Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple Joy...Happy Boy

What is making this 3 month old so happy?What, oh what, could it be?Why does he laugh and coo?Here is a tiny clue...
A new friend, created by Sissy at Pre-school, smiles the whole day through...
And our Gabe can't resist her sweet, apple-y charms...can you?!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Because I Never Get Tired Of This...

Gonna Be Friends from Brad Ruggles on Vimeo.

Because I will never get tired of this video. Maddy was meeting Gabe for the first time, armed with a blue "snuggle b" she picked out just for him. This is one of my favorite moments ever. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Those Who Dropped Napping Like A Bad Habit

This is an idea for all you mothers of three year olds out there. I've heard that some of your darling, wee-angels have begun to protest, and altogether quit, napping. I can only imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth this has introduced to the 1:00-3:00 time span at your house.

And I say "I can only imagine", of course, because my three year old still walks herself into her room at promptly 1:00 PM, driven by some sort of internal clock of obedience, and snuggles herself into her bed for a deep two hour slumber each and every day. There is no arguing, no bribing, and certainly no threatening that she will not play with friends later if she doesn't go to sleep rightthisinstant. There's no need for all that, with the inner-obedience clock and all.

But for those of you whose children might lean towards the more realistic side, I made a great discovery that has probably already been discovered a thousand times over and isn't all that creative.

I discovered it nonetheless. At our local library there are literally hundreds of children's books on CD and cassette. CD/ old-school cassette player on your child's dresser, pop one in, and quiet time in lieu of nap while said toddler is entertained with Charlotte's Web or Harry Potter*.

Audio Book + Child in Room = Guilt Free Parenting Solution To A Need For A Few Half-Hours Of Quiet Each Day

You're welcome. Me, I'll just keep enjoying my toddler fit-denying, self-disciplining, pre-school behavior-abiding daughter.

*I don't actually recommend Harry Potter for the three year old set. It was, however, available.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bee-Swatting Bonding

It is supremely easy for my three year old to make friends. She simply goes up to every child at the park/pool/grocery store and asks: "Can I be your friend?" She asks until someone says "Yes" and then they are friends.

It's that simple.

I have been tempted to use the same strategy and approach other moms at the park with the same inquisition: "Will you be my friend?" That's what happens when you are stuck in the house all day with children under three for conversational partners. And when you live far away from family and your actual, wonderful, beautiful, Michigan-dwelling friends.

We are blessed enough to have Brad & Lisa right across the street (story to come of how that happened and our move to Indy). But sometimes they have other commitments or (gasp) other friends and aren't here to converse with me all day.

Shocking, I know.

So when Maddy and I went to the Splash Pad yesterday, I prayed before I left the car that I would meet a friend myself that day. There were two women there, both with three year old girls, so it looked promising. Since Madalyn is Miss Social Butterfly, she instantly bonded with the girls, leaving me an "in" to talk to their moms. We found out that we had all recently moved to the area, one from Cincinnati and the other from a close neighboring town, Fishers. Come to find out, they both live in the same subdivision, and one invited the other, Katie, to a sub playgroup on Friday. It made me a little sad since I wasn't included in the invitation, even if I don't live in the sub. But, as it turned out, Inviting Mom left, and Katie and I talked quite a bit more and discovered we are both RNs. Katie must have thought it wasn't kind for Inviting Mom to invite in front of me either ;), because she asked if I wanted to meet her at the park again tomorrow (today). And of course I played it cool and was like "Hmmm...let me checkmyscheduleYES!"

When we arrived at the Splash Pad today, Maddy and Katie's daughter bonded by running around with orange buckets on their heads pretending to be lions. Katie and I bonded by discussing how we both grew up taking ballet and where to enroll our daughters. And, I'll be honest, Gabe and Katie's son didn't bond. Because Gabe is only two and a half months old, see, and only bonds with those who are giving him milk or telling him "you're a handsome, handsome boy, oh yes you are."

