Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Waiting it out

So...Christmas has come and gone. Now we're in full Abigail mode! And...she could arrive any time now! The doctor said today that he doesn't expect me to make it to January 11. In fact, I'm ready to go into labor just any time now. We'll see! It's definitely exciting!!!

Eli continues to grow more and more every day. He is becoming a little dare devil! And he's picking up new words daily! Today it's "Oh, Lord!" So funny! I think he's anticipating something big changing in our home. But, he's a good trooper and will be a great big brother.

Mom has been coming over to help with Eli in the evenings (Chris gets home around 7:30). That has been super helpful as I'm worn out by then! Today we worked on getting everyone's bags packed for the big arrival. Plus, she cleaned up the glider - which Eli thinks is his toy. We'll see how that goes.

Anyhow, I'm surfing the internet hoping to go into labor soon. You know, it's an additional tax deduction anytime up to 11:59 tomorrow night!

More to come...including the rest of our Christmas pictures!

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Christmas Pictures

Christmas Part 1

We've had a full weekend! Friday night we visited with the Keelings. Saturday we visited with Josh, Deb, and Ian and the rest of the Osmon's. At church on Sunday was our Christmas Celebration service. Grannie read a book to Eli about the true meaning of Christmas. Afterwards we went back to the Osmon's for more game playing and visitin'.

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Day full of surprises!

Well, I'm down to the final 65 minutes of working in the office. I will work from home for a few days and officially begin maternity leave after Christmas. I am officially super pregnant. I told my manager yesterday that my clothes were starting to not fit. Thankfully I had my hair cut and highlighted yesterday because....

My meeting with my manager and team leader this morning ended up being a surprise baby shower! And seriously, I was VERY surprised! No idea! The "men of Duracell" hosted the shower and did an awesome job! Of course, there was Chick-fil-A breakfast (I guess I comment a lot on how much I love chicken bisquits!) and very fun games.

The first game involved 5 different stuffed animals. Ranging from a 2 foot Iams dog, a reindeer, the Charmin bear, and a couple of Razorback items. 5 men had 1 minute to diaper the pet of their choice with a handkerchief and 2 safety pins. It was hilarious! The second game was to guess how "big" my belly is - and the winner won by less than an inch! Thirdly was the word game where no one could say "baby" - or lose their safety pin! The guys had very cute certificates for the winners! And, at P&G we are all type-A and super competitive. It was a lot of fun!

The decorations were over-the-top! It was almost like prom! Last night, several of the men and their families came up to the office and made a big arch of pink and white balloons and pink candy bags for everyone. Oh, and there were big pacifiers made of pink and white balloons! Eli is going to be in heaven - he is balloon crazy!

The team gave me several nice items, including the majority of Abi's bedding. This is a MAJOR answer to prayer. We haven't had the money to buy it and I've tried my best to not worry about it - like she's really going to need it for a few months (or so I tell myself). I've been praying about letting God take care of the situation instead of me forcing an answer. The team cannot know how timely their gift has been. I cannot wait to get home and transform her bare white crib into a warm and inviting place for our little cupcake to rest.

Also, I am very appreciative of Michael Brown's family's help with the shower. Ani led the way with the balloons and their two daughters made the gift bags. I hear they had quite a good time putting them together. The Brown's lost an infant daughter less than a month ago and I feel like it makes their time and support even more special. They are a dynamic Christian family that celebrates all life that is given from God. What an inspiration to Chris and me.

Now I'm down to the final 53 minutes! I am very thankful for this company that does support mothers and families in general. They make it easy to be a Mom. The men of Duracell have set a high standard for the WalMart team. Thanks to everyone who helped plan, execute, and celebrate the arrival of AbiJean!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bad News

Bad news. I have the flu. It hit out of nowhere - but it hit hard. I've drank more Sprite today than in the past 5 years combined.

Praise the Lord for parents that live near by and for a company that understands.

Although...this is my last week of work before vacation that leads into my maternity leave. I'll have to check on that.

Hopefully I will be well enough to work some tomorrow. And that no one else will get it!

