Tuesday, June 7, 2011

surgery smurgery

well, it's been a month since i've posted and let's just say that the month of may pretty much went by in a blur.  in addition to the normal craziness, i had my sinus surgery on may 25th.  the surgery itself went rather well (or so the doc says). surgery done, and after being in recovery for a bit to ensure that i wasn't going to get nauseous/sick (as i tend to do with anesthesia), i was headed home.

i have no memory of the drive home and can only assume that i fell asleep.  i staggered into the house with gauze covering my nasal openings, which holden was not a fan of.  he shot me a few looks from the corner of his eye, but ultimately decided i was not mama with that on my nose and steered clear, which was just as well considering i couldn't have picked him up.  (side note: i did get some minor slack on permission to pick him up since he was over the recommended 20 lb limit for me to lift, but doc okayed it with caution).  i was also not a fan of said gauze over my nose, as that is my main source of oxygen.  i HATE breathing through my mouth and found that it made my throat so dry, i would bolt upright out of sleep because it was like i couldn't breathe at all.  in fact, that was how i woke from the anesthesia, desperately searching for a nurse call button because i thought i couldn't breathe.  i was quite happy that i only needed to wear it for about 24 hours.

the next day is a haze of vicodin-induced sleep and eating and not much else.  ryan's mom had taken carter back to lima with her to get him out of the way, after he missed his last day of preschool for the year, which was a pizza party and summer birthday party, which included him.  it broke my heart that he couldn't go, but he had a fever and complaining of a sore throat and headache, so it was a no-brainer for any good mom to not let him go.  i think we were all more sad about it than he was though, and he was happy to be going to mimi's.

that next night, with holden in bed and me heading there soon, ryan went to help some friends who are remodeling a house they just purchased before moving into it.  he said he was going to be gone a couple hours.  in true male fashion, he was gone more like 5 or 6.  sadly, during that time, i started to feel not so good.  they sent me home with a prescription for anti-nausea medicine in case i had issues with the anesthesia, but since i didn't (and since i'm cheap) we didn't get it filled.  man i wish i had.

early the next morning, the vomiting started.  ryan went to get the anti-nausea medicine filled but it didn't seem to help.  i will spare you the details, but let's just say that i was sick all.day.long. and there was *stuff* coming out where you wouldn't want it to come out after just having sinus surgery.  ryan finally called the doctor and they phoned in a stronger anti-nausea medicine.  determined that we were going to lima that night, regardless of the circumstances, he loaded the car with necessary tools in case i got sick and off we went.  luckily, the second medicine worked and there was no more sickness.

we stayed in lima so we had helpers for our kids (and for me). i came back so i could go to my follow-up appointment, expecting the doc to vacuum out my packing, and give a quick once over to make sure all looked good.  well, he did start the vacuum, but soon i started to feel kinda weird.  like "am i going to pass out?" weird.  after a short break, in which i was assured that "some patients just do that with the suction" and given some smelling salts, we started back up.  and it came back.  worse this time, i was literally on the edge of consciousness.  my ears sounded like they were in a tunnel and my vision was going.  more smelling salts and the doctor telling me "you really almost passed out there" (ya think?).  after a bit more of the vacuum, thoroughly embarrassed and shaken, i finally got to go home.

a few hours later, i noticed some pain start, which i assumed was from my "cleaning" since the numbing agent had worn off.  by the next day, i was in so much pain, i was in tears and debating the ER.  a call to ryan to come home early from work and another call to the emergency doc on call, and ryan was headed back to target for another prescription for a stronger antibiotic for what presented to the doc as a sinus infection.  i had my doubts, but apparently it was affecting different sinuses than when i normally have them because the pain was by my left eye and i was convinced they had somehow punctured my brain and it was leaking.  but i digress...

a few days later now, and i am finally starting to feel like my old self again.  it should be noted that it will have been two weeks tomorrow since my surgery and i would really like to be feeling BETTER than my old self.  but hopefully with these complications out of the way, i will continue healing and be a brand new girl :-)  i have another follow-up appointment on friday.  let's hope i stay conscious.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

'nuff said

holden spit up on the couch.
carter looks up from the ipad (angry birds), shakes his head and says, "rude."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

turbinate trouble

as i've been in my feeling-like-poo-haze lately, i have not updated much on here (nor have i cleaned my house much or paid many bills that may or may not have been due a couple days ago ::shuffles::).  after catching up on my bills today that thankfully none of which had any late fees, i thought i would update about my sinuses.  i saw the ENT doctor last friday and FINALLY found out what's wrong with me! (well, what's wrong with my sinuses anyways).  it turns out my turbinates are too large.  if that's not an obvious explanation for you, here is my understanding of it:  there are apparently some boney things that are part of your nose/sinus area called turbinates.  mine are too big.  most likely they have been enlarged by years of allergies.  because they are too large, they are narrowing the passageways of my nose, making it difficult to breath through it, and are also blocking the drains for my sinuses, not allowing them to drain properly.

this is the list of symptoms that can be cause by enlarged turbinates:

