Tuesday, May 18, 2010

 Antibiotics, Galoshes and Vampire teeth

Good grief… what a blogger loser I've been.  Sorry for my absence.

Life has been a bit hectic lately. I just got out of the shower to wash the lingering smell of vomit off of me.  And I know I have a long night ahead.

Last night I found myself at the urgent care with Momo.  He had a horrible fever and a host of other symptoms.  Turns out he has Herpanginaugly mean blistering ulcers lining his throat.  He also has an ear infection… yep he's an overachiever.  Poor little tike is just plain miserable.  This evening he saw me preparing his antibiotics and out of the corner of my eye I caught him scurry away.    (He hasn't wanted to take any medicine.  I'm not sure if it is because It hurts for him to swallow, or the taste.  But he needs some for the pain, and some to clear up the infection.  I have to hold him down to get him to take his medicine.  It's awful).  He seemed shocked when I found him in the pantry.  He had hidden well, but hadn't taken into account that I could hear him sobbing. I had to pry his little hands off the door knob… he was trying so desperately to keep the door closed.   After coaxing him to release his vice grips he vomited… all over me and the floor.  Scooter promptly ran for rags, I used them to clean us both off and then caused him to take the dosing syringe of cloudy white syrup.   Making me feel even worse, is that after our little medicine wrestle I handed him his sippy cup, then through his sobs I hear him softly say "Tank-cue" (translation: Thank you).  Sigh. 

Last night he didn't sleep much… seriously he was up allllllll night.  We brought in the mattress from his crib and put it on the floor of our room.  He started out there, got about an hour of sleep,  but then ended up in bed with me and J.  He just couldn't get comfortable, and the amount of drool he produced was both impressive and disgusting.  So after a terrible night he finally submitted to sleep around 5 am.  This is when I too was finally permitted to pass out.  I'm one of those that doesn't function well on minimum sleep.  My husband is just fine, but me… I'm a disaster.  So when the alarm went off at 7:30 I straggled into Scooters room to wake her for school.  I returned to bed… and blacked out.  I have no recollection of anything else.  When I did return to life, Scooter was gone. I found Ride helping herself to a bowl of cereal and next to her, on the counter was the proof Scooter had done the same.  I couldn't feel more awful.  Although I didn't intend on falling back to sleep, I did, and left my Scooter to fend for herself.  To dress, eat, and pay attention to the time so she could walk herself to the bus stop. 
This afternoon as she walked in the door my eyes welled with guilt filled tears and simultaneously my heart swelled with pride.   She had her polka-dot umbrella in hand and had worn her flower printed pink galoshes. She explained she had checked the weather on my phone and because it had a photo of a cloud with rain coming out of it, she chose her outfit accordingly. And I have to give her props.  She looked darling.  She even did her own hair and added a matching giant flower headband.  I hugged her and apologized for my shortcomings and she simply said…"That's ok mom, I didn't want to wake you up.  I know you were up all night with Momo." Sigh #2.

And then there is Ride… we dashed out the door to preschool and miraculously made it only a few minutes late.  She dressed herself today as well… and although I wouldn't put her outfit in the category of "cute" it definitely was entertaining.  She brings such sunshine to our home.  Like tonight when I picked her up from tumbling.  There waiting for me, standing under the porch roof to avoid the rain was my lovable 5 year old, wearing black jazz pants that are awkwardly too short (she's growing like a weed) smiling widely to show off a pair of bright pink plastic vampire teeth.  She found them this afternoon, and apparently wore them to class.  I laughed out loud.  

I so often feel these precious little ones are gifts I don't think I'll ever feel worthy of.   They are such examples of patience, forgiveness, kindness and spirit. Maybe a little of them will rub off on me.  I'll take anything they are willing to share... well all except the herpangina;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

 It's a major award...

So Beckie over at These Creative Juices was so cute and gave me my first blogging award. 


Thanks Beckie! Go check out her blog too!  She's wonderfully frugal and is a creative queen herself! 
 In the rules I have to pass this award to 10 creative blogs I frequent.  (Do you think bakerella would accept my award... ha ha).  Anyway, I'm new at this, and newish to blogging in general.  I'm not even positive any of these award winners visit my blog.
Regardless here is your award ladies (in no particular order)...

Ashlee at I'm Topsy Turvy
Risa at Restless Risa
Melissa at Miss Sew and So

To receive this award you have to promise to share this with 10 other BLOGS that you think are Trendy too! (So share the LOVE)
Just post about your award in your blog
List your Top 10 Trendy Blogs
Leave a link to the Trendy Blog Button
Tell them they need to give this award out to 10 as well.
Now I'm going to take a minute as well and send a big old shout out and 
to a few blogs that have recently made me feel like a million bucks...
Alison at Oopsey-Daisy 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Honestly ladies... you are FANTABULOUS!

