Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goings on.

On Thursday, Lil and I made a surprise trip to visit my mom for a few days. Unfortunately, Lily got her first ever ear infection and had a high temperature (a little over 103). At first the Dr. thought it was just teething, then since it was so high and staying up, we took her to urgent care and they diagnosed the infection. Poor girl. She is now on her first ever antibiotic.

On Saturday we had some friends over to play poker. For some reason in this shot, no one is holding their cards.


Notice smug Mr. Money Bags (aka Jeremy) to the left.

And since I pretty much always have to include a photo of Lily, here is one of her in one of her usual spots, standing by the kitchen island playing with the onions. She is infatuated with them and has been since she could first stand up to touch them. I think she likes the crinkly noise of the skins.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

My parents might kill me...

... but I just had to share these adorable photos from their wedding. Mom is in the process of converting a bunch of old family slides to digital and found these. Aren't my parents just the cutest ever?

mom and dad's wedding

mom and dad's wedding

The look on my aunt's face in that top one is almost Awkward Family Photos worthy. Awesome.

Sorry mom. This is what happens when you send me things. They might end up on the internet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

9 Months

9 months

Dear Lily,

Yesterday you turned 9 moths old. If there was a theme for this month of your life, I believe it would be "Exploration". You are on the move and checking out everything. You have mastered crawling and pulling yourself up onto things. You have started letting go for a few seconds while standing, but as soon as you realize you are standing by yourself, you get a worried look and grab the nearest support. You love to lead us around with us holding your hands still, but now you can do it with one hand. You are fascinated with EVERYTHING you touch. I love to watch how intensely you study everyday objects that are so common to us, yet are new and full of wonder for you. It makes me see things in a completely different way.

Things I want to remember about this time in your life:

Your 2nd tooth is just starting to pop through the gums.
You have started to say "aba aba" which I take to be mama, but you don't associate it with me yet.
You really like playing in the sink and splashing everywhere. At bath time, sometimes I feel like we get wetter than you do.
You are becoming more and more cuddly and climb into our laps more, which completely melts mine and your daddy's hearts.
You are getting a little better about "petting" the pets and not as much "grabbing". There is still a fair share of hair removal when you are done, though.
When daddy opens the coop door and you see a chicken, you scream, terrified!
You are going through a funny stage where if we are in a crowd of people and someone looks directly at you, you cry.
You've started using a sippy cup and seem to like the independence of it.
You've started eating more crunchy solid foods like teething biscuits and puffs which you really like.
You have been giving kisses for awhile now, but you've recently switched to only giving daddy kisses. When I ask for one, you blow raspberries at me. Nice!

Daddy is really excited that you have decided to take up cat fishing. Soon you'll be "rippin lips" with him on lake Monroe. See video below.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winner winner chicken dinner

Sorry this post is late! We got together with our adoption support group for dinner last night and time got away from me.

I am happy to announce that the random generator picked the number 25 which is the comment left by Kristin! Thanks so much to Kristin and all the rest who left such wonderful comments reminding me that there really is life out there! It has been so fun for me to learn a little more about all of you!

So, KRISTIN, please email your home address to so I can send little Mr. Birdie and some chocolates your way!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homemade instant oatmeal

I eat instant oatmeal almost every single day at work. It is a morning ritual, I heat it up in the microwave and eat it while going through my email. I much prefer slow cook oats, but I don't have time for that at work (obviously). I get in ruts with my instant oatmeal - I'll go for months and months of Raison Date Walnut and then one day switch to something else and eat that day after day. Right now, I'm on a Apple Cinnamon Lower Sugar variety kick.

I came across this recipe on the Vegan Lunchbox Blog. This would be much healthier since I would control everything in it. I can't wait to try it!


Whirlwind weekend

We went up to Wisconsin by way of Illinois this weekend, to pick up some of my grandpa's furniture. Luckily my parents helped us out by watching Lil and driving over to help us unload the goods. We are happy recipients of a lovely bedroom set, recliner, and a few end tables.

