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Month: January 2009

A Weekend At Home

She approves!

This weekend my family did something that I can’t recall doing in a very long time – we stayed home.  I honestly cannot remember the last time that we stayed home for an entire weekend and now that we’ve done it I hope to make it a priority a little more often.  We did leave for about an hour to go to church on Sunday and Hubby had to go to work for a couple hours, but that was it.  No errands, no restaurants, nothing.  We spent time as a family at home.

During our weekend at home, we cooked every meal (if you count making PBJ’s as cooking!).  This is quite an accomplishment as we generally eat out (or order in) at least twice on the weekends.  Friday night we usually go out for a nice family meal, then end up grabbing fast food as we’re running errands or on our way somewhere on Saturday or Sunday.  Even when my mom tried to tempt me with Mexican food and margarita’s I held onto my reserve.  Not only did we eat every meal at home, but I also made cupcakes (requested by Zach) and brownies (requested by Hubby) from scratch.  This was in part due to the new budget I’m trying to get us on and in part due to my goal of cleaning out the pantry.  It is amazing how much food I have horded in there!

On Saturday I spent some time cleaning and organizing the kitchen, putting laundry away, and just general tidying up so that I had the evening free.  I spent lots of time loving on my kids and  I gave my blog a fresh new look for the second time in as many days.  I hated the first version but so far still like this one.  (If you’re in a feed reader you might want to click over and take a look!)

As I mentioned above, on Sunday we went to church.  We’re currently on the search for a new church (we still haven’t really found one since my dad moved away in June) so we decided to try out a small church in our neighborhood.  I’m still a little on the fence about the church we went to.  I didn’t just love it, but I didn’t hate it either.  I think we need to go a few more times before I can decide.  Zach, on the other hand, was asking if we could come back again before we were even out of the building, so there’s that.

Zach really enjoyed playing with the other kids at church, which brings up a question.  Do you keep your kids with you during the church service or send them to a nursery/children’s church? I have struggled with this ever since Zach was a baby.  I prefer to have my kids in church with me.  They make a little noise, but I think that if you want them to learn how to behave in church, they have to be in church.  When we first arrived at the church on Sunday we were told there was a nursery available.  I thanked the lady and told her that I prefer to keep the kids with me.  Then part way through the service the children came up (from the nursery) to assist with a “noisy offering”.  The same lady came by and asked Zach to join them which he did happily.  Then when it was all over she asked him if he would like to go back downstairs with them.  Of course he said “Yes!” so she told me that he was going with them.

I didn’t really mind him going, but I was a little unhappy that the lady totally disregarded the fact that I wanted him to stay in church.  I certainly didn’t want to cause a scene by saying he coulnd’t go so I let him go with her and the other kids.  If he was acting up or being noisy I would have taken him down there myself, but he was being very well-behaved.  I wanted him to stay in church where he might learn something rather than go downstairs where he could run around and play with cars and blocks.  I don’t really think that making the child sit still for one hour out of the entire weekend is really that torturous.

Whew, I got off on a bit of a tangent there!

Anyway, after church we headed back home and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  I finally got Evie’s Tinkerbell Fleece Tie Blanket finished (that was supposed to be a Christmas gift!) and made her a couple more hair bows, though the electricity went out for a while forcing me to stop that project before I was finished.  While the electricity was out, Hubby got called to work and the kids and I spent some time reading books together.  Once we had power again we watched some movies and I worked a bit on knitting the “never ending scarf” that I still owe my mom from her last birthday.

I got a little off track, but the whole point of this entry was that we had a really great weekend together at home with very little distraction from the outside world.  I wish I could say that we didn’t spend any money, but I did order Evie a few clearanced clothing items online because she’s suddenly outgrowing all of her 12 month sized clothes.  It was really nice to slow down for a change and just enjoy being together.

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10 Months

Dear Evie,

Yesterday you turned ten months old. Ten months. That means that you have now been outside of my body longer than you were inside the confines of my protective belly. There are days when I would give anything to be able to put you back there, where you were safe from the harsh outside world but when I remember just how big you are that thought goes right out the window. Last month, at your nine month check up, you weighed 20 pounds and were 29 1/4 inches tall. You are a little more than double your birth weight.


