Wedding Weekend

It was a packed weekend. We got to Austin Thursday morning and after a little nap then headed to the rehearsal. Lucy made it through the first go through hanging out with Craig but soon decided that only mom would do. Luckily I’ve been a bridesmaid before and groomswomaning isn’t very different.

1001122 Wedding weekend 005 I’m not sure what we found so amusing but apparently someone said something funny.

1001122 Wedding weekend 012 Lucy is hanging with two of her three favorite uncles.

We tried to convoy to the rehearsal dinner but someone had a little breakdown on the way so we sent the rest of the family ahead. After a change of clothes we continued (have I ever mentioned that when Lucy gets really upset, she projectile vomits?). Before we got there though, we had to change clothes again due to a diaper incident - so much for preparing cute outfits in advance! Luckily once we got to the bbq place (of course, what other food would we eat in Texas!) she quickly fell asleep in the sling and slept through most of it.

Friday was wedding day! We spent the morning at the house, I tried to get Lucy to take really good naps and my brother and his friends worked all the kinks out of the video feed system. We had to get to the church fairly early for pictures but this time I had learned my lesson and kept Lucy in a diaper until the very end.

1001122 Wedding weekend 030 Windsor is a true kindred spirit and baby lover, holding a baby while in her wedding dress is brave indeed! This is only the picture Craig captured on the sly. I can’t wait to see the real ones. 1001122 Wedding weekend 036 Eventually I did get her dressed though so we could get a few family type pictures.

1001122 Wedding weekend 037C’mon guys, calm down. Let’s try again.

1001122 Wedding weekend 039 That’s better.

Then it was walk down the aisle time! The wedding was wonderful: the homily was great, all about how to share the gospel through your marriage, then after the vows and rings were exchanged, we had the Eucharist and Rick and Windsor served us the wine. It was so sweet.

Windsor looked gorgeous. The theme was vintage and family and when everything was described to me these past few months, I couldn’t really picture it but once I saw it, I totally got it and it all looked beautiful. Craig and Lucy didn’t get to see much of the wedding. Lucy was just not in the mood to sit and be quiet so they hung around outside with another baby/parent duo.

Then the party started! They had a live band. They were really good but a bit loud for a baby so we stayed in the back. That didn’t mean we didn’t dance though – here is Lucy and her daddy swaying to “My Girl”. Isn’t a burpy the perfect accessory to a nice suit?

1001122 Wedding weekend 050 But I have to say that watching my cousin’s little ones dance was way more fun that dancing ourselves.

1001122 Wedding weekend 051 1001122 Wedding weekend 052

Some of you might recognize L, he was my ring bearer. He is quite a bit bigger now although just as cute and as you can see, quite smooth.

After dinner, I took a few minutes to look at the tables they had set up. They had brought it a lot of neat family things, like story cards in the favor bags so we read about her family and remember some of our families’ favorite times. There were pictures of not just Rick and Windsor but lots of family pictures as well. And as I mentioned before, a table with notes to write for my mom. I love how family is so important to both of them and I love that now both of them are a part of my family! Yeah for a new sister/aunt.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it through the whole event since Lucy hit her breaking point about 10pm but I do hope to watch the rest next time I visit my parents. It was okay since I was in charge of getting Ben back to the house at a relatively reasonable hour as well. He had the ACT test early in the morning – but that’s a whole other story.

Most weddings end with the reception but not this one. Since it was on a Friday night, we still had all of Saturday to celebrate. Saturday morning we took a little cruise up the lake. It rained right before and right after the cruise but I guess the weather knew we were trying to celebrate because it was gorgeous during the ride. Here’s the newly married couple, aren’t they cute?

1001122 Wedding weekend 058 Here’s the not-so-newly married couple, but we’re cute too, right?1001122 Wedding weekend 060The aloe is in the picture because just a few minutes before this picture was taken, Lucy grabbed it and poked herself in the eye with it. I guess Craig wanted to remember the traumatic experience? The cruise was great because it gave me a chance to catch up with my middle school friend Emily before she had to leave town again.

