A Year Ago Today...

...I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that:

*the day would come when we'd put our baby down at 7:00 pm and she would sleep the night through until 7:00 in the morning.

*I would love nursing and hesitate to wean her for fear of heartbreak.

*we would be so charmed by her little waves "hello" and "good bye", and that even when those waves are directed at inanimate objects like the refrigerator, we would still swoon and consider our child a top of the line prodigy.

*my daughter would come to find the taste of dog food delicious and feel drawn to sampling food off the cafeteria floor in the nursing home, much to my shock and horror.

*my "momma's girl" would become primarily a "daddy's girl" and in his arms she would find her greatest source of comfort and joy; a fact worthy of rejoicing.

*my arms would get so tired holding her, but that I wouldn't mind.  For we had many more negative pregnancy tests than we desired before we conceived and we know that empty arms are often so much heavier than full arms.

*I would miss being pregnant.

*even in our struggle to conceive again, we would be overwhelmed by God's grace in the one.  One child.  So undeserved.  Such a blessing.  Grace upon grace has filled our happy home and given us oh so much to be thankful for.


Happy Birthday!!!

This little gal is turning 1 today!

Happy Birthday, Sage!  
We love you so very much.

Halloween, Take One

It's a humbling thing to take your one year old trick or treating.  Everyone knows you're just doing it so you can get candy for yourself.  

Yet, humble ourselves we did.  Here's our little bumblebee on her first Halloween!

Our friends made fun of me because I brought a back up bag in case the first one got too full of candy.  First time mom syndrome...

They are the best of buds!

Most people say Tidytot looks like Mr. T, and it's true.  Every once in a while I think I see a little of myself in her.  Take the picture below, for example. 

Happy Halloween, 2013!!!

When Harry Met Sally - Chapter 2

May 2010
Tiffany sent me a text.  
"Jeff Tidyman will be a church this morning.  You can meet him or you can run away.  Your choice."  

I quickly made the executive decision to cast aside whatever ratty thing I was planning to wear and, instead, donned a flattering, elegant, yet casual black maxi dress.  And, although I probably didn't have time (I'm perpetually late), I spent a few extra minutes on my hair and make up.  Just in case...

I at least wanted to meet this guy I'd heard so much about.

I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs in the children's wing at the church where I worked.  I was talking to a volunteer about something when I looked at the stairs and saw him coming down.  Before I even saw his face I knew it was him, just by seeing his shoes.  I don't really think that fact has any real significance; just a random thing I remember about the day.  We were introduced and struck up a little conversation.  

"What do you do?"
"I'm an Engineer."

"What do you do?"
"I work with the Children's and Mission's Teams here."
"That's a lot."
"Yes, it is."

Mr. T will deny this until he's blue in the face, but he was checking me out.  I could tell.  
I knew the black dress was the right choice.   

A couple weeks of emailing back and forth followed, then a phone call.

He was calling to invite me on a big time kayaking date.

As in, I'll drive over 6 hours to Kansas City and pick you up, then we'll drive all the way back to Nebraska, then go kayaking, then go to the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival (super fun event, by the way), then I'll take you home.

As in a Thursday night to Saturday night first date!  I must have been crazy!

So our first phone conversation was primarily about organizing the plans for our big kayaking weekend.  The only other things I remember were:

1)  I noticed that he took the time to explain in detail how he arrived at the conclusion that he was going to pick me up for our date, as opposed to flying me out to Nebraska, etc.  To this day his process of explaining things is unchanged.  If he is explaining his thought process behind something, it's near impossible for him to not explain it all the way through.  Even if I signal early on that I know how the ending will go; even if I assure him I've heard the story a few times before, I have learned to wait and listen again.  He has a linear mind that needs to explain things in order.  I like that about him.

2) He asked me what I was reading.  Unfortunately (for fear of being embarrassed) or fortunately (for hope of being charming) I was reading Mary Poppins at the time.  He laughed.  A true laugh, but one that I rarely hear now-a-days, for he has several types of laughs.  The "Mary Poppins laugh" as I now think of it, is usually heard when he's talking to new people or people he doesn't speak with often.  There are a handful of laughs that I hear more often.  And laugh he does, for I am quite funny.  I make him tell me so on a near daily basis.

