July 30, 2008

Rest in peace, ipod mini.

My ipod died today. It's not really that huge of a deal, because I have an ipod mini. I know that you're thinking I mean an ipod nano, but you're wrong. I'm talking about the mini . . . which they stopped producing 3 1/2 years ago. But I loved it. It was sturdy and dependable and did exactly what I needed it to do . . . play music. It wasn't too big and wasn't too small. I'm going to miss it.

My birthday's next week and Kyle and I were thinking about buying one of these as a combined birthday present (his is at the end of August). But I think it might be time for me to get one of these instead.

I'm really wishing I hadn't just purchased a Blackberry.

July 28, 2008

Watching my mouth . . .

Whenever I tell Jack that I love him, he signs "thank you" back to me. Isn't that the ultimate form of rejection? At one point, he would try and repeat what I was saying when I told him I loved him, but he doesn't any more. He just signs, "thank you." I'm working on a solution to this one.

His vocabulary seems to be exploding. Every day, there's a new word he says or a new object he recognizes. When I got him out of bed this morning, he was copying every sound that came out of my mouth. It's amazing to see someone changing so much every day. It's awe-inspiring, really.

One of his favorite new words is, "tractor." We have lots of those at camp, and he pointed them out to me when we saw them tonight. I'm just hoping his next words aren't "NASCAR" or "mullet."

July 27, 2008

The sprinkler

Jack got a great sprinkler from Uncle Brett, Aunt Kristen and Emma for his birthday and we just got a chance to get it out and use it over the weekend. He was a little unsure of it at first, but once Kyle ran through it once with him, he became a pretty big fan of playing in the sprinkler.

July 26, 2008


I'm still a little stunned that Jack knows any signs at all because we weren't very consistent with teaching him. He knows the sign for the words eat, more, please and thank you. At this point, he'll pretty much mimic anything we do, but he's learning to actually say the words so he's not as interested in signing. But, for posterity's sake, here are a few pictures I snapped of him signing.

More . . .

Please . . .

Thank you . . .

July 25, 2008

Baby boom!

Between real world and blog world, I have lost count of the number of people I know who are pregnant. It's so exciting! The last time there were a lot of pregnancies among my friends, Kyle and I had been trying for two years to get pregnant without any success. So, this time, I'm just as excited for everyone but I have a lot less baggage of my own weighing me down!

That said, I placed an order with a blog-world/etsy friend (whose name also happens to be Sara) last week for an upcoming baby shower and I am so excited about my purchase! These burp cloths and this tag blanket are not only beautiful and ridiculously soft, but even Kyle remarked about how well-made they are. On top of all of that, I received them in the mail only a few days after I first ordered them! I love being able to give a gift that I know they won't get from anyone else!

She has several listed in her etsy shop, but I believe she'll do custom orders, too. You can see even more on her blog . . . including a super cute crayon holder and fantastic nap mats.

July 24, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy . . .

A fourth grade camper spit on me yesterday.

He also threw two handfuls of sand at me,
jabbed me with a stick,
slapped me in the back twice and . . .

grabbed my hand and bit it.

Oh, and I almost forgot. He also told me several times to "shut my frickin' mouth."

Did I mention that he is in the fourth grade?

Ironically enough, yesterday was also the day I was named the "Working Woman of the Week" on a radio station that I don't even listen to. I only know this because Laura posted a congratulatory message on my facebook wall. I believe my exact words back to her were, "What on earth are you talking about?"

You might be asking yourself, "What do you have to do to be awarded this honor?" Well, I'm pretty sure my name was drawn out of a hat. 5 months after i was nominated. So pretty much, I was probably one of three names left to choose from. Though, I like to think that after the encounter with the fourth grade boy, I earned it.

When Kyle nominated me back in February, the prize was a spa package. Now, the prize is an engraved plaque.

Which is great, because a spa package lasts for like, a day, and then it's over. But that plaque . . . it will hang in my office for the rest of my life.

July 21, 2008

Time flies

Here was my stream of consciousness from earlier today:

Look at all that dust on the dresser! I just dusted last week!

Was that last week? Yeah, I think so. Right before we left on vacation.

No, Family Camp was last week. And we had a camp the week before that. Did we really leave on vacation more than three weeks ago?

Yeah, we left in June. June 27th. I can't believe I haven't dusted since June.

Oh, that's right. I think I remember dusting last on the day of the vegetable oil incident. That was right before we left on vacation.

Or was it? Maybe I should check the blog.

MAY 17TH?! The vegetable oil incident was over TWO MONTHS ago? Which means I haven't dusted for over 2 months.

