I need a Silent Night

Christmas this year is hard. I’m not sure why, but I suspect its because in the business of life and motherhood, therapies and IEP meetings and legal paperwork, and trying to start my own business….somewhere along the way I feel like I lost myself.

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Two and a half – only halfway terrible

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Who is this big kid?

The one who is determined to get her choice of cereal in the morning
The one who dances around telling me “mom I ‘rina’ dancing”
The one who speaks non stop – until she knows she might get in trouble and won’t say a word.
The one who decided to potty train on her own schedule…(right in the middle of a busy time period no less)
The one who wears clothes found in the kids section – not the baby section
The one who plays cars in a princess dress
The one who helps put laundry away
The one who wants to go her friends houses to play every day….and gets upset if the answer is not today.
The one who sings in the backseat every time we get into the car…and helps do up her own carseat.
The one who sets up tea parties and and cooks for her babies

Somewhere in the past 6 months my toddler has been left behind for the glimpses of the little girl emerging.

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Boo is turning Two!

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Dear Daughter,

It feels like yesterday we were bringing you home in your infant carrier, propped up with blankets because you seemed so small in the seat, that you had your first smiles, foods, laughs…as we have have transitioned through first steps and first words, at some point you have also crossed the line between baby and toddler.

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There is no doubt you are a toddler now. You have definite preferences; You LOVE Owls and call them Hoo’s, Dora and Boots, Daniel Tiger and Baby Jake, and reading your “Bibow” Bible. You love to colour and I am always impressed at how you no longer randomly scribble but you choose what to colour, although sometimes that is still the walls. You love to be outside, whether it be walks, going to the part or building and playing in the backyard.  but you also are developing distinct dislikes as well,  you do NOT like to be woken up, or to wear certain shoes, or going to bed – well maybe that one isn’t new or surprising – but now you have the words to make sure we know just how much you dislike it.  “No” is a very prevalent word in your dictionary these days. You might still look more like Daddy, but you are definitely mommy’s girl when it comes to personality, you know what you want and how to to get it every time.

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You are so social! Everything I have heard about your father and myself as small children, I wasn’t expecting you to be our little social butterfly! You may not have hundreds of words but you have many friends, but you are always wanting to be around others. You know exactly where your friends live and never want to go past without waving or saying hi, you love to share and to make others happy, to smile at babies, and to give hugs to everyone you meet. I hope that this side of you never dulls and you are always as caring and friendly as you grow up.

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I love this stage that we are entering, of constant curiosity and learning. You seem to just absorb knowledge these days! You know several words in Spanish (Leche, Cuna, Agua, Gato, Perro, beso, cabeza, pelo, ojo, mano, nariz, boca to name a few) , you can pick out several letters on a page (the important ones….O for owl, R for Raine, A, and I) and most of your body parts. You identify most of the animals by the sound they make. You have surprised us by learning how to get your clothes off, and your favorite day of the week is the day you go to My Gym, where you have really found a new confidence in both your physical abilities and in helping you to really “come out of your shell” and develop your personality.  Of course we were not expecting that would mean you would use the whole house as a gym!

My birthday wish and prayer for you is that you would know how loved you are, that you would never stop learning and growing, that your love for the Bible and Church would become the foundation for a love for God. That this coming year would full of even more exploring and joy.  Mommy and Daddy (Papa as you call him these days) love you so much.

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Lauren Daigle – Trust In You

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!

Mister D turns 5

The day this kid has been waiting for…. Since he was three he has been talking about it…the ultimate age for a preschooler to hit….signifying the start of a new era….

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F-I-V-E! Thats right… 5. the Big one, the one that signifies that hes not little boy any more, but a big kid, who is going to “big kid school” this coming September.

This year was a hard one for us all, but it has been extraordinary to see the changes it has brought. There were times that I honestly was at my wits end with what to do to calm the storm and if we were strong enough to be the parents he needs. With help from some professionals, and lots of studying and connecting to others, we have come to accept that he may likely always have some extra struggles, but he is so much more then his struggles or labels and he is proving it every day, we are so thankful to those who have given us encouragement and tools, and continue to do so, to help support him as he grows.

