Monday, April 1, 2013

Meet Me at Wordpress

I'll be updating on Cadence's latest health developments via a new blog... hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Keeping Your Cool

A ton of people have been posting on the mommy forums and whatnot recently about how to keep babies cool in the car. This is a huge problem, especially now that babies are supposed to stay rear-facing until at least 2 years old, because that means that the AC in the car hits the back of their car seats and not them for at least 2 summers of their itty bitty lives. Last summer I did an internet search for ideas, and found an article on the American Academy of Pediatrics website that stated that "if you are comfortable in your car, your baby probably is too." (I can't for the life of me find the link, but I'll keep looking.) Clearly the people who wrote this article live in North Dakota. Here in Texas, where summers are so hot that it would be cooler to hang out in hell than to ride in the car, the typical recommendations to turn on your AC first and tint your windows just don't cut it. Then you add to that the fact that our daughter has a decreased ability to control her own body temperature as a nifty little side effect of her tumor, and we have a serious problem on our hands. So my handsome husband and I put our heads together, and came up with this 3 part cooling system that we thought we'd share. You are welcome to use any of the ideas we have, but if you choose to re-create any of our original projects (or the ones from my friend Shanna) please don't sell them for a profit.

First, my husband got to work on an air circulation system that would keep Munchkin cooler while she is actually sitting in the car.

First we purchased this clip on fan and tried to use it as a solution:

This fan would probably be a great solution for a stroller, but in the Texas heat it didn't work for a car seat, because the extreme heat inside the car drained the batteries in about a day and a half. We even tried to use rechargeables, but the battery compartment of this fan requires for you to use a teeny tiny screw driver to open it and access the batteries to switch them out, which meant that I typically was standing there holding my sweaty baby in a parking lot trying to unscrew the flippin thing for like 10 minutes... a royal pain.

So we went back to the drawing board.

Husband stole nicely asked if he could use my small night stand fan and turned it into a car fan. Now, I am fully aware of the current recommendations about projectiles in vehicles. If we were to get in an accident the fan creation could possibly become a projectile and hurt our baby (or us for that matter.) We have considered this risk, and decided to take our chances, especially since the way the installation of the fan works in our vehicle makes the angles at which it could hit our daughter very limited, and our daughter's neurosurgeon told us that we absolutely had to figure out something to keep her from overheating and dehydrating from sweat. So before you go all judgey-wudgey on me, know that we have made this calculated decision for ourselves only, and you are free to do the same if you so choose. =)

Husband sawed off a piece of PVC pipe and used a strong epoxy glue to stick it to the bottom of the fan. Then he filled the pipe with rocks (to make it bottom heavy) and glued on a PVC cap.

Then we purchased a cigarette lighter power converter which allows us to plug the fan in, and whenever we turn the car on, we can plug the whole shebang into the cigarette lighter and the fan starts blowing.

We pulled down the center console next to our daughter's car seat and popped the whole thing into the cup holder, and then point it right at her. Beautiful. Good work, husband!

Next, I got to work on creating a system for keeping the car seat cooler while we left it parked in the sun (the fan can't run when the car isn't on.) My friend Shanna and I had been talking about how we were particularly concerned about the buckles being burning hot, so we both were thinking about solutions for this problem, and she came up with an awesome sewing project. She wrote her own blog post about it, and then I followed (some of) her directions. Not all of them, because I'm a lazy seamstress and refused to use bias tape... I also refused to make measurements of any kind and just went for it. I'm a free spirited crafter.  =) As it turns out, mine works just fine!

I soak it for a few minutes in the evenings to re-hydrate it, then I stick it in the fridge over night. I grab it each morning before we head out the door, and whenever we park the car, I take out baby girl and toss in the cooling pad, making sure to cover the buckles. No more burning hot buckles, and it helps keep munchkin's back a bit cooler (albeit somewhat damp, but not with sweat, so that's a win in my book!) Shanna says this in her blog, but I will reiterate, this pad is not intended for use while the child is buckled into the seat. Love it!

The third and final piece to our system is a simple spring loaded sunshade. Get the kind that comes with 2 separate pieces, and pop one of them over the top of your carseat (with the cooling pad underneath). This way, the entire seat is shaded while you leave it parked.

Voila! Our car is still hot, but my baby isn't over heating or sweating so much anymore, and I'm a happy mamma. Does anyone have any other car seat cooling suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Sweet Precious Girl...

