Monday, December 24, 2007

The Night Before Christmas for Moms

It was the night before Christmas,
when all thru the abode

Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.

The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,

While visions of Nintendo 64 and Barbie, flipped through their heads. 

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,

With a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.

So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,

Which made her sigh, "Now what's the matter?" 

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in
her hand,

She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.

He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.

"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the

"Ho-ho-ho!" cried Santa,
"I'm glad you're awake."

"Your gift was especially difficult to make."

"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone."

"Exactly!" he chuckled, "I've made you a clone." 

"A clone?" she asked, "What
good is that?

Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit-chat."

The mother's twin. Same hair, same eyes,

Same double chin. 

"She'll cook, she'll dust,"
She'll mop every mess.

You'll relax, take it easy, Watch The Young & the Restless."
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream come true!

"I'll shop. I'll read., I'll sleep a whole night through! " 

From the room above, the youngest began to

"Mommy?! I scared... and I am wet."

The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."

"Hey," the mom smiled, "She knows her part." 

The clone changed the small one, and
hummed a tune,

as she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.

"You the best mommy ever. " I really love you."

The clone smiled and sighed, "I love you, too." 

The mom frowned and said,
"Sorry, Santa, no deal. "

That's my child's love, she's trying to steal."

Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear, "

Only one loving mother, is needed here." 

The mom kissed her child, and tucked her
into bed.

"Thank you, Santa, for clearing my head.

I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,

When they'll be too old, for my cradle-song. " 

The clock on the mantle began to chime.

Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."

With the clone by his side Santa said, "Goodnight. Merry Christmas, Mom,
You'll be all right."

Author Unknown

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Photos!

Eden is quite a climber and loves to climb up on the couch or chair to find the TV remote.  This is how we found her after leaving her alone in the living room for a few minutes!

Eden is getting good at using a spoon, though she still loves to use her hands, as well!

Our little climber also loves to snuggle the dogs!  

She was a big help with putting up the tree!

She loves to climb into a box!


Eden loves to talk to Dad on the phone!

My little bookworm!

Eden and I had the flu on her actual birthday.  We had to cancel our little family celebration.  I did make cupcakes so Eden could blow out a candle... unfortunately, while suffering with the flu, Eden learned how to "blow"- HER NOSE!  Not the way you want a kid to blow on a cake!  Ew Gross!

A few days after her birthday, we were all feeling better and had a few friends over for a real cake and some ice cream.  It was a nice, low-key, very special day.  Eden LOVES cake! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I have a toddler- not a baby

So, I haven't posted in a while.  I blame it on Eden.  Now that she is walking I am not able to spend much time on the computer.  She is all consuming!  What a little ball of energy!  I am acutely aware that I do not have a baby anymore.  She is a full-fledged toddler!

Eden loves books and will bring you books to read to her ALL DAY!  She has turned into quite a climber and loves to climb up on the couch and find the TV remote!  She gives the dogs a run for their money!  They get along great!

I am doing well, too!  I am just about finished with my Childbirth Education Certification!  I should begin officially teaching in March.  I have been working on getting my "business" up and running.  You can check out my website at  

Brandon is planning to go back to school in January to work on finishing his degree.  He is looking forward to finally having that behind him!

I will post some pictures soon- I know that's what everyone really wants to see!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nebraska- October '07

Brandon, Eden and I recently took a trip to Nebraska to visit family. We had a wonderful time relaxing, visiting and seeing some sites. This trip was Eden's first trip out there and her first plane ride. She did great on the trip out! She made friends with all our fellow passengers during the 1 hour delay in Richmond for a mechanical problem. The trip home was not as pleasant, but we will spare you the gory details.

Brandon always loves to catch a game while he's out in Nebraska. Yes, even this year, he couldn't miss the chance to see his Huskers play in Lincoln. His Uncle Paul GAVE him his tickets! Brandon took his mom to the game, and while the Huskers lost to Texas A&M (14-36), I think they had a good time.

