Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh how my baby loves blueberries

Noelle loves blueberries. She can eat a whole pack in one sitting if we let her. We have to hide them in the fridge, because if she spots them then she must have them. I'm currently letting her have quite a few every day, because they are healthy, they have vitamin C which helps her body absorb the iron suplements, and they prevent her from having constipation that the extra iron can cause. I kind of think the cold blueberries must feel good on her new molars, too.

Sleep is not going well for Noelle right now. She has started staying up very late (past 9 pm), and screaming for me every time she wakes up in the night. She outlasts us. I let her cry for about 10 minutes, and then I go up and nurse her, then lay her down. She almost always wakes up as soon as I lay her down, and then Lance is the one who goes up and rescues her after she has screamed for a while. He walks her around until she falls asleep. I'm wondering what will happen when he goes out of town on an upcoming business trip - will we go back to the cry it out method simply because I get so exhausted in the night? It is harder to do the cry it out method now because she screams so loud! And usually ends up throwing up. So, I weigh the trouble I'll go through changing her and the sheets with the benefit of her going to sleep on her own, eventually. Her screaming wakes up Trevor & Connor, too.

Let me post some about how cute she is during the day. She is a great walker now, even running around. She loves to run around with Connor, and that is when we hear lots of laughter from her. She is very good at putting wooden puzzle pieces back where they go, and also loves other activities where she gets to put objects in a slot or hole (this is good for her future Montessori lessons, so I've been encouraging it). She also loves to brush her hair. She "loves on" all kind of things, not just baby dolls. One of the cutest examples is one time she was sitting on the ledge right inside the refrigerator door, and took out the Dale's Steaksauce bottle, "loved" on it, then put it back. She did it a few more times, and it was so sweet, even though I was stressing about the cold air leaving the fridge (or the warm air entering, I never can remember how that goes).

She's not really talking yet. Her most clear communication is when she wants to nurse: she does the sign language movement for nursing (or milk), and she says "mama mama mama." She says "Hi" and waves hello. She knows sign language for "more" and makes the "mmmmm" sound when she wants something to eat. I really want to take her to a baby sign language class, because it seems she does best when she can combine signing with speach.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Lance!

Today was Lance's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is, but he's getting on up there (he he). We are a little boring in our old age, I guess, because there was no big surprise or party or presents; he ordered what he wanted/needed on the internet a couple of days ago. We did go out to eat breakfast in honor of his birthday, and had my mom & siblings over for a steak dinner! And, I made a cola cake. I haven't made one since I was in Home Ec. class in 9th grade. There is quite a bit of sugar in one of those - sugar, coke, & marshmallows in the cake; and cola & powdered sugar in the frosting. Well, at least I made it with my new white whole wheat flour!

Here's a funny conversation from today in the minivan:

Connor: I spilled some again.
Me: What are we going to do with you?
Connor: Put me in jail?
Lance: Good idea. Let's drive on by the jailhouse on our way home. Connor, do you think we should leave you there one week or two?
Connor: Um, I was just joking.

When my mom was over tonight, I told her that we were considering hosting a child from Belarus (Children of Chernobyl) this summer. I wanted to know what she thought about it. There are many times I feel overwhelmed with my own children and household, so would this be a good thing or not? She felt strongly that it was exactly what I should do. So... we will be looking into it more...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Best Healthy Pancakes Ever!

2 C white whole wheat flour*
2 T brown sugar
2 T splenda
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 T wheat germ
1 T oat bran
2 T oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 C milk
2 eggs
1 C sweet potato puree

* I substituted 1 scoop of protein powder for 1 scoop of flour (meaning I put 2 cups of flour in the bowl, then used the scoop from the protein powder container to return 1 scoopful back to the flour bag and add in 1 scoopful of protein powder). We use whey protein and love it.

Mix up and cook like you would any other pancakes.

