Monday, June 22, 2009

Good Things

  • Shopping for a Father's Day gift and finding the perfect tool box --on sale, even!-- 10 minutes before the store closes.

  • Realizing that bathing suit shopping is not impossible.

  • Making my first Mary Kay on-the-spot sale to a complete stranger at a spa event in Woodstock on Saturday. I can do this!

  • Enjoying the awesomeness that is Slope's BBQ.

  • Knowing that Gaines stayed up in the middle of the night with Jacob when he was sick so that I could get some sleep with Ethan.

  • Celebrating what an awesome father Gaines has been and continues to be.

  • Spending time with the boys' grandparents (and aunts Amy and Erin! and uncle Mike! and Kevin!).

  • Not having to cook or do housekeeping for a whole week while we're in Alabama.

  • Getting back $4 Extra Care Bucks on a $1.97 purchase at CVS.

  • Finding out that same CVS takes expired coupons.

  • Our families' liberal use of air conditioning.

  • A four-month old who is sleeping more than 5 hours at night.

  • Hearing that Gaines got a copy of N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope for free using Border's Bucks.

  • Knowing that Gaines took a week's vacation so he could study Advanced Biblical Exegesis. He rocks.

  • How unlimited calling and the internet make the distance between Geneva and Atlanta seem small.

  • |

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Diaper FAIL

    This is not a discussion about cloth vs. disposable. I use both. This is a brand-name showdown.

    Now, I've never really been a disposable diaper brand purist. I use cloth when we're staying at home (and are not overwhelmed with laundry), and I've used almost every store brand and name brand diaper out there. But today, I ruled one brand right out.

    Huggies. I've been using another brand I bought on sale with a coupon for a month or so now. No blowouts with those, even when he went two days without pooping before his most recent mudslide. Last night, I ran out of the last package, and Jacob was asleep in his room so I didn't go for cloth. Instead, I broke out a package of size 2 Huggies someone gave me. They're fine for regular wetness, it seems, but on this occasion, I score them ZERO. Not more than five seconds after I heard the tell-tale signs of impending poopiness, I saw the evidence. Ugh.

    My 4 month-old does not poop often. In fact, lately, he poops once a day or once every few days. We have had very few blowouts. However, today, he had not one but TWO full-blown poop explosions: the kind that seep onto the onesie and require extensive stain treatment, the kind that require a bath. (Lest he touch some part of his body and inevitably put his hand in his mouth, which of course he does often.) So, make that two extra things to launder and an extra bath! Not to mention the wipes. This was a two WASHCLOTH kind of poopy day. Oh, and yes, the first diaper FAIL leaked onto the bouncy seat. Yet another thing to wash. It comes with the territory, of course, but I have a feeling this could have been prevented...

    If Jacob was feeling better, I might not mind as much. But while he's napping finally and I'm unable to access the cloth, I'm choosing the Pampers I have left in the diaper bag.

    P.S. Not to besmear the Huggies name altogether, I do like their Little Swimmers for the pool, and their size medium just happens to fit both boys. (I got them cheap last year at the end of the season and have enough for the entire summer. Yay!) Oh, and I guess their Pull-Ups aren't bad either. Okay, so maybe it's just their regular diapers that aren't as efficient?


    Thursday, June 18, 2009


    No, really. I'm not just pretending that's my age. I'm actually 29 today. (But I'm hoping this one will just stick and I'll be perpetually in my 20's. I suppose that's not realistic for a mom, though. Maybe I can fake it for a few more years?!)

    Today was like March: in like a lion, out like a lamb. Jacob's been running a fever the past few days and about 1am this morning I was holding him when he threw up all over me. The day could only go up from there, right?

    I did get woken up this morning by a little voice saying "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" and bearing a card with his scribbles included. Even when sick he is absolutely adorable and sweet.

    The best part of my day?

    A cone for dad. A free cone for Jacob. And a free (with coupon) "Birthday Cake" ice cream cone for moi. Best $5 we've spent all week.

    Thanks for all the calls, cards, and well-wishes! They've made my evening!


