Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a . . .

For those of you who didn't see my post on Facebook or aren't members of our family (anyone, anyone? - didn't think so), I thought I'd announce on my blog that we're having a . . .



BOY!!

I can't believe it. I really can't. I thought it would be a girl. I thought we'd have three girls. We're super excited!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wishing . . .

Every so often I just wish my job would end at 5 pm (not that I was my kids to go away) but ya know . . . all the responsibility can.

I'm tired but at the end of each day I'm so thankful for my beautiful family and this wonderful opportunity to raise my beautiful and wonderful kids.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sharing a Room

So . . . does anyone have advice on getting your kids to share a room?

We're thinking of putting the girls together in one room once this next baby is born. We actually have another room downstairs that could be used as Elsie's bedroom but we're considering putting them together.

I loved sharing a room with my sister (most of the time - I do remember nights being annoyed when she had a cough! ha ha!) and I want my girls to experience the same. I also think it really teaches children to be considerate and how to share.

Abigail is so loving and nuturing to Elsie (so maybe she'll get up with her at night . . . just kidding) and Elsie is starting to become a better sleeper. Elsie would be in Abigail's old crib (still in Abigail's room) and Abigail would be in her toddler bed or perhaps move up to a twin bed soon.

So any advice . . . horror stories?!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The bunny

Elsie has attached herself to a small stuffed pink bunny. I thought she might be attached to it several months ago but we learned the hard way that she will NOT nap without it (we tried at Nana's - no go).

Today while I was pumping (a little explanation below) I could hear her screaming her little heart out in her room while trying to take a nap. It didn't sound like her. She'll fuss and whine but rarely just screams. So I went in there and poor pink bunny had been lost over the side of the crib.

I think she's attached!

*We're still "breastfeeding" even though I'd bet she's getting less than 1 ounce per day. Nursing moms: You know those smaller Medela bottles you can pump into? Well, I don't hardly even cover the bottom of those with milk these days. I am feeling oh-so-sad about all of this. Every time my husband talks about it I can't help but tear up (see!). I just STILL feel like it's too early. It's not Elsie's fault that another baby is on the way yet she gets the short end of the stick. She'll be 13 months on Wednesday.

So . . . for now I'm just nursing her if she'll accept it (sometimes it's so frustrating she just gives up) and then I pump 3 or 4 times a day and give her the dinky amount I pump in her nightly bottle. I don't know how long this will last. My goal is probably one more month but at this point I'm not sure we'll make it.

So sad!

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

Unedited Christmas photo 2010

Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not,
Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been,
Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Thank you, Jesus, for all of the abundant undeserved blessings!!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Days Like This

Ever have days like this where you feel like you fail at everything? I never would have imagined feeling this way so consistently after becoming a mother. I guess that's why it's always a learning experience and why it's always challenging.

The snow is beautiful, though . . . now isn't it time for spring?! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving

Wow! I did not mean to take an extended blogging break. I guess the holiday just snuck up on me. We spent a lovely 4-day weekend together as a family. Seriously, a lot of the time it was just the 4 of us and it was fun!

I know thanksgiving is over but I don't want the spirit to pass me by!

This year I am particularly thankful for family. I am thankful for my husband, who puts up with me (usually cheerfully), provides for us without complaint, is a wonderful loving daddy, and is still my favorite person to be around. I am thankful for my children, who are wonderful, healthy, joyful, fun, energetic little people (i am so blessed!). For my extended family who provide so much (never ending!!) support to us - whether it is from a distance or around the corner!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nursing Dilemma!

Normally I don't bring too many "private" issues to light on my blog. I don't necessarily think this is too private to talk about (obviously . . . or I wouldn't be writing this) but some of my readers might.

So . . . if you don't want to read about breastfeeding, please skip this post. Consider yourself warned!

So I have breastfeed both my babies. Neither one has had a drop of formula. It's hard work to put it in mild terms. But that's a post for another time.

I nursed Abigail until she was 17 months old. I got pregnant with Elsie when Abigail was 12 months old and so I had adequate milk supply until about month 15 but we kept on for a while. I felt very good about that experience. One morning (the morning of her 17 month birthday) instead of nursing her first thing, I just walked downstairs and fed her breakfast. She never batted an eyelash, so obviously it was time to quit. She hadn't been very interested for about a month anyway.

I have nursed Elsie now for 12 months (what I consider to be my personal minimum amount of time to nurse a baby). I got pregnant with this baby when Elsie was about 9 to 10 months old (still not quite sure on that timing). Anyway . . . I was hoping to also hit the 17 month mark with her. However, I have a problem. I have hardly any milk left!

I discovered this when I went to a movie with my husband on Saturday night. I missed a feeding (Elsie got pumped milk and drank 5 oz). I pumped when I returned home and wasn't even able to come up with 1 single ounce. Depressing!

