Serious Posts Vs. Easy Reads

Do you ever notice that light, easy-read type posts generate alot more comments than the posts that are more thought-provoking or professional pieces?

I recently read a post by another blogger about how serious posts are far less popular than light posts on her blog, if you are judging popularity by the amount of comments received.

I've noticed the same thing on my blog. If you've been blogging for any length of time, and have written both serious and light-hearted posts, I'm sure you have noticed the same thing.

Why is that, do you think?

The writer of the post I read suggested that it's much easier to "skim" those light, easy-to-read posts. You can't quickly skim through a really in-depth post and make an intelligent comment.

I agree with that - it's all about time. It takes much less time to comment on a "fluffy" post than a "heavy" post.

But then I wonder, why don't we take the time to really read the posts that might change our view point, or encourage us, or make us think? Why don't we take the time to think of an intelligent response to challenge or encourage the person who wrote the post?

Sometimes it's easier not to think. Sometimes it's easier just to "skim" those easy-read posts and be entertained, rather than to read and evaluate deeper posts and possibly be challenged.

I'm guilty of reading posts that way. It's so much easier to choose the entertainment route when reading blogs. And when writing them.

Honestly though, the posts that really matter and make a difference are not the ones about how amazing my dessert was, or what I bought at the mall this week, or what I'm wearing for Easter (though I will still be writing those posts - because they are fun to read and write!).

But the posts that really make a difference in my little corner of the blog world are the ones that took thought and effort and time for me to write.

The posts that I read on other blogs that really make a difference to me are the ones that take thought and effort and time to read.

And it's worth the thought and effort, if we'll just take the time.

Read Anything Good Lately?

I just finished Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

It was a good book - I can see why so many girls have recommended it to me! I enjoyed it.

But now I'm in need of a new book. I have pretty wide reading tastes - I like mysteries, historical fiction, suspense, Christian romance and chick-lit, classics (and of course non-fiction too, but I'm just referring to fiction at the moment). It just depends on what I'm in the mood for.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm in the mood for right now though. I think I'd like a light read, just as a change of pace, but I don't really have any possibilities in my possession at the moment. I think a trip to the library is in order.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What are you all reading these days?

Rolling Over

Wyatt rolled over for the first time on Sunday!

We had him on the floor for tummy time, and he just pushed himself right over onto his back. He did it several times after that, so I knew it wasn't just an accident. He can't go from his back to his stomach yet, but it looks like he tries to.

He can also raise his chest off the floor by pushing up with his arms. He can raise his head to 90 degrees when on his stomach too, and he can support some of his weight when we hold him up on his feet. He is such a strong little guy.

Can you tell I'm a proud mama?

He is getting really good at doing crawling motions with his legs. When I put him on his stomach he starts pumping his legs like crazy.

I think we may have an early crawler on our hands! I'll keep you posted.

P.S. I didn't have a picture of him during tummy time, and I didn't have time to take one before posting this - so this is just a picture of him being generally cute.

Random Household Tips

Did you know that you can tell whether an egg is bad or not by shaking it? Shake the egg and if you can feel something swishing around inside, it's no good. If you can't feel anything, you can eat it. I learned this one from Derek, who got it from a chef friend of his.

Comet isn't just for sinks. It works wonders on old linoleum floors.

Petroleum jelly works fabulously as a diaper cream. Thanks for the tip, Mom.

Funny smell in the kitchen? Common culprits in my kitchen are old food in the back corner of the fridge, the sponge, and potatoes that are past their prime.

A little hand soap and water can get out almost any stain if you apply it right away.

Oatmeal and water is my favorite facial scrub. Even better when you add a little brown sugar in with it (yes, it sounds like breakfast, but trust me - it'll make your face feel wonderful).

There you go - Callie's random "helpful hints" of the day.

Fitness Update - Oh, The Flab


That would be the word to describe my stomach right now.

