Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why yes, she does eat cilantro

And banana and broccoli.

Hannah is not, and has never been, a picky eater.  I am thankful for that.  In hopes of creating another none picky eater, I give Riley any food I don't see as a choking hazard.  She liked the cilantro a lot more than the broccoli.  

See my dead ficus in the background. David let it die.  Well it has 2 green leaves on it, so I'm hopeful.  What do ya'll think?  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Some Things I Love

Can someone please tell me why my photo's are sideways?  I cannot figure it out!  It happens to photo's that are taken sideways, but I've rotated them in iphoto, so I don't know why they're sideways here.  Ugh!  Ok.  

Have you seen these?  Freaking fantastic, it's a good thing they only come in 
small packages.    

Ok, so David and my sister aren't crazy about these but I love them!  They're casual enough to go with jeans and a T-shirt but they add a little something special.  

My legs are very white, and I have my bicycle shorts on.  But isn't this wristlet cute.  I think so.  And it holds everything I want it to hold.  

I've been researching this product for a year.  I first saw it here: Daily Garnish.  I've been steadily researching it since then.  David was supposed to turn one of our kegs into a seltzer keg but it never happened.  We were in Target a few weeks ago and we saw it.  David agreed that it looked good.  We made the agreement that once I drank all the seltzer water I had bought, we'd pick this up.  I'm 24 hours in and on my 4th liter os seltzer water.  I love it!  It's super easy and convenient.  

This is my new ipod addition and it's a butt kicker.  I really like the way it's set up.  The different song tracks are set to different exercise; but kicks, lunges, high knees, etc., and it's set it short spurts.  So you have 30 second intervals with a 10 second rest.  I don't know 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Riley's latest trip to the ER

Sunday:  Riley woke up cranky.  Really cranky.  Sunday afternoon, she spiked a fever.  She took a long afternoon nap, woke up and still had a fever.  We cuddled with her, and gave her motrin.  Her fever went down and she acted semi normal.  She went down for the night at regular time and slept through the night.

Monday:  I called to cancel a doctor's appointment for Riley.  She was supposed to get a vaccination booster but they won't give a kiddo shots if they've had a fever in the last 24 hours.  The nurse asked to me to go ahead and bring Riley in.  This was early in the morning. before Riley woke up.  Since she had slept through the night, I assumed her fever had broke and thought the appointment was unnecessary but obliged the doctor's office.  The appointment was at 2.  In between that phone call and her doctor's appointment, Riley literally did nothing but sleep.  I tried rousing her around noon to eat, but she had no desire.  So we take her in.  The doctor does labs and a urine culture but gets negative results.  However, she doesn't like Riley's lack of energy and lethargy and recommends that we take her in to the ER because they can run more comprehensive tests than a pediatrician's office.  We get to the hospital around 4 pm and are taken back pretty quickly because our pediatrician had called the ER about us.  We're admitted around 7 pm for dehydration concerns.  Sleep was not much that night, as they had her IV line going off (beeping) every 2 hours to check on her.  That meant she was up, and cranky, every 2 hours.  Sleep came in 1.5 hour increments for me.

Tuesday: Everything is negative but she's still acting out of sorts; she's not smiling and playing.  However, her fever breaks that evening.  When we learn that we're not going home on this day, David begins to ponder if there's something they're not telling us.  The pediatrician who does the evening rounds recommends another lab in the morning to compare to Monday's lab work.  Another sleepless night.  She seem uncomfortable and had a hard time drifting into solid sleep.  It took a very long time to put her to sleep that night, only for the nurses to come in at midnight for a weight check!  It took David and I an hour and a half to get her back to sleep.
Wednesday: We get a call around noon about Riley's lab.  Her white blood cell count and her platelet levels had both dropped.  These two levels were normal when she was admitted.  One of her infection markers, the CRP level, was high.  The concern was something happening in her body, but the doctor's can't figure out what.  The super scary moment was when they told us that if things did not improve by Thursday, then we would have to transfer her to Chapel Hill for bone marrow testing to check for things like leukemia.  Talk about terrifying.  It was hard to not get carried away and terrified.  Not that long ago, my baby girl did not beat the odds for heart surgery.  The next 24 hours were long.  Wednesday afternoon, she had a spinal draw.  At 4 am Thursday, they did another blood draw.  Doing it this early meant that the results would be back by the time our pediatrician did morning rounds.  However, because she'd had so much blood taken from her arm, the veins were shot and they could not draw blood from them.  Which meant that it had to be taken from her head.
Thursday:  Results from her blood work had IMPROVED!!!  While not in the normal range, they had gone up.  We get to go home that afternoon.

