Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ahh Saturdays!

Last Saturday, we went on a family picnic. We went to a little park in the Leesburg area. The last time we went to this lake-side park was in Jan. or Feb of last year and we couldn’t stay because it was too cold and windy for Caiden. This time however, the weather was perfect. Caiden was fascinated by the flock of birds that attacked us during our lunch break. I’m not sure what they were…they were the size of a mocking bird, but had yellowish breasts and brown wings with dark brown beaks and legs. She delighted in throwing things at them, beckoning them closer and then clapping loudly so that the whole group flew away all at once.

Because she is so eager to be independent, I let her crawl around and explore, careful to avoid ant beds and other questionable insects. We found this large bush with cottony looking seeds that burst forth and parachuted down around us every time the wind blew. She wasn’t a fan of the stickiness of the seeds, but the liked the soft cottony part. I showed her how to blow them apart, but the best she got was blowing raspberries or trying to taste them. That’s where I ended that particular experiment.

Our next delight was picking daisy-like flowers. I know, I should know their name…it’s a weed, maybe dandelion? Anyway, there was a whole clump of them, and she picked two, and then proceeded to disrobe them, stripping off all of their petals. How embarrassing! But oh so fun for a baby! =) Jeff caught these fun experiments with our new camera! Yeah!

p.s. Blogger isn't letting me upload pics right now...I'll have to add them later.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I have to say that lately I have not lived up to the name that I gave this blog. I have been racking my brain as to what extraordinary topic I could dig up and ponder through, but I had not come upon anything until today.

I woke this morning to a delightful cool nip in the air. It was so refreshing I wanted a big fat mug to drink it in! It was of the flavor of "burrow deeper into those covers". However, a certain sun was also inviting me to warm myself under his gaze. In fact, his brightness was so intoxicating, that I could not help myself. I wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and slowly tip-toed out to the back porch. "Wait and see" the wind whispered, tantilizing me with the promise of newness and beauty. I was glad that I had already planned a picnic lunch at Lake Lily.

Caiden and I met Allie and Iain for our picnic. It was short but so sweet. We decided that it was so delightful, we will continue it on a weekly basis! After they left to meet the curfew for nap-time, Caiden and I strolled around the lake. Then I remembered the feeling of the morning, and decided to tune in on a deeper level to the creation around me.

There was a feeling of holiness and reverence in the air, of beauty and light. It was as if I stumbled into a secret worship session for all of creation. Everything sparkled. It was as if everything was awakened by the suns invitation to engage in this glorious day. The sky responded by sweeping away all of her cobwebs and giving the flying birds a venue in which to soar and dip and delight in the vast expanse of her. I could hear them calling to and fro that this was their favorite of His creations. I could hear the squirrels hopping from tree to tree, quietly chattering of His glory and provision. Even the Momma ducks were shooing their little ones from beneath the dry grasses out into the shining water. Turtles were perched everywhere proudly showing God's creativity as they carried around their homes. It was beautiful, I did not want to leave, but it was almost MY little one's nap time, so we turned back. As we did, the breeze flew by and whispered, "Did you see Him?" Yes, I see Him. What a great reminder this season. Do you see Him?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Caiden's First Thanksgiving Mail

Today Caiden received a card in the mail from her G-ma and Grandpa McLaughlin. This was a momentous occasion as it was the first time she's been old enough to enjoy being ALLOWED to open mail by herself. =) We looked at her name on the front, and we practiced reading C-a-i-d-e-n. She should have it by next week. ;) She opened it, and then I read it to her. Then at her request (i.e shoving it in my face) I read it to her again. By the third repetition, I was beginning to think that she understood how exciting this was. =) Inside there was a dollar bill. She picked it up, did her little excited whistle, and kissed it before I could remove it from her grasp. Oops. I actually considered washing her mouth out, but then I thought she may equate receiving mail with punishment! Not good. I LOVE receiving mail! So, we prayed over whatever offending germs may have invaded her, and moved on. Then she mouthed, I mean, kissed the card. I wasn't as worried about that one. Apparently after a almost 11 month old kisses the things they love, they test its durability by gnawing on it. I don't blame her, if I recently grew teeth, I would be excited to test them out too! The light was bad, but I was able to catch some snapshots of this occasion thanks to Mom and Dad McLaughlin who gave me their old camera. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! =) Now if only I had a subject who would stay still! =)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Of smiles, pumpkins and ice cream

What do these things have in common you ask? Absolutely nothing...I just have some really cute photos I wanted to share. =)

What is so delightful? Grass in between her toes of course!

