Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm up to my green thumbs ...

... in plants.

Let's just do a quick run-down of what I'm trying to cultivate here.

4 different types of tomatoes
5 different types of hot peppers
2 different types of sweet peppers
sugar snap peas
green beans
purple green beans (... you tell me how that works ... )

flat leaf parsley
lemon thyme
lemon basil
sweet basil

That's almost 30+ different plants, because there are multiples of some of them.

And they're all in containers. I must be crazy. But hey, the upside is that I don't have to bend down really far to weed beds.

Side note: I'm halfway excited, halfway saddened by Kate Middleton's wedding dress. That was pretty much exactly what I had in mind, minus the royal-style/princess cut bottom and train. This is a sad thing for me because for the next 2 years, every bride is going to be wearing the same style. NOT COOL. That's why I liked that style so much. But, isn't she a beautiful bride???

I think I have to start planning my wedding. Fun, but not fun. Planning is hard. And after the birthday party, I'm all planned out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Birthday Post

After an endless 2 week prep-time, Baby S' party was awesome. I have a few pictures, but I'm hoping to get lots emailed to me from family members. Here are some of my favorites. I REALLY wish I had more, but I was so unbelievably busy the whole time, the only pictures I got were when I had 2 seconds to think about actually taking pictures!!


Photo Op where I snagged a moment with the oh-so-popular Birthday Boy

4 Generations. My grandparents, My parents, T & I, and Baby S. Whoa!

Grandpa Joe spending quality time with S, while looking so very handsome with his snazzy sunglasses!

There is no shortage of photos of the smash cake debacle. (Let it be known, I was a nervous wreck with that child's face buried 1/2 inch down into icing, but it is a wonderful story to tell.) As my mom said, "I've never in all my years seen a baby dive into their cake with such gusto." I love it. This kid is somebody. Todd couldn't've been more proud of him.

He is just too cute. I guess he loved it so much just to spite Momma & Daddy for not letting him have sugar too often.

... He loved it so much, here's a video I took after everyone was gone. The high chair wasn't cleaned up right away (can you blame me?!) and this child sniffed it out. Take a look ...

Hopefully, I'll get some more photos of other party happenings. I loved every minute of it. T and I have constantly recounted every moment over the past 3-4 days. I hope more than anything that my little booger enjoyed his first birthday. That's the only first birthday he'll ever have!


Sunday, April 24, 2011


The party was a success. The most perfect day I could imagine. I don't have much time now, but I have to say that I am so thankful for my amazing family. Each and every person who came to the party was so generous, kind and thoughtful. I am overwhelmed by their love and support. We could not have pulled off the biggest get-together, like, EVER if it weren't for this beautiful, loving family.

I'm sure I'll have a picture-heavy post to come, but for those of you who couldn't make it, here's the highlight of the day. The best smash-cake video EV-AH.

Love y'all!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

 I feel like this is really important.  I know the trend is somewhat going back to natural birth.  I know when I was first introduced to the idea, I was terrified.  I did some research.  I read some stories.  I was even more terrified.  Then, I read Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, and it changed my whole outlook. 

I feel it's important as women to share out experiences.  This is mine. Here's the bottom line:  No.  It's not easy, BUT it's not as bad as Western pop culture has brainwashed us into believing.  Want to know my full experience?  Read. on.


April 23rd, 2010, my entire life changed. In the 13 hours between 2:30 am on April 22nd, to 3:41 pm on April 23rd, I learned more about God's love for me, my man, myself, and my heart than I have learned cumulatively, throughout my entire life.

I felt birth. I felt pain. I felt what sacrifice really meant. I felt prayer. I felt love.

It all started at about 2:30 am. I woke up with what I believed to be contractions. I had spent a mere 8 months pregnant. I still had a dining room table full of diapers, baby clothes, toys, and blankets still neatly tucked in bags. I had a crib that had yet to be painted and put together. My child's nursery still looked like a spare bedroom ... without a bed.

I was not prepared. I had not finished my online birthing class. Heck, to be honest, I'd barely started it.

