Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Got a POOL!

Okay maybe it isn't that exciting because it holds probably 3 gallons of water.

I know it is the end of August, but I finally broke down and got a little wading pool. Honestly, it was probably more for me than for her, but I like to think that she appreciates my efforts and the new experiences.

Messy Eater

Apparently I like pictures of baby girl while she is eating and messy. Here are just a few examples.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I have a hobby

I like to bake. I mean really, really like to bake. Cookies, cakes, breads, muffins, it all just brings me joy. Joy and large hips, but I try to overlook that. Actually, I like to bake even if I don't get to eat it. There is something almost therapeutic about throwing all of the ingredients into my mixer and it coming out of the oven as a treat.

One of my favorite things to bake are cupcakes. I think I like to make cupcakes so much because I can make them look cute a lot easier than I can a full cake (but I'm working on that).

Sarah (who is showing up in the blog a lot recently) asked me to make cupcakes for a wedding shower.

I was really excited because it gave me an excuse to use the toy my mom and dad gave me for Christmas. They still spoil me!

It helps me to make a sheet of gumpaste or fondant into this.

And therefore make plain cupcakes look like this.

And here is what the little girl did while I was decorating.

And a close up so that you can admire her cuteness.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Help and other thoughts on Race

Whew, for the past week I have been nearly constantly mulling over race and racism and my heart. And I'm going to be honest, it makes me uncomfortable and nervous. It all started with this post : This is not really about cake.

I really thought it was great for me to read and my initial thoughts were that I need to start talking about race more openly with those of a different race than myself so that we can understand one another better. That was the end.

Until a few hours later.

See, the weekend before I went to see The Help. I wanted to see it because I had read the book a while back and really liked it. Before going I read an article by the Association of Black Women Historians, so i went in with what I thought was a critical eye. However, after the movie was over I was sure that those who had written the article had not seen the movie because for every concern they had there seemed to be an easy response.

What she (and so many in the comments) had said about the movie made it seem offensive and I really began to worry that I am so white privileged that it makes me insensitive and apparently ignorant. Which then made me concerned because I am the mother of a little black girl. Which means that I need to get it and worry, worry, worry. I mean, if I can't even see blatant racism, how will I ever help my daughter deal with it. I have really worked myself up about it all over this movie!

So I spent the next few days reading other blogs on race (because the one that I linked spurred on quite a few more) and basically I am confused. No one says the same thing. The only thing I could get a consistent reading on was that The Help is offensive, but then my African American pastor suggested it? UGH!

I was really worked up about it by the time we went on our morning run on Monday, so I unloaded it all on my friend Sarah. Her response was, "And that's why you are going to teach her to find her identity in Christ alone." I found myself arguing in my head (because I am incredibly stubborn) that the world is just so tough, it can't be that simple, or how can I teach her that when I won't understand what she is dealing with. But luckily we were dropping her off at her house at that point so I was able to just walk home with that thought. And really that is it isn't it.

No, I am never going to be able to really understand what it is like to be a woman of color in the southern U.S. I will probably get some things wrong and ignorantly be insensitive at times (although I will work my hardest to not be ignorant). What parent doesn't? But really, truly, the answer is Jesus. I can't find my identity in my skin color, in fact, these past few research-filled days have left me a little ashamed. So neither can my daughter. That would explain why my pastor and other believers who are people of color can endorse the movie. They are not so caught up in their identity being their skin color that they are able to see the good qualities and look past any insensitivities that the white writer and director may have overlooked.

I am so thankful for sweet, godly friends who help to put things into perspective. I am thankful that I do not have to find my identity in my skin color or where I live or anything but Jesus! I still want help sifting through racial issues. I want to understand. I don't want to be ignorant and insensitive (more on that later). But I am thankful that I have the blood of Jesus to cover me when I am.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5 months

Yesterday Karis turned 5 months old. I cannot believe it. On one hand it feels like it can't possibly have been five months yet. On the other it feels like she has always been a part of our lives. Our sweet girl.

She started off her five month day by going on a run with Sarah, Simon, and me. Then we went into the church office for a little while to pick something up. She had lunch, took a nap, we had a photo shoot, then we went to Central BBQ and Jerry's Sno Cone to celebrate Kenzie's first day of school. By the time we got home it was WAY past her bedtime and she went right to sleep.

