Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Something that has been bothering me lately....

There has been so much I have wanted to write to you of late.  Things just always get in the way it seems.  But there is one thing that continues to plague me, I don't want you to lose your innocence.  People have told me that I shouldn't worry, and yeah, I get that.  I know as you grow, you will slowly lose some of that innocence, it's part of growing up.  Whether it be a bully, or something you hear while shopping, or something you see in a commercial on TV, it will slowly start to "change" you. 

But I want you to know that I am trying so desperately for you to keep on to that innocence for as long as humanly possible.  To do this, I want you to know just how loved you truly are.  By me, your Daddy, and most importantly God.  We love you and He LOVES you.  You are made in His image.  It's hard for me to write this.  It's something that I have heard over and over of late it seems and I cannot help but think, "How do I teach this to you when I am struggling with this?"  All moms have their struggles, and their weaknesses.  And so many times, those "imperfections" are placed on our children.  Let's admit it.  We all do things our parents did that we don't like.  We aren't proud (ok, some I think are hilarious and definitely want to pass down), but we all do it.  It's hard to hope and pray and think about how do I prevent you from getting some of my most "undesirable traits" and not lose that precious innocence.  And the only way I can think of, is to try to teach you about God's love, even when I don't always believe it.  

(photo courtesy of Decor To Adore)

I read a blog today (Teach Your Children Who They Are, Before The World Teaches Them Who They Should Be) that's been sitting in my inbox for several months, and it spoke to me.  She uses bath time as a time to reflect on all the great qualities her children posses.  And she TELLS them.  It's funny I read this today as I've been trying to tell you of late similar things.  Yesterday, you came into my room long before I was ready to get up.  We said good morning to each other and you gave me a HUGE hug.  I then asked you if you'd like to get in bed with me and cuddle.  You were so excited!  I have no idea how long we laid in bed, but I know how much I loved holding you, wrapping my arms around you and you asking me to wrap them tighter, asking me if you could put your head to my chest and just lay there.  I told you so many wonderful things about you and rubbed your back up, down and back up again over and over.  I didn't want it to end.  Towards the end, I remember telling you that I hope and pray someday you feel this love I have for you.

Remember to tell your children all their wonderful qualities.  Remember that despite all the feelings you may have inside, you have a father, a mother, and most importantly a God who loves you more than you could ever imagine.  Tell your children this often.  Keep their innocence. 

To quote the blog (and to show just a couple of examples of what to say):

  • "You are beautiful."
  • "God created you for a special purpose."
  • "God has wonderful plans for you."
  • "I love your caring heart."
  • "You have a beautiful smile."
  • "God brought you to me ... and I'm thankful."

We love you with all our hearts baby girl,


Monday, April 7, 2014

A year ago today...

A year ago today, my life changed.  I know it changed the moment you came into our world but that moment you had your first seizure, it scared me.  I feared losing you and I will never live my life the same because I know in a heartbeat that it could change.  Since then, you've had one more seizure and gone through all the testing to confirm what's going on in that little head of yours.  All of the tests have come back inconclusive which is good and frustrating at the same time.  But great news is that you have not had another seizure since July 2013 and we're hoping and praying that this trend continues!  We love you baby girl!

Here is the letter I wrote to you the day after the seizure.  We love you!!!

To my baby,

This past weekend was one of the scariest experiences of my life, and it also made me realize, life is much shorter and can change in less than a blink of an eye.

Sunday morning (April 7, 2013), I woke up tired.  I was so tired of everything that was going on and had gone on so far this year.  So many illnesses and overall issues.  It was starting to really wear on me.  You woke up, and it was clear, you had a cold.  You didn’t seem to have a fever, but your nose was running and your voice was sounding very stuffed up.  You had started showing signs of a cold on Saturday so we were ready to keep you home for the day.  We talked about what we were going to accomplish for the day.  Daddy had bought a ton of ready to make cabinets for the garage and we were going to start organizing the garage so that Daddy could start parking his car in there too. 

