Tuesday, August 31, 2010

baby naps

Sometimes I just watch Lila nap in her crib. And try to soak in her baby sweetness.
I look at those chubby little thighs and tiny feet and know that one day soon
they will be strong legs that can stand on their own.
That her little head full of soft peach fuzz will hold bouncing curls
that wave in the breeze as she giggles.
That her hands will reach out to hold mine while she is skipping up the street
to play with her friends.
And that her sleeping baby face will become a little girl. And I thank God that He blessed us with this beautiful child. And pray that I will not be sad for the moments she is growing older and instead celebrate the life she has been given.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
~Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, August 30, 2010

tour de fridge

Do you ever go over to other people's homes and peek in their fridge? Come on, I know I am not the only nosy weirdo out there. I personally find it interesting and often hilarious to see what other people always keep around to nosh on. After seeing what Katie from Cleared For Takeoff keeps in her fridge, I thought I would return the favor. Here is a tour of our fridge.
We like lots of magnets and pictures. It hides all the dirt and fingerprint smudges.

Lila hates these teething rings. I only keep them around so when know-it-all mommas ask me if I have ever tried the frozen teething rings (which FYI, are the first thing people give a baby when they start teething) I can show them the evidence that I at least tried.

I got a little distracted after taking this picture and ended up throwing away half these bottles.
20 minutes later, we continued.

It's like I always forget that I just bought sour cream. And if you keep bread in the fridge, it doesn't get moldy so fast.

I guess I buy marinara sauce like I buy sour cream. And yes, we are using the wine rack for bagels. It is the perfect size! As far as the fruit, Brian likes it cold. I don't get it.

We very rarely eat any other meat other than beef or chicken; ribs were on sale this weekend. And Diet Coke is a necessity. So cold and frosty. "It feels so good when it hits your lips!"

I love my fancy creamer in my coffee. It literally helps me get out of bed in the morning. And the fertility drugs are left over from Lila's IVF. I just can't throw them away, even though they are way expired. Maybe it's because it reminds me of miracles every morning when I open the fridge. Maybe it's because they are worth thousands of dollars.

I love summer produce. I get a little over zealous when I hit that part of the grocery store.

Cheese holds a special place in my heart. And in our fridge.

And on to the freezer.
Why are you supposed to keep coffee in the freezer? Anyone? I just do what I'm told.

Lila has apparently taken over every area of the house, including the freezer.

Oh the life of a working mother. At least it's better than fast food?? 

If you haven't tried the steamer vegetables, you need to run to your grocery store RIGHT NOW. So easy, just throw it in the microwave. And it makes you think you're healthy. Sister Schubert rolls rock my world, the end. And some days, you just need a Thin Mint.

And the most random thing in the fridge award goes to: frozen pineapple juice. Can't remember why I bought it. Have no idea how I intended to use it. Not sure that I ever will, yet feel strangely compelled to keep it.

I don't think America will really have it made until we have our own salad dressing.
Until then we're stuck behind the French, Italians, Russians and Caesarians.
~Pat McNelis

Saturday, August 28, 2010

olé olé

Hey Mom, I think these avacados could use a little more garlic and lime juice. And where's the tortilla chips?? The service in this restaurant sure could use some work.

Part of the secret of success in life is to
eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
~Mark Twain

Thursday, August 26, 2010

anniversary of a miracle

I love the idea of a blog hop, where lots of bloggers all write about the same topic and share it with each other. I was reading a blog hop yesterday on Call Me Laura Jane about what we were doing a year ago today. Never before have I had a journal to go back to. I am so excited that Lila will have this journal of her whole life to look back on one day. Maybe she will not be excited about all her business up on the internet, but since we will be straight Jetson style flying around in cars in the sky, the internet will probably be so 2000's. "Gosh Mom! You're so out of it!"

It was so amazing to look back to my post from one year ago and see that we had just had an ultrasound of Lila and they had found that the hematoma had disapeared. At the time we thought that it meant we would have no more bleeding (which turned out not to be true) but I remember the immense feeling of peace and rest after that ultrasound. And look at little Lila waving at us!
Oh my gosh, I cannot take the baby fetus cuteness. And now her arm is so full of yummy chubby baby rolls.

