Friday, September 28, 2007

This weekend...

Well, I'm entering this weekend with mixed emotions.

I just said goodbye to my husband and daughter as they left for a visit to Charlotte without me. My mother-in-law's birthday was Thursday and we were supposed to go as a family to celebrate with Patrick's folks this weekend. But, since I've been so uncomfortable lately, I was really nervous about going down there and being miserable. I've had a couple of miserable days where it feels as though I've ridden a horse for 2 days straight! My pelvis has been VERY achy to the point where it hurts to sit and I can barely walk. I have my good days and bad days and then there's the miserable days...I find relief by switching positions often, not sitting on the floor (which is hard with a small child), not sitting, standing, or pushing the stroller for extended periods, not sleeping on the same side all night (I try to stay on my left for good circulation for the baby, but it's SOOO uncomfortable if I'm constantly on that side).

Anyway, we decided that Gram and Pops still needed to see their little grandbaby and Patrick was lovingly willing to give me a weekend at home to take care of "me" while he took Mallory over to his folks. This is the first time I've been alone since Mallory has been born and the first time Patrick has been the main person in charge of her daily care. I'm actually wondering what the heck I'm going to do with myself without her here!!! Though I'm SOOO thankful for the opportunity to rest, I miss my hubby and little girl...and they've only been gone for 30 min!!!

I'm praying that God will give me the self control to actually REST this weekend and not try to pack in a bunch of activities that I'd like to do but would cause me to be in pain. I'll probably hit a few garage sales tomorrow morning, go to the grocery store (childless!!!!), clean some odds and ends around the house, and watch football ALL DAY!!!! I might pick up a new book to read, crochet a few new items for the kids, and other things that will cause me to rest.

I'm praying that Patrick will enjoy his little girl this weekend. Since she's very attached to me, I think he'll like being her center of attention since Mommy isn't around. And Gram and Pops will probably like more of her attention as well.

Anyway, I'm about to head upstairs to the quietness of my house. I have no baby to kiss goodnight to, sing to, read to, or pray with before night night time. Sad. And I have no husband to sit with, talk to, or sleep next to either.

But, it will be very nice to have Melanie time. *sigh*

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jealousy issues

I have found that Mallory is very jealous of my affections. At first, I thought it was just towards other children, but realized this past weekend that it was towards both Cayman and Patrick, too. I was petting Cayman on Saturday evening and Mallory melted into a ball of tears. Patrick and I looked at each other and couldn't believe what we were seeing. So, we tested her again as Patrick came over to me and we shared a hug. Again, Mallory succumbed to her tears. I just had to get it on video!

It frightens me a little at her attachment to me, but she'll quickly learn to get over it once Ethan arrives. The transition just might be a little hard on her. In the meantime, I'll just need to cuddle more with my husband in front of Mallory. :-)

Setting - Mommy is sitting next to Daddy giving him a hug (off camera) while Mallory is playing. Then, she notices...

Friday, September 21, 2007

17 months

It's hard to believe our little girl is 17 months! Her personality is shining through more and more and though it's wonderful to see her growing up, I also see the sin that is so evident in her life. I pray daily for her to learn patience and obedience and that God will begin to work in her heart, drawing her close to Himself so that she may learn to glory in the Redeemer!

She's a sweetheart and our hearts overflow with love for her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jumpin' and Dancin'...she's "So Big"!!!

Here's a short video clip I took of Mallory while my mom was here...

Reading List

Never in my life have I had so many books that I'm currently reading. I'm usually the kind of girl who picks up a good novel and reads it exclusively until the final page. I am not, normally, a reader of non-fiction. But, I have a few non-fiction books that have either peaked my interest, give necessary information regarding my "current condition", or is for a Bible Study I'm currently involved in. So, here's the rundown:

1. Attitudes of a Transformed Heart (Martha Peace) - I'm reading this book, along with a few ladies from church, for a bible study we will begin this week (finally!!!)
2. Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God (Noel Piper) - We bought this book from the Desiring God book sale several weeks ago. This is the first biography (or collection of biographies) I have ever read on my own accord (*Sheepish Admission*). I'm currently reading about Lilias Trotter.
3. Babywise (Gary Ezzo) - I'm reading this as a refresher to prepare me for the first several months of breastfeeding Ethan
4. A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (Henci Goer) - Again, this is a refresher to help mentally prepare myself for labor (thanks again, Kristin, for this book). It opened my eyes to the beauty of God's design in birthing babies. Though this is not a christian book, it offers many facts about c-sections, epidurals, inductions and other hospital techniques that take away from the natural process God put in place since Eve. I'm convinced that letting my body naturally birth my baby is the best way to go. Still, the hospital is full of "temptations" to lure me from what I want to experience in my labor. Yes, there may be complications that may arise - I understand. But, if it's at all possible for me to birth this baby naturally, then that's what I'm doing! (*stepping off soap box*)
5. What to Expect when You're Expecting (Heidi Murkoff) - I'm mainly focusing on Chapter 14 - Labor and Delivery. I just want to remember what it's like - the phases of labor, what to expect where contractions are concerned, how far apart/how long they are before going to the hospital, pushing techniques, etc. Reading this chapter has caused me to remember the pain a little bit, but I'm feeling more prepared for the "big day". (*stepping up on the soapbox again*) I think a lot of moms are taught about labor, "the more you don't know, the better - doctors know best". I don't agree. I think as a mom, I need to be a prepared as possible mentally so you can make the best decisions for you and your child. So, you expectant moms out there, read up! Get prepared! It will REALLY be the best thing you can do to help your labor experience (*stepping down*).

And I don't have a fiction book on the list!!! Well, mainly because I don't have one to read right now. I've exhausted all my books and have even re-read several of them recently.

What are you reading?

Friday, September 14, 2007

A year ago today...

...we woke up at 3:30am and was out the door by a little past 4am heading towards our new city and state to meet our moving truck. We said goodbye to NC as our home and hello to the Northeast TN mountatins (you can read last year's moving post here and here). It's hard to believe a year has gone by. In a sense, it seems as though it was yesterday we moved yet so much has happened this past year that I can't wrap my brain around how long it's been since we've been here.

The Lord has brought us through many joys and trials these last 365 days. We're stronger because of the move. He continues to refine us. We serve an awesome God who knows our plans, the ones we can't even fathom, yet these plans prosper us just the same. I'm so glad that we can rest in His sovereignty and believe that He controls all things, even the falling of sparrows.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It is now a danger...

...for me to go to the grocery store without giving in to indulgent purchases. I know that pregnancy cravings usually occur in the first trimester, but mine are occurring NOW. I upped our grocery bill by almost $15 with the things I bought on a whim, but HAD to have, thanks to my hormonal mind telling me I couldn't be satisfied without at taste...or MANY tastes...of the following items:

1. Lucky Charms ($3.98 for the extra large box). I bought my first box last week after several weeks of wondering if I should. I ate at least 2 bowls a day - snack and dessert. I ran out of the cherished cereal two days ago and I've been itching for some ever since, waiting until I was goign to the store anyway so I wouldn't be one of those pregnant ladies people snicker at when all they see in the grocery cart is a box of Lucky Charms. I decided to get the largest box I could find.

2. Doritos ($3.50 for the family size bag). Now, I NEVER buy Doritos, but I walked passed a kiosk at the front of the store on the way to the check out line and they were screaming my name. Darn those kiosks!!! I ate a quarter of the bag on my way home. Oh, they were so good!

3. Raspberry Ginger Ale ($3.33 for a 12 pack). I've been drinking soda more during my pregnancy since I have some major issues with heartburn and I'm tired of taking Tums (I'm over half way through the 4th bottle). I'm tired of them in my purse and sitting on my vanity next to my tooth brush so I can access them conveniently. I'm tired of the chalky taste that always lingers in my mouth and the feeling I have to brush my teeth after each time I take one. The carbonation of soda helps, though I have to limit my sugar intake since my glucose levels are a little high. After perusing the soda aisle with my throat dry for a bubbly one, I decided I HAD to have the Raspberry Ginger Ale. It sounded SOOO good, though I've never had it before. I will be drinking my first can after this post.

