Jul 29, 2011


Hopefully you have noticed my absence from the blogosphere over the past week. I have missed sitting down and writing every evening and sharing my views with you.

Over the past week, we have been visiting Daddy Drew's family in southern Missouri. It has become a tradition of ours to visit during one of our last weeks of summer and spend time with family since we do not get to see them as often as we would like. In our pre-baby days, we could make the driving in 9 hours or less, though now it seems to take a bit longer. We go kayaking with Drew's dad, antiquing with Drew's mom, the always anticipated dinner at Grandma's house, a birthday celebration for Drew's brother, Isabel's Uncle Steven, church, visits and meals with friends, etc etc. We have truly grown to feel at home in this tiny little town, even though Drew never actually lived here, and look forward to our twice yearly visits.

This year, the theme seemed to be lineage, heritage, generations... Our visits are so far between that sometimes we do not realize how much people grow, age, and change in a 6 month period. That, and the fact that now we are introducing our daughter into our family traditions truly made this a special visit.

Drew is quite blessed to have 3 of his 4 grandparents remaining. Grammy's mom is a very young 89 years old, though you'd probably be shocked to learn she was a day over 70. I love hearing her fascinating stories about having a husband in the service and raising a baby during the middle of WW2 - long train rides to meet her husband, sleeping in train depots with a baby in tow (who wore cloth diapers, by the way. Can you imagine??). At that time, men in the army were given priority on trains, which would often leave no room for Grandma and her baby. On more than one occasion, a very nice man in uniform would pretend to be her husband so that she could get on the train to meet Ben, her real husband. Her philosophy has always been make do or do without, and she keeps and immaculate, beautiful, delicious home. And her quilts - simply amazing. I can not adequately describe the perfect, tiny stitches she has spent many years perfecting. She is truly a special individual, and one I feel incredibly blessed to know and be related to, even if just by marriage.

We also got the opportunity to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Dodd while on our trip. I am so glad Isabel got to spend some time with Grandpa. He reminds me so much of Drew and Drew's dad - the mischievous smile, the witty jokes, the twinkle in his eye. Sadly, his health has been fading fast lately, which makes our time with him this week even more special.

Drew and I have been incredibly blessed with a strong, supportive line of Godly men and women to look up to and learn from. I have always thought it strange how our culture often looks down upon the old, when really we should be seeking to learn from them. The Bible says that grey hair is a crown of splendor, and that wisdom can be gathered from those with experience.

Do you have someone like this in your life? Are you blessed with more than one? What is the best thing they ever taught you?

Jul 22, 2011


Threadless.com recently debuted this new shirt with the Muppet characters that I am totally in love with.  Being a child of the Muppet/Sesame Street generation, this shirt stirs all sorts of wonderful memories in my mind.  I can picture myself in my bedroom with the bright yellow window trim and the old, boxy tv watching Ralph play the piano, Miss Piggy swoon over Kermy and Animal rock out on the drums.

My favorite memory of the Muppets?  A Muppet Family Christmas.  Easily one of my top 5 Christmas movies of all time, and if you know how much I love Christmas movies, you know that's a big deal.  The basic premise of the movie is Fozzy Bear takes everyone up to surprise his mom for Christmas... all the Muppet Characters and Sesame Street characters are there, and Animal has to sleep on a hanger on the wall, haha.The Christmas turkey flirts with Gonzo's chicken girlfriend while running from the Swedish Chef who loses interest in cooking him when he spots Big Bird. Take my advice... buy it now so you are ready when Christmas rolls around... or turn down your AC, bundle up and have Christmas in July.

And go ahead and buy the shirt for an early gift to yourself.

Jul 21, 2011

Safe, Happy Place

*Dear Readers, Please take a moment and enjoy this wonderful story from my friend, Kathryn, about her journey into motherhood and what motherhood is like from her perspective.  Kathryn and I met online during our pregnancies, and our children were born less than a week a part.  We have enjoyed this crazy journey together, and I look forward to watching Noah grow.  Happy Reading!*

Even before he was born, my son, Noah, kept me grounded through the best and worst events. I could not have anticipated the events that happened during my pregnancy and shortly thereafter. And while I have an amazingly supportive and loving husband, there is something all together different about your child - born or unborn - and your child's love.

After what seemed like an eternity, it happened. My husband and I were staring at a little stick that simply said "pregnant". I think shock, disbelief and the utter joy went coursing through our veins. It was finally happening, we were going to have a baby.

At the time we found out, we were in the midst of planning our celebratory wedding and reception. I would be four months pregnant on the date of the event. So now, on top of planning, I had another little being to think about and factor in to things - the dress, the food, the honeymoon . . . I think my stress level started going through the roof. But, there was Noah, tiny as could be in my belly, to remind me of what was important. He needed a safe, happy haven.