With the date on the calendar, I was then faced with the challenge of what to wear.  Daniella, a gal from Germany, was living with us at the time.  She helped me pack my bags and, upon looking in my closet and seeing nothing frilly, would say things like, "You are sport woman."  She also helped me select a perfume by carefully sniffing them all, selecting one proudly and saying, "This!  This is romance!"

So with bags packed there was only one thing left to do - print out a list of conversation topics.  I found one that was about 8 pages long.  8 pages should get us through two days of first date conversation.

I was ready.

Date one.

Exactly one year later, we would be walking down the isle together as husband and wife.  


When Harry Met Sally - Chapter 1

Tiffany had been telling me for quite some time about their friend, "Jeff Tidyman", always first and last name included in the description.  Tiffany and her husband, Paul, went to college with Mr. T and in that time became locked into a lifetime of friendship with him.  Throughout the years, stories of Mr. T revealed that he was what I would term, a "wild man".  At one point he was running for State Representative, then he was in Iraq with the Marine Corps, then onto Egypt to study Arabic, then back to Iraq, and on and on and on.  I could hardly keep up with the stories of his voracious appetite to conquer the world.

Regardless, I was intrigued.  So when Tiffany came and said, "Jeff Tidyman needs a date for the Marine Corps Ball.  Do you want to go with him?" I replied, "Ummm, I think that a guy who is that adventurous would probably find me boring, but sure."  I immediately started stressing about how I was going to spend an entire evening with such a wild man, especially one who was vastly more intelligent than me.  I needed to create the illusion that I could hold my own in the smarts department.  I pictured myself making little blunders like saying, "Is it 'Arabic' or 'Aramaic'?" and "I always accidentally say Marine Corpse Ball instead of Marine Corps Ball.  Isn't that so funny!?!"  I was a total airhead back then.  As opposed to now.  Now I'm super awesome at intellectual stuff.  Ask me anything.

Anyway, back in the day I was working at a church in Kansas City, managing the Children's Department and helping with the Missions Team here and there.  Life was good, for the most part.  Unlike most girls who were approaching 30, I was not worried about getting married.  In fact, I was afraid of it; commitment phobia to the core.  The guys who liked me, I didn't like.  And I always fell for guys that were totally unattainable, and therefore, uninterested in yours truly.  I think if Mr. T and I ended up going to the Marine "Corpse" Ball together, we wouldn't have worked out.  The timing would have been all wrong.

We didn't go together because, as it so happened, Mr. T sent out a request to several friends saying he needed a date.  Several friends responded.  He ended up taking someone who was more on the way.  Kansas City was quite the detour after all.  I was greeted by a nice bouquet of flowers at the office one day.  I still have the card he wrote expressing his apologies for not choosing me to be his date.  It was the first of many bouquets I would receive from the famous Jeff Tidyman.  But future bouquets would have to wait.

We didn't meet for the first time until five years later.



Today Tidytot is 11 months old!

Earlier this month, Grandma S came to visit.  We had a grand ol' time, as always!  Our weekend was packed, but we still had time to make it to the annual Heritage Days parade.  Don't you love Tidytot's jogging suit and fashion sneakers?  We signed her up for the pre-parade 5K race they had.  She had a great run and placed 1st in her age bracket!  You can see how proud we are in the photo below.

Another milestone happened this month.  She is now able to hold her bottle all by herself.  We realize most babies do this much earlier; I'm not sure why it too her so long to figure it out.  Must be because we were too busy teaching her the Greek alphabet and didn't devote enough time to this particular skill.  It's been a good "mom lesson" for me.  Sometimes I just need to put down the multiplication flash cards and focus on other things.  After all, most children learn to walk before they have the Periodic Table memorized.

