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Monday, November 29, 2010

Sicky Icky



This is how Ri rode home from TN most of the trip yesterday.  She got sick at the house (at about 10:45am) before we left and by 2:00 that afternoon, had gotten sick a total of 4 times...each time was less and less, of course.  She wouldn't suck her thumb or drink anything or even crack a smile as hard as I tried to make her laugh.  But she did, very wearily, blow me a kiss.  :)  I held her hand, rubbed her head, and made sure the plastic bag was ready as soon as I heard a cough.

By the time we were about 20 minutes from home, Ri was drinking her sippy, chattering away, and smiling again.  I have NO idea what caused her to get sick but I am incredibly thankful to God that since we got home yesterday, she has been perfectly fine!  Praise God for His goodness!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stair Master



Today I was in the living room at my parent's house and my mom had gone up to her room to get some socks.  Soon, I heard my mom say to me, "she's climbing the stairs!".  Sure enough, she was indeed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GoGreen Pocket Diaper Review

Ok so I had wanted to try to cloth diaper for a long time. But I'll be honest. The initial cost was pretty significant. Even though $4-$5 per jumbo pack (with my couponing) seemed like it was much cheaper, I knew cloth was going to be in the long run but it was hard for me to imagine spending $350 or so to begin. If you're at all interested like I was, I'm here to tell ya, you DON'T HAVE TO SPEND THAT MUCH!

I found GoGreen Pocket diapers and I LOVE them! I held them up to my name-brand diapers and you really cannot tell a difference. At first I was a little bit nervous about the quality because of the price being so much lower (HALF of what the "big dogs" charge) but they were absolutely comparable! And, the prints are SO cute! I mean, could Ri look ANY cuter in her cow print diaper below???



As far as doing the job, I haven't had any issues. There are enough snaps to ensure it fits snug around Ri - even with her chubby legs and thighs. I tried them overnight as well (doubling up on the inserts like I usually do with other diapers) and in the morning - NO LEAKS! Each diaper costs $8.99 or $9.99 depending on the style and shipping is always $5 no matter how much you order! You can also order packages of 3, 4, 6 or 12 and save a few bucks! They also started offering wet/dry bags and gift certificates. If you haven't already, check out their website here. The customer service is awesome!!! And there's a 15 day wash and wear policy so if you decide it's not for you, just return them! I mean, really, if you're at all interested in cloth diapering or if you're looking to expand your stash, give GoGreen Pocket Diapers a try. I really think you'll be glad you did!!

I love Shutterfly!!!

So Shutterfly is now doing a promotion for bloggers - if you blog, you should do it! They have ALL kinds of designs you can choose from so there's for sure one that will fit your style. One of my favorites is the timeline card. You can put pictures as well as information about what happened with your family in the past year. They also have a folded 5x7 card that is similar to the timeline card but you can add a bit more information. They also offer some cards that part of the proceeds will be donated to organizations such as LiveStrong and The American Lung Association. So you can send out your yearly Christmas card and also make a contribution to a charitable cause!

I'm already imagining all of the creative things I will be able to do this year with my Christmas card! I've made photo books with Shutterfly and they always do an excellent job!! I'm excited to make my Christmas cards with Shutterfly this year! Check out their choices for photo Christmas cards here and holiday cards here. Shutterfly can even take care of helping address and mail your cards directly to your family and friends! You know it's a lot easier to type out all those address than write them. :) And don't forget about their other products they offer such as invitations - for just about any occasion you can think of! Take a look here.

Ok well I gotta get goin on creating my card. I don't really wanna wait until the second week of December like we did last year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lemme See!



Sometimes Ri would take too big of bites of food and gag.  So I started asking her to show me she'd chewed all of her food to make sure she didn't have any more food in her mouth before getting more.  Now she repeatedly shows me when she wants more.  Perhaps we should work on a more polite way to show we've chewed all of our food??

Friday, November 5, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Looking Back - Going Forward

I have been putting off blogging about this. I didn't wanna take myself back and open up thoughts and feelings I've been trying so hard to suppress and forget about. But sometimes, writing can help heal. So that's what I'm hoping for.

First, let me say that Rilynn is the joy of my heart. I never thought in a gazillion years I could have the love and connection that I do with my daughter. But it didn't start out that way. And I honestly believe it's because of the birth experience I had. I've blogged about my experience before here.

I know there are women who don't have c-sections who still don't feel connected and bonded with their baby immediately. But is it normal - and I'm being totally honest here - to look at your newborn baby girl and be angry? Of course I wasn't angry at her, but looking at her brought back my horrible birth experience. Even now, passing by that hospital brings back this hit-in-the-gut feeling in the pit of my stomach. Yes, she was and has been very healthy. And I'm very thankful for that. But contrary to what some may feel or believe, that's not all that matters. And I don't expect women who've never experienced what I have to understand that - similar to not expecting women who've never lost a baby to understand what that's like.

I'm well aware that the Lord allowed this situation to happen for a reason; that He's placed this in my life to bring more glory and honor to Him. But I'm still working through it in my mind and heart. I STILL feel cheated. Over a year later, and I haven't "gotten over it".

When I was younger, I used to have a "No Fear" shirt that said, "There's nothing more painful than regret". Boy...does that ever ring true. I regret I didn't do things differently for my first birth. But I can't go back and change anything. And now, as my husband and I desire to add to our family, I find myself determined to make the next pregnancy completely different.

