Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Julianna's Special Doctor

Julianna saw her neurologist, Dr A, today.  It's been a year since she saw him last!  We spent last night & this morning talking up her "special doctor".  She got really excited when we told her Will had a special doctor too.  She likes anything that makes her and Will similar.  She did so well!  She stood on the scale and under the height measurement all by herself.  She even let them take her blood pressure with just a tiny wince at the beginning. 

Overall Dr A was pleased.  Her muscle tone is good, as are her reflexes, and her quick neuro exam was good.  He agreed that she needs braces on both her ankles and wrote us a prescription to get our own pair (we're still borrowing from her therapist...although she has much cuter ones now!  They have flowers all over them.). 

After watching her walk & run, he decided she needs a podiatry consult.  In addition to her ankles rolling in, he noticed her knees tend to be close together when walking or running and that her left foot turns out (this is what causes her adorable booty shaking run...seriously, if it wasn't bad for her, it really is adorable!).  She'll see Dr. B on the 29th for the consult.  Dr. A thinks she may need a different type of brace or other intervention to correct her foot.

Our next doctor appointment will be for Will on Tuesday.  He'll see Dr Awesome and have another echo...praying it shows improvement and the word "cath" isn't even mentioned!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jump Baby Jump!

My little mister has finally learned just how to operate his jumperoo...and he LOVES it!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the New Winner is...

Sadly, one of the Skoy cloth winners did not contact me, so I chose a new winner this morning!


Congratulations Marah!

Marah said: The SKOY cloth has an absorption factor of 15x its own weight.  AMAZING!


**Marah, you need to email me with your full name & address by 11:59pm on August 29.  If I do not get an email from you by then, a new winner will be drawn.**

Thanks again to everyone who entered! And remember all future reviews & giveaways will be hosted at Spoons, Spades & Stitches! Become a follower over there, so you don't miss out!  You can also become a fan on Facebook!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Little Pearly White Tooth

Until 2 days ago I didn't even know Will was teething.  Sure, he drooled a lot...but babies drool.  On Tuesday morning a tooth was discovered.  One little pearly white tooth.  Since then, I know he's teething.  He has a second tooth just below the surface and this one must be giving him more trouble because he looks like this...


...and this...


So, I do what any mommy would do...I pop in a teething tablet...ah, relief...now he looks like this...


...and this...


...and even this...


Do you see his tiny tooth on the bottom?  If you haven't tried teething tablets yet...you totally should!
(They're all natural by the way.)

And the Winners are...

I am excited to announce the winners of the Skoy Cloth giveaway!


Congratulations Jackie at 3littleones! 

Jackie said: I've made reusable swiffer duster mop pads and wet jet pads as one way to help out family go green :)


Congratulations Danielle Harper!

Danielle said: I have your button on my blog: happeningsoftheharperhousehold.blogspot.com

**Both winners need to email me with your full name & address by 11:59pm on August 27.  If I do not get an email from you, a new winner will be drawn.**

Thanks to everyone who entered!  And remember all future reviews & giveaways will be hosted at Spoons, Spades & Stitches!  Become a follower over there, so you don't miss out!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Farthest I've Traveled...

Ok, so I cheated and I'm technically posting this on Tuesday, but it's close enough!


I'd love to write about traveling to see the Great Pyramids.  Or about sipping wine in France.  Or even about walking on the Great Wall of China.  But I can't.  I don't even have a passport! 

I have not traveled as much as I would have liked.  I once dreamt of going to Ireland, Italy, France, Hungary (where I have family), Australia & so many other places.  But alas my life has taken a different turn, one that I wouldn't change for all the trips in the world.  My kids can be a real trip most days anyway!

But what is the farthest I've traveled?  I went to Cancun when I was in college.  No, it wasn't for Spring Break, and no it wasn't a wild crazy time.  I went with 3 girlfriends and we had a blast.  Days were spent on the BEAUTIFUL beach, evenings included delicious food & nights were spent having fun and enjoying ourselves.  I was glad I got to experience a trip outside the US (besides the family trips to Canada as a kid).

Maybe someday I'll get to travel to one of my wish list destinations.

