Friday, August 27, 2010

Here's To... Our Daycare Friend

Here's to... our daycare friend. 

I never knew if I would work or not when we had kids.  Honestly, all my life I have gone back and forth on this.  There were times in my life when I thought I would never work when I had a family and that I would do whatever it takes to stay at home 100%.  Then, there were times when I was pretty sure that to be the best mom I could be, that I would work 100% of the time. 

Then, I had a baby.  And who cares what I used to think!  Everything changed.  I worked at the hospital 4 days a week when I had Dekker.  I thought I owed it to my colleagues to at least try and go back.  So I did.  And after 3 months I was pretty sure that I didn't want to haul my newborn around four days out of the week, especially if we didn't need me to work that much.

About 6 weeks back to work I started taking Dekker to our friend's house on Tuesday's and Thursday's.  I was "setting the stage" that if I did quit-- and let's be honest, I was pretty sure I was going to-- that I would already have stable daycare for a more part-time gig.  And if I didn't, I was thrilled to have him in her home and not at the hospital daycare (though I missed my "lunch partner" on those days).

Here's to Leigh.  We didn't know what to call you when we met you.  Our "Daycare Lady?"  Too formal.  Our "Babysitter?"  Too informal.  Over the last year we have gladly settled on "Our Daycare Friend." 

Here's to one of the only other women in Dekker's life that he will reach his hands up toward in a crowd.  Here's to Leigh-- you filled a spot in my life that I didn't even know was vacant-- you have been an incredible "Mom Friend" to me.  You have been someone to talk to about sleep and naps and poop and starting solids and weaning.  You give my son baths (after you clean up things that shouldn't happen!).  You rock him to sleep.  You have watched him learn to roll over, crawl, walk, and run.  You have comforted him when he was sick.  You now know more about milk allergies than you ever wanted!  You somehow found a pitch black area to nap him in!  You have spent hours listening to me talk and comforting me while I cried-- this motherhood thing can be hard!  Life can be hard!  How many times did I drop Dekker off, then sit on your couch and borrow your ear while our kiddos played on the floor?  You are a tremendous mom.  But you are also a fantastic friend.

It feels like yesterday that our kids were this little!

Now, they are this big... and they are (kissing) friends!

Here's to your sweet girl.  I laugh out loud remembering when she learned "eye" and nearly poked Dekker's eye out for a straight month.  Sweet thing.  She is so petite, so totally adorable.  I love holding her because she feels like a pillow compared to the brute.  I love that she says "Dekket?"  I love, love, love dropping Dekker off in the nursery and watching them recognize each other.  Here's to more play-times, fun weekends at the lake, loving on your new niece together.  Here's to crashing random apartment pools next summer, too.

Here's to the new chapter in both our lives.  You are going back to work as a nurse.  You will get to take care of the families of so many people.  Just like our family, theirs will be blessed by you.  You are tender, caring, patient.  You have never been my nurse but I just know that you are great.  We cried when you told me.  Here's to crying with your Daycare Friend!  You are more than "daycare" to our family.  My heart breaks thinking about sweet Dekker not starting his Tuesday's and Thursday's opening the cabinet under your TV and pulling out his favorite toys.  There is something incredibly indescribable about watching another woman care for your child.  You have done us well.  And I am a hard critic!

Here's to our new daycare friend, Laura.  Laura, you have big shoes to fill.  But you are experienced.  You are fun.  You know Christ in your heart.  When I prayed to God that somehow through our "childcare crisis" we would find a fit where we would be blessed, and be a blessing-- we found you and praised God for an answered prayer!  We're looking forward to our playdate in a few weeks.  Thanks for serving God, and opening up your family to ours.

I'm trying to keep it together.  I'm trying not to awkwardly "count down" the days.  I'm trying not to make a big deal out of "lasts".  (Though today I talked to Leigh on the phone and she was charging up her video camera and camera in preparation for her final month with Dekker!)  I am crying right now-- I cry every time I think about this.  I'm not scaring Dekker forever, right?  He'll transition alright, right?  From one excellent home to another, for a grand total of 16 hours or less a week.  

