Thursday, February 26, 2009

such a character.

The other day I was trying to get the kids ready and out the door because Asher had a doctor's appointment. Ruby asked if she could wear one of my crowns to the appointment (she calls headbands, crowns) and I agreed. I left her alone in my bathroom to pick out the perfect "crown", while I buckled Asher in his carseat. Within a minute or two, she came skipping into the family room, "okay mom, I all ready to go see the doctor", and this is what she looked like...

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I guess three crowns are better than one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

these pictures tell a story

And the story goes like this...

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Asher is becoming really good at holding his bottle on his own...but his dexterity and grace are still a bit off...and sometimes that can be really frustrating to the poor little guy - who wants nothing more than to

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

enough already...


I swear it's just one thing after another with my little man. At his well check a few weeks ago, the doctor detected a heart murmur. He assured me that this was fairly common, and that I had no need to worry; but he did refer us to a pediatric cardiologist just to check him over. We had our appointment yesterday. This is the one and only (really bad) picture that I got of him during his EKG. Doesn't that just look sad to you? It made me sad, but maybe it's just because I'm his mom. I just have a really hard time with babies and any kind of wires, or tubes, or surgeries, or health problems. They're so young and have no comprehension as to what's happening to them. It just doesn't seem fair to me.
It was really hard for this little guy to hold still (that's why I'm feeding him a bottle) so that they could get his blood pressure from both his arm and leg, and then proceed with the electrocardiogram. After the test, the nurse practitioner came in and listened him over. She couldn't hear anything unusual, but called for the cardiologist for a second opinion before sending us on our way. After he listened to Asher's heart, he expressed some concern. Yes, he had also detected the murmur, which he referred to as a PPS murmur (peripheral pulmonary stenosis), an innocent neonatal murmur, fairly common in babies from birth to 3-6 months. His reason for concern was that Asher is already 6 months, and should have grown out of this type of murmur by this stage. The doctor proceeded to tell us that a hole in the heart or valves can oftentimes mimic this type of murmur. He wanted us to came back for an echocardiogram - ultrasound of the heart. Thankfully, the nurse practitioner noticed that the technician had a lull in patients, and arranged for us to squeeze right in. I was especially thankful for the opening, not only because of the inconvenience it would be to have to come back another day, but also because of the toll it would have played on my nerves...more than a day or two would have been too long to find out if there was something wrong with my baby.
After the (very long, and very extensive) ultrasound, the nurse practitioner informed me that the preliminary reading looked normal, but that the Cardiologist still needed to look it over. If he found anything abnormal, he'd be giving us a call.
I'm grateful that it's been a day and 1/2, and we haven't received a call from him. In this case, I consider no news to be good news. I just still feel so bad for my little Asher, who in his short 6 months, has been to the doctor more than...well...more times than I can even account for. I'd like to see if we can make it to his next well check (3 weeks away), without needing to be seen for something else in between...if we succeed, we will have made a new record. Wish us luck.

look what i found...

It was hidden inside of one of Asher's far, my favorite.


how did i ever find such a gem?

John went out of town last week for a couple days. Within just moments of his departure, I began finding little yellow post-it notes, containing the words I love you, all over the house. It made me miss him even more, but it also made me realize what a treasure I fell upon when I found him.

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He left again just this morning, and even though this trip will be a really short one, he still felt it necessary to express his sentiments...only this time with the words I miss you.

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A true gem of a husband, indeed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy valentine's day...

from us.


my valentines...

Last night, John surprised us by making dinner...and not just any ordinary dinner. He grilled the most flavorful and juicy steak I've almost ever had. He served it with roasted potatoes, steamed asparagus, fresh corn on the cob, and sparkling red grape juice cocktail...which we ate by candlelight. I have to say, I love this man more and more each day. Happy Valentine's Valentine. xoxo.

