Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our singing girl

Conversation on Repeat

Yeah... About that Quiche

I was just about to sit down and write a blog post about the spinach quiche I made a few weeks ago and I got that sinking feeling you get when remembering something bad. I was reminded that we aren't perfect as parents... we make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. It's just unfortunate when our kids are in the midst of that process.

Jeremy and I have each gotten the first taste of the guilt and turmoil that comes when you feel responsible for your child getting injured...

Jeremy has felt that with Harper; and me with Bentley.

The Stories:
  • Jeremy was playing with Harper just before getting ready for bed... He was swinging her around by her hands, as he has countless times before, when he heard and felt a pop in her wrist. He stopped immediately and waited for her to react. He heard an "ouch, ouch" and watch as she held her arm... we put it on ice immediately, thinking it looked a tiny bit swollen, not knowing what was wrong with it. After we tried everything we could to see if she could use her arm, we knew a trip to the ER or urgent care was necessary. It turned out that she had what is called "nurse-maids elbow" (in Dr. terms: subluxation of the radial head) or in layman terms... she dislocated her elbow. Thankfully the Dr. at urgent care took a look at it and had it back in place in a matter of minutes. Immediately after, the nurse told Jeremy to hold down her good arm and handed Harper a sticker... enthusiastically Harper grabbed the sticker with her "bad" arm and even coaxed the nurse into giving her a few extra! She still talks about how she hurt her elbow and how the Dr. fixed it. We now opt for other ways to have fun with her rather than swinging her by her arms, as they told us she is more likely now to do that again.
(Harper playing dress up, after her arm was fixed)
  • Bentley's injury was just as innocent with it's occurrence, but with less of a quick fix. First, I must explain that it was the "witching hour"... you know, that time of day where the kids are getting cranky and tired just as you are trying desperately to get dinner made. Yeah... Jeremy was on his way home from Seattle and I was rushing about to get the quiche into the oven. I often carry Bentley around on my back in our Ergo carrier, but on this day I had forgotten it in the car Jeremy drove to Seattle in... so the front pack is where Bentley went. In a rush, I went to put the quiche in the oven and as I did, I heard Bentley start to cry... Yes, he grabbed the oven door with his fingers!!! Thank God Jeremy walked in the door RIGHT then because the rest of the evening was a total cluster. We immediately immersed his fingers into a bowl of cold water, and there he stayed with his hand in the water for over an hour. He had a difficult time going to bed that night (as you can imagine), but when he did he ended up sleeping through the night (to our surprise!). I was laden with guilt for rushing around so much and not anticipating the danger of cooking with him in the front pack. We took him into our pediatrician the next morning as the burns were "second degree" since he had developed blisters on three of his fingertips! Our little man was SO tough that the next day, he acted as if nothing had happened to him.
(Me and my little man cooking, just before his injury... (sigh)...Sad)

Jeremy and I have recently noted to each other that you never know what lies ahead of you... both of those evenings, Jeremy and I had looked forward to "date nights" at home, since Jeremy's been traveling so much. We make OUR plans, but sometimes those just don't come to light.

Oh the roller coaster and heart aches we will continue to experience as parents!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little Miss Chatty

I wanted to record some of the things Harper is saying these days. If I don't, I know I'll forget them! In general, Harper has been talking a lot since we moved up to Oregon in August... we attribute much of her quick language development to her living with her 3-year-old cousin Claire for 5 months (Claire is little miss chatty #1)! But she has been talking up a STORM as of late... it feels like each week she takes leaps and bounds! I just want to highlight a few phrases and conversations from the past months...
One day Harper was eating her breakfast, when she indicated to me that she was afraid of the ceiling fan in the family room.
Harper: "I scared! I scared!"
(I tried to reassure her that it was ok and that I wouldn't turn the ceiling fan on.)
H: "I scared! I scared!" (whimpering then began...)
Me: "Harper, you don't need to be scared. Mama is here with you. Dada is here with you. And most important, Jesus is here with you."
H: "Where Jesus?!?"
Me: "Jesus is in our hearts." (I point to my heart and hers)
H: "I can't see him! Where Jesus?" (she sounds frustrated)
Me: "You're right, we can't see Him... but He is with us and in our hearts. Remember? We talk to Him when we pray..."
H: (she begins to sing) "Jesus love me this I know..."
I don't know if I can quite explain how my heart melted to see her try to understand and receive this concept... Now anytime she is scared, she points to her heart and says, "you can't see Him".
Our dear friends, the Rush family, came and had dinner with us a handful of weeks ago. As they are so thoughtful, they brought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Well, they made their way deep into the heart of our little lady - because she LOVES flowers... of ALL kinds! The flowers sat on our nook table and lasted days and days. Every time we sat down to eat, Harper would ask, "who pick out flowers?" Then the conversation would continue:
Me: "Remember? Cheyenne..."
H: (gasp) "Cheyenne!"
Me: "Avery..."
H: (gasp) "Avery!"
Me: "and Travis."
H: (gasp) "Travis!"
I think we had this exact conversation at least 20 times - kind of felt like ground hog's day ;)
(Video posted separately)
We are beginning to see that Harper is (sigh of acceptance) A LOT like me... Which is a great thing! She is vibrant, full of life and absolutely sparkles... when she's happy, that is. The only challenges that holds is that she comes with natural sensitivity and emotion too. We have found that she needs 3 things (just like her mama): to be fed, to be rested and have some quality time! With that in mind, we have had to coach her to not pout when she's disappointed. We say: "chin up Harper". My oh my! How she quickly learned to use this herself... She has said it to Jeremy and I at different times when she has perceived us as "pouting" and has moved on to tell Mimi and Bentley that pouting is not acceptable from them either... "chin up!" ;)
She remembers everything too... I told her she could have a "dum-dum" sucker she got from a birthday party after she woke up from her nap. A couple hours later, I walked into her room to get her out of bed and the first words out of her mouth were, "I eat sucker?" Jeremy and I are well aware now, that our word needs to be honored - no tricks... or she will remember and check us!
Other favorite or random phrases:
  • "Hi buddy!" (when greeting Bentley)
  • "I do it" or "I try it".
  • "I thinking..." (as she taps her finger on her chin)
  • Anytime Harper even detects that someone might be sad she says, "oh... I sad."
  • "I eat snack"
  • "I play... outside/at park/basketball,etc."
  • "I go to castle! With Carter, Rhiannon and Adam!" (when remembering our trip to disneyland... it had more of an impression than we anticipated. This comes up almost daily)
  • "I dance!" and "I bounce!" (2 of her favorite things to do: dance with us holding her or bouncing on our exercise ball)
Harper also loves to sing! Her favorites to date are:
  • Jesus loves me
  • We fall down (praise song)
  • ABC's (She thinks her name is truly part of the ending... "now Harper knows her ABC's..." We sang it at a Library story-time and when we sang the original, she looked at me like she had been wronged!)
  • Tomorrow (from Annie)
  • many songs from Sesame Street including the La di da di da song, C is for cookie and 1,2,3,4 (by fiest).
  • You are my Sunshine
Recently, Harper had a fun (or not so fun) visit to Urgent Care as she dislocated her elbow. (That's another story for a different entry.) Mimi was recently hanging out with us and she asked us to swing her in-between us as we walked. We told her we couldn't since she hurt her elbow... she pointed to her elbow and said, "I hurt my elmo-bow".

