Saturday, July 31, 2010

Earache Cures and Vacation

Avery (age 9) has been swimming a lot lately.  Both her best friends have pools, and we visit our community pools all the time, too.  So she's been in the water quite a bit this summer. And the other day, she came to me complaining that her ear hurt. I didn't think too much of it at the time, and since she didn't complain about it again that day, I kind of forgot about it.  (you know how it is...you get busy with all the other children, and let's face it -- the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and Avery wasn't squeaking much.)  So the next day, she came to me again about her ear...but this time in obvious pain. It hurt just when I touched the outside of her ear. She was in tears.  She got my attention. 

Now, in our family, we don't visit the doctor's office much at all.  My kids are really never that sick.  Just the occassional stuffy nose, maybe a cough, or even a 24 hour flu is all that we see around here.  We are pretty  much a healthy bunch.  But I have had an earache before, and I know how painful they can be.  I sure didn't want Avery's to get to the point where she was in that much pain, but yet I knew if I took her in to see the doctor, he would more than likely give her an antibiotic to clear it up.  And I do my best to steer clear of antibiotics. 

Since I was pretty sure what she had was "swimmer's ear",  I chose to treat it myself.  With breastmilk.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Breastmilk.  Oh, that stuff works wonders, let me tell you.  Not only does it nourish our babies, but it can be used to aide in the healing of many things.  I have put a few drops of breastmilk in my children's eyes when they had eye infections.  Clears it right up in a day.  I have put a few drops on cuts to ward off infection.  Works like a charm.  But I had yet to use if for an ear infection.   This was new to me, so I wasn't too sure if it would work.  I gave myself ONE day for her to feel an improvement.  If she didn't feel significantly better in one day after treating her with my special sauce, then I told myself I'd take her to the doctor's office.  We were scheduled to be in Palm Springs in just 3 days, and I didn't want her ear to be hurting while we were on vacation. 

Now, the thing with Avery is this:  she is extremely stubborn.  If she knew that what I was putting into her ear was breastmilk, she would FREAK OUT and refuse to let me do it.  So...I had to fib a little bit.    Hey, I'm not one to advocate lying to your kids, but sometimes you just have to.  When she asked what it was that I was putting into her ear, I told her, "It's medicine."  I'm wondering, though...is that a lie?  If I'm using breastmilk as a medicine, then is that really too far from the truth?  Then she asked me, "Where did you get it?"  and I simply said, "Oh...I already had it."   Again, technically not a lie, right?  She didn't ask anymore questions after that, thank goodness.

Here is what I did:  every 4 hours I dropped a few drops into her ear and made her lie on her side, ear facing up, for about 5 minutes so that it would get in there really good.  Then after 5 minutes, I would tell her to turn over to her other side to let it drain out.  That way, it wouldn't pool too long in her ear...but yet it would be in there long enough to let the white blood cells in the breastmilk do their job.  We did this about 5 times that day, and then one final time right before she went to bed.

The next morning she came running into my room and was very excited to tell me that her ear felt completely fine.  It didn't hurt inside, and it didn't hurt to press on it, either.  She was 100% better.  So that day, we just did it a few more times for good measure.  And that was that.

If you Google "breastmilk cures" you will learn of the many ways that breastmilk can be used. It's wonderful stuff!  And if you're wondering where I got the breastmilk...well, Aria still nurses at night to fall asleep.  Yes, I'm one of those  mothers who does the extended nursing-thing.

Here are some photos of our Palm Springs vacation.  It was 110 degrees there!  We had a great time, as always.  Our best friends, the Eisenhuts,  go with us each year.  We have all been doing this trip together since 2001.


We do this photo shot ever year, sitting on the same wall.  This is age order with our kids and their kids.  Can you pick out  our  kids in this photo?



And here is Avery, all smiles now that her ear is better!


Aria kept kicking away from me, so finally I just let her go.  I'm telling you the truth when I say that my little just-turned-two year old swam back and forth to us all day long.  Look at her go!



Afton with Aria.



Me and Kath



Here's a silly group shot of all of us.   In this photo:  All of my family, plus Mark and Katherine Eisenhut and their kids; Holly, Brennen, Katelyn and Michaela.  We make quite a group, huh?!



And here is what a hotel room full of kids looks like.  Yes, this is our reality.



We try to rest, when we can.



We always go to the same hotel each year because  they have a sand beach that leads right into the pool.  Our kids love to play and dig in the sand.  I think Mark enjoys it as much as the kids do.



And here is this summer's group shot of our kids taken in age order, as always.  It's so neat seeing how each of them has grown from year to year, or to see what new one is added to the end of the row! For the past 3 summers Aria has been at the end of the row.  I wonder if there will be another sitting next to Aria one day?  Who knows!  

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just One More....

Her birthday party was yesterday, but today is her REAL birthday....so I saved a piece of cake for her to enjoy today!  Just one more.   And I saved one present for her to open today, too!  Just one more.  Because, you know, you only turn two once.  Well, in her case, twice!  I hope she doesn't wake up tomorrow and expect it to be her birthday again.

Oh wow...such a big box.  I wonder what's inside?

