Wednesday, February 27, 2008

De-cluttering and Organizing

I'm trying this new thing. Eliminating clutter from my life. I'm pretty good at managing material items in my life. Ask anyone who has ever done a garage sale with me. I LOVE to get rid of things. However, I'm not so good at this with tasks. I enjoy producing and getting a result. I love the idea of checking items of my list and feeling a sense of accomplishment. It's the best feeling.

Yesterday I realized that I complain alot about how busy I am. I listen to my mom saying the same thing and it drives me nuts. We are all busy in our own way and as mothers we all have something going on. Yet, we all have a decision about what things we choose to be busy in.

While stressing out and becoming anxious over something I really wanted to do, as opposed to needing to do, I realized that I wasn't having fun anymore. I was working ALL the time. On something, anything. When my daughter asks me to play and to take off my apron and roll down my sleeves....hmmm...something has to be put into check.

So of course, I have a plan of action.

First, stop watching TV aimlessly at night. I enjoy TV but really only watch two shows. Mondays, Jon and Kate +8. Thursdays, Lost. I kind of wish the writer's strike would continue b/c Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty will be returning soon (darn it!). Regardless, my goal is to enjoy the nights I'm not watching TV. To do my bible study (this is the top priority) and to catch up on the things that are overwhelming me throughout the day in hopes that I'll stop fretting about them during the day.

Second, pick a day where I do all the fun things I've wanted to do all week. WITHOUT KIDS. For example, shopping. I love to shop, love it! So on Saturday or Sunday, take 2 hours and only do fun errands. Not grocery shopping, not even Target (which is the best) but places I always want to go but can't take the girls.

Third, make a 6 month to do list. There are always those big projects we want to do that require a bit more time. Cleaning up the yard, planting the garden, cleaning the garage, painting and decorating the girl's room, etc. (I guess I've just made my list) I want to do this so that every time I walk into the garage I don't think to myself, "Darn it, I have to organize the garage", and instantly become overwhelmed.

Fourth, ASK FOR HELP! I'm horrible at this. I need to lean on my husband and allow him to help me. Also asking friends.

So I'm not quite sure how this is going to work out, but I'm hoping it will free up my mind to focus on more appropriate things like playing with my kids, going to the library and park and enjoying life instead of letting it pass me by being busy. I'm hoping my mom and I can work on this together.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy birthday Lily Grace

I was not excited about the impending birth of my second child. I know it sounds horrible, but I just wasn't prepared for what was already planned for me. I didn't talk much about "the baby" when I was pregnant, but I knew, deep down, that it was a girl. The month I thought I might be pregnant I was reading the book Midwives. I sat up late one night reading about an emotional birth story. The parents named this little baby Lily. From the emotion of the story and the possible thought of being pregnant, I started to sob and prayed that the Lord would make it not so. I wasn't prepared for another child. I felt like I was just getting to know the one I had. His response to me was that he would provide for me and give me peace. I knew at that point, it was a girl and I needed to name her Lily Grace as a reminder that God is filled with grace and mercy.

I was due around March 3. And I was willing to be pregnant forever before facing life with 2 kids under 2. I would not have minded being late. However, this little lady decided to arrive early.

Labor with Eloise started with my water breaking, contractions 2-3 minutes apart and pushing for 3 1/2 hrs (total labor: 9 hrs). I was pretty curious what it would feel like to start labor without my waters breaking and hoping for less pushing and less time overall.

In the early hours of February 23 I woke at 4:45 a.m. to heavy cramping. It only lasted 15 seconds or so, but anxiety was already building. About 25 minutes later the same thing. Labor had arrived. I called my midwife and she sent over her assistant at 6:30 a.m. I called my parents repeatedly to try and wake my mom. After calling them 50 times (really) I tried my brother. He was able to reach them and my mom hopped in the car.

I was always worried about what we would do with Eloise, being that we were having a home birth. Our wonderful friends, Daniel and Laura, were happy to take her. At 9 a.m. Laura arrived and Dave was out with Will trying to figure out our faucet situation to fill the birth tub. I was milling about the house trying to collect Eloise's things and pausing every 10 minutes to have a contraction. Eloise and Laura left at 10 and my mom arrived 25 minutes later.

