re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.


On Second Thought...

I just Googled some morning sickness remedies. I found a website for midwives. Several shared their remedies for all-day sickness.

Apparently there's a study that indicates potato chips and lemonade are a good remedy. Another mentions ice cream and coke. Sounds like a plan to me. HA!

Of course, one woman said that she made herself throw up bile each day to alleviate morning sickness. Think I'll skip that one.

Can I Make A Confession?

At this point, I have to say that I am most definitely NOT one of those women who just loces being pregnant. I know some women would look down on me for that, but I'm sorry. That's just the truth.

During my pregnancy with Eddie there was maybe a total of 4 weeks when I wasn't gagging, on bedrest, contracting, or drugged up. I thought after the first trimester that everything would be wonderful. That's what everyone says. Sure, my all-day sickness subsided, but I had Braxton-Hicks contractions regularly starting at about 12 weeks or so.

Then, there was all that pre-term labor and bedrest and medication. That just was awful.

Now, I am about 6 weeks pregnant and everything is the same as during my first trimester last time. I keep hearing that every pregnancy is different, so I was hoping that I'd be lucky and not be gagging all the time this pregnancy. No such luck.

And, I know this will sound silly, but when I'd have those Braxton-Hicks contractions last pregnancy, I'd get this weird sensation throughout my abdomen and chest. It's not something I can describe really. It was a tightening/gas/heartburn/gotta pee sensation. While I obviously have not felt my belly tighten since I'm barely pregnant, I have to say that that familiar, distinctive sensation has hit me on occasion. That bothers me. Makes me worry about pre-term labor again.

Then, of course, I get all upbeat and remind myself that I WILL go full-term this time or else I dunno what. So, new fears hit me. Ya know... my first child was only 2 lbs and 13 oz when i pushed him out with no medication since the epi didn't work. I dunno if I can handle having a 6 pound baby and an epi that doesn't work. Honestly, that scares the mess outta me. Truly.

Of course, there's also the basic pregnancy stuff that's just not fun. You know, being 31 and having a face that looks like the before picture on a "proActiv" commercial and the maternity clothes that are just hideous and the constant peeing and heartburn and hunger and gas. Joy.

I am excited about the new baby. I have already begun thinking of names for *her*. I like Ella for a first name. Not sure about a middle name though. If this baby is a boy though, I haven't a clue what we'll name him. Ed wanted to name Eddie "Soda Pop." I am absolutely serious!

I think it will be great fun to watch Eddie and his new sister. ;) I just wish there was an easier way for her to get here.

Does that make me an awful mom?

Dude! I Am SUCH A Slacker!

I just read this post over at the Sparrow's Nest. Can I just say that I feel like a complete slacker now? Now, I know that some of my answers are different simply because of my circumstances (like the freezer answer), but most of them are different because I am a total and complete slacker.

Here are my answers:

