Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Thursday: Tips. Kind of.

Firstly, the sippy cup that changed my life:

Nalgene, thank you for creating the only (truly) leak-proof and toddler-proof sippy cup I have ever come across. I loved your water bottles in college and I am happy to pass that love onto Cub. Available at your local Target.

2) When Naomi's gas attacks spring up every now and then, we toss her softest blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to get it warm, and then wrap it tightly around her mid-section while we hold her in the sitting position. It helps to relax her stomach and release the gas.

3) Zumba is changing my life. Have you done it before? It's basically choreographed awesomeness that involves a lot of salsa and pushing and pumping ... and giggling and laughing at oneself. Super fun and a great workout. Nothing like watching that post-baby jiggle in the floor to ceiling mirror! It's what we call motivation.

That's it! Yes, random, I know. :)

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Photo Shoot Pic.

(One of my favorites. Beautiful family.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


On Sunday Naomi was dedicated before our church. It was a precious time, one we were able to share with our families. They came to show their support and commitment, their dedication, to pray for Naomi, entrusting her future into our Father's powerful hands.

Her shawl was the same shawl my Mom wore when she was christened as an infant, knit lovingly by Mom's Mom, my Memere, Naomi's Great Grandmother.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations
forever and ever.

Ephesians 3:14-2

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mighty Autumn List Number One.

My Mighty Autumn List is a tad smaller than My Mighty Summer List and does not include mighty things such as, say, birthing a child. But, I do have some goals for this season that I am excited to execute and two such goals were actually accomplished this weekend. Sweet! The first I will write about today, the second, tomorrow. The list will probably grow a little, too. This list is a combination of things that are already planned and things that are spontaneous, all being things I hope to accomplish.

Mighty Autumn List Number One.

Cub's Second Birthday (Family) Party

I sat on the floor at play group on Thursday, Naomi on my lap and Cub running around in the backyard, as I bemoaned to my friends that I hadn't, actually, put together Cub's birthday party yet. It was planned for Saturday and I had the cake ordered, but I couldn't seem to nail down a theme (pun! pun!). I had originally intended on doing a "things that go" party, including planes, trains, automobiles, tractors, etc. But I couldn't wrap my mind around executing such a broad theme, and the feeling left me frustrated. I wanted to give Cub a good party. But, honestly, my creativity is kind of zapped right now. When the kids are awake, I am able to accomplish tasks, but I am unable to brainstorm. You can't force creativity, people! And, when the kids nap, I nap. So, being only a few days away from the big day, my brain was muddled and my heart was a little broken, feeling failure on the horizon, cheating Cub out of the kind of day I wanted to give him. I had done a little planning, but it just wasn't coming together.

After everyone left, I put the kids down for naps and sat on my bed, thinking of what to do. Cub loves tractors and he loves Thomas the Train. Thomas is all kinds of awesome, but a Thomas party just didn't sound that fun to me. But tractors ... hmmm ... we could maybe do tractors ... construction? A construction party?

And ZING! The creative juices started a'flowin'. I grabbed my This-Is-Where-I-Write-Random-Ideas notebook and started scribbling out ideas. I knew I had about an hour and a half until the kids woke up, so any thought I had, I wrote down. Decorations: Caution tape would make a good streamer. Other than that? Uh, nothing. Okay. Food: The usual ... buffalo wings, pinwheels, cake is already ordered (I called to make sure a construction-only cake would work, and it did), fruit ... aha! We could put the fruit in Cub's dump truck! And the chips and salsa in paint cans! Voila! Plates and Cups: Already picked up some chocolate brown with primary color polka dots. I liked the idea of keeping it with primary colors and not using only yellow and black.

And the rest of the day went like that. I made my checklist and was on my way. I called my Mom on Friday to tell her my idea and she said she had some construction stuff she had used as decor for the early registration program at the college where she works. Sawhorse with flashing light? Um, yes! Orange cones? Definitely! Caution signs? Please! The morning of the party, I found a Happy Birthday sign, some primary colored cones, a cool vintage John Deere lunch box, and a Tonka book for Cub. All awesome decorations. I used things he already had (legos, tool box, dump trucks) on the snack table. It was so fun digging through his things and making things work. Even his cake housed two of his trucks.

