Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Frustrations

I am a Christmas fanatic. Seriously... I'm a freak about Christmas movies, music, cookies, decorating, lights, caroling, etc... And do you know what? I think I own more Christmas socks than anyone I know (Thanks to John) :-) It's a wonderful, beautiful holiday and each year after it's over I get sad. I'm also one of those people that starts to celebrate super early and I usually annoy people by listening to Christmas music in late September.

HOWEVER, I'm sick and gosh darned tired of the way that our society "perverts" the birthday of the King of Kings. It's all about rushing out to get the best deal on stupid gifts or going into debt to buy presents for everyone and their brother. In my opinion, it's ridiculous. Did you hear that a Wal Mart employee in LA was actually killed on Black Friday because all of these eager shoppers plowed over him???? I happen to wonder if that makes Jesus sad that His birthday has been tainted so badly. This is not what Christmas is about.

I wish that I didn't have to support the stores during Christmas time, but unfortunately, I can't boycott this disturbing interpretation of the holiday because it would only hurt the people I buy for. I would be completely happy if I didn't have to give or receive a single present on Christmas... All I want is to enjoy the season for the miracle of Christ's birth and enjoy this special time of year without the hectic stress of shopping for so many people.

I assure you that I, of all people, am not a Scrooge... I just want Christmas to be a time of joy and not about stress. A song from my childhood comes to mind...

Come on, ring those bells,
Light the Christmas tree,
Jesus is the King
Born for you and me!
Come on, ring those bells,
Everybody say, "Jesus we remember it's your birthday!"

My goal is to remember Jesus' birthday in the midst of all of the holiday chaos. After all, just because the world doesn't seem to remember, why should I stop too?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had a wonderful day today! For the first time I hosted my very own Thanksgiving and if I do say so myself, everything turned out great. I have no catastrophes to report. I was the most satisfied with my turkey... It was cooked just perfectly and several people said that it was the most moist turkey they had ever had. Now THAT is a compliment:-) Now that the day is nearing the end, my back is sore, my neck hurts, and my feet are on fire, but that all comes with the territory! It's so worth it.

Despite my exhaustion, I wanted to take a few minutes and say what I'm the most thankful for:

*My wonderful husband who loves and supports me and provides a good living for us so I can stay home with our baby (soon to be babies!!). I can truly say that he is my best friend and I am so thankful to be his wife and to grow with him.

*Brooke! She is just amazing and every day I find something new to love about her. I look at her and my heart melts every single time. Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful to be her mommy!

*Baby #2! I'm 13 weeks along today and even though I don't know much about this baby yet, I'm already in love. I'm thankful that God is entrusting another child into our care. It very humbling.

*Godly parents. I am so lucky to have not only amazing parents, but in-laws too. Both my parents and John's parents have been married for over 25 years, which gives us a great example of marriage, and they also are Godly, faithful people who encourage us in our walk of life. I'm thankful to have so many examples of how to live my life.

*All of my basic needs are met... My beautiful home, food, clothing, cars, gas, money to pay the bills, and money in the bank. These are all material things that God could take away at any point, but I am thankful for His provision in our lives.

*My siblings. Between John's family and mine I have 7 siblings and I am blessed enough to see all of them often. I'm thankful for their friendship and support!

*God didn't just promise us eternal life one day in the future (which in and of itself is incredible), but He promised us an abundant life here on Earth and He equips us with all of the things we need to be prosperous. I'm thankful for the Lord's love and guidance.

I could go on and on about what I'm thankful for! God has so been so good to my family and me and while I like to recognize that on Thanksgiving, I hope to be as thankful all year long!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Chaos

I've been aloof these last couple of days because I've been busy cleaning and doing lots of prep work for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'm hosting about 20 people (John's family) and am SO excited, but there is still so much to be done!

Yesterday I did all of the shopping (and trust me, I spent a small fortune) and then last night I made homemade pumpkin pies with Patty and the brine for the turkey. So far today I've wrestled with our 25-pound turkey to get it into the brining solution and made a pistachio encrusted cheese log for one of the appetizers tomorrow. I'm about to go downstairs and make Jello pretzel salad, cheesecakes, and then chop up all of many veggies to make my life more easy tomorrow. I also have to clean like crazy and do a bunch of stuff around the house, but that's so hard because every time I clean up a mess another one is made.

