Saturday, September 10, 2016

Define: One

Jericho is one year old!  Let's just ignore the fact that she has been for almost a month, and just focus on the fact that she is. :)

One of her birthday gifts was a handmade blanket, which she quickly became obsessed with.

Her birthday party was wonderful, and she was just as spoiled as Beckett was at his.  These kids are loved by a lot of people, and we are so thankful for that!

Jericho has recently started saying "hi" when she sees people.  Beckett got really into it when he was younger too, but the thing that's different about Jericho's "hi" is how soft-spoken and personal it seems.  Many times people don't hear, or don't realize that she is speaking to them, and sometimes when they do notice and say hi back, she gets really shy and buries her head in my shoulder.  I love it.

Walking has seemed to be just around the corner for a while now, but I'm really okay with it not happening yet.  She's a quick and stealthy crawler, and once she figures out walking I don't think it will be long before she's running to keep up with Beckett.  She does not hesitate to let us know when she is not happy, and I absolutely believe that she will refuse to be left behind.  She likes to be right up in the action.

She's a trunkseat driver.

Even though walking is still on the agenda, she's jumped right into climbing.  This terrifies me.  She crawls onto step stools, stairs, Beckett's bed, clothes, the cat, toys, chairs...anything she can get up onto, she does.  Her speed and stealth serve her well in this.  Yesterday I looked away for what couldn't have been more than 8 seconds.  She was standing next to the ottoman, which really is not much below her chin.  When I looked back, she was sitting on top of it, looking at me like it was no big deal.  I still have no idea how she got up there.

I cannot even describe what happened before this was taken.

When this girl gets tired...oh my goodness.  "Fighting sleep" is not even...I can't even think of the words.  It's bad.  She will find her blanket on the floor, lay down on it for a few seconds, get up, crawl around, come back to the blanket and lie down again, then get back is almost always a wrestling match to get her to go down.  She has to be held just so, and even then you have to adjust because oh man is she a flailer.  I remove all jewelry before I try to put her to bed.  Really.  I've had the earrings ripped out of my ears more than once (the backs released, thank goodness!), and she's broken a few necklaces.  I've been slapped, scratched, and kicked more times than I can count or remember.  Once she started to fall asleep sitting in her high chair, and she fought, and fought, and fought...I couldn't believe how long she kept herself awake.

Her tooth gap is the best.

Most of the time, she's a pretty happy girl.  Especially if she's being held.  I read all these stories of second children doing things so much sooner than the first kid because they had all this time on the floor while the parent was attending to the first child, but that has not been the case with Jericho.  Beckett requires a lot of supervision, but I couldn't leave Jericho on the floor with him or she would have been trampled the day we brought her home.  Even when I left her in her little rocker seat I had to worry about Beckett sitting on her, or trying to crawl in with her.  He also tried to share food with her very early on.  She got to have some of Beckett's chocolate chip oatmeal cookie at about three weeks old, and a few days after that he dumped about half a can of root beer all over her.  Side note: Jamin did not do well with this.  I reassured him many, many times that newborns were very squishy and she was fine.  As a result of trying to save her from her brother during the first few months of her life, she became very accustomed to being held, and is showing no sign of outgrowing that.

Standing up in her high chair - another fun way to give mama a heart attack.

Before Jericho was born, I had said many times that I would be totally content with all boys.  I don't think that that wasn't true, but now that she's here and we're getting to know her, I can't imagine having had a boy instead.  She is our sweet, beautiful, pumpkin girl, and I am so excited to see what the next year of her life brings.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Define: Three

Beckett had this third birthday last week.  Three years seems to have flown by, yet at the same time it seems like he's just always been a part of our family.

Beckett's words have really made leaps and bounds over the last month or two.  He was evaluated a few months ago, and his speech was a little bit behind.  We worried that he had been having some ear problems, and that maybe his pronunciation was off because he couldn't hear us.  Our audiology appointment at Mott's went really well (and what a cool facility!), and they said his ears looked great.  He's started stringing more words together lately, and repeats just about everything we say (great for progress, not always great for us to hear what he's hearing from us...).

Whenever we asked him how old he was going to be for his birthday, he'd put his finger on his chin and say, "Hmm...two!" We would say, "No, try again..."  And he would say, "!"

