Monday, December 31, 2012

Pinterest Sunday: Hershey Cake

So, if I am going to do the Pinterest thing and blog about it (see my last blog post) then I figure I should try to stick with doing it on the same day each week.  I mean, blog about it on the same day, not necessarily make the item that day. 

It just so happens that I did make one today, and it was a Hershey Chocolate Cake found here.  The recipe calls for dark cocoa, but I didn't have any.  After having a piece, I am OK with it being regular.  It was SO chocolatey!!  Even Bretton, who will eat as much cake as possible said it was very rich and didn't completely finish it. 

The recipe also calls for boiling water, but the person whose blog I got it from used coffee.  I used the coffee.  It came out great, and you couldn't taste the coffee.  The cake itself was moist, but not overly so.  The frosting was good, but had a distinct cocoa taste to it, so next time I make it I will be cutting down a bit on the cocoa in the frosting.  Otherwise, it was a fabulous recipe and definitely a great choice for someone who wants a rich chocolate "kick"! 

Oh, and I just made a 2 layer cake, which meant using the recipe as is, but doubled the frosting as most frosting recipes seem to not be enough.  This was *more* than enough when doubled, so I may not double it next time and see how much it really turns out to be.

I took pictures, but can't upload for some reason. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gotta Love Pinterest

I could spend all day on Pinterest.  Which is scary.  In many ways.  Like, wasting my time on there instead of doing things that need to be done or spending time with my family (not that I spend all day on it!).  Or making everything I find on there that I like.  That would lead to me being another 100+ pounds overweight and in debt from crafts! 

Since I love it so much, I thought I am going to try at least 1 thing a week from there.  Whether it be 1 meal, one dessert, one craft, one site to read, etc.  Then, I will try to post on here about what that one thing I chose was, why, how it turned out, etc.  I'm starting today.

The first Pinterest item up is this oh so lovely looking Hershey's Dark Chocolate cake.  My problem though, is that I didn't have any dark chocolate cocoa on hand, so I am just using regular.  We'll see how it turns out later.  I found the recipe here, but she found it on Hershey's site.

I'll report back later.  I need to go get the first half out of the oven!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Ephraim is doing well.  There are times where it seems like he has regressed in many areas, and we wonder when he is ever going to "get it"-- to learn the new things we are teaching him, but then in therapy sessions like today, we see it.  Progress.  The greatest part: we aren't the only ones seeing it.  His therapist said in the past few weeks he has seen great progress in Ephraim, especially in his communication.

Ephraim is still considered non-verbal, but he has started saying a few "words" here and there.  (If there is a beginning sound that relates to the item he wants/needs, it is considered a word.  Such as "ye", can mean that he said "yes", if in the correct context.)  He has said: more, eat, yes, no, and go, on a fairly regular basis.  A great sign that verbal language will probably occur at some point in the future.  This is exciting, but we also are aware that it might not happen, and so we aren't getting our hopes up.

E has also been signing a lot more lately as well.  He uses "more" on a consistent basis, as well as "eat" (for both eating and drinking) and "all done".  We are really trying to work on "help" as well, since often times he gets frustrated and needs help but has no way to tell us other than with negative behaviors.

He is really enjoying, and quite good at, basic puzzles, shape sorters, etc.  He has also increased his joint-attention by more than 50%!!  This alone is HUGE!  Joint-attention will help him in so many ways, both socially and academically.  His joint-attention with me is by far the best.  He will sit and look at me for 20-30 minutes sometimes.  He stares at me, laughs, plays with my facial features.  I use this to engage him in learning by asking things like: "That's mama's nose, now where's Ephraim's nose?"  "Where are my eyes?"  He has never been able to point to things, especially when asked, but he has started to point to facial features in the past week or so when we have good joint-attention.

One of the hardest things right now, learning wise, is PECS.  He really doesn't want to pick up the symbol, and when he does, he definitely doesn't want to release it! But, there is still improvement seen here too, and that is all we can ask for.  His therapist thinks that within a few weeks at school he will be ready to move onto phase 2, which means that he will have a pretty good handle on reaching for the symbol he wants (not the item), picking up the symbol, and releasing it into someone's hand, [with lots of prompting occurring] (phase 1).  Phase 2 is learning to get the symbol, wherever it may be, and take it to someone without prompting.   He hates being prompted, so hopefully he will like phase 2 better and take to it more quickly.

The trade off for him doing so well in some areas though, is that he regressing in other areas, and has more negative behaviors occur.  He also has more stereotypies (no that's not spelled wrong, and yes, it is a word), which we often have to stop, which is not an easy task.  His sleeping habits have gotten worse, but I beleive in time that will come back around.  We can only ask so much of him right now, he is is doing great, so we can't complain (too much- haha) about his sleep habits or negative behaviors.  We can only work on those as well and hope that as he gets older things will fall into place.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life Changes

As the few of you who read my blog know, I am a busy person (probably not as busy as many, but busy enough) and we have had a lot of changes recently.  I haven't even thought about this blog-- though I wish I had.  I so want to keep up, but my life doesn't seem to allow me to.  When I do have a chance to write, I don't feel like it!

Anyway, one of the changes was our big move-- and hopefully last move!  My in-laws generously bought a house for us (we will "rent" until the mortgage is paid off) and we are now living much closer to Eric's job and in the school district where Bretton attends so he is now home with us for good!  Life is much easier in the way of transportation and getting places when you live closer to town!  The down side is we are now a 1/2 hour from our family, which is hard with the kids...

Another change, which leads into yet another change, is Ephraim is receiving in home services/therapy (which I might have mentioned before).  He really doesn't like it much, especially PECS, but he is getting better and doing well.  While in home services are great, I am unable to give him all the time and attention he truly needs and deserves.  With Lorelai also needing attention, I can't keep up on all the things that E needs in order to stay "in our world".  He really needs one on one as much as possible.  So, it was a super hard decision for us, but we have decided to send him to Woodfords Family Services.  He will start out 3 days a week, 6 hour days.  Eventually, we will move him up to full time.  The school is an hour away, and he will be riding with someone we don't yet know.  I think that is the hardest part for me.  But, others do it all the time, and I know that we have to do what we have to do in order to get him the best services possible.  This program is an ABA program with mostly children diagnosed with Autism attending.  On the days he isn't there, we will still have CDS come for in home services and we are going to be doing some in depth research on floor time therapy, as that is what I believe would be a better choice-- something very appropriate for his age.  We will incorporate that into his nightly routine.

Of course, Eric and I are both worried sick about sending him.  Not because we worry about him being cared for and learning, but because we have never sent him to preschool or daycare or anywhere really.  A few family members and friends have had him, but not on a regular basis.  Eric was with him for the first 1.5 years of his life and I have been with him since then.  Like many children with Autism, Ephraim doesn't mind being around other people when he is able to be in his own world, doing his own thing.  But, when you request for him to do something outside of his world, it is hard enough to be his parent whom he knows and trusts.  With other people, it isn't so easy.  If he doesn't know you at all, or only knows you as someone who makes him "do work" then it is very challenging. 

Obviously, the people at this place are trained in dealing with this, but when I think about him acting up, having a hard time responding to them, being resistant, wondering where his mommy is, etc:  it breaks my heart.  I know the first few days, maybe even weeks is going to be hard.  Especially since he may be confused as he will only be there every other week day.  He will  eventually go full time, but right now we want to see how he responds to it in general.  I don't honestly know if we are making the right decision by only doing part time or if we should just start right off full time.

At this point, Eric and I just hope that it works out for all of us, and that Ephraim can get into a good routine quickly.  We also hope that Eric can figure out what to do about work.  He works many evenings, which would mean he wouldn't see Ephraim much at all.  Ideally, he would like to have a set schedule with his guaranteed 30 hours, but that isn't going to happen.  As it is he is lucky to get 30 hours, but has to work whatever is available to get them.  Plus, he is starting to wish he was home and I was working!  Sheesh!  I always thought I wanted to be a SAHM.  Part of me still does, but I have to be honest: part of me feels overwhelmed and alone.  I sometimes wish I was working and that we had just put the kids into daycare.  Of course, of all the reasons that we decided that I would resign from my job and stay home was because E needed a lot of extra time, attention, and therapies that he wouldn't get at just any daycare center.  Don't get me wrong, I love being home, too!  I'm not sure if anyone would really understand, and I am sure I have been, and am being, judged for feeling this way, but it is what it is.

