Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just signed up my daughter for ballet. She is THE happiest girl on the planet right now. Spinning and twirling around the house. We just went to Target and bought her a leotard and tights. Then we headed to the consignment store and got her another cute leotard (complete with skirt) and shoes for about 1/3 the price at the regular store. Yep, just checked. She's still twirling :)

Katie has finally decided to be interested in regular food. Pureed doesn't do it for her, I guess! So her diet the past couple days has been rice, banana, corn, and squash. We're headed to the store to buy some more things like avocado, whole milk yogurt, and perhaps some organic teething biscuits. It's also much easier to feed her since I assembled the high chair! We've had this thing before Brilla was born. But we also received one of those chairs that goes in a regular chair, so we used that for Brilla instead. Now we have this snazzy new high chair that I have to clean up, ha! Actually, it's not that hard. It has wheels, too, so I can move it around the best spot by the table. She loves being part of the family at the dinner family. Too cute!

I just received a NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants) letter. I am a certified legal assistant (paralegal) and have been for about 3 years plus. However, in order to maintain my certification, I have to take continuing education courses. I don't mind the courses. They are very fun and pick my brain. Plus, they are online now. But they cost money! And lots of it. About $75 per course. Anyway, the letter was letting me know they are extending my certification for another year (was going to expire 1/31/10). Now I have to decide if I want to keep it! Truth is, we plan to have more children, so I will not be working outside the home (Lord willing) for quite a while. And I have never used my certification. For about 2 years before kids I looked for an open position, but none were available. I'm very much tempted just to let my paralegal status expire. But 'tis sad, seeing all the work I have put into the past (especially in law school) be gone with the wind. Hmm. Any opinions?

I am loving this break week after Christmas. No Bible study. No piano lessons. No big commitments whatsoever! We have been playing with new toys (okay the kids have), crocheting ( I have), watching our new DVDs, making dinner, and just enjoying time together. Wish this could go on forever!

If I don't post sooner, Happy New Year to you and yours! And maybe I'll get a new background and play list for 2011!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Over? Not Really!

Christmas is over! I still don't want to take down the Christmas tree, nativity and lights. Let's keep them up for another week!

We had a delightful Christmas. Exhausting, but delightful.

Christmas Eve was at my mother-in-law's. This is the night we all open gifts, so we hauled ours in and placed them with all the others under the tree. We had a scrumptous dinner, complete with prime rib. My mom makes the best. Boy did the kids get it good this Christmas! Brilla had more gifts this year than usual. I went a little crazy. Really, I didn't spend much money, but throughout the year, I kept piling stuff up. So her favorite thing was the dress-up stash. She has been in oddly sized dresses ever since Christmas! Can't get enough of being a princess or a ballerina.

Little Katie received some sweet things too, but her best part was being snuggled and cuddled by her fans all weekend. No alone time whatsoever...a baby's dream! Of course, we are paying for that now. The late nights (getting home at 12:30) didn't help either. This little darling is catching up on a bunch of winks. Tonight she feel sleep in my arms at 8:00 p.m. That never happens!

On Christmas Day, we all gathered at my sister-in-law's home. She had it beautifully decorated.
We stuffed our tummies with my caramel pecan sticky buns, Scotch shortbread and other goodies. We also had the best salmon made by my s-i-l.

The gifts I received this Christmas were perfect. A huge puffy white coat with fur-lined hood from my husband, a new 2011 planner and Hello Kitty pjs from my parents and bros, a new phone (free!) to myself, and a myriad of little things from friends and family.

You know, I actually have more fun giving gifts than receiving them. Sure, I really do enjoy the surprise of the gifts. But I love, love giving exactly the right thing to the right person. This year I really invested some time because because I crocheted many of the gifts...some scrubbies for my mom, soaker for Katie, hat for Brilla, hat & scarf for a girl friend, and an afghan for my grandma-in-law.

The Christmas celebration was delightful. And as I reminisce about the last few days, recovering from the holiday, I think of the phrase "...and man shall live forevermore because of Christmas Day". Praise Jesus!! He came as a human babe, who later died on the cross and rose again, so that we too could have life. And have it abundantly! We will live forever with Him in Heaven! Hallelujah!

So Christmas isn't over...not really!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Full of Thanks and Beyond

It has been so long since I posted last! I have been incredibly bad at writing regularly. I'm going to change that.

We've had a thrilling even happen over here. Brilla trusted Jesus as her Savior the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! We were both in the kitchen, I was washing dishes, and she started telling me different things about Jesus, etc., like she always does. But then it changed. She earnestly was telling me what she believed about Jesus.

"Mama, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He died on the cross for my sins and that He came alive again."

"What about your sins Brilla? What about them?"

"Sometimes I ask Jesus to forgive me for my bad sins in bed. Jesus took them away from me on the cross!"

We then delved into a conversation because I wanted to know if she sincerely believed all these truths she was spouting. How do you really know if your 4 yr old is genuinely interested in being saved? Is it just a fun thing to impress Mommy with all this knowledge? All these questions were running through my brain. I didn't want to force my daughter, but I didn't want to bypass a very important moment. As I sent a quick prayer to God about what to do, the Holy Spirit gave me His peace. He led me to pray with Brilla. She confessed her sins to Jesus and asked Him into her life. It was awesome. Then, she excitedly babbled to her infant sister, "Katie, I asked Jesus to forgive me and He gave me a new heart."

As each day passes, I see further evidence that Brilla's belief in Jesus is real and genuine. She keeps asking probing questions about Heaven and hell. And without a doubt knows she's going to Heaven. Yes, she's 4 and has a long road to maturity in the Lord, but don't we all? She will have seasons of her faith. Even to the point of depression and discouraged and immaturity at times. I've even gone through that. I have prayed for my daughter almost every night that she would come to know Jesus at a young age, and she has. I'm thankful, but I know the prayers don't stop here. In fact, they have just begun.


I can't tell you how good it feels to be back on schedule again. With the snow and holiday giving us a good two weeks off, I have been spoiled with Mike home helping with the girls and chores around the house. He's even started changing cloth diapers! He even cooked green bean casserole! (I know that's the easiest thing in the world to make, but hey, that's a huge step for my husband :)) Needless to say, I was hesitant to get back to real life on Monday. On the contrary, I have loved every bit! I was able to get to the gym, we did school work AND we even cleaned up the house. Monday is always a catch-all day, but I'm thankful for a healthy body to get things done. Did I mention that I was sick for a WHOLE week before Thanksgiving? My fever/migraine/flu lasted from the minute we got home from Disney World to the next Wed/Thurs. I've never had a bug like that before and am very thankful it's gone.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, let the Christmas festivities begin! We are looking forward to our Christmas tree hunt this Saturday, as well as a Christmas party the same weekend. Then we have our company Christmas party the following weekend. Meanwhile, I am crocheting many gifts this year, so my fingers have been flying! I'd like to post some of my work once I'm done. One of my projects I hope to finish soon is an afghan for my grandma-in-law and a soaker (diaper cover) for my daughter.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's Been Forever!

Did you miss me?

My last post was close to before Amelia's birthday. We had a wonderful day/weekend remembering her. I cannot explain the utter peace and rejoicing in my heart I felt during that time. It was honestly a happy occasion, not coated in sorrow as the last two years.

I received the sweetest card from a close friend letting me know her prayers and thoughts were with me on that day. You can't believe how much that meant! My husband was very sick then, so just the girls and I went to church on Sunday. I was tempted not to go...but you know, it's amazing how God works, because the sermon was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. It was about Heaven and all the amazing things we have to look forward to. Laster, we went to the cemetery with a dozen roses, sang a hymn, and said a prayer. It was beautiful. Once again, we saw Mt. Ranier from her spot, clear as anything. Thank you, Lord, for gorgeous weather.

