Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Love of Reading

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone it seems that everyone has one thing on their minds: Christmas! I was rattling my brain trying to think of gift ideas for this year and when I remembered Lucas' Santa gift last year, it made me smile! I hunted down an adorable book shelf for him because his favorite pastime at 13 months old was to read. I am so happy to say that this gift is still in good use and is actually overflowing with books! It's very common for children to go through phases, but fast forward a year, and I'm thrilled to see that story time is still a favorite around here!

At the moment, Lucas' favorite books consist of:

His love for reading amazes me every day, as does his level of comprehension. I love reading a story to him for the first time and then listening to him attempt to read it back to me. He is so attentive and involved, and finds so much joy in a simple story!

About six months ago, we signed up for the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which is a program that promoted early literacy for children. Dolly started this program in her home town and it has since expanded throughout the U.S. and Canada. Children receive an age appropriate book each month for FREE until they turn 5! It is a wonderful program and Lucas loves receiving new books in the mail each month. I highly recommend this program to anyone with children!

I also went to the sale at the Library a few weeks back and got us an entire bag full of children's books for just a little over $10! I absolutely love a good deal...and Lucas has been in story heaven ever since!

Giving Thanks

As thanksgiving approached I began doing a lot of thinking about my life. I have been so overwhelmed with the notion of some things NOT happening, that I really wanted to take a look at all of the wonderful things that I do have.

My son is the most amazing person to ever enter my life. He is handsome, smart, sweet, eager to learn, an explorer, and an all around amazing child! I am so thankful and blessed to be his mother and I give thanks every day that I am able to stay home and nurture him to his greatest potential.

I am also thankful and grateful for my husband, my family, my friends, and my health. I know that life does not always go according to plan, and that we do not always appreciate the finer things in life, but this is a great holiday to put us in such a thankful mindset. No matter what life throws my way, I am truly blessed! I will never forget that.

(Thanksgiving Turkey courtesy of Lucas' hands and feet!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Delicious Dinner

My mom sent me a new recipe a few days ago so I decided to test it out for my family. Good thing I did because it was a huge hit! Last night we had Jumbo Stuffed Shells...YUM!

The shells were stuffed with spinach and moose meat, with some cheese and spices. I cooked mine with Alfredo and Levi's with a Tomato Basil because we both like different sauces. Go figure!

I also made a delicious spinach salad with fresh apples, glazed walnuts, feta cheese (a new favorite of mine) and topped with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I have been all about the salads lately...especially spinach!

Along with a handful of other items, cooking is something that I am trying to do more of. My life is so busy with kids and school that I feel like I'm truly slacking off in this department. Last week Levi and I comprised a dinner menu for the week and that seemed to work very well. Not only is it easier to grocery shop with a menu, but I didn't have to rack my brain at the last minute trying to come up with a meal! I have a few things that I would like to make more of an effort to improve on and/or change in our current way of life. I'm starting my new years resolutions early so that I may actually be in the grove by the start of the year!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Potty Practice

We've decided that Lucas is ready for some mandatory potty practice. We've never pushed the subject, but have always encouraged him to WANT to use the potty. Some days we have much better luck than others, but I know that's all part of the game. But now that he is two I believe it's time that we make the "practice" a little more of a routine.

Yesterday we had 2 successful pee-pee's in the potty! Levi and I jumped around like fools applauding little man, and had a nice good bye ceremony as we flushed it down the toilet. He was truly proud of himself! He insists on having an "audience" so each time he has picked out a few bath toys, lined them across the bathroom floor, and told them "watch me!"

BUT...and yes, there's a but, we we unsuccessful on the #2. Stupid us assumed that he would be alright without a diaper for a few minutes (considering he JUST went pee) but apparently that is the wrong thing to do! We walked out into the living room to find him butt naked, squatting down driving his trains across the tracks, with a lovely little turd just underneath his bottom. OH-MY-GOODNESS!

I beat myself up for not taking a picture because it was such a hilarious image! Imagine if you will, Lucas playing along as if nothing had happened while a large pile of feces is lying directly underneath him. But it gets better...Levi walked over and with a very shocked expression, asks "Lucas, did you just poo-poo on the floor?!"

