Friday, December 21, 2007

Fashion Friday: Cousins


*Please ignore my photo program's crappy red eye job!*

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fashion Friday: The Family that Dances Together...

See our latest family picture:
(It might take a second to load.)

I couldn't resist, and boy did I need it after the week I've had! Thanks to my great friend Jen for the link.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Fashion Friday: Night Owl

Kendall 6 weeks

It's nights like last 2 nights that make me understand why God made babies so adorable. Especially at 3am, when we both feel like this:


I have to say the onesie only adds to the cuteness. Although I'm wondering if I should blame Mama C-ta for the whole life imitating art thing... ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Scoop

I am so sorry I haven't posted. I kept wanting to give you guys the whole labor story and the drama that followed, but that would involve time...something I have yet to find in my attempt to mother two children! :o) Therefore, you'll get the quick summary for now. I plan to write down the details for myself eventually, but at this rate, that will be next year!

Anyway, yes, Amanda, I am alive ;o) and actually doing much much better. As some of you may know, you can't really get rid of a blood clot; you have to wait for your body to absorb it. But I am on a blood thinner for the next 5 months to prevent the clot in my lung from getting bigger. I was getting my blood checked twice a week to make sure it was at the right consistency, but now my levels are more stable, so as of this week, we are attempting checking it once every other week. Yeah!

Another reason I didn't post was because there was actually more drama that followed the blood clot drama. As you may have noticed from my post, I ended up staying in the hospital a little longer than planned. The day before they hoped I would be able to go home, I developed a large hematoma in my left uterine wall that was EXTREMELY painful. As in I'd rather have 5 kids without drugs than go through this pain again. At one point, I was on two Vicodin pills, they doubled up on my morphine IV, and I was still in pain. They finally gave me Demerol (yes all at the same time) and then, well, all was well with the world... :o)

The pain of the hematoma kept me on my back for a few days and was preventing me from peeing on my own. So in went a catheter and LOTs of pain meds.

They usually do surgery and drain the hematoma, but they couldn't do
that for me because of the blood thinner. If I went into surgery, I could hemmorhage, which would obviously not be a good thing. So the hope was that my body would absorb the hematoma. They prepared me for emergency surgery in the event that it got bigger, but thankfully, that never happened. But, I had to stay in the hospital until I could walk and pee on my own again. And deal with the pain. That's why I got home late Monday night instead of Friday.

The real blessing was that Miss Kendall was able to stay with me the whole time. The nurses took great care of her and ensured that she was fed on demand. The doctors assured me all the meds I was on were safe for nursing Kendall, so I was able to breastfeed the whole time. Because I wasn't able to sit up for a while, we mastered the lying down feeding position -- something I could never get quite right with Emma. I have to say feeding Kendall was the only thing that kept me sane during those 11 VERY long days.

I'm not sure I'm ready to write about the emotional impact of all of this just yet, but I have to say that being away from Emma was by far the worst part of it all. Half of my heart was so overjoyed to have Kendall in my life, but the other half was so very broken that I couldn't see my first baby. The one I spend every second of the day with. The one who understood enough to miss and cry out for me, but wasn't old enough to understand that I didn't leave her for good. Some day I'll be ready to write more, but for now, let's just say my heart is still on the mend. And I think hers is a little bit too.

The hematoma still hasn't gone away, but the pain is decreasing every day. And according to my OB appointment yesterday, it is finally getting smaller! It's about 1/4 the size it was 5 weeks ago, so hopefully in a few more weeks it will be completely gone.

They've done tests and concluded that the blood clot was a "fluke" of pregnancy, meaning that nothing in my blood or genetic makeup makes me prone to clots. It was just the increased estrogen levels and the pressure in my pelvic area. They assume a clot formed in the pelvic region, and then after delivery, popped up into my lung. Also, believe it or not, the blood thinner is what caused the hematoma. I felt like I couldn't win!

I do realize how very blessed I am that they caught it -- and that I am alive today -- but if I'm going to be honest, the whole thing still seems more like nuisance than anything. Yes, God did protect me and answered the MANY prayers that went up for me, but it is a strange feeling to have such a fuss made over you. But more on all that later.

Anyway, Miss Kendall is doing great, although her tummy seems even more sensitive than Emma's -- but at least I'm prepared this time. And Emma is adjusting fairly well. She was pretty shaken up with me being gone for so long, so it took us a while to get back on track, but we're getting there. I have my good days and bad days, but I know I'll eventually find my Mommy groove again. For now, I sit in awe of you women with three and four children. How do you do it???

