I love My Bumper!




That's what Grant would say, if he could talk! :) The kid LOVES the bumper in his bed -loves, loves, loves! He *will not* sleep with out it! In fact, on long car rides, to get him to sleep in his carseat, we have to give him part of the bumper, with the rest of the bumper trailing off onto the seat next to him!

On so many occasions I'll see him stir in his sleep, and he'll reach his arm out, feeling for the bumper, then pull himself close to it when he finds it. Some kids have blankies, Grant has a bumper!


A Day in the Life of a Baby




So, Grant was 11 months old yesterday, and it's his last month before toddlerhood! The past year has gone SO FAST! One year ago we were finalizing our decision on houses, living with all of our parents, and visiting my OB seemingly every-other-day dealing with pre-eclampsia!

Fast-forward to 11 months later, and this is what a day in our life looks like:

6:30 - 7am: Grant wakes up and nurses

7-8am: Grant plays while I make coffee!

8am: Breakfast for Grant! Usually oatmeal or fruit, or both

9 - 10:30ish: nap! I pick up the house or take a shower. Nurse when he wakes up.

11: Lunchtime for Grant! I usually do fruit and a veggie for lunch, and them some finger foods - right now he loves graham cracker sticks!!

By 12:30 he's down for his afternoon nap, and is almost always asleep before 1.

1-3ish: afternoon nap! Nurse when he wakes up from this nap

3-4: Grant plays.

4pm: Suppertime for Grant! I try to do 2 different veggies and a protein source for supper

5:00ish: Start getting ready for bed and entertain him as he gets more and more tired. Nurse one last time, if he's still hungry.

By 5:45, he's in bed! Usually asleep by 6:15 or so.

Then he sleeps straight until about 4-5am, where he wakes up and eats. Then he goes back to sleep until about 7am, and we start it all over again! :)

So, that's what my day looks like! I wish I had been writing this down once/month for his whole life - it would be interesting to look back and see what we were doing at 3 months old, etc.

Political Woes...




Will the real Republican Party please stand up?

I am so tired of? confused? frustrated? - you can fill in the blank- with the current GOP that I truly cannot understand what has been going on in the White House. I can remember in my high school gov't class learning that, in general, the Republican party equaled smaller government, lower taxes, less governmental control and fiscal responsibility.

Well, in 2001 we had a Republican president and a Republican controlled congress. They could have dealt with the social security issue. They could have worked on border security. They could have given states more educational rights.

But, they made the department of education bigger with the No-Child-Left-Behind act (which a former administrator of mine called the "No Child Left Untested" act).

What constituency are they representing, exactly, then?

The 2008 election will be the first presidential election I'll vote in, and over the past couple years (partially due to my brother challenging me to think outside the typical right-wing box) have become more and more interested in politics. So, with the upcoming primary and election, I've been trying to figure out exactly what I personally believe.

And, as I've come to conclusions on some issues and am still wrestling with other issues (just how much morality *should* the government legislate?), I don't think the current Republicans in power are aligned with their own party. Given the recent track record, I think the current government is confusing right-wing voters. What, exactly, defines the GOP? Lower taxes? Smaller government? Less spending?

If so, I'd like to see that happen in 2008 and beyond.

More to come on my current political thoughts...

Video attempt




Okay - this is my first attempt to post a video. It's not super exciting, as it's my first try even to take a video with our digital camera, but I thought I'd try! You might have to press "play", then pause the video and let it buffer, and then watch it!

video

One of his favorite things




This is one of Grant's favorite things to do - pull out all of the books from the bin, and just go through each one of them. He LOVES his books! He especially likes the ones that have things you can touch on each page - like furry animals or rough trucks.

Hopefully he'll be like his mommy and LOVE to read! :)

Tidbits...




1) Okay, Mom, tomorrow I'll try to blog about party news. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

2) Our 2nd holiday party, which was tonight, went AWESOME. I'll totally write about it, too, tomorrow. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

3) The party, however, totally wore our dog out. Wore Her OUT! The second the last person left, she was curled up in a ball in her favorite spot in the hallway. She's currently lying on her dog bed, curled up as tight as she can be, eyes already closed. The party overstimulated her, I think! :) However, to her credit, she was a fabulous dog tonight - obeyed very well, didn't go crazy, listened, sat, stayed - good dog, Lizzie! Everyone (well, all of the dog people, at least!) said how cute she was and how "well behaved" she was! I almost L'ed OL at the 'well behaved" comments. If only they would have seen her 2 years ago!

And, here's a picture of my new glasses. I like 'em!

T Minus 1 hour 30 Minutes




Desserts Baked: Check
Coffee brewing: Check
Kitchen Clean: Check
Dishes done: Check
Bathroom clean: Check
Remaining Calm: Check

Only a little over an hour - I better get in the shower lest I greet guests in my sweats!

T Minus 5 Hours




What's Done:

Brownies
Peanut Butter Bars
Dipped Pretzels
Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
Sugar Cookies

To Do:

Fruit Tray
Cheese tray
Roasted Nuts (which I did have done previously but, er, they didn't last until today. And, FTR, I don't like nuts. ;-))

T minus 6 Hours...




