Friday, April 24, 2009

The Greats Come to Town

Yesterday, my grandmothers, Mema and Mimi, came to our house to see me and Blair. We had lunch, and they played with Blair. She was in a great mood as usual, so it was a lot of fun for all. Before they left, we hopped in the car, and I took them for a spin around the farm and to see the watermelon fields. We had a great day. I'm so glad they came!


Playing on the couch.


Proud great-grandmothers!


Mema and Blair




Mimi and Blair

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miss Model

Blair's not exactly a model, but she is on the back cover of our Ronald McDonald House Charities magazine this quarter! There are two pictures of her, and she looks precious as always but so different! In looking back through our pictures to find some to send to RMH, I couldn't get over how sick she looked compared to now. The Lord had really blessed us.

We stayed 51 days at the RMH while Blair was sick. I've written about the house previously, but I cannot stress how much we were blessed to have stayed there. The house is extremely nice and so clean -- I'm not just saying that, it really is! It was so convenient to have our own room near the hospital and a place to do laundry, have visitors, and eat all of our meals. The house has the McMeal Program, so there are volunteers who provide supper every night. Being there allowed us to be close to Blair so that we could feed her several times a day, and it saved us so much money in food and travel.

The local house is having their McDazzle Online auction right now. They have all kinds of items including some neat Step2 Children's play things, Braves tickets, art, photography sessions, travel packages, and more. Check it out if you're in the market for a gift or something for yourself!
You can also sponsor a night for someone staying in the RMH in honor of your mother for Mother's day. And don't forget to save those soft drink can pop tabs to donate to any Ronald McDonald House -- it's free and easy!

The Screamer

I believe we might have a small problem. Well, not a real problem, but maybe an opportunity for some embarrassment smiles (parents are never embarrassed by their kids, right?). Blair is a screamer. Do all babies do this? I can't recall that I've seen any! No one has taught her to scream, so I really don't know where this has come from. I have to say, at first, it was hilarious, and it's still comical when she does it in talking mode.

It's a whole different story when she's not happy. We're thankful the Lord has blessed us with a really happy baby who rarely fusses, BUT Blair does have a temper, and when she gets mad, you better cover your ears! Any one of the several breathing treatments we do each day is an opportunity for a temper session. Sometimes she sits quietly like a big girl purple dragon. Other times, she arches her back, twists and turns, and screams her little head off. I'm not talking about screaming crying. I'm talking about just plain ol' screaming. No tears here -- just ear-piercing noise.


Here's the good little purple dragon -- pacifier in place!

This morning, I got a video of some good mood screaming, which is basically the same as the temper screaming minus the happiness! I took it with my cell phone, so it's not the best quality. Every time I get out the camera, she's so fascinated by it, she stops screaming.

video

Maybe she'll grow out of this before we have to spend any time in public. If she doesn't, that'll be ok too! We knew when she was in the hospital and had no voice that our saying, "We can't wait until we can hear her" would come back and bite us in the butt!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Springtime brings new growth, new clothes, and new moves!

We are enjoying spring and the nice weather we've had recently. My yard is looking mighty green, and I have all of the plants to put out in the garden. Unfortunately, the pollen has kept Blair and me inside for the most part, but she gets a good look outside from her exersaucer at our front door. She loves to look in the yard and at passing cars.

Blair is thrilled that she's getting to wear some of her spring clothes. I was trying to put her in the long sleeve stuff for as long as possible to get good use out of it, and because I think she'll be wearing the six month summer stuff for a while!



I couldn't have asked for a happier baby.

Blair is almost sitting up by herself. She wants to so badly, but she's not quite able to balance well enough to not whack her head on the floor when she makes a move. She's really close though. Just yesterday and today, she's doing much better than she was last week.


Sitting on mommy's bed with her favorite doll.


Looking sassy playing with her elephant.

I watched her yesterday as she worked with her pacifier from backwards until she got it turned the right way and into her mouth! She's not quite finding it at night though, but I usually only have to get up once to find it for her.



She's also gotten the hang of the jumperoo and can jump away. I can't get over how many new things she does each week!

Roots

Blair is turning into a little blondy. The ends of her hair are darker than her roots, so it looks like she dyed it dark and has blond roots showing! I don't know if the picture will show it well. What you can see, at the top of her head glistening in the sun, is her one really long hair that she's had since she was tiny!


And since I'm sitting in the chair with her, she chewing on the camera strap.

And I just love these pictures of her playing with her Uncle Hank and Uncle John's toy. She's just the sweetest thing, and she plays so well by herself.




