One Lovely Blog Award – Alicia in Wonderland Blog

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Last week, the wonderfully sweet writer of Making it as a Mum nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award”. πŸ™‚ I am incredibly flattered to receive this honor! Be sure to check out her blog here…it is filled with tons of witty and wonderfully honest musings about motherhood.

The RulesΒ for accepting the Award(s):
  1. Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.Β 

It has been difficult trying to think of seven things about me that you may not already know if you read this blog often! I decided to start with some funny facts about my husband and I. πŸ™‚

1. I met my husband in a dark alley and tried to hit on him.
Yup, and I parked in that alley and ran over to him to introduce myself. Definitely not something I had ever done prior to that day, but I just had to meet him! I was driving one of my friends from work home one evening, and I saw this mysterious man pull up on his motorcycle. My friend told me that was his buddy and his neighbor. I parked my car illegally in the alley and ran over to him. I tried to introduce myself and make conversation (he was wearing my favorite motorcycle jacket made by the company I worked for at the time). He blew me off completely. That night, I had a dream where I saw myself getting married to this man who had so rudely blown me off. It made me pretty angry. We became good friends over the course of the following year though.

2. He later was going to be my pretend boyfriend.
When my high school reunion was getting close, I started talking with some of my girl friends about the fact that I did not want to go alone. I was embarrassed that I been focusing too much on my job and had no good date options at the moment. My friends and I made a list of all of the guys we knew collectively, and pros and cons for each one as a date and faux-beau as we called it. We decided that hands-down, my now husband was the best option for a faux-beau. I asked him if he wanted to pretend to be my boyfriend at my reunion (and on Facebook too prior to the reunion). He happily agreed. The reunion ended up getting canceled, and he was surprisingly really disappointed about it. At that point, I started thinking hey…he’s the best guy I’ve ever met and maybe he is starting to be more interested in me than he was when we first met. I tried dropping hints for months with no luck.

3. Then we became roommates for a little bit and I kept referring to him as my husband when I was asleep.
On the nights when he got home really late for work, I would occasionally sleep walk and ask our other roommates when my husband was going to be home (we had not even gone on our first date at that point and were completely just friends/roommates at the time). I realized that my subconscious mind was seriously trying to tell me something, so I pretty much forced him into our first date. πŸ™‚ At that dinner, he said he did not want to get married any time soon, and he did not like organized religion (he knew me very well at this point lol). A little over a year later, we were married and shortly after that, he got baptized. πŸ™‚

4. My grandma convinced me to keep dating him.
I was getting frustrated by how much my then-boyfriend-now-husband was against organized religion. It left me in tears on quite a few occasions that I felt like I knew this was the man I wanted to marry but I just did not want to end up with someone that was anti-religion. I told my grandma that I thought I was done with him, and she convinced me to be more patient. She and her friends from church had apparently been saying the rosary for his conversion. I never would have guessed in a million years that prayer would suddenly be answered not long after. One weekend, he took me on a ski trip (most of our mutual friends thought he was going to propose). Instead of proposing, he told me that he wanted to start taking classes so he could eventually become baptized. Even better than a ring. πŸ™‚

And a few things just about me:
5. I may come across as an extrovert, but I am really a very introverted person.
Back when I was a little tyke in preschool, I was a chatterbox at home, but very quiet at preschool. So much so that the school thought I was mute for a while. As I got older, I started noticing that the more outgoing girls in dance class got all of the best solo parts. I started watching them and trying to force myself to be more outgoing. That became a habit that stuck with me for most of my life. I have come to realize since I met my husband that I am most happy when I allow myself to be comfortable with my introverted self. I need time to relax at home, and meeting new people makes me a bit uncomfortable at first. I often ramble nervously with people I do not know well or people I do not completely feel comfortable around. I have come to the realization that my nervous rambling has been interpreted as self-centeredness. In reality, my chattering is really just my way to deal with that awkward feeling that haunts most introverts. Maybe it is better to just be the quiet one. πŸ™‚ I think there are a lot of artistic people who are very introverted by nature. I know that having alone time (or time just with my husband and son) always recharges my creative energy. My husband and I are both introverts, but we have a very extroverted, social son…we make the effort to meet new people just for him. πŸ™‚

