My Thoughts Exactly

I just MUST share this greeting card that I saw in the store the other day...it seems now that they make cards for every.single.occasion. It gets a bit excessive (get well cards for the dog, etc.) but I LOVED the saying on this card for new moms.

"Whoever said 'There's no use crying over spilled milk' obviously never pumped 6 ounces, then accidentally dumped it."

The inside of the card reads: "Hang in there. You're doing fine." Whether you nurse or bottle-feed, doesn't this just perfectly convey the feeling of utter emotional havoc that a newborn brings to a Mom?? Such a beautiful, [hormonal] time :)

This was a Hallmark "Edge of Motherhood" card. I purchased both that were in stock and sent one the very next day! It just hits the nail on the head...kudos, Hallmark. Gave me a good laugh.



I'm a bit scared to "announce" this in a public forum - but I'm 95% sure our little boy is POTTY TRAINED! I know, I know, you think I'd be ready to shout it from the rooftops! Actually, I am, but I fear that posting it publicly will cause him to regress for some unknown reason. We've had about two weeks of minimal accidents, and have even moved to not needing rewards after potty time! Nighttime is still an issue - Cam sleeps hard, but I can handle a Pull-Up a day until we get that mastered.

It's looking pretty rosy to have only TWO children in diapers instead of three come November! I had nightmares (literally) about laying three children of various sizes down on the floor for changing time and trying to do it in record speed without getting soiled myself. Not to mention the cost. We'll still have two, but I can handle that!

Before you pat ME on the back, I must give credit where credit is due. I had essentially given up (at least for a couple months) after my last attempt at potty training. Caleb had a couple days off in a row two weeks ago, and decided (completely on his own) that he would try again with Cameron.

You see, my son may look like me, but he is mentally wired like my husband. This is both a blessing and a challenge. Discipline-wise, it's quite the adventure some days...but Caleb is incredibly smart, focused and perceptive and I see ALL of these qualities reflected in Cameron. Because of this, Caleb knows just how to push his buttons, and I sometimes have to ask him what in the world is going on in my son's brain.

Anyway, Caleb figured out a reward system involving Cars (from the movie). Cam had a collection of 11 die-cast, Hot Wheel-style Cars (most handed down from his cousin) that had been permanently taken away a few months ago because he refused to share them. He is OBSESSED with these things, and would do almost anything for them. DING! Collateral. Every time he pooped on the toilet, he got one of his cars back. Every time he had an accident, they all went away. Sticker for potty. This took about 3 days, and besides the occasional naptime accident, he had it down! Pretty soon he had earned back ALL his cars and was in heaven!

One more accolade I must bestow is to this guy:

photo from Wikia Entertainment

What? You don't know who this is? This is Frank the Combine from the movie Cars. Ever since the Cars revolution began in our home, Cam has been asking for Frank. He had one of Jay's old toy combines that he was content to pretend with, but he saw an actual replica in Target and it became the object of much affection. So, Caleb told him that if he had no accidents for "many days," Daddy would buy him Frank. Two days ago, he and Caleb walked into Target and bought it. I have never seen such a proud, happy smile on Cameron's face. I didn't realize what a moment it would be...I wish I'd brought my camera!!

Potty training has been one of the most challenging experiences in my parenting patience thus far. I know it probably pales in comparison of what's to come, but me and my pregnancy, emotions, and constant sister-audience almost didn't make it.

And ugh, Cam has the CUTEST little buns in his underwear! I had begun to resent them, but now I'm back to appreciating that cute little underweared behind as I follow it wherever it goes. More times than not, he says "You so proud of me?" after he's finished.

Alas, I wanted to share our success with our friends in blogland. I'm very proud of my little man, and even more thankful for a patient, understanding husband who persisted and followed through with Cameron - he knew exactly how his little mind was working, and that Cam could do it with the right motivation.

Cheers to size 2T Lightning McQueen underwear! Thank you, Lord!!!


Happy Birthday, Momma!

My mom's birthday was last Saturday, August 22. I was quite excited to give her a timely "birthday post," then our computer cord went kaput and so did my posting plans :) I asked for her forgiveness, and in true Mom fashion, she didn't mind one bit. I DO want to brag on her a little, though, so I'm posting for her birthday a little belated.

My mom is the most self-sacrificing person I know. You need something? She'll make it happen, even if it costs her an arm and a leg, a full night's sleep, or a tankful of gas. She is completely committed to her family, especially us kids.