But, because of my previous section, I am finding it extremely difficult to do so. I had NO idea there were laws against how a woman could choose to deliver her baby! Seriously, this country has no problem allowing mothers to kill their unborn babies, but when I desire to choose what I believe the safest option (VBAC - vaginal birth after cesarean) for myself as well as my baby, it's illegal?! You've GOT to be kidding me!

I've been researching options for close to two months now. I want to be prepared before I become pregnant again. I want to know where to go. I certainly won't be returning to my previous OB. I may even consider going to Columbia or Asheville - I'm still collecting information for closer options. But I have yet to find somewhere locally where I feel comfortable that they would HELP me with a VBAC - not just "allow me to try". I need to be surrounded by people I trust and who trust in my body's ability. I honestly think it's VERY sad that there aren't more options and support in my area for women in my position.

I want no intervention unless it's an absolute emergency. I want to be able to allow my body to do what it was designed to do. I really don't even want to be at a hospital. But because of laws here, that's not even an option for me. Oh how I wish I could have my next baby at home!!

So we'll see. I'll continue researching. I know God's desire is for me to look to Him. I, by no means, want this pursuit of a natural VBAC to become a god in my life. For those reading this that may think my desire is foolish or unsafe, please understand I have done EXTENSIVE research: a complete rupture occurs in much less than 1% of women attempting a VBAC and a VBAC is actually, in most cases, considered safer than a repeat elective cesarean. Uterine rupture can also occur in women with no previous cesarean with the use of pitocin. I could go on and on. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists just recently stated their (new and improved - in my opinion) belief towards women trying for a VBAC here. I feel confident that trying for a VBAC is safe for me and my future baby.

Just to be clear, I don't look down on anyone or feel it's wrong or irresponsible to choose cesarean. I'm just stating how I feel about my next pregnancy. I'm not anti-doctor. I'm just a little more pro-natural. :) I don't know if God will allow me to have a successful VBAC with my next baby. I hope so. But if not, I know He is still good and His plan is still perfect.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thoughts on Cloth So Far

So I've been using cloth diapers for about a week and a half now. Here's what I've learned so far:

1. Cloth diapering is a COMPLETELY different culture. I had to spend a lot of time on the Internet (including youtube) to educate myself as well as asking advice from the few people I know who use cloth.

2. I don't really care for "that look" people give me when I tell them I'm using cloth diapers. One thing I've learned - don't knock it until you've tried it. Maybe you won't like it, but please don't wrinkle your nose at me until you've tried. Seriously, it's probably not anything like you're thinking. Pins are rubber pants (as well as rashes and leaks) are NOT the norm anymore.

3. It WILL save me money. I'm using wash cloths for wipes now whem I'm at home. It's just easier to throw everything in the wash together.

4. I should have ordered a diaper sprayer from the beginning. Some people who cloth diaper don't want one. I do. It's definitely a must-have for me now. We are making our own and it's slightly cheaper but I don't have to wait on shipping and know the quality of the parts.

5. I don't have to have Ri in cloth ALL the time. There have been times at my parent's house or out and about that I put her in disposables. I think the more comfortable I become with cloth, though, the more I'll lean that way more full-time.

6. I wish I would have tried this sooner. It's actually become like a new hobby of mine to learn more and figure out what works best for our family. It's like a new adventure!! And, can anyone deny how CUTE cloth diapers are?! Too bad I didn't start this during the summer. They could have doubled as her bloomers. We could barely fit her chunky thighs into bloomers anyway.

So...what's my favorite type of diaper? POCKET!! This, I have found, is a favorite among a lot of cloth diapering moms. **I found a website I'm really excited about that I ordered from last night...pocket diapers for half the cost. Click here. I'll keep you posted on what I think of those**



I REALLY wanted to like the hybrid (Flip by BumGenius) because it's more trim but the insert just bunched up too much and was more prone to spring a leak. I have found for Ri, the pocket diaper really keeps the insert in place a lot better. Although the Flips have pretty rave reviews...they don't get my vote.



If you're considering trying cloth, I would encourage you to give it a whirl. The best way, I think, is to do a trial like I am. That way, you can try out a few different styles and whatever you don't like, you send back! I know for me, I wanted to try it but there are SO many different styles that I had no idea which one would work for Ri and didn't wanna invest in the "wrong" diaper. The trial has worked great for us! I'll be sending back the diapers I don't want this week and getting more pocket diapers instead.

Friday, October 22, 2010

She's Walkin!



Ri FINALLY decided today to take some unassisted steps and it's been SO fun!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Girl!!!

So I've realized...I tell Rilynn "Good Girl!" a lot; probably more than I should. Not that I think it's horrible to say that phrase, but after talking with a few gals from my care group and my mom, I think it might be good to limit how much I say it.

But, you ask, what do you say to encourage???

I shall tell you! My mom mentioned this and I think it's a spectacular idea! If Ri is doing a good job eating her meal, instead of saying "oh what a good girl!" I can say, "oh what a good eater!"

If Ri puts her toy in the toy box when I ask her, instead of saying, "good girl!" I can say "what a good helper!"