Finally the birth tub was full. I was having horrible back pain and it felt good to rest in the water. Lily's birth felt so relaxed in the beginning. I was talking with my midwives and my mom until 1 p.m. or so when I finally entered into transition. I was getting really uncomfortable and fearful of pushing. I was doing all I could in the water to delay my contractions. My midwife, Ellie, being a great midwife, picked up on that and we decided it was time to get out of the water. At 4 p.m. I moved onto our room. The small walk from the spare room where the tub was located, to our bedroom brought on two VERY strong contractions. I laid down and had the sudden urge to push. Ellie checked and there was the baby. Dave rushed in from the living room (which is where he feels most comfortable during labor) and grabbed my hand. My mom had the other hand.

One strong push and the Ellie could see that she was still in her bag of waters (apparently very rare). Three more horrible pushes later, she was out. IT'S A GIRL!

Lily Grace came into the world at 4:15 weighing 8 lbs 10 oz, 19.5 inches long.

Today we celebrate the first year of her life at a ladybug party.

My first ladybug cake. I think it turned out pretty good.

First taste of cake

Waiting in eager anticipation

Happy Birthday Lily Grace

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spaghetti anyone?

Dinner was Spaghetti with broccoli, (chopped finely in the Cuisinart so it's disguised) ground turkey, and jarred sauce. Quick, easy and messy with an 11 mon. old and a 2 yr. old.

Obviously, they were due for a bath

I love having 2 little girls

Sunday, February 17, 2008

one for you, one for me

This was dinner tonight. The most hilarious part of this exchange, is Eloise's commentary. She really is funny.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

breakfast in a jiffy

Breakfast in our house is not a sit down event. It happens in stages, depending on when people get up. Cooking for a living makes it hard to cook for the family. So I've adapted some breakfast recipes to make the morning meal a little easier. All ingredients are great to give the kids the healthy start they need for the day, in our house, that's a big need. (especially for eloise) Plus, it works for WW. Here are our two favorites:

Mini Banana Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup quick oats
2 Tbls. ground flax seed (optional)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 1 large banana)
1/4 cup applesauce

preheat to 350. Spray 24 cup mini-muffin pan.
In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Then add eggs, banana, and applesauce. Stir just to combine. Pour into muffin pan.
Bake for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. WW Points: 2 muffins = 1 pt

Baked Oatmeal
1 cup Applesauce
1 cup Sugar
4 eggs
6 cups Old Fashioned Oats
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cup Non-fat Milk

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients. Pour into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned. This can be refrigerated overnight before cooking. Cut into 16 slices. Weight Watchers Points = 4

I make one a week and it usually lasts all week. Both can be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness. If you have a baby that is 10 months or older, these are great breakfast foods for them too.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


We were trying to explain to Eloise the other day about blessings. Dave told her that when we receive a blessing (financially is what we were referring to) we give some of it away.

Dave: "Eloise, who would you like to give a blessing to?"
Eloise: thinking "Me"
Dave: "Well you can't keep it. You have to give it away. Is there someone you want to give it to?"
Eloise: thinking again "Eloise"

okay, we'll work on this later.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Eloise: "Mama, I have a noodle in my eye" (rubbing her eye vigorously)
me: "You have a noodle in your eye? You mean an eyelash?"
E: "Yes. No. A noodle mama. Can you get it out?"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

little picasso

Does anyone know how to get non-permanent (or so it says) marker off hardwood floors? Without ruining the finish?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sticky Situations

In the past two days I have found my girls in the most hilarious situations.

First, Eloise climbing up her crib (yes, she's 2 1/2 and still in one) to reach the Mickey Mouse she had thrown onto the ledge. Dave and I were close by, don't worry.

Second, Lily in the Tupperware drawer. That drawer is the bain of my existence. It never closes right because the items are always being moved. I have no problem with them playing in it. It's actually the drawer I open up when I'm trying to get something done in the kitchen. Lily loves to throw things out. And apparently, she loves to crawl inside.

