Friday, February 29, 2008

Fun Pictures, Fun Stories

I thought I should put up something fun and upbeat up after my last post. So, of course that means....Peanut things. For Christmas we got Peanut a horse flashlight. When you squeeze the handle, the horse's mouth opens and there is a flashlight AND it neighs! Sadly, we have had to use her little flashlight once or twice. One night Daddy came home saying his iPod had just fallen out of his pocket into the snow out front. The only flashlight that we had that worked was the horse! Can you imagine a grown man looking through the snow with a flashlight that neighs! Oh, the memories...happy ending though...the iPod was found thanks to Fisher Price!

I have put the flashlight in Peanut's crib with her. The other night after I put her to bed and turned on the baby monitor, I heard neighing for quite awhile! It was pretty funny to hear all that racket coming from the monitor.

Peanut's favorite movie still is Charlotte's Web. She likes to imitate the farmer when he calls, "Here pig, pig, pig." Only it sounds like, "Pih, pih, pih." She also has started imitating the silly crows by cawing with them!!!! AND...she imitates the baby spiders at the end when they fly away singing..."Whee! Whee!"

And now for pictures....
Peanut insisted on wearing my pink fuzzy slipper socks over her pj's the other morning! It was pretty cute. Today she went down for her nap with a pair of daddy's socks on with her dress. They were still on when I got her up.














We got quite a bit more snow this week, so Peanut had more fun in the snow!
Snow Fun Snow Fun

Peanut displayed her climbing stairs skills this week. She has been able to climb for a while but we have discouraged it. We gave in and let her go for it this week. She climbed up and down for quite awhile! Now to teach her that she only goes up when Mama or Daddy go up and down when we go down. She is showing that independent streak.
Going Up

This morning she fed her baby doll breakfast after she was done eating. The baby even got to sit in the high chair!
Feeding her Baby

Tonight we made cookies. Yes, you will see that she has a flour mustache in one. She could not resist tasting the flour. But she did taste chocolate chips too. You will notice that baby is with us too.
Making Cookies

Making Cookies
Making Cookies
She even helped do the dishes...she is dressless because we had to taste the baked cookies and they were ooey gooey.
Washing Dishes

And for the last fun picture....it doesn't do it justice but it's what I have. Peanut makes fish faces and has been for some time. She is just quicker than my camera so it is a side view.
Making Cookies
So that's that. The house is clean, the child is sleeping, the laundry is done and put away, the dishes are done and put away...Ahh!!! I love that feeling. And now a blog is written. It's a good thing because I can barely keep my eyes open.

One more thing...if you do not watch LOST, you are seriously missing out on the best show ever. Daddy and I are speechless regarding this season. This is not a show you could just jump into and figure out quickly what is going on. You really need to start back in Season 1. They are outdoing themselves this season. Wow!
-Mama

Ache

I am amazed by the times and places that I have found strength and hope over the past month and a half. Last Saturday I was struggling and having a bad morning. My body is physically recovered and was showing signs of that for which I was not emotionally ready to deal with. Wouldn't you know that later in the day out of the blue a friend called and asked if Peanut and I wanted to go out for supper. She had been one of the many friends to reach out after we lost our baby and was a great source of advice and encouragement. Of all the days for me to be laid on her heart and for her to call, it was perfect timing and what I needed.

On Monday I was feeling fine and after subbing at the preschool for another teacher, I ran to Wal-Mart to get some preschool supplies and groceries. As I was going about my business, I began to hear the cries of a new baby. Then I saw him with his mommy and 2 little siblings wailing. This tiny baby just cried and cried. My heart began to ache and I tried to get far away from the cries but I kept hearing this precious child. So as I was picking out toilet paper the tears came. I stood in the aisle fighting not to break down. I felt silly crying in the toilet paper aisle but I also felt my heart aching. I pulled myself together and finished what I was doing. When I arrived home, I got the mail and inside found a card. We were blessed by so many friends and families sending cards in the days after our loss, but those have obviously slowed down. But here was a card on a day that I truly needed the encouragement of a friend. It was from someone that I have not seen in many months but who wanted us to know that she was thinking of us still and praying. What perfect timing!

It is still very difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that our child is gone. I still find myself "feeling" tiny movements or not sleeping on my stomach or counting the weeks (24 weeks and 4 days) or other things that I should be feeling or doing during these days. Being a Mom, working, helping with my mom, friends, family...these things have all helped to keep me busy and get me back into the routine of life, but there are days when it is all I can do to crawl out of bed and face the day ahead.

