Wednesday, March 27, 2013

And therefore I have hope.

My devotion this morning was on waiting on the Lord. I couldn’t help but picture my Spring flowers fighting through the snow still left from this weekend’s storm.



They’re a picture of hope – deep, vibrant, happy color surrounded by cold, drowning, muddy snow. They are the beauty at the center of the ugly mess. Sometimes the deep purple buds are completely buried, but I know that beneath the frozen, they are there.  If I’m not careful, I can easily find myself getting discouraged by all the hurt, waste, and mess in the world. It seems like such a dark, hopeless place if I lose my perspective. That’s why my “word” for this year is hope. Hope is a daily act of channeling my focus on the beautiful, the wonderful, the admirable, the lovely, the excellent, and the true. It’s there. Sometimes it’s covered so deep with the ugly and the temporarily, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s there – whether I can see it or not, it’s there.


Lamentations 3:19-26

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.


Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.


Romans 8:24-25

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”


I will wait in hope, all the while seeking out the lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. :)


Monday, March 25, 2013

My $1.18 pillow.

I picked up this placemat at Target last week…


It was a splurge ;)


I made it into a pillow in about 15 minutes by using a seam ripper to open up about 6” on one side, stuff it with some pillow fluff and hand stitch the opening shut. Voila…


Easy peasy, cheap and cute!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Random happenings.

This is basically my Instagram feed from this weekend, so if you follow me there, sorry for the redundancy. I’ve been chipping away {pun intended} at painting the wood doors and trim in our living room. I know I’m strange, but I find it therapeutic to paint. {It’s the prep work and clean-up that I’m not keen on.} I actually got quite a bit of painting done this week/weekend and only got paint on the little one once – a little drop on her leg.


Eugene normally does bedtime stories. He’s better at it than I am, and I feed her usually so it’s a daddy-bonding time. Some nights though, when he’s away coaching, I get the honor of reading her a story. I like to pick this one. It’s one of my favorites. I’ve read it to her for longer than I’ve held her in my arms; I wonder if she remembers it from inside my belly. “It’s time to sleep, my love, my love. It’s time to sleep, my love…” {She is my love.}


The little one had to go to the pediatrician one day this week, so Eugene took off work to take her. We had breakfast first together – my wondrous thing…


In keeping with the food theme, I made some lasagna roll ups. I saw a few recipes for them on Pinterest. I simplified it, just cooked noodles, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sauce. So easy, and they were delicious! I also like that I can make just a few of these rather than a whole, huge pan of lasagna.


I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed at work lately. We’re gearing up for busy season…almost wedding time. I’m still trying to balance work with family, and it’s still just as hard as when I first became a mom, but I really doubt that I’m the only one who finds herself in this continual struggle.


Speaking of work, I had an event to work Friday evening. I made it home just in time to give the little one her bath {another wondrous thing}. I love the warm, towel cuddles.


Saturday morning, my sister, niece, the little one and I went to a second-hand kid’s sale and scored some great finds. Later that evening, we had Eugene’s brother & his fiance over . A cute/funny proposal took place between brothers – Eugene is officially the best man in his brother’s wedding. He’s been a groomsmen six times, but never a best man. Now’s his time to shine. ;)


Sunday afternoon I was folding laundry, and I flashed back to a day not too long ago when I was crying folding my own laundry and praying that God would give me little laundry to fold one day. My heart was so hurt from our loss, but I just prayed that someday we’d become parents. I’m so thankful He answers prayers…


Sunday night we enjoyed dinner with my best friend, Libby, her husband and two boys. It was so cute to see Eugene with little Brooks…they have the shaved head in common. I’m really thankful for such a great friend and her family. It’s been fun watching our families grow over the years…


We had a full and fun weekend!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend wrap up.

It’s been a while since I’ve even attempted a “weekend wrap up,” mainly because life’s too busy, and I’m too busy soaking it up to stop and blog. This weekend I captured a few wondrous moments using my phone.

I got some sweet Saturday morning snuggles with my girl…


And even daddy snuck in some sweet Saturday snores with his girl…


Our church had a YMCA night this weekend, so the little one had her first swimming experience – well, other than swimming in my belly for 39 weeks and 6 days. The pool was too cold for her liking. She only lasted a couple minutes; can’t say I blame her. Brrr!


