Monday, March 29, 2010

Elaine Rolled Over!

I went to a ladies meeting on Saturday morning, and while Ben was babysitting Elaine decided to roll over for the first time.  Then she was sick yesterday, so I went to the evening service and Ben stayed home.  You guessed – she rolled over again…for Daddy.  I was starting to feel just a little jealous.  Then I came home from church to a sad, crying, unhappy baby who changed her attitude as soon as I held her.  {Sigh.}  She still needs me!  Ben said, “I can’t believe you put her to sleep that easily.  I tried everything.  She cried for an hour.”  I assured him he just needed a Mommy’s touch!

Finally, this morning, Elaine rolled over for me.  And I just happened to have the video camera running!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Bag Sale

We went to the bag sale at Kid to Kid, our local consignment/resale store.  At the end of the season they do a big clearance sale, and everything you can stuff in a bag is $10.  I went in August before Elaine was born, and I bought half boy and half girl items.  It was easier today because I only had to go to one section.  But it was more difficult because I had Elaine with me!  I was very thankful for my Moby Wrap today, and the fact that I didn’t have to try to maneuver a stroller and lose my kid like many other moms.

Here’s what we got:

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Everything was winter clothing, so we bought 12-18 months and some 2T.  I got a Tommy Hilfiger outfit brand new with the tags on it, and a new Levi Strauss jean jacket.  Some shoes, lots of shirts, some overalls, and 8 little dresses.  It was worth the hour that we waited in line…I saved $169.22!!!  (And that is off the consignment prices, not the retail price).

Yay for bargains and clearance sales!!!

Lessons in Motherhood #158

Laundry multiplies.

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Yes.  It all belongs to Elaine.  The whole basket.  She dirtied it all in just a day and a half.  (And her clothes are little, so they don’t take up much room, so there is A LOT in that basket!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I’m a Guest Blogger!

Snappi I blogged before about my guest post over at The Cloth Diaper Blog.  One of my “articles” is featured again today.  I have several others waiting in line to be published.  I have earned a free Rumparooz diaper, and I’m halfway to my second diaper…just for Guest Blogging!  You can view my newest article here.  Since this isn’t a cloth diapering blog, I won’t bother you any more about articles…y’all probably find it boring!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Feelings about Wal-Mart

May I take a post just to rant a little bit?  Good.  walmartIt’s my blog anyway.

I used to consider Wal-Mart a necessary evil.  Now I remove the “necessary” part of that statement.  Not that they are evil in and of themselves, but I despise going into their stores!!!

Mom had sent a little spring outfit to Elaine.  We needed a bigger size.  So I drove to my super Wal-Mart.  I stopped going there a year ago, mostly because it is not conveniently located to our home.  But I rarely had good service, and the bathrooms were always disgusting.  Really bad disgusting, maybe worse than a gas station off the interstate that you use in desperation on a road trip.  Not much has changed at Wal-Mart.

The customer service person was friendly enough, though she was trying to serve a line of five customers, cash payroll checks, and wire money at the same time, all by herself.  The manager walked by three times and did nothing.  The cashier finally called for help, at which time the manager came back.  But did she open a line?  No, she waited for someone else to get up there and do it.  Though the restroom has been remodeled, it is still disgusting.  And I think it is a conspiracy the way they make the door go around three curves to get inside.  How are you supposed to maneuver that with a cart or stroller?  Do they expect me to leave my four month old sitting by the water fountain alone?

I have been shopping at Target lately because it is close to me.  It is clean.  The employees are nice, for the most part (no store is perfect).  The restrooms actually have soap and warm water.  They have a family restroom where the car will fit.  The manager who watches the front lines actually calls for backup if the lines are too long.  And sometimes the manager opens the lane herself!  Whoa!  You mean they do their job?  I know that Wal-Mart has the cheapest prices, but I am willing to pay a few cents extra per item if it means good service and a clean store.  (My tune might change when we move to Brooklyn because I know that every cent will make a difference and we will need to save as much as possible).

Then today I had an appointment at the picture studio.  I decided to actually pay to get some prints to share with our family.  The coupons was for a photo package for $4.99, and it said very specifically “choose your favorite pose”.  The photographer was nice, but not very creative.  She took about five shots and then announced that she was done.  When I was selecting my pose, she informed me that the coupon could only be used on the first pose they took.  And it was a terrible photo!  Elaine wasn’t even looking at the camera, her dress was turned up, and she wasn’t really smiling.  (And Elaine is a happy, smiling baby so there should have been no problem getting a good shot).  Not to be proud, but the pictures I have taken at home were better than the ones Wal-Mart took.

