Sunday, December 30, 2007

Top 10, 2007

2007, what a wonderfully, crazy year!

The best of 2007: (in no particular order)

10. The first snow of 2007 (Eloise - 16 months)

9. The last days of being pregnant (hopefully forever!) - 36 weeks

8. The birth of Lily Grace
February 23, 2007, 4:15 p.m., 8 lbs 10 oz. 19.5 inches
labor started at 5 a.m. and progressed ssslllooowwwlllyyy...pushed 4 times and she emerged in her bag of waters. I knew it would be a girl the whole time ;)

first time seeing sister

Our new family of four

One of my favorites

7. First family trip to the beach

6. Eloise turned 2!

5. Our first swing Set

4. Ahlbola..I'd like to forget this one. I'm sure the Lawrence's would too.

playing at Zuanich park in Bellingham

3. First Blazer Game (currently on a 13 game winning streak - I added that for dave)

With Willy Davis

2. Lily's First Christmas

with nana and papa

1. The best of all....Our healthy, happy, joyous, loving family!

at Lily's baby dedication

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry CHRISTmas

We had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. I am already counting the days until next year.

Christmas morning at my parents.

First presents of the morning

Eloise loved to help everyone unwrap their gifts...even if they didn't want her to.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

First singing performance

Eloise sang for the first time in front of a large crowd. The large crowd was at church with her fellow toddlers and kindergartener's. What a great time she had. We didn't really know what to expect, but a she did excellent in front of so many people. And daddy even got her to flex her muscles. She did lots of shout outs to Nana and Lily. ENJOY!

preparing for the big event

Here is Away in a Manger

and Ring the Bells

Friday, December 14, 2007


Listening to the "Santa's doing the Mambo":

Eloise (2): Hey Lily, it's the Mambo! Let's shake our fannies!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

zoo lights

We went to Zoo Lights on Sunday. It was so much fun. I was so excited to have our first Christmas outing as a family.

Eloise is obsessed with Christmas lights. I mean obsessed. When we come home after our errands in the evening, she starts crying because she wants to see Christmas lights. So I knew this evening would be the best for her.

They had a train to ride around the zoo. She sat with a huge smile on her face the entire time she was riding. And to add to our Christmas experience, it was snowing! I can't wait to go to Peacock Lane this weekend.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

great expectations

I'm feeling off balance today. I think there are some key things in my life that have been put in the backseat as I've been driving this crazy life the past 9 months. I'm learning to put them up front sometimes, but they need to be up front ALL the time.

I always have high expectations for myself. To achieve the best is important, I don't always do it, but I at least want to strive for it. During my bible study last week I was talking about my struggle to sit. To sit and BE with the Lord. An older, wise woman asked, "Are your expectations realistic for your lifestyle?" I answered yes at the time (I know 15 minutes, if that, of peace is all I have), but now I'm thinking no. I understand that sitting with the Lord for an hour each day just isn't possible. With my cooking business, a 9 month old who still doesn't sleep, a 2 yr old phasing out naps, and a husband, I'm thinking it's just not going to work unless I did it at 3 - 4 a.m. and in that case Lily would be screaming and not much peace would be happening.

I know I need to put in the time. And I don't mean that it has to be a # time, but an existence time. For Jesus to be my perspective. For me to have many moments throughout the day where I realign myself with His purpose for my life. I need to make this relationship with Lord a relationship. I need to do it for me, not for my kids, not for dave, for me and because the Lord desires to be with me. I think all the other expectations I have on myself are suffocating me and I can't seem to figure out how to crawl out from underneath them. I need to find a way to make my expectations realistic for my lifestyle.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Poo in the potty

Eloise has gone poo poo in the potty for the last 5 days. She has told me every time she has to go! She refuses to wear diapers, except at night, and only wants to wear big girl panties or Popsicle pull-ups (the cheap Target ones). I guess she is potty trained?!? I don't think I'm ready to venture out of the house with just panties on, but at least there is progress. Right now we are living by a 30 minute timer and ALOT of Christmas gum drops.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I'm starting to wonder if I'm being paid back for something horrible I did to my mother. I didn't sleep through the night until 3 months (bitter), always went to my sister when I had a bad dream or had the flu, and was a very picky eater. What could it be?

Eloise has now puked in her car seat 4 times in a little over a year. The negative of this time, it was in a new car seat. UGHHHH, another car seat to dismantle and disinfect. (this one was actually easier, I could take off every part and soak it.)

So after we pulled into the garage after a trip to Costco, Eloise throws up all over herself and the backseat. I instantly grab my rubber gloves and go to work. Eloise was crying, Lily was crying, and thankfully, I wasn't. I've gotten pretty good at dealing with these curve balls of motherhood.

