On the Reflux Roller Coaster Again

Well...here we go again.

I guess that I have been in denial.

Abigail has always been a projectile vomiter. I have even nick-named her "pooker" (because she pukes all the time). But until recently she was a relatively happy puker. She has been becoming increasingly fussy over the last few weeks, with periods of intense screaming/ arching/ and poor nursing. She clings to me in desperation and cannot be consoled. After a quick trip to North Carolina this weekend, it became apparent that we needed to do something about it. My mom agreed that Abigail's behavior mimicked that of Joshua when he was about 3 months old...which we learned much later was because of his reflux. Part of me wants to run and hide from the reflux monster this time...and the other part of me wants to treat her NOW so she doesn't get as sick as Joshua did (which was from leaving it untreated). I just don't want to give her medication if it is all in my head...

We saw our fantastic pediatrician today, Dr. Grant, and she agreed that it was time to do a medication trial. I guess I should be optimistic that this will bring back my happy baby...but I am sad that we have to go through it again. That on top of some other discouraging news regarding our home/ job situation has me a little bummed. But hey, God has a plan for us...and it is good. So I will cling to Him and His Word as we round another corner in this roller coaster called life!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28


A Sense of Humor

Did you know that GOD has sense of humor?

I mean, we all know that He is magnificent, holy and perfect. Creator and sustainer, giver of all good gifts. All knowing and all powerful. (I could go on and on, but you get the picture)

BUT...have you ever stopped to think about His sense of humor?

Can you ever just tell that God is getting a good chuckle out of your situation? Well, imagine this scene...

I was shopping at Kohl's for a pair of shorts for my upcoming trip to North Carolina. The shopping part was unpleasant just because of the size I ended up purchasing, but that is a whole different topic for another day...Anyhow, the pleasant part of the experience was my children's' behavior. Abi was in the stroller and Joshua and Nicole were walking...usually a recipe for disaster...but things were going surprisingly well. We got to the register and had almost succeeded without incident when it happened...

I noticed a poor momma of 4 walking towards the register with her SCREAMING 3 year old. He was having the tantrum of a century. And she had "the look." You know it...the 1,000 yard stare that says, "Do not look at me and certainly do not speak to me or I shall surely rip your head off." Feeling great compassion for this woman (as my children stood patiently waiting for the cashier to help us), I said a quick prayer for her...it went something like this, "Lord, I know how this poor woman feels. Please help her now. Give her Your peace and let her know that she is not alone." And why did I have to say that last line? No sooner did I say "Amen" than my own Joshua began his own gianormous temper tantrum right there at the check out. Fortunately, we were almost done, I swept him up into the stroller and made a mad dash for the door. As I reached the car (Joshua still WAILING) I realized that God has used ME to show her she wasn't alone. Thank you...I needed that.

As my husband loves to say - "Everyone needs to be humbled every now and then."

PS: Chores got done today and we made it to speech therapy. I must admit that I am starting to lose my motivation though...Tomorrow: clean bathrooms and empty trash. We will probably eat out since I am leaving (with Abi) early Friday morning for North Carolina (my baby sister is graduating from college...Congrats Ashley!!!). I'll be spending most of my evening packing, I'm sure.

PS Again: The picture above is of Joshua when he was about 8 weeks old. Always has been a screamer!!!


Wordless Wednesday - 3 Months Old

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Progress Report

Day #2 of life back on track...

Chores: DONE!

Yes, that's right...I tackled my greatest enemy (other than my weight and the dentist) and dusted my house. I also Windex'd the mirrors and glass in the house. We tackled the market and ran an errand for my husband. I somehow managed to have dinner ready when my husband got home from work (thankfully he was a little late getting home...so I had a few extra minutes) and I even walked the dog!!!! Brownie points for me, ha ha. You should have seen the looks I got from people...me with the baby in the front carrier, Nicole and Joshua in the now VERY heavy jogging stroller and the huge yellow lab pulling us down the street. We were a traveling circus!