Meltdowns at three are both funny and maddening.  Yesterday, he was upset about something, and I was trying to deal with that.  Jericho was also in the kitchen, and had crawled over to the cat food.  She started to dump the bowl on the floor when Beckett realized what she was doing, which just pushed him further into his meltdown.  I tried to tell him that I couldn't go take care of Jericho until he stopped freaking out, but Jericho spilling more cat food made him freak out more...I was really glad when Jamin got home.

For a while I've been disappointed with the amount of time I spend on my phone, and now that Beckett is a little more independent, I feel even worse.  Whenever he asks for a game, or my phone, or to watch something, I have a pang of conviction.  I know that it's unrealistic to think I can keep him away from all technology, and even if I could, I don't think I would want to.  I just don't want it to be a focus in his life, I want him to play with toys, to go outside, to catch bugs and play in the mud.  A lot of times I convince myself that it's too hard to do those things because of where we live, and truly, that is a factor, but I also know that if I were to be truly intentional about it, those things would happen.

One of his birthday gifts - this kid has a lot of people who love him!

At three years old...when he's throwing himself on the floor screaming because we said no to a video game (which he's actually doing at this very moment), it's hard.  When it's been an hour since we put him in bed and I hear his door open again, it's hard.  When he's been sitting in time out for 15 minutes because he won't just look me in the eyes when I'm talking to him, it's hard.  But when he smiles and runs to me when I get home, it's worth it.  When he learns something new and is so excited to show me, it's worth it.  When he says, "Love you, mama" (even with the prompting), it's worth it.  When he runs up and wants snuggle (which is the point of the meltdown he's just reached), it's worth it.  It's all worth it, and I am so blessed to call this three-year-old crazy kid mine.

This is his picture pose...ugh.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Define: Reboot

My last post was in 2013, which seems weird, but also sounds about right.  Life has gotten much busier since then, but oh so much fuller and wonderful.

Beckett, who hadn't even been born yet, is almost three!  I was thinking about that today, and I don't know if that seems like a really short time, or a really long time.  Three years doesn't sound that long, but I can't imagine life without him, either.
Beckett, at almost three, is a busy boy.  He has so. much. energy.  He was sick a few weeks ago, and I kept saying I was worried about how lethargic he was, until my mother-in-law mentioned that what I was calling extreme lethargy was just normal sick kid.
Being a big brother has really suited Beckett.  We never had any problems with him being jealous, or acting out after Jericho was born.  He says, "Aww!" or "Sweet!" in this super high pitched voice, and gives her a hug about 20 times a day.  We did worry at the beginning that he'd accidentally smother her when trying to cover her with a blanket, but she did survive.  The worry now is just being gentle in general, which he's still working on.
His words have made leaps and bounds in the last couple months, but sometimes I like it more when he doesn't quite know how to say what he means.  Whenever I say, "I love you, Beckett," he says right back, "Love you, Beckett."  I just say I'm glad he has so much self-esteem at this age.
Particular is a good word for describing Beckett.  He likes things to be done just so, and will have a nice almost-three-years-old meltdown if they aren't.  Some of the things we have done horribly wrong include: the wrong person buckling him into the car, the wrong person unbuckling him from the car, opening the fruit snacks, not opening the fruit snacks, and so on.  I don't know how we managed to get anything done without him, since everything we have ever done is wrong.

Jericho, who is almost one, is such a mama's girl.  I have always been so upset whenever Beckett wants Jamin instead of me, and this is my punishment reward.  Today while Jamin was in the shower, Beckett told me he needed to use the potty.  I set Jericho down to help him, and she screamed so loud and for so long that Jamin asked what had happened to her when he got out of the shower.  I had to reassure him that she had not been hurt.  He tried to take her from me, at which point she began to sob hysterically (she didn't even leave my arms, she just lost it when he reached for her).  It's a real love/hate relationship with the attachment.  I do enjoy feeling needed, and I love all the snuggles and spending time with her, but I really struggle to get things done.
Jericho loves Beckett.  She's been watching him for as long as she could see him, and her face lights up when she sees him.  She does, however, screech like a banshee when Beckett takes something away from her now.  For a while she just let it happen, but now she lets him (and everyone in the neighborhood) know that she's not happy.
She already says something that sounds like "bye bye" and waves when prompted, and loves to say "uh oh."  She's been pulling herself up for a while now, and is able to take steps holding onto hands (even though she looks a little drunk).  She wants to do what Beckett does so badly that I wouldn't be surprised if she gets walking down before her birthday.

