Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We have had a wonderful Christmas so far, and what an amazing December!

Eden had a great time decorating the bottom 1/3 of our tree!

We got 10 inches of snow here at the house in Mechanicsville. Brandon and I decided to drive out to Hunter's Grove and check out the snow there! There was a whopping 16 inches of snow!


Theo- 6 months

Eden- 3 years

Friday, October 9, 2009

A bit more about Hunter's Grove.

We have been working overtime to get this (Davis Ave) house ready to sell. We are in the home stretch with some painting and door-replacement left to do. I keep looking toward our future as I work and that helps make it go faster for me!

I have wanted to share some photos of the home we have a contract on. We are hoping for a quick sale of our house so we can move forward soon. As you will see there is much to be done in the "new" house!

These photos are of the exterior of Hunter's Grove. The home was built in 1790. It has been in our family for many years. I will have to confirm this with my mom, but I believe the house has been in our family since the 1810's.

The Driveway

Hunter's Grove

Back of House

Back Porch

Side Yard

Back Yard (looking toward the house)

Oak Tree

Family Cemetery

I will leave you with that for now. I have many more photos of the interior that I will post soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time Marches On

With all that is going on here, I have really needed to update the blog. It comes down to the simple fact that I haven't put blogging on my list! But here I am with the promise that I will do better!

Theo has hit the 3 month mark. He is over the colic and has been such a joy the past several weeks! What a sweet, smily boy!

On a different note, we made an offer on Hunter's Grove and the offer has been accepted! You may remember back in June when I posted about the possibility of purchasing a family property. Well, the ball is rolling and we hope to have our house on the market by November 1st! We are so excited and a little overwhelmed by all we have to do before we list our house! I will post some photos of the place soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I have poison ivy.
I went with my parents (and Theo) out to Hunter's Grove on Sunday afternoon to walk around the property and look for potential building sites for them. They are considering moving, as well. I didn't see any poison ivy during our hike, but I have it on my legs. I don't have a lot of it, but it is itchy!

Theo has hit the 2 month mark! He is crying much less and I am finally really getting to enjoy him! I'll let you all know how big he is after his checkup on Monday.

We are working on house stuff. Brandon finally finished the front door project and we are moving on. This weekend is the upstairs bathroom! I am so excited to get this one done! I'll post pics next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm a Survivor...

of Colic!!

Theo is a fussy baby... this is a gross understatement, but I have some readers who are not mamas yet and some who are expecting soon, and I don't want to scare them. Just suffice it to say, these have been difficult days. He seems to be over the worst of the crying, but we still have some rough days here and there. He is, however, the cutest little guy I have ever seen. He is very stoic and really makes you work for his smiles. They are worth it, though, so we all make complete fools of ourselves trying!

Theo (7 weeks) and Eden

A while back I mentioned that we were praying about selling our house and moving to Hunter's Grove (a family property in western Goochland). Well, we are still praying, but we are moving forward, pushing on the proverbial "doors". We are currently seeking pre-approval on a mortgage, we have hashed out every possible financial scenario (and some of them actually work), and we are meeting with a realtor to talk about our current house. Things seem to be moving forward, however slowly. I hope to keep you all up to date on the happenings!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

They call me Mama!

So, I am nearly 2 weeks into this Mama-of-two gig and so far, so good! The girl is still in love with "her" baby. The boy is getting fatter and sleeping a couple of hours at night. The house is still standing and not too messy (thanks in large part to my wonderful man), and, while I had been overdoing it a bit earlier in the week, I am feeling well-cared for and getting back into the swing of things.

There isn't much more wonderful than seeing your baby being loved by your other baby! I think Eden might love Theo to pieces! She kisses him and hugs him and wants to hold him constantly! She is so sweet to him and wants to fix whatever is wrong. She comes and tells me as soon as he cries and she tells him "Don't fret, baby!" My heart is so overwhelmed with these 2 kids! How blessed can a girl be?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Theo's Birth

For what it's worth: after having a 5 hour labor and a 2.5 hour labor I am requesting a good 7-8 hours for the next one. Faster is not necessarily better in matters of bodily function (baby making and baby birthing, for example). This birth tried me in ways I can't explain and I know I haven't done the story justice because I am still reeling from the experience. Here is my best recollection (after talking with Brandon and watching the video)...

