November 9, 2011

toddler tuesday: six ideas for the cold

Some cold weather ideas to keep the kids busy and mamas sane.

Idea one: find someone who likes to talk - and let the kids call them. Millie ca spend lots of time listening to grandma ramble (um, I mean, talk). Being grandma, she loves talking to the wee one, so it's a win-win situation for everyone, including the freshly cleaned kitchen counters (thanks grandma!).

Idea two: I posted here how to make colored rice. Once you have your rice colored, hunt for objects the same color of your rice, and all of a sudden you have a color-themed sensory bin. This leads to minutes of scooping, hiding and rice-throwing fun [read: it can be messy so do it on hard floors].

Idea three: If you want to get out, but don't really have much to do, go shopping in the dollar store. Give your child a dollar - that way they can shop a bit but also learn about the value of a dollar.

Idea four: Window crayons. Have you seen these? They are awesome. We color on windows, mirrors, and cell phones [read: use under supervision].  They are fun for all ages, and the best part is they clean up easy... as in, easily enough for a toddler to clean up! Win!

Idea five: swimming in the kitchen. No really, let them swim in the kitchen. A few days ago I was staring at the kiddy pool out on the patio getting rained on, and I thought, I should just bring that inside. HEY! You CAN bring it inside, fill with farm water, and let them go nuts! The best part - clean up by dancing on towels and save yourself the chore of mopping the floor this week! Another win!

Idea six: another winter outing - book stores with a kid's section. These places are just waiting for kids to come enjoy them. We have a Barnes and Noble here that even has a stage on it (maybe all do, I'm not sure). This is a great idea because 1. they get to read books, 2. they can run around (if there's room for such play) and 3. you can sit with a hot drink and relax. What's better than that? A library would also be an excellent choice, but they don't want you to bring drinks in there - though they have free books, so you have to weigh that one. ;)

Um, I thought I'd mention that she fell in that park - hence the marks on her noggin.
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November 8, 2011

make it monday: gifts

WIth Christmas just around the corner my thoughts have turned to gifts. I aspire to have a homemade Christmas, but well... I have 2 babies and a mending hip [read: no time for crafting]. So in my "free hours," the time before my children are awake, while they nap, and after they go to sleep [read: when I can be kid free] - I am slowly working on gifts.

Gifts are my absolute favorite thing to make. Here are some links of great sites to help you come up with ideas:
Everything Etsy
Christmas Your Way

I have some lists started myself, they might give you some ideas:
Books (make your own or make a Shutterfly photo book)
Crayon rolls
Play kitchen apron/oven mitt/etc
Felt food
Art apron
Taggy blankies

Photos (framed or printed on canvas)
Apron/oven mitts/etc
Cloth coasters

And tune in next Monday for how to make awesome gifts for grandparents from the kids. :)
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October 28, 2011

we did it

Today, I nursed my baby. 2 oz, to be exact.

We went down to the lactation consultant's office and it was like riding a bike - he just latched right on and took off.

Then we got home...

...and he doesn't seem to want to do it again. :/ humph. It's going to be a work in progress for a while I guess.

But, after being dry for 4 weeks, we nursed. It is possible. :)
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October 26, 2011

I'm a cow

Milk making day 3:
Yesterday I started pumping and got a half oz combined. Today I didn't pump nearly as much as I would have liked, but I got an ounce combined! Moving in the right direction!!!
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October 25, 2011

make it monday: milk

I have not made anything in over a month, I'll be honest.

Between all the recovery, nausea, issues, etc. I've had over the last 5 weeks, I just plum haven't had the time or energy. I thought about abandoning my blog altogether, cause I'm not sure there's anyone actually reading it anymore, but... I'm still on a journey and that's what this blog is about - my journey as a sahm to my dear Millie and Sam (who is 4 months already!).

Today my journey will take another turn - the concept is called "re-lactation" on I'm going to try to get my milk back.

The process is simple - in theory. I'm going to be taking a medication to get it jump started, some supplements, and I'm going to be pumping often - and lots of skin-to-skin contact. Once I've got the milk coming, the task of teaching Sam to nurse again will begin. I am not a fast-flow bottle. This, I believe, will be the biggest challenge (as long as my milk does come back in).

Step one: get prescription meds - check
Step two: get out supplements - check
Step three: get pump out - check
Step 4: start meds and supplements - check
Step 5: begin pumping - starting today!
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October 23, 2011

five weeks

Week 1
Monday September 19 – pre-op appointments.
Meet with a PA and PT. Find out surgery time. 7:30 am. Must check in at 5:30 I weigh in at 143.
Tuesday, September 20 – surgery day.
Wednesday, September 21 – therapy day.
            PT has me out of bed and standing for a bit. Fighting severe nausea.
Thursday, September 22 – therapy day.
Still fighting nausea. PT gets me up and walking. I get a shower for the first time since Tuesday morning. Bliss. I’m disconnected from the pain killer pump.
Friday, September 23 – discharge day.
            I learn how to maneuver the stairs and basic independent living how-to’s.
Saturday, September 24 – first home day
Mom arrives. I am heavily medicated.