We managed to get ourselves in the house leaving all traces of vomit in the garage. I managed to get the entire seat taken apart, cleaned and reassemble in 24 hrs. I'm going to give myself a big pat on the back for that one.

Both girls have pretty high fevers and have been pretty clingy. This is my first experience with fevers. All Eloise wants to do is sit in her chair and watch movies. All Lily wants to do is crawl on her. All I want to do is sleep. Hopefully, the little ones will be well soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello Christmas

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family. The girls loved Nana and Papa's house and all the older cousins to play with. However, coming back was even more fun b/c Christmas decorating time was soon to follow.
(tea party with the cousins)

I love Christmas! Dave is always rolling his eyes at me when I sneak Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Eloise and Lily love the Hippo Song and this last week while listening to it on repeat we hung our snowflakes in the window and decorated the tree.

Our tree is 3 ft tall and artificial. This is a BIG problem in my family. My parents own a tree farm and usually bring us our tree. (as we speak my mom is assembling a swag to add some "realness" to my Christmas greens). Two years ago we were unable to have a tree b/c of how small our apartment was and so I bought this little tree to help bring a little Christmas into our house. This is the 3rd year we have used it and I'm hoping to do away with it next year. But for now it is adorned with creative ornaments both received and bought.

Eloise set up her "people". (Fisher Price Nativity). She plays with it all the time and gets a little annoyed when Lily takes off with one of her "people". Mama also has her "people". My nativity is set up next to the tree as a reminder to me of what this season truly represents, Christ's birth. We are excited to begin teaching Eloise about this joyous celebration.

Another exciting event of the season. The Pottery Barn Chairs have arrived. My parents are down this weekend and the PB Chairs were shipped here. My dad put them together and we had a mock christmas with the girls. We were able to take them up and wait until Christmas morning b/c we don't have a car big enough to haul them back. They LOVE them and so does mom. Here they are enjoying their first morning playing with them.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vacuum ideas anyone????

When I was pregnant with Lily I thought I would NEVER get anything done. Especially cleaning. Tonight was fun and successful. With the two of them in tow, (following me around) I managed to clean up the kitchen and vacuum out all the nooks and cranny's around the floor. (It was incredibly gross - lily was picking up most of it with her pants while crawling.) Lily loves to follow the cord of the vacuum and isn't scared by the noise. When I would try to pull the cord she would hang on like a water skier. Cute!
While cleaning up the house, I realized how horrible my vacuum is. It took forever to pick things up and I just changed the bag. Does anyone have a vacuum they love? I know the Dyson is great, thinking about the Dyson Slim. Is there a cheaper option? I like the cannister vacs too. Too many options out there. Ughh.
BTW - after they went to bed, I scrubbed my floors. I haven't done it myself in several months. My wonderful mom usually does it when she visits.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas photos are in

I need your help to pick the best one. I think there are numbers at the top. I can't decide between sending out a family one or just a girls one...leaning towards just the girls.


Nana's Christmas Gift

I am so excited. I have wanted these for at least a year. Nana is buying the red ones with their names written in white. I can't wait to take a picture of my cute girls enjoying their chairs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

my favorite videos

I finally figured out, about 6 months ago, that my digital camera had a video option. I wish I would have known about it when Eloise was born, I would have taken tons of short video's. Oh well, now we get to videotape new memories. Here are a few of the recent ones. They aren't the best quality but they're funny. Enjoy!

#1 somersault

#2 - special treats

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

deceptively fabulous

This is my new favorite cookbook, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. This is the best cookbook for kids and it fits well with out healthy lifestyle. I made the chicken nuggets today and I can't wait to try the brownies. She is funny, informative and speaks my language of love - organization. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has kids.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Today eloise spent the morning in her big girl panties. I asked her if she wanted to go potty and she said no. 10 seconds later she was peeing down her leg. She looked down and said, "oops mama, I spilled. Mama, uh oh, I spilled"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

top 10

Randomonium: I'm borrowing this great idea from Jodi via Cutzi. Here are some thoughts milling around my mind for a while

1. I'm loving bible study this fall. My friend and mentor Jody Mayhew has been teaching on Hebrews. Hebrews 3 has been the best. And if you want to, you can listen to it online. Listen to the first and second section of Hebrews 3, it will blow you away. my favorite thoughts:
"In the day of trial in the wilderness, what he said he will be, he will be. You can ask for help in the midst of trial, but DO NOT TEST! He is who he says he is, regardless of suffering".

2. Eloise is potty training and today she went poo on the potty. I'm dragging my feet. She is asking me to go potty, loves her potty treats and loves wearing big girls panties. She is ready, I'm not. This is the first child rearing activity that I have played no part in controlling. I have not read ONE book on this subject and people who know me, know that is an accomplishment. Jenny L. - You are right, they do train themselves. Wise words from a mom of 4.

