Thursday, April 28, 2011

We love Daddy!

She was sleeping soundly, her cute petite lips cracked for her deep-in-sleep breaths. I needed to get up and shower, but I really didn’t want to leave her in our bed alone. With Scooby Doo (aka my husband) being gone this week, my daughter- we'll call her YumYum, has slept with me. This has been more for my benefit than hers, but she has slept surprisingly well. I think this is due to her pure exhaustion from constantly being mobile, coupled with her missing Dad, and daycare outdoor play. Plus the fact that she has had Scooby Doo’s entire side to roll out on to, plus the middle, plus most of my side of the bed, ensures she has plenty of room to sleep like Leonardo Di Vinchi envisioned (see below).



My Leonardo’s portrait likes wearing a tank top and a grass skirt for coverage.

The radio alarm clicked off, reminding me that my twenty minutes of coming fully present and awake was up, and my body better be up too, so I wouldn’t be late for work. I carried her heavy little body in to her crib, and right away- “weeeeaaaaaaaaaaa”. It wasn’t a scream, but rather a loud high-pitched whine. Then came the kicker “Mamamamamamaaaaaa”. Normally she calls for Daddy when she wakes up. I went to our bathroom and turned on the shower water and waited a few minutes, hoping she’d calm herself back to her sound sleep. With no such luck or fairy dust, I walked back into her room and greeted my desperately alone child. I picked her up and she immediately straddled me with her two chubby, sleepy, legs wrapped tightly around my waist. Her little arms copied mine and hugged me, but the tips of her fingers barley reached the sides of the back of my rib cage. She laid down her head on my chest, and I immediately fell in love all over again. I pouted and thought, how could I put this little angel back down? I walked with a 2nd body now attached to me to where I sat on the toilet next to the shower, waiting for her to eventually wake up with the bright lights on and it being two hours earlier than she normally would wake. She didn’t though. I tried to pull her back to look and her face full on, but she grunted and nuzzled her head closer to my chest. I melted again. I turned off my now steaming hot shower; rose with legs still attached to my side, and fell into bed. She sat on top of me lying down until I rolled her over, then she wiggle wormed her body up to be closer to me.

We slept for another 2 hours, and I was 10 minutes late to work. It was so worth it.


Even our bedroom light on full for 30 minutes, the radio on, Walter hitting his tail against the bed from it wagging, and my full-voiced "YumYum...wake up sweetheart" she would not wake up these last two mornings....


Our two bed hoggers.
This week, I’ve been tired. I last showered 2 days ago when a babysitter came over so that Jen, our hairdresser who was up from the bay, could give my mop a trim. The babysitter then had her hair cut, and afterwards, graciously stayed so I could shower off the exhaustion of a week just starting without Scooby Doo. How do single parents do it? Or parents who might as well be single because their spouses work so often? I stood with the hot water pelting on the curve of my neck and took a few deep breaths.

I admit the mornings where I hastily attempted to take Walter out before leaving for work, while trying to bundle up Em and placing her so effectively on my hip on the way down the stairs, and then waiting for her to climb the stairs on the way back up until she gave up ½ way, all the while watching the clock….trying to get ready without waking the sleeping goldilocks who had taken our bed… this was all a challenge. Emptying the dishwasher and closing it almost every time I took out a dish to unload so my daughter would not go into the dishwasher like the blueberry girl from Charlie in the Chocolate Factory…. seeing her get her first black eye, although its not tooooo bad- still breaks my heart (she fell into a table at daycare- cried for literally two seconds, until she was picked up... what a trouper).... the challenges of putting on a diaper by myself (normally Scooby Dooor I will hold down her arms and back to the floor while the other diapers… she does not like being in one place, especially on her back, for long periods of time) …Not crying with her when she would cock her head at the front door, and then me, and say “Dadadadada”, was incredibly heart wrenching. Three days. We were without Scooby Doofor three long, exhausting, pout filled, text messaged maxed, and 2 person dinnered days. But the morning-toilet-by-the-shower double bear locked hugs, the open mouthed wet kisses that she started giving me (the sloppier the harder she laughs when I kiss and then turn away to wipe her saliva off my lips and cheeks), our early evening soaking up the sun on the grass outside our apartment, the kiss she blew me in the car yesterday for the first time, the laughing for no apparent reason in the car, the LOVING holding my hand to walk outside and explore absolutely EVERYTHING, the quiet moments where there would not be a sound in the house except the hush of the breeze coming through the porch screen door where she would play contently with her toys or try and sneak into a box without letting me see her, playing peek-a-boo… I would not have rathered I spend my three days husband-less with anyone else. YumYum is my perfect partner, but I’m glad to have my other one back home tonight.  Scooby Doo and I celebrate our two year anniversary on Monday. It’s been an amazing two years…. I never thought we would have gone from….