Elsie currently nurses about 5 to 7 times a day, depending on whether or not she nurses at night and after her naps. I know babies are more efficient than a pump but she can't be THAT much more efficient. She's still probably only getting 1 ounce per feeding and I think I'm being generous there.

My ultimate goal is to find a way to boost my supply so that I can keep going a few more months. I'm drinking a lot (of water . . . ha!), eating oatmeal, pumping after almost every feeding and before I go to bed, getting as much rest as I can, nursing Elsie almost whenever she demands it. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I know she's over a year-old and can turn to other foods for her nutrition so I don't need to turn to formula. I just feel like she's not ready to quit (I mean really . . . 7x a day!!!!!) and I want to keep going for a while too (for her sake). My body is just not cooperating.

This is on my list to talk to my midwives about. Perhaps they have some experience with this issue. They are very supportive of my decision to continue to breastfeed during pregnancy and don't see any problem with it.

I'm just not ready to quit yet and it kills me that I might have to. Some articles I have read today have given some ideas on how to increase supply and give encouragement to just keep going until it's gone. Some others say that there is no way to recover (sad!).

Any advice (positive that is) is welcome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boy/Girl Thoughts

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the gender of this baby. While I really don't care whether this baby is a boy or girl, I have secretly leaned toward having another girl.

Mostly because I know girls. I have two, I am one, and therefore I just know what they are and how they work. I also think it would be cute to have three little girls.

But today . . . after a long day of toddler drama and girl emotions, I'm wondering if a boy might bring some low maintenance balance to this family that is currently female heavy. (Not to say that toddler boys wouldn't come with their own set of challenges as well.)

Just some thoughts.

In all honesty, I will be thrilled either way!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elsie's 1 year check-up


I took Elsie to the doctor today for her 1-year check up. I forgot to write down her stats exactly (trying to manage a fussy baby!) so this will be from memory. I am going to call them tomorrow and ask exactly what her stats were for my own sake.
29 inches long (to me it looked like 29.5). I think she was at the 50% for height.
18 pounds (hasn't gained since her last appointment). 20% (guessing).
I don't remember her head but he said it had grown and was around 50%.
The concerns were definitely her weight! The girl eats and poops just fine but I guess she is just very active and doesn't eat a lot of fatty foods or protein rich foods. She essentially breastfeeds and then gets either fruits or vegetables at meals. I bought some baby food tonight with chicken and beef so we will be starting those soon.
He also recommended perhaps supplementing my breastmilk with cow's milk. Since I'm pregnant, I'm really not sure how good my milk supply is. I am very hestitant to feed babies cow's milk (Abigail has never had any).
So I am looking into alternative choices for her that offer the same fat and vitamins that cow's milk supposedly does. We'll see. We used coconut milk for Abigail but I need to find an alternative to that that does not contain so many processed additives.
I had decided to give myself a break and gradually start weaning Elsie by not pumping in the evenings to store up milk for her. Now I'm thinking that it might be helpful for me to keep this up a while longer and feed her the extra milk I'm pumping the next day. It definitely won't hurt my milk supply to do this.
Also we discovered that she has a little baby "hernia" - although my doctor was hesitant to diagnose it as such - the word did come out of his mouth. :) He said that lots of babies have them and not to be concerned but that it should close up on its own.
I did my own research and apparently this is true. From what I found if the hernia goes back inside the body when the baby is resting (not straining) then it should close up by itself although sometimes it takes up to 5 years. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes on it!
The poor girl is still teething up a storm. Her top tooth finally did come in today (I think) and I can feel that the molar is getting closer and closer to the surface. I can't wait for this to be done because she woke up 4x last night. Poor girl!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Emotional Girls

We're dealing with something new at our house . . . jealousy! Seriously! When Elsie was born Abigail was really just fine with it. She didn't regress in any way (that we could tell) and she was very gentle and loving to the baby.

Now that Elsie can crawl and stand up (not walk yet) and demand my attention, jealousy is abundant in our house. I just spent the last hour keeping my kids up before their nap by holding both of them in my lap.

If I just had just held one, the other would be crying, believe me.

I have been talking to Abigail about her emotions. I just told her that I love her and that even if she can't get the same kind of attention as Elsie (after all, Elsie is breastfeeding still) she was still a special girl. I told her this and she burst into tears. Poor thing.

I think some special one-on-one time is necessary after Elsie goes to bed at 7 pm!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Energy

Well folks, despite being also troubled by back/hip pain and sinus headaches I have found a renewed energy lately! Whew! It is about time.

My nausea is also better . . . not gone but better. I still cannot stand to think about or cook some vegetables but I've been able to throw together a few more meals for my family lately. I also haven't accidentally crashed on the couch in the middle of the day. Must mean the 2nd trimester is upon me. Yes!!!

In other news, Elsie has been really struggling (more!!) at night recently. She's been getting up every 2 to 3 hours. I fully expected her to come down with a cold or something else but it has been three days and she's fine.

