Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for August, 2007

Three plus one equals four

Thoughtfully penned on August 30th, 2007 and generally concerning Family, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Here we are on Thursday morning and I’ve posted nary a thing this week. Bad blogger!

The thing is, I’ve been so tired that Little’s afternoon naptime (when I usually find time to blog) has turned into naptime for me as well. What is it that is causing this tiredness you ask? That would be the tiny one growing inside of me.

Yep, last week Matt and I found out that we are going to be parents again. I think I’m about 6-7 weeks along, but I won’t have a definite due date until I see the doctor in a few weeks. So far fatigue is the major “symptom” I’m dealing with, but I do experience some queasiness from time to time. And cravings? Just about anything that isn’t good for me – chips, brownies, french fries, Taco Bell tacos.

Needless to say, we are very excited; although, I do find myself wondering sometimes how I’ll handle two children under two years old.

An inauspicious start

Thoughtfully penned on August 26th, 2007 and generally concerning E, House, Plagues and Pestilence

Friday evening Matt and I decided that it’s time to make the final push and finish decorating our kitchen. This will involve painting the laundry room (which is open into the kitchen), replacing cabinet hardware, and adding artwork, decorations, etc to the walls in the eating area.

Saturday morning we woke up with some errands to run and headed out early hoping to beat the heat and the crowds. The first stop was Wal-Mart where we pretty quickly picked up the few things we needed. Next up was Lowe’s where our list consisted of blinds, cabinet hardware, and paint. The search for hardware proved futile and we opted to wait until next month to get the blinds. On to the paint area where we quickly (believe it or not) found a color that we liked and got the paint mixed. Although our Lowe’s stop only yielded a one out of three success rate, we were knocking out our errand stops.

We loaded up at Lowe’s and set off for Bed Bath and Beyond – our final errand – before going to Barnes and Noble to have a little fun time. As we pulled out of the Lowe’s parking lot I handed Little her cup of water. This is where things got interesting.

There were a few minutes to kill before BB&B opened so we were cruising around the mall parking lots. All of a sudden there came from the back seat a gagging sound followed closely by the sound of vomit flowing from Little’s mouth. Then it happened again. I turned around to see our poor baby girl covered in puke with more still coming up.

Matt pulled the car into a parking space and we hastily retrieved napkins from the glove box and wipes from the bag. Little started crying, so I pulled her out of the carseat while Matt continued cleaning up with mess. I changed her out of her messy clothes into the only backup outfit we had in the car – a 9 months size onesie.

She really looked pretty pitiful with her red eyes, mussed up hair, and too small outfit but we soldiered on to BB&B – which was a fruitless stop – before we brought the poor girl home.

So, in the end we came home with paint and a stinky car; definitely an inauspicious start to the day.

(Fortunately, Little is not sick; it seems this was an isolated incident.)

One at a time is plenty, thanks.

Thoughtfully penned on August 24th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Friendship, Of games and good things, Summer Fun, Wii

Earlier this week Matt and I had the pleasure of visiting with three of the four children belonging to our friends D & D. This brought the total number of children in our house to four, because, you know, Little was still here too; children present were H (11 yo), N (5.5 yo), E (2.5 yo), and Little (13 months old).

We enjoyed playing inside and outside with everything from bubbles to the Wii. H & N really had fun playing Wii bowling, and N was excited because he bowled a strike in pretty much every game he played. Matt pulled the boys and Little around the yard in our wagon which apparently was a great time. I kept hearing cries of “faster” accompanied by lots of laughter and few breaks for the man doing all the work. I appreciated the time I was able to spend with H (D & D’s oldest daughter) getting to know her a bit and just having the opportunity to talk to her about school, friends, and soccer.

Little wasn’t real sure what to think about having so many other children in the house. She watched the boys, got upset when Matt went outside with the boys but not her, and waited patiently (for a one year old) for her turn in the wagon. She was good and played well, but you could tell she was a bit unsure about why those people were at her house.

After everyone left and Little was in bed Matt and I sat on the couch relaxing and enjoying the calm. We had a brief peek into the life of a family with four children, and I believe that our thoughts can be summed up in Matt’s statement: “I’m glad they usually come one at a time!”

A weekend in review

Thoughtfully penned on August 20th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Summer Fun, The Glory of God

Saturday I attended a Prayer Retreat where I gathered with about 15 other ladies from my church to spend the day focused on God. The theme for the day was silence and solitude. After a brief introduction to the activities for the day, the silence began. We listened to a reading by Anne Graham Lott (daughter of Billy Graham) and then split off on our own to pray, meditate on scripture, and enjoy the beauty of creation.