The Mark of a True Farmer

Brad came home the other day and I couldn't help but giggle at his getup. He had on his coveralls, and one of the buttons was missing. Like any other farmer would do, he improvised.



Here he is. He's not crazy about "publicity."


Zip ties and duct tape will fix anything.

I'm surprised he even left the house like that. You see in the first picture that he wears his good clothes to work. Honestly, what farmer wears Ralph Lauren to work on equipment?
He has this thing about dressing nicely. I used to write "NW" in the inside of the waste band of his good pants. NO WORK! Unfortunately, there are some things that even my garden sprayer full of degreaser (aka laundry pretreat) can't handle. I must say that he does look good though!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easy Tilapia

We eat a lot of tilapia at our house. It's healthful, and it's super easy to get out of the big blue box (from Walmart!), thaw, and cook in minutes. I usually spray it with cooking spray and sprinkle it with Chechere's creole seasoning, garlic salt, and seasoned pepper. Then, I broil it for a few minutes, and voilà!

However, I've been itching to try something different with it lately. I looked on allrecipes.com and really couldn't find anything for which I had all of the ingredients. I usually have a really well-stocked pantry, but it's been a while since we've been to the store. I did have a can of Rotel though, and Rotel is good with everything!

Baked tilapia

4 - 6 tilapia fillets
1 can Rotel (I use store brand diced tomatoes with green chiles)
garlic salt
onion powder
pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a cooking dish with cooking spray, and lay tilapia in the bottom. Sprinkle with garlic salt, onion powder, and pepper. Drain tomatoes and spoon evenly onto the fish. Bake 15 minutes. Broil 5 - 7 minutes to brown slightly.

We really enjoyed the fish like this. They are a bit spicy though, so hold off on the pepper if you don't want it super hot! I'll post a picture next time I make it. In an attempt to reheat the dish when Brad got home, I burned the sides and tops of the tomatoes while trying to get Blair ready for bed. Oops.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Transplanting

Blair and I visited the field yesterday while the guys were working on transplanting the baby watermelon plants. The whole process is rather neat. There are six guys who sit on the transplanter.





As the tractor moves slowly down the rows, a wheel with spikes punches holes in the plastic and the ground. They transfer the plants from the tray into the holes.



Brad is already teaching Blair about farming....



She definitely needs to know what nut grass is.



...and what flint looks like. She actually reached for the right thing!



Isn't he sweet?!



I hope we have lots of sweet watermelons to eat before too much longer!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Half!

My goodness, Blair, you're six months old! We have had many wonderful days since you came home. You are just a joy to be with every day. Your daddy says you get more precious by the day. I have to say that I agree!

You woke up one evening while we were eating supper and didn't seem to want to go back to sleep, so I held you while we ate. You watched your daddy the whole time, holding your hands together in your lap, but you didn't smile like usual. Daddy said you were about the sweetest thing he's ever seen, and he couldn't stand to see that non-smiling face staring at him, so he held you so you could look at me instead!


You wear mostly 3 - 6 month clothing and weigh around 11 1/2 pounds. We just ran out of size 1 diapers, so now you are wearing size 1-2.



At the beginning of the month, you finally changed to a three hour feeding schedule. You take about five ounces every three hours. I was very happy to get away from feeding every two hours and twenty minute naps! We made it to six months of breastfeeding -- well, pumping really. This is really an accomplishment for your mommy, since you only take bottles. I am going to see if we can make it to a year. We have lots of milk in the freezer, so if we can make it to 10 months, we might be set! You also began taking longer naps. For the most part, you nap for an hour in the morning, two hours at lunch, and two hours in the afternoon. Wow, I don't even know what to do with the time! When you wake up from a nap, most of the time I know you're awake when I hear you "singing" in your bed. You go to bed around 7pm and sleep until 6am or so. I get you up to eat and give you medicine before I go to bed, but you never really wake up!

We read lots of books. You like to look at them when I put them on the Bumbo tray. You try to eat them too!



You are now blowing or spitting bubbles. It's is so cute. When you are in a playful mood, you do it over and over! You also like to stick out your tongue and open your mouth real wide.



You also scream. It is an ear-piercing scream. Sometimes you scream when you're happy and sometimes when you're mad, but it is loud regardless.



It didn't take you long after finding your feet to learn how to catch them. You love playing with your feet!





As your grandma says, you're sort of "aggressive" with your toys. Its funny how you almost attack them when you see them. You get excited -- kicking your feet, flailing your arms, and breathing fast! You love your little Emily doll. You try to put every part of her in your mouth.



I have started putting you in the highchair while I work in the kitchen. The bouncer is great, but you like to have toys in front of you to grab and put in your mouth. You're so tiny in the highchair! All you have to do is slump down a little, and you can gnaw on the tray!