Recently I've really gotten back into knitting.  As a result, I now have a yarn addiction.  My sister sent me a picture of her "huge stash" and I just laughed.  A co-worker got her daughter a loom-type thing for Christmas and I told her not to buy yarn, but to just take some of mine.  I gave her 3 plastic bags full, and I am ashamed to say it didn't really even make a dent.  Some of the yarn I pick up I'm too scared to use.  It's so pretty, and I'm afraid I'll waste it by making something terrible, so it just sits and waits while I buy more.  I vaguely remember saying I wouldn't buy any more until I used up some of my stash about a year ago.  I think Jamin knew it wouldn't happen, but he pretended to believe in me (while also letting me buy more yarn).
Between work and the kids, I don't get as much time to do it as I'd like, but I usually get in at least a couple rows a day.  It's something I've really grown to love doing, and it's a good way to wind down at the end of the day.

And that brings me to why I'm writing.  I need to take some time for myself, time to be by myself, to gather my thoughts, to remember what's going on at this busy stage of our lives, and to write it down because heaven knows that between the potty accidents, the food on the floor, the screeching, the tears, the skinned knees, the diaper changes, and the bumped heads, I need to take the time to savor the hugs, the giggles, the story times, the kisses, the snuggles, the new words, the walks, the games, the tickles, the "Love you, Beckett"s. we go.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Define: Procrastination

I keep putting things off that I know I need to do because I feel like I have so much time to do them.  And then somehow it's the day before Erin's wedding and I haven't finished my toast.  Eek.

Another thing is getting the baby room ready.  We have slowly been making progress, and actually over the last week or two we've gotten a lot done.  Today I went and looked at cribs, and realized that I am not sure we can fit a crib and the dresser I planned on getting from my dad into the baby room.  We don't have that small of a house, but the layout is just...frustrating.  I know we'll figure it out, but at this point it seems like we are running out of time.

Last week I made chicken and gravy mashed potato bowls, not unlike the ones from KFC.  The main difference was that these ones are probably much better for you, and not anywhere near as delicious.  As I was making them I was already composing this entry, as to how they weren't really a hit, but I didn't think they would be because Jamin doesn't really like that kind of thing.  To my surprise, he did like it!  I didn't even cut up all of the chicken I cooked, anticipating that he would just want some chicken tenders.  I did some tweaking to the potatoes (I couldn't resist - I forgot about the sour cream, but added garlic and cheese), but overall this was a pretty good meal, and really easy.  This is one we'll be having again.

This week I made a peach and blackberry crisp.  I have been missing fruits and sweets so much since the diagnosis, so I've been looking for dessert recipes involving fruit.  I left the coconut and pecans out of this one (Jamin's not big on pecans, and neither of us really like coconut).  I did slightly burn the oats, so they smelled and tasted a bit like burned popcorn.  Oops.  Even with the burnt popcorn smell/taste, this was really good!  I wasn't sure Jamin would like it (I knew he definitely wouldn't without the ice cream), but he did!  At least, he said he did.  Sometimes I'm not sure if he really liked it, or if he just doesn't want to hurt my feelings (which is very nice of him, but then I really don't know how he feels about things).  I kept the leftover topping and fruit separate (fruit in the fridge), and had some again last night, and it was still good, even though it wasn't warm.  It's definitely going to be a repeat recipe.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Define: Lifestyle Change

The transition from my normal eating habits to eating well with gestational diabetes has been kind of tough for me.  I've never been one for counting carbs or anything, so learning what is good and not good to eat has been hard.  At my appointment with the diabetes doctor, he made it sound like I needed to go on insulin.  He told me that he would "give me a chance to get it under control" first.  I left not feeling so great about him.  I had four high numbers out of probably about 50, and they weren't even that high (one was 121 instead of 120).  I think you always need to give people a chance to get a complete lifestyle change under control: it's hard!  All he did was make me afraid to write down any more slightly high numbers.

I'm also having the problem of just not being able to get full!  The "meal ideas" that I was given just make me sad.  For example, one breakfast idea is two pieces of toast with peanut butter.  That's it.  I don't know if I'm the odd one out, but that is not enough breakfast for me.  The "perfect" lunch suggestion wasn't much better: half of a sandwich, a small piece of fruit, and one glass of milk.  Unless by half a sandwich they mean a Subway 6 inch, that's probably not going to cut it either.  I know that I need to eat differently than I was before, but for the last two weeks I have just been constantly hungry.  We're working on finding healthy things to fill me up, but it's hard, and I'm getting reeeeally sick of drinking pretty much only water.

