This Page

has been moved to new address

Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: May 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

How can something be unfortunate and wonderful at the same time?

It's a valid question... Tornado has been a finger sucker since he was little. It was so adorable and I loved that he didn't just suck his thumb like every other baby, but now it's difficult to get him to stop. We've decided to try to work on getting him to stop sucking those fingers now before he's 3 or 4 and it's even harder.

We've been so glad that Sweet Pea really likes her pacifier... figuring that even if it's traumatic for a few days when it's time for her to give it up next year (or so), that it will still be easier than giving up a thumb. The problem with this, though, comes 3-4 times every night when she wakes up and can't find it. I end up having to rollover, prop myself up to reach inside her bassinet (residing right next to the bed still because rolling over and propping myself up is way better than getting out of bed and walking to wherever in the middle of the night) and replace the missing pacifier. I have struggled to just let her cry it out like I know I should, because I know she's old enough to be sleeping through the night and she certainly doesn't need to eat if she just goes right back to sleep once the pacifier is replaced. But I do struggle, because she doesn't need me to pick her up, or rock her, or feed her... she just needs to suck to sooth herself back to sleep.

Well, this last week (Tuesday I believe), my little girl found her thumb! It's unfortunate for later, but oh so wonderful now! We are now officially "sleeping through the night"! She no longer wakes up (or wakes me up rather) crying 3-4 times a night. If she does wake up, she is quick to, get this, SELF SOOTH herself right back to sleep! :) **sigh** It's great! And last night she went a full 8 hours between feedings. I'da gotten 7 1/2 straight hours of sleep had I gone to bed when she did instead of watching We Are Marshall until 1 am because My Beloved isn't home and I just felt like it.

Now we just give her a few nights to see if this sleeping straight through is a fluke or the new thing... then we have to decide what to do with her. Don't tell My Beloved this is all happening... I've been saying for months now that she's in our room until she's sleeping through the night (so I don't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to feed her). Now if she's sleeping through the night, its time for her to go. But where? I can't stick her in the living room. I like the idea of any night time intruders having to go by our room before getting to the children (yeah... My Beloved rolls his eyes [not outwardly of course] at that logic too). But I'm terrified of putting her in Tornado's room, the room they will one day [apparently very soon] share. Tornado is such a great sleeper, sleeping from 7 or 8 at night until 8 or 9 in the morning. I'm so afraid that when I go in to get a crying Sweet Pea at 6 to eat that he's going to get up too and my morning will be OVER!

Anyone have experience with this? Moving an infant in with a toddler? I'm SCARED!

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 30, 2008

A "Duh" Moment, followed by an "Ah ha" moment

Ok... so I realized something yesterday that I know most of you are going to laugh at me for. "Duh," you're going to say, but really and truly, it was like a light went on that had previously had a burned out bulb (like all the night lights in this house... but that's another story.)

It occurs to me (again, far later than it should have) that everything takes longer with children! Did you know that? It's true! Now, it's obvious that whenever my toddler is "helping" me with anything, it's going to take longer. That's a no-brainer. And it's obvious that when I'm nursing, there are only so many things I can accomplish off my list. I knew these things... that's not really what I'm talking about. No, I'm saying that EVERYTHING takes longer (except my shower... somehow those are shorter. Mmmmm... a shower, I may go take one of those right after I'm done here and before the little ones are up from their naps!) Where was I??? Oh yes, EVERTHING!

It's so frustrating at times to get to the end of everyday having not accomplished anything fully from my list, or only accomplishing a couple things that really needed to be done. So yesterday, right after it occurred to me that EVERYTHING takes longer with children, I had a second "ah ha" moment! If everything takes longer, I need to plan to do less! I need to be realistic about my to do list. If it really does take longer to do laundry (because I can't run the washer and dryer during nap time because it practically shares a wall with Tornado's room, or because as I fold he is unfolding), then I need to plan to do fewer loads each day. If it really does take longer to make dinner because diapers need to be changed and Sweet Pea needs to eat, then I need to leave extra time. I think you get my point.

In addition to all this, I wonder so many days how it is (again) that bath time got missed or that I ran out of time to sit and play with my boy, or go outside, or read a book, or just let him climb all over me. I can't figure out how it is that I missed my chance to sit and watch Sweet Pea smile or flail her arms or whatever. I'm planning too much into my day, then missing the things I hold most important. Then when My Beloved gets home I'm flustered and frustrated at the things left to do and the things I didn't get to but wanted to and I miss the time of quietly being with the one I love.

