Thursday, December 27, 2012
They will bounce back.
With having a one income household, there isn't much leftover at the end of the month. So gifts for many people were pictures of the kids, jelly that we made, and homemade scones. The presents that we did have to buy we used coupons and no gift cost us more than $20.
Alan and I both agreed that we don't want the kids associating that the more presents, the better. We don't have that kind of money, even if we did, we wouldn't shower them with tons of presents. Because that's not the meaning of Christmas. Baby Jesus received three presents and so will our little ones. They each received 3 presents; one from mama and daddy, one from the siblings, a present from Santa. Santa also brought a present that they can all play with. Their stockings had items like crayons, sippy cups, and socks.
I went to a second hand store for the kids gifts. I found a Buzz Lightyear and Woody for $7.50 (Target had them for $40 each!) I did buy Meredith the Jesse doll for $18 at Toys R Us since I couldn't find it anywhere else. Still not bad. The big present that Santa brought for all of them to share was the tent. Alan found the wood to make the frame. We only had to buy one piece at the Habitat ReStore for 50 cents. The fabric was the most expensive, thankfully we got it half off and only cost us $20 (most expensive present). Alan and I didn't get each other anything big, we got each other small presents. I went to Goodwill and found him an oil lamp for $8 and a small cooler to take to work for $3. I also got him some socks and candy that he likes. He went to Marshall's and TJ Maxx and found slippers and underwear for me (both less than $8) He went to a consignment store and found a marble rolling pin for $8 (they retail for $90).
More is not better, at least we don't think so. The amount of presents is not an indication of how much you love your kids. I remember seeing a quote that went something like, "It's not the amount of money you spend on your kids, but the amount of time you spend with them." I couldn't agree more. Years down the road, kids will remember the memories, not each and every toy you got them. I clearly remember being just as excited over our little family's Christmas dinner. We got to help plan the menu, and it included food that we didn't have on a normal basis. Some years, we each got a cornish hen, some years it was sea food, other years beef tenderloin with hollandaise sauce.
Plus, the real reason for the season as we all know, is not presents or even Santa. It's something bigger. Something greater than all of us. Something that, even though we can't see, many of us believe. Because He made this all possible by arriving in a simple little manager.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Today you are three. How? When? Where did the time go? It seems just last year I went into labor Thanksgiving night. A labor that last 37 hours, ended in a c-section - all of which was not apart of my plans! However, the outcome was a healthy 7lb 8oz 20 inch baby of pure love. And since that day you have rocked my world! You made me a mama and taught me so much about what life is about.
In three short years you have come so far! This year you learned to talk, really talk. With the help of First Steps and Miss Sarah, she worked with you every week for an hour. We played games, working on word sounds, and putting sounds together to form words. In just 6 short months of therapy you went from saying 10 words to having over 100! You are very smart and have an incredible memory according to Miss Sarah. You know how to get to grandma's house and you've known this for over a year!
Here are some memorable events or funny things you say and do:
- You have an imaginary lion, well, make that 2 lions. Mama rarrr and Dada rarrr. It all started when your over-active imagination thought there was a lion in your room. Instead of making it something scary, you turned it into a pet. When asked what the lion's name was, you said Mama rarr. Soon after Mamma rarr meet Dada rarr. I have sometimes heard of a baby rarr, so I guess we will see where that goes! You also have two pretend girlfriends; Tinina and Carnina. I think they are Mexican twins.
- Speaking of imaginations, you love to pretend that you are in a boat and the waves are rough. You also catch fish!
- You LOVE trains, riding your balance bike, digging for worms, cooking, going to pump gas. I know, only you would love going to the gas station.
- Monkey and you have become inseparable. Monkey goes everywhere with you, to grandma's to the store, you don't let him out of your sight.
- You wake up Sis in the mornings with a "cock-a-doodle-doo" I'm sure she loves it.
