May 28, 2010

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens . . .

Kelly's Korner blog does a weekly thing called "Show us Your Life" where other bloggers share different aspects of their lives and add a link to her post on her blog. Today I'm participating in sharing my favorite things.

When I hear those three words together, I automatically start singing Sound of Music which is a nice segway into one of my favorite things.

Musicals! I'm talking old fashion, Rogers and Hammerstein, MGM, movies you watch in music class, musicals. Singing the songs and trying to imitate the dance scenes is what really makes me smile. It makes for good memories. I'm only sorry that I wasn't turned on to musicals sooner. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized how amazing they are. My husband (then just my boyfriend)'s family would watch White Christmas every Christmas and I joined their tradition one year and I've never been the same since :)
(Sidenote: I'm actually watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers right now and it reminded me that in college my roommates and I nailed a plank of wood above the door of our apartment that said "Bless Your Beautiful Hide!" It was awesome! I would duplicate the same thing in my house now if it didn't scream college dorm room.)

Another thing that makes me smile is getting these little bags in the mail.

I love Old Navy! A large portion of my wardrobe comes from there. And yes I order it online because having a baby has made me a hermit and we don't really have an old navy very close. I also hate dressing rooms and feel somewhat empowered by making a little man deliver it to my door :) I know I'm paying for it, but I never order online unless there is some kind of sale so I can justify spending money on shipping.

The next thing is probably the most essential thing in my life.
Chocolate! Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite, but any chocolate will do. If I don't have chocolate at least once a day I go through withdrawals. I'm not kidding. When I went to Africa for a month on a mission trip, I had limited access to chocolate. For the first week or so, I felt like something wasn't quite right and I brushed it off as culture shock. But once I got some chocolate, my body relaxed and everything was OK :) I'm not sure if it's the caffeine or the endorphins or both. It's sad I know. I'm an actual chocoholic!

Disney World is definitely one of my favorite places.

I think it's because it fuels my idealistic side and it makes me feel like a kid again :) But I really love to travel anywhere that requires riding on a plane. There's nothing particularly wonderful about a plane ride, it's just a sign that I'm headed somewhere special!

Of course these two make me smile on a daily basis.
Just the sight of them makes my day better and seeing them together is even better! Nathan is a great husband and an even better father. It is such a blessing to watch him being wrapped around Lela's little finger. Hearing Lela coo and ahh is an amazing thing. It's like you can see her learning.

But the most important of all is the Word of God.

It is ultimate truth and it guides me in all areas of my life. Here's are some of my favorite verses:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

May 27, 2010

The Deed is Done

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:
Now someone tell me that I'm not alone in this. I'm thinking they have to be related in some way. I should ask her (I'm never gonna ask her).

Please don't think I'm making fun of Dr. Shirley, I just can't believe how much she looks like this actress! I think she is adorable.

So I guess you've figured out that Lela went to the doctor. And if you feel like you're in the dark, I mentioned in a couple previous posts that Lela's pediatrician looks like the mom on "That 70s Show"(Debra Jo Rupp). I have been too scared to get a picture of her until now.

Anyway, she had her 2 month appointment and I found out that I apparently do not know how to measure my baby's length. The nurse measured her at 22 1/4 in. I got 21 inches the night before. I doubt she grew an inch and a fourth in one night. She weighed 10 lbs 14 oz which means she has gained 3 pounds since her 2 week appointment! The doctor said she is a little petite for her age but it's nothing that's outside of the normal range.

This visit Lela got her first round of shots and you can see here that she has no idea what's coming.

She fell asleep right before the nurse came in to give her the shots. She really did good. I probably would have cried too :(
I meant to get an after-the-shots picture but she calmed down really quickly. As you can see she was already sleepy and then they gave her children's tylenol which they said would make her drowsy. So needless to say, she slept for a while after we got home.

Oh, a great thing about this visit is we mentioned that Lela might have acid reflux and so they wrote her a prescription and it made all the difference! Before she would spit up two or three times after every feeding and she would get so upset. But now it is so much better. The only thing is she hates the medicine and I have to give it to her twice a day, but it is definitely worth the result.

Well, I'm glad to say we maintained our stellar GPA at the doctor's office and on top of that, the nurse said Lela could be a baby model! So I'd say it was a success :)

May 23, 2010

Two Months Old

Lela, you are two months old today!
  • You are 10.5 lbs (according to my bathroom scale) and 21 inches long (I think I overshot the length last month).
  • You still wear some newborn clothes but you also fit in some 0-3 months clothes.
  • You are very adept at holding your head up but it's not a full-time thing just yet.
  • You are still sleeping good at night and frequently sleep through the night. You usually sleep at least six hours at night.
  • You eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and you eat every 6 or 7 hours at night.
  • You do good drinking out of a bottle and you love to go places.
  • You stayed in the nursery at church for the first time today.
  • You have begun to recognize mine and daddy's faces and you will always smile back when someone smiles at you.
  • You like to talk and you have daily conversations with daddy and I.

