Favorite Pins of the Week

Monday, October 31, 2011

A mini-update: Clara had an ultrasound of her kidneys and bladder yesterday. We won't get the results for a few days yet. Clara did a SUPER job throughout all of it. Always smiley and well-behaved. Such a trooper.

We didn't do the whole trick-or-treating thing last night. Clara is too young. We passed out candy instead. Stay tuned for 7 month pictures and cute Halloween pictures both with products from Baby Fables.

Baby Fables is a wonderful Etsy store by owner/designer Christine Smith-Miller. Her store has handmade children's items, plenty of onesie stickers to choose from for both little boys and little girls, the cutest clothing dividers, iron on's, waterproof labels and so much more! Christine sent me a personalized iron-on transfer for Clara's first Halloween and it was fantastic. Thanks so much, Christine! If you're real nice, and leave lots of comments, Christine just might let me do a giveaway! So give up the love, people! Tell me what you think. You should head on over and check out her Etsy shop, and see the wonderful items she has in stock!

And now for my favorite pins of the week!

I have to remind myself of this often. I'm trying not to
focus on what I don't have in my life, because I have been
so blessed. I have so much in my life. I'm
making an effort to be grateful for every moment.

I can't even tell you how many "art projects" I made with this.

MORE little things. More life.

Grammar. Get it.

Crocheting basics. If you want to learn, this site has some fantastic tips!

I would love if you would share your favorite pins with me!
I would also love a vote! Pretty please?!

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Things I've found in week 6!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sorry for the big delay in posts. Clara has been steadily doing better, but I've been doing worse. Another symptom is added every day, and the existing symptoms are worse. I feel like poo. :( Clara had a third chest x-ray Thursday, in addition to some more blood tests. Everything came back alright, but Clara has to get an ultrasound with a pediatric urologist tomorrow. Wish us luck.

1. Hyper-dad-dria: Exactly! Hypo-mom-dria is true as well.

2. How to start cloth diapering your baby: I've really been wanting to cloth diaper, but I'm broke. And yes, I realize that cloth diapers save you a ton of money. I would have bought them before she was born, but I don't have the start-up money. As soon as I do, I'm getting them.
Do you cloth diaper? What kind of diapers do you use? Have any tips for me?

3. What to teach our kids about credit cards: Good idea! STAY AWAY, that's what I say.

4. What to do with your child's artwork: Good ideas to keep your fridge from being cluttered with finger-painted masterpieces.

5. Products for traumatizing infants: BAHAHAHAHA!

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7 months old today

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sigh. My child is 7 months old. Is it just me, or is time gaining momentum? It seemed like the first 3 months were so much slower, and now time is speeding by.

I was planning on taking some 7 month pictures of her, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Baby is still under the weather, and I woke up this morning with flu-like symptoms. So fun.

Sorry for no picture, and to make the scheduled "wordless wednesday" strictly words.

However, I would love a vote, if you could spare one for a sicky mama and baby. :)

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Update on Clara.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The doctor looked at Clara's chest x-ray again. She isn't concerned about pneumonia or bronchitis anymore, and says it's just irritation from when she aspirated. However, she is dehydrated. She has a double ear infection, and a UTI.

She only had one wet diaper today, which is pretty serious. I've been trying to force water and formula on her (I really wish I were still breastfeeding), but unless she wakes up with a VERY wet diaper tomorrow, I have to take her in to administer IV fluids.

She has two antibiotics for her ear infection, and UTI. We go back on Thursday to check how those are helping. Because a UTI is rare in babies, her doctor may refer us to a pediatric urologist for further testing. She may have "bladder reflux" which I guess is where the urine backs up into her kidneys and cause lots of damage.

I would greatly appreciate if you kept Clara in your thoughts and prayers.

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Favorite Pins of the Week

A quick update, Clara had a doctor's appointment yesterday. They did tried to do a urine test. How do you get urine from a baby? They did a blood test. I had to hold her arm while the nurse had the needle in her arm, moving in and out and side to side, for 5 minutes! She didn't get any blood. Poor baby. She screamed at the top of her lungs the whole time.

