Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's the Holiday Season, don't forget to hang up your sock

I wish I could post pictures of the gifts I'm making for the babies, but I want their mamas to be surprised, too, so it will have to wait until at least next week.  I'll just say that I'm hooked and that I'm seriously considering going into business doing this after the holidays.  I'm very fortunate in that I can stay at home with my precious baby and not work outside the home, but, wow, experiencing our first Christmas as a single income family has been a very eye-opening experience.  We thought we were living tight before - whew! - nothing compared to Christmas.

So, anyway, more on the newfound passion of mine and potential 2nd income in the coming week or so.

So, the sleeping hasn't gotten any better, but we've chosen to embrace it.  We still hope that she'll go down only once, but when she wakes up after an hour we bring her out to the living room with us.  We've tried letting her cry but the child can be a mule...very stubborn.  I don't know where in the world she gets that from.  She cries and cries and then she screams and screams.  Tonight she started flipping out so David went in to get her and even after he picked her up she continued to completely scream her head off - she even cried harder when he picked her up.  She would stop for a couple of seconds and consider her surroundings but then she would start the screaming again.  I've never heard her cry like that - it was awful.  She finally settled down and David put her on her play mat.  She laid there contently for about 30 minutes then I fed her and laid her back down.  She didn't make a peep and fell right to sleep.  So, the question is whether it's worth it to fight her on this or just to pretend that her 8pm bedtime is actually just a nap and let her play until she gets tired.  Whatever...I mean I can't really complain too much since she'll usually sleep through the night once she goes down.

I know I post about sleeping all of the time, but she's almost 6 months - it's our life right now.  I wouldn't want her looking back on my posts and thinking she never gave us any trouble.  I don't want to put a smiley face here but that's the spirit in which that comment was intended, so just imagine it's there.

I have a nasty cough but I'm fighting it.  Tomorrow we go to Lacey for David's extended family Christmas Eve celebration.  I managed to make a no-bake cranberry walnut cheesecake pie and a double batch of artichoke dip so that's my contribution.  Should be fun.  I don't imagine Amelia will be getting her required naps over the next couple of days, but hey, it's Christmas.  Couldn't get any worse than it is or than it has been, I would imagine.

Next week we head to Oregon to have Christmas with my family.  Well, they'll have Christmas on the 25th but since it's David's parents' turn to have us this year we'll celebrate with my side of the family next week.  On Christmas Day we'll head to David's parents' house for breakfast, gift opening, then dinner with his aunt and possibly a couple of other relatives.  My only wish would be for snow...or at least rain.  We're in Seattle, for crying out loud!  But no, we're supposed to get sun on Christmas!  It'll be a fun day either way!

Hmm, pictures.  Let me see what I have.

So this is David and Amelia playing on the floor.  You'll see the "Scat Mat" next to the chair which is supposed to give the cats something similar to an electric shock when they step on it.  This is to prevent them from scratching our furniture more than they already have.  I'm mumbling under my breath but you can't hear me.  The obvious Amazon box and Target bag are the few items I had left to wrap that I got wrapped tonight.  I put them by the tree so I would remember but then I got sick so they stayed there for 2 days.  That would drive my mom crazy.  It drove me crazy, too, I just didn't feel like doing anything about it.

And here's just a cute shot of Millie.  I have some pictures taken with the "Night" setting on my camera, but it looks like my baby is being engulfed in the flames of the fireplace which is very disturbing.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas fun?

Can someone please tell me why my child wakes up exactly one hour after being put to bed for the night?  I'm stumped.

So, it's been an interesting weekend.  On Friday night, David and I had a little gathering to go to and I had volunteered to bring a dessert.  I always volunteer to bring dessert - baking is fun, cooking is not (to me).  I did what never fails to drive David crazy...I tried a new recipe.  He has no objections to new recipes;  it's the making them for the first time and "trying them out" on non-family members that he doesn't understand.  Really, I don't understand it myself.  I should just make something tried and true when preparing dessert for other people.  I decided to make some little cookie cups and then fill them with cream cheese frosting.  Sounds good, right?  First off, I should have known nothing good could come from them when I was trying to squish the dough into my mini muffin tins and it kept sticking to my fingers and wouldn't mold into the pan.  The recipe called for store-bought refrigerated cookie dough but I don't think I've ever bought cookie dough - I always make it.  I figured it'd be the same thing.

Apparently not the same thing.

Something was burning.  I peeked into the oven and realized that the tins were overflowing and dripping (yes, apparently cookie dough can drip) onto the bottom of the oven.  I think my dough wasn't cold enough...maybe I overmixed it.  Either way, the stench was very potent.  I wasn't having a particularly uplifting day to begin with but this failed recipe really had me defeated.  We decided to just pick up some cookies on the way to the get-together instead.  I hate doing that, but I love that the option to buy yummy cookies from the grocery store bakery is there.

So, that night we got home from the get-together and I rushed to get the baby in bed.  For the last week or so she's been going to bed fine but then she'll wake up really mad about an hour later.  She won't go to sleep until around 11:30pm so I've been trying to get her on a schedule.  If she's anything like her father, she'll thrive on routine and structure.  We'll see.  Of course who really expects to stick to a schedule around the holidays?  Yeah, I'm a great mom.  Thanks to David, she's now sleeping again.  He went in and patted her bum until she went back out.  I don't know why she wakes up.  Oh, nope...she's awake.

Anyway, so on Friday night I got her in bed then decided to make some baby food.  We bought the big bag of frozen organic peas from Costco so I put some in a pan with a little bit of water and cooked them down.  Tried pureeing them in my small food processor - wasn't pureeing them well enough.  Tried them in my bigger food processor - still not working.  Then I got out my blender.  Realizing that they probably weren't liquifying because they were too hot, I threw in several ice cubes and, voila!, baby food!  It made a lot more than I anticipated...I filled my Baby Cubes and stuck them in the freezer and still had about 1/2 cup left which, in baby food terms, is a lot of food.

So, on Saturday, Amelia had peas.

I think she liked them but, wow, she made a mess!  The fingers had to go in her mouth after every bite then they went all over the Bumbo and then all over her pajamas.  They went in the wash and the baby got a bath. 

