Thursday, March 26, 2015

{Conversations with a six-year old}

Mommy: Riley I'm so upset I pumped 3oz of milk and then I didn't close the bag right and it spilled on the counter and I lost an ounce so now I only have 2oz of milk.

Riley: Does that mean you have to squeeze more?

Mommy: Haha Yes!

Riley: Siri I have a new baby brother!

Siri: I bet you say that to all your apple products.

Riley: What's apple problems?

Mommy: Make sure you sit on the floor with your cup....I mean juice box.

Riley: You said cup, it's a juice box....CRAZZZYY MAMA

{Clipping baby's nails}

Mommy: That's my worst nightmare {cutting their little fingers}

Riley: But it's not a nightmare this is real life.

Riley: Mommy in minutemen did they have TV's and electronics?

Mommy: No

Riley: Then what were they fighting for?

Mommy: What is that?

Riley: Stickers from the store.

{pulls out blank price tag stickers out of pocket}

Mommy: You took that many? What are you a trash collector?

Riley: Just curious.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

7 by Jen Hatmaker: {Week 1: Food}

I recently started this new bible study with some awesome ladies on base. I even think this is my first bible study as an adult. That's crazy to think about. I originally loved the idea of getting rid of the excess. The book centers around fasting. I've done it before when I was younger. When you're young though it's really hard to grasp the whole idea of fasting and what it's really all about. For those who don't know what "fasting" is. Wikepedia states:

Fasting is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days.

You can fast more than just food, you can modify the fast. You can fast for several different things. The whole point of fasting is to get closer to God. To step away from your reliance on a certain food, or object etc and rely on God instead.
 So why not read about it, learn something new and meet some new ladies. 
The first week we did the introduction and it was a good little preview of what was to come. We discussed where we think some of our problem areas might by. What the bible talks about with excess. That's a great thing about the bible ladies and gents. There's always something new to learn. So by the second week {yesterday} we would dive in head first. 

First week is food.
At first I didn't realize we were actually going to do this fasting. I thought it would be a casual thing. 
Then I didn't realize we were all going to fast on all subjects together.
Now I am completely aware. 
We are all in this together. 

We each chose different foods that we wanted to be without. Some did coffee some did fast food. We all decided to do this for a week. 

The hubby {yes he's jumping on this fasting bandwagon} and I chose desserts. Well I chose dessert really. He probably has more self control than I do when it comes to ...well everything really. 
But he's going along with me on this one. Just to get our feet wet. Because I have a feeling this is going to get really hard by the end of this fasting journey. I mean come on I have a designated pinterest board just for desserts with almost 300 pins!!! No joke! It's a problem. Feel free to follow my board if desserts is not your drug of choice. I would hate to be a stumbling block for you. Just for myself apparently.

DAY 1:

So I heard from some the first day is the hardest. Some say the 3rd and 4th day is the hardest. 
Well, so far it's been okay. {as the food network magically is on in the background} How did that even happen? I don't even watch the food network. Like EVER!
I did hide all of my sweets to the back of the fridge though. {I don't have that many} I've distracted myself pretty well from it actually. But I've also had a decent amount of sleep, not running around doing errands and don't have cranky kids today testing my patience. I guess that's really when I tend to go for the chocolate. I mean I honestly do think that's how moms survive in general. With a substantial amount of chocolate. And of course now that I'm writing about it the craving is starting to sneak in a bit. 

The whole point is not to deprive yourself. But more about a little reminder, a little alarm clock to pray when that craving hits. Pray about what you are fasting about. Whether its about a country and their poverty, orphans. Praying about a medical problem. Or praying about a life choice.....where do I go next kind of thing. I guess that's what's great about fasting. It can be so simple yet so incredibly hard. It has the ability to break open your heart like a caramel filled cadbury egg. OMG there I go ! Stop me now!!!

Please follow along with me on this crazy journey that I've embarked on. Join in if you are super brave and even if you aren't. Please leave comments of encouragement {not of recipes and definitely not pictures of sweets..PLEASE} Let me know if you are doing this 7 experiment too!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CopyCat Tuesday {Pinterest Fashion}


I think it's been long enough since we had a fashion post right?
I've had some serious cabin fever lately, or mommy fever. Whatever you want to call it. When you are tired of wearing nursing tanks and leggings every single day. Where my hair is hardly ever done and my I don't even really remember my face with makeup on. How do you wear mascara again? Not to mention the massive amounts of layers and stuff I have whenever I go out is just downright claustrophobic! I don't know if you had heard. New England has broken some serious snow records this last month. It has kept me inside for quite some time now. So I was left with only one option. Move around some furniture and start taking some pictures inside. Unless you all wanted to see what kind of outfits I could make out of snow. Hmmmmmm interesting idea. I think I'll pass though!
Found this outfit on pinterest awhile back.  So, I thought I would get back into some fashion with using some pinspiration.

I also had a special guest who wanted to model with me.......maybe not. He is a natural though.

Riley's Frozen Tea party

So this year we did a frozen tea party for Riley's birthday. It ended up being a month late because of having a newborn and availability at the community center on base. It was originally planned as a low key tea party at home for a few friends. Riley just loves everybody so she wanted to invite all her friends. I had no choice we had to have an enormous "low key" tea party. 