And now it's your turn! What were you doing a year ago today? Go to your blog and post a picture, story or just where you were in your life in 2009. Then go to back to Call Me Laura Jane and add your story at the bottom. Make sure to leave me a comment so I can read your awesome stories too!

declaration of togetherness

Our life is so overwhelming right now and I am sick of writing about it. I am sick of it, period. But I pretty much think this is the stereotypical life of 2 working parents of a baby. I find we are having a hard time balancing time as parents, employees and a married couple right now. I miss my husband and our time together. Not without Lila, because we had several awesome months of being a family after she was born. But just time to be together as a family enjoying each other. And now to help with all our extra childcare expenses, Brian has picked up a part time job in the evenings and weekends. Which means we will get to spend even less time together.

I am declaring an intentional effort to spend time together in between the craziness. That means getting up rather than hitting my alarm snooze button twice so Brian and I can have breakfast together before we get ready for the day and Lila wakes up. That means dropping everything when we walk in the house and taking a walk as a family. That means not wasting away our Sundays and planning some intentional family time in the afternoon.

Seems easy huh? But there are always bills to pay, dishwashers to unload, sleep to be had. I think that stuff might need to wait for a while.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
~Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

worst day ever

Basically my life went out of control on Friday. I wanted to quit my day.

I started the day thinking I had a lot of pain in my back. Just dull achy pain that would not go away. I finally decided to go to Urgent Care but being the multitasking mommy I am, decide I would drop my car off to get 2 new tires while I was at the doctor. Down the road to my mother's house we go, Lila and I on the the interstate. Then one exit from where we need to get off the highway...BAM! My tire explodes. No, for real.
I pull off the road, in shock that I am on the side of a crazy busy highway with my baby and an exploded tire. Thank God we were safe and my mom quickly came and rescued us from the side of the road. I was shaking I was so terrified about how that could have been so dangerous for us.

When the lovely tow truck man took it to the tire store (about 1.5 miles from where my tire decided to die), they said they would replace the tire. So off I went to the doctor, only to find out they had no idea what was wrong with me, but "it sure didn't sound good." Definitely not kidney stones, kidney infection, muscle pain, UTI or gall bladder. Their highly educated, very expensive advice was to try an antibiotic, "just to see if that could possibly help" and either I would get better or probably end up in the hospital. I love smart people. Better yet, smart people I have to pay for their wonderful diagnostic skills.

On the way home from the doctor I got a call from the tire store. "Ma'am, did you know when your tire exploded, it took out your wheel well, side panel on your door, windshield wiper fluid container, front headlight structure and all the wiring? You might want to look into getting that fixed."

It is days like this that just makes me want to curl into a ball and give up. Thank God for his mercies, Brian for making me bowls of ice cream and bringing me the heating pad and Lila for her hilarious baby laugh.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace

When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
When we reached the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun
~"He Giveth More Grace" by Annie J. Flint

Monday, August 23, 2010

your smiling face

Whenever I see that smiling face
I have to smile myself because I love you
Yes I do
And when you give me
That pretty little pout
It turns me inside out
There's something about you baby
I don't know
Isn't it amazing a man like me
Can feel this way
Tell me how much longer
It will grow stronger every day
Oh, how much longer
~"Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor

Friday, August 20, 2010

make new friends

Lila has some new friends. Thanks to an awesome giveaway at one of my favorite blogs, Harper's Happening, Lila is the proud new owner of this fabulous Amenity Home pillow. Check out that squirrel. Could it get any cuter?
I love Lila's room. I love filling it with cute things for her to explore as she becomes more aware of the world around her. And another new friend in the reading corner? Sylvester the T-Rex. After Sue Sylvester, obviously (shout out to all you Gleeks out there).
We now have all branches of the animal kingdom represented in stuffed form in the nursery: squirrel, t-rex, sheep, horse, hippo, butterfly, bear, zebra, dog, elephant, rabbit and cow. At least we are an all-inclusive, non-discriminatory household.