You still love the exersaucer. The little dog with crinkly ears is your favorite. We got you a jumperoo, and you like it too. You have to have a pillow under it so you can reach the floor. You can work it pretty well. I know you will be jumping away in no time.



You're pushing up some with your arms now and rolled over from back to front. Towards the end of the month, you can almost sit up (leaning forward) for a few seconds without falling to the side. I'm not rushing it though! Sometimes I let myself think that I would love for you to be sitting up or crawling, and I quickly catch myself, because that would mean you grew up some more. I just try to enjoy you just as you are.

You sure love your daddy. It seems that everything he does makes you laugh. Normally, he says, "Hey, Doodle Unit!", and you beam!

The way you look at me making your little coos and gurgles lights me up from the inside out. I love to peek over your crib in the mornings right after you wake up. You give me the biggest smile! You are so special to you daddy and me. We look at you and still can't believe you are ours. We love you so much!

Love,
mommy


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Garden: Part 1


This is our garden just after I planted it in mid-April. Brad brought three different tractors to town to make it just right. It is nicely done with plastic-covered beds and drip irrigation. I am so spoiled, right? That is a perk of being a farmer's wife. The downside being that there are times that Brad has to work really long days, and we are at the mercy of many uncontrollable things -- like the weather.

I planted tomatoes, okra, squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, carrots, and onions. We might try some sweet potatoes and summer strawberries.

Baby squashes

I have a few other things I can plant, but I have my hands full right now. The squash is already growing like mad, as are the weeds. Brad put some super duper fertilizer out there when he laid the rows off, so it doesn't take long to for everything to get growing! Stay tuned... last year at one point I had a dining room table full of tomatoes.

Bookworm





Movies, Mud, & Mice

This past weekend was busy. Most importantly, we had some overnighters! My sister Linsey and her husband (farmer wannabe) Ben came to visit. I know they want to come live in Dreamland where there is no shopping and no eating out! Yeah right. We were so glad to have them for two nights though and had a great time. Brad and Ben did manly things around the farm and in the barn while Linsey and I played with Blair and watched the Love Saga on the Hallmark channel -- 14 hours worth of movies, but we didn't watch them all!



We had some entertaining experiences this weekend as well. All of the rain we had must have given my neighbor a mud-bogging itch, because she decided to go off-roading through my backyard in her chrysler. I have no idea what possessed that girl to do that.
We do have kids going through our backyard on ATVs quite often. They've made a little trail back behind my garden, next to the woodline, but I have never seen anyone drive a car through there. We basically live on a corner, so one would really have to feel the need to go off-roading to want to drive through my backyard in a vehicle. To get to her house, the street would have been much easier! I have to say though, I was busy washing bottles and had a good laugh when I looked up out my kitchen window and saw this.



Her car right behind my garden. It's at an angle because it is BOGGED on the driver's side.

Friday, her poor boyfriend came home from work and attempted to pull it out with their ATV. Yeah right. Picture me crouched down on our glass porch with my zoom lens snapping photos!






Someone else came with a truck and pulled the car into our other neighbor's yard, where it bogged once again. It sat there until Sunday, when yet someone else came and finally pulled it out.

Then, we had an issue in our house.
We live in an old house and usually around this time of the year, we have to set some mouse traps. I try to keep all the food in containers and ziploc bags, but they seem to find something. I thought we had taken care of the problem this time, but apparently we had one left. I hate mice, but I guess it is something everyone has to deal with at one time or another. If you don't ever have mice, I'd love to know your secret!

I had gotten a whiff of a funny smell in the kitchen on Thursday and noticed that Gus sniffed around the refrigerator a few times. I kept forgetting to tell Brad though. So on Sunday, Brad noticed it, so we pulled the refrigerator out. Now, I don't know what amount of time is acceptible between under-the-refrigerator cleanings, but I can tell you that I don't do this weekly. I had made Linsey and Ben go ahead and leave so they wouldn't see behind my refrigerator, but I had to run out there and catch them to come see this! Brad looked back there and muttered, "Poor joker."




This is sad, but you have to admit that it's funny too. I don't know whether he got shocked or got stuck. He could have gotten too fat from all the M&Ms he was eating. I realized that he had gotten into a bag that I didn't know was on top of the refrigerator (you really can't see on top of it because it's black and surrounded by cabinets). He had taken M&Ms out of the bag and peeled the shell off to eat the chocolate. There was a whole pile of candy M&M shells up there.

So, Brad played with Blair while I took care of the mouse. It was definitely a job for the yard tongs! I also took the opportunity to clean behind the refrigerator!