- You have been potty trained since you were 27 months old! We still need to work on night time potty training, but during the day and even during naps you are dry!
- You call grandma "grrr" and grandpa "papaw or pop-pop" You can now say Jenny and Emmy. Meredith is still Sis and probably will always be Sis. Andrew is baby. I'm still Mama and Daddy is Dada.
- You play the harmonica, and actually, you are pretty good.
- You will chose fruit over anything. Grapefruit is currently a favorite.Vegetables are a close second. Sometimes you will eat chicken. You love cheese, especially goat cheese. You love Greek yogurt.You maybe allergic to peanuts and walnuts, we are going to get you tested.
- You are skinny, dark brown hair and the darkest brown eyes I have ever seen. I call them oreo eyes because they are so dark! You are still in size 2T, the pants are getting short, but the 3T pants fall off of you. You are hanging out at the 35 percentile, weighing in at 31 pounds and 38 inches tall.
- You still love to snuggle and before Sis and Andrew get up, you sit in my lap and we watch Curious George.
- You went from a crib, to a toddler bed, to a twin bed this year. You are loving your big boy bed! Sometimes I lay down with you and you lay on your side facing me, with one arm draped around my neck. Pure sweetness.
So little man, on your third birthday, my wish for you is to grow and learn and keep this wonderful personality of yours. Never lose your sense of adventure, your wild imagination, your good hugs you give, and always know that your Mama will love you forever, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.
Love Forever and Always, to the Moon and Back, to Infinity and Beyond,
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
And this stuff is getting overwhelming. I'm not sure if it's the impending winter, with long days and nights spent inside our cozy 3 bedroom home, or the fact that with three kids comes a lot of stuff. And stuff that we could do without.
I started realizing how much 'stuff' we have when I discovered the bed bug in the boys' room. With that we had to pack up everything into black plastic bags. We were only allowed to keep out what we really needed: clothes for the next few days, a blanket for each child, a few toys, etc. When we were allowed to unpack, we did so slowly, after a week of living with just what we needed, I quickly found that some of that 'stuff' that was packed in those black bags, wasn't really missed. Of course, there were times when there was that one thing that I went looking for in the sea of black bags, but for the most part, we didn't miss the stuff. As we unpacked, we went through our clothes and items to figure out what we really needed. I surfed through the wealth of organizing information online and found an extremely helpful tip with clothes: 'pretend you are going on a month long vacation and pack enough clothes for that month.' Most of us probably have a few outfits that we wear all the time, these are the ones that we feel the most comfortable in. So I went through my clothes and donated ones that I didn't want/need. I was amazed at how much room my little closet actually had!
Of course life gets crazy and that's about as far as I got with cleaning out the 'stuff.' However, it's time to get real again! On the list to clean out:
- kid's toys; seriously they have too much! And half they don't even play with!
- school stuff from Alan and I
- kitchen; I do a pretty good job of keeping the kitchen clutter down, but there are some extra sets of dishes, and 'stuff' that is just taking up space.
- those rubbermaid totes in the workshop area, they are all labeled, but I really need to go through them.
- Alan has some climbing gear and 'stuff' he want to sell.
Monday, July 23, 2012
This is the best picture I could get if our garden. I didn't really think our garden was big, until I tried taking a picture and couldn't get it all in!
Our garden contains: multiple types of peppers, variety of tomatoes (about 15 plants), cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, herbs, squash, and zucchini. It had eggplants until Mr. Rabbit came to dine!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Plus just 3 simple ingredients:
4 cups watermelon
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
In a saucepan combine sugar and water, stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool for about 5 min.
Put watermelon in blender and add the sugar water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 pan and freeze. Not sure how long it needs to freeze since I made it in the morning and served it after dinner.
When its time to serve, I found it helpful to let it stand before attempting to chisel this block of watermelon ice! It's delicious and the kiddos loved it! I have heard of adding a bit of vodka to help it not freeze so hard, but people frown upon giving kids alcohol...so, let it sit and it gets all slushy like.