I guess it's past due.

July 18, 2008


I feel like I've been sighing in relief a lot over the last 24 hours. Jack is finally back to being the fiesty, happy boy that I know and love. I was beginning to think that his clinginess and crakiness were a new phase rather than him getting over the virus. Thankfully, he's laughing when he should and throwing tantrums when he should. His bedtime routine is also in the process of being reestablished. Between coming home from vacation and then getting sick, it has been difficult. It's amazing what a full night of sleep can do (for him and for us). Did I mention that a couple of teeth have popped through in the last week too? Poor kid . . .

He's going through some crazy development growth spurt, too. He has a chunky Melissa and Doug puzzle that he's caught on to and it's become a new favorite. He'll take the three pieces out of it, carry them around until he finds one of us and then drags us back over to the puzzle so that we can cheer when he puts them in correctly. He loves to take the caps on and off of things (which isn't necessarily a new thing). He's also becoming pretty good at using a spoon . . . though it's still pretty messy. His new favorite mealtime trick is to try and hang the spoon from his nose . . . we'd like to thank our staff for teaching him that one.

It's crazy that he was only 6 1/2 weeks old a year ago. Now that Jack's one year old, people are asking when we're going to have another one. Seriously? He's one year old! We've got some time. I know I'm not getting any younger, but I'm also not getting any richer. We need to get this kid paid off before we start on another.

Besides . . . is it even possible that we could get two kids as great as this one?

July 15, 2008


Over the last few months, I've discovered a few sellers on etsy who have almost identically copied my designs. But what can I do, right? I just let it go.

Tonight, I found a seller who hasn't copied my designs, but uses the same wording (almost word for word) for her item descriptions. And she charges $1 less than everyone else out there. It's so frustrating to me. What do I do? Call her out on it? Where would that get me? I know I need to just let it go.

She's got great stuff and seems to be very talented. I don't know if she's just lazy and couldn't write her own descriptions, or what. She also doesn't need to charge $1 less. She's cheating herself out of profit there.

Ugh. It's so frustrating.

Thanks for listening.

July 13, 2008

Clean and dry

We took him to the doctor's office on Friday where he was diagnosed with an unidentified virus. Which was incredibly helpful to know . . . I'm so glad we'll be billed $90 for this valuable information.

Following the appointment, we did what any responsible parents would do and took him out and shopped for a clothes dryer. He did pretty well, all things considered. He was toddling around while we were browsing and at one point I looked up and saw him face to face with another kid a little older than he is. The father of the other kid said, "Looks like they're having a staring contest."

Whoops. I wonder if I should have told his parents to schedule their child an appointment with his pediatrician for sometime next week, just in case he comes down with an unidentified virus. My bad.

That night was probably the worst of all nights so far, but the fever broke on Saturday afternoon and hasn't been back, hough he does have the awful rash that everyone said he might get once the fever broke. He's not quite back to being himself totally, but he's much, much better.

Anyway, we did buy a new dryer . . . and the matching washer. Thanks for everyone who e-mailed and called about washer and dryer deals. Someone actually told us about the Sears outlet (one in Livonia and one in Taylor). We will probably never buy an appliance from anywhere else. The Sears Outlet has all of the Sears appliances that work perfectly but have cosmetic damage. We got a front loading washer and dryer for less than half of what they were selling for at Sears. They have a few scratches and dents and we have to buy a set of feet for the washer (that cost about $8 total), but it was totally worth it.

July 12, 2008

Family Vacation

We had a great vacation last week, but like I said on Monday, it's good to be home.

We started the week out with my parents, aunt and uncle and cousins. We visited Fife Lake, where many of my family on my mom's side originated. We spent some time at the cemetery where much of my family is buried. I learned a lot about those who came before me. We then went on to Traverse City and Petoskey where we ate, shopped and relaxed. You can see pictures of that trip here.

After my family left, we drove to Boyne City to meet Kyle's family. We camped in a tent all week . . . which went better than I thought it would. The only drawbacks were the rain and the cold nights. We didn't realize that the rain fly on our tent leaked until it had been raining for over an hour on Tuesday morning. Jack's crib was soaked, our bed was wet, and water was beginning to pool on the floor of the tent. Thank goodness that we were camping with family . . . Kyle's dad and brother-in-law really helped us get things fixed and dried out. The other issue was that it got down into the 40's most nights and we didn't bring a heater. Why would we? It's JULY! Fortunately, Kyle's parents found one for us that kept us fairly cozy.

We spent a couple of afternoons at the beach and took the boat out one afternoon. Other than that, we relaxed at our camp site.

