Friday, February 23, 2007

Wanted: Another Pup!

Last week while at the midwife, a small tragedy occurred. Pup was lost. Lydia played with him in the room while the midwife saw me, but somehow we left the room without him. At the car, we realized he was missing and went back to retrieve him. We both went in separately and checked with the nurses in the room and retraced our steps to the car. No luck. Pup had vanished in 5 minutes!
Thankfully we still have 2 Pups left. (At this point you're laughing thinking, "that's not enough?".) If you've ever seen the way she loves on this poor animal you know why we need several! He receives daily love bites on the face and ears - causing him a few minor injuries -and basically goes everywhere with her. He is the only toy that has the privilege of riding in the seat of her toy shopping cart - everything else gets thrown into the the basket area. She usually wants to be able to see him at meal time - especially breakfast. She has tried to give him a bath. She has tried to put a diaper on him. He watches "dd's" with her. He always sleeps with her and she cries pitifully if she throws him out of the crib and can't get him back. Recently he aquired his own "banket"- even though she doesn't have anything like that for herself. Now she wants to tow that thing around with him too.
All this to say, I'd really like to have another spare. Pup goes into the washing machine at least once a week and I don't know how long he'll last! SO - if any of you ever happen to see a Pup and can pick it up for us, I will happily cover all costs! I've found this stuffed animal at the Osk Kosh outlet stores for about $6. Unfortunately, they are out of him at Discover Mills. So if anyone likes to hit other outlets nearby and can pop into that store... we'd appreciate it!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Today has been such a beautiful day! I took Lydia to the park this morning for some much needed outdoor playtime. We met friends there and the mommies chatted while the girls were in various states of "play." I had to meet up with Ben at lunchtime since he took both our cell phones to work today (and we don't have a home phone.) It was weird to be "incommunicado" - if only for a few hours!
Now Lydia is napping and I'm trying to get a grocery list together. It is not going well! I feel like I make the same things too often. Probably because that is "easy" - but it also gets boring!! Anyone want to share some dinner recipes?? (Sometimes I wish I could just call someone in the morning and have them tell me what to make for dinner...wouldn't that be nice on occasion - not having to come up with a meal plan?)

Also, does anyone have any good children's worship or praise song CD's to recommend?

She loves to find our shoes and put them on. Actually walking in them is quite the challenge...

The artist - So far all coloring surfaces have been limited to paper. She prefers regular paper to a coloring book. (love that hair!)

Mommy's helper

Monday, February 19, 2007

Best Strawberry Cake

1 pkg white cake mix
1 pkg strawberry jello
1 -10 oz. pkg frozen strawberries in syrup
4 eggs
3/4 Cup oil

1.5 pints whipping cream
2 pints fresh strawberries

Grease 3 cake pans and line bottoms with wax paper. (This is critical! I use Crisco and then cut a circle of wax paper for the bottom of each cake pan.) Mix first 5 ingredients in mixer. Pour into prepared pans and bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Slice berries (saving some whole ones for garnish if you wish), sprinkle with some sugar and smash them to produce extra juice. Beat the cream, adding sugar to taste, until it is stiff. (If you've never made whipping cream before, try it. It is so easy and cannot be compared to Cool Whip! Beat it in your mixer until it starts to get stiff and add sugar a little at a time. The important thing is to be sure you don't get any drops of water in the cream or it won't whip up.)
Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool. Pierce a layer with a fork and then spoon the berries on top -drizzle the juice over the cake too! Spread some whipped cream over the berries and top with another cake layer and begin process again. The top layer should not have any berries - just the whipped cream. Use the remaining whipped cream to ice the cake when it is assembled. (I add some toothpicks between the layers to add stability.)
Plan to make this cake at least a day ahead as it only gets better the longer the strawberry juice soaks into the cake layers. Don't forget you'll need to refrigerate this cake!
This is a pretty easy cake to make and it always gets rave reviews. I've made other kinds of strawberry cakes and tasted other versions, but this one wins hands down in my opinion!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Baby J #2

Well friends and family, today was my 19 week appointment with the ultrasound tech and the midwife. The tech was so kind and very helpful by pointing out all the organs and bones and body parts she was looking at. (Neither of us has very fond memories of our previous ultrasound tech - she seemed quite grumpy and very tight-lipped. You had to ask for every bit of information.) This woman was quite the opposite. She was chatty and informative and kept saying "what a beautiful baby!" I actually got the impression that she was a Christian too just by some comments she made. So she started by looking the baby over and taking all the measurements and then the hunt for the gender began! Baby's legs were crossed and was quite sqirmy, but she eventually felt confident in pronouncing that this little baby is...a girl! I was actually a bit surprised as I thought I had seen something else between those legs! Ben claims he knew right away that it was a girl. So here we are...soon to be the parents of two girls. I'm excited. I never had a sister and always wished for one. This little girl and Lydia will be almost exactly two years apart. I hope they will always be close and enjoy each other as sisters and friends. (Another plus is that all of Lydia's clothes should work out seasonly just perfect for this baby. Fewer shopping trips??? That's one sigh of relief for Daddy!)
The next question is...what about names? Since I've been encouraged by some of you just to "tell all" here is what we're thinking. We reserve the right to change our minds at any time, but we like the name Lauren Olivia. The middle name is not set in stone, but 'Lauren' is a favorite of mine so that is likely to stick. I'll scan in the ultrasound pictures as soon as possible!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


As Liz has posted, Lydia is fascinated by Kate - she even has a special high-pitched"Kate" voice. She loves to get right down on Kate's level to talk to her and look at her. Whenever I am on the computer she comes over to get "up here" and see "da bebee."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My baby is growing up!

