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Showing posts from April, 2010

Blown away

This picture was taken yesterday. The girls enjoyed their first track meet.  Can you tell what the challenge of the day was?? Look closely… This trip is about half over.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to hash it out in blog form.  Not that it’s all things to be blogged, I will say.  Some things are just to be experienced.  And let me tell you, I’ve experienced some really special things, but even more—the people—and a peek at their hearts. I know I’ve used this before, but I’m not sure how else to say it… I’m honored.  The girls have been really great, and I’m so pleased. Don’t miss a clip of their weekend so far here .  They’re sleeping now, so I should be, too.

Road trippin' with the girls

We're stocked with Signing Time, Veggie Tales, and snacks for KiKi to hopefully cover the 3-hr drive. Braska could go all day as long as she has something to watch and dance with. Kinlee...not so much. We're late already getting away, but that's how it goes. Time to load 'em up and move 'em out! Have a great weekend everyone!

Maybe my next sweet fix

I’m on SparkPeople (It’s a support site for weight loss. Very cool tools and forums. Even full meal plans. FREE!Anyone on there??) though I’m not really all that active lately.  I get emails every day with encouragement or recipes or exercises, etc.  I glance at them and delete them or file them usually. But this one really caught my attention. No Bake Graham Cracker Cheesycake This is a delicious, light, refreshing dessert. It's low cal and sugar and can be made with the lite pie filling in any flavor. Note that this needs to be made the night before to soften the graham crackers. INGREDIENTS Low Fat Graham Crackers 8 oz. fat free cream cheese (softened) 1 cup cold skim milk 2 Tblsp. lemon juice 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (sugar free) 8 oz. fat free Cool Whip 1 can lite cherry pie filling (or any flavor) DIRECTIONS Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add milk and lemon jui

I’m so busy I sit

I love when there’s so much to get done that I just sit down and ignore it all.  I don’t really love that about me. Generally, a deadline or time pressure is totally motivating for me, and maybe that’s the problem.  Most of what I need to get done doesn’t have to be done for another 4 hours, or til tomorrow morning, so I’ve just got lots of time. Yeah. Keep telling yourself that, self. Tomorrow the girls and I are heading up north a little bit to spend some time with a dear family who we really miss, though we’ve only officially met in person one time.  Maybe that’s weird to you, but it makes total sense.  I’m very much looking forward to it.  But packing these girls up for a few days requires ALOT of work and organization.  I like to go places, so I’m totally up for the task, and yet I’m stalled out right now just wanting to sit and enjoy the quiet of the house at the moment.  Call it a mental health moment. I have the laundry partially done. The kitchen is partially cleaned

Doing something for Carly's family

Many of you know about Carly's sad story . Michelle from Big Blueberry Eyes is organizing a great gift in memory of Carly for her family. When these things happen, so many of us want to "do something" but it's hard to know how to help. This is a great idea and will be so appreciated.

My girls: Walking!

I haven’t updated properly lately, and I need to do that. Mostly just so I can have a good record of these things for later.  The blogs really are useful to me when I can’t remember when things happened.  But tonight I’m tired, the girls are asleep, so I’m going to take bed over blog.  I’ll just toss up some cute pics of my little walkers. Most of the time this is the view.  They’re on the move almost constantly, and it’s usually walking away from me when the camera is out.  If KiKi is caught facing the camera, she is quick to close her eyes.  FYI—when you’re walking with two hangers keeping your hands busy, it’s best NOT to close your eyes.  The next second following this picture she was on the floor and unhappy about it. And a few more favorites from this day of photo taking. (4/14/10) Braska in her usual state…happy. Yes, we have the stereotype chick here. And Kinlee in her usual state…unhappy. But it’s not ALWAYS that bad…she’

Remembering Seamus

A year ago today, Tom and Sharon said goodbye to their precious son Seamus.  Jodie did a beautiful tribute post to him and to his very special parents.  Please don’t miss their story and some gorgeous pictures. I’m so thankful I got to meet these new friends . Jodie collected some wonderful little mementos in honor of Seamus, for Sharon and Tom, and this was what I contributed. Today, families still in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital will have the opportunity to have beautiful pictures of their children and families taken in honor of little Seamus.  What a marvelous way to give them the gift remembering, their babies, the struggles, and the victories that are often celebrated quietly while their little ones sleep.  Some of these babies will come home, some may not. I don’t know any of the families.  But I know they will love the photos that result from this day, and I’m so thankful for Jodie and Kim and for Sharon and Tom for making this possible for those families

It’s all about perspective

First off…please be in prayer for Chrissie and her family.  She is in a very fragile condition after heart surgery yesterday and needs our intercession.   --------------------------------------------------------------- Today I’ve confirmed that Braska’s surgery will be on Thursday the 6th of May.  We know she’ll be getting tubes in her ears, we don’t know what will be on the agenda beyond that.  But from what the nurse told me today, it sounds like we’ll be doing tonsils and adenoids at the same time.  And that’s good. That’s what I wanted.  The reason we don’t know for sure is that the ENT doc is out of the office this week and next, returning the beginning of the week of her surgery.  So we’ll be hearing what he thinks about things right before the date.  I’m not pleased with how the ENT office has handled this, how the doc has failed to answer my questions in a timely manner, and that’s disappointing since we’ve been with them for 3 years now and we like him alot.  But t

