no sleep

Just got home from an ER visit...Fern has a urinary tract infection.
Yesterday she was feeling warm and seemed to be a bit fussy the last 2 days...not exactly the signs of ear infections, but similar. Then last night, she woke at 12:30 and I brought her into bed with us. She just wouldn't settle, and would fall asleep for a little stretch and wake again, wanting to nurse and fuss. Finally, at 3:30 AM, I realized she was REALLY hot, and realized she wasn't going back to sleep and we had to actually get out of bed and do something. Her temperature was 105.6. Pretty scary. I got packed for the ER and I drove her to CHOP. Long story shortish, she has a script for antibiotics and I went to two pharmacies and neither had the drug. I am trying to function on an hour of sleep and need some rest. Say a prayer for her little body, not only that it heals, but also that the future tests don't show any anatomic issues.
Funny, Sage was hospitalized at CHOP at about the same age (a month younger maybe) for a UTI.
Poor little lump, I feel like she has been sick a lot.
Ok, gonna try to go rest...should be interesting.


poop on the pot

I never thought that the process of potty training could be so emotional. I am not talking about getting upset about mistakes, or Sage's desire to be in total control of when she wants to sit on the potty. The first night, after she did a #1 and #2, I was almost in tears. Thoughts of her growing bigger and just how I have been struggling lately with a good attitude and grateful spirit. At church on Sunday, we did a group prayer type thing where we just confessed for not having a right spirit and for thinking we can do it alone without God. It really helped me realize that I am not the only one who thinks or feels that about God, and that I can confess it and ask for help. Afterwards I was able to take a little deeper breath.

Yesterday was a day full of little accomplishments that mean nothing to the world, really. Well, certainly to other mothers. But laying in bed last night, and all through the day yesterday, I just felt God helping me and encouraging me in this work. The butt-wiping, cleaning pee off the floor, making cookies with two little ones, going grocery shopping, taking a bath. It was nice to be in the moment and feel. Even nursing Fern in the middle of the night, I found myself pulling her close and just reveling in her little body, even as she nibbled me with her new teeth. I am grateful for the day.

I don't know what today will bring, but I don't really care. I am glad even one day went so great.


a big thanks

Just a big thank you to all my great friends that failed to point out the 1/2 inch long hair on my neck.
I know it's kind of awkward when a friend has a boogie, or a zit somewhere kind of hidden, or maybe something in their tooth...there is that wonder, "Will I offend them, or will they be grateful that I pointed it out?"
A word to my dear friends: please point these things out to me. I might be horribly embarrassed, but it will eventually pass.

Friends don't let friends look like this

New Photos

Part of my niece's birthday gift:pencil roll
Custom overalls I made for my brother's friend's child:custom overalls
The monster who finally has a face: MONSTER!
And check out my Flickr for the rest of the diapers. I might post them to Etsy soon, not sure.


Unexpected Guests

Right now Tray is on his way home from the airport for the second time this evening! His sister Karla, and her two boys, will be staying the night in our 850 square foot home (they'll be on our dining room floor and our couch!!). Their flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, was cancelled, not due to the ridiculous weather here, but apparently there. Part of me, upon hearing the news, wanted to be annoyed and put-out...but I am actually excited to have people stay over. Even though our bathtub is disgusting and we don't have any beds or clean sheets or pillows, and we have nothing to eat for breakfast, I am trying to approach this with a positive attitude. Isn't it tough when things don';t go as we thought they would? I feel like God is really teaching me to have less expectation, not only of myself, but of situations, other people, and just life in general. I am trying to open my heart to him, but I am struggling with I guess control...I would never had considered myself a control freak, but I think I am. Ok, I know I am.

In fun news, Lois and I had a super jazzy bike ride last night that made me feel grateful to be alive, grateful for our city, and grateful for friends like her. And tonight I got to swim with her and 2 other lovely ladies, and it put me in such a hyper mood. Exercise has been really helpful for the blues.
Pictures tomorrow (?) of the "monster" I made, and the diapers I am finishing.