**Want to join Whatever Wednesdays?  Write a post about the furthest you've traveled and then link to it below!  There's also more info when you click on the Whatever Wednesdays tab above, including the WW button!**


Monday, August 23, 2010

Blankets & Jammy Pants

I watched my sister's kids today while she had an appointment & let me say this is the one (& only) time I am thankful for Yo Gabba Gabba.  It got the 3 oldest kiddos all to sit down and they were absolutely silent for 24 minutes!  Ian & Ellie both have blankets they love.  They carry them everywhere.  Julianna never really became attached to a blanket, or really anything.  So, what does she insist on holding during Yo Gabba Gabba?  Her "jammy pants".  Yes, those are her pajama shorts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Today's Trip to the ED

It's late, I've had a long day and I'm exhausted.  So, here's a quick update on everything that happened today.  This morning while I was feeding Will 3 times he had episodes of closing his eyes and shaking all over.  Each one lasted a little bit longer (the longest was about 10 seconds) and all happened in less than a 15 minutes time span.  I remembered he had done this a few days ago while eating (it was very short and wasn't too concerning) and began to worry that something might be wrong with his heart.

We have been told over & over that at his age the first signs of anything going badly with his heart would show up during feedings.  I started wondering if his heart wasn't working well enough as he made his way through the bottle & somehow he wasn't getting enough oxygen & causing the shaking.  We were also concerned that since he was closing his eyes & was unresponsive during the shaking that they were seizures.  Joe came home from work & we took Will to the hospital.

The ED doc said her initial thought was it was possibly heart related.  They did a chest x-ray, EKG, CBC & had him on the monitor during his next feeding.  Everything showed his heart was working fine and there were no problems.  They called Dr Awesome and he said, with the test results, he felt confident he wasn't having any heart related issues.  The CBC also showed that he didn't have any signs of an infection.  We were discharged with instructions to just watch him & if it happened again follow-up with the pediatrician or come back to the hospital.  They said that unless they saw the shaking there really wasn't anything they could do.  Grrrr.

I know that what was happening with him was not a normal thing to have happen.  And being that today was the second time it has happened, and was worse than the first, I am sure it will probably happen again.  And so it's a waiting game as to whether he'll have another episode or if it really was a fluke thing.  Seriously, can my kids STOP causing me to freak out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A New Blog

I love my blog!  But lately Our Ordinary Stories has started to lose it's family identity.  It started as a blog simply about our family & our everyday stories, but I've been doing more posting lately about food, things I find that I like, our attempt to be greener, and now reviews & giveaways.  I really like writing about those things too, so I decided to give them a home of their own. 

I am excited to introduce Spoons, Spades & Stitches!

So, what will you find on Spoons, Spades & Stitches? Cooking, cleaning, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts and other topics related to me trying to become more domestic. I'm also going to use this blog sort of like a bookmark for all the awesome things I find on the internet that I want to try later on . All my future reviews & giveaways will also be done over there, rather than on Our Ordinary Stories.


It's just a start and still has lots of things that need to improve, but pop on over to my new (2nd) blog...Spoons, Spades & Stitches...and let me know what you think!


**And don't forget to enter the Skoy Cloth giveaway!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Potty Training Update

Well, it has been one week since we ditched the diapers and I am so happy to say Julianna is doing great!  I'm almost afraid to tell everyone how well she's been doing for fear of jinxing it, but she really has done awesome.  She has not had a diaper or pull-up on since last Thursday morning...not even to sleep in!.  We've only had a few accidents & none of them have been earth shattering for her, the house, or her anti-bodily fluid cleaning mommy.  In fact (fingers crossed) she hasn't had an accident since Monday.  Today, she even told me every time she had to go potty...I didn't have to ask her!

I am so happy to say that I only have 1 kiddo in diapers now, and he has awhile to go...or can you potty train a 4 month old?

**Don't forget to enter the Skoy Cloth giveaway!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Skoy's the Limit

In my venture to make our family greener, one night I searched the internet for a solution to our paper towel addiction. We seriously have a problem. I was intrigued when I came across Skoy Cloths who claimed that 1 of their cloths could replace 15 rolls of paper towels! So I kept reading...100% biodegradable & reusable...those 2 statements sold me on wanting to try some!