So... the "ah ha" of it all... EVERYTHING takes longer with kids! So plan for it to take longer! Then if there is "extra" time, after playing and watching and feeding and dressing and cleaning up after etc, that's just frosting on the cake! (mmmm... frosting... I wonder where I can find some of that!)

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Outside Play!

I think many of us (ok... pretend so I don't feel alone) forget how important it is for our little ones to have time outside. It was easy to get into an *inside* rut during the winter... even more so since Tornado learned to walk just as winter began. Add to that the fact that I'm just pleased as punch (what does that mean anyway?) to stay inside myself... away from the bugs, away from the heat, away from the evil sun and all its skin cancer scares... and you've got one penned up little boy! And for a little boy "named" Tornado, you can do the math!

Yesterday we (Tornado, Sweet Pea (in the sling), myself, and our high school intern) went outside for a walk. When we got back to the house I let Tornado run around in the yard for a while. It's only a front yard right at the street, so we don't spend much time there, but it was so fun. The following pictures (note that there are no identifying parts pictured... sorry, it's an internet security thing) were taken by our intern as she was learning some about taking pictures of a moving target! :)

Tornado loves to run! And let me tell you, he was everywhere. What does this have to do with learning??? Let's just say it's the Phys. Ed. part of homeschooling and our toddlers need it as much as any child. They have so much energy to burn!

He crawled through the grass... great for tactile learning. Grass has a texture hard to duplicate inside the house!

Let's just call these push-ups... though I have no idea what happened here. :) It almost looks like he's starting a race, but there was no one else around.

He loves to run round looking for leaves and branches and sticks and such...

When he finds them he sticks them through the grate of the drain in our front yard (his daddy taught him that!)

He's never done this before, but for some reason he just had to sit on it! :) I think it took lots of thought to decide to sit right in the middle. Who knows... maybe there is some imaginative play happening here. He doesn't talk enough for me to know.

Oooh, more things for the drain! This is practically in tact still. I don't think he pulled it off the tree. Nope, I'm almost sure he found this on the ground already! :)

I love this picture because it pretty much sums up the story of who Tornado is... always on the move. The drain is in perfect focus because that is where those little feet were a second ago... but she just didn't get the shutter pressed in time. He was off!

What a great hour (ok, half hour is more like it) of learning outside... now that's child led learning if I've ever seen it!

What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post and don't forget to link back here so others can participate too. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Not of God... but what to do?

These last couple weeks have indeed been crazy... I know I've mentioned that already. In addition to the "circumstances" I've found myself in, I've been struggling off and on with some other things. I thought I'd share some from my journal last week (I keep one up when there are things pressing on my heart). The journal entry started purely as laying my heart on paper, but I quickly realized I would want to share them with you. I thought it would be fitting for Works for Me Wednesday.


It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt this way and, as usual, I don’t know what started it. I’ve felt *off* all day, give or take an hour or two here or there. Call it sad, out of sorts, depressed, despair. I don’t know what it is or what started it, but I do know it is not of God!

My heart aches for those people who feel like this all the time. Experiencing this feeling from time to time as I have in my life really opens my eyes to what life must be like for others… others who live each day depressed.

How do you get out of something when you can’t pinpoint a cause? Without a cause, there is nothing to fix. How do you cheer up when you don’t know how?

I’ve counseled people who found themselves in the midst of depression, but I’ve never really viewed their situation from their shoes before. As I sat down to dinner tonight with my precious family, I realized why some people must choose to end their lives. I can’t imagine living every minute of every day of my life feeling this way. (I am in no way thinking of or even wanting to hurt myself, or end my life—I’m simply saying I may understand a tiny part of why someone might.) There is no hope in that feeling. And God is not in it! A feeling of depression, or overwhelming sadness that never ends, or an oppressed spirit cannot be of God. These things are tools of the Great Deceiver! Hopelessness only comes from him!

Our God is a God of hope, joy, and love. He brings these things to those who place their trust in Him. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against which there is no law.” As believers, we receive these in our lives and as we grow in Him, they are evidenced in our lives as they too grow in us. As believers we can claim these, hold this promise close to our hearts and hold steadfast against the devil when he comes to deceive us.

