December 31, 2007


I'm feeling guilty about this post, but I feel it must be shared. The video below is of Kyle making our son cry. Why? Because it's a little bit funny. But mostly really, really sad.

Every time Kyle makes his fake crying noise, Jack responds with tears. Every. Time. I hate it when Kyle does this, but as soon as he stops Jack goes back to normal. I think he's inherited a little of my empathy. I told Kyle that this may be a bad thing when it comes to any kind of organized sport.

So, here it is. It was taken a little over a month ago. If it doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will.

December 30, 2007


We've set limits for Jack. We told him no e-mail until he's 2. But we did let him start texting at 6 1/2 months.

December 28, 2007


His first injury (well, the first one that needed a band-aid).

I think the most important thing that I learned from this was that I now use words like , "ouchie."

December 27, 2007

Love this.

I went shopping at Briarwood today and was sucked into the Pottery Barn. I've kept my distance from PB for a few months because it's all so expensive and makes me feel like I need things that I really, really don't.

BUT, I had a gift card to spend and I knew I could get more for my money with all of the great sales going right now.

I did get some fantastic deals . . . $3 picture frame, $5.99 paper lanterns, a fake olive tree, etc. I even found a frame that is still selling at full price ($39.00) for $11.99 on the "as-is" table and I can't find anything wrong with it! I only spent $5 beyond my gift card and came home with some great finds. It felt good.

I think my favorite part of the trip to Pottery Barn was the festive bag that they gave me. It was such a great design!

I feel like I need to do something with it. I used to make cool envelopes out of patterned paper. I've tossed around the idea of making envelopes and selling them on etsy. Do you think people would buy envelopes on etsy? Who knows?

Anyway, maybe I'll make some practice envelopes with this bag. And if you're lucky, you might just get one in the mail.

December 26, 2007

Under the tree . . .

My house is a disaster. It looks a little bit like Fisher Price and Playskool had a baby, and then that baby threw up all over my carpet. There are so many toys! Don't get me wrong . . . I'm not complaining! We're so grateful for all of them and I didn't realize how few age-appropriate toys Jack had until we let him play with the more challenging ones. He's a lucky kid to have grandparents, aunts and uncles as generous and loving as he does. We've decided to put all the toys in the basement (eventually . . . they're all sitting in piles in our front entry) and bring one new one out a week and maybe rotate some in and out. Otherwise, we'll be overwhelmed with PLAY!

Jack got quite a few clothes too! This was a lot less thrilling for him than it was for me. I'm so grateful that he now has enough clothes of the right size that I don't have to do laundry nearly as much as I have been. Yay! Not to mention that they're all adorable! He's becoming such a little man!

I got a lot of great stuff for Christmas, too! Kyle got me a new flash for my camera and a sweater that is the most beautiful shade of green (and you know how I love green) and some other miscellaneous items. I also got a sewing machine, some clothes from Old Navy, the Love and Logic early childhood pack, a Magic Bullet blender, a portable ipod dock, gift cards, and much, much more! I'm so thankful and overwhelmed by the generosity of my family!

I think my favorite part of Christmas day was Kyle opening his gift! We had decided that this year we wouldn't do gifts for each other . . . just stockings like we've done the last two years. When we really need something, we buy it and we can't really afford to buy a whole lot of "wants" so the stocking thing works out well. BUT, I really wanted to get him something special this year because he always sacrifices things so that I can have what I want (I need to write a post about that sometime).

A week or two ago, I let him know that I was getting him something because I knew he'd feel bad if I blindsided him with a gift and he didn't have anything to give me. I explained to him that I didn't want him to spend much on me because I was buying his gift under "special circumstances." The mystery created suspense and I think the suspense about killed him.

Anyway, he has wanted an ipod touch since the day they were released. He also knew there was absolutely no way that we could ever afford one, so he never really asked for one. A few weeks before Christmas, I combined a Sam's club gift card that I had been saving along with the gift giving efforts of several family members that I knew were wanting to buy gifts for him and was able to purchase one! He was so excited and I was thrilled! I was just thankful that my family was willing to go in on this with me, because there's no other way we ever would have been able to afford one. He definitely deserves it!

