Monday, November 29, 2010

load after load.

                             dirty laundry maker #1                                                       dirty laundry maker #2

my never ending nemesis.

Thank goodness I have a cute little laundry helper to ease the pain.


They look so sweet laying together on Liza's playmat.
Absolutely precious.

I took this picture thinking that Henry is 
the best two-year-old big brother
a baby girl could have.

3 minutes later,
he proved me wrong.

If you are familiar with my house,
my babies were laying on the floor in front of the red leather chair in the living room;
out of my sight when I'm in the kitchen.

I took this sweet picture and then stepped into the kitchen to finish wiping off the counters.
We don't have much counter space. 
I wasn't gone for long.
I peeked around the corner when I heard Henry dancing around saying,
"Hen Hen did it, Hen Hen did it."

I asked him what he did.
He jabbered his usual jabber, pointed to his mouth and then to Liza's mouth.

My stomach sank to the floor.

I asked him to show me what he did.
He pretended to grab something off the floor and put it in Liza's mouth.

My stomach, heart and spleen sank to the floor.

I grabbed our precious, innocent little girl off the mat
and swept out her mouth with my finger.
Out came a piece of waxed paper packaging 
that Henry had gotten out of my dirt pile when I had swept a few hours earlier.

She gagged.

This time, I did the finger sweep down her throat.
Out came a second piece of waxed paper packaging.

A third finger sweep reassured me that I had gotten every piece out of her mouth and throat.

It was scary.
Very very scary.

This happened a few hours ago and my heart is still beating fast at the possibilities.

What if he hadn't been so proud to have shoved that paper in her mouth?
What if it had been a bead rather than a piece of waxed paper?
What if it had been a piece of plastic bag that doesn't come out with the finger sweep?

What if?
What if?
What if?

I'm still freaking out a little bit, if you can't tell....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010.

This Thanksgiving, I am.....

Thankful for my sister and her little family.
Martha and Henry are 6 months apart and better buddies each time we are together.

Thankful for Hen Hen and loving that he can wear a handtowel
like a big person wears a bathtowel.

Thankful for Martha and that at least one kid in the family is an eater.

Thankful that Henry finally woke up from his nap so we could eat Thanksgiving dinner.
Not so thankful that he pitched a fit for butter the entire duration of dinner.

Thankful for lots of of Thanksgiving themed food.
Thankful my mama gave us Thanksgiving presents.
A new tradition, perhaps?

Thankful for my father finally looking at the camera.

Thankful for YaYa helping Henry eat his GoGurt.

Thankful for sweet little Liza and her sweet little ways.

I am also thankful for Taylor.

I am not so thankful for poor lighting in the all of the above pictures.....

Not the Santa Maria.

Taylor was beyond excited when we heard that the
Nina and Pinta
were docked at the Columbus Marina
and open for visitors.

Prior to our visit, I talked to Henry about everything I knew about 
Christopher Columbus.
He listened very carefully and when I was finished with my toddler oriented lecture,
he said "boat".  

That's right, buddy.
Christoper Columbus had boats.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

safely, responsibly, non-messy manner.

thinking about how the first time I heard about homebirth was when
the 1st Duggar grandbaby was born at home.

That baby was born at home in October 2009.

The concept of giving birth at home seemed

A little less than a year later,
our little Liza was born
and in a non-messy manner
in our home.

Why did we choose homebirth for our daughter when not so long ago
the concept seemed so foreign and crazy?

 I knew I could do it.  And, bravery has nothing to do with it.
If millions of women all over the world could have babies without drugs, why couldn't I?

hospitals = hospital grade germs = paranoid mama

My Dr. Google degree in the process of normal birth taught me that my body is designed to give birth.
Why mess with nature?
Sorry, Hen Hen.  If only we'd realized this for your birth.

I didn't want to be included in the 35% of Mississippi women who give birth via c-section.
1 hour of pain as my body pushed my baby out or recovery from major abdominal surgery?

Midwifes are trained to identify and deal with problems before they become emergencies.

Midwifes "catch" babies.  Mamas "deliver" babies.

If I am so cautious as to give up my morning coffee while pregnant and
suffer through headaches without Tylenol or Advil,
why do I want narcotics during delivery?
Once again, sorry about that, Hen Hen.

And, the question of the night is...........

Why wouldn't I want to labor, give birth and recover in the comfort of my own home
if I have a normal pregnancy?