What this all means:  We went Friday to see the pediatrician.  All the lab results were negative.  They have no idea why Riley's blood went all weird that Wednesday.  That CRP level was what tested very high in Hannah's blood when she ran that fever of 106.1 and was admitted back in July.  I asked the doctor if it were possible for my girls to have some genetic disposition that might cause this to get out of whack when they get sick.  She said "That's a good question, I don't know.  You would have to ask an infectious disease doctor."  After chatting with her, it was concluded that if this happens to either of the girls again: very sick, funky blood work and unexplainable, then we should go see an infectious disease doctor.  In the meantime, we'll go back in two weeks to see the pediatrician and have labs done again to make sure they have returned to the normal range.          

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Out of the mouth of babes

It's been a rough week, more on that later.  Throughout the week, I've had Hannah keeping a smile on my face.  Here's some of the things I've heard her say.

On  the way to Riley's doctor appointment on Monday, Hannah talked about all the things she'd be able to do when she got bigger.  My two favorites were "When I grow up I'm going to be a cowgirl and swim with dolphins.  At the same time."  And revealing her complete girlness, she said "When I grow up, I'll be able to buy my own high heels and I can have one of each color!"

Monday night, Hannah spent the evening with our Sunday School teachers.  They have a large golden lab, Cooper.  This is a picture of Hannah driving Joshua, the baby,  Jonathan and Cooper to McDonald's.  Jonathan and Cooper are in the back seat.

Moment's when I know I'm raising my kids right: when David picked Hannah up, Laura (our Sunday School teacher) told David that she didn't think Hannah went to McDonald's much because when they "drove" to McDonald's Hannah got dog food and happy meal toys.  

I leave you with proof of Hannah's creativity and inner fashionista style: 

This is how she looked when we left to go to Riley's doctor's appointment and the grocery store.  She reminds me of Elton John with those glasses.  

I love how interesting Hannah keeps life!  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Having a Baby and Continuing to Change (Pt. 2)

So I get pregnant.  It's what David and I want, we'd been trying.  I continue to workout.  I worked out until I was 37 weeks.  And I hiked a mountain 4 days before my water broke.  

Why yes, I was trying to throw myself into early labor.  

Fast forward: Hannah starts eating table good.  I start to pay attention to the food I"m feeding her.  I conclude that I don't want her to eat crap food.  I started buying yogurt.  I bought nonfat and added honey to it until I began to have a taste for plain, nonfat yogurt.  I stopped eating chips in front of her, because I didn't want her to want chips.  I began to buy organic milk, fruits and vegetables.  One of the biggest changes I made was eating breakfast.  I had never consistently ate breakfast before but now that I stayed home with Hannah, I wanted to eat with her.  So we ate breakfast together.      
I still exercised.  Not as much as before I got pregnant.  I was very relaxed about everything at this point.  
Right before Hannah turned one, I went and saw registered dietician and nutritionist because I was curious about why I hadn't lost more weight.  I saw her a handful of times, kept a food journal for her, etc.  She concluded that I was at a stable point for breast feeding and she felt confident, based on my eating habits, that I'd loose weight once I stopped breast feeding.  
She was right.  In the first six months following my stop to breast feeding, I lost about 20 pounds.  I did it without thinking about it.  I just exercised like I wanted and ate like I wanted.  In December of 2008, I went to buy some new jeans and fit a size 4.  I couldn't believe it!  I'd never been that size and would have never guessed that I was that size.  

Christmas 2008

At this same time we were about to move to Fayetteville for David's job, and live with my dad for a little while.  I was anxious about this, because I knew how unhealthy he ate.  And I desperately didn't want that for myself or my family.  It's not that I didn't think I should be eating that way, I didn't think I should be eating that way every day.    It was a true concern of mine and I pondered/talked about it for at least a month before we moved in with him.  Looking back, this is where the trouble began.  
We moved in.  I tried to balance things out by cooking a couple times a week, but my cooking wasn't received well.  It's hard to go from a high concentration of fatty foods to a very low concentration because your taste buds become accustomed to fat.  This is where "training" your taste buds comes in to play.  
So I began to "save" calories.  
And exercise was no longer an option, but something I HAD TO DO.  