3. I'm working on a project with Jody that is rocking my world as a mom. I can't go into it now, but let's just say that the Lord is asking me to walk a path that is difficult to walk as a mom, but I'm being obedient to the call and taking the risk.

4. We had a women's day of prayer 2 weeks ago for all the women at Montavilla. I went for a friend, for time away, and to meet with other women. What I got was alot of words from the Lord.

5. okay, to lighten up. I want a Honda odyssey van. I'm obsessed with it. I cannot wait to sell the Volvo and get this van. I look on craigslist daily, refuse to spend money on worthless things, and dream about life with a van (no more conking my kids heads when I put them in their carseats, I can nurse in the car, change diapers, ahhhhh....bliss) And I NEVER wanted to drive a van. Now I can hardly wait!

6. My last 6 lbs of weight is taking FOREVER to come off, but it's my fault. I need to get back on plan. Two more holiday hurdles to jump.

7. I'm obsessed with Sugar Free/Fat Free pudding. I eat way to much of it, but it's my nightly treat with lite whipped cream. We ran out yesterday and our new budget month started today so tomorrow is the day to stock up.

8. Eloise is in a "I do myself" stage and it's hard to not take it personal or feel like she is being defiant. I firmly believe in raising independent children. If it takes a little longer for us to get dressed, then so be it.

9. My favorite drink at Starbucks (right now) is a half decaf drip coffee with carmel syrup and room for cream. LOVE IT! (half-decaf b/c full caffeine makes me crazy)

10. I lied to dave this morning. I made half - decaf coffee and when he asked if it was "his" (full caffeine), I told him yes. I didn't want to make another pot and I knew he would whine about it all day if I made him drink mine.

this concludes the top 10 random thoughts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween

This was the first Halloween that one of my children wasn't crying. It was great! We had a fantastic evening at the Davis' with dinner club and a few other families. The kids ate kid food, danced to Halloween tunes and played in their costumes. After dancing we walked down the street to do some trick or treating. (All that wonderful candy is going to be fabulous potty treats.) Eloise was a ladybug and Lily was pink leopard. We got some great pics. The group pic is minus one, he really wanted his mom:)

First, a dancing video

Eloise & Will

The group

Eloise & Lily

mama & her girls

Friday, October 26, 2007

a reminder

I forgot about this video. Thanks to Laura and Daniel, we were "introduced" to this couple. Their story reminds me that I am fortunate to have healthy children. Lord, let me never take for granted your power and your mercy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

we have a crawler on our hands

Lily is 8 months today and crawling. It's been pretty fun to watch this little person move about the house. This is where I found her this morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

case of the missing converse - SOLVED

I found the missing converse. In Lily's laundry basket at the bottom.

I had asked eloise the other day if she threw her shoes away. She said 'yes'. So I assumed they made it out with the trash. Then the other night it occurred to me...she meant the laundry.

So this Saturday (the day I do mine and the girls laundry) I found them. YES!!!

I can still say I have never lost any shoes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

a mixed post

tonight with eloise:
me: "Eloise, do you see the moon?"
E: "I don't see it, oh there it is"
me: "okay eloise, it's time to go to sleep, say goodnight moon"
E: "I want the moon, give me the moon"
me: "I want to give you the moon, but I can't, it's way up high in the sky"
E: gigantic meltdown and the words "I want the moon" repeated over and over

Quote on my Starbuck's coffee cup today: (tell me what you think after reading it)

"Wild animals often do a much better job of caring for their offspring than we civilized and educated humans do. If we cannot keep children safe in their own homes, how can we hope to make ourselves safe in the world?"

-Lee Grogg, Exec. Dir. of Ryther Child Center
(an agency providing safe places and opportunities for children

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

potty training

am I ready? I don't think so, but eloise seems to be. Last night she went on the potty and today she wanted to sit on the big potty. While sitting on the big potty, she wanted to do so w/o her little potty insert. She fell in! It was pretty funny and thankfully, did little to thwart our efforts.

We went to target to pick out big girl panties. She picked hello kitty ones. It was more exciting for her to play with the package then look at the big girl panties.

When we got home she wanted to wear them and did so for 30 minutes. The entire time I was fretting about her peeing on the floor. I must have said every 5 minutes, "remember, if you have to pee, you need to go on your potty". It was always met with, "okay mom, 5 special treats if I go on the potty".

I'm just not ready. I'm ready to give up the money we are spending on diapers every month, but I'm just not ready to add that to my day. The asking, the planning, etc. Maybe I need to adjust my attitude. Who knows. My plan is not to push this and see what happens. Maybe you moms who have gone through this can offer up some advice.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

pink converse, infant size 6 - status: MIA

Eloise has a pink pair of low top converse. Converse fit her better than any shoe b/c she has narrow, thin feet. She had a pair in size 5 and obviously grew out of them. My mom bought her a 6 and found them for $10!

