Wednesday, May 27, 2009

At The Car Wash

It's been a busy week around here, and is likely to get busier in the week to come. We have a very special wedding this week, that the whole family will be involved in. Wiggle Man will be debuting as a ringbearer. I can't wait to see him in his tuxedo.

After the wedding we'll be taking a trip to Virginia, so you can bet I'll have some beautiful pictures.

Until then, here are some pictures of Wiggle Man "helping" Aunt Shell wash the car.

Monday, May 25, 2009

From The Mouths of Babes...

Well, friends, Wiggle Man has started expanding his vocabulary a little bit. For the longest time, he said two words: "Da-Da" and "Uh-oh." He can also spout off a zoo's worth of animal sounds, but in terms of actual words, we were stalled at those two.

Bear in mind I've been coaching him on "Mommy" since he was about 6 months old.

A couple weeks ago we noticed Wiggle Man repeating the same word over and over again, but it was hard to make out what it was. Then, we realised it was actually two different words: "trash" and "garage."

This may seem odd at first, until I tell you that Wiggle Man is obsessed the the trash can. The only way I've found to keep him from constantly digging in it (and yes, sometimes licking it) is to let him throw things out frequently throughout the day. It seems to satisfy his curiosity, and let's face it: it's a handy thing, having a kid who wants to take things to the garbage for you.

I'm not sure what his fascination with the garage is, except that it seems to be a neat place where Daddy and Pop Pop go to get tools.

To recap so far: "Da-Da", "Uh-Oh", "trash" and "garage". This week he added one more.

I know what you're thinking: "Mommy". It would only be fair.

Which is why his newest word is "Aunt Shell."


Friday, May 22, 2009

Blueberry Banana Pops

What kid doesn't love popsicles in the summer heat? I wasn't super excited about the amount of sugar and additives in store-bought popsicles, so I looked for some recipes online.

Most of the recipes I found had sugar, or called for straining out the skins on the blueberries. Since so much of the good stuff is in those skins, I came up with my own (much simpler) version.

Add the following to a blender:

8 oz plain yogurt
1 banana
A handful or two of blueberries
A squirt or two of honey

Blend everything up, and pour into popsicle molds. (You'll get about four regular sized popsicles.)

After that, it's just a matter of chasing your child around the house with paper towels to catch all the drips!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Word:


That's where I was all day.

Pros: The kids are energetic. (The day goes by super fast.)

Cons: The kids are energetic. (I'm beat.)

What's really crazy? Wiggle Man will be ready for pre-school next fall. I kept watching these kids, thinking that in just over a year, my little man will be as big as they are, doing the things they do.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My First Recipe Post

I don't think I've ever posted recipes before, but with some of the new things I'm trying, I thought--why not share?

I feel like I've been dieting since Wiggle Man was born, with little success. I really didn't have so much of a problem with weight gain while pregnant--it was weaning him onto a bottle that killed me. Or rather, my waistline.

I tried going back to jogging, but something has gone terribly wrong with my foot, and I can hardly get down the road without extreme pain. I tried limiting what I ate. I tried SlimFast. I've tried various workout programs. Everything has worked a little--nothing significant, though.

So, I've decided to change my thinking a little bit. Instead of focusing on shrinking my waistline, I'm going to spend my time thinking about keeping me and my family healthy. If I get smaller as a result--fabulous. If not, well, that's ok, too.

So, besides making sure that Wiggle Man (and Mommy) spend lots of time playing outside, I've started introducing some healthier recipes to our menu.

Steel Cut Oats

I've been turned on to these thanks to MckMama, who often shares her healthy recipes. I like the texture of these better than regular oatmeal. I love these with some light granola on top (I like Bear Naked Fit ) with some honey drizzled on top.

