Friday, December 30, 2011
I've been wanting my own juicer for at least a year but never splurged on one. I figured they were the type of appliance that you buy and rarely take out. I knew my dad had one so I figured before I buy one at all I should make sure I like juicing in the first place. Now I decided I just may continue borrowing, on a long term basis, my dad's juicer.
I really haven't gone too crazy with what I can juice just yet. Started out by juicing some carrots, celery, and apples then decided to add some romaine and beets. Beets are my favorite. They add such a nice sweet flavor and they turn the juice completely red which is perfect for a boy who loves the color red. I am pretty sure our entire family has consumed more fruits/vegetables for breakfast than in the last week combined.
I know ginger is a good addition, as well as cabbage, leeks, cucumber, bean sprouts, squash, tomatoes, but am wondering if any combinations are better than others. If you have a juice recipe you love, I'd love to try it.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
So rather than pay between one and two hundred dollars for a comforter for his bedroom I decided that I finally have a reason to make another quilt.
I haven't quilted in a couple of years because I really had no purpose for spending money on fabric to sew quilts that would ultimately sit around in my linen closet.
So now I have a reason to sew a quilt and I am really excited. I picked out my fabric palette and bought all the fabrics on sale, with coupon codes on top. So after purchasing all my fabrics/batting I am ahead of the game. I have yet to get backing and binding but I am sure I have plenty of time. I know time is money but I don't mind spending time quilting something with love for my little boy.
If I have enough fabric I will make some quilted shams as well.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The kids were so excited to see all the presents under the tree and Nathan was especially eager to start tearing into the wrapped gifts but we wanted to wait for both our parents to come over so they could watch the kids open their gifts.
They were surprised when giant stuffed Mickey and Minnie hitched a ride over with Jay's parents. One of the first gifts Teagan opened was Yo Gabba bath toys. She really didn't pay attention to much else the entire day, in fact she even brought them to sleep with her Christmas night. And to think she would have been perfectly having one $15 gift, lesson learned.
The first gift Nathan opened was a DVD of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He was so excited that he wanted to go put it in the DVD player and watch it. What kid would leave a dozen unopened gifts sitting under the Christmas tree to take a break to watch some TV? We had to set him straight. This boy cracks me up sometimes.
The gift Nathan was most excited for was Mario & Yoshi vs Stone Bowser Building Set by K'nex. Darn, I'm looking at that price and now realizing that we spent quite a bit more for the very same set a month ago. Is this a sign that I should do all my Christmas shopping in January?
Christmas 2011 was very special, we shared the day with my dad, Jay's mom and dad, Jay's older brother, and my brother and his wife. Of course we missed some other very special family members. The United States is a large country and great distances separate us.
Believe it or not, wrapping paper, cardboard and plastic packaging all over the floor, toy assembly, and meal prep aside, Christmas was very relaxing.
We colored, or attempted to color, but Teagan kept taking all the crayons away from me, that little crayon hoarder.
She pushed her new doll stroller around the house pretty much all day. I threw her new doll in there for kicks but she was entertained pushing around her foam Yo Gabba Gabba bath buddies. Now, several days after Christmas she is still pushing this stroller, however since the bath toys made their way upstairs to the bath tub, she is now pushing around a large assortment of whatever she can get her hands on. It's actually hysterical, it a very random collection of C-R-A-P. She just picks it up and throws it in the seat of her baby umbrella stroller.
We tried our hands at a game of Hi Ho Cherry O, but some little boy, seems uninterested in learning the rules. And see that cute little monster book light below? Adorable, but broken within minutes. That's what I get for buying from the cheap stocking stuffer bins at the store.
Grammaclaus gave Nathan a learning laptop and he was very interested in pushing all the buttons. I sat down with him yesterday to watch him pressing all the letters and watching the little animations that followed. For the heck of it I asked him to press certain letters, the ones he seemed to be pressing most often and I found out he knows many letters by sight!! I would say press H for Hippo and he would press the key that showed the capital and lower case version of the letter "H h", it did not have a picture of a hippo on the key itself. He also knows several other letters, like Z (zipper), T (turtle), U (umbrella), X (xray), and I am sure he knows more that I just haven't tested him on yet.
Monday, December 26, 2011
The days leading up to Christmas were so jam packed full of things to get done and at one point I realized I did enough. I'm not perfect, our family Christmas may not look anything like a page out of a Martha Stewart magazine but it will be perfect, and it was perfect, for us.