So, a week from today, E will start school.  I have to believe it is the best decision we can make for him for now.  Eric and I are going to wait it out a bit to see what happens, then make decisions regarding whether I should work part time, or just stay home with Lorelai.  We could certainly use the extra money.  If you want to call it extra.  Anything we bring home, now or in the future, goes to bills.  There is no such thing as extra money-- though we so wish there was. But that is another whole blog post, that I probably won't ever write.  Ha!

Lastly, I have started a small business of sorts.  If one can call it a business when one doesn't get much business at all!  Though, I have received a few orders and am thankful for those, I was really hoping that I could make enough money to help pay a bill or two so that we don't feel so strapped every month. :\  I'm going to attempt some new/more products in the coming month or so and if I still don't get much business, then I guess it is a flop.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Alert Bracelet or Not?

This past spring Ephraim had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital for some stomach issues.  He was constantly being asked questions that he couldn't answer, and probably had no knowledge of them even speaking to him.  Luckily, I was there with him the whole time, but even then when I said he was non-verbal, they would still try to get him to talk to them.  Ever since then I have wondered if we should have some sort of informational jewelry or whatever for him (and even the other children).  I think about how there is always the possibility that something could happen and Eric and/or I may not be there or be able to respond.  If this was to happen, the youngest 2 children would have no way to give any information about themselves or us. 

Now, even more so, with Ephraim's official diagnosis, Eric and I are leaning towards getting him a bracelet (or something) that states his name, date of birth, and the fact that he has Autism and is non-verbal.  But, am I jumping the gun?  I think sometimes that maybe I am, but then I think about how Ephraim doesn't respond to his own name, not to mention to people he doesn't know.  I don't want to "advertise" info, but on the other hand, it is vital information to make sure he is safe and understood in the event of an emergency.

So, if I do get him one, do I put all the information on the back of the band, which would mean the person reading it would need to take it off him, which may or may not be a disaster in and of itself?  Or do I put the information on the front where anyone can read it?

To be honest, I'm not ashamed of his diagnosis and lack of verbal skills.  That isn't why I'm not sure about putting in on the front.  I am more concerned that others may take it the wrong way, or that he himself may one day find it to be a "label" or a "flag" to others.  Does this make any sense? 

I am considering doing one for both Bretton and Lorelai as well, considering anything can happen to either of them as well and Eric and I may not be there or respondent for them either.

So, what do you think?  I am looking for honest, yet respectful, opinions. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Bittersweet Day: My son has Autism

Today, Ephraim had his psychological evaluation.  In case you don't remember, we have been pretty sure for a long time that the results would be Autism Spectrum Disorder, but since every person with Autism is different, just as every person who doesn't have Autism is different, we couldn't be sure.  We wanted an evaluation done as soon as possible as we know how important it can be to start services early.  It took awhile, but we finally got the referral and the process started.

The two part observation was done prior to today and the information from that was sent to the psychologist.  Today, the psychologist asked us a million questions, observed Ephraim playing at the same time, and then did some of his own "testing" and interaction time with Ephraim.  Two huge thumbs up to both the psychologist and to Ephraim!  Dr. D (that is what I will call him) was great with Ephraim and you could see that he loves children and his job.  (He said he has evaluated over 6,000 children/teens!)  Ephraim did awesome.  He was his usual happy self, and allowed Dr. D to do a lot of things that we weren't sure he would allow.  E did push him away a few times, "complained" about a number of things, but all in all he handled the whole session (about 2.5 hours) very well. 

Dr. D explained at the end of the evaluation what he thought, but Eric and I weren't sure what he meant exactly so when he asked if we had questions I said I wanted clarification.  Dr. D had made it sound to us like he needed to score the test first but did see autistic tendencies in Ephraim.  When I repeated what I heard him say and asked if that meant he was going to be making his diagnosis after the scoring, he hesitantly said, "No.  My report will say that Ephraim has Autism Spectrum Disorder."  I asked about the hesitation and he explained that he didn't want to "blow us away" and Eric and I immediately told him not to worry about that!  We already knew it and were just glad to finally have the diagnosis. 

After we left, Eric and I talked about it.  We agreed it was a bittersweet day.  We are glad to finally have a diagnosis.  We are relieved even, as now we know that we can get the services he needs.   But, we are obviously saddened that we were right.  Part of me wishes that it was in our heads, but part of me doesn't.

I love my son just the way he is, and wouldn't change him for the world! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just another day in the house of W

Well, it sure has been a busy week.  Seems like each week gets busier.  We don't have the money to be making so many trips to and from Farmington, yet we keep managing somehow.  Today was just another day with 2 round trips.  Eric is working right now, so there's one trip, and I had to take Ephraim to the doctor this morning, so there's the other trip. 

The doctor said that she believes E is starting night terrors.  Oh, joy.  Bretton had them soooo bad.  I hope E's don't get nearly as bad as Bretton's were.  (B would attack me in his sleep, once with a knife, because they were so bad.)  She said that because of Ephraim's chromosome deletion and the night terrors, she feels he needs another evaluation by the neurologist.   So, I called and they scheduled him for January, but will change it to a sooner date when the neurologist reads the genetics report and *if* the neurologist believes it is necessary to do it sooner. We thought the trips to Portland would just be once a year for his genetics recheck, but I guess not. :\ 

On a positive note, Lorelai did awesome with Eric this morning.  I was gone from about 9-11, so not very long, but a good start.  I'm hoping to do a 3 or 4 hour trip soon to see how she does when it is long enough for her to need to nurse but not have me here to do so.  She has started using a straw cup, though she doesn't drink much from it and prefers not to do so.  But, it is better than nothing.

Bretton is still at his friends house.  We get him tomorrow after school for the weekend.  He wants to go to the fair so badly, and while we really don't have money to spend, we also don't spend a whole lot of time with Bretton and the fair is once a year, so we may take him with a serious limit on what can be spent.  I'm hoping E can stay with Denise so we can focus more on B.  Though L will need to go with us.  This is the first year that I can go on a ride with B in like 3 years, so I know he wants to go on at least one with me, and probably one with Eric. 

Tomorrow E has his evaluation.  I should be able to post a quick thing tomorrow night, but if not I will add something Saturday.  I can't wait to have it done with and know where we stand, no matter what the outcome is.

Monday, September 17, 2012

More Blood Work at the Geneticist

More blood work today.  But this time, the blood work was to test Eric and I for the same genetic deletion that they found in Ephraim.  This will let us know if we have the deletion and passed it on to him, or if the deletion is newly formed within Ephraim.  You may be wondering what that deletion is and what it means for Ephraim.  Well, the answer can be found if you read on. ;)

So, Ephraim's microarray results showed a clinically significant loss of 15q11.2.   (For Ephraim, he has at least four genes missing in this sector of Chromosome 15.)   An excerpt from the results are as follows: "...Published reports have suggested that this deletion is associated with an increased risk for a variety of neurocognitive disorders including developmental, motor, and speech delays, neurological and/or behavioral problems, and idiopathic generalized epilepsy, with incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity. ..." 

Confused??  Here's a little break down.  Incomplete penetrance means that some people may have this deletion and show no signs of the deletion (therefore usually not knowing that they even have the deletion) and develop normally.  Variable expressivity means that the other people who have this deletion can show any number of developmental delays, which can vary from very little to severe.

Because Ephraim has a significant amount of delays, within all categories listed above except epilepsy (at this time), it is very likely that this deletion is affecting him developmentally.  This deletion however, does *not* mean that he won't have another separate diagnosis.  It is actually likely that he does have a neurocognitve disorder (which we will find out about on Friday).  If he does have a neurocognitve disorder (which as most people know, we are thinking he has ASD), the deletion may have helped play a part in "why".  It is likely that we will never know all of the "why's" though, since genetics is only one of many factors.

Just as a little side note.  Some people like to use Google.  If you so choose to do so to learn more about Ephraim's deletion, please bear in mind that you will mostly find information on 2 different syndromes, Angelman's Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome, neither of which Ephraim has.  To have one of those syndromes, Ephraim would need to be missing a larger portion of the Chromosome.  Yes, the part that he is missing is also missing in people with AS and PWS, but his is only a small portion in comparison which leaves him with no known syndrome at this time. 

Now that we have that information, we are onto his psychological evaluation on Friday to determine whether he has ASD or something else (or nothing at all, which is unlikely).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quick Update

So, just a quick update, as I really don't have time this morning (busy day ahead). 

