We’ll Keep Him/Acquiring a Third

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One of my favorite movies growing up (and still today) is Willow.  The opening scene is a quite heart wrenching, a new born baby’s life is in danger and to save the child it is sent down the river, like the baby Moses, in the hopes that someone would find that baby and love them like their own. As a mother the thought of putting a baby in a river alone, no matter the flotation device is absolutely terrifying. It makes my chest feel tight to even type it.

But then the baby is found and taken in… and someone very small and unimportant takes that baby and does the best they can to keep her safe. I was always touched by Willow’s love for a baby that was so different from him, and what great lengths he went to to save her.

Every time I watched that movie or read the story about Moses, I felt a strong desire to pick that baby up out of the river…

I guess it was similar to the feeling I had when I heard this summer about the death of my cousin Anita. She had struggled most of her adult life with Bi Polar disorder and according to her mother had been highly over medicated. She had attempted to leave this life at other times, and this time succeeded in passing from her pain. Though I had not seen her for many years I knew that she had a baby boy, not even a year old. In my mind he was floating in a little basket of reeds on a river to who knows where…. I wondered who will pick him up? Who will love Lucas?

In that moment it seemed like an impossibility to me to have another child to care for. At the time I was living with my husband and two girls in my parents home. We had come to “visit” them  for the Holidays from Utah (a car ride that will live in infamy), and due to our financial situation and the graciousness of my parents we stayed. Chuck had just begun a job building trusses in a warehouse only five minutes from their house… just enough to help us get out of the financial debt we had found ourselves in. How could we care for another baby… and so my inquiries about Lucas seemed more like lip service. A desire to help.

At the time of Anita’s passing, Lucas was with her parents (my aunt and uncle)… or to him Grandpa Joe and Grandma Denise. They had applied for guardianship, and having already raised Anita’s oldest son went forward with a desire to raise Lucas too. I thought it was a done deal, and he would be safe and happy with his grandparents.

The whole situation really got me thinking about babies though… and like many other mothers can attest to, if you think too much about babies, you start to get “The Fever.” Yet somehow in my mind I consider it more like a potion that God sprinkles over you… akin to Love Potion Number 9,  only it makes you forget how hard and difficult having children is, and just makes it seem like some sort of dreamy pony ride to the land of happiness. That is how he propagates the human race I suppose. (though i still believe that “Children are an Heritage of the Lord… and HAPPY is the man who has his quiver full” (psalms 127: 3-5). So just to sum that all up I was poor, living in my parents house, stressed out trying to keep up with my 1.5 and 3 year old girls and in la la land dreaming about bringing another human in to the mix.

I guess you can say that the “baby potion spell” was just preparation for what was about to happen next. It was a few weeks later that my Aunt and Uncle came to the conclusion that with their ages and health that it would be in Lucas’s best interest to consider having him adopted… but they wanted him to remain in the family and continue their relationship with him.

Due to my inquiries about him and desire to help attitude, my aunt and uncle asked Chuck and I to consider adopting Lucas. A few weeks prior there was a lot of fear and anxiety that arose at a thought like that… but now it seemed like a no brain-er, if you see a baby floating down the river, you pick him up.

There was prayer and a lot of talk that went on between Chuck and I about it. But overall it just felt like what we were supposed to do. In a way it felt like Anita and God were somewhere encouraging us to move forward. And since that time they have been helping us out in tremendous way.

We had a visit with Lucas in June, during which Chuck ended up in the hospital with Lymes Disease and was out of work for a month, yet even in our great financial need after his recovery we both felt like he should not go back to that job. Two weeks later he received a random e-mail offering him a job (with benefits!) in St. Paul. It now seemed that our money woes were solved. Yet we were still living with my parents and it was becoming apparent that having another child there would make for a pretty stressful household…. so we began searching for a place to live.

I reached out to a friend in the St. Paul area who just happened to know of someone renting their house, for $300.00 less than anything else on the market for that area. So we moved September 2nd and a few days latter. Lucas was here.

As some of you may have experienced showing love to a child is not always received. Each day is a small little battle for me to try and win the trust and affection of a little boy who not once, but now in his mind twice, lost everyone he held dear to him. It is surprising to me to watch him in his 17 month old way express his sadness and anger at the circumstances of his life and how he is so helpless to it all. As a parent with my first two children I have many times felt completely inadequate to my task… Lucas has brought out a whole new level of my weaknesses…. yet, I just try one hug at a time, a cheek snuggle here, a bottle, a belly full of food, and kiss on the forehead good night…  I look forward to my Aunt and Uncle coming to visit him in October so he can have the assurance that people will not keep randomly vanishing from him.

