Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unwelcome Houseguest

Don't you just HATE it when those you don't invite into your home, come in anyway and proceed into your pantry? Well, I do... and I killed the SOB.

Well, technically, I got him stuck and then plan to get my oven mitts and dispose of the body.

Strangely, this all happened (again) when Sophie was down for a nap. And this time (again) I have to "Man Up" and take care of it because Brian is helping the BoyScouts with their Pine Wood Derby today. I'm all for equal rights and everything, but sometimes I have it hard enough as a woman, that taking on the additional 'traditionally male' jobs as well leaves me drained... and disgusted.

For tales (or tails) of my last such houseguest click HERE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Memoire of a Discontented Renter

At some time in our life, we've all been there or heard stories from others who have also been a 'discontented renter'. Throughout most of my life I have been able to avoid rental problems, with the exception of one time briefly in Hays, until we moved to Arkansas. I don't know if it was just that time when my good luck ran out or if it was the direct result of us moving to Southern Arkansas and needing to find a rental house within the course of a day. Either way, we have progressively had problems with the rental house that we currently reside in. Allow me to count the ways:

1) Leaky roof that has finally been repaired so it does not leak when it rains; however, the ceiling still has water damage and has not been fixed.

2) The windows and doors are all drafty. And one window has what appears to be a bullet hole in it.

3) Our heat went out ... again. And while Sophie and I huddle in one room with our little space heater the temperature in the house is still under 50

4) We have mold on some of the floorboards, and most likely in 2 areas where there was previous water damage on the ceiling (for details refer to #1)

5) The landlord's property manager, disconnected their cell phone number and did not bother to inform us of the change as well as provide an alternate number. So we had to go to trouble to try and hunt down a working number so we could contact said property manager to get our heater fixed. (We've given up trying to get them out here for #1).

So after tracking down said property manager and them informing us they would have someone come by today to fix the heater, I called them again to find out the time (after 2 hours had passed and no one had contacted me with a time they'd be out) and again... no one picked up the phone. So I'm tired... I'm aggrevated... and it's so cold that even the dog did not come out from under the covers to eat the macaroni and cheese Sophie dropped on the floor for him! So until then, Sophie (who consequently is sick) and I will continue to huddle around the space heater until the heater gets fixed, or Brian comes home and figures something out. Until then, remember to be grateful if you currently own your own home or have a good rental, because I'm really understanding just how important it is to have a rental property and landlord whom you can depend upon for things other than sucking out money from your pockets every month.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sick Little Sophie

Since Friday evening Sophie has had a cough that gotten progressively worse. However, she didn't have a fever so I made a note to contact the doctor on Monday after dropping her off at daycare. I was at work for only 2 hours before the inevitable phone call came stating that Sophie had a fever of 101 and needed to be picked up and taken home. Quickly plans were made to cover the lessons in the library and a flushed warm Sophie was picked up with warnings from the daycare that 2 other children had been taken home sick late last week and one had pneumonia and the other bronchitis.

After taking Sophie home for lunch and a nap, we managed to get a doctors appointment that afternoon to her doctor in El Dorado. The doctor stated that their was "stuff" going around and that so far Sophie's symptoms were caught early enough that she should be ok with antibotics and some cough/cold medicine specially formulated for infants that she provided. While filling in the prescription for Sophie's antibodics, I went ahead and purchased a 'special treat' (blueberries) to help her feel a little bit better.

Tomorrow we'll get some more Mom & Sophie time, since the doctor recommended that I leave her out of the daycare at least until Wednesday. So I picked up some Valentine cards and candies for us to work on. And we'll have snacks of blueberries and perhaps do some baking while we are home tomorrow afternoon. And perhaps we'll get some more snuggle time together and finish reading a few more chapters from 'Anne of Green Gables'. (Today we read 3 chapters because she was content listening to me read and snuggling!).

However, despite the entertainment planned for tomorrow, continue to keep Sophie in your prayers so that she feels better. Because the doctor says that while she did catch it early, there is still the possibility that she can get fevers as high as 104 and we just need to keep her on the medication and keep watch over her progress. While I'm not too alarmed (partically because Sophie's been a trooper through this all and also because the doctor did tell me to call or come in anytime I felt something was wrong and she'd make time for me) I'd still like everyone's prayers. I'll keep everyone posted on her progress!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Party Time with the Adams Family

Today Sophie attended one of her first birthday parties! A few weeks ago, she got a Thomas the Tank Engine invitation to Colin Adam's 2 year birthday party and since then we've kept it on the fridge waiting for Saturday, January 23. And today, Colin Adams turned 2 and Sophie went to celebrate! She was so excited to see Colin and followed him around playing with his trains and other household toys, while Colin's sister- Ellie- slept. (Ellie is about 6-7 months old I think?)