Tidytot had a runny nose for a couple weeks this month.  She's not a thumb sucker, but she does suck on her finger when she's trying to fall asleep.  This proves to be a very difficult task when attempted with a stuffy nose.  And like most babies, she hates the snot sucker thing.  I discovered that the most snot exited her nose during the sneezing process.  Ergo, in order to increase sneezes I would wave the pepper shaker under her nose until it had the desired effect.  Worked like a charm!

In other news, our little munchkin is a big time college girl now!  I am working at Mr. T's office for a few hours a week and while I'm at work, Tidytot goes to the daycare at the college.  Instead of saying, "Let's go to daycare!" we say, "Let's go to college!"  We call her childcare workers her "Professors" and complain that even though she's in college we still have to do her laundry.  

Speaking of, have you ever seen a pair of purple pants frame a cuter face?

Some things never change.  Tidytot has always and still loves paper.  I think next month her favorite thing about her birthday will be the wrapping paper, then the cake, then the presents.

Until then...


Good Deals

Everyone loves a good deal.  Here are three that I thought I'd pass onto you:

Most people know that Wal Mart does Ad Matching, meaning if you find an ad from another store for a better price, Wal Mart will match that price.  Price Matcherz is a website that looks at all the applicable ads for your area and pulls the sales that qualify for Ad Match.  So, you can go through the list, make note of the ads you wish to match, and shop away.  I used it last week and saved $35.  That's a lot of dollars!  It takes some effort, but it's worth it.

Funny name, great program.  Sign your child up and receive a free, age-appropriate book once a month for children 5 years old and under.  Certain zip codes apply.  Check it out to see if it will work for you!

Mr. T told me not to put this one on because it probably illegal or somehow puts zillions of dollars worth of viruses on your computer.  But, what the heck.  It's really the only way Mr. T and I live dangerously. Viooz.co is a website that lets you instantly stream for free any movie you could possibly think of, with a few exceptions.  Heads up, there are "Cinema" movies.  Those are movies that someone has filmed with a video camera as they are sitting in the theater.  Mr. T and I don't watch those, not because we're saints, but because the quality is poor.  In fact, we try to ignore that all together because it make the whole website seem like shady business.  We click on the "Movies" link and watch those.  Most recently I saw "What About Bob" for the first time.  So funny!  My life is now complete.

What good deals do you know about?  Please share!


Weekend Adventures, Part 2

Last weekend, Mr. T and I went to Grandma and Grandpa T's house to help them with a garage sale.  They had tried to have a garage sale before, but for one reason or another there wasn't much traffic.  Last Saturday happened to be the big city wide garage sale, which would certainly prove to be more successful.  The only problem was that Grandma and Grandpa T had important out of town plans.  Thus, Mr. T and I stepped in.  

We arrived Friday night, baby and dog in tow.  Annie loves Grandma and Grandpa T's house.  They have long, carpeted hallways that she can zoom up and down.  You've never seen a happier dog.  She's a hilarious sight to behold!  

Grandma T is a master garage sale setter-upper.  Everything was organized perfectly.  All we had to do was open the garage door and welcome people in.  In anticipation for an easy morning, we put Tidytot to bed and Mr. T and I snuggled in to stay up late watching episodes of "Bear Grylls, Get Out Alive".  

About 10:00 pm we heard a rapid knock on the door.  We got up to answer it.  "I need you to call 911 and report a fire next door!"  I grabbed my phone and did just that.  Mr. T handed Annie to me and made his way into the smoke filled night to see how he could help.

Another knock.  "Can my boys stay at your house?"  And in they came.  A few only stayed a short while before they were invited to stay at other friends' houses.  The youngest boy opted to stay by himself with me.  I thought this quite unusual at first, thinking that most children would not want to stay by themselves with someone they didn't know.  I soon discovered that this little guy was absolutely terrified of the smoke and wasn't leaving the safety of the house under any circumstances.  

So we sat in front of the big dining room window, watched the fire trucks, read Button Soup, and talked.  

"Can the smoke get in here?"
"No sweetheart, you are safe in here."