. He has learned to let us help him through the hard things, that food isn’t all that bad (and he’s grown to prove it!), to count to 10 (most of the time), to write his name, and  That it’s ok do things on his own, and its ok to be need parents sometimes too.

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The kids had a blast decorating his cake!

 

This year has been full of dinosaurs, playing outside – the muddier the better, lego, drawing, playing with Little (sis), summer at the lake (s), finding snakes, and all those other sorts of little boy things (that hopefully will stick around for this BIG KID).

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These kids love each other so much! 

So to finish up, Mister D, We love you to the moon and back, and to the lakehouse and back and even Mexico and back! I can’t believe your 5!

Home For Christmas 2015

2015 12 24_4022‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house we were celebrating Christmas in the calm before the storm. We decided early in the morning (when we happened to wake up a couple hours before the kids) that it might just make things go smoother and less overwhelming for the kids to have Christmas  a day early in order to space it out from seeing the relatives and travel. It was definitely far more relaxed then Christmas other years or even this whole week leading up to Christmas to spend the morning with just the 4 of us, and to have a less overwhelming pile of presents to choose from!

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Of course there were still plenty of presents, and Santa came through with full stockings and the Dinosaur SuperD asked him for last week!

Baby R had to try out all her presents as she opened them

Mom and Dad guessed right when picking out presents this year and R was enthralled with her new doll stuff!

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And How CUTE is this! Our neighbor and dear friend MADE this doll carrier that we gave R!!! Its perfect and now she can carry her babies, just like mommy!

D got some pretty great things too! A LeapPad and a REAL (kids) Camera were among his faves, and of course he never tires of new books!

2015 12 24_4104 Then it was time to clean up…and R was delighted to help with her new brooms (one from each grandma!)

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All finished off with a yummy breakfast! All in all it was fantastic to be able to take breaks as the kids needed, avoiding sensory overload meltdowns and having less new stuff all at once made this Christmas “day” a lot less crazy then I had anticipated, we have already played with toys and calming down back into routine…We are still looking forward to having a big Christmas with all the relatives later this week, but I think we may be onto something having a small family Christmas and then visiting with the rest of the relatives on another day! A Very Merry Christmas to all of our Friends and Family!

4th of July

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Because I’m a suckered for dressing my kid up in themed clothes as long as she will let me!

When you’re baby wants to make bread AKA attack of the yeast monster

Have come across a number of people lately asking what we did for my daughters yeast rashes which were absolutely terrible! Raine has been overly yeast-y since very early. She gets yeast rashes in her neck rolls, in her leg rolls, but the worst is when her diaper rash turns into yeast.

The problem with yeast is it is difficult to get rid of and having invested in cloth diapers (and since most disposables give little miss sensitive skin rashes anyways) it’s a LOT of work. I am going to break down what we did to battle the yeast into three categories – the roll rashes, the butt rash and the diapers.

 

Roll Rashes – There is not a whole lot you can do other then apply an antifungal cream and try to keep them dry. We do make sure to clean her rolls out with water regularly (Do NOT use cornstarch – yeast feeds on sugars) and when they get bad she gets baking soda in her bath water. Most sources say to add 2 tablespoons to warm water and let it dissolve before putting the baby in the bath. I mostly just eyeball how much. This helps to dry out their skin a bit so there a less damp dark places for the yeast to call home. Then we let her air dry until she is completely dry. I find this works best when we first get up…she gets her bath and then has naked time in the bathroom for about half an hour or so (until her nap). We also started her on probiotics (BioGaia is the brand) and since I am nursing I also started taking probiotics. Recently I found Triple Cream AF(antifungal) which I LOVE for her rolls since it’s got both an antifungal and zinc oxide to try and keep it dry!

Bum Rash – We started with an antifungal (Nystatin) and it would clear up her yeast rash about 90%….but could never get it completely gone and it would return. Eventually we tried a few different antifungal creams  prescription and non and the same thing. Apparently yeast can become resistant, so if the antifungal cream isn’t doing the trick in about a week, it has probably become resistant to the cream and its time to switch to another one or try something else. The above advice for roll rashes also applies to yeast diaper rash. Also Thrush can turn into a yeast diaper rash so be aware of watch for it if you suspect yeast (Luckily we have not had thrush – knock on wood).  

