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Jan 30, 2011

Win a chalkboard wall decal!

Sickness has hit our home (Shawn-strep) again. Why, oh why?

Fortunately, we had two beautiful spring-esque days in which I was able to selfishly go for a run and bike ride. I can't wait for spring. Except Sissy will be one year old end of May and that's just too much right now.

And for what you're really waiting for, here's the giveaway details for the chalkboard wall decal by RoomMates Peel and Stick Decor:
Winner, chosen by random, will win one decal piece of his or her choice from the Chalkboard Wall Decal Collection (there's even some owls!).
images via

To enter, become a follower of my blog through GoogleFriends, & leave me a comment stating the same.

If
you are already a follower, just leave a witty or clever comment (if you become a new follower of the blog through GoogleFriends, you are then elligible for the second "witty or clever comment post" entry); entries limited to official marigoldroad blog followers only. (*you must be a U.S. resident to enter*)

Contest ends Friday morning, February 4th.


This is also a product review, so I want to tell you about my experience with the decal for Story's room:

Um, it took about 30 seconds to apply it (including the antennae pieces) to the wall.
Wilder tested it out (good thing chalk rubs off the wall):
The beauty of these decals is that there's no rubbing with a card to apply, or trimming with scissors, or freak-out moments about exact placement. It can be reversed. Awesome.

Good luck, sistahs!

****
This post is linked to my friend Heather's blog, Blessed Little Nest as I participate in her Life Made Lovely Mondays! My Monday is lovely because I get to provide you with a giveaway opportunity and post pictures of my curly haired Wildman and my Princess Lovey Girl.
Photobucket

Jan 27, 2011

Simple and Creamy Tortellini Alfredo

I was super stoked to get some excellent feedback on the breastfeeding post. Thanks so much for your stories--some that made me cry, and some that made me laugh...(something about how the best post-nursing bra is a plastic surgeon!). I was secretly afraid I'd jinx Story's nursing since she's so hard to wrangle, but, she still seems okay.
iPhoto by Shawn, a couple months ago

Exciting baby news (no, not mine!). This morning on my 3 mile run (I had to take a 3 day break because Sunday's 6-miler did a number on my ankles) I received a text from my friend M, for whom I made the Dora cake, that her daughter was born. Everyone's healthy and I can't wait to go visit. Special thanks to Cheryl, Julie, Michelle, Jill and friends, Amy, Kristen, and Jessica for blessing M with a diaper cake, bottles, warm sleepers, outfits, formula, bib/burpie, taggie blanket...etc etc. We had a miniature shower at her apartment, admiring it all. This is a situation in which I am thankful for the connectedness text messaging provides (M and I text a lot).

On another note, I've been trying to cook more. As in, just this week. Here's my meal plan:

Sunday-meatloaf
Monday-frozen pizza
Tuesday-tortellini alfredo
Wednesday-turkey sandwiches
Thursday-chicken and biscuits
Friday-philly steak baked potatoes
Saturday-hot dogs/mac and cheese
Sunday-chicken and salsa skillet

I'm not a show-off nor do I pretend to have it all together, so, you get to see the TRUTH about our food: sometimes we eat mac-n-cheese and most nights we don't eat healthy (although we have spinach salad, cottage cheese, fruit or carrots as sides most of the time).

Anyway.

Here's the tortellini alfredo recipe. I've even got pictures.
Aldi had all the ingredients (bacon, frozen peas, italian cheese blend, chicken broth, tortellini, cream cheese).
There was enough for leftovers. Here it is microwaved the next day:
Now that's lip smackin' and hip huggin'.

Jan 26, 2011

Cloth baby wipes solution

I have had these hand-sewn cloth baby wipes, purchased at a craft fair, for several months, and am just now getting to making some solution to soak them in.
Here's what I did, gleaning tips from this site:
I combined:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp organic baby wash
1 cup water
Then whisked them together til bubbly:
Then submerged each wipe into the solution, squeezing out the excess. I didn't leave much solution in the bottom of the tub.

