Posts Tagged by me
|April 23, 2013||Filled under Chicago Joy, Crafts, Creative Joy, Kids & Babies, Mommy Joy|
Last week has to have been the craziest week America has seen in a very long time, if ever! Here’s what we were up to…
Last Sunday, we took a FREE tile backsplash workshop at Home Depot:
Last Monday, we prayed for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and their families:
Then, we stayed up almost all night putting up our back splash:
Last Wednesday, we prayed some more for the victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion and their families:
That night, we braced ourselves for the storm that was heading towards the Chicago area. We checked on our basement and sump pump, which were fine, before going to bed, but we ended up having to deal with this since Thursday morning:
We stayed up again Thursday and Friday nights cleaning up the basement and prayed for all those who were affected by the flood much worse than we are. We then prayed some more for the residents of Cambridge, Watertown, and other areas surrounding Boston:
Saturday was very busy with my daughter’s gymnastics and dance classes, my husband being called into work, and a wedding we attended over an hour away:
Sunday was another busy day with my Goddaughter’s first communion. I spent the morning making these chocolate covered pretzel rods for party favors:
What I didn’t do last week…
Sleep and study!
What was your week like last week or what happened during your craziest week? Leave me a comment below
And make sure to watch for more posts about installing our mosaic tile backsplash, dealing with flood damage, and making chocolate covered pretzel party favors!
Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy for additional information.
|February 20, 2013||Filled under Mommy Joy|
At almost 2 and 1/2 years old, you already make Mommy and Daddy so proud. You are compassionate, polite, encouraging, optimistic, and honest. When you see someone in pain, you ask, “Are you okay?” You are very skilled at saying, “Please”, “Thank you”, “You’re welcome”, and even, “I’m sorry” at the right times. When I am having trouble with something like fixing a toy, you yell, “You can do it Mommy! You can do it! Keep trying!” You say, “Great job!” to those who deserve it, and even when you lose a game, you say, “Woo hoo! You won! High five!” You do say, “I don’t like it” quite a bit, but when you are asked to do something you don’t want to do, you simply make a suggestion to do something else like, “How ’bout watch TV?” or “How ’bout I take a picture?” You are also great at compromising. A few weeks ago, Daddy pointed out it was snowing outside, but you insisted it was raining. When Daddy said to look at the snowflakes, you said, “It’s snowflake raining!” I hope the positivity you exude now as a 2-year old carries on throughout your life, so you can live happily, and shine your brightness to everyone you meet like you do to us today.
As you grow up, surround yourself with positive people: those who, although they may not always agree with you, will always support you; those who tell you the hard-telling truth not to bring you down or to make themselves look or feel better, but for the sole purpose of making you better; those who see the good in you and do not assume the worst of your intentions without taking the facts into account; those who are there to pick you up when you fall and who would never push you down even further. Also, become that type of person for other people. You will cross paths with those who will try to bring you down and make you feel like you and your feelings don’t matter. You will be a friend to someone only to find they are not there for you when you need them. Do not waste your time and your beautiful spirit on these people, and do not let them take away from your positivity.
I know that life will not always be easy and it is impossible to be happy all the time. But no matter how bad things seem, there will always be something to be thankful for. During these times, try to focus on that and move forward. Recognize what you can and cannot control and what you can and cannot change…you cannot control or change other people. Always strive to be better, and make necessary changes to do so. It may not be easy, but you can do anything you set your mind to.
I love you with all of my heart, and I will always be here for you. Thank you for shining your positive light into my world, and KEEP SHINING!
Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy for additional information.
|February 12, 2013||Filled under Creative Joy|
Welcome to My Thoughts Monday (MTM)! I know, it’s Tuesday, but it looks like I caught the bug that’s been going around, so I was not able to post this yesterday. But since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I wanted to make sure to share a couple things with you.