It doesn't look so bad when I'm standing up. That's one of the benefits of having a long torso. But when I sit down, I have a nice little roll of left over pregnancy flab. I've been doing workouts for three weeks trying to get rid of it, and it just seems to be getting worse.

It's a little depressing.

Granted, I haven't been eating all that well. There is way too much sugar in my diet right now. When I was pregnant with Wyatt I mostly wanted to eat healthy and/or salty things, but I guess now that I'm not pregnant anymore, the long lost sweet tooth has made a reappearance.

When I wanted to get in better shape before pregnancy, I would know how I was doing by what the scale said. If I gained a pound, I'd know to lay off of the smothered burritos. If I lost a pound, I'd know the salad I ate for lunch worked like a charm.

But somehow, someway, I actually weigh less than when I got pregnant (don't ask me how - all those extra calories I'm allowed to eat right now that I don't end up eating I guess). But the flabbiness remains. So the scale really isn't a good indicator of what kind of shape I'm in right now.

And honestly, I'm lacking motivation. It's hard to stay motivated when there's no good indicator of improvement.

Enter the blog post on fitness and the tape measure. Blogland can be a great source of motivation, and I figure a better way to determine how I'm doing is measuring my stomach at it's thickest point. Maybe if I can see the inches going away little by little, I'll have more motivation to keep going.

Now I know my stomach will probably never be as flat as it was before I had Wyatt - but there is a decent amount of pinch-able fatty tissue that I think I can lose. I just need to work at it. I want to look decent in my swimsuit this summer.

So here is the summary for the past week:

Inches around my stomach: 33.
Workouts: 4. But admittedly I wasn't really giving it all I've got.
Diet: Not so good. Way too much fudge and candy. I'm going to do better.

So, any suggestions for good lower abdominal exercises? Good workout videos (no time to go to the gym - I have to sneak in workouts during naptime)?

Wondering Why

Sometimes I just don't understand.

I've asked myself this question a million times - first from a broken heart because of my own fertility problems, and now from a breaking heart for dear friends who have been going through the same thing.

Why do some people who don't want their babies, and who won't love their babies, get pregnant at the drop of a hat, while godly, Christian couples who have prayed and longed for a baby can't get pregnant?

In theory, I know the answer. God can use these situations to reach others for Him, He can teach us lessons we never would have learned otherwise, He sees the big picture, we can see only a part of it. I know all this with my head. And in my heart I know and I believe that God is good and just, even though it may not seem fair.

But I think there will always be a little part of my heart that doesn't understand. Because I see so many friends who are trying for a baby, and they can't have one. And I don't understand why the Lord doesn't grant them that blessing, when they've done everything His way, and are continuing to try to do things right.

My heart breaks for those I know who are trying for their little blessings. And it's especially hard to see, because really there is nothing I can do.

Nothing except pray. When I mentioned to my mom my heartache because there is nothing I can do except pray for these dear friends, she responded by saying "Praying is the most powerful thing you can do, Callie."

I replied that sometimes prayer doesn't feel powerful. I've been praying for months and months, and nothing seems to change.

Of course I know with my head that prayer is the most powerful thing. But my deceptive heart doesn't always believe it.

You know what's amazing? When I start to lose heart in my prayer life, the Lord always finds a way to give me a glimmer of hope. That's what happened this past week as I found out that two ladies who were on my baby prayer list are pregnant.

I know prayer is powerful.

I know God is just and good.

I know there is always a reason.

I know that I may not always understand, but I'll continue to trust Him and believe that He has a plan that is so much better than what I can understand.

That, after all, is what faith is.

P.S. I seriously do have a prayer list of lovely ladies who are trying to get pregnant. If I know you are trying, rest assured that you are on it, and I'm praying for you - and I'll continue to pray for you until I hear the happy news! If I don't know you are trying, I would love to pray for you as well - just shoot me an e-mail saying you want to be on the list, and I'll know what you're talking about. It gives me a thrill when I can write a P.T.L. after one of your names!