Week 2
Sunday, September 25 – home day
            More heavy medication.
Monday, September 26 – home day.
            More heavy medication.
Tuesday, September 27 – ambulance ride
            My first outing. MIL and I take Sam to Urgent care. He has thrush.
Having not had a BM since my surgery, I take some things to get the ball rolling. This results in me pretty much collapsing on the toilet. An ambulance arrives, picks me up and hauls me away. I am admitted to the hospital after blood counts show I had less than half the blood I’m supposed to. I get 2 units throughout the night.
Wednesday, September 28 – hospital day
            Boring, unproductive and medicated day.
Thursday, September 29 – home again.
I am given another shower. The funny motherly Hispanic CNA strips me and gives me a scrubbing. Awkward but refreshing. After a visit from PT and more blood draws, I am cleared to go home.
Friday, September 30 – post-op.
I take my first solo shower. I feel oddly alone. Oh, this is called privacy, that’s right. Another trip to OHSU. Meet with PA. I weigh in at 137.
Saturday, October 1 – bye-bye mom.
            Mom leaves. Samuel has decided he doesn’t want to nurse anymore after all this time on the bottle.

Week 3
Sunday, October 2 – walking.
I take a few steps today without holding onto anything. A little pain but not bad. I get a little better at it throughout the week.
Monday – Friday (3-7)
Normal home stuff. MIL is home this week to watch over the kids. I get out to the store with FIL once (Wed) to get some needed items for the kids – and get my first lesson in motorized carts. I go a full week until having another BM.
Saturday, October 8 – outing.
My first big outing – the zoo. On our way we pick up different pain killers in hopes of me not being so fuzzy headed and constipated. At the zoo, I’m wheeled around in a wheelchair by various members of the family.

Week 4
Sunday, October 9 – homecoming.
Today we make the drive back to Medford. The kids are cranky, I am sore, and the drive seemed to take forever. But, we make it in one piece.
Monday-Friday (10-14) – the deluge of help begins
Thanks to a couple of amazing ladies, there are women scheduled to be here to help me and the children from 8-4:30 every day. Not only that, but suppers are brought each night. Blessings are flowing! Friday I begin home PT. I’m still not having regular or normal BMs.
Saturday, October 15 – church day.
We make it to church today. Lovely outing. Then home, leftovers from throughout the week, and brownies. Package from Naturopathic Dr arrives.

Week 5
Sunday, October 16 – normal day.
It almost feels like a normal Sunday around the house. Only I’m around the sofa mostly. I start the natural pain relievers and cut off all other meds in hopes my head and digestive system can clear out.
Monday, October 17 – natural day.
First day with just natural stuff. Seems to be ok… This week there is another deluge of daily help and suppers this week.
Tuesday, October 18 – meet the wall.
I kind of hit a wall. And melt down. With the drugs totally out of my system I find the natural remedy doesn’t cut the pain much at all. I fight through it until I can’t handle the pain anymore and try small doses of the narcotics. They don’t work quickly. I spend most of the day in a crying funk. I am totally nauseated from using the bathroom.
I have home PT and start using my cane.
Wednesday, October 19 – more funk.
I have to stop breaking the pills in half and take a whole. This is still less than I was taking. Hoping to find a balance. Again I spend the day nauseated and crying.
Thursday, October 20 – light day.
This morning starts as the last 2 did. More tears. I decide to take a shower, and had an unexpected but much needed chat with God. It went a little like this:
Me: “God, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t even stand up… I don’t have an ounce of strength left.”
God: “I am very strong.”
Me: “I’m not. I’m so weak.”
God: “I can give you strength.”
Me: “But I’m so weak, Lord.”
God: “Do you trust me?”
Me: “Yes.”
God: “Then stop crying and start trusting. I’ve got this.”
Then I get out of the shower and move on. One day at a time. I suddenly feel refreshed and energized. He’s got this. My PT comes and says I am doing betting than I should be for how weak my muscles are. He’s got this.
Friday, October 21 – good day.
I wake up strong. I can do anything. I’m no longer relying on my own strength, so there’s not much I can’t do. I’m walking stronger and feeling more confident. I seem to have found a nice balance with my meds. I can do anything through Him who gives me strength.
Saturday, October 22 – church day.
We get relatively good sleep (the toddler has been sick with a cold all week). Then to church and later to a friend’s house for supper and a visit. 
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September 25, 2011

new hip - aka Big Bertha

I had in mind to sit down and write a lovely post.
Than the pain meds kicked in.
I'm not supposed to drive, so I probably shouldn't write either. So here are some photos:

My babies came to visit me:

The after my surgery I went for a little stroll from my bed to the door and back. 

And here's Big Bertha, the chunk of titanium that now resides in my side.

