Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hodge-Podge of News

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already over. Matt and I enjoyed our visit to my dad's family in PA. Bless the hearts of my dad and Matt! They were troopers as they put up with two women on a seven-hour car ride (which by the way turns in to 8-9 hours with the pit stops two women require)! We had a great time eating and visiting and eating some more. I got a great recipe for pie crust from my Aunt Linda that Matt can't wait for me to try--look out for Episode II of SAHM in the Making! By the way, Dad bought Season 9 of "Everybody Loves Raymond" for us to watch on the ride home (Mema and PaPa have a DVD player in their minivan). My friends, that is one of the funniest TV shows ever to air. It's reality TV if you ask me!!

Matt rode all the way to PA just to get a cold. The poor guy hasn't been sick in forever, but this one really got him. First the sore throat (Tylenol Allergy), then the runny nose (Sudafed), and finally the cough (Mucinex). I think we now qualify as a small pharmacy! He's feeling much better now, thank goodness! There's nothing worse than watching your strong husband feel so bad and knowing there's nothing you can do about it!

I went to the OB again today. This is a landmark visit for me. It starts my "every two weeks" schedule of appointments. We're really progressing! I'll post a belly pic soon. It's getting big. Summary of the visit: I had my glucose test today--they drew blood, they'll send it off and let me know what the results are; I had to step on the lovely scales, but we won't even talk about that; they did a hemoglobin test and discovered that my iron is low--no biggie, just need a supplement; the doctor says Baby Sloan is growing at the right rate (aka "You're measuring just fine Mrs. Sloan); and his little heartbeat is strong and so lovely to hear! We go to the Duke Perinatologist on Monday for our follow up Level II ultrasound to check on the placenta. We appreciate your prayers regarding that situation.

In other news, Jacob has his first Upward Basketball practice on Tuesday night. He's so excited about playing. Santa brought him a basketball goal last year and he's wanted to play on a team ever since. We like to stay busy and think it's great for Jacob to be involved in extra-curricular activities, so we signed him up. To keep it interesting, his basketball season goes straight through my due date to Feb. 24th. So, hopefully I won't be accused of hiding a basketball under my shirt, or deliver on the court, and maybe Jacob's little brother might get to see him play some basketball!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Time

Tis the season! Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is this week. Here's how I know for sure...Jacob came home with a pilgrim project assignment. I loved school as a child and I love projects. So I immediately sat down to scour my art files and the beloved internet for some great ideas. (Just FYI, Family Fun is a great resource for things such as this.) The tough part of projects for me is making sure that I just guide Jacob as he completes a project. I would love to just do it for him. However, being a teacher, I know that projects are designed to be learning experiences, not just busy work, so today when we sat down to complete the pilgrim project I worked really hard to guide and not do! Truth be told, Jacob is a project pro. Here's the proof.

He was given the clothespin and the directive to make a clothespin pilgrim boy. That was the basic requirement, no more. Mrs. F did say you could make a diorama or write a story to accompany the pilgrim. However, this was not required and was for extra points and the coveted score of 4. Yes, 4! In wonderful Wake County, we no longer use As, Bs, or Cs. We have 1, 2, 3, 3* and 4. I won't waste you time with what they stand for...especially since it's not crystal clear to me! Sorry, where was I? Oh, our project pro! So, this is looking like a project worthy of a 4 to me. Sure we offered guidance and assistance with some of the details--like cutting the buckle of the hat out with a knife--but overall, this is Jacob's work. And I am SO proud!

By the way, Jacob and I are making these really cute, really easy Marshmallow Pilgrim Hat cookies this week. Check them out.

I hope you all get to spend time with friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday. Here at our house we are so thankful to God for the many, many blessings He has provided for us and the awesome things He has done!

Thansgiving Day Graphics

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

SAHM in the making: Episode I!

For all of those who don't know me well, this may come as a surprise...I don't cook. I've never cooked...unless you count Create-A-Meals and Hamburger Helper. Baking has always been my specialty. I'm great at brownies, cookies, cakes, etc. Providing meals however, not so much!

I am so blessed to be married to a great cook, who has kept our family fed, and fed well! But with the upcoming arrival of Baby Sloan and my transition to Stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM), I've decided I need to learn to cook. The idea of caring for my family and serving them in this way has never really appealed to me, until now. I told you all, this pregnancy has done crazy things to me.