Newborn Photos!

The first of the newborn pictures are in!

We had a newborn session with my aunt when Wyatt was a week old. I think she did an amazing job! It's such a blessing to have a photographer in the family!

If any of you are in my area and are interested in having her do a session, please contact me and I'll be more than happy to give you her information!

It was so hard to choose which photos to upload, because I loved so many of them! So you're going to get a major picture overload. Just warning you now. Here are some of my favorites.


Somebody's Got To Do It

I was trying to figure out what to post for today. I'm afraid I didn't have anything prepared, and when Wyatt went to bed early last night, I decided I'd much rather read than write an involved blog post.

I decided to look at some of my unpublished blog posts. There are a few gems hiding there that never got posted for some odd reason.

This post, for example, was written in November 2009. That's a long time ago. I think someone must have given me a hard time about my job, hence inspiring the following monologue.

(For those of you who may be new to my blog, I'm a dental hygienist. People love to ask why dental hygienists would choose to scrape gunk off people's teeth for a career. It's like a broken record.)

Does anyone ever give any of you a hard time about your chosen profession?

Without further ado, here is the post I found hiding in the 575 posts I've written thus far in my blogging career. Enjoy!

Somebody's Got To Do It

"So did you just wake up one day and decide to clean people's teeth for the rest of your life?"

"I don't know how you can do this job day in and day out."

"What made you want to stare into people's mouths for a career?"

I've been asked these questions or various forms of these questions ever since I decided to be a dental hygienist. People ask me quite frequently why I would want to clean teeth for a living.

First I would like to point out that I do alot more than just cleaning teeth - I take x-rays, provide oral hygiene education to patients, screen for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment, perform oral cancer screenings, place sealants (which are kind of like little preventative fillings for teeth that have deep grooves), perform prophies (which are like basic cleanings), and perform root planings (which are deeper, more involved cleanings).

Besides the fact that I don't just clean teeth, I really actually like cleaning teeth. Especially when there is alot of calculus (tartar). What I really love is when a patient has big chunks of calculus that just flake off - so exciting!

I always like cleaning things when I can actually see the difference. Like dusting - if you dust a clean surface it's just not very fun, but if there is alot of dust it's so fun to wipe it off and see the difference.

Do any of you know what I mean?

However, I am not in any way condoning not flossing or brushing so that your hygienist's job will be more exciting. You know what makes a hygienist happy? An easy hour of the day. You know what makes for an easy hour of work? A bright, clean mouth. The secret to a happy dental visit? Keep those teeth clean between visits! And that means floss, floss, floss!

'Kay, stepping off the soapbox . . .

P.S. The newborn photos from one of our sessions are in! Stay tuned . . .

Some Firsts

We had lots of firsts this past week.

1. We had our first official outing as a family to Wyatt's first college basketball game! He sat with us through the whole thing and looked around with his wide eyes. I don't think he even really cried once (just a couple hungry whimpers here and there). He must like basketball.

2. Derek and I had our first date without Wyatt. Derek planned the whole thing. We dropped Wyatt off at my mom's, then we stopped and got a Starbucks and then Derek took me shopping. After that we saw "Tangled" at the dollar theater, and topped off the afternoon with a bit more shopping and a Dairy Queen!

3. Derek pointed out that our date was the first time I've been anywhere without Wyatt in 10+ months - I hadn't thought about it that way, but it's true! I must say, I had slight separation anxiety, and even though I hoped he was doing okay with his grandma and aunt, I kind of hoped that he missed me a little bit too.

Already scrunching when Mama kisses his cheeks. Get used to it, Kiddo - it's not stopping anytime soon! (Actually he was upset about the wind, not my kissing him - just thought I'd clarify.)