At the Picture People, I go in every month and get a free 8x10 with the coupon they send me.  They take lots of good shots, and their backgrounds are seamless.  They have a little chair or bobby for the babies to sit in.  At Wal-Mart there was some sort of a block behind Elaine, and even underneath blanket that’s what it looked like – a block.  The table looked like…a table…with a drape behind it.  Not great in my book.  Very tacky, especially for a studio.

The photographer started to show me each shot and then every enhancement option, like black and white, etc.  I told her she didn’t have to go through the enhancements, because I didn’t want one.  “We have to show you every option.”  So I sat there while her painfully slow computer (even slower than mine if you can believe it) shuffled through every possible option.  I could only choose other poses if I bought a package deal at full price - $79.99.  I could not buy individual sheets unless I bought a package.  What a rip-off

The girl said she would let me choose my pose for the $4.99 coupon, but informed me that she wasn’t supposed to and she could get in trouble (she made a big deal about it).  I did not ask her to offer this, and I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I was just going to leave without ordering anything.  I didn’t like the first pose, even for $4.99.  Then she insisted.  So I chose a pose, the only one that I thought was decent. 

So there are my thoughts about Wal-Mart.  I don’t like their store, and I won’t be going back to their portrait studio.

Okay, I’m done ranting.  Thanks for listening.  I know my dad agrees with me.  Mom probably agrees, but still goes to Wal-Mart because the prices are good.  What do you think about Wal-Mart?

Wordless Wednesday – 19 Weeks, Drama Queen

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Auntie Meredith!

Today Elaine’s Auntie Meredith is 17 years old!  Whooo hoooo!

PS – Please don’t laugh.  I didn’t have anyone to sing with me!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

{Spring-like Saturday} happy sigh!

We have been having gorgeous beautiful weather.  For once I am glad to be in Virginia and not Colorado, where my parents have 6-8 inches of snow!  Here’s what Elaine and I did today (while Daddy was working)

  • Had breakfast
  • Finished a sewing project
  • Watched Beauty and the Beast (Elaine’s first Disney movie)
  • Had lunch
  • Organized the baby clothes
  • Took a nap
  • Practiced the piano
  • Got a package from Grandma Godby – new clothes!
  • Got a new diaper in the mail
  • Took a walk
  • Made supper

Here are some pictures:

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Elaine had oatmeal for lunch.  She ate it all!

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Very independent – wants to hold the spoon herself.

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She resembles…Uncle Wesley!  First we’ll get solids down, then we need to work on manners!  I could have said she eats like Uncle Evan, but I didn’t see him eat at this age.

pict0035 This is only the second time Elaine has been awake and sitting up on one of our walks.  It has been nice and sunny, and very little wind so we have been able to put the hood down on the pram.  She even wore her ball cap today to keep the sun out of her eyes!  The rest of the outfit (from Aunt Pat & Uncle Marty) matches, but it has to be covered by a bib or it won’t survive five minutes!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Elaine’s Giggle!

Elaine has been giggling for a little while now, but I have been unable to get it on video.  As soon as I reach for the camera she clams up.  She makes me happy just with her smile, but when she giggles…I just melt.  So I finally got a little bit of giggle on video.  What does it do to you?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coupons anyone?

Elaine was helping me sort through the sale ads…

Elaine 17 weeks eating the sale ads

Elaine 17 weeks eating the sale ads

Elaine is going to be a couponer, I can just tell!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 18 Weeks Old

Elaine 18 weeks in bed

This is the non-wordless version because I think I need to explain…
For the last several mornings Elaine has been awake and singing to herself in her crib before I go in to get her.  This is how I have found her – sideways in the crib, unswaddled, fingers stuck in her afghan, and bunny soaked from being gnawed on to death.  Of course there is always a smile!  Yesterday it looked like she emerged from a little cocoon, because she didn’t kick off her blankets.  They were there still wrapped up, but Elaine was not inside!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Elaine: A Ball & A Bowl of Oatmeal

 

It all goes in the mouth…

Elaine LOVES to put things in her mouth.  Her desire to suck on objects makes her reach out for them – everything from my glasses to blankets to spoons and toys.  Do you need proof?

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She usually doesn’t reach for objects when she is on her tummy.  But she wanted that ball!  And as soon as she got it, into the mouth it went!

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She has the right idea, but doesn’t know what to think about the food that accompanies the spoon.  We tried some oatmeal today, and Little Miss Independent wanted to hold that spoon every time it came near her mouth.  The oatmeal?  So glad for bibs!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Fun Craft Project!

