Saturday, October 6, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Your Day Tangerine Birthday Card
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making crayons

Fun day making crayons 

Ela and I had a great time making crayons while Daddy had a long work day. I get a little stir crazy being home all day and all night alone so finding fun crafts to make with a toddler helps pass the time. 
We found this fun craft on Petite Lemon Blog. This website also has the cutest custom Big and Little Sister outfits.  The crayons turned out really perfect and Ela enjoyed watching and helping with the process. I cant wait to make more shapes! 

Put any broken crayons into a silicon baking dish.
This one is from Ikea, we also have a flower and fish one but chose the hearts for fun! 

Ela helping pick which colors go where. We made them multi-colored but you can also color coordinate. 

Bake at 225 for 10-15 minutes and look what comes out!
Let cool for a while, I even stuck them in the fridge to speed it up.
They turned out perfect! 

The finished product.

Ela using the finished product. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Five Weeks Away? Thank you?

After months of planning and excitement, it turned out that Jered couldn't make on our family vacation. Opening your own business, in this crappy economy, is time consuming and hard.  I have first hand experience to say this with great pleasure- shove it Mr. President, we did this ourselves and it took a lot of HARD work and sacrifice. But I know it will be worth it in the end.  I absolutely love how passionate Jered is about the form of chiropractic he does. He loves working with athletes and really anyone, watching them get better and better. It is so rewarding and that is so important. I am so happy he isn't in a job he hates.

The hard part is being content where we are now. I always plan these wonderful things in my head. I had labeled this "The Summer of Fun". I pictured us taking Ela to the zoo, spending two weeks at Aylen Lake, Ontario, taking little day trips here and there in-between opening a business.  I have a feeling had I had shared all my plans with Jered he would have quickly informed me of my daydreaming and set my feet back on solid ground. I pictured the four years of sacrifice (there's that word again!), the nights sitting at home alone waiting out storms, power outages, sickness, loneliness, homesickness for my family, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner alone would finally be over. I could just see our new life, there would be so much time! The problem with daydreams is, they hardly ever are reality. Talk to anyone who has a successful business and they didn't get to just play while everything magically fell into place. It took a lot of hard work and time. So, needless to say, we are still stuck in the limbo of getting from here to there. God has reminded me time and time again, just enjoy the ride. Be content where you are. Be thankful for all that you have been blessed with. My heart just wants to always be there, instead of here. Being content is not my thing.

I think God was laughing the day I spent crying when I found out Jered would need to stay home to keep working on the business. We had put so much on this trip, it was like when you say "if we can just make it to here... then we can relax..." We kept saying, once we are at the lake. This was a lot more then a trip, this was a time, the only time, we could spend two weeks worry free away from reality. But reality never let us get there. I hope that helps you understand why this was so emotional for us.

Mom and Dad had generously offered to let Ela and I ride to the lake with them. Anyone who offers to let a preggo lady and a toddler spend 18 hours in a car with them, well, they may just be crazy. My parents must be crazy because I planned to ride up with Mom and Dad have Jered drive up at a later time to join us once things where moving along more smoothly. I will skip the rant on banks and loans and all of that and just say, it is really hard to move forward on anything unless you gots a lot of dollars in the bank and a really really solid credit score which is really hard to do when you've been in school for the past eight years. I digress... so after a lot of tears, fights and more tears, I packed Ela and I up and Jered drove us to my parents house. And so our time away started.

My parents must be saints because my Dad only complained a small amount about the enormous amount of stuff I brought, the many bathroom breaks we took on the trip and some late night crying spats from Ela. All in all, it was a great trip and Ela did fabulous. Any 20-month old who can spend that long in a carseat and not have a major meltdown is doing great! The feeling I get as we drive over the dirt road to our cottage, and you finally get a glimpse of the lake, is one of pure bliss and excitement. I will post another blog on Ela's adventures at Aylen because there are too cute and funny not to! This post is about my selfish self learning some important lessons.

