the recliner for an 8 oz. bottle of formula, and I'll put our dishes in the dishwasher.

After breakfast is finally over, it is often around or after nine in the morning.  Then, I finally get to take a shower with Firecracker watching from her no-longer-bouncy-bouncy seat.  Usually by the time I get around to conditioner, she's tired of being in the bathroom.  She's often downright yelling at me on the days I shave my legs, hence all of the cuts.  Once I'm dried, deodorized, moisturized, and dressed, I'll then wash off Firecracker's face and other regions before lotioning and dressing her for the day.  Then, I'll place her on the spare-room bed with a paci and a couple of toys while I dry my hair.  That's about two or so hours after she first woke up.  So, between the time she had been awake and the white noise from my hair dryer, Firecracker usually will fall asleep for a nice catnap.  I usually try to get my blogging and some other things done then.  Sometimes the catnap lasts twenty minutes.  Sometimes it can last an hour.  However long it lasts, life is much more pleasant when she either gets that or a form of it while traveling somewhere in the car.

After her catnap, we usually make our way back downstairs and play in the floor together until it's time to eat lunch.  Then, I'll make myself something to eat, and Firecracker gets to eat a vegetable or fruit.  After that, it's time for her midday bottle.  Then we usually play again for a while, then we go upstairs for story time.  Dory almost always comes up with us for this.  Lucy does sometimes.  After that, Firecracker goes down for her afternoon nap.  Sometimes it can take a while to get her to take that nap, even though she always needs it.  That one usually lasts at least an hour.  Sometimes it lasts longer, sometimes less than an hour.

Depending on the time she wakes from her afternoon nap, we either play for a bit, or we have our afternoon bottle.  After that, we have more play time until B gets home from work - usually some time between six and seven at night, though it's not unheard of to be later.  Once B gets home, I start cooking dinner, and he'll take over Firecracker duties.  Firecracker gets a vegetable now while we eat our dinner.  I try to get the dishes cleared and in the dishwasher right after we eat.  If not,  B or I will do it while the other feeds Firecracker her night bottle later.  Then the fun begins.

After dinner, we all go outside and play with Lucy and Dory.  Firecracker especially loves flying through the air, chasing the girls.  They like it too.  The back yard is often filled with squeals of laughter.  After that, it's time for Firecracker's nighttime bottle.  Then it's bath time.  After bath time, we often need to play a bit more, then we take a couple of ounces of formula in what we call a "night cap" bottle with a slow-flow nipple.  Then we put her to bed at night.  Usually we'll have to go upstairs a couple of times to recover her and put a paci back in her mouth before she's out for the night.

By this time, it could be anywhere from nine at night to ten.  Depending on the night and our moods, this is time for Mom and Dad.  No matter what else, we both usually need a back popping.  Frankly I'll be a very compliant wife for a good back pop and head rub at night. :)

No matter what's going on, we usually take Lucy and Dory to potty one last time, then the four of us get into  bed between 11:30 and midnight.   I would like to read then or write, be it blog or fiction, but I've learned that once my eyes start crossing it's time to turn off my lamp and get to sleep.  Unfortunately it's summer, and I usually wake in an hour or two with insomnia.  I have never slept well in the hottest part of the summer.  That can go on for a while before I get back to sleep.  It's very miserable.

So, I haven't made the effort to get up early to bike with the dogs, because I don't do anything at all during the day.  Unless you count the laundry, dusting cleaning, vacuuming, and mopping I manage to mix into this routine each day.  It's a good routine though.  It has evolved a great deal in the past six months, and it works for us.  It's flexible enough that we can get out on do things without messing up the eating / sleeping part too much.  I will admit that on the days Firecracker wakes up early, I often find myself wondering, "What on earth am I going to do with her?" because especially with it being so hot these days, we run out of things to do.

Maybe if I get to sleep well tonight, and no one, be it baby, dog, or husband wakes me for any reason, I'll want to get up early and bike.  Maybe.  I should probably air my tires just in case.