Cadence has grown up a lot lately, and has developed into a very sweet and cuddly little 21 month old toddler. Though she wants so badly to be independent, she still finds countless ways each day to show us that she loves us. These are just a few of her latest ways that she has found to melt our hearts!

~First thing in the morning, when she is still in her crib, we go in to get her and are greeted with a huge smile as she throws herself at us to help her stand up and get out... very quickly, too, once I wasn't ready for her and she threw herself at me anyway and faceplanted into the side of her crib! She is so excited to get up and start the day.

~Greeting the birdies. While I change her diaper and get her dressed in the mornings, she is busy straining her neck from the changing table to see out the window and say hello to the birdies!

~Shoes!!! Cadence LOVES her shoes, and loves trying to take them off/put them on by herself. Oddly enough, she loves her foot brace, too!

~Kisses for everyone! Cadence blows kisses at EVERYONE these days. When you say bye bye, she blows kisses. When we tuck her in at night and say "I Love You!" she smacks a kiss in reply. She kisses her dolls, her rubber duckies, pictures in her books, and this week she kissed the glass of the ferret enclosure at PetCo to give the ferrets a kiss!

~Hugging Daddy night-night: Cadence and I are both night owls, and bed time is usually around 10 or 11 for us, but daddy goes to bed around 9, so once he is settled in bed, Cadence and I go in to tell him goodnight. She lays on his chest and gives him the best cuddly hugs. It is so sweet! And then it is over. When the hug is over, it is over. That's how she operates. =)

~Story time: Story "time" is a term used loosely, because it's basically on and off all day long! Recently, Cadence has become a big time book worm, and I LOVE it!!! She will pick a book out of her book drawer, put it up on the couch, meticulously close the book drawer, then bring the book to me, climb up on my lap, read the story with me, then set it aside in a pile, climb down, go back to the book drawer, get one more book, and do the whole process over and over and over and over! She is not picky about which books she chooses, it's typically whichever one she reaches fastest on top of the pile. I think she enjoys the process of bringing them to me and sitting on my lap most of all! Right before bed time we do our last story time of the day, and we read with just the little reading light on in the living room. She knows this means it's almost time to go to bed, so she tries to prolong it as much as she can!

~Favorite toys right now are books, dolls, especially her baby boy doll, picture word cards, BUBBLES!!!, stacking bath cups, puzzles, and rubber duckies.

~Words she can say now include:

*Arf (barking like a dog)
*Buh-buh (bubbles)

Words she can sign include:

*Finished (all done)
*Shaking head no

She is getting more and more confident standing on her own, and is itching to try out her first steps, but they haven't happened yet!!! Pics soon to come...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Making of My Quiet Book Page! ***UPDATED***

***Since the other girls blogs about their parts of the quiet book are being posted by our organizer, Laura, on her blog, I will post links to each page here as they are added daily. Or you can just start following Laura's blog and not have to keep checking back here. Whichever you would prefer!

How to make a Quiet Book...

....Seasons Tree
....Barn and Finger Puppets
....Tent and Sleeping Bag with zippers
....Button Flowers
....Counting Flowers
....Alphabet Page
....Gumball Counting
....Dog with Buckle

My original post... otherwise called How to Make a Quiet Book Coloring Page!!! 

You might remember that I mentioned a while back that I was participating in a Quiet Book page swap... well... the swap was this evening and I am now the proud owner of a very full book of activities for Cadence! One of the requirements for participating in the swap was that we would need to submit a blog post about our page, so this blog will serve that purpose. Feel free to ask any questions, and I will post links to the blog pages that everyone else submits so that you can create a book just like ours if you would like!

My Quiet Book page is a coloring page with crayons and a notebook on it. The finished product looks like this: 
(sorry about the flash)

Supplies needed to make 20 pages like this (if you are only making one you won't need this much!): 

Hobby Lobby: 
  • Pellon Peltex 70 Ultra Firm Stabilizer cut into 8.5x10in pages
  • 5 sheets of red 9"x12" felt
  • 1 sheet of black 12"x18" stiffened felt
  • 1 spool red thread
  • 1 spool black thread
Dollar Store: 
  • 5 boxes of 48 crayons (I know that you don't need this many crayons, but 5 boxes allows you to choose nice colors instead of ugly ones, and 5 boxes of 48 was cheaper than 20 boxes of 8.) 
  • 5 packages of 4 spiral memo books
Page Assembly: 