This is a 150 lb. pumpkin at our friends the Casebier's home. What a discovery!!

The tears came after Jeff took away the ice cream. Life is so hard when you're a baby!

This family picture was taken in Saint Augustine on the water in front of the Fort. We took my parents there for their Christmas present (almost a year late!) We had such fun! When I get more pics of them, I will add those also.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

We're Going on A Bear Hunt!

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one! What a beautiful day. We're not scared!

Ever since my little sisters were infants, this book has been one of my favorites. Now Caiden and I read it often. Last night it went something like this:

We're going on a beat hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared. Oh oh- THAT REALLY IS A BEAR!!!! And there he was- a 200 lb. black bear ambling across our backyard! All of a sudden, as if he heard my exclamation, he broke into a run- he must have been scared too. Oh wait.. DID I say I wasn't scared? Oh, I was just READING the book, after all!

Well, tonight, our bear came back. He must have enjoyed storytime! He also must come from a family that enjoys a snack with his story because he visited our neighbor's trash cans and our lettuce patch beforehand. Maybe if we switch books for a more benign story....and I think we'll scratch "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" off the list! =)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Eight months old!

I know, I know, it's been a whole month since I've posted last. I'm sorry! Jeff's computer had problems, and I didn't have internet access for long enough to post... So, Caiden is eight months old! Thanks to our friend, Kelsey Linduff, we have beautiful pictures of her too! These are the first "purposeful photo-op" pics we've had done. That is if you don't count her Grandmas and Aunts and Uncles taking numerous pictures of her at all times. ) Here are just a few...

And finally~

In other news, we are back to eating solids again. I am still making them for her and freezing them in ice cube trays. So convenient! =) The only drawback is that Jeff thinks he' s going to die because her diapers are so stinky. He said to me today, "Do we have to do solids? Can't you just breastfeed her til she goes off to college?" I informed him that I wasn't that kind of mother. So sorry! Grin.

We have made inroad on our garden as well. This year we are experimenting with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, zuccini, squash, onions, basil, and lettuce. We also still have some stubborn strawberry plants that are hanging around, but I'm not holding my breath...they didn't produce well for us last year. I wish we had more space - I will miss my beans this year. I'll keep you updated as we see progress.

I am loving working part time. I am job-sharing and the other interpreter and I are very like-minded so it's going beautifully. I do miss my baby-girl when I'm away, but we are both adjusting well.

Oh, I almost forgot to share about my favorite part of last month- going to Tennessee! My parents bought property up there- 70 acres to be exact. The ENTIRE family got to go - including my brother's sweet fiancee, Sarah. We had a blast. It was a lot of hard work getting settled, but it was a team effort. Everyone had a specific project that was important to them: cleaning out the creek, finding a place for everything that was staying up there, painting the kitchen in the cabin, making us meals, digging out a fire pit, mowing the field, cleaning out a space for a garden, and someone to watch Caiden. =) Next time I'm excited to get to enjoy the fruit of our labor and more "people" time. This trip was all about working, cleaning and getting settled.

That's all I have time for now. I'm hungry and I'm the one that can do something about it! =) "Til next time!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"These are a few of my favorite things...

Ahh, the Sound of Music- yes, it's a musical, but it's also taking place in our home these days. Caiden has mastered some new tricks, and I wanted to share. My favorite one is listening to her sing. She will use her voice to go up and down if there is music playing. It's the sweetest thing to hear coming from the back seat.
(notice neck roll? =)

The funniest thing are her new dance moves =) Any time any music comes on, in the car, on the TV (she's not watching it, don't worry!), church, anywhere, she starts the head bob. The head bob is a pretty smooth move and if you're really sly, your whole body moves and sways along with it. She's the master! It's the cutest thing!

Then comes the tongue click. This is her newest accomplishment, and one for which she is quite proud. She sits up taller, grins smartly and looks at you like, "bet you can't do that!" But when you do mangage an approximation, she gets whole-body-excited and rewards you with a smile that says, "Mom, you're so cool!" =) Okay, maybe I'm just hoping that's what she means. ;)
Sorry about the sideways picture, I couldn't get it to turn, and I couldn't delete it without changing the whole thing. =(

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tips for "going green"

Okay, so I shared with you my new passion- wise use of our resources, conservation, basically a new perspective on "walking in love". You might want to print this for the fridge. I borrowed this list from another blog: NatureMoms blog who had a guest blogger by the name of Abel Cheng.

