Monday, May 31, 2010


Russ, Chloe Jo and I took a trip to the east coast this weekend. Russ tried out at a congregation and we have accepted a job there! This is a big change for both of us. I've lived a lot of places, but they have all been in the mid-west. It will be interesting to see how we integrate into the east coast life. The place we went didn't seem too far off from what we are used to, though. We are really excited about this adventure we are embarking on and a little sad to leave our families here. But, we must go where God sends us and I believe He is sending us to this new place. It's been a long, tough road to find a congregation to serve with and we are thankful that it is finally over! We will be moving out there at the end of July. Now to find a place to live...that sounds like a ton of fun since we will be doing it long distance!

I used to love to fly, but that has changed. Although Chloe Jo did a great job on the planes and with getting up at 3:30 a.m. on Monday and 4:30 a.m. on Saturday. She is an all night sleeper so this was different for her. Here are a couple of pictures from two of our flights.

Here is the church building where we will be worshipping com August.
This is the inside. I love that it is an older building and has that charm and character.
Here are the two *real* reasons that Russell got the job. Ha!
We really are super excited about this move! It's time we do the work we have been wanting to do for a couple of years now!
And for those of you who are wondering...there is a fertility specialist in a city about 1 1/2 hours from where we are going to live. Not ideal, but it will work for us I think!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Introducing the Potty

Ya'll are going to think I'm crazy, but I've started introducing the potty to Chloe Jo. Yes, I know she isn't even 14 months old yet. Yes, I realize that she probably doesn't understand enough to be able to be potty trained. Technically, I'm not "potty training"...I'm - what I like to call - "introduing the potty."

My Mom recently went to see my grandparents in another state. These grandparents and part of my aunts, uncles and cousins all live in the same area. One of my cousins and his wife have a baby girl who is about 9 months old. They told my Mom that whenever they are getting ready to put their little girl in the bath, they first set her on the toilet and she will potty...she even went number 2 once. Seriously! 9 months old! After my Mom told me that I thought to myself, "Self, that's a great idea! Why don't you do that with Chloe Jo!" And so I did. We've been doing this since Monday and since we have been swimming, Chloe Jo has gotten a bath every night. And - drumroll please - she has tinkled in the potty TWICE! So exciting. I don't think she understands what is going on, but she will and this will -hopefully- make potty training that much easier.

My sis did ask me when I plan on starting potty training with Chloe Jo. I told her that I am going to see what happens at 18 months. If she isn't ready, no biggie. I'll wait a month and try again. I do want her potty trained by 2 years, though. I think it is ridiculous how parents let their kids stay un-potty-trained until they are 3 and 4 years old. I'm talking about the ones that are just too lazy to even try or care. I say "if I don't have to spend the money on diapers, why would I!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is what CUTE looks like!

Chloe Jo and cousin Brianna

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Wow - I've had an insane couple of weeks and we are going to be busy for at least four more weeks. I'm pretty much exhausted and am running out of energy. I don't have plans until Saturday, though so maybe I can get caught up on some rest and feel reenergized for our ... TRYOUT ... this weekend. We are so excited!

All of a sudden we have had a few congregations interested in us! It seems like the churches looking for preachers are starting to pick up again. Russell has lined up THREE tryouts over the next month and one speaking engagement (not trying out, just filling in). This weekend we are flying to the east coast. I don't want to leave the area we are in now (I'm a mid-west girl through and through) and so I'm thinking that this is going to be where we move to. If it wasn't for the leaving my family part and the I love the Mid-West part, I wouldn't think twice about this. I am excited to see a different part of the country and if we did end up moving there, we would only be 1 1/2 hours from the Atlantic Ocean. That would be so neato bandito (to a mid-west girl)!

Another thing keeping me busy is that I've been going to my sisters to watch her little preciousness while she goes back to work. I went from Tuesday through Friday evening two weeks in a row. Brianna is such an easy baby! There are days (like today unfortunately) that I really wonder if I could handle two babies. If the second one were like Brianna, there is no question. If the second one were to be like Chloe Jo, I would probably have to buy stock in ear plugs to keep my sanity. Bri is also a sweetie! She talks all the time and she is so different from Chloe Jo. The two of them are friends now. Chloe Jo didn't really know what to think of Bri at first, but now she loves her. She helped me burp her and she tried to share her toys with her while we were there. And when we took pictures of the two of them together she didn't push her away and try to bail off of the chair this time! This is some major progress for Chloe Jo! I will go back one more time in June to watch her again and then I'm done with that.

