"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The last day of April.....

Can you believe how fast this year is going by? The older I get, the faster time seems to fly...I'll be 30 next year...I can't believe it! Wasn't I just a teenager, flitting around with my friends in perpetual summer? *sigh*

Today, while Reagan and I were out and about certainly did not help me feel any younger either. Now, granted, my eyebrows need waxed and I was wearing makeup from last year when I was a little darker and I had on a very unflattering color of orange t-shirt....but what right did the little monster from the store have to call me "MA'AM"!?!??!!

Yes. The dreaded Ma'am. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell. I wanted to tell him, you know, I'm not much older than you are! But then I realized, if I had started young enough, I probably could be his mother. Argh. The thought was not pleasing.

At any rate, I'm still losing weight and I'm thinking I should get a new fashionable haircut, some better make up, some crest white strips and a good wrinkle cover-up, along with some different color shirts! A nice shave on the old (extremely white) legs and I should look perhaps a LITTLE younger. Maybe, just maybe, I'll even go in for a pedicure and manicure. Say it with me now 'oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh'!

And just maybe, tomorrow, when the first day of May arrives, it'll bring with it a little sunshine and a nice LONG summer!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update on Reagan

Gee, guess what? Reagan is sick again. I am beginning to feel like the world's worst mom ever. Yesterday she finished a 20-day supply of antibiotics from two weeks ago when she was sick with a respiratory infection..since then she's had the stomach flu and now has the respiratory infection again. Obviously, the antibiotics are not working and I believe she has developed a resistance to them.

On top of that, we're also doing her Ceron drops, pulmocourt and albuterol breathing treatments through her nebulizer and Rhinocourt nose drops..as well as conventional treatments like Vicks, VaporBath, humidifier and saline nasal spray.

We have yet another doctor's appointment this afternoon..luckily she isn't rattling as much in her chest..yesterday was awful..but inevitably she gets better before the doctor hears what I hear in her chest.

I think we're going to request a referral to an ENT, even though her doctor says they really do not like to get involved until the age 2--simply because allergy testing is inconclusive at this age and anything they do..such as removing adenoids, grows back.

At this point, however, I want to see them and get some other viewpoints. I do not want to put her on antibiotics again. And I was told by a nurse I know that going onto oral steriods would just depress her system more (although she is on an inhaled steriod).

We are still doing ongoing immune deficiency testing and she is due for more bloodwork in two weeks. She also has her 'well baby' (if she can ever get well) checkup next week for her 15-month appointment---she'll be well over 16 months and on her way to 17 at this point.

If she continues to get better througout the afternoon, I may wait to take her in until her checkup next week. Wish us luck and please keep Reagan in your prayers.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Reagan is so funny! She absolutely loves Veggie Tales...I swear, they are her favorite thing in life! When she wants to watch them, she'll go grab the DVD/VHS cassette and start pointing...as soon as they go on she screams "VEGGIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" and she'll even sing along with the opening song at times. I get the biggest kick out of her! She goes around saying "Bob, Bob" and will even point out Bob and Larry if you ask! It just cracks me up!

That being said, here is my menu plan for the week, including some great veggggggggieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

Monday: Chicken and Biscuits and vegetables from the freezer
Tuesday: Reagan and I may go out to eat!
Wednesday: Josh and Reagan can fend for themselves since they never eat what I leave anyway! ;) I'll be having soup and crackers and fruit at the office!
Thursday: Shepherd's pie and salad
Friday: Chicken Chimichangas with Green Sauce
Saturday: Potato Beef Croquettes and Broccoli
Sunday: Leftovers!!!

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, fruit, bacon, eggs, pancakes
Lunches: Leftovers
Snacks: Fruit-fresh and canned, homemade baked goods, cheese, vegetables

Mac and Tuna Casserole

1 package mac and cheese
1 can tuna, drained, flaked
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
parsley, optional
vegetables, optional (I used green peas!)

Prepare mac and cheese according to package directions. Stir in soup, tuna and milk (and any veggies you like!). Pour into 2 qt dish. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Note: You can also skip the oven directions and cook this directly on the stove top..but use less milk!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why is it.....

that everytime I read an article related to home or birthing center births, the so-called 'fact' comes up that midwives/home births/birthing centers have a much lower maternal and infant death rate? HELLO PEOPLE!!! Shouldn't the reason be obvious...first, more births (PERIOD) take place with doctors' help and in hospitals. Second, doctors and hospitals tend to take on pregnancies/births that range from everyday/normal to the most severe and complicated ones. Do midwives/birthing centers handle extremely complicated pregnancies? NO.