"What about my stuff?  Will the smoke get to my stuff?"
"I don't know."
"What about my tiger?  I left my tiger in there!  Or my TV?  Oh no, we just got a new cat!  Will my cat be okay?"
"I'm sure everything will be fine."

"Hey, is your dog a boy or girl?"
"She's a girl."
"So she can have babies!"
"Well, she can't have babies.  Sometimes you can make it so dogs can't...er...um...have babies...um...I guess.  I don't know."
(confused look)

Soon Nana came to the door to take the little guy to her house.  

"Nana, our house is on fire!"
"I see that." she said.
"The cat did it."

We both laughed.  She carried a crying boy through the scary smoke to the safety of her house.  Mr. T came in from his heroic escapades and I sent him to shower off the smoke smell while I stuck his clothes in the wash.  

The next day was full of garage sales and junk food.  All in all it was a pretty relaxing day given the previous night's adventures.

In case you're wondering, the cat made it out just fine.

Grandma S is coming to stay this weekend.  We'll see what adventures unfold while she's here!

Weekend Adventures, Part 1

Two weekends ago Mr. T and I volunteered to help out The Delightful Scollards by staying overnight with their 7 lovely children while they snuck away for the weekend.  We went Friday night to supervise supper and then proceeded to do what all good babysitters do...watch a movie!  Then jammies went on and teeth got brushed, prayers were said and off to bed they went.  After all the little ones were tucked in, Mr. T made a bee line to WalMart to secure some much needed ice cream.  Ice cream and coffee are two gifts straight from heaven for tired grown ups.

We got ourselves ready for bed and our heads had just hit the pillow when my phone rang around 10:00 pm.  "Who could that be?" I wondered.  

"Hi, it's me.  My water just broke and my husband is out of town.  Can you drive me to the hospital?"  How do you say no to that?  "Absolutely!  I'll be right there!"

I threw my clothes back on, nursed the baby, grabbed the thermos full of coffee Mr. T had just made and headed out the door.  A series of twists and turns landed us in the hospital where I did my best to entertain her three cutie children in the waiting room until Grandma and Grandpa arrived.  I was armed with only a colorful carpet, used to play a version of "Twister" and a boring book filled with words I couldn't pronounce, as much of it was written in Spanish.  Although I know a little Spanish, my skills start to get a little rusty after 11:00 at night.

Grandma and Grandpa arrived and I headed back to the Scollards and stumbled into bed about 1:00 am and endured the next 5 hours of restless sleep.  (Too much coffee perhaps.)  The next morning we took 7 Scollard children and our 1 baby to the park and responded to innumerable, "Watch me!" and "Spin me!" requests.  Then lunch, rest time and, of course, another movie.  Next supper and then we were on our way home, where I fell asleep on the couch at 8:00, went to my bed at 8:30 and sleep like a rock until 7:00 am.  

It was an adventure.  And unbeknownst to us, the following weekend would provide another exciting evening.

Oh, and that sweet little baby made it into the world just fine.  Mamma did a great job and Dad made it in the nick of time to welcome his new daughter!  


10 Months Old

Mr. T and I have been working out every morning.  Well, every morning for the past two days but who's counting?  Tidytot is normally still fast asleep, so we have to wake her up with a cheery "rise and shine"!  Not really; we are all still tired so early in the morning.  Getting up from nap time, however, is a different story.  I'm usually greeted by a cute baby standing up in her crib.

Our morning exercises sometimes include a little dancing.  Here Tidytot is showing Mr. T her salsa moves.

 Then it's time for breakfast.  The picture below is not of breakfast.  I don't have the energy to tackle the adventure of feeding her tomato based products first thing in the morning.  Mr. T and I have learned a few tricks to make the eating process a little less messy, but sometimes you just gotta go hog wild!

In our free time, we monitor Tidytot as she climbs the stairs.  Never fear onlooking maternal types; we are getting spindles in that opening next week.

