Chasing Cheerios

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tiny Turtle

october 2008 155 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

A few weeks ago when O's grandma, Mem, and her cousin were visiting, we went outside to play on the beach. Before we knew it, the girls were in the water! The weather was HOT, but the water was cold! The girls were excited (and O was a little scared at 1st) to find this tiny turtle on the beach. He was so cute and tiny, and his shell was still soft, so he must have been brand new!

Edit to add : Oops! We went to the aquarium this weekend and saw softshell turtles. So this little guy is a softshell turtle. I guess I should have known that, but I had no idea that there was such a thing!

Our Pretty Princesses

october 2008 046 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

O and M were beautiful flower girls in our cousin's wedding a few weeks ago. In this picture they are blowing bubbles and then chasing them. This is one of my favorite pictures from the wedding. I just wish that green cord wasn't in the picture!

Footprint Ghost Cards

IMG_1737 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

I saw this on a blog somewhere recently (I have no idea where!), and thought it was a great idea :) I painted O's foot white and then pressed it onto the black construction paper. Once the ghost dried, we glued the googly eyes to the heel, and I wrote the message with a silver sharpie. I had O sign her name. I planned on her writing an O, but she insisted on writing and M (her version) for Mommy. Her M's are basically just a few lines. I said "Oh, it's an M," and O said "No, it's not. That's just lines! O not know how make M!"

Decorating Pumpkins with Stickers

IMG_1747 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

We had lots of little pumpkins that needed decorating, so I thought O would have fun putting dot stickers on the pumpkins. She loves dots, but she was disappointed that there weren't any blue dots (blue is her favorite color). She was proud of her "smiley face," and we were, too!

Baking Pumpkin Bread

IMG_1754 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

We are doing lots of Halloween activities today. Guh-guh and O love to bake pumpkin bread, and they are baking a yummy loaf right now! O loves to bake with Guh-guh :) I'm so glad that my mom likes to bake with her because I really don't like to bake (except for bread in my bread machine!).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tracing and Coloring a Pumpkin

IMG_1705 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

The idea to color a pumpkin with washable markers which O could then wash off came from A Bit of This and That. O had a great time tracing her pumpkin and then coloring it. I was sure that she would also love washing the pumpkin. I was wrong! She was proud of her pumpkin, and she refused to even consider washing it off. She said it "made mama feel better." She's constantly doing things and giving me things to make me feel better. I keep telling her that I'm not sick anymore, but she doesn't seem to believe me. I guess she's picking up on my sadness even though I'm trying really hard to put on a happy face :) She's a perceptive little monkey!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leaf Rubbings

IMG_1660 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

Yesterday afternoon, O, my mom, and I took a walk to look for leaves. She was so cute, and she'd pick up a leaf, look at it, and say "that one is too crunchy." She was so excited when my dad came to visit because we'd told her that he'd love to rub leaves with her. She showed him how to do it, and he was very impressed with the finished product. My mom and dad are holding the paper still for her in this picture. This was a fun and educational fall activity!

Lotuspad Yoga Mats for Kids...

are 50% off for this week only! I ordered one for O for Christmas last night. I wasn't planning on buying her anything else for Christmas, but I couldn't resist this deal, especially since the mats are PVC-free!

Update: Evidently Lotuspad was running low on the mats, so they ended the sale early. Sorry, everyone! Check the comments section for a comment from the owner of the site.

Homemade Playdough

Homemade Playdough, originally uploaded by omamom16.

O and I have been at my mom's house for the past week, so we haven't done any Montessori activities, but she has had a GREAT time playing with her cousin, M. Yesterday afternoon we decided to make homemade playdough using Laura's recipe. The girls had a fantastic time. They loved pouring in the ingredients and then mixing them with a spoon. My mom did the actual cooking of the playdough! While they played, M declared that this was "the BEST playdough ever!" I agree! The texture was perfect, and it smells so good. We added cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices to make it seasonal :) O really enjoyed making "duhkees" (cookies), and she and M both said they were making them for me to make me feel better. What sweet girls! Here is Laura's recipe (and you should check out her post because she has LOTS of good ideas for making "playdough of the month."

Homemade Playdough

1 c. flour

1/2 cup salt

1 T. cooking oil

1 T. cream of tartar

1 c. water

Food coloring of your choice

Add-ins of your choice (i.e. spices, extracts, glitter, etc.)

Stir ingredients together well. Just measure them into the saucepan you will be using to cook the dough, but mix them well before heating up the pan. Over medium heat cook the dough, stirring constantly until it forms a ball.
Let the playdough cool and then knead until it's smooth.