It finally dawned on me last night that she did just turn 1 yr old . . . which means . . . molars! Sure enough, I felt around in her little mouth last night and it feels to me like she's working on getting 3 teeth in - 1 top front, 1 top right side, and 1 bottom left molar. I've been giving her motrin and orajel but it doesn't seem to last all night.

My darling, wonderful, helpful, husband is going to do a wonderful thing for me this weekend that is very exciting. I am going to sleep in the downstairs guest room (in the basement!!) and he is going to try to care for Elsie so I can get a full-night's sleep. He will just come get me if he thinks she's hungry. We'll see what happens!

It will be the only full-night's sleep I have gotten in one year except for about a one month stretch in the summer where she slept blissfully through the night. I wonder if I will wake up or if I'll just be able to crash.

Yeah!!

That's all for now. I'm just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad to be feeling better! (Can you feel the energy?!)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Happy 1-Year Elsie Joy

Dearest Elsie Joy (or Pie),

How can you be 1-year old? It seems like only yesterday that you were in my tummy - a big baby for such a short mama - making me very uncomfortable! Ha! What a joy-filled child you are. I love to hear your laugh, see your smile and watch you dance.

I love to watch you learn new things and to watch you develop more and more into a little girl each day.


You are a mama's girl - big time. (In no particular order) . . . You love Dewey the dog. You are so gentle with him when you finally catch up and pat him. You love your sister. You love to play with her and to watch her do crazy and wild things! You love your daddy! You get so excited to see him and you've even started to reach for him. It's so sweet! You love our extended family and being played with, loved on and entertained by them!
We'll always have a special connection, dear girl. You see, I am also a second born girl. You are so very much loved, darling, but yes, it is just different for the 2nd. Just remember that in some ways, girlie, you have it easier than your sister. See, she is breaking us in - on the parenting front that is. You get the more relaxed and easy-going version of us because we've been there before! :)
My greatest desire as your mother is for you to grow up and know the love of Jesus Christ. It is so important, darling, that relationship. Never forget it and never neglect it.
Thank you for surprising us and for being in our family. I cannot imagine life without you, sweetie.
I am looking forward to watching you grow and discover new things every day!
Love,
Your Mama!
Elsie Joy
11/8/2009
2:53 pm
9 lbs 2 oz 22 inches long (BIG!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Blue or Pink

At my last midwife appointment (last Tuesday) they went ahead and scheduled me for my 20-week ultrasound even though it isn't for quite a while. So we'll find out on December 20th what the sex of this 3rd (and in my opinion . . . final) baby will be.



So . . . any guesses?



If you guess right, you might get a prize! Ha!



I have thought about being creative and wrapping up something for the grandparents to unwrap at Christmas telling the gender of the baby. I'm not sure if I'll do that or not. It would require several days of waiting time and I'm not sure that will work in our family! :) Ha!

Friday, November 05, 2010

At-Home

Today marks the one-year anniversary of me becoming a stay-at-home mom. Wow! What a year it has been.

There have been moments, minutes, hours, and days where I have felt so blessed and lucky to be at home with these beautiful girls.

And to be quite honest, there have been moments where I certainly could have used a day of just sitting behind a desk with no bottoms to wipe, noses to wipe, food to make, behavior to correct, babies to nurse, house to clean, etc.

I wouldn't trade it for the world though!

I'll take the bad with the good because it means that I get to be the one to see it all . . . all the firsts and the cute things said . . . and all the temper tantrums and messes.

I also realized that I haven't had one month go by since quitting my full-time job that I haven't brought in some form of income for my family. I'm not sure this will always be the case but I'm glad to have been able to always help out.

So it was on this day one year ago that I quit my full-time job. (Elsie was born 3 days later!).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Swinging!

Elsie has been a pill lately but she loves her new swing! Unfortunately it is getting cold here so we won't be able to use it much until the spring time! Thanks for the swing Papa and RoRo!



video

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There's a new "dancing queen" in the house!

Abigail loves to dance but recently we've disovered that so does her sister!

video

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rollercoaster and Normal?

Whew! This last week has definitely been a crazy one! I actually had two decent days, Monday and Wednesday. I cleaned and cooked a bit on those days. Then I had days like Thursday, from which I still feel wiped out from.

I just simply woke up with what felt like a really bad sinus headache. I remember not even feeling like I could walk around because the movement felt too jarring! It got worse during the day so I eventually called my husband and asked him to come home from work.

I seriously could not function. Anyway, I started feeling better around bedtime. I certainly hope that never happens again. Since then I have really continued with the nausea and exhaution!

I'm 12 weeks on Tuesday so I hope to start seeing some slight improvement soon!

Elsie is starting to sleep a little better. At least she did last night. This is a huge blessing and I hope it continues! I still got up with her once but it wasn't until 5:45 am! That feels like a record even though she did have a month (between 6 and 7 months) where she slept through the night. Not since then though!!

Speaking of Elsie, the girl is definitely going through a stage. She does not like to be set down and have me walk out of the room. Even when I'm just home alone with her and Abigail. It is tiring! I know it's just a phase but it's a hard phase for me! What a mama's girl!

