Monday, August 30, 2010

Abundant Harvest

This year we planted 21 tomato plants. And when I say "we," I mean Jeremy, because all I did was to go crazy and buy too many tomato plants. Our garden is only about 5 ft by 15 ft, so the plants are inevitably planted too close together. Because of that, our soil has been stripped of its nutrients, so while we have tons of tomatoes growing and ripening, only about half of them are edible. The others are either rotten or have white sponge-like texture just inside the skin. Anyway, I LOVE homegrown tomatoes, so I am quite excited about this:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beagle as Body Pillow

Since I renamed this blog after our Rogue Beagle, I figured I should take a break from all the baby pictures and feature Reggie for once.
A perfect Sunday afternoon - everybody napping except Jeremy (who doesn't believe in naps).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't quit your day job (oh wait...)

So the baby's hair had started to get ridiculously long, and adding that to the huge bald patches he has on the sides and back of his head, he was just looking goofy. Like a half-hearted punk rocker with a faux mohawk. And a rat tail. So I decided to get over the emotionality of the FIRST HAIRCUT and just do it. Like my mom said "It doesn't have to be some big emotional thing." She's right. Document it, and move on. Moms are so wise.

I figured out a few things after this first haircut episode. 1) I am a terrible hairstylist (it's easy to cut too much) and 2) We should cut the baby's hair when he's sleeping, not when he's wide awake, screaming and squirming.

The BEFORE picture. His hair was wet, but that helps you see how long (and mohawk-ish) it was.
The AFTER picture. You can see the huge alligator tear running down his cheek. Why are mom and dad so MEAN???
The remains. Sad little baby hairs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cows in the road.

The other day a friend from church told me about driving from Pullman to Seattle along Hwy 26, and lo and behold, there was a cow in the road. They had to slam on their brakes, and narrowly avoided hitting the cow. Then they had to wait while the cow (slowly) moved out of their way, so they could continue driving.

This doesn't surprise me much, since there are multitudes of grazing cattle along that highway, and it seems natural that occasionally one would escape to try and cross the road. But it did get me thinking about cows in the road - how they are surprising, inconvenient, and unplanned. Prepare yourself for some semi-coherent bumbling.

The Lord puts cows in our road sometimes. If we're not paying attention, plowing along at 65 miles per hour (maybe distracted by clutter, not keeping our eyes on the prize), a cow in our road can really throw us for a loop - literally it could mean rolling your car. Imagine if you were texting while driving and you didn't see that cow until it was too late? I think that could happen in life too. If we're distracted by, well, a distraction, something other than the Glory of God, maybe that cow in our road will really cause problems.

If we're driving defensively, expecting the cow in the road, we're able to keep a cool head when we fly around a corner and see that cow standing there. We can control our vessel, slow down, and wait with grace for the cow that has interrupted our life path. If we keep our eyes on the bigger picture, 1/2 mile down the road, we can more clearly see what's coming and avoid devastation and catastrophe.

Now, I realize I'm speaking as someone blessed enough to never have dealt with a true "cow in the road." I've had a happy, healthy life. My cows have lingered more on the shoulder of the road, causing me to swerve, but not come to a complete screeching halt. I thank the Lord for this every time I remember. But I do trust him, and while it may be easy to say now, I know His plan for me is better than my plan.

The best part is: even if I may not see the cow until it's too late, I will still be held lovingly, to heal, in the palm of the hand of the One.

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Hebrews 4:16 - Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 - "I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD. "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My favorite things - Baby edition

I have already done "My favorite things" posts for summer and winter, so I thought it would be appropriate if I did a baby version. Of course, Isaac is only 4 1/2 months old, so there will surely be lots of things to love in the coming months. But having passed the newborn stage and having starting to get things "figured out," here's some stuff I love. These are things I would advocate to any new mom friends, for sure.

