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Monday, March 21, 2011

Babies and a break

This weekend I was so excited to get to see "the girls" Ava and Reese. They are our neighbors twins that were born at 26 weeks.  They have grown so much since I saw them a month ago.  Their actual due date is in about a week.  I so cherish my time I got to spend with them and their mommy and daddy. They are healthy enough now, that I got to hold Reese! I got to hold her for almost an hour, it was such precious time. 


Reese is getting so big, she is nearly 7 pounds! She is breathing on her own and doing so well. She has spells while she eats, but she is such a trooper. As long as nothing changes for the worse, she could go home within a month. 


Her sister is growing as well. Ava is over 6 pounds herself. She is still having assistance breathing.  Please keep Ava in your prayers. She is being transferred to another hospital either today or tomorrow to have a tracheotomy. Long term this is a good thing, but it adds some complications for awhile. Ava will have the surgery at Children's Mercy and then stay there for the duration of her time in the NICU. This means that the girls will be separated and mom and dad will be torn between the 2 places. Also, when Reese comes home, she will not be allowed to enter (with Hil) the NICU at Children's because she herself was not there, so again 2  babies in 2 places. This will add some stress to an already difficult situation. Please pray for Ava as well that she does not receive any infections as most likely she will not be in the private room she is accustomed to at OP. She has been more prone to infection than her sister.  Zack and Hil have been so thankful for the wonderful staff at OP that they have gotten to know the last 3 months, and now they have to start over with new staff at Children's. Please keep them all in your prayers. After spending time with the girls, I came home and hugged Colton a little tighter, I am so grateful for the health of my son. Ava and Reese have the most loving parents and I am amazed at Zack and Hil's steadfast faith and positive outlook during this time.  We can't wait to have both the girls home and healthy!


On another baby note, my super creative and talented friend Jenny showed up with some gifts for us today at Bible Study. She makes baby items for local boutiques and I was so touched by her gracious gifts. I kept shaking my head in awe of her talent.   Thank you Jenny for the thoughtfulness!


Buster got an adorable ensemble

Momma got a notebook to write things down since my brain cells have been shot with these kids

Sister Bear got an adorable tank for the summer and the coolest crayon holder. If you look at the first picture, it rolls up and is perfect for on the go.


One last thing...
I will be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks. For some personal reasons I am going to really be intentional with my time, and I am going to step away from the computer (blogging and facebook) which somehow seem to zap my time.  Don't miss me too much, I will be back.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Breastmilk

I have recently learned about the powers of breastmilk. God made our bodies and I guess he knew what he was doing. Colton had a clogged tear duct, I looked online for a natural remedy, "put breastmilk on the eye." Colton had a congested nose, I looked online, "put a few drops of breastmilk in the nostrils." Sore nipples; breastmilk.

For this post I decided to speak with my good ole friend google and see what he had to say about uses for breastmilk, here you go:

[Note:  Suitable for babies & children, and even adults!]
Eye infections / Conjuctivitis ("Pink Eye"):  Squirt into the eye.  Do this as frequently as possible until healed.  If the baby/child doesn’t allow you to squirt breastmilk into his eye, then do it while they are sleeping.  Squirt around the crease of closed eyes, then gently lift the lids to allow the breastmilk to seep into the eye. 

Sore/cracked nipples:  Rub into nipples after feedings and air dry.

Scratches/Scrapes/Cuts:  Squirt & clean wound first with the breastmilk; then apply some more on wound and air dry.  This is really great when on outings where no ready water supply is available.  If the cut is on the lips or mouth area, healing will be especially easy for a breastfeeding baby or child.  Just the simple act of nursing the child not only calms the child from the pain of the injury, but the breastmilk that must pass the wound during nursing will close the cut rather quickly. 

Mosquito bites / Ant bites: Squirt on bite and rub in.  Helps to stop the itching. 

Ear infections: Squirt or pour into sore ear 

Acne / Eczema / Diaper rash:  Wash skin with water, then apply breastmilk all over.  Air Dry. 

