Friday, August 28, 2009

Steam Roller

Elsie took my last post as a challenge. The very next day I picked Elsie up from J's and we went over to hang out with the judge's wife until church time. J said that Elsie had tried but had not succeeded. At the judge's, I put her on the floor and we were talking, and I look down and Elsie has rolled over to her left side except for that arm. She worked and worked and finally got it free--SUCCESS! August 26, 2009, at 5 p.m. on the dot. Just over a week shy of four months. She did it again 19 minutes later. The crux? Elsie hates being on her belly. She'll scream and throw a fit, straightening her arms and legs with no hope of rolling from her belly to her back.

Prayer is needed, please. Yesterday around lunch time, J's husband started complaining about numbness in his left arm and saying he didn't feel well at all, asking to go to the hospital. We have contingency plans in place, that she should call the judge's wife in case of emergency, but nobody answered, so J put Elsie and Big J in the car and drove to the emergency room, where she had to run inside to get a nurse to bring a wheelchair out to get Big J. Because of the hospital's flu outbreak restrictions, healthy persons under the age of 19 are not allowed in the hospital, so J had to leave Big J at the hospital by himself (300+ kids were out of school in our district this week due to the flu--swine or otherwise). They waited for me at J's, and when I got there to get Elsie, J left immediately to go to the hospital. She had called to check on his status, and the nurses told her it wasn't a heart attack, and that they probably wouldn't admit him, but that they would keep him long enough to see the cardiologist. Well, last night, Eli called to check on them at the hospital and the nurses said that Big J was still in the ER but was going to be admitted within the hour for overnight observation. J believed Big J was okay and told Eli she would be available to watch Elsie today.

So, I took Elsie to J's this morning. She was there and excited to see Elsie. I asked about Big J and she said that he was still in the hospital and that he had an appointment with the cardiologist. She would take Elsie to stay with the church secretary (who loves Elsie to death) for a couple of hours while J went to meet with him. That was the plan.

Eli set me a text message sometime mid-morning telling me that Elsie was with the judge's wife. I didn't question. J, judge's wife, secretary--all people I know and trust. But since it was a change of plans, I figured something must have happened.

Evidently, it was determined that Big J did had a heart attack after all. The hospital called J to come because they needed Big J's consent to do a heart catheter, but he was so out of it that they needed her to give consent instead. It was still early. The secretary doesn't get to work until 9, so J called judge's wife (if you're wondering, I'm not using her name for the sake of political privacy--it's almost the judge's re-election year). Wife, a former pediatric nurse, said that she would keep Elsie all day, that J didn't need to worry about the baby, that she needed to be with Big J. So, Elsie spend the whole day over there. It's actually closer to my school than J's. And since we're down to one car (the Saturn's A/C is being repaired), I stayed there while Eli hitched a ride home with the judge, and then we all came home.

So, to sum it up, please pray for J and her husband, Big J. She said he's had a couple of heart attacks before, and that aside from the catheter, there's nothing they can really do. Also, they're thinking that if he has another one, it will be a big one. There's a lot of stress for both of them in this situation.

On a couple of completely unrelated notes, there's a piece of kitty litter under the keys on this keyboard (thanks, Coco) and it keeps migrating around, currently under the N key, though it started out under the J key. It's driving me CRAZY! And secondly, I went back to the bead studio last night and made a new necklace--learned how to string silk--and I will maybe put up a picture, but I promise, Sunshine, to put up a picture of Elsie along with it, okay? Equally Elsie, equally Erin. Love you.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This old man...

You know, the old man that gave the dog a bone? He can roll better than Elsie. She's not quite there yet. She hasn't figured out what to do with her bottom arm.

Here are the latest scoops:

1. Elsie is too strong for the swaddle. I would go in there in the middle of the night to find a naked (diapered) baby with the swaddling blanket in a pile at her feet. She had wriggled and wriggled and kicked it off. And then would wake up because she was cold or because she startled herself. To put clothes on her under the swaddle was to cause her to overheat, so...