I have actually read many testimonies and stories of others' loss on the internet. Reading these helps me remember I am not alone and that others have suffered tremendous loss and are facing the days ahead without a beloved child. I have been very much drawn to a very special blog written by a family who lost their precious daughter just 30 minutes after she was born. She was born with Potter's syndrome. I stumbled upon the blog this week. They are amazing people! Their faith is evident and the knowledge that He is in control of everything even when it seems out of control.

I met with the doctor who did the surgery a few weeks ago. It was actually just a few days after the one month mark. She informed me that the anatomical tests of the baby came back and there seemed to be nothing wrong with the baby in that area. We are waiting on the chromosomal test results now. At that point we will know if it was a boy or girl. I did receive what was some heartbreaking news this week. We can not get a picture from the ultrasound of our child. I was truly clinging to having a picture of this little one. That has been extremely difficult for me to come to terms with. I saw my child on the screen during the ultrasound, with it's legs, arms, spine, fingers and toes. I desperately wanted that picture so I won't forget. I am so afraid of the day when I realize that I do not remember what I saw. Not having that picture means that I only have what is in my heart.

How do you respond to this question: So how many children do you have? I have 2 children, one here and one in Heaven. I feel as though I am dishonoring my child's memory by responding that I only have 1 child but by saying I have 2 would create an awkward sadness. It is something that I have been thinking about in the last few weeks. After our loss I went to get my hair cut for a change that I needed and the beautician asked me when we would think about having another baby (she knows that we have Peanut but did not know we were expecting again and had just lost the child). Not wanting to make her feel bad for me, I said that we would probably try to have another child soon. In that moment though, my heart broke for what I had just said.

I also DREAD June, the whole month. I remember the excitement and anticipation that came July 1, 2006 with Peanut due July 26, 2006. This child was due June 24, 2008. June 1 is going to be hard but June 24 is going to be very difficult.

I am still at a loss. I know I am supposed to "get over this" but how do you get over the death of a child. It feels like a child who I held, loved, and cared for is gone and it is, I just never got to see this child and hold it in my arms. I try to be strong for those around me but there are days when there is no strength whatsoever inside of me.

Again I do not know how I would do this without Peanut. Her pudding faces, tent building, snow playing...they keep me going!
-Mama

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun Times

Pudding Again!
We had a fun night. I am tired, but good tired. We made another tent which makes Peanut giddy with excitement. She runs in and out under the blanket entrance. We had to put the stuffed animals inside and her fuzzy Cinderella chair. She squealed in delight when Daddy chased her in and out of the tent and played hide and seek. We also had pudding. Typically the spoon use is going well but this pudding is runny so it is very messy, but oh so fun!
Pudding Again!
We also made edible playdough and played with that. It's really easy.
Edible Playdough

Edible Playdough
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
Mix all ingredients. Add enough water to make dough consistency. Chill and enjoy.
Edible Playdough
Peanut thought it was great fun to fling the playdough. It also passes her taste test. Mmm, good! I have found some other edible playdough recipes to try. We certainly are not at the non-edible playdough stage as EVERYTHING gets a taste test from Peanut. All of the other edible playdough recipes call for non-fat dry milk. Do you know how much a box of that stuff costs? That is why I picked the above recipe.
Edible Playdough Edible Playdough
We also tried another Rachael Ray recipe tonight for supper. I found it on another blog that I frequent, Marytree. It is a yummy soup recipe.

Tomato and Bean Stoup
(Stoup is a cross between soup and stew.)
2T. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can small white beans or cannellini beans
1 (10 oz.) box frozen grean beans
Salt and Pepper
1 c. fresh basil, torn or shredded
Grated parmigiano or romano cheese

Add extra virgin olive oil to pan. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, and zucchini. Cook 10 min. then add stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring soup up to a bubble and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wilt basil into stoup. Ladle up and top with cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

As Rachael says, "Yumm-o!" I did not use the celery and used dried basil. I would use canned grean beans next time. I am NOT a fan of frozen green beans. We all thought this was yummy. It was perfect for all of us because the veggies were big enough to take out for Peanut to eat. She loves her veggies!

