Friday, April 30, 2010

Heading out . . .

I'm spending the day preparing for our journey to Chicago.

It's kind of a crazy trip.

We're all driving up there . . . dropping Andrew off downtown for a conference . . . then heading to my sister's house.

We're all very excited about meeting my brand new nephew, Isaac Keith!! Abigail keeps talking about going to baby Isaac's house.

Then my mother-in-law (bless her for doing this!!) is taking a bus up there on Tuesday and helping me drive the girls home on Wednesday. Andrew has to leave from Chicago to go to New York for another business trip.

I was NOT looking forward to hauling two kids home by myself.

Then home and a few days on my own before Andrew gets back.

Whew! Sounds tiring to me. :) Ha!

In other news . . . my garden seeds finally arrived yesterday . . . we'll half of them did (weird, right?!). So I planted corn, sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, and lettuce. I can't wait until the rest of them come. When we get home from Chicago, I'm planning on purchasing tomato, pepper, and cucumber plans for starting in the garden.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is this what stay-at-home mom's do?

I'm enjoying spring! Is this what stay-at-home mom's do with their time?

Gardening: See my garden? My seeds haven't arrived yet but soon there will be lots of things growing.


Growing flowers: We finally mulched a bed in front of our house and I'm trying to keep the weeds out now as well as beautify with potted plants!


Hanging baskets: I looked and looked until I found something I loved! I hope I don't kill them!



My mini herb garden: I have already used it quite a bit!


Parenting an unhappy child (not all the time - mainly only when I'm taking pictures).





Parenting a happy child (not all the time - does love to have her picture taken!).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baked Oatmeal: Recipe #1

I made Baked Oatmeal for breakfast this morning and wanted to share the recipe. I didn't take many pictures, but hopefully you get the idea.

First of all, I just wanted to share what I get to look at while I'm cooking in my kitchen every day. It doesn't really get better than this, does it?! :)



Okay, going on:

First off you start with some time of acidic medium to soak the oatmeal. If you haven't heard of soaking grains, check out this article. This was actually my first time trying this although I have heard of the health benefits for years.

I used plain Kefir to soak the oatmeal because I had it in the fridge. Abigail drinks it. Lots of it!

I soaked 3 cups of rolled oats overnight in about 2 to 3 cups of kefir.



Here is a mistake I made that you can avoid: I would not soak in a jar like this again. It took me a good 5 minutes to get the soaked grains out in the morning. I'll use a glass measuring cup with a tight fitting lid next time.


When I got up in the morning, I mixed in 2 ripe bananas (minus a small chunk that I ate - oops).


1 egg


1/8 cup of raw local honey


1 tsp baking powder


and


1/4 cup of coconut oil


The original recipe also called for some chopped nuts. That would have been delicious in this however I didn't have the motivation to search for nuts and chop them. I will next time!


Then I poured it all into a greased baking dish and baked it at 350 for one hour.


That was the hardest part . . . smelling it baking for one hour and waiting.


I would have liked to tell you that I got up early and had it ready when Abigail woke up but that's not true. Elsie is going through another bad sleeping stretch and I was up 2 or 3 times last night (don't remember) so I slept as long as possible this morning!






The final verdict . . . delicious!


The only bummer was when I calculated the weight watcher points a serving was 5 points. That is a little high for me for breakfast. I can get away with it now (since I'm breastfeeding full time) but I like to get my breakfast points under 4. Oh well just have to eat a light lunch.


Here is the recipe:



Baked Oatmeal
From jaimeschechter.blogspot.com


3 cups rolled oats
2 ripe bananas
3 cups of kefir, buttermilk, yogurt (approximately, you may need more or less)
1 egg
1/8 cup of honey
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/8 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Soak oats in 2-3 cups of yogurt/buttermilk/kefir of your choice overnight. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Place in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour.


Super easy, healthy and delicious!