  • Cut the Pellon into 8 1/2"x10" pages
  • Cut 20 rectangles out of the red felt to measure 2 1/2"x7" each. 
  • Cut 20 rectangles out of the black stiffened felt to measure 1 1/2"x 4 3/4" each. 
  • Pin a red rectangle onto your page 2" down from the top of the page and centered from left to right. 
  • Sew a straight line up and down in the middle of the rectangle to attach it to the page, and then remove the pins: 
  • Use a crayon to help you measure the pocket size. DO NOT sew the pockets flat, or when you put the crayons in, the page curves up into a semi-circle. If you were making the pages out of regular cloth, this would work, but on Pellon it does not. So you have to create a 3D pocket with the Pellon as the flat backing. For a regular sized crayon you need 1 1/16" of the red felt to make the pocket and you sew it onto the pellon 13/16" apart. If this is confusing, it will be helpful to use a crayon to measure and mark where you should sew: 

  • Then remove the crayon and sew a straight line. Repeat this until you have 6 pockets, 3 on each side of the center seam. 

  •  There should be a small amount of red felt remaining on each end. Switch your sewing machine to the zig-zag function and sew up and down over the extra bit of felt to help secure the pockets. 

  • Next, use your notebook as a measuring tool to mark where to sew. I used pink chalk on the first several, but after a while I knew where to sew without measuring. 

  •  Pin the black felt in place and sew a square on each end. (This picture is from a practice round, so excuse the messiness. Also ignore the zig-zag across the bottom of the pockets and the measurements written... none of them are correct, this was just a piece I was trying everything out on first. I used red thread so you could see the square, but on the real ones I used black to match the felt.) 

  • Then choose 6 crayon colors and place them and the notebook into their spots. 

Helpful Blogs: 
Skip to My Lou was a helpful blog for measurements, but again, you will have to modify the sewing methods in order to keep your page from curling. 
At Second Street was a great inspiration for a similar page, though they made smaller pages so the notebook and crayons were on separate pages. 
The Ricks Family was also useful, but similar to Skip to My Lou, they sewed a seam straight across the bottom of the pockets, which would have curled the page unless you used a regular cloth instead of the stiff Pellon. 

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hey guess what? It's the best day of the week! I know I've fallen off the face of the blog-earth, but what better day to make a come back than on a Thursday? This way everything you have missed out on in my life can be thrown in your face at once in one giant TVT.  I have a whole entire list of thoughts to vomit atcha today, but I'm also watching part 1 of the Project Runway season finale, so we'll see how long my attention span lasts. Also, in case you were wondering, Thought Vomit Thursdays are for everyone! Feel free to do your own TVT and you also can use the TVT picture above if you'd like. Here goes. 