The Birth of Theodore Xenophon.
June 25, 2009 4:52 PM
8 pounds 10 ounces, 20 inches

I had a midwife appointment Monday morning (the 22nd). I was 39+weeks, and had already told the baby it was welcome to come any time. I was ready, the house was ready, and we were just waiting (uncomfortably, I might add). When I saw Nadene that morning, I decided to have her check me. I was not disappointed! My cervix was dilated 3cm (and she mentioned that she could easily stretch me to 4cm), it was 100% effaced and the baby was at 0 station. I was happy that my body had already done so much of the work of labor already. Nadene and I discussed that (especially with my history of a 5 hour labor with our daughter) this baby would likely come very fast, and to be prepared for that possibility. At my request, she swept my membranes and encouraged me to walk!

I had a pretty miserable day Tuesday. I was crampy and sore from the membrane sweep and had moments of regret for having her do it. Wednesday was great! I felt wonderful and got SO much done! We had the carpets and kitchen tile cleaned, I did some cooking and baking, I did a little bit of cleaning and had a great nap.

Brandon had the next day off and I told the baby that Thursday would be a great day to be born! That morning, we took Eden up to the playground at the elementary school to play while I walked laps at the track. I was determined to “walk the baby out” that day! I walked until I ran out of water. It was already SO hot outside. I went and hung out on the swings with Eden. I had heard that swinging could also help bring on labor, so I swung!

We went home and had some lunch, put Eden down for a nap and I went to take a nap myself. I was only in the bed for a few minutes when I had some menstrual-type cramps. I looked at the clock and noticed the time (2:20 pm). After a couple of “cramps” I realized that they were coming in waves and I went downstairs to get Brandon’s iPod. He had just put the Contraction Master App on it and I was excited to try it out. I went back upstairs to get back in the bed and time my “cramps.” They ended up being about 3 minutes apart and lasting between 45 and 60 seconds each.

I let Brandon know that this may be the start of something and gave up on the idea of a nap. My friend Julie was on her way to deliver my “birth bracelet” made with beads chosen by my friends. She had just gotten the final bead and put it on the bracelet in my front yard. I confessed to her that I was pretty sure I was in labor. I put on the bracelet and called my doula. She encouraged me to call Nadene and told me she would get her stuff together in case I needed her to come soon. I talked to Nadene and she said to come straight to L&D. Honestly, I was a little bit surprised that she wanted me to come in, but relieved to have some affirmation that labor may have actually begun. Within minutes, my labor began to intensify. I called my mom to come get Eden (who was still napping) and called Sara (our doula) to meet us at the house. Labor continued to gain intensity and I was vocalizing loudly through the contractions by the time my mom arrived. Not wanting Eden to hear me or see me (though I think she was well prepared), I went into the kitchen to have a contraction and ran back in to kiss her goodbye. My mom quickly got her out of there and I immediately felt “pushy.” I told Brandon that we could not wait for Sara and we needed to leave for the hospital now.

We called Sara on the way to the hospital and told her to meet us there instead of the house. It is only a mile and a half to the hospital from our house, but it was rough. I was not coping well with my contractions while belted into the car. I had the feeling that they were bigger than me. When we got to the hospital, and out of the car, I felt like I got a better handle on them and we made our way in. The loser they sent from the ER to “help” us up to L&D is lucky I was beyond exerting myself physically for anything other than getting the baby out, because he needed his teeth knocked out (or at least that is how I felt at the time). I declined the wheelchair and he told me I had no choice! Um, no, I will not sit in your wheelchair. I will walk. His response, “It’s going to take forever!” So? He then proceeded to time my contractions and announce to me how long they were lasting and how many minutes apart they were. He seemed very disapproving when a couple of them only lasted 30 seconds. His comment, “Well, they are only about 30 or 40 seconds.” As if they couldn’t possibly be “real” or effective.

We arrived on the L&D floor (ER guy’s teeth intact) and I had the biggest, hardest contraction with 2 peaks that lasted 2 ½ minutes (thanks ER guy). At that point, I was thinking that this had better be the really super-fast labor we were all expecting because I was feeling out of control. Brandon and Sara (who arrived at L&D about the same time as us) said it didn’t show on the outside, but I was not feeling like I was coping at all. During the few seconds I had on the downside of a contraction (because there was no time in between) I tried to re-gain focus on the baby and breathe and relax my jaw and shoulders and the next contraction would carry me away from any thought at all of anything. My mind was numb. At this point I was pushing with the peaks of the contractions.