  • Nasal congestion that alternates from one side of the nose to the other
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Feeling of pain and pressure that alternates from one side of the face to the other
  • Headaches
  • Poor sleeping caused by nasal drainage problems and/or dry throat
  • Snoring and possibly obstructive sleep apnea (removing the nasal obstruction does not usually end snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, but may reduce the severity of your symptoms)
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Occasional to frequent sinus infections

yea, i have them all except the snoring/sleep apnea.  so i will be having surgery on may 25th to correct this and HOPEFULLY i will get to getting better sleep, having more energy and generally feeling like a human :-)

note:  the doc is keeping me on my allergy medicine cocktail for now to try and keep any infections away before surgery, but hopes to wean me off of some afterwards.  i think i will find myself at an allergist to get to the bottom of my mystery allergies that are so apparent, yet are so elusive as to what triggers them.  we shall see!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

baby babble

holden is officially a talker!  and the best part?  his first (and only so far) word--"mama." :-)

i can't tell you how happy this makes me.  carter's first word was "ball," followed by the typical "dada."  i know babies usually always say dada first.  but not my little fella.  i knew he was a keeper :-)

now his "whining" is takes the form of "maaaaaammmmmaaaaaaaa...moooom..maaaaaamma," which is bittersweet because i LOATHE whining, but he is after all saying my name, so.....

Friday, April 22, 2011

sinuses: this is WAR!!

i am sure at some point in my life, i woke up in the morning feeling refreshed, rested and ready to take on the day.  i do not, however, remember any such day.  i am not a morning person and doubt i ever will be.  but looking back on the many recent years of my life, i wake up most days feeling like total crap.  i usually sleep until carter (or holden, although it's almost always carter) wakes up.  as he walks into my room to announce "it's 7," as he does every day, i typically just want to cry.

as i pry open my eyes, and often before i am even able to do that, i feel the headache.  UGH, again?!?  my face is often so puffy i am able to see my cheeks out of my peripheral vision and my face throbs.  clearly, there is a problem here.  unfortunately, it has been going on for so long that it has just become part of my life--suck it up and gimp through the day, always just managing instead of performing at my best.  i get "sick" often--mostly cold and sinus issues, but they drag me down even farther.  my mother-in-law always seemed to have similar issues and finally found out she had polyps in her sinuses and a crooked nose to blame and had surgery (today) to correct it.  motivated by this, and her encouragement, i realized this has to stop.

then came the next issue, which is scheduling any type of appointment for myself.  this is near impossible since ryan rarely has his schedule for more than a week at a time and it changes from day-to-day.  my most recent dentist appointment had to be rescheduled 3 times, and at that point it starts to become a bit embarrassing.  finally, i was able to schedule (and keep!!) an appointment for a sinus CT today.  my family doctor called with a report that it indeed showed some thickening of the walls from chronic infection.  i have an appointment with an ENT doctor next friday to find out what needs to be done about it.  i am pretty much scared to death of that surgery, but something has GOT to give here.  REALLY hoping they have an answer for me!

Monday, April 18, 2011

new recipes success!

in my new cooking inspiration, i have decided to try at least one new recipe each week.  so far, i've made 5 new recipes and 4 were keepers and 1 was not so much.  most of the new recipes i am trying are coming from old cooking magazines that my mom gave me YEARS ago that have been sitting under my microwave stand.  since we are getting rid of said microwave stand, it has become necessary to get rid of the stuff on/under/in it.  i decided to go through them, tear out the recipes i'd like to try, and then just throw the rest of it away--takes up way less space that way.

the first one i tried was called "nutty peach bread"--yum, right?  well, i didn't really think so.  it was ok and we nibbled on it for a few days, but the bulk of it went in the trash, along with the recipe.  in defense of the recipe, i did not use any nuts (just not my fav thing) and used peaches from a can.  i just thought it was kinda blah, and that, my friends, is not worth the calories.

since then, i have successfully made ham and cheese quiche (thanks to a friend who served it at a baby shower), cranberry-orange muffins, brownies and cheesy sausage penne and they will all be added to my stash!  i made the cheesy sausage penne and immediately put it in the freezer.  last night i heated it up, my brother came over for dinner, and we all thought it was super yummy!  i am sharing the recipe for anyone who wants to give it a whirl.

cheesy sausage penne

1 pound bulk italian sausage
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 pkg (1 pound) penne or medium tube pasta
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
4 green onions, sliced
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

in a large skillet, cooke the sausage and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  stir in spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil.  reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  in a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and onions.

in a greased shallow 3-qt baking dish, layer half of the pasta and sausage mixture.  dollop with half of the cream cheese mixture; sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.  repeat layers.  bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

NOTE: i used 2-8x8 dishes instead, since that size works better for my fam and it worked great, making two dinners.  also, since mine started from frozen, it took about twice that long to thoroughly heat.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

holden's surgery

we spent yesterday morning at a branch of cincinnati children's hospital having holden's hypospadias repair surgery.  for those that aren't familiar, the short version is that hypospadias is when the pee-hole is not in the correct place of the penis.  carter actually had the same condition and has had the repair surgery twice (only because the first one came undone).  there are many varying degrees of hypospadias.  in the worst cases, the hole can be behind the testicles, which requires multiple surgeries to correct.  luckily both of my boys had very mild cases, where the hole was only misplaced by a fraction of an inch.  to correct this, it only requires an outpatient surgery (unless there is another factor, such as prematurity, which requires an overnight stay for observation after anesthesia, like carter had for his first surgery).

