Thursday, December 30, 2010


So you may be wondering where we've been.

The answer is enjoying sleeping in until 8:30, cooking without worrying about the meat thermometer going in someone's eye, walking around without an extra 25 pounds on my hip, taking two-hour afternoon naps, having more than myself to depend on during middle-of-the-night meltdowns, shopping without entertaining, etc.

It's true. I've been on a glorious MOMCATION. Otherwise known as nearly two weeks at my in-laws. When I think about it too hard I start to feel guilty, but then I consider what life will be like in just three short months and I just enjoy it and soak it all in. I also remember how awesome it must be for those who don't get to see Maggie very often to spend so much time with her. (It's been three months since her grandmother saw her!)

My lack of posting has not been due to being overly busy, obviously. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera cord at home, and I know that pics of Maggie are one of the only reasons people read my I figured it was better to just not post at all.

Now that we are home I am planning on catching up on the updates of Christmas and life in general with our little girl on the go (also a reason for the lack of pictures...she is hard to keep up with, let alone sit still!). It's been an awesome few weeks of being together. I don't think any of us are ready for "real life" to hit again next week.

As for right now...I'm off to figure out what it means to do be productive during naps again...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


One week ago at this time I was sitting thinking about how thankful I am. I say "I am" and not "I was" because those thoughts have stayed with me every day since, and I continue to ponder more and more ways each day. This is a season of life that I have found myself discovering the reality of God's mercies being new every morning. Almost always in ways I don't expect, and ranging from the simple to the very, very deep.

Last Wednesday Maggie and I were on our daily post-nap get-out-of-the-house-before-we-both-go-crazy outing. I was very excited, as the plan was to go to the mall where we could a) be productive and run some errands that I needed to do, and b) hopefully find a playplace or something fun for Maggie.

Unfortunately, our little outing was curtailed when a car pulled out of an adjacent lot in the mall and didn't see us coming.

Thus begins my rant of thankfulness...

Fortunately, I saw the car and was able to at least brake. Not in time for her not to hit me, but at least I wasn't going full-speed. It was not a hard hit, but as soon as I saw it coming I knew I wouldn't be able to drive our car home. Amazingly enough, Maggie and I were hardly jostled.

Maggie didn't even know what happened. When I turned around to see/ask her if she was ok, she just smiled at me, reached her hand out and said "Gook?" As in, "Can I have another cookie?" Which I gladly gave her.

My mom was due to leave town in two days. She was able to come "rescue" us immediately, and due to her trip, we have been able to use her car all week.

Insurance. As many horror stories as you hear, our experience was a dream, and has continued to go smoother than I ever expected. This is also an even bigger deal than it sounds as Gary would usually be our go-to person to handle things like this...not exactly my forte, but so far so good.

(I could go on and on about the "little" details of the day. On to the bigger things...)

My son. My head spins when I think what could have happened to him. Just earlier that day I had my first moment of, "I can't wait to meet this little person!" What an amazing week of bonding this has been since then.

My daughter. I am actually thankful that she was with me that day. The fact that she was totally unaware of what happened, in addition to her happy spirit and need for me to entertain her while all of the details were being hashed out was a wonderful distraction from a situation that should have been very stressful for me. I am daily thankful for Maggie's companionship and presence in my life...what a little ray of sunshine she is!

My husband. Even hundreds of miles away he is my biggest support and a wonderful friend. This experience has also heightened my thankfulness for his own safety, as he travels so much each week and even each day.

My friends. Like I said, since the accident I have been reflecting on so many things that God has put in my life each day that I am thankful for. This week we have been kept wonderfully busy with great friends. And while staying busy (especially on cold days when Dad is gone) is something to be thankful for in and of itself, these individuals are true gifts! This week I found myself especially thankful for friends who are going through similar spousal separation situations. How nice to have someone to relate to! Also for friends who make you feel a little more normal for having a picky eater (and actually say how awesome it is that she loves chicken nuggets!) Also for friends who are not afraid of a spontaneous phone call to see if we are available for lunch or play...etc, etc.

Really my heart is just bursting with thankfulness, These things don't even scratch the surface. In the middle of this presently dark/hard time for our little family, it is wonderful to be reminded that I have so much - circumstantially and at large - to be thankful for.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Snow

The first snow of the season was technically earlier this week, but today was the first day of actual accumulation. I was very curious how Maggie would react to the snow, as she tends to be a bit hesitant at first about things she doesn't know. We didn't stay out very long, but she LOVED it. Especially when her dad showed her that she could eat it.

