Saturday, October 30, 2010


Two...of the biggest miracles in my life.

Two...who make me laugh and make me want to scream...often simultaneously.

Two...who make me want to be a better person.

Two...who teach me how to love more than I ever imagined was possible.

Two...who teach me who God really is.

Two...who are already growing up way too quickly. (And sometimes way too slowly, as well ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo

I tried an new recipe earlier in the week and I really liked it. Brent said there wasn't enough flavor and added a bunch of garlic salt to his while he was eating it, but I think he is crazy. Anyway, the recipe is from Betty Crocker Casseroles and One Dish Meals and there are several more that I will probably be sharing soon. There are a lot of recipes that I want to try.

For this one you need:
1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
bonelss skinless chicken breasts - about 1.25 lbs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I actually used quite a bit more 2 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic to be exact)
1 and 1/3 cups uncooked orzo pasta
1.75 cups chicken broth
.5 cups water
3 roma tomatos, sliced and cut into quarters (I actually used 4)
2 medium zucchini, sliced and then cut into quarters (I used 3)
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves (or 1 tbsp fresh)
.5 tsp salt
.25 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used .5 cups and think it really does need the larger amount)
sliced olives

In a 10 inch skillet, cook chicken in oil (about 10 minutes) until brown. Remove chicken from skillet and cover to keep warm. In the same skillet, mix pasta, garlic, broth and water. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer stirring occassionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese and olives. Add chicken (which I cubed to spread throughout) Cover and simmer about 5 minutes until bell pepper is crisp-tender and juice of chicken is clear. Sprinkle with cheese and olives.

The only thing I plan to do differently next time is that I will season the chicken before browning it...possibly just with garlic, maybe with a little onion, too, just to add a little more flavor to the chickenb itself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I just have to say...I miss my husband. I miss his help with the kids when I am giving Samantha a shower. I miss having someone else whose arms Jacob is happy in. I miss having someone to talk to every evening. I miss a daily hug. I miss a kiss goodbye each day. I miss the kids lighting up when he comes in the door. I miss hearing him read the Bible as we get the kids ready for bed. I am ready for him to come home!

Brent has been in training in Houston this week, he left on Monday and won't be home until tomorrow. I didn't realize before just how much I depend on his company until he has been gone. I often complain that he doesn't talk to me enough in the evening, but apparently he does talk more than I realized, because I have been very lonely this week. I need to pay more attention and give him more credit.

It seems like his being gone has made me homesick. (Yes for Dallas, can you believe I'm actually saying that?!) Because in Dallas, I have many options of things to do. Parks galore, two that are within walking distance, libraries that are open in the morning and have toddler friendly story time. Stores and activities galore. Things that are within 10 minutes of my house and so therefore don't require a ton of planning, like doing anything here does. Things that can quite easily distract me, at least for a little while, from my loneliness.

And in Dallas, I know many people. And there are quite a few stay at home moms that I could be spending time with (of course, if I was still in Dallas, I would not be a stay at home, but that's beside the point right now) And even if I wasn't spending time with my friends during the day, I could see people for a little while in the early evening. And most of those people know me well enough that they would be able to tell, just by seeing me, that I am feeling down about something. Because they have known me for so long and we have been through so much. And they know how to cheer me up. And they give me lots of hugs. I don't get many hugs here, yet. I don't know many people here yet.

I am ready to be settled and for this place to really feel like home. I am ready to have real relationships with people. I am ready to see other people every day rather than once or twice a week. I am tired of being lonely. I know, it just takes time. But sometimes I am not at all a patient person. And this is one of those times.

And I am ready for my husband to be home and for a large chunk of this loneliness to be gone. I miss him. And I am grateful that he doesn't have to travel all the time. And just maybe, the next time he does, we will go with him. Or maybe I will go visit someone myself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Strong Willed Child...A Failed Parent?

Hmm...that title doesn't sound quite right. I don't mean that a parent is a failure because the child is strong willed. I know that is completely false. The strong will is just part of the child's is not a result of how the the child is parented.

What I wonder is: Do the parents of other strong willed children feel like failures in the parenting department on a regular basis? I know I do. All. The. Time.

There are so many times that I am just hanging onto control of my temper by a thin little thread. And then I wonder if it is even worth it to be doing this battle? Am I pushing too hard? Am I helping my child mold her will and to later learn to fit her will to God's? Or am I just frustrating and pushing and turning her away from loving and obeying? Does she even know that I love her when we have this battle of the wills going on? Does she care?

So many times, I want to just give in, give up, let it go. But when it is direct disobedience or disrespect, I know that I cannot let it go unaddressed. But then how far do you take the addressing of the matter?

Sometimes when we are finally done, I am close to tears. I am so frustrated. I just want to give up. I feel like I have failed because it takes so much to get her to the point of obedience. How can I possibly show her how to get there on her own?

