Monday, December 20, 2010

My Son has turned into a teenager!

Okay, not really! It is just amazing to me how much personality he has. What really brought teenage years to mind is how he calls out for me. When he wants my attention or help he yells across the house, MOM, MOM, MOOOM.  My response is usually geesh child you sound like a teenager!  Do I have to put up with this already!?  Then he has his opinions and know everything attitude. It's all too funny.  I'm really enjoying it, it's rather entertaining and I guess it's a little sneak peak of what I will be expecting later on down the road.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Life Lately

Along with new independence that Carson has gained since turning 2 has also come massive amounts of energy!  I have hardly been able to be online and I feel guilty because the only reason I am on right now is because Carson is being entertained by Thomas the train.  TV time seems to be the only time Mom gets peace and quiet.  I have limited it and I'm pretty strict about how much TV he watches, but I feel bad pushing him off to the electronic babysitter. 

I'm trying to adjust and find our healthy balance.  Mom can't work 24/7 despite what little boys think!  Although I'm feeling pretty good because Carson didn't wake up once last night...not even once.  Now, I went to bed late but even still I was able to get 7 straight hours of sleep which I haven't gotten since Carson was 4 months old.  Not sure if it will happen again anytime soon and I have no expectations.  I'm just grateful for a night to recuperation!

We have really been working on Carson's digestion.  He is still suffering from severe acid reflux and his doctor suggested an X-Ray of his internals to see if there is a kink causing problems.  I really don't want Carson to be exposed to more radiation since tiny bodies are more susceptible to it but I will if we have exhausted all other avenues.  We have been using Colic Calm, which is slightly different than regular gripe water and has claims of "curing" reflux.   I figured we would give it a shot along with a stricter diet.  It has seemed to help a bit so I am happy with that and .  I would like Carson's pain to end and for us all to be able to sleep at night! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I am loving this snow!  Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are now living in a warm house in which the heat doesn't fluctuate.  Watching the snow fall outside our windows is truly beautiful.  Plus I have really enjoyed playing in the snow with Carson attempting to build snowmen.  He doesn't understand the concept so he ends up just knocking them down.  Rather disappointing after spending 45 mins attempting to shape and sculpt one.  Oh and he thinks the stick arms are his toys so our snowmen have arms for about 3 seconds.
Since turning two, it's like Carson has taken a magic independent pill that suddenly gave him the ability to play on his own for a majority of the day.  Where'd my little guy go?  Okay, well he's still little and I am enjoying this new age.  He is such a character.  Oh and he's gotten completely Daddy obsessed which I know makes the hubs happy since he has watched Carson snuggle me for the last 2 years.  Whenever Josh would try to comfort Carson he would just get pushed away, poor Dad!  It broke his heart.  The other night Carson fell asleep in Daddy's arms which was the first time since Carson had become aware of who was holding about since Carson was a few weeks old.  Let's just say he's enjoying the new spotlight.  Plus it gives me a little bit of a break!  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What am I thankful for?

Obviously thankfulness has been on the forefront on my mind today.  I am thankful for SO much it would be impossible to write it all down here.  Here's my short list.  I am thankful for kisses from my now 2 year old, a 2 year old I can call my very own who makes me laugh everyday, a husband who works so very hard and treats me like a queen, for family, and for friends that have stuck by us and supported us through this very busy crazy time in our life.

I have to admit despite this wonderful day, I woke up this morning thinking about the belly bump I don't have right now.  It hit me that I would be half way through with my pregnancy.  Sometimes I wish April would get here so I don't have to think about where I would be in the pregnancy any longer...but then I'd miss out on all this wonderful snow to play in with Carson!  Wouldn't want to do that.  Really what brings me back is the fact that I was about 4 weeks pregnant with our first baby at Thanksgiving 3 years ago.  This is a time that reminds me of my babies in Heaven.  Despite what it may sound like, it is actually a heart warming feeling and I cherish it.  It's like for a moment they are still tangible.

We had a pretty crazy day.  We gave our employee the day off so not only did we work a very long day, dawn till dusk, we hosted Thanksgiving Dinner.  I'm thankful for the energy I had to pull this day off.  It was wonderful and lovely and even though I haven't eaten since this afternoon, my stomach is still killing me from the amount of food I stuffed in it!   Ahhh it was amazing. 

Can't wait for leftover turkey sandwiches tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Occupied Mind

My mind has been totally blank.  It's because I am in complete disbelief that Carson is turning two in a few days.  Just thinking about his age has allowed no other thoughts in.  Really, two?  Didn't you turn one, like yesterday!  Where did the year go!?  Please don't tell me the next 16 years are going to fly by this fast too. 

I had to juggle being a working mom this last year and I feel like I missed so much because of it.  Yes, we're still home together, but I'm also working.  When I was a stay-at-home mom my day was all about him...about his routine, meeting his needs, making nutritious snacks, playing.  He had to share the spotlight this year with 5 very large toddlers. 

Despite how much I feel I missed I'm still very grateful that I get to spend my days with Carson.  I don't think I could ever have a better block stacking buddy.  Not to mention the fact that I could never get tired of singing with him.  His little voice is beyond cute.  I could spend 24 hours with him a day and still not feel like it was enough.  I'm just a greedy mom! 

I'll probably be in a daze the next few days as I anticipate the big 2.  That's alright, I know I'll snap out of it eventually. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Working Towards a Goal

What a difference a goal can make in one's life. Really, what a difference a loving and supportive husband can make in one's life.

We have been working A LOT lately. The other day as we were finishing up our morning work, Josh mentioned that if we kept this up, we could build our dream home in the country in just a couple years instead of 5 or more. For a second, that sounded like a great idea. But then I looked at Carson. Is that really what we want? This simple passing comment started the mental pondering of what do we want out of life? What are our priorities? What is important to us?

Since attempting to own an adult family home, we have lost perspective. Business moved to the forefront of our minds and we tried to throw the rest of our lives in there somewhere. Now, we are moving business to the back and family to the front. We are deciding to set up our lives to have a family. Losing our last baby made us realize our lives are not set up for another child right now. Setting our lives up for more children means less financial gain. It means paying off debt more slowly. Although, it also means a healthier and happier lifestyle for everyone including Carson and our next little baby. It means finally living the slower life we have been so desperately wanting. Attaining this goal isn't going to be easy. We have to first find another reliable employee which has proved to be difficult. Each struggle is part of the process though and it's called working towards a goal.

Just this one short conversation about our goals in life has given me hope for the future. Our life has a very new perspective. Why, I wonder, has it taken me so long to do such a simple thing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Your Baby Can Read?

Have you seen commercials lately for a program called Your Baby Can Read? They seemed to have upped their advertising budget because I've been seeing this commercial a lot more lately.   Can you believe that people pay hundreds of dollars for a program which promises to teach your young infant how to read?  I admit the commercials seem rather amazing, but then when I stop and think about it, it freaks me out.  The first thought that comes to my head is...let your baby be a baby.  The other thought is, let their brains develop properly, how they were intended to.

There is something really neat about your child being able to independently put words together.  You watch their confidence grow with each new success.  Carson will often come to us with the new words he has finally discovered how to articulate.  Usually he gets most excited about the words he comes up with on his own. Words we hadn't repeated to him over and over. 

I stumbled upon this article today:

This article gives the opinion that all the program really does is teach memorization.   Even if that isn't the case and these babies are really able to learn to read, I still say...let your baby be a baby. Enjoy reading to your baby and enjoy that baby garble as long as you can because it only lasts for a very, very, very short time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Simple Things

Today I got to hold Carson while he was sleeping.  Our life has been so busy lately I have often missed the times when it was just the two of us in our little home.  I'm finally coming to the realization that I do not have to do everything.  Some things can wait.  I did that today.  He woke up from his nap, but was still very sleepy.  So I plopped my bottom on the couch with him in my arms.   He napped this way for the first 6 months of his life.  With his bad acid reflux, I usually had to hold him just to keep him propped up enough to keep the acid down.  It became a much loved routine.  For almost 2 hours we got to cuddle as his sleeping little body was scrunched up with his head on my chest.  I'm already mourning the time when he becomes too big to do such a thing.  I'm taking in every moment I can get! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life...Such a Complex Experience

God might have thrown us another curve ball.  Once again, we feel His hand guiding us and we are having to give up all control. That's okay since He thankfully knows best.  More on that later.  Or more on that when we actually know what is going on. 

Josh and I just finished painting our new office that he constructed last week.  I love being married to a handy man!  I decided to just go for it and paint our bedroom as well.  I'm glad I did.  It's amazing what change can do for the soul.  I've been wanting to do something massively different with my hair, get a tattoo, or you know something crazy, but for now this has satisfied my desire for change and has for now prevented anything I might regret.  I finally get to unpack and then hang some of my beloved decorations from our old house.  This place is finally starting to feel like home. 

