and I'm not talking basketball, or whatever.

This morning B and I came out to the living room to play, and there was a big red hornet waspy guy on the window. UGH. I can squash about any land locked bug without a second thought, but flying stingy bugs give me a run for my money. Flight overtakes fight and I am outta there. However, this one was in MY living room...how he even got in here (in OCTOBER nonetheless) is a mystery. I went and got the trusy can of suger mega plaster hair spray and a fly swatter for defense and moved the baby to the other side of the room. This sucker was going down.

So I sprayed him for a good 30 seconds straight. His wings were stuck in place, he was white from the cold, and he finally let go and fell over dead...so I thought.

Flash forward to thirty minutes later (after opening a good amount of windows and turning on fans to rid the house of the essence of herbal) and the sucker is crawling back up the window shades right next to me. Freakin terminator bug.

He is now squashed up in the trash can covered with a second layer or aerosol goodness. Now I must attend to the screaming squirrel, ciao


Baby Genius

Yea, I know I am her mom and therefore skewed in my opinion of her capabilities, but Brookelynn has done another surprising (and funny) thing.

You see, a week or two ago B discovered that she could scoot (mostly pulling herself with her hands) and almost full out crawl (She jumps her legs forward and then lunges ahead). Not a day later, she figured out how to set herself upright from her tummy. Today, she decided to start pulling up. She has kind of pulled up before (on my leg laying on the floor) but it wasn't a full out up...more of a 45 degree pushup.

I had her outside while I was putting up the laundry. She doesn't always tolerate the exersaucer very well, and she is much too mobile to be left on a blanket...so....I got a huge tub for her to play in. I figured it was tall enough to contain her and large enough that she wouldn't tip it (from sitting...).

Well, bad move.

Twice I turn around to see her crawling in the grass with the tub on its side.

I was impressed that she could do that without standing up and went on with my business.

Well, the third time I happened to be watching.

Turns out that she wasn't doing it sitting down!

She pulled up on the side and was gently moving her weight to get it to tip over on purpose.

Now smart girl has a nice rash on her face where she rubbed it in the grass...that's what she gets I guess =)


Peas please

So it's been about a month since we started ECing, and it's going quite well. I have changed 4 poopy diapers since we started...and she 'goes' about every day. This is quite nice since we are still doing the cloth diapers!!! I did decide to put her in disposables for the nighttime. To get enough absorbancy with cloth I had to use so many layers that it made her butt a small tower with the rest of her body draping down from the booty apex...uncool. Not to mention she still woke up soaked most mornings. I am on the lookout for a better absorbancy overnight cloth, but until then, one disposable diaper a day is better than 8! We still go through plenty of diapers (between 4 and 10 a day I would say) because if she gets even a little wet, she gets fussy and wants changed. With the disposables, she didn't feel when she was wet and could go three or more hours in one diaper. She pees about every hour, so we change often when I miss the timing for taking little tinklebelle to her teeteepot. Geese, I can't believe how different life is from 6 months ago...I never expected the bulk of my conversation to be about things like potty training, lol.

We still dry most of the laundry outside, and it's going well. There was about a week there that things came to a hault (and I dried about three loads inside) because of the torrential rains thanks to the hurricanes. It was nice and cool, however, and we didn't have to turn the AC back on until this weekend.

The (small) garden is growing well despite the cool weather, above you see the beginnings of a big boy tomato and a green bell pepper!!! We might just have some fruit before the frost sets in =)

Our neighbors (the Greggs) have some great morning glories that have snaked over our fence. There are definitely some forms of vegitation you don't want crawling over the property line, but this has been quite an enjoyable one. Brookelynn likes to grab the flowers when we are putting the laundry out. Speaking of our neighbors, Doug's father passed away this Saturday and the family is under a lot of stress planning two services (One in alabama, one back here). Remember them as they pass through this rough time. Lifepoint will be taking care of food for after the service in Tulsa on Friday, if you want to help let me know!

>>>The Brookelynn Update and brag book<<<

Brookelynn has been learning like crazy the past few weeks. She started getting up on all fours (literally, hands and toes) a few weeks ago...it's quite a sight.

