Saturday, April 30, 2011

For the Love of Cooking.

It's a pretty safe bet, considering her followers top 4,600 (!!!), that I'm the last person to hear of this cooking blog, but just in case I'm the second-to-last, I wanted to share this great site I came across today. Such wonderful recipes!

Now if only I had time and energy to spend in the kitchen...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny came!

Reading her new Dora books!

The five seconds she wore her Easter hat. Dang it!

Not the best pic of me, but love having family pics!

Our church's Easter egg hunt!

Can I just remind you the camera adds ten pounds?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pemberton Heights Easter Egg Hunt!

This morning we went to Ava's first Easter egg hunt, and she loved it! I'm sad that the majority of candy we found was chocolate, but we did get some jelly beans and so she'll be able to have one of those now and again. All in all, though, she had a great time hunting for eggs with S & P!

Storytime Fun.

We've started going to a Friday morning storytime, since it's for toddlers and preschoolers instead of babies and young toddlers. Ava is by far the youngest, but that doesn't mean she feels intimidated!

Check it out:

Love storytime! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Mother's Prayer for Her Child (by Tina Fey)

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


-Tina Fey

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ava's First Trip to...the ER.

Well this was a "first" I was hardly looking forward to.

I've always been a heat sensitive individual. Which, when you think about it, is ironic, because I ultimately prefer warmer climates. Still, when the temps start reaching towards 100, I start feeling the effects, with my body unable to regulate it's temp well. Seriously, I could run two miles in the heat and barely break a sweat. And it's not because I'm in amazing shape (I'm not). It's because I just hold on to my heat for whatever reason, and it seems little A has inherited this horrible trait.

Yesterday was a normal day, between a few hours at work and some mommy/Ava playtime. I got off work slightly early, and so since I was able to take the main highway home since traffic was still minimal, we stopped off at a park to celebrate the great weather and early release from work. Apparently, this was our downfall.

We played at the park 20 minutes, 25 max. We played on the swings, went down the slide four times after climbing up the playscape repeatedly, and then we went home. Sounds simple and harmless enough, right? WRONG. Bad mommy.

When we got home, it was getting close to dinner time, so we played for a bit, and then I gave her some of her favorite things for dinner - black beans, strawberries, etc. She wouldn't eat a thing. In fact, she seemed a bit irritable, but I passed it off as being her temper lately, and muttered some nonsense about the terrible twos arriving early to our house. Yes, I feel like an asshole now.

Then, to make matter worse, we went to play in the backyard like we do every night after dinner. She got into her car, and D was running her around, pushing her like usual. But instead of squealing with delight, she looked totally wrong to me, and I instantly knew something was seriously wrong. I scooped her up, took her inside, and felt her scorching hot little body against me. Her temp? 103.3.

Knowing that she'd exhibited no signs of illness all day and that it came on so quickly, I immediately thought it was heat-related. Her skin was dry to the point of feeling like sandpaper, and we popped her into a cool bath to try to bring her temp down. No luck. She was starting to fall asleep on and off, despite it being 6:30, and alarm bells were sounding all over the place in this mama's head.

Scared as hell of a heat stroke, we loaded her up and took her to the ER.

Several hours and a multitude of tests later ruling out flu, strep, a UTI, etc, we are now certain she had an episode of severe heat exhaustion. When we got there, her fever was topping out at a horrifying 104 degrees. Two hours and two doses of motrin and Tylenol later, it was 98.2. Just as quickly as it came on, it went away when she was finally able to cool herself.

The one victory I can claim, especially given how guilty I feel over taking her to play outside on a hot day, is that the nursing staff wanted to cath my baby (!!!!!) to get a urine sample. Now I'm not expert but I know that a.) that hurts like hell, and b.) there has to be a better way. So I bargained with the nurses, noting our early potty training efforts, and they brought in a bedside commode - and Ava peed in it!!!!! She gave a urine sample, and we avoided the cath since I had put my foot down. It was a shining moment of parenting for D and I - I'll give myself that. Unfortunately it's not enough to offset the extreme remorse I feel about having caused this :(

We're home now, and A seems fine, if a bit tired. But how on God's green Earth do I manage to prevent this, when it is only April, and it's going to climb to significantly higher temps? I didn't feel like we were outside an excessive amount, but now I'm afraid to go out at all. Help!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I'll be the first to admit I find character clothing tacky. Less so for boys, since they have less clothing choices to begin with, but shirts sporting Tweety Bird and Snoopy and other crap like that just really irks me. To each their own, I suppose. Anyhow, I'll also be the first to admit that my child has made me a total sucker hypocrite!

