Friday, December 31, 2010

Go Bananas!

Everybody loves a tasty banana, right? But do you really know just how good they actually are FOR you? Bananas have always been a huge hit in our home. Not only was it the first "solid" food that we introduced to Lucas, but it soon became his favorite. As he was just learning to walk, he was mesmerized by the giant mountain of bananas in the store! This may have had something to do with the hundreds I probably ate while pregnant or that its sweet flavor is similar to that of breast milk. Regardless, my home has been filled with bananas non stop for the past three years. I remember receiving an e-mail some time ago listing all of the health benefits of a simple banana, and it really blew my mind. I promised myself that whenever I became pregnant again, I would try to eat a banana every day...or at least every other.

Here are some amazing health benefits from such a delicious and cheap fruit:

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating one. This is because they contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills – eat this fruit. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, they can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed this fruit’s industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including them in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a milkshake with this fruit and sweetened with honey. This fruit calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: They have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on them between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: They are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Ulcers: It is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see them as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): They can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: They can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating them as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

"When you compare a banana to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around."

So my new years resolution you ask? To eat 4-5 bananas per week (preferably organic). Most of the bananas in our house go to our little monkey, but I'm making a stand to snag a few more for myself. Considering I'll be pregnant for just under 75% of 2011, I think I can actually make this resolution stick!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Certified Nurse Midwife

I've figured it all out. My career that is!

I have always had a love of pregnancy and birth stories and a few months ago I expressed my interest in becoming a certified lactation consultant. Levi's uncle refereed me to his wife's midwife, and I have spent some time researching into midwifery since then.

There are two types of midwifes, Direct-Entry Midwifes and Certified Nurse Midwifes. The Direct Entry pathway does not require any nursing education and primarily works in out-of-the-hospital settings. A Certified Nurse Midwife are those educated in both nursing and midwifery and who can practice in hospitals, birth centers, and at home.

I cannot think of a better career for myself than working with women through pregnancy, labor, birth and during the postpartum period...all while promoting natural and healthy births!

I have found a midwifery program here in Alaska that works similar to a distance course, with an added apprenticeship program in the community. I have been in contact with the founder of the program and have been talking it over with Levi for a few days now. This program certifies in the non-nursing midwifery aspect, which is the only thing making me hesitant. But, I am absolutely in love with the curriculum! The entire course is broken down into 54 modules- all of which fascinate me. The first unit begins with the history and study of midwifery, ethics, law, etc. and then we would jump into antepartum: all about pregnancy, nutrition, herbology and then some! We would also have lessons on labor, birth complications, pharmacology, and all things postpartum. There would then be numerous units on newborn care, breastfeeding, skills, complications, neonatal resuscitation, etc. I know that I definitely want to go the advanced route since my nursing degree is finally within reach, but I think this could be a great start to my ultimate goals!

The school is reasonably priced and because you work at your own pace, I think that I could really incorporate this into my current studies. I would love to complete such a program by the time I graduate from nursing ideal would that be?! But I guess the real question is "can I do this?" Can I really attend two colleges while doing daycare and raising my own two children?? Since I was a teenager I feel like I've always been testing my limits with work and school, but I truly feel that this is what I was meant to do! There is nothing else that better incorporates my love for science, babies, and pregnancy.

I really think I can do this! And just as importantly, so does Levi. He thinks this would be a wonderful career for me. Not only would I passionately enjoy what I do, but I would be contributing significantly to our household income. I think it's important to stay home and complete school while the children are young, but I definitely see myself jump starting this fantastic career once they are in school.

I can do this, I know I can.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great things are happening!

Life is coming together beautifully for myself and my family and I feel absolutely blessed to be living this life of mine!

Firstly, as we just recently announced, our second child is on the way! I am so excited to square out our family and to give Lucas a younger sister or brother to love. I love being pregnant. I love babies. And I love my family! I am in complete bliss at this entire notion of expansion!