In other words, I'm going to try to focus more on praising the characteristic she is exhibiting. After all, "no one does good, not even one" - Romans 3:12b And ultimately, I don't want her to think she's a "good girl"; but a young child in need of a Savior.

May God grant me grace...I'm sure I'll need it!! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Words


So I mainly want to document this for myself...

Yesterday at breakfast we had pancakes and were talking about them and Ri said "pancake" - seriously!  At first I wasn't really sure but then Septtro said he heard the same thing! 

Then at dinner last night, she was holding her hands in the air and so my dad said "praise Jesus!" and she said it back!  Of course she wouldn't say it again though.  And she's been saying "uh oh" for a couple weeks. 

It might be too early to tell but I think she might be a chatter box.  :) 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ready to Cloth!!!!


So I did it. I ordered cloth diapers. I really considered doing it before Ri was born - read here. The main reason I didn't do it when Ri was born was because I was freaked out to add anything else new to the mix. And I have and still do get good deals on disposable diapers. But I remain intrigued. There hasn't been a person who uses cloth diapers that I've spoken to that doesn't love it.

Cloth diapering is NOT like it used to be "back in the day". What I'm most excited about, is there are actually biodegradable disposable inserts you can put inside the cloth diaper (on top, basically) that will be a HUGE help when I'm out running errands or when Ri is in nursery, etc. They're MUCH cheaper than a disposable diaper would be and can even be reused a few times and thrown in the wash if they just get wet, not dirty. How cool is that?

I ordered several diapers from www.diaperjunction.com to do their 30 day diaper trial. It's the longest trial I found and I was able to choose what I wanted. I was able to get 10 diapers, a wet bag, and disposable inserts for under $200 (they had a promotional to get a free diaper with $75 purchase and I found a $5 off coupon code to use). What I don't like, I send back! Of course, one of the best things about this is that I can figure out a system I like and be ready to use it with subsequent babies, which will definitely save money.

My order shipped out today. I can't wait to try it out! And I REALLY can't wait to see Ri in the cute colors and prints!! The cow one pictured is one I ordered. They also had a REALLY cute pink hibiscus flower print one but they were out of stock. :(

One thing I have definitely learned is there is A LOT to learn about cloth diapering. I've done A LOT of research and feel like there's still a lot I don't know. But I feel like the best way to learn is to do right? I'll keep you posted!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'll Poke You in the Eye!



Ri's birthday was Saturday and EVERYBODY was here to celebrate!!  It was so nice to have everyone together.  Brynnen and Rilynn got to play together often.  A few things about this video:

1.  We need to work more on Ri's desire to swat others in the face

2.  I hope in the future the girls will be ale to play together nicely

3. For some reason, Ri got her feelings hurt at the end of the video and her eyes started tearing up.  This was very difficult for her Daddy to witness.  :)  But I love how much he cares about her! 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Review - A Christmas Prayer by Amy Parker

I got this book free in exchange for a review from www.booksneeze.com. Anyway, so here goes:

This is a book that has a simple rhyme on each page of several elements of Christmas. I love that the pages are baby friendly. Considering Ri is only a year old, she would tear normal pages. They're thicker and more cardboard-like. The outside of the book was kinda puffy, making even more for a baby-friendly book. Ri really loved turning the pages herself. :)

Each page goes over one element of Christmas - angels, Jesus, Mary, etc. It's really a very cute book and very simple, rhyming words. I just kinda wish that the book went into a little more detail. But I guess for a smaller child, this is really all they need.

Overall, it was a very cute book. The illustrations were really neat - like a sketch almost. I think we will probably bring this book out at Christmas. Who knows, maybe it will become a favorite?!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kisses!



When I first turned the camera on, she knew it and gave this shy smile...so cute!  She definitely knows the camera! 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Intent



There was once a time when I wondered when Rilynn was actually being disobedient and knowing exactly what she was doing.  I mean, being born sinful I knew I wouldn't have to teach her to be defiant or disobey.  But once I saw this face, it was pretty clear.  If this isn't the face of intent, I don't know what is!

*By the way, this was after she had been told "no" by Daddy and she was reaching for what she wanted anyway.*

We are working on pointing her towards obedience and a desire to seek and please the Lord...I know it's a long road but we conitnually pray for God's wisdom in this area.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Go Team!



This was at Septtro's first home football game this season (last Friday).  She LOVED when the band played.  :)

Our good friends, the Naisangs, made her t-shirt for us.  Isn't it cute?! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeding the Lil Bird



This was at my parent's house this past Friday. My mom has us all over for dinner once a week. Yes, very nice!! :)

Emmory doesn't care for green beans anymore. So he was glad to feed them to Ri when they were put on his tray. And Ri was content to be fed like a dainty lil bird.

I think it's cute how Mur opens his mouth when Ri does as he's feeding her. How many times have I caught myself doing that when feeding Rilynn? I guess that's just a natural reaction that starts very early!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cuddlin with GiGi



We went to visit great-grandma (aka GiGi).  It was nap time when we went to visit so after Ri was fussy for a while, she decided to be cuddly.  :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lookin Good!



Yesterday was the beginning of the end for these pox I think.  No new ones have popped up and all the others are beginning to dry out and scab over.  Yay!

