Saturday, August 30, 2008


The pups name is Maggie. I think it's very fitting. She looks like a Maggie.

Yes, We Brought Home Another One

Yesterday, our vet's office called to say they had an orphaned miniature dachshund, and would Annie like to have it? The family who owned it's momma, bottle fed it until recently. This was the only pup from the litter that they couldn't find a home for. Normally, we would have said, "No." A pure bred dog is easy enough to place, and our vet has a very soft heart. The dog wasn't in danger of being homeless or going to the pound. However, you have to understand that as a family the one thing we can agree on is that mini dachshunds are the best. Until last summer we had two--a brother and a sister. The boy, Elvis, was mine. And the girl, Baby, was Annie's. We had them for 15 years, so if you do the math, we were little girls when we got them. Until we hit our twenties, those two dogs were our constant companions. They died a few months apart, while I was pregnant with Levi. They lived a long and happy life, so, although, their deaths were saddening, they were not unexpected.
Annie, was beyond thrilled at the prospect of a mini dachshund puppy. Personally, I don't want the responsibility of a pup. One baby is enough for me, but even then the cuteness of a puppy will get you every time. You've probably already scanned down to the pics, so you can guess that we got the puppy. Annie will be taking this one to school with her. She came home this weekend to pick it up.
This morning was so lovely (probably thanks to the upcoming hurricane) that we couldn't resist piling onto the front patio and watching Levi and the puppy play. They tried playing together, but were each a wee bit confused by the other. They each had fun, and Levi was none too thrilled when it came time to go inside and get a bath.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Mischief

Levi is in to EVERYTHING now. I mean nonstop. So, "No" has become a common word these days. I have to say though it is terribly difficult to discipline a child when you're about to bust a seam laughing. My mother warned me of this. The other day Levi crawled over to the dog's water bowl. He sat down next to it and started to reach his little hand in. This was about the bajillionth time he'd done this, and I was getting tired of lugging him away from it. I kept my seat, and said "Levi, No!". He looked up, quickly put both hands in his lap and grinned up at me with this you-know-I'm-the-cutest-thing-you've-ever-seen look on his face. I grinned back at him, and he reached for the bowl again. I said, "No!". He jerked those hands back into his lap and gave me the most devilish little grin and proceeded to try it again. This time the "No!" came out mid laugh which made him grin even more and me laugh even more. I guess all that laughter prompted him to give up his pursuit because he started crawling towards me. Of course, the whole thing ended in me scooping him up and smothering him in kisses. Oh, I just love being a mom!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Morning Mischief

Levi currently has two favorite games. They are surprisingly similar. The first involves taking objects out of a box or basket, and the second involves pulling all of the items off of a shelf. This morning while visiting Nana, Levi was caught red handed pulling Grandpa's sci-fi books off their shelves.
How do you say "No!" to that face? It's just so cute. I figured this wasn't the hill I wanted to die on, so I let him pull out books to his hearts content. Then we played a new game. Mommy put the books back on the shelves, and baby pulled them off again. Repeat. It was fun. Well, fun in the sense that his mischievous grin makes me laugh out loud.
Oooo, and I accidentally snapped a picture of his first tooth. It's not a great shot. Levi was lunging for the camera, but if you look really close, you can see it. Just barely. Don't let it fool you though. It's terribly sharp!
This tooth has been working it's way up for weeks now! What a horribly slow process.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Nap Aches