Aprons- Y/N? I really really should, but I don't have one. I thought about how badly I need one tonight as oil from the pork shops splattered up onto my shirt. Sigh.
Baking- Favorite thing to bake? Banana Bread
Clothesline- Y/N? No. I live in a townhome...
Donuts- Ever made them? Years ago, but I cheated and used canned biscuits.
Everyday- One homemaking thing you do everyday? Dishes. YUCK!
Freezer- Do you have a separate deep freezer? I wish, but there is no room in our townhome for a deep freezer.
Garbage Disposal- Y/N? Yes, but when we have a house and a garden again I do plan on composting as much of our waste as possible.
Handbook- Y/N? There's a homemaking handbook? Who knew??!
Ironing- Love it or hate it? Ummm... I don't iron. {blush}
Junk Drawer- Where is it? In our kitchen. It's pretty organized and because the drawer also holds foil, plastic wrap and ziplocs, there's not a LOT of junk in there.
Kitchen- Design and decorating? Not a lot of room for decorating. I do have a red and cream valance up and I use mason jars to store utensils like spatulas and such.
Love- What is your favorite part of homemaking? Cleaning. I know, I am a freak. Cleaning is like therapy for me though. Decorating is fun, but it costs so much money and I am so picky that it loses its appeal.
Mop- Y/N? Most often, I scrub on my hands and knees. Don't think that's all that special. I have VERY little floor space that requires mopping.
Nylons- Wash them by hand or in the washer? I don't wear nylons except for maybe three or four times a year. I toss them in the washer.
Oven- Do you use the window or open it to check? Both.
Pizza- What do you put on yours? Tomatoes, extra cheese, pepperoni (sometimes) mushrooms, olives and green peppers.
Quiet- What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Hmmm...let's or nap. {blush}
Recipe card box- Y/N? I have a box and a binder, but I rarely use either. I also have a file folder full of family recipes that still need to be organized.
Style of house- Two story, townhome.
Tablecloths and napkins- Y/N? I have a tablecloth for special occasions. Eddie is still a very messy eater and would ruin anything I may use on a daily basis. I would love to switch to cloth napkins -- ya know for the cost and environent, but Ed won't let me.
Under the kitchen sink- Sorta neat, sorta messy.
Vacuum- How many times a week? At least 3.
Wash- How many loads do you do a week? Hmmm...lately it seems like more, but I'd say usually around 6.
X’s- Do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? I am definitely a list-maker. I rarely follow the lists though.
Yard- Who does what? When we had a yard I did the gardening and Ed mowed. I miss my garden terribly.
ZZZ’s- What is your last homemaking task for the day? Usually it's picking up the toys that Eddie has strewn all over everywhere. Tonight though I had to take out the trash.
If you read all of this, consider yourself tagged!


He Never Stopped Loving Her

I know that sounds like a country song, but it's so true of my uncle Roger and his ex-wife Karen. Karen is still Aunt Karen to me even though they divorced over 25 years ago.

Uncle Roger and his family were really the only extended family I grew up around at all. Even then, after age 12 or so, I really didn't see much of Uncle Roger and his family. Circumstances just didn't allow for it.

Roger and Karen were married young. They had one child who died in infancy. They then had three more children, Christy, Becky and Alex. Sometime after Alex was born, Roger and Karen divorced. I am not sure why, but I suspect it had a lot to do with the loss of their first child.

Aunt Karen remarried, but she still considered my family as part of her extended family. She never said a harsh word to anyone. She welcomed us all even though she had divorced my uncle. Even as recently as last year, some 20 years after she and my uncle split up, she sent my grandma a mother's day card addresed to "mom." That was just her way. She has a kind and gentle spirit.

Uncle Roger tried to move on after the divorce. He remarried several times. It never worked out. And if I had my guess, I'd say that's probably because he never stopped loving my aunt. They have maintained close ties through the years. In fact, if I need to contact my uncle, I know the best way is to call Aunt Karen.

I don't understand why things never worked for them. If ever there was a couple meant for each other, it was Uncle Roger and Aunt Karen.

Sadly, last night my Aunt Karen had a heart attack. After the heart attack she suffered some sort of stroke or something along those lines. She is in a coma. They don't expect her to recover. If she does wake up, they expect her to be in a vegetative state.

I suspect that this will hit my uncle far worse than it will hit my cousins. They will probably lose their mother, but he will lose the only woman he ever truly loved; the woman he lost in so many ways years ago. Even though they have been divorced for so long, their friendship has been a fortress of sorts for my uncle.

Please say a prayer for my family tonight. I do not know if Aunt Karen is a Christian. My heart is broken for my uncle and for my cousins.


Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Okay, so I've been feeling "off" the past week or two. My tummy's been queasy. I've been tired. My face has looked like that of a 13 year old. And on and on...

You can probably guess what I'm gonna share.

That's right... Eddie's gonna be a big brother.

Yeah! "Holy Cow!" was my first thought too.

