Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I found this article to be quite interesting -- perhaps partially because I am pregnant, and have just learned to crochet, but I think that this article encompases more than that, and speaks of life in general. I don't agree with everything she says, but it's very introspective, and I enjoyed reading it.

Crochet me Magazine - Expectations

Caleb's visit

Caleb was here on Saturday, and we took him to Alexandria Bay, where we took a boat tour of the 1000 Islands, and stopped at Boldt Castle to explore.

Andrew has always liked Caleb, but has never really had time to connect with him until this weekend. They totally bonded over roaring wrestling matches, wild games on the slide outside, etc. Andrew and Caleb were inseperable, and it was good that Andrew was sleeping by the time that Caleb left or it may have been a very sad parting.

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Last night we went to bed around 11pm (I actually get tired around 9:30 or 10, but it's like a "last hurrah" of sorts, I think, for me to stay up "late"). I was kept awake by some uncomfortable (but not labor) contractions, and at around 12am thought it might be a good idea to go downstairs to grab my cell phone so that I could time the contractions (can't see the clock on Greg's side of the bed, so the cell phone clock is what I use). On my way downstairs I started thinking about the leftover bacon from dinner, but thought, that's silly, why would I eat bacon at midnight? I'm just getting my cell phone. Well, of course, the next thing I knew, I found myself at the refridgerator...I ate the entire 1/4 lb of bacon in one shot, standing right there in the kitchen. It was soooo good. Then I went back up to bed, and was actually able to fall asleep after a little bit. Perhaps I needed the protein?

Monday, May 30, 2005

The belly to take over the world

This is the current belly size. Can be used as table, etc. Unbelievable even to me.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

To comment?

Your comments keep this blog alive! I have a hit counter on the site, so I know a lot of people are checking in -- leave a note to let me know what you think of our posts when you stop by! (Oh wow! That must be why I ask questions in my posts and such!) =)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Unwritten Rules of Men's Room Etiquette...Now Written! -- Survey

The Unwritten Rules of Men's Room Etiquette...Now Written! -- Survey

...now SEE this!

As a bit of a departure from my usual listening list, here is a list of DVDs I've been viewing lately:

Grave Digger Double Feature (This one has been in pretty much non-stop, because it features Andrew's favorite thing; TRUCKS, er...DUCK! Monster trucks! The greatest monster truck to ever live...)
Jet—Family Style
Slechtvalk—Upon the Fields of Battle
The Aquabats DVD of Serious Awesomeness
Del Castillo—Live


Friday, May 20, 2005

Tea For All

There are many ways to drink tea. Anyone who drinks it tends to have a strong opinion as to how it should be drunk. Some drink it hot, some drink it cold (I hope none drink it in the pot nine days old), but enough! I bring the topic to the table of cold black tea -- or iced tea, as it is called for whatever reason. (Herbal tea and it's variations is a whole other world -- I only enjoy that hot, and only certain kinds, so I won't discuss that today.)

Growing up in New Jersey, iced tea was mostly out of the can: powdered, sweet Lipton mixed with water in a great pitcher, and drunk in huge quantities until my mom realized we were rolling on a caffine/sugar induce high, and we switched to Kool-aid (not sure how much better that was). Once or twice I remember making "sun-tea", because we saw the "recipe" for it in a children's magazine and it looked like a fun project. However, this was not presweetened -- it takes sugar forever to dissolve in lukewarm water, and there was no instant gratification, so...back to the Kool-aid.

Upon moving to upstate New York, I discovered another kind of tea. I believe it was actually in Pennsylvania, at Greg's grandma's house. I was offered some iced tea, and thought, "oh, that'll be different, I almost never drink that!", and accepted a glass. On the first huge mouthful, shock hit me and I nearly spit it back into my cup. Bitter!! Uggghh! Who forgot to sweeten it? I quickly shoveled a few spoonfuls of sugar in and tried, unsuccessfully to stir the granules into the cold liquid. A few crunchy (still bitter) swallows later, I noticed that everyone else was drinking their tea with great enjoyment -- without anything added. OHMYGOSH. Some people drink it unsweetened! Some of you are laughing, but I'm serious. I had no idea!

Upon moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, I discovered the perfect tea: Chick-Fil-A's sweet tea. I have never had a tea more perfectly balanced, or more enjoyable to drink. Nothing like the powdered stuff back in New Jersey, and certainly nothing like the bitter cup I'd had in PA! Now, I still have never had what would be qualified as Homemade Southern Sweet Tea, but I now have friends from the South who are going out to lunch with me next week to a Soul Food restaurant that they claim has "proper" southern tea -- properly sweet, I assume, so I'll report on that when I try it.

