Wednesday, April 30, 2008

HE and Detergent

Did you get the memo? Being green is in. I kind of chuckle at it sometimes, I mean really, who uses only one square of toilet paper?

But in all seriousness I am all in. Bring on the recycling, I did it in Germany, now those are SERIOUS recyclers. And I am happy to do my part to keep my eco-footprint low. It does make me laugh that all of a sudden all of these celebrities are all "green". How can you be eco-friendly in a 9,000 sq.ft. home with 11 bathrooms and 2 pools?

As we were moving into our new place we needed to purchase a new washer/dryer. Bif and Kris gave us their old set when we moved back to Atl, and it worked well enough, but it was on its last leg. We bought a set of front loaders which are high efficiency (HE). As a parting comment the salesman mentioned that we would need to use HE detergent, but most all of the detergent is he said...

Did I mention that at least 3 of us have skin allergies? So, the only detergent Dave and Hadleigh can use is Dreft. The only detergent I can use is either Dreft or Cheer. And forget fabric softener! I washed all my clothes with Snuggles one time. Within an 1 hour, I had a rash from head to toe. I can use Downey, but Dave cannot. So, ok, we have issues! Well, guess what...Dreft doesn't come in HE. OK, so I start looking for Cheer. I know that Cheer Free comes in HE, but I cannot find it anywhere. I decided at that point that we will have to just get little bottles of each of the "free" detergents and see what happens. Woolite was first. I figured, hey, Woolite is easy on clothes, so maybe it is easy on skin. We were actually all doing fine with Woolite until I washed our sheets in it. The next morning I woke up with a rash all over my hands and arms...BUMMER. So, off to the store to find a different detergent. I picked up Tide Free. Tide has actually been our fam's worst nightmare, you do not want to see our rashes after we have worn anything with Tide in it. But, I thought maybe Tide Free would be good.

I am now rash free, so here's to the environment.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Playroom Initiated and Oatmeal

Here we have our playroom. It is actually a dining room minus the dining room furniture. We do not have dining room furniture and since this room is right off the kitchen I thought it just as good as any for the playroom. I do plan one day to grow up and have adult furniture, but today is not that day. The girls need to be close to me, and since I spend a good deal of time in the kitchen it just makes sense. We got the bookshelf at Ikea in Saarlouis (yes that is Germany) and decided at this place to use it exclusively as a place for toys. Love the buckets from Walmart which get organized every few months. Today the whole playgroup crew came over to initiate my house. It was quite a day! My house is still not entirely toddler proof, but it was nice to have all the kiddos point out all the things I still need to do/hide. I also think that every member of the playgroup came today, so it was crazy! HC spent the first 30 minutes in tears completely overwhelmed and hugging my leg. After that she spent time running around with all of her buds and having a great time. Christy held Annelise for the whole first half of our group...THANK YOU...which was a blessing...and nice that Annelise even allowed that to happen. She was a little doll baby the entire group. We are looking forward to many more playgroups here!

Yesterday the little elf tried oatmeal for the first time. I think I made it too lumpy for her tastes, so we wil try again with it a little less lumps and a little more water.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Miss Hadleigh Claire Gets a Big Girl's Bed

Dave painted the bed on Thursday night. Friday we bought a matress for HC's bed, and we put it all together...first in the living room, and then up in her bedroom. She was SO excited! Sunday I let her take a nap in it. She fell off the bed about 30 minutes into the nap and has a nasty bruise on her wrist. She slept in it last night and is currently napping in it while I type. She LOVES it!

The Elf is 6 Months

Annelise will be 6 months old on Friday. I am jumping ahead a bit, but wonder if I will get another moment to post before Friday. These days I must take advantage of every opportunity and not think I will get another one like it!

Annelise gest more cute with each passing day. She smiles more, alughs more, and is able to tolerate more and more time entertaining herself. These are all monumental occurences, as the first 12 weeks of her life someone had to hold her around the clock. She still struggles with bouts of fussiness, but they are mixed with wonderful times of smiles and giggles. Since her baptism 2 weeks ago, she has been a different baby. I keep saying that Tinnin must have baptized those demons right out of her. (this is a joke folks...)