When I have daycare issues or a sick kid I always question if I should work.  But I love my little job, my small caseload and the one credit hour I am teaching at Grace University (I spend more time driving there than I do teaching there :).  Counseling is a joy, and a challenge.  It is a ministry to hurting people!  I have wrestled with this issue of working and boundaries and balancing work and family so much-- especially recently--, and at least for now, following His lead means driving my little car to my office two days a week.

Here's to the journey of motherhood.  Here's to the women in my life who step in to care for the most precious treasure I have and in the process bless the socks off my family.

On the journey,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here's To... ... Community

In an effort to be a little more organized and consistent here in blogger-world, I am starting today a several part (code: no clue) blogging topic titled "Here's To."  Each post will "salute" something new, and today's post gives a big shout out to... community.

I love Rick Warren's book... Better Together.  I must give him credit for my understanding of the word community, and for urging me to "dig in" to community.  And I thank God (and Rick) that I did.  We are much better people... together.

"We long to belong.  The church is not something we go to, rather it's something we belong to-- a family of God's people.  It's more than an organization, more than an institution, even more than a group of like-minded people.  This sense of family togetherness allows us to create authentic Christian community... ..."

Our church did a 40 day study of Warren's "Better Together" in 2005.  Because I was on staff I was asked to lead a small group.  I did so reluctantly.  I was a full-time graduate student, working part-time and planning a wedding.  But Dave and I did it.  Six years later, small group is still a huge part of our lives, and we cherish the... family... we have found there.  And, while our church and small group is a major source of community, our community goes deeper than that.  Our other brothers and sisters, some who come to church and some who don't, come along side us in life and serve an incredible, unique purpose.

Here's to some of our best friends, Steve and Suz.  Six years ago I called Suzanne.  We both remember that call.  I was merging onto I-680 off Fort and she was on break at a diabetes conference.  She agreed to "try" our small group.  She showed up and I, oddly, had mono.  It was her first taste of being my personal PA.  She met her husband Steve in our small group.  We were in the wedding party.  And we've never looked back.  Eventually, we all loved "community" so much that we couldn't keep it to ourselves, so they "birthed" their own small group, and now dozens of new friends have entered our world through their group and ours.

Here's to incredible accountability in our marriage.  Here's to "Friday Night Friends."  Here's to friends that we can cry with, and for, and who cry for us.  Here's to two people who we have gone to hell and back with.  They would do it for us.  And someday-- do you know what-- they will.  That's how life works, dog-gone-it.  Here's to the several other friends who fill the holes in our lives, who could fill the pages of this post if I only had the time (and pictures!).

Here's to all the people in our life taking on the joy of raising babies... together.  Here's to people that we can talk to about diapers and discipline, anxiety and guilt, and a love that we never knew was possible.  Here's to people who understand "keeping my identity" and "being great parents" and knowing that they conflict sometimes, but not always.  Here's to the dream that our kids will grow up with friends who we love and know. 
Maybe these two will be prom dates!

Here's to another best-friend, Auntie Beth.  I have always referred to her as my sister, so she automatically became an Auntie.  We met at church camp in the late 90's.  Did you know she beat my parents to the hospital the morning after Dekker was born?  Yep, she did-- latte in hand.  She is an incredible friend, and accountability partner, and sister in Christ.  Here's to fabulous people, like Beth, who love Dave and me, and who love our baby.

David and I love our actual, blood-born families.  So, so much.  (Stay tuned for a Here's To to them.)  But we aren't co-dependent on them.  Meaning we know that they can't meet all our needs.  That's a lot to put on any one group of people.  And that's why we live in community.  That's why we open the book of our lives to the people God has put in our path-- no matter their last name.

Many of you read this blog.  Most of you I did not mention by name.  But we love you.    We love, love, love you.  We love "doing life" with you.  We love the everyday.  We love small group dinners, holding your kids, hearing about your families.  And we love bringing you meals, celebrating your new job, seeing your new house.  We're honored when you tell us your struggles.  We're honored that you want us to be a part of your everyday, too.

"We love because God first loved us."  1 John 4:19.