Can I tell you how incredibly thankful I am to the Lord that through all of this, Ri was still her happy self?  Well, I'm incredibly thankful!  :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pox of the Chicken Kind



So Friday morning when I changed Ri's diaper, she had several red bumps.  I thought they were bug bites but then more appeared.  Then they appeared on her face, scalp, and neck and have slowly made their way to her back, chest, hands, legs, etc. 

We went to the doctor this morning after I descibed it over the phone and they asked that I bring her into the office.  The nurse practitioner and two doctors looked at her, examined the spots, and asked questions.  The verdict: "Well we're not really sure exactly what it is".  Phhh...great.  They think it could be chicken pox but they're not certain because it didn't start on her trunk like it normally does but then again, they said chicken pox can exhibit itself in various ways with children so young. A few of the bumps did have clear fluid in them but I can't say for sure all of them did.

She had a very low grade fever for, literally, only hours yesterday but that's it. She's sleeping normal and just as happy and active as always. Except the appearance of the bumps, you'd never know anything was even wrong.   

I personally think it is chicken pox but I guess we'll never know for certain.  I don't know of where she could have been exposed except for grocery stores or a few other stores we've been to the past couple weeks. 

At least she's not acting like she's miserable.  The doctor gave me a perscription for an antibiotic ointment but even the pharmacist said she'd hold off on it. (I think doctors like to send you out the door with at least some type of perscription just to cover any and all possibilities.)  So for now, I'll just keep putting my trusty coconut oil on the bumps and periodically check her temperature. 

Sweet baby girl...I hope they go away really soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time Management



I posted before about my struggle with time management.  I need a routine, a schedule...but also flexibility.  I wasn't quite sure how to balance the two without stressing myself out. So my dear friend from church, Rita, helped me out and this is what we came up with.

I have the flexibility to switch days if I need to or want to, which is nice, but I also have just a minimal amount of chores each day so I still have some structure without overwheming myself.  I even have set days for visiting with others (which, like I said, could be rearranged if needed).

I'm pretty excited about using this. I will begin full force next week!

Thanks Rita!!  :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Did This Happen??



See this...this is the cake pan for Ri's personal birthday cake. My friend let me borrow it.  It's about the size of two cupcakes worth of cake - perfect for a 1 year old I think.  Ugh, there it is...1 year old.  My baby will be 1 next month!  51 days!

How did this happen??!  I feel like I'm just now getting used to the idea that I'm a mom...that I have a daughter...that I'm not playing "house".     

Monday, August 2, 2010

Three Guesses



I'll give you three guesses how this happened.  :)

I knew it'd happen sooner or later.  No more putting her down and expecting she'll stay there.  No more being unconcerned about Ri's surroundings.  She is quickly moving from a baby to a toddler.  It's more difficult but so much fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Waving!



She's just started doing this.  Yes, she waves backwards but we're making progress.  :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tiiiiiiiiime, why you punish me?

Ok so can you imagine me singing the title from Hootie and the Blowfish's song from way back? No? Another post, another time perhaps.

I have REALLY been struggling lately with managing my time. I think I like to make A LOT of excuses. Scratch that. I KNOW I like to make a lot of excuses. And then there's the guilt that comes with not accomplishing what I think I should have accomplished each day.

I have tried to-do lists. Those seem to stress me out more. Because then I seem to do something that's not on my list instead of what's actually on my list. You know, I pass by the dresser and it's full of dust and I decide it must be dusted immediately! Of course, I promtly add it to my list so I can have the joy of crossing something off my list...but then it just extends my to-do list for the day - making it impossible for me to accomplish all that I wish to; so I feel guilty, and in turn, I wanna give up all together. Septtro has told me to only do one thing - one simple thing - a day while I'm home with Ri. After that's done, I should feel free to just enjoy spending time with my sweet baby girl. But for some reason, I have a very hard time doing that. I mean, what counts as my "one thing"? Putting a few dishes away? Folding and putting away Rilynn's laundry? - wait, that would count as two things right? What about actually getting out of my pajamas? You see how my mind works? It's exhausting, really.

What I do know, is that my to-do list will never end. But I need to come up with a way to feel productive as a mom and wife, yet keep my sanity. One area that needs to improve GREATLY is my quiet time with the Lord. I know this. But why is it I can't seem to get consistent? My excuse that I am too busy with a baby is fading...she'll be 10 months tomorrow!

Ultimately, where is my satisfaction coming from? Obviously not from the Lord. My focus is obviously off. I see that. And I desperately wanna get focused.

I'm just being honest. And I'm open for suggestions.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Future Cheerleader?



She's even said "yay!" a few times. Not that I want her to become a cheerleader, but she does have quite an impressive clap. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

No Longer Our Baby



Suka has had quite the adjustment in the past 9 months. She literally used to be our baby. She'd go everywhere with us.

I can remember people telling me that relationship would change once Ri got here. I didn't believe it. But it's true. It's like someone once said, "Once you have a baby, your dog becomes your dog."

Although she's no longer our baby, she's still a very important part of our family. Sometimes it's nice to have some Suka time.  :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry **video fixed**



I didn't realize the video didn't upload before. I have to do it from my cell phone and sometimes it doesn't upload properly.

Anyway, we went to Florida for a week to spend time with family. While we were there, Rilynn got to play with her cousin, Brynnen. Ri has always liked to scream - but Brynn wasn't too thrilled with how Ri was communicating. :)

To Do...



