Friday, April 29, 2011

Oh poop!

If you know me IRL, or you've been reading for a while, you know that I have certain OCD-type, germophobic issues. 

I thought it was bad when we started letting Miss T feed herself and all that mashed up goodness was everywhere.

B thought it was appalling when Miss T got sick for the first time and he walked in on her playing in and with her own vomit.  (seriously, true story - but that's B's story to tell)

Last night though, Miss T gave me a nice surprise and kicked things up a notch.  Little by little, this girl is going to break me!

We were having  a lovely evening.  Twice a week, B works late and it's just us girls.

We got to chat with our neighbors and their adorable kids.

We went to the park with our dog and enjoyed the warm afternoon.

We had dinner in the kitchen and I was able to make lots of babyfood for Miss T.

Then it was bath time.  I love bath time.  I might love it more than Miss T does and my appreciation for bath time is ever increasing now that she is Miss Independent and a mover and a shaker!  At least during bathtime, I know I can put her in that little blue tub inside of my tub and she will be stationary and content for about 15 minutes.

I took advantage of this momentary reprieve to call B at work and catch up on our day, make plans for our dinner, etc.

Miss T was making some funny faces - she does that from time to time.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, chatting away with B.  Hang on a second, where did she get that playdough from?

Nope, wait.  Not playdough.  POOP!!!!!

Apparently, my daughter thinks she is an endless source of new materials to play with, from toes, to vomit, to poop. (think Litter Critters from SNL!)

For a moment, I suffered a slight brain aneurism.  Then, like any momma, you do what you have to do.  Several fancy maneuvers later, she was taking a bath in the big tub, while the little tub awaited clean up.

I'll spare you the details about how the little poop pieces were caught on my drain strainer, or how little pieces were caught in the shower mat and T kept trying to grab them.  Ok, I didn't spare you.

Anyhow, 30 minutes later, B came home to a fast asleep daughter and a wife fiercly disinfecting every surface in her bathroom, including the inside of the drain.

Lessons learned?
I can overcome and do what I have to do for my baby.
She will break me of my OCD issues.
Clorox wipes are my best friend.
In a pinch, poop makes a great playdough substitute!

Alright, I have to leave you with some adorable pictures though!  How cute is she!?

And just so everyone can see what a little stinker she's going to be when she grows up...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Aubrey's mission

Hi everyone!

I'm taking a break from sharing my life with you guys today.

Well, kind of...

See, I know this amazing woman, Aubrey, who has such a humongous heart and loves to serve!
For a year now, Aubrey has been serving with me and B (and Miss T too!) in an inner city youth ministry.  She has been such a light to us and the kids we serve.

Well, that's not all.  Aubrey also has a dream to share the love of God with the people of Ecuador, serving in college campuses and an orphanage this summer!  She is also an incredible artist!  And, she has a plan to fund her mission trip using her God-given talents. 

Well, that's enough from me, I should let Aubrey tell the rest.

Hello!! (:
My name is Aubrey and as Melissa said, I’m currently preparing to go
on a mission trip to Ecuador this summer! Over the past several
years, God has continued to capture my heart through art and children
to lead me to this place!

In my high school years, I used painting as a therapy to enable me to
talk about the things I’d been through in my childhood. I was abruptly
blessed with the talent of drawing and painting immediately upon
pursuing them, a gift that could only have been from God! This talent
allowed me to cope through the difficult things I was going through,
open up family members and friends about what was really going on in
my life, and connect with peers that were experiencing similar
feelings and situations. The best part about discovering this talent
though, was that it led me to the cross!

After my first semester of majoring in Art Education, I decided I
wanted to do something different with my life than just teaching in a
public school system; I wanted to start an organization that provided
the same artistic outlet I experienced in high school to other
children and young adults that had been overlooked just as I was. I
realized that if my main goal in life was to serve, help, and enable
people coming from burdensome past or present situations, I needed to
start getting involved in their lives immediately.

That’s when I started serving with my beautiful friends, Melissa, B
(and little Miss T!) in an inner city ministry. My heart was stolen
by the amazing children and their stories and I’d never felt more
called to pursue my dream! After almost a year of working in the city,
my heart began to be pulled toward international missions. I began
praying about my desire and several weeks later, I was presented with
the opportunity to attend a 5 week mission’s trip to Ecuador! This
summer, I will be in a team of 10 college students and 4 staff members
with the privilege of working on college campuses and with a local
orphanage! I am soo excited to serve the community and to share the
love of Jesus in a place so much different than home.