Carson's vocabulary is budding.  He picks up a few new words each day and it is shocking us!  My favorite words are still, "where'd it do?"  Or "Where'd Daddy do?  Melts my heart.  You probably have to hear him say those words to understand just how adorably cute they are.  One of his newest words is quickly making the top 10 list and it's turtdle (turtle).  Somehow he manages to add that d in there along with the t.  He LOVES books which makes me very happy.  Is it wrong to think your child is the smartest kid on the face of the planet?  Whenever I try to trick Carson out of something (like giving him watered down juice instead of pop), I hear Josh's voice next to me, "he's not stupid you know."  Yes, I've discovered that.  Today he looked at me and said "that's not pop" in his baby voice.  He also now says please but instead of using the word in the form of good manners, he decides to use it to try and get what he wants.  This is usually how it goes:  Carson:  "Nummy?  Mommy, Nummy?  Me:  "No, Carson you've had too much sugar today."  Carson:  "Nummy, mommy, pease, (sad big brown eyes) pease mommy?"  For pete's sake!  I almost cave each time.  Key word though is almost

I'm loving this stage.  Other than the fact that he is growing up way too fast and can now create a screeching sound that nearly blows the eardrums, this age is perfect.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eating Healthy & Organic on a Budget

 Since Josh and I have been eating healthier we had to change our shopping habits.  At first the thought of spending more money made me nervous but as time went on we realized we actually decreased our spending amount.  Spending less money on processed snacks and eating more simply has made a difference, but I also wanted to share some tips that we have learned from trial and error and some tips we have learned from the web and put into action ourselves.

1. Buy organic chicken whole.  I rarely just buy the breasts anymore.  I buy the whole chicken, which is much, much cheaper.  I usually boil it or slow roast it in the oven then get every piece of meat I can off that little chicken.  Then I use it for meals throughout the week.  It's great for casseroles, soups, stews, salads, quick stir fries, you name it.  The possibilities are endless.  Then I just keep a couple breasts and thighs handy for when raw meat is really necessary.

2.  We rarely buy beef. We have cut down on our beef consumption and it has saved us a boat load of money.  We have steaks once a month.  I also buy the organic ground bison from Costco.  It has three convenient packages of 1lb of meat each.  That lasts us the whole month. Ground Turkey is another great option.

3.  Eat at least 2-3 vegetarian meals a week.  Beans and rice, whole wheat pasta dishes, even stir fries can be done without meat. Beans are a great option because they are cheap, healthy, and filling.  A bean and veggie soup can be very yummy.

3.  I buy fruit that is on sale.  If I can't find quality organic fruit or we are a little tight that week, I buy regular fruit on sale and use the fruit & vegetable wash pictured above.  It gets rid of the majority of pesticides, at least on the outside.  It also helps remove that wax coating on fruits like apples and grapes. 

4.  Don't go down the aisles!  Shop around the outside of the store.  That is where your main necessities are.  We usually buy two snack items. A box of crackers and a bag of as healthy of chips as we can find (usually rice chips), but Josh does love those Tim's Cascade Potato Chips.  We read the ingredients and if we can't pronounce them all, we put it back.  Our usual snacks are hard boiled eggs, dried fruit, fruit, veggies, and hummus and pita bread.  We try to stick to the basics.

5. Don't forget those leftovers!  Leftovers can be great lunches or transformed into something else to make another delicious dinner.

6.  Go local.  We found a farm where we can pick our own fresh produce and it is much cheaper than the grocery store.  It is work to get out there and pick the items, but it's worth it.  If you can't do that, check out a local farmer's market.  They are getting pretty popular and my guess is you should be able to find one close to where you are. Another option is finding a local company or farm who distributes CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes.  Which are boxes of mostly local seasonal produce.  You can plan your meals around what comes in the box.  This is great for those of you who don't have time to frequently shop for fresh produce.

7.  Frozen veggies are another good option.  They pack just as many nutrients and you can get more bang for your buck.

8.  Last, but not your pantry items in bulk.  If you can't afford a Costco membership check out the Cash & Carry stores or URM.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feeding My Family

With my new commitment to healthy eating, I have made family meals my mission.  At first it started out as a chore that I had to do and now I'm overflowing with a desire to fill our bodies with nourishing food.   Through this process, I have found the joy of cooking.  The actual joy, not the cookbook.  I've been experimenting with flavors, baking my own bread, and loading our plates with veggies.  This joy comes in part from the creation of new and interesting dishes, but mostly because I am feeding love to my family.  It feels good to take care of them.  To care for the health of their body and mind.  Hopefully this is just the first step to a long-term love relationship with cooking.

I have also relaxed a bit as to what we eat at each meal.  As long as the majority of each meal is healthy, I am satisfied.  I am satisfied because I have realized through this process that it is also important to feed the soul.  Maybe it's the Italian in me?  Whatever it is, it's important to enjoy the food we eat and be able to sit around the dinner table together saying "mmm, this is good."  I've been loving that too. 

Josh and I also made a new rule of eating out on Sundays only and that doesn't mean every Sunday.  Even just once a week is more than what was the norm back in the day.  We also found a little treasure called Strawberry Hills Farm at Greenbluff where we can get organic, fresh produce that we pick ourselves.  That alone has encouraged us to eat better.  When you're out in the garden picking those fresh vegetables, it just makes you feel healthier.  It's like you're soaking up the nutrients through osmosis.

I have also become a little more relaxed about our diet because I found something interesting the other day.  As I was filing some paperwork that had piled up on our desk, I found the ER report from my hospital visit with our third baby.  They did some detailed blood work as well as a detailed urine analysis.   By the time the miscarriage happened, I had been slacking a little in regards to what I ate. When I started doing research on balancing my hormones naturally and ran across how pH can effect hormone levels, I felt maybe I was too acidic and that was causing my lack of progesterone.   Well, while looking at my ER report, I saw my pH levels listed.  Wow, why didn't I see this before?   Guess, what!?  I couldn't have had a better pH balance.  I was perfectly alkaline and that was after eating some chocolate the night before.   So this quest for a more alkaline pH level was pretty much unnecessary because I already was.  That doesn't mean it can't become unbalanced though.  However, I am thankful for the path I took because it really has renewed my commitment to healthy eating and has stirred a passion in me to not only cook but also to create delicious meals.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Toddler Snacks

Carson has gotten to the age where snacks are crucial.  Not just to fill the tummy, but also for a time to just collect himself.  I find that when he is out of control, it's usually when he's hungry.  I've had to adjust his snacking to more age appropriate foods so I thought I'd share.

YoKids Organic Yogurt Squeezers  (I freeze them and cut them in half so he only has a half at a time)
Hard Boiled Eggs
Pretzels with a side of cream cheese for dipping
Fruit by itself or with some plain yogurt for dipping
Rice Chips & Salsa
Rice Cakes, sometimes with Peanut Butter on it
1/2 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Small bits of organic walnuts (I break them up and give only a little at a time to prevent any potential for choking)

All these snacks are easy.  I try to give him a more protein based snack in the afternoons after he has run around and worn himself out all day long.  It tends to keep his mood stable and gets him through the rest of the day.  These snacks are also low in sugar and prevent any sort of sugar rush.  Carson is also really into dipping things right now so I also try to provide fun snacks in which he can do so.

Carson's snacks have become more of a priority and I have seen a definite change in his behavior since changing the amount and type of snacks he receives.  Plus they are good snacks for me to join in on as well! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Carson got to ride in the vroom vroom cart today

It is amazing what becoming a mother does to a person.   Today Carson and I went grocery shopping.  We went to Yokes because they have the cool carts with the cars in front.  Carson loves those things and he always recognizes that Yokes is the store that has them.  As we pulled into the parking lot I got a little nervous because there were a lot of cars.  Which meant more parents with their children using the special carts.  I drove past each cart return to make sure there wasn't one hanging out by it's lonesome before heading inside.  As we were walking in, I peeked over to where the car carts should be and there were none.  I was quickly disappointed as Carson was making vroom vroom noises in my ear.  I took a step further and spotted a couple pushing their son out in none other than Carson's favorite car.  I spotted that they only had one bag of groceries so I practically chased these people down and asked them if they were done with the cart.  They looked at each other and I knew what they were silently saying.  We parents keep our children in the cars until the last possible moment to make parting a little easier and to create happiness as long as possible.  They were already outside the store so what was the harm in ending their son's ride a little short?  I thought about offering to follow them to their car to prevent any tantrums but decided that might be a little awkward.  They finally said yes and I let out a woohoo (on the inside).  Then I smiled and graciously thanked them and we made small talk.  They understood.  Shopping with a toddler is so much easier when they are entertained.  Those carts are a sanity saver!  Thankfully the little boy seemed to be distracted by the extra company and gave up the car without a fuss to his mom's surprise. 