It is hard to be brave, when you're only a very small animal.
~Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, August 19, 2010

flossie wants some applesauce

Lila will have none of this rice cereal business. Why would she want rice cereal when milk is so easy to drink? And so conveniently packaged? I was starting to think she would never eat food after trying rice cereal every couple of days over the last few weeks. And then I remembered the timeless lessons of Sesame Street.
I used to love Grover. He was my favorite; such a sweet little blue guy. Anyone remember his sister Flossie? In this book, which was on my regular bedtime rotation as a child, Grover had his tonsils out and his little sister Flossie tries to steal his applesauce. I gotta go find a copy of that book for Lila...
And guess who else likes applesauce? This little lady right here. She ate several spoonfuls and was just as happy as could be. I guess I just didn't take into account her delicate palate. Silly mom.
Health food may be good for the conscience
but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.
~Robert Redford

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

pearly whites

And the winner of the Bluebird Design Studio blog makeover is...Entry #2 by Joey and Casey!
Check your inbox for an email!

Now on to the real blog post: This is where mommy friends come in handy. You can read all of the books, surf the message boards, ask the sales people at Babies R Us, but sometimes you just need some tried and true advice. Lila is teething. She is just not herself.
Her sleep patterns are all off, which means everyone in the house isn't sleeping. Last night she was up at 4:30am, ate at 5am, up again at 6am, rolled back and forth between Brian and I for the next couple of hours, laughing until we had no choice but to wake up. Lots and lots of coffee today.

She is gnawing on everything she can get in her mouth but nothing seems to make it feel better. If she is really fussy, I will give her some Tylenol per our pediatrician's advice. Things that do not work: wet washcloth from the freezer, vibrating teething toy, teething ring, chewing on her fist or my fingers. Any other magic tricks up your mommy sleeves?

Adam and Eve had many advantages,
but the principal one was that
they escaped teething.
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

we still serve a good god

I love my siblings. I love Katelyn's laugh and the way her eyes light up when she gets really excited about something. I love her God given talent of fashion and design, pulling together outfits I could never dream of pulling off. I love how she truly believes the best of everyone. I love seeing what a humble wife she is for her husband Peter, allowing him to be the head of their household and striving to embody Proverbs 31.

My brother Jonny is one of the coolest guys I know. He is so stinking smart but there is not an ounce of pretension or boastfulness in his body. He is pre-med. He just rocked out summer organic chemistry. Smarty pants. He is so unbelievably gentle with Lila; 20 year old dudes aren't supposed to love holding and cuddling little babies. He is the most solid, selfless friend anyone could ever hope for.

But would I give my life for them? I like to think that I would. I like to sit here and say that I would drop everything to come their rescue, the way a big sister should. But could I give up what Ryan Arnold sacrificed? I first read about Ryan on Tiny Twig's blog. A father of 3 young boys, Ryan agreed to be a living liver donor for his brother, Chad who was dying of liver failure from a disease called PSC. And in a horrible twist, Ryan ended up dying from complications after the surgery while Chad is now recovering with a new liver.

Their father was the one to break the news to Chad while he was still recovering in the hospital. "I've got some bad news. Ryan's gone, but we still serve a good God."

Lord, help me to always seek your will and know that my days are yours.
"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose."
~Romans 8:28

Monday, August 16, 2010

waiting for fall

The heat is overwhelming. It covers you in a wet blanket as soon as you walk out the door. Grass is dying, lakes are drying up and Lila has not seen noon outside in weeks. And forget about pool time; after 15 minutes you are smack dab in the middle of a heat stroke.

I miss long walks outside. I miss feeling a chill in the air. I miss drinking my coffee hot. I miss opening the bedroom windows while we sleep and huddling under the covers. Not only do I have our normal fall memories to look forward to but this year, we have a whole new set of fall clothes in the house.
Pink polka dots. And ruffles. I die.