4. I went clothes shopping for the first time since Wyatt was born this week. It was pretty fun to go into a normal store and buy normal clothes and have them actually fit again. Derek let me spend $55 on eight new shirts, two new layering tanks, a skirt, and a pair of shorts (my wardrobe needed a pick-me-up). I thought that was a pretty decent amount of stuff for $55, so I was pretty happy! Here are a couple of my finds:

5. Wyatt wore shoes for the first time. And I am in love with his adorable little feet:

See what I mean?

But I am even more in love with his adorable little face! This is my new favorite picture of my little man.

He looks so mischevious! It cracks me up.

6. And the big one . . .

Wyatt went six hours between feedings on Saturday night - which translates into five straight hours of sleep for me and Derek. This is clearly a milestone! If he keeps this up we'll be sleeping through the night before he turns two months old. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Snoozing in his car seat - it's so funny the positions he likes to sleep in.

I Tweet. Or Twitter? Whatever.

I tweet.

I think that's the proper verbage, right?

I tweet in the sense that I have a Twitter account and occasionally say something on it.

In the more active form of the verb, I am an abysmal failure.

Sometimes if I'm very bored, I'll write something on Twitter and I'll browse through other people's tweets.

Or I'll write something if I want an extra entry to a giveaway. I think the account is worth it for that alone.

But aside from increasing my odds of winning stuff and giving me something to do when I'm bored silly, I can't really see the value in "tweeting" or "twittering" or whatever you call it.

I think I'm missing some grand use for the twittering community. I'm sure that if only I could figure out the right way to use Twitter, I'd wonder how I ever lived (or blogged) without it.

Anyone care to fill me in?

P.S. If any of you want to follow my extremely sporadic and rather boring Twitter feed, you can follow me @CallieNicole7. I think my last tweet was in November though. Maybe I'll go update it now.

Good At Grudges

Have you ever been wronged by someone? Oh, I'm sure most of you have. Or if you haven't been personally wronged by someone, someone could have wronged someone you love. Either circumstance will suffice for my point.

It's really easy for me to hold grudges. It's really hard for me to let something go.

Now, I don't think it's unreasonable to guard your heart after someone has broken it once already. Someone can hurt you, and you can fully forgive them, but that doesn't mean you have to fully trust them again - in fact in some instances, it might be foolish to trust that person again.

But I'm not talking about simply withholding trust or guarding your heart, which I don't see anything wrong with - I'm talking about grudges.

You know you're holding a grudge when everything that person does annoys you, because of the way they treated you in the past.

You know you're holding a grudge when you compare that person's current actions, good or bad, with the way they treated you in the past.

You know you're holding a grudge when you immediately think the worst of that person in any given circumstance, because if they could treat you in such a way, then how could their motivation for anything else be good?

Yes, I can hold a pretty mean grudge.

And it's so, so wrong.

It doesn't matter if I was completely blameless in the situation where someone may have hurt me. It doesn't matter if they were completely in the wrong. It doesn't matter if they won't apologize.

If I don't forgive them, and let go of my grudge, then I'm the one who's wrong. I'm the one who's going to have to explain my bad attitude to the Lord someday.

You know what else I've learned? Grudges build walls. Obviously between you and the other person, but also between you and the Lord.

Sometimes when I wonder why I'm going through such a dry period, I look at my life and realize that something in my attitude is hindering me from fellowshipping with my Heavenly Father in the way that I want to.

And very often it's a grudge. Accompanied by pride, a self-righteous attitude, and unforgiveness.

This is a very ugly part of my heart. I wish it would go away. But the only way it will is through alot of prayer, and a conscious effort to change my attitude. Both of which take time.

But in the end it's worth all the time and effort - because I want to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles". I want to "run the race marked out for [me], fixing my eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Your eyes can't be fixed on Jesus when your holding a grudge in front of your face.

Baby's Day Out (With Me - His Mother)

Yesterday Wyatt and I took our first real shopping trip together!