My apologies for this being boring but honestly, this is about all that is going on right now. Most days I am just thankful to make it through with reasonably well-fed and healthy children (and spouse). I know that these days of feeling continually overwhelmed will pass (they will. right?) but boy they are difficult when they are here.

I am thanking the Lord for a wonderful husband and family. I don't know what I'd do otherwise!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Improving?

This weekend has not been the most fun weekend of my life, that's for sure. It started late last week with Abigail catching a cold. Nothing bad, just cough, sniffles, etc. She ran a fever for about a day and then was better. She still has a runny nose and a cough but it could be much worse.

Then it was Elsie's turn. Poor Elsie. The girl just doesn't know how to be sick. I think I got up with her seven times on Saturday night. I also woke up on Sunday with a sore throat. Whoa! Try packing that all on a pregnant lady! Not fun. The usual nausea and tiredness from pregnancy, then add on probably only sleeping 4 hours (not in one stretch) the night before, and adding a nasty sore throat. I was a mess on Sunday morning until I got a nap.

But . . . in the midst of all this. . . I woke up with something this morning that I haven't felt in a long time. . . ambition!!

I WANT to get something done. We're all still a little sick and you wouldn't know it from looking at my schedule from this morning but I actually desire to get something accomplished today. That's a big step for me! Maybe the nastiness of the first trimester is slowly wearing off.

I'll be 11 weeks tomorrow so it's a little early for that but we'll see. I certainly hope so!! I'm hopeful!!

(Elsie woke up at 10:30 pm, 3:30 am, 7:00 am and then slept until 8:30 am - as did I. That's a pretty good night for a sick Elsie. Then I laid down on the couch at 9:30 while the girls played and fell asleep again! Craziness!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday!

I have been such a slacker lately but I don't want to let this opportunity go by to wish my husband a very happy birthday.

I apologize that your favorite food wasn't waiting for you when you got home and that I didn't have a cake!

We did win in Spouseology tonight at small group so hopefully that was a highlight of your day!

Thank you for being patient and kind when I am not! Thank you for putting up with my whining and complaining! Thank you for taking the kids, even if just for a moment, when I feel like I can't take the fussiness one more second.

I am extremely blessed to have you as my husband! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm still here! - Thoughts on 1st trimesters!

Wow! The blogging has really been neglected lately!

It was seriously unintentional but everything else in my life has been neglected too - so just goes along with it all, I guess.

This past month has seriously been one of the hardest of my life. I feel kind of wimpy saying that because honestly no one has died, we both still have great jobs, our family is healthy and happy, we have a wonderful support system, etc. Just physically - and if I'm honest with myself and you - emotionally, it's been really difficult for me.

The person who gets to take the brunt of this is my husband. Who, for the record, is really pretty good about my whining. Especially my emotional whining. He listens, he advises, and he goes on.

I don't want to wish the time away and I do want to treasure these sweet ages of my children - but boy . . . it with it were April and that this baby would be almost ready to arrive. I don't think anyone likes it when life feels like a constant struggle and I'm not exception.

Well, I'm off - to load the dishwasher and lay on the couch.

Friday, October 08, 2010

My family is coming!! Yeah!

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of my parents and brother this afternoon. They are bringing a playhouse (yes, all the way from KS - they're crazy!) for the girls. I know Abigail will love playing in it while they are here!

Elsie has still been getting me up 2x a night for about a week now (maybe more). She'sll 11 months old today. Sleep girl, sleep!

I have a dilemma with my oldest. She is totally addicted to Dora and Boots (as she calls it). It is the first thing out of her mouth in the morning (Mama, I want to watch . . . ). I don't have a problem telling her "no" or at least "wait a while" but then she wanders around the house for 10 minutes looking for something to do before asking me again. It's getting crazy. The child has toys - but perhaps they aren't really at her age level and so they aren't entertaining. I know that Elsie will soon be older and they will be great play partners. Still, I'm at a loss for how to help Abigail play (or play for a while by herself).

It doesn't help that in this season, I do want to take a nap on the couch so I turn on a show for her. She's spoiled with it, I know that!! Any ideas on great things for kids to do? She colors, plays with playdoh, play with baby dolls, dances, reads, etc. It's just that she doesn't do those things for very long.

Okay, I've got to help the little one go down for a nap. Wishing I could do the same!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Neglect and Appointment

Hey all!

Sorry about the blog neglect. I guess it is a true reflection of how my life is going lately. I consider it a successful day if I just get my kids fed!

I had my first midwife appointment today. It went great. I found out that I'm (approximately) 9 weeks pregnant today. She did an ultrasound but got different readings from each measurement (the little one was squirmy!) so she took the sum of all three measurements.

Other than that, things are fine at this point.

Hopefully I'll be able to post something more exciting later.

Oh . . . Elsie's getting a top tooth in. That also means multiple night wakings and a cranky baby during the day.