    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Birthday Wishes All Around

    Today is the birthday of one of my most brilliant and best friends, Jennifer, seen here in a photo from her wedding shower back in January. She is also a newly licensed Texas pharmacist, so if you need some drugs, um...I won't finish that.

    Happy birthday! I hope you are having a fabulous time! Your belated card is in the mail because I am forgetful even though I've been looking foward to this for a while because THIS YEAR my card was going to make it on time since you are actually in the U.S. Oops.

    Today is also the birthday of Mr. Maurice Sendak.

    Over the last few months we have greatly enjoyed reading a copy of Where The Wild Things Are, which we acquired at our local library and desire to own. I have to return it soon and I am sad. I'm not sure if I ever appreciated this work much as a kid, but certainly now I am loving its simple brilliance. Jacob likes it, too.

    Did you ever notice how the book reads like a poem? And how the illustrations only take up a small part of the page in the beginning but then grow and grow until the book becomes the wild world all around in the middle and then shrinks again as Max sails back through a year to his room?

    If you also appreciate the genius that is Maurice Sendak's book, please check out this great new tribute blog called Terrible Yellow Eyes. Today they posted a whole slew of illustrations in homage to Max's adventure. If I had the time, I would make one of my own.

    Did you know that someone has made a feature film of the book, too? This has promise.


    Swimming Lessons

    Five things I learned today while at the pool:

    1. There is a type of bird whose song sounds strangely like a car alarm.

    2. You know how a cat will cling to you if you try to give it a bath? Imagine that the bath is a slightly chilly swimming pool and the cat is Jacob, clinging to ME and trying to stay above water! He greatly prefers a warm bath.

    Pictorial evidence:

    3. Apparently, small pieces of styrofoam from a disentegrated float resemble gum. Jacob: "I'm throwing the gums in the water!"

    4. Ethan is the same laid-back baby in the swimming pool or out. He even fell asleep in his carseat with a wet t-shirt and swim diaper on and didn't wake up until we got home.

    5. We need to go to the swimming pool more often!

    There's just something about a Capri Sun that says "summer":


    Monday, June 08, 2009

    Double Burnination

    Jacob, two years ago:

    Ethan, now:

    What can I say? Neither are intimidating. They're just too cute!

    If you are unfamiliar with Trogdor, you can find out more from this Strong Bad e-mail. The site hasn't changed much in the past two years, but it's still funny. Methinks we need to catch up on our internet cartoons.


    Busy Busy World

    The past seven days were some of the most jam-packed I've had in a long while. Thankfully, my mom was here to take care of the boys and I have been so blessed because of her willingness to come help. Jacob can be quite a handful, after all. She spent most of her time with him, playing golf out back in the afternoon or puzzles inside when it rained or blocks and cars in the mornings. I often was able to sleep in past 8, which was wonderful! I also didn't have to even think about laundry or doing the dishes the entire week and for that I am especially grateful!

    By way of explanation, I volunteered for VBS ages ago, before anything else was on the calendar. The Kids' Club dates were chosen by the amazing church who helped us out (who could turn down an offer like that?), and our manager picked the date and time for the Pool Party back in April. So no, I am not insane (though that has been contested) and did not choose this schedule all by myself!

    Activity: VBS at our church
    When: Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m.
    Assignment: Crafts
    I was usually there by 12:30 every day to help set up. Everything was a kit, so it wasn't too hard to oversee, and I had some great helpers in three wonderful women from our church. Jacob stayed home with my Mom and napped, while Ethan had a blast with the nursery ladies, who only had to come get me once or twice during the week to nurse. He was like clockwork, and every day about 2:20 he'd suddenly get hungry! We discovered, too, that he sometimes prefers to be in his car seat so he can rock and kick his chubby little legs! Jacob was much better off at home, napping, though he was missed by one little friend in the nursery.