The morning started out normal.  Daddy got ready to go to Mass while you and I played and cleaned (well, Mommy did the cleaning).  We all sat down for breakfast and it was the first time that I can remember you didn’t eat half of your breakfast or milk.  In fact, you pushed them aside and told us you were all done.  First time you have done that.  I just thought you were learning how hungry you were.  So we played and played and played.  You got a large pink with orange polka dot ball from the Easter Bunny the week prior and you just love to bounce that ball back and forth, and up and down the stairs.  The giggling we get from doing this is absolutely priceless.  We read some books and then at 11am, you asked to watch a movie.  Your absolute favorite is “Rio” (you affectionately call it “The Birdies”) and you wanted to watch it but, truth be told, mommy was getting a little tired of that movie so I convinced you to watch Tangled (didn’t take much convincing).  There was more to clean but thank goodness, this morning, I decided to sit and watch it with you.

I was watching you.  Not watching the movie, just sitting there watching you.  I don’t remember what I was thinking but just knowing how much I love you.  You were sitting on the floor (I was sitting in the rocking chair) watching it when daddy got home from Mass, about 20 minutes later (thank God he came home when he did).  He went up to change his clothes.  He wasn’t up there 5 minutes when all of our plans for the day completely changed.

I remember looking at you and wondering what you were doing.  You were slowly, ever so slowly, leaning over onto your left side as if you were going to lie down and watch the movie.  Truly that’s what I thought you were doing.  Then, it happened.  You started to shake.  For less than a millisecond I thought, “What is she doing?”  And just as quickly, I realized, she’s having a seizure!  I ran over to you, picked you up and instantly started trying to do what I could to get your attention.  Your body was limp, your eyes open but glazed over and looking down to the right.  I bounced you, clapped my hands, snapped my fingers, did everything I could to try and get to you to focus on me.  “Evie!  Evie, look at Mommy!  Look at Mommy Evie!”  Over and over and over again.

Daddy came running down the stairs.  He knew from the tone of my voice that this wasn’t me yelling at you for being in trouble.  I was scared.  So scared.  Not sure what to do.  He started to bounce you on his knee facing me as we were still trying to get you to focus, to come to.  You started to close your eyes.  You didn’t want to open them.  With each bounce your eyes would open only for a second.  We felt your head and you were burning up.  We called 911.

By this point, I was crying.  The 911 operator couldn’t understand me.  I had to calm down a bit and thank goodness for her patience to help me.  She asked for our address and almost instantly after giving her the address, I heard the sirens.  She kept me on the phone and I could hear her talking to the EMS telling them there was an unresponsive 2 year old who may have had a seizure.  I ran to the front door as I heard the sirens very close and sure enough, a cop had blocked our street in front of our house and was running up the grass to our front door.

He came in and we ran to you.  Before I knew it, our Great Room was filled with several cops, firemen, and EMS responders.  They kept asking me what happened.  They kept asking you to look at mommy, lightly pinching your skin on your arm to try and wake you.  Daddy was still bouncing you on his knee as you still wanted to have your eyes closed.  Then, you made one single cry.  You were back!  Not fully but that was the best sound!  You continued to try and close your eyes.  The EMS responder took your temperature.  It only read out 100.3 which didn’t make sense as your face was HOT.  Your hands and feet were turning purple and were so cool to the touch.  They asked me if I had any Children’s Motrin or Tylenol in the house.  I ran up the stairs, suddenly realizing I was still in my PJ’s, grabbed them both, and went back downstairs.  We gave you some Motrin in the syringe we had and you clasped your lips around it. It was such a wonderful site for me to see.  You were able to swallow all but about a quarter of it.  Again, a wonderful you were on your way back moment!  I went and filled your sippy with water and we tried to get you to drink some water.  You were coming to more and more but you still weren’t completely yourself.  The responders tried to get an oxygen level on your feet but couldn’t so put it on your finger and found your oxygen level to be very low.  The officers suggested we take the EMS to the ER at T___ ________

At that moment, I realized again how “undressed” I was and with Daddy holding you, ran upstairs, went to the bathroom, got dressed and threw my hair up in a pony as quickly as I possibly could.  I grabbed you a pair of summer PJ’s, some undies, diapers, and your blanket.  Looking back, I actually chuckle a bit when Daddy asked me if I wanted you in undies or a diaper.  We put you in a diaper (even the responders said, diaper).  There was no way I was making you potty train today.