It would have also been good with some cooked-down berries on top but I didn't do that this time. Next time I plan to make this I'll try to have some raspberries or blueberries on hand to add as a little fruit sauce on top. It was still good without that.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Blogging

One of my most favorite things to do is to cook. Okay so it extends further than that. I love to cook, watch cookings shows, collect recipes, read food blogs (and on and on and on). Aren't you amazed that I've lost 26 pounds with all this food obsession! Ha!

So I do enjoy food and I was so very blessed to grow up in a home that put value on eating healthy whole foods. I haven't always done such a good job of cooking healthy in my own home but now that Abigail is eating what we eat, I am much more conscious of it. I was easily swayed by the temptation of convenience and am blessed now as a stay-at-home mom to be able to put more emphasis into what we eat.

We're certainly not perfect in the way we eat and I am hesitant to blog about this because many of our family and friends do better than we do but I figured that if there is just one person who can benefit from reading about the way we eat in our house, I might as well start to share.

So, with that in mind. . . I have no intentions of becoming a full out food blogger. I do not have the culinary or photography skills to do so but I will try to share the recipes we enjoy from time to time. Perhaps I'll even throw in a few pictures (just because those help me so much when reading other people's blogs!).

Now I have to step up my game and decide on the first recipe to share with you. Hopefully that will be coming soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elsie's clothing dilemma

A few weeks ago, I added Elsie's 6-9 month clothes to her closet in addition to her 3-6 month clothes. I got half-way through hanging them up, only to realize that I was going to run out of closet space! (She can fit into almost all of the 3 to 9 month clothes right now).

It was then and there that I decided I was going to test and see how long I could go without doing Elsie's laundry! :)

It has now been 2 1/2 weeks (I do laundry on Mondays - more on that another time) and this is what her closet currently looks like.




That's not counting the onesies, pants, and sleepers still in drawers.

I thought I could go a month without doing her laundry but now I'm thinking I might be able to make it two months!

Here is the problem now. . . . Elsie's overflowing laundry basket. I may have to add another basket to the closet.



Here's my happy and joyful girl (and drooly girl!) smiling because she has so many pretty clothes to wear!



It is a blessing to have too many clothes. It makes doing laundry so much easier for me! :)

Enjoy this video from this afternoon. . .


video



And yes, her closet does need doors. It is only of the 1,000,000 things we decided not to originally finish before we moved in and . . . it's still not done. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update . . . *Updated*

So Abigail ended up throwing up once more day (so far anyway) around 4 pm so we're thinking maybe she had a little bug instead of car sickness. This sounded all-the-more possible when I talked to my father-in-law tonight and he said that he was sick last night as well.

I'm thankful for the health that we do have (I've been healthy for a while - thankfully!!!) but I could really use a break! Just a month of no sickness. . . is it possible?!

Update:
*Just as I hit publish on this Abigail threw up in her bed - all over her pillow - all over the dolly she sleeps with - yuck - yuck- yuck! Definitely a bug - a weird one!

My head hurts . . . !

Abigail is prone to car sickness. We've known that for a while. I'm ALWAYS leery of driving her around. I always carry a puke bucket and usually a change of clothes.

I don't enjoy being paranoid but most of the time, it pays off.

This morning we had to return our final diaper trial (hallelujah!). About half way there Abigail starts to cough (sometimes a sign of throw up) and then hold her hands over her mouth which she's never done before. I handed her the bucket.

I instantly pull off the highway. I was able to catch her in the middle of losing her breakfast but instead of using the bucket she just held it and still threw up on herself. Not quite old enough to get it yet. Thankfully I had a change of clothes in the car.

Got her cleaned up and continued on our way.

Did the diaper trial thing (yahoo!!! no more diaper trial - and got paid $175) and headed back home.

Right as I am about to get on the highway she does it again . . . coughs and holds her hands over her mouth. Now . . . she had been drinking apple juice out of her sippy cup after the last "incident" so I wasn't terribly surprised to see her lose it all again.

