Friday, May 22, 2009

Family Fun in the Ozarks

It is Friday here in the Ozarks and it is hard to believe that the week is almost over. We left Houston early Saturday morning (6am!) and made our trek that ended up taking close to 15 hours. Abigail did well at first, but I ended up sitting in the back for most of the trip. She didn't like sitting in her carseat! I don't like sitting in the car for that long either, so I wasn't all that surprised. She was fussy most the day, so we breathed a sigh of relief when she finally dozed off towards the end of our trip.

Our resort on the lake has been wonderful. We've cooked up many a great meal, enjoyed time out on the lake, and gotten acquainted with the newest member of the family. Ellie is so tiny! It's hard to remember back to when Abigail was so small.

I am currently very sore. I did venture into my swimming suit and into the lake. I made two boat trip attempts at skiing but wasn't successful. I probably tried close to a dozen times to get up and out of the water. I swallowed a lot of lake water in the process. Perhaps it's my new mommy physique. Maybe next time. Daddy on the other hand has really done well skiing. I've gone out 5 times on the boat, and we even took Abigail out one morning before anyone else was up (to avoid big boats and waves). She promptly fell asleep:) She also got to swim for the first time -- which she seemed to enjoy. I think she'll be a water baby this summer in Houston!

We are so thankful for our family. It will be hard to say our farewells on Saturday, but we look forward to seeing the Hekel side next week.

Enjoying the pool with daddy.

Abigail has loved the outdoors! She loves to listen to all of the new sounds; she is sharpening her observation skills.

Having fun out on the boat:)

Friday, May 15, 2009

the spring flu and FAMILY!!!!

The spring flu showed up in our home this week, but thankfully, I have been its main victim. I lost my voice on Sunday, had a terribly sore throat and ended up with some congestion, runny nose and the works. Yuck. It's a lot more challenging being a sick mom, but I bet it is even more challenging to be a sick mom and have a sick baby! Thankfully, Abigail has been pretty healthy. I think she's fighting off a bug, but she's still sleeping well, eating well, happy and not running a fever (though she's been warmer than normal)...ah the details that are important when you become a mother:) I'm tired of being sick, but I "think" I'm on the mend. I've been thinking I'm on the mend for quite some time now, but eventually it will be true.

Talking to my mom last night, she reminded me that there were times when she would put our favorite movie on for days on end when she was down and out with a nasty cold. It then hit me: so that's why we got to watch Disney's "Robin Hood" to our hearts content (a rarity in the Hekel household). Funny memory...

The good news is we're going to see our family in a few days. I'll get to see baby Ellie (though I'll refrain from getting too close until maybe the end of next week). We'll get to take Grandpa Harms' boat out on the lake, Rodney will water ski in frigid water (ha ha -- we'll see if I squeeze my post pregnancy body into my swimming suit or not...), and we'll enjoy good time with family.

Then we'll get to see Grandma and Grandpa Hekel in Peoria - hooray! I can hardly wait.

Enjoy the pictures. I went in just to get the camera (the batteries were charging) and I was overcome by an urge to take lots of pictures of Miss Abigail. The urge strikes quite often:) I love how the morning sun hits her cute little face...

Monday, May 11, 2009

All things new

I love being a mom, yet it was very strange to celebrate Mother's Day yesterday. I am still reveling in the newness of motherhood, and I sometimes still don't feel old enough to be a mom. Rodney took me and Abigail out for lunch yesterday (Carabbas), and the wait staff kept stopping by our table to say hello to Abigail and wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Everyone commented on her chubby cheeks and big eyes and then proceeded to share their own parenting stories. It was quite fun. And we were even able to eat all of our salad and most of our entrees with a fuss free Abigail. It was marvelous.

We're also currently at a new church -- the irony is, more people said hello to us at the restaurant than they did at church, and we've been going now for 6 weeks. Christ's body is so cold at the new church, but the worship and preaching are exceptional. Soooo...Rodney and I are going to stick it out and maybe breathe some life into true fellowship. This summer they're having Thursday night dinner and Bible Study, and I'm signed up to help with VBS, so Rodney and I will take the initiative. I hate sin all the more now, wishing that it hadn't torn our old church in Houston apart and wishing that people weren't so self-consumed. But this makes me step back and say, "God, help me not be self-consumed," as I am the majority of the time (in all honesty).

