Thursday, April 29, 2010

A time for everything

I wanted to be the mom, the woman, who could do it all.

But, frankly, in this season of my life, I don't think I can.

I feel like God is steering me in a different direction, and that direction is, away from this blog.

At least, for now.
I have LOVED doing this blog, for more than a year, now, but, it was starting to consume me.  It was taking up a lot of time, energy and thoughts, more than I ever thought it would.  I have stayed up late thinking about it and writing, I have lost sleep over what my next entry will be,  I have felt the burden of taking great pictures and providing good content, I have felt desperation to get something up, just so it doesn't sit bare for long.  I have wanted to bring good, relevant, helpful and thought-provoking content, but, through all of that,  it has brought on a lot of un-needed stress.  Maybe it shouldn't have, but it has.  Instead of it being fun for me, which is what it started out as being, it has become a burden.  I feel like other areas of my life have been left unattended.  It's amazing how a blog can have this effect on me.  Or, maybe I have allowed it to become what it has become.  Whatever the reason, it is what I have let it be, and I have to put it aside for awhile. 

I would never say that I have it harder than any other mom.  I know that many have it much "worse" off than I do.  But, I have three young children who need me and depend on me;  I have a home that I need to keep clean and orderly; I have a massive, daunting yard that needs enormous amounts of attention; I'm working two part-time jobs and have started back in on my Ebay business;  I have a husband who needs more of my undivided attention;  I have a special needs daughter who requires more from me than I can sometimes give her. There are all the trips back and forth to school, the play dates, the potty-training, the diapering, the disciplining, the cooking, the baking, the training, the playing, the cleaning, the comforting, the, the, the...........Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job in the world, and even though I love it, it can be a struggle.


It was becoming an even bigger struggle as my focus was being taken over by this blog.

I question the timing of this decision, because I now have this new home for my blog, new followers, etc, but I have to rely on the promise that God's timing is perfect.  He put this on my heart for a reason and I can't pretend like it's not real.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3:  1-8
Hopefully there will be a time when I come back to this blog, to continue on this amazing journey of sharing, learning, growing and cataloging life events.  But, until then, I must take some time off.  How long?  I don't know..............only God does.

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him.” 

Lamentations 3:  22-24

Thank you for taking this journey with me and I hope and pray, that, someday, I will see you back here, again.  But, until then, keep on living life fully, frugally and faithfully.

God Bless~~~

Sarah


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Check for the Dents!!

I just can't seem to get enough of clearance groceries.  

Seeing the 50% off sticker makes my heart skip a beat.

Here's what I saw that induced the skippage:



Most grocery stores mark down canned goods that have been dented, or that have peeling paper, but, that are still perfectly sell-able.  At my local Safeway, these little treasured goods were in the waaaaaay back of the store, close to the entrance to the back room, sitting so lonely and forlorn in a cart with other marked-down sundry items.  

Who am I to discriminate against a dented can?!  

I swiped these bad boys up!!!  Each can was less that .40 cents, each!!  
(And, a few of them are higher priced Organic tomatoes!)

Check for the Dents!!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Stack it Up!!



Remember, folks:

You can always stack a STORE coupon with a MANUFACTURERS coupon!!

Many stores offer their own coupons (check their ads or you can see them online), and you can use your manufacturer's coupons in conjunction with them!! 


This means $$$ in your pocket!

Stack away!!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It was another great weekend.

Gosh, weekends are such sweet family time.  Even if we aren't doing much of anything, don't have many plans, and just stay at home---that's, often times, when it's the most precious.

*Sigh*

We are on to a new week, though, with new adventures!  

What's on your Menu Plan this week??

Here's what we're having:

Monday:  Spaghetti and Homemade Meatballs, Green Salad, Yeast Rolls

TuesdayPork Chops, Mashed Potato Cakes, Spinach Salad

WednesdayBeans and Rice served with Cheese, Sour Cream, Salsa, Tortilla Chips

ThursdayHomemade Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon

FridayHomemade Pizza, Salad, Smoothies

I'm going to be gearing up this week, taking pantry/freezer inventory and coming up with a plan for OAMC (Once A Month Cooking)----That's starting this weekend!!  More on that later!