All is calm . . .

All in all, Christmas was insane. So many places to be, so much to do . . . it wasn't anyone's fault, it was just crazy. I guess it was kind of my fault for thinking we could do it all. I kept saying to myself, "Something has to change for next year or I will never enjoy Christmas again." One blog that I read regularly talks about the "Christmas tacos" tradition that she and her husband initiated this year to make Christmas less about the busy-ness and more about spending time together. This has started me thinking about what kinds of things we can (and should) scale down in order to make the holidays less stressful for everyone involved. I think the main thing that will make it less stressful for me next year is not having to worry about having a cranky baby if he misses a nap. Honestly, he did so well for the hours we were keeping but today he was his happy self since he got a full night of rest.

I'm feeling slightly more relaxed today, but I'm spent. Jack just went to sleep, so I should too. Lukapalooza* starts tomorrow, so I'll need my energy!

*Lukapalooza is the name I gave to the Luke family gathering . . . which lasts five days and four nights. It's at camp, so Kyle, Jack and I sleep at home and go there during the day.

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Not what I expected

About a year ago, every started telling me about how much fun this Christmas would be . . . you know, with a baby. In my head, I always scoffed at this because of course Christmas would be fun. Christmas is always fun.

But I'm here to tell you that Christmas is decidedly LESS FUN with a baby. I don't think I've ever had a Christmas as un-fun as today. And it's only 9:42 AM.

The un-fun-ness started yesterday when he missed his afternoon nap because of a Christmas party. It continued when he didn't get to bed until 11 PM last night. We knew we'd pay for it and we were right because he didn't sleep well last night and woke up at 5:30 this morning and had no intention of going back to sleep. We rushed around trying to feed him breakfast and get the car packed for our trip to my parents his afternoon, and, well . . . to make a long story short I came home from Kyle's parents house so that Jack can get his full nap. We put his nap off this morning until we couldn't anymore and he was past the point of going to sleep easy so I knew he wouldn't sleep in a house full of people. And now I'm sitting at home alone. On Christmas morning. Eating leftover pizza because my stomach was going to eat itself if I went any longer without food. I'm pretty sure that all of this is worsened by my ongoing recession. Should I add a "Bah humbug!" right here?

This is not how I pictured Jack's first Christmas.

Better luck next year, I guess.

December 23, 2007

The night before the night before . . .

It's 8:40 PM and we're just getting dinner in the oven. It's that busy, busy time of year. Didn't someone say it was the "most wonderful" time? I'm sure I'll feel that way in a day or two.

We are headed to Dexter tomorrow to celebrate with my mom's side of the family. We're making a few stops along the way, though.

I wasn't too set on having Jack's picture taken with Santa . . . it wasn't that important to me. It's not that we are anti-Santa or anything, but it just isn't something I had really thought about. However, I was shopping in Ann Arbor on Thursday (after my horrendous Jackson shopping experience on Wednesday . . . more on that later) and saw a baby sitting on Santa's lap getting her picture taken. She was SCREAMING but it seriously was one of the cutest pictures ever taken. They have a great set-up there (at Briarwood) and it's not as cheap looking as some of the "meet Santa" backdrops that I've seen.

So, we're thinking about stopping there to have his picture taken tomorrow. The only thing that's making me think twice is the fact that it will cost $15.

PLUS, we're stopping by U of M hospital to see our friends who just had triplets! They're doing great and we're so excited to see the girls in person! Honestly, I'm excited about our family celebration tomorrow (in fact, I'm going to write a post about that tradition sometime), but this is probably the part of the day that I'm most excited about!

Jack has no fear. He'll now crawl AYWHERE! I'll leave you with a few pictures of him exploring the kitchen:

This is the bell that Murphy rings when she needs to go out. Jack discovered it and it's become a new favorite toy.

December 22, 2007

As heard on the way home last night . . .

Me: Ugh. I can't believe I almost said that.

Kyle: Said what?

Me: Seriously, you wouldn't believe all of the things that I almost say but then decide not to.

Kyle: Like what?

Me: I've really started to say things in my head before saying them out loud so that I won't say something I'll regret.

