Saturday, January 31, 2009

The last couple of days have been pretty hard. I think I wrote in my last post that I thought Annabel would be well enough to go to daycare the next day. Well, she wasn't, and in fact she seemed to be getting worse. By Thursday, she was on her 5th day of not eating, and though the vomiting and diarrhea were gone she still carried a small fever and incredible lethargy. Derek stayed home with her that day, and took her to the doctor. It had just gone on too long for our comfort. Also, her breathing has been awful and no amount of treatments was helping relieve her. She also has a cough that would scare any parent. It is very painful for her and she starts crying and shaking after she coughs. 

So he took her to the doc and was kind of discouraged when he left. They gave her 2 additional breathing tx's and an order for a chest x-ray. But really no other information, and no change of prescription on her breathing meds. 

Friday I took her to the hospital to get a chest x-ray and it was so sad! I don't know if any of you have ever seen a baby get this done, but they put them in this clear plastic cylinder with their arms up...kind of looks like a torture devise! I found this picture on the web, which is pretty accurate!
They asked me to stay out in the hall while doing this procedure, but I was like...."uh, no." At the risk of being a pain in the butt parent, I never feel comfortable leaving my baby in the care of strangers, even medical professionals and even for a few minutes! So anyway, after pestering the doctor's office all afternoon for results, he told me there wasn't too much in her lungs and it was probably "early stages of viral pneumonia." And since I have no idea what that means, and getting an explanation out of a doctor is like pulling a crocodile's teeth by hand, I have been doing my own research on webmd and other reputable sources:) Right now she's taking a steroid and an antibiotic.

As a parent, you just know when something is wrong. My baby is lethargic, apathetic, and has no light in her eyes. She's so weak she can hardly walk across the room and her hands are shaking.  Her skin is so sensitive to touch and I can tell her whole body aches. And today, Saturday, is her 7th day without eating. I shouldn't say that - in the past 2 days she has had a few bites of applesauce, 1 or 2 raisins and a spoonful of peanut butter. My mom came up this weekend and I think that has helped raise her spirits. She has smiled more and attempted to play a little bit. What a relief! I hate seeing how skinny she has gotten. Her fat rolls on her legs are completely gone and her face is thin and pale. :(

I bought a new camera battery-charger on ebay this week, so hopefully I'll get it today and I can take some pictures of her. However, I don't know if I want to remember her like this! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ewww...the sickies!

Well, turns out it was less of teething and more of an actual bug. It lasted all Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, complete with vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever and no appetite. Tuesday I stayed home from work/school with her, since she couldn't go to daycare like that. She puked on me three times! What are the odds, right? Yesterday was probably the worst of it, and I finally called the doctor because it was lasting a little too long for my comfort. I spoke with the nurse and she said that the bug going around is lasting 2-3 days, so it was probably almost over.

She hadn't eaten solid food since Saturday night, but was getting plenty of fluids and nursing like crazy. It was times like this I'm glad she is still nursing. At least I knew she was getting something. The nurse gave me a diet guideline for when she starts eating again, and told me no dairy. It will upset her stomach....as I look down at the half empty sippy cup of milk I had just given her. I told the nurse and she laughed and said...."well, you'll see it again!" Sure enough, the milk made its reappearance about 30 minutes later! That was icky...

Anyway, I guess this morning she decided she was all caught up on her sleep (sleeping an average of 16-18/day for past 2 days) and she was ready to play at 5am. Finally at 6:30 I politely told Derek that I needed my sleep and he could go downstairs with her! He stayed at home with her today and I think she'll be ready for daycare tomorrow. He says she's feeling much better and starting to eat a little. Poor thing! I just hate it when she doesn't feel well!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can't Think of a Clever Post Title...

Hello all. I don't have any new pictures to post because our camera is dead and apparently we have misplaced the charger! I've looked everywhere for it, my guess is we left it plugged into some random outlet in some random state during our Christmas travels :( So anyway...no pictures for awhile. I will just have to blog in colorful narrative for now! 