1. Use rechargeable batteries wherever possible. Rechargeable batteries will reduce the need to dispose of batteries which contain toxic chemicals.
2. Use reusable utensils not disposable. Bring your own container next time when you order take away food. Decline any plastic forks and spoons.
3. Do full loads of laundry. Don’t start the washing machine until it’s full of dirty laundry.
4. Buy organic foods. Free of pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers. In case you ask, organics are affordable.
5. Use rainwater for plants. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants. No wastage on treated water.
6. Do not to open the fridge for too long. Decide what you want before opening the fridge. It takes more energy to bring down the temperature when the cool air leaks from the fridge.
7. Avoid dryer. Sun-dry your clothes whenever possible to conserve energy.
8. Plant a tree. Trees help reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen, which we breathe in.
9. Print on both sides of paper. This simple act reduces consumption by half.
10. Walk or cycle to work, go shopping or school. Leave the car in the garage. Good for environment and health.
11. Use energy-saving light bulbs. Don’t throw them in regular thrash. Dispose of them carefully as they contain dangerous mercury.
12. Send online greeting cards. Save trees and money.
13. Stop taking flyers handed out to you on the street if you don’t read them. It’s better not to waste the flyers than pleasing the person distributing the flyers.
14. Ask for a cone instead of a paper cup when you buy ice cream. Why not? You can eat the cone instead of throwing it away.
15. Turn the tap off. When you’re taking a shower, and if you’re soaping or shaving, stop the water. This adds up to a lot in the long run.
16. Buy in bulk. Stop buying things packaged in single use. Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging waste and shopping trips.
17. Recycle old books and magazines. Pass them around to your friends. Donate to libraries or charitable organizations.
18. Wash your car on the lawn. Not only do you prevent car shampoo from getting into your waterways, you water the lawn at the same time.
19. Easy defrosting. Do not use running water to thaw frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the fridge or by taking it out a few hours before cooking.
20. Turn off the computer when not in use. Don’t let the PC on or connected the whole day. Computers don’t consume much energy but think about it, you’re only one of the million computer users. That really adds up if everyone saves a little.
21. Use a handkerchief instead of packets of tissues. You save trees as well as money. 22. Get educated. You can learn more about environment online. One such place to go is
23. Pay bills online. Or shop online. You avoid car trips. Save time and gasoline.
24. Take shower instead of using the bathtub to save water.
25. Unplug your cell phone as soon as it’s fully charged.
26. Use climate-friendly electrical appliances. An energy-efficient refrigerator can save half a ton of carbon dioxide a year compared with an older model.
27. Light up right. Use natural daylight wherever possible. Switch off lights when you leave a room.
28. Be a green shopper. Consider buying products that can be recycled or reused.
29. Compost kitchen waste. Instead of dumping fruit and vegetable peelings, decompose them naturally to make fertilizer. More info at

Jeff comes home from the Soul in the City Tallahassee mission trip tomorrow! Yeah! I'm so glad-I'm exhausted from playing single parent this week!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


A moment of silence please... For what you ask? For the many disposable diapers who valiantly attempted their duty, utterly failed and lost their lives in the process. They gave it their all. I'm sorry to say it was not enough. I am however thrilled to report that we've recruited a new kind of diaper and following their first day of active duty, I am proud to say that they have not let me down. In fact, this is the first day in many moons that we have not had a leak of ANY kind. (You were right Phyllis!) Plus, they are super cute, easy, and I actually feel good about putting them on my child. =) Not to mention that the landfills in our area have reported a 75% decrease in their clientele. (Okay, not really.)

Speaking of landfills, they have become of great interest to me as of late. Well, not exactly landfills, but what we're placing IN them. In fact, I think you could say that this is my new passion: going green. Atleast that's the new "trendy name" for simplifying, saving money, doing what is best for the environment, saving energy, fulfilling my moral obligation and my responsibilty to walk in love, etc. I have made it my new hobby to continually think up new ways to do this. So far we have changed all of the light bulbs in our house to compact fluorescents, we never use paper plates or plastic water bottles (never have), we've started a compost pile, and will replant our garden in Aug. We are keeping the A/C at 82, we've disconnected the ice maker, put up a clothes line, used cloth diapers for Caiden, we try to carpool everywhere we can. We hand wash dishes and recycle everything. We're not going to buy more cleaning supplies when we run out- instead we'll use vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol for various cleaning agents (NOT together of course!)