Sorry, I'm officially too drugged up to write more. I got out of the hospital on Friday. Woot Woot! hip
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September 21, 2011

Happy, happy hip

I got a brand new titanium hip yesterday. Here's the low down on surgery day:

2:55 Sam wakes up. Of course 30 minutes before my alarm is meant to go off. 
2:59 Feeding Sam. Suddenly a strange sensation hits me - the realization that in 4 hours I will be getting an IV. That in 4.5 hours my life will change.
3:05 All I can think about is planning the breakfast I can't eat. 
3:08 Sam is done. No wait, he wants more.
3:15 Sam is sleeping.
3:16 I'm sitting on the pot and I realize I won't be sitting like this for what seems to me a very long time. Raised toilet seats, here I come.
3:18 Contacts in.
3:20 Let the documentation begin. And the pumping.  
4:04 Pumped, showered, dressed, and packing up the computer. See you on the flip side... Leaving in 25 minutes.
5:30 This is how you get the good parking spots
5:35 Ooops, got lost in the shuffle, They cant find my paper work.
6:00 They found my paper work and want my money.
6:20 Greeted by the entire hospital it seems. They kick Hubs out.
6:30 The curse of tiny veins - they had to use an ultrasound to find my veins and put the IV in.
6:45 Anesthesia team loaded me up on happy juice.
6:50 Rolled me on my side and inserted the nerve block into my back. I was as high as the clouds. I avoided an epidural with both pregnancies and for what? 
7:10 Off we go to the OR.
7:15 Getting the spinal tap.
7:20 Out like a light.
10:00 Seeing fuzzy lights.
10:01 Beyond shivering, shaking cold.
10:05 Gave me meds to stop the shakes.
10:15 Put a heater under my blankets
10;30 Warm enough to feel human.
11:00 Asking to see Hubs - they say I'm not stable enough yet.
11:50 Started preping me to move me to my room/
12:45 Wheeling me out/
12:50 First patient in room # 1 in the new wing.
1:00 Fancy lift, switched beds.
1:06 Texted loved ones
1:35 Ordered food. 
1:40 Facebook, chatting with Hubs, etc.
2:20 Food arrives
2:45 I'm done eating and want to nap. Hubs leaves for the day.
4:45 First time my hip is hurting.

I stopped keeping track after that. Today I slept in until about 8 (thank you sleeping pill). Around 10 PT was in here. I stood up. If you're impressed, don't be. I immediately had to lay back down because I got to nauseated. Boo. I've been fighting nausea on and off ever since I woke up. They are going to come back in the afternoon and work with me again. I'm lonely, so I'm looking forward to their company. LOL. 

I've got a rough couple of weeks ahead of me... But, I'm on the road to recovery, soon I'll be walking down that road (albeit slowly) but I'll be dancing soon enough. 

(photos to come)
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September 14, 2011

wifley wednesday: game night date

Every once in a while, Hubs forgets how ruthless I am at my favorite game and brings out Canasta for a game night. That turns into me asking for a round or 2 (which I usually am able to sneak in in a 3rd) the next few nights until he remembers I am ruthless. And I win. Then the game mysteriously gets put away again until he forgets again.

Playing games together is fun. You get to have this (friendly) smack-talk banter back and forth while chatting about life. I like that conversations are kept light but insightful. And if you don't like where the conversation is going, go can always pull the rug out and put all your cards down. 100 points for going out, and 100 points for going out concealed. That's a lot of points for a date night.

Of course, especially with Canasta, you always have to keep score. That way you can throw in a back rub for the winner, and get out of doing the dishes. Or... the sky is the limit.

The best part of a game night date is, you don't have to put a lot of planning or effort into it. If you're tired at the end of the day, playing a game is a great way to be lazy without ignoring each other in front of the TV. Most families have a game or two already, so there is usually no cost (although if you don't have Canasta I highly recommend it). You can include the whole family or play just the two of you. You can play in your work clothes, play clothes, jammies, or silkies. Or in the buff [insert a little wink-wink here].

Want to make it a little more special? Prepare his favorite dessert to go along with his favorite game. Turn on some music. Have some fun!
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September 13, 2011

toddler tuesday: footloose

Today is all about getting down and dirty with some good old fashioned footprints.

I like to do footprints every few months, though I wish I would have been more consistent and started this sooner. 
We have a few bottles of washable tempera paint - we love getting it out and getting into it. 
And by "we" I mean, "I" because Millie can't stand the thought of getting dirty.
But I bribe her.

Some fun things we do aside from just hand and foot prints is the dance of the painted feet. 
I paint her feet and lay out paper and crank up the Pandora Toddler station. 
This time I also let her dance around on the bare floor also, as I needed a little motivation to mop. 
Gotta love washable paint. 

I've seen a few different ideas on Pinterest of different pictures to make with hand and feet prints. 
Everything from fish, trees and butterflies to turkeys, flowers and faces. 
I can't wait until she's old enough for those kinds of crafts. 
Does it make me a huge nerd that I want to do all the kiddie crafts? 


Other things to do with painted feet: 
See what it looks like when you tip-toe, march, and hop. 
Have a long-jump contest. 
Make a giant picture on the floor with just your feet (read: washable paint).
Paint the feet of some toys and see what kind of footprint they make.
Count feet and toes when the paint dries.
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September 12, 2011

make it monday: party time!

Millie turned 2.


