Thursday, January 27

"Banana pancakes make me think of Fiji"

This is what my hubby said to me this morning as we all feasted on some deliciously fantastic banana pancakes for breakfast!

We love them so much we have them twice, sometimes three times a week {is that bad?!}. I thought I would do you all a favor and let you in on our marvelous recipe {your welcome :]}.

We didn't make it up, so we can't take the credit. I think we found it on All Recipes website. {But I can't remember.} Just know that we aren't taking the credit for inventing these fine yummies, k? ;]

Banana Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
{I always use olive oil when I bake, it's healthier and it's what I have!}

2 ripe bananas, mashed

Combine the first four ingredients. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add egg, milk and oil to the bananas. Add the flour mixture with the banana mixture. Pour a 1/4 cup of the batter on to a hot griddle or pan. The pancakes are ready when they are golden brown.

Oh yeah, and the reason these will always remind my hubby and I of Fiji is that is where we both had banana pancakes for the first time, on our honeymoon. He always teases me because I had promised I would make them for him for our first date {we had breakfast before heading out on a hike} but I wimped out and just made waffles instead.

Ah, sweet memories... :]

Tuesday, January 25

Monday, January 24

At a loss.

I'm at a loss.
A loss for ideas.
A loss for words.
A loss for sleep.

Recently I blogged about how much bed and nap time has improved for Little L and how much of a relief that has been for us. But as of late she is using her nap time and bed time to test her boundaries of control.

At least that's what I have concluded of her screaming fits each time she is placed in her crib for nap or bed time. Wow, this parenting job is tough. It's no surprise, we were warned and we believed all those who told us. But it doesn't make the actually process any less difficult.

I am about 99% sure that her hysterical sobbing and screaming for up to 20 min each time she is put to bed has to do with the fact that she is testing how much control she can have with us. She's tired. There is no doubt about that. But yet she screams to stay up, to not go to bed. She tests us in other ways too but they seem to be easier to handle. Listening to my baby girl scream and sob is not something that is naturally easy for me to deal with. My heart tells me to go in and swoop her up in my arms until she settles down, even falls asleep, and then put her back down for her rest.

But my brain and my desire to raise and obedient and disciplined girl urges me other wise. To let her work it out and stick to my guns so that she knows that the rules are rules. That they are to be followed, no exception.

Of course my heart battles back with the fear that I'm ignoring a real issue of pain or discomfort. "Maybe she's teething." Or "Maybe she's scared." And that is agonizing to have the battle in my head with  do I go back in and see if she's in pain or scared or do I stick to my guns? How do I know what the right answer is? Can't someone just tell me what I should do?

There has been a lot of pleading with God to confirm in my spirit what the right thing is. That's the main reason why I feel like I need to stick to my guns and not keep going back into her room. Because I believe that God is confirming to me that this is a discipline issue, and a defining one at that.

Just as I am requiring my daughter to be obedient to us, I too must be obedient to my Father. He knows best and has a reason for what He requires of us. Even when it's hard. And if I turn to Him when I need assurance and when I need confirmation, I know that He will give me a peace when I need to know I'm doing the right thing.

In the midst of the storm it's difficult. It's so difficult. I love the times that I get to laugh and play with my baby girl. And dread these times of painful growth. But it is growth nonetheless. And I pray that I will be faithful in those times. That I will look to God for strength and that He will sustain us even when we are weak and want to do what would feel good in the moment.

Any thoughts or prayers are certainly welcome in this trying time. :)

Sunday, January 23

Our off weekend.

Wow-zers, was our weekend a little off from normal. It really wasn't what I would call crazy or anything. Just off.

It started out Friday morning with me finding a quarter sized scab on the back of Little Lady's head, at the base of her hairline. That morning hubby had to go in early in the morning {he usually works a swing shift and goes in later} so after she woke up I brought her in our bed and let her watch cartoons while I nursed Little Dude. I was just running my fingers through her hair when I felt it.

