Thursday, December 20, 2007

...because someone must teach me to crawl!

He can now get up on his hands and knees or his hands and toes!

ER Visit #1

This week we found out viral gastroenteritis is no fun, dehydration in babies is scary (especially when they have yet to discover how to drink from a sippy cup), and crazy people are regulars at the ER. We are thankful for a fabulous pediatrician, the competent staff at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, and a merciful God. I am particularly thankful for a fabulous husband who stayed up all night squirting Pedialyte in Elijah's mouth (5 cc's q 5 minutes) and then stayed home and took care of us both the next day.

Yay! We are all better...and just in time for Christmas!

Staying up on current CEU course offerings:
New High Chair (thank you Scotts!):
After Bath #27 of the weekend (it happens when a child is sick) during which Mother allows child to play with a power cord:
p.s. The Double Deep pizza at Pizza Hut is amazing! Thanks MawMaw for my birthday treat~:-)

Friday, December 7, 2007


Yesterday our local news reported that a veterinarian's license was temporarily revoked while he was investigated for putting animals to sleep by injecting a medicine into their heart. His case was under review because this means of killing "without appropriate sedation" was accusedly a form of animal cruelty.

A salt-like substance is injected into the hearts of pre-born babies in order to kill them during selective reductions and other types of abortions. These babies aren't sedated. Their "aliveness" is not even discussed.

Why is a method of killing animals under scrutiny for possible cruelty while the same method is an undisputed tactic for killing babies? When did animals surpass humans in value?

'Tis the Season

- Wash, peel, core, and cube 3-4 apples.
- Place apple cubes in medium saucepan with just enough water to cover them.
- Boil for 15 minutes, or until tender.
- Puree in blender with just 1/8 cup or so of the juice in which the apples were cooked.
*3-4 apples should fill up an ice tray.

Green Beans
- Wash 3 heaping handfuls of green beans.
- Snap off all ends and discard. Break beans into 1" pieces.
- Place beans in steamer over a saucepot. Water should just barely come through the holes of the steamer.
- Steam for ~ 25 minutes.
- Puree in blender with 1/4 cup or so of the juice in which the beans cooked.
*3 large handfuls of fresh green beans should fill up an ice tray.

Even Elijah wants special Christmas foods! After confessing to my wonderful pediatrician that I sometimes let Elijah gum my pizza crusts and not being chastised, I feel a little more confident letting Elijah eat things. Today he gummed a wagon-wheel-shaped corn puff with carrots...blugh! He loved it because he could hold it and smear it all over his face, as seen below.

"Where did it go? I am not done yet!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sweet Potatoes

In the interest of promoting less expensive methods of feeding babies with voracious appetites, I thought I would post some of the "recipes" I have been using to feed Elijah. Most of my newfound knowledge is from; check out this excellent resource.

Sweet Potatoes

- Wash and peel one large sweet potatoe.
- Cut in 1" slices. Cube each slice.
- Place cubes in medium saucepan. Fill pan with enough water to almost cover the potatoes.
- Boil for ~20 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Transfer cubes to blender. Slightly mash the potatoes in the process. Blend, adding cooking water as necessary to reach the desired consistency. (I have found that food should be very soft, but not be able to quickly drip off a spoon.)
- Fill ice tray with sweet potatoe puree & freeze.

Super easy and I have 16 oz of food for around $1.00!

Introducing Joe

Thanksgiving was wonderful for many reasons - primarily because we met Joe! My dear sister is now engaged to this man: Elijah was very much at ease with Joe (notice the complete right arm relaxation).

Welcome to the Ham Fam Joe! We are so glad to know you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Woohoo! This is my favorite holiday! This year is extra special because we will be meeting my sister's fiance over a turkey dinner. (Yes, she is engaged! Yes, it is a great proposal story!) Plus, it is Elijah's first Thanksgiving.

Elijah is slowly learning to sit up. Things like the boppy and being confined to a laundry basket help him feel a little more confident.
Thankfully, we are not worried about Elijah's hearing. He can now turn in response to his name. Here you can see him looking at the speakers after I have turned on music.

Elijah LOVES to look at people and smile at them. Hopefully this will be a lasting trait! If he is really happy, he'll stick his tongue out. And if he is exuberant he will stick his tongue out and blow "Ppppbbbbbbbllllll."
We leave in just a few hours for MawMaw and PawPaw's. Have a wonderful weekend, giving special thought to all God has given us!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catching Up

Since you last saw me, I have:

- Found my feet
- Awakened in a fashion quite similar to how my Momma awakens (i.e. "tore up")
- Started to notice the world in a whole new way....with an open mouth
- Gone on my first business trip with Daddy
- Been dressed up like Peter Rabbit, one of my favorite storytime books.
Oh, and I grew 2 pounds and 3 inches in five weeks! Plus, I tasted my first real food - acorn squash - Mmmmm!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bella, a movie review

Last night at 10:05 p.m. Rebecca and I were at the movie theater. Out way poast our normal bedtimes and without little ones in tow, I felt like I was in college again.