Dating….
Summer of 2006




To being engaged…..
October 4, 2009





To marrying....
May 2, 2009








My maid of honor in her speech had said that the first time she met Scooby Doo, he was playing softball, and I pointed him out as the "guy with the cute butt". After her speech, my Uncle Brian yelled from the front row- prove it Scooby Doo!

To expecting….





To having…..







And expecting again….



Only six years ago I met this man, and already I can’t wait to continue spending the rest of my life with him. I love you Scooby Doo.


And now some pictures from this week without Scooby Doo's guidance and assistance... :)

Her first shinner...


2 Nights of PB&J for both of us for dinner… we both had one sandwich. She had a snack of prunes after.




She does clean up well though! We worked on brushing our teeth this week too... :)


Plenty of time playing outside! She found a plastic egg in the bushes too! That's my girl!




And of course, had plenty of snuggles...



 We love you Daddy! :)

Double the fun! Now if only Scooby Doo could fit in the front seat with the seats
having to be all the way pushed up...

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Child Eats.

I assume that most people conclude that I’m exaggerating when I tell them how much my child eats.

Nay.

My dear, sweet, 11.5 month old baby girl, eats more than me on a regular basis. Yesterday I cataloged what she ate, as proof and evidence, to my statements:

*NOTE* For each of the meals below she did not spit up anything. She did, on the other hand, have NASTY #2's.

Breakfast: 9:00AM
Consumed: 1 Cup (measured) of Kix Cereal, 3 Clementine Tangerines, 1 Large Banana, 1 Unfrosted Cinnamon Sweet Roll, 1 ½ cups of Mixed Water + Apple Juice

Lunch: 1:00PM
Consumed: 1 Whole, Entire, Chicken Breast, Water
I started with cutting up ½ of the chicken breast into smaller bites. She amused me and got about ½ way through, until she realized I had left the remaining un-cut slab of chicken at the edge of her high chair tray. She casually looked at me, and grabbed that chicken. With a large smile, she continued to eat until the entire breast, including the cut up bits, were eaten.

Yummy Chicken!


Dinner: 5:15PM
Consumed: 1 serving Green Beans & Bacon bits, 1 bite (then spit it out) of mashed potatoes, 2 servings Grandma’s fruit filled jello, ½ slice of ham, ½ sippie cup of water.
She stopped eating before she wanted to because she was a BIT overtired (and by a bit, I mean A LOT). She skipped her nap earlier that day.

*more pictures to come*

I love my little girl, tons and tons and tons. I thought that before the age of one, I would never “not allow” my kid to have food. They weren’t manipulating me, they were just hungry. FALSE. My child is not hungry, and she (unfortunately) is not on a growth spurt. She has ALWAYS eaten WAYYYY more than her counterparts. She just loves food, and she’s a healthy 20ish pounds, and is happy! She looks like a normal sized kid- and for that, I am grateful (I also envy her metabolism. Then again, she never stops moving so I’m sure she is burning a TON (literally) of calories.)  I don’t have the patience to tolerate a picky child. (God knows I’ll probably get that with Baby #2.) The only things she doesn’t like are mashed potatoes, and grilled chicken (most of the time). She will try anything (including dog food, pens, pieces of paper, food that is (and has been) already on the floor that has gone un-noticed by all except her and Bob- the dog (except Bob isn’t allowed in the kitchen), etc.) unbeknownst to her father and I (we normally spot her while mid Jaw cracked). (Yes I have spotted her with each of these things in her mouth.) Praise God she isn’t picky.

My next blog post I am already planning: things my child likes to play with, instead of her toys.

She never ceases to make us smile!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On a kick for cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less



Did you know that at “about.com” features meals categorized by the number of ingredients? Yes, this is my favorite as I don’t like making a meal that requires four different ½ teaspoons or “pinches” of a spice that I have to go buy for $6.