Folded the wipes neatly into the box. And there you have it. Fancy wipes for the cutest tush around.

Hehe.
(I have never used cloth wipes. It'll be a new adventure
& I don't plan to use them full time.
I'm tired of panicking when we are down to the last wipe;
I'm just not a good planner. Let's see how these work on poo...)

Jan 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sister!

Megan, L and me, R

On dictionary.com the word spirit has 25 meanings. I chose number 14 to honor my sister, Megan, on her birthday today:

spirit: excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That's the spirit!

I'm confident that as Meg's walked this life she's made not one enemy. There is nothing to not like about her. Everything to love. When faced with adversity by the shock of having a baby with a heart defect (who is thriving, by the way; glory to God!), Meg didn't falter. Sure she cried, as any mommy would, but her eyes stayed focused on the Cross. On the bigger picture. On the story He weaved. Her head remained bent, prostrate at Jesus' feet in surrender and supplication. Our whole family prayed like we'd never prayed before, and though we wish Evie wouldn't have had to go through that, her situation knitted our family tighter, especially on the spiritual level.

Megan is a woman of integrity and grace. She is a gift straight from heaven's mansions, my blood and my bosom friend. I love you, Sister.
*****
Other January birthdays not to be forgotten:
My Daddy! I really think you're perfect. And, thank you.
My high school BFF! I miss you. Scads.
f i

Jan 24, 2011

only you

I'll skip the mushy stuff, but suffice it to say that I am lucky, nay, blessed in love. We have our hard moments...who doesn't when there are wee ones vying for precious time and attention? But it all boils down to this basic infatuation I have for a really cool guy.

Shawn, only you:

could rock a yellow pimp suit in high school:
could look so cute blowing stuff up:
could look ruggedly handsome in a zipped hoodie and really dorky jeans:
could be so proud of such hairy Fred Flinstone toes:
could stand still long enough to pose with a cardboard cutout:
could have such awesome moves with a plastic sword or light saber...or whatever this is:
could risk being poisoned by eating unknown plants:
could pull off the surprise of a lifetime:
could get away with going to Scotland weeks before our wedding:
could proudly sport pink toenails:
could look so hawt, refined, and contemplative whilst stringing Christmas lights: could convince us someone was actually on the other line:
For all these reasons, I've loved you from the start.

Jan 22, 2011

On breastfeeding

Okay, entering controversial territory here.

Breastfeeding is a big part of my life and I blog about life, so, here goes. I'll precursor by saying I respect breastfeeding mothers and formula-feeding mothers equally. We're all doing the best for our children, and the best is different for everyone. Some might say breastfeeding leaves the daddy out. It hasn't been a problem for Shawn. Bath time is his bonding time with Story, as it was/is for Wilder. Pumping and having the daddy do a bottle is also an option (not to mention it can free mommy to have some personal away time).

On we plunge...

If Story has nursed five times a day all the days of her life, then that means we have nursed 1,200 times! Now, she's nursed more than that since we nursed a bit more than every 3 hours when she was a newborn. So, I'm an expert, right? Especially since I nursed Wilder, too?

My breastfeeding journey goes something like this:

We bought only a couple of bottles when preparing for Wilder's birth. I planned to nurse if it worked out, but didn't want to pressure myself if it didn't. It ended up working out, but not without a little bit of gumption. I was incredibly engorged when we came home from the hospital. Let me clarify: I had to go to the hospital a second time, because I wasn't getting better, and they gave me an I.V. the day my milk came in. I remember lying alone on the E.R. table, crying out for my baby Wilder, who had probably gone 4 hours without eating. I was in intense pain and confused as to why I wasn't getting better (in hindsight I think it was postpartum pre-eclampsia, as with Story).