Corey and I passed the time on the long drive by listening to Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Seboldon my iPod. We're not finished with the Lovely Bones yet, so please don't give anything away!

While corey and I were moving our clothes into our new dressers, Lily was in her crib. She ended up bonking her face on the side of it, fattening her lip and shedding a few drops of blood in the process. It was surely more traumatic for mom and dad than it was for the girl. She now has that pouty look that all the famous actresses pay big money for.

Here is the little lady enjoying a nice teething biscuit and some water. Doesn't take much to make her happy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Found in the archives...

How did I miss this little gem?


We're finalizing plans for a trip out to California next month. Woohoo! Can't wait to see you, Nanny and Tiger!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Great news!

People often ask me about our other friends who are waiting to adopt and where they are at in the process. I am SO excited to give you a little update!

We met Julie and Dan at the initial weekend workshop when we first started the adoption process. They knew it could be a bit longer of a wait since they do already have one son. The wait was long and hard, especially for little Brogan, who couldn't wait to be a big brother. Well, as of 1/7/10 he got his wish! They are in California right now with their new little boy. The paperwork just went through and they are cleared for a flight home tomorrow. Julie and I talked yesterday things are going really well for the newly minted family of four. They are very anxious to get home to see their family and boy, do I remember that feeling! Their situation turned out so similar to ours, with a last minute baby in California. Their bithmother chose them right before she was induced but by a terrible stroke of luck, a snowstorm stopped all flights out of Milwaukee and they couldn't get out there for 2 days. Talk about anxious!! I'm just so glad everything worked out and they have the happy, healthy little boy they have been dreaming of. We are very excited because Julie and Dan are moving just a few miles away from our family in WI so we will have an easier time visiting them when we go up there. Lil is going to grow up around so many adopted kids, she's probably going to think everyone is adopted ;)

In the sidebar to the right, I've added permanent links to the two families from our local support group who are still waiting to be matched with a potential birthmother. Please keep them in your thoughts and pass along their information if you hear of anyone who would like to make an adoption plan for their child.

I would also just like to thank everyone who has posted a comment thus far in the post below. How neat it has been to hear from all of you!!! Those I know, and those I've never met (and didn't know existed!). Your sweet comments brought me to tears more than once! I am so humbled that you find the random stuff I write interesting enough to keep reading. Thank you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bye bye birdie

Bye bye birdie

Awhile back, a girl named Becky posted a sweet little comment just to say "hi" and let me know how she had come across my blog. How sweet! That got me thinking about the others out there reading these babbles. Looking at the StatCounter, I am constantly amazed by the number of hits this little blog gets per day. So just for fun, I made this little birdie and plan to send him out as a "thank you" to someone out there reading this.

Mr. Birdie is made out of fiber from local alpacas which I washed, hand dyed and needle felted. He fits in the palm of your hand (a little smaller than a tennis ball) and would love to go home with you and sit atop your monitor, bookshelf, or anywhere else you need a little cuteness. To enter to win, just leave a comment with letting me know how you came across my blog and where abouts you are from. In one week (Monday, January 25th) I will pick a winner using a random number generator.

Please leave a comment and don't forget to check back Monday to see if you won and claim Mr. Birdie. If you live in the U.S., I'll also throw in a few of Corey's famous handmade chocolates (unfortunately, I don't think I can ship homemade foods internationally).

Take care!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I was outside breaking down cardboard boxes this morning and turned around to see this. Of course I had to grab the camera 'cause it was too cute not do document.






Saturday, January 16, 2010

Green Cleaning

Mopping Selfie

So, this is my Saturday self portrait. Exciting, I know!

Now that we have Lily, I've become much more aware of the chemicals I am using on a daily basis. I try to avoid her contact with chemicals, so here I am mopping with vinegar water and a few drops of tea tree oil. I use the same mixture in a spray bottle to clean other surfaces. Is there any better feeling than having a freshly mopped floor?

8+ month cloth diaper update

Over the past week or so, 3 different people have asked about how we are liking our GroBaby cloth diapers. I figured it might be helpful to others if I just did a little update at 8 months and counting of using them.