Vacuum up and down stairs
Balance the checkbook

Dinner: Tacos, Spanish Rice and Beans

Wednesday is a crazy day because we go to speech therapy an hour away. Joshua loves his teacher and she is working miracles with his speech...so at this point it is still worth it. When gas hits $4.00 per gallon here in So Cal I will have to reconsider our 2 hour round trip drive for 30 minutes of speech class! Until then, we pack up the kids and enjoy the ride! The cool thing is that we drive by Miramar Naval Air Station and always see cool helicopters and jets flying overhead.

The bad news for today was ATTITUDE! It stunk all around my house. Nicole has been pushing buttons ever since she has recovered from being sick last week. Give her an inch of slack and she'll walk all over you! I quickly grew impatient with her finagling and Joshua's whining and my attitude went right down the toilet with theirs! Looking back now, I see what was missing - that short but ever so important prayer time during the baby's morning feed. Bummer - I cannot leave that one out! Anyway, there was a fair amount of shouting in my house today. I am very disappointed in myself. The market was a nightmare because the children would not keep their hands to themselves and Nicole almost knocked an older man down because she was dancing around the sidewalk while walking to the car. I feel like they should know better because I am always on their case about it...but I guess they don't. I guess I should just take it as a reminder of the importance of my quiet time in the morning (no matter how short of insignificant it seems, it is still vital for my day) and the ever important task of TRAINING my children. So we keep training. And praying. And praying. And praying some more.

Hope you have an awesome day tomorrow! Here's praying for a better attitude in my house...



Air Conditioner: FIXED!

Chores: DONE!!!

It was a better day.

I started the day with a short prayer time during the baby's 5:30 am feeding (it was short because I did fall back asleep when she was done).

We somehow managed to hit the ground running and actually finished our chores by 9:30 am. By that time, the air conditioner repairman had arrived and I was able to use his presence for a short lesson on strangers...just because he was at our home did not mean that we knew him. My daughter is very friendly and outgoing and would take him all over the house showing him things if I let her. Gotta be careful of that one!

Anyway, we pulled out a game for "school time" and tried a slightly less formal method of learning. Dora the Explorer Chutes and Ladders was the lesson...we practiced number recognition and counting. We actually played the game for about 5 minutes till they decided to play the game "their way" and I decided I wasn't going to die on that hill! Next, we moved on to play dough while mom balanced the checkbook. The kids had a blast. This was also a nice lesson in color recognition for Joshua! Then we had lunch and were off to naps - during which time I managed to squeeze in 2 hours of work (I work from home helping out a friends business as often as I can). All in all, I'd call the day a success...a few moments of, well...chaos and disorder, but overall I am feeling pretty good. Now, we prepare for tomorrow...

Chores: Dust up and downstairs.
Windex all mirrors and doors.

I know it doesn't seem like much, but dusting is my LEAST favorite chore. We also will do one load of laundry and will probably run to the market. Hopefully we can get some "school" in as well. And speaking of chores...in all my ambition last night I printed out new chore charts for the kids. This really helped their motivation level today...

Nicole's Chore Chart (4 years old): Make Bed, Feed Dog (AM), Kitchen Helper (empty the dishwasher if clean, set/ clear the table), Clean-up the Play Room, and Quiet nap time.

Joshua's Chore Chart (2 1/2): Make Bed, Feed Dog (PM), Laundry Helper (he puts the laundry in the washer and presses start, then changes it to dryer), Clean-up Playroom and Quiet nap time.

Nicole has to help Josh do some of his chores, but as we learned this morning in devotions...helping others is a way to show God's love to them. And besides, they get stars for doing their chores with a "happy heart," who could ask for more?

And so now, the kitchen is clean, my husband's lunch is packed and I am off to bed. Lord willing, tomorrow will be as productive as today and I can be one step closer to my re-organized life after Baby #3. Tune in tomorrow for the next update...

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7


Hard Pressed but not Crushed

We live in Southern California, near the desert.

It's hot here. (No really, it was over 100 degrees today).

Our air conditioner is broken. Dead. 6 feet under.

I probably needn't say more...but I will.

It's currently after 10:30 pm and my house is still 80 degrees INSIDE!

This has been going on for four days. I am not happy. And like the old saying goes, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" The baby is crabby, the children are grumpy, and my husband spent all weekend busting his rump in the hot hot weather. Saturday he spent all day in the attic (approx 115 degrees) installing a whole house fan and today he did yard work all day. You can bet...he's NOT happy either.

