Wednesday, July 25

The Natural Mommy Bids Farewell to Blogger

Oh, I just couldn't wait to tell you this:

I have my very own, professionally designed, personal spot on the web!

It's not completely set up. I am writing a novel to explain myself and the name I chose for my domain. Hopefully it will be done by Friday. It's not like I have unlimited amounts of time during the day to sit on the computer and spill my heart! (At least not in novel form).

I have officially transferred all my Blogger blogs to the new site. This will be *sniff* my last Blogger post. It's been an incredible three-year journey; I am so excited to be taking this next step! I have lots of fun plans and goals for my new site.

My very first post tomorrow on my new site (that wasn't transferred) will be a hilarious Olivia Story, so be sure to add to your bookmarks and readers! You don't want to miss it!

And be especially sure to check the site on Friday, when I will announce the winner of the Car-Back-Massager-Thingy Giveaway!

Tuesday, July 24

Overcoming Demons

I recently started reading Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and it has opened my eyes to the spiritual world around me. The Bible and pastors may speak of demons in this world, but somehow it didn't sink in until I picked up this book (and I'm only on chapter three!).

In this book, Lewis tells of a correspondance between two demons (a junior and a senior officer, if it could be compared to M*A*S*H terms (of which we are currently in the middle of a marathon)). The senior demon is giving advice to the junior demon (his nephew) on how to successfully turn his subject away from the Enemy (God). These demonic tips so far seem to center on controlling the subject's thoughts and keeping certain thoughts from him.

And here I thought I controlled my own thoughts.

Did you ever get the idea you should do something; a strong conviction, perhaps from the Holy Spirit? But then another voice inside your head offers all the possible negative results - the awkwardness, the inconvenience, the possible rejection. And so you end up dismissing the original idea because, well, it was just a thought, right? And "it's the thought that counts."

Recently, I have met a Chinese mother here at the apartment complex. She has a little boy, just a few months older than Benjamin, and an older girl in second grade. She lives right across from the playground, so she tends to come visit us when she sees us there playing. Up until recently, it's been a nice, shallow relationship. I couldn't even remember her name.

Then came the Voices.

"You should invite her over."
"You should invite her to MOPS."
"You should invite her to the library on Tuesdays (Story Time)."

"Oh, but you can hardly understand what she's saying through her accent."
"Would she even fit in the car with all the carseats?"
"You're really too busy, what with two small children, all those dishes and loads of laundry."
"The apartment is a mess! It would be too embarrassing to have her over."

So I idled in my indecision. Until she forced me to choose a side. She invited me over "sometime" and told me which apartment she lived in.

So I made up my mind at that point, right?


"Sure! Sometime..."

And left it at that.

That night, I decided I would go visit her. The very next morning. I would dress the children, feed Olivia her breakfast, wash and hang the laundry, and head out the door! Yes, I was nervous. Yes, I still heard those voices. The demon voices seemed to come in a bit clearer than the heavenly ones. Why is that?

And then morning came. With screaming. Lots of screaming. Olivia was upset at the world. I was getting more and more irritated with every whine and whimper. I couldn't put Benjamin down. I couldn't get anything accomplished. The children were naked. The laundry was done, but wet in a basket. Hanging it would require kicking a toddler off my shin and putting Fussy Baby down so he could morph into Screaming Baby.

Wow, were my demons working overtime! I wavered back and forth. Should I go? Is it worth it? It's getting so late! Finally, it was noon. The sun was shining; it was a beautiful day. The children were clothed, fed, dry-diapered. Still not happy, but maybe, just maybe that sunshine will do the trick...

And we left the apartment.

The scales started to tip. The demon voices faded away. The screaming stopped. We were on our way.

It wasn't awkward. I understood her. She understood me. She seemed to happy to see us. I enjoyed seeing her. Olivia loved being there. Benjamin... well, he was indifferent, but what did you expect?

We're going to the park on Tuesday.

I overcame my demons.

And then, on Sunday, I heard a sermon on the good Samaritan. Have you ever wondered about the priest and the Levite who crossed on the other side of the road? Have you spent much time at all pondering their circumstances? For the first time, I pictured the road as a bustling Michigan Avenue. And I heard the demons inside their heads.

"You really don't have time for him."
"Look at all these other people; let them help him."
"You can help him on your way back, if you have time."
"He'll just use your money to buy drugs and alcohol."

What are your demons telling you?

Can you overcome them?

*Hint* Prayer helps. A lot.

Car-Back-Massager-Thingy Giveaway!! *EDITED* *AGAIN*

SO SORRY ABOUT NOT POSTING THIS YESTERDAY! My internet was down for 24 HOURS. I was so sad.

So here it is:

Your very own car-back-massager-thingy!

All you have to do to be entered in the contest is to tell me in the comments that you want my car-back-massager-thingy! Only one comment per person, duplicates will be deleted. The drawing will be this Friday at (around) 3pm (right in the middle of naptime) AT MY NEW SITE (it will be up and running (crosses fingers)). International comments also welcome! I'll spring for the extra in shipping because it's that cool that you're commenting on my blog!

For more freebies, check out this site!

*Whew!* I got online three minutes ago, saw that the entries for the bloggy giveaways would be closed at 9 CST and my heart skipped a couple beats! But then I realized that wasn't my time zone and I had exactly three minutes to get this up and running!
*Heavy Sigh*

EDIT: Those reading this on Facebook must comment at the actual blog site:

*Note the change in the site name. On Friday, make sure you go to find the winning commenter!

Sunday, July 22

Last Minute Decision

'Cause that's the way I operate.