She has carried and given birth to 4 children. After doing it 2.5 times myself, I realize the true wonder this feat is. She's pretty tough. (Side note - her heaviest baby was a touch over 6 lbs. I tried my best to acquire this small-baby genetic feat, but did not succeed with Cam or Elly).

My mom is itsy-bitsy. Teeny-tiny. But, she can eat with the best of 'em! I love going out with my mom and sisters, we can all put away a hefty meal. She taught me how to eat right!! :)

Speaking of food, Mom is an excellent cook. She doesn't get elaborate with spices or ingredients, but she cooks with lots of love and has the touch for making things just right. I can make her recipes over and over and they never taste quite as good. Also, whenever I make one of her recipes for company, I ALWAYS end up getting asked for it! Simple, but always delicious.

I think my Mom is the best multi-tasker on the planet. She volunteers for a million things at church and school (she's been on the after prom committee since 1998), and is always helping us with our activities and questions. We've put her through a few hectic summers, and she's always come out smiling. In May-June 2004, Laura graduated high school, I graduated college and got married. In May 2008, Jay graduated high school, Laura graduated college and Elly was born. In June 2009, Laura got married. We haven't been the kindest to her sleep schedule when planning our life events. ;)

Mom is a great listener. She doesn't interject advice at every turn, but knows just the right time to do so. She is so easy to relate to and share with.

She is a HARD worker. She puts in long days in the hog unit alongside Dad, or works at the doctor's office, then comes home and still puts a smile on as a mom and wife. Again, amazing unselfishness.

I owe my post-partum sanity to my mother, who stayed with me for a week after Cameron was born. I was bound and determined to nurse him, and the stinker wouldn't suck. We had to feed him out of a cup, meaning I had to pump and concoct a solution for the first few days. Add this to the typical first-time-mom hysteria and I was a ridiculous mess. Mom stood by my side through psycho emotions, awful mastitis, and little Bubba learning to do it right. I surely would have quit breastfeeding without her support, and might not have made it through that week at all without her care, patience and love.

Mom is an on-call nurse at all times for her kids. AND mostly, her grandkids ;) I call and text her medical questions quite frequently, and she never turns me down, gets annoyed, or suggests, "uh, perhaps you should just call their doctor?"

She's incredibly smart. I studied journalism in college and she's still a better writer and knows more about the English language than I do. I think my Mom could be successful at most any occupation she wanted to!

She is an amazing Grandma to Cameron and Elly. I love watching her love them, read to them, and use the same expressions and teaching tools I remember her using with my siblings and me. She truly cherishes the little things they say and do, and they adore "Gwamma!"

Mom and I get a kick out of the same odd things...misprints in newspapers and magazines, improper grammar, random coincidences. The best part is when one (or both) of us is tired. We could laugh for hours over something SO silly.

My Mom loves to worship the Lord. I see the joy on her face and sometimes, the "I'm trying not to cry" look on her face when she sings a song I know she feels in her heart. I love that.

Mom, I hope you had a wonderful birthday (I know, you got to go to a baptism party AND Wal-Mart that night)! I've said this before, but I pray and strive to be a mother to my children like you are to me. You've taught me since I can remember not just with your words, but with your DAILY example of servanthood, sacrifice and unconditional love. Thank you for all you continue to do for everyone around you.

I love you very much, Momma!! Happy belated Birthday!!!

Mom and Dad reading to Cameron.
February 2007

Cameron and "Gwamma B" at Burke's wedding.
May 2009


So Little Time...

So much to catch up on! The charger cord for our computer shorted out, so I've been completely out of the loop for a few days here! I have much to share...my Mom's birthday has come and gone, we've achieved a few milestones in our home, and baby #3 is a-growin'!

I'll be back tomorrow with, hopefully, revived brain cells. All I have now are pictures and captions :)

To reconnecting! (Come ON, it's only been five days?! Feels so much longer...I need this outlet!)

Cake with minty green frosting is most certainly worth
finishing your meal for!

Elly is most certainly fabulous enough to wear sunglasses
while preparing for bed!

There is NOTHING like Uncle Jay time. Nothing!


Rainy Daze

Today has been a rainy, dreary day. Actually, the most perfect of rainy days (for napping, organizing, accomplishing general things, etc.) if you DON'T have toddlers! Days like this make me a bit nervous for the upcoming winter and what we'll do to occupy ourselves!

Alas, we are trying to make the most of our rainy day. One thing's for sure, rainy days = good naps! Hallelujah! Here's what we've been up to so far:

Playing "chase," hence the blurriness :)


Pretending to "go fishin."
(Using the drawstring of Mommy's old basketball warm-ups!)