So, for the sake of our budget, I'm wondering if I should let Patrick do the shopping. But, I honestly enjoy going to the grocery store. I am always shocked at the final tally of our grocery bill though (part of the thanks goes to the 8.5% sales tax on food and grocery here in TN - higher than it was in NC) and wonder if I can ever buy a weeks worth of groceries for a decent amount of money. Should I concede that it might not happen until after Ethan is born? I don't know. All I know is that I've GOT to have a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Free Stuff

...from Chick-Fil-A!!!

Register for a free chicken sandwich and a coke here. I think it's like the first 1 million who register get a coupon.

Memorializing 9/11

I can remember exactly where I was on 9/11/01. And I can remember the feelings I felt on that day. I always take a moment and reflect on the tragedy of those events, but I remember that people die tragic deaths every day of the year, whether the global, national, state, or city eye is on the event or not. We will all face death in the future. So I asked myself today "how do I memorialize this day on my blog"? I think the best thing I can do is praise God, from whom all blessings flow, and acknowledge that his sovereignty is perfect and perfectly executed, though it's beyond my comprehension.

Also, I encourage you to read John Piper's blog entry on "How to Mark and Honor this Day".

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Meeting Daddy at the Airport

Since the airport is only 10 minutes from our house and it's a SMALL airport (to say the least), I decided to surprise Patrick and meet him there as he disembarked off his plane. Since his flight was delayed from Atlanta, I knew he was tired and anxious to see me and Mallory.

We definitely surprised him. And he LOVED seeing his little girl waiting for him when he came out of the terminal. It was a sweet reunion.

UPDATE - Patrick ended up having a GREAT time on his trip out west. I think the golfing was the highlight. He's now talking about getting more in to golf and wanting a set of clubs. Oiy. Anyway, he ate a lot, enjoyed the time he spent with his co-workers, work-out at the gym, swam, and even spoke highly of his meetings. He said he'd definitely like to visit there again.

The work-horses

New Living Room Arrangement

You can see a before picture of the living room here from a previous blog post. I wish I had a few better "before" pics so you could REALLY see the difference, but...oh-well.
Here are the after shots:


Here is my attempt at cutting Mallory's bangs. She did great sitting in her chair, since Praise Baby was playing on the TV, which kept her from squirming. I think her trim turned out really well. I've included pics of the actual cutting process and a few from the next day so you can see what it actually looks like :-)


The main colors of the room will be light blue, navy, gold, red and white. The MAIN material are a solid navy and a blue/gold/white plaid. The finished products are the curtains and bedskirt. Here are the detail shots (curtain and bedskirt respectively):

Here is the other material that will be used for the bumper, throw pillow and "E-T-H-A-N" letters for the wall:

Here are some action shots of mom (and Mallory) sewing:

Ethan's Room


Looking in from the doorway:

Standing to the Left of the Window, looking at the wall to the right of the doorway:

Standing in front of the swing, looking towards the doorway:

AFTER: It is still a work in progress, but this is where the room is at this point. I still have a few pieces to add (rocking chair, stuff on walls, crib bumper, etc), but it's a great start! I couldn't be happier.

Looking in from the doorway, right of window:

Looking in from the doorway, left of window:

Standing in front of Armoire:

Standing between the closet door and the crib:

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My favorite clothing store...

...which I haven't shopped in since being pregnant with Mallory, is now offering Maternity clothes. Maybe I'll indulge in my next pregnancy :-)...

Friday, September 7, 2007

They say black is slimming...

Here are me an Ethan at 31 weeks.

While my mom was here...