It's kind of a strange feeling. Like Amelia went to be with Jesus so long ago. It's only been two years. Yet, other times, when I walk down memory lane, the feelings are fresh as if they just happened.


Today was a sunny, crisp Fall day. I didn't have any students, so a walk seemed perfect. I wrapped K in the Moby, B packed her babies in the wagon and we headed down the street to the playground. If I had been all by myself, I would have taken a lot longer stroll, but I could tell my tired-out daughter wasn't ready for a 2-mile walk. Once we got to the playground, B wasn't the least bit interested in playing....she wanted to study states (the school has a US map on their playground)!! Seriously, my kindergartner, spent 20 min asking me all the states, just soaking in all the different names, where they were, which relatives lived where, and what was popular in each one.

But this is my girl! She is a thinker. I have a feeling she's going to be quite intellectual when she grows up. At home, she never wants to watch TV, only home videos. I'm usually the one who asks if she wants to watch something. And if she does, she lasts about 5 minutes before she has a project in mind. She loves to help. In fact, I had her mopping the floor the other day! She was totally focused. Spent 30 minutes on it, without a peep. And when I cook in the kitchen, she is at my side with a stool. I want to hang on to these moments! Truth is, she's a huge help. Especially with K. Dashing here and there to get me things. She even wants to start changing diapers. I'm giving that one some thought yet :) Her favorite things are to sing to and play with Katie. And she kisses her sister all the time. Seriously. At her bday party, in between each gift, she had to go and kiss Katie. Hilarious! She also loves school. Especially Math. She's rather do Math and Art than Handwriting any day.

I probably sound like the annoying Mom boasting with pride. Believe me, we definitely butt heads, and I mean, we have some major clashes (we're two of a kind -wonder who planned that?!). We are both learning character and that is healthy. But I'm just so thankful for who my daughter is growing to become! And I also love her just because she's mine :)

As for Katie, she's 6 months if you can believe it. She's already starting to sit up long periods all by herself. Her other new thing is holding on to her toes during diaper change time. My heart just melts at her beautiful smile. And my youngest is a chubby one!! I will be sad when she thins out! She has blue eyes (still) and very auburnish hair. I'm still holding out for red! No teeth or sign of crawling yet. Really, I don't mind. We are going to start real food here pretty soon though. Katie, as opposed to Brilla, loves the TV and computer. This girl is glued. She lives in her exersaucer, on her tummy and sitting up on the couch.

Did I ever share that I'm currently addicted to cloth diapering? I am. I don't really know how it happened, but all of a sudden, I watch ebay and craiglist for cute dipes. I now know words like organic bamboo velour, snappiable, and soaker. Most of my extra money goes to cute cloth coverings for my daughter's behind! I know, it's crazy. But true. And very, very cute!!

Next post I will have to delve further into the topic and even post some pics of my stylin' diapers. Woohoo!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Heavy Heart

My heart's heavy tonight. I just found out about a couple splitting up because the husband was having an affair. I'm so sad and my heart aches for their children. How do you tell a child Daddy doesn't love Mommy anymore? Although I know God hates divorce, He never intended it...God hates unfaithfulness and he doesn't intent it either. Life is so broken.

Someday Brilla is going to want some answers on why this happens. While growing up, I underwent the fear of my parents getting divorced. Thank God, however, they have stayed together for 30 years, especially when all odds were against them. Fortunately, my husband's parents, when he was younger, promised and assured he and his siblings that they were not getting a divorce and would always be married. A promise which they have kept to this day. Do you know how reassuring that is to a child growing up in a world full of unbroken promises?

My husband and I have made the same promise to our daughter. By God's grace, not our own strength, we'll stick together through this life's ups and downs.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hum-De-Dum...An Update

Right now, I'm listening to the laundry dry. One of the most pleasant sounds ever. It means I will have clean clothes to wear tomorrow, and also...it means there has been productivity today. Mike and I are relaxing on the couch, enjoying the TV and computer. Of course, the girls have been put to the bed. Ah. The ideal end to a Sunday before the busy week begins.

The girls have been sick these last few days. I think sleep, good food and water have been the key to nurse them back to health...and time. Colds just have to bide their time. Hopefully Brilla will get past it soon! It has made her an Oscar-the-Grouch! I feel like I have been on her like socks! Did anyone call this the Terrible Threes/Fours? Because this is my reality. By God's grace and through prayer, I'm getting through it. But goodness gracious, is it ever taxing. I think I need to review Dobson's The Strong Willed Child.

We have been loving the weather here in the Pacific Northwest! Last week was VERY hot. And the weekend cooled off a bit. I was able to head up to North Seattle and buy some CUTE cloth diapers off craigslist. They are Preston's Pants and Pot Bellied Pig Designs diapers. The PP is an All-in-one, and the PBPDs are minkys. For only $38! If you're into cloth diapering, you'll recognize that as a steal :) I have discovered that I love the snap diapers. I have some BumGenius that velcro and I like them too, but I think snaps are my favorites.

My nieces and nephews spent the night last night. Yep, five kids for the weekend! It truly was fun. We even got to church on time this morning! We've only done this once before (last year) and it was definitely time to do it again. We wanted to have them over more this summer, but between having Katie and remodeling our home, it just didn't happen. So after church, we all went to Costco for lunch, then home for beloved nap time!! Then we walked to the park and played, played, played. Then came home for another meal, ending the night with ice cream at McDonald's. They had a blast. Even in our small home (their home is huge) :) And really, it's not what you do, where you do it, but who you're with...and we were in great company.

It is refreshing to look forward to church every week. Not that we didn't at our old one, but we're just glad that we found a new church we love so much. The people are wonderful, so caring, but what Mike and I really soak up is the teaching. The digging deep kind of expository preaching. In Sunday School, we are currently studying Escotology, Revelation. Our pastor is pre-millineum, which we are as well. There are some in the congregation who are a-mil, even post-mil, which mixes it up a bit. But he encourages questions and promotes unity despite these non-core differences in where we stand. Today's message was quite sobering, getting us to think on what makes up a true disciple. Honestly, it was assuring to me. I might not be a perfect Christian (are there any? LOL), but I am persevering on the Road. I love what he said today. "For the true believer, there is no other option besides Christ." The message, on the flip-side was also sobering for those who are false-disciples. A challenge to evaluate our spiritual life....is it genuine or fake?
There were a whole slew of other thoughts but they would take up a few pages :)

I cannot believe Fall is almost here, wherein lies the rebirth of all things scheduled. Piano lessons, Bible Study, Swimming/Ballet lessons, church activities, and Homeschooling. The last one is the biggie. I'm not totally ready yet. Thank goodness I only have one to school. Poor Brilla; she will be the experiment. Good thing she is resilient. But I really am anticipating this adventure!

My brother is back in Florida. I already miss him, but at least I got to spend a good chunk of time while he was here. That road trip will hold memories. Now my youngest bro Sean is home. We are hoping to get a boat trip in. Perhaps a cruise on Lake Washington is in order :)

As I look at the clock, it has ticked to 11:46. My husband has just crawled into bed, and I had better do so as well. Nighty, night. This wasn't much of an update, but it was all I could muster this late Sunday evening.

See you again on the pages of the blog-sphere another time soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Prayer

Saying a prayer for the Wood Family...

Dear Lord,

Please be with my hurting friends. They are in need of deep compassion and love and strength. Holy Spirit, be their Comforter. Equip them with your power, even in the midst of tragedy. May the Evil One not be allowed to touch their minds with regret, guilt, depression, anger or bitterness. But may they trade it in for joy, peace, love and faith. As they need comfort, may they find it in Your promises. You said that if we wait on You, You will strengthen our heart. Lord, you are continually with us. You never leave us. You guide us with your very right hand.