Secondly, I just received my acceptance letter to the School of Nursing!! I've been anxiously awaiting this notification and can now relax and plan out my next few years accordingly. A seat has been reserved for me May 7th for the Summer 2012 semester. Although it seems so far away, it's just a little over a year. But the best part is that I have been placed as an alternate on the waiting list for the Spring 2012 semester...which starts NEXT January! If any person drops from the program, I will be given the opportunity to start early! I will have completed all of my psychology minor classes by this end of this summer (Aug 20th) and am due just a few days afterwards to give birth. It couldn't have been planned out any better! So whether my baby is 9 or 5 months when I begin Nursing School, I will make the best out of our situation. I've already got myself a head start on some of the required classes, so the nursing semesters shouldn't be quite as demanding for me.

And finally, Levi and I have finished the drawings for our to-be home! When we moved to Anchorage 3 years ago, we originally wanted to buy ourselves land. Unfortunately, there was minimal land left in Anchorage and I wasn't too keen on the idea of venturing far out of the city. So, we purchased a home laking a permanent foundation structure on a private lot, in what I believe to be one of the best sides of town! We are walking distance to the Far North Bicentennial Park, which is miles and miles of forest and trails! (And some of our favorite hiking spots!) We also have a green belt behind our home, so no one will ever be allowed to built there. We live in a beautiful and quiet neighborhood that is also walking distance to an elementary school. To date, we have paid off 40% of our mortgage and have decided that its time to start the next of our new home! With a little one on the way, we feel that it is now time to build the dream home that we designed together! (Well, more Levi, but I put in my two cents along the way!) We are beginning the first phases to obtaining a construction loan and are anxious to see where we stand. We have put a lot of heart and soul into this project already and I cannot wait to see it turn into a reality...even if it takes longer than we hope. I don't know if we'll be able to start before the baby comes, or where we will relocate to in the meantime, but we're prepared to take this one step at a time!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh, Baby!

We waited until the holidays to share our exciting news and I would now like to share it with the world: Baby Cecil #2 is in the making!! As of Christmas day, I am 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant...due August 24th, 2011! This was the greatest Christmas present that my husband could have given me and I feel absolute blessed to experience such a beautiful and life changing event once again.

We announced the surprise to Levi's Grandparents, Aunt, & Uncle's family on Christmas Eve during a game of pictionary! Levi's little cousin Audrey immediately chased me into the kitchen to ask if it was going to be a boy or a girl. Trust me...we can't wait to find out either!

As for the moms, I wanted to do something special. I called my mom a few minutes after finding out I was pregnant with Lucas and I knew she expected me to do the same this time around as well. Instead, I printed out the above photo and made a cute little card that was titled Big Brother! Knowing that she would suspect something if I asked her to wait until Christmas to open it, I mailed it to a close friend of hers who snuck it under her tree. Needless to say...she was surprised! She had absolutely no idea (partly because I lied when she asked me the week prior) but I wish I could have been there to see her reaction! (And tears from what I hear).

I made the same card for Levi's mother, who I also had to lie to a week and a half ago when she asked. As we were loading up to head home after our delicious Christmas dinner, Lucas handed her the card and said "Open it! Open it!". She starred at the card for a few seconds with a very confused look until it clicked! She had the most shocked expression on her face and I think it was absolutely priceless! She definitely didn't expect it.

When we originally tested this month, I received a false negative. I had such a difficult time accepting the disappointing news because I was so certain that I was pregnant. When my period never came, I couldn't even bring myself to re-test for fear of another negative. But on Dec. 16th I eventually got the courage and so happy I did because I finally got to see those two lines staring back at me! When I went in for my proof of pregnancy, my test was barely visible as a positive. Apparently I drink far too much urine is almost as diluted as can be!

I am so proud that I was able to keep this a secret from my family and surprise them all in the manner that we did! It was definitely hard to keep quiet, but it made it so much more exciting this way. I think we'll have to do something equally as surprising when we find out the sex!

