Saturday, October 27, 2012

Accent Vlog Proposal

Hi friends. I have an idea that I want to propose to you and I hope you'll play along. I saw a video on Facebook of one of my friends whom I've never met in real life, nor talked to on the phone. I loved hearing her voice and now when I read her tweets, I feel like I can hear her saying them.

Soo, how about you record yourself and upload the video to YouTube and then come here and post a link to your video? Then everyone who wants to know what you sound like when you talk {tweet!} can come here and watch your video! Sound good?

"What do we talk about in our video?", you ask? That's a fantastic question! Last year, Stephanie at Adventures In Babywearing posted an Accent Vlog that I loved and have been meaning to record an accent vlog of my own ever since. 

The directions:

Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught.

And answer the following questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Anything else you want to add in is great! But this is a good way to start. I'm excited and I hope that you'll join me.  I'll post a linky next week and you can join anytime.  Record a video on your phone, upload to YouTube, and come on over!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


{I've been itching to get back here but didn't know where to start. Today is good, right?}

Cut up strawberries, bits of {homemade. TOOT TOOT my own horn.} pancake, and honey nut o's scatter the floor under highchairs and booster seats. My un-socked feet pull with each step - honey nut o's are sticky. I just need to sweep real quick, then we'll read a book.

"Mama, help", she says. Pink broom in hand, she is sweeping up the crumbs from our morning feast and my scattered thoughts.

I wanted this to just be a quick sweep, 30 seconds at most. I stop myself from being frustrated, put down my broom, and sit on the floor so I can help her handle her broom. Because "mama, help" actually meant "mama, teach" and I pray for the teachable moments so why would I let this one slip through my fingers.

She sweeps a pile together, we work as a team to get it all in to the dustpan. On the way to the "tash", she dumps it on the floor. "Uh oh, Kiki" she says. I reassure her that it is okay, we will just sweep it up again. She is pleased with her work, making sure all of the crumbs get into the "tash" on the second attempt.

We wash our hands (because broom handles and dustpans have germs) and she runs off to play with her friend Caleb.

My eyes are slowly being opened. These are the moments I've prayed for.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Loose Ends

I said about a week and a half ago that I was going to post a vlog. Then our computer with the webcam had to go to the doctor and we just got it back. I could've used my iPhone, but, meh. I will work on it soon.

McKinley is growing and talking and running and I am having so much fun with her. She is truly the light of my life. She is still nursing, and as my grandma says, it provides her more "soul food" than nutrition at this point, although I believe she's still reaping the benefits of nursing.

I never thought that we would still be going strong. Honestly, when I received the samples of formula in the mail during my pregnancy, I held on to them. I wasn't committed to breastfeeding past 6 months until she was born and we developed a great nursing relationship. I know that we were very fortunate to not have any bumps in the road. While I would have cut anything out of my diet for her, I'm not sure we would have lasted past 12 months if I would have had a super restricted diet.

Now, I feel very emotional about the thought of her weaning. Some days, I think I'm ready. Other days, I think of how she is likely the only baby I will ever nurse, and then I don't want to even think about stopping.

It was not my intention for this post to just be about our nursing relationship. But now I have to go, and, um. Sorry.

Oh, I had a dream last night that it was time for the Spring Time Change again and it stayed light out until 6pm instead of 5pm. So if we could just go ahead and make that happen right now, that'd be great.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Thanks to Mariah for my new blog design!  I gave her a couple of ideas and a color scheme and she ran with it.  I love it!

Watch for a vlog later this week... I'm feeling brave!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


My to-do list is long. Bedding needs washed, floors need swept, the bathrooms need cleaned, someone should buy some groceries, and my baby needs to have her baby clothes switched out for toddler clothes. Of course, the clothes swapping is my favorite and least favorite of my chores to do. My favorite because I love to introduce new, cute clothes to her wardrobe, and the least favorite because my baby isn't such a baby. When I consider that she could be an only child, I find myself hanging on to every stage a little bit longer than she does.

Oh, the dishwasher needs unloaded and reloaded, and the previous load that is drying on the counter needs put away. And the crockpot sitting off to the side of the sink has a ring of leftover (burnt) chili that I just can't scrub away. The counter must feel overwhelmed just like I do.

But as I was listening to the Today Show yesterday, while nursing McKinley in our special chair, I heard Hoda (or Kathie Lee, not sure) say "Be Here Now". Whatever you're doing, whoever you're with, Be Here Now. So, I let that sit all day, in my mind and on my heart.

I played some dolls and read a couple of books, and had extra tickle time. And it was hard, but I put my phone down.

I'm going to print out some signs and hang them around my house. I might get all fancy and pinterest-y and make them look pretty, or I might print them out in Comic Sans* and just hang them. The sign isn't important - the words are.

Be Here Now.