This is where we get into the time consuming but effective way to treat it…..Doing the following things we got rid of a yeast rash that had been going on 2 months of painful bum!

 – Ditch the wipes….completely. We didn’t even use cloth wipes, when she peed or pooped we rinsed her off under the tap (could also do in a baby bath, we didn’t have one)

When you dry, get really dry. Air dry as much as possible and when not possible us a blowdryer. We did an hour of diaperfree time every morning and every evening….and when possible as much of the day as you can. If you have floor that isn’t carpet this is easier to clean up after, or if your kid isn’t mobile yet throw a towel down or the waterproof crib mats.

Chamomile tea: My husband thought I had truly lost it when I told him I was going to put tea on our daughters bum. I had read it on the internet that it is a natural antifungal and I am convinced that is what finally did the trick! I can’t find the original site I found it on but I do 4tea bags seeped in 1cup of hot water for 20 minutes….let cool to room temperature. I then put it in a plastic container of some sort with a lid for convenience. (I usually divide it in half and put half in the fridge as it goes kind of slimy after a few days of being left out).

Breastmilk: I don’t think it does much for the yeast itself, but it helps the poor little bum heal.

Change often…we were changing every hour to err on the side of too often when it was bad.

 So our diaper changes took about half an hour every time, and dependent on how stubborn the rash is you might get rid of it with just an antifungal and some diaperfree time or you might be like us and need to take full offense to fight it off. An average diaper change with yeast rash in our house looked like this:

1. Remove old diaper and rinse bum off

2. Blowdry

3. Apply Chamomile by using a cloth or a cotton ball (which we did because we didn’t want to have to keep sanitizing the cloths!), DO no wring out…dip and let it get really wet and apply to bottom.

3. Blowdry again

4. Apply breastmilk in the same way as the chamomile

5. Blowdry again or let airdry even for just 5 minutes if you can…ideally until you HAVE to put a diaper on, the longer the better!

6. apply coconut oil to provide a moisture barrier (which we can no longer do as our daughter developed sensitivities to coconut oil which is a whole other rash! But if you can go for it!) before putting a new diaper on.

 

Cloth Diapers – There are million and two ways to treat cloth diapers for yeast, and what we did is no way more “right” then someone else’s but it has worked for us and it hasn’t been back since we finally got rid of it. Here is my method on an old school front loader

1. Rinse as normal

2. Wash with detergent and bleach. Everywhere has different amounts of bleach to add so I just filled the bleach compartment in the machine to max…when you battle yeast for this long you want be SURE its gone. Wash Hot. Extra rinse

3. Do another hot wash/full rinse cycle with an extra rinse without detergent and I put about 5 drops of tea tree in the bleach compartment this time, 15drops of grapefruitseed extract in the detergent slot and I put 5 drops of lavender (another natural antifungal) in the softener slot

I then did 1 more extra rinse cycle and didn’t use the diapers again until the rash was completely (not mostly…..) gone for 5 days.

ALSO I bleached and treated with grapefruitseed extract anything that touched her bum – so the diaper change cover, any towels used etc….

 

Doing all of the above, after battling yeast for 2 months, the yeast was gone in about 3 days. She still gets her roll rashes quite often as its next to impossible to kept the sweat and drool out of her rolls so we just keep cleaning them out and using Triple cream AF; but we have not had to treat a yeast bum rash in over a month since getting rid of it. We had a recent scare this weekend when bright red bumps showed up again….but they went away without treatment (as we were camping and unable to follow a lot of the steps) in a day so I am pretty sure it was teething rash rather then yeast.  To try and prevent yeast from reoccurring we continue on the probiotics and LOTS of diaper free time and always make sure she is really dry before putting anything on her bum.