Ding.  Ding.  Ding.
We have a winner, folks.

There is no reason why you can't labor, give birth and recover in the comfort of your own home
if you have a normal pregnancy.

a power snack.

This boy

needed a

power snack



before his big game!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of those days.

One of those days:

Sick Henry.
Sick Taylor.

Enough said about that....

Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and I am thankful.

Thankful for everything:
Sick Henry and sick Taylor who aren't deathly ill.

Sweet Liza who still likes to nap a lot.

Thankful that my children didn't freeze to death last night 
when we forgot to turn the heat on.

Thankful for my warm bed when my house was so cold last night.

Thankful for the fat reimbursement check we got from our insurance company
from Liza's homebirth. 
 It was cheaper than Henry's hospital it should be.
They covered 90%, people! 

Most of all,
I'm thankful for my family.

They might make me crazy some days but
they are mine and I love them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

He is feeling better!

Henry is feeling much better today!
He still thinks he needs his "Myna" video but he is actually playing with toys today 
instead of lying listlessly on the couch.  

Thank you, makers of children's Tylenol for perking up my baby!

At 3:00 yesterday afternoon, I noticed Henry had drainage in his right ear.  I'd suspected an ear infection because he was holding his head in a funny way but I knew my suspcicions were confirmed when I saw dark brown drainage.  Luckily, there was an open appointment an hour later at the pediatric clinic so Henry got his first dose of antibiotics before bedtime.  Henry hasn't been at 100% for several days now so I feel like we did a good job of giving his body a chance to fight the infection without antibiotics.

This winter's stats:
Winter 1
Henry 0

I knew he needed a doctor asap so we didn't wait a day until his Pediatric Nurse Practicitioner had an opening in her schedule.  Yesterday's appointment with a Pediatrician reminded me just how much I love the medical care he gets from our PNP. 

While I found him very nice and knowledgable the Pediatrician breezed in, checked his ears, wrote the prescription, explained nothing until I asked what each medication was and it's intended purpose and then breezed right out again.  The speed of this appointment took me by surprise because I am so accustomed to Ms. Ellen, our PNP.  She chats with Henry and ask about how our little life is going.  She takes her time and uses sweet words to coax Henry into cooperating with the exam. She explains what she thinks the issue is and listens to my opinion on the matter.  I feel that she respects my internet research and she has told me on more than one occasion that a mother's intuition is something that always needs to be listened to.  In other words, I leave the office feeling like she cares about my child and his well-being and not like we were just another name on her clipboard.

This appointment got me thinking:

Like normal childbirth, an ear infection is not a medical emergency.
Like normal childbirth, diagnosing an ear infection
doesn't require 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency.
As with childbirth, it is nice to have a care provider that remembers your name and your history.

Nurse practitioner care + Midwifery care = patient centered model of care

I feel very lucky that my family is blessed to have caring medical providers that believe in
patient centered model of care.

And I am very glad my little man is feeling better!!!

afternoon in the cemetery.

I have many childhood memories of visits to my grandmother's house and walking through this cemetery, reading tombstones and visiting my grandfather's grave.  Never once did it  seem odd to enjoy time in the cemetery as a child and I want our kids to grow up with the same affection for 
this lovely green space just across the street from our house.

That is our hickory tree in the front yard of our house.
Taylor brags every autumn that we have the prettiest tree in the neighborhood.
I'm pretty sure he is right.

Hunting for dwarf chocolate in the big rock pile.

Nothing is official in Henry's eyes until his Dada checks it out and talks about it with him.
It was confirmed.  That is dwarf chocolate.

After playing in the rocks, we always walk over to my family's plot where 
my grandmother, grandfather and my grandfather's first wife are buried.  
We talk to Henry about his great-grandparents and
 how special it is that his middle name is in honor of this side of our family.
  He likes to place rocks on the gravestones and on the plot's name stone.

Pretty sure that the sight of her great-grandson playing on her gravestone 
makes my grandmother smile down from heaven.

Who couldn't help but smile down on this sweet little face?

It's hard work smiling so sweetly for the camera so Liza needed a little snooze in the sling.

A walk to the cemetery isn't complete until Henry slides down the "biiiiig" hill on his bottom down to the sidewalk.  I missed that photo-op but will do better next time.

In the meanwhile, let's all make a point to get outside and enjoy our green spaces!

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to be sick:

How to be sick,
Henry style:

Get a horrible night's sleep because you are crying for 'Dada' nonstop.