Thanks, Laura!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"It's Playdoh Nime!"

IMG_1615 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

O LOVES playdoh. Playing with playdoh is one her all time favorite activities. In fact, I can't think of anything (other than playing sick/nurse/hospital) that she enjoys playing with more than playdoh. In this picture you can see the little bowls that she requested that I make for her pizza. Then she wanted me to make napkins to sit the bowls on. We also made snakes, and she was pretending to be scared of the big snake in this picture. She gave the snake eyes, a nose, a mouth, and a big tongue! We don't play with playdoh every day at home, but my mom has a "playdoh cabinet" at O's level, so she can get all of the playdoh and accessories herself, so we play with it more often here. I'm definitely going to have to put her playdoh at home in an easily accessible place for her.

Cereal Box Puzzle

IMG_1609 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

I blogged about the cereal box puzzles that I made for O a while back. I planned on introducing them to her within the next few days, so I put them somewhere safe and I've never seen them again :) I've looked everywhere, but I can't find them. So...when I saw a cereal box in my mom's trashcan (O and I are at my mom's house for the week), I decided to try again. O was excited (which surprised me, since she's not a huge puzzle fan). She did a good job and did the puzzle 3 or 4 times before she decided that it was "playdoh nime" (time)!

Update: I'm at home for the 1st time in a week, and obviously I was having a major case of pregnancy brain when I was looking for the cereal box puzzles. They were right there in the cabinet with everything else. They practically fell out on me when I was looking for the blender. Good grief!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank You

I am really astounded and thankful for all of the wonderful, thoughtful, and kind comments on my last post. I have to admit that I was hesistant to include so many painful, personal details on a public blog, but after reading the comments and realizing how many of you have had similar experiences, I am glad that I did. I want you to know that I read EVERY comment, and most of these comments have made me cry :) I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that thoughts of my baby exist in many hearts and minds other than my own. Even though my baby existed only for a very short time (and to many people he didn't exist at all), it helps to know that maybe someone other than Elliott and I will remember and think of him (I say him because I had 2 very realistic "boy" dreams while I was pregnant, so I feel that my baby was probably a boy). I guess that sounds silly, but I just don't want his life to be forgotten. So...thank you. Thank you so very, very much!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our Story

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. I decided to share our story via this blog for many preserve the memories no matter how painful, as a catharsis for me, and to help others who have been or will be in a similar situation.

Today I should be 13 weeks pregnant, and I'm not. I couldn't wait to reach 12 weeks. I'd been so very sick, and I was convinced that once I hit the 12 week mark that the constant nausea would start to fade. I never doubted that my pregnancy was healthy because everyone always says that nausea is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, so I certainly felt like we were covered!
We had our 1st ultrasound on October 10 which was 1 day before I was 11 weeks pregnant. Elliott, O, my mom, and I were all very excited to finally see the 1st pictures of our new baby. There were even several people who were convinced that we would see twins. Within the 1st 15 seconds of the ultrasound, we knew something was wrong. The ultrasound tech, Lisa, was very quiet and looked concerned. She asked if I was sure of my due date, and I was VERY sure. She looked and looked, but did not see a baby. She did an internal ultrasound, and still she did not see a baby. During all of this, I was praying that we would suddenly see a baby who was just hiding somehow, and I really expected that to happen any second. She did another external ultrasound, and finally saw a very small baby that she measured to be at 6 weeks, 4 days. She did not see a heartbeat. Elliott and I knew this could not be since I'd taken a positive pregnancy test 7 weeks before. In my heart, I knew my baby was gone, but I kept coming up with crazy scenarios in my head as to why our baby would be measuring so small. A dr came and told us that either we had an unsuccessful pregnancy or our dates were off. They drew blood and told me to come back Monday, so they could draw more blood. They needed to compare the Hcg levels to see if they were dropping.

The rest of the day is really just a blur. We were on our way to stay with our brother-in-law for the weekend because O and my niece were flower girls in my cousin's wedding. Luckily, my mom and my sister were able to take the girls to the rehearsal, dinner, and to the church for pictures the next day, so that Elliott and I were able to just show up for the wedding and reception. It was really hard to go to the wedding, but it wasn't something we could miss. O and M were so proud to be flower girls, and they did a beautiful job. The bride was beautiful, I've never seen a groom glow the way my cousin was glowing :) O had the greatest time dancing the night away at the reception. She definitely didn't inherit her mama's shyness!

