Category Archives: Being a parent

My everyday adventures as being a new parent to a little girl.

DASH of Common Sense

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Most of the people who drop by my blog spot would not know the struggles I dealt with while pregnant in 2009 and in 2011. I had developed preeclampsia. Those were two complicated pregnancy’s that God pulled me through and made me stronger. For those who do not know what that condition is, please refer to The Preeclampsia Foundation website for more details.

Since 2009 my body has not been the same and not just the typical adjustments after having a baby but after my body being put through the wringer twice. After having my mind, heart, liver and kidneys stressed to the max, I have been seeking my healthy norm that I was prior to pregnancy. I had lost a lot of weight that I had put on from lovely bed-rest and edema from the condition. I did it by nursing, healthy diet and exercise and strong determination. But, I hit a plateau and began noticing edema coming back. What on earth?!?

Well. One thing I know is stress kicked into high gear in the Summer of 2012 when I picked up a part-time job working from home doing underwriting for an insurance company. Trying to balance home duties, kids needs and my own personal time needs ie sleep. I was going down hill with blood pressures all over the place. I had seen doctor after doctor telling me old information about after effects of preeclampsia and finally this year, went back to an old faithful I had seen in 2009 that specialized with my pregnancy complications dealing with my heart in particular and he agreed something wasn’t right and pills would not be the trick. Mostly because I had inconsistent blood pressures and going on a drug would only complicate matters. Some facts about preeclamptic survivors, is their risk for heart disease, kidney disease and liver conditions magnifies. Many doctors who are not up to date with the latest news regarding this condition and what long term health of the patient can lead to can mean a harder recovery and or no recovery and possibly pre-mature death from the silent killer. Heart disease. As a patient, you take health, your health into your own hands. Find a doctor who is well versed and don’t give up. Doctors are humans who either choose to investigate you and get to the bottom of your issues or brushes you aside and sums you up in their head. You choose to hire or fire your doctor. That is the beauty of having options.

This wonderful doctor informed me that he has been working with several organizations to get them on board with his research surrounding the effects of preeclampsia and the risks the mother has afterwards. ie American Heart Association

The main reason for my post is to share the diet plan he has suggested to me. The DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. I have purchased the book and an additional recipe book to plan out my meal plans and I am so glad I did. The recipes are simple, sound good and seem very simple. I hope to share my journey as I try to lower my blood pressure, improve my good cholesterol, lower my body weight and lesson my chances for cancer. Naturally. I love running and walking trails. This in combination with my diet, I hope to see some improvements. A lot of this is simple, common sense meals. Eating mostly veggies, fruits, lean proteins and fibers. I disagree with alternative, fake sugars. I will not and cannot eat those. But I use good, real sugars in my diet. I was already eating similarly to this diet just by common sense, but I am a person who often needs guiding along to follow through for the cause. This in turn will help my husband and teach my daughters the value of healthy eating. I want to grow old with my husband and watch my daughters grow. More than words can express. I look forward to our local market opening in the next few weeks to get our fresh fruits and veggies.

I had an EKG last week, I have a stress test tomorrow on a treadmill -call me hammy for hamster 😉  An MRI Friday. They are testing me for MS (multiple sclerosis) and praying that I have good news rather than the alternative. Either way, I am in good hands. I have a purpose here and will learn as I go. God is so good to me and and for all I have been through in my life when I entered this world, I have seen the hand of God work in me and others. ❤

Me and my girls checking out the gorillas

Me and my girls checking out the gorillas

Thank you for checking out my post and may you live a healthy, happy life. Blessings on a great day to you! =)

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Eggs for dinner.

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I will go ahead and start off by saying we love breakfast for dinner. I also really need to go grocery shopping. Hence we are having eggs for dinner. We literally have nothing left in the house to eat. I have failed at my job of keeping our fridge and cabinets stocked well. What happened? How did this happen? Well, there have been too many things filling our fridge for events. In other words, for other people. So, that means I have to pull my act together with Christmas afoot and get our supply back up. Good thing we have eggs. Two eggs at that. My dear husband made omelets for our daughters and currently, I am not sure what we are eating. Guess the Hubster will be making a run to the grocery store.

The nice thing about your cabinets running low and fridge looking bare, you can get a good mental grasp to how it may feel to someone who is less fortunate. Many families in America are in this boat. Their cabinets are bare and they do not have the funds to restock like I know we will in a bit. But I know that for me, being a stay at home of two and my husband working so hard to keep us provided for it is hard for us too sometimes. Things in general are going up in price and my kids are eating up a storm. I remember growing up not having a lot either. We all have been their in some form or fashion. I am just grateful for so many things and need to slow down and look around at the blessings I often take for granted. We have running water. We can turn a handle and decide how hot we want our water to be. I have a switch for lights so I can craft to my hearts desire.