Month 10 was actually a little challenging.  Mr. T had a bad cold for about half the month and Tidytot may have caught it.  For a time she seemed more fussy and a little more opinionated about her food.  She has a very sophisticated palate and will one day be a famous chef.  You can pre-order her cookbook if you like.  Actually, she pretty much eats whatever we set in front of her, with a preference to all things "meat and potatoes".

It won't be long before this little girl is walking all around!  She's cruising around the house and wants to be vertical every chance she gets.  Although, her favorite place to be is in dad's arms.

My, how they grow up fast.



Sunday night we were invited to dessert and coffee with some friends.  The coffee, unbeknownst to me, was not decaf.  Therefore, I was up until after 12:30 reading The Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.  It's a good read, but slightly saucy (you've been warned).  Mr. T was sawing logs next to me, as he had been fighting a sore throat for several days, along with an overall feeling of sickness.  

It was because of said sickness that I decided not to wake him, even though I desperately wanted to, for I had just glanced at the ceiling and saw a spider crawling across it.  Fortunately, there was a point in time not too long ago that I had the foresight to stash several flyswatters around the house for just such an occasion.  I crept to the bathroom closet, retrieved the flyswatter, returned to our bedroom, and ended it's life - all while Mr. T slept away.  I felt very, very accomplished and powerful - and a little bit like there were spiders in my hair.  Seeing a spider always makes me feel like they are crawling on my head, even long after they've been squished.  Do you feel that way?

Anyway, I felt so good about my brave, brave, brave victory that I found it hard to celebrate alone.  I lightly tapped Mr. T on the chest until his little eyes opened.  "I just wanted you to know that I just killed a spider by myself.  It was on our ceiling.  It was a BLACK one," I whispered.  "I didn't want to wake you." 

Mr. T just smiled at the irony of the situation.  He gets me.

On a different note, that Pioneer Woman book is all about how her and her husband met and the time they spent dating.  It got me to thinking that I should write out our dating story.  There are some entertaining segments, to be sure, but mostly I don't want to forget that year of our lives.  Does anybody want to read about that?


Candy Crush Saga

Well, it happened.  Mr. T and I joined the ranks of millions who became addicted to Candy Crush Saga.  That innocent little game started out so fun.  Crush those little candies, break up all the jelly, keep the evil chocolate from spreading, and what's better is that we were working together to jump from one sugary level to the next!  

At one point I asked Mr. T if he would like to play a board game or something.  He replied, "It seems better for our marriage if we are working together on a game than playing against each other."  So true.  There have been many a game played in our house that have ended in me trying to climb out from under a mountain of depression and regret.  "If I would have only played the 'X' in that double word score instead of trying to hold out for a triple word score, I would have won that game of Scrabble!!!"  It's terrible.  Games started in the name of fun end with me stomping up the stairs leaving Mr. T left alone to clean up the kitchen by himself. 

Anyway, Candy Crush was different.  We weren't playing against each other.  In fact, I experienced a new level of grace from Mr. T.  There were times when I played a move too fast and missed an opportunity to line up 5 candies to make a sparkle donut, and if you know anything about Candy Crush, you know how important the sparkle donuts are!  And Mr. T would forgive me.  We were quite the team.  If not for him, I would blow through all my moves without strategizing and never get anywhere.  Without me, Mr. T would stare at the game for hours and never make a move.  It was the perfect picture of what God intended marriage to be.  Oh, except that we were staring at a screen for hours instead of doing something that really mattered.

At first we were in denial that we were addicted.  That is until I found myself thinking things like, "I don't have a problem," and "I can quit anytime."  Well, I did have a problem.  Mainly, the problem was that we finally reached a level that we couldn't get passed.  Regardless, today I pulled the plug and deleted it.  I've never felt so free!  


A 9 Month Old's Perspective

Hi, it's me, Tidytot.  Mom is being awfully slow about posting pictures, so I'm taking over the computer to let you know what I've been doing this past month!

First of all, I really like to crawl around the house.  Mostly when I'm on hardwood floors I do an army crawl.  When I'm on carpet, it's all fours for me!  I also love to pull myself up on the stairs.