She was getting up in the crawling position too, but all she could do was rock. She has finally discovered how to go forwards the past few days. Sometimes she'll move her knees forward (or walk her feet up under her) and basically fall forwards, other times she almost pulls herself with her hands. I guess it's time to get serious about the baby proofing =)

She LOVES her rocking horse that Grandma Antao got her, she goes crazy on it. We pretty much just hold her upright and she rocks like crazy. She likes to sit up and play now, and can even sit herself up from her belly. Once again, I missed seeing it for the first time (most of her discoveries happen when I'm looking the other way it seems...I glance back and all of the sudden she is upright or on her belley or something else new and exciting).

This is my little ballerina! You get to wear some pretty silly outfits when Chrystal is your mother!

She loves her toys, but the elephant is quickly becoming the front runner for favorite animal. She has a few other elephant things and she goes nuts when she sees them. I guess she's a Republican, like it or not ;-)

We tried peas last week for the first time. I am trying to stay away from all the processed baby foods, these were frozen peas boiled up and blended in the magic bullet. I LOVE my magic bullet, thanks M.I.L.!!! She loved them for about ten minutes, then she was done! Since then, she has learned to finish the whole bowl and she is actually getting most of it in her belly instead of ON it! She also LOVES to drink water from her little cup, sippy or otherwise. She typically drinks out of open top (regular) cups and it is quite a fun sight to see.

Pops (grandpa Bickford) had his 55th birthday this past Sept. 11th (yea, it can be hard to celebrate anything on that day I know) so we brought him dinner. Here he is with his two grandbabies, Sasha and Brookelynn. They are such a handfull =)

Welp, I better go do something productive. I've been trying to use this new card system to get my day organized...and I haven't even opened the box yet today...whoops!

PS- See pictures of Brookelynn and others here!


March of the Elephants


I was really impressed with Sarah Palin and McCain's speeches. I wasn't sure what to think of McCain before...I mean, I am about 95% Republican, but I wasn't feelin' the vibe with ol' Johnny. I wanted someone more dynamic that could really draw attention (and independants) the way Obama does, and here we pick this geriatric, generic candidate with a trophy wife. Who is going to cross party lines to vote for that? I admit, I was judging them on a very surface level exposure. Then he picks Palin as a running mate. That caught my attention, but only because she is a woman.

Now that I have heard all three of them speak (Mrs. McCain included), a lot has changed. I like how Palin laid it all out there, matter of fact, no appologies. I like how they all live out what they are speaking about. I still don't have warm fuzzies about McCain the man, but I am definitely sold on McCain for President. By that I mean he's not the type of fellow I would want to spend any time with, but I like what he has to say and I BELIEVE him. I like some of the things Obama has to say too, but I just don't believe him. Every time I see him speak, he is the one that is lauded...not his past decisions and future policy. Honestly, I feel like Obama is running for Obama, and McCain is running for the USA. I know that's what they are pushing, and what they 'want us to believe', but I do believe it. His life has shown record of this.

As for Palin, I am totally sold. Her record in Alaska is awesome, and she appears to do what is right without double checking with party policy or special interests first. I just came across a video of her speaking at a private high school graduation. Assuming that everything about it is kosher, she is presented as a born again baptized churchgoing believer. That totally rocks. She is also a little Charismatic, so heads up on that! Anyhow, check it out for yourself, it's worth watching if you want to get to know her a little better.

I am also impressed with both of their families. Family is a big deal to me, and it says a lot about who a person is. Cindy McCain, at first glance, looks like your typical second wife. Upon further investigation, she is much more than that. I feel awful for judging her on her appearance. She is devoted to charity work (even before the public eye was on her) and is a successful businesswoman. Both McCain and Palin's families have their fair share of issues, but they are all up front about their mistakes (unwed teen pregnancy, painkiller addiction...) and they accept the consequences of their actions.

Oh...one more thing. I love the attack elephant!

Anyhow, I am not the best for political commentary, but I wanted to share how I was feeling thus far in the race to the white house. Ciao!!!


Of making many diapers there is no end

I am proud to report that most the things I have started are going well!!! The tomatoes and peppers are finally blooming, so we may just have some fruit before the year's out after all!

The only time I've used to dryer this week was to finish off Barry's comforter (he sort of prefers a dry blanket to sleep with) and to fluff/delint the clothes on the cool cycle.
The AC has set happily at 80 and it seems like diapers are always hangin' on the line. I think I will have to put up another clothesline for days like today when I'm trying to do lots of laundry and it's humid outside.

