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gratituesday1

Since having a baby 6 and a half months ago, there seems to be conspicuously less time available for Red and Honey to go on romantic and adventurous dates.

Clearly, this is a tragedy.

Though not so much as one might think. Despite the ridiculously crazy foray into parenthood that has become our lives… we’ve more or less not minded that we’ve stayed home more.

Less spending money we don’t have on dates that are forgettable anyway, more sitting on the couch sipping tea and talking with one another or watching a favorite show together… has been quite nice, really.

Nonetheless, it is still nice to get away every once in a while. To dress up pretty, and eat fancy food. To have him open my car door for me. To eat filet mignon that’s perfectly tasty and completely free

Tonight we’re going to a fancy dinner for Honey’s work. Because my Honey does the audio and technical directing of the evening, I always get to tag along, and we have a free date.

This year, though, with the noticeable decline of fancy dinners and dates as of late, I am especially grateful that we get to go again this year. So today’s Gratituesday is this: I am grateful for (free!) dates with my amazing hubby!

I’ll hopefully show you a picture of us all spit-shined and fancied up on our big date. Stay tuned!

What are you grateful for? Write about it, or leave a comment below. Don’t forget to link up to Heavenly Homemakers too!

I’m apparently supposed to be finding mine.

All the blog advice floating around the world wide web says that all good blogs have a niche. Something you write about… something you know well and can write with some modicum of authority.

Um, excuse me, but if all good blogs have a niche, then what does that make me? Chopped liver? (P.S. I don’t even want to know where that saying came from!) Seriously, what am I supposed to write? I don’t really want to write about only one thing. I want to write about random stuff that tumbles around in my head. Does that mean my blog’s going to be unappealing?

It’s true, most of the blogs I subscribe to seem to have their own little “thang” going. Like Simple Mom, for example (my ultimate favorite blog). She writes about “life hacks for home managers”, and dang is she good at it! Or Keeper of the Home, who writes about “Naturally Inspired Living for Christian Homemakers”.

But I don’t really have a niche to blog about. Nope, I can’t even decide on a style of writing. Sometimes I think I’m funny (Yep, I laugh at my own jokes, cuz I’m hilarious like that), sometimes serious (um, really?), and sometimes I even feel reflective (as in all that mushy emotional stuff. Not as in the shiny tape that crossing guards wear).

But you know what?

I think I’m going to give myself permission to just be without a niche for awhile.

Niche-less-ness.

I like it.

Do you have a niche? Do you consider a niche a vital part of a successful blog (ie. blog you wanna read)? Do you agree with me that niche is really quite a strange word? How do you even pronounce it??

works-for-me-wednesdayWelcome to the Red and Honey inaugural edition of Works-For-Me Wednesday, a fun little carnival hosted by We Are That Family. I am totally loving the blogging carnival thing, and hope to make them a regular occurrence on this blog!

My WFMW tip for this week is something that approximately 98.6 percent of the blogosphere has probably already heard of.

But I’m going to use it anyway. Because I just discovered it a month ago or so, and it is SO TOTALLY AMAZINGLY FABULOUS that I can’t even believe I didn’t have it before.

Google reader, where have you been all my life?

It is so simple and amazing, saves me so much time, and provides some good “surfing” when all I want to do is sit for a minute and relax while the babe sleeps. I subscribe to mostly the mom/homemaking/natural living/humor type of blogs, which all keep me sane during those long days as a SAHM when my only social interaction is a 6-month-old, and 3 cats.

(At our house during weekdays, most conversation consists of  “agah, goo gah, dadadada”, and “yay squash! so yummy!”, and “good job bubba, you burped/pooped/peed/babbled, etc”).

Intellectual stimulation… not so much.

So, I pop over to my google reader, see what’s new in the blogging world, and feel connected to the real world for a few minutes.

Worth it’s weight in gold, I’d say.

(Yeah I know it’s on the internet. I’m sure if it had a weight though, it would be a zillion billion tons. Right? Right.)

What tips do you have to share? Do you have a feed reader? Am I really the last person in the internet-lovin’ world to have one?

gratituesday

Today I’m going to participate in my first ever blogging carnival. It’s called Gratituesday, and it’s hosted by Heavenly Homemakers. A blogging carnival is basically where people post on a certain theme, and then add their links to the host’s site. I think it sounds like fun, so here we go…

Something for which I am grateful… hmmm. I don’t have to think hard on this one. I may as well start out with the obvious. I am so grateful for my family. Yup, the classic “I love my family”. It might not sound very exciting, or original… but it’s absolutely true, and I can’t help but say it!

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I didn’t have a photo of all 3 of us available because hubby is fiddling with our home server right now… but here’s the world’s cutest baby, as mentioned in my 5m4mom party post. I’ve basically wanted this for as long as I can remember – a husband and children, that is – and sometimes it’s still surreal!

Grateful, I think, would be an understatment.

I’m so in love with my hubby and son!

(This post will remain at the top of the page throughout this week.For regular posting, please see below. Thanks!)