You are growing so fast and it's fun to watch you change and mature.

It's such a blessing to have you in our lives and we can't imagine our lives without you!

May 22, 2010

Crazy Thursday

Thursday started off pretty normal but by 2:00 in the afternoon, the tornado siren was going off. I was aware of the approaching storm but I decided a long single tone does not a tornado siren make. Besides that, the weather man had just told me that the storm was not capable of producing a tornado.

But then Nathan called me to inform me that there was indeed a tornado on the ground just a few miles away and then he filmed this on his iPhone.

First of all, let me say that I love the fact that right after he calls me to tell me to take shelter he goes outside to film the tornado. I also love that he casually remarks that the tornado is probably right over our house. I'm sure he knew it wasn't really over the house and that it was a very weak tornado.

Yes, we are all okay and there was no damage from the tornado. It's actually kinda cool that Nathan was able to get such good video from the church, but I don't think I would've been that brave.

After the storm passed, the pastor's wife (Sara) and I decided it was a good time to get a pedicure. Actually we had already planned our little outing but it's sounds so nonchalant to say we went to get a pedicure after the tornado. We wouldn't have done it if it had been a more serious event.

At the nail salon, a very well-endowed woman walked in wearing a spaghetti strap camisole and leaned over right in front of Sara's daughter (she came with us). Sara then texted me and said she wondered what her daughter was thinking.

Then on my way home from the salon I realized I left my phone at the place so I dropped by the church to leave Lela with Nathan while I went to pick up my phone. When I picked it up I noticed I had a text from Sara. After I dropped her and her daughter off she texted me to say her daughter said "That girl's boobs were humongous . . . like as big as my head!"

I responded to Sara and told her I had left my phone at the nail salon. I didn't put it together at first but after Sara responded in horror, we both realized that not only did we now know what her daughter thought, but so did the people working at the nail salon who were holding it for me at the front :) Oh well, I say they were all thinking the same thing anyway.

So later that night Nathan and I decided to go to Walmart to pick up a few things (which always turns into a lot of things). About five minutes and 10 aisles into the trip I notice my blouse is unbuttoned! Not like one button, ALL OF THEM! Now granted it was a henley so there weren't buttons all the way down, just enough to expose my entire bra. Just picture Phoebe on the episode of Friends when she tries to seduce Chandler to get him to admit he's in a relationship with Monica and she unbuttons her blouse. Yes, that bad! I had left it unbuttoned after feeding Lela and I totally forgot about it.

So we went down a secluded aisle and I put my shirt back on. Then we couldn't seem to find anything that we were looking for. Who would've thought the honey was on the coffee aisle. And here we are on the laundry aisle looking for Scotch Guard.

Nathan looks way too happy to portray just how chaotic this trip was. Maybe it's because I took the picture after we found the Scotch Guard (next to the carpet cleaners) or because he simply asked me to take his picture using the baby carrier at Walmart.

Anyway, by this time we decided we needed a cart because we couldn't hold everything (no, we didn't get one when we walked in because we were only getting a few things, remember?). So we ran back to the front of the store and then ran to the back of the store to get the rest of the things we needed and got outta there.

See? Crazy day. Tornados, boobs and well more boobs (I just realized the last two items on that list pretty much describe everyday for Lela).

Well, time to go. We're headed to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Great Uncle David's birthday. Peace out and remember to button your shirt ;)

May 19, 2010

3 Years

I can't believe it's been three years.

The time has flown by.

As I look back on the memories we made . . .

. . . the common thread is love.

In every stage of our lives together . . .

. . . you've been there . . .
. . . supporting me and loving me . . .
. . . no matter what.
And I know you will always be there . . .
to make new memories for the future.

I love you, Nathan. Happy Anniversary <3

May 18, 2010

Busy Weekend and Surprise Delivery

Let me go ahead and warn you that this post is ridiculously long and overly descriptive, so read at your own risk.

This weekend we took Lela on her first trip! We met my parents (Grammie and Pawpaw, we will now be using the names Lela will call everyone), and my brother and sister-in-law (Uncle Christopher and Aunt Laura Beth) at the lake house and just hung out on Friday and Saturday morning. She did good in the car and only started crying 30 minutes out. Unfortunately it was raining most of the time but we still got a little jet ski and boating time.