I had to laugh as I headed into the store.  Before having kids, never in a million years would I have walked right up to a stranger like I did.  Especially if it was any inconvenience for the other person.  Had the couple said no, I wouldn't have been offended.  They would have been standing up for their son's right to enjoy the car a little longer and I would have just hung back I while until I could retrieve it from the cart return.  Minor conflict is not such a big deal to me anymore. I knew I would grow and mature after having a child, but I did not expect my own personality to change.  I love that it has.  I love that I have the confidence to be a mama bear.   Not only for Carson, but for myself as well. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mad at Life

I know I shouldn't be.  For some reason as more time goes by, the angrier I become.  The recovery from my first miscarriage was much healthier emotionally.  But then I didn't know what I was missing yet. I hadn't experience a pregnancy or a brand new baby.  Now I have a wonderful child so I feel the sting of this loss.  My arms still ache.  Then the question, why save Carson and not my other babies Lord?  I have no doubt Carson was meant to be here.  God had placed his hand on my little guy and protected him through my severe first trimester dehydration.  I remember my emergency room visit while pregnant with him.  I wasn't even worried.  As all of the IV attempts failed, it didn't bother me.  Even when they had to use some special tool that looked like it was from another planet to get an IV started, I still wasn't afraid.  Then the doctor came in and told me to never get that dehydrated again...ever...not only was it dangerous for me but deadly for baby.   Still no fear.  I had gone two days and was close to the dawn of my third without eating or drinking!  Then there came Carson's birth.  No question he's our miracle.  After seeing a picture of his face submerged in a puddle of amniotic fluid and not for a short time, I cried and thanked the Lord that after being drowned after birth, not to mention the complications he went through, he was still strong and healthy.  He puked up more water than the NICU nurses had ever seen.  Josh said it looked like the exorcist and was grateful I wasn't there to witness it.  He's our miracle.  So then I question, is he our only miracle?  Did God know I would have these struggles so He intervened and helped me out so I wouldn't completely despair?

I was 18 when I was told that the cause of the pain that sends me to the floor in sobbing tears was endometriosis.  Josh and I were already engaged.  I sat him down and told him it was a possibility I could never have children.  Do you still want to marry me?  His answer was of course he would love me no matter what happened...children or not.  I was married at 19 and my specialist told me to start trying immediately.   Did we listen?  Nope.  We were too young.  Plus we felt invincible...duh, I was still a teenager.  I had God on my side.  We could wait and everything would be fine.  But as time had gone on, my hormones had gotten more and more out of control.  Things that I thought were normal, after talking to girlfriends, I found out were  very far from normal. I went in and estradiol was my only option, at least through my OB.  Or you know, I could go on birth control.  I asked my doc, "isn't this caused by excess estrogen?"  His response "yes, it will treat the symptoms, but you're right it could lead to an early hysterectomy."  No thank you...I sought out alternatives.  I found Coleen Smith, an acupuncturist.  My God send.  A christian woman with a love for women's health.  Finally someone listened!  Plus, she had answers.  I saw results.  But then I got lazy.  I took my health for granted and let things slide because it was my "natural" birth control.   We were using my infertility as a way to avoid pregnancy.  I figured we could go in and fix it when we were ready and then we'd have babies.   Now I realize how off this logic was.  I should have put my health #1, not our lifestyle.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Now I'm playing catchup.  You think I would have learned this lesson the first time.  Yet, after massive weight loss following Carson's birth along with other unhealthy symptoms, I waited.  I let life take body wasn't ready yet.  So much is learned the hard way!  Yet, that is how we learn best, well, at least that's how I learn best.

This last week I have shirked my diet.  I've been wallowing. I have been overtaken with self-pity.  No matter how hard I try to think of others who have it so much worse, it doesn't help.  That tactic has always put things into perspective for me.  Not this time, it's not taking away the frustration.  I think to myself, at least I have never experienced a stillborn, that would be unbearable, yet my arms still don't stop aching.  These emotions come and go.   I'm not always this emotional and I should probably step away from the keyboard right now.  I'm being open and honest here.  I'm mad at life, mad at my reproductive organs, and really pissed at Adam and Eve. 

I was watching a Duggar's interview one time and they were asked, why so many kids?  Mrs. Duggar answered that they, like everyone else, had a plan.  They were to have two children and fit into the American Dream.   Then they miscarried with their second baby.  It changed their perspective.  They realized how precious life was and it wasn't their place to prevent it from happening.  They put the number of their children in God's hands.  It is sad sometimes that it takes a loss to fully appreciate what we have.  It took my cousin's death and him leaving his young daughter and pregnant wife behind to turn my marriage around.  Maybe his death even saved it.  Who knows.   I know with Carson I breathed that new baby scent deeper into my lungs because I knew what I had lost with our first.  As Josh has said, I will always see Carson as our second.  So will I.  Our next baby will be our fourth.  Thankfully we have hope.  Hope that we get to meet all of our children someday.  We will get to join them and the other loved ones we've lost.  I picture Josh's Grandma Betty playing with our little ones up there.  Supposedly she was a phenomenal Grandma.  Maybe my Aunt Ellen is spoiling a little girl?  I'm sure we've had at least one girl by now...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not a baby anymore


Lately, Josh and I have been experiencing a new phenomenon.  Instead of hearing "oh your baby is sooo cute" we receive scowls, even when Carson is behaving.  The other day we went out to lunch and Carson was an angel.  Depending on how much sleep he had gotten either the night before or during nap time, he can sometimes be a little bit of an embarrassment.  During this lunch, however, he was contently playing and staying fairly quiet, for Carson at least. Josh and I were sitting there amazed at how good he was being.  Yet we still received scowls.  A couple was leaving and walked by Carson and he turned and waved and said "bye bye" in his sweet little voice.  Josh and I were gushing about how cute he was and the couple looked at him, gave him a funny look, and just kept walking.  Our jaws dropped.  How could they not wave back!  He isn't a prison escapee, he's a little boy!  Anyway, we've been getting more and more of these responses while out and about.  When Carson is happy and babbling away, we get looks that seem to say shut that child up. If he was five years old, those looks might be warranted, but the response we mumble to each other is usually.. "he's not even two yet for goodness sakes."  I guess it's the new stage we are entering.  We also believe it's aggravated by the fact that Carson looks older than he is.  At least, that mind set is what gives us peace.  More likely, it's the fact that our society is still not very accepting of little children and their tendencies to be very energetic and loud, even when happy.  Which kind of seems crazy when you think about it because most of the people we come across were parents of a small child at one time.  Maybe they forgot their children were like that once too? 

These new experiences are also making me realize that I cannot protect Carson from everything.  As the couple at the restaurant scowled and walked away, I wanted to get Carson's attention so he wouldn't pick up on their rejection.  Then it dawned on me that this is just the beginning of scowls, nasty looks, and bad attitudes he's going to have to experience in life.  Thankfully he is in a family that loves him dearly and will love him for the rest of time, no matter how loud or rambunctious he is.

Up at "the property"

Monday, September 20, 2010

A weekend of discovery

I learned something about myself this last weekend.  It brought new light to my identity.  Josh and I headed up to his parents property this weekend in search of some  R&R and family alone time.  It was possibly going to rain, but since his parents have an RV to hang out in, it didn't stop us.  Saturday was beautiful weather and we hiked all day.  Then Sunday came and it ended up down pouring all day.  Even though it was raining it did not hinder me in the slightest from going outside.  Shortly after breakfast, I started getting Carson and I in rain gear while Josh just looked at us funny.  Finally, he asked, where are you going?  My response was...a hike...duh.  He reminded me that it was raining.  Carson and I went off on our adventure and Josh joined us soon after.  We ended up spending hours just walking around the property, checking out claw marks in trees, hiking to the spring head and getting fresh water, then we spent time trying to find random dear trails. We discovered it was just as much fun to hike in the rain.  When we got back to the trailer and took off our soaking wet coats, we were thankful to discover we were still dry underneath.  That's when it hit me. I'm an outdoors girl. I was absolutely beaming. 

To me, this revelation isn't new.  Growing up when my mom asked me to sweep the kitchen, I begged to go outside and rake the leaves.  Plus, I always enjoyed the many camping and backpacking trips I took with my family growing up.  I'm a decent homemaker.  I like to bake, especially when it involves sugar.  I also like to sew, knit, crochet and scrapbook.   Even though I do like these tasks a lot, I don't love them.  The second we drive into a forest, with that crisp fresh air, I feel like I've been revived.   Josh and I had been seeking out ways to be active and lately we have been finding places to hike and it has just been adding fuel to the fire of my passion.  Thankfully, it's also a healthy passion for the whole family.  Now, we are going to make more of an effort to fit outdoors activities into our lives.  Finding a piece of my identity brought a lot of peace to my soul.  I finally  have an outlet so to speak.  When life starts creating massive amounts of stress, as it usually does, I have a way to unwind.  It's a big relief for me. 