I said that depression is not of God, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t use it for His glory. Romans 8:28-29 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

What use does depression have? Why would God use it? And how can it possibly work together for good? First of all, God can use anything He wants. More specifically though, I find that God uses times of depression in my life to bring me to Him.

Don’t misunderstand. I believe Satan is at the root of depression (I’ll touch more on this and some more specific causes later.) But I also believe God allows it, and uses it, to bring us to His feet again!

No matter how we feel, we are still responsible for our actions and the most important thing we can do is also the most beneficial. I always find that the Lord lifts my spirit as I spend time with Him. Even now as I sit here, though my circumstances have not changed—my to-do list is still long, my home is out of order, my schedule is overwhelming, and my body is still tired (have I mentioned I have a newborn and a home business and a toddler?)—my spirit has been lifted and a quiet sense of peace and joy has come over me.

Will it always be easy? Will the feelings of despair and hopelessness stay away? Maybe not. Perhaps I will fall back into depression tomorrow, or later today, or sometimes next week. The trick isn’t a trick at all. Each and every time Satan stands before you, weaving his web of deception, run to the feet of Jesus! It works for me!

To be continued…

Labels: ,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Toddler Menu

I mentioned yesterday that things have been crazy, but I'm slowly trying to pick up the pieces and get back on track. Part of getting back on track is getting my menu posted with Meal Plan Monday! (Thanks OrgJunkie for adding some motivation to my hohumming!) And... I'm getting it posted ON Monday... none of this Tuesday late posting for me! No no... that's just not my style. Um... wait, maybe it is. Oh well... not this week! So here it is, this weeks toddler menu! And... it's official, I'm starting a "mailing list" of people who would like to have this emailed to them each week. I've never offered this before, so if you would like to get the printable version of my toddler menu each week (unless of coarse I miss a week again), send an email to babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com. It may not work this first week, but I'll get there. :)

Hope your holiday has been fun!... we just cleaned off the back deck! Now I'm thinking about turning on the air... we'll see if we can hold off. :)


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Overwhelmed to say the least!

I must say, I've just been through the most overwhelming couple of weeks I've had in my life in a long time (at least!) I'd love to say it's over, but I'm not sure I can promise that. For those of you who have been with me a while, I'm sure you noticed the drastic decline in posting. I am very sorry to have neglected you all. Unfortunately when push comes to shove, we must streamline our activities as a matter of survival! I was definitely in survival mode. I actually heard myself saying to my husband that I missed house cleaning... I was having serious domestic withdrawals!

Why you ask?? (Ok... so you didn't ask, but I'm going to pretend and share anyway.) I am happy to report that it was nothing huge or earth shattering or life changing. No one died (praise the Lord) or has been seriously ill or injured. It all comes down to having too much to do... and mostly for our business.

We have a photography business (primarily portrait and wedding) that I run from home and we do together in the evenings and weekends. May is our big high school seniors kick off month each year, so there were plenty of things happening for that (though not as many appointments as we anticipated.) In addition, we have launched a brand new website for that business and it required hours and hours of my attention getting things ready and fixed etc. Add to all that the intern who has been working with us the last couple weeks. When I agreed to take this high school senior on for a 3 week internship, I never in my wildest dreams imagined it would fall at the same time as everything else. And I didn't imagine how much of my time it would take. I run this business in the little moments, but having someone here to work on the business for 30 hours a week meant that I was constantly working to make sure I had things for her to do. This made me feel like I was constantly failing in one area or another... either I wasn't holding up my end in making sure she had work to do, or I wasn't taking care of my home, or I wasn't spending time with my children. Don't get me wrong, she has been a help too in getting a number of projects I would never get to done for me, but we won't be taking on another intern for a very long time!

Anyway, that is a "nut shell" version of my life these past weeks. This next week will probably prove similar, but I'm working my way back. Nothing has been cleaned in, well... I don't know. Meals haven't been real planned, CVS hasn't been shopped, and I'm just a bit overwhelmed by it all. Anyone have suggestions on how to get back on track?

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Bible Time

Miss other Learning for Little Ones posts??? Check them out here!

Bible time in our home is way more hit and miss than I would like... at least for the kids. We read Tornado's kid Bible each evening before he goes to bed, but I like him to hear the actual Bible read each day too. Though that doesn't happen every day (things get a little crazy around here), I find that Crystal's idea of reading during breakfast works great!!