Pieces of Advice For My Daughter: Part One

Monday, August 6, 2012

Today Firecracker is six months old. Six months ago, I was trying to sleep, knowing that I would be going in at 5:30 in the morning to be prepped for my Caesarean. Six months ago, my water broke while I tried to sleep. In that six months, I've read several lists of things from mothers to daughters. Many of them are very long, and I lose interest or have to take care of Firecracker, so I don't ever read them completely. So, I'm splitting my advice to Firecracker into parts, hopefully four of them. It is still a work in progress. Here are the first 25 plus a couple more:
  1. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. 
  2. You were wanted a very long before you were conceived.
  3.  Laughter really is often the best medicine, but learn when it is and is not appropriate. 
  4. Be the friend you want others to be to you. 
  5. Learn and remember the difference between fake, overly sweet people and those who are sincerely good. 
  6. Don’t waste time with the insincere ones. 
  7. Honesty is never going out of style. 
  8. Just because no one can see you doing something wrong, doesn’t make it right. 
  9. Don’t let someone else define who you are.  Know yourself and love yourself so others can as well. 
  10. Don’t waste your time on people who try to play games. Games are meant to be played with balls and bats, not other people. You are neither a chess piece nor the boot in Monopoly. 
  11. It may seem like I let you fall more often than your friends’ mothers do, but it’s just because I want you to be able to pick yourself up, off the ground. 
  12. I’m always ready to pick you up when you really need me. 
  13. Understand that life rarely goes the way we plan it.  Allow room for God to fulfill His plan and enjoy the ride. 
  14. There will always be bullies in life. Together, let’s learn to deal with them and grow from the experiences. 
  15. Don’t waste your time on irrational people. They're more likely to bring you down to their level than vice versa.
  16. It’s great to have a lot of friends, but popularity is overrated. If you do become popular, be popular for having a sharp mind and your kindness toward others. Don’t be popular for being dumb, rude, hurtful and / or easy. 
  17. Especially don’t be popular for being easy. Respect yourself more than that. 
  18. It’s always good to step back to assess then reassess a situation before reacting impulsively. 
  19. For all of your actions, there will be consequences. Make good decisions so as to have good consequences. 
  20. Learn how to shoot a gun. 
  21. Learn how to do anything you would normally want a man to do for you and do it better.
  22. Do let men open doors, and pull out chairs for you.  You should always be treated like a lady.
  23. Don’t be with a man because you need him to do things in your life, but because he makes you happy. 
  24. Don’t let celebrities tell you how to think, believe, or vote. Never take the lead in something so important from people who can only act at being wise. 
  25. Celebrities aren’t role models. Look to your teachers, Sunday School teachers, and real people in your life who work hard and are good and wise to be your role models. 
  26. Always think for yourself.  Don’t be swayed by herd mentality. Following the herd and not thinking for yourself will get you trampled in a stampede and send you off of a cliff. 
  27. Know that you are and always will be loved.

Lessons Learned & Other Random Things From This Week: Quoting Blanche Devereaux and Such

Friday, August 3, 2012

~ Lucy's skittishness over thunder, lightning, fireworks, umbrellas, smoke detectors, and my Cabbage Patch Kids among other things gave me the perfect opportunity to use one of my favorite Blanche Devereaux quotes from The Golden Girls.   She was "...as jumpy as a virgin at a prison rodeo."  She really was too.

~  I've essentially given up trying to watch the Olympics for the thrill of hoping our people win.  When NBC delays everything good until prime time, but every news agency including NBC spoils the results on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and anything else.... well the thrill of victory and agony of defeat just aren't that thrilling after all.

~ I don't know if I'm more disgusted that Ryan Lochte admits and is proud of being basically a big man-whore, or that his mother knows and is sharing that knowledge with the world.  Someone should probably just go ahead and put him on penicillin.

~ Wednesday, I supported a business that I believe is being unfairly targeted by hate groups disguised as groups seeking tolerance and met some wonderful people in the process.

~ I still hate having my eyes dilated.  Not having to do that last year was one of the perks of being pregnant.

~ I shared with the world my reasons for choosing to have Firecracker via Caesarean.

~ I also started compiling a list of things I would and wouldn't do differently in the baby gear department if we have another.

~ Wednesday I was certain Firecracker was teething.  She's acting normal now, so who knows?  I'm afraid the first tooth is going to be a long process.