What a fun night. We even squeezed in a bath before bed. Now the sleet is coming down and hitting the windows. It looks like we are in for another winter storm! Spring, oh spring wherefore art thou Spring?

Also, one last minute thing. I am addicted to www.etsy.com. It is so fun. The site is a place where people can sell things that they have made. Dobbie even was inspired to put some quilts up for sale. I love looking through the different things that have been made, especially the totes and homemade cards, oh and jewelery, and purses, and toys....I could go on and on. If you are looking for a unique gift, it's a great place to look online. It's also great for inspiration and ideas.
-Mama

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Week of Friends

Peanut is feeling much better. She is her happy self again! There is still one area that she is not back to her old self in yet....waking up happy. Ever since the flu, she wakes up crying. We miss hearing her sing and jabber when waking up. Maybe she will get back into that habit yet.
Yogurt
We had a busy week this week. We spent some time with all of the grandmas and grandpas. We love seeing them all and letting them love on Peanut. I spent some time at a ladies' group that I am a part of. I begged Daddy to be home so he could watch Peanut. I have not been to the monthly group for quite some time and the times that I had been there, I've had to take Peanut. She always does fine but I have to leave early to get her home for bed and I am constantly trying to keep an eye on her. So needless to say it was so nice to go on my own. I do have to say I did feel guilty for leaving her home. But I had fun spending time with a wonderful group of ladies. We usually do a craft together but this time we played a fun game called Pit. I even got an injury while playing...there are some competitive women who will do whatever it takes to win, I guess! (I am so joking! I just had to put this in for the hostess with the mostest because I know she will read this! BUT I do have a scab now!)

On Friday we were all able to spend some time together with a great group of friends. It was so much fun. We all sat around catching up with friends who moved north last summer. There were a number of kids. Peanut was on cloud nine running around with the kids and playing with "new" toys. Two of the girls became her personal entourage. They carried her, fed her, put her in a green laundry basket, gave her toys, fed her, tickled her, chased her, fed her. Did I mention that they fed her? Peanut was in her glory with her new friends who are both in second grade. She played all night long! We didn't even get her to bed until midnight.
Fun Times
The next morning after breakfast Peanut proceeded to throw up her breakfast. We are pretty sure that it was from all the oreo's and other yummy foods that she was fed. Her tummy didn't have any room for breakfast. She was fine all day after that. We went out for supper with another friend whose hubby was out of town. It was nice to see her and catch up as we haven't seen each other in a long time.
Mommy
I found Peanut the other day with a diaper and a doll getting ready to put the diaper on the doll! She loves dolls and taking care of them. She feeds them with a spoon and a bottle. She was caught at our Friday night fun putting a coat on a baby and walking around with it. She frequently puts her baby doll in her high chair. She kisses it on the top of the head and sings to it. She typically finds the baby dolls first when we go somewhere. I love it.
-Mama

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Still

Peanut still is not herself.  I called our Doctor last night and he thought maybe we should come in and see him today.  She is so grumpy and tired and still battling diarrhea...it was a LONG, LONG weekend with Daddy at work.  I caved and took her to Wal-Mart on Sunday night just to get out of the house and for a change of scenery.  There are lots of interesting things to see at Wal-Mart.  Daddy took her to the cabin to see Dobbie and Papa yesterday afternoon so I could get some work done at preschool.  After I got there, they all agreed she is not herself.  One part of me was glad to hear it wasn't just me, the other was sad to know it's not just me.  Does that make sense?  I hate knowing she is sick.  So to the doctor, to the doctor we go again.  (She had her 18 month appointment last Wednesday, so we did see him last week too and got advice on her flu symptoms.)  

-Mama

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Long Week

We are all feeling better. The flu seems to have hit Peanut the worst. She is still pretty worn out and grumpy. We are hoping that she will start feeling like herself again soon. I can't believe how quick it hit us all. I sure hope none of you get it. It's so bad around these here parts that a school had to close down because so many staff and teachers and students were sick. YUCK! Wouldn't it be nice to open the windows and let the house air out? Spring IS coming...tulips, walks, open windows.

This has been the strangest winter. We've been hit with snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, thunderstorms, rain showers, floods, and other havoc from Mother Nature. Tonight we're supposed to get freezing rain turning to heavy rain showers all day tomorrow. That means our community may very well have a flood again. The river that runs through town has flooded twice now. It is crazy.