Of course, I didn't take any pictures. But my parents did so hopefully they'll send me some (hint, hint).

Then we spent Saturday afternoon with Nathan's mom (Grandma), brother (Uncle Drew) and soon to be sister-in-law (Aunt Danielle). We had dinner at Babes which was my first experience there and I would definitely recommend it :)

Then Sunday morning was baby dedication so I spent the morning praying that Lela would be in a good mood while we stood on the stage for everyone to see. We had lots of family there including Grammie and Pawpaw, Grandma, Uncle Christopher and Aunt Laura Beth and Great Uncle David and Great Aunt Kathy (we might need to come up with some abbreviations, phew!). Again no pictures of this momentous occasion but in my defense every day is a momentous occasion with an infant. We did video the service but it's probably a pretty big snooze-fest unless you are related to Lela. So I will proceed to describe Lela on that day.

She had on the cutest pastel floral dress with fancy white socks and a BIG white bow (I figured it needed to be seen from the back row). She was the star of the show (because we only go to church to be seen) and there was one non-relative, who will remain nameless, who agrees with that statement, so it's not bias (I think that's how that works).

In all seriousness it was a very nice service and I think the pastor had a lot of good things to say (I was too busy praying that we'd be spared embarrassment to listen). I did hear him say that children are a gift from God and it is only fitting that in return we dedicate their lives back to God. He emphasized that this does not have any saving power but it is rather a commitment between parents and God to raise their child in the way of the Lord.

God answered my prayers and Lela was perfect. She was wide awake and looking at everyone in the congregation and didn't make a sound. It couldn't have been any better, PTL!

My weekend then extended on to Monday because Grandma stayed in town and Lela and I went shopping Monday afternoon with her and Aunt Danielle. Danielle and I found some cute clothes at Kohl's but somehow we left without getting anything for Lela. Poor thing, she just doesn't have any clothes. Maybe next time.

Then, miracle of miracles, this showed up today!
No, I didn't have to install it myself. I snapped a picture after they hauled it inside and said they would be right back with their tools. (I got a picture of the dishwasher, but not my child. I might have an issue with priorities).

The maintenance men definitely caught me off guard. It was one of those days where I stayed in my pajamas because Lela kept me up half the night, so they probably thought I was a little unbalanced. Then while they were getting their tools I spent entirely too much time overanalyzing whether I should put some regular clothes on. If I do change clothes they might think that I'm trying to look good for them. If I don't change clothes they will think I think it's okay to hang out in my pajamas with people at my house. I eventually decided to change clothes but spent way too long deciding what to put on. My mind is exhaustingly complex.

I'm so glad to have this modern convenience back in my life, but in reality it may just be one less excuse I can use to explain why the kitchen is a mess.

May 12, 2010

Another Trip to the Store

Because we ate all the cake, I had to go back to the store to get the ingredients to make another cake of my life. (It might be bordering on obsession at this point.) Because I made it to the store with my phone this time, I snapped a picture of Lela in the cart so you could see just how much room she takes up.

It is nigh impossible to get much else in there! But somehow (I feel the need to remind you) I fit all this in there!
Anyway, while I was on the shoe aisle, I tried on some gladiator sandals. When gladiators first came out, I thought they were weird, but I must admit they look pretty cute on my foot!
But I'm not sure if they are actually cute or if I've seen them around so much that I've gotten to the point where I think "Ah, they're not that bad. In fact, they're kinda cute." And then when Lela and I are looking back at old pictures she points and laughs at my weird sandals and wants to know what I was thinking. So needless to say, I'm still on the fence about them.

I also took a stroll through the baby section to find Lela a hat for the summer, but this is the smallest hat they had!

I like how it was labeled "one size fits most." Most what? Babies? Toddlers? Nuns? But because I was determined to mark it off my list, I bought the ill-labeled hat and somehow resisted all the cute baby summer outfits.

I made it out of there without being a complete spaz and I am now equipped to make another cake and a batch of chocolate chip cookies :)

May 11, 2010

The Cake of my Life

This is the cake of my life!

Now, you might think this looks like a spice cake with raisins, but if you seriously think I would dub that the cake of my life, then you don't know me at all! That is yellow cake with chocolate and vanilla pudding mix and chocolate chips. As you can see, it was so good, there was no time to get a picture of the entire cake. It almost looks better this way though because you can see the chocolate chips. YUM :)~

My mouth is watering just looking at the picture, but sadly as I write this post, the cake is completely gone. But before you judge me too harshly, this cake was actually made thursday last week and my husband helped quite a bit :) And because I want you to share in this glorious concoction, here is the recipe:

Catherine's Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 yellow cake mix
1 instant chocolate pudding
1 instant vanilla pudding
6 oz chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together. Pour into sprayed bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.

