Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yesterday's Excitement: The Truck, The Tree and The Power Line

Sometimes it feels like our little residential street has a disproportionate amount of stuff going on.  Take yesterday for example:

I was coming out of the kitchen, when I heard the sound of a huge truck going down our little residential street and went to the window to see this:

The huge branch on the ground had just been hit off our tree and another branch was sticking out of the side of the truck up by the cab.  As I stood and tried to figure out what the driver was doing he threw the truck into reverse and started to back up... into the tree:

It's hard to see in the second picture because I have the worst possible angle from our window, but after hitting the tree he decides to back up and hits it a second time and continues to back up into it.  Somehow, it did not fall down.

Then he started honking.  I got the impression he was waiting for someone to come outside in the house next door.  No one ever did.

Sadie was staring out the window wide-eyed, and started saying "hail, Mary's" as the truck continued to hit the tree (somehow it didn't fall over) which is what she does whenever she's worried about something (she did it during our fun drive through South Chicago).

As I stood at the window snapping the pictures, he suddenly threw the truck into drive and took off, with the smaller of the two branches (which was still pretty long) sticking out of the side of the back of the cab.

I was pretty annoyed.  That tree is outside our bedroom window and I've watched it changing through the seasons every day that we've lived here... and I'm rather fond of it.

But I was more annoyed because he was on a residential street with plenty of little kids and he either didn't notice or didn't care to stop and even get out of his truck to look around (at least I never saw him on the side the damage was on) after hitting something as big as a tree.  Twice.

I went to the truck website and fired off an email with all the information I'd written down, to the trucking company.  They didn't have an email address on the website that I could find, but they did have a facebook page.  I resisted the temptation to post the picture I'd snapped on the facebook page and messaged them privately.

I looked out the window again about a half hour later and my alarm reached a whole new level.  There were flashing lights outside.  The power company was out there.  Cleaning up the tree?  I wondered.  I'll admit that a small part of my annoyance had come from the knowledge that we were going to have to figure out how to clean up the branch, because I'm fairly certain that the city isn't going to be doing it.

Then I saw the down line across the road, right next to the tree.  A power line?  I would guess not, since it must have been one of the lower lines and I've always thought those were phone or cable.  But does the power company fix phone or cable lines when they go down?

With the rain and the babies and the yellow duck slippers I had on I didn't make it outside before the truck pulled away, but I did send an email to the power company, explaining what I'd seen and telling them to contact me if they did need the information on the truck (maybe he actually called it in...).

So that was the excitement yesterday on our little residential corner...  I'm so glad that no one was hurt, either by the truck, or the tree, or the line that was down.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is It Spring Yet? And Other Totally Random Thoughts...

Daddy trying to clean up...
Mae Bae "helping..."
The high here yesterday was supposed to be 60 according to the little security system panel on the wall, and it felt downright warm when we left the house to go to the ice skating rink and then to the store.  At least it felt warm until the sky opened up and the downpour started, washing away most of what was left of the snow that fell on Sunday night (my car was completely covered while I was at Mass... it must have been about two inches over the course of the hour and a half that I was inside).

While today is supposed to be warm again, the snow starts on Friday, or at least it's supposed to, and carries us through the weekend.

The girls have been in fine form lately, likely because it's been so cold (or extremely wet and muddy like yesterday( that we've spent day after day inside.  I told Paul that I feel like I need to do school every. single. day. at this point because on the days when we don't do school they're whiny and decide to take on projects like climbing the walls and destroying the house.  When we do school they're slightly more sane.


Last night I heard a scream upstairs and an awful sliding/crashing sound and raced up the stairs to see what had happened.  Sadie had managed to open the door, but it was stuck on something and I quickly discovered what it was, and then used all of my body weight to move the giant object out of the way.

Longing to go in the kitchen,,,
Mae Bae, who shall (or at least should be) henceforth be known as Super Mae, had moved her giant wooden bed across the room and left it in front of the door.  Now to be clear, this isn't some little toddler bed.  It's a big wooden twin bed with drawers under it.  Sadie had screamed when she saw that the door was blocked and was likely imagining spending an eternity with Mae Bae locked in a small (ish) room.