Two weeks into our vacation, I got tired of asking Jered every night when we were on the phone, when are you going to join us? I just knew it wasnt going to happen. Finally he came out and said, it wasn't going to work. Even though I was expecting it, I still cried. I understand there are a hundred million things much much worse then spending five weeks at your family lake house in Canada and being upset because your husband can't join you. To me, at the time, it was a pretty big deal. I just felt like this was the story of our lives. I go, you stay. There was always something that kept him from coming. To me, it felt like just another let down. If you don't know my husband and are just reading this, I am making him sound pretty awful but keep reading. I am just a selfish wife learning everyday who I am in my marriage.

I do need to take a minute to point out how wonderful my family was during the trip. I never needed anything and Ela never needed entertaining. Her aunts, Nana and Papa were always there to help. I really am just so thankful to have parents like I do. We were surrounded by love the entire time.

It was during a conversation with my mom that I started thinking about Jered and what he may be feeling. I took a step back and my heart hurt. I was in my favorite place on earth, with my family, whom I adore, surrounded by love and people loving on us and where was Jered? At home, in boiling hot Atlanta, alone. He had been so excited about fishing, fixing the Bayliner, reading books and spending time with his wife and daughter. He wasn't doing this because he wanted to be working over being with his family. And I felt crushed. It really opened my eyes to my attitude as a wife. I was always looking to Jered to fulfill me. To praise me. To make me happy. And I was never satisfied. I was looking in the wrong place for all of those things. All of the marriage classes, books and all that I read state that a hundred times. It has taken five years and a lot of "why can't you do more!" fights to get to this point. I just felt so broken down and so utterly selfish. It was the be content lesson again.

For Mother's Day, my mom gave me "1000 Gifts" and I have been reading it on and off. But God has really been working in my heart to be thankful this whole trip and I have taken so much away from what I have read. I felt like this vacation was a lesson in thankfulness. I am thankful to have a husband who loves me enough to give me a vacation away from him when he needs me at home. I am thankful to have a vacation home to go to. I am thankful I have the kind of family I do. I am thankful for where I am NOW, not where I am going to be.

Combining the lessons was overwhelming. Really coming to the point of not leaning on Jered so much and also being content was daunting. Knowing what needs to change and how to change are two very different things.  I am currently working on being a strong, independent woman of God who is thankful and content. I will be working on this until the day I die. I really am so blessed and have literally no reason to complain. I get how trivial and silly this may seem reading it but somehow, being in the middle of it, was a lot harder. Relationships are so complicated and it is so easy to be self absorbed.

I want to share my 1000 gift and I hope it is okay with Claire, but I am going to copy her and write them down on my blog. It is so easy to get caught up in life and forget how thankful I really am and I truly need to be held accountable. I want to end this insanely long post by telling you what was waiting for us at my parents house.

Being in Canada, I can't use my phone, so once we crossed into New York I was so excited to be able to text Jered. (well BBM because I am still in the bloody blackberry world, oh iPhone 5 please rescue me) He was going to rent a U-Haul at 9am on Sunday and be at my parents house a few hours after we got there. We were trading Nan a double bed for a set of bunk beds for Ela's room. I was getting really irritated because Jered wasn't answering my texts and seemed really distracted on the phone. He claimed he was so tired and went to bed at 9pm. The next morning he didn't really want to talk either. I was starting to get my feelings hurt (still a work in process people!). I called him to let him know we were almost to their house, where was he in the trip? He couldn't talk because he was getting gas. I was starting to feel like he didn't want to talk! Good thing I was working on my attitude and refrained from sending a nasty text because when we pulled into my parents house there was a huge Welcome Home sign and a beautiful silver Sequioa in the driveway. That crazy man had surprised me and was waiting for me. My wonderful sisters Claire and Mary and my BIL Witt had all made a delicious lunch of baked beans, potato salad, burgers, dogs, the whole works. Jered had brought Ela a little surprise, a new Barbie (she had broken hers). We were SO overjoyed to be back together. Claire and Mary told me this was all Jered's idea to welcome us back. I felt so blessed and so happy to be surrounded by all the people I love in one house. So if you were thinking I am married to some overdriven, work is his life man, you would be wrong. Sometimes, I just think i am until I step back and remember how much he loves me and his family. I am thankful for my family man, my husband.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weigh In

I had my monthly OB  check up yesterday with my wonderful doctor, Dr. Sun. I love her enthusiasm about everything! Every time she hears the heartbeat (my favorite sound!) she just beams! It makes me even more excited.