Lorelai is having a real hard time at night.  I am assuming it is teething.  He two bottom teeth have poked through, and I can see the ridges of the two top teeth.  She whines, fusses, and wakes up on a regular basis.  We don't normally do medicine if we can help it, but no one is getting much sleep, especially me, so I am thinking we will try some Tylenol before bed tonight and see if that helps at all.

Ephraim had his second observation on Thursday.  He goes for his psychological evaluation this coming Friday, and we were told by the observationist that the psychologist will tell us his findings at the evaluation.  I am excited, yet nervous.  That may sound weird-- to be excited.  But, when you have known for a while that something is "off" and you just want to get a diagnosis to start services that are really needed, you get excited to know that you are *so* close to finally having an answer. 

Bretton is still spending his school nights with his best friend and family.  They really love having him and while I miss him (we have him on weekends), we are so thankful to have people who treat him like their own son.  The thought was that it would just be for a few months, as we were were under the impression that we would be getting a house, but that is looking more and more like it won't be happening.  So, Bretton may be staying with this other family for the rest of the school year.  Or until we can find something in Farmington in our price range with 3 bedrooms-- which is proving to be impossible right now. :\ 

Eric has been applying to a million places, yet has heard nothing.  He is starting to feel like no one wants to hire him and that there must be something about him that is preventing him from getting a job.  I've tried to tell him that isn't the case-- they don't even know him.  I am praying he finds something soon. 

I'm just chugging along.  Trying hard to not be worried about our finances and to not be stressed.  Enjoying my time home with the children, despite how hard they can be sometimes.  I'm planning on subbing on the days that Eric doesn't work, as long as Lorelai can handle it.  We will see.

Well, that's about all for now. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Well, today we got a call from the geneticist.  Well, the counselor for the geneticist.  She informed us that Ephraim's lab work came back and that there *is* a genetic "issue".  At this time, because we know very little about what it is, what it means, etc, we aren't sharing too much info.  We go back to the geneticist on Monday to discuss the details.  Eric and I have already begun doing some research on what we know so far, and are going to try to come up with a list of questions and concerns to ask while we are there. 

Over the last 2 years, I have known there was something "special" about Ephraim.  Really, over the past nearly 3 years.  I don't know if I have mentioned it before or not on here, but I have known from day one of my pregnancy with him that the child was going to have a very different and very special life.  I don't know how or why.  Call it mother's intuition, call it nothing, either way, I knew.  In my heart I knew that I would be taking him to appointments galore, helping him with basic skills that most people take for granted, etc. 

Over the last year or so, it has become a little more evident to others around us.  It has been slower for some than others, but finally people were realizing that maybe there was something different about E.  Still, very few people believed me as I insisted there was something that would one day be diagnosed.  My thought was a possible ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  I have said right along that he is on the spectrum, and that if he isn't, there is something similar to ASD that he has. 

At E's 18 month WCC, we voiced our concerns to the doctor. She hadn't been his doctor for very long though so she really didn't know E well enough to see the same things we had been seeing all along.  Though, at his 2 year WCC, she said she agreed with us and wanted him evaluated.  When she found out he was already being evaluated, she was glad that we took the initiative to get the ball moving.  (I tell you what:  I am, and always will be, that mother that supports her child through everything and advocates for him (or her) to the fullest.)  Our doctor is great though, and did refer us to the geneticist at his 18 month appointment, despite not being concerned at the time.

When we finally went to his appointment last month, the geneticist said everything appeared normal from the outside, but ran blood work to check for any underlying genetic issues within his chromosomes, etc.  We had high hopes, and figured it would probably come back fine, which would just keep us on the path of evaluations for other things (such as ASD, etc.) with no real answer key.  But, we were wrong. 

You might think at this point that I would be scared.  I'm sure most people would be, but you know, it may seem weird, but I'm not scared at all. I'm a little relieved, and a little saddened, but not scared. I am relieved to know that it isn't "all in our heads" as some people keep saying.  I am relieved to finally start getting some answers so that I can understand my child better, and so that I can help others to understand my child better.  I am saddened to know that there is something genetically causing his delays and behaviors that no one can ever completely change because his genetic make up is what it is.  I am saddened to think about what this could possibly mean for his future.  But, I am not scared.   I shall have no fear of what is or will be-- I am trying my best to remember that there is no fear to be had in anything but the Lord Himself.

Oh, how I am so thankful.  I can't even begin to say all the things I am thankful for.  But for now, let me leave it at this.  I am thankful for a doctor, who though at the time wasn't super concerned, sent us to the geneticist because she knew how concerned we were. I am thankful that he is a happy go lucky kid most of the time, and I am thankful that God never gives me more than I can handle, even when I think otherwise.

Despite the sadness that overtakes me at times when I think of things that E can't do, and may never do, I am also filled with joy by all that he can do, and all that I know I can still try to teach him.  I am filled with pride to be the mother of an amazing, charismatic, charming, quirky, loving child, who I love and adore more than I could ever express.  No matter what, he is and always will be my baby boy who is PERFECT in every way. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lots of ideas!

So, this morning I set up a FB page for my new diaper cake venture.   I a crossing my fingers *and* toes in hopes that this will take off well and can help us make a little bit of money. 

I also made a stork bundle this morning.  I love it!  Cute and simple. :)  I have so many more ideas now, too, but don't want to do too much just yet.   The next item on my agenda is to make a more detailed diaper cake to post a picture of.  I am thinking of having it still be pretty basic, but add a few items like baby shampoo, powder, a bib or two, some wash clothes, etc.  We'll see how that goes!  Some of the other things I am considering in the future are: diaper wagons, mini diapers cakes that are more personalized, mini diaper bassinets, and more!

Anyway, for now I have to go.  I am working on cleaning the bathroom.  Purging stuff that we have had for years and never used, and trying to organize things.  I hate it, but it has to be done, and I would like to have a lot of this cleaning, organizing, and purging done *before* we move!  If we move soon that is.  We will know a lot more next weekend after my in-laws come and look at our top house choices.  I am scared, nervous, and excited all at the same time!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pictures of Diaper Cake and Diaper Baby


So, there are the pictures I have so far.  I am not a photographer by any means, so I feel like they don't really do justice for the baby or cake.  Oh well.  Oh, and I am going to make a stork bundle tomorrow too.

Here is my little blurb.  Let me know what you think!

Going to a baby shower?  Need a gift to take to the hospital when you visit a newborn?  How about a gift mailed to someone too far for you to see, who is having a baby?  What cuter, more practical gift can you give than a diaper cake, or diaper baby??

The basic (undecorated) diaper cake contains 2 tiers with a total of 42 Pampers size 1 diapers wrapped in white ribbon.  You add any other touches you want when you receive it.  $22 (before shipping, if needed).  Or, you can order a more intricate cake with other items and/or specific colors (prices will vary, and an example picture will be posted in a few weeks).

Diaper babies consist of 21 Pampers size 1 diapers, a newborn sleeper, a newborn hat, and a pacifier.  You choose basic color of the outfit (yellow, green, pink, or blue), but the actual outfit will vary.  $32 (before shipping, if needed).

**All pictures are samples.  Actual diaper cake or diaper baby may vary from the sample.**

WHOA, and A New Name

I just realized I need a new picture on my blog!  We haven't had family photos since that one, which was when E (who is now 25 months old) was 3 months!  I need get with it!

I also changed my blog name and domain name. Get it?? :)

Diaper Cakes and Diaper Babies

We need money.  Who doesn't?  But really, our bills are officially more than our income, which hasn't ever been the case before.  So, I have racked my brain trying to think of something I can do to maybe bring some money in, without leaving the children, since my resignation from my job was to be at home with them.  I considered taking in a child or two to care for during the day, but my children take more time and energy than 10 and adding another one would take all my sanity away-- though I'm not sure I even have any left.  I considered making desserts to sell, like pies, breads, cupcakes, whoopie pies, etc.  But, that is a lot of time in the kitchen that I don't really have right now, and a home food processing license that I don't have time or money to invest in just yet (though I am still considering this for the future).  I'm not very crafty and have no good ideas on what I could make to sell.  So, my options started dwindling and I was about to give up.  Then, I decided that maybe I should try diaper cakes and diaper babies.  I made a diaper bike and a diaper baby for Bri and Chris and thought the baby came out great.  The diaper bike needs work, so I decided to skip out on that for now.  Cakes are easy enough, though they take some time.  Diaper babies are cute and pretty easy.  So, I decided to make some samples, come up with a little sales pitch, and see if I can possibly sell them.  Here's hoping!! 

