Friday, November 26, 2010

Our new baby

10:09am on Friday November 26th 2010.
He weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce.
Labor and delivery was really fast!
Thank you God for this precious baby boy! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. In honor of all the babies who are no longer with us, we dedicate this day to you, and we cherish you, loved ones. To learn more about this special day of remembrance, please visit or

A friend of mine wrote this poem, and I just had to share it today.

~Remembering our Angels Oct 15th~

Today is a day to remember, our angels up above.
Who danced and left footprints, then left behind their love.
We parents yearn to hold them and to whisper I love you.
Too soon they were taken from us; it isn’t fair that is true.

But we carry on through the darkness; our angels at our side.
Sometimes you can not see the tears, which we feel we have to hide.
Today there is no hiding; we want awareness to be shared.
That these are forever our babies and that for them we really cared.

These little ones have touched us; in a way nothing else can.
And though they can not be with us; in our dreams we are hand in hand.
If you don’t think of them as our children, then you may never have lost.
Please try and understand and help us, work through this painful cost.

Don’t ignore our feelings; we grieve for our lost child.
They were real and our love for them was anything but mild.
So think of those today; who are without their dear sweet little ones.
The children that were lost were their daughters and their sons.

Today we remember them; as a part of our life and soul.
They were real, whole and perfect and their loss takes a toll.
Light a candle for the mommies and for the daddies too.
For on this day we remember; what a little soul can do.

~ Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day October 15, 2010~

*Kerri-Anne* in memory of ~Sam~ Feb 2, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

35 weeks pregnant.

Tomorow (or is it Saturday?)I will be 35 weeks pregnant. The average size of a baby at this point is a little over five pounds, and about 18 inches long. I predict that this baby will be slightly bigger than average, closer to eight pounds than seven, but probably not as huge as Monster Baby Aliah.

Right now Hannah is sitting in her room, trying to teach Aliah her ABCs.
So far, Aliah can say something that sounds like "H-I-J-K..." over and over again.

And here is how Im REALLY feeling: Im almost 35 weeks.... getting closer to full-term! I am not miserably uncomfortable yet. I dont want to be one of those whiny, complaining women who beg the baby to hurry up and get here, who want the pregnancy to be over already - I truly do not mind being pregnant. But this last week has been one of the hardest, physically. I dont want to eat very much because my stomach is being squished by the baby and all the other organs and things moving around in there... Im eating at least 4-6 Tums everyday to try to combat the heartburn. The pain in my legs and hips is mostly gone, and only bothers me first thing in the morning, so that's good. Im happy about that! But it is being replaced by backaches during the day, and charlie-horse leg cramps while Im trying to sleep at night. Ive been having cramps and BHC off and on for the past 3 weeks.... at first I noticed it a few times a week, but now its definitely every day. The cramps are getting more painful and intense, and they happen most often at night - again, when Im trying to sleep! Not much sleep these days has me feeling like a zombie sometimes. Fortunately Mike actually has this weekend off, so I am looking forward to a little extra rest in the next couple days.

My 35 wk check-up is on Tuesday, so I might have something else to report to you by then. But it will probably be the same old stuff... minimal weight gain (Im really not eating much these days at all, its all baby doing the growing in there!), healthy baby, steady heartbeat, low bp - hopefully nothing too exciting. In the meantime, Im just gonna sit on the couch and watch Aliah put every single toy that we own onto the living room floor. Oh my, all those puzzle pieces and matchbox cars.... ugh, and more cramps.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cloth Diapers.

You may or may not know, but I have been using cloth diapers since Aliah was about four months old. I am planning to use them with Baby#3 also, and have been looking into different brands and styles. Right now we primarily use one-size pocket diapers, and also some one-size covers with prefolds. But I have a few sized diapers too, like FuzziBunz, which are great. (And I am secretly addicted to, the cheapest place to buy cloth diapers!)

I love saving money and not buying disposables all the time, and using cloth diapers has eliminated a lot of diaper rash and other problems - not to mention that our amount of trash is considerably less, too. But Ive never used cloth diapers on two kids at once, and Ive never CD'ed a newborn either, so this will be quite an experiment for us! If you have any recommendations for me, please post them below.

Next week I will be trying out the new and improved bumgenius 4.0 and then I would like to try Softbumsdiapers next. They are doing a big giveaway right now, see here: and it would be so nice to try these new diapers! They are also giving away other thing stoo, like an ipad and some $50 Amazon giftcards (but if I won one of those I would probably just use it to buy more diapers!).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Random Hannah Quotes.

Hannah often surprises or amuses me with the things she says.

Here are some things that I found particularly funny this week:

"Sometimes I learn things so quickly. But sometimes I don't."

"Purple lettuce tastes PURPLE! That's so funny!"

"Why does Psalms start with a P, if you say it "SALMS"?

She is beginning to memorize Bible verses, and I love how excited she is about learning the Bible... bonus, it's also helping her learn to read better on her own, without Mommy having to push her quite so much!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sick and sad.

Mike told me about this news story early this morning when he got home from work. He fortunately did not have to respond to it, but he said when the call came in last night, he couldnt sleep at all after that. I dont blame him. I have been thinking about that family all day. The oldest child was the one who got away and was able to call for help and get the neighbor, a nurse, to come to the house. This particular neighborhood is only a few miles from us, and I know several families who live there. It is really disturbing.