"Maggie is very strong!" Sadie said, after I moved the bed back (with Super Mae grinning the whole time) and tucked them both back into bed.  Yes.  Yes, she is.  Especially with her bulldozer like low center of gravity.

My favorite moment of the day came earlier, when Sadie was attempting to force her little sister to twirl around the room with her.  As you can imagine, it's pretty difficult to make Mae do anything that she doesn't want to do.  However I had to shake my head when I heard Sadie's latest strategy which began with:  "Maggie, God really wants you to..." she trailed off as she saw me looking at her.  I might have said:  "What?" in a trying not to laugh sort of voice.

In other totally random news, I've spent the last two days obsessing over these.  Although apparently I'm not obsessed enough to spend $21 dollars on chocolate chips.  Even if they are Gluten, Diary, Nut and Soy Free (although that's really not that bad for 6 bags, right?).

On a I'm-trying-really-really-hard-not-to-think-about-that-allergy-free-chocolate note I did discover two new foods that I had hoped Patrick would tolerate and I felt like dancing around the living room when he went all day without a reaction and the foods were confirmed "safe."  The first was organic rice milk (with vanilla) and the second was goat cheese.

Now I have to say, I had an attitude about goat cheese, even when I was buying it, because for some reason I was pretty sure that I would hate it and I thought I'd had it at some point (maybe that was goat milk?  I have milked a goat before...) and hadn't liked it, but oh, I was so, so very wrong.

She doesn't want to let me touch her hair...
Or wear clothes...
There were two packs of plain goat cheese at the store.  One was tiny and $5.  On was big and $7.  And so, while I wasn't sure I wouldn't hate it, I resolved to try to stomach it, because, let's face it, I don't have a lot of choices at the moment.  And it was wonderful.  Especially on top of pears.

Sadie loves it.  Paul loves it.  Mae Bae won't accept that it's food and I'm not giving her more because I'm pretty sure she'd use it to finger paint on the walls.

This made it slightly more bearable when I found that the allergist's next available appointment is in the first week of April, by which time I feel like I might have returned to my college dress size of "teeny tiny" if I haven't died from missing pizza and ice cream, which seem to be my only two (occasional) remaining cravings.  Oh well.  It is, without a doubt, worth it.  Seeing my little guy happy and free from tummy aches shows me that every single day.

And now for a Patrick picture:

We love our big sister!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Patrick and Yesterday's Surprise Trip to the Doctor's Office

While I'm mostly devoting my little journal blog to my daily rambling on Patrick's allergies, I thought I'd give you guys an update after yesterdays scare.  I've pretty much cut back my diet to meat, fruit and veggies.  Each time I try to add anything else in, hives erupt and we have tummy problems and a fussy screaming baby.

While there's no way I could ever do this diet to lose weight, I've managed to stick to it 100% by picturing Patrick's little swollen face and thinking of what will happen if I cheat.  It's a major deterrent.

It's also kind of strange because for the first time in years I find myself struggling to get enough calories (I'm finally getting the hang of it).  My daily goal is 2000 calories, and since this started all of five days ago I've lost three inches around my waist (things you notice when you know your measurements from sewing).  Which is one of the things that spurred on yesterdays gone wrong experiment of coconut oil, because I'm on the lookout for new ways to add fat to my diet (I've eaten a pack of bacon every single day...).

I put a tablespoon of coconut oil in hot water and added an herbal tea (since plain tea has been okay) and drank it.  12 grams of fat!  I rejoiced.  And it tasted good!

An hour later I nursed Patrick and his little face broke out in terrible hives.  His little cheeks looked puffy.  He screamed for half an hour (and Patrick pretty much sleeps and wakes up and babbles and smiles all the time... he's a pretty laid back little guy).  Then he fell asleep and his breathing sounded like mine during an asthma attack.

I called the doctor and Paul rushed home from class.  We took the car and arrived about four hours after Patrick had started to get sick.  He was looking better (and his breathing was normal)... although still not quite like himself:

The way things work at our doctor's office is the med student comes in first and goes over everything and then he briefs the doctor on what's going on and what we should do (it's actually really interesting).