Over all, we have been quite pleased with our diapers. I did end up having the velcro converted to snaps using the Snap Conversion Program because over time, the velcro tabs started to curl and would not attach well to the diaper (not good). I would send in two covers at a time and have them converted. I like the snaps SO much better. I wish I had just gone with snaps from the start. The other thing we did was buy a few more booster pads so we would have one for every diaper. Lily is a heavy wetter, even wetting through disposables when we've used them while on vacation. The boosters help a lot.

Here is a photo with the booster:


Unfortunately, 2 of the green covers did have the elastic fail around the leg, but I called the company that makes them (The Natural Baby Company) and they immediately sent out replacements along with an envelope to return the faulty diapers. One of the inserts also get a run in it, which caused it to start coming apart and they happily replaced that too, no questions asked. You can't beat that kind of customer service :)

It should be noted that in order to extend the life of the diapers, we never dry the covers. We just hang them over the back of a chair and they dry in about 2 hours. I wish I could try the inserts outside as well, but with working 40 hours per week, it just doesn't happen as much as I would like. Drying them outside in the sun really helps get rid of stains and also residual "stink".

Speaking of stinkyness, it should be said that cloth diapers in general can hold on to odors. They do not contain all those odor blocking chemicals, so to me, a little stinkyness is to be expected and I can handle it. That being said, when I feel notice they are starting to smell a little even after they are clean, I'll throw in 1/2 cup or so of vinegar and do an extra rinse. This really seems to help. I've read where some people say that vinegar helps and some say it makes it worse. It seems to depend on your water, but it helps for us. Another thing that helps is using a cloth diaper safe soap such as Charlies. Detergents hold on to odors. One other thing, diaper ointments can ruin cloth diapers! Be sure to use cloth diaper safe ointments.

Another thing we have purchased is one of those sprayer attachments that hooks to the plumbing on the toilet. We got ours on eBay for about $20. This makes for quick and painless poopy diaper rinses in the toilet. I leave a bucket next to the toilet and when I've got a poopy diaper, I rinse it off in the toilet and throw the dripping diaper in the bucket for the trip back to the diaper pail. Works pretty well for us.

The main worry we have with out GroBabies is that Lily might grow out of them before she is potty trained. She is quite big for her age and these diapers run a little small, even on the largest setting. We shall see! If she does grow out of them, I think what I will do is get some old prefold cloth diapers (like everyone used back in the day) and use G Diaper covers. G Diapers are meant to be used with biodegradable disposable inserts but my friend Lex has been using them with prefolds and snappies to secure them with great success.

Hope this helps somebody. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Blog2print book

For some time now I've been looking into ways of printing my blog in hard copy. Being a diary of sorts, I'd like to have it in print in case something ever happens to these here internets. I tried printing it on the printer but the formatting gets all strange, so you'd have to copy and paste to Word and that would just take FOREVER.

At one time I started a Blurb book but that too, seemed like quite and undertaking as the pictures would be larger and would require me to upload the larger versions (instead of the web sized ones from directly from the blog).

My aunt was asking me about it recently, so I started looking into it again. I ended up going with blog2print for the first installment (I'm planning to print a book for each year, so I started with 2007). Their prices seemed reasonable and what really sold me was the fact that it formatted it all for me so I hardly had to do a thing other than pick a cover design. The quality isn't too bad, the pages seem just a tad thinner than a regular book and the binding may not be super durable, but for the most part, I'm pleased.

I think I am going to try Blurb for the 2nd installment so I can really compare print quality.

Here are some photos:

Blog2print book

Blog2print book

I took this shot to try to show the quality of the photos. They are a tad grainy - not sure if it is because they were web sized, or if it that is just the way it always is from this company. I can totally live with them, though. Not too bad at all.

Blog2print book

Blog2print book


*Edit to add, I just looked into Blurb again. Their format for "slurping" from blogger is one entry per page with very small photos along the outside of the page. They also can't seem to "slurp" comments from Blogger. So it looks like with Blurb, there would be far too much copying and pasting to get it where I want for my taste. I think my next book will be a blog2print as well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miss Independent

She is starting to really assert herself these days. If she's not happy about something, she's going to let you know it. She may not be able to talk yet, but she gets her point across.