Tomorrow I have to make homemade yeast rolls, assemble my apple cranberry stuffing, make ALL of my appetizer trays (cheese and crackers with sausage and pepperoni, stuffed mushrooms, veggies and homemade dip, pickle/olive tray), set up the tables, peel lots of potatoes, make sweet potato casserole, etc,etc, etc... CRAZY! I'm thinking that I'm not going to be seeing much of the parade tomorrow but it's okay. I love to entertain and I'm so very excited! I'm also excited that John and I won't have to leave the house at all tomorrow and that we don't have to hop from relative to relative. YAY! I'll miss my family but they're coming over for dessert after their dinner so I'll be able to see them a bit.

I'm so anxious about my turkey. What if it's raw? What if it's burnt? What if it's not done on time? YIKES! I love cooking and feel very comfortable in the kitchen but turkeys are a mystery to me, as this is my first one. Wish me luck!

Alrighty, everyone have a great Thanksgiving! I'll be on tomorrow to write my list of what I'm thankful for. I don't want to lose sight of that in the midst of my crazy schedule of planning for the holiday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Daddy and Brookie's Sunday Tradition

Ever since John has been on this new shift we have really enjoyed having him around on Sunday mornings to go to Sunday School and church with us! It almost makes this shift worth it!

Anyways, I am on the worship team at church, which means that I have to be there at 8:15 on Sunday mornings. When John didn't come to church I would have to bring Brooke and my dad would watch her while I practiced, but there's a new "ritual" in our house now and it's absolutely precious... John and Brooke use that time to go to McDonald's for pancakes. It's their special thing that they do each week and Brooke seriously talks about it all the time! Last night I said to her, "Hey Brookie, where do you go on Sunday mornings?" She screamed, "Donald's pancakes!!" I said, "Who takes you?" To which she replied, "Daddy take you pancakes." She then started to clap her hands and say, "YAY! B's cited (excited)!" It was the most adorable thing ever!

After worship practice my sister drops me off at McDonald's to meet my little family. When I walk in I see my beautiful daughter and my amazing husband, who is the best daddy, and they're sitting there laughing and talking. It melts my heart to watch the two of them together and sometimes I don't want to interrupt their special one-on-one time because it means so much to both of them. They don't mind if I barge in though:-)

It's the silly things like McDonald's pancakes that mean the world to a toddler. Isn't that special how simple they are and how something so small could mean so much? I hope this Sunday morning tradition continues for the years to come because it is so cute!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Such A Loner

Sometimes I feel sad for Brooke because she prefers to be alone so much. I know it sounds weird because she's happy and that's just her preference much of the time, but I don't ever want her to not get the "grease" because she's not the "squeaky wheel." Do you know what I mean? Just because she doesn't demand attention (except from people she's SUPER comfortable with), doesn't mean that she doesn't need it.

For example, last night Brooke and I were invited over to eat dinner with some people from church. My parents were there with Nathan (because they were babysitting) and the couple was also watching their grandchild, who is a five-year-old little girl. The little girl set up her kid table and thought it would be fun to eat with Nathan and Brooke. I was thinking that it would be a HORRIBLE thing because Brooke would eat nothing and be up constantly, but she shocked the fire out of me and sat there the entire dinner and tons and tons of food. I was so proud of how well she did. Anyways, to get to my point, the two older kids got up and left Brooke and she was just sitting there eating her fish, totally unphased by the fact that the two kids left her. I, on the other hand, was heartbroken that she was sitting all alone, and ran over to join her. The whole rest of the night the other kids were running all over like crazy but Brooke was content to sit in the living room with her dolly and not join in on the fun with the other kids.

Today we were at Barnes and Noble so Brooke could enjoy the amazing area that they have for kids. Once we got there and saw that there were many other kids there, Brooke got really quiet and apprehensive about playing and it took some coaxing on my part to get her off of my leg! The other kids were running like wild animals and she was just happy to sit back and watch. When she finally started to play this one little girl kept taking Brooke's things from her and she just looked up at her with those big, blue eyes and said, "Here go!"