Well, Thursday night, they seem to have been abducted, thrown away, misplaced, or walked off on their own. I cannot find them and I have turned this house upside down.

The worst case scenario: I love to throw things away. Literally, I LOVE it. Not a hoarder at all, except maybe with clothes, but even that has gone by the wayside. All I can think of is that I got busy cleaning up the house after the girls were in bed, had them in my hand along with something I was going to throw away and they managed to take a dive with the garbage. I would feel awful if that happened. However, the trash is out and I'm not about to dig through it for $10 pair of shoes. We have backups.

Has anyone seen me?
Color: Pink w/white soles
Age: 3 months
Size: infant 6
Distinguishing marks: lots of love from playing outdoors
Last seen: on the dining room table

If you have seen or know anyone who has seen me, please contact the proper authorities, Eloise's mama.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

to boise and back

Whew! I made it. I managed to get Lily and myself to Boise and back. There were a few bumps in the road, but all in all, it was a great trip.

My dear friend Kate Harding-Swartley (she hates the hyphen, but it honors her situation) was getting remarried last Saturday. Her late husband, Cory Harding, died a little over 2 years ago from a brain tumor. He was survived by Katie and their daughter Langley. She met an amazing man, Bill Swartley, and they now are husband, wife and Langley.

Katie and I met while working at the INN as interns. The women who worked together that year have been meeting yearly (or trying to). Breeze and I were the only two who could attend the wedding. She brought her youngest son, kai, 3 1/2 months, and he was a dream. So easy going and relaxed compared with my crazy, busy Lily.

I drove up to my parents last Wednesday to drop off Eloise. I was a little worried as to how she would handle mom and lily being away for 4 days, but she sailed right through. Loving every minute at Nana's.

Breeze and I flew out Thursday morning. Both babies did wonderfully on the flight. Upon arriving in Boise we were able to spend the day and evening with Katie and the family. We relaxed on the living room floor and enjoyed the company of great friends. This living room floor seems to hold many a memory for me. Praying for Katie as she walked through dealing with Cory's sickness, remembering Cory as we prepared for his memorial, and this day, a meal and stories before preparing for Katie's wedding.

Friday morning we headed to Java, this wonderful little cafe with the most fantastic oatmeal with bananas and steamed milk. Then to see Katie again before she headed off to the rehearsal. On the off time we shopped and drove around hoping for the occasional car nap to fend off meltdowns.

Saturday, wedding day. We were both surprisingly emotional. I think I had some sort of jitters the entire day. The site of Katie walking down the isle sprouted some emotions we didn't know we had. It was a bittersweet feeling. Heavy on the sweet and light on the bitter. I was so excited for Katie to have found this wonderful love and for Langley to have a father figure in her life. But at the same time, reminded of what Katie didn't have, Cory. I know for her this process has been long and I'm sure this day couldn't have come fast enough, but for those who haven't been able to walk the process, it was emotional.

After the wedding we enjoyed a fantastic reception of good food and good wine. (I think I would have enjoyed it more without lily) It was a great celebration for all.

Sunday we had a wonderful brunch all together. Then back to Katie's to wait for our flight later that night. We enjoyed another day of memories on that living room floor. Talking, laughing, eating chinese and opening wedding gifts. I even got away for a nap with lily on katie's bed.

Finally, it was time to return to home. I was certainly ready and I think lily was too. She screamed for most of the plane ride home. Thankfully, we had wonderful flight attendants and 6 or so other moms with babies lily's age. I tried as hard as I could not to burst into tears because I couldn't get her crying under control. I held it in until I climbed into my dad's truck when he picked us up from the airport. I think the emotions from the weekend and the emotional airplane ride resulted in a meltdown. I was so excited to see Eloise and then return home to see Dave. We are so happy to be home.

We wish Bill, Kate & Langley all the joy in the world. May the Lord bless you and keep you always.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Who do you want to pray for tonight?

eloise: "I want to pray for kiera (friend at church), slide, yellow, blue, balloon"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

new nighttime routine

Lily has been going to sleep around 6:45. Not my favorite, but when you have a kid who doesn't sleep all day, this is about the time she needs to end the day. It's good because it gives me a chance to sit and hang out with eloise.

Our new routine is this:
Watch Mickey Mouse and Little Einstein's Halloween (sometimes we eat popcorn)
-her new phrase for movie is "let's watch" (????)
Into the bathroom for "pasty" (brushing teeth)
Then into mama's bed for books. She brings 10 books (1 at a time, of course)
We head into her room, pray and turn on her noise maker and music.