Kyle: I need to start my own blog where I can post this kind of stuff about you.

December 20, 2007

Expensive taste, perhaps?

Jack took two naps yesterday that lasted longer than 1 1/2 hours. This has happened maybe four or five times since he was born. Jack slept 10 hours straight last night. TEN. HOURS. It was the longest he's slept since he was four or five months old.

What made the difference?

Well it's hard to be sure. As Kyle and I tried to think about what (besides teething) had changed about his sleeping environment over the last month, we realized that he was sleeping on a different sheet than he ever had. We have two airplane crib sheets from PBK and two sheets that we received as part of a shower gift. At some point about a month ago, both airplane sheets were spit up on so we used the plain white sheet. As an experiment, Kyle changed the sheets back to his airplane ones and voila! He's sleeping peacefully. Not only that, but he fell asleep on his own last night, for his nap this morning and tonight.

Could his sheets really be the answer to his sleep troubles? This could be the start of some very expensive habits . . .

Side note: My friend Cristi is pregnant with triplets and will be delivering at U of M TOMORROW! It seems like we just found out she's pregnant! As you think of them tomorrow, pray for her, Chad and all three girls!

December 19, 2007

Dog walking

Have you ever seen "In Her Shoes?" After seeing that movie, I wanted to become a dog walker for about a week.

I watch Cesar Millan's show and he always talks about how important it is for dogs to be walked regularly. That's hard with a foot of snow on the ground and a layer of ice on the roads. I was watching at my parents house and he convinced me to try this:

We've done it for two nights now and Murphy loves it! She walked for 10 minutes each night (with me by her side and her leash on) and has been so well behaved! Plus, the treadmill that's been sitting in our storage room is FINALLY getting some use.

It's not just for your checkbook . . .

Here's the word that my thoughts have been turned to this Christmas: reconciliation. A word that my spell check has to correct for me almost every time I type it. My fresh appreciation for this word began on Monday when one of the Christmas cards I designed for a friend included the verses found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 - 19 . . . and now I can't get these verses out of my head. I'm not complaining because they replaced the theme song from Gilligan's Island that I haven't been able to get out of my head for over a month. Nevermind . . . it's back.

I've come to understand that there is no time of year that should focus our hearts of the reconciling work of Christ more than Christmastime. Paul tells us, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." This is why Jesus was born. This is why we celebrate Christmas! Jesus came to bring new life and to reconcile us to God. Do you understand that? Is anyone capable of fully understanding it? How many times have I said those words and not really comprehended the full weight of what it means? We've been unfaithful to Him. We are so undeserving, yet God is so perfectly loving and forgiving. Ugh. I know all of this sound so trite but I wish everyone reading this could understand how it's sunk into my head and my heart this week. But it doesn't end there. We need to be like the one we celebrate. We need to be agents of reconciliation in our world.

I know this is a little discombobulated, but that card I helped them with is helping me to experience Christmas in a fresh way this year. In the note on their card they write in reference to reconciliation, "What a gift we need so desperately!" I can't help but agree.

December 17, 2007


That's how Jack would say "teeth" if he could talk. And they're slowly but surely pushing their way through his gums . . . making everyone in our house miserable. They're not quite all of the way through yet, but you can see them and feel them so I'm hoping that the end is near.

It occurs to me as I write that I'm new at the whole parenting thing and it's possible that this could be just the beginning.

December 16, 2007

Snowed in.

There's nothing like a fresh blanket of snow to cover up the fact that you've done absolutely no landscaping to your house.

We were snowed in today. It started snowing yesterday around dinnertime and stopped mid-afternoon today. traipsed around outside for a while trying to get some pictures, but the wind was vicious. I originally walked out onto the deck in pajama pants and a t-shirt and it wasn't long before I figured out that that wasn't going to cut it. I started the day thinking about all of the laundry, cleaning and work on my paper that I would get done. I ended the day on the couch in front of the TV feeling rather lethargic. Cabin fever is setting in.