2. We started this past weekend putting Elsie to bed in a footed sleeper. No more swaddling. She has not slept as well. And, when I go in to feed her, she's turned every which way but loose. She inches her way around several degrees--45, 90, and 180. It's weird to find her feet where I put her head. She's not particular about it--she goes clockwise and counterclockwise. Or if she goes in one direction, she way over-rotates. Eli says she's chasing after the pacifier. I believe him because it's usually under her head or neck when I go to pick her up.

3. Said sleepers are size 6-9 months that I got on clearance at Target a few weeks ago, thinking I would be able to save them to use in the fall when it gets chilly. They are just a smidge big on her. This worries me. She's not even 4 months old yet! She may outgrow them before 6 months!

4. Eli and I practically elbow each other getting to Elsie's room in the morning (okay, that may be exaggerated) because the first one there gets a load of good morning smiles from Elsie. Melts my heart. She's so happy to see us. (She, of course, doesn't remember me getting up in the night to feed her, so I get no special treatment in the smile department--first come, first served.)

5. This morning, I changed her diaper, put her back in the crib and went and got in the shower. When I got out, I could hear her screaming, but it sounded muffled, so I ran in there, and she had inched over parallel to the side of the crib and had rolled over 3/4 of the way into the bumper and was stuck with her face in the crack between the mattress and the bumper. She was not happy, and I was freaked out. (I imagine our new neighbors on that side weren't happy either as it was just after 6 a.m.) I was only in the shower 10 minutes. I'm thinking about removing the bumper all together, but I'm still contemplating this. Any advice?

And now it's time to go do dishes and pick out what I'm going to wear in the morning. This old woman is ready for bed.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Precious Gems.

There's a new store in town called Perch Bead Studio. The ladies on my hospital moms listserv have been talking about going, so last Saturday, when I was supposed to just be running to the post office to send some baby clothes to my friend JT, who is going to have that baby girl any day now, I decided that I could spare a short trip over to see where this place was. It was open, and I went in, and after talking to the owner, I decided that I would make it back over there sometime this week for a free class on jewelry design, specifically wire-wrapping.

Thursday night has been our young women's Bible study, but we're still on a summer break (though the women's ministry is reorganizing, so it may be a permanent break). I decided to invite all those girls to come with me. Well, three of them came, plus a roommate. We had a great time. Want to see what I made?

I wore it to school today with my t-shirt and jeans. I think it would be better suited to a button-down, collared shirt but I was anxious to wear it. I actually don't know if it is any good, and I can't stand not being good at something! I don't feel I have any particular talent in this area. I just copied a design by the owner, but substituted in 50-cent beads for some of the more expensive charms. We used sterling silver wire and chain. In the end, materials and instruction cost me around $25. More that I would pay for a necklace, but then again, I gained some knowledge which is priceless. If materials weren't so dad-gum expensive, I could see myself playing around with this as a hobby.

And so, at this point, I'm going to throw in a shameless plug for my bloggy friend, Valerie, who makes jewelry. It was actually her recent postings about it (in the past 6 months or so) that piqued my interest in going to the bead studio. Valerie, along with her best friend (who is my college friend's little sister) has just started her own etsy store, Spunk & Sass, to hock her wares. Give it a look-see.

It's the weekend. Eli's out of town. Elsie and I are going to work concessions in the morning if it's not raining. The middle school football team is hosting a jamboree, scrimmages against other teams in the area. They needed volunteers, I volunteered. I hope it rains.

And I can't keep my eyes open.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sips N Strokes, part deux

But first, a moment of What-Goes-Around-Comes-Around:

The summer after high school I worked at Winn-Dixie in Crowley. The general merchandise manager was pregnant. I went off to college and came home and worked during Christmas and one day asked her when her baby was due. She balked, and then composed herself telling me that she already had the baby...about three months ago. I was embarrassed, and I learned my lesson. Don't. Do. That.