Displaying the crayon she just took a bite of.

Wrestling and bouncing on the punching bag.

Cameron can sure dish it...

But Elly can take it!

Don't forget a quick Swiffer [of the carpet] before naptime!
In his underwear, even!

The main thing that's getting us through this day...Uncle Jay is coming up to Minnesota for college TODAY - and he's stopping to see us on the way! It doesn't get much more exciting than that! Hope you all enjoyed your days - rain or shine :)


His Sister's Keeper

"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero."
- Marc Brown

This picture is from a couple weeks ago - Elly was having a rough time (tummyache + attitude problems), so brother came to the rescue and cuddled with her on the couch. Sometimes you just can't stand to look at your Mom anymore...!

Aren't they the very cutest cuddlers?
Our new baby (and any future additions) are certainly blessed to have Cameron and Elly as big siblings - they take it very seriously :)

Little Is Much

When we moved into our house here in Burnsville in 2005, we got DISH Network for the first time. One night, while searching through what seemed like endless channels, I happened upon "Gaither Gospel Hour." I remember seeing the Gaithers on TV a few times growing up, and I always loved sitting with family and listening to them sing.

I tuned in a few times, and eventually set the DVR to record it. After we had Cameron, we quickly noticed that he was also enthralled with Gaither music! I would re-play episodes again and again, and he would sit - mesmerized - even as a little guy. As he got older, he copied the movements and expressions of the singers...so the Gaither Gospel Hour has become a soft of family time.

I LOVE all the classic hymns they sing, but there is one that sticks out to me - one that I hadn't heard before I heard it on GGH. The harmonies are beautiful, and the lyrics are unique and meaningful. As the kids and I drove home from Minneapolis today, I thought of this song. I haven't listened to it in awhile, and I wanted to look up the lyrics, read them again, and share them too - a great classic.

Little Is Much When God Is In It

Words & Music by Kittie L. Suffield, 1924

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child—well done!”



I'm getting more and more excited to meet my newest baby boy each day. I laugh when I look at Cameron and Elly, two carbon copies of me and Caleb, respectively. Will we get a boy that looks like his Daddy? Another blondie? A hybrid? It's so much fun to imagine, and no matter what, I think I'll be surprised what he looks like! (All I can imagine right now is another Cameron!)

Another question looming in my mind is what this little boy will be named. Caleb and I each have our favorites, but we can't agree. We definitely want his name to hold significance, and of course to sound really good ;) People keep asking me what his name will be, and I can honestly say I have no idea at this point!

Poor Elly wasn't really narrowed down until about a week before she was born, so we're following protocol as far as that goes. I think that when we decide, we'll probably keep the name a surprise until he's born, and also go in with a couple options. That's what we did with both Cameron and Elly, and the moment we saw them, we knew "who" they were!

So I'm wondering, blogging friends, do you have any suggestions? Requests: we likely can't do a one-syllable name, because "Sieh" needs more to go with it. We (OK, I) don't want it to sound too much like "Cameron," both because I want this guy to have his own niche and I know I'll get confused anyway! (Caleb likes a name that starts with a C and ends in "on.")

Heard any great names lately? We're not TOO avant garde, but also not necessarily traditional. Although we don't oppose traditional or Biblical names either...

Just for the record, here are the meanings behind Cameron and Elly's names:

Cameron Christian
Cameron has always been Caleb's FAVORITE little boy name. A speaker came to Caleb's Dad's church when he was little, and had a son named Cameron, and he's liked it since then. Cam's middle name, Christian, is also Caleb's middle name, and obviously means "follower of Christ." We pray that he would not only be a follower of Christ, but lead others to know Him.

Elly Mariah
Elly means "light." I saw this spelling and loved it, it seemed graceful to me and different than the traditional Ellie. Mariah means "God is my teacher." God taught us (especially me) so much about trusting Him during my pregnancy and preparation for two children 17 months apart. We pray that Elly would have a teachable, gentle and humble spirit before the Lord.

Any input would be much appreciated, even just to run them by Caleb! I love talking baby names anytime - even when I'm not pregnant - so this post is fun for me regardless of the circumstances! Thanks all!

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers


I've Got Your Back

My friend Janel @ Team Sullivan had a cute post about pictures taken from behind. She loves them because they are so telling and asked others to post their favorites. A few popped into my mind immediately, so I wanted to share them!

Caleb and Cameron, March 2008.

Cameron & Elly, September 2008.

Probably my all-time favorite...quite literally "from behind!"
October 2007.