May Rachel's life be a testimony to all, both those who know You and those who don't. May they realize their days are numbered. God could call any one of us at any time. He doesn't like death, but it comes with the whole package of sin and a broken relationship with the Creator. God, redeem others through Rachel's death. May her death bring Your testimony of Life to others. We thank you that Rachel loved you, Jesus. She loved you so much, she was willing to go on a missions trip to care for orphans and shine Your light. Thank you that she got to touch those lives in Your name before You called her. Thank you, Lord, that Rachel never saw death. She only suffered for a little while. But then the light came and she now is rejoicing! She is at your feet worshiping You. We are a bit jealous because she is in Your presence now, enveloped in Your glory. Oh, that we would be patient until it's our turn.

I pray for Mr. and Mrs. Wood. It's so hard to lose a child, your own flesh and blood, whose life has been shortened. You can relate, Father. You gave your only Son. He died on the cross and You had to abandon Him to human death in order that all might be fulfilled. You had to watch Him suffer. The temptation is for Norma and Roy is to wish they could have protected her, taken her suffering, prevented the pain. But God, You were with her, and that is sufficient. You took her from her temporary shell and have given her a beautiful, new body. The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in Rachel, and also dwells in all believers.

I pray for Julie. Oh, so hard to take this burden as the oldest, first-born daughter! I don't like my dear friend to suffer so much pain and heartache. I wish I could bear it for her. There is such a burden, a feeling that you must be strong for the rest of the siblings. But God, help her to grieve in the way that she needs, to get it all out. Pick up the broken pieces of her heart and gently bind them, however long it takes. May she come to know You in a deeper way because of her sister's death. The death of a loved one, though unwanted at the time, results in a greater understanding and knowledge of pain and suffering in this world. You knew Julie would have to experience this God. Be her Rock, her Anchor amidst this terrible flood.

Please comfort the entire Wood family. Bring them to places of quietness and peace, places where they can reflect on death, eternity, life, pain and then...Lord, may You eventually bring them to the place of joy. May they experience laughter again. But please help them to know it's okay to go from sorrow to tears and back again.

In Your Name,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Loss of A Dear Sister

I am so saddened by the recent news that my best friend, Julie, has lost her younger sister, Rachel. She went home to be with Jesus last Wednesday, after drowning in a terrible accident. She was only 23 and had just recently come back from a missions trip to Mexico.

Even though she's not a part of my family, she is a part of the family of Christ, and a dear sister to my very close friend. The day I found out (which was 2 days later than when she actually left us because I was on vacation and didn't see the posts on facebook) I sobbed and sobbed. I am still in shock that she is gone. She was such a sweet, quiet, but strong girl. She loved Jesus, loved her family. I am incredibly heartbroken.

Seems she and her younger siblings were swimming in Horshoe Lake, when their legs got tangled up in milfoil. Here is the story and videos: http://www.kxly.com/news/24519439/detail.html & http://www.krem.com/news/local/Milfoil-may-have-tangled-swimmer-who-drowned-in-Horseshoe-Lake--100079989.html

It doesn't seem fair that that is the end of her life. Period. I wish there was a different ending to the whole story. But there isn't, and God is not surprised by her death. In fact, she is having an incredibly much better life in heaven with her Savior! She is in the presence of Almighty God, surrounded imminently by His love and His glory. At times, I wish I could be there, too. I wish I could see what all our loved ones who've gone before are doing up there.

Really, the sadness isn't that she's in Heaven, it's that she's not with is here on earth. We are finite beings and our hearts are so heavy beyond expression when a loved one goes before us. It's hard to see the eternal perspective, the reason why she had to go. One day all of our questions will be answered.

As for me, I can go on with my life. Laugh with my husband and children, and sleep well at night. But as for my dear friend Julie and her family, they will not sleep well. They will wake up in the middle of the night, remembering their sweet Rachel is gone. And they will weep. Wishing they could say good-bye a last time, replaying her last minutes in their minds, wishing they could have saved her, wishing to see her smile again. Having to pack her things, find a casket and do all those terrible, necessary details that no one should have to do when faced with utter heartbreak.

Please pray for the Wood family. They have been celebrating Rachel's life because she is not dead, but alive. Still, they are only human and will need the comforting, incessant prayers of fellow believers.

Rachel, you are truly loved and missed! No one ever thought you would go this soon. We will see you on That Shore someday soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Our house is almost back to normal! I am in love with our "new" little home. It looks beautiful and I'm so thankful for the work all the guys have done. There has been a lull in work for the company (lull as in tons of projects coming up, just not any scheduled right now), so the timing with that AND the weather have been perfect. I am now sitting on the floor with my head against the couch looking at the newly painted living room, complete with a rich-coloured mantel headpiece. Wow, what a drastic change. I will post photos soon! I cannot wait to invite my girl friends over for tea and treats :)

Lots has been going on. Mostly just the remodeling, trying to keep the girls on somewhat of a schedule amidst being here and there to stay out of the way, and having summer fun at various spots around town. This gorgeous weather has been a godsend. I mean, better soak it up because it could be Fall next week! We're talking the Pacific Northwest here. I've enjoyed wearing shorts and tanks for a change. Of course, I've enjoyed taking out Katie's little cutesie outfits, too. Her little dimpled legs are to die for. I was looking for her swimsuit the other day and found it with the "cover up" someone gave as a shower gift. It's the most darling thing. I got a chuckle out of that one, though! Like what's she gonna cover up??

I've been watering my flowers lately. I know, that hould be a big given, but you have to understand, I am soooooo bad at watering. My husband keeps getting on me about it. I mean, for Pete's sake, all I've got are petunias, impatiens and geraniums. Some day I hope to have a whole garden full of both flowers AND vegetables/fruit.

:::Sigh::: Some day.

This last week I've done a lot of cleaning my house up (woohoo). Trying to normalize the mess amidst the piles. I felt triumphant this week just vacuuming and doing the dishes. If this sounds real exciting to you, just wait until I get to the good part.

I've also gone on a clothes shopping hiatus. You heard me right. I'm a shop-a-holic. I admit it. If you've ever watched Confessions of a Shop-a-holic, I am so the main character. I feel that thrill of being on the hunt and buying a cute something. And when I get tired of shopping for one thing, I focus on my attention on something else I might need. The only difference is - I don't spend near the amount of moolah for single items as she does, nor am I addicted to shopping at storefronts for high end labels. But, that doesn't matter! It's still an addiction and I'm trying to crack it. Because shopping, then getting rid of stuff (or even donating), shopping then getting rid of stuff, the unending cycle, is a huge waste. Perhaps soon I may even do a one-month challenge of no shopping. Hum. I'll think about that one, long and hard. Any one want to join me?

Don't know about you, but I'm missing Fall/Winter TV episodes, like The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Castle. I've been appeasing myself with reruns and Law and Order.

Welp, I'd better go to bed now or else I'm bound to rattle on and on about absolutely nothing. Either that, or everything random in my life. I'm that tired.

Good night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lots Going On

My house is a wreck. Except for the nice little spots where I've been able to make it look semi-clean so I can pretend all is normal :)

We got our new windows! They are beautiful and wonderful. Nothing like being able to air out my house with nice screens - no bugs flying in and out saying, "Thank you!" Though I love these new windows, I did not realize how much work it was going to take; and what a toll is would take on our schedules (as in my kids' schedules!). But I am SO THANKFUL for the work being done. It has been a long time in coming. Muchly needed.

