Tuesday, September 30, 2008

But I still won't eat grits

For my birthday, Jim got me a card that read, "For your birthday, I decided we should move."

I said, "Okay!"
But make no mistake: just because we're crossing into Dixie does NOT mean I will learn to drink sweet tea or eat grits.
More details to follow, but in case you don't recognize the pictures above, they are of Nashville, TN, and that is where we'll soon call home.
Isn't it exciting, y'all?! =)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Common Thread

  1. I just completed my 20 hours of continuing education for my Ohio Property and Casualty License.
  2. We just got our first Ohio Sonic (in case you missed my gazillion posts about it).
  3. My mother just switched my gift subscription of Southern Living to Midwest Living.

Do you know what these three items have in common? The answer to come, soon. (If you know [Daina!], don't reveal it in the comments.)

Today IS the 26th, isn't it?

So, y'all remember this post? About those three things I was going to accomplish for BooMama's Before and After?


Not so much.

I could list all the reasons they didn't get done.

Like the 2 weeks of sleeping hell we endured while Seth...well, whatever it was he had to work through.

Or that I contracted (and still have lingering traces of) some deadly illness that has just kicked my butt. Seriously, I've been averaging 8+ hours of sleep a night (and I usually get less than 6).

Or just that I can't justify scrapbooking, when I haven't put laundry away in, um, a couple weeks. (Don't judge. It's done. It's just not put away.)

I could make my excuses.

Or, I could just send you over to BooMama's, and you can peruse the accomplishments of the non-slackers who actually DID their B&A.

Go get inspired.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teaser ~ Updated

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

That's what Daina's BOYS are made of! (Yup, both of 'em!)


I can't/won't reveal the news just yet, because I know some of our mutual Nestie-friends read Writer Chic, and I don't want to steal her thunder, but...

Daina's pregnancy continues to go well, and I just received word that she now knows whether the babies are boys or girls!!!

I'm so, so thrilled with the results, and I'm so, so happy for her!

(And, yes, when I know it's public knowledge, I'll update here.)

Thanks for caring so much about the people I care about. You guys are the best readers...even if you don't comment enough. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Target Trauma

Updated: I decided to let Angie know about this, via email, and she responded that she was not aware, but intends to contact Target. I feel somewhat badly that I was the "bearer of bad news," but on the other hand, I'm really happy I stepped out and emailed her, so that this can be corrected, if that is what she and Todd would want.


This will make sense only to a few of you who read the blog, but has anyone else noticed the complete invasion of privacy going on in the Invitation section of Target?

I was there with a girlfriend earlier tonight, shopping for invites for a baby shower we're hosting, and there, as a sample birth announcement were the details "Audry Caroline," "April 10, 2007," "7 lbs, 1 oz," and "Proud parents, Todd and Angie Smith."

I was stunned.

I mean, yes, several, um, critical details are wrong, but.....I just can't believe this is a coincidence, and it really upset me!

Do you think Angie knows about this? Do you think it upsets her, too? Is this in someway a legal breach of some sorts?

Okay, internets-who-this-makes-sense-to, what do you think?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Normalcy restored

Four-hour Friday afternoon nap for Jenny, fell asleep on Mommy in the recliner at 7:30 pm, woke up happy as can be at 7:15 am; a one-hour morning nap, followed by a regualr 2-hour afternoon nap, brief snooze from 7:30-8:30 during a Saturday night convertible cruise, then down for the count from 9:30-7:15. Pseudo normal Sunday naps, and off to bed at 8:00, only to wake up with the brightest smile ever at 6:45 Monday morning.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

2 smiles

1) Seth slept from 7:30 pm to 7:15 am. Straight. Without waking up. Even once.

2) Seth has learned how to wave "bye-bye." Except he waves inward (finger bent toward himself) instead of outward (to the person leaving). Its precious, and hilarious, now that Jim has determined he's not saying "bye-bye," but rather, "bring it on, yo!"

Big smiles around our house today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Seth ~ 1, Mommy ~ 0

Not that I'm keeping score or anything, but I lost the battle last night. He started whimpering about 4:10 am, and we did our little song and dance until, blessedly, at 5:15, he calmed down enough to go back to sleep.

I don't want to become dependent on Tylenol, for I'm not convinced that I can tell when it's his teeth that are bothering him (and I don't just want to drug him unnecessarily), but it was the only thing that worked last night.

Okay, moms-who-read-my-blog. What else can I do to get us back on track of healthy sleep?


Hallelujah, he slept through the night again -- 9 pm to 6 am. Not his best run, but still. That means we got 8 hours of sleep. Ah, sweet rest.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Sorry for all of you who get Writer Chic through a Google reader, or some other such feed. I know there've been several updates today.

I inadvertently posted something, ahem, unsavory in my 9 month update post below (as was pointed out to me via text message from my little brother. Who, by the way, I didn't even know read the blog!).

So. I had to delete some stuff. Yea, verily, another shining example of how I'm not super-cool, and not at all up to speed on apparently well-known slang.

Carry on.

9 month miscellany

As some of you know, I've been seriously under the weather this week. Blek. Just a cold, but it's a doozy.