The only good thing about her getting bigger is throwing her parties. :D

I wanted a small party in the park this year. We were originally going to have it on a farm (hence the farm theme) but our farm of choice was not open on the day we wanted to do the party. So, to the park we went!

But first I had to make decorations!

To make the bunting, I cut out a ton of isosceles triangles out of fabric. I cut long strips of fabric (large 7" and then small 2.5" ones).
Then I took a piece of printer paper and folded it on a corner edge-to-edge to give me a nice 45 degree angle, then cut it according to the size of triangle I wanted to make. Easy peasy!
Once I had my template, I just cut them out fairly quickly. Some I traced and hand-cut and others I used my rotary cutter, just to try different things.
Once they were all cut, I laid them out in the pattern I wanted and stacked them up.
Next, I just sat at my sewing machine and fed them through using a simple straight stitch and a 1/2" ribbon (make sure to either sew in loops on the end on leave room for ties).

Ta-da! Farm themed bunting!

Here are other things you can make yourself to save money on a kid's party (or any party!):
Cake. Just add toy topper.

Cute utensil and napkins:

Add some toys on the table for a nice display. And use extra fabric as table coverings.

Cost of decorating our party:
Fabric: $15 (made bunting, utensil/napkin ties, bubble covers, and table covers) we chose something we can re-use to redecorate the kids room as a bonus!
Bandanas: $2 for 2 at Wal-Mart. I had more I forgot to even get out of the bag.
Bubbles: $1 for a 3-pack and the Dollar Tree. Cut out matching fabric and hot-glue on to make them match any theme!
Bowls: $1 each at Target. Totally reusable in the kitchen and for more parties.
Jars for cups: $7 for a dozen - find them on sale and use coupons. Reuse for canning, storage, leftovers, and future parties.
Plastic table cloth and utensils: $1 each at the dollar store. Easy clean up - but clean and reuse when possible.
Total cost of decorating: around $35 - and all but the disposables will be reused.

The hubs made the cake. From boxed mixes. He used:
3 boxes of cake mix: $1.50 each
2 pots of frosting: $1.75 each
Food dye (use paste or gel for a darker color): $5 with lots left over for the next party!
Total cost for the cake: $13
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September 2, 2011

Happy September!

I can't believe I just said that. September, really? I can't believer we're already in the ber-months. Eesh.

Not a lot going on in these parts as I've been sick. Bleh. Being sick has meant few photos and fun projects. Although I did manage to rearrange the front room and Millie's room yesterday, so the week hasn't been a total loss.

My baby Millie isn't much of a baby anymore. She'll be 2 next week. I have enjoyed the last 2 years so very much and I'm so proud of the little girl my Millie is becoming. Mmmmm. We went out to a local farm this week and had some ice cream - her very first ice cream all on her own.

Sam will be 3 months this month. My oh my how the time flies.
He's already an expert at breaking out of the swaddle. (Wow, I thought my P&S took better photos than this)

Ok, I was just writing a little hello. I'm really feeling better and will get back to regular blogging next week! Have a good weekend!
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August 25, 2011


I'm a neglectful bloggie sometimes, I know. But neglecting my blog means I'm not neglecting my kids, so that's a good thing, right? ;)

This week I've done 2 paid photo shoots! It's been a fun week. Here's a shot from one:

Samuel is sleeping through the night! For a newborn that means he's sleeping 5 hours or more at a time. Last night he slept 6 hours and 15 minutes. Oh yes I'm gonna brag about that one. Woot woot.

Amelia and Sam had shots this week. Both did remarkably well. Sam is still in the 10th percentile and Amelia is in the 75th for height and 50th for weight.

I've got a little list of blogs to write. When I do photo shoots I have a lot of editing to do afterwards, so I end up not doing much else on the computer, as computer time is limited with 2 darling yet demanding little ones.

Oh, here's a bit of news - I have a surgery date! I'm so excited to be the proud recipient of a brand spankin' new total artificial hip. :D If you know me at all you know how much this means to me. If you don't know me at all, let me tell you - this means so much. I have a small list of things I can't wait to do that I've never been able to do because of my hip, I think I posted a few a while back. I. Can't. Wait.

I'll work on posting more the rest of this week, and more for sure next week when I'm not shooting as much. :D Can I just say I love my life? Because I do. :)
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August 16, 2011

toddler tuesday: splash party!

We had a playdate at "Grammy" Robbie's house today!
This is Amelia wanting out of the cold water...

The girls kept looking at the water... but we're sure they wanted to spend much time in it. Cold!

Grammy got in some snuggle time with Sam.

Skimming: how to keep a toddler entertained for longer than 3 minutes.

Splash party!

You may have noticed that my watermark has changed. That's because I'm going into business for myself. Well, I don't know about business, but I'm trying my hand as a for-hire photographer. I've resurrected my old photography blog and started a facebook page. My main goals are to expand my knowledge and abilities while having fun and hopefully generating a bit of income for my wee family. I'm excited about the possibilities!
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August 15, 2011

make it monday: framed weekly calender

You may remember this sneak peek I gave you least week:

Well, I added some ribbon and paper...