My Best Valentine’s Day Gift
I can’t believe this Thursday will be my husband and my 10th Valentine’s Day together! Although he has given me many great presents, the best one has to be from our very first Valentine’s Day together. We were broke and in college when we first started dating, so we did not have much money to spend on going out. I didn’t know it at the time, but while I was at work that Valentine’s Day, John was hard at work back at my studio. I came home to a scavenger hunt around my apartment waiting for me! My studio was not very big, so I was surprised that John was able to hide each clue so well. I was also impressed that every clue rhymed and each one had a really nice flower hidden with it. I think one of them said something like “Congratulations on finding this clue. You’ll find the next one where you keep your shoes.” I was smiling throughout the whole thing! I was really into scrapbooking at the time, so at the end of the scavenger hunt was a new page in my scrapbook made by my future husband. He even drew a picture of us using my highlighters and folded a heart with construction paper that had a really sweet note inside. It was the least expensive Valentine’s Day gift I have ever received, but it definitely was the BEST and most thoughtful present ever. No wonder why I married him
Last week, my cousin and her boyfriend of almost 11 years were here in Chicago visiting from Arizona for his birthday. He has never lived in cold weather so we thought it was a little strange that he would actually ask to spend his birthday in the middle of winter out here instead of stay in the 75 degree sunny weather of Arizona, but now that I think about it, maybe he planned it this whole time. My cousin turned 30 a few months ago and since she and her boyfriend have been together for what seems like forever, we had been teasing them about getting married for awhile. They went to Hawaii for her birthday, so we expected them to come back engaged, but they didn’t. Then, while we were in Arizona for Christmas, everyone was watching my cousin open her presents, probably anticipating an engagement ring, but still, nothing. During the Superbowl, we teased my cousin’s boyfriend again about getting married and he laughed and said “Oh, you’ll see.” It was a little cryptic, but even after that, I did not expect anything to happen.
Before I go on, here’s a little background about my family: We are like the crazy families you see on TV or in the movies with tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins that are there for every special moment in your life (we had about 50 people from Chicago, Arizona, Indiana, and Michigan go to Milwaukee for my daughter’s baptism, and I had close to 30 people from Chicago and Arizona attend my college graduation at Marquette). Usually on TV or the movies, these families are Greek or Italian…mine is Filipino. Although this also means that there are a lot of people that know all about your business, I think it’s awesome, and I would not have it any other way. Part of my family did not move to Arizona from Chicago until I was in high school and college so we are all very close.
Continuing with the story: Last Tuesday, my cousin invited our whole family (21 of us) to dinner at Lou Malnati’s to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday. We waited for most of the other parties to clear out of the room so we could gather together to take a big family picture. After the picture, my cousin’s boyfriend, who is actually pretty quiet, raised his hand and kind of yelled, “Thank you all for coming out to celebrate my birthday. Since the whole family is here…” Then, he reached into his pocket and hid his hand under his scarf until my cousin was looking. He then went down on one knee and asked my cousin to marry him! I was so happy, I had tears in my eyes, I jumped up and down, and we all cheered. Thank goodness I had my phone in my hand to capture some great pictures! I am so honored to have witnessed it especially since my cousin and I grew up like sisters living 2 houses down from each other growing up. And I’m so happy that she found someone that understands exactly how important family is to us. I just had to share the joyous news
What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day or proposal stories? Leave me a comment below!
Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy for additional information.
|January 7, 2013||Filled under None|
Welcome to My Thoughts Monday (MTM)! On MTM, I’ll be posting about what I think about current events/activities or random thoughts I may have collected each week. Please note, that I do not claim to be any sort of expert on anything I write about, unless it is something I have experienced personally or have received formal education on. Also, please let me know if you have any suggestions for what I should write about! Lastly, I LOVE COMMENTS! Feel free to leave me a comment below with your thoughts about anything I post about
Coping with Depression and Handling Negative Feelings
Many years ago, back in high school, I suffered from major depression. It was difficult for me to pinpoint the reason I was depressed at the time, but looking back, it was probably because I had lost my identity. I was a gymnast for 10 years, which took almost as much time as a full-time job, but when I was 17, I injured my back, which ended my gymnastics career. I no longer knew who I was. Hurting my back also caused me to start missing school because it was so painful, so I started to get behind on schoolwork. It then was a downward spiral for me to try to catch up. I felt my parents were mad at me for not being the great athlete and student I had always been, blamed myself for everything, and eventually felt that everyone would be better off without me. From there, I started cutting my arms, so my parents put me in a partial patient mental health program where I spent my day instead of going to school for a couple of weeks. Luckily, I was able to get through it a stronger person realizing that my parents love me more than anything and handled the situation the best they could. I learned to be thankful for my blessings as it could always be worse, not to form assumptions about other people, especially about what they are thinking, to take things as they are, and how to build healthy relationships.
