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Friday, December 30, 2011

Keevia's funnies of the week

I don't have the energy to post the other posts I have planned in my head. K has been sick since Christmas night and I'm dead on my feet. She's up right now (at 1:43 am) after puking all over the wall beside our bed... so I thought I'd write down these little funnies to keep me going.

Carl was laying on the couch in just his PJ pants. Keevia came up to him and pointed to his chest and said "What's this?" He responded with "Daddy's booby" She then pointed to his nipple and said "What's this?" and he said "Daddy's nipple." She kind of squeezed it a little, then walked away. He then began talking to me about how she would now need therapy, etc. She came back a moment later with a bottle nipple she's been playing with for a few weeks and laid it gently on his nipple. We DIED laughing.

Keevia threw up all over her bed and herself late last night (after 10pm). My mom (who lives beside me) has always told me that if I need her at night, to call. Carl usually has to be up at 5 am, but since Mom and I are both "stay-at-home" people, we can sleep in if need be. I basically have the best mother in the world. Anyway. As I was stripping her off in the bathroom, trying to get her in the bathtub, and she was screaming every breath, I called Mom and said 'I need you.' So she headed over (literally two minutes away). I had K in the bathtub, hosing her off when she walked in. Keevia (who HATES to throw up) was screaming BLOODY MURDER every breath, but when Mamaw walked in, she never stopped screaming, but she raised her little hand and waved. So adorable, and so funny.

Keevia started off the week of sickness with a stomach virus on Christmas day. She would throw up, be screaming, and go "I sawwie, I sawwie, I sawwie". She was so miserable, but she was still worried she was upsetting us.

I have the best toddler in the world.

Please keep her in your prayers. Not only that she gets over this sinus infection she has right now quickly, but also because she has another boil forming. If you don't remember, or didn't follow us then, she had to have outpatient surgery at 18 months to have a non-MRSA boil drained. They told us she was much more likely to get another one, and she did. It's in a different place, but still in her diaper area. I plan on hardcore trying to potty train her once she gets over the fever/sinus infection thing to try and reduce the wet/moist area, and we're trying some home remedies (oregano oil, tea tree oil, etc). Plus they put her on Bactrim today for both the sinuses and her boil. Just pray it comes to a head and we can drain it, and that it requires NO surgery to do so. It was literally the WORST day of my life last time, I'd rather not repeat it. Pray and pray hard, PLEASE!!!

Alright, going to snuggle my sniffly baby now. Babywearing & Hairbow review post coming SOON. Promise.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Desires

And no, this post isn't about those desires. Get your head out of the gutter.

I've always had the desire to be a mother. It was always the strongest desire that I held. In fact, when Carl and I got married, we didn't get the usual "Wait a while!" speech from any family member, because I think they knew it would fall on deaf ears. We both desired children SO much.

Now I have my girls (well, almost the plural), and I couldn't be happier. But I've noticed some other desires creeping up in my life.

1. I want to write a book. This is a desire I've had for a while, but it's really been surfacing recently. I have SO many story ideas, from science fiction to chick lit. I have a hard time sitting down to write though, even when I WANT to write. I had a professor in college named Dr. Starr, and he always said that when the story was right, you wouldn't be able to ignore it. Maybe my story just isn't there yet.

2. I want to have a restaurant. This one has been popping up in my head even more, especially when I'm out in town and hear people lament how they wish we had a good, sit down restaurant where they could get GOOD country cooking. That's exactly what I want to do! Make country food, from scratch. Seasonal food that changes with what's fresh. Home-made pastries and desserts, hand breaded chicken fingers, hand cut french fries.... I'd be open five days a week with a limited lunch menu, and two-three days a week with a dinner menu. Can you tell I've thought this out? I have a lot of issues cooking when I'm pregnant, so I haven't been in the kitchen a lot recently, but I'm starting to itch to get back in. Food calms me, and I don't mean that EATING food calms me. I mean that cooking it calms me. It mellows me. It makes me happy. I love coming up with recipes and cooking for crowds. I hate dishes though, so that might be a problem. I know nothing can happen on this desire until my girls are older though!

3. I want to be a doula. This is something I've held close to me for a while. I LOVE the idea of helping someone through this amazing time in their life. I LOVE the idea of using my knowledge to make someones journey easier. I LOVE the idea of being there to see beautiful babies enter this world. I didn't use a doula with either of my pregnancies, but if we had lived far away from family, I probably would have. My momma acted as my doula (in addition to my wonderful hubby) as far as being supportive and being my advocate. Before I determined that nursing was not a career choice for me, I wanted to go as far as becoming a midwife. Now I'd be more than happy to settle for being a doula!

4. I want a farm. This is one that could be achievable in the next few years with a little investment. We have the land for it, and my mother shares my desires. I would love have a cow,  a few goats, and chickens. I'm so very intrigued by the idea of raw milk and would LOVE to serve it to my entire family, but we have no dairy producers anywhere near us. I'd also love to make my own cheese (see desire #2!), both cows milk and goats milk. I would ADORE to be as self-reliant as possible. It may be something we try and achieve (especially as the economy continues to tank) in the next few years.

I have desires, but I have my biggest desire already. I'm the Mommy to an adorable, hilarious, loving little two year old, and soon-to-be Mommy to another darling little lady. I think it's good to have desires, or dreams, that keep you learning. Education isn't about academia, it's about learning. I want to continue to learn as much as I can about each of my desires and implement them as I go.

What are your desires?

Oh! And if you leave a comment, PLEASE make sure your email address is listed in your profile or list it in your comment. I want to respond to you, but if I don't have an email address, I can't! I need to make the switch to Wordpress....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Stresses of Christmas

I love Christmas. Really, I do. It's when we celebrate the fact that God sent his son to earth as a human to save us from our sins. Christmas is awesome.

But Christmas stresses me out.

For starters, my mom and I run a quilt business. This quilt business gets a LOT of Christmas orders. The majority of December is filled with us being in the shop 8-10 hours a day. We have customers who call repeatedly to make sure that they get their present. We have machines that break down and issues that arise that add to the stress. I understand (at least partially) how stressful the Christmas season must be to someone who works in the retail field. I really don't feel like I can "enjoy" Christmas until Christmas eve, and by then it's basically over.

Then you have to add in the shopping. I hate buying gifts. Okay, that's not always true. I really, really enjoy buying a present for someone when I KNOW they'll love it. But I hate the feeling of "I have no idea what to get this person". HATE. IT. I've tried my best to "shop small" this season, for two reasons. Number 1 is that I want to support local businesses and crafters/artisans. I've also handmade a lot of different presents (Thank you Pinterest!).  Reason number 2 is that I just haven't seen anything in the big box stores that has appealed to me to give. There are exceptions (when it's something specific I know the person is wanting), but overall nothing has jumped out at me. I greatly despise those "gift baskets" that you can purchase for $20 that have 2 bottles of lotion, a candle, and soap in it. A) It's way overpriced and B) It's not in the least bit personal. Even if I make the same gift for several people (which I'm doing this year) I make SURE that it can be personalized for the individual I'm giving it to.

Something that has helped SO much on my husbands side of the family (he has, no joke, around 30 relatives that come to Christmas) is that we've moved from drawing names and buying presents from that specific person (which I HATED because Carl was sometimes clueless as to what to get, and at the time I didn't know them well enough to have any idea) to getting a white elephant gift. SO MUCH LESS STRESS! Now a girl gets a "girl" present and a boy gets a "boy" present. I've already got one present picked out, and I think it'll go over well for both. Now instead of trying to figure out something for a specific person, I just have to get something that I think is nice (and useful!) and we trade around. I love it.

I don't know if it's  the pregnancy hormones, or the overwork in the shop, but I'm having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year.  We decorated our house, and that seemed to help quite a bit, but still, I seem to be getting more stressed and more aggravated. What about you? Has this been a stress free Christmas? Are funds tighter than normal? Have you decked your halls?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

26 Weeks!

Yowzer! I'm 26 weeks pregnant!

I'm feeling really well. I still HORRIFICALLY tired after very little work, but hey, I'm growing a human. A human that seems to be very feisty! She really is very strong (my whole stomach moves when she kicks) and she seems to be thriving!

A few weeks ago I was having kidney pain (low-level), but thankfully that has mostly went away. However, it's replaced itself, and the replacement SUCKS.

Last Tuesday Carl and I made a trip to Lexington to do some Christmas looking and shopping. For whatever reason he didn't sleep at all the night before (he couldn't turn his brain off he said), so I ended up driving the entire (1 1/2 hours) down there. We did our shopping, a good bit of walking, etc, then we headed home. His lack of sleep caught up with him, and I ended up driving the majority of the way home. Not unusual at all when I'm not pregnant, but its the most driving I've done in some time (I usually have pregnancy induced car narcolepsy... at least that's what I call it. ha!).

The next morning I was tired, but nothing too bad. I ended up going to the shop (my mom and I run a quilting business out of her parents old house, which is two houses down from mine) with her. As I left the shop to go back to her house, I slipped a little on these rugs that are right outside the front door. I was already having a little bit of pain in my groin area, and it seemed to intensify some then. So, we headed to my chiropractor that afternoon.

She didn't find anything out but a jammed hip (not unusual with me) and she ended up working the muscles and such around my pubic bone area. It didn't really help. The next day, as the day went on, the pain came back... so I started researching it.

Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is so super fun. It's generally caused by your body making too much/reacting to too much of the relaxin hormone. One article I read thought that it might be a chiropractic issue, which makes sense. I went back to the chiropractor about two days later, and still didn't have much of anything out, although my sacrum was tilted a little bit. I have little to no pain (usually no pain) when I first get up in the morning, but as the day goes on it gets worse. Yesterday Mom and I went shopping for 6 hours, and I overdid it, so I had a lot of pain today. I did discover that her low back brace works well to stabalize my pelvis and keep me from having TOO much pain while quilting.