I'm not trying to make this a list of "look what I've done" but to share ideas. It's not really that much more difficult. And when you think about it, the whole idea that Jesus came to redeem the world, to restore it, to use us as agent of change, - it makes sense when you consider how much of an impact one family can make. Plus, think about how the consumptive changes we make will effect those in other countries who really suffer from our excess. I really believe that this isn't just an environmental change, it's a one with spiritual ramifications. And let's not minimize the influence one family has on others who may make their own changes...It can be so beautiful if we work together! Who's in??!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


"It looks like fun, I want to think it's fun, Mommy thinks it's fun, but I'm just..not...quite..sure." That's my interpretation of Caiden's face in this picture. =) Last week she went for her first swim in Grandma and Papa's pool. She was slow to make up her mind about the whole experience, but before too long, she was smiling and kicking and splashing like a pro. Because we had such success in the pool, we decided to try the beach. We were meeting friends in Melbourne beach anyway, but I thought we would actually try the ocean. I was a little nervous because it was incredibly hot that day, but hoping that it would make the ocean more enjoyable for her. Wrong! Caiden was NOT impressed. She was very hot, and very frightened of the loud waves. Daddy was the only one who could make her feel safe. I think he didn't mind too much. =) So, before she got really miserable, we left to hang out at their pool. That was much more to her liking, and she charmed everyone by sweetly squealing with delight. =)

New this week: sweet potatoes! She didn't care for them in the beginning, but by the end of the week, she was loving them! This week we pulled out the booster seat that the Priest family gave us. It sits on a regular chair, but is just her size. She enjoyed sitting with me at the table like a big girl while I ate my lunch yesterday. Too cute!

On the diaper front: on Friday we're meeting with a woman who runs a home based diaper business/ website nearby. She gave me a "virtual consultation" via her website and recommended a few diapers. So, on Friday I will meet with her a get to look, feel and try on a few different brands and see which ones we want to go with. I'm really excited! If anyone is interested, her website is Until next week...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Six months and getting better everyday!

How is it possible that my little girl is over a half a year old?? We had her six month old check up today (I'm really wondering why I go and pay someone to tell me things I already know...) and we found out that she is 16 lbs and 9 oz, 26 inches long. Yeah for breastfeeding! =)

This past week has been full of firsts again. She is sitting very well now, so we went ahead and began solids. We just started with bananas and breast milk because that's what we had on hand, and then added rice cereal yesterday. I made our rice cereal from scratch, and I found $1 (star-shaped!) ice cube trays so I could freeze it in "meal sized" portions. I've decided that Mondays will be my baby food days, cooking, pureeing, and freezing.

I wish you could see Caiden eat. When the spoon comes out, she becomes a different child. Gone is our content, laid back, sociable baby- in her place is a wide eyed, intense, leg kicking, arm waving baby grunting with impatience in between bites, her face covered in whatever is being spooned into her mouth. (She's still learning how to be efficient in the swallowing department and only ingests about 1/2 of each spoonful.) It just makes me giggle. But, because of her vocalizations, we've begun signing in full force. Before each bite I sign to her "more please", and take her hands and help her sign. Then I shovel it in as fast as I can so that she can make the correlation. =) I sign TO her all the time, but this is the first time I'm requiring it from her. =)

She is "kissing" now, whispering (sticking her tongue between her gums and blowing), sitting alone, and babbling to herself in her car seat, or pretty much any time she's alone. Her favorite game is the "drop it" game. She will take a toy and drop it outside of the laundry basket "playpen" and look up at you like- whatcha gonna do? When you hand it back to her she smiles delightedly. Today she had her first swim at Grandma and Papa's which she thoroughly enjoyed. She continues to be incredibly curious, sociable, observant, and smiley. She's just getting better everyday! We are so blessed.

I am also excited that Jeff is back home after 10 days in Honduras. That was the longest stretch we've been apart in our marriage, and we survived, but we're glad it's over! He had a wonderful trip and was able to finish the tasks that they began while they were there. (Some of which include youth events every night, painting the exterior of several churches, masonry, concrete laying, and other construction on those churches as well.) He came home wishing he could adopt a little girl named Marjorie who was precious. (There was a little boy in Haiti that he fell in love with too- Daniel) I keep thinking that one of these days he's not going to be able to resist, and he's going to come home with an addition to our family. =)