We must have been bitten by the remodeling bug, because not only are we replacing the windows, but we're also - adding new trim, inside AND out; replacing drywall after having found dry rot; installing new front door; took down the faux wood paneling on our living room wall to be replaced by a regular, newly painted wall and new fireplace mounting!; painting rooms with fresh color. And in the midst of all this, we're installing a new dishwasher. It was supposed to be a quick job (the dishwasher), but complications have turned it into a 3-day chore! Thirdly, my husband is going to the county this week to see if he can get the our addition plan okayed. We're hoping to add on to the back of our house this summer as well.


I mentioned the kids' schedules...

We've had to be out of the house quite a few days because the girls can't nap or be around the busyness of tools and dust. My mother-in-law has been so gracious in letting us nap and hang at her house. In fact, as I'm sitting here writing this, my husband has just informed me that us girls need to be out of the house by 7am tomorrow!! I feel like a homeless urchin! I'm just being dramatic. Of course we have plenty of places to go.

Tonight I had a most relaxing deep tissue massage. So much so, I fell sleep during my session. Massages always do that to me. They are so cathartic, especially after a long day of running around. It's a good thing I had that hour or relaxation because I came home to a squawking baby. Daddy was unable to feed her milk via the bottle because the nipple was too big. Thus, I came home to a poor little baby girl with huge tears and a sweating Daddy. Mama to the rescue once again.

Dinner was healthy and yummy tonight. Grilled cod with organic green beans and brown rice. I could eat seafood every day and not tire of it. We had plenty of rice left, so looks like fried rice tomorrow.

I have lost 5 lbs in the last 3 weeks. Not bad, but not meeting my goal, either. I was going for 2 lbs/week. But I have to be realistic. Losing weight while nursing is extremely difficult. I just need to exercise every day and continue to count my calories (enough as a nursing mom). I'm also making sure they count. My personal motto has been "fuel it, don't fill it". I've been eating a ton of yogurt, hummus, eggs, fish, high fiber cereal, peanut butter, Kashi GoLean granola bars, Odwalla smoothies, string cheese, almonds, walnuts, all kinds of fruit, and every kind of low fat, high protein, high fiber food I can think of. For dessert, I allow myself a 1/2 cup of ice cream, chocolate-covered almonds, pb toast with honey/jam, yogurt with berries, or a Yoplait smoothie. Last night I made a huge mistake of having a McD's hot fudge sundae. It's 320 calories. I assumed since the reduced-fat vanilla cone was only 150 calories, that the sundae wouldn't be much more. Wrong! The fudge brings mucho calories to the table.

Did I mention my husband and I are competing? We are seeing who can lose the most percentage of weight by our anniversary, August 28th. I'm so proud of him. He's lost a good amount already. He's a Coke guy, and he's had only a couple drinks of soda since we started this thing (almost done with week 4!). He's not even touched baked goods (except for July 4th). Baked stuff is our weakness, but we've not touched any.

I've had such a busy time lately caring for my girls, juggling our whereabouts. However, I've still been able to spend time in Our Daily Bread for my devotions. I didn't continue Believing God, but instead, have delved deep into the audio version of So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. It has been an eye-opening journey. God's revealed so much to me I didn't realize before. Praise God that he doesn't leave us in our comfort zone, but conforms us constantly to His image. We just have to willing vessels!

Monday, July 12, 2010

On My Children

I don't want to forget my stillborn daughter, Amelia.

But days go by, weeks even, where I am so busy I don't think of her. Sometimes I feel horrible for it because I remember back when the pain was so fresh, when minutes would not go by where the deep hole in my heart ached and ached and ached.

I was thinking of her tonight and decided to see the pictures of her delivery again. Her tiny toes and hands, her little body in our hands. Even now I can't stop the tears. Still, the question remains in my heart, why did she have to go, God? Why so far along in the womb, when she had already become a part of my hopes and dreams? Why did our farewell have to be so sudden (maybe it was better that way)?

I'll never know the answers to any of my questions. One thing I can always rely on is that God is the same God who never changes. My world, life, and events around me are forever shifting, but not my God. What a comfort. Knowing I can go to the Rock that I can cling to when I am sad and need a bit of comfort and peace.

Little Katie is just over 3 months...her 3 month mark was June 5th. Already she's fitting her 3-6 mos clothes. And she's getting SO darn cute. She has the prettiest smiles and bright blue eyes. She also nuzzles me and gives me these slobbery open-mouth kisses. Wouldn't trade 'em for anything. How thoughtful of God to shock me with the news that I was having another baby girl, Katie Claire. I remember the day we found out she was a girl. I was pretty set that we would be having a boy since I'd already had 2 girls, and figured my miscarriage after Amelia was likely a boy. But was a glad to be wrong!! Katie will never take the place of Amelia, but her live birth was like a soothing balm to my chafed mama heart. I love this dear girl.

Brilla is still 3. I feel like she's been 3 forever. She's got these beautiful gangly arms and legs. Everyone thinks she's older because of them. My first born is such a smart little cookie that
I have to remind myself she's not older. Often I think I try to put too much expectation on her head. I find myself struggling to keep her busy these days. Now that Katie is on only five feedings a day, I think I can spend more time with B...doing crafts, some schoolwork maybe, perhaps painting our toes again :) Brilla is my right hand. Every time I go to do something like buckle Katie in, or tuck her blanket around her toes, Brilla has already done it. She's a little mama, always thinking of her little sister and being such a huge help. Honestly, I've never detected any animosity toward Katie. Yes, she struggled with the lack of attention in the beginning, but now the rhythm of life with a little sister has started to hum. Just wait until she has to share her toys with her. That will be something.

Some more about my first born. She is smart, like I said before. This comes out in some not good ways, too. It didn't take long for us to discover this one's got a strong will! It's been quite a journey, one we're still working through. And the drama! Wow, her highs are high, her lows are low. But boy, does she ever love like there's no tomorrow. My first born is extremely affectionate and loves hugs and kisses. Touch is very important to her. Rarely does a day go by where I am not showered with her affection. I think Katie also has learned to brace herself when a kiss from B is coming. What a girl.

I find myself getting impatient again these days. We've had a lapse of wetting the bed at night...I know, I know, it's normal. But this kind of thing gets frustrating; another situation to deal with. Also, since I'm usually in the middle of tending to Baby, my fuse is short since I expect to be obeyed immediately. Ha! Brilla senses this and pretends she has all the time in the world to obey! God truly does give us children to train us and test us. It's also payback time ;)

I have a feeling Katie will be more laid back than Brilla. She hardly ever cries and is so easy-going about her schedule. Let me rephrase that, for the most part she does not cry. She lets us know when she is bored or tired, for sure! Seriously, though, this girl is very amiable. And nursing her has been such smooth-sailing. It helps that this is the second time 'round and I've learned a few tricks of the trade.

Looks like it's way past midnight and I should have been in bed long ago. Especially since Baby has been going down earlier this last week. You'd think I'd covet the extra hours of sleep! But no, I choose to blog. What am I thinking?? ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Glorious Books!!

Seems like I am reading a gazillion words of information every day. I love to research and I love to read, which can be a pretty hefty combination. Right now, I am reading an amazing book entitled "Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods". It is rich with food and nutrition details and expounds on what your body does with it! It's also written in such a down-earthy, easy-to-understand way. I would highly advise that if you're in any of the above stages (trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding or raising a toddler), you should read this book. You'll want to keep it on hand as a reference!

I'm also addicted to cook books. Don't know what's wrong with me. I could sit for hours on end reading recipes and cooking methods/tips. I just eat it up. Get it? Ha. Right now I have 4 Williams & Sonoma books I'm going through.

Magazines are also in my diet. Costco sells them for 30% off the cover price, so often I can't resist. I especially love Consumer Reports, Everyday with Rachael Ray and yep, you guessed it, all the other cooking magazines. I also love the Kitchen, Home Decor and Home Plan magazines. So yeah, just about all of them!