Friday Annabel and I traveled down to Carmel to play at a Gymboree Play and Music with our friends Ariel and Titus (Ariel=mommy, Titus=baby). We had a lot of fun. I was a little sad because the class was only 45 min, and I think Annabel could have played much longer! We also got to sing songs, play with bubbles (she loved that!), and do parachute time. She was a little afraid of the big parachute, so she didn't participate in that part:) Ariel was one of my best friends in high school, and we haven't seen each other in several years. It was nice to reconnect, and especially now since our tots are just one month apart! Her little boy is just adorable, and such a chatterbox!

I think I may have mentioned this to several of you, but Annabel has been cutting all four of her eye teeth this week (pobracita!) She'd been doing pretty well with it all week, but Saturday she turned into a monster! Cranky, clingy, blatantly disobedient, etc, etc. That evening we went out to camp for dinner, and I totally pawned her off on one of the guys there because I felt like I was going to snap. I tried to have compassion on her b/c I know she wasn't feeling well, but seriously, you have to know where your limits are with how much brattiness you can take in a day, and after that, let someone else take over. And believe me, I was there. 

Yesterday (Sunday) we tried a new church. Well, its not really a new church, since we went there when we first moved here, but we're trying it again. We like our current church, but as we are the youngest people there by at least 15 years, we just don't feel all that connected. And there's no nursery since Annabel is the only baby, so thats a definite downfall. I find that there are many pros and cons about switching churches. This new church is bigger, more energetic, more...forward thinking, I guess you would say. Our old church was a little stodgy, and I found myself disagreeing with the message often (what? The Bible says you have to be an immersed believer to take communion? What passage is that in, again??) On the other hand, the people at our old church are wonderful, and I feel guilty about leaving them. They were so excited to have young people in the church again! But wow, that's a lot of pressure, and I don't feel like it has to be our job to be that to them. Maybe there's a reason more young people aren't coming! 
Anyway, we aren't set on switching, but just trying something new for a couple of weeks. 

By evening last night, Annabel was refusing to eat anything, and developed a fever of 103. She fell asleep in Derek's arms on the couch around 7:30, so he let her sleep there for about an hour. It was sweet, but I just felt so bad for her. She woke up several times last night but went quickly back to sleep. By this morning, her fever is gone, but she's still refusing anything but juice. After breakfast she asked for a cookie, and I was hesitant since she hadn't eaten anything "good," but I figured a cookie in her belly was better than nothing. However, after sucking on it disinterestedly for a while, she handed it back to me. :( So pitiful! Now she's taking a nap by 10am, which is terribly unusual for her! I hope this is just the teeth, and not a real virus. 

The funniest thing that we are going through right now is a severe attachment to her coat and hat. Anytime we go somewhere, she wants to keep them on. We went to play at the mall Saturday, and she kept her hat on the whole time! And she always wants to have a hooded jacket on, zipped up, hood up. She'll bring me one from the dirty clothes and scream until I put it on her! What a turd! Yesterday at the church nursery, one of the men tried to take off her hat, and she had a total meltdown. And I was just barely able to switch out a navy blue hoodie for a white cardigan over her pretty dress before church! I guess this is just the beginning of her asserting herself over what she wants to wear!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dance!

This is just a fun video of Annabel dancing!

video

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Crafty weekend

One thing I love about this semester is that I have Fri-Mon off to be home with Annabel. This weekend has been no exception and we've been having a good time! Friday I made a pair of wool pants for Annabel to match a purple shirt she has. I thought they turned out really cute! 
(For those of you who don't cloth diaper -haha-:) these type of wool pants are meant to soak up any extra pee that leaks through - and even though I use the waterproof kind and they rarely leak, I still love the idea and look of these pants! They're also really great for nighttime with fitted (non-waterproof) diapers, b/c those are more absorbent and breathe better than the waterproof all-in-one kinds. There's your cloth diapering lesson for the day!)
Derek thought she looked a little bit like Grimace in all the purple! 
Also, for the past couple weeks I've been working on this scarf for Annabel, and I finally finished it. I stayed up until 2am Friday working on it b/c I couldn't sleep! She loves to play with it, but she's not too crazy about actually wearing it out! 
Last night she and I went out to the camp for dinner (Derek was working) and we ended up staying afterwards and playing games with some friends. Luckily we still had the pack-n-play in the car from last weekend so we were able to stay out past 8:00! :)
Today Daddy was home so we enjoyed a nice lazy day at home. Derek made a yummy, but strange-looking (sorry, honey!) lentil and pork soup for dinner. It kind of resembled the stuff you see in prison movies, haha. Annabel liked it though, and sometimes thats all that matters!
I don't know about everyone else, but we've been freezing our butts off this week! Earlier this week I was driving home around 9pm and the bank clock said -14*. Whoa! It was so cold I felt like my exposed skin was on fire. 
Here are some fun pics from the week:
 Yeah, this happens about every night. She gets her finger (or her whole hand!) stuck in the VCR. I wish I could have caught her face in this picture, she was truly in a state of panic. 
 "Bailey, get out of my way!"
This is how we punish in our house. Awww...I shouldn't even joke about that! How horrible! Really, she loves to play in Bailey's kennel. She tells me "byebye" and shuts herself in!
 