I want to see Lila's eyes grow wide at the changing of the fall leaves. I want to see her roll around in the grass in a sweatshirt. I cannot wait to see her smile as she touches the baby chicks at the NC State Fair. This year's fall will smell so much sweeter than I ever could have imagined.
I cannot endure to waste anything as precious
as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all the daylight hours
in the open air.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, August 14, 2010

his grace is sufficient

Some days you just need to hear kind words. Someone telling you that you are doing a good job, despite the fact that there are at least 3 loads of laundry with varying levels of cleanliness and foldedness stacked on my bedroom floor. Despite the fact that the only time my carpet is vacuumed is before the nanny is coming. Despite the fact that last night, after cooking Brian a yummy dinner of dijon salmon, romaine salad, loaded baked potatoes, baguette and herb goat cheese, his response was, "Real food??" Despite the fact that only 6 out of my 10 toe nails have any polish on them...and I HATE unpainted toenails.

There really aren't words for how grateful and blessed I am to have met you. We're different, you and I; you have 100 good friends but I don't have many people close to me to confide in so meeting you was really one of the best things that's ever happened to me. You changed me for the better. Your selflessness dumbfounds me. You do EVERYTHING and have so much going on in your life but you always remember the little things...and blog on top of all that. Meeting you has made me want to be more like you in every way; stronger, more kind, more loving. And it's really made me think more about my own spirituality. You are the best listener and advice-giver and I can't wait to watch Lila grow up and watch how she's going to be your BFF."

Are you crying yet? Because I did when I got this card last week from a friend of mind. It makes me realize that sometimes, even when I feel like I am failing, God's grace is extended and he allows me to have an impact that is far more than I could ever achieve on my own. Some days, I just need to rest in that grace. Despite my imperfections.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
~2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, August 12, 2010

breakfast at tiffany's

First of all, I don't really like breakfast foods. I used to be lactose intolerant. And then I got pregnant with Lila and apparently returning my ability to digest milk was God's gift to me for enduring my pregnancy. I mean, other than Lila obviously.

So occasionally, I have cereal in the morning. Or a piece of toast, probably burnt because I left it in the toaster too long. But most mornings I am wolfing down a granola bar at 11am at my desk after my morning coffee has long turned cold. I wish I had time for a beautiful, yummy breakfast. I don't want to sit down with anything fancy like an omelet or bacon or pancakes because those hurt my tummy early in the morning. But I wish I had time to eat something.

Parenting.com put out a list of the top 15 on-the-go breakfast recipies. And I think I am going to make it my goal to try 2 of these every week. Don't these sound delicious?

When the toast is burned
And all the milk has turned
And Captain Crunch is waving farewell
When the big one finds you
May this song remind you
That they don't serve breakfast in hell
~"Breakfast in Hell" by Newsboys

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

taste of the south

I love making fun of people. Whatever, you know you do it too. Especially here in the South, there is a wide range of opportunities to see people who make you laugh out loud during your every day interactions. For example, while shopping at Walmart, you might see this: 
Please tell me you have been to Peopleofwalmart.com. You will now redirect from my page and spend 20 minutes laughing at hilarious ugly people. You're welcome.

One time, my mom and I went to Benson, NC to see Mule Days. Everyone told us it was the most hilarious display of redneck people riding drunk on mules and piling 10 people in the back of a pick-up and calling it a parade. It did not disapoint and gave us weeks of entertainment afterwards. I think everyone should take the time to stop and appreciate their local culture.

It's not that we are making these people act ridiculous. They are choosing to be unsophisticated. They need to just embrace it. Katelyn, my sister, demonstrated how to embrace your Southern pride while on vacation. And I think she can be an inspiration for generations of GRITS to come. That would be Girls Raised In The South. Obviously.

The educated Southerner has no use for an "R"
except at the beginning of a word.
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

brand spankin new

Look at my blog! It's so fancy and pretty! When I was approached by Melissa of Bluebird Design Studio about a blog redesign, I was like, "What me? Because my blog is so beautiful and vibrant!"