So now that I have some time, I'll recap some of the cute moments experienced over the past few days leading up to Christmas.
Nathan fell asleep before Teagan, not a common occurence, and she helped with his airway clearance.
Both kids have been extremely helpful, and also a bit -anti-helpful if that's even a word. I would say unhelpful but that would imply no help at all. I'm looking to say the complete opposite of help, meaning more work for me. Don't worry, I am smiling as I type this because the anti-help I receive from the kids is totally adorable, after the fact.
But the helpful moments are much more sweet. Like when Nathan wanted to help his daddy saw the legs on the table down a few inches.
I wanted to turn the Ikea table from our first apartment into a child table to fit Nathan and Teagan's soon to be new red chairs. We really did not have a permanent use for the table and I thought it could save us from having to purchase a matching kid table for the set of chairs.
Side note, if your husband says you look tired after slowly and carefully sawing two legs down, don't let him speedily saw through the third leg. You just may end up with split wood. I still love you Jay.
At 5:30 pm on Christmas Eve we decided to attend a 6 o'clock church service. Very spur of the moment, but as former pre-child regular churchgoers, we made the decision to give it a shot.
Which meant 15 minutes to get everyone clothed and out the door. We may have not looked perfectly put together but I am sure God didn't mind.
I am glad we made it to Christmas Eve service even though Teagan was not pleased, at all.
In fact, she was totally off the entire day, and most of Christmas, and currently this morning.
Santa was here.
Friday, December 23, 2011
While investigating the reason for an unusually quiet Teagan, I find Cheerios, piles and piles of Cheerios.
Then of course when I am done dealing with the Cheerio situation, I return to the living room to find that the pesky old empty nebulizer ampules jumped out of the medication trash can and "spilled all by themself" all over the sofa.
It is a good thing they are cute.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This morning the kids are having breakfast with Santa and a cookie exchange at preschool and wouldn't you know they would still be asleep at 8:30. I quickly changed diapers, made Nathan his morning bottle, administered morning dose of antiobiotics (Cipro and Bactrim). I am so thankful that Nathan didn't give me a hard time this morning. I got Nathan dressed up to make a good impression on Santa while Teagan got to where her pajamas/yesterday's outfit.
Nathan decided this morning that I was Olivia and he was Julian and he came down with a case of itchyfootitus, just like on the show. So he walked around limping on one foot and I had to scratch it. He also wanted to soak his foot in watermelon and relish to cure the itchyfootitus but I told him that would have to wait until after preschool, that we would cure his itchy foot later.
Meanwhile Teagan helped herself to some breakfast.
Nathan has me trained into forgetting meals. Teagan is a constant reminder that people need food!
Now I have one more hour until I have to go pick up my cuties from preschool so I am going to finish 1 of my 5 remaining photo sessions that I promise to have done before Christmas Eve. I want to enjoy my family and I want my clients to enjoy their photos.
Oh and by the way, when we arrived at preschool, all the kids were dressed in their pajamas. I guess I missed that memo since Nathan and Teagan were home sick all week. Ooops!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
My every day is almost exactly like the previous day. I often find myself repeating my must do tasks outloud. Although I feel as if I am repeating to myself, I often realize that I am talking out loud. For Nathan alone I most often find myself saying, "Did I give him enzymes for that? I still need to give him his vitamins. I will give him his Bactrim now and then wait until (this time) to give him his probiotics. What day did I first begin this inhaler - that means 200 inhalations minus 4 priming inhalations, minus 4 inhalations per day since the day the Xopenex inhaler was first primed, leaves me with how many inhalations?
Meet The DOSER, officially the best gadget ever and I am not getting paid to endorse the product. Initially I thought $30 may be a little expensive for a little electronic counter for an inhaler. I did find something similar, a case for the inhaler, that was a little less expensive but it would require me to remember to enter the doses after administering them each time. Plus I usually keep the inhaler attached to his Vortex chamber. I am so happy I splurged!
Some inhalers have a built in counter that keeps track of remaining inhalations, Xopenex is not one of them.
The DOSER was fairly easy to program. I would have been much easier without 4 tiny hands trying to "help" me but you first program the time and then program the total inhalations in the brand new metered dose inhaler (MDI).
