So much to be thankful for!!

Lately (and always really) we have so much to be thankful for! The first thing that comes to mind is that after a looong period of unemployment Eddie has been offered a job! As far as we know he'll start working for SRA on August 17th unless the NRA (who he also interviewed with) decides to scoop him up in the next couple days. After several weeks of no interviews Eddie was contacted for two on the same day this past week! So he interviewed with SRA in the morning and the NRA in the afternoon. The very next day he received the offer from SRA. This is a blessing in so many ways. First, it answers our prayer for God to provide Eddie with a job in His timing. Second, it answers the prayer for a job close to home (how's 4.5 miles sound???)! We are so very excited to enter this new season and keep seeking to learn what God has for us each step of the way.

Eva has been amazing. She has loved spending so much time with her daddy, something that will be sadly given up when Eddie goes back to work. She's been blossoming into a beautiful toddler. Recently her vocabulary has really been expanding. I'm not sure about how fast other kids start speaking but it seems like she's held off for a long time. Her comprehension has been really great for many months now and she can obey simple instructions (if her will doesn't get in the way). She just really hasn't 'spoken' in words that other people can understand. Sure, Eddie and I can understand what she's saying when she says da-DA versus DA-da but it's tough for others to grasp. Anyway, we're trying raise a polite little girl so we've begun to request that she says please before getting something that she's interested in. Typically, her interest is food. [Side note: I was a kind of honored when she had her first full blown hissy fit complete with stamping feet and screaming over some of my freshly baked muffins. :)] So her version of please is really cute and I wish I could share her expression and the exact way it sounds with you all but suffice it to say that it sounds like 'pleh' and her tongue goes crazy in a really cute way.

A few weeks ago she got her very first bloody lip. We're not talking just a little bump...we're talking bloooood. She excitedly raced to the window to look out and misjudged her steps and did a face plant into the sill. Luckily her teeth were fine and the damage to her lip healed quickly. It was really really tough to console our poor little girl. The best remedy wound up being a run through the sprinkler....she loved it!! She seems to really like the water. We've been going to the pool in our community a good bit and she has really enjoyed it. We got her a little float that has a canopy and she just lays back or forward and kicks her legs. She also likes being thrown up in the air by Daddy!

Eva's gotten pretty fast now. She loves running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room and often tries to 'scare' us. She in turn also has really begun to love being surprised/scared. It's cute to hear her little gasp and see the surprised expression on her face.

Work for me has been good. It seems like things have been easier lately since I adopted a regular schedule. The connection to my virtual machine on campus at the PTO has been slow lately so that's kind of frustrating. There have been several days where I haven't been able to get a whole lot done. The good thing about my job is that it's not that hard to make up work here and there. I'm not sure what we're going to do about Eva with me working AND Eddie working. I'm sure God will lead us to what is best for her and us. I'm hoping that I can squeeze work in during her naps and have that be sufficient. I kind of doubt that I'll be able to get everything done in that amount of time but I'm going to try initially and see what happens. I anticipate a looooot of crockpot dinners. Love that thing.

Now that Eddie is going to start work we have requests to add to our family. I'm not going to lie and say that the thought hasn't crossed our minds. I used to think that once Eddie got a job I'd be ready to have another baby but now I would kind of like to lose at least my pregnancy weight from Eva before getting pregnant again. I'm hoping to start a tap class in a few weeks so that should help. We'll have to see how disciplined I can be with my eating habits, that's never been an easy thing for me. We shall see.

When life gives you coupons, buy lemonade!!

It's required a good deal of restraint on my part not to write a post immediately when I got home today. I wanted to make sure to share an awesome deal with you that you could also take advantage of. The best part is that there's no foreseeable end to this deal.