It was really pretty amazing the way this all fell together. I was the girl who procrastinated in college and wrote her term papers the night before they were due. Honestly, it's just how I function. I can only plan ahead so far. If I'm not "feeling" it, it doesn't happen. Blame my overpowering right brain. Becoming a mother has made me more of a planner, which is why my lack of planning of Cub's party was so frustrating to me, but I really believe that even if I had planned way ahead, I would not have come up with anything better. I was so stoked with how it all turned out.

I decided to chop up some of the "caution" tape and plaster it all over the house: On the front door, on the walls, on the toilet, on the oven. Caution: Cub is turning TWO!

The table! Sorry for the bad lighting. The large window behind the table made my usual natural-light-preference pictures black and I didn't have time to take a bunch of manual pics, so I used my flash. I know, I'm a nerd.

I couldn't have imagined a more fitting or perfect cake. A huge thank you to Erin!!

Cub's uniform was a pair of overalls, a cuffed plaid shirt, and a Lowe's nail pouch ("BIG pockets!")

When I uploaded this picture, it brought tears to my eyes. Our family of FOUR!

Cub and Naomi had overalls, I had flannel, but my husband missed out on the construction-ish wear. That's okay. He's still cute.

Love my little man.

It was such a fun day. I can't believe Cub will be two in a few short weeks. I had to plan this party early thanks to busy weekends coming up, but I'm glad we did it now--it gives me some time to let it sink in that Cub is actually turning two soon. Wow. My little guy is growing up.

Good grief, I'm so teary I can't come up with a clever ending. There you go. Crying at my computer. I think I'm tired from this weekend? Maybe?

And I just really, really love my Cub. Happy Birthday (soon!), Buddy.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mighty, Indeed.

Happy First Day of Autumn.

I pulled out my handy-dandy Mighty Summer List to see how I did.

1. Birth a baby (June 15). ✓
2. Breastfeed successfully as long as I can. ✓
3. Ask for help when I need it. ✓
4. Go to Target with both children. ✓
5. Lose most of the baby weight by August. ✓
6. Take an overnight trip to the lake with my family. ✓
7. Drive to Arkansas, by myself, with both children. ✓
8. Go to a Farmers' Market. ✓
9. Teach Caleb his colors as best as he can learn them. ✓
10. Attend a friend's wedding on the Fourth of July. ✓
11. Go on the boat at the lake with both children. ✓
12. Throw a shower for my sweet cousin on the seventeenth of July. ✓
13. Have my eyebrows threaded for the first time. ✓
14. Drink lemonade on the back patio. ✓
15. Learn how to light the grill. ✓
16. Read "Jesus Calling" every morning. ✓
17. Play horseshoes.
18. Surprise my husband with a date night--either a date night in, or a date night out. ✓
19. Find time to get a tan.
20. Write a song. ✓

I never found a horseshoe pit and a scary mole on my foot prevented any further tanning besides the normal I'm-out-in-the-sun-because-it's-summer tan. The song I wrote isn't anything amazing. It's for Naomi and it goes like this:

Nomi Kate!
Nomi Kate!
We just think she's

I know, I know. Amazing. I come from a long line of songwriters and I know they would be proud. In all seriousness, it was really incredible to go back through that list, to remember the details of the day Naomi was born--the day that started it all--cradling her, stroking her soft hair, amazed that she was finally here, and she was mine. I remember that overwhelming first trip to Target and the long nights being up with the baby at the lake. Lighting the grill scared me to death (the ignitor button is broken so you have to actually light it) and I will never do it again. We all rode on the boat together again about a month ago, coming home from dinner, as the sun was setting. It was peaceful, and beautiful, and I smiled at the baby girl in my arms and my big boy sitting in his Dadda's lap, "helping" him drive the boat. This summer, my life changed. I got out there to adjust to my new kind of normal, even when I didn't want to, and I even tried new things, too. Naomi joined our family, doubling our joy. The baby shower on the seventeenth of July for my cousin prepared the way for Baby Eli, who was born last week, exactly three months after Naomi. The simple goal of going to a Farmers' Market has completely changed the way we eat in our home. Reading Jesus Calling in the mornings helped to calm my heart and my mind and to focus the day ahead. The trips to Arkansas with both kids were especially sweet, remembering a very different summer last year, when Dad was going through radiation and chemo and the visits were quiet, and somber. This year, our trips were sweet, and full.


That was quite a list.

My parents in Arkansas

Farmers' Market

Baby Eli

And that was quite a summer.

Mighty, indeed.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Feet.

(Mama loves her baby girl.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shifting Sand.

Yesterday, on Facebook, I wrote a status update which basically asserted that pre-pregnancy weight and pre-pregnancy body are two very different things, at least in my case. And then I mentioned that if anyone happened to know a plastic surgeon who makes house calls, and could guarantee a painless recovery, then could he please come visit me.

Also, I would prefer that his work be free.

The comments were pretty funny. My favorite comment came from a clever lady I know who's husband described her post-baby body as "still an hour glass", except the "sand has shifted". Seriously, how funny is that?? And how true?

I realize that, for some, the post-baby body is fine. Normal. The weight comes off either quickly or slowly, but, when it does, the body is back to what it was before. For me, however, that isn't quite the case. I think I know why, but I'm not totally sure. I became fairly large when I was pregnant with Cub. I didn't gain a crazy amount of weight (30 pounds), but my stomach sure jutted out there. Then, after he was born, it took three weeks for me to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and by six weeks, I was down ten pounds further than that. By three months, I had lost fifteen pounds more. So, in a matter of one year, I had gained thirty pounds and lost fifty-five.

(This is what we call postpartum anxiety and living on trail mix due to complete lack of appetite. It was not at all an attempt to lose weight. I simply couldn't eat more than a few bites a day. Totally unhealthy. I do not recommend it. Also, once I was feeling better and started eating again, my husband admitted he didn't exactly enjoy snuggling with Skeletor.)

Needless to say, my stomach didn't exactly have time to catch up with all of this crazy expanding and shrinking. Once my poor skin finally started looking normal, I found out I was pregnant with Naomi. And ... we started all over again. I gained 35 pounds with Naomi. However, this time, the weight has come off at a normal rate, and today I stepped on a scale to see the good numbers again. It made me happy. Good eating (um, except for crazy amounts of chocolate), good exercise, good numbers.

However. My body. My body is a different story.

I think it's safe to say that my stomach is just fed up with me. Done. Angry at all of this growing and stretching and then shrinking and ugh. It tries to be so accommodating, but really, it's just had enough. It's a bit ... "looser" than before the babies were born. I'm hoping that exercise will recover at least some of it, but I'm realizing that if my stomach is never again what it was before, I will be okay with that. And, obviously, the two precious babies who are, at this moment, sleeping in their beds, are well worth it.

I was joking about calling the in-home plastic surgeon. But, I can say that after having two babies, I can understand why so many moms opt for tummy tucks. Especially when you work hard to get back in shape, and yet the "mom pooch" still sits squarely in front, for all to see. I don't think I would ever have surgery, but you never know. God might nix my two-kid plan and bring on eight more, in which case SOMETHING would probably need to be done to fix me after ten children. Especially considering I've already got the pooch after only two!

Some women happily have surgery, while others wear their stretch marks as battle scars, proud of their child-bearing accomplishments. While I don't think I would ever have surgery, I don't think either group is in the wrong. It's a personal decision. Some might judge surgery as vanity, but I put on make-up every day, so I'm just as guilty. Except, of course, my make-up isn't exactly permanent. But, what do you think? What would you do?