These are all cute stories, but because I'm such a type-A personality and am extremely outgoing, I have no idea what it feels like to be introverted or shy. John is the same as Brooke... He enjoys solitude and being alone sometimes. He's content to sit back and watch when he's in an unfamiliar situation. He has done great in life so I'm sure that Brooke will be just fine, even though she's reserved.

This also sounds weird, but I'm kind of concerned that baby #2 will be much more high maintenance than Brooke and command my attention more. Brooke was an easy, easy, EASY baby so I think I have it coming. Regardless, I never want my special little princess to be lost in the shuffle because she's so happy to be alone.

I realize my kid is only 21-months-old and I'm already worried about silly things like this. Everyone can laugh now! Lol! I just care so much about her and I never, ever want to think about her being sad. Something tells me that it's not going to get any easier...

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Sweet Sound of a Heartbeat

I had my 12-week doctor appointment today and everything went great! I was a little anxious just because of the problems I had in the beginning of the pregnancy, but everything checked out perfectly! I was so nervous that the doctor would have a hard time finding the baby's heartbeat and that I would then panic, but much to my reassurance he found it right away... On the first place he tried, at that!! He or she has a heart rate somewhere in the 160's and hearing it was the most beautiful sound in the world. It never gets old, does it?

In other news, I have a non-sleeping toddler on my hands today. Brooke never gives me any trouble whatsoever about nap time or bedtime, but today, she screamed on and off throughout her nap (after falling asleep after 20 minutes of moaning and fussing) and tonight she screamed for 15 minutes or so before going to sleep. This is so not like her! I'm not quick to blame it on an ear infection or anything because she's not running a fever (and she always runs a high fever with ear infections). She did just get over a little cold though so there's a possibility. I'm going to see how she does tonight and then decide what to do with her in the morning.

The gosh darned furniture man was a no show again today. Isn't that ridiculous? UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!! He told me that he would be by at some point today and he didn't so much as give me a phone call. Who REALLY runs business like that? It's a family run business so it's not like I can go over his head and run to upper management or something because that's HIM. This place has been in business for 30 years and I just don't see how they've managed to be successful with this type of customer service. You bette believe he'll be getting a piece of my mind tomorrow.

Alrighty, only a couple of hours before John comes home. YAY! I'm off to clean up this messy house.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Always Something

I think that Murphy's Law was made for ME... "If something can go wrong, it will!" I love my life, but it's filled with so many chaotic inconveniences that sometimes I get discouraged. Let me demonstrate my point with my two latest crises:

*So, the new appliances are here! Let me just say... I LOVE my stove. It makes my kitchen look brand new and the fresh stove really brightens up the whole room. It also cooks great, which is obviously the most important thing. In addition, I love my new micro-hood, however, after my father-in-law and dad spent hours putting it up, I determined that it was too close to the stove and it looked stupid. Ugh:-( I wanted to cry. I had my mother-in-law and mom consoling me that "it looks nice from far away." Yeah... Not what I wanted to hear. It's also ridiculous because to use the knobs on my stove I practically have to bend myself in half and look under the micro-hood to see my controls in plain view. So, after convincing myself that I loved it and would live with it, my father-in-law told me that he would come (when he gets a free day) and move ALL of my cabinets up so he can move the micro-hood up. That's going to be so much work for him but he offered. I seriously owe him my life!

*My brand new (well, as of April) dining room table is now RUINED... Temporarily, at least. I was going to put a hot, hot casserole dish of manicotti on the table so I first put down a cloth, then a trivet, and lastly, I set my dish on top of them. Seems like a totally okay thing to do to a table, right? WRONG! When I removed the towel I found a huge, inconspicuous spot in the middle of my table where the varnish was completely stripped off. It looks AWFUL and I seriously can't even believe that that happened when I didn't put direct heat on the table. I am furious about this. So I called the furniture store and the guy was supposed to come over today to let me know if they would be fixing the table or replacing it never showed. I literally wasted my day waiting for him. Just my luck! He called me at like 5:30 to tell me that he would be by tomorrow, to which I told him that he would have to work solely around my schedule because I had given up enough of my time for his poor customer service already. How annoying and RUDE!