Maybe Brandon should have taken the cutest Nebraska cheerleader EVER with him. They may have done a little bit better...

We couldn't go to Omaha without seeing the Henry Doorly Zoo. We had so much fun walking around and seeing the animals. Eden is such an animal lover and it is a blast to see her enjoying God's creation!

I mentioned that we went out to Nebraska to visit family, and visit we did! We stayed with Brandon's Mom and sister (Nikita). We visited his Aunt Mary and her husband Merlin. We had dinner at his cousin Chris's house. His 3 girls were entertaining! While there we also got to visit with his cousin Ben and his new wife Carley. We spent a day in York, NE visiting Brandon's Grandma Klippenstein. Eden enjoyed chasing the 3-legged cat.

We also got to visit Brandon's Grandma Rollogas for an afternoon. We had a nice time and went out to eat. As usual, Eden turned on the charm!

Sadly, our vacation ended too soon. We had to say our goodbyes and head home. Thanks grandma for letting us stay with you! We had a blast!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Virginia State Fair '07

Brandon and I took Eden to the Virginia State Fair the first week in October. Last year she may have enjoyed the sounds and the tastes (in utero), but this year she got to enjoy the sights!

We spent most of our time in the animal buildings and tents. We saw rabbits and sheep and goats. We watched the cows in labor, and played with the humane society's puppies. We had a great time watching the baby chicks hatch.

Eden got to pet a baby duck. She was a bit intimidated, at first (perhaps by the little girl holding it), but she said "Eessss" (her baby version of "be easy") and stroked it's little head so gently.

I (Amy) had the opportunity to volunteer at the Virginia Breastfeeding Taskforce booth. I manned the booth and the nursing mother's station for a few hours. The Taskforce had set up a nice little "room" complete with a changing table, rocking chair and free bottled water. It was a short time, but I had fun and helped the Taskforce provide a wonderful service. The only other option for nursing mothers who preferred a private place to nurse would have been the bathroom. Eden even helped me out at the booth! She also took advantage of the nice facilities where she grabbed a snack herself!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Camping at Bear Creek Lake

We recently took a camping trip with our Sunday School class. We got 5 campsites at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland, VA.

We had several families, 3 dogs and a few babies and kids. Eden was the youngest little one there, but she did great as always! We had warm days and cool nights (and mornings). It was nice to actually have to use a sweater in the end of September!

Our campsites were right on the lake (this is the view from our picnic table area) and gave us the opportunity to do some canoeing and fishing.

Eden got filthy crawling around the campsite, so, I gave her a bath in our dishpan! She loved splashing around in her little "bathtub" and hammed it up for the camera!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dyeing on the Deck

My friend Julie and I spent the day at my mom's last Monday. We brought our girls (her daughter Evelyn is 18 months old) and their play pens and set up shop on the deck. We had beautiful weather.

Our day was spent dyeing silk. We used acid dyes and some natural dyes , and a variety of techniques. We painted rainbow playsilks for the girls, and worked on some Christmas gifts as well.

My mom is always so patient with the novices, and helps us get just the look we want by adding different chemicals to the fibers. We had fun cooking the goldenrod (hand-picked that morning from a nearby field) and came up with a gorgeous yellow dye. Our indigo pot was fun, as always.

The girls did great while being ignored most of the day. They played together, ate and napped outside all day with little complaint. Eden has loved her silks and ironically, "silk" is her first perfectly clear word!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Go Big Red!

This past Saturday, September 8th, we had the chance to travel down to Winston-Salem, NC to see the Huskers play the Wake Forest Deacons. We woke up very early Saturday morning (5:30 AM) and made the 4 hour drive. Eden was a trooper. I am always impressed with how good (and portable) she is. She easily made the trip down and back.

We got to sit on Deacon Hill (a big hill in one of the end zones). Eden had some room to play and we had a pretty good view of the game!

Eden showed her Husker spirit by getting all geared up in red and white (complete with a tattoo on her cheek)! She was so cute!