The word "unusual" was used by the doctor about a dozen times over the course of the appointment.  It's unusual to see this so young.  It's unusual how many foods seem to be triggering it right now.  It's unusual for a baby to have hives.

He agreed that I should stay on the strict diet and said that if this continues they are going to want to send me to a nutritionist. And they wrote Patrick a referral for a allergist (I believe the allergist will probably be in the office.. because they have pretty much every type of doctor in the office... even an oncologist).  So now I'm waiting for a phone call to make the next appointment, where they said they'll probably do the skin prick test on his little back.

So that's the latest.

On a happier note, Patrick pushed himself up on his elbows and knees yesterday.  He was shocked.  He spent the next fifteen minutes trying to do it over again, but couldn't figure out how.  He's also very into stuffed animals at the moment:

This guy plays music!  He's the best!

Best Friends!

Happy Baby!
Now to wait for results and pray that his allergies aren't as extensive as they seem and that it's just his little tummy being sad from all the antibiotics I was on (he is on probiotics now).

If you've made it this far thanks for listening to my ramblings.  Hopefully I'll have good Patrick news soon!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Silence... on the 2013 March for Life

Most mornings when I'm puttering around making breakfast in the kitchen, I bring up the Today Show page and watch their latest and most popular stories on the computer while I'm working.  This morning I found it interesting that one of there top stories was the "thousands" of people that gathered for the gun control march in D.C. yesterday.  The story today said "thousands" and the story yesterday said that "as many as five thousand people are expected."

Okay...I thought (I bet you know where I'm going with this).

Surely they have a story here on the March for Life on Friday.  I'm certain that they didn't altogether miss the 650,000 people that were stretched out over five blocks in D.C. just a couple of days earlier.  After all, if they're going to do two featured stories about five thousand people gathering in D.C., surely a story about over a half million marching to end abortion would have made it's way onto the site.

I clicked around and found a story about a couple covering their floor with pennies (very cool looking, but maybe not quite as newsworthy as the gathering?), and another story about a rare penguin in South America, but nothing on the March.

But surely it was there, right?  I used the search feature and put in March for Life.  Apparently a picture made it into NBC's photo blog for the day (Wow!  What coverage!).  I decided to try searching "abortion."  A few more stories came up.
from Catholic Sistas Facebook Page

My personal favorite was "Abortion protestor climbs tree at inauguration, annoys revealers."

Wait, so 650,000 people marching gets a single mention in an NBC blog post, but a man (described as a "known anti-abortion heckler" climbing a tree with a sign in a "brown Carhartt-style jacket" gets it's own national news story?  NBC goes on to say that the crowd sang together:  "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" as the police carted him off.  

Really?  That gets a full article but not blocks of people peaceably speaking out over every child's right to his or her own life is hardly a blip on the network site?

Good job main street media.  It's hard to ignore something this huge so completely, but you did an awesome job.  I didn't see a single story all weekend long.

Don't worry though... we're not going away.  Our numbers are significant and growing, since we aren't killing our children off one by one by one... and because truth doesn't just go away, even when you ignore it.  And we're raising our children to know the truth, as one of the most popular books in our house at the moment says so well:  "A life is a life no matter how small!"

Sadie, who at the ripe old age of four and a half misses nothing, asked me on the day of the inauguration if we couldn't please tell the president that babies are babies when they're in their mommy's tummies so that he could help protect them...  "We need to tell him..." she insisted passionately...  650,000 people did last Friday.  Unfortunately it seems that he's hardened his heart on this issue and while he speaks eloquently about saving our children from guns, he doesn't seem to appreciate the sad irony of fighting for some of our children while advocating that others should be allowed to be killed throughout the first nine months of their lives.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mr. Bear

Who's that?

Not too sure about this bear...

Well... maybe...

I love you Bear!
Please ignore the large scratch on his cheek... it was the result of an overzealous Binkie Bandit attempting to steal a binkie after lulling me into a false sense of security by being incredibly gentle with him for several days...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sewing News!

