Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Springtime Brirthday Card April 26, 2009

Filed under: baby,family,handmade cards,scrapbooking,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 4:07 pm
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Here’s birthday card that I made for a little girl’s 1st birthday.

springtime1stbdayoutside2I used yellow cardstock for the card. The images are from Letting Delights Spring Bundle. It also includes the font used on the front of the card. It’s called “LD vanilla”. The green gingham ribbon is from American crafts. The drangonfly sticker is from Jolee’s Boutique and the white lines were created using a Sakura opaque gel writer. I can’t remember where I got the green sticker I used for the “grass”.

 

 

For the inside of the card, the flower image and frame also came from the Spring Bundle. The font is called “elastic wrath” downloaded from the internet, except for the number 1 which is “DJ Chunky” from DJ Inkers.

springtime1stbdayinside

 

Easter Fun April 24, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,family,moms,scrapbooking,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 12:04 am
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This year we took advantage of multiple opportunities for Easter egg hunts. I decided that maybe Baby would enjoy it this year since she’s older.

Our first Easter Egg hunt was a community event. We made this Easter egg hunt a yearly tradition since Princess was old enough to attend. It was a very windy overcast day so I don’t think Baby was ready to get out of her stroller and find eggs. Add in the fact that she did not have her usualy morning nap. Baby did not pick up one single egg! In fact, she was more interested in watching everyone else pick up eggs, especially her sister. Princess  had a blast. She picked up more than the allowed amount (10) so Mr. MaD had to discreetly return some to the lawn.  (pssst…Baby’s outfit is a hand me down from Princess. It was Princess’ Easter outfit from Gymboree when she was about a year and a half.)

Besides the egg hunt, there were crafts, a fishing game, and pictures with the Easter bunny. We do not take pictures with the Easter bunny because Princess does not like the look of any Easter bunny costume.

2009seahunt6

 Baby also had the opportunity to participate in an Easter egg hunt for 0-3 year old children. Again, she did not pick up any eggs. In fact, she had no interest in participating at all. She cried and wanted to be carried! That’s what happens when you try to take a toddler to an activity during her nap time.  Yes, she does love her nap time. It’s pretty obvious that she still needs it. I have proof. The movie I took shows her crying the whole time.

1bhegghunt09      3bhegghunt09resize

See this photo above? That’s what happens when you try to take a photo of your child with friends at an activity that has tons of other children. How often has this happened to you? And of course, by the time this little boy got out of the viewfinder, the girls didn’t want anything to do with posing for anymore pictures.  What do you think of  Baby’s cute Easter basket? I found that little felt tulip basket at Target for just about $8. I’m sure if you are a sewer you’re thinking that you could’ve made that basket for less but I don’t own a sewing machine so that would’ve been out of the question.

I so looked forward to this year’s Easter egg hunts hoping that I could get a cute picture of the 2 girls dressed in their adorable Easter outfits. As children go, they have minds of their own and temperments to go along with it. 

So this year, no cute Easter poses of the 2 girls in Easter dresses will be added to their scrapbooks. Then again, these are still memories and stories to be cherished.

 

My Earth Day 2009 April 22, 2009

Filed under: family,food,moms — middleagedmom @ 4:47 pm
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If you haven’t heard, it’s Earth Day 2009! Hopefully, you haven’t waited until today to live green in your home.

One of the most anticipated things about Earth Day 2009 is the opening of the film “earth” by Disney Nature. I’m sure most of you have seen the trailers by now. I was able to get a sneak preview of the movie. It was great! Take your children because they’ll enjoy the beautiful cinematography and the touch of humor. Beware it does tell the story of the “circle of  life” so there are some scenes that may need explaining. Overall, it is a great film. Hopefully, you will use it as a way to start teaching your little ones about the importance of taking care of our earth and the animals who inhabit it.

disney-earth

Princess really enjoyed the movie. She couldn’t stop talking about what she was seeing, especially since she loves all things animals. Practically every question was, “Mommy, what’s that?” It’s a good thing that there were a lot of children in the movie theater. Sadly, I couldn’t name all the animals in the movie so I’d say something like, “I think it’s a ox or I think it’s a monkey?”