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Oh my. I am SO excited. I’m nervous, and my heart’s all a-flutter.

(It feels like the first day of school – anxiously awaiting meeting new people. Will they like me? Am I cool enough? Am I going to have any friends? Yeah, I seriously am a dork. A likable dork, though, right?)

It’s not the first day of school, but I am still full of nervous energy. It’s the Ultimate Blog Party, and it’s happening at a hip little site called 5 Minutes For Mom. It’s basically a virtual party – a way to meet other bloggers.

So, I have these teeny tiny little plans for one day having a great blog that people I don’t even know want to read. I know, I know… what aspiring blogger doesn’t want that? But still, there it is. And here’s my chance to actually meet some cool people around the blogosphere in addition to few faithful friends that actually read and comment here already (hi few and faithful friends! i love you guys!).

Well, I guess I should introduce myself, rather than blathering on like a total dork.

I’m Beth, aka Red. Here’s a photo of me to explain the name:

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Get it? Good. I knew you were smart. And on the right is my honey. He’s so sweet. Those big brown eyes get me every time… *sigh*.

Here’s the lowdown on us. I guess you could read the ‘about’ page (which I want to re-write soon anyway), but here’s the quick and dirty version (Is that a bad saying? I tend to sometimes use bad sayings without actually knowing what they mean. I’m innocent, what can I say?!):

We met and fell in love in high school. I was 17, he was 18. We got married at 19 & 20. It was love, true love. We’re coming up on our 6th anniversary now, and have the world’s cutest baby. His name is Isaac.

Hubby is partway through his training to become a missionary pilot. I’m a SAHM. We are working towards a future as missionaries in Africa. We’ve already been short-term, and got the itch.

Or, more accurately, God called us.

And like Abraham in Genesis 12, we don’t want to settle where we are (ie. we don’t want to become complacent and say no when God is calling us to something kinda scary). We want to pack up and go wherever God is calling us, even if it sometimes sucks.

And that’s the truth.

Regarding this blog… to be perfectly honest, I’m still trying to discover my niche. Until I figure that out, you get to read my jumbled mess of thoughts in this whacked out thing they call motherhood.

I’d love to make some new blogging friends who are super-cool like me, so leave a comment and introduce yourself, whether you are participating in the Ultimate Blog Party or not. I can’t wait to meet you!

Yay for parties!

********************************

P.S.  Here are my top choices for UBP09 prizes:

USC 57 – Personalized Graphic Button Design

USC 47 – $25 Amazon gift certificate

USC 6 – $50 gift certificate to www.iseemyface.com

Or any of these would be great too: USC 61, 67, 73, 58, 49, 44, 23, 36, 30, 21, 20, 17, 16, 15, 3

 

When I was little, I was always afraid of the dark.

In my own house, at night, wondering if there was a “bad guy” hiding in the shadows, ready to kill and maim me and then move on to my family. I think they call that an active imagination…

Ok, ok, small confession: I am kinda still afraid of the dark sometimes. Even as an adult. There’s just an eerie feeling of disorientation that I’m not accustomed to… the whole ‘not knowing what’s around’ thing, not being in control really freaks me out. Any other control freaks out there? *raising eyebrows at you (aren’t we all control freaks to some degree?)*.

(Side note: this is why I can’t watch any of those freaky crime shows. I actually have nightmares if I watch them. I shelter myself from them. Actually, I don’t really think they’re good things to be filling our minds with anyway, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…)

(I should really stop with the parentheses or I’m gonna forget what I’m actually trying to say…)

Ahem. As I was saying… trying to set up a blog and do all this technology stuff has made me feel like I’m stumbling around in the darkness. I’m trying to do a little more than just the “add new post” thing. I want to prettify it, make it snazzy, and maybe even have my own domain name. Ooooh scary!

(Heck, I even jumped in the deep end today by signing up for twitter. I don’t really know what it is… something to do with birds or something I guess…)

(Sorry, couldn’t resist. I talk in parentheses. I just do, ok?)

The problem is, I don’t know the first thing about all that stuff. Nothing, nada, zilch. (Incidentally, zilch is a funny word. I wonder if it’s a real word, or just slang. Either way, it amuses me).

But instead of shying away because I’m stumbling around in the dark, I’ve decided to be brave, and try to shed a little light on my situation.

11_12_53-electric-light-bulb_web

I think I’m going to start by learning a little HTML.

Wow, did I actually just use a techie term in a somewhat coherent way?

I guess I’m already learning.

What new thing have you learned lately? Was it scary and nerve-wracking?

Disclaimer: this post is about boobs and milk and stuff. You’ve been forewarned.

My how things change. The first 5-6 months of breastfeeding have been quite the experience. I had major oversupply in the beginning, which was really difficult, and presented all kinds of problems. We finally worked it through, and things were going fine.