So, a couple days ago Crystal over at Money Saving Mom wrote about a coupon good for .75 off of any Santa Cruz product. There are a couple great things about this coupon. First, it doesn't expire until December and second, it's a pdf which means you can print as many as you want!!! I happened to be in Whole Foods last week after reading about the coupon and saw that they have Organic Santa Cruz Lemonade on sale for (drum roll please) .99 per 1 quart bottle. WOW!! So I mulled it over for a while and decided that my life would be incomplete without obtaining mass quantities of lemonade for very little money. Today I high tailed it over to Whole Foods with 36 of those babies in hand and grabbed three cases of lemonade.

I had to do three separate transactions because Whole Foods puts a limit of 12 of the same coupon per transaction but it was worth it. The lemonade doesn't expire until 2011 so I'm planning on making a few more trips to stock up on enough lemonade to last us for two years. If you have a Whole Foods near you and like lemonade GO! I asked the Customer Service guy who checked me out when the sale on the lemonade was going to end and he said it should be around that price all summer. Oooooooooo baby.

Busy Busy

Well it certainly has been a busy couple months! Between getting sick, a trip up north to visit family, working, taking care of our house and family and getting a shower in here and there ;-) I haven't really had a chance to write. I continue to learn and grow with each passing day. God is kind to sustain me by his grace.

So let's see, like I said, I was sick for about a week after Mother's day with a head cold and then, sadly, Eddie caught my cold. It's no fun for anyone but Eddie's sinuses just don't handle colds well so he's still battling off the remnants of the cold. We were planning on traveling up north to visit family on the 20th and we did leave, we only made it to Baltimore though. Eddie just wasn't feeling well enough to take the 8 hour trip and he didn't want to share his cold with anyone. There was a lot of wisdom and guts involved in turning his family around. I admit, I did not even come close to handling the decision well. My reaction pretty much equated to a toddler having a temper tantrum and stamping their feet. I have since asked for forgiveness for my selfish attitude and I'm continuing to learn to try to be more laid back when it comes to our schedule.

One week later. Wednesday the 27th we departed for our families...again. :-) This time we arrived, and in record time!! Eva did really well with the trip even though she only slept about an hour during the whole trip. She's generally such an easy going, happy kiddo. Blessed we are. Our families were thrilled to see Eva (and Eddie and I too I guess). Our parents were gracious enough to host some extended family for a meal so that we could see them. We had a great time and a good trip back home as well. I'm glad that we took advantage of our currently flexible schedule.

Eddie is still battling the economy and looking for a job. He accepted an offer a while back but he's waiting on a security clearance which could take months. So, in the mean time he's still looking. He's had a couple of interviews but no other prospects so far. God is meeting our needs as always and I am so happy that Eddie has this time to spend with Eva.

Eva is growing like a beautiful flower, and fast! She's popped another tooth and it looks like her top two front teeth will be in any day now. She's handling it like a champ and aside from some minor crabbiness she's as happy as ever. She's a voracious reader and is currently happy to hear mother goose rhymes over and over (and over and over...). If anyone wants to hear a rhyme you can just ask Eddie or I and we'd be pleased to enlighten you about pussy cat Mole or Jack Sprat. We could also present you with a recitation of Dr. Seuss's 'ABCs an Amazing Alphabet Book' if you would prefer that. She's beginning to enjoy showing us where her tummy, eyes, ears and nose are. She's also taking a liking to animal sounds. When she sees a dog or bird she makes a noise but her favorite right now is a cow 'MMMMmmmmmmaaaah.' Today she started trying a bee noise too. It's really entertaining. We're having so much fun with her each day. Viewing the world through the eyes of a child is awe inspiring.

If the summer holds half of the things that we have scheduled it's going to be a busy one. Weddings, graduations and lots and lots of babies. It seems we have an extraordinary amount of friends due in July. How fun. I guess we missed the band wagon again but I'm not rushing things. As much as I would love another baby I'm still working on getting a handle of where we're at right now. I'm excited for what the summer holds and what new things God will teach me and my family. I'll try to keep you up to speed.

Mother's Day

While we don't generally buy into commercial holidays Mother's Day is one that I'm really excited about. Being a mother brings so much joy into my life and knowing these feelings gives me a little more insight into how my mother and mother-in-law feel about Eddie and I. Wow. I can hardly wait to add more kiddos to our family so we can grow our love even bigger.