And made this weekly calendar: 

I'll be honest, I'm not crazy about the ribbon the paper hang on, so I'm going to replace it with twine. It will look much better. I also can't decide what to write on the top. "Our Week" perhaps. We often have busy weeks, and I'm visual, so I like to see our week all laid out.

Wanna make one? It's easy, here's what I did:

1. Paint frame. I painted about 4 coats to cover the dark wood. The frame was given to me from someone moving out and not wanting it anymore. Win!

2. Cut decorative papers (mine are 3 1/4" x 11) to desired size. I just cut a few and played around with what size I wanted them. Make sure to use either decorative cardstock or glue paper onto cardstock. The write-on papers I just cut printer paper in 2 3/4" strips. Easy stuff!

3. Use pushpins to hang ribbon/twine/etc.

4. Use binder clips to hang papers!

Voila! A framed weekly calender ready for planning!
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August 13, 2011

hip hip - hurry!

[This post might turn into a bit of ramble, just to warn you]

My life is about to change.

Our lives change everyday, whether we realize it or not. But my life isn't just going to move forward from the steps we take every day - I'm about to be picked up and drop-kicked into an entire new life. I'll still have the same family, and home, and friends. In fact - just by looking you might even be tempted to say my life isn't all that new. But my oh my... (here's where the rambling starts).

I can remember being quite young and watching Full House. Remember that show? I watched it when it was new. :) The middle daughter on the show was Stephanie Tanner. She was my age - and she danced. I remember watching the shows where they show her whole little dance routines - and I would get up and try to dance along. My family (lovingly) made fun of me - but I tell you - that became the desire of my 8-year old little heart. I used to lay awake at night dreaming of dancing.

I grew up in this little town, and when I was in about middle school we got a mall. A real-live shopping mall. Well, I don't know if it was ever "live..." I don't think there was ever a time when all the spaces had a store in them even in the beginning. For a while though, it was the glory of the town. They had displays set up all over the mall. They did these little fashion runway shows. They did carnivals in the parking lot - with a tall crane-thing for bungee jumping. I remember standing there with my dad after going reading the requirements. Height requirement - check! Age requirement - check! I may have jumped up and down a bit. I can almost guarantee I squealed a bit. I remember begging my parents to let me do it. My dream of bungee jumping died like that mall did. It now is sitting in a pile of half-torn down rubble.

In high school there was this kid, John I think, who could run something like a 4 or 5 minute mile. I wanted to run too, so I decided to take up running. But as it turned out I couldn't really run, so I decided to jog. And when even that was too much I figured power walking would do me good. I remember feeling l like a failure when I couldn't even handle walking.

The hubs and his brother got into rock climbing a bit. In fact, for his "bachelor party" the guys went on a rock climbing trip. I thought maybe that could be something we could do together, but well... other than playing on a short rock wall, it's gone on the list of what I was never able to do. We went backpacking once. We camped right on a river upstream from this beautiful lake. The hike in was beautiful and I was in awe of the colors and views and amazing scenery. The hike out was done with a grimace. Me trying to just not need to be helicoptered out or something. We never tried it again.

4 Things. 4 Dreams. 4 Things I could never do. The answer was always no. My sensitive little soul was always left crying and dreaming.

When I was 2 a doctor discovered I had been born with my hips dislocated. They grew out of their sockets and I had somehow learned to walk like that. I was taken to the Seattle Children's Hospital where they had to surgically relocate them. By the time I was 10 displaysia had set in pretty severely and I had a bone graft on my left hip. My right hip wasn't in enough pain to be fixed. Less than 10 years later I was in pain again. I started getting injections in the left hip to help with the pain when I was about 25.

This has been, as Paul says, a thorn in my side - literally - my whole life. I have cried about it. I have prayed about it. I've been bitter about it and I've accepted it. My entire physical life has been governed by my hip. Slowing me down, holding me back, stopping me from dancing. And bungee jumping and running and rock climbing.

But all that is about to change.

Because next week an angel is going to call me. And schedule my 3rd hip surgery. And I'm going to walk away (dance away?!) with a new hip. I'm getting a total hip replacement. When people hear (or see. Stupid limp) that I have hip problems they often say, "oh, but you're so young!" I cringe. My bitter side wants to retort something grumpy. But I always just shrug and mumble something about it not being my choice and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

I'm sitting here in bed, up since 4 am not able to sleep because my hip hurts. And all I can think about it the call I got today (uh, yesterday) from OHSU saying the hip replacement surgery is a go. The scheduler will call me next week. My doc is scheduled about a month or so out. A month or so... my heart starts to beat a little fast when I think about it. Is it really happening? Can I really get my hopes up? Will I really be able to do the things I've only dreamed about doing?

You're going to be hearing a lot about this in the coming months, just so you know. My bum hip has slowed me down from everything for far too long. I'm going to literally dance for joy. Hurry up, next week, I can't wait!

And on my 30th birthday next June, I'm going to run a 5K.
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August 12, 2011

field trip friday: sale and mom's group

I took my camera with me on purpose this morning so I could take photos for field-trip friday. I swear I did. I just didn't get it out. Some friends are having a yard sale and we took a few things by and hung out a while. I could have taken some darling photos. I'll admit it - she was playing so nicely with the other kids I had me a little chat with my girlfriends. It was nice. 