Urgent Need!! Friends stranded in Bulgaria

My friend Shelley and her newly adopted son Kullen are stranded in Bulgaria due to the airport closings there and in countries around them and "chaos" in general, as Shelley described it, due to the volcanic activity in Iceland. Another friend Leah is with them as well. They are unable to get out of the country, and they desperately need to get home. Their story is going to be on CNN tonight at 6pm Eastern, and her blog is linked in the button below. If you are able to donate anything, they would very much appreciate it as they try to find a way to get back to the US. Clearly, they didn't plan for this in their adoption finances, and it is understandably worrisome. If you have a blog, please post this and share their story. Kullen has become sick, and with the transitions that have happened so drastically with him leaving his only known home at the institution to now be stranded in a hotel can understand why he would be struggling with all of this. He need

One Super Day

Gosh, even for someone as wordy as I am, I feel like I don’t have the words to describe today. (More on how it came about here .) Partially because most of it’s influence on me is internal, and I’ve still got some processing to do with all of it.  But don’t worry…I’ll try to give you a peek . I have to try to get some of it down, because I don’t want to forget. I spent the day with Kim and Jodie from Fresh Art Photography , a pair of super cool ladies I only came to know of yesterday morning in one of those “it’s no accident” kind of ways.  And how great that I could be of at least a little help today, a day celebrating the life of little Seamus, raising money for the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. So while the girls shot kids and parents, babies and toddlers, moms, dads, and one seriously cute couple, I fetched the muscle man, Tom, or held jackets, or pointed out folded-up sleeves, or blew bubbles at the right time, or just stood as a barrier when they shot in the middle o

Give me, er, uh, I mean, THEM a smile!

I'm heading out in a few minutes for a day of gopher-ing and helping where needed as the girls from Fresh Art Photography do a great thing for the St. Louis Children's NICU. Maggie inadvertently turned me on to this opportunity as I was working on helping her with her photography site . She was inspired by the look of Fresh Art's blog, and as I looked over it, I saw that they needed helpers for this day of shoots. And whatta ya know... it worked out! I'm excited to see how it all works, to see lots of families smile, and to run errands for some excellent photographers. Now if I can only be sure to stay out of the way and OUT of the frame!

Strollin’ down the sidewalk

(If you can sing the rest of the lyrics referenced in the title…you know how fun Signing Time is!) I took this pic with my phone this morning as the girls and I went for a walk in the neighborhood and ended up at the grocery story a few blocks away.  I sent it to a few people with this text… Just walking to get our fresh fruits and veggies for the day… Yeah, that’s right. I’m that kind of walking, veggie-fixin mom. :o) I’m far too easily impressed with myself. If you would like to be on the texting list for such fun adventures, ship me your phone number.  Don’t hurt yourself rushing to open an email. Pace yourself. When we got home the girls had apples and bananas for snack, (Braska did great with mildly fork-mashed bananas. Yay!)and there is a yummy mixture on the stove now that will be Braska’s new meal for this week.  So far it’s cauliflower, lima beans, carrots with chicken stock.  We’ll throw in some well cooked whole wheat pasta and blend it all up to a yummy

The germ count

As of right now, we are healthy.  That’s very nice. The girls are well—or as well as Braska can be with what is apparently allergies at this time of year, so still snot persists—and they are nearing their “normal” demeanors again.  Right at the moment I can’t remember what I’ve updated about on here and what I haven’t and I have very limited time to throw some info up here, so I won’t go hunt it down. If this is a repeat, please pardon me. Braska is due for tubes in her ears. We learned this at the end of February and were not at all surprised.  Though she made it her first three years of life with not a single ear infection, she had at least 4 in the first 3 months of school, so tubes are in order.  The ENT recommended that we get a sleep study first to see if we would just do tonsils, adenoids, and tubes all in one anesthesia trip. Sounds good to me. The sleep study was at the end of March. (Still no results…grrr. That’s another story. I’m going to be making another in a long str

The brightest spots on the street

I might be too obsessed with taking pictures of these flowers, but they are just gorgeous, I think.  And I’ve never really had flowers in my yard ever, so how fun!  

Still truckin'

We're here. Things are ok. Ok is not bad. Some new things to share and update, but I'm taking the chance I have to get some sleep tonight, so you'll have to wait. I know, I can see the disappointment on your faces. Hang in there. You'll be ok. Happy Mid-week, people!

Exhausted in Holland

Today it hit me that Holland is wearing on me for the first time in a long, long time.  All this illness and the causes behind it: preschool at 3, oral stimulation through finger chewing, less resistant immune system, etc.  They are getting through my armor, probably due to the lack of sleep needed to hold up my defenses.  We talk often of how in our house Italy is far more exhausting than Holland, and that is still the case, but sometimes the trip in Holland does make one dream of a quiet Italian villa. But as Grace would have it, and I don’t believe that anything “just happens” or in coincidences, look what showed up after all the rain we’ve had today.     Pretty as I think those flowers are…she is still my Beauty, and somehow we’ll get back to enjoying the flowers instead of being stuck in the mud soon.

