We had a wonderful Christmas (more on that later) and so enjoyed having Charlie. Too bad the little guy is sick AGAIN and we think he has RSV. :( He's right now crying and coughing his little head off. So the lengthy Christmas post will have to wait until he's feeling better.
"Come Thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art, dear Desire of evry nation, joy of evry longing heart."
Then on Saturday Charlie and I drove to Savannah for my sister Caroline's ballet recital. She was Clara in the Nutcracker so we couldn't miss the show! Wasn't she a pretty Clara?
And not to copy my friend Jill who is incorporating a different ornament into every post, here are our 2 featured ornaments this year, purchased at the craft fair in Savannah last month...
Isn't his bib cute? :)
And finally, a few shots of our half-decorated home. The rest of the decorating will be done this week-end, including the purchase and set up of the tree (at which time the presents will be removed from the hearth and put in their proper place).
mercifully grant us one thing more: a thankful heart."
- George Herbert
1. Ryan – need I say more? I couldn’t ask for a better friend or husband.
3. Our families – we both have parents who are still married to each other, who love and support us. And my plethora of siblings is such a blessing – built in friends!
4. Friends – I honestly have some of the best friends anyone could ask for, sniff, sniff. So thanks to you all…and I miss those of you who I don’t get to see often (which is actually like, 99.9% of my dearest friends, unfortunately!)
5. My job – what a blessing to be able to work from home, contribute financially to this family and use the skills God has given me while still having the opportunity to be Charlie’s primary caregiver. An amazing blessing. Yet another source of suffering in many ways…how can I do it all and do it all well? This will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable tasks of 2006! :)
6. Health – We are healthy and have no physical limitations. My sister beat the odds this year and did not have cancer (even though preliminary tests indicated otherwise), our immediate families are all healthy...how often do we all take that for granted? Hhhhmmm…
And of course, I'm ultimately and most thankful for a Savior who saved me once and continues to save me daily. And man, do I need saving!
So Happy (late) Thanksgiving everyone and may the Lord grant us all thankful hearts!
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups hot cooked white rice (I used whole grain brown rice)
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.
Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup rice)
I can't take credit...this is from Cooking Light.
Stay tuned for a cheesy, mushy thanksgiving post.
On this week's dinner menu:
- Monday - Szechuan pork and green beans (DELICIOUS!)
- Tuesday - Pumpkin Black Bean soup (Ryan is a little "iffy" on this one so last night's leftovers are the back-up plan)
- Wednesday - Lime chicken and roasted potatoes
- Thursday - leftovers
Snacks for this week include blue corn chips with queso fresco and spinach dip with reduced-fat wheat thins.
I also decided to host a Southern Living at Home party in a couple of weeks and have begun menu planning for it as well. I need to create a new menu template for parties. Perhaps I'll do that during my 4pm conference call, which will undoubtedly bring this post to a close. I know for sure that I'll be serving Paula Dean's gingerbread trifle. I'm salivating already.
One more tidbit before I go...today I got my hair COLORED FOR THE FIRST TIME. And not because I wanted to but because my gray hair has finally gotten out of control. And I've developed a bald spot from plucking out too much hair. :( So I found myself at a very redneck but cheap establishment and proceeded to explain to the very dyed beautician that I wanted "subtle coverage." Amazingly she understood and my coverage is indeed very subtle...so subtle in fact that my grays are STILL visible. *sigh* I guess it's back to the drawing board...I will be calling her tomorrow for a "touch-up."
In other news, JANELLE'S WEDDING IS THIS WEEK-END! HOORAY!
We are about to leave for a quick trip to Savannah. This week-end Christmas Made in the South, a big regional craft fair, is in Savannah and I always try to go with my mom and sisters. I'm so excited...but too bad it is going to be 80 degrees...so much for beginning to feel like Christmas!
And isn't Janelle just so cute in her paper veil? For you Covenant folks out there, the big day is November 18!
All in all, it was a great night - the food was fabulous (probably the best mexicon food I've ever had), the club was fun (crazy '80's dance party) and the girls were really fun (some I knew, some I didn't). I enjoyed my time away from the demands of motherhood but I also found myself thankful for where I am today...being a wife and mom - cooking, cleaning, general caretaking - and realized that I wouldn't trade it for the wild and crazy fun of single life for a single minute!