It's one thing after another with me! Both of those incidents happened on the same day so I was pretty upset that night, but I'm realizing that they're both materialistic things that I can't take to heaven so I should just stop stressing!!! It's hard when you take so much pride in your home, though, because you want everything to be perfect and nothing can be.

In other news, John had yesterday and today off and we have really been enjoying our time together... As always! Today we made lots and lots of amazing Christmas cookies together and had a nice dinner in. Brooke has been great and her attitude and behavior has improved greatly since those few horrible days last week. Either 1) she's truly learning how to behave appropriately, 2) she's putting on a show because daddy's home, or 3) last week was just an off week. We'll see!

Alrighty, I'm off to enjoy my wonderful husband:-) I so love having him home!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Appliances!!!!!!!!

I am so extremely excited! My birthday is December 2Nd and John's is the 9Th, so for a joint birthday/Christmas present for John and me, my parents bought us a beautiful new stove and micro-hood to match. I knew that we would be getting these items eventually, but what I didn't realize is that I would have my new appliances by TOMORROW!!!!!!!!! I can hardly wait!

I am cooking Thanksgiving for 20 people and I had no clue how I would do it in my nasty old oven. It badly needed to be replaced because it was stone-age and it didn't work too well. The worst part about it was that one of the burners was crooked so every time I cooked on it my pans would keep falling off. It was great fun, let me tell ya! Anyways, I think my parents kind of sensed that I needed something reliable and nice for the huge endeavor of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, so they ordered my appliances early. Thanks mom and dad!

We were going to go with stainless steel appliances but I did NOT want to spend the next 15 years of my life cleaning up finger prints, so we ultimately ended up sticking with white appliances. I think that's for the best. Our fridge is white so it won't stick out like a sore thumb this way... Although, we want to get a new fridge in the near future anyways so it wasn't the biggest part of our decision.

Right now I have my microwave on a cart and I'm going to be so happy to have a nice fancy micro-hood so I can get rid of that cart once and for all. I can't wait to see how much nicer my kitchen looks after the new appliances are installed tomorrow!

John's in Buffalo right now watching the Bills/Browns game with his brother and friend from work. They got amazing seats so I'm so excited for him! I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the Bill's win so John doesn't come home broken hearted. Lol! The game starts at 8:30 and it's a 4 hour drive home from Buffalo, so I don't imagine John will be home much before 4 or 5 in the morning. He has to work tomorrow afternoon too so it will be a long couple of days for me as I won't be seeing much of my husband.

Alrighty, I'm off to watch the game. Maybe I'll see John on TV if I'm lucky? Yeah right!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Terrible Two's????

Happy 21-month birthday, Brookie girl! Wow... 3 short months and my girl will be 2! Unbelievable! Where in the world did the time go?

I sit here with tears in my eyes because of the rough day we had... Yes, again. When I look at Brooke I see the pride of my life, the person I love with all of my heart, and this precious little baby who I live to take care of. However, lately, she's been so miserable and defiant so we've had to do a lot more spankings, time-outs, and other disciplinary measures. All of this is tearing me apart. Granted, she's generally a happy kid with a wonderful personality, but she has moments throughout the day where she becomes extremely willful and blatantly disobedient. It wouldn't be as bad, but once Brooke gets in one of these moods, it takes us about 20 minutes (at least) to get her back. Every spanking or smack of the hand that I inflict upon her is so painful for me and it kills me to know that this is just the very beginning of what it's like to raise a child properly.

I'm used to having a very compliant, happy-go-lucky toddler and this sudden stage of defiance has really taken me by storm. It was hard because Brooke woke up from her nap a complete monster and after 3 spanking and time in the corner, I thought that our rough patch of the day was behind us.... But, we went off to the grocery store for a few things, the child downright refused to sit in the cart and screamed hysterically when I tried to make her. This took a trip to the restroom for a spanking and it broke my heart to have to do that. Brooke is rarely misbehaved when we're in public... If she's going to act up, 95% of the time it's at home, for some reason. The whole incident at the store today was so hard on me, especially because John wasn't there.

