Saturday, April 19, 2014

Letters to Nolan: 4/18/14

Dear Sweet Nolan,

You are just one month shy of being one year old! Spring has sprung and you are really loving spending time outdoors and since you have your daddy's skin tone you are rocking a great tan. One of your favorite pastimes these days is playing in the water table! You really enjoy splashing your hands in the water and getting yourself soaking wet and I'm sure once it gets warm enough you are going to really dig the sprinkler! Speaking of water, you love taking baths and have now graduated out of the laundry basket and now sit just fine with your brother in the tub!
This month you got your first hair cut- you were staring to have a little baby mullet so it was definitely time!  You also have four teeth now and your smile is so so cute! You still love to laugh and giggle, especially if your brother is around. Now that you're more mobile you are starting to play more with Everett and you love that!
You are still quite content to nurse just as frequently as you always have, which is fine with me. You are eating more from the table and prefer to feed yourself. Some of your favorite foods are... anything that we give you! So far you aren't very picky which is great!

I am so happy you're in our life little dude!

Here's what you've been up to: 

03/23/14: First haircut, started playing peekaboo 
03/25/14: You started to laugh when other people laugh 
03/28/14: You will dance when we ask you to!
04/04/14: Said "dog"
04/10/14: Fourth tooth broke through (top left)
04/14/14: Can climb in and out of the bathtub
04/15/14: Got your first freckle


Momma and daddy love you to the moon and all the way back! 


xoxoxox,
Momma

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For more Letters to Nolan, click here
For Letters to Everett, click here!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Letters to Nolan: 3/18/14

Dear Nolan,

You are such a sweet boy! Your little personality is just blossoming and you are becoming a little boy (not  a baby anymore) right before our eyes.  You are very inquisitive and want to know what is going on in every room, want to check out everything, and you especially want to just dump all the toys out of the baskets! You really like to mess with Jedi, something that he does not like at all.
Crawling is still your main mode of transportation and boy are you fast! You can get from one side of the room to the other in no time.  You do like to pull up on any and everything and are getting more and more daring in your attempts to let go.  This month you started to push the walker around the house, although you have not quite got the steering thing down yet.
You and brother are still sleeping in our room at night and you usually "request" to nurse two to three times throughout the night.  Since it has been cold outside we have been spending the evenings inside (usually watching The West Wing) and our routine has been for you and I to cuddle up on the couch and you fall asleep while nursing. It is nice to have that time at the end of the busy day just to relax and be with our little family!
Last but certainly not least, your baby dedication was this past month!  This allowed daddy and I to think about the type of person that we hope you will grow up to be and how we can strive to be great parents. We invited family and friends to join us and it was a very special time to share with them.  We pray that you will find Jesus and will trust him to guide your life and we pray that we will be with you every step of the way! 


Here's what you've been up to this past month: 

02/18/15: Nine month well check- 21lbs 14oz (70th percentile), 28" long (60th percentile); Started waving 
02/20/14: First time you played at the play area in the mall 
02/26/14: Said momma 
02/28/14: First ice cream cone 
03/08/14: Stood by yourself for the first time 
03/09/14: Third tooth broke through ( top right) 
03/10/14: Started walking with the walker

Momma and daddy love you to the moon and all the way back! 

xoxoxox,
Momma

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For more Letters to Nolan, click here
For Letters to Everett, click here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Links: Frozen Fun

I have to admit, I really love Frozen! If you have not seen it yet, you should- even if you don't have kids!  All of the songs are so catchy and the movie plot is great. So with all of the Frozen mania going around I thought I would share a few videos for this edition of Weekend Links that I have come across and think are awesome!  Enjoy!
 





Some other videos of note:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Update on E


Today I took Everett back to the pediatric pulmonologist for a recheck on his progress.  I had both the boys dressed and in the car by 9am and it took us a little shy of 2 hours to get there, we got out and were in the doctor's office for about 45 minutes and then back in the car for the ride home. Although we logged a lot of miles today it was well worth it- we love our doctor and how much he really seems to care about Everett's well being. The doctor asked how Everett was feeling, if he'd had any issues in the past 3 weeks, had he been having trouble using his new inhaler, had there been any need for his rescue inhaler at all, etc. Even though we were there for a shorter period of time for this appointment he was still very thorough. The doctor was very glad to hear that Everett has been doing much better since he has been on the new treatment plan.  Everett has been back to his "old self" since his last cough subsided and the new inhaler has been added.  In the past he would have been sick by this time again so to have him not be sick was a great step in the right direction.  The doctor asked that we keep him on his daily inhaler for another few months (through the spring) and then we will reevaluate his dose.  I am so happy that we finally have a diagnosis and aren't floundering around anymore just treating the symptoms and in turn not actually providing him any long lasting relief.  Thank you again for all of your kind words, thoughts, and prayers.  We truly appreciate everyone of you. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