So that's the scoop for now. I realize this doesn't seem like a "quick summary," but there is so much more I could write! Hopefully I can start posting more often. Poor Kendall is already getting treated like a second child...she's almost 6 weeks old and I have yet to write her one-month letter!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rule Number One...

Never promise to do anything when you have a newborn. It just doesn't happen...

Sorry for lack of updates. Maybe later this week??? :o)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fashion Friday: Lazy Day


Here are my girls in their "lounging" outfits. (I thought I'd spare you mine...)

I decided to "keep it real" by showing a Fashion Friday that is a little more the norm for us than Emma's fixed hair and purty outfits.

Here is Miss Kendall looking oh so serious...


And then there's Emma. Don't these pink PJs of hers just crack you up?? :)


Have a nice, relaxing weekend everyone!

*P.S. Promise to post an update this weekend on the labor, the "complications," etc.*

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're Home!

So much to explain, but pretty darn tired. But I am home. Kendall is home. And we are a family of four under one roof...finally!

Thank you all so much for your prayers. I'll fill you in soon. Praise God for answered prayers!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby Kendall is here!

Hello everyone.. it's Lisa's husband Jeff. To start off everyone is fine and doing well. We had a baby girl Friday morning which most of you already know. Her name is Kendall Faith, she was born at 7:23am, 7 pounds 10 ounces, and 21 1/4 long..and she is absolutely gorgeous! Mom and Kendall were fantastic through the whole delivery process. Unfortunately, there were complications afterwards.

Lisa had felt woozy on Saturday afternoon and decided to tell the nurse. Between Lisa's low HR through the delivery and the feeling woozy they decided to run some tests of her heart and lung areas. The Doctors noticed extra fluid around Lisa's heart and decided to do a Cat Scan of her chest area. They found a small acute blood clot in her lower right part of the lung. She was immediately transferred to the CCU Intensive Care unit of the hospital and was put on blood thinners. After a long night and even longer Sunday with the help of the nurses(our angels) we were able to move Lisa back down to the OB floor to be with Kendall.

Lisa and Kendall will be in the hospital until Friday evening. I'm sure she will update you then. I'll try to pst some pictures tomorrow evening of Kendall and her sister.

Friday, October 19, 2007

On our way...

to the hospital! Let's hope it's for real this time!!! ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The last few days have been a bit of a blur, so I'll keep this short. First, no baby. And thank goodness for that! I've never appreciated God's timing more than I have the last few days.

Emma's suspected UTI turned into days of high fevers, a bad case of croup, and borderline dehydration. She wouldn't eat or drink, and sleep has been the last thing thing on our minds. Between lukewarm baths, cold rags, scary coughing fits and vomiting, and 2 days of feeding her liquids through a syringe to avoid IVs, I am pooped.

Her temps reached 104, and on Sunday, we had to WORK to keep it at 102. We've been to the doctor twice and the hospital twice, but thankfully, blood work revealed no underlying infections and adequate hydration. Thanks to Jeff literally forcing liquid into her body, we've managed to keep her out of the hospital for an extended period of time. (By the way, she doesn't have a UTI either!)

Needless to say, I am so happy Baby #2 has decided to stay put. Funny how your priorities quickly change! It is exhausting having my first baby attached to me EVERY second and wanting to be held and carried EVERYWHERE, but I am so happy I have been able to take care of her and focus on getting her well.

What's even better is that after a wonderful 2-hour nap yesterday, Emma turned a corner, and it looks like we are on the way to recovery. She is starting to pee more often and even drink on her own (a little). She even ate a fruit cup and a few handfuls of scrambled egg last night.

And she slept great last night. She only woke up about 4 times, which is MUCH better than every 45 minutes to an hour. Plus, one time was to go pee! That means I also got some sleep, which has made such a difference. I feel pretty darn good for 6:30am.

Well, that's the scoop, and that's why there was no Model Monday. Thank you all for checking in, and I'm sorry if I kept you hanging for a few days. I am convinced more than ever now that God's timing is perfect...always.

Why do we even question?!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sorry, no pushing...

Just a really, really bad day. Been to the OB twice today, only to find out nothing has really changed. Then took Emma to her doctor for a possible urinary tract infection (after ZERO nap today!), but it seems she only has some sort of rash.

