We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

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Monday, May 31, 2010

A Drive Through the Park

We had a quite a busy Memorial Day Weekend at my parents' house in Hudson. So instead of one, long, rambling, post with too many pictures, I'll cover the weekend in installments throughout this week.

When we arrived Friday evening, I was having a serious craving for some Swensons Potato Teasers (dipped in ranch dressing of course). Swensons is a chain of drive-ins in the Akron area known for their great burgers. And while I wanted a burger too, what I really wanted were the Teasers. They're essentially large cheesy tater tots with jalapeno bits in them. And they are wonderful when dipped in ranch dressing.

So that's how we started Friday night-- with some Swensons. On the way to the Swensons closest to my parents' house is a cute little playground. Being the now-even-awesome-er people that we are because we own a mini-van, we were able to transport Cate's cozy coupe to Hudson for the weekend without a problem (we didn't even have to stow the backseat). We dropped Cate, her cozy coupe, and my mom (Nanny, to Cate) off at the park and then headed to get food. I couldn't resist a few pictures though. Part of the park has this cute little miniature town where kids can ride their bikes, or cars, or scooters around. So Cate started out here.I think there were a few too many kids there for her liking though and she got overwhelmed fast. So she parked her car and took a walk with my sister (Aunt C, to Cate) instead. When Eric, my sister, and I got back from Swensons, Cate and Nanny had moved on to playing on the playground.
Cate did a lot of "hanging." But I did get her to try the balance beam once. We really need to look into some gymnastics classes for her for in the fall (or maybe next spring when she's 3).And from the picture above, you can see why it's no wonder I'm already pretty much wearing maternity clothes all the time at only 10 weeks pregnant. You definitely show faster with your second. I have a theory about this. The short version is that after your first, you're just happy to get back into your pre-pregnancy clothes. Forget toning your body and tightening your abs back up....you're just going to have another kid anyway. So it only makes sense you show faster. After this one (which will most likely be it for us, kid-wise, but that's a whole other post), I'll probably put a little more effort into getting back into shape instead of just back into my clothes.

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Big Backyard

By backyard standards, ours really isn't that big. But it is big enough for our peanut and her small swingset. The weather has been downright hot the last few days-- which means extra curls for Cate's hair. So we've been outside going down the slide...
...and taking our shoes off...
...which reveals the cutest little toddler flip-flop tan lines.
In other news-- we had a doctor's appointment last week with the doctor who delivered Cate. I. Love. Her. (Sidenote-- my practice is 7 OB's that you rotate through so you meet them all since you never know who will be in call when you go into labor...but I was excited she was the first one I got to see.) She was so excited that we were having another one. And she reassured me that I would NOT go past my due date this time (caused a few complications for me, not Cate, last time). In fact, she told us I'd be induced on December 20th, if not earlier. I was surprised to hear her say this so early. But at least we know we'll be home with Baby B before Christmas!

Only 9 more days of school and then I get to play stay-at-home-mom for 10 weeks! Who wouldn't want to spend their summer with her?
~Melody :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There Was a Little Girl...

...who had a little curl. Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good. But when she was bad, she was horrid.
Gotta love old nursery rhymes! Cate got this curl in the middle of her forehead during some humidity last week.

Cate actually hasn't been too horrid lately. If she misses her afternoon nap (which she fights by lying in bed talking to herself when she is supposed to be asleep), she can be a little difficult by 6pm. But we know it's a phase and won't be like this for long.

I'm trying to post a couple of times a week until school's out. Let's be honest though...I'm tired. Being pregnant and entertaining a two-year-old are wearin' this mommy out. But my first trimester will be over just as school lets out and summer blog posts are just the best. Hang in there with me.

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Go Cincinnati!

Every year our church does a huge, city-wide day of service. About 7000 people volunteer to complete various projects all over the city. Some clean up trash, some spruce up parks, some plant gardens...the project possibilities are endless. We don't do work for individuals, but rather for community spaces and services that just need a helping hand.

Two years ago, we were just starting out at Crossroads and were a little overwhelmed, so we didn't participate. Last year I was in the beginning stages of all of my digestive issues, so we didn't get to participate either (but we did bring a bunch of Starbucks coffee to our thirsty and chilly small group).

