Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jace's first words

Jace has really started talking lately! He said his first word "dada" around 12 months and he hasn't stopped since. He's got quite a few different words in his vocabulary now and we've caught a few on tape. Hope you like listening!

video

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin coffee!

Did you know you can flavor coffee by adding spices to ground coffee beans? Try it. So good!


My favorite so far is pumpkin spiced coffee. Welcome fall into your home every morning by adding a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice to your coffee grounds before brewing. Add sugar and cream to taste.

It may not be as good as a pumpkin spiced latte (although this may be!), but it sure does come close!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jace!

Last Saturday we celebrated Jace turning 1! (Where did this year go?!) Jace had lots of fun at his birthday party opening presents, playing with his friend, Harper, showing off his new walking skills to his family, and of course, eating cake!






We are so thankful for everyone who was able to come celebrate this special day with us. Thank you for loving our baby!

Friday, August 20, 2010

He walks!

My baby is walking! He certainly still loves to crawl, but he is walking more and more every day. I can hardly believe it. He's been taking one or two steps for about a month now, but in the past week he has really taken off. And just in time to show off for his family and friends at his first birthday party!

Check it out! He's so proud of himself, too. :)
video

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life in the Dash.

I need a new blog post. Desperately. But nothing seems blog worthy. Sometimes it feels like I spend my whole day in the kitchen. 11 month olds eat a lot. Seriously. Today for a snack Jace had an entire cherry cereal bar, approximately 15 animal crackers, a vanilla YoBaby yogurt, and 1/2 cup of blueberries. And after this afternoon feast there was much to clean up. Sticky yogurt hands, sticky yogurt face, smashed blueberries on the floor, and animal cracker crumbs in the seat. And dinner isn't too far away. Which means I'll get to do this all again. But the mess will be bigger. And stickier.

And while this isn't very exciting it is a big part of my life. After all Jace eats three meals and one snack a day. So there's lots to clean up. And maybe you'd still like to hear about it? Because I'd like to hear about your day, even if it's just filled with folding laundry and vacuuming carpets. Or sitting at a desk answering phones and attending meetings. Because life isn't always glamorous, but I think it's worth sharing.

My friend, Jen, recently blogged about some random thoughts and inspired me to post some of my own.

So here's what's been going on lately.

Jace is almost walking! It's exciting and scary, but I think I'm ready. He can already stand on his tippy toes and grab things off of tables and shelves, so how much more trouble could he get into?

Although speaking of trouble, today Jace got his leg stuck in a shopping cart. Like really stuck. He was sitting in the front of the cart, strapped in, like always, and all of the sudden I hear him screaming. I turn around and he has moved his leg out of the leg opening and into this teeny tiny opening next to the leg opening. I have no idea how he got his leg through it, but he did. And now his leg is stuck. And he's screaming. Thankfully, my mom was with me, but neither of us could get his leg out. And his poor ankle is getting more and more red. And he's still screaming. I thought we were going to have to call the fire department. Or the police. I thought we were going to need the jaws of life. Seriously. Somehow I managed to bend his foot just the right way and it slid back out- but what a scary moment!! I'm not sure if I'll ever put him in a Whole Foods shopping cart again!

Hubby and I have picked up a new TV show for the summer. Arrested Development. If you haven't seen this show- you should. It's on Netflix and is super funny. And if you own a Wii you can order a special dvd from Netflix that will allow you to watch shows on your television through your Wii. It is so cool.

I've joined a gym and am trying to gain enough confidence to try out their Zumba class. It looks like fun- but everyone is so good! Maybe I could just hang out in the back corner....

We are official NC residents with new driver's licenses and car registrations. Did you know when you apply for a license in a new state you have to take a written test? I thought I was going to fail. I mean, seriously, who actually knows how many points you get on your license if you are pulled over for a DUI? And in NC there are two DMVs. One for your license and one for registration. So that's two ridiculously long lines you have to stand in instead of just one. And did you also know the DMV only takes cash or check? There must be a way to do all of this online.....

Jace's birthday is next month. He's going to have a farm-themed party. I can't wait. There will be pictures. Just wait. I'm hoping to bake him a cake that looks like a cow. Wish me luck!

And now it's back to the kitchen for dinner. Here's to another messy evening.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silly baby!

Check out Jace's new trick! So proud of himself, too.




Friday, June 25, 2010

Jace can sign!