Generally I only have pain when I first get up from a seated position, and the first 5-10 steps I take. Last night, however, I was having it rolling over in bed, and today it's been semi-constant. If I move one leg out suddenly it hurts a LOT. Again, managable, but sucky.

I keep doing pelvic rocks and such to ensure that this little Princess is NOT posterior like her big sister was, and it seems to get better after doing them. Some nights at about 11pm, I think I'm not going to make it through the pregnancy with this pain, but then I get up the next morning pain-free, so its kind of just a day-by-day, hour-by-hour sort of thing.

BUT, other than that superfun 'complication', this pregnancy is going swimmingly. I feel great (albeit tired) now, and just anxiously awaiting her arrival!


I did buy her a "stash" of newborn & small fitted cloth diapers off of my FAVORITE website in the entire world, Spots Corner, for a whopping $45 plus shipping. I'm SO excited. I had plenty of medium and large diapers, and several one-size, but no small or newborns (as I didn't start with Keevia until she was over a year old).

I also managed to score (look out for reviews coming in the next few months!) two babywearing giveaways in the last month. I won a Onya baby carrier through a Twitter party, and I won a Boba 3g Carrier through Mothering Magazines contest. SO ecstatic (especially about the Boba!). I'm currently awaiting a waist extender for the Onya, and then hopefully I can wear it. I can report that I can comfortably wore the Boba 3g with a 28 lb toddler last night while 26 weeks pregnant!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Evolution of Co-Sleeping

I'm sure I've mentioned it here before that before Keevia was born, I was completely against bedsharing. Carl mentioned when I was pregnant about bringing her in bed with us, and I always said "No way! We'll smother her!" I looked down my nose at the parents who did so, thinking how horrifically unsafe they were being with their children.

Then, when I was pregnant, I stumbled across a parenting board on TheBump.com. I'd never heard of Attachment Parenting before, and I quickly googled the term. Other than some differences when it comes to discipline, I found myself agreeing with everything my searches turned up.

So I began haunting that board, and I soon found that a good majority of the people on there purposefully bedshared from birth. I had always planned to co-sleep, and had purchased a Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper at a yardsale, and received the Baby Trend Gabriella Playard from my Mom. Both made co-sleeping very easy, as the baby was RIGHT there, but I was still against baby being in bed with me.

At this point in our lives, Carl and I were living in an apartment in the big city, and spending a good bit of our time at my parents house. We had a queen size bed in our apartment, but a full-size bed at my parents. As I progressed in my pregnancy, Carl began sleeping in a different bedroom so as not to squish the baby in my belly.

After I gave birth, Carl wasn't comfortable with me spending time at our apartment alone (he worked from 3am-1pm, and had to go to bed by about 6-7pm), and insisted I stay with my parents for the first few weeks.

Keevia was so tiny and perfect, but there was one little problem. She didn't want to sleep unless I was holding her. Which was fantastic during the day because I couldn't bear to put her down, but at night she wouldn't settle in her co-sleeper very well. And when it came to nursing at night, I was still convinced I had to sit up to feed her (trying to figure out latch and all), but I found myself falling asleep sitting up.

Then one night, I gave up, pulled out my iPod and searched for Dr. Sears bedsharing safety checklist. With a little bit of moving and shuffling, I had my bed set up and I laid down with her. She stayed asleep, and I slept lightly.

As I got more confident, both with bedsharing and breastfeeding, I began just nursing on one side for several hours, the rolling with Keevia and nursing on the other side for several hours. I always started her off in the co-sleeper, and would get 1-3 hours of alone sleep before she came in bed with me. Once we went back to the apartment (although we didn't spend much time there, we moved home when Keevia was about 2 months old, and didn't spend much time at the apartment once she was born), I was a little nervous adding Carl to the mix, but I stuck to the bedsharing rules, and always kept my arm around her when she had to be in the middle to nurse.

As a result, I was never sleep deprived. She slept great, and even on her restless or fussy nights, she settled quickly. Around 4 months she started the dreaded Four Month Wakeful and was just, well, AWAKE from 4-6am. Some nights I put her in her bouncer in front of Seasame Street and she would drift back to sleep. Bad parenting? Maybe... but we both got sleep and were both happy, so I don't really regret it. The first time sleep deprivation got me was when she got her first cold at 6 months. By that time we had moved into our new house (which is next door to my parents) and there were 2-3 nights where she barely slept (stupid stuffy nose). At this point, with a six month old, I finally understood the sleep deprivation that non-bedsharing parents felt.

Keevia and I basically spent the first six months of her life in bed by ourselves. We fit well in a full size bed, and were quite comfortable most nights. As she got older, her first stretch of solo sleep got longer and longer. By the time we moved in our house, and began sharing a bed with her daddy again, there were nights when she was sleeping through the night in her co-sleeper, or only waking at 4-6 am.

At this point, however, she roused very easily. If I had a cold and a cough she would wake up every time I coughed. If you got up to go to the bathroom, she woke up. Carl was now working 5 days a week, having to be at work at 5am. His alarm would usually start going off at 2 am. She was not amused. Even when she came in bed with us, she would still toss and turn until her would finally get up, or we would move to the guest room. I put off moving her into her own room as long as I could, because I wasn't ready for it.

Around nine months we started putting her in her crib in her room. We left the co-sleeper in our room however. She would still nurse maybe once a night, but she was probably sleeping through the night 4 nights out of 7. If she woke up, it was no big deal, we just brought her into our bed.

We kept up this routine, having her start off in our bed occasionally, but sticking to the crib. Around one year I began having to lay down with her to get her to sleep, but I would always move her to her crib once she was asleep. Around 13 months she got her first (and only!) ear infection, as well as a case of bronchitis. Her cough (and the plegm in her throat) were so bad that she'd get choked and end up throwing up, sometimes several times a night. Carl deemed it unacceptable for her to sleep by herself (which I agreed) so we moved to the guest room for close to a month. It was a slow weaning process to get her from 100% of night time with mommy back to her crib, but we did it.

At 18 months we changed her crib into a toddler bed, and since that time, she simply comes padding into our room whenever she wakes up. Sometimes it's 1am, most of the time its 6 or 7. I love snuggling with her, and we never put her back in her bed once she wakes up. If she's sick, or scared (we've dealt with some night terrors the last two months), she may stay in our bed the majority of the night. We just go with it. We ended up purchasing a King size bed back in June/July, once we decided we wanted to get pregnant again, because we knew we'd soon be sharing the bed with two babies, not just one.

Some nights its frustrating. I sleep better when she's not in our bed (mainly because she likes to lay on top of me, or play with my cleavage, or simply lay THIS close to my back), and some nights I honestly just don't want to sleep with her... but I always remember HOW GOOD it felt to go running into my parents room, and to climb up in bed between them. I automatically felt safe, warm, happy and content. All bad-dreams went away, all fears disappeared. It wasn't a nightly occurrence with me, but I always knew that it was an option. I want Keevia (and baby girl#2) to feel the same way.

I don't really know how we'll manage once our newborn comes into the sleeping mix, but I'm sure we'll manage. Currently, Keevia is sleeping on a twin size mattress on the floor of her bedroom, and if necessary, we'll just move that mattress in our room for a while. I fully, FULLY believe that babies will learn to sleep on their own, but that each baby is different, and each on has their own night-time needs. I won't ever get these times back with my babies, and I don't want to have any regrets. As of yet, I don't, at least when it comes to my night-time parenting. I look forward to nursing this new girl, and snuggling with her late at night. Bedsharing isn't for everyone, and I realize that, but for our family, it's how we get through the nights.

Want more information? Dr. Sears has some awesome information on Co-Sleeping here, including studies he did on the breathing patterns of a co-sleeping newborn!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

23 Weeks!

For some reason I've been avoiding blogging like the plague. After Keevia's 2nd birthday party (which was over two weeks ago!), my computer didn't even leave the guest room for over a week. Add in a kidney infection, trips to the grandparents and doctors appointments, and you have my last two weeks.

As of today, I'm 23 weeks pregnant. WHAT? That means I am 14-17 weeks from having TWO little girls. That's both startling and exciting.

I need to start taking the occasional belly picture... I definitely look pregnant right now, but not horribly so. I'm feeling better. Other than wheat, I can really eat whatever I want (okay, eggs still make me gag). I crave milk and bacon. And danish butter cookies. But I crave those every year at this time, so I think its a moot point.

I'm doing better at keeping housework up (Although if you saw my toddler-tornado of a living room right now...), and have even started cooking more. In fact, I made hideously spicy chili tonight.

I still can't eat wheat without nausea, and I'm still having sleeping problems. My midwives suggested a benadryl to two a night, and it does help. I just hate taking stuff while pregnant. I take 10,000 iui of D3 a day, Magnesium and my Whole-Food Prenatal.

I'm getting into the happy part of pregnancy, and I'm very excited about it. I think I'd been fighting the kidney infection (Although it never showed up on cultures... I wasn't making urine, I had left kidney pain, etc) for a little while. Now Carl has a cold, and I think I'm fighting it. Plus, my parents are ripping up carpet and it's about to be the death of me. It absolutely KILLS my allergies.

But here we are. 23 weeks. She's kicking strong and making her presence know quite regularly! I'm so excited!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's a....

GIRL!

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday morning (SERIOUSLY, how in the WORLD am I already 20 weeks along?) and everything looks perfect. We actually got a pretty long ultrasound because Dr. C (the high-risk doctor that my midwives practice under) was out of town, so they didn't have very many patients. It was awesome. With Keevia we never even saw her move during the ultrasound, the technician went so quickly, but with this sweet little bundle we got to see her stretching, kicking, and even YAWN at one point. It was spectacular. And we got a pretty good "money shot" to prove that there wasn't anything but three lines in-between those legs!

