I Heart Faces~Best Photo of 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do you know where your food really comes from

I'm lucky because Emma always takes her afternoon nap during Oprah, so I have a chance to have some time to myself.

Today on Oprah they are talking about the American diet and where our food comes from. They made a good point, pay more for healthy food now or pay later for health care. I personally choose to spend a little more on my food since in the long run I'll be a healthier person. I am couponing, but I'm still buying healthy foods. Oprah talked to Author Michael Pollan and he has several rules when it comes to picking foods.

1. Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize
2. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader could not pronounce
3. Eat only food that will eventually rot
4. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
5. Only eat meat that's eating well itself

Oprah also has Alicia Silverstone on who has a new book "The Kind Diet." She has embraced the vegan diet and feels great. Pretty much, no meat, dairy or processed foods. She now says she feels her best and looks her best.

I'm always looking for new ways to eat better and feel better, so I'm open to improvement. Maybe I'll go back to work just so I can eat a carrot from Whole Foods once a month.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

$63.50 = $21.36

Yes people, that's right, tonight I bought $63.50 worth of groceries but only paid $21.36 out of pocket. This past week Stephanie and I went to a coupon class through her Church. This lady was amazing with the amount of money she saves in providing for her family of 5 ($50/month). Since then I have made it my mission to figure this whole thing out. I have visited all the blogs, subscribed to the Sunday paper, and made a coupon binder.

I figured Sunday night would be a good time to venture out to Harris Teeter (the most expensive grocery store around) and try my hand at this coupon thing. I took my time, read the labels carefully and went in with a plan. When I left the store, I had saved $42.15!!!!! And I didn't buy junk, I got the things we needed. I got TP, yogurt, produce, bread, cheese and most importantly RED WINE. These are the things we use each week. I hope that each week I'll get better and better at this. My deepest desire is to stay home with Emma at least till she goes off to kindergarten, so hopefully this will help.

I also made a new friend. The evening shift produce guy, Cedric. He was such a friendly man. He saw me with my notebook and ask what I was doing. I explained the system and he was very interested. He told me to find him when I was done because he wanted to know my savings. At the end of the shopping spree he was convinced and asked if I could give him some tips. I love making new friends and hope to keep up with Cedric on my weekly runs to the grocery store.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cry it out

I have not been able to let Emma cry it out. I know people are advocates of this type of parenting, but I just can't do it. Yesterday, I called my dear friend in trying to get some tips. Emma has not been taking good naps. She said I could either keep rocking her, or let her cry it out, but I had to pick one. So I put Emma down and within a few seconds she started crying. I came into the office and did a google search for "letting baby cry it out." I came across this article (damaging our baby) and when I got to the follow statement...

"The problem is that when infants are left to cry themselves to sleep, they are forced to conclude that they are not lovable enough to engage their parents' desires to comfort them. If they actually stop crying, it is because they have abandoned all hope that help will come."

...I stopped reading, ran back into Emma's room, scooped her up, and started rocking her back to sleep. So despite the fact that Emma has not been taking good naps, I will be rocking her to sleep.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fifteen percent

Fifteen percent -- give or take. That's how much people can change, if they want to, according to Mitchell in Wednesday night’s “Modern Family.”

My hope is to grow rather than change. And I think if we work towards growth than positive change will naturally occur. But its sad when people don't want to grow, then they just get stuck in the same old mess. All because they don't want to take a look in the mirror and figure out a way to move forward. Yes its hard to accept those ugly things, but its better than covering it up. How disappointing to become stagnant in your relationships, faith and character. But when dealing with other people, you come to a point where you ask, "is it really worth it?" and sadly, sometimes the answer is no. But you have to keep moving forward. So fifteen percent, make small growth a little bit at a time.

Sunshiny Day

So we had two days of blissful sunshine. It was 65 degree and felt like spring. Emma and I took advantage of these warm days as the forecast was calling for 5 days of cold and rain. We went on four walks in this two day period. I packed up the stroller, leashed the dogs, put on the shades and off we went. So now we are back in the house with the cold wind and rain pouring, but anticipating another sunshiny day!

All shall be well

In my morning devotion today, Julian of Norwich, a religious writer in the 1400's was quoted "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." The devotion struck me as my mind has been filled with thoughts of going back to work. I really don't want to go back to work, but it might not be an option to stay home. Instead of worrying about the situation, I have given this choice over to God in prayer. My hope is that a clear choice will be reveled. Typically God's plans are presented to me when I have an overwhelming sense of peace (I'm still waiting). But in the meantime I will enjoy each day at home and concentrate on the simple statement above, that "all shall be well"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love with a Servant's Heart

My husband has a true gift of loving Emma and I with a servant's heart. He is a gentle man with the gift of patience. I always can count on him to be calm in a crisis and to love me with sensitivity. When Jason proposed almost 6 years ago, he first told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Of course I said yes through my tears and would have been perfectly happy with that only statement. He put the ring on my finger, but wasn't finished with the proposal. He then went on to tell me the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet and how this action was a witness to having a servants heart. He told me that for the rest of his life, he too wanted to love me with a servant's heart. At that point I didn't know what this love would look like, but over the years he has proved to love with compassion, patience and service. I consider myself to be very blessed to have a husband who is a strong Christian and who puts his family in such high esteem. In having Emma, Jason's servant's love has continued to grow towards me; and now our daughter will also experience this wonderful gift.