6. When I was growing up, my life goal was to be a writer.
I wanted to write a fiction novel so bad. I even went to a Young Writer’s Camp one summer. Unfortunately, fiction is not an area where I have ever been extraordinarily creatively gifted. I tried for years to come up with the “big idea” for the novel I wanted to write, sketching out plot lines, but none of them were ever any good. I finally gave up on the idea and started focusing on writing non-fiction. I had so much fun for many years writing for online fashion magazines, attending runway shows and writing trend reports. I eventually gave up on that though since the pay was awful. I knew that writing was still something that I really enjoyed and something that enriched my spirit. For me, blogging is the perfect solution. I get to share stories about our life, but do not have to worry about getting writer’s block and having a lack of creative ideas! With sharing our real-life stories, I get the fun of writing without the stress of trying to come up with the details of a fictional story.

7. I don’t mind if someone thinks I am an over-sharer.
I share a lot of personal details about some our struggles here on my blog. Some people are not comfortable with that. Personally, I look at my blog as a way to document our memories, and hopefully help a few others in the process. If it gives someone else the inspiration to get out and garden, or find a way to find peace with their own personal struggles, I feel like that is worth all of the over-sharing. I only share really personal events when I think it may help someone else in their own emotional and spiritual journey. There are plenty of things from my past that I have not shared (things that make the trials that I have shared seem easy in comparison), and they are things that I probably never will (although who knows, some day I may feel otherwise). Journeys I have faced and personal battles I have won. I don’t like to hash out all of the ugly details here because I like to think of myself as a survivor, not a victim.

Okay, so now on to the 15 blogs that I nominate! Be sure to check them out…they are some of my favorite blogs!

First up is the set of blogs that I have been scouring recently in planning our new tot school homeschooling curriculum, that I mentioned in this post. These are some seriously amazing mamas!
1. http://wildflowerramblings.com/
2. http://teachingmama.org/
3. http://www.andnextcomesl.com/
4. http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/

And some more of my favorites!
5. http://8kidsandabusiness.wordpress.com/
6. http://carrotsformichaelmas.com/
7. http://wellnessmama.com/
8. http://timewarpwife.com/
9. http://www.keeperofthehome.org/
10. http://biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.se/
11. http://leaciceraro.com/blog/
12. http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/
13. http://catholicmom.com/
14. http://www.simplyjune.org/
15. http://www.heynataliejean.com/

 

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Letting Go of Worrying What Others Think About Us

Friends and loyal readers, I have a confession to make. I have failed my family in one crucial area ever since our son started walking. I have let what others say get the best of me, usually preventing us from enjoying mass on Sunday, and a few times when our son was having a particularly wild day, we did not even go for fear that we were going to annoy everyone else. As moms, we tend to be the spiritual backbone of our family. As my husband’s Godparent, I feel that responsibility even more so. Yet we temporarily got into a rut where we were just so overwhelmed and I felt like I was failing as a mom, wife, Godparent, and Catholic and Christian in general.

Our son is a very active, chatty, social little guy. He loves talking to strangers, and running up to see new people. He was very easy to keep contained in church before he started walking, and was usually on my chest in the baby carrier. However, once he started walking, he mostly lost interest in being in the baby carrier. He likes to explore, be free, and hates feeling constrained. Our normal parish does not have a crying room, which is nice since it encourages families with young children to sit with the rest of the parish. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys having a toddler near them in church. After a few weeks with some unfortunately discouraging comments, I was too embarrassed to keep going, so we tried other parishes.

