Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free Time ...

NAP TIME is always a struggle for me. 

Not the literal process of getting my kids down -- well actually that can be quite the struggle too -- but I am talking about those rare occasions where BOTH kids are napping and I have free time
As soon as I realize they are both down my mind frantically goes through my options:
"Get all the dishes done, exercise, EAT, Pick up as many toys as I can since I have 2 FREE HANDS, Blog, read/do my Bible study, read that parenting book that's been sitting on my night stand for weeks unopened, shower.....that is necessary, relax and veg out, NAP, go outside and just sit, do a project that gets my creative juices flowing, read articles about food (yes I actually do this....), Clean the bathrooms, organize baby/kid clothes......I could go on and on and on....but you get the gist.

Sometime I spend too long deciding or trying to start 2 or 3 of them that one child wakes up and bam, it's over! But my struggle lies with how to spend that time, to refresh myself and gear up again. 
Let me explain......I have never, ever felt refreshed or ready for my kids (now full of energy selves) when I have spent that 20 min - 1.5 hr scrolling facebook or on the couch watching TV while I "fold laundry" (lets be honest, I can fold while kids are awake). I am not saying there aren't times where laying on the couch the ENTIRE nap time has been not only enjoyable but necessary. But when I truly close my eyes or focus them on something and get myself away from this glowing screen that seems to suck the life out, I feel so different. 
It takes effort, to be purposeful in my day and is something I am learning lately. I want to be closer to God and be intimately in communication with him, yet I "never have the time" to sit down and focus my attention on him and what he has given me. But I somehow find the time to comment on 5 friends pictures and read yet another grass-fed article. Isn't it strange that we think to ourselves, "if I could just get 5 minutes to sit down alone I would be refreshed and ready" yet......at least for me a lot of the time......when we have that time we waste it or simply don't use it wisely.

Today after putting the baby down finally and then laying with his big sister till she fell asleep I collapsed on the couch, lap top and phone right there with me. But I just knew, as I always do yet don't always act upon, that this would not fill up my empty tank. Just as after a much needed girls night out or time alone I can still be burnt out. 
I simply need time with him. I need to focus my attention on him. It transforms the rest of my day. This doesn't mean I sit there praying for and hour (though that is necessary a lot of days!) but it means I am redirecting my attention on him while I clean up little toys, paint, clean or exercise.
 I am thanking and praising him as I go. I am praying for a friend while I put lids on markers (only to be taken off again shortly :). And I am sharing my heart with my savior while I scrub dried food off counters and fold little shirts and pants. 
These mundane tasks become an act of worship, but it must start with my heart. And I challenge myself and you that it is difficult to direct our thoughts and heart on him while staring at the computer or TV. 

So today I drug my bones off the couch and wrote in my journal, exercised, and began to make a snack when I heard the sweet sound of "mommmmmmy" :) And it IS amazing, that on the days where I spend my time like this I am refreshed and ready to play with those babies. I don't know why I don't purposely act everyday. Usually it's because I plan to just sit for a minute and look at a few things.....but the computer has a way of pulling you in and suddenly all your time has passed (right?!?!)
This sounds a bit like a ramble as I read it back, but I just am writing this for myself (and maybe you too) to work on turning my attention always on him....but starting especially with nap time to be my time of purpose -- even relaxing can be purposeful :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pumpkin Grain-Free Pancakes

These pancakes are absolutely amazing you won't even miss the flour. As I type this at 10:15 pm I am snacking on a few from the fridge left over :) I also love that they are super filling yet you don't feel "heavy" like you do after eating pancakes full of flour and sugar. 
Here is the Recipe:
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
6 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons honey

Mix all your dry ingredients together with a fork

Combine wet ingredients, add in dry and use blender or immersion blender (clumps aren't yummy)

This grass fed butter is YUMMO

Melt coconut oil or butter on the pan and make sure not to poor too much batter for each pancake, this is because they take quite a bit of time to cook through and if it's too heavy it will be hard to flip. Make sure the burner is on medium otherwise they will burn (like this first batch did :) and flip carefully when they begin to bubble. 

Serve with a big slab of grass fed butter and fresh berries ! These pancakes are so moist but still have that warm bread feel of real pancakes. They taste like pumpkin pie cake! 