So, hubby and I have been teaching Jace sign language. Just simple signs, like "more", "please", and "all done". (Notice how all three can be used at the dinner table!) We've been working on these signs for about 2 months and he's just recently (like two days ago) starting signing back. It's really exciting to see him learn something new and, thankfully, I caught it on video. Hope you enjoy.

video

If you're interested in teaching your baby sign language there are tons of resources online, like this video dictionary. Check it out!

Stay tuned for more video updates.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Victorious!


Kevin Boyd: "Delilah is dead. I bought an S1 bit driver from Lowe's and removed her battery. I'll probably wear it around my neck like a primal war trophy."

My husband is a champion.

Meet Delilah


She has become the bane of our existence. She's a security system that our home's previous owner had a subscription to. We've since cancelled the subscription but apparently Delilah's decided to stick around. At first she was only mildly irritating, announcing each time the front or back door was opened or closed. My clever husband quickly discovered the battery operated sensor at each door, though, and she was silenced.

Or so we thought.

Until our second night in the house when we woke up at 1 am to 6 loud beeps. And then silence. And then 6 loud beeps. And then silence. And then 6 loud beeps. And then silence. And I think you've got the idea. (Did I mention she also woke up Jace? He is screaming in his bedroom.) Thirty minutes later, after a series of expletives and button pushing, my husband had quieted Delilah.

We call Crime Alert Security System the following morning and as politely as possible explain our situation and ask them to come and take Delilah away. The man assured us a technician would call later that afternoon or the next morning to schedule a time to come to our house. The rest of the day passes without a phone call. Night approaches and assuming we had solved the problem we go to bed without giving Delilah much thought. As expected she spends the night quietly installed next to our linen closet.

Although there is still no phone call the next day.

Then last night she returned. With a vengeance.

My husband tries the same pattern of button pushing as two nights ago. Six loud beeps follow. Earlier in the day he found the power unit while organizing the guest room closet, so his next step is to unplug that. Six loud beeps follow. (Remember it is approximately 1:30 am). After a few more expletives and searching our dark house with a miniature flashlight, he finds his wire cutters and cuts the wires attached to Delilah through the wall of the linen closet. Six loud beeps follow.

At this point we are both convinced our house is possessed and we surely won't make it through the night alive (By the grace of God Jace sleeps through this entire ordeal.)

But then there is a miracle at 1632 Quillmark Road and all we hear is silence.

Five minutes go by. Silence. Ten minutes go by. Silence. Fifteen minutes and no more beeping.

Without speaking we both find our way back into bed, hoping and praying that Delilah has caused enough excitement for one night.

And knowing full well that Crime Alert Security System will be getting another phone call, possibly less polite, first thing in the morning.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If there was any doubt...

as to why this blog is called sweet (potato) kisses.




I just can't get enough of this sweet sticky face! Can you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Well, we made it! We are official residents of Winston-Salem.

And I'm excited. Excited to be a first-time homeowner and to redecorate. Excited for a fenced in backyard and a double vanity. Excited to be in a bigger city and closer to family. Excited to have more options. Options for everything from grocery stores to public schools to choice of dentist. Excited to live in a city that stays open past 5pm. Excited for playgroups and farmer's markets and museums and restaurants.

And I'm sad. Sad to no longer be able to walk to campus. Or to the grocery store. Or to Dairy Queen. Sad to have to drive for more than 10 minutes to reach the other side of town. Sad to have to find a new hair dresser. And eyebrow waxer. And dentist. Sad to leave a church that doesn't mind when my son squeals and laughs through the entire service. Sad to move Jace away from his first friends, Harper and Owen. Even sadder to move away from their parents.

If you had told me four years ago that one day I would be sad to leave Farmville I most certainly would've thought you were nuts. After all, we weren't exactly thrilled to be moving to such a small town in the first place. But we felt the Lord calling us to go and so we went. And while living there wasn't always super exciting or convenient (who really wants to drive 45 minutes to reach the nearest Target?) I know that we made the right decision and am thankful for the many ways in which He provided for us.

And am hopeful He will do the same here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New house!

Today the bank officially approved our loan for our new home! Hooray!

Here are some pics of the new place:

Front yard

Back yard (we are very excited about the fence!)


Kitchen


Jetted tub in master bath (one of my favorite features of the whole house!)

2 weeks to go until moving weekend. Maybe we should start packing?

Homemade Hummus!

Favorite snack of the week! (Thanks to my friend, Megan, for the backbone of this recipe.)


Homemade Hummus:
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 cup of water (or drained liquid from chickpeas)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp minced garlic (or garlic powder)
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is achieved. Try it, it's really good!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This summer I would like to.....