When we can, I read Genesis chapter 1 to Tornado while he is eating his breakfast. It's great. One... he can't get away. Two... he's only doing a mindless activity, so even though he isn't paying complete attention, he is still hearing God's Word. I emphasize certain voices with fun vocal patterns. That gets his attention. I hope that as he continues learning to talk that he will pick up on parts of it and we can work on memorizing it together too!

What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post and don't forget to link back here so others can participate too. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Frozen Chopped Spinach Tip

I know I haven't been around much this last week or so... and I do wish I could say I would be better, but things have been overwhelming as my list of things to do is out of control, and a large number of them are higher on the priority list than being online. I don't want to neglect you altogether though, so here I am for a quick stop in. I know many of you look to me for a weekly toddler menu. I never really did get everything done for that this week. Feel free to peruse past weeks menus... and I'll work on next weeks!

I do have a Kitchen Tip for you all though! I love to make Spinach Eggs for my son for breakfast 3-4 times a week. There are a number of ways to use spinach. You can get frozen chopped spinach, or canned spinach, or fresh... regardless, I always feel like I can't use it fast enough. I've tried to plan a spinach meal like Spinach Quiche during the week, but it doesn't work out that way often. So here's an idea...

We bought bagged, fresh spinach when it was on sale this last week (2/$5) and I chopped up one of the bags. I then spread the finely chopped (with my Pampered Chef food chopper) spinach on to a baking stone (a backing sheet would have worked too) and set it into the freezer to "flash freeze." When it was frozen, I scraped it, put it into a ziplock and slipped it into the freezer!

Now I can take a pinch or two of frozen spinach out for eggs whenever I need. :)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Twin Baby Clothes Claimed!

Congratulations to Gina for being the first person to ask for the Twin Boy Baby Clothes!!

These boys are still growing so perhaps there will be more clothes to give away in the future! :)


Friday, May 16, 2008

***UPDATED***Free 12 month winter Twin Boy Clothes! ~ Only pay shipping!

Updated to say that they are free, except for the cost of shipping. Also, these are clothes from the "dead of winter" up here in Pennsylvania. Keep that in mind when doing your calculating for age/season/location. :)

Yep... you read that right! This may be the wrong season for this giveaway, but a friend of mine (with twin boys born in the winter) has some ( I presume a bunch) matching sets of boy clothes. Size 12 months... winter. Do you have twin boys who will be wearing 12 month clothes this winter??? Do you know someone who does??? This friend of mine would love them to go to someone who could use the matching-ness of them. :)

They will go to the first person to claim them... but only if you respond before someone else gets them through the "multiples" website, or at next weekend's garage sale!

Send me an email at babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com with your name and address and we'll work on getting them to you!!!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Talking

Tornado has chosen the Gross Motor Skills as his first area to grow and excel at. He was pretty much holding his head up the day he was born (you think I kid) and bouncing up and down when we'd hold him in a standing position. In recent months he has truly mastered walking, running, climbing and the like. :) A skill he is taking his time on however is the whole talking thing. :) He understands, sure. He knows like 30+ signs (I'm so glad I chose to teach him sign language... many say that is the reason he isn't talking, but studies show that isn't likely. I just keep imagining what life would be like if I hadn't taught him and he still weren't talking. I wouldn't be worth it!) I know he understands us and he is a great communicator. He just doesn't talk. In the last couple weeks he has started saying "mama", "dada", "uh oh", "nana" (banana), and maybe one other that I can't think of... other than that, nothing! And he's 17 1/2 months old. Don't get me wrong... I'm not worried or comparing him to others... it's just the way it is.

For this weeks Learning for Little Ones, I thought I'd share something I've started doing with him recently. I'm using meal times to teach language... spoken language. Why meal times you ask??? I find that food is a great motivator for my son. While he is mostly self feeding (and with silverware I might add... crazy!), there are a few things I choose to feed him. Things like applesauce and yogurt and... well... anythings else I'm sure would be a disaster. :)

Feeding times are great times to teach sounds. I am not holding out for whole words just yet, but when I was feeding him blueberry yogurt last week I just started telling him, "Buh-lueberry"... then when I decided the ...lueberry part was too hard, I just worked on the "Buh" sound. He started getting it right away. I would say "Buh"-lue "buh"-erry. Or "buh"-all, or "buh"-ird... you get the picture I think. Now when I say "buh"... he is quick to copy me. :)

Yesterday he gave "blueberry a shot... he was nowhere close, but I could distinctly hear the "bl" sound. :)

Have you tried deliberately teaching your little ones to talk??? Any success stories? Any tips?

