Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year in Review - Facebook Status Style

Click on the picture below to read some of our highlights from the year. We're so grateful for all our many blessings, especially our friends and families. We wish you all a wonderful 2010!

**Edited to add that Lincoln's "statuses" are totally made up. I edited one of our files and used a similar font so it would be matchy-matchy. (Points if you get the quote...)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bath Time

Lincoln LOVES the bath. He's not at all afraid of the water (he just smiles and laughs when we dump a cup of water on his head to get it wet or rinse it), and now that he's crawling, he moves all over the place. He loves to splash, and would probably spend a lot longer in the bath if we would let him. But with all the toys we've gotten him to play with in the tub, is anyone suprised that his favorite is the Moe's cup we use to rinse him off? No? Me, neither.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obligatory Halloween Post

I'm such a lemming. EVERYONE and their brother are posting their Halloween pictures, so I'm just following along. Also, Lincoln was really cute, and I think everyone could use a dose of cute in their lives.

The whole Jedi family

Lincoln and I before we headed to the Trunk or Treat last Wednesday

The cousins at the Trunk or Treat on Friday

Lincoln, one of the few times those two nights that we could get a laugh out of him

Our ward had it's Trunk or Treat last Wednesday, and my in-law's ward (which shares the building with ours) had it's Trunk or Treat on Friday. With two picture opportunities, I was hoping to get more smiles out of Lincoln, but he's really solemn when he's in a new situation. Oh well. He was a cute Yoda.

Side note: Tyler's goal is for Linoln, when he's older and someone asks him what he wants to be when he grows up, to say, "I want to learn the ways of the force and become a Jedi like my father."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giggling

We recently took some fun video of daddy making Lincoln giggle and we thought we'd share. He's getting so big. We also uploaded some pictures from his recent photo shoot to facebook.


video


video

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Pix and My Baby Sister

Well, I added some more pictures of Lincoln to the facebook album "Just Can't Get Enough" (link on the right-hand side). And I would like to point out that Tyler took the following picture, and I love it. Lincoln loves watching Playhouse Disney in the morning while we're getting ready, but Mickey Mouse Clubhouse absolutely mesmerizes him. It is beyond cute.


And now a warning. I've been pretty bad about my contact lens maintenance for as long as I've had contacts, lo these last 10 years or so. I would wear one until it either broke or irritated my eye, regardless of how long I was supposed to wear it. If that meant wearing them for 3 or 4 or 5 months, whatever. The worst I had ever heard of happening to someone was getting an infection and having to use eye drops and wear glasses for a few weeks. Since I don't mind my glasses too much and I have decent insurance, I just figured I would deal with that if it happened. But that changed a few weeks ago. My baby sister (ok, she's 22, but whatever) thought she had pink eye, and when she went in (only 2 days after the symptoms started!), she found out she had a corneal ulcer. It was so infected that the scar tissue will leave her eye permanently damaged. She is still on antibiotics and once the infection has run its course, she'll have to wear a hard contact lense for 6 months (to reshape the eye) and then get a cornea transplant if she ever wants vision correctable to 20/20 again. My baby sister! She barely wore her contacts one month past when she was supposed to throw them away. She wasn't any worse than I was about reusing the solution in her case. But her doctor said it was caused by her contact lenses and that he's seen this many times. Obviously, I went home that night and changed cases and contacts. And I've been much better in the week since. I don't think this happened just because of her contact lense care because if that was all, I would have gotten this years ago. But I do think it's worth remembering that a lot worse can happen than just wearing your glasses for a few weeks and putting in eye drops, just in case any of you are as bad as I used to be. Jamie blogged about this here, and she includes a picture of her eye that they took at the doctor's office. So remember, take care of your contacts!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Street Sign

Some of you may recall this post and this post about the street sign in Huntsville that intersects Lincoln Street and Williams Avenue. Actually, I know some of you recall it because just in the last two days I've had friends ask if I'd settled on one. So, here it is. The picture I decided on, printed, and am just waiting for a matte to frame and hang on his wall. There is no longer a poll on this issue. If you don't like it, I'd prefer not to know. Only positive feedback this time, friends. :) I appreciate all your feedback on the polls, though, never fear!


Also, we've taken some ridiculously cute pictures of Lincoln in the last few weeks, and we'll be adding them to facebook soon. And by "soon," of course I mean anywhere from one day to one month...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fish Out of Water

Here are some videos of Lincoln "air swimming" and jabbering, both of which he has started to do with more frequency. FYI, Lincoln has reached the 19-pound mark. He is getting super big!


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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cake Decorating Class

As promised at the end of this post (though, admittedly, a little late), here are the cakes and cupcakes I produced in the three weeks of my class. It was actually four weeks, but the first week was more of a here's-the-plan and show-and-tell structure.
My first week, I was pretty frustrated because we spent the whole class practicing techniques, so I barely got any time to try to decorate my cake. By the time I got home, I was in no mood to elaborate on what I'd accomplished, so the first week is definitely the weakest (no pun intended) of my efforts. Observe! I know, it's sad.


Now, for the second week, we had learned from the first week, and my friend Rachel and I decided to decorate cupcakes instead of tackling an entire cake. As a result, I finished some nice, simple samples. Luckily I took pictures with my camera-phone before we left the class because they didn't handle the trip home well at all.





And finally, the piece de resistance. I'm quite proud of this. It's looks almost exactly the way I was planning and how it looks in the book. The colors are perhaps a tad off, but that's part of practicing.