Facial Cleanser:  Apply breastmilk on face & wipe clean.  Great even for removing eye-makeup! 

Sore throats/Mouth Sores:  A baby/child that is still breastfeeding can benefit by directly nursing.  If not, drinking a cup of expressed breastmilk will help.  It certainly helped when my then 19-month-old son had mouth sores from a bout of Hand, Foot & Mouth disease.  His mouth was too sore to nurse directly from the breast, but drinking expressed breastmilk from a cup helped heal the sores in a day. 

Stuffy noses: Squirt into nose and suction or squeeze out as you would with saline.
If you have an older child/spouse who is ill, give them some breastmilk.  It's a great immunity booster! 
Source:http://bmsg.tripod.com/breastmilkuses.htm



I am not sure how steve would feel about me giving him a glass of breastmilk to help with his sore throats, or I am not super comfortable with dousing my eyes with  breastmilk to get rid of my makeup, but I will continue to use it for me little man and his needs.  

Anyone else have creative uses for breastmilk? 


Erin!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My new friends

Here are 2 of my new friends





We never had a good thermometer with Payton. Ours broke early on. I never really knew if she had a fever. Well, I decided to invest in THIS bad boy and I love it! You simply swipe it across the forehead and down to the pupil and you have your temperature. It was perfect timing with Payton having her flu recently. I was having so much fun taking all of our temps for fun. Payton kept saying "mommy's turn, colton's turn, daddy's turn." She assumed we all needed are temps taken.

 




She is my other new friend. I have been working out with Jillian and her girls this past week. Trying to accomplish my goal of returning to pre-baby weight.  I love this workout because it is an intense 20 minutes. That is perfect for someone with a busy schedule, go hard for 20 minutes, then you are done. It is similar stuff to what I do with my bootcamp girls, maybe this will get me in good enough shape to work out with them again. Now I need to stop eating those sweets, that might help the weight come off.

What have you done to loose that baby weight?


Erin!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My sincerest apologies Buster Brown


Dear Buster Brown (aka my son)-
   I owe you a sincere apology, I didn't think you had it in you. When we had our conversation a week and a half ago about sleep, I really didn't see this coming.  I know I shouldn't compare you and your sister, you are 2 completely different beings. But when it comes to your momma's sleep, comparisons were being made. People told us we were so lucky with Payton, she wasn't normal.  Maybe she wasn't, your first 2 months of sleeping life were completely different than each other. She slept for long stretches at night, right from the beginning. You on the other hand, really didn't get to experience sleep at night, mostly due to your gas issues.  Even up to 2 weeks ago, you still were up a couple times at night. It was then I realized that you didn't physically need to eat (look at your cheeks) but you were comfortable with our middle of the night cuddle times and your body had gotten stuck at waking up at 1am and 4am-5am.  So when we had our talk recently, I informed you that you no longer needed to feed that much at night and you would be receiving your paci upon waking at 1am. I read it takes 3 nights to break a habit.  So for 3 nights, we danced, crying, paci in, paci fall out, crying, paci in, paci fall out crying, then eventually feed.  I was exhausted, hoping the work would pay off.  I did the same thing with your sister and at 10 weeks she started sleeping 12 hours. Now I was only looking for 6-7 hours from you, just one night time feeding would be great.  Boy did you hit a triple. Night 4 you woke up at 5am for the first time, and we fed. I was shocked, really 3 nights and a new habit? I didn't hold my breath though and expect this to be the new normal.  Night 5, rough night, we did the paci dance again. 

Night 6,7,8,9 HOMERUN!!!!  You have been sleeping through the night! Sleeping the night to me means, I put you down to sleep and don't have to go in to get you until it is an appropriate time to wake up.  You go down around 9pm and don't get up until 7am. I would like you to go down earlier, but we will work on that in time.  You are a stickin sleep stud! We went from up multiple times in a night, to sleeping the whole night in less than a week!  Thank you my son!