1. Read! Thanks for the suggestions. Here's what I have chosen:


The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Surrender to Love by David Benner
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel


2. Get back in shape. Today I completed my second day of running since before Jace was born. Yikes. Well, you've got to start somewhere, right? There is nothing like an 80's cardio mix to get you moving! Jessie's Girl anyone? Hoping this hobby lasts longer than a week...




3. Complete a bible study. I mean seriously, if I believe the bible is the word of God and that God can reveal himself through his word then shouldn't I be spending time there? The bible study I've decided to study is Beth Moore's Believing God. Care to join me?


4. Create a garden. And keep it alive. I feel like my dad is a master at gardening. Seriously- have you seen his yard? Well, you should. It's lovely. I may have inherited his dark eyebrows, scheming ways, and love for roller coasters, but certainly not his green thumb. I am determined, though, to learn.




5. Improve my baking repertoire. I love to bake. Specifically, chocolate chip cookies. I remember many afternoons, coming home from school and being greeted with the aroma of melting chocolate. Mmmmm. Always homemade. Always delicious. And while I'll never turn down a warm gooey cookie (or 2!) I would like to learn how to bake other desserts just as scrumptious. Suggestions? Stay tuned for recipes and pictures.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Look at me!

Ja

Hey, mom! I'm just sitting here in my rocking chair reading my favorite book about baby's belly button!

Friday, May 21, 2010

My busy beaver!

Jace can officially stand in his crib! It's a very sweet/scary sight when I walk into his room now. Sweet because I'm so proud that he has mastered this new skill but scary because I'm slightly terrified he's going to find a way to fall out of the crib. I find myself listening for loud thuds when he wakes up crying in the middle of the night! Although as part of our continual baby proofing process we have recently lowered his crib mattress to the lowest setting and have removed his crib bumper.

Besides learning to pull himself to a standing position, Jace has also figured out his crib rail is the perfect chew toy. For all 8 teeth. Yuck! And my, does he chew it well. I wish I knew this was going to happen....why don't all cribs come with rail guards? So much for saving this crib for years to come......oh the things you learn as you go!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Grass vs. Grain: Which would you choose?

Confession: The hubby and I have recently become addicted to documentaries. Specifically, documentaries about food. Some of our favorites have been Food, Inc., King Corn, and No Impact Man. (All available via Netflix. P.S. Isn't Netflix the greatest??) Now, the unfortunate (or possibly fortunate?) thing I have discovered about documentaries is that they have this tendency to make you think about things you'd rather not. So, as a result of our latest addiction we have been forced to rethink our diets.


Did you know that the majority of beef produced and consumed in the United States comes from grain-fed cows? Maybe this doesn't sound so bad, but cows are grazing animals who were created to eat grass.




They were not created to live in crowded feedlots while consuming a diet primarily of grain.



It sure is nice to imagine all the beef we consume comes from cows who spend their days grazing through green grass under bright blue skies, but sadly this just isn't true.


But, why are cows fed grain instead of grass? Well, I have since learned, it is a cheaper and more efficient system. When a cow is grass-fed and allowed to graze it can take him 2 or 3 years to reach a weight appropriate for market. When a cow is grain-fed and contained in a feedlot he can be ready for market in as few as 15 months. Feeding cows grain certainly keeps the price of beef low, but at what other costs? Grain-fed beef is higher in saturated fats and lower in omega-3s than grass-fed beef. Also, since these cows are living in such close quarters they are continually and routinely given antibiotics to keep them healthy. This system also isn't very sustainable. The corn (which is the main grain in a grain-fed diet) being fed to these cows requires a lot of fossil fuel energy and grain-fed beef is also more polluting. When cows are grass-fed their waste drops back into the land, with grain-fed cows their waste just builds up, polluting water and air.


In our eyes, after watching these documentaries and learning this information, we have decided that choosing grass-fed beef seems to be the more humane, healthy, and environmentally friendly choice. So, as a result, we have decided to give up grain-fed beef with the eventual move towards a diet free from red meat (because grass-fed beef is much much more expensive and is also not a perfect system).


We know it won't be easy but are looking forward to the challenge and are excited to move towards, what we believe is, a healthier lifestyle. Stay tuned for more food adventures.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is a sweet poem in honor of Mother's Day: (I'm not sure who the author is, but it is very sweet!)

Before I was a mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I didn't think about immunizations.

Before I was a mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so the doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up for late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a mom.