Immediately I distracted her to get her to look down so I could see what it was. Thats when I saw a scab that was about the size of a quarter. It seemed odd since she hadn't had any falls and hit her head there, that we knew of. And she had her well check up just 2 days before and the doctor never said anything when she examined her.

I contemplated what to do and decided to call the pediatricians office just in case, especially since it was Friday and I didn't want to risk it getting worse and not be able to go in. i told the nurse what I saw and she said to bring her in, so I did.

It turns out our suspicions where right and it turned out to be eczema that Little L probably had scratched raw in her sleep. She recommended a 1% cortizone cream and some neosporin to help with the itch and help it heal up.

I can't help but feel bad and responsible. I know she has dry skin and give her oil baths and lotion her with heavy cream regularly but I never thought to look on her scalp, especially with her hair being long now. I know now though, I guess we'll have to check it often and lotion if she needs it.

Then Friday night she woke up at 11p or so and was sobbing. It was really difficult to soothe her and she couldn't tell us what was wrong, in spite of us asking her millions of questions to try and figure it out. She would just cry, even while I was holding her. Finally, I got her to go back in her crib while I rubbed her back and head and sang to her. She would doze off and then start crying again. Very frustrating to not know how to soothe your child!!

Eventually she fell back to sleep but was up very early and she was tired and fussy. Nap time was a repeat and so was bed time last night. But at least after I got her to sleep she slept through the night!! I'm not sure what the issue was but I suspect either teething or  maybe a night mare.

Whatever it was left both her and I worn out and by Saturday evening I was drained, mentally and physically. I'm hoping for a much smoother evening tonight.

Thursday, January 20

Why and How we delay vaccines

As we draw closer to the 24 month mark with Little Lady it is time make some decisions in regards to vaccinations. Up to this point neither one of our littles have had any vaccinations. A friend asked me to share what our plans are so I'm going to share it here incase anyone else is interested.

First, why we came to the decision to delay vaccines for our children. While we were pregnant with Little Lady, hubby and I made the decision to not have our children vaccinated. At the time we were taking a child birth class, the Bradley Method, and our instructor gave us information on vaccines and provided us with resources to learn more about them.

We have since then decided that we will vaccinate our children, but we want to delay them until they are 24 months old and then we are choosing to get only a select few that are on the vaccination schedule at our pediatricians office.

The resource that I read and used the most to determine whether we would vaccinate was What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Vaccines by Stephanie Cave, M.D. with Deborah Mitchell. This book was extremely helpful because:

  1. it gave me valuable info in terms I could understand,
  2. it gave me a history of each vaccine and the diseases they are tied to, as well as a history of vaccines in general,
  3. it gave me 'risk of getting each disease' vs. 'risk of having a life changing side affect.'
And so much more. I like that it was written by an M.D. and not just someone with an opinion; she has experience.

Another book I would recommend is The Vaccine Book: Making the right decision for your child by Robert W Sears, M.D. In this book Dr. Sears has an alternate vaccination schedule available.

Also, the National Vaccine Information Center is a great resource and a great way to keep up to date on the latest information involving vaccines and reported reactions to those vaccines. There is even a place to report a reaction on this website.

After doing a lot of research, hearing why other parents are delaying vaccines and talking to our pediatrician we came up with the plan to delay having our children vaccinated. Here are the most important and biggest factors to us:
  • Babies are born with the stem of their brain still open and have so much physical development in their first two years of life. We want to try and keep them from as much outside, man-made interference that we can.
  • Several of the vaccines that are given to babies today are for infections that are not fatal and/or can be gotten over naturally, therefore building their immune system up for protection against illnesses down the road. {For example: chicken pox, influenza}
  • Other vaccines were derived from the tissues of aborted babies: Chicken Pox, MMR, Hep A, Polio & Rabies {Source.}
  • Several vaccines have such a low risk of catching the virus that we don't feel the need to expose our kids to chemicals for "just in case" purposes. 
  • Both of our kids are breast fed, which can enhance their immune systems as they receive my antibodies while they are breast feeding and lower their risk of illness significantly. Our kids are also at home with one of us most of the time and have a fairly low risk of infection because of that.
  • And lastly, and probably most importantly, our lives and our children's lives rest in the hands of God alone and we choose not to be controlled by fears of this world or even the 'what if's' that can paralyze us if we let them. It's not always easy to do, but praise God when we are able to do it because it's only through Him and trusting in Him that we are successful in not living in fear. 
Next I'm going to share how we are delaying vaccinations.