My Christmas card orders have died down and I was finally able to finish ours . . . I was beginning to think we wouldn't get to send one out this year. I'm hoping that I'll continue getting orders for birth announcements, save-the-dates, etc. after the holidays. I just have to get more designs up! That's one of my goals for Christmas break. I'm a little insecure still about putting stuff out there for people to buy, but my Christmas orders encouraged me a little. It's weird that I fear rejection more about this stuff than I do about most things.

Jack's two bottom teeth are just about poked through. He's also feeling a lot better. Have I mentioned that I read somewhere that babies get one cold a month for their first year and each cold can last about 2 weeks. That means HALF of their first year can be spent sick. Ugh. I hate it when he's sick. He's been so sweet the past few days that he's been feeling better. He's so funny to watch on the ground. He gets on his hands and knees, army crawls to where he wants to go, and then stops and returns to his hands and knees again. I'm pretty sure that he's given up on crawling altogether and will just stick with the army crawl now that he's become so good at that. I'm alright with that. He's easier to catch that way.

Kyle and I went Christmas shopping in Auburn Hills on Friday . . . Christmas shopping on our anniversary has become a tradition. It was nice to have a day just the two of us to sit down and eat and have some time together. Even in the car on the way there and back, we had fun just talking and laughing. While it was nice to have a day that was just the two of us, we were talking on the way home about how we couldn't wait to get back and see Jack . . . we missed him. We did buy a lot of gifts, but we're not even close to being finished.

We had planned on going to Chicago at the end of this week, but canceled that trip for myriad reasons. My sister won't be out of school yet, so we couldn't spend much time with her. With all of the Christmas shopping we've still got to do, money is tight. And, we'd like to get farther past this round of teething before we do a 5 hour car ride with Jack again. I'm bummed because Christmas is my favorite time of year to be in Chicago . . . maybe next year.

December 14, 2007

The boy I met at camp.

About 22 years ago, I was seven years old and I went to camp at SBC for the first time. I had no idea back then that going to camp would have such a profound impact on my life, nor could I ever imagine that I'd choose to work there for 7 years after post-college. I learned a lot at camp . . . about God, about what it meant worship God, about myself, about how I related to others, about who I am and who God wants me to be, etc. On the days when I wonder why on earth I'm still working here, I look back at how my camp experiences shaped my life and I'm motivated to continue.

But that's not what this post is about.

Several years after I started going to camp, I met a boy. I met him briefly as a camper when we were in high school . . . not that he has any recollection of it. I had a crush on him . . . and he didn't give me the time of day.

During my junior year of college, I was sitting in the hallway outside my dorm room and a friend and I had a brief conversation in which she encouraged me to pursue an internship at a camp. Looking back, I understand that most of these so-called "random" moments in my life were laid out for me by One who had a better handle on my life than I do. It was an unlikely venue for a communication internship but the director (who happened to be the boy's father) hired me within days of my first contact with him.

I worked at camp that summer, and the boy worked there too. We became friends and enjoyed spending time with each other, but the thought of anything more than friendship never entered either of our minds. We e-mailed sporadically during my senior year and saw each other a few times when I came home to visit.

Two months before graduation, I was offered a full-time job at the camp. I accepted and decided I'd work there for a year before pursuing other opportunities within the field of communication and marketing. The boy was still in college at Spring Arbor and my apartment was two blocks from campus, so I'd see him from time to time throughout that year. We weren't close friends, but our friendship did continue to develop.

The following summer, we worked more together. We had a lot of fun together. We rarely did things just the two of us but the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. In September of 2001, the boy and I began dating . . . officially, that is. It was the time that I thought I'd move on from camp and get a "real job," but I decided to stick aorund.

On July 17, 2002, the boy got down on one knee in McCourtie Park and asked me to marry him. Of course, I accepted his proposal. Almost five months later, on December 14, 2002 at 10:30 in the morning, we got married.

I'm still amazed that I married that boy that I had a crush on when I was only 15. I can honestly say that I am in love with the boy more today than I was five years ago.

Happy anniversary, Kyle.

December 13, 2007


When one googles the phrase "sisters sisters there were never such devoted sisters" my blog appears as the fourth selection. I am shocked at how many people, 1) google that phrase, and 2) click to my blog from that search.