That night we had some friends over for our annual Christmas party.  I had decided to make some fudge and did a double batch.  Well, it took forever to boil...literally, like, an hour.  So I was in panic mode trying to get everything ready before people arrived.  It's a good thing I have such a wonderful husband.  He vacuumed, straightened, cleaned toilets, and took care of the baby while I baked the fudge, cooked the artichoke dip, and cleaned up the kitchen.

Good friends of ours have a sweet little boy named Max who is just 3 months older than Amelia.  Here are a few pictures.  They had a good time checking each other out.

Amelia tried to eat Max's ear and did a face plant into the sofa.

"Finally someone my size!"

I can't believe it's the week of Christmas already.  More than that, I can't believe that it's 11pm and, yet again, my child is still awake.  I fed her earlier when she first woke up and she didn't seem all that interested.  David just tried feeding her again and she didn't even drink everything he offered her.  I also gave her Tylenol and Hyland's Teething Tablets so who knows what's wrong.  Maybe 11:15pm is her real bedtime.  Seriously, we tried getting her up at 7 or 8 when she first wakes up no matter what time she goes to sleep at night then putting her down for only 2 naps, one around 10am and one around 2pm then 8pm for bed and she still won't sleep. 

Okay, enough about that.  It's Christmas already!  I haven't been in the mood to do much baking.  I think I have a bit of the baby blues or seasonal depression or something.  Probably shouldn't shout that out to the world, but it's how I feel.  Just...down. 

I should run errands tomorrow but I haven't been feeling so hot today and I need to make sure I'm not getting sick first.  Blech.

My baby is crying.  Still.  Crying.  She has to sleep some time, right?

Good night.  And wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Babies Don't Keep

Can someone please hand me a beach towel?  I'm going to need it to mop up my tears.  I ran across this poem and had to share. 

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, oh Mother,
come shake out your cloth,
empty the dustpan,
poison the moth,
hang out the washing
and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house
is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery,
blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done
and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~author unknown~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's that time of year...

I'm not going to change the url for my blog.  How's that for indecisiveness?  My dad is probably smirking - some things never change.  Right, Dad?

How's your Christmas "to-do" list coming? 

Shopping is done, wrapping is done, but baking is eluding me this year.  I plan to get started (and hopefully finished) this year weekend.  Yes, I actually typed "year" without realizing it.  That's what I get for multi-tasking.  My sweet baby has been laying in her crib playing with her bunny for the last hour.  She's just now starting to whine.  I don't know why she's still consuming excessive amounts of chocolate, perhaps (thanks to a dear friend who knows me all too well and sent a 2 lb box of See's Candies for Christmas)?  Hope not.

Anyway, I bought some little festive cartons from Oriental Trading Co. and plan to stuff them with the following and give away as gifts:

- Shortbread or sugar cookies (I have a cookie press that I use exactly once a year)
- Peanut butter popcorn
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Almond roca

I think that's all I'm going to do.  Maybe fudge.  Okay, definitely fudge.  What's Christmas without fudge?

I was going to take a photo of the baby in front of our tree tonight but, well, I forgot.  It happens.  Frequently.

Well, the baby finally fell asleep.  For one hour.  Then she started crying, then screaming, and we let her cry for about 15 minutes.  David went in to check on her and determined that she sounded "gurgly" and was probably hungry.  I caved and picked her up yet she continued to cry.  When I nursed her she dove at my chest and ate heartily, so she was obviously hungry.  After I burped her she did what she always does and started cooing and talking to me, grabbing my cheeks and unintentionally sticking her chubby fingers up my nostrils.  She buried her face into my face and attempted to suck my nose off, all the while happily squeaking.  I kissed her plump little cheeks and put her back in her crib.  She started crying again but stopped for about 10 minutes to play with her pacifier.  I kept looking at her on the video monitor and she looked wide awake.  Still on her back which meant she had no intention of falling asleep.  It's been 30 minutes and she's been crying for probably the last 15 minutes, but at least now she's on her belly.  I'm not going to pick her up.  I did that last night and ended up being up with her until 1am.  I love that baby and it pains me soo much to listen to her cry, but she's fine.  Deep breath.

Just for fun, I put together this little photo collage.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tired of hearing about sleeping? There's a recipe, too.

Don't forget...
I've decided to change the name of my blog to Bungalow Bee for privacy reasons. 

The new url is  I will make the change on Wednesday, so if links on your page are pointing to the old blog, please change it after Wednesday.  Sorry this is such a hassle.  If you know a less crazy way to do this, PLEASE let me know.  It says that 34 people are still following me so I assume that it will correct itself on your blog if you didn't enter it manually.

The good news is that the swaddle is history.  The bad news is that Amelia is still waking up every 2 1/2 - 3 hours. 

Friday night was rough.  The baby woke us up every 2 hours (!!!) wanting to eat.  David and I were both really frustrated and extremely exhausted, but more importantly how could this baby be functioning on so little sleep?  For the last week or so Amelia has become much more mobile.  She can very easily and fluidly roll from tummy to back and from back to tummy, although she isn't rolling around the room yet.  So, now she always winds up on her tummy or on her side for naps and seems to be sleeping longer.  If she can find a comfortable position during naptime and it's not on her back, then it probably doesn't make sense to swaddle her and stick her on her back anymore.  So, Saturday night we put her to bed swaddleless.  I'll spare you all the details, but she was awake again soon after and I called my mom and sister, Carrie, asking for advice. 

They suggested filling Amelia up then just laying her in her crib and letting her fall asleep on her own.  I don't want any hate comments about "crying it out".  As a matter of fact, if you take issue with "crying it out" (otherwise known as the Ferber Method), you might want to read this article

Anyway, so we stuffed her full of rice cereal which she ate happily, made sure she had a clean diaper, put Baby Orajel on her bottom gums where she's getting a couple of teeth, and suctioned her stuffy nose.  Then we put her to bed.  And she cried.  So after 5 minutes I went in, patted her bottom, gave her back the paci, and left.  Ten minutes later it was David's turn.  He apparently hadn't read the method.  He stayed in there and rubbed her back until she fell asleep.  I really didn't care, I just appreciated that she was finally asleep at 11:30!  She didn't wake up until 5:30 at which point I fed her and put her back in bed.  Unfortunately she woke up again at 7 and I made the decision to keep her home from church because of how stuffy she has been and because it started to seem more like a cold coming on rather than teething issues.  She was back in bed by 7:30 and she slept until 11am.

