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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Playing in the Park

Today was beautiful. The sun was out long enough to give all of us Oregonians some hope for Spring. When the girls woke up from their naps, we headed to Riverfront Park to play. Karalee was THRILLED that daddy threw her bike in the trunk without her noticing. We rode until dusk then headed to The Book Bin to look at books. What a great Sunday afternoon/evening.

We were even blessed with a pretty sunset!

Somebody is Crawling!!!

So fun to watch. Such a little cutie and her big sister is very proud of her! (Please disregard the laundry pile that is begging to be folded)


Friday, January 29, 2010

Just keep moving, just keep moving...

The first thought when I opened my eyes this morning was, "Today is the day." I had a million thoughts flood my mind. I can do this; maybe I can't. Every other day seemed like a big step; they were hard too. Who am I kidding, I hate running; actually I have really been enjoying this. It is probably bad for my back until I get a better sports bra; actually it is amazingly good for me.  I should wait and do it tomorrow; no, Today is the day!

All day it is going through my mind. I know I need to get out of the house this morning so that I don't obsess and stress myself out about it.  We head to indoor park and I think I mentioned it several times. Ok, so i obviously don't have to be sitting at home to obsess. We head to the store and then home afterward. "Let's go girls. Time for nap." I glance at the treadmill, my partner in crime for the past four weeks, and actually give it a nod. Apparently I have spent enough time with it to grant it it's very own personality. With my nod I mentally say, "See you in a few minutes."

 I round up the girls and get them into bed. My mom and sister stop by to pick something up and I welcome the distraction. It drowns out the "Jaws" music that is playing in my mind. Once they leave I lace up the running shoes and dive in before I can think too much about it. Ok, before I think too much MORE about it.

I am running and feeling pretty good. I am keeping myself distracted so I don't think about the time. That is until Mr. Ullrey (the man who wrote these podcasts) announces, "Good job! You are half-way there."  WHAT! I can't believe I just did ten minutes, my longest yet, and I still feel good. WHAT! I have to do ten more??? This running thing has definitely brought on a case of multiple personalities within me. I am excited and timid, encouraged yet doubting in the same fraction of a second. For the first time, I truly understand what it means to have your flesh and your spirit at odds within you. Great, now this running is not only good for my health and my waistline, but also my Spiritual understanding.

Somehow, (It almost feels like time fast forwarded) I only have two minutes left. It is at this time that I hear someone talking to me. I am wearing headphones so it is distant. "Yes, Lord?" (It might be the Lord calling me home.) Actually I feel pretty good so that must not be it.  Of course, it is my precious two year old peeking her sweet little head out into the garage. Really? Is this happening. Of all days. She knows she is not allowed to get out of her bed during nap time.

"I am going potty, ok mom?  Then I will get panties because I want to be done with my rest. Ok mom? So I will just go potty now. I am so happy. You just run on the tread-meal mom. Ok mom? I am so excited." SHUT! She closes the door before I can scold her between my very deep breaths.

My run is done. I feel victorious but I cannot celebrate due to an imminent battle with my mini-me.  I turn off the treadmill, and head in. "Karalee, go get into your bed and I will be there in a minute."  She must see how worn out I look because she does not obey on the second, third or fourth time either. I meet her in her room and we go through the consequences of  not listening. How can this be? I just complete a small milestone for me and in the next minute I find myslef not celebrating, but disciplining an adorable little girl. The same girl who is promising me that if she doesn't get in trouble, she will be a good list-ten-rrr for the rest of her life.

And this is my life. It is quiet now. Karalee just finished yelling from her crib, "I need to go potty again, mom." My run is finished and coincidentally, so is the "Jaws" music that was playing in my head. I sit here feeling calm and confident as I share my day with all of you mommy's out there.  I know you understand the victories, the frustrations and the humor that is woven throughout or mommyhood days. Thanks for listening, or reading rather....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I LOVE a good deal!

Last week I was shopping in Hancock Fabrics. They were selling all of their upholstery fabric samples for $1.  I bought 12 so that I could make pillows for the bed and couch. I finished the pillows for our bed and most for the couch. I will post the couch later.  Fun! I am stoked that I made the following pillows for $5. All of the other bedding was pulled together from the Linen Closet. I LOVE a good deal...

Karalee Quotes

My friend does a wonderful job of catching her children's perspectives throughout her blog. One of the ways she does this is by posting cute quotes from throughout their day/week.  They say, imitation is the best form of flattery, so... I too will be adding our funny quotes from time to time. I hope they bring a smile to your face, as they do mine. Who knows, they may even make you stop and re-evaluate your attitude, opinion, or even convictions. This first one, however, just made me laugh...

Me: Karalee, if you do that again, I will have to pull the car over and you will be in trouble.

(Insert long pause as she stares out her window)

Karalee: Mommy, I will be a good listener because I don't want you to have to pull the car over onto me. Maybe I just need a spankin.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I heart pictures...

I really enjoy playing with my camera and trying to think of new ways to capture the girls. Here is what we did today.






Thursday, January 14, 2010

Checking off the list...