Recently I’ve started Isaac on some solids (cereals, vegetables, and now some fruits). Generally, I feed him around every 4 hours during the day. First I nurse, then offer solids. The problem is that he’s not nursing for very long (usually only a minute or two on each side). After only a minute, he will start to fuss and pull away, but go back and latch on, only to pull off and fuss again, and repeat this until I switch him to the other side. Then it starts all over again. It’s been so frustrating.

I’ve been suspecting for a little while now that my milk supply is low. I think it’s because he’s eating alot less often now that he’s older, and apparently my body is having trouble regulating the proper amount of milk to make. Low milk supply would explain why he’s been having trouble with bowel movements lately as well. He’s just not getting enough liquids.

At his 6-month check-up today, the doctor suggested that we supplement with formula…

That was so discouraging to hear. I know it’s sorta irrational, but it made me feel like a bit of a failure as a mother. I know, I know… (and no offense to those who don’t breastfeed, I just never saw myself as a formula-feeding mom).

So now I don’t know what to do. I want to increase my milk supply. I think I will try pumping in between feedings to stimulate more milk production, and perhaps trying an herbal supplement.

I’m just a little discouraged.

thank-you-image

You know how they say that thank-you notes are of UTMOST IMPORTANCE and simply the HEIGHT OF GOOD MANNERS? Well, I agree – it’s nice to say thank-you for a gift that you’ve received. It is good manners.

However…

(Please don’t start throwing stones just yet)

I don’t think it’s quite as HUGE as some people make it out to be…

My husband grew up being taught that you have to give a thank-you note to anyone (including relatives) who gives you a gift of any sort (including Christmas, birthdays, etc). It was pretty extreme, and people would actually get offended if they didn’t receive their thank-you note on time (which makes my inner brat want to say “well then I’m not writing one at all, and if you don’t like it then I don’t really like you! sothereHA).

I, on the other hand, grew up never having written a thank-you note for any of those things. It just wasn’t expected in my family. We weren’t very proper, I guess.

Anyway, my point is that I’m actually a little torn about the whole thing. I think thank-you notes are lovely and important and that yeah, you should write one when you get a gift (within reason)… and yet I also think there should be some understanding. I don’t think it’s necessary to write a thank-you note to close family members (but if you wanna, then go for it), but they are kinda important on occasions such as weddings, showers, and extra-special acts of kindness/gifts.

Also, ahem… I think there should perhaps be some, uh, grace (*looks hopeful and little bit sheepish*)…

…for those mommies who have babies and then don’t get around to writing thank-you notes for gifts that are received after the baby is born until the baby is 6 months old…

Oops.

(Who has time to write 50 thank-you notes while changing explosive poo diapers and nursing 10 times a day? Oh, I know – mommies who are so much more organized than I could ever hope to be. Dang.)

They were mailed 3 days ago. I’m so happy to cross that off of my to-do list!

What do you (yes, YOU, the lurker, sitting there reading this on your computer) think? What kind of thank-you note tradition did you grow up with? Am I the only one who’s ever written (very) late thank-you note after having a baby?

I found this little tip yesterday. I don’t really want to say where I found it. It’s embarassing. But it’s a good tip, so I’m sharing. And if you know where I got it from, then we can be embarassed together.

I’ve never really been in love with oatmeal. Unfortunately. I mean, I wish I loved it. It’s so healthy and stuff. But it kinda tastes like mushy grossness to me. Sometimes I eat it and tell myself that I like it, darn it, so enjoy it! But then I can’t stomach the last few bites, and I force myself back to reality.

Anyway, here’s the fabulous, incredible, not-so-icky oatmeal:

img_1047The secret is: apple juice!

This works for quick oats: just replace the water with apple juice when you cook it on the stovetop, and voila – oatmeal that isn’t terribly icky!

I even ate the whole bowlful.

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It actually tasted pretty good! You’re supposed to top it with stuff like yogurt and fresh fruit, a bit of cinnamon… hmmm… I think I’m gonna try that next time. Yeah that’s right, I said NEXT TIME! Woohoo!

You should try it too! Leave a comment and let me know how you like it!

I know, this post is a little late, since it’s March and all, but I just love this photo, and thought I’d share.

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This is us on Valentine’s Day in Banff. Yeah, it was stunningly gorgeous. No we didn’t go there for Valentine’s Day. We were actually in Calgary visiting friends, and we all thought it would be fun to go to Banff (Honey’s & my first time ever seeing mountains – God is an incredible creator!), and go out for dinner after. We didn’t remember that it was Valentine’s Day until we tried to walk into a steakhouse without a reservation. Tip of the day: Don’t do that.

3 restaurants later, we finally found one with “only” a 45 minute wait. One was a 2.5 hour wait and I actually laughed in the poor hostess’ face.

Nonetheless, it was an adventure, and I am now in love with mountains.

My honey, my baby boy, and mountains.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




Ultimate Blog Party 2009



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Flickr Photos

love this shot. Twilight at Lake Victoria

The ladies. African and Canadian!

The beauty of God's creation!

Nipe Tano (Nipe moja, nipe tatu.. etc haha!)

Leonard & Chris

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