We have a name picked out, but I think I'll leave y'all in suspense a little longer.

We couldn't be happier. I think Carl was a little bit disappointed, but he warmed to the idea.

Now I have a reason for the 70 gallon tote of clothes I have for each different size of baby girl clothing. I saved EVERYTHING from Keevs (well, not really everything, I've given quite a bit of clothing away to friends who have had little girls...). We did buy a new "coming home" outfit yesterday for this one though!

I'm so excited to have two girls so close in age. I always wanted a sister (and got one my sophomore year of high school, Hi Hebbie!), so I'm so thankful we're able to give Keevia that gift.

Now I just have to get over the fact that my toddler will be TWO on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Patience is such a virtue...

And it's not one that I've had much of recently.

I read my friend Stacey's blog post last week about patience, and it's had me thinking ever since. Some days I feel like a great mother. I have endless patience, the whines don't get on my nerves, I'm understanding when she has temper tantrums...

Today hasn't been one of those days. I suffer from fibromyalgia, on top of being pregnant. Whenever the weather is changing (a storm coming, a cold front coming... anything that messes with the barometric pressure), I usually feel pretty crummy. As I type this, the thunder is rolling in, although this storm has been creeping up on us all day. I have felt HORRIBLE today. Nothing in particular, but just general blah. I have no energy, had a constant headache, and just irritable. To top it all off, I'm sleep deprived. Keevia hasn't been sleeping well this week, and has even had 2-3 night terrors. She's also been waking up in the middle of the night and coming to bed with us, but being very, very restless.

So, in short, I didn't have a good Mommy day. Keevia was whiny and clingy, but strangely enough she was clingy to my Mom, not me. I lost my temper with her more than once, and spoke in a tone I don't like speaking in.

I do my best not to beat myself up for it. No mother is perfect, no matter how perfectly they may come across. Instead of dwelling on the bad days, I try to take it one day at a time and make tomorrow better.

This sweet face keeps me going, and makes me want to be a better Mommy.
How do you deal with the bad Mommy days?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm totally going to jinx myself... (sleep post!)

About two weeks ago we moved a twin mattress into Keevia's room and put it on the floor. That night she climbed up on it, laid down, said night night and closed her eyes. I asked her if she wanted me to lay down with her and she said no. She went to sleep that night by herself in her dark room. And the next day for naptime. And the next night. And the night after that. No tears.

I was in SHOCK. This is the child I have to snuggle to sleep, that usually takes from 20 minutes to over an hour. We put the twin bed in so I could lay down with her and then get up when she fell asleep (usually goes faster than me rocking her in the living room).

The 4th night we went to my husbands parents and spent the night. I laid down with Keevs and got her to sleep in the room we sleep in. She went down easy, but slept really poorly that night.

The next night we were back home, and when I suggested she go to bed, she started screaming. I ended up rocking her to sleep that night and several nights after. A few times she fell asleep sitting up in my lap. Then I started laying back down with her.

I don't know if she was scared of her bed, or her room, or whatever, but even with me laying down with her she would scream. Now, as I'm sure you all know that I am VERY against cry-it-out when it comes to baby (BABY as in 2-6 month old baby) being in a room by themselves, in the dark, "teaching" themselves to soothe to sleep. I've never been against in-arms crying however, and we've done it numerous times over the past two years. Laying down with her, with her sobbing, is the same to me as me holding her and her crying. So for about two to three nights, I laid down and had her cry for 5-10 minutes until she gave up and decided Mommy meant business and it was bedtime. She'd then drift off to sleep. The 4th night there was no crying.

Night 5 I tucked her in, and then sat at her feet. Crying started again, I soothed her, talked to her, sang to her, and 15ish minutes later she FINALLY calmed down, then fell asleep a few minutes later. Night 6 she cried for about 5 or so minutes, then went on down. Night before last she cried for a minute or two, wanting me to lay down with her. I kept telling her I was sitting at her feet and wouldn't move til she fell asleep. She went down pretty easy. Last night I told her it was bedtime and she set off for her bedroom. I went to fill up her sippy and she popped her head out of bedroom door and said "C'mon Mommy!" I told her to go climb up in bed and I'd be right there. When I went in, she was snuggled on her pillow. No tears. I stayed in there 5-10 minutes, then I told her night-night and went in the living room. She drifted off on her own.

I plan on keeping it up... we're doing so well right now, and I'm so happy about it. I honestly won't do anything different with number two. The only reason I made a push for getting her to go to sleep on her own is that my back cannot take packing her 28lb dead weight, especially with a burgeoning belly. I didn't figure we'd be going to sleep on our own quite yet, but I'm pleased with it!

Now to just tackle potty-learning!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm so opposite... (alternatively titled: Getting Healthy!)

I'm really, really bad at naming posts.

By this point in my pregnancy (18 weeks today!), according to my Baby Bump app, I should have gained 12-15 lbs.

::blank stare::

Oh! You obviously mean I should have LOST 12-15 lbs. Right, pregnancy app?

Yeah... I'm not doing so great with that whole gaining weight thing.  Thankfully my midwives aren't concerned. They did establish that my morning sickness isn't so bad that I'm not eating, which its not, then they seemed unconcerned with the fact that my weight keeps creeping down. I'm actually, as of this morning, at my lowest weight since BEFORE I delivered Keevia. I weighed in this morning at 233. I started this pregnancy at 249ish.

Maybe there is something to that whole HCG hormone thing working for weight loss. I know I can't eat the portion sizes that I could before. I can't eat fried food this pregnancy without REALLY regretting it. I'm actually struggling to get my protein, because just like last time, I really have a problem with textures. I can't eat peanut butter or chicken without gagging.

I stated on here before that my Daddy was undergoing some medical tests. They thought that he possibly had Multiple Scelrosis, so he and my Mom went on a modified Hallelujah Diet.This means that they cut out all red meat and pork, most bread and grains, and started eating MUCH more salad and veggies. I eat several times a day at their house when Carl isn't home (and the fact that apparently when I'm pregnant, I can't cook until 20+ weeks), so I started eating this way a LOT.

Also, I've discovered that I have a wheat intolerance. Not a gluten intolerance, but I just can't tolerate wheat. It causes me to be queasy, so I drink more pop (which I don't want to do), and it causes constipation, and a general feeling of ickiness (yes, I made that word up). It's HARD, I'm not going to lie. I've always sworn that I was adopted from a Italian family because I LOVE PASTA. Seriously, it's one of my absolute favorite foods in the whole wide world. And Gluten-Free pasta sucks. That's all there is to it. It's also hard to just grab something fast, because I can't just eat a sandwich. And no cookies, or cake, or anything. For some reason I've convinced myself that chocolate has wheat in it and I always think I can't have it either until I go "oh, duh." and then go on a binge....

But, I've lost several inches of bloat off my waist, as well as feel MUCH better. The nausea which was still plauging me is SO MUCH better that it's almost worth not eating bread and pasta. Almost.

So that's where I am. Eating healthy and losing weight. Who'd have thought? The baby is obviously growing and thriving (although I still can't feel my fundus). We go in two weeks to find out if its a boy or a girl!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Momma

Today is my Mommy's birthday. I'll be nice and not tell you which birthday it is, although she doesn't seem to mind that thing so much... but still, I'll let her keep her secrets.

I have such a special relationship with my Mom. We've always been close, but throughout college we managed to get even closer. She's my best friend and my confidant and I have no idea what I would do without her. Just today, when Keevia fell and bumped her mouth, which started bleeding profusely, she took over and examined her. When I felt like my little world was falling apart, she took over and took control.... just like always. And I'm so thankful for that. She's been my rock for so many years.

We don't do big birthday celebrations around these parts, and due to my Dad's special new diet (oh, hey, he's doing MUCH better and the scare of MS (which is what we were really afraid of) is very, VERY low.) and Mom's diabetes,  if I were to bake a cake, it would probably go uneaten. Mom is also the worlds MOST DIFFICULT PERSON TO BUY FOR. So I'm not even attempting.

But Momma, I love you. I'm so happy you're my mom. Thank you for everything you do for us, from changing Keevia's diapers, to driving me to my prenatal appointments, to cooking us dinner when I can't do it without throwing up. Know that we're here for you as much as we possibly can be, and we would do anything for you. I love you Mommy.

Happy Birthday.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I love baby kicks.

Seriously. I can't get enough of them.

As of right now I'm 17 weeks and 4 days pregnant. No, I didn't actually know that off the top of my head, I had to look it up (Thank you apps and pregnancy tickers!). This baby seems to be following in his or her older sisters footsteps. I felt Keevs move for the first time at 15w6d and felt this one right around the same time (I think). I KNOW I felt this one move last Saturday morning, it wasn't just the little butterfly tickles you sit on the couch  holding your breath, trying to decipher if it was baby or gas, but a big resounding HEY MOM kind of kick. I've even felt this kid from the OUTSIDE already. It's amazing.

But I really do love baby kicks. It's my favorite part of pregnancy. I love having that connection with the little baby, the baby that nobody knows but me, the little kicks and punches and rolls and tumbles. I just love the feeling.

I can't wait to find out more about this baby, whether it's a girl or a boy, to learn his or her personality more, to breastfeed them, to snuggle them with all the lights out, lying in bed, wearing him or her around the house. I can't wait.

On a totally unrelated note, have y'all seen the new Boba carriers? The Boba 3g? They are AWESOME looking, and to me the best part is that you can't wear a newborn in them (the regular Boba 2g is for 15lbs+). And, unlike the 2g, they have a looooot of gorgeous prints (although I did lust after the Tweet print quite a bit). I've blogged about the wonders of Heavenly Hold before, but now they have an awesome giveaway for a Boba 3G! Just check out their contest page to find out how!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's the little things...