An update

I won the stocking! Yay! I've been bidding on these since before Jack was born and I was feeling a little like it wasn't meant to be. I was about to go to Target and find a cheap one there. Now that I'm seeing the Pottery Barn reindeer stockings, I'm wishing I had bid on one of those . . . but I'll be happy with the snowman.

December 11, 2007

Starting to see the curve

Jack had his 6 month check-up today and his growth curve is actually starting to be a curve (instead of the straight line that it's been since the day he was born). He's actually started to slow down a little. My fears of having the only 4000 lb 9-year-old in the fourth grade are beginning to lessen.

We discovered that our bathroom scale is wrong, because it weighed him at 23.5 pounds the last couple of weeks, but he weighed in today at 22 lbs, 10 oz. This is great because it also means that I weigh a little less than I thought I did . . . every little bit helps me feel better! He's also 29 inches long.

They said he was doing great and meeting all of his benchmarks and milestones, but that he needs more tummy time because his neck isn't developing symmetrically (I think that's what he called it). Will I ever be giving this kid enough tummy time? When he's on the floor, he can roll himself to his belly or his back as he chooses . . . I don't have a lot of control over it anymore. And he's pretty much done with the exersaucer now . . . now that he can get around I think it's become a little prison-esque. The doctor didn't act like it was a big deal, but when he told us to make sure he was getting more tummy time, I just laughed a little in side because the only way to fit more of that in is to feed him while he's on his tummy and change his diaper while he's on his tummy. He's sitting on his own, he's crawling and at times, pushing from his belly to a sitting position . . . but whoops, I forgot to make sure his neck is developing symmetrically. Silly me.

The most exciting part of my day happened when I was standing at the window making his future appointments and I looked at the board of Christmas cards they had behind the desk. I was studying them and then all of a sudden I thought, "SOMEONE STOLE MY CHRISTMAS CARD DESIGN!" I couldn't believe it! I looked a little closer and realized that it was Maria's Christmas card and I was the one who designed it for her. Whew. Her girls go to the same pediatrician (who we absolutely love, by the way . . . you can read here about our first trip to our original pediatrician and why we're relieved to have one that we love).

Speaking of Christmas Cards . . . they've been selling like crazy. I've sold a few on etsy and a TON on ebay. Thanks to those of you who purchased them and/or told your friends.

Alright, I hear Jack laughing like a madman at Kyle so I want to go join in the fun!

P.S. One morning this week, we left Jack on our bed while we were getting dressed and he crawled right off the edge. I've never been so panicked in all of my life as a parent. He had a good cry and was fine, but it opened our eyes to how things need to change now that he's mobile. I felt like putting this in a "P.S." would make it seem a little less traumatic than it actually was for us. There. I've confessed to my negligence as a parent . . . for the whole Internet to see.

December 10, 2007

Less Ordinary Finds

I always come across products and fun websites that I think are cool. I love sharing those things with other people. So, I started a new blog for this very purpose. I actually created it about a month ago and just got around to doing something with it in the past couple of days.

The stuff I post on this page is only cool because I say it's cool. If you disagree, you can start your own site.

Sleep in heavenly peace . . .

In the last 6 months, I've learned that there are a lot of hot topics when it comes to raising children . . . breastfeeding, where your child sleeps, when to start solid foods, etc. How you teach your child to sleep through the night is also one of those.

In his early months, Jack had no trouble sleeping. We'd put him down awake and he'd drift off to sleep with no problems. I thought Kyle and I got off easy. We were wrong. A month ago or so this ended. We had to rock him to sleep to get him to bed for naps or for the night. I really didn't mind much. I would guess that in a few years I'll miss being able to do this.

A few weeks ago, it got a lot more difficult. He fought sleep at all costs. We'd start to rock him and he'd arch his back and do everything he could to avoid falling asleep. He wasn't fussy or unhappy. He was tired, but it was a little like he was afraid he'd miss something if he went to sleep. It got really old.