So, I learned that the next time I take a cake decorating class, I'll buy a cake from the Target bakery and pre-made frosting/icing 30 minutes before class. It's not about how it tastes, it's about how it looks (just for the purposes of the class, I mean). I also learned that it's easier to do the flowing, swirly frosting for the main cake (like on the yellow cake) rather than trying to make it smooth (like the blue cake). But I also learned that a little bit of practice and experience goes a long way. Now I have a lot more confidence to make birthday cakes for Lincoln (and any other chillins who may follow).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Am Now a Wreckporter

For those unfamiliar with the blog cakewrecks.blogspot.com, I suggest you check it out. I've been following it for a while now, so a good place to start might be the fan favorites on the right-hand column. It's amazing what "professionals" will try to sell. I've never given much thought to trying to find something to submit, but when I saw this cake at the Wal-Mart bakery last night, I knew it needed to be shared with the world. Sorry the pictures aren't very clear - I only had my camera-phone with me, and I couldn't exactly take it out of the container so there wouldn't be a glare. :)



I don't know about any of you, but nothing makes me want to go on a picnic more than the prospect of 3-inch ants on the watermelon. Who thought that was a good idea??!!
I submitted my pictures to cakewrecks, so I'm hoping you'll be seeing them on the site soon. You can bet that I'll be announcing it when/if they are!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Pictures of Lincoln

Just wanted to let everyone know I posted some new pictures to the facebook album "Just Can't Get Enough." The link is on the right-hand column of this blog. We have a cute video, too, so maybe one of us will find time soon to upload that. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lincoln Anecdotes

These might be more for my record-keeping than to entertain because I'm afraid that there are no pictures of the following stories and that telling them doesn't do them justice. I'm going to tell them anyway. :) Cause I love them.
First, Tyler left early on Saturday morning to attend the Republican Men's Club Breakfast. He was super-sweet. I was beyond tired (we'd stayed up late reorganizing the living room, that's a story for another post), so Tyler went to get Lincoln, and brought me the baby and the bottle. He propped Lincoln right next to me, propped my hand up holding the bottle, and turned on the TV for Lincoln to watch (no joke, the kid is FASCINATED by the TV). As Tyler got ready, he'd adjust my hand every now and then when it slipped because I was half-asleep. When he left, Lincoln pretty much just chilled out. He woke me up once when he had slipped down to where the covers blocked the TV, and I just moved him up higher on the pillow and turned my head. When Tyler got home, he started laughing at us because I was completely asleep, and Lincoln was just hanging out, watching TV, and chewing on my hair!
Next story - We usually do our grocery shopping on Saturdays. It takes half the day, but we generally like the errands. Occasionally we'll plan to do them earlier in the week when we have something planned for Saturday. But this past Saturday was fairly normal, and we were wandering around Target mid-afternoon. Lincoln was hungry off-and-on, so we had a bottle sitting on his lap that we'd give him when he seemed to want it. Then at one point, I looked down to see him pick it up with both hands and aim it for his mouth! It was priceless, but the best part might have been when Tyler and I looked at each other at the exact same moment with an expression of did-you-see-that??!! It was great. And then we looked back at Lincoln and clapped and praised and all that silly stuff. I think we were alone in the aisle, though, or we most likely would have gotten some VERY odd looks.
Like when I was pushing Lincoln around Target singing primary songs for 20 minutes 2 weeks ago. For some reason, Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam and I Hope They Call Me On A Mission seem to settle him down. Go figure... I'm waiting for woot.com to offer an iPod shuffle or some other mp3 player for less than $20. I will totally load that up with songs just for Lincoln. Well worth the expense. Why hasn't some company come up with a musical toy that you can program with your own songs?? Honestly.
And I HAVE taken some pictures in the last few days, so those should be going up in the facebook album soon. And a new video of him in his jumper. AND I retook the street sign picture. The lighting wasn't as good as the first day, but better than the second. I think it's good. I had to stand on my step stool AND hold the camera over my head to get the barest HINT of the bottom of that L. Sheesh. I'm not even sure if I'll post the pic, cause I'm afraid you'll say "try again"!
That's all my rambling for now. If you made it this far, I'm sorry to say there's no reward for your persistence. But I certainly appreciate the love. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Poll

Well, the response from the last poll was overwhelming to retake the picture. Here's one taken at a different time of day but from a different angle. You can see all the letters, but would the first one still be better if all the letters were clear? I am genuinely torn on this one. I quite like them both, but I'm a little partial to picture 2. Thoughts? Votes? Thanks everyone, by the way, for taking time to give me input on this, since it really makes little difference in your own lives. :)

Picture 1



Picture 2

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Poll

As some of you may be aware, here in our little city of Huntsville, AL, there is a street named Williams Avenue and a street named Lincoln Street. In a happy coincidence (for us), these two streets intersect, and for some time I've been wanting to take a picture of the street sign with "Lincoln Williams" on it to put in Link's room. Well, last night I had the chance, but we were kind of in a hurry, and it was on our way somewhere, so I didn't have any props (i.e. a step stool). So you'll notice in the picture that you can't quite see the bottom of the "L" and the "I". It could be Uncoln Street. Your poll is this: shall I leave the picture as it is, and trust that it's apparent what it is, or retake the picture. Retaking the picture wouldn't really be that big of a deal, so if you honestly think that would better, vote for it. There will be no hurt feelings here. I want the picture to be a treasure.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just a Quick Update

All is well once again. We're all happy and healthy and plugging away. Lincoln is once again our sweet, happy, chill baby boy. And, amusingly, rather than learning to roll from his front to his back once he's gotten himself stuck, he's just adjusted to liking being on his tummy! My favorite picture of this:

I LOVE it! It's a fair preview of our little four-year-old running down to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

Lincoln also hit the 5-month mark recently, so we got a picture with his elephant. We took TONS of pictures, but he just wasn't in the mood to smile. C'est la vie. He's cute even when he's just looking at you intently:


And finally, he's started to grab things more, and one of his stuffed animals he likes is his monkey. It's as long as he is, but he likes how soft it is, I think. Tyler's dubbed him Mortimer M. Monkey, so we may be seeing more of him in the future...


In other news, I'm taking a cake decorating class this month. I've always wanted to be able to decorate cakes and cookies as well as my mom. It's a long-standing inferiority complex/pride-in-mom I've had. I'll post pics of my cake next week if it's worth showing...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updates on ER visits and a video

Travel with me if you will, back a few weeks. A week and a half, to be precise. Friday night (the 12th) was a tough one for Lincoln. He had a mild fever and was showing some teething systems, so we thought that might be it. Then, after a REALLY rough night and morning, we checked his temperature (again) only to discover that it had skyrocketed to 103.2°F! I almost passed out. So we hurried him to the ER (again! the last time was just 2 months ago). As usual, they have to run all the tests to make sure it's nothing serious, and then left us with the diagnosis of "MAYBE an ear infection, here's a stronger antibiotic (since Lincoln had finished a round of antibiotics for an ear infection only a week before this), but most likely it's a virus. Follow up with your doc if the fever isn't better in 2 or 3 days, and in the meantime, treat with tylenol and motrin." Great. So here are some pictures from Lincoln's SECOND ER visit.