1001122 Wedding weekend 070Saturday evening I took absolutely no pictures, but that was only because I was too busy talking and eating. We had a bbq with family and old friends that we pretty much consider family. Lucy even cooperated and slept well on my dad’s bed in the back of the house so I could actually talk to people. It was a great time to catch up on what everyone has been up to lately and say goodbye to Rick and Windsor one last time before we all went our separate ways. Sunday morning, bright and early, we flew back home and I took a nice long nap.


5 months!

1001027 5th months Lucy 010
Dear Lucy,
This month went by so fast, I can't believe you are already 5 months old! I have no idea how much you weigh but it's a lot, you wear me out sometimes. Luckily if you are awake, you can support yourself on my hip and that helps. You are also finally getting hair. Last month was the "bald is beautiful" period where all you had was 7-8 really long hairs. Daddy threatened to cut them but I held him off. Then all of a sudden, it all started coming back. It's still short now so it doesn't show up in pictures but it is there, spiky but super soft and thick. How cute you are!
1001014 New House 039 You are developing very well. You can roll both ways now but you don't seem to like to. You're just too mellow. If I take a toy you are playing with and put it out of easy reach, instead of rolling or really reaching for it, you'll just turn away and start playing with your hands. Every once in a while, I can entice you to roll to get to my cell phone or the tv remote, but not often. But while you don't care much for moving to the sides, you do love to rotate in a circle. Last month you could passively turn in circles on your back, now you actively turn in circles on your belly. You can make a full 360 in just a few minutes! And you pretty much always turn clockwise. We joke that we should take you to the southern hemisphere, maybe you will turn counterclockwise down there.
1001014 New House 044
You also spend a lot of time "flying." Sometimes I wonder if you realize you aren't actually going anywhere when you do that.1001014 New House 067
You love to sit up. You can sit for about a minute on your own if you have a toy in your lap and pretty much forever with a finger to hold. It isn't that you need me for balance as much as you need motivation to stay leaning forward. If you don't have something to look at, you start looking up and leaning back and then topple. I can't get you on video for the same reason, as soon as you hear the camera, you look up. (Update: I got a video using my old friend the mirror, will post as soon as I can get it uploaded. Our internet is sooo slow at uploading)

You also love to stand. Either with help from us or up against the couch.
1001019 Lucy diapers and dress 028
But the best thing about this stage is that you have finally figured out games are fun. I had been doing pat-a-cake with you for several weeks and you would just look at me like I was a crazy person. Then one day, you realized it was funny. Now whenever I start you do your big smile. Your "big smile" isn't really a smile as much as it is just you opening your mouth as big as it can get before you start laughing. We now regularly play pat-a-cake, itsy-bitsy spider, this little piggy and where is thumbkin and as soon as I start one, you get so excited. You also like to bounce on my legs, be tossed up in the air or dipped low - but only sometimes. You either think it is the greatest thing ever or instantaneously start to cry, we never know which it will be.
1001019 Lucy diapers and dress 005You are always studying things. From new people's faces to little tags you concentrate so hard its amazing. You can spend 5 minutes just looking and holding the edge of a blanket. You aren't normally content to only look at faces though. You want to poke and pinch and rub. It's cute but can make it difficult to carry you sometimes. You have just started "kissing." At least I think you are trying to kiss us when you rub your open mouth on our checks. Either that or you are wanting to eat our faces but kissing sounds better.
1001014 New House 034 And you talk so much now, but always with your fingers in your hands. Its cracks us up. You start chattering away in the car and daddy will ask if you are chewing on your fingers because he just knows you must be. How interesting it will be when your talking means something to us and we can learn what is going on in that little brain!

200% Emotional

We got back from my brother's wedding a few days ago. When I have a few extra minutes, I'll go through the few pictures I got and post them and talk more about the festivities. For now I'll just say that it was a wonderful wedding - but it was hard. My mom couldn't be there.

I did pretty well handling my emotions until I walked down the aisle with my younger brother (I was a groomswoman) and saw Rick standing there, looking so handsome waiting for his bride, and off the side was my dad but not my mom. I definitely had to clench my jaw to hold back tears. I really fight the "it's not fair" mentality. And I do mean fight. It can easily suck you in but it isn't helpful. It was very hard this time. My brain kept shouting, "She isn't gone. Maybe someday we will have to go through family experiences without her but not now."