At first she tried to be careful not to rip the paper.   I suppose that was because Mommy was saying, "Oh...such pretty paper...don't rip it so that we can use it again."  (I think I'm slowly becoming my grandmother.  She always saved wrapping paper and I used to make fun of her for that.  Now look at me...telling a two year old to be careful not to rip the wrapping paper.  So pathetic.)  After a minute or so Aria just gave up and started ripping it apart.  That's the way a present should be opened up, afterall.

What's this?  A new dress!!!



Oh, so pretty! I love the colors!


This will look great on me, don't you think?



What's this?  There's more??!!!




So many new clothes!  I love it!


Oh...and I almost forgot the card!

Thank you, MiMi!

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Two-Year-Old!!!

People call it the "Terrible Two's"  but I disagree. 
I think this age is wonderful. 



Lots of presents today....




But her favorite?
Definitely the Playhouse!

It was so much fun giving this Playhouse to Aria!  She was SO excited!
There is a playhouse at our church that she plays in all the time.
I knew she would love one of her own.


Here is Aria singing happy birthday to herself.
I love this video!

video

(be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this page to pause the blog's music)


 

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dancing in the Rain

It's been six weeks now since the miscarriage.  Sometimes I  feel like it was sooooo long ago, but six weeks really isn't that long.  I guess I've surprised myself by how well I am feeling these past couple weeks.  I didn't expect this.  In the first few days and weeks I just *knew*  I'd never be fully happy again.  I thought I'd have a cloud over my days forever, that I'd feel this loss so deeply that it would always effect my ability to be happy.  But it's not like that at all.  I've been feeling really, really good.

Physically I have been exercising a lot, which feels great.  This week I am doing a detox for the first time, and I will admit the first 3 days of it was not so fun. I felt tired and a bit achey, and had a slight headache (which I knew could happen when the toxins are leaving your body)  but now after day 4 and 5  (of a 7 day detox)  I am feeling much better.  Much better!  I am sleeping so soundly.  I wake up with a lot of energy.  And all day I just feel good.  It's been wonderful.

Emotionally I am doing great, too.  I finally have peace in my heart.  Sure, there are times when I think about the baby we lost, and it makes me sad.  But that's O.K.  I've found that you can be sad about something, yet still have peace about it.  

I am at peace about what happened for a few reasons.   First, I've come to accept that losing this baby was completely out of my control. I kept myself healthy - ate the right things, did the right things - just like I did with all my other pregnancies.  There was nothing more I could have been doing. Second, I believe God has his reasons.  I trust Him with all my heart. He knows I love and cherish all of my children, and he wouldn't just give me a child and take it away if it wasn't for a reason.  I may not see that reason right now, and I may not understand the "why" in all of it, but that's not for me to worry about. 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Another thing that brings me peace is that I know that I am the mommy to ten children;   nine are here with me on earth, and one is in Heaven.  Each one of them has a soul.    And all those little souls are connected to me, their mother, and that connection is so strong that even death cannot break it.   I will see that little one in Heaven one day. I feel that connection very strongly.  And that is a very comforting, peaceful feeling.

What is hard now is that I am running into people that I don't see or talk to regularly, and the last time they heard from me I was expecting the baby.  Ugh! So then I get the comments like, "Wow...you're so tiny!  You aren't showing much.  How far along are you now?"   or  "You are looking great!  How are you feeling?"   or   "So...how's the pregnancy going?"    So these are awkward moments to get through,  much more for the person than for me.  I just take a deep breath and say, "Well, I'm not pregnant.  We lost the baby at 11 weeks."  and then I wait for the shocked look, the gasp with the hand covering the mouth expression, and then the "Oh...I didn't know. I'm so sorry..."  typically follows, and then I smile and say, "Thank you".  It's just one of those moments, you know.  Awkward, but yet unavoidable.    I just wish there was a news flash or something and everyone could just find out at one time and save me from having to say it over and over again. 

But anyhoo....this post is just a quick update to let everyone (who was wondering) know that I have been really, really happy lately and in good spirits. I only have moments of sadness here and there, which I think is normal and healthy. I am enjoying my kids and having so much fun with them these past few weeks.  I just love being a mommy.  It's the BEST job on earth!  I feel so incredibly blessed with all my experiences, the happy ones along with the sad ones. I know they are all a part of me and make me who I am.  Although grief isn't fun,  it is still a part of life.  Afterall, if we don't experience grief, then how will we truly know joy?  We need to do our best to enjoy life to the fullest, even when we have sadness in our hearts.  There is a quote that I love, and I'll end my post with it because it just sums it all up so perfectly....

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about dancing in the rain."

Have a great weekend, friends...and if it's raining where you are in your life right now, be sure to take some time out to dance!  There's always something worth dancing to. 

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Beach Bums

What's better than a sand-covered baby?

Or a seven-year-old catching his first wave?



or digging for sand crabs....


or getting buried in sand?


What's better than a day at the beach with your family -- 
watching your kids enjoy the sand, the water, and each other?




 For me...it doesn't get much better than this!

Aria loved getting buried in the sand by her big brother Alex.
Check it out!
video
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