Poor kid. It hurts to see him so despondent.

They put a bracelet (anklet) on his ankle, but it kept slipping off, so
finally they just slapped one of the stickers to his gown.

We included this so you can see how much he's grown from his last ER visit...

Then he was still pretty sicky and unhappy the rest of the weekend and into Monday. But then Monday morning he developed the most spectacular rash. He had all the symptoms for Roseola, but we wanted to make sure it wasn't an allergic reaction to the new antibiotic. So, once again we went to the doctor. He decided it WAS a viral rash, so we could stop the antibiotics and then just wait for the infection to pass. Which it did. It was a rough week, but by Friday morning he was our happy, cheerful baby once more. Here's a picture of his rash that I took at the doctor's office.

Notice he's smiling. WHAT a trooper.

But before I move on the video, we're not quite done with the ER visits. On Sunday (of that same weekend) we took Tyler into the ER to get an infection cut out of his thumb. I won't go into details. Suffice it to say, it hurt less after being cut up than before. I shudder to imagine that pain. And the doctor said we definetly needed to go in - it would have been much worse if we waited. That was TYLER'S first ER visit, and I realized afterward that I didn't take any pictures of that momentous occassion! Somehow I think Tyler's probably ok with that. :)
*UPDATE- Tyler reminded me that though we didn't take any pictures at his ER visit, you CAN see the result in the above picture of Lincoln's rash. That's his bandaged finger in the upper right corner.

And now a cute video of our adorable baby. He's started to roll over onto his stomach if you put him on his back. But then he gets stuck because he can't roll from this stomach to his back. He tries to pull his legs up for a while, but then gives up. I find our comments in the background almost funnier than Lincoln. It's funny how excited we get over the littlest things. :) Enjoy!

video

Check back in a few days for more pictures and videos of his latest tricks!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

As Promised...

...I have posted some more pictures. Follow the new facebook photo album link to the right (Just Can't Get Enough), and I think we'll be adding even more in the next week or so.

So, now I'd just like to recommend a new book to all you Twilight fans out there. I like Twilight, but there have always been plot elements and characterizations that have kind of bothered me. For example, neither Edward nor Jacob really appeal to me. Bella and Edward have a very codependent relationship, and Jacob's just a jerk (exhibit A - the lip-rape in Eclipse). Now, I loved Breaking Dawn, so don't misunderstand me. But I came across a recommendation for a new, similar book a few months ago (at http:\\www.seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com, in case anyone is interested), and after thinking about it for a little while (NOT an impulse purchase, mind) I decided to buy it at Sam's on Saturday. LOVED it! Had a tough time putting it down. Easy read - granted I skim through a lot of the prose - but I genuinely liked the characters more. The book is Wings by Aprilynne Pike. I suspect she's another LDS author, but I can't confirm that, mostly because I don't feel like doing the research. Anyone else read it? What do you think?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The last week and a half has been emotional and crazy. I'll try not to belabor the issue, but here's a little recap.
My grandma (my mom's mom, my last living grandparent) has been sick for a long time. And for the last few years, we knew she didn't have much more time on this earth. So I was not too terribly surprised when my mom called last Sunday morning to tell me Grandma had passed away during the night. I was sad, of course, but I also knew she was MUCH happier reunited with her eternal companion and freed from the frailties of growing old.
Of course we made arrangements to fly out for the funeral. The plan was to leave Thursday afternoon and fly into Salt Lake City (the funeral was on Saturday in Blanding, the farthest south you can get in Utah). We also figured that since we'd be in Utah anyway, we'd take one extra day to see some of Tyler's family that live in Utah, so we'd leave on Monday.
All of this went according to plan. We saw cousins and aunts and uncles and great-aunts and new in-laws and the whole shebang. It was a whirlwind trip, but it was worth it.
Lincoln was amazing. We rented a car which I fell in love with (Nissan Rogue, check it out). Part of the reason I fell in love with it is that when Lincoln got fussy in the back seat, I could climb into the back and feed him a bottle or what-not then climb back to the front when he was happy. That car saved us a fair few hours on all that driving we had to do, let me tell you.
So things were going according to plan until we went to the airport to check in to leave on Monday afternoon. "So sorry," they said, "but your flight's been delayed and you'll miss your connection in Denver." So there we were. No real option but to wait for the flight the next day, but that meant one MORE day of missed work. We were already pushing it.
It turned into a pleasant evening, though, and the flight back was smooth, and all was well with the world.
Until 11 o'clock last night.
That's when Lincoln started screaming bloody murder. And aside from a few fitful moments of quiet, he didn't stop until we finally got him into the doctor's office. It's much like when something's going wrong with your program you're running and you call someone over to look at it, and suddenly it works great? Tell me you've been there.
Luckily the doctor didn't dismiss our concerns, and found out Lincoln had a double ear infection! Poor kid. He'd been amazing on the flights, so I wonder when they really flared up?
So, I took Lincoln, filled the prescriptions, and then spent the afternoon working from home. Which, by the way, is easier said than done with a sick infant.
But back to the title of this post. I had GENUINE and UNAVOIDABLE excuses (twice in a row!) not to go in to work. The loss in pay is frustrating, but so is the havoc my schedule's been through the last week and a half.
I need another vacation...

P.S. Pictures to follow, don't worry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lincoln Update

It's been a while since we posted, so I thought I would add some photo/video evidence that Lincoln is still around and growing. He is getting so big. He is about 24 inches and is upwards of 15 pounds. Seems like he gets bigger every day. He will be 4 months old on May 28. He is getting better at sleeping through the night and is tons of fun. I hope y'all enjoy the pictures as much as we do.


Evidence he can hold his own bottle. He doesn't do it very often.