Before we left, Katie asked if we could exchange phone numbers and do a play date next week, bringing our friendship to new soaring levels. She even swatted a pesky bee away for me while I was entering her number into my phone.

Because friends don't let bees sting friends.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Last night Dan and I decided to take the kids on a walk after dinner. We really enjoy these family walks; Gabe rides in the Baby Bjorn and promptly falls asleep, Maddy chills in the jogging stroller, and Dan and I get a shot at adult conversation. We had conspired to take Maddy to a local playground to wear her out..."Let's stop by the P-A-R-K because someone took a long nap today. It's our only chance of a normal bedtime" I had said. "Yea! The P-R-K! I want to go to the P-R-K! Can we Mommy?" came the immediate response from the little girl listening underfoot. I guess we need a new system of secret communication...the three year-old is on to us.

Anyways, we enjoyed a nice long walk and some good conversation on a muggy evening before heading to the subdivision park. I was wondering if there would be any other children there since it was approaching eight o'clock as we arrived. But, sure enough, there was a little boy, maybe six or seven, and a girl Maddy's age, playing together. The little boy called to his sister "Hey, Kenzie! Look at me!" as we approached, and, Madalyn, overcome with joy to see a like-aged child, began yelling from the stroller before we even stopped, "Hey, Penchee! Penchee! I'm here to play with you! HI PENCHEE!" Dan and I were stifling back laughter as the little girl's dad approached and asked, "Um, do they know each other?" We let Maddy out of the stroller and she took off like a bullet towards the little girl. "Nope, she's just extremely social" said I. By this point the little girl has agreed to be Maddy's friend with only this disclaimer: "My name is KENZIE." Madalyn brushes of the comment and continues to interpret her name as Penchee as the two zip up and down the slide. They later discover the speakers--two tubes located at different ends of the play facility designed for talking into. I hold Maddy up and Kenzie's dad holds her up so the girls can talk; Madalyn goes first, "Hey, Penchee! Can you hear me? I LOVE YOU, Penchee!"

Kenzie's dad comes over to Dan and I and strikes up a conversation after that: "So, how do they know each other?" The man is clearly still confused. "Oh, they don't. Maddy heard Kenzie's brother say her name as we pulled up. She just loves to make friends." I explain. Through the course of our conversation, we discover that Kenzie and Maddy are actually going to be in the same pre-school class this fall! Her dad is very friendly, and we talk for several more minutes before heading home.

I think I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship: Maddy and Penchee...BFFs for life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm Back...

Here is the post in which I announce that I will be posting again...I've decided to give the people what they want (or something like that)...

...but I won't begin tonight. It is 11:34, and I could have already been sleeping for approximately 34 minutes. I refuse to let any more slip by. But I promise, more is to come...

These kids are cute, but they get up darn early. Yikes, now it is 11:37...



Thursday, February 26, 2009

How To Enjoy A Trip To Florida When You Are 2 1/2...

1) Fly out of an extremely peaceful, uncrowded airport, such as Bishop in Flint. You'll breeze through parking, security, and finding your gate without so much as a sip of juice.2) Be excited to earn your wings...3) Be an angel on the plane. Well, an angel who "had a few moments." Once getting ready to de-plane in Atlanta for a short layover, tell the people sitting behind you, when they compliment you on how good you were, "I had a few moments." This will cause everyone on the plane within the sound of your voice to break out into peals of laughter.
4) Rent a house with it's own pool in a beautiful subdivision only 15 minutes from Disney. Mom and Dad will be glad to have their own master bed and bath, washer and dryer, and full kitchen, and you can enjoy the club house park as well as your own personal pool. Everyone will save money, be comfortable, and have their own space.

