Monday, May 31, 2010

Deck Progress and Chair

This Memorial Day was quite busy! Paul and I started buildng our deck and I ventured into the world of carpentry. The latter is MUCH scarier.
First, the deck. This sucker is huge. We were going to make it even bigger, but as we got going we felt we should just leave it the size it is. Seriously, I have to furnish this thing! The bigger it is, the more furniture needed!
So far, I absolutely cannot wait to have our new lower deck. I feel it will be wonderful when Belle is be-boppin' around in the backyard. I can sit on the lower deck under the shade or put her kiddie pool on it. We met our neighbors that just moved in behind us and they have one of these umbrellas:
I am bound and determined to get one myself. Seriously, our backyard is full sun ALL day. Just ask Paul and my brother. They sure got some nice farmer's tans. I need thre shade this sucker will provide. Anyway, deck should be finished by Wednesday, but here are some pics of the progress thus far:

Speaking of needing furniture to cover the deck with, I had to share my first adironack chair I have completed. Paul taught me how to use the saw, and I am shocked I didn't chop off a limb! I made all of the cuts, but Paul had to help me on two pieces that needed cuts cut on an angle other than 90 degrees. Putting it together was major easy, but Paul had to help on a few steps to hold pieces in place as I drilled in the screws. Overall, I did the majorit of the work and am quite proud of myself! I am still debating on paint colors, but I am leaning towards red. We shall see. I will post pics of all of the chairs when they are complete, but here is my first one so far. I CAN'T wait to do Belle's little chair and paint it hot pink!

LASTLY, (I know this post is huge...I told you that this Memorial Day weekend was busy!), I had to show pics of Belle and a video of her in the pool. She loves the pool and I could just squeeze her when she has her bathing suit on! Girl has so much chubb!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Deck Time

This Memorial Day weekend will be spent with Paul building us a lower deck. I will take pics to show you progress. I cannot wait to have a lower deck! The deck is one of the things on our house I have wanted to change....along with finishing the basement and getting new countertops (which are almost ready to be put in!). While Paul is busy building the deck, I was also able to convince him to whip me up a few of these:

I found plans for these off of Knock of Wood. Paul said they would be easy enough, so I am super pumped to see how they turned out. At this point I am debating what color to paint them. I feel like stain, black, or white is too boring. I was thinking red, maybe? Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Epitomy of Motherhood

I just had to share the lovely evening I had. Belle was hungrier than she normally is...and let me tell you, this girl eats a lot already as it is! She are three jars of baby food and I assumed she would just quit eating if she was full. Mistake 1.

An hour later, Belle and I went to Meijer, and then came home and I began to cook dinner. She was crabby because it was her bedtime VERY soon. I put her in her jumparoo and put her in front of the tv to keep her occupied. Mistake 2.

When it was finally time for Belle to go to bed, I decided to top her off with a bottle before putting her down even though she had eaten so much at dinner. Mistake 3.

When Belle finished her bottle she was crabbin' still, so I sat her up. Mistake 4.

Poor girl burped once and every bit of what she had in her stomach projectile vomited all over us and the couch! I had no idea that such a tiny person could have so much inside of her! It took a bit of maneuvering to figure out how to stand up without getting more of a mess on the couch and the rug while finding a place to put Belle to take her clothes off. Thankfully, I had a clean load of towels sitting on my coffee table. Score!

Someone I managed to get my clothes off and get myself redresed, get Belle into the tub, and I figured that the couch cleaning would have to wait.

Belle seemed much happier in the tub, which was an indicator that the puking may have been a one time thing. To top of the whole fiasco, Belle made sure to give me a nice poop in the tub. I couldn't do anything else but have a good laugh.

People always told me that my own child's bodily functions wouldn't gross me out, and they were right. I didn't even think twice that my pants were soaked in vomit and it was covering the front of me. I was more concerned with how Belle was feeling and how to clean her up.

Oh the joys of motherhood. You can't do much else but laugh :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend and Such

I realize that Mother's Day was over a week ago, but I wanted to post about it regardless. So bear with me, and enjoy :-)

It's funny because this year was my first "official" Mother's Day, yet in some ways I feel it was my second. I was pregnant last year over Mother's Day, but I still celebrated. I feel that gestating and creating a baby is the ultimate epitomy of being a mom, so I can consider last year my first Mother's Day! :)

Also, Belle sent me a gift on Mother's Day last year :-) When I was at work, I received a dozen roses with a card that said "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I can't wait to meet you! Love, Belle." (Yes, I realize my husband is the cutest ever!)

