Friday, September 30, 2011

The Promise I Have No Right To Make

Despite the fact that I am home all day, getting things done around the house doesn't seem to be as easy as one would think. Most of the time, I set up a play area for Lilleigh with all of her toys to entertain her, while I go turn off the stove or start a load of laundry. Despite all if the entertain options, every time it seems that I am interrupted with the same whining sound - ehhhhhhh - only to have that whine get louder and louder. She can only be silenced when I pick her up.

In response to such whining, a common phrase around our house has become: I promise, I am not going to leave you, silly girl. But that's a promise that I know isn't mine to make. I am reminded of Isaiah 49:15,
Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
How can that be? I feel as if I could never forget her. How powerful God's love for us must be.

And another thought, Job 14:5
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass. 
Who am I to make such a promise? A promise that I'll never leave her. Do I determine my days? And for that matter, does making this promise matter anyway? It doesn't stop the whining.

And then I am reminded of the One who can make such a promise. "For He Himself has said, ''I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you' (Hebrews 13:5). But why then do I find myself at times begging him to stay with me, not to leave me. He's already promised me He won't. And His promises aren't like mine. They're based in a love I can't even fathom. A love I can only long to understand.

And though I don't totally get it, I am thankful that I don't have to keep whining. He's heard me. He's picked me up. And He won't let me go.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Schedule or no schedule?

I know there are moms that do everything by the book and have their babies on a strict schedule, eating at 9 AM, noon, 3 PM, and 6 PM. That's not me. Sometimes I wish it were. Not because I want a strict schedule. That would make me crazy! Never did I think Miss Planner (mwah) would say that! My how I've changed in the past few years! Ha! But the schedule does make things simpler at times.

Then there are the moms that do everything on demand. Naps on demand. Feed on demand. I hate the loosey-gooseyness of this non-schedule. Sometimes I fear I fall into this category.

So where do we fit in?

I try to be somewhere in the middle. I usually can't do 4 feedings, but sometimes we can do 5, since we stretch them out earlier in the morning and later in the evening. But if Lil needs 7 one day, that's fine. I don't really stress over it. I figure she'll tell me when she's hungry. She knows. But at the same time, going a full three hours between feedings means she'll eat better at each feeding. At least that's the case for Lilleigh. Granted the whole no-bottle-thing complicates matters. (Instead of feeding at 9 and then noon, if we have to be somewhere are 11:30, she gets fed again at 11, before we walk out the door! So much strategy involved! I guess a tight schedule wouldn't work for us anyway with this issue.)

Naps throw things off too. If it's been more than an hour or so since she was last fed, Lil wants to nurse prior to nap. Does anyone else have this issue?? And the amount of solids she's eaten doesn't seem to make a difference.

Anyways, on days when things are timed well (in my opinion), she goes almost a full 3 hours between feedings and naps correspond with that. Oh to be in a perfect world! Nap times are loosely 9-10:30/11 and 1-3 or 4. And since she often does an early morning feed at 4 or 5, things generally progress from there.

It seems like most of my mommy friends have their babies on strict schedules, but I know this cannot be true of everyone in the world... maybe I have a lot of type A friends? :) Anyway, I thought I'd ask you... what's your routine look like with your little ones?

Disclaimer: I really have no idea what I'm doing, but I go with it! :) I think being more laid back has given me an easy adjustment to motherhood.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Nursery - GIRLified!

Back before our little pumpkin was born, I showed you our gender neutral nursery. I thought I loved it then. I had big plans for how I'd change it if we had a boy. And though I was hoping for a girl, I had no idea how I'd spruce up the nursery for a girl. Just knew we'd add pink!

But then in the spring, we got a Pottery Barn catalog that had super cute paper flower cut outs on the walls advertising "Lily" bedding. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway, I'm sad to say that the images of the flowers are not online. They are only in the catalog. Photos of the bedding collection online are too close up. So if you don't get their catalog, you'll just have to trust me that it was super cute!