So next, they tried her heel. That worked, but it took another 5 minutes to get all of the blood she needed. As soon as that was done, Clara did some hiccup breathing (you know the kind when you've been crying hysterically, and you can't breathe properly after? yeah. that kind.) and passed out on my shoulder almost immediately. The nurse suggested I have a glass of wine at home.

Her test results came back that she had a HIGH elevated white blood cell count, so they sent us downstairs to radiology for another chest x-ray. They said it showed that she had "bronchial distress" whatever that means, and she may have bronchitis, or pneumonia. We're going back for more tests at 3:30 today. It must have been stressful for her, seeing as she's been sleeping for 13 hours now.

Anywho, time for my favorite pins of the week!

I believe it! Clara's Dad and I are talking about reconciliation.
Nothing is in the works yet, but we are discussing it.

Salt dough ornaments for hand or footprints. I MUST do this with Clara every year!

I've been wanting to do a rainbow blanket for Clara, and I think that this is PERFECT!

SO awesome. I'm gonna do this.

My current crocheting project!

Do you have some pins you'd like to share? Let me know!

Also, I would absolutely LOVE a vote. :)

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Should I set up an Etsy shop?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I've been thinking about setting up an Etsy shop for the hats I make. Would you buy one? Would you participate if I did a hat giveaway? Give me your thoughts.

Here's a picture of two-week-old baby Elijah in the hat I made him.

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That point where you panic because you're a parent

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So. I had a very interesting experience while Clara and I were visiting her Dad in Holland. I had but her down for a nap around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and BD and I were in the other room talking.

At 8:00 p.m., she started crying screaming. I went in and picked her up, and then brought her into the bedroom. I looked at her, and vomit was coming out of her nose and she couldn't breathe. I turned her over and hit her hard on the back. She took a couple of breaths and tried to breathe again, and couldn't. Her Dad ran to get the blue bulb sucker thing and I sucked the vomit out of her nose. While BD was getting her some water, she began to "choke" again and her lips turned purplish/blue. I turned her over and smacked her on the back again. Her pink color returned and she began to breathe again. This all happened in less than five minutes.

I was about to call 911. I wasn't sure I could get her buckled in the car seat, or that I wanted to, in case she couldn't breathe again. We got all of our stuff together, put shoes on, got Clara in her car seat, and got in the car in about 90 seconds. BD rode in the back with Clara to make sure she was still breathing, while I sped to urgent care which, luckily, was just down the rode.

When we walked in the door at urgent care, her breathing was normal again, with the exception of a few gasps here and there. After seeing the doctor, he confirmed what I had thought. Clara had aspirated her vomit.

Now, I know that Babies do this. I know that. I've seen it happen. But believe me when I tell you, this was different. I will never forget the panic I saw in Clara's eyes, or how I felt so helpless to make it stop.

The doctor recommended that they do an RSV test (which we did and it was negative) and then sent us to the Hospital for more testing.

At the hospital, they listened to her breathe, and did a chest x-ray. Clara was so good. She seemed back to her old self once we got to the hospital, probably because BD and I had calmed down considerably. Everything was very speedy at the ER, probably because they weren't very busy. And, of course, because everyone loves a cute baby. The doctor came back in, and told us her lungs looked clear, but to watch her over the next 4-5 days for changes, as something could "grow" in her lungs in the meantime. [GROW? Seriously? What an unpleasant thought.] Then we were discharged.

I felt sooo much better that we had her checked out. I will probably not panic so much if it happens again in the future, but I had that moment. The "holy shit I'm a parent" moment. I touched a bit on it in a previous post, but my life is no longer mine. It belongs to her. And if anything happened to her, my life would be destroyed.

I'm still worried. Clara has been running a low-grade fever for the last 24 hours, (currently it's at 101.3 degrees) and she woke up with the sniffles this morning, so I will probably take her in to see the doctor tomorrow.

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Friday: Things I've Found in Week 5!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We've been MIA... I know. I'm sorry.

Clara and I have been out of town since Tuesday visiting her Dad. Some very interesting... and.... stressful things happened. Stay tuned tomorrow to hear more about that.

Anywho. Jordan, over at Holding on to the Little Things did a blog re-design for me! I'm a bit lost when it comes to technology, and Jordan was more than happy to help me out. I know my blog looks SUPER awesome now, and if you want yours to look awesome, too, head on over to HOTTLT and ask her to do yours, too!