And of course ham and eggs too......what can I say, I need a large breakfast to make it till lunch :) 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Baby to the PICU :(

I'm sure I echo the rest of the NATION when I say......
"I am done with sicknesses! Come on Spring".

I already don't like winter -- [other than the boot socks, because, come on, they're adorable] -- 
so add in nasty flu bugs, rain that keeps you inside, cold that keeps you inside even when it's not raining, and darkness that makes the day end at 4:45 it's not my favorite time of year. But just like watching your child become their adorable playful self after a long flu bug, sweet spring will come after cold and darkness (am I comparing winter to one long nasty flu bug? maybe.....)

I had written that last paragraph before the last few days where sickness hit our house even more :( On Tuesday morning early I could tell my baby boy was running his first fever. I was praying "Please let him not be like his sister and have fevers for 5 days, I can't do that with both my kids!" By afternoon after hours of him screaming which is NOT normal I really just felt like something was off. I went to urgent care so he could get checked out where we were finally able to get some medicine down him without him throwing it back up. I was really confident that would make him a much happier baby! Unfortunately by evening his coughing was worse and he was not happy at all :(
 He started laboring very hard to breath in and out so we took him in the bathroom hoping the steam would help. Those few minutes were some of the most stressful of my life. Juliana had woken up from nap on the wrong side of the bed and was whining and hanging on my legs, I am also sure she picked up on the stress in our voices as William started to breath worse and worse. He began to sound like a seal when he breathed in and out and his chest was going in super far when he inhaled. I noticed his hands turning purple and I can tell you, that is the worst feeling cause there is nothing you can do! In my head I was going through options, more steam, call 911? -- even they wouldn't get here in time,  how to do CPR in case he stopped altogether -- what were the instructions for babies again???? pray pray pray. Thankfully we were able to really calm him down (the crying was making it worse!) and his breathing slowed down a lot.
We decided to to the ER -- oh wow what a place. I actually had never been! A midst the circumstances Jeremy and I actually were having fun watching all the crazies. Not sure who entertained us most..............The guy who checked himself in with a folder stacked full of articles he'd printed from online describing his new disease, the pregnant girl bringing in her old boyfriend who's eye was broken in 20 places and bleeding everywhere (we heard later cause he ended up in the room next to us :) or the man who kept coming within a foot of my face and staring at me while blood dripped out of his mouth, yuck excuse you!
------needless to say I bundled William up and we waited out in the fresh air for most of the time.
Hours later after waiting, testing, waiting, and more testing they diagnosed him with croup and RSV. I could tell it wasn't going to be good news when the Dr who had previously been running in and out so quickly he barely listened to my description of his symptoms, then came in and sat down, sighed, and said "so.....he has RSV. And we take this pretty seriously especially under 6 months so we want to transfer him to be admitted". We were definitely surprised, we were sure we would be home in bed in the next hour and instead we weren't sure what the next few hours would hold. I kept reminding myself that things seemed scarier than they were. Transferring your baby by ambulance seems scary, even though the process is not that bad. Needing him to be hospitalized seems scary but I knew he was breathing fine, that it was a good place for him to be, and that we wouldn't be there long.

Unfortunately I got so carsick in that ambulance. I apparently don't do well after not sleeping for 48 hours, not eating or drinking in way too long, then being strapped by a 5 point harness to the wall of a large van where all the windows are reflective and all you can see is yourself. Yikes. It didn't help that the paramedic next to me showed me videos of his girlfriend's toddler for the hour drive to the hospital. Even as they were pushing the gurney into the elevator and up the hospital stories he was still showing me pictures..........how many times can you say "awe he's so cute" while trying to keep your eyes open and focus on your own sick baby :(

The PICU at this particular hospital is amazing. They were quick, caring and so helpful. I felt so at ease there. William didn't appreciate being hooked up but I was grateful to be able to hold and nurse him.
 We were discharged later that day and 2 days later we are still not in the clear but they say it is very unlikely he will have another breathing episode. Just got back from the Dr and his oxygen levels are good. He just sounds like a bad smoker now :( I can't wait till he is back to his usual self.

We are SO SO SO grateful for all our family who took care of our 2 year old, cleaned our house, held William so we could sleep (finally!!!!) and all our friends who have emailed, called, and texted. But most of all for all of those who prayed for us and him! I am sure he will be fine :)