Here are some pics from the week.
Mama and Peanut sick together!
Sick Mama and Baby

Art in one of his many sleeping positions.
Sleeping Cat

Peanut LOVES talking on the phone. She has loved this for a LONG time. She wanders around chatting away on it. We have been letting her talk to Daddy or I on it now when one of us is at work. It's so funny and helps so much when we are away at work. This is her talking to Daddy today when he was at work.
Talking to Daddy

Here is Peanut in the hat that Grandpa got for her when she turned one. She loves wearing it around the house these days. I think it makes her look like a kid so I don't let her wear it too much! Ha! :)
Kiddo

I added a link list on the side to sites that offer ideas of activities to do with toddlers. Tonight Peanut and I made a rain bottle (put rice inside a bottle) and a bubble bottle (added water, dish soap, and blue food coloring to a bottle). There are some great ideas on these sites.

Lastly I wanted to share a recipe from Rachael Ray that I have made a couple of times. It's so yummy.

Mini-Cannelloni Bake
1 lb. ziti or ditalini (I use the whole grain pasta)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 lb. ground beef, veal, or chicken (I used ground turkey.)
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
A few grates of fresh nutmeg (I didn't have that.)
Salt and pepper
1 c. grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place large pot water of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and keep in pot.
While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 T. olive oil. Add ground meat to pan and break up. Let brown about 6-7 min.
Add onion and garlic to pan and continue cooking until has onion softened, 6-7 minutes. Add spinach and cook about 1 minute to heat through, then season mixture with salt and pepper.
While the onions are cooking, place a medium sized pot over medium high heat and melt butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and the cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and cook until the liquid has thickened up. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Add meat-onion mixture and sauce to pot with pasta and stir to evenly combine. Transfer to casserole dish and sprinkle cheese over top. Put in oven and bake until cheese is melted and golden brown about 10 minutes.

The last time I made this I only used 1 box of spinach and half a bag of frozen peas. We liked that combo in it. So good and Peanut likes it too!

-Mama

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now Daddy

Now Daddy has the flu.  Peanut and I are trying to recover.  Hopefully soon we'll all be back to normal.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gross

Now I have the flu and feel horrible.  Peanut is still recovering.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Flu Bug

Our beautiful little girl that sleeps so well, woke up at 7 a.m. this morning crying. What's this? She never wakes up crying. So I went to get her and put her in our bed when I realized she was very smelly. Wait...I remember that smell from somewhere....hmmm...oh NO! It's from the last time she threw up during the night. Sure enough, there was quite a treat waiting for me in her crib, all over her jammies, in her hair and in her diaper. Yeah for Mommy! So Peanut got an early morning bath. Daddy cuddled with her while I took care of the toxic waste. Then Peanut and I cuddled all morning. I do love it when she wants to cuddle. So right now we are in our p.j.s and watching movies on the floor. (Well, I'm blogging.)
Flu Bug
It's a funny thing...last night I was thinking to myself, "Wow! We sure are lucky. Peanut is hardly ever sick." Oh and I changed her crib sheet and washed all her blankets yesterday. (Who in the world thought changing a crib sheet would be easy! It almost brings me to tears every time.) Should have known these two things would bring on the puke! And the thing that brings on diarrhea...only having 3 diapers in the entire house. Need to take care of that yet.

Thank you Lord for our washing machine!
Flu Bug
Yes, we are watching movies. Peanut loves her Baby Einstein dvd's. We limit to one a day if that. She knows where we stash the movie collection so she brings them to us, not that she gets to watch it. She has been known to bring The Lord of the Rings or The Office...we haven't gotten her started on those yet. Although she does perk up at the sound of the music to The Office. She has heard that music regularly since she was a newborn. BUT my pride and joy is that she likes to watch Charlotte's Web. I love this movie so much and the book is one of my all time favorites. I can't wait till someday when I can read this book to her. Peanut likes when the farmer calls, "Here pig, pig, pig, pig, pig." She even tries to do it herself.
"What was amazing yesterday, becomes seemingly ordinary today." -Charlotte's Web
Mama
I have been giving Peanut butterfly kisses and eskimo kisses for some time now. Last night as she was loving her baby doll, I said to her, "Why don't you give your baby butterflies?" To this she proceeded to give her baby butterfly kisses. Then I asked her to give the baby eskimoes and she did! It was too cute and of course, I did not have the camera ready and when I did have it ready, she would not do it again.