    Activity: Kids' Club at our apartment complex
    When: Monday through Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
    Assignment: Hostess
    For this event, we just had to be present. Ethan usually tagged along, since either Gaines or I were always available to hold him, and Jacob would eat dinner with my mom and go to bed. I showed up every day around 6pm, and a local church brought a bus full of volunteers, dinner for an expected 40 kids, and all the crafts and games and smiles you could imagine! Due to a strict interpretation of fair housing by our management, we couldn't do an all-out Bible Study, but we could bill it as character-building. We told three "stories:" The Prodigal Son, The Lost Sheep, and The Good Samaritan. The church brought all the craft materials and supplies for some cute tote bags, handprint sheep, and butterfly suncatchers for the kids. We got to know a ton of new families through this event (free dinner was a big selling point). The best part was that some of the parents already knew one of the families who volunteered since their children attend the same local school! The last night was had 21 kids attend! We hope to continue a Kids' Club event once a month with some of the same volunteers!

    Wednesday night, Gaines and Ethan and I snuck away for a quick trip to Bruster's to celebrate. (Don't tell Jacob!) I might be addicted to a combination of chocolate chip cookie dough and birthday cake ice cream, though I've heard they have a key lime pie flavor I want to try next.

    On Friday morning, we went to the mall for lunch with my mom and rode the carousel, something Jacob still does not enjoy even though he talks about the "up and down" over and over again. One day he'll warm up to it, I know. He exchewed the horses and tigers and ostriches for the bench. Here he is, a bit freaked out and sitting on my lap.

    Later that night he said "I rode on the sofa!" We almost thought he meant he WROTE on the sofa in the den (something he's done before and knows he shouldn't repeat) until we figured out what he was saying!

    Friday night, Gaines and I went out on our first date alone since Ethan came along. It was my first experience at Five Guys, and the burgers are definitely worth all the hype. (Ironically or appropriately, they were running the interview on TV that night where the President made a run to the infamous burger joint, complete with greasy fry bags.) Next time, though, I think I'll skip the fries and save room for more ice cream. They were TOO good, if ya know what I mean.

    Activity: Pool Party at our apartment complex
    When: Saturday, Noon-3p.m.
    Assignment: Hostess
    Neither of the boys was at this event, though I did have to run back to feed Ethan at his usual mid-afternoon time. Thankfully, there wasn't much for us to do except greet people! We had a resident serve as a DJ and a fantastic chef grill all the food, so we didn't have to bring anything but some tables and tablecloths and prizes for the kids. We think it went well, and over 120 residents attended, despite the clouds which hung around until about 2pm.

    Activity: 2nd Birthday Party for a friend across town
    When: Saturday, 3:30-5 p.m.
    Assignment: Guest
    We went to this mostly because I wanted Jacob to have some fun and see his friends, especially since it was at one of those Gymboree places that he loves. My mom followed us and watched Ethan so I could play with Jacob on the mats. He wasn't very social (as is his custom when he's in a big group), so he mostly climbed and jumped by himself. He was afraid of the parachute again, even though he seemed to enjoy it at his own party a few months ago. I'm not sure what was different, but there were certainly more adults and kids than at his last party, plus we were about 30 minutes late, which meant he needed more time to warm up to the idea of everything, I think. Next time, I really need to get there early (HA!). All in all, I think it was a fun note to end the week.

    Isn't this just the cutest party favor bag? Filled with alphabet stickers and flash cards and a notepad, it was the perfect theme for a precocious 2-year old! Thanks, Jessica!

    We were sad to say goodbye to my mom Saturday afternoon, but all enjoyed a quiet evening after the rush of the week. The boys' naps were short Sunday, so I missed mine. I compensated later by watching an abundance of the Food Network and baking a cake topped with strawberries. Just because I could. Of course, watching that channel for too long will make me do crazy things. (It's like how all my attempts at healthy eating fail after reading The Pioneer Woman.)

    This morning was slow for all of us, and I even napped a bit with Ethan while Jacob watched television. I decided I deserved it, just this once. Yay for no schedule!

    Oh, I almost forgot. No post would be complete without a picture of my almost four month-old!


    Monday, June 01, 2009

    Free Eugene Peterson!

    Don't worry, he's not behind bars. (Does that joke ever get old?)'s free audio download for June is Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten-Thousand Places (unabridged). Check it out.