5) Spend the day at the zoo (where Mom and Dad get 1/2 off since they belong to a reciprocal zoo) and monkey and, er, elephant around.
6) Go to beautiful Cocoa Beach and run in the sand and the waves. Take deep breaths of the ocean air. Scoot around a lot on your bottom making sand castles and end up with sand in undisclosed's all part of the experience!7) Even though Mom and Dad weren't planning on taking you to Disney World since you are small and won'tevenremember the experience, if they come to realize that Sea World is only ten dollars cheaper, and the entire trip has been a gift, and you ARE right there in Orlando after all, you can probably talk them into one day at the Magic Kingdom...
*Have Mom find ears on clearance for $4.99 (otherwise 11.99 and up) so you can talk her into a pair for you and your baby brother-to-be...

*Wait SO PATIENTLY for all the rides (Dumbo was awesome, Winnie the Pooh is surprisingly scary, Buzz Lightyear was a little intense, and "It's A Small World" was precious...)
*MEET DAISY DUCK when Mom and Dad stumble upon her on the way out of the park for lunch break. Since all the other characters had 60 minute plus lines to meet them, you'll easily talk your parents into stopping for a quick hug and photo. Then proudly proclaim during lunch that, upon returning to Disney World in the afternoon, Daisy is planning on personally taking you into the Castle to meet Mickey and Minnie. Remain convinced of this fact for the remainder of the day. Become a life-long Daisy fan and talk Mom and Dad into buying you a plush rendering of her when they see that all plush toys are 25% off.
*End your day so tuckered out that you fall asleep in your stroller leaving the park and stay asleep all the way home. Do so after having your one-and-only meltdown of the day, when you insist that YES, YOU WANT YOUR NEW DAISY DUCK IN THE BAG, IN THE BAG, YOU WANT A BAG after Mom tells the cashier you don't need one since you'll just want to hold her. Marvel that Mom can't understand that you want to hold her, yes, but IN THE BAG.
8) On your last night in Florida, have Mom and Dad take you to Downtown Disney, a free outside area that has a lego-world (and store) and many other attractions. Have Daddy hold you up so you can "pet the dinosaur." Sport the Minnie Mouse sweatshirt your Nana bought you. Get a nice employee to give you free stickers.
Overall, have an amazing vacation and state loudly and sadly on your last day that you don't want to go home but would rather "stay in Florida." Have Daddy put a movie on his iPod and watch it with headphones, quietly, silently, the entire plane ride back to MI, providing Mom and Dad with ample relaxation and wonder at how parents traveled before technology. Love every minute. Be glad to be home.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We're Leaving On a Jet Plane...

...don't know when I'll be back again...

Well, actually I do, but I am SO EXCITED to get away for a little while! We are all under the weather with colds and feel like all this COLD WEATHER has wreaked havoc on us this winter! From cracking skin on our hands to dry, staic-ey hair, we are more than ready to get out from under all this snow and sub-zero temperatures. As we try to make some big decisions and search out the ultimate best for our future, we are looking forward to some time to rest, talk, and pray.

I promise some sunshiney pictures and Madalyn stories when I return! It's the little peanut's first time flying, so I'm SURE it will be an adventure for us all :)

Signing off for now,


Friday, February 13, 2009

Coughs, Couches, and Goldfishies...

"Mama! MAMA!" came the cries at 5 am this morning. I opened one bleary eye from my makeshift bed on the living room couch. I had chosen this resting place not due to any marital disputes (neither of us have ever camped out on the couch for that reason!), but as a result of a husband who apparently moves compulsively *every 10 seconds* in his sleep after taking Benadryl before bed. Between the constant rustling in the bed and Madalyn's all-night coughs coming from the bedroom across the had been a long night!

So I hear the early morning cries, and I stumble into M's room. She's crying, so it takes me a minute to figure out what she is saying. Eventually the words come clear..."Goldfishy, Mommy, I want Goldfishy in my bed". My mind is spinning...M often refers to our beta fish, Bubbles, as "Goldfishy", so I ask, "You want Bubbles in your bed, M? Bubbles can't come in your bed, sweetie. He has to stay in his bowl." "NO Mommy! GOLDFISHIES!"

