Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thumb Sucking

We have spent much of the past couple weeks cleaning.  I think I've mentioned how the previous owners of this home left it pretty dirty.  We've cleaned all the obvious things that we use on a regular basis.  However, I keep finding crevices of cob webs, thick layers of dust on blinds or chandlers, dead bug filled light fixtures etc.  It is just gross.

You know what else I think is gross?  Sucking your thumb.  I realize a lot of children do, and yes it can be cute to see a very young baby sucking his thumb.  But as children get older I really don't find it very attractive.  There is something about a toddler walking around with her thumb in her mouth that I just don't like.  I know there are different schools of thought about tumb sucking.  I've heard many mothers say they couldn't wait till their baby found their thumb so he could sooth himself and put himself to sleep.  And quite frankly I do see the logic in that.  It would be nice to have a baby find her own thumb in the middle of the night rather than me hauling myself out of bed to find it for her and put it back in her mouth (that is before she can find it on her own and put it in her own mouth ).

When we were pregnant with Phoebe, Chris and I decided that we wanted her to take a paci and not suck her thumb.  We were diligent about giving her the paci and she didn't really successfully find her thumb till she was 4 or 5 months old; by that time she prefered the paci over her thumb so it was no big deal.  When she was 6 months or so we started only giving her the paci in her crib when she would sleep (or in the car to help sooth her to sleep).  Then when she was 18 months old it dissapeared from her bed.  Sure the first couple nights weren't pleasant (actually she didn't fuss too long- only 20 minutes or so) but after that she was fine.  Quick and easy.  That's the beauty of the paci.  When you want it to go away it can.  You can't cut off a thumb.

I would prefer Haddie Grace to love her paci as well, but folks I really think she is going to be a thumb sucker.  She has found that thumb and uses it well, and honestly I'm not sure if we will be able to stop it.  Which as I said earlier could be nice in the short run, but how do I make the thumb sucking stop later down the road?  

Were your kids thumb suckers?  Did you want them to suck their thumb?  And if so, how did you "wean" the thumb sucking?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Plans and God's Sovereignty

We had plans for this move.  We were going to close on Tuesday May 28th.  We were going to drive up to Charlotte on Monday (Memorial Day) and see some friends who were in Charlotte for the weekend from Mississippi.  Then close on Tuesday and hand the key over to the contractor to install and re-do our hardwood floors on the first floor of the new house.  Then on Monday June 3rd the movers were going to come pack up our stuff and deliver it in Rock Hill between June 7th-11th.  In the meantime we were going to clean up the outside of the house.  Chris was going to go ahead and pressure wash the deck and patio, stain the deck, paint the front door, paint some bedrooms, and get the carpet cleaned upstairs all before the house was full of our stuff.

It was a great plan!  Well, it was a great plan on paper... of course it didn't quite work out that way.  In reality, we closed a day late so we missed seeing our friends.  Because the contractor was pressed for time as it was to get the floors done in time for us to move in, the extra day made it almost impossible.  So through a series of related events the date the movers were going to come pack up our stuff was pushed back 6 days.  Meanwhile, our stuff was mostly packed up rendering our house pretty much unlivable.  At least unlivable for me- I don't do well with clutter and chaos in my living space.  It puts me on edge and stresses me out.  So we ended up going up to Chattanooga for several days to stay with Chris' parents to escape the chaos while we waited.

When we finally did get up to Rock Hill on Monday June 8th, the floors still weren't ready.  Basically Rock Hill had had a lot of rain so the stain on the new floors was not drying.  BUT the movers had to unload the truck because they had other places to go.  We compromised.  The contractor put down paper and allowed them to move the upstairs furniture in.  However, they weren't able to use hand trucks in the house.  I really did feel bad for them having to pick up and carry all those heavy dressers- in the rain.  Yep, of course it rained that day too.  (Good thing we had not gotten the carpet cleaned...)  Anyhow, all the downstairs furniture and boxes got moved into the garage for us to move in later.  We were not able to move into the house until that Friday.  I was stuck with a baby and toddler and no toys, TV or other sources of entertainment.  I also got sick for several days during that time before we were able to move in and couldn't keep down any food.  It was rough. Needless to say the painting, carpet cleaning, and outdoor cleaning never happened.

When we finally did move in we didn't have hot water for 6 days.