So, Saturday night wasn't too bad at all.  But then there was Sunday night.

The child would not go to sleep.  We tried to let her cry.  After 30 minutes the whining/fussing turned into a full blown wail.  We decided she must be hungry so she got fed again.  Oops - she stopped crying right when we picked her up and didn't end up eating too much.  Amelia - 1,  Mom & Dad - 0

She's fed, she's changed, her nose is suctioned and she has Baby Rub on her chest since the crying made her nose even more stuffy.  We laid her back down...more crying.  An hour goes by and we're still going in and checking on her and rubbing her back for a second and leaving.  Only it isn't really working.  She turns on her back when we walk in and cries harder when she realizes we aren't going to pick her up.  We finally decide to give in and David brings her to me so I can try rocking her.  She isn't interested and instead arches her back to look at her dad and "talk" to him.  I laid her next to me on our bed thinking maybe eventually she'd calm down and start to look even a little sleepy.  She smiles, coos, laughs, grabs my face, and rolls around.  Amelia - 2, Mom & Dad - 0

It's now 11:30pm and David has to get up at 5am for work.  This is ridiculous.  I put her back in her crib and leave the room, but the crying started before I even put her down.  She's overtired...way overtired.  Huh, that sounds familiar...I'm overtired, too.  Can I scream and throw a fit, please?  After 10 minutes I picked her up and rocked her to sleep.  Amelia - 3, Mom & Dad - 0

She was up every 3 hours.  I realize I'm a sucker and I know the kid will continue to sleep in 2-3 hour incriments until I put the proverbial parental pants on and let her learn how to sleep on her own.  She does great at naptimes...she only really fusses for 5-10 minutes before rolling around into a comfortable position and falling asleep.  On the days that she fusses and whines for 20 minutes, I don't even go in there and eventually she falls asleep.  She'll even sleep an hour or more at naptime now, whereas before it was 30 minutes every single time.

So, we're learning.  I really want to let her learn how to fall asleep on her own and, in turn, have her sleep for longer stretches of time.  I'm not worried about me as much as I'm worried about her not getting the sleep she needs at her young age.

Moving on. 
I  need to wrap gifts.  I need to bake.  I need to finish the babies' Christmas gifts (which, I'm really excited about).  I know I'm a pansy, but I still don't like getting out with the baby by myself.  It's not that I can't...I do and have.  I just don't like it.  When I can pull her out of her car seat and have her sit up in a cart all by herself then I will be a lot more comfortable with it.  Right now I lug her seat in with me (she doesn't like to be worn, although admittedly I haven't tried it too much because my back is terrible) and oftentimes carts don't allow the car seat to fit easily or at all.  Or I get the car seat on the cart and I can't see where I'm going.  Anyway, my point is that I don't enjoy getting out with the baby by myself.  I need to get over it.

Before I forget, here's a recipe I made today that is really, really good.  It's Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins.  Wow, they're good.  I added chocolate chips and used walnuts instead of pecans.  I made a few muffins for a week's worth of breakfasts then I made 4 tins of mini-muffins for David to take to work tomorrow.  I think you'll like these muffins...I've never eaten a better banana nut muffin...made by myself.  I'm sure there are better ones out there.  I baked mine for 17 minutes and that was plenty.  Anyway, here's the recipe in case you don't feel like going to the website:


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway. Give them a rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I need to go make dinner.  My baby's still's been almost 2 hours...nice! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blog Changes

I have a lot to say but tonight I'll keep it to one announcement.

I've decided to change the name of my blog to Bungalow Bee for privacy reasons. 

The new url is  I will make the change on Wednesday, so if links on your page are pointing to the old blog, please change it after Wednesday.  Sorry this is such a hassle.  If you know a less crazy way to do this, PLEASE let me know.  It says that 34 people are still following me so I assume that it will correct itself on your blog if you didn't enter it manually.

I don't know the extent to which Blogger notifies the followers of my blog, so if the transition doesn't happen smoothly then I might have to go back and forth or create a new blog and leave the other behind. 

Does that even make sense?   My kid is not sleeping much lately which means I'm not sleeping, either, which means my mental capacity is minimal.

The holidays are a busy time of year which is my excuse for not keeping up with my baby's life in print.

My friend, Sarah, took pictures of my family for our Christmas cards.  Fortunately, I have my head on straight enough to have just today sent out said cards so that's done.  Well, I take that back.  I sent out the first 75.  We just ordered 25 more so I'll have a few more to do.  I'm excited about them because the photos are great and I designed the cards.  I'll post a photo of the card next week (it's really nothing special), but in the meantime, here's one of my favorites that didn't make it on the card:

Speaking of design, I'm now a published book cover artist.  As with the card, it's nothing special.  The content is great because it's the cover for a workbook that our preacher did for the book of 1 Corinthians.  He wanted something very simple so that's what I gave him...

I'll have a better update next week.  I have a lot of projects planned to get done before Christmas, but I feel like my goals are a little lofty.  Baking is becoming more of a chore than it is a pleasure, only for the reason that I'd rather be playing with my baby than be in the kitchen.  Oh, and because Christmas treats somehow seem to always necessitate melting chocolate, I've been trying to get better at melting chocolate.  I'm failing.  It really shouldn't be this difficult, but I think my chocolate is old.

Amelia's an angel, she really is...I'm amazed at how patient and good she is when we're in public and when we're at home and need her to play alone for a little bit.  Tonight we went to a white elephant Christmas party.  There were probably 50 people there and it was loud at times and got a little warm temperature-wise.  She was perfect, even while a few people held her and she went without a nap for 3 1/2 hours.  She got a little cranky at the very end while we were bundling her up to head home, but she fell asleep in the car.

The only complaint I have (which, I'm a parent, I signed up for this!) is that she isn't sleeping well and hasn't for the last month or so.  I'm 99% sure it's her teeth...she must be getting some.  Last night she didn't fall asleep until 11:30pm.  The max amount of time she'll stay asleep is 4 hours, but most of the time it's only 3 1/2.

Finally, here's Amelia when she turned 5 months old on December 3rd.  The pig is a stuffed animal that my dad won for me when I was 2 years old.  I loved that thing when I was little - I hope Amelia loves it as much as I did!