This was not planned or unplanned. We were just kinda seeing what happens. Just an FYI, when a couple has intimate relations, there is a possibility of pregnancy; in case you didn't already know that.

I can already hear the questions... "Was it planned?" "Will this be your last?" "I guess you want a girl now, huh?" and on and on and on...

I'll deal with the questions, hopefully in a kind manner. I don't know how I will deal with having a two-year-old son and a newborn though. That thought is a little terrfying. And then there's the queasiness and gagging. I never actually get *sick* but I gag just getting in and out of the car or going outside or brushing my teeth.

I reckon I'll manage somehow though.

My goal is to stay pregnant for a full NINE months this time. Kinda scary. Means I'll deliver a baby bigger than 2 lbs 13 oz. Dunno if I can handle that!


Lots going on

There is too much going on right now for me to even know where to begin. Just know that I plan on bringing you up to speed within the next few days.


In The News

This morning I read two news stories that affected me pretty heavily for two different reasons.

The first one is just frightening. A man in FL says he is the Antichrist and has thousands of followers. I don't really believe him, but it's scary that someone would take pride in being the Antichrist.

The second story just warms my heart. It's evidence that God is concerned with all of life, even that which is considered by science to be unviable. It's more evidence against abortion, in my mind. It's a story of hope and life. A child was born at 22 weeks gestations and has survived. She's on her way home, weighing the same as Eddie did when he was released from the hospital.



I know... it's almost Valentine's Day so I probably shouldn't bring this topic up. However, the topic came up in Sunday School and I'd like to share my thoughts.

Most people don't know that Ed was married before. It's just not something that we advertise because it's noneya. Being that he has no children from his previous marriage, there isn't really any reason that the topic would come up.

When I was a young girl I *knew* that I'd never get divorced and that I'd never marry someone who had been divorced. Why? Because if a couple got divorced it was ALWAYS the man's fault so of course I wouldn't want to marry someone who had already proven that he couldn't make a marriage work.

Here's what I didn't know though (because it was NEVER said); sometimes the woman can be at fault for a divorce. Sometimes a person makes a mistake. Forgiveness is always available and grace abounds.

I remember when Ed first told me he had been divorced. My heart sank. I didn't know what to do with the information. But, I really liked Ed so I maintained my end of our friendship. By the time we started dating, the fact that he had been divorced had become pretty much background information that had no bearing on our relationship -- or so I thought.

Then, I went to seminary. The place where most often divorced people are scorned and treated as leppers. Then, to make matters even more complicated, this seminary student got engaged to a divorced man. *GASP!* How could I do such a thing?

While I was in seminary I heard many lectures about divorce and how wrong it is. I do not deny that one bit. Divorce is sin. God hates divorce. Divorce is only permitted in cases of adultery and "the hardness of the hearts" (many say the latter refers to abuse). Because of the details of Ed's divorce, I believe his divorce was permissable (and no, he wasn't unfaithful or abusive).

I also heard many lectures and debates as to whether remarriage was permitted for those who had been divorced. Here, the water gets murky. Some say no. Some say yes. Some say only in certain instances. Some of my old seminary professors would have no doubt counseled me to break off my engagement. Some of them would have told me it was okay to marry Ed. I didn't go to them though. I searched Scripture and prayed A LOT about the issue.

My pastor at my home church would not have married us. I knew that, so I did not ask. Ed did talk to his pastor (who later married us and became our pastor). By the way, we were married by Pastor Love (really his last name). That cracks me up.

I believe there is always room for grace and forgiveness. I also completely understand that remarriage is a murky area and that some people hold the personal conviction that they cannot marry someone who has been divorced. I do not hold that against them, but I do pray that they would approach the issue with grace and love.

Divorce is not a murky issue. It's an abomination. However, it's no more an abomination than telling a lie or gluttony or jealousy or anger or murder.