Since I have a limited amount of time in my day. And I have to feed my kids, too - I will get audio books. Like right now, I'm listening to So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. If you haven't read or listened to this book, it's a must. I've learned so much about myself and I'm only 30 minutes into it.

Okay, I have to take my nap now. If I don't, I'll never get a chance.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Third Day and Another Recipe (Pizza!)

If you read my last post, you will be amazed to find out I am no longer depressed. I've been re-inspired. Thank you ladies for your encouraging words. Talk about emotions going haywire! Reminds we why I started this blog in the first place. A spot to vent my feelings, thoughts, prayers, etc. Women need that!

Anyhow, this is my third day on the road to becoming a slimmer "me". I went to a fitness clinic this past Friday, which motivated me to take a look at my caloric intake again. Eating better is my key to losing. Like I've said before. I love to work out, but don't like to curb food. I also reserved some books at the library that advise how to lose while breastfeeding, but at the same time enhance milk supply.

My goal is to lose 2.5 lbs per week/5 lbs every 2 weeks...for a total of 20 lbs by August 28th. That date is significantly my 6th anniversary!! That I'm nursing is a disadvantage. I can't just skip meals. I have to be intentional about what I eat/don't eat.

So far, I've lost 2 lbs! I've been logging my calories, which can be fun if you look at like a game. I try to plan out my meals and snacks ahead of time...so I'm not grasping in starvation at anything that looks good, then hanging my head while logging it in. I was eating about 3 desserts at day: handful of jelly bellies, a donut, some ice cream at night. Bad, bad girl. Also, my eating wasn't all that healthy, either. Overall, I eat my fiber, veggies, etc. But I've been having HUGE portions (when you're nursing you feel like you're starving), extra butter here, extra cheese there. You get the picture. My diet needs some tweaking.

So yes, I'm counting even my pats of butter, sprinkling of cheese, and spreading of mayo. I allow myself one dessert at night, which is usually ice cream. How I love that stuff. Right now I'm hooked on Breyers chocolate. Yum.

My husband's decided to lose a little weight, too. In fact, he went with me to the gym last night, while the girls when to child care. Kind of like a date! Except he was playing basketball and I was upstairs running my little sore buns and feet off. It hurt good, though.

Btw, I made this BBQ Chicken and Onion Pizza last night. It's to die for. Plus, it's only 320 cals a slice. Here's the recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice large red onion (regular onion will do) and 2 plum tomatoes. Dice 4 strips turkey bacon.

2. Heat a 12-in skillet over medium heat til hot. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Add onion, bacon and 2 cloves pressed garlic. Cook and stir 10-12 min until onion is tender and lightly browned. Stir in 1/2 cup smoky bbq sauce; remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups diced cooked chicken; set aside.

3. Lightly sprinkle pizza pan with flour. Unroll two packages (10 oz each) of refrigerated pizza dough and arrange side by side on pizza pan, shaping into a circle. Roll dough to edge of pizza pan, pressing seams to seal.

4. Spread chicken mixture over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge. Arrange tomatoes evenly over top of pizza.; sprinkle with 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese blend. Bake 18-22 min or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 10 min. Sprinkle with 1 TB snipped fresh parsley. Cut into wedge. Makes 8 servings.

Note: I make my own pizza crust, prebake, then add on the chicken mixture and bake until desired doneness.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm a little discouraged.

My post-baby weight is not falling off quite as fast as I'd like it. And it's depressing me. I feel so fat, frumpy and unlovely :(

I've been working out, but I've also become addicted to sweet yummies. I know that's part of the problem and I know it takes time to lose the weight. But I'm still depressed about it.

Went to go try on dresses at Ann Taylor, picked a couple out, but then came home and a family member mentioned that once I got rid of my tummy fat (they said it nicely, but still), they would look better. I all at once put the dresses down, pretended I needed to deal with Katie, rushed down the hallway, and shed tears. Ever gotten into that rut of self-pity?

Well, I'm there.

The Sun Peeked Out (Finally)

Yesterday was gorgeous!

We started off the day with my chiropractic appointment. Always a nice start. My chiropractor was wanting me to come in 3x a week, and I told him I just couldn't do that. Not with 2 girls in tow. Especially when one of those times includes an hour-long massage! My girls are good, but not that good! My neck is feeling so much better since I've gone though. The main reason why I started is because it was giving me trouble, increased further by nursing Katie and lugging her carrier around.

I like having my appts early. We can zoom over to the gym afterward. I did a good 5 miles. Felt wonderful. To be completely honest, it always starts off that my upper body feels like flopping jelly, but as my body melds into the workout, the weird feeling dissipates. It's a good thing I have gumption because working out after having a baby is not for wimps.

I had mentioned to Brilla before working out that we "might" go to the beach. You know what that means to kids. By the time I'd picked her up from child care, all her little friends and woman in charge "heard" we were going - "Have fun at the beach!" the woman said as we exited. I chuckled to myself. That's what I get. Of course, it wasn't quite the chore to go; the weather was so sunny and warm. A much needed respite from the rain! We headed home to make up a quick picnic lunch, complete with strawberries.

Ah. I wasn't prepared for the utter bliss of laying out in the sun. While Brilla played in the sand and water, Katie and I chilled on our blanket. I sipped water and browsed my latest magazine.

Before we arrived, I scouted out the best spot. You must understand, this is a VERY small beach. Last time, I made the mistake of being beside a woman who let her dog sniff out all our food and belongings, repeatedly, blaming it on being "rambunctious". To boot, there were these kids who had a ton of beach toys but decided they wanted to play with Brilla's one bucket and shovel, kept taking it away from her. The parents were nowhere to be seen, until the dad finally showed from afar.

This time was a (little) better. After we parked ourselves, another family came and wouldn't you know, the mom smoked. If it wasn't such a hassle, I would have moved. I just hoped she's put it out soon, which she did. Then they pulled out their metal detector and started scanning the entire beach for "treasure". When the machine beeped, they promptly pulled out their shovel and began digging. This happened time and time again. Odd, but I guess each one enjoys the beach in their own way. I just laid back and continued to soak up the sun and my magazine :)

Everyone was in a good mood the whole time and we even made it back home in time for naps.

Later in the evening, I made Meatballs in Meat Sauce for the first time. It was like Little Italy in our kitchen. Yum.

I had spent waaay too much time on my feet, so I finally sat on the couch with my hubby and we watched reruns of our favorite show, The Good Wife.

Made for a great Tuesday~


Trust me, this is delicioso!! Even my husband liked it!! Takes about an hour to cook, but worth every minute.

Meatballs in Meat Sauce with Rigatoni

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, pork and veal mix (I just used ground pork/beef)
4 garlic cloves, grated or finely peeled
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, grated or finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian), a couple of handfuls, coarsely chopped
2 slices or torn white bread or 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 egg
A couple pinches of ground allspice
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 lb rigatoni
2 TB butter, cut into small pieces

Heat the oil in a saucepot or deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add about 1/2 pound of the meat and break it up into very small pieces. Lightly brown the meat for a couple of minutes, then add half of the garlic and the carrot, onions, and bay leaf to the pan. Season the meat and veggies with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the stock and crushed tomatoes. Drain the whole plum tomatoes, then crush them with a wooden spoon and add to the sauce. Reduce the heat to low.

While the vegetables cook down, bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Let them cool for a minute or two, then crush them or chop fine in a food processor.

Place the remaining pound of meat in a bowl and add the rest of the garlic and parsley, bread, milk, egg, salt, pepper, allspice, a handful of the Romano, and the walnuts. Roll the meat into 16 balls, 1 1/2 to 2 inches around, then drop them in to the sauce to simmer. Once the last ball has been added to the sauce, cook the meatballs 10 to 12 minutes longer to make sure they are all cooked through.