He likes to push himself back on the Boppy so that his head hangs back. Kid loves to have his head hanging back.

Lincoln with his Williams-side cousins, James and Gwen Miller. Lincoln has the best "sad face."


Gwen likes to hold Lincoln, but he's almost as big as she is (she is 13+ months older), so she gets tired.

video

He has started to find things with his hands. He doesn't really like to be covered up with a blanket, so he either kicks it off or pulls it up.


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Just like his dad (used to be when he was little), he likes to suck his thumb and watch TV, which he was doing until the aforementioned dad so rudely interrupted him.


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And, finally, Lincoln trying out his jumper. I don't think he thinks it's as much fun as we do.


Kelli has also posted some more pictures to the "Lincoln" Facebook album -- link on the right of this page. Hope y'all enjoyed these as much as we do. We may be a little biased, but we're pretty sure he is the cutest baby ever. We sure are grateful for him and that he is healthy. He's so much fun.

PS - this post is going up on Link's Grandma Williams' birthday, so Happy Birthday, Gramma!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Let's recap, shall we? AND new trauma/drama...

All right, let's take a trip back in time to March 2nd, when my mom flew out, and all of the problems began to surface. Funny, now, how I optimistically called in Murphy's WEEK. First it was the car, then the washer/dryer, then the AC, then the water heater, then still the car, then the new roof, THEN the pressure regulator valve. I'm sure I'm missing something, but come on, seriously. All that is one month? Is that just? But then I remembered my blessings, rediscovered my sense of humor, and things were better.

And then we had the ER visit with Lincoln, but he seemed to recover fine, and I thought that once the ceiling was painted (scheduled for Thursday and Friday, while my parents were in town to babysit the painters, since Tyler and I have NO LEAVE left), all the trauma/drama would be over. It's a testament to my optimism, I'll say that much for me.

Because yesterday the painter noticed that there was damage to the wall that the leaking skylight would have dripped down to. So I got the go-ahead from the insurance to fix that. And from there it exploded. They have to replace all the drywall and the insulation because it's all moldy/mildewy. Yay! They need to redo the framing around the two windows on that wall. I just HOPE and PRAY that none of the other walls need it. Though they do need to paint the rest of the room, otherwise it won't match.

Oh, and I still need a new glovebox for my car. That's a different story. A funny one though. Kind of...

So, what's the lesson learned from this experience? Make sure you have good homeowner's insurance. And be greatful for loving and generous parents who will babysit your son AND the contractors at your house.

Pray for me that Murphy's Months will be over on Tuesday? Please?

Monday, April 20, 2009

One Down, X To Go

We had our first ER trip for Lincoln on Saturday. Those of you who know me at-all-well know I like to set the stage for stories, so let's start with about last Thursday. Just sit back, relax, and try to follow the train of thought...

My cousin's status on facebook last Thursday was "Please include Jane and Jacob Smith* in your prayers. Their 3 month old baby, Jon*, died in Jane's* arms 2 nights ago." This immediately made me cry because Lincoln is almost 3 months, and I just couldn't imagine the sorrow.

Then we had a ward (church) activity on Friday night. Everything went well, and the last thing one of the ladies at church said to me was, "kiss your baby for me!" Little did she know that her own baby (ok, he was 19) would die tragically, suddenly, and needlessly in a car accident about 30 minutes later. When I got the news on Saturday morning, I once again immediately starting crying. (Just as a review, remember I'm still post-partum, so I think all the crying is normal.) And I continued to cry (bawl, really) about losing her little baby (even though he was 19, he was her baby).

THEN I went to get my sister-in-law, and we went to do the March for Babies (thank you to those who donated, by the way) which is just one more reminder of little babies who live too little in this mortal life, if at all.

So when, after the race, my brother-in-law and niece and nephew came up to meet us and my BIL told me Lincoln was sick (had a fever, and in kids that young, it's tough to tell why) and Tyler was taking him the ER, I basically flipped out. (For those unfamiliar with how I tell a story, we finally got to the good part.) So I hopped in my car, all of a dither, and raced to my in-law's house to meet Tyler and take Lincoln to the ER. (Side-note, my car usually prefers to go 70 on the interstate, where my last car (ah, Ruby, I do miss you so) preferred to go 90. WELL, when Lincoln's in trouble, Sophia ALSO likes to go 90.) Anywho, we left my car at my in-laws and took Lincoln to the pediatric ER at Huntsville Hospital. They poked and prodded him, trying to get an IV placed (unsuccessfully, though they tried about 5 places), and Tyler held ME while I cried, but in the end, his white blood cell count was ok, and they sent us home with orders to give him tylenol every 4-6 hours as needed for fever. And he's been ok ever since. I'm not sure what it was, and I hope they call soon
when the cultures are ready to tell us they didn't find anything, but better safe than sorry.

However, here's the lesson I learned from this experience:
When the doctor orders an IV for your baby, if he's drinking/eating and peeing ok, tell them no. In the politest way possible. There was no need for that IV unless he was dehydrated or needed IV antibiotics. It was a painful lesson, but I'm sharing it with all of you. You all probably knew that though...

Tyler got a great picture with his phone that pretty much sums up how ALL of us felt, though:


Please remember to pray for mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends who lose loved ones. I know that those who die are not lost to us forever, but I can only imagine how much sorrow one would have because you would MISS a family member or friend.

*Names changed, just in case. In case of what? I don't know.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

March For Babies

My company has a team for the March for Babies by March of Dimes this year, and I've decided to participate. When Tyler and I found out our little son was coming 4 weeks early, I was so worried. But he was born at 10:10 at night, spent the 4-hour transition in the NICU, and then was transferred to the nursery for the rest of our hospital stay. A 6 lb, 15 oz preemie! I felt so blessed that he was healthy. And as I've seen and heard of friends and family having babies early who have to spend weeks and even months in the NICU, I feel so blessed to live in this time of modern medicine. And I've decided I'd like to support it with more than just my words and prayers.

The walk is on April 18th in Huntsville, and there are several ways you can join with me in supporting this cause. My personal webpage is: http://www.marchforbabies.org/shapika
If you follow that link, you'll see that you can donate, help me spread the word, or if you're in the area, come walk with me.