Is it bad to live out of a suitcase when you're at home?  :)

I just don't like unpacking very much. It's on my to-do list.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Army Crawl



This is how Ri gets places now. I think it's funny how her arm gets all tangled underneath her.  :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smartest Baby Ever



If this is any indication of her hand/eye coordination, I think we're on the right track.  :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sweet Lil Sleeper



I thought this was a different, cute angle of Ri sleeping in her carseat.  :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Say Please!



We've been workin on sign language with Ri for a few months. Tonight, we kept working with her at the table and she really seemed to actually do (her own version of) the sign for "please"...too many times to really think it was all coincidence.

She doesn't do it until the very end of the video - we were working through what appeared to be "demanding" for a good bit . It's like she's scratching herself across her chest. I know it may seem so slight but the fact that she did it so many times tonight really makes me think she may actually be beginning to catch on!

So yeah...not to brag but I pretty much have the smartest baby ever.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Swinging!



This was her first experience in a swing. I think it's safe to say she enjoyed herself.  :)

My mom said I was potty trained using "swing time" as a reward. I wonder if we can do the same with Ri.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cheeser



I was tryin to catch Mur Mur doin his sign language for "please". But as soon as I turned the camera on, he turned into Mr. Cheeser. Love him!!

Whenever somebody has food, he will do his please sign so much you'd think he was going to rub a hole right in his shirt! It makes me laugh.

If you look closely, he also does the sign for "more". His is a little different that it's supposed to be. It's when he takes his pointer finger on one hand and hits his other hand open-palmed.

I'm hoping to teach Ri sign language too. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Growing Up



Ok, I don't think you understand how big of a deal this is for me That's right, me.  Not Ri.

If you know me at all, you know I'm horrible with change.  My mom is horrible with change. My grandmother is horrible with change.  I guess you could say it runs in the family.  Or maybe it's just a girl thing.  Regardless, I am.

I blogged a while ago about how I hadn't given Ri any solids yet when she was 7 months old. Then when she turned 8 months, I thought, "Shoot, this is going so well let's go for 9 months!"

Then the other day, I was eating a fresh cucumber from our garden in front of Ri.  She reached out for it.  So I let her suck on it a lil bit.  She made a funny face and that was the end.

A few days later, I let her taste the cucumber again.  She never swallowed or chewed any of it, just tasted.

Then today, my mom and I were out to lunch and we had a salad with fruit in it and some bread.  I like her taste the bread like I did the cucumber.  Then my mom suggested I let her try a piece of a strawberry.

Instead of just letting her taste it once and taking it away, I actually held it there and let her explore it - both with her mouth and with her hands.  And then, she actually swallowed a small piece.  I'll be honest, all my mind could think was, "There goes her baby-ness - quick, get it outta her mouth before she grows up right before your eyes!" But she loved it!  Every time tried to take it away, she'd grab my hand again.

Yes, she's growing up.  She's getting bigger.  And no, I can't "keep her stupid" (as my dad likes to say) forever.  Oh how my heart wishes I could!  Feeding times have become our time - just us. And as much as we struggled in the beginning, it's SO simple now.  Honestly, I don't even really mind that she won't take a bottle (yes I've tried it in a sippy cup and she doesn't care for that either). I know that limits me as far as where I can go and for how long. But in the long run, it's such a small part of her life that she'll need me like she does now;  and I guess that's part of the reason why I'm having a hard time making the transition.

This is just the beginning of the end.  But I think I'm starting to be ok with that. Although I'm still not going to make solids a huge priority.  After all, her main source of nutrients should be coming from me until she's at least a year old anyway.  But perhaps now, every once and a while, I'll let her explore the fascinating world of solids...slowly, oh ever so gradually, but surely. She's growin up, and so is Mommy.

Fun With Balloons



She was havin a good ol time!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Remembering



Last time I walked down this path, I was headed to the ER. We were camping at Lake Jocassee. I was pregnant with Peanut.

When I went to use the restroom, I thought I'd lost my baby. Our ER visit confirmed everything seemed to be fine. But a month later, we found out everything wasn't fine.

It's hard not to remember when I see certain things here...especially when I made a trip to that same bathroom. I avoided the same stall.

But then God is so gracious. As hard as that summer was two years ago; this summer, I have a sweet girl smiling and splashing in the water.

I'm thinking of you, Peanut...and lovin on your sister!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ri's Elephant Impression...and some random squeals too



She's been doin this scream-type thing inside her mouth lately. It makes me laugh. I like to think she's imitating an elephant but I think it might just be random baby noises.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sly



I just love her facial expression in this picture.  :)

She's holding a travel toothbrush holder (50 cents at CVS on clearance!)...it's her new favorite toy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Preview



Here's a quick preview of Ri's room makeover...I spent the day with my friend Nikki - and her sweet kids - today and almost everything is ready!

I made Ri's valance...ruffle and all (with lots of help from Nikki).  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Thanks SOOO much Nikki for your help!  I couldn't have done it without you!!

More pics to come soon!! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Buckle Up!



My car has a reminder beep when the seatbelt isn't fastened on the driver or passenger side seats. As much as I'd like to claim I was overly concerned about Suka's well-being, it just so happens she weighs enough to activate the reminder beep.