Time to indulge in some dark chocolate ... :)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mighty Summer List Number Nine.

Teach Cub his colors, as best as he can learn them.

(Please note the awesome drawings of marine life, created by yours truly.)

This was a task that I wasn't entirely sure how to approach. When Cub was learning to speak (and as he continues to learn to communicate), I've discovered the value of repetition and expansion. When Cub says something, I typically repeat back what he has said to me, adding more detail to his initial sentence. For example, if he sees a frog and says, "Look! Frog!" I said, "Yes! There is a green frog in the grass!" and he replies back, "Green frog in the grass DOWNHILL!" And I say, "That's right! There's a green frog in the grass going downhill! He's a BIG frog!" It's kind of our little game, seeing who can create the biggest sentence. It's helped Cub learn adjectives and prepositions (unbeknownst to him, obviously) and, of course, several of these adjectives include colors.

The color word that Cub learned first was "blue". I'm not sure when he first decided that everything was blue, but for several months we would ask, "What color is that?" and he would say, "Blue!" Red firetrucks, yellow flowers, green grass, purple cars, orange balls ... all blue. So funny. We were, eventually, able to teach him what was actually blue, so he now pauses and cocks his head thoughtfully before answering our question of color. To help him along with his colors, I decided to whip out his paints and create a color-themed day each day last week. Tuesday was Yellow Day, Wednesday was Blue Day, Thursday was Red Day, etc. On each of these days, I drew a picture of something in that color and he used only that color paint to decorate it. It was pretty funny. I'm a terrible artist.

Yellow Day was a hit. I drew the sun and Cub had a blast. Wednesday's Blue Day was also a success, as Cub is quite familiar with the ocean blue. On Thursday, I drew some cherries in honor of Red Day, and as Cub smeared the paint across his paper, I declared, "These cherries are RED!" He smiled big and said, "Red! Cherries! Red!" And then I asked, "What color are the cherries?" He smiled big again and replied, "BLUE!"


I again told him that the cherries were red, and again asked him what color they were. "BLUE!" he replied again happily. Then I worried that perhaps he wasn't learning colors, but that he was only repeating what he heard from me. So, I picked up the yellow sun he had painted previously and asked, "What color is this?" He paused, cocked his head, and replied, "Lellow." Ah! Good! I picked up the ocean painting from the day before and asked, "What color is THIS?" and he replied, "Blue!" I pointed to the cherries and asked, "And what color is this?" and he happily replied, "BLUE!"

So, you know. We're working on it. :)

I think I'm going to continue the color-themed days, choosing one day to only eat one color food (or try, anyway) and fun things like that. I don't care how quickly he picks up on things, I just want to be sure that the learning part is fun.

Fun is good.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Footy Vignettes.

-On Tuesday I stashed a thermos of almond milk in my purse and lamely and desperately asked the nice cashier at our local Starbucks in Target if she could make a drink with almond milk if, say, a customer happened to supply said milk (I did not disclose that I had some handy, right there, right there in my purse). She said it was against health code (yes, of course, DUH KATIE) and we walked away with just a Horizon milk (Gar-get Juice!) for Cub. I actually had tears in my eyes, which is not so much sad as it is pathetic. Puuuuumpkin Spicccceee Latteeeeeeeee. On the first weekend of October, we are heading to Dallas with some friends, which means I will have to pump and toss the milk, which means I get to have dairy for maybe a whole day. This means I will be leaving town with a latte in one hand and a cream cheese muffin in the other.

-I forgot about the almond milk and found it a few hours later, still stashed in my purse. In the words of Cub: "Bummer".

-Cub came rushing into my room this morning and declared, "Cay-bub made a mess!" I asked him to show me, and he led me to our new fish tank, where fish food pellets were scattered along the tile, hiding in the grout. I reminded him that the fish tank cupboards, where he found the fish food, were off-limits and asked him to please go sit on his bed. While I cleaned up the mess, I realized that he actually came to me and confessed to what he did before I ever saw it. Hmmm. Now there's a little conundrum. Punish bad behavior that was admitted truthfully? Eh? So, as Cub wandered out of his room a few minutes later, I told him how much I appreciated him telling me the truth. And that the truth meant telling Mama what he did. I'm not entirely sure I handled that one correctly..? Ah, new toddler territory!