Anyway, she equally helped participate in the mayhem and devoted time to increase her sugar intake level with cake as the other kids. But it was so nice to just have some good decent kids (yes... Ryan & Candi... including Colin in that phrase too) to hang out with and play with since she only has her parents and Oscar at home. For us parents it was a nice break too because it allowed us time to chat and hang out and talk as well. As summer gets closer (well... it really isn't all that close but that is beside the point) I think I may need to try and get everyone together for 'play dates' so I can have 'adult time' and Sophie can have 'crazy kids run around the house and play with everyone else's toys' time.

Today was just such a treat because I got 'adult time', Sophie got her 'fun time', and by the time we got home at 6pm... she was dead tired and went straight to bed! Hurray! I don't know who got a better gift at Colin's party... Colin... or all the adults who have sleepy kids after a party! Thank you Adams Family!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best Baby Award Goes to...

So everyone knows that occasionally this blog takes time to brag about Sophie. Part of this is because I love my daughter and Mom's tend to brag about their children. So... I'd like to take a brief moment to inform you that the ladies at daycare informed Brian that Sophie was...


*This picture was taken of Sophie in May of 2009 so it isn't a recent picture, but the expression was priceless as well as perfect for this posting*

Spring in January

It's January, a "winter" month, and yet in Southern Arkansas it feels like spring. More specifically... the month of April. The past few days we've had some rain and thunderstorms, but we've also had surprisingly warm weather, which has allowed me to leave home without needing to wear a coat or bundle up. This is unexpected for a Kansas girl. Typically I HATE January and February in Kansas because that is when the weather gets really bad and the wind is always beating you around making things just that much colder. This is one of those times, I'm actually grateful to be spending my time in the "South", so I can avoid Kansas winters. Here we already have daffodils pushing themselves out of the ground (I took a picture to prove it) and tomorrow the forecast promises to be in the 70s! When I went shopping today, they even had the summer dresses out... so Sophie already has an Easter dress! So... are their any of my fellow Kansans in need of a 'warmer' climate and a vacation to Arkansas?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bad Hair Day

Simply stated... even babies get bad hair days.

Kayla Came to Camden

This past weekend we had the pleasure of having Kayla come to Camden, Arkansas. Sophie enjoyed having the extra attention from her Aunt Kayla and showed her all her new tricks (like bouncing in the bouncer) and sharing her toys.

In addition to hanging around the house and playing boardgames, Kayla also treated me to Buckstaff Bathouse in Hot Springs. It was fantastic although a little strange. Kayla and I got to trot around in absolutely nothing save a bed sheet as we hopped from one tub or place to the next. While slightly uncomfortable, I'm sure we were also probably the hottest ones there in sheets!

We all enjoyed having fun with Kayla and letting her explore our new residence as well. It was a blast having her (especially since it gave me a break from having to argue with Brian... thanks Kayla!) . Hopefully, we'll get another chance to see Aunt Kayla and family in Kansas this March during Spring Break!

Thanks Kayla for coming to see us! We enjoy you and hope it was fun for you as well!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sophie Applauds You

Little Sophie, in addition to saying "Bye", loves to clap. The reason behind this one I believe is that whenever she did something we were especially proud of her for we would say "Yay!" and then follow with clapping. Now all we have to say is "Yay!" and she joins in clapping. Doesn't matter what we say as long as "Yay!" is attached to the end, she'll clap. Which can become quite funny if Brian and I want to insult each other.


Sophie's first word (other than Momma and Dada) is saddening. I mean... seriously... is our parenting that bad? Do you really can't wait to leave or something?

Actually, I think in part it has to do with all of her toys with batteries. When you press the 'power' button to turn them off, they all say the same thing. At least, that is what I'm telling myself is the reason she knows that word.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mrs. Ben Zook's Amish Blueberry Muffins

It's been a sufficient period of time since I last posted a recipe and today (Sunday) I found myself going through my cookbooks looking for a good blueberry muffin recipe. Betty Crocker didn't have anything, nor did some of my other cookbooks, except the green hardbound Amish cookbook I picked up when I was in 'Amish territory' in Ohio a few years ago. The muffins were so easy and turned out so beautifully I couldn't resist sharing this recipe. I tried to keep the recipe as Amish as possible by not using any modern kitchen utensils like electric mixers. The only place I failed was in using my electric oven. Anyway, without further ado here is

Mrs. Ben Zook's Blueberry Muffin Recipe:

2 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup blueberries

Cream together shortening and sugar, add egg, then flour, baking powder, mix with milk, last floured blueberries. Bake in cup cake cups.

I had my oven set at 350 degrees and just judged the time by waiting until they were a light golden brown. This recipe makes one tray of 12 muffins, which is enough for one Amish family!