ANNNDDDD now it's time for Things I've Found This Week! Don't lie. You're excited.

1. My 4-year-old is obsessed with Babies: Sorry to start off with a sort-of downer... but I cried the whole way through this post. The saddest thing I've ever heard. I would just die.

2. Having a Gentler Marriage: GREAT advice! I've never been married, but I think the BD and I could have used this in our relationship. There's no use in getting upset over silly things you won't even remember next week, next month, or next year. Silly!

3. Murder and Grief: WTF!? Women who lose their pregnancies now being faced with murder charges?! Please read and express your outrage/opinion.

4. Kidisms: I've never heard of this. It's like the show that Bill Cosby used to host, via the interwebs. And interactive. The jury is still out for me. I like reading them, but I'm disturbed that we seem to have another Twitter, FMyLife.com, or something similar. What do you think? Would you make yourself an account on Kidisms?

5. Boob Tube Dumbs Down Baby: I'm completely guilty for using the TV as a babysitter. Definitely not all of the time. But if I need to get something done and Clara needs.to.be.held.right.this.second. Hell yeah, I'll use the TV. However, I do agree with the AAP, and I promise I will try sooo hard to not let Clara watch any TV at all this week. (I promise to myself.)

Have you found anything interesting this week that you'd like to share? What a coincidence! I LOVE comments. :)

I also love VOTES! But you don't have to. Unless you want to. :)

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Mothering and Learning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I look at Clara and cannot believe that I made her. That such a beautiful creature came out of me. I'm counting my blessings continuously.

Last night, she woke up at two in the morning, fussy because she has a new tooth coming in. She didn't want to eat, didn't want to play. So, we laid in bed together and watched TV. I was exhausted, and all I wanted was to fall asleep. But I couldn't. Not until Clara could. I reminded myself that everything I do, it's all for her. The sleepless nights, the worry, the spit up. That's motherhood.

Clara gripped my hand with both of hers and stared at me, and I realized that she was also waiting for me to sleep. For me to relax. I am hers, just as much as she is mine.

She kicked my belly (as she does often when sleeping in my bed... she probably likes the way it jiggles) and I looked down. My stretch marks and extra fat fluff looked extra gross in the light of the TV in an otherwise dark room. And for the first time since becoming pregnant, I accepted it. I accepted the stretch marks and a body I didn't recognize because I am hers. I am part of her. I belong to her. And I belong to her completely.

And exactly that, the giving of myself to my child, that is what being a Mama is all about.

If I described my experience with motherhood to a new or expecting mom, I would say that you're not your own person anymore. When you shop, you shop for your child. You make sure that your child is bathed, and fed exactly on time, has had enough sleep, is warm and comfortable, is learning and so on. I can't say that I'm usually any of those things, much less all of them.

But motherhood isn't any of that. Not really. It's the little things. Like the way Clara smiles when I come and "rescue" her from her crib when she wakes up. How she looks so proud of herself when she stands by herself and plays without any help. Or when she figures out how to turn the page of a book and looks at me in disbelief.

Clara doesn't care if I have stretch marks, or didn't put on make-up. She cares that I read her a book before bed, and sing to her, and play with her, and make silly faces at her, and make her laugh, and hold her when she cries. That is what being a Mama is about.

Clara and I play on the floor together, and I bring my face to hers. I say, "boo", and she erupts in a fit of giggles. I know what makes her laugh. That is motherhood.

She hits herself in the head with a toy and cries. I pick her up and sing her favorite song until she falls silent and rests her head on my shoulder.
That is motherhood.

She used to roll from her back to her tummy and get stuck. She would do it in her crib before she fell asleep and when she woke up. She would do it on the floor while playing. And she would cry because she didn't know how to roll back. I spent a couple of weeks teaching her how to roll back the other way. The day she did it on her own, when I was 10 feet away folding laundry, she looked around for me, and smiled when I told her how proud I was and how she did such a good job.
That is motherhood.

I stress too much over things I can't control, stupid things, and housework. My room might be a mess, there may be a full garage of goodwill stuff to go through and the sink is full of dishes, but it doesn't matter. Time is already moving so fast. Five years from now, I'm not going to remember the dishes, or laundry, or cleaning that didn't get finished. I'm going to remember the little things.