Veggie Couscous

While this is a form of pasta, it's super yummy and filling, and a great way to sneak in some veggies. I cook the couscous according to the package directions. (Chicken broth makes a great substitute for water.) While the couscous is cooking, I saute up some veggies in olive oil. You could use whatever you have on hand--I like broccoli and sweet red peppers. Stir it all together, and you've got a great side dish, or (in my case) a big bowl of dinner.

Turkey Burgers

You might be thinking you don't like turkey burgers. Use regular ground turkey. There is no point using 99% lean ground turkey if it's going to make a burger so dry that you'll never eat another turkey burger. I like to add rosemary (chopped, so your husband doesn't ask what "those twig thingies" are) shredded apples, onion flakes (I hate chopping onions--they're evil) and salt and pepper.

Hubba Hubba tells me they don't grill as well as regular burgers. You can try drizzling them in olive oil, or doing these in a pan on the stove.

Put those babies on a whole wheat roll with some pickles, and you're good to go.

I'm also trying to use honey more often as a sweetener (it's sweeter than sugar, so you can use less). I stir flax seed into our yogurt and applesauce, and try to snack more on nuts. These are my baby steps to keeping my family healthier. There's a lot more I'd like to do, but I'm starting with small changes.

Baby steps. Turkey burgers today, whole organic foods tomorrow. Or next year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I think Wiggle Man is learning to sing.

Lately, when he plays the piano, I hear him humming and doing what could be the beginning of singing. I've consulted with both of Hubba Hubba's sister's and they agree. He's singing.

This really shouldn't surprise me--I sing to him. A lot. Like when I change his diaper (click here if you're curious about what that might sound like). Or when we brush our teeth, or get dressed, or clean up toys...really, just about any time of the day you're likely to find me singing to Wiggle Man, or at him, or at least in the same room as him.

And, since it's a rare day that I'm playing the piano and not singing along, Wiggle Man has learned that the two go together--at least in our house.

These shots are courtesy of my sister-in-law and, judging from the circumference of his hair, are a little dated. They must have been taken shortly after his last hair cut.

If you look closely, you can see our attempts at "art" on the easel in the background.

No laughing--remember, I've already admitted I can't draw. If you look very, very closely, you can see my attempt at Curious George.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Shave and a Haircut...

Two bits!

If only that's all it took to get Wiggle Man's hair cut.

Thankfully, we pay even less than "two bits" for our hair cuts--it's fabulous having a mother-in-law who is a beautician.

And yet, even though it's his own Grammy cutting his hair, Wiggle Man wants nothing to do with the whole process. This never used to be a problem--when he was smaller, we could get his hair cut fairly regularly. Now? Wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And so, for now, our Wiggle Man is a little mop head! Whaddya think?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Art From The Wiggle Man

We Heart Art continues, so today I'm showing you some of Wiggle Man's drawings. Bear in mind he's not quite two.

He calls is "Ugh Baa Saa." Or something like that. Well, he would if I asked him. But he's napping right now.
Also, if you had trouble listening to my songs yesterday, you should be able to hear them today. Listen to your heart's content, but please don't download them, or use them in anyway without my permission.
For lots more We Heart Art, check out Domestically Challenged, Three Baby B Chicks and I'm Living Proof That God Has A Sense of Humor. Mr. Linky will take you to other bloggers who are participating.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Heart Music

**Another Update***

One request, friends. These songs are my property, and I own the copyright. Please play them and enjoy them, but don't download them, please!


It should be easier to play my songs now. You should see a player underneath each song--all you have to do is press play!

***Original Post***

I do, I really do. I heart music. I heart art. And this week, three great blogs are hosting We Heart Art. It's like an online arts showcase. How cool is that? Check out Domestically Challenged, Three Baby B Chicks and I'm Living Proof That God Has A Sense of Humor for some We Heart Art, and Mr. Linky will take you to other bloggers who are participating.