Off to sit back on the couch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice Day

I guess it's officially winter. Yesterday the weather dropped over 30 degrees in one hour! BRRR! Plus, with the ice, Eli's daycare was closed today. We spent most of the day snuggled in the rocking chair gazing at the Christmas lights.

We also might have had a nap or two.

More snow began to fall after Eli woke up from his long nap. He enjoyed looking out the window at the snow flakes. He also helped me make Harvest Apple Bread and a chocolate pound cake for my manager's birthday. Our home is very warm and yummy smelling!

Eli also enjoyed watching Looney Tunes and now Cars.

Well, he's ready to play. See you later!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good times, good times

I just want to say that being this pregnant, it's important to celebrate the small things. For instance, I've been meaning to make banana bread for the past week. I've also been meaning to clean my kitchen floors for...well, too long to remember.

Chris had to work late last night and Mom came over to care for Eli. He's dealing with a cold/sinus mix and cutting three teeth.

Since Eli wasn't interested in solid food, I gave him some favorites and let him "play" with it. He had grapes and these veggie dip cheetos like things. Naturally, he dumped them all over the kitchen floor and was cooking with them (I also gave him some bowls and spatulas). This is all while I was working on the banana bread. The point was to basically make my floor as dirty as possible so that I would be FORCED to clean them!

Thanks to Mom's entertainment for Eli, I was able to make 4 loaves of banana bread, fold and put away clothes, sweep, and mop my kitchen floors. The important thing is that I believe this is the FIRST time I've mopped my floors. I'll admit - I'm a Swiffer type cleaner and the floors only get mopped when Mom is helping out. So, for me to use my new blue bucket and mix some ammonia water and USE the mop is a big step for me. Yeah for growing up! In fact, I even took my socks off so that I could know what it's like to walk barefooted on a super clean floor!

Plus, Mom was able to get Eli to go to sleep by 7:45!!! So, I had another full hour to myself. Although, I'll admit. I got the heating pad, propped my feet up, and enjoyed a hot piece of banana bread while I waited for Chris. Then I slept super good! Praise the Lord!

Eli slept 12 hours and woke with a low grade temperature. Poor little guy. But don't feel too sorry for him - he is too busy walking between the Christmas tree in the living room and the one in his room to know that he doesn't feel well. He is enchanted with them! And, if you come over - he'll take you by the hand and show them to you!

More cleaning for the next 36 hours. Aunti O...aka Rebekah...is coming up for the weekend! YEAH! So, the goal is to clean both bathrooms and the guest bedroom. The "man"room is a mess! Plus, the menu for the weekend includes homemade bisquits, sausage, eggs, peppermint coffee, chicken'n dumplings, gumbo, french bread, grasshopper torte, and sweet tea. Last but not least, many rounds of Mexican Train by the fire at my parents house! CAN'T WAIT! WE LOVE IT WHEN AUNTIE O VISITS!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


One of the best movies of all time is You've Got Mail. I am always in the mood to watch it. In fact, I think of it often throughout the different randomness of my life. I always aspire to have my hair cut and wear clothes like Kathleen Kelly. About a month ago, I became reconnected with a missionary aunt...Aunt Cindy Jenkins. While we were in Mexico I spent a good amount of time in her home (in Guadalajara). I was telling Chris that her zucchini bread recipe is the first recipe I can remember getting from someone. And, yes, I still make it to this day!

Anyhow, Aunt Cindy and Uncle Rick are now missionaries in Barbados. Yes, very lovely. Back to the point of the post. She has a blog that she updates daily, but it is not open for public viewing. When she emailed me my username and password, I giggled a bit. My password is "mkgirl." So funny! Being in the states for the past several years, it's easy to forget my identity as a missionary kid.

But, every time I log in to read her blog, I get a few seconds of girly giddiness when I type m-k-g-i-r-l. At the same time, I can imagine Kathleen Kelly logging on to her email in her pj's and tapping her fingers - shopgirl waiting on mail from NY152.

Ok, back to reality.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas is in the air!

