Monday, February 28, 2011

Not Valentine's Day

For many February 14th is a day filled with candy, roses, stuffed animals, fancy dinners, or at least a card and a favorite meal prepared. Our Valentine's Day was not quite that. There were some cards. Chaselyn made a cute little card for her Daddy. And there was one very special princess balloon for a certain little girl and a cute little stuffed puppy dog for Jacob. We called the grandparents to tell them we love them. The call was interrupted by our lovely dog getting caught up in the aforementioned balloon and popping it off the string. And eventually, Daddy came home and we had chili dogs for dinner.

But, I wouldn't have it any other way. Stanton and I aren't the gifting, romantic couple. We're the madly in love, goofy couple. We're the ones who love a nice steak dinner on February 16th, a weekend treat of using our smoker for the first time, and delicious leftovers for a week rather than dropping the same amount of money for a single plate at a nice restaurant. We're the ones who would like to sit on the couch and play video games more than getting all dressed up to go to the fanciest restaurant. We're the ones who would rather take our kids to the park than have a quiet evening alone. We're the ones who know that a cabinet full of clean dishes is much preferred over a little stuffed animal. We're the ones who like candy all the time.

We're the we I never could have imagined. And it is simply amazing. I take it for granted sometimes. I push Stanton farther than I should. I pull away more often than I should. I am not the perfect woman by a long shot, but he loves me. And I am thankful that he puts up with me. He is the one for me. He makes me better. He makes me want to be better. He makes me fall in love over and over again with the way he plays with our kids and makes silly jokes.

So, to my boyfriend of 14 years, I love you! And I'm thankful that we are THAT couple.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chaselyn's Big Girl Room

One of the reasons I've been absent from blogging for a while is this very special project we've been working on. It took us a week and a half to find time during naps, after class, and after the kids had gone to sleep to finish all the painting. And I'm happy to report that we've both found a pretty good technique for doing the edging on the walls or "cutting in" as my painter friend tells me. After the walls came the bedding, which I had picked out about the same time I picked out Jacob's crib bedding. Then came the tough part putting everything together and hoping that whatever we did lived up to this vision I had in my head. Which decorations work in the room? Where do they go? What furniture do we want in the room? What needs to be done to get that ready? And what about that huge arched window? What in the world do we do with that?

As many of you know, I'm very indecisive. For things that matter, I can lay down the law, but for decorating, picking something to eat, and deciding what to wear, I'm the worst. So the decorating took longer than it really should have. And finally on Monday night I decided that things just had to start going up. If I didn't like it I could change it. And so, by bedtime last night I had finished it. And today I staged the room for a photo shoot complete with my adorable models.


 The happy tenant.
 The letters are just transported from her baby room. I actually used a piece of wax paper to trace the nail holes off the wall in the old room to use as a guide to put them up here. I plan on repainting the H and the S. The white bench is a toy box. My brothers and I and eventually Rachel too shared this box when we were growing up. It was just plain brown wood then. My mom had painted it for my sister's room in the new house when they moved. I plan on making a more permanent cushion, but for now, the blanket is working fine.
 The little flower purse holder came from Hobby Lobby and the cute polka dot night light came from Ducky.
The window was kind of an issue. Thankfully I have a crafty mother-in-law who was able to make a fantastic arch covering out of an extra sheet from the bedding, some blackout material and pvc pipe. She also supplied the colorful polka dot accents seen here and throughout the room.
 Below the window we set up the little people village. Fun for kids of all ages.
Past the window, we get to the rooms purpose, the bed. Notice the big girl bed! Chaselyn has done great with the transition. Notice the bedding. It's like big fireworks of all different colors. The C above the bed was painted by our cousin Leslie. The blue rug is not permanent, it's a carry over, but since the walls are blue, I'm hoping to get another color. Notice the cute little book rack at the end of the bed.
That little bookshelf opens up into her own little reading nook.
  One of my favorite parts of the room. Her little rocking chair, the books, her CD player, it just makes me smile. For now, I put her robe on one of the hooks, but in the future, there will be little book bags.
 But it's already so much fun.
 Going around the room there's the closet. With a little nook up above. Eventually I think this nook will probably house some of her stuffed animals
 And rounding out the room, we have the infamous cubies. We have two sets of these in our house and we love them. We love that you can use the colorful bins or just display your toys.

And there you have it. The happiest place in the home. Where everything is put away and everything has it's place. The whole family spent the evening playing in here tonight, just loving the open floor space and the happiness of it all. Jacob had plenty of room to crawl around and Daddy had plenty of room to wrestle with his little ones. That is he was able to wrestle after he was done playing with the dolls.
Is there anything more endearing than seeing the love of a father playing dolls with his little girl?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tale as old as time... the musings of a SAHM

So, my daughter is a girly girl. It's going to be a sharp learning curve for me. Fortunately, thus far this has only shown up in the form of having a love affair with shoes, wearing a tutu daily, having multiple purses, and wanting to watch Belle over and over. The last one will be at the top of our discussion today. The other 3 just make her too stinkin' cute.

Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful movie. It's my sister's favorite, and I had watched it many times before having children. I even went to see the play a few months ago. I like it, and if there is a movie that my daughter is going to wear out, I'm glad it's one that I like. Even though I've watched it probably about 25 times since the beginning of the year, I can still say I like the movie. But, as someone who typically takes movies for face value and doesn't look for the deeper meaning or the technical minutia of what does and does not make sense, after you watch something so many times you start to have questions. So here's my beef with the movie:

1) What exactly is the time line for this whole story? How long has the Beast been a Beast? And how long have all the servants been household utensils?

In the song "Be Our Guest" two times it references that they have been candlesticks and clocks for 10 years. At the beginning of a movie, it says that Beast has until his 21st birthday to find true love. So, if you put those together, that means the enchantress punished an eleven year old boy for not letting an ugly woman into the castle. Stranger Danger any one? I mean, how can you punish an 11 year old boy for turning away an old woman. And where were the King and Queen when this happened? Was the 11 year old boy ruling the castle?

And, if they have been teapots and such for 10 years, where did Chip come from? How does a teapot get pregnant and give birth? Stanton proposes that all the servants were in a type of suspended animation, but why would the Beast age and not the servants? And even if this is the case, doesn't Mrs. Potts seem a little old to have a 4 year old boy? And where is Mr. Potts?

2) Where do all the servants come from?

I mean is there a servant for each spoon in the castle? Again, Stanton has a theory. He thinks that only those items with faces were at once real people. And when I pointed out that the footstool was a dog and it had no face, he retorted that perhaps there are a bunch of squirrels and birds jumping around as spoons. So what is it?

3) Why didn't the town know about the Beast?

It seems that they didn't know about him until Belle showed them on a magic mirror. So, did they even know there was a castle there? They seemed to know just where to go to find him once they wanted to kill him. Wouldn't someone in the nearby town have gone to the castle in the past 10 years? And why does everyone think Maurice is crazy for saying that there is a Beast who has Belle, but they don't skip a beat when seeing a magic mirror?

4) What is Beast's name?

Stanton looked it up and found that in some CD-ROM game he was referenced as Prince Adam (but not He-Man). But other than that, there's nothing that says. Don't worry though, Stanton plans on asking Belle next time we go to Disney World. I told him to be sure not to do it until the last day. A Princess could kick us out of the castle for harassment.

5) Why didn't Beast just throw Belle in the dungeon too?

Why did he give her the option of leaving and then the option of taking her dad's place? Maurice was thrown into the dungeon for trespassing, wasn't Belle doing the same?

6) If Gaston wouldn't have led the mob to kill the Beast, would Bell have made it back in time to make Beast human again?

I think not, so in a way everyone owes Gaston a big thanks.

7) What is Beast exactly the Prince of?

In all other Princess movies, the Prince has some kind of kingdom to rule over, but Beast apparently reigns over a kingdom where the people don't notice that they haven't heard from the royalty in 10 years.

8) Why do princesses always seem to have some kind of weird connection with wildlife?

I mean Cinderella has mice who make dresses. Snow White had all the woodland creatures clean the cottage. And Belle is able to get a bird to hop into claws of a Beast. That is weird. Not to mention Jasmine and Rajah.

9) How long is Belle at the castle with Beast?

It seems like she is there for a while building up trust and a relationship with Beast, but then again that would mean her father was lost in the woods for a long time and LeFou was standing outside of Belle's house for a long time.

10) If Gaston is so unintelligent, why does he have some of the best rhymes in the movie?

Gaston rhymes "I'm especially good at expectorating." with "I use antlers in all of my decorating." And have you heard the lyrics to the mob song at the end? My favorite part is "Raise the flag, sing the song. Here we come, we're 50 strong and 50 Frenchmen can't be wrong. Let's kill the Beast!"

But amidst all these questions is a fairly good tale of learning to love what's different on the outside, because of the good on the inside. And just ignoring ignorant pride all along. I love that from the beginning Belle doesn't care for Gaston. She would give her life to spend in the Beast's dungeon to save her father, but wouldn't consider for a moment marrying that silly ego maniac to keep her father out of the insane asylum.  There are some glitches with the story, but overall I find it to be the most meaningful of the Disney princess stories.

The movie has had quite the affect on Chaselyn. Now whenever she wears a dress, it's a "Belle dress". And she requires a dress and/or tutu to dance around the living room during the "Beauty and the Beast" song. Mostly so that she can hold out her dress to dance like Belle.