*For those of you who may be concerned, we were not in motion when this was taken.*

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homemade vs Commercial


It's no secret. I coupon. Because I coupon, I am able to find things at a much cheaper price. However, what if I could save money AND clean with products that don't have crazy ingredients I can't pronounce?  I'm interested...and I love this post: 

http://www.southernsavers.com/2010/05/homemade-vs-couponing-household-supplies/

**Don't miss out on the fabulous links at the end...lots of great info and recipes for homemade cleaners**
I'm not saying you'll never see another Mr Clean product in my house (could I really get rid of ol faithful...aka Magic Eraser?!). I'm just sayin, if it's just as cost-effective and there's an added benefit for my family, why not? I'm not gonna go and throw out everything in my house I already have. I just plan to slowly change one item at a time.

That's all.

Puttin things in perspective


I just read a blog about a young girl who went to be with Jesus a few days ago. She was abandoned in Serbia after her parents found out she had a heart condition. A couple from Texas adopted her.

I can't help but sit here in a puddle of tears and gratitude. My sweet baby is sleeping soundly in the next room, not in a hospital bed. Our days are spent reading and playing, not fighting to overcome illness.

Now experiencing the incredible love of a mother, my heart aches for mommies who see their children in pain, struggling to live, and even watch as they take their last breath.

Thankful doesn't quite sum up how I feel right now. And hopefully, in those moments I find myself ready to complain, I'll remember little girls like Chrissie.  

http://allarepreciousinhissight.blogspot.com/ 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Healthy Food and Living


I have a new favorite grocery store: Earth Fare!  As many of you know, I'm very much into couponing and have been able to save a lot of money doing so.  If stores don't take coupons (Aldi) or have a difficult coupon policy (Ingles), I don't shop there.

Recently, I started talking to a few women at my church (one who I told she needs to start a blog bc she's a wealth of great info...but she has 7 kids and no time for that so I decided I'd pass on the info she shares with me) who eat as organically as possible and have found ways to get good deals on healthier food. I mean, who doesn't wanna eat healthy foods? But I always figured it'd break the bank to do so I didn't even try. But after talking with them, I realized eating and living healthier was very doable. It all kinda started for me after Ri had a very common baby girl problem and the doctor prescribed a hormonal cream that was going to cost over $100. I knew there must be another alternative...possibly more natural and definitely cheaper. Turns out, there was - coconut oil!  That stuff is great for a lot of things but I used it for Ri and still use it occasionally at diaper changes instead of the other well-known diaper creams...works great!  I also use it on her thumb since she sucks it so much and it can get kinda raw...just a couple applications and it clears up!

I'm not, by any means, going to refuse to eat or drink anything that's not 100% certified organic or, as one lady so properly put it, "allow organic and natural things to become an idol". But if there are opportunites to eat healthier and live healthier, I'll take them!

If you have an Earth Fare near you, sign up to get their coupons via email - they're awesome...like buy organic ketchup for $1.50 and get 2 free handmade hamburger patties or buy $5 worth of items and get a free fresh pineapple. They're also currently doing a promotion to raid your pantry for unhealthy items and exchange them for healtheir choices for free - even if your item is opened and almost gone!   They also have coupons in the store near the front sometimes. Their website also sometimes has additional coupons available.  Just today, Septtro and I both got a free half wrap, chips, and soup, exchanged 2 bottles of salad dressing, cereal, and peanut butter for organic, and got 8 handmade black and blue hamburgers all for just over $10!   You can print more than one copy of their coupon and have someone else use it (Septtro in my case) or go back to the store again before the sale ends.

Also, if you're interested in healthier living in general on a budget, check out these websites (I haven't been able to look at them all myself yet) :

www.kitchenstewardship.com

www.thenourishinggourmet.com

www.passionatehomemaking.com

www.keeperofthehome.org

One last website that's great for a lot of Mommy questions is (forum-type format): www.welltellme.com

If you are aware of any other ways to eat or live healthier - without breakin the bank - please let me know!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Da-da

Ri has been saying this ALL day today - to her father's delight. :) She's said Momma over and over before but she's really starting to be more intentional about Dada.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Toofers



I'm sure gonna miss her gummy smile but havin those two lil teeth is pretty stinkin cute too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Year Ago...



Dear Ri,

A year ago today, we found out you were a girl!  I knew it all along. :) 

At first, I was really nervous about having a girl because I'm not very girly myself. I was unsure how I felt about the color pink invading my house; along with frills, bows, and baby dolls.  But even before you came into this world, I began to transform.  I began to embrace my own girly side even more (slightly, but more so than before...although I still think make-up is a pain in the hiny so still none for me most of the time).

Anyway, I just want you to know you are free to be girly; free to wear pink, free to play dress up, free to hate dirt, and yes, even free to do ballet if that's what your heart desires.

I love you sweet baby girl and I'm so very thankful to call you my daughter!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Momma's Day



This is my first Mothers Day. Actually, I kinda feel like it's my second - Ri was just inside my tummy last year instead of outside.

I had a lot of emotions this morning...waking up to my handsome husband and beautiful daughter: daughter, I still can't believe I have a daughter. I still can't believe God chose me to be her mom. She's such a joy!

I am overwhelmed at God's goodness and grace. And I am so very thankful that His plan is perfect.

I look forward to many more Mothers Days...and Lord-willing, more children to celebrate.