Ahhh. My precious one is referring to the familiar, cheddar, fish-shaped snacks.

So here it is, fellow Moms and Moms-to-be (and Dads too!),...what do you do? For those of you that answer that you calmly explain to your child that snacks do not go in their beds, particularly at five in the morning, and especially when they have been sick for nearly a week straight, I commend you.

For those of you who would go in the kitchen, get a bag (albeit small) full of the said fishies and bring them back into bed just so you can get a little peace and a few more minutes of sleep when you have been up all night with a tossing husband and coughing child...

I'm among you!

I've been a little absent from the blog-world lately as real life has kept me very busy. I will try to be more faithful!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

THE COW: Madalyn's Lesson on Sharing...

"I love church. They have all the animals about Jesus" says Madalyn as we make our way inside the children's wing for Wednesday night service. I wasn't aware that there were "animals about Jesus" in her class, but the thought makes me smile. In fact, I am unaware of most of what transpires during the hour-and-a-half that M spends in 2-year old land each week. All I know is that her teachers, um, always have an anecdote to share with Dan and I when we pick her up. And the conversation usually begins with, "Oh, you are Madalyn's parents?..."

But the funniest part this week came when we were in the car on the way home:

M: "That little boy wanted to play with the cow but it was MY turn to play with the cow."

Me: "Well, did you let him have his turn and then ask if you could play?"

M: "It wasn't his turn, Mommy. It was mine. I told him "It's my turn, please!" But he wouldn't give it to me!"

Me: "Well, when you want to share a toy, you need to wait for your turn, and then ask nicely. If the little boy won't let you have a turn, you can ask the teacher to help."

Dan interjects: "Or you can just find something else to play with, M."

(Right. That's what I meant. I'm sure I wouldn't encourage our child to tattle. It's a good thing she has a wise Daddy around!)

M: "Or HE can find something else to play with, and I can play with the cow. I'll say "Please!" and he will say "Thank you!" and then I'll say "You're welcome!"

Me: "Oh, look, here's a bible verse on your paper from class. Did you learn this verse today?"

M: No. I wanted a turn with the cow.

Glad it's all sinking in...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

POP Goes My Composure...

*Edited to Add: The comment at the end of this post about finding a new church is meant humorously; Dan and I LOVE, LOVE our church and the people there! Plus, it's big, so the amount of people who actually witnessed this event is a small percentage ;)! Just thought I'd clarify...**

Original Post
Our day:

M and I wake up and go about the business of getting ready for church. Daddy is still out plowing all the snow that was once again dumped on our frigid state. So we eat our cheerios, take a shower (Mommy), get dressed (both :), and go about the business if getting ourselves out of the house solo. Without Daddy's faithful assistance.

But we do o-kay. Until I am backing up out of the driveway and promptly get stuck in the foot and a half ridge that has been plowed into our drive. I try pulling forward and readjusting, then reverse again. Stuck. Again. Stuck, stuck, still very stuck. "What's happening, Mommy? We have to go to church!" M, who clings to the hour-a-week she gets to spend in her two year old class like a lifeline, is concerned when I say, "We're stuck, Maddy, we might not be able to go to church." I run to grab a shovel to see if I can dig out around the tires.

At this point, I'd like to give a sarcastic shout out to our neighbor across the street out who was out snow blowing his driveway during this time. He continued to do so the entire while that a pregnant girl was shoveling, getting back in the car and trying to move, and shoveling some more. Thanks, Buddy.

Anyways, pure sweetness, because during the time we were stuck, I told M we needed to pray and ask Jesus to help us get unstuck. She did so with all her little heart. And then when we finally were on our way, after a hearty "Thank You, Jesus!", she retold the event on the way to church by saying, "Mommy, I prayer-ed, and Jesus got us unstuck!" And if that doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will :).