Will we ever have a calm home without screaming and tears over something as simple as "put the book back on the shelf where it belongs"? Will a 1-2 minute time out ever be actually 1-2 minutes rather than dragging into 20 or 30 minutes because she will not go stand in time out? Is there something I am missing? Is there something different I should be doing or saying to stop this major clash of wills? Am I actually failing at parenting? Or is this just how the parents of all strong willed children feel?

Please tell me I am not alone. Please tell me I am not crazy. Please tell me that the many fun times we have are more memorable and mean more than the not fun discipline times. Please tell me I am not a terrible mother. Please.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


All was quiet, all was right,
then a scream came in the night.

Nightmares nightmares make me run

Sleepy Momma, restless child,
what could make her act so wild?
Scary things come in her sleep
that's what makes her wail and weep.

Toys all over, toddler wiggling,
for me her bed simply is not comfy.
I fall asleep, backache begins.

So back to my bed, close my eyes,
then more dreams invade her sleep
and I hear screaming once again.

Nightmares, nightmares make me run.

Shush and sing and cuddle close,
try to keep bad dreams away.
Just when I think they are all gone,
she starts moaning once again.

Back to my bed one more time,
with the toddler almost asleep,
will sleep come back for me tonight?

Nightmares, nightmares are not fun.

Lion Lovin'

Kathy and Benjamin decided to get a pillow pet for Jacob since he loves to snuggle on Samantha's. They consulted Samantha about what pillow pet to get, and without any hesitation at all, she told them to get a lion. And through several conversations over several weeks, she never changed her answer. (Well, except for one day when she was stalling about going to bed and started off saying a lion, then said, as she looked around the room for inspiration, "or maybe...a giraffe. Or maybe..."and kept going on as long as I let her.) Fortunately, there was a lion available. Kathy sent it to us, and Samantha was very excited to open the box. I think it was a good choice...see for yourself:

Now I just have to keep reminding Samantha that the lion is Jacob's pillow pet, that she has her own.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not My Husband and Not My Child

When Brent got home the other day, Samantha was not so excited that she ran outside to greet him wearing only her diaper.

And Brent did not respond to her pleas to stay outside by telling her that she had to at least wear shoes.

And Samantha did not proceed to put on her froggy boots and then play outside with only a diaper on.

And she did not get covered head to toe (and especially all over her hiney) with a very fine dirt that just sticks and sticks.

And she did not proceed to take her boots back off as soon as she got close to the sandbox, then leave them there while she ran around the yard again.

And she was not so dirty when she came inside that I had to give her a shower before she could even eat dinner. And when I took her diaper off to put her in the shower, I did not find dirt and sand all inside it.

No way! This would never happen in our very well mannered family. Ha!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Brent has celebrated our anniversary nearly every year by getting a gift for me that is something from the "traditional" gift chart. For example, the first year it was paper and he got a print for me. The leather year, he got a leather coat...and it has been that way almost every year for 9 years.

Last week I asked him what the gift is supposed to be this year, and he told me it is aluminum. I said, "Aluminium! What on earth are you supposed to get made out of aluminium? Why would they make an aluminium anniversary?" And that was that. Or at least that's what I thought.

Then when Brent came home last night, he gave me a card...and my aluminum gift

Thank you for another laugh in our ten years together, honey :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Why you should ALWAYS investigate as soon as you realize that there is too much quiet while you are in the other room.

How did my baby girl turn into such a big girl?!

A brownie sandwich made with black bean brownies and peanut butter. YUM!!!
(and for those with milk and egg allergies, there is a way you CAN have brownies, buy a box of brownie mix that has no eggs or milk in the ingredient list, {Duncan Hines has a couple} then puree a can of black beans, add to the mix, add a little water or vegetable oil if the batter is too thick, and bake according to the package directions. I know it sounds gross, but it really does taste just like a brownie...and has extra protein!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jacob at 10 months

I'm not sure why, but I seem to be trying to skip over the 10 month mark for Jacob. In fact, I just had to correct the title of this post, because I originally wrote 11 months rather than 10. I don't know what that's about...I just thought it was strange enough to tell you about.

Anyway, yes, our sweet boy is TEN months old. I'm really not sure how that happened, didn't I just bring bring him home from the hospital a few weeks ago? Of course, I frequently wonder how Samantha got to be so big, too, so maybe it's just me.

At 10 months, Jacob is 27.5 inches long and weighs 21 lbs 13 oz. He wears 18 month clothes when the clothes are one piece outfits and 12 month clothes when then top and bottom are separate. (In spite of his size, he is outweighed and outhaired by his cousin who is 2 months younger than he is!)

