Sunday, December 27, 2009

What a Christmas!!!

I'll share about Zeke's first Christmas in another post, but in other news, my brother Daniel and his girlfriend Sam are now engaged! My understanding is that the wedding won't be until 2011, but I'm still way excited for them! They got a new kitten, too, and I'm totally jealous :)

Friday, December 18, 2009


We are so incredibly blessed beyond belief! We have a beautiful baby boy who is completely healthy and happy, warm and loving families, secure and fulfilling jobs, a cozy home in an area we love, friends who are always there and, of course, a Savior we'd be nothing without. For some reason I always think more at Christmas about the things for which I'm grateful rather than at Thanksgiving. Maybe it's even more appropriate because the thing for which I'm most thankful is the Gift we remember, sing about, and worship during this time of year.

I read a blog post a few days ago about Santa and whether we, as Christians, should teach our children his myth or historical story. I thought the comments were interesting (and spanned the entire spectrum). Some people thought that if their children found out they had lied about Santa Claus being real, they might not be certain whether they'd lied about God, too. Others planned to go along with the "Santa is real" tack for their kids, either because it's just a fun, harmless story or because they don't want their kids to feel left out when everyone else talks about Santa. Many took a middle road where they would discuss Santa's historical past and identify him more as a spirit of giving than an actual person who delivers presents every year (and, of course, making sure to tell their kids not to rain on anyone else's Santa parade!).

I think we'll probably go with the third way, partly because I don't like the idea of lying to anyone and partly because I'm a little too lazy to put out the extra effort to maintain the Santa illusion :)

Getting ready for Christmas...

This will, of course, be Zeke's first Christmas. Since I already LOVE this time of year I thought it would be hard to make me love it even more, but I was wrong. As Exhibit A, see the feet on Zeke's pants:

Zeke isn't getting a huge ton of presents for us since he'll probably like the paper and bows better, anyway, but I did get him a couple of things. Some clothes, naturally, and also a few toys from Nova Naturals:

Snail Teether

Rainbow Tumbler

Teething Doll

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Tree...

Adam (farthest), Jack (middle), and Patrick (nearest) taking our tree to the pick-up point

The tree barely fitting into the living room

We finally went to get a Christmas tree yesterday afternoon. We drove up to Sherwood Pines with Adam's parents and his youngest brother, Patrick, and picked out a nice spruce for the living room. It turns out the tree was A LOT bigger than we thought and, despite the VERY high ceiling, we still had to cut off the top to get it to fit :/

Zeke was a little fussy during the trip (I'm sure his nose and chin were cold, and I've always wondered if babies' gums can freeze), but a rousing game of Peek-a-boo with his daddy helped a lot and got the smile back.

Here I'm wearing Zeke in a borrowed GypsyMama (Wrapsody) batik wrap
and a Peekaru vest to keep warm :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

GoodMama, Kiwie Pie, and Thirsties, Oh My!

Another great giveaway from Kelly's Closet:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

indiscreet breastfeeder

I'm tired of modesty. There, I said it. I'm fine with keeping my belly covered, my rear end well above my skirt hems, and my necklines appropriate for school, but if anyone EVER tells me to cover up while feeding my child I might very well lose my cool. People don't ask a bottle-feeding mother to put a blanket over her child's head or to move to a "more private" area or bathroom (yuck!). They don't stare or point at bottle-feeding mothers and their babies, nor do they make rude or condescending comments ("That is inappropriate or disgusting or unnecessary", "You have no business flaunting yourself that way", "Why don't you just make him a bottle for when you go out?", etc.).

Just for the record, I've personally never been harassed in any of these ways. Reactions at every place I've nursed publicly have ranged from indifferent to admiring; never have I been hassled (though some people probably DID stare or point when I wasn't looking). I don't make a point to emphasize what I'm doing or "flaunt" it, but neither do I cover up or try to hide anything. My baby eats when he's hungry or needs settling regardless of where we are or what we're doing, and I will NEVER apologize for doing the best thing I can possibly do for my child.