I was feeling adventurous this morning, and Noelle was being happy playing in the kitchen, so I decided to make some healthy pancakes for breakfast. I used a recipe for pancakes from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook, and one from the It Coulda' Been Worse blog, combined & altered until I had made my own version. I am really bad about always tweaking recipes. These were so delicious, I had to share with you all. Everyone in our household loved them. We could not get them cooked as fast as they were eaten! I felt like I was eating a combination of light fluffy pancakes and a pumpkin pie. They were good with or without syrup. I'm sure you could substitute pureed pumpkin, butternut squash or carrots for the sweet potatoes.

I had to include this sweet picture of Connor feeding some sweet potato puree to Noelle. I love how they are looking at each other.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Visited States

These are the states I have visited (in red).

My map looks a little bottom-heavy. I can't believe I lived in CT and never got around to visiting Maine or New Hampshire! I have driven through and/or changed planes in Delaware, Indiana, Ohio & Maryland, but didn't really feel like I visited them.

I would love to go to Utah next, and explore the beautiful canyons.

What states have you visited?

create your own visited states map

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Noelle at one year

Noelle's first birthday party:

Noelle went to her one-year-old check up this week, and weighed in at almost 23 pounds (75th percentile) and measured 30 inches (again 75th percentile). She was fine in every way, except she is slightly anemic. So, I need to try to get some iron supplements in her (I haven't tried it yet, but the doctor said it tastes pretty nasty), and increase the iron in her diet. I'll take her back in a month or so to have her blood rechecked, and hopefully it will be better.

Noelle is a walker! She can really get around now, and prefers walking to crawling. She falls a lot, but it doesn't seem to bother her. She just gets right back up and tries again. I hope she continues with that attitude for the rest of her life, because don't we all have to continually get back up from one type of fall or another.

Noelle loves to climb. Her favorite places are the steps and the cabinets. I don't think she says any words yet, but she waves "hi" and "bye" and can use sign language to tell me she wants to nurse. She does say "mama" quite a bit, and "mmmm" when she wants to eat something.

She does already have a bad habit - when she gets frustrated, she bangs her head on the floor. Just one time, but still, I wish she would drop this habit. I suppose she has inherited from me this quick, knee-jerk reaction when she doesn't get what she wants. Hopefully, as her communication improves, she will stop the head-banging. Oh, and of course, like me, she will probably have to work on her patience for the rest of her life.

I'm okay with this kind of creature crawling in my cabinets:

Noelle's favorite climbing structure at Gramma & Grampa's house:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Really, really good news

I wanted to share with you the email that was passed on to me this morning. It is from Steve, who is Crystal's husband. I am overcome with emotion - thankfulness, joy, praise...
I just wanted to let you know that Crystal's lung x-ray showed almost complete resolution of tumors. The oncologist took me aside and told me that he believed he has seen a miracle. They did not expect her to respond as well as she has to her treatments. She is now free of oxygen and not tied to a hospital bed anymore. She will have a minimum of 7 more rounds of chemo and then they plan to do a complete hysterectomy to eliminate the source of the cancer.

I can't tell you the relief and joy we both experienced yesterday.


Thank-you for all your prayers and concern. May God bless you all this new year!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Yesterday at church I we sang a song called "Satisfied" that I just really loved. The words were awesome, and something about the tune struck a chord in my soul. So, last night I went online to search for it. I was sure it was a new contemporary praise song, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw it was written by Clara T. Williams in 1875. I listened to an old recording to what was probably the original tune, and I was a little disappointed. I went to bed sad that I couldn't find it, but amazed at how relevant the words are 130 years later.

I tried again today, and found it! I guess this group of musicians, associated with Red Mountain Church in Birmingham, Alabama, puts old hymns to new musical arrangements. I have listened to several of their songs, and love every one. Their website gives the music, so we printed it out for the song "Satisfied", Lance quickly learned it on the guitar, and we have been singing it tonight.

Here is the link where I found the song "Satisfied" on the album "Depth of Mercy":

Here is a link to their myspace page, where you can listen to several of their new songs and see when they are touring:

And the best part; here are the words to "Satisfied" as relevant today as they were in 1875:

All my life long, I had thirsted
For a drink from some cool spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.
Feeding on the filth around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul's sad cry.
Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.
Hallelujah! He has found me
The One my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings
Through His blood I now am saved.