She and second cousin {who is just a month younger than she is} were pretty intrigued with each other at a family birthday party…


And my wondrous thing tonight was her sloppy dinner giggles. She was laughing at me waving my arms & hair around.


It’s these everyday moments that I pray I don’t ever forget. The normal, simple, daily life with the little one and our little family.


{I am so blessed.}


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nine months.

The little one is nine months old this week. This month has, by far, contained the largest developmental leaps. She went from no teeth, no movement, very little real display of comprehension to crawling {well, one-legged scooting I guess}, two teeth coming in, and understanding words and even signing some!

9 months-horz

She’s still my tall {90th percentile} string bean. She’s almost completely recovered from the ear infection and sickness that hit her last week, along with her first two teeth coming in…impeccable timing. Poor thing was a disaster last week, but it’s so nice to see her smile again.


Along with the teeth comes a rash around her mouth from all the slobber, and it’s also probably from the nasty runny nose she had all week too. Just look past the redness  and slobber/snot around her nose & mouth.


She loves to stand up and hang out in her crib – that is, until I leave the room. She’ll pull herself up on anything, the sofa, coffee table, crib, my knee, this girl loves to stand.


Evidence of the two lower teeth coming in…chewing on everything. {PS she just looked at this picture on my screen and started giggling!}


I love the picture below. It captures her joy perfectly. This is one happy girl, folks. I prayed and prayed for a happy & healthy baby, and Praise The Lord, He answered it exactly!


She also is very “in” to pointing. She points at anything hanging on the wall, especially photos, she points at family and at strangers. She’ll point to the dog and she’ll point to say “hi.”


And as you might have seen in the noisy video from a few posts ago, she likes to make zerbert noises…


She’s also pretty focused when it comes to her toys. She’s much more interested in the holes where the screws go than the flashing lights and music. She hold things carefully and then waves her arms to flush them away from her quickly. It’s a silly game to her.


This is the face she makes when she’s doing her other silly noise {the one where she sucks in}. I love how she raises her eyebrows to look surprised/excited. She cracks me up…


I guess I have a thing for hands. I wanted to capture her hands while they’re still little. Someday these hands will do mighty things. I just have a feeling…


Again with the standing. I know this doesn’t look safe {it probably isn’t} but no child was harmed in the shooting of these photos. ;) I think she looks as tall as a 2 year old here, ha!


Along with the hands, at the advice of my sister, I wanted to capture her toothless grin too. Her bottom two teeth are just poking through, and I know that when her teeth come her smile will totally change. With or without teeth, she’s pure beauty to me…


And lastly, I wanted to capture her with the framed JOY art around which I planned the entire nursery. “Joy” was my resolution/word last year, and I just knew that God would use the little one to bring {so much} joy into our lives. It’s been a rough year for my family, but she has radiated joy into us from day one. The print says, “Be Filled with Joy,” and she most certainly is…


The month from 8 to 9 has to be my favorite so far. I’ve loved getting to see her quirky, silly personality emerge, her stubbornness start to show, her preferences develop, and her brain grow leaps & bounds. She is such an amazing blessing. She doesn’t sleep well, up at least once a night still, but I use that time to thank God for answering my prayers. After our loss, I wondered whether God had it in his plans to give us a child. I’m beyond grateful – I’m humbled in absolutely appreciation – that he choose to give us the little one. I pray I never forget how much of a blessing she is, and that I never take her for granted. There’s so many people who would give anything to have their own child, and God blessed us with ours. I am so blessed.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Feels like Spring.

I have flowers blooming in my front yard. The little one took a long Sunday nap with the windows open. We ran with the pup outside. And the little one took her first of many trips to the baseball field.

{There's an abundance of wondrous things today.} Feels like Spring.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cloth diapering updated.

Now that the little one’s almost 9 months old {how is that possible!?}, I thought it might be good to do a cloth diapering update.