Feeling extremely sorry for myself, so I'll spare you all the complaining. But I figured after all of your nice comments (thank you!), you deserved an update. I promise not to give you any more "teaser" posts until I'm sure we are heading to the hospital!

Now I'm off to eat another sleeve of Fig Newtons. Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be sure to post a Model Monday to make up for today's missed Fashion Friday.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Trying not to get all excited, but...

I've been getting Braxton Hicks all day, after several days of absolutely nothing. Of course, this could all go away, but I kinda wonder if we're getting there...

I have a doctor's appt. first thing tomorrow morning (8am), so I guess I'll know if anything has progressed. Until then, a prayer would be helpful. I'm definitely at the "I'm done" stage!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Happy Birthday to the most amazing father, loving husband, and caring best friend any woman could ask for. I love you to the moon and back!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Fashion Friday: The Big Day

Unfortunately, I didn't really have time to snap any good photos of Emma at the wedding, but my brother's girlfriend managed a few. I'm hoping my sister's photographer got some smiling poses, but we'll have to wait and see!

Emma wedding 1

Emma wedding 3

This is hard work!
Emma wedding 2

Hangin' with Pop-pop
Emma wedding 4

The Beautiful Bride

Emma's Hot Grandma!
(She's going to kill me, but I couldn't resist. Isn't she hot?!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Big Tease

So nothing much going on here. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if it really will be another 3 weeks. Besides lots of Braxton Hicks and feeling like the baby is about to fall out, there is really no sign that this baby is anxious to come out. Yes, I'm totally hormonal and exhausted, but hey, I'm 9 months pregnant. And for now, I'm trying to enjoy every day and not think ahead too much.

I'll leave you with some fun hospital photos of our adventures this weekend. Hopefully the next time, it will be the real deal!

False Alarm!

Time to go home...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Labor Update

So I'm still in false labor. Went to the doctor today, and nothing has changed. Still 2-cm dilated, and my cervix is pretty high. My plug is definitely gone.

Only mild cramping today and no real contractions. So we wait. Doctor said not to be surprised if I go in the next day or two, or in the next two weeks. Not quite what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate his honesty.

The good news is that I am now 37 weeks, which means I can resume normal activity and not worry about "pushing" it. If the baby comes, it comes. So at least I can stay busy while I wait.

Stay tuned. Hopefully I can post some photos of the wedding tomorrow. Maybe I'll even throw a hospital shot in there. But for now, folks, I'm going to bed!

Where do I start?

Well, it's been a very exciting weekend for us to say the least. Not even sure where to start.

I guess with Miss Emma. She did in fact go down the aisle. Well, more like sprinted down the aisle, but she made it down. Once she was holding my hand, I thought we were okay. But then she saw beautiful Auntie Jenni coming down the aisle with Pop-pop, and thought it would be appropriate to meet her half way and give her a huge hug, all the while yelling, "Auntie Nenni!!!" I can laugh now, but at the time I was totally cringing inside. Everyone, of course, thought it was so cute/funny, and thank goodness my sister was such a good sport.

After that, Emma sprinted out the back door to my mother-in-law, who graciously kept her out while she ran around outside. She did peek in once, only to yell, "Mommy, what 'cha doin'?" and then ran back in again to walk down the aisle with me at the very end.

So we made it. Not quite the "slow slow" walk we've been practicing for weeks, or the methodical petal throwing I was sure we had down. But the girl is 2, and she is Emma. So we take what we can get. She looked adorable, which was really her main job!

The rest of the night was a blast. Emma hung out with my sister-in-law and was totally overtired by the time 8:00pm approached, so I kept her busy while my in-laws threw food down their throats and took her to our hotel. Apparently she went down okay for my mom-in-law, but was up around 5am. At least that's what I was told. I wasn't exactly there to greet her when she woke up. Nope...I was at the hospital.

So, I'll save you all the reading to tell you there is no baby. Yet. But I am 2-cm dilated and 70-percent effaced, and have a million signs that this baby is coming SOON. I have lost my mucous plug and my contractions have been on and off for 2 days now. But let's get back to the hospital...

I admit that at the wedding, I may have overdid it a tad. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to dance and it was my sister's wedding. After all the stress of everything, it felt good to let loose. Still, a couple of times my body was telling me to chill, and sometimes I listened. But sometimes the song was just too good to pass up!