Yesterday I took Sadie to Joanns so that we could pick out the curtain fabric for the curtains I'd promised to make her to block out the dark, scary, windblown shadows of the menacing trees outside her bedroom window.  I also had some silk to purchase, for my snoods, and I had coupons clipped and ready to go.  

First we found this corduroy like fabric in girl's apparel and Sadie decided that it was in fact pink enough to adorn the windows in her room (and it was on sale, so I had saved a coupon!):

Then we saw this equally heavy duty fabric and grabbed it so that we wouldn't have the same problem in Patrick's room (also on sale!):

She spotted this fabric from across the store and became giddy and nonsensical as she gushed about how she had to have it, how it would be the most beautiful dress in the world, how it was absolutely lovely.

Luckily it too was on sale, and would be the perfect finishing touch for a half finished dress that I was making her for her birthday, so it went into the cart too.

When I spotted this fabric, which I always keep my eyes open for, I was pretty excited.  This is one of my most popular snoods (it was also one of my early snoods) and I've purchased this fabric over and over again and have had it sell out every time.  I hadn't been able to find the fabric lately, and so when I saw it yesterday I went straight over and bought the entire bolt.

And that means that this snood is relisted!

And after selling out all of my purple silk to snood wearers in Europe (and discussing with the lady at the cutting counter how hard it was to find, while she said that it sold out very quickly when it came it) I found a bolt with two pieces of fabric on it that were each over a yard.

So my purple silk is back up as well!

Now to put on a bathing suit, bundle up over it and brave the snow to take Mae to her Mommy and Me class (while Sadie does big girl swim lessons).  I'm really hoping she's not in a biting mood today...

Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

Poor Patrick.  He hates tummy time.  But after he acted like a limp noodle during his last doctor's appointment he's enjoying surviving three tummy times a day:

And now I have proof that the boy really can lift his head.

--- 2 ---

Ouch.  Yesterday was painful, in a body-withdrawing-from-wheat-and-sugar type of way.  I ate and ate and ate the limited foods that I'd dubbed "okay" that we happened to have in our kitchen and after feeling like I was eating a lot added up the calories and came up with a grand total of 688 and 12 grams of fat (at first I thought I'd gotten 738, but then I realized that Mae stole half of my banana).  I did manage 60-something grams of protein, which was almost enough for a nursing mother...

So the new struggle is finding things with fat and calories that are okay to eat.  With the help of bacon I'm doing better today, but am still on the low end.

I also started keeping track of everything here, so that I don't spend all my blogging time over here lamenting this whole food thing.  Because that was probably old like... yesterday...

Not at all what I'm craving...

--- 3 ---
This is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen.  Ever.  Celebrating the murder of the unborn... classy:

If that wasn't disgusting enough there's this, which is worth reading just to get an idea of what we're up against.  And the Anchoresses response is excellent.

--- 4 ---

Who wants to bet that the mainstream media is going to do everything they can to ignore the half million people marching in D.C. today?

Yeah... they can keep ignoring pro-lifers but we're not going away...

--- 5 ---

Wow.  I just posted all of these with a fifth, sixth and seventh quick takes, but blogger must have had some sort of a blip, because I came back and the post wasn't up and half the post was gone.

Which isn't fun since my brain feels like a big ball of mush at the moment.  For those who've done this sort of diet change and gone through this sort of thing, how long did it last?  Because I'm so ready for it to go away!
--- 6 ---

Patrick slept for nine consecutive hours last night in his bassinet...  which is pretty awesome in my book!

This is what happens when you have sisters... They wrap you in a pink velvet bunny blanket...

--- 7 ---

The girls, on the other hand, didn't do so well (which is pretty unusual).  We finally worked out that they're terrified of the shadows cast my the street light in their new room.  So during todays outing we got some on sale fabric to make curtains, and a night light, which I'm hoping will turn them back into the good sleepers they were before this week!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

{phfr} My First Edition...

round button chicken


It's cold, but I'm still enchanted with the seasons... and the cold...


They're like two little peas in a pod.  His little face lights up when he sees his big sister:


"What Mom?  I'm just standing here..."

"Just looking at my hands... standing here..."

"Quick!  She's not looking!  Drop all the crayons down the vent!"