If we, as Christians fail to extend God's grace to someone because we deem their sin worse than our own sin, then we truly do not understand grace.

And for the record grace doesn't mean ignoring sin or not ever confronting someone on it.

Days 5, 6, 7, & 8: He's just amazing!

Okay, since I obviously lack the sticktiutiveness to do any consecutive posting, I am just gonna post the rest of my list of Ed things in one giant post here.

Day 5: He's a provider. The entire time that we've been married Ed has only asked me to work when he was in school trying to better his career opportunities so that he could provide a better living for us.

When Eddie was born, I was trying to still work and visit my son at the hospital. (Yeah, I know that was stupid). Ed saked me to quit. I didn't listen, but he did ask. He was still a full-time student at the time, but he took a job delivering pizza so that we would be provided for.

As a side note... I didn't listen to my husband about quitting my job, so what happened? My freelance opportunities died with my computer and my remote connection to my computer at my regular job failed -- completely. Coincidence? I think not.

Always listen to your hubby!

Day 6: He's Our Spiritual Leader. When Ed and I were just *newly* dating I remember specifically asking God to let me know if Ed could be a spiritual leader of a family. See, I am rather independent and I knew I needed someone who could pull me in and help me not be the boss of everything.

A day or so later Ed and I went to a movie. While we were in the car on the way back, with no prompting from me, Ed said, "I really want to be a strong spiritual leader for my family..." I really don't remember much of what he said after that because for some silly reason I was in shock that God had actually answered my prayer. (Yeah, my faith was weak.)

Since then I've learned to submit to Ed more fully and he's grown as the leader of our home. Submission is not an easy thing for me -- and it's really not easy when it comes to spiritual matters. I mean afterall, I am the one with the seminary degree, not him. BUT STILL, God has ordered that Ed be the leader of our home. Ed fulfills his role. That glorifies God. That makes me want to submit to my husband. That makes it easier for me to accept him as the leader of our home.

Day 7: He's Giving. Giving of material items is not one of my better abilities -- not usually. It's not so much that I want to take, just that giving is not something that comes as second nature to me. Ed is completely the opposite.

He'll probably shoot me when he reads this, but really, he's the most giving person I know.

Again, let me tell you about when we were dating. I won't mention the NUMEROUS times he fixed my little broke down car. I won't mention the earrings he gave me or the care packages he sent to me while I was in school. I'll just mention one thing; tuition assistance.

The seminary I attended did not take student loans and was not eligible for pell grants and the like. Money was given to a general fund by various people and that scholarship money wsa divided up among people who needed it and who maintained a decent GPA. I was the recipient of that every semester while I wsa in school, but it was only about $300 per semester usually. $300 doesn't cover much. So I worked three jobs and went to school full time. I was very tired.

One semester I received a notice that I had been awarded an anonymous scholarship of $1000. I was completely dumbfounded. That sort of stuff just doesn't happen to me. I had no idea who my benefactor was -- at least not at first.

Ed, bless his heart, had tried to be quiet about the scholarship and he was doing a great job. He can keep a secret like nobody's business. However, I worked in the public relations office and had a lot of dealings with the office of financial development. Long story short, Ed couldn't hide that he'd given me the scholarship.

Since we've been married I've seen Ed give numerous items to others. I've listened as he reasoned with me as to why we should give more money to my parents. I've listened as he's shared how he wishes he could give more to help so many people.

What a blessing to know that your husband is so concerned about the well-being of others.

Day 8: He Makes Pretty Babies. Okay, we only have one child, but honestly, Eddie is about the cutest little boy that ever walked the Earth (i'm not biased or anything).

Considering that Eddie looks and acts just like his dad, I can't take any credit for Eddie being so stinkin' cute. I mean really...


I am so far behind. I owe like 4 pages of Why I love Ed posts. I need to blog about church on Sunday. I need to blog about my phone conversation last night. AND, I need to blog about my friend who is coming for a visit this weekend.