Other things I love:

Carson falling asleep in my arms
Watching a movie late at night with my hubby, snuggled on the couch
Socializing with good friends &
Italian food

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Eating Plan

I recently read through The pH Miracle Diet by Dr. Robert O. Young.  I was hoping to find some hope in that book for my hormonal imbalances, but unfortunately the book doesn't touch a whole lot on that subject and the author also really encourages adding a lot of soy to your diet.  Soy for a lot of people is NOT a healthy food and honestly shouldn't be touched with a 10 foot pole.  I'm one of those people.  Soy has a natural form of estrogen in it along with enzymes that prohibit the absorption of protein.  So although the food itself has a lot of protein, it is not readily usable to our bodies and the enzymes actually block protein absorption from other food.  I think many other cultures eat soy and are fine, but the cultures that do have soy as part of their main diet aren't faced with as many environmental toxins as we are with such things like plastic food containers, toys from China, BPA, and chemical toxins to boot which all disrupt healthy hormone levels.
I'm estrogen dominant which means I already have way too much estrogen so adding more to my diet through soy would not be a good idea.   The other issue with Dr. Young's diet is that it is unrealistic for a mother who presently has an extremely active toddler and is trying to co-run an adult family home.  If I was dying of cancer, I would have the motivation, but right now I think just well balanced healthy nutrition with good supplements is sufficient for me.  One of the pertinent steps of the diet being successful is a three to ten day cleanse in which you only drink various vegetable juices and broths.  There is no way I could do that and keep my energy levels up.  He makes a case for it being very beneficial, but at this point I really couldn't do the fast and function.  I think it's really important that if you are going to embark on a diet, that the diet is something you can do for the long term.  Otherwise it will be of no use to you if you are only able to accomplish it for a short time and then give up because it is too difficult to maintain. 

Despite the short comings of the diet, I really did have a lot of epiphanies while reading through the book.  First was to balance out my pH and eat less acidic foods like sugar and white flour.  Then to add more veggies.  My favorite snack  is now celery dipped in super garlicky humus (Yum!).  I am also reducing my wheat load to be no more than 30% of my diet.  Dr. Young pointed out a lot of other options as well to meet that 30%  of healthy grains instead of being overloaded with just one option...wheat.  I now have a buckwheat pancake mix and spaghetti noodles made of kamut.   I liked the idea of adding more variety of grains.  Plus the biggie was reducing the amount of sugar, especially in the form of pastries.  Sweet treats has always been my weakness and I realize now how much it has been wreaking havoc on my body.  Dr. Young really spelled it out for me by explaining the different bacterias that are created by my body trying to digest sugar and white flour.  It was really eye opening. 

The book also encouraged me to get more of my protein from sources other than meet, such as beans.  I'm grateful that my mom cooked a lot of beans for us growing up.  I am really familiar with them and can easily add them to my diet to get more nutrition from my food. 

So I've set some nutritional guidelines for myself to try and get healthier.  The guidelines are:
       No Caffeine (although I have been cheating with green tea, but I'm trying to stop!)
       Limit sugar (one treat a week or less)
       Little to no pastries which is another source of sugar and useless white flour
       Reduce white flour intake altogether
       Don't snack on carbs (bread is now apart of meals only or a once in a while snack)
       The majority of my diet needs to consist of vegetables, then healthy proteins and grains.

The rules above are realistic for me.   My skin has completely cleared after just a week of eating like this.  I used to constantly have break outs which would embarrass me because I'm not a teenager anymore!  I should be passed that.  It does show me that my body was overloaded with bad food and trying to excrete the toxic waste anyway it could. This new way of eating has actually been a very freeing experience.  I no longer feel trapped by food cravings.  It has really become apart of my life instead of something I have to do.

I feel like for now, this is a healthy approach to trying to get pregnant again.  It is a huge improvement compared to what I had been eating.  I was hoping for better results sooner.  It has seemed to make no difference on my body temperature so far, but I am continuing on with research with the help of my naturopath to try and figure out a solution.  I don't want to settle for bad health and I know I'm finally on the right path.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I am now 5 days postpartum from a loss that still hurts but the good news is I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.   The last few days I've just wanted to rip my heart out of my chest to stop the pain.  As difficult as it has been, it has also been very healing.  Today was the day we were going to share the good news of being pregnant again.  So last night I was pretty emotional.  I am unbelievably thankful for a husband that has let me cry and completely talk through how I am feeling. 

Some good news...Carson went potty on his big boy potty yesterday.  He has been trying for awhile.  He asks to sit on his potty quite frequently so I indulged him but this time as I was cleaning, I heard his potty singing...meaning he was successful.  I ran over and he was so proud of himself.  It was adorable.  I'm surprised by how easy this potty training has been going.  Mostly because Carson has completely initiated it which is something I didn't expect, especially so young.  I'm proud of him though.  I know it's going to be awhile until he is officially potty trained, but each little step is exciting for us.   It's just another part of the independence he has been asserting lately. 

I have added exercise into my life.  It's felt really great.  I exercise with a friend 4 times a week for 40 mins.  It has lifted my mood some and I hope it is bringing me one step closer to being a healthy fertile myrtle!  It's been hard having motivation because I have just wanted to stress eat.  The last two days I finally let myself do that and decided the veggies can wait a day or two and I'm glad I did.  Eating some captain crunch did wonders for my spirit.  I know it's not good to treat emotional pain with food, but sometimes it's hard not to.  Now I'm back on the path of trying to heal my body through diet. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Heartbreaking Loss

I'm sitting here still in absolute shock.  Probably a shell of who I normally am.  Today I am no longer pregnant, my womb is empty and I feel that in the deepest part of my soul.  It's still hard to process.   During our scare Wednesday, Josh and I were praying and asking others to pray for a miracle for this baby.  We really felt this baby was meant to be here and had no doubt that God would indeed answer our prayers.  Wednesday, when we saw the baby's heart beat and the bleeding and cramping stopped, we thought we had received our miracle.  What I was experiencing seemed like a very minor complication.  Thursday morning I started spotting again.  It was light but concerned me so I called my OB and was told that there really isn't anything to worry about and that I may continue to spot for a few more days but then it should stop and call if it didn't.  The baby looked great on the ultrasound, don't worry about the baby, the baby is fine I was told.  Yet Friday afternoon,without much warning, I was holding our baby in my hand.  Then the physical pain hit which seemed backwards.  That's another tortuous thing about miscarriage.  It HURTS.  To me each miscarriage has felt like the equivalent to going through transition and it's almost worse  because there is no joyous ending to look forward to.  Today I am left with confusion because despite the correct levels of hormones, a seemingly healthy child, and a minor complication that was behind us, my body decided to shed the lining of my uterus which inevitably included our child.  Our first miscarriage was easier in the sense that the baby failed to thrive and passed away causing the miscarriage.  With this one, the baby was fine, yet my body miscarried it anyway.  Today I am just angry.  I want to throw my self on the ground like a toddler screaming this isn't fair!  Of course thoughts have gone through my mind of was it something I did?  I woke up this morning convinced it was the trans vaginal ultrasound because after the tech rammed my cervix with the equipment to get a good shot and not just once, I had a different form of cramping start which finally escalated on Friday.  But many pregnancies have survived such a thing and it probably just exacerbated what was already going on.  It's still hard not to wonder though.

Although I'm in shock and confused, I do have peace.  Carson had prophesied this baby.  Many times he lifted up my shirt, placed his chubby hand on my belly and said "baby."   That's why I took a test in the first place and was shocked to find it was positive.  Then when we went up front after church to ask for prayer and blessings for the pregnancy, the woman praying for me told me that she had absolute peace about this child and really felt it would be just fine.  I guess by God's standards this baby is just fine.  It's now in the perfect location, Heaven.  It's hard to be upset about that.

Josh was given great peace too and that has been really comforting.  His positiveness, yet perfect sympathy has been a great comfort.  We're being open about the fact that I need to grieve.  I'm a bottler.  It took me a year to cry about my Uncle's death and it's probably no coincidence that I started having panic attacks during that same time.  I'm going to let it hurt this time so that I can fully heal.   Carson has been a great comfort as well.  Knowing that I have a precious little child here with me makes this second miscarriage much easier to bear.  I'm hoping that eventually I'll have more babies here than in Heaven though.

Since having Carson, my hormone levels have gotten worse.  I even struggled with low estrogen which was very strange for me.  There are a lot of mysteries to figure out as far as my health is concerned and some we may never get figured out. It also seems to be centered around my very low temperature average of 95.9.  Supposedly, I can't even get pregnant with that low of a temp but we have been blessed with three pregnancies so we know that's not an issue.  Josh and I decided not to try again until I have a healthy temp of 98.6.  There will be some major life style changes going on to try and accomplish that including regular exercise (which will also be a great way to channel my present anger) and I am going to continue on with the massive diet change I made when I first found out I was pregnant. Plus I'll be going back to my naturopath to delve deeper into some possible hidden health concerns.  I was really excited to start posting topics about my journey with this pregnancy...choosing a new OB or midwife, birth plans, nutrition, interventions...etc.  Now I'm going to be posting about my journey to health and then hopefully about a successful pregnancy.  I would love it if my journey also helped to heal and inspire others.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

April 19th

The date above is our due date for our next little addition to our family.  We were trying to keep this pregnancy quiet for awhile.  After our miscarriage with our first, the excitement of announcing our pregnancy with Carson was a little dimmed.  Family and friends were thrilled but there was definitely anxiety in the air and we could feel the worry of others as to whether his pregnancy was going to be successful.  We decided we didn't want any negativity around us at this time, even if it was subconscious, so we have kept it quiet for 3 weeks.  It makes me laugh to think about now.  We were faced with complications yesterday.  At only 6 weeks, I thought I was having a miscarriage.  I rushed to the ER to see if the baby was still okay.  They got me in for an ultrasound and we got to see our itty bitty peanut with a healthy beating heart.  It was a huge relief.  The reason for the complication was a tear behind the placenta which was causing my massive pain and bleeding.  Hopefully it will heal on it's own, but as I've heard many times over the last couple days, I'm not out of the woods yet.  We are staying positive and continuing to pray.