I was debating with myself over whether or not she had a bug.

I didn't have any more clothes so she had to sit in her mess all the way home (poor girl).

I wonder how many times I will have to clean vomit from that car seat. Having my kid throw up in the car (in her carseat) is about my least favorite thing on this earth! Not such a big deal if I can catch it but I hate cleaning out the car seat.

She has had crackers and macaroni and cheese since being home and seems to be fine (knock on wood!).

I never thought I'd be the mother of such a carsick kid. Lord help me!! I'm just not cut out for this stuff.

P.S. I do not think she's ever thrown up in the car when Andrew was around. Perhaps that's why he thinks I'm paranoid!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review of 2010 Goals

In January I set some goals for myself for 2010. I hardly ever stick to my goals so I decided to set up reminders on the 1st of every month. These reminders tell me to look at the goals and so I'm consistently reminded of them. Here are the goals that I set and how I'm doing.

Beware! I'm going to be very honest here! :)

1) Read the 1 verse a day calendar.

Well, I did well with this until Abigail got sick in March. It's no excuse, though. You'd think I could handle reading one Bible verse a day. This serves as my reminder to jump back on the horse, though. I have time. I firmly believe that moms in any season of life have time to read the Bible (I'm preaching to myself here) even if it means not being alone when you do it. I actually think this is a great thing. I have fond memories of seeing my own mother study the Bible in her blue chair in the basement and I hope to leave the same legacy for my own girls.

I'm not doing it now, though so back on the wagon I go. . .

2) Exercise 2x a week.

I haven't done this perfectly but I have probably exercised 2x a week more weeks than not. So that's good! :)

3) Spend more quality time during my quantity time with my kids.

This is a difficult one for me. I spend time with my kids - lots and lots of time. However, I'm not sure I'm consistent enough about sitting down and really playing at their level (sometimes - independent play is good too). I'd like to work with Abigail on her numbers, colors, letters, etc. I just need to set a specific time each day to do this.

4) Work through Character qualities with myself and my kids.

So I haven't done this at all. . . at least not consciously. I have been working with Abigail on manners, controlling her emotions and temper, etc but I want to have the character qualities in front of me and make them a central focus of our day.

5)Lose 20 pounds.

Well, I'm happy to say that this is the one I accomplished. I'm not sure what that says about me. :) I have been doing weight watchers since January 24th and have lost 26 pounds (as of this morning). I haven't blogged much about this for several reasons. I didn't want to blog about it and then fail (how's that for honesty) and it just seems so personal. So, there you go. I have lost 26 pounds in almost 4 months.

It's been surprisingly easy. It helps (tremendously) to have a breastfeeding baby. It also helps to be at home and not behind a desk all day. I'm much more active with two little kids and I can tell it helps.

Elsie's up from her nap so I'd better go. Have you kept up with your 2010 goals? I'd love to hear from you. Anyone? anyone?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wife . . .

Most days I am glad that there aren't any more females in this house. It is going to get interesting around here in about 12 years! :)

But some days (like today) I wish I had my own wife to do my laundry, wash my dishes, feed my kids, clean my house, put away my clothes, clean my toilet. I guess then I'd have to go to work, huh?! :)

Our girls



They fill my life with so much joy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Car Blues

We have had a string of bad luck with our cars lately.

In September we purchased a Mazda van. The week after the purchase we replaced the water pump.

Four months later it was back in the shop because it was leaking antifreeze from the back heater.

It's in the shop again today because it just wouldn't hold antifreeze. The diagnosis: IT NEEDS A NEW WATER PUMP! Seriously! The mechanic said that it was just a bad part. Needless to say, this will be a free repair for us!

Then on Monday Andrew's truck broke down on his way home from work.

Diagnosis: Engine is shot (not exactly sure what that means).