It's bedtime.  Goodnight!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Sleeping Post, Part II

I'm watching Amelia in the video monitor toss and turn (as much as she can when she's swaddled and sandwiched between a positioner).  Her eyes are closed but she's obviously thinking about waking up yet again.  I put her down around 8pm.  It's now 10 minutes to 9 and she's already been up once, crying and not willing to go back to sleep.  I rocked her and laid her back down.  That was about 15 minutes ago and she's now whining again...awake.

It's not a good sleep week so far.  I think Amelia is getting her first two teeth on the bottom.  I'm just confused at her way of going about cutting those two teeth.  She will not sleep, but it's not that's she's really all that cranky.  She wants to nurse a lot but otherwise if she wakes up and you engage her then she's perfectly fine.  I'll give you a few examples.  Last night she was up every two hours.  I'm not kidding.  It's like she was a newborn again, only this time I didn't have my husband's help in the wee hours of the morning.  The man has a full-time job and needs every bit of sleep he can get (which isn't much, really!). 

I've been trying to put her down in her crib and leaving her there instead of moving her into bed with us all of the time.  I'm not against my baby sleeping with us as long as she's always in her sleep positioner (for safety) and as long as we have a time set for when she needs to be in her bed full time.  Anyway, since she had been sleeping pretty sporadically the last few days we decided to let her sleep with us last night.  History shows that if she's in bed with us she'll sleep twice as long as if she were on her own in her crib.  Apparently that's not the issue - at least not this week.  She woke up every 2 hours, nursed, then went back to sleep. 

Today it took me 2 1/2 hours to get her to sleep for her first nap of the day and then she only slept 30 minutes.  She slept again around 4:45pm and, again, slept only for about 30 minutes.  It's like she completes one REM cycle and she's done.  How do I get her to sleep for longer stretches during the day?  She's never slept in her crib for naps longer than 30 minute incriments.  I take that back - maybe twice she's slept 45 minutes.  I don't swaddle her - she is just on her back in her crib to sleep.  I don't know why she refuses to sleep longer than 30 minutes but it literally is 30 minutes on the nose every single time.  Suggestions??

I'm already halfway through a bottle of Hylands Teething Tablets which are homeopathic and supposedly miraculous.  Apparently my child is immune to them because they never seem to work for her.  Finally I gave her some Tylenol tonight and she went right back out.  She'll sleep with us again tonight - I'm going to try to get as much sleep out of her as possible.  She's not cranky when she wakes up as long as someone is holding her.  As a matter of fact, she's downright cheery if she wakes up and you pick her up and let her stay awake.  However, if you try to put her pacifier back in without picking her up she'll shake her head back and forth violently and refuse to accept it.  If you pick her up and take her to the glider, prepare for battle.  It takes pushing the pacifier in and holding it there while she cries and tries to get away (I'm really not torturing my child).  After a few seconds of holding in the paci, rocking her, and patting her rear while humming "You Are My Sunshine" she calms down and will eventually go to sleep. 

We are heading to Oregon for Thanksgiving this year.  Again, I'm nervous about how Amelia will do in the car but we are prepared this time.  Pray it works.  I'll let you know.  On another Thanksgiving note, I'm contributing an appetizer (Spinach Artichoke dip) and dessert (Chocolate Caramel cake).  If I remember, I'll post the recipes.

I made this recipe tonight since I had some cabbage and celery in my fridge that I needed to use.  I didn't have the sausage but David and I both thought it was good.  If you make it, try to season it heavily - it seems to need it.  I used a can of Rotel instead of the stewed tomatoes.

I don't even have a cute picture to share!  Oh, but I found this video we took on the 16th of this month.  Pardon my frumpy, no-makeup, hair pulled-back look.  I was in the middle of organizing the back bedroom which has become our catch-all over the past few months.

Still have laundry & packing to do. I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to share after this weekend.  I'm going to take a blogging hiatus until next week.  Not that it's unusual for me to not blog for a week.  Our sweet friend, Sarah, is taking Christmas pictures of the kids and families this weekend.  I hope Millie's Christmas dress(es) fit her! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cookbooks, cookbooks, and a contest (!?)

My dilemma.

I have a lot of cookbooks (not an exhorbant amount, but more than I can use).  I have a lot of cookbooks that I've never opened.  Cookbooks that are beautiful and have wonderful, complicated recipes that I will never make because I am generally not one to go and buy unusual or "fancy" food.  The reason?  It's hard for me to imagine buying ingredients for one recipe.  I already have items in my pantry that have been sitting there for a while, so why would I spend money on a leetle jar of some fancy paste when it will probably never be used again and live its life on my refrigerator shelf until it starts growing things.  Since I'm not earning a paycheck anymore my main job as head chef of the Baldwin household is to use what we have in the fridge, freezer and pantry while making as few shopping trips as possible.  This means making garlic bread out of frozen hot dog buns and David making his yummy stir fry out of 25 half-full bags of frozen veggies.  Mental note:  We do not need anymore frozen broccoli.

See the blue binder in the picture above (and to the right)?  That binder houses mostly recipes I printed from  See the cookbooks to the right of the picture?  The ones that say ""?  It's easier to type ingredients into the search on the website and find recipes that way than to thumb through cookbooks, although I really do love cookbooks.  I love the idea of them.
We eat mainly chicken, ground beef, and pasta.  We also eat a lot of tomato-based foods such as spaghetti and tortilla soup.  I'm stuck in a rut when it comes to what I buy.  I will freely admit that.  If there was such a service as a "pantry chef" or a show where someone came to your house and listed everything you had in your pantry and fridge then gave you recipes to use it all then I would be the first in line.  Really, though, this post isn't about what we eat.  I do wish I was braver when it came to ingredients.  I'm not afraid to try new recipes - as a matter of fact I pretty much will make several variations of the same dish, never repeating the same recipe twice.  Of course, this is rather inconvenient when I make something that knocks David's socks off.  As I was saying, I'm not afraid to try new recipes, they just have to include ingredients already in my pantry or they have to include ingredients that can be left out or substituted if not in my pantry.  See?

Anyway, I used to house all of my cookbooks in a little hutch in my dining room.  This worked out okay until every recipe I printed off the internet wound up sandwiched between whatever space I happened to find room.  It was looking pretty ghetto.  So, now they live in a bookshelf in a guest bedroom of our home.  It's not even a cute bookshelf. 