This kid is OBSESSED with Dora. No joke. Check it all out. Next thing you know our house is going to look like the house in Fools Rush In (LOVE that movie!) after Selma Hayek gets her hands on it!

Like I said, obsessed! Are your little ones obsessed with anything?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Weekend.

We had a great weekend. Friday afternoon we went over to Westwood Country Club to do a bit of swimming and eat dinner, and then afterwards A went home with David so I could babysit late and make some extra money :) Great start to the weekend, and A loved it. See for yourself:

We also did a bit of gardening and work in the backyard, while A stood by and chased butterflies:

Add to that A's new favorite thing to do - dressing up - and I think you'll agree we had a fun-filled weekend!

Hope you all had as great of a weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

She Speaks!

As promised, here's a bit more of what Ava is saying these days (for relatives and the few other potentially interested parties - for the rest of you know, I know you'd rather watch paint dry!):

"Mama mil" - for mama milk
All basic animal noises - "oof", still "aah" for cat, "caw caw" for birds, "muhhhhhh" for cow, to baa she basically blows her lips - super cute!, "cack cack" for ducks, "ssssss" for snakes, "ooh ooh ah ah" for monkeys, "cock" for roosters...always a fun one!
"bapa" - backpack
"conga" - thanks, Dora
"Bubba" - for bubbles
"choos" - for shoes
"yesh" - yes (just started this in the past few days!)
"cacuh" - cracker
"cah" - car
"cooka" - cookie
"ba-bye" - bye bye
"toot" - just what it sounds like - haha!

Her language skills have exploded recently. While before I knew that she was understanding my every word as she was able to follow instructions - both simple and a bit complex - to a tee, now she's starting to really express herself with more than a yes or no nod or by pointing. I LOVE IT!!!

I think there are more, but can't think of them right now after this long day of working and hanging out with all three girls at the pool (rough life, right?). I'm sure we'll be adding more and more to the list!

Happy Friday, ladies! Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Little Comedienne.

Ava has been doing some pretty hilarious things lately.

First and foremost, she's really starting to talk (YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!! More on this tomorrow..), and she specializes in some new animal noises. One such animal noise comes when you ask what a rooster says, to which she responds - loudly and enthusiastically - "COCK!", repeating it over and over for hours. It's gotten us some interesting stares lately! We're working on the "-a-doodle-doo!" part ;)

She's also taken up an interest with the word "Toots!". I blame my hysterical giggles whenever she lets one rip and I happily declare "toots!". Oops. Didn't think that one through!

The best, though?

The other night, I took the clothes out of the dryer (finally - it has been a couple days since I dried them...oops!) to fold while David gave her a bath. When she came running out of the bathroom for her post-bath streak through the upstairs living area, she decided to help me start folding the clothes and ran right over and stood on top of the heap...and peed! HAHA! I died laughing :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

How Our Health Care System is Failing Mothers (& Therefore Babies).

I had an interesting Saturday. I woke up and nursed Ava like I do every morning, except instead of nursing with ease, my slightly sore nipples (this may be the time to bow out, boys!) felt excruciating, so painful to the point where I was wide awake and struggling to allow her to finish nursing.

Now this isn't my first rodeo, seeing as how we've been a nursing baby/mama couplet for the past 15 months, and so I was confused. My immediate thought was thrush, as it was a burning, razors-coming-through-my-nipples feeling that continued after the feeding ended, and so seeing as how my doc wasn't open Saturdays, I called A's, assuming she'd need treatment. Fast forward through that very upsetting appointment (homegirl HATES the doctor's office!), and no signs of thrush for A.

