Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This girl is totally my kid...

I was just getting Evie dressed (yes, at 1 PM. I know, I am the mother of the year). I was having a hard time getting her jeans buttoned over her gi-normous cloth diaper booty. So I said, "Evie, you're too chubby."

She responded, "Yeah. Suck it in."

I've trained her well. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Evie's first fat lip and some cute videos...

Evie and I were playing in the living room tonight. She was running across the room, crashing into the couch, giggling hysterically, running back to me, giggling hysterically, etc. etc. And it's funny... even as she was doing it, and even as I was laughing at her silliness, I could *distinctly* hear Denise Goodale's (my mom) voice in my head: "It will only end in tears." (This was her mantra in my formative years.)

And it did, when Evie tripped on the rug on her way back to me and bashed her face against my knee. Lots of tears, lots of "real" blood, and one decidedly adorable fat lip.

Evie likes to remind me often, just in case I would be inclined toward forgetfulness:

I'm not sure I could say the same thing about myself, but I am pretty sure Evie is smarter than a fifth-grader (or at least smarter than your average 17-month-old). :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Yesterday, Evie and I went to the Hands-on-House, a super fun children's museum a few miles away from us. We have a family membership, so we go fairly often. It was almost empty yesterday, which is perhaps why she had the courage to dress up like a giraffe (with kitty cat face paint) and use the pretend microphone to sing her ABC's on the little stage. She's getting to the age where she KNOWS she's a little ham, and she loves to "work the crowd". I sure do love that girl.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pray for Hannah

Hello bloggy world! I interrupt my state of blog-o-sphere silence to bring you the following:

This story has been heavy on my heart lately, so I thought I would ask for your prayers for this sweet girly. Hannah Garman is a four-year-old in our town. She is also the niece of some of our friends. Christine, Hannah's mom, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with Hannah. She passed away two years ago. About a month ago, Hannah was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, an extremely rare-- and terminal-- form of brain cancer. Even with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Hannah is not expected to live to see next Christmas.

The outpouring from our community has been tremendous. Hannah thought it would be fun to see how many cards and letters she could get in the mail. Yesterday alone, she got more than 600. Tonight, several of the local emergency management agencies banded together to give Hannah her own "card parade". I counted more than 100 police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, etc. all en route to drop off a special delivery of cards to Hannah. As Evie and I stood on the hill beside our house and watched them drive by, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed... yes, with grief for this incredible family... but also with hope. We're in political and economic times when it is hard to see past ourselves. But the suffering of a child is a pain that is universally felt; cause I am pretty sure-- as much as we try not to-- it's not too hard to imagine our own children in such circumstances.

It is my prayer that this outpouring will result in more than just bouts of goodwill and warm wishes. The entire community is riveted on this family, the media has picked up this story... it is my prayer that the Lord will move graciously and powerfully on behalf of sweet Hannah. That as this town watches, they will see the power of our God move mightily. That when doctors and medicine have spoken "death", we will hear Jesus speak "life". Oh God, have mercy.

If you would like to send a note to Hannah, they can be mailed to:

Hannah Garman
259 N. Reading Road
Ephrata, PA 17522

Or keep updated at:

Friday, November 21, 2008

And just for fun...

Here's a pic of my girly in the first snowfall LAST year. Luckily *some* of the chub in her cheeks has redistributed itself into the rest of her body since then...! :)

Ralphie, I can't put my arms down!!

This morning we were very excited to wake up to our first snow "storm". In reality, there is probably only about an inch or two on the ground, but for a Carolina girl, that's a pretty big deal. My mom bought Evie a snowsuit during the after-Christmas sales last year (OK, I MADE her by it by implying that she wasn't a good nana if she didn't). So I suited Evie up, made a quick stop at K-mart for some snow boots (is it just me, or is K-mart not cheap anymore? What's the point of spending $68 for a cashmere sweater from K-MART?! But I digress...) and then we had at it. Here are a few action shots. (Is it bad that when she fell down [which was often] I made her writhe about in the snow without any help until I could snap a photo? I just couldn't stand it-- it was too cute!)

