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Monday, February 28, 2011

My mom is crafter supreme.  I've always admired her ability to create things out of bits and pieces from her craft room.  She had an entire room dedicated to crafting.  There was a closet of sorts filled with a plethora (if you will) of fabrics- from a basic calico to furs and everything in between.  She had a set of drawers with a rainbow of ribbons and other containers with miniature novelties.  Forbidden scissors, hot glue, stamps, tools, acrylic paints, dowels, stuffing and a host of other gems all perfectly organized and so very reflective of my mom.  This room was her canvas, where so many things have been created.

I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous of her skills. I can do many of the things she can, but with about 1/10 of the skill.  She has a way of making everything she does just perfect, whereas I get frustrated and impatient.  Somewhere, probably amongst her craft items, are the components of a quilt that I purchased over a decade ago and have not touched.  I realized making a quilt will take me a long time...a very long time.  I hate to admit it, but I'm more of a results kind of person, not a process type. I will take a project that can be started and finished in a day, or better yet, an hour or so, over a long term project (like a quilt) any day.  I like to be able to do things, but I dislike honing my skills and learning the processes.

When we moved into our house last summer I had high hopes for a craft room.  There is a bedroom in the basement that would do well to become our guest room, or better yet, my very own craft room...the wheels began turning.  Unfortunately for me, they also began turning for my husband.  Is that room my craft room? Sadly, no. Is it a guest room? Also no. It is a gun room.  I never thought I'd live in a house with a gun room.  However, outside that room is what we consider my crafting area.  The basement has been under a hazardous form of cleaning since, well, a long time ago.  It's unsatisfactory for legit crafting, therefore my living room is messed with scattered bits of yarn (lots and lots of yarn) and more recently my sewing machine, fabrics, and my sewing paraphernalia have moved up.  It's a mess (and we all know how much I love messes!).

Anyhoo... I have a secret sewing project in the works, but I took a break and I tried my hand at making a stuffed critter for Molli.  Behold, her new owl friend:

She loves him already

This kid was cracking me up today in her jumper.  What a squealer!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My last post was #50!  It's not terribly impressive, but it's a milestone of sorts.  Cool.

We have had a good day today!  Despite getting very little sleep last night, we were up and at 'em at 6:30 this morning and went to a new church in a nearby town.  Myles has been preaching at a church an hour away for two years now and it's just about time for something different.  Don't get me wrong, we love the people there and they have been more then good to us, but an hour drive to and fro every Sunday gets old, especially with a baby.  Especially with a nursing baby. Especially with a baby who needs diaper changes and we have to suffice to change in the car due to a lack of a bathroom (and running water). So yeah, we're not done there, but we are keeping our eyes out for ministries that will suit our family better at this point.  Myles has applied for a preaching position at this church (about 12 minutes away, running water, bathroom, basement with kitchen- the works!) and preached there this morning.  It was a positive experience for everyone, I think. For now we are praying that something will work out that we will all be happy with.

While we were there I met a lady who has a pottery wheel and TWO kilns in her basement!  Her friend loaned her these items and had plans to teach her to use them, then passed away.  So she kind of acquired them blindly. We talked pottery and she offered for me to come over and play around with her!  I'm definitely excited and really hope that we can (safely) learn how to work these items together.  I can throw pottery on the wheel just fine, I'm not worried about that, but the kiln will take some learning and practice. We will research and learn together. She has my number so I will just wait for her to call.  Maybe she will hate doing it and give the stuff to me! haha

Tomorrow we are heading to Springfield and Myles will work on a bike at the bike shop while Molli and I cruise the town.  We have big plans for Jo-Ann's, Michael's and a 2 for one deal at Chipotle! It's pitiful how excited I get to leave, not only the house, but town even!  Actually this week we will be going to three different towns; Springfield tomorrow, Peoria Wednesday to pick up/buy a craft table I found on Craigslist, and some other day to Bloomington to pick up Molli's 5 month portraits. Look out world, we are coming out of the woodworks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