I'm a dessert girl.  I love making dessert.  I have a little collection of cookbooks devoted entirely to desserts.  Cookbooks for cookies, brownies (not pictured because it's currently sitting in my cookbook holder on my kitchen counter), and cupcakes. 

If I had a better kitchen with more counter space (that's another post entirely), I would make it my goal to be able to produce cookies that look like this:

Isn't it adorable?  Imagine having the talent to do that!  I considered acquiring this as my new hobby but then I saw the tools required to even attempt to attain this skill:

Considering my sweet husband has been so supportive of all my hobbies such as painting, knitting, and sewing, I figured I shouldn't push my luck.  I really have yet to find my niche, but that's probably because I expect to be really great at something right when I start and that's obviously never the case.

Back to cookbooks.  I have a cookbook with beautiful photos of recipes I'll never make. 

I also have a cookbook dedicated to showing one how to host the most spactacular parties!  It has directions and pictures on how to do everything from setting the table to creating beautiful garnishes to making a beautiful ice bowl!  It also explains (with pictures, no less!) how to host any kind of themed party you want to throw.  Someday I'll be a wonderful hostess, but I probably should get a table that seats more than 6.

I guess my whole point in this is to say that, while I absolutely l-o-v-e cookbooks, I don't know how I'm ever going to use them all.  But my goal is to try to at least thumb through them and see if any have recipes that call for chicken, beef, or tomatoes.  Ha. 

If anyone has a tried-and-true recipe please let me know.  I am also looking for healthy recipes...I have lofty goals of weight loss.  Someday I want to run a half-marathon (those of you who know me stop laughing!) but the thing is - I hate running.  Anyway, that's another post for another time.

If I were to give away one of my cookbooks, would you be interested?  Here's why I'm asking:  I'm considering doing it for a contest.  I will list the ingredients of my fridge, pantry, and freezer and whoever comes up with the best recipe (I have to try it and like it!) wins a cookbook.  I'm also asking because I know there are those of you out there who read my blog but you don't comment.  Other than family, of course.  I know family who read it and don't respond but that's to be expected. 

So, answer me that.  If you're reading me on Facebook, come on over to my blog.  You don't even have to log in to comment (but please tell me who you are).

And, just because I can, here's a photo from bathtime tonight:

Happy Weekend!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obesity and formula

Well, I'm up.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on the caffeinated coffee I drank at 4pm or the fact that my baby isn't in bed next to me for the first time in a while.  I keep checking the monitor to make sure she's...I don't know...still there?

Can I just say something?  Okay, thanks.  I mean, it is my blog, after all.

I recently saw a video trailer for some documentary about babies who are formula fed verus babies who are breastfed.  I'm not going to name the documentary or the website because I don't want to promote it in any way. 

I first saw the video around 9:30pm tonight and I literally can't get it off my mind.  The trailer for this documentary had some woman nursing what looked like a 3-year-old and as she nursed her kid she said (and I quote) "I have friends who say 'Oh, I wasn't breastfed and I turned out fine.'  That argument, with the obesity epidemic in this country, is no longer valid.  Our country is not fine.  Our country did not turn out fine by not having breastfeeding be the norm.  It is an absurd epidemic in this country how sick we are."   

Really, lady? 
I mean, seriously. 

Let's think this through.  Over the past 30ish years, let's name the things that have become more prevalent in our society.

- Video games
- Fast food restaurants on, literally, every corner
- Parents afraid to discipline their kids or "hurt their feelings" which leads to kids having a sense of entitlement

- Divorce
- More moms working outside the home
- Microwaveable meals in place of the homecooked meal

Oh, and "formula-fed babies".  Right.  Our entire society is fat because, as babies, we were all formula-fed. 
My baby gets formula, on average, less than one feeding a week so it's not that I'm defensive about this. 

Here's why this makes me so angry...

First of all, let's all agree that breastmilk is, in fact, the best for babies.  There's absolutely no disputing that.  God, in His infinite wisdom, provided along with the miracle of life the ability for that life to be sustained with the mother's milk.  It's a wonderful thing.  It's a natural thing.  That does not mean it is always an easy thing!  There are babies who come out of the womb Champion Nursers.  There are also babies who come out of the womb and take a little longer to get the hang of nursing and it takes a lot of patience on the part of the mom and the baby to get it figured out.  Some never really do. 

There are women who cannot breastfeed for health reasons on their part or on the part of their baby.  Legitimately, sincerely, cannot do it.  There are babies who are allergic to their mom's breastmilk or babies who have such severe reflux and/or eczema that, to breastfeed their babies, moms would have to go on a diet that would be detrimental to their health. 

Let's even forget about the legitimate reasons.  Let's just assume that a mom doesn't want to breastfeed her child.  Here's the thing... make a documentary, "educate" women all you want, but do not judge women who do not breastfeed.  Want to know why?  Because it's none of your business

I guess I should just laugh at the woman who said that formula-fed babies are the reason for the "obesity epidemic" in America.  Couldn't possibly be that we, as Americans...

We are served larger portions in restaurants than anywhere else in the world and we also have a hard time just putting down the cheeseburger

We allow our kids to sit on their rear-ends in front of video games or Spongebob Squarepants instead of getting outside and exercising. 

We have both the mom and dad working outside the home and thus not really monitoring what or how much the kids eat (among other things). 

Perhaps because of how little we actually see our children or are involved in their lives, are afraid to discipline them for fear it might hurt their self-esteem and instead we give them whatever they want.  Mr. Sense-of-Entitlement grows up and drowns his less-than-stellar childhood memories in a Super Size milkshake and a Big Mac. 

As kids we are more often getting Pop Tarts or Lucky Charms for breakfast, chicken nuggets at school for lunch, and McDonalds in the evening for dinner.  

The list goes on and on.  Yes, I get that she's saying that we are a sick society because, since the introduction of formula, many more mothers formula feed than breastfeed.  It's been my experience, just in being involved in several mothering forums online, that breastfeeding is becoming more the norm than formula-feeding.  Now, I won't start on the whole "breastfeeing your 5-year-old" debate, I'll just say that I admire any woman who can even make it a year breastfeeding.  As I said before, it's not always easy.  Most women who lobby for more women to breastfeed are the ones whose babies latched on from the get-go and gain weight beautifully from the start.