We kept reminding ourselves that God had called us here.  God had provided this house for us and allowed the process to move quickly to allow us to purchase a home on our limited time schedule right after having a baby.  Although it seemed stressful in the midst of it all, we knew we would come out ok on the other side.  God was Sovereign through it all and provided for us in some pretty amazing ways.  First of all, we were able to stay in one of the church's missionary houses while we were waiting to move into our home.  This was a HUGE blessing so we didn't have to pay for a hotel.  (Ministry moves are not company subsided.)  We didn't have cable or internet, but we had a place to stay with a freezer where I could store my donor breast milk and a microwave to heat up water to warm up the milk to feed Haddie Grace.  We had an area pastor and his wife who we had never met bring us a meal that fed us for a couple days.  They also came over to help us unpack and clean.  (The previous owners left the house in a pretty nasty state.  It was gross.)  This women I had just met came up and scrubbed my shower and washed bottles and breast pump parts for me.  Talk about showing someone the love of Christ!  She also let me bring Phoebe and Haddie Grace up to her house for a day to play with her kids so we weren't stuck in a little house with no toys.  

After the floors were finally finished the contractor sent his guys over to the house to help move our furniture and boxes into the house so we wouldn't have to break our backs trying to move them in by ourselves.  This was great because I was still feeling pretty dizzy and weak at this point and wasn't able to eat anything.  I was having trouble thinking straight to tell people where to put things.  Physically there was no way I could have been picking up and carrying things.

That same day they moved in the rest of our furniture Chris' parents came up for the weekend to help us unpack, clean, and paint.  I don't know what we would have done without them!!  Chris' mom is an expert cleaner.  Really.  Give her a rag and a bottle of 409 and that woman can get some things done!  Thank you Margaret!  Chris and his dad painted Haddie Grace's room, installed fans, hauled away car loads of paper and trash to the dump, and everyone worked hard to get boxes unpacked.

Since we didn't have hot water, we were able to go back over to the missionary house to take showers. I just couldn't bring myself to take a cold shower.  Although to be honest we didn't go back to the missionary house a lot- we were just dirty most of the time.  But when we got desperate we could hop over there to take a shower :)

You see God's plan (although often different from our own) always works out in the end.  Why?  Because He is the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable God who loves His people more than we could ever imagine.  He is working out all events in our lives for our sanctification and His glory.  Moving is stressful in and of itself; it is the third most stressful life event behind death and divorce.  So on top of the normal stress of moving I also get very stressed and overwhelmed with chaos and when plans don't go my way.  (You think I would have learned by now that plans hardly ever work out the way I intend, but it still catches me by surprise)  But God was (and is) Sovereign through it all and showed us grace and mercy through the love of other people that we would not have been able to experience otherwise.

I don't know why I am surprised by the fact that my plans don't come to fruition.  It tells me so in the Bible: "The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the Lord stand forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage" Psalm 33:11-12.

In these last couple weeks, I have found comfort in one of my favorite passages of scripture, Isaiah 43.  Despite any circumstance we might find ourselves in "thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel. 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Fear not for I am with you...everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made"

The Lord, the God of Heaven and Earth, was with us through the stress and chaos of our move.  And He will continue to be with us through the next set of trials and frustrations as he works to mold us into His image for His glory.  In this, I take comfort in the Sovereignty of God.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Three Months

Hard to believe Haddie Grace is 3 months old.  Between packing and moving the past month as flown by!  She is a mover and a shaker for sure!  She does not sit still!  She can roll over both ways and is ALWAYS scooting or rolling off her play mat.  If you're holding her, her legs don't stop moving.  Unlike Phoebe, she is not much of a cuddler; she is too busy.  She likes to be sitting up so she can see what's going on.


She grabs anything and everything and loves all the toys hanging down off her play mat.  She loves her giraffe paci.  I am still swaddling her at nap time and bed time and I'm scared to stop because she sleeps so well.  She did manage to roll over onto her belly in the swaddle yesterday though and got upset because she couldn't roll back onto her back while swaddled.  If she makes a habit of rolling over in the swaddle I might have to stop using it- we'll see.

She is also quite verbal.  She is experimenting with sounds and moving her tongue around a lot more than Phoebe did at this age.  She makes a lot of different sounds and her tongue is very long.  I know that sounds funny, but she can really extend her tongue far outside her mouth in a way Phoebe never did.  It makes me laugh to see her playing with her tongue so much.

Phoebe and Elmo wanted in on the action...