Bless you!
On the journey.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Skip In My Step

Just a quick post as I figure "blogger" out.  I am just so overjoyed today to say that I am feeling so much better.  I really feel like I am coming out of a FOG of mono and this last summer.  What a drag, man.  I honestly want to be mad at someone that this awesome summer, and such a fun age of Dekker, was somewhat tainted with mono, a sinus infection, 3 ear infections, pink eye, and a throat/tongue infection.  And that was just me.  Dekker was sick with me almost step for step-- now leading his doctors to think that he possibly had mono, too.  But hope is on the horizon.  I don't feel COMPELLED to sleep all afternoon.  I love a good nap, trust me, but I was literally falling over on the couch during Dekker's nap and sleeping for HOURS.  Now, I don't really even sleep during the day-- I more "rest."  Sometimes I do have bad days, and I think it takes me longer to recover from big weekends (like Women of Faith).  But that's manageable.  Yes, this could have been a better summer-- but we still had lots of great memories and this, too, is a part of our story and will be a "remember when" soon enough.

I worked out Monday night.  It was great.  And I just got home from a behind kicking again.  Thank you sweet hubby for putting Dekker down so I could scoot off to the gym 30 min before nap time.  (One more reason I love a "work from home" Dad.)  I cussed the teacher out in my mind about 20 min in.  That's how I know it's a serious work out.  (Smile-- I really don't cuss.  But I get pretty dang mad!)

Off to clean up this house, do some work (oh maybe, drag), and get myself together so Dekker and I can run some errands this afternoon before a fun weekend, which I'm sure I will tell you all about soon.

On the journey,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Women of Faith Re-Cap

My friend Jenny and I decided to try something new today-- a simultaneous blog post. So we wrote at the same time about our weekend at the Omaha Women of Faith conference, and this post will read much like a conversation where Jenny is writing in black and I am writing in red. (We did this in a program called Google Docs if you're wondering.)

Okay. Are you ready? I think we should start by talking about Friday Day with Marcus and Sheila.
Great idea! I have the memory of a fruit fly at the moment so you’ll have to help me remember...
Marcus talked about our strengths. Something we look forward to, enjoy doing, and feel good about after...
Yes! the main thing I got out of his talk was that in his research of happy women, he discovered that they really focus on what they like to do, not trying to “fix themselves” all the time, but finding a passion and going for it, full speed ahead.Yes. I remember first thinking that my strength is napping and on line shopping. I look forward to it, enjoy it and feel good after. Hahaha. I also had a brief glance that my strengths are also public speaking and writing -- of course that’s my assessment, not the people who hear and read me! Well I would agree that you are an incredible public speaker!!! I all but plagiarized your gmas funeral speech :) Hahaha Okay, only a little bit, haha. I did get lots of compliments, so THANK YOU! :) You do have a talent! DId you have any thoughts as to your strengths during that talk? I don’t know....I really feel a passion for helping others through bringing meals, encouraging notes, things like that. Not sure how I can use that as a strength, but I feel that is an area where I can serve and that I enjoy look forward to and feel good after. Yes you do have that as a strength. That’s very true. You provided me with all those things after Dekker was born... you were (are) HUGE in my life! Also, do you remember him sharing about how he and his family took their friends in to live with them? What an incredible ministry. Yes! That was huge! It reminded me of our discussion at Small Group last night talking about really living out our convictions, not just saying we believe something, but literally doing something to change the world with our view. Yes.

Okay, Sheila Walsh also talked Friday about truly trusting God. Her last session in particular was really touching! Do you remember her talking about how we can trust God even when awful things have happened. How he was angry when Lazarus died, how he, too, wept.
Yes, I did get a lot out of that. I’ve heard that scripture before and never realized what a huge meaning behind “Jesus Wept” there was. It makes me feel that I can be closer to God when I’m so angry or upset because he’s crying with me too. Yes, sometimes I get picture in my mind of an angry God who wanted to bring us pain or something totally ridiculous. He is compassionate. He hates it when we’re upset. He knows what it’s like! It makes me think back over the past several years and beyond about some of the painful things I’ve gone through, things I never really realized that God was right there beside me, weeping with me, wanting me to lean on him. Totally touching! So comforting!!! I believe this was also when the term “ugly cry” was coined in the weekend. Haha, there were a lot of almost “ugly cry” moments over the weekend. Maybe Jesus “ugly cries” too, we’ll have to ask him when we get to Heaven! :)