Because I was pushing, Nadene had me get on the bed so she could check me. I was dilated 6cm, but she said when I pushed, I was 8cm. I had been fully effaced since my appointment the Monday prior, so Nadene encouraged me to push open my cervix. I got on my knees and had a few contractions. I do recall that the smell of imminent birth was strong. I also remember that Nadene was rubbing my feet and Sara was rubbing my back while Brandon was covering me in cold washcloths. The contrast of those things with the pain of the contractions was a special kind of bliss. Nadene had me move up the bed to get me more upright and let gravity help. I held the top of the bed frame (the back of the bed was upright) for leverage. At this point I still felt like I was going to be doing this for a while, but with the next push I felt the ring of fire and Nadene said that the baby’s head was almost out! So close! I panted through the next contraction because the burning was so intense. Brandon said that the baby’s head was halfway out for what seemed like forever and it looked “uncomfortable.” I thought that was funny… With the next contraction I pushed the baby’s head out and I was overwhelmed with excitement (partly to meet the baby, but mostly that the labor was done)! I pushed the baby out before that contraction was done. Brandon was obviously excited as he let me know (almost squealing) that it was a Theo! My first words were “I want him!” Nadene passed him to me between my legs. He was beautiful and I couldn’t stop kissing him! I kept saying “I am so glad that is over.”

Theodore Xenophon was born at 4:52pm after 2 hours and 32 minutes of labor (from my first “cramp” to holding him in my arms) and only 40 minutes after arriving at the hospital. He weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. Praise the Lord for His miracle of life and for blessing our family with Baby Theo!

It's a...


We welcomed our new baby boy into our hearts and arms on
Thursday, June 25th,2009 at 4:52pm.
He was 8 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long.
His name is Theodore Xenophon (aka Baby Theo).

Stay tuned! Birth story to come!

Monday, June 22, 2009

7 Years Already?

Today is our 7 year wedding anniversary! We are putting off our celebration for a few weeks as the new baby's arrival is looming, but we have big plans! We are going back to House Mountain Inn in Lexington, Va. We have been there a couple of times and LOVE it!

I can hardly believe that I was preparing to walk down the aisle (at 10:30 am- just 30 minutes from now!) 7 years ago today! It was a wonderful day, and every day since has been wonderful, as well! I love you sweetie and I'd do it all over again!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm going to whine now...

So far, I have refrained from whining too much here on the blog. There are so many verses I could claim (and I do):
I Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I am currently in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy. Eden was "late", so I expect I have longer than a couple of weeks, but a girl can hope, right?

The last month or so of pregnancy is traditionally a time where the discomfort level goes up as the baby gets heavier and sleep doesn't come easily and your back is killing you and you have leg cramps and walking from the car to the front door has you panting like you just rant the 100 yard dash and you have contractions all the time (that the medical community calls "false" labor- "false" my foot! I'm the one stopped here in my tracks in the middle of the store!). Then there is the need to pee. It is URGENT, but then you get there and you can only eek out a teaspoon! Yes, you feel better, but you realize you just ran/waddled to the bathroom for a teaspoon of pee and yes, that is all you bladder will hold. Then there is the swelling that happens in feet, legs and hands. This occurs because of increased blood volume (necessary to grow another person) and because the baby gets bigger there at the end and sits on the veins that carry blood from the lower extremities to the heart. This causes pooling of blood in the feet and legs (those puffy, sometimes painful, feet) and is the reason you will often see really pregnant women at church (or work or the grocery store) in bedroom slippers.

Well, I breezed through my pregnancy with Eden. While I did have some of those symptoms, they were insignificant in the light of the miracle that was happening inside me! The fact that God himself was "knitting" together a new little person for His glory right there inside my womb was not only amazing and beautiful, it was something that made me feel connected to women across time and culture! Anyone who has experienced pregnancy can probably relate to this. Truly, how lovely to be a woman! I had a beautiful natural birth with Eden and literally within minutes of pushing her out, said out loud that I couldn't wait to do it again!! I really meant it!

All of this to say, I feel like I have missed the miracle this time. I understand what a difficult pregnancy is like now. I understand what it is like to forget that God is working because of the physical trials that are ever-present. I understand the people who take drastic measures to control their family size or wait 10 years before having a second child after a difficult pregnancy.

I'm not really going to whine... my babe is healthy and wiggly and due to arrive really soon. Yes, I have had some physical trials this time, but praise the Lord !! I now have actual sympathy for others who are living their pregnancies on the edge of a breakdown. I now know the exact things that are NEVER appropriate to say to a pregnant woman (maybe I'll post on that one day). I have been there, I have lived it. I just want to let all of you know that now I "get" it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Rivah

The view from the house (I can't remember the name of the creek)!

Eden and I had a wonderful couple of days Monday and Tuesday! We went to the river (or if you are from Central Virginia, the "Rivah")! We went with my mom (aka, Nanny) and her mom (aka, Mema). We stayed in a cousin's house in Reedville.

3 of the 4 generations (someone had to take the photo)!