We saw Bella, and IT IS A GREAT MOVIE! The movie, as promised, is blatantly pro-life. Despite having this inherently Christian element, it is (surprisingly) not cheesy or poorly made. (Another reason, in itself, to see the film - supporting Christians doing quality art.)

This movie is playing only at select theaters, so visit to find a location near you. It is playing at the Green Hills theater for those living in Nashville.

I so highly recommend this movie that I will squeeze free babysitting into this weeks schedule for the first Nashville couple to contact me.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Here!

My new computer, that is! I keep telling Eric "Thank you for my new computer!" with a little too much enthusiasm. How did people survive before the internet?

Since I know that everyone really just likes to see pictures of the Tooskie, I will try to install the camera software and get some pictures posted here soon.

Tomorrow I hope to go see Bella. It is opening in select cities around the country, one of them being Nashville. It is a movie with a blatantly anti-abortion message, or so various reviews have said. If my dear husband and I work out a way for one or both of us to see it, I'll post my own little review here.

Happy weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

West Virginia

West Virginia was the only state to gain its title by presidential proclamation. Abraham Lincoln granted a few of Virginia's counties statehood when those counties sided with the Union forces. The rest of Virginia went Confederate, thus losing Lincoln's favor. Interestingly, Stonewall Jackson was born in what is now West Virginia. (So, would he claim Virginia or West Virginia as his home state?) Thus ends todays bit of trivia.

We are here in beautiful, mountainous West Virginia! I am currently looking at yellow, orange, red, maroon, and green leaves - all in various shades - on just the other side of our huge windows. This smallish town is a refreshing change from Nashville. We are in the mountains and only 7 minutes from the capitol! We are staying in Residence Inn which I would highly recommend for, among other things, its spacious floorplan (especially important for those travelling with a pack 'n play).

Yesterday we worshipped with the congregation of Randolph Street Baptist Church. It was an excellent, God-honoring service and the members were all so friendly. One lady showed me the nursery and then took us to Sunday School. Walking in she whispered, "Do you want to sit together?" in an excited voice. It was really cute. We got to meet lots of people there. My favorite was an old man wearing a plaid sportscoat and multi-toned suede shoes with tassles. He bought his sportscoat because it reminded him of his sharp-dressing friend Larry who had recently passed away. (Larry went to church there too, and also owned the BP catty-corner from the church.) It is always encouraging to visit other churches. It reminds me that God is active in all parts of the world, and it makes me thankful for the different works He performs in others. Plus, I got to sing!

Eric and Elijah are taking a nap together right now. Elijah is sorely lacking on naps as I keep taking him on hikes. Today we walked through a few trails in Coonskin Park. The leaves were falling so quickly that it sounded like rain. Elijah just stared at all the falling colors. It was much better than a cribside mobile or Baby Einstein video.

Yesterday we explored the state capitol. My use of "explored" there is well chosen because we wandered all over that beautiful, marble-walled building. There were no security checks when you entered. There were no people around at all, in fact, save one man in a suit. We saw one of the electrical shafts and the huge bricks comprising a portion of the dome. We were even able to get on the roof and see far down the Kanawha River. It was like being on a treasure hunt.

Eric's continuing education class is also going well~:-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Of Dell

The lack of posts over the last few weeks is due to major malfunctions of my four-year-old laptop. Actually, it is not four years old. Four years ago, my father generously bought me a laptop to aid in my studies at grad school. This laptop has been replaced by Dell three or four times over the years. I have spent countless hours on the phone with non-American, non-English-speaking men who are able to read an algorithm (althoug in broken, impossible-to-understand English only), but may not be able to think for themselves attempting to get various laptops in working condition. Usually, after enduring a period of trials and tribulations, the computer has been fixed. Not this time.

The Dell laptop is now very much dead. It takes over an hour to turn on, and then flashes warnings like, "File ://!XYZ has been erased. This may indicate a problem with your hard drive." before showing me a beautiful blue screen which reads, "Dumping physical memory." In my very limited experience, when your computer suggests that hard drive problems may exist, it is usually correct.

Now that I am married, my husband has generously bought me a new laptop. (Because that is what good husbands do for their internet-dependent wives.) Eric may have just been sick of getting phone calls like, "Ok, look this up for me. How many cups of dry long-grain brown rice do I need to get three cups of cooked rice?..........I mean, are you busy there at work?"

My new computer is on the way. I sincerely hope it is more reliable than my Dell has been.