I know she was on everyone's minds the whole night. In the bride's dressing room, right before the big moment, we said a prayer for Rick and Windsor's future and for my mom. There were cards for people to leave notes for her and some of our family stories were printed up on cards for everyone to read. But it obviously wasn't the same.

To be very clear, I don't mean to imply at all that they shouldn't have gone on with the wedding. It was what my mom wanted and we are all so happy for them. And I'm sure it was even harder on my brother not having her there. It's just that the last 5 months, I feel like I am fighting these opposite emotions. Every month Lucy gets bigger and I'm so excited to see her grow and develop but it is also a hard reminder that time with my mom is slipping away from me. This weekend was another example of that.

Ecclesiates 3 says "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance" and Romans 12:15 says to "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." But what do you do when the time for weeping is the same as the time for dancing and are the rejoicers supposed to stop rejoicing to weep with the weepers or are the weepers supposed to stop weeping to rejoice with the rejoicers? I don't know. I think you just have to open yourself up to both emotions at once. I can honestly say that watching Rick and Windsor say their vows to each other, I was 100% happy for them, for their love and for their future while at the same time being 100% devastated that my mother wasn't there. Math majors may not understand but I was definitely 200% emotional.

They were some things that made it a little better though. She did get to come home from the hospital on Thursday and spend the weekend with a couple of my aunts and my grandma. Our good friend Zach, a real live filmer (sorry Zach, "filmer" probably isn't the right word but I don't know what is), taped the wedding and reception and send it live to my them to watch. An old family friend and neighbor was able to get the wedding details so they could copy them as much as possible. My mom was able to have a very similar dinner and cake and they even shipped some of the decorations out to her. And it was easier knowing she was watching. When we went up all the way to the altar, I saw the camera there and it was natural to smile then. And later at the reception, they had it set up both ways so we could say hi and wave to them and see them waving back. I am so grateful for the hard work people put in to make that happen, it really did mean so much to us all.


We've been featured!

Actually, Lucy has. Check out her appearance over at Simple Organic. We always knew she was model material.

And be sure to check out my real post for today below.

Planning and scheming

Color scheming that is! After living in military houses and apartments for so long (that is, my whole life), I am more than ready to add a little color to our lives. But our house is also small so I didn't want to go crazy with lots of different colors. That would make it feel broken up and even smaller. So I came up with a color scheme for the whole house, even the areas that we won't be getting to for a while. I don't mean that every room is going to be the same color, I just wanted to map out what the overall plan is, so that they will all go together and seem to flow. Or that is my hope at least. A few of my blog inspiration homes are the Nester's and younghouselove.com.

1) Lucy's room. Well, we call it Lucy's room but who knows when she will actually end up in there. This was easy. I like blue for bedrooms because 1) blue is my favorite color and 2) blue is calming which is good for sleeping. Lucy's room is going to be a very light blue, including the ceiling. But I will add in some pink stuff so it doesn't seem boyish.

2) Master bedroom. Still blue, just slightly darker. It's actually the same hue as Lucy's, just more saturated. The light blue from Lucy's room will be the ceiling here too. Supposedly that will make the room seem larger but it also means we only have to buy one gallon for both ceilings.

3) Living room and hall. This was a bit trickier. We both wanted a color, not just a neutral, but nothing crazy. I liked the idea of a pale yellow but Craig didn't. Then I realized that I really like cooler styles rather than warmer ones but I didn't want a blue because we did want something other than blue in our house somewhere. We were stuck. That is until looking while through a Martha Stewart kitchen catalog, I noticed the walls. They were a really cool pale tealish color and even better, both Craig and I liked them! So we went and got two samples, one of the original color milk pail, another of a very similar but just a tad lighter color tidewater. Looking at the swatches, I was positive I was going to like milk pail better while Craig thought tidewater would win in the end. But after painting a couple feet of each and letting them dry, we both changed our minds! But he was willing to let me have my way (smart man) so tidewater it is!

4) Living room and hall ceilings. The great thing about Martha Stewart colors and paint swatches is they have built in trim/ceiling ideas. I feel a little bad stealing all Martha's ideas without actually buying her products but picking out whites is really much harder than picking out colors so I needed the help. They recommended a creamy almost yellow white so we picked a similar but not quite as yellow color to what they recommended in Olympic premium paint (crumb cookie).