So, today I made a sample diaper baby.  I need to finish the head and take a picture.  I made a sample diaper cake a week or so ago and just haven't gotten to the baby yet.  I then went over the pricing of them in my head a million times.  I keep thinking I am going to be charging too much.  But really, I'm charging near nothing compared to many sites I have seen online.  I am going to post pictures and my little sales pitch on some FB groups that I am a part of, tonight, hopefully, and see if anyone is interested.  I really hope I can sell at least 3 a month.  That is a profit of about $40.  Not a lot at all, but could definitely help with gas!  When I get a chance to upload the pictures to the computer, I will  do another post showing them and the "sales pitch".

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another week

There are so many things going on right now that I could write about.

So, School started back up, and because we live about 40 minutes north or Farmington where Bretton attends school, his best friend's family has decided to let Bretton live with them Monday through Friday until we have moved.  Hopefully, that will be sooner than later.  It is weird not having him home, but I know he is in a safe, loving environment and we will have him home every weekend. 

Eric has applied to a number of different places, but still hasn't heard anything from anyone, other than LEAP, which hasn't called since his interview, so I think that is a "no go".  :\   Not sure what we are going to do if he doesn't get another job soon.  We have officially run through our savings and our bills are more than his pay each month.  I am trying hard to rely on God to see us through, but it is so hard.  I keep wondering if I made the right decision with resigning from my job.  I made about 2/3 of the money so I know financially it was a huge decision that could have negative effects.  But, I also wanted to be home with my children and feel like they will both benefit from me being home with them.  I was thinking I would sub on Eric's days off, but it doesn't look like he will have many off, and his hours make it hard to sub.  Saddest part of that: he still only gets like 20 hours a week, yet works most days.

After a very long and full day, this is all I got written down!  Next time I am going to attempt to write about the houses we are considering buying. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Break Wanted

I have days of great motivation, and days of not so great motivation.  I'm sure most people are like this.  But for the past few days, I feel like it is completely gone.  I have to actually force myself to do *anything*.  I just need and want to sit and do nothing.  I want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mornings before the kids are up, the evenings when they have gone to bed, and maybe even a full day of no children at all.  I love my children more than life, but I am really feeling like I need a 24 hour break.  Actually, I need 2 of them.

The first 24 hours without children would be to clean, organize, sleep, and maybe even do some crafting or preparing for some crafts.  The second 24 hours without children would be spent doing whatever I wanted in the moment.  I'm guessing a lot of sleeping, movies, sitting outside, reading, etc. 

I love being a mother, but there are times where I am so exhausted from all the mothering duties that I would give my left arm for a few hours alone.  Even now, sitting here typing this, you would think that I am probably alone, able to get away for a few minutes to complete a blog entry.  Oh, but you would be wrong.  You see, most blog entries that I do are short because of what happens for me to write a longer one.  I type a sentence or two, then run off to tell (sign to) Ephraim "no" and redirect him, or feed or change one of the little ones, or listen to Bretton tell me stories about his time away this summer or how to play an Xbox game that I really have no interest in, but make myself listen because he cares and I care about him and what he has to say, even if it doesn't appeal to me. Or clean.  Or something.  I usually take most of the day to type a blog, unless it is after the kids are in bed.

Today, was a different day.  Usually I have Lorelai and Ephraim on a schedule of sorts.  It isn't strict, but it is good enough to get naps, meals, snacks, playtime, etc in for both of them, and usually at least a sink of dishes done as well.  But today, well, today, Ephraim needed extreme stimulation.  I always allow him to stim as needed, though I try to also encourage him to find an activity to do after awhile.  Today, he was having nothing to do with any activity set before him.  All he wanted to do was eat, watch Veggies and Blue's Clues, and stimming.  He stomped and ran back and forth as fast and hard as he could.  He bounced himself on his bed for over an hour.  Bouncing turned into body slamming.  He ran in circles around the activity center in the living room, and he hand flapped and toe walked more than usual.  He just now, at 7 pm, finally settled down.  I just now, finished this blog (after starting it at around 1pm).  Ha! 

Off I go to eat some dinner and see if Lorelai is awake...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shift Sleeping and Selfishness

Here I am, 10:35 pm awake and trying to find as much as I can to keep myself occupied and alert until it is my turn to sleep.  I am usually already in bed by now, and with barely sleeping at all last night, I am so ready!  I don't sleep well in hotels. 

Why am I waiting for my turn to sleep?  Well, as you all should be aware by now, Ephraim had to have a 24 hour EEG.  He is currently sleeping in bed, hooked up to all his electrodes and a little Spiderman back pack.  Eric and I debated the many ways we could go about bedtime, and decided that taking shifts to keep watch over E was best.  This would ensure that someone was awake and aware of any movement on E's part, so that the back pack can be moved accordingly, ensure he or the back pack doesn't fall off the bed (which would cause serious injury), and to ensure that he isn't just plain getting tangled in the thing.  Ephraim is the most crazy sleeper I have ever seen.  He is all over the place, often times not even on his bed, no covers, covers, no pillows, under pillows, over pillows, half on the bed, half off the bed, etc.

So, anyway, the day went really well!  We were so afraid that Ephraim wouldn't handle the wires, tape, gauze, etc, but he did great!  He cried and fought through the 40 minutes of hooking him up, but the tech said he did very well for his age.  It broke my heart though, but mostly because he really has no idea as to what was/is going on and can't tell us what exact part was a problem for him.  The rest of the day went well, with a few moments of him trying to take the chin strap off (and succeeding), pulling in the "tail", and trying to take the back pack off.  All in all, it was a good day, much better than we expected, and I am so proud of him. 

He is so cute, happy, and easy going most of the time.  I love him so much.  I wish I could hear him speak.  Not just sounds, but actual words.  I am hoping and praying that one day he will "find his voice" and be able to say anything he wants.  Oh, how I wish he could talk to us.  I cry when I think about how he may never talk.  He may never tell us verbally how he feels, what he needs or wants, to say "mommy" or "I love you".  It breaks my heart, over and over again.  I cry for him, for everyone who is affected in some way by this, whether directly or indirectly, and most of all, I cry for me.  I know that is selfish of me, but I can't help but be selfish right now.  This is my baby!  My precious little boy, whom I love and adore more than life. 

And... the internet here at the hotel is being stupid.  It says there is plenty of signal but won't connect.  So, this post will be posted tomorrow I suppose.  What am I going to do for 3 more hours though?!? :/

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I'm starting to become a mess.  I mean, more of a mess than I usually am.  My anxiety levels have been higher than usual lately, due to many stresses, but it is especially high now as we prepare for a two night stay in Portland to take care of Ephraim's doctor's appointments. 

Tomorrow, we will plan to leave around 10 am to head to Portland.  We will drop Bretton off with friends (his choice) and then head south.  We live approximately 2.5 hours north of Portland and with a nursing baby and a "special needs" toddler, the trip can be anywhere from quiet and relaxing, to stressful and overstimulating for all involved.  I am hoping it will be an easy trip. 

We are staying in a motel for Sunday night and Monday night.  With the gas, amount of time on the road and the time of the appointments, it just made the most sense to us.  Especially since we have no idea how Ephraim is going to handle everything.

In case you don't know, E has been having moments of blank staring spells for about a year or so now.  They have progressively gotten longer and more often, though weren't a huge concern to us, knowing that he is probably Autistic (we are still undergoing evaluations to determine if it is Autism or something else, but in my heart, I already know) and it can be a part of Autism.  However, at one of his observations, the observationist noticed and said we should bring it up with the doctor.  She seemed concerned, so we brought it up at his 2 year WCC, where the doctor decided we should get testing done.  He went a week later for an EEG, hat ended up a disaster, and the next day after that to the neurologist who advised us of the 24 hour EEG and the possibility of seizures, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, or just a part of Autism (which he also suspects).   So, E is being connected to a small backpack that will have electrodes connected to his head-- an EEG.  He needs to have it on for 24 hours (technically it will be less) so that they can see how his brain reacts to all sorts of stress, his "normal" day, and sleep.  His appointment is Monday morning at 9 am.  It will take about an hour to hook him up.  After that appointment, he has an appointment with the Geneticist at 10:30 am.  This was scheduled over 6 months ago to help us determine whether there is something genetically causing the signs and symptoms that we are seeing in Ephraim. 