As I sat quietly in the shade of a tree reading and praying I was struck by the lack of silence. Yes, there were no cars, no voices, no ringing telephones, no hum of machinery; but when all of those things fade away silence doesn’t reign. There was the song of birds, the sound of leaves falling, the hum of cicadas, the whisper of a breeze through the grass and trees. But instead of the sounds of a hurried life I was surrounded by sounds that filled me with peace, that allowed me to relax, that drew me into prayer at the recognition of God’s majesty. Times like that are hard to come by, the times when I can truly be still and know that He is God.

Our silence was broken when we gathered for lunch, and, honestly, it was kind of awkward at first. It was a bit jarring to even hear my own voice after three hours in which quietness abounded, but we quickly settled into the hum of conversation that is common when women come together. The afternoon was spent in fellowship, sharing about our experience in the morning, group prayer, and taking Communion as a group. It was a wonderful day that I left feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to see Matt and Little.

Not long after I got home this strange wet stuff started falling from the sky; it’s been so long since we’ve seen rain around here that we almost forgot what it was. But when the rain came pouring down sideways it didn’t take long to figure out that we were in for a storm. Thunder and lightning started ripping through the sky, and soon our power flickered and then was gone.

While the rain was coming down hard, Matt took Little out under the carport so they could see the rain (and be in the cool since we no longer had a/c). They walked up to the edge of the area protected by the carport roof and Little enjoyed feeling the water on her skin as the wind blew the rain around. After we’d been outside a minute or so, a huge clap of thunder rumbled through the clouds. I thought Little might be scared because it was such a loud and sudden noise, but she stood there quietly until it passed and then attempted to mimic the sound the thunder made. It was so cute to see and hear her enjoying the downpour.

About an hour after the rain started (5:30ish) we were still without power, so we headed off to find some dinner and a cool place to hang out for a bit. After dinner we spent a few minutes at the bookstore and then headed home because it was getting close to Little’s bedtime.

We were hopeful that the power had been restored while we were gone until we turned onto our road and saw the neighbors out on their porches and driveways. Let’s just say that when it has been around 100 degrees for several days and then your a/c goes out it doesn’t take long for the house to get hot. Matt lit some candles and we sat at the kitchen table (with the sliding doors open) and read until it was too dark to read by candlelight. The day’s silence had returned as we sat quietly reading in a house devoid of all the sounds that are powered by electricity.

The power came back on about 10 (it had been out for over 5 hours at this point). This time when the silence broke I was pleased because it meant my a/c compressor was kicking back on, and we were able to settle in for the night as the house cooled back down to a comfortable temperature. Sometimes I take the conveniences of modern day life for granted, but Saturday evening I realized just how much I would miss my ceiling fans, air conditioning, and electricity if they were taken away.

Menu Plan Monday – August 20

Thoughtfully penned on August 19th, 2007 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning


It’s been a few weeks since I participated in Menu Plan Monday. The grocery list is finished on Sunday this week, so here’s what we’ll be eating this week.

Monday: turkey sandwich wraps, fruit

Tuesday: Paula Deen’s chicken casserole

Wednesday: chicken salad sandwiches, cucumbers & tomatoes

Thursday: leftover chicken salad

Friday: pasta with tomatoes & garlic, bread

Saturday lunch: sandwich wraps
Saturday dinner: homemade pizza

Sunday lunch: whatever you can find in the refrigerator
Sunday dinner: eat out with friends

Stay cool this week; it looks like it will be another hot one (at least around here)!

A random thought

Thoughtfully penned on August 17th, 2007 and generally concerning Sidetrack'd, Things that make you say "what?!"

I find it disturbing on some level that a carton of milk contains the following label:

Allergy Information: Contains Milk

I guess the large letters M-I-L-K on the front just aren’t enough for some people.

A new take on Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Thoughtfully penned on August 15th, 2007 and generally concerning Highly Comical, Music, Of games and good things, Sidetrack'd

This is so funny; it made me laugh out loud. Those of you who have older children can probably relate more than I can.

Found at Buried Treasure Books via a link at Amy’s Humble Musings.

The raccoon

Thoughtfully penned on August 13th, 2007 and generally concerning Satisfaction, Simplicity

When he was young, Matt had a copy of the first Boy Scouts of America handbook which he refers to as the original Dangerous Book for Boys. He was telling me the other day about his favorite lesson in the book, the one he always wanted to try, the lesson on how to trap a raccoon.