I cannot fathom how a parent could kill their child with their own bare hands.


In other news, I am still sick with a bad cold that has turned into a hacking cough and isnt getting better. This has been going on for 5 days now. Ive been to 2 different doctors this week and theyve both told me its just a virus, there's nothing they can do for me. There's not much medication I can take while pregnant.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daddy in charge = frustrating.

I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. Along the way I stopped to buy a new carseat for Hannah. I left the kids at home for precisely 90 minutes. Whenever Mike is left at home with them, I always come home disappointed, and the house is always a huge, gigantic disaster. Today was no exception. While Daddy was in charge, Aliah spent the hour and a half eating Fruity Pebbles, while Hannah watched 37 episodes of Thomas the Train Engine. Books and toys and little matchbox cars covered the living room floor.
Ummm... At least no one got hurt this time, right?
The twenty five minutes of peace and quiet during the car ride home was totally NOT worth all the stress and grief that I came back home to. I wish he would get more involved with them. But he does not have a single idea what to do unless I tell him, clearly and directly, about eighteen times in a row. Then occasionally he will do it. But he cant take the initiative himself. It is so frustrating!
Now he's spending the rest of his day hammering and sawing away outside, trying to built Hannah's tree house. Im glad that he is trying to get this project done, but it means that he will spend zero time with me and the kids during his days off. I just wish that he would help me instead of doing his own thing all the time. Case in point?: Yesterday I spent 4 hours at church and another 3 hours scouring a consignment sale to get cheap clothes and things we need for our kids. I made them lunch and dinner and bathe them and put them to bed. What did he do all day? Sit on the couch, hang out with his buddy, drink beer and watch football. Ok it is a day of rest on Sunday, but he didnt even bother to wash any dishes or clean the kitchen that he dirtied up! UGH!

Anyways, as for my doctor's appointment, all is well. I am a little over 31 weeks pregnant, and baby is measuring a week ahead (32.5 cms). Baby's heartrate is in the 140's, as usual. My bp is prefect at 120/60, so no concerns about pre-eclampsia this time, either. I did gain seven pounds in the last 3 weeks... ooops? I'll chalk it up to sharing my in-laws diet this past week whle we were vacationing with them, which includes lots of prepared, fatty/high-sodium foods and ice cream.
I have some kind of nasal infection that is giving me a sore throat, coughing, runny nose, congestion, ect. but it is not affecting the baby at all. I have been drinking ridiculous amounts of water, thinking that it would help, but it just makes me have to pee every 20 minutes. Lately my hips have been particularly sore and painful, but apparently this is very common with subsequent pregnancies, and I should just get used to waddling and hobbling around like an arthritic old lady for the next 2 months or so.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beach, Day 1

It's 5am. Hannah wakes up, hears rain outside, and begins screaming "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I dont want a hurricane to come! I dont want it to knock our house down! MOMMY! Im scared!" I try to calm her down quickly and quietly, that it is only rain, and rain does not hurt us, and it's too early to be awakr. But this loud outburst wakes up her sister, and so of course Aliah wants to join in on the screaming and yelling too (even though she doesnt know what Hannah is actually talking about. She just wants to make noise).

Why do children insist on waking up early while on vacation? Come on! We're not even in a different state or time zone!

That being said, I am very grateful that we can be on vacation right now. It is good to spend time with Mike's family, and I am really grateful that he has this week off from work. He has been looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation at the beach for months and months now. Let's just hope the weather cooperates so that we can really enjoy the beach while we're here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homeschooling, and Hannah says....

Quote of the day from Hannah: "Can that be my chore, Mommy? Sweeping the floor in the kitchen, AND cleaning my room, AND putting all my things away? That would be a good help, wouldn't it?"

She really likes to have ownership of things. We have had a fish tank with goldfish for years, but this week she suddenly decided that they are "her" pets.

We had a rough day as far as homeschooling goes. After lunch (which is what we usually do, focus on schoolwork when Aliah is sleeping in the afternoon), around 12:30 I began to attempt her lessons for the day. It took her until 5:30 (FIVE HOURS!!!) to do the work that I asked her to do. She screaming, kicked, cried, whined, fought, slammed doors.... it was really terrible. I definitely lost my patience. But somehow, at the end, she still managed to learn. So I guess it wasnt a completely bad day.

Meanwhile, Aliah is talking up a storm, learning several new words each day. Today she put together almost a complete sentence: "read a book." Well, when she says it, it sounds more like "weeda bock", but you get the idea :) She can also say "I swing" (pronounced without an "s", of course, so that it sounds like "I Wiii!").

After dinner and playing in the yard, I gave the kids a bath (since Aliah was still covered in a grimy crust of chicken and mac-n-cheese from dinner). Hannah LOVES taking a bath with her little sister, but she really hates getting clean, especially the washing-her-hair part. I am wondering how much longer they will be able to bathe together, before it begins to get too awkward, and Hannah starts to want more privacy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I survived the three-hour glucose test. This included starving myself and my unborn child for a total of 18 hours with absolutely no food or drink (except water, which I hate), and getting pricked not one or two, but TWELVE times total. Twice in each arm, twice in each hand, and twice in my upper arm, too.