Your timing couldn't have been any better, as your sister has had the flu this week and I have been up almost all night with her vomiting.  I can't imagine what we would have done if you both were screaming all night long. I am sure there will be nights you both have rough times, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for pulling through.  I also realized you have discovered your thumb. Maybe you might be a thumb sucker like your sister, maybe that is what is getting you through the night, you are too darn cute with that little tiny thumb in your mouth.

Thank you again Buster for your new sleep habits. I was hesitant to write this too soon, but hopefully this is our new normal.

With love,
Your more rested mother :)

Thanks to aunt callie for your stylin "little man" clothes

Erin!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Jeans



Yes, you read that correctly, I scored free jeans from Target. Unfortunately, I could not find a pair for myself, so my friend Jessica is going to be receiving these.  I already the exact pair (paid $10 arghh!) and don't need 2 of the same pair of jeans (actually jeggings). Jessica had twin boys 2 weeks after me, so we both are wearing pants that we hope will be too big on us soon.

How did I score FREE jeans you might ask? No my good looks and charm did not win the cashier over, she actually called her manager because she really didn't know how to handle my situation. I had a coupon for $5 off any Women's denim (from weekly Target coupons I receive via text) and these bad boys were on clearance for $4.98. I didn't intentionally look for a $5 to get them for free (well kinda, didn't) but hey that is what I ended up with. I could have got a pair and donated them, I really didn't care, just thought it was so fun to walk out of target with paying zilch and a pair of jeans in my bag!

I am wearing these same jeggings in this picture

Go to Target.com and sign up for coupons and maybe you can score the same deal.

Erin!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Love & Marriage, Love & Marriage ....


6.5 years ago

My husband delivered it yesterday at church! It has been so fun to watch him grow as a communicator these past few years that he has been preaching more regularly.  I feel like the past few months, you can really see his comfort level rising. He never seemed awkward, he is just really settling in and his personality is coming out. He speaks it like it is!

We are in the middle of a series on Ephesians. Yesterday we studied Ephesians 5, submitting to one another in marriage. Submission has such a negative spin on it in our society. 

Ephesians 5

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.t 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 


Marriage can not be based upon the feeling of love. Feelings come and go, we can fall in and out of love if we base it on feelings.  We must MAKE LOVE .... a VERB. Love has to have action to it, it must be moving due to our intentionality.  A secret to long, thriving marriages is to consider the other person better than yourself. Treat them as if they are more important that you. Submit to them. How do you do that?

Submit through your ACTIONS-
Serve them, spend time with them doing the things they like, not just your interests, but theirs. Why have I gone hunting with Steve, not because I love the idea of sitting outside in the cold, in ugly clothes, watching nothing happen around me, all while having to be silent. I have taken an interest in hunting because that is what my husband loves to do. I am trying to be better about even buying and wearing clothes that my husband like to see on me, even if they aren't my top choice.  Serving your spouse, not standing up for your desires, but finding ways to meet theirs. How far should you go? Christ laid down his life for us, and we are called to love each other like he loved us. Willing to lay it all down, that is how far you should go.

Submit through your WORDS-
If you think something positive about your spouse, tell them! Not sharing your positive thoughts with them is like buying them a gift and not giving it to them. Find ways to shower them with words.  The phrase I LOVE YOU can get worn out. People tend to use it everyday, without much meaning behind it. Take some time to tell your spouse I LOVE YOU BECAUSE.... that simple word at the end can bring new life to the phrase. Today, take a few minutes and write a note to your spouse with 10 reasons you love them BECAUSE.   The Bible is full of great examples how on to use your words to show your spouse your love. I love that Steve was not afraid to share a verse from Songs of Solomon. If you think the Bible is boring, pick one up and read Songs of Solomon, there is more intense sexual descriptions in that one book that most of our marriages ever experience. Here King Solomon is describing his attraction to a Jewish maiden (if you read the whole book you will definitely see he uses words to describe is love and she does not doubt his adoration for her)

Songs of Solomon 7
6 Oh, how beautiful you are!
How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!