Sometimes I go days, or weeks, without thinking of my grandparents. This month they've been on my mind quite a lot, as both of their birthdays took place. I was extremely lucky as a child and lived beside my maternal grandparents, and because of this I was very, very close to them. This year will be nine years since we lost my grandfather, and six years since we lost my grandmother.

I was in Wal-mart the other day, picking up a prescription for my hubby (who thought he was DYING of a sinus infection and was waiting in the car), when I went around the corner into the produce section. I glanced up and froze. Standing in front of me was an older gentleman who had on a short sleeve plaid shirt, a pair of colored slacks, velcro shoes and a leather belt with his name pressed into it. His hair was the same color and style as my grandfathers. From behind, the only differences between him and my grandfather were height and the name on the back of the belt.

I started crying right there in front of the broccoli and the cauliflower. The grief overtook me, and the pain literally took my breath away. I hadn't missed my grandparents quite that badly in years. But as I continued walking around, attempting to pull myself together so I wouldn't end up on the People of Wal-mart website, I reminisced about them.

It's never a big thing that tips off grief, but for me, grief is like an avalanche. It starts off very small, but then I just get wrapped up into it. I began thinking of the fact that my grandparents didn't get to see me get married, they never got to meet Keevia this side of heaven, and they won't get to meet our baby Bean. I miss sitting on the couch and listening to my Papaw play guitar and sing. I miss going up in the hills with my Mamaw. I miss hugs, and trips to town, and just them in general. I wish that they could know my daughter so fiercely.

I've accepted my miscarriage, and I've slowly moved past it. My beautiful toddler wouldn't be here if I hadn't had a miscarriage. I will always, always think of that beautiful baby, and remember them, but the grief doesn't overtake me anymore. And that's okay.

As September moves into October, I'll probably think of my grandparents less, at least until next year. And that's okay too. I know they wouldn't want me to wallow, or to grieve overmuch. Little things remind me of them on a regular basis, and those little things are what I want to pass along to my children. Quilting, folk songs, woodworking, how to draw a horse.... Small things in life, but huge things to me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It seems I've been here before...

Apparently about this point in my pregnancies (as evidenced by this post in my pregnancy with Keevia), I begin to reach a point of miserableness. I'm generally over the morning sickness, but still have some residual days. But for some reason the weeks between 13-16 are really, really rough on me.

This pregnancy seems to be harder than my pregnancy with Keevia. My symptoms aren't that much different, other than I think I'm more tired this time around. Maybe that's because I have a toddler? I know the one symptom I have with Bean (what I'm referring to the baby as) that I didn't have with Keevia is that I am NOT SLEEPING.

I've dealt with insomnia for years, but usually my insomnia is centered on me not being able to fall asleep. I'm used to laying in bed wide awake for hours on end. I know how to deal with that.

With Bean, I have absolutely NO problem falling asleep. None. I'm actually falling asleep faster than I can ever remember doing. I sleep fine for an hour or so, then I start waking up. Usually I have a dream of some nature (sometimes "bad", sometimes just about a show I watched or a book I read), and for the REST of the night, my brain won't 'switch off'. I have to wake up at 4:30-5 to wake Carl up for work.... usually that's juuuuust when I'm falling asleep deeply. So, I've been going to bed between 10-11 pm, and not being able to drag myself out of bed until 8:30-9 in the mornings.

I can't eat ANYTHING greasy or my stomach kiiiillls me. I have an aversion to eggs (it was fried chicken last time!) and I'm having a hard time eating meats. The texture just gets to me and I end up gagging. I'm eating a lot of nuts!

I don't have the constipation issues that I had with Keevia, although I've had some the last few weeks thanks to an Irritable Bowel Syndrome flair up. I've cut out wheat gluten for the time being, and it seems to be helping.

So far I've lost 10+ lbs with this pregnancy. I'm okay with it though, because I had it to lose and I'm eating much healthier than I was.

With Keevia my spine and body stayed in alignment SO WELL. I went over two months without going to the chiropractor (trust me, this is HUGE for me). This time.... Yeah... I'm going 3-4 times a week and I'm still in pain. My sacrum WILL NOT stay in (it's out the same way sometimes, other times its out a different way), my right hip stays jammed (both ways this morning!), and I always have a lumbar vertebrae out. We're not sure if the vertebrae knocks the sacrum out, or vice versa, or if the hip is the cause. I'm finally over the constant nerve pain I was having in the beginning of September though, so that's a plus!

Maybe this one is a boy... Carl would be happy! We have names picked out for a boy or a girl, so it doesn't really matter to me (LIES. I want another girl!), as long as it's healthy!

I really, really couldn't be happier to be pregnant, and I know it'll get better. I have such a fantastic, hard working husband, and a wonderful supportive family that I would be lost without. Pregnancy isn't always roses, but the outcome is definitely worth it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I don't even know what to call this post...

My husband doesn't get home a lot of nights until 8-9 pm. My back has been giving me sooo many fits that my Momma has taken pity on me and done bathtime with Keevia quite a bit the last few weeks.

Well last night I could tell that Momma wasn't feeling great, and my back wasn't AS bad, so I thought I'd do it and give her a break.

I commonly do co-showers with Keevia because it kills two birds with one stone. When we're at Mom's, I can wrap her in a towel, set her out of the shower and she toddles in to get her jammies on while I finish my shower. It works GREAT.

Well, last night I had just started showering with her, when I noticed that she was squatting in the corner of the tub. My Mommy radar started going off and I said "KeeKee, do you have to poop?" to which she answered no (she always answers no). Then I noticed her start to strain a little, so I pulled her to stand and said "let me get the potty!"

Not knowing what else to do, I pull her little potty into the shower with us and plop her down. 20 seconds later she stands up and it's quite obvious that my Mommy radar was correct. Now I'm stuck. Do I wash her with the washcloth?

So, I called for mom. So much for a calming bath with Mommy, I think. Mom comes in and rescues me by pulling the potty out of the tub and handing me a diaper wipe.

Two minutes later, Keevia starts squatting again. I call mom BACK in and she puts Keevia on the potty outside. She ended up not doing anything else, but she took her sweet time deciding that!

FINALLY we got everyone clean and in their pajama's, but it definitely wasn't the bath-time I had envisioned!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Really, I'm still alive!

Wow. I suck as a blogger right now. But in my defense, some very real things are going on in my off-the-internet life that are kind of taking precedence.

For starters, this pregnancy is still kicking my butt. Don't get me wrong, I literally COULD NOT be happier that I'm pregnant, but when Keevia goes to sleep at night, I literally follow her 15 minutes later. Plus, I usually follow her at nap time as well. Not only my blog is suffering, but so are bills and housework, so don't feel TOO neglected!

On top of that, my Dad has been having some medical issues that are resulting in a lot of tests and travel. Keevia and I tag along quite a bit, so we've been on the road a lot. Please keep my Daddy and my family in your prayers. It could be very minor, or more serious, and we're trying not to worry.

Keevia is doing FANTASTIC. She's living up to her "Diva" name quite well. She enjoys coloring and building with blocks quite a bit, as well as playing with her babies and cooking. She's currently obsessed with Word World and Blues Clues. We recently started encouraging the potty again, and have had some success. She peed in the potty right before her bath the other night, and got SO excited that she went to get her Daddy to show him. This morning, when she was squatting in the kitchen (for some reason it's her favorite place to take care of business), Mamaw encouraged her to go to potty and she pooped! She's sleeping fantastically, and she's really just a pleasure right now (remind of this in the afternoons or evenings when the tantrums start).

The pregnancy is going well as also. We had an appointment on the 6th with an ultrasound. They re-dated my pregnancy, bumping me up a week, so as of today, I'm 14weeks! They did the nuchal screening test (my midwives are overseen by a high risk doctor, so this pregnancy will be more closely monitored than my pregnancy with Keevia was) and they couldn't get one of the measurements, so the ultrasound technician had to shake my belly to wake up the baby. It was soooo funny to see it's little legs kicking and it's arms punching. I'm so excited to be so far along because I felt Keevia for the first time at 15weeks and 5days, so maybe I'll get lucky again!

Hopefully next week will calm down some and I'll be able to breathe (and blog) again. I DESPERATELY need to revamp and work on Rows for Remembrance, but it's just not happening right now. Stay with me y'all, it'll get better.

Please keep my Daddy, and my family in your prayers! I really appreciate it!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

10 weeks!

So, I said I'd be posting more about this pregnancy, and then there was a great pregnant silence.

I've really had no desire to be around the computer much, and I've listened to it.

I was SO sick for over two weeks... I don't know if it was the bulging ear drum, the antibiotic they put me on FOR the eardrum (which always messes with my stomach), or just general allergy season which makes IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) worse. My Momma is convinced that the only reason I have morning sickness bad is because I have IBS as well, because she had little to no morning sickness. She says she remembers throwing up when she would brush her teeth in the mornings, but that was about it. Apparently she didn't get the memo that every pregnant woman is different. :)

Gentlemen and Dudes, you may want to skip this paragraph, as I talk about things you may not want to know about. You have been warned.
This pregnancy is actually remarkably like my pregnancy with Keevia so far. I even got a yeast infection which caused bleeding at the SAME TIME this pregnancy as I did with her (the bleeding isn't pregnancy related, it's the labia that bleeds, not from the cervix). I FREAKED with Keevia and actually went in to the doctor sobbing because I was right at 9 weeks and I lost Peanut at 8w6d. This time around I knew it wasn't anything to worry about (and really, its just a few drops of blood, but when you've had a miscarriage you inspect EVERY PIECE of toilet paper with a microscope usually). Thankfully, I've cleared it up though! I do still have copious amounts of discharge, which I had last time. If I continue having yeast like symptoms though, I'm going to have them check me. I think I had a severe bacterial vaginosis or a Strep B infection for the majority of my pregnancy last time, and it made me MISERABLE. I had to wear pantyliners every day or my pants would get soaked. It sucked.