And, by the way, it's not my (and definitely not Zeke's) problem that our culture has hypersexualized breasts to the point that their intended purpose is completely masked by their perception of being available to and used by men. *Rant over*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For what it's worth

For those who are interested in how we're going about vaccinating Zeke, I have an alternative vaccination schedule here. We're not eliminating any shots, just spreading them out to avoid giving him lots of needle-sticks at a time. Also, if he DOES have a reaction, it'll be a little easier to determine which vaccine caused it. We have every intention of giving him the flu vaccine yearly once he's old enough for it, too (it's not recommended for children under six months).

This schedule comes from The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child by Dr. Bob Sears (copyright 2007).

2 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
3 months*: Pc, HIB
4 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
5 months*: Pc, HIB
6 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
7 months*: Pc, HIB
9 months: Polio (IPV)
12 months: Mumps, Polio (IPV)
15 months: Pc, HIB
18 months: DTaP, Chickenpox
2 years: Rubella, Polio (IPV)
2 1/2 years*: Hep B, Hep A (start Hep B at birth if any close relatives or caregivers have Hep B)
3 years: Hep B, Measles
3 1/2 years*: Hep B, Hep A
4 years: DTaP, Polio (IPV)
5 years: MMR
6 years: Chickenpox
12 years: Tdap, HPV
12 years, 2 months*: HPV
13 years: HPV, Meningococcal (once Meningococcal vaccine is approved for age 2, Dr. Sears will move it there and delay Hep B by 6 months)

*indicates a "shots only" visit

Friday, November 13, 2009

new giveaway from Kelly's Closet!

Try this on for size (hehe)...
Click the picture to go to the blog!

best cooking magazine ever!!

I absolutely ADORE Fine Cooking.

It covers everything from simple, quick meals ("Make It Tonight" section) to complicated recipes like making homemade sausages. This week I'm hoping to try the Noodle Soup with Kale and White Beans (p106), Honey-Lemon-Glazed Cauliflower (also p106) and Chicken Adobo with Rice (p108). Some of the Christmas cookies and other desserts will be fabulous when that time of year rolls around, too.

It's expensive ($30 for 6 issues per year), but totally worth it when I think about how much better my cooking has been since I started getting it.

Sooooo much better!

Zeke is MUCH better today! He was better yesterday, too, but I didn't get to post at the time :)
We put a few drops of peppermint oil in our bedroom humidifier and used Kid's Xlear nose drops before he went to bed. I also put him in his bouncy seat on the bathroom floor while I took a shower on Wednesday, and that seemed to really help break up the gunk. Of course, we also used a bulb syringe ("booger-sucker" in the vernacular) to suck out the goop. All of these things in combination were enough to help him feel much better, but I think the nose drops were the biggest help overall. Adam bought them (on Barbara's recommendation) at Harvest Moon and they seemed to dry Zeke up really quickly. He's back to daycare and his usual self!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh, no!

Zeke is sick! He's just congested and has a cough, though, and no fever, so it's not as bad as it could be. Luckily, he stays with Mom today, so Adam and I can still both go to work. We wrote a note giving Mom permission to take him to the doctor and have him treated if necessary, and Adam took her the insurance card this morning, so we feel pretty good that all the bases are covered in case he develops a fever and/or gets really sick.

People have always told me that you feel like your heart's getting ripped out the first time your baby is sick. My heart is still inside my chest. I do feel pretty terrible that I had to leave him this morning, though, to come to work :( Thankfully, he's in good spirits and doesn't act like he feels poorly, but the cough gives it away.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mother-Ease Diapers, Anyone?

See this link for information about a Mother-Ease diaper giveaway from the bloggers of Kelly's Closet:

Friday, November 6, 2009

No words necessary :)

Frederick or Bust!