I didn't used to be like that. And I'm still working on it.

It's not about the many (many) mistakes I've made, but rather the things I've done right. I'm getting over myself; moving past my short comings and realizing that there's something better unfolding in front of me. I'm learning to live in the moment, and let go of everything else.

It has nothing to do with what I haven't done, or what I've failed to do, and everything to do with the person and the mother I'm becoming.

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Weekend Happenings

My big sis let me use her camera this weekend to take some pictures of Clara. She was a good sport, but was a little tired. So, there's a lack of smiles.

She's adorable, no? We would both love a vote! :)

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Guest Blogger: Holding on to the Little Things

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello! I'm Jordan Marie. I have a little blog called holding on to the little things. I am a first time mother to Scarlett-Marie Sue, or Letti for short. She was born St. Patricks Day 2011. She is my world, and I love spoiling her. She is my light, and I can't imagine my world without her. I love blogging about our everyday life, but I also blog about other fun topics. I breast feed and cloth diaper, and love making new friends! I also love helping out my friends.

Here is a little post about traveling with my little one..

This previous weekend the Daddy and the Mommy (so cool to be a Mommy, Lol) decided they wanted to hang out with their friends in another town a few hours away..

Two or three times a week we visit the grandparents. It is usually just Scarlett and I, because Daddy has to work, but this kind of travel is rather easy. We both have our own bedrooms when we stay there, and Letti's room is fully equipped with her very own crib. I have a bedroom with a couple dresser drawers for the two of us, a nice comfy bed, and an adjoined bathroom. There is a laundry room, a convenient changing station, and a Grammy to help handle the cloth diapering, which can get quite messy at times. It is quite a nice setup.

But this weekend we visited friends. Friends that don't have babies, or any of the conveniences we have grown accustom to. So it was our first real time to travel with a baby while cloth diapering. We've traveled with Scarlett to Kansas before, but we were still using disposables.

I started off with my regular packing: a cute bag full of toys and books for the car, a blanket, cute burp rag, sippy cup, and fully stocked diaper bag. Our diaper bag houses an extra set of clothes, a pair of socks, some blankets, a nursing cover, burp rags, medicine, diaper ointment, diapers, high chair toys, two wet bags, mini trash bags, clorox wipes, lysol spray, diaper changing pad, baby sling, baby sunblock, baby wipes, first aid kit and lots of other little "just in case" things.

We try to clean all of her cloth diapers and pack those separately in a floral duffle type bag. Then Scarlett has her very own pretty green designed duffle type bag with all of her clothes and sleeping gear inside.

Eventually we would like to travel with a playpen, but haven't made the purchase yet. When that day comes, we might need a larger vehicle, because we also bring a full-size stroller along for our adventures. But for now, she just sleeps between Allen and I, or safely placed between barriers, so she can't roll off.

I just recently purchased a large and pretty hamper type bag with a draw string, for all of our dirty clothes. While out, all soiled diapers make their way into some type of waterproof bag, and then thrown in the laundry hamper bag.

I breastfeed, so that takes care of feeding supplies and such, but sometimes we bring the manual hand pump and all those little accessories with a bottle. I normally keep all that stuff in a organic string type produce bag. It is something along the lines of hemp or cotton. I like how it is see-thru and "go-green" looking.

Luckily we were only out of town for two nights, but if it were a week, we would have had to find a laundry mat and brought detergent and a drying rack along.

Our awesome Kalencom diaper bag. The company is based in New Orleans, and I love to support that city because of the hurricane.

Diaper sanitizer on the inside and outside, name tag from Urban Outfitters, and emergency trash bags on the outside.

Lovey, burp rag, diapers, toys, lotion, socks, wipes, deck of playing cards, tampons, shoes, toys, and lots of other odds and ends.

Toys, sling, changing pad, more toys, wet bag, and walking shoes!

Sleep sheep is essential.. Toys..

Pretty bag for all her toys and books.

Books and more toys.

That cotton back with pumping gear and snack food for mommy and random finger nail clippers.