So...on Monday I went back to the dr for another blood test. O was proud to go with me and hold my hand so that I wouldn't be scared. She was very solemn and serious and held my hand very tightly while the nurse drew blood. I requested a prescription for fenergen for my constant nausea. I could handle it as long as I knew I was going to have a baby to hold in May, but once the promise of a baby was gone, the constant sickness was more than I could take. The fenergen took the edge off the nausea, but mostly it just made me tired, so I slept around the clock. This was probably a good thing. From Saturday night when we got home from the wedding until yesterday, I don't think I left my bedroom for anything other than a doctor's appointment or ultrasound.

We went back to the doctor on Wednesday to discuss the results of the blood tests. My levels had dropped, but they were still very high (I already knew this because I was slightly less nauseous, but still nauseous enough that I knew my levels were still high). The dr did another ultrasound, and the result was the same. This was devastating all over again because I'd held on to the hope that since I was still sick that maybe the ultrasound would somehow show a healthy baby. We still weren't ready to give up hope...

I went back to the dr for another blood test on Friday and then for another ultrasound on Monday. At this ultrasound, they couldn't even find the baby measuring 6 weeks, 4 days. There was just nothing. I wasn't surprised, but I was devastated. We knew it was over, and I needed it to be over. The waiting and hoping and the continuing pregnancy symptoms while knowing that there really was no hope were killing me. I wasn't able to be a good mama for O, and I was so glad that my mom stepped in and became "mama" for these 12 days. Elliott and I both decided that the best thing for both of us was for me to go ahead and have a d & c. I was so scared and sad, but I felt like we had to make this decision in order to begin to heal.

On Tuesday morning at about 6:20 Elliott, my sister, and I left for the hospital. My mom stayed at my house with O and my niece. The nurses, doctor, and hospital staff were all incredibly kind. I was completely knocked out for the procedure, and I am so thankful for that. I remember crying as they wheeled me back to the OR, and I was crying when I woke up. I was surprised and relieved that it was over. After resting at the hospital for a while, we went home. I was so relieved to be nausea free that I actually felt good for a little while. O makes me so happy that it is easy to forget this constant ache and emptiness in my heart for moments at a time. I don't want to be sad forever, but it is hard to imagine that this sadness won't be with me forever. I had no idea how hard this would and that I would actually feel a physical ache and emptiness in my heart. The word miscarriage is a word that I've come to hate. It seems to minimize this experience. This doesn't feel like a "miscarriage" to me. This is the death of our deeply loved and wanted baby who will be forever missed.

Thank you to all of our family and friends (IRL and online) who have supported us through this experience. A special thank you to my mom for stepping in and taking over and to my sister for coming to our house multiple times to distract us and entertain O and for going with us to the hospital to be with Elliott. He thought he'd be ok alone, but he is very grateful that you were there for him to talk to :) (and I know he talked your ear off!) Thank you to my MIL for getting a bag full of books for me from the library. That helped more than you can ever know. Thank you to my IRL friends and family for understanding that while I can't talk about this experience at all, it really helps to write about it and to have people who listen, care, and understand. Also, thank you to the mamas in the online mommy groups in which I am a member for sharing your stories and making me feel less alone.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way...

I'll be gone for a while, but will probably be back sooner rather than later. Please pray for our family.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

O's Montessori Shelf- The Back :)

Here is the back of O's Montessori shelf. This is the side that faces the room for the majority of the time. As you can see, there are 6 clips for displaying artwork. These clips were surprisingly difficult to find, and I was relieved when my mom finally found them for me. Thanks, Mom! O was very excited when she realized that the clips were for hanging her artwork, and she immediately had to make as much art as possible! This was exciting for me since she's not always interested in arts and crafts activities. She REALLY loves coloring with markers, and I think that yesterday was the 1st time that she colored with markers that she didn't also color herself from head to toe (thank goodness, since she is a flower girl in a wedding on Saturday!). On the bottom of the shelf are hooks for hanging activity bags. I have about 6 or 7 bags out, but she usually only chooses the open/close bag and maybe one or two others. I really need to put a few new bags out :)

O's Montessori Shelf

O's Montessori Shelf, originally uploaded by omamom16.

Here is O's Montessori shelf! It was surprisingly easy to build, and Elliott and I are very proud of it :) It's on casters so that we can turn it around when it's not in use. The back is pegboard, and I'll show the other side in another post (I can only post one photo per post when blogging through flickr). On the top shelf we have a number puzzle, shape sorting blocks, and phonics pouches. On the 2nd shelf we have the mystery bag, sound cylinders, toothpick sorting (this is O's current favorite!), and my mini version of the red rods. On the 3rd shelf we have jars & lids, mini animal match, latches board, and water transfer with a sponge. On the bottom shelf we have dry pouring with lentils, 2d/3d farm animal match, cats match, and stringing beads. We have LOTS of activities that are not on the shelves, and I'm not sure how often I should add and take away activities. She's very uninterested in the red rods and dry pouring, so I think I may switch these out fairly soon. Any suggestions from other Montessori mamas or teachers are welcome :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Matching Farm Animals

Matching Farm Animals, originally uploaded by omamom16.