Before I was a mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or satisfaction of being a mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much
before I was a mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Hope your day is as special as you are!

I am spending my first Mother's Day at InterVarsity summer camp with my husband and son, other staff and their families, and hundreds of college students! Should be a good time :)

P.S. This was my Mother's Day present :)




Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jace in action.

A crawling baby is exhausting! So far today Jace has found two new electrical outlets, chewed on the dog bone, played in the dog water, almost knocked over a lamp, chewed on the window blinds, chewed on a pair of crocs, chewed on a pair of sandals, and found every miniscule piece of dirt that was on the floor! Yikes. Thankfully, I am visiting my parents and have had some great help in watching my little monkey.

The advantage to having a crawling baby is long afternoon naps! This afternoon Jace slept for a full 2 hours (his usual naps are right around an hour) and woke up happy! I walked into his room and found him laying on his back in his pack-n-play staring up at his hands. When I called his name he turned towards me and laughed! Nothing beats a happy baby after a long nap. Bliss. Especially when there is enough time for momma to nap, too!


video

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crawling!

Jace can crawl! Well- it's more of an army crawl where he drags his body across the floor using the strength of his arms- but nonetheless he is officially mobile. Watch out world.

Stay tuned for evidence....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Summer Reading List

It's always hard to decide which book to read next. Should I go with a best seller? Take that recommendation from my friend? Dive back into the classics? So many decisions! This summer, in hopes of alleviating some of the decision-making-stress, I have decided to create a summer reading list.

Here's what I have so far (in no particular order):

Water for Elephants
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Beauty
Freaky Friday
Into the Wild
Fahrenheit 451

Any other suggestions?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sweet (Potato) Kisses

Because a sweet sticky face is most often the recipient of my kisses.

And while that is true, I am more than a mom. And I was determined to prove this to the blogging world. Determined to be more than another "mommy blogger". Determined to blog not only about my son, but about all aspects of my life.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love being a mom. These past 8 months have been some of the best months of my life. First smiles, quiet coos, baby soft skin, early morning cuddles, late night nursings......and nothing is quite as calming as a baby sleeping soundly on your chest. But, I am more than just a mom.

I'm a follower of Jesus who tries to love her family and friends with the same extravagant love she has been shown. I'm a wife to a hard-working man who puts his faith and family first. I'm an older sister who is blessed to be able to call her siblings friends. I'm a daughter and a grand-daughter. A niece and cousin. I'm a pet owner to the furriest yet sweetest golden around. I'm a choco-holic and a morning coffee addict. I'm a reader who prefers happily-ever-after to what-could-have-been-but-wasn't. I am a silly song writer (ask the husband!) and a wanna-be runner. I'm a beach lover and a green peas hater. I'm a day dreamer and an automatic transmission driver. I'm a blue jean consumer and a flip flop wearer. I'm a (chocolate chip cookie) baker and a hopeful blogger.

And a mom. A mom who decided to stay home. A mom who serves her baby homemade baby food. A mom who chose breast over bottle and cloth over disposable.

Yet, I'm not just a mom. I am mom. Mom to a sweet 8 month old boy who has chubby thighs and ticklish feet. Who takes after his mom in his thoughts towards peas. Who usually has sweet potato on his face and dirt on his shirt (an inevitable when army crawling). Whose toothy smile can light up a room. Mom to Jace.

This is my life. And I wouldn't want my kisses any other way.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"What's in a name?"

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

And I thought naming my son was hard work.

I never thought naming a blog would be so difficult. And, certainly, I hadn't planned on publishing it until everything was perfect and complete. Not until I had a catchy, clever name that would stand out among the masses and beckon you to come back for more, a background with colors that would portray just the right balance between being thoughtful and funny, and, of course, not until I had found the most adorable picture of my son. But, here I am, writing my first entry and minutes away from clicking "publish post" and my blog is still without a name.

And yet, while creating a name is important, it shouldn't keep me from connecting with people. From connecting with other moms who are also trying to navigate through the ins and outs of diaper rash, breast feeding, baby proofing, and sleep training. From re-connecting with long-distant friends with whom I so desperately have wanted to remain close with. And from connecting and staying in touch with family members who are just delighted to learn that my son has reached another milestone (he can crawl! well, I think what he is doing is actually referred to as "creeping", but it is just as cute and impressive) or tried a new flavor of baby food (blueberries are a new favorite!).

And so, I will move forward, I will publish my imperfect and incomplete blog and hope to make a few friends along the way.