Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Seek and Find Uppercase/lowercase Letter Match Game

Lucy has had her capital letters down for over a year, but still struggles with some of their lowercase counterparts. So I came up with this quick little game. This is actually the second time we did it, but I didn't take pictures the first. Lucy was thrilled to do it again.

The first time, I just wrote all the capital letters on a piece of poster board. But today I couldn't find any poster board, so I pulled out the Melissa and Doug "Responsibility Chart" (that has never been used for its intended purpose) and taped some uppercase letters to the back:

Then I taped lowercase letters all around the house. You can make this as easy or as difficult as you'd like, and even have fun with it by putting the letters on corresponding objects. For instance: d on the dishwasher, f on the fridge, b on a book, etc. I didn't get that involved. I just scattered them around:

Then Lucy ran around finding the letters and matching them with the upper case version on the board:
Still wearing her pajamas, of course.
Making progress. (I drew a line under the letters that could be confused when turned upside down/sideways.)
So proud of her finished work! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Saturday "7"

Not sure I'm going to make it to 7 this week. I feel like all I did was console sick, miserable Lena.

1. The sickness saga - more for my records than anything: Sunday just before church my mom was holding Lena and said, "she feels kind of warm." I took her temperature just to be safe before sending her to nursery. Sure enough: 101*. That night, she was up every hour on the hour crying and burning up. I finally went downstairs and slept on the couch with her on my chest for the rest of the night. Her fever stayed around 102* for the next 3 days despite many doses of tylenol and ibuprofen. She was absolutely miserable. I got nothing accomplished all week and Lucy spent about 20 hours a day watching TV or playing on the iPad. Part of it drives me crazy, but the other part enjoyed all the snuggles. Thursday was her birthday and she woke up fever free! I was surprised that she was still being so grumpy despite her fever being gone. Part-way through the day I noticed she was breaking out in a spotty rash. Textbook Roseola. I thought we were in the clear and knew the worst was over.

2. Friday morning Lena woke up crying and batting spastically at her ears. We were supposed to be getting a blizzard that afternoon and I didn't want to risk being stuck at home with a baby with an ear infection and no antibiotics, so we headed off to the doctor. Justin has Fridays off, so came with us. Our first step was to switch the carseats from my van to his car since my heat doesn't work. The windchill was -20 and he couldn't get the seats to fit in his car. I was seriously concerned he was going to get frostbite. He eventually got them in, we all piled in, backed up the driveway . . . and right into a ginormous drift. So Justin got out again and shoveled us out. I called the doctor to let them know we were going to be late and we hit the road. Half-way there, the road we needed to take was closed because of a house fire. Detour. We finally got to the doctor half an hour late, and I was seriously starting to worry that the doctor was going to take one look in Lena's ears and say "No infection. She has a cold." Is it a little wrong of me that I secretly rejoiced when he said, "Oh yeah, that's infected."? Haha. We went to Big Boy for breakfast while we waited for Lena's prescription to get filled. She was a wreck and Justin and I both took turns pacing the restaurant with her. But when the food came, we couldn't shovel it in her mouth fast enough. The girl's appetite never ceases - even when she's sick!

3. Enough about sickness. Let's talk about birthdays! Lena's birthday was Thursday and we celebrated by . . . doing absolutely nothing. No cake. No presents. No partying. Poor second child. She was sick, it was snowy, she doesn't know the difference anyway. Her party was supposed to be today, but between her sickness and our impassable road, we decided to reschedule. Hopefully she'll be able to enjoy it more later.

4. Justin's 29th (!) birthday was yesterday and we celebrated by . . . almost getting frostbite, having Big Boy for breakfast and frozen pizza for dinner. Note to self: don't have any more babies in the winter. Winter ruins birthdays (and everything for that matter). I did book our hotel for next weekend, though. Thanks to my credit card rewards, we will end up paying a whopping $18 for our room at the Hyatt. And Justin has collected almost $200 worth of Bass Pro Shop gift cards between his birthday and Christmas. Plus we managed to get a Red Robin gift card through my credit card rewards as well. Coupled with his free birthday burger we should have a pretty cheap weekend! (Unless I go crazy in Ikea . . . which is a real possibility . . .) 

5. I get to have Dr Pepper again in 6 days. I. Can't. Wait. I really almost caved a couple days this week when I was so tired and cranky. I think about it all the time. I crave it every minute of every day. I'm soooo sick of water. I think I need to go to rehab.