I have decided to participate in the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway! Friday, July 27, I will be giving away something. Something very exciting! Something that has only been used a handful of times! Something that I was planning on FreeCycling, but this is a way cooler way to get rid of it!

What is it, you ask?

Come back tomorrow to find out.


Friday, July 20

Two New Words

I can now say "no" and "boog".

Translation: "Nose" and "booger".

Frugal Fridays: Free CD

Prior to yesterday, I had never heard of Monk & Neagle. And when I did for the first time, I thought maybe they were a children's group, like The Wiggles. But the blog said "Free CD" so I clicked the link anyway, because I have children, and they like free stuff, too. To my surprise and pleasure, they are a pretty good-sounding Christian duo (not a children's group, but good for children, too!).

But the point of this post isn't to necessarily advertise their abilities (because I don't know enough about music to do so). It is because I wanted to share with you today this frugal tip:


So go here and get your free CD.

Hmm... come to think of it, the last CD I got was free, too. Man, I'm good at this frugal stuff. And my music collection is stale.

Go here for more frugal tips!

Thursday, July 19

Guess What I Just Did!

I rolled over. Yup, all by myself! I AM THE MAN! So proud... Must brag... So excited! What's next? Crawling? SO ready for that.

That's what I would say if I end up with The Mommy's personality. Let's try The Daddy's...

Finally! I have accomplished my goal! 360 degrees of mobility at my fingertips! I worked so hard on this project, and almost didn't make it on time. I'm pretty sure all the other babies my age have already rolled over. This is embarrassing. Let's not talk about it... Besides, now I have to study for my next big test... crawling.

New Domain Name Options

Click here for the original post and options presented there and in the comments that follow.

In response to Paul's comment that dashes don't tend to work well in website names, I give you these new options:
    This one comes from Ashley and is a play off the original "Bethibaby."
    Downside: Josh feels excluded. I tried to convince him he's one of the babies...

    This originates from some person who told me my last name means "Pinecone" in German. They were wrong. But it's fun to pretend!
Let me know which you think will make it in the Blogging world - or if you have some more ideas!

Sidenote: Paul, I think might be even harder for a person to remember than Points for almost spelling it right yourself, though!

Wipe Your Feet

So I was playing outside on the balcony with my new tea set and water (my favoritest toy of all because of its mess potential). The balcony floor boards were all wet - I don't know how that happened. I came inside to get a refill (somehow my water disappeared the more I poured it). Mommy said to wipe my feet. Then, as if I didn't understand, she went over to the mat by the door and wiped her feet off.

But I understood exactly what she meant.

So I took off my shoes, wiped my feet, put my shoes back on, and then went to the kitchen for my water refill.

Wednesday, July 18

Input Requested: My Own Domain

I think I've outgrown "Bethibaby". And, personally, I'm sick of the look of this template and nothing else Blogger offers makes me happy.

So I'm looking into buying (leasing, renting, whatever) my own domain name and using WordPress and Ashley to make my blog more personalized, original, and attractive. is not an option. Like I said, I've outgrown it.

HereIAm.everything is taken. So is Here-I-Am and HereWeAre.

The only option I can find is

Is that memorable enough? Will I lose anyone in the transfer? Any other creative suggestions for domain names?

Works For Me: Grilled Cheese

Now, grilled cheese is usually one of the quicker and easier lunch meals, but it's just not quick or easy enough for me.

So this is what I do:

I grill it in advance. My toddler only eats half a sandwich at a time. So I make two full sandwiches (as much as my griddle will hold). I put one and a half sandwiches in the fridge and they will be the easiest, literally 15-second lunches for the next three days. No cooking, no cutting, no slicing, no cleaning griddles. Just put her half sandwich on a plate and nuke it for 15 seconds. Older children might object because it just isn't the same as a fresh-off-the-stove crispy grilled cheese. But my toddler doesn't mind, so it works for me!

Two Year Check-Up *Edited*

Olivia had her two year check-up last week. She's 28 pounds (rough guestimate; she was jumping on the scale) and 33 inches tall (again, not exact; hard to measure a moving object). According to those measurements, she is in the 50th percentile - as she has been all her life.

Then the doctor asked me how her vocabulary is coming along. "Is she talking a lot?"


The doctor rephrases, "Does she have at least a 20 word vocabulary?"

Uhh... Sure!

Josh says I should have been more honest with the doctor.

However, I maintain I told the truth. Let's count: diddy (kitty), turtle, baby, bye-bye, hi, more, ter (water), ver (covers), derse (nurse), doo (two), dwee (three), dez (dessert), der-tis (there it is (does that count as three?)), piwoah (pillow), tee (tree), daddy, geen (green), boo (blue), buh (bug), toe (toad), bee (berry)...

Hey! That's 21! Surely she didn't mean 20 words that just anybody could understand without a translator. How unrealistic.

Then the doctor asked how Olivia was at following directions.

Well... she doesn't always obey... Oh! You mean *can* she follow directions? Oh, yes, when she wants to.

And can she follow two-step instructions? For example, "Go get the stool, and then stand on it."

At this, I had to laugh. "If we tell her to, she'll go get the stool, stand on it, get the turtle food, open it, and feed the turtle, then put the lid back on."

And does she imitate okay?

Obviously, the doctor didn't read my Onion story!

**Picture courtesy of Joanna

Tuesday, July 17

You Know What Hurts?

Teeth. Teeth hurt. Well, technically, the gums hurt. Specifically, when the teeth are puncturing the gums as they push their way up.

I can't sleep. I can't be put down. Eating is my only comfort, so I must do it constantly. If I can't eat, then I must suffice by chewing on my own fist.

Growing up is hard!