Monday, October 31, 2011
Ava is going to be a red hot chili pepper for Halloween.
That's chili pepper as in the fruit (yes, fruit), not the 80s funk rock band with a bass guitarist named Flea.
Ava and her cousin, Landry, are sticking with a produce theme for their first trick-or-treat experience.
Friday, October 28, 2011
|Celia Winn Spaans with her daughters (author Samantha at right).|
Celia Winn Spaans was probably one of the happiest, most joyful people you would have had the pleasure of knowing. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, but that did not stop her from loving and serving others. She cared for my sisters and me (ages 5, 3, and 1) with an open heart. When she passed away in 1998, we knew that she had gone to be with the Lord and was joyfully singing praises to him just as she had here on earth.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Preston has been wearing a pull-up at bedtime for a while now. At first we didn’t really work at it. As he turned three, he still wanted a cup of milk before going to bed, and we allowed it. At about three and a half, we began noticing that he would wake up dry, so we started noting it. We cut out milk before bed, and it seemed to work well. There wasn’t a consistent pattern, but there were dry pull-ups.
Early in the summer, Preston saw a commercial on television for the “bear workshop” as he called it. “Mama, I want to go there, again!” He had been there for a friend’s birthday party, and he loved it. Right then I saw an opportunity to strike a deal. “Okay, Preston, we will go to the bear workshop if you can be dry five nights in a row!” He thought it was a great idea, and we shook on it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Which perfectly portioned Halloween candies are worth the indulgence and which ones should you leave at the bottom of the bag?
Monday, October 24, 2011
In years past, my daughter Kyah has been everything from Santa Claus to Astrid from “How to Train Your Dragon.” One thing that is consistent is that I can always expect the unexpected from my sweet little girl. This is year was no different.
I asked the question “what do you want to be this year”, and thought I was prepared for anything but she replied, “I want to be Draculaura, mom. She’s super cool! ”
Not having the slightest clue as to what she was talking about, I decided to refer to my trusted advisor, the internet.
Friday, October 21, 2011
One new difference-they have slurpy machines in the cafeteria. This is one of the first bonuses my stepson pointed out about high school. Next, he seemed to instantly transform into a social butterfly and we transformed into a taxi service for a teenager. So many fun things to attend-football games, parties with friends, events at church-the list goes on and on.
Then, my husband started looking at his grades online and the taxi service came to a screeching halt. School work has always been pretty easy for Josh. He is a smart kid and if anything he might get bored with a subject rather than be stumped by it. However, this is a whole new ballgame. He is in pre-AP courses in preparation for college and some of the grades were not pretty.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
|Larissa at the Oct. 15 ceremony|
When my husband and I first decided to add to our family in June 2008, I thought that within a year I would be taking a sweet little baby home from the hospital. Well, I was wrong.
In February 2009 we found out we were pregnant. I couldn’t fight back the anxious feeling that I had. I knew in my heart that something was wrong, but I just didn’t believe that I would have a miscarriage. That was something that happened to other women. It just couldn’t happen to me.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
As a parent, it’s my responsibility to give my kids the best start in life – including orthopedically sound walking shoes. So now that my daughter is an official toddler, it was time to take the plunge…
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
With the help of Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, a registered dietitian and fellow nutrition blogger at Raise Healthy Eaters, I offer to you some excellent healthy habits that children can teach us -- if we let them. Let us tap into our inner child!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Dedication Ceremony a ceremony where the parents make a commitment before God to submit their child to God’s will, vowing to raise their child according to His Word.
Both my parents and my husband’s parents live out-of-state, so it’s quite difficult to schedule events that complement everyone’s schedule. With that being said, I decided to have our little girl’s Dedication Ceremony on my mother’s birthday, since neither set of grandparents could make it. I think my mom liked the idea, despite not being able to attend.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It has been 20 seconds since I last “guilted.” I know I’m not the only one out there with this problem. Right now, a lot of you are feeling the same way.
For our daughter, she has a dad that stays home with her and a mom that “brings home the bacon.” I have to make sure I stand back and not critique the fact that some days they watch Baby Einstein seven times in a row. Or that she ate animal crackers for breakfast. And lunch. Their uninterrupted time together gives me the ability to have my own time together. After dinner, he does the dishes, and we go upstairs and play. So here’s the pact that I made with myself (and like a good diet/exercise program, I constantly tweak it)—when I’m home, I give her my undivided attention—we sit on the floor together, we giggle, play puzzles. If for only an hour, my daughter and I completely are with each other.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Oh, how I wish I would eat the way my children eat! Perhaps then I wouldn’t have to worry about diets. But, why, oh why, is eating so difficult for a three year old and a one year old?! And, why does it bother parents so much?
Monday, October 10, 2011
“Dream Feed” is a term coined by the late Tracy Hogg, a nurse and author who wrote the Baby Whisperer books. The technique is described in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems – Hogg’s third book.The first night we tried the Dream Feed, my husband called it the “Inception Dream Feed,” and the term stuck.
The method is brilliant in its simplicity. The very first time we tried it, Ava was only six weeks old and slept through the night. After a week of Dream Feeds, Ava was sleeping 12-14 hours each night and has literally never awakened in the middle of the night since we started it (except for one night when she had a high fever.)
As a new mom, I had read parts of several baby books, but I favored following my own instincts over sticking to baby-care instructions in any one book. Nevertheless, after six weeks of waking every three hours each night to feed, I was getting desperate. One morning, I was so bleary-eyed that I tried to brush my hair with a toothbrush.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
My husband was buying our weekly stash of local, grass fed, antibiotic-free meat from the farmer’s market one Saturday morning and mentioned to the vendor that we’d love to come visit their store in McKinney someday soon. Maybe one day when we’re out visiting a cloth diapering supply shop we love in Allen, he said. This of course led to small talk about our impending family addition.
“So what birthing center is your wife delivering at?” she asked.
Birthing center? He explained that I work for a health system and will be delivering at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth (with drugs, please and thank you).
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
And with that, we had a revelation - I could make that easily freelancing, and still be able to stay home with our future child.
And then I got pregnant with John. I began amassing freelance contacts, putting feelers out there, and got a few paying, regular gigs to supplement our finances. When John was born, I went from full-time employee of a communications firm to full-time employee of a tiny boy whose memos came in the form of whimpers, burps, poopy diapers and crying.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
my last post involved my woes about whether or not my seven- year old would ever learn how to ride her bike without training. After posting and getting advice to continue the low pressure tactics, I decided to just that. I was pleased to see that sticking with this method allowed my daughter to really think about the idea of conquering the bicycle as a more of a heroic accomplishment.
Monday, October 3, 2011
|Poor Ava's hives|
Ava struggled with a blocked tear duct in her left eye starting when she was about a month old. When the duct got infected, her pediatrician put her on a course of antibiotics. But when the first course was finished, the infection returned.
I took her to a pediatric ophthalmologist, who did a procedure to open the duct and prescribed a second course of antibiotics to ensure the infection wouldn't spread.
Six days later, Ava woke up with what looked like a mosquito bite on her neck. By noon, her little body was covered in hives. It was my fourth day back at work, and Ava's fourth day in daycare. I took her to the doctor, who said she must be allergic to penicillin. She told me to discontinue the antibiotic, and that it would get worse before it got better. That was an understatement.