Yesterday I went down to the nursery between our fellowship time and the service to feed Annelise. I received a glowing report that she had been doing splendidly. After I fed her I put her back in the room. The infant room has a couple of permanent workers, one of whom is named Lydia. We LOVE Lydia. Miss HC was with Lydia from about 7 months until 15 months and she just adored Lydia. After the service Dave picked up Annelise. Lydia was handing her to Dave and said, "She cried...a lot." To which Dave responded, "Yea, she cries a lot. Different than Hadleigh, huh?" And Lydia was like, "Yea, completely." So the elf can go from being a sweet, giggley little baby to screaming her head off in 2.8 seconds. It is an art.

In other news, she is a very laughy baby. I can get Annelise to laugh very easily, and I can get her to belly laugh which is hilarious. When in a good mood she will let anyone hold her. Last Wednesday she refused to go to sleep at her appointed 6pm. She wanted to stay up and see all her community group buds. So, as folks arrived she was passed from one set of hands to another and never complained. Once everyone had a chance to "touch her" we dropped her back into her crib and she slept until 2am.

I think Annelise is more of a free spirit. She isn't married to a schedule and I Just never know what I am going to get in the day. When will her nap be today I wonder every morning. And when I put her down to bed I wonder when she will be up in the night. The night sleeping thing is getting to be a problem. These days she is very sporadic on how she sleeps. Last night she was up at 11, 1230, and 5 (and so we started the day at 5). Yesterday she was up at 10, 12 and 3...the night before she was up at 2. This has made it hard to get into a pattern of sleep for us. Sometimes when she wakes up I am in a dead sleep and it just is painful to wake up at the wrong time. I do feel like she needs me when she wakes up, but I think there will be an end to my compassion if this cycle continues. Like the 11 and 1230 thing last night almost killed me.

Generally I feel like Annelise has more hair than HC did, but I was looking at pics of HC last night, and maybe I am wrong about that. Annelise is still leading the pack with her ability to grab and shake and play with toys. She has started getting more tummy time and seems to enjoy that more and more. She also loves her exersaucer...that thing rocks!

She has some good balance and is almost sitting up on her own, and I expect that to happen soon. Her two top teeth are not in yet, but I know she is working on that. She is a major biter, so we will see how long I can nurse after the top ones emerge. At this point she refuses to take a bottle...bizarre. She has refused to take one from the day she was born. I tell you, she is particular! I am hoping that will change as we begin to introduce her to solid foods. This is the week...yummy oatmeal and sweet potato is on the menu!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

He Really Can Do Anything

I have known for a while that I married a man who could do anything. At first it was difficult because it seemed he did everything better than I did...and of course being someone who is rather full of herself, it is a blow to the ego to be married to someone who can cook better than you and do most anything better. In the 5.5 years that we have been together I have managed to find a few things that I can do better than Dave, but there aren't many.

Sometimes he will mention something he wants to do and I will snicker...really? And then of course he blows me away with his efforts. For the last several months he has been talking about making in don't buy a swing set, I am going to make one for the girls...don't buy a mini table and chairs I am going to make one for the girls...don't buy HC a big girl's bed I am going to make one for her. Well, Sunday Dave made HC a big girl's bed. It is true, I am married to MacGyver. He bought the stuff on Saturday, put the majority of it together on Sunday, put on decorative pieces last night and is finishing it off with some more decoration and white paint as I type. I'll post the finished project later, but thought you might get a kick out the work in progress.

As a side-note I asked him if he wanted to build me a china cabinet...he kindly declined, but said he has a dental buddy who would make me one if I wanted. That might be more than I want to spend, but we will see.

Potty and Shoes

Christy just posted the most darling picture of her precious with big shoes on. I have been meaning to post this pic for a few weeks. Here HC is sitting on her big girl's potty before her bath, wearing my shoes. Hilarious.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Elf Gets Dunked