1. We played LOTS with Mallory, of course - the MAIN priority
2. We painted Ethan's room
3. We arranged Ethan's furniture
4. We chose all the fabric for Ethan's crib bumper, dust ruffle, throw pillow (for the coming rocking chair), curtain, and "E-T-H-A-N" letters. This process took 2 days and 3 fabric shops.
5. We talked A LOT about how all the bedding/room paraphernalia would be designed. We finalized all the patterns last night
6. Mom sewed an extension with the "main" fabric on the thermal navy curtains I bought for Ethan's room. Since his rocking chair is navy and will be next to the curtains, the extension will be a nice break between the two colors. It took us a little while to figure out what we were going to do, but since the curtains were so thick, we decided to nix the valance idea and just add the "pollyflox" onto the pre-made curtain. And if you've never seen how thermal curtains can darken a room...WOW is all I can say!
7. We hung the curtains. Lemme tell ya, we DEFINITELY needed each other for this process. We kept reminding each other of how it works and I don't think it would have gone smoothly if we didn't work as a team.
8. Mom sewed the dust ruffle for the crib (this morning!!!) and it's in the crib now. She went home with the "pattern' for the bumper and pillow. Those will be loving made in her own sewing room back in GA.
9. We rearranged all the furniture in my living room...including moving the entertainment center and 75+ lbs. TV. Don't didn't allow me to strain myself. And I don't think she did either. Furniture on top of towels is VERY easy to move on wood floors...even with a 75+ lbs. TV on top of it! And gosh, it looks like a different living room. I absolutely love it.
10. We rearranged all the art that was hanging on the walls in our master bedroom and living room. I think we hung/re-hung a total of about 2 dozen different pieces of art work and photographs all over the house. Ethan's closet was filled with prints I hadn't hung. But no more! Again, it wouldn't have been as smooth of a process if we didn't have each other...and the laser level. I love the change in artwork between rooms. I think it will REALLY help with future decorating. :-)
11. I went through all of the "stuff" that was housed in Ethan's armoire (which used to be Patrick's clothes storage while he was growing up). That actually doesn't seem like a big task, but there was a lot of odds and ends in there!
12. I packed all of Mallory's blankets and put them up in her closet (they used to be housed in Ethan's armoire). I don't know how Mallory survived with only 14 blankets!!! Seriously, does a baby need THAT many blankets? Too bad they're all pink and girlie.
13. I came across the valance that goes with Mallory's bedding while riffling through all the stuff in Ethan's armoire. Since she doesn't have any curtains, we held it up to see if it would fit on her window. Though it hangs flat, it almost fit with about an inch on each side too short. SOOOO, my handy-dandy mom sewed a ruffle on the ends of each of the valance, which is now hanging on a spring-rod in her window. It's the perfect touch!
14. I sorted all of Ethan's clothes that have been purchased over the last few months from consignment stores, garage sales, and "normal" stores :-), organized them by age, and put them in little bins that are now in his clean and organized armoire.
15. We ate out for lunch twice!
16. I gave Mallory her first haircut!!! Well, it was just a bangs trim, but it made me a little sad knowing my baby girl needed a trim to get her hair out of her eyes. She's a big girl now.
17. I had 2.5 hours to myself this morning while mom watched Mallory for me. There's nothing like eating a Panera bagel and reading a book LEISURELY without worrying about all the food my child is throwing on the floor.
18. Patrick would say this task was #1, but I daily watered all the plants he worked hard at getting in the ground over Labor Day weekend. Watering is a task, but it's also good knowing that I was able to be a part of Patrick's "yardwork weekend", though it was more an "extension", but a necessary one!

I may be missing mother would have to remind me of what we did that I didn't list. One thing I did do regarding dinner was make things to eat that Patrick would NEVER have appreciated, like Italian salad on top of basil pizza crust and Chicken/Veggie Pasta toss...with whole wheat pasta and olive oil. :-) We loved it. And I couldn't stop commenting on how much Patrick wouldn't have loved it. :-)

Gosh, it was great to piddle in my house and have the energy to do so. With the help mom gave me with Mallory, I actually as able to stay up until 11pm each night. AND I had a nap each day she was here. I felt like I was on vacation in a way...doing things I wouldn't normally do on an average day. I was going to post pictures tonight, but since Patrick *MAY* check my blog while traveling across the country, I'll post pics tomorrow. If you've read this far, thanks for your dedication to my posts. I know this was wordy, but there was a lot that we did that I just can't believe we accomplished.

And one last thought. While I was mopping my floors this evening, the Lord reminded me that what we did this week and what I was doing at that moment was a way of worshipping Him through this role he's given me as mother, wife, and housekeeper. I began to rejoice in the act of service I was currently doing for my family, even though mopping is one of the things that wears me out the most. It's amazing how the Lord helps me find joy in these tasks. I have to admit, the joy was becoming faint in the past weeks, but He opened my eyes to the delight He will give through the work of my hands. For work is a gift; it is not a hindrance. Thanks to my mom, who served me and my family humbly before the Lord. I know she had a million other things to do, BUT I do know (without a doubt!!!) that she wouldn't have rather been anywhere but helping me in these last few days. I pray that my heart will be one of servitude like hers when my children need me like I needed her this week.