And again and again, I see 'statistics' showing that women are better off giving birth without hospitals and without doctors. If not for my doctor, Reagan and I certainly wouldn't be here.

I am a firm believer that God gives us the technology and resources we have in today's age, available for a reason.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Some updated photos!

What a week! It's been quite busy here with ongoing home projects so I haven't blogged as much as I normally do! I promise to correct that and will blog at least three times a week in the future! (Have some interesting topics to talk about!)

In the meantime, I leave you with these new photos of my gorgeous girl!

Reagan waking her 'brother' Porthos!

Reagan chillin'!

Reagan standing on her head! (Learned courtesy of her friend Catherine)

Reagan is so happy to be outside!

Where's Reagan!?

Reagan at playtime!

Reagan loves to swing!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

After this weekend, I'm not sure I ever want to think about food again. Nevertheless, here is my menu for this week:

Monday: Lunch: Baked potato with cheese and a side of vegetables; Dinner: Baked chicken and vegetables from the freezer
Tuesday: Lunch: Pasta salad; Dinner: Stir-fry
Wednesday: Lunch: Soup and fruit salad; Dinner: Roast, potatoes, carrots
Thursday: Lunch: Tuna salad sandwhiches and salad; Dinner: BBQ Sandwhiches and vegetables from the freezer or pantry
Friday: Lunch: Vegetable-Beef soup and biscuits; Dinner: Hashbrown casserole and grilled meat from the freezer
Saturday: Lunch & Dinner: Various leftovers; clean out fridge day
Sunday: Lunch: Out; Dinner: Various leftovers; clean out fridge day again

Breakfasts: oatmeal, bananas, pancakes, cheese, eggs
Snacks: strawberries, bananas, oranges, string cheese, baby carrots, frozen peas and yogurt

Yep, I'm pretty sure this is the hardest menu plan I've ever had to make..food...blech.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just a quick note...

Well, I think the stomach flu has finally made it's rounds and we're all recooperating, Josh included. Luckily it seemed to be only about a 12 hour bug, although Mommy seemed to have gotten the worst of it! (Oh well!) We're still dealing with bouts of naseau and of course, weakness and soreness..but we'll get back to normal eventually!

Josh and Reagan are taking naps while I attempt to do the massive mound of laundry..I swear almost every towel in the house was dirty along with most of the blankets, sheets and a good pile of clothing! And I think we've gone through every glass too!

My mother in law and father in law were sweet enough to go pick up some groceries for us to help get us through the next few days...let's hear it for Ginger Ale and Saltines! WOOHOO!

I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And the Circle of Life continues....

Many, many years ago an event happened. I will not go into all of the details. It is sufficient to say: we were young, stupid and a little out of control. The important part of the story (at least in relation to this particular story I'm about to tell you) is that I threw up in my best friend Stacy's bra (among other places, such as my car, the steps to our apartment, etc, etc, etc).

This morning I woke up to Reagan throwing up and, well, explosive diahrea (poor, poor kid). This evening, the throwing up continued...and, much to my chagrin, the circle of life also continued and she threw up in MY bra.

There is nothing quite like having warm, sticky, smelly bodily fluids, along with chunks of partially digested banana, cascading over your skin. It's quite enough to make you want to thrust everything from you and run at breakneck speed into your shower.

However, being a mom, I held my baby close and told her it was going to be ok...while she puked down my bra a second time. Now, if that isn't true love...what is?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Families, marriage, respect...

I'm reading an incredible book, which, by the way, is not on my book list for this spring..oops! The book is My Heart's At Home by Jill Savage. I'm only a little way into the book and I have to say it is so empowering.

Jill says that the book is geared toward helping women become 'intentional moms'. The life lessons she provides are real, honest, down to earth and can be translated into our daily lives easily. She offers practical advice about making our homes a safe haven in today's world and by doing so, we are making over ourselves into those 'intentional moms' she speaks about!