I was even more excited that after contacting Skoy, I was sent a set of 4 to try! They came just 3 days later (such fast service!) & were so cute.

My first thoughts were how on earth was I going to use these for cleaning? They were stiff as cardboard. But as soon as I wet the first one I was hooked. I didn't even need to use it! It became so soft! Within a few minutes I had wiped down the kitchen counter, Julianna's chair, my cabinet doors, my stove top & the sink. After each item I simply rinsed the cloth & used it again.

I loved that the pack contains 4 different colors. The purple one is Julianna's. After every meal (or snack) she asks for her purple paper towel (she hasn't kicked the name yet...haha!). The blue & orange ones we use around the kitchen & first floor, and the green one is reserved for Will (who will be starting solids soon & will need a good face & hand wiping after meals).


So what do we use the Skoy cloth for that we used to use paper towels for? Wiping counter tops, wiping down the stove & fridge, wiping off the table & Julianna's chair, wiping Julianna's hands & face, cleaning up spills (even though it has to be wet when you use it, it holds a ton of liquid from spills!), and a number of other things. We still use paper towels as napkins (hoping to get some cloth napkins soon) & to put our toast on in the morning (a bad habit leftover from the days of no dishwasher). The cloths can also be used with cleaners.

To keep using the cloths all you need to do is disinfect them. How? You can put them in the washing machine, the dishwasher or in the microwave...yep you can microwave them to kill germs. I roll mine & put each one in a section of my utensil basket in the dishwasher whenever I run it.

So how much does this greener option cost? Less than I thought! Just $6.99 for a 4 pack. About the same as 6 rolls of paper towels. So if each cloth can replace 15 rolls of paper towels...that's a big savings!

HERE'S THE BEST PART....drum roll please....dadadadadadadadada...Skoy is going to give 2 of my readers a set of Skoy cloths for free! To enter, simply leave me a comment telling me one thing your family is doing to be greener (this is mandatory). Easy peasy!
Want more chances to win? Do any of the following (leave a seperate comment for each):
  • Visit the Skoy website & tell me which of its many benefits appeals to you the most.
  • Follow Our Ordinary Stories via Google Friend Connect in the sidebar or tell me if you already do.
  • Vote for Our Ordinary Stories on Top Baby Blogs or Top Mommy Blogs (or both) by clicking on the buttons in the sidebar. You can do this once a day (leave a comment every time you vote).
  • Put our button anywhere on your blog & leave the link to where it can be found.
The giveaway ends next Wednesday, August 25th at 11:59pm EST. US residents only.
Good Luck!

**And check out my newest blog, Spoons, Spades & Stitches...all future reviews & giveaways will be posted there!**

The Worst Gift EVER

I was at a major loss for today's post. I really could not remember what the worst gift I ever got was. So I decided to make up a bad gift for Julianna & take pictures of her with it. This is about how this morning went.

Me: Julianna, Mommy has a present for you!

Julianna: *gasp*
Then she saw the toaster.

Oh, it's a joke! Haha!

Haha!

Ok, now seriously, where's my real present?!?!?!

I did giver her a white chocolate sucker after I tortured her with my photo shoot. I'm not that mean of a mommy!

If you want more info on Whatever Wednesdays click here.



Monday, August 16, 2010

Mommy Bread

I had several people contact me about what recipe I was using to make my bread, so I decided to go ahead & post the recipe along with easy to follow directions (I think they're easy).

Mommy Bread (that's what Julianna calls it)
Recipe makes 2 loaves

2 cups warm water
1 packet quick rise yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 tablespoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup for kneading

Put water, sugar & yeast in a bowl and whisk together. Tip: yeast that's kept in the fridge will rise better than yeast kept at room temperature.


Wait for the yeast to proof (I usually wait about 15-20 minutes). It's ready when it has a nice thick foam on top.


At this point I literally just dump my flour, salt & butter into the bowl. I use my mixer with a dough hook to mix my dough, although if you wanted, you could mix it by hand. The dough is mixed well enough when it forms a ball. There should be very little dough on the dough hook or stuck to the bowl.