5) This yellow isn't in our house - yet (well, it's kinda in the bathroom but that is more gold and I don't exactly want it to stay that long :-). This is about the color I think I want my dining room/kitchen area. It's bright and I may change my mind but there won't actually be much showing and my cabinets will probably be a color similar to #4.

6) These colors will come in to play with our hardwood floors, rugs, couch, curtains and other larger accessories. The colors themselves are kinda boring but if I'm going to spend money on something I want to keep in neutral plus I want something warmer so our house doesn't come off to beachy.

So that's the plan!


Sleeping with the pumpkins

We mostly worked on the house this weekend but Saturday morning we detoured and went to a local pumpkin patch for their fall family events.

The plan was to leave after her long morning nap but that nap didn't end up being that long. The last few weeks Lucy's nap schedule has gotten a lot more consistent - except for the weekends. It's like she senses Daddy is around so she only wants to play. So we headed out anyway with the idea that we would walk around for a while with her in the ring sling, knowing that she would probably fall asleep. Then when she woke up she would be bright and cheerful for pictures. It was such a nice plan. Except that there was a slight miscommunication and we didn't end up bring the sling!

No sling meant no nap, at least not at first. She was still in a okay mood so we started with some picture taking amongst the pre-picked pumpkins and gourds. She liked looking around at all the kids

but we couldn't coax out a real smile even with dad's special chin tickle.

Family picture time found her eyes glazing over

and by the time we reached the field and found our perfect pumpkin, her eyes were drooping.

She really wanted to be a part of the action

but eventually we had a pumpkin-sized meltdown (if the pumpkin was smallish).

Back in mom's arms again, she was good.

Then standing in line to check out, she fell asleep in my arms to the soothing sounds of "The Monster Mash." Lesson learned. Next time, naptime comes first.


Good Strategy?

I was reading capsules in the local paper about county council races that will be decided in November, and I came across one candidate whose chances of winning might not be great.  Here's why:
  • In regards to his campaign strategy, the candidate, who shall remain nameless, will, according to the article, "rely on his 37 years of community involvement, instead of going out to meet potential voters."
  • In regards to the budget, he said, "I would probably propose that we do a [new] half-cent sales tax."
In local races like this, being known by a lot of people is often enough to win, so this candidate might be able to overcome these hurdles. I hope not. I'll let you know how this race turns out.


Nice Title: Patience is a virtue. Grumpy Title: No, she's hasn't!

Questions, questions, questions. I've been getting a lot of them lately, the most common being "Has Lucy started solids?"

It's a little bit shocking how much misinformation about solids there is, especially when the medical community seems to be pretty much in agreement. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Dietetic Association all say that a baby should be on breastmilk exclusively for the first 6 months and complementarily thereafter. Even if your baby is on formula, solids should still wait until 6 months.

Now I don't really have a problem with most of the people who are asking since they are typically just genuinely curious. I love talking about my baby so when people are thoughtful and ask questions about her, I enjoyed the opportunity to answer even if I have to say "No, we are waiting until she is older."

I do get just a tad annoyed when the questions have a not-so-subtle follow up. Things like "Wow, she is so big, she's not eating yet?" or "Not even any rice cereal yet?". First off - Yes, she is big. And exactly what do you think she was eating that allowed her to grow so big? And why would I replace my milk with rice cereal, the nutritional equivalent of Wonder bread? Of course, I don't really say that, that would be rude. I also don't answer their other questions this way either:

- No, giving her solids won't help her sleep better. Thickness is not an indicator of digestibility. What keeps you full longer, carbs (cereal) or protein (milk)? Why would she be any different?

- No, she won't like more foods just because I start them earlier. What that will do is wreak havoc on her immature digestive system and make her more susceptible to stomach problems, food allergies, eczema, future obesity issues and other illnesses. None of those will help her eating habits as an adult now will they?

- No, she won't become anemic if she doesn't eat solids. In fact, introducing solids, especially iron-enriched cereals, actually leave her vulnerable to iron-deficiency because they interfere with her ability to absorb iron from breastmilk.

- No, she isn't ready just because she grabbed for my sandwich and tried to put it in her mouth. She also does the same thing when I'm holding her burpie, a hairbrush and a piece of lint I picked off the floor and I didn't let her eat those things either.