Obviously not. I know Melissa from college and she so graciously suggested that perhaps my blog needed ::cough:: a little bit of work. I was stoked (hello 90's words). So we have been working on my fabulous new blog for a couple of weeks and here it is in all of its magestic glory....
(that is how you spell a choir of angels singing)

So please, come in. Get comfortable. Allow me to give you a tour:
  • If you are not already following me on Twitter, please click on the link to the right.
  • We can be BFF's by clicking on the link for My Peeps on the right. Follow my blog and I will follow you back. Easy peasy.
  • Like what you see? Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs or Picket Fence Blogs by clicking under Click It Or Ticket to the right. And remember, you can vote EVERY DAY!
  • You can also grab my button on the right to put on your blogroll.
  • Want my posts delivered right to your inbox? Subscribe to my RSS feed on the right.
And then the tabs, oh the tabs! Please look around at Mine Mine (all about me, since you are dying to know). Lila Bean tells the story of the 10 months of hell, otherwise known as my pregnancy, and all about our blessing of a little girl. Snack Pack has tons of awesome recipes for you. And Give It To Me will take you right to my email.

Now that you have had time to ogle my pretty new space, don't you want one of your own? As a celebration of the new look for Too Much Good, Bluebird Design Studio is giving away a Standard Blog Package (custom banner, coordinating background/wallpaper, color-coordinating layout including fonts and columns) to one of my lucky readers! Bluebird Design Studio specializes in custom blog designs for blogs hosted by Blogger. Bluebird Design Studio offers affordable prices, custom designs, and a la carte pricing.

So here is how you get your own shiny, beautiful blog:
  • Mandatory to enter: Be a public follower of my blog (click on the Follow Me link to the right) and leave an entry telling me why you want a blog makeover.
  • Extra Entry +1: Follow me on Twitter and leave it in a comment.
  • Extra Entry +1: Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs or Picket Fence Blogs by clicking on the links to the right and leave it in a comment.
The giveaway will be open until midnight on Sunday, August 15! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

It must be hard for an egg to turn into a bird;
it would be a jolly sight harder
for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
We are like eggs at present.
And you cannot go on indefinitely
being just an ordinary, decent egg.
We must be hatched or go bad.
~C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 9, 2010

richie rich

I love saving money. Some might call me cheap. Nicer people might call me thrifty. I just like to think of it as smart.

As anyone in this economy knows, it is all about the biggest bang for the buck. And as any new mom knows, babies be expensive. Diapers, formula, toys, wipes, pacis that are always getting lost and needing to be replace and last but certainly not the least, day care. We have been trying to umm, consolidate, if you will, so that we can stay within a budget. It is not easy. I miss my caramel macchiatos. I miss Target. I miss dinners out. But that is what happens when you have a baby.

So in my effort to save money, I wanted to share some of my tips with you, my favorite thrifty friends:
~Save money by ordering diapers in bulk. I sometimes wait until the big boxes are on sale at Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby and then use my 20% off coupon to save even more. You can get coupons that work both places by signing up on their email lists. You can also order diapers from Diapers.com and just for my readers, here is a coupon code for 15% off a $49 order and free 1-2 day shipping: Code PARENTSSEP10.

~Get free samples of Similac or Enfamil formula by signing up for their mailing lists. They will sometimes send you 1 or 2 full cans of powdered formula and a bunch of coupons.

~Get rid of cable. Paying for TV sucks! It is so stinking expensive. We just downgraded to basic cable last month and have not missed it at all. And if you cannot live without Army Wives or Jersey Shore or Modern family, you can watch episodes online for free at Hulu.com.

~Look for a nanny share with another family. That has always been our hope is to share our nanny with another family so we can split the cost of her fee and Lila would have a playmate. Shameless plug: we have still not found a family to share for Lila. If you live in our area and are interested in a Tuesday/Thursday nanny share let me know!

~Get rid of junk. Look around your house and through closets at all the stuff that is just sitting there collecting dust. I hate clutter. We have a rule at our house that other than seasonal stuff, if it has not been used in 6 months, I am getting rid of it. So plan a Saturday yard sale. Or better yet, post the items on Craigslist.com, or the yard sale for lazy people as we like to call it.