sweet teething night

I suppose this is considered a "teething night."  I went to bed, tired but restless.  Sleep just wasn't coming.  Perhaps that sleepless state was a subconscious preparation for what was to come.  My sweetie squawked on the monitor.  Any little monitor noise causes my eyes to open and my ears to become unusually keen.
Whimper, wah-ah-ah...
I got up and replaced her pacifier between her lips and rubbed her arm the way I do when she needs a little soothing, but I don't want to pick her up.  Soothing attempt rendered unsuccessful.  Poor kiddo just needs a little extra mommy lovin tonight.  She has a top row of teeth all ready to bust through the skin (can you imagine what that must feel like? I'm so glad we don't remember these experiences).  We've Orajel-ed the gums, we've Tylenol-ed, we've rocked, we've cuddled and we've attempted the great return to the no avail.  So here we are, on the couch.  Molli Cakes is sleeping soundly, cuddled up in her special way, snoring a little bit. Her chubby hand is resting in the top of my chest, just perfectly positioned so when I put my chin all the way down, it's like my face is cuddling her fingertips.  It's a sweet moment and I am soaking it in.

Moments in the middle of the night, when I should be sleeping, are sometimes the best.  Sure it's great to get a full restful night of sleep, but it's nothing compared to the pleasure of etching sweet moments of time into memories that I will treasure forever.  For this reason, I don't mind teething.  I suppose it's for this reason that I never really minded the newborn-no sense of day/night-total absence of sleeping schedule.  What greater joy is there than to have one on one moments with an angel who simply needs something that no one else can provide.  I am honored to be a mommy, even, maybe even especially, in the middle of the night.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, surely there is no greater sound in the world than a happy baby!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEDAWeek- It's Time to Talk About It

This blog is pretty much exclusively for updating my family and friends on life with Molli, but I figure, it's my blog, I can do whatever I want.  So here goes; something out of the ordinary.

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I figure, I have a small soundboard here, so lets expand awareness!  First off, let me just state that eating disorders are an issue near and dear to me and I think they are one of the most commonly misunderstood disorders.  I have several friends who have battled/are battling this issue.  I would probably get punched in the face if I just told them to get over it and eat like a normal person.  It's not that easy.  This struggle can literally be a minute to minute battle, everyday.  

I have a friend who is working on a site to share with the world what she finds important issues surrounding the topic.  Heaps of research, even writing a thesis paper will not grant a full understanding, but sites like that are just a glimpse of the magnitude of EDs.

The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to "ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder."

If you are someone who struggles, or know someone who is, take a step this week. Pray, talk, call...something.

Along these lines, this makes me even more committed to raising Molli with a more pure outlook on body image, and social influence.  Lord help me model how to find her identity in holiness. 
It's beyond time for an update, I know.  We had a burst of fabulous weather last week and I made an effort to be out of the house as much as possible.  We did just that and thoroughly enjoyed lots of walks!  The one (and only) down side to that is that I have been semi-neglectful of my household responsibilities.  Sure, the dishes are getting done everyday and the laundry is more or less making it to its respective locations, but the details have been sorely overlooked.  I guess this cold front is mother nature's way of reminding me that I have things to do inside too!

So here we are.  I have taken it upon myself to finally finish a long awaited project.  Before Molli was born I had brainstormed how I wanted her room to look and decided upon the customary "name hanging above crib" adornment.  I had a multitude of ideas come and go, then was put on bed-rest, therefore the idea was on the back burner anyway, then her birth came and went, and now I have a five month old with a finally finished name above her crib!

We decided not to use the bumpers that came with her bedding set because of the risk of relation to sids.  Sooo, I busted out one of my best friends, the seam ripper and tore up some bumpers.  I glued my super cute had been bumper fabric to a piece of wood that my darling husband, ever so kindly, cut up and drilled holes in for me. While the glue gun was still hot and ready I glued ribbon to the painted letters, pierced the fabric, screwed my Hobby Lobby dresser knobs through said holes and hung the letters.  Viola!  My baby's wall has her name on it!

Backing up, to when it was still warm...
Molli is a big girl now and sits up in her stroller!  She's over the days of being pushed around in her car seat/stroller.  This girl wants to see the world!  But the world is so tiring...

... especially when you have this much energy!