I wanted to go to a church with a crying room, so that I could relax a bit. We tried a church with a very full crying room, but after one week there, my husband and I both agreed that was not how we wanted to raise our son. We could see that the kids (even the older, school-aged kids) in there were just getting into a habit of not paying attention to the mass at all, and were just busy playing with toys and all of the other kids. We tried another church where the crying room was usually empty. That worked for a few weeks, but then our son started to catch onto the fact that we were separated from everyone else. He started beating on the glass walls like he was trying to escape from a cage. All of the normal recommendations that people give about keeping your kids occupied during church were not working for us. Normally, at home or at the library, our son is a little bookworm. He loves looking at books and “reading”, but for some reason had no interest in books at all when we were at church. He also loved his sensory box when we were at home, but would not even glance at it when we were in church. I tried making a few pages for a quiet book for him to use during church, but he had absolutely no interest in it during mass (even though he loved those pages when we were at home). I tried setting aside the special books and quiet book pages so he was only looking at them when we were at church and they would be fun and new to him, but that still did not work.

Then one day something occurred to me. Our son is very sensitive to my emotions. I have spent months being tense on Sundays, worrying that his chattering, whining and squirming was disturbing everyone. I have not allowed myself to relax for fear of bothering everyone around us. Then I read this blog post and this one, and the words of these wonderful, experienced Catholic moms assured me that what we were going through was not unusual. I let go of my anxiety that we were disturbing everyone around us. I started making an effort to stop caring what others say or think about us, both in life and in church. I worked on getting myself into a calm, peaceful place before we went to mass. Guess what happened. Our son’s behavior suddenly changed.

The past few weeks have been wonderful. Our son E has been peaceful during mass, has sat quietly with his quiet book, his sensory box, and his big children’s Bible. He has cuddled in my lap and listened to the priest speak. He has loved singing along with the music during mass since he was about five months old, but then a few weeks ago he said “Amen” after everyone else did, and he even reached out to shake my hand during the Sign of Peace. I realized then that maybe I was not doing such a bad job after all.

For some reason, his original sensory box disappeared. I spent days looking everywhere for it, and it was just gone. I figured it was time to upgrade to a toddler model anyway, so I made a new one. I have a little plastic statue of Jesus that someone gave me for my First Communion that E loves. He loves saying “Hi Gee!” when he sees it, so I made sure to include that in the new box. πŸ™‚ I also added some latches and other items that were not in the original box.

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I have gone a bit Pinterest crazy lately researching quiet book templates and planning our tot school homeschool room and curriculum (more on that coming soon). I found some great templates for quiet book pages, especially at this blog. I put together a Pinterest board with a lot of great resources that have inspired me with various pages. Some of the pages I designed on my own and cut out freehand, and others I followed a template, or modified a template to my own design. I plan to do a page for each letter of the alphabet, plus some other pages as well, so it is far from finished but it has plenty to keep our son occupied for now. I do not like cutting out letters, so I found some foam alphabet stickers that I hot glued on where I wanted to spell out words.

This first page is a modified version of the felt board that I made for our son’s room (updated room tour coming soon too). I purchased the felt stickers at Joann’s for the ladybugs, bees, and fish, and added Velcro to the back. The rest I cut out freehand. I also did the same for the page with the owls later in the book.

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A Brain Infection? Seriously?

Friday afternoon, I was feeling a little tired and run down, after a rough week of trying to soothe baby E all day, every day this past week. We had gone to the sushi restaurant that we usually frequent, and it appears that the chef working that night did not understand my request for no soy sauce on any of my sushi, therefore aggravating E’s soy allergy via my breastmilk. I did not get much sleep the whole week since he was feeling pretty miserable.

Around 3 pm on Friday, I suddenly started to feel like I had strong chills from a fever and a really severe headache. I took my temperature and it was 102 degrees. Thankfully, my husband was finished early with work that day, and was there to help me take care of the baby. I took some Tylenol, ate a lot of homemade soup, and took a nap. When I woke up, my headache was significantly worse. It was definitely the worst headache I have ever had. It was even worse than the headaches I used to get in high school, after I had three concussions in a period of two months from cheerleading accidents. My body aches from the fever were getting worse, particularly in my neck. My neck felt really stiff, but I initially figured that may have been my arthritis in my neck from the cheerleading accidents flaring up since it has been really humid lately. As I laid in bed trying to rest, I told my husband that I felt like my brain was infected, even though that seemed ridiculous to me at the time. I figured I must be coming down with the flu, and just needed to rest.