She truly is a happy and easy baby.  We said Phoebe was an easy baby, but we were wrong.  Haddie Grace is an easy baby.  She's a good eater and a good sleeper.  I'm guessing she weighs about 13lbs.  She eats six times/day about every three hours and takes 4 1/2-5oz each feeding.  I'm still trying to nurse her a little bit, but I'm mostly pumping and bottle feeding.  She nurses first thing in the morning and then maybe one other time during the day depending on what all is going on.  Since she doesn't transfer that much milk from me, it is more for my benefit to nurse her than for her good.   I still have to supplement with a bottle after I nurse her, so nursing just seems to prolong the feeding process without giving much nutritional benefit.  I try to wake her up around 6:30 (if she's not up already) to nurse her and pump before Phoebe wakes up.  And then I pump 4 times total during the day for her.  Because I don't produce enough milk I am supplementing her with donor breast milk from a good friend.

Haddie Grace is a great napper and goes with the flow.  She's a second child so she gets dragged along everywhere in the morning and takes cat naps when she can.  I put her down for an afternoon nap around 1pm with Phoebe and she sleeps great!  I will typically wake her up between 4 and 4:30 to eat in order keep her on some sort of a schedule for the evening.  She naps great.  Phoebe never napped that long!

She eats around 7pm and then goes down to bed for the evening around 7:30 or 8.  Before I go to bed around 10 or 10:30 I give her another bottle.  She only takes 2 or 3 ounces; I don't know she might not need it, but I don't want her to wake up during the middle of the night so I give it to her.  She doesn't really even wake up to take it.  I take her out of bed, put the bottle in her mouth, and lay her right back down when she's finished. Then she sleeps till 6:30 or so in the morning or whenever I wake her up.  It works well for us.

She's a big girl now sitting in her bumbo chair.


Friday, June 21, 2013


Thank goodness it is Friday.  Really.  It has been a crazy past couple of weeks, but now that we are moved into our new house and unpacked life should slow down and I can get back to the blog.

Looking right to left...

1//  We are officially South Carolina Residents.  We actually drove up with all our stuff a couple weeks ago, but weren't able to move into our house until last Friday.  We had the hardwood floors re-done and because of the rainy and humid weather they took much longer than expected to dry so we couldn't walk on them.

2// This stray black dog keeps jumping our fence into the yard and I don't like it!  He is obnoxious and although not overly aggressive, he isn't neutered he is a bit more testosterone driven than Knox.  Of course he always comes after animal control hours and on the weekends, so there is nothing I can do except walk him back out to the front of the neighborhood.  (You might think this sounds mean, but he has no tag or ID and I already walked him around the neighborhood and no one knows him, so I don't know what else to do with him.)

3// We have spent a lot of time swinging on the swing set out back.  We love our new backyard! (except the unwanted visitor)

4// After we finally were able to move in, our hot water wasn't working.  We didn't have hot water for 6 days.  So I started boiling water for Phoebe to pour in the tub to take the chill off the water.  It was miserable.  I felt like I was in a third world country boiling water to take a sponge bath out of a bucket.

5// Amidst the chaos, we started Summer RUF this week.  Its going to be real low-key this summer because our lives are still in a bit of transition.  Chris is calling it "Snap, Crackle and Pop Culture".  Everyone brings a box of cereal to share (we provide the milk, OJ, and decaf) then we will watch various movies and find gospel themes in them to discuss.  This week we watched Wreck It Ralph.  It is a super cute movie if you're looking for something to rent this weekend.
Hope you have a great weekend!  I will be back next week with more updates on our house, the move, and the kids!


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mommy Mondays

Whoops!  I had this post all ready to post yesterday but between the floors on the first floor of the house not being ready and trying to move in as much of our stuff as we could despite of it, I didn't get this posted!  And now the giveaway is over!  Oh well, it is one of those days!  We are now half moved into the house...  Half of our stuff is in the garage because they need to finish the floors on the first floor.  It is not "livable" yet so we are surviving on the hospitality of Westminster Presbyterian Church allowing us to stay in one of their missionary houses, i-pad movies, the Internet at Chick-Fil-A, and the generosity of new friends bringing us food.  Oh the joys of moving...  I'll probably won't be posting anymore this week, but hopefully I'll be back next week and be living in our house!

Hi ladies, this mommy is knee deep in boxes.  The movers are supposed to unload the truck today and we don't have Internet here yet.  Yikes!  Link up your Mommy Monday posts below and I'll look forward to checking them out when the Internet is up and running!

Oh, and for all you cloth diapering mamas- anyone, anyone??  I love my cloth diapers but I HATE how the liners come out of the dryer with SO. MUCH. STATIC.  Have you heard of Woolzies?  Fantastic and safe for cloth diapers because there are no chemical fabric softeners or enzymes.  (Great for you regular laundry too.)  Check out my review of them here and enter for a chance to win a set for yourself!


Thursday, June 6, 2013


1// How sweet is this picture?  A friend our ours kept Phoebe for a day so we could get some packing done.  She took this picture.  Thank you Christina!