Merry Christmas

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas holiday filled with lots of love and laughter! As always, I wish I were closer to my family, but I am thankful that technology makes it possible to "see" them on special days like this! To all my family and friends...Happy Holidays from the Cecil family! You are never far from our minds.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

I had a wonderful sushi dinner with my guys Monday night and Levi and I decided to stay up late to watch the highly anticipated lunar eclipse unfold. While driving home from dinner the moon was so big, bright and full that it was hard to imagine it would be covered up in just a few short hours!

The event started around 9:30 and by 10:40 the moon was completely masked. We had gone out a few times in this time frame admiring it and snapping pictures! It was absolutely beautiful and amazing to watch. Unfortunately, right as the total eclipse fell into place and the moon was suppose to turn a reddish/orange color, our cloud cover got so thick that it blocked the moon out completely. It was a bit disappointing, but I'm happy that we got the see the eclipse progress up until this point.

This was the first time in a few hundred years that the lunar eclipse fell on the same night as the winter solstice. The only other record is back in 1638, and it's not believed to happen again until 2094! This was definitely a "once in a lifetime" kind of event!

As for the winter solstice...YAY! For those living in the states this may not mean much, but for us Alaskans, it's a time to celebrate! The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It now means that our days will grow longer and we will start to have more daylight!! Goodbye dark gloomy days!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Color Talk

The most difficult part to having an exceptionally bright child is that I am forced to discuss and explains things much earlier than I ever imagined. We had an eventful morning with just the two of us and decided to swing into Subway for some lunch before heading home to nap.

For the past few weeks, Lucas has been obsessed with BOYS vs. GIRLS. He has learned to distinguish between the two and loves to point people out everywhere we go. While leaving Target he yelled that a boy was driving a car, and then while eating our sandwiches he said that the little girl was looking at him!

About halfway into our lunch a fairly young African American guy walked in and Lucas couldn't stop staring. He then started yelling, "He's a bad boy!" repeatedly. I was really shocked and continued to reaffirm him that the man was a nice person too. Yikes! I wasn't upset, but I was genuinely embarrassed. I don't blame him for his choice of words because I know that at this age, he doesn't know any better.

We had a similar incident a few weeks ago while reading a story. There were three babies crawling around on one of the pages; a white, asian, and a black. He kept telling me that the black baby was a mean one and that the other two were nice ones. I did my best explaining that they were ALL nice, but it appears that it's time for a serious talk with my boy.

Living in California I was exposed to many different cultures and ethnicity's. I have two mixed cousins, and was friends with people of all colors and backgrounds. Now that we are in Alaska, I feel that the tables have turned. The majority of the population seems to be composed of natives, whites, and asians, so I primarily feel that his confusion is merely a lack of exposure. Nevertheless, this isn't something that I want my child saying, or more importantly, believing.

So, it seems that a good talk is in order and that I may need to rent some children's books to help in the matter. I honestly didn't expect this to happen for some time, but now that it's here, I want to teach him about respect and equality as much as I can. If anyone knows of any good resources or activities that have worked for them, please let me know!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Preschool Dilemma

I finally got Lucas in for his two year checkup on Friday and as expected, he is doing great! He's finally steadied out at 31 lbs and is in the 90th percentile for height. But we already knew he'd be a tall one!

After the standard doctor checkup I was given a developmental survey to fill out. As with each and every well baby checkup, he scored above and beyond where he should be. As standard procedure, the specialist comes in to meet with you and your child to go over the survey, answer any questions, and offer resources if your child is in need of help in any particular area. Our lady was extremely nice and absolutely blown away by Lucas! She told me that in the two years that she's been assessing children at the hospital, she has only ever come across ONE other child that could talk as well as Lucas! She said that his verbal capabilities were extraordinary and couldn't stop telling me how impressed she was. She claimed that his fine motor skills were exceptional and that he very well falls into the category of a "gifted child". (If you read my blog regularly, you know that I just referenced him to the gifted checklist...and he aced it!).