The bigger you get, the more I am reminded just how fast these baby days will be over. Over the last two months, you have cut five new teeth. You have a total of eight teeth now, which makes nursing quite interesting. Your brother stopped nursing at nine months so I never had to deal with so many teeth with him. You, on the other hand, have no interest in stopping any time soon and you like to BITE! The worst part is that when I tell you “NO!” you start crying and then I actually feel bad because you bit me. Tell me how that’s fair.

You really love your nursing time and (except for the biting) I do too. When you want to nurse you barrel your head into my chest and say “na-na” over and over again until I give you want you want. I cherish that time with you. I love having a few quiet moments with you every day where it is just the two of us. Unfortunately, I see that time coming to an end soon.

Pre-Christmas 2008

A few weeks ago your Daddy and I decided it was time for you to start sleeping in your own bed. We shipped Zach off with Grandma for the weekend and were determined to make you sleep in your bed even if it meant letting you cry. And boy did you cry. I’ll let you in on a little secret though – I spent a big part of that first night with tears in my eyes too. As hard as it was those first few nights, it actually worked. You’ve been sleeping through the night in your own bed for just over three weeks now. The downside to that is that you are no longer nursing all night long and my milk supply is feeling the change. If I’m lucky I’m able to pump you one bottle during the day, but you are drinking pretty much everything I have during your morning and bedtime feedings. I hope that I can keep it up until you are ready to wean yourself because I hate to have to take it away before you are ready.

Because of the breast milk supply issues, we have started introducing you to cow’s milk. I know it is a bit earlier than doctors recommend, but you absolutely hate formula and soy milk. You aren’t super thrilled with the cow’s milk either, but you will take a few drinks out of a sippy cup. If we mix it with a little breast milk you drink it right up.

Now There's A Smile!

You are starting to eat more and more table food and less baby food. So far you are a much more finicky eater than your brother was. He would eat pretty much anything I put in front of him but if you don’t like something you spit it right back out. You absolutely hate green beans. Your favorite foods are carrots, bologna, any kind of fruit, and Gerber Graduates ravioli (in any flavor variety). Last week you saw Daddy peeling an orange and decided you had to have some. You ate a whole slice in about 2 seconds and screamed until we gave you some more.

After having a reaction to bananas and a couple other foods, we ended up taking you to an allergist for testing. Every time you eat bananas your face turns bright red around your mouth and down your neck. As it turns out, you tested negative for everything, including bananas. The doctor told us not to hold back on anything so we are re-introducing some of the foods I had stopped feeding you (including milk). I’m still holing off on the bananas for now but hopefully you’ll be able to eat them again soon because you really love them.

Evie - 9 Months

You are starting to say more words, although sometimes it is a struggle to figure out exactly what you are trying to say. Right now you have about 6 words that come out pretty clear: Mama, Dada, na-na, cat, doggy, and Bubba. I think I have also caught you saying Zach(“ack”) and “Budduh” (brother) a time or two but those aren’t as clear. Recently you have really latched onto a baby doll that you got for Christmas and you have a name for that too. At first I thought you were trying to say “baby” since that is what I kept calling it, but I think you are actually calling it Kyra. There is a baby at day care (only 2 months younger than you) named D’Kyra, and I’m pretty sure that is where you are getting the “Kuddah” sound that you are calling your baby.

You are also getting closer and closer to walking. You don’t seem to be ready to let go quite yet, but you walk along the furniture pretty easily these days. I’ve even caught you doing a little climbing and using toys as steps when you want to reach up a little higher.

Evie - 9 Months

Your personality comes out more and more all the time. You are a Mama’s girl through and through. You love to giggle and play with Daddy, but when it is time to snuggle you want to be in Mama’s arms. And do you ever like to snuggle! You are such a cuddly girl that sometimes I have to remind myself just to sit and enjoy it rather than get frustrated. In a perfect world I would be able to just sit and snuggle with you all day but it seems like there is always something else that needs to be done and cuts our time short. Since you have been sleeping in your own bed at night, it seems like those few moments we get to snuggle in the evenings are even more special. As much as I need the sleep at night, I really miss having you cuddled up next to me.