Please don't feel obligated, but if you can give a little, that'd be great. If nothing else, please remember to pray for those precious babies sent down from Heaven. And the mothers and fathers who worry...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Further Proof, My Friends

I got great feedback on my last post. It appears that juxtaposing religious material with fashion (and a distinct lack thereof) really makes people wonder. I'll try to do it more often. :)

But I digress. The further proof that March (the bad month, remember) is REALLY over is that I went to the dentist today, and I did not have even ONE cavity! You have to understand that from the time I was little-little (side note: words are cooler when repeated, such as sing-sing, a little somethin-somethin, and bling-bling), I ALWAYS had 2 cavities when we went to the dentist. It did not matter how little or much I brushed, flossed, rinsed, used fluoride, etc, etc, (notice that repeat?), I ALWAYS had 2 cavities. So, this morning I expected to need about 3 root canals. But no, my friends, I triumphed. I think that's happened perhaps once before, maybe twice. And I was especially surprised because while I was preggo I was REALLY bad about not brushing my teeth after having a midnight snack. Or three. So the question is, does this reinforce good behavior or bad behavior? Bad behavior. Not good. On the other hand, when we look at the bigger picture, the one that involves more than just my midnight snacks and cavities, we realize that even one tiny cavity might have finally been the straw that broke the camel's back. It was a tender mercy, for which I'm most grateful.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Welcome to April, My Weekend Plans, and Shoes and Socks

I kid you not, March was cursed. I'm not sure EXACTLY who had it in for me (though I could make some guesses...), but I feel confident it only lasted one month, so April is going to be MUCH better. For instance, Lincoln slept for SIX hours last night. Blessed child. It was especially nice because Tyler and I are both pretty sick. Sick to the point where I would have just stayed in bed and moaned all day if I hadn't taken so many days off earlier in the week because of Lincoln being sick (we've covered that I exaggerate as a defense mechanism, right? Good.).

So, I've had a lot of random thoughts in my head lately. A little neuroses, of course, and trying to problem solve. Remember my post about the possible solutions, and then I/we remembered the most obvious one? Well, most of you know that we're members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe that the Church that Jesus Christ organized when he was on the earth has been restored, and we believe that there is a Prophet and Apostles who lead and guide our Church.

But, make no mistake, we believe the Jesus Christ is the head of that Church. I mention this not to be preachy, but because twice a year we have the privilege to hear from these inspired leaders what the Lord would have us be taught at this time. I consider it a great blessing in my life. As I mentioned, it's twice a year, and this weekend is one of these General Conferences. If you're just curious, you can tune in for a talk (sessions are Sat and Sun at 10 and 2 MST) or more. But I testify that whether you are LDS (Mormon) or not, it will be an opportunity for you to feel the Holy Ghost testify to you of the divinity of our Savior. If you're in Huntsville and you have Knology, it will be on channel 11. If you have Comcast or you live outside of Huntsville, and you're interested, let me know, and I'll see if I can find out. If nothing else, you can listen/watch on the internet. I believe that no matter which church you are a member of, it is a blessing from our Heavenly Father when we have an opportunity to feel the Holy Ghost testify of His love for us. And, in March, I really struggled with that (being comforted), as you may have noticed from my whining. But I'm excited about the weekend. In conclusion, if you want to learn more about our Church, I invite you check out this site.

But like I said (did I say it?), I wasn't trying to be preachy. I just wanted to share that with you all. On a lighter note, let's talk about shoes. I'm breaking in a new pair of black flats, and I've decided that they definitely look better with lighter socks. Why is that? And that reminds me that from the time I was in grade school, I always tried to match my socks to my shirt, and I was WAY behind the curve when I realized that when you grow up, you're supposed to match your socks to either your shoes or your pants. What is that? And how is it fun AT ALL? I like striped and polka-dotted socks in outrageous colors, but I draw the line at striped and polka-dotted pants in outrageous colors. Who makes these rules, anyway? It reminds me of a Jem song (points if you get the reference, as usual). More ramblings later.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blessings

This morning when I woke up, Tyler mentioned that Lincoln had developed a cough overnight that didn't sound good. We googled it (of course) and pretty much everyone said take the baby to the doctor. So, Tyler had a deposition 2 hours away, so I got to take my precious baby into the doctor and hold him while he cried when they drew blood. So, so sad. I might have cried, too. But when the doctor came back in, he said it's definitely a virile infection and contagious, which sucks because it means we need to work our schedules so we can work at home as much as possible for the next 7 to 10 days.

While I was in the area, I decided to pop in at Roper Automotive and see how genuine the VW estimate of needing my battery replaced ASAP was. Turns out, I'm good for a few more weeks at least. Yay! And blessings on Jeff's head for fitting me in.

Now the reason for the title of the post. Blessings. While I was in the waiting room, I had 3 bags (my purse, the diaper bag, and my catch-all bag), and my purse spilled out and everything went rolling across the floor. This was pretty much par for the course, so I didn't freak out or anything, but it did get me talking to the lady next to me about all that's been going on. And I mentioned that in church yesterday, I'd started a list of all the things that have gone wrong in the last month, and my husband asked if I was masochistic. This good woman's response humbled me exceedingly: "At least you have a husband that goes to church with you to sit next to you." Oh, I do. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful life. I have (and Tyler has) a good job where our bosses are understanding and sympathetic, and we can make liberal use of the leave we have. I have amazing friends who (apparently) are just waiting for me to say the word so they can help with whatever they can. I have insurance and a home warranty, which has saved us a fair bit. We have a credit card, which though we don't LIKE to use it, we CAN use for emergencies. We have wonderful families who love and support us. There's so much to be grateful for, and while I tend to be overwhelmed by all this junk happening at once (I mean, seriously, the AC, the water heater, the washer/dryer, the dishwasher, hail damage on the roof, a leaking skylight, AND a pressure relief valve? not to mention my sick baby and my own neuroses), I'm grateful for the reminders in life that it could be oh-so-worse. I'm excited for next month when my husband will bless our baby. I'm excited for ALL the family that will come (can you say par-TAY?).

