Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Every little baby is a miracle...

[Pause audio player on the right.]

I'm not usually one to tear up at diaper commercials, and we don't even buy a lot of disposables since Mia still wears cloth, but I saw this Pampers commercial during an onslaught of baby shows back to back on TLC this afternoon while trying to "unwind" for a few and almost teared up.

Over the past couple of years my eyes have been opened to the miracles that are babies.  Seeing friends enter parenthood and experience the joy that comes in a brand new child, or watching friends who have struggled with fertility issues finally conceive, or consoling a friend after the loss of an unborn child, I now believe every baby is a person worth celebrating, whether he/she was here for 18 days or has been around for 3 years.  As Greg & I move forward with this pregnancy, we are reminded of our blessings and pray for those who seek these blessings as well.  Each day we let ourselves get a little more attached to this unborn munchkin and pray he/she is healthy and developing well and that this pregnancy can roll out as it should in due time.  Your prayers would be appreciated too!

Friday, May 27, 2011


... or shall we call it, what I've been eating?  Thanks to the 2nd trimester kicking in (how did we already get here?) and *most* nausea dissipating, my appetite has finally returned and I'm hoping we're past the land of can-you-please-pick-up-some-takeout?  Because after all of us getting sick in late April, I'm pretty convinced our junky eating is what sent us all to the porcelain throne.

I had told myself prior to getting pregnant a 2nd time I would fully intend on eating a healthy, nutritious, good-fat loving diet.  However, about 6-7 weeks after I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test and the food aversions & nausea kicken in, all those good intentions flew out the window.  I experienced some mega-guilt for a while and wished that all the things I used to make in the kitchen would have sounded appetizing, or that I'd have either the energy, stomach or nose to tolerate making them, but alas, I didn't.  So I had to stop kicking myself in the shins and just let it be for a while.  One thing that made our load lighter was going ahead and ordering some Dinner Done meals that are prepared ahead of time with real ingredients, and then frozen, which allow you to pop them in the oven or cook them on a skillet at your leisure.

Now that I feel better though, I'm much more inspired to eat well again.   This is what has been gracing our dinner table recently:
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Fresh salad with pecans, strawberries, cheese & homemade balsamic vinaigrette (this is seriously the BEST; Sarah, the author, is currently one of my favorite good-food resources)
  • Homemade chicken salad (I combined pieces of my roasted chicken with homemade mayo, added some salt & pepper and chopped onion, and voila, Greg was very happy)
  • Homemade mayonnaise using adaptations on the following recipes (Nourished & Nurtured & Mommypotamus).  I used mostly sunflower oil & some olive oil, and then followed the proportions on mommypotamus' blog.  The main difference is I did not use coconut oil, because sometimes it hardens, and I already use so much of it, I wanted a different flavor.Just made my own mayo following @mommypotamus recipe. Yum!  on Twitpic
  • Almond flour pancakes
  • Sweet potato fries
I have much thanks to give to the women who write the following blogs:
Heather @ Mommypotamus
Ann-Marie @ Cheeseslave

They have so many excellent recipes if you're trying to follow any kind of paleo/primal, GAPS or healthy & nourishing kind of diet (with no processed foods & less emphasis on grains and sugars).  I am not 100% all the time, but when I do prepare food this way I feel infinitely better.  

What have you enjoyed noshing on lately?  Please be a doll or a gent and share your favorite recipes below!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lessons you learn the hard way

Current status: rescuing the perishing  on Twitpic

I love my little girl. I really do.  She's sweet, funny, active, loves to dance and listen to music.  She embodies a lot of the characteristics I'd want in a person or a friend.  But she's also two, and with that comes a lot of character-shaping and redirecting.  It's exhausting at times.
I was reminded just how different each stage of parenting is when we visited with our friends, the Childresses, this past weekend in Alabama.

Rylann is just 3 months old, and aside from all the feeding difficulties Kristen had had with her (which she put up with like a CHAMP), and Rylann's intolerance to a certain formula, she pretty much sleeps through the night and is generally agreeable.  For an infant, that is like a winning combo.  It doesn't get much better than that.  She seems perfect right now, even if she isn't (To Will & Kristen: I am in no way saying "she isn't!").  It makes me realize sometimes things were really good when I thought they were hard.

So, people ask me if I'm excited about a new baby.  I am, but to be honest, for better or for worse, I really haven't thought a whole lot about it.  I've thought more about what I/we need to teach and share with Mia before a baby arrives.  I've thought about all the house projects we'd like to get done this summer, Lord Willing.  I've thought about how I want to make the most of these months before things flip around again.  Because a baby pretty much rocks your world, and toddler tries to control it! :P

I'm thankful for where we are, but sometimes the lessons and the patience hit you pretty hard.  I guess it's a good place to be ... for a time.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything
 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under heaven:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.
And I am seeking wisdom, contentment & peace during these times...our family depends on it.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Coming Home

2815 miles
For the last 12 days, our family was in a bit of a time warp.  Somehow at lightning speed, we started our travels from South Florida and made it all the way up to northern Indiana, only to come back down to Tennessee for a while and journey on back through sweet home Alabama.  

