Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Finally Phoebe learned to rollover from her belly to her back.  She had rolled over a several times previously, but nothing consistent.  The Friday we got Knox is the day she started rolling over consistently!  We were so excited.  (Its the little things...)  She was 5 1/2 months old.  Better late than never.

But there are two sides to every coin and the flip side of her new trick is that she doesn't nap as well anymore.  Before she knew how to rollover, life was bliss.  Phoebe would wake up between 7 and 7:30.  She would go back down for a nap at 10am and sleep for about an hour and a half.  She would wake up happy eat and play and then go back down for a nap at 1.  This time she would sleep 2 - 2 1/2 hours.   Most of the time she would take another little cat nap sometime in the late afternoon/early evening and then go to bed at 8pm.

Phoebe naps on her belly or at least used to nap on her belly.  Now she rolls over, doesn't go to sleep, cries, and if she does fall asleep she wakes up 30 minutes later on her back- crying.  I used to just be able to lay her down in the crib on her belly, walk away, and she would go to sleep on her own.  Now I've tried everything- swaddling her for naps, half swaddling her, rocking her, patting her back.  And I cannot get this child to nap.  So guess who is super cranky.  I mean she has screamed and screamed because she is so tired and will not go to sleep.  And this child never screams like that.  (Well, except from 3-5 weeks when I was continuing to try to nurse and she wouldn't have anything to do with me.  So now these tired "I'm fighting sleep" screams are bringing back bad memories.)

I'm going crazy.  I have considered getting the duct tape out, taping her arms and legs down and taping her paci in her mouth, but something tells me that's not the best idea.  I can't handle much more of this.  I really don't like crying babies very much.  And right that crying baby is my child which creates somewhat of an internal conflict.  Amy Bogue, you sent us a link with a bedtime story for kids who are "having trouble sleeping"  I found it amusing but really couldn't relate at the time because Phoebe had always been such a good sleeper.  Now I find myself quoting this book in my head ALL THE TIME.  (Jesus, forgive me.)

She still sleeps great at night swaddled on her back, but we have GOT to do something about nap time.  I am pulling my hair out.

I want my happy baby back...

Monday, January 30, 2012


I feel like I still get a lot of questions about Chris' job.  What does your husband do again?  Is he a youth pastor?  Does he work for Kennesaw State University?

Let me break it down briefly- Chris is employed by RUF, Reformed University Fellowship.  RUF is the college ministry of the Presbyterian Church of America, PCA.  He is a licenced and ordained minister.  However, he does not currently work in or at a church.  He is essentially a missionary (who's mission field is a college campus) ministering to college students, who are the next generation of church leaders, businessmen, political figures, etc.  His current "mission field" is Kennesaw State, yet he could just as easily transfer to another university and "do" RUF there.

Here's a little bit more information about RUF from the RUF website:

What we believe:
As a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America, RUF holds to the core beliefs of historic Christianity which motivate our heart for God and love for the university.  Some of these beliefs include the need for new life in Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, and the mission of the Church to reach and equip all people with the message of the gospel.  
What we do:
Although we may be familiar with the basic tenets of Christianity, many of us struggle to understand the full meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to experience it in community with others. The purpose of RUF, therefore, is to build a community on the college campus that reaches students of divergent beliefs and doubts with the message of the gospel and equips them to love and serve Jesus and his Church

So on a daily basis what does he "do"?  What does a day look like in the eyes of Chris Bowen?  He holds a weekly large group on Tuesday nights on campus where students come together for fellowship and worship.  They worship through music; then Chris preaches and everyone goes out somewhere fun afterwards.  This semester he is preaching through the Ten Commandments.  He also meets with students for one on one discipleship to encourage/promote personal growth to present/reinforce the gospel truths in their life to equip them to love and serve Jesus.  He organizes fun events to create community, which is especially important and challenging on a commuter campus.  There are of course weekly bible studies and discussion groups.  Much of his time is spent reading, studying, praying, and preparing for large groups, discussions, and answering students questions from a Biblical perspective.  And then like any job there is the administrative side of things- finances and reports and such.

Worship at Large Group

Fall Conference 2011

Braves Game during Orientation at the beginning of the school year

"White Trash Bash" Birthday Party for Intern Aubra

Chris as well as RUF is supported financially through gifts from churches and individuals.  It certainly can be a challenge to raise support, but God has been faithful in providing generous churches and individuals who support the ministry, which confirms Chris' call as a pastor with RUF at KSU.

I have always enjoyed going to large group with Chris and hanging out with the students.  Sadly, Phoebe and I attended our last large group for awhile a couple weeks ago.  Large group starts at 8pm and since Phoebe is going to bed at 8pm, it is just too much of a disruption of her schedule to keep her awake.  I will miss seeing everyone on Tuesdays, but we'll still have students in our house on a pretty regular basis so hopefully we won't miss too much.

Chris Preaching at Large Group

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE RUF as a ministry and as an organization.  Chris and I are both very well cared for by RUF.  And of course we wholeheartedly love seeing and participating in God's work at KSU.

Friday, January 27, 2012

rain, rain, go away...

Ok, I know the rain is good and I'm sure we need it, but it sure is hard to potty train a puppy in the rain!  We've had Knox for a week now and there has only been 1 dry day in this past week!  Go figure.  He doesn't want to go outside in the rain and neither do I.  BUT, I do because I don't want to clean up his mess from the carpet either.

Oh, I will be glad when this puppy is house trained (and when it stops raining for a few days...)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Glutton for Punishment?

Let me introduce you to the newest member of our team, Knox!

I mean, how cute is that face?!?  I love his little nose!