This (these) just in: 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The weather has been all sorts of wonderful and Molli and I have been thoroughly enjoying it.  We've gone for several walks in the past couple days.  She's graduated from having to ride in the carseat part of her stroller to the sitting up part. We have one little canvas stroller that she got to try out this week and was just way too cute in it.  Her little legs hung over and she would just swing her legs like a little kid, not a baby.  I took a picture but my camera is in the car and the car is not at home.

We haven't been up to a whole lot lately.  Molli is pretty awesome at sitting up now and we're exploring a whole new world of playing this way.  It's amazing the difference in play time when the little one can reach out for and grab her own toys! She spends a little time in the pack n play everyday and it's been great for her.  She doesn't seem to mind going in there but gets really frustrated when she tips backward onto her boppy pillow and can't sit back up.  Other than that, it's all fun!

I just enjoy this girl so much.  It makes me really sad to think about how much she has grown up and how fast time is going by.  She will be a half a year next month!  How is that even possible?! I can't imagine life being any sweeter.  She really is my joy and each morning I wake up excited to see her (it helps that mornings are her prime time). When I hear her on the monitor, I get up, unswaddle her to let her stretch, tell her good morning and how much I missed her last night then I hold my hands out, asking if she wants up and wait till she reaches for me.  I love the reaching!  It's so sweet.  I pretty much always make her do it these days =)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Portraits, vanity and vehicles...oh my

I've done very well taking Molli in to get portraits done each month.  I typically bring a coupon and resist the urge to buy something in every adorable pose.  Yesterday I took my sweetie in for her 5 month portraits (five months already!?!) and she did very well.  She rocked a dress that my friend/old coworker's mom bought her from Scotland.   My daughter has an international dress (and a Peruvian alpaca shirt).  She is so cultured. Anyway, of course I had to snap a couple pictures of her fancy outfit before we went in.  This one cracked me up!

If you have ever met Molli, or even if you've ever seen videos of her, you know that she is a bit of a wild child.  She plays hard and she sleeps hard.  She is either extremely happy or horribly unpleasant and angry.  There are very few in-between stages.  I managed to capture the turning point.  She very cooperatively sat on the couch while I took a couple pictures on my computer (seen on facebook) then waited while I got my camera. By then she was ready to be done, but still obliged, for the most part. This picture was just after the "OK, Mom, you do your thing and I'll just sit here," and right before the "AGHHHHH!  Pick me up, I'm done with this and SO ready for a nap!"  My sweet little stinker. 

Everyday Myles and I try to spend some time together in "couch time" to where we are enjoying each other's company and Molli is not our center of attention but she can observe us enjoying each other. We had her in her doorway jumper during our couch time/dinner time and I happened to glance over at her and couldn't help but crack up.  This girl was spinning herself around, straining to see her reflection in the little mirror attached to the jumper. She's so vain.  It's not the best picture, but it still makes me laugh...

On Valentines day we all went to Springfield to check out a vehicle that we had our eyes on.  We've been wanting to upgrade the size of our car because A.) the carseat doesn't fit super well in it   B.) We would like more kids someday and hope that our kids have friends, therefore more seats would be beneficial and    C.) Myles is big and doesn't prefer to crunch himself up to drive.  So we test drove a Toyota Land Cruiser and we both surprisingly liked it. Myles is one for practicality in vehicles, I'm all for practicality combined with aesthetics.  Let's face it, if I'm going to be driving something, I want it to look good, and of course I want it to be comfortable along with all the givens- runs well, is safe, etc. This vehicle met both of our hopes and we traded in our Tucson and financed the rest.  This is our first vehicle as a couple that has low miles, which is cool! 