Woooo doggie! Better get on it.


Day 4: He's Smart!

Some people get that look that says "uck!" when I tell them Ed was an auto technician. Almost as if they thought he was below them or below me. And, admittedly, before I met Ed, I may have thought similarly about auto techs. That was only my snobbery and ignorance shining through.

As I got to know Ed, I discovered that he's a brain. Seriously. He has an associate's degree in auto tech, several pilot ratings and the equivalent of an associates degree in meteorology. i have a master's degree -- shouldn't that trump and associate's degree? Well, let me tell you, it doesn't.

I may be able to diagram a sentence and complete suduko puzzles like it's nobody's business, but Ed understands stuff that's actually important -- like physics and mechanics -- things that make our world work. Stuff that has literally brought me to tears before. I mean I can't even begin to understand the basics of the simplest of machines. Ed can fix anything. He can build anything.

He's also rather bright in history and politics. I'm guessing that Ed will be the one teaching Eddie any science and history courses. I'll do the easy stuff, like literature and art and music.

Day 3: He's Funny

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you two things about me. 1. I am stubborn. 2. I tell horribly corny jokes and laugh as I am telling them.

Most people don't "get" my sense of humor. It's dry and sarcastic. Probably closer to British humor than American humor. Ed "gets" it though --even if he doesn't want to admit it. His jokes are as corny as mine -- maybe even cornier -- and I love that.

For the first 3 years we were married, whenever I told him I was going to get a shower, he'd reply with a straight face that we already have a shower. Ba-dum-bum.

To have someone who "gets" me and who shaes my sense of humor is a rare thing. It's one more reason to tresure my Ed.


We Interrupt This Program...

to bring you a special message. Your regularly scheduled program, "9 Days of Ed" will air sometime following this message.

Everyone who has ever read more than a post or two on this blog knows that Eddie was born 11 weeks early. You also know that we are VERY blessed in that other than being a little small for his age, Eddie is 100% completely healthy. That truly is a testament to the grace and power of God.

That said, there are many, many moms who give birth to children prematurely who are not nearly as lucky as we have been. There are also moms who are capable of carrying a child to term but whose children are born with serious defects or who are born straight into Heaven.

The March of Dimes works diligently each year to research causes of and cures for prematurity, birth defects and sudden antenatal death. They are able to fund this research through donations from people like you and me.

One event that they host annually is WalkAmerica. Last year Eddie and I participated and raised just shy of $500! This year, I am inviting you to join me in the fight against prematurity, birth defects and SADS. You can donate to the March of Dimes through my to find out more.

I apologize for the begging, but I believe this is a good cause.

And now... back to your regularly scheduled blogging.


Day Two: He's My Friend

I completely admit that by the end of the first year I knew Ed (from July, 1998- August, 1999) I seriously was fed up with the whole "friend" gig.

We hung out OFTEN. He took me to dinner and brought me roses. He rubbed my feet and fixed my car. All because he was my friend. I longed for more and I am pretty sure he did too.

See, in Jan. of 1999 there was an ice storm. That night I called to talk to Ed, but my brother-in-law, Paul, answered the phone instead. So, I was friendly and spent a long time -- like an hour or so -- talking to Paul. Ed didn't want to talk that night. At least that's what Paul told me.

About a week later Ed stopped by my apartment to return some CDs he had borrowed. Then he proceeded to "break up" with me even though we were just "friends." He told me that he liked me too much and that he just couldn't deal with that right then. Then, he left and I stood in my livingroom completely confused and heartbroken.

Me being all persistant and what-not, I couldn't just leave things be so I did what any self-respecting weenie would do. I wrote him a letter explaining that I felt the same way and I didn't think he was being fair. Of course, I have such a way with words that Ed just had to call me.

And we continued being friends for another LONG 6 or 7 months. While that was annoying as all get out, I have to say that I truly do appreciate that time that we spent building our friendship.