Some of you know I've been working on some songwriting lately. I did a little composing in college for a class, but nothing was "successful", at least, according to my prof. It wasn't something I felt I was very good at. But, I felt God prodding me to try again and just as I was wondering how to go about sharing it, We Heart Art came along. So, I'm taking the plunge. I've recorded three of my songs (the only ones that are really finished) and (crossing my fingers that I've set it up right) you should be able to hear them here.

So, friends--my songs. Keep in mind it's the song itself, and not necessarily my performance of it that I'm showcasing as "art". I'd love to hear what you think, even (helpful, please!) tips you might have! And get your art on, and join in the fun!

April 29th is the first song I tried writing, although Thank You was the first song I actually finished. April 29th is a reference to a devotional in My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The Scripture for that day is 1 John 3:2, which is where the chorus comes from. This devotional has always meant a lot to me, especially during times in my life where God's way seemed unclear.
02 April 29th.mp3
Common Bonds is a song for a little girl in Africa. I met Hannah in 2006 on a trip to Kenya with my church. Hannah's smile captured me immediately. She helped translate for me to her friends, and we played the craziest games. The time I spent with her and her classmates is indelibly imprinted on my heart.
03 Common Bonds (Hannah's Song).mp3
Thank You is a song I wrote for Stellan. Many of you probably follow MckMama's blog, so you already know Stellan's story. On the off chance that some of you aren't familiar with this little guy, Stellan's heart problems, both before and after birth, set off a firestorm of prayer from all over the world. I wanted to write something for Stellan, something that would try and convey what his little life has meant to me.

13 Thank You (Stellan's Song).mp3

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Heart Art

Don't you? Heart art, that is? My bloggy friend Sara and two other bloggers are hosting a super fun carnival this week--We Heart Art. It's a great chance to showcase your own art, as well as your kids' art. I'm so excited to be taking part. Head over to Sara's blog for all the details.

In the next day or two I hope to post recordings of some of the songs I've written, and some of Wiggle Man's drawings.

But, to whet your appetite for some We Heart Art, I've provided a picture from our recent and utterly fabulous trip to Jamaica. Below my adorable son, you'll see the elephant I drew for him in the sand. And, you'll understand why I'm a musician, rather than an illustrator.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thoughts On Baby Feeding

I'm going to warn you right now--some of you won't want to read this. If you're male, and related to me or know me in real life, you probably won't want to read this. You might be blushing already. Also, if you happen to feel super strongly about breastfeeding in every and all circumstance, you won't want to read this.

A few days ago, Lindsay over at Suburban Turmoil posted about breastfeeding. One of her comments that hit me like a big, giant "DUH" was that there were very few women blogging about bottle feeding, in comparison with the number of breastfeeding bloggers out there. So I thought I'd post about my experiences feeding Wiggle Man.

Let me start by saying I totally support breastfeeding. I really do. And when I was pregnant, I was praying I'd be able to feed my son that way.

I wasn't sure I would be able to. In college, doctors told me after some surgery I had (perhaps I'll explain that another day) that breastfeeding might not be a possibility for me. I desperately hoped and prayed that it would not only be a possibility, but a reality.

Before giving birth, I read everything I could on the subject, including the experiences of women in situations like mine. I thought I was pretty well prepared. Then, in the hospital after having Wiggle Man, each nurse had something different to tell me about nursing--how long, when to switch sides, how to hold him--all this changed with every shift. Suddenly, everything I'd read flew from my mind, and I was more than a little confused.

Add to that the extreme discomfort (no, let's call it what it was--PAIN) that breastfeeding gave me, and the result was one slightly disillusioned, and terribly frustrated new mom.

Still, I kept breastfeeding. I tried every position suggested. Thanks to my mother-in-law, a truly wonderful lactation consultant came and helped out. But the pain continued--it felt like glass coming out, instead of milk.

At Wiggle Man's one week check up, he had lost 1 lb, 9 oz since his hospital discharge.

I don't remember much from that appointment. All I really remember is trying to fill out the patient information forms while rocking a screaming Wiggle Man's carrier with my foot. (He cried a lot back then.)