Toota loo!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Abigail "isms"

My daughter has such a sweet and tender heart. She also says lots of funny things. I want to share some and record them here so I can remember them in the future.

- I have been a bit extra emotional lately - you know, pregnancy, breastfeeding, feeling like crud, etc. Abigail found me teary-eyed in the kitchen one day and said to me, "Mama, it'll be okay. I'll bring you a Kleenex." And proceeded to bring me a used one from the other room. It was so sweet anyway.

- Another emotional moment: I was crying earlier this evening because Abigail had given me a good bonk on the nose. Still hurts now (I don't think it's broken). Anyway tears were running down my face as the pain was seering through my nose and Abigail said, "Here Mama, I will sing you a song and you'll feel better." She proceeded to do so and I made myself stop crying. She came over and said, "See Mama? You're all better."

- She always wants to know who bought something for her. Today she asked me "Mama, who bought me these shoes?" When I replied that I had, indeed, bought the shoes she was inquiring about she said "Mama, YOU bought me these shoes. I LOVE these shoes." Ha!

- We were at my in-law's today and I put Abigail on the potty before her nap (in their downstairs bathroom). My mother-in-law has a bird house with one (or two, can't remember) birds hanging from it. Abigail pointed to it and said "Mama, that bird's mad." Ha! It was pretty funny because the bird does have somewhat of a scowl.

That's all I can remember for now. I need to write this more often, I guess!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ah, a break!

I'm experiencing a rare break from overwhelming nausea at the moment so I guess I'll blog. Ha!

We're doing fine around here. I feel like I'm barely holding on most of the time but I know that's not true.

Abigail is doing great in her big girl bed. She only had a night or two where she cried out. It was for someone to come and take her to the bathroom ("I need go pee pee in the potty.") I don't know if that was the new bed or the potty training's fault but she hasn't done that in a while.

Elsie . . . still doesn't sleep well. She got up at 11 pm last night so I had firm resolve to let her cry for a while. She "fussed" (not really outright crying) until about midnight. Then she wailed. I let it go until 12:30 but by then I was exhaused. I went and fed her. She slept until morning.

She was playing in the kitchen this morning and got a little too close to our step (we have one step between the kitchen and the tiled mud room) and she fell. Just one step but it gave her a pretty good fat and bloody lip. Poor baby.

My parents may be coming for a visit in a few weeks. We're all excited about that. It all depends on how wheat planing goes!

I'm still working. Most of my days are focused on just getting food into my kids and myself and getting a few hours in for work. I have plenty to do!

Sorry this is so boring! I have a few recipes to share if I can manage to look at the food pictures long enough to post them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reminder

I haven't blogged all week in an effort to keep the whining to a minimum. Ha!

No, seriously.

My husband has been out-of-town and my in-laws have been super in his absence . . . keeping my kids, making us food, keeping Abigail overnight, and many other things. I've been spoiled.

Now . . . will someone please remind my husband that I'm pregnant? I mean, seriously. He wonders why I am crying at something that is so silly - um . . . I can't help it!

Logic . . . totally gone.

Sorry, dear.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sleep, Elsie, Sleep

Dearest Elsie Pie,

My sweet, sweet, Darling. I love you more than I can say. Having said that, I hate to tell you but some sleep training is coming at ya, my dear. I have put it off for far too long. I have babied you and rocked you and nursed you all night long. You're 10 going on 11 months old. You SHOULD be able to sleep longer than 4 or 5 hours without mommy.

Darling, it's not your fault (entirely) but I'm tired - extremely tired - more tired than I can EVER remember being before. So . . . I need you to sleep.

If you're sick or hurting, mommy will always be there for you and will be glad to see you at midnight, 4 am, and 6 am. Whatever. However, if your well and healthy, my darling - you need to sleep.

PLEASE!

Your daddy is getting frustrated because he does not comprehend mommy logic (a.k.a. - it's faster to nurse her than to let her cry for hours - and "she might need me"). It's not his fault - he simply doesn't understand mommy and baby logic.

But

He's right. You're old enough (WAAAY older than your sis) to be sleeping better.



I love you more than anything my sweet-cheeked happy girl.
Please sleep.
Love,
Momma

Friday, September 17, 2010

Evening . . .sweet evening!

I have noticed a pattern in my "morning" sickness this past week.

Mornings = really really bad!! Ugh! Really bad. I can hardly make breakfast - bad.
Mid Mornings = really bad!
Lunch = pretty bad! Nothing sounds good but I can at least cook something for us to eat.
Mid afternoon = bad! as long as I have a protein or decent snack, I can start to feel better.
Supper = okay. If I have to cook it's another matter. I'm not jiving with the cooking right now which is so not like me.
After supper = decent.
7 pm = ah, I feel a bit normal. Of course, smells overwhelm me but as long as I'm in a neutral zone, I'm okay!

I love 7 pm!

Wake up and do it all again!