 Haha...looks like mommy needs to sew some elastic in these cozy cashmere sweater pants!

 This looks like as good a place as any to read a book....

 She's getting braver! Seconds later....
:(
 
 Then easily distracted!

 
 What a sweetie.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Power of the Germ

Today, since it is Saturday, I decided to take a break from our boring Cheerios-and-bananas breakfast routine and made Annabel rice pudding (nothing too fancy, just the jell-o box mix). As I'm cooking it I take a look at the box...fiber? Nope. Protein? No siree. No calcium, no iron, no vitamins, no nutritional value to speak of! Oh, but there are 13g of sugar! Yes, the ingredients are sugar, rice and cornstarch. 
So, I did what any good  mother would do and added a big ol' spoonful of wheat germ. This stuff packs 2g of fiber, 4g protein, 140mg potassium (thats good, right?), as well as 6% dv iron, 20% dv each vitamin E and folic acid, 10% dv each magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus and zinc! Wow! I'm putting this stuff in everything!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Reads

Recently I have had the pleasure of reading 2 excellent books (one I am actually still reading) and I wanted to share a few thoughts.
The first was a historical fiction novel called Stealing Athena (Essex, 2008). I am so interested in Greek and Roman history, as well as Napolionic history, and this book covered these as well as some early nineteenth century British history as well. So great! Sometimes I tell Derek that if I go for a second master's degree (haha!) it will be in European history - just for fun. I think he thinks I'm crazy.
The second book is one I'm reading for class called The Spirit of the Disciplines (Willard, 1988). Its kind of old-school, and a pretty difficult read. However, its rocking my world right now (not in the uber-trendy usage of that phrase, but like, its causing an upheaval in my way of thinking). Its really causing me to see my total lack of discipline in my roles as wife and mother, student, in my physical health, and especially in my walk with Christ. I so want to excel in all these areas, but do very little (if anything) to get there.
So anyway, if you're looking for a slightly heavy but thought-provoking, life-changing read, I would suggest this book.


"Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up." -Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spite is a dish best served...at your child's expense

Haha....I can see I have some explaining to do. First I must note - no children were harmed in the making of this blog. 
Last night Derek and I got into a pretty heated debate (argument) about a recent lot of gymboree (baby clothes) I bought on ebay. He claims I care too much about name brands, etc. He also states I have a "problem" when it comes to buying clothes for Annabel, which infuriated me. (How do you ladies react when your husband says you have a "problem" with anything?) He made the point that we are low on funds right now and it is silly to be buying summer clothes in the middle of January. 
Okay. In black and white, these arguments seem pretty logical - but here's my side. 
1) First of all, I paid for these clothes with money I already had in paypal from selling on ebay, plus some of my own Christmas money. I didn't use any of our "income." 
2) Everything I buy for this child is gently used. All her clothes come from ebay, yard sales or consignment shops. Anything she has that is new is from her grandma or great-grandma, or I bought on opposite-season clearance for $2 or $3. Seriously. Not only that, but 99% of her toys are used, as well as all the furniture in her room. Don't get me wrong - she has nice things. She doesn't want for anything, and most of her clothes are gymboree, gap or children's place ("name brand," my husband would say). I just happen to be very resourceful in getting them. My thinking is that I would rather buy used gymboree than new Walmart. So that is why I so resented being told I have a "problem." I am not at the mall spending $300 on a new line of gymbo every other weekend, or $100 on a Christmas dress she'll wear once, etc. I am very conscientious in how I shop for her, but I just really, really like for her to look cute. Maybe it is pride, and that's not right- but she's just so darn cute its hard to resist!
3) This summer our funds will be even tighter than they are now - if that's even possible. Derek will no longer be driving the school bus, and I won't be getting paid at my internship - so I was trying to think ahead and buy for summer while we still have some disposable income. And by buying off-season, you save some money too. 