Well that's all I can think of. Sorry this was a lame one. Hopefully next week will be better!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lena's 1 Year Update

It's time for the big one year update. No picture until she's less sick. Haha. This is going to be ridiculously long. Hold your hats . . .

She's gotten in a lovely habit of waking up at 6:00 am. We snuggle on the couch while I give her a bottle of [cow's] milk, and she usually goes down for her morning nap around 8. She eats lunch around 11:30 and takes her afternoon nap between 12:30 and 1:00. I honestly think she'd take another nap around 4, but I think it's ridiculous for a one year old to take 3 naps a day, so I keep her awake. I'm starting to consider giving her that 3rd nap though and putting her to bed later if it'd help her sleep longer in the morning! Bedtime is at 7.

We are totally done breastfeeding. I dropped the afternoon feeding when she turned 11 months, and the morning feeding a couple weeks ago, so she was only nursing before bed. I nursed her for the last time on Saturday. She woke up sick on Sunday, but I actually think it helped with the weaning process. She was so tired and miserable that night that she didn't even try to nurse. I laid her on my chest to rock her and she put her head on my shoulder and fell asleep in minutes. And she's continued to do well since then. It's been easy on me as well. No leaking, barely any pain. Piece of cake. ;-)

As for real food, Lena is a bottomless pit. Seriously. She eats so much. It's amazing she's still such a little midget. One night last week she ate seven Tyson chicken nuggets. She inhales grapes faster than I can cut them up, she even eats cold, canned peas with gumption! Haha. There are very few things she won't eat. Her absolute favorites are macaroni and cheese and grapes.

She has an infuriating habit of sweeping all the food off her tray onto the floor. I really don't think she does it because she's full. She does it because it's fun. I've learned to only put a little bit on the tray at a time so it's not as thrilling to watch everything fall on the floor at once. It makes me crazy.

She is finally becoming a good sleeper! Other than a few days when she was sick, she's been consistently sleeping through the night. She sleeps about 11 hours on the dot. Last night I put her to bed at 6:45 instead of 7 and today she woke up at 5:45 instead of 6. Gonna have to remember that. *yawn*

Walking and Words
I really thought she'd be walking by her first birthday. I guess she's just taking her time. Haha. She absolutely can walk, she just has to gain some confidence. I've seen her take 5 steps, but she didn't realize I wasn't holding her hand. Haha. She cruises all over the place and often takes a step or two unassisted to get from one piece of furniture to the other. She can get herself to a standing position without using anything to pull herself up on. And she squats down and gets back up with ease. It's only a matter of time . . .

She has five words: uh-oh, hi, mama, wow, and whoa. She also says "meow" when she sees (or hears) Lola - if you count that as a word. :-) I love her sweet little voice. This is her saying "hi."

This one is "wow" and shows how well she stands:

Milestones and Personality
  • Lena finally got her first tooth on January 11th. She was 11 months and 19 days old. Lucy was 11 months, 1 day old when she got her first tooth. We're late maturers around here. :-) Lena's is on the bottom right and I don't see any more coming in. 
  • She knows where her tongue is and sticks it out like a lizard anytime you ask her about it. 
  • She does peek-a-boo and patty-cake. Patty cake is pretty recent, so I haven't gotten it on video yet, but it's super adorable.
  • She waves bye-bye rather spastically. She kind of just sticks her arm out and jiggles it up and down. Haha.
  • She doesn't laugh. She never really has. I blame it on Justin. He's one of the least expressive people in the world. Apparently she inherited that gene. She smiles really big and shrieks when she gets really excited. But even if you tickle her, she just kind of grunts. No laughing.
  • She adores my mom. I'm not even worried about leaving Lena for the first time when Justin and I go away next weekend because I know she'll be totally happy with my mom. One of the perks of living with Grandma. :-)
  • She says "hi" any time she hears the door open and cranes her neck to see who's coming in.
  • She also holds phones up to her ear and says "hi."
  • She knows how to use a touchscreen. Seriously. She loves Luke's iPad and swipes her finger up and down to get the images to change. Unbelievable. 
  • She has what we affectionately call her dork face:

We love our little Lena-bean so much and are so thankful for the past year with her!

One Year Ago Today . . .