Happy summer y'all!
Friday, July 6, 2012
Anyhow, I went swimming today at the YMCA. Just getting the kids from the car into the gym was a workout. I put Andrew in the sling (plus carried the diaper bag and gym bag), Meredith in the umbrella stroller and Benjamin helped push the stroller. Of course there weren't any close parking spots (I firmly before that next to the handicap spots, should be parent parking for small children. Seriously, try to get 3 kids under 3 inside a building!) so it took us about 10-15 minutes to actually get inside the gym. Took Meredith and Andrew to the Infant room...Meredith begins to scream, Benjamin looks suspicious, like he knows whats going on. Benjamin put the death grip on my finger and we walk down the hall to the toddler room. His eyes big, my finger now completely white. We say hello to the teacher and the hand off goes very smoothly, no tears. I stood back and watched as he quickly got interested in all the toys. I dart out of site and get changed to go swim.
swim suit - check
swim cap - check
goggles - check
kick board - check
I think I remember how to do this! The water felt great and my technique...not too shabby for not being able to swim, in forever. I swam 1,300 meters and even remembered some drills to work on. I could have kept swimming all day, but little babies have a 2 hour time limit that they can be in the childcare. And since it took me approximately 20 minutes just to get them to their room and I still had to shower, my time was closing in.
As I was trying to remember the combination to my lock, a lady stopped and asked, "are you on a swim team?" I thought, really lady I am so out of shape, you think I'm on a swim team???
I told her no and she asked if I was a good swimmer. "I'm ok, I used to be much better."
"Oh, then maybe you can help me." Is she really asking me for advice?
She proceeds to tell me how she gets out of breath when beginning her swim, but after awhile she breaths fine.
"Oh yeah, I felt that way today; it's my first day back in the water after having a baby. It's like running a race, you start out too fast because of the adrenaline pumping. Just tell yourself to slow down."
She said she never thought of it that way, but I was probably right. She told me she was getting ready to do her first triathlon. And asked if I had any advice for race day.
I said, "have fun."
We talked 'triathlon talk' for awhile. It was so good to talk to another adult, and even better that the conversation didn't revolve around diapers, milk supply, teething, time outs, toddler beds, etc.
Who knows, maybe I'll go dig up some of those ole' triathlon racing plans and "have fun"
In other news: yesterday this little charmer turned four months:
Not really sure where the time has gone, but it's quickly flying by.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
We have two choices for schools, public or private. There are positives and negatives to each. The reality, we cannot afford private schools. So that leaves us with public schools. The schools system in Jefferson County has 'good' schools and not so good schools. To get into those 'good' schools you have to live in the area of that school. I've known people who move each time their son/daughter goes onto elementary, middle and high schools so that they can get into that 'good' school. I'm not sure I'm up for that much moving around.
And it's not just about the schools, though, it is what is getting us thinking. We also want some room to stretch out. Granted we have a nice size back yard, a perfect little house, and awesome neighbors, but a little breathing room would be nice too. An acre or two, a small home similar to ours now, Alan would die for a garage with a workshop, and I would love to have a large garden where we can grow enough food to freeze/can for winter. Because lets face it, these Vaesa kids LOVE to eat. And the grocery bill is getting more and more expensive! We are obviously in the 'looking' phase of this process, and looking at Oldham or Nelson County. So if you live in either of those counties, please let me know what you like and don't like about where you are.
|Backyard provides hours of swinging for the little Lady|
|Our backyard to great for riding a scooter down the big hill!|
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
It wasn't easy with a newborn and Miss Meredith who is very interested in what was going on in the bathroom, but we managed and after a few days of Benjamin being stark naked around the house, he was potty trained! I was amazed at how easily it went! He is still in a diaper during nap time and bedtime and I am not sure how we tackle that, but a friend told me it may not be until he is 4 to wake up when he has to go. There are times when he wakes up from his nap and is dry, so we are getting close! Which is good because I was having anxiety over the thought of trying the big boy bed thing again! I'm good if he wants to stay in his crib for life!