What a fun filled Christmas weekend we've had! Friday night we celebrated Chris' dad's birthday with some very delicious mexican food. Eli enjoyed all of the decorations and the opportunity to play with Uncle Kyle.
On Saturday morning, I had our Ladies' Mingle and Jingle event at a church member's home. We enjoyed yummy food while decorated jars to fill with hot cocoa. Nothing is better than homemade gifts! Chris helped a friend move and Eli took a trip to WalMart and Lowe's with his PaPaw.

Saturday evening we went to the Keeling's home for Christmas supper. This is a new tradition for us. We had a Thanksgiving rehearsal dinner - where we tried new recipes before the actual holiday. It was loads of fun! Aunt Mandy helped Eli decorate sugar cookies. He l-o-v-e-s red icing and sprinkles! We enjoyed telling old memories (ofcourse!) and making new ones. The thing we love about the Keeling clan is that it's just like family. No formalities...no frills. Just good times with great friends. Their tree was glowing...and well, we were all tired. I think we would have all slept in the living room if we had the chance!
On Sunday, we took Eli to the mall to get his Hallmark ornament. Chris gets him the collector's truck each year. This year it's an old Ford truck. Sunday evening we went to First Baptist's Christmas performance with Michael and Bonnie (cousins). It was wonderful! Eli loved the changing lights and Little Drummer Boy. They had a local high school's drum line perform and Eli danced thru the whole thing! Afterwards we went to Mazzio's. The fellowship was great...the food...well, that's another story.
So, here are a few pictures...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Friday!

Today is my FRIDAY! And, I'm going to a Christmas banquet for lunch, which means 1) free lunch, and 2) goodie bag! Oh, the small things of life!

Eli stayed with Mom and Dad last night. I got so much done! I did several loads of laundry, made lasagna, garlic bread, and peanut butter cookies. I also cleaned the kitchen and made 4 cards! All of course while listening to Christmas carols.

But, we sure missed our little one. It's so fun to watch him walk around and his discovery of the ornaments on the tree.

Here are the latest pictures of Eli:

Eli helping PaPaw and Grannie put Abi's crib together

Learning to use tools - note the cute red shoes!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What a busy week

Today will be a catch-up post. I was off all last week for Thanksgiving. Oh - so nice! I conquered cleaning the baseboards in the living room. Then, I paid the price the next day. My body is definitely very pregnant!
We had a great Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's house. Mom made breakfast enchiladas from December's Southern Living. The recipe is a keeper! Micah, Glenda, Chris, and I played Rummikub. How hard can that game be? Mexican train is much easier! We also watched The Christmas Card. Love it! It's a new movie that we bought at the Christian book store.
Friday included the famous LSU-Arkansas football game! I think people may look forward to that more than Thanksgiving itself! We were pleasantly surprised that Arkansas pulled the big Win (31 - 30). It's always a good game and the rivalry is thick at our home!
Saturday Mom and Dad came over to help with the Christmas tree. Remember, I am very pregnant. Anyhow, we couldn't have done it without their help. Seriously. Plus, my mom is a super cleaner! We decided not to put a lot of decorations up...well...because I'm super pregnant and Eli is in to everything! He is super impressed with the lights on the tree.
Sunday we woke up to SNOW! The best was rocking Eli with the tree lights on while the big flakes fell outside the window. So cozy! Not sure there is anything better.
So, now we're back in our "normal" routines. Chris' job continues to go well. I only have 3 partial weeks of work left! Eli's walking is getting stronger by the day. Only, now he wakes up for over an hour each night just wanting us near.
I'm going to the doctor on a regular basis now. Yeah for Abi's arrival! We have her crib up - no bedding, but the crib is up! I've got to get the big diaper bag and car seat cleaned up. She'll be here before we know it!
Have a wonderful day everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

We love cousin Dylan

Eli's wish is to never out grow cousin Dylan! We received three big boxes of clothes and shoes last night from our cousin. Eli thoroughly enjoyed pulling everything out of the boxes...and of course, enjoyed the empty boxes too!
We sincerely appreciate Dylan thinking of Eli. Eli will be kept warm and stylin' all thru the winter!
OH - and as a bonus, Chris was waiting at home for us when we pulled in the driveway! They are great playmates!
Pulling surprises out of the boxes
The loot

Kisses to cousin Dylan
The famous fish face

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who is writing your story?