This is not the greatest pic - it's a little blurry - but I just love her face in the shot! She is so excited!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Recently Maggie has taken to walking around the house (or sitting in her car seat...or in her high chair...or anywhere really) singing a tune-less song containing only the words "Da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaaaddd!" It is really one of my favorite parts of my day.

I LOVE watching her and her dad play together.

(I also just love how she sits on her knees with her feet curled under her!)

Evening the Score

In case you haven't heard...It's a...

That's right...girls no longer outnumber the boys in our house! We couldn't be more thrilled (not that our emotion would be any different if it was a girl), and can't wait to meet our little man in just a few months!

Oh, and in case you think that Maggie looks a little bored and uninterested in the above picture it's because I took the sign away from her. She was much more excited when she could rip it apart.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby vs. Grinch - Fourteen Months

Here I am! Still alive even after nearly a month of no posting...

And here is a fresh new crop of Maggie pics!

She is quickly growing from a baby into a little girl. As a follow-up from her ear infection, we had to go back to the doctor for a check up a few weeks ago. In FIVE weeks she gained TWO pounds. This has catapulted her into the world of front-facing carseats and big girl clothes. I feel like I have become used to clothes fitting her great and then all of the sudden being way too small, but the jump has usually been from one size to the other...not two sizes at a time! Yikes. This girl is growing fast.

She continues to LOVE to communicate. Mainly by saying "heh" or "huh" and pointing, but also has an increasing "vocabulary" of sounds that she associates as words. If only they didn't sound so similar! I would say that her first full word is "duck," as it is one of the only words that she pronounces more than a letter or syllable. It comes out more like "guck," which can also be interchangeably used for "stuck." She also knows the animal sounds for cow, chicken and, SO cute.

Today was an awesome day, as it was the first time that I've heard her say "mamamama" in recognition of me. Granted, she also says "mama" for "grandma" or "grammy," but I'll take it! (She has known and recognized Gary as "dada" - or "da-dad" as she mostly calls him - for some time now...)

She has decided to pick her sign language back up, but (as with most things) only on her terms. "More" and "please" are her signing words of choice, and the signs she uses do not really look anything like the actual signs, but at least she's consistent. Hoping that she will get thank you down soon.

(this is her saying "please" open the door - she puts her hand(s) on her chest)

Her favorite toys right now are balls, books and her baby. She also loves anything that she can dump out and put back into a container one by one.

It is really, really neat to start to see her interact and recognize people more. In particular, my favorites are her dad and her friend Charlotte ("shhh-shhh"). She gets so excited at the mention of them, let alone when she sees them. I love seeing her and Charlotte hug, kiss and tackle each other. So thankful for a friend so close in age and so nearby!

We continue to spend a portion of each day watching squirrels...which are becoming more and more rare to see, but are still her favorite animal (and activity).

Her molars AND incisors have both come in the past couple of months, bringing the tooth count up to 16.

I really need to go back to posting monthly is really hard to remember everything that has happened or changed in the past two months!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Make a Squirrel

I do not post this because it's my own original idea or anything extra special, but because I was so frustrated when the blog I was referencing had very little (er, nearly no) instruction or direction. I think that you could actually make a lot of different animals using some of these basic pieces, too.

I started this project hoping to channel my inner Lorelei Gilmore, being able to whip up my daughter's prom dress or an entire cast of costumes for Fiddler on the Roof without even trying...however, I'm finding for an "artsy" person I am hopelessly un-crafty.

For the Vest
I brought out one of Maggie's vests and traced a back and two front panels.

Then, thinking "it's going to be soooo cold, I need to make a liner" (???), I cut three more panels (using the outer ones as patterns) out of the same fabric I had for the tail. (Joann's had some amazing remnants...I really lucked out)

After ironing and pinning the panels, I began to sew. I made sure to go extra, extra slow because I cannot sew a straight line to save my life. I finished sewing the outer panels together and could not have been more proud of myself. Until I discovered that I sewed through the armholes. Awesome.

I then set out to sew the outer and inner pieces together. Feeling quite confident, I was just about beside myself when it came time to turn the vest inside out. Unfortunately, this was the resulting product.

No one told me not to sew the armholes before I flipped it right side out. (Consider this your fair warning!)

I ended up just folding over and top stitching the armholes in the end. I still have no idea if this is the right way to do things, but I didn't have the energy or brain power to figure out something different at that point.

The rest was fairly straightforward.