Despite any challenges that arise, we’ll keep him. The girls are already so fond of talking about their brother and finding things in the house to make him happy when he cries. I want so desperately for him to be a happy thriving kid… and in a lot of ways he is. I have never seen anyone get so excited to see a puppy, or be so proud to shut a door. In only a few short weeks he has picked up three baby signs and started calling me “Ma Ma” though I don’t know if it has much emotional meaning to him as of yet… that is just my name round these parts and if you want something you yell “MA MA!”

If you are a praying person, I would ask you to pray for Lucas, that he can make this transition and embrace his new family as we so long to embrace him.

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Will Work for Thank Yous

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By all accounts I should really be in bed right now. But I have been having this nagging feeling all day that I needed to write something (and by my last post you can tell that doesn’t come often anymore). It is 10:00 pm and I just finished a two hour battle with a two year old over bed time. It wouldn’t have been so overwhelming except that my husband is in Mexico and I was ready to go to bed at 3. Somewhere in the midst of her 30 minute long 9:15 pm meltdown over her pooping on the floor and my flushing it down the toilet (in her words, “I wanted the poop to be safe, not in the sewer!”) I realized that although this highly ridiculous scenario is not uncommon in my house, it will go pretty much unnoticed an unappreciated (unless I make my husband listen to every detail of it in a future conversation, where he will try to listen, but being really preoccupied with the current screaming that will no doubt be going on in the house he will miss most of the detail and not fully grasp the magnitude of it). And thus is my life. 

After giving her a very hearty dose of Melatonin and fighting her to rub lavender oil and roman Chamomile all over her body, she was finally subdued enough to stop slapping me in the face and screaming to get her diaper strapped on and back into her bed. As I lay under the soft blue glow of the pillow pet lamp I felt little tears stream down my eyes. I can’t quite say what the emotion was… like a mix of happy to watch her finally give up the fight,  sadness at the loss of my precious mommy time and a little complete overwhelm at the task of mother hood that still lays before me. 

In that moment I reflected a little bit on my day. Just a few hours earlier I had taken the kids on a post diner walk in our giant red wagon, which is the only way I can cart all three of them around (yes I have 3 kids now… more information on that to follow). Which in the city makes me stick out like a sore thumb. Especially since I live in a Dog Lover and college student neighborhood and kids are kind of rare in these parts. We walked to Whole Foods where I clumsily maneuvered my giant wagon through skinny isles and around all the fruit displays to get a bottle of Kombucha and a mix for brownies because we all needed a chocolate fix. I felt proud of my little wagon full of cuties who were so curious about everything and person they saw… but I was greeted by a lot of awkward looks and glances. Maybe it is weird to walk a wagon through an upscale grocery store (who knew?) 

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On my way home feeling a bit more self conscious. I began crossing a side street only to have an older women driving a smart car cut me off mid road… oddly enough as she was zooming right in front of me and my wagon load, she rolled down her window and yelled “Thank you!” And although she did not get to truly express herself I am thinking what she was trying to say was, “Oh, I am so sorry, I did not see you crossing before I started making this super fast left hand turn, and now my car has so much momentum that I could not possibly stop, plus there is oncoming traffic barreling towards me, so thank you for stopping mid-road so that I did not hit you and your cute little family because that would have made me feel guilty and ashamed for years to come.”

And a very interesting thing happened in that moment. I felt really good. I think I might of even blushed a little because I was like, “Thanks for noticing me and appreciating my pause and attention to the road and safety of my family.” And suddenly the awkward glances from the store didn’t really matter to me because I felt like I was important again. 

The other day in a moment of motherly despair I told my husband that I just need someone to notice what I do around the house…. and being the good listener that he is the next day he called me at work to tell me how nice it was that in his frantic rush to get out the door that I was somehow able to not only feed and take care of the kids but also make him two turkey sandwiches and pack some chips fruit and a vegetable. And that Thank you was like fuel to me…. because if nothing else good came of my day I knew that my husband was happy at lunch time. 

Somebody (well Wikepedia says Benjamin Franklin) said that “Time is Money.” I  truly dislike that expression, because time is anything but money when you are a stay at home mother. Time is love, it is dedication and commitment to people who you want to be happy and thrive. I feel like getting a good Thank you each day is like my paycheck… because then I know that I made someones day a little better in some way. It lets me know that I am doing a good job, and to be really honest, I question that a lot.  I even accept scripted Thank Yous that people prompt my children to say, and I really enjoy when people pray for diner and ask God to “bless the hands that prepared this meal” (my hands need a lot of prayers, in the next five years alone I will prepare and serve over 5,000 meals and almost 4,000 snacks). 