I am so blessed to be Brooke's mom. I am. There's no denying that. I realize that she is God's child, not mine, and that I need to constantly be seeking Him for wisdom and strength the be the best parent I can be, but on days like this I just feel so discouraged. I try so hard to be a patient, loving mom yet I feel like a failure when I can't get Brooke to comply. I know that this is probably the song of every toddler's mom so I'll bank on the fact that this is normal?!!?? I'm already crying now... Can you imagine when she's a teenager? YIKES!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Breastfeeding at its WORST!

You know me, I'm the biggest "lactivist" on the face of the planet! Nursing is a beautiful, amazing, special thing and that's not even to mention to health benefits for baby and mommy. I so loved the 20+ months of breastfeeding that I shared with Brooke and eagerly await the nursing relationship that I'll have with baby #2!

I breastfed Brooke virtually everywhere... Restaurants, church, the mall, that old familiar bench in the middle of Wal Mart, in the car, on the ocean, in an airplane, at the park, etc... You name a place and I've probably nursed my baby there! I feel like breastfeeding mothers should have every bit as much of a right to feed their babies as formula-feeding mothers. Plain and simple. As much as I feel this way, I do also think that being discrete and modest is a HUGE part of breastfeeding in public. It's not hard these days because they make wonderful things like Bebe Au Lait's and it's a great compromise for those who want to nurse in public yet maintain a level of privacy.

Anyways, I saw this lady at the mall today with her five-year-old daughter, who was running all over creation, and her 6-month-old baby, who she was carrying in a sling. As it turns out, the lady ran a kiosk in the mall while caring for the kids. I was taking Brooke on some rides at the mall near this lady's kiosk so she came over and talked to me for a bit. She seemed really nice but maybe "eccentric" would be a nice way of calling her a hippy here! Lol! Anyways, she wandered back over to her little store in the middle of the mall (while her daughter, mind you, continued to follow me everywhere). The next thing I know, the lady has her shirt completely up with her breast exposed and she's feeding her baby while doing business with a customer!!!! I looked at her and seriously could not believe my eyes. Any person walking by could have seen her breasts and I do NOT think that's appropriate! Can you imagine walking through the mall with your young son and having to have that awkward moment with him? Even worse, what about a young girl (or even a girl my age... or ANY age) with her father. I think that people who breastfeed like that give people who modestly breastfeed, like my friends and me, a horrible name. It perverts something that is so beautiful and special.

In all fairness to this lady, I admire that she breastfeeds her baby and that she doesn't let the norms of society dictate where or how she can nurse, but for goodness sakes, cover up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Trimester Blues

I just want to preface this entire post by saying that I LOVE being pregnant and consider it a true blessing and privilege to carry a life for 9 months. There's nothing like it! It's worth the heartburn, weight gain, exhaustion, nausea, constant peeing, uncomfortable nights when you get big, itchy belly, etc...

Even though I adore being pregnant, I'm feeling really down on my body lately. I totally remember feeling this way with Brooke when I started to out-grow some of my clothes and so I know that this is normal, but still. Right now my perception of my body is causing me to struggle really bad with my self-image because I'm only 11 weeks along, yet my pants are starting to get tight. I can still zip my non-maternity pants and squeeze into them but it's not comfortable and I feel squished the whole day. It's also hard because my C-Section incision has felt really itchy and extremely sensitive lately and having the snug pants so tight up against it drives me up a wall! Another issue I have is that the only maternity pants that I have in petite sizes (remember, I'm short) are full panel pants and I certainly don't need those yet! I only discovered Old Navy's petite maternity jeans when I was about 8-months pregnant with Brooke, so I never bought adjustable waist pants for early pregnancy with her, which is why I have NONE. Old Navy is having sale so I'm going to buy a few pairs of jeans and dress pants and I'm hoping that that will help my struggles some.

I just feel so stupid for needing adjustable waist pants at 11 weeks. Goodness, I'm not even in the 2Nd trimester and I'm already talking maternity clothes here. I know that it's normal to show earlier with subsequent pregnancies and with Brooke I started to get a little belly around 13 weeks, so this isn't THAT early, but mentally I feel like I'm just turning into some big fat cow. Once I have a real belly I'll enjoy it and love it, but until then, I think I might just stop looking at myself in the mirror!