She now wants to have her door open while she is falling asleep.
The other night, I walked out and heard, "kate. kate. Are you out there by the door?"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

new hair

So in an effort to reinvent Kate, I thought I would start with the hair. I haven't had bangs since the 7th grade, but I've heard they are in so I'll trust everyone. We'll see how this style progresses. No more pulled back buns for me.

it's not the best pic of the new hair, but it will do. (dave isn't the best when taking pictures)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the joys of motherhood

I am not one of those women who gave birth and instantly fell in love. (I hear this is normal, but few women talk about it b/c of guilt). Moments after I gave birth, the only thing I cared about was the fact that I had just GIVEN BIRTH! The following week was consumed with figuring out nursing, walking without passing out, and wondering when I was going to be able to walk down the stairs or get to the couch. My bonding came much later at around 6 months.

Tonight my bonding reached a new level. We had our first all girls bath. Lily needed a bath, Eloise wanted a bath and I knew there was no way they were going be do it together. Lily can't sit up and she moves like crazy. So I knew I had to jump in with the fun. I was with my girls. I loved it. I realized that this was the rest of my life - enjoying these two women to the fullest. Laughing with them, helping them love one another, teaching them about the Lord, and helping them to find value in who they are as women. I love that I have 2 girls.

Monday, September 24, 2007

poo poo pants

me: Eloise, do you have poo poo in your pants?
e(2): No, I don't have poo poo. I'm crazy.

tonight after eloise had gone to bed, she called for me.

e: mama, change my diaper. I have poo poo.
me: eloise you don't have poo poo's
e: no, I'm wet
me: well once you go pee pee on the potty you won't have to wear a wet diaper
e: I go pee in the potty and get 5 special treats

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the joys of fall

I was thinking last week I needed to blog about how much I love fall. My friend, Jodi, beat me to it. I say ditto to everything on her list.

I LOVE FALL! It is the time of year when I am most joyous. I dislike the summer so much. Most people get SAD in the winter, not me, I get it in the summer. I love putting away all things summer. Shorts especially. I do not like shorts. Capri's I'll do, but shorts, no way. Fall clothes, I love. When I was young, we used to wait for the Nordstrom sale in July. We would get the catalog and figure out all the things we liked. My best friend, Michelle and I would get up early the first day of the sale to have one of our moms take us. My mom is a shopper too, so it wasn't that hard to get her out of bed. My parents never went crazy spending money on fall clothes, but it was still fun to get a small chunk to spend on all things long-sleeved and cozy.

This year, I wish I had that small chunk of money to spend on fall clothes. Having 2 babies in 2 years has left my waredrobe a little dry of creativity and style. Losing 35 lbs doesn't help either. I'm an avid What Not to Wear fan. They are always telling you to spend a little more money to get those quality pieces of clothing that will last. Well, my closet is filled with $5.99 t-shirts from Old Navy and sale jeans from any place that had them on sale. This leaves me with about 2 options. I'm ready for more.

So I'm on a mission. I know those few pieces I want to buy. Problem - it takes alot longer to save the money to buy them. But I did make my first major purchase...JEANS.

I found my way to Nordstrom and asked a sweet girl to help me. She asked me how much I wanted to spend. Uh...$20. really I was thinking around $50 because that's how much jeans at the Gap used to cost. We settled on nothing over $100. On What not to Wear, they also say that most things will have to be tailored and Nordstrom does this for free.

I found a pair! Kut from the Kloth. They are great. $79. Not a bad price. They aren't 7's, which is good. Although, I'm thinking I may have to try a pair on to see what all the fuss is about.

So the jeans are my joy of this new fall season. Now I'm off to find new long sleeved shirts, 2 sweaters, one pair of shoes for the year and a puff vest. And I'm going to be finding all of these items on windy days where the leaves are turning yellow and orange while sipping on a caramel apple cider from starbucks. Then I'm going to come home and cozy up with the girls and have soup and some pumpkin delights. Halloween will be fun as well. Eloise will be a Ladybug and Lily...not quite sure, but it will be something simple and warm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We have a 2 yr old in the house!

Over a week without posting....where have I been.

Eloise turned 2! I can't believe she is 2. She can count to 20, knows her ABC's, knows shapes and colors and has meltdowns exactly like a 2 yr old should. She is singing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Loves the Little Children". We have become Kate and Dave to her quite regularly. She is attending the toddler class at church and bible study and this has brought about separation anxiety for the first time ever. This has been weird to navigate through, but we are figuring it out as we go.

We spent her birthday with Nana in town. We searched high and low for the perfect play kitchen. We finally settled on one and she calls it "chicken" (code for kitchen). This has suddenly brought about two new words in her vocab, "no, that's mine". She really is 2! On Saturday, we celebrated with friends and family. It was a beautiful afternoon with lots of laughs, food, and fun.

I can't believe she is 2. Just 2 years ago I endured a 9 hr INTENSE labor to bring about this little baby girl. I am falling more in love with her everyday.

2 yrs ago

At 2

She LOVES her cupcakes.

