Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions

Over the last couple of years we've made quite a few resolutions (not necessarily at New Year's) in an effort to create a more healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle:

*switched to glass kitchen storage containers
*drink out of stainless steel bottles
*stopped using the microwave (almost entirely)
*created a compost system to reduce kitchen waste and use on our plants
*planted tomatoes
*started buying local honey (does wonders for Currie's allergies)
*switched to grass fed beef
*started buying raw milk and organic eggs from a local farm
*had a natural child birth
*use wheat grass, garlic, GSE, to boost immunity when starting to feel sick rather than defaulting to antibiotics (also use humidifiers to help cold/coughs)
*use cloth diapers
*use clothes line for said diapers when possible
*purchased home w/in 5 miles of where we work, worship, and study
*used no VOC paint for all interior painting
*installed eco-flow showerhead, more efficient toilet, etc. during renovations
*reuse materials whenever possible during renovations
*use homemade furniture polish & all purpose cleaner w/ kitchen ingredients
*bought motorcycle to reduce gas emissions (gets 68 mpg vs. 16 mpg for the truck)
*traded out said 16 mpg truck for 19 mpg minivan (okay not a big difference), continue to use little 34 mpg car as primary vehicle (even on road trips) instead of comfy minivan
*use bicycle to commute when possible (Currie)

Things I'm thinking about for this year:

*planting a veggie garden
*eating more fish (actually any amount would be "more" for us!)
*decreasing sugar & flour intake (based on Nina Planck's Real Food)
*buy more local/organic fruits/veggies
*eat more fruits & veggies!
*exercise more regularly (need to decide what this would look like for me)
*go to bed before 11

(These are the tangible resolutions...every year I think about spiritual disciplines as well: less worrying, coveting, complaining, more praying, reading the Bible, focus on others. I have significantly less progress in these areas!)

Any other suggestions that I haven't thought of??
And, oh yeah, Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

10 months: wishing I could freeze time


*still loves her bath; funny how sticking this kid in water can make her go from fussy to delighted almost instantly
*pulling up; pretty "mobile"- a hundred times a day I think she's going to crawl for the first time because she gets so close, but every time she sits back down or just decides to lay on her belly, or sit back up
*1st tooth on Oct 7 (8.5 mo); 2nd tooth on Nov 21th (10 mo)
*loves standing and walking with me
*uses her index finger to point and to "lift the flap" on her books
*wobbles her head to "dance"; loves music
*first costume: Ewok (c'mon, even Ewoks sometimes get tired and need their pacis)

*sits up from being on her tummy
*says "ba-ba-ba-ba-by" all the time; loves to jabber
*is learning to feed herself, but only with her spoon- she is not a barbarian!
*sleeps from 8 pm to 7 am, w/ her bunny

*loves people and playing w/ the big kids at the nursery at my school
*favorite toy is currently her musical piggy bank & coins- and books, always books
*first taste of "grains" was grits @ breakfast w/ her great grandaddy

and finally
*loves the beach; she splashed in the waves, banged shells together, and did not protest one bit to be covered in sand from head to toe...
a girl after her mommy's own heart <3 and now, for your viewing pleasure, sounds of a happy baby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvxQyuYHwhQ

Sunday, September 26, 2010

baby book entry: 8 months

*says dada, yaya, bobobob, and (*finally*) mama!!
*scooches backwards off a blanket
*menu options include: egg yolks, banana, avocado, applesauce, sweet potato, peas, carrots, zucchini, yogurt, pears, green beans, cantaloupe, broccoli
*she has started rocking and then tipping herself onto her face from a sitting position, then ends up on her tummy to scoot...I think crawling is right around the corner (yikes.)
*we've figured out that she can roll over, just generally chooses not to :)
*her fine motor skills have improved drastically...she likes playing with my hair band and transfers it between her hands
*she takes my hands in hers and makes them clap
*she likes to bang two toys together
*puts her paci back in her mouth (she's been doing this for probably a month now)
*LOVES bath time, books, and eating
*went through 5 days of intense pain from teething (LOTS of drool & low grade fever), but still no teeth!!
*she'd been sleeping from 7 to 7 until we traveled & she started teething; for the last month she's been waking up at least once a night
*had her first tent camping experience last weekend at the church retreat (while teething!)
*super ticklish on her belly & under her chin
*(very) vague/ideal schedule: wake up 7; nap 9-11; nap 1-3; sometimes afternoon nap or just down time in crib around 5; bedtime 7
*I'm starting to wonder if her eyes are turning more gray than blue
*almost everywhere I go with her someone tells me she looks like a "Gerber baby" (I can't argue with that!) :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Win an Ergo!!