Lydia and I are both happy that Ben returned safely late last night from his 5 day trip to Portland. She asked about him many times during each day. She learned the word "trip" (tip) as I tried to explain that he wasn't at work, he was on a trip. Each time we got in the car she would get excited and talk about "Daddy!!" as if we were going to see him. It was pretty sweet.
Her vocabulary just seems to be growing by the day. Here are some of my favorite new words:

becksis (breakfast)
syrpup (syrup)
wahduh (any drink is water)
Nee-nee (Brittny)
Cah-dine (Caroline)
Losis (Lois)
beer (bear)
up here
ahh done
ready, go
sim (swim - in the bath)
bubbus (bubbles)
cose (clothes)
kip (clip - for her hair)
bipuhs (diapers)
tank, mom (thanks mom - She used to say something that sounded much more like "thank-you" and then that stopped. This is what she says now and it is kind of amusing because she never calls me "mom" any other time - always mama or mommy.)
There are many more, but it gets to a point where you can't chronicle every single achievement! I put the majority of little milestones and stories on the blog as my way of saving the little memories. I'm sure some things become even harder to remember as your family grows!

After baths when I wrap her up in her towels I ask her, "Who is Mommy's bundle of joy?" She says, "ME!!"

Her favorite song is "The Wheels on the Bus." She says, "da bus, sing, da bus"! She would have me sing that song endlessly I think. At the end she chimes in for "all over town" by saying - "da town." Her favorite hand motion is for the wheels - but she doesn't always like to join in. Most often she just grins as you sing it.
We've been working on teaching her the first couple of children's catechism questions. 1) Who made you? A: God. She learned that one a couple of months ago but it has been very slow trying to get her to answer the second question. 2) What else did God make? A: All things. Sometimes she will say "tings" but not often. Last night as we prepared for bed I sang some songs, said the Lord's Prayer and asked her the questions. We talked again about the answer to #2. I asked the question over again after talking about "all things." So I asked, " what else did God make?" She answered, " a mess." (I had to chuckle to myself.) This probably comes from me constantly reminding her at meal times not to make a mess with her food.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Diapers

This morning I heard Lydia chatting happily in her crib. It is so nice when she wakes up like this instead of crying for someone to come and get her. I opened the door and before I could even step in the room she was shouting, "da bipuhs! da bipuhs!" (the diapers). She had reached around the outsided of her crib and gotten into the stash of new diapers in her diaper stacker. (She only had 2 in the crib - thankfully!) She was trying very hard to get one on Pup. (He was on his back, she spread his "legs" out and she was attacking a diaper trying to get it to fit on etc....) She didn't even want to get out of the crib because she was so intent on Pup wearing a diaper. I sat in the chair to wait and finally after some talking about going downstairs and eating breakfast she was ready to get out.
In other news our family has just gotten over bad colds which lasted about two weeks. Dealing with a child who feels miserable but can't express what hurts gets frustrating the longer it goes on. I did take her to the doctor because the first night was terrible - she was feverish, she threw up and was having a really hard time breathing. (I thought immediately of Bethany and Avalyn. I cannot imagine how scary it must be when she is having asthma attacks.)I was thankful that I didn't start to feel bad until Lydia was well.
I am 17 weeks pregnant now. I think"morning" sickness (what a misnomer) is finally over although I still have an occasional spell of nausea. We should find out next week if this baby is a boy or a girl. I think we've settled on a girl's name, but we're still not set on a boy name. Last time we didn't decide Lydia's middle name until we were on the way to the hospital! I am officially wearing maternity pants as of about a week ago. My jeans stopped fitting comfortably about two weeks ago. My belly is so sensitive that I can't stand anything squeezing me. I'd probably be in sweats all the time if it were appropriate!! I'm still in that awkward stage with the shirts. Most of my regular ones look too small (or at least too short for my taste) and the maternity ones look like tents. Oh well. Like Stephanie, I enjoy my baths almost every evening. These are purely for relaxation which means a lot of times I get a shower and a bath every day. My skin is practically cracking between this extremely dry weather and the hot water!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prayers and Diaper Changes

A couple of cute things we've witnessed recently but can't seem to catch on video or in a picture.

1) Lydia has started "praying" on her own. This usually happens around naptime or bedtime when we're cuddling. She folds her hands and starts jabbering away. A few intelligible words are mixed in - mostly peoples' names. This continues for a short while and then ends with very firm, "A-men." (She knows that prayers end with "amen" and she freely uses this when she thinks the prayer has gone on long enough - both at home and even at church!)

2) Last night after work, Lydia and I joined the impromptu gathering at Joss and Liss's house for his birthday meal. We missed dinner but I did sample the selection of desserts! While there Lydia entertained us with her antics. She had us all in hysterics when she got into her diaper bag and proceeded to give Pup a diaper change! This began by laying out the changing pad and placing Pup spread eagle on the mat. Then she got a wipe and began wiping him thoroughly. After he was "clean" he got several hugs and then she retrieved a diaper and placed it on top of him. She was engrossed for about 5 minutes (especially while she was wiping him), but then she realized we were all watching her and that was the end of it. We were all nearly in tears as we tried to stifle our laughs!