Okay guys, you can read again.

My morning sickness is about the same. Since I got off the antibiotic and the vertigo has went away, I really only get sick first thing in the morning, if I get too hungry, if I get too hot, or if I stand for too long. All of these things were triggers last pregnancy too.

The one major difference between this pregnancy and the last? I'm not constipated! That made the last pregnancy a living hell from about 7-8 weeks until almost 22-24 weeks. How did I solve it? I switched prenatal vitamins to some without Iron, and viola! No constipation! I literally would only use the restroom once a week for over three months, and I would only use it then with the help of a suppository. Around day 5 or 6 I would start throwing up everything I ate because there was nowhere for it to go. Absolute misery. It feels WONDERFUL to not have that this time around!

I'm starting to feel better, and we're moving right along. I have another ultrasound/appointment on Sept. 6th! Keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Introducing: The story of Baby Bean

Yep! We're expecting again!

To say I'm in shock is an understatement.

I tracked my ovulation and fertility signs last month, but according to my temperatures, I never ovulated. I had other ovulation signs, but I wasn't betting that I ovulated. Eleven days later (around the fourth of July), I took two pregnancy tests (on two seperate days) that were both negative.

Fast forward another two weeks. I have really bad nausea and I've been EXHAUSTED for almost a month. I was also beginning to get heartburn (which I had my entire pregnancy with Keevia, and not at all otherwise). Carl and I were going out together to see Harry Potter, and then go to Wal-Mart, so while shopping, I picked up another test, just in case.

I ended up taking the test in the Wal-Mart bathroom and it turned positive IMMEDIATELY. I'm not going to lie, I cried like a baby on that toilet seat. We told our close friends and families, but kept it close to our chests other than that. Last Thursday I had my first ultrasound where we saw a strong heartbeat of 165.

I estimated that I was 8 weeks pregnant on that day. My last period would have me around 9 weeks. The baby showed to be around 7w4-5d on the ultrasound, so I'm close! It means I may not have ovulated when I thought, but the swimmers were there when the egg released. All in all, this baby is a gift from God, and we could NOT be happier.

I've had pretty continuous, debilitating nausea since around the time we found out. The exhaustion and poor sleep have been there since about conception time.

Last Friday I developed pretty severe Vertigo. I ended up laying down just about all weekend long (THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!), and went to the doctor on Monday. I have a bulging ear drum on one side, and was given antibiotics. I'm slowly getting better. I sat up about 45 minutes yesterday and over two hours today. I'm praying to get better soon... as much as I LOVE Bones (which I'm watching on Netflix), my sides and my neck HURT from laying down so much. And I miss taking care of my toddler. My parents have been lifesavers and SAINTS through all of this. On top of taking care of Keevia, cooking dinner for all three of us plus themselves, and taking care of ME, my Momma came over and cleaned my house from top to bottom yesterday. She's a saint.

Pray that I get to feeling better soon and can be up and at'um. Pray for this sweet miracle, as a miscarriage is always in the back of our minds, and pray for all those out there who read this and think "Why not me?". I've been there folks. I'm going to strive to keep the blog updated more during this pregnancy, because with Keevia's I shied away from writing about my pregnancy... because I was afraid I would hurt the friends I had who were childless. I'm so sorry you're in that position, and I understand if you stop reading, but this time around, I need to blog for myself more.

So, the cats out of the bag, and we couldn't be happier!

Wordless Wednesday - Surprise Edition


Monday, July 25, 2011

Absent

I've been absent from this blog for a little bit. I feel like a broken record when I do post. I have something in the works, but I'm really not ready to display it quite yet. Look out around August 4th for the big show.

Thank you all for your patience, and for your continued comments. Makes my day!

Keevia is doing so well. She is just an exuberant little personality. I swear her vocabulary grows by 10 words a day. Just this evening, while walking through Wal-Mart, she got SO excited to see dogs, and cats, and tick-tocks (clocks) and shoes, and apples, and nana's(banana's), and babies... it was an exhausting trip!

See y'all real soon, I promise.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"And I'm feeeeling gooooood...."

Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with that Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercial? Does anyone else watch as much TV as me?

Apparently having your pelvis and your neck realigned make you want to clean your house. I managed to deodorize & vacuum the carpet, as well as clean out (and not just throw away the food, but actually SCRUB) the fridge. I also did the dishes, cooked dinner, and bathed my kid. Day well done, eh?

Still frustrated with my cycles. I didn't exercise today, but I am DETERMINED to do so tomorrow. I missed temping this morning, but this months cycle is so screwy. Day 37ish and no ovulation. Lovely. I don't know if I should just concentrate on dropping the weight and putting procreating on the back burner for a bit... or if I should seek out more testing to make sure that I'm not missing something. They checked my thyroid in April and it was normal. We don't have the best insurance and I don't want to be out a huge amount of money... but I want to be better. I don't want to fall into the whole "using the weight as an excuse" thing, but I want to find out if it really is just the weight that's causing my cycles to be SO freaking long (and for me to apparently not ovulate).

On a happier note.... my child is hilarious. I'm so blessed to be her mother. At 20 months, she has 12 teeth (10 all the way through, her upper molars are still working on it), can identify a scary amount of shapes (thanks apps for the iPhone...), loves books more than anything, will point to any clock and go "Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock!", will identify anything that has anything to do with "The Wiggles" by screaming "WEE WEE" and wiggling her fingers, is very girly and dainty, loves to "cook" in her kitchen, would live outside if I let her, plays constantly with her "door" we got her, wishes Mommy wasn't quite so stuck up about the whole kissing doggies things, loves stealing chairs and iPhones, still loves her "Pah-peeesh" (pacifier) and just has the best personality.

I'm trying to keep perspective through this whole weightloss/conceiving thing. I have an absolutely beautiful daughter. I don't want her to be my only child, but if there's a 3+ year difference between them?  I guess I'm going to have to live with that. And I can, it just means erasing MY plan and settling in for GOD'S plan. Something I'm not always happy doing, but hey, life happens.

Today was a better day. Praying tomorrow is as well. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Here we go again

I feel like all I'm writing right now is a repeat. I'm just in this constant weight loss struggle. I was doing sooooo well for a while, then I hurt my ankle. The same ankle I broke last year. I didn't want to do ANYTHING to cause me to do that again. So I stopped exercising. I haven't gained any of the 8 lbs I lost back, but I also haven't lost any more of 44-46 lbs I need to lose.

My cycles are still all screwed up, and that's frustrating as well. Why I thought that dropping 8 lbs would magically cause my cycles to straighten up, I don't know. But apparently I did.

I went to the chiropractor today and had my pelvis realigned, along with a vertebrae in my neck, my L1 vertebrae and my ribs. Because yes, my ribs go out of alignment. You have to be awesome like me for that to happen.

My mom told me today that she was concerned about me because I never seem to have an appetite. I beg to differ. When we're out and about on the town, and we're hungry, nothing ever sounds good to me. That's because we have ONE restaurant that I can stand to eat at, and it's rather expensive. I don't like fast food. I mean yes, I like french fries, but everything else? Meh. Not a fan.

I need to try and write less about me, and more about my sweet girl. She is so big, and has such a personality. Maybe a post will come soon.

Stick with me, I'm working on it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stunned

My college community lost a hero last night. A dear, dear friend, Paul Rice, passed away after a motorcycle accident.

I've known Paul since my sophomore year of high school. He took me under his wing, and called me his daughter. He always referred to me as his Irish Beauty because of the coloring of my skin and hair. There was always a Hersey bar with my name on it when I was feeling down, and Fireballs whenever he passed me. All through high school, and my sophomore year of college, he kept insisting that I needed to meet his daughter. Once I finally did, we became fast friends, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

I have gone from sobbing one minute, to laughing the next, after reading Facebook posts all day. This man has touched so many lives, and changed the course of so many. His strong Christian faith stands out through it all. He encouraged people in a way no one else could. His anecdotes like "don't fry bacon naked" will live on, as well as the heart we all knew and loved.

I distinctively remember walking into his office a few weeks after Carl transferred to KCU. I walked in with a smile on my face, yet he stated "You're lovesick, aren't you?" Within seconds I was almost in tears, telling my whole story to him. He could read people like no one else. He encouraged me to not give up hope, and that Carl would come around, and sure enough, he was right.

A year and a half later I walked back into his office. This time he smiled so big, and stated "It's a girl!". I had found out I was pregnant THE DAY BEFORE and no one knew other than my husband. We hadn't even told our parents yet. And he knew. He knew Keevia was going to be a girl.

Just yesterday, on the way home from a family outing to Natural Bridge, Carl and I were talking about Paul and his family, and how desperately we missed them. A few hours later, I received the call that he had passed away.

My heart goes out to his two beautiful daughters, and his amazing wife. My prayers are with them as they go through this tragic time. Please join me in praying for them, as well as traveling mercies for all the people who will be traveling this weekend to say their goodbyes, us among them.

I love you Paul, and I can't wait to sing in a choir you run the sound for in Heaven. Give Peanut a hug for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Due Date, Peanut.

Last night, while driving home from a rather long trip, I let my mind drift over the past few days. Suddenly, I panicked. I quickly counted the days in my head, and breathed a slow sigh of relief.

I thought I had forgot my sweet Peanut's due date.

It's funny. Two years ago I would have sworn that I never could forget. And I didn't.... but I did almost pass it up. I've been thinking about my sweet first pregnancy since the beginning of June, just like I did last year, and the year before. But this year, other things took over my mind as well. This year I concentrated on my best friends birthday, which falls on the 18th. I concentrated on Fathers Day, and making sure that Keevia got to decorate cards. This year I concentrated on my parents 35th wedding anniversary. I concentrated on an overnight trip that my mom and I had planned, in which we took Keevia to the aquarium and saw my great aunt and uncle for the first time in years.