My sweet Lena is 1 year old today. She celebrated by waking up at 5:45 am hacking her guts out (but fever free for the first time in 4 days!). The one year update will be up later today, but for now, here's a repost of her birth story. One of the best days of my life. :-)

Wednesday was my due date. I stayed up late Tuesday night re-reading my blog entries about Lucy's first 6 months of life and getting so excited to meet the little one who'd been using me as a punching bag for months! That night I dreamed about giving birth all night. I woke up Wednesday morning at 8:05 to Lucy an inch away from my face saying, "I want to watch a movie on your computer." I got her settled in bed next to me with my laptop and fell back to sleep. At 8:21, I was woken up by the worst contraction I'd had to date. I thought to myself, "Wow! That one really hurt," checked the time on my phone and went back to sleep. When the same thing happened again, I checked my phone again - 8:29. Again at 8:37. I got a little flutter in my stomach, getting excited that I was finally having semi-painful contractions that were time-able! I knew that could last for days, but I also knew that Justin was on his way to Lansing for work. I texted him, asking what time he was leaving and he said, "I'm already on the road. Do you need me to turn around?" I decided to get up, take a shower, and see if the contractions went away, and told him just to keep going. I was sure I'd be fine.

The contractions seemed to be one on top of the other in the shower. They weren't lasting very long, but were coming every couple minutes! I started to get a little bit worried. Haha. So I got out, called Justin again and told him he should probably come home. He said he would be home in an hour and I told Lucy I thought the baby was finally going to come out today! She replied, "Yes! Me so excited! I can't wait to see what she look like! Me going to hold her and kiss her!" So precious. I finished packing our last minute stuff, stopping every few minutes to breathe and write down the time of my contraction. Pretty soon they were 6 minutes apart and I was texting Justin saying, "Are you almost here? I'm ready for my epidural!" Haha. Such a wimp.

Justin got home at 10:45 and we were out the door by 11. We dropped Lucy off at Niki's house and grabbed a towel from her for me to sit on in case my water broke. :-) I did really well with saying good-bye to Lucy. I didn't feel too emotional at all, which totally surprised me! We pulled into the ER at 11:45 and once again they whisked me upstairs before Justin even finished parking the car. The guy who took me to triage was this sweet old man who told me he has a horse named Sadie. Haha. I timed a couple contractions 4 minutes apart while I was in triage. They were really hurting and I was already whining to Justin. 

A nurse came in right away to check me - 4 cm and 90%. But she said she stretched me to a 5 while she was checking. Then she took my blood pressure: 150/something. That's super high for me. I figured at that point, they probably wouldn't be sending me home. Woohoo! The nurse was asking me questions during a contraction, but I didn't want to be rude, so I did my best to answer her. A few minutes later she asked me what level my pain was on a scale of 1-10. When I hesitated she said, "I noticed you talked through that last contraction" (I was on the monitor). Haha - aka - it must not be that bad yet! She asked if there was anything I wanted before she left the room and I jokingly said, "Yes, my epidural!" She said she'd ask my doctor and see about getting me admitted.

By 12:30, she was back with the good news: My doctor said to admit me and get that epidural! Haha. We walked down to the delivery room and the anesthesiologist's assistant came in to give me the spiel. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted the epi, but I was feeling much more nervous about getting it this time than I remember being with Lucy. My nurse got the IV in on the first try (it took 4 tries with Lucy!) and started the fluids. Then the anesthesiologist came in. This is where it gets interesting. Haha. His first question was if I'd had an epi before. I told him that I had an amazing one with Lucy and didn't feel a thing. His face dropped and he said, "Well I can't guarantee that. All epidurals are different." Ok, thanks for that word of encouragement! Then he asked us to turn off the TV, saying that he was "easily distracted." Just want I want to hear from the man who's about to stick a 4 foot needle in my spine!! He proceeded to poke and prod my back, tell me that I have slight scoliosis and the epi might not work. At this point I could feel the panic rising a little bit. I got into position with the help of the assistant and the anesthesiologist said, "Ok, here comes the numbing shot. It's going to sting." He put it in and said, "Hurting, hurting, hurting. Burning, burning, oh here comes the stinging!" Way to take my mind off the pain! Lol. (It really was not that bad.) Then he put the big needle in, which just felt like pressure. He kept telling me to hold really still which scared me to death. Haha. Finally he started to thread the catheter (for the medicine - not like a pee catheter). He tried and tried, then said, "I can't do it. I can't get it threaded. I've never had this problem in 20 years of doing this." Ah! I'm already such an anxious person. And my blood pressure was already high! Haha. Fortunately, the assistant had much better bedside manner than the anesthesiologist. She assured me that he'd get it and everything would be fine. He eventually did, but then went on to tell me that it might be in my spinal fluid and they had to run a test. Again, the assistant assured me that I wouldn't be paralyzed or anything if it was in the wrong spot, they'd just have to re-do it. I prayed like crazy that it would be fine . . . and it was. Whew! Pretty soon my legs were feeling warm, tingly, and heavy, and I wasn't feeling the contractions anymore. That was 1:00.