This complication forced us to break our news earlier and in a less exciting way than we were planning.  It made me laugh because pretty much everyone around me already knew.  I'm not sure why we thought we could hide it.  The first sign of trouble and we wanted everyone's prayer and support.  We probably would have just been better off telling everyone right form the get go.  I'm not sure how some women can hide the pregnancy through their first trimester.  I already have a "pooch" as I've been told.  Plus the fact that I've been tired and spacey was a dead give away.

So now I am sharing the news with the rest of you!  We are unbelievably excited.  Josh made the comment yesterday while we were waiting to be seen of "at least you're not here because you're throwing up."  (I had hyperemesis with Carson).  I looked at him and said "I'm pretty sure I'd rather be throwing up."  Yesterday was stressful and we're not passed the stress yet, but I am grateful that I can hold down food this time around.  I am bummed that I presently can't pick up Carson, but he seems to be doing okay with that.  Every time he wants to be held I encourage him to sit on the couch with me which he usually does excitedly.

I'm thankful for my family and friends and their emotional support.  We are very blessed!  I'm sure that by the power of God this hiccup will be behind us in no time and before we know it we will be holding our new little bundle of joy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Carson's Life

Today it hit me how different of a life Carson is going to have living in an Adult Family Home.  This isn't our permanent solution, but we'll be here for at least a couple of years.  Plenty of time to influence his upbringing and create memories here that he will actually remember.  This morning he shared breakfast with a 90-year old Japanese woman.  Plain old cheerios but they smiled at each other while they ate and they had somewhat of a conversation with Carson's baby gibberish.  It melted my heart and made me question, how many other toddlers are doing this?  Probably a few, but not many.  I know that it will make his life so much more rich having empathy early on for our elderly.  Maybe that's why Josh has such a tender heart for the frail as well, because it started so young?  Besides panicking over dropped pills Carson might pick up and eat (I have become religious about sweeping and vacuuming) there really is no negative to this situation.  Josh and I both get to parent Carson.  That's another thing most toddlers don't get, both parents.  While I still do the majority of the "mothering" such as providing comfort, Daddy is here to go rough house and play outside with the water hose.  It makes me unbelievably happy that we have a way to not only support ourselves but be stay-at-home parents. It's not easy by any means, but well worth it.

Carson also has other sources of attention.  When he gets bored with us, he goes into the living room and hams it up for the grandmas and grandpas.  Thankfully everyone here loves children.  It seems to be good for the young and old alike to be together.   One of the grannies here, Josh's actual Grandma, can get a little unsteady but she also likes to wander.  Well whenever she starts to walk, we walk with her a ways before sitting her back down.  Josh and I were busy and I just here "mommy, mommy, mommy"  over and over in a very loud and anxious voice.  There Carson was standing in front of Grandma Allen pointing up at her slightly bouncing up and down.  He had positioned himself in a way so that she was unable continue walking.  He was alerting us that she was up and needed assistance.  It really amazed me.  When he helps me put the ladies to bed at night, he grabs gloves from the drawer and puts them on as we walk to their room just like mommy.  I couldn't have a better little helper.

I hope as time goes on he continues to see this living situation as an adventure like he seems to do now. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let Boys be Boys

As I was putting Carson to bed last night, a neighbor started up their lawn mower and Carson who was almost asleep instantly sprung out of my arms and ran around yelling Daddy and pointing to the window.  He wanted to go help and be apart of what was going on.  His brown eyes just lit up.  I laughed and as usual responded by kissing him and telling him..."you are such a boy."

During Carson's pregnancy we found out his gender.   At the time of the ultrasound, we discovered he was a boy sooner than we were supposed to.  The tech was just sweeping over his little body checking everything out, but we unmistakably got our answer.  My life changed, right then and there.  From that point on I was the mom of a little boy.   My mission in life changed and all I could dream about was the many different things we would do together like racing cars around the house and playing in the mud. Not to mention that from then on I had and have the responsibility of raising a little boy to be a man of God and a good husband and father.  All those dreams of racing cars and playing in the mud together have come true and in ample amounts.  When Carson comes inside covered from head to toe in dirt, I smile.  It makes my heart happy knowing he was for a little while able to be the little caveman he so desires to be.

The differences between a boy and a girl became apparent much sooner than I thought was possible.  The moment he started really interacting with us, probably around 3 months, he started showing interest in tools and anything that Daddy did.  It became really important to me to protect the ability for him to be a boy.  Sometimes I hear gasps around me at the things I let him do, like jump off the couches at anxiety inducing heights.  As long as a few pillows are underneath him, I have no worries and I let him go for it.  I also let him use real tools alongside daddy during projects.  Once again I hear gasps as he tries to hammer a nail into a board.  Instead of overreacting and stopping him, I stand back and watch him.  He's not hammering like a crazy man, he his slowly and methodically trying to get that nail into that board.  So I just wait and watch and give him time.  He was completely content to try over and over to get it to work like Daddy.  Finally, when he gave up I put the hammer and nails away, but during subsequent projects and with supervision, I have let him try again.   I don't have high expectations for him in regards to his manliness, I just want to support what is there, his own personal interests.  We call him our worker boy.  Anything he can physically do, he tries.

I don't think our society presently allows little boys to be boys.  It requires getting dirty and lots of attention and energy to makes sure they are safe.  It can be downright exhausting when he wants to go outside and play in the "wat" for what seems like the millionth time that day.  But it is worth it and I encourage you mothers of boys to really accept them for who they are.  Let them get dirty, get scraped knees, and run around like a wild child for a bit.   Focus their physical energy on activities they enjoy.   You will have a much happier and content child if you do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm back!

Sorry for my absence. I was recently hacked. Some man in Indonesia was able to hack my email account and then change the password which locked me out of both my email and blogger account. It took me nearly a week to gain access again. Unfortunately right before my account was stolen I had changed my pay pal password. I change that one more regularly to be safe but it emailed my new password to me. So this guy was able to see that and gain complete access to our money. Thankfully he only made a few purchases and we have already been reimbursed for most of them. The odd and kind of idiotic thing was that Mr. Pratama (I hope you're reading this) was using my email address as his personal account with these transactions. Two of the purchases were for online hosting sites so Josh was able to log in and change those passwords so he can no longer have access. Ha! Because he used my email address we had his email address, IP address, and mailing address. We thought of sending him cookies laced with laxatives but then decided he probably wouldn't eat them anyway. I possibly could be opening myself up to more fraud by continuing to use this account but I just could not imagine starting from scratch. I might at some point, but not this week.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

In Honor of my Wonderful Hubby on our 6th Aniversary

Thank you for six years of marriage and almost nine years of loving me dearly.  Over the past six years, we have shared our ups and downs but what amazes me is that we have come out stronger on the other side.  I appreciate our commitment and understanding that love is not only a choice but something that needs to continually be tended to. We have both gone through our share of pruning over the time of our marriage but that has enabled us to bear strong, healthy fruit. I feel that strength each time we laugh together, each time we embrace one another, and each time we just talk.

Anytime I get frustrated or we seem to be bickering a lot,  I think back to our past.  How we got started as a couple and I fall in love with you all over again.  I think back to the first time you kissed me and how shocked I was.  Not so much by the fact that you kissed me, although that was a little shocking, but how strong the butterflies were. I had them for days.  It was an amazingly tender kiss. After that first kiss, I knew one day I would marry you.  You stole my heart right there on my front porch.  It turned a friendship into a life-long love. For years I asked you to kiss me like you first kissed me.  I'm sure you remember that. 

Then, there was your car.  I can't see a white 1997 Toyota Avalon without thinking of us being teenagers together.  Cruising around listening to music, stealing kisses, and burning time because we didn't want to go home and be apart. I swear we lived in that car.   I remember having tears in my eyes after it died and we sold it for scraps.  I just sat in the passenger seat and looked around the place where so many memories happened.  Thankfully we never made any serious mistakes in that car, it came close, but the Lord kept us from being tempted beyond what we could handle. I'm glad we got to be young together, to have no worries or cares in the world.  Much different than now. 