This year, Peanut wasn't first in my mind.

That both saddens me, and makes feel better. It saddens me that I could forget the loss of a child, even for a second, but it makes me realize that I'm moving on. I'm not dwelling. I'm healing.

My maternal grandparents have both passed away. I grew up beside them, and was ridiculously close to both of them. This year, I only remembered one of their death dates. My grandfathers, December 1st, marks a special place for me because that's also the day I miscarried (although I knew that Peanut was gone two weeks before). April 22nd, however, came and went this year without me even thinking about it.

Maybe it sounds callous, or cruel... but I know they wouldn't want me moping around missing them, especially when I know in my heart that all three of them are in a better place.

So today, I celebrate that this day is getting easier. I celebrate that my sweet baby is in Heaven, laughing and playing with my grandparents. But I also pause to cry a little, to think of the might-have-beens, and of seeing my two year olds face.

I'll hold you in Heaven Peanut. Mommy loves you always.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

35

Today is my parents 35th Wedding Anniversary.


Momma and Daddy - Thank you so much for setting such an example for my marriage. Thank you for never arguing in front of me (or not really arguing at all), for loving each other through thick and thin. Thank you for always being there for one another, for joking through the painful times, right along with the hugs and the tears. Thank you for loving each other so much that you decided to have a kid. Thank you for sheltering me, and protecting me, for keeping me home, and for making sure that I had everything I could ever need. Thank you for trips to Lexington once a week for 5 years. Thank you for paying for a college education I'm not using. Thank you for taking Carl, Keevia and I in when we had to move home for a while.

My mom and Dad may not have a perfect marriage -- because no marriage is perfect, but they definitely know how to love one another. Sure, they get on each others nerves, and I'm sure some days are easier than others, but they have stuck through it. They have shown me (and I'm assuming my husband as well!) what a wonderful, God-filled, marriage is like.

I love you Momma and Daddy..


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day! (A little early, I know)

I have another post that needs to go up tomorrow, so Fathers Day is happening a little early around these parts.

First, to my Daddy.



 Daddy,
As I watch my little girl grow, I have become even more pleased and happy with our relationship. I look at Postsecret, and places like that, and I am SO thankful that I had a strong, Godly man as my father figure.

I knew you were a great Daddy, and I knew you would make a great Papaw, but I don't think I ever knew how much. Every time I see you with Keevia, I think of myself with my Papaw Henry... which you should know how important he was to me. You are (and will continue to be) the light of her life, and I am so happy for that.

Daddy, you have always been there for me, and I know you always will be. You've helped me through math problems, college classes, and life in general. You've introduced me to classical music, fly fishing, and "The Phantom of the Opera". You've instilled respect for people and authority in me, and taught me to be careful with my posessions.

I love you Daddy. I know you know that, but as I watch you with my kiddo, it makes me love you even more.

Forever,
Your Daughter

And my Husband



Dear Carl,

You are the most amazing father. I knew you would be, which is high on the list of reasons I fell in love with you.

You play on the floor, letting Keevia waller(wallow? Wallor?) you to death. You go and get her from her room in the wee hours. You don't get too grossed out when she pukes all over herself and you. You'll change a poopy diaper (VERY rarely), and give baths whenever I ask.

You work so hard to take care of us, and I appreciate it more than you will ever know. By working so hard, you've let me achieve my dream of being a stay-at-home Mom, and I pray you are achieving your dreams as well. I know your job sucks sometimes, but I am SO proud of you.

I know you will ALWAYS be there for me, and for Keevia, no matter what we need. I fall in love with you all over again every time you scoop her into your arms and giggles explode from her. I fall in love when I see you snuggling her, begging for one more kiss. I love you so much, and love spending each day of the rest of my life with you.

You're the best Daddy (and the best husband) that I could ask for. Keevia and I are SO very lucky to have you.

I love you baby,
Your Wife


I can't forget the other "Fathers" in my life. My Grandpa Elmer (who I mysteriously have no pictures of him and Keevia together.

My husbands father, Steve -

And my husbands Grandfather, Owen.


We love you all so VERY much. Thank you for being in our lives.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reflecting on clutter...

I hate clutter. Hate it. If you sit me in a room in my house right now, I start to twitch. Unfortunately for me, either A)Keevia is asleep, so no loud noises may be made, or B) I'm too dang tired to do anything about it.

But it slowly drives me insane. I can't watch "Hoarders" without getting up to clean something. Carl and I will take a biiiiig day and clean our hearts out, then two weeks later (because I don't keep it up), it's worse than ever. And don't get me started on our guest room...

But tonight, as I was rocking (yes, I still rock my 19 month old to sleep) my baby girl, looking around at all the clutter in my living room, I realized something.

My house would be a LOT less cluttered if I didn't have a toddler.

And you know what? That's unacceptable. I cannot imagine my life without my sweet girl... so I guess I can't imagine my life without the clutter.

It's nice to look at it in a new way. It's nice to embrace the clutter, and to not shy away as much. It's nice to realize how empty my life would be WITHOUT that clutter.

It's nice to see clutter through Keevia size glasses.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Victory!

I'm taking stock in small victories today.

Less than a month ago I bit the bullet and bought a Wii and a WiiFit. I'd had a discussion with someone who had purchased one in January and (with dieting) had lost 70 lbs by May. I knew I needed SOMETHING to get me in the habit of working out, and I knew it needed to be something I wanted to do. I'd wanted a Wii for a while, so I went ahead and bought it.

In 25 days (I know because it tells me) I have lost 8lbs and 4 inches off of my waist.

I'm flabbergasted. I really think it's a combination of going on Metaformin (Glucophage) for the PCOS and exercising (almost) daily. I've fallen off the exercising bandwagon a little (my back was out), but plan on hopping back on tomorrow.

Best of all? I feel better. I'm happier. I have energy. My clothes are starting to fit again.

I bought a Maxi-dress this past week and thought I actually looked good. I bought a SKIRT. If you know me in real life, you know how huge that is. And the bigger thing? I WORE said skirt all day Saturday (and didn't even have anything to dress up for).

I was reading Blair's blog today, and especially reading in the comments about accepting your body. Someone said something about how they couldn't hate their body because their body gave them their kid. And that rings so true to me. I don't hate my body, but I've been very, very unhappy with it.

I've also decided that I'm not going to set a goal weight. I'm going to set a goal size. I would like to be firmly in size 10/12. I don't want to be smaller than that. I just want to be able to fit into the clothes in my guest closet that are taking up space. I want to start the next pregnancy at a healthy size and a healthy weight and just be HEALTHY. I really don't care if I get to a size 12 and still weigh 200lbs. So be it. If I look better, feel better, and am comfortable with myself, then that will work for me.

But today? Today I'm celebrating that my body isn't a failure. My body CAN lose weight. I CAN tone up. I CAN look decent in a pair of jeans. I may not be willing to shimmy into a swimming suit yet, but I don't make sure the bedroom lights are turned off before changing into my PJS anymore.

P.S. I guest-blogged for a friends at Playdate Crashers today about my miscarriage and Rows for Remembrance. Check it out if you get a chance!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Movie Buff

I love movies. I don't really care what kind (except Westerns) as long as its a good one (and I'll even watch Westerns if its a REALLY good one). At this point in my life, I don't get to see a lot of movies. Carl can engross himself in one easily... but I have a much harder time. If Keevia's awake she's usually attempting to crawl all over me, or play with me, or she's falling and crying... I just can't concentrate. Then, if it's too late I'm tired (although this is getting better) and can't concentrate. I usually want to watch a movie that I've already seen so I don't have to miss things if I'm not paying attention for whatever reason.

But recently Keevia has been taking 2-3 hour naps. I've been working out pretty consistently during this time... but Saturday I was in DESPERATE need of cleaning out master closet. So I turned on Netflix Streaming and started cleaning. Instead of turning on an episode of "Bones", or even "Lois and Clark", I turned on a movie that had been recommended to me numerous times, "Easy A".

So....this movie had a LOT of potential. And there was a lot of it that I liked.

Olive is a high school student who lies to her best friend and tells her that she had sex with a mystery boy, George, instead of spending the time with her best friends family. Her friend blabs to the whole school. Ironically, they're reading "The Scarlet Letter" in her English class. Olive goes on to pretend to sleep with the rest of the male student body, which ups their reputations, while tarnishing hers. She has hilarious discussions with her parents, who remain supportive but uninformed. She vlogs about her "escapades". She has a running dry commentary that left me chortling in places.

HOWEVER.

I simply could not get past the BLATANT Christian bashing that took place throughout the entire movie. And I was so sad. Amanda Bynes (who I normally LOVE - one of my favorite movies is "She's the Man" and "Sydney White" was pretty cute as well) plays a character called Marianne who is a Bible-thumping...well, you know. She constantly berates Olive's character, informing her she's going to hell, and basically being every.single.stereotype of Christianity. It was so disheartening. And her boyfriend (don't ask me his name) who is in the chastity group with her, is, of course, sleeping with the school Guidance Counselor and receives Chlamydia from her.

By the end of the movie I was shocked that I had had numerous CHRISTIAN friends recommend this movie to me. I would never, ever recommend this movie to anyone, let alone a Christian! Have we gotten so bad as a Church that we not only stand by that type of humor, but LAUGH at it?

I have ALWAYS been someone who believes that we should be of the culture... but above it... if that makes sense. I've always been someone who goes and sees movies that aren't always defined as Christian so I could pull stuff out of them, so that I could have honest discussions with non-Christians. I think, as Chrisitans, we need to know what the world has, otherwise we can't discuss it. I've drawn lines for myself -- I don't watch horror movies. But I'll usually watch just about anything else. And this view has led me into SO many different discussions that I NEVER would have had had I stayed away from the mainstream movies. I don't watch ones that I think will damage me, I just watch what I think is popular.