I think there’s a promotion going on now to celebrate Earth Day. If you purchase a ticket, Disney will plant a tree in your honor. That’s a great idea!

Besides taking advantage of the movie, I hope your family has tried to “green” up your lifestyle. So what have we done in our home?

  • Changed our lightbulbs to CFLs
  • Recycle all items that can be recycled
  • Reuse or repurpose other items – sometimes we pass things on to other people who may benefit from our things, esp. baby items like our glider and swing
  • Attaching a timer to our water heater
  • Turning off lights when we’re not in the room
  • Turning off the water when we’re brushing our teeth
  • Buying/Using green, natural, sustainable, or organic products whenever possible
  • Buying local produce when possible
  • Try to eat meatless at least once a week
  • Energy Star appliances – hooray, we did get our washing machine fixed. The Calypso washing machine used less water than the traditional agitator type machine.

I may be missing some other things but that’s most of it. The one thing that I wish we could do but haven’t is to install a solar water heater. Our home is older and the roof is older too. There is a little concern about the roof being able to support a solar water heater. If money were no issue, I would even like to install those photovoltaic panels.

What have you and your family been doing to live green? Any suggestions?

 

Baby Boils-Yucky! April 17, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,family,moms,toddlers,Uncategorized — middleagedmom @ 4:52 pm
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Boo, hoo, hoo my poor Baby! Just this week I noticed what appeared to be a pimple on Baby\’s palm. It was red and seemed to have a head that was full of pus. Yucky Yuck! Well, the next morning  I noticed there was another pimple on her hand. This time it was bigger!

At first, I just thought it was a pimple. I went back and forth trying to decide if I should pop it or not? Should I cover it with a bandage? Should I put Neosporin on it?

I finally decided to just play the wait and see game. In the meantime, I looked in my baby books (Toddler 411 and Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5) to try and figure out what it could be. My first thought was that it was hand, foot, and mouth disease. Strangely, she did not have any other marks anywhere else. Also, she didn\’t have a fever.

The next day I decided to call the doctor. As it turns out, it wasn\’t a pimple after all. It was probably a boil. A boil? Who gets boils? I didn\’t know of anyone who ever had a boil! I was instructed to apply a warm compress to see if it would drain. If it drained, Baby\’s body could probably take care of the infection by herself.  Have you ever tried to apply a warm compress to a toddler? Not easy. She wouldn\’t have it. Squirming. Crying. Fussing. I ended up applying the compress five times before she went to bed at night.

As soon as I put Baby down  for the night, I hit the computer to research all I could about boils. If you look it up online, you\’ll see that most cases of boils are related to MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureua). That is some scary stuff! Check out MRSA Watch to get some information. I have to admit that looking at all this stuff made me a little paranoid.

The next morning, I checked her hand and it looked exactly the same. I couldn\’t get those boils to drain so I decided to take her to the doctor to get it checked. The doctor also thought it could be hand, foot, and mouth disease since it\’s difficult to really differentiate between a viral and bacterial type of blister/lesion. He also examined her other hand, her mouth, and feet.  No other marks anywhere. The doctor recommended that we should treat it as bacterial for now just in case. Baby was prescribed a topical oinment which is applied twice a day for 5 days. I was instructed to watch and see if any more sores appear, esp. on her hands, feet, or mouth. If she did get more sores, then she possibly did have a viral infection.

So of course, my next question was, \”Is Baby contagious?\” Yes! The thought of Baby being contagious was scary since I didn\’t want Princess to get infected. The doctor told me that after 24 hours on the ointment and Baby won\’t be infectious. If Princess developed any sores, I could apply the same ointment on her.