anyways, background aside, the surgery went great.  we opted to have the surgery at an outlying campus of cincinnati children's instead of the main campus simply because it's a little closer for us.  surgery was scheduled for 7:30 am, with us arriving at 6:30 am.  everything went so well, that we were on our way home at 10:30 am!  here is a picture of my little dude before surgery.

he woke up well from anesthesia, which is always a concern.  even with carter, he always woke up really crabby and was hard to control.  holden woke up great, which isn't so much of a surprise since he is a happy waker-upper anyways.  so far he has been doing great, just a little extra sleepy.  our main problem has been with the fact that he has diarrhea from being on antibiotics for weeks now trying to get rid of his stubborn ear infections.  this is a problem for obvious reasons.  we have already had to change the dressing around his penis multiple times and we weren't supposed to mess with it at all.  however, once it gets "dirty" it has to be done.  he has been great about taking all the medicines he has and hopefully they will help him heal quickly!

he has a stent in to keep the hole open while it heals, which means frequent diaper changes because he is always wet.  he will have that taken out next tuesday and then can resume normal activity.  in the meantime, he can't do any straddle toys, which means NO JUMPEROO :-/  and we can't even carry him on our hips, which presents another challenge trying to tote my 21+ pound dude around.  all in all, everything has gone great so far and we are hopeful his recovery will continue to go well and he will be back to normal in a week or so.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

saturday morning bait and switch

my rant for the day is about aerobics class.  we belong to a gym like 30 seconds away, that also has childcare, which has been great for me to go workout.  the classes are all free and are drop-in style, which i what i do the most.  i went today for a scheduled hip hop aerobics class that i have attended before and loved.  when i got there, it was a different teacher and she is doing zumba.  now don't get me wrong, i like zumba and have attended that class as well, but when you go expecting one thing and get another, it's not cool.  i also realize that things come up at the last minute, but it seemed as though this was a planned sub and a note at the gym announcing the change for the week would have been helpful.  but oh well, now we're doing zumba.

so she turns up the music and off we go.  and i mean she REALLY turns up the music.  like, hurts your ears loud.  luckily, there was an instructor from another class in there and she went up and just turned it down-LOL.  after a couple songs, the girl thought it would be "fun" to turn around and face the class instead of the mirror.  now, i was a dance teacher for many years and this is something that is totally okay to do...with one requirement--if you are facing the class, you (as the teacher) must do everything opposite, so as to mirror the people doing it.  i'll bet you can guess where this is going...people going every which way.  some going left, while others go right, and many just flailing around because they don't know which way to go.  instead of realizing and correcting, she giggled and continued this throughout the whole song.  soooooooo irritating!

on saturday mornings, the classes are always super full (for obvious reasons) and the mirror always fogs up.  she thought this, too, was hilarious and continued to wipe it down after EVERY song to try and see herself.  it fogged up again within seconds EVERY time, yet she didn't seem to get the memo.

little things like this went on the whole class and while she seemed rather adept at the "smile and nod," she was lacking in some basic skills.  the kicker for me was when we went to stretch and she was doing stretches with her weight on the wrong leg, which could actually cause injury.  uurrrrrgggghhh!!!  is it too much to ask for aerobics instructors to be at least mildly qualified?  i really hope she has another "day" job...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

recipe re-do

for my mother-in-law's birthday, which was march 3rd, i was struggling to come up with something to get for her.  then i got the idea to reorganize her recipes for her!  now i use the term "reorganize" ridiculously loosely, as they were in no particular order.  this is what they looked like

they were literally just all shoved into a box, with no particular order. (and this photo is after she went through them all and got rid of the ones that she has never made and has no interest in making) as you can imagine, when you tried to find a recipe, it would take FOREVER to find it.  a couple times of helping her find a recipe and i was thoroughly annoyed.  anyways, what a perfect idea i thought!  it has taken me about a month (of working on it here and there) but i am finally done!  

i was unsure of the best way to organize them, but i decided on typing them up and putting them into a binder with plastic sleeves for each page, so she can take out a recipe she is using and not have to worry about spilling or splashing on it.  (note:  after typing the first 20 or so recipes, i contemplated quitting, and was debating her sanity as i had typed 3 chocolate cake recipes and 3 brownie recipes.  but i pushed through and here is the finished product!)  this is the cover:

there was supposed to be a border around the edges of the cover, but for some reason it refused to print that way and so i gave up trying ::shakes fist at printer::

here is a look of the divided and organized book (disregard my cute slippered feet, as i was too lazy to move and simply took the picture on my lap :-P)

most of the pages are of recipes that i typed up, which took the majority of the time to do, and then copied the file onto a disk so she will have that as well

some of them i just copied on our printer because there were multiple recipes on one page (look how old this one is!)

i got dividers with pockets so that she can put the recipes that she hasn't made but would like to try in them.  that way, if she's feeling liking making something different for dessert (which apparently is the only thing she might like to try, as all of the recipes of this category were desserts except 3 :-P), she can just pull them out of the pocket in that section

i am rather pleased with the finished product and hope that she likes it!