About our five month old:

She is beginning to prop herself up on her legs. She is very close to sitting up by herself. Her newest favorite thing to do is scream at the top of her lungs. It is really very cute, although if you are close by it does hurt your ears a bit. She thinks its the best thing ever! She very easily grabs onto whatever she sets her sights on and then those things go straight to her mouth. She is developing an opinion on her favorite toys and sometimes gets mad if she drops it or you take it away. She rolls from her back to her belly, but seems to have forgotten how to roll from belly to back. She is a very good eater. She has enthusiastically tried every food we've offered. She has five 6 oz. bottles a day with two helpings of food throughout the day (although she's beginning to act like that won't be enough much longer). She still spits up all of the time, and with the addition of food, that has become even more colorful and inconvenient. Lately I have begun to notice that Karis is very talkative and interactive when we are at home or it is just us, but when we are in a new place or among a large group of people she is quiet and incredibly observant. (Reminds me of myself) Her head turns from one way to the other and she stares at everything with unblinking eyes.

Just thought I'd document that she does in fact cry.

As far as an update on the adoption, yesterday was the final termination hearing, so now we just have to wait for the 6 month waiting period to pass before we can officially adopt her.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good Morning

Kare is getting very good at waking up in a good mood. She usually greets me with smiles and coos as long as I don't wait too long to go get her (that sometimes happens if she wakes up before 7). Definitely for me the hardest adjustment to parenthood is the lack of sleep! What can I say, I LOVE to sleep. Anyone who has ever lived with me can testify!

This morning she greeted me sweetly at 7:30, but I promptly ran off to get the camera. The reason? This is the exact opposite direction in which we put her down. When I checked on her the last time before going to bed, she was on her back with her head facing the other direction. Little girl really gets around these days!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baby's Room

Since bringing Karis home happened so quickly, her room wasn't exactly ready for her when she got here. It has been something thats bothered me for quite a while. We are slowly but surely conquering it. It started with painting the walls. They were a pale yellow, but really needed to be painted so we did tan (boring I know) with one baby blue wall. I honestly regret not doing more of the room blue because I love it so much, but I was scared to paint the whole thing blue since it is a girl's room. Who knows, Van might come home one day to find that I painted it all blue. We do have a lot of paint left...hmmm...

Katie and I made letters for her name on the wall. This is so nursery cliche right now, but I just couldn't help it. I really wanted it there.

Aunt Kasey made her a cute door hanger.

And my dear friend Kat made the mobile.

I'll post pictures of the finished product when I take them. How about that.

Family Visit

Back in July (I CANNOT believe that it is already the second week in August.), Van's Aunt Karen and Cousin Katie came to visit. They were staying in Ripley along with Kasey and kids for the week, so they all came together to meet Karis.

In case you didn't notice all of the women in Van's family have K names. Just another reason Van knew I was the one for him. That and the fact that there was a Razorback room in my house the first time he came to visit. What more could he ask for.

Here are some pics of the afternoon. She is one loved little girl! A few notes as you scroll down, Karis, you will one day be as big or bigger than Caden and can get him back. Caden is 5 months older than K. Nana picked out K's bow. I think she's still a little small for the big flower, but it is pretty fun. And at the end...clearly, we wore her out. A fun day!


Zach's mom made some incredible salsa for their rehearsal dinner. I have an obsession with salsa, so I of course had to get the recipe. Turns out that it was a packet. Perfect! So, Katie and I decided to spend an afternoon salsa-ing (while watching So You Think You Can Dance, ironically) Get it? salsa-dancing?

This was our first time canning and I'm really glad we used a package for the first time because I needed some step-by-step instructions. But we got the jars.

Made the salsa.

Put the salsa in jars and then sealed them. (Not long after taking this picture we realized we were doing it wrong and corrected.) I must say if I want to do this more often I'm going to need a bigger pot or pressure cooker.

Of course I forgot to take an after picture of all of the jars complete and labeled!

Karis missed all of the action and the hot kitchen by napping. She's getting really good at taking a long afternoon nap. It helps me to be more productive and/or schedule myself a nap.