Oh yeah - one of Derek's arguments was that I am taking a big bag of hand-me-downs to the mission (they are truly some of the ugliest clothes I've ever seen- why do people hand this stuff down??) and she could wear these instead of buying more stuff. Sooo....

this morning I was still feeling a little miffed about the whole thing. So I got spiteful. While he was in the shower, I put Annabel in an outfit from the mission bag. The picture doesn't do it justice- red, green and black striped leggings, a pink flowered crop top, a stained Winnie-the-Pooh cotton cardigan, one red one green sock, and truly terrible white hightop orthopedic-type sneakers. I was prepared to send her to daycare in this outfit, and the look on Derek's face when he saw her was completely worth it. We had a good laugh, and he broke down and changed her. While dressing her in her cute Gap corduroys and tee shirt, I pointed out to him that it is important to him too that she look cute. He finally admitted that yes, it is. We were able to discuss our points and listen to the other's point of view. 
His real concern wasn't my buying habits, or really even the money. He becomes concerned that I put too much emphasis on clothes and looks. He doesn't want her to become a "snot" like her mom (his words) and have anxiety attacks in the morning when she can't find something to wear. He wants her to be able to enjoy being a child without worrying if her clothes are dirty or if mommy likes what she's wearing.

I hear that. I really do. My main priority as a mother is to teach my daughter that her worth and value comes from the fact that her Lord created her and loves her just the way He made her. I think raising a girl is such a challenge in that respect... its finding a balance between not finding your worth in man-made things, but still maintaining a healthy view of femininity and grace and who you are as a woman. 

I love the passage in Proverbs (ch 31) that discusses the wife of noble character. Because ultimately....isn't that what we're doing in raising our girls? Raising them to someday be wives and mothers themselves? (That's probably not a very politically correct feminist standpoint, Ha!) My prayer for my daughter is that one day her husband will praise her, and her own children call her blessed, because she is clothed with strength and dignity, she speaks with wisdom and watches over the affairs of her household without giving in to idleness, and most of all because she fears the Lord. 

So now that I am enlightened and see the "big picture" of things, am I going to choose to dress my child out of the mission barrel instead of the super-cute tennis match line of gymbo I just bought? Of course not! I may even make her a few custom pieces to match! I can also teach my daughter to appreciate the finer things in life and to be resourceful and scrappy just like her ol' mama. :)

Here are some pictures from the past week.

 She loves playing with her sock monkeys. The "daddy" monkey was one I made for Derek when he was in Puerto Rico. The "mommy" one is from Beth this Christmas. She likes to go "Eeee Eeee!, OhhhOhhh!" and scratch her head! Such an imagination!
 My avid reader

 I love to sneak into Annabel's room at night and watch her sleep. Creepy, I know:)  She is just so peaceful in sleep and I like to say a prayer over her. It gives me comfort to know that she is ultimately in the hands of the Lord. 
 I love the joy on her face in this picture! Oh to be a kid again.
 
Saturday Annabel and I went down to Indy to meet my mom and grandma for lunch and some shopping. I didn't have any money to spend, but Derek was working and I didn't have anything better to do, so we went and had a good time. The weather was so bad, I probably shouldn't have gone, but we made it safely there and back! We had a wonderful lunch at P.F. Changs (yummy!) and then headed to Keystone. My grandma bought Annabel this adorable tutu at -where else?- Gymboree:)
 Tutu cute. 