Monday, April 4, 2011


seriously wishing there was a military school to send carter.  someone needs to beat some good behavior into that child and i just don't know if i have it in me.  he has just been so hit or miss lately.  the good days are that of a typical 3 year old, mostly good behavior with a few whines thrown in.  which makes the bad days that much worse.  the only word i can think of that describes him on those days is hysterical--like actually in a state of hysteria.  there is no reasoning with him, no snapping him out of it, and usually not even any talking to him, since as soon as you speak a word he screams as loud as possible over the top of you.  he just screams and thrashes and throws himself down.

he went through a phase similar to this a while back and it was awful.  now he is bigger and quite frankly, meaner.  today he was freaking out about having to picking up the toys in his room and he ended up kicking me and throwing a plastic grocery basket from his kitchen in holden's face.  obviously that type of behavior is not acceptable, but what to do?  i feel like we have tried all the "nice" parenting methods and another day like that and he will be getting a drill sergeant instead of a mommy until he can get in line.  OY!  thank goodness for alcohol...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

mom confession: i starve my child

in true first-time parent fashion, we made a few mistakes with carter.  one of the biggest was allowing him to choose what he eats at meals.  i feel like it started innocently enough when he was a baby and not able to eat the things that we were having.  but then it just kept going.  not really out of conscious choice even, it was just easy and sort of happened.

fast forward and the kid is now a few months away from being 4 and it's high time he learns to expand his menu.  honestly, as a family, we are on the picky side anyways so it's not like the kid is going to be forced to eat outlandish things.  we are talking simple things here--tacos, hamburgers, grilled chicken.  one of the biggest obstacles we have faced since he started eating food is that he does not like pasta.  at all.  like none.  no macaroni and cheese, no spaghetti, no lasagna, nothing.  which does limit us somewhat, but oh well.

so we have started either making him eat what we are having if it is something reasonable that we know he has eaten in the past.   i refuse to force him to eat thing that i KNOW he just doesn't like because i had to as a child and well, it's just mean.  if it's something we know he doesn't like, like pasta, we will give him 2 choices of alternatives that are also off of his normal menu, but he usually does have to at least try and take one bite of the pasta anyways.   if he doesn't eat, then he doesn't eat.  and let me tell you, he has not eaten a meal many times in the recent weeks.  it's no sweat off my back if i don't have to cook something extra for him anymore.  if he wants to go to bed hungry, then so be it.  if he chooses not to eat what is offered, he can have water only until he either eats it or it's morning.  so there.  we are meanies and my child is starving.

side note:  one would think that skipping so many meals might reduce one's weight a bit, but that hasn't seemed to be the case for my 51-pound 3 year old :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

monday funday: cardboard car tutorial

O.M.G. will this cold weather EVER end???  i simply cannot take much more of my 3 year old cooped up in this house.  he NEEDS to be outside to play to get this energy out and there doesn't seem to be an indoor activity that quite meets the same need.  today i noticed our lazy inside slump and decided to mix it up.  the first thing i did was retrieve the giant box of toys that holden got for christmas that we just put out there until he was actually playing with toys.  a few new items and we had a happy baby! (as well as a happy 3 year old who seems to enjoy the baby toys as much as anyone).  the giant box i was left with reminded me of a project i had just read about in a parenting magazine, so off we went on our journey of making the box into...a CAR!

first i taped up the box completely

then i used a box cutter to make the windshield (by cutting off half the top and folding) and then cutting out the opening to see through.  i also cut out a "door" to make it easier to get in.

next i used the box cutter to make "wheels" out of styrofoam plates

and added them to the car

then came the steering wheel, also made from a styrofoam plate.  i even re-purposed a plastic piece that i just got from taking one of holden's toys out of it's box to attach it so it actually turns!

here's carter taking it for a test drive (whoops--the steering wheel needed attached a little better i guess)

there was even room for a little passenger (my niece claire) :-)

we almost forgot to put on the headlights!  the article recommended using red plastic cups, but since we didn't have any of those, styrofoam bowls it was.

the last thing to do was decorate and make it more fun.  carter thought it was pretty fun to have his hand painted and then put it on the back.  then after painting for about 20 seconds, carter left the job to me to finish and so i just brushed some color all over

not the most attractive thing i've ever seen (or made for that matter) but it added some variation to our day.  if only we could get some better weather, because carter would very much like to "drive his car to the park." :-D

Friday, March 25, 2011

crazytown confirmed

you ever have one of those days where pretty much everything goes wrong?  of course you have, haven't we all?  sometimes when it happens, it just makes me laugh because there's not much else you can do.  the day is kind of like a joke on you anyways, so why not giggle?  wednesday was one of those days for me, but there was no laughing.