FBP: Cleaning Gone Green

Ever since Everett was born I have been rethinking a lot of the choices that we make around our house, specifically anything having to do with chemicals.  I do not like the idea that some of the products we use have harsh and harmful ingredients that would definitely cause panic if my children got a hold one of them. 
At first I wasn’t sure what to do; I did not want to buy the traditional household cleaners anymore and I also did not want to shell out the big bucks for the green cleaners that I saw on the shelves at the store either.  I was worried that I would spend a ton of money for products that I hadn’t heard of before and could potentially not work.  I did a little bit of research and found that making my own cleaners would not only be cheaper but safer and effective.  Score! 
You don’t have to be fancy when making your cleaners, in fact you can clean most areas around your home with a mixture of one-part vinegar and one-part water.  Vinegar can do some amazing things and the best part about it is that it is non-toxic and it also works as a disinfectant.  If you don’t like the smell of vinegar you can add citrus peels to the mixture, however once the vinegar dries the smell dissipates.  For more tips on cleaning with vinegar, check out this link
Another great item that you can use to clean with is baking soda.  You can mix baking soda and water until it becomes a paste and use it in the kitchen and bathrooms as a scrub to remove soap scum or buildup.  You can also add baking soda to your laundry to help remove stains and add brightness.  Baking soda can also be combined with vinegar (who didn’t love making volcanoes in science class in middle school?!) to create a paste that can be used in on tough stains around the house.   
The two items above (three if you count citrus fruit, four if you count water) you probably already have in your home already. How easyis this?! Grab a spray bottle from the cleaning section at your local superstore and you are in business.  Want to step it up a bit? While you’re in the cleaning aisle look for liquid castile soap- my personal favorite is Dr. Bronner’s Lavender.  This soap is amazing and can be used for so many different purposes!  I was going to type up my own list but I found this one on their website that covers more than I even realized: “You can use Dr. Bronner’s soaps for washing your face, body, hands and hair, for bathing, shaving, brushing your teeth, rinsing fruit, aromatherapy, washing dishes by hand, doing laundry, mopping floors, all-purpose cleaning, washing windows, scrubbing toilets, washing dogs, controlling dust mites, and killing ants and aphids.”  (Found here.)  We use the lavender scented soap as body wash and hand soap at home (check out this dilution chart for instructions) and it smells lovely!  This is a product that you will want to have on hand all the time because it is so versatile!    
Now that you’ve got your household cleaner made what about the floors?  You certainly can use some of the suggestions above however once a year it is important to have your carpets, rugs, tile, and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned.  Day after day at your home your dead skin cell particles shed from your body and embed into the soft surfaces like couches, carpets, and rugs.  If you have pets their hair (along with your own hair) is left in your carpets along with any spilled food or accidents that your children or animals might have had!  The daily traffic going in and out of your home can also bring in dirt and germs that can leave stains and be potentially harmful to the health and well-being of your family. Vacuuming will help to remove some of that buildup but it will definitely not remove all of it. 
Traditional carpet cleaning uses hot water mixed with soaps containing various chemical agents that leave your carpets heavily saturated with harsh residue.  I am excited to have found Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg, a carpet cleaning company that is able to clean carpets, upholstery, and tiled surfaces better than traditional carpet cleaning companies but without the use of high-residue soaps, detergents, shampoos or chemicals. “Zerorez cleaning services are based on its unique Empowered Water technology. Empowered Water is enhanced water that is electrolyzed and oxidized to create a powerful cleaning solution without harmful toxins or chemicals.” (Found here.)
Zerorez.jpg
When Aaron, the technician, came to  my house he was very friendly and knowledgable.  He took the time to explain how the Zerorez system worked and answered my questions. While he was in my home he was careful to protect the walls and provided great customer service.  The areas of my home that he cleaned had such amazing results that I can’t keep from telling everyone about their services!  Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg is extending an offer to all of my readers of 10% off any service and one free area!  Be sure to mention “Not So Average Momma” when booking your service!
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Have you liked my Facebook page yet? Please do!
This post was sponsored by Zerorez of Greater Fredericksburg, all content and opinons are my own.
This post originally appeared on Not So Average Momma on Fredericksburg Parent.net

Saturday, March 1, 2014

FBP: Post Round Up

I am so excited to be FredericksburgParent.net’s Blogger of the Month!  When I started this blogging journey a couple of years ago I did not expect for me to not only keep it up this long or to be blogging for one of Fredericksburg’s top online parent resources!  I am so happy to be on this “Not So Average Momma” journey and you better believe that I plan to keep on blogging about it!