Sunday, Derek had a catering job at a little bed and breakfast up near Shipshewana, IN. (way north). It was so snowy there! So we headed up Sunday morning and got to stay the night in a very luxurious suite. The dinner was a success. He made all sorts of fancy French-sounding things that I wouldn't even begin to try to spell. Even though it was mostly work, it was a nice get-away and the whirlpool tub at the end of the day was totally worth it:)
 
 Preparing the caprese (sp?) salads
 The appetizers - clams casino and a broiled feta/olive/red pepper on pitas
 A delicious poached pear dessert
 "Brrrr Daddy!"
 Keeping busy while daddy cooks - she was such a good girl
 
 An one point all three of us were in this tub! :)
 
I think I've mentioned before that Annabel is my little shoe girl. She loves to have shoes on her feet and will scream until you put a certain pair on. Here are a few pictures of her ridiculous shoe choices this week:
 These Crocs are a size 7 (she's in a 4). They were ridiculously big on her and she kept tripping all over the place. Still, it didn't keep her from wearing them all afternoon!
 
 Here are the hideous, offending white sneakers once again...I think they go great with her pajamas! I really think she would have worn them to bed if I had let her. 

Finally, one of my New Year resolutions was to spruce up our living room. I bought this shelf at an antique shop and replaced the tired old fabric square that was up there. I also got these awesome frame on clearance at KMart and they were totally affordable. A new plant and existing vases makes my transformation complete (for now!)
 
 Oh yeah, i got this big frame at Ikea last spring but didn't have a picture big enough to put in it (11x14 I think - expensive) so I used my creative talent to make a collage of sorts. It kind of reminded me of being in college, but I really liked the end results and it was much cheaper than getting a huge photo made!

Edit: I also wanted to add that in the title post I am not trying to put Derek down or "bitch" about anything. I am comfortable writing about our marital conflicts only because I am so secure in our relationship. Derek is a respectful and caring husband and I don't give him near enough credit for all he does for us. He truly has Annabel's best interest at heart and sometimes I am too hard-headed to get that!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why I Became a Mom #32

...to boost my self-esteem!
Earlier today Annabel was sitting on the floor in the living room looking at one of my magazines. I hear her shouting "mama! mama!" I go in to find her pointing at a picture of a beautiful L'Oreal model with long blond hair and perfect skin:) Thanks, baby. 

Annabel loves Elmo! She got some books for Christmas about him and she points and says "Melmo!" So I decided to start DVR'ing (is that a verb?) Sesame Street for her to watch during her breathing treatments at night. She loves it! "Melmo! Melmo!"

Poor Derek has been sick over the weekend:( We had grand plans to get the house clean before I started back to school, but he ended up laying on the couch pretty much 24/7. I would wake up at 3 in the morning and hear Sports Center downstairs. He wasn't sick to his stomach, but instead was feverish, achy and phlegm-y. He couldn't sleep because of his cough and being too cold or hot. I have never really seen him feel so awful! I think he's starting to feel better but he did leave work around 11 to rest. I have been keeping my distance because I do not want to get this! 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas pictures



 In an effort to not put a thousand pictures on my site, I thought I'd try the slideshow. This first on is pictures from our Christmas in Iowa. Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of pics:( I'm kind of bad at that. But here's what I have. The matching outfits are gifts from great grandma Peg. Aren't they cute?!?

While we were in Iowa, I found out that my brother was not going to be able to make it home from Christmas. Seattle got their biggest snow storm/blizzard in 40 years, and all flights were cancelled. That made me really sad, as this would be our first Christmas without him. I think my mom took it the hardest, though! Fortunately, he was able to get a flight into Chicago on the 26th, so we did get to see him.
We got home from Iowa on Tuesday, then Wednesday (C'mas Eve) we headed down to my folk's. But check this out (you can't make this stuff up): on our way down there, Derek goes to turn on the headlights and the entire knob pulls out of the dash (the Jeep). So around 6pm on Christmas Eve, somewhere around Indianapolis, we have no headlights. We stop at a rest stop and hang out there for about an hour, while Derek tried to fix it (and ended up ripping the entire dash out! Yikes!) Not exactly the way I would have liked to spend Christmas Eve, but we certainly met some interesting people at the rest area! Haha. My dad was fixin' to come get us, when we decided that we could venture the rest of the way with the caution lights on (no tail lights, mind you) and manually holding the brights on. So that's what we did, and amazingly we didn't get a ticket.
We spent Christmas Eve at my cousins Bonnie and Boyd's, which is our Christmas Eve tradition, and opened presents with them, then went home to wait for Santa. Here are the pictures from our Christmas morning.