Later that evening, with no respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms showing up, I started to realize that this could not be just coming down with the flu. I remembered that I had noticed a bug bite on my foot on Tuesday and started to get concerned. We live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes thanks to a nearby lake, and West Nile Virus had been confirmed present there this season. I started to get worried that I had come down with West Nile and/or meningitis.

When I was in college, there was another student who went to the same mass that I sang at that came down with bacterial meningitis. He figured his headache was symptomatic of being a tired, run down college student, and did not seek treatment. He died within a couple of days. The rest of us that went to that same mass were all informed and told to be very mindful of symptoms since we had all shared in the same drink during the Eucharist. Thankfully, no one else became ill. That experience was one of the most profound influences on my adult faith and belief in the power of the Holy Eucharist. Bacterial meningitis is extremely contagious, particularly via saliva. The Lord protected everyone, and I have always been grateful since then.

When my husband asked me what I thought was wrong, that story came to mind, and I started trying to tell him about “that guy in school who got sick and died from that bad disease”. I was not thinking clear enough to give him more information than that, but I knew I needed to be seen. My fever started going down, so I initially figured I may be okay. However, when the intense headache and neck pain remained despite my lessened fever, I knew we needed to call someone and start asking questions.

We called the hotline from our insurance to speak to a triage nurse, who advised me that I needed to go in to an urgent care center right away. The only ones available were at least a half and hour to and hour drive away, so I asked if I could just wait until morning to go. She told me that there was a good possibility that I might not make it if I waited until morning. We were pretty upset and left right away.

By the time we got to the urgent care clinic, my fever was gone but the other symptoms were not. The doctor there said it was probably not bacterial meningitis since my fever had gone down, but he highly recommended that I go to the Emergency Room for a lumbar puncture since they were not equipped to perform one there. That was the last thing in the world I wanted to go do since I had so much pain and problems with the spinal during my c-section. I had a number of fractures in the lower region of my spine during college, and I now have horrible arthritis in the whole lower area of my spine. I knew that a lumbar puncture would be very difficult to perform on me and more painful than it already is normally. He recommended that we go to our normal hospital since it may be likely that I would be admitted long-term.

When we arrived at the ER, my fever was still down and the nurses at the check in station did not seem to take my complaints too seriously. After a couple of hours waiting, I started to feel very feverish again. I went back up to them and asked them to check my temperature again. Just as they confirmed my fever had indeed spiked again, a nurse from the ER came out to bring me in.

While we were at the urgent care, our baby seemed a little confused why we were out somewhere and not at home resting. He was confused but overall happy. Once we got back to our normal hospital, it was the strangest thing. It seemed as though he recognized the place and started looking concerned. He kept staring at me with a sad, concerned little face, as shown in the picture below.

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Once I was brought into the ER, they started running a huge battery of tests on me, including (but not limited to) a CT scan, a chest x-ray, an EKG, and more blood work than I have ever seen in my life. I asked my husband to take the baby home and start trying to feed him some of the emergency breastmilk that I had stored in the freezer. Before now, we have not had good results with feeding him pumped breastmilk, so we had kind of given up on the whole thing. Every time we have tried, he cried and reached out for me. Usually, he ended up throwing it all up after consuming it, so we stopped trying. Thankfully, my husband was able to successfully feed him while I was still in the ER.

Before I had the lumbar puncture, I was given a small amount of morphine in my IV to try to help control the pain from my headache. It was not really helping unfortunately. I did not want to have a lot of strong pain medicine going through my bloodstream since I refuse to feed our baby formula. With him already showing signs of food allergies, that is something that I am extremely adamant about.