After these appointments, we are hoping for an easy going day, but have no idea what we are really in for.  We fear E will have a hard time with the backpack and the gauze the want to put around his head and chin.  My MIL sent a bunch of new toys and Veggie movies to help keep him entertained though.  Hopefully they do the trick!  We need to keep him entertained enough to leave the wires alone-- which he loves.  Seriously, the child loves string, wires, lamp posts, signs, etc.  So, keeping him away from the wires could be hard, but we are hoping and praying for the best.

Tuesday morning, he has to go back in at 8 to be disconnected.  I am hoping that other than the follow up appointment, that we will be done with the neurologist.  As soon as I know more, I'll post.  As soon as we are back from the appointments, I'll update on whether we have hair still or not. ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oh, my teeth...

I wish we could afford to go to the dentist.  Our insurance doesn't cover it, and we don't make nearly enough money to cover it, so I haven't been to the dentist in over 12 years, except the one time when I was pregnant with Lorelai but it was just a basic cleaning.  I need to go so bad.  My teeth are horrible.  I can see cavities in most of them, two are broken, one has a hole going through the side of it, and eating and drinking are becoming unbearable.  I am in constant pain.  If anyone wants to help fund my dental bill, feel free to do so! ;)

Anyway, I suppose I should finish getting ready for our big weekend.  Ephraim's 24 hour EEG is Monday/Tuesday, so we are spending Sunday and Monday night in Portland.  I've already packed a large utility tote full of toys for E (and a few for L).  Now I am working on putting together snacks.  We are going to try our best to only eat out once.  But, with no fridge, we are going to have to rely on a lot of snack type things.  I've no idea what to bring though.  I'm thinking crackers, chips, fruit, maybe PB and J (even though Bretton doesn't like that) and possibly making some cookies and pumpkin muffins. 

So, off I go... wonder how much I'll actually do...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Purging is bitter-sweet

So, the last few days have been spent doing normal mommy things, like feeding, changing, playing with babies, and so on.  But Eric and I also have spent the last few days trying to get things done around here.  We want to get rid of some stuff, since we have tons and don't use it nearly that often, if at all.  It will also help us when it comes time to move again.  So, we started with the living room.  There is a couch we have that we hardly use at all, so we decided to move it out of the living room and store it in the kitchen (there is space!) until we move and know if we will have a place for a game room.  If we do, it will go in the game room, if we don't it will be junked.

After moving the couch, we decided to do a bit of rearranging.  I am home with the youngest 2 a lot with no one else to help, so we decided to put Ephraim's bedroom into the corner of the living room that he was already using as his toy/play area.  So, the treadmill went in place of the couch, and his twin bed is in front of that with his toy boxes, book shelf, and TV.  It seems weird in a way-- to have a bedroom in the living room, but it isn't bad at all and helps me tremendously!  Now I don't have to go check on him every two minutes to find out what he is into, which is usually Bretton's belongings.  I don't have to worry about him playing in the window, falling off Bretton's bed, trashing the bedroom, etc.  He doesn't seem to mind too much, though he has tried to go to Bretton's room a few times and looks around with an inquisitive look!

Once Ephraim's room and the living room were in order, I needed to tackle Bretton's room.  I don't normally clean B's room as I feel that at 13 years old he should be doing it on his own.  But, he hasn't been home for a few weeks, I wanted to give it a good cleaning and make sure things were actually thrown out, etc.  I am so glad I did!  Let's just say we are going to be coming up with a new chore chart that is going to focus on his room and many aspects of cleaning it!  But, after about 2 hours in there, we got it cleaned, his bed made up, clothes organized (at least E's-- as his stuff will still be in there), movies organized, and his game table put in.  We are hoping he is happy with the changes, but we will see! 

Now, we need to still do the kitchen, the bathroom, our bedroom, and the attic.  I wanted to get to the kitchen today while Eric is at work, but I just don't see it happening.  Every time I go out there Ephraim wants me.  So, I think I will do some of it tonight after Eric gets home.  I hate cleaning, but am really looking forward to having it done and seeing the progress/difference.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just another day

Today was sort of hectic and long.  We had to leave the house shortly after 9am to head to Farmington to grab some groceries for Bretton.  Then, we headed to Livermore Falls for appointments for Bretton and I.  I haven't seen Bretton for over a week, so it was great to see him!  :)  He even asked for me to come into his appointment with him so we could talk. 

After his appointment, he left to go back to Steve and Tracy's until Thursday.  After my appointment it was already 1pm!  We were starving, so we headed to Jay to grab McDonald's (I need to learn to pack lunches with us-- when we actually have food to pack), then headed to the bank, Irvings to drop off some stuff for a friend, and to Hannaford for a few groceries for us to get through until Wednesday when we will actually get everything we need.  (We didn't want to spend extra time out in town today-- it is a lot to handle with the kids.) 

We got home and Eric took Ephraim right outside to play.  The poor kid hasn't been out to play for a few days, between Eric's schedule, my headache (that still exits after 48 hours), and the weather.  He loves the outdoors.  I can't wait until Lorelai likes it as much (hopefully) and doesn't want me to hold her and be in her eye sight at all times!

Anyway, I'm not sure if I mentioned this yet, but I have resigned from my job.  It was such a hard decision-- and I am still second guessing myself.  But I know it will be best for the family to have me home full time.  I just hope we can make it work financially.  I'm considering making diaper cakes and diaper babies to sell to help bring in a bit extra money.  Anyone want to buy one? ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another week-- No weigh in

First, no, I did not weigh in yesterday as I should have.  Partly because I forgot, and partly because my week was so stressful that I decided to give the scale a break.  We haven't been grocery shopping for almost 2 weeks, so we are down to the nitty gritty, which isn't helpful to weigh loss either.

Tomorrow we will get groceries-- hopefully.  Then, next week I will weigh in again and make sure to be back on track.  I am hoping the stress of finances doesn't affect the weight though.  Not to mention the Depo.  It messed me up in the past (added 50 pounds) so I am hoping for a better experience this time. 

Well, I am off.  I feel awful-- major headache that won't go away.  I wish I could go to bed but Eric is working so I am in charge of children. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Late Post-- Weigh In

So, last week was crazy busy.  Ephraim had to go to Waterville for an EEG, which he didn't even sleep through as he should have (tech's fault).  Then he had to go to the neurologist in Scarborough.  I wish I had packed food to take with us, but I didn't.  We ended up eating out a few times and I missed a ton of snacks and didn't get all my water in.  So, I knew it would be a bad weigh in.  I just didn't realize how bad...

Weigh In (Saturday, 8/4): 284

Weight loss of:  ZERO.  Ended up with a 5 pound gain.  :\ 

But, that' OK.  I mean, it isn't OK-- but I am going to take care of it.  I am starting fresh and trying to remember to pack food for days we are gone for extended periods.  We also have a treadmill now so I am going to try to walk as much as I can physically handle.  Probably won't be a lot for awhile though as I am having a serious knee issue. 

I also have to try to not let the stress of finances and Ephraim's medical issues bother me too much, as I know stress isn't good for my health, weight loss, or family in general.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weigh In

So, it was another rough week, but better food wise.  Exercising is hard though with 2 little ones.  I so wish I had a treadmill. :\ 

Starting weight: 291 pounds

This week: 279 pounds.

Total loss to date: 12 pounds

Got to go for now but may add more later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I feel like...

I have no one. 

My life sucks, and no matter what I do I can't seem to make it better.  Our financial situation is at an all time low.  Eric can't seem to find more work-- though he has only applied to a hand full of places, which makes me feel like maybe he doesn't really want to work more hours.  This leaves me in a tough spot.  Do I go back to work, and be even more miserable yet be able to financially provide for my family, or do I stay home as planned, and be miserable with what little money we have-- barely being able to pay the bills?  If I do go back, Lorelai is going to have a very rough time, as she is refusing the bottle.  Eric probably won't handle it well, and Ephraim will get no one-on-one time because Lorelai will need so much attention.

Then, to add to that, I hate myself.  I have for years and years, but lately it is just getting worse and I can't seem to figure out how to love myself.  The one person who I want to help me doesn't seem to care.  They are much more involved with their own feelings and the worry of others thoughts and feelings.  That's fine.  They have the right to feel, think, say, and do as they please.  I feel as though it is only tearing us apart though.

Today is Ephraim's 2nd birthday, and I thought we would have a wonderful day all together, just enjoying him and celebrating his life.  But, today has been miserable-- mostly because of a certain person who can't get past a decision I have made for myself. 