Anyway, I felt fine until around 1 am at the hotel, when I started getting mild contractions. At first, I wasn't sure what they were. With Emma, I had the menstrual cramps and contractions throughout the day, but then my water broke and there was NO mistaking that I was in labor. This was different.

Once they started getting regular and my legs started getting shaky, I knew it was time to call the doctor. My brother's girlfriend pulled Jeff from the after-party in the hotel lobby, and I have to say he immediately went into "go" mode. The doctor wanted me to go to the hospital to get monitored because of my fast delivery with Emma. So off we went, after a very long week. (At least my hair was done, and I had pretty toes!)

Once we got there, my contractions were pretty regular and getting stronger. They checked me, and determined I was 2-cm dilated and about 50-percent effaced, so they kept me for monitoring. For the next few hours, I contracted about every 2 minutes. I really thought this was it. And so did my sister. She was all upset and didn't want to go on her honeymoon. It was so sweet, but after MUCH convincing, she went. She hated it, but she went.

After about 4 hours, they checked me again, and I only effaced a little bit more. Jeff and I were then ordered to walk around for an hour. So there we were: pregnant lady with fancy hair, tired eyes (with fake eyelashes!), and flip flops, escorted by a very handsome man in a tux. We hadn't slept for 24+ hours.

Anyway, I'll speed this up a bit. After our walking, my contractions started to spread out and eventually stopped. I stayed for monitoring for a few more hours, while Jeff went to the hotel, picked up Emma, and got her situated at home. I wanted to go home so bad, but Jeff and the nurse thought it was best for me to get some rest and eat, and be at the hospital just in case the contractions started up again.

Jeff came back to the hospital around 12:30 pm, and we left shortly thereafter. I thought for sure we'd be back that night. But here we are, 2 days later and still no baby. It's fine with me -- we're still a day short of 37 weeks -- but the waiting is driving me a little crazy. I know, I know, I'm not even close to my due date, but when I'm getting contractions every 3 minutes for 45 minutes straight, and then they just stop, it gets annoying. Especially as I try to figure out what to do with Emma and rush to get everything ready around here for our new little one.

After I lost my mucous plug yesterday morning, the doctor and I thought we were on our way. But again, here I am. Sure, it's 5:30am and I feel like making a lasagna and I woke up with menstrual cramps, but at this point, I don't know what to think. Either way, the doctor wants to see me today and check me out. I was supposed to see him on Friday morning before the wedding, but he had a delivery, so I only saw a nurse. Wonder what my internal would have revealed...

I have to give a HUGE thanks to my wonderful family, who were unbelievable this weekend. We are so blessed. So thank you first to my mom- and dad-in-law, who took care of Emma during the entire wedding and after; to my brother and his girlfriend for watching Emma and getting no sleep as we went to the hospital; and to my mom and dad for basically "standing by" the last few days as we wait for our peanut to arrive. And, of course, to my sister and new brother-in-law for being so understanding about my two very unpredictable kids!

So that's we're we are at. Say some prayers for us, and the next post just might be announcing our newest addition. Or it might just be me complaining. We'll just have to wait and see!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fashion Friday: Last Days of Summer

Oh, and say a little prayer for us. My sister's wedding is today!!! Hopefully Baby B stays put, and Emma walks down the aisle!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Finding My Mommy Groove

When Emma was first born, I had a hard time. The first two weeks, everything seemed to come pretty naturally. After all, she just ate, slept, and pooped. But once other elements started coming into play -- how often to feed her, thrush, nursing troubles, and lots of opinions -- I started to stress out. I had NO idea what kind of mother I wanted (or needed) to be.

Do I feed on demand? Do I let her cry it out? Do I try these sleep "patterns" I read about in books? How long should her naps be? Do I trust the nagging instincts about her tummy, or am I overreacting? Allergies -- do they exist in infants? Does she have reflux, or am I imagining it? And how about vaccinations? Are they causing huge problems like autism, or are they protecting my baby from getting really sick?

And then I did the worst thing I could have done. I read a million books, asked a million questions of people, and googled until I could no longer google. In other words, I overloaded myself with information...none of which gave me any sort of answers. Just more questions. And more doubts.

I felt guilty for not being 100 percent sold on "attachment parenting," yet I didn't want to let Emma cry it out either. I wanted to trust my doctor, who told me to space out her feedings no matter how much she indicated she was hungry, but I ended up getting sick to my stomach every two hours, when I KNEW she was hungry. Was I a horrible mom for giving her a pacifier? Should I stop nursing when she clearly isn't enjoying it and I'm wasting away on a very strict diet, or do I stick it out because someone tells me "it's the best thing for her?"