We spent some time gardening, playing at the beach and reading old letters. The letters were correspondence to and from my Mema's great aunts Sally and Mary (this would make them my great, great, great aunts). Most of the letters were regarding the Ware family genealogy. Some were from folks looking for their own family history (many were seeking membership in the DAR- Daughter's of the American Revolution). We found lots of interesting documentation including copies of several wills that dated back to pre-Civil War era.

Eden watered the plants.

The Potomac River.

Eden loves the beach!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Adventures in Homemaking... Part 3: Real life?

As promised, today I am going to talk about what my life looks like on a "normal" day.

Here is my daily "Morning Routine."

Morning Routine

 Make the beds.

Get showered, dressed and ready for the day.

Wipe down the bathroom.

Bring down the laundry.

Help Eden feed the dogs. 

What a way to start the day!!!

I am usually out of the bed around 7-7:30.  If Eden is not awake yet (pretty rare) I go ahead and make the bed before I head downstairs with a load of laundry (although I have been really slack with this one since I have had some pregnancy issues that have made lifting and stairs impossible for me).  If Eden is awake, we leave the beds for later, potty and head downstairs for breakfast.

If I did my bedtime/ evening routine, my kitchen is clean!  Brandon makes his lunch and unloads the dishwasher while Eden and I eat.  After we eat, I help Eden feed the dogs (her "chore").  After Brandon leaves for work (around 8), we head upstairs for bed making and getting dressed.  If we have somewhere to go that morning, I shower, if we are staying in, I wait until naptime to shower (Eden likes to talk, and I am a completely captive audience for her while I am in the shower... it is a little exhausting).   I wipe down the bathroom counter and swish the potty (admittedly, I am not as  diligent about this as I need to be).  We head downstairs with our load of laundry (if it hasn't already been done).

At this point, the morning is free.  If I have been keeping up, the house is neat and I don't feel oppressed!  We play and pass the time however we want.  Sometimes, I will get started on my room for the day.  The living room and kitchen are the easiest as they are where we spend a lot of our time anyway.  I prefer to do my jobs when the little "helper" is napping as she can add a special level of frustration to cleaning!  She is really good at dusting, though, so I almost always let her help with that! ;)  If I have To-do list items that need to be done, I work on these now.  For example, this week I had to call the hospital about setting up a payment plan for Eden's ER visit bill, find out how to return the non-functioning iron I just purchased off of Amazon, pack my hospital bag, and a few other things that are not normal weekly tasks.

After lunch, we wind down for nap time.  I can usually count on an hour and a half of down time (sometimes she sleeps and sometimes she just has rest time).  If I am efficient, I can catch a nap myself (during early and late pregnancy this has been a really important part of my day)!  I shower and get to work.  I have considered changing the name of the Naptime Routine to the Afternoon Routine since more often than not the Naptime Routine gets done when Eden wakes up.  These are all things that can be easily done while she has a snack or depending on the meal, she can help with dinner prep (she LOVES to cook)!

Naptime Routine

Get dinner started.

Fill sink with soapy water/ clean as you go!

 Clear and set the table.

Freshen make-up.

Brandon will be home before you know it!!!

This part of the routine is pretty self-explanatory.  The cleaning as I go is the most important part of the whole thing.  I feel a real freedom working in a clean kitchen.  I keep a hand towel on my shoulder, a basin of soapy hot water in the sink, and a fresh washrag hanging on the edge of the sink.  This allows me to quickly clean up spills, rinse the dishes so they are ready to go in the dishwasher as soon as I am done with dinner prep, and keep my hands clean.  When I am done, I either put on a little makeup or freshen up so I don't look like a haggard housewife when my sweetheart walks through the door.

Let me just take a second to talk about how important I believe it is to "get pretty" in preparation for your partner to come home.  For any of us who worked outside the home (especially in a corporate environment) we know that the wardrobe of a SAHM is quite different!  I am not scrubbing toilets and changing diapers in my business casual.  Let's be honest, "dressed up" becomes jeans and a t-shirt with no stains.  I am not saying you have to get all dressed up for him to come home, but think about it for a second.  Your partner has been seeing strong women at their best all day.  They may not be gorgeous women (they may be, I don't know), but they are likely neat and clean and they look like they care about their appearance!  If he has to leave that every day and come home to a wife who is worn-out, haggard, unkempt, and wearing stained sweats, he may prefer to stay at work!  Let's make our partner's homecoming a pleasant event!  Wash your face, comb your hair, put on a clean shirt.  If our homes are going to be clean and pretty, we should try to be just as clean and pretty!  

Okay, back to the day!  In the evening, after Eden is in bed, we move on to the before bed routine.

Before Bed Routine

Clear out sink/ load and run dishwasher.