For the next few months, it was quite easy to adapt myself to being pregnant and doing what I needed to do in order to ensure a healthy baby. I made sure to eat as well as I could, get enough rest and keep the stress level as low as possible. That was incredibly difficult at times. As the wedding approached, I felt like there was a conspiracy to try and upend everything - vendors whose costs seemed to mysteriously increase, budget constraints, falling out with my maid of honor, and worst of all, a father who was trying to be happy about losing his little girl to another man in addition to becoming a mother. There were more than a few occasions where I just wanted to melt down. But I could not . . . My son needed a safe, happy place. I had to stay focused and grounded.

The week my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, I received some incredibly jarring, life altering news. My emotions took over and I sobbed. I sobbed uncontrollably, I could barely speak, I could barely process what I had just learned. At that moment, there was no safe, happy place. Up to this point, for five months, I was able to let everything roll off my back and not bother me because I knew that is what I needed to do. But at that moment, I felt as though my life was crumbling before me and I couldn't let it roll off my back. For a few days, I walked around in a haze, I didn't talk much to anyone and I just went through the motions of existing. I knew my son needed more . . . He needed me. I had no choice but to put my feelings aside and give him what he deserved . . . A safe, happy place.

When Noah was barely three months old, my father suffered a massive heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. In California. He remained there until he passed away at the end of February. I can't even put into words what that did to my life. All I remember from that day is that I left work, came home and held my son so tight and so close I didn't ever want to let him go. I cried into his sweet smelling baby hair and told him all about his grandfather as he nursed and dozed off in my arms. His presence gave me my safe, happy place.

They, whoever they are, say that your child(ren) change everything. It couldn't be more true. From the moment we knew he existed, Noah has been the driving force in reminding me of what is important, of what I need to do. Just like that. No questions, no arguments, nothing. Just, "Here I am!". Noah is my anchor, my heart. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jul 20, 2011

For Those Precious Seconds When You Have Time To Read

As you know, I am a mother to an 8 month old little girl, who is VERY active and requires a lot of attention.  I do not have time to read books other than Go Dog, Go! or The Very Hungry Caterpillar very often, though sitting down with a good book is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

When Isabel was born, I spent a lot of time reading parenting books when she was awake at 2 in the morning looking for a mama snack.  I honestly hope I never see another parenting book!  I love new ideas and new perspectives, but I have found that using my instincts and doing it our way is almost always better than trying to stress myself out by letting my baby cry in her crib or trying to follow a strict routine.

So, in the past few months I have been trying to find new books that peak my interest.  I have successfully found two, well more than two, but two that I am wholeheartedly gung-ho about recommending to you.

The first is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.  Set in the months after World War II on Guernsey Island, this book is written as a series of letters back and forth from an author to a man who bought one of her books - not a book she had written, but one he bought second hand with her information in the cover.  This is one of those books where you become quickly and thoroughly involved with the characters and wish so badly that they were real and could come over and have coffee with you.  Before I was even half way through with the book, I was already planning the next time I would read it, and that is very odd for me.  I did not want it to end, and I am very sad that the author passed away and will not be writing 100 more just like this book.  There are some very real, very sad topics addressed in this book, but it is so heartwarming, and so charming and filled with happy things as well that the sad topics just add to sucking you in and making you want to sleep with this book under your pillow.  One of my friends said that the letter format made her feel as though she were missing out on something, but to me, it made me feel like I was more involved.  You know how sometimes you can't find something to talk about with someone you live with everyday, but someone you see only once a week you can talk to for hours?  That is kind of how I view the letter layout of this book. 
In short, I give this book 100 thumbs up and recommend it to everyone.

This book is not a work of fiction, but it is one that will forever hold a spot on my bookshelf (my very full bookshelf that gets weeded frequently).  The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond, author of the amazing blog, Pioneer Woman, is a wonderful, feel good cookbook.  If you are counting calories, this is not the book for you, but if you like a few stories mixed in with amazing photos and truly delicious recipes, I hope you will give this a try.  I have made several things from the book already and have found them all to be equally delicious.  I have another of her books on my list of road trip reads - "From High Heels to Tractor Wheels".  I'll let you know what I think once I finish.

What is your favorite summer read?  Anything you couldn't put down?

Isabel and Her Kitty

We have two kitties. Lois is the black kitty. Drew and his dad found her in a ditch in Missouri as a kitten, and she has been eating like it's her last meal ever since. She once ran off with an entire butterflied pork chop. She really has no interesting Isabel at all, but she is snuggled under my arm right now as I type (sometimes she thinks my typing fingers are an invitation for pets... She's kinda crazy).

