Monday, June 30, 2008

First Day at the Beach!

Yeah, we had a blast! We went with our friends the Normans. I got some great shots of the action!

All the boys hanging out.

Yep...I eat sand!

And play in it.

Chillin' in the sun and surf with my buddy Tate.

Winding down.

Ready for a nap.

Nature shots!

I really enjoy the natural aspect of living where I do. I saw this neat guy (a Great Blue Heron) less than a mile from my house, on our way home from the beach, and I had to stop and say hi!

My love for identifying and looking for natural wonders comes in large part from my good friend Lisa. When Ben and I lived in WA, Lisa was my near constant companion, and she is a wildlife biologist. I've never quite looked at things the same. I have so much wonder at God's Creation now--never pass those moments by if you can help it!

I think one of the most valuable things I learned was that Lisa didn't know everything (most of her training was in Colorado type plants and animals, and they are vastly different), but she knew how to find out almost anything--quickly too! I am empowered by watching her gather information--and now, I'm hooked! Love ya, L!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Erin's in for quite the night. She would appreciate any kind thoughts you can send her way--she even made the news.

Check out the story by clinking on these words.


Friday, June 27, 2008

The Cheerio Incident

Nehemiah is at the stage where he LOVES to self-feed! I got some funny pictures of the results. :)

Blissfully unaware of the Cheerio-nipples-ha!

Oh, he was also eating a bunch of watermelon--hence the red stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Birthday Projects--Take 2

Here is one of the reasons I have been woefully slow in posting these days!

My friend Susan and I cut out all of the little pennants; I free-handed (backwards!) and cut out all of the letters with pinking shears. Then I used Heat-N-Bond Lite to iron the letters onto the pennants (though it was obviously a 1st effort, because I now need a new ironing board cover--the stuff was a little messy--a great idea to keep the letter fabric from stretching, and to avoid pinning, but somehow, I just didn't get it quite right.) Then this afternoon, my mother-in-law, who shall heretofore be known as Sew Like the Wind came over to help me appliqué around the letters and sew the pennant backs and fronts together. Then I pinked around all of the pennants, while Sew Like the Wind made bias tape--or rather unbiased tape--since we didn't need it to go around curves (hee hee...unbiased tape!). She just put the fabric through the bias tape maker and pressed it flat without cutting on the bias (which uses a ton of fabric!). Then Sew Like the Wind stitched the pennants to the tape while I kept the now-awake-from-his-nap-birthday-boy occupied. These projects are always a little more involved for a beginner than I think they will be, but I LOVE the results! We'll be hanging it outside on the big day, so we'll have more room to stretch it out in all of it's glory!

Wondering where I got the idea?

Check out: The DIY network and the tutorial at Sew Mommy Sew (such a fun site by the way!)

Also, want to know more about bias tape? Check out this tutorial on how to use it from angry chicken.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well, Ben was on pace to work 90 hours this week, until God decided to enforce a break...he woke up at 1:30 am Friday morning puking. The poor guys slept about 20 hours that day just trying to catch up!

Then yesterday, we went out for breakfast to celebrate our so-over-it stomachs. That was nice. We also completely took out 2 gardens at our place and turned them into part of the lawn, because we just don't have the time or inclination to do the upkeep. It was sad, but they were so overgrown with grass that the flowers couldn't bloom anyway.

The summer we bought the house, a friend from WA came out to visit, and we spent several days getting every last piece of grass out of those gardens. It was intense. So last summer, when I was mega-pregnant and a new mom, I was expecting to simply have to do maintenance/upkeep to keep the weeds and grass out. Boy was I wrong! It was totally overgrown, again! And this year, since I did absolutely nothing last year, they were worse.

I think I must have a blue thumb or something, because it sure isn't green! I just planted some peppers in a container garden, and I have dutifully raised them from seeds. They made it fine until I put them in the pots. Last night I went outside, and Maltby had rooted around in the pots and pulled them out. *sighs* I think I'm not cut out for gardening at this stage in life. It is a little sad, but maybe I can try again another time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Allergy update

We got the allergy labs back today.  I have to tell you that I only know what
Nehemiah is allergic to so far. And I do not know the extent of the allergies.
I hope to talk to the doctor or a nurse to get a little bit more of an
explanation of the lab report.

Our doctor tested Nehemiah for the 7 most likely food allergens: corn, egg
white, cow's milk, oranges, peanuts, tomato, and wheat.

Nehemiah is allergic to oranges and peanuts. The numbers are lower for oranges
than peanuts, and the doctor really emphasized in writing that looked like this:
ALLERGIC TO PEANUT!! and underlined twice, so that coupled with Nehemiah's
initial reaction lead me to believe that it is probably an anaphylactic (life
threatening) type allergy should he encounter even trace amounts.

