Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ottababy Itzaboy

Baby Pine Cone, with the coaxing of an epidural, made his grand entrance to the world on his actual due date of May 16 at 2:11 AM. Baby Boy Pine Cone is a big boy at 8 lbs 13 oz and 20 1/2" long. Mama and baby are healthy and doing very well. Due to my sister's inability to decide on a name, baby boy is still Baby Pine Cone until further notice.

Girls are excited! I told them at 4:15 AM when everyone decided to wake up simultaneuously. (Argh.) Caffeine will be my friend today. Yes, they did go back to sleep finally. It only took 2 full CD's to make it happen.

Edited to add:
I'm a dork and I make up songs. I'll teach the kids these songs and we'll go in and perform them for our new baby boy.

To the tune of BINGO:
We have a little boy and his name is Leland
Vaughn is his middle name
L-e-l-a-n-d
L-e-l-a-n-d
L-e-l-a-n-d
And Leland is his name-o'!

To the tune of the Oscar Meyer Bologna song:
Our little boy has a first name,
It's L-e-l-a-n-d
Our little boy has a second name,
It's V-a-u-g-h-n
Oh, we love to sing it everyday,
We love him lots,
That's why we say!
We have a boy and his name is Leland
L-e-l-a-n-d, hooray!
(Okay, it's a little rough, but I'm running on little sleep.)

Good day, all!

Edit part 2:

Went to take girls to see Leland. Had to lie and say K- was a sibling since it is strict that no children other than siblings get to come in.

Camera had dead batteries. Ugh. No pictures of our boy. However, he has a full head of blonde (or as my niece J- would say, yellow) hair. He's sporting blue eyes at the moment. They look to come home tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hello, Baby Pine Cone

Baby Pine Cone,

It appears as though you may be making your debut today. You've been knocking on the interior of your mommy's cozy habitat today with some pretty decently timed cramping. Well it's not you really, but your mommy's body deciding to kick you out since it seems that you weren't willing to go on your own. We think that you were holding onto the interior of your creature home with both your hands and your feet.

What are you, Baby Pine Cone? Are you a baby girl or a baby boy as most think that you are? Oop! Grandma Linda has just phoned and changed her mind. She thinks that you are a girl. (Basically, I've thought most of the time that you were, but the past few days I've really felt that you were a girl.) Whatever you are, our prayers are that you are happy and healthy. Come out quickly. Don't make your mama wait on you much longer. Be easy on that labor stuff, too. Your mommy doesn't want to be puking when she has you like she did with the girls. Oh, but do please make sure that she makes it to the hospital. That would be nifty.

I love you!

Aunt Amy

Zoo-fully Wonderful

We visited the zoo on Wednesday afternoon for K-'s end of the year preschool blow-out. Well, it wasn't a blow-out, but we almost got rained on. That's okay. The rain held off until later.
K- and her friend, A-. A- is the recipient of almost all of K-'s hand-me-downs. (Like having a little sister, but not in the house.) The shirt she has on was one of K-'s favorite thrift store duds. They had a climbing wall at the exhibit of the jelly fish. K- climbed all the way to the top, then didn't quite have a visual of a foothold and got a little concerned. I held her fanny (she was much too high for me and it was a little high to suggest jumping down) and guided her foot to the foothold. We got her back down in one piece. There is a baby duckling on the mama's back. We loved it! (Rachael, I thought of you!) The girls playing in the fountain. We didn't want them to get all wet since it was only in the early 60's of Fahrenheit. We let them tickle the water, though. Since my friend Kim is on Facebook, I decided that it would be fine to post her face on my blog. K- took this picture of us and I thought she did a great job! A- was taking a picture too. Kim is hilarious and she is who she is. She'll be honest with you and knows bits about everything. The girl is a walking source of Google all on her own. Our kids love to hang together. In fact, Kim's house was where we were headed when this happened. When you have to call your friend and say, "We're okay, but you need to come pick up K-. The RAV was just totalled." Not only does she come, but she came running out of her car, then took K- to hang out with her husband and kids, came back up with camera in hand, took photos and kept me company-- that's good stuff. When Hubs came, they towed the RAV's lifeless body onto the flatbed (the axle was broken among tons of other smooshed things), she had us come back, fed us and even offered me a glass of wine. (I didn't take it, but the offer was kind!)