You have developed a little game that you like to play when I come pick you up from day care. When I get there you squeal and get really happy. Then, when I reach my arms out to take you from Miss P, you turn away from me and snuggle up with her instead. Then you reach out to me and quickly turn back to her again. You usually do this three or four times before you come to me and you think it is so funny. I would be offended, but I’m so glad that you love Miss P as much as you do that it doesn’t really bother me. The other night you played your game with Grandma while I was holding you and I have to admit it was even cuter from that angle.


Last month we got to celebrate your very first Christmas. It was the first time that our little family has spent Christmas morning together, just the four of us. While I loved watching you and your brother open all your gifts (Santa went a little overboard this year!), the best part was sitting back knowing that there was absolutely no other place in the world I would rather be than right there in that moment. You, your brother, and your daddy make my life complete in ways I never knew were possible and for some reason on that day I realized just how blessed I am.

Tomorrow is going to be a historic day in our country. Even though you won’t remember it, you were with me in your sling when I cast my vote for Barack Obama, our 44th President. Tomorrow is the Presidential Inaguration and Obama will officially become the first black President of the United States. While the color of his skin shouldn’t matter at all, it does. It matters because of how far our country has come. Only a few decades ago, people with colored skin were not allowed the same rights as your ancestors and starting tomorrow a black man will lead our entire country. By the time you are in school, this election will be in your history books. I hope that when you read about it you won’t understand why this is even such a big deal. As a country we still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction. I hope that you and your brother will never see color when you look at another person’s face, but see the person inside instead.


I suppose I should wrap this up and get some of that precious sleep that I’m finally able to enjoy these days. I have about seven hours before you will wake up and start hollering “dada” from your crib. Even though you can say other words, “dada” is still your word of choice. It’s okay though. “Mama” has been slipping out more and more frequently here lately. It really doesn’t matter though because I’m the one that gets all the smiles and happy cuddles in the morning anyway.

Baby girl, I love you more and more each day. I’m not sure how much a heart can grow, but it seems like mine just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Every day I spend with you, your brother, and our little family I feel so very blessed. I don’t know what I would do without you all in my life.

Love always,

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A Little Hot Hedd

This weekend I decided I needed a quick project, something that I could start and finish in a couple of hours.  I have several unfinished projects hanging over me but I couldn’t motivate myself to work on any of them.  I needed something new and fresh that I could get excited about.  A hat is a perfect quick project.  I love knitting hats, especially baby hats so I decided to whip one up for Evie.


I used Alex Zorn’s Hot Hedd pattern from Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook and adapted it a bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t measure and the hat ended up smaller than I intended. It is a little bit too short for Evie’s head. I’ll either end up giving it away or saving it for Evie’s baby doll to play dress up with. I guess that means I need to make another one because it turned out really cute and Evie still needs a hat.

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Allergies and Skin Sensitivity – A 10-month Journey With No Answers

I think it took nearly two months for my daughter’s newborn rashy skin to go away.  I asked the doctor about it a couple of times but wasn’t overly concerned.  I know that babies don’t always come out with that perfectly flawless soft baby skin that we all associate with newborns.

She did WHAT?

I changed from using all the nicely scented baby soaps and lotions to the unscented ones. After her doctor recommended using Aveeno products, I discovered that something about the oatmeal was making her break out. I had used two different oatmeal based lotions on her, one scented (Johnson’s vanilla oatmeal) and one unscented (Aveeno) and both increased the rashiness. We switched to Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash (hypoallergenic and dye free) and Johnson’s Aloe baby lotion and things seemed to improve for a while. She was exclusively breastfeeding at the time and I tried to watch what I was eating pretty carefully but never found any correlations between my food and her rashes.

jun_08 116

We started introducing solid foods to her at around five months. I was a little wary of this because of the oatmeal reaction, but she seemed to do just fine. I even fed her oatmeal cereal and it didn’t seem to bother her at all. She was still getting rashes occasionally, but I felt like it was pretty well under control. The other factor was that during floor time she was starting to move off of her blankets and onto the carpet where she was exposed to more potential allergens so determining the exact cause of any rash she had was nearly impossible.