We checked into our hotel during the “Break”. Quite a break, by the way. Good Grief. 3:30-7:00. No kidding. Good thing we had something to do and somewhere to go. Those poor people who had to go sit and wait for the session to start. Makes my anxiety high just thinking about them, lol. Good last session, though. Kind of random little thoughts from several speakers and a great concert by Mary Mary!!! Yes, I was SO CONFUSED when all the speakers kept getting up and giving their “commercial” for the next day. Not to mention the “commercials” for the sponsors who helped “keep out ticket prices down”, thank you Advocare and Grand Canyon University. Don’t even get me started! I felt like I paid for a movie and had to watch commercials. Yes, no kidding. I know I need to lose a few pounds and go back for my Masters in something, but don’t need to be reminded of it at a Women of Faith event. Whew! At least we had some good comic relief for the rest of the weekend. Seriously, do you remember when we were “resting” in the hotel coming up with “You might need Advocare if... “ statements? You might need Advocare if you had to hop into your jeans this morning. You might need Advocare if you had to lay down to zip your pants this morning. You might need Advocare if you tried on three pairs of pants today to find ones you could comfortably sit in all day! You might need Advocare if you had to change pants before you went out to eat so you didn’t have to “unbutton” during the last session. Ha, yes! I was falling over in laughter. .All weekend long I felt like it was on the forefront of my mind. (What a distraction) Kind of tainted the weekend in a small way, but l did get a ton out of all the other speakers.

I liked the speaker. Didn’t the single lady speak? Do you mean Lisa Harper? Yes. She spoke briefly, just a 4 minute commercial. She was amazing, though. I wish we could have heard more from her. I thought that she and Sheila Walsh really “brought the Word.” I thought the other speakers were really inspiring, but I was looking for more Biblical teaching. I agree, they really used scripture a lot which is what I need the most of. Plus they were hilarious. This is kind of ungodly to say, but I just couldn’t get over Karen James botox or face-lift or whatever the heck was going on with her.........she had a really touching story but I didn’t feel like it really “inspired me”, it was more of a dramatic, news-worthy presentation of her husband’s death. I honestly didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Well, I cried. Me too...but I laughed also, probably at inappropriate times. But I was really distracted by her facial expressions. She lived through one of my biggest fears and is quite strong after the matter, and I learned something from that. Yes, after the event I looked up some of her interviews on YouTube with Katie Couric and the smile never left her face, even in the midst of her pain. A tiny part of that could have been from surgery (or shock), but I think she really did try to look up and see the positive from her experience. Incredible, really. My friend told me that 20% of people who attempt that mountain die. Wow. Part of the reason I’m glad Kirk doesn’t climb mountains!

We should also tell our combined 10 readers that we went to Maggie Moo’s for ice cream Friday night. Bliss.
But the sign on the door!!! I think the disgruntled airline steward who flipped out a few weeks ago must have inspired others to do the same! “Closing at 10:45 due to employees walking out”. Hmmmm... Haha yes, you were so funny in there talking about the airline and how this is starting a “trend.” Good ice-cream though. Great night back at the hotel and how fun are Jackie and Cheryl? Seriously, so much fun and such sweet ladies. Yes! Two great ladies to share a room with! I didn’t know Cheryl as well before this weekend and she is one of the nicest women I’ve met in a long time! She inspires me to hold my tongue because she just doesn’t have a sarcastic thing to say to anyone! And Jackie is hilarious! Gotta love her!
And they went running Saturday morning. Bless their hearts. I reasoned that if we would have gone we never would have all gotten through the shower. So it was a favor, really, to them. HA! Yes, that was my reason, too. To not go running. And to enjoy the heck out of that cinnamon roll and bowl full of sugared cereal. Amen to continental breakfast! Amen to free nights at the Holiday Inn. Dear biscuits and gravy, YOU ROCK. Dear Cinnamon Roll-- there is no way I can stop at one, even if I complain about my weight all the time. Somehow I think you are “special” and an “exception” to my weight problems!!!