My latest task is back to researching cloth diapers. We had to buy diapers for the first time last week. (hey- six months on gifts isn't half bad!) I'm just trying to see if this is really cost and time effective- also if we'll avoid leaks more than we do now. (Leaks are a common occurance for us as Caiden has b.m.'s every few days and when she does, she explodes! ) =( Well, that's all for today.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wow, it's been a while...sorry folks. We got home from camp last week and I've been consumed with cleaning my house and catching up on two weeks worth of dirty laundry. You know how it is! =)

Well, this was our first camp experience with Caiden. Last year at camp I was newly pregnant, very tired, and continually stuffing my face with fresh fruit to try and keep my tummy "on my side". This year, I was newly UNpregnant, a little tired, and trying to eat in between pulling Caiden's hands out of my food, or trying not to spill it on her as she slept in her sling.

We almost didn't go this year because Caiden was getting over her first sniffle and I was nervous about managing in a new and rustic environment by myself as Jeff was consumed by running camp. So, we decided to bring along my sister Kate. Best idea ever! =) It was great having an extra set of loving, willing and capable hands around to spell me. What a blessing!

Caiden adjusted beautifully to our traveling and to camp life. She was the center of attention all week long and the recipient of many compliments, including those that commented on her flexibility, her laid back and happy nature, and of course, her cuteness. (Is that even a word?) Of course if I was carried around all day by my momma, and fed on command, and kept happy and entertained by an assortment of interesting people, I would be pretty happy too. =) But really, she did very well traveling and otherwise- much better than I was anticipating. The only change in her behavior was that she awoke once a night (most nights) to eat. That was a very small price to pay for uprooting her and changing her entire schedule. And I am happy to report, and now that she's back in her own home, she's sleeping through again!

While we were gone, I had a lot of time for she and I to spend together uninterrupted. I noticed
so much more about her, and got to cherish every little idiosyncrasy. She is growing so quickly! She just turned over by herself, but she won't do it on command. She loves sitting up supported, and is eager to go solo soon. She plays her own version of peek a boo by looking away, and then turning back quickly. She giggles now at vocal changes, and anticipates funny things before they happen. (you know, like "I'm gonna get you!") She loves sucking on her toes, and gets the hiccups every time she laughs. She prefers to be held facing the world around her. She is VERY social (go figure!). One of her favorite past times is talking up a storm and laughing when you respond. She also loves working on those leg muscles in her Jumeroo courtesy of G-ma McLaughlin.

I would love to write more, but it's baby bedtime, and she's letting me know she's about ready to end her daytime activies. More later!

Monday, May 21, 2007

This is Caiden's first Easter picture. It was so cute, I just had to share! There is another picture of her surrounded by all of her aunts, Grandma and Great-Grandma (named Gigi for G.G) all taking pictures of her and oohing and aahing. It's pretty funny, and pretty scary. How we're going to keep this child from being spoiled rotten is a mystery to me. I'm calling down wisdom from heaven!
In the last week or so Caiden has found how delicious her toes are, and partakes as often as given the chance. She now pulls herself to sitting (and beyond!) when reclining in her baby bath. Gone are the lovely days of relaxing bath times. Now it's a tug of war and a tsunami zone between the kicks and toe eating and sit-ups. I'm sure given a few more weeks when she's sitting up better things will improve, but for now it's definitely an adventure. It wears her out before bedtime though!! =) Still no rolling over, but she's making headway. She makes it onto her side and teeters before deciding that she's not quite ready to go all the way. It's almost a game for her.
In the last three days she has also discovered her voice and is experimenting with voice inflections and intonations with great delight. She coos in a gentle soft almost whisper, then in a sing-song voice, and moves on to just squealing. Sometimes she scares herself with her squeals and then bursts into frightened screams. Part of me wants to laugh, and the other part has sympathy on her. So much change and so many new discoveries must be overwhelming at times.
In other news, please pray for my brother who is in surgery AGAIN. He had surgery a few weeks ago to take bone from his hip to place in his wrist to mend a break that happened when he was younger. However, he has the same problem as my dad where his body rejects the sutures used to close him up. He's been back in surgery several time to clean out his wound and hope that healing will happen from the inside out. Also, Beckah stepped on barbed wire in the creek in TN, and is overdue for a tetnus shot... Dad is in Tennessee, and Mom is here with Tim. Please pray!! Thanks!
Only one more day of school with the kiddos, two more at work. Praise Jesus!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


So, as you know I am back at work until the end of the school year. Next year I have the opportunity to work part time at my school and I am jumping at it. However for the duration of this year, because I have a wonderful principal, he has allowed me to feed Caiden at school during my lunch break! Caiden's Grandmothers have been amazing and deliver her to me every day.