Then on Tuesday Andrew ran out of gas while driving his Grandma's van. Thankfully that was an easy fix! :)

So we're shopping around for another car to replace Andrew's. We need something a bit more reliable since we have two "lemonish" cars.

Andrew is looking at several options, one is a Honda Fit (used, of course - since we'll be paying cash for it).

Have I mentioned that I HATE spending this much money. Really, I can't stomach it. It is one of the qualities that my husband loves most about me, I think.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Still here

I'm still here!

I'm not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore! :)

Abigail finished a steroid treatment for her breathing on Sunday. She was fine Sunday and Monday but is having some coughing and noisy breathing. I guess we'll just watch her and see what happens. She's not really struggling to breathe like she was.

My deepest suspicion, which is not confirmed by a doctor, is that she has allergies. Mine have been terrible the last two weeks. We've been trying to give her a shower or bath before bed each night to wash away any potential allergens from her hair but we didn't because of a late night on Monday and then Tuesday morning she was worse.

I'm also giving her local raw honey to see if it helps. Even if it isn't allergies, these treatments won't hurt her. :)

The rest of us are fine. We're working on getting our garden ready and we've begun work on our front flower bed. It will be so nice to have that looking decent.

Elsie still has sleeping challenges but I'm not seriously working on anything . . . yet! :) She is my little sweet heart. I'm just soaking up every moment of her babyhood. It very well may be our last!

Hopefully I'll find time to post some Easter pictures later. I need to get to cleaning now! We have family in town and I've seriously neglected my cleaning schedule this week!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

This is the day . . .

that the Lord has made. I'm trying to keep that in mind!!


I gave Abigail her third dose of steroid syrup and motrin before her nap. She slept 1 1/2 hours and has seemed to perk up. Her breathing is the same. I'm just watching her now. Trying to decide if a trip to the hospital is in the future. Taking it minute by minute. This minute it does not seem like she needs to go - so we're at home. :)


My husband is here:

http://www.thelucernehotel.com/default.aspx?pg=home&rp=gallery


Alone . . . in a hotel room . . . then working the Lincoln Center. Why does that sound like a bit of heaven to me?

I keep telling myself that one cannot die of boredom and loneliness! :) Ha! I'm going to treat myself to some mexican for dinner (I think) if I can get enough guts to put the girls in the car to drive to pick it up. I'm a little gun shy of puke in the car after yesterday.

You know you're a veteran mom when you clean puke from a car seat, high chair, van seat, from in between your toes, off the kitchen floor, and out of your daughter's shoes all in one day.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Prayer!

We're home again! The diagnosis: Abigail has either bronchiolitis or viral pneumonia . . . again. Her poor breathing is so labored and sad. I just put her and Elsie to bed.

Please pray that we would have a good night - that just one of the girls would need me at a time so I can best meet their needs! Yikes!

Pray we don't need to make a trip to the hospital and that Abigail would sleep deeply and well so she will feel better tomorrow.

Pray that her stomach feels better soon. Poor girl has a sensitive stomach and throws up if she's sick. She needs to keep down her medicine for it to work!

Pray that Elsie would not catch whatever virus this is! I'm always very careful about swapping germs between the girls but I can't watch every minute. Elsie loves to put her hands in her mouth and Abigail loves to hold her hand.

Andrew . . . come home soon!!!! (I'm sure he's really itching to get home - ha ha!)


****I am so thankful to live close to Andrew's family. It is a source of great comfort to me that they are close enough to call in an emergency. I don't know how families do it when they don't live near the grandparents! I'm so spoiled!!*****

We are NEVER alone!

Abigail started running at fever late morning so we're headed to the doctor in a few minutes. I'm just stunned that she's sick again. I've been feeling scared, sad, worried and sorry for myself that I'm going to be doing this parenting thing alone for a few days.