Then there is Clark. He was like my first child. We adopted him as a kitten when we were newly weds and nursed him through being sick one summer while we were home from school. He's a very sweet kitty, and the reason for this post.

From the moment we brought Isabel home from the hospital, Clark was interested. The first few months, the interest was more "What is making all this noise?", but it soon turned into a protective, friendly attachment.

When she was very little, she would inevitably fall asleep on our bed while we were getting ready for church. Clark loved this, and would always come and nap with her. We eventually had to stop letting him do this because he would get a little too close, but it was very sweet none-the-less.

There is rarely a time that Clark is not in the same room as Isabel. He sits on the dining room table while she is in her high chair eating, he lays on the couch or on the floor next to her quilt on the floor in the den while she plays. His newest way to spend time with Isabel is to get under her feet while she is playing in the exersaucer.

This is the funniest thing. She will be kicking away, bouncing, moving all around, and Clark just sits there, taking the abuse like it is the best pets he's ever gotten. Isabel will look up at me with a very confused look on her face and then go right back to playing and kicking.

Clark'e fondness of Isabel is so endearing. He'd be a super cool kitty even if he wasn't named after Superman.

Jul 18, 2011

Looking Back

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this evening.  I was doing a bit of cleaning earlier while Isabel was hanging out at Nana's house and ran across this outfit -

It is so hard for me to believe that Isabel was EVER that small.  Our first 3 months together were hard.  Very hard.  It seems like the nurse handed her to me crying and she cried for the next several months, though I know that isn't true.  I didn't realize until later that I dealt with a little post partum depression, and that, coupled with lack of sleep and a baby with tummy troubles was enough to have successfully made me wish I could have put her back in the womb a few times.  It was very hard to enjoy her tiny little body, and those awkward facial expressions and those tiny little socks - thinking about those tiny socks nearly brings me to tears they are so precious!!

And now, here we are, 8 months after my sweet Isabel came into this world and I can barely remember any of those sleepless nights or any of the stress associated with it.  All I really remember (unless I look back at facebook statuses or blog entries) is how sweet she smelled (still does, most of the time), and how she would hold my hand to go to sleep and rocking and singing and how much she needed me.  And I miss it!  Isn't that crazy!?

I had "dinner" with one of my BFF's, Rebecca, this evening and we were talking about how big Isabel is getting and how much more fun she is now.  It's so true.  She laughs, she is ticklish, she plays and communicates in her own little way.  It seems like she does something new every day and it is so much fun to experience a fresh life through her.  And occasionally she will still snuggle a little bit.  Every day that passes, I enjoy her more and more.  We have definitely come to an understanding and have learned more about each other.  If you told me 7 months ago how much I would love her, I would never have believed you.  Now, I love her so unconditionally and so thoroughly it's a little weird for me.  I can't even imagine that my mom loved me this much.  Totally puts a new perspective on our relationship.

I am so excited to experience new things with Isabel in the coming days, months years.  She reminds me that there is joy and hope.  And one day, maybe she will have her own baby and she will learn to love that baby unconditionally and will maybe see a glimpse of how much she changed my life.

Jul 17, 2011

Bedtime Story

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
- Emilie Buchwald

Being an artist, I often have people ask me if I hope Isabel is artistic when she grows up. I honestly do not care if she is an artist or in the circus, but there are 3 things I hope for my daughter. First of all, that she would love the Lord with all her heart and that she will use that love to be a guideline for the decisions that she makes. Second, that she would be genuinely happy - joyful even. And thirdly, that she would love to read.

Daddy Drew and I love to read. To us, reading is educational, entertainment, escape... It takes me to places I would not otherwise go and, I believe, makes me a more well rounded individual. There is so much that can be gleaned from reading - far beyond learning facts, reading helps to develop and maintain your imagination.

With this in mind, I try to make it part of our nighttime routine to read to Isabel. Bath, jammies, book, bottle bed. Tonight, our book was Noah & the Mighty Ark by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Santiago Cohen.

This is a very simple, yet lovely version of the Noah story. The story is written in a simple rhyming scheme. As a graphic designer, I appreciate the layout and font used in this book, and also found it unique and wonderful that some words are emphasized by variations in text size and spacing.

The illustrations are beautiful. Very painterly images that seem to go perfectly with the theme of a giant rain and animals on the ark. The colors are vibrant without being obnoxious and definitely hold Isabel's attention.

All in all, this is a great children's story that I will not mind reading over and over again.

Tomorrow night, I plan to break out the board book version of The Lorax that I picked up at Half Price Books yesterday!

Jul 16, 2011

Follow Me on Pinterest

I recently received an invite from Pinterest.  Have you heard of this?
As far as I can tell right now, it is a place where you can gather all the inspiration you find on the interwebs in one convenient location and share the images with your friends.  Really cool concept.