I really don't think his weight loss registered with me. I remember the nurse telling me his weight, and when I heard "6 lbs, 1 oz" I thought she must be mistaken. I'd delivered a 7 lb, 13 oz baby. I knew babies lost some weight at first, but there was no way he'd dropped down to 6 lbs. That was crazy.

Wiggle Man was scheduled for weekly weigh-ins. I believe this was when my wonderful lactation consultant came to help me out.

The next week was awful. Wiggle Man was constantly fussy, constantly nursing. Nothing I did seemed to make any difference--he was always hungry.

The breaking point for me came when I literally could do nothing but breastfeed. Before Hubba Hubba left for work, I made several sandwiches, and camped out on the couch for the day, doing nothing but breastfeed. He'd go maybe 15, 20 minutes without nursing. When Hubba Hubba came home that night, we finally decided to try some of the formula the hospital sent home with all new mothers.

Wiggle Man gulped down than teeny ounce bottle in about a minute, and the scales fell from my eyes. My baby wasn't fussy, wasn't colicky, he was hungry.

Of course.

What frustrates me the most is not the two weeks I spent futilely trying to do something my body couldn't, but that I felt I had to. Breast is best, after all. It drives me nuts that it took me two full weeks to realise breast is not best if your baby is still hungry.

This is the point at which some of you will ask me why I didn't try any of the products available to help with my supply problem. Why wasn't I pumping? (I was, but it wasn't doing much good.) Why wasn't I trying fenugreek, or something else?

By that point, I was just trying to get him as much nourishment as I could, as quickly as I could. Also, for me, it didn't feel right taking herbs, drinking tea, pumping my breasts, all to accomplish the "natural" method of feeding my son.

So, from that point on, Wiggle Man was exclusively bottle fed. And suddenly, he was the happiest baby. I was a much calmer, more nurturing mother. Hubba Hubba could help with the late night feedings. And with that, our family routine fell into place.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, I am in full support of breastfeeding. What I have a problem with is pressure many moms feel to breastfeed, regardless of whether it is the best choice for them and their children. In my case, bottle was definitely best. I just wish I'd felt that confidence sooner.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Little Dirt Never Hurt

When Wiggle Man decided to play outside in the mud again tonight, I wasn't missing another opportunity to capture his messcapades on film.

I forgot how badly mud puddles smell. Seriously, gross.

I can see that Wiggle Man is going to be all boy as he grows up. You know--frogs in his pockets, bugs in jars, and mud under every fingernail.

Yes, he's in the mud in sandals. Yes, I'm sure someone out there will be horrified by this. I'm OK with that.

I can see that a good laundry detergent is going to be Mommy's best friend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Tried To Get A Picture

Really, I did.

It was the funniest thing. Hubba Hubba told me that Wiggle Man was filthy from playing outside with him whilst I prepared our evening meal.

I just didn't imagine he was quite that faulty.

I went to call him in (he was out with Pop Pop, not just roaming free) and started laughing as soon as I saw that little boy. His face was splattered with mud. His hands and arms were muddy, too. Once I got close enough, I realized that his pants, from the knees down, were mud. (It was hard to tell from far away--he was in baby camos.)

I ran inside to get the camera. Wiggle Man decided to follow me inside, tracking mud everywhere. (Must clean that up later.) I grab the camera, try to zoom in on his speckled face, only to realize there is no card in the camera.

I hate that.

By this point, Wiggle Man is furious. (Don't ask me why, it's not like he had a filthy floor to clean up.) I gave up on the photo shoot, and concentrated on stripping him down. It took several wipes to get him clean enough, at least until I can get him in a bath before bed.

Thank heaven for little boys. And wipes, lots of wipes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things I Don't Understand

Fear not, friends. I know when you read that title, "Things I Don't Understand" you're thinking, 'Man, this could be one long post.'