On top of my ever-growing-waistline, I have zits on my face now too. ZITS! I never, ever break out (unless, of course, I'm pregnant). I have this huge pimple on my chin and several other blemishes scattered across my face. I'm not one to fuss over makeup and such... Usually I apply it in the morning and maybe touch up my blush in the afternoon. Lately, however, I've felt the need to constantly keep my face touched up because it's embarrassing to look like this. Again, I know that this is just part of it but it's hard for me to feel beautiful!

Bottom line: It's scary to see your body changing so much, even though you know it's normal. I was just starting to feel pretty good about my appearance after Brooke's birth and then I got pregnant. I'm THRILLED to be pregnant and I repeat.... It's so worth it! I just wish that I would stop battling myself and realize that this is only a minor, temporary feeling and that soon it will be a distant memory!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Tough Day at the Office

Wow, let me just be brutally honest and say that today was one of those days when I wished that I was really at "the office." People in the workforce get 1) lunch breaks, 2) restroom breaks (by themselves that is) and 3) they get off sometime around 5 or so. Unfortunately in this career of motherhood, though, we are always on the clock, regardless of any conditions that make our job less favorable or desirable. We mommies are warriors because we withstand the most difficult work situations possible!

If you haven't gathered by now, Brooke was an absolute terror today and I'm not sure why. She bucked me on all points today and was willful at every turn. Here are some lovely examples for your enjoyment (Ha... notice how I said your enjoyment!):

*This morning Brooke woke up and immediately asked for cereal. I said, "Okay, but let's get your diaper changed first." She then went over to her diapers, threw them everywhere and said, "No diaper change. CEREAL!" She then threw herself on the ground and kicked and screamed until I dealt with the situation. Nice "good morning" greeting for me, huh?

*During breakfast Brooke refused to sit, despite being in her highchair. She kept trying to wrangle her way out and whenever John or I told her to sit she would scream, "Brookie no sit!" Anyways, it's a rule in our house that she has to sit at the table until everyone is done (regardless of the meal or who's over) and so we enforced that. Finally we were all done with breakfast and we took Brooke out, only for her to get on the floor and scream, "BACK HIGHCHAIR!"

*I took Brooke upstairs so I could get dressed and after I was done I said, "Come on Brookie, let's go down stairs." Again, my drama queen toddler threw herself on the floor and yelled, "Brookie stay here." Long story short, it took 3 separate spankings (Real deal spankings... No slapping of the hand) followed by 3 prayers to get Brooke to 1) say sorry and 2) comply with me about going downstairs. It was HORRIBLE. I felt like I was talking to the wall and it truly broke my heart to have to spank my girl. I do it because I love her though....

*While I was brushing my teeth Brooke came in the bathroom with a bow and said, "Do hair." I said, with gobs of toothpaste in my mouth, "In a second baby." Of course she freaked out and threw a massive temper tantrum because I couldn't tend to her immediately.

*We had to run some errands and so I went to put Brooke's brown shoes on. She took them out of my hands, threw them and said, "Brown shoes yucky. Wear Nike's." I choose to pick my battles with my raging toddler so I wasn't going to make a big deal out of which shoes she wore, but I did care how she asked me for Nike's. I told her to ask mommy nicely and she refused to do that so we left the house with her wearing the "yucky brown shoes." Me oh my!

I could go on and on and on and on... Lunch was a nightmare, she was unhappy after her nap and freaked out any time I left the room, she had a fit during dinner tonight, etc, etc, etc... I think you get the point: Brooke was an absolutely miserable, grumpy girl today and it was VERY trying!

Though the day was very long, we had a wonderful finale to our day with a relaxing bath and then about an hour's worth of quality, happy time spent together before Brooke eagerly went to bed. God is so good like that though because He always gives me something amazing about motherhood each day to hold onto, which keeps me eagerly coming back for more each and every day!

Maybe my life would be easier if I went to the office every day, but ya know, the joy and satisfaction of being a mother is far superior than any other calling out there and each day that I spend with Brooke is a treasure. I have faith that tomorrow will be a better day and if for some reason it's not, God will give me the grace to get through!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Wishful Thinking Got Me NOWHERE!