I haven't gotten very involved yet... still trying to figure it out.  So far, my biggest complaint is that it is nearly impossible to "pin" something from my ipad, which will severely limit my use of the site.  I am rarely on our desktop computer these days.

So, check out my Pinboard, but don't be upset with me if it doesn't get updated often.  :)

Mama Marcie on Pinterest

3/4 of a Year

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here's 4,000 words and some change:

Today, the 16th is Isabel's 8 month "birthday." I can not believe it has been 8 months already... Time is seriously flying by. To celebrate, we went to a park today at White Rock Lake to play on the swings. Here are some photos of our adventure.

I had to snap this photo fast because she did not want to keep these awesome sun glasses on. Gah! Isn't she precious?

Isabel and her daddy. They have bonded a lot this summer.

Serious Isabel. Thinking about those swings.

Isabel and mommy. Don't you love this smile? It's fantastic. Such a happy little girl!

Happy birthday Isabel! Mommy loves you!

Jul 14, 2011


Today, I was able to substitute teach at the preschool where I worked for several years during college. I was teaching in the 4 year old room and was reminded about the importance of play. I had a fellow parent tell me this week that they preferred for their children to have a more structured schedule rather than simply playing. To me, I think it is possible, and even necessary, to incorporate both into a child's routine.

“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” Leo F. Buscaglia

We all learn differently. Some of us are visual learners, some auditory, and some kinetic (learning by doing). For a young child, what can you do to incorporate ALL of these learning styles? Play!

The morning routine for the 4 year olds I was with today was "free play" until everyone arrives. Today, the kids were using huge wooden blocks to create a pirate ship. One of the reasons that I absolutely love this age is that they still want the teacher to be involved in their activities. "Mrs. Marcie, come on the pirate ship with us. This is the super long plank, and this is the hole where we drop food for the sharks."

This simple comment lead us to discussions about what sharks eat, what kind of sharks we had heard of before, where did the sharks live, what else lives in the ocean, what do pirates wear (one little boy was convinced that pirates wear belts), and so many other questions. Kids are WAY smarter than most adults give them credit for.

At the bottom of the photo, you can see the plank. This is the part of the "game" where they decided that the pirates needed a nap, haha. This was the bunk on the pirate ship.

Now, everyone can imagine up ways to play with 4 year olds... They help you because they are so creative. But what about an 8 month old? Oh the ways! When Isabel had her meeting with ECI about her slow development in sitting (she has completely caught up, by the way), they told me to make everything a game. They had me sit behind her and hold her hands while she was sitting and show her how to use her hands to brace herself if she started falling. All kids find that falling sensation funny, at least when they know mommy is right there to catch them (think about daddy throwing baby up in the air, bouncing on the bed, the knee/horsey game)! She loved doing this, and within days she was sitting on her own.

Now we use play to help her learn all sorts of things. Stacking cups help her learn colors, sizes, in and out, cause and effect when she knocks them over, etc. Bath time teaches her sink and float, wet and dry, etc. And if you feel comfortable incorporating technology into your play, the possibilities are endless.

This is a "painting" Isabel created using an app on my iPad called Paint Sparkles. As with most things at her age, the main thing she can learn using this app is cause and effect. When she touches the screen, colors appear and she hears music. She also gets to touch, feel, see, experience - not to mention see the pretty colors.

I'm not saying this is easy - there are so many times that I am exhausted and I would much rather just lay on the couch and watch tv, but play is energizing and mood enhancing - mutually beneficial for mommy and baby.

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good” Lucia Capocchione

Jul 12, 2011

The kitchen

All that talk about kitchens yesterday got me doing some online research about how to make a play kitchen for Isabel. There are some great tutorials out there and I totally feel confident I could make one of these (maybe with a little help from my Papa, haha).

Check out these awesome ideas:

The projects shown above are from the links below:

Create (bottom left)

Giggbleberry Creations (bottom right)


A Little Lovely

So, friends and family, will you help me collect items to use in creating this wonderful learning tool? When it is finished, I will post my own tutorial and host a kitchen party!

Here's what I need:
- a piece of furniture to repurpose (desk or tv cabinet)
- knobs, handles, etc.
- a round colander without handles or a large metal bowl (to use for the sink)
- Old kitchen utensils and small pots.

I wish I had a desk now! I'd go get to work, despite the 100+ degree temps outside!

My Blogging Goal **

I'm a "new" mom.

My daughter is nearly 8 months old. I have still not mastered diapering or bathing. I work. I have been criticized for working. It took me 3 hours to get my daughter to sleep tonight. She has a cold and I do not have the answers to make her feel better. She is sleeping in my bed, even though I will get 15 comments on this blog post about how I should not let her sleep in my bed.

