Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Belly Blues

Tonight, Paul came up behind me and hugged me. Then, he put his hands on my tummy (as he did when I was pregnant) and said, "I'm gonna miss the baby belly." My voice cracked as I said, "Me, too." He said that if he could, he would have a dozen babies with me. That's how I feel! I'm not sure why God puts a desire in our hearts to mother or father many kids when it isn't financially feasible. Maybe things will change in the future so that I wouldn't feel guilt about having more kids than my two little ones, but I can't see that happening. Then again, a year ago, hubby was unemployed and we were living with my in-laws... now we're in an apartment again, doing fine and paying our bills - but we're just right there. It wouldn't be fair to have more kids. God help me to heal this part of my heart and accept having only my two beautiful and perfect little ones. Help me to be the best mommy I can be to these children. Amen.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Boys Will Be Boys

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with my 5 year old. She went downstairs and apparently saw her friend's 2 year old brother's penis (I'm guessing he got out of the bath or was running around, I dunno), so she drew it for me (apparently he's circumcised) and then wanted to draw it bigger for me to see. lol I said, "No, no, honey. We don't draw penises. That's not nice. Besides, your brother and dad have penises and I've seen them. I know what they look like." She looked at me with big eyes and then squinted at me: "You've SEEN daddy's penis?!" Yes, yes, I have.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Official! I have a kindergartener!

 Meeting Mrs. Donati
 Anna's Merida backpack

Anna became a kindergartener today. She's so excited! I made her lunch: almond butter and jelly sandwich, strawberries, carrots, a pumpkin cupcake (tastes just like pumpkin pie - thanks Pinterest!), milk and a strawberry straw. Her teacher is Mrs. Donati and she also has a teacher named Mrs. Goin. Paul and I got to stay for story time. We, along with other parents, stood around and snapped pictures! haha :) We love our little girl! She's growing up so fast. I'm nervous about habits she might pick up from other kids. I just hope it goes well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This is my favorite season of all. Sometimes the heat is too much, but for the most part, it's so much better than winter. Let's just say, I get S.A.D.! And with the Pacific Northwest's perma-gloom, winter can really suck! I love taking pictures of my loved ones this time of year. It's almost always perfect weather, perfect lighting, perfect everything!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beach Day

Paul and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and we celebrated by going to our favorite place: Seaside, OR. Charlie put his feet in the ocean sands for the first time, in the same place where his sister did, and at the same age (7 months). We had a blast. I wish we could do that every month.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to be a Crappy Parent

Crappy parenting goes as thus:

1. Keep doing everything you're doing.

2. Look at what everyone else is doing and yearn to do what they're doing.

3. Look at your kids. Jeez, they're messed up! Fix them! Fix them, I say!

4. Look at the wake of destruction behind you and realize how truly sucky you are at life and parenting.

I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of all of the above, so I must be a crappy parent. I'm not that great at what I'm doing here. I can see a million things that I can do better than this. I have issues, to say the least. When I wake up in the morning, I am exhausted and lazy. I do some cleaning and feeding. By 1, I might be in my pajamas... or regular clothes. It doesn't matter, but I'm pretty sure that I've succeeded if I've gotten at least one kid dressed. If I've made macaroni and cheese for lunch, then I am THE WOMAN. Today I vacuumed, did the dishes, clothed and fed both of the kids and even got into real clothes before Paul got home from work. I also did a little blogging. How, though, does it feel like I haven't gotten a chance to take a breath? How is it that there are still dirty clothes and dishes? Some days, I feel like I'm falling further behind than I am getting ahead. I look at everything I'm doing, hate that I'm making apparent mistakes and I keep doing it. I see everyone else is supermom, superwife or super careerwoman. I can't duplicate what they do. I want to do things for Anna and Charlie to help them through life, but I suck at it so much. No, this isn't a whine-post. Don't you dare tell me that I'm just being down on myself. There is is a point here and I'll get to it shortly. It's hard to keep a straight line of thinking when a six month old is climbing all over me and I'm trying to ignore him for the good of the interwebs! I swear that this is educational and worth risking my child's mental health! I see that I'm not really that bad of a mom. I try hard at doing the best I can, even if I fail. I care when I fail. I just can't fix it. I want to be a better mom and wife. Most of all, I want to be a better friend. I want to let others know that I can be a good friend. I want to make connections, not just be a shut-in. What is my first step? I don't know. But I suppose I should let others know that I care for them and try to make dates for me and my friends. Dang, I hardly make dates for me and my husband! Maybe I do suck at being a wife! I suppose I need to take more 'risks' to be able to be more rounded. I don't trust others. I have trust issues. ;) What is the point of this post again? Probably that I won't even push 'publish' at the end. I'm sitting here sobbing and feeling really self-deprecating right now. I think I need a shower and me time. Then I'll worry about everyone else. Everyone is fed and happy. I just need me time. Maybe then, I'll be able to be a better mom, wife and friend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