It started out a little rough. I had to pull over to the side of the road for an emergency diaper change on the way to town. Then Wyatt got hungry a good half hour before I expected he would and cried up and down the aisles of Walmart.

A nice lady in the checkout line offered to help me put my items on the counter while I comforted him. You know how people are extra nice to you when you're pregnant? They're also extra nice to you when you have a new baby. I'm going to soak up the niceness as long as it lasts.

We went out to the car and I fed him - it went quite well, and it wasn't nearly so scary as I thought it would be.

After that he slept like a rock through the rest of our trip, and all the way home. I guess the shopping just wore him out.

I spilled my Starbucks drink all over the car. I only got to consume about 40% of it before the tragic incident occurred. It was kind of sad, because I had bought it as a special treat for our first trip to town together.

But I had a Diet Coke stashed away in the bottle bag, so I just enjoyed that instead! Not quite the same, but still satisfying.

I got this asymmetrical shirt at Gap, only in grey. It's a workout shirt. Fabulous, no?

Usually I work out in old, sweaty t-shirts, but I was so excited about my new purchase that I went home, fed Wyatt, then tried it out with the Shred.

Dare I say I actually felt cute while working out? I did. Gracious, with workout clothes that cute, I would almost consider taking up a more public method of burning calories, like running or something.

Notice I said almost. I'm sorry my marathoning friends, I'm just not a runner.

But I discovered I enjoy working out much more when I'm wearing some decent clothes.

And I can use all the motivation I can get. By some miracle the pregnancy weight came off within the first week, but that doesn't mean my stomach looks anything like it used to. I need to tone, tone, tone!

I topped off the afternoon by taking a shower and using my new coconut body scrub and honeysuckle and orange peel body wash that I bought at the store. I usually don't buy body washes, because I have far too many bath things as it is, but I saw these on the shelf and couldn't resist.

After my shower I felt quite pampered. Wyatt took a nice nap, giving me a chance to compose this post.

And to top it off we watched Biggest Loser together that night. I am in calorie-burning mode, I tell you!

Unfortunately, I'm also in calorie-consuming mode, but that's a whole other story.

P.S. I wanted to say a big congratulations to my dear blogging friend Jenene, who just welcomed her baby girl into the world early yesterday morning! She was like a labor rock star - I talked to her on Facebook Monday night, and three hours later she had her baby with no problems at all! And little Sohpia Grace is a cutie, I tell you . . . here's to many shopping trips and good times with your sweet baby, Jenene!

Stolen Bumper = Ugly Car

My car is missing the front bumper.

Last Wednesday I went to visit my mom at her work, which happens to be the county sheriff's office. I came out of the building and scanned the parking lot for my car - I didn't see it.

I momentarily panicked until I realized that the dirty white car with the missing bumper at the far side of the parking lot was my car.

Someone stole my bumper.

I'm sure it must have been stolen, because Derek saw it on my car when I left home. I drove fifteen minutes straight to my mom's work. I didn't hear it fall off. I didn't run over it.

I was in the office for 20 minutes, and when I came out my car looked ridiculously run-down. You never realize how much the front bumper adds to the appearance of a car until it's gone.

What kind of person steals the front bumper off a car? In front of the police department, no less?

Our car is a Saturn. They don't make parts for Saturns anymore, so if you need a new part you have to search high and low and pay more money to get it.

Which is probably the reason someone stole our bumper.

And which also makes it more difficult for us to replace said bumper.

Thankfully we lucked out. Derek was able to find a place that had one 2003 Saturn L200 bumper left. He's going to get it today.

Until then, we are driving around in our poor, defaced car, and I'm sure everyone who sees us thinks "Oh, those poor people! They can't even afford to replace the bumper on their car. And look, they have a new baby . . ."

No, actually they probably just look at us and think, "What an ugly car." And they'd be right.

But, thankfully, only until tonight, when Derek picks up the new bumper.

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