Eddie and Eva were very sweet to me on Mother's day. I didn't have to cook one thing all day! In the morning I was treated to delicious, fluffy blueberry pancakes. They were so good! Lunch yielded a grilled feast with chicken, corn on the cob (first of the season!) and baby potatoes. Dinner was so tasty pizza and salad. Afterward we went to get some frozen, that's good stuff!! Next time the family comes to visit we are taking you guys there! As you can tell the way to my heart is through my stomach. It meant so much to me to have a break and to be served by my hubby. He's a wonderful guy and I don't think I give him enough credit.

Eddie and Eva 'baked' me a surprise too. When I opened the oven there was some wonderful new kitchen gear. Some of our stuff is in pretty questionable shape from years of use so I got new baking pans, chopping mats and spatulas. What a treat!

Besides the gourmet meals and presents we went to church and since Eva's in the 1's class now we were able to have an uninterrupted time of worship and learning. I also got to take a great afternoon nap which was really needed and appreciated. Thank you so much to my awesome husband and beautiful daughter for a wonderful day.

Happy belated Mother's Day to all my mommy friends and family out there too!!

Wacky and loving it

As I sit upstairs trying to find a patent to reject an application about the side to side shifting of a fixing belt (yuck, I know) I can't help but smile as I hear my wacky little girl and equally wacky husband interacting downstairs. She's lately been doing this crazy little girl cackle. Her tone is very high pitched and she verges on sounding kind of insane if she wasn't just a little girl. It's all I can do to keep from laughing out loud as she sounds off and her Daddy responds in a very similar sound. Their back and forth banter warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye. I cherish these little snip-its and enjoy every moment of her uninhibited love and adoration for her dad and I while they last.

The pearly white cometh

Well folks, looks like my little Eva Bean is not doomed to a life of pureed delicacies after all!! For a few weeks now she's had a hard spot on her bottom left gums and in the past couple days the tooth has really started to pop out! She keeps it a pretty well hidden secret but we get the occasional glimpse here and there. I'll try and post a picture once she's willing to flash us a pearly smile. In the mean time, check out our new pics from April in our Picasa album.

From baby to little girl

Last weekend was Evangeline's first birthday. I can hardly believe she is one. She's so beautiful and happy, I am so very blessed. Unfortunately the 11th was a really dreary, rainy day so we weren't able to do much. We did give her a 'cupcake' and I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Sunday was Easter and she got to go to the ones class for the first time. I don't think she even noticed we were gone once we left her. When we went to pick her up she was in the same spot playing with toys but she was missing one shoe. She looked pretty in a dress that Grandma and Grandpa L gave her for her birthday. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get a bow to stay in her hair. Oh well. We had a little egg hunt for her in the living room. She was very excited to have Daddy help her find the eggs and open them to reveal some tasty puffs inside!! She was super cute loading them into her little Easter purse.

This past weekend we had her birthday party. We were so happy to have 6 house guests for the weekend. All of our parents were here along with my brother JD and his girlfriend Amanda. It meant so much to us to have our family with us for Eva's first birthday party...thanks guys. It was a low key affair with people eating and chatting. Eddie made a great slide show of pictures from Eva's first year of life. Eva got to show off her strong one year old muscles when she pushed Harry, who is nearly 2, in a wagon. It was cute. Thanks to everyone who came. I'll share some pictures from the party once I get them onto the computer.

What a Monkey!

Last Friday I went into work for my mandatory hour per week. While I was gone Eva apparently decided to begin monkey crawling. It is SO cute!! She starts out crawling on her hands and knees then gets her feet under her and continues along that way. Her little butt sticks in the air too. Let me tell you, she is fast using that technique!!

Saturday I had the opportunity to go into DC to Eastern Market with a couple ladies from church. We had a great time and, despite the wind, it was a beautiful day. It was so nice to have some time just to hang out and relax with some other adults.