My mom and Niki showed up with McDonald's for Justin while I was getting the epi. They were sent to the waiting room, but came in by 1:15. We all got comfy and started placing bets about when Lena would appear. 

At 2:45 a resident came in to break my water. My nurse (Tammi - who I loved) said I had a lot of fluid. I wanted to say, "Yeah! Did you see the size of my belly?!" Haha. She checked me and said I was now 5-6 cm, still 90% effaced. She predicted we'd have a baby by 5:30. 

As soon as my water was broken, my contractions started getting much harder and stronger - at least according to the monitor.

I wasn't feeling too much! Although I was surprised to be feeling more than I ever did with Lucy. It wasn't painful, but I felt my belly tightening with most of the strong contractions - just like Braxton Hicks. We sat around talking and facebooking for a couple hours. It was kind of strange that the nurse never checked me. I got checked like once an hour with Lucy. At some point, I started shaking like crazy. Tammi said I was probably transitioning and guessed I was 8 cm.

At 5:00, she checked me: 9-10 cm, just a lip of cervix. She switched my position to try and encourage that lip to disappear and left to page the doctor. My doctor wasn't there, so I had the on-call: Emily Dietrich. I was so surprised when she walked in. She was young and cute and bubbly. Haha. She was so loud and enthusiastic while I was pushing! She checked me at 5:45 and declared me ready to push.

This is where it gets exciting. My mom and Niki went to the waiting room and the nurse started to break down the bed. I got in position and started pushing. Apparently I wasn't being very effective because they decided to try a new technique: the doctor grabbed a towel and essentially played tug of war with me. She pulled one end and I pulled the other, which caused me to lean forward and push. I actually really liked doing it that way because it seemed to be working. Although my arms have been sore for days because of it! At one point, the nurse turned up the fetal monitor really loud and I heard her discussing the heartrate with the doctor. I wasn't concerned because I could hear Lena's heart beating and could still feel her moving around and kicking inside me. 

It's amazing how good the medical staff is at being nonchalant and discouraging panic. I was pushing with my eyes closed and opened them one time to see a whole slew of NICU nurses waiting by the warmer. Finally Dr. Dietrich said, "The baby's heart rate is just too low and it's not coming back up between contractions. Here are your options: vacuum or c-section." I was so shocked! I'd only been pushing about 10 minutes. I couldn't believe we already had to resort to that! I quickly chose the vacuum and the doctor told me they were going to pull her out, cut the cord, and immediately send her to the warmer. She put the vacuum on her head and I pushed with all my might, praying with everything in me that I wouldn't have to have a c-section and that Lena would be ok. I didn't even make it through a full push before the vacuum popped off the baby's head, though! She said she had too much hair and it wouldn't suction! Haha. I didn't have time to panic though before I heard the nurse saying, "Oh, she's turning . . . here she comes!" Apparently Lena was sunny side up. All it took was that little nudge from the vacuum to get her to turn enough to slide out. She didn't turn all the way, so came out completely sideways. I did feel more this time than with Lucy. I felt Lena crowning, but it wasn't painful. And I definitely felt relief as she slid out of my body. So crazy. 

Despite the doctor's earlier warning about whisking her away, they laid her right on my belly and Justin got to cut the cord. (I think the doctor expected the cord to be around her neck, but it wasn't at all. I never did hear why her heartreat was so low. Maybe just because she was posterior?) She cried, but didn't scream as hard as she should have, so they did take her away pretty quickly. I never really even saw her face. But everyone assured me that she was fine and as they suctioned her, her cries got louder and louder. Justin and I both agreed that she looked smaller than Lucy and were shocked when they weighed her and declared her 8 lbs, 13 oz! 5 oz. bigger than Lucy!! They were exactly the same length though: 20 inches.