She will be ready for solids when she is at least 6 months old AND showing she is developmentally ready by:
  • Sitting up unsupported (this is why I love my highchair, I can't use it until Lucy can sit by herself!)
  • Having a pincer grasp (can use her finger and thumb to pick up little pieces of food)
  • Has lost the tongue thrust reflex (no longer automatically spits out anything we put in her mouth)
Now I'm not one to blindly follow doctors but it just makes sense not to feed Lucy until she shows me she is ready to eat. And even then, food is pretty much for fun during the first year. And it will be fun. I can't wait until she is ready to explore flavors, textures and smells - except I can.

More info:

Beasty Yeasty

After talking to several people about my yeast/thrush experience and how I got rid of it, I realized I never passed on the info to my dear bloggy friends. Of course, I hope that none of you have to deal with it, but just in case.

How do you know if you have a thrush problem? Well, if you are breast feeding, it will (unfortunately) be painfully obvious. Itching, sharp pain in your chest, you know - unfun stuff. It will be different depending on exactly where in the bre@st it is, but you will at the very least know there is a problem. Things I read kept saying "nppls" (well, not exactly that but I'm sure you can figure it out :-) but that wasn't where my pain was so I wasn't sure if it was thrush or not. Don't let that fool you. Signs in the baby are white patches in the mouth and a rash that is bright red and doesn't respond to other treatments.

Diagnosis is sometimes easier for the breastfeeding dyad since you have twice as many ways to pick it up but even if only one of you is showing symptoms, treat both baby and mama! I didn't see any signs with Lucy at first but she obviously had it since I saw die off. If you don't, you'll just pass it back and forth. For a formula baby, you might only have a diaper rash that just won't go away and since you aren't in pain and aren't thinking about thrush, it will get bad before you know what you are dealing with so in my humble opinion, all mamas should be aware of yeast and know what to do! So what do you do?

First off, don't panic! You may have heard horror stories but it will be okay so take a deep breath. Yes, it's a yucky problem and the remedies are a pain but you can and will make it through.

But on the other side, don't mess around with a partial approach. Hit it hard and fast. Yeast will find any little thing you are missing and find a way to evade you if you aren't vigilant.

And don't stop breastfeeding. I know it hurts, I've been there. And if your little one likes to nurse a long time at night you might find yourself wanting to scream at times. But it will go away and you don't want to lose all that time together because of a few days of pain. Plus, even if you stop you'll both have it still and your milk really will help her little body fight it off.

Treat the body - inside
One of the reasons so many people struggle with reoccuring yeast/thrush is that they only treat the symptoms. Surface remedies are necessary and will help but you have to go deeper. Probiotics are great. My doctor recommended one with lactobacillus acidophillus with up to 10 billion units colonies once a day for me. Lucy got her dose through my milk but if you aren't nursing, there are baby probiotics out there. I just don't know much about them. I also took grapefruit seed extract capsules daily too.

But the biggest thing you can do to get rid of yeast is also the least fun. Yeast thrive on sugar so no sugar for you! I cut out all sugar at first, including white flour and even fruits. Once the pain was gone (just a day or two), I added a limited amount of fruit back in but I really was vigilant about keeping most sugar out of my diet for about a month. I meant to keep it up but with the traveling to my parents' so much and depending on neighbors for meals there, it just wasn't possible.

Treat the body - outside
There are several ways to treat thrush but almost as important as what you do is what you don't do. Yeast like moisture, that's why the problem areas are what they are, those areas are moist most or all of the time. But this means that many of the normal diaper rash and breastfeeding remedies like thick diaper creams and lanolin will actually make yeast worse by trapping in moisture. Get as much air time as possible. I closed all our blinds and went without a shirt/bra for several days. I felt like a hermit but it worked. This would be much harder if I had older kids or a job but even a topless nap everyday would help. And even though Lucy wasn't showing any signs, I had heard that as the yeast die off, diaper rash can get worse or appear where it wasn't before so I had her diaperless as much as possible. About 3 days after I started treating, she got a rash for about a day but it went away.