The good news is: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 cor. 5:17-18). There is hope for the world, the Body, and for my my own heart as well...

And on a different note all together -- Abigail's new cloth diapers are in the wash. I bought two brands to try on Saturday (FuzziBunz and GroBaby) . I'll let you know how they work. Rodney and I are both excited about cloth diapering, as we're convinced it is the right decision for our family:) I'm so proud of Rodney -- he took a Jeep load of recycling to the center on Saturday and he painted Abigail's bookshelf for her room. I will send pictures of the finished product soon.

And if you check our blog early in the week, please pray that our munchkin won't get sick. I've had a terribly sore throat the past few days and now have a runny nose. I've been taking lots of naps, drinking tons of fluids, and sanitizing myself before I even go near my munchkin. But I "think" and hope that I might be getting better. My throat is wee bit less sore today, which is a blessing. Again, I am thankful for the advantages of breastfeeding -- I give her specific immunity to many diseases (especially ear, nose and throat).

:) -- So let us all pray that I won't have to experience anything "new" as far as sickness goes in all of my mommyhood privileges:)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Please don't take me out to the ballgame

Well, we've come to find out that Abigail is truly a White Sox fan (just like daddy). She was just so upset that we had to see the Cubs instead, that she could not settle down.

Translation -- Rodney and I were a bit too optimistic, and Abigail was upset by the loud crowds, the humidity, and being plain tired. We stayed until the end of the 6th inning. She cried (I cried in the car), and Rodney was left to sigh (both his girls had seen better days...). Poor daddy.
But it wouldn't be right to complain! We do have so much to be thankful for. For one, she sleeps through the night (and doesn't cry at bedtime). She takes good naps. She's a good eater. And she's meeting complaints;)

But it was a learning experience for us all. I think my little girl likes her quiet routine. But in just over a week, her nice routine will be out the window, and we'll be on the road to visit friends and family.

On another note -- I've been finding bargains. I recently bought a highchair, bookshelf for the nursery, two play sets and a bunch of clothes in much bigger sizes for very good prices. Thank you Craigslist!!! It's a lot easier on my budget when I can buy a cute lightly used outfit or wood puzzles for a dollar rather than $10 or $20:) And the plastic toys won't end up in a landfill. They will hopefully be happily used by several munchkins:)

This was Abigail before the baseball game -- I was entertaining her while we waited for Rodney to get done at work. I drove downtown to pick him up from the oil convention...

And this was Abigail this morning - happy as can be...

I love her cheeky grin.
These pants are supposed to fit a 6 month old! Are they supposed to be capris style?

I thought Abigail might be captivated with herself during tummy time. She was! It sure is nice having big mirrors in her nursery:)

The following video is an example of what I do when Rodney has to work late or travel - my little girl is so entertaining and also becoming quite the little talker (aka coo-er).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Big Girl

This week Abigail started sitting in her bumbo seat. She is such a big girl!

We have had a busy weekend here in Texas. We had a delightful time with our guests on Friday, enjoying the warm Texas weather as we grilled out. But we are finding that Abigail has grown used to the quiet life of her mommy here at home. I think she was a wee bit overwhelmed by the active 4 and 6 year old that desperately wanted to play with her. She's developed quite an attachment to her mom and dad already. So we have some work ahead of us to get her used to other people. It will be interesting to see how she does with all of our friends and family up north (who we'll get to see in a few short weeks - hooray!).

And we have had a wonderful time with Barb Becker, who stopped here first on her way home from Ecuador to begin her furlow. We enjoyed church on Sunday and our most favorite barbecue restaurant. It has been a blessing to hear more about her ministry in Shell at the hospital as well as to get to know her! She is such a sweet lady, and we are thankful for her ministry and friendship.

She wasn't quite sure what to think about the "big" chair.

Everyday, her head strength improves. She'll be ready for her chair in no time!