First we had to decide which vaccines we wanted our kids to have and which ones we were going to opt out of. For some this was an easier decision than others. 

For example, the chicken pox vaccine was created as a convenience because the infection can potentially keep working parents from work up to 2 weeks or more. But for the most part children get over chicken pox and actually develop antibodies that can protect them from catching Shingles as an adult. Those who receive the vaccine and never have chicken pox are at a high risk of catching Shingles, which can be serious at an older age.

**UPDATE: It appears that I misspoke about the chicken pox vaccine, here is more information one what I was trying to say: According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations "As more and more healthy children are vaccinated today, there will be a decreasing number of unvaccinated children who will have an opportunity to get chicken pox and aquire permenant natural immunity. When both the vaccinated and unvaccinated children reach adulthood many may be at risk for getting chicken pox and experiencing serious complications. If, however, children are allowed to get chicken pox (which is usally mild in childhood), they will have permanent immunity and thus eliminate the risk of getting the disease in adulthood."

You can also read more about the Chicken Pox vaccine in relation to Shingles in an article in The Medical News here.

So based on the research we have done we have decided on the following vaccines for our kids at this time:
  • DaPT {Dipheria, Tetanus, Pertussis*}: @ 24, 26, 28 and 38 months of age
  • Prevnar-13 {Pneumococcal}: @ 28, 30, 32 and 42 months of age
  • Menactra {Meningococcal}: @ 38 months of age
  • Hib {Haemophilus Influenzae type B}: @ 32, 34, 36 and 46 months of age
* I would rather not do a 'cocktail' shot with more than one vaccine at a time, but their is no other option for these three.

The way we chose to space out the shots, besides the recommended spacing, is to ensure that each vaccine is given a fair chance to show signs of a reaction. By receiving multiple vaccines at one visit it makes it difficult to identify which vaccine is the cause. After two shots of a vaccine we should know if they will have a reaction to it so we can begin another series.

I would encourage everyone to research and decide for yourself what is best for your family, as it really is different for each person. Some people have conditions that make them more prone to catch a disease. I am only sharing what we have decided to do for our family, at this point, with two healthy children who were/are breast fed, do not attend daycare and will most likely be home schooled. If any of these things change then our plan may need to be revised.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section. :) If you'd rather email me you can do that too. You'll find my email. in the 'Contact Me' tab.

Wednesday, January 19

Little Lady {18 Months}

Little Lady is 18 months!!!!

You had your check up today. Dr G just loves you! And you love her. As soon as she came in and sat down you wanted up in her lap and asked her to read you a book. She said she could sit there with you all day, we know the feeling. :) Here are your stats from today:

Weight: 24 lb 6 oz {50% - gain of 1 lb 4 oz in three months}
Height: 32 in {70% - gain of .5in in three months}
Head: 18 in {25% - gain of .25in in three months}

Clothes: You are wearing mostly 18-24 months or even 2t, depending on the brand.
Shoes: You are right between 5 & 6. You LOVE to wear boots. You have two pair!
Diapers: You are still wearing a size 4. I have a prediction that you'll be close to potty training soon! We already sit you on a potty seat on the toilet before your bath to get you used to it.


Pretty much any  book is your favorite right now. You just love books. If I had to say the one you ask for the most is Little Quack that you got from Nana for Christmas.