Here's to a blessed Monday and an even more blessed Week!!


~~~Sarah

This post is linked to Organizing Junkie's MPM!

It's the little things.....


Ava, getting dressed this morning (in her amazingly matching outfit, I might add), admiring herself in the mirror:   

What da think Ukie?"

Lukie stands up, peers at her in the mirror and squints his eyes:    

Ooohhhh, you're so bootiful, Ava!

Ava, tilting her head to the side:   

I know.

Lukie leans over and gives her a big hug:  I love you, Ava.

Ava:  I love you, too.

Psalm 127:3:  
"Children are a gift from the Lord.  
They are a reward from Him."

I definitely feel rewarded.







Friday, April 23, 2010

Natural Remedy for Pink Eye

My dear Ava had a pretty wretched case of Pink Eye.  She came into my room this morning, and looked as if she had been in a boxing match!  She could barely see out of her right eye, it was red, puffy and quite mucus-ey.  She sobbed that it hurt her so much.

Poor thing.

It was hard to get a good shot of it, but, here she is at 7:15 this morning:
The picture doesn't capture the essence of redness or puffiness, or cake-i-ness, but, as you can see, the corner of the eye, all the way out, is quite puff-a-licious. 

I scoured our medicine cabinet for any sort of eye drops or antibiotics that had been prescribed, in the past, to our kiddos for pink eye, and I couldn't find any.  

That's when I remembered BREAST MILK.

Yes, folks, you heard me right.  

That outstanding, natural, God-given substance with AH. MAZING healing properties. 
 Among its other tremendous abilities, Breast Milk is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial!


So, I thought I'd give it a try.


With much hesitation and a little bit of fear, on Ava's part, she climbed onto my lap, and yes peeps, you're going to hear me correctly, when I say:   

I expressed milk directly into her eye.  

A Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.


INSTANTLY I could tell a difference.  Mucus---gone.  Redness---going.  Puffiness---less.


Twenty minutes later, at breakfast, I asked her how her eye was doing, and she said:   
Mommy, you saved the day!

Here she is at 10:06 this morning:


Eye almost back to normal!!!  PTL!!

Now, you might be wondering:  What if I am not a lactating mother? 

Good question.

Here are a few other natural remedies, I've read about, that could help cure Pink Eye and/or any other eye infection.  I have not tried them, and, as always, educate yourself before you try them, but, they have been proven to work for many people:
  • Baby Shampoo mixed with warm water
  • Bathe in cool water with cotton wool
  • Black Tea and salt water
  • Brown Tea
  • Castor Oil
  • Chamomile
  • Coconut Oil
  • Coffee
  • Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Disclosure:  Remember this is not professional or medical advice, so please don't take it as such!

I am linking this up with Frugal Friday, because, this is an awesome way to SAVE MONEY, too!!  If you or your kiddo is ill and you think it might be something that can be cured naturally, at home----this saves you $$ on Doctor's visits, antibiotics, etc.  

PLUS, it saves you your precious time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another look........Biblical Perspective

This is a post I did back in January on the Biblical Perspective of Vaccines.  I thought it might be worth another look.......
 
There were no vaccinations in biblical times, but, there were several references on what should and should NOT be put into the body.

Here are my findings:
  • Vaccines are made with known toxic chemicals that are injected into the bloodstream by vaccination. All vaccines are made with foreign proteins (viruses and bacteria), and some vaccines are made with genetically engineered viral and bacterial materials. The Bible teaches that the body is "The temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
  • There is no scriptural support for injecting poisons or any virus into the bloodstream to cure or prevent disease. The Old and New Testaments, however, are replete with references to keeping the body blemish-free so that we may have abundant life.
  • A conflict arises if you accept God's warning not to mix the blood of man with the blood of animals. Many vaccines are produced in animal tissues. Luke 13: 1-5 states that those who mix human blood with the blood of sacrificed animals are 'sinners.' This is precisely what pharmaceutical industrialists do to many vaccines.
  • The Bible teaches us that children are a gift from God (1 Timonty 5:8), yet, many vaccines contain ABORTED human fetal tissue.
  • Animal DNA, aborted human fetal tissue and foreign animal viruses are suspended in a cocktail of the most toxic substances known to man and injected into the body so it can find its way into the bloodstream. There are 446 references to "the blood" in the Bible. Throughout the Bible, God refers to the sanctity of the blood and the importance of keeping it pure. Would God consider presence of live and dead viruses, foreign human and animal DNA, mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde in our blood---keeping it pure?
  • The Bible teaches us that PARENTS are entrusted with the care and welfare of a child. (1 Tim 5:8) PARENTS, not the state, are responsible to make healthcare decisions on behalf of their children.
A personal side note on this point, not pertaining particularly to vaccines, but to parents being responsible for the care and welfare of their child:
I was diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 2. To make a long story extremely short, my parents turned down Chemotherapy and Radiation and put me on a strict Vitamin/Nutrition program. Doctors very much didn't like their decision, and neither did the state. There were threats of turning my parents in to Child Protective Services. That never happened, but it was an extremely stressful time for my parents.