At his age, Lucas should not be able to speak or draw as well as he does. And because he is left handed, she suspects that he will be very artistic growing up. Funny, because he sure did not get that from me! She loved his sun picture that he drew recently and couldn't stop smiling when she listened to his "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" recording. I have been advised to try and get him into school as soon as possible because she fears he will be far too advanced by the time he is ready to start kindergarten. Which brings me right back to my big I homeschool or not? I know that Lucas is as advanced as he is because I work with him constantly and consistently. Do I really trust that someone else will do the same? The few places that I did looked into require that the child be at least 3 years of age. I'm certain that he could enter now and be just fine, but rules are rules. Plus, we're still working on the potty training. He's decided to rebel. *sigh*

So here I am. Stuck. What is the best thing for my son? Do I continue with what I am doing now or try to look into other centers that may take him early? From the moment you find out that you a pregnant parenting is nothing but decisions. Every decision you make has a direct impact on your child, so I hope I can chose the best one for him. I believe that children learn best while having fun and associating the concepts with things that interest them. I guess I need to purchase some workbooks and start more of a structurized preschool time to see how he adjusts.

I never imagined that my child would basically be in school by age 2. It definitely makes me feel cheated out of the baby years, but nonetheless, I couldn't be prouder!

Boys will be boys

I know I've said this a million times, but I am so thankful that my first born child was a boy! Everything about this kid cracks me up and it amazes me how much of a true boy he really is. My house is stuffed full of trains, cars, trucks, planes, balls, and dinosaurs! He loves to pretend he's a wild and viscous animal who lurks around and scares mama. Play time with Lucas is always a blast!

Along with the manly territory comes the unpleasant acts. I caught him sleeping on the couch and had to snap a picture as he was waking up (hence the large yawn!) Seriously, do all men HAVE to sleep with their hands down their pants?

He's also a fan of farting and the biggest booger picker that I know. No matter what I do, I can't seem to keep this kids fingers out of his nose. I do however find it very interesting that the diameter of your finger is perfectly proportionate to that of your nostril. Did you just try and check for yourself?? =)

He's even taken an interest in breast lately. I stopped nursing after he turned a year and he seemed to have forgotten all about them. There have been quite a few instances lately where he has grabbed mine and said "boobies!" We have been singing a lot of songs together and one afternoon his creativity took hold. He busted into song and sang "BOOOOBIES! BOOBIEEES! BOOBIES!" Then he stopped, turned to me and asked, "You like that song?" How could I not crack up?!

Life is so interesting living with a toddler, but even more so with a little man. He is very sweet, polite, and well mannered, but I see so much more of a man in him every day. It's all fun and games now but I'm sure I'll be saying something totally different when the teenage years come rolling around!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If you know know that I love a good deal. Saving money is very important to me and if I can find a way to make a little extra cash, I'm all for it! Last semester I was referred to a website called Book Renter and found that you can rent textbooks at a discounted rate, as opposed to purchasing them. The part I liked best was that the shipping is free- both to your home and when returning the books.

I highly recommend this site to anyone that is a student. If you don't have a desire to keep the book after the semester is over, its beneficial to save yourself the hassle of trying to resell it afterward. By using my link, you can save 5% on your order and I will also make $5 for the referral. I know it's not much, but every little bit helps!

You may also sell your old textbooks to them and they will still pay the shipping! I sold two books back last night and got $90 credit put on my account to use towards this semester. You may take a direct payment, but a small percent more will be added on if you opt to select the store credit option.

(Just a quick example, the university is offering one of my books for $114.25 New, $85.75 Used, or I can rent it from this site for $34.70! I cross checked every book we'll be needing next semester and can't believe how much we'll be saving!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


As much as I told myself I was going to be optimistic and excited about this winter...I'm not! It's not even Christmas time and I am already over this chilly weather.