Every time I turned around, it was a new question, a new research finding, a new opinion on what "good" mommies do. Quite frankly, I was pretty darn lost. I was confused. At times, scared. Why didn't I just "know" like every other mom who seemed to naturally take care of their child? Why was I so insecure? Honestly, I would say I felt like this for the first year of Emma's life. That didn't make Mommyland very fun most of the time.

But as I prepare for this new child, I am so thankful for all of those questions and doubts. They made me search hard and deep about the kind of mom Emma needed, and even more so, the kind of mom I wanted to be for all of my children.

The largest lesson I have learned is that kids are not "one size fits all" and that each one requires special attention based on who they are. I also learned to trust those good old "mommy instincts" Jenny McCarthy talked about on Oprah the other day.

Emma was not a cuddly baby. At all. She loved her crib at 2 weeks, and NEVER wanted to be swaddled. She liked her space, and still does to this day, so babywearing probably wasn't the best option for her. And I definitely knew co-sleeping wasn't for her either, but I also learned it wasn't for me. Jeff and I enjoy our bed, and we cherish the small amount of alone time it gives us.

I also decided that I do not want my baby to cry it out. First of all, it went against every instinct I had in me. If my baby cries, I want to hold her, comfort her. Emma was so active, that she really just needed a longer soothing period to fall asleep. Some may have thought I spoiled her -- and still do -- but I know my baby, and I know what works.

I also really believe in schedules. I like schedules because of my personality, but I also learned it works for Emma too. Am I too strict? Maybe, but that's my Mommy style, and I can honestly say I'm okay with it. Emma doesn't skip naps EVER, and I work around her. To me, that's what I am supposed to do. Before I know it, naps will be gone, and my baby will be in school. I can handle staying at home for a few hours so she gets her much-needed rest. To me, that is more important than any errand.

I hate junk food. Emma doesn't get it. She gets all-natural most of the time, and sugar is avoided unless it is in fruit or once in a while, a milk-free cookie. Some may think I am somehow horrible for not giving her chips or fried food for pure enjoyment, but why in the world would I give her something that I know isn't good for her? Sure, it's hard and takes more work (and money), but it's worth it to me. Her allergy issues only make it that much more important.

TV is avoided at all costs, but I don't think it is "evil" either. Emma gets about 20-30 minutes a day (at most), and once in a while, a family movie at night if all 3 of us are home together. As long as it teaches her something, I can deal with a little bit every day.

Outside time is very important to our daily routine and so is physical activity. Unless she is sick or it is raining, we always find time to run around or at least go for a walk. Fresh air goes a long way!

Discipline is a must. I try to avoid "no" and give "creative directions," but hitting or other aggressive behavior gets a time-out on the naughty chair. Emma knows right from wrong, and she knows when she's been "naughty." When her time is up, we talk about it, and she usually tells me what she's done wrong before I can. She says she's sorry, we hug, and it's over. Until the next time of course! Either way, she needs consequences, and I am sticking to it. I'm not perfect -- I do yell more than I'd like -- but I am avoiding spanking for as long as I can. Emma is very physical, and I think it would only add to the problem instead of solve it.

I have learned to ignore the non-spoken, but obvious opinions others have about the way Jeff and I raise Emma. Before, it literally drove me crazy to think someone might think I was doing something "wrong" or that I was catering to her too much. But now, I can officially say I found my "mommy groove" with Emma, and that gives me so much peace. What's even better is that Jeff and I are in total agreement.

Of course, God -- in His awesome sense of humor -- is now giving me another child, which will probably throw all of this out of the window. Which is exactly why I wanted it down on "paper." I am curious to see how much my style changes as I juggle two very different kids.

I do want to say that I am still open to new things. Hoping for more cuddles this time, I plan to try out babywearing with this baby. Maybe not all the time, but much more often. I think it will be good bonding, but also more practical as I try to get stuff done. I also intend to try my hardest to nurse for at least a year (Emma was only 6 months), provided we don't have major stomach issues.

The real question is will I get lax on some of these issues, or will I stick to my guns? I am interested to see. But either way, I can confidently say I am excited about this new Mommyland adventure.