About 8 minutes before the meatballs are done, salt the pasta water and add the rigatoni; cook al dente. Drain the pasta, then return it to the hot pot along with the butter., the remaining Romano cheese, and a few ladles of the pasta sauce. Stir to melt the butter and coat the rigatoni a with cheese and sauce. Transfer to a large serving platter and top with the remaining sauce and the meatballs, or serve the meatballs and sauce right from the pot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good Intentions

Before I get started, please pray for my friend, Sarah. She just recently found out she lost her baby (miscarriage). She has had one boy, a miscarriage, another boy, then this miscarriage. I'm sure her heart is aching right now. So if you get a chance, please bring her before the Father.

I have such good intentions when it comes to various projects in my life. Like scrap booking. Did you know last year I finally finished the pages for my high school graduation? Yes, lame. And I still have not attempted sewing. I have a whole box full of sewing pages and tools. Instead, I have been nursing, changing diapers, laying kiddies down for bed, cooking dinner, and cleaning my house. Wash, rinse, repeat.

There are so many things that other moms are doing out there I truly admire. But every mom at some point faces the reality she can't do it all. She must decide what is important to her and her family and stick with that. Even if it's just ironing all the shirts for your husband (or something like that, my husband never needs his clothing ironed unless we're going to wedding and even that's pushing it for him).

My big thing lately has been getting my daily time with the Lord. No, I don't have a whole hour chunk. But I do have about a half-hour before my daughters wake up. Or 15 minutes before bed time. I naturally want to get started right away on my to-do list, but have to remember that my whole day needs to be dedicated to the Lord because He will give me wisdom as to what to accomplish, give or take a few things on my list :)

So I am officially starting Beth Moore's Believing God. I've heard from countless friends that her books are amazing. Of all my goals, this is the most vital. I love my Jesus so much and want to get to know Him and serve Him better.

My other goal has been to get back to cooking meals at home. It's been 2 months since I've had baby, and we've eaten out a ton. Not good for the body nor the wallet. To make it fun, I've been adventuring straight through my Rachael Ray cook book. I'm determined to get through it, even if it kills my husband. Just kidding. He doesn't like all the combinations of seasonings that she has in her recipes, a little too rich or a tad off for his taste. I absolutely love all of them. But then, I'm a bit bias, being the cook.

My third goal I'm working at is losing weight. I have made it to the gym 3x a week for the past 3 weeks. I not only want to shed the extra pounds from pregnancy, but I also want to tone my tummy, since 3 pregnancies will do quite the number on ya. AND I want to get in shape for soccer again! But we'll see if I even have time for that. Games are in the evening and usually in the evening, I just want to snuggle with my hubby on the couch while we watch TV and play with the girls. However, my biggest struggle is not with working out. It's food. I love cooking food and eating it. I'd rather run 3 miles than curb my eating. Herein lies my challenge.

As for the all those books (earlier post) I am wanting to get through, you can guarantee I always make time for reading. Whether it's on the treadmill, during toilet time (I know, TMI), or a bit in between the girls' naps, reading has always been a part of my life. My idea for a perfect day would be sitting in a lounge chair with a cup of hot coffee or chai latte, holding a good read, while my husband massages my feet. Oh. Yeah.

But until then, I am plugging away at the day-to-day that God has for me! I honestly love my life and wouldn't have it any other way! I have nothing to complain about. Some days dip and others peak, but the one thing that never fails is that God stays the same. I can depend on God for every need I have. I don't have to carry my burdens (though I often choose to), but can lay them all at His feet. His mercies are new every single morning. "Great is Thy faithfulness"!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Recipe

Skillet Tamale Pie

Plain name for such an amazing recipe! Here is an actual link if you'd like to see pictures.Tried this tonight and just had to share. And yes, it's from Rachael Ray (love her!):

1 TB EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) once around the pan
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
2 bacon slices, chopped
3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground pork
1 med onion, chopped
1 small red or green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 TB chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups quick-cooking polenta
A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack
Note: Instead of using the chicken stock, milk and polenta as given in recipe, I bought pre-made polenta in a tube, heated in a pan, while adding some chicken stock/milk to taste and to liquefy.

Preheat the broiler to high and place the oven rack 1 run beneath the highest level of your oven.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat to high heat. Combine the chicken stock and milk or half-in-half in a pot to bring to a boil over medium heat.

Add the bacon to the hot EVOO and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp, then add the ground meats, raise the heat to high, and cook until they are browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic and season with the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables, then stir in the tomato sauce and heat through, 1 minute more.

While the meat cooks, whisk the polenta into the simmering stock and milk. Stir for 5 minutes, or until the polenta is thick and masses together in the pot. Fold in the cilantro or parsley. Use a rubber spatula to spread the polenta over the meat mixture and top with the cheese. Place the skillet under the hot broiler to brown the cheese and set the polenta, about 1 minute. Serve directly from the skillet.

The taste of this is rich and your family may not want the plain tamale pie as usual!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Really should be in bed right now. But with both girls asleep, and my husband just having snoozed off next to me on the couch, I can't resist a
few words on here :)

My swim workout went well; I survived at least. I kept having to put away those little voices that said 'you don't have a swim cap', 'you'll look fat in your suit', and 'just walk on the elliptical'. So I just did it. Felt good to do something that every ounce of me naturally did not want to do. Next time I'm hoping to do a few more laps and focus a lot more on kicking from my hips, since that's the area I want to shed. Boy, was I ever exhausted after that swim. My eyes were droopy all afternoon! What a weenie I am.

I have no book report. And I've added a fourth. Ha. "Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?" It's a book that gives equal voice to both sides of the issue. I've been researching vaccines lately. One thing is disturbing. Did you know that the Hep-A, Chicken Pox and Rubella vaccines are from aborted fetal tissue and have no ethical alternatives? Also, Hep-B and HPV are mainly contracted sexually, so infants and school-age children are at little risk? I'm not 100% against vaccines, but I do believe some are unnecessary. Some, like measles and mumps, DO have alternatives. Some I believe, like Pertussis, are vital. I'm all about doing your research and knowing what's going into your children. If you have a researched opinion you'd like to post, please share.

We went to Mama Stortini's tonight. I didn't have dinner prepared because I thought we had softball tonight and would grab something on the way. But it was cancelled. Bummer, we were looking forward to it. I ordered the veggie pizza and it was okay. Next time I will order with the regular red sauce, not the white garlic. For dessert we got chocolate buttercream samples from Sees. Our favorite.

Upon getting home, the girls had much needed baths. Little Katie loved bath time; especially getting her hair washed. And she basked in all the attention during her lotion rub :)

Just received my goodies from Mom4Life! A new nursing bra, nursing tank, and BumGenius diapers; my nursing strap is yet to come. You really should try the Bravado Nursing Bra and Tank. They are a little $$, but you will never need to buy another one. They offer such great support. And when you're nursing, especially right after having your baby, you feel very floppy and jellyish (at least I do!). The tank is longer, too, than most nursing tanks out there and covers that post-baby flab. Wow, I could be a sales lady for them. LOL.

Today I didn't get much done. Just kept the tiny one on schedule with her naps and feeding. She has a little eye goo which signals an infection, so want to give her plenty of sleep and food. I did pay some bills, fold clothes, and hang with my bro. But mostly just relaxed. Sometimes we need days like that. Especially since tomorrow (Saturday) will be filled to the brim!