Well we talked a little about Karen James from Saturday. Anything else you want to “re-cap” from Saturday? Gosh I’m sure there is....I really appreciated Lisa Harper’s message. I really got a kick out of her three loves: Chocolate, reading, and single men between 45 and 55 who don’t live with their mama’s and are gainfully employed. Ha, yes, gotta love an honest Christian woman. I think I would like her book. I bought off Amazon Marcus Buckingham’s book and Sheila Walsh’s book. Total of $20 by the way, with shipping. That’s 1/2 off “the concourse” price. I might have to borrow those! I wanted Lisa Harper’s book, also, or any of her books, she has a lot out. Also on Saturday was the Natalie Grant concert-- excellent. So excellent, I didn’t know what she sang but recognized most of her songs and loved them. I think I would pay to see her in concert. Her sweet twins with their hot pink ear muffs raising their hands in praise at age 3. PRECIOUS! And the sweet guest appearance by Selah-- who honestly talked about her weight struggles in the midst of “Advocare” arena. Selah was awesome!!! I may have almost had an ugly cry during their performance. Who knew? I didn’t. I didn’t even know them. I didn’t either, but once they started singing I knew all their songs. Yes, they talked about child loss (ugly cry again) before the last song-- yes, hahaha, huge ugly cry! It’s okay though. Jesus wept too, you know :) I think that was the one time all weekend I really let the crying come. True that!

Okay, let’s play High/Low about Women of Faith. You go first. Your high and your low and would you go back again?
My high was several things, Lisa Harper’s message, all 3 concerts (Mary Mary rocked the house with “Shackles”, made me want to grab my ankles and shake my booty!) I’m sitting here laughing so loud remembering you saying that at the concert. I remember joking that my college life readied me for that concert! (Which I know doesn’t make sense b/c my “college life” was super tame in the world of dancing.)
My low was probably the Advocare advertisements during the weekend, that could have definitely been left out. I also was probably tired and cranky by the last speaker of the day on Saturday, but that was kind of a low for me, only because I was irritated with her 40 minute message which could have been condensed to about 5 minutes TOPS. I agree. She ended with “I want you all to know that God loves you.” That was about the only mention of God. Seriously. At that moment I prayed that someday I would be on the WOF tour b/c I might have what it takes if they are putting her on stage. Hahaha that was mean. I’m sure she’s a nice woman. We’re all nice women but if I’m going to pay $89 for a ticket (thank you Advocare for keeping ticket prices down), I want to get the most bang for my buck and they should have either reviewed her message before she went out or should have found someone else....or Lisa Harper could have spoken again. But you’re right, I’m sure she’s a nice woman. :)
I would say I will probably go back someday. Probably not next year, but in a few years. Most of the speakers and music were amazing, if I could pick and choose what I wanted to hear, I would go back next year, otherwise I may try to hit up the Beth Moore event instead. It was a great experience, though!

My High was hanging out as the four of us. I thought it was incredibly fun, and I laughed a lot which I really enjoyed and made some good memories. I also loved Sheila Walsh challenging 6,000 women to put ALL their TRUST in God. I appreciated how Biblical her message was, and how she pointed us back to God’s Word and not just her thoughts.

My Low is two fold. And is partly my own fault. I really went with the expectation that I would get a lot of “meat and potatoes” Biblical teaching. I thought the conference was very encouraging, but I didn’t hear a lot of scripture. So one low was just the lack of Biblical teaching. And I guess if I want that I should take a class at NCC or Grace. Ha. My other low was Advocare. I am SURE that they have a reasonable product. It’s nothing against the product. I just think hawking weight loss products to a group of vulnerable WOMEN without teaching about it and using phrases like “if you want to lose a few pounds” is totally not responsible. I was embarrassed for WOF that they were using the PULPIT to endorse the product. I think they lost a little integrity in my mind. And I was glad Selah finally said something about body image and weight loss and how God loves us no matter our size. Because the WOF speakers certainly did not.

Would I go back? Yes, with an expectation that it will be a fun, encouraging weekend and not 16 hours of intense worship and Biblical teaching. Probably like you, not next year.