7 You are slender like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.

8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree
and take hold of its fruit.” 



 Yes men haven't changed all these years, they still want to get their hands on their woman's breasts. Steve had the congregation either laughing or blushing as he read this verse. Of course he had some joke about men starting to climb, and blessing God's written word; not too many pastors would want to bring this topic up in church.

Marriages are under attack. Ironically Saturday night Steve and I had a disagreement over nothing, right before he spoke the next day on marriage. Those arguments that start over "nothing" and escalate beyond belief, I believe, are attacks from the enemy on your marriage. He would love nothing more than to ruin a marriage, especially one that claims to be grounded in Christ.  Christ is the reason we have the marriage we do. Our marriage isn't perfect, but it is a work in progress. We both want to intentionally use our actions and words to make love a verb to each other.  Marriages don't just work out without you working hard at them.  Especially for us mom's of little kids. Yes it is our job to raise these kids to the best of our ability, but more important than our role as a mom, is our role as a wife. The kids see our marriage, the kids will leave home one day and we will be alone with our husbands, I pray the hard work we put into our marriage pays off, that when these little rascals leave home, we can look at each other in the eye and act like giddy teenagers who finally get to be home alone.  My husband is a gift I don't want to take for granted. 

Take time this week to love your spouse with your actions and your words. Put the hard work in, don't give up, I believe the best days are still to come.
Erin!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Colton's nursery feature

  

Ok for some of you this is no big deal, being featured on another blog for your creativity is an every day occurrence for you, well for this little lady, it made my day!

Better After is a blog that I love to follow because it is full of before and after pictures. When I am looking at a project, I really want to see the before and after, the details only come after interest is peaked. This blog is perfect for that.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I recommend you do.

While you are looking, feel free to check out THIS post where Colton's nursery was highlighted! I was feeding Colton and catching up on my blog reading via google reader on my iPhone, when I saw my picture, it brought such a huge smile to my face.

Ok enough ramblings, thanks Lindsey for the feature!

Erin!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

30 before Thirty


Sunday I turned 29 years old!

Thanks to Mr. Southards, I have learned to set goals, giving me something to aim for. If you don't set goals, you are guaranteed not to reach them. Steve is so strategic, I should have seen it coming because when we had just started dating he insisted we had a purpose statement and values established for our DATING relationship. God has given him a gift though and it is fun to see him use that for God's kingdom.  Every year I set goals for different areas of my life and reevaluate them the next year. It has been fun to see what things I have accomplished over the past few years that I have done this.

Being that this is my last year in my 20's, I decided to make a list of 30 things to do before I turn Thirty. Most of these are fun experiences, or making something, but there are some serious ones as well. Check out the list below. The goals are listed twice, the first time just listed and the second time with explanation for those who care enough to read my thoughts. I will keep you updated as I approach 30 on February 27, 2012 and the progress over the next year.


30 before Thirty

1. Sub-5 min mile
2. Sew something for myself
3. Use an electric saw to make something
4. Gourmet picnic with Steve
5. Play a soccer game
6. Paint an "artistic" piece
7. Return to pre-baby weight 125
8. Go to a museum
9. Watch a play/musical
10. Go through a home tour
11. Stay at a B&B
12. Learn how to use camera on manual
13. Huge purge of every room/cabinet/closet/basement
14. Organize and paint laundry room
15. Paint a decorate 1/2 bath
16. Have an adorable family picture taken
17. Clean out clothes and start philosophy of buying less quantity and more quality
18. Make wedding photo book
19. Reread Redeeming Love
20. Write a letter to each immediate family member
21. Reupholster chair
22. Make sushi
23. Memorize 24 scriptures
24. Financially support/give to 2 new sources (people/mission/org)
25. Start "ladies at the creek"
26. Intentionally following through with God promptings to encourage/love on/challenge others
27. Vacation with just Steve
28. Do a Daniel fast with Steve
29. Take piano lessons
30. ?



