Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter Weekend Highlights

So I am finally getting around to posting! I thought I had better get on this before summer comes.

I am happy to say that keeping Mara up an extra hour has done wonders! The first night we did it, she slept from 9:30-6:30 without waking up! Last night she slept 8:30-7 and then slept another hour in bed with me. It is amazing. Hopefully-by just continuing the "hour up" routine and being strict on her diet, we will all be catching up on some sleep for awhile!

Here are some photos of our week:

First was the Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday with my parenting group. It was so cold outside-with wind gusts up to 40+ mph. But it was still fun! They filled the eggs with money and slips of paper that they could turn in for things like stuffed animals, coloring books, bubbles, etc. Very nice!
The girls were tired from all of this no sleep, so there were lots of tears. Analese had an especially hard time, and was either crying or demanding one thing or another-foot stomping and all!

But we survived :)

I know I have mentioned this before, but it's interesting the response that Analese gets from parents whose children are younger-such shock at her emotion! And the parents with older children? Don't even look her way :)

On Saturday: DYING EGGS!!

Do you think she is excited?

Sunday morning: Egg Hunt and Baskets

Found one!

The girls enjoyed their baskets full of art stuff, books and
Mara loves her new rain boots! She wears them every day, and I am looking forward to the next rainfall so we can test them out :)

Sunday afternoon: Going to Aunt Charlotte's House

aren't they both just beautiful?

The Egg Hunt:

So that was our day! I will admit that Easter is becoming a difficult holiday for us-much like Halloween in the amount of candy being pushed onto our children. When you have a child with food allergies, this is a nightmare! We do not give our girls candy, but do not refuse to let them have it if it is offered to them (or to Analese, I should say) This year we did find some jelly beans and gummi bears that Mara could have so that she wouldn't feel left out. That is always my fear for her, because as she gets older, there is going to be more and more things that she will miss out on. We hope that she may outgrow some of her food issues, but do not want to sit and wait for this to happen. I would rather be pleasantly surprised :)
The big family Easter hunt was a major stressor for me, as I wanted Mara to be able to participate and just have fun...without feeling singled out by having to only look for certain eggs or be limited to a certain section. That did not happen this year, as we brought metallic eggs filled with Mara-safe things and I had to trail behind her and throw out the eggs she picked up that she couldn't have. It worked this year-I hope we can find a better solution next year, as she will be older and wiser :) I have been told by many "that its just one day"....but remember what that one day was like as a child? I want both my girls to experience such excitement, and to never feel left out of things. There are plenty of other days for shouldn't be like that with family.
Anyway, I wanted to get these posted. I have so many posts started, and will try to finish them soon! This weekend will be filled with studying once again, as another web design project due. Only a month left of school!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Break

Sorry for the leave of absence, which was much longer then I had expected. I had a "break" from school last week, but also had two big projects due not much of a break! I cannot believe I only have about a month left of school, and then a much needed break until September!

Mara has been the biggest cause of my absence. We are starting to believe that her reflux may be coming back, as she is once again having major sleep issues, waking up anywhere between 6-10 times a night. Yes, thats 6-10 times a night, which comes out to be about once an hour. She wakes up just screaming, her whole body tense and then she goes limp...she barely wakes up anymore (although we are not so lucky). I am exhausted, as I run into her room as soon as I hear her in hopes of preventing both girls from waking up. Isn't this the time when I should be catching up with some sleep in order to prepare for those long nights of newborn feedings?

So we are making some changes to see if we can help her sleep better, and are watching her diet once again. I have a feeling it has to do with the flatbread she has bits of dried onion in it, which we usually try to avoid with her (as it causes her eczema to flair up) but let her have it now and then. Last week she ate a bit too much of it, as she loves it with this chicken salad I made for her. I hope thats it anyways! It could also be due to just having the stomach virus just causing her digestive system to become all screwy once again. Who knows!
We have also changed our dinnertime, pushing it to earlier so that she can be up for one hour before we start our bedtime routine. The longer she is upright, the better chance she'll have to digest and keep the food down.
Of course, if this doesn't work, we'll have to figure something else out soon. We all need to get some sleep soon.

Anyway-just a little explanation as to where I have been! Analese is sick with a head cold right now that is quickly moving to her chest, so she has been keeping me busy as well :)

I hope your holiday went well, and you were able to spend some quality time with your family! I will hopefully be able to post about ours tomorrow with some photos :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St PINK's Day!

That is according to Ms. Analese, who wants nothing to do with the color green! As I tried to explain what today was, she kept saying "no, no, no...PINK, PINK PINK. It's Happy St. Pink Day!"

I thought she was rather clever.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, as Analese and I were able to escape this nasty stomach virus. Mara was hit pretty hard...just when we thought she was on the mend, the vomiting would begin again. Monday night she blessed me by vomiting right in my face. So not fun, and I still can not believe I didn't vomit right back on her!