Phew! He's finally asleep. Levi's naps used to be so predictable, but now getting him to sleep can be such a challenge. He's so into crawling and playing that he doesn't want anything to do with napping. This morning was the worst by far. I nursed him to sleep once, but that "nap" only lasted about two minutes. Later, he got super fussy, so I tried nursing him to sleep again. He bit me. Ouch! That first tooth may not be all the way up, but it sure is sharp and painful. At that point, I told him "no" and put him on the floor while I recovered for a moment. Then he threw a fit, so I rocked him for a little while. Another brief 2 minute "nap". Arghh! This wouldn't be so bad except that he's not very friendly when sleep deprived. Finally a few hours after his first nap should have happened, I decided to live dangerously and try nursing him to sleep again. It worked. The little munchkin fell asleep. Yay!!! Now I'm wishing I could take a nap. Any suggestions on how to get the babe to nap a little easier? And, how do you deal with biting and nursing? I'd love to know what worked for you seasoned breastfeeding veterans.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Aunt Annie couldn't stay away from us too long. She's already back for a visit this weekend. Levi loves his Aunt Annie. He especially loves to copy her. Well last night he decided to surprise us all by copying his Aunt Annie eating. You might have read in a previous post about our food disasters at 6 months. He's now 9 months and disaster (reflux) free. So I've been hesitant to offer much in the way of food. Well, last night, we went to a Mexican restaurant. Levi typically picks food up off the nearest plate and plays with it. So of course he picked up a chip. But instead of crushing it, he looked at his Aunt Annie eat her chip. Then he looked curiously at his own chip, stuck it in his mouth, and tried to gnaw on it. When he managed to break a chunk of it off, we took it from him. So, then we had annoyed-baby-who-wants-to-be-a-big-boy on our hands. Luckily, we also had guacamole. This particular restaurant just smashes up avocados. No extra doodads--very baby friendly. So I scooped some up using a chip as a spoon, and what do you know. The kid loved it. He ate a whopping 4 bites.
The eating thing does seem to be a bit of a fluke. Today, he's not so interested, but really who can resist chips and dip?
Onto the next adventure of the weekend. New chickens. Yay! You might have also read about our bad luck with keeping chickens alive. Well we've finally gotten some replacements. In 2007 we had a few varieties of chickens. The only current survivors are the Giant Blacks, so Aunt Annie and Grandpa went to the local flea market to get some more Giants. We figure their survival probably means they're smarter and more adapted to the particular dangers of our area.
Against my advice they got two roosters. The man selling them swears they get along, but I'm not buying it. Give them a little time to get some extra testosterone, and their territorial nature will come shining through. Then we'll be looking for someone who's in need of a Giant Black rooster. Here's Aunt Annie with one of them:
Here's Levi trying to pet the rooster. It won't be too long before he's chasing them through the barn!
And here are a few of the newbies settling into the chicken house. Very cozy!

And, of course, what adventure would be complete without a big truck with a baby at the wheel. Here Levi is "driving." You give this boy a steering wheel, and you'd better just sit back and relax because you can't pry those little fingers off of it until he's good and done.

Friday, August 22, 2008


As I was walking between mine and my parent's houses, I spotted a terribly cute little mushroom. Sounds harmless, but that's where today's fiasco started. I thought "How cute! I'll go get my camera." (mistake #1). As I was grabbing my camera, I left the door open (mistake #2). Zoe, one of the dogs, promptly made her escape. So, I committed mistake #3 I chased the dog out the door, and of course, I fell down the front steps. Mega ouch! I have a lovely scrape down my arm, and the pain in my hind end is slowly working its way up my back and down my legs. All for a stupid picture! That's what happens when you give me a camera, and I finally figure out how to use the close up feature.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Under The Weather