Not knowing what to do but unable to make it 48 hours until my doctor's office opened Monday without treatment, I called the S&W Clinic, praying they'd have a Saturday appointment. They sure did! I felt hopeful that they'd be able to write my an oral script to take, and we'd knock this thing right out.

The doctor, who - to what little credit he deserves - was not an OB/GYN, was visibly confused. I explained to him the issue and what I was feeling and how I was pretty certain it was thrush, and how it wasn't mastitis as I've had that experience before, but he seemed uncomfortable more than anything. Look, dude. I don't really feel like talking about and showing my breasts to a stranger, either, but at least you're getting paid, and not the one PAYING to have this awkward chat.

He looked me over, and said, "Hmm, yes. They certainly seem raw. But they're not splotched with white, so it's not likely thrush." Oh. OK.

Instead, he wrote me a prescription for antibiotic cream that - if it is thrush, since white and splotchy patches aren't necessarily a symptom! - will make things much, MUCH worse. Needless to say, I didn't fill it. He couldn't give me a single reason why I should use antibiotic cream and what he was prescribing it for, and I'm still not convinced it's not thrush. This, however, is forgivable. What isn't is what came next. The inevitable, "Maybe you should quit breastfeeding."


When I looked visibly perturbed, he backtracked, saying, "You know, just for a couple days while they heal."

Um, are you the most clueless medical doctor in the world? My milk will dry up if I stop breastfeeding for "a couple days", you idiot. And the pump isn't going to go any easier on them.

Why is it that doctors always sprint towards discouraging breastfeeding mothers? I'm no saint, obviously, but how about an encouraging, "Wow, way to go! Way to stick with it and give your baby what is best!", or even just a nod to the sacrifice. Not to get all holier than thou, but if you could refrain from discouraging and judging my choice - the BEST choice for her, esp. given her dairy issues - I'd appreciate it, doc.


Why aren't more general practitioners well-versed in breastfeeding knowledge? Why can't they go the teeny tiny extra distance to learn how to best treat nursing mothers - and therefore their babies - rather than giving the extremely lazy response of telling them to toss in the towel?!

(I remembered my signature finally - lol!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Today is Awesome.

I love when I'm able to write a post like this. When good, relieving and/or just generally overwhelmingly positive news inspires me to the point where I can't come up with one particular thing to focus on, so I get to list them all. Much, much better than the days when I have to write posts entitled, "Why Life Sucks," or, "The Twenty Things That Went Wrong Today...Before 9AM."

So, without further adieu, here they are (and in no particular order):

1. I have a solution to a problem that's been really, really eating away at me, and it's one that - long story short - I don't hate. I hadn't realized how much the fact that I would be more or less losing my job (cutting back to ten hours due to the girl's school schedules and the family's changing needs) was nagging at my every thought, every day until I found a solution. I'm going to be taking a new job come August, working as a nanny for one of David's co-workers. I was initially skeptical of the arrangement, seeing as how working for a family can be a bit...sensitive...and will be more so given that it's one of David's co-workers, but the more I talked to the woman about it, the more I felt certain it was a good solution. I'll be working a TON more hours, but also making more money than I not only do now, but more than I have since I started, because I'll still be keeping my job with the D's, working two late afternoons per week. I'll be working over fifty hours, which makes me a bit nervous, but it's a.) not like I haven't done it before, and b.) will get to be with Ava, so basically will just be a full-time mom, with a few more kids sprinkled in :) How many kids you ask? I'll be working with two boys, who are turning 3 & 5 over the summer, as well as a baby being born in June. AHHH! That's right - I'll be spending my days with a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, my 20-month-old and a 2-month-old. Jealous? Hahaha. While it may sound overwhelming, the boys have varying school schedules, so it won't be all four all the time. And I know it's right, since the feeling I felt most when I accepted the job? Relief. Relief that I can stay with the D's, relief that I'll have enough money, and - most of all - relief that I'll get to continue to be home with Ava. That's the most important thing to me!