At this point I cover the bowl with a clean dish towel & set it on my front porch. It needs to be set somewhere warm to rise & with our AC on it just doesn't rise well inside. Let the dough rise for about an hour. It should double in size.

After the first rising it's time to take out your frustrations! Punch down the dough. Seriously, just punch it a few times to get the air out.


Use the extra flour & sprinkle it on the surface you're going to work on. I put it right on my counter. Knead the dough by hand and then form it into a ball. Cut the ball in half. Each half will become a loaf.


Knead each half for a few more minutes & form it into a small loaf. Place each loaf into a greased bread pan.


Cover your pans (I use the same towel from above) and place in a warm spot for a second rise (I put them on my porch again). This time let them rise about an hour & a half, depending on how big you want them to get (I like to let mine rise longer since we use our bread for sandwiches).


When you're loaves are almost risen enough, turn your oven on to 350 degrees to preheat. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven (mine takes exactly 40 minutes). The bread is done when it's a golden color on top.

Let the bread cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack (or the same dish towel used during rising...this is what I do. If you use the towel, be sure to turn your loaves every few minutes so they don't get soggy in one spot).

Although I LOVE yummy warm bread, if you cut bread while it's warm it can sometimes make the rest of the loaf a little gummy (or so I've read), so I always wait until it's completely cooled before slicing into it. The bread will keep for several days in an air tight container (we use gallon size ziploc bags, that I re-use for the loaves). I end up making bread about every 3-4 days.
I plan on trying this recipe with half the all-purpose flour replaced with wheat flour (another trick I've read about). If you make this bread let me know how it turns out! And if you make any changes that make it better, let me know that too!
**The original recipe I used was from The Hungry Mouse, but I have not been able to get back on the website since the day I found the recipe. I made a few changes to the volume of the ingredients (amount of flour & salt) from the original recipe I copied down.**

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rock-A-Bye Baby

I just spent the last hour rocking Will to sleep in his room. Smelling his freshly washed hair. Feeling him rise & fall with each breath. Listening to his sleeping baby whimpers. Loving him. Saying a prayer for him & his miracle heart. Praying for some of his heart friends that are currently in the hospital & those that will be there for surgery soon. Taking in how quickly he is growing. Wishing the last 4 months hadn't gone quite so fast. Wondering what the next day...week...month...year will hold. Wanting to rock him to sleep every night.


Good night little man, sleep tight.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bragging Moment

I just have a minute to post & I wanted to brag a little bit. I went to a local second hand kids sale this morning (you know the type you show up to an hour before it even starts) & I rocked in the buying department! Here's a breakdown of everything I got:

Julianna
*6 jumpers (2 with shirts)
*5 sweaters
*1 pair of jeans
*1 corduroy skirt
*1 OSU outfit
*2 shirts

Will
*5 footed PJ's
*7 rompers
*2 long sleeved onesies
*1 pair of pants

Total spent on my 31 items...$95...the best part is that averages less than $3 an item AND all but 2 items are Gymboree, Children's Place, Baby Gap & Carters. I could have bought much much more, but Julianna didn't need any pants (hers from last winter still fit) & I didn't want to buy too much for Will since I have no idea how quickly he'll grow.

Ok, bragging over.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cold Turkey

I'm not talking the yummy post Thanksgiving kind that makes a great sandwich. I'm talking about the method of potty training we started using today. Julianna has been in pull-ups for about 3 weeks now & they are doing nothing for her in the potty training department. So today we went cold turkey on all pull-ups & diapers.

I know, I know, everyone says to wait on potty training until she lets me know she's ready, but seriously folks, she's ready. She spent an entire day at my in-laws house & told my MIL every single time she had to go potty. But at home, she wants nothing to do with the potty. So today, I finally hit the wall...no more money will be spent on pull-ups for her. She has an entire drawer of big girl underwear she picked out on a mommy-daughter shopping trip & that is what she will wear from now on.

By now you may be wondering how today went? Am I ready to pull my hair out yet? Does Julianna have any clean underwear left? The answers are good, nope and yes. She has been diaper free since 9am this morning and has only had 2 accidents one of which she stopped and asked to go potty where she finished going peepee (the other was while I was down at the car loading some things in it to go away, so I'm not convinced she would have had that one if I was in the house). She took her nap without any problems (clarification: she had no problems...I almost had an anxiety attack worrying about her bedding) and now she is sleeping soundly, and hopefully accident free, for the night.