I have a cousin who is allergic to peanuts in this way, and we read EVERY label,
because if something is processed in a factory that processes peanuts also, it
is a big NO-NO. That includes things like Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Gummy
Bears, many types of chocolate chips, most candy bars, etc. It is serious
stuff! I remember that one time I kissed my cousin the afternoon I had had a
piece of peanut butter toast for breakfast, and brushed my teeth, and he broke
out in hives at the spot. EEK! :( I felt terrible!

I am however very thankful that Nehemiah IS NOT allergic to the other things
that were tested, particularly corn and wheat! Yay!

Oh, I am also going to ask what this means for other citrus fruits. The doctor
already told me that we were not going to test Nehemiah for other types of nuts
right now (I'm not sure why), but that if the results came back that he was
allergic to peanuts, that I needed to assume an allergy to all other nuts until
a test proves otherwise.

Just thought I'd let you all know. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birthday Projects

Nehemiah's 1st birthday is fast approaching, and a very sweet Susan came over to help me prepare today. We finished all of the invitation bits we could until I print out the details. :) I think they came out well! Keep in mind that our little guy has a 4th of July B'day. Another project is well on it's way, and there will be pictures when I finish (hopefully tomorrow)--we'll see how things go.

And yes, I am feeling most of the way better, and I think Nehemiah is finishing up with his yuckies too...yay!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Yeah...that would be me, when I am sick. I am starting to feel nauseated. This after a day when Nehemiah puked 6 times. Today the diarrhea started for him. It has all meant a lot of snuggling and laundry. Hopefully it will all be over soon, and neither of us will get any worse.

Meanwhile, uuuuuuugh!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's definitely a boy thing

I was carrying Nehemiah after his bath to the nursery to dress him. He was wrapped in his little hooded towel and sitting on my arm as we walked. He was grinning sweetly up at me. It was a Kodak moment. Then, he farted. Loudly. Followed by spirited laughing. That-would-not-stop. Yep...definitely a boy! ;)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Father's Day

For My Love:

Thank you for all of the wonderful ways that you show our son you love him.

I see the adoration plainly when you walk in the door from a long day at work, and Nehemiah shrieks with delight, jumping up and down, flailing his arms wildly at the sight of you.

You work hard to provide for our needs, read Nehemiah goodnight stories, change his diapers, feed him, play with him, and laugh with him. You take care of his mommy too, which is important for everybody, and I love that about you!

For My Dad:

I can only imagine your first Father's Day. You weren't even supposed to be a dad yet, and there I was hooked up to all of those monitors. Mom says that you followed the ambulance from the hospital I was born in to the hospital I was transferred to since she couldn't. She wanted to make sure someone was with me. And you've been there ever since. I appreciate it Dad.

I always know you're rooting for me, and are ready to lend a listening ear, and help in any way you can. Whether far or near; there is always a piece of you here. I love you!

For my Father-in-law:

You know how to make a girl feel welcome into a family! Even if you do call me Lizard Girl! :) Thanks for the time you spend growing your bond with your son, even still; it is important to both of us. It is a joy to watch you with your grandson. And how can we thank you enough for all of the around-the-house help and doggie daycare you have provided? Yeah...we can't! We love you!

For my brother (Uncle John):

You are going to be an amazing father! I am so excited for you and Mel. Austin is an awfully lucky little guy to be the first one in your family. You know how to take care of those you love, and I love you!


There is a blog that I check in on almost every day without fail. It is the life-story, day by day, of a father in L.A. (with Minnesota roots) who lost his wife 27 hours after their precious daughter was born. It is raw, human emotion. I have hesitated a bit to post about it, but Matt (the author) has now issued a warning that I'll let you read if you like. It isn't written for the PG set...lets put it that way.

However, there is so much truth, love, and beauty in these lives that I cannot turn away. I am pulling for them and praying for them every day.

Happy Father's Day Matt--you deserve a good one!

If you'd like to read the whole story, beginning until now, I've linked you to it, so click away! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shout out!

Hey to those of you who live close enough to come lend a hand (and are so inclined). :) I am embarking on a few projects for Nehemiah's first birthday. If you'd like to come craft with me, then I have oodles of invitations to make (already's mostly paper piecing), and a birthday banner that I would like to give a shot. I am still sorting through all of my ideas for how I would like that to look in my head. I know that there will be individual flags with a letter per each spelling out,"HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEHEMIAH," so it will be a lot of work regardless of how I decide to do it. :) I do have all of the supplies though, and would certainly be up for the help if anyone is interested. :)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well our trusty desktop is not so trusty anymore. I talked to my Anti-virus company today, and they were very helpful, but they basically told me that we needed to copy all of our necessary things off of our computer, wipe it, and reload all of our programs--it was THAT BAD. I had tried a few antivirus programs to get the sneaky virus almost a year ago (Spybot and Hijacker), and the guy was impressed--he figured a professional had been working on it (go stay-at-home mom ingenuity!), but whatever got to our system was diabolical and irremovable in the conventional ways.