Daddy put a diaper on you, and we wrapped you up in your blanket and headed out to the Ambulance.  We got in there, I sat on the stretcher with you on my lap.  You were fighting so hard to sleep when we all wanted you to stay awake.  The EMS responder told me what they would have to do if you had another seizure on the way to the hospital.  I don’t remember everything he said, just hoped and prayed we wouldn’t have to have that (thinking back, he said something about potentially shocking you and it would have to be through the rectum).  He then placed a blood pressure cuff around your arm, and it squeezed and you let out a little cry.  The fireman who had been helping us in the house came over to the ambulance and told me everything was going to be okay.  He then told you to get better and to come see him at the fire station.  He said bye and I looked at you and said “say bye bye” and you turned to him and said “bye bye.”  I think it melted us all.  Your little voice, so little and so sweet, still not feeling 100%, but you were coming around!

Once in the ambulance, we got strapped in and took off.  I remember sitting on the stretcher seeing our neighbor’s house in the background (he used another driveway to turn around) as though it was almost a surreal moment.  I sat there looking at Daddy’s car as he started following us to the ER.  I never had really thought about it until then, but it must be so frightening for people to get transported to the hospital in that fashion.  I realize I was as secure as could be but that ride was so incredibly bumpy, nothing like appreciating your own car as well appreciating that you weren’t in potential dire consequences.  As we pulled out onto __ and then through the light at ______, I hoped and prayed Daddy would be able to stay behind us and not have too much of an issue.  Funny enough (now that the ordeal is over), Daddy got stuck at that very first light as it turned red while we went through.

The ambulance person told us that we would get there in about 5 minutes and called it in.  You were fighting so hard, trying to stay awake, but the events of the morning wiped you out.  You would open your eyes with each bump but eventually, you succumbed and passed out.  The ambulance person told me that it happens a lot when someone has a seizure.  Your body has worked so hard that it is now exhausted and results in the person “sleeping it off.”

As we headed to the hospital, it was again, surreal, to see all the cars at the side of the road on ____, knowing they were pulled over because of the ambulance we were in.  The ambulance person told me that for the most part, they keep the sirens off as they can disrupt and scare the passengers.  But once we hit that traffic, he told me they were turning them on to get through that segment.  It didn’t bother me one bit, it actually wasn’t very noisy at all, much nosier in the car when one passes you.  I was sitting there, holding you as you slept, watching you and also watching the cars wondering what they thought of the person that might be in there (I do this quite often when I see an ambulance).  The sirens went off again as we turned onto _________ to get through the busy intersection.  We were almost there.

Once at the hospital, they asked me if I wanted a wheel chair.  At first I declined but they both insisted as it was a long walk and I was still holding onto you.  We entered the ER, which was a ghost town as it had been moved and renovated, hence them saying it would be a long walk.  They had recently changed the layout of the ER and the “new” ER was a bit of a walk away.

Once we got to the ER, they put us in a room right away.  The nurses came in the room and immediately started filling out the patient forms and checking on you.  Once they were finished, and the doctor took a look at you and ordered many tests, and then we sat there, waiting and watching you.  At this point, you had started to look like your normal self.  Color came back to you and you wanted to play.  We waited for each test, and each test result.  All came back normal.  They checked everything they could.  They looked in your eyes, ears, nose, checked your oxygen levels and your temperature.  We had been there for hours and poor Daddy hadn’t had anything to eat, he was starving, so the nurse told him that he could go, it would be a while before any further tests or results came in.  The nurse then came in to get some blood for the next test.  You cried and I could not blame you.  I felt so helpless, all I could do was hold you and try to comfort you. 

But then she said she wanted to get a urine sample.  I give props to all the people who helped us along the way.  This was the only thing that annoyed and bothered me.  She told me after the fact she could have put a collection diaper on as she was getting blood because, and no one can blame you, you peed during that process.  I’m sure you were scared and it hurt.  But the next one hurt more.  She ended up putting a catheter in and you screamed, a blood curdling scream.  I tried so hard not to cry with you.  I held you tight as you were fighting so hard at this point.  It hurt and you were uncomfortable.  The nurse made a joke about your legs being so tight and closed that she hoped her teenage daughter would be the same.  So inappropriate but I just gave her a quick smile and continued comforting you.  Daddy came in just as she finished and we all hugged each other, while you cried.