There's so much to see and do.  Here's a picture of me exploring one of the nooks and crannies in our house.  Mom runs a pretty clean ship, but if there's dirt to be found, I find it! 

I also like to do really silly things.  Here's a picture of me in a funny hat that Grandma T bought.  It's the perfect thing to wear when I'm brushing my teeth.

Sometimes I like to tilt my head way over to one side.  People are always asking me why I do it.  I don't really know why.  It's just fun!  Here at supper Mom took a picture of me and my friend, Andy.  I would take a bite of food and then tilt my head, take a bite, tilt...you get the picture.  I'm so weird!

It's not all party, party, party around here.  I have to do my part to help out around the house.  Here I'm helping Dad with some computer problems he was having. 

It's a good thing he has me to help him navigate this thing called the "world wide web".

After work, I like to relax by curling up with a good book.  I love reading!  Whether it be with Dad and Annie,

Grandma and Grandpa T,

or just by myself,

it's one of my favorite things to do!

And after all of that, I'm usually pretty tired.  Looks like it's time for a nap.

You should take one too!!!


The Birthday Email, Year 33

(Disclaimer - this is an annual email written mostly for the entertainment of it's readers.  It's not meant to be serious.  It is serious, but since it's also slightly outrageous, I feel I should add this disclaimer as a buffer.)

For most of the year I was under the impression that I was only 31.  Imagine my shock when I realized I'm turning 33 in a couple of weeks.  A whole year lost!  (As if that would be possible.)  I don't really think it is.  This past year has certainly been quite memorable.

This is the year I started to really learn what it means to love something more than myself.  And to become painfully aware of just how much "self" is rooted in my heart.  A year of knowing bone tired, true joy, deep gratitude, insecurity, and an ever-present need for God's grace.

My first year of motherhood.

It's common for churches to give out little gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  I came from a church that would give carnations to mothers on their special day in May.  It's funny really.  Especially at first when you're taking care of a newborn.  When days and nights blur together and the little one's needs are so relentless.  When you're walk into walls tired and have no idea how everyone else makes it seem so easy and thoughts plague your mind like "Why is it that our baby is the only one that cries during church?"  When it's just so darn hard, comfort can be found in knowing "Well, at least I'll get a carnation on Mother's Day."

Certainly churches can't give gifts worthy of a mother's love and sacrifice throughout the year.  I don't know if such a gift exists in material form.  The reward of being a mom is just that - to be a mom, a witness to sweet smiles and a comforter for unfortunate bumps and scrapes.  A teacher, a guide, a warm hug, and a giver of countless kisses.  Motherhood is a gift in itself.

The same is not true when it comes to birthdays.  For birthdays, I want presents.  Like in material form.  As in wrapping paper, delicious food, pampering, the works.

For although my heart is full of love and blessed by a wealth of wonderful family and friends, my "self" would like a few more cute clothes and a hot body to put them on.  

I am aware that as I age my "hotness" level is decreasing.  I get it.  A while ago I told my husband I was sorry about all my premature wrinkles.  He replied, "Oh honey, I don't think those are premature."

We are so in love.

Okay, now for the list:

Mossimo® Women's Long Sleeve Blouse - Floral

Guitar Lessons
Coffee pot
Cute shoes for winter



Does this ever happen to you?

I can't remember if it was late at night, in the middle of the night, or early morning.  All I know is that I went to the bathroom, half asleep, and could not find the darn light switch.

"Ugh!", I said, feeling all around the dark bathroom wall, totally stressed that I was going to touch a spider or something equally hideous.  

In my mind I was thinking about how my hand is trained to find the light switch.  Out of habit, it just knows where to reach on the wall.  I never have to think about it.  Realizing that, I was in the middle of trying to clear my brain of all thought so that the habitual instinct would take over and guide my hand to the light.  Just then, Mr. T walked by.  

Since he was awake, I'm guessing it wasn't the middle of the night.

"I can't find the dumb light switch!" I exclaimed.

He calmly reached into the bathroom and turned it on.