And how could I talk about Valentine's Day without making mention of these two little lovies? I LOVE them so much, my heart could literally burst.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Do you ever find yourself wishing there was a pause button for life? I know I almost everyday. My little Ruby girl is growing up way too fast. Yesterday, the two of us we were holding a full, complete, and understandable conversation. It about made me cry. And then she walked away, and did this little flip of her hair, and I swear I was watching a teenager exit the room. That did make me cry. It's funny, because some days, I feel like saying to her "why don't you just grow up?!" Like when she fed Asher that safety pin...or when she pushed him off the bed - and then continued watching her tv program like nothing ever happened...or when she dumped formula on his head...or whenever she throws a tantrum at the grocery store, or in the parking lot - right in front of a car trying to get by...or when she screams "YOU STUPID!" at the top of her lungs...or when she lies directly on top of Asher while he's taking a nap - causing him to wake in a sudden panic (she did that one just this morning). Aside from these few instances, however, she really is the sweetest thing on the planet.
I cherish our nights together. I love the fact that every night she says, "mom, I wanna snuggle". And to her, snuggling means getting right on top of me (I think that's what she was trying to do with Asher today...just wanted to snuggle with her brother). She is so lovey and affectionate. I love how she gives compliments, too. She always tells me, "mom you look so pretty...pretty like a pretty princess!" I love hearing that, especially since I've been feeling anything but pretty these days. The other day, however, we were lying on the bed together, and she said "mom, I scared". When I asked her what she was afraid of, she answered, "I scared of you, mom". Why are you afraid of me? "Your makeup is scaring me", she replied. I did happen to be wearing a lot of eyeliner that day...I love her honesty.
I love how every morning for breakfast, she wants "urgurt and cottage cheese", and how she also calls macaroni and cheese - cottage cheese. I love how whenever I try to put her in her own bed, she says "no, please mommy, I wanna sweep in oars (yours)". I love how she calls ramen noodles "Ramón Nuñez" time she called it "sgetti soup". I love how, to her, everything is "WONDERFUL". I love that she loves chocolate bars and diet coke. I love it when she says "mommy, I wanna hold you". Among other things, I love to hear her pray...I love her voice, and her lisp when she says her s's...I love her chubby little body, and her thin wavy hair...I love her crooked teeth and her macaroni toes...I love her swirvey walk, and her hearty laugh...and her big blue eyes...and her cherubic face...and her porcelain skin...and her perfect hugs...and her irresistible smile...and her "I love you's"...and her "I'm sorry's"...and the way she brushes my hair...and her homemade shakes...PAUSE.

Oh, if only it were that easy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i never thought i could love grocery shopping...

until I realized how much money I could save. Now it's become almost a game to me, a hobby, a huge obsession! And I owe it all to couponing. I can remember my mom doing it years ago. She would hit up all the neighbors for their Sunday paper coupon inserts. I recall many a Sunday afternoon, sitting with my mom and clipping coupons together. The idea was to wait to use your coupon until that particular item went on sale, and then you'd receive an even greater discount and deal. But it was a lot of work! Now, probably 15 years later, and with access to the Internet, it's become so much easier. You've probably heard of these services...Pinching Your Pennies, Grocery Smarts, The Grocery Game...some are free, some you can join for a small monthly fee. I am a member of CouponSense, and I LOVE it! Via email, I get a weekly newsletter with a list of the lowest priced supermarket products (which they also match with manufacturers' coupons and other specials) so that I can receive the best savings possible. They do all the hard work and research, and then tell me what to go get. I also have a personal instructor who sends me her own newsletters twice a week. She just sends out the best of the best...the SMOKIN' HOT deals, since couponsence literally has thousands and thousands of items in their database. I have a handy dandy filing system for all my coupon inserts, and I don't cut coupons until right before I head out to do my shopping. This system is designed not only to save lots and lots of money, but time, too. The fact that they understand how our time is equally as valuable as our just another thing I love about this.
So anyway, just to give an example, last week I spent $50.00 on groceries that would have normally cost me $220.00! I brought home 72 items, and paid an average of .69 cents for each item. Here's what I got:


2 Johnson's Buddies (kids' soap)
2 Loreal Revitalift (30 count) Moistened Cleansing Towelettes - reg. price 6.50
6 4 pk Cotonelle Toilet Paper
3 Palmolive liquid dish soaps
3 Dial liquid hand soaps
3 liquid Softsoaps
1 Speedstick 24/7 Deodorant
6 Colgate Toothpastes - reg price 2.99 each
1 KY Yours and Mine - reg price 19.99
1 Suave Coconut Shampoo
1 Suave Coconut Conditioner
5 lbs fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Boxes Totinos Pizza Rolls
4 Containers Fresh Blueberries
1 Loaf Nature's Own Bread
4 Boxes Pop Tarts
3 Boxes Fruit Gushers
3 Bags Fritos
11 32oz Gatorades
4 Boxes Ritz Crackers
6 Manwich
3 Chef Boyardee Ravioli
1 64oz Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry fruit juice

All of it was on, after getting the stores' sale prices, and then using my manufacturers' coupons, several of these items ended up being absolutely FREE! And who doesn't just LOVE getting free stuff?

Well, I do...and now I'm Obsessed! Seriously, I can't hardly wait 'til my next shopping trip!

Monday, February 9, 2009

she's a loose cannon...