So, I've decided that I'll cook every other night. Matt loves the idea! I've cooked some of our regular dishes, but I've also been online researching new recipes. We're tired of the same menu week after week. Yesterday I found Chicken Crunch. It's a chicken casserole that sounded so warm and yummy!

After work, I headed home excited about providing for my family and being able to serve them dinner. I got busy cutting chicken, mixing sauce, and crushing crackers. I had it in the casserole dish and in the oven in no time and felt so productive...maternal and wife-y. I fixed some rice and green peas as sides, and went in with my family to help with homework time while the Chicken Crunch cooked away.

When, the timer went off, I went in and pulled out the beautiful casserole. We got the table set and settled down for this wonderful Jennifer-made dinner. We served Jacob his rice and peas. Then I scooped into the casserole only to discover that the chicken was kind of pink. Hmmm...what's this? I cut into the chicken pieces. Oh, no! Raw chicken--salmonella! I was baffled...I followed a recipe for crying out loud. How could this happen to me! I just want to be a good wife and mother! How can Matt, Jacob, and Baby survive with a SAHM who can't even get a recipe right! Notice the rational thinking of a pregnant woman!

Thankfully my husband is calm and cool. We nuked our plates, and put the casserole back into the oven. After we finished dinner, I went back to that awful, mean, no-good recipe to see why it tried to sabotage my attempts at providing for my family. I read the directions over and over. I followed it the to the letter. Again, how could this happen. Then I saw it...the awful phrase, the culprit of the crisis--the recipe ingredients read: "4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked" Arghhh!

Notice the title of this post...for your enjoyment, stay tuned. I'm sure Episode II will soon follow!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veterans' Day!

Thank you to those who have served or are serving in the armed forces--including my fabulous husband! May God bless each of you for your willingness to sacrifice it all for my freedom!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I'm going to get real now, so hang on...it could get bumpy.

Recently, I've been dealing with some things in my walk with Jesus. Our family is blessed to attend a great church. Last weekend and this past First Wednesday, the messages really worked on my heart. Our pastors preached on priorities over the weekend. They spoke reminding us that God is meant to be first in our lives. Second priority is our spouses, followed by our children. Then on First Wednesday Pastor Martha gave us some great resources to help us actually place God at the top of our list. Don't we all need those resources to guide us? After hearing these messages I felt that stirring in my heart. You know that stirring...the one that means it's time to listen up and take heed.

Let me admit, I'm a little stubborn. You may not believe it, but God knows it. I say this because this past week, I've also come across some very meaningful blogs addressing priorities and idols. He knew I might need another reminder.

Faithful Chick blogged about idols and their interference in our walk with Christ. She wrote:
"Idolatry is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “immoderate attachment or devotion to something”. Hmmmmm. Do you have an “immoderate attachment or devotion to"…your husband? your children? your home? your car? your cell phone? your pastor? your favorite Bible study author? your favorite recording artist? your clothing/shoes? your computer/email? your blog? Or, the blogs you read?" What about TV shows, too?

Woah, lady...stop reading my mail! I have time to check/read at least 13 different blogs a day, but I have a hard time finding more than 15 minutes a day to spend in quiet time with God. Can you say idol?

Then I found this one. Her blog reminded me that these blogs can not only interfere with my time with God, but can also interfere in my time with my family. What a priority check for me. Doesn't God work in wonderful ways! He used my idol (reading blogs/computer time) to give me knock upside the head that I needed.

Okay, God. I hear you!

Blogs can be great resources. I'm learning so much about being a stay-at-home-mom and managing a household. I'm sharing with other women who know and love God. I'm being creative and writing. I'm creating a journal to share with our family. Now, I'm learning that time management is a new skill I need to work on. I plan to continue to blog and continue to read blogs, BUT I plan to be careful with my time. Time with God comes first. Time with Matt comes second and time with Jacob comes third. Blog/computer time comes after all those priorities have been met! God spoke to me about my priorities and idols--I'm sp glad I stopped to listen. Thank you God for working in my heart and seeking to protect the relationships that mean the most!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ailing Animal

On Friday night we had settled in, and eaten a marvelous meal of barbecue from a local church. Okay, Matt and I thought it was great, Jacob thinks slaw is "disgusting." But, I digress...I had settled in for a rousing game of Jeopardy, Matt was in the backyard throwing the ball for our 2 one-hundred pound dogs, and Jacob was in the dining room still pondering the spoonful of slaw he was required to finish before leaving the table.