Last night I spent an hour or so after Charlie went to bed searching boxes in the garage for my china. I am so sad to say that my beautiful Lenox Pearl Platinum china has been sitting in boxes in the garage since we moved, along with all my various other treasured kitchen "essentials." I did this because tomorrow I'm hosting a baby shower at my house for a friend in my small group. I am so excited to put my china to good use. And now Ryan can't say that I never use it. I bought a set of those china storage bags/boxes at Bed, Bath and Beyond today, and plan to use them to store the china in the linen closet, so hopefully I'll use my china more now that it's packed in boxes. I'll have to take a picture of my set-up before the shower tomorrow. I'm sure you are all dying to see.
Now I must get to work. Get to work on my "real" job, which is not party planning, unfortunately. I worked until 1am last night, am working now and will likely not be finished until 1am tonight. But that's another post...
I’m writing to ask that you all pray for Charlie. Our therapist and pediatrician have become more concerned in the past week or so about Charlie’s lack of physical progress (meeting milestones) and the slow progress of his therapy for torticollus. We spoke to his doctor this morning and he will getting a CT scan next week to check for possible issues with his head (big words I can’t say – check with Ryan if you are curious J) and he may have to be sedated for this test. Please pray that sedation won’t be necessary. Then the next day, we have to go to the pediatric neurologist to discuss the CT and his other developmental issues. Based on this meeting, we may likely be referred to pediatric surgery.
Our pediatrician is also working to get PT and OT scheduled for us in our home. Apparently kids sometimes respond better to therapy in their natural environment so please pray that this works out as well.
Also, please pray for Ryan and me as our hearts are breaking over this situation. Pray for Charlie’s healing, of course, but also pray that we will be able to trust God and praise him no matter what the outcome of all these tests.
Thank you all for being such good friends and for the prayers that I know you will offer up on our behalf.
So I started the Couch to 5K Running Plan. My new treadmill makes this running plan very easy since it has one-touch speed control (I press the "6" and I'm suddenly running. I press the "8" and I am full-on sprinting, I press "4" and I can breathe again, you get the point). Now I am not my friend Maryanne who still runs daily in her 8th month of pregnancy. Nor am I my friend Amy Claire who decided to train for a triathalon while nursing a 9 month old AND growing Baby Number Two but so far, so good. I'm on Week 3 and am running more than walking for the 25 minute workout so that's good. And I'm not pushing myself to maximum levels of exertion during the workout, which is also encouraging. So after realizing that I could indeed run again, I began searching for 5K races. Given the fact that I've waited until October, I did not find very many options...so I-dum da dum dum dum-signed up for the Savannah River Bridge Run (picture above) on December 2. Now the curvature of this bridge may not be visible to the naked eye but this 5K run includes 1.4 miles of 5.5% grade. Yikes. So the plan is to finish the a Couch to 5K Running Plan, which is 6 weeks long, and then start to work on hills. This is going to be interesting...wish me luck! And if anyone out there wants to run with me, I'm looking for a partner! :)
Some miscellaneous things going on in the Moody household...
1 - Because of Charlie's Torticollis, it is really important for him to spend a significant amount of playtime on his tummy. But now that he can roll over, it is really difficult to keep him off his back. In fact, I think he learned to roll over because he hates being on his stomach. :) This picture shows me bribing him with a Praise Baby DVD and trapping him in the Boppy -
3 - This past week-end we had our friends Ryan and Megain over for dinner and took some pictures of our kiddies in their matching seersucker outfits (both were gifts from Ryan's mom).
Charlie cooperated with the photo shoot for a little while and then he was outta there!
4 - Tonight I get to go out for a rare few hours by myself. A friend is having a Southern Living at Home party and I am pumped about the free snacks. :)
5 - This week-end my sister, her husband and my nephew are coming into town. We're cooking steaks on the grill Friday night and going shopping on Saturday. I'm so exicted!
OK, I'm off to cook dinner...quiche is on the menu...
1 - I have been sick! I have been all but down for the count since September 10th. I woke up that Saturday morning very ill. And then the antibiotics I took for that illness caused my to have stomach issues until last Monday. So I have spent this week catching up on all that I did not get done last week.
2 - Ryan. He has been working like crazy so I've been running this household alone for the past 2 and a half weeks. Thank goodness he's almost finished with this busy rotation in the Intensive Care Unit! Next week is his last week until November.
3 - Work. I nearly had a nervous break-down this week because once again I was called upon to travel. Now a night alone in a hotel sounds absolutely fabulous (and a night alone in the Omni Hotel in Cville sounds even better) and the free Charlottesville dining experiences are very appealing however Charlie is a very high-maintenance child right now and leaving would be difficult (see Point 4 below). So, after consulting with Charlie's doctor today, I had to tell my boss (once again) that I could not travel. We'll see how long I can stall.