i was already having a hard time because it was the day that we lost preston, and was hopeful for some distractions throughout the day.  i should have been careful what i asked for.  first, i opened the mail from the day before to find out we are getting audited by the city of columbus.  really?  it's not like we claimed a bunch of things and we even had to pay them an extra $60 that had already been done.

as i was trying to scan the letter from the city of columbus to send to our tax guy, (yes, we did pay $250 to have our taxes done only to have them messed up enough to warrant an audit apparently) the scanner/printer wouldn't work.  it recommended i uninstall and then reinstall the software.  after i uninstalled it, of course the disk is nowhere to be found.  really?

in addition, our internet hadn't been working properly for a day or so, so i was on the verge of throwing something (read:computer--which would have been very bad since it's a relatively new mac) across the room in frustration.

next i loaded up both kiddos and headed out on a mission to find a replacement microwave, since ours bit the dust the day before.  come to find out that best buy didn't have a single black (or black/stainless) microwave in stock (at any of their columbus area stores).  really?  how can you have NONE?  so now i have to wait a week to have a microwave--UGH!

then as we were shopping for said microwave, i noticed holden literally trying to shove his fingers into his ear and then remembered that i saw him playing with his ear the day before and he hadn't finished his nighttime bottle (which is rare).  called the pedi for a sick visit and turns out he has infections in both ears again (since he had the double ear infection last month also).  really?!

we live in ohio, so of course they were calling for storms.  friends around the region reported hail and other storm-like behavior, but we really just got some wind and it sprinkled for about 10 minutes or so.  apparently we had just enough wind, however, to rip open our new storm door and bend the rod that has the closing mechanism.  REALLY?!?

then i got the mail for that day and found a letter from my family doctor, telling me that her cancer had returned (she's been battling breast cancer) and she would be on permanent medical leave so she could focus on her health and her family. REALLY?!?!?!

at this point, i was pretty much in tears.  there was no laughing to be had that day and i was at the end of my rope.  i found myself staring at the clock, counting down minutes until hubby got off work and could come rescue me.  the hope that the next day would be better allowed me to pull it together and last until he made it home.  OY!  why does everything fall apart at the same time?  thankfully, yesterday was much better and all of these issues are slowing working themselves out.  this, too, shall pass....this, too, shall pass...this, too, shall pass...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

missing my baby

i cannot believe that it has been 4 years since i lost my preston.  for those who don't know the story, the short version is that carter was an identical twin and we lost his brother, preston, after surgery to separate their blood vessels in the placenta at about 19 1/2 weeks.  i miss him every day and i never even got to hold him.  i still remember the moment when all of the sudden i couldn't breathe and had what the hospital said was a panic attack.  but after hearing the news the next morning that his heartbeat was gone, i am confident that it was actually my body's reaction to losing him.  i still feel like i can't breathe every time i think of it.  although it would have been difficult having twins, i would have done anything in my power to keep him.  in the end we did the only thing we could have done in order to keep either one of them.  preston made the ultimate sacrifice, allowing carter to live.  i look forward to the day when i will see him and finally be able to hold my baby.  mommy loves you and misses you always, my sweet boy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

tool of the day: potato masher

when we were registering for our wedding, we pretty much took the scanner and registered for about anything we could think of needing.  we were living in an apartment at the time and didn't know how we would decorate our eventual house, so that left a lot of kitchen things for the registry.  one of those items was a potato masher.  for years, it hung out in my utensil crock, pretty much (and by that i mean literally) gathering dust.  in the past few years i have found uses for it, but it got kinda crazy today.

first i made homemade strawberry jam, which required me to use the masher to crush up the berries.  then i made banana bread, using the masher to smash the bananas.  next up was 2 batches of loaded baked potato chowder (YUM--one of our fave meals!), using the potato masher for it's intended purpose--mashing potatoes!

pretty crazy when i think of all those years of never once being used and today i had to wash it twice to reuse it!  anyone else have and/or use a potato masher?

(side note: in addition to these projects requiring the potato masher, i also made a giant bowl of mashed potatoes, did 4 loads of laundry, and ran and unloaded the dishwasher twice.  all that after going to a killer aerobics class this morning and having my 16-month old niece in addition to my own children.  i am so exhausted i can barely move, but what a productive day!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

baking buddy

lately i have felt "called" to do more in the kitchen.  bake more, cook more, explore more, etc.  i have been recipe hunting a bit and soon will begin my plan of cooking at least one new thing every week.  tonight, i was in the mood to bake and carter decided he wanted to help.  for those who don't know, anytime a 3 year old offers to "help" you can pretty much count on it actually being more work for you.  however, the sooner he learns these skills, the sooner he can bake things for me and save me the time in the future.  (plus, his future wife i'm sure will love me for it :-P)

carter chose funfetti cupcakes and i submit to you all, that you are NEVER too old for funfetti cupcakes.  if you think you are, you are lying to yourself.  we shared the duties of adding ingredients and then got the mixer out.  tonight was the first time i've let carter help with that part and he thought it was pretty cool.
(note: despite the horrible angle in which my husband took this picture, i assure you that i am NOT pregnant)

i even got brave and let him help me put them in oven, letting him put the tray on the front of the rack and then i slid it back.  no one got burned, so i'd say it was a success.  out they came and carter chose chocolate frosting, which i think is kinda weird for funfetti but who am i to judge?  i really don't even like frosting that much and would much rather just eat the cake.
(see those un-paper towels in use?!)