Here I am---29 years later, still living and Cancer-free. My parents did their research and found out that at such a young age, Radiation could have caused much harm to my body, including sterilization. Also, Chemotherapy is a general term for treatments that use chemical agents to kill cancer cells. My parents just didn't want me or my body to have to go through all of that, and they didn't want to inject my little 2 year old body with all those chemicals. I am not saying that anyone is wrong for doing any of these procedures---absolutely not---what I am saying, is, that the Bible teaches us that the PARENTS are entrusted for the care and well-being of their children.
What my parents did "went against the grain," just as not vaccinating can very much be looked at as going "against the grain." And, I want to applaud them for "rocking the boat," looking at things differently, and standing up for what they believed.

I found this next bit of GREAT perspective from: Making An Informed Decision

Let's recall Philippians 4:8 where we are, again, advised to ponder on everything. Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.

"Whatever things are true": As previously described, the safety in vaccinations are purely by the stroke of a pen. The numerous adverse reactions experienced by healthy children during prelicensure experimentation are grossly disregarded. The increase risks for the targeted infection brought on by vaccinations during these "trials" are also grossly disregarded. This website references numerous efficacy failures followed by unsupported higher dosage recommendations.

"Whatever things are honest": Dishonesty for each vaccine begins with the unscientific dismissals during prelicensure experimentations. Honest practice requires nothing less than honest behavior with honest words. A deceitful practice requires nothing more than deceitful words and behavior. There is clearly something deceitful in the immunization program.

"Whatever things are right": What is right about allowing the injection of aborted fetal cell tissue into the human body? We Christians are known for our stand against taking the life of an unborn child. Do we not have a responsibility to Him with this information? You've heard the saying, "Two wrongs do not make a right."

"Whatever things are lovely": Vaccine bacteria and viruses are cultured on animal tissue, cells from aborted fetal tissue and other growth media. One example is the Mueller-Hinton Agar. Agar is a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of red algae and contain sulfated glactose monomers. The purpose of the Agar is to gel growth media into a solid form. To further ensure growth of "designated" microorganisms, such things as sheep blood and horse blood are added. This is what's used to grow the viruses for the Meningococcal vaccine. Similar vile procedures are used in the manufacturing of other routine childhood vaccines. What about this is lovely? God created our blood stream as our life line. Would He consider these things "lovely", thus worthy for His creation (of our bodies)?

"Whatever things are of good report": The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated physician reporting of certain vaccine adverse events to the Secretary of the department of Health and Human Services which led to the creation of VAERS. The primary function of VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) is to detect early warning signals and generate hypotheses about possible new vaccine adverse events or changes in frequency of known ones. It relies on physicians to VOLUNTARILY report adverse events. However, there are some limitations according to CDC and the FDA:

· variability in report quality

· biased reporting

· underreporting

· inability to determine whether a vaccine caused the adverse even in any individual report

The FDA stated that less than 10% of adverse reactions from vaccines are ever reported. It is even possible that LESS than 1% of adverse reactions are reported and taken seriously. CDC put a publication on vaccine induced injuries from 1990-1995. They stated that there were 45,000 vaccine injured individuals. More alarming is the statement that this figure represents less than 1% "due to gross under reporting." Using CDC's own data, at minimum, 45,000 x 100=4.5 million vaccine induced injuries. This calculates to 900,000 vaccine induced injuries each year from 1990-1995 minimum.

Is this good reporting?

"If there is any virtue" (moral excellence): Christ is clear on His desires for us to strive for virtue. I ask the body of Christ, what virtue is there in the dishonest vaccination program? What virtue is in the fatally flawed history of vaccines? What virtue is there in schools deceitfully informing parents that vaccines are a mandate without the first option of informed consent? What virtue is there in enforcing parents to inoculate their children with known neurotoxins and claim that their autism, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis...etc have nothing to do with the vaccines? There are contaminates from the animals (i.e monkeys) used in vaccine manufacturing. (i.e. polio) The number of simian viruses (sv) documented in this vaccine goes up to SV59. Bound by an agreement with the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA must turn a blind eye to up to 100 viral contaminates per dose. Where is the virtue in that?

-----------------------------------------

I am not saying I have all the answers. I certainly don't. And, frankly, I don't think any of us will ever have all the answers on this issue.

But, God does.

