Saturday, February 28, 2015

Project Tutu

The (only) upside to a sick baby is that she is resting more during the day, allowing for some extra project time. 

I recently got a burr in my saddle about getting some cute custom Easter baskets for the girls with their names embroidered, which led me on an overly long Internet search of places with custom baskets, which eventually led to Etsy, which eventually led to Pinterest. So I of course decided to do it myself.

On Thursday, before Heidi was really really sick, we went to Hobby Lobby. Chris has never gone, but it is his least favorite place because I turn into a maniac when I go in there. 

Sophia picked out her own ribbon, and I gathered the remaining materials to make the baskets which I am pretty excited about!

My materials:

Getting started:

Finishes products (top one is Sophia's, bottom is Heidi's):

The hardest part was making those bows out of ribbon. I just knew once I stumbled upon tutu baskets that that was the winning idea. So fun and easy to make!

Friday, February 27, 2015


Do you know what RSV is? Of course you do. You are a smart, savvy person with a breadth of knowledge about childhood illnesses who attended the learn-about-every-childhood-illness-ever class that I somehow missed out on. I had not heard of RSV until tonight. About two hours ago, actually.

Miss Heidi's trouble sleeping over the last couple of nights turned into more sleeping and a very stuffy nose during the day. I came home from my MAA conference this afternoon to find her sleeping, and by the time she woke up she had been asleep for 3 1/2 hours, which is not typical for Heidi by any stretch of the imagination. When she woke up she was what I would consider lethargic (though the nurse informed me it was not true lethargy) and she also had a fever of 101 (axillary) and was so uninterested in breastfeeding that my milk reflex was not even stimulated. Yikes. So I called the nurse line around 5:00 p.m., gave her Tylenol (per their recommendations) around 5:10, and noticed that around 5:15 she this time had an axillary temperature of 101.7... which is the opposite of going down. Being a mother this just about launched me into full-panic mode (I do realize that Tylenol doesn't work after 5's just that it seemed to me that going up by .7 was a lot).  I decided it was time to formally check temperature the appropriate way, and around 5:30 found a rectal temperature of 103.5. Ok. Now I'm worried.  On top of the fever and the lethargy she has wheezy, difficult breathing. In we go.

I arrived at urgent care shortly before 6:00 p.m., got checked in, set into a room, and saw the urgent care physician at 7:30 ish. After giving her the story again, she thought it best that Heidi get a mucous swab (actually 2) and also some blood drawn; possibly a chest X-Ray depending on those tests.

You may remember from my previous post just exactly how Heidi feels about having her nose cleaned, which is anything but positive, so as you can imagine sticking a toothpick-width Q-Tip far into her nose (twice) did not go well.

Nor did taking blood. But actually this went better than the nose swab debacle.

Running labs took a while, and we sat in the room until about 8:45 or so when the physician returned and told me that she had RSV (cue the blank stare). My educated guess told me that it stood for Respiratory-Something-Something, which is actually 1/3 right. Apparently this virus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, can be scary and lead to hospitalization in really little ones but isn't a big deal for adults because of larger airways and better immune systems. Heidi's breathing was not quite to the point where it was cause for concern (Praise God) and because it is a virus there is not much we can do but run a cool mist humidifier and wait for it to go away...which could be 4-5 days.

Also it's very contagious.

At what point do I just move out of my house and drop an antibacterial bomb (much like a bug bomb, but for germs) and stay in a hotel for 3 or 4 days while everything is fumigated?

So here it is 10:30 at night. I am eating my dinner now, reheated chili, and trying to motivate myself to clean something. My bed does not have any sheets on it because I took Heidi to urgent care while they were in the middle of being cleaned/changed. And there is still a pot of cold chili on the stove. Heidi is covered in Vick's vapor rub and I am just hoping that her little body can get some of the rest that she needs.

I am eternally grateful for modern medicine, who can tell me what my child has and what to look for if it takes a turn for the worse. I am grateful that there was an urgent care open, even if I didn't make it home until after 9 p.m. I am grateful for my husband, who stayed home with Sophia while I took Heidi to urgent care even though he had obligations tonight.  I am grateful for a mother-in-law who was willing to come over here and watch Sophia while I was (still) at the urgent care with Heidi (and who came over to my house and stayed until 9 even though she had not yet been home today). Most of all I am grateful for a God who in his sovereignty is caring for my family and myself and shows his loving-kindness in the details. I am praying for the health of my little one but can rest confidently in the Shepherd's watchfulness over His sheep.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sick Baby

Yes. Again. 

I swear it feels like I just got done struggling with the baby to wipe her nose every 10 minutes yesterday... And last night another cold makes its appearance.