 I was especially proud of myself yesterday because I am 16 pounds lighter this pregnancy then I was at the same time when I was pregnant with Ela. I've been working SO hard at eating healthy, walking 2 miles everyday and doing yoga that it felt so good to find out that it has been worth it.

 I also can't believe it has already been almost 17 weeks and I am almost halfway there. I cant wait for Ela to meet this new little one.

Ela wearing my high heels 

My little water bug 

Ela and her best little friends, Kaylin and Kins

Helping me clean 

Being a silly little lady 

Playing in Rascals kennel. This is what I need at nap time! 

Wearing Papa's shoes 

Her backyard pool set up 

Pushing her frog around 

Playing Rascals doggy kennel... this is what I need to for nap time ! 

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Is birth just an entry into this world?

Since finding out we are pregnant with baby #2, I've been so excited to meet this little one! With Ela, I was nervous and a little scared of being a mom. Such a big responsibility! Dont get me wrong, I was also very excited. As soon as I met Ela, all the nervous feelings vanished and I knew we were soul mates. Since I know that yes, a new baby is a big job but thank goodness God gives us mama's the gift to do it and hence, why I am just mostly excited this time around. Expect for one thing. And I am trying to get over it but to be honest, I am still struggling with all my feelings and emotions.

When I found out I was pregnant with Ela, I knew I wanted a natural beautiful birth. I found a wonderful doula, I already loved my OB and was all prepped and ready for Ela's fabulous entry into the world. We packed a birthing bag, including a birthing ball, soothing music, massage oils, snacks, water and several other things I cant remember now. BUT I was almost 42 weeks and induction was a necessary evil. I was in a lot of pain too, it felt like Ela was head butting me so hard it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Thinking back, I think she was trying to get in position and move down. We started the induction process and it just didnt work. My body didnt respond well to the drugs. The next night I went into labor on my own. Now fast forward two days later Ela was a no show and I was not progressing anywhere. So on November 3rd, 2010 we had a c-section and the most beautiful little 10'3 lbs baby entered this world. At the time, it didnt matter how Ela got here, she was here. We did what we had to and even my doula was supportive of the c-section at that point. I know we made the right decision regarding Ela, there was no alternative. I tried every way possible to get that baby out naturally but it just wasnt going to happen. Poor baby was stuck! I still get emotional thinking about the whole process and just the exhaustion, joy and pure love that is all mixed together. I cant wait to love on this new little one as well!  But I have really been struggling with accepting the fact that I have to have a c-section with baby #2.

 One of my first questions to my OB after Ela's birth was,  do I always have to have a C-Section for the next one? My OB is supportive of VBACs (vaginal birth after C-section), this was one of my questions to her from day one. But in my case, since I did not progress past 3 cn and Ela was clearly stuck (she had two cones on her head from trying to move down) it is most likely a structural issue with me. That is hard to swallow all of a sudden. I keep reading about these beautiful home births and I really want to experience that. I would never risk a home birth after my experience with Ela's birth but the idea sounds so natural and beautiful. I honestly dont even want to risk trying again naturally. Ela was in the NICU for over 6-hours with breathing problems and stuff in her lungs. I didn't even get to hold for that long because of it. I just got to look at her for five minutes before they took her away. This time, it makes sense to just know what your working with and be prepared. I can have as many c-sections as I want, so it doesnt limit the number of kids we want.

My big question to myself is is birth really just an entry into this world or is it more? I am not going to try a BVAC because in my opinion, the risks outweigh the benefits. I need to accept that this is how my baby will enter the world (unless God gives me a miracle and I go into labor and jump to 10 cn and pop out a baby!) .  In the end, I know I love Ela just as much as if I had been able to have her naturally. And I will love this baby just as much too.So yes, to me, birth is just the entry into the world. The rest is a beautiful wonderful thing called family.