I thought that I would kick this month’s posts off with a round-up of some of my favorite posts from my blog here as well as my personal blog, Not So Average Momma.   These are posts that I have written over the past two years that I thought you would either enjoy reading, learn from, or get to know more about my family and I.  

Thoughts: A collection of posts that are my honest thoughts about the some of the trials that I have had being a momma!

Nap Time Craft Time/DIY Tutorials:  Check out these posts for some easy do-it-yourself projects, most of which can be done with items you already have in your house and can be completed during naptime!

Lifestyle Posts: These are links to various different things that might make me an “Not So Average Momma.”

I hope that you will take the time to peruse the links and leave feedback on what you like, don’t like, agree with, disagree with, etc! I love hearing from y’all!

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Have you liked my Facebook page yet? Please do!

This post originally appeared on Not So Average Momma on Fredericksburg Parent.net

Thursday, February 27, 2014

THANK YOU & an Update

I am so grateful for all of the kind words that you all have shared here, on facebook, through texts, emails, etc.  (If I haven't gotten back to you yet I apologize- it has been one of the busiest days of my life!)  We are so appreciative of the prayers, the suggestions, and the love that each and everyone of you sent our way. Several of you shared my post and asked for prayers from your friends and family as well and for that I am so thankful.  The fact that you took the time out of your day to say a prayer for my child and to spread the request like wildfire via social media warms my heart and proves how great God's people are!  


At the pulmonologist appointment!
I figured that this would be the easiest way to provide an update, so here goes...

This morning I called the various urgent care and emergency room facilities that Everett has been seen in over these past few months in order to get his records because I was determined to get him into a specialist today.  I did a prayer-filled google search for a pediatric pulmonologist, found a reputable practice and dialed the number as soon as they opened.  It took a few tries to get through to the receptionist but when I finally did she was very helpful.  I briefly explained our situation and told her that we would be coming in and would sit in the waiting room all day if that is what it would take to be worked in.  She understood my urgency and was not only able to get us in, she scheduled us to see the doctor that I originally hoped we would see. God is so amazing! Our appointment was in the middle of the afternoon and the office was about an hour and a half away from our house.  After I hung up with them I called our allergist to see if we needed to go in to be seen beforehand and they asked that we bring him in around 11am.  

When we saw the allergist he was very supportive of our decision to pursue a second opinion and was happy that I was able to get Everett in so quickly.  He gave me a few notes on what he would do with the various medicines that Everett was on and asked that if the pulmonologist changed anything to have him send a note over to their office.  The timing of the appointments was perfect because we had enough time after the allergist to pick up the CD of Everett's chest x-ray from last night's urgent care visit and then head to the pulmonologist appointment.  Nolan was able to take a few really good naps in the car on the way to the next appointment and although Everett didn't sleep I am sure he enjoyed the time to relax and watch a movie on his DVD player. 

This is happening right now!
Tyler met me at the pulmonologist appointment which was great because I wanted us to both be there so that we wouldn't miss anything.  When we were called back we gave a short synopsis of what had been going on to the nurse and then waited for the doctor.  The whole time that we were there it just felt comforting, almost like I knew that we were finally on the right track and not going down another rabbit hole.  The doctor came in a few minutes later; he was very friendly and very knowledgeable.  He spent over thirty minutes going over Everett's symptoms and past medical history with us and asked us all sorts of questions, some we hadn't even thought of ourselves.  He took almost fifteen minutes to listen to Everett and do the once over of his ears, nose, and throat. We discussed the issues that we have had in the past and the concerns going forward with him and he genuinely seemed interested and concerned.  

After we had thoroughly discussed everything and he reviewed the medical records that we brought/had been sent over he told us that Everett has asthma.  Tyler and I (and pretty much everyone else) have known for quite some time that this was probably the case but we had been getting the run around on a diagnosis.  There seems to be some sort of insurance issue with diagnosis a child as young as Everett with asthma even if it is clear that is the case.  So after months of various different temporary symptom fixes we are so thankful that he finally has a diagnosis.  Obviously we are not happy that he has asthma but a diagnosis means that we can finally begin to manage his illness properly and not just treat the symptoms.  The doctor did note that he would like to do a few additional tests to completely rule out the scary things that I said you shouldn't google any other medical issues however he said he was confident that we have the correct diagnosis.  So now we have an aggressive treatment plan for his current cough/symptoms and a daily preventative plan to (fingers crossed) prevent flare ups like this from happening. 

So this is where we are now; a diagnosis and a plan! Hallelujah, thank you Father! And I want to thank you guys again for the prayers last night and today.  Our family truly appreciates the outpouring of love and support that we have received- this answered prayer is truly a testament to how great our God is. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Your beloved needs you now...