I know that “Thanksgiving Time” is still a few months out, but I figure in the attitude of this post here are a few Thank Yous that I wanted to give today (and some I actually did give, though I don’t know if they got all nerdily excited to receive the Thank you as I did!) .

Thank you! To the old man who noticed my 3 year old chasing him and his dog down the road today and stopped to let her have a pet of it’s soft curly fur. You really made her walk more magical…. most people in the city don’t stop.

Thank you! To the nurse at the doctors office who helped me open the door and search for my car keys after our 2 hour visit…. (someday I really will learn not to let my kids play with them!!!)

Thank you! To my brother in law, who in my husbands absence came over two nights in a row to helped with my dishes and reading bedtime stories to my kids, it really helped my sanity and braced me for the tantrum that soon followed your departure.

Thank you! To Lisa for the play date and a taste of your delicious Lemongrass Lime coconut soup… I am going to need that recipe!

Thank you! To my husband who promised me that I would be rewarded greatly for flying solo for 4 days with 3 kids. I hope it involves some sort of massage and perhaps lots of ice cold Kombucha.

Thank you! To my brother in law Daniel for taking the time out of his day to recommend essential oils for my health. I am really excited to put lemongrass on my feet tonight.

Thank you! To Amy for helping my family find this sweet house to live in, watch my kids while I moved in and scoped out a preschool for Fiona…. For whatever reason I feel like God is using you to help me and my family right now.

Thank you! To uncle Joe for calling to check in on me and little man today. I love how much you care about him and your positive outlook for the future. I really liked today on the phone how you said that Loving people was all that really mattered in life and taking a moment to form good memories and show that you care about someone is the kind of legacy you want to leave behind…. me too Joe… me too. 

Ok… sleep now. My two year old will no doubt be awake at midnight requesting crackers and stories.

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From Time to Time

Over the last few months I have spent a lot of reflective moments in front of my computer. I will often reminisce about the days when my mind thought in blog posts, and it seemed that there was something “noteworthy” about my day to day activities.

While to me there is much to be said about each day, I feel like too much time has passed to pick back up and fill in the gaps. And so perhaps it does not need to be said officially but I am putting my blog to bed.

Goodnight little blog.

 

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Stuff that Happened

Well, it’s pretty much all fun and games around here until someone gets hurt, or breaks glass, or pees on the floor… always ruins my fun anyhow.

I read somewhere once that when trying to potty train your child it is helpful if they are sitting on the toilet and unable to go, to pour a glass of water in the toilet to simulate the sound and help them get excited about it. I am here to tell you that is NOT a good idea, because I tried it and now every time I use the bathroom Daphnie demands to be placed on the toilet and given a glass of water which she dumps all over everything. Not helpful…

I wish there was photographic evidence for all I am about to tell you, but the last few times I have tried to snap a photo I have been baby mauled. So hope you can use your imaginations on this one.

Chuck and I are trying to find a good balance with both of us doing work from home, it is quite the juggling act. The other day during one of my work times he came barging in the room in his towel carrying a baby in a diaper asking if I could help him. Turns out Fiona was across the street bare naked and crying. I was understanding of Chuck’s hesitance to go out and grab her… I am pretty sure our neighbors think we are weird enough. Scary thing is, besides the fact that my two year old knows how to unlock the door, and that she was naked in the cold… is that she crossed the street without us, heart attack city. We live at the bottom of a huge hill that gigantic semi trucks filled with rocks blast down all the time. So it was one of those things that made us laugh and want to cry at the same time.

Kind of like the other day when we were walking home from the park and I was trying to push Daphnie in the stroller up the hill while Fiona meandered behind us getting distracted by every fleck of dust to blow in the wind. She stopped to smell and pick some flowers… I continued to make my way up the hill until I notice that Fiona was extremely far behind us… with her finger up her nose. I asked her what she was digging for,  to which she replied, “the flower.”  I took a look inside her tiny nostril and could see a tiny stem which I pulled and it broke off, and then a hint of something yellow. Unable to get a hold of it I asked her to keep her finger out of her nose until we could get home and grab the tweezers. That request was completely disregarded and she spent the entire walk home jamming her finger in her nose (seriously if I had handcuffs I would have used them!)

When we got home I could not see anything, but asked her to blow out… to which she sucked in as hard as she could. Once we established what blowing out meant she gave me a few good snorts and I could see the hint of something again. I reached in with a tweezers and seriously pulled out a flower the size of a quarter. Chuck was so grossed out he wouldn’t even look at it, I was astounded… should have taken a picture of that one.