So, last week I made these that were under the five ingredients or less category. The top was Scooby Doo’s favorite. I didn’t follow it complete right and now I have to remember how I messed up (I think I added the BBQ sauce in the beginning, ran out of the dry rub (which I doubled for you when I typed out the recipe below), and didn’t drain any of the juices. I then added an extra 1 ½ cups of BBQ sauce the last hour of cooking. They LITERALLY fell off the bone when you picked them up. A little "eh" for me, but again, Scooby Doo loved them)

But- if you want to try two easy, yummy summer recipes, here you go!

Enjoy!

Crockpot Caribbean Ribs

Serves 6.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
Ingredients:
·         3 lbs. pork loin back ribs, cut into 4" pieces
·         2 tsp. pepper
·         1 tsp. allspice
·         2 tsp. ground mustard
·         2 tsp. salt
·         ½ cup water
·         1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (your favorite kind; 1 container)
Preparation:
1)    Combine only the spices in a bowl. Rub ribs with spice mixture.
2)    Place in 3-4 quart slow cooker and pour ½ cup water over.
3)    Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until ribs are tender when pierced with a fork.
4)    Remove ribs from slow cooker and discard cooking liquid.
5)    Replace ribs in crockpot and add barbecue sauce.
6)    Cover and cook on low for 1 hour.
7)    Enjoy! Goes great with white rice and corn on the cob.




Shrimp Kabobs on a Salad Five Ingredient Meal

Serves 4.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp (about 32) shelled and deveined (you can buy them like this)
·         2 red bell peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
·         8 oz. pkg. button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed, cut in halves
·         1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, divided
·         10 oz. pkg. mixed salad greens
Preparation:
1)    In skillet, combine shrimp, red peppers, and mushrooms.
2)    Grill or broil 4-6" from heat for 4-6 minutes until shrimp are cooked, turning every so often.
3)    In salad bowl, combine salad greens with ½ cup Italian dressing.
4)    Top salad greens with cooked vegetables from skillet.
5)    Serve and enjoy! Works great as a solo dinner dish with a small light dessert.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pastor Ed- Goofball for God



I wish I could write something eloquent. I wish we had more pictures, but I felt so close to you that I thought it’d be weird to take out a picture and say “CHEESE”. I saw you every week, more often than that usually. You weren’t the best clerical organizer. You sucked at organization in your office, but you knew were stuff was- most of the time. I loved being your intern- just because it meant watching you do ministry. You loved your kids, and you loved your wife. You honored marriage to a level that I hadn’t seen before. You knew what your gifts and talents were, and after the first year of youth group with you, I think I agreed to never take another spiritual gift test. You knew what it was like to "be real”, although I judged you in the beginning and thought you “being real” was trying to “be cool”. I thought you were like everybody else, until I realized you just wanted to know everybody else. You looked absolutely ridiculous making an idiot of yourself, but you seemed to enjoy doing so, and loved making the people around you laugh.

I do remember you when you were sick, but that makes me sad. I try to remember when you were healthy instead. I do remember the last evening you were alive, you prayed for the RCYM group for one last time… we were all praying for you, and yet again you did something contradictory to what we would expect- the dying man prayed for us. You made everybody cry. We knew you loved us. I wonder if a part of you was already in heaven. I have to think that because of the peace you had, and gave, that you were partially already there. I remember talking to you about heaven. I remember explaining what heaven was like to J in the gift shop when I was walking with him & M downstairs to let Mrs. Pastor Ed have some alone time with you. He asked me, like he normally asked his questions, out of the blue. I held back my tears and said in my most confident voice that it was better than Disneyland, and had a racetrack. He thought the race track was the coolest thing about heaven- and was beyond excited for you. I think he envied you- and that pains me. I wish I could have that peace sometimes. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I am just selfish and miss you.

Sometimes I think it’s weird how much you come into my mind. We didn’t have an extraordinarily close relationship. I respected you a lot. I went to you for counseling, wisdom, jokes, relationship advice, life advice, Christ advice… you were available, approachable, and knew how to make anyone’s heart lighter. But what makes me smile the most is when I realize how many other people had just as close of a relationship with you. You made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world- every time you spoke to them, looked into their eyes, and would say corny things like, “I value you”. We would laugh at your corny-ness, but we believed you, and your statements of truth were refreshing. I don’t know anyone who talks like that anymore. Right now I feel too tired to be one of those people, but perhaps I can aspire. The truth is that today, Ed, I feel drained. I am really drained and I miss you. I remember this day last year asking my best friend when it was going to get easier. When would I remember you and not feel like the memories were so real, so recent? But now some of those memories are fading. Today I called Paula Deen to ask her what the annoying saying was that you said all the time. In the beginning we made fun of you for it. In the end, we were saying it and laughing, but we all knew what it meant, and we all knew it was something you started. When the phone was ringing I remembered, and then smiled, “Catch you offline Ed”. I don’t want to forget you. When I check out Facebook and see the pictures of J & M and the updates Mrs. Pastor Ed gives, I realize you wouldn’t let that happen. You won’t let yourself be forgotten. Or maybe God just won’t let us forget you, because the kids won’t let that happen.