I must have really been out of it because when he brought it up the next morning I didn't even remember it.  

We tend to chalk moments like this up to "the spice of life."  

Grammar Lesson

Last week was sort of bizarre.  

It started with an email.  Something along the lines of, "Don't forget, Steel Magnolias tryouts are coming up!"

Steel Magnolias is my favorite.  I didn't even know I was on the Community Theater's email list, which is why I took it as a sign from God that I should try out.  

So I did.

Later in the week, we received a flier from a car dealership in a town that's about an hour from where we live.  "Scratch off the center to see if you've won!"  Well, by golly, I scratched it off and it said we had won $25,000!  The only problem is that we had to drive to the dealership to "claim our prize".  We knew it was a hoax and that only one person could possibly win and that that one person probably wasn't us.  

Nonetheless, we loaded up our baby and our hearts full of dreams and started out on the road.

When we got there we discovered that we didn't win.

We were disappointed, but by no means shocked.

"Sorry you didn't win.  Here's a gift card to WalMart.  It could be worth anywhere from $5 to $200."

It was worth $5.

We figured.

While out on a walk I answered a call from the Steel Magnolias director.  "I'm sorry, but I'll be unable to cast you.  You had a good audition, but it seems you were too young for some roles and too old for other roles."

I assumed as much.

Looking back over the week, I realized that we placed glimmers of hope in things we knew would be long shots.  As it turns out, all of them were long shots.  But I'm still glad we pursued them.  I'm glad I tried out.  I had a good time and it brought me out of my comfort zone.  I'm glad we drove out of town.  It was nice to visit in the car and we took Tidytot to the park and even went to Starbucks (a real treat!).  

None of the things we hoped for worked out.  

And I don't mind.  I would rather live life knowing than wondering.  

Exclamation points, even at the end of sentences I don't like, are often so much better than question marks. 


I was visiting a dear friend the other day.  Although the subject was barely discussed, I'm aware that she would like to be married.  I don't know the plans God has, but I do know she'll make a great wife should he choose that path for her.  


Before I was married, I longed for a husband.  After being married about three weeks, I started longing for a baby.  Now my heart looks forward to a second baby.

I've come to realize that longing is part of life.  Perfectly happy and content people are still faced with a healthy desire for more / something else / something new.  The way we manage our longing speaks volumes about our trust in God.

My friend manages her longing with such grace.  May I be more like her as she strives to be more like Christ.  


Such Cuteness

How is it possible that this little girl...

is already 8 1/2 months old?

Time flies when you're having fun.  
And getting ready to go swimming for the first time is big time fun!


Plumbing Issues

This morning began as usual.  I fed Tidytot, then went down stairs to make breakfast while Mr. T took a shower.  Usually he is faster than me and is ready to go before breakfast is prepared.  

But not today.

I made and ate breakfast before he came downstairs.  Assuming he was going to town on grooming his beard, I didn't think much of it.

Later I went upstairs to check on him and thought I might find him dressed in a three piece suit, since it took him 9.23658 hours to get ready.  Nope, he was in shorts and a t-shirt.

Noticing my perplexed expression he stated, "It's been quite the morning."

"What happened?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "I was taking a shower and the water was pooling up around my feet, so I thought the drain was clogged.  After my shower I tried to plunge it but it wasn't working so I disassembled the drain to see if I could find the hair clog.  That wasn't working either.  Thankfully we had some Drain-o, so I tried that.  Still didn't work!  After all that time I was getting really frustrated.  That's when I realized the reason it wasn't working is because the lever that stops it from draining was pulled up!"

"Oh yea, I must have forgot to put that down after I gave Tidytot a bath." I replied sheepishly.

Mr. T looked at me and kind of did his blink-blink/sigh combination.

He was nice and said it wasn't my fault.  He must really love being married to me!

Phantom Baby

Ever since Tidytot was born I've had this phenomenon that I call "Phantom Baby".  Mr. T and I are not big on co-sleeping with our infant.  The both of us can hardly fit in our bed as it is.  However, the Phantom Baby syndrome still strikes a couple times a week, at least.