 Clockwise from top: mango, avocado, butternut squash and banana!

First of all, I love the new setup that Blogger has! This is much easier to do my posts. OK, so these are the fabulous frozen baby foods I slaved over to make for Charlie. He starts solids in two weeks and I'm bored! So!!!! Aren't they lovely? I simply pureed them (I had to cook the squash first, but you know what I mean) and put them into an ice cube tray and froze them! I double bagged them in my freezer. So pretty! So simple! And so CHEAP! Each fruit was just a few cents and I got at least 4 ounces from each fruit (8 from the squash!). How's that for a money-savin' mama?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Well, we're in our new home in Washington and on Easter we traveled back to Oregon. The weather was perfect. But I know you don't want to read a weather report. What was reportable was that I never felt so blessed in my life. I'm surrounded by family and church family. I wish I could drag them all back to Washington with me. I love them all so much. But I know God has a plan for us in Washington. For some reason we always make our way back here! Sometimes I sit here wondering why God wants us here. There are things we want to accomplish. I want to get my MA, Paul has this wonderful job that will provide great experience in the computer industry and we've been considering foster parenting. I know there are things we have to get into order first, though, before pursuing that last thing. There are short term goals and long term goals, but I really feel God want us there... in the world of adoption and foster parenting. It's something that's always been close to my heart. Paul is open to it, too. We're open to fostering kids with disabilities as well. I'm looking forward to that new chapter in our lives. It seems that every year brings a new chapter. God always keeps us on our toes. Life is never stagnant!


I think it's important to always reevaluate, look critically and dissect our lives. No, I don't mean giving ourselves a guilt trip - after all, God is a god of Forgiveness - but to not get too complacent. I've sadly seen a lot of friends go from this amazing place in their lives with God - I've been jealous of these people. I've looked up to them as if they were on a spiritual pedestal. How could they be so close to God that all of these amazing things are happening to them and not me? They saw visions. They spoke tongues. They knew God in a way I felt I did not. And then... it all crumbled. God was last on their list. Things they felt were suddenly more important - relationships or money or travel or earthly experiences - were number one on their list, not God. Not Him. Watching that happen to these friends has been so painful. I can only pray they go back to this amazing place with God. I've been complacent, too, at times. But now, I know better than to be jealous. No matter how high the pedestal, they can fall off just as easily - perhaps more easily. (Look at Biblical David!) I don't want to be that person. So, if I reevaluate, look critically and dissect every once in a while, maybe I won't fall either. After all, what's important here isn't sex, money, travel, friends, alcohol, or anything else that can trip us up... what's important is the hereafter. I don't want to screw up the hereafter. You only get one shot at it and you better do it right.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February Update

There's no theme to this blog post. I've been trying to think of one to write a themed post for a while, but I just don't have one in mind. I just want to let the world know how we're doing.

Well, as far as the kids go, Anna is a growing girl! We're weeding out 6X clothing now. She is so tall! She has just gone through another growth spurt, putting her into the 83rd percentile for height and 89th for weight. She is learning every day new things. Just the other day, we were working on a Kindergarten Homeschooling book. The name of the game was to fill in the missing letter. There would be a missing vowel or a missing consonant. For example, there would be a picture of a pig and the letters would be "p_g" and she'd have to fill in the blanks. Let me tell you, I was so surprised at how quickly she filled in the missing letters. She basically filled them in as quickly as any learned reader would! Kindergarten is going to be such a breeze for her! Speaking of which, she will be starting kindergarten in just six months! It's hard to believe!