The most common drugs for yeast are Nystatin, Diflucan and Gentian Violet. The first is the most common but is notoriously ineffective. Diflucan is pretty strong stuff and Gentian Violet not only stains but has recently been associated with oral cancer. There isn't really enough information to say one way or the other whether that is true but I'm not taking chances. I didn't really want to go with any of those. The two main natural remedies are vinegar and grapefruit seed extract. I did both. I started with vinegar because it took me a little while to get my hands on g.s.e.

For skin treatments, dilute 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of water. Apply with cotton balls to your bre@sts and q-tips to the inside of baby's mouth hourly and use it as your wipe solution for diaper areas. The pain was getting better but was still slight during long feedings after a couple days with vinegar. Once I got a hold of grapefruit seed extract, I used it instead of vinegar. I followed Dr. Gordan's plan and diluted 20 drops in 1 ounce of water and applied that in the same way as the vinegar solution. After I switched to that, the pain was gone within a day but I kept using it on both Lucy and I for a couple weeks more.

Now since you don't want to use normal creams, you might need an alternative. I used a bit of coconut oil on both Lucy and I. Coconut oil is antifungal but even so, I made sure it was fully absorbed before any redressing occured so moisture wasn't an issue.

Treat everything that might have touched the body - inside or out.
Now you might think that all of that would be enough but don't stop there. Yeast is a hard thing and will survive and come back another day if you don't get totally rid of it. Diapers, bras, burp rags, towels - anything that might have touched the yeast should be washed with g.s.e. or vinegar. Vinegar is cheap so I just added a cup to the final rinse of all my laundry loads to make sure I didn't miss anything. I switched to all prefolds since I thought I could get those cleaner than pockets or fitteds. Some people might want to switch to 'sposies but I thought that would only leave her open to irritation. I also line-dried all diapers, towels, burpies and bras in the sun. Lucy and I also slept on receiving blanket that got washed every day so I didn't have to change the sheets daily. If you use bottles, pacifiers or npple shields, you should sterilize those by boiling as well.

And be sure to wash your hands often. I am assuming you wash your hands after diaper changes but start washing them before diaper changes too to make sure you don't give your baby the yeast back again.

Now that may sound like a lot of work and it is. It's a big pain. But so is thrush, literally! And if you make sure to cut off yeast on all fronts right away, it shouldn't take that long before you get rid of it. Good luck!



We're home again. I had planned on staying at my parent's from Sunday to Thursday but that was the "pre-surgery, I'm just going for a nice calm visit now that my mom is home" plan and obviously things changed. Since swelling was always my mom's issue and the worst days for that were the 3-5 post surgery, I wanted to wait out those with my family.

But she did great and seems to be recovering really well. "Really well" after major brain surgery still means quite a bit of work for her, especially with speech therapy, but the women in my family like to talk so I know in time she'll get there. Since they had moved her into a private room and out of the ICU, Lucy and I were able to spend some time with her the last few days.

I also had time to spend my little brother which was nice. We picked out his senior pictures and started going over college applications and plans. I have a feeling it will be just as stressful getting him all set up with that as when I did it myself a few years ago. I survived then so I know it will all come together in the end if we persevere but why do they have to make it so complicated? Don't worry about him though, I did let him have some fun too. Now that Lucy is more fun and less fragile looking, Ben seems to be enjoying his role as uncle and does a pretty good job at making her laugh.

But right now, I have to crash. I don't think I even realized how tired I was until I walked into our house. I came in, sat down on the couch and suddenly felt like I was about to collapse. After a dinner of raisin bran and a nice warm bath, I feel better but am still running on low. I think I've been surviving off adrenaline and it's finally leaving my system. When I left home last Sunday, I had no idea what was awaiting me and my family. 8 days and some yelling, crying, sirens, praying, surgery, more crying, hope, more praying, smiling and more prayers later, I'm still trying to catch up emotionally with all that happened. But we are all here, and at least for now, life seems good again. I just have to let my heart believe that.