Happy Mothers Day to all of you as well!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Solids??


I am still exclusively breastfeeding Rilynn.  She just turned 7 months old.  She doesn't seem to be in need of anything else right now (no waking up at night or crying after nursing) and I quite like the availability of how she gets her meals now.  I guess I just picture starting solids as a constant cooking, mashing, blending, mixing of all these ingredients Septtro and I aren't eating and it stresses me out...big pain in the hiny.  Although I'm well aware that I'm very good at blowing things way out of proportion.  But then I started to feel guilty because I thought, "I'm holding her back!"  The pediatricians all say start solids at 6 months. But part of me just doesn't get what's so magical about 6 months and solids. I mean, what if they're doing just fine with nursing still?

So then I came across this article: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/04/feeding-babies-a-relaxed-common-sense-approach.html 

I think I'm gonna try that....AND, just take one day at a time and see how things go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tummy Time



This is the third time I've found her flipped over onto her tummy. I suppose sleeping this way would help her thumb stay in her mouth better.  :) 

I'll be curious to see if she continues to sleep on her tummy regularly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What I'm Learning



- having a baby is A LOT more sanctifying than I ever imagined in so many more ways than I ever imagined

- you can never have enough baby wipes in the diaper bag

- everybody has an opinion on how kids should be raised.  I need to trust in God's sovereignty and the wisdom He gives me on decisions I make for my baby

- all babies are different

- babies are confusing

- Facebook, email, and blogs can be great for sharing Ri with friends and family...but also can take precious time away from what (or I should say, who) matters most

- Not everybody is as proud of Ri for rolling over as I am

- Mommy needs time to herself at least once a week

- emotions still linger long after the newborn stage

- once babies get to the grabby stage, give them a toy or something ELSE to grab during diaper changes

- even when I'm sitting right beside Ri, it's still possible for her to fall and bump her head

- I'm not in control...as much as I try to be

- being a stay-at-home mom isn't much like I imagined but there's nothing else I'd rather do

- ALWAYS plan for getting out of the house to take at least 10 minutes longer than expected

- I will probably cry when Ri turns a year old

- it's hard for me to feel connected at church and with God during this season of my life

- the mistakes I make as a parent are covered by God's grace

- being a parent is awesome....and there's much, much more to learn!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here I Am...sorta

I am STILL trying to get my mobile blog back up and running from my new phone. Sometimes I really think these "smart phones" could be just a tad smarter.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homemade Wipes

I've been making my own baby wipes for about 5 months now (thanks to my cousin, Katie, for tellin me about it!) and I LOVE it! Not only do I use them for diaper changes, but also to wipe her off before bed if I don't get around to a bath or even as a nice, soft tissue for my delicate nose. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner! It really comes out to be A LOT cheaper than store-bought and I like that I know exactly what's in them. Here's how I make them:

I found a 2-pack of MainStay brand plastic containers at Walmart for about $3 to store them in (any air-tight container will work).

1. Cut a paper towel (no cheap ones - I like Viva and Brawny) roll in half with knife or tool of your choice

2. Mix 1 1/2 cups of water with 2 Tblsp baby wash and 1 Tblsp baby oil

3. Pour solution over paper towels

4. Let solution soak through (might want to flip container upsidedown for a few minutes)

5. Pull out cardboard piece from middle, pull wipes from middle and presto!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rollin Rollin Rollin!

This past Wednesday, Ri finally figured out she's in control of making herself roll over - the connection has been made!

She hasn't been much interested in rolling over...before Wednesday it had been a couple weeks and before that it had been almost a month. She's yet to roll from her back to her tummy - it's always tummy to back (I think because she prefers her back). She'll go all the way to her side from her back, but not all the way.

Anyway, it seems her mobile days are soon approaching!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wiiiii!!!

My mom got a Wii...and then Wii Fit Plus right before we came down to the beach. Our family is, shall we say, a tad bit competitive. So when one person gets 1st place, someone else must try to defend their title.

It just so happens we had to put the Wii upstairs in our room due to lack of room or proper jacks elsewhere so Septtro and I have a slight advantage. Hehe.

Can you guess which Wii Fit game Septtro is doing? :)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Emmory has a very important announcement!

That's right people!! Mur Mur is gonna be a big brother!! My new niece or nephew is due November 4th! Woo Hoo!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Look What My Nephew Can Do!!

This is oh so very exciting! He took his first steps yesterday. :) Yay Mur Mur!!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tongue Tied

Rilynn has discovered her tongue and it's quite hilarious. I took this video while we were on a walk. Septtro was sticking his tongue out at her and she was doing it back.

It's so fun to watch her become more and more aware of the world around her!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Important Things

Sometimes, while trying to do all of the things I feel are so important day after day, I forget my little girl is growing up so quickly.

Sometimes it's time for me to let the laundry pile up some more, allow more dust to collect on my living room table, tend to my couponing scenarios later and, this time, not put her in front of her toys...but cuddle with my sweet baby girl.

Sometimes I need to slow down and enjoy every bit of her that I can - her smiles, her smirks, her chocolatey hair, her big brown eyes, her laughs. She's what's important. And oh how thankful I am to be her mom.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Don't Count Your Chickens...

Yep, we have chickens now. Septtro has been wanting them for a very long time now so I finally decided we should give it a shot. We got them Sunday afternoon and already had two eggs yesterday (haven't checked today). We'll be getting a rooster soon.