Words/ phrases:
We hear a lot of words coming from your mouth. The words we hear most often are: 'uh-oh', 'poon' {spoon}, 'pho' {phone} 'ca-ca' {cracker}, 'ook' {book}, 'lello' {yellow}, 'dess' {dance}, 'isis' {kisses}, 'ga-ga' {glasses}, 'cwap' {clap}, 'poo' {pull}, 'eese' {please} and 'No touch'. Any time we ask you a question {such as 'Did you have fun playing?'} you most often reply 'No!' And you usually laugh... You are talking so much these days and you amaze daddy and I when we realize you just articulated something new. We usually do a double take and try to get you to say it again. Which you usually don't. ; P You love to blow on things when we tell you "It's hot!" Such as your food, our coffee/tea, the space heater, etc. You are just too funny :)

Any thing made with cheese {especially mac'n'cheese!}, juice, crackers, and peaches. Still working on getting you to eat/like vegetables.

Cooking in your new kitchen and playing doctor. You love putting on shoes and trying to walk around the house in them. Any shoes, especially mommy and daddy's. It cracks me up when I turn around to see your whole legs swallowed up in daddy's boots and your big 'ol grin across your face because you are so proud that you did it all by yourself.

I'm teaching you 'Jesus loves me' and I'm hoping that we can start learning a few old hymns together!

You still take a nap once a day, usually around 10:30 or 11a and sleep for about 2 hours.
Can I just say how much appreciate the sleep you have become. You may not sleep through the night most nights {I'm up with Little Dude anyway} but the actual going to bed process is SO much smoother.
We have tried and we just aren't CIO parents. Considering that you were swaddled for 9 months and we usually bounced you until you were asleep for naps and bed time until you were 13 months old, it fees like a huge accomplishment to be able to put you in your crib with your pillow, blanket, squishy and stuffed kitty cat and tell you night night and you actually go to sleep. On your own!
Not always right away but that's ok. And sometimes when we ask you if you're ready for nap or bed time you actually nod and say yes. Score!

Character traits:
You are so sweet and love to give kisses, I know you have a kind heart. You are also so active and just go all the time. You rarely sit still for long. You even move a lot in your sleep because when ever I go in there you are all kinds of turned and twisted in your bed! I am hoping that you will desire to use all your energy to further the Kingdom of God.  Another trait about you is your enthusiasm! You absolutely love to make a surprised face, and if you get a laugh the first time you will do it again, multiple times! And when you finish something or accomplish something you get so excited and clap and say 'YAY!' with so much excitement. It just makes my heart happy to see you so enthusiastic, and it's contagious too! You are so full of joy and I love that. I hope that is something that you never lose.

While mommy and daddy would like to think that our little princess is perfect, we know that isn't true because we all have a sin nature. We are all born with it. And it would be a disservice to treat you like you are perfect instead of using this time to train and teach you the difference between right and wrong and that their are consciences for every action and choice you make in life. But honestly the real challenge comes with learning how to discipline. It's really hard to know what disciplinary action is needed when. There is always a conflict of wanting to do right by discipling you and in not wanting to discipline you. It's hard for me to discipline you, to see you struggle or crying or feeling hurt. But it's a part of this life in our fallen world and I have to remember that God requires it of us as parents and He disciplines us as adults too. It's all for our own good. We have the Word as a guide to do it right as well as those who have gone before us as parents.

You, sweet girl, are the joy of our hearts and you bring us more joy everyday!
We love you so much.
Mommy & Daddy

"The LORD your God in your midst, The mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, January 18

Monday, January 17

Friday, January 14

Little Dude {3 Months}

My little dude, you are already 3 months old.

You are still wearing 3 months size. But your footie pjs are getting to be too small, I think 3-6 month clothes are in our near future. {Slow down!}

Soon you'll be wearing cloth :) but right now you are finishing up the size 1-2 disposable diapers we have.

You are usually asleep for the night between 8 and 9p and you wake up twice to nurse, once at 1a and then around 4a and them back to sleep til 8 or 9a! {If only we could convince big sis to do the same! The sleeping in part, not the musing part.}

You love to lay on your play mat and look up at the dangling toys. sometimes you hit or kick them. Mostly you just wiggle, smile and coo.