Ed's the only person I've ever been close to for longer than two years. He's the one I tell all my secrets to. He's been there when I've been at about my lowest point and he's seen me at my happiest point. He even watched me give birth after being on hospital bedrest for several days (read: no shower) and he still likes me.

So now, even though our "friendship" nearly caused me to lose my mind 7 or so years ago, it is now what saves my sanity on long hard days.


Day One: He's HOT!

Today I am going to celebrate my honey's hottness. To be honest, it's what initailly attracted me to him.

The first time I laid eyes on Ed was in a bar. I was out on the dance floor and as soon as he walked in, he caught my eye. It really was like one of those scenes from some cheesy movie where all of a sudden one person sees another walk in and everything goes to slow motion and "love" music starts playing in the background.

I can't say it was love at that point, but it definitely was lust at first sight. He was wearing his cowboy hat, a white button-down shirt and a black vest with his TIGHT wrangler jeans. (It's a wonder we have a child, those jeans were *that* tight). I'll just say that his features were nicely accentuated. ;)

He chose a seat near the dance floor and I just *had* to go dance near him, he was THAT hot. Yes, I was lusting BIG TIME.

That's how we began our friendship -- with lust. Over the course of the next year or so our friendship developed even more. Thank God. It was almost a year after that initial meeting that Ed invited me to go jet-skiing with his brother and best friend. I accepted the invitation, hoping that something more would FINALLY come of this friendship.

See, I'd been longing for Ed to be mine for a whole year now. I knew he had some feelings that way too, but neither of us would act on them. So we remained "friends."

Anyway... I showed up at his house bright and early on the morning of July 3, 1999. I had no idea what awaited me. Imagine my shock when Ed answered his door wearing only his swim trunks. Yeah, I almost had to leave. The lust factor was just about too much for this girl to handle.

I decided to stay though and Ed decided to torture me further by proceeding to finish his morning stretches and push ups right in front of me. The rest of the day consisted of me just wallowing in the sin of lust and ended with Ed rubbing my feet because I was his "friend." It was a really hard day.

Obviously, we finally did move past the "friend" stage. The lust never left though, not while we were dating, not after we got engaged and really, it hasn't left since we were married a little over four years ago. We are both a little older now and I've got my sags and wrinkles, but he's still just as hot as he was back then -- especially when he's got his uniform on. Hubba Hubba.

So that's day one of why I love my Ed.

Why do you love your hubby?

Nine Days of Ed

I am tpically anti-Valentine's Day. I really really hate the color pink. I am not a big fan of cheesy hearts and cupids. And I don't understand WHY in the world people choose to get all ushy-gushy simply because the date is Feb. 14.

If you're gonna be ushy-gushy, be true to yourself and do it all year around. Know what I mean?

I've always been like this. I am not some scorned lover who just refuses to be happy or any of that mess. I just don't like Valentine's Day.

People have tried to convince me to come to the "pink side" and at least wear red on V-Day. My college pal Jen who also was a resident assistant on the same staff as I was decided she would break me of my anti-V-Day attitude. Since she was a resident assistant, she had a key to my room. While I was in class she broke in and made my dorm room look like cupid had exploded. There were pink and red hearts, streamers and balloons EVERYWHERE!

Now, on some level, I did appreciate the sentiment, but seriously there was way too much pink.

Ed has even tried to break me of my anti-V-Day attitude. When we were friends, before we started dating, he decided to take me to dinner on Valentine's Day. He even showed up at my apartment with three red roses. The evening wsa going great until he said, "It's so nice to have a good FRIEND to be able to go to dinner with."

Yeah, I wasn't convinced by THAT to come to the pink side either.