I remember laying in bed and thinking, "Oh, no. This can't be it." I prayed. Hard. I looked at my cell phone. Every 6 minutes, I was having a contraction.

I think I laid there for about two hours hoping and praying that my body would settle down and stop the labor. At around 4:30, I was bored, nervous, and scared. Not even knowing what I was doing, I started rubbing T's head. I remember him waking up and just asking me if it was time.

I didn't know how to answer him. I knew that something was off, but I didn't want to make a big deal about anything. What if this was false labor? I was only 8 months along. Surely not.

The contractions didn't stop. They didn't even fade. They weren't awful. They were do-able. We layed there for a while.

At 5:30, I had to go to the bathroom. T was on the phone with Momma Jules. I came back into the dark bedroom, and I told him this was time. I called my mom, and my midwife. My midwife seemed slightly annoyed, as she knew I was a first-time mom, and I had just seen her the day before. She told me to call her when they were every 5 minutes.

It wasn't soon before long, these little contractions were every 5 minutes. We called again. She said walk around, then take a shower. If it wasn't real labor, a shower would make them stop.

About the time I got in the shower, the contractions had gotten more intense. I was leaning over, and T was praying. The shower felt SO good, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to get OUT.

Timing the contractions, they were about every 2.5 minutes. Scary.

I remember T being so incredibly tired, and talking to his brother on the phone. The sun wasn't even up yet. He wanted some coffee. I remember standing on my little back porch almost shaking with energy. I even remember T telling me to settle down. I was so jittery. I think it was the nerves. I didn't know what to expect. I still felt unprepared.

By about 10:00, my midwife told me to make my way to the hospital. We waited for my Mom to come to the house. I was walking laps around our unfinished porch. T was picking four-leafed clovers out of the "lucky" patch in the backyard. I think at some point, a hospital bag was packed.

The car ride to the hospital was long, slow, and torturous. T had Lauryn Hill Unplugged playing softly with clovers in hand. At one red light, he put frankensence oil on my belly in the shape of a cross and was singing and smiling ear to ear. How beautiful that moment was.

I was checked by my midwife when we got there. 2-3 cm. That was all. Momma Jules and Dad showed up. Everyone was so sweet to me. I was put in an observation triage room in Labor and Delivery.

That's where it starts getting blurry. I think T and Momma Jules went to get something to eat. I remember wanting him with me the whole time. Dad, T, and M all took turns walking me up and down the halls to help me progress. I know that a couple of times, I got really faint and pale and they made me sit down.

I cannot stress enough how powerful T's presence was during labor. He would talk to me through contractions, pray, kiss my forehead, hold my hands. He was so strong. He had tears of love and joy in his eyes. Even in all my pain, I never got angry at him like a lot of people laughingly told me I would. I just wanted him whispering in my ear. He could've been telling me anything, I just wanted him close.

I know that my Mom and Dad were both so upset to see me in that much pain. I know now, having a son, that my heart would break a million times if I knew Baby S was in that much pain. I would want to take it away. I would want HIM to do something to make it less painful. But my parents knew that having a natural birth was exactly what I wanted. I'm thankful they (begrudgingly) respected my wishes.

Around 3:00 pm, my midwife checked me again. Only 3 cms. I cannot explain the dispair I felt. I had been laboring for 12 hours. I felt close to death. I thought I was at least 6 to 7 cms.

She left me with a very hard situation. She said that I was tired, hungry, and thirsty. I needed rest and sugar badly. She said that with the way I was looking, if I didn't do something to get some rest, I would NOT be having a natural birth. She offered a number of medicinal options. She said I should go home and sleep for about 3 hours or so, and I'd have the baby by 7 pm.

T asked her and the nurse to leave the room while we talked over our options. This had upset me to no end. Once they left, I left and went to "birthland." I was literally in the most overwhelming pain I had ever even begun to imagine. I remember T getting REALLY frustrated with me because I kept saying I didn't want drugs, but I couldn't come up with any other solution. I told him to decide. I didn't care. I wanted this to be over so badly.