All this to say, I am not a perfect mother, but I love my daughter more than life. This blog is not a place to come if you are seeking parenting advice or tricks to get your kiddo to not sneeze at the exact moment you get a spoonful of carrots up to her mouth. But I still hope that you find value in the words that I type each night.

My goal is that this blog will serve two main purposes: 1. To keep the Grandmas updated with stories and pictures of their grandbaby, and 2. To be a lighthouse to other new mommies - to share stories of my triumphs and failures and share my journey through motherhood, and to help you rest assured that you are not alone when you are up at 2 in the morning and everyone else in your house is asleep (including the cats!).

One of my good friends wrote on an advice card at my baby shower that motherhood can sometimes feel very lonely. I thought, in my giant pregnant state, that she must have lost her mind - my mother was never alone! How can you be lonely when you are surrounded by people all the time? In the next few months, I came to know and understand what she meant, and also repeated her words of advice many times - you are never really alone. There are so many other mommies out there doing the same thing you are doing! I hope that if you stumble across my blog at 2 in the morning when you are up for the 5th time and can barely see straight that you will find comfort in knowing another mom feels your pain (and it does get immensely better! I promise!).

And if you are a mommy who has already been through that state, I hope you can sympathize with my stories of my daughter falling off the bed, or letting her chew on a big pickle. I also hope that you will comment and share your stories and tricks and tips as well!

Now, on a lighter note: Baby toys. Anyone else cringe at the idea that play kitchens are marketed at little girls? Must we start shoving our children into stereotypes before they can even walk? I guess when weighed against the cuteness factor, the social implications aren't as important, haha. ;) So, here is a picture of my daughter playing with her kitchen... in a dress, HA!

** hopefully you did not notice and this p.s. is not necessary, but I took Nyquil about 10 minutes before writing this post. So, if it seems very... Nyquilly, now you know why.

Jul 11, 2011

Day of Rest

Sunday is a day of rest, right? Yeah, that's why I didn't blog... it has nothing to do with momnesia and forgetting... no way.

Here's one picture to tide you over til tomorrow - Sleepy head with her Teddy and cute pjs.

Jul 9, 2011

Like Daddy

As Isabel grows, her personality is really starting to emerge. It is funny to see little pieces of myself and of Daddy Drew in her. Can you see the resemblance in the photo above? Poor thing is too much like me for her own good already, but here are the top 5 traits I hope Isabel inherits from her Daddy.

1. His sense of humor.
2. His kind and generous nature.
3. His passion for learning.
4. His love for God.
5. His appreciation for nature and the world around him.

And here are the things she is doomed to inherit from me, haha.
1. Sweet tooth
2. Hefty thighs
3. A touch of the crazy - I really am sorry about this, little one. :)
4. Being a night owl, but otherwise loving sleep.
5. A love for music and singing.

Friday Firsts

We've had quite a few firsts this week with Isabel. I can't believe how fast she is growing up! Next week she will be 8 months old, and in the past couple of weeks she has blossomed into such a sweet little girl. I love watching her discover new things, taste new foods, and that sweet little smile.

This week was Isabel's first real bath without a seat in the tub. She absolutely loves it! It makes washing hair a little difficult for mommy, but seeing her splash around is so much fun for me. I need to figure out some inexpensive or possibly DIY bath toys so that she has something else to explore while she is in the tub. Any ideas?

I finally got around to installing Isabel's new "big girl" car seat this week too. It's huge and she looks super comfy in it. I thought it was going to be really difficult taking her in restaurants and stores without the carry-with-you car seat, but she's great at sitting in high chairs and shopping carts! We have a super cute high chair/cart cover and she just looks around and takes everything in. Even better if she has a baby mum mum to snack on :)

Future foodie in the making here, folks. Isabel loves trying new foods and new textures. My mom always said how much my sister and I loved chewing on pickles when we were little, so tonight after a desperate attempt to keep Isabel entertained and quite so I could eat dinner with my darling husband, I thought maybe a new distraction would buy me a few minutes to eat. I was totally right. I love when mommy hood works out that way.

At first she wasn't quite sure what the slimy thing I was putting in her hand was, but she can not help but put everything in her mouth, so that's where it went. And she loved it! She kept dropping it, haha, but otherwise she chewed on that thing for several minutes, allowing mommy to eat the wonderful steak that daddy grilled, and my favorite... fresh corn on the cob.

And just because I think it's insanely cute - Isabel and her kitty, Clark. They are fascinated with each other. He is incredibly sweet to let her touch and grab his fur and sometimes even slobber on him, haha.