As a party hostess I have a huge fear. One of my worst nightmares is hosting a party and guests show up before everything is set up. Then on top of that they ask to help. This huge fear of mine has not only happened once {Riley's 4th birthday party} but now twice. Maybe I should stop having parties outside of my house! Between the outrageous amount of snow we had been having. The house starting to leak. And having and extra member of the family that slows us down more. It happened again! I got to the community center 45 min before the party was supposed to start. And of course the guests showed up on time. I barely had the food table set up. Only had time for a snowflake garland and some table decor. I was mortified! To say the least. 
Despite all of my running around like a chicken without a head. Everyone had a great time. Riley even said it was her best party ever. 
Go figure!!

Moral of the story is. I'm not perfect but i sure can give some comic relief.
Anyone else have this fear?

Now on to the party details!

I wanted to stay true to the tea party theme. So we had mini foods. We made little tea sandwiches cut into snowflakes. Along with veggies, fruit, mini strawberry cheesecakes, brownie bites, and cookie dough dip with snacks to dip. 

We played pin the carrot on Olaf
Frozen bean bag toss, and Olaf sack race. Everything was a blur. It went by super fast. We had such a huge turnout I'm surprised I'm still standing. 
What a crazy day! 

Decorations: Dollar Tree and orientral trading company.
Party games: party city 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Conversations with a six year old

{Daddy going back inside from shoveling snow}

Daddy come back! You don't leave a lady like that!

{Telling a friend how I had stepped into a gofer hole during our family pictures}

Riley: What's a goblin hole? 

{Cleaning the bathroom}

Riley: Mommy when I get older can I clean all the time?

Mommy: Yeah, in fact I guarantee it 

{Cleaning toilet }
Riley: I'm really good at this ! 

Riley to Daddy: You're taking your sweet time 

Riley: Mommy I went under water I plugged my nose and put my head under water

Mommy: Wow does that mean you are ready to swim in hawaii ? 

Riley: Uhh not really 

Daddy to Riley: Your mommy acts like she's never had a baby 

Riley: Really ?

Daddy: No 

Riley: Oh 

Mommy: Where should we go for our anniversary Riley ? 

Riley: I want to take you out for ice cream

Mommy: Oh really that's nice 
Are you going to pay? 

Riley: No I have to save for college!
I can give you a quarter.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super Bowl .... Thoughts

So it's been a few days since Super Bowl happened. Being in New England though it's as if it's still going on. I'm not a football fan but I do watch the commercials. { I still say nothing has topped the Denny's "nannerpuss" commercial of 2009}

Anyway I saw a lot of emotional ones this year. And while yes I do love a good year jerker. I was completely thrown by nationwides commercial. As I'm sure many of you were. Absolutely depressing for sure. But for me and mine 
{mine, being hubby and all my bereaved friends} it struck a different chord. One of my friends sent me this letter from another bereaved parent. I thought I would share. Let's bring more awareness to the reality of this pain and grief. Losing a child or children is a real thing. From miscarriage to accidental death. 

Praying for all those parents and families who deal with this every day 

Dear Nationwide...

Dear Nationwide,

Normally, I would have no reason to write to you. You are not my insurance company and I am not shopping for any. I didn't even see your controversial ad last night because, not being any kind of football fan, I didn't watch the Super Bowl. Until this morning when I realized it was being talked about all over Facebook, especially in the circles for bereaved parents.

Seriously? Something in the Super Bowl commercials to create so much chatter in those circles? So I watched it this morning, your ad with the cute little boy detailing all the things he'll never do because he died in an accident. And then your camera views illustrating how preventable accidents cause child deaths, and a plea that we "make safe happen."

Okay, I get it. The point was to prevent accidents, to prevent child deaths. And I applaud you for that.

But your delivery? Awful.AWFUL.
I've read the comments online. Most people are falling into one of three camps.
  1. This was depressing and not appropriate for the Super Bowl, especially with kids watching.
  2. This is life, and the message is important, so stop being so sensitive, self-absorbed, or easily offended. 
  3. This is my life everyday, because my child did die.

I'm in category 3. I have lost five of my seven children, all during pregnancy, including our daughter Naomi, who died in my second trimester six years ago. So no, it wasn't one of the "preventable accidents" you were focused on. But the first 20 seconds of your commercial wasn't about that. It was about all the things a child will never get to do because they died. And it hit home with every parent who has ever said good-bye too soon.

Because I have to hand it to you - you got that part right. At my daughter's memorial service, all I could think about was how this was the only thing I would get to do for her. There would be no birthday parties, no graduation, no wedding. 

What you apparently didn't foresee was how terribly painful that commercial would be for bereaved parents. 

Because when your child has died, whether from an accident or not, whether in the womb or in infancy or childhood or even adulthood, you struggle to get to the place where you are not thinking every single moment about what your child would be doing today if he or she had not died. 