This year Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning. Being a mother for 8 months now has taught me the most, tested me the most, and brought me the most joy. Talk about an emotional 8 months! I am so thankful for each piece of motherhood. I am thankful for even those ear infections and sleepless nights (haha, even though I probably cuss under my breath a lot when they occur) because I have the great joy of experiencing them because it means I have a child to go through them.

I love my girl more than I ever thought I could love someone. Being a mother has allowed me to understand my parents more, but especially God. Seriously, that guy's heart must be filled with joy and break everyday when He watches each of us down here on earth. As much as I love Belle, God loves me infintely more.

So, I praise God each day I get to celebrate being a mom....although I know as Belle gets older I will be doing more praying to God for patience as Belle develops a personality and opinions. If she is anything like her mother, she will be full of sass and attitude. Oh, and add a bit of drama in there too!

Enjoy the pics of the little person that made me a mom. I think she is quite adorable :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

MiniMe BabyGear

Check out MiniMi BabyGear! This site has seriously adorable baby things and now through June 5th 50% of the proceeds go to help the Pettinga Family cover medical expenses. Please check it out! Trust me, this family is more than well-deserving.


Little Miss Ellie was born deaf. She has captivated everyone she knows with her bright blue eyes and willingness to smile. After many months of waiting, Ellie finally received her cochlear implants in March. Unfortunately for this family, even with insurance, the medical bills are piling up fast. Dr's visits, hospital stays, co-pays, time away from all adds up. In the midst of Ellie's Journey to Hearing, her dad had an unexpected two-week hospital stay and is currently waiting for a new kidney.

I would love your help to raise some money for Ellie and her family. From now until June 5th, MiniMe BabyGear will donate 50% of the proceeds for every sale that uses discount code ELLIE during checkout.

Please click here to read more about Ellie or the 50% fundraiser.

Friday, May 7, 2010

We Are Family

My sister and her husband are adopting from Ethiopia. Tonight was one busy day for our family! Jill and Jason had a fundraiser to raise money for the adoption at the same time that they had a garage sale. Needless to say, my entire family, and my brother in law's family pitched in today to raise money to bring their little guy home to Michigan.

My duty was to hang out at the garage sale and work my saleswoman skills. In the meantime, Jill and many others were at church setting up for a lasagna dinner, kid's carnival, and silent auction. So many things to do! All in all, I believe that I did pretty good at the garage sale. I helped my nieces sell a few girl scout cookies and even sold a stroller, plant, and chair. Yes, I was a selling champ!
The fundraiser this evening was a complete success. I was amazed at the number of people that showed up to support my sister and her family. The amount of donations was overwhelming and I have been so blessed through my sister's adoption process. This little guy will be a part of our family and any donation someone gives to my sister is a blessing to all of us. Aside from donations, the items people gave for the silent auction and those who donated their time was just as appreciated! I ESPECIALLY appreciated the 3-5 day getaway to Gull Lake at a cottage (yes, this was what Paul and I won at the silent auction!).

Thank you to all who helped in someway. You have been a blessing to our family and each of you are a part of bringing my nephew home to Michigan from Ethiopia!
Don't forget to check out my sister and her family's adoption journey at Five and Counting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I have been a graduate student of Spring Arbor University since August 2008. I finally feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One year from now I will have completed my program and will have a Master of Arts in counseling....more specifically school counseling. My program has basically involved heading to class EVERY Tuesday night since I began. When I first started this all seemed daunting. I can hardly believe that I have made it this far and only have one year left.

Now, I have one year left, but it is a big year. I will begin my internship in August, which involves devoting 20 hours of my week to the Caledonia Public Schools. This is very scary to me. I haven't been working since August 2009, and I am not ready to go back to work and give up some of my time at home with Belle. I love being home with her and watching her grow. She will be at a good age to pass her off to babysitters (and the babysitters are my mom and my sisters...VERY NICE), but it will still be tough to go back to some form of work.

In the end, I will have a degree. When I am ready to go back to work, I can go back to work...not go back to school. This is years down the road, but I know that I will be happy to have my degree completed at this time in my life rather when things get even more busy!

So, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will be glad when this year is completed, and will feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I will miss my cohort, but will be glad when we don't need t meet every Tuesday night. Say a little prayer that I persevere and that this years goes by fast....AND that I learn a ton in my internship and have a great experience.