I took the little fellow in for his 9 month checkup, and surprise, he has his first ear infection. Definitely not a first I was looking forward to. In fact I was hoping to skip ear infections all together. The bad part is that I just thought he was teething. He didn't have classic ear infection symptoms like not wanting to lay down and tugging at his ears. Really he's just been a little restless at night which I chalked up to the cute little tooth that's slowly but surely making its way through his gums. It does seem to be hitting him a little harder this evening though. He's starting to act like he's not feeling so good. Me thinks we're in for a rough night! Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Last Christmas I was so wrapped up in being a brand new mommy that Christmas shopping got postponed to the very last second. This year I'm aiming for a more organized approach especially since Levi's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all happen in a less than two month period. So far I have been pretty successful. Thanks to internet shopping and nap times I've been able to check quite a few presents off the list.
Currently, I am loving shopping on Etsy. I've found some super fabulous gifts from their different handmade and vintage shops. Unfortunately, I can't give too many sneak peaks because, well, that really would ruin things on Christmas morning. But there are a couple of fabulous items to show off.
I love these cute little reclaimed scrabble tile pendants. Home Studio's shop is having a buy two get one free sale, so of course I couldn't pass them up. I bought these two for me. This one is a British WWII poster. How fitting: And this one's just a terribly cute little bird:Sorry guys and gals! I know you're just dying to see the third one, but it's a secret. I'm still deciding on whether to keep it or give it. Hmmmm.....
I bought this fabulous flying dragon for Levi. I'm still deciding if it's a birthday or Christmas present. Not that he's old enough to know the difference.This still leaves me searching for a few more presents. I'm considering making a few of them--in all of my spare time. We'll see how that goes. Chances are I'll still come skidding up to the last minute on a few of them. What tricks do you have up your sleeve for Holiday/Birthday preparations?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Moving Day

Not for me...for Annie. Yesterday we packed her up and shipped her off to State for school. (Sob, sob) We're going to miss her tons around here. Although she's only 2 hours away, we've already talked to her 3 or 4 times, and we have plans to visit soon. She starts classes tomorrow morning. Hope it's all smooth sailing!
I left the heavy lifting to the non-baby laden folks and instead took photos, went grocery shopping, and fixed supper.
Okay, so for awhile, the little fella' and I explored my sisters new teeny, tiny yard.

And here Levi is showing off his crawling skills amidst the boxes:It was a hectic day, but it went well. To top it off, Levi turned over a new leaf of cuddliness in the car on the way home. Okay, so generally he's cuddly, but there are occasions that bring out the non-cuddly Levi. Typically, when he gets upset while in his carseat he absolutely does not want to be touched. He'll actually hit me and push me away if I try to comfort him. (Luckily he's generally a happy traveler.) Last night, on our way home, he started crying, and he actually wanted comfort. Yay!! He pulled me towards him, and as long as I hugged him, he was happy. It gets even better though. He has a certain night routine that he absolutely sticks to. It involves nursing with minimal mommy contact--no stroking his head, no rocking, no real cuddling, he just wants to get to business and get to sleep with as little touch involved as possible. So, last night we did our little routine. Levi fell asleep, and not 2 seconds later he popped his eyes open and sat straight up--normally a bad sign. I thought I was in for a rough night, but I was wrong. Instead, he grinned big, scooted himself a little closer, and cuddled. My heart just melted into a big puddle!

Friday, August 15, 2008


...a relaxing day. It's been a rough week. However, today has been a good day, a relaxing day. A day full of cuteness...

...and a little comedy:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pining Away

Levi loves going outside. I usually take him out in a baby carrier, and we look at all the plants and check out the horses and chickens. However, we've been stuck indoors lately because of the rain. This morning we were at my parents and Levi noticed the window in their door. He made a beeline for it and started "communing" with nature. Hopefully the sun will start shining again soon, and we'll be able to get out and about again. Here he is pining away for the great outdoors:

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Apparently Levi took God seriously when He said the seventh day was for rest.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Wild Day