I have currently raised almost $2,000 for this trip, but I still have
a long way to go! In the next 6 weeks, I must raise approximately
$2,700.00 in order to attend. To raise this money, I’m selling almost
all of the paintings and drawings I’ve done since I’ve been blessed
with this talent. ALL proceeds will go toward my trip toward Ecuador!
I am so excited for this amazing opportunity and I hope that you will
consider helping me accomplish my dream :)

What did I tell ya?  Isn't she amazing?  I don't know about you, but when I was 19, I was busy trying to plan my life about what I wanted rather than about how I could serve others.

So Aubrey needs some getting to Ecuador to serve college kids and orphans, are you willing to help her out?  You can take a look at her etsy shop.  You can also take a look at her blog if you'd like to know a little bit more about her.  If you'd like to just make a donation towards her trip, you can do that from her blog too!

Here's a sampling of what you'll find in her shop...

And for my personal favorite:

I'd also like to send a little more support Aubrey's way.  I've decided to list this item in my shop for Aubrey's trip.  All proceeds from purchasing this item will go directly toward funding Aubrey's trip.

So, my bloggy friends, let's get Aubrey to Ecuador, shall we?  Even if you can't contribute, I hope that you would pray for Aubrey and share her story with your cirlce of friends.  I know I can count on you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I've been up to and a giveaway announcement!

Things in bloggy world have been a little quiet lately.

We've had lots of visitors...

Miss T turned one and subsequently started cruising and crawling...

I've been sewing...

Here are some of the things I've made recently...


(top right: The Georgia Dress - made for my new favorite local photographer, Kliiq, for his daughters to wear on Easter; top left: Ribbon Pillowcase Dress - made for Miss Ts BFF, Miss H for her 1st birthday; Bottom right: Ribbon Pillowcase Dress - made for FUN! Size 18-24months, available in my shop; Bottom left: Made one for Miss T for her Easter dress, love the Cherry blossom print! Made another for one of my BFFs back home, well for her adorable daughter anyway, Miss A!)

In addition, I recently finished my first custom bedding order.  A crib skirt and bumper for Miss A's soon to be born brother - pictures coming soon (I hope!).  I was so excited to finish this project and send it out that I didn't even take any pictures of it!  I should get some soon all set up in his nursery.

I'm also working on another custom order for my other BFF back home for her two daughters.  Pictures to come soon.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, my favorite dress patterns come from the lovely and talented Little Lizard King.  A mom and entrepreneur, she is about to hit a huge milestone for what she once thought was a small operation.  She is about to hit her 10,000 sale!  She is such an inspiration to people like me.  I just had my first official etsy transaction.  1!  Woohoo!  To celebrate this huge milestone (my one, her 10,000!), Ms. King with the help of some sponsors is announcing a huge prize giveaway.  The details can be found here.  If you love sewing (or would love to buy a pattern for me to try out, hint, hint), check out her shop, her patterns and her giveaway!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I was at the park the other day. I had our dog, but Miss T was home with her daddy. I felt this uncontrollable urge come over me. I don't know if it was the bright blue skies with puffy clouds, the vivid green grass, or the sweet aroma drifting down from above. I couldn't shake this feeling - I had to give in... and climb this tree! "When was the last time you climbed a tree?!" I thought to myself. "20 years ago? No way you can do this!" Well, I did. I felt a little silly but it may have been my greatest accomplishment that day - to just let go and have innocent, childish fun. Have you climbed any trees lately?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Embrace the Camera (and the fact that I have a one-year old!)

So, it's embrace the camera day again!  I'll admit, I haven't been embracing this for a while now.  I haven't felt camera-ready for some time.  Whether it is the tired lines around my eyes or the fact that I lost so much hair between month 6 and 9 of T's life (or the fact that it's all growing back in at once and I have these funny little 12-year old bangs!), I just haven't been too kind on myself lately.  However, this ETCD I had to post. 

(link up your ETCD with Emily of the Anderson Crew!)

We recently celebrated Miss's T first birthday. 
It was a great day - sun was shining, it was warm, the house was clean...

OK, so the house wasn't too clean. 

And the grandparents almost didn't make it because Southwest had an airplane with a hole in its roof and cancelled their flight (along with 300 others!). 

Oh, and T decided not to play along with our napping plan and skipped nap #2 altogether (gave new meaning to "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to"). 

Besides all that though, this moment is one I am so glad we have a picture of.  I am truly living in this moment and enjoying this beautiful little creature that I am so blessed to take care of, raise, and love.  This was the moment T got to have cake for the first time.  Knowing how much of a sweet tooth momma has, I figured she would dive right in.  Nope.  She's definitely inherited both her momma's and her daddy's analytical side (for a synergistic effect) and investigated this sugary confection for 20 minutes!  I was dying laughing.  I couldn't contain myself!  She was just so serious and intense!

This girl really cracks me up. (Can you tell??) 
For a person that can be all too serious, OCD,
anal(ytical), routined, etc., I am so lucky
 to have a daughter that can make me enjoy life
 this much and just laugh and be silly.