Saturday afternoon Eddie and I tried to milk Eva's developing balance skills. We arranged ourselves a few feet apart from each other and got Eva to go back and forth between us. She started out using our hands for the whole way but by the end she was taking a couple steps before falling into our arms. She's not walking but she is so close. We also so a new aspect to her personality. She was determined to get it right and didn't want to stop. After several passes back and forth Eddie and I tried to stop so she could take a break but she wanted none of that. I guess she is just like her mom and dad; having lots of determination and wanting to perfect her skills.

There are a few new pictures from March posted on our Picasa album. Check them out! Believe it or not, the pictures of Eva in the snow were a Monday and the pictures of her and Eddie outside with her in shorts was the Friday of the SAME week. Virginia has some wacky weather!

Very Punny

People who know me pretty well know that I loooooove a good pun. Mom L was kind enough to pass these along the other day. I probably laughed way more than the authors ever intended for someone to laugh. Enjoy!

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron," The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him ..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.


This seems to happen to me all the time. I think of something I want to write about regarding Eva's development and then once I finally sit down to write about it I can't remember what it was. That happened yesterday. This morning I remembered what I really wanted to write about.

I am very biased when it comes to the intellectual evaluation of my daughter. I have not researched developmental progress and where she falls with respect to her peers however, I think she is brilliant. :) Parents out there, I know you know what I'm talking about. Lately Eva has begun to express herself more and more and prove to us that she knows what's going on around her. When we're feeding her she points at the food she wants to eat. For example, we line up her oatmeal, banana and drink and she indicates what she'd like next. This has eliminated a considerable amount of whining and frustration for both parties involved. She's also starting to learn where her facial features are. She can successfully locate her ears and sometimes her nose. The knowledge seems to be transferable because she can also locate Mommy and Daddy's ears as well. The other night I was getting her ready for bed and we were having some play time in her room. I said if she'd like to read a book she could bring one to me and I'd read it to her. She promptly crawled over to her stack of books, chose one, handed it to me and then crawled into my lap. I was stunned. Once we finished reading I asked her if she'd like to read another one. I thought she might just grab the book we'd been reading and try to get me to read it again but she didn't. She crawled out of my lap over to her stack of books, grabbed a different book and brought it to me. We did this three or four times and I was just so proud of my bright little one. I am constantly amazed at the recognition she exhibits.

For the record, I don't intend for any of this to come off as bragging. So I'm sorry if that's how it seems. Like I said, I'm not really sure if Eva's peers are doing the same thing or not. I am just so amazed at her development and thankful that I see her learning every day. God is so good to have given Eddie and I a healthy, intelligent daughter.

Teeth are mysterious

Teeth are very mysterious things. I could have sworn to you almost 8 months ago that Eva was getting teeth. Nope. Then several months after that...surely! Wrong again. There have been several times when this has happened and the past couple months have been no different. Last month she had a day where there was a 'present' in every diaper, I kid you not. As a result she got the worst diaper rash ever and the poor girl was in quite a bit of pain. As tortured as the girl was I secretly thought 'this is it!' Of course the agony of my babe didn't result in a pearly reward. Now, yet again, Eva had some terrible diaper rash and a day of 'presents'. We'll see what happens but I'm starting to be more and more convinced that this little girl will usher in her first birthday with a toothless smile.

Mom and Dad L. came for a visit a few weekends ago. Thinking the timing would be great for a reprieve from the cold NY weather they headed down here. There was promise of a gorgeous weekend complete with sunshine and some father/son golfing. Wouldn't you know it that the weekend they were here we had a dip in our temps and upstate NY was unusually warm? Nonetheless we had a great time visiting and spending time together. We got to go to Chipotle (YUM!). Mom L's tongue was singed by the super spicy chicken but she was a trooper. Eva loved spending time with her grandparents and is looking forward to seeing them again for her birthday.