   Well I went in pleading for answers and answers I received!  Audree is officially not allergic to Dogs, Cats, Dust Mites, Mold, Eggs, Wheat, Dairy, and two other things I can't remember any longer.  So answers yes, but the root of her vibrating torso.....no such luck.  The allergy/asthma doctor did however recommend I try the nebulizer! HA! No, he meant with a new drug to help any swelling that may be going on in there.  Different approach and yet very much the same.  He said we shall know by the weekend if she does indeed have asthma. If not, we will move from there.
  I also expressed my concerns about her having Cystic Fibrosis. Some dear family friends are dealing with this recent diagnosis in their family. As I began to look into it, I found many similarities when comparing the symptom list to little Miss A.  Foul smelling stool, (even when solely breastfed) bloated belly, wheezing and coughing, reoccurring bronchitis, insatiable appetite, constipation/bowel issues,....yes I became worried.  The main test for this is a sweat chloride test but she doesn't really sweat much so this may be difficult.
  Today after we arrived home from the Allergist, I began reading again. Most pregnant women are tested for this abnormal CF gene during pregnancy. If they (I) had it, Nolan would have had to be tested as well.  The gene must be present in both parents for the possibility of 1 in 4 children to indeed contract active CF.  I went back through some of my prenatal paperwork from Karalee. Indeed, I was tested and do not carry the gene.  PTL! That means no matter what we find out about this persistent rattle in Audree's chest, I can sleep at night knowing it is not CF.
  So yes, some questions answered. Some left to be determined.  With all of this news I had to do something to unwind a little bit. Here are a few pictures from our spur of the moment, 15 minutes of almost decent lighting, photo shoot! =)



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hippie, Pizza Feet!

  Sleeping so peacefully....

 Oh little Audree, what ails you my dear?  This is the thought that runs through my mind at all hours of the day, and undoubtedly the night.  My sweet, laid back, charming girl has been sick for a little over four months now. We have been to the doctor many times over these trying months, wondering what could be her vice. "Bronchialitis," the doctor tells me. "A little albuterol will clear it right up."  When that didn't work, a nebulizer was delivered to our doorstep. "This should do the trick, we were assured by the Apria boy."  Friday afternoon, 5:00....yes, I pray this does the trick. 
   The dosage requires four treatments per day. "It may make it difficult to sleep at times," I'm told but I am not worried about that. She isn't sleeping anyway with the inability to breathe.  One treatment and the girl is WIRED.  This is a tad more extreme than what I was prepared for. Still, we endure countless heartbreaking treatments to no avail.
   I let a month pass before we call for a mid afternoon, squeeze you in, kind of appointment.  She isn't breathing well and I want to make sure it is not pneumonia. Nope, sounds the same.  Try the nebulizer, it should help.  Head down, heart fallen, we travel home with the same news. "Bronchialitis"......"Try the Nebulizer,".....
   A few weeks later I take her in because now on top of the plugged nose and wheezing chest, she is pulling at her ear. Sure enough, an ear infection. "Good," I think to myself.  "Maybe the antibiotics will help her other symptoms."  Nope, the ear infection comes and goes and she still sounds like there is a rattle stuck straight in the middle of her chest.  Good news, however, she has now learned to sleep with this seemingly chronic problem.
   I am now at the end of my rope.  I NEED answers, I BEG for answers. Tomorrow we see an allergist to try and find out if there is a specific thing that is causing these symptoms. I will be honest, I am looking forward to getting a second opinion. I have other ideas in the back of my mind, but allergies would be a very welcomed diagnosis. 
   As for the hippie pizza feet? Well, a friend who is bent toward the naturopathic ways of medicine has been swearing by this remedy. "Oil of Oregano", she says. "Rub it on her feet and it ought to clear it up by the morning."  "I have heard that before, but I will try anything at this point. I pray she is right. 
   For now, Audree's feet smell like a pizza with a twist of hippie. =) Whatever works!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jake....


I mentioned in our Christmas post that we were able to spend some time with our friends and meet their brand new son, Jake. I wanted to post a few pics I took in the brief time we had. What a darling little boy. He was delicious, and I could not help but smile while I held him.....

































































...Smitten...

Baby Food @ Home

The girls were both sick yesterday which pretty much equals a day at home. It is not fun, nor socially encouraged to take your little ones out, and let them hack and choke all over town. We were running low on baby food for Audree so I decided to make some. I did this with Karalee and she LOVED the flavors of the fresh fruits and veggies compared to the store bought foods. I documented it for any of you who may be wanting to try it out.

Pick Your Ingredients
You want to use nutrient dense items. I used bananas, blueberries, apples, broccoli, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. I would also use oats if I had them on hand.  From what I've read, sweet potatoes actually have white flesh and the orange fleshed cousin is the yam.  They are both heavy in nutrients so either one is a good choice for babies. I have also read that spinach is risky to prepare at home.  Somehow, it causes the body to carry less oxygen in the bloodstream which can be harmful for a baby.  According to the experts, it is better to leave this vegetable to the professionals. You can also include meats if you would like.