(BTW, this was my best attempt lately at trying to look cute, note the 12-year old bangs!)

p.s. Huge thanks to Kliiq photography for being there with camera ready and getting this picture for us.   You know what else?  They even surprised us the next day with a huge print of this and one other picture!  You guys rock!  I'm definitely calling on you for our next milestone photo shoot!
You can also check them out on facebook too!  click Kliiq!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is that?

This is an embarassing story.
It's so embarassing that it has taken me several weeks
just to consider writing it down.
(big gulp)
It all started on a grey day in early March.  Here in the Mid-Atlantic States, we know spring is coming by a few very specific events, such as the dirt bike gangs start terrorizing city streets, we randomly have 80-degree days only to have a 40-degree day to follow, and the trees start to bud. 
The park we take our dog to has beautiful trees, including a couple of magnolia trees.  I love the fuzzy buds they get and I was enjoying showing them to Miss T. 

Each day at the park, I would point out the buds, let her touch and feel them and then tell her that soon, there will be gorgeous pink and white flowers.
One fateful day began in such a way.  While I was showing T the buds, our dog caught my attention.  We quickly walked away from the tree to address his needs.  I ended up re-leashing him and walking home, Miss T in my arms. 
At one point, I looked at her. 
Hmmm, something seems different. 
Oh well.
Once home, it was dinner time.  Hubby was working late so it was just T and I.  I set her down on her play mat and got her dinner ready.
Placing her in the highchair, I noticed something on her shirt.  It was about an inch long, very light, almost worm like.  Then there was another.  Then another. I was picking dozens of these things off of her shirt and face!  What could this be?  Is it a silk worm?  Is it from the magnolia tree?  I tried to squish one, but it didn't really squish like a worm.  Hmmm.  I inspected her play mat where I found more and more of these - and something else, almost leaf like, and wet. 
I went back to T and fished my finger around in her mouth and pulled more leaf-like pieces out!  What is she eating?  And then, a little light went off in my head.  While our dog had distracted me, Miss Sticky Fingers had grabbed a magnolia bud and shoved it in her mouth!
Frantic, I called my hubs at work. Not because I wanted the advice of my husband, but because I wanted his professional advice as an Emergency Department pharmacist with training in toxicology.
I called his cell phone - no answer. 
I called his office - no answer. 
I called the ED! NO ANSWER! (Ok, the ED answered, he just wasn't there). 
Now, my hubs is always available, whenever I needed him so this was driving me crazy!  I resorted to paging him at work.  Finally I reached him and told him what happened.  Now, here I am, ashamed that I allowed my daughter to eat a bud off of a city magnolia tree while in my arms. I am grateful that I have my own personal poison specialist that I can turn to day or night to answer all my frantic calls. I am very lucky. But you know what? I'm not the only one...

Did you know that your local Poison Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidays!) to answer just these and much more serious questions?!  A single hotline will direct you to your local poison center, anywhere in the US!  If your little one eats a magnolia bud (or something worse), you can call 1-800-222-1222, and speak to your own personal poison specialist, nurses and pharmacists that have been specifically trained to answer your questions and determine what actions need to be taken. 

Here are some surprising facts:
-each year, more than 1 million suspected poisoning exposures in children younger than 6 years old are reported to poison centers across the country.
-Experts at the Maryland Poison Center handled over 65,000 calls in 2008, involving household cleaners, medicines, snake and spider bites, industrial accidents, chemicals, animal poisonings, drug information, and more.

This is taken directly from the brochure I received at a health fair from my local poison center:
"The Maryland Poison Center is the first place to call in the event of a suspected poisoning. We receive approximately 60,000 calls per year ranging from poisoning emergencies to poison information requests.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with safe, effective emergency treatment advice and we are also here to answer any non-urgent questions you might have about poisons."

In the unfortunate event that you do need to seek emergency medical attention, did you know that your local poison center will help facilitate your interactions with doctors, assisting them in treatment and follow up?  Talk about service!
Did you know that this service is free?!?!
Utilizing a poison center as a first resort saves an estimated 15 to 30 million dollars in healthcare costs!  Seventy to 80% of all cases reported to a poison center can be safely managed at home without a trip to the ER, saving you time and money as well!

Well, I kind of left you hanging.  When I finally got B on the phone, in his calmest voice, he told me it was ok, that magnolia buds aren't poisonous. I didn't care, "this is a city magnolia tree!" I shouted back at him, "look it up!". As if being in a city can make a tree poisonous to 20-lb little girls! He humored me, looked it up and reported the results, she would be fine.

And it's a good thing even city magnolia trees aren't poisonous because just one week later, she grabbed a magnolia flower off the tree and took a big bite out of it, like it was a salad or something!  I need to keep a better eye on those sticky little fingers!