Hi ladies,

There is this awesome contest going on right now to win an Ergo baby carrier! I've been wanting one for awhile and have searched all over the country on craigslist to find one for cheaper...but the problem is, few people ever want to get rid of their Ergo because they love it so much!

Here is the link on how to enter the contest-- super easy!!
http://www.heavenlyhold.com/pages/contest.htm

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Irons in the Fire

Life is about to get a whole heck of a lot busier around here. Starting Sunday I have three "hats" to wear: Sunday School Coordinator at our church, SNAP tutor, and PreK3 teacher. (Not to mention wife, mother, housekeeper, etc.) Yikes. This week I've been running around like a crazy woman getting ready for all three roles to start the same week. Here's a sneak peek at what I'll be doing for each position:

-Sunday School Coordinator: recruit teachers (this proved harder than one would imagine!), order curriculum, coordinate subs when needed, be in classrooms, act as support for teachers (this is a volunteer position)

-SNAP tutor: case manage for 6 kids (read: paperwork!), plan lessons for small group instruction focused on strategies to improve written expression, task management, math reasoning depending on each student's individual needs (this will be 2 evenings/3 hrs. each evening)

-PreK3 teacher: play with/teach eight 3-yr olds, plan lessons in reading/writing/math readiness, picture/composer/nature study (Charlotte Mason style), go on enrichment trips (this will be 2 mornings/5 hrs. each- Ellie will be across the hall in a nursery)

While each of these positions is really exciting to me, I get overwhelmed thinking about dishes, laundry, dinner, (cloth) diapers, baby food, and kitchen renovations on top of everything else!! Still, I am SOOO thankful that I am not teaching full-time, but that God has given me these 3 outlets (not to mention the finances) in the educational world so that I can spend more time with this sweet girl:

Super Trooper

Well, the Bishops have had a CRAZY summer! Last week I realized that our little Munchkin had slept in about fifteen different locations in the space of two weeks. She's a trooper!

This summer we made it to:
Boiling Springs, NC (Charlotte Mason conference)
Atlanta, GA (my roomie reunion)
Nashville, TN (General Assembly/mini-fam reunion)
Boynton Beach, FL (to see parents, aunts, grandparents)
Dalton, GA (to see bro, sis, nephew)
Lookout Mtn., GA (to see bro @college)
Dalton, GA (to see bro, sis, nephew, & NIECE!!)
Atlanta, GA (Cov friends reunion)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Year Later...

We've been in our house one year this week!

Then:



Now:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

6 Months

I cannot believe this little angel will be 6 months on Fri!!

Here are some snippets of what she's been up to:

*started solids last Wed. Her first food was mashed, soft boiled egg yolk. She loved it! This week we gave her banana and she was practically diving for the spoon. Next will be avocado!
*discovered how to splash in the bathtub last night for the first time, and proceeded to splash for the rest of her time in the tub. SO cute. She also loves to lap at the shower head when we rinse her off; she reminds us of a little kitten.
*found her feet!

*makes a very distinct "ga-ga-ga" sound, especially when she's hungry.
*can move around when we lay her on a blanket, or in bed. Yesterday when I went to her crib, her head was in the same spot, but she was completely upside down from how I'd laid her in there.
*is transitioning out of her swaddle blanket. Most day time naps she sleeps with her hands above her head now...with her Bunny, who she loves very much. She rubs her eyes constantly when she's tired, which is why the swaddle blanket was so necessary for so long.

*likes to turn the pages when we read to her.
*reaches for things, especially my hair! Most of the time she's sooo gentle with feeling it though. She likes it when I let it fall into her face when I'm bending over her so she can touch it.
*transfers objects like rattles from one hand to the other.
*is very verbal; she squeals, and explores her falsetto like a little opera singer. Most of the time this is what I hear on the baby monitor as she's waking up and "talking" with her Bunny in her crib.
*loves being outside, especially on the porch swing.
*watches people, especially when they're talking.
*is not rolling over yet! BUT, she's great at tummy time, and I think that she'll almost be crawling before she'll roll over. She pushes up on her arms super high and scrunches her legs towards her belly to inch forward.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Giggles!!



(The bed has no sheets because she wet them when we put her in bed w/ us this morning...)!