holden didn't get to help today, but he stayed happy and was too cute to not snap a picture of him too :-)


today is the first day of spring and the one and only word to describe that is YAY!!!!  as usual for ohio, this has been a long, cold winter and i think everyone in the area is ready for some nice weather, us included.  we have spent way too much time trapped in this house.  this winter wasn't even a good winter, as every time we had snow, it was hovering around 0 degrees, which is much too cold for little ones to be outside playing.  to make our house even worse in the winter, we keep our blinds down and curtains drawn almost all the time because our windows aren't the best and let in so much cold air that we'd be broke paying our heat bill otherwise.  off and on for the past week, it's been nice enough to have the windows open and it has been fantastic!  so much natural light and air getting in does wonders for the soul.

this time of year is also great because we get our tax refund money and get to decide what to do with it.  let's face it, most of it goes towards debt, but we do spend some of it.  our first springification (my very own word--nice, huh?) project was today, which is fitting for the first day of spring.  we decided to add more to the natural light and air available to our house by adding a storm door.  after a little research, we found the one we wanted at lowe's and picked it up on our way home from church today.  silly me forgot to take a "before" picture, but here is our new improved front door, complete with storm door.

To top it off, today was a great day to utilize it!  we had debated having it installed, but being the bargain-savvy (read: cheap) person that i am, i was confident we could do it, and alas, we did a fantastic job and installed it with no problems.  i love that it has a retractable screen so the glass when you look out is a clear view and then you can pull the screen down for some fresh air.  i think it's a great addition to our house and a great way to ring in spring!

what projects are you planning for spring?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

luck o' the irish

as a general rule, i have pretty bad luck.  murphy and i do not get along so well, as in--whatever i expect the opposite happens.  today, i am feeling pretty lucky.  carter started in early january with a random eye tic of his left eye.  a trip to the pediatrician told us it was most likely a transient tic, which is a normal one that appears in childhood and then goes away on its own.  he did have a sinus infection at the time, so we wanted to clear that up first to make sure it wasn't somehow causing it.  a few weeks later, the right eye started to tic also.  determined that this wasn't normal, back to the pediatrician we went.  again, the same answer though of a harmless transient tic.  they did do a quick eye exam and declared his eyesight fine.

fast forward a few more weeks up to about a week and a half ago and he started complaining of headaches and pointing to the back of his head.  not sure what the cause was, we treated with tylenol when he complained, but soon noticed it really wasn't going away.  then as he was riding with my mother-in-law in the car, he told her he could see "that bouncy ball in my eye again."  she asked him what color it was and he said brown.  this alarmed her because she has had ocular bleeds and said that is just what they look like. time for a call to an eye doctor.

so yesterday i made the call to a pediatric opthamologist that a family member had seen.  they said they were scheduling out to the end of may and i said okay.  however, after they asked the reason we wanted the appointment, i was put on hold briefly and then told they needed to see him "tomorrow at 8:30 am," (which is today) and expect to be there about 2 hours.  okay, FREAK OUT TIME!  my mind raced and i spent the night pretty worried.

this morning, we headed off to children's hospital for his appointment.  after only an hour, the doctor determined that carter needed glasses.  he is nearsighted in both eyes, but the biggest problem was that he has a pretty significant astigmatism in his left eye, but none in his right.  the doctor thought this could surely be causing his headaches and the glasses should help correct that.  he didn't see any neurological problems, everything else looked fine and the tics, he agreed were most likely just transient ones.  he will see us back in 3 months to make sure his left eye is seeing well enough so it doesn't shut down and to make sure he didn't miss anything else.  whoosh.  let out breath.  thank the Lord!

so next door we went to pick out carter's first glasses.  i must admit, he looked pretty dang cute in them.  we didn't think to take a picture of him in what will be his new glasses, but couldn't resist snapping this one during his exam.

so many people would look at this situation and be bummed that their child now has to wear glasses.  but today, for me, i am feeling pretty lucky.  i am super happy that there wasn't anything major wrong with my baby and am glad that he will be able to see better!  happy st. patrick's day to this partially irish girl :-)

back in the saddle

holy smokes, have i been MIA.  the first thing that took me out was getting sick.  very, very sick :-/  i became BFFs with my toilet for about a day and then started to feel better, although tired and sore.  virus tried to come back a day later, but i sent it packing, with strict instructions for it to never return.  thank goodness no one else in my family got it!  if i didn't have a low-grade fever, i would have almost thought it was food poisoning, but i guess it was just my good quarantine skills that kept the rest of the family healthy.

after being sick, i was behind the 8 ball for a few days and then we went to lima since ryan is on vacation ALL WEEK!  a nice little visit up there and then the days have just flown by.  probably *because* ryan is on vacation ALL WEEK :-)

alas, i am back in the saddle and hope to be better about blogging!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

mommy's weekend off

my mom came up with an idea to buy tickets to see Shrek the Musical for my sister, sister-in-law and me for our birthdays this year (not that they are all together at all--november, september, march and july-- but celebrating them at the same time anyways).  since it was this past saturday, ryan took the boys and went to stay with his mom for reinforcements :-)  they left friday afternoon, which meant that i had the rest of friday all.to.myself.  holy smokes!  i have to say that as much as i love my husband and children, it was glorious to have some time to myself in my house.  i couldn't quite justify being *totally* lazy, so i cleaned for a couple hours and then promptly parked on the couch for the rest of the night.