Amount of diapers

I think I have about 27 diapers and about 32 inserts. {Check back to this post for all the details on purchasing them & reasoning for using them.} I work from home half the time and from the office the other half, so realistically I don’t have time to do laundry every day. I wash diapers about every three days now. When the little one was younger, she went through more diapers so I was doing it about every other day. My routine still works well, but I did add an extra pre-rinse to my wash cycle because they were getting a little stinky/leaky {see below.} I store the dirty diapers in a kitchen style trash can and when it’s full, we do a load of the entire diapers including inserts together: pre-rinse, wash with 1/4 of the usual amount of detergent {I use a free & clear, but I bet there’s a better type to use, I just haven’t figured it out}, regular cycle, and then extra rinse at the end. After that, I hang them up to dry. In the Summer, I hung them outside {oh how I miss this!}, but when it’s not nice out I hang them on a drying rack in our spare bedroom. They usually dry overnight. I also usually have diapers drying {or hanging waiting to be folded} on the drying rack at all times, ha!


I think we have plenty. If I had more time to do laundry, I could easily get away with less diapers. As far as the variety {I bought 3 types, look at the post linked above for details} I like the Awesome Blossom best, the it’s probably a tie for the Assunta and the Bonnibuns. The Assunta were so affordable, but the Bonnibuns are easier to rinse when dirty and easier to assemble/fold.


The little one likes to play with our laundry baskets…often yelling at them. {Who knows.} She also loves playing with the clean diaper covers, especially the buttons.


I have two wet bags for my diaper bag to use when we’re out and about for the dirty/wet. Both wet bags go in the wash with the diapers. The Assunta store gave me a free wet with my order…how kind! I bought another kind that has a plastic lining. I like the Assunta type better – dries way quicker.

The diaper sprayer {I have the Bumgenius variety} is an absolute MUST. I wouldn’t attempt cloth diapering without it. We have one in our nursery bathroom and one at Eugene’s mom’s since she has the little one a few days a week. When the babe was little, it was so helpful to rinse the dirty ones. Now that she’s on solids it’s not as necessary because you can mostly just shake the diapers into the toilet, but I still use the sprayer on every dirty diaper.

Fleece liners

The little one gets some diaper rash every now and then. If you use diaper cream on cloth diapers, it ruins their absorbency. To avoid this, I cut some extra fleece fabric in rectangles the same size as the inserts. I can then slather on the diaper cream {usually at night}, then the fleece liner goes on her skin, then the diaper. All of it goes into the wash together. Easy peasy.



For a while, the little one was waking up at 2 am every night and it seemed all she wanted was to be changed. I was double stuffing her nighttime diapers. We switched to disposables for the nights to see if that would help; however, she still woke up. Apparently she really doesn’t like a wet diaper. {Can’t say I blame her!} Lately, I’ve been triple stuffing the cloth diapers at night. Those suckers look like a big fat towel around her, but it worked! She hasn’t been waking up to be changed. I’m glad I have the extra microfiber inserts {bought from Assunta} because they have come in really handy. I may buy a few more just to have for the future.

Stripping the diapers

A little while ago the diapers started leaking and smelling a bit. Sometimes the diapers get a build up from the detergent, minerals in the water, or just from the urine. Our water’s has a lot of rust, so it didn’t surprise me that they were leaking already.

I researched and asked around for different ways to strip cloth diapers. My sister has used the “Dawn method” a few times, and she found it successful. Since we bought a new high efficiency washer & dryer this year, I didn’t trust the dish soap in them. I read a few posts online that said the Dawn was fine and a few others that said it messed up their machine. Wasn’t worth the risk to me, so I threw the clean diapers into the bath tub with some really hot water {as hot as possible} and about 2 tablespoons of the classic blue dawn dish soap. I used my hand-dandy pasta spoon to stir them well. I let them soak about two hours, stirring them around every so often. After they soaked, I rinsed them out by hand as well as possible and then transferred them to my washing machine. I ran at least two normal wash cycles {but without detergent added} for my diapers: pre-rinse, wash, and extra rinse at the end.


I could immediately tell a difference after they had been stripped. They smelled better, felt better, and worked better. Success!

We still use disposables when we leave the little one in the church nursery, or when we’re out and about and it’s too inconvenient to pack the cloth. Now that the little one’s crawling and standing and moving more, her diapers leak every now and then around her legs. I think a lot of that issue is the fit of the diapers. When I get them on snug, they don’t usually leak.

All-in-all, I’m still absolutely loving cloth diapering. I’m so glad we made the decision to give it a try!


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