Sweet talker

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lovey Bunny






Sunday, May 09, 2010

Ode to a Supermom

“This morning I woke up at 6, drank my 2 cups of coffee, got the kids ready and dropped them off at school, came back, showered and changed, took Will to Publix, came back home, cleaned up and did a load of laundry while I talked to Dan, washed some dishes, made Will his lunch, took it to him and ate with him, went back home, paid some bills, ran to the post office and by that time it was time to pick the kids up again, so I got them from school, took John to the dentist, called Ab while I picked up some groceries, picked Will up, made some dinner, folded the laundry, took the kids to youth group while Will went to dance, got some gas in the van, picked the kids back up, helped Ana with a homework project, straightened the living room, and crashed into bed.”

All I want to know is, how do you do it?!

Thanks for all the sacrifices you make for your family.

Love you, Mom!

Friday, April 16, 2010

More about Munchkin

A few more things I've been wanting to record:

-Ellie is blowing bubbles now.

-She rubs her eyes when she's tired.

-She rolled over for the first time on Wed. We thought it was probably a mistake, but she did it 3 times that day!

-Instead of craning her head over her shoulder to root like she used to, now when she's hungry she lets me know by licking her lips repeatedly. :)

-She's started having "conversations" with us. My favorite time of day is first thing in the morning (shocking, I know, 'cause most of you know that I am so NOT a morning person). But, this is when she's the happiest and gives us huge grins and "talks" to us.

-We think she has Currie's allergies. Poor thing. The pollen has been horrible this week and when we slept w/ the windows open she woke up super congested. I can clean her nose w/ that nasal aspirator 10 times in a row and she won't complain. In fact, I think she likes it 'cause it helps her breathe.

That's all for now. I'm still in awe of how these silly little things can mean everything to me! Currie told me he read my last post while at school and it made him miss her! We sure are smitten over this Little Honey.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

3 months

It's high time for an Ellie update (read: Beware of long post!)

-Ellie's first "social smile" was on Mar 13, the day of the St Patty's Day run. However, she's come a long way in the smiling deparment, just this week. Before we had to practically stand on our heads to get a teeny smirk; now it's full-on open mouth, nose-scrunched, squealy grins almost every time she sees us (or her elephants, or her mobile).
Here she is giving a grin w/ her Aunt Shanna.

-We can't really call her Grunting Gerta anymore, because all the grunts have turns into adorable coos. Now her sounds mimic language a lot more and are absolutely precious.

-She's gone to a 4 hour eating schedule. The girl still packs it away, but now she goes longer between feedings. She's been eating at 8, 12, 4, and 8, and one middle of the night feeding around 4:30/5:00. Since I'm going back to work next Monday I am moving her schedule back an hour so that she'll eat closer to 7, 11, 3,and 7. I would love it if I could wean her from the 5 am feeding, (it's not even a full feeding...more like 8 min rather than 20) but she still seems genuinely hungry.

-She likes to kick her legs furiously and wave her arms up and down when laying on her back. Yesterday she lay in her bassinet and realized that if she kicked it shook the whole bed, so she really went to town! In the pic below her legs are a blur 'cause they're go, go, go...

-Ellie LOVES her carseat. She seems like a born traveler. In fact, each time we've taken her out for a walk she has ended up falling asleep 'cause she's so comfy in the carseat.

-She has officially been dubbed a "summer" by my Aunt Dee. In our family we stick religiously to buying according to our color schemes so that all our clothes mix and match. Mommy's a winter and Daddy's an autumn, so now we'll have to learn a new color palette when shopping for Ellie's clothes. (I'm still in shock that I have a blue-eyed beauty!)

-She's not a huge fan of tummy time (yet). She can hold her head up for a long time when we're holding her, but she gets frustrated after only a couple minutes of being on her stomach. I am trying to increase this amount of time since our Parents as Teachers rep reminded us of all the benefits of tummy time.

-Confession: our daughter is a paci-holic. I mean serious. addiction. What's funny is that somehow Currie and I have taught her to cough to get the paci. I have no idea how it's happened, but that's how she lets us know she wants it. Or, she'll open her mouth and lean towards her chest because she knows it's down there somewhere, and that it magically appears when she does this. Recently, when that doesn't work, she has figured out that she can shove her fist in her mouth for a similar effect. :)

I'm sure there are lots of things I'm leaving out, like her first trip to the beach, her first flight, her baptism, etc. but most of those I have recorded on our calendar (or have upteen million pictures to help me remember).

p.s. I have videos of several of the above that I am desperately trying to upload, but they take FOREVER. Any tips on quicker options?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm an Ellie Expert

So a friend of ours recently told us that we'd spent the last month becoming "Ellie Experts". I love this phrase because it recognizes that as her parents, Currie and I understand and relate to Ellie better than anyone else at this point. In the past 5 weeks we have learned what Ellie's idiosyncrasies are, we can predict how she'll respond to things, and we know what her little grunts and noises mean. And I can't even begin to explain how much joy this brings us.