So we get there a teensy bit late, we get M to her classroom, I get me to the service, I enjoy the service, I go and get M, and everything is beautiful. We come back to the atrium, where bagels and coffee are being served, and M informs me that "I want bread, Mommy" after seeing a child walk by with a bagel. At this moment I should mention that our family attends a large church, which has a huge main campus about thirty minutes away from our house, and many satellite locations. One just opened in a local high school very close to our house. The atrium in this particular building has very high ceilings. You'll need to remember that in a minute.

So we get a bagel and take a seat at a table in this central gathering place. It's one of those mother-daughter moments, just M and I, enjoying a bagel and the unrushed peace of our morning schedule. Many children are running around, and M notices that most of them have balloons. I conclude that the older kids must have gotten balloons in Sunday school or something. M mentions that she wants a balloon, but, all in all, handles the situation pretty well, and continues eating her bagel. And then a sweet little angel child comes over and hands my girl a huge blue balloon. My heart melts, M is thrilled, and we happily continue munching, this time with M keeping one hand on the balloon.

Then it happens.

Out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, the balloon pops. And when I say "pops" what I mean is "makes a sound like a bomb going off, or at the very least, gunfire." I promise you I am not exaggerating. It must have had something to do with the very high ceilings, and perhaps the current humidity and phase of the moon, but the sound is enough to silence each and every conversation taking place in the entire area. All eyes are on us.

So, you know, M is crying, and you know I am flushed, but, you know, it was just a balloon that popped. Not a big deal, right? Another sweet angel child (we apparently have a lot of them at church) tells me she will run downstairs and get M another balloon. Meanwhile, the halo-clad kid from earlier comes back and gives M her OTHER balloon. How incredibly sweet. Conversation starts to return to normal and church staff return their cell phones to their pockets, relieved there was, in fact, no actual bomb.

And you think you know what happens next? Yep, THE SECOND BALLOON POPS! Friends, these children had been playing with these balloons for a good 15 minutes, but the minute M and I touch them, they explode. Again, same noise, same halt in conversation, same tears.

Oh wait, did I say "same tears"? That's not entirely true. Because (and here's the TRULY embarrassing part), upon the bursting of the second balloon...I also begin to cry.

That's right. Publicly. With all eyes on me. Right along with my distraught toddler. For no apparent reason other than stinkin' pregnancy raging hormones! I mean, SERIOUSLY? What mom cries over two burst balloons?? If I try to explain it rationally (which, believe me, I can't!), I was sad over seeing M so sad, so scared, so shaken up. Her little lip trembling, her body shaking, saying through her sobs, "That balloon scared my ears!" over and over...well, it broke my heart.

A sweet mom comes over and gives M another balloon, this time complete with a plastic bag to keep it in, because you know that child is not touching another balloon directly for a loooonnngg, loooonnng time. I sniffle through a conversation with Sweet Mom, trying, unsuccessfully, to compose myself when she asks me my name. My hand's a little damp when she shakes it. I mumble about being pregnant and hormonal, and then M and I gather our composure, and vacate the premises.


So, I need your we look for a new church? Or do I hold my head high next Sunday and pretend it is perfectly normal to break down into a weepy puddle when a green balloon pops? Let me know!

Lovin' the madness,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our Baby BOY!!!

Our little Baby Carney was seen by Dan and I on Monday at approximately 3:39 pm for the first time. We went into the darkened room, I laid up on the table, Dan sat in a chair and then I told him to move the chair over by the table because he was too far away :). He held my hand, I exposed my tummy and the ultrasound tech said "this gel is warm" as she squirted the blue goo on me. The second the probe touched my belly...a baby appeared up on the screen. It takes my breath away every time (o-kay, the two times I've experienced having an ultrasound)! I fully realize that there is an actual baby living inside me. With toes and fingers and everything.