Prepare Your Produce
After you gather your produce, cut the larger fruits into chunks for steaming.  There are many ways to soften your veggies. According to the research I read (from a few sources), steaming preserves the highest amounts of nutrients in the fruits and veggies. Baking is also a good option. It is not recommended to boil or microwave because this breaks down many of the good properties we are trying to deliver to our babes.
It is very easy to get a steaming basket and place it in a pot with water underneath it.  Let the veggies steam just long enough to get tender. I like to keep the ingredients separate during this step so I can make blends later with single-ingredient purees.

Puree
Once the items are softened, run them through a blender until smooth. A magic bullet will also work, but may take a while longer depending on how much you have to work with.  Blend each item one by one.

*If you are making foods for a younger child, new to solids, it is best to keep the foods separate until you know if they have any allergies. Introduce the foods, one by one, with about 4 days in between. This way, if they do have an adverse reaction, you can track it back to the most recently introduced food.

Place your Packaging
There are many ways to store baby food made at home. Ice trays can be a great way. I like to use my old containers from our store-bought food. In reality, I don't make all of the food she eats. ;)  Small tuperware also work, and breast-milk storage bags can be great too.  It is easy to line them up on a baking rack or cookie sheet before filling.  Then you can place the entire tray into the freezer easily.
Play
This is where you get to be creative. My little one is now 7 months so we are eating blends. I like to include on fruit, one veggie, and one grain (at least) so that each little container has a balanced meal. Choose whatever ingredients you would like and use a mixer to combine them You could also blend them together if your child needs a super smooth texture. I threw my ingredients into the kitchen aid to mix them.  Here are the combos I made yesterday....
 -Blueberries, Bananas, Apples & Brown Rice
 -Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Corn
 -Broccoli, Carrots, Peas and Brown Rice
 -Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Apples & Brown Rice

Package
I use my cookie scoop and fill each container to the top. Place a lid on each and label if desired. Then stack . Throw it in the freezer and you are good to go.Now you just have to remember to pull the next day's menu out of the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight.  If you want, you can mix in warm breast-milk, formula, or water to bring it to a desired eating temperature.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas, New Years, and life goes on...

Wow, what a crazy bunch of weeks. Once again, we made it safely in our travels to Spokane and then home again. This is no small occasion anymore. We used to love packing up our small two door coupe and leaving in the middle of the night because it saved us time. We enjoyed stopping at Starbucks and watching movies in the car. We had wonderfully meaningful talks and treasured eachother's company immensely. Sometimes, it was my favorite part of our journeys north.

Times have definitely changed. After packing for most of the day, all of the things that we can't live without for even a week, into many more suit cases than ever before, I made an emergency trip to the Dr.'s office.  Yes, they squeezed me in at 4:30 only to find out that indeed Audree had her first ear infection. Off to the pharmacy I went and then home to drop off my little sickie and head straight to Bunco. Somewhere in the five minutes I was home, we decided we might as well drive through the night again, with the prayer that our little sweethearts would sleep for the drive.

I arrived home from my ill-timed night out to my adorable husband napping on the couch. He asked my why I was "sprinting" around the house. After a short pause, no words...........he sits up. How can I help? =)  Our goal was to leave by 12:00 and we made it out of the driveway at 12:02.  Christmas here we come. This trip was definitely different. Coffee in a thermos, (because it is much cheaper than Starbucks) taking turns napping replaced our deep conversations. I guess that is what happens when you run 100mph every day and then finally, you have no choice but to sit still for 6 1/2 hours.

We had a fun time in Spokane spending time with many family members and getting to see the adorable Jake Beamish....(pics below) born only 6 days before we got the chance to meet him. What a precious little boy.  We ate wonderful food, enjoyed wonderful fellowship, and unfortunately delivered a lot of discipline to our sweet, adorable, strong-willed two year old.  Grandma's + Toys + Cookies + Going to bed late + Getting up Early + Being sick + Doting Aunties = Defiance in the truest form.  I don't blame any of these things more than the others.  It is, however, just an obvious combination for misbehavior. 

We arrived home at 1:00 AM  on the 30th and Nolan was out the door for work at about 6:30. No rest for the weary.  We spent a very fun New Year's Eve with our friends. We played Pit and Apples to Apples. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  We put the kids down at 9 PM thinking they would all lay quietly on their sleeping bags and watch a movie as the drifted into a peaceful slumber. YEAH RIGHT!! They, one by one, would come down the stairs and check in on us. Little Isaac came down to announce that it needed to be quiet, upstairs AND downstairs... Too cute.

January 1 was a really great day. Nolan and I spent some good time thinking about our resolutions. After we put the girls to bed, we wrote down our new goals for our Family, Friends, Business and Ministries.  Our goal ;) is to pray for these together each week and watch how the Lord works in us and through us in 2010. We feel focused and that feels really great.

So here we are. January 7th.  Things are starting to settle down. The toys are organized and sorted in the bedrooms. The house is but back together and the Decorations are packed away in the garage.  My toddler is beginning to obey me again. The new year is off to a good start.

Here are a few pics of our trip...

Christmas morning, Audree wasn't ready to wake up...

Karalee was a little more interested to see what was upstairs...                                  
 


 We also went to the carousel... Audree's first time.

Playlist