Charlie is growing as well. He will be turning 4 months old on the 1st and I recently put 9 month clothing and a few 12 month outfits into his drawers, which he fits quite well. He has discovered his toes - which he grabs at any chance! He nurses at night probably too much, but maybe that's because I wake him up with my own movements.

Paul's still job-hunting. Grrr. However, he is working a contract position through an awesome Redmond, WA company which is paying the bills and giving us much needed financial freedom. I am so excited at the prospect of having our own place again and seeing the kids enjoy it, too. You never know how great that freedom is until it's taken from you. That being said, I am extremely thankful for my in-laws for their help during this time. I'm also thankful for the chance to hang out with my church family. Anna loves being around her friends a lot, too. I know she craves more company (i.e. kindergarten peers), but this is the way it has to be. Sigh.

I've been volunteering for a non-profit which houses at-risk youth and offers counseling to the community. It's a lot of fun and it's really rewarding. I love knowing that something is going on my resume at last. It's also great to give my brain some exercise again! I do miss testing and taking courses, but I suppose before I know it I'll be in grad school and hoping for a break again. I guess you can't have it all. ;)

Anna and Charlie love one another, but they are already starting to 'argue'. Anna will get in his face to love on Charlie and he'll push her away, turn his head and/or scream! Oh, boy! The other day, she was sitting next to me and Charlie was in my lap. Charlie kept reaching onto her book and patting it. Anna would get angry and tell me that he kept touching her stuff! Ugh! Today, she told me that it was 'no fair' that I was sitting with Charlie at the restaurant and not her. God save me. Do such disagreements have to be prerequisite to being siblings? No thanks! But I suppose it'll get worse and at the same time they'll learn to share and be friends, so there will be good parts, I'm sure!

Enough for now! TTFN!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Let's Talk "Flat Head Syndrome": Anna's Story

Well world, I'm coming out of the Plagio closet! Why write about this now? I've had plenty of friends (many of you are reading now or about to) worrying about their own little ones and their flat spots. 99% of the time, there's nothing to worry about. But I do have thoughts on the subject. Here is our story...

Anna was born with a perfectly normal shaped head... kind of. The fact is, it did not 'mold' like babies heads usually do when they squeeze out of the birth canal. This is because of the posterior positioning that she had when she came out (posterior AKA sunny side up... babies aren't meant to come out this way and it's much harder to come out than sunny side down!). She didn't have a cone head whatsoever. I remember looking at her head and thinking that that was a funny little quirk. Being a new mom, I head read a million baby books and watched a million and one Birth Day episodes to know what to expect. Just as it should be, her birth was anything but ordinary. But that's for another day and another story. (As it turns out, children like Anna and Charlie who were posterior, or any other child who didn't sit "right" in the womb tend to tussle with Plagio... same goes for multiples for the same reason!)

When the tummy time days came around, we lived in a little apartment with carpet that was laid directly on top of the concrete floor. She was two weeks old when she got her first go around with tummy time and... she hated it! Big surprise, right? Every kid (with the miraculous exception of one or two) hate tummy time at first. Of course, she screamed and I decided to give her "back time" to get her used to being on the floor. I bet you know what happened next, right? Soft baby skull + time laying on a concrete floor? I began to notice marked flatness by six weeks old. Her head was on the bigger side and when she was around 8 weeks old, she got an x-ray to make sure her sutures weren't sealing early. Other than that, the pediatrician made no comments about the actual shape her head. As it turns out, most pediatricians think this is a more cosmetic issue anyway and being that I was on state insurance at the time, a 2,000 dollar helmet to correct the issue wasn't even an option, so I never brought it up with the pediatrician. I've recently read that "Flat Head Syndrome" has been linked to cognitive and motor delays in a study done on Seattle. So no, it is not just a cosmetic issue any more.

Note: Looking back on it, I should have brought it up with the pediatrician. He could have referred me to a specialist or did a little research for himself (thereby helping a future patient of his, probably). Insurance or lack of insurance shouldn't bar someone from knowledge.

(Above: Anna, 5 1/2 months old)

Thankfully, I had never noticed any delays in Anna. If anything, she was always on the early side of things when it came to baby milestones.