But this movie just struck a nerve. Worse, it struck a nerve that so many people weren't up in arms around this movie, but recommended it, saying it was hilarious. Yes, there were funny parts, but they were MUCH less than the blatant disrespect of my religion.

So.... what good movies have YOU seen recently?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Keevia Cuteness

For whatever reason, my child decided not to go to sleep until well after midnight last night. I've blogged numerous times about baby sleep, but I've come to the realization that I am MUCH happier if I just don't stress about it. She's currently sleeping through the night in her own toddler bed, and taking 2-3 hour naps. Who am I to rock the boat by trying to have a earlier bedtime?

Anyway.

Keevia Cuteness #1:

Last night I was rocking a very awake toddler. In an effort to get her to speed the process along, I said 'Keevia...close your eyes'. After a few times of showing her what I meant, she closed her eyes. "Now go to sleep sweet girl" I murmured, figuring her eyes would pop open. To my shock (and my humor), she kept them closed and began fake snoring. I literally about died.

"Are you being Daddy?" I asked, she opened her eyes, took out her paci, nodded her head and said "Daddy!"

It's either Daddy, or Jeff the Narcoleptic Wiggle.

Keevia Cuteness #2:

Kee LOVES you to chase her a tickle her. Or have her run and you hide behind something and jump out. Or merely say 'I'm going to get you!' while she takes off squealing. Recently she's started holding her hands out in front of her and going "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" while moving her hands when she wants to be chased. I think she's channeling the Karate Kid or something. It is literally the most funny thing, and I SERIOUSLY need to get it on tape.

She has a vocabulary which has EXPLODED. She went from barely talking to repeating everything that is said. One of my favorite things she picked up from her great-grandfather. "Toodle-Doodle!" Daddy also had her going "Poopie! Pee-pee!" in the car today. All drinks are "Jewwwce" and all food is "Appul!" She can say Sippy, although she says "Sipsey" or "Pissey" which makes me giggle. Her "hungry" sounds more like "Hommey"which is basically Mommy with an H.

This post is nothing but fodder for my baby book, but I thought some of you might enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer!

I don't know what it is about this time of the year. The month of April/May... but there's something about it that leads to me not blogging. Like, at all.

This past month... I don't even know how to describe it. I've struggled with chiropractic issues and hormonal issues. I've taken numerous (negative) pregnancy tests. I've had a baby who had surgery, then had 10 days of heckish recovery with a movable drain in her leg. I now have a baby who is teething 4 molars at once and has turned from a loving, sweet, patient natured kiddo to a demanding, temper-tantrum throwing, extremely touchy terror. I've moved my baby from a crib to a toddler bed. I've had my house spotless and then let it go back to disorganized mess. I've lost four pounds, gained three back, and then lost two more (hint: I'm still down three pounds). I've been slightly obsessed with reading about vaccinations, ways to boost your fertility and researching Wii games. I've congratulated numerous people on their pregnancy announcements on facebook. I've cried in the car after buying a pregnancy test at Wal-mart (just making sure my Amazon tests were accurate) and having the Wal-Mart clerk checking me out tell me she'd taken one a few hours earlier and got a positive, only to find out mine was still negative. I've started working out 30-60 minutes a day. I'm becoming a grilling queen. I managed to get Rows for Remembrance up to date.

I've been busy. And I've neglected this space. I didn't write when I needed to... I've held back feelings and emotions because I didn't want to make people feel bad, or anger people who don't agree with me. But I need to write FOR ME. And I'm going to start. So there may be some changes around here.... I may touch on some more controversial issues... but I also hope to blog more about my little princess and her daily escapades.

So Hi... again. Welcome back Shaina, welcome back.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

a repeat post

I'm really, really struggling right now. I'm actually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm praying to continue going this way.

Hormones (thanks PCOS), emotions, my hubby getting a new job that completely screwed up my schedule... All of these things added up to just push me over the edge. Into unorganized madness.

But I'm working on it. I'm slowly purchasing some organizational tools, and I'm tackling one room at a time. I'm trying not to let it get the best of me.

I've attempted Fly Lady in the past, and not really had that much luck. I get stuck on that stupid shiny sink! ha! The problem is that sometimes Carl doesn't make it home until 9-10, and Keevia is sometimes in bed by then. If you wash dishes in our house and K is asleep, she WILL wake up. So the dinner dishes are in my sink in the morning. Which I realize isn't a big deal, but still. Also, it's SO SLOW. I don't want an overnight fix, but a week long fix would be great.

So, I'm attempting a week long fix. My house has 8 rooms. (Master Bedroom, Guest bedroom, K's bedroom, kitchen, living room, master bath, K's bathroom, and our laundry room). I'm assigning one day to each room, and just going to tackle that room (and the kitchen counters/dishes) that day. The laundry room doesn't get its own day because I have to do several loads a week, so I'm in there a lot.

Sunday: Master Bathroom
Monday: Master Bedroom
Tuesday: Living Room
Wednesday: Kitchen (also trash day!)
Thursday: Guest Bathroom
Friday: Guest Bedroom
Saturday: Keevia's Bedroom

Each day that room will be cleaned. Vacuumed if vacuuming is required, trash emptied (also emptied on Wednesday), toilets scrubbed, etc etc etc. Hopefully, in the intervening days it won't go to hell in a handbasket, but I think getting cleaned once a week will be astronomical.

I have GOT to get some of these tubs out of my guest room closet and finish unpacking (yes, we've lived here a year), the guest room. I DESPERATELY want to move my office into that room.

I'm also struggling with emotions over infertility. I'm getting angry at myself (not for having trouble getting pregnant) but because I know ONE thing I could be doing to help myself get pregnant and I simply don't do it. Exercise. So super simple. And I'm starting to get pissed at myself. Maybe if I get mad enough, my Clemons stubbornness will set in?

So, I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. If I can manage to write more, I stay happier. I'm currently writing a novel as well, which has occupied a lot of my brain power. But I'm trying.

Maybe once my house is organized, my brain will be too?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Home-Made Laundry Detergent

So, I blogged about this before. But I can't find it. And I changed my recipe. And I've been getting a lot of questions about it, soo... here we go!

P.S. I swear upon Keevia's Wiggles DVDs that I'm going to be blogging more soon. The end.

1 (or two if you double) rinsed out LARGE laundry detergent containers (I used a Purex Naturals)
1 Cup WASHING soda (yes, you can use Baking, but Washing works better. Look for Arm & Hammer DYE FREE, FRAGRANCE FREE... I found it at Meijier)
1 Cup Borax (some people leave this out, read up on it, try it out, then decide)
1 Bar of Soap (Ivory or Kirk's work best for me!)
Hot Tap Water
Funnel (look in the automotive section)

Grate your bar of soap. Put in a kettle and JUST cover with water. Melt slowly until no more lumps (this may take around 20-30 minutes depending on your grating skills). Meanwhile, using a funnel, add the washing soda and the borax to the CLEAN container (Just a note, you CAN use empty gallon water jugs, but the lid stays on the laundry detergent bottles better, and you have a measuring cup as the lid!), then add the soap water once it's melted. Fill with hot tap water.

You are DONE! This stuff cleans my husbands clothes, so you know it works! Any questions, just ask!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Not the post I had planned...

I had planned to write out my baby toddler girls 18 month post, but apparently her 18 month birthday was not meant to be uneventful.

Starting a couple of months ago, I felt this little bitty bump right outside of Keevia's diaper on her inner left thigh. I thought it was a swollen lymph node, and brought it up my chiropractor. She assured me it wasn't a lymph node, but was most likely a cyst of some kind. She mentioned that if it changed in shape or size to bring it up to the pediatrician.

We took Keevia in almost a month ago for what we thought was pink eye. Turns out it wasn't, but while we were there I brought up the spot on her leg. She looked at it and said it was possibly a cyst or a boil, and said exactly what our chiropractor said -- to let her know if it changed in shape or size.

Around two weeks ago, it started getting red and growing. In a matter of days it quadrupled in size. I called last Thursday (not two days ago, a week and two days ago) and left a message for the pedi, she was out of town for the holiday, so I figured I wouldn't have a response right away. On Easter I had a doctor in our church look at it. She agreed that it was probably a boil, and encouraged us to put prescription strength antibiotic cream on it, and to take hot hot baths and let her soak. So we did.

On Monday, the pediatrician called and spoke to me, and ended up calling in a prescription for Bactrim. Due to a ton of reasons, it was late Tuesday afternoon when we got it filled. We started it Tuesday afternoon.

From Tuesday to Thursday the spot didn't change much at all. It KIND of looked like it might be coming to a head, but hadn't yet. I called the pediatrician on Thursday because she said it needed to be looked at if it hadn't gotten better on a couple of days of the antibitoic. I didn't want it to get suddenly worse over the weekend. I got an appointment for Friday morning.

I slept late Friday, and ended up not eating breakfast (or feeding Keevia) before we went to the appointment. After looking at it, we were informed that Keevs would need to have it lanced, and that she would have to be under general anesthesia. Our Pediatrician asked me if I wanted her to be seen in our hometown, a local town, or in Lexington. I chose Lexington. She then said she'd go call some doctors.

I tried to pull myself together at this point, as she called the doctors. I did NOT want surgery for my baby. I started planning the week in my head, trying to figure out logistics. The pediatrician came back in and told us she'd spoken to someone at the UK Children's Hospital, and if we left right away and got her down there, she could have surgery that evening and then stay over to the next day. And to only give her clear fluids from there on out.

Holy. Crap. Surgery TODAY? Leave NOW?