 Here’s a picture of a cute baby to congratulate you for making it to the end of this post! 2014 07 19_0913

 

 

 

4 Months: a long overdue update

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Time is such a bizarre concept in the weeks and months after baby. Days can seem excruciating long when your kid is screaming all day, yet there’s not enough time to get anything done. I wanted this to be an update post, about milestones and such, but reality is Raine has changed and grown so much that would be a huge long list of things that all babies do…so while I might throw some of those in, I would rather talk about who Raine is today.

We always joke that Raine wants to keep up with the big kids. I have found a terrific moms’ group in my town and for quite a while Raine was the youngest baby, with the next youngest being about a month older then her. Since we have started to hang out with them Raine seems to be trying to keep up in every way, she weighs the same as them, she’s hitting milestones at the same time as kids a month older then her and I often times have to catch myself from worrying when is behind them.

Raine is a true girl. Obviously she’s girl….as cousin D says “She doesn’t have a peepee!”. But more then that, every morning when she wakes up and eats in her room she looks at her closet at smiles, she doesn’t fuss about putting shoes or headbands on, and she LOVES weddings.

Sleep? Nobody got time for that according to Raine. There’s too much to do in a day and she never wants to stop! If she had her way we would go go go all day long. She gets bored quickly and HATES going to bed and wakes up after just a short nap. However I suppose that might be our fault seeing as from the time she was born she has been exposed to canoeing, camping, hiking, travelling, boating, and being out and about.

Raine is a waterbaby! She loves her baths, and she will happily get in the lake, river, pool, whatever body of water is close by!

Raine is a social baby. At a wedding recently she was passed around to quite a few people with mom and dad no where in sight and all we heard back was how wonderful she was. She likes to talk to everyone and gets frustrated quickly if she figures she’s being ignored (as some of the babies close to her age don’t really have time to listen to her stories). She also is known to have lengthy conversations with her animal toys.

Being Raine’s mom has been a challenge, a blessing, a pleasure and a huge learning curve. No two days are the same (nor are nights) and its exciting watching her transform daily from a baby to a person with a personality of her own. And for the record I do think she’s amazing and I can’t believe she’s already rolled over both ways, is almost sitting on her own (unsupported can last between 10-20 seconds), and the ability to fight sleep is beyond comprehension!

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1 Month

IMG_0372 It’s amazing how fast time goes with a little one. March was the longest month EVER and yet April has disappeared overnight! It seems like just yesterday I was eating Pineapple and bouncing on a yoga ball willing this little baby into the world, and here she is already a month old.

At One Month Raine:

Sleeps an average of 1.5-2 hours at a time (although last night she gave mommy a present of sleeping almost 4 hours in one stretch!)

Fits in 3 month clothes, is already outgrowing her 0-3m outfits. (Never did fit in newborn clothes!)

Fits in about half of her cloth diapers, and size 1 pampers

Feeds for about 10-15 minutes at a time….every 2 hours

Only wants to sleep on mommy, most of time refuses to sleep in her bassinette.

Projectile vomits about once every 2 days; more often if mommy and daddy forget to hold her upright for 30 minutes after a meal, or if she falls asleep before burping

Lost her umbilical cord at about 8 days old.

Loves her carseat! Car rides and Stroller outings are her favorite! Will tolerate being”worn” for short periods of time.

 

Mommy Notes:

I knew life would change completely when Raine was born, some things I was prepared for, others not so much. I was prepared to lose a lot of sleep, change a lot of diapers, and do a lot of feeding. I wasn’t as prepared for the mommy healing. I always kind of assumed that once baby was here, I would just have some extra weight to lose and a longer period. I wasn’t prepared for needing to take life REALLY slow so that I didn’t overdo it (which leads to more bleeding, itchiness, cramps, swelling etc), the complexities of breastfeeding and boobs that seem to go out of control, or the new constant worries that for some reason I didn’t think I would be so worried about (is she still breathing? what is this rash? How do you know if its gas or colic or something else making her cry etc…). At the same time I can truthfully say I love being a Mom, and now that we are past the first few weeks, I am enjoying it more…even if it feels like I can’t get anything done, even if I have no sleep and worry, just looking at her makes it all worth it. I love going for walks with her, or just cuddling with her in the morning before starting the day. I love watching her funny expressions and wondering about what she is going to be like as she gets older.

 

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