Baby C. was quite an active little soul, moving, squirming, sucking, and putting his little hands up to his little face.

That's right...very early on in the ultrasound, the tech confirmed that we wanted to know the gender, and then said..."here's your gender! It's a boy!" as she froze the screen on the confirming evidence. WOW! Not only were almost all of YOUR guesses wrong (except for my Mom!), but Dan and I both strongly thought it was a girl as well...but we are thrilled. Dan literally didn't stop smiling for the rest of the ultrasound. My mind immediately went to what it means to have a son...

Little Baby Boy weighed in at approximately 9oz, which puts him in the 50th percentile, and I joked that we've never heard anything less than 98th with Maddy! The tech said that I'm certainly not out of the woods yet for having a big baby since the size usually comes later in pregnancy.

And, thank God, everything was normal and healthy...four chambered heart, two kidneys, in tact spinal cord, normal size fat pad at nape of neck, mouth and nose formed...we are so thankful for a healthy baby.

A healthy baby boy.

I took one last look before the procedure was complete, thinking to myself that was the last time I would see our son until June. I can't wait to hold him.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Boy or Girl???

*Updated to add: REALLY? Everyone so far guessed "girl"! I'm pretty amazed by that. We'll see if any other votes roll in...*
Alright, kiddos, here it is, the big moment of truth. Monday is my ultrasound at 3:30pm, and although I am not looking forward to the "drink-three-glasses-of-water-an-hour-before-the-appointment-thing" (why oh why do they do this to pregnant women? I can't drink a teaspoon of water without having to pee 5 minutes later!), I am GREATLY looking forward to seeing Baby C in living color black and white. Oh, and that little issue of BOY OR GIRL will be revealed! Or twins. I am still holding out a great deal of hope for this little option, as unlikely is at may be!

Anyways, I want to hear your guesses, complete with rationale, if there is any :). Gut feelings count too. Here is some data for your consideration:

*The heart rate has been 155, 160, and 144 respectively the three times I've heard it. There is no scientific support for the heart rate theory, in fact, clinical studies disprove it, but I know a lot of people still give it a lot of credence. So do with this info what you will!

*I'm feeling about the same amount of movement I felt with Maddy at this point.

*I was much more nauseous in the beginning of my pregnancy than I was with M.

*I've gained...wait a minute, a girl's got to have some secrets ;)! I'll just say being pregnant during the holidays is rough!

*I have had one dream where the baby was a boy (right after I found out I was prego) and one two nights ago where the baby was a smaller, blonder version of Madalyn!

That's about it! So guess away, and, on Monday evening, I'll post the gender and list all of you who were right on the money. I'll brag about how intuitive, perceptive, and maybejustatad prophetic you are if you get it right :)!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"You Can't Wear A Five Dollar Bra..."

...says Oprah. Seriously, I heard her say it. The woman believes in the power of a good brassiere in making you look your best. And, I have to say, I agree. I've tried plenty of discount, Target-type versions that never compare to a good old Victoria Secret counterpart.

But who has $50+ to spend on a single bra? Well, I hope you do, actually. But I don't.

So I was pretty thrilled about this sale at Bare Necessities. Free shipping on any orders over $25, and I just scored two bras that would have normally totaled $106 for $31. That, my friends, is the best of both worlds...good bras at bargain prices. I'm sure Oprah will be so proud of me. You know, when she reads this blog. Y'all didn't know she was a reader? :)

Ohandalso, some Juicy Couture pants happened to fall into my online shopping cart. I know, I know, but just listen...they are black velour and wonderful. And maternity. AND normally $98 on sale for $19.99 (!!!!!!!!!) AND I just got Christmas money. AND when I put them on, I don't plan on taking them off for the duration of my pregnancy, and quite possibly some time after, making them an even better value.

So there you have it, friends. $204 worth of merchandise just purchased for $50.97 out the door.

Buy yourself something pretty! Make Oprah proud.