For my daughters, the best thing I can do for them is show them what it is to want and not have it all. They are truly blessed beyond words and they don’t know that yet. My husband and I many years ago said we will be sure to serve a shelter during the year holiday or non-holiday so we too can bless someone who does not have the luxury of a roof over their head or hot meal or water at hand. My oldest is three and I have been talking to her about help other children who are without family and do not have toys or food like we do. She is a giving spirit anyway and she has been known to try and give her sweater and jacket to children who admire them. It melts my heart to see her sweet disposition take wing. Children really can be eye openers to adults who have lost their spark of child-like behavior. There are some things at work in my very own heart that I know that the Lord has put there to do and really feel that is the path I want to leap in. I would love to start my own non-profit organization. Name already in mind and outreach figured out. It is just figuring out the next steps. It will be a challenge with two small children. But I am one determined lady. We shall see what happens.

After typing this my husband wrote a list and has left to bring home some nourishment for these tired, hungry bodies. Thank goodness.

I pray for those who have nothing or very little. That they will find shelter, food and warmth.

My two loves at our favorite pumpkin patch in November 2012

My two loves at our favorite pumpkin patch in November 2012

Blessings on the rest of your week.

Knitting + Toddler = Interesting (to say the least)

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Knitting in general is very relaxing, especially if you found an easy pattern to do hypnotizing stitches. When you venture to the complicated  patterns and need to keep track of detailed work, it then is another story (if you are not used to it). But when you introduce a toddler to the world of knitting, it is very chaotic. Especially when they are easily frustrated teenagers inside three year old bodies.

My oldest is three and she came to me several weeks ago and sweetly said to me, “I’m a knit too.” I just smiled and thought she was too cute and continued knitting my seed stitch scarf project. I mentioned in my prior post how toddler-like of me when learning to knit I had to deal with my “behavior” and have an attitude adjustment especially if I was to ever learn to knit. I felt like I related to the book I mention below all too well.

So, I brought my daughter to a local knit shop the other day that is too cute to describe in detail. But that it is a place I can just get lost in. I would be the one they’d find curled up like a cat in a corner on all their delicious yarn. Okay, maybe not that odd of behavior but you get the idea- it’s cozy and cute. We walk in and start exploring every inch and I hear the owner talking with a customer that they received a new book by Alana Dakos from nevernotknitting.com. I have several of her patterns and saw on her blog she was working on a children’s book. I meant to pre-order but forgot about it completely. So I was elated to hear she had the Deluxe Edition that came with stickers, Annie the paper doll, a puzzle and of course the book. My daughter saw the book set as well and begged for the book. She continues to express she’d like to knit. So, of course I purchase the book as a special birthday gift for her since her birthday was the next day. It seemed like the right thing to do. Right?!?

So the next day comes and we open the set together and my sweet husband captures her delight.

Oldest daughter opening her present

Book: Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf

As you can see, I was full of delight as well. She was so happy and asked for yarn and needles. I went straight to showing her the steps and though she is still too small to hold the needles just right, at least she is getting the exposure she needs and wants. This will hopefully aid her in fine motor skills and concentration. I will try and capture her adventures in knitting. There is something so special to see a little one so excited about something that they can work towards an end product and make for themselves.

Speaking of which, Alana Dakos provides a pattern for free of the swiss cheese scarf. It can be found on Ravelry under Swiss Cheese Scarf.

Image/blog: http://nevernotknitting.blogspot.com/2012/10/annies-swiss-cheese-scarf.html

I hope you have enjoyed my post. Have a great day and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have been bountifully blessed beyond words.

Tata,

Mel

Bring out the groundhog!

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For most of the region there has been snow, ice and horrible chills to the bone kind of wind. We on the other hand, in the south-east are at the last week of January and we have a high of 64 and have had temperatures above 50 degrees for several weeks. Did I mention it is monsoon season as well? Don’t get me wrong, we need the rain. We have had very low water counts during the summer putting us at the mercy of nearby puddles that tempt you to splash in them… oil slicked and all. So.  I say. let’s bring out the groundhog before groundhogs day and see what he thinks. No people. Not global warming. 1800’s had their warm winters too.

On another note. My girls are finally feeling a hint better even though they still seem to run a tad warmer than I like here and there.

What’s to come for 2012 posts.

  • Fresh Ground Wheat and bread making moments
  • More of my girls
  • Dealing with debt
  • Cooking and baking without white sugar…brave soul I am!
  • Organization the OCD way
  • Craftiness in so many ways
  • Love of family
  • Photography via Instagram
  • Health in real wheat
  • Managing being a mommy of two

At that- due to being a short post. I will post pictures, why? Because they make me happy and they hopefully will make you happy too!