Yesterday Peanut and I had fun making a tent with a sheet and some chairs. She was so proud of her little house and kept grinning. She had more fun walking in and out with the sheet draping over her head then really playing in it. Even the cat got in on the action.
Tent Dwelling

Tent Dwelling

Tent Dwelling Tent Dwelling
And to close, here is a pic of Peanut with one of her pals. Our friends who were in town last weekend, were here again this past Saturday so we got to see them again. We spent some time together in the afternoon and ended our time with a trip to my favorite Hispanic restaurant in town. Yum, Yum! Cora and Friend's baby had fun imitating each other. I am thankful to have at least 6 more months of living near these friends before they head overseas as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. It has been a treat to see them 2 weekends in a row after being so far from each other when they were in Texas.
Friends
Well, Peanut is down for a much needed nap so I need to get around and go buy diapers...the mega-pack! What do you feed a baby with the flu? Chicken noodle soup doesn't work so well. I gave her crackers all morning. She has kept them down, thankfully!

Did I mention that yesterday the high was 1 degree and today is not a whole lot better. It's supposed to be a whopping 14 degrees this afternoon. Wow! Heat wave!
-Mama

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Special Day

Let me start by sharing a funny story...this morning I had to take a shower to get ready for our special day. As usual I put Peanut in the bathroom with me and locked the door so she could not escape. She got busy playing with the travel toiletries in her special drawers in the bathroom and I got busy taking my shower. As I was shaving my leg, I heard this thud followed by shrieks and tears. I turned around to find that Peanut had crawled over the bathtub ledge and fallen into the shower. She was crying because the water was streaming down her head due to the shower. She has never had a shower, only baths! Mind you she was in her pajamas standing in the shower with me! For a mere 2 seconds, I stood there not knowing what to do first, but quickly turned the water off and stripped her pajamas and diaper off only to find she had a treat in her diaper which was now all over the tub floor! AUGHHHH! Where is Daddy when I need him? Ha! We got things cleaned up and then continued with our first shower together. Wow! She kept grinning at me knowing that she had pulled a good one on Mommy!

Peanut and I got well taken care of today while Daddy was at work. One of my college room-mates came with her family and took us out to lunch at our favorite Hispanic restaurant here in town. She was dying to eat there after reading about it previously on our blog....so I know that deep down that was her real reason for coming to see me....salsa and chips! Just Kidding. Then just us girls went to Starbucks for Peppermint Mochas and headed home to chat.
Out to Lunch
(Sorry this pic is so blurry. The batteries in my camera were getting low.)

Then some other friends who were in town for a wedding stopped to see us. They bestowed pizza and cheesy bread upon us for supper. We had fun discussing our LOST theories and the season premier. (Daddy and I are LOST addicts!) We also enjoyed watching our kids who are 6 months apart play together. It is so amazing to see the differences between boys and girls even at such a young age.
Friends

Thank you friends for a day of fun and fellowship. It meant alot to me and also to Daddy. He is thankful knowing that we are being well taken care of while he is away at work, although it would have been better to have him with us!

Below is a picture of the figurine that I bought last week for us to remember our baby. It is the Willow Tree Angel, Always, I Will Remember. I needed something to memorialize our child and felt that this was perfect.
Always, I will Remember
One of our biggest concerns after learning that we had lost this child was what was going to happen to the baby after the surgery. The hospital where we had the surgery done has started a new program called "In God's Arms" in connection with a local funeral home. Four times a year they hold a special service at a nearby cemetery where they will bury the babies lost to miscarriage together. This program is based upon Psalm 139:13-14, "For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." It also "reaffirms the privilege and responsibility, the sacredness of life and fragility of it and allows parents to be connected to someone they never saw but that was very much a part of their life." Our service will be held sometime in April. It will help knowing that there is somewhere we can go to remember this child.
Always, I will Remember
Since we lost the baby farther into the pregnancy our doctors all advised that we have some genetic testing done to see if there is something we might need to know for future pregnancies. In the process of the testing, we will also be able to find out if it was a boy or girl. At that point we will be able to name the baby too as a way of honoring this life.

Again thank you all so much for your prayers for our family. They are not going unanswered. With each prayer, phone call, email, card we are being encouraged.

Lamentations 3:21-25
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
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."
-Mama