Two nights ago my recipe for the week was poblano chicken bundles.  I have been looking up some diabetic recipes, and this one seemed easy (until I realized I did not own a meat I do!).  I think if I make this again (and I probably will, my sugar numbers were good after eating it), I may leave out the pepper (and possibly the cilantro, just to try it).  It wasn't bad, I'm just not a big fan of pepper, and the pepper flavor was pretty strong.  We also thought it might be a little better with bread crumbs instead of corn meal breading, but I wondered if the recipe called for corn meal instead of bread to make it more diabetic friendly.  I'll just make it with only a little bit of bread crumbs, or maybe corn flakes?  I'm pretty sure that I've had chicken coated with corn flakes before...

Now I'm trying to convince Jamin that he should try eating like this for a week or two, if only so that when I complain that I'm hungry he'll understand that I really, really am.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Define: Scattered

This one is a little all over the place, but that's because I have been slacking on updating again.

As an update to the previous post, I went back to ACO and got the paint tweaked, and it's perfect!  It's not as dark as Jamin would have liked, but it's so much better than the band-aid pink!


Our insurance situation with the pregnancy has not been great.  None of my pre-or post-natal visits are covered, so we have been paying out of pocket.  We knew that it was going to be a lot, but that we could make it work.  However, between the ultrasound and some lab work, it has not been working out.  The ultrasound wasn't covered, but instead of sending us a bill, our OB covered it with what we had been paying them out of pocket.  This didn't seem to be a bad thing, until we realized that we still owed them the full $1,500 that they expect before delivery.  They used some of what we had already given them to cover the ultrasound, which meant we owed them that money again.

I had blood work done to check for gestational diabetes a few weeks ago, and a week later the doctor called to tell me that I needed to go back in for the three hour test.  I went back in, and a few days later I got the call that I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was upset, but not shocked.  My grandma has diabetes and my mom had gestational diabetes.

I called my insurance to see if they would be covering any of the doctor visits and supplies to go along with this new development.  Of course they weren't.  At this point, I was really starting to stress out about how we were going to make this work.  We still had to pay almost everything to the OB, the deductible to insurance, and the co-pay at delivery.  The bills were adding up to almost $5,000 without any of the diabetes stuff.

At our next OB appointment, we also discovered that I have a negative blood type, while Jamin's is positive.  Which meant that I needed a shot.  Which was probably not covered either.  Every time we go in, I swear it's something else.

We have been working on applying for Medicaid and some programs through the hospital that help cover the bills.  We expected to have to pay another deductible through Medicaid, which wasn't ideal, but we knew that we needed any help we could get.

Yesterday, I got the notification that our Medicaid application had been processed.  We have no deductible, and full Medicaid coverage!  This was so much better than what we had been expecting!  I'm still not sure exactly what it all means, but I know that this was the best case scenario for us, and we are feeling so blessed to have gotten this financial help.  It has taken a huge load off of our shoulders.

And now, for something completely different...

My Pinterest recipes for the last three weeks!

I threw a bridal shower for my lovely friend Erin a few weeks ago, and made lemonade punch.  I garnished it with lemon slices, which made me feel so, so cool.  Really cool.  This recipe wasn't bad, but it was more of a pineapple punch than a lemonade.  If I make it again I will ease up on the pineapple juice, and add a bit more of the lemonade mix.

The next week I made brownies from scratch.  They were okay.  I ended up just throwing out the last couple because we hadn't eaten them, so I probably won't make them again.  Jamin said they were alright, but just seemed really heavy, and I agree.

The following week I made different brownies.  These were gone in two days.  They were wonderful!  When I pulled up the recipe, I was surprised at how much less ingredients there were than the ones I had made the week before.  As such, I was a little skeptical, but they were perfect.  Jamin devoured them.  The ones from the week before he had only been eating with ice cream, but these ones he loved enough to eat alone.  This is definitely the recipe I will use next time I make brownies.

