Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas friends and family!

I can't believe it's Christmas in only 2 sleeps. I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas...we are going to be spending some time with family starting on the 26th. We're looking forward to having Christmas morning here at home just the 3 of us. Now that Jaxon is older, it's so much fun watching him open presents and explore his new gifts (and the boxes they came in!).

It is our hope that this Christmas is a time that you find yourself pondering the birth of Christ - and celebrating it. It's pretty easy for me to get caught up in all the traditions and "feel-good" Christmas-y things that we do - and how that dictates whether I feel I've had a good Christmas or not. While those traditions are okay - it's important that I remember the true reason for Christmas, and that in my heart that purpose outweighs the satisfaction I look for in the Christmas traditions.

Here's a few of our latest and favorite pictures. Merry Christmas!







I found Jaxon playing with his Nativity set one day last week - it appeared that the Wiseman was kidnapping baby Jesus! LOL...


Friday, December 11, 2009

belly picture # 1

Where did the month go? I just read that the date of my last post was November 3rd. Crazy!

Here's my first belly picture for baby # 3. I can't believe I'm showing this much already. My belly actually started popping around 7 or 8 weeks (although it helps that I had some leftovers from Jaxon that came with it ;o)

Here I am at 11 weeks.



This pregnancy seems to be different from both of my last pregnancies. The other two were pretty predictable about what time in the day I would start feeling nauseous and for how long - and what kinds of foods I liked/disliked. This time my nausea is very unpredictable - and thankfully not all that bad, especially compared to what some women experience! And food-wise, it seems like it depends on the day what I crave or gag over. Surprisingly - I do have an increased desire for pickles :)

I would say my biggest struggle this trimester has been fatigue. Usually I can make it till 5pm and then it takes all I have to be able to clean up supper, get Jax ready for bed, and tidy the house. Often I'm in bed by 9:30. So I'm hoping that my energy returns sometime soon. At the same time though I'm thankful that I don't have it worse.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

a few of my favorite {baby} things

I was thinking the other day about some of the baby/toddler "accessories" that we've found that have made life so much easier for us...and I thought I'd do a post about it! Here I am doing free advertising...I should get paid for this! Oh well. :) If I can help some of you out by letting you know about these things, that's pay enough for me.

Here's my list:

1. Mirrors for in the car! This is one of my FAVORITE favorites. It's SO nice to be able to see Jaxon in the back seat while I'm driving. I can tell if he's sleeping, getting into trouble, etc..and you can make faces at them :) I love it.

This one is for when the baby is rear facing.


The one below is for when they go forward facing - it attaches to your rear view mirror. We are using this one right now (I think ours might be a little bit different - I'm not sure if this one actually attaches to the rear view mirror). Jaxon often looks at me in the mirror and I'm always checking him out :)



2. Car Seat Bunting Bag - this is a MUST for the colder weather. I LOVED this thing. I didn't have to put a coat on Jaxon the entire winter because it. I just put a warm shirt on him, tuck a warm blanket inside, and zip up the cover. When you come inside and the baby is sleeping....all you have to do is unzip the cover and viola! the baby can stay asleep. And we all know how important it is to keep our babies sleeping as long as possible ;)

***if you look for one of these to buy - I would suggest that you get the kind that doesn't wrap around the bottom of the car seat. My friend had one of those and it wasn't as cozy and warm and as soon as the baby's legs got longer, it wouldn't fit anymore. The brand that I have is Gagou Tagou. ***




3. Nursing Cover! You can get these online....or I can possibly make & sell you one if you're interested. The top has boning in it so that it stays open for you to see the baby. It also has an adjustable strap to go around your neck.



4. Leather slippers. I'm sure most of you have used or at least heard of these before. They are AMAZING. They are seriously the only thing that would stay on Jaxon's feet. The most well-known brand is Robeez....but I recently found a company called Lil Jo's that makes them in Canada - and they are only $22.99. The ones pictured below are Lil Jo's.


5. Teething Tablets. These are tiny little homeopathic tablets that dissolve on the baby's tongue. They help take the edge off teething and they really seem to work well to calm Jaxon when his teeth are really bothering him. For us, they haven't necessarily replaced Motrin or Tylenol when teething is really bad, but they kick in fast and do the trick when he just needs to be distracted from the pain or to buy us time until the Motrin kicks in. You can get them at WalMart in the States (I haven't seen them in the Cdn WalMarts) or at a health food store. Jaxon loves taking them.



6. A wipeable, flexible, durable bib with a pocket that has snaps! (This brand is a Dex Dura-Bib). I didn't really use this until Jax started eating finger foods...and now it's the ONLY bib I use. And you only need 1. It's great. It catches everything, and all you have to do is wipe it off and it's ready for the next meal. And the snaps on the pocket make it very easy to get all the junk out of it - all you do is undo the snaps and the pocket unfolds, making it all flat. Thanks Amy for giving this to us!!!