*I would never.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back at it.

I wonder how long I can do this. Up every hour, maybe two, through the night. The squeaky glider. Closing the door behind me, then opening to double check on her.

I’m tired. I know that parents are supposed to be tired, but McKinley just doesn’t sleep well alone. Some nights she ends up in our bed. Ok, most nights.

I won’t let her cry, even if everyone says she’s playing me. I did for one night, and yes, after 7 minutes she went back to sleep. But until she can tell me what her cries mean, why should I ignore them? Maybe she has nightmares. Maybe her mattress is uncomfortable. Maybe she has a belly ache. I don’t like to sleep alone, so I’m not sure why I make her.

The monitor lights up, I hear her little cry. Grab my glasses and my phone (Thank you, God, for smart phones), and I rescue her. When she cries out, I come to her. Gosh, I’m thankful to know what that feels like.

The days (and nights) are so long. But the years. They are flying by. Soon, this will be a memory. And as odd as it sounds, I don’t want to forget.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Our Weekend

I sat down on Thursday and drafted a blog post (first since JUNE!) about pretty much nothing, and the deleted it because it just didn't have any substance. Boy, how things can change in a day!

I decided to blog this ordeal so that I could share it with everyone who asks exactly what happened. It's not that I don't want to tell people, I just don't want to miss any details.

McKinley got hurt on Thursday night. She had just had a bath, and I was carrying her into her bedroom to get her dressed. We had just walked into her room when she literally jumped out of my arms. She jumped over the top of my arm, and I tried to catch her by her legs, but I couldn't. She fell onto her faux hardwood/laminate floor and smacked her head hard on the floor. She started crying immediately, and I was hysterical. I ran her out to Aaron and asked him to hold her while I composed myself. By the time I went out to the living room to check on her, she was playing with Aaron, laughing and acting completely normal. I checked her pupils, felt the back of her head for a bump and found nothing. She and I slept in the living room on Thursday night so that I could monitor her incase she started vomiting. She ate and slept just like normal and got up on Friday morning at 7:30. She ate and played all morning long, and I kept feeling the back of her head for a bump and I never felt anything.

Around 1:00 pm, I sat down to nurse McKinley in hopes of getting her down for a nap. As I was playing with her hair, I noticed that her head was very soft on one side. I immediately freaked out, called her pediatrician and left a message with the nurse to have the Dr call me. In the meantime, I called Aunt Jen to come to our house and just help me stay calm. She suggested I pack my bag in case the pediatrician sent us to the hospital overnight, so I was able to get a bag for me and McKinley packed while she held McKinley, who, by the way, was still acting completely normal.

The pediatrician called and said to take McKinley straight to the ER because she wouldn't be able to tell anything without a CT Scan. We settled in at the ER and had an evaluation from the doctor, who then ordered the scan. They wanted her as still as possible without sedating her, so they wrapped her like a mummy and taped her head down to the table. I held onto her with all my might and sang as loud as I could to comfort her while they did the scan. Another one of my fabulous aunts, Heather, had come by with her kids and they were there for comfort and support and when the doctor came in with the results of the scan, I was so thrilled that they were there.

The Attending came in and said that the CT showed that McKinley had fractured her skull and had some bleeding, which is what caused the side of her head to be soft. They said they wanted to monitor her for a while to make sure things didn't get worse, but that they didn't have the facilities to do that. They then informed me that they would be transferring her to the University of Chicago, which made me nervous, but not terrified. The part where I became terrified is when they told me that they were air lifting her. At 5:00 pm on a Friday afternoon, the last place you want to be if you have a brain injury is stuck in traffic on the Skyway. Actually, I can't think of any time you'd want to be stuck in traffic on the Skyway, but hey, it's Chicago. What can you do.

So they called for the helicopter from Comer Childrens Hospital at the University of Chicago, and found that they would be there in 15 minutes. They had just enough time to get an IV started and do another CT Scan of her neck to check for any issues before they Life Flight crew arrived. During all of this, and I'm not sure of the details, my aunt contacted Aaron and my mom, and they were both on their way. I had our car, so my uncle was driving Aaron to the hospital, and my mom was on her way from Ohio. From phone call to car was 3 minutes, she threw some random things in a bag and flew out the door. She drove to my brother's house, where he jumped in and took over driving. Mimi was very shaken and it's probably best that she wasn't driving.

The Flight crew arrived and began doing their preparations. They went over her medical history and I had to sign papers allowing my 13 month old to be transported by helicopter. I know I cried, a lot, but I didn't really have time to freak out because they needed me to stay calm so that McKinley didn't get worked up. With a brain trauma, they wanted to keep her blood pressure as constant as possible, so my crying wasn't going to help at all.