Good night then, I need the sleep!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8 Weeks and Other Stuff

Katie is 8 weeks as of Memorial Day, not quite 2 months. She is "talking" - cooing, ahhing, smiling. She's sleeping from 10:30-7 and giving Mommy more rest. She's also gripping long lego pieces, rolling from tummy to back (she loves tummy time), and finally getting this nursing thing down. I also finally started her on cloth diapers. She was just too little in the beginning for a huge bulky diaper. I am finding the prefolds by Econobum to be great. I'm able to simply wipe out the cover for the next diaper. As for the messy blowouts, those I just throw into a baggy to be washed later. At the end of the day, I wash a hot load of icky diapers. We've saved a lot of money already with these things. I've ordered a few bumGenius diapers to see how those compare. They will be easier for my husband to change!

We can't believe it's June around here already; the rain is not making it seem possible. However, this rain has been a great excuse to stick around home, keep my girls' schedules regular, do house work and plan for Summer/Fall piano. My 3 1/2 year old still takes naps, which has been nice. She's a big helper and second mama with her little sister. Never have I seen any animosity toward her new little sibling. I know that may change as they get older, but the initial transition has gone very well.

I am working out again. It feels good to be walking, running, and doing the elliptical. The first time was rough, but I am surprised how easily I've gotten back in the groove of things. At Fred Meyer, I bought myself a "between bodies" outfit to exercise in. This week, I experiment with swimming. I know it's a great workout, but don't know if I'll survive. My reward is a hot tub soak afterward.

On Memorial Day weekend, my brother came home for summer break. He has one more year, then he's got his Masters in Business, already has his Bachelors in Engineering. Isn't that amazing?! I'm so proud of him. We are so happy to see him again, especially Brilla. She constantly talks about her uncles, but it was all that more exciting to have Uncle Brian here in the flesh. Uncle Sean is traveling this summer with an ensemble team. He plays piano for the performances, then sings with the group when they have a track. My brother is an amazing pianist. He was my best student. He loves music, specifically piano, and has natural performance talent. I never had to motivate him to practice. In fact, sometimes we had to beg him to stop. We will see him later in the summer for a couple weeks.

Memorial Day was relaxing for us. My husband was going to go in for work, but he hurt his back doing dishes for me (I know, poor baby). Seriously, though, he's a tall guy, and the bending over in that position for a long period (there were a lot of dishes) caused his back to be incredibly sore. Anyway, he had really bad muscle spasms, so he just hung out, making business calls, doing paperwork, and helping me around the house. B and I headed out during Katie's nap for some girl time. Later that evening, Mike and I went out for our first date since 2 months before Katie came. It was heaven. We went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick's, bought dessert, then came home to eat it while we watched a movie. So nice not to have to put our oldest down for bed! Had the best night's sleep ever. We need to do this again soon.

I have a new interest...sewing. I'm excited to learn. Way back, my grandmother, over the period of a year, ordered page after a page, a sewing series so that I could learn. Now it sits in a box in my garage. I feel bad for having never used it. But I have absolutely no desire to sort through that whole series to learn. I have currently borrowed some books from the library. All I need is a sewing machine. I'll probably borrow my mother's, then buy one for myself if I have enough interest and need it at my fingertips. I see all these cute baby items, curtains, etc. that I want to buy but are too expensive.

My goal lately has been to get at least one book completed. I'm reading about 3 things at once. I love to read, but I have to choose! Right now my reads are Bringing up Girls, Walt Disney World with Kids 2010, and Bundle of Trouble, not to mention a few magazines. Hopefully, the next time you read my post, I can give a report on one book!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Fully Full Day

We did so much today, and I'm so tired, I canNOT wait to lay my head down.

On the way to the park, we stopped at Costco and had some hot dogs and soda. I tried to fool Brilla and gave her lemonade. But she caught me and I ended up giving her soda after all. I can try :) Next, it was pure relaxation in the sun for about 2 hours. Brilla played to her heart's content. Half of her fun is running around with all the other girls her age. She's a social butterfly. Wonder where she gets that from? ::mischievous grin:: We ate so unhealthy today. My snack at the park for us was M&M cookies and Cheetos. You can guarantee it was popular though. After a long stretch in that sun, we headed for some shade at a local consignment shoppe, while Mama got her fun in. I bought a couple things for my body in its "transition phase". I will keep the size undisclosed to protect the innocent party.

About the "transition phase". I dislike how my body looks about the 5th or 6th week postpartum, as I'm sure every new mom does. Reality kicks in. My body is NOT the same as it was at all. The stretch marks are stretchier, the hips are wider, the rear end more cellulitier. If that's even a word. Sometimes I close my eyes between taking my clothes off and trying the new ones on. It's just easier that way. I had someone be very nice and tell me I looked great the other day, "for just having had a baby". Ha. Anyway, I've decided it's not the best time to shop for clothing. I simply end up dissatisfied, frustrated, frumpy and hot all at once.

We had to stop at another park because I had to feed Katie. That girl takes a lot of maintenance ;) So I figured, why not nurse her at a park where B can play again?

I didn't feel like making dinner for just two people (one being a picky toddler who takes forever to eat), so I asked Brilla where she wanted to go. She chose Panera Bread. Wonderful, as we needed a little health for the day. On the way home, I picked up a couple movies at BlockBuster.

After a super long day, I am happily exhausted. After I nurse Katie, it's off to LaLa Land immediately. Did I say how tired I am? Even as I type this last sentence my eyes are drooping...

The Bad and The Good

The bad news is that I have the staff infection, Merca, on my leg. The good news is that it is healing right on schedule with all the antibiotics I've been taking. A few posts ago, I mentioned my leg was in lots of pain, the OB nurse attributing it to a very low immune system. That was the wrong diagnosis. At the time, the cut on my knee wasn't very big, so I didn't mention it. Fact was, it was infected with Merca, and that is why my lymph node swelled up, inflammation spreading throughout my leg. Thank Jesus I went with my intuition that this thing wasn't getting better and headed to the doctor. They did the typical numbing of my knee (ouch!!), drastically squeezing the pus out (it was deep in there) as only a hospital can do, taking a culture, and bandaging it up. And got a nice tetanus shot to boot :) If I would've known it would be so involved, I'd have left my children in another's care.

Now my day involves watching the clock a lot...for nursing Katie, taking medication 4x a day, taking acidophilus, prenatal vitamin (have to watching timing, iron would cancel out med's effectiveness) and Vit C. Whew. Feel like I'm popping pills in my mouth all the time. But I feel great. And that's what's important. It was awful to have my leg hurt so bad I couldn't get around.

We're having girl time this weekend! Daddy is in Malibu (Canada) for a retreat, so we have some fun stuff planned! Painting toes, going to the playground, walking at the beach, and garage saling. This Saturday will be busy. My husband's chiropractor is having a "Patient Appreciation Day" and offering free exams, x-rays and adjustment to family members ($200 value). I got a slot! Before that, though, Lakeland Hills development is having their annual community garage sale. We'll be looking for toys for our backyard and maybe snag a few other things ;) After that, I go to care for my husband's grandmother. She recently fell and can hardly get around because of her soreness/pain. Thankfully, she has other help during the weekend and week.

Can you believe it's May already? Since having Katie, the days have flown. She is 5 weeks and smiling and cooing constantly. Such a fun stage. She's also on a regular schedule. Sleeping so well, too. She usually wakes up once in the night...2/3 or 4ish then sleeps until 7. Good eater - I used to worry she wasn't nursing long enough, but I've come to realize both my girls only take about 15 minutes total when they're newborns. Funny, her little toys are taking over the house...swing, bouncher, tummy time thing, other toy where she lays on her back. We're calling it "Katie's Castle".