Please go away, winter. 

Poor little Heidi was up several times last night coughing away to the point where she woke herself up crying. Then when I went to comfort her, I noticed (more than once) that her little nose was completely blocked up and oozy (just helping you to get a complete picture). 

Cue the snot sucker.

Winter has been long enough that she knows by now what that thing does. Let me tell you, it is a lot harder when they are bigger and stronger; flailing like a fish out of water; screaming like a banshee with a hernia. 

Please go away, winter.

So Heidi was not terribly thrilled with me today. There are few things more pitiful than an infant with a cold, and they make those sweet baby cooing sounds but this time with a smoker' voice. She spent most of the day upset with me, because I kept wiping her nose and she was tired and sick and really nothing could make her happy. 

I get it. I wouldn't like boogers vacuumed out of my nose, either. However, I also like breathing through my nose. If only you could rationally explain this to an infant (I tried and failed). 

Sophia impressed me with her patience and understanding today. Wow. She is going to make a great nurse or missionary wife or mother (all 3?) someday. I was short and abrupt with her at times today, because the background music of my day was either Heidi coughing, screaming, or coughing AND screaming, but Sophia I think showed more maturity than I did and she isn't 3 yet. 

Regardless of how exhausting my day was, it was still a learning day. Does learning ever cease to be a major part life for parents? And I hope I can learn from it how to show the fruits of the spirit in my parenting always...not just on the 'easy' days.

Some pics of our day. You can see the rosy cheeks of having a cold on Heidi:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

7 months!

Baby girl is 7 months old!

We are officially over the half way mark and heading down the hill to the 1 year old mark! Wow!

It has been an exciting month. Her learning is just exponential every day.

She is braving more solid foods now, and will even get frustrated with spoon feeding because she likes to feed herself. 

She loves Cheerios! We recently started those. She also loves graham crackers and Ritz crackers and pizza crust and rolls and really anything she can eat herself. She also still loves her oatmeal and yogurt, and will tolerate green beans, peas and carrots. She did learn how to spit food out so we had a challenging time eating peas the other night!

She started playing in a Jenny jump up at daycare and loves it. She also loves just bouncing in her high chair or if she is being held on your lap.

She started clapping a couple of days ago, which is really adorable! She is also trying to crawl. She does pretty good getting on her hands and knees and will even rock forward a little bit. She can also move fairly well from hands and knees to a sitting position.

It is so fun to see her interacting more with her older sister. You can see that she loves to be around Sophia, and the two of them are really enjoying the play time they are able to have with each other. Sophia can still direct play however she wants it and Heidi just laughs and smiles along with what her older sister does. 

Her newest trick within the last day or two is making a pucker face with a kissing sound. It is adorable. I had the video camera (well, iPhone) directed on her for half of the afternoon trying to catch it. She will sound and look like she is giving kisses. Just too cute. 

I am excited to see what God has in store for my baby girl. We love you, Heidi Olivia!

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Signs You Have a House Full of Girls

Chris, like my dad, is a very blessed man. God has decided to bless Chris by surrounding him with a 'giggle' of girls.

And the evidence is everywhere.

How can you tell we have a house full of girls?

1. Did you know that everything (and I mean everything) can be made with Minnie Mouse or Disney Princesses on it? And I mean everything. Cups. Plates. Bowls. Silverware. Placemats. Hats. Scarves. Mittens. Shoes. Slippers. Pajamas. Shirts. Pants. Socks. Underwear. Toothbrushes. Toothpaste. Backpacks. Tea sets. Hair clips. Hairbrushes. Watches. Sunglasses. Wall decor. Books. Plush. Sheet sets. Chapstick. Towels. Puzzles. Jewelry. Trash cans. Etc. And I think we have most of it. 

2. This is Chris' nightstand. Chris.

3. Everything that was once white is a pleasant shade of pale pink. Amazing just how small of a pink object it takes to dye a white load. An infant washcloth recently wrecked havoc by sneaking in on a load of (what used to be) whites. 

4. When talking about purchasing something, the follow-up question is often "does it come in pink?" For example, when looking for a toy storage option I went with the Ikea cube unit and was terribly disappointed the cubes didn't come in pink.

5. There is stroller parking in your own house.

6. There is no such thing as too many accessories. I recently purchased 30 hairclips and where have they all gone? (Looks like partly on Chris' nightstand... see #2...)

7. Little momma helpers. I have loved watching Sophia turn into a little mom. She will fuss over her baby 'Anna' and tell me "Shh, the baby is sleeping". She will feed and rock and comfort the baby and it's just precious. She also fusses over Heidi and will give me quite helpful instructions about caring for Heidi ("Mom, you need to pick up the baby" "Heidi needs a diaper change, she's stinky, pyew!").