Character traits:
What I notice so far is that you study very intently. I've already noticed that you've found your feet and you will twirl your ankle and just study your feet when we sit you up. You hate to be held facing in, as long as you are facing out and can see all around you, you are content. I've become very good doing everything with one hand. The other arm is occupied with you, my sweet baby boy.

Social. You will start 'talking' or cooing if anyone holds you close and talks to you. You'll do it for long periods of time too. And smiling, you smile almost constantly. It's no wonder you started laughing so early on, you are a happy boy!

What people say:
That you 'look just like your daddy' AND that you 'look just like your mommy.'
Guess you are a perfect mix of both of us!

Honestly, you are a very 'easy' baby. Besides the challenges of having two young children, you really don't add any challenges. It's gotten to the point that when you are crying I can figure out pretty fast what you want because the list is short! Usually you are pretty content just being around us.

The only slight challenge that as actually become just the norm is that you still wake up twice in the night to eat, but even that is easy because you take about 10 min to eat and then I put you back to bed and you stay asleep, so that means I can go right back to sleep too!

"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, January 12

One of those days....

I'm having one of those days. The kind where I can feel a spiritual battle taking place, just this tug of war between my flesh and my spirit. I woke up in a less than great mood. Just feeling tired an worn down. Feeling like everything and everyone is against me. You may know the kind, where it's "Watch out!" to anyone who crosses your path.

Well this morning it happened to be my husband. Bless his heart, he couldn't do anything right to save his life. And the crazy thing is I knew I was wrong in my actions but it kind of felt like I was walking and thinking in a cloud. I just couldn't snap out of it. That only frustrated me more.

After hubby left for work I decided to get out of the house. The cold weather we've been having mixed with illness has kept us locked up and I'm not too sure that's good for anybody. So while I drove the kids to our local indoor play place I was privileged to listen to some teaching of God's word on the radio station our church started recently. It can be heard all over the area and can be heard anywhere in the world from here.

It's Bible teaching all the time from different Calvary Chapel pastors all across the U.S. Plus worship music mixed in. And it's tuned in on my radio dial in the car so I can listen in to who ever is teaching whenever I'm in my car.

And today, after listening in for the several times I was in the car, I felt a significant change in my attitude from this morning. And looking back I can clearly see that I had a veil of darkness over me. An oppression of the evil one. And I know thats what happened because of the obvious freeing feeling I have this evening. I just feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don't have any of those same negative feelings or thoughts that I had this morning.

And I can't tell you that anything significant happened today. There wasn't any one thing that I heard on the radio station today that caused me to suddenly snap out of it. I would describe it more as God gradually changing my heart and drawing me back to Him with all the things I heard today. The one common thing I heard today was God's truth and simply put, His love. More specifically His love for me, even though I don't deserve it. That He has forgiven my sins. All of them. Past, present, and future. even future sins that I haven't even sinned yet. Wow.

Now that I think about it, the overwhelming theme that I heard and that really spoke to me today was God's grace. The fact that He grants favor and love and mercy towards me even while I'm not deserving. Incredible. It's so amazing it's hard to fathom or understand sometimes. Even today, while my attitude and behavior was much less than graceful towards my husband, God made a point to speak to me about His grace towards me. Amazing.

So that was my day today. Nothing real huge or significant, at least to anyone else. But it has ended up being attitude and perspective changing. And while it's worn me out it's also been the refreshment that I needed. And God new that. He always does.

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
Psalm 103:12

Tuesday, January 11

Little Dude's Nursery

We've made a lot of head way on hubby's Dr Seuss room Little Dude's nursery and I'm too anxious to share it to wait any longer! I decided I'll just post as we make progress.