And from potty training to cloth diapering, Andrew now fits into the BumGenius size small diapers!
|1 month old.|
Side note: not sure why the picture is showing up all dotted like ?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Around 11pm, because we just couldn't sleep, we looked out the window and saw snow! At 4am on our baby's birthday this is what the world looked like:
|5 inches of snow!|
At the hospital, I got my blood drawn, an IV started and monitors on. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about getting my spinal. I told him that last time I got sick during the delivery, so he ordered Zofran via IV before the surgery. Then Dr. L came into give me the 'game plan' for the delivery and I was set to go!
Finally around 9pm; 13 hours after surgery, I was feeling much better and got to see Andrew! Alan stayed with me that first night and after that, it was smooth sailing. I felt great and was up and walking around the nurses' station. Andrew and I were discharged Friday and got home around lunch time.
|dressed and ready to go home!|
Life as a family of five has been wonderful! It's been crazy and challenging, but to watch Benjamin and Meredith interact with Andrew it's worth it!
There have been some funny stories to tell since we have been home, that I will share as soon as I get a little more time! Think potty training a 2 year old with a 1 year old who tries to dump out the potty and a screaming newborn!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Just two more weeks...where did this pregnancy go?
Friday, February 10, 2012
The first one I made was from Deliciously Organic. Carrie has a fabulous website full of wonderful recipes that I have tried and loved! I made the cinnamon strudel coffee creamer which consisted of the following ingredients:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbs maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of almond extract
However, I didn't have all of the ingredients. So I improvised and came up with this recipe:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half and half creamer
- 4 tbs maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbs vanilla almond milk
- 1 1/4 cups of condensed milk
- 1 cup milk
- 1-2 tbs sweetener (optional)
- 1/2 tsp thickener (such as cornstarch, arrow root, etc) this is also optional.
|Homemade Condensed Milk|
The next morning, I eagerly tried my new creamer and fell in love. The thickness was just right! It is a bit sweet, so next time I make it I will add more milk to help dilute the condensed milk more. Also on The Joy of Clean Eating they have a recipe for homemade condensed milk using a 1/2 cup of raisins and a cup of milk. I have yet to get this to taste right. Each time I make it, my coffee tastes like raisins, not what I'm going for! If I get it right, I'll be sure to post it!
My Choice: So after trying both, I would say add the 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to Deliciously Organic's recipe to make it a bit thicker. However, if you are looking for a quick recipe, The Joy of Clean eating is much quicker (if you just use the canned condensed milk). I am also on the lookout for a powdered version of coffee creamer. So stay tuned!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
We do a lot of laundry around here, with a 2 year old and a 1 year old, plus a husband who works in the concrete industry....the laundry piles are intense. Not to mention washing cloth diapers every other day. Tide was my go-to-detergent, never doubted it's ability to clean. However; the price tag was getting to be a bit much. Roughly $25 for 120 loads, which lasted us about 10 weeks (we do on average 12 loads a week, that's not counting cloth diapers).
So I tried Target's brand and it seemed to work and the price was better at roughly $8 for 64 loads. I figured the real test would be when spring time rolled around and we had to deal with getting grass stains out. However, when the entire family came down with the stomach virus, it got the clothes clean, but left the puke smell in my babies clothes and blankets. This is not cool. So back to the drawing board to find a cheap detergent that I could easily have access to without paying for shipping.
My internet search lead me to making your own laundry detergent. I used the recipe from two different blogs, DIY Naturally and the The Eco-Friendly Family.