Then we went over to the nursing mom's group. Sam weighs a whopping 10 lbs, 12 oz! He's getting so BIG! And he ate 4 oz! Wow!

I'm doing a weekly photo challenge with some of my mama friends. This week the theme was, "what a mess!" Well, in our home you don't have to go far to find a mess. I thought it would be funny to take a photo of a whole bunch of messes and put them together, but... I had better things to do than take photos of my messes. Like clean them. But I did get a few on camera!

A toddler and a bowl of spaghetti. Need I say more?

Millie "helped" fold at our laundry-folding party. 

You may have noticed ^^^ that she's wearing big-girl panties! In honor of rainbow week her stickers were rainbow colors this week.

And here's a sneak-peak for Monday's post:

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August 11, 2011

busy mama: toes and tamales

I don't like being a neglectful bloggie. But sometimes I just get busy. A large part of my day is taken up by nursing Sam, taking Millie to the potty train, and trying to stay on top of the avalanche of never-ending laundry.

But, sometimes - every once in a while, I can get the kiddos to nap at the same time for long enough to get some other things done. For example -
Tuesday I shaved my legs and painted my toenails. Both things that don't happen as often as I'd like, so I count this as an accomplishment. I also cleaned Millie's room and scrubbed the toilet.
Yesterday I cleaned, rearranged, and vacuumed the front room, unloaded, reloaded and ran the dishwasher, swept the kitchen floor, and washed 4 loads of laundry. Today I went to a girlfriend's house and made tamales, folded 4 loads of laundry, and once I post this blog, we're off to swim class. Tomorrow's agenda includes cleaning the bedrooms and watching more "So you Think you can Dance" (I had never heard of this show, I just found it on Hulu - fun!).

I've also been busy keeping Millie out of band aids:

 Millie's first lolly:

 She wasn't too thrilled about the band aids...
She was walking while carrying toys... outside.  On the cement. Poor girl. :/
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August 7, 2011

next five: the beginning

Have you seen these blogs? So-in-so's next five? I hadn't seem then before today, but I think they're quite clever! Instead of starting a new blog about it, I'll just add it on here.

I love lists. I can't wait to have another one.

I think that this is an excellent idea for mamas (or papas) because it gives a little bit of accountability. I am full to the brim of ideas and projects constantly. I love that making a list of 5 will limit my on-going projects. I need limits sometimes. So, here we go...

1. Millie's birthday party - invitations, decorations, planning. This one will be ongoing until the second week in September.
2. Sew Millie's birthday presents: a robe (she asks for one every morning when she sees mine), carrier/sling for her dolly, and (if time permits) an apron.
3. Weekly calendar frame
4. Clean bedroom - sell/donate clothes
5. Clean the bathroom

So, be on the lookout to see what I can manage to get done with a toddler running around and a baby squirming all over.
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August 6, 2011

around the house: plan it, baby!

Is it silly that I'm watching Toy Story 3 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to start crying soon?

"The thing that makes Woody special is that he'll never give up on you. He'll be there, no matter what."

I'm on an organizing and planning kick. I always like to plan and be organized, so I guess I'm taking it to a whole new level. LOL. Actually, I'm just trying to avoid answering the same questions over and over. Now I can tell the hubs to just look in the notebook. :)

Here are few links to check out on starting your own family notebook and getting organized printables:

Happy planning! :D
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August 5, 2011

field trip friday: magnetic resonance imaging

Not exactly a family outing, but at least I got out of the house, right?

 I spent my day at the MRI center. First I got to go in and get dye injected into my hip joint. They had me set up under an xray and stuck the needle into my joint. I seriously thought that needles that big were only for movie props. Needless to say, I spent the day riding around in a wheelchair.

Next I went in for he MRI. Now, if you've never had a MRI, look at the above photo. See that tube with a hole in it? That's where they put me. I cannot explain the level of freak out I nearly reached when they put me in there. Just when I was about to push the "I'm freaking out get me outta here" button, I realized that the other end was open - where my head was. Phew. I still kept my eyes closed most of the time (45 minutes each hip). Freaky.

If you're going "hua?" right now - I have hip dysplasia and am getting a total hip replacement later this year. Which is pretty much like getting a new limb for me.

The doctor doing the injections was slow to talk much, but I chatted him up. He turned out to be nicer than he seemed at first. I told him that I wanted to run - that I never have really run before - but it seems like it would be fun. As he left, he turned and said, "good luck to you - I hope you run like the wind." My hopes exactly.

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sneak peak: farm party

Can I tell you how excited I am right now? Excited enough to take my fabric (and a few things I've picked up) out for a photo shoot.

{insert large, silly smile here}

5 weeks until it's party time. I. CAN'T. WAIT. Can you tell I like to plan parties? Just a little bit?
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August 4, 2011

100 to free!