When we pulled up to our exit last night after getting off I-75, I said to Greg, "Doesn't it seem like we just left here??" I vividly remember the last minute stops we made the former former Wednesday night before we really pulled out of town -- getting gas, some cash & a quick bite to eat -- before we plugged in a quick trip to Warner Robins, GA.  After that, I guess it was all history.

We had a great time while we were away.  Yes, yes, we did have 2 long-suffering nights with Mia, which bookended our trip (and had a common theme so I think we uncovered its culprit), but other than that, nothing catastrophic occurred (thank goodness), although I can let Greg tell you about what happened on I-465 in Indiana.  

Road trips with a child can be thorny territory at times.  The first long road trip we ever did with Mia took far longer than needed ... but subsequent road trips have been a breeze.  This past week, as we skirted Mia on 6-hr adventures from state to state, Mia held up pretty well.  She might have screamed "NO!!!" at some people more times than we would have liked, or had a few meltdowns here or there, but in general we were able to pass the time fairly well.

Much gratitude given to this guy:
The DVD player.  It's a mixed blessing, you could say.  But as we just flipped Mia's carseat around now that she's 2 (you could technically keep her flipped until she's 35 lbs), it is a helpful way to pass the time when you're driving on boring interstate.  And she even fell asleep to it once too (score: you skip the whiny/tired phase).

It's not something we want to utilize 24/7, nor do we want her to think it's the only way to pass the time in the car, which is why we listened to music, looked for trucks, motorcycles, and animals while we drove to keep her interested and not going stir-crazy.  Yeah, we are patting ourselves on the back.

But hands down, the best part of our trip was seeing everybody. I personally loved talking with all my Wiley sisters-in-law & KT every day the weekend that we were in Indiana.  Mia got to see her uncles again and Uncle Luke taught her how to shoot a Nerf gun.  She saw Jackson graduate (modeling positive behavior, no?).  She saw both sets of grandparents in IN & TN and was upset when she could no longer ride in their cars again.  "Mommo's car?" in Indiana. "Granddad's car?" in Tennessee.  She hung out with her 2nd cousins in Indiana and for a second I considered hiring them out in November when baby #2 is due to watch over her because she pretty much thought they were the coolest thing e'er.  
We said goodbye to the Wiley guys as they went on their bike trip to celebrate Jackson's graduation...and then packed up our things to move on...

In Tennessee, Mia had a blast with her Granddad. She really enjoyed her time with him & would start doing their infamous, "AHHHHHH!" upon detection of his presence.  Nana's schedule was obviously limited due to her school schedule, but we all made the best of it on the weeknights & they "got" to watch her for us Friday night.  
Mia also stopped by Nana's school Friday for a special treat!
Jamming @ the Fergs'
We had dinner with our long-time friends, the Fergusons, in Nashville Thursday night and loved the reunion.  Here's where I insert the sappy sentiment: Some friends just feel like family.  Even though they're miles away and we haven't been able to hang out on the regular in FOUR YEARS!  

Friday during the day we met up with "Great Aunt Ann" & her sons (Greg's cousins) at CFA. Mia played with them in the playhouse for probably 2 hrs while we got to talk with Ann.

Friday night I met one of Greg's long time HS buddies & we got sushi with he & his wife and then toured Big Kenny's studio.  Yeah, that's where Greg's buddy works.  Not your typical Friday night for us!

Saturday as we launched southward to Alabama, we hung out with the Moores in Alabama who treated us to both lunch & dinner!  It was so nice to eat real food after being on the go so much.  Jenn puts the "sweet" in sweet home Alabama -- the very model of southern hospitality!

Then, we hopped back into the car to head to Dothan, our last stop, where the perfect late night hosts greeted us.  The Childresses really were the perfect end to our trip, because they didn't care we arrived at 11, or that Mia wanted to hang out with all of us till 1:30, or that we snooped around for a toaster Sunday morning.  Mia thought their baby Rylann was the neatest thing and after we had church & lunch with Will, Kristen & Rylann, we drove like the wind back to Tampa and Mia slept almost the whole way! (4 out of 5.5 hrs). 

And then, there was today.  Major recovery, clean-up the nasty kitchen day and run a few errands.  Mia was so tuckered out after her trip, but she's sort of forgotten our normal naptime routine, so very late in the afternoon, she ended up on my shoulder, finally asleep, and then I smoothly slid her off my shoulder onto our bed.  And started blogging. 