For the first hour, I walked. I found a park nearby, and went about 3 miles before I had to go back and get another blood draw. For the next two hours, I read a novel and wrote in my pregnancy journal.

Now I wait until the morning for the results.
Hopefully I DONT have gestational diabetes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

on the potty

Yesterday my 20-month old peed in the potty - not just once, but THREE times!
Today she actually pooped in the potty, too. I am amazed. I never really expected her to do this before two years old. Pretty soon we'll have to go in the attic and find some 2t sized underwear for her, though she's not quite ready to go diaper-less quite yet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost 28 weeks.

So, in the morning I will officially be 28 weeks pregnant. This feels like a very big milestone to me, since it is the beginning of the third trimester, and also for the fact that I was born around 27 or 28 weeks myself. I know that I am a survivor, and I am confident that this baby will be, too.

This morning I had my 28-week check-up, including the glucose screening test. Weight gain was fine, even "acceptable" to the midwife who gave me a hard time about my last weigh-in. Blood pressure was low, and continues to get a little lower every month, which is amazing to me, considering that I have a history of pre-eclampsia. Baby's heart-rate is continually in the 150s, very good, and the baby actually kicked the doppler monitor twice while the midwife was examining me, so we definitely have an active baby. Uterus measured in at 28 cm, exactly where it should be. I have been feeling perfectly fine, and didnt have any questions or concerns to bring up with the midwife team. The only problem was that it took three tries for them to get a blood draw on me (I know, my veins are awful), and the final stick was actually in my HAND. I havent had a needle stuck into my hand for years and years and years.

I thought everything was going great... until one of the nurses called this afternoon with my lab results. Im anemic now (last time I wasnt!), I have low calcium and vitamin d levels, and my thyroid is out-of-whack again! And to top it all off, I failed the glucose screening test. Boooo! I am not particularly worried, and nobody else seems concerned yet either. So far, it will just be a pain to fast all night and half the morning, drink more of that yucky orange stuff, and twiddle my thumbs for at least 3 hours while they have a good old time sticking my poor tiny veins with needles. Anyways, in 7 more days I will know whether or not I actually do have gestational diabetes. I am SUCH a carboholic, and I definitely have a sweet tooth. I have no idea how I will be able to curb my diet, if I do have GD!

Now I am off to google more about gestational diabetes, its signs, symptoms, complications and treatments... the internet can be kind of a dangerous thing in that regard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"You're a great mom"

Tonight I ran into someone I hadn't seen all summer. I thought I was wearing what was, to me, an obvious maternity shirt, but she was so excited to see me that apparently she didn't notice my "Eating for Two" shirt, or my growing belly. When she asked about my girls and I mentioned that we were having #3 in November, she was genuinely surprised. But what she said was so sweet. "You're such a great mom. I'm so glad to hear that you're having another baby! I know you'll do a really good job." Then after some baby-talk, she went on to say "...Are the girls excited? What's new with Hannah?" ect. and we continued to talk for a few more minutes. I'm really glad that I saw her tonight.

There are a lot of days when I don't feel like a good mommy, when I feel like a failure, when I get tired and frustrated, or feel like I am not doing my best. But what she said was really nice and encouraging. And it helps to know that she isn't the only one who thinks more highly of me than I do of myself.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The terrible, horrible dream.

Last night I had a terrible nightmare about Mike dying. He got an emergency call about a construction worker who was entrapped at a work site, someone who was stuck inside a big hole of dirt. When he got there, the illegal Mexican immigrant was just climbing out of the big dirt hole. He was afraid of being deported or facing jail and criminal charges... and he was waving a gun around. He shot Mike in the chest, right next to his heart, and Mike was killed immediately.
(Mike said that in real life, this kind of non-emergency "rescue call" situation would have been a police problem, not a paramedic problem. But it was just realistic enough to have me good and scared, and really sad.)
He went to work that morning, and never came home again. I was beyond devastated. In the dream, I saw it all happen a little later, through the grainy black-and-white videotaped recording from a police cruiser. It was so, so awful. I had to make funeral arrangements. Then I had to speak at the funeral. I said something like "seven and a half years isnt nearly enough time to love someone, when you are supposed to be together for a lifetime." Then I had to bury my husband, and figure out how to be a widow and a single mom with two, but very-soon-to-be three, little kids. How was I going to have another baby without Mike around to help and love and support us? How were we going to make it without him? Pay the bills? Keep our house? What were we going to DO? I spent days and days locked in my room, hiding under blankets, bawling my eyes out, wishing that my heart could be ripped out, too.
Then I woke up, and knew it wasn't real.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Names...

I just made a fun baby name list. You can click here to vote on the choices:

I cant promise that Mike likes any of them, but that's ok... It's just for fun. We won't make the final decision until Delivery Day! Who knows, I might find a totally different name that I love by then. Less than four months to go!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A "new" carseat

Hannah, our little 40-lb five-and-a-half-year-old, has hit a new milestone: Today she graduated to a new car seat. It's really her old car seat, we just took out the 5-point harness, so now she gets to use it as a booster seat. She thinks this is incredibly grown-up, and even though she's been buckling herself into the car for a couple years now, it is helping her develop a new sense of independence.