*cough cough*

I'd like to do a giveaway. But I'm waiting until I reach 100 "followers." I have so enjoyed the kind emails and comments I have received from people letting me know they enjoy my blog. So I'd like to reward the kindness. Something really fun and fabulous will be up for grabs - but you have to wait to see what it is!

If you're not already a "follower" - become one now! Read me on Google Reader or another feed? Let me know!
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taking on the world - and it's ok

More hat love. :)

I have recently been accused (by several individuals) of trying to do to much. Ok, I'll be honest - I've been accused of trying to do to much for about as long as I can remember. I think it's a habit. 

But I like my habit.


Here's my theory: I like to set goals. I have tons of ideas. I want to do everything, even if I can't really do everything. So, I figure if I just keep adding things into the mix, the most important ones will surface and stick around. What's important one month - or even one week - might not be important (or practical) the next. As my children age the season of life I'm in changes also. So the things I have time for and the things that I want to spend my time doing change. Such is life.

Last year I embarked on a 365 photo challenge - a photo a day for a year. I made it to August and then dropped the ball. Better the ball than the camera. It happens. I got busy, priorities changed, whatever. That's the thing about me and all my goals and aspirations and hobbies - I'm pretty good at letting things go when need be. I'm not married to a schedule.

I will say this - I'm obsessed with my kids. Unashamedly. I am completely taken with these little angles and I take every opportunity I can get (or make) to photograph them, teach them, and enjoy them. THAT is what my true priority is - to enjoy them.

Pair that with someone who enjoys keeping busy and you get, well, me.

I'm in the season of life where I am a new mom. With babies. I'm going to talk about them, think about them, plan things for them... and yes, the world is still going on around me, and yes, there is a big world out there with problems and needs and people and such - but for now - I'm choosing to focus on my kids. And that's ok. Because soon they're going to want to go play. Without me. And soon they're going to go to school. Without me. Before I know it they'll be graduating and marrying and birthing. And that's ok too. But the time to hold them in my arms is short, and yeah, I'm trying to cram a lot of lovin' and learnin' and stuff in there, but that's ok. Because I'm a mama. And I'm happy. And totally and utterly in love with these little people. And that's more than ok.


Hobbies I enjoy:
Sewing, scrapbooking, card making, photography, swimming, biking, reading, script-writing, painting, drawing, playing/learning the guitar and piano, reading about current events, blogging, traveling, learning, browsing craft stores, making lists, designing clothes, home decor, going to school, visiting zoos, super mario brothers, browsing the internet for creative ideas, going to church, making friends, editing video, and folding laundry. Ok, the last one is a chore. But I enjoy it.

Here are a few hobbies incorporated into my season of life:
photography (that blur is my toddler)
painting (often with fingers)
drawing (pass the purple crayon please)
swimming (thursday-night baby/toddler swim)
blogging (guess what my baby just did!)
sewing (yes, I made her dress)
home decor (uh, I'll get to that when we get past the peanut-butter-and-jelly-all-over-the-hands stage)


And for a little therapy this Thursday evening, I suggest turning on Project Runway. :D
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August 3, 2011

wifley wednesday: struggles with patience

{Installment #2 on struggles: patience}

Here's the deal: Kid #1 is on the floor playing with a toy or something. Kid #2 is all of a sudden frantically hungry. So, naturally, I start nursing kid #2. So, naturally, kid #1 all of a sudden as a crisis and needs immediate attention. Only I've got kid #2 nursing with no end in sight - at least for the next 15 minutes. Kid #1 decides that in order to get my help she needs to get my attention - because asking for help isn't getting her the response she wants. Enter the whining. And the tears. With a side of shrieking as only a 22-month old can do. 

Patience? Is that what's flying out the window in a blur?

Of all the things in this world, whining is among the least desirable. It is also the thing that tries my patience faster than just about anything. 

Patience? Sure, I've got it in abundance - when my kids are behaving. And strangers are being nice. And traffic has a good flow. 

But what about those days when the kids just won't listen - because they can't hear you over the whining? And when strangers aren't very kind? Or when every driver on the road is working in cahoots to slow you down? Do you have patience then? 

I don't. 

When kid #2 was about 3 weeks old (about 2 weeks ago) I realized something very important: I'm now a mother of 2. No longer does Millie have me all to herself all day long, just waiting to tend to her with a smile. No, now I tend to her with a baby in my arms squirming and my hair in a towel cause I haven't had time to comb it yet. As sweet and darling as #1 can be - she's also got it in her to be, well, a toddler. And it's at these times, squirming baby in hand and towel on head, that she chooses to display her toddlerness in all it's full glory - a loud, whiney, temper tantrum. 

Since I'm pretty sure that I'm the one that needed to change my approach rather than expect her to change her reaction to my lack of constant doting attention, I set about it to just that. And I did.

Well, sort of. I'm kind of a work in progress.

Here's my approach:
1. I plan. Tantrums and whining seem to happen most when I'm nursing Sam or giving him the majority of my attention. Since she seemed to be pretty consistent here, I decided to see if we could bypass the problem.