I panicked. I started sobbing. I sobbed all the way home. Then I put my big girl panties on and started packing. We packed for overnight, and packed movies, toys and books for the babe.

We made it to the hospital, and the fact that I hadn't fed my kid breakfast actually paid off. She was able go into surgery around 4:30.

I'm not going to lie. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. KNOWING that she was going to scream as they took her away from me and that they were taking her into a strange environment. That killed me. I think I would have been okay if I had been able to hold her as they put her to sleep... but knowing that they were scooping her and running? Killed me. KILLED ME. I sobbed.

Carl and I prayed together before leaving the holding room. We were told that the anesthesia would take longer to administer and come out of than the actual procedure would take. The only reason they knocked her out was because of how little she is, and that it was actually less traumatic (for her, MUCH more traumatic for Mommy).

We went to the waiting room, and 10 minutes later we got a call that they'd started the surgery. Then, about 10-15 minutes later we were called to the consult room. The Pediatric surgeon came in and said that it went perfectly, and we could go to the recovery room as soon as the nurses gave us the go ahead.

They ended up having to go in in two places on her leg and "break up" the infection. He (the surgeon) told us he does 300 of these surgeries a year. THREE HUNDRED. And that 95% of those are MRSA. Apparently a traditional poke and drain doesn't work with MRSA because MRSA looks like honeycomb. It actually invades the fat tissue, and has to be broken up. That's why they have to knock the kiddo out. He expected that that's what hers would look like.

Thankfully, with hers it was mainly liquid pus and a few small pockets of the honeycomb looking stuff... so he isn't 100% sure it was MRSA. They sent out cultures. They left a drain in her leg, which is basically a large piece of rubber that is tied at the top. We have to give her three hot baths a day and move that rubber band back and forth to continue to break up any infection. We go back to have the drain removed in 10 days.

Carl and I were able to go down to recovery. When we walked in she was stretched out on the little crib hospital bed, snuggled up to a nurse. She wasn't really crying, but she wasn't awake yet either. They had told us she would be mad. Carl sat in the rocker and held her first, but that only lasted about a minute until she opened her eyes and saw Mommy. He got up and handed her to me, and her hand immediately went down my shirt. It was kind of cool to watch her pulse rate slowly drop as she calmed down! She woke well, without any crying whatsoever and drained down some apple juice. By the time it came to remove her IV, we used Carl's iPod touch to play Blues Clues, and she totally didn't pay ANY attention to them pulling it out! She only got mad when the nurse had to hold pressure on the needlepoke!

We're home, and she's doing very well. We didn't end up having to spend the night... but came home! She ate some Macaroni and Cheese at Cracker Barrel on the way home. She hasn't had an appetite all day, and has only eaten a little hummus and Lil'Crunchies.. but as I write this she's helping Mamaw eat some Ravioli. She ran a low grade (99.2) temperature before her nap, and has a little gunky cough (a side-effect of the anesethia I think) but has been playing well.

Not the 18-month post (or birthday!) I wanted her to have (She was 18-months old yesterday!) but hopefully this will keep her from getting sick! She never ran a fever before the surgery and except for favoring the leg and getting MAD when you touched it you wouldn't know she had it.

Please be in prayer that the cultures are normal, and that we manage to keep it broken up.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I WILL prevail..

I'm not giving up.

I still haven't lost any weight. The majority of that is my fault, although I think my thighs have gotten BIGGER and I honestly haven't been eating badly.

But I'm still living a sedentary lifestyle.

That's changing. Mom and I have gone walking twice (Y'all? Are these April showers ever going to stop? We would have gone more often but it's raining too much!). I'm not a big fan of walking at our local park. Too many people and too many bugs (it's right beside the river). But, Mom and I discovered that the parking lot of a nearby church (closer than the park!) is exactly .33 miles around. So, if you go around the parking lot three times, you've went a mile.

The first time we walked we only made it around twice (.66 of a mile). But the second time we conquered the mile. We both have fibromyalgia, and while we probably could have pushed it, we can't push it TOO much for we feel horrible the next day.

I own the Zumba DVD sets (thanks parents! Great Christmas present!) but with my hips and back, I have a hard time doing it.

Thanks to a bunch of textbooks, I had a pretty substantial Amazon.com gift card balance.... so last night I splurged and bought the P90 In Home Bootcamp. It's basically a starter program for P90X for people who are too badly out of shape/overweight to do P90X (and it's drastically cheaper).

From the reviews I've read it's perfect for someone who is overweight and out of shape. I hope to start there, do some Zumba for variety (and maybe some Jillian Michaels here or there) and continue walking every day.

I will beat this. I will beat PCOS again. I will beat diabetes (I'm pre-diabetic). I will fight to help my Mom fight (who needs to lose weight as much as me).

I will prevail. I'm not giving up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thankful

Tonight, instead of dwelling on some things that made today difficult, I choose to be thankful.

I'm thankful for my sweet husband who works SO hard for our family. We sometimes don't see him very much, but he is providing for his family.

I'm thankful for being a stay-at-home mom, so whenever he DOES get a day off, Keevia and I can be here with him.

I'm thankful for my sweet almost 18-month old. I'm thankful for her smile, her laugh, her snuggles, her attitude, and her personality.

I'm thankful for midwives who CARE. Who take the time to listen to you, talk to you, and are happy to try it your way first.

I'm thankful for my parents and everything they do for my family. From the little things like watching Keevs so I can take a shower, to the bigger things, like letting us borrow their van on a very regular basis so we don't have to squeeze into a Ford Focus.

I'm thankful for a full pantry and freezer, and minimal grocery bills.

I'm thankful for Carl's raise, and receiving his first paycheck just in time to pay for new tires on his car.

I'm thankful for friends and family who make each day better.

I'm thankful for baptisms, even when we miss them.

I'm thankful for my Savior, who rose from the dead after three days.

Today...I'm choosing to be thankful instead of being sad. I'm choosing to be thankful instead of getting depressed.

Today, I'm thankful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Packing your Pantry

Look at this! I promised a post and it's happening! Of course, having written that, my baby will now wake up screaming.... *long pause* nothing? Okay, good. Lets go.

The following is a list of things that I find invaluable in my pantry. By no means should you run out and buy all of this at once, because if you did your grocery budget would SKY ROCKET. But, try and pick up one or two things a visit. You'll never run out of everything at once, which means your grocery list stays small!

These are just my recommendations. I'll give you my reasonings behind it, and creative ways to use it. I plan on talking about "Pantry Meals" as well (but probably not today!ha!), which is when you don't have written down meal plans, but you "shop" your pantry.

Oh, and hey, check us out at The Playdate Crashers today! I'm guest posting there my coupon post from yesterday! Go leave them some blog love!

PANTRY MUST HAVES:

All Purpose Flour
Cornmeal (Self-Rising or not, doesn't really matter)
Baking Powder
Salt (Sea Salt, Kosher Salt & Table Salt -- each has different uses. I use sea salt as a finishing salt, I use kosher as a rub or in pasta water, and table salt for baking and as, well, table salt).
Buttermilk Powder (Sounds weird, I know... but I use it to make homemade ranch dressing, I add it to biscuit dough, cornbread & waffles).
Pasta (spaghetti, linguine, macaroni, shells, lasagna, & ziti or rotelle or something like that).
Corn oil (or veg oil of your choice, I don't like canola because it's made from rape seeds, which are highly posionious. I just don't trust a oil made from that, sorry!).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vegetable Shortening (*gasp, shock, horror!*)
Sugar (brown, white & confectioners please!)
Oats (quick & old fashioned, and if your feeling brave, Steel Cut as well!)
Yeast (and not just the packets, find somewhere (health food stores) that sell it in bulk, buy a cup and put it in your freezer. It works better than the packets and is, oh, about $15 cheaper).
Real Vanilla Extract
Nuts (Whatever you like. My choices are Pecans & Almonds)
Peanut butter
Nutella (okay, okay... not a necessity but IT SHOULD BE.)
Chicken & Beef Stock (preferably low sodium!)
Rice (Long grain and Basmati (short grain))
Potatoes (both big & small. I generally buy 10lb bags of whatever is on sale)

Herbs & Spices
Garlic Powder
Dried onions
Rosemary (excellent on chicken, beef, or pork!)
Thyme (mmm...chicken!)
Dried Pepper Flakes
Sage 
Bay Leaves
Taco Seasoning (again, don't buy the packets. Buy a bulk container, much cheaper. LOOK FOR MSG FREE IN EVERYTHING!!!)
Italian Seasoning (you can make your own, but this is easier to just grab occasionally!)
Oregano
Basil
Cilantro
Cardamom 
Curry Powder
Paprika
Cream of Tarter
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar



IN THE FRIDGE
Buttermilk
Milk (we drink 2%)
Butter (I prefer salted, but you can use unsalted if your watching your sodium)
Sour cream
Plain yogurt
Cheese (I stick with parmesean, mozerella, cheddar, and usually a colby jack, and sometimes american)
Eggs
Red wine (even if you don't drink wine, which we don't really, it adds SO MUCH FLAVOR to various dishes!)
White wine
Bacon (and lots of it! If you don't use it a lot, store it in the freezer and then slice off 1 inch portions. 1 inch = 1 slice of bacon!)
Onions
Garlic
Baby carrots (or full grown carrots)
Meat ( follow the sales, plan your meals around the sales, not your meals around a specific meat)

If I think about anything else, I'll add it. I add fruits & veggies that look fresh to the lists, but I only buy whats on sale/in season. I'm in desperate need of sleep, so I'll end this here... but coming up soon... How to USE these items in your kitchen and how to "shop" your pantry! Plus, saying goodbye to "strict" meal plans!

If you have any questions, leave um in the comments! Make sure I have an email or something to get a hold of you though!