Thursday, February 28, 2008

Falls Park Pics

Brandon's day off has always been Monday and for that reason, I have come to LOVE Mondays. We always have such a wonderful time hanging out together, cooking a big breakfast, getting some family prayer and worship in, and then usually doing some sort of 'date'. These days, it's usually with Ella because we're not yet in to the babysitter-who's-not-related thing...probably for cash-flow reasons more than anything! :)

This Monday was beautiful, but at 2pm we were still in our PJ's! So we decided to get a move on, and enjoy the day properly. We soon found ourselves with 1/2 off Happy Hour Sonic Cherry Limeades strolling through Falls Park in downtown with camera and beautiful baby in hand. Date day was ON, baby! WooWoo!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Got Milk?

You know those advertisements don't really use milk to put on the upper lips of the celebrities...

They must use Baby Yogurt.

Like Ella.

Just a disclaimer...I technically do know how to feed my child without a huge mess. I just don't think it's as cool to document those instances.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ella's Riding in Style!

Well, once again we have been amazed at how God provides. He is an awesome God who loves us, Amen?

After having our precious little baby girl, I spent the first 6 weeks trying to regain strength by eating wholesome foods. Mom made the most unbelievable fruit salad I'd ever had. Awesome. But soon I found myself craving sweets and justifying it by saying I needed more calories because I was breastfeeding. Needless to say, this didn't help me lose the baby weight.

Before I got pregnant, I was decently consistent about getting exercise. Being an ex-Division 1 athlete and a Health & Exercise Science major at Furman, I kind of have it in my blood I guess. But not long after I heard from the nurse, "Girl, you wit' child..." I started feeling the effects of that statement, namely Morning/Noon/Night Sickness.

And for some reason, when I felt all day long like I was going to puke, my desire to exercise went down the same toilet that I worshipped many times during that first trimester. It's not that I wanted to let myself go or anything, I just couldn't keep myself going! I walked, but after 20 years of playing soccer and running to keep in shape for that, walking just wasn't enough for my body to keep in shape.

So I have a lot to do to get a lean mean mommy machine body back. I'm sure once I start running after a toddler, I may get in more daily exercise, but in the meanwhile I needed to do something.

My friend, Brooke Caudill, told me that her whole family was training for a half marathon, and that she was a little worried about training for it. Lo and behold, she lives right around the corner, and I offered to run with her. We have been a great pair so far....about the same pace and endurance...plenty to talk about and she even helps me push Ella up the hills!

I had been using our regular stroller to tote my little snuggly bug with us as we pounded the pavement, but truthfully it was pretty difficult. Besides an extra 15 pounds to push (plus Ella who is 15 pounds and growing, too), the wheels are small and we both felt ever bump. It simply wasn't made to be a running stroller.

So I began looking for a running stroller that would take a little less effort to push. Brandon and I found my dream stroller at Babies R Us, but it was more than we wanted to spend. I looked on Craigslist, Ebay, and in the newspapers for used ones that would suffice. I prayed and just knew that, like everything else, God would provide.

Some people laugh when they hear story after story of how God has given us a beautiful home piece by piece. It seems that every time we are in need of something, it gets to us one way or another. Granted, a lot of patience is required. I think a lot of people are too used to being instantly gratified and so they don't even give God a chance to show out. He uses people, and sometimes it takes longer, but He won't just drop it out of the sky. We've gone through our ENTIRE house and every piece of furniture, every appliance, every cool aspect has a story of how God got it to us either for free, as a gift, or at an unbelievable discount. Brandon and I have had many discussions about how it is because of this reality that we hold things lightly...they were given to us, and we should be willing to give them up quickly if the need presents itself. We try to be generous and hospitable and sensitive to the Spirit's leading when we can be a blessing to other people like He has used others to be a blessing in our lives.

Brooke called and said that she and Craig (her hubby) were coming over for a little while. A few minutes later, they walked up to our door pushing the COOLEST JOGGING STROLLER EVER! It was the upgraded version of the one Brandon and I pined over in Babies R Us just a couple weeks ago! I know that I had mentioned looking for a stroller and possibly borrowing one from someone who wasn't using theirs, but I don't remember telling her about this one, specifically.