O chose to do her Matching Farm Animals work today during school. I've been surprised by how few times she has chosen this work, since it's something that she really enjoys. I downloaded the farm animals pics off the internet (I have no idea where I got them from!) months and months ago. I eventually printed, cut, and laminated them. For this work, I have 5 animal cards and 5 miniature plastic animals (I bought them from the dollar section of Target. I love Target!) in a basket. O brings the basket to her rug, lays out the cards while labeling them, and then matches the animals to the cards. When I introduced the work to her, I showed her how to put the animals to the right of the card, but she usually prefers to put the animals on top of the cards. I think I'll add in a few more pics and animals before tomorrow since this work seems to be very easy for her :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Yummy! Felt Food :)

felt food, originally uploaded by omamom16.

My mom and I recently finished making a bunch of felt food for my niece and godson (and his brother). I cut the felt out months ago, but I'm scared to use the sewing machine without my mom (it breaks every time we use it), so I was waiting for her to come sew them. My mom did all of the machine sewing, and I did the cutting and hand sewing (sewing the chocolate chips onto the cookies). My mom loved sewing the eggs and said she could sew a hundred eggs :) We are thinking of opening an etsy shop, which is something we've been talking about for a year or so. I'm hoping that this nausea will pass soon, so that I can be more productive :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pregnancy Brain

My 1st sign that I was pregnant with #2 happened about 2 months ago when I was at work talking to another psychologist. I was trying to ask her about 2 students that I'd known very well for years and years and I suddenly had NO IDEA what their names were. It was almost scary how blank my mind was, and I realized that it was not normal, and I must be pregnant. Sure enough :) My most recent experience with pregnancy brain was a little more amusing...

We've been at O's Guh-guh and Grandpa's house for the past few days, and yesterday I asked my mom if I could use her deodorant because I'd forgotten mine. She said sure, and I put it on. It was almost O's naptime, so I laid down with her to read books on the futon, and my mom sat nearby in a rocking chair. I noticed that my underarms started feeling VERY cool and tingly. I thought it was strange, but maybe my body was reacting differently to the deodorant since I'm pregnant and I've gotten used to using natural deodorant. However, after 5 more minutes of progessively cooler and tinglyer (is that even a word?) underarms, I said to my mom "this deodorant is very strange. It almost feels like I put Vicks Vapor Rub on under my arms." My mom looked up with a shocked and panicked expression, and said "maybe you did!" We ran back to her bedroom and quickly discovered that I had, in fact, put roll-on Menthol on under my arms. (in my defense, it looks A LOT like my mom's roll on deodorant!). I scrubbed it off, but I still felt cool and tingly for at least 2 hours :) We went back to the front room, and O was sitting up on the futon looking tired and confused while asking "what is it? what is it?" So... that's my craziest pregnancy brain story so far (I'm sure there will be LOTS more), care to share one of yours?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Decopaged Animals

Decopaged Animals, originally uploaded by omamom16.

Woo hoo! It worked! I've tried resizing before, and it didn't help with the off center issue. I must not have made the pictures small enough in the past. Thanks, everybody, for your advice!!! Gotta love the blogging community! You guys are great :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Love Mod Podge!

IMG_9170 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

I found these unfinished wooden animals at Michael's months ago and thought they'd make great baby gifts. Since then I've been trying to decide how to paint them. I finally decided to decopage them using scrapbook paper, and I'm so happy with how they turned out :) These 2 cuties will be headed to 2 sweet California girls soon!

Again...I am very frustrated by the off center picture. If you'd like to see the whole picture just click on it. Sorry!

Freezer Paper Stenciled Onesies

IMG_9164 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

I've been wanting to try freezer paper stenciling for months, but it was nearly impossible to find freezer paper! I finally found it (after about 2 months of looking), and I was pleased with how easy this project was. I stenciled these onesies for one of my best friends who is having her 1st baby girl in a couple of months. For a great tutorial on freezer paper stenciling go to My Montessori Journey.

These off center pictures are driving me crazy! I've tried resizing my pictures, but it doesn't help, so I apologize for the pictures :(