When I was little, we were always allowed to have hot cocoa when we came in from playing in the snow. At the ripe old age of 16 months, I wasn't quite ready to introduce that to Evie. But she warmed up by nursing and cuddling with mama when we came inside. Fun adventures with my girl!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pampered Chef for Haiti

I'm reposting this from my sister Gwenn's blog. She, her husband Nick, and their three small children are planning on moving to Haiti next year to be house-parents/siblings :) at the Haitian Children's Home. One of their friends is doing this super-cool and generous thing as a means of raising support for Gwenn and Nick's move. I thought I'd pass it on-- Pampered Chef sells GREAT stuff, and it makes really wonderful Christmas gifts, too! Hint hint...
Reposting this!!!

Come on friends-- let's get some shopping done!
Starting Saturday, November 1, you have an opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done and support our move to Haiti. Think of it this way, you will be shopping with purpose! (What could be better?!)

A friend of ours in Kentucky is a Pampered Chef consultant. She is doing a Pampered Chef online party to support the HCH-- specifically, Nick and I's move. You shop normally FOR YOU (or for Christmas gifts) online. Pampered Chef will donate 15% of the price of your purchase to HCH for our benefit. Additionally, Ashlee (the consultant) is donating 10% of your purchase price as well. So for everything you order, 25% of the cost will be going to us to help get us to Haiti!

The party is open November 1- November 15. So hurry!

Pampered Chef is ALSO offering this great deal-- 20% off of all classsic unglazed stoneware! It's a pretty good deal. That stuff is great.

You can either choose to have your order shipped directly to your home, or have it sent to me if you are local. (But be forewarned, if it is sent to me, I will not be able to get it to you until after Dec 2 since we will be in Haiti when it arrives.)

So click here:

From there, click "Order Products" and be SURE to mention me, Gwenn Mangine, as the host.

PLEASE help us out and forward this to your friends!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Evie understands the letter of the law, if not the spirit.

**I promise at some point, this blog will actually be about something other than cute Evie pictures or anecdotes. I mean, because who (other than her dad, nana, and aunties) really cares? But sorry folks, she just makes me smile! :) **

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Evie la Pew

Pretty stinkin' adorable, huh? (Get it, "stinkin'"... I know, punny...)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thanks a lot, Gretchen...

So I've tried to be purposeful about teaching Evie to be polite. I am always telling her that it will get her far in life :). And thus far, she's done me proud. She almost always remembers to say "please" and "thank you", and often remembers to say "yes, ma'am" or "yes sir" (although, like her pronunciation of Asher [see a previous post]), "yes, sir" sounds remarkably similar to "a**hole". Just sayin'.)

This weekend we were on the OBX visiting my family. We went out to lunch yesterday and Abbie, my three year old niece, began getting squirmy and antsy. So Gretchen (her mom) corrected her with a firm, "Sit DOWN!"... And then proceeded to encourage Evie to similarly instruct Abbie. You know where this is going... All afternoon, and several times during the (long) trip home, Evie beetled her little brow, screwed up her little mouth, and screeched, "Sit DOWN!!" I'm trying to rectify the situation by re-instructing her to say, "Won't you have a seat, please?" but so far, it's a no-go. It might be payback for me trying to teach Gretchen's kids to curse when they were small.

In other cute Evie news, she is loving the Donut Man lately. He kinda makes me want to shove an ice pick through my brain, but Evie likes him, so we listen. Her favorite song is "Obey". The chorus goes, "O-B-E-Y! Obey your mom and dad! O-B-E-Y! Makes them very glad!" So Evie has been walking around the house lately singing with all her might-- "OOOOO BBBBBB DAD!!!" I guess mom doesn't make the cut.

Man, I love that kid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Savior on Capitol Hill?

If you needed further proof that I am *not* crunchy, here it is: I am a conservative. :) Well, technically I am unaffiliated with any party, but I lean more toward conservative ideologies. And while I'm certainly not skipping church to watch "Meet the Press" every Sunday, I am interested in political issues and figures and ideas. But here's the thing-- I don't really enjoy discussing politics; partly because it's a massively divisive topic... but mostly because most people know WAY more about it than me... which means that I leave the conversation without that nice little air of superior knowledge and awareness that is so very appealing to me.

But this is my blog. So division and ignorance aside, I feel I should be able to share my (perhaps uninformed) thoughts on the upcoming presidential election. In watching recent debates, I can absolutely understand why Barack Obama has such a magnetic pull for so many people. He is charismatic, well-spoken, intelligent, and not entirely horrible-looking. I *want* to like him. I want to believe that he can really produce the "change we need" in America. But what kind of change, exactly?