Well, all in all it was a great weekend! Yes, it was! I really did have a great weekend. It spurred a lot of thought for me. Fun to re-cap the weekend with an online dialog about it! How hip are we? Let’s do it again! Sounds great! I think I’m off to take a little siesta... Couldn’t have said it better myself. Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunglasses & More

Sunglasses and More? Many of you are probably reading through hoping for the "more." Hahaha.

Welcome to my new IP address. Due to the confidential nature of my job, I decided to remove my name from my blog address. The old address is going to become my counseling website so that when people google my name that is what they find, not this :) I'm getting ready to teach a class at Grace University, too, and wasn't sure if I wanted all those (Google savvy) students to get to know me this well. Plus, now my blogging hero Becky can show me all her tricks. I plan to copy everything about her blog! Hahaha.

I have decided that I want to buy some prescription sunglasses. I went on a walk with my friend Suzanne awhile back and she said she wanted some new eyeglasses, which I encouraged since her current ones are from 1996. So... I tell her that Lens Crafters is having 50% off and I'm sure she could find some for 40 bucks. Yep, you read that right. Somehow I thought that was true.

So last Wednesday we hit the town with Little Man and went to Lens Crafters. I had in my mind that I was willing to spend $50 out of our health savings account for this. I had the big stroller so we had to use the escalator in the very back hidden hallway of the nearest department store. Anyway... let's just say that the 50% off is just lenses, which is a pretty great deal to be honest. But... no where near 40 bucks. I laugh out loud. Was I delusional? We both found a pair, and my sunglasses, with the 50% off the lenses was just over $215. Because they are prescription. The frames were about 40 bucks, but somehow I lost in my mind that the lenses would be much, much more. And with sunglasses there aren't a lot of options in the ol' lenses department. Just in case you were wondering. Also, at one point I was holding several pairs of glasses and then put my own on and the lady helping me asked, "Are those yours?" I answered, "yes." She said, "Those are interesting."

So we went to Target, because why not spend an afternoon price matching glasses deals. They had 20% off glasses and 50% off sunglasses with the purchase of a pair of glasses. So Suzanne, one of the thriftiest people I know, and I, who loves a bargain, started wheeling and dealing. The man was... willing... to let us combine the offer with two different prescriptions. Then he said if we wait until the 28th we can get 30% off the regular glasses. This is getting boring so I'll hurry up. I found a pair. And I'll save quite a bit. But I have to wait but seriously, I've gone this long.

My eyes really changed after I had Dekker. The eye doctor I saw (at Sams Club-- again, looking for a bargain) said that this happens and that my eyes have a hard time focusing-- that my brain can't bring the images in together which is why my eyes were but stuck in the squinting position for several months. I am addicted to my glasses and I love them. I put them on the minute I wake up. And, who knew, but I am a fan of clear vision. So much so that I want it in the sun and while driving. Because I've been wearing these regular glasses to the pool this summer. There, do you see them on me.

I did go to Women of Faith last weekend. My friend Jenny and I have a special re-cap in store for everyone Wednesday. Come back for more then!

On the journey (with clear vision!),

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Bloggers Block...

More random ramblings from my living room while I try and conquer bloggers block.  Thanks for sticking in there with me.

* Dekker has been napping beautifully at daycare-- consistent 3 hour stretches, but giving me fits the last several days.  What's up with that?  He went down later than usual today and I can hear him singing to himself right now.  "Go to sleep child."  I have had to start reminding myself that he is not disappointing, even when his napping is.  It nearly infuriates me.

* Yesterday Dekker used actual words in context.  Dave and I were driving with him in the backseat to church and we were both eating bananas.  Dekker starting whining from the backseat "BNana, BNana."  Adorable.   I rewarded his whining with a little piece of "BNana."  Then fed him supper at church.  Have you seen him eat?  Trust me, he's not going hungry.

* I am considering taking the "Train the Trainer" class through Boys Town Parenting classes.  I really need some help at work, plus I figure it is great info for Dave and I to have.  My delima: I need to take the older kids class for work, but want to take the younger kids class personally.  And, I want to take Love and Logic through Jewish Family Services.  My normal standard would be to take all the classes and compare them and just love that research/gathering information phase.  But I don't have the hours in the day (or night!) to take parenting classes and workshops all over town for various age groups!