...earlier in the day, however, i was heading out to meet a girl from craigslist to sell some diapers.  as i was getting ready to walk out the door, i couldn't find my wallet.  after a moment's thought, OH NO! it's in the diaper bag--which is on it's way out of town with ryan :-/  luckily, he was able to drop it off at my mom's for her to bring to cleveland with her the next day, but in the meantime i had nothing--no money, no credit cards, no ID, no ATM card--nothing.  i scrounged through our files and found an old credit card that hadn't even been activated yet just so i would have something in case i needed gas or whatever, plus i was headed to meet her at bye bye baby and wasn't sure i could escape without buying anything ::shuffles::

when i called ryan to tell him about the wallet fiasco, we also discovered another oversight--carter had no shoes.  they left at nap time so the boys could sleep in the car and ryan just carried him out.  i will say that i reminded him to pack shoes and he said he would just put them in the car, and then forgot.  so now we have my wallet traveling an hour and half away from me, while my 3 year old son is expected to make it through a weekend with no shoes. (he was able to borrow some from our nephew) i guess that's what happens when mommies decide to have some time off :-)

side note: shrek the musical was SO good!  even though we were seated amongst a large group of middle schoolers...and there was approximately 3 inches of leg room for my 12 inches of leg...and pretty sure the kid sitting in front of us had ADD because he was unable to stop moving and pushing his chair back (into our kneecaps)...which left my sister and i alternating between who was gonna shove his chair back with our knees the whole time...

side side note: the theater we went to was a combination of multiple theaters and i REALLY would like to know what was going on in the other theater because based on the people in the lobby, it was some sort of pimps and hoes party...

here is carter wearing his shrek ogre ears that i brought him back

Thursday, March 3, 2011

journey into the great "green" beyond

i do not consider our family "green" by any means, but i have always been a little conscious of the earth and the things we are doing to it.  when we moved back to columbus, i joined a great moms group who introduced me to a few easy changes to make our lives a little greener.  the bonus to almost all of these things, is that in addition to helping save the planet, they also save you money!  woot!

the biggest change was cloth diapers.  with carter, using cloth diapers did not even enter my mind.  cloth diapers to me were pins and plastic pants and dealing with the stuff that goes into diapers (eeeeewww!).  but as i quickly learned, a good number of my new mommy friends were using cloth diapers, and (gasp!) they were WAY cooler than the cloth diapers of ole.  without going too much into the whole cloth diaper tangent, let me summarize by saying they are super easy to use, super convenient, and let's face it, super cute!  here is a picture of holden wearing his first cloth diaper (look how skinny he was!)

i had to do some talking in order to convince my husband to give cloth diapers a try (and the convincing is ongoing because, well, my husband is weird and thinks kids can't roll over or crawl with a cloth diaper because they are bulkier than disposables, but i digress...).  anyways, so it shocked me when he suggested that we switch to cloth instead of paper towels.  suddenly, our roles were reversed.  i pretty much wanted nothing to do with cloth paper towels, or un-paper towels if you will.  however, we was willing to give cloth diapers a shot, so i thought i should give his idea of the un-paper towels a shot.  i searched our linen closet and found these, which we have been using for a few months now.
 if you're wondering what they are...well, they are washcloths with some sort of odd embroidering on the border that someone thought would be a great baby gift when carter was born.
i figured instead of taking up space in the closet, we finally had a potential use for these and not much to lose.  turns out, they are great!  it's just as easy to grab one of these instead of a paper towel and then i just throw them in with the regular wash, so it's not even any extra loads!  (i will say we still use *some* paper towels, because some things just need thrown away instead of thrown into the laundry with our clothes, but a HUGE amount less than before).  and again, saving money!

like i said, these have been working great, but let's face it, they are hideous.  so i ventured out on black friday to joann's because they had flannel for $1.29/yd and it seemed the perfect opportunity to make some cuter ones.  fast forward to today, and i have finally finished them (ok, so it's 3 1/2 months later, but better late than never right?).  so here are our new and improved un-paper towels
 i just LOVE them!  they are so much nicer and add a little "cute" to the kitchen instead of a little "hillbilly." :-P
the last way i'll touch on that we "greened" up our lives is by using vinegar to clean.  who knew that a little bit of vinegar could be so useful?  i now use my un-paper towels to wipe down my counters daily with a spray of 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water and i don't have to worry about all the chemicals getting on to surfaces where we prep food!  enter my husband again, who upon hearing this cynically asked "is it antibacterial?"  turns out, it is!  the pH of vinegar doesn't allow anything to live so bye bye bacteria and hello extra cash...AGAIN.