All that said, everyone is all ushy-gushy already this year. And I have absolutely been blessed with the love of my life; Ed. He truly is amazing. So, while I am NOT joining the pink side, I have decided that each day for the next several days... up until the "Pink Day," share with you reasons why I am completely and absolutely smitten by my husband. Maybe that's too mushy for some of you or perhaps too personal. That's okay. I should sing my hubby's praises, whether anyone reads or not. I will keep my posts PG-13 rated and I can assure you that I will be sharing quite a few funny stories. So, if you know me in real life, you may want to read up so you can have something to blackmail Ed with shoudl you ever need to resort to that.


Middle of the Road

I understand that being lukewarm is a bad thing -- when it comes to Christianity at least. No problem with that at all. I undestand also that somethings in general are just right or wrong. No problem there either. In fact, I prefer it that way.

That said, I have come to discover that nothing appears to be as black and white as I'd like for it to be or as others say it is when it comes to mommy-hood.

Case and point... Toddler tantrums. Eddie has been a bit of a bear this week. I know some of my older friends or acquaintances would say, "tan his hide," "break his will," or "show him who is boss." Othe friends and cquaintances would say things like, "let him be free," "encourage him to discover the natural consequences of things," or "it's just his way and you shouldn't do anything at all about the tantrums."

To all of those people, I say, "HOGWASH!!!"

I don't believe we are to break anyone's will. Period. If a person is to be broken, it should be at the hands of the Holy Spirit, not some parent on a power trip.

That said, I don't think a child should be allowed to break his parent's will either.

Children need discipline. They need love and they need to be encouraged to grow and develope naturally. That doesn't mean that the parent never interferes and it doesn't mean that the parent controls every aspect of the child's life. There's got to be some middle ground. This is one place where it's probably good to ride smack down the middle of the road. Just make sure you have a crash helmet on. ;)

I want Eddie to flourish in everything he does. Sometimes though, that means that I have to stop him from attempting to do things his way when his way could be dangerous or sinful. I'm sure he'd love to ride down the highway not strapped into his carseat, but tough noogies. Now, if he wants to wear green socks with an orange shirt and red shorts... well, we may just stay home that day, but I'm not going to fight him over it. Know what I mean.

I want Eddie to be himself. I can already see that he is strong-willed and determined, just like me and just like Ed. Heaven help me. I want to teach him how to use those traits to his advantage, I have no desire to stomp out those personality traits. God blessed him to be like this, my job, as his mother is to teach him how to remain true to himself without offending God.

So, pray for me. Pray for Eddie. Pray for Ed. We are all cruising down the middle of Tantrum Highway and our helmets are coming loose because of all the wind. We'd really like to make it to our destination, which is NOT "Surviving Toddlerhood Hill." No, our destination is much further away at "Raised a Godly Son Heavenly Retreat."

Sleeping Beauty

Eddie looks like my own little Sleeping Beauty when he's dozing. Maybe that's cause he is just adorable or maybe I'm just grateful for the break and that makes him even more precious. :)

Anyway... My Sleeping Beauty is why we didn't make it to church today. First, his diapers are still not they way they should be, if you get my drift. Secondly, since he was sick last weekend, he's been a bit of a bear. Not the cuddly kind either. And thirdly, the bear was sleeping so soundly this morning that I did not dare wake him.

His attitude seems better today, even if his diapers are not. So, I hope that next Sunday I will be able to return to church with my son, not my little sleeping beauty bear.

Cheap Love

So many times when people hear the word “cheap” they think of something that has little to no value. Sometimes that is truly the case. Sometimes it's just that the very valuable item didn't cost very much financially speaking.

I have to admit that it probably didn't cost much for Ed to win my love. I mean, he is a HOTTIE. That's not to say that *I* am cheap, just that I don't require lots of money to be spent on me. He likes it that way.

I thought that I'd join in Shalee's fun and share a few of the ways that Ed won my heart without breaking his bank. I'll even throw in a few cheap dates that we've had AFTER he stole my heart.