Brilla is becoming quite the helper and little mother. Putting Katie' socks back on, adjusting her straps on her bouncer, bringing me diapers and such, covering her with her soft blankie, and picking her up without me knowing it (yeah, that one was pretty scary!). We've noticed when Daddy gets home, she wants just as much attention as Katie gets. But that's just plain 'ole desire for affirmation. It's been a challenge to not let Brilla get bored while I'm caring for Katie. I have this list of things to do with her/for her so I don't run out of ideas. Thankfully, the weather has been warmer lately, so she can run around outside.

Oh, I got to hang out with my neighbor the other day. She watched Brilla while I went to my dentist appointment. Afterward, I brought a salad, she made chicken and rice, and we had lunch while talking about everything under the sun. She's getting her driver's license, which will be nice for her and the boys to get out. It was just fun to talk to another mom, not kids all day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Belated Happy Mother's Day

My Mother's Day post is late but here it is anyhow.

It's Monday morning and I've been browsing my blog list. I am amazed at how so many women have the presence of mind to blog on (or before) Mother's Day. Wow. After reading, I have been awesomely blessed. I have cried and laughed this morning as I've gone on others' journeys.

Many of the blogs I follow belong to other moms who have angel children. I know our children aren't actually angels, but they are in heaven. Anway, this is why I've cried and laughed. I've been reminded of the gift of motherhood and what it means to be a mom. It's not about the flowers, chocolates, or surprise gifts but about the love for your children, the hugs and kisses, the sweet coos and dirty hands. It's thanking Jesus for the privilege of raising these little ones for His glory.

I feel so honored this Mother's Day-after.

I have 2 beautiful daughters, Brilla Felicity and Katie Claire, with me here on earth. They are terribly precious. I wouldn't trade the childhood stage they're in right now for anything. These years will be past before I know it, so I bask in each day. As for my Amelia, she's beautiful. I am sure of it. She is the most blessed daughter of all, for she's in heaven. I think back on the day I found out she had gone to heaven and tears flows down my face. My heart was so broken then, the pain so acute. But now, through my tears, I am rejoicing that she's praising her Maker. She is not sad, and I cannot be sad for long. It will be all too soon before I get to join her on that Shore.

For Mother's Day, my mother was out-of-town visiting my brothers, so my dad joined us and my husband's family for a beautiful sunny day at my in-laws' home. It was not restful - with kids running to and fro it never really is - but it was worth it. The men contrived the meal with us ladies only helping to set the table. We had rotisserie chicken, Swiss steak, new potatoes, buttered carrots, green salad, and bread. It was delicious!! Dessert was very sweet with cream cheese brownies, fruit tart, coconut cream pie, pumpkin bars and Reese's PB cookies. I ate a little more than I should have :) My husband and daughters gave me the sweetest card and a dozen pink roses. I am so grateful for Michael, Brilla and Katie Claire. My beautiful family that God has given me. My dad gave me a gift from he and mom - a gorgeous tea cup with a tea strainer and little tea bag rest. If you know me well, you know I love tea parties, etc. My tea collection is growing!

It is funny though, how we forget the value of being a mom amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Oh, Lord, please help me to never forget how rich I am in love. Surrounded every day by it. And God bless the mothers who are in pain this day, those who yearn to yet be mothers, those whose children are full grown and have flown the nest, those without children who mentor younger women. God knows your heart and may you be strengthened by your Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Lesson to be Learned

I am sitting with my leg propped up wishing I was up and at 'em.

The past few days I discovered that my upper inside thigh was very sensitive to the touch, but there was no bruising or swelling at all. I've never had this happen before. Then, just yesterday, I discovered a lump on my upper thigh, where it connects to my abdomen. So I called the doctor, and they got me an appointment right away! Good thing it was Monday morning, not Friday afternoon.

The nurse practitioner saw me and knew what it was almost right away. She said it was a swollen lymph node and inflamed nerves. Whew. Though I'm glad it was not cancer-related, she did let me know that it is still serious. This is the perfect scenario to have some neurological problems, seeing that I just had a baby, am nursing, I'm getting little sleep, and just recovered from a bad cold. Babies are like little parasites! They suck it all out of you. She said I've probably been doing more than I should, sooner than I should. I need to control my activity (like not go to the Spring Fair and walk around for 4 hours, 2 weeks after I have baby!). Basically only do what's necessary. And I need to boost my immune system by taking, in addition to my prenatal vitamin, 2000 mg of Vitamin C daily.

Well, I'm learning my lesson about taking it easy after having a baby. Especially when you have more than one child. I think I've also exhausted Brilla, because after I climbed out of my bath, it was completely silent. She is napping like a newborn in our bed room. Poor girl. I'll bet I'm not the only one not getting woken up by Katie in the middle of the night :(

Oh, and to boot, I have this random infection just below my knee. It started with an ingrown hair, which I promptly removed. But then the spot got infected and has gotten red and puffy. So I just took a bath in Epsom salt and am about to put a little Neosporin on top. My left leg is basically shot. It hurts to walk around. Please leg, heal soon!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

National Honesty Day

"He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." Deuteronomy 32:4

I guess today is National Honesty Day. Who knew? Started by M. Hirsh Goldberg in the early 90's, he said, "April Fools Day begins with a day dedicated to lying (April Fool's Day), and should end on a higher moral note."

In all honesty, let me say I was going to take it easy and finish watching Nacho Libre with a mug of hot chai to start my day. There would be no problem with this, except that I usually start my day with reading God's Word. I'm not disappointed to say I chose the latter after all...even though I will most definitely get to my movie after this post :D I hardly watch movies at home during the day. I never have time and if I do, never get through more than 5 min chunks. This is a special treat!

Honesty Day or not, this gives us a chance to think about honesty and truthfulness. It's a trait all those who follow Jesus should take seriously. Especially since we know God is truth and cannot lie.

There is such a tendency to tell half-truths, white lies, and stretchy truths. Basically, all facades. Why is it so hard to say what we mean and mean what we say? I think we've forgotten the power of honesty. The power of being able to trust someone's word. There is great comfort and endurance in that.

So today (and tomorrow and the next), honesty will be in the forefront of my mind. I am striving to make sure my word can be trusted. We serve a God whose Word is rock on which we stand, should we not emulate that?

Here are some "truth" Scriptures to think about: Deut. 32:4, Num. 23:19, Heb. 6:18, Prov. 6:16-19, Jn. 8:44, Prov. 13:5, 1 Cor. 13:6, Col. 3:9, 1 Pet. 2:1, Prov. 12:17-22.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Meditating on this passage today:

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew together; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and time to hate; a time of war, and time of peace.

What profit has he that works where he labors? I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men with which to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in His time: also He has set eternity in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

It corresponds well with this devotional from Our Daily Bread...

It’s been a long, cold winter, and I am eager for warm weather. I’m tired of seeing bare trees and lifeless brown leaves covering the ground. I long to see wildflowers poke through the dead leaves and to watch the woods turn green once more.

Yet even as I anticipate my favorite season, I hear my mother’s voice saying, “Don’t wish your life away.”

If you’re like me, you sometimes hear yourself saying, “When such and such happens, then I will . . . or, If only so and so would do this, then I would do that . . .or, I would be happy if . . . or, I will be satisfied when . . .”

In longing for some future good, we forget that every day—regardless of the weather or our circumstances—is a gift from God to be used for His glory.

According to author Ron Ash, “We are where we need to be and learning what we need to learn. Stay the course because the things we experience today will lead us to where He needs us to be tomorrow.”

In every season, there is a reason to rejoice and an opportunity to do good (Eccl. 3:12). The challenge for each of us every day is to find something to rejoice about and some good to do—and then to do both. —Julie Ackerman Link

Just as the winter turns to spring,
Our lives have changing seasons too;
So when a gloomy forecast comes,
Remember—God has plans for you. —Sper

Every season brings a reason to rejoice.