Monday is G-ma's day (Mom McLaughlin). She is amazing. She drives an hour each way to come watch Caiden at our house and in addition, she brings her to me at lunch time. I love the fact that Caiden gets that time with her to bond and benefit from all the wonderful things Mom has to offer. They have so much fun together playing, taking walks, reading books, and I'm sure so much more. When Caiden comes for lunch she is always dressed to the nines because G-ma picks out all of her cutest clothes. =) I praise God for our families and how incredibly supportive they are of us during this complicated season of our lives. It is such a blessing to be bringing Caiden up in the middle of such loving families! (Next time we'll get some pics of the other Grandma and Aunts delivering Caiden for lunch.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I'm still alive! Jeff and I both have been down for the count with nasty colds so life has gotten a little more complicated. I even missed two days of work.... but tomorrow we're off so I have a few days to rest and focus on getting healthy.

Praise God that Caiden is still healthy!! I've been wearing a mask when I feed her to eliminate excessive germs and she thinks that is just comical. In other new developments, she found her thumb this week. I am relieved that she's found a way to soothe herself because she hates her pacifier with a purple passion. =) She's still sleeping through the night- 9:30-6:30 which is a blessing I'm thankful for every day! She is really getting to be a lot of fun. She is intrigued by everything around her and if she's stuck looking at the same thing for too long, she'll kindly remind you that you're slacking on your job. =) She loves watching me sign to her, and she seems to be fascinated by reading books. She still enjoys our walks in the neighborhood and sitting outside. I often bring her out into the garage while Jeff is working out there or washing the car, and she is quite content to be in the midst of any activity. Every night I bring her into the kitchen and talk to her while I make dinner. The way I figure it, she'll be taking over for me in a few months. She is making strides at rolling over, making it to her side and teetering, but never really completing the rotation. I think the actually rolling part intimidates her.
I am loving being her Mom and miss every moment I have to be away from her. She's at such a fun age! Hopefully things will get a little easier in the next week or two as I get better, and I intend to be better at updates. Gotta run!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This is the cute bath time photo I was telling you about. It's about a month old, but it's still a good one of her smiling. She has other smiles too, of course, but I haven't captured many of those yet. I'm not good at making her smile behind a camera yet. =) Gotta run - feeding time!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The many faces of Caiden - 12 weeks

Twelve weeks brings experimenting with new sounds, especially one that resembles purring, and even a squeal every now and again, exuberant kicks, sucessfully placing fists in her mouth, using cooing to get our attention and then smiling and chuckling that it works. She loves sticking the tongue out and delighting in the silliness of others when they stick theirs back out at her. She is turning her head at sounds, eye gaze following people around, practicing holding her head up and sometimes running into shoulders, heads, or anything else nearby when she loses control. However, my personal favorite is sleeping for 7 and 8 hours a night! I'm loving this age!! Here are some of her many faces. (I have a smiling one, but it won't let me add any more right now. Next time!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Smiling on Daddy's chest.

Yesterday we went to hang out at the racket club as guests of some of the kids in our youth group. We just lounged around near the lake, soaking up this sun and the wind. Today we went on our first family walk on the bike path. When we came back, Caiden and I had a picnic in our back yard. We've picnicked before, but she was too little to fully enjoy it. I'll include some pictures Jeff captured while Caiden was telling how much she was enjoying herself. I have never seen her so excited. Her whole body was excited: her arms were waving, legs were kicking, she was smiling and cooing. She even had her first out-loud laugh as the wind blew by. I couldn't help but join her in her exultation. It was one of those priceless moments that you cherish forever.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Well, I made it! My first day back to work is over. I even got out early because the school just finished FCAT testing, and the Principal sent us all home early as a reward. =) I felt the prayers of so many today! I didn't even cry. I almost lost it when I kissed my sweet baby girl goodbye, but the teacher I work with was walking in at the same time, waited for me, hugged me and quickly distracted me. Thank you Jesus for angels in disguise! Even my Principal found me today and let me know that he understood that I didn't want to be there, but that he was so glad I was back. How sweet! Everyone was so kind, and one teacher even let me use her room to nurse Caiden during my lunch break. The little boy I interpret for finally understood by the end of the day that I was back full time, and he was very excited. Even his reaction was a blessing from the Lord.