Here are my top 10 reasons why: (not necessarily in order)

1. I weigh a whopping 110lbs (Don't say anything, I know. I try to gain weight but it just doesn't happen for me) I'm sure if someone turned to cannibalism and tried to eat me to survive...they'd still die of starvation.

2. I have horrible circulation. No matter how much money I spend on gloves, my fingers still get cold. Levi bought me a pair of Xtra Tough boots and when worn with wool socks there should be no room for complaint. Do you think it works for me? Absolutely not. I can keep my entire body nice and toasty, but my little fingers and toes just can't seem to hang.

3. I have horrible luck with ice. I can't even take the garbage cans down to the road without slipping and nearly spraining an ankle. I even fell when I was 9 months prego with Lucas. Definitely not safe.

4. I feel like a menopausal woman. I over heat so easily, so it's nearly impossible to get comfy. Layers are great, but a pain to keep removing and putting back on.

5. Going with the above statement, my car heats up too much that I usually end up turning the heat off all together and 80% of the time I forget to turn the nob back over to warm when I return home. So, when I auto start my car hoping it will be nice a toasty in time for us to leave, I usually find that ice cold air has been blowing into my car for 15 minutes. Talk about frustrating.

6. The sun reflects off of the snow so much that it literally blinds you. I think more people wear sunglasses here than in California.

7. It is an absolute pain in the butt to bundle up a child in snow gear. And I have three during the week. By the time we reach our destination, I'm already pooped.

8. Driving conditions are often difficult. I don't mind driving on snow so much any more, but black ice is a whole other story. And the worst part is having to worry about the other drivers on the road. Pretty scary at times.

9. My doors warp from the cold and it becomes difficult to open/shut them. For the majority of winter, my back door doesn't even open at all. (Let's hope we never have a fire and need to rush out of it.) Not to mention that the windows are icy and always condensating. Yuck

10. And finally, my ears ache. The wind and the cold bother my ears so bad that if I don't wear a beanie or ear muffs, my ears will sting and ache for hours. It's definitely not a pleasant feeling.

I know that my busy schedule plays a role into these feelings, as does the fairly depressed state I've been in. But considering I have months more to go in this winter wonderland, I need to make the best of it. I'm thankful that Lucas rarely complains and has a blast sledding and watching the snow fall. Even racing through the parking lots are often uncomfortable...but he sure seems to enjoy himself!

Lucas the red nosed toddler!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Little Artist

We now have the very first original Lucas Danger masterpiece! Don't you just love it?! He snatched a notebook away from me and grabbed a pen. I told him to draw a sun...and sure enough, he did! I instructed him to start with a big circle and once he finished that I showed him how to draw just one of the lines (rays). He took over from there! I think this deserves a spot on the fridge...or to be framed and displayed forever! Can you tell I'm proud?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Am I broken?

I never imagined the heartache that I would face in attempting to expand my family. I never thought that I could be one of those women who had difficulties conceiving, for some reason or another. This experience has been emotionally draining and makes me often question how I'm suppose to stay optimistic.

This month, I decided to purchase an over the counter ovulation predictor test. My cycles have decreased to 25 days for the past few months, but they've remained steady. I wasn't sure if this had any effect on my fertile days, so I gave this test a try. Based on cycle length you are told which day to begin testing. From there, you re-test each day at the same time until you receive a positive result. This ultimately means that you have a surge of the LH hormone in your system and will therefore ovulate within 24-36hrs. Also known as your most fertile window!

During my nursing pre-req courses I excelled in Anatomy & Physiology. I have a large fascination for the human body and how it works. The final section we covered, the reproductive system, was by far my favorite! I loved learning about all of the hormones, their jobs, and how everything comes together to make us functional. Because of my cycle and my knowledge of the reproductive system, I had a good idea of when a positive test should have arrived. But I was wrong. The package came with 7 tests (and I expected a positive on days 4 or 5), but each day continued to turn up negative. Is it stress? Seems that I am still ovulating as if I were having a 28 days cycle as opposed to whats really happening in my body. Having this background made it very difficult for me to not think the worst. I honestly started to panic and wonder if I was even ovulating at all? Perhaps I have a hormonal imbalance? Or maybe I'm too underweight? Not healthy enough? Oh the horrors that were racing through my head. Thankfully, with one final test left, I detected my LH surge.