Now if only she was as excited about the car seat as she is about kindergarten.... but that is a story for another day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To My Husband:
When you threw all of those clothes out of my closet today, I was very angry at you. I would not have been more upset if you had literally thrown it all into the garbage. Did you think I was lying, or trying to hide something, when I said that there were "only clothes" in my closet??? I feel like you completely disrespected all of my possessions and my own personal space (what little I have, if any).
I try hard to make sure that the kids and I dont inconvenience you (ESPECIALLY during weeks like this one, when you are working night shift) or create more work for you to do after you come home. I keep up with the chores and housework (yes, some days more than others). Most of all, I do my best to respect your privacy. I feel like you owe me the same basic courtesy, yet I end up stepped-on, scared to move, and struggling not to cry.
When I tried to tell you how you made me feel, it seemed as if you cut me off and quickly moved on to whatever it was that you regarded as "more important". And you know, although I hate this callous side of you, I am also resentful if it too. THat you would be so quick to dismiss me is another thing that sets me off and just makes me want to scream at you. But I dont. You, however, have no problem raising your voice, no matter who can hear you. But when I try to move our disagreement into another room, or quiet down the conversation, you refuse to back down. You accuse me of "never talking to you" and not explaining to you how I feel. and you force me to defend and retaliate. It makes me so sad. Why should our children have to hear and see all of our disagreements? Why should Hannah have to catch me crying after her bedtime?
Yes, an apology is nice, but I just want you to validate my feelings sometimes. And hearing you say "I'm sorry" does not guarantee immediate forgiveness from me, even if that is what you want, or what you expect of me as your wife. It simply does not work that way. I am human and sinful and I need time to process all of these things before I can grant you amnesty for the latest offense.
Then you offered to clean up the gigantic mess you made, which would have been helpful, but I think that is a moot point... considering that you wont be home until 8am, and I am the one who has to sleep in the master bedroom that is absolutely covered in piles of clothes. I cant see the bed, how could I possibly sleep in this hurricane-disaster-site space?
I am utterly exhausted in every way. I am tired of cleaning up everyone else's messes and barely having time to take care of my own needs. Example: It has been four days since I last took a shower. At this point I would rather stand outside in the pouring rain, rather than waste the time and energy it would take to create a warm bath.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

RLS during pregnancy?

RLS is short for Restless Leg Syndrome. I have it now, during pregnancy, and there's not much I can do to alleviate it. This means that I toss and turn a lot, it's difficult for me to feel comfortable in any position, even when lying in bed, and I don't get much rest. It takes hours and hours for me to fall asleep. During the day, my feet and legs swell and tire easily. I spend most of my afternoons on the couch, sipping water and being thankful for air-conditioning.

Typical pregnant person, huh?
Still, I like being pregnant, RLS and all.
At least I know it will come to an end eventually!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pictures of the Day

Like my new haircut???
I donated 12 or 14 inches to Locks of Love today.
Hannah took all of these pictures.
She also took about 18 pictures of her barbie doll sitting on the coffee table. And a video of her barbie doll sitting on the coffee table, too. The barbie didntm ove or speak, but Hannah did.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Three years ago...

This week marks three years since miscarriage number two. Has it really been that long? How has the time gone so quickly? Then again, there were days that it didn't go by quickly at all. Wow, what a lot we've been through since 2007. Even just looking back through some of these entries can give a lot of perspective about where I've been, and what I have come through to get here today. I'm so thankful for our growing little family.

I have been praying a lot lately about growing our family a different way, through adoption. But I will save that discussion for another time. Mike and I don't always see it in the same way. And I don't even know if it's something we should pursue. Just because it's on my mind and in my heart a lot lately, doesn't mean that it's going to happen. It just means that it's something I've always felt strongly about. It's certainly a higher calling, to give a loving home and a family to someone who doesn't have one of their own.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Granny the Prayer Warrior

My Granny just called me to talk about my brother's salvation and where he will spend eternity. Now, the fact that she was on the phone after 7pm is a very rare occurrence; usually she is in bed by then.
Two weeks ago when she and my grandpa found out where Andrew was staying and what he was up to, they met with him "for lunch." At first I thought it was nice that they were being so loving and supportive of him. But after talking with her again, I discovered that they really wanted to make sure that his heart was right with God, that he was spiritually saved, that he knew where he was going when he died.
Now wait: Don't get me wrong. I have the same spiritual beliefs that my grandparents do, and I am glad that they are so open about their relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, I have been praying like crazy, especially during these last few months, that each of my siblings will come to realize how much they need God in their lives. But the way that Granny is going about this seems a little odd. She hasn't told anyone except me that she is meeting with my brother tomorrow. It's almost as if she's treating this "meeting" as her own personal secret mission. I'm afraid that she comes on too strong. I hope she understands that she alone is not responsible for whether or not Andrew has a change of heart. And I also hope she takes into consideration that he might not be very receptive at this point in his life.
She said she hopes that this meeting tomorrow will be an "enlightening" experience for both of them. I think that her heart is in the right place... Im just not convinced that she will come across in the best possible way (especially if she uses phrases like "blessed salvation" and "eternal damnation"!). I am praying that God gives her the right words to say, and that Andrew won't be dismissive or rude when he hears her message.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My brothers need so many prayers right now.
They both have proven really good at making one terrible decision after another.
They have each strayed away from their faith and their Christian upbringing, and it is just so sad to see all the pain and grief that they are putting my parents through (not to mention the rest of our family). They don't feel guilty for making these poor choices, and they cannot understand that the things they do affect so many more people other than just themselves. They act like they are invincible, untouchable, immature little kids. I dont know what I can do for them, other than pray.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