There is one more difference (that I know of) in tea: sun-brewed tea vs. boil-brewed tea. With sun-tea, of course, it is brewed all day in a juice jar or bottle out in the sun. Boil-brewed is when you put about 10-12 tea bags into a half gallon or so of water, bring it to a boil on the stove, let boil for about 10 minutes, then steep for maybe 5, before pouring into a jug that has sugar in it, and then adding cold water and ice to it (and often fresh lemon). Now really with the boil method, there are more ways to do that exactly than there are people to drink it, it seems, but you get the point.

I made boil-brewed a little while ago and just made sun-tea yesterday, so I've had opportunity to taste the two nearly side-by-side. Interestingly enough, I found a huge difference in taste. They are both good. The sun tea has a mild, round flavor that reminds one of...well, something that's been sun-warmed. Boil-brewed is deep and dark, tea leaves floating through the bottom of the glass because of the nearly violent method with which it is made. I prefer boil-brewed, but both are enjoyable in their own right.

Now to you, my reader, I pose the question: what is the Right way to make and drink iced tea? Why?

(As an endnote, I have noticed that I drink a glass of iced tea faster than any other liquid. My dad says the same thing. Anyone else?)

(Second end-note: since I am so susceptible to caffeine, I make my tea with decaf bags. It does, however, have about 2% caffeine still in it, so I can't drink much after about 5pm or else I'll be up all night -- true story.)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Monkey for Christopher

Monkey for Christopher
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.
In the past two days, I made this monkey for Christopher.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


It's not often that you come across a friend who can be helpful, be fun, be a friend, be sensitive, be there for you, and can just "be". Sarah is a friend like that. It would be hard for me to list everything that she did in the 2 days she was here, but suffice to say that she helped me retain my sanity while actually having a good time, and my house is cleaner than when she got here! I know that she would say she just "did whatever", but that's the whole thing: she "did whatever" in the most helpful way possible, and I appreciate that more than I can say. =)

Tiny dress

Tiny dress
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.

Andrew with animals

Andrew with animals
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.

Our creations

Our creations
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.


Originally uploaded by faithdarling.

Crochet for the first time

First Project
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.
This is my first crochet project ever (well, except for the two washcloths I made for practice beforehand.) It took me about 3-1/2 weeks, and I finished it just after Mother's Day weekend. It was supposed to be for the new baby, but Andrew loves it and has taken to sleeping with it, so I've given it to him instead.

This week, Sarah Stilwell and I each made a stuffed animal: I made the blue monkey for Joel, and Sarah made the pink elephant for Rachel. Andrew loves them, so I'll need to make one for him, but first I'm working on another monkey for Christopher...also, I crocheted a tiny dress, last week, just in case our baby is a girl. Never hurts to be safe! =)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Posted by: faithdarling
This is a photo from a shoot that was done yesterday by my photographer friend, Amy Berard.

...now hear this....

Toby Mac: Diverse City
Chasing Furies: With Abandon
Alanis Morissette: So-Called Chaos
Michael Gulezian: Concert at St. Olaf College
The Deal: Cutthroat
Five Iron Frenzy: Cheeses of Nazareth
Hillsong United: More than Life
The Dingees: Sundown to Midnight
Thee Pirates: Nasty, Brutish, and Short
The Stivs: Sweet Heartache and the Satisfaction
Blindside: Blindside (reissue)
Blindside: A Thought Crushed my Mind (reissue)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Itchy Fellow

Originally uploaded by faithdarling.
Andrew officially has the Chicken Pox. I thought that he had them before, but it must have been something similar like Shingles. Ah well. We've had a partially miserable week with bright spots whenever he forgets he's sick and starts rocking out to music, etc.

Some of the pox are beginning to scab over now, so I hope that we're over the worst part of it. The good news is that Greg has an extended weekend off from work (he has Monday off), and Sarah Stilwell will be coming to save my sanity/be my friend for the week. =) Thank God!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On why Greg was a very good idea

This past weekend, for my birthday/mother's day/babymoon (like a honeymoon, but when pregnant after married as a "last hurrah" of sorts), Greg took me to this bed and breakfast in Windsor, and we ate out, hung out, and pretty much just had a really good, fun, relaxing time. Greg's parents babysat Andrew for the weekend, so he also had a fantastic time, I'm sure.

Often we find ourselves in the middle of any given day wondering when we will actually be able to really see each other again, in the whirl of Greg's busy work schedule that keeps him away from 7am until (often) 7pm, dinner, playing with Andrew, Greg's nightly shower, tidying up after hurricane Andrew each night, and my growing exhaustion and early bedtimes. It seems most of the time that we live next to each other in the same house, existing side-by-side in worlds that don't often intersect, and not really together.

We have tried to rework our schedules over and over, but it seems that this is our life right now, and it's just the way that it has to be. Thus, weekends like the one that we just experienced are that much more important -- not simply a weekend of fun, but desperately needed re-connect with each other.