We sat there for a few more hours waiting for results.  You actually got very comfortable sitting on Daddy and watched cartoons.  It was the cutest thing to see.  Finally the doctor came in and said they could find nothing.  She was diagnosing it as a Febrile Seizure and explained what that meant.  She comforted us and told us that as scary as it sounded, some children seem to get them and all those children outgrow it by the age of 5.  I asked her, could it happen again?  She said yes.  Because Evie had had a seizure, she could be prone to them when she gets a fever. 

I am so thankful to have you baby girl.  This was the scariest moment of my life and one I hope not to repeat.  I love you so much.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We LOVE Frozen but it "caused" our first meltdown

(Photo courtesy of DisneyWiki)

For those that have not see the movie Frozen, know that I do really like the movie.  I really don't like when a movie is hyped up as being sooooo good but truth is, I saw the movie, thought it was good, but am now jonesin until it is released.  I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!  (smile)

As for you, Miss E, you also REALLY LOVE the movie!  You ask to watch the videos of the songs on YouTube every day, most of the time multiple times per day.  Normally, I do oblige.  But lately, you've been having some acts of, well, defiance and disobedience.  It happens.  We all go through our stages of learning who we are.  You are three. 

But last night, it REALLY happened.  You were good all day.  The deal was, as long as you were good and had no potty accidents, we would watch the videos before bed.  And we did!  I loved having you lean up against me, smiling and laughing at the movie (and also covering my mouth telling not to sing - smile).  But then IT happened.  It was time to head upstairs.  You flipped out.  You see, lately you haven't been napping which I knew would eventually happen as you got older.  I think you've napped once in the last week.  So you were extremely tired.  But when we told you it was time to head upstairs, you had your first all out kicking legs and scream/crying tantrum.  You wanted more Frozen.  You didn't want to go to bed.  It lasted all the way through potty, teeth brushing, and putting PJ's on.  It didn't stop until you were in bed (which was the quickest amount of time we've ever gotten you down).  YOU WERE EXHAUSTED.  We're not mad that it happened, we just wanted to show you how much we love you.  By the time Daddy was done reading, praying, and singing, you were laughing again.  But I can now say, you've had your first tantrum meltdown.  (smile)

Here are some links to a couple of your favorite songs:





Love you baby girl!


Monday, February 10, 2014

New found creative gene? And a birthday wake-up surprise...

Ha!  I'm not a "newly" creative person, nor would I really consider myself creative, but with changes that we've made for a better 2014, I've rediscovered, or maybe a better word for it would be, I've implemented creativity back into my life.  I'm crocheting again and what's more, I'm trying to do things for you that show you a glimpse into how much Mommy and Daddy love you.

To start, I went to the wonderful, cannot be disregarded, Pinterest.  As I've said before, I LOVE this site!  All the ideas organized in one place the way you want, basically, it's an online pin board.  You choose the folder titles, as few or as many as wish.  (I have not been compensated by Pinterest, I just REALLY LOVE this site!)  And not to be outdone, never underestimate the ideas friends post online.  They can be really fun!

Case in point, for your birthday, I wanted to start a new tradition.  I wanted to start a birthday wake-up surprise, something different every year, but possibly always including balloons (we'll see how this progresses through the years).  So this year, I found this on Pinterest:

(Photo courtesy of organizeyourstuffnow.com.)

And here's our implementation, and your wonderfully surprised face!
(He he, I think you liked it. - wink)

The second thing I wanted to do was to create your birthday cake.  I'm not the best cake decorator but I found this on Pinterest and thought it was perfect as you LOVE M&M's:

(Photo courtesy of www.artsyfartsymama.com.)

Knowing that there was no way I was going to be able to make this and do your request of a chocolate cake and cupcakes with blue frosting (you were quite insistent I might add - smile), I came up with this and am pretty proud of it:

Yup.  There you have chocolate cake and cupcakes, blue frosting and your favorite candy, M&M's.  I used a new recipe called The Best Chocolate Cake from a friend, and will be honest, I will ALWAYS make this cake if I have a request for Chocolate Cake.  It was FABULOUS!!!  I used half the batter to make the cake (basically is just one layer of the cake) and then used the rest for the cupcakes.  Worked out perfectly!!!  I also used the recipe for the frosting, with some minor adjustments (I always half the vanilla extract and add the other half with almond extract - never use imitation, the real is SO much better), added blue food coloring and VOILA!  MAGNIFIQUE!