We spent a little time in Traverse City and ended the week with dinner at the park in Petoskey. Did I mention that when I say that we were on vacation with "Kyle's family," I meant all 34 of us?

You can see more pictures from our trip here.

July 11, 2008

It's still good

Thanks to some ingenuity on my part, the laundry is done!

I mentioned a few days ago that our dryer bit the dust. We got this dryer 5 1/2 years ago after it had already been used for many, many years, so it's probably time to replace it. I just needed a solution in the meantime while we figured out how to come up with the money to do so.

To be honest, our dryer still works . . . if you stand there and hold the "on" button down the entire time. The button is tricky because it's similar to a button on a microwave keypad. There's no raised button, only a flat panel.

First, I tried taping a flat marble (you know, the kind used to make the picture magnets or to fill vases of fake flowers) to the button.

It didn't work. So, I tried more tape.

This worked for about 10 seconds.

Next, I tried pushing as many heavy things as possible against the taped marble to keep it from slipping away from the panel.

Unfortunately, it didn't hold the marble tightly enough in the right place.

Here's what did work.

I taped the marble, and then wedged the flashlight between the marble and the dog food jar. I used the carpet shampoo bottle to support the flashlight on the left side. If the washer was going at the same time, the rinse cycle usually vibrated the dryer enough to wiggle everything out of place. But it only took me a few seconds to reset it.

When Kyle walked in and saw what I had done, he just shook his head. My response was, "See? It's still good."

Unfortunately, I was wrong. It died for real two nights later.

July 10, 2008

4 out of 5 kids prefer motrin . . . maybe?

My day has consisted of a lot of rocking and back rubbing and singing and book reading.

We thought we were in the clear this morning. At about 10 AM, Jack's temperature was back to normal. So, I brought him to camp and planned to work during the afternoon. Just after lunch it was up to 99. Not too bad . . . so I told Kristi to keep an eye on him while he napped. Around 3 she called Kyle to say Jack was really warm again. I went up there with the thermometer and tylenol. It was back up to 103. And our pediatrician's office had just closed. Ugh.

Of course, the fever is accompanied by little grunts and moans that make me feel totally helpless as a parent. I think the hardest part is not being able to communicate to him that it's temporary. I want him to know that he'll feel better soon and that this will pass . . . but for him, this is all he knows. I guess all I can do is hold him and comfort him.

Have I mentioned that he had another tooth pop through last night? Well, he did. So he's drooling everywhere, too.

Jack and I have read pretty much every book on his shelves. It's kind of nice because he rarely sits all the way through one book anymore. It was nice to have cuddle time . . . though I felt like i had a heated blanket on the whole time.

When Kyle called to see if I wanted him to bring me something home from camp to eat, I realized that I hadn't eaten anything since lunch and that I had zero appetite. It also hit me that I was feeling a little warm and had a pounding headache. I just took some tylenol and now I'm hoping for the best. We can only have one sick person at a time in this house.

The tylenol we had been giving Jack seemed to be useless, so at 10 PM we gave him motrin. Within an hour, his temperature was under 100 and he was showing signs of personality again. I was in the kitchen and heard Jack laughing in our bedroom and walked in to find him doing anything he could to make Kyle laugh. I guess he prefers ibprofen like his Grandma Luke does.

We'll be taking him to the doctor's office tomorrow morning. Then, depending on how he's feeling, maybe we'll follow that up with some dryer shopping. Yeah, ours died for good yesterday. More on that later . . .


My baby is sick.

When Kristi brought him down from his nap yesterday, she mentioned that he felt really warm. I just attributed it to all of the playing he did yesterday in the heat. I noticed he was quiet and wanted to be held a little bit more than usual, but didn't really think much of it.

When we got him home, he didn't touch his dinner and seemed really irritable. We noticed that he was still really warm and tried to take his temperature in his ear. He freaked out. We've taken his temperature with the ear thermometer probably close to one hundred times over the last 13 months and he's never had a problem with it. But he pitched a fit every time we got it close. We knew he wasn't himself.

Because of his protests, we couldn't get a good reading. All we knew was that his temperature was somewhere between 102 and 104. Nice, huh? We called the after hours line at our pediatrician's office and the nurse was friendly but didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know.

Jack's only had a fever once before, and it kills me to see him sick. He slowly got worse as the evening went on, though the tylenol seemed to help. He was so sleepy, but it seemed like he couldn't get comfy. We laid him in his crib and he just tossed and turned. He cried several times during the night, but wasn't even standing up when we went to check on him.

Family Camp begins tomorrow, so Kyle and I both have a lot on our plates right now. We'll be tag teaming it today, but hopefully he'll be feeling better by this afternoon. If not, we'll be making a trip to the pediatrician's office.