I've noticed that, even in that short span of a weekend, things have changed. I don't know if it's possible to love Greg more than I already do, but if so, it's happened. It's almost like discovering all over again that I am the most fortunate person in the world, and the person I chose to marry truly is the love and best friend of my life. Well, because maybe that's exactly what it was.

I've hesitated to blog this particular event all week, feeling it a bit personal to share with God knows whoever reads this, but I feel like it's appropriate on the off chance that it could help and encourage someone else. Don't forget that first love, and if you need a refresher, go for it. There's nothing wrong with getting away from it all and being "selfish" with each other. In fact, everything is right about that.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Like Summer: Sleeping:Falling:Thinking
Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
The Innocence Mission: Birds of my Neighborhood
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Jason Truby: String Theory
Unwed Sailor: The Marionette and the Music Box
Vulgar Pigeons: Imperialism
Pantokrator: Blod
Natan: NevelSquad Five-O: Late News Breaking
Brak: Brak Presents the Brak Album Starring Brak


Friday, May 06, 2005

The Belly

The Belly
Originally uploaded by faithdarling.
For those interested, this is what it looks like as of tonight. =)


Being successful is a very good feeling. Last August, I started this group, Stay At Home Moms Meetup of Watertown, using the Meetup.com system/site setup. From nothing, there are now 36 moms. It's so amazing!

I know I've written about it before, but let me put it in perspective for you, and you'll see why I'm so thrilled: in September, I scheduled our first "Meetup". One girl showed up with her baby. I continued to schedule Meetups at my house, so that this way, if no one showed, I wouldn't have wasted too much effort (also, since I didn't have a car, it would spare me the grief of waking up early, bringing Greg in to work, messing up our whole schedule just to sit in a restaurant/playground/bookstore waiting for people who were not going to show).

By December, our group had about 5 members, and one (and one time two!) would show up each month. January, Andrew had chicken pox, so I cancelled, but our group had started to grow more. We now had maybe 10.

In February, I scheduled another Meetup at my house. After this time, I realized that something needed to happen if I actually wanted to be a part of a GROUP. So...against all better judgment, I scheduled a Meetup for the McDonalds with the playland that's right around the corner from me (I was only hesitant because I hate supporting fast food -- but that's another topic for another day). At this point, a girl named Niki had joined, and she was part of this very social, active message board with the wives in the Ft. Drum area, and she decided to invite any and all SAHM's from that board. At that event we absoloutely exploded! About 20 moms showed up -- it was so exciting!

Encouraged by this, I went home and scheduled events for nearly every week after that...and still have continued to do so. People show up! There is community! We are all making friends with each other! One girl joined the Y and got some guest passes, so several of us are meeting her on Monday to work out together (plus, we get free child care!) All of this is quite thrilling when you've gone from no friends, knowing no one, to the person at the helm of the very largest active Meetup group of any type in Watertown. Also, our group is competetively better than the other two "mommy" groups in Watertown in that we are not only very friendly and open to new members (unlike one of the others), but our cost is just plain dirt cheap (about two whole dollars for membership per year).

I feel like my creativity has been unleashed with the relief of having people to be with. I think of new events, ways to meet, and venues to scope out all the time. God definitely has blessed me with this group, and keeps me inspired, which, in turn, keeps everyone in the group interested and involved.

Well, I didn't mean to go on so long about my group, but just today we had a successful playgroup/sandwich potluck/tea party, and I'm pretty psyched.

For those of you who enjoy aimlessly browsing the internet, our site is: http://sahm.meetup.com/323/ (or just click on the "Stay At Home Moms Meetup" in the red block to the right of this page) If you click on "photos" you can see some pics of our latest events. Shockingly enough, Andrew's only in a few, since I try not to go overboard and show off the little boy who is surely the cutest toddler in the world. (With that attitude, I should probably keep it unbalanced and not have him in too many!) =0 =)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A bath like no other bath

Some of you may have given baths to little boys before. Some of you have not. For both of these groups of people you will either nod your head understandingly, or shake your head in disbelief at the wonders of it all.

Andrew and I generally take a shower every day. I clean him all up, then I step out and plug the drain so that he can play in the water.

Sometime last week, Andrew took a bath with "Datty", and they had the bubble mat/machine in there, so now bubbles ("bauh-bows!") are the latest obsession. Not just playing with them, but eating them as well (always followed by an enthusiastic "ucky!", and then another mouthful as big as the first). So now whenever I begin to draw the bath for him, he begins his shouts of "bauh-bows bauh-bows bauh-bows!!" holding my bodywash in hand. The thing is, one shot of bubbles isn't enough. Well, partially because he eats and pops so many of them, but also because...well, ask anyone, and there's no such thing as too many bubbles.