8. Drama is a big part of everyday life. And this is with a toddler and an infant. I am sure those with teenage girls can tell me even better stories of drama.  Both girls can go from laughing hysterically to the absolute depths of despair in .2 seconds flat. Heidi was wanting dinner (in the form of breastmilk) the other night and while I was holding her she was reminding me that it was bed/milk time (in the form of overly-dramatic whimpers). Chris came in to play with her for a little bit so that I could finish something. Sitting on his stomach she was just laughing away, and then the second she caught a glimpse of me the poochy lip returned and the waterworks turned on.

9. Discussions about future savings are not just for college. Whenever Chris and I have talked about saving for the future we have specifically avoided discussing opening a 529 account. We have multiple reasons, such as what if they don't want to go to college, what if the college bubble bursts, what if tuition continues to go up and is a bajillion dollars per semester or more, etc. However, another big reason is that we don't have to save just for college... we have to save for WEDDINGS! Which nowadays seem to cost even more than college.

10. Fear of bugs. Yes. This starts early on. I remember not being afraid of Daddy Long Legs and Earth Worms when I was little, but you won't find me picking either one up now. Apparently, Sophia was very quick to pick up on this type of thinking and will scream at the sight of an ant!! The other day one of her hair rubber bands had fallen out and was dangling loosely on a few strands of hair, and she started screaming and crying "IT'S A BUG! IT'S A BUG!" and was almost in tears before I figured out what she was talking about and showed her that it was not a bug... This means that Chris' job as bug killer has now multiplied significantly.

Care Package!

I don't think that getting mail (that isn't bills or advertisements) will ever get old.

Kara sent a care package my way this past week, which I received yesterday (actually it didn't come yesterday, because yesterday was a Sunday, but I finally made my way down to the office to pick it up on Sunday).


  • I am going to just record some of my thoughts I had when opening the care package. Keep in mind, this is just the ramblings going through my head:
  • Awesome! GUMMY BEARS! IN LI HING MUI! *nom nom nom* And extra Li Hing Mui!! So excited.
  • What is this? A frame? There's a note attached here... The whole KJV Bible... I don't see a Bible in here? I'll keep looking through the box to see if I can find what she meant.
  • AHH!! Little bracelets for Sophia and Heidi!! How ADORABLE!!
  • How cute, Abigail picked out a crystal! And signed most of the notes. Cutie.
  • A clothespin that is painted? Why is there black painting on the clothespin?
  • So where is this Bible? Is she sending me a picture frame because we had talked about getting a photo wall started? Wait, there's some type of writing on here...
  • The Holy Bible? This thing in the frame is the entire Bible?? WOW!! That is AWESOME!!!!!! The note about micrometers makes much more sense now...
  •  Hey!! This clothespin is a bride and groom! That is the cutest thing I have ever seen.
So there you have my collection of thoughts. Below are pictures of the entire care package and a close up of the clothespin. The gummy bear bag was significantly fuller but by the time I took the picture I had already gorged myself on the gummy bears. Yum.  Apparently Li Hing Mui is dried powdered plum skins. Who would've thought?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sharing Works Both Ways?

Toddlers are brilliant. They really are. I think we generally underestimate them.

Sophia, even before Heidi was born, had the concept of sharing down pat. 

And what is amazing is how quickly they apply the concept to others. I mean, how often do you tell a toddler to share? Fairly often, but usually it is them who has to share. But as a self-focused people, we pick up pretty quickly that sharing means other people have to give ME a turn too. Just amazing. Sophia has told me on more than one occasion that I need to share with her.

As Heidi has gotten older and more interactive, Sophia has become more concerned with what toy belongs to who.

"Is this Heidi's? Or mine?"
"Well, she can share with me"
"This is mine but I can share with Heidi"
"Here Heidi, you play with this one"

Some toys are Heidi-specific, of course, like an O-Ball or a rattle, and Sophia's Bitty Baby doll, "Baby Anna", belongs to Sophia, but generally just about everything else is shared. 

This may become more challenging as Heidi actually gets more interactive and is interested in the same toys that Sophia has. Last night, Sophia had a bunch of her kitchen toys down on the floor and was playing with them, and Heidi had some interest in a cash register type toy. This upset Sophia, mostly because Heidi was not using it properly. Of course, Heidi was not given express permission to use it either. I talked with Sophia about sharing the toy, who promptly informed me that Heidi did not know how to play with. Yes, I responded. That is true. But maybe we should teach her how to play with it?

Sophia took this to heart, and was teaching Heidi all about how to use the toy. It was absolutely adorable. She is already a better big sister than I ever was.