That whole concept of "wishing myself to be not sick" really backfired. Not only did I get the dreaded bug, but I also got a worse version of it than John and Brooke. Starting at 5:30 Sunday morning the throwing up started and I threw up at least every other hour until 1 this morning. It was a LIVING nightmare. Ugh!

I just want to say how thankful I am for my family though! First of all, John is the most amazing, attentive husband ever and he takes wonderful care of me. He's the kind of guy who will hold my hair back when I puke and dote all over me to encourage me. He's the BEST! Man, I love him so much:-) Unfortunately, though, John had to go to work yesterday afternoon, which would have left me alone with Brooke. My parents thankfully bailed me out by picking Brooke up before John left and taking amazing care of her. She ended up sleeping over at their house because I was still really sick and John wasn't yet home. She apparently had a blast and slept like a little angel for them. It's always nice to know that there's someone out there who loves your baby almost as much as you do!

I woke up at about 8 this morning and only had some lingering nausea and a whopping headache. I felt like I had been hit by a train, but that's an improvement from yesterday when I felt I would have been better off dead!! Lol! John and I went to pick up my Brookie from my parents which helped me get moving and back into the swing of things. I forced myself into eating a few bites of a sandwich for lunch and that was the key to my recovery. Now I finally have a little bit of energy and feel MUCH better!

Hopefully my family stays nice and healthy for a good, long while. These bugs sure know how to take a toll on people!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


These past few days have been a real blast, let me tell ya. Yesterday morning John woke up throwing up with a stomach bug so he was sick and tired all day. Then at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon Brooke also started throwing up... Out of nowhere! It was the weirdest thing. I was literally drenched in Brooke's vomit, but somehow when you're a mom that's not so bad. Crazy. Anyways, she threw up a total of three times but then went to bed at around 8:45, only to sleep through the night. She woke up at 6 this morning, but then laid on my chest until 9:30 and slept soundly. This morning John and Brooke were back to their normal selves. Weird, huh?

Today has been a really good day.... We've managed to get out of the house and keep busy. Brooke, apart from being a little bit sleepy, is doing really well today and has been eating everything in sight. I am so thankful that this bug was a short one because having a baby with a stomach bug is the absolute pits. I don't think I can think of anything worse!

Ya know, it's funny... I obviously hate when Brookie is sick, but it's at these times that I feel like the best mom. I love nursing her back to health and being the one who knows what is best for her. She's also very snuggling and affectionate when she's sick and I love that time when she's so extremely reliant on me to hold her and cuddle with her. Last night we laid on the couch for hours just singing, reading stories, saying prayers, and loving on one another. If only the interruptions for throw up weren't in the middle of all that, it would have been the perfect night!

As for me, I'm feeling VERY sleepy and queasy myself, but I'm determined not to catch this nasty bug. I think (or hope!) that I can will myself into not getting it, but something tells me that I'm very silly for believing that. Lol! I cannot get sick because I have way too many responsibilities (especially on Sundays) to be ill.

I hope all of you stay healthy! I know this bug is circulating. Yucky!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Different Kind of Night

Every night since John has been on the evening shift (the 1St of October) I have been occupying myself by keeping Brooke and me out of the house. We have had countless dinner invitations from friends and family and every single night we have accepted these gracious offers. However, last night I was invited over to my sister's house for dinner and you know what I said? "No, thanks!" I couldn't believe my ears because I'm the type who NEEDS people around and the thought of staying home by myself for the entire night kills me, but last night I just thought it would be nice to be home for a change. I'll admit, I almost called my sister back and told her that I changed my mind, but I decided that Brooke would enjoy being home and that it would be a nice change of pace. Let me tell you... We ended up having the nicest night!!

First we played with toys and cleaned up the house and then I made us a nice dinner. We ran out after dinner to get some things we needed to make John's dinner and when we came home we baked, cooked John's dinner, and then spent time with John from 7-7:30. After that it was bath time, snuggle time, story time, prayer time, and then bedtime for Brooke. The night went by surprisingly fast! The best part was when I put Brooke down for bed I had NO housework to do because I had already done it earlier in the night. Imagine that! I watched some good TV shows, did my devotionals, and then John was home right after 11! It went VERY smooth!