While all that was going on, I also had to get my products done for the store I'm renting space out of. I finished up 10 hair bow holders, 71 hair bows and also bought 60 headbands to sell. I've put in a chunk of money and so I am now hoping that everything goes well and I actually make a little money doing this. I'm excited about the store, but also nervous about this decision. It's a little out of my comfort zone to do things like this. We will see, though!

As for my list of 100 Greatest Novels, I've finished two. I read Don Quixote and The Sound and the Fury. I am now reading Absalom, Absalom. I did check out Great Expectations, thinking I would take it to read this weekend, but I haven't made it very far in Absalom, Absalom so I'm thinking that is what I'm going to take with me.

I'm nervous about flying with Chloe Jo. She is a child that goes either way when doing new things. She either hates it or is okay with it. I'm hoping she's okay with it, but she doesn't really like big crowds so I'm prepared for the worst. Speaking of going either way, I took her swimming yesterday and today. Yesterday was awful. She HATED it! We were only in the water for 10 minutes and she cried the entire time. I took her again today (I'm thinking we just need to go for a few days straight and maybe she will get used to it and like it) and she wasn't quite as bad, but she still didn't like it. Oh well, maybe she isn't going to be a water child. That wouldn't be the end of the world since we don't swim much anyway.

I'm going to end this with a picture of the little sweetie. I found this dress clearanced for $10.00 and just had to have it. Doesn't she look like a little doll!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another This and That Post

Sometimes I find myself so busy that I don't have time to do all the posts I want to and I just have to default to a "This and That" post.

-Russell and I were able to go on our first date since before Chloe Jo was born on Saturday evening. We went to our favorite restaurant, Red Lobster! Yum! We had a great time and we didn't hardly talk about Chloe Jo at all! I wasn't sure we would have enough to talk about, but we did and we really enjoyed it. Chloe Jo stayed with Grampy and G-Jo for the evening. When we went to pick her up, Grampy yelled at us to "Go Away. We aren't done playing!"
-It is prom time here so there were a couple of prom couples there. We sat in the car for a few minutes just so I could see a prom girls dress. I know that is kind of stalkerish, but I love frilly dresses!
-G-Jo has been working on this adorable dress for Chloe Jo. She finished it Saturday evening and Chloe Jo was able to wear it to church services on Sunday. I think it is so adorable!!!
-I love the back, how it criss-crosses and I especially love the hat! G-Jo is sooooo talented!
-I am still doing The Shred. I am on Day 22 today and I've done it every day! WOW! I'm surprised at myself for keeping it up. I also walked a total of 16 miles last week so I was hoping that would help with the weight loss. Again, it was a no go. I gained a pound. I'm not too sad about this because I did take some of your advice and measured. I lost an inch around the waist and an inch around both thighs. I didn't lose anything in the hips. I am super happy about my progress, though!
-Chloe Jo and I went to story time at the Library again this morning. I love their children's area because it is all decked out in train stuff. Here are a few pictures I took of Chloe Jo this morning. I didn't take any of story time because we had so much to do!

-We sure are loving going to story time! I think it is helping Chloe Jo with her anxiety. She tried to walk away from me today and did a few times. She isn't looking around for me so much anymore and I am so happy about that. I want her to be able to play with the other kids and not worry about where Momma is all the time. Hopefully she won't become too individual too fast. I don't know if I could handle that! Ha!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Some Happenings

-We had a lectureship at the church I attend this week. Chloe Jo was good every night except for the last one. She cried during the whole second lesson! Ugh. It was horrible. We don't have a children's church or anything so I've been trying to train her to be quiet during the lessons and she does really well for the most part. Sometimes she gets rowdy and I have to take her to the nursery, but she really is doing well. My goal is for her to be able to sit quietly through the whole service by age 2 so we are doing really good! And yes, I know I probably expect too much from a baby!

-None of my items have sold on Etsy. I'm a little disappointed about that, but not surprised I guess. I wouldn't buy hair bows online normally so I don't know why I thought other people would. Actually I do know why. My friend bought a couple online so I thought maybe others really would. Nope. At least not mine. But, that's okay because I am going to try to sell them in a store here. I think they might sell better if people can touch them and maybe buy them as a treat for their little ones. I'm excited about it. I'm going to go by a store today that is like the one I am going to participate in and make sure it is definitely something I want to do. I'm excited about trying this! Hopefully I'll be able to make some money with it!

