Tuesday, March 25, 2008

red hair

We have several redheads on both sides of the family. I personally have always thought red hair was beautiful and wished that I had it. Apparently Sarah feels the same way! She decided that she didn't want her hair to be brownish-blond anymore and that she would rather be a redhead! And she immediately took steps to ensure that this color change took place. Check it out!

Sarah and her new red hair...

So now there is another redhead in the family! You can never have too many, you know! ;)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sarah's Easter finery

Sarah picked out her own Easter dress this year. She loves girly stuff, so the dress she chose was flowery and frilly. She loved dancing to the worship music in church and watching the dress swirl around her as she twirled. Yes, we have pictures for you. :) (Not of the worship dancing but of Sarah wearing her Easter dress). :)

We bought Sarah a little sweater to wear with her dress because it's been cold here.

dyeing Easter eggs

Saturday night (Easter Eve, if you will) we had fun coloring Easter eggs. :) Yes, I know Easter eggs have their roots in pagan traditions, but they're fun. We don't let them cloud the true meaning of Easter, any more than we allow Santa Claus to cloud the true meaning of Christmas, but childhood SHOULD have some fun things here and there! :) We left the Easter Bunny out of it, if that makes anyone any happier. ;)

We bought a kit that had dye, a crayon to create designs, and stickers.. Of course we used all three! We took lots of pictures, so enjoy! :)

Sarah strikes a pose before we begin the process...

All the pretty colors...

An egg gets dyed...

Sarah draws designs on an egg..

The first batch dries...

All colored and drawn on and stickered...

Pretty, huh? ;)

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

natural remedies

I am very grateful for all of the wonderful medical advances we have today. I am amazed at what science can do, and I can't wait to see what the research of tomorrow brings us. I am fully convinced that God used a fetal monitor to save Sarah's life when I was in labor with her, and that without that technology she would not be with us today.

But I also think there is something to be said for some of the natural remedies that our ancestors used. The medical community acknowledges the healing power of chicken soup, for example, and we can vastly improve our health when we improve our diets. Food and herbs as medicine definitely have a place, even in our modern world. Use common sense, of course; natural is NOT synonymous with safe or effective. But don't be afraid to branch out and try some of the natural cures.

Along those lines, I have a couple of books that I use as resources. They give herbs, treatments, and recipes for various ailments. In the past couple of days I have had occasion to try two very effective natural remedies, and I thought I'd share those here. Maybe you'll find them useful as well!

The first one came about Thursday. Most of my readers know that Sarah was diagnosed with acid reflux at the ripe old age of 3 months. She has been on daily doses of Zantac ever since. The doctor also said she could have Mylanta when the reflux got so bad that even the Zantac was not enough.

When the reflux is particularly bad, you can hear it churning up her throat. Thursday morning she woke up in such bad shape that not only could I hear it, she could hardly talk. I gave her the dose of Zantac, and added the extra dose of Mylanta, but to no avail. Sarah continued to writhe in misery.

So I turned to one of my books. It suggested combining a tablespoon of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water and drinking it. I made the concoction and gave it to Sarah. Her stomach settled. Later in the day, we repeated it when she got bad again, and again the homemade remedy worked. So try it the next time you have indigestion or something; maybe it will work for you too!

The second "recipe" I have to share is for homemade cough syrup. Sarah's cold relapsed, and she has not been able to quit coughing. We've given her commercial cough syrup, we've given her Benadryl, we've run the humidifier. And still she coughs. So I whipped up some of this cough syrup, and the coughing has eased. It really worked! (As a side note, my dad used to give me honey and lemon as a kid if I had a bad cough, so this one really didn't surprise me).

To make the cough syrup, combine the juice of one lemon, a cup of honey, and half a cup of olive oil. Cook on the stove for five minutes (make sure you use a large pot; mine kept boiling over), then stir vigorously. Pour mixture into a jar. Dosage is one teaspoon.

Disclaimer: Do NOT give syrup to infants (infants are NOT supposed to have honey!). Also do not give to diabetics or those allergic to honey (or any of the other ingredients). Covering my bases here!

Sarah is feeling quite chipper today. ;) Very little coughing at all!

I haven't forgotten my promise of video; it is coming. We are also going to take pictures of Sarah dyeing Easter eggs, and of her wearing her Easter dress. Just stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the world according to Sarah

Sarah always has a unique take on things, and sometimes she amuses me with how she looks at something or how she chooses to express herself. So here are a couple of funny stories from this weekend!

Nelson is frequently on "sound duty" at church, and he is actually in charge of that particular ministry. Sarah has heard him mention numerous times "I've got sound tomorrow" or "I've got sound this week." Well, all week long last week she would proclaim, "I've got sound tomorrow!" So I would just tell her to do a good job.