Did you catch my post title.... name the movie!  (It's in my list of all time favs).
Love to you all!
And I hope you had a spectacular mothers day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

 Monster Momo

He proved me wrong…
Momo turned two!
Congratulations big guy… you defy death or serious bodily harm daily, but you made it… let's go big and shoot for two more!

We celebrated with a little last minute party.  Two is a challenging age for a birthday party.  He doesn't have his own friends (can you imagine a house filled with two year olds… undiluted chaos)?  Our family on both sides has bred stupendously, and all but one family lives locally.  My house would be filled with over 45 people…  love them all but I was not in a hosting mood.  So we chose to have just Grandma's and Grandpa's join us.

Now I honestly tossed this together the day before (which was filled with soccer games and other must do's).  So it's not as elaborate as other parties I've given.  In fact it was simple. 
Momo has to sleep with one of his "monsters" (ugly dolls). He tends to carry one of them around all day as well.  Sippy cup in one hand, monster in the other, and recently I've been leaving him in his jammies all day… he just destroys his clothes.  Yeah, I know… mother of the year award Rrriiiiightt Hheeerrrre (imagine a red blinking arrow, with an annoying buzz that turns on and off with every blink pointed at me right now.  Like the visual)?   We have a small collection of ugly dolls because I used to work, one day a week, and we stocked them there… they worked great as stocking stuffers, easter basket fillers etc… So yeah, we've got a bunch.
Anyway he's slightly obsessed with them.  It was clear that his little party should be "Monster" themed.  
I wanted to make LOADS of these little cuties.  But time was sparse, so I only finished three.  I got the idea from Not Just a Mommy she made these little owls that are beyond darling.  She gives a little tutorial and everything.  I took the basic idea and changed them from owls to monsters.  Then I hung them (with fishing line) from the light above the kitchen table.
Then for dessert I created these 
"Build your own monster" 
cupcakes.  Think Mr. Potato head, but edible, and with a cupcake, not potatoes;)
I made monster parts from Wilton candy chips
I drew the monster body parts on paper then placed the paper on a cookie sheet.  Take wax paper and put it on top of your drawing.  
Melt chips in a baggie or disposable pastry bag in the microwave. Clip the tip or corner of the bag.
Trace your drawings with the melted chocolate onto the wax paper.  Follow the outline first and then fill it in. Then outline again with the dark chocolate.  Tap the cookie sheet against the counter to even out the chocolate. Let it cool. Peal off of the wax paper. Voila. I did the same thing for my cat in the hat cupcakes.
Fangs, Ears and Wings
Horns and Noses
I wanted to make little signs to label what monster body parts each plater had… again no time.
Here are a few of the Monster results…
(Sorry they're a bit blurry)
Seriously they turned out so stinkin' adorable

K… so someone could take these ideas and really run with them.   If anyone does a monster party and uses either of these ideas let me know… I'd love to see what you add to it! 
one more thing.
I add an easy mousse filling to my cupcakes.  I just put the mousse in a pastry bag (a zip lock baggie clipped at the corner would work) and then shove it into the cupcake and fill it up (like a ding dong).  Yum.  Just don't go too crazy or your cupcake will split.  Here's the recipe I use…
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Milk
1 Large Package Jello Pudding
Blend with mixer until thick.
Linked up to
Sundae Scoop
Tatertots and Jello
Sunday Showcase
Today's Creative Blog
These Creative Juices
Favorite Things Friday
Hoosier Homemade

I'm adding the buttercream frosting I use here, so you don't have to bother with the comment section...
2 cups solid white vegetable shortening
1 1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
*1/2 tsp butter flavoring
4 Tbsp milk (or water)
2 Lbs. confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)(approx.8 cups)
2 Tbsp meringue powder (dried egg white)
a pinch of salt.

This is a stiff consistency. Add more milk or water until you get it to where you want it. 

*I use wilton butter flavoring.  This is optional, you could simply uses 2 tsp vanilla. Or sometimes I use a little almond. Or I go all out and use 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp butter flavoring 1/2 tsp almond. 
And the "fur" is made with Wilton tip 233
Hope that makes it easier!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

 Comforting Broken Hearts

This last sunday was filled to the brim with stuff.   Busy stuff… church (which right now consists of me wrestling a toddler for an hour and then teaching a group of 4 year olds for the next two… sometimes I leave church feeling like I just ran a marathon, day of rest? Hmmm….)  Creative stuff… making cupcakes for Momo's birthday (post coming soon).   Happy stuff… we had the grandparents over for cupcakes to celebrate Momo's birthday.  And then add on the Emotional stuff
Four years ago on May 2nd we found out about Evie's fatal condition.  It's ground into my memory.  (I'll share more about that day another time).  As we sang happy birthday to Momo I found myself smiling and grateful for a crazy little boy that keeps me on my toes.  I also said a little silent prayer of gratitude for my daughter that challenged me in an entirely different way.  
Sunday was a GOOD day.