 Prepare clothes for tomorrow.

Brush and floss teeth.

Check calendar for playdates/ appointments.

Go to bed at a decent hour!

This is all self-explanatory!  I wanted to develop a flossing habit, so I added that to the list.  Making sure I have something to wear the next day makes the morning go smoothly (especially if I have somewhere to be).  

So, now you know all about my daily tasks, but what about the weekly schedule?  I made a list for each day of the week, Monday through Friday. One room (or 2) per day… if I don’t get to a task or room this week, it waits until next week.  Sometimes this is not ideal, but I won't throw off the rest of the week to finish what I should have done today.  I do no housework (other than daily tasks) on Saturday and Sunday.  Each day has a room and the list of all the possible things that I could do to clean that room.  I do not necessarily complete all of the items on the list each day.  I do the main ones, and others can be done less often (washing curtains, for example).  So, here it is...

Monday Cleaning List

 Entrance, Front Porch, and Dining Area


Entrance Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs 

2. Wash inside of front storm door 

3. Clean switch plate of hand prints and walls if needed 

5. Clean off coat rack

6. Straighten the coat closest 

7. Sweep or mop the entryway 


 Front Porch Detailed cleaning:

1. Sweep down cobwebs and spider webs

2. Sweep off porch furniture/ wash table 

3. Sweep the porch. 

4. Water the plants/ hanging baskets 

5. Refill bird feeders

6. Wipe off light fixtures


Dining Area Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean the cobwebs 

2. Dust fan

3. Dust window sills 

4. Clean the window 

5. Dust boxer calendar

6. Wipe down Eden’s chair and booster

7. Clean off top of Dining table and scrub any stubborn stains

8. Dust the rungs of the chairs

9. Dust the baseboards

10. Move chairs and sweep underneath

Tuesday Cleaning List



Kitchen Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clean microwave inside and out 

3. Clean stove and oven 

4. Dust fan/ vent/ hood

5. Wash inside windows

6. Dust window sill and knick-knacks

7. Empty refrigerator and clean

8. Wipe down cabinet doors (a few per week)

9. Check light fixture for bugs (clean if necessary)

10. Clean dog dishes

11. Clean inside any cabinet/ drawer that needs it


Wednesday Cleaning List

Downstairs Bathroom and one Extra Room


 Bathroom Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Wash area rugs 

2. Scrub floor/ baseboards

3. Straighten cabinets

4. Clean tub/ bath walls

5. Wipe down shower curtain 

6. Wipe down sink

7. Scrub toilet inside and out

8. Wash mirror


Extra Bedroom Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Straighten closet 

3. Sweep floor

4. Beat rug

5. Dust/polish furnitrue

6. Wash window/ sill/ dust shutters

7. Dust knick-knacks

8. Wash mattress pad/ sheets if needed

9. Clean sewing area

10. Straighten shelves


 Office Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clear off desk surface

3. Straighten one drawer

4. Dust furniture/ knick-knacks

5. Clean off computer screen/ keyboard

6. Sweep floor

7. Wash dog bedding/ towel under crate

8. Clean window sills/ windows

9. Shred documents

10. Dust fan


Laundry Room Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clean under washer lid

3. Clean top of washer and dryer 

4. Vacuum floor

5. Check behind appliances for odd clothing items

6. Wipe down table and countertops/ sink


Thursday Cleaning List

Bedrooms (Master and Children’s)


Children's Bedrooms Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Dust/ polish furniture

3. Straighten closet/ shelves/ drawers

4. Wash sheets 

5. Clean window sills

6. Straighten toys

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards

8. Dust fan



1. Wash area rugs 

2. Scrub floor/ baseboards

3. Straighten cabinets

4. Clean tub/ bath walls

5. Wipe down shower curtain 

6. Wipe down sink

7. Scrub toilet inside and out

8. Wash mirror



1. Clean Cobwebs

2. Dust/ polish furniture

3. Straighten drawers 

4. Wash sheets 

5. Clean windows/ sills/ blinds

6. Empty trash

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards 

8.  Dust fan

9. Wash dog bedding



1. Straighten shelves/ shoes 

2.  Hang any un-hung items


Friday Cleaning List

Living Room


1. Clean cobwebs 

2. Clean windows 

3. Straighten bookshelves 

4. Dust/ polish furniture 

5. Wash couch blankets

6. Straighten couch cushions

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards

8. Straighten toys

9. Purge magazines

10. Straighten linen closet


So there you have it!  My weeks in a nutshell (okay, maybe it's more like a coconut shell).  I feel like my explanations of things are a bit fragmented, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.  Once I get my monthly lists done, I will post a Part 4!