Yesterday (while he was installing the attic fan and watching the children at the same time, so I could throw my best-friend's baby shower)...the house became a war zone. The children were in Level 5 hurricane mode and the attic fan installation produced tons of rogue drywall and dust. I guess I should also confess that, in light of baby shower prep - I may have neglected my chores a bit too. So imagine my humiliation when a neighbor offered to come over yesterday afternoon and help my husband finish installing the fan. I NEVER wanted anyone to see my house like that again! I fell on the bed last night feeling totally defeated and promised myself (and my children) that tomorrow would be a better day.

It wasn't.

Tomorrow being today...I hit the ground running. But unfortunately lacking the joy I so desperately wanted in my heart. I cleaned up most of the downstairs before breakfast and tried to keep myself in perpetual motion. About the time I hit my mid-morning slump...the phone rang...it was my husband's friend John and he was going to be in town later that day. He wanted to stop by. Uh oh.

I have long had a dream that my husband would never again have to apologize for the state of our home. It's happened a few times before and it was humiliating. I want to be that person who can be on top of things (especially the home) all the time. You know...ready for drop in company on a moment's notice ready. Well this afternoon, he had to apologize. It broke my heart. I need to get back on top of things around here.

So, tomorrow I start anew. I have a wonderful routine in place for home chores...but I haven't been faithful to it ever since Abigail was born. Tomorrow that changes. Please, hold me accountable to this (I'll be posting each evening this week to let you know that I got my chores done...and what I have planned for the next day).

Tomorrow: Change the linens and towels.
Wash Linens and Towels.
Empty all trash.
Take trash down to the curb for pick up on Tuesday.
Grocery Shop.

I know that I shouldn't be so hard on myself...I did just have a baby (3 months ago)...but God has given me an amazing man for a husband who is harder to please than most. And I want nothing more than to make him proud of his family and his home. I know that I am lacking in many areas right now (the home, training of the children, my own appearance/ weight). And it's time to get back to work!

I do feel discouraged. Hard pressed to be exact. But I will not be defeated and I will rely on the Lord to guide me, energize me, motivate me, and strengthen me in my endeavors.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. "
2 Cor 4:7-9

Pray for me :-)

And by the way - The air conditioner repairman is coming tomorrow to fix the AC...tomorrow is going to be a better day, I promise!


Wordless Wednesday - Summer Fun

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I was reading a post in a blog I frequently visit when I was challenged by the writer's message...she asked, " If you had to choose ONE word to describe your mother, what would it be?" I have thought long and hard over this question and I have finally decided the word that I would use to describe my mother is:
That's right, the word I would choose to describe my mother is Beloved. And no other word could bring me such joy!
You see, I was the first in my family to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, at the ripe old age of 19 at the Pennsylvania State University (I was a sophomore at that time). I believe that my Dad was close in following, and then my sweet sister (who is 7 years younger than me), but my mom was a little harder to convince. She was raised in the Catholic Church and was certain that I had lost my mind when I became an evangelical Christian. She wanted nothing to do with my outspoken faith! But somewhere along the way I began to see changes in her. And with much prayer and perseverance, I am so thankful to say that she is now a Believer as well! And that is why I chose the word Beloved...because my mother is a Beloved daughter of the King of Kings, just like me!

A few weeks ago, when my father was preparing for his heart surgery, he asked me if he should write each of us (my sister, my mother and myself) a letter before he went into surgery. I quickly responded that he should NOT write me a letter. I told him, "Dad...I know that you love me and IF something should happen, you can tell me whatever else you need to say on the other side. Because I know that I will be spending eternity with you in the Kingdom and our earthly goodbye is just a temporary one."

Very few things bring me more joy than knowing that my whole family (and Lord willing, my children one day too) will be with me in Heaven. Thank you Lord for this amazing blessing.

And Happy Mother's Day Mom, I miss you and I love you!


Wordless Wednesday - Quality Time

Nothing beats a little quality sibling time!

Sorry my post is a few days late for WW -
but these were too cute to pass up!

Blessings to you all and Happy Mother's Day!