So with that inspiration in mind and the cute green and pink flowered glider which we already had, I decided to play up the green and pink for the nursery. My goal is to be able to reuse as much of the baby stuff as possible if we were to ever have a boy and make it boyish. That was the idea behind gender neutral. Well, that and the fact that we didn't know before hand if we were having a girl or boy. But you get the idea.

The girlified nursery...

Your view when you walk into her room.

The view when sitting on the bed in her room. The door on the right is where I was standing when I took the photo before this one. And the door on the left is the bathroom. Just trying to orient you.
I saw the hooks above the changing table on Pinterest and loved the idea of being able to hang outfits on them. It's a cute idea, but Lilleigh loves pulling things off of them. So other than for show, it doesn't get used much.
Don't mind my camera strap in the bottom left corner of the photo...

Where we feed and glide. The glider was a hand-me down from my sister's room. I just love it!
And the blanket on it was made by a friend. It's super soft! And isn't it beautiful?
The pom-poms were made for a shower I threw, but I loved them too much to throw them away!
And the door... it actually goes outside! How weird is that? One of the oddities of a house from 1959. We put an alarm on it and then put furniture in front of it... pretending it's not there!

The chair was Lil's Easter present from my dad.
And the door goes to Lil's closet. 

This painting was a birthday gift a friend gave me in college. The colors just matched well! But I may actually have to find a new place for it because I want to paint this on a canvas to put in this space.

A close up of the paper flowers. They're so springtime-y!

The cross and denim pillows were made by a good friend's mom and given to me in high school.
The bunny actually has Lilleigh's name on its ear, and its name is Hoppy! The sweet kids I used to babysit for gave it to Lilleigh. They each have their own.
I made the big pink pillow. I just love the fabric! So soft.
And the wooly mammoth or elephant (its debatable) is from Brendon's sister, who has superb taste in stuffed animals!

Pom-poms! Yea! And the frame was a gift from a sweet friend. She's so good to coordinate it with Lil's room.

And the bow holder which hangs in the bathroom!

And what was Lilleigh doing while I was taking all of these photos?

Rolling around in her crib, of course!

Pumpkin Patch!

We're excited for fall around here! So we headed out to the pumpkin patch this morning with some neighbors to get some great pics! Morning seemed like the best time for this due to naps and lighting. Unfortunately though, the patch wasn't officially open, so we'll have to go back another time to actually buy pumpkins!

Lilleigh with out 2-year-old neighbor Luke

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sick Baby

I was uber impressed when our baby girl napped THREE hours today! That should have been a red flag to me, but I figured with our recent travels and her short morning nap, she probably needed it. When she finally called out to me that she had woken up, I went in to find her covered in vomit - and smiling! Poor baby girl!

I have one sick baby on my hands! Please pray she makes a speedy recovery! While she's happy, she's also projectile vomiting, which can't be good...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Loving Colorado

We just recently got back from our road trip to Colorado (hence the lack of blog posts), where we visited with lots of family and hung out in the cool and rainy weather (both of which Texas had been lacking until our return).

We drove up to Breckenridge in a day! Yes, with a baby and a dog! The dog is actually easy. And amazingly Lilleigh was a trooper! She fussed some at nap times, but other than that, she didn't even have a meltdown until bedtime when she was still stuck in her car seat - that's HUGE! I would have had a meltdown way before that...

Happy baby in the car!

We got to see the dog trials, where Border Collies corralled sheep. It sounds boring, but it's amazing what these dogs can be trained to do! Just take my word for it - you'll have to check it out sometime. I think my favorite part of the dog trials (which is more of a festival really because you can walk around to different events) was the agility course. Dogs participated in relay races! Just crazy! I took photos, but they don't do the event justice, so we'll skip them.

Not only did we get to see Brendon's grandparents while we were there, but we also crossed paths with his mom, my dad, and some of my Kansas family too. 

Here are some photos from our trip!

Playing in the grass... we love digging our toes into Colorado's "carpet grass"
Lots of rain during the dog trials, unfortunately
Walking into town in Breckenridge to grab a Starbucks! It was COLD! 