  • I want a pair of boots. I keep going back and forth about whether I want true "cowboy" boots or more fashion-ish boots, but I want them. I was thinking of picking out the exact pair that I want and then asking for them for Christmas, but the thing about that is that I want to wear them through the winter, because as soon as like, February hits it will, of course, be flip flop season again. It would be a shame to only get to wear them for 2 months this year, wouldn't it? 
  • Jon wants to go to the Texas State Fair this weekend. I'm skeptical. What do you all think? Is it worth the money? Take in to consideration the fact that we'll have Cadence with us and there is potential for it to be uncomfortably hot and/or cold. Hmmmm....
  • So, the reason I've disappeared off the face of the blog planet is because I've been crazy busy! For the record, it drives me crazy when people say "sorry, I've been super busy!" Um, shut up, we're all busy, stop making excuses. So in order to not be that person, I'll bring you up to speed with what's been going on. First I went on a big long trip! Cadence went with me, so it was quite an adventure. I flew from Dallas to Phoenix where I spent 4 days with my best friend Steph for her bridal shower. We had so much fun! I miss being able to hang out with her whenever I want to. Then I flew from Phoenix to Denver where I stayed with my parents for 6 lovely days so that I could attend my 10 year HS reunion. The day after we returned back to Dallas was me and Jonathon's second wedding anniversary! So we went out for a family dinner with Cadence to celebrate, but Jonathon wasn't feeling very well so we cut the evening's celebration short. Jon took the next day off from work so that he could moan and cry in bed all day get better, and then we got to have a real celebration on Saturday night! We got a babysitter and went to dinner at Kona Grill, which has historical value for us since it's the restaurant that we first met at and started talking and flirting and then that week we began dating! So we ate at Kona for some fabulous sushi, then walked around the mall for a while to kill some time before our movie! We went to see the new Footloose.... let me just tell you, we LOVED it. It was one of the best movies I've seen in a LOOOONG time. It was so fun and inspiring and just plain awesome. Part of why I loved it so much was because they gave it a big country twist, so if you're not into country you may not like it as much as Jon and I did, but I think you'd still love it. Highly recommend. So those are the highlights of my recent "busy-ness." I had so much fun, but I'm glad to be back! 
  • While I was in Colorado, I had a chance to meet up with my dear friend Natalie. Our moms met and became friends before we were around, so we've been friends since my birth (she's older than me by 7 months I think). Now we have babies that are also 7 months apart, and this was the first time they got to meet one another! I didn't take pictures (yet again) but Nat did. You can see them here
  • Today I got a new pair of jeans! This is very exciting, because, as it turns out, tall curvy girls don't fit into jeans very well, so it takes me forever to find a pair that fits right, and when I find the perfect pair it inevitably costs $296. Ok not really, but lets just say that my best friend can buy cute jeans at Ross for $15 a pair, and I'm jealous. Ross doesn't carry jeans in long sizes or with curvy fits. For the longest time I've been buying my jeans at GAP because they make jeans that fit... but they cost $80-$90 a pair when you add in taxes. So I was talking to my mom about my predicament and she said "why don't you buy jeans at New York & Co?" this is a genius suggestion. I have always bought my dress pants there for work, why wouldn't I buy my jeans there? But I didn't think they actually carried jeans. So my moms group meets in a mall each Wednesday, so while I was there yesterday I stopped in out of curiosity, and sure enough! They carry jeans. I went home empty handed though, thinking I'd add them to my wish list for Christmas, but Jon convinced me to go back today and buy them. I don't know if he was so adamant about this because a. he's a super sweet husband or b. my only other pair of jeans that I own and that fits well right now has a giant hole on the butt... but either way, I got a new pair of jeans today! Yay! 
  • I'm notorious for adding a bazillion projects to my to do list and then getting stressed over the amount of things I didn't have to do but chose to do anyway. So right now I'm trying to make halloween costumes for me and Jon, make curtains for our bedroom, and cross stitch a big project for Steph's wedding. So far the halloween costumes are ... in progress, the curtains are currently a roll of fabric that's been sitting in the corner of our room for about 2 months now, and the cross stitch is about 1/3 of the way done. I'll post pictures when they're all done! 
  • So, about 3 months ago I dyed my own hair. I love the color, but now I, of course, have roots... which I feel need to be fixed before I'm attacked by the crazy amount of pictures I'll be posing in for Steph's wedding in 17 days. So I'm trying to decide whether I should buy another kit and do it myself, or go in to a salon. The problem here is that we had a little mishap with the original kit used before. It was only supposed to highlight my hair, but we accidentally did all of my hair. It turned out to be a happy mistake since I love it, but now I don't know how to match the color for the roots. If I buy the same kit, it's a highlighting kit that comes with a cap. The box says not to dye your hair without the cap. But I just want to put it on my roots... do you think it will really hurt my scalp or anything if I ignore the box and just do what I want? My other option is to go to a salon and shell out $60+ to make sure it's matched properly. I want it to match right, but don't want to pay that much money.... dilemma. 
  • Cadence's sleep schedule has not improved. I'm going crazy. I will seriously try ANYTHING at this point. I'm so exhausted. But thank God Jonathon let me take a nap when he got home from work today, when is why I now have the energy to blog! Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is???
  • Speaking of my wonderful husband, have I mentioned how hard he works for our family? And this week he interviewed and got a second job working at Starbucks to earn some supplementary income. I'm so proud of him! But also a little sad about losing my weekends with him. But we'll make it work! 
  • Our internet provider SUCKS. We currently use Clear. Don't use them. They require that you have your bills paid through auto pay, and today they pulled out more than we owed for the second time. If this is anything like the last time, it will be a huge fight to get it refunded, so that's what I have to look forward to tomorrow! Plus, our actual internet service blows. Half the time it doesn't work. Jon is convinced that it's an issue with my MacBook Pro, but I think he's just hatin' on my Mac on principal. =) Either way, Clear sucks. 
  • Cadence is now mobile enough that she's getting into EVERYTHING. So I think childproofing is another thing to add to the to do list, but I don't really know where to start. We've been able to put this off for quite a while since Cadence has developed mobility slower than the average baby, but now it's unavoidable. I have zero interest in trying to drill latches into all of our apartment rental drawers, cabinets, etc. so I was hoping to do the adhesive latches. Anyone know if they remove cleanly when we move out? And who has a recommendation for good baby proofing stuff that doesn't cost a fortune?
  • Last week I started a Pinterest account, and I'm LOVING it! Feel free to follow my pins if you'd like! One of my latest pins is a recipe for Pumpkin Short Bread, which I made earlier this week and not only is it a Lara-approved recipe (read: easy to make, hard to screw up), but it's also DELICIOUS! I recommend. 
  • My Bible study is currently reading a book called "Desire" by John Eldredge. It was formerly published as "Journey of Desire." I really love this book. It's probably the first Christ-centered book I've read in a long time that totally relates to me where I'm at. He makes a lot of bold statements, which I love. They are the exact type of statements that I have always felt in my heart, but are a bit too bold to just throw out there in the average conversation. I highly recommend reading this book. Next week instead of our regular study, we're going to a speaking event where we will get to hear John Eldredge speak. I'm really excited to hear what he'll have to say! 
I'll leave you all with one of my favorite (so far) parts of "Desire"... sorry it's kind of long, but I think it's good! 