2// Our house is in boxes.  The movers were supposed to come Monday to load the truck but that got delayed for several days.  Our house is practically unlivable with all the boxes packed up in every room so we came up to Chattanooga for a few days to escape the chaos.  The cousins all had fun playing together

3// I had really been wanting a La Z Boy recliner for the nursery in the new house.  We have a glider off Craig's list that we had in Phoebe's room (we didn't have room for a recliner in her room) and it is just not very comfortable.  It works well to rock her, but I can't sleep in it.  And there were many nights teething where she would just want or need to be held because she was hurting and I was miserable in that rocker.  I wanted a comfortable chair for Haddie Grace's nursery and Chris swore by La Z Boys.  If we were going to buy a recliner it was going to be a La Z Boy.  Thankfully I was able to find one that was only a year and a half old on Craig's List for a fraction of the cost of a new one!  (Love me some Craig's List)

4// Phoebe almost got wrapped up and packed this week

5// The unlivable chaos that is my house right now

Have a good weekend!  Movers are coming tomorrow morning!  
Be sure to check out my giveaway!


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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LOVE: Woolzies

I'm back with another product that I LOVE.  For the past year and half we've been working towards a more holistic natural lifestyle by eating REAL food and eliminating potentially harmful chemicals from our environment.  I have been making my own laundry detergent for almost two years now, and recently came across Woolzies as an alternative to traditional dryer sheets and fabric softeners.

Woolzies Dryer Balls eliminate the need for traditional fabric softeners which contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both you and the environment.  Each package contains six handmade wool balls that you use in place of fabric softeners in the dryer.  Woolzies are guaranteed to last for 1,000 loads or your money back!  If you were to do eight loads of laundry/week one box of six Woolzie dryer balls would last you at least 2 years!  That is def worth the money!

I was especially interested in Woolzies for my cloth diapers.  You can not use any fabric softeners on the cloth diapers because they will hinder the absorption abilities of the diaper inserts (not good).  So whenever I take my diapers out of the dryer you can see and hear the sparks fly as you peel them apart from each other.  It is the one thing I dislike about washing the cloth diapers.  The Woolzie balls have significantly decreased the static in my diapers when I take them out of the dryer!  I won't say that it is completely gone (there is still a little bit of static) but it is negligible.  I was so happy and surprised!

In my regular laundry I have not missed my dryer sheets at all.  My clothes come out of the dryer the same as they always do.  Woolzies claims that they cut down drying time by 25% on large loads because of the way the balls bounce around in the dyer to separate the clothes to allow greater airflow through them.  Our dryer is old and awful!  It takes FOREVER to dry a load (I am so EXCITED about our new washer and dryer we bought for our new house) so I honestly can't tell if the balls have reduced drying time or not.

One other quick note about the Woolzies Dryer Balls- the company suggests that you should use eight balls in the dryer for an extra large load.  (They are sold in boxes of 6.)  I did wash an extra large load of towels one time (honestly it was probably more than I should have tried to wash in one load) and I could tell that the extra two balls in the dryer would have been helpful.  It was the one time I noticed static in my regular laundry use with the balls.  So as the company suggests I would agree that you do need eight balls for an extra large load.

Overall, I am in LOVE.  Really.  I love that I am not using any chemicals now in my laundry.  I love that my clothes and especially my diapers come out of the dryer static-free.  And I would love for you to try Woolzies Dyer Balls too!  Enter below for a chance to win!  Or if you can't wait and aren't the gambling type check out their website to purchase some for yourself or learn more about Woolzies.  I hope you're as impressed as I am!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary box of Woolzies to try and review.  I was not compensated in any way for my honest review and opinion. 

Linking up with Northern Bell Diaries for Just Because 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

aden + anais easy swaddle


We are a fan of swaddle wraps in this house.  We swaddled Phoebe for an embaressingly long time.  I mean, she was 6 or 7 seven months before we stopped swaddling her.  It was one of my "must-have" newborn items.  She just slept so well in it.  So of course we were planning on swadding Haddie Grace too.  A friend of mine gave us an aden + anais easy swaddle at our baby shower, and I love it!  Everyone loves the aden + anais swaddle blankets, but I had never seen their easy swaddle.  It is the same soft muslin cotton as the swaddle blankets, but with an easy snap close that creates the perfect swaddle.  I love it because I feel like it is more breathable and cooler than the cotton swaddles I had been using.

What do you think?  Did you or do you swaddle your babies?

Be sure to link up your mommy posts below!!

Also linking up with Monday Mingling,  Mom's Monday Mingle, and YOLO Mondays