My mom sent me this video tutorial to make a little “brag book” photo album.  I thought it was so cute!  So I decided to make a couple.  I was so pleased with the results, and happy to put my Cricut to use again (it’s been a little while!).

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One for me.  (Because I like it, not because I need it!  I have the original…Elaine is usually close by me wherever I go!).

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I made this one to send to Kenny with some pics of Elaine in it.  We will see his girlfriend at the Ambassador Friends Banquet tonight.  I have a feeling he doesn’t get on this blog much to see new pics!  (He’s a guy…)

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This is the inside…

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This is the one my mom made.  Isn’t it pretty?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elaine’s First Puffs

At Elaine’s four month checkup the doctor told us that Elaine can start slowly into solid foods.  Apparently there are new studies which show that babies who start on solids earlier have fewer problems with eczema and allergies.  We’re not in a rush to start on solid foods, and we’re not going to give it every day yet, but I thought I would experiment a little bit today.

Elaine in Fluff

(Another name for the modern cloth diaper is “fluff.”)

There’s a monthly photo contest at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer called “Cute Baby of the Cloth.”  Every picture has to include a cloth diaper.  This month the theme is Best Friends.  I decided to enter a photo, and here are the results of my photo shoot.

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      pict0007  pict0016

pict0041 This one is my favorite!

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pict0068Now I just have to decide which one to enter!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is the Lord’s hand short?

As I ponder this seemingly difficult task of moving from Virginia Beach to Brooklyn, when we have no job and no apartment lined up, and yet we have to give notice to vacate here, I am overwhelmed.  It is just…impossible (or so it seems).  How can it be done?  How do we know when  we are to go if we don’t have a job yet?  How in the world can we come up with three months rent for a security deposit when the rent is somewhere around $1500 per month?  That’s more than the down payment my parents made on their first house!  Don’t worry…I am still excited and overjoyed that we are going. It’s just that we are now down to the nitty gritty details.

It was from this overwhelmed and questioning mindset that I came to my devotions yesterday.  I started reading in Numbers 11.  This is what verse 23 says, and this is what God whispered to my heart…

“And the LORD said unto Moses,
Is the LORD'S hand waxed short?
thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”

A resounding NO!  God’s hand is not shortened.  My God is the same powerful God of the Israelites, Who parted the Red Sea and gave manna in the wilderness.  He slew the giant for David, walked with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, and protected Daniel from the lions.  He died for me on Calvary and rose from the grave three days later.  No…the Lord’s hand is not waxed short.  I can’t wait to see what He will do to bring His Word to pass in our lives.  I am reminded of the words from the song Grace, “His Will cannot lead me where His grace will not keep me.”   

“…Fear ye not,
stand still,
and see the salvation of the LORD,
which he will shew to you to day…”
(Exodus 14:13)

Wordless Wednesday – 17 Weeks

Elaine 17 weeks asleep during devotions

Friday, March 5, 2010

Four Months Old!

Then…Birth of Elaine Cristin Hamilton 

Now…pict0009

1 Day Old…Elaine Day 1

4 Months Old… pict0010

Newborn…Elaine Day 2
Infant…pict0011 

{HAPPY SIGH…GLAD TO BE A MOMMY!}

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I’m a Guest Blogger!

fysf-250x250 A few weeks ago I won a weekly cloth diaper giveaway called Feed Your Stash Friday over at Cloth Diaper Blog.  CDB is operated by my local diaper store, Diaper Junction. 

When I picked up my prize I was told that they would like me to write a review of the product for their blog.  So I did.  Today my article is featured on Cloth Diaper Blog…I’m a guest blogger!  Whoo  hoo!  You can read my article here, if you’re interested in diapers and such, or if you’re just curious.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Big Conveniences, Small Pleasures

Last night a terrible thing happened to me.  I had the kitchen cleaned up.  Ben was on his way to Hebrew class.  Elaine was playing in the floor.  The laundry finished spinning out so I went and put it in the dryer.  I heard a klunk, klunk.  I just had problems with my washer a couple of weeks ago.  My initial thought was, “Oh no.  What’s wrong with my dryer.”  I opened the door.  I reached into the clothes.  My heart sank as my fingers curled around a familiar object buried deep among the socks and shirts.  It was my cell phone

Right now you’re probably rolling in laughter.  That’s what Wesley cellphones did when I told him last night.  How could this happen? Simple.  I was cooking all day yesterday.  I actually wore one of my aprons.  Amazing!  It had this nice little pocket in the front.  I didn’t want to miss any phone calls, so I stuck my phone in the pocket.  Convenient.  But I forgot it was there.  Once the kitchen was clean, I ripped off the apron and threw it in the washing machine.  Cell phone and all.  Tragic.

