Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Kisses for Baby!

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Friday, February 24, 2012


One of the most exciting things about being a parent is watching your little one do all the 'firsts' that you've dreamed about.  You imagine how they will say 'I love you' or what their first expressions will be when they experience a swing at the park for the first time.  Or there's those not-so-fun firsts.  The first time they drop a deuce in the bathtub or the first time they figure out how to open the toilet lid. 

At 19 months of age, my daughter is taking in everything!  Watching her interact with the people, things and world around her is the best entertainment.  Her firsts with some of these things provoke the most hilarious and charging responses.

This week we experienced a few firsts:

-She said 'Target' when we went to Target.  PROUD mama moment, the girl knows where she should shop!

-She has really started to beat me in the ABCs.  If I say 'H', before I can say 'I', she says it and grins.

-She had some of her first nitrate-free chicken hot dog and really liked it!  There are some things I'm willing to give on, but eating normal hot dogs is something we won't be doing any time soon.  I've never liked those things after I found out what they were made out of!

-She also had her first sucker or lollipop, which was a gift from Halloween.  She liked it but lost interest after a bit.  I think she would've been happier with some fresh berries.

-We had our first visit to the hospital emergency room.  It was a simple injury (you wouldn't have known by India's crying) and was a quick trip.  The doctor was nice and showed me how to fix nursemaids elbow, in case it happens again.  We figure she did it by throwing her hands up in the air.  No, we weren't dragging her anywhere or throwing her around like a circus puppy.

-We also experienced our first facial bruise the very next day.  She fell off a chair and got a little bruise on her cheekbone.  Thank the Lord she didn't need stitches because I'm pretty sure I could've then blogged about the first time our daughter went to foster care.

-If she doesn't know what something is, she asks, "what's this?" and listens carefully as you tell her its proper name and what it does.  

-She has started to recognize Chinese words that we haven't taught her!  Today, she was watching her Chinese language videos and responding to the directions and questions on the videos!

-We had our first full-blown meltdown in Target.  Completely caught me off guard and she wouldn't tell me what was wrong.  When we got home she told me it was a "poopy" in between sobs.  She wasn't lyin'.  It was a non-stinker and one that burned her really bad.  Poor thing.

-Everything, everything, everything can be and will be used for her babies.  The candle on the table?  It's a cup.  The plant marker in my potted plant?  It's a bottle.  My underwear?  Blankies.
-I bought some Playdough (after promising I would make my own because I dislike all the dyes and unknown ingredients) and she had her first Playdough experience.  She LOVED it!  But I'm still going to make my own.  :-)

My daughter LOVES Playdough!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Shopping with Dada!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Many people don't think you can get pregnant while breastfeeding, let alone breastfeed a baby while pregnant with another.  I'm currently doing the latter (with no plans to stop) and did the former as well.

Some people know that you can get pregnant while breastfeeding, from um, say, personal, perhaps accidental, experience. 

While it's true that breastfeeding can provide you with natural birth control, you still can get pregnant.  I didn't want India to sleep through the night, and promoted lactational amennorhea, for at least the first year of her life.  If you nurse consistently, most likely your period won't return until you introduce solids and cut back on nursing.  Or if your baby sleeps through the night.  *Most likely.*  Don't send me hate mail if you are one of the "lucky" ones who gets their period back at three months postpartum.  I'm sorry, I really am!

My journey:

My period returned in May, at about 10 months postpartum, after India went through a phase of sleeping through the night and I wasn't waking her to nurse.  I wasn't happy about it because I have friends who go 15, 18, 23 months or even longer without a period and I was not feeling ready for another baby at that point!  

Since we use the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), I sort of half-way began to look out for any signs of fertility to prevent pregnancy.  I say half-way, because I know my body pretty well and it doesn't take more than 30 seconds of daily observation for me to know if my body is ovulating or not.  To my amazement and gratefulness, there were no signs of fertility.  This continued through the summer.  

In September, when my daughter was coming up on 14 months old, I got a case of baby fever and I started to think about having another little munchkin.  But my body was still regulating and I wasn't ovulating yet.  I wasn't ready to wean my daughter in order to jump start my fertility.  I knew I just had to be patient, but I was starting to feel ready, which was a big shock because pregnancy wasn't kind to me.  I'm not one of those ladies who just loves being pregnant.  Nope.
Remember how I said we use Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to track fertility signs and how much I love it?  Well, this is just one more little pat on FAM's back.   In October, I had all signs and symptoms that I normally do for ovulation, except I didn't seem to have a lot of cervical fluid.  If we didn't use FAM, I could have gone on for months trying to have a baby and perhaps been diagnosed with secondary infertility, when I just needed more cervical fluid - all because breastfeeding left me with very little.  I know women quite often have less cervical fluid while breastfeeding.  It's very common for breastfeeding mothers to feel, um, dry.  Well, in order to get pregnant, cervical fluid is a vital part of the process.  A quick Google search of "how to naturally increase cervical fluid" brought me to a common oil, Evening Primrose Oil, that is rich in essential fatty acids.  I had heard of it, but didn't know much about it, or that it was actually a cheap and readily available product.  Many woman use it near the end of their pregnancy and during menopause and many others use it to help with arthritis and eczema.  But it's also frequently used for increasing the amount and quality of cervical fluid.  Here's how it works.

