Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Fun

The boys had their fun with the pumpkins then I had mine. Yes, I did cut up and cook the same pumpkin that Joshua carved. He said I could! Not too bad for my first ever pie, but thankfully there is a lot of pumpkin puree left for a second and even third try.

Just because she is sooooo adorable. :)
Super pink blanket boy to the rescue!
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Pumpkin Carving

This year the boys carved pumpkins with the Masons. Matthew had a blast helping Daddy scoop the insides out.

The finished products. Matthew's perfect pumpkin was a bit too small and soft to carve, so he drew a happy face, see?
Jane had a nice snugly nap with Mavric. :)
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Saturday!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dressing Up

I have so much fun dressing up my little girl. This is my favorite outfit on her right now ... how cute are those socks?
Matthew has discovered play dough in a major way. It is awesome! He will sit in his booster seat and play for an hour while I cook and do dishes.
A bear and a bee. Hopefully they will want to leave these on longer on Halloween than they did for the picture. Could it be that they were mighty toasty in those warm costumes?
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Pumpkin Fun

Matt has been doing everything with his "perfect pumpkin". Here he is helping Daddy make pancakes.
Ahhh, tv time with the pumpkins.
No pumpkin here, but look at that face! He helped me make Daddy's birthday cupcakes. After licking the spatula clean he declared, "I don't like it." Um, ok sure.
My perfect pumpkin. :) Not the best picture, but the closest I've come to capturing that gorgeous smile. I'll keep working on it.
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Pumpkin Patch

Joshua wanted to carve pumpkins for his birthday this year. So, to start things off we headed out to the pumpkin patch. This farm was tons of fun for the family - tractor rides, all kinds of animals, live music, and more. Matthew and Grandpa enjoyed the fire truck.
Mmmmm... hot buttered "pop"corn right off the grill. The goats gobbled up the silk and husks and the chickens pecked off every last bit of corn.
See all those rows of pumpkins? Matthew ran up and down all of them on his search for "the perfect pumpkin." He would pick one up, study it for a minute, then declare, "That's not it."
At last, the perfect pumpkin! I think he really liked the stem. I didn't get a picture, but he used it to sling the pumpkin over his shoulder to carry. It was too cute!
Next weekend we will continue the birthday fun with pumpkin carving!
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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Diabetes and Me

In case you haven't heard, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes four days before my 32nd birthday. Yikes! From time to time you may see some posts on this topic because, well, that's what's new in my life and occupying my mind.
Thus far I have met with my naturopath, who prescribed an extremely low carb and low glycemic diet as well as chromium supplements. I am trying for many reasons to avoid medications, the biggest being that I am breastfeeding. Jane has not taken well to the increase in legumes in my diet. Uh oh. I am hoping to meet with a nutritionist next week and fine tune my diet. I am refusing to eat processed foods or chemical food substitutes. I am determined to find a way to eat real, whole food in proportions and ratios that work for my body. I also have several appointments scheduled for acupuncture. Hopefully this will help my pancreas to do its job.
I am debating meeting with an MD. My fear is that he would put me on meds immediately and I would like to try to push that off as long as possible, since I will likely need them at some point and do not want to put a "band-aid" on my problem without really getting to the root. I am curious, however, if what I have is actually type 1.5 diabetes. It seems to better fit my profile and he may be able to work with me in finding out.
I am feeling frustrated at this point. Why me? I don't have a soda addiction or sweet tooth. I am very aware of sugar and do my best to limit it in my foods. I am not heavily overweight. Even with a strict diet my glucose levels are too high and my fasting rates are not in the normal range. What more can I do? Am I going to die from complications at such a young age?
So far, I have found these foods to be helpful in my quest:
*bean flour - substitute it for some wheat flour to make a complete protein. We've had it in pancakes (high fiber whole grain of course), brownies, and cookies
*vanilla stevia - almost as good as flavored coffee creamer :). Helps make plain yogurt tolerable too.
*unsweetened almond milk - makes a great latte
*powdered stevia - perfect for sweetening cereal, cocoa, iced tea etc.
*mudballs - peanut butter, flax seeds, wheat germ, cocoa, stevia, pumpkin seeds, and honey rolled into yummy little balls
*sucanat - sugar in its purest form. Substitutes equally for sugar or brown sugar
*Bob's Red Mill High Fiber Whole Grain Hot Cereal - the only cereal I can eat. Delicious with some stevia, raisins, and milk
Those are most of my thoughts for now. Don't worry, there will be more cute kiddo pictures soon, but I had to get that off my chest first. :)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Jane's First Talkie

Jane gave me a wonderful birthday present- she started cooing and smiling! I didn't capture her beautiful smile here, but you can hear her sweet voice.

Just FYI, this is one of those videos only the Grandmas will truly enjoy watching. It will be pretty boring for anyone else. :)


My 32nd birthday... wow. When did I become such a grown up? Here I am with my cute little boy at Grandpa and Grandma's house. (I had to document me all dressed up because it is not every day I use ALL of nap time to get myself ready.)
My love. Doesn't he look so handsome in pink? We ate dinner at the Pacific Grill... Yum!
My sugar free birthday dessert: butter! No, I didn't eat it, but I did get to blow out a candle. :)
My sweet family. We may never get a decent picture of all four of us, so this will have to do. You get the idea. ;)
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Road Home

We decided to take the scenic drive home along the coast. Joshua and I enjoyed the scenery while our wee ones slept. (Oh wait, I was sleeping too...) We stopped for lunch in Astoria where Matthew enjoyed a hike with Daddy to the top of the Astoria Column. Jane and I stayed in the van (which you can see in the picture). Someone was asleep.