Everyday I see more ways that Isabel is just like me, or just like Daddy Drew - poor child, haha. But having a kid gets more fun everyday. I am so looking forward to new firsts and new adventures.

Jul 7, 2011

Thursday 13

Tonight I had writers block.

It was a bit of an overwhelming day - new school, lots of new information, not a lot of sleep, traffic, etc. My brain is actually too full to process it all right now, so rather than a bunch of babble, I found a Meme (pronounced Meeeem, not Me-me, like my grandmother) that I am going to participate in.

The Thursday 13 - a list of anything on your mind

So I will list 13 things I am thankful for, in no particular order:

1. I am sincerely thankful for my amazing husband. He is funny, he is strong, he is a wonderful daddy. I could not have asked for a more perfect partner in crime.

2. I am thankful that I have fond memories of my childhood. I can picture my bright, sunny bedroom, laughing and playing games with my family, my numerous kittens, skipping like Dorothy Gale in my ruby red slippers... I hope that I am able to provide such great memories for my daughter as she grows up.

3. I am so thankful for Isabel. She brings me joy everyday, and I never knew that I was in any way incomplete until she arrived.

4. I am thankful for my wonderful friends. My very best friend and I have known each other since kindergarten. Old friends and new friends and mama friends... I am very blessed.

5. I am thankful for music. Not only does it soothe the savage beast inside my child (haha), but it always finds a way to match my mood, to say the things I couldn't put into words.

6. I am thankful for clean sheets. There is absolutely nothing like climbing in bed when you have clean sheets.

7. I am thankful for my mom teaching me how to cook, sew, be kind, be a mother, and so many other wonderful things. I appreciate her much more now that I am a mommy, too.

8. I am thankful that there were many, many people in my life that taught me about God. I can not imagine a world without faith, without that picture of peace and strength. I am thankful to always have someone to lean on when I fee I can't go another step, or to celebrate with and praise for the good.

9. I am thankful for my ability to read. And I am thankful for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Madeline L'Engle in particular.

10. I am thankful for food... Yummy, warm, sweet, gooey food :)

11. I am thankful that my husband has wonderful parents that raised Him right and continue to shower love on us.

12. I am thankful for my iPad... I know that is very superficial, but without it I would probably not be writing this blog right now.

13. I am thankful for my new job. I am excited to teach new students and also to be able to spend more time with my own little student at home who learns and grows in the blink of an eye!

Hope that tides you over until tomorrow. Looking forward to date night this weekend!

Daddy Drew

We've had quite a productive day at Casa de Dodd and I want to tell you all about it. But first, I'd like to take a couple of paragraphs and pictures to tell you about my husband, the Doddfather, as he is known by many.

This is Drew.

I have no concrete evidence, but I am pretty sure he is the funniest guy in the whole world. That's why I married him... Well, that and he's really cute, but I digress. His shirt speaks the truth... He is in fact, a science teacher, and a darned good one at that. He was once named "coolest teacher" by his students. I guarantee you I would have learned a lot more had he been my teacher.

Not only is he very smart, but he rocks the geek. He collects, reads, studies, and reviews comic books, and also loves video gaming. And if all this weren't enough to make him super cool, he is also very into hiking, zoos, nature preserves, etc. Quite the well rounded individual, no? His taste in music could use a little tweaking (ha!) but I can live with that.

The reason I bring up this awesome individual is to tell you a story about last night, with help from his facebook status and a photo of my to do list for this morning.

We were scheduled to host playgroup today from 10- noon. I like having things like this at my house occasionally because it forces me to clean beyond my normal tidying and sweeping. So, I made it my mission to give all the areas where our guests would be a thorough cleaning. As usual, things take a bit longer with Isabel around, and so I fell behind on my tasks. I am incredibly lucky in the chore department that Drew cleans the bathroom and the cat box, and splits dish duty with me. So I'm cleaning away, realize it's after 1 am, hurry and finish and make a list for myself of a few things to remember to do this morning.

This is what my list looked like this morning when I woke up:

If you're having a hard time reading this, he assigns himself the tasks of rocking out with air guitar solos, punching bees in the face with a righteous anger, and injecting Mt. Dew intravenously. He gave me the task of being the best mom in the world, but checked it off as done. (aw!) I love this. The unexpected little lol's that I get throughout the day are the best!

And speaking of Lol's, this one made me rofl, or even lmao....

His Facebook status last night:
Does it take anyone else twice as long to scrub a bathroom Because you have to stop frequently to rock some righteous air guitar? No, just me? *sigh*

(I should mention that he cleans the bathroom while using the awesome Bose earbuds I got him for his birthday last year to listen to metal.)