On a warm spring day in Seattle, when Anna was 5 1/2 months old, we went down to the chapel at Northwest and sat on the green lawn. It was a little chilly, but it was beautiful. I took lots of pictures of Anna. Then I looked at those pictures. Frankly, I was alarmed. Her head was so flat! I spent many hours doing lots of Googling. "Flat head baby", I would search. I discovered Plagiocephaly. Anna actually fell more into the Brachycephaly category, having a pronounced flat spot on the back of her head. More scared than ever that my child would end up "deformed" and it would be my fault, I felt extreme guilt. I still feel a little guilty. And I was afraid that If I came across people who were a little more educated on the subject, they would think that her flat head was caused by my neglect (which isn't necessarily true, by the way). So, I kept my mouth shut. When I mentioned anything to my husband, he would think I was overreacting. To be honest, I do overreact, but this was something that I felt I had to fix... by myself.

(Above and below: Anna on the beach at 7 months old.)

Being that we were co-sleepers, it made my next move pretty easy. I rolled Anna onto her side at night for months, holding her around her waist. She never turned her head in her sleep, so this was one way I could make sure the pressure was on the side of her head instead of the back. (Please, this is my story, so it isn't medical advice. Please talk to your pediatrician about these things. I'm not saying what I did was the approved thing to do.) Another great thing was that our little girl was a mover and a shaker. At 4 months, she began rolling. At 5 months, she began sitting up. At 7 months, she did the army crawl. At 9 months, she began to properly crawl. At 9 1/2 months, she took her first steps! This certainly must have helped with keeping pressure off the back of her little noggin. Besides that, bows somehow disguised the flatness of her head... it took 2 years before she had enough hair for a clip! haha

(Above: Anna at her 1 year appointment on her first birthday.)

You can already tell the difference, can't you? Helmet-free, my daughter's head slowly began to move into a normal shape... or at least really close to normal. The use of a helmet does its best work if used before the age of 6 months... which is about the time I began to freak out about Anna's Brachycephaly. It looked better from the side. When she looked down, though, there was a very obvious flatness to her head.

So, where are we today? Anna's face is on the wider side, for sure, but she isn't exactly a petite girl, being in the 75th percentile for height and 90th for weight. She's proportional. When her hair began to come in, it came in with lots of curls, which I was delighted by, it disguised it a bit more. Her head looks much better. When I fix her hair, I still feel the flat spot, but it's much better and I'm really thankful that her face wasn't changed by the Brachy (sometimes the forehead protrudes or changes in shape).

Anna often got "big head" comments as she was growing up. Her head was proportional to her body. I'm sure that the flatness on the back of her head, making her face wider, did not help with her appearance. Nonetheless, I made it a rule after a while of smiling at the comments and boiling inside, that I do not appreciate comments about my childrens' appearances.

As far as family goes, Charlie was also posterior. I keep him off from his head as much as possible. Car seats are for cars, is the rule. I carry him around just as much as I carried Anna around. He switches sides throughout the night as I nurse him, so he spends equal amounts of time on each side of his head. His head wasn't as flat as Anna's was at birth, so I think we had a better "starting point" than we had with Anna. Despite all of this, I still see a teeny flat spot, but from what I've read, that's totally normal and it really doesn't look bad like Anna's was. A lot of children have at least a little flatness in infancy since the Back to Sleep Campaign started up nearly two decades ago. It rounds out as they become mobile. Charlie's flat spot is next to unnoticeable... you know, unless you're an overprotective mom like me hehe. Thank goodness. Now, is my family more educated on Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly? Unfortunately no. I don't really talk about it at all. Paul has heard most of my thoughts on the subject. My mother-in-law has heard nearly none of it. Flat Head Syndrome is more of a 1990s+ issue. Whew! Now, for pictures of Anna today...

(Above: Anna, age 4)

(Anna, age 5.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2 Months Old!

Weight: 15 pounds 5 ounces, ~97th percentile
Height: 24 inches, ~80th percentile

Charlie is a healthy and growing boy! He's a big boy, too! The appointment today went well. He got three shots and an oral vaccine. He cried just a little bit, but big sister Anna cried even more - poor girl! One thing to note is that Charlie has an enlarged testicle (hydrocele testis). The pediatrician noticed it at birth and it's still there. If it doesn't clear up by 4 months, then we'll have to see a urologist. (Also, it can cause a hernia.) I hope it clears up. I can't imagine what kind of procedure would be used to drain that fluid. :( Please say a prayer for our little man. It doesn't hurt him thankfully - he just looks very endowed!