Alex Trebek and I were well into Double Jeopardy when Matt came in the house to announce that Scout (my dog before marriage) was injured. Now, for those of you who don't know, Scout has a tendency to crack/break his toenails. So, I pulled my pregnant self up off the couch to go check on my precious Scout. I walked in the kitchen only to see him ferociously licking the injured paw. Matt pulled his head away to show me the delightful sideways pointing toenail that was almost completely pulled out of the paw pad. This was obviously not just a cracked/broken toenail. Being the great pet parent I am, I called our vet, got the emergency vet number, called them, loaded the big guy in the back of the SUV, and we were off...much to Jacob's great relief, as the slaw was still sitting there staring at him.

When we got there, the vet tech took him back, he was given some really good drugs, and the toenail was removed. (There's a story here about the free coffee offered in the waiting area and the really great one-serving coffee maker, but I just don't have time for it right now). They brought him back out and he was wearing the lovely e-collar to protect his injury from his compulsive licking behaviors. With much coaxing--really good drugs, remember--Matt got him outside and had to pick up said 100 pound dog and put him in the back of the SUV, while I handed over the plastic to the smiling office lady. We drove home with our drugged dog and got him inside to rest.

It's now day 6 of the e-collar (which can't be removed because of previously mentioned compulsive licking behavior and the fear of God the vet imposed on me of the possibility of a very scary bone infection). The collar has become a source of humor at our house. Apparently my dog is not nearly as adept at maneuvering around the house in an e-collar as Matt's precious Eva has been. Now, in Scout's defense, let's not forget that Eva has had much more experience with the e-collar having had multiple surgeries and recoveries for mast cell tumors.

Poor Scout bumps into everything...door frames, table corners, the stairs, walls, Eva, us, and we won't even discuss the dog door. He just can't seem to figure it out. Don't' feel bad buddy, some days I feel the same way and I don't have the e-collar to blame!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Second Best?!?

So, last night I got up for one of my many middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom (another pregnancy plight) and when I climbed back in bed ever so gracefully Matt opened his eyes. Oops, maybe not as graceful as I thought! Maybe he'll just roll over and go back to sleep...no harm, no foul! But no, my husband did not just roll over and go back to sleep. No, he reached out and stroked my face and my hair.

Give me a minute to swoon here!

In my middle-of-the-night genius, I could only come up with, "You are the best!!" To which I hear, "Second best." Again, middle-of-the-night genius, "What do you mean second best?" His reply..."You're the best!"

Swooning again and knowing he's more than I ever deserved!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Fall...of Halloween

For the first time ever that we can remember, Jacob was with his mom on Halloween. As we discovered, that makes Halloween so much different around our house. No excited little one jumping around asking "When can we go?" "Is it time?" "Are you almost ready?" No rushing through dinner to get out to the neighborhood before it gets too late. No pondering who takes Jacob out and who stays home to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. No Halloween candy hangovers. And as awesome as all that sounds...I missed it!! So, Matt and I settled ourselves in for some baked spaghetti (OMG--I cooked and the smoke detector didn't go off and no one died) and a night of handing out candy to the neighborhood kiddos. After we ate the delicious meal I prepared (don't you love self-promotion), we decided to head out to the front porch--you know, the beautiful wrap around porch that sealed the deal when we were house hunting, but has only been used twice--and enjoy the night. We loved that time without the distraction of the TV or laptop and really had some great discussions. The talk was occassionally punctuated by a trick-or-treater or two. As the night wore on, however, our conversation turned to the lean number of ghosts, princesses, and Star Wars characters that were coming to claim the unreasonable amount of chocolate we had purchased! At 8:30 we realized we'd seen the last little critter, which brought our grand total of trick-or-treaters to...8! Yes, 8! What's happened to Halloween? Where are the kiddos? Can they all be at the Highland Harvest Hallelujah Hootenany? Have trunk-or-treats taken over? Now, don't get mad! I don't think there's anything wrong with the church and/or civic organizations that hold these events, but I miss the neighborhood Halloween. Am I alone in this? Anyone else notice the drastic decrease of the neighborhood trick-or-treaters? How many trick-or-treaters did you have last night?
Halloween Cliparts