It was so much fun celebrating your birthday!  You had fun, helped me make the cake, and you are starting to really remember the moments and tell us stories about what happened!  You are growing into such a great person and I love watching you learn with each moment!

Again, happy birthday to my little Miss E!!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

36 reasons why you're the coolest kid we know!

For the past 10 days I have been trying to think of a way to tell you how much we love you.  I could write letters over and over to you about all the cool things you do!  This age is so much fun!  I know I say that every time you enter a new phase, but in all seriousness, each age has it's wonderful perks!  So I sat down with Daddy and we decided to make a list of 36 reasons why you are a really cool three year old (and believe me, the list could have been a lot longer! - smile):

  1. Everything you say and do is filled with excitement!  You over exaggerate what you are feeling at the time and think everything is, in your words, "Super Cool!"  Love it!
  2. "M" is a place for food. - You LOVE McDonald's and have called it "M" once you realized the Golden Arches made the shape of an "M."  (Coincidentally, we only went to Little Caesar's once to pick up pizza but you know that it's a pizza place!)
  3. Continuing to talk about food, you LOVE M&M's.  I think you'd be perfectly happy to only eat them, well, only have chocolate of any kind.  You LOVE chocolate!  But what is even cuter?  You add an extra "M" when you ask if you can have an M&M.  "Can I get an M&M&M?"  (smile)
  4. You've started saying a phrase that, let's be honest, we laughed so hard the first time you said it so now you say it all the time.  "What's the hub-bub, Bub?"  Love it!
  5. You say "cool" as if it is a two syllable word, "cool-wl."  (smile - and confession time, I think I say it the same way too - smile)
  6. You received a CD/karaoke player on your birthday from Grammy and you love to play music on it daily.  But, it's taken you a while to call it a karaoke machine.  You heard "washing machine" and it was so cute when you'd ask us if you could play with your "washing machine."  (smile - Coincidentally, you've done that in the past as well.  The microwave you used to call the microphone.)
  7. On the way home from church, we pass by Buscemi's and you wave hi to the "hot dog" (it's actually a sub - smile) sign. You've since learned that it is the place more often than not that we will buy pizza and now you ask for pizza every time you see the sign!
  8. Once we are in the subdivision, you get very excited and say, "Oh Mister Beeee-aaaaar!"  In the fall, a neighbor two houses down puts out a University of Michigan blow up bear and you just LOVE that bear!  Sadly, they didn't do so well this past Fall so he ended up hibernating a little earlier than usual.  You asked where he was and Daddy told you he must be in the pumpkin patch.  Then it was the Christmas tree lot.  Now you make up stories as to where he might be!  LOVE IT!
  9. Speaking of Christmas, you LOVED Christmas decorations!  You were sad to see them go and have asked almost every day since when do we get to put Christmas decorations back up.  (smile)
  10. You are becoming very independent!  You want to do everything "by myself."  Sometimes you have success, other times not, but I do try and leave plenty of time for you to try it "by myself."
  11. "Can I too?" has also become a huge phrase in this house.  You want to do everything that Mommy and Daddy are doing!
  12. On the same subject, you LOVE to help cook and/or bake!  You like to see how the batter looks when we add the items, but the funniest, and maybe the cutest part, is you SMELL the batter at each step.  Sometimes you even smell the ingredients before they are put in the batter (which resulted in a funny incident once with cocoa powder when you accidentally blew instead of sniffed - cocoa all over your face)!
  13. You have recently discovered sock lint in between your toes.  You say, "There's bugs in my toes!" and proceed to get the lint out, by yourself.  (smile)
  14. Your running is by far the cutest running I think I have ever seen.  You LOVE to run and when you do, you run with your whole body.  And usually that means you are also on your tip toes!  I hope to get it on film someday soon!  It is wonderful to watch you run!
  15. Speaking of running, you have created games that involve running!  You LOVE to play chase and run around the circle on the inside of the house!  Sometimes, we don't even have to actually chase you!  You ask us to count the laps with you!  You even ask us to keep counting so you can do more laps!
  16. Another running game you do is you come up to Daddy and say, "Who's that over there?!"  Daddy then says that to you and points, you look in the direction he's pointing, and he takes off, with you laughing and giggling chasing him all over the house!
  17. Many times while playing, we end up having a monster chasing us!  One time, you said that and we hid under the covers, away from the monster.  Now, each time a monster is chasing us ("Oh no!  It's a monster!"), you have to run and hide under a blanket on the couch.
  18. Speaking of hiding, you aren't so good at it.  (giggle)  You like to hide but then when we are looking for you, you giggle constantly and end up coming out of your hiding place!  Cutest thing!!!
  19. You love to hide but they tend to be in the same places.  (smile)  Most of the time, your hiding places are your closet in your bedroom or the pantry in the kitchen.  (smile - I'm sure they will change as you get older.)
  20. Another game you've "invented" is whenever Daddy is laying on the floor, you want to "flip daddy over like a pancake" or squish and walk on his back.  It's so cute!