...until our Christmas party!! I have sugar cookies made and iced, brownies are in the oven, chocolate-covered pretzels are in the fridge, and I'm working on peppermint buttercream frosting right now for my mini cupcakes!!

I need to keep working!! T minus 6 hours!

85 pounds!




That's how much I've lost from the day before I had Grant until now. (Pre-eclampsia!!)

Well, some friends of ours from Iowa sent us some pictures from when they visited us last March. I was shocked to see myself in them! So, I thought I'd post it, along with an after picture.

Before: (about 2 months post-partum):



After: (on my birthday)



Future Football Player





Grant must have his Grandpa Hite's athletic football genes in him - look at the way he's holding the ball in this picture - can you say "future running back?"

Took the Plunge!






Matt and I took the plunge and registered for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon! So, we're committed to training for it - I'm going to try to run as much of it as I can!! Officially registering for it will hopefully keep us committed over the 5 1/2 months. I'll keep you posted on our progress!

GladWare Steam Bags






Have you seen the commercials for these bags? I had a coupon for the, so I bought them. Just today I tried them, and the veggies turned out awesome! I don't know if I'll ever be able to do vegetables in a sauce pan again! Out of the freezer, in the bag, popped in the microwave for 5 minutes, and then perfectly steamed veggies! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Of course, a little cheese on top of them helps! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What a Wonderful Husband!




Since Matt isn't, ahem, quite as *eager* as I am to watch our wedding video (for the dozenth time! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket), I decided to watch it while I was on the treadmill the past couple of nights.

And, wow! I hadn't watched it in at least a year (even though we do try to view it together on our anniverary). How special it was to watch and relive that day! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Watching it reminded my heart of all of the emotions, anticipation, excitement, and apprehension that went with that day, 5 1/2 years ago. I was so in love, so ready to commit my life to the man of my dreams.

While I was listening to our vows, of Matt promising to love, protect, and provide for me, my heart was overwhelmed. Looking back on the past 5 and a half years, Matt has more than remained true to those vows. He has loved, protected and provided for me more than I ever could have imagined.

He's infinitely patient with me, even when I decide for the 16th time to change the pillows on our couch. He's painted room after room for me, mowed the lawn hundreds of times, killed more spiders than I want to know about, and calmed me down after killing the said spiders. He makes me coffee and brings me home Starbucks when he's out. He gets up with Grant in the mornings to let me sleep when we've had a rough night. He spends long days traveling, with out complaint, to provide for our family. He handles church difficulties with integrity and Godliness.

I knew I loved him on May 11, 2002, but had such little grasp of the depth of character my new husband had. What a man he is, and how I love him!


And, on a lighter note, here's one of my favorite wedding-day pictures.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Parmesan-Pepper Sweet Potato Fries




I used to think I wasn't a big sweet potato fan - but then I had these fries! Matt and I wanted a good snack, but one that wouldn't blow our diets, so I found these in the Biggest Loser cookbook. They are fan-tas-ic!! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And, even better - this recipe supposedly yields one serving, but I could easily eat only 1/2 of them and still feel satisfied! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4" sticks
1 tablespoon grated reduced-fat parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon EVOO
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
salt, to taste
pinch of cayenne
pinch of ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450*.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes, cheese, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and black pepper.

3. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a medium nonstick baking sheet. (I lined it with parchment paper to help the cleanup!) Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the potatoes and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned in spots.


Per Serving:

249 calories
5g protein
49 g carbs (sorry, mother!)
4g fat
8mg cholesterol
7g fiber
238 mg sodium

Operation: Time Change, Day 1




Operation: Time Change
Day 1
0600 hours zulu

In the first night of Operation Time Change, I think Grant was going for a record of just how long his Momma could be awake in the middle of the night. *yawn* I think *I* woke him up, though. :/

His crib alarm went off at 3 am, so I bolted in there to find what I suspected: Grant was sound asleep, just so far at the top of the crib and in such a deep sleep that the monitor wasn't picking him up.

I had to reset the monitor, though, and although I tried to do it as quietly as possible, I think the clicking and the soft beep when it turns on woke him up a little. I went back to bed, heard him make some noise and thought, well, I could just feed him now since I'm already awake. (He usually awakens around 5am to eat). He was almost asleep when I went back into his room at 3:30 or so, and I should have just let him be.

But, I decided to feed him, and then put him back to bed around 3:50. Well, the feeding totally woke him up, and he was *playing* in his crib until 4:45 this morning. He obviously fell dead asleep, though, because right as I was about to go back to sleep at 5 this morning, his alarm went off again. (Which, BTW, is really unusual - his alarm hasn't gone off in at least a month, and then 3 times in one night!)

So, I went back to sleep around 5:15, and he awakened at 6:20 (7:20 to his little body) for the morning.

Needless to say, we're up early and I already have coffee started! For the night I had, I'm really not that tired, thankfully!