With explanations...


1. Sub-5 min mile - This was a goal of mine in high school. I ran a 5:31 mile but never reached the sub-5 minute goal. I believe it was a mind over matter then. If I reach this goal and none other, I would be stoked, this will be difficult because I am coming off having a baby and need to get back in shape before I can even attempt this. There is a guy in our church who ran marathon's at a sub-5 minute mile pace and he has said he will help me. This one is shooting for the stars!
2. Sew something for myself - Doesn't matter what it is, but something I can wear, not for the home or the kids, but for me.
3. Use an electric saw to make something - Again doesn't matter what it is, just want to use me hands and a saw to make something wooden
4. Gourmet picnic with Steve
5. Play a soccer game - After soccer consumed most of my life for 16 years, it has been 8 years since I have played a game. I might have to grab some friends for a pick-up game, but I would like to play some kind of soccer again
6. Paint an "artistic" piece - beauty might be in the eye of the beholder here, but want to give it a try
7. Return to pre-baby weight 125-130 - my weight will fluctuate 5 pounds, depending how much muscle I am building
8. Go to a museum - want to find something local to check out
9. Watch a play/musical - we have Theater in the Park here and want to attend a show this summer
10. Go through a home tour - I often see different tours of homes and have always wanted to go on one
11. Stay at a B&B - I have a lifetime goal to stay in a B&B in 5 different states, this will help towards that goal
12. Learn how to use my camera on manual
13. Huge purge of every room/cabinet/closet/basement - this deserves to be a few numbers but really want to clean out our house and simplify
14. Organize and paint laundry room - I would love to install cabinets with doors, I believe that is one of the best ways to keep a laundry room looking clean, conceal items behind closed doors. Since we do not own our house yet, I will probably have to wait on the cabinets and be creative in the meantime.
15. Paint a decorate 1/2 bath - I have almost everything for this, just need to paint the room and get going
16. Have an adorable family picture taken - want to wait until Fall when Colton is a little older
17. Clean out clothes and start philosophy of buying less quantity and more quality - No doubt about it that I am a bargain shopper.  Clearance rack all the way. Even at Target, TJ's and Marshall's, I shop the clearance rack. The problem with that is at times I have fallen guilty of buying something just because it is so cheap and it looks "ok" on me. I want to start buying less items, maybe spending a little more in each item but only buying items that I love on me. Then I don't end up looking at my full closet feeling like I have nothing to wear. I also want to make sure I have some outfits that my
18. Make wedding photo book - Payton recently destroyed the huge photo book we had (a very simple one) so I want to make one online myself
19. Reread Redeeming Love - One of my all time favorite books
20. Write a letter to each immediate family member- content and focus might be different for each person, I will figure out what these look like as I go
21. Reupholster chair - I have a great $5 estate sale chair that is begging for a redo, just need to learn how to do it, and do it
22. Make sushi - with my own hands
23. Memorize 24 scriptures
24. Financially support/give to 2 new sources (people/mission/org) - find 2 new causes to give charitably to
25. Start "ladies at the creek"- I have the desire to start a time of connecting with the staff wives of ICCC Olathe campus. They are great women, we just need to be intentional about getting together and encouraging each other. Since Steve has taken the lead role on our campus I have had the desire to do this. 
26. Intentionally following through with God promptings to encourage/love on/challenge others - You know those times you feel like you should pick up the phone to call someone, or write an email or letter to someone, I want to be better about following through with those promptings and not minimizing them
27. Vacation with just Steve - Me and my love ALONE, enough said
28. Do a Daniel fast with Steve
29. Take piano lessons - A lifetime goal is to learn to play the piano, this is a step in the right direction. I am excited because my dear friend Amber gives lessons so I have already spoken to her about taking some from her.
30. ???????? I intentionally left one spot open, in case something comes up this year that has to be added to the list.

I really look forward to my 30's, and I hope that accomplishing as many of these goals this next year, is a sweet way to close out the 20's.