Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cate @ almost 34 months

I don't really like counting her age in months anymore. I usually think of her as being 2 1/2, but she turns 3 in two months and a week or so. [Not that I'm keeping count ...] So, there you have it, almost 34 months. I guess I could have said 2 5/6 years.

Independent and stubborn, Cate reminds me a lot of myself. She has a plan of how she wants something done and gets frustrated when it doesn't work how she sees it in her mind. But she's sweet and funny too. She thanks me washing her clothes "in the circle" and randomly will say, "I love you so much," with "so much" said with a strung-out emphasis ... s ... o ... m ... u ... c ... h ... She [usually] hugs and kisses her friends when we part ways.

And, you know, she cracks me up. I've been keeping track of some of the funny things she says. She calls toilet paper and Kleenex "white paper." Hearts are "harps," and she's a tad obsessed with the shape itself right now. She likes Laffy Taffy, which she calls "Happy." Hey, it makes me happy too. When I'm putting on her shoes, we'll talk about her right foot and her left foot, but she usually says, "wrong foot." I've learned words that have multiple meanings are harder for toddlers to grasp, but I love the way she thinks!

She's been into Play-Doh these days. Sometimes she makes worms. The day I took this picture she was making a cup.

We discovered indoor entertainment this week with these bouncy things. As you can see, she likes it. Of course, remember, too, that she likes to jump around.

Also this week, we had swim lessons ...

She did well most of the days. She even went under water a couple of times with no real opposition. Her favorite part is kicking around while holding onto the noodle.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Once upon a time ...

... Ben had a story to tell.

Apparently, it was a really good story.

"Didn't you like it, momma?"

"Oh, you didn't get it?"

"Oh, well, I'll just go back to playing with my hands ...

... and drooling."

Ben's new friend

This is Ben with his comfort The Taggie, who seems to be doing a decent job replacing The Pacifier.

He likes The Taggie to be close to his face ...

This is actually the back-up Taggie. The favorite one was hand-made by Emily, who also made the beautiful blanket for Ben.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I know next week is March. February has really gotten away from me. Last night while laying in bed, I was thinking about how January continues to be packed with significant dates in our life. I've posted about this before. But I wanted to add Ben's adoption finalization to the ever-growing list ...

Jan. 23, 2002 - Greg proposed.

Jan. 28, 2004 - I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Jan. 20, 2006 - I was diagnosed with endometriosis, one of the complications in why we couldn't/haven't gotten pregnant, after a minimally-invasive laparoscopy surgery.

Jan. 18, 2007 - We met Cate's birth mother for the first time at a doctor's office in Bloomington, Ind., and saw Cate for the first time on an ultrasound.

Jan. 27, 2010 - Ben's adoption was finalized two months and four days after he was born.

And, now, back to February ...

Worth Repeating Wednesday

I am far more interested in jumping than I am in arguing about whose trampoline is better. You rarely defend the things you love. You enjoy them and tell others about them and invite others to enjoy them with you.

--Rob Bell in "Velvet Elvis"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ben @ 3 months

* Smiles and coos, especially when he has a full belly
* Often sleeps 7 hours at night and even gave us a 9-hour night earlier this week
* Is still working on some teeth
* Has become fond of sleeping with a small Taggies blanket, especially since we got rid of his pacifier
* Often sucks on his pointer finger or thumb when his right hand is in a fist {see photo above!}

My dear friend Courtney took these photos of Ben last week when she was watching him ... and Cate, along with her own two children. I love them. And I love our friendship with her and her kids.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I had Ben's adoption story book nearly finished before I found the name I wanted. But when I found the name, I realized it was perfect. And, of course, there is a story behind it.

Backing up ... I named Cate's adoption story "Chosen." It came to be easily, before I even started the content of the book. Of course, Ben's didn't come together quite like that.

I asked Greg for some suggestions and he rattled off a few that weren't meaningful enough to me. Then later, when I was bugging him again, he said, "What about beloved?"


Yes, that fits.

Then I was Googling Bible verses that used the word "beloved" that I could incorporate onto the title page of Ben's book. I skipped over several from Song of Solomon.