I decided that I would take it the next cycle because I only wanted to try for a baby that month because that would give me a due date of late July or early August and I was OK with that.  As long as I wasn't pregnant the whole summer!  Getting pregnant in December or January wasn't an option because I didn't want a baby born in September or October because that would mean I would be VERY pregnant the WHOLE summer. 

So, I take the Evening Primrose Oil and well, whaddya know, I'm preggo the next month, November.  Maybe it was the Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), maybe my body just regulated itself, but from everything I could tell the EPO helped greatly!

I share all this because I have several friends who are still breastfeeding and have had some difficulty getting pregnant, so I figure there are many others who are in the same boat!  Maybe it's something as simple as increasing your cervical fluid.  :)

Image source

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Toddler Art Project (with common household ingredients)

I have a mostly love-love relationship with Pinterest.  I do have a few techie gripes, sometimes get sick of seeing the same _________ (insert: craft, outfit, photo, recipe, tip), and the materialism can get a little overwhelming, but to have all ___________ (insert: craft, outfit, photo, recipe, tip) information in one, searchable place with photos, is a huge time saver! 

This winter on Pinterest (you can see my pinboards here, if you'd like), I was seeing a lot of posts on making these cute, puffy snowmen, made of equal parts shaving cream and Elmer's glue. 

I set out to do this exact project with my 19-month-old daughter.  Sometimes the crafts marked for 'toddler' are still too advanced for her, but I was hoping this one would be perfect - and it was!  Best of all, it called for small portions of cheap, common household items!

We started mixing equal parts shaving cream and Elmer's glue.  I may have used a little too much shaving cream!  Oops!

We went straight to painting the puffy paint right after that! 

I then decided to add some food coloring to the mix and India loved watching the colors change as I stirred!  First yellow, then I made green, followed by a brown/purple color.

India loved it!
I was amazed this held her attention for as long as it did as painting normally only lasts a few minutes, then she's done! 

India was SO proud of her work!  When Daddy got home from work, we showed him and she beamed the entire time! 

Here is the finished product after drying!  It dried nice and puffy.

The puffy paint dried fully in about 36 hours, but like I said earlier, I used too much shaving cream, so I think that's why it took longer.  I don't think it would normally take that long.   All the colors dried darker as well!   It wasn't too much of a mess, as long as your clean up fairly quickly and don't let it dry.  It all washed off easily with plain ol' warm water. 

I absolutely loved this craft in that it wasn't too messy, it kept India's attention and the dimensional aspect of it was amazing! 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 16 Weeks Pregnant!

16 peeks pregnant - this is about what I looked like at 20 weeks pregnant with India, minus the bubble around my belly button (it's a hernia).

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Friday, February 10, 2012

5 Question Friday! 2/10

It's the weekend!  Yay!  Here's a few questions from My Little Life.  If you want, be sure to answer these questions yourself and link up! 

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

1. How often do you shave your legs in the winter?

Really? This is the question you want to start me with? And really, how honest do I need to be?  Like, BFF honest or it's-only-going-to-take-me-two-minutes-at-Target honest?  Since we're kind of like besties around here...OK, well, I'm pregnant and I have prenatal appointments monthly, so you could say my shaving routine coincides with my appointments.  Wouldn't want my midwife gettin' all tangled up in forest that overtakes my legs. ;-)  Cue the music: Welcome to the jungle it gets worse here it bring you to your kn, kn, kn, kn, kn, knees, knees! 

2. Valentine's Day cards for your spouse: funny or romantic?
Neither.  I think waste of money should be an option.  I think cards in general are a complete waste.  Why do I want to spend $3.99 on something you don't even read, except whose signature is on the bottom?  Then you throw it away.  Waste.

3. What are you most looking forward to about spring?
Open windows, sunshine, heat, fresh scents, garage sale-ing, warmth, walks outside, gardening, flowers, heat,...shall I go on? 

4. What's your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Reading.  Blogs and news articles and educational books.  Actually, anything educational and informative.  Give me a novel and I want to shoot myself.  Hand me a medical journal and I can't put it down.  And I really like to cook.  When my daughter isn't around. Alright, I really need to probably de-nerd after telling you all that, so wait, I meant, I love to get manicures.  And if you know me, you're laughing, because I'd say manicures are a huge waste of money and toxic.  Dangit.  I can't even fool you about my semi-coolness because Question #1 got me all set up to be honest.  