I felt cut off from the world.  Even though I knew Ben was in class, Dad was delivering pizza, and Mom was at BSF.  The three most frequent callers were unavailable and I wasn’t missing a thing.  I still almost cried.  I tried sticking it in uncooked rice to dry it out, knowing full well that it might have survived a dip in the dishwater, or a drop in the toilet (I’ve heard of it happening!), but not likely to survive a lengthy wash cycle in the washing machine.

Sure enough.  It was dead this morning.  Luckily I had saved my old cell phone, and I was able to get it reactivated for free, so I don’t have to make the decision about a new phone right now.  Can you believe that there are only like two models of simple cell phones out there?  Everything is geared to texting, internet, and music.  None of which I do, and neither do I want to pay for them. 

The bright spot is my latte.  All 20 ounlatte-grandeces of wonderful, warm, comforting liquid.  And it’s even Irish Creme .  That’s my favorite flavor, but most mainstream coffee shops, like Starbucks have discontinued it.  Seattle’s Best in Borders still has it. 

Big conveniences…like my cell phone.  I’m reconnected to the world now.  Little comforts.  Like Irish Creme Lattes.  Mmmmmm.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It is finished!

Here are the results of my Freezer Cooking Day:

I finished up the Chicken Tetrazzini and kitchen cleanup just as Ben arrived home.  I think the whole chicken turned out well.  I don’t know if I will do it every time I need chicken.  I definitely prefer using boneless chicken breasts, but this wasn’t bad for a first try.  The worst part for me was removing the guts and getting it ready to cook.  Ever since my days at McDonalds I don’t do well with raw meat.  I didn’t mind the deboning process, and Ben likes dark meat so it will be a nice treat for him.  I don’t think I can beat it pricewise either.

pict0031The fruits of my labor include:

  • 2 Chicken Tetrazzini meals
  • 4 1-cup portions of shredded chicken, for use in chicken pot pie, pizza, burritos, quesadillas, and chicken salad sandwiches
  • 6 pizza dough portions – enough to last me into April
  • 2 Sloppy Joe meals
  • 2 Stuffed Shells meals, plus one that we ate tonight for supper
  • 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies

I was dreaming of going to sit at Starbucks for a while tonight, but then I was reminded that we are now a one car family.  That is so weird.  Ben is at Hebrew class, so Elaine are I are home on our own.  Time to catch up on my Bible reading!

Freezer Cooking Day in Progress

Here is what I have accomplished so far.  It may not seem like very much, but it feels like a lot.  Especially when I consider my biggest challenge in this enterprise…Elaine!  At almost-four months she is a handful, and enjoys demanding undivided attention.  We have utilized the bumbo, the swing, and the Moby Wrap (which I had to wash last night because she had a blow-out in it during church)today.  Then we utilized naptime!

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Whole chicken in the crockpot.  I used this post and this post to figure out how to do it.  I’ve never done a whole chicken before because I didn’t want to deal with the guts.  I couldn’t even get Ben to help me with it…he wanted the pleasure of making me do it!  I’m going to use the chicken for Chicken Tetrazzini (apparently I have been spelling it wrong…I can never remember if it is two z’s or two n’s), and then shred and freeze the rest for pizza and chicken salad sandwiches, etc.  We’ll see how it turns out!

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Mommy’s little impatient helper!

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Stuffed shells – I got three meals out of one recipe, because I divided it into proper portions for just two of us.  I usually do just two meals from a batch.  Ben said he wanted to lose some weight…I haven’t told him I cut back on his favorite meal!  We’re eating one of these tonight, so I don’t have to cook anything extra.

pict0025 Sloppy Joes – a 1 1/2 recipe, two meals for us.

pict0026 Pizza Dough – in my post the other day I said I was doing a double batch, but it is actually four batches.  I always make a double batch, and that gives us 3 pizzas.  Today I made two double batches, for six pizzas total.

pict0027 Chocolate Chip cookies – recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.  I had to scrap the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins because I couldn’t find canned pumpkin anywhere.  I didn’t know that canned pumpkin was seasonal, but maybe I’m wrong???  I usually freeze the cookies in individual baggies for Ben’s lunches.  I’ll do two weeks worth, and then leave the rest on the counter.  It helps them stay fresh, and keeps me from eating too many!

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pict0029 Lunchtime!  A grilled salami and cheese sandwich for me!