...maybe this will give you an idea why I love it so much :)

It's helped me "let go" of the desire to feed Jaxon just so there would be less mess....now I don't really care (although he still gets food in his hair but oh well...) and he's actually feeding himself really well now, with way less mess.

Every time I take the tray off his highchair to clean him up, Jax loves to peek inside the pocket to see what kind of goodies are in there :o)


7. (Somewhat) Spillproof Snack Cup - This thing is one of my MAJOR favorites. It has been a life-saver for us numerous times. The lid has slits in it so that your toddler can stick his hand in, grab a few Cheerios, and pull it back out without dumping the whole cup of Cheerios everywhere. This is an essential in my purse whenever we go anywhere. Great for the car, shopping cart, church, and stroller (to name a few).

It took Jax a couple days to figure out how to get the Cheerios out, but he eventually got it and he quickly became a pro.

It IS still possible for Cheerios to go flying (like when Jax was trying to figure out how to use it and ended up holding one of the slit things open and shaking it upside-down) but really - it still gets 5 stars from me.

You can find these at WalMart for under $4.


And of course - some of the more normal things like:
  • Wireless baby monitor (so you can take it outside with you while baby is napping)
  • Car Seat/Stroller combo (where the car seat snaps into the stroller - very handy for transferring from the car to stroller, or for walks in the winter, or for taking a sleeping baby inside).
  • Double-sided flannel blankets for swaddling (Jax slept way better swaddled from the time he was born until he started standing up in his crib).
The list could go on and on but I think I'll leave it there.....anyone have any awesome kid stuff that I don't know about??? I'd love to hear about them!

Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 vaccine...update...

First of all....thank you all for your comments on my last post. They DEFINITELY helped me make my decision about what I am going to do about the H1N1 vaccine.

Today, I realized I finally feel confident in not getting Jaxon & I the vaccine.

It's not easy making the decision. Of course - the media and most medical professionals are advising people to GET the vaccine, and there is a ton of anti-vaccine stuff on the internet - but of course there is so much junk on the internet it's hard to know what's true. I found myself VERY torn, confused, and paranoid about BOTH options.

I prayed about it and asked God to give us confidence about what we should do...and today I realized He did that!

We've decided NOT to get the vaccines. As scary as that is! Yikes.

My friend Ashton is 3 months pregnant and got very sick with the flu this past week. The doctors were treating it as if it was the Swine Flu. She said that from her visits to the hospital and talking to 4 different doctors she learned a lot about this flu....
  1. the symptom that you have to be most worried about is shortness of breath. The other symptoms should be given attention - but they won't kill you. If you have shortness of breath you need to get to the hospital ASAP. And you will have time to get it under control if you get to the hospital right away.
  2. 3 out of the 4 doctors she talked to were under the belief that the anti-viral medications they give H1N1 patients (Relenza and Tamiflu) are ineffective, and a Pharmaceutical ploy. Also, that there are side-effects with those.
  3. Those three doctors were also NOT in favor of the vaccine.
This made me feel more level-headed about the whole thing - YES, it's serious - but if you watch for the symptoms you will have time to get treated and you will be okay.

So....what I AM doing is this:
  • taking Probiotics (Jaxon is too - you can get it in a powder form and put it in yogurt or whatever you want)
  • Taking Vitamin D and mulitivitamins (for Jax we have liquid multivitamin with A,D and C in it)
  • I bought some Sambucol (black Elderberry extract) from the health food store to have on hand in case we start getting flu symptons. It's a super flu fighter and is supposed to reduce the length of a flu by 4 days, and it's safe for pregnant women and children (just make sure it's the Original kind with no Echinacea). Thanks to Andrea for this tip!!!!
  • staying home more
  • not hanging out with sick people :(

I'm relieved to have finally made a confident decision. And for those of you who have decided to get the vaccine - or plan to - I totally respect that. I know it is a really hard decision and there are pro's and con's to both.

Monday, October 26, 2009

to get it or not to get it (the H1N1 vaccine)

I know this is yet another VERY controversial topic...but I'm very curious what you think about this.

As you all know, the H1N1 virus is something that a lot of people are talking about - and it is apparently very serious. I've heard on the Dr. Oz show and The Doctors that it's expected to get worse this winter, and that it's very important for especially pregnant women and children aged 6mo to 19 years to get the vaccine.

Before watching The Doctors this morning, I was convinced that I wasn't going to get the vaccine - as scary as that is - because I felt that it was too new of a vaccine and I couldn't trust that it has been researched and tested well enough, especially for long-term side-effects.