I checked my email a few minutes ago and found the following message. It is from a ministry that I subscribe to (their magazine) but I have never gotten an email from them before. It is amazing how our wonderful God knows when we need encouragement the most. I'm thankful that even though my husband may be gone for a few days, I am never alone in this parenting thing.

Enjoy!

------------------------------------

Dear Jaime, Jubilantly Embracing Motherhood!

How is everything in your home today? I trust you are having a wonderful day with your daughter Abigail and precious little baby.

It is the experience of life that we enjoy good days, but also difficult and challenging days. Don’t let your challenging days overpower your good days. I found when raising our children, and this same principle still works with me today, that it is not so much the circumstances of the day that really matters, but my attitude. Have you found that too?

Attitude makes all the difference!

I found that if I lived my life by how I was feeling, that I didn’t enjoy life very much. It is easy to feel depressed. It is easy to feel sorry for myself. It is easy to get into a self-pity state. But I also found out that feelings come and feelings go. Feelings are deceiving. I cannot base my life on my feelings. I found that I could live in victory as I trusted in the Word of God. It is a truth that is more real than my feelings! And it works.

Perhaps you have had a sleepless night with the baby. Or you are facing a particularly challenging situation in your life. If you look at your problem, you will be stuck in it. But if you look up to the Lord and confess that He is with you, you will begin to walk in victory.

Science has proved that our feelings will soon catch up with our actions and facial features. You may be feeling down in the dumps. Put on a smile anyway! Yes, smile, even when you don’t feel like it! Guess what? You will soon feel better! Smile at your children when you look at them. Smile at your husband. Smile at the world and you’ll soon be smiling because you actually want to smile.

Thank the Lord for His presence with you. Thank Him that He is with you in your problem. Speak to the Lord out loud…

“Lord, I thank you that you are my God. I thank you that you are bigger than this problem I am facing. I thank you that you are with me. Even though I am going through the waters I will not drown because you are right with me. Thank you, Lord.”

As you thank Him for His power and presence with you, you will face your problems in a different light. You may continue to face the problem, but you can walk with a light step because you are looking to the Lord and you know that He is in control! .

The other day I read this scripture in Joshua 12:7,8. “Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; in the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country (the desert).” Can you believe it? This was the Promised Land! Do you notice that even in the Promised Land they still had to face valleys and mountains and wilderness times? Life is not always easy. It is not all plains.

We have valley times – the times of weeping and troubles. We have mountains to face – obstacles where we can’t seem to see our way through! Many times we go through a dry wilderness or desert time and we don’t feel the presence of the Lord like we have before.

Dear one – don’t despair! It is all part of life. It is all part of God’s plan. If we lived on the “plain” all the time, we’d never get to know our God because we wouldn’t need Him. It is in the tough times that we learn to know Him more and prove that He is the faithful, dependable and unchangeable God. You can totally put your trust in Him. You can put all your weight on Him.

No matter what you are facing at this time, it is not too big for God. Take your eyes off your frustrations or your difficult circumstances and put your eyes upon the Lord. He has promised to carry your burden and He has promised to be your Deliverer! Remember that it is the mountain and valley experiences that cause us to mature and grow in the Lord. You’ll have plenty of them as a mother, but you can praise God, because they are working for you a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Thank the Lord today for the precious children He has given you. Each one is a precious eternal soul that is going to live forever. Each one has a destiny to extend the kingdom of God on this earth. And you are privileged to be their mother—to train and teach and prepare them for life and eternity. What a great career.

May the blessings of the Lord be poured upon you, your husband and your children today.

Much love in Christ,

NANCY CAMPBELL
www.aboverubies.org

P.S. Check out the latest postings on the webpage at BIBLE IN THE HOME and PRAYER IN THE HOME. You’ll find them under ARICLES AND STORIES. You will be blessed and inspired.

This week . . .

This week will be very interesting - adventurous - what have you.

I had a teacher in high school that said "what have you" all the time and I cannot say it without thinking of her. Ah the legacy teachers leave. Ha!