(I don't remember it being this bad with my other two. Perhaps that means it's a boy. Perhaps I just blocked out the memory! I know that I threw up more when pregnant with Abigail but then I'd feel better.)

P.S. Sorry to complain! I'm thankful for many things . . . especially the evening.

Big Bed Time!

I think it's finally time for Abigail to move into a big girl bed!!

I convinced Andrew, when we were expecting Elsie, that if we were going to move our darling girl to another floor of the house, she still needed to be in a crib - contained!

He agreed and we have two cribs. I guess that's a good thing now - eh?! :)

She's not climbing out or acting upset at being in a crib. In fact she loves her bed. The reason we've waited so long is . . . why mess with a good thing! The child is a champion sleeper - even when she's sick.

So, why are we doing it now?! Well, it is getting more and more difficult for me to lift her into that crib. I usually have a baby in my arms during the process and this is only going to get harder in the next few months.

Plus, I really think she's ready. She's going on 3, knows her whole alphabet, is pretty obedient (even if she sometimes obeys slowly!), is almost 100% potty trained, etc.

She's a big girl now so I believe this weekend will bring about the moving of the toddler bed from the basement to her room. Now . . . where do we put the crib?

(No, they don't sleep together. They were just playing in Abigail's crib one morning).


Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 8, 2010

On September 8, 2010, I found myself in need of going to the grocery story. I left my children in the capable hands of my husband, once he got home from work, and made my way to the store.


I found myself buying only three things at the grocery store that September evening.


One item was a package of pull-ups. We are in the midst of "potty training" and our daughter Abigail prefers pull-ups to wear for bed and nap time and we were almost out.


The second item was a package of night-time pacifiers for Elsie. She is going on 11-months old and will still not sleep through the night. I was hoping that she could find these pacifers in her crib at night and soothe herself to sleep (so far that has not worked).


The third item was a first response pregnancy test. You see earlier in the day I had taken another pregnancy test that I just happened to have on hand. I had been "off" and I guess another word is "late" since taking birth control pills and just jokinly told myself I'd better check the test. The first test was positive. Well, the second and third tests were positive too!


So . . .


We're officially expecting#3! To say I'm shocked is kind of an understatement but I can see the hand of God working in our lives and I know He will see us through this period of crazy/good life with three young ones.


I also normally do not announce these things publically until later. However, our immediate family knows, Andrew's co-workers know (he's so excited), and well to be truthfully honest, I'm so nausated most of the time now that I can hardly think of anything else to write about!

Today has been a doosy. Elsie has a stuffy nose and got me up a few "extra" times last night. The only thing I could manage to make (for anyone) for breakfast was toast and I just feel like curling up in bed with a movie, a cold drink, and a cold washcloth for my head. Just being honest. Instead, I have managed to run the dishwasher and do two load of laundry.

The baby is going to sleep and the toddler is playing nicely downstairs so that is a welcome relief.

Anyway . . . some exciting changes are happening (again!) in our lives. Despite the pain and sickness that I feel, I know that this is a sweet blessing from God!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Potty Training Begins (and Ends?)

This post may fall into the category of "too much information"! If you do not want to read about my child's potty training, please check back tomorrow. However, this is my blog and I just know that when it is time to start training Elsie, I will have forgotten all of this and will wish it was on my blog for me to refer to.

So . . . here it goes.


What I mean by that title is that this week of potty training has gone so well that we may be officially potty trained soon. By "we", I don't mean myself, my husband, or Elsie. I mean Abigail. Not sure why I typed "we". Oh well.


It started off about 3 weeks ago by offering to let Abigail wear underwear instead of diapers. She was ALL over that. She went in the toilet a few random times but still had quite a few accidents in her underwear.


I decided to take a step back and try again in a month.


Well . . .


My little girl didn't want to do that. She wanted to wear underwear and asked for them frequently. So instead of discourage her attempt to be a big girl, I let her wear the underwear and just figured I'd clean up the mess.


She soon caught on to the fact that when she went in the potty, she would get a jelly bean (organic - from whole foods) or a gummy bear. She was hooked.


We started by reminding her every hour or so to sit on the potty and that worked pretty well.


Then Andrew caught her trying to do a #2 at his Grandma's one Sunday and sat her on the pot. She went and she was so proud of herself!! :)


After that one thing just led to another. First of all, she started to tell us when she had to go. Sometimes it is difficult for me to drop what I'm doing and run to the bathroom with her but I've made it a priority (today I carried a nursing Elsie to the bathroom with us!).


Then tonight she did the unimaginable . . . something I thought was weeks or even months away from happening.


When I was in Elsie's room putting her to bed, Abigail pulled down her own underwear, got up on the potty and went (#2). She waited for me to help her finish up. :)


To say that I'm thrilled is an understatement. I thought I was in for a much harder time than this. I realize that there will still be accidents and probably set-backs but so far it's been a breeze!
(Oh, and that kid-seat you see in this picture? She refuses to use it now. She wants to sit on the big potty like a big girl. What a waste of money for the little potty she never used and the seat she used for 2 weeks. Oh well.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandparents . . .

Yesterday was Grandparents Day - for those of you who didn't know. If I had my act together I would have had lovely cards and flowers ready for each of these important people but well . . . I didn't. Shame on me!


However, I want to acknowledge all of the wonderful grandparents in our lives. We are blessed with grandparents (not only ours but our kids' as well) that are loving, supportive, and always willing to lend a hand.

Grandparents are so important in our family! So let me introduce you to some of the best grandparents that this world has ever known! :)

(in no particular order . . . this was just how the pictures loaded up).


My mom with her granddaughter, Abigail. February 2010




Andrew's Grandma Myers with Great-Granddaughter Abigail in February 2009.




My Grandma Helen with Great-Granddaughter Elsie in August 2010.




My dad with his grandbabies, Isaac and Elsie.


My Grandma Fairchild with Great-Granddaughter Elsie August 2010.



My mother-in-law Susan with Granddaughter Elsie in April 2010.


My father-in-law (sorry you can't see his face very well but this picture shows him adoring Elsie) Wayne with Granddaughter Elsie.


Andrew's Grandpa Schechter and dad with Abigail in Spring of 2009.


Andrew's Grandma Schechter with Great-Granddaughter Abigail in Spring 2009.



Are we blessed or what?!
Thanks to all these wonderful people for loving and caring for us!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Addressing Canola

Okay, so I have gotten a few questions about Canola Oil since my last post, so . . . let me explain. Or at least try to guide you to where you can find answers.

I started out not using Canola Oil about a year ago when my mother said to me "Don't use Canola Oil". Now . . . do I do everything that my mother tells me to? Sorry Mom, but no. However, she's a smart lady and when it comes to health issues, the woman does her research.

Here are a few of the sites with information that I have found (and there are opposing views, of course):

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/559-the-great-con-ola.html

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/04/canola-oil-last-time-random-reader-question.html

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/03/healthy-cooking-oils-whats-wrong-with-canola-info-from-nina-planck.html

http://www.truthaboutabs.com/the-canola-oil-deception.html


Here is more info directly related to Saturated Fat (which is not actually what makes us fat. . . did you know that?).

http://www.fathead-movie.com/

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/does-fat-make-you-fat-dieting-answers.html

Especially check out the last one!! :)

Having listed all those links for you to view yourself, I also want to say . . . feel free to use Canola Oil in your own homes. I am not one to tell other people what to do (it's the people-pleaser in me). If you think it's good and good for you- go for it.

As for me though . . .

I just don't trust "new" and "refined" oils from plants that I am unfamiliar with (see information above). I have never tasted or noticed a difference in my baking or cooking by not using Canola so we will continue to avoid it. I also don't view Saturated or Animal Fat as an enemy. People ate that way for generations and didn't have the obesity epidemic that we have now.

I'm just sayin. . . :)

Hopefully that cleared things up - at least as far as wondering why we don't use Canola Oil. If you have other questions please email me (jaime_schechter@yahoo.com).

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Oatmeal Maple Cookies

My toddler loves cookies! I try not to make cookies that fill her with too much white sugar, flour, and especially hydrogenated oils. These is a great recipe that I found at Whole Foods. Believe it or not, I even modifed it more to make it better! The original recipe called for Canola Oil. I also avoid that at all costs. After all . . . can someone explain to me what a canola is? No seriously, most of these modified oils are what can cause heart attacks and stroke.



I'm not providing much info but . . . you're all smart . . . you can research it for yourself!



So here we go.



If you can see, I had two little helpers in this picture. Elsie didn't last long though. She'll help me some day.





Take 2 cups rolled oats.

Pour it into a skillet or pan ("oops, mama I spilled a little") and toast for about 3 minutes.


Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup spelt flour,









1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg




and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt.



Melt butter in a separate pan (or you can use melted unrefined virgin coconut oil).


Mix together maple syrup (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup of melted butter and . . .


2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract in a separate bowl.



Having a cheerful helper helps speed the process up considerably! :)





Combine maple mixture to oat mixture in a mixing bowl and combine completely. (Yes, I scraped the sides of the bowl down to get the flour after I took this picture).



Drop by teaspoonful onto a baking sheet. Flatten slightly. (I used my spatula to flatten and it worked fine).
Bake about 15 minutes at 350.



Cool cookies on a wire rack before enjoying.




Then enjoy!



Abigail LOVED these cookies. Andrew liked them but thought they'd be better with butterscotch chips (perhaps). They just weren't as sweet as conventional cookies so his sweet tooth was missing something, I think. Anyway, these are delicious and a decently healthy choice (at least with no chemicals like store bought cookies have) as an occasional snack for kids.
I think we may make more today. This batch is gone! :)


Complete Recipe
Oatmeal Maple Cookies
jaimeschechter.blogspot.com
original recipe from whole foods
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup melted butter or melted unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Place oats into a pan and toast for 3 minutes or until slightly golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate saucepan, melt butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup, butter and vanilla until combined. Add oat mixture to maple syrup mixture and stir to combine completely. Dough will be warm. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Flatten dough slightly with a spoon or wet fingers. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool cookies and enjoy!!