Whew! What a relief. I AM OVULATING!!

A few days after ovulation I had some light spotting. It is common for a light bleed when the egg implants itself, and this was the first month I noticed anything. At this point I really started being optimistic and felt that this could be our month!

Not even a few days later, my entire household came down with the flu. I was nauseous and vomiting and worried that getting sick could really jeopardize any chances of conceiving. As the days rolled around to test I was so nervous that I couldn't bring myself to do it. When I finally got the courage, I nearly bursted into tears just waiting for the results. Unfortunately, we got another negative.

I have been so disappointed and depressed these past two days that I feel like I can't leave the house for fear of crying at any given moment. I manage to go a few hours and then break down again. I am so full of mixed emotions that I honestly don't know how to handle them. It seems that nearly everyone around me is pregnant or giving birth and I can't help but wonder why I am left out. This is what I want and this is what I NEED. I have not been on birth control for 5 years, so it concerns me that Lucas is still an only child! I can't accept that its just not meant to happen so I am determined to do whatever I have to do. I've been researching into natural supplements and herbs that can possibly increase our chances and naturally help balance out my hormones.

I do not have medical insurance - only coverage from the university for being a student. Since birth control methods are what they advertise, I highly doubt they offer any fertility assistance. And I cannot receive care from the Native Hospital until I show a proof of pregnancy. I honestly don't know what else to do or where else to turn.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Going Green!

As a mother and a housewife, cleanliness has always been a top priority for me. I swear that I have OCD and cleaning truly is my natural stress reliever. I do my best not to use strong chemicals that may do more harm than good, and we also try to eat healthy foods.

I've been making an effort to buy more organic fruits and veggies and eat more healthier, well prepared meals. Fruits are often outrageously priced here in Alaska, and as I'm sure you can image, organic is even more so. But I am proud of the progress we're making (soy milk, spinach, bananas, avo's, etc) I tell Levi all the time that I wish we were rich mainly so that we could eat more! I know we're a tiny family, but we know how to put the food away. I don't dare mention our grocery bills. Yikes.

I made a decision to go back to all natural cleaners. I absolutely love the company Melaleuca and all of their natural products! Back when I lived in California, I used to have access to them easily through my grandma and I am constantly asking myself why I discontinued their use. I purchased the start up package and am anxiously awaiting my cleaners!!

Melaleuca has a wide range of products from cleaners, vitamins, bath and body products, and makeup. The melaleuca oil, commonly known as tea tree oil, is a natural antibacterial and antifungal and people have even been known to chew on the leaves themselves to help alleviate headaches. I'm anxious to switch over everything in our home to these healthy, organic products! Not only will be using safer products, but the solutions are incredibly concentrated so we will actually be saving money too! Always a plus in my book.

On another note, I finally got myself the Organic ERGO I've been eyeing! The huge Kelty pack I was using for our hikes was nearly breaking my back and after hearing so many great reviews about this product, I just had to have one myself. Although Lucas is almost too big to fit in it, it's much more comfortable and he actually enjoys riding on my back. The first day we had it he begged me to carry him around the house. When asked if he was ready to get down, he would say "no...riding mama's back!"

"ERGObaby’s baby carrier design supports a natural sitting position for babies, eliminating compression of the spine and hips that can be caused by unsupported suspension. The baby carrier also balances the baby's weight to parents' hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent." It is currently the best carrier on the market and the style I have allows me to carry up to 40lbs. (Lucas is currently 32) I'm so happy Lucas likes it because I sure do! I also have the heart to heart infant insert for next time around, so this product will definitely not go unused!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I recently received a developmental e-mail from BabyCenter and this particular article really grabbed my attention. I have always believed Lucas to be extremely advanced, but this really made me proud to be his mama!