Honestly, I was terrified to try the cold turkey method & tried everything else I could first. I was not a fan of possibly having pee all over my house...ew! But with a few minor changes in routine & furniture there is very little opportunity for anything cloth or carpet to get wet. I am hoping the no diaper/pull-up route works for us. Please, please, PLEASE work for us!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Something I Love...Something I Don't


Today is the beginning of Whatever Wednesday...Yay! Some friends and I decided we wanted to start our very own blog hop & this is it. Each week, one of us will pick a new topic about whatever we want and we'll all post about that topic. Today's topic...something I love...something I don't.


Something I love...my mister man.


Something I don't...his dirty diapers

Next week's topic: ?

If you want to join in on the fun, just add yourself to the linky.




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ta Da!

What do you all think about my fabulous new header & button??? I L-O-V-E, love it! It was designed especially for me by Becca at Jumping Jax Designs.


There's still more changes to come, but that involves me learning how to change HTML code, so it may take weeks! Seriously, weeks.

So, really what do you think of the new look of "Our Ordinary Stories"?

(And while you're leaving me a comment about how incredible my blog is looking, grab my new button for your blog!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saving Money is Yummy

I love to bake. I mean I really love to bake. I have been thinking about baking bread for months now. Homemade bread is so dee-licious! I've never done it simply because I thought it would be a lot of work. But as I read more about it, I realized it could save us a ton of money!

The type of bread we buy at the store costs $2.29 a loaf. To bake a loaf of yummy white sandwich bread at home costs about 50 cents...50 CENTS! (that's the average I got when looking at lots of stats) That's a difference of $1.79 a loaf. We buy 2 loaves a week, by baking 2 loaves a week we'll save $3.58 a week. That's $14.32 a month and $171.84 a year!

That made up my mind to start baking our own bread. Seriously, who wouldn't want to save almost $200 a year and be eating much yummier bread?? So, I searched & searched for an easy non-bread maker recipe. After weeks of searching (really, it was weeks) I found an easy 6 ingredient recipe that would require less than 30 minutes of me actually doing anything (but 2 hours still for rising). And this afternoon, I made my first loaves of homemade bread.




Don't they look yummy! Unfortunately, they look yummier than they actually are...hah! They're not bad, but I think I wrote down the wrong salt measurement because they seem a little salty. I tried to check the website I got the recipe from & it's gone! Since Friday, it has ceased to exist...crud. So I'll be tweaking this recipe myself and hopefully I can get it less salty. I plan to try a bunch of different recipes until I find one I really like. I'd also like to try some with wheat flour.
Anyone have a good bread recipe you'd be willing to share?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Goin' Wild

My sister & I were tipped off to a free wild animal show this weekend in our hometown (thanks to her MIL!) and we decided to take the kids this afternoon. It wasn't anything fancy or extravagant, but it certainly entertained 2 toddlers & a pre-schooler.

Julianna & Ellie checking out the tiger.

The sleeping kangaroo was so cute.

Julianna loved watching the monkeys run around.

After I took the picture of the monkey, I realized there were signs all over the place about buying pictures of the animals. Oops. Anyone that knows me, knows I don't have the most inconspicuous camera (I take my Canon Rebel XT everywhere). So I quickly put it away and didn't take anymore pictures. The sad thing about putting my camera away was that I missed getting pictures of Julianna & Ian riding the ponies (Julianna's first time ever!).
It took up less than an hour of the day, but Julianna was still talking about it when she went to bed 4 hours later, so I would definitely call it a win.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Adorable!

I love getting mail. I love getting mail even more when it's a package. And even better is a package containing something I won! Today's mail brought the blazer from es + es that I won in a giveaway hosted by Amanda at Chasing Twins in Louboutins. It arrived while Julianna was sleeping, so I of course opened it, adored it, & rewrapped it so she could open it when she woke up. It is seriously adorable! She was very excited to have gotten something in the mail!