I am seriously considering leaving.  Just packing up the essentials, taking the kids, and starting over somewhere else.  It isn't like anyone will miss me.  But, how can I leave when we are beyond broke?  We don't have enough for the few bills we have, there certainly isn't enough to move.  Which again, makes me miserable because I want out of here more than almost anything right now.  I would give almost anything to be out of Salem, and back in the Farmington area. 

If only someone cared.  Cared enough to not only be there, but to listen-- truly listen, validate my feelings (even if they don't agree), and help me with my broken heart and broken life.  I never in a million years thought I would despise my life as much as I do right now.  The only thing that is good, are my 3 children.  Even then, my worries and hate for life grow as I watch them grow up.  Knowing that they will have to deal with this awful world and people who don't care.  Knowing that I probably robbed Bretton of his biological father because I was young and stupid.  Knowing that Ephraim, while I love and adore him, is always going to be a handful that I can't deal with, not as a good mother should.  Knowing that Lorelai has a horrible woman as a "role model"-- Lord, please do not let her look up to me, but give her an amazing woman who can guide her into being a wonderful woman herself one day.  Give each of my children the role models they need in life to be the wonderful, strong individuals that you would have them become.

I am a horrible mother-- but despite that fact, I love my children with all my heart.  No one matters to me more than they do.  If only I could be a better person for them.  Why is it that no one likes me?  I always thought I was a nice, caring person, who was easy to get along with.  But, the older I get and the less friends I realize I have, the more I wonder what is wrong with me for people to hate me so much.  The more I realize no one cares, the more I hate myself.  An unending battle it seems.

There is so much else that I hate, but I don't have enough tears to keep going...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weigh In

After a crazy week, emotionally, physically, mentally-- I am not surprised by the scale this morning, though I am disappointed.  Disappointed in myself- the lack of confidence and self control.  But, there is always today.  Today I can start fresh, and for that I am grateful.  I am hoping for a better week this week.

So, as for my weigh in: 
                                    Last week: 291 pounds
                                    This week: 287 pounds

A weight loss total for the week of 4 pounds.  Not terrible, but not great.  I should have been able to take off a bigger number with the first week, but as I said, it was a tough week.  I certainly didn't eat well every day, especially since I almost gave up. 

I did however, meet my goal of working out at least 4 days, with 5 of the 7!  Yay for that!

This week's goals:  Work out 5 days and lose at least 4 more pounds.  Also, to not beat myself up over any "slip ups".  Beating myself up over them just makes me feel worse and it isn't worth it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another one grows!

This post will have a few different things in it, so it may bounce around a bit. ;)

Lorelai sure is growing like a weed!  She had her 4 month WCC today and weighed in at 16 pounds 1.5 ounces and is 26.5 inches long.  Doctor said she is growing great and can start solids!  She wants us to start with oatmeal or barely cereal-- no rice cereal though, as she says is is pure starch that isn't needed.  So, tomorrow she will get her first taste of oatmeal. 

It is crazy to think about how much she has grown and how she was born 4 months ago.  It really doesn't seem that long ago, yet it sometimes seems like she has been a part of the family forever.  I still wonder how I got a little girl and how I am going to manage her!  I never thought I would have a girl, and I always hear how hard they are to raise.  It worries me.  But, I also know that I will do the best that I can and that is all that I can do.  With Eric, I know I will get through it and I know we will raise our children to be fine young people.  I just hope that they can be proud of us as parents.

After her appointment, we did a few errands and looked at a few more houses.  Without getting into it right now, it is such a tedious, annoying, and very stressful process.  Eric and I never thought it would be this difficult to deal with, and feel like it really shouldn't be this hard.

I had a terrible day yesterday with food and exercise.  I wanted to give up and was so stressed out about it, among many other things going on in our lives.  But, after having a talk with my bestest girl, Bri, (yes I know bestest isn't a word) and having a chat with Eric, I feel better.  I know there will always be days that I want to give up.  There will always be days that I want to eat crazy junk and be lazy, but I also know that I can always start fresh and be proud of what I do accomplish, even if it is acknowledging a small step like eating a healthy meal and drinking water instead of soda or my big down fall, iced tea. 

I am pretty sure that with the junk I ate yesterday, there will be little to no weight loss this week, but that's OK.  I've started new, will keep plugging away, and will expect a loss next week if I don't have one on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Wow.  I've had such a horrible day today, and it isn't even over yet.  :\  I have eaten so much junk it isn't funny.  I feel like giving up on eating healthy and exercising.  What is the point?  I feel like no matter how hard I've worked in the past or how hard I work now, I will never be as thin and healthy as I want to be. 

I can't motivate myself, and feel like I have no one else to motivate me.  Eric says to do what I want, encourages me only when I tell him that is what I need, and keeps saying he loves me how I am.  You know what?  I'm glad he loves me for me, but I don't, and I would think he would want to help me to do whatever it takes to learn to love myself.  To become happy with who I am, what I look like, my life, etc. 

I've been so down with my life and myself.  I know a huge part of that is because of my weight.  But, I can't help myself when I have no one else who cares.

I give up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

First weigh-in

OK, we didn't have internet service Saturday so I couldn't post and I forgot until just now.  Anyway, I can't find my tape measure right now, but I did weigh-in.  Sadly, some of the weight I had lost after having Lorelai came back.  But, I am starting fresh and hoping for a good first week. 

So, my current weight (as of Saturday July 14th) is:   291     (many emotions go here)

This weeks goal:  to lose 5 pounds (should be easy with water weight) and exercise at least 4 days.

I will update next Saturday, if not before then.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Growing Up

What a day.  Since we now live in Salem, which is 40 minutes North of Farmington, it is a real pain to go get things done with children as it takes that much longer.  Today, Bretton had his 13 year WCC (Well Child Check) and I needed to get groceries for both home and for Bretton, who is going to a family member's home to do work for the week.   I left around 8:30 am and didn't get home until almost 1pm.  Eric then had to go to Farmington as he had to work. 

Bretton's WCC went well.  The doctor said he is healthy. :)  He is almost as tall as I am now.  It is so weird to think about how he once was small enough to fit inside me, inside my arms, in a crib, then into a toddler bed... and now-- well now he is a young man, growing rapidly and making me wonder where the last 13 years have gone!  He is so grown up and independent.  He goes off for weeks without me-- visiting people in different cities and even different states!  Soon, he will be traveling the world, supporting himself, and possibly even a family.  I am so excited to see where life takes him, but I am so scared too.  I wish I could stop time and enjoy these moments with him as my "little boy", forever. 

Well, onto a new subject.  Food.  Grocery shopping today was interesting.  I didn't get everything that was on my list.  Partly because the store rearranged everything and I was having a hard time finding things, and partly because I didn't have time to mess around with it since I shopped before Bretton's appointment.  I did well though.  I stayed on my list except for a Coke, a Mt Dew, and donuts.  I shouldn't have gotten them, but Bretton and I were hungry and wanted something quick and easy and we figured it would be our last time for awhile.  (Not sure how long we will make it but going to try for at least 10 days without any sugar or processed foods then go from there.)

So, for groceries, I got 99% lean ground turkey breast, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, some rice crackers (that follow the guidelines of, and cheese its and yogurt covered raisins for Ephraim.  That's it.  I am going to try to make some wraps, pitas, and/or bread this weekend, depending on the weather (it may be too hot to run the oven).

At dinner time, I looked around and wasn't sure what to make or what I wanted.  I decided to go with a whole wheat pita (already had on hand, and we decided not to "waste" the food that already have), with turkey breast, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mustard.  After one bite I was in heaven.  I forgot how good "real" food really is!  I'm hoping I can keep up the same thought a few days from now though when I want to give in to cravings for sugar!

I think I will weigh in tomorrow and if I can find my tape measure I will measure inches as well.  I'm not looking forward to what either has to say, but I know I have to know, and will be able to look back one day and see progress that I can be proud of.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Insert title here...

First, let me apologize up front for any errors.  I am nursing Lorelai right now and it can be hard to do and type at the same time. 

I have been so busy with life and the stress of it that I haven't had much of a chance to write.  I know I always say I am going to try harder, but never end up being able to keep up on it.  So, I am going to do my best to not promise to do better since I have no idea how to go about doing so.  Ha.  I do want to integrate a new theme, if you will, into my blog though.  Besides talking about my every day life, I want to focus more on being a parent-- my children, my views, etc.  I also want to focus on a new journey.  I need to lose weight and I need to get my family in a better and healthier lifestyle.  So, I am going to try to blog about my progress, steps we are making, new recipes we are trying, etc.  I will post my weight and inches lost each week (as I remember to do so) and my goals as time goes on.