So, today, I'm talking with the counselor after school and I notice that she keeps shifting her eyes to my belly, and finally asked me when the baby was due. I good-naturedly told her that Elsie was already here and that she was three months old. She was embarrassed, but assuaged her discomfort. I will never wear that outfit again. Time to get even more creative (while wearing everything right-side-out).

And now, what you have all been waiting for.

The mommies from the hospital had a mother's night out last night, leaving the babies with their daddies, and went to the Sips N Strokes that opened up in Auburn over the summer. I jumped at the chance to go. I didn't get as many progression pictures this time as I did last time because my cameras batteries were about to die, so I would turn it on, snap a picture and turn it right off. I wasn't sure how long they would last so I used them sparingly. So, without further adieu, I give you "Flowers in a Vase: Start to Finish."

My friend, Angela, and I with our masterpieces. Angela's baby is two days younger than Elsie, so we were unwittingly in the hospital at the same time. :)

This picture went in my classroom today, and my students didn't believe that I painted it. Haha.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fan Favorite

Okay, okay. I've had some complaints [Mom] that the pictures of Elsie are slowing down. Now, if you're FB friends with Eli, you've probably seen these, but for those of you who aren't, well, you're in for a treat.

Please remember that the Beaver family is die-hard SEC football, die-hard Alabama fans. Die-hard anti-Tennessee, anti-Auburn, anti-, well every other team in the SEC. With that in mind, please enjoy these photos.

Here's the classic black and white happy Alabama baby:

And the cute, healthy-looking, pint-sized love of my life sportin' her Alabama bib:

But when she finds out that Great Aunt Angie sent this awful Tennessee shirt, well...

So, we took it off and put her in an outfit given to Eli by one of the bailiffs, and this is what we got:
I guess Auburn gear in pink is just as offensive as the blue/orange monstrosities.

Did I mention we live in Auburn? Haha.

Tomorrow I'll upload newest pictures from Sips N Strokes. If you can't wait, I've already uploaded them to FB.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm Famous.

At least by Opelika, Alabama standards. I went to drop Elsie off at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, and Judy told me that she clipped the picture in the paper for me so that I could send it to my mom. I was confused. So, I probed a little and found out that the Opelika newspaper published a group picture of the new teachers in the school system, and it came out that morning's paper. Then, I pulled up to school at 7:15 and the teacher getting out of the car next to me told me she saw my picture, too. I hadn't even seen the paper! (Judy didn't have it with her outside, and I had to go.)

Wednesday night we went to our church dinner and every little old lady came up to me to tell me that they saw me in the paper. And then they just stood there like I should respond, but I wasn't sure how, so all I could muster was a sweet Southern, "Did you? How funny."

And then TODAY, it seemed like every little old lady came up to me with the picture clipped from the various newspapers it was published in this week (3!) so that I could send it to my mom.

Mom. I love you. I'm 3o years old. I'm not sending you the picture, now matter how much those sweet ladies want me to. But, I may scan it in so you can see it. It's actually not so bad.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It's been a week since I last blogged, and that, my friends, is the longest hiatus I have taken since before last November when I committed to blogging every day for a month. A lot has been going on.

Mostly meetings last week, a whirlwind trip to Mobile/Gulfport over the weekend, and school starting this week. And, as if I wasn't already challenged by being the new teacher, my classroom doesn't have A/C. The A/C repair guys are a lot like the cable repair guys...lots of approximations but no definite information.

I'm exhausted. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Did I mention that already? I'm ready to get into a routine--if only it didn't have to start at 5:30 in the morning.

The little one is doing fine. She's none the wiser about me being gone, that I can tell. I just have a hard time when the kids ask if I have any children. Yes. And I'm not with her. But, let's move on the concrete and abstract nouns to get my mind off of the subject. It will get better.

On a funny note, she's started drooling. A lot. In the evening she soaks one outfit just from ambient drool. I sure hope that this isn't a sign of teething! She's only three months old. (A day I didn't have time to blog...8/7/9). My baby! She's getting so big.

Okay, on to lesson plans. (You'll hear that refrain a lot this year!)