(yes it does fit under the car-port, we just didn't pull it in)

 It dawned on me yesterday that we've already had 5 vehicles since we've been married.  The first we "bought" (super cheap) from Myles' dad and it crapped out on us in just a few months, so we replaced it with our beloved white truck.  At that time we lived in FL and since we both worked, we sought out and bought another car.  I drove the truck and Myles drove a little Saturn.  Eventually we made plans to move to IL, sold the Saturn to Myles' dad, drove the truck up and realized how impractical a 2 wheel drive truck is in real winters.  So we sold it (after a mishap on the interstate) and got the Tucson.  The Tucson was great for me, but hopefully this Land Cruiser will be good for our family for a good long time.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Alas, I am a bad blogger.
We have been up to almost exactly nothing, and it's hard to be inspired to write about nothing!  Molli is (finally) sleeping in her crib at night.  She does well with it most of the time but still wakes up at night and beckons me to replace her pacifier, then goes back to sleep the moment the darn thing is back in her mouth.  How bizarre babies are to be so very soothed by something that seems so silly to grown ups. Her pacifier problem leads me to anther, semi-related issue:
We still swaddle her at night because 1) it keeps her warm, 2) it prevents her from pulling out the ever necessary pacifier and 3) she typically sleeps longer when swaddled.  It's not an issue of newborn wild arms anymore.  I've been thinking about abandoning the swaddle in hopes that we can teach her to replace her own darn pacifier at night.  Even in full awakeness she can't figure out the motor skills needed to put that thing in her mouth very well, much less keep it in.  She seems to have an irresistible urge to mess with anything in or near her mouth.

More often than not this girl of ours is tense, rigid and LOUD.  There are very few instances of sweet, calm quiet baby but I did manage to capture one of those instances on video.  She was playing happily on the floor by herself and I couldn't resist recording the moment, because I knew it wouldn't last long.  

Our big girl is getting stronger everyday.  She amazes us with her abilities and the silly things she does.  She is sitting up on her own now (although I always have a pillow or myself behind her because I'm not 100% confident that she will not fling herself about and bust her head).  Sitting up makes bath time even more fun too!  She finally discovered that she can flail her arms and splash into the water as well as kick the water.  Bath time is part of our evening routine now and I think she likes it. I gave her a bath mohawk the other day, but didn't have my camera around, unfortunately.  Check out all the hair she has now!  It's getting longer and filling in nicely.  She does have a thinner baldish area on the back of her head from laying down on it, but hopefully that will start to fill back in now that she's doing more sitting. 

The weather has been awful since the snow storm- super freezing, stay inside kind of weather.  So we've been doing just that; staying in.  We are welcoming the warmer weather we're experiencing this week.  We have big plans to go for walks everyday and at least once we will pack a lunch and walk to work to visit Daddy and have lunch at a park.  No, it's not picnic weather, by any means, but we are desperate to do something outdoors and that seems like an easy enough thing.  Even if it's too cold to eat at the park, we can still walk there and eat in the car or inside where Myles works.  

Molli is currently enjoying her morning nap and I think I am going to do likewise.  Happy Valentines day everybody!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It was a big day for Molli and me.  We actually left the house for the first time since Monday!  We are such hermits.  We've been homebodies partly due to the fact that we are presently a one car family, and also because of "the beast," a big ugly storm that swept through the midwest.  It was pretty exciting although now I think I'm officially ready for spring.  It's hard to tell how much snow we got from it because of the drifts but we have a solid 18" in our back yard from this storm!  

The storm was unbelievably windy!  It made my house whistle.  We have a shed out back and snow even blew in under the door:

Everything in Lincoln shut down while the storm was upon us.  Myles got to spend Tuesday home with us!  I think he spend most of his time organizing the basement though.  Since no one is living in the basement anymore we have turned our heat down because the main floor is heated with the fireplace. It's cold in the basement, for real. At one point I needed a break, or maybe a shower, I'm not sure, so Myles took Molli and this is what I found when they came back upstairs:

We are working on establishing a more concrete bedtime routine, hoping that she will start going to bed earlier.  Tonight, however, she is not being tricked into sleep.  She did great with the whole bath then cereal and fall asleep.  Unfortunately, she is currently wide awake and there is not an end in sight.  Booo!

I guess that's all for now!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Most of the time, things are good.  Right now, however, we are all suffering.  Molli is having one of those nights where she refuses to go to sleep and is currently in her bed, crying (hard) and coughing from it.  I'm miserable listening to it and I'm sure she's no happier doing it.  Please baby girl, just close your eyes and relax.  It's hard knowing that there is nothing I can do to help anything =(  It's just an issue of over-tiredness, but it makes me dread the prospect of teething looming in the hopefully not too near future. Let's all just go to sleep, OK?