Aaron arrived and came in the room to hug her, we kissed her and watched them strap her to the board to make sure her neck and head stayed stable for the flight. She was then wheeled out and placed in the ambulance, then driven to the helicopter. We gathered our things and went out to the car, watched for her to take off, and then left (note - takes 8 minutes to fly from Crown Point to UofC by helicopter. EIGHT. WHOA.). We had been advised to take our time because once she arrived, she was going to be met by a pedicatric trauma team, and they had a lot of tests to do before we would even be able to see her.

We didn't really waste any time, and it still took us over an hour to get there. When we arrived, she had just been transferred to an ER room and was waiting for us. They said that she screamed the entire time, and never calmed down until she saw us. I was so heartbroken to hear this, but it's one of those things you just have to do as a parent. Obviously, I asked if I could ride along and for liability reasons, I couldn't. I knew this, but they were taking my BABY! I had to ask. Just in case.

They gave us an update - she had no neck injury so she didn't need to wear a collar. They did a full body scan just to be sure she didn't have any other issues, and it came back clear. We waited in the ER for 2 hours before being transferred to the PICU open unit. My mom and brother showed up with my aunt and uncle and we were able to visit with them for a while before being transferred. By they time we got to our bed in the unit, visiting hours were over, so they came home. But it was so good to have someone there to comfort us. We were still so scared and unsure of what was to come.

She was NPO (couldn't eat/nurse) so getting her to sleep was going to be a struggle. {She was NPO just in case something happened to her and they needed to intubate. They also gave her anti-seizure meds and the side effects are nausea and vomiting, and if she vomited, they wanted to know that it wasn't from eating too much, or something I ate that affected her.} After holding her for hours and then trying to get her to sleep without nursing, the nurse suggested I lay her in the crib to see if she would settle down. She thought that thing was a jungle gym. She loved playing in there, but we were worried she would hit her head, so we had to wrap the bars in blankets.

She finally caved around 1:30 am and after not sleeping more than 30 minutes since 7:30 am, she fell asleep. I was able to transfer her to the crib and grab an hour of sleep. She woke up and I was again able to get her back down. At 4 am, the nurse had to wake her to check her pupils, and she thankfully went right back to sleep. Again at 6 am, they had to wake her, she was NOT PLEASED and she wanted them to know! After 20 minutes of fighting it, she went back to sleep. (Note the padded crib bars - haha)

Around 7:15, the Neurosurgery team came in and assessed her, called for another CT Scan, and removed the NPO order. I was thrilled to be able to nurse her back to sleep, but WAIT. Now that she's awake, lets draw blood and do the CT Scan and order breakfast for mom and dad and check all vitals and meet the new staff after shift change. And then the Social Worker showed up. I knew that she would be coming by, but it still hurt my heart a lot. She asked her routine questions, and watched Aaron and I interact with McKinley. She explained that anytime a child under age 2 comes in with an injury, they do the evaluation. She informed us that she would meet with the Child Abuse Doctor and they would discuss our case and get back to us. Around 9, I was able to finally nurse her and she went to sleep for about an hour. I left to go brush my teeth and try to pull myself together and she stopped by while I was gone, letting Aaron know that we were cleared.

(Don't get too bored - we get to leave soon!)

My mom and Aunt Jen showed up just as she was waking up. The PICU Attending came in and said that the CT Scan showed no change from yesterday, which is the best news in this situation. They wanted her to eat regular food and keep it down, perform a final examination on her, and see her put pressure on her legs. She was too annoyed to walk, but she put weight on her legs which was good enough! She ate some spaghetti, got it all over my mom and the floor, kept it down, and was released! The nurse came in to unhook BOTH IV's and all of the monitors she had to wear, and we were OUTTA THERE. We go back in one month to meet with the Pediatric Neurosurgeon to check on the fracture, which should heal on it's own. The blood should reabsorb, and as it does, the swelling will go down.

YOU carried me, us. YOU lifted us in prayer, thought about us, wished us well. Facebooked to your friends about us, tweeted us to your followers, activated your church prayer chain, sent texts to check in. You assured us everything would be okay. We are so incredibly thankful. I wish I could thank each one of you individually, but I don't even know where to start. I can only explain that the peace we felt was an answer to prayer. There is no other explaination for why I wasn't a complete basketcase the entire weekend.

***Questions that I just didn't know where to put: Why did they air lift her? Why couldn't they observe her at the local hospital? Because of her age and head trauma, they wanted to have her monitored every 2 hours through the night, followed by a CT Scan. IF the scan would have shown things getting worse, they would've had to transfer her anyhow. As a precautionary measure, they did it early on. Also, there is not a Pedicatric Neurosurgery department at the hospital, only a Neonatal Neuorosurgeon (5 times, fast. Go.)
Any other questions, or if something doesn't make sense, please let me know. I wanted to get it all down while it was fresh in my memory.