Wake up for the day at the butt crack of dawn.

 Have a runny nose but fight mama when she tries to gently wipe off your snot.

Have a fever but fight mama when she tries to give you Motrin.
And, mama simply does not have enough arms to force the medicine in your mouth.

Barely even get excited when you get to watch your Mickey Mouse dvd's.

Not even notice when the episode changes from the 'choo choo' show.
He must be sick.  He loves that choo choo.

Refuse to go to your bed for a nap.

Fall asleep on the couch for little cat naps.
First time this has ever happened, folks!

Tote around a piece of bread but don't even nibble on it.

Drink lots and lots of water.

Cling to your cup like it is your feel-good drug.

Sleep very fitfully on the couch with lots of different poses.

Fall asleep standing up.


Hen Hen needs your feel good prayers!
We'll be at the doctor tomorrow if he isn't feeling better.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

my little clean slates.

Christmas is on my mind.

This is the my first Christmas as a mother of a child who can begin to understand the  story of Baby Jesus and the joy of giving thoughtful gifts to our loved ones. I've been mulling over Christmas traditions to teach Henry the true meaning of Christmas from an early age, in hopes he will always know that the holiday season is a special time to celebrate with family and not a time for uber-commercialism and cheap plastic gifts to unwrap.

Santa Claus

My sister and I were firm believers in Santa.  Santa brought unwrapped presents we found on Christmas morning and our parents gave presents we unwrapped on Christmas Eve.  For years, my reasoning behind Santa was that in 1st grade he brought me a pink scooter and my parents would never buy such an expensive gift.  

This afternoon, I asked Taylor if he believed in Santa as a child.  I was a bit surprised to hear that 'yes' he did believe because it seems like with two older brothers in the house, the cat would have been out of the bag.  I was even more surprised to find out why he believed:  His great-grandmother, MawMaw, told him that Santa was real.  How did she know?  She was up late one Christmas eve and stumbled upon Santa in her house.  He told her she wasn't supposed to see him so he pulled a syringe out of his bag and gave her a shot that made her instantly fall asleep until Christmas morning.

You read it right:
Santa drugged MawMaw.

So, I believed in Santa and Taylor believed in Santa.  But, what about our kids?  Do we want them to view Santa as a magical bearer of gifts or do we want to teach that Santa is a fun Christmas character but that he does not actually supply gifts to the children of the world?  I must admit it bothers me that American children believe that presents fall from the sky and no one even thinks to write a thank-you letter to Mr. Claus.  It just doesn't seem right to me.

As Taylor and I were having this conversation and debating various facets of Santa, Henry was busy finding "dwarf chocolate" as we explored a rock pile in the cemetery next to our house.  Dwarf chocolate is also known as a brown rock that has been broken to expose a white interior.  Ridiculous, right?  But, Henry believed it was dwarf chocolate because we told him so.  

Then, it hit me:
This kid believes everything we say,
no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

A fat man in a red suit with flying reindoor?
A dwarf who lives in a cemetary and eats rocks like chocolate.

He believes it all -
without question
without doubt.

What does this mean to me as a parent?

We watch our mouths and our attitudes.
We try to model love and respect.
We constantly teach him right from wrong.
We don't watch television.
We are working on looking for cars before we cross a street.

We are certainly trying our hardest to be the best parents we can be.

But, I feel like there must be more to do to ensure these babies become
 responsible and caring citizens of the world.

Ideally, I would wrap this post up with a nice little bow.
But, that's not life and it's not happening with this post tonight.

I'm realizing more so everyday that it's hard being mama.
It's a big responsibility being entrusted with these little clean slates.

The end.

Bottom to Top.

From her crazy hair to
her pink paci, 

from her wool diaper cover to
her perfect little toes,

we love this little member of our family.

oatmeal my way.

This has been my go-to breakfast for weeks.
Delicious and nutritious.

so that is an added bonus to my yummy and easy breakfast.

Oatmeal My Way

Quick oats - maybe one day I'll break down and buy the steel cut oats but for now the quick oats must suffice
Almond Milk
Apples, chopped
Nuts, chopped - I prefer walnuts
Local honey

1. Cook oatmeal in water.  I use just enough water to cook the oatmeal but not enough to make it runny.
2. Add almond milk until you reach desired consistency.
3. Add apples, nuts, coconut and a lot of honey.
4. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010