Okay so I'm a little slap happy or what have you (ha!) at the moment.

Abigail started coughing yesterday afternoon. It made me nervous because that is exactly how her pneumonia started, just a dry cough. My mothers intuition told me that she was catching something. I wanted to be wrong. I desperately wanted to be overreacting and paranoid.

Such is not the case.

Abigail woke up at midnight coughing and crying and sounding "croupy" so Andrew took her into the bathroom for some steam. She slept fine the rest of the night.

No fever this morning but lots of coughing and a runny nose.

Oh . . . and Elsie is sneezy and a little thick throated as well. Not sounding croupy - thankfully.

Oh . . . did I mention that Andrew is leaving today at 1 pm for a business trip until late Thursday? Yeah! Hmm!

I am so lucky to have family in the area that is willing to help me. This just makes me think of all the single moms and all of the moms who have husbands who travel a lot more than mine. I am in awe of them! I'm seriously not cut out to be a single mom. I rely on my husband for so much. Even if I don't ask him to always get up with the kids or do things, just knowing he is available gives me such comfort!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Things I love . . .

I love . . .

taking walks with me girls. I get to look at and talk to my little sweetie and carry on a wonderful conversation with my toddler. After a 30 minute walk today, Abigail said "Mommy tired!" Ha! Pushing a double stroller on a walking path with hills is quite the workout!

spring thunderstorms and watching the rain from my front porch with my sweet girls.

being a mommy and being at home!

sunshine and peach tea!

a good book.

blogging!

Easter. It might be my favorite "holiday". Being forgiven of our sins is the best thing I can think of to celebrate! (Christmas is very close - can't decide!)

my family. I'm going to be an auntie tomorrow and I'm so excited!

Here is a sneek peek of our Easter photos. Andrew didn't want me to "release" these until he had time to fix them in photoshop (mainly the backgrounds) but he's going on a business trip tomorrow (heaven help me!) and I can't wait anymore!



I had to put this one on here. Isn't this the sweetest picture of Daddy and Elsie Pie?! So precious!


This was the best one of the whole family. It's getting more difficult to get all to cooperate as they get older! :) I can see that I should have turned differently but we were using the camera remote. . . so we got what we got. Oh well!
I'll give an update on what happens with my sister and baby when I know something!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Uplifting . . .

These blogs were just what my weary soul needed to read this week.

I have found that being a stay-at-home mom to be the most challenging and yet rewarding of experiences but with it I have come across a very distinct feeling of failure that is constantly plaguing me.

Whenever my house isn't perfect - speckled with sticky finger prints - dirty dishes - dust - dirty laundry - this feeling comes to find me.

If I'm unable to do things myself - the feeling of failure comes to find me.

When I sit down to nurse my baby and my other daughter begins to throw a fit, crying and stomping away (I know it is jealousy) but the feeling of failure comes to find me.

When my babies are so sick and sad - the feeling of failure comes to find me.

When I see what other moms accomplish and aren't afraid to do in a day - the feeling of being a failure comes to find me.

This isn't a feeling that I have dealt with before. I have always thought of myself as a capable person. It's funny how adding children to life brings along changes in a person's view of themselves.

I am blessed by a wonderful husband who thinks that I'm doing a good job and tells me so. I'm also extremely blessed by a husband who is a big picture sort of chap. Which, thankfully, means he doesn't really notice the mess! Ha!

I was also blessed this week by several blogs which serve as reminders (I know this stuff - it just doesn't always stick!) that what I'm doing may not be able to be measured by something concrete (my work will never be finished) or by monetary gain (oh, how I wish it were!).

Having an eternal perspective and living in the moment . . . measuring my day by how much quality time I have spent with my lovely girls, instead of by lovely my house looks, is what it is all about.

I cannot say this any better than this blogger did (and even if I tried, it would be plagiarism) so here are the links:

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/?p=363#more-363