Anyway, he has made me laugh a lot lately so I thought I would share. Hopefully it made you laugh too, and if it didn't, you either need your pulse checked or You haven't gotten to know Drew well enough yet :)

And by the way, the bathroom is very clean. :)

Jul 6, 2011

How Motherhood Has Changed My Life

While cleaning house for playgroup tomorrow, I looked at the clock and realized it was 1 in the morning. This lead me to ponder the crazy ways in which Motherhood has changed my life. And because it is now nearly 1:30 am, forgive me, but I will use a list format rather than paragraphs with proper grammar. This, by no means, is an all encompassing list - simply the first few (and possibly most drastic) things that pop into my tired brain.

1. I am up at 1:30 in the morning doing things that I could not get done during the sunlight hours. In my pre-mom life, , if it didn't get done, it could wait for the morning, and if I was up at 1:30 in the morning, it was more than likely because I was doing something that did not involve swiffers, fantastic with oxy power, or any kind of detergent.

2. I forget EVERYTHING! Yes, momnesia is a real thing and shows no signs of going away any time soon. Experienced moms: does it go away?

3. I always have a paci in my pocket and a song stuck in my head (generally either Veggie Tales or Yo Gabba Gabba). The current one is "There are so many beautiful babies *something something something* now I will teach you something new. little baby bugs come from little eggs." - yes, it is as awful as it sounds, though usually I really dig the songs and find them to be quite clever.

4. Sometimes I don't shower every day, and generally I do not blow dry my hair *gasp*

5. I once went all day with spit up down my back and did not notice.

6. I long for time by myself every once in a while. I used to be way more of a people person.

7. I think 7 hours of sleep in a night is AWESOME.

8. Do books other than parenting books still exist??

9. My current favorite tv show is Yo Gabba Gabba and I am not afraid to admit it.

And not finally, but enough for tonight *eyelids drooping*

10. I love someone with such an intensity that it hurts! I would put myself between her and a bullet, I give up sleep, I have eaten every meal for the past 7 months in roughly 2 minutes flat, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm crazy enough about her that I even want more children! She makes me laugh, she makes me melt, and her little body sleeping next to me is a great comfort.

I love you, Isabel Jane! Even though you have turned me into a mom who wants a minivan and wears jeans that come up to my navel, haha. I am SO glad God blessed me with you.

How about you, mommy (or daddy) readers, what has been the biggest thing that has changed about you since you had kiddos?

Jul 5, 2011

A Moment in the Life of...


This evening after a bath and footie pajamas, Isabel and I read Go Dog! Go! while laying on our tummies on the big bed. My favorite part of that book was always "It's a dog party! Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs, black dogs, white dogs." She looked so cute that I had to snap a few photos. She loves my new old phone and has fun holding it. Book, phone, paci and footies... what more could a girl ask for?

What was your favorite childhood book?


Drew was a busy guy today. He trimmed the yard, Cleared off the patio, smoked ribs, blew stuff up with me and still was sweet enough to do the dishes. Jealous? I know, he's the best. My very favorite quote on The Little Rascals was Darla saying "He makes me melt like a Popsicle on the fourf of July."... and that he does.

Marcie aka Me

This was a very different 4th of July for me. I was telling Drew earlier that I think this might be the first year in my whole life I have not either been to a party or hosted a party. But I am not complaining. I had a lovely night hanging out with my favorite people. Drew made it really fun by having some fireworks and making me laugh. I'm totally content with wearing a baby monitor on my hip while illegally lighting fire works in the back yard :)

Jul 4, 2011

Thoughts on being a Texan

Though I have no concrete data or proof to back up this theory, I am fairly sure that being born and raised in Texas skews your perception of reality just a bit. Here are some examples:

1. I have been trying to decide on my favorite Patriotic song for 2 days now to use in a craft project and the first, and then only, song that pops into my head is "The stars at night, are big and bright *clap clap clap clap* Deep in the heart of Texas!" I suppose by all standards, this is a patriotic song, though I was hoping for something a little more national given our current holiday.

2. The phrase "everything is bigger in Texas"... For all of you "foreigners," this is not true and I am curious who started and perpetuated this false claim.

3. No one thinks it is odd when the forecast for the next 7 days is over 103 degrees.

4. Driving through the country yesterday on the way to a family Independence day celebration, I saw a man on a riding lawn mower wearing shorts and a cowboy hat and did not really think it was unusual.

5. People get very touchy when discussing who has been in Texas longer. I was born and raised here and did not leave Texas's funny shaped border until I was about 13.

6. I have literally been asked before if I rode a horse to school. (For the record, I live in a very metropolitan area, went to school on the 11th floor of a building in downtown and rode in a CAR to school).