The Little Elf

This past Sunday Miss Annelise was baptized. Technically she was sprinkled, not dunked, but I thought dunked made for a better title. Our good buds, John and Brea videoed the event, so as soon as Dave shows me how to upload video clips I will post it. In the mean time you can just get some wonderful pictures.
Annelise wore the dress that Hadleigh wore at her baptism, which was the same dress that I wore when I was dedicated 31 years ago. If you want to know more about our views on baptism, and get more of a sense of how it goes, you can click here to see notes from Hadleigh's baptism. The link takes you to what David Stoddard said when Hadleigh was baptized, the vows are the same.
One more fun thing is that our family loves the song by Stuart Townend called "In Christ Alone". I have mentioned this multiple times on the blog. It is one of the songs we sing to Hadleigh when she goes to sleep, so when Hadleigh was baptized I requested we sing this song (since Dave helped lead worship, it was an easy request). At church yesterday we sang not only "In Christ Alone" which I also now sing to Annelise, but we also sang two songs that we sang during our wedding, "Thy Mercy My God" and "At the Name of Jesus". It was very special to be taken back to Hadleigh's baptism and also to our wedding day.
We had been taking bets on what Annelise would do during her baptism. I just KNEW she would cry the question was when. Would it be when we walked onto the stage, when I handed Annelise over to John, or when she sprinkled with water. As it turns out she was a perfect angel and did not cry at all.

It was a wonderful blessing to have my parents and Dave's parents here, as well as Dave's sister Angie, her boyfriend, Ron, and Dave's nephews, Jon and Jacob. After the baptism we all went out to lunch at Monterrey' was fab.

Miss Hadleigh Claire Is 25 Months

So, Hadleigh Claire is now 2 years and 1 month. She is so interactive, alive, inquisitive and hilarious! She has started to talk non-stop. Sometimes you can understand what she is saying and sometimes it is just jibberish. She likes to talk about all the things she sees, books she is reading, and anything and everything else. She loves to sing "Winkle, Winkle, little star" and "the wheels on the bus go ron and ron".

Our evening routine has added a few more songs to it. We now sing "Peace Like a River" and she knows all the words and motions and knows when you have mixed them is not love like a fountain! It is love like an ocean! She also now consistently bows her head and folds her hands to pray. At the end she always sasy "Jesus!" It is sweet.

We have a lot of the normal 2-year-old stuff going on. An occassional tantrum, a bout of defiance, testing the limits...seems normal. We continue to seek how to best discipline her and train her. It is hard, and sometimes drives me nut-so. Sometimes I think, goodness, if there is drama between HC and I know at 2-years what will it be like at 14. OOOh! But she is so super sweet and we seek to really give much love and grace in the middle of everything.

Reading is the number 1 priority in the day. Whenever Annelise is sleeping we try to sit down together and read several books. She could really do that all day long. It is amazing. All of her board books are out in her new playroom where she can sit and read to herself, and the big girl books are in the family room where I can read them to her. We recently bought a kiddo Bible called "The Big Picture Story Bible" and it is fabulous at pulling all the "stories" together to show that the Bible is one big story. It had been recommended to us, but I was thinking it would better once she was a little older. However, she LOVES it and will sit and listen to several chapters at a time.

She likes to run, which is a more waddle, quick walk than a run. When I ask her to come to me, she will say "Run?" and I will say "Fast" and then it looks like she is starting a race and she will come straight to me. Being outside is a favorite part of the day, and she loves exploring our new backyard and all the little bugs and animals that live back there. She also likes watching the planes and helicopters that fly overhead and listens for the train and fire trucks to go near the house.

She is not a frilly, girly-girl. She is so tough it always surprises Dave and I. Last summer she got stung by a bee and never shed a tear, after that we knew she was a tough cookie. This past week she was out on a walk with Dad and Mom and she took a big tumble. Both knees were scraped up and her hands were scuffed, she never cried. Saturday she sliced her finger and never cried. She is tough.
This last picture is Hadleigh with her cousin, Jon. He came down for Annelise's baptism on Sunday, more on that later. Hadleigh adores her cousins, Jon, Josh and Jacob and follows them around whenever we are together.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Elf is 5 Months

With each passing moment Annelise is getting older. I know I continue to say this about both of my girls, but they are getting so big. I feel like time passed very slowly with Hadleigh, but Annelise's first 5 months have flown some respects. I actually have a lot of thoughts about my first 5 months of being a mama of 2 girls, but I will save those for a different post. This one is all about Annelise.

Here is the elf with Papa Froggy (my dad). Dad and Mom have been here for the last 4 weeks visiting us, and helping us with the kiddos. Annelise loves her Nana and Papa.

She is still crazy and unpredictable, but she can sure be sweet. She loves to belly laugh, and it is so fun to listen to. Annelise is very dextrous and grabs onto everything and anything. She is getting used her playmat and exersaucer and enjoys grabbing all the little animals and toys (after she got over being frightened of them). She adores Miss HC and could watch her for hours.