What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post and don't forget to link back here so others can participate too. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This Weeks Sample Toddler Menu

Things are crazy around here... thus the lateness of this menu post! Hope my sample toddler menu will help with your planning!Don't forget to check out Meal Plan Monday!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Free Homeschooling Materials for Mother's Day!

I got the following email this morning:

Happy Mother's Day

Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was Mother’s Day? We can’t make every day Mother’s Day, but we can offer savings you can enjoy the whole year through!

In appreciation for all you do is pleased to announce our

3rd Annual Mother’s Day Freebie Event!

Spend Sunday with your wonderful family and then visit us on Monday, May 12th for an event that will give you a reason to keep celebrating Mother’s Day for the rest of the year:
From May 12th through May 14th, download up to 20 FREE Homeschool titles from our generous publishers, worth over $100.00 in value!

Plus, earn a 10% account credit on every purchase you make during the
week of May 12th-16th!

Happy Extra-Long Mother’s Day to you, from CurrClick and it’s publishers: The CurrClick Mother’s Day giveaway event is our way of honoring the tremendous love, creativity and hard work you have dedicated to your children in their homeschools and in their lives.

Be sure to check it out!!! Don't forget to sign up for their mailing list so you can find out about their weekly freebie!


Friday, May 9, 2008

the WORST part of being a Mommy

Ok... so I haven't been a mom very long, so I'm sure there are worse things than I'm about to share. Like having a child reject God... I guarantee that is worse! But for me... the mother of 2 little ones under 2, this is the WORST part of being a mom!... When some thing's wrong!

Let's just say that I'm going to avoid mixing Tornado and peanut butter for a while. I may not be a crazy person where anything "peanut" is concerned, but peanut butter is out! Since I first introduced it all those months ago, I've been watching him (now 17 months) to make sure he wouldn't have any sort of allergic reaction (being as that My Beloved was allergic for years growing up.) A few times when I would serve up peanut butter and jelly (please note: he has not eaten pb&j nearly as many times as my menus would leave you to believe... most of those days it turns out there isn't any peanut butter or I haven't remembered to make bread and therefore we've eaten something else) I noticed that *maybe* there was a little rash around his mouth... but then there was lots of food smeared all over... and perhaps it was the orange juice or something (he has very sensitive skin after all.)

Well today we took that little rash a step further. It looked to me like hives (you know... to me who really has never seen hives before), but just on his face. He was rubbing his eyes a ton and as time went on there was some swelling, and redness, and raised white areas in the middle of the red, etc, etc. Yeah... I hate this stuff! What in the world is a mother who works really hard not to be a panicy mom supposed to do now???

Well... long story short, the whole thing only lasted an hour. I delayed his nap by a little so I could monitory him (didn't want his airway closing up while he napped), then put him down when I noticed the rash disappearing.

Is this why they dedicate a day to us???


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Songs

Sorry this wasn't posted first thing, but My Beloved returned home last night from a 3 + day business trip and posting was far from the first thing on my mind. :) Without further adu though... here is this weeks edition of Learning for Little Ones!

I've been singing with my little boy (now 17 months old) from the very beginning. Recently though I wondered what I could do with songs and "school time". The first "pre-school" song I've introduced is Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. I figured it would give us a good "moving" song to start with. Tornado isn't really talking yet so he doesn;t sing along (though we've got 3-5 words under our belts now), but singing this song has helped him learn new body parts. "Head", "Shoulders", and "Knees" specifically are body parts he couldn't have identified before learning the song. Over time, as we sing this several times each day, singing this song will help him with his gross motor skills too as he learns to be able to point to these body parts more quickly as we get to each part.

Try it yourself... it's great fun (and exercise for you too). After we stop doing it, Tornado often comes over and pats his (or my) head as if to say, "let's do it again!"

Are there any songs you use to teach your littles??? I'd love to know in the comments.

