07 April 2014

Hello Monday

Heavens, I've let this place get dusty again.

We're getting over our winter blues as it seems like spring is here to stay -- today's April showers of proof of that.

Today I'm saying hello to another work week. Trying to cram in many, many things to not enough hours.

Hello colorful spot on my desk and a love note from my honey. Did you know that Kyle and I work in the same building? Amazing how things work out.

Hello morning routine. I'm the first one in the office in the morning. Before taking off my coat, I make coffee.

Work has been quiet, and there are times I wish I was back at home with Sam. But the routine is nice. Our family does so much better on a schedule, and working and daycare provide that for us.

What are you saying hello to this week?

04 March 2014

...And I don't even feel bad about it

[Some days my living room looks like this, and I don't even feel bad about it. This is just our collection of board books, by the way.]

I recently read an article on The Bump about various confessions from new moms. Hilarious!

Some of my favorites:

"I am rear-facing my kid as long as possible, not really for the safety benefits, but so she can't see me eating snacks and drinking soda." -- Marsha W. I can relate. Sam knows what the milkshakes from Chick-Fil-A look like and I have to be all secretive and drink them in the kitchen while he plays in the living room. Momma doesn't always like to share.

"Once, when my baby was asleep, I took the baby monitor to my neighbor’s house so that I could get out of the house and have some girly time (and a glass of wine with my friend)." --Susan O. Yup, done that. I was closer to Sam sitting in my neighbor's living room than I am when I sit in my own living room.

"I teach my boys how to make armpit farts while they are in the bathtub (a life skill all boys need to have!)." -- Shelly C. We taught Sam how to say the word "poop" the other day. 

“I accidentally walked outside with one of my boobs hanging out about once a week or so. My teenage neighbors are going to be sad when my son weans.” -- Aimee K. Ok, I've never done that before. But, back when I was nursing, I walked around the mall for a good 10 minutes before I realized my nursing pad was hanging out of my shirt.

And, I don't even feel bad about it.

I'd love to know: anything you want to fess up to?

03 March 2014

Moving On Sale

Well, all good things must come to an end. And it's the end of the road for my little Etsy shop.

All items are listed for at least 50% off!

Spread the word and you could win $100 worth of jewelry (let me know how you shared in the comments).

Thanks for your support through the years. I'm looking forward to new crafty adventures!

27 February 2014

Rosette Earring SALE

I have a boatload of rosette earrings leftover from craft fairs and I would love to clean out a bit of my inventory.

Flash sale, heya! $5 per pair (plus $2 shipping on your first pair).

Interested in adding some flower power to your spring wardrobe?
Email me at laura.c.denlinger @ gmail.com

Kitties and Babies

There's nothing people love more than kitties and babies. Seriously, how could you not?

But sometimes, in life away from cute internet memes, kitties and babies can be a tricky combination.

But somehow, in my house, I have cultivated a beautiful relationship between cat and child. Well, it's part things that I did and part luck and magic and the best cat in the universe.

For historical purposes, here's a picture of baby Sam and his kitty cat Jupiter.

Aww kitty. Nice kitty. What you don't see is Sam's mouth full of kitty hair. Yea, that happened daily. But in general, things were pretty quiet.

Fast forward,and here is Jupiter with her toddler older brother.

Oh my gosh. Sam and Jupiter just laid like that for quite some time, until Jupiter wiggled out from Sam's death grip.

So what did I do to develop such a close relationship between my fur baby and human baby? Well, I have no clue. But here are some things that are worth a shot!

- Bring a blanket to the hospital, get it all smelly with the sweet aroma of new baby, and then bring it home to your cat. Let her smell it and get acquainted with the new scent.

- Let your baby and cat explore one another safely with you right by their side. When Sam was a newborn, I would let Jupiter rub up against him and get her kitty smell all over him. I wanted her to mark him up as hers (without feeling like she needed to pee on him). If he smelled a bit like her, I thought that would help her not want to suck out his breath during nap time.