That evening I got an email from a friend who has neighbors that are expecting a child that will not live long after birth.  
His email read…
"The family I mentioned earlier is planning their labor.  The funeral will follow a few days later.  After I shared your story, they decided they wanted to do the same thing with the blessing in the hospital.  It seems to be very helpful to hear from others who have gone through this before. They really aren't quite sure how to deal with all this and I'm hoping to find more ideas to help them cope.

Were there any specific gifts or services that were given to you that helped? 
Did you have a funeral or what did you do for that?

I appreciate any suggestions you might have.  Thanks!"

Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed I glanced in the bathroom mirror.  I recalled 4 years ago, on this same night doing the same thing.  However it was a stranger peering back.  Her light was dim, she looked empty and I recall questioning if this was the person I would now be.  If this is what was left of me.  I seemed stripped of my happiness... and I considered that it might be forever lost. On sunday it was nice to smile and see ME smile back.  
It did come back, both the happiness and the light. 

That night I laid in bed and began making mental notes of how to respond to my friends email.  The next day I started writing them down.  And now I feel that I should post them.  My feelings have never steered me wrong, so I'm going to trust them again and put my response on my blog.

I remember being the person who didn't know what to do or say.  I remember hearing about those who lost a baby (before our Evie) and I wondered if I should or shouldn't say something. If I should or shouldn't do something. I had similar questions as my friend.   

At the hospital we asked that only immediate family join us.  We also requested no children. The only child in attendance was Scooter (Ride was only about 18 months old so we left her with a babysitter… I was concerned she would want to be held by me while I would be trying to soak in every second with Evie).  Scooter was 4.  She has always been wise beyond her years and seemed to have a grasp of what was going on.  She wanted to meet "Sprinkles" (the name she had lovingly given her).  After she was born she was given a name and a blessing by J. (This is something that we do in the LDS church.  It is usually done in the church building on a sunday a month or two after a baby is born.  We were given permission to have J do this right after she was born).  Even though we don't feel it's necessary to bless a baby it was absolutely beautiful.  I held her in my harms as J gave her a precious heart felt blessing.  We then oohed and awed at her pudgy arms.  We gave everyone the opportunity to hold her.  We had a few people hold her and then quickly they'd put her back into either J or my arms.  Then a few people more would hold her and then back into our arms.  It was quiet and peaceful.  That hospital room felt like a temple.  Sacred and filled with angels.  43 minutes after her birth she peacefully returned to heaven while she was in my arms.  Then the family quietly left J and I to cry, pray and kiss our little one alone.  This remains the most beautiful experience of my life.  I treasure it with all my heart.

Now about the funeral.  
I think this is a personal thing.  For us we wanted a very simple graveside service.  We only invited immediate family and close friends.  This is what we wanted.  Everyone honored and supported us in that.  We only had a couple of speakers and that was about it.  Because it was small we returned to our home for a light luncheon that my church Relief Society had so graciously supplied. 

Now I know this question wasn't in my friends email but I've often been asked what to say and what not to say to someone in a grieving situation.  So I'm going to start with the…

What NOT to say...
I'm not an easily offended person.  But there were comments, although I'm sure were innocent, that stung.   I don't want to spend too much time on this, I like to keep my blog a positive uplifting place. I also don't want to sound like I'm complaining or pointing out the flaws of others.  I have enough flaws of my own I need to concentrate on.  So I share them in the hope they may help or prevent someone from making a similar mistake.  So let's get them out of the way so I can move on to the positive stuff… 

-Before you say something… make sure it's NOT about YOU. 
Sometimes I could feel they were not interested in what I had to say.  They were more interested in what they had to say. 
-If you're not sure you should say it, don't.  Speak with your heart and with LOVE for the person who is hurting and anything you say will be fine.  
-Don't claim to have a better understanding of what that someone is going through because your a more "naturally sympathetic" person.
-Don't compare your situation with someone who is grieving if it isn't similar.  
I guess the best rule is to think before you speak and ask yourself what your motive is.

Now that the ugly is out of the way (thank heavens)… I want the rest of this post to focus only on the positive.  (It's so much more happy).

Say something….
Now that I've sufficiently scared you from wanting to say anything at all;)
It's important to say something.  I know what it feels like to not know what to say, so I'll give you some suggestions…
If you don't know what to say keep it simple…
I'm praying for you.
I'm thinking about you.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
What Can I do for you?
(They most likely will say "Oh nothing, we'll be fine" so you may want to say)...
I'm bringing you dinner thursday night. Or...
I'll be by friday afternoon to pick up your kids to take them to the park.