When we left, the girls wanted to take their picture with the zoo sign. K- was going to get herself hiked up to walk to the top of the big rock, hadn't gotten there yet and fell off the curb in her Croc's and skinned the top of her foot/bottom of her leg. I got her straightened around, bandaged up and dry eyed. We discussed not wearing Croc's except for swimming and she agreed. I know y'all love them out there, but K- keeps falling in them. She has fallen several times, injuring herself. She doesn't fall in anything else. The Croc's give a sloppy fit and her feet are just far too narrow. I'm not a fan of foam shoes anyhow. Strapping foam to your feet and not expecting to fall when it is rainy out just doesn't make sense to me, but I do have some crocesque Mary Jane's that I bought last year at Toys R Us. (They were on clearance for 2.00.) They are a skinnier fit with a velcro strap and fit much better. We'll just stick with that. K- likes the feel of Croc's. She says that they are "compy" but she's tired of skinning herself up, too. Ugh.

But! We had a nice day at the zoo!

--My sister is still housing Baby Pine Cone. With any luck, Baby Pine Cone will make an appearance this weekend. On Wednesday night, I was busy reading labor inducing accupressure tips from the internet to my sister over the phone. Nothing has worked. We're convinced that this child is hanging on tight and doesn't want to leave!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reality TV, you were mean to me this week.

The beginning of the week started with Celebrity Apprentice. I'm not impressed with Joan or Annie, but watched to see how it all unfolded. Joan won, though I thought it was weird since Annie actually raised far more money. Just sayin'.

Tuesday brought the Biggest Loser. I was painting the VBS street sign (a post all and of itself), but got home at 10:30 PM, in time enough to watch the end. Helen won, but I really wanted Mike or Tara to win. I really felt bad for Tara because she didn't get any fanfare for her weight loss of 155 pounds. It all went to Helen. Mike lost 207 pounds. God bless him! Helen lost 140, did well, but I'm thinking that she looks a hair too thin now. Maybe that is just me.

Wednesday brought America's Next Top Model. I wanted Allison and her bug eyes to win, but Teyona did instead. I think that Allison pulled it out and did beautifully in the show, far better than anyone would have expected. Teyona did beautifully as well, but I was hoping for Allison.

Then we have tonight. Hell's Kitchen. I wanted Paula to win, but Danny did. They are both very good at what they do. Danny needs a bit of polishing for a high end restaurant. Quite an accomplishment for a 23 year old. I'm sure that someone will happily scoop Paula up and she will be gainfully employed soon.

So, I lost all the way around. People won though. My congratulations to them!

My Quotable Kid

We received a new journal-type book this week at work. I thought I would list down here some past and current K-ism's.

"What's my help?" --> What can I help with?
"Packacheese, please!" --> Privacy, please.*
"Bilk" --> Milk*
"Toasty cheese" --> Toasted cheese sandwich
"Puddle jumpers" --> Tevas or water sandals.
"Snackiedoodles" --> Snacks.
"Yogurt popscicles" --> Frozen gogurt.
"Horsey hair" --> A big pony tail.
"Hard pants" --> Jeans.
"Soft pants" --> Leggings.
"Lollipop walk." --> Walking to the fence at the end of our dead end street. (Older folks near the end of the street used to give K- treats all the time. Then, like a dog, they had her conditioned and then they got mad when she would stop on their sidewalk wanting to wait for a treat. Their typical treat? Dum-dums.)
"Clone Wars." --> Any Star Wars movies or paraphernalia associated with.
"Magwicks" --> Magnets*
"Polly's" --> Polly Pockets
"I'm going for a treasure hunt." --> Digging in the driveway gravel.
"Lip goo" --> Chapstick.
"Nose medicine" --> Zyrtec or Claritin.
"Sick crackers" --> Saltines
"Soup with a hole" --> Campbell's Soup at Hand
"Ba-ba boom" --> Leap Pad (There is a character in the one book that sings, "Ba-ba-ba boom.)

*Long ago and far away, K- retired these.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Summertime Kid Refreshment Ideas

K-'s last day of preschool was yesterday, but today we are at the end of the year zoo trip. That got me to thinking. Summer. Ahhh. So, I have some healthy eating cheats that we use in our house.