Third, the diaper box. Eloise climbed in and then helped Lily inside. It was pretty cute.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Big Visit for a Tiny Person

I'm not a mom who runs to the Dr. at the first sign of a cold. I'm always waiting until the last possible moment to see if the sickness will run its course. (I've developed some tried and true methods for managing the symptoms). My fear of going at the beginning of a cold, is that it will be nothing and I've wasted time and money when I could have handled it on my own. Plus, I don't want them to think I'm crazy or something. (I would like to note that I NEVER think other moms are crazy or strange for taking their kids in. I don't even give it a second thought. This assumption only applies to me).

That said, Thursday night Lily came down with a fever of 101.6. Not high, but no other symptoms. I geared up for the snot to run and the cough to start. Friday, nothing. However, still a very high fever. (between 102-104). I called the nurse line as I was a little worried b/c of the lack of symptoms. She said, keep a watch out of lethargy and if no symptoms develop by Saturday morning to call again. Saturday, no symptoms and a sad looking Lily.

I had the "mother's intuition" that something wasn't right. So I called the nurse again and we talked about how to keep the fever low and that I would bring her in Sunday morning. At 3:00 p.m. she woke from her nap with intense chill's and her lips were turning blue. At this point I'm freaking out.

Dave and I were having difficulty deciding what to do. We needed to get out of the house. (big mistake here) We went to the mall for a bit and while there, lily was limp in her stroller. Took her temp and it was still very high. The nurse on the phone was so helpful. She said if I had "the feeling", take her in.

At 6 p.m. I arrive at Emmanuel Children's Emergency Dept. They were so great. We took her temp, it was 104 and she was roasting, lethargic and screaming sporadically. They dosed her with Tylenol to try and bring the fever down. I had horrible thoughts of her going limp in my arms. The doctor's would rush her in, take her out of my arms and shove me outside the door. All the while I'm crying my eyes out. Okay, I may have watched Grey's Anatomy too many times. I was praying the whole time that the Lord would give me words to pray. My brain wasn't working so well and I needed a little help. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I started to wonder what the Lord was preparing me for.

Her little admitting bracelet. (I'm sure babies get this in the hospital, but since both my girls were born at home, this was the first bracelet from the hospital)

We were checked into a room at 7:30. They took her temp again and it was only down to 103.7. They decided to give her another dose of Ibuprofen to try and bring it down as fast as they could. I undressed her and put on this little tiny hospital gown with little pink hippos. The site of that alone was enough to put me on the verge of tears again. They rolled in this huge crib for her to crawl. Her heartbeat was pretty fast, but she was perking up a bit.

trying to get away before the crib came

Lily has a labial adhesion. I discovered it when she was 4 months old. Two doctors have told me two different opinions (of course) about treatment. One is an estrogen cream used for 3 weeks to a months in very small amounts to help it open. The other is leaving it until it opens up when she starts to make estrogen. The scary part about the adhesion is that it can fuse shut preventing her from urinating. I mentioned that she had this and they suggested we look at the possibility of a UTI (urinary tract infection). They would need to do a catheter to get a pure urine sample. (I was starting to get queasy) However, before they did that, they needed to check the adhesion and see about moving it apart. Sure enough, it was almost fussed and they needed to numb the area and pull it apart.

They put the numbing cream on and took us to x-ray so they could rule out a chest infection or pneumonia. Apparently pneumonia can lay dormant without other symptoms. The x-ray came back clear.

Time to do the awful stuff. It took 2 nurses, 1 doctor, and myself to hold her down. And this is just to pull back the skin. It was horrible. Thankfully, she starting to pee and they caught just enough for a sample. Phew! We were saved the catheter.

At 10:20 the tests came back completely clear and it was obvious her fever was breaking. They will continue to do further tests on the urine, but it looks good. Apparently kids can develop fevers without other symptoms which means it's just viral. Praise God!

Today she is a little down, sleeping alot, but thankfully no fever.

Just after I was recovering from all the trauma. Dave heads off to urgent care and finds out he has Shingles. Sigh.