  21. You're imaginative play is really kicking into high gear and I cannot help but smile and be happy/sad at the same time.  You are now spending a lot of your time playing by yourself in your playroom.  It is so fun to listen to you play!  (Just stay this little okay? - wink)
  22. You also LOVE to play pretend!  When it's the three of us playing, you like to pretend you are Roo, I am Kanga, and Daddy is Tigger!  And let's face it, Daddy does a great impersonation of Tigger!  "The wonderful things about Tigger's, is Tigger's are wonderful things!  Their tops are made of rubber, their bottoms are made of springs.  They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun fun fun fun fun.  The wonderful thing about Tigger's, is I'm the only one!"
  23. Most of your stuffed animals or toys that did not have names when given to you, still don't have names.  (smile)  Puppy is still "puppy" while kitty is "kitty" most of the time but, sometimes you call him "Mr. Cat."  But the cutest one is the baby doll you got on your second birthday.  It was dressed all in pink but you insisted that HIS name was Johnathan Xander, named after two boys you had in class with you at the time.  (smile)  Crushes start early don't they?!  (wink)
  24. And while on the subject of dolls, for some reason, your dolls are ALWAYS naked.  The first thing you do with them is take their clothes off!  Ha!  (Funny thing is, Daddy and I found a box of my old dolls in the basement this past weekend.  You guessed it.  They were naked too! - smile)
  25. You love to play "The Opposite Game."  Most times, if I start shaking my head yes, you shake your head no and then when I shake my head no, you shake your head yes.  Giggling ensues and we laugh and laugh.  (smile)
  26. Your sillies are at an all time high!  One of the games you like to play is the "Does this say this?" and you say "NOOOOO!"  For instance, "Does a dog say moo?"  "NOOOOO!" said with a huge smile and laughter. 
  27. You have also become quite the negotiator.  Ten more minutes, 5 more pages, 3 more times, and so on and so forth.  (smile)
  28. You have been doing great on the potty for quite some time now!  You have your accidents every now and then but overall, you are doing wonderfully!
  29. Potty is a word that might be said over 50 times each day, no kidding.  But one of the funny ways we got you to be very successful in potty training, is one time we offered to read you a book to get you on the potty.  Well, that made you VERY happy and now, every time you go to the potty, you MUST have a book.  We now say, "Let's go get a book and go on the potty!"  (smile)  You also like to pick out which book is to be read on the potty.  You pick it out, and then hold it high in the air on the way to the potty, just like the gospel is raised high in the air at Mass!  LOVE!!!
  30. This past November, we removed the front railing of your crib to help you transition into a big girl bed.  You have been doing great!  We have no "safety" on the crib (you're only a few inches off the floor) and you have only fallen out once!  You love your new freedom!
  31. With this new freedom, most days we no longer get you out of bed, you get yourself up!  You get up, come to our door, slowly open it, and say "Good morning!" always with puppy and kitty in tow.  Shh, sometimes we even let you in our bed. (smile)
  32. Sillies are at an all time high at bedtime.  You laugh and giggle and do everything to make the bedtime routine as long as possible.  Currently, the routine consists of bath, potty, pj's, diaper, comb hair, brush teeth, read story, say prayers, sing a song, hug and kiss, then hail Mary.  Phew.  
  33. During this routine, you sometimes run off and laugh!  One of the things you love to do is run your fingers down the spokes of the railing in the Galley.  It's "music" to your ears and you love to "make music."  (smile)
  34. One of the special things about bedtime is that is time for just Daddy and you.  Sometime during your routine, you stop and ask to say goodnight to me.  I come up the stairs, stop at the top step and hug you.  You go limp, I lay you on the floor and you look up at me, moving my hair out of your face, and smiling ask, "How did you grow so big?"  LOVE this!!!
  35. This past October, we lost our kitty, Reese.  I had had him for over 15 years and it broke me to say it was time for him to go.  He really wasn't a healthy kitty.  That day, we spent a lot of time petting and saying our goodbyes to him.  You saw me cry a lot that day and came with us to the doctor.  I didn't let you in the room during but we told you that he was staying with the doctor.  You still ask about "Reesie."  "I miss Reesie.  He's at the doctor.  We should go and pick him up."  I love your love of animals.
  36. Lastly, and truly I could say so much more about you and your personality right now, but I'll end on this note.  Lots of people give you compliments which truly warms my heart.  But I have to stop myself from laughing when I hear your response to them.  Instead of saying, "Thank you!" you look matter of factly up at them and say, "Yes." or "I know."  Cracks me up every time!  I have to force myself to tell you to say "Thank you" which you do, but that first reaction out of your mouth is so priceless!
There are so many many reason we LOVE you baby girl!  I could go on and on and on.  But now that I've mentioned some items that make you you, here are just a few of the things you love:
  • books (first love and honestly, I hope you always love your books!)
  • princesses
  • movies - Rio, Despicable Me, Tangled and many other Disney movies
  • episodes - Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Cat in the Hat
  • playing dress up (already wearing Rapunzel's "high heals" at three!)
  • puppy and kitty (they go every where with you)
I look forward to seeing where your life is headed!  Happy birthday to my now THREE year old!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Munchies!