Last night I was able to put one of her lessons into practice and much to my amazement, it worked incredibly well! Jill emphasizes the fact that homes need to be places where we feel respect, but it's usually the one place where we let our guards down enough that respect slowly oozes away from us. That has definitely been true in our house.

At bedtime I went in to tell Josh that we had forgotten Pritsha's (our cat) birthday. He glared at me in fustration and muttered some ill-mannered phrase. It hurt, because while it wasn't important to him, it was important to me and he could have chosen a better way to respond to me. Instead of lashing out in anger as I normally would have which would have resulted in a huge argument and dissolved into us acting like children, I simply said 'Josh, I really feel disrespected when you act like that towards me.' He was quiet for a moment and said 'I'm sorry.' He didn't ask for my forgiveness like Jill suggests, but this was a huge step forward for us--I didn't react in anger, and he apologized! Amazing! I can tell it made such a huge difference to me! I went to bed very happy instead of seething and carrying it over to poison the next day.

Then something else happened! I asked him if we needed to do something (turn on the heater for our daughter--I'm always cold..he's a much better judge of temp!) and he said 'No. I don't think so.' Then he said, 'Good idea, though!' WE WERE BEING POLITE! Normally, being polite is the furthest thing from the conversations that occur in our home! I was so ecstatic!

It just takes a simple step forward and you can make such a huge difference in your home life. I'm eagerly looking forward to more of Jill's insights into building a firm foundation for our family!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday, Monday.....

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...I'm in a food mood................... (ok when am I NOT in a food mood?? I'm a Southerner..it's inherent!) At any rate, below is my list for the week!

Monday: Leftovers from Sunday-chicken, potatoes, coleslaw, beans and mixed veggies
Tuesday: Sandwiches, soup and fruit salad
Wednesday: Meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
Thursday: Salmon patties, brown rice and veggies
Friday: out to dinner
Saturday: out to dinner
Sunday: Roast, potatoes, carrots and a dessert of some sort

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK--- I AM SUCH A BAD MOM--I completely forgot Sunday was Pritsha's birthday!!! SOOO BAD!!!!!! I have to make her a tuna cake and sing Happy Birthday tomorrow! Poor sweetie, no wonder she kept meowing and nudging me all day!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The agony, the despair, the horror!

Starbucks HAS REMOVED the reduced-fat chocolate chip banana bread from the menu. Ladies and gentlemen, I may never be the same again. Not to mention what it's going to do to poor Reagan. This was our favorite Mommy and Reagan treat in the afternoons when mommy was exhausted and needed coffee!

Arrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh...so now I have to make it every single time I want it! Which is not a REAL problem, because I do have the recipe and it's pretty easy...but for goodness sakes! That was my 'I'm-too-tired-to-function' treat! EEEEK! Can you tell this is really upsetting news for me??? I like order, people. Order and for things to stay the same. Change upsets me. This is major change and I need some time to adjust. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Alright. Moving on.

On other topics, I'd like to say 'hello' to my best friend who is finally over in Italy with her husband and children! So-"HELLO OVER THERE!" I miss her so much but we lead such different lives (her husband is in the Army and they get to go all sorts of exciting places!) that we never are in the same place anymore..although we do try to arrange our visits home to Alabama so that they coincide. But those are few and far between. I can't wait to visit her in Italy!

At any rate, Stace, I miss you and I can't wait til you call. (Hmm...which reminds me...I need to find a decent calling rate to Italy!) I don't call overseas THAT much...although I did back in the day when I had a friend in the UK, then Stacy in Germany, and I once had a friend in Japan I thought I might stay in touch with--at any rate what I'm trying to say is that I'm not exceptionally well versed in international calls and I always get so confused by the country code, this code, that code....WHY do they need to be so long??? Things should be much simpler!

Now that my rants are over, I'm off to do some work. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to my sweetie!

Today is my husband's birthday! This morning I was telling Reagan that today is Daddy's birthday and he's oooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllld....then he kindly reminded me that he is now the same age I am, and if he's old, then I'm ancient. Nice. Very Nice.

At any rate, I just want to say Happy Birthday to him and let him know how much Reagan, Pritsha, Porthos and I love him!

We're not really doing much in the way of birthday celebrating tonight because next weekend we're taking Friday and Saturday and heading to the Purdue Spring Game and doing some fun stuff together. Josh has been looking forward to taking Reagan to a football game since she was in my tummy and the size of a tiny bean! And since we all share a passion for football, this should be an incredible family time together!!