So she was born at 6:04 p.m.on her due date, 19 crazy minutes after I started pushing, not quite 10 hours after I felt that first contraction. Not too bad! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Saturday 7

1. I got this book for Christmas and have been loving it. I've been faithfully recording our days and know it will come in handy when I want to go back and see when Lena got her first tooth or Lucy fell down the stairs for the first time. Haha. (Both events of this week.) The fact that it's "for moms" is irrelevant. It's no different than any 5 year journal except that it's pink and has a rocking horse on the cover.
2. Lucy and I did a couple fun crafts this week. We did salt painting on Monday. I think I actually enjoyed it more than she did. Haha. 
A Little Red Riding Hood costume not required for this craft. :-)
On Tuesday, we read Mama, Do You Love Me? and did a corresponding Eskimo craft via this blog.

3. Our Bible lesson for the week was on Joshua and the Wall of Jericho. I didn't get too creative. Just built a city with a wall, marched around it 7 times, blew our imaginary trumpets, then kicked the walls down. Our verse for the week is Luke 1:36, "Nothing is impossible with God."
Lucy marching. (We don't believe in getting dressed 'til about 5:00 around here. We pretty much live in our jammies.)
4. Justin and I are planning a weekend away at the end of January. It's a combination of celebrating his birthday and "hurray! I'm done nursing and can leave Lena for the first time in a year!" Haha. We're just going to the east side of the state for one night. And our only plans are hitting Bass Pro Shops for Justin and Ikea for me. Oh and lots of restaurant food and lots and lots of Dr Pepper!! I'm ridiculously excited about Ikea. I don't have much money to spend, but I have been on an organization kick lately, so I can't wait to stock up on boxes and bins and neat little organizational tools! I really should've taken before and after pics of the kitchen cabinets this week. I spent hours re-organizing them and they look amazing! I am an organization nerd.

5. Lena has another cold. Her nose is raw and cut up from all the wiping. And she has a gross, phlegmy cough. She has been such a sickly child despite exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months and continuing to breastfeed for 6 months after starting solids. She loves fruits and vegetables, drinks lots of water, and gets sufficient sleep. I don't know what else to do for her. And I never catch her colds, which makes me think I have immunity toward them. Shouldn't those antibodies be passing on to her? Frustrating.

6. I read an article this week (that I can't find now) about how mothers today tend to feel isolated and overwhelmed because they don't have "villages" to help raise their children like in the old days. And then I was thinking that I actually kind of do. We moved in with my parents when Lena was one month old, which can only be described as God-ordained. Lena was colicky for 10 straight weeks, so it was amazing to have so many people willing to pace the floor with her. We used to take turns doing the "colic hold" and jiggling and shushing her. And now we've fallen into a nice rhythm where I usually make dinner before Justin gets home, but either my mom or dad entertain the girls so I can do so in peace. I love that my girls are growing up with their grandparents (and Uncle Luke). Lena adores my mom. She's cried that past few days when my mom left for work! I'm thankful for my village.

7. Lena's birthday is in 5 days (*sob*). When Lucy turned one, I did all kinds of blog posts leading up to her birthday. One of them was My Stomach: Before, During, and After. I decided to do it again with Lena. It's scary. Check it out here at your own risk . . . Let's just say I will never be wearing a bikini again. But look at these faces and tell me they weren't worth it. ;-)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Stomach: Before, During, and After -- Take 2

My original stomach post is one of my all-time most viewed. I posted it just before Lucy's 1st birthday. Since Lena's birthday is a week from today, let's revisit my poor belly. *Warning: these pictures are disgusting!*

Before -- This is the picture I took a year after Lucy was born. It looked pretty much the same when I got pregnant with Lena.
May 9, 2011
During - This was actually 2 weeks before I delivered. I got bigger!
January 9, 2013
After - Taken today - January 16, 2014
Better than the above picture, but worse than the first. Blech. Like my sparkly sweatpants, though?! :-)
And just for fun - some side by sides:
Isn't pregnancy beautiful? ;-) At least I didn't have PUPPS with Lena!
The damage. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Clean Heart Craft

I intended to do this craft at Christmas time to illustrate why it's important that Jesus came to earth. I just now got around to it, but it's an important lesson any time of the year!