"Sin is the bottom line, and we have the cure.  Typically it is a system of knowledge or performance, or a mixture of both. Those in the knowledge camp put the emphasis on getting our doctrine in line. Right belief is seen as the means to life. Desire is irrelevant, content is what matters. But notice this- the Pharisees knew more about the Bible than most of us ever will, and it hardened their hearts. Knowledge just isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you are familiar with the biblical narrative, you will remember that there were two special trees in Eden- the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. We got the wrong tree. We got knowledge, and it hasn't done us much good. (....) Christianity is often presented as essentially the transfer of a body of knowledge. We learn about where the Philistines were from, and how much a drachma would be worth today, and all sorts of things about the original Greek. The information presented could not seem more irrelevant to our deepest desires. Then there are the systems aimed at getting our behavior in line, one way or another. Regardless of where you go to church, there is nearly always an unspoken list of what you shouldn't do (tailored to your denomination and culture, but typically rather long) and a list of what you may do (usually much shorter- mostly religious activity that seems totally unrelated to our deepest desires and leaves us only exhausted). And this, we are told, is the good news. Know the right thing, do the right thing. This is life? When it doesn't strike us as something to get excited about, we feel we must not be spiritual enough. Perhaps once we have kept the list long enough, we will understand. We don't need more facts, and we certainly don't need more things to do. We need Life, and we've been looking for it ever since we lost Paradise. Jesus appeals to our desire because he came to speak to it. When we abandon desire, we no longer hear or understand what he is saying. But we have returned to the message of the synagogue; we are preaching the law. And desire is the enemy. After all, desire is the single major hindrance to the goal- getting us in line. We are told to kill desire and call it sanctification. Or as Jesus put it to the Pharisees, "You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help" (Luke 11:46 The Message). " 

Good night, all! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Baby Whisperer.... Or Something...

For all eternity many months now, Cadence has been on a SUPER late schedule. Which means our day looks something like this:

9:30 or 10am ish: Cadence wakes up and effectively wakes me up. She's quite a good alarm clock.
10:00am: Frantically run around getting myself and Cadence ready to bolt out the door to head to whatever mom's group event is going on that day that inevitably started at 10.
11:00am: Arrive at the activity of the day horribly late with a cranky and unfed baby, which of course means that I spend the next 20 minutes of the activity feeding the baby rather than participating in the activity...
1:00 or 2:00pm ish: Arrive back home exhausted from the morning's craziness and pray that Cadence will take a bottle and go down for even a short nap like a normal baby.
5:00pm: Finally give in to the fact that no nap will be happening.
7:00pm: Cadence surprises me with a mini-nap. A mini-nap is NOT the same thing as a nap. A mini-nap means that she is only SORT OF sleeping. Just enough to keep her laying still on the couch next to me, but not enough for me to move her to her crib, do dishes, clean up... really not even enough for me to stand up off of the couch. This leaves me with no choice but to sit in my paralyzed state on the couch and catch up on my DVR.
7:25ish: Mini-Nap time ends and we're back at it full force!
10:00 or 11:00pm: Cadence FINALLY crashes for the night.