Comic Update

I wrote previously about the St. Louis paper's comic strip removal process.  The results are in, and the losing comics are:
  • Hagar the Horrible (bad choice), and
  • In the Bleachers (acceptable choice)
The nominees for new panel, none of which I've heard of (which is to be expected), are as follows, along with my observations (for examples, see here):
  • The Argyle Sweater (cheap animal puns).
  • Barney & Clyde (obnoxious adventures of an evil billionaire and a chipper homeless guy)
  • Oh, Brother (yet another tale of oft-adversarial young siblings; it is the best of the three, but that is faint praise).
The strip nominees are as follows, with my observations (examples here):
  • Big Nate (this looks familiar to me; yet another tale of a mischievous adolescent).
  • Dustin (gets my vote; story of a teen 23-year-old who is the anti-Zits (i.e. not lazy, whiny, or obsessed with texting).
  • Pickles (I've also seen this before; yet another tale of old people; less obnoxious than Lola).
Neither of my choices are currently winning their respective polls. What do you think of these nominees?


Quick update

Update: Things when pretty well. She is out of surgery and stable. More information here.

Update: They pushed the surgery back to this morning. It's a good thing. They were able to temporarily get the swelling to go down with steroids so they wanted to give her more time. The more time she has to get strong and get the swelling down, the better off she will should be. It is scheduled to start around 8.

Lucy and I are at my parent's house right now while most of the rest of my family is at the hospital. No matter what, we won't be able to see her today so I know it is better for us to be here to "man the fort" as my dad would say and it certainly is much easier to have Lucy here but I also wish I was there with them. My dad played with Lucy for a few minutes yesterday so I could go in with my mom last night and say hi and tell her I love her (as a baby, Lucy isn't allowed back in the ICU). Before I got to the hospital I had thought she would have already started surgery so it was a nice surprise to have those moments. Of course, they weren't long enough. They never will be. But we are praying this goes well and really makes a big difference.

My mom is undergoing brain surgery this afternoon. It was not planned but she had a rough night and ended up going back to the hospital very early this morning. They are going to be removing the dead tumor to help relieve pressure on her brain. We are all nervous but hopeful. Please keep her in your prayers.



I'm here. It seems as if the only posts I have put up lately are fun and light and it makes me feel like a fraud. I write other posts, but leave them unpublished. Those posts are too raw, too emotional and I'm just not ready for the world to see them. Truth is, I'm not really ready to feel what I'm feeling, to see what I'm seeing, to do what I'm doing. I wish I didn't write them because I wish this wasn't happening.

Wishing, hoping, wanting, I know those are technically different but they all blurr together. Even praying, I hate feeling like my prayer life is one great big list of wants I recite to God. I just want so many things. Mostly I want to go back to 5 months ago and just redo this whole period of my life to get a different outcome. "Try again God, this one isn't really working for me."

But that isn't going to happen. And it isn't what God has planned. I don't know what He does have planned but I'm here, taking one step at a time, doing the best that I can for the people I love. It's all I can do, but it doesn't feel like enough.


Closing time

We closed on our house yesterday. I've heard horror stories about the drama of buying a house so I was a bit concerned it was going to be a huge deal but I have to tell ya, it wasn't so bad. We saw it, liked it, put in an offer. They said okay. We had it inspected and wanted a few minor things fixed, they said okay. We closed.

Last night we had our inaugural dinner at the new place - pizza we got free with a coupon. We just bought a house people, we don't have money to throw around. Then we pulled back a bit of the carpet to ascertain the condition of the hardwood floors underneath. The previous owners had said it was in "good" condition and from the bit that we can see, that seems to be the case. We will know for sure when we take all the carpet up but I think it will just need a good coat of wax/varnish.

The other pre-move in project that we weren't sure about was the wall of wood paneling in the living room. We scheduled and budgeted for its removal and replacement with drywall but we pulled off a outlet* and it looks like there is drywall already back there which would mean we only have to remove the wood and prime and paint the wall, which will be a lot easier.

The other things are our pre-move in to-do list include replacing the light switches and outlets, painting, removing some old carpet in the basement and lots of cleaning. I've already picked out most of the paints I want to use for the bedrooms and I have a narrowed it down to a couple really similar colors in the living room but I need to actually put samples on the wall to see for sure. We start tomorrow and hopefully can get a good start. I can't wait! (And I'm sure you guys can't either since it will mean we have something other than pictures of Lucy to put on here on this ol' blog)

*Our realtor gave us two tips. If you want to easily check under carpet to see if there is hardwood, go to a air vent and remove it. To see what is behind woodpaneling, take off an outlet. Both will let you check without doing any actual damage.