Signs of giftedness in a preschooler

Your 2- to 4-year-old may be gifted if he:

•Has a specific talent, such as artistic ability or an unusual facility for numbers. For example, children who draw unusually realistic pictures or who can manipulate numbers in their head may be gifted.

For a mere 25 months old, Lucas loves to draw, paint, color, you name it. He has amazing hand eye coordination and is beginning to draw his shapes entirely on his own. He has mastered the circle! As for numbers, he can count 1-10 in English and 1-6 in Spanish. He is always counting.

•Reaches developmental milestones well ahead of peers.

Since he was an infant, he has always been well ahead of the game! Except for rolling over...but then again, have you seen how chunky my little monkey was?! He knows most all of his shapes, colors, animals, transportation's, bugs, foods, letters, etc. I am beginning to run out of basic things to teach him so I recently began introducing the states. After one session, he could identify roughly 5 states, and he can spin a globe around correctly point out Alaska!

•Has advanced language development, such as an extensive vocabulary or the ability to speak in sentences much earlier than other children his age.

Anyone who has been around my son has been blown away at his verbal abilities. By his first birthday, he had 18 solid words in his vocabulary and it has skyrocketed each week. Now at 25 months, he is speaking in sentences and can clearly ask/identify anything he chooses. His word choices are elaborate and he even uses correct tenses...something that never seizes to amaze me. Recently while Levi was doing homework, Lucas went up to him and said, "Daddy- go outside, please! Come on, follow me. Come on. Book down on table. Let's go!" And as he was staring at the fish tank one evening I asked him what he was looking at. His response was "My fishies. Chromis. Daddy got them for me at fishie store!"

•Is relentlessly curious and never seems to stop asking questions.

I never knew that the "WHY" question could begin this early, but its a frequent word in this house. Along with "Where'd ____ go?" "Whatcha doing mama" "Read a story?" and more. He needs to know what everyone is doing, and why it works.

•Is unusually active, though not hyperactive. While hyperactive children often have a short attention span, gifted children can concentrate on one task for long periods of time and are passionate about their interests.

Lucas has an uncanny ability to stick to one task. He will read books, do puzzles, flip through his flashcards, or even play with his trains for nearly half an hour at a time. He is very focused and patient and is surprisingly intricate with his art. This boy has patients!

•Has a vivid imagination. Gifted children often create a vast and intricate network of imaginary friends with whom they become very involved.

A vivid imagination is definitely something this child does not lack. Honestly,I think his imagination is too complex for him to comprehend. (I believe that is why he went through his nightmare stage a while bag). He has mastered the pretend play and enjoys acting out or recreating events. He loves his mini-kitchen where he prepares meals and serves food (while reminding everyone to blow because it's still hot!) and he puts on his helmet, sits on his four-wheeler, pretends to put on a seat buckle (with hand motions and sound effects) while telling everyone to be safe. He'll drive around the living room, yell "Oh no. The wheel's stuck in the mud!" and jump down to fix his ride. It's almost too cute to watch! And we all know his love of pretend fishing...this boy sure can act!

•Is able to memorize facts easily and can recall arcane information that he learns from television shows, movies, or books.

Dora. Oh my goodness, have we mentioned Dora? She is his absolute favorite. After just a few episodes he started counting and even talking in Spanish. CRAZY! He'll ask for a specific episode, in which he will tell me what happens in the plot. He learned his entire alphabet when he was 20 months or so by watching the Leap Frog Letter Factory. He also began identifying his shapes on his own from a baby Einstein video we let him watch at around a year. His love of books is real as we can see by his re-telling of the stories. He enjoys flipping back through the pages and telling me what happens. It truly blows my mind at how well he remembers things. (Even those that we haven't read in quite a while.)Not only is his comprehension level well above many two and three year olds, his association skills are as well. But most importantly...this kid does not forget things! He brings up events and people that he hasn't seen in quite a while...especially my brother Brian and the traumatic fallen stop sign event across the street. He also talks about swimming at the beach ALL THE TIME. Does he really remember being in Hawaii this time last year?