Well, tonight we go to Frederick, Maryland to meet Adam's cousin Al and his wife Katy, and Chip and Nancy, Al's parents (and my father-in-law's sister and brother-in-law). Adam and I have talked for ages about wanting to get together with Al and Katy (and we keep saying we're going to meet up everytime we see them for family stuff!) but things never seem to work out. We're all approximately the same age and at the same point in our lives, so it would be cool and fun to spend more time together, but them being in Baltimore and us in Calmes Neck makes it difficult to actually see each other.

So tonight we're going to just do it. We're meeting all of them in Frederick along with my in-laws to have dinner and catch up since the last time we all saw each other was months ago (could it be as long ago as last Christmas?!) and Nancy is the only one who's seen Zeke. Lots has happened since then and we need to hash it all out :) I'm not crazy about the idea of driving that far with Zeke, but we're riding with Sam and Danielle (I think) so at least he won't be all alone in the backseat for a long time. That worked well when we went to Tennessee (whoever was back there would entertain him whenever necessary), so hopefully it'll work tonight, too. Hopefully I'll be able to post pics soon!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My poor baby boy had to get two more shots today. Adam had to take him because I have a workday at school today, so they were still at the house when I left this morning. When Adam called later in the morning he said that Zeke screamed his head off but then calmed down pretty quickly. He dropped him off at Mom's house for the day and gave him some Tylenol to help with the sore legs and potential fever, and Mom said he's acting totally normal now. He's not lethargic like he was the last time, and he's eating normally, too.

Now, here's my thing about vaccines. There are lots of people who are absolutely convinced that some vaccines can cause, aggravate, or trigger autism. Not one scientific study, though, has proven any remotely causal link between the two (see study summaries from the CDC). Autism appears to have both genetic and environmental factors (see, and some vaccine ingredients (especially thimerosal) might contribute, but there's no evidence to suggest that vaccines are causal except in some very specific circumstances where a child had an underlying condition which predisposed him or her to autism and it was triggered by a vaccine component (see this article in Time).

Adam and I decided early on that the benefits of vaccinating far outweighed the risks and, since we intend for Zeke to go to public schools and not be homeschooled, we'd rather he have some protection from the hundreds of germy kids he'll be exposed to everyday. I do NOT think, however, that everyone who chooses not to vaccinate is an irresponsible parent. I'm not worried about your unvaccinated child because my child IS vaccinated and isn't susceptible to your germs. I'm vaccinated myself, so I'm not susceptible to your germs, either. If you've weighed the risks and have decided they're not worth it, fine by me. I'm just glad you're talking about it and actually educating yourself; someone who considers carefully and ultimately decides against the standard course of action (and what the medical establishment recommends, which is a whole other ball of wax since I'm not sure the recommendations are always as research-based as they are made out to be) is a far more responsible parent than someone who blindly goes along with the pediatrician's every mandate.

We've chosen to get all of the recommended vaccinations, but Zeke will be getting them on a more spread-out schedule. I just don't see the necessity of three shots and one oral vaccine at a time; if he reacts to something, how would we ever be able to figure out what it was?! Instead we're spreading them out and he'll never get more than two vaccines at a time.

If you're interested in reading more about vaccines, their components, possible side effects and reactions, and finding alternate vaccine administration schedules, see The Vaccine Book. I borrowed this book from a friend and found lots of detailed information that helped me make the best decision for my son. Also, the CDC has a page of vaccine information on its website.

Monday, November 2, 2009


So Zeke was a bat for Halloween:

Zeke and I had a somewhat lazy Halloween morning; we slept in a little bit while Adam went to work. I had a haircut appointment at noon, so I knew we'd need to leave in the late morning to get Zeke to my in-laws' house in time to make it. He decided to take a nap at about 9:00, which was fine, but then proceeded to stay asleep FOR NEARLY TWO HOURS!!! We made like a sheep herder and got the flock out and I managed to only be about 10 minutes late to the salon. It's amazing how a haircut can make you feel like a brand-new person, and I wasn't about to miss it :)

After my haircut we stayed at visited at Jack and Robbin's house for quite awhile, and Adam's grandparents came through on their way home from a family visit. They hadn't seen Zeke since Labor Day weekend, so they were excited to see how big he is and how much more sociable he's become. We took lots of cute Halloween costume pictures, but Zeke got grumpy after a few minutes so we had to cease and desist. I think he was broiling hot since it was 75 degrees in the house and his costume was made mostly of felt.