1. Gerber Flannel Burp Cloths - These are by far the most absorbent, best burp cloths we have used. And Isaac is such a spitter, they are an absolute necessity. They also wash really well, and come in boy, girl, and neutral colors.
2. Evenflo Exersaucer - We bought ours used off of Craigslist, which worked out great. When Isaac was about 10 weeks old, he started to get really bored being on his back all the time, and he didn't tolerate tummy time. So even though the Exersaucer is only recommended for babies 4 months and older, we let him use it because he was so strong and had great head control. It was amazing. For the first time, he allowed us to put him down. It was a huge relief for us.
3. Water-filled teething ring - Since Isaac teethed so early (had 2 teeth by 3 1/2 months) it was hard for him to hold onto and control teething toys, because he was still working on hand-to-mouth coordination. So for us, we had to find a small, easy-to-grab teething ring. We used the butterly-shaped one above quite a bit.
4. Baby Einstein Take-Along Tunes - Isaac is obsessed with digital lights. For example, he can see the printer power button from the chair I feed him in. I can't let him see it, though, until he's done eating, because he gets so distracted by it! Sometimes when he sees lights he just SMILES like "This is what I have been waiting all day for!" It's hilarious. This toy not only plays music and lights up, but it plays classical music instead of some obnoxious kiddy song, so it's tolerable for adults too. It's also small enough that he can chew on it to his heart's content. This is my "Go-To" toy that I keep in the diaper bag for when Isaac is fussy in public and I really need to calm
him down fast.

5. Nuby Flip N Sip Cup - Isaac is still working on learning to drink from the sippy cup. But this is the one that was recommended by other moms I know, and I really like it so far. It can close, which is great for the diaper bag. It also has a straw, so baby doesn't have to figure out the mechanics of how to tip the cup upside down to get a drink. I also love the rubber grips on the two handles; they make it very easy to hold.
6. Safety 1st Recline and Grow Feeding Seat - We have a very small house. To add a high chair to our dining room really was not an option. Instead we bought this booster/space saver high chair. It hooks onto a seat, and I adore it. It's easy to clean (the tray can go in the dishwasher) and Isaac likes to sit in it while we eat dinner, even if he's not eating.
7. Graco Snugride 32 Car Seat - I never would have bought a car seat this expensive, except that in order for it to be compatible with the BOB stroller (see #8), we needed to get a specific car seat. The upside to this one is that most infant car seats only go up to 22 lbs. Isaac is about 17 already, and his 8-month old friend is passing the 22 lb marker. The Snugride 32 goes up to 32 lbs. Which means, that I can keep him rear-facing (much safer) and in this seat until he reaches 32 lbs. Here's to not buying a new car seat until Isaac is a year and a half!
8. BOB Revolution Stroller - This was a gift from my mom (thanks, mom!). We had heard that this was the best stroller on the market and worth the extra dough. It's true. This stroller handles like a dream, is easy to pack up, and is comfy for baby. We used the car seat attachment until Isaac was almost 4 months (I believe manufacturer recommendation is 6 months), when he was strong and stable enough to stay supported in just the straps - which are great, by the way. The downside to this stroller is that I had to buy attachments (I got the car seat adapter [$60] and the handlebar console [$30]) but both were worth the money. One mom stopped me on the street the other day and said "Good for you, getting the good gear with your first baby. We
bought the cheap stuff with our first and had to replace it all for babies #2 and 3!"
9. Bumgenius One Size Pocket Diapers - I have loved cloth diapering Isaac. Disposable diapers seem like a waste to me. A waste of money, a waste of landfill space, etc. That being said, I can understand how someone who hates laundry would hate the idea of cloth diapering. Luckily, laundry is my favorite chore. The one-size BG's fit from 7-35 lbs, so they are supposed to fit for the whole time your babies are in diapers, all the way up to potty training. We'll see about that! The elastic and velcro also make these easy as pie for dads and babysitters/nursery/daycare workers etc. I have a stash of 28 diapers, some of which I bought new, some second-hand from EBay or the BG site, and some are called "Haute Pockets," which are a lower-quality (read: cheaper) brand. My goal is to use these for a 2nd baby, so while they were an investment at
first, in the long run they will save gobs of money. *HA! As I sit here typing this, Isaac is in the bouncer next to me pooping into a BG - grunting and all. I'm confident, though, because we have WAY fewer blowouts in the cloth diapers than in the disposables. :)
10. Carter's Sleep Sacks - I like that these are long sleeved so when it's warm out, I can just put Isaac down to bed in this and a diaper. Also, Carter's has been my very favorite brand of baby clothes. Very cute and durable.

The bottom line is that babies are expensive. There's no getting around that. But the market is full of wonderful things that make being a mom smoother and easier. Every baby is different, and like my friend Jessi said, babies don't need too much stuff!