5. Does your tax return go into savings or do you spend it instantly?
Oh no, I'm a saver.  If it's up to me, not a dime will be spent on anything.  Unless it's a financial investment, that money won't go anywhere for a long while!  Maybe it'll be saved for a down payment for a new house or put into savings for the minivan I want.  Shoot, there's my nerdiness coming out again.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Remember that?

Remember when I said I had a bit of baby fever back in September?

Or do you remember when I posted that tutorial for that cute Christmas stocking that I made for India?

Oh, or the post about how well Natural Family Planning works?

Or how I had to spend so much time in bed at the Cockroach Motel?

Or how about when my husband took me away for a surprise birthday getaway in early November and got me some pretty cool stuff for my 30th birthday? 

Well, not only was I pampered with some pretty great stuff for my 30th birthday, I also got the absolute BEST birthday gift ever: 
Baby #2! 

                        Coming this summer, this world will be graced with a new little life!  

I'm not as sick as I was with India so I'm hoping that also means I won't be sick the entire 9 months this time as well!  :)  I've been lacking in blog posts, as it's easier for me to be horizontal from early afternoon on, and I'm amazed at how hard it is to type laying down!  

Image source
Similar to my pregnancy with India, eating helps me to not be as sick, so if you've seen me in public, most likely, I'm eating or drinking something or even chewing gum to even be able to chit chat with you.  This baby even lets me drink a little bit of water and eat some fruits and vegetables (I couldn't eat or drink those things with India, or else I'd get sick).

So, there you go!  Daddy and Mama are SO excited and India's just happy that someone else besides her is talking about a baby!  Above all, we are so grateful and covet any prayers of health and safety for our growing little family!

PS:  Are you wondering what that stocking has to do with having another baby?  Well, I started making a second one, with different colors, which hopefully I'll be finished with by next Christmas!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life is Fragile and Everyday is a Gift

While at times I have understood the phrase "life is fragile and everyday is a gift", lately I haven't been looking at things in that perspective.  I've felt like more of a burden, and I'm tired and haven't been feeling well.  I've felt overwhelmed with all that needs to be done and find myself frustrated.  Poor me, poor me.

On top of that, two dear friends had just announced miscarriages, I was feeling their grief.  Life is fragile.

Sometimes you just need to get away.  After just feeling kind of down and sick of life as we know it, we made a last minute decision to join my family on a little getaway last weekend. 

The first night was just Dallas, India and myself in Cockroach Motel.  Really.  It was.  We planned on just pretty much sleeping there for the night, you know, to limit our bed bug exposure, but I was too sick to do much but lay in bed.  Maybe God's plan was to begin our Sabbath spending hours relaxing in an unknown bed while an 18-month-old used me as her personal gymnastics mat. 
We still got to eat at our favorite Thai and Indian restaurants and of course, had to stop at IKEA.  The opportunity to just chill without ministry demands was a blessing. 

India loved that she could press all the TV buttons at Cockroach Motel.  She also loved that she was nekkid.
After that, we joined my parents and my sister and her family in southern Minnesota at a VERY different hotel!  My Dad made sure we all had suites for our families and I swear, some of our family's suites might have been bigger than our house!  Quite the upgrade from VD Motel.  After one day of being away, we were feeling better about life.

India and cousin, Xiomara, decided they wanted to play chess.
The kiddie pool here was great, perfect for littles with little fountains and a walk-in.  Best part of all, we were pretty much the only ones in the pools or hot tub! 

India.  Probably bossing someone around.

But this getaway wasn't just to get me out of my selfish, little world.  We celebrated Christmas with my Grandma. 

My Grandma, Josephine, India Josephine's namesake and my Dad
This was the first time I've been back to my Grandma's town since my Grandpa's funeral.  It brought back a lot of emotions.  Barely a year earlier, my Grandpa was alive and on the very streets we were on.  He was alive at the house my Grandma now lives in, alone.  I didn't expect to be hit with the reality of how fragile life is.  Sure, my Grandpa was older, but his death was unexpected.  Just one year later, we watch my Grandma come into the hotel alone, without my Grandpa.  Yes, life is fragile and every day is a gift. 

We also went to a benefit fundraiser for my second cousin and her husband.  They were both seriously injured in a motorcycle accident this fall.  Not only are they living miracles, they have both made amazing efforts to walk, move and do daily tasks.  I've never seen SO many people at a benefit.  Just a few months ago, they were working, taking care of their three girls and living life.  One accident has changed the course of their life.  Life is fragile and every day is a gift. 

This weekend was good for some time away.  Some time that was much needed to focus on our families and step back and realize how grateful we are for everything in our lives.  It was a time to see beyond ourselves, to love more, to pray for others, and realize life is fragile and every day is a gift.

As an old high school friend's 3-year-old boy was just diagnosed with stage 4cancer yesterday, this week's lessons that have been taught to me are fresh in my mind. 
Enjoy time loving and caring for others.  Take time for refreshing. 

be grateful for every day, because life is fragile and every day is a gift.

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