I like animals, but my sister, Annie, LOVES animals. When she was little she snuck duck eggs home in her pockets and tried to incubate them in her toy box. Let's just say that little project didn't end well. Surprise, stuffed animals don't exactly produce the same amount of heat as a momma duck. Talk about a stench!
Over the years she has brought all manner of crazy critters home, but yesterday beat all. She brought a barn owl to the farm. No worries-it was all done legally. Raptors (owls belong to this category) are illegal to have without proper licencing--not to mention you really need a special place in which to keep them. So, until she began interning at the zoo this summer, she really hadn't had much to do with them. But each day brings a new surprise.
Yesterday, Annie called on her way home from the zoo to say she was bringing a barn owl to be released. A raptor rehabilitator connected with the zoo was looking for somewhere to release the critter, and of course Annie volunteered our place. Since dusk is the best release time, the poor thing spent a little time in a crate in my parent's hall. But don't be fooled by the barn owl's small stature, these suckers are MEAN. The rehabilitator said that owls never warm up to people even if they're hand raised. To be honest, this little critter nearly had me peeing in my pants at our first encounter. As I leaned towards the cage to look at him, he jumped at me and made this terrifically scary noise. I nearly jumped out of my skin. Then he backed up and started swaying his head and hissing. He sounded like a cappuccino maker. Unlike most stray or injured animals, this little guy did not bring warm fuzzies to my heart.
At dusk, we all went out to the back pasture for the release. He was a little slow to get out of the cage, but once he was off, he was off. It was beautiful to watch. He landed unsteadily in a nearby tree. His wings were spread out and seemed to be caught up in the branches, but he soon enough righted himself and flew away. We were able to see him for a few minutes, but eventually he went into the woods and out of sight. He was beautiful!
Here are a couple of photos of the owl waiting for release. None of the flight pictures were all that great. My camera isn't exactly meant for long distance shots.

I can't wait until Levi's older, and can appreciate this sort of thing. He and his Aunt Annie are going to have ridiculous amounts of fun together. Speaking of fun I've been meaning to post this new pic of the bobcat skeleton she built.
She's got some possible skeleton commissions on the horizon. In a week she's moving into a trailer near her college. She's devoting one of the small bedrooms to skeleton building. Hmmm...she might have trouble finding a roommate. It'll have to be someone with a strong stomach because Annie's not opposed to dissecting roadkill on the kitchen floor. You gotta love her. She's Annie to the bone!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fresh Goodness

Some church friends gave us some fabulous veggies from their garden. Yummy!

If you want a really yum, but terribly unhealthy way to eat your veggies try this:

1/2 an onion, chopped
a few small squash, sliced
a zucchini, sliced

Cook bacon, remove from pan. Put bacon on paper towels. Drain off some but not all of the bacon grease from the pan(in case you hadn't noticed this is the unhealthy part). Saute onions in the bacon grease. Add squash and zucchini. Cover and cook until desired tenderness. Add cooked bacon. Salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of pepper on this dish. It's sooo yum!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Solving Reflux

When Levi was a little over 4 months old I got the scare of my life. It was late in the evening. I remember almost going home earlier but deciding to stay at my parents' instead. It must have been God telling me to stay because I sure didn't have any other reason. I'm so glad I listened.
Levi had been a tad fussy, but nothing out of the ordinary. We tried a few things, and he seemed happiest in his bouncy seat. I was on the couch across from him, and my dad was in a chair next to him when Levi began violently throwing up--far worse than anything I'd ever seen. I dashed over to him, sat him upright, and began unbuckling him. As I was unbuckling him, he stopped throwing up and started turning blue. My dad grabbed Levi, put him over his knees and popped him on the back until he started crying. Levi's birth was the only other time I can say that I've been so grateful to hear him cry.
He was still gray and lethargic afterwards, so we took him to the emergency room to make sure his lungs were clear. After an x-ray and a few tests, Levi was cleared to go home. The doctor said that Levi probably had a reflux problem and gave us some tips on preventing future occurrences. One of those tips was to ditch the bouncy seat for something that would keep Levi completely upright. He also said to feed him more frequently but for shorter lengths of time. I followed all the advice--new infant seat (for the rare occasion that he actually sat in one), different nursing schedule--and started wearing him more frequently as well. I was already very into babywearing, but I became more convinced of it's benefits at this point. He still spit up with frequency, but nothing so alarming as almost dying. forward to 6 months old. I started him on food. I even made the food myself--nothing boxed or jarred for my babe. I should have guessed that he wasn't ready. He just didn't seem interested. I never forced him to eat, but I kept offering. Finally he would open his mouth and take a few bites. Nana even commented once that he didn't eat like we did when we were babies. She said she couldn't shovel it in fast enough to make us happy. I still kept trying. Finally he got up to eating a tablespoon or two in a sitting. Yay!--I thought. But when he finally got up to that tablespoon or two he started violently throwing up again--no turning blue thank the heavens. Still terrifying though. Once you've seen your kid turn blue, anything that reminds you of it will make your heart clench in fear.
I'd read that food would help a babies reflux, not so in my sweet angel's case. It just irritated the heck out of his poor little tummy. So, thanks to some advice from my mom and the Marvelous Kiddo's Grandma mixed in with some internet research, I decided no more food. Don't worry, it's just for a while. I'm not starving my baby. I had some vague feeling that maybe 6 months was just some arbitrary number and not a set in stone by God kind of rule. And what do you know, babies can still flourish on strictly breast milk after 6 months.
Levi will be a very chunky, healthy 9 month old soon, and he's usually reflux free. He has occasional bouts, but nothing like the volcanic puking that food brought on. For those of you, who are like me and had no idea it was possible not to introduce food at six month, it is. Babies can go a full year without introducing food (provided of course that you're willing and able to breastfeed frequently). I don't know what I thought mothers did in countries where babyfood isn't readily available. My out of the box thinking skills aren't always plugged in.
I do know that Levi and I have a very special situation that enables us to do this. I am terribly grateful to my momma for being willing to put her own life on hold to be Levi's travelling babysitter. She knows this is what's best for Levi, and she has enabled me to do this for him. A special and heartfelt thank you to her.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