Stay turned for part 3.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How I Got Here: Samantha's Story (Pt. 1)

As I sit to type this, I feel a small tightening in my stomach.  Partly because I can't believe I'm going to do this, partly because I still feel shame about what I did to my body and partly because I just don't like talking about  myself!  To be honest, I'd have to go back to my child hood.  I was taught to clean my plate because "there are starving kids in _____."  There was a game played at the dinner table, the "bet you can't eat one more bite" game.  Don't get me wrong, there were good things about how I was raised in terms of eating.  We ALWAYS ate at the table.  That's something I instill in my family.  But I was taught to clean my plate.  Leftovers were being wasteful and we didn't have the money to be wasteful.  I also grew up in, and am still in, a very southern family.  I love my dad, but that man has fried food every day!  Sometimes every single food item in a given meal is fried!  We love our southern roots, and our southern food even more!  Anywho, I was never one of the skinny girls in high school.  I was never a big girl either.  The older I got, the more self conscious I became of the fact that I was not a "skinny girl."  My dad, being the big, strong, southern mind set man, wasn't exactly free flowing of compliments.  I didn't grow up hearing my father tell me I was beautiful.  I don't have resentment or animosity towards my father for these things, however I think they molded me.  As a teen, I remember being ok with my size.  I wanted to be "skinny" but I didn't diet or become physically active to accomplish it, so I'd say that I was content with my size.  Over the next few years, this continued.  After I married David, I started going to the gyms on post.  I would go a few times a week.  When he deployed to Iraq, I went even more because I had lots of free time.  

David and I, Christmas of 2003

Overall though, I was happy.  I would have liked to been smaller but I was ok with my size.  And I had David, who has never made me feel anything less than beautiful.  He has always expressed his strong attraction to me, one of the things I love so much about him.  We move to Italy and I get more "into" exercising.  This is when I really learned the meaning of an intense workout!  And I liked it!  I began to run, after years of saying that "I'm not a runner.  I'll never be a runner because my legs are too short."  My girlfriend Claire started it.  She lived next to us and was trying to lose baby weight.  She invited me to go run with her, around the Grisignano neighborhood.  David offered to go with me and assured me that he could pace me.  At this time in my life, I'm very physically active, about 140ish lbs, no muscle.  So we all go run.  I ran 4 miles that day.  That was a light bulb moment for me.  David was right, I could run.  It was all about pacing myself.  So I began to run.  Claire and I would leave the daycare we both worked out and run Mount Berico.  This is a well known loop from the base to a church in Vicenza and back.  Then I got pregnant.  At the time I got pregnant with Hannah, I weighed more than I had in my life, 152 lbs.  That's a lot on a 5'2 frame.
This was in July of 2006.  I got pregnant in August.  

In order to avoid a lengthy blog posting, I'll pick up on Part 2 tomorrow.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

And so she demands....

food.  More so than Hannah ever did.  

A piece of bread.

Blueberry Yogurt.

A slice of a clementine.

Right after nursing.  

A gerber crunchy

Another gerber crunchy.

A piece of pizza crust.

An apple slice.

She loves sweet potatoes too.  I know the apple slice and clementine slice are kindy risky, because of the skins but I was careful!  She actually sucked the inside right out of the clementine skin.  She just gnawed on the apple.  She also likes chewing on carrots.  Yesterday we pulled down the high chair and have started to put her in that.    She's sitting in it right now, with a few toys.  She just threw her ball on the floor!  Everyone says that you're a little lazier, in your parenting, with the second and I can see it in Riley's eating habits.  I'm less concerned with "following the rules" with babies and eating.  Some days she eats real food two times but some days we just don't get real food at all.  Soon, Riley will be even more demanding about real food and I won't be able to be so lax with it.  But nursing is just more convenient sometimes!  With Hannah, on the other hand, she HAD to have real food every day, multiple times a day.  I may also not be strictly following the "introducing one new food every ___ days in order to watch for allergies."  Yeah, sometimes Riley gets two new foods back to back.  And I NEVER would've given Hannah a clementine slice at 6 months.  For all her eating, she's still a small squirt.  She just hit the 12 pound mark, at 12.03 lbs.  We're still in 0-3 month clothing.  Hannah was also a small squirt though, so her cardiologist thinks that Riley is just going to follow suit.  