The other night, I was flipping through the pages of my Parents magazine. There was an article interviewing Barack and Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain (John must have been off consorting with Joe the Plumber or some other Average Joe Six-Pack :) ), and the question of faith and church attendance came up. Although the Obamas admitted that they are not attending church/Sunday school services regularly (I'm sure Jeremiah Wright is missing their tithes), Barack said they teach their children "about values and faith and religion in the context of family life." Michelle even added that they end their meal-time prayers with a toast and a family exclamation of "Cheerios!" (Evangelicals everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief-- the Obama children are being taught the Gospel...)

But you know, whatever... to each his own, right? But then I stumbled across this article: "Obama's Abortion Extremism", by Robert George. I always knew that Obama was pro-choice, didn't know the extent of what that meant. His voting record is staggering and sobering. Here are just a few of the things the article mentions:

--Obama supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for medically unnecessary abortions.
--One of his top priorities as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. This would create a a federally guaranteed right to abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and would virtually eliminate all the "red-tape" of legal abortions (parental consent, notification laws for minors, etc.)
--He opposes the ban on partial birth abortions; he even wants to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers which offer alternatives to abortion.
--Obama opposes legislation that would protect children who are born alive, either as the result of a botched abortion or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability.
--He co-sponsored a bill that would authorize the large-scale industrial production of human embryos for use in biomedical research in which they would be killed.

There's much more; I encourage you to read the article for yourself. Disagree all that you want (remember, I said politics is divisive! :) but I just have a hard time understanding how a believer can stand behind a man who shows so little concern for "the least of these". I have been warned before not to err by "one issue voting". But come on-- I'm not talking about the economy here, folks. I'm not talking about global warming, or even how to defend our country against terrorism. I'm talking about children who are formed in the image of their Creator. This is a big deal. This is a really big deal.

I close with this quote, given in Obama's World AIDS Day speech... perhaps out of context, but interesting nonetheless...

"We should never forget that God granted us the power to reason so that we would do His work here on earth-- so that we would use science to cure disease, and heal the sick, and save lives." (emphasis mine)

Yes, we should never forget that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

There's a light at the end of the tunnel...


Chris is definitely the "fun" dad. He and Evie sneak around and have Rita's together, work in the shop, rough-house, and he's already teaching her about potty-humor... so that's great. It makes my heart smile when I hear Evie belly-laughing with her dad; she's pretty crazy about him. (So is her mom. :)

This past weekend, Chris had a Stray Lights purchase shipped in some giant boxes. Me, the un-fun mom, was ready to break them down and put them in the recycling pile. Chris had other ideas. Maybe some of you have made forts out of old refrigerator boxes, so you may be thinking, "what's the big deal?" But I ask you-- did your forts have LIGHTS?!?!? And a skylight? And a hidden escape door? Is your fort over eight feet long and currently residing behind the furniture in your living room? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Don't hate cause your baby daddy ain't as cool as my baby daddy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Evie says "Asher"

Evie has a cutie new cousin named "Asher". I have not met him yet, but he's adorable and chubby and I love him already. Evie likes to talk about Asher-- problem is... when she says his name, it sounds like she's crassly referring to an...ahem... unmentionable part of the human anatomy. I love this. Why is this so funny to me? I would seriously never grow tired of listening to Evie's faux-curses. Chris is even trying to get her to say, "You Asher!!!". Sort of like when we used to encourage my nephew Micah to say "Elmo shirt in the pool" (use your imagination). Yeah, I know, we're the worst parents/aunts/uncles ever. So hem and haw and judge as you will, but admit it folks-- it's funny stuff.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hard to fill Daddy's shoes...

Ok, if that doesn't make you smile, there is seriously something wrong with you. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vacation pics...

I stole all of these pictures from my sisters' blogs... 'cause I am a sucky mother and took no pictures on vacation. None. Zero. I am glad that my sisters are better mamas than I am, or Evie would have no fun reminders of her babyhood.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nixie Mountain Melodies

We just got back from our family vacation to Lake Gaston (more pics to come). One of the beauties of family is that I can be completely wacky and ridiculous, and they still have to like me. Or at least they pretend to like me so that they can hang out with my exceptionally cool daughter.