We have told several people we were getting or had gotten a puppy.  The most common response by far was "Wow, you are a glutton for punishment..."  Really, that's what they have said word for word. Yes, we probably are a bit crazy to get a 8 week old Boxer with a five and a half month old at home...  Let me tell you I was way more nervous about bringing home a puppy than I was about bringing home a baby.  (After another few days I'll let you know how its going)

Knox came home Friday evening so we have barely had him for three days now.  Knox has been very intrigued with Phoebe.  He likes to curl up next to her or sit next to her or by her feet.  (He doesn't stay at her feet for long though because she kicks and he hasn't quite figured that out yet.)  Phoebe on the other hand is oblivious most of the time.  He will lick her hands, head and feet and she doesn't seem to notice or care at all.

Hmm, who's this?

Oh the adventures of Team Bowen continue...
What do you think?  Are we gluttons for punishment?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Last week we were in Breckenridge with my family.  We had a lot of fun skiing and enjoying the mountain town.  We've been a couple times in the past couple years, so it was fun to go back and enjoy some of the same shops and restaurants.

Being out there reminded me how much I love the mountains!

We took turns staying back with Phoebe so she stayed nice and warm.  It will be fun to see her on some skis in a couple years!  She's already getting ready...

Thanks for a fun trip Mom & Dad!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet Potatoes

We have been giving Phoebe rice cereal for about 3 weeks now and she's been doing  great with it, so I decided to go ahead and try some vegetables.  I used eney-meeny-miny-moe and chose to start with sweet potatoes. 

I'm ready...

Wait a second...what is this orange stuff?

Maybe if I close my eyes it won't taste funny?

Overall she did pretty well with it.  Day #2 was a little bit better than day #1.  I had bought carrots at the same time I bought the sweet potato so I baked the carrots and used the food processor to "mush" them up.  I tried to use the magic bullet, but the blender didn't quite get them mashed enough.  (I think I probably needed to add more water??)  So then I tried the food processor and it worked, but it still didn't grate/mush them as much as I would have liked.  Again maybe I needed to add water.  I didn't add any because I figured I would thin it with breast milk later before I served it?  Any suggestions?  Has anyone else made their own baby food and found something that worked well to blend it up?  Should I use water to mix it before I freeze it?

Carrots and Sweet potatoes ready to go into the freezer.

I might try the carrots next, or I have an avocado ripening on the counter because they were $1 at Kroger last week so I might do that too.  I'm hoping she likes avocados because they're so fatty.  We got to get some meat on her little bones!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Extreme Couponing

Ok, maybe not extreme.  Who really needs 80 bottles of salad dressing or 100 cans of corn?  Besides that who has the space to store all that not to mention the time to devote to finding all those deals and coupons?  I don't.  I must admit that I don't coupon quite as much since Phoebe has been born, but a good 20-30 minutes per week (normally while I'm pumping so what else do I really have to do during that time anyway?) can save you a lot of money.  People always ask can couponing really save you that much money?  Yes!  On average I save almost as much as I spend on my grocery/drugstore bill each time I shop.  And I buy products that we actually use on a regular basis.  Everyone could use a few extra dollars in the bank, especially now that those holiday credit card bills are coming in...

Check out some of my recent savings below:

From a Kroger trip:
Total Value purchased: $25.05
Total Spent: $9.16
Total Saved: $15.89

From CVS:
Now CVS does take a bit of planning and multiple transactions at the register with the Extra Care Bucks (ECB).  But I've found it can save you some big bucks, especially on some of those more expensive toiletry items.  These purchases were made in 2 separate weeks (2 different sale ads)

Week 1

Week 2

Total Value Purchased: $81.24
Total Spent: $38.83
Total Saved: $42.41+ $1.50 ECB in my wallet for another time

I follow Southern Savers to find all my sale and coupon match ups.  She has already done all the work so I I have to do is click, cut and shop.  Check it out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monkey See Monkey Do

So EVERYTHING goes in Phoebe's mouth now.  Her fist is definitely a favorite.

After seeing Phoebe enjoy her fist so much, Caylee thought she would give it a try.  Really, Caylee doesn't normally suck on her fist- she just wanted to be like cousin Phoebe.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The PeaPod is currently my favorite baby product and has come in very handy this week.  Pack and plays are nice, but really too big and heavy to travel with (on a plane that is).  Thankfully when we've traveled to to Oklahoma, Delaware, and Chattanooga we were able to borrow pack and plays from family and friends.  But flying out to Colorado we had to come up with a different plan.  The PeaPod is actually one of the first things I put on our baby registry because I thought it looked that cool...  It is.

It packs up small enough to fit into a suitcase and only weighs about 5 lbs, so its easy to transport.  There is a small blow-up mattress that we put a crib sheet over and it is good to go.  (They also sell ones with a self-inflating mattress, but it is easy to blow up so probably not worth the extra money.)

It is very easy to set-up- it pops open as soon as you take it out of the carrying case so make sure no valuables (such as your child) are close by.  Its easy to fold back together as well and is pretty spacious.  A two or even three year old could sleep in it.

And if you wanted your child contained...

The PeaPod has ties on the bottom so you could stake it into the ground at the beach or camping and even has UV protection.  We will certainly be taking this to the beach with us next summer.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas in Georgia

On Saturday we headed back home from Chattanooga and my parents and brother drove in from Delaware to spend Christmas with us.  I worked Christmas day and Chris preached at one of the area churches, so there was really nothing special about Christmas morning.  Thankfully, I was able to leave work at 11am so I met everyone back home after church.

Family Christmas picture after meeting back at home Sunday afternoon

Look at all these presents!

I was happy to work this year because it means I should have off next year.  Next Christmas will be much more exciting for Phoebe.  After church and work we cooked our Christmas meal and then opened  presents and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.

Is this one for me?

I'm going for it

Its mine now...