Fast forward to Sunday. Nelson did indeed have sound duty, and when that happens he has to be at church early. So he has already been there for quite some time when Sarah and I arrive. We got there this Sunday, and Nelson was in the sanctuary at the sound booth while Sarah and I waited in line to get her checked in to her classroom. Sarah caught sight of her daddy while we stood there. He waved, and Sarah immediately burst into tears. (I think she wanted to go help him with sound!). She was still whimpering when she got to her classroom. Her teacher, surprised because Sarah is usually so happy, urged "Sarah, use your words and tell me what's wrong!" Sarah's response? "My words left." Apparently there just weren't any words for the emotions of that particular moment!

I attend a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Kingsport. This past Friday they were having a special Kindermusik demonstration. Sarah was sooo excited--two Kindermusiks in one week! Does it get any better? However, when we got to the class, she really didn't seem to enjoy it and she didn't participate very much. I was surprised, but I figured it was just one of those things.

We got up yesterday morning to get ready for our normal Kindermusik class. I told Sarah we needed to get ready for Kindermusik. She frowned slightly. "Kindermusik at MOPS?" she asked. "No, this is your normal Kindermusik with Mrs. Hawk," I answered. She looked at me. "And you won't be there, right?" she asked. Lol. Apparently, now that she's "graduated" to the next level of Kindermusik where you go without Mommy, she wasn't too happy on Friday to take a step backward and have me hanging around! So I assured her that no, I wouldn't be staying. She was content and had a great time yesterday! :)

One of the activities in Kindermusik yesterday was drawing a map. Mrs. Hawk put whatever the children wanted on the map. Sarah's request? Outback Steakhouse! She has only eaten there once, but apparently it made a big impression on her because she builds it with blocks and puts it on her Kindermusik map! Lol.

Sarah made up a bedtime story for me the other night titled, "Atlanta Bread Company, by Star Wars." ;) And never fear, we videotaped the event, so soon you will be able to watch her spinning this yarn. :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

on being a good daddy

In the last few days, Sarah has developed something of a fear of "monsters." She didn't want to go into the dark kitchen, for example, because of the monsters that would be there. Now some parents might matter-of-factly inform their children that "there is no such thing as monsters." But for a three-year-old with an active imagination and an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, that isn't necessarily comforting. Sarah's daddy took a much wiser approach. :) He informed Sarah that there was a monster shield protecting the whole house so that none could get in, and that he had also erected individual monster shields in each and every room. Those shields would certainly keep any bad ole monsters away! Sarah's whole face lit up with relief, and she happily headed into that dark kitchen, convinced that her daddy was keeping her safe and sound. Is he a good daddy or what? :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

multi-post day ;)

Yeah, I know I've already posted twice today, but I have had two very entertaining conversations with Sarah and I want to get them on here before I forget them! (True confession: there were actually 3 conversations I meant to post, but I've already forgotten one of them! So you can see that time is of the essence!). :-p

The first exchange took place this morning. Sarah asked me to twist the top off of one of her toys for her. I did, but 5 minutes later she was back, wanting me to take the top off the exact same toy! :-p "I already did that once!" I told her. Her response shows the incredible negotiating skills of a three-year-old: "But once means 1, 2, 3, 4!" she insisted. So in her mind, if I do it once, I have to do it four times! Sheesh! :-p

Conversation # 2 took place at a local restaurant. We ate supper at home, but decided to go out for dessert. While at the restaurant, Sarah enjoyed talking with the little girl at the table next to us (she seems to find a friend wherever we go!). "I'll come over to your house!" Sarah told her new friend excitedly. "You can't do that!" the other girl protested. "We don't know each other!" Sarah contemplated this for a moment. "Oh," she said. "Rats!"

yep, another one

So many princess outfits, so little time...

We went to Cracker Barrel Saturday night for a family dinner, a chance to just hang out together before the memorial service on Sunday. In the "general store" section, Sarah found this big pink box that contained a wonderful princess outfit. It even included a purse and a tiara! So her Mike bought it for her, and here she is enjoying her new wardrobe addition. :)

So now our count is up to 2 (or is it 3?) Cinderella outfits, one fairy outfit, one pink "Sleeping Beauty" outfit, and the new generic pink princess outfit. I think we need a yellow princess dress to round out the collection, what do you think? ;)

thank heaven for little girls

On Sunday of this past weekend, we held my grandmother's memorial service. Although the service itself was a lovely tribute to the woman my grandmother had been, it was still a sad, emotional occasion. We were all very solemn and mournful. But leave to Sarah to keep us from wallowing in grief for too long! Toward the end of the service, a friend of my mother's sang a beautiful rendition of the hymn "How Great Thou Art." When she was finished, Sarah burst out with "That was great!" Everyone heard her, and we all had a good chuckle over it, and the mood was thankfully lightened. :) Good timing, Miss Sarah!