Check out that smile! And the cute box!

The blazer fits PERFECTLY! And my clothes loving little girl adored it as much I did. After the first picture I took with the box she was running around so excited that I couldn't get her to stand still long enough to take a picture of her in it.
This is the best I could get.

Then major excitement took over & complete craziness ensued.

Now to find the perfect accessories for with it!

Time to Buy New Shoes

Julianna started physical therapy again today. She did excellent and cooperated very well. Julianna's left side is much weaker than her right & besides lots of strengthening exercises for both her arms & legs, we also got a temporary insert for her left shoe (we'll have to buy one for her soon...after we check out insurance stuff).


Isn't that cute? Hah! She's supposed to start out wearing a few hours a day (so she doesn't get any blisters) and work up to wearing it all day. This means her days of flip flops, crocs, & sandals are numbered. I am obviously more disappointed than she is about it...my matching outfit, bows & shoes ego has taken a blow...haha! The insert bumps her from a size 6 shoes all the way to an 8! Since all her shoes are 6's she has to wear it right now with a hand-me-down pair of tennis shoes from her cousin Ian (which are meant for Will someday).

UGH! Definitely not girlie! The positive side of things is that I get to go shopping for new shoes for her. I love shoe shopping for her...hopefully I can find a few really cute pairs of shoes that will work with the insert.

The hope is that the insert will keep her left ankle from rolling in so badly and force the muscles in her left leg to strengthen. Once they are stronger she may not need the insert anymore, but then again she may always need an insert or orthotic shoes (hope I can find cute orthotic shoes...but the name itself makes me think not).

She also missed qualifying for therapy through our school district (once she turns 3) by a tiny little bit...so if she still needs therapy come January we'll be shopping for a physical therapist. Even with my own selfish shoe issues, we are still incredibly thankful that this is the most she has had to deal with due to her PVL.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thinking About School Already

While pregnant, Joe & I had a plan (our first mistake...hah!) for after Will was born. Julianna would start her toddler classes in May & that would give me 2.5 hours twice a week to spend time with just my little man & get errands done. Julianna is so ready for being in a school situation.


But as everyone knows, you should never make plans while pregnant and assume things will go normally...or is it just our family? Along came Mister Will, and nothing has gone according to plan, but that's ok because he's awfully dag-gone cute.


Germs once again have topped our list of enemies. After hearing multiple times, from multiple doctors how bad it could be for Will to even get a cold, we made the decision to not send Julianna to school yet. All those other germie kids make me nervous. Now I am NOT saying that all of other people's kids are germie, but I was a teacher, I know how many germs are floating around classrooms...A LOT & it only takes one sick kid to get a whole class sick. Sigh. She is so ready to be in school. Her teacher still comes out to see her twice a month, but that's not enough (especially now that the hour her teacher is here is divided between her & Will). She needs more, she loves learning!
I have been trying to "teach" Julianna some since May (I am in no way actually doing anything structured, just misc. things a few times a week). She loves it and has caught on to so many things very quickly. But she needs more.
Learning colors...she's got all but blue & red down...we're working on red now.



We've also done shapes and some numbers.

Her teacher has suggested, if we are comfortable with it, that she start pre-school in January when she turns 3. Wow. Pre-school?!? Already?!? We are so torn. She would do amazing with school. It would be so good for her to be in such a social situation & play with kids her own age (not 4 months old...heehee), and to have a structured learning environment. I think she would flourish.

This is where we hit our dilemma. We have to chose between keeping germs away from Will for as long as possible (sending Julianna to school in January would be sending her in the middle of RSV season...yikes!) and enrolling Julianna in pre-school where she will benefit so much. What's a parent to do? Luckily we still have almost 6 months before she turns 3 to figure it out. And I have decided to start using a free pre-school curriculum I found online to try and teach Julianna more than I have been. It's more structured and should only take a small portion of our morning a few days a week. I am so not a homeschooler (I know my limits) and I am definitely not an early childhood teacher (give me middle schoolers any day), but this is the best answer I have found so far to our problem. I am hoping to not fail...but would even settle for just not failing miserably.
**Once again blogger is being weird and has made some of my paragraphs all run together...sorry.