4 - Charlie's health. We are still working on his Torticollis by stretching at home and going to physical therapy twice a week. He is improving, slowly but surely, but the physical delays that sometimes accompany torticollis are starting to be more obvious as he gets older. He was 6 months old yesterday and he cannot sit up yet - he has no trunk control whatsoever. Wearing a collar :( and surgery are both still on the table if he doesn't drastically improve in the next 6 weeks. But he did learn to roll over last week and for that we are thankful. He is also a very high-maintenance eater - still refusing to take a bottle and not too interested in eating baby food. So that makes leaving him VERY difficult. After talking with his doctor today at his 6-month appt, we decided to move him straight to the cup - she doubts he will ever want a bottle now that he has made it this long without it. So please pray for his neck, his physical development in general, his flexibility with eating and for my attitude about his special needs. I am so trying to be thankful that this is all we are dealing with and that we have an overall healthy child but sometimes I just feel so sad for him...and sad for myself that I feel like I can't give him all the attention he needs due to work demands.
On a lighter note, I did purchase a very cool kitchen gadget last week: a Magic Bullet blender. This is the greatest contraption! I bought it with the intention of using it make Charlie's baby food (jarred baby food is repulsive to me and quite expensive) but this thing can do so much more! This morning I enjoyed a blueberry smoothie that literally took about 2 minutes to prepare. It was fabulous. This week-end I'm going to make some broccoli soup and hummus...All in the magic bullet! I'm telling you - CHECK IT OUT! :)
Quote of the day:
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle for you shall be a miracle." Phillips Brooks, abolitionist minister
"If you expect perfection or nothing from human relationships, you will get nothing every time."
Being a perfectionist and somewhat of a control freak, I have always struggled with having too high a standard for others and expecting way too much from everything - friends, family, myself and life in general. So I found this statement very helpful in that it enabled me to put all my relationship struggles in perspective...family interactions, friendships, my marriage.
But for some reason, I have not applied this realization to my relationship with my child. Instead, I have spent the last 5 months expecting a tiny little baby to sleep on command, be hungry when I expected him to be hungry, play when I felt like playing and be content to entertain himself when I had other things to do. Now this may sound absurd but it's true - I really did expect these things to happen. I wanted to be in total control of this new parenting thing.
So yesterday, I had a "bad" day - Charlie wanted to eat more often than usual and that got in the way of my job, my cleaning schedule, my workout plans and the music class that we are doing together. I was highly inconvenienced by his larger than usual appetite and complained to Ryan about how "hard" my day had been. [Side note: last night was one of those RARE occasions in which I get to go somewhere ALONE. I went to a very WASPy dessert meeting for the MCG Women's Auxiliary (basically the wives club at MCG) and kids were not invited. So I slipped out for a brief 1.5 hours of glorious alone time, leaving Ryan in charge of Camp Moody.] So back to my day: as I was driving to this dessert party, IT hit me: what do I expect from Charlie? Whatever it is, it's WAY too much. And that is not fair to him, Ryan or myself. The kid sleeps 11 hours straight at night and takes like 3 or 4 naps during the day. What do I have to complain about? So he is hungry from sleeping so long! Big deal, Emily - let 'em eat as much as he wants to because those 11 straight hours of blessed sleep and peace are SO worth it. And then I started realizing that that this truth applied across the board to parenthood - Charlie and our other future children will not come into the world knowing what to do and they are little sinners. It will be up to us to patiently love and parent them with appropriate expectations. And I know that I didn't come up with this on my own - God is totally using Charlie to change me and for that I am thankful.
So yes, I grew up a little bit more last night during that brief 10-minute drive. I felt TOTALLY different when I came home to my crying child. I felt more patient, much happier and much, much more at peace. I'm sure I'll forget this again (likely later on today) but for now, things are much quieter inside my heart and my head and I feel ready for today...and tomorrow...and the next day.
And I also realized that I DESPERATELY need some time to myself, time to distance myself from all the demands of my job, family, dogs, etc and just be still. I turned off the radio, just thinking and praying during that 10-minute drive and it refreshed my soul more than any other period of time since Charlie was born. My friend Marlo posted this verse on her blog earlier this week and it spoke to me then and again this morning:
Is. 30: 15 - For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Yikes! I have many, MANY comments about the above and this entire article but for now I'll just say 3 things:
1 - I am a "career girl" based on the standard above and I have a wonderful marriage.
2 - My husband finds my job and my success outside the home fascinating, stimulating and he is proud of me. He is equally proud of my accomplishments at home and is eternally grateful for my caretaking of our home and our son.
