Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Need Proclaim My Appreciation

In spite of my unfortunate sneezing today (just what is blooming right now besides mums?), I have found some things for which I am especially happy on this eve.  I'll start with the easy ones, but will conclude with some odd ones.

First, the "givens."
1.  The Lord and His grace
2.  The health and love of our family
3.  The fortune that God has given our family a way to pay the bills we have, and has provided our basic needs.
4.  Friends who make me smile

And now, for the non-traditional ones.
5.  Caffeinated drinks - cokes, coffee, and good Southern sweet tea (they help me keep some "me" time when the kids are all in bed)
6.  Flea drops for my pets (provides physical relief for the dog, and comic relief for us from the cat)
7.  The new sound-maker that my aunt gave Lucas (it's addictive and peaceful all at the same time)
8.  Rectal thermometers (any parent who's had a constipated baby can appreciate this)
9.  Gold Bond medicated powder (it's kept me from taking Oscar to the vet for a $70+ shot)
10.  Cheaper gas
11.  Cooler temperatures on the way

I know there are many, many more ways I can count my blessings.  It's helpful to remind myself that in spite of our troubles, God tends to show us silver linings.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trouble with posts on facebook, so here's one that works.

Well, I was trying to post this on facebook, but I haven't had much luck. So here's one I am pretty sure I can do.

Click to play Weekend in Wilmington

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Make a Smilebox postcard

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Baby

Nothing is more joyful than having your baby smile at you. Just seeing our son smile at me eases anxiety and makes me forget about troubles. It's a great "miracle medicine" that God provides each day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lucas is 1 month old!

And time has flown! He is over 8 pounds now, and is smiling and cooing at us when he isn't sleeping, eating, or otherwise engaged with filling his diaper.

North Carolina-bound

Here I thought nothing would shock me as much as my pregnancy with baby #3, but I guess I've been proven wrong.

After 3 years of hard work, struggle, and a great education from the University of EXPERIENCE, my dear hubby has decided to close the doors to his business and take employment with an established company. For our family, that means a move to the area of Raleigh, North Carolina. It's a blessing in many ways, because hubby will be making more than he has ever made, but we'll lose the convenience of having extended family close by.

I am nervous and excited. Raleigh seems to be a great place to raise a family, However, the logistics and timing of it all is strange to me. We have about 4 months to get there, but all the things to do seem a bit overwhelming to me right now. Getting the house ready, packed, and all that must be done before we move is so much with a newborn (and he'll just be 5 months old when we move).

Not only that, hubby will be starting his position on June 30. Leaving me here to do what I can to get the house ready. Ugh... too much to do, too little time... but finally, no worries with paperwork for the business after next year I anticipate.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

No more Bili Lights, and the hungry hippo is growing...

We got rid of the bili lights after 2 days, much to our pleasure.

Now, our hugnry hippo baby wants to eat all the time. I weighed him this morning on my postal scale, which weighs up to 30 pounds. He is 9 days old, and has passed his birth weight. He officially weighed in at 6 lbs., 11.4 oz. this a.m. The goal was for him to be back to his birth weight in 2 weeks since he is breastfed (sometimes takes longer than formula-fed babies). But we have no worries there. It is so nice to not worry with that, like we did with our first (the second gained really easily also).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Smurf Baby

Well, Lucas did not do as well with his jaundice/bilirubin test as we had hoped, and now we are putting him in a bili blanket at home. Hopefully just until tomorrow, and we will be done. Lucas hates being in that thing. He'd much rather be swaddled.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home for a few days, only to go back to the doctor on Monday

Lucas has some mild jaundice, so we are headed back to the doctor on Monday. So much for my wish to stay home and not go anywhere for a week.

I remember my 4-year-old going for a bilirubin check after she was born. It was traumatic for both of us (she cried, and I cried probably more).

On top of that, we are going to change doctors, but we'll have to go to this one once more until we get the jaundice under control.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Introducing our newest Bell family member

Lucas Nathaniel Bell was born Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 3:25 p.m. He weighed 6 lbs., 10 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. We are all so proud of him!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Two weeks to go, and I'm losing my mind . . .

Yes, it's mommy-brain that has plagued me, but it has really struck severely the past few weeks. I have to write EVERYTHING down right now, and things get misplaced so easily around my house.

Like the little baby gap gown that my girls wore after they came home from the hospital. It was one of the few unisex garments I had, and it was so soft and sweet, I had kept it. It has drawstrings around the bottom. We called it the potato sack gown. There was also a blanket that matched it (I've all but given up looking for that). But I washed the little gown just over a week ago. Now I have no idea where I've left it, and I'm trying to pack the bag so we are ready for the big day.