He tells us to go to HIM in everything. EVERYTHING. I encourage you to do that.

And, whatever your feelings are, I also encourage you not to be scared by it all---no matter what opinion or viewpoint you're coming from. Do not be fearful.

"Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught."

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 41:10,13

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

-Hebrews 13:6


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Then and Now

As you might recall from THIS post, our precious Ava has Speech Apraxia.

She is making HUGE progress.

Huge.

Here is a video of Ava, 10 months ago, doing her ABC's:




Here is Ava, today, doing her ABC's:



Oh, sweet Ava. I'm so proud of you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anna's Birth Story


So, it was Saturday morning, August 15th, and I honestly woke up feeling like something was going to happen that day. I had been having contractions for days and days before this, I had already lost my mucus plug a week ago and (pardon if this is too graphic!), but was having "bloody show" for the past 7 days!!! (Yeah, don't you love the attractive words that go along with pregnancy?!) I KNEW it had to be soon!!

I went along through the day, doing my "usual" things, and while the kids were napping, I decided to head out to the store by myself while Mark stayed home. As I was going through the aisles, looking for my great deals, I started having some pretty bad contractions....enough that they stopped me in my tracks. (I was grasping the mayo shelf for dear life.) So, I decided I better let the Miracle Whip be, and hurry up and get out of there in case something were to happen. And, wouldn't you know, I got stuck in the SLOWEST line possible. Ever. (Doesn't that always seem to happen when you're in a hurry?! I think it's God testing our patience....) It literally took about 15 minutes to make it through my line, and the whole time, I'm hoping my water doesn't break!! When I finally got to the cashier, she rung everything up, commented on my pregnancy, and said, "Wow, for as long as you had to wait, you might of just had the baby in line!!" I laughed through my pain and annoyance and really couldn't believe she had just said that.

She was almost right, and she didn't even know it.

I finally got home and unloaded the groceries. The kids were up and Mark was making tacos for dinner.....now, I LOVE me a good taco, and all food Mexican, but I could not even stomach the smell of the taco meat cooking in our house. It was as if it was the most repulsive thing I had ever smelled. Plus, it seemed as though I could not stop doing things......cleaning, laundry, folding, organizing, cleaning, laundry. While my whole family ate dinner, I was folding laundry. Mark thought I was a bit crazy. I couldn't help myself, though. I couldn't get enough done.

After we got the kids to bed, I decided tacos didn't seem too repulsive, after all, and forced one down. I was still having some dull on and off again contractions, but nothing as strong as I had felt in the grocery store, so I figured it was still days away. So, I decided to just lay low. Even though tacos weren't high on my list of favorite foods that day, TROPICAL DOTS were! These are my all-time favorite candy. Ever. So, I headed upstairs, jumbo box in hand, to lay down and watch some TV. While I was gobbling up the Dots, (eating the yellow and orange ones first, of course, because those are my least favorite), I realized that, either, my taco was causing me some real stomach pains, or, I was having contractions, again.

I started timing them and continued on eating my beloved Dots. Soon, I started to contract every 6-8 minutes........it went on like this for about an hour, and at that point, I was on the floor, hunched over calling for Mark to come upstairs. He came running up and I said, "Uh...Mark, I think it's time." He went crazy, running around, getting this, doing that, checking the ferry schedule, calling his parents and was SO DARN excited and nervous all at once. It was the cutest thing! Even though I had only been laboring for an hour, I KNEW this was the real thing, and since we didn't want to get stuck on the island, Mark called his parents right away to have his mom come over.

While we were waiting for my mother-in-law, I calmly made sure we had everything packed, smoothly got my shoes and coat on, lovingly and quietly checked on the kids to give each of them a kiss, and sat on the bed and just waited. All the while, Mark was zipping around here like a madman!!! This is my usually very calm, cool and collected husband. I saw him in a way that I had NEVER seen him before. He was a nervous wreck. He had everything in the car in minutes and was soooooo anxious about making the ferry that he had me wait with him in the driveway so that we could jump in the car the second his mom got here. And, although it was cutting it close, we made the ferry in the nick of time!

It was a little bit of a stressful ferry ride, only because I was definitely feeling these contractions and was trying to play it cool all at the same time! I really didn't want the whole boat to know that I was in labor, so we stayed in the car and timed my contractions all the way there! About 5ish minutes apart, now.

We finally made it to the other side and, of course, it felt like it took forever to get the cars off the boat and up to the Hospital, but we made it!! As we walked into the entrance, close to 11pm, I remember thinking how unreal it seemed: this was my third child, but I had never gone into labor on my own. It was almost movie-like. On the big screen, you see the pregnant woman waddling up to the hospital with the harried, nervous husband running and fumbling in front of her. That was me. That was us.