He eats and eats! He nurses 4-5 times per day, and eats as many as 4.5 jars of baby food at a sitting, in addition to finger foods such as biter biscuits, yogurt melts and freeze dried fruit. I haven't notice a favorite of his...he just enjoys food! In fact, I have to be very careful, because he frequently reaches for mine, or anyone else's that is within reach of his extendo arms.

Jacob crawls and cruises all over the place. He stood alone for the first time on 10/10/10. Granted it was only for a few seconds, but he did do it...and has done so a couple more times since then.

He said his first word, "mama", on 10/8. My heart was very happy to hear that :)

He sleeps from 7:30 or 8 in the evening until about 7:15 in the morning, waking up to nurse once or twice during the night. He takes a nap at about 9:30 or 10 am and one at 1:30 or 2pm. He still uses his paci while sleeping, but readily gives it to me as soon as he is awake.

He adores his sister and follows her around all over the place. He is a very busy little man and gets into EVERYTHING. The tupperware cabinet, the books, the movies, the baking pans, the trash, all of his sister's toys, anything on the table since he is now tall enough to reach things on the table...It is a full time job just keeping things out of his mouth.

He is most definitely a mama's boy, but he also gets very excited when Daddy gets home from work. He smiles all the time, and laughs occasionally. And once we hear that laugh, we try hard to get him to repeat's just so adorable!

He shows us so big and dances to the beat of music by bouncing up and down. Patty cake is his favorite game, but he also likes peek-a-boo.

His eczema is still on his cheeks, but isn't as bad as it was even a few months ago. Hopefully it will continue to improve rather than getting worse again as winter approaches.

We are so grateful for anothe rmonth with our sweet boy and continue to look forward to what the future holds {especially if it involves more sleep ;)}

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Crazy Week and Benjamin update

No, I haven't fogotten you. I have just been a little overwhelmed this past week. I will try to do better. In the meantime, here is a little about what is going on lately.

Kathy called me late Sunday afternoon and told me that they had been in the ER all afternoon and that Benjmain was going to be medivacced to San Antonio because his abcess was back. She was not able to ride in the helicopter due to wind and weather conditions so she had to drive to meet them there.

Once they got to San Antonio, the surgical team compared the CAT scans from Sunday to the CAT scans from before he was released from the hospital and decided that the abcess was probably just residual from before, that it was most likely NOT a recurrence, so they decided to monitor Benjamin for the time being. He had already been pumped full of very stromg antibiotics so it was just watch and wait. By Monday afternoon, he no onger had any fever, but he did break out all over in a rash. So then they though that he had some yucky virus. Still just watch and wait.

I planned to go to San Antonio with the kids early Tuesday morning to see them. I got up and finished packing the car, loaded the kids, then looked at my phone to see if it needed to be plugged in. I saw that I missed a call from Kathy, so I called her back before I left our driveway. She said that Benjamin was doing immensely better and that he would probably be released from the hospital on Wednesday, so we should probably just stay home. We followed her advice because there is no way that I could have driven to San Antonio one day and back home the next with both kids.

Benjamin was released this morning and he and Kathy are on their way back home right now. Woohoo!

In other news, Jacob turned 10 months old on Monday and I haven't written about that yet, so either later today or tomorrow, I will tell you what our big boy is up to. Also be looking for another Adventures in Parenting {Naptime Fiasco} to be coming in the next couple of days. You will either bust a gut laughing (only because it didn't happen to you!) or you will be horrified and very sympathetic to me. Either reaction works for me :)

Monday, October 11, 2010


Samantha, talking to Jacob:
"Jesus and God. God is everywhere. God made Daddy. God made Mommies and Daddies. Brothers, too. All the children. Amen."
{How sweet is that?! She is already teaching her brother about God this makes my heart smile :)}


Brent asking Samantha questions:
B: Samantha how many stars are there?
S: Five!
Me: Are you sure?
S: (looks down and holds out her hand, counting her fingers)1...2...3...4...5...yes, FIVE!
B: Where did the stars come from?
S: From our house!
C: Who made the stars?

I guess sometimes it's just about how you ask the question. :)


In the car:
S: Mommy, I digging dirt out of my noses.
Me: Why are you digging dirt out of your nose?
S: Because there's a lot of dirt in my noses!

Ask a silly question...


Samantha came into my room the other day and told me "Mommy, I telled Jacob Don't move a muscle!" I asked why and she answered "Because he needs to not move a muscle!"


Samantha gave Jacob a piece of her banana while I was getting his food out. I reminded her that she can't give him ANY food unless Mommy or Daddy says it is OK for her to give it to him. She said OK and paused, then said "Mommy, may I give Jacob a banana?" I think we need to work on the whole concept of time a little bit more.

