I’m doing things out of order today. This was last Thursday when we went to hang out with Whitney and Davey. They are exactly 3 weeks apart and much different sizes, as you can see. Also, I have an intense and strong introvert and Whitney has an intense and strong extrovert – as you can also see.


This pretty much sums up the usual state of our living room. Henry has wanted block for Gilead for months and now that he has them, his favorite thing to do with them is take off the lid and dump them loudly and then forget about them.

But what I REALLY wanted to write about for the {real} post was how I’ve lost more weight and how I feel so great as in, look guys, this is for real! I have struggled to lose the weight I’d been carrying before I got pregnant plus a bit extra. That bit extra was fluctuating between a bit and really more than I’d like for awhile. But things are changing! I like my friend’s status update from the other day: “Real change is possible.” Every time I’ve come against this giving up of certain foods thing I’ve felt it was impossible but that I want and need it to happen. I think maybe the turning point was when I recognized I couldn’t do it and I started to pray about it, even though it seemed like something God doesn’t really care about. You really can’t beat that method for not being able to be cocky about it. Anyway, two things: I have (along with sugar and grains most of the time) given up dairy. I know. It’s for Piggle and it’s working. He’s been screaming at least once or twice a night now for months. I’m telling you, the very night I stopped having dairy during the day, he slept 6 hours straight. I woke up in the wee hours next to a dead-asleep buddy fearing the worst. I had to poke him to make sure everything was ok. He was just finally without pain for the first time in months. It’s changed his naps too. Now, he sleeps for at least an hour at regular times during the day. No more 20 minutes here and there. Why didn’t I do this earlier? So, nursing moms: take this seriously. It might make all the difference in the world. Compared to that, giving up milk and cheese is nothing. The other thing is that I had a very real reaction to sugar this week that made me realize how not worth it it really is. I had a peanut butter and jelly pita for lunch one day and could tell immediately that the sugar in the jelly was going to make me sick. I felt weak and shaky (all symptoms I used to live with constantly as a result of sugar in my diet but which I no longer have at all) and had a headache and mood swings the whole rest of the day. It’s just become very interesting to me that when I’ve slowed down and actually paid attention to what my body is trying to tell me, I’ve realized food actually makes all the difference in the world.


Our bedroom has gone from being the worst place in our apartment and one in which I hated to spend time to the best room ever. I kept putting off fixing it because I thought I needed to have a bunch of money first and so I despaired. I finally took courage from Auntie Leila and just used the white paint I had to cover the puke green on the ceiling (which I put there thinking I’d make a room in many shades of green. Clearly I needed a tutorial first) and the leftover green to cover the bare tree I’d painted in black and which was depressing almost as soon as I finished it. I took down the dark green oppressive drapes, sanded and filled all the nail holes and touched them up too. Then we lowered the bed and put Piggle’s things in the corner and viola! It’s the perfect, calming retreat.

This is how the hallway looks now. I spent the weekend not only fixing our room but reorganizing, purging and rearranging all manner of furniture from the nursery because…


Kags has come to live with us! Hopefully, at least until December, but maybe less time and maybe more. We’re all so excited about it and I can’t even tell you the difference she’s already made in terms of helping me with our house. And next week she’s making Kenyan food for us. Chapatis! Yay!

{phfr} – It’s that time again?!

I can’t believe Auntie Jo’s been gone for a week. On Monday we drove (well, I drove) up to WI to be with my parents so I wouldn’t go crazy with just me and Piggle all week. Although I did have a few friends offer to help. Community is so great. So here we are for another day. I think we’re going to the zoo today, so there may be some great pictures in next week’s installment. One can only hope.


It would also pass for funny or real, I think. He was neither a willing nor a good model here, but the “pretty” part is the hat which I actually finished for friends who just had a boy. It’s in the colors of our Alma Mater (Wheaton) to hopefully tempt them to attend a football game at homecoming this year. Sigh.

happy. This is Piggle eating his first french fry. I’ve recently been worried that he’s not getting a lot of vegetables – this was not an exception in case you were wondering; just a way to keep him occupied during lunch – so I bought some jars of baby food peas and green beans. Did he like them? Not in the least. In fact, he gagged. Sigh. Again.