So Hollywood.

Sort of.

So, we got to triage and I was put on monitors for the next hour to check on my status and progression to see if they were going to admit me. And, wouldn't you know......the monitors they put on my belly weren't working.....none of the contractions I was having were showing up!! Grrrrr!! I was so concerned that they would think I wasn't really in labor and send me home!!! Yeah, right, who was I kidding?! That, fortunately, wasn't the case. They not only saw the pain I was in, but checked my cervix and noted that I was at a 3! Yippee! Time to get admitted!

We got to our room, met our nurse, and got settled in for a long night. My contractions were very uncomfortable and were coming pretty frequently. The nurse said that I could walk around, so we started walking "laps" around the loop (hallway) to see if we could get things moving faster. It was actually quite humorous, because at the exact places, every time we went around, I would have a contraction. It never failed. Mark would say, "Oh, here we come on to the waiting room....." Contraction. And, "Here we are passing the nurses station." Contraction. It was like clockwork. But, when were were on our umpteenth time around, the nurse came out of our room and told me that the monitor was STILL not picking up my contractions!!! Are you kidding me? What kind of caveman equipment are we working with, here?? I remember being very stressed out about this, for some reason. Like, they were still going to send me home, or something!! (Yeah, right.) Mark just kept telling me not to worry about it, that I was DEFINITELY in labor! It's just like me, OCD me, to worry that I'm not really in labor, just because the monitor is not picking up the contractions. When, in reality, I'm doubling over in pain every 5 minutes!! Sarah, come on!!

We decided to stop walking, as my contractions started to get more painful, so we headed back to our room. The best position, at that time, was either standing up-holding on to Mark for dear life, or sitting right on the edge of the bed-holding on to Mark for dear life. I was quite impressed with how great of a coach Mark was, even in these wee hours of the night, er, morning.........he was tired. I was tired. But, through every contraction, he reminded me to relax, stay calm, and BREATHE. He did my breathing with me during EVERY contraction, and was so great---even though I managed to throw up a few times (Hello Dots!), and wasn't always so kind to him!!!

At around 3am, or so, they finally called in another nurse to help get the monitor around my belly working correctly. They did a lot of make-shift shenanigans until it finally starting registering! Yay! And, whooo boy, to see those mountainous contractions on paper really made me realize I was in the thick of labor!!

At this point, a Resident came in and asked me if I wanted an epidural. Here, I had been laboring for 7 hours and I was actually doing "ok." My mindset going into this birth was that I wanted to do it completely natural, if I could, but that I wasn't going to beat myself up about it if I couldn't. Since I was hanging in there pretty well, I told him no. He seemed puzzled by my answer and told me that he and my doctor would recommend it, since I was going for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). If they had to take me into emergency surgery for some reason, then I would already be ready. I said that I would think about it, but, refused an epidural. He said he'd be back in an hour to check up on me.

I tell ya......I remember, seeing him walk out the door, and thinking to myself, "Why did I tell him NO??!!?!?!?! What a LAME decision!!" I continued laboring and laboring..........around 3:30am I decided to sit on the big medicine ball. I was starting to have TREMENDOUSLY TERRIBLE back labor. I almost could not stand the pain. Like, TERRIBLE. The nurse was behind me, rubbing my back through every contraction, while I was, again, holding on to Mark for DEAR LIFE. Every contraction seemed a million times worse than the last. It, literally, was the worst pain I had ever felt.

At this point, they decided to check my cervix and see how much I was dilated. I was hoping to hear a good 8 or 9......but, no.......a 6. ARGH! How could I go on?!?!?! I remember looking at the clock at this time, it was somewhere around 4:00am and I was wondering where the Resident Doc was. He said he'd be back in an hour! Where was he???? I was REALLY feeling like I needed some pain relief!!!

He finally came in a few minutes later, and I broke down and told him I really thought I needed the epidural. At that point, the back labor was SO INSANELY HORRIBLE, that I really didn't know if I could go on. I had never felt pain that bad before. So, as protocol, he "ordered" the epidural and the anesthesiologist didn't end up coming in, until, at least, a half hour later! I was sooooooooo ready for her!!

As soon as she came in, her first question to the nurse was, "She's really been in labor for this long??" As if she couldn't believe that I was just now asking for an epidural. Come on! Women all over the world have natural births everyday!!!! I couldn't believe that she was so shocked by this. So, as she was getting everything ready and prepped, I was laboring away on the bed, on my side, again, holding on to Mark for DEAR LIFE! As she was explaining everything to me, I remember thinking......"Just do it!!!" Finally, after what seemed like forever, I felt a little bit of calm run over me and knew the pain medication had been inserted. Whew! I could feel my body relax instantly!! BUT.......my next contraction came and I was wondering why I could feel it. Why I could REALLY feel it??? She explained to me that that was normal and to give it 10 minutes or so to really do its "thing." So, as each contraction came and went, I kept thinking that the pain would subside soon.....I mean, it just HAD to. But, what do you know........it didn't. It was almost as if my entire body was pain free, EXCEPT for my mid-section and especially my BACK----the area that is SUPPOSED to be pain free!!