Then there's the Pee-Factor. Andrew has watched Greg pee, so now he knows what's going on when he does it himself. All of a sudden, Andrew will stand up in the bath, look down with great concentration, and begin to pee. "Pee!" he shouts at me, looking exuberant. As one can imagine, by the time that he is done with his bath, ("outie?"), he is now so covered with soap and pee-infused water that he needs to be rinsed again. I run the shower for a few seconds, while he tries to sit back down in the draining bubbles and I firmly hold his slippery little body up in the clean water. Then I carefully stand him on the bathmat (which, of course, is soaked by now from any and all splashing and the forbidden throwing of toys out of bath, as well as any washcloths), and reach for his towel. This must be done all in one deft motion or else he takes off, looking for the truck he left by the side of the tub ("Tuck!"). No matter how many times I practice this move, however, it is far too often that I'm just not fast enough, and -- BANG! -- he's slipped and much weeping ensues. However, "oshey" generally helps the situation, so by the time he's all lotioned up, he's forgotten the trama and is ready to head downstairs for a pre-nap treat of "chee-chees" (Cheerios) with "oney".

All of this probably took about 3 minutes to read, but don't be decieved -- the entire procedure takes at least an hour. All for the sake of a sweet smelling fellow. It's worth it to have him all fuzzy and clean, but oh my goodness! Someday though, he'll be giving his own baby a bath and will call me up "Mom, you will never guess..." I'll smile and say "Tell me, but I probably can."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Andrew's favorite things, etc.

Favorite fruit: Mango (he likes different kinds of fruit, but only if he's in the "perfect" mood for it. With mangos, there's no wrong time to eat one.)

Favorite way to eat Cheerios: with honey drizzled over them ("oney?")

Favorite thing in general: Cars ("caw?") and trucks ("kuck!")

Best all around thing to drink: Purple grape juice cut with water ("suse!")

Favorite style of music: Hard rock

Best thing to do after a bath: lotion up like your life depends on it ("beebe oshey?") (there's a baby on the bottle, which is why he calls it baby lotion, and he insists on having me put glob after glob on his little hands while he smears it all over his "boppie" or belly.)

Favorite time of the day: when I say "Daddy's home!!" and Andrew rushes at the door shouting "Datty! Datty!!" Then falls on the floor with cries of "yah!" indicating the need to begin a wrestling match NOW!

Favorite name to say: Joel. It actually comes out almost exactly like the word, so I can't really type his translation here. He really likes my brother Joel a lot, but he also likes saying his name so much that he's decided he'll call Joy, Christopher, Rachel and several of their friends "Joel" as well. Grace, however, he calls "Gase" (but only when he feels like it).

Favorite time to give kisses: on his way up to bed. He often will refuse to kiss people at other points, but if you ask for a kiss when he's going to bed, he will usually grant that request.

Monday, May 02, 2005

7 reasons not to mess with children:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, " What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.
As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.
After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"
Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.
She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"
Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's
hairs are white?"

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.
"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say,
'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'
A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, She's dead."

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."
"Yes," the class said.
"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"
A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:
"Take only ONE. God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Catching up

OK, I haven't posted in a while, because my nesting instinct has fully taken over! In fact, I can hardly sit here and type, because I HAVE TO FINISH THE BLANKET I'M CROCHETING. So that gives you an idea of what I've been doing every single spare moment.

Brief overview of the past two weeks: Andrew said "Mommy" for the first time on Thursday, April 21st. That was a milestone for us both, because I've never been called that before. I've been named. Now he says it all the time! Yesterday he was playing with my sister Joy, while I stood nearby eating something (of course!). Suddenly he jumped up, ran over to me an hugged my legs with a shout of "Mommy!", then went back to playing. Precious moments like that make me glad that I'm a mom.

I'm part of two "mommy" groups in the area, one is MOPS (thanks Tim for the donation to our group!!), and the other is the SAHM Meetup Group of Watertown and Ft. Drum, which I started and organize. I began the SAHM group in August of last year, and we've exploded into over 30 members, and get together almost weekly now. It's so exciting, and it's really great to be a part of such a supportive, fun group of people who are all going through the same stuff as I am. It's all about the local support! (Can I find a way to say "it's again"?) I'm actually enjoying Watertown, as of late, and Andrew and I have been super busy with our social calendar stacking up around us.

On Saturday, we bought a second car!! Finally!!! I've been driving Greg in to work each time that Andrew and I needed the car for 1-1/2 years now, and it was getting very old for all of us. I am now the very pleased owner of a 2002 silver Passat sedan, which we bought for a crazy low price at Carlo Noce Imports in Vestal. Unfortunately it's a small dealership, so they won't have the car ready until Wednesday or so, which means we can't pick it up until Friday, when we go down there next. But I HAVE A CAR! That's just a great thought.

Sarah, I will post a picture of my Adorable Pregnant Self whenever I remember to have Greg take a picture of me. =)

OK, must go. There is crocheting to be done.