The basketball in my tummy had mutated into two basketballs that migrated upward...(e.g., my "girls" were very. full. up to my collarbone and armpits). It was excruciating. I think I scarred my mom for life in that when she came to help, I roamed around half-clothed, milk spewing from my breasts, balling.

It didn't seem worth it.

Until I discovered cabbage leaves. They are a weird moving plant, like a venus fly trap. Put the fresh leaves over the girls and it almost looks like they are massaging them (even though I just think it was my heartbeat). Instant relief. Cold packs helped too, but I couldn't stand them for too long.

I pushed through. My postpartum nurse friend came over at 10pm one night to help, because Wilder just wasn't getting it. I don't blame the guy if he was afraid of the girls. "Boom boom boom I'm a big thing that you need to eat from!!"
W and mommy, when things were very new

He nursed for 8 months, around which time he pushed me away. And that was that. I was relieved {mostly}. It feel good to have some independence. And a good push up bra.

Then my Miss Honey Love Story Girl Lovey Nutt (sorry) came along, and I was more knowledgeable and relaxed about the whole thing. When we learned of her pregnancy I bought a Medela Pump In Style electric pump. And stocked the fridge with cabbage days before birth.

She was a bit of a slow learner, but didn't fight or fist-punch me like Wilder did. Hospital lactation specialists changed my life by suggesting breast shells...they worked like a charm. If engorgement is a problem for you, TRY them. They work.

I had a long post-partum hospital stay with Story, too, and we nursed through it. We nursed in the E.R. (thank you Lord for protecting Story from germs), and we nursed even while I was on magnesium sulfate and going to the bathroom was akin to climbing Everest. But nursing helped me feel bonded to Story, and it was the one thing I could do for her, if just barely (Shawn, family, and friends had to do everything else). When bad medicine was in me I had to pump/dump, but Story took a bottle well (she doesn't now! oops).

Almost eight months later, nursing is progressing successfully.
She is easily distracted, so we have to go to a quiet place (we lie down, and relax! Wilder does pretty good at not "bothering" us). I really hope she sticks with me. Oftentimes she'll nurse for a bit then roll over and lose interest. I am grateful that nursing her has been a positive experience and that it hasn't been overly bothersome. Moreover, my breasts haven't had any adverse effects from running; production is steady.

I am sticking with it one week at a time. I am not going to publicly make the 1-year commitment just in case she "denies me" like Wilder did. My reasoning for nursing her is three-fold 1) it's a really special time for us and is not a stressor (if it was, I wouldn't do it) 2) it's the more economical choice for us 3) it has optimum nutrition. Furthermore, I have never had mastitis, struggles with let-down, anemia, prescriptions that impede my ability to nurse, or a outside the home job to make it more challenging. Even though I get tired of it sometimes, it has been a BIG blessing to get to nurse.
So, do you have questions for me? I can help. Do you wonder how to discreetly nurse in public? Are you frustrated with tattered nursing bras and need to find a better one? How about a nursing cover? Nursing pads? Check out these on Etsy:
image via

Do you wonder how long frozen milk is good for? Or maybe you have endured negative reactions to your nursing and you'd like to discuss how you coped? Have you ever had mastitis? If so, what was the outcome? How do you distract older sibling(s) when you are trying to nurse (we struggled with that in the beginning)?

I'm going to be bossy and say, yes, let's talk about it!

Jan 21, 2011

Urban Farmgirl, and an amen!

Remember seeing Urban Farmgirl featured on Meg's blog?

Well, I am a fan of all things Meg, and in fact she might be my "blog idol." We share the first name initial, and I just loved her "M" necklace from Urban Farmgirl, so, I decided to treat myself to the same one.
Yay for treats!
Isn't it cool?
Visit Urban Farmgirl's blog here. And Meg's here (if you are that far off the radar in the blogosphere & don't read her already).

Happy Friday! I have whiny kids and that makes me whiny...hot date tonight, though!

Can I get an amen?