Mama Meltdowns

I've been meaning to write about this for a while but for some reason being pregnant has made me feel like I have no extra time. Maybe it's those two hour naps that seem to happen everyday. Oops!

All  the extra hormones when you're pregnant make for an interesting time. I'm sure Jered would be the best one to recount all the crazy things I've said, done or flew off the handle for. The funniest and most recent happened in Franklin, TN when I was visiting Jered's parents.. Jayme was hosting a Stella & Dot for me on Saturday. I dont remember exactly why, but time got away from us and it was about an hour  before the party was to begin. Ela really needed to take a nap and was a major grumps. Jayme needed fresh flowers and a dessert so I volunteered to go to Costo for her, secretly hoping Ela would fall asleep and make my life easier. I wasnt thinking clearly because I had been having issues with my debit card. My bank had just sent me a new one and had promised my same pin would work. If not, all I had to do was call a number and reset it. Easy breezy. I really wasnt thinking because I didnt get a cart. I guess I forgot that everything at Costco is twice is the size of anything normal. And that the bakery was at the blooming back of the store. Ela and I very slowly made our way back there and I found some really delicious looking raspberry treats. They were in a huge box so I carried that and held on to Ela's hand. She being a curious little toddler (hence her nickname monkey) wanted to inspect everything. We were in a hurry and so I had to pick all 30-pounds of her up. I am balancing her and the huge treats, all while fighting through the Saturday Costco crowd. We get to the flowers and I find a beautiful bunch. I am feeling very excited because I have a yummy treat and amazing flowers. We've done good.

I stand in line holding the giant bunch of flowers, enormous box of treats and my 30-pound darling daughter. It's finally our turn and time is running out. I run my card through and beep declined. I try again, and again it doesnt work. At Costco you cant run it as credit so I am thoroughly screwed. We dont use our credit cards and therefore I dont carry one. I literally was out of luck. I ask the cashier to hold my purchases while I step to the side to try and fix my card. She looks thrilled. I dial the number on the card as previously instructed. It is an automated system and keeps telling me I already have a pin and the one I am entertaining is invalid. Press zero to speak to a customer service rep. I am still holding Ela at this point and pushing a hundred buttons of verification. Please verify this and that and your mother's freaking weight! I am getting really upset. I finally push zero to speak to some poor unfortunate soul who really should have not picked up my call. I am already really mad and she makes me verify all my info again. I rudely inform her I have already done this at least ten times, I would imagine you should know it is me by now. She asks what the problem is and I tell her. I also tell her I have been having issues have this bank for over a month now and am beyond upset. She apologizes and then tells me there is nothing she can do. She cant reset a PIN, only the main bank can do that and they are closed for the weekend. As she is saying this, I am watching a group of young boys picking blooms off my flowers. And no one is stopping them. I loose it. I literally start screaming at her. People are staring at me. I am still holding Ela at this point and by now, they've put away my picked apart flowers and sad little treats. I hang up on the women and storm out. I get in the car and start sobbing. I call Jered and scare him to death because I can hardly speak I am so upset. He promises to fix it when he got back to the house. He was out playing golf with his dad and brother. I sob the whole way home and am still crying when I come inside. I think I scared Jayme too because like any normal person, when someone is crying as hard as I an, something very bad has happened. Not just you couldnt purchase flowers and a treat. She gives me a big hug and we end up using Jered's birthday cheesecake for dessert.

It ended up being a wonderful afternoon. Ela never went to sleep in the car (of course!) and scowled at everyone who came over. She finally passed out on me and I laid her down. She woke up a very happy social little butterfly.

The moral of the story is, dont turn off a debit card of a pregnant women. Unless you want to really hear about it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fight or Food?

Tonight is one of those nights. I work hard on a delish dinner which I plan around what Ela likes. And she wants nothing to do with it. As I sat there, wanting a relaxing dinner with a bottle of red and a wonderful husband. But this was turning into a huge fight. One I would probably loose. That's when I decided tonight I am not even going to start the fight. There is no winner and no looser. Just a happy family meal. Ela normally is a very good eater, and I know she is cutting her eye teeth and has been feeling so crappy. These seem as bad as the molers. Poor baby.