Y'all this thing rocks my face off! It has a hand brake, an odometer to show us how far we're running and at what pace, and even a cool feature that allows me to plug in my CD player/MP3 player and play through speakers!!!! We have been running to some great tunes, and I don't even have to carry it because it has a cool padded storage case for it. Besides that, it's easy to push because it has big tires and is a much smoother ride due to the shocks in the back!
So thank you to God and to the Caudills for this awesome gift! I know it will foster great running experiences with Ella. I'm looking forward to running off these baby pounds even more now!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Peas Please!

Ella started eating peas this week. It was oh-so-messy...I mean fun! Well, it was a little of both. Check it out.

It was kind of hard to feed her and take the shot, so that's why you may notice that the peas going onto her face aren't always her fault. She was so fun as she wanted to feed herself. We are on peas this week. Next week we'll move on to maybe sweet potatoes or green beans. I have bought some organic baby food (I had coupons), and I also have made some homemade baby food. We'll see if she likes her mama's cooking.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This Really Takes Me To The Edge...

So recently we decided to bite the bullet and actually pay for internet. In the past we had gone in with some apartment neighbors on a really strong signal and split the cost. When we moved into the apartments in Greenville, we couldn't figure out who it was but someone had a signal that we could get on every once in a while if we really needed it. I also was able to go into work early to use the internet and would also frequent Port City Java with my laptop after work so I could finish my online classes at Fuller. It was a bit of running around, but I managed. I actually figured that it by the time I had to buy something at Port City Java 3 times a week, (you know, it says FREE WI-FI, but they give you funny looks if you just set up there without buying one of the $3+ items on their menu...) we could be paying for a monthly internet connection AND helping me watch my waistline (which at the time was ever expanding because of the baby inside!).

Anyway, after the baby was born, I was going to library a lot and just got to the point where it was too much. We needed it here at the house. Brandon told me to do some research and see if we could find a deal (shocker, right?). I did...an unbelievable deal, in fact. High speed internet and basic cable (we did the rabbit ears and got 2 channels somewhat clear) for $19.99/month/12 months.

Awesome. We signed up for it.

How many of you know that it's been two months, and neither of our bills have looks like $19.99?

The first was $105...they added all these charges and craziness to it. Brandon called, talked to someone for 15 minutes and said they took it off. We got another bill a week later $113. What? I called and talked to someone for 25 minutes. I thought that it was taken care of and paid the balance that the rep and I agreed on. I even had a confirmation number. The last bill I got apparently wasn't clued into the fact that WE HAVE ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF THESE CHARGES! It was $55. The same charges we had worked so hard to get off were still there.

I called. I waited. I took a deep breath.

And then I got a very pleasant woman whom I could not understand. Not a word out of her mouth was easy on my ears.

Now, I love foreign people. Seriously. I just paid something like $50k to learn about other cultures/people groups/languages and how to communicate effectively with them in seminary. But what really takes me to the edge of insanity is that I am trying to take care of issues with someone who isn't even in the same time zone...on the same continent.

I spent 32 minutes on the phone repeating over and over what I wanted. And it was like I was talking to a brick wall. Finally I got to the point that I thought I may be anointed with the gift of cursing. I refrained. I asked to speak with a supervisor. And waited.

Just as she was transferring me and asked me 12 more times if there was anything else she could do for me (WHAT? NO!!!), she went to transfer me and I got a weird busy signal.

I hung up in disbelief. There was no was in you know where that I was going to call back. My cell phone plan depleted, my anger inflated, my time stolen, my baby practically an orphan for 32 minutes....on top of the other two times we'd tried it.

The $3o some dollars just isn't worth it. I'd rather pay it and be done with dealing with it. I think they have a good thing going here....they have figured us out. Just frustrate the crap out of the customers and they will drop it--the fleecing of America.