Recent events in the news and of some friends have made me think of that part of my life lately. I realized that many people are not aware of the different healthy ways to cope with their feelings, especially negative feelings, other than the traditional talking to someone about them. Talking to someone is great, but for me it’s only been helpful if it’s someone who can devote the time to listen objectively and who can at least try to understand where I am coming from; and sometimes I would rather try to deal with my feelings myself first (I know it may not be the healthiest, but it works for me). Whether you are clinically depressed, have any other mental health condition, or not, I think these coping skills can be applied to anyone as everyone has negative feelings about something at some point.
Important: I do not recommend that any of these methods replace any recommendations made by a mental health professional. I also want to emphasize, that anyone showing signs of depression or any other mental health condition, should seek professional help. I am not a mental health professional, and these descriptions are based on my own experiences alone.
So, here are some coping methods I learned in the hospital and since then:
- Writing: My coping method of choice is writing about it. Whether it be a personal journal, blog, poem, or virtual letter to someone, it can help just to put your thoughts and feelings on “paper”. For me it also helps to read it because I am able to organize all of my thoughts in order to help put things into perspective. Writing also gets you in the habit of identifying exactly what types of feelings you have and why so you know how to deal with them. A common phrase they had us use in the hospital was, “When (this happens), I feel _____, because _____.” The key is to use a “feeling word” in the blank after “I feel” such as ”happy”, “sad”, “excited”, “angry”, etc. You should try to use just one term for how you feel unless you are feeling more than one “feeling word”. Examples that are not “feeling words” are, “like I want to scream”, “ugh”, “blah”, etc. The blank after “because” is to help you learn to take responsibility for your feelings and identify if there is a reason that makes sense for why you feel that way. It should not be another expression of how you feel but an objective reason of why you feel that way. Sometimes, especially if you can fill the “this happens” statement and the blank after “because” with facts alone (it’s hard but possible), it makes you realize that there really is no reason for your negative feelings and it helps you get past it quicker. It can also help to prevent stories from forming in your head about other people that may not be true, therefore, helping you to build healthier and stronger relationships. The exercise is actually a bit difficult, but once you master it, I think it makes dealing with feelings a lot easier!
- Art therapy: Whether you are artistic or not, this can be very helpful, especially if you struggle putting your thoughts and feelings into words. You can sketch, paint, sculpt clay; pretty much anything you can find in an art supply store. Many people associate different colors with certain emotions (ie, red for anger, blue for sadness, black for confusion, etc.), or think of certain images that represent how they feel (when I was depressed, I always pictured a black hole). The art does not even need to look like anything tangible as long as it’s an expression of how you feel and you get it out.
- Music therapy: In high school, I was a huge fan of the bands Creed, Matchbox 20, Pearl Jam, and singers Tori Amos and Natalie Imbruglia because I felt like they knew exactly how I felt even if I didn’t. Finding songs that you can relate to and identifying why you relate to them (the lyrics, the beat, the strumming of the guitar, etc.) can also help you deal with your feelings. I always connected most with a song’s lyrics. Playing a musical instrument, singing, or writing a song can also be very therapeutic. At my parents’ house, I used to bang on the piano really hard and play classical music as fast as I could when I was really angry. I also like to belt out some Broadway hits or songs by Kelly Clarkson, lol. It’s so relieving!
- Exercise therapy: Exercise has proven to release endorphins which can trigger feelings of euphoria (a positive feeling) and help block pain. Not only do you get the positive physical effects of exercise but according to Mayo Clinic, regular exercise helps improve mood and increase self-confidence. Regular exercise helps with mood long-term, but when I get really angry about something in the particular, doing some Tae-Bo or playing a dance game on the Wii on difficult, helps me release some of that energy. I’m sure if I had one, going at it with a punching bag would work too. I think it’s best to identify what you enjoy and what you can do to release your energy if this is your coping method of choice.
- Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” I know it’s cheesy and this is not AA, but whether you are an addict or not, this prayer can apply to everyone in everyday life. Whether you are put in a difficult situation or you have to deal with difficult people, it helps put things into perspective. By keeping this in mind, I’ve learned that you cannot change or try to control other people; you can only take responsibility for your own actions and work on being a better person yourself. When times are tough, identify what you can change and make it better instead of dwelling on what can’t be changed.
Hopefully, some, if not all, of the things I listed above will help you deal with some negative feelings you may have about something or help someone who might be having trouble coping with something.