My first goal is to use this week to go through my cabinets to see what we have on hand for food, make menus using what we have on hand, and grocery shopping accordingly.  I want to try to use up the foods that we have on hand before we do a complete overhaul of our diets.  Ephraim doesn't eat meat, Bretton isn't a huge vegatable fan, Eric eats a lot of pasta and carbs, and I eat whatever is easiest with 2 young children-- including but not limited to, a lot of cereal, ramen, and chocolate.  (Honestly, I was never a huge junk food eater until recently.  I'm not sure if it is related to the depo shot, but I think it is, and will be discussing it with my doctor soon!)

Eric and I plan to go with "real" food, as often as possible.  I have a lot of recipes in mind, and have done a lot of reading up on "real" food.  My favorite place right now regarding this is -- check it out!

So, as I go through the kitchen cabinets this week I will do my best to update where I am at, and this weekend will be my first weigh in.  I am honestly scared and ashamed to put it out there, but I am hoping it will help keep me more accountable.  I don't have many followers, if any, but just writing it out, knowing someone might read it, is motivation enough-- I hope!  If you are reading and don't mind, please leave me comments once in awhile, just so I know I have (a) reader(s) and support.  :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am soooo stressed, saddened, upset, angry, irritated, etc.  I feel horrible for feeling all these negative things.  I know it isn't Lorelai's fault, but she is driving me mad.  I can't put her down without her crying.  Half the time that she spends in our arms, she is still fussing.  She wakes up in the morning and spends at least an hour crying despite our best efforts.  Then, she calms down but fights sleep.  Once she falls asleep, we try to put her down, and most of the time she wakes right up and starts crying again.  We've tried putting her down before she is asleep to let her put herself to sleep, but that only works part of the time and I feel bad because I've always been told that at this age you shouldn't let them cry for too long because crying means they need something and to leave them to cry would be saying that they can't trust us to help them feel secure.  *sigh*

Then, evening comes around, and she cries and cries.  She isn't as bad as Ephraim was, thankfully.  But, it still isn't easy.  I feel bad for Eric too, as he was really hoping to experience a fairly "easy" baby after everything we have gone through with Ephraim.  He always reminds me that I had it easy with Bretton and that he should be able to experience that as well.  (Bretton was the easiest baby.  Calm, quiet, slept well, independent, fast learner, etc.)

I feel like a horrible mother because 1, I can't get her to calm down despite my best efforts, and 2, because i am so irritated and upset with the colic.  I keep trying to tell myself that it is from her not feeling well, but I know in my heart that it is more than a cold-- that colic has taken her like it did Ephraim.  Honestly, it makes me want to scream and cry.  I feel like I must have done something to make my children have colic, to be cranky, irritable, and have delays.  What did I do???  If only I could go back and change things.  I'd do anything to make my children not have colic, be sick, have developmental delays, and so on.  I am so angry at myself as I can't even think of what I must have done to have this happen to me twice, but it is obvious that something had to have occurred. 

I love my children so much, but I can't handle the inconsolable crying.  It both hurts my heart and drives me insane.

Sickness Sucks

Seriously, I know everyone knows how much being sick can suck, but this is ridiculous! Four out of 5 of us have had this cold virus for 3 or more weeks now.  The babies are miserable half the time and I'm only getting worse.  Eric listened to my lungs and checked my ears as they both hurt, but he said they look and sound alright.  I'm not sleeping well between middle of the night feedings, not being able to breathe, and coughing fits that have me vomiting.  I'm not sure how much longer I can take this.  If I'm not getting better in a day or two I'm going to the doctor and requesting some form of relief!

Anyway, I just needed to complain about it for a minute.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Um-- I seriously lost my marbles

Yep, I knew I was forgetful, but how does one forget to finish writing the birth story for one of their children?!  I started Ephraim's, apparently, but never finished it?!?  Well, it looks like I have something to work on during the moments I'm bored!

Besides that, my postpartum depression has fully kicked in and I am having a hard time adjusting and trying to remind myself that life *is* good.  I've been feeling like I'm not meant to be a parent, which is why I never really wanted to be one when I was younger.  But, I'm trying to remind myself that God knew the path my life would take and could have changed it if He wanted.  So, maybe I was meant to be a mother-- I just don't feel it/see it right now.  :(

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome to the World!

** Exhaustion may be blamed for typos, grammatical errors, confusion,  and the like. **

Well, I can officially change the title of my blog, again.  It can now say Mother of Three!  (Quite honestly though, I see myself as the mother of 4, because even though I lost one during pregnancy, doesn't mean that child wasn't a child or mine.)

So, as for the "story" of my newest addition's birth.   There may be TMI in this for some people, so if you can't handle it, please don't read!!

It basically started Saturday March 10th.  I felt like I was peeing myself, even though I had just gone to the bathroom.  So, I got up and went again, making sure my bladder was as empty as I could get it.  About 10 minutes later, I felt some more trickling.  Again, I headed to the bathroom and tried to empty my bladder, but at this point, there was nothing to empty.  My bladder was about as dry as it was going to be.  I figured I was good to go, when about 5 minutes or so go by and I again felt something warm and wet.  Seriously?  I couldn't be leaking urine at this point, could I?  I decided to give it a good 45 minutes to an hour to see what would happen.   When that time frame went by and I was still leaking, I called Eric (he was at work) and the hospital.  I made sure Bretton was OK with Ephraim for awhile and headed to get Eric.  After 3 hours at the hospital and 2 amniotic fluid tests, they decided I wasn't leaking fluid, just peeing myself.  Yet, even after those 3 hours, fluid was still coming out and I had again emptied my bladder.  Eric and I couldn't believe it, and to this day we still believe that the test was wrong, as I went home and continued to leak for another 24+ hours before being admitted to the hospital in labor.

So, Sunday, March 11th, Eric insisted I was going to have the baby that day.  But, he had said this for many days before and it didn't happen, so I wasn't holding my breath.  Of course, by "our" due date, I was now 4 days over due and by the doctor's due date I still had one week to go.  I was still leaking some form of fluid and having irregular contractions.  The contractions didn't make me think anything though, as I had them for weeks, at least.

We decided to go to Chris and Bri's store that day for lunch and to hang out with them.  We sat and played cards for quite some time in the afternoon and Bri started timing my contractions.  They were still irregular, though not as bad, and certainly getting more "painful".  Yet, I still didn't believe it was the beginning of labor as I had gone through this before, with both this one and Ephraim.  (Bretton was a totally different experience.)

That afternoon we decided to go home instead of staying to hang out as I was just feeling like I needed to be home and resting.  I'm glad we did.  We went to Hannaford to pick up a few needed items and walking around made my contractions stronger.  We came home and put the last minute things away, packed, etc.  During dinner Eric and I talked and decided that since I had been having contractions for an hour that were 5-6 minutes apart, it was time to at least go be checked.  I called Nancy and asked for her to come stay with the boys, as it might "be time".  I called the hospital to let them know I needed to be checked.  As soon as Nancy got here, we headed over.

Dr. Aumand was on call.  I was checked and she was called to see what she thought.  She decided to come in and see me.  When she checked me, she said I was 4cm, could easily be stretched to 5, and 50% effaced.  Since I had been there the day before and was 2-3cm and 25% effaced, she said it was enough progress to keep me.  She asked about my birth plan and how I felt about having my water broken.  I didn't like the idea, but said that if I didn't progress on my own that I would consider it.  She suggested that I get up and walk, and so for the next 1.5 hours, that is what Eric and I did.  Along with Bri, who Eric called soon after I was told I was staying, so she could head over.

After the 1.5 hour walk around the unit, Dr. Aumand wanted to check me again.  When she did, she said I hadn't progressed and asked if I wanted my water broken.  She then got called out of the room and told me to think on it.  When she came back she asked if I had thought about it, and I agreed to go ahead with it.  Deep down, I was scared and nervous-- not really wanting to let her break my water.  I also didn't want to stop progressing either.  My first thought was about the possibility of intense contractions and I wasn't sure if I was prepared.  I highly considered, for a brief moment, asking for Nubain right then.  I decided against it as I really wanted to do it drug free. 