When the doctor went to perform the lumbar puncture, he had a very difficult time performing the procedure because of all of my arthritis in my spine. He injected some local anesthesia, which did not help much. He said he unfortunately had to perform it in that area since that is where there was the most fluid accessible. However, thanks to my bone spurs and arthritis, he kept hitting bone instead of finding the fluid initially. After multiple attempts, he was able to extract the needed fluid.

Before my results were confirmed, I felt so down with the way some of the staff was treating me. They seemed deathly afraid to come near me. I do not blame them…I would be pretty scared to if I had to treat someone who may have a highly infectious, potentially deadly disease. In the past, I have been sick with some pretty serious illnesses, pneumonia, SARS, etc. I have never felt so nervous as I did that day based on the way I was gauging other people’s reaction to me. I seriously felt like a leper. The doctor and two of the nurses however, were always kind and warm, explaining everything that was going on. I was shocked that the doctor even extended his hand to shake mine when I arrived, even though he knew my symptoms. It reminded me so much of the story of the Good Samaritan. It was pretty amazing when I realized that was today’s Gospel reading while watching mass on TV.

When the results from my lumbar puncture came back, they confirmed that I was not sick with bacterial meningitis, which was a good thing. Unfortunately, since the infection was caused by a virus, there was not much they could do to treat me. I was advised to go home and rest, limit my contact with the baby completely if possible, and follow up with my regular doctor on Monday. The ER doctor was also concerned because my white blood cell count was measuring abnormally low, particularly for someone who has recently had a baby. He was concerned that I may have some underlying issue that caused me to get so sick in the first place. He advised that until the cause of the low white blood cell count was definitely determined, I should avoid guests other than immediate family and limit where I go, possibly for a few months. He was more concerned about other people getting me sicker than the reverse.

The ER doctor informed me that it appears that I have a viral infection in my brain and cerebral spinal fluid. He could not confirm exactly what the virus is, but I am assuming it may likely be viral meningitis or something related to West Nile since I had that bug bite earlier in the week (or both). He mentioned that if someone had a virus when I was at my physical therapy appointment on Thursday (the only place I had gone in days), it is possible that I caught it and for some reason it went straight to my brain.

I left the hospital Saturday morning, and have been trying to rest at home as much as possible since. I was told to lie down flat in bed to prevent spinal headaches from the lumbar puncture, but I have been sitting up every couple of hours to use the breastmilk pump. Even though the doctor told me that is not the end of the world to feed the baby formula for a couple of days, I am adamant to avoid that at all costs, even if it made my headache worse.

Baby E had the saddest little face when I came out of the hospital and went back to the car. He looked at me like, where have you been, Mommy? Then he started to cry, like he was so sad that I had been gone. Below is his sad little face when he saw me pass by in our house and wondered why I would not take him when he was reaching out to me.

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My husband has been great about taking care of the little guy, but it has been absolutely heartbreaking to listen to him crying. He has been crying because he has been getting extra gassy from using the pumped milk in a bottle, and he also cries sometimes when he sees me pass by and I won’t touch him. I am really hoping my symptoms will start to improve soon because it is making me depressed to see him so upset.

Since leaving the hospital, my fever has been rollercoastering up and down. It seems like it has broken, and then it will suddenly start climbing back up. Today, I started developing additional symptoms, sensitivity to light, dizziness, and diarrhea. I took some over the counter medicine to try to stop the diarrhea, but if that does not help I will have to go back to the hospital. We are playing it by ear now since I do not seem to really be getting any better. While there is not much they would be able to do for the virus itself, I want to make sure that I do not get severely dehydrated.

It has been hard to grasp how I could get so incredibly sick after having already been through SO MUCH with my pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Ironically, I was actually working on writing a blog post on Friday about how proud I am of how hard I have worked on my recovery when I started noticing my symptoms appear. I will finish that post soon I guess, but I am assuming my physical therapy exercises will have to take a hiatus for a bit. I am trying to stay strong in my faith that the Lord will handle the situation. He knows how much that little baby boy depends on me, and I am confident that He will help us through this rough patch. We are praying with all of our strength for a speedy, full recovery.