I have been washing sheets like I work at the Holiday Inn… I feel like I need to ban my kids from bathing because every time they take a bath they inevitably drink about a gallon of bathwater. Needless to say we always wake up to very soggy mornings. The other day I had just got done washing all the sheets and was getting ready to fold them up, when in walks naked Fiona who squats down on said clean sheets and pees. Really?!?!

ON a really positive note we had a friend take family photos of us last week. I have no pictures of us hanging up on the walls and had come to the realization that my feeble attempts to have someone snap a random shot of us were not panning out to be wall worthy portraits. So I was overjoyed when this was the result of our photo shoot. There are many many more that I love, but this one is great.

I ran a 5K this last week, the first race I had done since Grandmas Marathon in 201o. It was for breast cancer survivors and was a good reminder to me that I need to be better about doing self exams and all that good stuff. I ran in honor of my momma, who won her battle with cancer last year.

 Daphnie has just popped two new teeth through, so that makes six down. She has started enjoying a nice sippy full of milk now and again but shows absolutely no desire to stop nursing…. Which brings me to the personal dilemma of how long I want to nurse my kid for. I am hoping she will wean herself.

On November 4th they will announce the winners of the Gerber Baby photo contest. I really have a very small chance of winning, but I think about it everyday and dream of how great it would be to have a college fund all set up for my kids….

Other than that Fiona is really into eating sticks of butter and hearing stories from the Wizard of Oz over and over again. She is very intrigued by magic and witches and often asks me to tell her stories about scary things and getting owies.

I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween this year and she told me that she wanted to be a blueberry, like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, she even requested little Oompa Loompas to roll her around.

I considered how funny it would be and wanted to make her dream come true and then realized that I did not have the time or energy to put something like that together, so we can all just imagine it right now in our minds.

Happy Halloween Everyone…. I will have to post pictures of the festivities later this month 🙂

 

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The post about Vitamin B12

Wow… sometimes it takes me forever to get on here. Just as a side note I have been making it a point to write more in my personal journal, because there is so much about me that I do not feel the need to make known unto the world at large. 

BUT someone asked me a questions about vitamin B12 and I have been wanting to answer it. So first here is the question: 

 How much B12 do we need, and how often? And in terms I can understand, which means not milligrams…If I eat an egg a day, is that enough B12 to last a day or a few days… or a glass of dairy milk a week could sustain me for how long? Am I correct that there isn’t a vegan source of B12, well not a ‘natural’ one. I realize there are fortified B12 options.

Great question. And I just realized that I do not know how to subscript the number 12! B12 is a micro-nutrient  meaning we only need a little bit of it. As such, it is not really something you have to actively think about or be concerned with UNLESS you are a vegetarian, elderly, or have gastrointestinal disorders which effect your ability to absorb it. Without it you could suffer from nerve damage, loss of vision, depression, dementia, poor memory, megoblastic anemia, and lots of other nasty things.

In general it is found only in animal derived foods (which poses a problem to vegans who eat no foods of animal origin). However, fermented soy products such as tempeh may contain some vitamin B12 from bacteria, but unfortunately much of this B12 is in an inactive form… making that whole statement kind of pointless. 

There is also a tiny bit of it in seaweed such a nori (Mmmmm Sushi) but it is so small that if that was your only source you would probably get Iodine toxicity from eating too much. No good.

So if you are a Vegan it is recommended that you either use products that are fortified with B12 (such as soy milk or breakfast cereal) or that you take a supplement. I have heard that if you take a supplement you would want it to be a vitamin B complex and not Vitamin B12 alone. For whatever reason they absorb better into your body when taken in combination. 

IF you are a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian (meaning you eat eggs and dairy products) this is what you are looking at for quantities (These numbers are for adults) The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 2.4 mcg  but the Dietary Value DV (as listed on Nutrition labels in percentage) is 6.0 mcg and in the book Nutritional Healing they recommend 200 – 400 mcg which is a pretty hefty difference I would say.

Luckily your body stores several years worth of B12 in the liver and and deficiency is really rare (unless you have the conditions listed above). There has not been found to be an Upper Limit to B12 meaning that you can’t really ever get too much of it.

One Egg contains 0.6 mcg. So it that were your only source and you were trying to reach the RDA you would need to eat 4 whole eggs. 

It would take about two and a half cups of milk or yogurt, or a little less than three ounces of cheese a day to meet it.

If you just have one glass of milk a week, or one egg a day without taking in any fortified products you would be below the RDA and over a period of a few years could start to experience symptoms. However, many symptoms of nutritional deficiency can seem like lots of other things and are hard to pin point.  You can have blood work done to have it checked but doctors don’t really call for it unless you are having megoblastic anemia symptoms.