When you have a child who does this on a regular basis, baby gates aren't really all that effective.

Grumpa made some heavy duty baby gates that she couldn't knock over... but she quickly learned to scale them...


I had to improvise:

If I was going to keep her from sneaking behind me and going down to the basement while I was making dinner I had to think of something.  And the solution?  A baby gate on top of the baby gate.  I can see them, they can see me, and they've only broken it down two or three times (and at least I can hear it and stop them from going downstairs to the not toddler proofed laundry room!

And to see all the other posts visit Like Mother, Like Daughter!

The Start of New Diet: Day One

First of all, thank you all for all of the advice and information!  It has been a big start as I've begun to figure out how to proceed today.

Today is the day...  I'm starting the elimination diet and then gradually reintroducing various possible allergens to see how Patrick handles them.

I'm definitely up for Paleo type recipe suggestions.

And here are a few more details on why we (the pediatrician and I) think this is a food allergy and not a skin allergy, which, I'll admit I desperately wish it was (the girls and I all have pretty severe skin allergies to any sort of fragrance and in Sadie's case there was the whole flame retardant debacle that sent her to the ER).

The reason is this: when Patrick nurses, a portion of the time, his little face turns red.  And then hives start to appear all over him.  And he starts to swell up until his whole little face looks puffy.  Nursing, with the exception of his hives yesterday while I had the peanut butter out, is the only time he's had the reaction... hence my concern.

It's the swelling part that really had me worried.  I'm used to hives from skin reactions.  The swelling part?  Not so much.  He also seems to be getting sick and spitting up a lot more, and since he previously didn't really spit up at all, it has me wondering if it's related too.

I am planning on adding white vinegar back into our laundry routine to see if that helps, but other than that there aren't really any fragranced anythings that touch his skin (I do put some scentless Burt's Bees baby lotion and Aveeno Baby Lotion on him, but his reactions have never coincided with their application).

I do want to look more into the whole probiotics thing for both of us, since I was on such heavy duty antibiotics during the pregnancy and during the delivery and because he was taking antibiotics last week after the whole toe incident.

As for yesterdays non-nursing rash it happened in a way that made (and continues to make) me very nervous...  He was asleep in his basinet, rash and swelling free.  I made the girls sandwiches.  The girls ate their sandwiches in a separate room from Patrick.  I cleaned up the kitchen and I washed my hands.  Patrick started to cry and I put a binkie in his mouth.  My hand touched his cheek.  I continued cleaning and looked over and noticed his face rapidly becoming covered in hives and swelling up.... and I reached for the cortizone...  Which is why, at this point, it's just not worth it to me to have peanut-anything in the house.  I'm hoping that if we completely avoid it now it may go away or not develop into something severe at this point... That also happens to be where my quest to find any other allergens comes from.  His reaction is fairly mild at this point and I'm hoping if we identify and eliminate the triggers it will stay that way and (I'm praying) go away.

And I kind of wonder about when he was born: he had a horrible, horrible rash.  The doctors called in "newborn rash" but commented on how it wasn't quite right for newborn rash and how it was like this other rash and that other rash but every single one was off by something and not quite like what he had (the pediatrician and one of the med students even brought out a book and spent a while questioning me about it and showing me pictures of various rashes that were all slightly different)...

Yesterday as I sat thinking about that rash I couldn't help but remember that the day before he was born we went to a local restaurant that has buckets of peanuts on the table and I ate a bunch of peanuts.  It's probably completely unrelated or impossible (can babies be allergic to things when they're still in the womb?) but it just strikes me as odd.

And that's pretty much where we stand right now...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Food and Allergy Ideas...

Patrick's allergies seem to be expanding rapidly.  I've avoided peanuts, but in the last two days he's had reactions twice even though I'm thoroughly peanut-less, and then today I did something really, really stupid, that I will never do again (as long as he has this allergy) and made the girls peanut butter and jelly sandwiches thinking: "well he's not even in the room with them and I'll clean everything up and wash everything down afterwards and it'll be fine" since they've been begging for PB and J for days.

I was, in fact, very very wrong.