July 7, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 13

Dear Jackson,

You have discovered the wonderful world of giving "high fives" but you don't really know when to stop. We often remind you that, "high fives are for the hand" so that you will stop randomly hitting those around you. Of course, you also like giving high fives with your feet . . . something that began when I was too tired to stretch my arm all the way to the back seat one hundred thousand times on our drive up north last week. Instead, I'd say "high five on the foot" and you'd tap my palm with your foot and chuckle like I was the funniest. mom. ever. Which we both know that I am.

Vacation with you was quite a bit of work, but was even more fun. Dad and I loved waking up in the same room as you. Most mornings, we woke to see you standing there giggling, with one leg stretched up over the side of the crib as if you were going to climb out. As soon as you'd see that we were awake and catch our eyes, you'd crouch down enough to hide behind the side of your crib and pop up to surprise us. What a great way to start the day.

Bedtime and naps are going a lot more smoothly now that you're a little older. Actually, your naps and bedtimes in the tent went a lot better than I had anticipated, as well. One afternoon, I was putting your swim trunks on and getting you ready for the beach and you just fell asleep in the middle of all of it. When I picked you up to put you in your crib, your eyes opened wide and you looked up at me and shook your head side to side as if to say, "I don't think so." I nodded back. Without making a peep, you shook your head back at me, and I nodded to you, until you fell back to sleep. You're the funniest kid ever.

You've been walking for about 4 months now and you've pretty much got the hang of it. So much so that you now want to climb everything. And I'm not talking about crawling up things . . . you want to climb stairs and climb up onto things like a big boy . . . feet first. I think this began with our trip to the playground in Petoskey. Your climbing makes me nervous, and you'd better believe that your "spotters" are ready every time you start out. You're becoming so independent.

Independence is a good thing, but always remember that your freedom is more important. I know you're too young to understand this now, but I've been thinking a lot lately about how an independent spirit can get in the way of one's freedom. What I mean is that too often, independence is characterized by self-preservation and self-rule which can back us into a corner and keep us from living as freely as God intended. We pray for you every day Jack . . . that as you become less dependent on us, you'll understand that your dependence on God is what frees you.

Speaking of independence, we took you to see fireworks on the Fourth of July when we were in Boyne. I was so excited to see your reaction to them! I had this picture in my mind of the twinkling lights appearing and disappearing while you sat there in awe, basking in the glory of the magnificent pyrotechnics. I love fireworks and I hoped that you would feel the same way.

Not so much. We saw you jump when the first one went off, and about 30 seconds into the show, you were shaking and whimpering in my lap. A minute after that you were wailing. I scooped you up, covered your ears and walked around the park until you fell asleep in my arms. This wasn't exactly how I pictured it, but it ended up being one of my favorite fireworks shows ever. I loved being able to hold you while you slept. This isn't a luxury I'm afforded very often anymore so I soaked up as much as I could.

I had another chance to snuggle with you for a while when we took the boat on Lake Charlevoix from the campground into Boyne City. We rode in the front and I wrapped your towel around your life jacket and cuddled with you to keep you dry, warm and sunburn free. You really liked seeing the waves, getting splashed and watching the nearby boaters get tossed back and forth. I liked having you relax in my arms for a brief time without trying to wiggle away!

It was my favorite part of our entire vacation.


July 6, 2008

Home! Sweet home?

Returning home from vacation is bittersweet.

The sweet . . .
  • Sleeping in my own bed
  • Getting back to camp
  • Getting back into a routine
  • Reliable internet access
  • Enough heat to not care what the overnight low will be tonight
  • Not having to wear flip flops when I shower
  • 3 CF cards of great pictures (about 30 - 50 of which will likely get my approval)

The bitter . . .
  • Traffic from up north heading back south on the Sunday after a holiday weekend
  • Piles and piles of laundry with a dryer that finally quit for good . . . and no money to buy a new one.
  • Trying to re-establish routines
  • Bills to be paid
  • Going back to work
  • No more sitting on the beach
  • 3 CF cards full of pictures waiting to be judged and edited
  • Discovering that my carpet didn't self-clean while I was gone at that the vegetable oil stains are still there

July 1, 2008


This week, I'm here, but we spend a lot of time here and here as well (the latter of which is my favorite place in all of Michigan). I'm using the free internet here. We're staying here in this. Here's a picture of the last time we came up here. This was taken about five days before we found out we were expecting him.

We're having a relaxing time, even though it got down to 48 degrees last night! Hopefully it'll be warmer today!