Jan 20, 2011

Paper love bug craft

We had planned on salad and mac-cheese/playdatin' with a friend today, but when Shawn came back home to shower this morning (he pulled an all nighter at work), he said the roads were too icy to get out on.

So we stayed home. We've read books, worked on flashcards, done a craft, sung and banged on pots/pans & done a few chores.

I get wild hares a lot, and today it was to put Story in this carrier thingy.
It's intense. Like, for the mountains and hiking intense. But she enjoyed it and that allowed me some time to work on chores. Sometimes I feel bad for plopping her down in various "stations" throughout the house. After watching the Babies documentary (which I talk about all the time and that you MUST see) several months ago, I was inspired to do more baby-wearing, however it would work for us. I need to save up for a Boba carrier that's more suitable for older babies. The Bjorn works fine but only for a short time, until my back starts fighting me.

This carrier is more for a buff dude to wear, like Shawn.
Hold on, Wilder is getting out of his bed when he's supposed to be napping.

I am back. Here's the link to the paper love bug craft.
I have Valentine's on the brain. Contrary to most people's cynicism and disgruntlement with the holiday, I happen to dig it.
Now I'm thinking of making cake mix cookies instead of working out. Except now Story's waking up...

Jan 19, 2011

Color punch

The bathroom.

Oh, our bathroom. Our dreadful, awful, way too small, sorely outdated bathroom. It's is my least favorite room in the house. Now that W is potty-trained, we're really feeling the cramped space. If you have more than one bathroom, will ya be thankful, if you're not already?

But let's look at it in a better perspective. At least we have indoor plumbing. Hot water for refreshing showers. The tub, though not spacious enough for two adults (what? I'm keeping it PG), is just great for our chillens.

And now that the frames are painted a punchy orange, the bathroom's a little more inviting.
I also doctored up another of the bathroom's walls. Always hang things in odd-numbered sets, okay?
Story had her portrait done. I got a really expensive speeding ticket on the way there (the same week we started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University). And yes, I cried, but only after the cop left.
picture of a picture, so, very grainy...Story at 7.5 mos!

We just keep on keepin' on.

Also, this has been an interesting running week--yesterday I ran (treadmill) in my undergarments (shall we say, chafe?) because I was already down in the basement and couldn't find clean workout pants. Then today I was too full of breastmilk...but I did over 3 miles yesterday and over 2 today. Slow and steady. I am not the superstar you may think I am. Ha.

Jan 17, 2011

Father daughter bonding time

It's a Monday, kids. W has been a challenge already...Story a bit fussy (teeth?).

BUT, I am finding time to do a quick project: orange paint on ceramic frames (from an estate sale of course, $2 a piece), probably for the bathroom. I'll let you know how they turn out.
Saturday morning cuddles (grainy pics aren't always pleasant to look at but I am sharing this one anyway; I think it's precious). Shawn is squinting to see Story because he's poor-sighted.
Have a be-boppin' day!

Jan 14, 2011

Around these parts, part two

Around here, I've been taking pictures of everyday...just us, just life.

Tonight we sang "You are my sunshine" at dinner and afterward Wilder said, "Mommy, no, no, don't take my sunshine away!" Also today he said I was being bossy.

Well.

Here is his lunch on Fred, complete with Ernie bread:
Here is the kitchen I trashed from breakfast until now...cookies, dinner, plants needing resuscitation, all of it.
Here are the cute Westie flats I found at an estate sale. They are a size 6M, real leather, and fit perfectly. So great to find shoes in my size.
Here is the sugary cereal and Ramen (for Shawn's lunch) from Walmart; the highchair was the only available temporary landing zone for stuff:
I got happy mail! Mary Kay from my sister. I painted my nails right away.
And The Love Child (yes, we call her that, because in the purest sense, she is our love child) post-bath:
Now I just need to make some laundry detergent before bed so we can have a laundervention this weekend.