The doctors came back about 30 minutes later. T had chosen the most well-known option, and told them that I would not be leaving the hospital. Again, I'm off somewhere in my head. I have no recollection of this time.

The nurse came in and made me roll onto my side. She had a shot. Literally, the SECOND she punctured my skin, I had the most enormous contraction in the history of the world. I distinctly remember that one being the worst.

She didn't even get the door closed, before I told T to go get the midwife. Something was wrong. I had to go to the bathroom. Throw up. SOMETHING was not right!!

He ran out of the room, and my midwife walks back in all lackidasically. I was freaking out. She checked me and said, "OKAY! No time for a water birth. No time for anything. M, you're having a baby RIGHT NOW!"

They didn't even have time to get me into a wheelchair to roll over to the delivery room. They unhooked/unplugged everything as fast as they could and rolled me down the hall. Nurses were running everywhere. My mom was outside the room we were in, and I remember giving her the most horrified look. Poor Momma. She ran off to the rest of the family members waiting. They didn't know what was going on. Momma Jules came down to the L&D desk (from what I was told) and started going off on doctors and nurses about how they were about to send me home 15 minutes ago, and now I'm having the baby??? Like, what the heck?!!? Hahaha.

While in the delivery room, with all the rushing around, I remember grabbing T's hand and saying, "T, CALM ME DOWN!!! We're about to have a baby!" and crying.

I did not like pushing. I'll leave it at that.

5 minutes later, I had the teeny-tiniest child pulled up onto my belly. I will cherish that memory forever. I literally watched him be pulled out with his little eyes wide open. He was so quiet, even when he cried. He was beautiful. Precious. And all ours.

T told me he was a boy! Ha! I didn't even care. He tore off out of the room to tell the family, "IT'S A BOY!" just like a movie.

I'm so in love with this child and my man and my family and my Lord.

I'll cut it off here. It's long enough as it is.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You know you're a momma if ...

... you find pacifiers in your jewelry box.
... you find baby food jars in your purse.

I'm a mom.

Here's a picture of last night. Little man has rhythm for Jesus. At about 0:36, he really gets down. (P.s. the singing is in Russian. Cool, right?)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Busy -- like head-spinning busy.

I won't sit here and tell you all the things I try to do on a day-to-day basis. I won't complain or wallow or try to make you feel for me.

But, I'm a busy girl. And I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm too busy.

I love my life, and I really don't want to get burnt out, but I've found myself being too stressed out too often.

I've found that my child cries more. I've noticed that my dog sleeps/lays around/mopes more. I've found that everything I look forward to ends up being a reason to be stressed. I've found that I don't do much of anything for myself.

Gardening, sure, I do that. Well, I try. There have been so many times lately where I wish I could do something, but can't -- because I'm too busy.

There is one area of my life that keeps me so busy, and I'm starting to wonder if it needs to be cut out. I don't want to miss out on the best years of my life because of something that will have no bearing on my life in the long run.

I don't mean to be cryptic, but this "thing" is truly a blessing, and I'm almost ashamed to complain about it. However, I'm a little tired of things like: being glad it's nap time for my son, wishing I were outside, NOT looking forward to the weekend, and continuing to put beautifying my new home on the back-burner.

Not cool. I either need to or find a new way to handle this. Life it just TOO short, y'all! It's a beautiful thing, this life; I don't want to miss a single moment.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Looking Back

I have a feeling the next two weeks on this blog are going to be very sappy.

My posts will definitely be all about this little boy. He is almost a YEAR OLD. I cannot believe how fast it's gone by, and it's making me so so so sad.

This picture was taken a few hours after his birth. We are in such awe of this beautiful baby boy.

We drove past the hospital where he was born. I got teary-eyed, and I wasn't even sure why.

I ask myself every day: Is he happy? Am I good enough Mommy for him? Do I hold him enough? Do I keep him safe enough? Am I teaching him enough? Does he know how much I love him? Am I soaking up every moment I can and enjoying each of his stages of babyhood?