I\’m glad that I took Baby in to get looked at. I feel relieved that she is on some kind of medication for this bacterial infection. I wouldn\’t be able to stand it if I had waited and it got worse.  The worse part of all of this is knowing that she even got this infection. Let\’ face it. No matter how much you try to protect your child, germs are everywhere. Washing your hands helps a lot but it doesn\’t protect you or your child fully. Besides washing hands often, use alcohol based hand sanitizers. Baby didn\’t have any cuts on her hands prior to this infection. Apparently, you can get infected without cuts because you can breathe in these germs, esp. through your nasal passages.

Last words on this…wash your hands often! Be observant! Treat it early!

 

Did I mention I have a pooch? April 9, 2009

Filed under: middleaged,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 3:24 pm
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No, not of the canine variety.

My pooch is of the lower abdominal variety! Unfortunately, I haven’t been blessed with the “skinny” gene so weight is always an issue for me. I mentioned before that I lost weight after I gave birth due to nursing but since I have almost stopped nursing the weight has come back. Not as much as I lost but enough to make a difference.

Also, being pregnant with Baby has left it’s mark on my body, let’s call in the pooch. Having such big babies does a number on your body! Princess was over 8 pounds so I did end up with a little pooch but since Baby was over 9 pounds that pooch has grown. Let’s face it…when your doctor comments about how big you’ve become when you’re over 33 weeks pregnant then you know you’re big!

Add to all that the fact them I’m middleaged, then you can really understand why I have a pooch! (Okay, maybe some of you can’t but I hope most of you can.) Supposedly, when you’re older you skin doesn’t have as much elasticity that’s why we don’t “bounce” back like we used to when we were younger.

Less elasticity(middleaged) + big babies + “fat” genes = pooch

So why is this on my mind?

Look around you…it’s almost summer! I’ve been bathing suit shopping. Actually, more like bathing suit searching. I think my perfect suit would emphasize my top half while minimizing my bottom half, esp. the pooch.  I seem to be only seeing suits made for teenagers with bottoms that are oh so skimpy! Yikes, that would scare off anyone.  Take into account that I don’t really want to spend tons of money on a bathing suit, it becomes a near impossible job to find one.

I happened upon the Land’s End catalog and saw some cute suits for people like me (code for tummycontrol mini swim skirt with built in good coverage bikini bottom). The major deterrant to getting things from Land’s End is the price and the shipping. ( I just missed the free shipping, boo hoo!)

Anyone have any recommendations? Land’s End or any other brands?

Are you having more success finding a bathing suit for summer than I am? If so, I’m sure you’ll be enjoying your days at the beach or pool way before I am! Happy Upcoming Summer!

 

In the Desert of Infertility – Part 2 April 1, 2009

Filed under: baby,children,Christianity,dad,family,infertility,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 11:35 pm
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Sadly, I didn’t get pregnant even after 6+ more months…

I was finally referred to an Infertility Specialist. Looking back, I wish I had gone sooner. The initial appointment was just like a regular checkup. One of the curious questions was regarding how hairy I was. I remember the doctor commenting that people who are really hairy,  could indicate some kind of hormonal issue. Well, that wasn’t a problem for me. The consultation also included a talk about our history with infertility and some options.

We ended up doing a few tests. My husband did a test for sperm count which came up a little low but not substantial enough to explain the infertility. I also ended up doing a dye test to see if my fallopian tubes were blocked. I can’t remember the name of the test. I remember the nurse mentioning to me that a lot of women get pregnant after the dye test. Apparently, one of my tubes appeared to be at least partially blocked.  I actually know a few women who got pregnant with only 1 fallopian tube. Well, I still didn’t get pregnant.

The doctor recommended that we do three series of IUIs (interuterine insemination). I’m not sure if the insurance company makes them do the least evasive procedures first.  Along with the IUIs, I still had to take hormones. As part of the IUI process, you have to get ultrasounds around your period to check your ovaries and egg production. Then you get more ultrasounds when it gets closer to ovulation to see when you are ready to get the IUI. At that time they also give you  an injection to so called “ripen” your eggs so that they will have more chances of getting fertilized. Sadly after 3 cycles of IUI and another 6 months of so passed, we were still not pregnant.

