Sunday, January 31, 2010

Matters of the Heart

     Since having Jesalyn, Jarrod and I were talking the other day about all the decisions we've had to make. These aren't simple decisions like "what are we going to eat for supper?"  I remember the days when that was the hardest thing I had to answer in a day.  I knew my life would change once she got here, but I guess I didn't know in what ways.  I've wrote in the past about our decisions on vaccines and about day care.  The latest decision was whether or not we were going to move back to Nashville.  Since we left TN a year and a half ago (no way it's been that long) we knew we wanted to go back.  Not that Missouri has just been horrible, a lot of good has come out of coming here. Our overall bills are cheaper, I finally got my promotion that I couldn't seem to get in Nashville, we've got to hang out with some friends, and the best thing Missouri gave us, Jesalyn.  But, it's just not where we see ourselves for much longer.
Last week I thought that ship had come in for us.  I had originally applied for a job with the same company I work for, but the position was a promotion.  I knew I was ready for it and it just seemed like the next step.  Due to things out of my control, I wasn't offered the position but instead offered a job doing what I do here except I would be TN.  Here was our chance.  The chance to move back to the place we didn't know we were going to miss so much (what's that phrase: you never know what you had until it's gone.)  I had two days to decide. Here we were again. Back and forth on the reasons to go and the reasons to stay.  We knew the reasons to go.  Are plans have always been to move back when the opportunity presented itself. I would have a job when we got there.  Jarrod's not working right now, so he could work on getting things packed.  The reasons not to go.  Money.  We would have to break our lease...which was 2 months rent plus an extra $300 just for good measure.  And then the expense of renting a u-haul, gas,  plus the extra $150-$200/month for rent that it costs to live in Tennessee compared to Missouri.  We did the math and we could do it with what we had in our savings.  Even if Jarrod didn't find a job right away, we would be okay.  There was nothing holding us back....except something didn't feel right.  It's almost annoying.  Here was our chance, but everytime we said it out loud "okay, let's just do it, let's just go" something stirred inside.  It was almost a fear, or a sick feeling.  It wasn't an audible "don't go" from God, but I believe it was His way of telling us the timing wasn't right.  I've always tried to go with that "gut feeling" as some people call it.  Any time I haven't, things just don't go as well.  The minute we decided we officially weren't going to go, a weight was lifted.  The peace came.  Like I said, it's a bit annoying, but ultimately I, I know, we did the right thing.
I'm still determined to get there some time...I'd rather Jesalyn's first word be "y'all" than "MissourA"  =)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stay Tuned....

So Jarrod and I have decided to give the whole cloth diapering thing a try.  Before Jesalyn was born we drove to St. Louis and purchased 12 diapers; 6 of one kind, 6 of another.  Why you ask? Mainly because we wanted to save some money. True, the 12 diapers we bought cost us a little over $200 but we are hoping by the time we're done, the overall money saved will be worth it.  Plus, Jarrod and I both were raised in cloth diapers.  I was allergic to the disposables. I'm not sure why Jarrod wore them.  Anyway, we thought if it was good enough for us, surely we can do it with our little girl. Plus, you should have seen the trash we had using the disposables before she was big enough to wear the cloth.  No kidding, after 1 week, our balcony was half full with trash bags (did I just admit that?)  Now before you tell me that I'm a girl living in the stone age, you should know these are not your grandmothers (no offense you grandmas out there) cloth diapers, which were basically a kitchen towel secured with a safety pin. Nope, they've gone high-tech on us with snaps, velcro and really fashionably designs. The question is, do they work?  We just started yesterday, but I'll let you know.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Soy milk, bumbo seats and church.

So, I guess it's been a few weeks since I last wrote.  Things are still pretty crazy in "baby world"  Things are crazy just in general.  Jarrod is still staying at home with Jesa during the days and we are both still glad we made that decision.  He's still looking for evening work.  He was offered a job working 10pm-6am but after discussing it we decided it just wasn't worth it.  He wouldn't get but like 4 hours a sleep a night and that's only if he went to bed as soon as I got home from work.  You have to be in tip top shape to care for our little girl.  She's still pretty fussy, or I guess a lot fussy. She just always seems to be in pain or uncomfortable.  We are wondering if maybe it's still the formula.  But I'm not sure where you go from soy.  We're thinking about making her an appointment just to talk to the doctor and see what she says.  She is still growing. She's finally able to wear her 3 month clothes, or most of them anyway.  Which is good because while I think she's beautiful in anything, the white onesies were just getting boring. 
We are still trying to move, preferably back to Nashville. We've tried Fairfield (where we both grew up,) but there just doesn't seem to be any jobs there. I had an interview for a job in Nashville doing what I'm doing here in MO, but we'll see how that goes.  Nashville is a bit more expensive to live in than Columbia.  All the cards are going to have to fall in place for that to happen.  Fingers crossed. 

 On another note, we bought Jesa a bumbo seat yesterday.  We thought it might help her with her neck muscles.  She can lift her head fine if she's on your shoulder, but you put her on her stomach as she just gets so mad.  The seat is meant to help her sit up by herself so we support her head while she's in it, but she really seems to like it.                 

Last Sunday we decided she was ready for her first church service.  We got her all dressed up, not in a onsie, and headed to church.  She didn't really know what to do at first.  The music was a little loud and she just kind of looked around taking it all in.  I had my hand cupped over her ears to kind of tone it down a bit, but she really liked it.  Jarrod looked at me and said "as soon as this music stops, she is going to start screaming." So I rocked her until she fell asleep and she slept through the preaching.  We told her it was okay, sometimes even the adults fall asleep =) It went to well, I think we are going to try it again this morning.  We had to snap a few pictures to remember the day. This was also the first time she had worn shoes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's in this?