this is a journey that we've just started on and i am anxious to explore more ways to not only help the environment, but also help our wallet.  turns out, kermit was wrong, because (at least for some things) it IS easy being green!

what are some of your favorite "green" things you incorporate into your lives?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

raspberries, grapes, and elephants

my littlest man has learned the fine art of blowing raspberries.  he doesn't do it all the time, and of course never on command.  he does, however, have a superior ability to do it while he's eating.  "what's that you say mom?  you'd like some of these green beans sprayed all over you?  no problem!  consider it done!"  i should be happy that i can often get out of the way of the food spray, whereas with carter, he sneezed oatmeal on me every.single.morning...until he stopped eating oatmeal.

also in our food exploration, i got holden one of those mesh food teether things.  i loaded it up with grapes last night and gave it to him.  he stared at, flopped it around a few times and dropped it, clearly not impressed.

so i took my fingers and sqeezed a grape open and then stuck it in his mouth.  hmmm...this has potential.  after a couple minutes he was going to town and loving them.  can't wait to try some other things in there!  definitely glad i stripped him naked first though, as he ended up covered in grape juice.

big topic shift:  boys are loud.  they are so, so, so loud. i have no idea why everything they do has to be done at a decibel level that rivals attending a concert.  12 inches away from someone? better yell so they hear me!  getting out of bed?  better jump, thud, stomp stomp stomp!  opening a door?  better throw it open so as to scare the bejeezus out of whoever is on the other side (me)!  i think to myself, why are boys so loud?  and then i look at the biggest boy in the house (my husband) and the answer is clear.  he is just as loud.  i often hear tales of people complaining about their upstairs neighbors while living in an apartment, yet i get to experience the loud elephant stomps of my husband even when he is DOWNSTAIRS.  i see my cute little niece just cruising around, living life, making hardly a peep.  she pretty much gets swallowed whole in this house.  well, i'm off to practice banging cabinets open and closed so i can fit in...

Monday, February 28, 2011

silly storm

a thunderstorm (yes, in february) started shortly after carter went to bed last night.

carter: what was that noise that was so loud?
me: that was thunder
carter: well, can you turn it down?  it's too loud!
me: no, i can't turn it down, it's THUNDER!
carter:  well, you can at least turn down the microphone

gotta love 3 year olds :-)

side note: whenever there is a strong breeze, our outdoor welcome mat and porch furniture almost always end up in our yard (or the neighbor's yard).  last night we had like tornado-force winds and everything was perfectly in its place this morning.  strange, very strange...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

why in the hull?

let me start by saying that i LOVE popcorn.  it is one of my favorite foods.  especially since i have started my recent calorie-counting diet, i have been having popcorn as my nightly snack.  which bring up an important question...WHY does popcorn insist on having those stupid hulls?  and WHY do they always find their way into the space between your gums and teeth?  i have one stuck that has been bugging me like crazy.  i have flossed (many times) and feel like i am constantly trying to pick it out with my fingernail.  to no avail.  anyone know a good way to get them out?  cause my gum is killing me!

that's my rant for the day :-)  but on the topic of snacks, i have been struggling to come up with some good snacks that are low-calorie to keep me on track for my diet.  what are your favorites?

Friday, February 25, 2011

betty crocker, i am not

i really admire the people who are able to think about something yummy and then just whip it up.  i am perfectly capable of following recipes, but when it comes to conjuring them up on my own, not so much.  i reinforced that principle today when i tried to make peanut butter and jelly muffins, which i have been craving since a friend posted about making them on her blog.  she made them gluten-free and added extra protein powder and they turned out yummy.  i don't have any gluten-free materials, so i googled a basic muffin recipe and attempted to make it work with what i had, substituting healthier things when i could.  total FAIL :-/  it was kinda laughable really.  they were way more like a biscuit really and overall edible, but just not good.  they did earn one fan though in my 15-month old niece claire, who gobbled up 1 1/2, leaving only crumbs.  for those with a more picky palette (myself and carter), they didn't make the cut.  into the trash they went...  (side note: i am fairly certain once my boys are teenagers, things like this will be eaten regardless of non-gourmet quality)

i wonder if there is like a baking 101 class i can take.  like what ingredients make what happen.  because i hear about people "playing" with recipes to get them right, but i have no idea where to start.  they didn't turn out, so they are scrapped.  ah well, guess i'll focus on some more of my other talents...


yay!  i finally got around to starting my blog!  in addition to be a procrastinator, i have also been struggling with the concept that anyone might have an interest in anything i have to say.  well, we'll give it a go and see :-)

my name is erin.  i have been married to my husband ryan for almost 7 years and we have two beautiful boys, carter (3 1/2) and holden (5 1/2 months).  when i married my husband, i had to make some major adjustments to living with a man.  then came carter, and the adjustments continued.  now that we have added holden, i am faced with living with 3 MEN!  someone shoot me now.  there are so many differences other than the physical and i am so outnumbered.  so this blog will tell the tales of my life in all aspects, as attempt to wing this whole wife/motherhood/life as i go!