It's funny to watch Heidi when Sophia enters a room. She recognizes her big sister and just loves her, and Sophia can make Heidi smile it seems much easier than I can. There is rarely a meal that goes by lately that doesn't involve silly interactions and laughing between the two of them.

Even Trouble is Cute...

A new habit has developed.

Kids are, of course, always trying to avoid getting in trouble. Because nobody likes to get into trouble.

She went through the "I love you" phase. You know the one. Where she knows she is in trouble and suddenly the cute factor is mega increased.  Snuggles, I love yous, all of it.

Now she's in the phase where she is blame-shifting.  If she is in trouble, she reverts to "Well, Papa and Daddy said 'stupid'. We don't say 'stupid'. That's a bad word".

Who knows the last time Papa or Daddy said 'stupid'. But they did. That one time. And they should be in trouble too, right? Because they said a bad word.

This gives us the great opportunity to talk about forgiveness, and what it means to truly forgive somebody, like Jesus forgave our sins. When we forgive somebody, we don't bring it up over and over again, just like Jesus when he forgives our sins.

But they still said stupid.


There's something inside of me that snaps whenever one of the kids gets sick (or... usually... both). It's like I am somehow personally responsible for allowing the germ to invade their body, and I turn into this type of crazy germophobe and work tirelessly to scrub the house of any remaining offenders. I remind myself of the mom in the beginning of Mom's Night Out (if it seems like I reference that movie a's probably because I do).

Sophia got pink eye. I was giving Sophia and Heidi a bath together on Friday night when I noticed some yellowish gunk in the corner of Sophia's eye. I washed her eye, and didn't think too much of it because we had just eaten dinner and she is, after all, 2.

The next morning (Valentine's Day) we woke up and were having breakfast when I noticed the characteristic-of-pink-eye stuck-to-your-face eyelashes with yellow goop and a red eyeball.


So I started instant hand sanitization police mode. Every time Sophia even touched her face I was there with a giant squirt bottle of hand sanitizer.  I purchased the Costco-sized container of Clorox wipes and started scrubbing every inch of the house from floor to ceiling. I bought Lysol spray and made sure every other surface was once again sanitized. We started antibiotic drops and scrubbed everything before and after. I was convinced that Heidi would have it because I had given them that bath together the night before but so far she has escaped (it's now Thursday... we might be free!!). All I could think of was pink eye germs floating around in that bath tub water, being splashed up in the air and settling and procreating on the bath toys. Even the poor dog was not immune to the scrub down in the house, and had his fur brushed, nails done, and teethed brushed just to make sure he was as clean as possible. Laundry was done. And redone. In hot water.

And is there not a more effective way to get antibiotics to toddlers than by using eye drops? Come on. The first couple of times we tried to get them in her eyes with eyes open, and Sophia, who is typically quite docile, was NOT having it. I would be willing to bet that the effectiveness of the antibiotic decreases somewhat dramatically when the drops are all flushed out by tears... So then we tried the keeping the eyes closed thing and putting a drop in the inside corner of her eye, but of course when she had to open her eye she thrashed her head about so that the medicine did not actually go into the eye...but rather on her cheek. Or the carpet.  But we are officially at the end of the antibiotic cycle (5 days!!) so I am hoping enough got into the eye to stop the pink eye. It certainly looks clearer anyway.

But the rest of Valentine's Day was quite lovely. Sophia and Heidi made out like bandits, as the saying goes, and Sophia's day started off with tootsie pops (she has a thing for suckers) and we gave Heidi some Little Debbie red velvet heart cakes. For a 6 month old. It was even messier than it sounds. But I wasn't sure what else to give a baby - and she did seem to love it. Later that day we went to Oma and Papa's house to celebrate Oma's birthday, and Sophia was given another bag of candies with a neat card that had a Frozen bracelet with a bajillion stickers, and Heidi was given a very cute fleece sleeper (better idea than red velvet cakes). Nana and Papa had the same idea with the Valentine card and she got the same bracelet but with Minnie Mouse on it, as well as Minnie and Mickey pretzels galore!  Great-grandparents on both sides sent presents as well, and Sophia ended up with stickers from everybody, which she has been placing on just about everything. Lately I have been able to track her down just by following the sticker trail. The pictures below just show how we spent some of our quarantined time (don't worry, Sophia's eye had pretty well cleared up before I took the pics with her and Heidi).

Well, I must be going. Miss Heidi has decided that she is above napping today, and after a 20 minute nap all morning and a 20 minute nap all afternoon she is feeling somewhat needy of snuggles and Mommy time (I have tried convincing her that napping will help. We'll see if I can talk her into it).