Matthew was such a trooper in the van. We told him he could watch a video after we crossed the bridge. Hey, we wanted him to at least see some scenery. The second we got on the bridge he cheered. "Horray! I can watch my tv now!" What a nut.
It was such a lovely weekend getaway. I am looking forward to more "bacations" with my sweet family.
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Matthew was a well behaved two year old at the hotel. Joshua had him stand on this "stool" to wash his hands. My smart little guy figured he could use it for more than just hand watching ... He carried it all over the room to help him reach and see. Here he is, and I quote, "looking at the world outside."
Saturday morning we headed out bright and early to Bob's Red Mill. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast from their scratch bakery. (Although I did discover that I don't care for corn grits. Oh well, it was worth a try since it was marked as "Bob's favorite" on the menu.) I exercised serious restraint in their bulk grain section.

Matthew watched the waterwheel.

And Jane slept.

Next stop: Portland Zoo. We have passes to our local zoo, but seeing other animals like hippos and giraffes was quite a treat. Here are the fellas (and someone else's little girl) petting the goats.
That afternoon we ventured out into downtown Portland. There is a ginormous bookstore that Joshua had never seen. We loaded up the kiddies onto the light rail and had fun for about 30 seconds. There were all kinds of crazies on the train, and once we got off it was more of the same. Busy downtown are not for us, nor is a bookstore with an antsy toddler. So much for that ... back to do some swimming at the hotel.
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Our first vacation (or bacation if you ask Matthew) as a family of four was to Portland, OR. We got there on a warm and sunny afternoon. Doesn't Janie look so pretty?
After a quick stop at the hotel to unload, we took a short scenic drive to Multnomah Falls. Matthew LOVED seeing the waterfall.
Jane slept.
We had dinner at the restaurant overlooking the falls, then headed to a fish hatchery down the road to meet Herman - the 10 foot, 70 year old sturgeon. We were all exhausted after a long day of travel, so back to the hotel we went and off to bed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life with Two

I went to check on my princess Jane ...

and returned to find Matthew, oh so proud of his art work.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Story of Jane's First Days

Dr. Venuto was ahead of schedule so we started earlier than planned, it was time to head off to the OR. Erin and I hugged and prayed together just before she went off to the operating room without me. I sat in the room for 10 minutes reading a book waiting for a nurse to escort me back into the room where Erin was prepped ready for birthing.

I walked into the OR and it was like a party behind the blue curtain that I was only semi invited to. I sat down next to Erin’s head in front of the blue curtain so that we wouldn’t have to bare the sight of the details of the procedure. Her arms were laying flat straight out on either side of her like a good girl so as not to disturb the operation. The anesthesiologist was our narrator to the whole event. I don’t remember his name but he was Asian, funny, and friendly.

So that I wouldn’t get too queasy I held the camera over my head to take the first couple of shots of baby Jane; considering that I wasn’t watching where I was shooting, the images turned out pretty good. Jane was born at 9:46am weighing in at 7 lbs and 14oz, her length was 19½ in. She looked identical to her older brother on his “birth”-day, and sadly like my father.

Jane was tagged and swaddled and handed to me to show to mommy for a couple of minutes, just enough time to capture a picture, taken by the anesthesiologist. Next it was back to the room while Erin was being sewn back together. Erin was not more than ten minutes behind me, but Jane was too impatient to nurse, she had found her thumb to suck moments before mommy was ready. Once Erin was ready, Jane latched on like a pro. No lactation specialist nurse needed for this baby, she knew what was going on.

More babies needed to be born, so an hour after surgery we were moved down one floor to our new, smaller room. Among Jane’s first guests were big brother Matthew with Grandma and Grandpa Hardwick. Matthew loved Jane from the very beginning; he smelled her hair, hugged her, and kissed her. Then he went to tug on every wire, cable, and cord in the room asking, “What is that?” I took him away for about an hour so the grandparents could get more acquainted with their 12th grandchild. Someone had carved a bunch of letters and painted them all sorts of colors and left them in a park downtown, Matthew thought they were just as much fun as his new baby sister.

Jane passed all her blood tests for diabetes and didn’t give us cause for concern with jaundice because she was such a good eater and pooper at the hospital. In fact, she went through an entire package of diapers in just the two days at the hospital. It is much different changing the diaper of a girl, if she pees in the middle of a change it is very covert, all of a sudden she’s just laying in a puddle and you don’t know why.

Other guests that visited us in the hospital were: Uncle Joe, Aunt Pattie and Uncle Jim, Aunt Mary with cousins Marisa, Chandler, and Mavric, Friends Janelle with daughter Ella, Heather and Kimber with her daughter Reece, and Erin’s former student Katie. Marisa stayed with Erin the second night at the hospital while I got to stay home with Matthew.

Matthew went shopping with mom a couple of days before Jane’s birthday to pick out a special gift. He was apparently picky and directed mommy to go to several different stores before he picked out the perfect one. I figured that Jane needed to get Matthew a gift too. “Jane” got Matthew a wooden train set. When we got home we stayed up until two hours passed his bedtime playing those trains. His cousin William had introduced him to them a week before, and he totally got it.

I feel blessed to have a wife and two great healthy children, and I thank her every day for carrying them into this world.

More pictures can be found by clicking here.