After a very frustrating morning of driving an hour and then waiting for 2 hours in a Norristown clinic for my appointment, I finally saw a nurse. She came in and handed me a form and said, "The doctor wants you to fill this out so she knows how to treat you." I filled out the simple questionnaire, trying to wrangle Fern away from the clipboard, paper and pen. It was one of those, "How many times have you felt _________ in the last 2 weeks" types of forms. I filled it out, and waited another 10 minutes until the nurse finally came back for the form.
10 minutes later, the doctor came in, and said based on my answers I am, indeed, suffering from depression. However, she said, because I am nursing Fern, I can't take anti-depressants. She gave me a form to fill out to bring to the County Assistance Office (always a fun trip) to re-apply for Medicaid based on disability. Now I have another appointment in Norristown, at which I will get set up with a counselor for therapy, hopefully somewhere a bit closer to home.
As she was walking out of the room, the doctor reached out and touched my shoulder, and I thought I was going to crumble and disintegrate. This didn't feel like help. I waited weeks for this appointment, and really thought I would be leaving with a prescription. I wanted to cry, but as much of parenthood is, there is no space to feel, no room for processing emotions, and I had to get Fern packed up and get back to Tray and Sage so he could head to work (which he was already 3 hours late for).
Of course, the kids fell asleep on the car ride home. Which always means that Sage's nap gets cut short (no way in heck am I going to drive around for 2-2.5 hours or sit in a 150 degree car that long), and she is super cranky the rest of the day. In a moment of clarity, I decided the best thing was to go to McDonald's for some water.
Hmm, well what I ended up having was a tad less healthy. Here's the visual:
Me, on my "wheat-free, dairy-free mega-diet-to help Fern's ears", sitting in my car, chowing a Big'N'Tasty WITH CHEESE in a Wal-Mart parking lot. BAH HA HA! Oh yeah, and don't forget the Diet Coke. No, I didn't have any fries. That would've been excessive.

I am glad that today it seems even a little funny. I wonder when I'll learn that food doesn't heal wounds.

Need I say that our health insurance situation in this country is ridiculous? I was listening to NPR the other day about France's health insurance and some other European countries', and had to turn it off. My plan is, if I can get health insurance, to wean Fern and re-assess. Any weaning advice? She really won't take a bottle, and isn't into sippy cups at ALL.


3 years

Today is our 3 year anniversary! I can't believe it's been three years, especially when I think about the fact we didn't know each other until like 4 1/2 years ago.
Marriage has been so great in so many ways. I know that God intended us for each other, and I have learned so much about God's character through the person that Tray is, through our struggles, and through messing up and receiving God's grace.
Tray, I love you.
I look forward to many more years with you, and I have been blessed to be your wife.


sister, sister

I don't have a sister, so part of me is really excited for my girls to have each other. Last night, they slept in the same room for the first time, Sage in her bed and Fern in the crib. They did great (which means Sage slept through the night and Fern woke at 12:30 and 6). This morning, when Fern woke up, I just brought her up to our room to nurse. What special time, Tray half asleep on one side of me and Fern giggling and nursing and farting on the other side. I love cuddling up to her warm body, even though she has really started pinching (with her whole fist) my soft skin REALLY hard lately. Anyways, when Sage got up at 6:45ish, she immediately got out of her bed, brought her stool to the crib, and looked in to see Fernie in her crib. Over the monitor, we could hear her cry, "I don't see Fernie, I don't see Fernie." She was SO distraught about it, and my heart just broke hearing her little voice over the monitor.
Some days I feel like Sage wishes she could just squish Fernie til she goes away, so it was so refreshing to hear such love for her little sissy this morning. It gives me hope for the future!fern and sage


Nice Wednesday

Besides Tray really hurting his elbow last night while on a night mountain bike ride, Wednesday was a great day. It is "Saturday" in our family, because Tray has off Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tray went grocery shopping, SO NICE. And he even came home with little treats for me because I constantly whine about not having anything to eat in the house! I am certainly eating WAY more fruits and vegetables than I was before, which now means one serving per week. I was at Lois' house last night as she made dinner for her family (and yes, her 1 and 2 year old daughters actually EAT the dinner she makes), and I was in shock as I watched her place over 5 vegetables in their dinner. You are a seriously skilled mama, Lois, and I am not kidding about getting on the Lois Meal Plan.
So finally some pictures of the studio and other stuff:
sistersSage and Mamanew wool cover, backnew wool coverstudio


itchy eyelid

My eyelid is so itchy today...what is that about? Something with not eating wheat?
Moment of weakness today: cup of coffee with non-dairy creamer, and yesterday: chocolate chip cookie. Other than that, though, I have been pretty diligent with no wheat, dairy, coffee, or eggs. Fern slept 10 hours last night, which is VERY unusual for her, she has lately been waking at 12:30 and then again another couple hours later. I am not counting on anything for tonight, but I am grateful for some sleep! She seems a little more settled today, but she, in general, is not a "chill" baby, unless being held and moved around.
hold on, poopie diaper...
anyways, got a diaper cover finished today that I started a while back from a cool sweater I found at the thrift shop. It turner out looking really great and I am excited to feel like I am finally getting the hang of my machines. Now I am working on finishing the 4 size small diapers I started as well: 2 All-In-Ones and 2 Pocket diaps. I got some really nice velcro from . I really want to try to sell the diapers I am making to friends, just because it is such an energy and money efficient way to diaper your babe. My studio is coming together a bit more, and I should go up and take some pictures now. so big