My cousin Robin gave me this recipe at a wedding shower where everyone brought recipes and ingredients to help me make the recipes. I can't believe it took me three years to make this!

Of course when I decided to make this I didn't have everything I needed, so I had to go to the store. I greatly underestimated the complexity of fitting an infant car seat and a full list of groceries into one cart. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of my escapade, but I took a picture of everything when I got back so you could at least imagine how difficult it would be to get all this in one cart.
Some of the stuff was falling out of the bottom of the cart as I walked to my car, so I definitely looked like a spaz, but I'm always pretty spastic.

So the moral of the story is, if you see a woman with a full load of groceries and an infant car seat in her cart, she needs your help! Well also the moral is to make the cake, but I think that goes without saying ;)

May 5, 2010

Diet and Dishes

Well, I started Weight Watchers last week. It pretty much sucks, but I have seen 2 pounds come off since then! That's the only thing that makes me stick to it: it actually works.

But last night I was ready to give up and I had 3 slices of pizza even though I knew I shouldn't. Then I had an ice cream sandwich. This morning I thought I would go ahead and calculate the points and assess the damage, but what I found was surprising. I found out that Dominos new pizza is only 4.3 points a slice! (Hand Tossed Pepperoni). Pizza Hut is 7.6 points a slice! That means my 3 slices of Dominos is less than 2 slices of Pizza Hut! Needless to say, I stayed within my points and I thought for sure I had used at least 5 points of my weekly allowance. My go-to pizza brand has always been Pizza Hut, but I think we will stick with Dominos from now on, and their new recipe is really good. The crust is like garlic bread :) Wow, I'm getting hungry, but I'm always hungry so I guess I'm getting hungrier. (I feel like that was a little commercial for Dominos, but I assure you that rambling comes courtesy of my free will.)

Have you ever wondered what happens when your dishwasher breaks? Well this is what happens at our house.
I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to bake a cake when I do not have a working dishwasher. But they are ordering us a new dishwasher so it could be a couple weeks until we get it, and I could not wait that long to have some chocolate cake! The mix was calling my name from the back of the pantry. And no I'm not cheating on my diet by having cake. All things in moderation; another reason why I like Weight Watchers (I'm also not attempting to promote Weight Watchers either).

And because I know some of you only come to see the baby, here are a couple pics of Lela from today.

Clardy out.

May 3, 2010

A Gift from the Lord

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward."
- Psalm 127:3

I was familiar with this verse before I had Lela and I knew it was true just from observing my family and others. I could only imagine what a privilege and honor it must be to watch a child grow and teach him or her the ways of the world. I have found it a delight to watch others' children grow and see them learn new things and the ultimate joy is to see them come to Christ and reach their full potential as a child of God. As an outsider I have experienced this joy and felt I had a good idea of the reward that was soon to come in my own life. Little did I know, this gift has many other layers that are not immediately visible.

As a mother of an infant, I have a new understanding of our total dependence on God. Lela obviously needs me when she's hungry, wet and sick, but beyond that, my mere presence prevents numerous disasters that would be inevitable without my supervision. Anyone would think it insane and even cruel to leave Lela alone for any amount of time because she doesn't have the ability to take care of herself because she lacks the knowledge and skill to control or even understand the world around her. Even within a few minutes, her life could be endangered and any number of things could happen that would cause her harm that would have been easily avoided if I had been present. Just like an infant, we need God in every moment, whether it is an obviously "spiritual" moment or not. Without God's infinite wisdom, we can easily find ourselves caught up in making logical decisions instead of biblical ones and justifying our sins instead of confessing them. From there, disaster is just around the corner, all of which could have been avoided with God's mere presence.
I also have a new picture of unconditional love that I'm sure will only bring exponentially more lessons as Lela grows. No matter how much she cries or demands my attention or how frustrating or difficult my job as a mother may get, I will always love Lela. When she gets older I'm sure she will disappoint me and even hurt me but there is nothing so terrible that she could do that would cause me to withdraw my love from her. I know I can frustrate the Lord and do things to disappoint Him and even grieve Him, but I have confidence in the fact that He will always love me.

Lela means night or darkness and Ann means grace. Together they mean grace in the night. In many ways Lela has been instrumental in bringing me out of the darkness and back into the grace of God. What a beautiful gift.