Don't you love calling customer service when you have a computer problem? The customer service reps must have a very tainted perspective on humankind, for who ever calls them without being frantic and angry? (Perhaps Eric, actually....)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

He Rolls!

Elijah has been diligently working at rolling over for the past two weeks. He has been able to roll from stomach to back since he was eight days old (save a brief obese stage he went through). Rolling from his back to his stomach has proven a little more difficult, especially given the weight of his head. Sunday night, however, all his hard work paid off! He rolled over all by himself, even pulling his arm out from underneath his chest. He was so happy and proud of himself. The novelty has yet to wane apparently - Elijah continues to be proud of himself at each subsequent roll-over. "Look! Did everyone see that one?"

His behavior reminds me of yelling at my Mom to watch me jump off the diving board every single time I jumped. "Mom!...Mom! Mom, watch this one - it's 'Lady on the Telephone.' .......Mom? Did you see it? Get it? How it was 'lady on the telephone'? Here, I'll do it again."
Now I must begin childproofing my home; crawling will not be far away, I believe. Elijah already somehow mysteriously scoots from one end of his blanket to the other. Here are some action shots of his new trick:

Elijah continues to be a delight. His laugh is becoming more intentional; he loves to be tickled on his chest and legs and talked to by anyone. Give him some eye contact and you will receive a wonderful smile in return. Play with him and you may even here a gurgly, deep, almost-grunting laugh (which is the best sound I have ever heard). We love this baby!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

While Cooking Lentil Soup

Lentils take more than 20 minutes of simmering to arrive at the intended "tender" stage. And so, I am awake, awaiting tenderness.

Eric and I had a wonderful time celebrating our second anniversary in Chattanooga. Elijah stayed with Grammie and Grampa, who took very good care of him. They even let us call all the time to check in. We stayed in a great cabin, ate good food, and toured Chattanooga. The best thing we did was rent bikes and ride along the riverwalk. Here is Eric modeling the next fashion craze. (Sorry ladies - he's taken!) Eric discovered a fascinating bamboo grove during one of our expeditions. Another photo album, "Why It Is Important to Wear Clothing that Fits" or "Terrible Angles at Which to Take Pictures," was also shot during this trip.

MawMaw, Uncle Dwight, and Mom took the three of us to Myrtle Beach. We had a great time! Uncle Dwight is probably the absolute best person with whom to go on vacation - he even suggested putting Elijah's carseat in his car so we could all travel together!

Before hitting the shore, we stayed a few days with my parents.
Elijah loves his Grandpa

Mom & Elijah wore matching sailboat outfits~:-) After having strangers help her out, MawMaw became an expert in navigating the lazy rivers. "Just get me near the rail! Just get me to the rail!"

Elijah's first time at the beach was so much fun. He hated everything the first day (after Momma failed to "look out for big waves" and a wave washed over Eric's back and chest and hit Elijah), but had lots of fun afterwards.

Burgers and much good food were had.

We were able to see our friends Keren, Jordan, and Grace who now live in Myrtle Beach. Grace pushed around her little stroller and took care of her baby during their visit.

Our little man got his four month shots today. They were terrible. Unlike last time, he cried and cried as soon as the needle touched him. The rest of the day has involved a lot more crying and a lot of Children's Tylenol. He weighs 18 pounds & 5 ounces and is 25 inches long. Our fabulous pediatrician, Bram Pinkley, said of Elijah "I really wish he would gain some weight."
Tomorrow Eric will go to work, and I will rub knots out of Elijah's legs.

Time to check on the lentils...

Friday, September 7, 2007

"Abortion: The Context of our Praise"

This convicting excerpt from this insightful blog points out the flawed attitude we often have regarding church services.

"This emphasis on the cultivation of shallow but pleasant feelings and a sense of fun in evangelical churches is a large part of why the church finds itself irrelevant to contemporary culture. While we are busy trying to show the world “Christians can have fun too”, the world around us grows an ever darker, more murderous place.
We fail to consider our context. The most significant fact we should carry with us about our culture as we consider how we might design church services that speak to it is the reality of abortion. We should remember that while we fill our services with clever skits and shallow songs and advice on achieving your best life now, the streets of our cities run with the blood of 50 million babies.
Whatever we do in church, it should point to something, indeed someone, strong enough and virile enough, to gain victory over evil of that magnitude. The culture of death is the culture into which we speak. Abortion is the context of our praise. A church dedicated to her own entertainment, to feeling good on Sunday mornings will fail, indeed has failed, to point to Jesus, the one who will redeem and punish the evil of our age."

Perhaps next week instead of wondering if my crockpot is plugged in or hoping my child does not scream, I can instead consider the bigger picture: I am worshipping a just God, a God who sees the evil in me and the evil of my surroundings.