If you eat any kind of meat, fish, liver, poultry etc you seriously have nothing to worry about (unless you fall into one of the trouble categories listed above).

Hope that answers it! Thanks for the question! Keep them coming 🙂

 

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If you are in Utah…

I have not posted in awhile about what is going on with Chuck and Enlighten. It is probably one of the first questions people ask me though in conversation. They have been having such a great year and getting such a wonderful response to the book that they are holding a free class this Saturday.

Here are the details from their website:

Enlighten is offering this free class as an expression of our gratitude for all the support we’ve received from our customers and friends. All are invited. Daniel will be lecturing on Emotional Healing with Essential Oils: The Five Stages of Healing. There will also be a brief question and answer period. Come learn how to apply emotional healing tools into your daily life.

The Class will be held this Saturday, September 29th from 10:30am-12:00pm @ AromaTools 1351 W. 800 N, Orem, Utah

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Happy Birthday Dee

Yesterday little Daphnie turned one. I wanted to show you the celebration in pictures, but I went to upload them and the videos from my camera this morning to find that they had somehow all been deleted. Every Single One. So sad.

Sorry Daphnie, I hope this post will suffice someday when you wonder about how the celebration was.

We decorated with purple… streamers, balloons and lots and lots of pictures of your 12 months of life. We made you organic Chocolate Cake topped with fresh whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries. Even though we had practiced, you didn’t seem to understand the candle and wanted to touch it, so dad blew it our for you. You carefully picked off all the berries first from your own personal cake… and delicately sampled some whip cream and with help from dad you tried the cake… but were less interested in it. Fiona was a good sister and was sure to help you eat it.

Your dad cooked tortilla soup for all our friends and the adults also enjoyed some yogurt parfaits because it seems in our social circle someone is usually wheat free, or daily free, or sugar free… so we try to cater to all desires 😉

You wore pink polka dot tights with a black tutu skirt and a shirt that said, “I am the birthday girl” And you looked so pretty with a little bow in your wavy brown hair.

You had fun playing with your friends, the balloons, and squeezing your new teddy bear that we got for you, he is almost your size and you were tackling him to the ground over and over again.

You had lots of presents to open because your Grammee Mary sent a huge box to you and Fiona full of toys, and clothes. Grammee Mary sure loves you and wishes she could have seen… and that your mommy would not have deleted all of the great footage she got of your opening said gifts. Both your greatgrandmas also sent you cards which you opened yourself… kissed and hugged and threw the money to the side (don’t worry it’s safe in your piggy bank).

Our friends Sara and Anastasia brought a huge parachute to your party and we went to the park with everyone to play with it. You had fun crawling under it and on top and looking at the bright colors.

You are growing up so fast, you are walking at least 8 steps at a time. You can say things like “Hi!” which you always make sure to say to dogs and kitties. You say cracker, bubba, mamma (all the time), and are really good at telling us when you are “all done” eating. Your laugh is contagious, and your six little teeth and so cute (and painful… you have started biting your mommy and think it is sooo funny).

 

You love your big sister (except when she takes toys away from you). One of your favorite things is when she finally wakes up from her afternoon nap and we get to go in the room and get her.

 

You love eating fresh garden tomatoes, spaghetti and drinking spinach smoothies with your scrambled eggs.

When you give kisses you make the kissy sound very exaggerated, and  they are usually open mouth and very juicy.

 

Often you wake up at the crack of dawn and come into bed with me and daddy to snuggle… but it ends up with you wanting to wrestle us and jump around.

You enjoy bathtime, early morning walks alone with mom and playing peek a boo. You love riding the three wheeler, and pushing the baby stroller. You are a fabulous little mommy to your babies you always give them kisses and sing rock-a-bye to them. You also love the song twinkle twinkle little star.

You remind me of something that I can’t quite express… like something straight from heaven that doesn’t have a name. Sort of like that feeling you get when you are sitting outside in the grass and the sun is warm on your skin and the wind blows your hair just a little and you are happy that you are alive… that’s what you remind me of. Your skin is soft and warm. I love squeezing you and nibbling on your little cheeks. I get so excited when I find something that makes you laugh and will do it over and over again until you lose interest.

Sometimes I try to sneak away from you to try and get things done and you always figure out where I am… I can then hear the sound of your four little limbs crawling full speed through the house and your frantic nervous crying for momma searching for me. Sometimes I do not reveal my location because I like the show (I hope you can forgive me, but I would never leave you for long)

I love you, hope you never forget it. Happy first birthday.

 

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