So that's where we are now.  She's awoken. We're going to eat dinner and probably head to the park to ensure she's legitimately tired for bedtime tonight.  
/The END!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Springing in the Midwest

We've taken a bit of a hiatus the last few days while we traveled northward to Jackson's graduation at Purdue University on Sunday.  We've been loving being with family & seeing another part of the US, but I have to admit I forgot what spring is like in other parts of the country.  As you may know, Florida more or less has 2 seaons: hot & hotter.  I have sorely missed the seasons while I've been in Florida, but apparently I've forgotten how to pack/dress for any other season aside from what we've experiencing in Florida lately (80s & 90s).  It's been wet & rainy here the past few days and I look like that sad Southerner who doesn't own a pair of closed-toe shoes, borrowing my mom's jacket while we go out.  Of course, I do have all these items at home, but they just didn't make it into my suitcase.  Next time, next time.

Today we trek a bit more southward to the hills of KY & TN, bidding adieu to the Hoosier state.  This has been a fun, busy trip, and sleep means more to me again now that we're getting less of it. Thankfully my appetite has returned the last couple of weeks meaning I don't feel like my meals are limited to a few things.

Here are some quick pics from this past weekend:
Wiley Boys Harley Trip

Jackson walking across the stage @ Purdue

Mia eating ice cream with Mommo

Safe travels, and keep praying for Scout.  She had her surgery yesterday and all went well!  Yay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shout out for Scout

Some of you may know our friends, the McCauleys.  They have a little girl just a month older than Mia, named Scout.  They are in Baltimore at John's Hopkins Hospital this week awaiting Scout's heart surgery to replace her aortic valve.  That's right, she's two, and having heart surgery.  Pretty big stuff, if you ask me.

They have a website at http://shoutoutforscout.com they're continually updating with the happenings and it lays out some specific prayer requests for Wednesday's surgery:

1. Get rid of the aneurysm
2. Close Scout’s hole in her heart (ASD)
3. Preserve Scout’s valve leading to her aortic root (this is very important)
4. No bleeding, infection, stroke, need for pacemaker, or death
5. Rapid, Smooth, recovery
-Scout’s complete healing
-The surgeons’ skill and completion of surgery safely
- No complications afterward
-the strength and calmness for the family, that only the Lord can provide.
-the chance for Scout to grow up without major health complications.
- a peace that passes understanding with all that happens.
Think God is capable of this?  I do.  
"For nothing is impossible with God.” - Luke 1:37

So if you will, pray for this little girl & her family with many of us today who are scattered around the globe.  


Monday, May 9, 2011

BAM. Just like that.

7 weeks

11 weeks, 5 days

12 weeks, 3 days, but who is counting?

We're expecting, due November 16.  A little over 12ish weeks.  Feeling good.  Thankful.  A little freaked.  Pensive.  And hopeful.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.  More later!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's been a week!

It's been a whole week and Mia is *officially* off the bottle!  We are amazed and so happy!  It's been nice not to have fight over bottles anymore, have some more space in our cabinets, and feel like Mia is making one more step in her growth to maturity. Not that we want her to grow up too fast, but, the bottle thing had just been a struggle we weren't sure would go away anytime soon.
I've noticed she drinks about half as much milk these days without the bottle--both good & bad.  Her appetite has increased, which means I have to find more to feed this hungry growing girl.  The bad is that the coconut milk I make for her is extremely nourishing--so while I am enjoying not having to make it ALL the time, it was just one more good thing I knew I was doing for her body that she's now not getting as much of.  So even though it's hard with a two year old who is often tempted by the same things adults are tempted by, I need to make her calories count with good food!

We are getting ready to depart quite soon for a trip to the great North.  Well, not sure if Indiana qualifies as the great north, but now that I live in FL, and it touches Michigan, which touches Canada (somehow, right??), Indiana seems very northerly.  When I lived in MN I used to think Indiana was in the South.  Funny how perspective changes based on where you are.  Inspired thoughts, I tell ye.

Anyway, we will be celebrating Jackson's graduation from the great university of Purdue (that is, if he found enough tix for our whole fam!) and hanging at Fort Wiley before jaunting back down to Tennessee to visit with more family & friends, Ciampa style.
Mia has done pretty well with long road trips in the past, but lots has changed in the last year or so since we've traveled extensively on the road, so here's hoping a flipped carseat (finally facing forward, perhaps?), some good snacks, books, and maybe a video or two (no Spongebob, don't worry) will get us through, and that she'll take good naps!  Send out a prayer for all 3 of us.  We shall need it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Turning 2: Mia's Week in Review

The big hype of this past week was finally getting over the stomach yukkies & Mia's turning 2, followed by her big party at the park!  Here you go -- a slideshow for your viewing pleasure!

PS: Mia has gone 2 full days withOUT the bottle!  Yay.  Little accomplishments like this make us feel so proud as parents!  Now I feel like potty-training and toddler-bed adjusting aren't so out of reach :)