-I have walked 10 miles so far this week and am going to go for a walk as soon as I get this post done. I am on day 19 of The Shred and am feeling good about everything this week. I've been really watching what I eat and am hoping for good results on Monday. I did take some of the advice from my last Shred post and took my measurements so if I gain again, I can at least measure and see if anything is happening. I know my endurance has improved a lot since I started The Shred!

-Russell and I are going on a date tomorrow evening....without Chloe Jo! We haven't been on a date since before she was born. I know that most of you think that is horrible, but it does not bother us. I want to be with my baby and since she is a good napper/sleeper, we get alone time together. Grampy and G-Jo are going to watch her for us while we go to Red Lobster (my favorite!). Yum!

-Russell let me order a pair of tennis shoes from Curves for Mother's Day. They are like the Skechers Shape Ups, but half the price. Hopefully I will like them!

-I think it is going to rain so I better get to my walk before I lose my chance! Hopefully it will hold off until Chloe Jo and I get back!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big A, little a, what begins with A?

Aunt Annie's Alligater. A....a....A!

I love Dr. Suess books, especially ones that are educational like his ABC book! Furthermore, I've always loved to read. I used to get in trouble when I was little for reading too much. I would read when I was supposed to be cleaning my room. I would read when I was supposed to be setting the table. I would read for hours in the bathtub...and while sitting on the toilet! I got in trouble most for that last one. Hee hee. Because of my love for reading and how it has helped me in my life, I'm trying to instill that same love into Chloe Jo. If she decides she doesn't like to read, it won't be a big deal, but I will be disappointed. I love Dr. Suess and reading those books to her now and I'm looking forward to reading The American Girl series to her later. So far, though, it looks like she is going to be a book worm like her Momma!

One thing I have been doing to help her learn to love reading is taking her to Story Time at our local Library. It is so fun! I started going to one about 5 minutes away from us 3 weeks ago. That Story Time was specifically for 1 year olds. Unfortunately, it ended at the end of April and they aren't going to begin again for her age group until June so I had to regroup. We have several branches of our Library so I found out that another one has a story time through May for infants through 36 months and we went to that one this week. I ended up liking that Library better because the whole children's area is so cute! It's decorated with trains and has a train that run along a track at the ceiling and a big engine that the kids can get into and play in. I'll have to take pictures next week! The really neat thing about going to the story time close to us was that there was always an activity that the children did at the end. The first week we went, we made trains out of construction paper. The second week was all about our bodies and we made this:

Chloe Jo was one of the only ones that would lay down to be traced around. I'm also loving the fact that she can interact with other children. She is so shy and gets anxious very easily so I'm hoping this will help her in that area. Russell was extremely shy when he was a child and now is a preacher so maybe she just needs to grow out of it. After story time I pick out a few books for her to check out and we read them every day, sometimes several times, and take them back the next week. Along with having Library books for her to read, I also have a basket of board books that she can look at in our living room. The regular books are put up so she won't rip them and I get a few of them out once a day to read to her.
At any time when Chloe Jo is awake our living room has toys and books scattered everywhere. I love it tat she likes her books right now and hope that she will continue to love them!
Since we have been going to the Library every week, I've also started checking out books for myself. Russell had been buying books and bringing them home for me to read, but I think it's a bit of a waste of money since I can go to the Library. My sister found a list of the top books of all time and is reading some of them this year. I thought that was a great idea and found this list for me to start on. There are a lot of different lists for this, but I found that I liked the list I linked to the best. I checked out Don Quixote and am enjoying it very much! I am especially excited to read Moby-Dick and the Jane Austen novels (though I've read most of her works already). Maybe I can keep this brain of mine from going too stale while I'm a stay-at-home mom!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weigh Day

2 weeks of The 30 Day Shred and I have gained *GAINED* a 1/2 pound. I can't believe it! I've been watching what I eat and staying on the Slim Fast program and still I gained. I'm a little depressed, but also ready to be more agressive. I am starting Level 2 of The Shred tomorrow and I walked 2 miles this morning before working out. Plus, I push the stroller on my walks so that counts for something, right? RIGHT? I thought my clothes were starting to feel looser, but now I don't know. Maybe I'm just dreaming. I knew my metabolism had changed since I started nursing, but I thought losing 10 pounds would be easy like it used to be. No dice, though. *Sigh*