OH! Drum roll please.... We successfully purchased AND installed a baby gate. Hurray! It was a team effort. I went and bought the gate and Eddie installed it in record time. So far so good. It is fully functional and there is no railing interference. Sweeeeeet. Eva likes to stand at it and look down the stairs. Thanks for the offer to help
Uncle Paul! We are so blessed to have family in the area to care for us.

Just wanted to share a picture of my shopping trainee. Yes, she's checking the price!! YAY, bargain shopper in the making.

Almost one and other ramblings

The time is almost here for my sweet little baby girl to turn one. I love her more today than I ever have and I'm so incredibly thankful that God saw fit to bless Eddie and I with such a gift. More and more of her personality is beginning to show each day. She loves making people smile and laugh. Kisses are freely distributed to almost everyone (she doesn't care much for a stubbly cheek). I never realized that the feeling of a soft baby draped on my shoulder would bring so much joy and warmth to my heart. Each day I am reminded anew what a blessing Eva is. I pray that as time whizzes by I will be able to cling to each passing moment and cherish them with all my heart.

Ok, enough mushy stuff. On with the stats. Eva started clapping her hands the day after I last posted, February 21st I guess. Any time she does something that she knows we approve of, such as putting food in her mouth and not on the floor, she breaks into a huge smile an claps her hands. Around that time she also started to imitate our laughter. If Eddie and I are having a conversation and one of us laughs she breaks into a really fake but incredibly adorable "AH-ha-ha-ha-ha." Of course that just makes us laugh more and the cycle of laughter continues. I love that we are a lighthearted family (for the most part) that loves to laugh and smile. Some have observed that Eva has also developed a snort. I guess there's no denying that she's my daughter now! Just this week she started climbing stairs and has become quite proficient at it. When she goes up for naps or bedtime we let her climb up herself. I trying to decide whether to get a gate for upstairs or not.

For those of you who were concerned about us having a gate for the stairs going to the basement I would like to report that we actually purchased one within the time I committed to. Unfortunately, there's not one installed right now. Hmmm, are you confused? Well we went to the sweltering BabiesRUs store and got a gate in record time. It was nice! Extra tall for our string bean girl, three panels to use for wider spaces if need be, single hand opening mechanism, it seemed good. We got it home and managed to hold off installing it for a couple days; there's that procrastination again. After we had drilled holes in our railing and mounted everything except the catch to secure the gate we realized that the hand rail going into the basement was going to interfere with mounting the catch. We are fairly intelligent people and tried to come up with some kind of solution that would not involve us taking the whole gate down and returning it to the store. We could not do that. Sooooooo we took the gate down and Eddie braved the tropical weather at the store to return it. Geepers. Back to square one. My guess is that we won't ever successfully get a gate and have it installed. Hopefully my prediction is incorrect. Only time will tell.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for Eddie's job situation. Things are still pretty slow but according to Eddie there have been some good jobs available lately. This coming Monday he has an interview and there's the promise of another one that was supposed to be scheduled for the end of this week (obviously not) or the beginning of next week. We're still optimistic and are confident that the Lord will provide. In the mean time I've been working and trying to figure out how to balance this working from home thing and everything else. Balance has been a struggle for me but I know that God will help me to work things out. I just need to rely on Him and not my own strength which for me seems so much easier said than done.

End of February?

Is it really almost the end of February?? Sigh, wow.
Today is my brother JD's birthday, Happy Birthday J!! I can hardly believe he's 21 already. That, along with the fact that lately everyone else seems to be younger than me, is making me feel oooold. And yes, that's right, I officially (temporarily) forgot how old I was last night when someone asked. Oh life.

Let's see what I can share that's happened in the last month. Hmmm. Well. I've gotten over my cold and it was thankfully mostly gone by the time my parents arrived for their visit. We had a great time just hanging out. Dad was Mr. Fix-it and helped us to get the fan/light up in the living room. It looks great and we were so grateful to have him in town. He also looked into some wiring issues in our 25ish year old home. Mom was a dish wiz and kept our sink pretty much empty the whole time she was here. She did some cooking too which was a nice break for me. Eva loved spending time with her Grandparents. I was bad about taking pictures (as I usually am) so I'm bummed about that but otherwise I'm really happy with how everything went.