Today I'm making sugar cookies.  Technically, I am not using a new recipe (the link actually says to use the dough you can buy, yeah right!), but it is a new technique.  My favorite sugar cookie recipe is too good for me to try anything else, so I'm still using that.  However, I've never put food coloring into the dough, and I always put frosting on after, so it will be interesting to see how these hold up on their own.

(I do feel that I need to add that after the diabetes diagnosis, I have been watching what I'm eating.  I only had a few bites of brownie, and the cookies are for church, not for us to eat.)

Tomorrow I'll also be making potato wedges.  When I clicked on the link, it took me to a blog instead of the actual post, so I'm just going to follow the directions from the comments on the actual pin:

Cheesy Potato Wedges... 4-6 Potatoes 1/4 c. Olive Oil Sea Salt, Pepper, your favorite Seasoning Salt 1 c. Sour Cream 1/2 c. Ranch Dressing 1/4 c. Milk 1 c. shredded Cheddar 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella 1/2 c. Real Bacon Bits 1/4 c. Green Onions Cut potatoes into "steak fries". Place on foiled baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Lightly toss with tongs. Sprinkle seasonings over the potatoes. Bake 400* for 40 min til fork tender.

I don't think you can really go wrong with potatoes, cheese and bacon!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Define: Failure

Our kitchen is kind of an eyesore.  It's not really that bad, but it has a lot of issues, and the colors definitely weren't helping.

When we first got the house, my dad had some red paint already, so I thought we could just use that.  It was an okay color, nothing I was in love with, but not terrible.  When we were deciding what color to paint the cabinets, I sent Jamin to the store with a swatch, and said that I wanted something at least that dark, but a warm, rich color.  The swatch was really cool toned.  I'm not sure who didn't communicate well with who, but the color that came back was exactly the swatch color.  I wasn't happy, but I'm not one to make a big deal out of those things, so we just used it.

One of the things I didn't like about the kitchen was the tile border about halfway up the wall.  I decided we could pull them off and just put a chair rail kind of thing up instead.  In October, we started pulling the tiles off, but in the process, the drywall got damaged (whoever lived here before us was seriously obsessed with caulk.  OBSESSED.).  We really meant to take the tiles down and put the chair rail right up, but another problem was an uneven wall underneath the window.  The tilers had put a piece of wood behind the tile to solve this problem, but we didn't have a piece of wood all ready to go.

So, between the damaged wall, the uneven wall, and lack of the proper tools to cut the chair rail to the right lengths, it is now April and there is still no chair rail.  And it looks bad.

Last week Jamin and I decided we would repaint.  Neither of us loved the red, and we both agreed that the kitchen was just plain ugly.
We decided on a dark blue for the bottom half of the wall, and a light brown for the top.
Now I knew, going into this, that sometimes light brown doesn't look like brown.  The light brown we used in our living room and upstairs bathroom has this purpley/pinky hue to it that I really don't like, but have gotten used to.  As we looked at light browns, I knew to be careful of this.

We picked one out, got home, and I put a little bit on the wall, only to discover that it's pretty much bandaid pink.
You know what I'm talking about.  That brown, peach, pink, fleshy colored hue.  Gross.

Jamin thought he could live with it, I wasn't sure.  Sometimes I would look at it and think, eh, it's okay.  Other times I looked at it and all I could see was pink.  After debating for a day or two, I decided to try something else.

I grabbed a sample of Benjamin Moore paint at ACO (conveniently located next to my work), and brought it home.  I loved it.  It was the creamy, ivory color I had been picturing all along (turns out I wanted more of a yellow than a brown.).  Jamin wasn't crazy about how light it was, but he pointed out that I am a bit more picky about these things than he is, so I should do what I want.

When I went back to ACO yesterday to get a can, I realized that this paint was around $60.
I couldn't handle that price tag, especially for a redo!  I tried to match the color as well as I could in another brand, and I got really close, and got a can.

Tonight I decided to get a little bit on the wall to check.  It's a bit lighter than the other color, so I wasn't truly happy with it, but I thought it would be okay.  Then I got to looking at the wall I hadn't painted yet with the bandaid pink.  I dabbed a bit of paint on that wall.  You can't even tell.

I just bought the original paint color of the wall.


This time I ended up with a Valspar color, and I've seen all the "love your color guarantee" commercials, so I could potentially get some money back for this can, I just need to look into it and see if it's worth the hassle.  After my third color fail in the kitchen, I'm not sure if it really is, or really isn't.