Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello, Goodbye, Hello

 If you are a Facebook friend, you heard about this:

And you met our new friend, Dorothy.

 And then this morning you saw this post from my husband:
The inevitable occurred sometime during the night...Dorothy has died! Her life was a short one, but she touched the lives of many. She will be remembered most of all for her swimming behind a particular plant for the majority of the day. Indeed Dorothy will be missed, but she has gone to the big fish tank in the sky. RIP Dorothy.

It could have been the toll the fair took on her, the amount of time she spent in the bag, the temperature of the water, the new aquarium not being established, trying to adjust to a new home, or all of these combined that caused her early demise.
Justin was the poor soul that had to tell Reagan about it this morning.  He said, "Who would have ever thought telling a four-year-old her fish died would be so gut wrenching." :(

No worries, though.  This morning Justin took Reagan to a pet shop in a neighboring town and restocked the tank with some new friends.

Meet Rug, a male Platy.  Reagan named him Rug because "he's flat like a rug."  Whatever works, kid.

 Meet his wife, Dark, "because she has dark on her tail."  I pointed out that Rug is actually darker than she is, but four-year-olds don't care much for logic. 

Next we have Yellow (bottom) and Yellow 2 (top).  They are guppies and I think both are females.

 Neon Tetras Zing (top) and Zip (bottom), thusly named because they are so stinkin' fast.  It was hard to get a clear picture.  Zing is a bit smaller and has a more blueish streak, while Zip is larger and has a more turquoise streak.

And, finally, Red the Beta.  Reagan insists that his name is Red, but Justin and I call him Mr. Grumpfish.  Why?

 Here's why.





 He does NOT like any one who comes near his plant and quickly puffs out his head and chases them away.  Rug did get his revenge at one point by smacking Red in the face with his tail.

Reagan was very clear that she did not want more goldfish because she's already had Dorothy.  At first she wanted to name all the new fish Dorothy as well, but then decided there could only ever be one.  But, now we are back in a happy place.   

Is it weird that, after getting the new fishies settled in their new home, we had Tilapia for lunch? 

Also, this has nothing to do with fish, but it's cute. :) 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Kids Are So Mean...Really?

Over the past four years my daughter has taught me many lessons.  Today was another lesson learned.  You always hear adults saying that children are so mean.  They say things they shouldn't, tease one another, become bullies.  I think we could not be more wrong. Do kids magically come up with prejudices?  An idea of what's "weird"?  Do they instinctively know someone is doing something they should make fun of?  I would say no.  I would say WE are so mean.
Today I took Reagan for her four-year-old physical.  In the waiting room there was a little boy that came over and started playing in the same area she was.  Reagan said, "Hi!  My name is Reagan.  What's your name?"
The little boy didn't say anything.  After a minute he started grunting and making noises, but not talking.  He started gesturing at his shirt.  It was obvious that he was on the Autism spectrum and not able to communicate well through speaking.  Reagan has never been around many kids that have trouble communicating and has no idea what Autism is.  I immediately thought, "Please don't say anything wrong, Reagan.  Please don't freak out."
You know what Reagan did?  She said, "Angry Birds?  I like Angry Birds too!"  She then proceeded to play with him and continued to talk to him until they were called back for their appointment.  When he yelled out or got a little rough she just raised her eyebrows and giggled.  She looked at me to make sure everything was fine and, after a smile from me, kept right on playing.
After they left she never said anything about it.  She didn't make fun of him or say he was weird.  She didn't tease him when he tried to communicate with her.  She just kept treating him like she treats everyone else.
Kids get a bad wrap.  They aren't inherently mean, they are just outspoken.  They say exactly what is on their mind.  You know where I think they get these mean ideas?  From us.  Grown ups are the ones that teach children prejudices.  They see how we react to others.  They hear the things we whisper behind other's backs.  They learn to tease and bully from us.  WE are the problem!
Jesus knew what He was talking about.  When the disciples were concerned with who was the best, this happened.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:2-4
And again, in chapter 19 of Matthew children were brought to Jesus so He could pray for them and the disciples tried to turn them away.
But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 19:14
Children have such pure hearts.  We are the ones that ruin that.  Be careful of what you are teaching the precious little ones around you.  Be careful of the things you think and say.  We are shaping the way they think.  Reagan definitely reminded me of that today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Focus

This week I started a workout program called "Focus T 25."  The premise is that you focus on nothing but working out for 25 minutes a day.  All of the programs last 25 minutes and have a specific focus.  For example, today's workout focused on the core.  Let me just say, ouch.  Core work after a c-section does NOT come easy.  For the past four days I've managed to find the 25 minutes to dedicate to becoming more healthy in between feeding Harrison, changing his diapers, helping Reagan with something, preparing meals, etc, etc.  You want to know something I had not found time for, even once, in the past four days?