-Most of my day is a bit of a dance, vacillating between two little ones who require different things quite often at the same time. Nomi needs a diaper change, Cub needs a snack. Cub needs a nap, Nomi needs to eat. Nomi's bored in her bouncer, Cub wants to play cars. Cub spills fish food, Nomi wakes up. Today I actually changed Naomi's diaper, put her in her bouncer, piled Cub's laundry in my arms and put it away in his closet, then came back out and picked Naomi up to change her diaper. Only to realize I had just changed it two minutes ago. My husband actually said last night, "I don't know how you do it." I do! Decaf coffee. That I pretend is caffeinated. Also: Surrender to the chaos. Accepting it helps. And grasping at every minute as it flies by. I will never get those crazy, fun, insane minutes back.

-This evening I walked towards the doors at church for worship practice. Moments later I realized I had been standing in front of the doors for a few seconds, waiting for them to automatically open. I am not lying when I say that part of my brain is now missing.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Three Months.

Dear Naomi,

Today you are three months old.

Our precious delight. This month you awoke from your newborn slumber and, to me, you officially became an infant. With lots of smiles and coos, you have found your voice. You have slipped into our lives and joined the pace in which we live, and we can't imagine this journey without you in it. You have long feet and little toes and a small head (but a high forehead--this comes from your Mama and your Memere). Your hair is dark blonde and, for now, your eyes are a beautiful shade of deep blue, like your Dad's. Your features are still petite, but your little smiles light up your entire face, until your eyes are squinting and your dimples are beaming. Our sweet snuggle bug.

This month you discovered your hands and your feet. Whatever object falls victim to your clenches immediately ends up towards your mouth, and many a wayward burp cloth or dress ruffle have been bathed in your happy drool. You are learning to control your hands and your arms a bit better, but sometimes you still startle and your arms splay wide open. If you happen to be clinging to your dress when this happens, your dress ends up over your head. Such a little lady.

Your neck has become very strong, thanks to Tummy Time. You recently learned how to roll from your back to your belly, something I was not anticipating would happen for a few months, but you are already showing that you are Miss Independent, creating your own pace and rolling with it (literally!). However, you are still learning how to roll back to your back, which leaves you quite frustrated, until your Dadda or I (or your well-meaning brother) can flip you over. You awaken sometimes at night from a frustrated roll, and now when I put you to bed, I wedge a blanket under your side to keep you from rolling. Sometimes it is successful, sometimes it is not. That's okay, though. It just gives me another reason to peek over the edge of the crib and see my sweet little Mouse.

As I mentioned earlier, you live at your own pace. You have your own set eat/awake/sleep pattern that you have established. Truly. We will be laying on the floor, playing, with music on, your brother stomping or running in circles, and sound all around, and you will suddenly fall asleep. You're done. Time for a nap. So, we put you to bed where you take a nap until you are ready to eat. You still take a pacifier and you also babble yourself to sleep. You go to bed around 8:30 and we give you a dream feeding between 10:30 and 11:00. You sleep through the night now, so I let you wake up when you are ready, which is typically between 7:30 and 8:00. Your smiles are a fantastic way to start the day, Mouse.

Your coos now turn into all-out giggles, which typically result in a case of the hiccups. Most laughs do begin with sucking air, but sucking air is all you do, and hence the hiccups come. But your little giggle is precious. You love when I sing, "Skidamarink a Dinky Dink!" You recognize your Mama and Dadda and brother now and your smiles melt your grandparents. Being the first granddaughter is a very special title, little friend. You are in awe of your big brother, and your eyes follow him around the room. He likes to pat your head, play with your pacifier, and he wants me to put him in the crib with you after your naps. His stuffed animals give you kisses and he calls you "Baby Sister" and "Nomi". Whenever you nap, he declares, "Nomi's sleeping!" and when you cry, he says, "Nomi needs her paci!" But, his absolute favorite thing in the whole world is to take you on walks in his wagon. Every day I hear, "Take Nomi in the wagon!" at least eleventy billion times, and I hear "Take Nomi in the wagon, PLEASE!" at least five billion times. It is precious. I love that your brother has found a way to interact with you in which he feels comfortable. He wants to play.