2. I armed myself for battle before the battle - so as not to be taken with my guard down. I designated a cupboard to be "the special cupboard" and filled it with "special toys" that ONLY are to be played with while I'm nursing Sam. Today I got the great idea to replace it with a box that she can have full access to while I nurse, instead of giving her 1 or 2 toys beforehand. She can play with 1 or 2 - or all of the toys if she wants.

3. I get chatty. Since Sam is my first breastfed child, it took my attention and focus to get it right. But now that I'm a seasoned pro, I can focus more on Millie and talk to her so she doesn't feel left out or forgotten. This is making a marked improvement. 

I try to plan snack time around nursing, giving her more to do while I nurse. I have her sit by me and we read together. I have her nurse/burp Frafra (her lovey) while I nurse and burp Sam. 

Like I said, I'm a work in progress, but the important thing is - I'm progressing. 

So, patience. What makes yours fly out the window? Try to think of a new approach  for the next time a stranger is unkind or traffic is seemingly against you - or for when those tantrums pop up. 

Have a great tip on dealing with impatience? Share it!
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August 2, 2011

learning inspiration ideas

It's hat week!!!

So, in order to give myself some creative direction with Millie, I made up weekly themes. The idea is each week I'll be looking for and creating opportunities for learning and creating and having fun. This week is hat week. We're going to look for hats, count hats, color and draw hats, learn about different kinds of hats, wear hats, etc. I'm excited about the possibilities. 

I made themes for the rest of the year. We'll see how well I stick with it. ;) 

I would LOVE for others to join us in our themes, help us think of crafts and projects and ideas to celebrate learning each week. So what do you say? 

1. hat week (Aug 1)
2. rainbow week (Aug 8)
3. circle week (Aug 15)
4. airplane week (Aug 22)
5. farm week (Aug 29)
6. birthday week (Sept 5)
7. fish week (Sept 12)
8. bear week (Sept 19)
9. jungle week (Sept 26)
10. shoe week (Oct 3)
11. leaf week (Oct 10)
12. circus week (Oct 17)
13. bug week (Oct 24)
14. tree and cloud week (Oct 31)
15. safari week (Nov 7)
16. dog week (Nov 14)
17. thank-you week (Nov 21)
18. alphabet week (Nov 28)
19. book week (Dec 5)
20. doctor week (Dec 12)
21. Christmas week (Dec 19)
22. balloon week (Dec 26)

For more ideas on hat week, visit: Busy Babies!
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toddler tuesday: colored rice

This week we decided to get colorful. 
We found this on Pinterest and decided we had to transform our white rice bin into a rainbow rice bin. 

Millie thought it was great fun. We sat on the floor and scooped the rice into bags, t
hen after Mama added the ingredients Millie got to shake it up.  

Millie shows off our project:

We put them out in the sun to dry. It was apparently more fun than watching pain dry...

Colored rice:
White rice
Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer with alcohol
Food dye
Ziplock bags
Pans for drying the rice
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August 1, 2011

make it monday: burp rag refashion

My first baby was a girl. I didn't know how to sew when she was born and so I didn't get a chance to sew things for her.

This time, I wanted to sew as much as I could. :)

I started with a pile of the plain 'ol Gerber tri-fold cloth diapers we used for burp rags with Millie.

And I turned them into a pile of boyish burp rags!

Aren't they pretty!?

Burp rag refashion:
Plain tri-fold diapers
Pretty flannel
Thread, scissors, sewing machine, etc.

1. Make sure diapers are washed enough times to be absorbent if new
2. Prewash and press flannel
3. Cut flannel into 6" x 16" pieces
4. Pin over center fold
5. Sew into place leaving a 1/2" seam and trim thread
6. Wash and dry burp rags so the ends fray
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July 31, 2011

road trip: northern OR

We've been on the road, sorry for the silence. We're finally home and I have some catching up to do...

Samuel. Not impressed by road trips.

Little feet make for cute photos. We enjoyed the lawn and cooler weather. By cooler I mean 85, not 95. 

How many feet you meet.

We spent time with the cousins.

And parting was such sweet sorrow. 

I want to give a PSA: Lock your doors! 

On our way home we stopped at the rest stop just south of Salem. I sat in the car and nursed a frantically hungry boy while the hubs took Millie for a little walk. As they walked away down a path, a man kind of followed them as far as a trash can, then turned around and walked the other way.. towards our car. My heart started to beat fast, and then he stepped off the curb and reached for the car door. 

There's this moment in life, when something really scary is about to happen... Everything seems to go quiet for a minute and then the click of the car door opening seems so loud. Click. 

As soon as the door was open - so was my mouth. I shouted at him, "Hey, you've got the wrong car!" I was already reaching for my phone as he spun around. Todd was back around the corner in about 20 seconds. The man was nowhere to be found.

You read and watch these horror stories, so of course the worst case scenario is running through my mind. And although this guy looked like he walked right off a sexual predator poster, most likely he was just interested in our valuables (apparently he didn't know we don't have any). 

The most frustrating part: I was so freaked out about the event taking place I didn't even notice what he was wearing. I'd never be able to spot him again. 

So lock your doors, folks. Keep valuables out of view. And pay attention to details. 

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging. See you tomorrow.
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