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Beware of the Lady Bugs

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My sweet two year old daughter, Alida loves bugs… as pictures… in books. Not on the ground, crawling, flying towards her. It seems our house is being inundated by lady bugs, which I will take over most other bugs. But as I was trying to feed my 2 month old Heidi, Alida comes running, face full of fear of a sweet little lady bug( can’t full me bug, I know you stink, badly when threatened). I try to explain to her “You’re safe!”,  “Sweet bug, nice bug” but she will not have it. She wants up, in my lap, right then and there. So, to accommodate this fear stricken child, I pull her up on my right side while Heidi is being braced by my left, having to take a reluctant break in her feeding. I finally calm Alida down by petting her. As I proceed to get up, she freaks out. Refusing to get down. There was no way her toes were going to touch the ground that lady bug rules over. I start a rhyme about a lady bug from a book she likes. She peeks down at it on the floor, making sure she knows where it is at all times. I get up to set Heidi, my two month old down and Alida still refuses to get down. So, I come to the rescue, carrying her with me to the kitchen.

This is only a small portion of my day of the, what you would call… drama. Humorous, fun memories that I can always cherish. No matter how stressed, overwhelmed or anxiety filled the day may be. End of the day, I am loved and wanted. I am a mom who is there for my girls and always will be.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Kids are fantastic!

Adjusting to Two

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It really as been a whirlwind since having my second child in early November. With Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas & New Years, I am ready for a calm 2012 for the most part. I know that calm is a relative term when you are raising a toddler and newborn. These girls are such a blessing to our family. You know how you feel complete? Fulfilled? That is me. I really feel this is what the Lord has planned for me and to feel content. Children are a blessing from Him and I know that things can change.

We brought in the New Year with illness, sadly. With all the hectic rush of gatherings with family members, it was bound to happen. It has be an overwhelming three weeks with almost starting sleep training with our newborn, now that she is sick we are behind. We feel she will do great though. She seems to have sleep and feeding down pat. Tummy time is always fun for us, especially for big sister come sit down and join in. My oldest loves to interact with little sister which is a joy to see.

In public, it seems people are looking for animosity in children when you introduce a new sibling. But I am a firm believer in if you prepare your little ones with love and reassurance about the new arrival and explain to them from day one, you will have great success. Personality can alter that sometimes, but if you feed your little ones negativity, you are signing your little one up for failure to accept change. I am speaking based on experience of being a third born.

My girls get along swimmingly and see a strong relationship developing each day. We have moments where we try to balance time for each child but sometimes, time is against us. I get hardhearted when I hear family members or strangers bring up favoritism or send favoritism signals without knowing it. It is a dangerous, delicate in the little ones brains to suggest to them these fears of not being loved as much as the other or compared to the other. Bottom line, don’t even bring up the word jealous and comparisons. Just love. Send a good vibe in the home.

It has been a balancing act for me as of late due to illness and getting behind on household chores. With my first, everything was smooth sailing, things were figured out and fluid. I know it is still early, and I will get the kids synced along with other responsibilities. Yesterday, I was able to paint my toe nails. Today, a nice long shower and shave. Each day varies in the length I have time to do the things I love. My girls are worth my full attention and would not put my house above my girls. They are only young once. I cherished my one-on-one time with my first, but I seem to be clinging to my last very tightly. I want to build strong bonds and it seems I have done so. The smiles and giggles that come out of my newest addition bring back awesome memories of my first. Genuine, sweet chuckles. Many will say it is gas, but I know it is genuine love smiles and giggles. A recent study completed by scientist were in favor of the idea of a newborn genuinely smiling. I can believe it, ultrasound scans show smiles all the time.

So, maybe by my next post my girls will all feel their finest and daddy and I will be ourselves as well. I look forward to this weekend to get out briefly by myself and then some awesome family togetherness. What to do in my own time always ends up being errands. But this time, I think I am going to stay focused on just fun walking around and just rejuvenate. I took my oldest out last weekend and left the little one with daddy. My oldest absolutely loved our one-on-one time so much, her attitude seemed reset. She was having some cabin fever I feel last week. We try to make one-one-one time with each of our girls once a week. Hubby took the oldest out a couple weeks back to Chick-Fil-A and he was amazed at how well behaved she was. How mature compared to the other kids who were older than her. He felt we were doing a great job as parents and he then felt refreshed. We really have fantastic girls. I pray they always walk in the way of the Lord. God willing, they have a desire for you always.

As a parent, it is rewarding to hear your two year old reciting poems almost word for word and only two years old. A poem my oldest loves:

God spoke to the night

Let there be light

And all the world grew sunny & bright

I pray you all have a safe, fun, blessed weekend. Thank you for your time. May you find encouragement in my posts.

 

Pre-eclampsia stinks. Outcome, wonderful.

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First of all, I would like start out by stating I am a very blessed and overjoyed mother of now two daughters. I am joyfully listening to the gentle thumps of my daughter dancing to a Kindermusik album. Another sound that just melts me is the coos of my four week old daughter. She came four weeks early but is very healthy. So grateful for that! A huge thank you to my Lord! Here are some pictures of my loves.