It's a feeling I get in the middle of the night that Tidytot is in the bed.  When she was a newborn, I would feel the down comforter on my chest and think it was her.  Then I would mentally go through the motions of thinking, "Oh I'm so tired.  I really need to lay her in her crib, but I'm SO TIRED!"  Then I would either just fall asleep or wake up and realize that she was already sound asleep in her own bed.

From there, Phantom Baby syndrome turned more to worrying that she was in the bed and that Mr. T was laying on her.  Many times in the middle of the night I would start shoving him in a panic while shouting "MOVE OVER!" until I came to my senses.

Well, two nights ago I was just sure she was in the bed again, except this time she was at the bottom of the bed under the covers.  So in my half-asleep state I reached to the bottom of the bed and started feeling around for her, only to discover my husband's hairy legs.  I searched and searched the bed but could not find her anywhere.  That's when I resorted to my fall back of shoving Mr. T and telling him to "MOVE OVER!"  

Oh hallucinations.  You certainly keep life interesting.  

Poor, Poor, Poor Annie

The other day we tried out a new groomer to save a buck or two and this is what happened:

Poor Annie.  She was not impressed with her very short hair or her very pink pom poms.  

In a way I felt kind of good about it.  Annie had a tendency to bark incessantly when Tidytot was a newborn, thus waking her up when I so desperately wanted to take a nap.  So Annie's new do sort of felt like a little vindication, a feeling which did not last long.  She "one up'd" me again by burying one of Tidytot's teething toasts in between my pillows.

I have no idea how Annie got it in between the pillows like that.  At first glance, you wouldn't know that the pillows had been tampered with.  She's good.  Very good.

Now I must go and find some doggie sunscreen, seeing how Annie has no hair to protect her skin from the sun's damaging rays.

Just another day in the life of a poodle owner...



Well, June has turned out to be a banner month.  On the 11th, Mr. T and I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary!  Last year we retreated to a fancy hunting lodge for the weekend, baby in belly.  This year we went out to eat; baby with Grandma and Grandpa T.  We like to live on the edge.  Try not to be jealous.

Tidytot is 7 months old and doing great!  She has 6 teeth and more on the way.  She can sit up, army crawl everywhere and is laughing to our heart's content.  What a fun kid!  Now for the onslaught of pictures:

Sweet girl
Oh no you  DI' N'T!
By the garden
Funny face!!!
I just love that last one.

Have a lovely weekend!


This 'N That

I was looking at this super "fashion-y" blog the other day and saw this:

Beach Outfit styled by Jen Pinkston | photos by Mary Costa for Camille Styles

It might be hard to see, but this girl has my exact wedding ring!  I feel so "fashion-y" and now believe my suspicions to be true...I have really good taste!  Of course, I don't have this cutsie denim dress, blue fingernails or aviator glasses.  However, I can assure you this ring also looks stunning with a comfortable t-shirt and some well-worn sweatpants.

In other news, I read this book a couple weeks ago:

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

It's all about motherhood and very funny.  I'd recommend it if you're in the mood for a light, uplifting read.  

I'm currently reading this book:

Also a good read.  I've learned a lot about French culture and picked up a few ideas for introducing Tidytot to new foods.

Finally, Mr. T and I have fallen in love with this yummy treat.

English muffin, Nutella, strawberries (or bananas, or both)

Make it today!!!


Important to Share

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

In many child drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here’s what to look for.

A lifeguard keeps watch on opening day of the newly renovated McCarren Park Pool on June 28, 2012, in Brooklyn, New York.
A lifeguard keeps watch on opening day of the newly renovated McCarren Park Pool on June 28, 2012, in  Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine; what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”
How did this captain know—from 50 feet away—what the father couldn’t recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents)—of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In some of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening.* Drowning does not look like drowning—Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, described the Instinctive Drowning Response like this:
  1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK—don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you all right?” If they can answer at all—they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents—children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.