I must say, the idea is growing on me. I know Ri will have fun feeding them and collecting the eggs when she's older.

Suka is obsessed with them. Whenever I let her outside, she immediately runs over there and stays there. I'm not sure if it's because she wants to be their friend or if she wants to eat them - but I don't intend to try to find out so we're gonna make Suka keep her distance when we finally let them wander around the yard for a while when we're out there with them.

Two of the chickens are 5 months old - just like Ri - and two of them are 10 months old - just like Mur, my nephew. Septtro said we could name two of them after the babies and those two would receive a 'pardon'. :) What do you think we should name them?

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Visiting Great Grammy

We went to visit my mom's mom this afternoon. It was a really good visit - Ri was pretty happy and gave lots of smiles and laughs.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Poor Puppy

Suka has always been my baby. And I was actually naive enough to think my feelings and affections wouldn't change after Rilynn was born. I still love her. She's an awesome dog. But she's definitely no longer my baby.

Now she's just another toy for Ri. At least she's tolerant and good-natured. I'm thinking if somebody was grabbing my fat rolls like that, I'd be a lil more upset than Suka appears to be.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Take two hundred and three...action!

I keep tryin to capture Ri talking but whenever I get the camera out and ready, she pretty much stops. On this particular try, she did, however, give me a nice surprise. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Bit Overstimulated

This was about a month ago and I'm just now getting around to posting (thanks to not having Internet at home). I just thought it was too funny not to share! :)

We were at my parent's house and it was later in the evening. Before I was able to record the video, she was laughing and cooing like crazy....not so much after a while though.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Introducing.....

My sweet niece is here! Brynnen Mana'ia Sene was born on February 6th! That's her Uncle Tito holding her. We haven't been able to see her yet but should be able to sometime in the beginning of March. I can't wait to meet her!! And Ri is pretty excited about meeting her new cousin too!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sweet Rolls

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Open Drawer Policy

This picture is not staged. This is what I do. I leave drawers open; sometimes cabinets too but mostly drawers. I'm not quite sure why.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day to Remember

Today was definitely filled with many emotions. I'm writing this as I sit in my aunt and uncle's house in Pennsylvania. We flew up yesterday - and buried my grandpa today. We leave tomorrow. I can't believe he's really gone. But what a joy to know that he is no longer in pain! He's not suffering. He's not worrying. He's not afraid. He's in the presence of God - and reunited with my Grandma once again.

Today is also a very special anniversary date. Exactly a year ago today, I found out I was pregnant with Rilynn. I remember it so vividly. I had taken a pregnancy test the week before. Here is my post from that day. And here is the post from a year ago today. Oh God's grace!! Oh His goodness!

Tears of joy and sorrow over the loss of my grandpa - sad he's gone but joyful to know where he is now.

Tears of joy and sorrow over remembrance of the loss of my previous baby but joy in remembering the day we found out He created a new life - one that's peacefully sleeping in the room down the hall.

My heart hurts - yet is full. As we sang today at the funeral, "It is well with my soul"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear Mommy's Blogger friends:

Hi everybody! It's me - Ri. I like my thumb. It's very yummy. Sometimes Suka sniffs my head. Just wait until I can pull her ears. And....oh...um....anyway, I just wanted everybody to know that Mommy misses being able to catch up with everybody on their blogs like she used to. We don't have Internet at home and when we go to Grammy's house, there's already so much email and such to go through.

Anyway, I think she'd like it if she knew you all knew she still thinks about you all a lot and just because she may not get around to reading your blogs as much or commenting on posts, you're still her buddies.

Maybe soon we'll get Internet somehow.

Mommy sends her love.

Coos and smiles,
Rilynn

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Real Muffin Tops

My mom and Shawna and I got together to bake muffins - LOTS of muffins. I wanted to have somethin quick to eat in the morning because I was averaging an 11:00 breakfast time. I think I should be set for a while. :)

We have cranberry oatmeal, cranberry orange, banana oat, and coffe chocolate chip muffins.

I can't wait to try them all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cooking with Tears

This happens EVERY time I cut an onion. I know there are ways to help this not happen, but I always seem to want the quickest way and the quickest way always ends in tears.

I've even gotten creative and worn sunglasses while chopping in hopes that it would shield my precious eyes. The only thing that did was make it harder to see. And I think I might have scared Suka a little.

I'm thinking this is a good excuse for me to ask Septtro to be the official onion chopper of the house. :)

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Attention Hog

I was trying to capture some cute moments of Ri the other day - but Suka thought she deserved some attention too. :)


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Water Logged

Water has become my new drink of choice. I have always had water with meals, but it's reached a new level. I can't get enough. Septtro got me that blue water bottle for Christmas because even when running errands or while at church, I need water.

Don't misunderstand...I'm not severely dehydrated now do I have diabetes. I just now drink water ALL the time now - partly, I believe, because I was told to drink a lot of fluids while nursing and I'm paranoid about my milk supply.

I even drink water with my Oreos. I know - gross...but healthier right?

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baby's First Bowl Week

Ri sure does love her television...especially football - which is good considering her daddy is a football coach. She seriously sits like this for 30-45 minutes; couch potato or just a sports fanatic? I guess only time will tell. :)