When Scarlett gets hungry, we have two solutions while on the road. One, I can pump and let her feed from the bottle, or we can pull over and feed her at a rest stop, restaurant or gas station parking lot if it doesn't coincide with us eating or something of that nature. But I have been known to throw my boob over the car seat in real emergencies.

The first trip we made, was to Kansas, and Letti slept most of the way. But now we have to keep her pretty well entertained and time a nap to fall while she is in the car. In general, I think she is fairly easy to travel with.

Jordan's blog is fantastic! I'm a follower, and you should be, too! Scarlett is only a few weeks older than Clara, so it's fun to see another little girl Clara's age developing. And, it's nice to compare notes with Jordan. Head on over and vote for Holding on to the Little Things and vote for them on TopBabyBlogs,com! Thanks for reading!

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Friday: Things I've Found in Week 4!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

1.All Crafts: Over 400 FREE crochet patterns! You may not crochet, but I do! And I'm making a "slouchy" hat with a flower pattern currently. And I'm pretty excited about it. I've gotten sooo into crocheting, and someone even bought a hat from me! I'm thinking of setting up my own Etsy shop. What do you think?

2. Little Girls: No to Sexy, Yes to Fun: I agree completely with this post. I believe that little girls only have so much time to be little girls. To enjoy having fun before the pressures of peers and the media kicks in, and our children think they should look like barbie. It makes me want to home school Clara or raise her Amish or something. But I can't protect her from the world, no matter how much I want to. What I can do is support her, praise her, and tell her she's beautiful. I want to raise her to be a confident, happy little girl without worrying about make-up or being skinny, or having the nicest clothes. There's so so much more to life than that. I want her to appreciate it.

3. Mom's smile: I think I'll have to try this someday. I think with four daughters, my Mom could have benefited from it, too.

4. Note to Babysitter- the uncensored version: BAHAHAHAHAHA! I wish I would have known this before I started babysitting. It would have been helpful. But maybe I'll "discreetly" place it so Clara's future babysitters will benefit from it as well.

5. A noise at the Gate, my Gut, and 911: Why do I keep finding real-life stories that scare the crap out of me and make a paranoid mama assume the worst? (And even more than usual!) I had chills at the end of this Mom's story, and of course, I thought every little sound and creak in my house was a serial killer.

Did you find something you want to share this week? Leave a link in the comments!

And I definitely wouldn't mind if you voted... :) And I apologize that I'm asking so much. I'm just really excited to be averaging around #60, instead of somewhere in the 300s. And I wouldn't mind staying there. So, THANK YOU SO MUCH! And keep 'em coming! (If you don't mind.)

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Thankful Thursdays

To my beautiful Clara Leanne-

You are sunshine and happiness. Silly and sweet. You smile over 1000 times a day. You're cute. Bashful. Whenever someone makes you smile, you bury your face in my shoulder. It's the best. You have a Daddy who adores you, and a Mama who is so proud of you. Multiple Grandparents who love you very much. You're my beautiful baby girl.

You wake me up in the morning with the sweetest coos. You stand on your own, and finally learned to roll both ways.

You love carrots and peas and bananas the best. You wanna hold the spoon all by yourself like a big girl. You can hold the bottle all by yourself, and get it back into your mouth if you drop it. You get distracted by your feet. You look so cute in headbands.

You have your Daddy's hair, nose, and toes. You have your Mommy's eyes, smile, lips, and ears. You love Grandma kisses and Grandpa tickles. You bob your feet just like Grandma Vickie.
You cuddle with your bear blanket at night, hugging it close as you watch your mobile spin.

You get your leg stuck in the crib slats and cry, scaring the crap out of me at 4 a.m. You chew on everything, and you're getting pro at handling your rice rusks.

You're everything I've ever wanted. You're beautiful, smart, curious, delightful, happy, adventurous, and the best baby I've ever known. You're my favorite. My reason for getting up every day. My shining star. My snuggle buddy. You can turn around the worst day with one smile.

I will always be there for you. I will pick you up when you fall. I will hug you when you're having a bad day. I will listen if you want me to listen, and give you advice if you need it. I will read to you at every bedtime, help you with your homework, and end each and every day telling you how much I love you.

Happy 6 months old, baby girl. I am so thankful to be your Mama.

Could you vote? Pretty please? For Clara?

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