I sewed a spare snap I found in my sewing bag to the front flaps. I then made some little leaves (out of what is proving to be the most useful fabric I have ever purchased) by cutting out (just freehand it) two leaf shapes and sewing them together front/back. I trimmed the edges with my scrapbooking scissors so they looked nice and clean. I did the same thing for the little acorn that I put on her hat. My sister just hand sewed those onto the front of the vest, on top of the snap closure.

For the Hat
I'm sure there are a million ways to make a hat, but after all that I had been through with the vest, I just used one of Maggie's beanies that happens to be brown. We hand sewed the leaves and acorn to the front. For the ears, we cut out two half-moonish shapes and pinched together the bottom and then hand sewed those on as well.

For the Bag
I cut out two "acorn shapes" and sewed them together. I then cut some scallops from the green material again, pinned those, and sewed a brown grosgrain ribbon around the edge of the bag to "finish" everything and make a little handle.

For the Tail
Much simpler than it looks! We sewed a "tube" out of the fuzzy material by cutting a square and sewing up one edge and across the top. We then "cinched" the top of the tail with a needle and thread so it wouldn't be so box-y on the end. Once we stuffed it with polyfill, we sewed across the bottom to prevent fill from falling out. I think you could attach it in a variety of ways. I ended up stuffing the extra material at the bottom into Maggie's pants and then put two safety pins on either side attached to her vest so that the top sort of flopped down to make a question mark shape.

And that's how you (well, I) make a squirrel.

Monday, November 1, 2010

'Tis the Season

So is it just me, or did Christmas literally appear overnight?

It was like the entire commercial/retail world was just begging Halloween to be over already. Today I went out to run a few errands and it was like Christmas merchandising and marketing had thrown up everywhere! Granted there was some before, but this is crazy. Even the gift-giving commercials have started.

Don't get me wrong, I loooovvveee Christmas and everything that goes with the season...but I'm still enjoying fall here, people!

And then I was flipping through the nothingness that was on TV tonight and wouldn't you know, "While You Were Sleeping" was on. All it took was five minutes, and I totally lost the fight.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Going Nuts

My sister Laura had the genius idea to go with Maggie's current obsession with squirrels and make her a squirrel costume for Halloween. It was perfect.

With a little inspiration and direction from the wide, wide blogosphere, a lucky trip to Joann's, and a couple of late nights (a relative term to a pregnant lady), the costume started to take shape.

Chewing on the candy wrappers.

Hanging out in a squirrel's natural habitat.

Venturing out with Ellery - they got a little further this year than last.

Looking for nuts...or maybe just struggling under the weight of her tail. :)

Figuring out their first move.

Dad - the perfect vehicle for a successful trick-or-treat outing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Animal House

Greetings from the Absentee Blogger! I'd like to think that 99% of people could care less how often I post, but I know to the grandparents and relatives who are out of town it's pretty much the same as being an absentee mother. So, my apologies. (I've been trying to think of a new name for my blog...perhaps this is it!)

We've been having so much fun enjoying fall! No apple picking or pumpkin patches for us this year, but the weather has just been fantastic, and we've been trying to take advantage of every minute.

Maggie still loves playing with her car (k-k-k) and going to the park down the street. She recently discovered/accomplished going down the slide by herself, which was maybe one of her top 10 Proudest Moments Ever. I wish I had a picture of her face. And her technique...head first, hands out, Superman style.

We've also discovered our local petting zoo, which is really more of a farm animal zoo, but for the price of $0, you can bet we're getting our money's worth! Maggie is still a little uncertain of any animals that are bigger than her, but LOVES the chickens (ch-ch) and the caged birds (go figure).

Note her face - not quite sure whether to smile or cry. I think she was conflicted about most things we saw that day.

Checking out the rabbits...from a safe distance.

The deer was really the only "larger" animal that she showed any interest in.

Learning dental hygiene from the llamas.

Have I mentioned that we're walking??

The leaves and squirrels - obviously WAY more interesting than anything at the zoo.

I just had to include this shot. It cracks me up. I was so excited when I first saw it, then I zoomed in and saw Maggie's eyes. Arg!! Guess it's just the first of many imperfect family pictures. And I guess it's a good lesson to always take more than one picture...just in case.

Speaking of leaves and squirrels, watching the birds and squirrels in our yard has become one of Maggie's favorite thing to do. When we're not actually outside, she will stand in this window forever just looking. Our backyard neighbors, who join Maggie in her love for All God's Creatures, have taken the liberty to expand their bird/squirrel feeding haven and nailed in a little nut feeder on our side of the fence. Haha!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010