With our new found "Year of Change" in full swing, we experimented this weekend with some new foods and some oldies but goodies!!!  All without having to go to the grocery store!  

(Photo courtesy of CookingClassy.com)

On Saturday you and I worked together to bake Banana Cake.  Now, it may sound crazy to make a cake so close to your birthday which is not for your birthday, but here's the story as to why.  (smile)  We had two leftover bananas that were over ripe and ready for making Banana Nut Bread.  But on Friday, I found this recipe for Banana Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting on CookingClassy.com.  Daddy took one look at this recipe and really wanted it.  We put it up to a vote.  It was a tie!  You voted for Banana Nut Bread (you LOVE mama's Banana Nut Bread) and he voted for the cake.  So we compromised that the next time we had over ripe bananas we'd make the bread and this time we'd make cake.  Saturday morning we woke up and made this cake.  It was so much fun having you help me and you definitely wanted to help!  The only "substitution" we did is the recipe called for four ripe bananas or about 1 1/2 cups.  We only used two and personally, I think if we had used four, it would have been too much banana.  (smile)  You licked the paddle while the cake baked and once baked, we allowed it to cool.  The batter was delicious so I knew I was in trouble.  (wink)  After dinner I frosted the cake with the frosting recipe listed and we had some cake.  It is wonderful!  I'm not sure I've had Banana Cake before but we'll definitely be making it again!  In Daddy's words, it's the banana's version of carrot cake PERFECTION!  Truly yummy!

(Photo courtesy of Pillsbury.com)

For dinner that evening (before the luscious Banana Cake), we made this, Mojo Black Bean-Chicken Pizza.  We've made it before so we knew it would be a big hit.  This time I did a little tweaking and what we thought was a perfect mediterranean type pizza became even more perfect!  Neither I nor Daddy thought that was possible but it indeed was!  For the marinade, we used parsley instead of cilantro (I'm just not a fan of cilantro) and added two cloves (very large cloves I might add) of garlic.  For the chicken, we thawed a chicken breast, cut it into bite sized pieces, and pan cooked it in Zesty Italian Dressing (no oil, just dressing).  It was AWESOME!  And what's neat, it's only 290 calories per slice!!!  Yipee!  A fairly "healthy" way of still eating pizza!  YUM!