The party was also a little bittersweet. Our wonderful friends, Daniel and Laura, left to move back to Arkansas the day after eloise's party. What amazing friends. Laura has been such a wonderful woman to spend time with. She has helped me while sick when pregnant with lily, attempted to clean puke out of our carseat, and allowed us those much needed date nights. They took eloise the day I gave birth to Lily and I couldn't have asked for a better couple to invest in her on that day. And Laura helped to bring a little fashion back into my life after a long hiatus. Eloise will miss her "La La & D" and we look forward to the day when we get to spend time with them again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

my new favorite pic

I love this one.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

bodily fluids

If you were to take a poll of mother's and ask them if they have come in contact with bodily fluids, I'm venturing to say that 100% of them have touched urine, poop, or vomit at least once a month, if not, once a week.

Before having children, touching or feeling pee was not appealing. The thought of holding a baby with a leaky diaper and the remote chance of it seeping through onto your pants made you squirm. Someone's baby peeing on your leg (Audrey Davis) made you want to sanitize your leg with bleach.

Poop, well this one grossed you out the most. You used 15 wipes to make sure that your hand never came in contact with the fumes of poop. Most of the time you made a bigger mess. As a mom you can clean up poop with two wipes and no contact at all.

Vomit. That was something someone did at a party. The mere thought, sound, or sight of someone puking made you want to start vomiting yourself. There would be NO WAY you were going to deal with your child's puke. That would be a husband's job. Now as a mother, you are lucky if the puke makes onto something other than you. And you instantly know that for the next 24-48 hours, any other plans you had are now on hold.

Vomit was the fluid of the day in the Ahl household. Lily this time. She was cuddling with dave at 5:45 looking ready for bed. I really didn't want to put her to bed that early, but she had been pretty tired all day and not really eating. I was thinking growth spurt. She was thinking flu. I swooped her up and headed into the kitchen for a few last minutes chores and there it started. She was retching everything from the day up. All over the floor and most of it, all over me.

This would be the worst experience with bodily fluids. I have never been that drenched in puke before in my life. And that wasn't the worst part. It was feeling her body heave when she threw up. I started crying immediately. There is nothing worse than a baby throwing up. A toddler I can handle (besides not making it into a designated puke area). This was painful to feel.

I know that you aren't supposed to give a toddler liquid, but what about a baby? They depend on milk to grow and don't really have any other source. So I nursed and laid with her for a while. I'm hoping for no more puking. But I'll be up most of the night checking.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ministry again?

First, Lily got her first tooth! A possible reason for sleepless nights? I doubt it, but we're happy to be welcoming teeth into the family.

This week Dave and I have become more aware of how all consuming raising children can be. With the frustration of a non-sleeping baby and non-sleeping parents (eloise is getting a good 13 hrs of sleep a day) we are frazzeled to say the least. So it takes very little for us to become aggitated with one another.

We came up with a plan. We need us time and individual alone time. We need to have those moments of renewal or we will continue to head down a path that isn't edifying.

Today a new item to add to the plate. Dave meets with our head pastor, Dwight Steele. They have been meeting weekly since Dave started his process out of the youth pastor position. Today he asked Dave to teach one of the new elective courses they are planning at Montavilla.

First, some background. Montavilla is a slow to change church. The sunday school class structure isn't necessarily conducive to jumping in as a newbie. It's demographically designed. Very funky. So having them offer elective classes at the end of this month is huge. All the young people in our church have been moving about and praying for change. This is one small step in that direction.

I'm so excited that Dwight would think of Dave for this job. However, I am very hesitant to walk back into this territory for a few reasons.

1. This makes us (dave) very vulnerable to criticism. Having been a pastor's wife, there is nothing more heartbreaking and infuriating than people putting down your husband or asking of them beyond what they are able to give. I don't think I could watch Dave be criticized again. It almost makes me want to cry right now remembering things from before.

2. It means that we need to take more time out for Dave to study. I have no problem taking on more time with the kids. It means I need to be even more intentional about taking time out for myself.

3. the spiritual warfare. When God's people are working and succeeding in ministry, Satan takes his opportunity to de-rail. It's happened before and I feel even more vulnerable as a mom who is pulled in many different directions.

4. the cheerleader. When/If dave steps into this role. I need to be an encourager like never before. I need to help build his confidence again, pray for him, give him feedback, support him, listen to him, do any administrative for him, etc.

I never imagined how emotional I would feel about this. I really want him to do it because I believe the Lord is asking us to be more involved. But I don't want what will go with it. And maybe I'll be surprised. Maybe this time it will be different. But it will take going through this experience to prove that. I need to pray and seek Gods heart and mind.