**On a side note: Yes, I did miss Toddler Thursday this Thursday and I am so sorry to those of you who were looking for it. Next Thursday will be great, I promise!

Well, I'm off to air out the house, take out the garbage, make the bed...you know, all the usual mommy stuff :) while Reagan is taking a nap! Enjoy the day..it's perfect here!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wow! It's Wednesday already! (and a yummy recipe!)

Good morning everyone! I can't believe it's already Wednesday...is it just me or do the days seem to pass super-fast (yes, that is a Little Einsteins' reference!) as soon as the weather gets nice? I'm sure there has to be a scientific theory on this!

Reagan had a doctor's appointment yesterday--it was going to be a well-baby check-up, but instead was a sick visit. Allergy testing came back negative and so we continue on with immune definiciency testing. Her doctor has been keeping up on this and her last numbers were low. Yesterday she received a booster vaccine and in six weeks, we'll do more blood testing and see how her immune system is doing then.

On the up side, her doctor really believes she doesn't have an immune deficiency problem, it's more likely an anatomical problem and when she turns two, we'll go in for an ENT evaluation--and perhaps tubes and surgery to drill small holes in the bottom of her sinus cavaties.

Also, this has been a really bad year for being sick, but even still, he said she shouldn't be sick THIS much. So please keep Reagan in your prayers. Josh and I really optimistic that it's just a problem with her sinuses---we both have allergies and I have super enlarged tonsils.

Reagan is supposed to be taking a nap at the moment, but I can hear her giggling and squealing in her room! So I'm off to go get her up and maybe shoot some hoops in her new basketball set!

Later today (or maybe tomorrow) we're going to be making this:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

This recipe is courtesy of Taste of Home.

**I'll probably be baking this as a loaf instead of muffins..let you know how it goes!**

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's been a few days!

Well the fam has been sick (myself included) so I haven't blogged in a few days. I'm really hoping this is the last of the winter colds. I really really really am tired of Reagan being sick, and us being sick too!

News on the homefront:

Reagan has nearly scratched the lower part of her back completely off and we think it's because her diapers are irritating her. So we've decided to move forward with cloth diapering. I've been doing tons of research and a friend even sewed a diaper for Reagan and is sending it to us to try it out. Once we figure out which diaper works best for my little water-loving monster (she goes to the bathroom A LOT!) we'll be able to buy several and stock up. And hopefully (since they're quite expensive to begin with) use them for child #2.

Now, please don't think I'm starting to become a hippie-loving, save mother earth, eat granola and don't shave-mother or anything--I truly could care less about global warming or cooling (because HELLO! the earth is on it's own natural cycle!) and I think Al Gore is perhaps one of the biggest idiots I've ever had the privelege of listening to (I'm very depressed that he happens to be a Southerner!). I just want to do what's best for my daughter.

This disclaimer has to be put out there because I picked up an issue (to my deep sorrow) of "Mothering Magazine" which is about the most liberal, anti-formula, anti-discipline, anti-EVERYTHING, organic, holier than thou magazine I have ever read in my life.

Just so everyone knows, if you can breastfeed, please do. BUT do not tell me I'm the world's worst mother because I had to feed her formula. And don't tell me she's going to become a sloth because she gets a cheeseburger every once in a while and doesn't eat organic plums. And don't expect me to change my whole life just because you think that using disposable diapers is illegal and ruining the world.

I could go on and on, but needless to say, Mothering Magazine is about the complete opposite from most of my views....in fact they even have an article entitled "How to be an Authentic Parent"....join with me in rolling my eyes here!

Ok, rant over.....just as soon as I go make my donation to the Heritage Foundation, along with my apologizies for funding the far left movement with my above mentioned purchase.
As for adoption, we're slowly moving forward. Our application is almost completed..however I do need some information from both sets of grandparents and a current family picture. I really hope we can get the form submitted this week and get our intake interview done and then schedule our homestudy. I'd like to be on the waiting list by the end of this month!

Other news: Josh is plugging ahead with his masters program and doing quite well. We're having a new fence put in and some fun playtoys for Reagan.

I think that above covers it for today!

Oh, I did want to do a quick menu for monday...even though I'm not posting it to the main link!