shower time

This morning I took a shower. Now keep in mind, this is not an easy feat with two preschoolers running through my house unsupervised. Fortunately, Hannah was still asleep, so I didnt have to worry abut her reaching things she shouldn't, getting out choking-hazard-sized toys for her sister to play with, or acting like she was in charge when Mommy wasn't looking. Instead of worrying about those things, I had to distract Aliah long enough to get myself clean in the shower. I locked her in the bathroom with me, dumped a bucket of blocks on the floor, and started washing my hair. Aliah didnt seem to mind at all that she has been confined to our tiny bathroom space with only a pile of blocks to play with. She loved the noise she made when she threw them on the linoleum floor.
After ten minutes and just a few rounds of peek-a-boo from behind the shower curtain, I was a much cleaner, happier, more sane Mommy.
I should have done this a long, long time ago!

They are destroying the kitchen now, so I need to get back to cleaning up their messes.
Please forgive my lack of blog posts lately. Aliah literally takes up all of my time and energy right now. She never stops moving, is always running and climbing and bouncing, and she is constantly asking for food. Example: she just ran up to me with a cup of cheerios in her hand, wanting me to open it for her. It never stops.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Smells like a flower, stings like a bee.

Hannah got her first bee sting today, Memorial Day 2010.
She was outside with her daddy, smelling the flowers in the front yard. Apparently someone stepped on the bee's nest and irritated them. Mike got stung first, on his toe. He told Hannah there were bees, and that she should run into the house, where it was safe. But she was so scared and panicked that she refused to move. Consequently, Hannah got stung next, on her shoulder. (I am so thankful that Aliah didn't get stung!)

Hannah acted like this bee sting was a major medical trauma. She wailed and got so upset that Aliah started in on it, too.

I tried to make this a lesson in obedience: "Hannah, when Mommy and Daddy tell you something, you need to obey. Right away." But she isn't ready to hear that quite yet.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Questions about Heaven

Last night, Hannah and I had a long conversation about going to heaven. She said she believes in God and Jesus, and knows that Jesus died for her sins "on a cross." I told her that if she believes, and says she's sorry for the wrong things she's done, then she can go to Heaven too, to live there forever. "Like Amber", she added.

Then she asked "Where is Amber's cross? Where is her body?" I had to explain the concept of a spirit to her (this is very abstract stuff for a five year old). I said something like "Your body dies, and stays here on earth, but your spirit stays alive. All of your thoughts and feelings and everything that you believe in are still alive, and that is the part of you that goes to Heaven." I dont know if she understood that, but it was the best thing I could come up with.

Hannah continues: "Well I am not ready to die on a cross." She thought that when we die, we are all crucified on crosses, as Jesus was. She was taking "die on a cross" very literally! So I explained that only Jesus had to die on the cross, not us. "He died on the cross to take away our sins", she reiterated. Yes Hannah, He died on the cross so that we don't have to.

"Ok Mommy", she said, "If I say Im sorry, then when can I get 'bappit-tized'?
Maybe when Im eight, or nine, or eleven?
I think eleven would be a good age, don't you?"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I am feeling really really frustrated and useless and like I can't accomplish anything today. WHY can't I just finish one task, just ONE thing, without being interrupted or having seven more messes to clean up while my back is turned?!
Oh my gosh, do I need a break from these kids!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Kitchen Queen,

Aliah is teething and not acting quite like herself this week. She spent most of the night sleeping in my arms. Everytime she touched down in her own crib, she would immediately wake up and SCREAM. It would take me 15-20 mins to calm her down, then she'd sit quietly with me. I'd hold her for a little longer, with her head rolling off my shoulder. She be trying to bend over backwards and push away from me, even in her sleep. And when I tried to put her down, it would star all over again. It reminded me of when she was a tiny infant and loved to sleep all cuddled up in your lap.

After some tylenol around 9am, she is feeling better.
Watch out though, I have no idea what will happen when it wears off.

She climbed up onto the kitchen chair all by herself, just to get at the leftover oatmeal.

In the meantime, she wants to eat CONSTANTLY. It doesn't matter how much you feed her, she will demand more food within twenty minutes. I really think this child will have an oral fixation when she gets older.

"Look at me! Im queen of the kitchen!"

And here is Hannah, busy making a picture of our house. It is her favorite thing to draw these days.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sleep, glorious sleep.