7. 90 degrees is considered to be a cold front, and it is not unusual to see someone wearing a coat when it gets down to 70.

8. It takes just as long to get to the beach in south Texas or the "mountains" in west Texas as it does to get to my husband's family in Missouri - two states away.

9. Have you ever heard of a state that discusses Seceding from the union so flippantly? In fact, while google searching to figure out how to spell "secede," I ran across an article entitled "Why Texas Will (Eventually) Secede from the Union." I did not take the time to read it, though I am a bit curious.

10. We are the only state (to my limited knowledge) that is allowed to fly our flag as high as the US flag - that right there will give you a big head, right?

I am proud to claim my heritage as "Texan" and I have to admit at for a very long time I was completely opposed to the idea of ever living somewhere else, but upon examination, I believe that all Texans, especially native Texans, are a bit odd - myself included. My poor daughter has no idea what kind of crazy I have passed down to her :)

Jul 3, 2011

3rd of July

We had a great time this evening out at Mike and Cissy's house celebrating independence day with family I haven't seen in quite a while. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few:

I'm not sure if there ever was a child that was loved more than Isabel. She has several generations fawning over here anywhere we go.

Grace and Annabel were quite the fisher.... women tonight. They each caught at least one.

Me and my girl. Don't you love the bow? I made it!

Mike put on a great fireworks show. Isabel was scared, so she hung out inside with Meme, but Annabel and I loved it! Already looking forward to next year! I think I have gained 5 pounds already tonight eating the cookies Meme brought (and sent home with me). Excuse me, I must go eat more cookies. Goodnight!

Jul 2, 2011

Tidy homes

One of my goals today was to spend some time cleaning house. Not only is it pretty disgusting right now since I have been so busy this week, but we are also hosting play group on Wednesday and I would be thoroughly embarrassed for people to witness my house the way it is right now (bff's excluded in previous statement). Of course, on the day I truly need to be able to spend time working on the house, Isabel takes one 30 minute nap the entire day!!

But I suppose that is ok. I'm sure you have heard the quote that says something along the lines of "A spotless home is the sign of a misspent life.". Well, obviously no misspent lives over here... At least for that reason.

This statement holds a lot of truth, though maybe I find it to be a bit over general. Isabel is now 7 3/4 months old, and the time has flown by incredibly fast - light speed. On the days when I have nothing to do other than clean, and she needs my attention, should I not revel in that? There will be a day that comes far too quickly when she thinks she doesn't need me anymore, so for now, I will enjoy the fact that she would much rather me be down on the floor playing with her than sweeping and mopping. And to be honest, I would much rather be playing too, though it is sometimes hard to forget about those responsibilities when you can not sit on the couch because of two weeks worth of unfolded laundry.

There is another quote along these same lines that I have always found very endearing. I says something like "Quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." I thought of this earlier when Isabel fell asleep on my shoulder. This is a rare occurrence these days, and it was very hard for me to put her in bed after only a few minutes of cuddling.

So, cleaning will wait for tomorrow, and today, I will play.

Jul 1, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba!

I have given myself the challenge of blogging everyday. Not only to make a record of our life, but also I think it is a good avenue for self reflection and discovery. That, however, is WAY too deep of an introduction to the topic of the blog today...

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Have you seen this show? I would venture to say that it is the best show for tiny tots currently on the air. Isabel loves it, and I am oddly drawn to it.

The basic premise of the show is DJ Lance Rock has 5 toys that magically come to life and teach little ones all sorts of great things (shapes, colors, sharing, manners, taking turns, etc etc) through song, dance, crazy cartoons and other bits. There is Mooney, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, and Plex, along with many many dancing children, various bands and various famous people (we are watching the 1st season and so far we have seen Elijah Wood and Nacho Libre's side kick).

Now, let me take a moment to say that I do not let Isabel watch tv lightly... I do not use tv as a babysitter or think that tv replaces my responsibility to teach her. However, as every mom knows, there gets to be a point that if there is not a distraction, both mommy and baby will completely lose it, haha. And that is when we pull out the iPad and watch half an episode or so. And Isabel is completely entranced by this show. When DJ Lance comes on the screen, she gets a huge smile on her faced. It is hilarious.

I'm thinking Drew and Isabel need to be DJ Lance and Foofa for Halloween. Haha. Oh man, I am laughing just thinking about that picture. Someone on Etsy made it for her husband and daughter. I love it. Do you think Drew would go for it?? Yeah, I don't think so either.

Or maybe we need to have a Yo Gabba Gabba birthday party and make this cake.

I know, I am getting carried away. But honestly this show is great. I have been singing "snacky snack snack. Snack. Snack." for days now, haha. Maybe mommy likes it more than Isabel, but she does really love it. Don't judge us :)