We had also been missing our TV controller for over two weeks. My mother came to help me catch up on some laundry (as I also sorted through baby clothes and stored clothes my youngest daughter had outgrown). Guess where the controller was? At the bottom of a laundry basket, under some clothes. Go figure.

This little one will not have the volume of clothing that my girls did, and I am thankful. I just cannot get a handle on clothes, especially when my drama-queen youngest daughter likes to change clothes 4 or 5 times a day. I have had a horrible time with this, and she throws the discarded outfits on her floor rather than hanging them back up. So, I have really had to keep a close eye on her lately. We are trying to keep things as tidy as possible for my absence, and more importantly, for my return.

My "to-do" list seems to be improving a little, but I know it's a matter of time before it catches up with me and the heavy-duty contractions begin. I have had a few real ones in the last week, and tomorrow I'll find out if they are doing any good.

For now, it's off to hunt for the potato sack gown. I have my heart set on it, and I know I didn't trash it or give it away. The hunt continues . . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fashion Diva

Notice the colorful grass skirt added to the ensemble (over blue jeans, of course). Only from my eccentric 4-year-old.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A path of destruction just a short drive away

Macon County, TN, has occupied my mind for the past few days. You see, my mother grew up in Macon County. We still have family there (we are thankful they are all okay, and they are working in the relief effort).

The worst part of the tornado (which is estimated to have been on the ground for over 41 miles and in many parts of Macon County over a mile wide) passed just about 1 mile from where my grandparents lived until their passing. So many of my summers were spent skipping rocks in the creek that ran alongside the road where they lived.

A little country church that my mother and I attended when we spent weekends there was completely destroyed. I look on the website, and so many houses that I recognize (as we passed by them on the way to my grandparents) are severely damaged. It is sad, because when we now go to my in-laws' house, I often enjoy the drive and tell my husband how much one stretch of highway reminds me of Lafayette, with its gentle rolling hills and the farm community, down-home feeling. Now that nostalgia cannot be compared to the original place, which has been scarred so badly from this event.

My aunt is a paralegal there, and my uncle is a volunteer firefighter and also runs an insurance agency there, so they deal with a large part of the town residents on a daily basis. They both know many of those who perished as a result of Tuesday's storm (actually, it was between 2 and 3 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday, because I was up watching the news as the storms were passing through my county, and Lafayette was getting the worst part of if around that time). The death toll was at 14 for Macon County alone the last time I heard, but not everyone has been accounted for yet (around 100 people, whom they are not assuming are dead). They know even more people who lost everything, not to mention those whose homes are badly damaged.

Please say a prayer for these folks. It is one of the nicest towns I know. To see pictures of Macon County, go to http://www.maconcountytimes.com

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm not completely out of touch with the real world...

I know that Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race. And I still have his button displayed on the blog. Why? Because there are no better candidates out there in my opinion, and I really cannot decide who to vote for, because I am so displeased with ALL of the remaining candidates that are front-runners. So, Fred stays, and my vote will have to see who the independent candidates are. I didn't vote in the primary in my state, because of the disillusionment in my mind when it comes to the presidential candidates. I am disappointed in Fred's departure, but I'm still throwing support that way for now, until I find a candidate that can convince me that they deserve my vote.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My girls are crazy!

They love to ham it up for the camera. Madelynne has had a rash on her face off and on for a couple of days, so I am having her put diaper rash cream on it (I still had about 1/4 of a tube from when Allyson was a baby). So, tonight, her face was broken out again, so I sent her to put on the "butt paste" again. (Little did I know that there is an actual name-brand diaper cream with the same name, until today, when I was given some at my baby shower.) We've always used the term rather loosely. So, Madelynne, looking for a laugh, comes out like this:

After she was done (and was able to wash her face off), Allyson decided she must have her picture taken too. This is her froggy sleep mask she got for Christmas:I had a nice afternoon with my friends who threw me and another friend a shower. Our children played in the background, and we enjoyed some good conversation, along with a discovery of an interesting little product I'd never heard of before (having girls, it's never been needed at my house). . . the Pee-Pee TeePee. They are little washable cones that fit over the baby while changing his diaper (so you don't get sprayed). It is amazing what products are available now. A lot of people have used cloth diapers before, but now those can be saved for burp cloths. I also got some really cute clothes for the baby, the "official" Butt Paste I mentioned before, wipes, diapers, bibs, a cute diaper bag, and burp cloths.