I figure that if God thinks I can handle another child, then I can. I just pray that I can have more fun and less worrying this time around.

Stay tuned... :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fashion Friday: Baby B in Action

jenni and lisa

Baby B pulled his or her first all-nighter last weekend at Aunt Jenni's bachelorette party, where he/she danced up a storm downtown and got several rubs from complete strangers. Needless to say, finding an outfit that was somewhat trendy -- but not ridiculously expensive -- was quite the task at 8 months preggers, but I think I managed okay. And if I've said it once this pregnancy, I'll say it a million more times -- thank the Lord for ballet flats!

With a 4am return time and a 2-year-old that wakes up at 6am, there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping going on, but we did have a whole lot of fun!

In fact, it's probably safe to say my kids live it up more inside the womb than outside of it. This wasn't Baby B's first rockin' night. Thanks to fun Aunt Jenni, we also attended the Goo Goo dolls concert a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of that, but I did wear this awesome shirt from my generous (and very stylish) friend Mama C-ta.

Now that I think about it, this baby also traveled to LA in its early gestational months and ate at The Ivy! (Of course, this was all part of a work trip, so it really wasn't as glamorous as it sounds...)

Not to be outdone, Emma went to Disney in my first trimester and also traveled to DC. She too danced all night at my girlfriend's bachelorette party and her wedding when I was 7 months along. (Yes, I now own TWO maternity bridesmaid dresses!)

I actually think I may live it up more when I'm pregnant than when I'm not. Something tells me this won't change once Baby B arrives.

But at least I can have a glass of wine!

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Official...

I can no longer see my toes!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fashion Friday: Posing with Great Great Grandma


Okay, so these really aren't Fashion Friday photos, BUT it's been hectic here this week, and I've really been meaning to post these pictures.

As most of you know by now, we currently have 5 generations of women alive in my family. So naturally, we wanted to name our little girl after her Great Great Grandma Emma.

Here the are the two of them just a few weeks ago when we paid Grandma a visit at her new nursing home. Emma did pretty good, and especially liked the birdies they have in the lobby...just like Grandma knew she would.


As you can see, she even sat on Grandma's lap and gave her a few kisses. I love that we got a few pictures of this. I know Emma will treasure these some day as much as I do now.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Better Late Than Never...

Yes, Emma's birthday party was almost a month ago, but I really want to get some of the details down for her benefit.

Like any fun holiday, Emma ended up with a monster cold. Fever, running nose, no sleep. All the night before her party. The day of her party, she took the shortest nap she has ever taken and had a 101 fever. I wasn't too confident that it was going to be a fun day.

BUT I have to say, she did so great. She didn't seem to mind that her nose was running or that she had no sleep under her belt, so I let her do everything she would have normally done -- swim, run around, etc.


She was on Tylenol most of the day and her nose was pretty raw, but as far as her mood, she was in pretty good shape.

I caved in and did an Elmo theme because she loves him so much, but mostly because I got all the decorations for free. My Great Aunt gave them to me about a year ago, and it seemed silly to waste perfectly good table cloths, plates, napkins, and banners. They were nice quality and colorful. I simply had to buy a few balloons and a cake, and we were all set.


Food was simple burgers and hot dogs, and everyone else brought a side dish. AND it was at my Mom's and Dad's house. (Thank you both by the way!) I have to say I really didn't have to do much at all... this is the way throw a party I tell ya!

I kept the guest list to immediate family and great grandparents, but somehow Miss Emma still ended up with a zillion gifts. She is truly blessed to have a family that loves her so much! (And so are we, of course!)

She can now help Mommy sweep the floor and vacuum. She has a new buddy (Heidi the Hippo) from Build-a-Bear, her very own sleepover bag for Grandma's, a bike, and lots of new gear for her baby. So far, we've only put together the baby bed, but we plan to put out the baby high chair and stroller when Baby B. comes so Emma has someone to take care of too. At least that's the plan...

heidi and bike

sleepover bag


She was extremely good about opening the gifts, and even made sure Daddy was a part of the whole experience by walking across the room to show him EVERY.SINGLE.GIFT. After a few minutes of this, we convinced Daddy to come sit by us so we wouldn't be there all day. We also had two potty breaks during present time, so a huge thanks goes out to my very patient family!

I was a little worried Emma was going to be all shy and goofy when we sang Happy Birthday to her, but of course, that was a silly fear. She literally sat there with this smirk on her face and kept looking around the room as if to say, "Yeah, this is for me...keep singing people!" She actually made us sing it to her twice, AND it would have continued if I didn't put a stop to it! So much for shy.