~Check out Restaurant.com or Groupon.com for those occasional nights out. You can get discounted restaurant gift certificates to lots of awesome eateries. This also a great way to try out new restaurants!

What are your favorite money saving tips? How has your family cut back this year?

Money was never a big motivation for me,
except as a way to keep score.
The real excitement is playing the game.
~Donald Trump

Thursday, August 5, 2010

you'll poke your eye out

I have a secret. A big exciting secret. My blog is undergoing some serious changes this week. And it will be fabulous and beautiful and you will want to see it. So be checking back for an end of the week special post! With a giveaway!

And in the meantime, look at my baby. My cute baby that likes to laugh at herself in the mirror. A-Dorable. And yes, I almost dropped the camera and jumped when she misses her mouth. By about 2 dangerous inches. But no harm, no foul. Come on Lila; sometime you need to take one for the team. And by the team, I mean mommy's blogging friends who like to see cute videos.

Today I finally overcame
Trying to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it
When I'm in the mood to lose my way
~"3x5" by John Mayer

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


This has been a...week. Not good, because I am exhausted and feel so behind and that I suck at life. Not bad, because I have a beautiful daughter that I am blessed to have, even when she wakes me up super early. And blessed to have a new job that I love.

But I cannot get my act together. Monday night I was doing work until after 9:30 at night. I finally gave up and sent Brian to the grocery store for me because there was no way I was going to make it. Last night, I finally walked in the door and sat down on my couch at about 8:30pm.

And then this morning, oh this morning. Woke up late. Tried to make myself a quick smoothie for breakfast and didn't realize the bottom of the blender was not screwed on until milk was pouring all over my counter. And then Lila spit up all of her medicine so we had to give it twice.

What do you do when you just feel like you are losing it? Trying to balance it all? My solution for the evening was shutting my brain off from work when I finally left at 6:30pm. And eating a really healthy salad for dinner. And taking a 30 minute walk with Brian, the baby and Zaxby the dog. And now, a fabulous glass of chardonnay while watching "So You Think You Can Dance." How do you juggle life as a mommy, employee, wife and woman? I need some sage mommy advice please, so feel free to tell me what to do. K, thanks :-)

I've learned that you can't have everything
and do everything at the same time.
~Oprah Winfrey

Monday, August 2, 2010

yum yum

And we have a baby food eater! Or more accurately, we have a baby food spitter.
I had all these great expectations about how Lila would react to baby food. And it was a serious letdown. There I was, standing in the baby food aisle at Target, having an internal battle over whether I should spend the extra money on organic brown rice cereal over the regular single grain rice cereal. Because it will be the first food my baby ever eats! We are setting standards here!
Lila was not impressed. Why waste your time chewing and swallowing when you can just drink milk? Lila is very busy and does not have time to waste with such nonsense. Oh well, good thing I wasted all that time lovingly making and freezing her individually portioned cubes of baby food. I think she will change her mind one day when she discovers guacamole. That's what finally sealed the deal on real food for me.

I always wondered why babies
spend so much time sucking their thumbs.
Then I tasted baby food.
~Robert Orben

Sunday, August 1, 2010

hot date

I love spending time with Brian. I love sharing memories together that I know will last a lifetime. Well, at least his life. I have an absolutely horrendous short term memory. Like I probably need to see a neurologist bad memory. Thank God for our wedding video because I couldn't tell you what songs were played at our wedding if you offered me one billion dollars (in an Austin Powers voice, of course).
Spending time on vacation last week gave us so many good family memories of Lila strolling along the beach, sitting and staring at the water, using her big girl voice to laugh at the sea gulls. But I have some great memories of Brian and I taking long walks. Sneaking out (sans baby) for some ice cream. And talking about all the family vacation memories to come with our little family.
That just solidifies that we need to have date nights more often. What are your favorite date night ideas? Where do you like to sneak out for some laughs and grown up talk? I think I feel some babysitter phone calls coming up. 

Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades,
but to be married to a man 
who makes you laugh every day,
ah, now that's a real treat.
~Joanne Woodward