Earlier, I had mentioned that I used to cut my arms to help deal with my feelings. There are many reasons for why people self-mutilate, but for me, it was because I felt I needed to physically feel the emotional and mental pain I was feeling. Chemically, the reason people find relief in cutting is because, like exercise, it actually releases endorphins into the body causing a positive feeling. It does not last long though, which is why cutting can become very addictive and, therefore, extremely difficult to stop. It’s very important that if you know someone who is cutting or physically harming themselves in other ways, the best thing you can do is get them professional help. Do whatever you can to get them help to prevent the cutting from progressing any further into something worse. Although many self-mutilators are not suicidal, open wounds can cause serious infection or may even go deeper than the person intends. It can be very scary, but since I know that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped, there are things you can try to convince them to do instead of cutting that can have similar effects without inflicting any open wounds. In the hospital, I learned to stick my hands in a bucket of ice. KidsHealth.org also suggests:
- Rubbing ice on the skin.
- Wearing a rubber band on the wrist and snapping it gently against the skin.
- Drawing on the skin with a red soft-tipped pen.
From all of this, I think the most important thing to remember is to count your blessings. Things can always be worse, and you can only change what you can, which is the advice I try to provide my friends when they start feeling depressed. How do you cope with negative feelings, particularly those about difficult situations or difficult relationships? What things make you feel better? Leave me a comment below
|December 31, 2012||Filled under Mommy Joy|
Welcome to My Thoughts Monday (MTM)! First and foremost, since tonight is New Years Eve, PLEASE BE SAFE! I saw a couple of my friends on Facebook post this image today, so if you’re drinking tonight, please take advantage of the FREE Tipsy Tow offered nationwide by AAA!
For this week’s MTM, I want say THANK YOU to all of my faithful readers for enjoying 2012 with me. I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews, giveaways, money-saving tips, and mommy stories, along with all the other random things I’ve thrown in this year. I hope you continue to enJOY life affordably with me in 2013 and beyond!
Here is what I hope to accomplish in 2013:
- Be healthier! I want to eat better and actually exercise (hopefully regularly). I also want to cut down on eating out…sushi and Hawaiian barbecue have been my weaknesses this year. Maybe I’ll even cook some meals myself
- Grow our savings! We’ve been pretty good about saving money but not so good at putting our savings somewhere so we can’t access it and let our money grow. For some reason, we’ve been a little afraid of not being able to access our money freely, but with the blessings we’ve had this year financially, there are no more excuses! I’m also hoping to bring our credit card debt down to $0 this year.
- Go to church! God has been great to us, but we have not been able to go to church regularly. It’s especially difficult during football season! But that is not an excuse. I will work hard on making sure my family gets to church every week!
- Make our house a home! We’ve lived here for almost 2 years but we only have 2 rooms painted, pretty much no furniture in our living room, and can only park one car in our 3-car garage because of all the boxes. We also need to add some backsplash in our kitchen and figure out how to have our heat run through our finished basement. It will be difficult to do everything we want done and save money, but at the minimum, we need to unpack and get rid of the boxes!
- Keep in touch with friends! We do keep in touch with a couple of friends but I would like us to see our friends more.
- Remember birthdays & be better at sending presents! “Remember” is probably not the right word since we have no problems remembering…we just need to improve on sending presents, especially to our loved ones who live out of state.
- Keep it clean! Difficult with a 2-year old and shedding doggie, but I would like to try to give our house a good cleaning weekly if possible.
- Be better! I know I need to help my husband more around the house. I want to be a better mom, wife, and daughter. As a daughter, I want to show more appreciation to my parents and be more patience with them. I am forever grateful for everyone in my life and I want to show them that.
These are probably the biggest resolutions I have for 2013 but I’m sure I can think of a few more. I will definitely need some luck and dedication, but I think I can do it! What do you hope to accomplish in 2013? Leave me a comment below
|December 30, 2012||Filled under Mommy Joy, Reviews/Giveaways|
We started off the year with my daughter having a myringotomy (ear tubes) procedure when she was 16 months old in January. It was a little scary for us, but she is much better off now! I’m proud to report that she has not had anymore ear infections since having the ear tubes placed and she has been much happier on plane rides since there is no pressure build up in her ears.
In February, our family took its first trip to Denver, CO to visit my husband’s twin brother and his family. The scenery was beautiful and it was interesting to see how different things are out there from Chicago.