Harper LOVES to be held... still ;) She is independent like any 2 year old, but when it comes to being held... that's her favorite thing. Her coined phrase: "Hold you, hold you!"

I love you sweet girl and (almost) everything that comes out of your mouth these days ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Easy Dinner with Iron in Mind

I am often on the hunt to find yummy dinner recipes that the whole family can enjoy, all the while trying to accomplish the task of getting some protein and iron into my 2 year old daughter's diet. With my nutrition back ground I'm not lacking the information on which foods are high in iron... I do struggle, however, with creativity in meal planning and not getting discouraged by my daughter's young pallet rejecting much of what I make! I grew up eating meatloaf, but for some reason had a stigma in my mind about it being "old school". As I sought out new recipes to try, I reached for a favorite cookbook, "Giada at Home" by Giada De Laurentiis. I tried Giada's Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and it was delicious! It was truly quick and easy to put together and made our meal feel a "step up" from other nights where I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. I won't mislead you and tell you that my daughter ate an entire piece... but she did have a handful of bites and that's pretty good considering it was a new food.

Iron has many benefits to the health of our bodies, one of the most important being that it helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen. When we are really low in iron we are at risk for anemia, a condition in which there is a low level of red blood cells in the blood causing muscle fatigue and weakness. When we eat iron-rich foods, it's absorption into our bodies is helped by eating it with foods high in vitamin C. This being, I served the meatloaf with a dark, leafy-green salad (including spinach) mixed with chopped cucumber, red pepper, carrots and garbanzo beans - all vegetables high in vitamin C. The meal was healthful and enjoyable... just don't ask my 2 year old for her honest opinion!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I often write about how wonderful parenthood is... It is. It's just also accompanied by many hard, hard moments. Moments that sometimes I don't know if I'll make it through.

Our first cold and flu season up here in Oregon has hit our family hard. Not sure why, but it has. These past three weeks have offered us sick kids three times over with colds and the stomach flu... and has offered me the opportunity to fall apart a few times ;)

When both our kids are sick, my friend Rhiannon said it best, "it feels like we have 3 Harpers and 3 Bentleys". Both need to be held and snuggled, both have a hard time eating and functioning, and both can't sleep at night.

I decided to write about these things so that maybe when Harper's a mommy she'll know it's normal and ok to want to lose it sometimes; and maybe Bentley can tell his wife someday that she's not a bad mommy if she sometimes sits up crying at night with the baby.

I do... I did last night... and I love my kids even more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Me & My Little Man

I love having a little boy...

For some reason, I expected to feel differently about having a son... less sappy perhaps. Nope. That's not how it is for me. I am head-over-heels in love with my sweet Bentley AND am just as emotional and sappy as I was with Harper. A little bit more of a veteran parent, I will say, but definitely every bit as sentimental. On the realistic side, it's harder to take everything in the same way you did with the first baby, because life is just moving so fast now that there is two. But time still stops when I am rocking my sleeping boy to bed or I hear his "I need you mommy" cry.
Bentley is the sweetest boy in the world. He is smiley, laid back, loves to cuddle... and he has been a great sleeper too. How else do you spell "perfect baby"? Even within the past month, we've seen more and more of his personality come out. He loves being tickled and loves bouncing on our exercise ball; he CAN have a ferocious side (mean mr. frog on his jumper brings that out in him); he loves watching all the family action but can't wait till he can crawl; and he already is pals with his dada... especially since those are the first sounds out of his mouth so far: "da-da". One thing I'm curious how it will play out is that he either shows a semi-shy or flirtatious part of his personality when people give him attention: he smiles SO big, then buries his face into my shoulder... then looks back for more. It is way too cute!
Bentley is absolutely his own person, but these little, sleepy, round face pictures remind me how much he and Harper look alike at this age...
I just can't stop kissing his little, round cheeks!
Bentley with his "Michael Jordan" tongue.

He generally will suck on whatever fingers hit his mouth first, but these are proving to be the favorite over the thumb.
Once again...

My smiley little man...
I think we are seriously starting to teeth, but no teeth yet!
I love being your mama, sweet baby boy! You have stolen my heart and there is no one like you... I love you!