The week after my parents left I started training to work from home. As I mentioned previously, it was six days of full time training. In my opinion, it could have been cut down to half, if not less, that amount of time. I guess they have to accomodate for people who are not super familiar with computers and programs we've been using for a couple years. WHAT!? I'm not being sarcastic...ok yes I am. My and Krista's goal for the training was to try and learn what we could and have a good attitude. I can't say that I succeeded but at least I tried. My training ended last week and this is officially my first week of working from home. It has been great so far and I hope it stays this way. God is so kind to present me with this opportunity.

In a funny and yet somehow unfunny way childcare worked itself all out for those six days. I had probably 2/3 of the days covered through different friends but as it turned out, we didn't wind up needing them after all. The Monday before I was supposed to start training Eddie arrived home early unexpectedly and informed me that his company had some layoffs. Ouch. Well, I can hardly say we've never been in this situation before. We moved down here for my job right after we got married in 2005. Eddie and I agreed that this is where God seemed to be leading us in our newly married life. For a time Eddie worked at a temporary job at a driving range but it didn't really allow him much time to focus on looking for a 'real' job. So, he stopped working there and for the following year, give or take, he tried to find this so-called 'real' job. He had a temp job which gave him a little experience to put on his resume and then finally the poor guy caught a break. He worked for a little over a year and then lost his job. God graciously provided him with a job only a little over a month after he lost it though and during that time encouraged us and grew our faith. Well now we're back in the same boat and I can honestly say that I feel really peaceful about it all. I know there are not that many jobs out there but I also know and have experienced God's grace, faithfulness and kindness first hand, multiple times. I am proud of my husband and the way he cares for our family. He is super smart and his next employer is a very lucky one.

Eva is just a ball of energy. She's been cruising all over everything that's low enough for her to hang onto. We have yet to install gates, much to many peoples' chargrin, because we are notoriously bad procrastinators. I think it's essential though and must happen soon. I promise we will have at least ordered gates by the end of next week. I am so blessed that she is still a really happy little girl. Granted, she's been having some grumpy times lately (mainly in the midnight hours) due to her nonexistent teeth. Yes, that's right, the girl still has no teeth. Other than that, she's a joy. I've been trying to keep her menu varied and throw new stuff into the mix but as of late she's mainly been interested in bread. She really is a girl.

We have lots of visits planned for the coming months. I need to contact a few people to make arrangements for some and others we have the priviledge of hosting. I'm starting to get excited about Eva's upcoming first birthday!! (It's April 11 Dad) :oP I also feel a little sad that the time is already going by so quickly. My goal is to stay focused on the present and not try to rush her through any stages or wish they were over.

Lousy Blogger

I think I've decided that I'm a pretty lousy blogger. I have no idea how some of you out there post every day and sometimes multiple times per day. You are amazing! I've found it easy enough to think of ideas for posts but somehow by the time I get around to writing one it become a massive catch up list. Sheesh.

Well, anyway, Eva had her 9 month doctors appointment last week and is doing just fine. She maintains her string bean status at 90% for height and around 25% for weight. She's super cute (biased) and an incredibly happy girl. She is an amazing gift from God. We actually had her visit with one of the nurse practitioners and she was pleasant enough aside from the fact that she made me feel pressured about vaccinations. I guess this is just something that I'll have to get used to. The naturopathic doctor we see pointed out that so many doctors out there forget that we're hiring them to do a job for us, not the other way
around. I guess that means that we can fire them too...I think they should be a little nicer.

For the past week I've had a pretty terrible head cold. I don't remember the last time I was this sick. It's no fun but I'm feeling 10 times better now than I felt at the beginning of the week. I think Eva had this too to a lesser extent. Her poor little nose has never been so crusty before. Eddie stayed home from work yesterday to rest up since he felt like it might be attacking him too. He went to work today even though he wasn't feeling 100%; don't I have a great husband? Hopefully, we'll all get lots of rest tonight and through the d
ay tomorrow because tomorrow night is the long awaited arrival of Mom and Dadler!