Look Mom, I Did It!

In August we took a last-minute trip to Texas to visit family. While I tried my hardest to pack absolutely everything we could possibly need for the trip, I did forget one thing – towels for Evie. I thought ahead for everything else that might possibly touch her skin or mouth, but didn’t think to bring towels for bath time. While we were there, we also spent quite a bit of time in the pool. The day we left, she started breaking out and ended up with a horrible rash. It was the worst I had seen it (so far) and it drove me crazy trying to figure out what had caused it. Heat seemed to aggravate it even more and you can’t exactly escape heat in August.


At her next check-up, I discussed it with her doctor again and she said that it most likely was Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis. She simply has very sensitive skin and any little thing can make the Eczema flare up. We talked a little bit about how to treat it when she had a break out and that was that. This wasn’t surprising as I have very sensitive skin myself (and have had bouts with Eczema). The poor girl was just going to have to live with it.

One day early in September, Evie’s day care provider called to tell me that she was breaking out around her neck and that it was worse than she had seen it before. It was nearly time for me to leave anyway, so I just told her I’d take a look at it when I picked her up. When I got there, she was bright red from her chin down her neck. It looked more like an allergic reaction to something than a skin sensitivity rash so I was a little concerned. It was better by the next morning but I took some photos to show the doctor the next time we were in.

Rash 9/3/08

A couple months after that incident, Evie decided that she was ready to start feeding herself. She was doing great with baby foods so I started giving her some soft chunky foods that she could pick up and feed herself. One of the first foods I gave her was bananas. They were soft enough that she could easily smash them with her gums and she loved them. One day while she was eating some banana I noticed a red rash starting around her mouth. By the time she finished eating it was all the way around her mouth and down her neck. When I was cleaning her up, I lifted her arm and found a piece of banana under it. Where the banana had touched there was a red spot with a welt in the middle of it. After she was cleaned up from her meal, the rash mostly went away. The next day I gave her banana again just to be sure that was the cause. Same reaction. Then we tried baby food with bananas in it. She turned red anywhere that the baby food touched her face.


At her 9-month check-up the doctor recommended we see an Allergist to have some testing done. While waiting for that appointment she had another food reaction to macaroni and cheese. I could not wait to get the testing done and finally get some answers as to what might be triggering her rashes.

When we finally saw the Allergist, it was recommended that we change all soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc., bathe her daily (we were doing every other day), and cover her within three minutes of her bath with a moisturizer (Aquaphor or Vanicream). This was supposed to help with the sensitive skin. They did a blood draw to test for allergies and suggested that we might need to put her on a daily allergy medication.

Evie - 9 Months

It took a week to get the test results. When the nurse finally called me she said that the Atopic Dermatitis test was negative. Since the rash hadn’t cleared up in over a week, the Dr. recommended putting her on a daily dose of Zyrtec and continuing with the bathing/moisturizing recommendations. She said nothing about the food allergies or whether those had come up negative or not but she did say to feed her a regular diet and not withhold any food other than peanuts and shellfish. when I asked for more clarification, she said she would have to check with the doctor and get back to me.

Fortunately, the Doctor himself called me the next morning to clarify things a bit. He said that Evie tested clean on everything. In fact, he said that she had one of the cleanest tests he has ever seen. She showed no allergy to bananas, milk, or oats which were my three biggest concerns. She showed no reaction to anything. He did say that she could be having a reaction to acids in her foods that could cause the redness around her mouth but that wasn’t necessarily an allergy. Supposedly, the Zyrtec should help reduce that as well as the mild rashes she gets on her tummy and hands.


So, for now, that’s where we’re at. I have answers, but I still don’t feel like I have any answers. I still don’t know what is causing her skin to constantly break out. I’m still afraid to feed her any new foods because they may turn her face all red. I still hate to let her crawl on the floor because I know that she’ll be rashy wherever she contacts it with her skin.