1. "Juice" --> Slice a washed lemon into wedges, freeze on a cookie sheet then plunk into a lidded plastic container. Put in a sippy with water and voila! It's cold, flavored and way better than alternatives of pop, standard juice or kool aid.
2. "Yogurt popscicles" --> Buy the 32 pack of Gogurt at Sam's for $7.48, place entire box in freezer, nip end when one is needed and enjoy.
3. Frozen vegetables --> A quick snack of frozen peas or corn hit the spot with K-. When she was a baby, we didn't have central air and our house could heat up to 93 F or better. To try to cool the interior of her hot baby body, I started giving her frozen veggies. She loved them! She still loves them now!
4. Short cut carrots --> A little more expensive than the standard carrots, but out of convenience I will buy these to have something healthy on hand. She eats them straight up with no dip.
5. Pretzel sticks and low fat sour cream --> A favorite snack. She knows where the "sticks" are and the sour cream. She loves this snack so much, I can almost catch her having a conversation with the container.
6. Tomatoes from the vine --> I plant the tomatoes close enough to the little garden fence so that K- and her friends can reach in and help themselves. Often parents will ask, "What is my child eating?" Oh, they're just eating tomatoes (paste or cherry.)
7. Fresh collards --> Yes, the kids love to pick collard greens from the garden and snack on those. I've tried them. I kind of find them gross, but if it takes the kids where they need to go . . .

We always have Goldfish crackers, grapes and washed whole apples on hand. All other snack items are subject to change.

The little neighbor girl always comes over and is magically hungry when she gets to our house. I think that she likes the snacks! Her mom said that she eats things over here that they can't get her to eat. She's amazed! She tells me that she doesn't know how I do it. I do nothing. I just put a pick-plate out for K- and E- to share. Maybe since K- is making healthy food choices, E- wants to, too.

Happy snacking!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Mother's Day at church

Beating a dead horse here, but I felt as if I needed to further the discussion on the Sunday sermon. For those not church attenders, don't worry, I'm not preaching.

We've been covering the Sermon on the Mount in a series study on Sunday mornings. I admit that it is kind of slowly creeping along anyhow and then the pastor hit us with the Sunday sermon.

"Gouged eye. Severed hand."

Excuse me? Aren't we supposed to have a warm and fuzzy mom themed service? I mean, I understand that last year it ended up being a sermon on being a good submissive wife, which was an ouch enough. (The submissive wife thing, though in the bible and yes I agree that I've read it and all, is a very difficult thing for many women. I am one of them who find it difficult.) Was it seriously appropriate to do a sermon on adul*tery and provo*cative dressing on Mother's Day?

I decided to write the pastor. I sent him an e-mail Sunday night.

Pastor,

I feel like I should write about today's sermon. I know that when [Hubs] and I left, our heads were tipped to the side, we had the shocked eyebrow look and all [Hubs] could say was "wow." The wow was not an impressed wow.

I understand that dealing with the subject of adul*tery is going to be a sore subject at best anytime. However, though I realize that it fell into the schedule, I'm thinking that Mother's Day was probably not the best day to approach the subject. Instead of walking away with the warm-fuzzy mommy thing after the sermon, I was left shaking my head. I couldn't help but to wonder if there were visitors with their moms and how they may have been offended by the subject of the day (by day choice only), as well.

I have a friend who has been the victim of her husband's one time adul*terous affair. I could only imagine that sitting in the congregation, having lived through that experience, given forgiveness and hearing this sermon on Mother's Day would only be like rubbing salt into the wound. As much as I know you realize, there has to be someone or some people out in the congregation affected by this very subject. I'm glad that [Hubs] and I have a relationship not affected by adul*tery. For others though, any other day would be difficult enough. But on Mother's Day? Ouch.

I understand that you may have felt that perhaps this fell on the schedule for a reason. Maybe [Hubs] and I were the only ones left shaking our heads all. day. long. I'm just thinking, for whatever it's worth, that though we are on a thematic sermon thing that perhaps breaking away from that on a special occasion isn't a bad thing. We've broken away for other things.

Mother's Day sermon. Adul*tery? Provo*cative dressing? Made me glad that my shirt collar was high and my pants were long.

Prayerfully sent,

Amy

Apparently, we weren't the only ones that saw it as a problem. I know of one man who spoke with him directly after church and also heard that there was a line of people waiting after him.

In the comments yesterday, Kaycee brings up a good point. Many pastors will preach from the pulpit a certain issue that they feel needs to be addressed in the congregation. My previous pastor did it all the time. Our pastor, only with us for about a year and a half, is bold enough to go and discuss a problem with someone in person. To handle something from the pulpit is not his style. At least, I don't think that it is. I have to say that this particular subject is one that is probably not the best to handle in a Sunday morning sermon if you are trying to only single out one or a few. But again, perhaps he sees adultery as a big church problem. I'm pretty involved and I've seen none of that. I know of a few women who have been wronged by their husbands. One of those women reconciled with her husband and they are fine. The other woman, in service yesterday, was dumped by her husband for another woman. She tried to work it out with him and he wanted nothing to do with her. She and her three children moved back to Ohio. I was told that she was in tears after the sermon. I know that Pastor is aware of that situation, though isn't of the other. Even so, my husband termed it right yesterday when he wrote on my church notes, "tackilicious." Tackilicious, indeed.