I miss my teeny tiny baby. I miss how snuggly and warm he was. He always smelled so good. He hardly ever cried. He was so dependent.

Now, he's a big boy. He is independent. He doesn't have time to cuddle. At the end of the day when I kiss his little head, he smells like dirt and grasshoppers mixed with his scent that I know so well. Ch-ch-ch-changes.

I've loved every single stage he's hit. He is such a blessing. I guess looking back, I wish each had lasted longer. He is about to be a toddler. He's growing so fast, and I just want him to stay small. I want to hold him in my arms forever.

I don't want this world to harm him. I just love him so much. I'm crying as I type this because it's starting to hit me that time stops for no one. This year has passed in the blink of an eye, and they only get faster. Soon enough, he's going to be out in the world on his own. I hope that I teach him everything I know and more about how to make it out there. This world can be so dark and cruel, and I just can't put it into words just how overpowering my love is for him, and that I just want to keep him tiny and innocent. Naive. Safe.

There have been a lot of prayers. He is not mine. He is God's child, and only HE can truly protect my precious child. It's so hard to accept, but I have to. It makes me revel in the Lord to try to wrap my head around how much He loves my child. No one in this world can love Baby S more than Todd and I. And yet, God loves him more. That is so incredibly powerful. I cannot fathom it. It makes my head spin.

My baby boy is growing up.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Photo Session

This is how my attempt to get a decent picture with my son goes.
Good, but blurry, and S has this weird smile-thing going on. Try again.

Getting Bored. Try again.

Mild Meltdown over wire pulling. Try again .... ?

"Seriously, Mom??? You're going to keep it up???"

There we go. I love my little boy. Love love love love LOVE him. I'm so blessed.

Gardy, my Gardenia.

This may not seem like much to anyone else, but to me, this is amazing. (I mean, aside from the incredibly cute baby paci-smiling at you. That's just too cute/amazing)

This little spot was absolutely wretched when we moved in a month ago. It had TON of the most pitiful, barely-hangin-on Monkey Grass, and a weird, partially dead tree that someone tried to cut down about .. 15 years ago. This is right in front of my front door. The house, as a whole, is seriously lacking curb appeal.

Well, basically what I did was pull everything up. T helped me remove the weird stump and showed me the best way to get the vengeful Monkey Grass out of the way.

I let it sit there for a day or so. This huge island of red clay. It rained. It was almost more of an eyesore than before. Gross. I tried a few different arrangements of cute containers with herbs and flowers in them. Still, no good.

Finally, my Grandma talked me into digging up my Gardenia bush from our old house. I was terrified! I was sure that I would kill that beautiful little bush. I was told to do it ASAP.

So, I did. And you know what? It's doing pretty well! I re-dug the hole, doctored up the soil a little bit, and watered my little Gard-y like crazy. I planted my Sunspot Sunflowers around the outside perimeter, and filled in the rest with African Daisy seeds.

It still looked pretty gross, so this morning, I mulched the whole area (except where the seeds are coming in) and it looks great! I'm so proud. I think I'm going to post about how gardening helps me understand God (and can be applied to any other aspect of life), but that's for another day, my friends.

In other news, Baby S is back to being his little angel self. I don't know WHAT that was the past few weeks, but hopefully, his attitude has changed for good. Poor little soul. I would hate to be crying that much. I know I didn't like hearing it!

Made friends with a neighbor yesterday. That was nice. T gave her an AWESOME haircut last night, too. People are really nice when you reach out. I love that the Lord has put it in my heart lately to be kind(er) and more outgoing. I've taken a few "plunges" lately, and everywhere I look, I see people who are desperate for warmth. Rarely do you find someone who doesn't like a genuinely sunny, friendly person.

Let your light shine. I challenge (Ooh - Sunday School word there) you to let your light shine. Emulate God's light and this beautiful weather and brighten someone else's day. Don't worry about your own day, and I promise, the Lord will take care of it for you.

This afternoon, I'm making a delicious, home-cooked dinner for this guy, to ensure that I brighten his day. I know I say it all the time, but, my goodness, what a wonderful man.