(Photo courtesy of TastyAndTellBlog.com)

I felt like I was on a cooking roll!  I hadn't cooked/baked so much in a LONG time.  So when I woke up early Sunday morning, I was ready to cook some more.  Since it was officially your birthday week and you were not yet awake, I decided to surprise you with a Sunday breakfast.  I knew I had wanted to make chocolate chip pancakes but had no idea what recipe to use.  So I went searching and found this Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancake recipe.  It was fantastic!  I made it exactly as printed, no substitutions, well almost.  (wink)  I did not have mini chocolate chips, next time, I'll make it with mini chocolate chips.  Daddy said these pancakes tasted just like Cholocate Cake.  They were a hit and I will definitely be making them again.  The only thing I "might" change is the actual flour I used.  The whole wheat flour we have does have a bit of an after taste so I'm thinking of looking for a different brand.  But all in all, a HUGE hit and a new family recipe!!!

I cannot wait to see what other things we decide to make this year!  Continuing on in our year of change!


Friday, January 10, 2014

2014: A Year of Changes

Before I begin writing my thoughts on this, I must first apologize to you Miss E for not keeping up with all the happenings and everything you've done over the last several months.  I have lots of pictures but I have failed in my intentions to write you multiple letters.  However, with each failure there is success, and I will continue to strive to write to you as often as I can. (smile)

I try not to be the Debbie Downer type, but admittedly, last year was one of the hardest years of my life.  There were illnesses, surgeries, deaths, fertility problems, the list goes on and on.  Knowing we were about to start a new year, we wanted to make it a fresh new beginning.  And thus our "Year of Changes" was born.

(Photo courtesy of damndelicious.net)

First change to make in this year is to improve our overall health.  We have changed how we are eating.  No more eating out (well, trying to limit that to only once a month), taking our vitamins daily, and try to use every morsel of food by either more preparation or more canning, etc.  For instance, in December we made a turkey and a ham and received a second ham bone.  We now have a TON of stock!  First time in my life making it and I was shocked at how easy it was!  I made Leftover Hambone Soup, then froze three 2/3 full quart sized Mason jars of hambone stock and we have four quarts of Turkey Stock!  (Now, for those of you reading this, go, run over to Brown Eyed Baker's blog!  Her recipes have never let me down!)  I'm excited to see what foods we will come up and prepare!

(Photo courtesy of lifehacker.com)

Second change we're making is to become a "Green" (or at least greener) family.  Some may say I'm just a little too much of a tree hugger as it is, well, you may see an increase this year. (smile)  This year, we plan to use up our household cleaners and also try to use more environmentally safe products.  I see me, baking soda and white distilled vinegar becoming great pals. (smile)  Already today, I descaled my Keurig using this technique and then cleaned my shower head using this technique.  IT WORKED!!!  And I had to do practically nothing, no scrubbing what so ever.  AWESOME!

(Photo courtesy of savemoney.us)

Third change is a huge challenge, but one that must be met with vigor and success, and we WILL be successful.  Since this will be my first full year as a stay at home mom, we will be pinching as many pennies as we can.  Some call it being more fiscally responsible or frugal, others, call me cheap.  (smile - you know who you are and I hold no ill will)  This doesn't mean we won't do things, and have fun.  Our attempt is to be much more frugal about it and knowing what everything costs.  Step one, I'm signing us up for Mint.com. (gulp)

(Baby L on his first day in this world)

There are more changes, challenges and fun times ahead in 2014.  I will be getting to be a nanny again to my newest nephew, Baby L!  I look forward to watching how Miss E gets to play big sister to her cousin.  We are also planning a few camping trips for the summer and even trying to think of what we should do for our FIVE year anniversary in October (cannot believe it has been five years already - any suggestions as to what to do?).  The possibilities are limitless and I cannot wait to make this year our own.

Doing all of these changes will help us to be better parents, be a better family, and to have an overall better view on life.  So many times people are weighed down by the things they see on Facebook, or the items pinned on Pinterest, and believe they just aren't doing enough and their child/ren will suffer.  I am not the first to say this, but you are doing what you can and that makes you a great mom.  I am not a Pinterest crafty mom.  But I do what I can.  And I have to have confidence in that, something that has been lacking over the past year or so.  I read this blog this morning and it talks of being a good enough mom.  I could not agree more and I will strive each and every breath to remember that I am enough.

Love you so much sweetheart,