By the way the double stroller in the photos is one I found at a garage sale to take up to the grandparents' house in Colorado to be used by the cousins... there's no announcement here. Just thought I'd clarify! ;)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Learning to Forgive

As believers we are called to forgive others. This is an act of obedience. Not to mention, it'd be pretty hypocritical for us not to forgive others, considering He's forgiven us.

But what about when someone hurts you or someone you love? Intentionally. How do you forgive someone who has acted maliciously? 

With the anniversary of 9/11, I know many of those who lost loved ones are facing this same question. How can they forgive men who hijacked planes and flew them into buildings? How can you forgive men who killed so many innocent people? Who took fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters. And on purpose. All to serve a violent, vengeful god, whom they call Allah. (Why would they even want to serve such a god? Don't get me started on that.)

How can you forgive such people? This issue has been heavy on my heart. And though the timing is fitting, I'm not talking about 9/11.

Forgiveness is a hard issue. If I'm honest with myself, I'm sure a difficulty to forgive has something to do with me not recognizing my own sin and what it means that I am forgiven.

Over the years, I've come to believe it's as much about us as it is about the other person. It's not just releasing that other person from their sin... it's releasing yourself. It's allowing yourself to feel peace. To be angry, yes. But to deal with that anger and eventually move beyond it.

I once heard it said this way, "Forgiveness means saying, 'It was wrong. It mattered. And I release you.'" (Taken from Wild At Heart ...Hopefully I got the quote right.) This has always stuck with me. I think what I love about this quote is that it recognizes the wrongness of what occurred. And it doesn't justify it. The reality of the sin is allowed to sink in and sit there. And yet, in this quote, John Eldridge also makes it clear that forgiveness is a choice. It's not a feeling. It's a conscious decision one makes. And part of that decision involves releasing control over the emotions gripping us and over the circumstances and even over the offender.

Tonight I pray that the Lord will help me to forgive.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

7 Months

Lilleigh is 7 months old!!!

Lil at 7 months...
  • She sits up great! Though she isn't catching herself when she falls, she doesn't fall as often. This is a great age. Not mobile but independent enough that I can sit her on the floor with toys, and she's golden. Totally enjoying it.
  • Reaching when she's sitting. No crawling. Not even close. But I wonder if she'll crawl from reaching, rather than from playing on her tummy.
  • She's making syllables... da-da, ba-ba, ma-ma. So fun!!
  • Her sippy cup is her favorite toy. And she sorta drank milk from it. Just a bit, but it's a start!
  • Solids: Apple, sweet potato, peas, squash, zucchini, chicken (shredded), avocado, tomato (cut up really small), tangerine (suck on it), watermelon.
  • This does mean her poop has changed. (Sorry, Dad. I had to say it. But really, you're the only one who complains! Everyone else laughs. :) For those of you interested in cloth diapers, I've been experimenting with rice paper liners. So far I like them, but I've been hesitant to use them at home because our pipes are so old. They'll be great for travel though. 
  • We moved Lilleigh up to her big girl car convertible seat! We inherited a Britax Advocate from my sister. (It's a beast of a car seat, but gotta love Britax!) And I had planned to buy another Britax, possibly the Roundabout, at the BabiesRUs trade-in event. I had done a lot of research and studied Baby Bargains, but I went in with an open mind. I'm glad I did! I ended up buying the Evenflo Symphony, which we LOVE! It is slightly more reclined that the Britax, and I can see a difference in how comfortable Lilleigh is. (No crying when she tries to sleep.) Plus it's way cuter. And it has a cup holder. Same rating in Baby Bargains as the Roundabout. 
  • Size 6-9 month clothes. 6 month dresses. 9 month rompers or pants... she's tall. Still middle snap of cloth diapers. Size 3 disposables.
  • She still loves sleeping on her tummy. And though she does struggle at times to get back onto her back, I have seen her roll! She can do it as long as she stays calm. But when she gets worked up, it's all downhill.
I know there's lots more I could say, but that's all I can think of for now!

A Blog Update

Just wanted to update you all that Thankfully Thrifty has been salvaged! Thanks to Securi! (Read my full post here.)