The reason she came early was due to me being induced after having three needs for going to the hospital and being admitted each time, but eventually released two of the three times. To say the least, I ended up pre-eclamptic again after having this condition in my first pregnancy in 2009. Here is a helpful link to familiarize yourself with the condition.

http://www.preeclampsia.org/

My hope is more will be learned about this condition. It has been known about for over 100 years, but not understood entirely.

The low down:

I visited the hospital at 33 weeks not to count the dots on the ceiling or evaluate their curtains, but due to contractions every 2 minutes apart and lasting 3 minutes long, so I got three shots of terbutaline to stop the pre-term labor, stayed two days & received two corticosteroid shots, which is a steroid to mature lungs. I was sent home on moderate bed rest. A week later at 34 weeks, I was admitted for elevated protein in urine (which is a sign of pre-eclampsia), left after two days and got a lecture about staying but convinced them to let me leave on stricter bed rest. Obviously my body was trying to get delivery to a move on. Then, for the third time at 35 weeks, I was admited again with blood pressures on a roller coaster ride, elevated protein levels, again and a series of emotions to join the club. I was calm, but knew something was wrong, espeacially when they told me I gained 9lbs in 6 days (sign of Pre-e) and only going to get worse and had to make a decision to be induced early. My doctor was blunt and told me, “You are going to go eclamptic, it is only a matter of time now.” Side note: If you go eclamptic, the mother and child typically do not survive the stroke and/or seizure. I finally gave it to God to guide me, my husband and doctors. We felt okay to let her come early- I knew it was time. I felt peace come over me. On the evening of O’ Hollows eve, October 31, I was administered Cervidil, which is a labor inducer. The morning of All Saints day, I was started Pitocin to get my contractions regular and after laboring a long time w/o meds, I caved due to blood pressure issues and exhaustion. If you have not had Pitocin, it is a synthetic hormone, similar to your own natural hormone, that magnifies your contractions. The nurses were battling it out with the pitocin to keep my daughter from stressing and my blood pressure from spiking and so it was best to get the Epidural. It helps lower your blood pressure and obviously numbs your nerves. Dr. Heinz, wherever you are- you are a Anesthesiologist Ninja! Best epidural given ever! I had a not so pleasant experience last time.

The delivery:

So, I wasn’t happy with the nurses one bit! The rotation of nurses continued as I went through my laboring process, and some were better than others. But I landed a real winner. I was feeling pressure and knew my daughter was in the birth canal (Though you have an Epidural, you still feel pressure so you will be able to push) and I wanted to push!  I told two nurses at two different times, I felt extreme pressure and needed to see my doctor. My irritation was the fact my dilation was not checked in hours within a few, I was at 9! My doctor finally came after just delivering and she was surprised to see me at 9, oops- 10! What!?!?! So, I was told to hold it as they prepped the room for the baby. Yes… they told me to wait. What!!!! ANYway. In one contraction and three pushes later, I was looking at my second daughter. My emotions were flowing, along with tears. The joy that overcame me was nothing compared to the emotions earlier. I am so grateful to be alive and see my family grow.  

The fears:

I know I should not be fearful when I have a savior who cares for me, but I am sinful & sin get in the way of trust often. I was terrified at a few points when there were medicines administered to me that I knew were intense.

Medicine Fear #1

Beta-mimetics- terbutaline
Possible side effects for you include:

  • Fast heartbeat- Check
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Poor blood flow
  • Low blood pressure
  • High levels of sugar in the blood
  • Highlevels of insulin (a kind of protein) in the blood
  • Low amounts of potassium in the blood
  • Less amounts of urine
  • Changes in the function of the thyroid gland
  • Shaking
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations

Possible side effects for your baby include:

  • Fast heartbeat
  • High levels of insulin in the blood
  • Low or high levels of sugar in the blood
  • Enlarged heart
  • Poor blood flow
  • Low levels of calcium in the blood
  • Jaundice
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bleeding within the brain or heart

Medicine fear #2

Magnesium sulfate
Possible side effects for you include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Heart attack

Possible side effects for your baby include:

  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Slowed breathing
  • Loss of minerals

Overall, God is in control. He knows my story and how it will end. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Him for blessing me with this life. Having Pre-E has taught me many things, and to be specific, faithful.

Baby Heidi born 11/1/11 @ 5:30 PM 22″long and 7lbs 3 oz

One of my favorite passages:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Romans 12:12

More than likely, I will not have anymore children, unless God decides a different path for us. But we both feel we are content. I am comfortable with what I have. Originally, I wanted 6. Then down to 4. Now to 2. Oh the irony.

I hope you enjoyed this reading and that it provided insight and educated you.

mac