Here are some really awesome things about this schedule:

  1. I get to sleep in every day. The way life should be! 
  2. She sleeps 11 to 12 hours STRAIGHT through the night, every night. Which is basically unheard of in the baby world. 
  3. I get to catch up on my DVR.
More recently though, the schedule has been inching later and later. The worst night was when Cadence didn't go to bed for the night until 1:30am! And then she wanted to sleep in the next day until past noon! Well, this schedule simply does not work! 

Here are the reasons why it actually is sort of a sucky schedule: 

Jonathon typically needs to go to bed at around 9pm ish in order to get enough sleep for his work day the following morning, which means that I stay up late with Cadence, he goes to bed alone, I finally get her to bed, join my snore machine loving husband in bed, and try to get some sleep. Jon's alarm goes off at like, 2am or something ungodly like that (probably more like 5am), and he proceeds to get up and get ready for work. He is not loud about this process, but I am an extremely light sleeper, so I am awake through the entire getting ready process. And I'm typically super excited to be awake really early after staying up late with Munchkin. After Jon leaves for work, I try to go back to sleep, and I usually am able to finally fall asleep right around 8:30 or 9, giving me about an hour or so more of sleep. 

Now, I know that there are many different beliefs out there about sleep and how it works... I however am a firm believer in the importance of REM cycles. I don't want to get all scientifical on you about this, because in order to do that I would need to have research and facts and other crap that are just not worth my time, but the basic idea I'm getting at here is that your body goes through REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles, which affect the deepness of your sleep. In the middle of a cycle, you typically are deep into your best resting time, but in between cycles your body is a little more awakeish. If you were to sleep uninterrupted for as long as you could, your body would naturally wake up at some point, and that natural waking point is always at the end of a REM cycle. So, if you wake up in the middle of a REM cycle, you wake up feeling really tired and unrested. And when someone tells you "sorry I woke you up, go back to sleep," what they don't get is that going back to sleep is great, but when you go back to sleep you are starting all over at the beginning of your REM cycle, so you really won't be any more rested unless you have the ability to go back to sleep for an entire new cycle. If you happen to be a person who is not a parent, let me please express to you that this idea is simply IMPOSSIBLE with a baby under the same roof. Anyway...

Reasons why a late sleep schedule sucks: 
  1. Jon and I both go to bed alone and never get any parent only and baby-free time.
  2. My schedule is so opposite from Jon's, which means my sleep is always interrupted, leaving me feeling worn down and tired all the time
  3. Our mornings are always stressful and crazy since most mommy and baby activities start at 10 or 10:30
  4. Since Cadence doesn't really take a decent nap, I feel incredibly unproductive at the end of the day, which prompts me to stay up even later after she finally goes down for the night in order to get dishes or laundry or whatever done, which of course intensifies the problem. 
Despite the fact that I LOVE sleeping in late, I have finally come to terms with the fact that this arrangement is simply not working for us. Therefore, for the past 2 weeksish I have been desperately trying to move Cadence's bedtime earlier. I thought this would be easy. I figured, one morning I'll just set my alarm for early, go wake her up, entertain her like crazy all day so she doesn't fall asleep, and come 8pm she'll be so ready to crash for the night, and VOILA! New schedule. 

Didn't work that way. Apparently I have an incredibly resistant kid. But for some completely unknown reason (my best guess is divine intervention), after staying up late Monday night in typical fashion, she inexplicably woke up at 7am on Tuesday morning. Sometimes she does this because her diaper is soaked and she wakes up uncomfortable. I can always tell right away whether she's waking up for reals or waking up our of discomfort. The discomfort wake up is always accompanied by uncontrollable screaming. The awake for the day wake up is always sweet and babbly and happy. On discomfort mornings, I can usually change her diaper, give her an ounce or 2 of milk, and she goes back to sleep. But Tuesday morning at 7am she woke up for the day! So.... I was exhausted and surprised and also anxious to see how the day would go as a result. 

Tuesday afternoon we met some friends at the Village Fountain. Cadence wore herself out splashing in the cool water. Then we went and enjoyed some lunch at the Purple Cow restaurant with one of our mommy friends and her sweet baby girl. I was estimating that Cadence would probably begin to come unglued from exhaustion in the restaurant, but she sat sweetly and ate her lunch while my mommy friend and I talked for nearly 2 hours! Then we came home and I thought for sure Cadence would crash for a nap, which I was dreading since a late nap can sometimes translate into a late bed time all over again, but no! She played and babbled and laughed and ate dinner and was wide awake and HAPPY until she finally crashed at 7:30! 