There are days when life is just hard. Or, we feel our circumstances make our lives hard. I've been having a few of those days lately. Chris recently began a new job that will eventually have more opportunities, but right now, it's taken about 15 hours of family time at night. This would be hard for any couple - but, on top of it you can add a 16 month old and an 8+ month pregnant wife. It's a miracle if everyone eats something remotely healthy, gets bathed, and has a clean bottle of warm milk. Not to mention the filth of piled high dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and don't even get me started about the last time the floors were vacuumed. So, it's very easy to feel like a single mom (never underestimate the load they carry). Then, there's the day-time drain - work (which is a complete separate issue in itself), making sure there is enough money for gas and milk, trying to figure out how we're going to afford maternity leave AND incremental expenses when I return to work. It's all mentally and physically draining. And, yes, I remember that I am blessed to have a husband come home at all in the evenings. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have a husband or if he were in Iraq for the next several months. I'd probably just move in with my mom and dad and be on some type of medication.
I've been praying about this because I do believe that God has blessed me and it's important to be a thankful and gracious person. My state of mind has a great impact on my ability to be a decent/good wife, mother, friend, and co-worker.
As if on cue, Chris got up with us this morning and woke Eli up, fed him, and dressed him. This was so meaningful. Especially because I haven't had a night of un-interrupted sleep in who knows how long. Plus, Eli thinks his dad is hilarious.
On the way in to work I was listening to Focus on the Family. A lady was sharing about being a mother and she said something that stuck out to me: "let God write your story of motherhood." We create such preconceived notions about what the perfect life should look life and we make plans to meet that ideal. Often we don't leave room for God to write the story. It was a fresh reminder that my story of motherhood doesn't have to look like anyone else's- but it should most definitely be written by God. This is where peace and contentment come from.
As if the Lord were not done opening my eyes, I found a very interesting post on the Belly Chronicle's blog called The Invisible Mother. If you have a few minutes, you should read it. It has given me a different perspective on the work of a mother.
Anyhow, all this to say that being a Mom does get better every day. But, it many ways it gets harder every day. Having the right perspective and attitude at heart (and head) makes the difference.
And, thanks Chris for your help this morning!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spiritual lessons thru sinus infections

Thoughts from my daily women's devotion...

Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.Proverbs 3:7–8

Well, this is very timely. After Eli's ear infection, I have come down with an acute sinus infection...which led to a bout with pink eye. Thankfully I am able to take some antibiotics.

I have been feeling better and forgot to take my antibiotic yesterday morning. Big mistake. There is a reason I went to the doctor and that the doctor recommended 10 days of medicine. No more missing the horse pills for me!

I appreciate how the verse talks about being impressed with our own wisdom. It is often that I'm impressed with myself. Why? It's not like I've cured some disease or solved a mathematical dilemma. Maybe it's the triumph of making it through another day, balancing my checkbook (sometimes a mathematical dilemma), or making it to the grocery store with Eli without incident. Who knows. But, it does happen.

And, it's usually about that time I start feeling impressed with myself that I begin to rely more on my awesomeness than on the One who gives me talents and opportunities. It is He that I should be relying on to guide my path...and to be thankful for His guidance, provision, and protection.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2 months til D-day!

I can't believe AbiJean will be arriving in two months! Well...around two months! Although it seems like I've been pregnant forever, it's also flown by!

Eli will be a wonderful big brother. When we ask him where Abi is, he pats my stomach and gives it a kiss. So sweet! I can't wait to see how he interacts with her.

Chris is also getting very excited. Anytime I show him something for Abi, he says in his baby-talk voice, "Ohhh, it's soooo cute! I want her to come out so we can bundle her up in it!"

We still have lots to do before her arrival, but thankfully I've got some time off of work soon. I officially go on maternity leave on December 19! Woo Hoo! Eli and I will stay cozy at home while we celebrate the holidays and his sister's impending arrival! Oh, and we'll probably make cookies for his Daddy!