Future Ball Player?

This girl LOVES balls. Perhaps she enjoys it so much because she's finally getting some attention away from her older sister when we play "catch" with her. Anyway, thought you'd enjoy seeing my girl (Elsie) enjoy playing ball with her mama!

video

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Comparing

They look very "sisterly" . . . don't ya think?

Here are comparison photos of both my girls at roughly the same age. I think Abigail was 9 months on the dot and Elsie was almost 10 months.

Elsie is smaller than Abigail (which is okay - Abigail is VERY tall) and isn't wearing the outfit that Abigail has on in her picture yet.

Elsie - September 5, 2010


Abigail - November 2, 2008

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Elsie @ 9 months

So . . . Elsie is technically almost 10 months (tomorrow!!!) but we are two busy parents with two busy kids so we finally got around to taking Elsie's 9 month pictures yesterday.

I apologize in advance . . . these were taken with a very wrinkly background in our basement and have not yet been edited. Photoshop can do amazing things. You're getting the raw picture.

Here it goes:

Our sweet darling girl

Who loves to crawl

Elsie's sweet darling sister who wanted in on the photoshoot. Nevermind that she didn't have any pants on so you can see her pull-ups.


Mama and her girls (again would be a great shot except for my pant-less child).



Sisterly love. You can kind of see Abigail's nose in this picture. She fell while doing push-ups (what can I say, the child loves to exercise) and scraped her nose.



Dear Elsie,
You are a sweet, loving, and fun little girl and . . . you are growing up way too fast! We love you very much and despite wanting to keep you a little baby forever, I am also excited about seeing you grow into a little lady. Your sweetness and joy will take you far, my darling. Always remember that you have a very proud mommy, daddy, and perhaps and even more proud big sister (if that is possible).
Your Mommy

Friday, September 03, 2010

Is it time?

I've been struggling with a decision lately. I am trying to decide whether to cancel my online weight watchers membership. I've never gone to a meeting. I have just done their online program. I just can't quite let go!

Officially I have lost 31.6 pounds. That's just okay in my books. I have another 19 to go before I would really be satisfied.

Still, I haven't lost any weight - or significant weight in months.

Also, without going into detail, we could really use the $18 back in our budget every month. New medical bills are coming due, kids need things, etc.

Also, I have copied most of the information from the site (all my weight tracking, recipes, some points calculations, etc) so I think I can keep going on my own.

Also, I went 2.5 weeks without tracking during my vacation and only gained a very negligible amount. Seems that my eating habits have changed somewhat.

Also, I would still track my weight every Monday. If it starts going up, I'd just join again. Seems easy, right?

Okay, I've talked myself into it. Maybe in the next few days I'll cancel!!

Yikes!

I feel like I'm losing a big safety net!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Trip 2010: Kansas City

I'm finally getting around to the very last part of our trip! I'm sure you're all thankful you won't have to read about this anymore. Ha!

Anyway, we stopped in Kansas City for two nights for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family. We are spread out from Ohio to Chicago to Arkansas to Denver so we don't see each other that often.

It was really great to see everyone again and to have a chance to reconnect. We didn't do any real formal "reunioning" but just spent time together. So fun!

Of course, Abigail was instantly drawn to my Aunt Ronda. She is truly the ultimate aunt and is one of the most amazing people I know. She is great with kids so, of course, Abigail adored her!

Here they are checking out the view!


Me and my cousin, Rachel.


Rachel holding Elsie. Elsie was being a little fussy at this particular moment! :)


Alex (my nephew), Abigail, and my aunt Ronda have fun playing together!



My Grandma Helen and my Mom let the babies (Elsie and my nephew Isaac) have a chat.



My dad with his pride and joy - the younger 2 grandkids.



All of the younger generations at the Plaza Fountains pose for a picture.


All of us pose for a picture. Andrew took the picture and later photoshopped himself in but I didn't upload that one. Perhaps I will later!



The Walter siblings.



Elsie crashes for her morning nap. She took about a 2-hour nap in her stroller! She slept some outside and finished her nap in the Cheesecake Factory where we ate lunch.



Abigail did not want her picture taken at this moment. She showed her displeasure by not holding onto Papa Kurt's head! Ha! I'm sure she won't like me showing this . . . some day!



Abigail and her daddy share a tender moment at lunch.


Abigail and her cousin Alex had a lot of fun hanging out!


Abigail had no fear of the open atrium. She even went to the 12th floor with Aunt Ronda and Uncle Dale and peered over the edge.




Then on Sunday morning we headed home. Whew! It was a busy but super fun trip! I can't believe how great our kids did in the car and sharing a room together. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!