The next step was IVF (in vitro fertilization). I was a little scared of this but I really wanted to give it a shot. If you’ve ever had the experience of going through  in vitro fertilization, then you understand when I say that it’s one of the most excruciatingly emotional experiences of your life. The process was long and painful. The number of shots is unbelievable. At first, I could not give myself the shots but eventually had to learn to do so. I gave myself shots in the stomach and in the thigh. Sometimes I would end up with huge bruises because I didn’t apply enough pressure or I mistakenly hit a vein or something.  Mr. MaD had to give me shots in the bum…yikes! Those were the most painful and the most tedious. Every time I got that shot, he would have to poke me then pull out the plunger a little to check for blood. If there was blood, he would have to pull out the needle and then re-poke me somewhere else. Whew!  With this process, you get numerous ultrasounds too.

Then comes the egg retrieval. That was scary for me too! At the same time as the egg retrieval, poor Mr. MaD had to donate sperm. Yes, it’s not a “pretty” picture of romance and love.  As it turns out they ended up retrieving about 6 or so eggs. Then the eggs were fertilized with sperm and “grown” in the lab. I think the eggs had to develop into 8 cells before they are transferred into you.

Well, we finally got our egg transfer day. I think they transferred approximately 5 eggs with the hope of having at least one implanting. After the transfer, you have to lie still for approximately 30 minutes. Then you are instructed to not do any heavy lifting when you return home.

Then we had to play the waiting game. I think it was approx. 2 weeks or so that you have to wait. They check your HCG levels based upon blood tests. Your HCG levels are supposed to rise exponentially if you’re pregnant. 

So after a couple of blood tests, we were officially pregnant! I can’t tell you how relieved we were to get the news. After all that we had been through, it was a miracle.

Of course we learned not to tell about our “good news” since it was so early.  We only told our immediate family and I had to let my workplace know because of all the upcoming doctor appointment and my “light work” requirement.

It was a couple of weeks later when I was at a meeting…the dreaded bleeding! I was in a panic and called the doctor right away. They told me that there was nothing I could do.  I’d have to wait and see if the bleeding continued. If it did, then I should call them and I would have to come in for a  blood test.  As it turned out, the bleeding continued. The blood test indicated that my HCG levels were dropping dramatically. The verdict…I was having a miscarriage! I was utterly devastated!

I can not tell you how depressed I was. I could barely funtion. It was a  blessing that I had 1 more day of work until I had a vacation. God’s perfect timing! That last day of work was so busy that it helped me take my mind off my impending loss.

After the miscarriage, I was in a daze. I kept questioning God, “Why is this happening?” “Why can’t we have children?” I tried to remember that God does not give us more than we can handle. Truthfully, in my weakness I couldn’t trust God with this.

If you’ve experienced miscarriage, you know that there is a waiting period to let your body rest and recuperate.  It was not only my body that needed rest and recuperation, it was my heart and soul. Frankly, I felt lost and that no on could understand. My OB/GYN tried to see if the fertility doctor offered some kind of support after the process fails but there was nothing. My family and friends offered their prayers and support.

After a few months passed, I was determined to try again. This time we decided to try a clinic out of state (SIRM- Las Vegas)  that we heard about. We knew they had good results. So we made the phone call and had our consultation over the phone. They were so helpful! We answered a bunch of questions and we sent off our medial files from the previous infertility specialist.

As God would have it…we didn’t need to see another doctor!

Lo and behold, during the intake process and planning for a visit to the clinic we found out that we were PREGNANT!

God the miracle worker had bigger plans for us! Yes, we were pregnant!  This time is was all natural! No infertility at all!

To make a very long story short, we are the proud parents of 2 wonderful miracle children! Both conceived naturally in God’s perfect timing! How awesome is HE! These girls have blessed our lives beyond measure!

I am so in awe (to this day) of God’s hand on our lives that every time I tell the story of Princess’s conception and birth, I still cry.