- Be aware of what changes a baby brings to your home and try to make them gradually (as best you can). When we came home with Sam we were faced with a sleeping dilemma. Sam was going to sleep in our room for a while. The cat sleeps on our bed. We didn't want the cat to jump in the pack-n-play with Sam. We didn't want to lock the cat out for fear she would resent the little human sleeping in her room. So the first night home we just left the door of the room open, put Sam to sleep, and I slept with one eye open. Jupiter jumped in with Sam once, was scared almost to death by what she found (a baby), and never did it again.

- At first I would intervene every time I sensed Jupiter getting upset. And rightly so. I wanted to keep Sam and Jupiter safe. But as Sam got older, I paused a bit more when they were "playing" to see if they could work it out. (I recognize I sound ridiculous in that I'm writing about my cat and baby as though they are siblings, but, aren't they?) I watched as Sam walked up to Jupiter, stuck her tail in his mouth, and bit her. I watched as Jupiter got mad and nibbled back. I watched as Sam didn't like being "bit" himself. And I watched as he left her alone.

- Before letting your cat "bite" your son, know your cat. Jupiter has never bit Sam; she has only "bit" him. She would never bite him or anyone. She has only hissed once, when Sam slammed the front door on her, nearly breaking her tail. I know our cat well and have confidence in how she is going to respond. If I sense she's getting upset and it's time to leave her alone, we leave her alone.

There you have it, my not-so-scientific way of developing a kitty/baby friendship.

All this being said, I don't really like cats all the much, and some cats are just not very nice.

Mine is very nice.

When Sam was little and I was still nursing, Jupiter would jump in my lap and rest her head on Sam. She was smitten just like we were.

26 February 2014

The Season That Almost Broke Us

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. 
Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress." Isaiah 33:2

For those of you who may not know, I went back to work outside the home in November. Sam went into full-time daycare.

I was ready to go back to work. Ready for the challenge. Ready for the meal planning and crock pot cooking. Ready for carpooling and daycare drop off.

I was not ready for the germs.

Kyle and I feel strongly about full-time daycare. We love that Sam is part of a class. We love that there is an intentional curriculum and opportunities that we couldn't provide Sam outside of his classroom.

But oh man, the germs have kicked our butts.

Sam has had runny noses. He has had coughs. He has had short-lived fevers. He has had a mysterious virus that included 6 days of a crazy-high fever, a trip to the ER, chest x-rays, and blood work.

Because we share in our family, I have had coughs and colds. Kyle and I both had a crazy 12 hour stomach bug that had us begging the other person to hurry up in the bathroom.

And because we are special, Sam got hand-foot-and-mouth which turned into a rare skin infection that had the potential to be super serious and scary (I made the mistake of googling it). And of course, Sam shared his HFM with me. What a guy!

This season of sickness has almost been too much. The bills have almost been too much. I swear I went to the pharmacy every day for a week during the most recent illness.

Illness breeds frustration. It tries your patience. It has husbands and wives making rude comments about each others' work schedule as they try to figure out who should stay home with a sick baby. Kyle has slept in the spare bedroom to avoid germs. I have cried more than once at the reading on the thermometer.

But it was during my sleepless night with hand-foot-and-mouth where it started to make sense. I literally could not do anything to stop my blisters from itching and my mouth from hurting. I had done it all and nothing helped. All that was left was prayer. I asked God to bring relief, to bring comfort, to bring healing.

And that's when He let me in on his not-so-secret secret. At the end of the day, God wants us to need Him. He wants us to rely solely on His provision. To be dependent on what only He can provide.

So, for now we're healthy. My mom came to visit last week and Clorox wiped every surface possible. I am washing my hands like a mad woman. Taking care to ensure a few more days of good health.

But I am also praying for patience and grace and, in sickness and in healthy, an utter dependence on the ultimate healer. 

20 February 2014


We've spent a lot of days home with that little cow poke lately. Last week we battled another round of illness. I would have given anything for your run-of-the-mill cold, but no, we got hit with a skin infection.

What started as hand foot and mouth turned into herpetic eczema. You can see remnants of it on Sam's hands in the photo. It's a rare disease, potentially very serious. Luckily we caught it early. Also lucky for us, it coincided with snow days.

I woke up last Wednesday with my very own case of HFM. That night, out of desperation, I asked my mom to come save us. She flew in on Sunday and has been taking great care of us!

Back to work and school. Hoping we can stay healthy until, like, March.

How have you been lately?