Caiden survived beautifully. She even stayed on schedule! Of course I was thrilled to "get her back" and I was even hesitant to put her down for her afternoon nap. We did have some quality time with cooing and smiles and nursing before she dozed off though, and I treasured those moments with my whole heart.

Thank you to all who prayed for me today. Your love and support mean so much! One more day until Spring Break!! =)

Friday, March 02, 2007


Caiden smiled at her first inanimate object today. =) The lucky benefactor was her turtle rattle that hangs on her carseat/stroller. We were on our afternoon walk and I was talking to her about all of the sounds we were experiencing: the wind in the trees, the birds calling to eachother, the squirrels scampering up and down the trees, the water trickling in the stream along the sidewalk, and suddenly she smiles the sweetest smile... the one where she smiles with her eyes and sticks her tongue out (similiar to the first blurry smile picture on this blog). And then I smiled. She was focued on something totally different than what I was trying to share with her, and I almost missed her appreciation of it in my attempt to get her to appreciate what I was focused on. As we walked I thought about how there was a lesson for me here. I'm sure there will be many times in our brief learning time together that I will have the opportunity to get to know my daughter, or instead barrel ahead with my own agenda. It was a reminder to appreciate her for who she is and what she likes. I will share my loves with her along the way, but hopefully I will be gentle in my approach realizing that she may, or may not, appreciate them in the way that I do. (we see so many child/parent conflicts stemming from situations like these in our interactions with teenagers!) Parents, in their rush to impart _________(fill in the blank) forget to delight in their children- for the individual God created them to be. I pray that God gives us grace and wisdom to not make that mistake. I'm sure we will make plenty others.

On a side note, Caiden weighed in today at two ounces short of eleven pounds! =) Next time I'll share about our adventure in NOT immunizing (yet, anyway).

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I found out yesterday that I have to return to work sooner than I thought. As in, a week and a half sooner than I thought. And I'm just not ready. I KNOW that we have to do this because of the insurance, and it's just for two months, but I'm really struggling. I'm sure that's normal, and being emotional is expected, but this is really hard. I'm trying not to be emotional so I don't upset the baby...and I know that crying won't help anything, but I'm really, really sad. The good thing, is that I start back on a Wednesday, which is a short day, and I only work two days before Spring Break kicks in and I get a long week with my baby girl.
Logistically I know this will be so challenging...Caiden is still waking twice or three times a night to nurse, and I will have to be out of the house by 7:00 every morning. She is still nursing every two hours or so except when she takes her morning nap (3-4 hours). The good thing is that I won't have any trouble pumping at 9:00, and 11:00, and 1:30 (hopefully Mom can bring Caiden to me during my lunch break at 11:00 so I can nurse her myself). So, that is only two or three (max) feedings that I won't be able to give her myself. That is a blessing.
If you all think of us, please pray for us- emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and logistically. Learning to juggle all of these things will be challenging for sure.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Yesterday we had an advenure- actually several of them...all before we left the house. =) Let me share. The day began with promise: the sun was shining, the sky was clear, the birds were chirping, and Caiden took a moment during her morning nursing session to smile sweetly at her Momma. Jeff and I showered, and then gave Caiden her bath. She smelled delicious, she looked adorable in her little sweater and bow- I was ready to share her with the world. Which was beneficial since we had to be out of the house by 9:00.

Well, 8:45 rolls around and the most terrifying sound comes out of our sweet smelling princess. Even she was surprised at the sheer force of it. And then, the clean scent of our infant was overshadowed by the smell of something rotten. Jeff and I exchaged glances and with fear and trembling looked underneath muttering a prayer for clean clothes. Apparently God thinks this is humorous. They are NOT clean. Caiden has added a new color to her floral sweater.... it doesn't match very well. We remove her diaper, her clothes, and put her back in the tub. After the second round, we're feeling the rush. We've GOT to get out of the door. Now, it is unclear whether the smell of haste whetted her appetite, or whether she realized that her tummy was now empty after all of her hard work, but Caiden decides to, in no uncertain terms, demand food. Okay, I obliged hoping that a snack would hold her over until we had arrived at our destination. I guess Caiden did not like the brightness of her second outfit, for up came the milk and doused those bright colors right out. I groaned, Jeff grouned, and Caiden smiled. On to outfit number three. Finally we left, and arrived for our lunch date at 12:00. Sigh. We parked, grabbed the carrier and headed for the restaurant. Oh no....either someone has set off fireworks nearby, or our baby is working in her new diaper- and her third outfit calls it quits. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, or both- alternatingly. Caiden is quite content for the remainder of the day- having entertained herself thoroughly. I promised her that if her would hold the tricks, I would find much more fun things to do in her spare time. To which she cheerfully hiccupped.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Daddy's Girl

I captured these pictures during Caiden and Daddy's morning time. Every morning before Jeff leaves for work, he spends a few quiet moments with Caiden. It is clear that she is Daddy's little girl. She is so quick to smile at him!