- We got to eat at Bang!, which was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We had the calamari served with sweet red chili sauce, which I thought was unique, and my husband loved their meatloaf.
- We went on a brewery tour at Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins. It was a lot of fun and I loved the beer sampler we ordered at the end.
- We also visited downtown Fort Collins, Golden, and Boulder.
- I was surprised at how many gun shops and medicinal marijuana shops there were…pretty much on every corner! For some reason, that does not seem like a very good combination to me, haha!
- My favorite was seeing Lia and her cousin, who is only 8 days older than she is, interact with each other. They have many of the same tendencies since their dads are identical twins, but they are also very different, not only because he is a boy and she is a girl, but probably mostly because our parenting styles are very different. It’s always interesting when we all get together.
- Another highlight of my trip was visiting a friend from high school in Boulder. He is doing great things as a Catholic missionary at the University of Colorado. I’m so proud to be his friend
In March, I got to participate in Operation Precious CARgo, where we collected items for expectant military moms. I loved being part of such a great cause, especially for those who are protecting our country. If you have the chance to participate in a similar cause, I highly recommend it!
Lia had her first trip to Soldier Field for an Easter Egg Hunt in March. She also attended her very first concert, ukulele player Jake Shimabakuro (he’s amazing!), in July, and then the Imagination Movers and Fresh Beat Band in October. She’s been a very busy little girl!
In June, we were so lucky to be able to spend a week with most of my husband’s family in Orlando, FL.
- We stayed at the Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort and visited Sea World, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The Toy Story ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was my favorite to go on with Lia!
- We also had a day without the kids at Universal Studios (thank goodness for grandparents!). By the way, I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, but Hogwart’s and the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios were pretty awesome! The ride is probably the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on!
- I have to give major props to my husband sister who made it through Magic Kingdom twice in one day and Universal Studios in 90 degree heat 7 months pregnant!
- My favorite part of the trip was seeing Lia with her cousin who had just turned 4 years old. I think it was the start of them being BFFs I’m also glad that Lia was able to spend some quality time with my husband’s parents so she can get to know them and feel more comfortable with them since they live in San Francisco and she only gets to seem them a couple times a year.
We celebrated Lia’s 2nd birthday in September! She’s growing up so fast, but we are having more and more fun with her each day!
My husband’s baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, won the World Series in October…woo hoo!
We could not possibly go a whole year without any negatives, right? So here it goes:
- In October, we got skunked for the very first time! Yuck.
- Obama got re-elected in November (this may be a positive for you, but definitely a negative for me, my job, health care, and the economy, among other things).
- Two of our friends lost their parents this year. I can’t even imagine having to live without one or both of my parents
- The Chicago Bears did not make it to the playoffs. But my husband is happy his San Francisco 49ers got the 2nd seed in the playoffs. It looks like I’ll be a 49ers fan now!
- This probably goes without being said, but there were the tragedies of the Sikh Temple, Dark Night, Wisconsin Salon, and Sandy Hook shootings, as well as Hurricane Sandy. Thinking about all of those families affected always brings tears to my eyes and I am always praying for them.
Let’s move on…
We got to spend Thanksgiving and celebrate our newest nephew’s baptism in San Francisco with my husband’s family. This was our first trip to San Francisco where we didn’t really go out to do anything. We had a great time hanging out and relaxing with family. Lia was so happy to play with her BFF cousin all weekend. I am thankful that we have been able to get to know my husband’s sister and her family a lot better since they came to visit us for Lia’s first birthday, vacation in Orlando in June, and our most recent San Francisco trip. It seems that our families have much more in common than I ever expected and it’s so nice to have someone to talk to who has very similar views about family as we do. Lia only has one living great-grandparent, so here’s an awesome picture of her, my husband, and her great-grandpa.
My husband was promoted twice this year, which rarely happens at his company! We’re just so happy that all of his hard work is paying off!
We spent a whole week, including Christmas Eve, with my family in Arizona. Although much of my extended family lives in the Chicago area, my brother, his family, and the 2 cousins I grew up living 2 houses down from are in the suburbs of Phoenix. Holidays can be especially tough on my parents since they have to choose if they will spend them with my brother or me every year, so it was nice to finally have my whole family together for Christmas (I think for the first time since 2006).