And when you finally get to the point where you still think about it often, but not every waking moment, the last thing you need is a Super Bowl commercial to kick you in the gut and remind you of what you are missing. Not because we are a bunch of selfish people who don't want to face reality. No. It's because wehave faced one of the worst realities there is, the death of a child, and survived, but we are still healing, and an in-your-face reminder of what we lost (as if we will ever forget) just hurts.  

And as much as I am in favor of talking about child loss and stillbirth and miscarriage, because those are topics that NEED to be talked about, this was not the way to do it.

Could your ad keep even one child from dying by raising awareness? Oh, maybe. And that is what I was told by someone responding to my comment on a Facebook post.You missed the point, she said. 

No, I got the point. Children die. Sometimes it can be - and of course should be - prevented. Got it, and I agree. I don't want any parent to go through what I and others have lived through.

But there had to be another way to say it without sucker punching bereaved parents who know very well that losing a child means losing a big piece of your future.

So good intentions, Nationwide.

But lousy delivery. And while an explanation of why you did it is understandable from a PR perspective, you would get a lot more mileage at this point with a message of sympathy for those bereaved parents who may have been hurt, deeply, by your 30 seconds of fame.

Kristi Bothur
Mother of seven
Two on Earth, five in Heaven

P.S. to my readers - I am sure that not every bereaved parent responded the same way to this ad. I am not trying to speak for everyone. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Introducing Caleb Landyn Reed {Caleb's birth story}

It was 4:16 am on a Wednesday morning and I was already used to not getting much sleep. I was at 36 weeks already and I knew it was only a matter of time. I guess you could call it Mothers intuition. I was taking weekly injections to help me get to at least 37 weeks and I was set to get my last shot that next day. I felt a little trickle and then another one. So I went to the bathroom. I wasn't really sure if it was my water breaking yet. I was nervous because I was only 36 weeks after all. Riley had come closer to 37-38 weeks. So I wasn't sure what this was going to mean. Especially being high risk, and especially having a loss before. So I lay in bed and I tried to wait it out. After all we had no one to help with Riley. The Grandmas weren't set to arrive til Christmas. Which was another week away. Nothing else happened after I got back in bed. So I went back to sleep. 6:00am came and Evan and Riley were getting up now and getting ready for the day. I felt another trickle and I knew then for sure it was it. I got up and went to tell Evan who was in the shower. While I was already calling the doctors office. Then the rest of my water broke for sure as I stood in the bathroom. {Thankfully I was prepared and the bags were already packed} I knew this kid was going to come early! I knew I had some time so I got a quick shower put on comfy clothes. Grabbed the bags and headed to the hospital. Once I got all checked in there was still time to get Riley to school. Evan headed out and dropped her off. I didn't have contractions right away. I got some pitocin and away we went. They kept upping the dosage and getting me all ready. As the pain started getting worse and more uncomfortable. I asked about an epidural. I had one before and it was a lot better for me during labor. I wanted to wait as long as I could so it wouldn't wear off. That's when they told me that it was set up as a pump. So it wouldn't last the whole time. I looked at Evan and said "Then what are we waiting for!" They called the guy in and we got to work. It was nice this time they allowed Evan to stay in the room with me while I got it. I got it was already at 5 cm which was the perfect time. Because 20-30 min later I was at 9cm and I didn't feel a thing! In fact I didn't even know I was having contractions at all. I was just sitting there eating a popsicle and trying to file my nails before he came. Which I then had to hurry up because he was ready to go! I felt absolutely no pain. It was a lot of work pushing though! I thought for sure he would come out faster than he did. But no...I kept pushing and pushing! He finally came at 4:26pm! 6lb and 2.1 oz 18.5 inches long of absolute perfection. We both cried a bit and were so relieved. Once you lose a child you hold your breath every time after that. When we heard his sweet little cries we were overjoyed. They let us have him immediately. Didn't even take the time to do his bath or anything first just let us have our bonding time, which was great! From start to finish was 12 hours! I am so thankful it all worked out fine. Riley was even able to go to a friends house after school which I was stressing about too. Evan went and got Riley so she could meet her little brother. It's amazing how much bigger your older child now looks to you once you have a new baby. She walked in with the biggest smile on her face while I was holding him. It was such a sweet moment for them and for me. That morning before the craziness I had given her a "big sister" bag that I had put together. {I literally finished all of that the day before}. I filled it with fun little activities so she had things to do in the hospital, a big sister shirt and book. I wanted her to feel special and that she is still our baby girl. Even though we have a new part of our family. 

Once we got moved to postpartum we had lots of time to just enjoy our little family. Since we now had two kids to think about. We had to start splitting apart. Evan took Riley home so she could still go to school and I stayed with Caleb obviously. It was kinda sad because I wanted him to stay overnight with me but it's our new reality.

We got released on Saturday after 3 nights in the hospital. Caleb had a little jaundice, and he also had a small dent in his head they weren't sure what to make of it. 
The term craniosynostosis was thrown around or a fracture that might require surgery to correct or even a helmet. We had to get an x-ray and everything and they referred us to a neurologist in Boston. So we had a horrifying 5 weeks to worry and endure. But thankfully all it was was a ping pong fracture. So he got the all clear from the doctor which was another relief. We are feeling really blessed with our little family. Thankful that God has given us these precious babies.