1. One of the easiest things in the world for a person to do is to cook a meal for someone else. Well, that's true unless you are my husband. He HATES being in the kitchen or even going to the grocery store. However, there have been a few times when he donned an apron and prepared some sort of meal for us. They weren't always the tastiest, bless his heart, but I ate them anyway because the sentiment was there.

See, I cook all the time, so it's not a sacrifice or much of a gift for me to cook for him. But when Ed gets up early to make flower-shaped pancakes for me for my birthday like he did 2 birthdays ago, my heart melts. And the only money he spent was the money for the pancake batter and the syrup.

2. I am an outdoors-y kinda gal. Ed is too so we lucked out there as well. I am a little more goofy than Ed though, so that can get interesting. Back in NC, one of my favorite places to visit was the Greensboro Arboretum. Absolutely beautiful. Ed and I would go there and walk and talk and hold hands amidst the flowering crepe myrtles. We'd sit on the benches and cuddle while we watched little kids and butterflies go by. Once in a while, I'd even convince Ed to chase me barefooted through the park. Ahhh... Those were the days.

It cost us absolutley nothing except the gas to get there, but those were the best times.

3. Since Eddie was born money has been fairly tight. Between the money being tight and us being natural tightwads, we've still managed to have a nice meal at Red Lobster without breaking the bank. The trick... share. We will find something on the menu that we both would enjoy and order that with an extra plate. Perfect. And nothing says love better than you offering your special someone those “extra” shrimp that you know you'd love to devour.

4. One of my favorite all time dates though is the picnic. Not just a regular old picnic though -- a picnic in the livingroom.

When we were still dating Ed showed up at my apartment and made me go to my roo until he told me I could come out. While I was sequestered he cleared the livingroom floor, put down a blanket, set some potted flowers and candles and readied the subs that he had picked up for us. Nice, quiet and cuddly. And no nosey people watching you either. All simply for the cost of the subs.

I did a variation on that after we were married. It was our first *married* Valentine's Day. I prepared his favorite meal while he was at work, put on a slinky dress (under my bathrobe) tied my hair up, lit candles and made strawberry shortcake for dessert. This only cost me the time to prepare it, since we would have had to eat that night anyway.

(A word of caution regarding the slinky dress idea: 1. make sure your unmarried brother-in-law lives far, far away or 2. make sure he knows it's Valentine's Day and that he is banned from visiting that day. Trust me on that one.)
So... those are my ideas. Nothing earth-shattering. Just fun and cheap.


'Cause I'm Cheap!

Ed and I are CHEAP-O! I'm actually kind of proud of our frugality. It's really not a bad thing -- not when I can buy brand new, name brand skirts for $1.

Our frugality has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. We do not buy new cars EVER. We shop carefully for our groceries. We buy second-hand. We have even found a way to have cheap dates -- although that really and truly hasn't happened since Eddie was born.

And don't ya know, cheap dates are always the best. ;)

Anyway... Shalee is hosting 50 Cheap Dates; read about it at her blog. Then, post your ideas for a cheap date. Sounds like fun to me.


Being a Mom is Hard Work

Seriously. Someone should write a book telling us all the answers.

Oh wait, about 124,557,672,342 books are already out on the subject and they all say something different. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

And asking friends for advice is crazy too because nobody parents the way you do. We all have our own little ideals and things we want to emphasize, so no two parents will look completely alike. I suspect that's a good thing.

My fear though is that we are essentially left to the wolves. We do our best and hope for hte best, but beyond that, there's not much we can do.

Scary, huh?

What's even worse for me is that I really struggle with caring too much about how others perceive me. I know that some people would probably say I am a horrible mom for letting Eddie sleep with me. Then others would say I am horrible for not letting him sleep with me. So I guess I'm wrong no matter what I do.

That's NOT a good place for me to be.

I promise, I am doing my best. I may not always be right, but I suppose in the end it will still work out okay (I hope).

On that note, I am going to go read some more about the reserved, intense, sensitive child and how I can survive having a son who is JUST LIKE ME. Heaven help me.