And yet, this same God takes delight in being merciful.

Friday, August 31, 2007

10 hours, 45 minutes

Superbaby (seen above) is sleeping longer and longer. Wednesday night he fell asleep on the way home from prayer meeting and did not waken until 7:30 Thursday morning. It was amazing. He has now had two nights of over ten hours of sleep. Hopefully this is not a sign of lethargy in the child.
Elijah had a playdate with his friend Lily this week. They were so cute together!They even held hands~:-) We are thankful for our friends!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Van-Buying Tips?

Eric had the opportunity to preach at our church last Sunday. His sermon, on Hebrews 12:1-3, describes how we are to "run the race" - looking unto Jesus, without whom we will not be able to endure. Tooskie and I were only able to hear the first and last ten minutes that Sunday due to an inflexible feeding schedule. Thanks to SermonAudio we are all caught up now. Eric's preparations were a good reminder of how much work each sermon requires.
We had a good week catching up on laundry and getting back into a routine after all our travels. We saw friends, danced, walked, tried lots of new recipes, went to a barbecue in our own backyard, and went grocery shopping at midnight. (Despite my behavior, I do not still think I am in college. It was Eric's idea.) Currently, we remain homebound as Eric's car is in the shop for some major repairs. Lord willing, we will be able to sell it and get a van in the near future. What tips do you have on buying vans? Essential features? We are rookies in all aspects of van ownership apart from childhood memories of Old Blue and The Tank.

This is the way tummy time often ends:
The above should also explain Elijah's affinity for bath time.

Elijah is having a great time with his new toy, an exersaucer. During our recent visit to Atlanta, PawPaw decided Elijah needed "one of those things." Then, he went right out and bought one. Elijah loves to be in it, mostly because he can move all he wants yet still remain upright. Please notice ample rolls in the picture below. This week holds much promise - every Monday I think of all the projects I will certainly have time for this week. Becoming a mother has prolonged my lesson, begun in middle school, on time management. Surely this week I will excell in this essential duty....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jiggety Jig

Elijah is a travelin' man! He is also now 3 months old! Measuring in at 16 1/2 pounds and 25", he has certainly slowed down his growth rate this past month. Which is a good thing, because he is already in six month clothing!

Packing was an ordeal. Eric pointed out that we were taking our entire house. Elijah won the prize for heaviest packer; he filled our biggest suitcase with just his own things. The necessity of planning for five cute outfits a day won out, only because Eric's parents let us borrow their van.

We stopped at this great hotel in Roanoke, Virginia to give Elijah (and us) a break. Roanoke really has a lot of fine dining to offer; each restaurant has its own trademark perks such as, oh, air conditioning.

We had promised my paternal grandparents that our first big trip with the baby would be to see them since they can no longer travel. It was a long trip up there, but I would do it over again anytime. A friend said, "If children's children are the crown of old men (Pr. 17:6), then what are grandchildren's children?" Elijah brought such joy to his great-grandparents. I loved being able to watch them love him. My grandfather bounced Elijah on his knees and tried to teach him how to "give me five." He was also the first one to get Elijah laughing during the trip. Grandma had the privilege, numerous times, of rocking Elijah through his screaming spell into sweet slumber. Both great-grandmothers proved to be excellent rockers.

We spent a lot of time on the balcony (because sometimes the outside summer temperature is cooler than inside their apartment) which had wonderful freshly-painted rocking chairs. Here we are playing bus-ride:

Elijah tended to be the center of everyone's attention.
Eric held a photo shoot for the four generations present.

Eric was able to be with us all day for an entire week! Elijah LOVES his Daddy so much; they got lots and lots of play time together.
In South Carolina, we spent lots of time at Mom and Dad's house. I also consumed quite a lot of ice cream...mmmm. We tried to hang out on the back porch but the stifling heat and humidity of the deep south prevented us from staying out there long. Elijah was able to meet our friends Dorothy and Sandy; we even made a trip to Dad's office. Elijah decided he would become a lawyer too...but only if it entitles him to such a wonderful chair.

Next we headed to Atlanta where Elijah's spoiling continued by constant holding and rocking. He met Aunt Donna, Uncle Dennis, Aunt Heather, and Uncle John. Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw ensured that Elijah never had to cry himself to sleep during his stay. Mom, Maw-Maw, and I took Elijah swimming which, as always, he loved!

Our trip was wonderful, but we were very glad to get back to Daddy. The day after our return Grammie & Grampa came over to see Elijah.........and me. Eric and I gave Elijah his first haircut which, at best, could be called uneven.

Praise the Lord for so many wonderful friends and family members to visit, for our safe travels, and for providing a home to which we can return!