I love you all. Thanks again for taking the time to read my little posts. It brings a smile to my face.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Never Underestimate the "Base Tan"

Being a fairly olive-complected girl, I always scoffed at the idea of feverishly applying sun block. Boy, was I stupid.

I resemble a little crawfish right now.

My weekend was, in a word, wonderful.

Gardening was done. Steaks were grilled. Thrift stores were ravaged. Large amounts of coffee and lemonade was consumed.

Monday, we did, indeed, go to the lake. Momma Jules took Baby S since they live by the lake.

Let me tell you, that was hard. I figured up that I've spent a total of about 10 hours COMBINED away from my son since he was born -- almost a year ago. Whoa.

Admittedly, the 6 hour break was much needed and deserved (I guess?), but when their car veered off of our track, I was literally in tears. T was laughing at me. I couldn't help it.

I spent my afternoon laying in the sun, reading Southern Living and a fluff novel. I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cake. I took a few cat naps, which resulted in the single-worst sunburn I've ever had I watched my love fish, and he's quite attractive when he's fishing. But after an hour or two, I was watching videos of my little on my cell phone and camera. I kept asking T about every 5 minutes, "So, what do you think Munja is doing?" (Munja is our weird little nickname for our son. That, and "Head" it's weird, I know.)

I missed him so so SO much. We had a sweet little reunion around 5:30. I think I need a break from having a break from my son. :)

All my seedlings have sprouted. We bought tons of pepper plants and flowers at the ah-mah-zing sale Home Depot had this weekend. I got a red bell pepper plant. I LOVE RED BELL PEPPERS. They will be grilled non-stop once they're ready to harvest.

My house is a mess from this weekend's fun. I have cleaning to do, but being fried like bacon the way I am, I'm just not motivated.

My mom used to get me to clean my room by telling me to clean like the President was coming over for a tea party. Um .... ? I was very excited by the idea of Mr. Clinton coming for tea. Now, not so much, but I'm going to clean like the love of my life is coming home for supper. That gets me just as excited!

Have a wonderful day. Wish I had more pictures, but I don't. Maybe tomorrow :)


Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend Forecast

Well, guys, the sun is shining in my windows, and I've got a lot to be thankful for!

It's Friday!! I used to think TGIF was just for the working folk. I know now that by Friday, I can't WAIT for T to be home with us for three long days. Two sets of hands are definitely better than one! And that's true regardless of what phase of baby-dom S is in.

Daddy being home means lots of coffee, bread, playing in the floor, family naps, good dinners, special breakfasts, church and family outings. I love it when he's here with us. He is such an amazing man. I am so blessed to be his.

Anyway! Yesterday was a tiny bit better with Baby S after I whined about it. He got his first busted lip after dinner, which was a scene, but I have to admit ... it's cute. He's a little boy, and I've got a feeling that there's many more where that came from.

Bedtime, however, was no walk in the park. I won't expand. He just really loves his parents, and he never wants us to leave. That's all I'll say about that. :)

I also got a picture at around dinner time. This is a perfect representation of the craziness around this house at that time every night. I love it.
Even the fact that it's blurry is awesome. You've got S pulling out everything in the tupperware drawer, with a bowl on his head. Todd chopping something. Colston trying to weasel his way into the action, and new puppy playing with S.

I love it. It's perfect!!

So this weekend, we've got a lot of fun stuff going on. Nice weather -- beautiful, actually. Garden planning. A few trips to Home Depot, I'm sure. Going out for dinner tonight. Puppies to play with. Maybe a ride out to pick up a vintage women's secretary desk I've been eying for weeks for the beautiful price of just $22. And a day-date on Monday for some time on the lake to get some sun on my ghostly pale legs, and for T to catch some fish. Oh, yeah. It's going to be a beautiful weekend.

I can't wait to get dirt under my fingernails.

Ps. My Sugar Snap Peas, Serrano Peppers, Spinach, and one teeny, tiny Early Girl Tomato sprouted! YES!! I HAVE A GREEN THUMB, Y'ALL!

I'm just too blessed.