And it could be. There's a lot I don't understand. A lot of big, deep, profound things that I just don't understand.

This is not one of those posts.

This post is dedicated to the mundane things of life that I don't understand.

Like, commercials for a certain pharmaceutical aimed at gentlemen that feature couples lounging in bathtubs in the most random places. Life a field, or the beach. What is that?

Why do rainy days make me want to take naps?

And what was with that guy who parked behind me in the parking lot at the grocery store yesterday? It's pouring buckets, I make my way to my car only to find it impossible to actually get to my trunk. There's the world's largest truck parked right up on my bumper. Nothing like stashing the groceries in the front seat.

Why does my son think the funniest thing in the world is for him to crawl under my piano, and convince Auntie La La to follow him? (Ok, that one is pretty funny.)

Hot dogs taste better at the ball park, or a bonfire. I don't know why.

Actually, all food tastes better at the ball park. Or a bon fire.

Now I want to roast some marshmallows.

I could not for the life of me get yesterday's post in nice paragraphs. No matter how many times I went back to edit it, and space those paragraphs nicely, it kept spitting my post out in one long blog.

I almost mistyped "post" as "poast." Makes me wonder why "roast" isn't spelled "rost." Rost beef anyone?

I don't understand why I'm so bad at throwing out empty shampoo bottles. Seriously, guys, there are like 5 or 6 empty bottles in my shower. Not all are shampoo--some are other bath products. But still. I need to throw those bad boys away.

So, what about you? Wringing your hands at wait staff? Cashiers got you cuckoo? Is programming your remote control a pain in the tooshie? I want to hear all about it. Just as soon as I fight my way through my empty bottle jungle, and get my shower.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Just Can't Get Enough

I just can't get enough....of this adorable face.

I know, I know. I'm one of those mothers who insists her child is the most amazing child ever born.
But in all honesty, most days he just amazes me. If you have kids, you probably feel that way about them, too. So you know where I'm coming from.
My Wiggle Man is a bundle of energy, sure. (Hence the nickname.) But he's also growing up into such an amazing little boy. Helpful around the house? Check. His favourite chores are putting things into the garbage for me, and putting away his toys. (Ok, well, maybe he doesn't love that one, but he's getting pretty good at it for someone who's not two yet.) Tonight? He put his dirty socks in what would have been the laundry basket. Had his basket not still been sitting in my room, filled with folded laundry waiting to be put away.
He's also quite the love bug. One thing he never seems to get enough of is kissing boo boos. He will point out his two-week old very recent boo boo on his arm, pretend to cry a little, and come get his kiss. Also, you can ask if if you have a boo boo. For me, he points out any freckle he can find (and there are many) since I guess they look like tiny scabs to him. Nice. Once he's shown me me boo boo, I can ask for him to kiss it better, which he does so sweetly.
There you have it. My Wiggle Man--Mommy's Little Man.
And now for something completely different.
An update: I mentioned in an earlier post something terrifying I've been attempting:
songwriting. I've gotten past the initial jitters, and shared some of my stuff with Hubba Hubba, and a few other people. Now, I'm trying to figure out what (if anything) God would have me do with what I've written. Suggestions?
I'm enjoying the process, so I'll likely keep it up, even if no one ever hears my songs. Songwriting gives me a way to focus my prayer, Scripture reading, and even deep-thought thinking. It's kind of like my own unique devotional time.
And that's a pretty good thing, I'm thinking.

Shampoo Head

I couldn't resist taking these pictures of Wiggle Man in the tub last night.

Shampoo Head is one of Wiggle Man's favourite tub games. He's got so much hair that we can work up quite a lather. He just loves it when I get some of that lather on my hands. He pours water over my hands to rinse them, or laughs when I put them in the water slowly so the bubbles stay on the surface.

I just love this kid.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday Returns

Well, it's been awhile friends, but MckMama is home with her MckMuffin and Not Me! Monday is back! Check out her blog for links to hundreds of bloggers participating, as well as her own Not Me! Monday post.