Sophie loves blueberries and so this will turn out to be a perfect treat for breakfast or snacks! And it was easy to make that Sophie could have watched... that is if she hadn't thrown a temper tantrum and had to go down for a nap early. But at least she got to enjoy the end result!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Green Beans

You'd think she'd at least try to be discreet about this, but no. She clearly does not care, neither does Oscar as long as he gets her food.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week End Review of Designated Daycare

So the week is almost over and we've made it through Sophie's childcare adjustment fairly well (Brian more so than me). There have been some pros and cons along the way, but I think the one thing that really helped me start to feel a little more comfortable with the 'daycare situation' was paperwork. Yeah... I know... funny right? Typically paperwork is seen as a hassle; however, in this case it made the establishment seem more credible and therefore more reliable. Being called "Tutti Frutti" whenever Sophie and I walked through the door didn't seem so bad with a handful of paperwork and signed forms were in hand and expected. (I know I don't get the Tutti Frutti thing either, so you are asking the wrong person about it).

Some of the pros of this daycare is that I never have to pack anything or drop anything off. They have diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and even her meals and milk all there and provided. She also has her own bed and highchair. They have a schedule that they follow which keeps a specific time for lunch, nap, snacks, and even "learning/class time" (which I pray is not conducted in front of a television). Also, since the first days dirty diaper, Sophie has arrived safely at home with a clean diaper!

Some of the negatives of this is that I'm away from Sophie and therefore out of control of the situation, which is made worse simply because I do not personally know these ladies. Another is that these ladies (well... one in particular) likes to do baby talk and calls me Tutti Frutti (which she gets from who knows where) and is extremely annoying. But I don't exactly have to put up with her any longer than it takes to drop Sophie off at the daycare. The final downfall of this place is simply that it is further away in East Camden. It now takes me about 15 minutes to get Sophie to daycare as opposed to the 2-3 minute drive I had getting to Lindsay's house.

Overall, I think it's been a good experience and I'm adjusting better than I was on Monday. The following days (Tuesday - Thursday) I have restrained myself from picking Sophie up and have been allowed to have 30 minutes of "me time" while Brian picks her up and brings her home for the day. So that too has been nice, but it's still difficult to not pick her up and verify her well-being. Anyway, I thought an update on the situation was necessary since the newest adjustments of Monday were posted earlier. As time progresses I'm sure I'll have more comments and observations, but until then I'll continue to keep a watchful eye on the daycare and Sophie as well as keep my fingers prepared to dial down the phone book for lists of other alternative daycares at the first sign of Sophie's distress at the current daycare.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Adjustments

Today Sophie was to start at a new daycare in East Camden. And all night visions of terror ran through my head along with an endless stream of "What If" questions. Like... what if they forget to feed her? What if she gets and eats peanut butter from another kids food? What if they have to take her to the hospital? Are any of the staff trained to do resuscitation? Are any of the staff possible sex offenders? Did they do a background check?.... In order to get to sleep I had to just tell myself that I needed to relax and pray to God tonight stressing the importance of her wellbeing as well as my need for a good daycare.

By morning, I was still a little jittery, but I summoned up strength and resolve to get everything ready for her first day at a daycare. She got a nice sack lunch of macaroni and cheese, green beans, and a single cookie for dessert. I also packed along the small Husker blanket Brian's aunt Rogi made for her so she'd have something familiar and comfortable for naptime. And of course, I was not going to let her go without taking Bunny. If nothing else that I provided would make her comfortable... Bunny would make sure she felt safe and loved.

We arrived shortly after 7 o'clock as other's were also dropping their children off as well. They seemed to be good well-mannered financially secure people that were dropping their children off so I felt a little bit of confidence about our choice of daycares (even if it was a limited choice). As I got in and put Sophie down... she rushed over to some other kids and toys without looking back at me. I nervously tried to get my bairings and explain Sophie's stuff and schedule but was told "Don't worry Tootie Fruitti, we'll take care of tha baby girl" and then dismissed. Before exiting the door... I looked back at Sophie and she was happily playing with one of the other children probably no more than a year older than her. She didn't even seem to notice I was gone. *sniff sniff.

The work day passed along slowly and I kept thinking about Sophie... what was she doing? was she happy? did they remember to feed her? would they remember her nap?

Finally 3:40pm came and I rushed out of the school. I told Brian that since today was Sophie's first day I would pick her up from the daycare. More like I needed to pick her up. Not for Sophie's sake, but for mine. I had to make sure with my own eyes that she was ok. I reached East Camden by 4 o'clock (beating most of the other parents) and raced into the building. Sophie spotted me and smiled and tried to get to me although the gate/door was locked. After talking to the daycare lady who assured me that she did eat and take a nap and wasn't fussy or cried at all- we left. I think today was harder on me than it was on Sophie. My only complaint was that when I got home I noticed her diaper smelled and it looked like she'd pooped in her diaper and it had been awhile since it had been changed. So I wasn't thrilled about that. But we'll see what tomorrow brings for us. I will drop Sophie off again at 7am, but I will try and control my anxiety and let Brian bring her home after he gets off of work at 4:30pm.