Eating some sweet p and apple yogurt for dinner.

I will continue to offer her all the foods she turns down and not give up. I know my little guac, humus and blackbean lover will come around. Two little teeth can cause a lot of havoc on a little one. We will both be so happy when they come through.

Mommy's little helper....

I have been making a big effort to just spend time with Ela simply playing. Last night we made a fort, today we had a tea party with the Minnie Mouse twins and Bitty Baby.
 It is funny because it always seems like there is something I can be doing besides spending time with Ela. This needs dusting or it's time to cook dinner. I love Ela's age right now because now I can include in all that "other stuff".
 She helps me empty the dishwasher


It's so fun to watch her learn where everything goes and how it works. She now knows that dirty dishes (and sometimes in her mind clean dishes!) go in the dishwasher.

Here are some measuring cups she was playing with while I was washing dishes. I turned around and she had "loaded" the dishwasher. She was so proud and took my hand and pointed and said mom!!!


She is such a smart little girl! She helps me empty the groceries by handing me everything one at a time. We do laundry together and I had her the wet piece and she throws it in the dryer.

Doing chores with my little helper does like ten times as long. But that's okay. She is learning and I am having a blast!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ela is Gluten Free: A gluten free lifestyle

Check out my new blog about our journey to be gluten free and organic.

Ela is Gluten Free: A gluten free lifestyle: I have not always been gluten free (GF). After the birth of my daughter I was tired of feeling bad. My mom had been GF for a while and sugge...

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This morning when I got up I told myself not to stand on that scale. I knew it was a bad idea. Even so, I stepped onto the demon scale. Sure enough, it hadnt budged. I wanted to cry. I have been eating so much less, walking and running two miles every day and doing half an hour of yoga. Why are the pounds not coming off? I wanted to tell myself oh I am building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat but the scale should still be moving. Secretly, even though I pretended to be upset, I was so happy when Ela pulled the power button off the scale the other day. No more knowing what I weighed. I was so consumed with knowing that I figured out a way to power it on. Maybe being in a family that kept a TV for years that required turning on with a fork has made me thrifty or resourceful.

I am back to my pre-Ela weight but my body is not the same. Nothing is where it used to be and I dont feel nearly as fit as I used to. My other fear, other than maybe certain body parts will never bounce back, is the stretch marks. They are so bad. I walk past the bikinis that are now out and just get depressed. I may be destined for a life of one pieces. My derm said there is nothing she can do for them. It is what it is. As I am sinking into a depressed state and start packing up my bikinis, Ela comes running in with her adorable toddler run. She almost tips over she is so excited to get to me. I realize I have a pretty darn good reason for why I am the way I am. A few too many apple fritters when I was preggo and a 10 lbs baby got me here. The baby part, I am beyond okay with. The apple fritter part, well, I have adopted a new healthy life style and next time around, they wont be an issue.

Maybe through all of this, God is teaching me that my outward appearance has always meant too much to me. That while I should take care of myself, I shouldnt obsess over it to the point of potently ruining my day. So I hear you God. I am going to stop freaking out about what the scale says and focus on how I feel. And I will rock that one piece swim suit if my stretch marks never go away. I will be proud of why I have them and know that no matter what, I was blessed with the most precious baby girl ever and she was worth everything my body has gone through.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Learning how to do it alone

I have to admit, I have been a little spoiled. I was blessed to have my sister, Mary, live with us for a year to be Gabriela's nanny. She did a wonderful job and Ela is smarter, happier and more advanced because of the one on one care she gave her. I also was happy because I never went anywhere alone with just Ela and I. We always had either Jered or Mary with us.