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I am *that* woman.

I am washing and re-using zip-lock bags. Daily. I saw that once on TV, a very frugal family, and thought they were crazy. And look at me now.

This week I have had to pump pump pump to make sure that Elsie gets fed while I'm at work, and since we don't use enough dishes to run the dishwasher daily, I've had to spend 30-45 minutes each night cleaning bottles, lids, collars, nipples, caps, valves, membranes, shields, collection name it, it gets washed. (Call me paranoid, but Elsie's babysitter was washing the items and returning them to me, but they still had a greasy film on them, so I've started just washing everything regardless.) And then I have to pack Elsie's "lunch" in one of my old lunch sacks, making sure I have enough milk for 5 feedings and the bottle tops to go with it. We're still trying to figure out exactly how much she eats--and I think she's going to eat more and more until she starts on solid foods in three months.

I also have to pack all the parts to my pump into a zip-lock bag, and then, with a Kroger sack to disguise the parts in the school refrigerator, put that into my pump bag, and put four empty bottles with lids into the cooler awaiting the ice pack in the morning as the last thing I do before I leave.

Breastfeeding is cheap. Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed isn't. Thankfully, the double electric pump was a gift. I also have a manual pump that I got for $5 back in April (it has come in very handy--no pun intended). I had to buy two dozen 2.5-oz. storage bottles at $18 each, plus two 3-packs of 5-oz. feeding bottles at $16, two extra shield-valve-membane assemblies at $10 each, freezer bags for about $10, a bottle brush, a bottle drying rack. You could argue that I don't really need that many bottles, storage containers, a drying rack, etc., but the truth is that this week I feel like either I spend time with Elsie while she's awake and then stay up late washing everything only to be exhausted in the morning, or I'm spending so much time washing and getting ready for the next day that I don't get ot see Elsie at all. So today I got the extra set of storage and feeding bottles to alleviate that guilt/burden a little.

I will still have to get up in the middle of the night/early morning to feed her and then pump the rest when I wish I could be/need to be asleep. That's not going to end soon. I feel like I will have sooooo much more time when I'm not breastfeeding June. I just gotta' keep reminding myself that it's all worth it--for Elsie. Otherwise I might lose my mind.

Anyway, onto another topic completely:

Thanks to everyone for responding to my poll. 14 responses, and the results were really inconclusive with 8 for "tossle" and 6 for "touzel". I did look up the word in all the online dictionaries that I knew the website for ( and, and that about rounds out the list) and it turns out that Webster is the only one that lists both pronunciations, though sadly, the pronunciation I prefer is the 2nd pronunciation, proving that it is not the most widely used. Ah, well.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tousling my hair

Okay, there's a new Herbal Essence product that I've seen advertised this week, their Tousle Me Softly collection. And I'm perplexed.

How do you pronounce that word, tousle?

I've always pronounced it to sound like "tossle", but the people on TV are not pronouncing it that way. To settle the dispute, I picked up my handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary that resides in the night stand drawer, and here's what I found:

tou' zel

Just to be sure that I wasn't losing my mind, I asked Eli how he would pronounce t-o-u-s-l-e, and shook my head and mussed up my hair to give him an idea of the word I meant when he looked at me blankly. And he too pronounced it "tossle."

This bothers me. This is not a Yankee vs. Southerner thing. Where did I get my misinformed pronunciation of the word? I pride myself on being able to pronounce words correctly, at least words that I've heard before though this doesn't seem to be as much of an issue now that I'm older (when I was younger, around 11-12 years-old, I would often mispronounce words that I had read but had never heard, notably "oscillating", "hors d'oeuvres", "ethereal", and "macabre"). Recently it was brought to my attention that I have been mispronouncing "banal" also. Geez. I need to keep my dictionary even closer than my night stand. I should put it in my pocket.

The point here, then, is, how do you pronounce "tousle"? I want to see if there's a trend. Vote in the poll at the top of the right column. Voting ends August 4. Feel free to comment.