DISCLAIMER: If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I've read every baby book there is out there . . . every baby sleep book, breastfeeding book, baby care book, etc. What I've learned is that what "works" for some parents does not work for others and it's up to parents to decide what that is for their child. I really don't think there is any one "sleep system" that is better or worse than another. All I know is what works for us and feels comfortable to us. I knew right from the start that Babywise and Dr. Ferber were not for us. I know people who love those systems and I know people who have had tremendous success with them and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I don't think they're bad, I just knew that it wasn't our style.

However, I was so frustrated with the sleep battle. So, contrary to everything we felt comfortable with, we decided we'd try to let him cry it out. We didn't get very far.

The first night, he let him cry 10 minutes and then went back in to calm him by standing there and talking to him and then leaving. There was no comforting him. I left about a minute later and he was crying harder. About 20 minutes in, he was gagging because he had been crying so hard and was gasping for air. I went in and picked him up. It took more than an hour to calm him down.

The next night we made it about 10 minutes before he started choking and gagging.

The following days, Jack was clinging and fussy. He was not at all like himself and I couldn't help but think that it was because of the two traumatic nights we had before. During the days following those nights, he'd start to get a look of panic every time we walked into his bedroom and would wrap his arms tightly around our necks when we'd even step foot near his crib. It took us about two weeks to earn back his trust. He still has a little bit of trouble going down at night, but he's happier and more independent during the day. I know some would say that we didn't try it long enough, but I no longer have interest in trying it anymore. And it takes us a lot less time to get him down to bed now then it did to put him down, let him cry and then spend a couple of hours calming him down.

Like I said, I know that "crying it out" works for a lot of people and I'm so glad for parents who have success with it. I think the moral of my story is to not ignore your parental instincts about what is right for your child. I wish I hadn't.

December 7, 2007

I doubt it.

I bid on this Christmas stocking. This is what e-bay said:

"Congrats sarawiety, you're the first bidder. Hope you win!"

Really, ebay? Because if I win, it'll be for the starting price and you make less commission on that sale.

Don't say it if you don't mean it.

A little thing we like to call, "LUNCH!"

December 6, 2007


Pureed acorn squash smells suspiciously like the paste I used in elementary school. I did not eat the paste and do not plan on eating the squash either.

December 5, 2007

Independence Day

In general, today was horrible. I don't mean to be a Donna Downer but it just wasn't good. I realize that many of my posts have been a little negative lately, but hey . . . I'm just keeping it real.

We had to pay to replace our cracked windshield (we almost had that chip fixed last week when it would have been free and didn't . . .and this week it spread too far to be repaired). My Kitchenaid mixer vibrated itself right off the kitchen counter, missing the high chair by mere inches, and took a chunk out of the wood floor. Our house smells mysteriously like sewage and we can't figure out why (good thing I stocked up during the sale on Wallflowers at Bath and Body Works). Jack hadn't pooped for three days and refused to do anything other than cry in my arms . . . ALL. DAY. And I didn't have my sling to carry him in. The poor thing was miserable (the good news is that poop-watch ended at about 4 PM . . . just on time for me to leave him and go to small group). There are more little things that aren't too bad by themselves, but seem huge when all together.

The biggest annoyance of the day, however, was the fact that someone listed an apartment for rent in the newspaper and accidentally put my phone number as the contact number. I don't usually answer the phone when someone I don't know calls and I had a lot of unknown calls today. Kyle finally answered early this afternoon and discovered the newspaper's error. The frequency of the calls increased through the evening. I finally just turned it off. I'll probably think it's funny tomorrow.

Jack's been army crawling for a couple of weeks now, but he did some hands and knees crawling today. You know what I mean by "army crawl" right? It's when he just uses his forearms and thighs to kind of drag the rest of his body around. I put him on a blanket in his room and he was army crawling around while I changed the laundry. I stuck my head out the laundry room door to check on him and he was on his hands and knees after Murphy. He only went a few feet before he planted his face into the carpet. And, of course, he wouldn't do it again for the camera. He did it a little more for the afternoon, but refuses to preform for the camera. There goes his acting career.

Anyway, it's probably time to put those outlet covers in, huh?

Here's how Murphy feels about this new development.