The Cub and the Mouse.

You rode in our single stroller for the first time this month (you usually share the double with brother) when we went to the aquarium with Memere. It was your nap time, but you stayed awake during the entire trip, taking in the fish all around you. Since you are still a little bobbly and can't sit up, we wrapped a blanket your G-Ma made for you all around you, so you would be nice and snug. You were quite a content little Mouse.

Your stomach is getting stronger. I avoid whole soy at all times, but we've tried a little dairy a few times and your reactions are not as severe. We're not quite there yet, though. You eat six times a day, plus a dream feeding. Even though you fall asleep fine on your own, I still hold you for naps sometimes and I relish in your sweet snuggles. When I hold you, you wrap one arm around my shoulder and the other arm wraps around my neck, while your fingers hold my hair. I love our snuggle times.

We love you, sweet Naomi. You are growing and changing right before our eyes and we can't get enough of you. You are truly a miracle, a gift from God, fearfully and wonderfully made, with every detail created lovingly and purposefully. We know He has great plans for you, and we are thrilled to be along for the ride.

Keep smiling, baby girl.


Monday, September 13, 2010


A big thank-you to my readers who posted questions. Also a big thank-you for not asking anything embarrassing, like when was the last time I flossed.

If you think of more questions, feel free to toss them my way. Until then, enjoy!

1) When did you know that your husband was "the one'?

I know the moment: Sitting in a small cafe in the town where we went to college, eating a bowl of tomato basil soup. Our eyes locked, and I just knew. It was a very calm, normal feeling. No bells, no whistles, just ... peace, maybe? It just felt right. Like, "Oh! Hi! So, you're it! Awesome!"

Of course, that was only the initial knowing. That moment in the cafe was eight years ago, before we were ever engaged or married. Since that time, life has continued to show me why he is the one. He held me when I miscarried, held me when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and he held our babies only moments after their births, crying and beaming over each one. It didn't take bells and whistles to know he was the one for me eight years ago, and it still doesn't. He shows me every day without knowing it.

2) Do you see any more Baskins babies in your future?

NO. :)

The way I see it, Cub made us a family and Naomi completed that family. But, if we "accidentally" have more, it would be God's way of showing us it gets even better. However ... as far as we're concerned, we're done! I come from a family of two and so does my husband, so we're comfortable with that.

3) Can you do a retro post and put up the one about when your dad took you out bowling before your wedding? Pretty please? With sunshine on top?

Okay DeMo. Because you added sunshine on top, I went back to my now-private old blog and searched through roughly a bazillion entries to find this one. Because I should just categorize my entries to keep them organized. BUT I DON'T. :) It was so good to read through those old entries though, revisiting my Dad's battle (and remission victory) with cancer. It makes this night, and our moments now, all the more poignant. And sweet.

Here you go.

(I wrote this post after meeting with a bride who's wedding I was going to help coordinate.)

Naturally, my mind went back to the night before my own wedding. My parents' house was packed with family from near and far, both my Mom's side and my Dad's side, and everyone got along beautifully, anticipating the excitement of the event. We all sat around in our jammies, drinking coffee and sharing stories. It was getting late and my Dad asked me if I'd like to go get an ice cream cone with him. My eyes got teary with the sweet request and I, of course, obliged. We loaded up (in our pj's) and headed to town to go through the drive-thru at McDonald's (the only place still open). To my surprise, we drove past the McDonald's and pulled into the parking lot of the bowling alley next door. My mouth dropped open.