Apparently the peanut particles migrated through the air to his bassinet and he started breaking out in hives and turning red in his little bed.

Commence bathing the toddler and scrubbing surfaces and rubbing corizone all over his cute little red splotchy face.

Yesterday it happened and the only thing I'd had to eat at all was eggs... and today it happened and the only thing I'd eaten was cereal.  So, as you can imagine, I'm kind of freaking out.

I've decided to start a food journal and cut out pretty much everything that seems to be bothering him and then add things back in and see what seems to trigger it.

And then I laugh (maniacally) when I think of the food diary because wasn't it just last month I was worrying about gluttony and asking God to help me and wham now we have this and it doesn't seem like that particular weakness is really going to be a problem any more if I'm stuck eating nothing with nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, dyes, sugar or whatever else it is that he's possibly allergic to... at least until we start to figure out what it is.

And that's where I turn to you guys... because I know quite a few of you guys have commented about food sensitivities over the years and I'm trying to figure out what the heck is safe to eat for a while that will be the least likely to trigger the reaction.  So far I think that apples and bananas seem to be okay.  And beans have seemed to be okay too (which is good because beans have been a huge part of our diet since they're cheap and I can season them to make them taste like various other foods...).

I'm guessing wheat, dairy, sugar, eggs and all the rest should be gradually re-introduced?  And what other foods should I be avoiding to start out with?  Of course I'll be researching on my own too and talking to his doctors, but I know that quite a few of you have mentioned this sort of thing so I thought asking for advice here was at least a start.

Any tips (and prayers) are greatly appreciated.  The poor little guy.  It looks like we're going to be headed back to the doctor soon...

Cabrini the Wonder Van

Because a defroster (and windshield wipers) are
kind of important...
It's been rather cold around here lately, especially for a family who, only last year, lived in a climate where the weather people referred to 50-something degrees as "mitten weather."  While we never really adjusted to the hot humidity of Florida I do sometimes think it's making this winter feel a bit colder than it would have if we'd gone straight from Northern California (where yes, it does regularly make it's way below freezing if you're in certain areas) to Michigan.

Yesterday I checked the forecast when we woke up and saw a predicted high of 11 and a low of 5 with a current temperature of -4 degrees.  Brrrrr.  The temperature made its way above zero some time in the afternoon.  Barely.

So we've been home bound, with only Paul heading out into the cold for school (and even he decided to forego his normal morning bike ride to school and took the car).  In fact, it was so cold that after school he took the car to the mechanic to get the defroster fan fixed, because our car hasn't had a working fan in the front since we bought it (sometimes, in the beginning, it would turn itself on and off, and the fan in the very, very back works) and while we struggled through 90 degrees and 1000% humidity (only a slight exaggeration) in Florida without an air conditioner, long trips through the ice convinced us that a defroster might be a handy thing to have in a car in Michigan.

I have to say, I'm kind of proud of our old beat up van (who goes by the name Cabrini, since she's the patron saint of machines not breaking, or something like that, and Sadie heard the name and thought it would be perfect for our van).  When it limped out of the used car lot with over 100,000 miles on it and the window rolled down and wouldn't roll back up on the way home, I was a little nervous.  But having put over 30,000 miles on it this year, with only a few minor repairs (the ignition needed to be rekeyed, the power steering was repaired and the windshield wiper motor went out) I'm pretty impressed.  How many beat up old vans could make it from Florida to California, then California to Michigan, then Michigan to Florida, then Florida back to Michigan, followed by round trip drives from Michigan to Montana and back, and Michigan to Massachusetts.

I was also pretty excited that the cost of the repairs was roughly half what we'd been quoted in Massachusetts.  We'd had a feeling it would work out that way since the cost of living is significantly less here, but it was still a relief to hear!

Today we're looking at a relatively warm day with a high of 17.  That's downright balmy.  I might not have to wear my snuggie...  I have to admit though, I'm still smitten with the seasons!

Now for a few pictures from the past few days:

Pouting about tummy time...  He's not a fan...

A Rough Day...

It can be tough being two... especially when you're in the time out chair...

When we pick our own clothes everything is pink!

Patrick being cuddled again...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This Horrible Anniversary...