My kid is sick.  He has been sick pretty much non stop since last October and probably even longer than that.  My kid has been sick pretty much non stop since October and it seems like there is nothing that I, nor any of his doctors can do about it. We have been to the emergency room and urgent care more times than I can count, we've seen his pediatrician and his allergist.  We have had tests, x-rays, and cultures done and they all come back fine.  His lungs sound clear, his puls-ox is great, but he continues to cough and produce extraordinary amounts of mucus for no known reason. If you ever find yourself in this situation, please for your own sanity DO NOT GOOGLE SYMPTOMS. You will end up in sitting on your couch in the middle of the night in tears.
He gets a little better for a day or two- sometimes even a handful of days but without fail he ends up snotty, coughing, and having trouble breathing again.  He is on so many different medications right now just to help his tiny two almost three year old body be able to breathe and it is not fair.  It's not fair that he has to be stuck inside doing nebulizer treatments one two three four times a day.  It's not fair that he is constantly being poked and prodded by every doctor in the county.  It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair.  He can't breathe. It breaks my heart to see him so sick all the time, to know that he knows nothing else but the life filled with sickness.  Despite all the tears he has cried, all the tantrums, and all the sleepless nights he is a trooper.  He is my world and I am incredibly blessed.  

So this is it.  This is the breaking point. Something is going to happen and answers are going to be found.  I am not going to make him go day after day being sick and not knowing why or how we can fix it.  We are going to walk through this and figure out what it is going to take to get answers and a plan.  God knows the answers and I fully trust that He will lead us to where they are.  I am done trying to control this and I am putting it in His hands. Lord, please hear my prayer.   

By Bebo Norman

God, my God, I cry out

Your beloved needs You now
God, be near calm my fear and take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in


I will lift my eyes to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You


God, my God, let mercy sing
her melody over me
and God, right here all I bring
is all of me
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in


I will lift my eyes to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You


'Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
the Lover I need to save me
'Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
so hold me now


I will lift my eyes to the Maker
of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You


God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mommy Thoughts

Just some thoughts on life and the progression of things as parents....

This first twenty years of our lives are pretty much all about us.  We are born to parents who feed and clothe us, let us live in their houses, love us, etc.  This segment is all about having fun and not having to worry about anyone else except for ourselves.  During our first twenty or so years some of us will meet "the one" and settle down, some of us will go to college (and hopefully graduate), go on trips out of the country, start working, and some of us will even have children. 
The second twenty+ years, especially if you have children is all about them.  We spend these years working for someone else, cleaning up after other people, feeding kids/spouses, and for the most part putting others needs in front of our own.  As parents we have a desire to give our kids what they need and want and put our desires on the back burner.  We also have a tendency to forget that this time will pass all too quickly and let the little things get to us.  

In the grand scheme of things, twenty  years is not very long at all but in the moment it can feel like forever. I know that I let insignificant things get under my skin and I get frustrated with my kids for things that won't matter an year day hour from now.  I love this saying:
The days are long but the years are short.
It is so true and I tell myself this a lot on days that Everett and I are butting heads.  I only have twenty years with them before  they "grow up" and leave the nest.  I want to make every day count, even the days that are "crappy" because before I realize it they will be graduating and off on their own.  We are only given today and I will do my best to ensure that today is great. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Letters to Nolan: 2/18/14

Dear Nolan,

Well Mister Man you have decided that you are not a baby anymore.  No sir, not you! You want to do just what your big brother is doing and you don't care what it takes, you will do what he is doing. Anything that he is doing seems amazing to you and you are so happy to spend all your time with Everett. 

You don't really like to take naps by yourself, or even sleep by yourself at night. I don't blame you though, who wouldn't want to be snuggled up with someone else and sleep!?  When Sue is here she usually wears you in the Ergo for naps and if you're still tired when she leaves or if you need to take another nap I will wrap you up in our Little Frog woven wrap. You really like to "go up" and instantly relax once you're in your happy place on my back.  We have been learning all new ways to wear the wrap and you are very patient when I am learning a new carry. 
You are so happy almost all the time! When you are crawling around, you will stop and start clapping- it is so cute! I love watching you explore around the house and seeing how happy you are once you've found something that you haven't been able to get to before.  You are also learning the word "no" and so far you are actually responding well to it (which makes me happy).  You are a very determined little dude but you are also very content to listen to me... for now. 

Here's what you've been up to this past month: 


01/20/14: Started pulling up to your knees

02/01/14: Started pulling up to standing 
02/05/14: Saying "Da-da" when you see Daddy
02/18/15: Nine month well check- 21lbs 14oz (70th percentile), 28" long (60th percentile), started waving


Momma and daddy love you to the moon and all the way back! 

xoxoxox,
Momma

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For more Letters to Nolan, click here
For Letters to Everett, click here!