My Dad and I bowled together every Tuesday of my senior year of college. It was our little tradition and its importance stems from the reality that we weren't very close as I was growing up. He felt his job was to provide for the family and that it was Mom's job to raise us and as we grew older, he realized his involvement was important at every stage of my life. Hence, Tuesday bowling night. We'd eat dinner at a local sub shop and then hit the lanes. I have such sweet memories from that time.

So, here we were, parked in that same bowling alley parking lot, with the Closed sign hung in the window. We got out and Dad tapped on the door. The owner, who knew us from our frequent visits, opened the door and in the vast darkness of the alley there was one lane lit. I turned to my Dad with tears in my eyes and the owner flipped on the strobe lights and told us to play as many games as we'd like. We only played one, our last game where we shared a last name, with lots of tears and lots of laughs. I was overwhelmed with Dad's poignant gift.

So I told the bride to enjoy her last night before her wedding. No matter the event, no matter the location, no matter the activity--there is simply nothing like that last night.

4) What is your middle name, and why, if any reason, did you name your kids what you did? (Any family or specific meanings?)

Kim. My middle name is Kim. My middle name is Kim because that is my father's name and he chose it for me after I was born. Katie Kim. Kathryn Kim, to be exact. I joke with him that he chose it so I would always carry his name, even after I was married. Clever dad!

Our children's names do have specific meanings. I wanted to use biblical names because I am sentimental that way. Caleb correlates with my husband's name in the Bible (you'll just have to figure that one out!), which is why my husband chose it. Caleb shares his Dad's middle name, which is Scott. I love the name Naomi and part of the reason we chose that name is because of the special relationship I share with my mother-in-law. I like to think that she is my Naomi and I am her Ruth. Naomi has a shortened version of my name as her middle name: Kate. Hence, Caleb Scott and Naomi Kate.

There you go, friends! Have a lovely day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What Is Your Favorite Color?


Do any of you have any questions?

I mean, I'm not that interesting. I don't have much to offer, really, besides a story or two about baby spit-up or the complexities involved in attempting to bathe a 3 month old and a 23 month kind of at the same time. Babies? They're slippery.

My friend over at Superfluities just did a free-for-all Q&A session and I figured I'd jump on the train myself. I did this when Cub was a few months old, so it's been a while. You can ask me anything. Marriage? Parenting? Favorite color? I'll answer as honestly as I can, within the parameters of decency as this is, obviously, the Internet.


Any questions?

(If not, I'll quote poetry or something.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thinking Much.

Cubbie is eating his wheat bunnies and playing in his room, while Naomi is napping. I now have time to write a substantial post about life as I drink my second cup of (decaf) coffee.

A good friend of mine was recently told she has malignant melanoma. Thankfully, they caught it early enough so she will be fine, but the journey itself has been mind-wrenching, as she thinks about her family and how in the world she could try to fathom their lives going on without her. It was a rude awakening and, with her urging, I scheduled an appointment with her dermatologist. With a Dad who is in remission from stage four cancer and the fact that I tanned in high school, I knew it would be stupid of me to not get checked out. I had a mole removed from my foot and the results came back this week, telling me it was okay. I'm going in next week for a full-body lookover, just to make sure everything else is okay, too.

The experience was slightly jarring for me, realizing that I am growing up and beginning to deal with these things and having loved ones who deal with even more serious things. These things have also contributed to the diet overhaul in our home. It's not only the kids I want to keep healthy--I want to make sure I'm healthy for them as we all grow older. I'm becoming more aware of the day-to-day decisions we make to keep our bodies in check. I keep thinking of Romans 12:1 that tell us that our bodies are to be "holy and pleasing to God". I know that holiness is not skin deep, but would God be pleased with how I treat my body? Am I making sacrifices to make that happen? Can a "living sacrifice" mean saying no to certain foods? I could be interpreting that verse wrong. All I know is that it stands at the forefront of my mind every day. Holy and pleasing. What does that look like?