This year we finally got to get in on a project. Our small group plus several other volunteers were assigned the task of weeding, planting, and doing some general sprucing up at Bethany House-- a local organization that serves low-income women trying to break the cycle of poverty.

We worked for a few hours...
...Cate hung around...literally...
...and in the end, it was quite spruced up!
I'd upload more pictures, but Blogspot, iPhoto, and I seem to be in a disagreement of sorts at the moment.

We'll definitely "go" again next year! We love our city more than I ever thought we would and we love that we can give back.

~Melody :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Good News Monday!

Four weeks ago, I saw this:
We're due around Christmas and couldn't be more excited! Of course, a new baby brings up a lot of questions for us-- space in our home, finding out the gender, etc. Things I'm sure I'll cover in blog posts in the coming months.

I'm feeling okay. Way more nauseous than I was with Cate, but I've managed to keep it all down so far. :-) And other moms weren't kidding when they said you show faster with your second! My clothes are workin' hard right now and I'm just about ready to bust out some of the early maternity clothes (the ones with elastic waistbands but not the big panels). Thank goodness my amazing seamstress grandmother can work her magic to help me get into a bridesmaid's dress purchased back in the fall for a wedding that's in less than a month. It's a little tight right now, but her alterations should do the trick. :-)

And speaking of kiddos...how cute is this?
It's a backpack I purchased when I hosted a Stop Traffick Fashion trunk show yesterday. It's my friend Emily's awesome company that helps to fight human trafficking. I'll be sporting this bag this summer:
It's made from Asian rice/grain bags. And it's also got a plastic-y coating to it, which means it will be perfect for the beach and the pool. I also got a cute pearl bracelet...now my set is complete-- necklace, earrings, and bracelet. I love pearls!

Happy Monday!

~Melody :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

BookSneeze Part Deux

I  review for BookSneeze

Hi there. It's Papa E. I haven't written in a while, but when I learned about Booksneeze, I couldn't resist the prospect of new books and sharing my opinions. So, I decided to check out a copy of Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life by Brian Curtis. I'm a sucker for a good quote, and I liked the wide range of people that this book seemed to draw from.

There are definitely some good bits of wisdom from some very popular thinkers, be it religious in nature, or entirely secular. For Example, Bono (lead singer of U2) is quoted saying, "The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape." Even Heller Keller seems to tap into a rather Christian theme of humility. She is quoted saying, "I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."

But be forewarned. For a book published by a Christian company, it also contains some secular or pop-culture thinking that could be slightly antithetical to Biblical teaching. While God loves us unconditionally and we can see his great love for us in his sacrifice on the cross, we have been far too deluded in recent generations to think that we can accomplish anything if we work hard enough or put our mind to it. While wealth and status are not necessary precursors to success, only one in many million children will one day be a president. Only one in many million will become a CEO. The message from some quotes almost devalue the menial or "lower" work as if it can't be fulfilling or isn't reaching your full potential.

It's kind of hard to take the advice from a billionaire media mogul like Oprah Winfrey when she says, "The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work." She is successful, and I appreciate her story of meager beginnings. But millions of young disadvantaged girls across this country with similar pasts should not feel like failures, or even that their hard work is fruitless, simply because they can't have their own TV show or give away cars to an entire audience.

I think this book is just one among many popular collections of motivational and inspiring quotes. Although it finds some truly inspiring and even biblical themes in some unlikely sources, it fails in it's cohesiveness and message. I would have preferred a few less quotes based on manifest destiny.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Toss Up Some Fun!

One of the guys in our small group used to make the pizzas and toss the dough at a local pizzeria (you must eat at Dewey's if you are ever in our neck of the woods...or Columbus or Dayton or Cleveland or St. Louis...they have Dewey's too).

So a couple of weeks ago, we had a small group pizza party and Dave put on quite a show tossing the dough (Dewey's even let us purchase the dough for the pizzas).
Cate was mesmerized as were most of the other kids. They cheered Dave on as he tossed pizza dough after pizza dough.
The kids also had fun making their own cheesy pizza.
The adults made a BBQ chicken pizza (with BBQ sauce from City BBQ)...
... a pesto chicken pizza with fresh cheese...
... and a couple of pizzas loaded with green pepper, mushroom, and onion. We gorged ourselves on pizza, needless to say. I've never been to a more entertaining pizza party. I love our small group and the way we're all able to share our talents with another.