And I leave you with this picture of my adorable son. I pray God's blessings on you, and that you'll recognize them when they come. And if you can't recognize them, that he'll help you see them as often as you need (I need that help a lot!).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Murphy's Month Continues

I PROMISE I'll stop whining soon, but I'd really like your input. Every time I turn around, there's something else that takes up both time and money. Put that together with a new baby and postpartum hormones, and I'm quickly nearing the end of my rope. So I want your suggestions for destressing. I've got:

-ride it out. It will pass eventually-do service for others; that often takes your mind off your own problems

-pray (like it's going out of style)

-read the scriptures

-get enough sleep (Tyler's being a gem about this, but that doesn't change the fact that there's a new baby in the house)

-exercise (see previous)

-fast (not really an option since I'm also trying to get my headaches under control, and I can only fast when they are WELL under control)

-A spa day one of these days; if there's EVER time

-Taking a few minutes to read a book or magazine

-A nice soak in the tub while listening to good music
-Listening to relaxing music.
What am I missing? There must be something else. I'm afraid it will all go back to the first one - ride it out. But if y'all have some wisdom for me - I certainly would appreciate it. And before you suggest it, yes, I've had plenty of good cries. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Few New Pictures

I FINALLY added some new pictures of Lincoln. Look in the facebook album named "Lincoln" on the right side of the screen. Let me know if you have problems seeing them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Be Fooled...

...by the lack of new pictures of Lincoln into thinking we don't take TONS of pictures. The problem is that we both spend all day at the computer at work, so it's pretty much the last place we want to be when we get home. But I finally at least put the pictures ON the computer last night. Hopefully tonight I can tweak them and then post some new fun ones to facebook. Oooh, and maybe I'll wait until the weekend because Lincoln's 2-month checkup is tomorrow! I can't wait to see the official stats on how much he's grown, but I'm not much looking forward to shots. Are there shots at 2 months? Or do they wait until 4 months?

So speaking of pics, some of them are of him using the Podee I blogged about last. Shannon's comments were helpful, so I think we're making some progress with that bottle (1 oz. the night after I blogged, and 3 oz. last evening). It's just nice to hold him and cuddle with him and not have to worry about keeping the bottle in the right position. I think we'll get the hang of it.

And I've had Sophia back for going on 30 hours now, and she seems to be working perfectly. My next project is to either successfully fix the glove box (it IS just the catch on the handle, after all), or have to replace the WHOLE door. What a pain.

Does anyone know where the folks on HGtv are always coming up with these tile remnants for kitchen backsplashes that were $15/square foot, but because they're remnants, they were able to get them for $1/piece? Cause I SO want a tile backsplash in my kitchen, and there's not THAT much square footage, but I can't pay $15/square foot, that's for sure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Digy and Bottles

Lincoln is a prodigy. He rolled over by 2 weeks. He CLEARLY said Mommy at 5 weeks. Basically, we've got a Carl Sagan on our hands. Mom decided to nickname him "Digy" while she was out here. Short for prodigy. She and Tyler thought it was a great, and I wasn't so keen on it, so part of the fun for everyone was when they would call him Digy, and I would cringe dramatically. (Confession - people think it's super easy to push my buttons, and sometimes it is, but most of the time I just give them the reaction they want because then everyone's happy.)
I have every intention of posting some recent pictures of our sweet little prodigy. Until then, check out the links on the side to the facebook albums; I think that's where we'll post most pictures. Let me know if the links don't work. You should be able to see them even if you don't have a facebook account.
Has anyone had success with any brand of hands-free bottle? I was super keen on the idea (seriously, my goal was to have him holding his bottle by himself by 2 months. We have 5 days.), so I ordered one of these. Sadly, it didn't work as advertised. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong. Anyone else used one? Have some advice?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sophia - Just a Quick Pic and Story

So I realize I've been writing these novels as my blog posts lately, and those can get VERY boring, so here's just a quick pic of Sophia, so you can all appreciate my sadness that she's been sick so very long. Notice how pleased and proud I am to show off my new car.


Side note: Because I can't resist telling the story of how this picture came to be taken. When my parents were stationed in Hawaii, Dad got deployed to Iraq. On the way over there, he had a few days of training in South Carolina. SO even though it was a 3+ hour drive for each of us (one way) we drove to Atlanta to meet at an Outback and have lunch and see each other before he went to war. It was a good day. Plus I got to show off my car.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sophia, Part Three - The Saga Continues

I was all excited yesterday because my car was finally fixed, and VW really had treated me well, and then when I got in my car to go home, lo and behold, it had a rough time starting and the engine light was back on. So I took it straight back to VW. It's a different sensor, but I think the warranty will cover it AND waive the deductible since so much has been going wrong lately. So my car's STILL in the shop. And I'm getting more and more neurotic by the day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sophia, Part 2 - The End

I finally have my car back! Yay! And I'm not quite sure what the big deal was. The dealership accidentally put the ORIGINAL part back in, and it works just fine. So what was wrong with it? Dunno. I'm guessing it was a wire, though. I'm still glad I took it to Roper Automotive first because there were some other things that needed doing, and the dealership would have charged me a LOT more for those. They probably would still have tried to when I finally brought it in except that I was, by then, barely civil, and they most likely wanted me out of their hair. But I had to eat some humble pie when they were able to fix it in the end, the way they wanted to. So, I didn't get to say neener-neener. Sad.

Anyway, through this whole ordeal, I've learned some important life lessons:
1 - When your car is acting funny, take it to a mechanic you can trust.
2 - Any work he recommends for maintenance (like, hypothetically, replacing your timing belt 12,000 miles later than recommended), go ahead and have him do it, because he's the mechanic you trust to recommend only the necessary work.
3 - When he tells you that the other, more major work that needs to be done is covered under the extended warranty you wisely (it turns out) purchased, suck it up and take it to the dealership for the covered work. Especially with a VW. Even if you hate that dealership because you feel like you need to work the system in order to get anything done without being fleeced.
4 - Learn to work the system. When someone gives you an answer you don't like (like the warranty company telling you you're out of luck), politely (but perhaps with a slight edge) ask for his name, write it down, and then ask to speak to his supervisor. This makes you a squeaky wheel - and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. His supervisor has the authority to make happen what you want to happen, and he'll do it if he can.
5 - While I think it's important to be kind, sometime you have to be politely persistant. See #4 regarding the squeaky wheel.