{You can see the play mat that I made for him before he was born! The picture on the right best portraits out of all these pictures the blue color his walls are. They look white in the others, but they are really blue.}

{The bow is hiding the words, it says "For This Child We Pray"}

{The bumper pads I made!}

{He and Little Lady got several Dr. Seuss characters for Christmas.
They will come out of his crib when he starts sleeping in it.}

{His closet, still being organized. But it's already filled with hand-me-downs from a friend who blessed us with the clothes her boys have out grown.}

{This was made by hubby's grandma who has since passed away but we both agreed that it belonged in Little Dude's nursery.}

{A gift from a friend and it will be hung on the red wall once we figure out where we want it to go. So cute!}

{I love these two pieces! I found them at Hobby Lobby and instantly fell in love with how well they match the Dr. Seuss theme but also that they will be a reminder to him and to us to praise the Lord for everything.}

{Little Dude got these adorable Converse shoes for Christmas from his Uncle's, my brothers! Love 'em and I can't wait to see these on him :)}

{I couldn't leave out the red wall... but we haven't done anything with it yet. The dresser is going to go against this wall, once hubby gets it re-finished to match the crib. Some friends of ours gave it to us for free! But the wood is a really light color right now. I also have a couple of black multi-picture frames my mom gave us that I plan to hang on these walls. And I want to find some black shelves to put up too.}

 I still plan to make a bed skirt for the crib and curtains for the windows and we plan to get blinds for the window too. I'll update again when we add more.

Monday, January 10

No day like a snow day!

The kind where we stay in our pj's all day.

{Except for a dr appt I had this morning.}

And the fridgid 12 degree temps outside keep us snuggled up inside.

Until after nap time...

Little Dude got in on the action too! 

But for much less of the time, it was cold!!

Our snow day play was followed up by hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookie bars both made by hubby! Yum :D

And just for good measure:

Wednesday, January 5

New Year Blues.

Am I the only one who has a difficult time finding motivation after the holidays? What is that about anyway? My theory is that the hype building up to Christmas and all the activities and food and vacation time and family and friends and parties, we anticipate it so much. Then after it's all over there's just a natural coming back down to the everyday routine of things that has to happen. It's just hard sometimes.

It helps me to have things to look forward to or even projects to work on. Even setting some new goals. Perhaps this is where making New Year's resolutions came from.

I came across a list of "50 Guilt Free New Years Resolutions" in my Thriving Family Magazine. It's really pretty creative, at least a few of the ideas are. I'm going to file it away for the future, when the littles are a little bit older.

Some of the ones I liked were:

  • Create your own family holiday. Set a specific date. Invite each family member to help with planning a unique celebration.
  • During family TV/movie night, press the mute button. Make up your own dialogue. The wackier, the better.
  • Start a prayer jar. Each family member can write prayers or draw prayer pictures and leave them in a jar. At the year's end, look through the prayers together and talk about God's faithfulness.
  • Give something away every month this year. Be looking for the needs of friends and how their needs may overlap with what you own. Give freely.
  • Say "I love you" to your spouse at the start of each day.
  • When your child shares something with you, stop what you're doing and look them in the eyes. Ask a follow up question.
  • Stop communicating in only 140 characters or less.
  • Put all your Christmas cards into a pile. Draw one card a week, and pray for that family.
  • Pick a night of the week to be "No-Screen Night." Turn off all computers and tv to do something fun as a family.

I'm also looking forward to reading a book about parenting that I've wanted to read for awhile now, just waiting for our hectic schedule to slow down. It's called "Shepherding a Childs heart" by Ted Tripp.

I'm really looking forward to this biblical perspective on parenting and learning more in depth what God has in mind for me as a mommy. I want to be purposeful with my parenting, knowing my time with them is short. To me the most rewarding part of this job will be seeing the fruits in their life of the time I took to pour Jesus in to them! Watching them grow up and choose Jesus and His way for life, thats what being a parent is all about. They are His babes anyway, I want to be faithful to return them to Him as saints!

And I just love how God uses the things I learn about being a parent and applies it to my relationship with Him, my Heavenly Father. He loves me so much, just the same as I love my littles. Actually He loves more! And sometimes that is hard for me to believe. But I'm so grateful to be loved and cared for so deeply!

What plans or activities do you have planned to ward off the New Year blues?


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