According to what was said on the show this morning, there are many people who are leery of getting the vaccine, for the same reasons I am. They went on to point out that the vaccine is not really a NEW vaccine - it's basically the same as the regular flu vaccine, just with a different strain of the flu in it. And of course - the line "the benefits outweigh the risk".

Now, being pregnant, I know it's not just about me anymore - and me getting the H1N1 flu could be very dangerous for the baby and me. The show also said this morning that the swine flu is very dangerous for children.

So here I am, once again, torn about what to do.

Let me know what you're planning on doing...I'm curious to hear. But please, be nice :)


ps. for those of you who remember me writing a similar post about getting Jaxon immunized - we have decided to go ahead and start getting Jaxon immunized - one at a time. We're not giving him ALL the vaccines...we're sticking with the tried and true ones that we got as kids. So far he's had his first does of the 5-in-1.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hmmm....





I'll let you guess why Jax is looking at these books ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No-Knead English Muffin Bread

If you like English muffins, and you are scared of the kneading part of making bread, this recipe is for you! :)

I've made this twice now and it's SO easy, and SO yummy. You eat it toasted. We love how it gets so crispy when you toast it, just like English Muffins. Try it out! Here's the recipe:


English Muffin Bread

cornmeal
6 cups flour (I used 2 cups brown and 4 cups all-purpose)
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4.5 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Grease 2 loaf pans. Lightly sprinkle pans with enough cornmeal to coat bottom and sides; set pans aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine 3 cups of the flour, the yeast, and baking soda; set aside. In a microwavable bowl (I use my 4 cup glass measuring cup), combine milk, water, sugar and salt and microwave just until warm.

3. Using a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture into flour mixture. Stir in remaining flour.

4. Divide dough in half. Place dough in prepared pans. Sprinke tops with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45 minutes).

5. Bake in a 400 C oven about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pans. Cool on wire racks. Serve toasted.

(recipe taken from my Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)






Monday, October 12, 2009

oh fall....how we love you

Fall....I love fall. I'm always a little sad when the trees START to turn color, because I'm never quite ready to say good-bye to summer, but it doesn't take long for me to love that cozy feeling that comes with the cooler, fresh air outside, wearing slippers in the morning, burning candles in the house, cooking soups and stews and lots of other warm comfort foods, and of COURSE, the bright beautiful colored leaves (to name a few).

Last week Dan, Jax & I started our 1st annual fall tradition of going to pick out a pumpkin at a pumpkin farm. These are some pictures from that little outing as well as some other fall pictures :)












Wednesday, September 23, 2009

great deal!

Hey my Canadian friends! I just wanted to fill you in on a deal I found!

If you're like me and you don't print pictures for a year at a time....and then realize that it's going to cost you a fortune to print your pictures because there are so many.

A few weeks ago I sorted through all the pictures from the last year and decided which ones I wanted to print. I realized I had FIVE HUNDRED pictures to print.

So.....guess how much this box of pictures cost to print?





.......there's over 500 pictures in that box and it only cost me $39.95, including tax and shipping! I saw an ad on the internet for kwikpix.ca and thought I'd check it out....and they have a promo right now that you only pay $0.05 per picture for your first order! Yay for me. After your first order pictures are $0.10 per picture.

At Wal-Mart for $0.19 each, it would have cost me $95. Yikes.

So....check it out! Save yourself some money. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

quite a scare!



Jaxon has a peanut allergy!

About a month ago, he had a bite of the chocolate part of my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, and a few minutes after got red, puffy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. It cleared up in about 2 hours. The same thing happened 2 weeks ago when he had 1 bite of my PB & Jam toast. So then we knew it was the peanut butter.

On Wednesday, Jaxon had 1/2 a piece of Chex cereal snack mix at youth group, and as soon as he ate it I realized it had PB in it! So I watched him carefully and he only got red splotches around his mouth, nothing else. I came home and put him to bed, and he woke up about 15 minutes later coughing. He has a cold so I went in and gave him a drink of water and for "some reason" decided to take him and let him lay with me on the couch. Then I realized he had the red puffy eyes and red face, and hives on his belly...and his breathing was a bit wheezy.

We headed for the hospital right away, and within 2o minutes we had 3 nurses and a doctor standing around us, giving him Epinephrine, Benedryl, Ventalin, and Prednisone. Crazy!!!!!!! Things cleared up pretty fast after all the drugs, but they wanted to keep him overnight incase of a rebound after the Epinephrine wore off.

Thanks to the Benedryl, Jaxon fell asleep as soon as we got to our room, and slept until 4am. He woke up chipper and chatty and curiously examining the wires attached to him. :)

So, we are now the parents of a child with a peanut allergy! We have to become quite familar with an Epi Pen....especially since his allergy seems to get worse each time he has PB.



Jaxon's room :(


Future doctor maybe?