Like when it's "daddy time" and I get in the way. She doesn't care for that.

I apologize for my extremely dorky behavior. I can't help it, it's what I am.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The weekend

We had plans to go up to WI this weekend to get some of grandpa's furniture. The snow changed our plans. So instead, I worked on the photography business (there are big changes in store!) and Corey made chocolates (dark chocolate with cherry marzipan centers) and ice fished.

Snow babe


Saturday, January 9, 2010

I can't help it!

I know, enough with the videos! I need a 12 step program - I'm addicted to this girl

I don't think I've posted one yet of her leading us around. Nothing better than a good game of "chase the mommy". I apologize ahead for any motion sickness that may result from watching this video.

The 2nd video was taken while someone was supposed to be taking a nap. She had other plans.

The last one is all about puff eating. Up until yesterday, she didn't get that she could put them in her own mouth. Today, she's got it down pat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why I HATE Discover

I know, hate is a pretty strong word. It's just that the people at Discover have pushed me past my breaking point. We have this old card from 3 years ago that we never use. We got the card for the free iPod promotion (I know, we are terrible people). We had no intention of using the card on a regular basis. I just never got around to canceling it. Well, for the past 6 months or so, Discover people have been calling and bugging the crap out of me to use the card again. At first I was polite, telling them we were no longer using the card and that they should just cancel it. They tried to offer me better and better rewards to entice me back. I didn't take the bait. I told them to quit calling me. After about the 10th call, I started to get REALLY pissed. Each time they would call, I would tell them in a not-so-nice way that I was sick of them calling me and to take me off of their call list immediately as I was upset at their incessant calls. It didn't work, they kept calling. Remember, I don't owe these people money - they are simply desperate for us to start using the card again. I got to the point where I would just yell "You are harassing me! Quit calling!" and hang up (really mature, I know).

They called twice today. After that, I finally called the customer service line myself, attempting to cancel the card. The woman I spoke to kept me on the phone for 15 minutes trying to entice me back. Every time she would try to give me another "deal" I'd say "NO! There is NOTHING you can say that will make me want to keep this card. PLEASE CANCEL IT!". That didn't work. She kept going and going and going. I had to literally fight with this woman to cancel my card. My blood pressure was sky high when it was all over.

The only other thing worse than this was when I tried to cancel AOL. That took 1.5 HOURS on the phone with the company telling them over and over that I just wanted to cancel. I was in tears at the end of it. This should be illegal.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Showing off her pearly white


and just because, a lady at work dared me to do continuous cartwheels from my office to the front counter:


We are having a lot of fun with this expired Polaroid film we found in the supply room!

A pat on the back... in the bathroom?

This is what I found at work on the bathroom mirror on Monday morning. How cute!

Never mind what the girls thought of me bringing a camera in there...

Love this

I see something like this in Lily's future:

Monday, January 4, 2010

We've reached the "noggin conking" phase

It was inevitable. Our little dear is venturing into new territory, and with that come the bumps and bruises associated with mobility. We are doing our best to protect her and baby-proof things but but it is impossible to predict every slip or trip. Corey learned this yesterday while hovering over her while she stood, grasping the entertainment center. One minute she was fine and dandy and in the blink of an eye she had slipped down between his outstretched arms and conked her noggin on side of the cabinet. This came shortly after I had received a hearty lecture from him on how I must not have been paying attention when she fell against a plastic toy.

I hate it when she gets hurt. It breaks my heart. But what can you do? Living in a bubble is not really an option (but don't think I haven't considered it), and after all, it is part of life. A small amount of pain is part of learning and growing. You need to test the limits before you can move on to the next step in life. It's just hard to let them learn the hard way. I don't want to make it sound like we aren't doing everything we can to make our home as safe as possible. I just know that some degree of noggin-conking is unavoidable.

I love (and fought for) our wood floors but right now, I'm wishing we had carpet.