Yesterday morning after I fed her she was crying and Jeff said, "Let me try." Within seconds of passing her off, she was smiling. (I however was not. ) ;) But in all reality, I think it's adorable and am so glad that they have this sweet relationship already.

Today we are at my parents' house and we did get footage of Caiden smiling at me. It doesn't happen as often for me as for Jeff, but it does happen and I cherish each one!

Here are some cute ones with her new hat from Target. Amy Coe's designs are my new favorites. Someone gave me an outfit by Amy Coe and little knit shoes that match this hat, and a Target gift card was burning a hole in my pocket so of course I had to buy the hat. =) Yep, it's my first frivilous purchase for my little girl. Oh well, it could be worse- I could have had to PAY for it! =)

Well, off to take a nap. We had another rough night last night...who knows why!

Friday, February 09, 2007

A little Valentine

Here is a picture of our little Valentine. This picture also shows the bow I made on Wednesday. We had another five hour chunk of sl eep last night, but unfortunately, she has been really fussy the last 24 hours or so. I can't figure out why... In fact that is why I must sign off for now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Smiling, sleeping and other fun things

Okay, so the picture is blurry, but it is the only picture of Caiden smiling that we have so far. Yesterday we had our first real smile fest complete with cooing. I was so excited!! Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera at home... But last night Jeff brought it home and we got some cute bath time pics. I'll post those next.

But, the real exciting news is...drumroll please! Caiden slept for six hours in a row!!!!!! She slept from 11:00 to 5:00am for the last two nights now. It's a miracle!!! Then I feed her until around 6:00am and then she sleeps again until 8:00. YAHOO!!! Praise be to God - this is the biggest blessing! =)

Yesterday was such a fun day. It was gloriously beautiful outside, (and I was rested which of course helps!) so we went on a long walk. When we came home, Caiden took a nap and when she awoke, we went back outside to sit in the grass, look at the sky and leaves blowing in the wind and to listen to the birds. That amused her so well, I decided to take advantage of the moment and weed my poor neglected garden. FYI- strawberries do really well inspite of neglect!

My newest project is making Caiden bows. So many people ask if she's a boy or girl, and I guess her name isn't very definitive so I've decided that bows are my best line of defense. =) As soon as I finish one, I'll show ya'll.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Well, at Caiden's one month check up we found out that she now weighs just over a whopping 8 pounds! =) That's more than a pound increase over her birth weight...and I thought I was just imagining that her cheeks were getting bigger! =)

We also went to church this Sunday for the first time. It was quite challenging. We had to slip out mid service because she was waking up (she does this very loudly with lots of grunts, snorts, stretches, and squeaks over a long period of time.) And instead of going to Sunday school, we had to scout out a place to feed her. When we were finished, everything was over and people had gone home. =( Oh well, we'll learn to coordinate better in the future. Oh, who am I kidding? When she's hungry, she's hungry, what can I say?!

Wednesday we'll go to youth group for the first time. I'm going to wear her in her sling though, so people can look, but not touch. =)

On the sleep front, she is still waking at 12:00, 3:00, and 5:00. At 5:00 she wakes up ready to be held and be up for the day. Most of the time I can get away with putting her in the swing and going back to sleep, but not today...but I'm not complaining. It could be worse.

That's all for now. =)

Friday, January 26, 2007

One Month!

I can hardly believe that Caiden is a month old tomorrow. Here are a few pics of her today.

Here is our first family photo in front of our Christmas tree. It came down about a week after we brought her home. (I couldn't bring myself to take it down before she arrived. I love our Christmas tree! ) When I look at this picture, I smile. I could hardly get down to sit on the ground, and I needed help standing up. We have come a long way! Praise God!

Today we went with Daddy to work. It was great to be out of the house and around people again, however now I am exhausted, and we have a big day at the McLaughlin's tomorrow. Caiden will meet her Great-Grandparents tomorrow at Grandma and Grandpa's, and see her cousins, Connor and Landon. I know this is short, but I wanted to atleast update a little. Time is flying so fast, and I know if I put it off, I will be disappointed later. So, that's all for now, folks!