You are supposed to begin with a brand new inhaler. Nathan's Xopenex inhalers have 2o0 inhalations. I know I already used 20 in priming and inhalations so this month I started at 180. The DOSER even keeps track of daily history of inhalations. On the screen itself it shows how many doses were taking during the current day but there is a way to access the past history as well, I believe. Nathan takes 4 puffs of Xopenex on a normal day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. Now if I have any question whether he took his puffs before his airway clearance I can just look at the DOSER.
So even though it is one less thing to remember and worry about, it essentially makes life easier in more ways than just one. Aside from initial programming and resetting with each new inhalor, their are no that you need to remember to press. The DOSER automatically beeps with each inhalations indicating that it is remembering another dose.
Again, I am only endorsing the DOSER because I want to help others who have too much going on in their mind. Maybe clear some space in your memory for other things.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Don't get me wrong, I set high expecations in certain scenarios - my own successes, my children being polite, etc. but when it comes to Nathan's sputum cultures at his CF clinic I like to set my expectations low.
The disease of Cystic Fibrosis is already like riding an emotional roller coaster, I don't want to set myself up for disappointment every 2 to 3 months.
Pseudomonas aeruginosacolonies on agar via textbookofbacteriology.net
Basically I don't want to set myself up to be constantly disappointed. By setting my expectations low in the sputum culture, bacterial growth scenario - my expectations will either be met or I may ended up pleasantly surprised like this morning.
Normal flora only, for the first time since we switched CF care centers.
But since both kids had a goobery weekend, and Nathan's cough is currently thick and gunky, he will be doing a round of oral Cipro on top of his maintaince doses of zithromax and bactrim.
Slightly off topic, Nathan picked up a bad word from Jay over the weekend. When Nathan has a coughing fit he gets frustrated and tells us he is trying to cough and that he doesn't want to cough. Jay told him that is because he has a like of crap in his lungs. Nathan responded I want to cough the crap out. Trying not to draw attention to it, instead I am trying to tell him it is not a nice word and move on.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Part of the reason for the mobile pics is that I am still drowning in client's photos and would rather not mess with my memory cards until all clients photos have been taken care of and backed up, and burnt to disc, and backed up again and again, just to be safe.
Fa la la! Christmas, it's the most wonderful time of the year!
So what do we do when we are happy and festive? We bake, of course!
I can't help but think of my mom around Christmastime. She could have been a magazine or billboard advertisement for "holiday cheer". While looking for Christmas cookie recipes I stumbled upon a recipe for checkerboard and pinwheels and instantly thought of her.
She may have made them many times or she may have only made them one year, but to me these cookies screamed Christmas and all I could think about was mom. I had to make them.
Even if they resembled Mad Hatter Dr Seuss-esque checkboard cookies, they were awesome and they were delicious. My breakfast this morning consisted of raw and fresh baked cookie dough, don't judge. Not for Teagan though, she was just trying to eat them via telekinesis through the oven glass. Oven locks are wonderful things.
Jay wanted to prove to me that he could roll the pinwheel cookies better than I could. His were green on the outside and mine were red on the outside. I confess his pinwheels were much better, he rolled them perfectly tight. He kept bragging that his would be perfect, and that was a lot of bragging time considering I let them chill in the fridge overnight. I am sure the suspense was killing him.
In his words, "If someone were to look at these pinwheel cookies he would think one of two things. Either they were made by a professional baker or rolled by a wrestler."
Apparently all those years of rolling up a wrestling mat pays off in perfectly rolled pinwheel cookies later in life.
You can't compare the two photos because his were not yet baked, but I already confessed that his were better. I love them both though because they are red, and they are green, and they scream Christmas, and they remind me of mom. All good things.
And then, since I just had to register for a Wilton cookie press for our wedding, I figured it was about time I used it, nearly 5 years later.
And I used this cookie press (which is currently less than $15!)
The cookie press was much easier to use than I thought it would be. You pull the plunger back, fill the chamber with dough, choose the insert, engage the plunger by turning it around, then with the press against the cookie sheet, squeeze the trigger/handle once for each cookie. I read somewhere to freeze the cookie sheet to help the dough release better. I froze the cookie sheet for a few minutes between each batch and never had a problem with the dough releasing from the cookie press. Although I didn't try it without the chilled cookie sheet so I have nothing to compare it to.
Nathan helped decorate the spritz cookies. Nothing crazy, just sprinkles, mostly red.
We packed a couple dozen to bring to our annual neighborhood Christmas party. It is our first time in attendance because something has come up every single year preventing us from attending. Last year it was a nasty stomach virus or food poisoning for Jay.