Dr. Kristina....we found out while we were there that she was with us in Sudbury with Mya! She did CPR on Mya for 9 minutes and said she still thinks of Mya often.

It was such a blessing to meet her and talk about Mya with her.....and it was so ironic that she was taking care of Jaxon here in the Soo! Especially since she's only up North once & a while...she normally works at CHEO.




Obviously feeling better!

...And just for fun...a classic spaghetti face picture :)


ps. THANK YOU to everyone who gave me advice for weaning! It was so helpful to read your ideas. As of now, we're still having 3 feedings a day but I think we're getting ready to drop 1 more. I bought a straw sippy cup and he's starting to get used to that, but is still not drinking tons of milk out of a cup. I've decided to go to the women's retreat....Dan is set to brave the weekend by himself! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

weaning tips, anyone?

So....Jaxon is 1 year old now and I'm thinking it's time to get him off the breast. There's 2 weekends in October that I have the opportunity to go away without Jaxon (Wonderland with the youth and a Women's retreat) but I really don't see Jaxon being done with me by then.

In those first days of breastfeeding, I never thought I'd get to 6 months, let alone 1 year! Well here we are and I love it and Jaxon loves it. But I didn't think it would be this hard to wean him! He has shown no signs of wanting to be done with it, in fact...he's starting to come to me signing "please, milk!" which is so cute and so hard to say no to! However......it's TIME! I told myself that when my kid starts to be able to pull up my shirt and ask for it, it's time to say bye-bye to breastfeeding. And I'm afraid that time has come.

We've successfully gone from 4 feedings a day to 3 in the last five days, but I've had to distract him quite a few times this week after he signed "please milk" to make him forget....so I don't see dropping 3 more feedings in under a month to be possible.

The biggest issue for me is that Jaxon doesn't really drink enough milk from a sippy cup (and he won't take a bottle at all..never has!) to replace his milk feedings. Since getting rid of the 12pm feeding, I've been offering him Homo milk in a sippy cup. He'll take sips but definitely not enough (or so I think). He's also not eating a ton of solid food right now so I worry that he's not getting enough. What are the milk requirements for a 1 yr old?

Any advice?? Should I just prepare for a tough 2 weeks and eliminate the feedings one-by-one, hoping that he'll eventually drink the homo milk or should I give up on the idea of going away in October????????

Thanks for your advice!

ps. any moms out there have any tips for picky eaters? It seems like we have to pretty much force feed Jaxon his meat & veggie meals. He's pretty picky with his finger foods too.

Monday, September 07, 2009

visiting the cemetery

We were glad to be able to visit the cemetery where Mya is buried while we were in Goderich. Especially since her 2nd birthday, we were really wanting to go and visit her grave site. We always go there hoping to get some feeling of comfort or feel close to Mya, but we usually get there and just see the stone in the ground and realize that it's really just her body there. We know that she is far from here...rejoicing and having a grand time in Heaven with Jesus.

This time though - I think because it was the same time of year as her funeral - memories of her funeral and the time surrounding her death flooded back. I looked over to the tree that we set her tiny white casket under and remembered the feelings of numbness and disbelief combined with the feelings of torture.

There is a picture that I will always have in my head - the picture of Dan carrying her casket from under that tree to the place that she would be buried. We had a ton of people walking behind us, supporting us and crying with us. Whew. What a dark time that was.

On a lighter note...our visit this time was somewhat of a blessing. It was a beautiful day...the sun was shining and the big leafy trees were shading us and blowing in the breeze...we were looking forward to taking Jaxon and sitting by Mya's grave. Dan and Jax went ahead and I took a couple pictures.

This one blew us away:


Just one ray of sun shining on Mya's grave. We're not the kind of people that say "oh...it's Mya looking down on us"......but we do feel that it was a little blessing from God saying "it's going to be okay, she's safe here with Me".


The entrance to "babyland". I wish I had a "before" picture. It has come so far. Dan's parents really took ownership here and got things into shape. Before there was no flowers or plants, there were tree stumps sticking out of the ground, there were ugly white pillars, sparse grass (or should I say WEEDS!), and it was just not a pretty place. But now, there are beautiful flower beds, trimmed trees to let the sun in, and green lush grass. It's a much nicer place to visit, and it feels like a better more tranquil place to be.





a visit to Goderich

Last week we packed up and headed to Goderich for a quick visit with our families. It was so nice to see everyone again - we had a really nice visit. We brought our bikes which was great....the weather was PERFECT so we were able to take advantage of it. Here's some pictures from our visit!


We had a birthday party for Jaxon so our families could celebrate with him too!


A new favorite picture!


I love my sister!








We visited my Grandma on the way back! We brought her KFC which she was thrilled about, and played Skip-Bo. :)


The zoo with Ange