We started by cutting a heart out of white cardstock. (Lucy was amazed that when I folded the paper in half and cut it, it unfolded into a heart! Haha.) I taped the heart onto a glass cutting board and covered it with saran wrap.

Then I told her the story of a naughty little girl named Julie. One day, Julie lied to her mommy. The Bible says not to lie, so lying is a sin. I told Lucy to put some paint on the heart. One time Julie got mad at her sister and hit her. The Bible says to be kind, so when we're not kind that's sin. Lucy put some more paint on the heart. Another day Julie stole a cookie out of the cookie jar. The Bible says stealing is a sin. More paint on the heart. Pretty soon the heart was starting to look pretty icky:

I told Lucy how sin makes our hearts look icky too, but God had a special plan to make our hearts clean again. I explained that Jesus used to live in Heaven with God, but he came to earth as a baby to take away our sin. I didn't get into the specifics about the cross yet. I just told her that Jesus made a way to clean our hearts. All we have to do is pray and tell him that we're sorry for sinning and ask him to wash away our sins. At this point, we unfurled the saran wrap to reveal a clean heart!

Lucy had forgotten about the saran wrap and was pretty impressed that the heart was white and clean again.

She did not make any kind of salvation decision or ask to pray, but I didn't expect her to. I just wanted to lay the foundation of sin and our need for a Savior. Later that night, we told Daddy about our clean heart craft and she did an amazing job of re-iterating what sin is, where Jesus came from, and why he came to earth, so I'm declaring this craft a success. :-)

"God, create a pure heart in me. Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you." Psalm 51:10 (NIRV)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Saturday 7

1. We got back on the bandwagon with CIO this week and Lena has been doing really well. She usually sleeps 'til 4, then cries for a little while before going back to sleep 'til 7ish. And a few nights this week, she actually slept all night without a peep! Woohoo! Maybe she'll be sleeping through the night by the time she's 1. Ha.

2. [TMI breastfeeding point.] On Sunday night, Lena screamed from 4:30-5:30 and I couldn't take it anymore, so I got up to nurse her. She sucked and sucked and nothing happened. I switched her back and forth and kept trying, but my milk never let down. It was so weird! I finally just got up with Lena and fed her some pancakes because she refused to drink cow's milk. I attempted to nurse her again at 8, and my milk did let down, but Lena was not interested. I took it as a sign to drop the morning feeding and we haven't done it since then. So now we're down to just the bed time feeding. And here's another weird tidbit: my left side has totally dried up. She's always preferred the right, and it definitely produces more. But as I started cutting out feedings, my left side started producing less and less until it was totally done. So if you see me in person and I appear a little lopsided, now you know why. ;-)

3. I felt my depression creeping in a little bit again this week. I think part of it is because this is the first full week without a holiday in a while. And I think weaning is wreaking havoc on my hormones. Plus the weather has been abysmal. There's a little SAD thrown in there for good measure. I feel a little trapped in my life. Every day is the same. So I ask myself what I want. Do I want a job? No. Do I want to be away from my girls? No. I finally decided I'm just bored. So bored of playing house over and over and over again. So sick of picking up pieces of food off the floor after Lena sweeps them off her tray. A lot of this is the cabin fever talking. (And it's only January!) So imagine my surprise when this blog popped up in my reader this week: Bored, Bored, BoredI just started reading this blog by Sally Clarkson and love it. I ordered her book The Mission of Motherhood on Amazon this week and can't wait to read it.

4. I was much more productive this week than last. I decided to focus on doing at least one chore a day and at least one craft or activity with Lucy a day. My rough idea for Lucy is Monday: fun craft, Tuesday: letters, Wednesday: library, Thursday: numbers, Friday: Bible lesson. I also started cracking down on Lucy's screen time. I decided to allow her 3 hours a day. So every morning, I put 3 tally marks on the chalkboard, and erase them as she uses them. She's done really well with it, and loves checking the chalkboard to see how much time she has left. We're all so much happier when we're productive. I have to remember that when it's so tempting to sit on the couch letting Lucy watch hours of TV.