We started the Zyrtec two days ago and have been continuing the recommended bathing routine. I haven’t seen any improvement at all yet, but I know it may take some time. I really hope that it makes a difference because right now I’m really frustrated with the whole thing.

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Already Feeling Behind

When I said I was slowing down in 2009, I didn’t really mean that I was going to stop blogging.  It just kind of happened.  While I’ve given it my best effort, life just hasn’t slowed down all that much.  Every time I think I finally have some free time, I manage to fill it right up and still don’t do much relaxing.  I’m really behind on blogging because I can’t find the time to sit long enough to write something worth posting.  I don’t care so much about my other sites, but I hate getting behind here because I don’t want to miss documenting all the fun things my kids are doing.


Evie is growing up and changing so fast all of a sudden.  It seems like she’s discovered something new she can do nearly every day.  Hopefully I’ll get around to writing her monthly update on time this month and go more into all of that.  She’s also been going through some pretty cruddy stuff lately – like teething, allergy testing, and being forced to sleep in her own bed.


Zach has been going through a bit of a phase himself, which includes the not-so-pleasant baby talking.  Almost every time he speaks I have to remind him to talk like a “big boy” and it is driving me crazy.  I know it is a phase and it will be over soon, but I think it also has to do with the fact that he is with younger kids all day at day care.  I really want to get him into pre-school but until I can get my budget worked out and find the extra money it is going to have to wait.


In the small amount of spare time that I have managed to find lately, I’ve been playing with my camera.  When I got my camera last year I swore I would really use it and teach myself about all the manual settings so that I could someday justify buying the DSLR that I really want.  After nearly a year, I still don’t know much more than I did when I got it and I am determined to figure it out.  I’ve been reading all about aperture, exposure, ISO, focal length, white balance, etc.  over the last couple of weeks and doing lots of experimenting.  I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m starting to get it a little bit.  I’ve taken some really, really horrible pictures in the process but there have also been a few good ones.  My mom got me a portable backdrop stand and two backdrops to play with for Christmas and I’ve been having fun trying to use them.  My kids are getting a bit tired of having a camera in their faces all the time though.  You would think they’d be used to it by now!


Since today is apparently delurking day in the blogoshpere, I’m going to leave you with a question. What is the best thing you have done for yourself (no one else, just you!) so far in 2009?

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Slowing Down in 2009

Zach & Evie

So here we are in 2009. 2008 went by so fast I barely had time to blink. My hope for 2009 is that things will just slow down so I can sit back and enjoy this amazing life that I have.  Over the last week or so I’ve really been trying to stop and appreciate what I have a little more. That includes spending more time with my kids and less time with my computer.  Today, for instance, I decided to stop at the park with the kids on the way home from day care instead of rushing home.  It gave me a chance to play around with my new camera a little bit and enjoy watching my kids play at the same time.

Who is that old wrinkly lady holding my baby?!?

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions because they never make it past the first week, but I have been giving a lot of thought to changes I want to make in my life lately. Besides the usual goals of losing weight, eating healthier, and sticking to a budget, I really want to spend more quality time with my family. We spend so much time rushing to get this done or that done and very little time just enjoying each other.

Happy swinging baby

A secondary goal – though probably the most important of them all – is to get more sleep. Over the last 9 1/2 months I can think of maybe five times that I have slept for more than four hours at a time. Evie has never been a good sleeper and since the kids share a room I always jump up as soon as she starts crying. Then she spends the rest of the night in bed with me nursing every hour or two and waking frequently. I finally decided that I’ve had enough of that, so Operation Sleep started last weekend. Grandma took Zach away for the weekend and I started sleep training with Evie. The first night I cried nearly as many tears as she did, but on the third night she slept for eleven hours straight. We’ve had a couple of bad nights in there, but for the most part she is doing really well. I do miss snuggling with her, but the sleep is wonderful.

Round and Round

Other things I want to work on include de-cluttering the house, reading more books, practicing and improving my photography skills, improving my sewing skills, building up a web design portfolio, and keeping up with my blogs. You know, just a few little things.

Zach & Evie
What do you have planned for 2009?
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