I am so thankful to have friends to enlighten me! :D

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Please say a little prayer

The youngest member of our "chain gang," our beloved Hammy, passed away today. Madelynne was devastated. She cried uncontrollably for about 2 hours, and is now worried about the little grave we made for him outside. She is worried the cats outside will dig it up. She is somewhat better tonight, but blames herself, saying she didn't take good enough care of him. I reminded her that he was 3 years old, which is a good average life for a dwarf hamster. It's hard to understand that 3 is an old age for a hamster. Even harder when the hamster is so sweet and sociable. We knew he wasn't doing well, though. His breathing changed over the last couple of months. I've been trying to prepare her for the inevitable.

Of course, she wants another hamster immediately, but I told her with the baby, that now is not the right time for one. We have too many irons in the fire right now. So, we'll be waiting for a while. Especially until she can completely take care of it (cleaning the cage out from start to finish without help). The cat's litter box would be manageable for her if it weren't for the weight of the box when it is time to dump out the litter.

Anyway, we are a two-pet family now, but for now, that will have to suffice. (I am having a flash into the future of our little boy wanting a snake as a pet . . . that will have to be a big NO.) Sorry, the best snakes are the dead ones, in my opinion. Okay, animal rights activists, please don't come after me on that one. I don't deal well with pets with no fur (and tarantulas aren't on my list). Well, we did have a hermit crab that was pretty cool. Fish are okay, but they aren't too interactive.

So, in memory of sweet little Hammy, here he is again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our shock last week, and Happy New Year!

We didn't expect to have a third child. We also assumed that another child would be a girl (age, usual conditions of our bodies such as stress, etc.). Imagine our surprise to find out last week that we are having a little boy. I'd post a picture of the proof, but I don't want to be accused of promoting naughty pictures on the internet, ha ha.

I haven't thrown up in about a week, so that is a nice change. I'd always heard that being pregnant with a girl was harder on your body hormone-wise than a boy. I have experienced just the opposite. My girls were so much easier than this little boy has been, hands down. They were what you'd call textbook pregnancies (except that #1 was 3 weeks early). Just 20 more weeks of this, but at least the nausea is improving. I am calling the chiropractor tomorrow about my right arm hurting. My OB didn't think he'd touch me while I'm pregnant, but my chiro has 5 kids, and offered to adjust me when I was pregnant with #2 (I declined until after the birth). This time, the discomfort is persistent enough that it will warrant an adjustment if my insurance will accept the visit(s).

We have had a good Christmas. The girls still got more than they needed, but the excessiveness was not as great this year as it has been in years past. We enjoyed last Saturday night at my sister's house with her family, our family, my mom, my brother, and his girlfriend. We enjoyed ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, salads, yeast bread, and plenty of yummy desserts. Then my mom spent the night with us on Monday night. We went to Logan's for supper, and it was definitely the worst service we've ever had. Sadly, we had another poor experience recently at Cracker Barrel (which, last time I heard, also owns Logan's). I am beginning to wonder what is falling apart with them.

My mom enjoyed Christmas Eve and morning with us. Then, she went back to her house, and we went to my husband's parents, where his two brothers also came along for Christmas afternoon "brunch" with eggs, country ham, biscuit, and hashbrowns. We didn't have any traditional
Christmas meals like turkey or baked ham. It all works for us, though. We always have steaks with my sister (courtesy of Mom), so that could be considered our tradition. We also always have our get-together the Saturday before Christmas. It's been this way since I can remember (meaning, since our kids were little and we had at least 3 places to be for the holidays).

As I said before, our Christmas was scaled down this year, and you know, it was a huge relief for me. I had been such a scrooge this year about gifts in general. I don't need anything (unless you want to pay all my bills, but that is another story). My kids certainly don't need anything. And I don't like getting someone else who is in the same boat as me something that they will want to take back to the store or regift. It is not worth the trouble, so let's say Merry Christmas, enjoy spending time together, and be the better for it. My list shrank this year because we drew names at my in-laws house, which made shopping SO much easier. And my sister and I agreed we'd just buy for the kids (though I did wrap up some brownies and take to her, but I don't consider that a gift). Anyhoo, stress was much less because of those two changes. Here's to more years like that. I guess I am appalled at the materialism in our country, and I don't want my kids to get wrapped up in it either.

What's the gift my kids have enjoyed the most so far? Their Webkinz critters. Pretty cheap gift. Cheaper than the other things they got. But I have to admit, the games on the computer are pretty addictive. I play on the younger girl's because she has a harder time earning her KinzCash (her skills are not as honed as my 8-year-old's).

I am about a week away from officially being in my office. I will post pictures when it's done. Happy New Year, everyone!
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