3 - I have respect for the women who are not fortunate enough to have blue collar jobs yet still take pride in their work, their careers, if you will. And I find it offensive that this author so demeaned these women.
OK, I lied. I have 4 things to say... :)
4 - This author does not take one important factor into consideration: Christ. As Christian women, we have an anchor stronger than workplace temptations, ego factors or "falling out of love." We are committed to our marriages and our homes because our God has called us to our men, our children and our homes. And no matter what we do in our free time, we know with whom our allegiance ultimately lies and by whom our priorities and subsequent actions are dictated. I tried to copy some relevant versions from Proverbs 31 the Godly woman working diligently inside and outside the home…and being praised by her husband for both but blogger didn’t like it. But do read Proverbs 31 again, even if you’ve read it may times before. http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=proverbs+31
Praise the Lord that our successes in our marriages and our work in our homes (or outside our homes for that matter) is not dependent upon us NOT having the opportunity to meet other men, earn a salary or take pride in a skill learned or job well-done!
[Now for the stay-at-home moms reading this post - I am not in any way saying that career is more important than our tasks at home. I 100% believe that a woman's primary responsibility is to her family so let's not even "go there." :)]
I was first introduced to the flylady by a friend in Charlottesville. This friend was a Domestic Goddess, if you will, and I really thought that, due to the personality of this friend, the flylady would never work for me. I never even gave her a chance because I thought, "I'll never be this anal; I'll never have a need for such a structured life." WRONG. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk, thinking about to get everything done, so overwhelmed that I couldn't even "do the next thing" as my hero Elizabeth Elliot recommends. Suddenly I remembered hearing about this website that helps women get organized and decided that I definitely had to try it out. But I couldn't remember the name of the site. All day long I tried my hardest to pull the name from the recesses of my brain but no dice - I could not for the life of me remember it! But then last night, as I surfing the net, I made my way to my friend the Marlo's blog and in one of the comments, someone mentioned the flylady! I could not believe it! I took that as a sign that I should immediately begin investigating the FLyLady's goods. So first thing this morning, I joined the group.
One of the more interesting tidbits I read on the website really confirmed my decision to try the FlyLady:
"Since starting this group, I have continually harped on putting your shoes on your feet each morning. I want you to do this and you are not the exception to the rule...I see this problem more in the SAHM (Stay At Home Moms) because often they don't have to leave the house and it is not necessary to get dressed every morning. Only their children are going to see them. I want you to listen very close. You have the most important job of all, raising productive adults. NOW, do you want your children to remember that Mom didn't get dressed until it was time for Dad to get home? Or do you want your children to have to answer the door because you are still in your gown tail and bathrobe? If you would look at your day just like the Payroll SHE and realize that the jobs around the house will take as long as you let it (all day in most cases because you allow it) and get off your "Franny" and get dressed all the way to shoes. Because it is time to go to work."
So it's confirmed: I need to get dressed in the morning and organize my life around the flylady.
I spent several days last week-when I should have been working, cleaning or doing laundry-researching online and I finally settled on the ProForm line of treadmills. I chose this line mainly because of the free shipping and the "hot summer sales event" which gave me several options under $1,000. After changing my mind several times, I decided on the ProForm Crosswalk Caliber Elite which "is more than just a treadmill" as it also has the Crosswalk Upperbody Arms feature, supposedly providing an optional upper-body workout. A built-in fan, well-lit console (??), iFIT® 8-Week Weight Loss Program (??) and a 300-lb weight limit make this THE perfect treadmill for me. :O) It will arrive within 2 weeks (no wonder shipping is free).
Now all I have to do is decide where to put it. The garage is not really an option, since I won't be able to run until the afternoon after I've finished my work day. I think I might die if I ran in my garage in Augusta, GA in the afternoon heat. And I'm not exaggerating. The master bedroom is an option, albeit not a good one since it really has the best furniture we own (besides the coffee table from Walmart, of course) and a treadmill would most certainly spoil my decor. Any suggestions?
The doctor tells you to feed him prunes, because um, he hasn't "gone" in over a week. Now this is a kid who has never even had rice cereal. Prunes have been a disaster...and a really, REALLY big mess. The pictures prove it.
This one shows my cool lime-colored kitchen and Charlie's new toile highchair. :)
Here is my big 5 month old boy, smiling away on his blue shag rug.
And here's a final snapshot from today: Charlie with VERY red eyes hanging out in my office with me, likely wondering, "when is she going to get off that phone and put me to bed?"
Poor buddy, his head is getting better with therapy but we aren't quite there yet...