Finally we went out to Dustin and Megan's house for a cookout. Frank loved playing with all the other dogs (Kenzie, Jake, Dudley, Maggie, and Luther) and we had a good time visiting and eating good food. Unfortunately, the leftover burgers disappeared when Luther decided to try his hand (paw) at high jumping in the kitchen. Onto the counter. Where he ate all the burgers. Oh, well.
We finally got home around 10 (WAY too late for Zeke) and went to bed pretty much immediately. Church as usual in the morning, and we set the date for Zeke's baptism: November 22nd at the 11am service. Back to the in-laws' to pick up the Jeep (which turned into a four-hour visit), and finally home again to try accomplishing some household goals. That part didn't go well.

All in all, a VERY busy weekend, but it was wonderful and fun. I have two workdays this week and, since I don't give grades, I'm a little short on things to do. Not that I'm complaining :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to School...

Almost two weeks down! I started back to work last Tuesday, and everything's going pretty well so far. Zeke is sleeping through the night pretty consistently now, which makes life A LOT easier (and makes for a much less stressed-out Mommy!), and he's doing well in daycare. Mom keeps him two days a week, he goes to an in-home daycare two days, and Adam keeps him at home on Mondays, so we've got the whole week covered. I miss him terribly during the day, but I'm also REALLY busy, so I don't dwell on it as much as I might if I had a lot of downtime.

Our Tennessee trip went pretty well, and we got some good five-generation pictures of Zeke, Adam, Jack, Granny, and Great-Granny. We also got a fabulous picture of Great-Granny's .22 leaned up against the back window with dozens of spent shells all over the floor from when she shoots out the window at night. I'll post some of the weekend's photos when I get a chance.

On a side note, pumping has been going well but occupies EVERY SPARE SECOND of my day. I pump before school, during lunch, during planning, and after school, and while I do work while I pump (on the computer, reading papers, etc.), I still feel like I don't quite get everything done. Hopefully Zeke can keep breastfeeding for at least 18 months (that's the goal, anyway), and I think he can as long as I keep pumping regularly and often. I just wish it wasn't quite this difficult to find time for both pumping and work.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I really need to get better at this. It's been nearly a month since I posted and lots of things have happened:

1. Zeke suddenly figured out how to nurse and cut 15 minutes from each feeding time.
2. We got to visit with my West Virginia family.
3. We started redecorating the den.
4. Zeke turned two months old.
5. We started going to Families for Natural Living gatherings (way fun!).

And now we're planning Zeke's first trip to Tennessee to visit Adam's VERY country great-granny. Yet another reason to stay at a hotel: she shoots out the window when she hears noises at night. Hopefully she won't try to start teaching Zeke to shoot a .22 this weekend; I think we should wait a couple of years for that.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hooray for help!

Thank goodness for my in-laws! Now, I know a lot of people would be shocked by that statement and would look at me like I'm a total nut, but my in-laws are the best people on the planet (except for my own parents, of course!). They're willing to help whenever and with whatever we need, and I really appreciate that this weekend, especially. Adam went down to the river with his friends for a get-together they've had planned since last fall, and his mom and grandma both came to the house today. Grandma will be staying at least for tonight, and Robbin will be coming back tomorrow for the day, so I'll have tons of help with Zeke.

On one hand I feel a little incompetent (why can't I handle one little baby by myself?), but on the other I'm soooooooo grateful to be spelled for a little bit every now and then. My arms, back, and brain get tired, to tell the truth, even though there's only one of him! Plus, it's nice to have some other women to talk with, especially ones I really like.

One day at a time...