What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post and don't forget to link back here so others can participate too. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A four things MeMe

I've been tagged by Nikki... so here I go:

4 jobs I've had...
  • I was a waitress in a tiny Mexican restaurant at 14... yeah, it wasn't really on the up and up, but I didn't know any better back then.
  • Librarian in college (I started in food service, but after a lucky break [haha, pun not intended but VERY funny], an injury required a job change)
  • Teacher's Assistant in a deaf and hard of hearing classroom
  • High School English Teacher... for one semester! That's right... that job fit well. :) (Please don't expect my grammar or spelling to be what you would expect it to be!)

4 movies I could watch over and over...

  • Lord of the Rings (all of them... My Beloved and I watch them 3-4 times a year. Every now and then one of us says... "I could do the Lord of the Rings again". This means 6 nights of Frodo and the Ring. We break each movie up over 2 nights... it's just more practical... plus, if we don't I sleep through the second half.)
  • Anne of Green Gables (all of them... though we don't own them... I have to get them from the library... I could totally go for that right now!)
  • The Christy series... though we don't have those either and it's been years.
  • I'm currently working through the Love Comes Softly series from the library, but I can already tell that's going to be a favorite too!

4 TV shows I love to watch...

  • Well... we don't have a TV, but we watch 5th Grader online
  • We really enjoy Survivor Man too... but we can't get that online anymore.
  • When in hotels or something I like What Not To Wear
  • And... the Simpsons. I hate to admit it... My Beloved loves them so we watch them together. I don't know that I've ever watched it of my own accord, but we love to do everything together... and sometimes that means learning to enjoy what your Love enjoys!

4 places I've been on vacation... (note: all super interesting places I've been have been missions, not vacation... so I will stick to vacation places here)

  • Disney World (traveling from the west coast) ~ My grandma had a business trip there when we were kids, so they took my sister and I with them... it was super fun and I have lots of memories!
  • Cross country drive ~ back in grade school my family took a 3 week vacation/trip across the bottom row of states and came back via the second layer in a camper! So fun!
  • My Beloved and I spent our honeymoon in a beach house in Ventura, California (not far from Santa Barbara, just north of LA)
  • My Beloved and I joined some friends in a cabin in Maine a couple years ago. It is the same cabin My Beloved and "the guys" stayed in every year the previous 5 or so... we just changed it into a couples trip since they were all married now. :)

4 favorite dishes... (hard to think... I'm in a cooking rut these days)

  • Crustworthy Meatloaf
  • sushi... from a good restaurant
  • homemade pizza... though it doesn't always fill my "pizza craving" the way pizza delivered to the door would)
  • brownies, cookies, pie, cake... etc... Ok... I'm having a bit of a problem this week... there is none of this in my house, I'm going through withdrawals!

4 websites I visit daily...

4 places I'd rather be...

  • I too am perfectly happy to be at home!... If I had to choose though...
  • Maine... with my family (we love Maine!)
  • Northern Michigan... with my family (we love Nornther Michigan)
  • Southern California... with my family (just to visit though ~ that's where I grew up... I love these new places more, but I would love to visit and see people and such!)

4 others I'd like to tag... (I'm generally skeptical to tag... wouldn't want to bother anybody, but here I go anyway... I hope you all forgive me!)

You now know even more about me than before... I am SO sorry!

This Week's Toddler Menu

Sorry to be a day late with this week's menu. As I mentioned, things have been interesting around here. :) I have been picking at it though, and now that Tornado is in bed for the afternoon, I'm getting it posted for you!!!

If this is your first time with us for the weekly Toddler Menu, welcome... I hope you'll look around and find many things to help you with your little ones (and some things to make you laugh too). For those of you who didn't see it last week, I've started a Learning for Little Ones Carnival (is that what they're called?) I plan to do it each Thursday since Thursdays seem less busy as far as bloggy carnivals are concerned. I've got a Mr. Linky in place, so stop by later in the week to glean ideas (and even share you own) from others on how to work with your littles!

As far as kitchen tips go... I plan out all my son's meals for the week. This way I can be sure that he is getting the nutrition he needs and I don't have to figure out each meal in the moment! It's supper easy... just takes a little time up front!

And without further delay...