I slept eleven hours last night. ELEVEN!
I knew that I hadn't been getting enough sleep the past few nights, and apparently the combination of that, the marathon phone conversation with my mother that lasted until almost 2 am the night before, and our physically exhausting zoo trip yesterday (three hours of driving back and forth, six hours of walking, walking, walking around the zoo, 15 hikes to the bathroom... etc.) really wore me out.
I was so tired that I did not bother to brush my teeth or change my clothes. I didn't even eat dinner when we got home, that's how tired I was. I just did not care. I couldn't focus on anything. A dear friend called at 8pm, and I had to end the conversation short, because I just could not listen anymore. As soon as the girls were dressed and ready for bed, I fell asleep. Mike read Hannah a few stories, and made sure they went to sleep ok, but I remember nothing after 8:45 pm. I was gone, asleep in dreamland. And it was wonderful.
I can't say that I feel 100% rested this morning, but I am in a much better mood than I was last night. Yesterday I was a tired, cranky, sleep-deprived Mommy-monster!
Now I think it's time for breakfast. I'm hungry :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't feel well today. I am tired and sore and achey all over, from my head to my feet. I got ten hours of sleep last night and Im still exhausted. With two demanding kids and Mike working the night shift this week, it doesn't look like I will be getting a break anytime soon.
Pray that I get through this day without taking it out on Aliah, or especially Hannah!
Bonus: I am babysitting for a friend tonight until 10pm.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

15 months old.

These pictures were taken at Duke Gardens a couple weeks ago. I forgot that they were on my camera!

Aliah had her 15-month-old check-up this week. She now weighs 23 pounds and is 31 inches tall. She has dropped from the 95 percentile to the 50th. But she never stops moving, and eats more than her big sister, so no worries there. ((My in-laws are always asking about "the newest thing" that the kids are doing and I have such a hard time thinking of anything "new" to tell them. So I was glad that I could call them with some kind of "news" to report. At this point it just seems like we are doing the same stuff over and over and over again every day.))

Poor girl had to get three shots too. Hannah said "It made me sad last time Aliah got shots. It hurt me when she got them, and I was so sad for her that I wanted to cry too." I knew she loved her baby sister, but wow, I didnt know she was quite that sensitive.

Hannah has REALLY opened up and come out of her shell lately. She is so much more outgoing and talkative and I am really proud of her. On the flip side, this means that she rarely STOPS talking. Sometimes I have to insist on "quiet time" just so I dont have to hear constant chatter all day long. And of course the girls feed off of each other. If one of them laughs or sings or cries, the other has to do it too, just 4 times louder. It is not always sweet. In fact, it can be annoying. Especially in the car.

Mike applied for a promotion at work this week. I have no idea when he will hear anything about it or how competitive it is. He has been pretty vague about describing it to me. We'll see what happens with that.... Tonight he and a friend drove to DC to participate in a Tax Day political protest at the Capital. Interesting. They are staying with my relatives in NW DC. Hope they have a good time.

Hannah prayed that they would have a safe trip home :) She really misses her daddy when he is away. I guess they both do: Tonight at bedtime, Aliah got dressed in her pjs and then ran into our room, yelling "Dada, Dada!", looking for him. She thought he was laying in bed, waiting to say goodnight. She didnt understand that he wasn't home.

Well, we'll see him on Friday night.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Something unusual happened on the way to Walmart...

Something unusual happened on the way to Walmart this morning.

I thought I would be "smart" and take the back roads to get there instead of the highway. We got about a mile from home when I noticed a police motorcycle rushing past, with all of his lights flashing. He held up traffic for a minute or two, but there were too many cars ahead, so I couldn't see what was in front of us. We keep heading to Walmart... At the next intersection, he again held up traffic. Was he going to an emergency call? Was there an accident up ahead that I couldn't see?

As I got closer to the police motorcycle, I saw other cars with their hazard lights flashing. That's when I realized what was going on. We had gotten caught up at the end of a funeral procession. Just seeing that line of cars made me want to cry. When I realized what was happening in front of us, I immediately turned off the radio, closed up the car windows. Our car went from happy-go-lucky to solemn silence in 4 seconds flat. I didnt say anything, but the kids were very quiet in the backseat; maybe they sensed something?

I had no idea who's life was being honored on this Tuesday morning in April, but I stopped to say a prayer for that person and the loved ones they had left behind. It felt as if God was telling me "Pray for their souls." I thought this was slightly weird, but I did it anyway. Who am I to argue with God?! :)

Then Hannah and I had an interesting little conversation about what happens when you die and the things that people do to remember you and honor your memory.
"Like when Amber died. That was so sad", she said.
Yes Hannah, it really was.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Got home late last night from our trip to Nashville. It was really fun to hang out with Jeremy and Charity, but the 10-hour car ride was exhausting. (I think the last ten minutes on the way home were the worst..... the girls kept getting louder and louder and LOUDER!)

We visited the Nashville Zoo, shopped at the Opry Mills, went to church on Easter Sunday at a worship service inside of a bar & grille (sounds weird, but it was really neat!), drove around downtown Nashville, saw Jeremy's work and "Music Row", and Nashville's Parthenon. Baked cake and cookies with Charity. Took Jeremy out to lunch at the Pancake Pantry. Watched the girls hunt for Easter eggs. Fed Aliah her first tastes of candy and chocolate (she spit them out!). Visited Nashville's Adventure Science Center, and got in for free with our museum passes. And I think we also convinced our childless friends that they should start having babies soon! ;) We'll see about that.

New things that each of the girls have been doing in the past couple weeks:

Hannah has been diligently teaching herself to whistle for the past two weeks. She's almost got it. She's also really come out of her shell lately. She is rarely the shy four-year-old that most of us had come to know, accept, and love. So much so that I now have to tell her to "be quiet" much more often! During our trip I felt like she never ever stopped talking and making noise!!! She loves her little sister too much sometimes, and often gets in trouble for picking her up or squeezing her too hard.
Sometimes I feel like I am too hard on her, other times I feel we are too easy with her. It is difficult to find a balance and for us to be consistent in the way we deal with her.