In an effort to document some of these idiosyncrasies before she outgrows them (and before I buy a baby book to record them in), here are some of my favorite things that little Ellie does:

-She often sneezes twice in a row, but when she doesn't she thinks she will, so she ends up faking the second sneeze and yells "aaahhh" (this is by far my favorite thing she does and it is my mission in life to catch it on video before she stops doing it!).

-When I wake her up from her nap for a feeding, I know she's ready to eat by kissing her cheeks. When I kiss her left cheek she turns and starts to root and ends up "kissing" me with her mouth open; when I kiss her right cheek she turns to that side, roots, and ends up "kissing" me again.

-As documented by some of the previous videos, Ellie is noisy!! She loves to grunt, even in a sound sleep, and was keeping Currie and I awake at night until we learned that it really didn't mean anything. I realized that if she really needed us she'd let us know by crying. We've already gotten knowing looks in our direction during church when people hear her little grunts...though they assure us that they sound louder to us than anyone else. :)

-Just like her mom and dad, Ellie likes to eat. From the first time she latched right after delivery, she knew what she was doing, and she just goes to town. She is not dainty about it either; she is a gulper and chugger and is normally done with a feeding within about 20 minutes! The lactation consultant at the hospital told me that most babies take 6-7 sucks before swallowing; Ellie takes 1 suck before swallowing! She also vocalizes with each swallow and it sounds like she's saying "mmm", "mmm", "mmm."

Here's an overview of what her schedule looks like right now:

-Ellie eats every 3 hours during the day. Most of the time I have to wake her up to eat, and then I try to make sure that she has close to an hour of awake time before her next nap. By the time I feed her, change her diaper, and give her a little tummy time the hour is up and she is getting drowsy.

-At night she can normally give me at least one 4 hour stretch before needing a feeding. She normally sleeps through the feeding (sometimes I doze too), and only occasionally does she wake up after I put her back in her bassinet...then the fun begins. :)

-She tends to have one fussy period in the late evening. Currie's gotten really good at calming her down. He swaddles her really tight, puts her on her side, gives her the paci, and then "shushes" and rocks her. These are the "5 S's" from the book The Happiest Baby on the Block and they really seem to help Ellie calm down.

Well, most of my readers know that it took us two years, a fertility specialist, and a surgery (to remove two large cysts caused by endometriosis) to get pregnant. There were many tears cried and many prayers prayed before God mercifully answered by giving us our Eleanor Rose. So I hope it's obvious from this post how much we absolutely LOVE being parents. I get choked up thinking about how absolutely LUCKY I feel to have her. And to my dear friends that are still trying... know that I am still praying for you. Being an "Ellie Expert" is a huge privilege and I so long for you to have the opportunity to be an expert for your little one too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

And this is why we call her Grunting Gerta


Yes, mommy's watching figure skating in the background...

Genius, or just a happy accident?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pictures

I've been adding more pics of Ellie on our FB album.

Also, I added more to the bathroom album. So glad this project is almost over!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sweet girl

More video for the grandparents (and aunts, uncles, cousin) far away

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Birth Story (because some of you have asked, and because I'm already forgetting...)

So we’d been hoping all along that Ellie would come after her due date, Jan 28th. The two main reasons were that 1) we were in the middle of a bathroom renovation, and 2) the longer I could work before she was born meant less time I’d have to return to finish out the school year. So I had really convinced myself that she was going to come late. She had other plans, however.

(Click here to keep reading...warning: it's long!)



Wednesday, February 03, 2010

For her fan club

Her first trip to House Church ... we heard about Nelson Jenning's trip to Ethiopia w/ the Warren's ministry to people with AIDS

This is Ellie keeping her paci in her mouth... she was up from 9 am to 2 pm being fussy, until mommy caved and let her try the paci. She was asleep in two seconds flat. Mommy is now a fan of the paci.

Checking out her elephants again...

Ellie notices her elephants for the first time

I thought Ellie was sleeping in her bassinet...turns out she was wide awake just looking around. I moved the elephants in her mobile just a little bit and she tracked and seemed interested. She is my doll baby. :) A

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ellie's many outfits

I think Ellie went through 5 different outfits today!




Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ellie getting hungry

Sorry about the grainy-ness, but I had to lower the quality to get it to post since it was such a big
file...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More pics







Pictures of Ellie's first days




Latching onto Daddy's nose!!