Free Christian Nursery Printable Artwork!

When I was making the wall art display for our baby E’s nursery, I designed some religious themed artwork to frame and hang on his wall. I included the two Bible passages that inspired me the most during my pregnancy as well as a very inspirational quote from one of our favorite saints, St. Francis of Assisi. You can see how I integrated them into the design of his room here. I wanted to share them with all of you in case anyone else finds inspiration from these quotes as well! Click on the images below to be brought to a printable pdf version of each image. If you decide to use these, feel free to show me pictures of how you used them in your home!

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Our Baby Boy’s Baptism!

A little over two years ago, my husband became a Catholic and was baptized at our church. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. It may sound strange, but I was actually happier the day he was baptized than the day we got married. As soon as I met him, I had a strong feeling that somehow he would end up being my husband one day. I kept having dreams about it, but was annoyed by the whole concept since he was very strongly against organized religion at the time. I did not want to marry someone who was not Catholic, so this was a big issue for me. Our wedding day was also a little bittersweet since we had just attended my grandmother’s funeral earlier that week…definitely not the wedding that we would have hoped for. I was more excited the day of his baptism since this was something that initially I did not think would ever happen. It was such a beautiful day.

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The day our son was born was beautiful and so exciting, but also definitely not the way we had hoped everything would take place. I am noticing a trend in some of the big events for us. πŸ™‚ We had plans for a natural childbirth, and instead everything ended up stressful, unusually painful and full of unknown risks (you can read the details in this post). After such a stressful time, our son’s baptism day was such a beautiful day. E was baptized in the same church where we were married, and where his daddy was baptized. Baby E is so happy every Sunday when we go to mass, and he was particularly happy at his baptism! I have never seen anything like it…he had a big, huge smile on his face when our priest poured the Holy Water over his head! We are so grateful to have such a sweet little guy.

We are also grateful to have had the wonderful Faith Cherisse there to photograph E’s baptism! She did an amazing job capturing the sacrament and capturing E’s funny little personality!

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I had intended to take pictures of the baptism reception set up at our house in the morning before we left for the actual baptism. Unfortunately, E was feeling under the weather, and we spent the whole morning dealing with him throwing up repeatedly. I think he may have been fighting off a bug or something since I was up the whole night with him while he was coughing and having trouble breathing. Amazingly, he was in much better spirits once we got to the church! During the baptism reception, I had to spend a lot of time nursing him since his hunger had caught up with him by then. After the party was over, I tried to get some pictures of everything we had set up for the reception. The pine needles had popped some of the balloons, all of the appetizers I made were gone, and things were a little messier than they were earlier in the day. I heard that the appetizers that I made were really good. I will have to make them again so I have a chance to try them myself (and photograph them so I can post the recipes)!

I jokingly told my husband that every party we have for quite some time will have little touches of decor resembling our wedding reception, no matter what the occasion (see our wedding reception posted here). πŸ™‚ In this case, the handkerchief bunting, Grandma’s vintage tablecloths, welcome banner, and vintage mason jars were all remnants from our wedding decor. I also borrowed the concept of potted flowers as centerpieces from our wedding reception decor. My favorite reminder of our wedding was the scent of peonies and stock, my two favorite flowers. I used these two flowers in my wedding bouquets (two bouquets since our ceremony and reception were on two separate days) because I absolutely love the way that they smell. I made an arrangement on our dining table for the baptism reception with these two flowers, and it filled the house with a lovely scent that reminded us of our wedding day(s). πŸ™‚

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Water, blueberry herbal tea & regular iced tea.
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I previously posted a how-to for these DIY chalkboard label mason jars here.
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Peonies and stock arrangement.
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Favor bag.
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A gorgeous arrangement from a friend of ours. πŸ™‚
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What’s In My Bag Part 1: My Purse