So hear it goes- I miss you. Everybody does. But thank you for living the life you did. Thank you for honoring Mrs. Pastor Ed. Thank you for being the kind of Dad you chose to be. Thank you for not bad-mouthing people, even when they didn’t treat you right. Thank you for choosing to go against the grain, not because you wanted to draw attention, but because that’s the life that God chose you to live. Thank you for making time for me when you didn’t have any. Thank you for making time for my family. Thank you for making me feel like you’re proud of me now, as I’m a Mom and a wife. I wish you could have married us. I love you. We all do, and I’m so grateful for how you lived your life loving Christ. I love Christ more because of what you taught me.

Pastor Ed ~ May 4, 1971 - April 15, 2009

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

House Update!

Good news on the house- our offer has been accepted! Yesterday our relator dropped by my desk with the good news. Scooby Doo & I are leery of getting excited this time just because of what happened earlier this month with the supposed approval, but things seem to be moving along and happening this time. Scooby Doo & I are planning on visiting the lender’s office today or tomorrow to sign paperwork and begin our 30-day max escrow. We-who! Thank you Jesus! Please continue to pray as we enter into escrow and have the home inspection! : -)

Monday, April 11, 2011

April Showers bring May Flowers

I suppose I should write because although I often think about writing, it hasn’t happened (as much as I will it in my mind). J

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Throw in our family getting sick, beginning to pack, a postponed escrow, and two emotionally drained parents = you got yourself us.

It’s been hard, I’m not going to sugar coat it. But alas the light has arrived, and no, it’s not the heavenly one! We survived March Madness as a friend reminded me, April showers bring May flowers! I can’t wait for May….

YumYum is doing well, and constantly on the move. Having her first ear infection put her mobility back a few steps, but she’s definitely back to herself now. She has discovered tangerines, and yes, she LOVES them. Any food that we eat, she wants. BADLY. Even if she’s already just finished eating. She weighs a healthy 20 pounds, despite her diet. After a daytrip to the BA, and only one set of clothes, I ran into JcPenneys to grab a different shirt so she wouldn’t be the shirtless kid in BJs. $100 bucks later, I happily left with probably 10 shirts, 6 one-zie/stretchy pant combos, one beanie, and one flowery headband. TOO CUTE. All of their spring clothes were ½ off because of Easter! Scooby Doo and I realized that this is the first time we’ve really had to buy her clothes. What a blessing. The 12-month clothes fit her well, and albeit the pants are a bit long, the 9-month pants look like shorts. This is one of her rediculously cute outfits and headband combos :)

My sister in her everconstant good-moodedness, came over with a pair of bunny easters to snap some photos of YumYum. Despite it being during YumYum's tired time of the day, Paul Deen worked her magic. See some evidence of her fairy dust below.



One of my favorites...



And yet another favorite :)






Scooby Doo & I are holding up well. We thought that our offer had been finally approved for the house in downtown, only to find out the first bank had approved it, but the second had countered- wanting more of the cut. Now we are waiting for negotiations to be resolved between the 1st bank/2nd bank/and seller. We thank God that our offer was approved at least, and now we hope they can finalize things before interest rates change too dramatically. Although we thought we’d be in the new house by May 1, it’s now looking like June 1, and we’re still thrilled. It’s been a tiring process, and I will be so thrilled when it’s over. But I think the experience of buying your first home is supposed to be exhausting. It’s part of the reward, right?