If you live in Mississippi, chances are this one's made it to your inbox recently. I'm normally not a fan of forwards, but this one was so funny I just had to share. Of course, there's always the chance that the heat's gotten to me, and the delirium is just making everything funny. Hope y'all enjoy.

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven , God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael the archangel found Him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God. "Where have you been?" God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made." Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?" "It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance." "Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused. God explained, pointing to different parts of earth, For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth but cold and harsh while southern Europe is going to be poor but sunny and pleasant. I have made some lands abundant in water and other lands parched deserts. This one will be extremely hot while this one will be very cold and covered in ice." The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land mass and said, "What's that one?" "Ah," said God. "That's Mississippi -- the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful beaches, streams, hills, and forests. The people from Mississippi are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent and humorous and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking and high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace." Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then
proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there would be balance!" God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the Mississippi summers!"

Note: If you are not a resident of MS or never have lived in the hot, humid South, you may not understand the weight of this blessing!

Bless this house, oh Lord, we cry.
Please keep it cool in mid-July.
Bless the walls where termites dine,
While ants and roaches march in
Bless our yard where spiders pass
Fire ant castles in the grass.
Bless the garage, a home to please
Carpenter beetles, ticks and fleas.
Bless the love bugs, two by two,
The gnats and mosquitoes that feed
on you.
Millions of creatures that fly or
In Mississippi , Lord, you've
put them all!!
But this is home, and here we'll
So thank you Lord, for insect spray.

The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
The trees are whistling for the dogs.
The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
Hot water now comes out of both taps.
You can make sun tea instantly.
You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.
You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, 'What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?'
You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.
Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
The cows are giving evaporated milk.
Ah, what a place to call home. . God Bless Our State of Mississippi !!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to a super fabulous brother!!! We all love you and miss you tons. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you. In honor of the occasion here are some of my favorite pics from your last visit.

Gee whiz, I'd forgotten how tiny he was. You're not even going to recognize him when you come up for Christmas. Hey, maybe he'll be walking by then. Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Lots of love from your favorite little sister.
P.S. We've tried calling, but as usual have just gotten the machine. We'd love to hear your voice!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chic, Huh?

We had a big storm last night that left a bit of a mess to clean up. After church, my parents got all despiffyfied to go clear the branches off the fences. Now, in Mississippi in August, a sweat rag is a must for anyone doing manual labor. So, of course, Levi had to get in on this fab fashion statement. For your viewing pleasure we have the lovely bandanna trio:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Morning Fun

I love it when we get to have morning play time before starting the day. Of course, lately that wish has become all too real since Levi's decided to start waking up early! Here he is playing peek-a-boo. He kept putting his eyes right in the holes on this thing---sooo cute, but I didn't have the camera out while that was going on.