In the spirit of "Dan in Real Life", my sister Gwenn suggested that we hold a family talent show. My brother-in-law Jon just happened to have a sound system in the back of the minivan (???) so we set up an impromptu stage and had at it. Without further ado, I bring you The Nixie Mountain Melodies. (Check itickets for availability of tickets in a venue near you.)

I would just like to point out that NO alcohol was involved. At least on my part. I can't say for sure with Gwenn and Nick, although their 1 year old son Josiah's talent was crushing empty beer cans. So you do the math.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Soggy Mama's Weigh-In Tips...

So it's that time (again)... time to pull out the ol' Weight Watchers Points Finder and Restaurant Guide and buckle down. My baby is 14 months old, and the "baby weight" excuse is getting old... even to me. I tried going back to WW right after Evie was born. But I kept using my nursing points to eat ice cream. Seriously. ALL of my nursing points on ice cream. It was a delicious time in my life. But alas, the end goal of losing pregnancy pounds was not achieved. I love Weight Watchers. I really do. Which is further proof that I am not a crunchy mama, cause WW brand foods contain things like (gasp!) aspartame! and (double gasp!) food coloring!! (two essential staples in ANY soggy mama's diet...) So I started WW again about a month ago. So far it is going really well. In part, I attribute my success to a set of tried-and-true weigh-in guidelines. Follow these like the Gospel, mamas, and you won't be disappointed:

1) Weigh-in first thing in the morning, AFTER nursing the baby and AFTER...*ahem*..."eliminating" (if you will). I don't want to get into particulars here (as I am sure you don't want me to, either) but following these guidelines can boost your weight loss by a solid 1/2 lb. I kid you not.
2) Remove any and all jewelry... wedding bands, toe rings, necklaces, nose rings. I don't care what it is. Take it off.
3) Remove nail polish. I haven't actually tested this theory, but it only makes sense to me.
4) Remove spectacles or other vision-correction paraphernalia. I have tried weighing-in without my contact lenses, but I am unable to see the numbers. Considering buying a scale with a larger display.
5) Remove any and all articles of clothing. This, almost entirely, accounts for my reasoning in joining WW online rather than going to public meetings. I cannot say for sure what their stance is on the nude weigh-in, but I am pretty sure it is frowned upon.
6) Try eliminating again, just in case you missed some on the first round.
7) Vigorously brush teeth, ridding you of any weighty plaque issues.
8) Step gingerly on the scale, one foot at a time. Stand very still and exhale deeply, then hold your breath. I don't really think that this contributes to a lower number on the scale, but I feel like it adds a little flare of the dramatic--and I'm certainly never opposed to that.

Voila! Baby-weight-be-gone!

What about you? Any brilliant weigh-in strategies to share with a chubby-ish mama?

Friday, September 5, 2008

I was coerced...

Let me preface this by saying that it's a horribly presumptuous thing to start a blog. When starting such an endeavor, one assumes at least one of the following three things:

1) My life is tremendously exciting/fascinating, and others are bound to want to live vicariously though it.
2) I have some bit of profound wisdom to impart, and I would be robbing the online community of a huge wealth of wisdom if I DIDN'T start a blog.
3) My kid is cuter/smarter than yours, and while I can't directly tell you that-- I can post a blog about what he/she says or does, or how he/she spoke in complete sentences and could wipe her own bottom when she was 4.5 months old, etc. etc. And the beauty of it is that I can do it in such a way that it seems matter-of-fact, rather than boastful. Even though it's not.

I'm the exception. None of the aforementioned reasons are my motivation in starting a blog, although they could (arguably) all be true. :) Here's the thing-- my friend (and future business partner--Patchouli Baby Unlimited, anyone? :) Kristi-- is pretty much fascinated by my life. And righfully so. Who wouldn't be fascinated by a day-in/day-out routine of get up, nurse the baby, change the baby (swish the diaper), read "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb", feed the baby, pick up smooshed up peas off the floor (or don't), change the baby (swish the diaper), read "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb", nurse the baby, etc. etc., ad nauseam, world without end, amen and amen.

So Kristi, this blog is for you, lady. And if you don't comment at least once, we will probably be fighting.