The other night after getting the kids ready for bed, and cleaning the house inside and out, I decided to finally sit down and work on my lesson for Sunday. Knowing that Asher would be due for a feeding later on, I filled up a bottle with water, and then measured the appropriate amount of formula, which I put in a separate plastic container. I brought both the bottle and container to the room with me, and set them on my nightstand for later. After putting the kids on the bed for a movie, I began work on the lesson that I had unintentionally put off all week. I was completely in my zone, and for 20 minutes or so, didn't even so much as turn around to check on the kids. I just figured, hey they're quiet...totally into the movie...I'm going to take advantage of this and bust out this lesson. I totally should have learned from the incident of two weeks ago, when Ruby pushed Asher off the bed; but like I said, I was completely in my own little world...that is...until a sudden shrill from Asher broke the silence, not to mention my concentration. I turned around only to find that Ruby had gotten a hold of the little container housing the powdered formula, and had then poured it on top of Asher's head. She also decided it would be fun to draw pictures with her fingers in the pile of powder. I think he was actually pretty happy until some of it got into his eyes, which then turned to it's liquid form. Oh man, I was so mad...but on the other hand, it was one of the funniest sights I had ever seen. I tried, in my sternest voice to reprimand her, but then I just burst out laughing and ran for my camera. I think she was pretty confused by my mixed emotions, hence her expression in this first photo...


But, as you can see here, even though she was sticking her tongue out at me, she had softened up immensely...


While poor Asher, on the other hand, was just becoming more and more irate...


Now there, that's a little better...

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I think it goes without saying, I didn't get much done on my lesson that night; and, after the second time of washing kids, changing clothes, cleaning sheets, and vacuuming the can bet I was pretty excited to finally get John home from his business trip (aka 4 day hiatus from fatherhood).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

poor little guy...

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Little Mr. Dix had a pretty rough day yesterday. It all started when he woke up in the morning and didn't get his usual serving of kibble for breakfast. I'm sure he thought he was being neglected, when in all reality, we were simply following doctor's orders. You see, Mr. Dix went under the knife yesterday...yep, he got the good ol' snip snip. John and I felt really bad for him because we knew he simply had no idea what would be happening to him. Not only was he stripped of his manly parts, but while he was under, he also received a parvo shot , and had three teeth pulled! He apparently had some pretty stubborn baby teeth with abnormally long roots, which happened to be pushing and crowding his other teeth...suffice it to say, those bad boys weren't coming out on their own! Something kind of humorous, when I picked little Dix-d up at the end of the day, the doc gave me a miniature sized manila envelope..."these are Dix's teeth" he informed me, "in case you want to put them under his pillow tonight". It was all I could do to keep from losing it. The funny thing about it, (my friend, Natalie, and I were talking about this today), is that some people probably really do that. Yeah, I love little Dix and all...but I'm not about to become his personal tooth fairy.
He seemed to be really alert when I picked him up, so we decided to let him get some fresh air and take him to his favorite place. He LOVES the park. It's there that he can roam, and run, and make new friends...and it's always good for the rest of us too. So we picked up Dix-d, grabbed some dinner, and spent the next hour or two breathing in the fresh air, running, laughing, swinging, sliding, taking pics, and just enjoying those moments together.

We sure do love our little Mr. Dix...even if his crying did keep me up half the night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

he may be average on the charts...

but he's beyond EXTRAORDINARY to me!


Asher had his 4 month well-check today (even though he's closer to 6 at this point...oops). Last time we had a routine check-up (right before Christmas), he was very low on the charts for his weight. In fact, over Christmas, some loving family members told us that they thought Asher was showing signs of malnourishment...extremely thin arms and legs, protruding ribs, bloated belly. I guess because the weight loss was happening so gradually, and also because we see him on a daily basis, lack of nutrition wasn't something we had even considered. Yes I knew he was thin, but I just thought it was a cute thin. Never had I considered it to be a dangerous thin until, thanks to our doctors and concerned family members, it was finally brought to our attention. And that's when I really started to worry. It was then that we began praying like crazy, and also fasted for our little boy. And that is when we started seeing the miracles take place. I know that our loving Heavenly Father is aware of us and is always there to help us, if we exert the faith necessary, and if it be in accordance to His will. Even though our son's acid reflux was as apparent as ever before, he began chunking up right before our eyes. This was not a gradual occurrence either...he was literally gaining ounces, and pounds, in a matter of just a few days. In fact, over the two weeks that we stayed in Utah, he gained a total of three pounds! He hadn't even gained that much since birth, and he was already 4 1/2 months old! Our doctor told us that at 4 months, babies are expected to have doubled their birth weight. Now, I realize that Asher was a HUGE baby, but he had only gained two pounds by the time he had reached the 4 month mark. So can you see how significant those three pounds in two weeks was to us? It was amazing.
Today, nearly a month later, Asher weighs 16 lbs, 11 oz - 6 pounds above his birth weight...putting him in the 50th percentile. He's also right in the average zone for his head circumference and height. And while I'm on the subject of good news...he's finally in a size two diaper...hooray for big buns!

Probably his favorite thing right now, is his exersaucer. Check out this video of him playing in it for the first time...

The mirror is probably his favorite feature...