I am also going to set aside some of the cookies for Nathan and Teagan to bring to their preschool Cookie Exchange/Breakfast with Santa on Thursday.
But the rest of our cookies are ALL OURS! To eat warm, cold, with milk, and even stale and crumbly. Ok, we will save some for Santa too.
But before the Christmas party, while Teagan caught up on some beauty sleep, I wanted to tackle something that has been on my to-do list for well over a year now. I've been meaning to make an origami crane mobile for Teagan's nursery, scratch that, Teagan's bedroom.
It is still not quite complete but here it is hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom in a quasi complete phase.
I still have to add at least 4 more cranes, and fluff the feathers. Just kidding on that one. What I meant was, the cranes are still flat, I need to puff them up, bend their wings/beak.
To be honest, I wanted them. My gut wanted to snatch them up and put them in the purse I haven't carried since Nathan was born over 3 years ago, and bring them home. But that would have been so wrong, not to mention so unlike the spirit of Christmas. For the record I would never have done that. I guess my mom just wanted to enjoy the Christmas party with her family and her grandchildren. Nothing but love...<3
Thursday, December 15, 2011
We spent a total of 8 hours on the road and at the hospital for Nathan's routine 2-3 month CF clinic. It is definitely a long day, especially when one direction, either to the hospital or heading home, is ultimately spent sitting in rush hour traffic.
To top things off, I had to make a pit stop at BJ's to pick up a wholesale quantity of disinfecting wipes. Jay left work early with the chills, a stomach ache, and a splitting headache. It did not sound good and I knew I would arrive home after a long day only to deal with both kids, dinner, medicines, treatment time, and bedtime by myself. I'm not looking for sympathy because I know many single parents do these things daily but I was just tired.
And since both kids usually end up in bed with us, I decided to switch their entire routine and make a bed of blankets downstairs in front of our TV. This way I knew both kids would be going to bed with me and not waking up in bed with Jay. In fact I wouldn't even let Jay out of the bedroom, not that he wanted to anyway. I think he slept over 15 hours, with a few interruptions/deliveries of chicken noodle soup, gatorade, tylenol, coffee, and his current favorite Greek yogurt.
I am so happy that he woke feeling much better today. Must have been a 24 hour virus. But I am still praying none of us were exposed to his germs pre-symptom.
Nathan had a great clinic visit. I think we successfully switched him to chewable vitamins!! Another liquid medication/supplement gone! They are bubble gum flavored and have a monkey on them and I actually had to tell him no to a second pill. I think the brand is Source CF and to be honest I am too lazy to get up and look at the moment.
He has gained more weight since his last visit and his lungs sound good, all good news! If I can remember correctly he weighed 35 pounds 2 ounces and was 37.5 inches. The most important thing though is that he is acting energetic and feeling well!!
Of course I am fully anticipating the usual pseudomonas and MRSA in his culture, not because I am a pessimist but because I am a realist. I am just praising God that he is doing well, acting healthy, growing, and seemingly thriving. We already have him on an every other month cycle of TOBI but held off the December cycle until we see what is growing in the culture. I am not sure if we will be back on TOBI because research has changed yet again, I guess evolving research is a good thing.
What will be, will be.
Time to do medicines and treatments. Good night all.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Perhaps I should have elaborated earlier when I posted a very random photo of a special tree.
I don't really want this particular tree to be any different than any other Christmas tree but the truth is this tree will forever stand out in my heart because it was the tree that I sat next to with my mom on our last Christmas together, our last day together.
Christmastime can be difficult but memories are a beautiful thing.
from a past Christmas.
But after I specifically instructed Nathan not to touch the ornaments for the hundreth time, no exaggeration, I heard the crash. I could not mistake the sound of the shattered ornament.
So without hesitation, I undecorated the tree, sparing the Christmas lights. Breakable and unbreakable ornaments got packed away because I truly believe my kids can break anything.
I think what irritates me the most is that the kids have been around several trees already including my brother in law and sister in law's tree with nothing but Lennox ornaments, and they didn't bother with tree or ornaments.
I have a list of client sessions to attend to but I have quickly realized nothing can be accomplished with either kid around.
My father in law took Nathan off my hands for a few hours but of course Teagan wouldn't stop crying and banging the cabinets open and closed. So the only productive thing I have done today write this post while sitting in the car waiting for Nathan's prescriptions at the pharmacy.