Aliah is fifteen months old, very active, curious, and silly. She imitates everything she sees and hears. She still eats a ton, but at least now she doesn't shove quite as much food into her mouth at one time. Her newest words are "cookie" and "cracker". She also says her own special version of "thank you", sounding something like "gah goo". She loves her big sister, but especially lights up whenever her Daddy comes home. She will yell "Dada!" and run right at him. She is great at giving hugs and kisses. She likes to play with baby dolls, and will rock them and hold them and feed them. But she equally likes cars, trucks, sticks, rocks, and dirt. She has recently discovered the joy of sliding down sliding boards. She waves goodbye everytime we get in & out of the car, or whenever she sees another car drive by.

Our girls are so much fun and it is really neat to watch them learn and grow.
I just wish I was better at recording these kinds of things.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Tonight I learned that neither of my children like asparagus.
I think I ate a pound of it all by myself (with just a little help from Mike).

Actually, Aliah doesn't seem to like any sort of cooked vegetables. This makes it kind of difficult to feed her safely, since she only has three molars so far. This means I must resort to giving her tomatoes and avocados, and teeny tiny chunks of cucumber and squash, if we have them. And I let her gnaw on baby carrots too.

Hannah is a carboholic like me. She would be happy eating cereal for breakfast, pb bread for lunch, and mac-n-cheese or pasta for dinner every day. As you can imagine, our meals are pretty boring. I am terrible at planning ahead of time and no good at putting meals together.... my gosh, I am really lazy about food.

Monday, March 22, 2010

family drama

Got home from Maryland tonight. It was a good trip.
Hannah and Aliah had so much fun playing with my family.

Family drama: 22 yo brother has a new gf. Not surprised. The interesting thing is that she comes with some baggage. She is divorced and has two kids, ages 3 and 2. The story is that she got married straight out of high school, at age 17, to her long-time bf (who was a friend of my brother's), who was enlisted in the military. She immediately got "accidentally" pregnant. The second child was born 12 months later (ok, that was most certainly an accident). Soon after that, the husband kind of floated out of the picture.... cheating? abuse? Not sure about that part. But she is a 20-year-old divorced, single mom. Wow. And my completely self-centered, irresponsible, perpetually unemployed brother is totally head-over-heels for her. This is major stuff, people! Maybe it will do both of them some good. Who knows. Although I REALLY cannot see my brother as a father-figure kind of role model for her kids right now.... He definitely has learned some manners in the last year or two, but he is still unemployed, mooching off mommy and daddy, and seems to have absolutely no ambition to get a job or move out on his own. I wonder where New GF lives? With her parents? Im not sure.

Now it is 9:45 and I am so exhausted that Im going to crawl into bed and try to stay there for a very, very long time. Mike is working the night shift this week, so we wont get much time with him until Saturday :(

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sharing oatmeal cookies. Spring is almost here.

After five days, Hannah's mystery fever is now gone and she's as good as new.
This afternoon I sat on the couch eating oatmeal-raisin cookies with my two girls. Aliah kept offering me her cookie, allowing me to get within a quarter-inch of it, then grabbing it away and laughing at me. She's such a little character.... and then she has a big sister to teach her all kinds of tricks, both good and bad.

I love that it is almost springtime! The nicer weather is allowing us to play outside more and get some exercise, which I desperately need - Im growing out of my pants!!! I have gained a good 10 or 15 extra pounds within the last 3 months. Not proud of that. (Last night, Hannah saw my belly and she actually asked me if I was having another baby! Eeeeek!)

I wish I was better at making posts here. Everyday there are things that I should write down but I rarely get the chance to record them before they fly out of my head. I think that is why I love pictures so much, because they can capture 1000 words with one click. They help me to remember what my holey, forgetful, falliable human brain cannot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am the mom of a five year old.

At Hannah's five year old check-up, she weighed 37.5 lbs (up from only 31 pounds last year!) and was 42.5 inches tall. This means that she is still tall and skinny for her age, just as she's always been. (But apparently she actually IS eating enough food to gain weight appropriately, which kind of surprised me.) We had a beach-themed birthday party for her last weekend. We made pink cupcakes for all of our friends, just like in the book "pinkalicious", which is her new favorite. ((Big thanks to Uncle Matt & Aunt Courtney, who gave us "Pinkalicious" for her birthday!))

As for Aliah, she is getting bigger and eating plenty, I assure you. She started walking confidently at the end of January, and hasn't slowed down since then. She is beginning to say things that resemble real words, instead of just baby-babble. She can say duck, dog, ball, Mama, Dada, "go", "no no no no", "what that/what this?", and a few other things. She also uses a little bit of sign language (like for "eat", "drink", "More", and "All Done"), but then resorts to grunting, grabbing and pointing most of the time if we aren't quick enough to give her what she wants.

If you havent yet, you can now befriend me on Facebook. My username is nchummel.
Sadly, I update my facebook status and the pictures there more often that the blog these days.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day post!/note.php?note_id=307352575889

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Her favorite things

Our 13-month-old suddenly has an experienced palette, with very definitive, specific cuisine choices. Here are her new likes and dislikes... (I wish that I was smart enough to put these in a row/column format rather than just a list, but hopefully you get the idea).