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wash Pod

When I was pregnant I saw the most clever bath tub on the Today show called the Wash Pod. It is supposed to simulate being in the womb and calm the baby. Well it looked adorable so I had to get one. I didn't use it right away as I wanted to wait till Emma's neck muscles got stronger. Just last week I put Emma in the Wash Pod for the first time and she loved it! She already loved taking a bath, but she does seems more relaxed in this tub compared to the one she laid down in. So if you are looking for a great bath for your infant, check out the wash pod.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Photo Shoot

Poor Emma has a photographer for a mommy. Therefore, I am always taking her picture and dressing her up in little outfits. But she seems to be getting used to posing and smiling for the camera. Lets hope she continues to ham it up for the camera. I wanted to enter her into the Regis and Kelly Prettiest Baby Contest, but you have to be at least 6 months old. Maybe next year you'll see her on the cover of a magazine.

Hospital Gown

Here is the hospital gown that I stole from the Emergency Room. The little dogs remind me of the "Greatful Dead" Bears.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Visit to the emergency room & Dr. Elmer Fudd

Emma has had a bit of a cold since New Years Eve. It started mostly with congestion and sneezing. As the day went on her nose was running more, sneezing more frequent and coughing. We had kept a close eye on things and continued to check in with the 24hour line through our doctor. She never had a fever and continued to eat well. On Sunday night (Jan 3rd) she started to make a wheezing sound and her breathing seemed more labored. So we call the 24hr line again and the nurse listened to her breathing over the phone. Based on what she heard, she said we needed to take her to the emergency room to have her looked at right away. At this point I tried to stay very calm, but in my head was very scared. We took Emma to Wake Med Hospital which has a Children Emergency room. Once we got check in, we went to a private waiting room. Since Emma is an infant, they didn't want her to risk being exposed to other children. That in itself helped calmed my nerves. Within about 20 min, a nurse took her vitals and gave an initial check. She still didn't have a fever, her oxygen level was 100% and her color was good. After this first assessment, Jason and I were feeling pretty good about her condition. They didn't hear fluid in her lungs, so the wheezing was mostly related to congestion.

We went back to our waiting area before being moved to another room to meet with the doctor. While we waited we called the hospital Chaplain who came to visit with us. She was a Campbell student and all around nice person. If you ever have to go to the hospital, I recommend calling the Chaplain as they are always such sweet people who know the ins and outs of the hospital. Also, while waiting the nurse brought us a gown to change Emma into. This was very funny to me and Jason. Here is this itty bitty gown that ties in the back just like a regular gown...(it was so cute that when we left the hospital, I took the gown with me. :)

So we have our little gown on Emma and began to wait for the doctor. He knocked on the door and came in and first impression was wow "Dr. Hottie." He was young and in my opinion very cute. But then he started to talk and it took everything in me not to laugh in his face, because he sounded just like Elmer Fudd.

"You see, wittwe Emma has a cowd. Hew congestion makes it hawd fow hew to bweathe which awso makes it hawd fow hew to eat. You can hewp hew by giving hew an inhawew and cweaning out hew nose. Hew oxygen wevews awe good and ovewaww she wooks vewy heawthy. But we do want you to fowwow up wif youw weguwaw doctow tomowwow."

Translation... "You see, little Emma has a cold. Her congestion makes it hard for her to breathe which also makes it hard for her to eat. You can help her by giving her an inhaler and cleaning out her nose. Her oxygen levels are good and overall she looks very healthy. But we do want you to follow up with your regular doctor tomorrow."

So Emma got a breathing treatment, they watched her eat and we were given a lesson in using an inhaler. She is still very congested and continues to rest, but we hope she in on the mend.

Be vewy vewy qwiet, the baby is sweeping

Friday, January 1, 2010

Good vs. Great

When I was pregnant, people would tell me I was going to be a great mom. I was flattered by this statement, but then began to think what does being great mean. Instead, I thought, what about being good. Is good settling for less than perfect? Everyday phrases like good job, good morning are perfectly wonderful terms; so why great?

After God created the world, he describe it as being good. When the woman brought an alabaster jar of expensive oil and poured it on Jesus' head, she was described as "performing a good service." The servants who doubled their master's money were described as "good and faithful servants." And most importantly, when the angel let the shepherds know of Jesus' birth, he described it as "good news of great joy for all the people."

So my hope as a mother, is to be good. To show Emma the good news of Jesus. Help her learn the importance of faithfulness and service. And to embrace joy and love for all people.

Sweet Sunshine

I never knew something so small could brightening up a day!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away!