And one last SUPER CUTE picture of Miss Riley.  David hates this hat by the way, it's too cutsy and girly for him.  

Oh, a side note on baby shoes.  I thought they were so stupid with Hannah.  I didn't buy Hannah shoes until she began to learn to walk.  Why would I put shoes on a baby, ridiculous, right!?  However, I have learned with Riley that shoes are an excellent way to keep socks on her feet!  And we were given a bunch of baby shoes.  Thus, Riley wears shoes now.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Choice for Cloth

We cloth diaper.  Not all the time but most of the time, especially when we're at home.  Michelle introduced me to them.  This was when Hannah about about 6 or 7 months old.  At first, my reasons were pretty simple: they were super cute.  Since Michelle made them, I was able to pick out the fabric I wanted and she would create an awesome, one of a kind diaper.  Plus, I never had to worry about being out of diapers.  And we'd save a little bit of money.  Right around this time is when my mind set began to change, and my thoughts lingered on the health and wellness of my family.  I started to take a hard look at what I was feeding my child, and my family.  I began to change my own eating habits.  I took a bigger plunge after Hannah turned one.  I began to believe in the benefits of eating organic.  I didn't want to eat junk food around Hannah, because I didn't want her to have it.  If I didn't want to feed it to my child, then why should I put it in my body?  

Hannah and Vivian in matching cloth diapers.  They're about 9 months old here.  

Personalized diapers.  One said "Made In Italy" and another said "Hannah Banana" with a banana on it.  So cute! 

Hannah and Vivian on their first birthday.  Hannah is wearing the exact same cloth diaper, in red.  

Here's Hannah, 1 year and 10 months.

Riley, carrying on the tradition, in cloth.

Over the years, my reasons for choosing to cloth diaper have increased.  Yes, it's a little more work but I'm a stay at home mom so it's not something I have a problem with.  And cloth diapering has changed, it's not the cloth diapering of our grandparents time.  The cleaning process is much easier.  My biggest complaint is the bulkiness of them compared to disposable.  I challenge anyone to do a feel comparison; feel a disposable and feel a cloth.  Now tell me what you want shoved against your personal parts.  Since beginning cloth diapering, neither of my kids have ever had a diaper rash. Of course, this could be from other factors.  But it could very well be because of my decision to cloth.  And ultimately, I believe the less I use disposable diapers, the better it is for our environment.  All around my thoughts on organic and holistic approaches to life have grown.  I try to use organic approaches to ailments.  I stay away from processed foods.  I believe that the human was not designed to digest crap.  I believe in the benefits of health and fitness, propelling my choice to become a personal trainer.
And through all this, I have David, who keeps me from getting too carried away, and holds strong to his chips and soda!  But, he did eat tofu twice in the last two weeks.     

For more information:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When Riley gets super excited

She doesn't laugh much.  It takes a lot to get actual giggles out of her.  Instead, she does this when she gets really excited: 

It's funnier than giggles.  

The Park and TuttiMelon

I first blogged about TuttiMelon over here: TuttiMelon.  It came to Fayetteville about two years ago and it's wonderful.  I love it so much.  When I was pregnant, I would eat it for dinner.  On Thursday, it was a gorgeous sunny, warm day.  David got off early so we headed to the park with the kids.  David played with Hannah at the playground while I ran a few miles with Riley.  Afterwards, I decided to drop David and Riley off at the house and take Hannah out for TuttiMelon.  The only thing I've done with just Hannah since Riley was born is take her to get her hair cut.  There are two things I love about TuttiMelon.  Well, more than that, but two I'm going to address now.  The first one is the awesome flavor.  The second: Hannah's flavor combo's.  They had a new flavor for Valentine's Day: Red Velvet FroYo.  Hannah and I both got it, after numerous taste tests. 

Here's Hannah's creation: yogurt pretzels, chocolate sprinkles and sour gummy worms.  She had me all the way until the gummy worms.  

I went very traditional, coconut.  

It was nice to spend time with just Hannah.  After we ate our froyo, we walked down to the move theatre to see what movies were playing but there was nothing too hot showing.  And I say it agian: if you haven't experienced TuttiMelon, you must go!