Since I was able to get this done cheaply, I will not be creating a new blog. But I will certainly be changing Thankfully Thrifty. For those of you who follow it often, you've probably noticed a transition in recent months. So I'm not sure if you'll notice the transition... mainly because I'm not sure how big the changes will be at this point. I'm still thinking through it all.

Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up! I have loved your feedback! I am excited to take on a new direction of Thankfully Thrifty.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blog Help

My Thankfully Thrifty blog was hacked. That's the short of this. It's going to be ridiculously expensive to salvage. While there are things I could do to rectify it possibly, they are all very tedious and lengthy. I may still do them, but at the moment I am having new thoughts... thoughts about starting something new.

It makes me sad to think about ending the deal-finding missions of Thankfully Thrifty but relieved too. It's a lot of pressure to post each day. And I've been debating and praying about this for awhile. I'm not sure hacking is an answered prayer, but I think God is using it to direct me.

I love blogging too much to just stop. Which brings me to my next idea. Something that includes a lot of what I love about Thankfully Thrifty, minus each and every deal. Something fun, where I can post often without being limited to thriftiness - though let's be honest, that will naturally flow out because it's ingrained in me.

There's still a lot I would want to keep from Thankfully Thrifty, such as Freebie Friday, Hyatti (the glimpses into my life), Mailbox Monday, and menu planning posts. These are all great ways I save money - well except for Hyatti which is just fun. I will continue to share our journey with finances - how we negotiate, how much we save with cloth diapers, etc. But the list would extend beyond thriftiness. Sometimes I'd share my heart on different issues. Sometimes I'd share clever new uses for things. Other times great Pinterest ideas or crafts I've made. There'd be posts on our raw food adventures too. And with all of this, I'd have freedom to not post one day, to be away from my computer and have that be okay. The time-sensitivity of the deal-finding was wearing on me. So this could be a great new start. I think it'll be a lot of what my blog was evolving into, just without the deal-finding that it was based on.

With this change I'd be giving up a lot of the way I make money blogging, at least at this point, but I think that's a good change. It would also free up my time and allow me to focus on what I'm passionate about - not "print these coupons" or "buy this". I don't blog for money. It's a perk, but it's not my motivation.

And just to clarify, this blog will stay as it is. I love having a blog that friends and family can read to catch up on our lives. I don't do this with Thankfully Thrifty because that blog (like any new one I would start) is for the public... so on there I write things interesting for all. Here I write about us since it's mostly just friends and family reading it. 

That said, I'd love your feedback on any of this. Good idea? Bad Idea? Anything you like about Thankfully Thrifty or don't like that you can tell me so I know how to continue heading forward.

And for you creative friends, do you have any good blog names for me? Topics... faith, family, organic and raw foods, thriftiness of course, and more... I don't want to be limited by my name the way I kinda am now. I'm not opposed to something with "mom" (or a version of it) in the title, but it'd have to be catchy... I'm always trying to be careful not to base my identity (as a person and blogger) in mothering.

Thanks for any feedback!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two Roosters.

So it turns out that out of our four laying hens, we have two roosters. Queeny and Ida May. This explain a lot - like why the two of them sometimes go at it. And why we don't have eggs. (The heat and the fact that they have not been mature until now also explains that.)

My neighbor was watching them this weekend while we were in Houston for Labor Day (pics from the weekend to come), and she texted saying she heard cockadoodling! Don't get me wrong, cockadoodling IS loud, but when the rooster are inside the coop and we are inside our house, you can't hear it. Outside you hear it, but it doesn't wake one up or anything. Thankfully. Otherwise I'm sure we would have gotten a letter from the city already. They do that sorta thing.

Needless to say, Queeny and Ida May will be finding new homes. I'm tempted to say we should eat them. But I don't want to have to pluck their feathers. Or kill them. Queeny is too pretty for that... I'm actually sad we have to get rid of her.

Just goes to show that everyone we talked to was right - it is very hard to tell a rooster from a hen. You just have to watch and wait. Fingers crossed our replacements will be hens!

For your entertainment, a video of them cockadoodling! It's very funnny. Worth the watch.