So, after about another half an hour.....we called her back in again. She explained to me that she would re-insert through the same area and try it again, but that if it didn't work after this time, that she would have to start the whole process over again. (Or, something like that.....I don't quite remember exactly what she said.) So, she re-did her thing and told me that surely this time it would work.....I was praying it would!!! But, what do you know.

Again. Didn't. Work.

Just shoot me now.

At this point I'm thinking that this is some sick joke. How could this be happening??!! Two times and NOTHING?!

Soooooo, we called the anesthesiologist back in, yet, again. This time she talked some more and some more and told me, again, that she would have to start the whole process over and that this time it might be a little more dangerous. (Or, something like that.....I don't quite remember exactly what she said.) I was starting to get nervous. As I'm panting through the horrific back pain I was feeling with each contraction, I started to get really panicked. I definitely didn't think I wanted THREE doses of pain meds running through my body, but I also definitely didn't think I could handle the immense pain I was feeling.

But, by the grace of God (and, what is likely a triple charge on my hospital bill) ----IT WORKED! Right away. Ahhhhh. I started to relax a little and thought I would settle in for a nice little nap. Mark got comfy on the chair next to me, and hand in hand, we both started to dose off.............that's when I started hearing the beeping. I was super tired and a little groggy, so I really didn't think much of it, at first. Beeps go off all the time and seem to resolve themselves, so, I, at first, just continued dozing. Until. I looked up. Like some sort of magic trick, 7 other doctors/nurses appeared in the room, hustling and bustling all looking very busy and a little concerned. One came right up to me, threw on an oxygen mask, and told me to turn this way, and then that way, and then she wanted me to sit up higher, then pull my leg up......all the while I'm thinking.......Doesn't she realize that I had just gotten an epidural and that I, at that very moment, wasn't even sure if my lower body existed? Legs, what legs? You want me to move them? Really?! So, I tried with all my might to move in the many superfluous positions they were asking. That's when, splash! (ok, not really splash, but I like adding that little sound effect!), my water broke!!

As the 7 individuals were still hustling and bustling around me, I finally asked, "Is there something wrong?" The doctor, very calmly, said, "Baby's heart rate is low." Verrrrrrrrry low. I started to panic. Was it because of the three doses of anesthesia I just got?? Oh, Lord, protect this sweet baby!! I was fully dilated by this point (hurray!!), so, they attached a monitor to baby's head and everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at the screen.

The room was silent for a split second.

Yikes. Still low.

Hustling and bustling continued----It looked as if I needed to get this wee one out. NOW.

At the moment this chaos was going on, my dad, mom, and sister all walked in the room. It was GREAT to see them, yet, I couldn't fully enjoy it, because I knew things were not right with the baby. The doctor had her tray all set up with forceps, a vacuum, the whole nine. (double yikes.) She proceeded to explain to me that if baby was not coming out in a timely manner, she may need to take other action. I was not pleased, but knew, at that point, I had to do whatever was best for baby. On top of this concern, I was also having a VBAC, which just added to the stress.

By this time my Doc was telling me it was time to PUSH. Really? How? Didn't she remember that my lower body didn't exist anymore? I tried, anyway........all those strained facial expressions seemed to make some sort of progress on the lower half of my body. I was actually pushing a baby out, without even knowing it. Such an odd sensation. Not feel anything.

I didn't like it.

To my surprise, though, it didn't take long at all. In fact, maybe just 10 minutes or so??

And there was our baby girl. In all her naked, bloody, mucus-ey glory.

Hallelujah! Our little girl had arrived safely into this world. Thank you, Jesus!!

She had had a bowel movement in utero and there was a chance she swallowed some of the merconium, so I wasn't able to hold her right away. They whisked her to another table to check her over and clean her out. I demanded Mark go over and look at her and see what was going on. There's nothing more dissatisfying than giving birth to your child and not being able to see her and hold her right away. I kept asking, panicked, "Is she OK? Does she look OK?" He just kept repeating, "She's fine, she's great, she's beautiful!!!"

As they were checking her out, and I was anxiously awaiting seeing her, I remember saying to my family, her name is Anna. Anna Marjorie. I looked over at my dad and saw him get choked up. Marjorie was my Grandma's name, his mom. It's also my middle name. It was a sweet, sweet, moment.

It was finally time to see my sweet baby girl---I was awestruck and so. so. so. happy. I was in love.