Instantly, Lucas responds, "No yet!" He takes a look at the poop and yells, "Rori did it! yuck...Rori poo-poo on the carpet!" Are you imagining this play out? Lucas has really learned the blame shifting game and poor Rori gets the loosing end each and every time. I guess that's the price she pays for having a 2-year old as an owner!

So, needless to say, we've got a little practice to do. I can already tell that this is going to be a learning experience for us both!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Torture: Two Weeks at a Time

Well, the time came again to test and I am sad to say that we are still not pregnant. This whole waiting game has really got me sick to my stomach and is doing the one thing that it shouldn't be doing...stressing me out!

Although we have only been actively trying for a few months, this past year has been an "if it happens, it happens" kind of thing. Although hubby wasn't ready to commit to "trying" until recently, I've still hoped and prayed that it would happen on its own. So much for that.

I feel like I've spent every month for nearly a year being obsessed with pregnancy, and I really thought that things would finally come together for us. If it wasn't for a loss, we would have been looking at an April baby, but then we actively starting trying again for a June...and then July...and now here we are. Still waiting.

Levi really wants another boy, so naturally, that's what I want to give him. We've been timing it with my ovulation to increase our chances, but the downfall to this is that you limit your fertile days. I'm about ready to say heck with limiting, let just TRY!

Each month that we learn we're not pregnant means we must wait two weeks to re-try, and then wait another two weeks to test. And with all of the single lined pregnancy tests, this cycle just continues.

To put it mildly, I want to crawl into bed and bawl my eyes out half of the time. I know that everything will happen in due time, but I am really running out of options. I can't put off nursing school to stay home with a newborn, so we need to get pregnant NOW! I wish that this wasn't such an emotional thing for me and that I could actually go one single day without thinking about it. Why does this need to consume me so much? And why is it so difficult?? We are a young, healthy, non smoking/drinking couple with a current child. Why? I suppose I just thought once hubby jumped on the bandwagon and invested his heart into this too, that things would magically fall into place. But I'm an adult. I should have learned by now that life is not a fairytale.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Best Friend

I must say, I have the best friend a girl could ask for! Not only is she smart, beautiful, talented, and passionate, but she is the most caring individual that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! Hannah came into my life when we were just in Middle School, but she had made a lasting impact on me, and now onto my own little family.

Hannah is always doing something to amaze me and she is without a doubt one of the most influential people in my life. Moving away from my family and friends was difficult, but realizing that I would be raising my child without them was even harder. Hannah has never let the 3,500 miles between us stop her from having a relationship with my child. Lucas just received an amazing package in the original handmade Hannah Lenore birthday present!!

The present was an adorable dinosaur with the letter L on his body! There were also magnetic letters; U C A & S that attached onto his back. It was adorable, creative, and most of all...a big hit!(I must add, he slept with it that night!)

At first, Lucas pulled it out of the bag upside down and thought it was a boat.(which he was still pretty excited about!) But when he finally realized what is was, his entire face lit up! I wish that I was half as talented as Hannah!

Along with the present was an amazing card addressed to me. Reading it brought tears to my eyes and again reminded me how lucky I am to have her in my life. She is the one friend of mine that hasn't let the distance lessen our friendship, and most importantly to me...she adores my son.

I am so blessed to have her in my life and I'm really looking forward to watching her grow. She has traded in her dream of fashion design in New York to spend a year working on the Sewing and Reconciliation Project for Marginalized Women in Africa. She will be designing products for these women to make and sell as a means of survival for themselves and their families. The women of Amani Ya Juu have stolen her heart and I know this is exactly where she is meant to be! My best friend is going to change the lives of so many women and I cannot wait to see where God takes her from here.

Hannah, I love you so much and wish you all the love and support that you need to make this trip happen. You have been such a wonderful friend to me and always know exactly what to say when I need a shoulder to lean on. Lucas absolutely adores you and talks about you more than you know! Thank you for coming into my life and being the wonderful friend that you are. You are now, and will always be, my best friend!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recycled Baby Bibs

I was asked to create a Junk to Funk project for one of my classes, which entailed taking everyday items and recycling them into something functional. As a mother, and a full time daycare provider, it was only natural that I find something that could be used for the children. I'm sure almost everyone out there has an insanely large pile of plastic grocery bags, so here's an idea for you!