Where did I leave my white flag?

Chalk it up: One more diagnosis for the list. Kinlee’s been a grouch (more than her normal grouch), not sleeping more than about an hour at a time—day or night—for a few days.  It’s exhausting, to say the least.  She hasn’t wanted to eat, though she usually is all about food.  She had a fever on and off the last few days.  A few days prior to that, Braska had fevers on and off, and she had labs for blood and urine done last week as well.  She’s got some stuff going on around her mouth that I’d attributed to her sucking on her lip or something… shows what I know. Kinlee started to have little spots yesterday on her arms and legs. Not raised, but there.  Last night, she went to Rachel and Patrick’s place while the other three of us attended an Easter Egg Hunt and party with friends.  When we picked her up, there were spots that were becoming more clear and defined.  She didn’t sleep much again last night, and I mentioned at one point that I wondered if her throat was sore since she

New look with my new skillzzz

Reader readers, pop on over for a peek at the new style around here.  I’ve been learning new things, like I mentioned a few days ago, and I put together a bit of a makeover.  It’s not fully complete, but it’ll do for now.  I need to still work on my widget images for the sidebar, but I just don’t have the stamina to stay up and do it.  (Kinlee’s been terrible in the sleeping and (un)pleasant department…my total sleep time in the last 4 nights is right about 14 hours.  You can imagine my temperament. Wish I had the ability to NOT let the fatigue take over like that…but I digress…) See what you think… this was my first attempt at a popular style of backgrounds/headers and digiscrapping trends that I’m not as familiar with, but it didn’t turn out too badly, in my opinion.  I’ve incorporated some fun CSS and html things, but no one will probably notice them specifically unless you play with them too.  But the overall picture is kind of cool, I think. Also, if you’re interested… There a

Hershey’s Better Blog Hop

I’m a tad on the almost-late side since I waited to the end of Easter to post this… what else is new?!? But Amy was SO nice as to tag me for this cool thing! Hershey’s is donating to the Children’s Miracle Network. (See details below)  Of course, ANY time Reese’s is involved, I’m a fan. (Though there’s not much room in the BrocChick Plan for chocolate. :o(  Maybe next year!) Here are the rules below: Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop Rules ~Copy and paste these rules to your blog post. ~Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want. ~Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket. ~Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket. ~Leave your link at comment section. You can also find the official rules of this Better Basket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there. ~Hershey’s is donat

A welcome day at home

The girls and I didn't leave the house today. I love those days, for the most part. I worked on some blog design projects along with a birth announcement for a friend who had two beautiful little girls. We had all the windows open and it was wonderful. As for the "cryptic" nature of yesterday's post...those of you who have emailed me or commented should have received a response back with the story. It's not a secret, just not wise to post publicly at this point. Thanks for continuing to pray for our "little friend." Braska seems to be feeling a little better. Kinlee has had fever up to 101 today. Fun stuff. They were each up a couple hours last night. Not at the same time, though, so it made for only about 4 hours sleep for me, 3:30 to 7:30 am. I'd planned on getting to bed early, but I wanted to get a blog design posted tonight. I'll be sharing links to these design projects and makeovers soon. So far, I'm really pleased with the final pro

One seriously taxing day

I wish I could give you all the details, but I can’t put some of it on the world wide interweb.  I can give you a basic rundown of some of it, though, including the parts that involve Braska’s health concerns. If you’re caught up on posts, you know that my day started at 4:30am. If you follow the Twitter box on the right, you might know some of this, but I’ll include it anyway.  By 9:30am, I had talked to Braska’s pediatrician and were on our way to her office to pick up orders for blood and urine tests and a chest x-ray.  After a much longer wait than necessary, due to wrong response by the reception staff, (This is a huge peeve of mine…probably from years of hiring and training people in these positions.  I have trouble with people who lack listening skills but work on the front line in medical practices.) we finally saw the nurse, who is great, and she got us what we needed and she placed the urine bag on Braska. Not a fun task.  I pushed in a few ounces of water to get her going,

Hot and early

Braska woke and talked/moaned this morning at about 4:30am. This is not unusual.  She does this frequently, usually lasting a few minutes before she falls asleep once again.  But this morning she didn’t quiet as quickly as I’d hoped, and when I went to check on her about 4:45am, I reached into her crib and met what felt like fresh-baked toddler.  She was warm, very warm. Warmer than I’ve ever experienced with her, as far as how her skin felt.  I took her out of the crib and walked out to the living room where the thermometer had been last night.  Of course I couldn’t find it—thank you to Kinlee who loves to move or hid everything right now—so I went back to our bedroom and gave her to M while I hunted for the thermometer and got her some ibuprofen.  We took off her sleeper and gave her some water and ibuprofen via tube.  She wasn’t all that uncomfortable, it seemed, just VERY hot to touch.  Her hands were the weirdest part to me.  She would reach out and hold my hand or touch my le