My cup runneth over. Thank you Lord.

Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale

Well, I got off the phone with Patrick about an hour ago and he was headed off to the TPC of Scottsdale, home of the PGA Tour's FBR Open. He was going to play a round of golf with his Gentiva buddies on this beautiful course. Now, he hasn't picked up a set of golf clubs since I've met him (or so I can't remember him playing golf in that time...) and he was VERY hesitant to agree, but since they were getting the rate so cheap, he figured it was the chance of a lifetime.

So, I don't know how well he's playing, but he's out there right now enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Arizona desert behind the green of one of the top golf courses in the country.

Weather in AZ right now: 99 degrees

His flight leaves Phoenix at 11pm Pacific Time (2am our time!!!) and should be home by 11am tomorrow. We can't wait!

I'll be posting a HOST of pictures in the next day or two. If I get up the energy, I'll post some tonight after Mallory goes to bed, which will be soon! She's had a busy week, too!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

This week in our household...

We should all have an interesting week this week. Though I would say we would all have a "great" week, I think Patrick is dreading his plan (where I am struggling not to covet his plan).

Patrick left about 10 minutes ago to head to the airport to have a 4-day business trip to Scotsdale, AZ, a "resort" suburb of Pheonix where he will be attending a national "Specialties Directors" meeting at the Fairmont Princess Resort.

He should arrive in AZ this afternoon via Atlanta and has the opportunity to enjoy the resort's amenities and restaurants this evening before all of the meetings start tomorrow. He was told to bring "resort/golf" attire, meaning he can wear shorts and polos to all his meetings. All of his expenses are paid (travel, food, drinks, etc) and he's never been out west before. We were hoping we could make a trip out of it for us, but in researching the cost for me to go out there and the fact that Patrick was dreading this trip, we would rather spend that money on a trip we'd both anticipate. Patrick is a home-body. He likes it here and would trade places with me in a second. Though I love being at home, too, I LOVE a good adventure and would trade places with him in a second - even if it were a business trip. I'm looking forward to hearing that he WILL have a good time despite his doubts.

The biggest downside to his trip is his travel home on Fri. He's catching the red-eye out of Phoenix and his lay-over in ATL is pretty long. He won't be home on Saturday until around 11am. He'll be a tired boy when he gets home!

While he's gone, my mom is coming in town today to stay with Mallory and I until Friday morning. She's planning on helping me get some rest while looking after my active little girl and helping me get Ethan's room ready. I hope to have his room painted and organized by the time she leaves!!! She's also bringing her sewing machine and we're hoping to get started on some bedding and valances for his room, too. It will be a bonus if we get those done, but I'm not going to put any pressure on my mother to sew until her hands fall off. I'm hoping to translate my ideas to her and then her transpose what I want into somewhat of a pattern. And then we need to find the material! So, we definitely have an agenda, and I'm REALLY looking forward to this week with her, though I will miss my hubby.

Well, I still have about 45 minutes until my girl wakes up, so I think I'm going to enjoy my coffee, get some reading in and relax a bit more. There is something quiet and peaceful about the morning time, when the sun is just about to rise and the house is still dark and quiet with sleep. Though I normally wake up around 6:30, getting up at 5 was a bit of a challenge, but it has been pleasant so far. I'm not planning on making this my wake-time yet, though. I'll be seeing the wee hours of the morning sooner than I think with Ethan's due date only 9 weeks away! to sip and read.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

It begins TODAY!!!!

GO GATORS!!!! The 2007 season led by new QB Tim Tebow (read his's great!) begins today at 12:30 vs. Western Kentucky. The game will be at "The Swamp" and the 90K+ fans will probably have an AWESOME time (though be sweating like mad). I'm very excited to watch the game today and am looking forward to seeing my defending national champs come out victorious again this year. It should be fun and exciting!!!

It's great to be a Florida Gator!!!!