Ben copied everything (thank goodness), and then got ready to start the wipe. Apparently you are supposed to disconnect everything from the computer beforehand, so he went to do that. When he turned the computer back on we got an error about the heat chip or something. Ben looked it up on his laptop and apparently our model of Dell has a problem internally with this heat chip thing (nearly 2000 complaints, but they refuse to call it a defect and offer to fix it--grr!), and when it happens it can wipe your motherboard and memory--thank goodness we already backed that all up! You actually have to get it re-soldered on to the motherboard, and because it is the heat chip--you have to be oh so careful with heat--go figure!

Best Buy wants a $150 non-refundable deposit just to send it out to Dell to fix it, which will be over $300 at the least and non-guaranteed. With the price of computers these days, we're not sure what we'll do. At least we have Ben's little laptop. It is ancient and bare bones in computer terms, but it will have to do for awhile.

If I'm not blogging as often, you'll know why! Especially when Ben starts school again in the Fall, because he is on this baby for hours a night then! may also take me awhile to figure out how to get pictures onto this computer too--we'll see!

Thanks for thinking of us.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Until we know

We're still waiting on the allergy test results. In the meantime, we are not eating nuts at our place--better safe than sorry. So, here was my dinner last night.

I have to say, it takes 3 or 4 bites, but then I don't mind the sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds), especially with a generous slathering of strawberry preserves!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Baths every night


Well, when you eat like this:

You have to end the day like this:

Whoa--a pregnant man

I don't really know how to phrase how I feel about this; I feel sort of offended and shocked all at once. I wanted to watch Oprah and see the scoop--though I do believe she puts a certain spin on stories (sometime one I agree with and sometimes not). The story is here.

I feel that Thomas means well (though is very confused), but this is wrong on so many levels to me. Two of his neighbors were on Oprah to show their support, and George, the man, said that it was "sexually dyslexic" for him. I believe that God has endowed us with those gut reactions for a reason. It is obviously not natural, and we would be foolish to gloss over that and explain it away.

Please share what you think; I'm intrigued to hear what you have to say.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Minnesota Nice

Means picking up turtles in the middle of the road and moving them to safety so they don't turn out like this.
Photo Credit: Arkansas National Heritage Commission

I got my first lesson tonight on how to pick up a turtle. Ben was the teacher, though he laughed a bit at how gentle I was. I didn't really want it's little legs to come out and claw at me, so I was very ginger while picking it up. I spotted a painted turtle so it was pretty easy, but I'll have to learn what a snapping turtle looks like so that I don't get snapped! I wish my camera had been on me, but here is what a painted guy looks like! :)

Photo credit: Dan Nedrelo and the Wisconsin DNR children's website.

We seriously need one of these signs in my neck of the woods, because turtle road kill is about the saddest things ever. They're so pokey; they don't even have a chance!

Photo Credit: a waymarking site for those interested in turtle rescues ;)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Crafting with the Little Buggers

I was inspired today when I saw a cute tutorial for making little monster softies. :)
I generally check out the Crafty Crow now and then, and this week she has a guest author found over at Luckybeans. So I grabbed some scraps I had around and headed to the "nursery," which it isn't exclusively. In fact the only baby tonight was mine!
I brought a print out of the tutorial and my softies book with me, and my DLF (dear little friend) came up with the brilliant idea of making a pear with a blue tongue! It is turning out really well. I promise pictures when it is all finished up. I was fortunate that my helper this evening is an accomplished quilter, because I am just starting out with sewing stuff, and she was able to frame things in such a simple, straight-forward, confident way--hooray!

Just so you know, this project is working well one-on-one with an 8 year old, so it doesn't have to be for the older set! My DLF is really enjoying it--I hope you do too.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Doctors, Nurses, and Phlebotomists, Oh My!

Yep. Today was the big day. I took Nehemiah in to the allergist, who was a jovial old doc--probably one of the best doctor-patient manners I've seen. Which was nice. The conversation was easy and informative, and he doesn't seem to have a cocky bone in his body--hurray! Instead of pretending like he knew all of the answers, he actually looked some up for me while I was sitting there. (I VERY MUCH appreciate this, because just like a teacher does not know everything about education, a doctor cannot possibly know all there is to know medically--there has to be room for growth and learning! Pardon my soap box!)