Monday, September 3, 2007

the great repeater

e: "mommy, I'd like an iced decaf"
(I think I've made a few too many trips lately)

daddy mowing the lawn by the garden
e: "daddy, get out of the garden"

mommy stepping on the brakes too hard
e: "geesh, kate" (quoted directly from dave)

e: "okay, pick out 5 books. How bout this one?"

on the way home from church
e: "me so tired. me very hungry. me sad" (this wasn't gathered from us)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Saying goodbye to 2 under 2

Eloise will be 2 in two weeks. (September 13). I can hardly believe that it's been two years since I gave birth to my firstborn. I always imagined myself at this milestone about to decide when to have #2. And here I am, I already have #2.

Lily will be 7 months just after Eloise is 2, so for 7 months I have had 2 under 2. When people have asked the ages of my children, I have always answered in months. The moment I would say, "19 months and 2 months", I get this look of "oh my word, how do you do it?". "I don't know, I just do", was my most common response.

While pregnant with Lily I was getting a prescription filled for Eloise and the pharmacy tech asked how old Eloise was, (16 months at the time and I was due in 2 weeks). With a sympathetic look she said, "I have twins. I've heard what you are about to go through is worse". (so much for encouragement). Then today, while at the book store, talking with the woman helping me look for a parenting book she asked how old my kids were. I told her and she said, "I'm sorry, my first two were 17 months apart and I thought I was going to go crazy some days". She is now pregnant with her 3rd, five years later. She said it took her that long to recover and think about doing it all over again.

I am tired, in fact, I'm more exhausted than I have ever been in my life. Yet, I am also more organized than ever before. I am obsessed with being efficient and on top of things.

Incidentally, while looking for this parenting book, I picked up another one.
Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice box by Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D.

While reading, I felt like this book was designed for me. I felt like yelling, "YES" at almost everything she was writing. She identified the source of this incredible pressure I feel as a mom and I didn't even know there was another source besides my mind.

She compares parenting of the 60's to now. One major difference, making things absolutely perfect for our children. "Parenting" wasn't even a verb yet. "To parent" was just something you did. A parent was something you were. She says, "I don't think that, until the last few decades, mothers even had the idea that parenthood was something they could get wrong. It was just a part of life".

Moms in this book "are struggling mightily with society's message that they can, and must, control all aspects of their children's lives in order to make sure that they are perfectly efficient, functioning, happy, and fulfilled individuals - a flawless product. Deep down, of course we all know there's no such thing as a flawless anything, much less a human - but when society is whispering in your ear, "Just try harder, give more of your time and attention, do more projects, bake fancier cupcakes, throw more lavish birthday parties, sign them up for more enrichment classes" - after all, this is your child"

I am really excited to read more of this book. Jody Mayhew and I met yesterday to catch up (very good to hear about her trip) and she was asking me why moms these days seem so wrapped up in kids, infants especially, and their sleep. Her daughter has a 9 month old who does not nap and does not sleep at night. After talking with her, I decided I needed to stop complaining about Lily, because things could get worse. It was an interesting coincidence to talk with her about this and discover this book the next day. Does God have plans to use me to help other moms? We'll see.

How is 2 under 2 and this book tied together? With Eloise turning 2 I feel like I'm losing the sympathy card or rather the pass. Telling someone I have a 2 yr old and a 7 month old doesn't sound as bad. Therefore, my excuse to myself to lack in some areas, is gone. I now have more self-inflicted pressure to have it all together, even though I still have 2 cribs, 2 in diapers, and 2 that will always be my 2 under 2.

sidenote: I know that every woman with children has it tough. I in no way want to make my life or my situation greater than anyone else. We all as mother's have our share of circumstances that make our situation difficult in its unique way. I respect all mama's and know that I am praying for you in the middle of the night. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007


We have alot of Firsts in our family.

First, the first "fruits" of our garden. I am not a gardener but this year I decided to grow tomatoes because we were buying so many at the store. I also like to make salsa so we planted a Serrano pepper. Both are coming into ripeness and we picked our first ones.

Second, we bought a potty seat and eloise went potty for the first time yesterday. So exciting, we loved getting worked up over it. I'm not hanging my hat on it that it will stick, but it's something exciting to think about.

Third, Lily's first lovey. I'm hoping it becomes and obsession that she can't live without (and that it will help her sleep)

Fourth, Lily's first sippy cup and first foods. She is 6 months now and enjoying bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and today, avocado. Slowly, more of it is ending up in her mouth than her shirt.

Lily slept from 2 am to 7 a.m. This was HUGE for us. If Eloise hadn't woke at 5 because she was cold, I would have had 5 hrs. I can't even imagine 5 hours of sleep right now, I'd be a new woman.

Friday, August 24, 2007


After i wrote my previous post last night, I had a moment of overwhelming peace come over me. It was as if the Lord was settling me. Just the same settling that I hope for Lily. I realized that I needed to have patience for her. She wants to sleep just as badly as I want her to sleep. She is learning and I need to remember that.