December 4, 2007

I'm not really sure that they love to see me smile

Kyle has small group in Spring Arbor on Saturday mornings. In our ongoing effort to save money on gas, I usually drop him off and take Jack into Jackson to do our grocery shopping while he's there. This last weekend, I was done shopping before he was done at small group, so I had some time to kill.

When we got to Spring Arbor, Jack was asleep so I didn't want to get him out of the car and go into the Archer's house to wait for Kyle, so I decided to drive down the road to McDonald's for a cheeseburger and a diet coke. It was only 10:30ish, but I had eaten breakfast 5 hours ago. It felt like the middle of the afternoon.

This McDonald's is notorious for being so, so slow so I didn't expect to get my food quickly. When I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that there were two cars between me and the one at the order speaker. Any other day, I would have driven away to avoid the frustration, but I had plenty of time and was curious to see how long it would take. Here's the timeline of what happened:

10:31 I pulled into the drive-thru line. Like I said, there were three cars in front of me.

10:45 I arrived at the ordering area. That's right . . . 14 minutes later. Normally, I'd be irritated enough to leave by now, but I was so interested in seeing how long it would take that I was more amused than anything.

10:46 I placed my order. I asked for a cheeseburger and a diet coke. The lady's response? "NO LUNCH!" That's all she said. "NO LUNCH!" She could have said, "We're not serving lunch yet," or "We only have breakfast available right now." Instead, she just shouted "NO LUNCH!" into the speaker. I placed my order and she gave me my total and said, "Please pull around." Unfortunately, the cars in front of me hadn't moved and I couldn't go anywhere.

10:48 The line started moving.

10:50 I paid.

10:54 I got my diet coke (without the cheeseburger because there was NO LUNCH!).

I'd be tempted to say that they're just having a bad day and this probably isn't how it normally is in this particular drive thru, but I can't say that. It's ALWAYS slow. No matter who's working or what day it is, there's always a long wait. I guess this McDonald's does have a fast food monopoly in Spring Arbor.

I waited 23 minutes for a diet coke. I guess the joke's on me.

December 3, 2007

Having my cake and eating it, too.

Kyle and I desperately want to raise Jack to be a person who understands that the stuff we accumulate in life isn't important. Not that things are bad, but just that they're not what life is about. I want to teach him that the important things in life are the things we do that will outlast us. I know he's too young this Christmas to really understand what's going on, but I feel like we need to start now . . . for our sake.

Almost two weeks ago at small group, we got off on a tangent talking about how to keep Christmas from becoming about the gifts. Gifts are a fun part of Christmas, but I don't want that to be the focal point of celebrating Christmas as a family. I thought about starting a "stockings only" tradition with Jack. That's what Kyle and I do for each other. Certainly, he'll have gifts to open from grandparents so he won't be missing out on that. But do you know what I keep thinking about? How bad I'll feel when Jack tells his friends about the stocking full of things he got and his friends tell him about the room full of presents that they opened.

There's a family from our church who decided they'd do three gifts a piece for their kids. When one of them began whining about it, their father said, "Are you better than baby Jesus? He only got three gifts, so that should be good enough for you." How can you argue with that? Too funny.

I asked my group (who all have children older than Jack) how they make Christmas fun without going overboard with gifts. I shared my worry that Jack would feel left out when he doesn't get as much as his friends do. They all had A LOT of great advice on the subject, but one of my favorite things that someone said was that as parents we need to make sure our kids already have a sense of "fullness" before Christmas even comes. That way, whatever gifts they get are just that . . . gifts. Not expectations.

I want Christmas to be a special time of year for Jack, just like it was for me growing up. I want him to be excited Christmas morning to see gifts under the tree and open them. I just don't know how to . . . well, I guess have my cake and eat it too.

Will puree for food

During Jack's first few months of life, I remember thinking that I couldn't wait until he could start solid foods. Breastfeeding was so difficult and I hated being the only person who could feed him. Now, I wish that I could just nurse him exclusively and not have to deal with solid foods at all.