5. Lucy had a fun first last weekend. She went to Niki's while Justin, Lena, and I went to small group and Aunt Niki took her to her first movie! They went to see Frozen and Lucy loved it. She has recapped the movie for me like a hundred times since then. My favorite part is at the end when she says, "And then the sisters loved each other again!" It is so cute. I've never taken her to a movie because she's so sensitive about loud noises, but Niki said she did great and was mesmerized the whole time!

6. Thanks for all the TV suggestions. I decided to start watching One Tree Hill. So many of my friends love it and it has 9 seasons, so it should keep me busy for a while. I love how all teeny-bopper shows are the same. You have the 4 friends: 2 girls, 2 boys. The jock, the rebel, the tortured artist. One always has a dead mom. Then there's the friend who's a slut, someone with a drinking problem, and parents with big secrets. Haha. And it's funny to see Sara from White Collar as a teenage girl with awesome curly, blonde hair!

7. I've done really well with my New Year's Resolutions. I've consistently been doing my One Year Bible readings. I haven't missed a day.  And I haven't had one drop of Dr Pepper since January 2nd. It's been brutal. I had a headache for 3 days despite drinking coffee and lots of water. And I really really miss the taste. I crave it pretty much non-stop. I drink about 50 ounces of water a day, which is huge for me. And I have gained two pounds! Seriously. It makes me so angry.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Saturday 7

First entry of 2014!

1. I had a terribly lazy, unmotivated week. I don't know what my problem was. I hardly cooked, barely cleaned, and did about one load of laundry all week (that's still sitting unfolded in the laundry basket). And I'm pretty sure Lucy spent about 20 hours a day watching TV or playing on some kind of electronic device. I have got to get back on track. I already made my menu for next week. I need to get back on board with lessons for Lucy and cleaning this poor disgusting house.

2. We actually did our grocery shopping for next week today because Snowmaggedon is purportedly on its way - complete with subzero temperatures and frigid wind chills. Lovely. We have groceries and a woodstove, though, so I'm rejoicing that I'm a stay-at-home-mom and planning to hunker down inside. Stupid winter.

3. Lucy and Lena both had really bad coughs this week. I actually took Lena to the doctor because she was wheezing so much, but it was just a virus. I couldn't bear to make her CIO in the middle of the night when she was so hoarse and coughing her guts out. So she backslid a little bit with the sleeping through the night. But I cut out her afternoon nursing session, so we're down to once in the morning and once before bed with a midnight snack here and there. 

4. I got all caught up on Parenthood this week, so now I need a new TV series to watch. I saw some big names on Netflix (Breaking Bad, Dexter, Orange is the New Black), but they're all rated MA. Blurg. Any suggestions for a TV series that isn't full of vampires, gore, the F word, and sex?

5. I had two New Year's Resolutions this year: The first is to lose some weight. My first step is cutting back on Dr Pepper. I'm going cold turkey for the month of January and then sticking with one glass a day after that. I didn't actually start until January 3, because the 2nd is Niki's birthday and we had to go to Olive Garden. No trip to O.G. is complete without 2 or 3 glasses of Dr Pepper. ;-) Anyway, yesterday was my first full day without it and the caffeine headache kicked in around 6:00. It still hasn't left. :-( I've been drinking coffee, but it's not enough. Other than coffee, I'm trying to drink only water. I've given up Dr Pepper before, but replaced it with juice or zero calorie pop. This time I'm going to give in to the water hype. I darn better lose 10 lbs, have glowing skin, sparkling white teeth, and boundless energy. Oh, and by the end of this month, I fully expect to hate the taste of sugary Dr Pepper and only desire water for the rest of my life.

6. My second resolution is to read through the Bible. I've made this resolution before and never stuck with it. I've obviously read a good portion of the Bible and I've read through the New Testament many times, but I've never read the entire Old Testament. In my previous quests to read through the Bible, I haven't made it farther than Numbers. But I have heard so many people in the past couple of months talk about how reading through the Bible has changed their lives. Even if you don't feel an astounding revelation from God every day or even feel like what you read is impacting you, the word of God does not return void. This time, I found The One Year Bible on my dad's bookshelf. I'm hoping that having every day's reading put together will help. 

 7. I can't think of one more point, so here are a couple cute pictures from this week:
Sporting her Under Armor outfit and Puma shoes for Niki's birthday lunch.
Laughing hysterically during our afternoon tea party.

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