So, since I've already put the majority of my creative energy into the post below about Stacy's c-section date being moved up 10 days, I'm succumbing to a boring list to report on Seth's 9-month well-baby check-up.

  • 16 lbs., 14 oz. (3%...which Dr. H said to expect to fall off the charts by his one year. Hrmph.)
  • 26 3/4" (10%...not too shabby!)
  • 8 teeth, with molars on the way. I was spoiled by the ease with which he cut the first batch; these new ones are turning Seth into Monster-Boy.
  • We can start the transition to cow's milk!!! This was the most exciting news for me, as my supply has taken a hard hit, and I knew there was no way we were going to make it to my one-year goal. The new plan is to pump as much as I can between now and early November (I'll be out of town for 4 days, and I figure it's as good a time as any to wean), and be transitioned to milk by then. We'll see.

And that's that. Seth was given a clean bill of health on Monday, but. BUT. His temperature was 102.6 at two o'clock this morning. =( Not fun for any of us to wake up to. Tylenol got his temp under control, and Jenny promised to be extra generous with snuggles today, so here's hoping all he needs is some extra TLC.

Alright, interpeeps. I'm out for a bit. Need to go replenish the Kleenex. Stupid drippy nose. Hope you're all enjoying the gorgeous fall weather as much as we are!

21 days

I am so sad. It is too soon.


Please continue to pray for a miracle for my friend.


Also...and this feels funny to say, but...while you're praying, can you also include the SAL girls?

SAL stands for Success After Loss. It is a message board that I had a huge part in creating last year. It is a place for those of us who had "met" during our miscarriages to go after we became pregnant again. A lot of innocence is lost during and after a miscarriage, and becoming pregnant again does not restore that. So, we wanted a place to go to "chat" where everyone understood where one another was coming from, and where the sensitivity was upped a notch or twenty. I posted about these girls here last October.

Over a year has passed since we started the board. Dozens of SAL babies have been born ~ one will arrive via C-section in 2 hours -- welcome to Austin, ALF! ~ and hundreds of new pregnancies have begun. There has been much celebration, that is for sure.

There has been loss, too. Many SAL women have joined the board, only to leave again, carrying the weight of a recurrent miscarriage. But little Isaac...he is the first born-alive-to-a-mommy baby that we are going to lose.

We have all walked this road with Stacy and Spencer. Some, like me, more closely than others, but still, we have all held her hand, or, at the very least, have been aware. And this is going to rock this close group of girls like nothing else.

So, as you lift up Stacy, Spencer and Isaac to heaven's door, will you also included the SAL girls? Because this hurts. This hurts a lot.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Maybe when it's his own little sister...

...he'll be more interested.

This was Seth's general take on our visit to meet Miss Olive.

Believe me, I was much more enthusiastic, because this girl? Is GORGEOUS. And she looks like Sara. I really don't think I've ever seen a prettier baby. (Picture below, which doesn't do her justice.)

Welcome, Baby O. So glad you're here!

Before Friday's pre-Ike, torrential downpour...

...was the sweetest thing I ever did see, in yesterday's perfect fall afternoon sunshine.

Jacob (23 mos), pushing as Seth "drives"

Such concentration.

Happy buddies.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Day Dawns

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

For everything there is a season, and a time for very purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?

I have seen the travail which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.
He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.

I know that today, the world remembers and mourns those who gave their lives -- some unwillingly, some with the utmost sacrifice -- on this day in 2001.

I remember, but today I also celebrate, for there is new life:

Welcoming Olive Magdalene, born 5:46 pm, 8 lbs. 1 oz., 22 in.

(I don't think I need to clarify, but Olive is the new daughter of our babysitter, Sara. Carry on!)

How do YOU spell "relief"?

The instant I clicked the "End Exam" button, the sweat started pouring....seriously -- I may have to go home at lunch and change my shirt!

Thankfully, the test is insta-graded, and I knew immediately that the last 20 months (yes, 20! Seth "interrupted" this test last summer) were not in vain. Painful, but worth it.

Yea, me!

Oh, and PS -- my promotion was announced at work this morning. It's a good day.

And PPS -- speaking of relief...Sara should have been induced last night or this morning. We should be able to meet Baby Olive tonight! Yipee!! =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A reminder

Boys are found everywhere -- on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to.

Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

I saw this on another blog recently, and thought it was a sweet look at all a boy is. Seth is going through a rough patch right now -- we're not sure we have the source figured out -- but we're dealing with fits of "I only want my mommy, and she needs to hold me, rock me, and let me chew on her hair, otherwise I'll just sit in my crib and scream." And did I mention these have been for the last two nights, between the approximate hours of 1 am and 3 am?

Jim finally got him back to sleep last night, but my mind and body are both feeling the effects of interrupted sleep, during a very crazy, stressful week at work. My prayer is just that I remember this is a phase, he is only 9 months old, and all too soon will come a day when he is telling me I need a hair intervention, rather than it being his lovey.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's time!!!!

Sonic opens tomorrow. How convenient that I have a doctor's appointment in Perrysburg at dinnertime on Wednesday.