Her sleeping habits are bizarre. I can generally get her to take at least two naps a day, but don't ask me to tell you when those naps will be. AND even though she has her own room she still likes to take her naps on my bed. Whatev! She is sleeping 12 hours at night, but it is interrupted sleep. Sometimes she eats every 4 hours through the night, sometimes she will go 5, and this past week she did one night of 11 hours. Of course the 11th hour ended up being at 4am...and since I am used to getting up with her every 4 hours I was up at 2 and by 4 I was just CRYING and praying that she would wake up...just remember people I am nursing, and skipping 2 feedings in a row is cruel. I keep telling her to work up to it, but the night after she did 11 hours she was back to every 4 now I am working on month 5 without a full night of sleep. Ugh. My sleep "bible" says night feedings are reasonable until 9 that is true I could have 4 more months. But I would really like a night of sleep before that time.

She is showing signs of being able to soothe herself. This seems to be a fairly new development. Usually when she begins to cry it is downhill and quickly downhill. But the last couple times she has gone down with some crying she has been able to calm herself down...GREAT news.

I'll tell you, my Annelise is super sweet, but she is a very difficul baby. People keep telling me I give her a bad rap, but I tell you what, once you have spent 24 hours with her you will see what I am talking about. She can go from laughing to hysterics in 1.2 seconds. When we go for walks she doesn't like the sun in her eyes or the wind in her face...or anything over head to block the wind or sun. I have never gone out with her where she has not cried. We scream through Publix, Kroger, the Farmer's Market, the mall...all of them, Target, Walmart, etc. She might start off happy, but can turn crazy quickly...and it is really hard to push a cart with a 2 year old and carry a little baby...and folks the sling doesn't work.

After a couple of days here Dad and Mom watched the girls while Dave and I went out. It took her 2 hours to get Annelise to sleep (she has gotten better at), but she said if she lived nearby she would invest in a pair of ear plugs because the girl can scream and sometimes refuses to calm down.

After one trip to the doctor he commented that he was surprised I had not called him about her. I said...well, can you do anything about it? He couldn't, which is what I figured...why call when you know the answer? Time will smooth it all out.

My fav line while out is "ooh, is she hungry?" If I had a penny for everytime someone asked me that I would be SO filthy rich! Like if there was anything I could do to make her stop don't you think I would do it? And then there is the ever helpful, "have you tried cutting out ____". Fill in the blank. I know folks are just trying to be helpful, but honestly...she was born angry. My last fav comment is when people find out she is crazy (and they know Dave and I), they get this grin on their face and ask me if she is like me... For the record, she is like Dave. Dave's mom swears Dave was just like I guess she will mellow out. My mom swears I was a wonderful, very easy baby...slept through the night at 6 weeks, always took good naps...hmmm. I just wonder that people think I am an angry person.

OK, enough venting about that. The thing about Annelise is, she is crazy, but she is sweet. She has just enough sweet moments to make me adore her, and make me thankful that I am her Mama. It is really hard to be her Mama and I have to work at trying to understand her, and trying to serve her in the best way possible. But I love my little, crazy, angry elf. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to love her and for making her part of my little fam.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I know I have SO much to catch up on, but for now this will have to do. Painting pictures. Last week was literally insane and I have no idea how we ever would have survived without my parents. We closed on Monday and then it was a whirlwind. Ripping out a cabinet, buying a new fridge and washer/dryer...painting...painting...painting. And oh yea, moving!

Wednesday night is our usualy Community Group meeting and since it was the first Wed. of the month we usually have a good dinner and spend time praying as a group. Last week everyone came over for pizza and helped paint the new place.

Hadleigh's Room

Courtney painting HC's room

Jeremy painting HC's room

HC's room finished
Ben painting Annelise's room
The red wall in Annelise's room after 3 coats
Annelise's room finished (the red took 7 coats)

Lisa painting the girl's bathroom
Christy painting the girl's bathroom
Bathroom finished

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Because It Makes Me Smile...

and takes me back to the not-good, but good-old days of jr. high.

Jon was my fav.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Packers come are some before pics of the house. Once we are painted and inside I will take after pictures. Living Room
Dining Room
Family Room
Rec Room
Annelise's Bedroom

Hadleigh's Bedroom


Girl's Bathroo