I love to bake, I love trying new recipes, and I pride myself in adding a "touch of healthy" to the things I make.  I can't count how many times I've said the phrase "Pretty good huh?  You'll never guess what's in it."  But when I heard about this recipe on Dr.Oz I really didn't believe it. Black Bean Brownies.  Seriously???  Never, in a million years would I have thought about putting beans in brownies.  I had to try this recipe.  It's not completely healthy, I'll be honest. There is still almost a cup of sugar in an 8X8 pan but at least it's not all empty calories. The beans add a nice fiber and protein punch so eating one pretty much does the trick, your not as tempted to go back for more. So...were they good?  They really did tasted like brownies.  Jarrod even liked them.  And he was way skeptical.  Needless to say, this recipe will probably be added to my box. 
I learned two things from making this recipe. 1: Do not, I repeat, do not substitute olive oil for canola/vegetable oil in your baking.  Olive oil has a flavor that definitely comes through and is NOT tasty in baked goods. Now, I knew this beforehand but I told myself it wouldn't matter "just this one time."  I don't know why I do this, but I ran out of veg oil and didn't feel like going to the store so talked myself into believing it. I made a second batch, after making a trip to the store  =)  Lesson #2:  A yummy ganache can make almost anything taste good.  I kept the first batch and layered it with a thick coating of homemade ganache.  I had it for breakfast this morning. So here's the recipe.  If you know of any off-the-wall recipes, please pass them on. I'm dying for a new one.

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350* F.
Pour drained beans into a blender, set on puree and blend until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients and continue blending until evenly mixed.
Pour bean mixture into a greased 8 by 8 pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

3 months already

What a crazy few weeks it's been.  Thus, the lack of blogging.  Jesa (her nickname since Jesalyn seems to be a bit tricky for people to say) has just been growing so much.  I can't believe how much she has changed in just three months.  She is still skinny minny.  That girl doesn't have one baby fat roll on her.  Her hair is still growing.  It's so cute after we give her a bath.  It's just a head full of peach fuzz.  We still can't decide on the color.  Some days is looks so red, but then other days it's as blond as can be.  Either way, she's beautiful!  She's started to talk...or coo as they say.  The phrases she likes to hear and imitate are "hello," "pretty girl," and "good baby."  She looks at you so intently as you talk to her and then she'll stop, open her mouth and this sweet, melty voice comes rushing out of her mouth. Let me tell you,  you hear this and you'll want to cry.  It's sweet because this voice sounds so much different than what we've heard before.  Granted, the only other thing that has come out of her mouth so far is screams and cries =) But I promise, it's adorable. 
    We took her for her 2  month check-up back in December. She was 8pd 12oz and 21.5 inches long. She also got her first doses of vaccines.  Oh my goodness.  This was an ordeal.  Still kind of is.  Jarrod and I are a little unsure about vaccines.  It just seems like they want to vaccinate you for everything these days.  I mean, I got the chicken pox when I was little, and I'm okay. Why do we need a shot to keep you from getting it?  Like Jarrod says, when he was little he remembers when a kid would get chicken pox and every parent in town would make their child play with him/ her  just so their child could get it and get it over with.   Why have we become so afraid of everything these days?  Plus, we were worried about all the side effects.  We always try to know as much as we can on anything we do. Let me just say, the internet can be a scary thing.  Even on some of the CDC (government ran) sites, there were some crazy side effects listed as "rare, but possible" on the vaccines.  We were in tears trying to make this decision.  After about 4 weeks of back and forth contemplating, we decided to go ahead with them, well most of them (there were a few we decided against.) When they put those needles in her little legs, she screamed harder than I have ever heard her scream.  Mom (me) cried just as hard as Jesa did. I couldn't stand seeing her in pain.  And the bad news is, we have to go back in February and do it all over again.  It's the beginning of January and I'm already sick to my stomach thinking about.  So, what about all you mommy and daddy's out there?  Did you do the whole vaccine thing?  What are your thoughts on it?? 
     The other huge thing we've faced just within the past week is the whole day care issue.  Something else we went back and forth on.  We finally decided to go ahead with it.  Jarrod and I both have pretty good jobs and didn't want to lose them, plus financially, it was the best choice.  We had the place picked out and the night before her first day, through tears I labeled all of her things (crib sheets, pacifier, etc) and made all of her bottles.  The next morning we both got up, got dressed for work. I went to get her out of her bed so I could get her dressed and diaper changed and she was laying there so sweet and comfortable.  The tears started again, but this time mixed with a knot in my stomach.  I brought her into the living room where Jarrod was, and we just looked at each.  We just couldn't do it. We just couldn't send her.  We went through every possible sacrifice we could make, how much money we had saved up and compared that to what sending her to day care meant to us and Jarrod called that morning and quit his job.  Crazy?  Yes, I know, but we really felt like it was the right thing to do.  I have been at my job much longer than he has been at his, so now he's staying home with her.  He's amazing.  She's going to be a daddy's girl, and I'm just fine with that. He's looking for night work to help but even if he doesn't find it, I know that this is what we were suppose to do and I have faith that it will work out in the end.  Plus, Jesa gets to stay home with her daddy everyday =)
     I'm sure there's more I haven't covered but I just got home for work and there's a sweet little angel I hear in the other room talking, and I just can't miss out ;)

...thanks for reading...