As he tells it, you make a small hole in a hollow fallen log, place a piece of tin in the bottom of the hole, and drive a nail into the log in such a way that the nail head sticks into the opening of the hole you made. There is a large enough opening for the raccoon to slip its open paw into the hole in order to grasp the tin, but once it’s paw is fisted around the tin the raccoon isn’t able pull the paw back through the opening. It appears that a raccoon would rather hold on to the shiny tin until it is either caught or dies than to let go of the tin and free itself.

The world lays “shiny” objects before us constantly – things like bigger houses, faster cars, and designer clothes to name only a few – and culture presses us to take hold of these things. We grab onto the “tin” set before us and in our determination to gain status, to keep up with the proverbial Joneses, to find fulfillment we won’t let go. Once our grip is set it continually takes more to maintain the lifestyle that we’ve created; it takes more income to afford more expensive things so that we can impress ourselves with what we have. We drive ourselves into debt and then lament the fact that we can’t stay ahead of the bills.

In a society driven by consumerism it is difficult to release our grasp on material things; however, like the raccoon, this is how we gain our freedom. When your hand is clenched in a fist you can hold tightly to the thing inside, but you can’t pick up something else with that hand (no matter how many times my one year old tries to disprove this fact). When our lives are clenched firmly around the things society calls good, we render ourselves less able to receive the things that God calls good.

Like the raccoon we have a choice: we can choose to hold tightly to things and remain trapped in our culture’s mantra of more, more, more; or we can choose to open our hand and free ourselves from the “rat race.” Releasing the notion that we must live up to another’s standards frees us to better enjoy the things we’ve been given.

I don’t believe that wealth and material goods are bad (we definitely have our share of stuff), but I do believe that, as a Christian, I have a responsibility to watch my heart and motives with regard to the things of this world. I must be willing to release the treasure of this world to gain treasure in heaven.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 6:21 (ESV)

Diaper tabs be cursed

Thoughtfully penned on August 9th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Motherhood

Little is no longer allowed to wear clothing that doesn’t have a piece to cover her diaper (i.e., pants, one piece outfits, fancy pants). She has figured out how to undo her diaper tabs and that when she does her diaper comes loose.

Which leads us to a few minutes ago when I got her out of her crib after nap only to feel her bare bum under her dress instead of a diaper! Needless to say, her dress, her blankets, her bear, her sheet, and her mattress pad were soaked.

She is an inquisitive child which is fun because you can almost see her mind making connections as she learns new things.  However, she is quickly becoming too smart for my good.

Off to do a load of laundry…

A cupcake extravaganza

Thoughtfully penned on August 8th, 2007 and generally concerning Friendship, Good Eats, Of games and good things, Summer Fun

For several weeks now my sidebar has been home to a cute little “Summer Cupcake Caper” button. When Gibee announced the competition it sounded like such fun that I decided to create an entry. To add to the amusement, I invited my friend Michelle and her two girls (ages 5-1/2 and 2-1/2) to help me destroy my kitchen bake and taste-test my submmission.

On a lovely Wednesday morning a few weeks ago Michelle and the girls came over and the baking began. Having noticed that small chefs can sometimes be eager to add ingredients to the mix, I had gathered all the necessary components and utensils beforehand to help speed the process (next time I might pre-measure the ingredients as well). When the girls came in we drew stools and chairs to the counters and set about making our mess cupcakes.

At my instruction B began breaking eggs into a bowl and, due to Michelle’s diligence, we got them into the mixing bowl sans shells. While they worked on eggs, I measured other ingredients and K (the 2-1/2 year old) licked raw egg off the counter. Then, into the mixing bowl – with B and K alternating turns – went all of the ingredients to be mixed by two spoons and four sweet little hands.

After everything was well mixed we used a scoop to transfer the contents of the bowl into the cupcake pans. Into the oven they went and the excruciating wait between mixing and eating began. K was excited because, “Ooo, we’re making muffins!”

While the cupcakes cooled we went to work creating frosting. There were three frostings concocted from which we would determine our favorite and the contest submission. We started with a strawberry frosting that B quickly deemed the favorite. She enjoyed it so much that Michelle and I kept seeing little fingers go into the bowl for “one more taste.”

Once the frostings were complete it was time to decorate. We had sprinkles, strawberries, and chocolate covered strawberries with which to adorn our cupcakes, and beautiful designs resulted. I wish I had pictures of B’s wonderful cupcake creations, but, unfortunately, my camera batteries were dead.

I believe a good time was had by all. In the end, the counters were sticky, the floor was sticky, there were baking supplies and powdered sugar everywhere; in general it looked like a bakery had exploded. But it was worth the clean up to see the girls enjoying the fruits (or desserts as it were) of their labor.