part of me

Part of me thinks blogging is so dumb, and part of me thinks that if I just start writing I'll realize I have a lot to say. Not necessarily "important" to anyone, but at least to me.
So I just read a book called Childhood Ear Infections. It was very interesting, and I have a lot to re-read. I have decided to go wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and coffee-free for a few weeks (or until I go clinically insane, or until we're broke...ha!). I have decided that Fern is probably on a path towards ear tubes and lots of doses of antibiotics if we stay on the traditional medical (American Academy of Pediatrics) path, and I don't want to take that path without completely exhausting other options. Deep down, I know that giving babies and toddlers, or anyone, lots of aspirin or acetaminophen, and using antibiotics, and performing invasive ear surgeries is not great. I want to avoid them. I am also going to hopefully check out some chiropractic help, and seek out a homeopath. And hopefully win the lottery.
I am giving Fern homeopathic ear drops as well as a lycopodium tablets and acidophilus, and I am taking oils and zinc. If these measures don't help improve her illnesses, at least I will have tried my options.
I am still working on sewing some diapers. Stay tuned.
Workouts have been tough lately, I really wish I could swim more. For me, swimming is the one sport of the three that chills me out and stretches my muscles, and gives my legs a much needed break. Hopefully I'll get a swim in tomorrow. I have been exploring the Belmont Plateau lately and loving it. Like Lois though, I do hope for a day when I can live in the country, and I hope each day in this city will help me appreciate the country that much more. How I long for a bike ride in the country with hubby.
Today I spent 4+ hours at the Willow Grove Mall with my kids and some of Tray's family in town from Brazil. It was interesting, to say the least. My main lesson learned: the bathrooms in Bloomingdale's are AWESOME.
In funny news, yesterday Sage and I were playing outside at my parents' house while Tray worked and Fern "napped" (I use that term very loosely). As I was filling the baby pool, I felt a small pebble in my sandal, and ignored it, until it STUNG me. Wow, how you forget the pain a little bee can cause until one stings you again. Not 30 minutes later, as I am trying to read my ear infection book, and I am totally engrossed in everything wrong that I am eating and believing, Sage announces, "Mommy, there's a poopie in my pool!"
Sure enough, she's pointing at a big old log chasing her around the baby pool. No, of course I hadn't put a swim diaper on her. No, of course I wasn't watching her for poop signals so we could avoid a tootsie roll incident. I tried to get the poop out with two sticks, but it disintegrated as I tried to pull it out. I tried to keep my act together, and I am glad it's funny to me today.


the sweet feeling of completion

wow, so the girls BOTH just took a nap, and I actually accomplished something!! WOoHOo. A newborn all-in-one.

Of course one of them is now crying...I will continue to post. Nursing with one arm, don't mind the typos.
Vacation was super nice. It was beautiful in upstate NY, and made us want to move there. Great time with family, help from lots of folks, and the kids actually did great. Fern has been super cranky, and the second type of antibiotic is working on her ear infection but she seems to have another cold combined with a viral sore throat. I greatly anticipate when she will be herself and not in pain.
Training is going well, I got to do a couple open water swims with my mom in ny. I'm excited about the race and am planning on registering for another tri to keep motivated.
inspired me to let S play with her embroidery stuff today, how fun!

I put some cute fabrics in embroidery hoops and hung them in the girls' room.



Well, certainly not feeling any better. Due to insurance problems, I am not covered right now, and just the task of searching out a doctor etc. is daunting. I just feel like I need help, and I don't want to have to jump through hoops to get it. I just need it. It has been really tough not having my mom around.
I am pretty sure Fern has another ear infection. Yesterday morning she seemed fine, but since then she's been the typical crank-puss. Just not nursing great, not easy to keep happy, whining constantly or crying, a little warm (99.7 degrees) and not going down or staying down well. She JUST finished her antibiotics yesterday, so I don't know what this means. We are going to the doctor at 2 PM (great timing for Sage's nap, but what can you do?), so we'll see.
We are heading up to upstate NY tomorrow morning until Saturday morning. It is my mom's family reunion. I am hoping it actually feels like a vacation, somewhat, and it isn't just hell. Sage has taken up a new habit of screaming at the top of her lungs, like letting out quick screams, and it is enough to make me want to drive off the road! I have really been trying to ignore her, but it's so hard when Fern has just finally fallen asleep in her car seat after an hour of crying and then Sage intentionally screams to wake her up.
This blog has become nothing less than a place for me to complain. Hopefully things will get a little easier soon with Sage in preschool and Tray trying to come home at a reasonable hour on Mondays and Tuesdays to help me out. Oh, and some anti-depressants. I feel like I am not doing anything well right now, mom, wife, daughter, friend, sewer, athlete. That's a crappy feeling.
s is done her lunch g/g

update: again i feel somehow validated as it IS another (or the same) infection.