Then after three and a half years of dating, we were finally married.  It was a rocky start.  We had some communication skills to learn, but those trials put the building blocks in place for a stronger and healthier marriage.  Then we experienced the loss of our first baby together.   It was the first time I had ever seen you cry.  I'm so grateful that you have honored and loved our "peanut" as much as I have.  I still miss our first little one and I know you do as well.  However, had we not lost that little baby, we would not have Carson.   We now have a bundle of energy and joy.  Carson has never been a text book baby or anything like our friend's children.  He has been entirely a person of his own character.  Even though he can drain us sometimes (like not going to bed until 10 or 11).  He also has a soft and tender heart that makes us both melt.  I appreciate how involved you are in his life and how supportive you have been of my "style" of parenting.  It has been different from our peers and our first ideas but now we are seeing that it was right for Carson.  Plus he is soooo darn cute!  We made one adorable, handsome, and amazingly kissable child. 

I love that I get to continue on this journey with you.  I'm praying that we get to be old and gray together.  That we continue to love each other more as each year goes by and we continually learn how to better fulfill each other as spouses.

I love you honey more than words can say.  You have stolen my whole heart and I'm grateful that you tend to it so sweetly.  Thanks for being wonderfully you.


Your Wife

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are we really that Different?

Yes we are!  The difference between a man and a woman that is.  Sometimes I forget how different we are because we do have a lot in common.  Josh listens to my womanly woes and fulfills a lot of that emotional need for me.  However, I was reminded of our differences tonight as Josh and I were sitting on the couch together.  He was playing a video game called Red Dead Redemption.  It's a cowboy game where grown men get to pretend they're cowboys and gallop around a map of empty desert and tiny ghost towns and I'm sure they have missions of some sort.  It's actually pretty cool and if they had a chick character I might actually play it.  Anyway, getting to my point.  I was watching Josh play and marveling at how real the horse looks in its mannerisms.  I especially got excited when he slowed down and the horse started to trot and the rider actually posted a little to make the transition smooth.  As I was exclaiming and going on about how cool that was, Josh rides his horse  up to another cowboy, shoots him in the head, and then steals his horse.  I stop short and my jaw dropped.  It was so pretty I kind of forgot it was a video game.  My response was: "what the heck, why'd you have to kill him?"  His response..."Honey I needed a faster horse."  Me: "So you just shoot him, there was no other option?  You couldn't just kick him off his horse."  Josh:  "Nope, it's the only way and did you see how gray and sick my horse was?  I have to ride to Mexico, that wouldn't work with a slow horse. It would take me forever" I started to agree with his logic, as long as the game gave you no other option, but still feeling a little sad for the cowboy that didn't do anything and was unarmed.  Just after finishing our conversation, Josh rides up to his online gaming buddy, Josh's cousin's husband, and the first thing out of Josh's cousin's husband mouth is "I shot some guy and stole his horse so I could get here faster."  Then it hit me...God really made men differently.

I Keep Forgetting to Ask

I was reading Joshua this morning and I came upon a story I have read many times before but something struck me as I was reading through this time. Basically, the gist of the story was that after the Lord through His chosen people destroyed much of the land around Jerusalem, the leaders of Gibeon were in fear for their city and out of fear they came and fooled Joshua into thinking they were from far away.  Because Joshua thought they were from afar, he made a sort of treaty with them.  What hit me was that it said Joshua did not seek the Lord's counsel first.  After Joshua realized the truth, it was too late because he had already given his word.  I sat there thinking, wow, how much do I do without seeking His counsel.  Pretty much everything.  I seek God's blessing for large purchases or big decisions.  Although I seek his blessing for my plan, not His counsel for the decision I should make.  I realized how much I do on my own and then when my plans go off without a hitch I give God the glory.  It hit me how backwards my decision making process has been!  I need to seek the Lord for seemingly small decisions or plans as well.  Sometimes, I know I don't because I know what His answer will be and I don't want to hear.  If I listened though, I know I would be a much better wife and mother because of it. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning a new way

I've been waiting for the day when Carson is more independent, able to be comforted by others. Well the day is here and even though I'm happy to have a little more freedom, my heart hurts badly. This morning he left to run errands with Grandma. He was so excited, he ran out of the house without needing a hug or kiss. So I of course chased him down and gave him one. This is probably how it is going to be from now on and I'm mourning the loss of his babyness. He's also presently weaning and I know that has a lot to do with it. I tried weaning him awhile ago and he got so upset we put weaning on hold. Now, he's ready. He's barely made a wimper when I've told him all gone. I'm grateful for how smooth it is going because it was important to me to wait u till he was ready, but I miss our times in the evenings of cuddling on the couch, his toddler body squished in my lap while I play with his hair, rub his face and stare into his eyes. The whole time he smiles at me and continues to nurse. Those moments are now over and we have to find a different way to bond. It's now the big boy way of running around and playing cars together. Going outside and discovering different flowers. Helping me do chores around the house. We still cuddle at the end of the day to wind down but it's very different. His method of nurturing is no longer from my body. Even though one day we will have another child that I get to experience this bond with again, that child won't be Carson. Carson and I are entering into a new chapter with equal parts joy and sadness. Time is going by too fast. I have savored and will continue to savor every moment, yet it's not enough. Oh how I wish we could go back and start again. That's part of life though and I'm going to move forward the way Carson needs me to and I will continue to enjoy every moment of it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Return of a decent bedtime?

Carson fell asleep before 8 tonight.  It was exactly 7:56 when his heavy lids closed.  Just had to share the great news!  We've been dealing with Carson running around like a crazy child until 9:30/10ish before he would finally crash.  That's been going on for the last two weeks.  Maybe he just had using the potty on his mind? I've heard that right before developmental milestones children have a hard time sleeping.  Whatever the reason, this is such a relief that maybe the tide has turned and we can once again resume our 8pm bedtime.  Josh and I have been missing our alone time together. 

Alright, that's all for now folks.  I'm logging off and then dancing with joy around the house! 

Potty Training

Yesterday, Carson ran up to me pulling off his pants and saying "on."  My response was "on what honey."  He looked at me with his big brown eyes that said please mom listen to my desperate plea.  Finally, I realized (tugging on the pants) that he wanted on the potty.  Except I was in total shock because we have never initiated any potty training with him.  I helped him with getting his pants off and sitting on his little potty that  just a few days earlier we pulled out of storage.  Since then he has refused to keep a diaper on, except for night time (thank goodness).  He seems too young to be doing this but  I'm going with the flow here, hehehehe.   It has been emotional.  We were so not prepared.  I wasn't even going to start introducing the potty until he was 2.  I just assumed boys potty trained later.  It makes him seem so grown up. This may just be a false start though, but we will be supporting him in this endeavor despite the mess.   He practically peed over every inch of our house today (yay for hard wood floors).   I finally ran out and bought some training pants so he can stay covered.  We do also live in an adult family home and I'm not sure how much the residents or nurses appreciate a naked toddler running around.  It did make me wish we had our own private home again because then he could, but the training pants are a good compromise.   He knows when he gets the sensation to go so we pull his pants down really quick and he'll sit there for 3 seconds or so, stand up, and then pee (or poop) on the floor.  Oy vey.  It's a lot of work, but I am excited.  Josh likened this process to having a puppy.  Which we hate puppies.  They are cute but we prefer the older variety of dog that comes pre-potty trained.  I know this is going to test our patience.  Especially since he is so young.  Although, it will be a nice payoff if this really is the real thing.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Great Adventure

Yesterday was our day off and will be our only day off for over a 10 day stretch so we wanted to make the most of it.  Josh and I went on a date in the late morning to see Eclipse.  I thought it was a little short but still loved it and it was fun getting out with the hubby.  We weren't sure if we would be able to since Carson has had hand, foot, and mouth disease for the last week.  It sounds terrible but has actually been a pretty simple virus.