Now that I have left my job and am staying at home with Ela, I have taken over all the grocery shopping and errand running. Alone. Ela and I had our first trip by ourselves to Whole Foods last week. She slept the whole way there and was still asleep when we arrived. I didnt need much so I just got out her stroller so she could continue her nap. I got the few things I needed, balancing a basket and the stroller. I managed not to run anyone over or nip any heels. As I was checking out I realized I wasnt going to be able to get the bags and the baby to the car alone. I hate asking for help, especially for two paper bags, but I was going to have to. Whole Foods was packed and I get anxiety if I am the reason people behind me have to wait. As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, he asked if I would need help to the car. I said yes, I was sorry to bother someone with so few bags but I couldnt do it alone with the stroller. He said no problem and began shouting to the other cashier to page  someone as I need assistance to the car. Everyone in line was staring at me and I was starting to sweat because this was taking forever! It felt like it had been half and hour and we were still waiting on this magical person to take my stupid two little bags to the car. Why didnt I just move and let the other people go while we waited? He was just standing there staring at me, like I should do something. Finally, I looked at the cashier and grabbed the two bags. I managed to knock over his keyboard with the bags in the process and all his pens and the keyboard went flying with a loud crash. The bags were not heavy and I could do it I told him as he was scrambling around trying to put his computer back together. He just looked at me and said, can you accept the amount? This whole time that was all he was waiting for. Me to press a button! Seriously, why didn't he just say so! As I am struggling to hold on to the bags and get my stroller out of the way, another Whole Foods associate comes up and asks who needed help. The cashier points to me and I meekly hand him my bags and walk out. Tail between my legs.

This week it was grocery shopping time again. This time I was prepared. I had made out my menu, made out my grocery list and checked all my coupons on my Kroger plus card. I print out the list of coupons and suck it in the diaper bag. I was so proud of myself at this point for being so organized.  I get Ela and myself ready, get my grocery bags and the grocery cart cover and load it all in the car. I am already tired! We get to Kroger and I balance the baby, all my shopping bags , the diaper bag and the cart cover. We get inside and it takes me another hour just to get the stupid cart cover on with one hand. I cant put Ela because she will run off and that defeats the purpose of even having the cart cover. Without her, I dont even need it. I finally get it on the cart and buckle her in. I go to pull out my long grocery list and then realize, I have left it on the fridge. I know I cant remember everything on it as I was planning on trying some new recipes. Oh well, I will just get what I can remember and use my coupon list for everything else. I look down at that and see only two coupons listed. It hits me I didnt load the dang coupons to the card. You have to not only select them, you have to hit load to card.This is the point I should have just gone back home and started over but it was such an ordeal getting to this point I decided to forge ahead. I have a blackberry so I figured I could load the coupons from my phone, they were already selected it was just one push of a button. I grab a few things I need and go to the back of the store out of the way to load the coupons. Ela had found her small bowl of organic cheerios and wanted some. I handed her the bowl and turned my focus to my phone. I cant get it to work and it is so frustrating. I hear a funny noise and look up. Ela's face is bright red and there are tears streaming from her eyes. She is choking. My daughter is choking right in front of me and I dont even notice. At this point she had worked up the cheerio and let out a gasp. I grabbed her up and patted her back as she gasped in air. I gave her almond milk and rubbed her back. I really hoped no one else witnessed that. I was about to start crying. I gave up on loading the stupid coupons. At this point, I just wanted to go home. Get a mulligan and start over. I took a deep breath, gave Ela a kiss and begged her forgiveness. She was perfectly okay and as any new mom does, I overreact to everything involving her well being. That may never change. We finished shopping and managed to save over $26 without coupons. Kroger has a tiny organic section for produce so I will still have to go to Whole Foods for that. All in all, minus the choking incident, I came out okay.

I am so thankful to be able to be at home all day with Ela. We have had so much fun learning how to cope with the smalls things, just the two of us. I know most people go to the store alone with their five kids so I must sound silly with my stories of mishaps with just one but I think being able to laugh at yourself is so important. I am never going to be perfect, and I do forget my list the majority of the time, but it's ok. I gave up on being perfect a long time ago. I would much rather enjoy this wonderful life, beautiful daughter and family that I have been blessed with. There is beauty in the chaos.