I did receive an e-mail from my pastor on Tuesday evening stating the following:

"I appreciate your feedback...I really do. I need to always be sensitive and thoughtful in my sermon selections."

Certainly, Hubs and I aren't ones to censor. That's not what this was about. Pastor wasn't apologizing for his sermon selection, either. We didn't expect or want him to. All we wanted him to do was to consider timing and sermon subject matter. For whatever that's worth, I think that the multitude of parishioners coming at him from all sides about it has probably gotten that point across to him-- a little loud in some cases and probably completely crystal clear.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

K- decided after all of our running on Thursday that she wanted to take a nap. She wanted to take it in the backyard. She wanted the hammock. How could I say no to a child that wanted to nap in nature?

On Friday, we had to take a trip to the thrift store. I had a coupon ($5.00 off $10.00) You see, I tried little girl's shorts on her and almost all of them didn't fit! Never fear! The thrift store provided! And all of this was only $7.35! (Land's End, Ralph Lauren and a couple of Gymboree things are in there, too!)We visited with my grandmother, then shuttled on over to church to work on some Vacation Bible School stuff. I needed to put a donation board up, so I tracked down the director, found the list of needs out from her, made some grab tags for the board and put it all up.

Saturday was a mish-mosh of stuff. Hubs had to be up and out early, as he was going on a work trip to Magee Marsh for the annual Migratory Bird Festival. It was Lowe's Day for us. We scooped my brother and nephew up and hauled them with us. We built a little planter and they gave the kids pansies and dirt to fill them up. We ran back by my brother's house to drop them off, then trotted off to church for the All Daughter's Lunch. My friend, Kim, was in charge of the lunch and everything was wonderful. We had pasta, salad and her pastry chef friend made cheesecake. YUM! Kim saved us a spot at her table and I soon found out why. She ran past me and said, "Oh yeah, I have you reading a poem." Pardon? "Yeah, I have you reading a poem. It's at your place." Crap. I can talk in front of crowds, but to read in front of a crowd of people is a different thing. I don't know. My eyes get a little crossed and eek! I feel like I'm in first grade and learning to read! I'm happy to say that it all turned out okay. K- even sang our P for Patience song to the ladies. I hooked her by letting her sing into the microphone! :)

After the lunch, we went on home. I had laundered some clothes in the AM and with the wind we were having, I figured that it would be a great drier. (We were under a high wind warning.) K- went out the front door, checked the mail and there wasn't any. She had cruised through and was in the kitchen when I heard a "wham!" Ugh. The front door flew open and was slamming against the house. Once K- told me that Smudge (the cat) was downstairs, I pulled the screen door closed. It wouldn't stay shut, though. I looked down and found out that the door closer thing had pulled out of the frame of the door, ripping the wood out with it. How the heck did that happen? We have a wind chain. Ah, yes. We USED to have a wind chain. The wind was so high that it sucked the door open with such a force that it broke the wind chain and slammed the door against our outside light. The outside light? It swings in the wind now. (Hubs picked them out. I really didn't like them that much anyhow, so I'm okay with buying a new one for the front. Now I'm extra picky and have gone to 5 stores shopping to look. I'm still on the hunt.) Sunday brought us a lovely morning. We decided to go to church and skip Sunday School. K- did have a bit of an attitude when she found out that her class was delayed so that some of the kids could sing for church. She was a miffy little miss, but she wore through that after about 15 minutes. But do you want to know what my pastor decided to preach on? We've been going through the Sermon on the Mount and today was a sermon on adul*try, prov*ocative dress with a touch of castra*tion. The sermon was entitled, "Gouged Eye, Severed Hand." What a beautiful topic for Mother's Day. I'm writing this Sunday night and admit that he is next on my list to e-mail. Oh, it was inappropriate. Yikes.
However, after the funky sermon (ick), we went home for some lunch, then off to Mill Creek Park in Youngstown to enjoy Fellows Riverside Gardens. We saw all kinds of flowers in bloom and my girl was running through doing the Little Fairy on the House run.After visiting the park, we cruised to see both grandmothers. We had dessert with my mom and dinner with Hubs' mom-- in that order! :) When we came home, guess what we found? We had babies! Two of them, actually! Okay, so this second photo is blurry, but I had to put the second baby in there. Don't worry. Mama Bird was close by watching. She knows us and knows that we aren't going to harm her babies. We had a nice weekend. We hope that you did, too!