Then we had lunch with Josh's parents and after hanging out awhile, I convinced Josh that going on a small hike with Carson would be really fun.  Hiking and really anything outdoors is one of my passions and I'm constantly begging Josh to go on a hike with me.  It's not something he's really interested in so it sort of happens once in a blue moon.  We usually compromise with some sort of other activity.  But with Carson involved, experiences like hiking are good for his development, right?  Well, we went to a simple place that I used to go a lot and it always felt fake to me.  Very mapped out and not "real" hiking.  When we went yesterday evening we were planning on just being up in the woods for 20 mins or so.  We didn't have a whole bunch of time because we had to be back home by 8pm.  So off we went up the mountain.  We were trying to hike a trail that would take us in a small circle and back to the other side of the park where we started.  Unfortunately things had declined considerably at this hiking location.  The clearly defined trails were grown over and the signs that let you know where the trail heads were located were worn off.  I was the ring leader and of course I missed the trail back to the park.  So we hike for about 40 mins and we see cars and houses.  Yay, we must be back to the parking lot....nope.  We see a street with houses, but we had no idea where we were.  I hear Josh's strong voice behind me "so, where are we Carrie." My response was "don't know." So we start taking a trail back and then we started using little trails trying to find our way back and when the trails would end, we'd panic. (This is when legible signs would have been very helpful).   I heard "I'm going to kill you" uttered by Josh a few times as we stomped through the forest floor until we found another trail.  We were running out of time.  Had we done this in the early morning, it would have been no big deal.  But we were in flip flops with no water or food.  Again, it was supposed to be a 20 min hike with Carson which really means leisurely stroll.  We also had no baby carrier with us so Carson was propped up on Josh's shoulders getting hit in the face with shrubbery and branches.  At one point, headlines were flashing through my mind of an ill-prepared family getting lost in the woods.  Finally, after 30 more mins of hiking we found a place we could get out to the street.  There was no trail and we scaled down some rocks and walked about 3/4 a mile on the sidewalk until we finally found our car.  We had planned to get milk shakes after our hike, but the stress of the event diminished the desire for one. We stopped for ice cream anyway but I really could have skipped it and there was no enjoyment while I ate it.  Very disappointing.   It will probably be quite awhile before I will be able to convince Josh to go hiking again.  It did break my heart that these once busy hiking trails were so neglected and barren.  Josh kept whispering to me how this is where all the creepy people hang out.  I thought yeah right, this is a family place and you might occasionally see someone creepy, but that's every where.  Well, while we were following deer trails we stumbled across a guy that had no shoes on and was just standing in the woods.  Okay, that was a little weird.  I do hope that it becomes a place for families again and that maybe someone would pay the place a little more attention.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Better late than Never

I did not do my grateful Friday list yesterday and the week before.  I'm so bad!  Oh well, last night we enjoyed time as a family so you can hardly blame me. 

My list of these last couple weeks:

1.  I am grateful that we were able to travel to the Seattle area and back safely and that Kristen's wedding went so well.
2.  I am grateful that the flu bug Carson had Wednesday only lasted one night and that he only threw up once.  Also, that nobody else caught it.
3.  I am grateful that I have a husband who loves being a dad and has been very involved with Carson lately.
4.  I am grateful for our present employment and that we are loving it so much.
5.  Lastly, I am grateful for health.  I have a ways to go, but I could be much worse.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Carson was a Sickie Ickie Last Night

Last night Carson started to get a little lethargic.  He had missed his nap so it wasn't completely out of character but then I realized he was just sort of sacked out in my lap and starting to feel a little warm.  My mommy-sense started tingling.  We were supposed to be leaving for a date in less than 20 mins and I still had to get ready but I couldn't move.  "He's sick" I kept saying over and over.  Josh was dumbfounded.  He kept retorting, "he's tired, let's just bring him over to my mom's and he can sleep on her lap."  I still couldn't move my only response being, "I really think he's sick honey."  Josh once again looked at us in disbelief.  His expression saying where did this come from?  Only a half an hour before he had been running around the house as usual.  Finally, I say I think he has a fever.  Josh grabs the thermometer and he did in fact have a low grade fever, but he gets those sometimes when he's overheated.  So for Daddy's sake, I took Carson's shirt off, but then he started shivering.  That confirmed it for me...he was sick and not overheated.  Josh was still in disbelief because to him, Carson seemed just fine.  So I stood up and without warning Carson christened our brand new carpet with vomit.  Which of course went all over the both of us.  My husband is awesome and despite the fact that just a minute earlier he was an unbeliever, he quickly flew into action and started cleaning the mess up.  We stripped down and jumped in the shower and the rest of the evening my poor little guy snuggled in my lap, unable to go to sleep and too tired to move until he finally was comfortable enough to crash.  We had a long night since his fever didn't break until about 6ish this morning and once that happened he was completely back to normal.  Josh slept in the living room this morning so the first words out of Carson's mouth when he awoke was, "where's Daddy."  I had to contain him from leaping off the bed.  We hurriedly got dressed and met Daddy upstairs and Carson has been running around the house ever since. 

I am very thankful that this seemed to have been very short lived!   The last few times Carson has had the flu, he threw up all night long.  Considering we now have an all-carpeted living area instead of wood floors, I really appreciated that.  I'm hoping he stays better from here on out.  I'm also thankful that God equips us mother's with intuition.  I'm glad I'm not constantly blindsided.  I felt like I had a little heads up, which was very nice! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last night we arrived home after a 4 day trip to the Seattle area for a wedding I was in. It was for one of Josh's cousins. It was an interesting trip to say the least. For 4 days we mingled with "high society" and I have to say it made me appreciate my life that much more. We have a fulfilling life which puts our marriage and family first. I don't feel small by any means because of my lack of passion for a career outside of raising my son. If anything, I felt I had a wonderful secret which I was the only one privy to.

On the trip over Carson only screamed for 20 mins and out of a 4 hour road trip I thought that was pretty good. Then on the way home he screamed for about an hour which I still felt pretty good about because it was still only for a quarter of the trip.

All in all it was a wonderful time. The wedding was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, and I loved being dolled up. We were staying with another one of Josh's cousins. Her and her husband are such sweeties it was a joy to stay with them. They made us feel right at home, even with a rambunctious toddler.

Although, I was very thankful to get home to our normal life. When we pulled into our neighborhood, I realized how beautiful it really is in all it's quaint glory. We didn't realize this wedding was going to be such a swanky affair. The bride is a pretty laid back person and even though the groom is laid back as well, friends of his family didn't seem to be and they made up a large part of the wedding party. The rehearsal dinner was being held in someone's back yard so we assumed casual. We assumed wrong! Thankfully I had worn a dress but it wasn't nearly dressy enough. As we pulled up to a mansion with a toddler in tow, we both said a silent prayer to help us get through the night. We immediately smacked our foreheads for not taking a cousin up on her offer to babysit. As we walked in and headed to the back of the house where people were mingling, we looked out onto the "backyard.". Backyard was in quotations because the yard was actually a small patio that descended to the lake below with no rails or border to keep Carson from falling off the edge. Then we look at the tables that are perfectly set with nice dishes and crystal champagne glasses. I survey this as Carson is on my hip and silently say oh $&#%. A heads up would have been nice but we decided to stick it out and just prayed that we could make it through the dinner without Carson breaking anything. Despite the fact that Carson only had a few feet to safely move around, we all made it back to the car at of the end of the night with all their pretty dishes and decorations intact. Trust me there was a huge sigh of relief when we made it to the car.  Thankfully this wasn't the situation the entire weekend, but we had our fill by the time we headed home. 

Most people would have been impressed by this huge mansion but not us. We actually learned that this type of life style is not our cup of tea. We prefer homey to pretentious and although the owners of this home were nice, I felt like something was off. There was definitely an air of conceitedness and by the time Sunday came, we couldn't wait to get home to our simple life.  I was amazed that instead of feeling insecure or uncomfortably out of place,  I actually was very grateful that at home we are surrounded by people with the same values as us and that even those that are well off manage to make their homes warm and inviting.  As we were telling Josh's mom and laughing about the potentially diverted disaster, she told me something very wise. That someday all those wordly possessions will be gone and they'll be wearing a diaper like everyone else. It doesn't matter how much wealth you accumulate, eventually someone will be wiping your bottom. Well said words if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rainy Monday

That Shiny Toy Guns song has been running through my head all morning. I'm bummed it's another rainy day.   We had one nice sunny day this last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it but I'm hoping for more and soon.  It's summer for pete's sake!

I've been reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace and although I do think she goes a tad far sometimes it is a really great encouragement and reminder of how things should be in a family dynamic.  It may be my culture influencing me  but she mentioned that you should put his hobbies before yours plus cook for him, provide snacks, possibly answer his phone, make sure you look presentable with your hair fixed and makeup on and a slew of other things that Josh and I were laughing about.  I'm glad the one thing we both agree on is we don't want to be superficial spouses.  We love that we are real with each other.  Which means we hang out with my hair in a mess and no make up on and still find each other attractive.  Sorry, but we do share the bathroom sometimes.  That's the reality of only having one.  That's why candles and vents are great things :).  Now on the other hand, I don't walk around in baggy shirts and sweat pants everyday.  When we go on dates, I doll myself up and Josh appreciates that.  We seem to have a good balance on that issue.  The best relationship encouragement I am getting from this book is that I can help my husband accomplish goals.  She suggested to ask your husband weekly what his goals are and keep track for him and ask how you can help him accomplish those goals.  That is something I find to be a great idea because we are created to be our husband's help mate.  This doesn't mean do everything for him, which I am sometimes guilty of and that only hinders growth, but to help your husband accomplish his own goals, even if those goals are hobbies, should be a priority.  I could see how setting and accomplishing his own goals would give Josh some confidence in his life.  Especially instead of a honey-do list that I created.  I've never done a honey-do list but I do sometimes say things like "okay, this is what I want to get done today" and I rattle off a list and expect him to help.  Instead I could stop and ask, what do you think we should get done today?  Then I can give my input of what we should start with first or how we might be able to accomplish those tasks.  I am going to start with this and move on to some other suggestions the author has.  One thing at a time right!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Carson's New Phase

This morning I had to tell Carson that he has some dirt in his teeth.  I was half expecting him to ask where and then decided I better just pick it out for him.   He is going through a definite phase and it's rather concerning.  He attempts to eat everything.  Dirt, bark, flowers, rocks, leaves, etc.  It's concerning because some of the plants in our yard are toxic.  Really, how many edible landscaping items are there?  He seems to be doing fine though.  I'm just not sure how to curb this behavior.  His poor teeth are taking a beating because he literally chews the rocks.  Obviously I snap into action and get the rocks out of his mouth as fast as possible, but it would be nice if he never stuck them in his mouth in the first place.  It's like he's 7 months old again and crawling around the house sticking everything in his mouth.  I thought we were past this!  I panic every time he's outside because what if he decides to eat a flower?  Or choke on a rock!  He has already eaten a Christmas Cactus flower and so we had to put a call into poison control and thankfully it's not toxic, at least in small amounts.   I'm hoping he passes through this phase quickly.