Monday, December 12, 2011
We didn't actually "cut" our tree this year, but the Hamburg Fire Department simulated a "Cut your own tree experience" quite nicely. It wasn't the typical tree lot with the trees leaning over on some sort of wooden support. They had each tree on a rod inserted into the grown to make it appear that they were not yet cut. So we were able to have the experience of walking between rows of trees searching for our family tree.
We were even able to take some photos in front of a funny looking tree resembling a large mushroom cap. We probably could have set up camp underneath this tree.
Cute big foofy tree, but not "our tree". Now this is our tree, Nathan approves...!
This is how you cut down a tree, you have someone pull the rod out of the ground.
Giddyup Christmas tree.
We just had to get the tree before Nathan went to Florida. We managed to get the star on top and the lights strung but ran out time for decorating. I knew this would be something Nathan would enjoy this year so for now, until we can set aside some time to get the ornaments up from storage, we are going to enjoy staring at the twinkling colored lights on our Christmas tree.
I love colored lights, I love twinkling colored lights even more. They make me happy.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Nathan was obsessed with "Yoba Gaba" to the extent to which he would say "yoba gaba yay!" as sort of a cowabunga phrase. When you heard him yell that phrase you knew a surge of energy was imminent.
Now it seems Teagan thinks about "Oh Gee Gah" 24/7. I swear she even dreams Yo Gabba Gabba because it is the first thing she says when she opens her eyes. If Nathan watches a DVD on the big TV she presses the power button and turns it off. She wants to watch what she wants to watch which sometimes means she has to watch on the laptop.
So while I was packing the diaper bag for our play date with JJ, she did just that. Stood right in front of the laptop and watched until I was ready to leave.
Sidenote: found a tick in Teagan's ear that morning and couldn't find a pair of tweezers. I used a makeshift tick remover which is actually some sort of cuticle trimmer I think. For the record, the cuticle tool does not make for a very good tick remover. I successfully removed the body but that darn blood sucker would rather be ripped in half than to unlatch from the skin. Thank goodness JJ's daddy is a surgeon, or perhaps I should just be thankful for a household stocked with tweezers and steady hands.
2 sets of hands restrained her and 1 set removed the rest of the tick. I'm assuming the tick hopped on while hunting for our Christmas tree. I don't know where else it would have come from.
Nothing a lollipop can't fix though.
Doesn't JJ have some pretty nice toddler furniture? Love the Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair his grandma bought him. And the cowmooflage carseat, how stinking adorable. That Britax carseat has a pretty funny story behind it, but unfortunately it is not my story to tell. I just wish it would have arrived post rather than pre tick removal.
Oh...and did you notice the little CMS Creative Photography watermark that mysteriously appeared on JJ's chair. Must have accidentally painted on my watermark while resizing the photo for web. I would fix it but my internet is operating at snail's pace today. Not to mention the million photos I have to sort through and edit for clients.
I think they enjoyed their lollipop date, don't you agree?
He caught his mama trying to sneak a snack in the pantry.
One thing I love about this little boy is that he still appreciates and enjoys lounging. He is very mobile now but at times he can still be caught chilling on his back taunting Molly Jones with his snack trap.
...and no play date would be complete with Hannah. No matter what time I need to leave I need to wait until she gets off the bus. Everyone loves Hannah. Adults love her because she is a good kid who listens to and respects her elders. Kids love her because she is hysterical and a lot of fun to play with.
See, there is never a dull moment.
* * * * * * * *
Back at home, Teagan loves to play independently. She totes her baby doll around the house, placing her on different surfaces, grabbing a diaper, putting the diaper away, rocking her in the chair, bouncing with her on the rocking horse, pushing her on the ride on, getting annoyed and throwing the baby repeatedly against the wall or on the floor.
I promise, I have never held my babies like this.
Muno, Teagan's 2nd child. She actually pointed to Muno on the TV this morning and was calling him Daddy.
* * * * * * * *
What a girly girl she is at times. I haven't used a purse in over 3 years so I don't know where she learned to walk with the purse hanging from her arm. She did this all by herself.
Baby girls aren't instinctively born with the ability to wiggle their hips when they walk and hold their arm so daintily with a purse, are they?
I am enjoying these one on one moments with my girly girl. I originally thought I would accomplish so much around the house while Nathan was vacationing in Florida with his grandparents but that plan pretty much got flushed down the toilet and I am okay with that.