Before our baby was born, I figured that I wouldn’t really need to use a purse anymore, and would just make the diaper bag my go-to bag. After a few trips out running errands, I quickly realized that was not the ideal setup to keep me organized. For quick trips into a store, or somewhere like church, a big diaper bag is just too much to carry in and really not necessary. Plus, there are a few stores that we frequent that have baby changing areas (Nordstrom, Buy Buy Baby, etc.), but most places we go do not have a place to change a baby’s diaper, leaving me to do diaper changes in the car anyway. Plus, when the diaper bag is down in the storage compartment of our stroller, it is a little frustrating and cumbersome to get at anything. When you are trying to quickly get out a burp cloth, pacifier, or wallet, it is just way too much hassle.

To solve my dilemma, we found a purse that matches my diaper bag, and can be worn over the shoulder or cross-body. I wanted something easy to clean, ample room to hold a variety of things without being too big, and be hands-free. I absolutely love my purse and the matching diaper bag, both from Marc by Marc Jacobs. I try to keep my stuff pretty well organized so everything is easy to find. This is my purse organization system. The only part I really want to improve is the loose pile of coupons, mostly for baby stores. I know I bring a lot of things, but I love being prepared for just about anything! Part 2, what’s in my diaper bag will be coming tomorrow.
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1. Organic cotton Winnie the Pooh stroller toy, to keep baby E happy and distracted in a pinch.
2. An individually wrapped cleansing cloth in case of a big cleanup emergency (this one was saved from Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill).
3. Burt’s Bees organic cotton burp cloth.
4. Pacifier, pacifier clip and holder.
5. Hand sanitizer.

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6. Mini manicure set.
7. Pack of tissues. I used to have a Shemergency kit, but somehow seemed to have lost it when we moved. I may order some refills from some of the items, but for now this is all that remains.
8. Mini measuring tape, perfect for planning purchases for the house and organizing.
9. Mirror.
10. Face blotting papers.

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11. Band-aid dispenser.
12. Forehead fever scan. Was part of a great baby care package from my husband’s work.
13. Alcohol swabs.
14. Folding scissors.
15. Mini Swiss Army knife.
16. Cough drops.
17. Benadryl in case I have a food allergy emergency.
18. Dental floss.
19. Burt’s Bees Hand Salve.
20. Safety pis.
21. Bobby pins & hair ties.
22. Double stick fashion tape.

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23. Wallet.
24. Keys with a tiny lip gloss.
25. Tiny hair brush.
26. Small lint roller.
27. Mascara.
28. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer.
29. Burt’s Bees lotion.
30. Trial sized moisturizer with SPF since my husband usually forgets to wear sunscreen.
31. Gum.

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32. Rosary prayer booklet.
33. Tiny rosary in little egg container.
34. “Cross in my pocket.” Was my grandma’s.
35. Small notebook and pen.
36. Cell phone.
37. Granola bar for my husband. I usually keep another one for myself as well, but we need to restock my dairy-free/soy-free/egg-free/gluten-free bars.

7
A closer view of my tiny rosary and the “cross in my pocket.”

8
Everything fits in here pretty well! Most of the tiny items go together in a small zippered pouch. I keep the frequently used small items (like mascara and lip shimmer) in the zippered purse pocket. There is a pouch for my phone and one for my keys as well.

See part 2 with my diaper bag here.

Baby E – “I prayed for this child”

Time has been flying by lately. I feel like I am trying to play catchup after so many months of inactivity. I spent most of last week trying to catch up on almost two months of housework that had to get put aside while I recovered from the extreme Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction pain, as well as recovering from my c-section as well. One of these days, I want to start working on really recovering my garden as well, but that will take a bit more time. Whenever I have a few free moments, I have been trying to finish working on processing all of the pictures from baby E’s newborn sessions that I shot. I am extremely proud of the session that I posted on our photography blog today…be sure to take a look (link here)!

y1 y8