Sorry for monotonous meals in the beginning. My Beloved is out of town till Wednesday so we are just trying to get through. The chicken I've listed to go with the Mac n Cheese will be one I buy already cooked up when we go to the store this afternoon. Yep... I'm cheating! And I'm not in the least bit sorry for it. My sweet husband thought it was a great idea. :) I'da done it last night but without the menu being done, we didn't go to the store last night as usual. Oh... and Friday night there's free babysitting at the church, so I'm going to talk My Beloved into taking me on a half-date (a whole date would involve no children and we'll have Sweet Pea with us). Maybe we can go for sushi... therefore that meal is just for Tornado. :)

Let me know if you want it printable!!!

For more meal planning ideas, go here!
And more kitchen tips... here!


Monday, May 5, 2008

We've been sick... etc.

Well, if that doesn't say it all I don't know what does. :) Yep... we've been sick. All of us to one degree or another. Friday/Saturday/Sunday Tornado was pretty sick with a cold that moved into his chest. Between shallow fast breathing and his little fever I was starting to worry. As you all know, a sick baby takes way more time than normal. Add to that the "normal" time involved in an infant, having a little cold myself, and getting My Beloved out of town with enough clean laundry on Sunday afternoon and there hasn't been much time for posting! I'm sure you all understand.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that our season has started for high school senior portraits. Between the sessions (actually taking the pictures), the post processing (enhancing the pictures after in the computer) and all the businessy things involved; most of my "left over" time goes to that. It's a good thing I enjoy it. Trouble is that I enjoy this blog too... so it will be tricky to get it all in. :) Oh, and I have this strange goal to do it all while keeping up on the house and dinners too. I will definitely need all your encouragement! This procrastinating, undisciplined mama has a lot on her plate! Well... if I'm not here every day as you are used to, I hope you'll know why. :)

Oh... and I'm going to try to get to the menu tonight after Tornado is down... but we'll see. :)


Thursday, May 1, 2008

I want you to meet my family!

I must say that though I found no help, I am encouraged that I'm not the only one who struggles for creativity! It has taken me this long to come up with names for my family, but I do believe that I am finally happy with what I have selected.

I don't mean to misrepresent my situation. The fact is that until today I really had no idea what I was going to do for a name for my son, and only in the last day or two did I come up with something that *might* work for my little girl. Now I've settled on names for everyone (over the next few days/weeks I'll be going back in and changing all the references to each of them in past posts.) Since I'm making the switch and all, I thought this would be the perfect time to do some "formal" introductions. Settle into your comfy chair and come meet my family!

I married My Beloved on January 9th, 2005. We have one of the best love stories I've ever heard myself. Perhaps someday I'll share it with you. When we met, My Beloved (MB) lived in a one room cabin with a loft and no plumbing. They had offered him room and board in exchange for keeping up the computers etc at a local camp. He'd only been there a year, but it was right up his alley! We could have stayed there after we got married, but I really wanted plumbing! :)

During the day he works as the main "computer guy" at a local missions organization... a job he loves serving people he loves. I am thankful that the office is only minutes from our home. It comes in handy on days like today when everything falls apart just before the end of the work day. It made it possible for him to come home for a couple minutes to eat a quick dinner with me before returning for the rest of the night.

My Beloved is different than any man I've ever known. He's super friendly, has an amazing servant's heart, and would do just about anything to keep me safe and happy. He loves all things outdoors (hiking, hunting, biking, backpacking, campfires, hanging out in a hammock, and on and on), yet he says that he still would have picked me if he had known how much outdoor stuff he'd be giving up. He truly is the perfect man for me. He loves me in spite of me... and tells me all the time that it's the easiest thing to do.

Tornado (T) was born December 4, 2006. You may be able to figure out where his name has come from. Unless he's sleeping, he is ever leaving destruction and mess in his wake. When my mom was here in March she took to calling him the little tornado... I thought it would be an appropriate name. :)

Tornado is all boy... and all toddler! He touches everything and has grown amazingly tall in the last few months... giving him reach into all sorts of new places! Truly nothing is sacred any longer! He loves his new little sister (today I caught him with his finger in her mouth... I think he was being her pacifier except that she wasn't crying, at least not before he did it) and LOVES his daddy! As soon as I tell him "Daddy's home" he runs over to the door to look for him and wait. In the mornings when Daddy is leaving, My Beloved picks him up at the door to give good-bye hugs and Tornado turns and waves to me. If only my day were going to be that quiet! :)

He is also an outside boy like his daddy. He loves to look out the windows and has recently learned how to climb onto things so he can see out. On walks and in the car he looks for birds and other animals. He knows more than 30ish signs, but isn't talking outside of the rare "da da", rarer "ma ma" and a potential name for his sister. He is becoming chatty though and I imagine words are on the horizon! I'm already missing the quiet days of yesterday.