OK, now that my novel is concluded, here are the other reasons:

-My writing job has brought new writing opportunities, and I've been hired on not only by Pampers, but now Triscuit and McCormick, doing various projects for them. I welcome the extra work - and income!

-NEIGHBOR UPDATE! I went for a long walk with Ava this morning, and was able to finally stop in and actually see my neighbor, who - I'm very happy to report - thanked me profusely!!! I was more than expecting anger, but had come to terms with the fact that I 100% did the right thing (thank you all SO much for your input!), and instead, was greeted with tears and gratitude. Turns out, he had a seizure, and thanks to EMS, he was able to get the care he needed. Thank you, God!

-I'm not pregnant. Never suggest that again! Hahaha ;P

-Ava's said "shoes", "thanks" ("tanks") and "mooo" (the only animal sound she previously wouldn't say) today! Yay!

-It's my Friday!

It's not all good news, unfortunately. My mom called a couple hours ago to tell me my grandpa has had a stroke, so please do keep him in your prayers.

Have a lovely rest of your day!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Did I Do the Right Thing?

This morning started out great. I had the best night's sleep I've had in a long, LONG time, and woke up feeling refreshed. I LOVE that feeling, and don't see it enough. A was also in a good mood, happy and ready to play and be silly, and our good moods just played on one another, until we finally couldn't contain our sunshine in the house anymore, and decided to hit the neighborhood streets for a nice walk. That's when things went South...

I'm ashamed to say I don't know my neighbors all that well. I was one of the first people to move in when the houses were built, and was the young, single girl to everyone's family status. That being said, I take Ava for walks on a semi-regular basis, and know or at least recognize some families in the area, trying to be friendly and saying hi when they're outside.

This morning, I passed by one such house, where an elderly gentleman and his wife live. As I waved and said good morning, I wondered briefly why he didn't respond, thinking that I really should get outside more and interact with these people. Then he fell.

The man, who I'd guess was about 65, fell face first down into the grass, where he'd been watering the flowers and tree in the front yard. His eyes were open, but he wasn't speaking or moving. His screen door was open, so I ran frantically over to him, checking for a pulse, and then ran to the screen door, praying his wife would be there. She wasn't. When I ran back over to him to check his breathing and dial 911, his eyes were closed (and I was convinced for a second he had died), but then he had started to make the smallest of movements, regaining consciousness. I put the phone down (I hadn't completed dialing yet) and went over to him, trying to help brace him and get him on his feet, and saw his arm was bleeding. I asked him if I could call anyone - his wife, a doctor, EMS - or help him bandage his arm, but it seemed clear he wasn't able to speak, with him only able to mumble initially. I also noticed his right arm was bleeding from the fall, and saw he was unable to move it. I'm not a doctor, but I was 99% certain he had suffered a stroke.

I also know that stroke victims can be both disoriented and aggressive, not to mention embarrassed, when they come to, and so when he shrugged me off and was finally able to get the words out that he was fine, I couldn't believe him. There was no conviction in his voice, and he seemed completely confused to why his arm was bleeding and what I was doing standing in front of him. So when he shooed me away - not literally, but he definitely wanted to go inside and be alone - I called 911.

I've been questioning myself ever since. I don't regret doing so, and the paramedics said I was right to call, but did I hurt more than I helped? Is he without insurance, and now going to be stuck with a huge bill for EMS services? Should I offer to pay it?

I'm really conflicted. But in the end, I felt so certain that he had a stroke, and the fact that it happened while I was standing directly in front of his house while attempting to say good morning to him just seemed like, for lack of a better word, fate. And my judgment - the judgment that could not live with allowing an elderly stroke victim go back into his house, bleeding and alone - superseded his in this case, in my opinion. If he did have a stroke, and there was damage, I know that there is a brief window to reverse it, and would never forgive myself if I stood by and allowed anything to happen to him.

What do you think? Did I do the right thing?

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Get It Now.

Whenever I used to babysit for a family the first time, they'd always leave me this insanely detailed list of instructions/facts. I'm talking the kind of thing that left me thinking, "Uh, I'm not an idiot. I manage to keep myself alive everyday, after all." You know, a list kind of like this:

I get it now.
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