I bought a regular Elmo cake for everyone else, but made a dairy- and soy-free cupcake for the birthday girl. (I wish I would have gotten a better picture...before the sprinkles melted into the frosting!)


You can find the recipe here. And man, these were so yummy. Had I known they were going to taste so good, I would have made them for everyone. I highly recommend them for kids with allergies (and without!). I did substitute the soy milk with coconut milk. (You could use rice milk too, but I figured the coconut would add more flavor).

I made this buttercream frosting, but had to use Smart Squeeze Fat-Free Margarine (squeeze bottle) because it was the only non-soy/non-dairy butter substitute I could find locally (at Super Kmart... go figure!). Unfortunately, the frosting wasn't very thick, but it tasted good, and I topped it with multi-colored sprinkles. I am definitely making these again!

Emma was pretty pooped by the end of the night, so we actually ended up leaving earlier than some of our guests, but I knew she didn't feel well, and it was past her normal bedtime as it was. Meltdown mania began as soon as we got home, and it was a rough night, but we survived. Unfortunately, her cold didn't go away until 10 days later, which means she was also sick for her actual birthday. Such is life. At least I know she had a great time at her party. In fact, she often asks if she's getting another one soon. With presents of course.

So I think it's safe to say she completely understood the concept. Maybe a bit too well. Christmas should be lots of fun this year!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fashion Friday: Just the 3 of us...

And Miss Queenie all by her cute self...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


As most of you know, I am one of those women that love being pregnant. If it wasn't for the constant worrying AFTER our little ones enter the world, I'd have like 5 kids. There's just something about proudly showing off that belly and the miracle of something growing inside of you.

And really, it's a good thing I love being preggers so much... otherwise I might be tempted to create a third-trimester complaint list that looks something like this:

1. heartburn that somehow results from everything and anything I put in my mouth
2. peeing every three seconds
3. an internal body temperature of 150 degrees
4. the inability to sleep through the night thanks to numbers 1-3 and the fact that someone is winning a gold medal for tumbling in my stomach
5. backaches
6. zero energy
7. sore feet
8. cramping toes and calves
9. the inability to keep up with a very fast and wiggly toddler
10. forgetfulness that is really starting to boarder on insanity
11. hormones that turn me into someone I really don't like after 5pm (okay more like 3pm...)

Yep, I am very grateful that none of these applies to me and my jolly belly!

Another Shoe Contest!

Yeah! Check out this new contest from Steph and Vincent Shoes. The fall styles are pretty darn cute!

Here's hoping I win this time!

Monday, September 03, 2007

These are a few of her favorite things...

For the record, here are a few of Emma's current favorites, most of which are slowly driving me insane. Yet, there's nothing like that smile and squeal any time she is able to experience any one of them. I just keep telling myself that there will be new favorites soon. Right???

  • Favorite saying: "Daddy/Mommy, what 'cha doooooin'?"

  • Favorite song: Down in My Heart (sung by Bob and Larry of course!)

  • Favorite shoes: hot pink Crocs (still...)

  • Favorite book: Sophie and Sam (a.k.a. "Sophie and Sam: When to Say 'Yes' and When to Say 'No'") We must read this at every potty break and before nap and bed time. She especially likes the stories about Lola and Lucy.

  • Favorite food: watermelon (even though she seems to get a rash around her mouth every time she eats it, so we're taking a break.)

  • Favorite toy: Smooshy (a pink 'beanie' bear that she has suddenly grown very fond of, even though she's had it since she was born.) Of course, she still loves Minnie and baby!

  • Favorite thing to do: it's a 3-way tie between jumping up and down like a nut ball; going to the park; and "checking e-mail," which is really looking up Mickey or Elmo on the computer. Why oh why did I ever introduce her to this???
  • Friday, August 31, 2007

    Fashion Friday: Brown is so the new black...

    You'll be noticing a lot of brown in Emma's wardrobe this fall. I'm so drawn to it for some reason. And brown and pink... well, you just can't go wrong!