My baby lost a full pound within 3 days of her birth.  She was cranky and downright unhappy and, as a new mom, I couldn't figure out why.  Three days after she was born we went to a lactation consultant who told us of her weight loss and, after hearing about how irritable she was, told us that she was hungry.  Talk about breaking a mother's heart.  My milk didn't come in until 5 days after my daughter was born.  She was burning more calories eating than she was getting from the colostrum (the yellowish stuff babies get from the breast prior to the "real" milk coming in).  We had to supplement with Nutramigen and, let me tell you, I was THRILLED that such a product existed.  My baby didn't have to go hungry!  She also didn't latch very well.  I had to use a nipple shield for the first 3 weeks of her life before she finally latched on. Even then she would pop off while nursing for no apparent reason whatsoever.  She still does that. 

Around 8 weeks or so she would scream at night and cluster-feed (which basically means she was attached to my breast for hours trying to get as much food as she could).  She would cry (then I would cry) when nothing was there.  I would pump during the day but sometimes she needed a couple of ounces of formula to "top her off".  Again, I was so happy that such an option existed.  The thought of telling my baby, "Tough luck, kiddo" after my milk supply was gone and sending her to bed with not enough in her belly wasn't an option for me.  Before we even introduced formula at night I had someone tell me that I wasn't "exclusively breastfeeding" because my baby was also taking my milk through a bottle at night.  Since then I've wised up and realized what a bunch of nonsense that is.  It's my milk and, at the time, I was exclusively breastfeeding. 

Our breastfeeding trials remain, although I have come to realize that even though my kid is done nursing after 7-10 minutes, she's satisfied and doesn't seem to want any more.  She's never choked on the milk even when the supply is gushing so I just have to assume she's an efficient eater and gets the job done in less time which is fine with me.  Her weight is increasing beautifully and steadily so we are happy with that.  I have tried now to only give her formula if absolutely necessary.  My goal is to pump enough so that if David and I leave her with his parents then they will have breastmilk for her.  Lately she's been on a new eating routine where she gets a bottle of breastmilk before bed then a couple of hours after she goes to bed I pump and am able to get about 6 oz which we use the following evening to "stock her up".  By skipping the feeding at night and giving her the bottle I'm able to pump more.  The last couple of nights I've used a couple of ounces of breastmilk to mix with rice cereal and she loves it.

If you read this entire post, great job.  Sorry for rambling.  My baby's been in her own crib for 3 hours now which means she'll probably wake up in about 2 hours.  If she was in our bed with us she would more than likely sleep for 8-10 hours.  Oh, well.

Another late-night post brought to you by me, the girl with too much on her mind at bedtime.

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Second Chances

I always think of things to write when I'm laying in bed. So, tonight as I laid (lay?) in bed thinking of a new post, I decided to come out to the dark living room and just get it out.

I didn't grow up until I turned 24. Isn't it funny that I know exactly when my brain fully formed and I was making more intelligent decisions? Did I still make stupid choices at 24? Well, yeah. As a matter of fact, I still think back on my 24th year and wonder if there were times I even had a brain in my head and, if I did, why I wasn't using it. I didn't say I wised up entirely - just that I, on the whole, decided to be who I was and started on the path to accepting that...and liking it. If God was happy with me, why should I care what others thought? Maybe it was more like 25...

I won't bore you with the details of my past, but let's just say that I was probably the most emotionally immature yet completely self-conscious person I knew. Nothing about me felt right so I lapped up any acceptance offered to me, never being fully satisfied but also not wholly unsatisifed as long as the attention was still there. I looked for (and always found) disappointments in people and situations, but instead of facing the disappointments and just dealing with them I would torture myself and the person who I felt had let me down with emotional rants and, well, a bit of melodrama. I filled my youth with dramatic exits, tearful goodbyes, and second, third, fourth and even fifth chances for people who weren't worth my time to begin with. I get exhausted just thinking about some of the silly things I would get worked up about - what a waste of time!

I know everyone can probably look back on times in their youth when they'd love a "do-over". Sometimes I think of certain situations that I know, had I been who I am today, I would have handled very differently. I don't say all of this with regret. By the grace of God I found an amazing man who accepts me completely and drags me back to reality when I'm losing my grip. I serve a merciful God!

Anyway, I was just thinking about the serendipitous ride that led me to this point. How different I was and how sometimes I wish I would have been able to "zoom out" to see the bigger picture. Oh, the stress I put on myself worrying about the actions of others and how that would affect the way they thought of me.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

It's important to me that I think about these things but not dwell on them. I thank God every day that He was patient with me and gave me the life I have now because of the lessons I've learned. I'm still learning. I pray that I can raise Amelia to not be like me in some ways - always filled with self-doubt and worry. We're all made in His image and that means we are important and valuable - not in an egotistical or self-absorbed way, but in a way that allows us to exude confidence. Confidence in the One who gave us life and continues to bless us.

The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6

Faith in God demands action. Grown-up, responsible action. Action that doesn't rely on whether someone else takes action or what someone thinks of you when you decide to take action. Daily, unwavering, courageous action. The time and energy wasted on creating heartache for others could have been spent glorifying God. These are the lessons it took me 25+ years to learn.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentence without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Chronicles 7:10

I grew up at 24 (maybe 25!) but I'm still not the person God wants me to be. I work toward it every day, some days falling flat on my face and other days shining bright for Him. As part of God's will and to obey Him I was baptized 15 years ago. November 9, 1994. I have never felt cleaner. Constant, daily action that isn't at all easy but it's necessary. My faith in God demands it.

I wasn't really intending for this to be a Bible study, but how can I avoid talking about God when I talk about second chances and "do-overs"? He's the Master of giving both.

I'll leave you with a couple of cute pictures I took today. I wish I could tell you how much I love this little girl but I can't even come close. How did I get so blessed?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Here's some honesty for you: There are days I wonder why people have more than one kid. I'm not saying that Amelia isn't an absolute's not her behavior or even the fact that she pooped all over her play mat today that makes me say that. It's the car seat. The car seat is such a pain to lug around that there are definitely times I long for the days when Amelia is old enough to sit up in the cart while I shop for groceries or hold my hand and toddle beside me when I have to run quick errands (I just got chills writing that...good chills). And, Lord willing, once my sweet baby is old enough to be doing these things the car seat will be filled with yet another plump baby behind. It's something that I'm sure I'll miss once it's gone for good.