Reading my Bible.

Ouch.  I admit that I have a problem with studying my Bible on a regular basis.  After our gospel meeting in July I was determined to get back in the habit, but I have not.

That changes today.

I realized earlier tonight that I have found 25 minutes each of the past four days to work on my physical health.  Surely I can find 25 minutes to work on my spiritual health.  Which is of more importance?  Obviously my spiritual health.  I say God is my number one priority.  I need to act like it.  Tonight, after everyone else was asleep, I turned off facebook, the tv, and my phone, and spent 25 minutes focused on reading the Word of God.  I need to remember my goal: Heaven.


Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thank You, God.

I have been thanking God all night.  Things could have been really bad, but thankfully, they are not.
Justin's family got together today to swim and have a cookout.  We were having a great time.  Reagan and I were swimming in the pool with several others.  She wanted to go down the slide again so I was waiting at the bottom to catch her.  She's still not very fond of going all the way under water.  As she climbed the ladder I thought, "It's kind of slick.  Maybe I should be behind her just in case."  She climbed to the top and then decided she was too scared to go.  This was the second time she'd done this so I told her she had to either slide or climb back down and she wouldn't be going up it again.  As she was trying to climb down she slipped and fell.  I couldn't see it happen because the ladder part is solid and I was down in the pool.  But I heard a sickening thud and then her screaming.  I swam to the side as fast as I could and kept slipping trying to climb out.  I was yelling that I was coming as others were running to her side.  I wasn't sure how far she had fallen, but it was at least a few feet.  When I got to her I expected to see her busted up pretty badly and bleeding a lot or with broken bones.  Thankfully, SO THANKFULLY, that's not what I found.  She was hurting alright, but she only had a small scratch on her ankle, a scrape on her head, a knot starting to form on the back of her head, and said the whole side she landed on and her head were hurting.  She complained later of her hand hurting where we figure she tried to catch herself and it looks like she may have hit her back as well.  The scrape on her head seems to be the only thing still bothering her.  I just sat there on the ground holding her.  I felt so guilty for not standing behind her or having someone else do it while I caught her.  I know I can't blame myself, and kids get hurt all the time, but it was so scary.  I am so, SO thankful to God that she wasn't injured badly.  I was also thankful there was a nurse there to help us check her out, give her Motrin, get ice on her head, and assure us she was fine.  So, again, thank you, God.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Um, What is This Called Again?

I'm hearing a lot of this question these days.  I mentioned in the previous post that we are eating much healthier now.  As a result, we are trying lots of new foods cooked in lots of new ways.  A lot of things Justin and I have never had before and Reagan has never even heard of.  Tonight was one of those nights.  We had Tilapia with Kale and Tomato.  None of us had ever tried kale before.  Listening to Reagan try to pronounce tilapia was fun.  In the end we just called it fish. :)  We all really enjoyed it.  I loved it, in fact.  Even Reagan was eating it.  I'm not sure if she ate all her kale because I had to leave to go to a teachers work night at church, but she had eaten all her tilapia so I consider it a victory.  It will definitely be put into regular rotation.  It is one of the recipes from the Focus T25 nutrition guide.  There have actually been a lot of good ones in there.  It was super easy and quick to fix, always a bonus for a busy mommy (and what mommy isn't busy)!

Here's the recipe for one serving:
8 oz raw tilapia
1 pinch sea salt (optional)
Ground black pepper (to taste, optional)
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups chopped fresh kale
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juice (I actually found organic, no salt added canned tomatoes at Walmart!)

Season both sides of tilapia with salt and pepper if desired; set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and kale; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes (with juice); bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.
Place tilapia fillet on top of kale mixture; cook, covered, for 1 minute.  Gently turn tilapia over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tilapia is cooked through and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Remove from heat and serve.