Doing daycare has really opened my eyes. He has always been well ahead of the other children his same age and is developmentally comparable to the three and half year old in my care.

I love being a stay at home mother constantly pushing and encouraging my child to grow. Levi and I spoke a bit about it yesterday and I am leaning towards homeschooling. I have mixed emotions about the matter and feel that social growth is just as important, so I need to figure everything out soon. All I know is that Lucas is eager and willing to learn, so I want to push him now while he's still young. This boy has amazing potential and I cannot wait to see where life takes him! Well, yes I can. If I had it my way he'd stop growing entirely =)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pukie Lukie

For the first time in Lucas' life, he caught a bug that had him vomiting everything in his tiny little tummy. I am very fortunate that we went this long without having to experience these flu like symptoms, but it sure didn't make it any easier to watch him suffering.

As you can imagine, he panicked each time he vomited out of fear and a sheer lack of understanding what was going on. His two year molars are working their way in and it's been nearly impossible to keep this child's hands out of his mouth. The first time he vomited all over the living room we naturally assumed that he had choked himself. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

On average, he was vomiting every half hour and I was scrounging to find materials. We went through nearly every towel and blanket in this home and we worked our way through nearly every pair of pj's this boy owned. The moment I would finish changing the sheets and think he was ready to go back to sleep, it would all happen over again. THANK GOODNESS FOR MATTRESS PROTECTORS. Period.

He slept for a good portion of the night where he received a break from all the vomiting, but woke up at five covered in fresh vomit all down his front and poo all the way up his back. I paused for a moment and thought "holy I seriously want to be a nurse?" I couldn't believe how much smelly bodily fluids were on the kid and the only thing I could do was throw him in the tub...again.

Daddy decided to give him some of my chocolate organic soy milk, but that soon made its way back up on my carpet. I think he ate a total of one bowl of applesauce and two crackers all day, but that was all he was willing to try. After nap he was playing happily, but was caught off guard again. Levi was so fantastic and never hesitated to care for Lucas. Parenthood is definitely a messy job, but I've never been prouder of my husband.

It's been 8 hours since we've had any messes to clean up so I hope this is a good sign! A sick and vomiting toddler is by far the saddest thing I've ever seen. I pray that we go another two years before experiencing this again.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Levi has been working on his scuba diving course, so I've been left with some lovely "me" time two evenings a week. I've taken advantage of this mostly by Netflixing all of the movies I know he doesn't want to watch with me! Nice excuse, right?! I just watched Remember Me, the new one with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. It was pretty slow, but it turned out to be a real tear jerker at the end. Anyways, there was a quote in the movie that really grabbed my attention...

"Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we touch"

How very true! I think back to every relationship I've had- whether they be family, friendships, couple relationships, work, teacher-student, etc. and I realized that everyone has worked together to shape me into the person I am now. Life isn't easy and it sure isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but each person that I have interacted with was truly a necessity. If those that have hurt me and even those that have inspired me had never entered into my life, I may not have all that I have now and be who I am today. Lucas is a product of Levi and I...who may never have come together if other relationships had not failed. I would not be here in Alaska if we did not feel the need to end some relationships and start our lives fresh. I would never have learned to stand up for myself if I did not encounter those who took advantage of me. And I may have never been exposed to new interests (and my love of sushi!) if someone had not opened me to these new experiences.

Sometimes we are over taken by others actions, but it's important to remember that overcoming these obstacles only stand to make us stronger.Our lives are like a blank canvas when we are born and the people we encounter and form relationships with are the ones who ultimately paint our picture. Be thankful for everything and everyone in your life- both good and bad. We live. We love. We learn. And we grow. Never stop interacting with the world around you, it just may make you a better person!