Eden got to go to her first game, and it was a WIN!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

We sure did have a big Labor day weekend! On Saturday, Eden got to go play at the Stony Point fountain. She had so much fun playing and splashing in the water. We got some pretty cute pictures, too!

On Monday, Labor Day, we took Eden to the Metro Richmond Zoo. It is a small local zoo, and we had never been. We had a great time, and Eden loved seeing all the animals!

We had a hard time getting this picture because Eden was so excited about the parrot perched behind us!

We got a little cup of "animal food" and fed the giraffes! It was so much fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm a bad mom and the Chesterfield fire department knows it!

So last night Eden and I went to the funeral home for my cousin's MIL who passed away from cancer. We went in the height of a thunder storm.  It was pouring rain and the wind was blowing me all over the place. We went to the WRONG funeral home (I had a major brain fart!). We did finally get to the correct place and even if you are only close to the ones left behind, it's so emotionally draining. I really dislike that whole ritual. 

After that, because Eden was in such a good mood, I decided to go to the Birth Circle meeting. I got there right on time (in the rain, with several of the lights on Hugeunot Rd out) and got out of the car. As I am shutting the door, I had one of those slow-motion "NOOOOOO" moments. My keys and Eden were in the car and I had just locked the door. I saw an old couple getting in to their car, so I ran over to ask if either of them had a cell phone (old couples do not have cell phones). I left the little old lady in the parking lot with Eden and went inside the church to call 911. I felt better once the fire department was en-route to me, but poor Eden was a wreck. 

Now this is the part of the story that was so horrible (and hilarious in the light of day). The little old lady must watch a lot of sensational news stories, because when I walked back out to the car she was looking at her watch saying "They better get here soon! A baby has exactly 12 minutes, once trapped inside a car, before they DIE!  She's already been in there at least 3, and look, she's gasping for air!". She was "gasping" because she was crying hysterically! Now, I was an EMT and I have taken classes in vehicle extrication, an I know that this was totally ridiculous, but I'm glad she didn't say that to someone who would have thought it was true! Perhaps she saw a news story on the heat and how long it could take to die in a car on one of those 100 degree days. I still think "exactly 12 minutes" is a bit of a stretch. I was in no shape to explain to her that she didn't know what she as talking about. A police man came to wait with us for the FD and he set her straight about the dying in 12 minutes... 

The FD arrived and went about breaking into my car. It took them a while, though, because apparently my car has an anti-theft mechanism that doesn't allow you to use the automatic lock button if the door has been pried. While I am standing there in the rain, soaking wet, waiting to hold my screaming child, the old lady patted me on the back to comfort me. She said "Oh No Darling! Your skin is all cold and clammy! You are going into Shock!"  Let me remind you, I have now been standing in the pouring rain for 15 minutes and am soaked. No, ma'am, I am not clammy, I'm wet. She ran to her car and got me a blanket and insisted that I wrap up in it! It had cooled down quite a bit, but it still wasn't cool enough to be all covered in a blanket. I just wanted that lady to leave me alone, so I wore it.  They tried multiple times to pop the lock and failed. Finally they managed to pull the lock button up and I got Eden. She was soaked in sweat and tears. 

We went inside and nursed for a while and snuggled before we went into the meeting.  The meeting was great, though I went looking like a drowned rat! 

What a traumatic night for me!  Fortunately Eden won't remember any of it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The long-awaited post.

So, after being informed that I'm not writing very faithfully (by my sweetie and his mom~ who wants to see new pics of Eden!), I decided to post!

Eden's new "tricks":
1.  A sweet snuggle- she will lay her head down on something and snuggle it (your shoulder, a toy, a pillow...)
2.  Cruising and letting go!- she will walk around all the furniture and sometimes let go for a second before gently sitting down.
3.  A funny fake laugh- think Woody Woodpecker!
4.  She now signs "milk", "light", "fan", "more", "all done", "night-night"
5.  She waves "hi" and "bye" and (sort-of) blows kisses.
At her 9 month check-up, she weighed in at a whopping 19# 10oz!