Operation: Time Change is for sure underway. I'll let you know how the next mission (read: night) goes. :)

(And, BTW, I don't think I used "zulu" above in the right context - I've just always thought it sounded so cool on military drama shows).

The Cutest Chicken Ever!




Wanted to show off our cutie-pie in his Halloween costume.











Monday Musings




1) It's a gorgeous day here and I just have to say for the umpteenth time that I love, love, love fall. I actually like winter, too - staying bundled up, drinking hot chocolate (and the seasonal Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket), walking in the snow - I love it!

2) I think I met a new friend today - at Meijer! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket When I go grocery shopping during the week, it's almost always either retirees or SAHMs shopping, and the other moms and I usually smile or comment on the other's cute child. Well, I chatted briefly (in the pasta aisle! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket) with this girl, and then she ended up being behind me at the check-out. We discovered that her son is only 3 days older than Grant! She lives in the area, so we exchanged numbers and will hopefully get together soon. She was just super nice to chat with, and it was fun to have babies so close in age. And, she had cute jeans on. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I told her such, and we chatted fashion for a bit.

3) Speaking of jeans, I got this fabulous pair of jeans from the Gap a couple of weeks ago when I was shopping with my SIL. They were a tad too long, though. I noticed that my dry cleaners does alterations, so for SIX DOLLARS they're hemming my jeans! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I think that's SO worth it! I can pick them up tomorrow and I'm eager to see what they look like.

4) Tomorrow is baby-food making day in this household. I bought the book Superfoods at Babies R Us the other day, and I love it! Just gives lots of fun ideas for baby and toddler foods. Grant pretty much eats what we eat now, but he still needs his own foods for when he's hungry before we eat, or if we're having non-baby-friendly food. So, I'm excited to try out some new recipes for Grant. I tried a new one last week - Baby Tex Mex - and he LOVED it. :)

5) Church was AWESOME yesterday. Just awesome. Several new families came, and all of the signs and banners Matt had done looked just great. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

6) I'll close with a couple pictures of Grant's new bath tub. :)


3.25




I just did 3.25 miles on the treadmill, which is the farthest I have ever run in my life! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I did it in 40:40, which is a 12:30 min/mile. I know I'm s-l-o-w, but, hey, I'm on the treadmill! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


And, here's a big You Can Do It! cheer for my father, who's just starting to use the treadmill! Go Dad Go! GOOOO DAD! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Dinner




Matt's leading a Bible Study at butler with a few college seniors who are involved with Campus Crusade, and we had them over for dinner tonight. It was fun, and made me reminiscent of our college days. One of the guys clearly needed a girlfriend to, ahem, smooth out his rough edges! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket They were all really nice, though - and I chuckled at the end of the evening - one of the guys told me I had a "lovely" house - I think his mom told him to always tell a woman that! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One more mom post -




I just learned a new word, and it totally applies to my mom. Sometimes when I'm talking to her, she'll give only half-replies, and I'll ask her if she's surfing the web, which she usually is.

So, she's a snurfer! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A snurfer is someone who's surfing the web when they should be on the phone! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Do you snurf? I do, occasionally. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Missing My Mom!




My mother has been gone for the weekend, and I've realized just how often I need her for something. Probably 1/2 a dozen times over the past several days I've thought, "oh, I'll call my mom". Such as -

"Remind me how you smash a garlic clove?"
"Should I undercook pasta that will be added to soup?"
"How do I clean dog puke out of the carpet?"
"How do I cook a turkey in a turkey bag?"
"What's your chili recipe?"
"Should curtains be floor length or just window length?

Not surprisingly, a lot of my questions have to do with cooking. I would consider myself pretty comfortable in my kitchen, but often need reassurance or quick advice from my mother.

So, how in the world would I live with out my mom? Maybe I'd then have to look something up in a cookbook? Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

October 15th




October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Month, with the 15th being the special day of memorials. My heart is thinking and praying for all my friends who have lost babies - may you find hope and comfort in the ever-new mercies of our Lord.

I'm sure this is not entirely theologically accurate, but my heart pictures all of our babies playing up in heaven together - walking - crawling, perhaps - on those streets of gold, spared from the pain of this world.

The Pumpkin Patch!




We had a wonderful fall morning here in the midwest. And, isn't the midwest just a great place to live? I love, love, love fall! We went to a local pumpkin patch/apple orchard with some neighbors, and had a wonderful morning. We picked out pumpkins, tasted apples, drank warm cider, and ate an elephant ear. (Yeah, elephant ears aren't really related to the orchard, but who can resist a warm elephant ear? Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket)

Here are some pictures - there are a lot, but it's my blog!

Balancing on the pumpkins -



Matt was excited about the old Massey Ferguson they were using for hay rides.













Don't you love his expression here?





Here's the wife of the couple that we went with - i think it's cute that Grant's looking at their youngest son. :)



I love this family picture!



Another cute, yet close-up, family shot! Matt took it himself, just holding his arm out.







And, Grant's hair after we took the hat off.