She was such a precious little delight. So lobster red and puffy-eyed, but so, so beautiful. I couldn't stop staring at her. Here was a miracle laying right in my arms. (And another miracle----ok, maybe not miracle, but, another awesome feat-----a hugely successful VBAC!!) It's hard to deny there's a God when you witness the miracle of life. Anna nursed right away, and she did it like a champ. Nothing sweeter than a suckling little beauty.

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur........a blissful, exhausting, fantastic blur. Full of nurses and doctors and family and snoozes and and sweet sibling kisses. It was so neat to finally be a family of five. We are praising God for bringing this cherished, exquisite human being into our lives.


Anna, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and are a precious gift from Him. Oh, how I love you.





Saturday, April 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday


Holey Moley.

Say it ain't so.

My sweet, newly 3-year-old boy has turned a corner.

A huge corner. (In the potty-training world, that is.)

He went an ENTIRE day on Saturday not wearing a diaper and NO accidents.

None.

None, I say.

Not only that----we were gone all day running errands, shopping, etc. Again, zero accidents.

This is huge.

Huge, I say.

I have been training Luke for months and months with no big success......and then, all the sudden, as if a light switch turned on----he decided he was ready.

I'm ready, too.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday: Quiche Lorraine, Homemade Hash Browns, Fruit and THIS Strawberry cake for dessert. (Woah, cake and "pie" in one meal? My kind of meal.)
Tuesday: Chicken Fried Chicken, Perfect Potatoes au Gratin, Corn on the Cob
Wednesday: BBQ Pork Sandwiches, homemade oven Fries, Fruit and homemade Strawberry Shortcakes for dessert. (Can you tell I got a screamin' deal on Strawberries?!)
Thursday: Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Pickles, Fruit
Friday: Date Night!!! (Thanks, Auntie Martha!) Martha and the kiddos will be having homemade Pizza with THIS unleavened pizza crust.

If you want more menu inspiration, check out Org Junkie!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

8 Months

I just happened to look at the date and realized it's the 17th of April. How that is possible, I have no clue. Where does the time go?? Only 4 more months until she's ONE?!?! I know I keep saying it, but, I truly CAN'T believe it!!

I can't say enough about how much of a sweet-pea Anna is. She is just a super happy, smiley, joyful,
content, sweet, good-natured baby.




Here are a few things that have been going on with her the past month:
  • CRAWLING!
  • Drinking from a sippy cup (a little water here and there)
  • Saying "Da, da, da," and "Ta, ta, ta."
  • Eating a huge variety of food, including: meats, berries, breads, veggies and fruits. She has never spit anything out. Seriously. She will eat anything. Such a great eater.
  • She can push herself all the way up, buttocks in the air, looking like she's going to get to a standing position any day, now!
  • She's still an amazing sleeper: 3 naps a day and sleeps 11-12 hours straight every night.
  • Squealing at the top of her lungs.
  • Picks up little bits of food and successfully transfers them to her mouth.
Can't wait to see what another month brings!!!

Get Dressed!!

One of my goals in my 101 in 1001 is to actually GET DRESSED before the kids even wake up, and do it for two weeks straight.

Ugh. It's tough.

They are literally yanking me out of bed kicking and screaming. (Well, maybe not kicking, but screaming, anyway........ok, maybe not screaming, but, wanting to scream.)

I have not even gotten CLOSE to accomplishing this goal.

BUT.

I have done it for the past two days, (yes, folks, I'm on a roll.....) and can I tell you......it's opened up a whole new world.

Maybe like this whole new world?

Already this morning, getting dressed has allowed me to feel more ready for the day and ready to conquer anything. Erm.......almost anything.

BUT----

  • 2 loads of laundry done
  • Roast in the slow cooker
  • Emails checked, blog post posted
  • Breakfast made and served
  • Dishes in the dishwasher and kitchen cleaned
  • Kids bathed and dressed
  • Anna nursed and down for a nap
  • All garbage cans cleared
  • 10 minutes on the exercise bike. (Yes, only 10, but, hey, it's a start, right?!!)
And, it's only 9:00. Not too shabby. Could be better, but not too shabby.

It's amazing how the simple task of getting dressed can make me feel so much more ready and able to get things done.

Try it out, all you stay-at-home-moms.......... getting dressed before your kiddos get up just might make you might feel like you're in a whole new world. (Maybe a whole new productive world.)

ONE YEAR

My Dear Devoted Readers~~~~~

It was a year ago, today, that I embarked on this amazing blogging journey.

It is truly hard to believe.

This journey has taken me many, many places, and it is so humbling that you've stuck with me.

It is amazing how much I have grown in this past year, just by sharing with all of you. I have never thought of myself as some amazing writer, and, honestly, I didn't start this blog because I thought I could wow you all with my amazing writing skillz. But, I hope that I was able to, successfully:

Share my thoughts.

Share my experiences.

Share my findings.

Share my feelings.

Share my heart.

I hope that I have somewhat succeeded.

It's amazing how this blog has evolved over the past year, and I can't wait to see where this journey will take me in the future.

Here's just a couple of my favorite posts over this past year:

So Proud!!

Thrift Store Shopping

ABC's

Popsicle!!

Bald Spot!

A Biblical Perspective

Roll With It

101 in 1001

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

I have learned so much from this blogging experience, over the past year, and I can't wait to learn more.