One of my favorite quotes is a passage from Luke that, loosely translated, states "To whom much is given, much will be required". I'm sure that I am taking it out of context, but this is another topic I've been mulling over. I recently started volunteering for a ministry at our church that provides a class for pregnant teens or young twenty-somethings, and also for young parents. I'm a co-facilitator for the parenting group. We've only met once, but I already know this is where I am supposed to be. My passion is for young women and young Moms (I worked at a girls' home in college and did my internship at a crisis pregnancy center) and this ministry reaches both. When the opportunity came up to help, I jumped in. My husband was excited, too, because he knows how much I have wanted to be involved in something like this. Five years after college and two years after leaving the workforce, I am finally using my degree. I feel that I have been given much and I want to be responsible with giving back. And now that I am a Mom, my heart longs to connect with these young women. Being a mom can be tough even when you have a good home, an awesome support network, and consistent income. So many young women do not have those things and I admire and respect their resilient strength and desire to create a good life for their children.

For some reason this morning I woke up feeling sleepy, with a lot on my mind. I feel more awake now that I've typed some of those things out.

So. These are the things of which I have been thinking. A peek into my brain.

And here is my picture for Friday Love...

...and the reason I think so much. I am amazed at how differently I look at my life now that my children are in it.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Favorite Things! Currently!

I realize I have not written a Favorite Things/Product Review/Look! Stuff! post in a while. My apologies. I would make up some lame excuse, like how when Naomi was born I also birthed half of my brain and it is lost forever, but, meh.

(But really. I mean, REALLY. I'm considering sneaking back into the L&D room where Naomi was born so I can check under the bed. Just in case.)

So! Product Review Favorite Things Look Stuff post!

1) Late July Organic Cookies

I saw these on sale at Whole Foods so I picked up two boxes. Sweets are not something I try to keep in stock for Cub, but sometimes it's good to have them on hand. What I really like about these cookies is their small size. Behold:

Look! A bunny! Cub loves them. I have yet to actually taste one (they contain dairy), but I'm sure they are delightful. Cub seems to think so. Oh, and guess what? I can eat Oreos if I want to! Because Oreos don't have dairy! You know, those "CREAM"-FILLED COOKIES? No dairy. There is something so wrong with that. Anyway.

2) Big Boy Chart!

A good friend of mine recently discussed her latest discipline techniques with her little man who is around Cub's age. One of those techniques involved a Big Boy Chart. What I liked about her idea is that she suggested to leave the entire chart blank, so Cub could put the stickers wherever he wanted, since we aren't exactly in "chore chart with categories" land yet. This has been an awesome means for positive reenforcement. For example, if Naomi is gnawing on a toy and she accidentally drops it, and Cub runs over and picks it up for her, he gets a sticker on his Big Boy Chart. Or, if does exceptionally well in the grocery store, he gets a sticker. Sometimes he gets rewarded for doing what is expected of him, but mostly he gets rewarded for going above-and-beyond. I know positive reenforcement works for me, and I can see it working for the little Cub. A little pat on the back goes a long way. He loves it.

3) Lace headband

I put this headband on Naomi ALL THE TIME. I love it because it is just the right size and it doesn't leave massive dents in her head, like the headband underneath it in the picture. She has a little noggin, too, so the smaller width of the headband, the better. So cute. And her clips stay attached, which is, you know, NECESSARY. :)

4) BedHead Foxy Curls

Having babies has made my straight hair turn curly. Love this stuff. Highly recommend it. The scent alone is enough to make me want it.

5) 365 Organic Coffee Buzz Free Decaf

(paired with SO Coconut Milk French Vanilla Creamer, YUM).

Delicious and buzz-free. The smell of it is amazing. Love it. I kind of feel like I'm cheating on Dunkin' Donuts coffee, but I really do like this stuff. I'm not a huge decaf fan, so the fact that I like this blend is great. I just tell myself it has caffeine!

And, there you have it, friends! Time to lay down while both babies are napping.

Have a lovely day!