He did so well with his cereal for the first few weeks, but now meal time is one of the most stressful times. He actually has been a little bit better over the last couple of days, but he usually ends up spitting food back at us after the first 4 or 5 bites! He seems to do a little better if we let him hold the spoon. The cup is a completely different story. He loves drinking from a cup. We haven't put anything other than water in it yet but as soon as we set it on the tray of his high chair, he grabs it and starts drinking (and spilling half of it down the front of him).

I had this crazy idea that not only would it save money to make my own baby food, it would also be fun. Everything I had read said to just take one day and make a ton and then freeze it. I think I would have saved much of my sanity to split it up over a few days. I'm pretty sure that our kitchen is still covered with small bits of pureed vegetables.

This week, I had run out of things to puree so I was giving Jack pumpkin from a can for dinner each night (no, not pumpkin pie mix . . . real pumpkin). So, yesterday we spent most of the afternoon and evening pureeing:

  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Melon
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Sweet Potato
  • Banana

I have a couple of baby food books, but this one is my favorite. They have meal plans that I'm trying to follow. The biggest inconvenience right now is that when he wakes up in the morning he's READY to eat. It's so much easier to nurse him in bed than it is to get up with him and make breakfast. Argh.

December 2, 2007

Dear Jack, Month 6

Dear Jack,

Today you turn 6 months old. Or as I like to think of it, 18 – 24 months away from being potty trained. Changing your diapers has become a whole new experience since you started eating solid foods. We can no longer refer to what we find in your diaper as “poo” because it is too vile of a substance for a word that cute. And the gas . . . don’t get me started on the gas. You almost cleared three pews in church a few weeks ago. And I’m absolutely certain that no one could believe that an odor that foul could come from a BABY as cute as you are. Which means they probably thought it came from your dad and I. You little stinker . . .

Winter is here, my sweet boy, and I’m pretty sure you will like it about as much as I do . . . which is very little. No more evening walks down to the lake. Actually, no more walks at all. I can sense the cabin fever setting in. I have to schedule an extra 15 – 20 minutes before we leave to go anywhere to dress you in multiple layers and make sure you’re well insulated . . . this is to keep you from getting cold. This is also to avoid dirty looks from people think that little boys who aren’t dressed in many, many layers have neglectful mothers. The truth is that sometimes when I take you out of your snowsuit and you’re sweaty and a tad overheated. But I continue to put you in it because we wouldn’t want people to think I’m a bad mother, would we?

One new thing you started doing last month is exploring our faces with your hands. You reach up and feel our lips, cheeks and nose. My favorite part of this new little phase is when I pretend to eat your fingers. You usually give me the courtesy laugh. It sounds kind of like a cross between a cough and a loud, “HA!” Come to think of it, you give me the courtesy laugh a lot, Jack. When you get tired, however, this exploration of our facial features crosses over from cute to downright violent. Your eyes are closed and you can’t see what’s going on, so you just reach one arm up and start smacking our faces and clawing our mouths. To be honest, it’s what reminds me to clip your fingernails.

We’re beginning to realize how sensitive you are to the feelings of others. Empathy must be one of your strengths. When dad makes a fake crying noise, you respond with tears within seconds. When he does this (usually to entertain friends and family), I immediately snatch you up to comfort you and remind you how much more I love you than your dad does. It kills me to see you cry. While I appreciate your sensitivity, I fear that this does not bode well for any sort of future in organized sports.

You’ve developed a little bit of an attitude this month. You are beginning to figure out what you do and don’t like and you have no problem letting us know your preferences. You cry to get our attention now and I catch you making fussing noises and then looking over at me to see if I notice. When did you get so clever? I took a toy away from you last week when we were getting ready for your bath and you gave me a look as if to say, “Why do you hate me?” I don’t hate you, Jack. I love you very much. Stop being so dramatic.

You're not crawling yet, but you can pretty much scoot or roll wherever you want to go. I think it's the funniest thing ever when you lay on your belly and turn yourself in circles trying to pet Murphy. You're so fast! Dad thinks you'll be crawling in the next week or two. I think it'll be after Christmas, but I'm pretty sure that's because I'm in denial over how fast you're growing. You just take your time.



December 1, 2007

6 months old

Jack will be 6 months old tomorrow . . . where did the time go? Here are some 6 month pictures. You can see all of them here. Enjoy!