I don't have photos. Wish I did (especially of that play mat incident today - just kidding), but I don't. I need to make a list of things to take pictures of because I always forget. At some point I want to sneak in Millie's room while she's sleeping (preferably during the day without the flash) to snap a photo of her napping and also a photo of her all swaddled up. Although, I do have a picture of her swaddled's just from when she was first born. Anyway, maybe I'll make up for not having photos next time and I'll overload you with photos.

Some milestones I need to document:

- Just in the last few days Amelia has started to snuggle with me. She'll lay her head on my shoulder or bury her face in my neck. The pediatrician told us at her 4 month checkup that she noticed a bit of stranger anxiety in Amelia already. She said it was early, but that it's a good sign. My favorite is when she burps in my face (Amelia, not the pediatrician).

- Amelia has recently taken a very noticeable interest in our pup, Tess. I must get a photo of this. It's so cute how Amelia stares at Tess and her eyes follow the pup around the room. I call Tess over and let Amelia touch her...the kid is mesmerized by that dog.

- It is no longer possible to bathe our baby without getting completely drenched ourselves.

- The nursing thing is going "only okay". Everyone says it's the most natural thing in the world but for something so natural it sure can be difficult. I nurse her exclusively during the day but at night she gets a bottle of my milk. I pump a couple of hours after she goes to bed and by then I have enough to more than fill her (more than a usual feeding). We store it and she has it the next night before bed since that's when she seems to need the most.

- It bears repeating: my kid has the cutest giggle.

- We try rice cereal every few days and so far she hasn't shown much of an interest. But, as I read in my Parents magazine, you're supposed to try a new food 6-10 times before ruling it out. Most babies will like (even love) a food if you are persistent and don't give up after just a few tries. So, upward and onward. I'll probably try it again tomorrow night.

- Last night Amelia slept for 10 1/2 hours. That marks the first time she's ever slept more than 9 hours for us. Please, Millie, let this be the new "norm".

Not much else to report. I got some gDiapers off BabySteals and I'm going to try to make the inserts for them soon. This will be our first foray into cloth diapering so we'll see how it goes. I'm pretty excited.

Bring on the holidays! I can't believe it's already mid-November.

I finally wrote a short (obviously relative) post,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Noise & Rice Cereal

So, about this "noise sensitivity" thing. I've never been one for crowds, but crowds in contained indoor spaces makes me a little frantic. The reason isn't just being crammed shoulder-to-shoulder...I only consider myself as having a minor case of claustrophobia. It's the noise of the crowds that makes my palms sweat. I like being able to hear myself talk and I don't enjoy the ringing in my ears that happens when too many people in a close proximity to me are trying to talk all at one time. Add loud music to this and I'm good as committed to a crazy house.

This is going to sound a little crazy, but if I'm in the car with someone and they have the radio on loudly and they're trying to talk to me over the radio it makes me feel almost panicky. I hate it. Just turn the radio off or be quiet! I realize how I sounded just now...kind of like a jerk. It's different (kind of) if there's background music going on at a party or something...I don't mind if music is playing unless the music is loud enough that the strain for people to talk over it is noticeable. My parents think I'm nuts. I know I'm thought of as a neurotic mother, but it's just because I try to put myself in my daughter's position on a constant basis (would I want to be held like this? Am I cold? She must be cold, too. And so on.) that if something is too loud to me then I assume that it's too loud for her. Thus, the realization lately that maybe my daughter is normal and I'm the crazy one whose ears ring when the TV is on loudly (which, "loudly" is apparently relative) and people are trying to talk over it. Don't get me started on loud talkers. My ears are bleeding just thinking about it.

Are you snoring yet? Just don't snore too loudly.

I will take this opportunity to say I thank the Lord for my sensitive hearing. At least I can hear, right?

Amelia had her 4 month checkup yesterday. She's 13 lbs and apparently has shrunk in height since 2 months ago. David said he watched the nurse measure her and isn't buying her "official" height, so we'll measure her ourselves at some point. The pediatrician gave us the "OK" to give Amelia some rice cereal. We tried it last night and she seemed to like it even if most of it ended up down her chin, on her bib, and coating her fingers. Don't believe me? Take a look.

We tried it again tonight but she didn't seem thrilled with it so I think we'll wait another few days or a week before our next attempt.

For the last few days I've been trying to lay Millie down for her naps without being swaddled and without the swing. It's not going so well. Today she whined for 55 minutes before going to sleep for one of her naps and she never sleeps longer than 30 minutes. You'd think that meant she would sleep better at night but that's not the case. She gave us 9 hours straight in Oregon but that is highly unusual. Most of the time she'll sleep right at 5 hours for her first round then 4 for her second round then another 3 or so. After that I unswaddle her and consider her "up" for the day.

My current frustration is that the second you put the pacifier in her mouth (which seems to be her main comfort to go to sleep), her hands immediately go to her face and yank the paci out. At that point she gets upset like "Why? Why would someone take away my pacifier?"

I'm loving that she laughs now. It's more like a chuckle...I love it. She chuckles most at her daddy.

Okay, Amelia's awake from her last nap and in another hour or so she'll be down for the night, I hope. Tomorrow I'll blog about Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Car rides & homemades

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about making the trip to and from Oregon yet again this month. I'm looking forward to being there, but the thought of making the trip with Amelia again makes my neck start itching and puts my sweat glands into overdrive. She was just so miserable last time. We've made a few changes since then, though, and she seems to be (knock on wood) doing better in the car. First, we moved her car seat so that it's behind the passenger seat. I would imagine that if I were a rear-facing baby I'd want to see out the window and where she was before she was pretty much staring at a boring seat back - it can only get better from there and already we've caught her staring at the lights out the window. Second, I stopped sitting in the backseat next to her. Initially I thought sitting back there with her was a great idea because I could stick her pacifier back in when it slipped out and made her mad and I could "calm her down" when she was having a spastic moment. Doesn't work that way. She seems to calm down faster when I'm not back there, probably because if she's crying and I'm sitting back there she's thinking "Hey, lady, pick me up already. What kind of heartless person are you?" That's what I'd be thinking if I was a baby in a rear-facing car seat staring at my mom when I'm overstimulated wondering why she won't just pick me up already. Being in the back seat with a screaming baby is no picnic. It's hard work. I could practically feel minutes of my life melting away.