Since it's Friday, here is my Grateful Friday list:

1. That we had the entire last weekend off.  Our employee didn't call in sick or have some drama to take care of.  It was sooooo nice.  Crossing my fingers for this weekend.

2. For a husband who is handy and crafty and builds beautiful bookcases and who is very talented with creative design.

3.  For the ability to work from home with my husband.  I love doing a family business.  I've learned that we work really well together.  We fly into action and just magically know what needs to be done.  I'm actually very impressed with us :).  I wasn't sure how it was going to be.  Plus, this is a big plus, Josh has been able to be so much more involved with Carson's parenting.  They have really bonded lately and it's fun co-parenting together.  I'm also forced to be home and even though I'm working, I find I have a lot more one-on-one time with Carson. 

4.  For coffee.  I had two cups this morning and that's the only reason I'm functioning enough to be able to even blog right now.

5.  For a God that provides.  I know I've said that before but I am truly in awe of his love and provision for us.  Maybe because I've never witnessed it so clearly before or maybe because my eyes are finally opened enough to see what has already been occurring. 

Monday, June 14, 2010


Because of the fact that I am starting an antiviral treatment in less than 2 weeks, I have that short amount of time to wean Carson.  It has been bittersweet.  He's the type of child who could nurse until well after 2 years of age so I feel bad that I am having to take action to wean him so "early."  I had always wanted him to self-wean when he was ready (with limits, I wouldn't go as far as nursing a kindergartner).  The daytime weaning has been fairly easy.  He is such an active little boy that holding nursing off and using distraction has worked really well and he actually seemed ready for that.  Nighttime is a whole different story.  He will fall asleep with a bottle now but the 5am nursing has been the most difficult.  That one we are taking slowly.  He has been doing well with nursing for a short time and then taking a binky.  But as things tend to go, you take one step forward and two steps back.  This morning he started nursing and with vigor so I waited a little longer and then asked Josh to go get a bottle of almond milk.  Josh came back with the bottle and I broke Carson's latch and the rest was heart break.  He quietly yelled "don't" and then "owie" over and over.  Carson says owie when his heart hurts, not just when he gets a boo boo.  It's his way of communicating with us and I appreciate knowing how he feels.  It is tough to hear though and it makes me want to say, well maybe rest will be enough to kick this present Epstein-barr flare up.  It's sad that he his having to grow up faster in this way because of my health.  I feel bad that there has to be this issue, but I also know it needs to be done for me and for any future babies.  I want to kick this infection before getting pregnant again.  I'm sure Carson will survive this time just fine. That's sensible logic talking but my mommy side is having a harder time.  We are fortunate that he has gotten to nurse for 18 months and I've enjoyed the entire time.  Maybe because we had to fight for the ability to nurse in the beginning.  It took us a month to successfully breastfeed and there was a lot of effort involved, including sleepless nights of bottle feeding and then pumping.  So when breastfeeding was finally established it felt like a gift and one I've appreciated very much.  I'm grateful that I got to experience it and that I didn't give up when successful breastfeeding felt impossible.  I'm also very grateful that Josh has been supportive of it from the very beginning.  He was just as excited about our success as we were.  He has also given me a lot of emotional support while my body continually changed through the process of pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and now weaning.   I'm sad this chapter for Carson and I is coming to a close, but I love that we get to now move on to a new chapter.  One filled with adventure and discovery. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life Lessons & Grateful Firday

So I have learned two things these last few weeks.  One is that simplifying is a lot harder than it sounds.  You think since it has the word simple in it, all would go smoothly but when there is no where to put your things, it becomes a little less simple.  It is a freeing feeling getting rid of clutter, but it's a long process.  Not something you can do in a weekend.  There is now a path in the garage around our worldly possessions but we still have a long way to go.  

The second thing I've learned is that date nights are a necessity for a healthy marriage.  It isn't a frivolous want.  Josh and I went on a double date with friends a couple evenings ago and it was a blast.  We went bowling and then out to dinner.  I even indulged in a glass of wine and didn't worry about how it would effect my breast milk.  I decided that Carson could sacrifice a night of going to sleep without nanas so mama could have some sanity.  It actually worked out really well.  He fell asleep with a bottle of almond milk.  He hasn't repeated that since but I was grateful for that one night.  We didn't spend a lot of money on this evening out and it was great for our marriage.  We have let life get in the way so much and really the whole point to this move was so that we could do things like go on dates and not be too exhausted. 

I have been reading through The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. again and they really stress throughout the book how important a healthy marriage is to the well being of the whole family.  It also stressed the importance of not getting burned out as a parent and taking time out for yourselves as a couple and individually and to set boundaries.  With us being tight financially and all the stress that has been going on lately, we've let date nights and personal time go by the wayside.  It has taken a toll.  Thankfully, it's an easy fix.  For some reason, I didn't pick this message up the first time I read through the book.  Maybe because I was focusing on just my role as a mother.  This time I'm reading it through as a Mother and a Wife and it's been very encouraging.  I'm excited to start this new chapter in our life where we have a little more balance and I'm thankful that our new life style can accommodate that. 

Also, this is big news in our little family.  We recently discovered the cause of my chronic fatigue.  I have had mono for 12 years.  Well, once you have it, I guess it's not something that really ever goes away, but some people have recurring flare ups and I'm one of those people.   The second my Naturopath thought this might be the issue, I immediately had an aha moment.  When I was 13 years old I had an episode of a really sore throat, extreme exhaustion, and lymph nodes so swollen they looked like tumors on my neck.   My mom took me to see the doc and even through I was a teenager they for some reason thought it was leukemia.   They tested my blood, which did show extremely high white blood cell count.  So I had to go in a month later to see if they had gone done because if not, they were going to continue on with testing for...cancer.  My count was down when they tested again and even though I still had fatigue they couldn't figure out why so they sent me on my way.  So here I was sitting there 12 years later in another doctor's office going duh!!!!  Because I didn't know I ever had mono, during these flare ups I didn't know to rest.  I would continue on as normal just very very tired and my neck would ache from my swollen lymph nodes and because I never just stopped, I didn't give my body a chance to heal and it would drag out the flare up for a month or more.  This would happen about 2 to 3 times a year.  Now that I know what the cause was, I can now take measures to prevent it and I know what to do when it happens.   Although through this process I've been finding a lot of emotional issues I need to deal with.  It's been a hard and raw process.  Naturopath's look at the person as a whole including emotional stress.  The first thing he said to me is how do you handle stress?  Stress is 90% perception and you perceive too much.  At first I wanted to get defensive, but then shortly I admitted that yes, I am easily stressed.  I am overly sensitive.  He also pegged me as a person that doesn't set boundaries for myself.  My jaw hit the floor.  All I could say was, you're right.  He suggested I see a counselor to heal emotionally, learn to set boundaries, and for stress management tools.  It was hard to hear that a lot of my physical ailments were caused by emotional issues.  It seemed silly and trivial and somehow my fault.  It's nice to have the answers though.  Plus now that Josh knows what is going on, he can pitch in to help me get some rest when it's needed (like now).  I was proud of myself for all that I have accomplished with active mono infections.   I was sad that I have wasted so much time being tired, when there was a pretty easy fix.  It's nice looking to the future though and God has timing for everything.  I was also relieved to know that recurring infections are not contagious.  That made me feel better because I could barely sleep the night after finding out thinking about who I might have infected.  I thought of my sisters first, then friends in high school, and of course Josh and Carson.  It was a scary thought to me so that was a big relief! 

Alright, I know this post is long enough but here is my list for this last week of what I am grateful for:

1.  That we discovered a cause for my fatigue (and it wasn't all in my head...gotta love validation).

2.  That we are starting to get settled in our new home and loving it!

3.  For a child who makes me laugh daily. 

4.  For wonderful friends and awesome date nights. 

5.  That God answers prayers.