In honor of my grandmother's memory, I thought I would share her recipe for "Sue soda." Now, it might sound strange at first; it's not quite your typical ice cream soda. But I grew up with these, and trust me, they're yummy! :)

Keep in mind, this isn't an exact recipe; amounts are up to you (and the size of glass you're using). Mom had these wonderful old-fashioned ice cream glasses that you would see in malt shoppes that she used. I don't have those, so I just use a regular drinking glass. :)

Ice cream (any flavor you like--mine and Mom's favorite is coffee ice cream, but I've tried it with several flavors and have yet to find a bad one).
Chocolate syrup
7 Up or Sprite

Basically you are making a 7 Up float (with chocolate syrup thrown in). So just scoop your ice cream into the glass, pour in a squirt of chocolate syrup, and pour 7 Up over the top. It gets very foamy. I usually can get a couple of scoops of ice cream into my glass. Stir a bit, just to get it to the point where you can drink the concoction through a straw. YUM!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

my very own personal trainer

I have never joined a gym nor hired a personal trainer. I know that a trainer's job consists of designing an individualized workout program for you, and also encouraging or motivating you to do your best and give more effort than you ever dreamed possible. No doubt some are better than others, but as I understand it that's the basic job description.

I don't have anyone designing a program for me; I have to do that myself. But I do have my own personal motivator, who won't let me quit or slack off. Who, you may ask? Yep, you guessed it--it's little Miss Sarah. I was doing my exercise video this morning. It's one of the Walk Away the Pounds videos (I like to call it Aerobics for Dummies!). One of the movements that the video has you do is side steps. The instructor says you can stand up straight to do the side steps, or you can make it more challenging by bending your knees (kind of like a squat) and side-stepping like that. Well, I was dragging a bit, and elected to do the side steps standing tall. That's when my personal trainer piped up! "No, Mommy! You have to bend your knees!" So thanks to Sarah's, ahem, "encouragement" I had a more challenging workout today than originally planned! :-p

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

funny conversation, plus some good news!

Okay, I know the above is a really lousy picture, but it was the best I could come up with. Full-size, it is the wallpaper/background for my computer. It is a "platinum" Pontiac G6, one of the cars that Mary Kay Consultants can earn. I think it's a classy-looking car, and I might be interested in working toward earning it one of these days. :)

Apparently, I am not the only one who likes the look of the G6! The other day, Sarah looked at the picture and said, "Mommy! That's your car!"

"No," I said, "it's a car Mommy might earn if she works for it."

"You should get that car, Mommy," Sarah insisted.

"Oh? You like it?"

"Yes! I'll give you money to buy it!" Sarah said excitedly.

"Oh, really?"

"Yes! I'll give you $100!" Sarah said. "Then you can buy the car!"

Lol. I don't know where she thought she was going to get a hundred dollars, never mind that it wouldn't be enough for a car! But it was pretty funny. :) Maybe I should get to work on earning that, since Sarah is so fond of it! ;)

Now, for the good news! Many of you know that Nelson has been working as a temporary employee in Bristol since late January. Well, he got his permanent offer today! Effective March 15, he will be an official, permanent employee of Aerus! Whoo-hoo! We're doing a happy dance here!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

it's not easy being green...

I am the proud alumna of Greeneville High School. Our mascot was the Greene Devil. Sometimes particularly devoted fans paint their faces before a big game. Perhaps this is what Sarah had in mind last night?

Okay, so here's the real story. I was talking with my mom on the phone, and Sarah went off to play in her room. When the phone call ended, I went to check on her. And I found her like you see in the picture (her hands were also painted green. As was the mirror in her room). Her reason for painting her face and hands? She wanted to be an "Aristocat" and leave "paw prints"!

Ah, the adventures in parenting!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"water" play

Obviously February in East Tennessee is too cold for real water play, but that is no deterent for a three-year-old with an active imagination! Sarah wanted to play in the water, so play in the water she did! She stripped down to her diaper, the took the box that her diapers come in and climbed inside it so she could play in the "pool"! After a few minutes, she stepped out of the box and wrapped herself in a blanket to "dry off." She did several rounds of "in the pool, out of the pool."

After she finally tired of playing in the diaper-box-turned-swimming-pool, Sarah decided that her tea set dishes needed to be "washed." She took a wash cloth and begain scrubbing them vigorously. "Daddy!" she called. "Come help me wash dishes! It's fun!" If only washing real dishes with real soap and water were that enjoyable!