Well, here goes nothing...

This week I did not avoid laundry because of a large (and I mean LARGE) spider in the cellar where the washer and dryer is. I was not totally skeeved out even after Hubba Hubba washed the pile of clothes that the spider was last seen under. I certainly do not still have two baskets of clothes waiting to be put away.

This week I did not go to Target and come out with twice as much as I'd originally intended on buying. (Oh wait...Hubba Hubba reads this. Scratch that, he'll know it was me.) In my defense, had I done that, it would have all been necessary. Really.

Yesterday, I did not have M&Ms and baked barbecue potato chips for "brunch" when I got home from church.

This week I did not start breaking in new shoes for next weekend.

This week I did not blog about a missing cream egg. (Oh, wait...some of you read my blog regularly, so you know that was me.) I did not then skillfully interrogate my prime suspect until he finally cracked and confessed. I did not then proceed to take his mugshots. In case you're curious.

So there you have it, friends. At least, as much as I can remember. Now that we're back in the NM!M swing of things, perhaps I'll do a better job this week of keeping track of...the things I didn't do.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

When's The Big Day?

Wiggle Man and I were out back playing with the chickens, and I had to go inside for the camera. It looked like the girls were having a bridal shower out there--pink petals everywhere.

The same reason I love our cherry trees is the same reason Hubba Hubba is...less than fond of them.

He seems to think that this is a mess. Or something. I find it incredibly beautiful.

I couldn't resist taking off my sandals and feeling those cool petals beneath my toes. And in between my toes--I was picking soggy petals off later. And yes, I clearly need a pedicure. It's on the list of things to do, really. It just gets pushed back for more important things. Like blogging. And eating cream eggs.

For my Mom, and anyone else curious about the actual size of that cicada shell from the other day:

For some reason this makes it seem smaller. It really is much bigger and more disgusting that it seems now. Really. Disgusting and crusty.

Oh, and keep checking back. We have a verdict in the Mystery of The Missing Cream Egg.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Classic Who-Dunnit

Ladies and gentlemen of the court, a monstrosity has been committed. In my very own home. Pictured below you will see what the Easter parents brought me for Easter. A dozen Cadbury Eggs. Most were of the traditional cream variety, although some were caramel. Yes, they're in a ceramic egg holder--that was the other part of my gift.

To date I have eaten three (3) of my treasured Cadbury eggs. Now, I'm no whiz at math, but I believe that should leave a total of nine (9) eggs remaining. If you'll look carefully at the picture below, you will notice that only eight (8!!!!!!!) eggs pictured.

I believe that this crime was committed sometime yesterday...possibly late in the evening. Possibly when someone was feeling snackerly. (No, that someone was not me.)

I have my theories, friends. I have my suspicions. I will need further evidence before I can fully make my case. But I assure you, ladies and gentlemen of the court, that once my case is solid, the perpetrator will be presented to you for your judgement.

Lastly, I'd like to show you the multi-lingual aspect of my Cadbury eggs:

Friday, May 1, 2009


I can't remember what I was going to write about. I had clever paragraphs all planned out.

Now they're gone.

I'll have to improvise.

My mother wanted to know if the picture of the bug was an accurate depiction of the bug's size.

It was.

My PVD is slowly abating, although I suspect it's very likely that Tiffany is right when she says that PVD lasts until your next vacation.

In an update in the ongoing saga of Jenn vs. The Hugest Spider In The World, I was forced to do laundry today. I needed clean shirts. It's so hard to empty the dryer when trying not to stand near the pile of clothes from under which crawled that giant spider. Said pile was, of course, directly in front of the dryer. However, I persevered, and can now wear clean clothes.

Huge giant spiders are part of the reason why I am against laundry areas in the basement.

And so, with that, I'll leave you for now. Unless I remember the rest of what I wanted to say.