After all that vomiting, she refused to eat. Anything. It took her 3 days of no vomit and no food before she began swallowing the food she put into her mouth. I kept her fluids up, but the last thing we need is our Mara to not eat!

Anyway, I am really behind, as Mara has become very attached to her mama these days. I am once again getting used to doing things one-handed! Night-time has been hard, and she has been up every few hours just yelling out for me until she ends up in our bed. It's funny, one night I told her how mommy really needed to get some sleep that night, and how I needed them to both sleep until morning. Well, Mara was up her now usual times, but yelled for "Daddy" every time. We couldn't help but laugh :)
So this is short, as Greg is in there now putting the girls to bed, and all I hear is "Mommy" over and over I am sure to get a visitor soon! Hopefully I will be able to catch up with everyone in the next few days!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Invasion

Our home has been invaded.





Mara was the first to get it. Saturday night we were driving home when she began vomiting in her carseat. Of course, our first concern was that she ate something she shouldn't have at the reception we had left. That is the downside of food allergies! It turns parents into very paranoid people :)

But as it dragged on into Monday, we suspected a virus, which was later confirmed when we learned that her playdate buddy on Friday is also sick with the same thing. I felt bad, because we were so relieved to finally have some reassurance!

Anyway, tonight Analese and I went to a meeting about a homeschooling co-op starting up, and I came home to one hysterical little girl and her pukey daddy.

It is going to be a very long night, and even longer day if he is still sick tomorrow! Have I mentioned that my darling husband does not handle illness very well?

Of course I have a ton of schoolwork to do....please cross your fingers that Analese and I are able to stay healthy!

I'll be back when I can.....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Photos- Our Week so Far

Monday's weather was beautiful!
Sisterly Love at the Park.

Tuesday : Sunny but very Windy
My sweet kitty, enjoying some rays

Wednesday: Very Windy and Rainy
One grumpy little girl with a head cold.
This is the position she takes if she knows I am getting a tissue :)

And Thursday: Beautiful, sunny spring day
Our last art class involves playing with shaving cream.
Mara leaves class- head to toe in hives.
No photos of that!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pregnancy Flipouts and Awards!

Thanks for listening and helping me through my very first pregnancy flipout! Well, OK, the first flipout that I have actually posted about! You have to love all the lovely hormones coursing through your body and all its magical power over your ability to think rationally :)

I do want to clarify that being a perfect mother is never a worry for me....I already missed that boat a long time ago! I don't want to be perfect, as I think it teaches the girls more to see my imperfections and how I deal with them (Danielle-I think you wrote a post about that, which I totally agree with). I do think that just my overall stress helped contribute. As I thought about it more, I realized exactly what the triggers were. Analese, my sweet intense child, has been having such strong emotional outbursts lately, and some days it seems like all my energy has gone towards helping her get through them. When I think about what it will be like when the baby comes and I am more limited, I do worry that I won't be as available to her as much as I am now. We seem to be making some progress in helping her through, so I am hopeful that this will not be as much of an issue in the next few months....not like it is now.

But we are seeing improvements. It's funny, she will "guide" Mara when she is upset, just as I often guide her. I heard her telling Mara "See, look! You used your words and NOW I understand why your sad. Good job Mara! Now I can help you!"

Of course, Mara, being the younger sister, knows all the right buttons to push and boy, does she pus them! I have been helping Analese to understand this-that Mara just wants her attention, and that if she walks away, Mara will come to her. This morning Analese was trying to ask Mara if she wanted to play a game with her, and Mara just sat there, refusing to look or acknowledge her. I was so proud of Analese, who, after asking Mara several times to look at her and getting more and more upset each time, did take a moment to step back with me and talk about what Mara was doing. She then told Mara (with no prompting from me) "Mara, I am trying to give you attention, but your not listening. I will not talk to you until your listening ears are on!" and she stormed out of the room! Mara quickly followed and they then started playing Analese's game.

I wanted to finally acknowledge and pass out some awards! This first award I have received is from JO-N a few weeks ago (again, sorry its taken me so long). I am a new reader to her blog, and have really enjoyed her discussions on children and parenting.

I think it is so cute! I would like to pass this on to my lovely sister Chris, who is going through some major changes right now with a big move to Colorado in the next few months! I hope this brings some cheer into your day!

My next award if from Autumn, whose blog I highly recommend you go check out! I have recently discovered her blog, and have enjoyed getting to know her. She is an amazing photographer too! Thanks again!

I would like pass this award onto another sister of mine...Lorrie! Lorrie is about as real as you can get, and I love that her blog is such a true reflection of that. She has such love and devotion to her three children and it shows in every post, and such a great sense of humor (I get the giggles every time I see your exercise chart!)

So my two projects are completed, turned in and I do not have much to complete this week! Yeah! I hope to spend it playing catch up though. We have decided on some of the changes in order to help me get some more studying done, but I'll get into that tomorrow!