I put her in her crib and she spent the next THIRTEEN AND A HALF HOURS in dreamland! So this morning I was thinking, "wow, with 13 1/2 hours of sleep, she'll probably be good to go for an exceptionally long time today, so it was probably just a fluke thing." But tonight she went down at 8:30! I'm so excited I could cry. Now the only problem is that my body is SOOOOO not used to falling asleep early, so I keep staying up really late despite the fact that I finally CAN go to bed early, so I'm even more exhausted since Cadence is waking up earlier now, but I'm sure I'll adjust. And it would figure that the first two nights in FOREVER that she has gone down early are when Jon is out of town, so still no mommy and daddy time, but maybe, just maybe, this schedule is here to stay! 

Now what are the odds that I just wrote all of this exciting news out for my bloggies (like homies... no? ok.) only for it to not last? Don't jinx it, Lara! 

Anyway, if any of you super moms out there have suggestions for how to help a child maintain a certain schedule, I would certainly welcome suggestions! However, I don't believe in the "cry it out" method, which typically means I get to hang out with her until whenever she's finally ready for bed. Hmmmm.... What has worked for you guys?

And finally, here's are some cute and completely unrelated pictures of Cadence, since no good blog post is complete without a dash of adorable.
This is her latest sign of affection: she holds her body up on hands and knees and rests her head on my knee. It looks incredibly strange, but it's actually really sweet and cuddle-ish! I think she likes doing it because it's easier for her to kneel on her knees when she's got me for added support and also because she can rest her head on me rather than hold it up. Too funny! 

And this is my sweet fall fairy at the Dallas Arboretum during their fall pumpkin display: 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Friends to Spare

So, for the past 14 months ish, I've been living in a brand new state, working in a brand new job (SAHM) with a brand new baby. So this left me in an uncomfortable position. I'm a very social person, and I'm the type of girl who needs to have 1 or 2 friends who really get me, who I can totally be myself around without needing to offer any explanations at all. I have been incredibly blessed in my life to have found friends like this at different times, but most important of all of them is definitely my best friend Steph.

Here's why I love Steph. She's the kind of girl who I can be honest about my faith with, we can ask each other to pray for things, and we both love God. But she is also the kind of girl that I can say things like "badass" to and we can both have about 4 too many drinks together and do really stupid things together... and it's still all good. We belt out lame songs from the 90's and laugh till we hurt. We're basically awesome. As much as I have come to love my life in McKinney, I miss Steph every single day.

We have helped each other through difficult break ups, celebrated engagements, Steph was Maid of Honor in my wedding, and in less that 2 months, I'll be a bridesmaid, and Cadence will be her flowergirl in her wedding! 

So when I moved here, I was lonely and scared. I didn't know anyone at all. So I made an effort right away to try to make friends with everyone I met. I now realize that this may have been a mistake. The people I tried so hard to be great friends with ARE wonderful people, but many of them are probably not the BFFs I was looking for. My mistake was that I was so desperate to find people to be friends with that I didn't take the time to find out enough about people to test the waters first. I jumped in with both feet. This left me in an awkward position of realizing later that I didn't really want to maintain some relationships, but that the other people wanted to maintain their relationship with me. Probably because I threw myself at them so whole-heartedly... some might call this "leading them on." My B.

Anyway, recently several events have unfolded with a couple different "friends" and I finally decided to be straight up honest with them about my feelings, with the knowledge that this could effectively end the relationship. Jonathon told me that he thought this was a major accomplishment, because it meant that I had finally reached a place socially where I had good friends who I cared about and therefore could be honest with the others since I had friends to spare. Hahaha.

So, next week is going to rock my face off because I'm going back to Colorado to visit my family, which rocks, but also while I'm there Steph will be visiting with her band and staying with my parents, which means I get a whole week of my Stephie. I'm so excited! And I'm also glad that I've reached a point where I don't need to make an effort to be friends with people I'm not interested in being friends with anymore. Because, if we're being honest... I just don't care. I don't want to have to be someone I'm not to make someone else feel comfortable around me. From this moment on, I'm only going to be myself. And ya'll can take it or leave it. I won't be hurt.  =)

And now, here's one of the first pictures of me and Stephanie together ever. The kind you wish you could forget ever happened, but instead you post it everywhere to remember just how awesome you were back then...