Still no sleep, but we are getting somewhere. Tonight was difficult again, but my frustration has subsided.

On a fun note:

Eloise and I had a special day today. I would like to call them mother/daughter days, but I have two daughters so we need to distinguish with "special day". We went to Starbuck's for a cookie and then the Disney store to purchase an item from her new favorite obsession, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (tomorrow I'll tape her reaction to when it comes on) We walked in the store and you would have thought she just won the 2 yr old lottery. Her face was so overwhelmed and excited at the same time. She was frantically searching for Mickey and his friends.

After she picked up every Mickey item in store, we settled on two small stuffed Mickey and Minnie Mouse. She walked out of the mall singing the Mickey theme song. Then when we got in the car she position them on her lap so she could stare at them. Then she fed them more of her cookie. She is currently sleeping with them now.

It was so precious today and brought so much joy to my heart. I can't wait until Lily and I can have a special day too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

to cry or not to cry....

I am not a woman who can listen to my children cry. It sends me over the edge. When they cry, I cease to have any ability to think or, for that matter, function. Driving in the car is second to crying before falling asleep. No woman on the road is safe when he child is crying. She is so distracted that her mind can only think of two things, "should I pull over and nurse/feed?" or "how long will it take me to get home if I drive 15 miles over the speed limit?" followed by, "will I be able to get out of the ticket with my child screaming?".

Lily is 6 months today and by all means, size, and age, she should be able to go 10 hrs without eating. I know she can do it b/c she has done it before. Since and during vacation, we seem to have take a large leap backwards resulting in several wake-ups throughout the night.

I am fine with one wakeup. I seem to function quite well on a little amount of sleep. What I don't function well on is my child taking an hr to two hrs to fall back asleep. It drives me MAD. Literally, I feel like I'm losing my cool. And patience is something I feel like I'm good at.

I have issues with letting my child cry-it-out (CIO). I do not think that it harms a child. I CIO at 3 months and I trust my mother, do not feel abandoned and function like a normal adult. What I have issue with is listening to it. I let eloise CIO one night at 8 months for 20 minutes. For her it didn't work. She woke about 12 times after that. Her issue was learning not to eat in the middle of the night. Lily, on the other hand, is more difficult.

I have no idea what her problem is at this point. I've eliminated all but one feed, which I'm fine with at the moment, but she is rolling over and hating to be on her tummy when she wakes up. Plus, she takes a binki and can't quite figure out how to get it back in or how to sleep with it in.

Most mothers say to me that i just need to let her cry. That's fine. I KNOW it works for some babies, but they say it as if they put their child to bed and go watch a movie. It seems so easy for them. Or they turn off the monitor so they can't hear them. I could NEVER do that. My fear of something happening to them haunts me. I don't think these woman are heartless, I have many friends who have done it. And I know they love their children very much and hate to listen to it. I just don't know what mother gene I missed to be able to, sorry to use these terms, "get some balls" and do this!

I feel hopeless. I don't even feel like praying about it because I'm sure God is annoyed by it. Every night I'm praying for mercy, "just one more hour...please". Dave is extremely frustrated with the situation too and it results in us being agitated with one another when we aren't even the ones with the problem!

I have not made a decision yet and that is what drives me crazy. I'm secretly hoping the issue will resolve itself. Our family will function better when sleep is normal.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

first name basis

Eloise has decided that our first names are interchangeable with mom and dad.

We have this bouncy/vibration seat for Lily and it has caused countless stubbed toes. We curse it every time we trip over it. Thankfully its days are coming to a close with Lily coming upon 6 months.

Dave fell victim to the seat yesterday. Just after tripping he mumbled under his breath and put the chair up on the table. Visibly frustrated Eloise took this opportunity to inquire about his frustration.

E: Hey Dave. What's wrong? (followed him into the kitchen)

D: I'm okay, just stubbed my toe.

E: okay daddy.

Her new word of the day: "Chopicopter" (this would be Helicopter) She sees planes in the sky and today she saw a helicopter and thought it was a plane. When Dave told her it was a helicopter she practiced saying it for hours.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So after bring Ahl-bola (coined by Dave) to a large group of people along the I-5 corridor, we are home. Here's a list of the people so far.

Eloise, Dave, Me, My dad, My mom, My niece, 5 of the Lawrence family members (way to go Madeline) and I'm sure there are few more to be had within the next couple of days.

Despite the sickness, there were a few wonderful moments of the trip. One of them being a day at the park with friends. I love the Bellingham parks. Especially the ones near the water. It feels so refreshing to breath in the fresh sea air.

Pictures will tell the story of a great day of play.

First, Lily and baby Kai. "Why is this guy sleeping all the time?" - lily

A visit to Firwood

Now the park
Bella is so laid back. "Why is this girl making that sound all the time?"

For Laughs
Beautiful Friendships

The Lawrence kids loving us