Now I'm hungry again...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Bad Day for the Better

First off, let me say so sorry I haven't posted in so long.  I was constantly thinking, "I should blog about this," but never getting around to it.  My plan is to make it a habit again.  Like I said, my PLAN. :)

There have been a lot of changes around our house in a short time.  6 weeks ago Harrison was born.  2 weeks ago we did a MAJOR overhaul of our eating habits.  And, as of yesterday, we have drastically cut tv time.

For the most part, Reagan has done really well adjusting to her new little brother.  But there has been an increase in the whining and crying when she doesn't get her way.  We had finally gotten it under control and now I feel like we're staring all over again.

We now eat mostly non-processed, whole foods.  I've even been buying organic when possible.  This isn't a diet, it's a life-style change.  No more fast food 4 times a week (or any times a week for that matter), junk food, or frozen meals.  Now we eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits as well as lean proteins and a few whole grain carbs.  Justin has also started the Focus T25 workouts.  He lost over 10 pounds in just 2 weeks as well as several inches.  I lost about 3 pounds while still drinking lots of Dr. Pepper (which I will be weaning off of).  We want to be healthy and we want our kids to be healthy.  As you can imagine, it's hard taking an almost 4 year old from chicken nuggets, twinkies, and cheese-its to baked chicken with onions and red peppers.  So hard, in fact, that Reagan will be eating said baked chicken for her 5th meal in a row for breakfast.  She refused to eat at all Sunday night and has been getting the same plate of food at every meal since then.  She is one stubborn girl, choosing to take punishments rather than eat the food she doesn't want.  I'm really hoping she will finish it in the morning.  Every meal time she cries and whines about it and takes at least an hour to eat three bites.

Yesterday we implemented a rule of one hour of tv or computer time during the day. It's for myself as well as Reagan.  I want to make an effort to be more present, stay on top of household duties, and spend more time actually doing things with her.  I don't want her spending all day staring at a screen.  We need to be learning about God more.  Learning in general more.  We are going to homeschool so we need to get into the habit of doing some activities related to that.  After a few activities Reagan spent the entire day asking what we can do while we take a break from the tv.  All my suggestions were followed by, "I don't want to."  Even my suggestion to go play outside which she normally loves.  She moped on the couch and whined and cried about it.

Oh yeah, and during all this I was tending to a 6 week old who was screaming if he wasn't being held while cooking and attempting to work on a few other things.

I don't say all this to say "poor me."  I say all this because even though it was a REALLY hard day, I know we are doing what's best for our family.
We want to take care of the bodies God gave us.
We want to grow closer together.
We want our focus to be on God, not this world.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17 
We are trying to remember what things actually matter, and what things don't.  We want Reagan to grow up knowing that God is first.
" But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."  Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) 
We need to show her that example of spending time in the Word of God, in prayer, in teaching her about Him.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NKJV) 
It has eternal importance not only for us, but also for Reagan and Harrison.

 So while this day was a bad day, it was for the better.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Explanation

I didn't want to write a book in my facebook status so I figured I'd put it in a blog post. :)

Most of you know that we had our 20 week ultrasound last week and they found a couple of areas of concern.  Harrison has a fluid cyst on his brain and a "bright spot" on his heart.  These are both relatively common, but because two things were present we needed to go have a more in depth appointment at the perinatal clinic.  At our initial ultrasound they told us the cyst is very common and can go away on it's own.  It's likely spinal fluid that just isn't down in the spine yet.  They also said the spot on his heart is likely a calcification where an extra valve started to form and then stopped.  It will always be there, but won't grow as the heart does so it will be smaller in relation to the size of the heart as Harrison ages and won't cause any issues.
 We went today to the perinatal clinic and the doctor said everything else looks great!  The cyst can be a marker of Trisomy 18 and the bright spot can be a marker of Down's Syndrome, but in our case none of the other signs are there so the chances of him having either is something like 1 in 376 and 1 in 500.  Obviously the doctor can't say absolutely for certain nothing will be wrong, but in our case the chances are tiny.  We could have an amnio to know for sure, but with chances so small he said he definitely wouldn't recommend it and we didn't want to have one because of the chance that you could actually cause a miscarriage.  He said the cyst and the bright spot won't be detrimental to Harrison in any way.  We will stick with my normal prenatal care and won't have to come to him anymore.  During the ultrasound he kept saying Harrison's heart was beautiful. :)  We are so relieved and thankful for everyone who has been praying for us!