If I know them, and I think I do, they'll probably get up
in the wee hours of the morning to get an early start on the trip. Maybe we will all be able to have dinner together. I'll have to make sure it's something special to warm and relax them after many hours in an automobile. I think one positive thing about having a cold the week before you're supposed to have house guests is that it forces you to take it easy. So often I can get overly wrapped up in creating a good impression for whoever is coming over and I think that stems from my pride. I'm glad that my parents will be arriving before I have had time to finish painting the kitchen or cleaning up the basement (that means they can do it for me...just kidding). The reason I'm glad is because they'll arrive into our home as we live in it, not some perfect, pristine(HA!) place that doesn't really exist. And let's get real, if you can't show your home to your parents, who can you show it to? Don't worry Mom and Dad, I at least made sure your bathroom was clean.

I just found out yesterday that our home is going to become my workplace in a few weeks. I got an email saying I was accepted into the hotelling program at work and I'll be starting training for that on February 4th. Now I just need to come up with six days worth of child care while I'm in training full time. Yuck. Why do they want to train me on filling out my time sheet online when I've been doing that since the implementation of the online time sheet a couple years ago? Yes, I'm serious. What a waste of time. At least I'll be in training with my good friend Krista so we can pass notes like junior high. I'm also really excited to have my wonderful ipod touch which I will be sure to load with games.

Here's a little throw back picture. Eva on her second day of life. All together now, awwwwwwwwwww.

I'm sure there is more that I've thought of writing over the past two weeks but I can't remember. Hopefully, I'll get some posts out more frequently but don't count on it. :)

Stroller update

Well, the Contours lite stroller came and went in a matter of a couple hours on Sunday. To those of you who really like that stroller, I'm sorry. I don't want to offend you but I was thoroughly unimpressed by it. The construction was flimsy. The canopy made the most horrendous clicking noise when you moved it to its one position. The snack tray was in Eva's face and the seat could not sit fully upright. Good luck opening the snack tray too...poor design there. What's more, the seat back was held up by nothing more than an adjustable strap. The only thing it really had going for it was an awesome red color...I wish I could have kept that. Glad we didn't have to pay for shipping and that Walmart took it back easily.

I ordered the Graco Metrolite three days ago, received it today and just finished putting it together. We test drove the Metrolite at BabiesRUs and liked it so I was pretty confident that it would be a keeper. I can tell already that Eva and I are going to have some long walks when it gets a little warmer out. Among some of the perks are an adjustable handle (really very helpful when the adults are 5'4" and 6'2", everyone's comfortable this way), a drop back on the cargo basket which makes it really easy to get things in and out, two adult cup holders and a great kids tray, with a cup holder, that is really easy to open. It's got a peekaboo window on the top of the canopy and one on the rear if you have a tiny one laying down. The only thing I have a problem with is that when you fold it you have to really squeeze the body to get the latch hooked. I'm fairly confident that this will remedy itself after a short time once the fabric loosens up though. It looks sleek and seems well made. It only cost about $20 more and I think it will be money well spent.

You're in for a long day when...

You're in for a long day when you are sorting laundry and check your 9 month old's pants pockets before putting them in the washer... Oh boy.

I was planning on working today but I guess it wasn't God's plan. I feel like there are many times when my plan and God's plan do not align. I'm hoping that throughout the day God will reveal himself to me in new ways and that I will seek to serve him instead of myself. It is just so hard sometimes, to lead a Christ centered life. (I'm praying for you RF.)

Eva has been continuing to grow and change rapidly. Yesterday she hit her 9 month mark and I just can't believe it will be only 3 short months before I have a one year old. Where have the months gone? She is such a sweet baby and she has such a good nature. People at church come up to Eddie and me all the time and comment about her. Yesterday during worship Eva was singing in her own way and dancing. She was just as happy as could be, in her own little world praising God. I think it's so awe inspiring how connected little kids are to God. Anyway, after church an older gentleman came up to us and seemed so touched by Eva and her happy spirit. How good to know that Eva affects people in such a positive way. She is so friendly and smiles at EVERYONE. It's a blessing to see the smiles that she brings to other peoples' faces. I pray that as she grows she will continue to be a friendly and happy person and that she will live up to the name Evangeline - bearer of good news.