Here are a few things that we can't wait to put Abi in:
Super soft bear bundle thing from Old Navy
Some super cute Penguins - and a blue that will match her eyes!
And a hat for our sweet little cupcake!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Natural Food Store Visit

So...while running errands today, my mom and I decided that we would stop at the local Natural Food store to check out their salad bar. A co-worker eats there regularly. I commented that the store has all sorts of unique things (I had heard) and it would be a fun stop for Friday. We both agreed that we needed some fun (after the elections and Eli being sick).
So...in we go to the fresh produce. First, while the fruit looked yummy, there were all sorts of vegetables (roots and stuff) that I had no idea what they were or what I would do with them. We did stop and browse the fresh bread offerings (like good McDaniels) and selected a Cranberry Pecan bread for Dad. Anyhow, there were samples of some sort of cracker with seeds on it and organic dark chocolate for baking. We took a brief look at the salad bar and decided to stop back by after we browsed thru the store.
After walking down several aisles, I told Mom that I felt very out of place. I didn't recognize half of the items or ingredients on the shelves. (Remember, we live in WalMart world and are well exposed to the world of grocery stuff) I felt that people looked at us and chuckled, knowing that we had no idea what was going on. As we rounded the dairy section, Mom commented that she felt like she was in Costa Rica - and I agreed - where the products looked vaguely familiar, but a selection of anything would be a guess. It was definitely a cultural trip.
So...on to the salad bar. They did offer baked potatoes and soup too. The soups were Miso (who eats this outside of a sushi restaurant???), a corn chowder, and something with Barley in it. Again, I was at a loss. I decided to peek at the salad offerings before building my salad. I'm a cheese, boiled egg, bacon bit, sesame seed, crouton, Ranch dressing kind of salad eater. Don't think any of that was offered. I could not bring myself to get a salad when Ranch dressing was not available. Mom laughed at me. I couldn't do it. It was like my mind would not let me consider such a thing.
Mom encouraged me to get something from their grill. But, everything was organic and vegetarian. The longer we were in the store, the more I wanted a bacon cheese burger and coke!
Plus, the bread we bought Dad (which was great!) was super expensive. It was nice that the tag next to the price read, "Support your local economy." We were definitely doing that!
So, now I'm back at work enjoying an ice cold Dr. Pepper (not purchased at the Natural Food store). Mom did get a salad...but didn't eat it...she had to buy a sandwich from our in-house cafe (another story for another day).
We definitely had an experience together. That's the best part of working at the same place as Mom. We get to go discover things...just like we did in Costa Rica! Sometimes it's a success...sometimes not. I think next time, we'll stick to Jason's Deli or (the always awesome) Sonic!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Other Fall Fun

Here are a few snap shots of Eli this fall. He is getting so big and independant! He began walking by himself (finally) on Saturday. Plus, he's climbing everything! Eli has had several new experiences - riding the four wheeler, sitting in Eli-sized chairs, and reading every book within 20 feet. There are also a few pictures of the awesome Ozark fall foliage! Enjoy the pictures...

Thurman Farm

On Sunday, PaPaw and I took Eli to the "Thurman Farm." Our church friends have all these animals on their land! Eli had a blast!


Eli was a monkey for Halloween. We took him to the Bent Tree neighborhood and to the Keeling's for trick-or-treating. Thankfully the weather was great!

After about 20 minutes of gathering candy, we went to Mimi and Papa's house for pizza!

But, the little monkey was quickly exhausted...resulting in an awesome 12 hour sleep!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Back on the bandwagon

I forgot that I had created an account...back before Eli was born! Now we're expecting Abigail in a few months! I have really enjoyed catching up with old friends thru their blogs. I've also been learning a lot about stamping and card making thru blogs. Oh, and of course, I've come across some awesome recipes thru blogs.

Hopefully this blog will be about my family and my hobbies. I'm very new at this, but I'll do my best to keep it current (ie - not 18 months between posts!)

Here are some recent pictures of Eli. More to come after trick-or-treeting tonight!