S: What was that?
Me: The ice maker.
a few seconds later
S: What was that?
Me: The first sound was the ice dumping out of the ice maker. The 2nd sound was the ice cube tray filling with water to make more ice.
S: Mmmhmm. Everybody knows that! Right, Mommy?
Me: Well, maybe not everybody, but lots of people do.
S: We're people. We are people, right, Mommy?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday {Bubbles}

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My poor little guy has SUCH a stuffy nose. Which means that I must use these on him.
And he HATES it with a passion! Come to think of it, I don't much like having to use it on him. It's kind of funny, though. Before I was a mom, I thought that the scariest part of being a parent was the fact that I would have to use a nasal aspirator (aka booger sucker) on my child.

HA! I was in lala land, apparently! Either that or I was blissfully ignorant of all the challenges that would come from being a parent. Maybe both. And honestly, I had to use the silly thing on Samantha so many times before she even came home from the hospital, that there is no hesitation about using it at all any more. It's not even all that hard as long as you get the kid trapped in the right position so that said child can't move and get a bloody nose.

Anyway, there are much scarier things now. Like hoping that your child doesn't step on a rattlesnake in your own front yard. And I'm sure there will be a lot more to worry about in the future.

For now, I am grateful that I lost the fear of the aspirator and can use it to help my child breathe. I will be very glad when he is old enough for Vick's Vapo Rub and allergy medicine, though. And I will be even more grateful when he can blow his own nose rather than having me suction it for him.

Monday, October 4, 2010


One of the great things about living in the country is that I can let Samantha go outside and play, even while Jacob is sleeping and I have to (mostly) stay in the house. I do watch from the window and/or go out and check on her periodically. The other day, went out and saw this:

Yes, that's right, ONE of the boots that she was wearing when she went outside. I looked a little further and saw the second boot. Still no Samantha in sight, however.

Oh, there she is. WAY over by the sandbox. With no shoes or boots on.

I went over and asked her why she took her boots off to walk to the sandbox. Her answer? "Because I want to swing higher and higher." Umm...ok?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Child - Not a Favorite in Sight

I'm not sure now, what I was thinking then. When Jacob was very young, he wanted NOTHING to do with a pacifier. But we worked to find one that he would take. What were we thinking? Were we crazy?! I mean seriously...we TRIED to get our baby to start taking a pacifier...PURPOSELY...knowing that we do not want a toddler with a paci, so in all likelihood, we would have to later wean said baby from his paci.

Samantha really liked her paci when she was a baby, but mostly when she was sleeping or sleepy. Jacob has been like that, too. Although, he will take it anytime he can get his hands on it, it's just that sleeping is the only time it's actually necessary.

Then when Samantha was about 9 months old, she chose Lambie and Blankie as her favorites...and left the pacifier behind, only needing lambie to go to sleep. Woohoo! That was easy and painless. We were very happy that we would not have to work to wean her from the paci.

I hoped that Jacob would do the same thing. But although he enjoys stuffed animals and will even snuggle with one as he sleeps, he does not seem anywhere close to choosing something as a favorite. And he certainly doesn't put them in his mouth as much as Samantha did. Come to think of it, I don't understand why, though. He puts EVERYTHING ELSE he can get his hands on into his mouth! I am completely serious. For example, a couple days ago, I went to get another piece of fuzz out of his mouth, and discovered that it wasn't a piece of fuzz. Nope, not fuzz. It was a daddy-longlegs. And then after I pulled it out of his mouth, I discovered it was alive. I know this because it very quickly scrambled away once it was free. Yeah...nice. That made me wonder, since a daddy-longlegs venom is so deadly (it really is, their mouths just aren't big enough to break human skin) does that mean it would be poisonous to eat?

Anyway...I digress...back to the pacifier dilemma.

So I was saying that Jacob hasn't chosen a favorite toy, blanket, whatever. Well, other than Samantha's Lambie, that is. And she CERTAINLY objects to that. She does not want him (or anyone other than Mommy or Daddy) to handle her Lambie at all. So I seriously doubt that she will give it up for that to be his favorite. Anyway, the point is, that he doesn't seem to have anything that is more important to him than his paci. And he is a week and a half from being 10 months.

I know that I don't need to worry too much about the paci quite yet. But at the same time, if we let it go too long, it really will be a battle getting him to give it up. So I'm wondering what I should do. I could find a lambie for Jacob (they do have one that isn't pink) and hope that he would like it as much as he likes Samantha's pink one. After all, maybe it is the rattle inside the stuffed animal that he likes so much. But then again, it could just be that he knows how attached Samantha is to Lambie so that is why he likes it, and the new one wouldn't make any difference.

I could just try going cold turkey with no pacifiers and see what happens. But that could backfire and we could have a lot less sleep going on.

Or I could just let things go for now and see where we are in a month or so. I just don't know what to do. Do you have any ideas to share? And if you know the answer to the daddy-longlegs question, please, enlighten me.