It seems that we have a difficult time having both a good day and a good night in a row, although today might be the day! Last night was wonderful; Zeke went down for the night around 1130 (a little late for Adam's taste since he had to get up early to pack this morning, but pretty good nonetheless), got up at 6 when Adam's alarm went off, and has been great with taking naps so far today. As I write this he's on his second nap of over an hour (the first was nearly two!) and will be very excited to learn that he's getting in the tub after he wakes up and nurses. I'll try to post a bath picture as soon as I manage to pull more photos off the camera.

It seems that the great outdoors is what works for Zeke. No matter what his mood, he's quiet, alert, and happy as soon as we step out the door. Therefore, we go on lots of walks; some are short and just involve taking Frank outside, but other are much longer and I'll either wear him in the Kozy or put him in his stroller to go up and down our road for awhile. Usually I have Frank's leash in one hand and the other hand either on the stroller (we have a VERY easily-maneuverable jogging stroller, a must for a gravel road) or supporting Zeke's head if I did a bad job putting him in the Kozy. We have to be careful to listen for cars, though, because some of my neighbors rocket around corners like I've seen only in rally racing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For Goodness' Sake!

Yesterday afternoon was TERRIBLE! Zeke didn't sleep from the time of my last post until he finally dropped off for the night around 11pm. This wouldn't be a big deal except that he started screaming to eat within 15 minutes of finishing his previous feeding. I ended up calling Adam in tears asking him to come home as soon as possible, and he got home just a few minutes after five. As soon as Zeke was finished eating Adam took him so I could get a shower. It was GLORIOUS.

Unfortunately, Zeke continued this pattern well into the evening. Then, all of a sudden at 11, he just fell asleep and slept until 7am. Go figure.

Today has been MUCH better. He just woke up from a two-hour nap and is much less cranky than yesterday, plus I got a few things done around the house. Here's hoping for a good afternoon...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not a Magician

So sorry, but I simply cannot feed you again ten minutes after you finish eating. I don't know what else you might want, since all your signals are saying "food" and there's nothing wrong with you, but there's no way you're actually eating anything when you nurse that often. It's impossible for me to magically produce more milk in ten minutes. NOT POSSIBLE, so stop screaming at me. What you really need is a nap, and what I really need is a shower.

Month #1 = CHECK

Today Zeke is one month old! We had a really rough night, so it's appropriate that today is making up for it (up from 3:30 to 6:30am and far too exhausted to go to church). We had a nice, quiet day at home, me working on household stuff and nursing while Adam worked on the 4Runner motor, and Adam's family came out for dinner around 5:30. It was the first full, real meal I've cooked since we came home from the hospital, and it was darn good if I say so myself.

He doesn't look too excited to be a month old...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hello, Blogosphere!

I never really intended to start blogging, but now that I'm home all day, frankly, I need something to do besides watch movies and nurse my son. So, as an introduction, here are some tidbits about our family.
. Christ-followers . Residents of "The Neck" . Animal lovers . Clutterbugs of varying intensity .
TV shunners / Netflix subscribers .

. Husband . Daddy . Age 26 . Fairfax-born . Annandale/Winchester-raised . 4x4 enthusiast . Old vehicle and parts collector . Fixer of all things . Mountain Dew drinker . Griller extraordinaire . Eagle Scout . Magazine reader . Eclectic music listener .

. Wife . Mommy . Age 26 . Charlottesville-born . Winchester-raised . Musician . Teacher . Decorator . Scrapbooker . Book lover . Diet root beer drinker . Head chef . Chris Tomlin fan . Cloth diaper enthusiast .

. Son . Sleep connoisseur . Milk drinker . Cloth diaper wearer . Starer at nothing .

. Dog . Walnut chaser . Cat threatener . Hairbrush chewer .

. Cat . Ice princess . Annoying meow-er . Free-er of imprisoned water .

. Dog in cat's clothing . Cuddler . Pimp-hand giver . Frank-denier .

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