~~~~Sarah

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Proof.

Yes folks, it's true.


Our little 7-month-old is crawling.


Lord help us all.







.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So Beautiful



Welcome to another Monday, everyone!!  We had such a beautiful weekend.  There was really nothing planned, nothing to do, nothing to attend.....we just had a beautiful time together, as a family.  The weather was beautiful, the laughter and fun was beautiful------it was just so.  beautiful.  Great, great family weekend.  These are the beautiful weekends I live for.



Now, it's time for another week and another Menu Plan!  Here goes:

Monday:  Homemade Pesto and Chicken Calzones, Green Salad, Fruit (Carry-over from last week.  I ran out of flour!!)

TuesdayBaked Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, White Rice, Veggies

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Roast, Cheesy Ranch Potato Bake, Creamed Corn

ThursdayTaco Sloppy Joes, Homemade Oven Fries, Smoothies

Friday:  Homemade Mac and Cheese, Smoked Kielbasa, Green Beans

I know you see our Homemade Mac and Cheese A LOT on my Menu Plans, so, I thought I'd give you guys the recipe.  In my opinion, it is absolutely THE BEST and easiest Mac and Cheese around.  I.  LOVE.  IT.  I grew up with my mom making it, and I've carried on the tradition.  DELISH!

Mac and Cheese Recipe:


Cook 2 cups macaroni, per package directions


Mix with:  2 cups cottage cheese


1 cup sour cream


1 egg


3/4 teaspoon salt


dash of pepper


8 ounces of shredded cheese (2 cups)


Pour into a 9x9 pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


It's that easy, folks!!  And, it freezes extremely well!!!


For more menu planning inspiration, don't forget to check out Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Health does not come through a needle

As you all probably know by now, I am adamantly against vaccinations---of any kind. The TRUTH has literally set me free. I saw a great quote somewhere, and I don't' know who said it, but I wholeheartedly agree with it. Especially on the topic of vaccines:

"A lie is still a lie, even if everyone believes it.

The truth is still the truth, even if no one believes it."

I urge you all to continue seeking the truth.

God bless, and I'll be back tomorrow for MPM!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Natural Living---Chia Seeds



Lately, on my quest for more natural living, I have been diligently researching seeds. Seeds, you might ask?

Yes, seeds.

I can remember way back in my childhood, my dad always told us, that, when he eats an apple, he eats the entire apple---the seeds and all. Have you looked up the health benefits of apple seeds? Please do. Since my post today is not on apple seeds, I won't elaborate much, but, one health benefit that could from eating an apple seed could actually be: fighting cancer. No joke.

But, I digress....

When you hear the word Chia, I'm sure you automatically think of those darling little, "Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia" Pets, don't you?:

Well, as cute as they are, those little pets are not what I'm referring to. (Those seeds have not been approved as food by the FDA). Take a look at the first picture above and you'll see what I'm referring to. Those lovely, delicate, black (and sometimes white!) Chia seeds. Little might be known to you about the seeds' tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties----until now!! Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods on the planet!!

Here's a little background on the Chia seed:

  • For centuries, this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. It's a species of flowering plant in the mint family. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.


And here's why you should starting eating Chia Seeds:

  • 30% of Chia seed oil is Omega 3 oil.---The BEST source of Omega 3. 10% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This is the perfect balance of essential fatty acids. Even better than the Flax seed!!

  • When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, Chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This is also an EXCELLENT reason that Diabetics should starting eating Chia seeds.

  • They are so rich in antioxidants, that, the seed doesn't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.

  • They DO NOT have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.

  • They provide fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc.

  • They also have a high content of protein (up to 23%) and are easily digested, which results in rapid transportation to tissues and fat utilization by cells.

  • Chia seeds are also very good for our little ones--because of their fast and efficient assimilation when rapid development of tissue is needed to take place, for example, during growth periods in children.

  • Chia seeds are highly hydrophillic, meaning they can absorb large amounts of water. They can hold 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies.

  • Chia Seeds are Gluten free, so they are great for individuals with Celiac Disease.


Chia seeds have a nice, nutty flavor and can be eaten by the spoon-fuls if you'd like, or, you can add them to your daily diet. We like to add them to our smoothies, yogurt, salads, sandwiches and so on!! We buy them at a local health food store, but, I have recently researched some cheaper outlets, online.

Remember, this is not professional or medical advice, but I URGE you to incorporate the Chia seed into your diet today!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

........And we're back!! (and MPM)

We had a wonderful, blessed, fun vacation with all my family on the Oregon Coast, and now we're back!!

It's never the easiest thing vacationing with 3 kiddos, four and under, but we survived made it!!  It surely was an experience,  driving down, our family of five:









Staying in the gorgeous beach house:  Ok, no pictures of the beach house.  What was I thinking?!

Touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory:  Alrighty, then, no pictures of this, either.  It must be on video......maybe.

Going to the  Newport Aquarium:

















Visiting some amazing Lighthouses and coast towns:









Playing on the beach with the whole family:



[caption id="attachment_2474" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Let's go fly a kite!"][/caption]












[caption id="attachment_2481" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Martha and Anna"][/caption]





And just being together with everyone.  It was great!!

The weather wasn't our first choice, but, even through the wind and rain (and some sun thrown in there, too!!), it was a great time had by all!!

Now........it's back to reality.   Time to try to get back into the swing of things, re-acquaint ourselves with our own beds and our own house (the kids, mostly!), and get ready for a new week.  Hope you all had a blessed week and an even more blessed Easter.

Here's what I have planned for dinner this week:

Monday:  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, my go-to Buttery Rolls, Fruit

Tuesday:  Whole Wheat Four Cheese Ravioli, Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, Green Salad, Buttery Rolls

Wednesday Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas, (I'm going to try THIS homemade Enchilada Sauce to go with it),Tater Tots, Fruit Salad

Thursday:  Homemade BBQ Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Peas

Friday:  Homemade Calzones (Hubby's request!) using THIS dough recipe and Green Salad

Don't forget to visit ORGANIZING JUNKIE for more menu inspiration!

And, I'll be back tomorrow with another installment of Natural Living.

~Sarah

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!

A Happy Easter to you all!!



I'll be back tomorrow to share about our vacation and post my menu for the week!


HE is RISEN!!!