He promptly sent us over to the lab for a blood test called the RAST. We should have the results in 3-5 business days--it's one they have to send out. He also armed me with an Epipen Jr. and the dosing for Children's Benadryl, a list of foods that are naturally high in histamines and may look like they are starting an allergic reaction when they aren't (incl. strawberries--who knew?), a list of researched, on top of it websites for more information, a line on an excellent reference resource, and the names of two pediatricians in my area that he works with on a pretty regular basis for pediatric allergy concerns. All in all, I call it a success! We are waiting on some more answers from the labs, but I am happy to feel equipped anyway.

He does not see concern for Celiac's (gluten) Disease from the current symptoms, so that is a blessing, because that would not be fun.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Welcome Distraction

Today was a physically active day...thank goodness, because it was a wonderful distraction from what is currently on my mind (See yesterday's post).

We had a 1 hour swimming lesson to make-up for the 2 that were canceled last week because the water was freezing (heater broken). Then I had lunch with two friends, and we did a little shopping. We were a baby brigade! Each of us with our little bundle in tow made for an extra workout.

When I got home, I put Nehemiah down for his nap and then grabbed my brand spankin' new birthday gift, the Wii Fit. I did some boxing and balance games, and I got my Wii Fit age down below my actual age for the first time ever! What an accomplishment--it usually makes me feel so old! ;)

Then Nehemiah woke up, but I was still in need of activity. Can you believe it? I know I hardly can myself. So I grabbed my recent Netflix delivery--Element: Ballet ConditioningAs an aside, I read a review of this particular workout in Parents magazine. I usually buy a workout, do it a few times and set it aside, so I thought, hmm...wouldn't it be great to try it before I buy it? How can I do that? NETFLIX--DUH! Well that was easy; how come I never thought of that before?! It is brilliant! I looked the workout up on Amazon, and there were many ballet options, so far I have tested one other, but this one blew it out of the water! It was phenomenal! I was all shaky and jiggly, but in a good sort of way, you know? And now I feel like I am slightly more graceful and fit.

It brought me back to the days when I was a little girl spinning and leaping around our living room to Tina the Ballerina on the record player. I LOVED that story, and as a result, ALWAYS wanted to be a ballerina.

Sadly I was never able to take lessons...I even tried to sign up for the class in college, but it didn't fit in my schedule of required classes--blast! However, this DVD made me feel like in a few months, I could actually be graceful and have some definition. I will be adding it to my wish list for sure!

Aaaaand, I did some looking for that old Tina the Ballerina LP, and if there are any of you out there who remember it and are curious, you can get it burned on CD or download it as MP3 files (possibly) by looking it up on The Kiddie Rekord King. There are also a ton of other beloved LPs available in such a format there.

Remember this one? Too fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you be whelmed?

That sounds so funny to me. :) I say it, because yesterday Ben and I stopped by the store that caters to people with allergies when we were in the city yesterday. I wanted to see what they had, you know, just as a resource, should we need it.

They were very helpful. Too helpful in fact. I shouldn't have gone in there. My personality is to research and find resources so that I am ready for anything. (My friends will tell you...take one look at our diaper bag, and you know we are ready for anything!) Well, it was too much, and I wasn't prepared for that.

At first Ben and Nehemiah were next door ordering a pizza. I walked around in a bit of a daze. Looking at the books and cookbooks, the products, the free literature, and the trying to be helpful clerk. Then I had the urge to cry or throw up or something.

I hadn't given myself the space or time to consider what this could mean for Nehemiah and our family.

Did you know that there is wheat in pretty much all play dough type products aside from Crayola modeling clay? Or that it is in those sweet little Elmer's finger paints? Or candy sprinkles? Salad dressings? Gravy? Soup base? Along with just about everything else you already thought of...oh, pudding too. Uugh!

Yeah. I was shaking when I came out. My precious son. God's gift to us; which is what I need to remember--he is God's, and God is his. The Lord has always been faithful to equip those he has called. I just don't feel like being called to this!

I won't be heading back to the store again until I know for sure what is going on.

Keep praying...thanks!

Monday, June 2, 2008


I have blossoms in my yard.

And babies blossoming into their personalities all around!

Here is Nehemiah hamming it up:

His first foray with the fork:

And our friend Adelaide, being sweet as ever (with her Mum, Susan)!


Ben organized a birthday celebration with a few friends last week. What fun! We went out to camp and had full access to a huge-screened t.v. with the Wii, the climbing wall, pizza, soda, snacks, and cupcakes. PARTY!!! Thanks for celebrating with me! Here are a few climbing shots--they are always SO flattering! ;)

Bedtime Stories

Who's telling who bedtime stories?

I love this little board book Bible--perfect for beginning devotions. :)