I'm not saying that I'm going to never go out while John's working, but I do think that I learned a valuable lesson last night... This is my home and being here, whether I'm alone or not, is a wonderful thing. Brooke and I also had a great time with one another and I think we both laughed hysterically for the entire night!

John's off tonight and tomorrow night so I really look forward to spending some quality time with him. His days off are always the best!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Working on my Attitude

I'm not going to lie... I have really, really struggled with the fact that Obama was elected as our president. When I look at that man I see a liberal, crowd-pleasing man who does not value or share my beliefs. However, when I saw John McCain, I didn't see the most Biblical or a perfect person, but I thought that his heroism, wisdom, and conservatism, plus his pro-choice stance, made him a wonderful candidate to be our nation's next president. The thought of being a citizen in a country where McCain was my president evoked a strong sense of pride and patriotism in me. In addition, I adored Sarah Palin and I simply could not get enough of her because she seemed so classy and educated, yet she was a plain old hockey mom. I thought she would have been a very charismatic and hard-working vice president. Now that this whole election process is over and the results were not in "my favor," I'm feeling kind of defeated.

I'm worried for our nation's future.... We have pulled so far away from God as it is, and I can't imagine what a non-Godly, liberal president will do. What scares me the most is that Obama is not supportive of Israel, God's chosen people. The USA has always supported Israel and I think that's why God's hand has remained on us... I fear what the repercussions will be of our country NOT supporting Israel. I'm also worried about gay rights, abortion, the economy, our coal industry, etc... I could go on and on about the things that frighten me. Really and truly, I could.

I was really touched tonight, though, when I was talking to Luke (my brother-and-law) and Patty (my mother-in-law) about these things. Luke reminded me that nobody but nobody comes into power with God ordaining it. God is not surprised, He is not shaken, and He is not moved. Why? Because He willed this to happen. Luke told me to meditate on that and to thank God for being the sovereign, in-control God that He is. As for Patty, she encouraged me to pray for Obama. Pray for Obama? That's something that I never really considered, sadly. Patty said, and I agree, that we cannot put it past God to change Obama's heart. I am going to commit to praying for him every single day and I hope that many other Christian's join me in this!

Whenever I start to let my attitude deteriorate or think negative thoughts, I'm going to remind myself of God's perfect plan and the promises in His word. After all, it's better than complaining and worrying, right?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm HIGHLY Disturbed


Monday, November 3, 2008

Is This Normal?

Brooke seriously cracks me up! I don't understand what her deal is lately because she's now mispronouncing words that's she's properly pronounced for months. Here are some examples...

*Now instead of saying, "kisses," Brooke says "pisses." Lol! She walks up to people and says, "Blow piss." I suppose there are worse 4-letter-words, but still! She also substitutes "p" for the "c" sound in "coming," which she now pronounces "poming"

*She now says "bammy" instead of "Grammy," or "bampy," instead of "Grampy."

In addition to saying things differently, Brooke has also started to stutter a little bit too. I notice it a lot when she's excited, which helps me not get too concerned, but it's still weird because it's from out of nowhere. She's always been able to speak very well without getting flustered, so this is totally foreign to me. I said to her the other day, "Do you want to go to Nathan's house" She got very excited and said, "G-g-go Na-na-Nathan's house." It's little instances like that where I noticed this stuttering problem the most.

I'm reassured by the fact that Brooke can, with the exception of very few things, say anything she wants. She can articulate if she's hurt, hungry, thirsty, tired, etc... She also speaks in complete sentences and enunciates her words like a champ. On top of all of that, she's constantly learning to say new words and understand their meanings.

I guess what has me concerned is that I feel like we've backtracked... Why would she start to mix up words now, out of the blue? When that came along with the stuttering, I thought immediately, "Oh no! It's neurological." Lol! I always jump off the deep end first. I've done some research though and from what I've heard it seems pretty normal for kids to start to stutter and get confused a little at this age because they are learning so much so quickly.

Has anyone else dealt with these types of speech issues? While it's cute, it kind of makes me nervous that everything isn't okay!