~Wednesday was also Dory Gale's third birthday.  Every year has been better than the first she spent with us.  She ran into a stick, of all things, impaled her leg, and had to have internal stitches and external staples, AND wear the Cone of Shame for ten days.

~ While at the Optometrist yesterday, I asked her to recommend a pediatric optometrist to check Firecracker's eyes, now that she's almost six months old.  When I got home, I told B that I needed to make her an appointment with a pediatric obstetrician.  I thought I was married to Mr. Malaprop, but I guess I really am his Missus.

I Ate Chick Fil-A Yesterday, Twice

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I said that I wasn't going to say anything else on the subject, but I have to say one more bit....

Yesterday, on Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day, I ate their food... twice.  Why did I do it?  I must hate gay people, right?  WRONG!  You couldn't be any more wrong there.  That's like saying I hate black people because I didn't vote for Barack Obama rather than the fact that I don't agree with him on much of anything politically.  Neither does Chick Fil-A nor their president hate gay people, if you read his interview with The Baptist Press correctly.  I supported Chick Fil-A yesterday, because I believe that it was the right thing to do.  They have every right to run their business in any legal way they want to and have been successful at it.  Mr. Cathy is protected by the First Amendment in stating that "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit..."  Never once did he state that he hated gays.

That to me, makes everyone who started this controversy very guilty of something B and I have encountered in our many fights over the past eight and a half years, putting words in his mouth.  When we're fighting, we have to stop, because it is very easy and tempting to distort what the other person says into what we want it to be in order to further our own agenda.  That's why there was such a big turn out yesterday.  People, christians are tired of being called every name in the book, just because we follow what we believe - as the Cathy family has in running Chick Fil-A.  We're tired of being called bigoted, racist, haters when for most of us, it is so very far from true.

If anyone cared to get their facts correct, on a July 31 press release, Chick Fil-A reiterated their stance of, "...The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators..."  I think that was probably put to the test yesterday when protestors stood outside some Chick Fil-A's while supporters lined the streets.  There is word that the store on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith handed out lemonade to their protestors, a very Christ-like thing to do even though they are hated for running their business with Christian principles.  You won't see that on any news source, local or national though. 

I was greatly disappointed in the coverage of the event.  Locally it seemed more time was spent talking to protestors and trying to find out if Mr. Cathy broke some sort of law, which he didn't.  The few supporters who did make the final cut on the air were the ones who didn't get it, and sounded as bigoted as the real haters claim we all are.

Last night B, Firecracker, and I stood in line for over an hour to get dinner.  We didn't do it to show off that we're these huge Christians.  We did it, because we believe that the Cathys have the right to run their business and give to whomever they want without being persecuted for it.  Mr. Cathy has a First Amendment right to say that he believes in supporting the traditional family.  That doesn't mean he hates people.  You don't have to be gung ho for something to not hate it or the people doing it.  There's far too much of this whole, whoever isn't for us 100% must hate us mentality.

We met some really nice people while standing in line.  People who, like us, are tired of being silent and taking a beating from the militant minority.  Personally I'm sick of being labeled as a racist, a bigot, ignorant, uneducated, and just generally stupid because I am a Christian, conservative woman who is pro-life, pro-capitalism, pro-guns, and basically pro-America, who finds the leftist agenda of our President, the media, and many activist groups to be appalling, dishonest, and abusive.  I proudly cling to my God and my guns and agree with my pastor who stated recently that "Those preaching tolerance are usually the most intolerant."  I've found that statement to be especially true lately by all the hateful, vitriolic comments coming from those opposed to Mr. Cathy and Chick Fil-A.

So, yesterday I stood up to what I believe is little more than mass media bullying of a good, respectable business.  I stood up, to show my daughter that we don't just talk the talk, but we walk the walk.  I stood in line, because this is still America, and we still believe in God and the right to run a business with Godly principles.

Also, to those who still proclaim we have a message of hate toward our fellow man, if you're in need of clothing and live in Northwest Arkansas, please visit First Baptist Church of Bentonville on Saturday for our annual free clothing giveaway.  We took Firecracker to take a load today to donate, because we want to instill in her a giving, loving, compassionate heart.  Also, visit again in December for the Christmas Store.
Romans 1:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

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