    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    No Instincts

    So when I was pregnant with Emma, I was sure I was having a boy. Not sure why, but I was certain of it. I was drawn to blue and "boy" things, and had my mind set on football games and a huge appetite. The only indicators of girl were the fact that "Emma" just sounded so natural to me. Like I was meant to have an Emma. That, and my two dreams that revealed girl. Of course, I ignored those signs and was totally floored to hear "It's a girl" when Miss Emma arrived. I was so excited, but felt so silly for calling this poor baby a "he" for the 9 months she was in my belly!

    So on to this baby...

    Again, our girl name (Kendall Faith) just feels right. But maybe it's because I can picture a sweet face and bouncing pigtails more easily now. Either way, it sits well with me, and I know it is the perfect name if we have another girl.

    Now, my "gut" says boy because 1. these kicks are really, really strong and 2. My dreams have been boy. And while we're not set on a boy name just yet, our top choice at the moment -- Austin Bernard (my maiden name) -- is starting to feel right. So I am back to football games and a stocked fridge.

    BUT...the last few nights I've had two dreams and both clearly showed I was having a girl.

    What the heck? Do I have any maternal instincts in me at all?

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Small Talk with Emma

    Mommy: Emma, are you full? Or would you like some more eggies?

    Emma: Noooooooo, I'm fine this minute.

    Mommy: (blank stare)

    Can someone tell this girl that she just turned 2 a few weeks ago? And the little attitude I detected in her tone really scares me. Oh does it scare me! :)

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Fashion Friday: For Daddy...


    Okay, so there has been some intense "discussion" around here the last week about the golf outing Daddy is supposed to go on tomorrow morning. The girls around here aren't too happy about this, and we don't exactly keep our feelings to ourselves.

    However, after Daddy's peace offering last night -- a pedicure for Mommy tonight while he puts Emma to bed -- we felt it only right to provide our own peace offering.

    So here is Emma in her preppiest outfit, showing (a little) support for Daddy and wishing him a good game. (And smiling as hard as she possibly can!)


    Besides, who could stay mad at this guy:


    *Pay no attention to the drink of water gone bad on Emma's shirt. It is an illusion.*

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    She can see!

    So Emma had her first bang cut today. I won't go as far as to say it was her first haircut, since there wasn't much hair actually cut. But something had to be done about those bangs, especially with my sister's wedding coming up in September. Plus, I'd like to get her 2-year photos taken next week.

    I wasn't sure where to go since we all know Miss Emma's personality, but then I spotted an ad for a new kid-friendly place super close to our house. I wasn't doing anything drastic -- we were just trimming some bangs so the poor girl could see -- but I knew I needed a place with lots of distractions.

    I purposely scheduled first thing in the morning so it wouldn't be busy and ended up with a really sweet girl named Sarah that didn't seem clueless. Actually, I knew she'd be okay when she said that she often tries to convince parents that bangs don't need to start at the back of the head and that only a few are necessary. Bingo!

    In fact, I knew I probably could have attempted this trim on my own since it was only a few bangs, but with Emma's many colics, I thought it was best to trust a professional.

    So off we went this morning. We talked about it all morning, but I'm not sure Emma really knew what was going to happen. She loved the place at first glance though. There were toys and balls and a choo-choo train. When it was time to pick her chair, she didn't seem interested until I showed her the firetruck that she could drive and that had a bell. Plus it was in front of a TV.

    She didn't want a cape on until I bribed her with some crackers and convinced her it was a bib. She accepted, and Miss Sarah started the trim.

    About 1 minute later, we were done. Sarah was nice enough to put Emma's "lock" of hair in a baggie for me, although there wasn't much at all. I opted out of the first haircut photo and certificate because I didn't think it really counted. We'll do that next time.

    Of course, then Emma didn't want to leave. We walked around for a few more minutes, playing ball and moving the cho-cho down the tracks. Then I finally convinced her that it was time to go home and play outside. She wouldn't say "bye" or "thank you" to Miss Sarah, but talked about her the whole way home and at lunch. Go figure.

    Here are a few shots of our little experience this morning. Later this afternoon is our 24-month check up. I'm hoping a good nap will make this as easy as the haircut!




    Monday, August 20, 2007

    The Latest on Baby Seth

    I just found out from my girlfriend that Baby Seth has started chemo. The tumor hasn't grown, but he is losing weight and has been running a fever. They also have him on a feeding tube. The most difficult part is that this couple's first child was very premature and had to have a feeding tube, so this isn't the first time they've had to deal with the fear or worry of losing a child.

    Please continue to pray for Seth's healing and for peace for his loving parents and family. I can't imagine how hard this must be for them.