And then I read this:

About Benjamin he said: "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." -Deuteronomy 33:12

I was thinking, SERIOUSLY? "About Benjamin ..." Really could it be more perfect? And the message is one I want Ben to know. He can rest secure in the Lord, who protects him.

Yes, seriously.

God is definitely in the details.

Go Racers!

Have you heard about our Murray State Racers? They have won 17 straight games, breaking a school record and giving them the nation's longest winning streak. With two games to go, MSU (26-3) already clinched the regular-season conference championship. In fact, so far Murray State is undefeated in the Ohio Valley Conference. People are starting to notice as the Racers received a couple votes in this week's AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll.

Needless to say, they have been fun to watch this season.

[OK, so, Ben prefers napping ...]

Friday, February 19, 2010


Most days 1994 doesn't seem that long ago.

But it was. Really. It was 16 years ago. That's slightly more than a decade and a half. It's slightly more than half my life.

I've been watching "Party of Five," a show that debuted in 1994, thanks to the way shows I watched then are on DVD now. Ah, technology ...

Then a conversation about "All Dogs Go to Heaven," a movie my sister kept on repeat most of her early childhood, led to a quick listing of movies I watched over and over again when I was younger ... in no particular order ...

Dirty Dancing
Flight of the Navigator
Funny Farm
Major League

Then, randomly, was offering a free -- yes, FREE -- download of Sister Hazel's new digital collection. Oh, Sister Hazel, you take me back to high school, in a good way ...

Anyway, so I just learned -- Thanks, Wikipedia! -- that Sister Hazel debuted in 1994 too. But "All for You" came a few years later, approximately the same year I graduated from high school and came to Murray State.

Now, I'm wondering what else happened in 1994 ...

The Buffalo Bills lost their fourth straight Super Bowl. And I remember watching this at my house with my then-boyfriend Jonathan. We thought it was really great he got to hang out so late on a school night.

Kurt Cobain died. Oh, yes, my friend Elliott inspired us, somehow, to make Cobain the focus of an English class group project. I have no idea what the assignment was or how the lead singer of Nirvana was relevant.

O.J. led police on that chase in his white Bronco you may have seen on TV. Jonathan was at my house for this television entertainment as well.

There was crisis unrest in Iraq. Yeah, surprise, I know.

"Forest Gump" and "Shawshank Redemption" came out. I remember seeing at least "Forest Gump" in the theater. And I know I've watched "Shawshank Redemption" countless times since.

Oh, 1994, some moments with you feel like they happened just the other day. I know I've changed some, but I'm certain we'd still recognize each other. I haven't forgotten about you, but I'm happy where I am, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Worth Repeating Wednesday

Our faith is not about magic, it’s about partnering with God to see remarkable things happen through faithfulness and consistency over a long-period of time.

--Donald Miller on his blog earlier this week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Yes, I'm surprised I like dressing my kids in holiday attire as much as
I do. But, hey, I might as well do it before they decide it's too dorky.

I've decided holidays are more fun with a toddler in the house. Cate is especially loving Valentine's Day because it involves hearts and making cards for all her friends. "All my friends" is a popular phrase around here. And, to be fair, it refers to everyone we know, including but not limited to fellow toddlers. Thinking about this has made me thankful, once again, for our community of friends. Our family is friends with other families, and I think that's a special environment for our kids to have.

With that said, I'm glad our 5-year-old friend Tuvia wanted to have a Valentine's Day party on Saturday. Cate had a grand time picking out Handy Manny [Yes, seriously, over Disney princesses and Mickey Mouse ...] cards, writing "her name," sealing them closed with a heart sticker and putting the cards along with some mini M&Ms in Zip-locs for "all the friends." [In this case, "friends" was limited to those 5 and younger.]

So onto the actual party, where there were heart-shaped pepperonis and pink-colored, heart-shaped Rice Krispy treats ...


Here is me and my smallest Valentine ...