~Melody :-)

PS...check out all of the kids (minus Brady, who left early, and Cate who ended up needing to go to bed early-- the benefit of having small group at our house) on our porch swing last week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I'm still finding it hard to believe that this is my third Mother's Day. My first was spent with a cuddly 3.5 month old. My second, well, I was glad to be discharged from the hospital, if you remember.
This year, definitely a good one. I got to spend some quality time with my girl and the man who made me a momma. Yesterday Cate and I went to a mother/daughter tea at my grandmother's (dad's mom's) church which my other grandmother also got to attend.Today I was treated to lunch at Red Lobster (I was craving some seafood and cheddar bay biscuits), the new cupcake book (it's going to be a busy summer), and some new sock monkey slippers (my other ones have holes in them).
But it's this little girl that really makes my day special.
Happy Mother's Day!

~Melody :-)

PS...Just in time for Mother's Day-- Cate learned how to climb out of her crib. But only when she's mad at us and doesn't want to go to bed. I think we'll be converting it to a toddler bed soon.

PPS...Aren't her dresses adorable?!? Thanks Nanny!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Flying Pig Weekend Recap

Last Friday, we were invited to attend the VIP party for The Flying Pig. It was in a tent on Fountain Square and was full of wonderful food......live music...
...and funny flying pig balloon creatures (which Cate fell in love with).We hung out at the party and around the square for about an hour or so before walking a couple of blocks down to the hotel where all of the Team in Training participants would be staying. Every year, the Hilton gives the staff of Team in Training the St. Nicholas Suite as their sort of headquarters for the weekend. Four hotel rooms open up into one common room. It's pretty awesome.
Cate enjoyed jumping on the bed. Remember this post?
I enjoyed the view from our room...
...and the view from the private deck the staff also had access to.
They grow all of the herbs used in the hotel restaurant on the roof! It kind of makes me want to start my own little herb garden at home. Hmmm....summer break project?
We also got a view of the Cinco de Mayo festival downtown too (the tent was where the VIP party was held).
We didn't stay Friday night (though we could have, but Cate doesn't always sleep well away from home). Saturday night, Cate went to Eric's parents' house for a sleepover while I enjoyed the suite with Eric (spouses are invited to stay, even though Eric had to get up at 4:30 to get the team going for the marathon...it was raining, I stayed in bed).

While Pig weekend is huge around here, it's also a lot of fun! I've done the relay and the half marathon and hopefully sometime in the next few years I'll tackle the full 26.2.

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

C is For....

Well, the avid Sesame Street fan in our household, whose name also happens to begin with C, would tell you that the monster himself says "C is for cookie."

But today, C is for cupcake...or "pupcake" as Cate calls them.

You see, it started with this book:
I've had my eye on it for awhile and just recently used a Target gift card that I got for my birthday to buy it (only to find out there is a sequel...my GC didn't cover both). The main reason for getting it? Well, this summer (or some weekend) I want to make my penguin-obsessed little peanut some of these:
Naturally, once Cate saw me with the book, she wanted to go home and make "pupcakes." It's a school day, I am tired, so I bought the box mix and canned frosting so we could still make some this afternoon. She helped me line the muffin tin.She helped me hold the hand mixer while it did its job (no pictures of that since I had to keep a hand on the mixer too). She watched while I spooned the mix in and said "that's enough Mommy" when she thought each liner looked full. Then she watched.
She also had fun playing with the box.
The cupcakes are yummy and thankfully we've got plenty of friends and neighbors to share them with.

The decorating instructions look pretty simple, so I'm hoping to make some of these quite often this summer. Obviously the penguins will be first.

~Melody :-)

And yes, I know I haven't been blogging as often as I normally do. But I'm a big believer in not being on the computer for more than a couple of minutes if Cate's awake. I'm selfish with my time with her. My computer time once she's asleep has lately been consumed by trying to figure out more with Photoshop Elements (which also explains why today's pictures are unedited and straight-out-of-camera).