What's that you say? I should treat myself to a LimeAde after the appointment?

Okay. Twist my arm.

If only Mandy and Marybeth (and Elvis, too) were here to cruise with me up I-75....I will raise my styrofoam cup in a toast to you ladies, and our Sunday night jaunts to Mobile, AL. Good times.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My wish

I wonder.

Does every person who has been blessed with the responsibility of a child wish, at some point, that there were an all-inclusive "Owner's Manual"?

Seth is our utmost delight. I doubt we will ever know a greater joy than to raise him (and any subsequent siblings he may be blessed with).

But he is trying us right now.

Oh, I doubt it's intentional. But it doesn't change the reality.

And I wonder: do we know what to do, and when, and how? (And I'll confess, my focus tonight is on the matter of discipline.)

I read a message board post earlier this evening about a mother who spanked her eight-month-old daughter. Now granted, I know NONE of the details, and what was in the post was only one person's observations, but the responses were overwhelmingly fierce:

"What a horrible mother!"

"That poor baby -- she doesn't even understand 'no' yet, now she has to process abuse!"

"You need to report her to CPS, pronto!!!"

And I have to pause.

I doubt it is a secret that Jim and I believe in the benefits of a loving (yes, loving) spanking. A firm swat to the behind when said child willfully disobeys. And that's all I'm going to say about that at this point, because Jim and I need to have some more "make-sure-we're-on-the-same-page" discussions before I can proclaim a concrete Gregory family mandate.

But the question that is holding me captive tonight is, when does a child's behavior shift to willful? I am confident that many of Seth's actions are now intentional, but I'm not sure that at 9 months, they are willfully defiant.

If they're not, what is the most effective way to protect him? Because, really, isn't that what a reprimand would be about anyway?

"No, that's HOT!" = I don't want you to burn yourself.

"Don't chew on that!" = I don't want you to be electrocuted.

"No, don't eat that" = I don't want you to choke.

"No, you may not have M&M's, Suzy Q's, and chocolate pudding for breakfast everyday." = I don't want you to get sick. (Obviously, this is for later. Seth hasn't been asking for M&M's yet.)

And if his behaviors (the "bad" ones, not all) ARE already his sin nature rearing its ugly head, what then? Does he understand "no"? He definitely listens when we speak it to him firmly. He'll even pout some times....but just as often, he just gives us his goofy grin. If he doesn't understand "no," than is our only recourse going over to him, physically moving his hand/removing from his mouth/pulling his body away from the no-no, and hoping that he somehow "gets it"?

I don't know.

I just don't know.

And that's why I wonder:

Does every person who has been blessed with the responsibility of a child wish, at some point, that there were an all-inclusive "Owner's Manual"?

We Interrupt This After School Activity

One of the few things that could make me stop in the middle of THIS:

Would be THIS:

Followed by THIS:

Followed by THIS:

He made it up about 6 steps before I figured it was time to start working on the whole "coming back down" thing.
Oy! Here we go! (And please don't mind my puffy cankles...we're starting to get the Gustav remnants and it has been unbelievably humid up here. That, coupled with being in heels all day...
Anyway. Looks like we got the baby gates up just in time!

Before and After

You may have noticed the new button on the sidebar.

If not, um, "hey, looks! There's a new button on the sidebar!" It looks like this:


BooMama (Sophie -- she is linked as a "Who I Keep Up With") is hosting a "Before and After Extravaganza" on September 26. You can read about it here.

I was going to "cheat" and do before and after pictures of the nursery and of the deck, but, well, that's cheating.

So instead, here are my not-yet-done goals to be accomplished by the BooMama deadline:

  • stain kitchen baby gate

  • finish 3 layouts for Seth's scrapbook

  • Hang already-chosen-just-need-to-get-it-up-already-dangit! wall pieces

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

For Stacy

She has been on my heart more than usual lately, and this morning, driving to work, the following song came on KLOVE. I wanted to share it with her (she checks our blog, too) and with those of you who are joining me in praying for her, Spencer, and Isaac.

Whatever You're Doing -- Sanctus Real

It's time for healing, time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong

There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills

So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything, I surrender...to...

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This IS something bigger than me
Larger than life, something Heavenly
Something Heavenly...

I know that right now, Stacy and Spencer are living through the chorus of this song, in that this all feels like chaos. But I know that they are also trusting that God is up to something bigger than all of us, and all too soon, with Isaac's arrival, we will all see what His intentions for Isaac's life are.

And we will choose to praise.

Stacy, we love you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wordless (almost) Wednesday: Ripe for the pickin'

Just call me Chanandeler Bong!

If you aren't a Friends aficionado, you may not get the title reference, but that's okay. I still think it's funny.

I was checking my Sitemeter account -- it's the tracker that tell me who is viewing the blog and when and from where and all that good stuff. So "HI!" Mom and Uncle Don and Amy and Val and Mandie and Stacy...

And in the midst of all the Toledo, Austin, St. Augustine, Cincinnati, Glendale (AZ, really? who are you?), I see the following location:

Sana, Hadramawt.

Anyone want to venture a guess where this is?



So, "Hi, Yemen!"

Whoever you are.