Friday, February 12, 2010


I've never been a fan of pacifiers. They're one more thing to make sure you have in the diaper bag before you leave the house. And it's quite some time before a baby has enough coordination to re-insert them independently. [Don't get me started on toddlers talking with pacifiers in their mouths!]

But Ben was teething and cranky, and he found a friend. [I actually saw early signs of him being a thumb-sucker.] And then his friend The Pacifier ended up helping him sleep "through the night," a term I use loosely but a concept about which I put a great deal of hope.

We had a good week, well, actually, eight days, of this "through the night" [albeit short nights, not that I'm keeping count ...] and then the last five nights have been more up and down [literally, at least for Greg and me ...]. Ben doesn't want to eat in the middle of the night anymore, which is good, but he has been waking up every couple hours [sometimes even more frequently] wanting The Pacifier put back in his mouth, where he decided it needs to be, if he's sleeping.

You see, we already had a rule that pacifiers were made for sleep aids, not all-day distractions.

Yet continually re-inserting The Pacifier wasn't really helping anyone sleep well. And if you know anything about our parenting philosophy, then you know we are advocates of everyone sleeping well.

So we decided this morning -- after I told Greg that my eyes hurt from trying to keep them open after we each were up multiple times pacifying our son -- that The Pacifier was more trouble than it was worth. All four versions of Ben's new friend have been stored away.

Maybe he'll find his thumb. Maybe he'll just cuddle with his blankets. Either way, we have a new plan that [hopefully] will leave everyone feeling more rested, even if it takes a few days to get there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It snowed ... again, really ...

I am really surprised it snowed here, again. There seems to be as much, if not more, than it was 10 days ago. I'd say five or six inches currently is on the ground.

Monday, February 8, 2010


We were so happy to see Holly for a short visit Thursday and Friday.

I discovered a new blog last week, and I'm already borrowing a blogging prompt, which apparently actually came from yet another blog.

Outside my window ... there are snow flurries, believe it or not.

I am thankful for ... being able to stay home with my kids and have friends who are in the same season of life.

I am wearing ... jeans, a favorite T-shirt and socks.

I am remembering ... Party of Five, thanks to my early First-Date Day present from Greg.

I am going ... to stay home the rest of the day.

I am currently reading ... "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.

I am hoping ... for continued peace as I settle into mothering two kids.

On my mind ... is not much of anything, actually.

Noticing that ... I'm feeling more simple than usual today.

Pondering these words ... It’s your life/What you gonna do?/The world is watching you by from the song "It's Your Life" by Francesca Battistelli.

From the kitchen ... I have broccoli cheese soup cooking in the Crock Pot and am stocked up on groceries that I just put away.

Around the house ... Laundry is washing and drying, children are sleeping and I am mentally resting.

One of my favorite things ... is my community of girl friends. And one of those who [unfortunately] doesn't live in Murray anymore visited us last week. [See picture above.]

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ben and his friend

The other day when our 3-month-old friend Davey wore a dinosaur outfit I recognized from Ben's drawer, Davey's mom, Sarah, and I decided we should have a photo shoot of our matching boys. Davey is 3 1/2 weeks older than Ben, who is now 10 weeks old. Aren't the cute?

Apparently, Ben is thinking about escaping ...

These days ...

... Ben enjoys looking at his mobile and his fist.

... Cate still likes accessories. [This picture is courtesy Greg's iPhone.]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Worth Repeating Wednesday

We don’t get to decide who God is. "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.'" (Ex. 3:14). We don’t change that. ... Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.

--From "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

To the dentist we go ...

Cate and Ben accompanied me to my teeth-cleaning appointment this morning. I thought about getting a babysitter, but then I thought it would be good for Cate to go with me so it wouldn't be such a strange place when I took her for her own first appointment in a few months. [And, hey, Ben was fed, so he was easy company.] I told the hygienist I thought I'd bring Cate when she was 3, but she volunteered to clean Cate's teeth today ...

Usually I have my camera in the diaper bag, but I had it out at home yesterday and I hadn't put it back. Thankfully, my iPhone came through for me. I wouldn't want Cate's first teeth cleaning to go undocumented!