YumYum and I got kicked out of our first beer fest this weekend. We went down to V City with MacGyver and “Uncle” R, and Scooby Doo & I and baby were excited for a day in the sun helping Uncle R and his business. The Sippy cup fit perfectly in YumYums brew caddy, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. The manager of the event told MacGyver that baby had to leave since she was under 21. Although we were all sure I could fight some breastfeeding discrimination, I figured I would leave it to those mom’s who were actually breastfeeding and deserved the right, as well as keep Uncle R’s company name in the clear. Thankfully, Scooby Doo’s brother and family lived about ½ an hour away. YumYum and I got to check out their awesome new apartment, play with the nieces/cousins, and enjoy some fresh, home-baked bread. Yum! Thank you B! It is always nice being able to visit family. The girls had a ton of fun. K & H were decked out in their princess attire, and YumYum CRACKED UP every time K laughed. It was the cutest thing in the world. It gave me a taste of what it could be like in two years. The blocks and books lie scattered around, kids laughing, parents relaxing- talking…. It was a beautiful picture. Not perfect of course- the kids still had their moments, I still changed a ridiculously poopy diaper, but nap time still happened and the world kept going round.

Because we won’t be in the house by YumYum’s birthday (most likely, May 15), we’ve decided to have a small family birthday dinner at my parents house with YumYum’s grandparents and my family. We’re hoping once we’re in the house, to have a big BBQ housewarming/YumYum’s birthday party with tons of food, friends, and family… probably in June or early July.

In other news, Baby #2 is growing well. I’m down 11 pounds, but the nausea has settled down thanks to two prescriptions from my midwife at Kaiser. I’m not as sick as I was with YumYum, and the first 13 weeks were COMPLETELY different. With YumYum, I lost a lot of weight because I had no appetite the first trimester, but I didn’t throw up until week #13. With this baby, I wasn’t sick even in the slightest; I didn’t even feel pregnant! Then of course, the exact day I turned 13 weeks, I started enjoying my meals twice again. Flash backs of hospital trips, sleeping by the toilet, extra-ultrasounds because of weight loss, worrying about baby’s weight gain, months of being sick…. I was so scared this would be a repeat. Thankfully, getting a sinus infection and ear ache ended up being enough to make me get onto kp.org. I couldn’t keep my antibiotics down, and therefore, wasn’t getting any better. They put me on some anti-nausea medicine, and things started looking up. I was throwing up less, (still throwing up though), and I was trying hard to live in the present and not in the past. Pregnancies are supposed to be completely different, right? Well the sinus infection went away, although 5 weeks later from the start of when I first had the flu, I still have pressure, but no congestion. I miss the days of feeling 100% healthy; this pregnancy has completely shot my immune system. But hopefully now that I am not throwing up, I will be able to take some gummi multi-vitamins again, and that will help.

We met with our Midwife, Aces' and his wife's midwife a few weeks ago. After a lot of prayer and talking and research, we’re going to go ahead and try to have a WBAC (water birth after cesarean). Plans are to deliver at home. Because I labored with YumYum naturally, with the exception of the epidural I got six minutes before she was born, I think I know what I’m getting myself into with the pain.  Yes, it will be pain. But the thought of being at least in the comfort of my own home, with just my husband and the midwife, is extremely comforting. Unlike the beginning of this pregnancy, I’m not scared to deliver anymore. I’m not terrified. I’m excited, and looking forward to a different experience. My midwife at Kaiser, as well as our private midwife, agree that I’m an excellent VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) candidate. Unlike someone who didn’t dilate, or had a breech baby, I still progressed to seven cm. with Em, and the only reason I had a cesarean was because the cord was wrapped around her and therefore, she couldn’t keep up with the contractions. I can’t express the amount of gratitude and relief I had when the Kaiser midwife said that I would be a great candidate to have a homebirth. KAISER of all places. Of course she had her “off the record” and “on the record” statement, saying I should go to every prenatal appointment  at Kaiser, but since she said that her and Shelia would be doing the same thing each appointment, I could just get my testing done at Kaiser, and therefore only need to go to three more appointments at Kaiser before our delivery. Yeah! No more parking garage, waiting in line, sick people, and things poked everywhere. Midwife coming to my home…. Ahhhh.. the thought soothes.

I will be 18 weeks pregnant on Wednesday; our due date for baby Smiles is September 14.


I am so very at peace.

Chaos circles, but I feel like the menacing black clouds have departed, at least temporarily. Life will be crazy for the next few months. Despite my suggestion to wait and be surprised, Scooby Doo insists we find out the baby’s gender, which will be during our May 2nd appointment, which also happens to be the day of our 2nd wedding anniversary. Who would have known. YumYum turns one on May 15, and hopefully, near the end of May, we will be moving. Nothing like change. J

Glory be to God for all He has done, Is doing, and Will do.