Tonight: Chicken pot pie and green bean/carrot blend, low sugar millionaire pie for dessert (loaded with good stuff..fruit, nuts!)
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Soup and sandwhiches
Thursday: Salmon patties and vegetables
Friday: Casserole with ground beef and veggies
Saturday: Roast
Sunday: Out to eat after Church? or BBQ sandwhiches

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Toddler Thursday

Unfortunately due to some technical difficulties (as in I forgot to pick up new batteries for the camera), I don't have cute pictures to go with this Toddler Thursday.

However, I'm providing you with a list of fun, indoor-friendly, 5-10 minute activities to do with your attention-challenged toddler!

1. Blowing bubbles
2. Pretend the floor is hot lava and jump only on colored pieces of paper that you've made a trail with
3. Have your child help you clean--Reagan loves to do this!
4. Make shakers out of beans and sealed containers to shake and make music!
5. Make a digging box! Fill a tupperware container with dry oatmeal, rice, beans, etc. Bury toys and let your child have fun digging for items!
6. Make pizza dough (or any dough that doesn't have raw eggs) and let your child hammer with a masher or other safe kitchen utensil. Later on, he or she can help you sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar for "cookies"
7. Fill an old purse with toys and let your child figure out how to get them out and refill.
8. Make a fort out of chairs, pillow, blankets and use flashnights to tell stories!
9. Make a felt board using pieces of sticky felt and cut out fun shapes for your child to arrange and play with--one of Reagan's favorite activities!
10. Have fun with those leftover plastic eggs: an egg hunt, match egg colors, or hide small items under the eggs, move them around and have your toddler pick the egg that the toy is hiding under.
11. Look through a magazine and name all the animals. You can cut them out for her and she can glue them to paper.

Some fun snack ideas for your toddler:
string cheese
canned fruit (less pesticides than fresh!)in juice
whole wheat crackers
yogurt pops (just freeze containers of yogurt for 30 minutes!)
quesadillas (cheese, mashed beans and flour or corn tortillas)
jello with fruit
cottage cheese
toast with cream cheese
frozen peas (great for teething!)
cubes of baked or boiled chiken
flakes of salmon

Remember to relax, have fun and get that creative juice flowing with your toddler!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Lately I've been feeling a bit fustrated about getting it all done, being a good mom and wife, working and just everything in general. I've been stressed. I've been snippy. I've been irritated and in a downright foul mood. So I've decided to change some things in my life.

First, I'm going to just let it go. I will not get fustrated if the dishes are not done, but I will try hard to make sure they get done. I will not get angry because Reagan wants my attention and all I want to do is finish the mountain of laundry.

Second, I'm going to organize. Organizing makes it easier to get the things done that DO need to be done.

Third, I'm going to reward myself and be nice to myself by listing my accomplishments instead of constantly berating ME for not finishing this or not doing that or not spending enough time with Reagan or Josh.

So I've come up with a list of household tackles that need to be done on a daily basis (or close enough ;)):

Daily Cleaning List:
Vacuum house
empty trash bins

make bed
empty hamper and put away clothes

Reagan’s room:
make bed
empty hamper and put away clothes
put up toys

clean counters
spray tub/shower

Sitting room:
As needed pick up

wipe counters

laundry room:
scoop litter box
do load of laundry

family room:
pick up toys

Every Friday evening:
mop kitchen/bath/laundry
clean toilet
wash bathroom rugs
wash bed linens and towels
wash cat bowls

bill pay

I'm also making a new rule that weekends are weekends. Besides my office work on Saturday, weekends are going to become family time again, not cleaning time.

I've also come up with a deep clean system: 31 notecards, each with a 15 minute deep clean item...one for each day of the week after Reagan goes to bed or during her nap...example: wash interior windows, dust family room and so forth; same goes for household projects I want to tackle...like Tuesday's tackle: scraping paint of kitchen floor that someone (yes that would be me) spilled.

And as a reminder of how much I've gotten done just since yesterday, here are a few of my accomplishments!
-Took care of my beautiful daughter
-Took Reagan to playgroup
-Took Reagan to the park
-Babysat a friend's daughter
-Got a new freezer
-Grocery shopping
-Some laundry
-Dropped off items at Goodwill
-Made oil change appointment
-Dropped off items at drycleaner
-Fence estimates

And that is my tackle for today!
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