Brookelynn has been enjoying sitting on her potty chair, but that's mostly all she does. She did poop in it again today, after quite a few false gas trips! No pee yet, we will attack that one once we figure out #2...those diapers are waaay worse ;-)

Now for some pictures-

Barry attacking the backyard...it's hard to see, but there were definitely parts that were past my waist and possibly past Barry's as well. Thanks to a push-weedeater, the Savannah has been tamed.

So BJ got married. He showed up, even if he was quite late. The wedding went well, and they had a great honeymoon. Made all the flights, didn't fall off the boat, way to go kiddo! This is my new sister (by-law) Jennie right before the wedding. They got married on a ball field, actually the one BJ played on through high school in Claremore. The gals got ready in the new locker room. We were actually the first 'team' to use it!
This is how I did my hair, kind of an experiment. Long hair is a blessing and a curse you see... theoretically you can 'do so much' with it, but I never know what 'so much' is exactly. It is a lot more raggity here than it was to start with....it was a long night!
They made ball team shirts for everyone in the wedding, even Brookelynn got a mini T.
While they were off cruising, I got to watch Sasha during the day. She had a great time with Brookelynn and taught her lots of cool tricks, like throwing her toys on the ground and hair grabbing =)

In other news, mom has been working on a new company to sell e-cigarettes made by Janty. They have come up with a new way of making the electronics that really seem to mimick the smoking experience without all the bad chemicals and tar in a traditional cigarette. Here is mom 'smoking' at Village Inn in Tulsa. That is really a vapor, not smoke at all! They have inserts for flavors or nicotine. Let me know if you're interested in tryin this out, I will hook you up with her.

That's it for now, Brookelynn is throwing a big fit. Poor girl =(


It's not easy being green

Or cheap, as the case may be.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, blah blah blah. I have decided to make some small gestures to God's green creation, the environment, mother Earth, whatever you want to call it. Really, it's more about the pocketbook than anything. I am not too hip on $200 electric bills.

Things I am doing already-
*Breastfeeding the child
*Started a (very) small garden. We're talking tomatoes and peppers. Hey, it's a start!
*Recycling at least the pop cans (lame I know)
*Cook most things from scratch (less packaging waste and processing)
*Buying most things used if I can (hellooooo craigslist)
*Cleaning with Vinegar, Lemon juice, and Baking soda when I can

Things I have recently started-

*Cloth diapering (and wipering). It didn't work the first time, but now I have better diapers and she fits them better.
*Elimination Communication. She has pooped once in the potty chair! We've only been trying for three days now, hopefully this will work.
*Line drying (when I leave myself time)
*Turning the AC up (I keep it around 77 regularly, but it can always be higher) or even off on the cooler days like today when I can open the windows.

Things I hope to do in the future-
*BIG garden
*Homemade detergent and household cleansers

Well, there you have it! We shall see how long this lasts =)

In other news, Brookelynn is still wonderful, fantastic, amazing, choose your favorite happy adjective....but she is sick =(

A little fever, a little cough, a lot of fussyness!

Doesn't look like infection though, lets hope it's just teething!!!


Larry Ketcher

Larry is a dear family friend of mine that has been hospitalized with heart trouble this week. He went into surgery tonight and is now in recovery. Praise the Lord!!! Many people have been lifting him and his wonderful wife up in prayer over the past few days, lets continue to do so as he makes a full and speedy recovery!


Good boy

Have you ever heard that a dog "knows" when an earthquake is about to hit?
Have you ever heard that a dog can "sense" when a tornado is stirring up, even 20 miles away?
Do you remember hearing that before the December tsunami struck Southeast Asia, dogs started running frantically away from the seashore, at breakneck speed?

Do you know that dogs can detect cancer and other serious illnesses and danger of fire?
Somehow they always know when they can 'go for a ride' before you even ask and how do those dogs and cats get home from hundreds of miles away?
I'm a firm believer that animals - and especially dogs - have keen insights into the Truth. And you can't tell me that dogs can't sense a potentially terrible disaster well in advance

Simply said, a dog just KNOWS when something isn't right ...
when impending doom is upon us ...
they'll always try to warn us.... !!