Old: cooked carrots
Safe, easy-to-swallow.
New: raw baby carrot
Possible choking hazard!

Old: cheerios (boring!)
New: kix (round, fun, roll-able)

Old: Applesauce (no chewing required)
New: apple slices (also a choking hazard?)

Old: scrambled eggs (so last week)
New: hamburger (huge, juicy bites!)

Old: wearing a bib
New: smearing food on everything within reach

Monday, February 1, 2010

A year ago...

One year ago, on February 1 2009, I was sitting in an intensive care unit, sick with fear and worry. It was a parent's worst nightmare, and it was real to us: my month-old baby had stopped breathing. She had a severe case of RSV (presumably passed to her by her big sister) and spent seven very long days and nights on a respirator. I spent that time crying and pleading with God, isolated from the rest of the world, and most importantly, the rest of my family (oh, how I missed them!).

It was a whole different world in there. We had to wear sterile yellow hospital scrubs, pink latex-free gloves, and itchy blue surgical masks just to be within breathing distance of her ICU room. I pumped "liquid gold" breastmilk for ten days, and hated every minute of it. It was all so cold and clinical and impersonal. The PICU was a place where young children died. Mike couldn't stand to be there for too long at a time - he sees so much trauma and death in his job as a paramedic, and this hit him far, far too close to home.

Many, many prayers were heard and answered that week. And miraculously, she lived through it, by the grace of God (how appropriate, that her middle name is Grace). Finally, ten days after her heart and breathing stopped in the ER triage room, she was released to come home.

Now, our little miracle baby is 13 months old and could not be healthier.
I am so thankful that God has given us two precious daughters to care for and love.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning to Walk

Today was Mike's birthday.
Since we and everyone else in NC was snowed in, we had a very quiet day at home. (We even had "church at home"!) It would have been very nice and relaxing if I was not sick with the flu and some kind of respiratory/sinus infection. Tylenol pm is helping with the head-cold part, but not helping me sleep or keeping me from constantly coughing and sneezing.

Moving on...
In the past 4 weeks, Aliah has gone from tentatively taking her first steps in January 6th to full-time, full-force, real, life-like walking. In the past 4-5 days she has begun practically running around the house, trying to keep pace with Hannah. It is still half-surprising to see Aliah walking down the hallway with her head held high, with a doll or toy in each hand - sometimes I half-expect her to be crawling still, or just rolling around on the floor as she used to, like an infant. It astounds me how quickly children learn and grow. I want them to stay little girls forever, but I know that like us adults, they will continue to learn and grow and get older with each passing day.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I love my girls so much, and I am so thankful that I get to be a stay-at-home mom right now. But I am run-down. I give all I can to them, and don't have enough time at the end of the day to properly care for myself (let along washing things, household chores, paying bills, etc). Just feeding Aliah is a full-time job in itself! I find myself eating granola bars or chocolate milk as meals, sometimes pbj sandwiches - whatever I can grab and consume with one hand. And more often than not, remembering to take my vitamins and meds is a forgotten habit that I just can't seem to get going again.

Right now Mike is working as many overtime shifts as he can, just to ensure that we can pay all our bills and put food on the table. He is severely stressed and burned-out. He never gives himself a break.

This morning, after I had been up all night long with Hannah, who was refusing to go to sleep and insisting on interrupting my sleep-time every hour or two, Mike came home ranting about having to get a new driver's license, and how he couldn't find some important papers.... Ok yeah, the papers were important to him, but it was not necessary to wake up everyone else in the house at 8am. He acts so angry and aggressive, and I don't just mean sometimes. He doesn't have time for a hobby with his insane work schedule, so he ends up taking it out on me. It's not fair, and I'm not trying to make excuses for him... That's just what happens.

Something has got to give, but I am scared about what exactly that will be, and what it will look like.

In the meantime, we have lots of birthdays to celebrate over the next 3 weeks.
Mike is turning thirty this weekend. He is feeling really, really old.
I told him that for my birthday, I want two hours by myself. With NO interruptions. I Need Me Time. We'll see if that happens.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who ever thought that abortion was a good idea?

Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

Since then, nearly 50 million lives have
been lost to abortion. That is more than the COMBINED population of
Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas,
Kansas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho,
Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode... Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Remembering Amber Grace

We miss you, sweet baby.

Today, our little friend Amber would be celebrating her first birthday. She would eat cake & ice cream for the first time. She would be learning to take her first steps. She would clap her hands, laugh, and rip pretty paper and bows off of gifts.

Instead, this day is marked with sadness. Her parents will be trying to get through the day with empty arms and aching hearts. Rather than getting Amber a birthday present, all I can do is leave flowers on her grave, and say a prayer for her and her family.

Amber Grace was only 4 1/2 months old when she went to heaven. She went peacefully, in her sleep. Such a tragedy, what a terrible, terrible loss. We cannot understand why God chose to take her home so soon, but we can choose to accept it.

She is deeply missed by her parents, Kristie and Cory, her big sister Samantha, her grandparents, and many friends and relatives. We take comfort in the fact that she is now living with Jesus.

You live on in our hearts, dear one.
We remember you every day.

Amber Grace Rasmussen

Born January 17th 2009 ~ Reborn June 6th 2009