Sweet Pea was born March 7th, 2008. She was born at 6 pounds 10 ounces, but was down to 6 lb., 2 oz before she started climbing up again. At almost 2 months old now she is still in newborn sized clothes but is growing steadily... finally. She's still so tiny... Sweet Pea (SP) just seemed the perfect name for her. Not much to say about her yet as we are still getting to know her ourselves. Seems like she's going to be a daddy's girl too. She can scream when I hold her and settle down immediately when her daddy gets her. Doesn't bother me though... it makes my heart smile to see my children with My Beloved!

Then there's me... if you've been reading this blog for any time at all you probably already know some about me. I'm The Babychaser. When I chose that name for myself almost a year ago, I chose it because I couldn't think of anything else. I had no idea at the time that there was another baby on the way, nor how true it would be.

So who am I? I'm a lot of things. Like all of you I wear many hats, though most of them I'm still learning to wear. First and foremost I am a Christian. There are lots of ways to explain that first title, but let me try to simplify a little by saying that I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he came to earth a man, lived a sinless life and died on a cross so that I could be forgiven of my sins. Because of my trust in Him, I am made righteous, clean, and new before the Lord. Because of His sacrifice, I can have a relationship with God the Creator. I am not perfect, but I am forgiven. Everything else I do in life and everyone else I am in this life is with the goal of bringing glory to Him. (There... that was simple right?)

Other hats I wear? I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a teacher and counselor to whoever God brings to my path, I'm an encourager to those I have the opportunity to encourage, a friend to many, a photographer, and a small business owner (there's probably more). Like many of you, my hearts desire is to reflect Christ in my life and to be a Proverbs 31 woman (I have a long way to go on both of these!) My days are spent playing with my son, feeding my daughter, helping my husband, washing dishes (um... most days), doing laundry, procrastinating cleaning chores, editing photographs, dodging paperwork, way too much time online, ruining dinner, just hanging out with My Beloved, consoling tears, wiping noses, and learning... constant learning.

I'm trying to learn how to put my head knowledge into action. I'm trying to put off things like laziness and pride and to replace them with humility and... whatever the opposite of laziness is. :) I'm working to be a better keeper of my home, mother to my children, and helpmeet to My Beloved!

And basically... this blog is a place where I can share what I learn, tools I find and plain old life stories. It's also a place where I can ask for help, come for community, and find that I'm not alone.

If you've made it this far, thanks for staying! I've enjoyed having you with us... I've enjoyed introducing you to my family!


Learning for Little Ones: Homeschooling Toddlers

All my adult life I have looked forward to getting married, being a homemaker, having children, and then finally homeschooling them! Just over 3 years ago I saw the realization of my first dream when My Beloved and I were married. That was followed swiftly by my second dream as I was able, right from the beginning, to stay at home. In December of 2006 my third dream came true when DS was born (and now as I have another little one as well). Finally, my dream of homeschooling can be a reality.

When I started making mental notes and plans for future homeschooling (starting back in college and peeking during my pregnancy with DS), my thoughts focused mainly on homeschooling for the traditional "school aged child". For more than a decade I have been noting ideas from others, found online, or come up with on my own. Now that I find myself the mother of an infant and a toddler, I find that resources for teaching little ones are few and far between. Sure, I've been inspired by some who do work deliberately with their toddlers, but a Google search for "homeschooling toddlers" mainly brings up information for homeschooling "school aged" children with a toddler underfoot. That's just not me.

So, here is a place we can share and learn together! If you don't know just what to share this week, give it some thought and prepare for next week! Oh, and "little" is going to mean different things to all of us. Perhaps your little one is just a few months old. Is there something you are doing to help him learn? Maybe your little one is 2 or 3 or 4 or beyond... or 1 year old like my little one. Let us know how old she is and then share your teaching with us!

This week what I want to share with you all is the one thing I did find when I searched "homeschooling toddlers". The New Homemaker has a great article entitled Homeschooling Babies and Toddlers that you should read! I was reminded of a lot of the basics of being a stay at home mommy with a baby and some things I hadn't thought of yet.

What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!