On the way down to Oregon last time we stopped twice because Miss Amelia was having a full blown temper tantrum. Now, I realize that, generally speaking, 3 month old babies don't have temper tantrums but in order for you to get the best mental picture that's how I need to describe it. The trip should have lasted 3 hours yet it was over 4. On the way back we also stopped twice but the first time she had a good reason to cry because she had a full, nasty diaper and I took that opportunity to feed her as well. This time I sat in the front passenger seat and as we got on the road from the first stop (about an hour in) she started crying. Then screaming. We stopped again and I tried to calm her down but it really wasn't working. I finally got her to sleep and, since it's impossible to put her in her car seat without waking her up, she woke up and wasn't all too happy about it. But, she stayed in her car seat and we got on the road, determined to let her "cry it out" since there was nothing wrong with her! I'll tell you that being in the passenger seat of a car with a screaming baby in the back seat is ten times easier than being in the back seat with said kid. Ten times. Maybe even one hundred times easier. After about 5-8 minutes she was asleep.

So, tomorrow night makes me nervous. Pray for us.

On to more fun things. First, I have very crafty friends. I have a very sweet friend named Megan who taught me how to knit about a year and a half ago and, as you may remember from this post, Megan sent me an adorable sweater for Amelia before she was born. I can't believe it's already time for me to show you my baby in the sweater because it looked so big when Megan first sent it! I'm attaching two pictures because I think her expression in the second picture is so cute. I think Millie looks a lot like her Grandma Baldwin in that second picture!

Finally, here's a vest I made for Anna or Kate or Amelia (whoever fits in it in the correct season, I guess!). My mom and granny helped me pick out the fabric and supplies which I really appreciated since it was my first ever sewing project (unless you count the whale-shaped pillow I made in Home Ec in 7th grade). My mother-in-law was sweet enough to come over a couple of times and help me read the pattern and teach me a thing or two about how to thread my machine and how to get the seams sewn properly. The courderoy flowers are not sewn on yet. I still can't decide if I like them there. What do you think?

It's way past Amelia's bedtime and probably past mine, too. She's in her swing and fell asleep maybe 10 minutes ago so I need to move her to bed.

Have a great Halloween weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Autumnal Bliss

I'm knee-deep in household projects. Amelia sleeping only in her swing for naps has its perks and its pitfalls. Mostly pitfalls. On my list of "household projects" are things like "organize kitchen pantry" and "organize baking cabinet". I have to say that I love, love, love having a husband who is happy to load and unload the dishwasher, especially since I can handle the loading but if I unload while Amelia is sleeping (in her swing) then I inevitably wake her and I try to avoid that. Sidenote: I do realize that I should live as I live and she can get used to the noise but that's not the way it has worked for us. For the first couple of months of her life we did everything we could to live normally and make any noise we needed to make while she was asleep and amazingly she did stay asleep but she's no longer a heavy sleeper. At all.

Anyway, David unloads the dishwasher in the morning while Millie and I are still in bed before he goes to work. It's fantastic, it really is, and things are generally in the cabinet where they belong but they are rarely in the order in which they belong. I spend a lot of time organizing cabinets only to have them in complete chaos and disarray less than a week after I organize them. For a while, I just gave up. I felt bad for complaining about how my husband was unloading the dishwasher and decided to focus on the fact that my husband was unloading the dishwasher. He's a doer anyway - I'm not by any stretch of the imagination married to a slob. We are both varying degrees of "neat" and, as a matter of fact, he might even have me beat on how neatly he keeps things and likes things. One thing we differ on is that David just wants things out of sight and in their proper place...he doesn't really mind if the pan isn't stacked neatly inside the other pans where it belongs as long as it's in the correct cabinet. Same goes with the kitchen pantry. This is our dilemma.

Recently I implored David to straighten out a cabinet full of pans because I had done it before only to have my work undone by a well-meaning husband. So, he did, and that cabinet has been neatly kept ever since with pans stacked tidily in other pans. I'd ask him to straighten out my baking cabinet but I'm home all day now so the best I can do is post about it on my blog and hope he tries to put things back where they go when he unloads the dishwasher (which I really appreciate). My point in all of this was to say that it's noisy to reorganize a cabinet full of cookie sheets and muffin pans as well as rearranging a pantry full of crinkly food packages. So, those items have been put off but I need to get to them this weekend at some point while David is around to entertain our daughter.

Other items on my list are to send out thank you notes from my Oregon baby shower and order photos for a ton of frames as well as for Amelia's baby book and for my pregnancy journal. My shower was on August 31 and I do feel terrible for not having sent the notes out yet but I have some done and will do the rest this weekend! The picture thing - well, it's kind of a pain. I was happy to have found mats for a couple of the frames at WalMart (we have a halfway decent one in Covington) but deciding which pictures go into what frames and even where the frames should go is something I know I can't really make too many mistakes with but it still is a lot more work than it sounds!

Tonight I went to a Ladies Bible Class at the church building. The speakers were really fantastic and I learned a lot. It's amazing how much you can absorb when you're not preoccupied with an infant. It struck me on the way there and on the way home how much I missed turning the CD up and singing along with the music. I don't, however, turn the CD up too loudly because apparently I am sensitive to noise (but more on that later). I was listening to Rascal Flatts. I'm very big into lyrics. I concentrate so hard on lyrics to songs that I can usually listen to a song just a couple of times before I can sing along without making too many mistakes. I play a particular song of Rascal Flatts over and over again called "Why". It's heartwrenching. I've embedded it here if you want to listen to it. I get teary-eyed every time I hear it.

David and I are going to see the movie "Amelia" on Saturday. We didn't name our daughter after Amelia Earhart but I still think it's neat that there's a movie that came out the same year Amelia was born. So, we'll go see it and I'll let you know what we thought of it.

Here are some pictures from the Pumpkin Patch a couple of weeks ago. We go to a place on Sauvie Island in Portland every year with my family.

David with Amelia & the 3 girl cousins in the pumpkin cutout

Caleb on the tractor & the 3 sisters with our 3 baby girls. We dressed alike and got a LOT of stares and comments. Some people even took pictures of our babies.

My twin & me sharing a mini-chocolate chip covered caramel apple (I still dream about it). Can you guess who is who? Now that we're about the same weight we definitely look similar! Also, there's a picture of Caleb with his airbrush-painted face from the pumpkin patch and Amelia on his lap.

Have a great autumn weekend!