I learned from Homemade Mamas that plastic bags can be fused together with just a little heat from an iron. AMAZING! But be careful to open up windows and/or doors when doing so because plastic givens off toxins when heated.

Here's all you need to get started:

3-4 plastic bags, parchment paper, and an iron.

Next, cut off the bottom seams and the handles. Layer the bags together and sandwich them between two pieces of parchment paper.

You will be amazed at the outcome!

Trace and cut out a bib that fits your child.

Add a little bit of Velcro if you wish and let your child eat!

This project was fun and easy, and it really inspired me to recycle more. I feel like I do a great job at conserving energy and consuming only what we need, but there is always so much more that I can do. I am making a pledge to create more of my own materials from here on out! Although these bibs cannot be thrown into the washing machine, they can easily be wiped down. They are practically free to make and no one has to worry if they get lost or damaged. Anyone with children knows that they are messy little creatures, but a bib saves clothing from being spilled on, which ultimately creates less laundry. And what do you know…less laundry equals less water and energy consumption! I loved this project and only wish that I had discovered the idea sooner!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oxygen Emergency

As a mother, the scariest thing you'll ever have to do is rush you child to the Emergency Room. Unfortunately for us, this wasn't the first time. We had a super fun day sledding in the snow and to our surprise, Lucas was ready to bed by 8:00p.m! He was so sleepy and I naturally assumed that he was worn out from all of our fun.

When getting him ready to bed, I realized that his breathing was a bit labored. It wasn't too much for an alarm, but something I noted and decided to keep watch on.

At two in the morning we heard a horrible scream. I ran in to check on my baby only to find him sitting in bed wheezing oh so loudly. I lifted up his shirt and saw that his stomach was sucking in so hard with each breath that I could see his rib cage. And not to mention that he was breathing nearly three times as fast and his heart felt like it was ready to pound its way out of his tiny little chest.

I threw him in bed with daddy and went to call the hospital. Did you know that the Native Hospital "isn't able to give advice over the phone." Are you kidding me?? What kind of hospital doesn't offer advice to patients in need? I called the "White-people" hospital as my husband jokes, and they were beyond helpful. She told me to definitely get him in and informed me how I can potentially switch hospitals if I choose.

Once we arrived, Lucas was immediately brought back into the triage area and checked out. He was hesitant on the pulse-ox meter being put onto his toe, but he eventually agreed. We waited a few moments and the machine loudly beeped and displayed the oxygen results...along with a red LOW WARNING! At the same time, the heart rate numbers appear with a HIGH WARNING! I feel guilty, but for a moment there I was actually relieved. I don't want to be seen as one of those mom's who over reacts with anything to do with their child, but as a mother, I know when something is wrong.

We were escorted back to the ER and Lucas was immediately given a breathing treatment. He was not very thrilled in the beginning, but eventually realized that this was a battle that he could not win. He soon thought it was fun and insisted on holding the mask himself. He really is the biggest goober! We waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the doc to come examine him. She was still concerned with the wheezing she was hearing post breathing treatment, so she ordered another round. This I did NOT expect. My younger brother needed a nebulizer breathing treatment very often when I was little, but it NEVER took more than one dose to get him breathing properly.

After the second dose was done we were discharged and sent home with an inhaler to treat him with. The first day being home was miserable and I used that darn thing nearly 6 times. But I am happy to report that his breathing is back to normal and he is doing just fine! (With the exception of a running nose and a miserable and sick mommy). My body hasn't quite recovered from that missing night's sleep and I don't understand why my child has so much energy. It just goes to show how truly resilient children are!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I know I'm a little late on the Halloween post, but my son was too cute not to share his photos! We decided to stay in on the actual night, but he was able to dress up twice before then at some local activities.

He was a bat for "Trick-or-Treat-in-the-Heat"

And then the cutest bear in Alaska for Halloween Hollow!