Any other lessons anyone can think of? I spent the last few blog posts venting and saying unkind things. Usually I limit the number of people I vent to because it limits the number of people I have to go back to later and say, "Sorry, I was just flaming mad. He wasn't such a jerk after all." But since I publicly lambasted VW in Huntsville, I'll recant that with the caveat that you probably still need to know how to work the system. But I won't be as resistant to take my car there if I need to again. Though hopefully I can just get it through 2 more years...

Speaking of which, I need to fix the glove box. Who designs a glove box where when the LATCH breaks, you have to replace the entire door? Volkswagon, that's who. I found a tutorial on-line that shows how to fix it yourself without replacing the door. I figure it's worth the effort because at least if I end up ruining the door completely, I'm just back where I started - needing a new door. :)

This blog has taken a serious tangent from what it was intended to focus on - our adorable son. So, don't worry. We're working on putting the finishing touches on his room, and we're still taking tons of pics, even though I'm slow to post.

Tomorrow we're doing yard work if anyone wants to come help pull out bushes and shovel dirt? No? "Yeah, I didn't think so." (Props if you get the quote, as usual...)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sophia, Part 1 and some Happier Thoughts

Well, I've been putting this blog post off for a week because I wanted to tell the story all in the PAST TENSE. Unfortunately, it's still an ongoing trauma, so I'm recording it for everyone to empathize and tell me how sorry they feel for me. (As a side note, there are all kinds of things in life I vowed never to do. In fact, that's what our first post was about. One of those things was posting whiny blog posts. So, if they annoy you, just don't read this. I won't be offended. But I would prefer not to be judged. This is my story, and as usual I'll do my best to keep some humor in it. But this is the way life is going right now, and I want to record it so that in a few months I can look back and laugh, and appreciate how being dramatic is one of my defense mechanisms.

This post is all about the car. You can catch up on the first week of the trauma/drama in my last post here. To continue, we took the car back on Monday (the 9th) as planned. Jeff was a trooper, said he'd take of everything. Later he said that the part that they'd replaced was faulty. Since it was the supplier's fault, he'd reimburse Jeff for the labor cost and we'd all win. Yay. But the same problem happened with the second Cam Shaft Sensor they installed. Not good. Jeff and his team looked deeper, and it turned out that the computer which was identifying the problem WAS, in fact, the problem. So I needed a new computer for my car. See, the news just gets better and better.

Jeff found a used computer which he was willing to sell for a GREAT deal (if anyone is looking for a good mechanic in Huntsville, go to Roper Automotive - 533-9095) and said he could get it by yesterday (the 16th). Great. Only when they installed it, the car wouldn't run. They did some research and apparently the computers have to be specially programmed by the VW dealership (which I'd been avoiding like the plague, because dealerships are NOT YOUR FRIENDS). So I called the VW dealership, and low and behold, they won't install a used computer. Jeff checked out my extended warranty (which thank goodness I'd purchased), and it looked like it should be covered. So they had to put the old computer in the car, and I booked it to VW dealership last night (tough when you can't go above 3000 rpm, in case anyone is wondering) but made it at 5:29 when the service department closes at 5:30. (If accused of breaking any traffic laws, I'll deny it.)

So then today I called to check on the car, and he says, "The problem's not the computer. It's the cam shaft sensor." I came close to losing it at that point, but kept my cool, informed him that my mechanic had already tried to replace it twice, and maybe he'd like to call Jeff so they could discuss the nuts and blots of the problem. BUT wait there's more. Jeff had charged the warranty company for the replacement (duh. he replaced it), but so now the VW dealership is saying I'm going to have to go back over to Jeff's to get it installed because the warranty company won't pay THEM for the same work. Let's not forgot that we tried that TWICE and it DIDN'T WORK. So basically this guy is managing to tell me with presumably a straight face that I need to drive my unfixed car off the lot and back to Jeff (presumably after paying the $100 deductable for a service he "noticed I needed and took care of since it was covered under the warranty"). This sounds a little disjointed, and that's because it is. It's a fiasco. This should not be as difficult as it is, but the postpartum hormones, taking care of a newborn, the washer/dryer fiasco, getting back into the swing of things at work, trying to manage my headaches, and dealing with the fact that my grandma's health is failing are all contributing to me having to exercise serious self control not to swear a LOT.

And there you have it. Me whining. Shamelessly. In fact I might prefer if no one reads this and discovers what a negative person I am. But later in life I can look back and hopefully reminisce fondly. And maybe some of you can be more sympathetic to how crazy I am, and MAYBE even feel a little better about whatever traumas you're dealing with. Not because mine are worse. But because they're different.

So now I'm sure you've all been wondering about the title of the post. Sophia is the name of my car. My car before her was Ruby, a '92 Mazda Miata I loved dearly but went the way of all the earth two years ago. She was a part of me. I referred to her often by name in the third person, and all my close friends knew "who" I was talking about. I cried when she died. But then I bought Sophia, a 2003 Volkswagon Jetta. And I love her. She's fun and sporty, and I don't get wet when it rains. But I do NOT love the VW dealership.

In closing, I'd like to leave you all with some good things in life and blessings I'm grateful for:
-my wonderful husband, who tonight when I was apologizing for being in such a foul mood said, "it's ok, honey. I didn't just marry your good moods."
-my handsome son, who's healthy and smart and a joy in our lives.
-my parents and my parents-in-law, who gave us examples of how to be good husbands, wives, and parents
-friends and co-workers who put up with my mood swings and just roll with the punches and love me anyway

Now some frivolous ones:
-technology. "I love technology." (Props for those who get the reference.) But seriously it makes keeping in touch with friends and family so wonderful.
-pandora.com and my Jack Johnson station. I love the music of Jack Johnson. It soothes me.
-caffeinated beverages. That's right, my friends. I love me some diet coke, diet coke with lime, diet mt. dew, and diet dr. pepper.
-running. it's a stress reliever. I'm thinking I'll train for the Air Force Marathon and meet my dad in Dayton, Ohio in September. Any takers?