Don't be offended if they don't say much back.  I've noticed some want to talk about it while others don't.      
I also appreciated stories people would recount to me about someone they knew personally who had experienced something similar.  I loved hearing that it was tough but they were doing well.  It gave me hope.  It reminded me that at that moment everything wasn't OK, but that one day it would be (and it is).  I leaned on this.  
Also I appreciated hearing from those who had personally lost a baby.  Whether in infancy, still born, or through miscarriage.  After everything happened I felt like I immediately was part of a club that no one wants to join.  I feel real love and a bond with anyone who has gone through this type of situation.  
We moved into our neighborhood only a month before Evie was born.  There was a lady who had moved in just about a month before us.  She had experienced a similar loss.  She came over when I got home from the hospital with gifts for the kids and she quietly and kindly organized the funeral luncheon for us.  More than anything she listened to me.  She remains today one of my dearest friends and we often claim we were sisters separated at birth. I guess I'm saying don't underestimate the value of your kind words, help and presence.  

Be there...
I'll never forget when we got home after finding out about Evie.  I didn't know where to be or what to do.  I was in a fog and world was spinning.  But family showed up.  They just came.  They brought love, hugs and tears.  It was just what I needed.  Them.  I will never forget every soul that dropped everything and just showed up (and they did it without request).  That's what family does.  
If you're not family, show up too (not the day of difficult news) but shortly after.  Either physically with a hug or through a card or phone call.  I remember each and every one.  I felt like I had an army of friends and family there to carry me when I needed them. 

I should mention that I love talking about Evie, and especially in the months that followed her birth.  All I have is my memories, and talking is therapeutic for me, and now so is blogging.  So if someone needs to talk just listen.  Don't try too hard to say the "perfect, life changing" thing.  Just let them express their feelings and then love them.  Sometimes it took a lot to express my emotions about Evie.  When someone gathers the strength to talk about it, be interested, be kind and be attentive. 

Now onto 
the gifts I loved…
I know people wonder what to give someone.  Gifts are not necessary, but I do have a few that I cherish.

My aunt Lisa had a small pair of baby booties framed with a sweet poem.
Tiny feet too perfect
To walk where men have trod.
Tiny feet so perfect
They walk straight home to God.
She gave us a second pair for Evie to wear. Although they were to big, (Evie had a form of dwarfism) we placed them lovingly in her casket. 

My cousin Paula made Evie two burial dresses.  (I should mention I have a family that oozes creativity and talent.  On both my mothers and fathers side. Paula is one of my many crazy talented family members… her blog is here).  She made one for Evie to wear and one for us to keep.  She's an amazing seamstress and fashion designer.  She also has designed clothes for Marie Osmond's porcelain dolls, so she's a pro at the little clothes.. and Evie was little.  We had it framed.

My sisters mother in law Stacie arranged for us to make plaster molds of Evie's hand and foot.  I LOVE these!  They are my most precious gift.

My family gave us a tree and a rock plaque.  It's a flowering cherry so every spring it bursts with pink blooms.  Pretty perfect.

I appreciated every little thing too.  I loved the flowers.  They brought happiness to our home.  Cards filled with personally penned heartfelt sympathy.  I also remember a lady who brought over a bag of popsicles for the kids.  It wasn't huge… but it came from her heart.  If I listed everything it would take me forever….and this post is already mega long!

I thought about a couple things that also 
would have been great to receive...
(I'm not sharing these because I wish we were given them, a card or heart felt hug is just if not more valuable... only that it may spark some ideas if someone was in need of a few).
All of our stuff from Evie… every card and some of the gifts are placed in a drawer.  Her hospital stuff is in shirt boxes in my closet.  I don't have a special place for them.  I'm realizing it would be nice to have a special box to store them in. I may have to put that on my to do list. 
I'm also seeing all of these darling handmade necklaces around.  The kind that have sweet messages or names printed on them.  It would be special to have had one for the mother to keep and one for the baby.  That way we each would have one next to their heart.  You could put something simple on it like "forever"  or even the child's name. 

Now I'm going to ask for your input.  If your willing please leave a comment about...
What has helped you with grief?  How did you help someone who was mourning?  What gifts have you received or given?  I have loads of amazingly creative people that stop by my blog… I'd love to hear what you have done for someone. Or any ideas that come to mind. 

On another note I want to say a big giant humungous 
On easter I posted about my Evie.  I was nervous.  I had just gained a bushel  full of new readers, with all different backgrounds and religious beliefs.  I didn't know how it would be received.  I'm so grateful for your kind words and love.
Bless your sweet sweet souls!
 Thank you from the bottom of my grateful and happy heart!