As soon as the doctor was done breaking my water and I was monitored for a few minutes, I headed to the bathroom.  Walking through the contraction was nearly impossible, but I made it.  It hadn't even been 10 minutes since my water was broken, and I was already having intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart.  In between each contraction I tried to find a comfortable position, sitting, kneeling on the floor, leaning over things, and finally I decided if I was going to be uncomfortable, I may as well be uncomfortable while laying down.  I laid on the bed on my left side.  Pretty much as soon as I laid on the bed I knew I was in transition.  I could no longer breathe my way through the contractions and there was literally NO time in between for me to breathe or think.  I think was in more pain at this point than with my back labor with Ephraim.  I thought I was going to die, and at the time, I probably was wishing I had!  I needed someone to breathe in my face so I could imitate them-- I couldn't remember how to do it!  I was squeezing the hands of Bri and Eric as I screamed through each contraction.  Breathing now seemed impossible and I gave up on trying.  I needed to be done.  I couldn't handle it anymore.  I even said that out loud, to which Eric later asked me what I really meant by that.  To be honest, I meant what I said.  Even though I knew I could continue-- that I had to-- I couldn't physically handle it anymore.

I said I needed to push.  The doctor came in and checked me and said I was 8cm and 80% effaced.  I requested Nubain, as I felt I couldn't handle any more pain, and thought it would still be awhile before I was done.  So, the nurse went to get some.  They tried to put the IV in, but it blew my vein and by then it was too late.  I kept saying I felt like I needed to poop, and the nurse kept telling me it was just the baby's head coming down.  "Seriously?!  No, I have to poop!"  In reality, she was right, but it didn't feel like that.  I had given birth twice before and never did I feel so much pressure in the rectum, with hardly any in the vagina.  Within moments of my last check I was pushing.  I told whoever would listen and they kept saying not to push because I wasn't ready.  Um, I can't stop it!  I'm trying not to, but the pushing is happening anyway!  Dr. Aumand told me to lay on my back so she could check me again, and she didn't even need to-- baby's head was right there.  It was time!

The next four minutes are blurry.  (Yes, you read that right, four minutes-- that's how long it took for pushing!)  I remember not being able to feel any downward movement of the baby as I pushed.  I remember being told to hold my legs but couldn't.  I remember grabbing Eric, the doctor telling me to push harder, me telling her I was, and then I remember the nurse jumping on the bed and pushing on my stomach.  I knew as she got on the bed that something was "wrong".   I never really felt the nurse on me though.  The pressure from the baby was enough pain that I don't think anything else would have phased me a bit!  However, I did feel the lasting effects from the nurse pushing on me about 3 days later, when my body, especially my mid section, felt like I had been hit by a train.  The pain was incredible and it took me a good week to feel like I could bend, sit, stand, lay down, or even breath normally!  All of this, because my baby had shoulder dystocia.  For those that don't know, dystocia is a term used when something during labor and delivery "goes wrong".  In my case, the baby's shoulder was stuck in my pelvic so bad, that it took me pushing, the doctor pulling and tugging baby to the side, and a nurse on my stomach to get baby out.  Dystocia can lead (but doesn't always) to other complications, in the baby or in the mother's future deliveries.  (I will give some info about what it did to my baby at the end of this birth story.)

As soon as the baby was out, Eric and I were both looking to see what the sex was, but we couldn't see past the umbilical cord!  Dr. Aumand was awesome and didn't say, she just moved the cord and asked Eric what it was.  A girl!  Eric got to cut the cord and our daughter was placed on me.  I so wanted this experience with the boys, but for various reasons, wasn't able to have them placed on me right away, so this was truly a "treat"!  After a few moments, the nurses took her away to be cleaned up and Eric went over with her.  I started asking the doctor questions about the placenta and if I tore.  I think I was probably annoying her, but I really wanted to know and I was really hurting!  I swear, while she was waiting to deliver the placenta, she was tugging at the cord and pulling downward on it, making me feel like I was being torn again, and again.

After what felt like forever and a day, the placenta was finally out and Dr. Aumand finally answered my question regarding whether I tore or not.  The answer was beyond satisfying to me, and very surprising.  I had a first degree tear, but needed no stitches!  This was huge to me, as I had a 3rd degree tear with Bretton that took over 12 weeks to heal properly, and a 2nd degree tear with Ephraim that also included spiral lacerations all the way through the vagina.  I was boggled that I had a baby that was in between, size wise, of both boys, who had shoulder dystocia, and was actually forced out by more than one person, and still ended with such a small tear.  I was walking around with little to no pain within 24 hours!

The rest is pretty normal stuff.  Our new daughter was cleaned up, weighed, and checked thoroughly.  I was offered a room in pediatrics (with two beds so Eric could have one) or to stay in the room I was in.  We chose to go to pediatrics across the hall-- same unit basically.)  We went over as soon as I was cleaned up enough to walk over.  Bri said goodbye and headed home (loved having her there, though I don't remember much about her whereabouts during transition and delivery...) and Eric grabbed all of our stuff and brought it over to our new room.  Soon after settling in, I remember asking if I could go home ASAP.  I already missed Bretton and Ephraim and felt well enough to leave!  Eric went to bed soon after and I spent most of the night awake, admiring my daughter, who we named Lorelai Ruth Winchester.  She was born at 12:24am on March 12, 2012.  She weighed 8 pounds 10.5 ounces, was 21.5 inches long, and has a head circumference of 14.25. 

Lorelai (pronounced Lor-lie), was assessed many times during our brief stay in the hospital (less than 33 hours after her birth).  Her left shoulder was immobile.  The pediatrician explained that it could get better in time, or could have permanent nerve damage.  She set up an appointment for us to see her when Lorelai was a week old to have it assessed again and to determine whether we  should see a neurologist about it.  She told us to watch for movement and to support the arm as much as possible.   Eric and I were worried, but kept open minds and hearts.   We hoped and prayed for improvement and about a week or so later, she was using it!  We still watch it, as she tends to baby it a bit, and it dangles to the side a lot still, but improvements of any form are good signs and news!!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Wednesday was our "38 week appointment", though by our calculations, it should have been our 40 week one.  I had the midwife check me, and I am 3 cm dilated with a very soft cervix.  I asked for a fetal weight as I fear a large baby.  Not fear as in afraid to have one-- just that I think this baby is larger than my other two and I want to be prepared for the possibility, considering with Ephraim they wanted to do a c-section if he was bigger than 9.5 pounds, as I had a difficult time with Bretton who was 9.  So, the next day we went for a fetal weight.  The baby is measuring at about 41 weeks (when doctor says we were actually at 38w4d).  Baby's weight was 8 pounds 11 ounces.  Boy, do I hope that is a high estimate and not a low one!

Again, the baby wouldn't show us a profile!  :(  Stubborn kid we have on our hands, apparently!  But that is alright-- soon enough we can admire it all we want!  I hope that day is sooner rather than later.  :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Whoa-- I'm bad at this...

I know you already know it, but I am seriously horrible at this blogging thing!  I swear I have every intention to update it on at least a weekly basis, but when I think of it I am too tired, or don't have two free hands because Ephraim insists that my arms belong to him. 

Anyway, this is just a quick update.  I am due to have my baby in 17 days, but of course s/he will come in their own time.  I am excited and nervous.  I am scared and worried about how Ephraim is going to handle a few days without me and the thought of it makes me cry.  Mostly because he isn't an easy child and doesn't take well to other people-- even people he knows.  Eric and I have discussed it with Bretton, and he knows that as hard as it will be, he will be "in charge" of Ephraim even with an adult to help.  We feel bad to place such a huge burden on Bretton, but when your child doesn't handle different situations or people very well, you do what you have to do.  Eric and I have talked a lot about it and we decided that on top of the "big brother" gift that the baby gives Bretton (something we had done when we had Ephraim, and will now do for both boys when we have this one), we are going to do something a bit bigger for him.  We aren't sure yet, but I am thinking maybe a large gift card to Walmart so he can buy X-Box games or points, or whatever he wants. 

I am hoping for a weekend baby, so that there are people who can help.  I am also hoping for a daytime labor, so that if Bretton ends up alone with Ephraim, I won't worry too much about them.  I just don't want them home alone at night.  Eric is hoping for a daytime labor, because they say that night born babies mix up their days and nights more than day born babies.  I don't know if that is proven or not, but I'll go with it. 

Anyway, the baby is doing well, moving around, hurting me.  Haha.  The pregnancy has been tough the past few weeks though and I have finished work earlier than I planned.  I'm having a hard time moving and lower back pain is increasing.  I found out I am more anemic than I thought and need to take iron, which makes me ill.  :( 

All in all, this baby can come just about any time.  I think we are all fairly ready, other than the few odds and ends that need to be done around the house.  ;)