Hopefully my next post with have good car news and all sorts of rainbows and butterflies (again, props for those who get the reference...).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Murphy's Week and SOME good news

Warning: this will be a whiny blog entry. There's no help for it. The last week and a half has been brutal. I'll do my very best, however, to make the tale amusing. And, not to spoil the ending or anything, but it really did turn out all right in the end.

First of all, some background info. We got our washer and dryer from Tyler's parents. They're ridiculously generous people anyway, and they CLAIMED they (the washer and dryer) were old (but still worked) and were just taking up space in their garage. This was close to two years ago when I bought the house. Fast forward to about 3 months ago. The dryer started fritzing. It would just stop and then start again randomly. Usually it was great for about 3 loads, but the last 2 or three would take a few hours while it took random breaks. No big deal right? A little inconvenient, but certainly not the end of the world. Then last Saturday Tyler noticed that there was a burning smell in the laundry room when the dryer was on AND it was still doing the fritzing thing. This was more of a fix-sooner-rather-than-later situation now, because who wants to save a few bucks on the dryer at the expense of burning down the house? Not me. So Friday we bought a new dryer and went ahead and got the matching washer. It's an investment, right? They'll last for 15 years. Plus then we only have to arrange for delivery once. (Dude, and they HAUL AWAY THE OLD ONES! I love Lowes.) Moving on...

My mom stayed with us for 4 weeks after Lincoln was born. BLESSINGS on her head. It was a godsend. It was so nice after a long sleepless night with Lincoln to be able to walk into mom's room and announce that it was Nana's turn and then go sleep another 4 (blissfully uninterrupted) hours. Don't worry, I KNEW how great it was. But it had to end and mom left last Monday (the 2nd). Before we were supposed to head to the airport, I decided to run over to Walgreens really quick and pick up some prescriptions (ok, and a diet mt. dew, cause I was craving one). And, oh look! the engine light was on, the car was making funny noises, and it took 4 tries to get it to start. So I left the car running in the driveway, loaded up my mom and her bags and the baby, and headed to the airport. Praying the whole time that my car wouldn't just stop. We got there ok (thankfully), but then on the way home I realized that this was really something I needed to get taken care of because Tyler was going out of the town the next day (See? The fun never stops). So I called my friend Denelle, and, blessings on her head, she agreed to watch Lincoln for an hour on like 3 minutes notice. Autozone checked the problem, and it was bigger than just replacing a quick part, so I took it to the mechanic and had Tyler pick me up. Please note that all this took WAY more than the hour Denelle had agreed to, so three hours later I finally got my child back.
Ok, so next day Tyler leaves. The night goes ok. Wednesday goes ok. Just sleeping when I can, you know the drill. Then Thursday I took Lincoln BACK over to Denelle's cause I had a doctor's appt (SO SICK of Dr.'s appointments, in case anyone was wondering). I got my clean bill of health to start work on Monday (the 9th) and had a contraceptive implant (the kind that goes in your upper arm) inserted. (By the by, the information packet LIES about how long it will hurt.) I mention this (the implant, not the pain) because it will be important later in the story.
Friday we went to pick Tyler up, buy the washer and dryer, and went and got my car. Yay and joy, it was in worse shape than before (wouldn't accelerate past 3000 rpm, engine light still on, airbag light on now, and still having trouble starting). So I made plans to take it back to the shop on Monday. Meanwhile, I found out that the paperwork I had gotten at the doctor's on Thursday to return to work on Monday was the WRONG paperwork, so I would need to go BACK to the doctor's on Monday and wouldn't be back into work. Not a terrible thing, just a hassle. And in the midst of all this trauma/drama, the hormones from the implant and just general postpartum hormones were wreaking HAVOC with my emotions. Poor Tyler. Such a trooper. So, sob, sob, sob, I got things taken care of on Monday, then found out that there was an error in payroll, and I got about 10% deposited to my account that I should have. I won't even go there.
And in the midst of all of this, let us not forgot that I'm a little neurotic because I get headaches every day. I went in to my neurologist yesterday (Yay! Another doctor's appointment) and explained to him that I needed a miracle drug to solve all my problems. Luckily he knew I was being facetious, but we are working to get me back on track.
I probably forgot something. Oh, I know! My neurotic/psychotic breakdown about things not fitting because I don't want to wear maternity clothes but I'm too big for my pre-preggo clothes. Such a disaster! Starving children in Somalia would be sympathetic to my plight! I decided on an interim solution that doesn't involve a whole new wardrobe (Tyler was relieved); it involves making my own BellaBands. $26 dollars? Seriously. Just get some jersey knit and sew a few straight lines. Which I did. And now I can achieve a super-swanky layered look. I'm the coolest kid in school. And I'm calmer and less neurotic, so it's basically a win-win.
Oh, and the news on the car? Since I needed Tyler's car for my errands on Monday anyway, I went on-base and got a sticker for his car, so now I can use his car to get to work when needed. And I heard back from the mechanic, and the problem was the part. Since it was the suppliers fault, they'll cover all the expenses and pay Jeff for his time. So everyone's happy, just a little inconvenienced.
And now I think I've blabbed enough. WHY did I blab so much? Not to complain, not really. Sometimes I need to hear a "poor, baby", but I don't need them TOO much. Life is life, and we've weathered it and things are good. No, it's because it makes me feel SO much better when other mom's say, "Oh, I know EXACTLY how you feel!" It helps me feel less crazy and more normal. (Reassurances to that effect would be REALLY welcome.)
So, now the good news you've all been waiting for: VIZIO is giving away free tvs! Just go to their website and sign up for the drawing. Then understand realistically that the chances that you'll win are virtually nill, but it's still fun to dream, right?
Whew, I warned this would be a long one. And kind of whiny. But it's been a while since I updated. Next time I'll tell you all how fabulous Lincoln is. In the meantime, check the sidebars cause I'm going to try to create links to our facebook photo albums. And you WANT to see those albums. Lincoln's adorable. :)