Chaselyn also likes to hold out her dress to walk around the store, even if it means exposing her little tummy. And perhaps the most precious of all, about a week or two ago, she started caring a little basket and running around the house singing "Little town, quiet village. Everyday one before. Little town, little people. Everyday one before." And she'll run and sing it over and over again. Always with a basket and only on her own terms. She won't sing it if you ask her to. Stanton got some video the other day. I may be able to upload later.

So thanks for listening to my rant after being out of the blogging world for a while. Just in case you missed it, I also posted Jacob's 9 month update today. Go check it out.

Nine! Nine! Nine!

(Think seagulls in Finding Nemo to get the true effect of the title)

So, somehow it's happened. Jacob grew some more. I don't know how it happened, I tried to stop it, but he insist on eating and sleeping and growing.


Jacob started the month with the two bottom teeth. By the end of the month he had another on his bottom left and the buds of the two top teeth about to come through. Jacob is now just under 19 lbs. (18.95 at the doctors office on the 16th) and he's 28 inches tall. That's only about 7 inches shorter than big sister Chaselyn. Jacob is right on the 50% mark for his height to weight ratio. His head circumference is in the 75th percentile for his age. But in my eyes, he's just the handsomest little man I've ever seen. I mean just look at this face.


We get lots of compliments on how handsome he is. Particularly, his perfectly boyish hair and those baby blue eyes to complement the dark hair.  His coloration shows his love of carrots and squash.

And he's learned several new tricks. During this month he learned some cool pacifier tricks, like how to grab it and stick it in his mouth on a regular basis. And even more fun is to stick it in sideways and see how much
he can get in before Mommy worries about him swallowing the whole thing.

He also began excelling at sitting and playing. A great joy to watch and a great joy for him to do. The beginning stages of crawling came with the army crawl. By the end of the month, the little man could come find me anywhere.

We had some great family visits too. Granny, Papa, and Rachel came to visit at the beginning of the month. We all watched the Sugar bowl together.

It didn't turn out quite as we had hoped,

but it was fun to watch and cheer any way.

Later in the month Ducky and CrawDad came for a visit. They were only here for a short while, but we made the most of it.

Big Sister Chaselyn really has stepped up her role. She helps Jacob find toys.


She helps him out in the bathtub.

She even got to help feed him once. Which was quite the fun treat for everyone.

And she was a super good helper when Mommy was feeling sick and Daddy was away.

You can see the love between them.

All kidding aside, it's great to see them just starting to play together and interact. There are going to be lots of bumps, bruises, long talks and lessons for us all to learn along the way. But through it all, I can see our family values forming. It's so exciting and extremely scary all at the same time.


You are an amazing little man. As Daddy says, you seem to have grown out of that little baby phase. Now you're seemingly ready to take care of yourself. You like to hold your bottle for yourself. You would love it if we would let you hold your own spoon. You are an explorer, and you like to do things on your own. But you still like for us to be nearby while you learn. So, thanks for that. We love watching you grow and learn. With your increased mobility, we have seen your eyes opened to many new experiences. You have a knack for finding the most questionable item to play with amidst a sea of age appropriate toys. You are not afraid to drag yourself all across the house to find Mommy or Daddy who happened to walk by a few minutes earlier. And it seems as though you have your Daddy's sleeping tendencies. You seem to be sure that as soon as you fall asleep the most wonderful thing is going to happen. But we love you for it. It is amazing to see how different you are from your sister who has the same genes and the same parenting. You are your own man. And we can forsee that being a point of contention in the future. However, we promise, we will try to let your free spirit grow as big and as great as God has planned. But just remember that it is nice to have Mommy and Daddy around just in case. 

Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hey all! Thank you for joining me in prayer for our friend Summer. Every day we are hearing of the miracles that are occurring on a regular basis in this seemingly dire situation. There have been many positive reports, but our pastor has constantly reminded us that it will be a long road to recovery and Summer's condition is still very serious. I will not be updating the blog world on a regular basis, but if you are interested in my friends story and the struggles she is facing, please join the Caring Bridge network at the link below.

The family is doing well, but continued prayer without ceasing is still needed.

On a lighter note, I am looking forward to getting back to blogging. I have a lot of stored up writing energy. Tomorrow I take Jacob for his 9 month check-up, so you can expect an update on our handsome little man soon!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prayers Please

A friend of ours from church is currently is serious condition after having emergency heart surgery today. Our dear friend went into the ER last night with difficulty breathing. This morning the doctors performed an emergency C section for her sweet little girl who was in the third trimester. Unfortunately, the little girl was called home to heaven too soon for many of us to understand. The friends husband is by her side along with a great support group of family and friends. Their 4 children are home under the care of some of the other church members. 

Please pray for God's healing and mercy in this seemingly desperate situation. 

We are holding a prayer vigil tonight at 8:30 at our church and appreciate any additional prayers we can get from across the nation.

Thank you for praying with me.