A unique perspective, for sure! Have any favorite pictures from this angle? Share 'em if you got 'em!



Cameron has been trying to sing more and more lately, and it's so funny to hear what he "hears," or what his mind processes and he tries to sing. Here are some of the best:

There's Just Something About That Name
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...there's just sumpin' 'bout dat name!
Tractor, Savior, Jesus, like figures after da rain!

Jesus Loves Me
Jesus loves me, 'dis I know,
For da Bible tells Nemo!

Caleb and I have also been discovering things that we say more often than we think, when Cameron repeats them...

5:45 a.m.
Cameron: Hi, Daddy!
Caleb: Hi Bubby, good morning!
Cameron: It's too early? Lay back down for little bit?

Cam and I walk into the bathroom to find that Elly has pulled the entire roll of toilet paper OFF the roll, and she's playing in the toilet.
Me: *gasp*
Cameron: OH MY WORDS!

I cut Cameron up little pieces of roast and potatoes for supper.
Cameron: Look Mommy, little potatoes!
Me: Yep, those are your potatoes, can you eat them?
Cameron: Oh, potatoes so sweet and cute!

He's a little sponge. It makes me all the more conscious of what I say and do each day - I've GOT to be in the Word or we all start to go south. Cam imitates me, Elly imitates him.

Amidst it all, though, I thank the Lord for the precious moments of encouragement! A couple weeks ago, I was walking across the living room floor and REALLY caught my toe (hard) on one of his tractors. It was one of those situations where almost anything could fly out of your mouth...fortunately I managed just a few "OUCH"es and limped away. Cam came up to me with the most concerned look on his face and asked, "Mommy get hurt?" Yes, Mommy hurt her toe on your tractor! Grrr!

Then he asked, "Pray for Mommy's toe?" Of course I said yes, and my anger was overcome with tears as I listened to him pray, "Dear Jesus, thank you for Mommy. Touch her body. In Jesus' name, Amen."

It's the true glimpses into the heart of a child that keep me laughing, striving, and loving what I do each day. I never want to forget or resent these moments...Lord help me to redeem each opportunity I'm given as a mom!

Time In Iowa

Caleb's Great-Grandma Orr went to be with Jesus this past week, so we were down in Iowa to visit his Grandma and parents, and to get a peek at our new nephew, too! The kids had so much fun hanging out with their Papa & Mema, cousins and friends. My parents (and Sonya & Jay) are still in Belize on the mission trip, so we didn't see them, but we had a relaxing time together.

Amongst the happenings of the 2.5-day vacation were the kids' first visit to a "real," big pool (the Reinbeck pool), Elly's first sucker, meeting baby Xander, pizza night with cousins and friends Jeremy, Erica & Leila, and celebrating Papa & Mema's 33rd anniversary! What a fun time!

Here are a few pictures of our time together!

Elly L-O-V-E-D her Tootsie Pop from Mema.

Cam is an old pro - he knows you always get suckers from Mema.

My water boy dove right in to the pool!
His lips were blue almost instantly, but that didn't stop him!

Can you gather what Elly was feeling about her experience?

Warm, happy boys.
They shared popcorn and ate Nerds off the ground.


Less than 5 minutes after we took off for home...

Having this much fun is exhausting!

Confirmed Sightings

Whether she's coming...

Or going...

One thing's for sure,
Elly is WALKING!

So proud of my BIG girl!



You know in college, in the dorms, when it was an especially funny prank to steal someone's towel from the community bathroom while they were showering...leaving them to try and figure out a way to get back to their room sans resources? (I lived in an all-female dormitory).

Well, this morning, my sweet little DAUGHTER played that prank on me! I was a bit lazy, so I didn't get my shower until Caleb had already left. I entrusted the kids to the proper care of Veggie Tales and was off for a hot, relaxing, 5-7 minute shower when the door popped open, Elly toddled on in, gave me the cheesiest smile, grabbed my towel and toddled out again! Apparently, she was ready for some relaxation and thought it would do as a makeshift blanket while hers was in the wash!

She was in and out in less than a minute, leaving me to laugh my way through the rest of my shower. When I was done, I called and pleaded to Cameron to bring me the pink towel. She must have ditched it, because I didn't hear a struggle...and it was returned to the bathroom with a "you welcome, Mommy."

I must admit that I pulled my share of pranks in my dorm days (towel stealing perhaps included), but they were all paid back to me MORE than double. Who knew I'd be getting retribution from a second generation...my own children?! Fun way to start my Saturday :)