Does anyone else out there find themselves at a loss for words on this day, in the face of the destruction of over 55 million innocent lives over the course of 40 years of legalized murder?  It's horrifying and mind boggling and I find myself strangely silent and struggling to break that silence, because silence in the face of such evil is hardly tolerable.  I find myself staring at Patrick every chance that I get and appreciating his healthy baby chubbiness and sweet smiles.

Three months ago he was already a chubby eight pound bouncing baby boy and we were in the hospital where over a dozen doctors were baffled by what was going on, yet ran test after test and hooked us up to IV after IV to ensure that we were okay.  Yet there are other "doctors" out there, who would have willingly ended his life at that point and called it a "choice." Was the value of his life really based on the fact that I wanted him and loved him and not on the fact that he simple existed, already alive and steadily growing to face the world where he legally could have been killed for the first nine months of his existence?

I do not understand how a child can be a child if I say it is, but not be a child if I say it's not.  Reality doesn't work that way.  

January, in my mind, is the most difficult of months.  If I could I would blot it from the calendar, along with February, and sail from December to March, easily and thoughtlessly.  I spend January, more than any other month for these past two years, slogging along and trying not to think of the rapidly approaching date, February 7th, when Christian would be one, and if he was anything like his sisters, would be toddling around the house on unsteady little legs wreaking havoc on any ideas of order or neatness that I'd carefully arranged.  Throw in this most terrible of anniversaries and I have little use for the month.  

We are so, so blessed that God has given us Patrick (born nine months and one day after that lost due date), and we are so, so blessed to have a little saint praying for us in heaven, and yet the greedy part of my mother's heart longs to hold them both, to cuddle them both, to see them playing together in the back yard.  And I mourn for mothers who carry that same burden, along with the terrible knowledge that they, in some way, played some part in that end.  I cannot imagine the heaviness of such a sorrow.  

You see, I remember that day in the hospital when I saw Christian's heartbeat, so little and slow at twelve weeks, still alive and fighting for life and it breaks my heart to think that any doctor who had pledged to do no harm could take such a little life and snuff it out without a second thought.  He was alive and human that day, not because I willed it, but because he was.  Our worth is not based on who loves us, but on the fact that we are.  

We should be protected by the law not because of who we are, not because we've done something special or achieved something that gives us value, but simply because we exist and our existence has value and worth.  When you take away that worth society's moral compass becomes skewed.  The important is pushed aside as worthless (or worth something only is someone else gives it value) and amusements are elevated as we attempt to fill the hole we've torn in ourselves, denying that part of ourselves that knows right from wrong and that knows the destruction of innocent human life is, at the most basic level, very, very wrong.

I've heard people say, more and more frequently, that the tide has turned.  That the era that gave us abortion is grinding along on worn out wheels as more and more people see, with the latest and greatest technology that at the start of life we are much more than a lump of cells, much earlier than the abortion clinics, looking to make a quick buck, would have us believe.  And I hope... I pray... that it's true and this time of horror in which life is so cheap and so easily disposed of really is coming to an end.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Flavored Popcorn Success!

I love flavored popcorn.  But spending $10 for a bag of it at the local mall is not in the cards for me and so I was pretty excited when I saw a recipe for it on pinterest.  I was extra excited because my popcorn maker is pretty much my favorite cooking tool in the kitchen.  You see, I really am not a fan of microwave popcorn, but fresh popped popcorn... it's one of my major weaknesses.  

So I pulled out my handy popcorn maker and got to work, hoping that the recipe was as awesome and pink as it looked.  

I popped the popcorn and put it in my buttered turkey roasting pan:

Then I followed the recipe from the site to make the strawberry part (I picked strawberry because I knew the girls would love it, but you can use any flavored gelatin to make the flavor of your choice):

And voila!  After a little bit of baking the popcorn was crunchy and not in the last bit sticky.  In fact, it was way less messy than buttered popcorn!  It's tasty!

And it's way, way less expensive than buying pre-made flavored popcorn!

This is definitely a recipe I'm going to bring out on the girls birthdays!  Who knew that making flavored popcorn was this simple?