Yes, my mom and dad got each other the same GPS system. It was funny, because we all knew about it beforehand. Two years ago, they got each other the same Walther P22 pistol, and both had me wrap it. I guess when you're married that long you just start to think alike:) Actually, I think my dad just gets my mom what he wants. Haha. After eating my mom's traditional Christmas breakfast and playing with our toys, we headed over to my grandma and grandpa's (dad's parents) for a late lunch. My grandma makes an awesome prime rib every year, but this year she surprised us with a tenderloin (filet) stuffed with a mushroom stuffing. Holy cow. We have been so spoiled this year, having filet mignon 3 times since Thanksgiving! We all missed having Gareth there (at least I did) but it was fun nonetheless.
The day after Christmas, we headed north for my mom and dad's Christmas present to us kids: a ski vacation in Wisconsin. We picked Gareth up on our way, though his flight still ended up being delayed a little over 2 hours. Chicago was having an ice storm!
Saturday, the weather was not as expected. Apparently it was 70* in Indiana?! In Wisconsin it was warm and rainy. Not great ski conditions. So, we were disappointed but made the best of it. We went to this hotel called the Kalahari, which had an indoor water park, theme park, movie theatre, bowling alley and wild animals! We only made it to the theme park, which had a ferris wheel, carousel, laser tag, a HUGE ropes course, putt putt, a climbing wall and go- karts. Oh, and tons of arcade games. Gareth, Derek and I played laser tag about a thousand times, I was so worn out. My dad played this one arcade game all day, and won enough tickets to buy Annabel a stuffed animal:) It was a really fun day. 
That night we got about 5-7 inches of fresh snow, so we headed to the slopes. It was cold and wonderful, but I pooped out around 3:30. My pants weren't waterproof and with the ice on the lifts I got soaked through. The boys skied until 5. Unfortunately, my camera died halfway through the day so I didn't get any pictures:( That day my mom and dad took Annabel back to the Kalahari to see the wild animals and play. She got to pet a baby kangaroo and a a baby lion!



Derek and I were going to leave to come home on Tuesday, but my brother begged us to stay until after New Years. So, okay. It's not like we have jobs to come back to! Haha. Tuesday he and I went to visit our old friend Sarah Blair. She has a Wii and a Wii Fit, so we stayed pretty busy!:) That night we went out to eat with my grandma and grandpa.

The Year of the Homemade Gift
This year was really cool because it seemed like everyone got crafty and made gifts. I made her and Morganne play food out of felt, as well as lavender-vanilla soap for my female relatives. Aunt Holly made her an awesome name plaque to hang on the wall, and Grandma Sue made her a flannel quilt. My grandpa made her a carved wooden doll named Ivan and her cousin Boyd bought her a homemade wooden cricket thats legs move when you pull it. My cousin Bonnie also made me beaded earrings. Also, Beth, my SIL Holly's mom, made her a sock monkey and my brother commissioned one of his friends to make her this green monster. Here are some pictures of her Christmas gifts, because I know grandparents like to see this sort of thing:)

Happy New Year!
Our New Years Eve was pretty lame this year. Well, not totally lame, because we went out to Red Lobster with our friends Heather and John, who used to live in Marion with us but now live in Montana. So that was fun. But then we came back to my grandparents and watched CSI:NY with my parents and I fell asleep on the couch. Didn't even see the ball drop- wild!. Hopefully one of these days we'll have friends again and someone will invite us to a party. Until then, there's always the tv.
Did everyone make New Year's resolutions? I certainly did. I always make them and rarely keep them. Some of mine this year are:
1. Learn how to knit in the round
2. Do more crafts with Annabel
3. Eat more salad
4. Make laundry soap
5. Redecorate the living room
6. Write my brother more letters
7. Lose 5-10 lbs by going to the gym on my lunch break
8. Stop biting my fingernails
9. Stay on a routine for keeping the house clean
10. Walk the dog at least twice a week

Wish me luck!
I'll leave you with this picture. Derek snapped it of us before Christmas. Although its admittedly not an attractive picture of me, I think it goes a long way to show our plight as mothers!