This story isn’t really happy, but it is funny: we’d originally been seated by the little waterfall on the opposite side of the patio but upon seeing it, Gilead became quite agitated and would not stop alternately crying in fear and craning to look at it until we were moved. So, waterfalls are apparently #3 on the Piggle fears list, right behind pool noodles (#1) and kong dog toys (#2).


Note: he wasn’t actually given any beer, so never fear. He just always insists upon trying to grab and take a sip of anyone’s drink.


So many things going on in this picture. First, Piggle is so very beefy, which I love. AND he’s standing in the tub, which you would think isn’t very safe but when he falls, he just slides and he never cries. He loves the tub. Which is why he was in there while I was getting some doilies ironed on Friday night so I could make a doily runner for a wedding gift the next day. I can’t believe I’ve made two gifts this week! It’s because I haven’t had to cook. I think I need to work on getting up earlier. I discovered that if I go to bed with Piggle, I can wake up when he does and feel ok, so maybe I will try to be better about that when Henry gets home. I just have to figure out a way to cook AND make things.



I said last week that I was going to participate in {pretty, happy, funny, real} and I meant it. Come hell or high water. And by the way, now that I analyze that phrase it’s pretty funny. Hell OR high water? High water is worse?

Today’s post will be pretty Johannah-centric. I apologize in advance. For those of you who don’t know, she’s my younger (and only) sister and she left today for grad school in North Carolina after two years of living near us in Wheaton. It was the first time I’d lived near her in my adult life, not to mention the first time we’d lived together as friends. It’s been a critical two years – which is to say the best, sister-wise, we’ve ever had.

So my pretty picture is of a tree in Lake Ellyn park under which Piggle and I went to sit after Auntie Jo left. I wanted to get a good shot of the lake with the tall trees in the foreground but my wide-angle lens seems to flatten everything in a scene like that by making it all appear farther away. I have a lot to learn about photography. So I took a shot of the tree above us. Today is one of the rare, perfect 80 degree sunny days in Illinois this Summer. I felt like basking.


My mom drove through Glen Ellyn three times this week for a wedding in LaPorte then back with my Grandma and Aunt Wendy accompanied by two of her kids: Gabbie and Micaiah. Gabbie, 12, stayed with us on Monday. She helped me with groceries, (and how!) went with Piggle, Johannah and me to the pool and made decorations for Johannah’s going-away party. We decided that with Grandma there and not likely to be through any time soon again we should take a 4 generation picture. Three red-heads out of four isn’t bad. 🙂


I promised Jo that, in the absence of Skype (because our computers are old and dying with nary a webcam in sight), I would post a weekly video of Gilead. I will do that, but I came up with a spur of the moment idea that I like just as much and will be easier to pull off, probably. So what you see here is a blooper from the very first “Daily Piggle.” We have a few of those from today. It was quite hilarious trying to get him to a) sit on the couch without trying to crawl off while b) holding a piece of paper and c) not eating it.


I took this last night after we got home from seeing Harry Potter. Piggle had his last Auntie Jo night for awhile and unfortunately screamed for most of it. He has evidently lost his taste for a bottle of any kind. This was after I got home and rescued her from screaming buddy. This morning when she came over to say a final goodbye – it feels like she’s been saying goodbye all week but it didn’t make it any easier – we both cried when she held him. It’s going to take awhile to get used to not having her. AND, this is coming on a most unfortunate week where Henry has to take a week-long work trip. He’s leaving me tomorrow morning! I know a lot of women deal with traveling husbands often but I hate it and hope that when he gets another job he never has to do it. Anyway, enough of my bellyaching. Piggle and I miss you, Jojo! Can’t wait to see you again soon.

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