...and now, the Sweet Girl herself!

Paperback Swap

I am having so much fun with a new site I found! is a great place for all you voracious readers out there!  I have already gotten my first book, and it is so easy!  Check it out!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Child's play. A new leaf!

In light of the recent pet food recalls, fake toothpaste recalls and toy recalls I have decided to get rid of all of Eden's toys that have been made in China.

I had been thinking about how I would keep the toy situation under control and keep the junky, kid's meal quality toys out of our home. I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how less is more where toys are concerned. Thanks Alana for the encouragement in this area! Fortunately, Eden hasn't had a birthday yet, so we still have only a very few toys. She actually only has a small basket-full. She now has even fewer after the purge!

I looked around the house, and I am not sure we can completely eliminate cheap plastics from our home, but toys are a start. In looking for good quality toys, I ran across this article that I thought was worth sharing.

About Natural Toys

Many children today are accustomed to detailed toys that "do" something in an attempt to entertain them or teach them a specific skill - press a button and it talks, walks, or lights up. I believe that children have a natural desire to experience, explore, and discover things for themselves. Toys should provide children with the opportunity to create a complete play experience that actively involves the child in play, not one where the child is a passive participant who watches play happen. Among the best toys for children are those that are open-ended and multi-purpose, toys that encourage the child to use his/her imagination to define the play activity and creatively use a single toy for lots of different purposes. These unstructured toys not only nurture creativity, but research has shown that they help our children to become problem solvers by encouraging "out-of-the-box" thinking.1
I would also like to suggest that we take this a step further and think about the materials the toys are made with and the image these toys present before our children. I personally am committed to offering toys made of natural materials. Babies and young children are just beginning to learn about the world around them and I feel it is important to provide them with toys that give them a beautiful image of their world. A wooden rattle comes from nature, from a living thing, and it has a depth to it that synthetic counterparts cannot match. It is warmer, has more texture, and each piece is unique. Children can sense this difference as they touch and manipulate the toy.
I also adhere to the belief that we should try to present children with images that are representative of their true appearance in the world. That is, if we are to show our child a dog, whether in a book or a stuffed animal, the dog should be made in the image of a real dog instead of a cartoon-type characterization. In her book, You Are Your Child's First Teacher, author Rahima Baldwin Dancy states, "…the young child is trying to get to know the world as it is and lacks the sophistication and humor that most characterizations involve." This made a lot of sense to me. I would much prefer to have my daughters read a book about rabbits that show a real rabbit, a representation of what this beautiful creature looks like in nature as opposed to a caricature of a rabbit with big googly eyes and buck teeth!
Lastly, I believe that plastic single-purpose toys contribute to children's over consumption. Not only does the advertising for those types of toys leave children wanting more and feeling increasingly dissatisfied, the toys simply seem more disposable. When the child has played with it a few times, it is more likely to become "boring" and literally gets thrown away. After it is played with awhile, it gets added to the ever-growing pile of useless toys. I have seen this so many times at garage sales! Children's toys in big piles of plastic parts and pieces. I am concerned about what this teaches our children and think that we would be far less likely to do this with well-crafted, multi-purpose wooden toys.
This is why I am committed to offering Waldorf toys - they are unstructured, multi-purpose, made of natural materials, and they do not promote commercialism.

But Natural Toys are More Expensive!

Providing the types of toys that I am talking about can sometimes be more costly, yes, but I ask you to think about a couple of things when considering this. Toys that are creative, meaning toys that allow the child to use his imagination to create different things, have much more play value than a high-tech, single-use plastic toy. The creative toy will be used in all types of play, not for one simple task that the child sits and "does" for a few minutes and then moves on to the next thing. Creative toys capture the child's imagination and engage the child in continuous play over and over again.
Waldorf toys also have a much longer play life. The wooden nesting bowls you purchase for your toddler will still be played with at age six when they are turned into a bowl for cooking in pretend kitchen play. The play silks your baby plays peek-a-boo with will be turned into a blanket for a baby doll at age four. The wooden play kitchen or wooden doll cradle your child loves can be passed down for generations.
Also, you don't have to buy a ton of toys. In fact, it is discouraged! A few, high quality playthings are all a child needs to get the creative juices flowing.