In other news Mom and Dad A. are officially coming to visit for the last week in January!! I'm so excited that they will get to spend a good chunk of time with their granddaughter, and Eddie and me too. They are deserving of a good long break and hopefully Dad will find all the household projects we have lined up for him relaxing!! ;-) If I'm chosen for hotelling at work there's a 6 day long training involved and one of the potential weeks for that is the week that Mom and Dad will be here. I'm toying with the idea of training that week since child care would be all lined up but at the same time I want to spend time with my parents... what to do, what to do.

I guess I should mention that I applied to work from home last week. For those of you who don't know, the Patent Office has really been pushing a program called 'hotelling' which is basically working from home. Until recently it was not available to part-timers but our union negotiated with management and now it's allowed. The only downside to this is that you have to work a minimum of 60 hours per biweek. I currently only work about 40. What this would mean is an increase in work that I would have to do; however, I could eliminate close to two hours worth of commute per day and $8 for the parking garage. Another bonus is that the PTO would reimburse us for our internet. Seems like it's a no brainer, right? I will continue to pray that if this is what God has for me that I will be selected. Please pray that I would seek God's will in this situation.

Last week I ordered the Kolcraft stroller from Walmart. Since I can return it to the store and got free site to store shipping I figured we could test it out that way. If we like it, we'll keep it. If not, I guess I'll be looking for a good deal on one of the other strollers.

new pics

I finally posted the past couple months worth of pictures on our Picasa site. Enjoy!

Ah Sweet Mobility

It's official, Evangeline has graduated from her funky style crawling to full blown hands and knees speediness. Apparently it was her Christmas gift to us because it was late afternoon on Christmas day when she made her move. With Grandma and Grandpa L. sitting near by and Eddie and I playing with her on the floor she started to figure it all out. You could see the little wheels turning in her head and slowly she began to coordinate her baby limbs. My first thought was 'how exciting' and my second thought was 'shoot! We need to get baby proofing!' No longer can I set Eva down and expect her to stay in close proximity. Oh sigh. My little girl is growing too fast. It was just a week ago that she began crawling and already she has pretty much mastered pulling herself up on any edge within two feet of the ground. I foresee many knocks on the noggin until she finds her equilibrium.

We had a wonderful Christmas staying home. Mom and Dad L. were here and we pretty much just spent time relaxing together. The guys got a couple of projects around the house done and we were treated to a new kitchen faucet. I'd say this is as close to enjoying dish washing that I've come. The faucet has a wonderful high arched neck which makes my relatively shallow builder grade sink feel ten times more spacious. The pools of water normally surrounding the sink have been greatly diminished. To put it seasonally... Joy to the world, the counter's dry!

While we had a great time with Mom and Dad L. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss having my parents with us. We're all hoping that Dad A. can get some time off at the end of the month so we can do Christmas part II. I'm sure we'll sneak in some time somewhere for a visit.

Today we explored many different stroller options at BabiesRUs, the hottest store known to man. It never fails that it's about 90 degrees in that place. We're looking for something that's light, maneuverable, has a Mommy cup holder, a front tray for baby and is easy to collapse with one hand. A friend suggested the Contours lite by Kolcraft but I can't find it in a store so I can take a test drive. We tried out one by Combi and one by Graco in the store. Both seemed pretty comparable and had a lot of nice features. I keep going back to the Kolcraft in my mind though for a couple reasons. First, the friend who suggested it also suggested our first stroller which we were happy with, and second, it's about $100 cheaper than the other options we looked at. In my mind, why would you pay $160 for a stroller when you can get a comparable one for $60. Anyone have any stroller suggestions or features you did or didn't like about ones you've tried?