* I am helping teach one hour of the Grace University "Group Counseling" class this fall on Thursday nights.  I am thrilled.  It will take away my 7PM slot on Thursday nights at work, but I am mostly glad it fell on a work night so I'm not away from home an additional night.  They only teach the class in the fall, so it is a pretty short commitment.  I'm looking forward to the challenge, and a little worried that I won't know what's going on and the students will look at me and think, "Why is she here?  I know more than she does."

* After singing to himself for 48 minutes, I just went back into Dekker's room, checked his diaper, rocked him and turned the fan on.  "Common buddy, you need a nap!"  Dekker loves a pitch dark napping arena.  This is my fault.  I was so desperate to get him to sleep during his first few months that I created this awful habit.  Now, I am all but to foil his bedroom window but keep reconsidering for fear our neighbors will think we're growing meth.  Do I just indulge the darkness or try and teach him to nap when it's lighter?  I say napping doesn't last forever so I might be ordering those black out curtains from JCPenny soon!  They're all on sale this week.  Don't worry, we already have the blackout blinds.  I just want to add curtains, too.

* I love the website One Step Ahead. Just wanted to share!

* I've been wanting to actually decorate Dekker's room.  My Grandma died when I was about 36 weeks pregnant, and I spent a lot of time on the road and writing her eulogy the last month when I had hoped to decorate.  I've NEVER regretted his bare walls for the final memories with Grandma.  But I've been thinking that I would like to do something that would transition to his toddler room someday.  Solar System?  No.  Sports?  Not for us.  Huskers?  Overdone.  I have been thinking and thinking and just can't decide.  Until now.  I'm inspired.  Western.  Lookout buckaroos.  We have us a rootin' tootin' bedroom to put together.  I'm thinking cow prints, handkerchiefs, denim, blues and reds and rope.  I'm pretty sure my Mom's mom and dad have plenty of hand-me-downs and belt buckles to make this happen on a pretty good budget.  I love it already.  Plus, I would love to have some of Mimi and Papa's stuff in our house!

*Dekker is still awake.  He's been in there happily talking to himself for one hour and 7 minutes.

* I'm going to Women of Faith this weekend.  I'm looking forward.  I sign up for these things remembering how I felt last time I went and was walking out. Kinda like the gym, I sometimes dread going in but love coming out.  Not that I'm not thrilled to go-- but you know, buying the ticket, arranging daycare, driving downtown, being with a mass group of people (always kinda freaks me out), etc. etc.  Some friends and I got a hotel room downtown for Friday night.  Yay!

* Deep Breath.  I've gained back some of the 13 lbs I lost.  I can't decide if this is legitimate gain, or water/hormones/etc.  I don't feel like I've gained that much back.  I'm about to the point of making a great big change or giving up.  Maybe I'll just get pregnant again so I can forget it all for a good year.  Hahaha.  That was a joke.  For the most part.  No, I am not pregnant.

* Another deep breath.  (Aren't you glad you stuck around long enough in this post to get to the confessions?) I'm 6 days into p90x.  I haven't lost a pound and am so sore I can barely walk down stairs or sit down, but I'm trying to trust the "system."

* So curious to see what Dekker does tomorrow at daycare at nap time.

* More deep breaths.  I'm having my house deep cleaned Thursday by a cleaning lady referral from a friend.  I am so happy.  She is so reasonably priced.  All weekend I was stressed about our house and then I reminded myself that Mary is coming Thursday.  Glorious.  But since I work late on Thursday nights I don't go in until noon.  And I don't want to sit around my house while it's being cleaned (the definition of LAZY, mono or not).  What to do.  What to do.

* Has Dekker been in his crib for nearly 90 minutes and still talking to himself?  Yes.  Am I going to go get him before he falls asleep?  Absolutely not.  This could be partly my fault.  I may have missed his "nap window" by keeping him out too late-- he kinda got a "second wind" when we got home from a fantastic morning playdate.  Sometimes I think he's more flexible than he is.  But common buddy!

That's all for now.

On the journey,