- 1 bar of shaved bar soap (Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- 1/2 cup oxiclean
|The ingredients, minus the oxiclean|
|Grated Ivory soap|
|1 bar of Ivory|
|Everything mixed in!|
|Stored in a container, with a tablespoon. Later, when I made four more batches, |
I put it in two large, clean coffee containers
I did the laundry and added a tablespoon to a medium sized load of my babies' clothes, they came out clean and smelling great! I was so excited about the end result that I immediately went and made a total of five batches!
UPDATE: I just ran out of the laundry detergent that I made! So those five bathes lasted me 7 months!!!!
Monday, January 30, 2012
|Photo by: Sommai|
I can't deny it, throw in pregnancy on top of a little bit of a type A personality and the itch to organize, clean, and cook get a bit crazy. However, I am happy to say that our house looks and feels so much better!
Friday, January 20, 2012
So my mom and I arrived at the hospital and went to L&D, I believe this was around 10pm. I was admitted, the nurse checked me and thankfully I was not dilated. I was hooked up to the monitor to check for the baby's heart beat and to monitor the contractions. The contractions were still coming every 2 minutes and pretty painful. Between the nurse taking my history, Alan calls worried about the kids that keep getting sick and he couldn't reach the pediatrician's after hours number. So my mom calls the pediatrician's emergency line and I talk to the nurse there. She tells me what to do for the kids, keep them hydrated and monitor how many wet diapers they have. Other than that, there isn't much they can do unless they get dehydrated.
My mom calls Alan back. I puke some more. The nurse gets an IV started and gives me zofran to ease the nausea. Once I stop getting sick, the nurse gives me procardia to stop the contractions. The medicine makes me flushed and my heart race. The nurse goes back to taking my history. Baby's heart rate is still high. We wait. The contractions are getting further apart, still painful, but seem like they are getting better. The nurse tries to draw blood, but I'm too dehydrated and my veins don't cooperate. Nurse calls for lab. Lab tech is taking too long so another nurse comes in to give it a try. She fails twice. Calls lab again. While waiting for a lab tech the nurse wraps my arm in warm wash cloths to get the veins to surface better. Lab tech finally shows up and has success. She draws blood to test for infection and to 'type' me in case they would have to deliver the baby. Four hours go by and another dose of procardia. This second dose ease the contractions much more and get them to space further apart. Meanwhile, they tell me to try to sleep, which is impossible as I wonder how Alan is doing with two sick kids. Contractions continue until 5:30am. They had been going on for 12 hours.
Alan calls the next morning (Sunday) and sounds stressed, kids are still puking. My mom leaves and goes to my house. She takes Meredith back to her house. Things calm down. There is talk of me getting to go home, but Dr. decides against it.
I end up staying in the hospital until Monday morning. I was never so happy to leave! My mom takes me home where Benjamin, Meredith and Alan seem to be doing much better. However, I notice blisters on Benjamin's hands and along his mouth. I get him to open his mouth and I see one on his tongue. I call my mom, "what does hand, foot, and mouth disease look like?" I call the pediatrician, Alan takes him in, Dr. prescribes medication to ease the pain and says Meredith will probably get it too. Later that evening I get sick, later that night Benjamin gets sick. I thought we were over this.
Tuesday, my mom was going to come over to help with the kids, since the Dr. said to take it easy. My dad texts Alan, mom is sick. I feel horrible that she caught it. Eventually this evil stomach virus makes it's way to my sister and my dad.
Finally by Thursday, everyone seems to be on the up swing and the disinfecting began. Today I took the kids out to Target to get the essentials that we were out of. First time we had been out in over a week! It was a rough week to say the least! Thankfully, we are all much better and Meredith has yet to get hand, foot, mouth disease! I'm not sure how we would have done it without my family, thank God they are close by and swooped in like heroes!
I love the fact that January and February are quiet and slow, we need that time to prepare for #3. The repeat c section is scheduled for March 5th. Just 7 weeks away! And dearest Meredith I hope you are sleeping through the night by then!
I'll leave you with a picture of baby #3 taken at 25 weeks. I am now 32 weeks.