1 Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD Einstein Never Used Flash Cards (Rodale, 2003)
© Dana Johnson, MSWOwner of Three Sisters Toys
Thanks to Dana at for letting me put this article here on my blog!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A couple of recent events.

We had a fun visit Wednesday night!  Brandon's Aunt Darlene, Uncle John and 2 of their children Rebecca and David came by for a couple of hours.  Brandon hadn't seen them in about 13 years.  They are missionaries in Mexico and just happened to be in the states (for Brandon's cousin's wedding) and traveling down the East coast right through Richmond!  
It was great to get to know them and to see a little bit of their church-planting ministry in Mexico.  

Brandon is very excited about a bad storm we had a couple of weeks ago...
Lightning struck somewhere very close to our house.  There was a huge crash of thunder along with a loud pop and an orange flash of light in the general vicinity of the T.V.  Our VCR died.  After we decided that there was no bringing it back to life, it was no time before Brandon had decided to replace the antiquated VCR with the ultra-modern DVR.
Our TiVo arrived today...  Brandon has spent the day playing with it.  I must admit that it seems pretty cool.  I haven't been able to do anything with it yet, though.  I guess I will get my chance to check it out later (when Brandon is at work).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My baby is cuter than your baby!

I don't really have anything to say.  I just wanted to share some pictures of the cutest baby EVER!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

On babies...

I (Amy) went the other day to visit a friend's new baby. It's funny how quickly you forget the sweet newness of a tiny one; the "clean slate" of a fresh-to-the-world blessing.

Eden is only 8 months, but she has already lost that shiny perfection. She is quite regularly smelly and dirty. She has an opinion and a temper. She has experienced the pain of falling down (while trying out her legs) and of cutting teeth. She has been sad to see Mama leave and has been overjoyed to see her return.

While there is a bit of sadness that goes along with the loss of that freshness, there is a wonder, as well. What a thrill to see your child understand language, try out her legs, explore sounds with her mouth and tongue, experience the outdoors, and give love. Disgusting, wet, open-mouth kisses are beautiful and my heart feels as if it would burst when she's crying and pats me on the back.

It is a wonder to me that God allows us to have babies when they are so new, still so close to His presence. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". God "knew" Eden before I did! What a shock it must be for her to go from His lap to mine. What a responsibility we have to guide her back to Him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I stumbled upon this hilarious ad for a "new" product called TRU-BREAST.  You have got to check it out!  I wonder how many people have contacted that website to see where they can get the TRU-BREAST!  So funny!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Camping at James River State Park

We spent the weekend camping at James River State Park. It was Eden's first tent camping trip, and she did great! We camped with 7 other couples, 3 of whom have babies. In all, we had 16 adults, 4 babies and 3 dogs. We took up 4 campsites.
We camped in sites right on the river bank. We all arrived Friday evening and set up camp. It was hot, but we had some nice shade for setting up our tents. The nights were just cool enough to sleep well. Saturday, the babies woke with the sun (and so did the parents). Ahh, coffee! The day was spent relaxing, swimming in the river (some went tubing), chasing the children, and climbing trees. Eden spent the entire day crawling around on the ground playing in the dirt and was filthy by the end of the day! What fun! We sat around the campfire Saturday evening and made s'mores.
Sunday morning, we had breakfast and packed up! The heat was intense! We were so happy to finally get into our air-conditioned car! What a fabulous weekend. We had a great
time with friends and are excited that Eden did so well. She really
liked being outside and playing in the dirt and grass. What a great little outdoor baby! We can't wait to do it again!! Maybe next time we will do a mountain trip and throw in a good hike!