- There are a lot of shopping malls in the Phoenix area. Since I’ve been visiting there pretty much every year for the past 16 years, I’ve become pretty familiar with them. On this visit, we went to Superstition Springs Center in Mesa where they have big motorized animals that kids can “drive” around the mall. We also visited Mesa Riverview, which is a new outdoor mall on the other side of Mesa, for the first time. We met up with a couple of my co-workers at Yogis Grill, a “fast-food” Japanese restaurant. Their portions were huge, food was good, and they have some reasonable prices! We also went to Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, which is probably one of my favorite malls out there; and San Tan Village in Gilbert, an outdoor mall where Lia had a ton of fun in the play area.
- We had a family picture day at Discovery District Park in Gilbert. It was a really nice area for pictures since there are plenty of trees, a lake, benches, and this nice water feature. We were also lucky that we have a very talented cousin who knows how to use an SLR camera and edit photos.
- We went to the Chicago Bears game at University of Phoenix Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals. It was so much fun, especially that the Bears won! And Lia actually had a great time too, smiling the entire game and cheering and clapping with us. It really was like a home game with how many Bears fans there were!
- Lia’s cousins on my side of the family are much older than she is, but I loved seeing her excitement around them and their enthusiasm for taking care of her. She and my youngest niece, who is 6 years old, were inseparable throughout the week and Lia is still talking about her!
- Christmas was awesome, as always AZ Santa was nice enough to leave Lia a few little presents in her stocking with a note saying her presents were waiting for her at home.
- I am just so grateful for my entire family and I always miss them so much. I’m hoping that someday, we’ll all be able to live in the same area.
We were blessed with so many things this year, but I think our biggest blessing was being able to spend time with family. How was 2012 for you? Leave me a comment below
|March 18, 2012||Filled under Kids & Babies, Mommy Joy|
Baby Lia had her 18-month check-up yesterday, and as usual, they asked us questions to make sure she’s on the right developmental path and then asked if we had any concerns. Lia is doing great at her age…she has a pretty extensive vocabulary and does what we ask her to most of the time. She loves to read and can identify a lot of objects, letters, and shapes in books. BUT she is not sleeping through the night yet, at least most nights anyway.
When I told Lia’s doctor that she is not sleeping through the night and asked if it was normal, her doctor said, “No”, and pretty much gave us a lecture about how we NEED to get her to sleep through the night on her own. Okay, not that I want to make any excuses, but with both my husband and me working full-time, after awhile, we just wanted to do whatever we could so that WE could get some sleep too in order to function throughout the day. We admit that we have gotten Lia into the bad habit of coming into our bed and having a bottle of water when she wakes up in the middle of the night, but it works, and we get our sleep. Plus, my parents live with us. It’s pretty tough for especially Lia’s grandpa to let her sit there and cry, so if we happen not to hear her wake up in the middle of the night, Grandpa comes to the rescue and takes her.
Lia’s pediatrician explained that it’s important for her learn to self-sooth when she wakes up in the middle of the night and put herself back to sleep. She suggested that we let Lia “cry it out”, and to check on her every once in awhile just to make sure she wasn’t hurt, but not to interact with her when we do check on her. Please note that I have been telling my husband and my dad that we should do this since she was 6 months old, but a year later, they still have yet to let her “cry it out”. Now Lia is 18 months old, and my biggest concern is that she’s a climber, so eventually she may be so determined that she’ll climb out of her crib in the middle of the night. Luckily, she hasn’t figured this out yet, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before she does!
Last night, was the first night we tried to have Lia “cry it out” when she woke up in the middle of the night. I heard her cry for awhile, then she stopped, then she cried again, then she stopped…she repeated this about 4 times. Little did I know that her daddy actually got up the third time she started crying. Apparently he sat outside of her door until, finally, Lia was able to convince him to come and get her by yelling “Mom!”, which is what she calls all adults in our house, and pointing out the door. Daddy gave in, picked her up, and brought her into our bed with us. I’ve never seen her so happy to sleep in our bed with us! She started laughing and gave each of us 3 kisses before she started complaining again and her daddy gave her a bottle of water for her to fall asleep. It was clear that this is going to be more of a challenge than I thought!
My dad works third shift on the weekends, so when he came home today, I explained to him our plan of letting Lia cry when she wakes up at night. He agreed not to take her, but between him and my husband, I’m not sure that this will work.
So, I’m wondering, besides Lia continuing to want to sleep in our bed, what are the consequences of getting her in the middle of the night instead of having her sooth herself and go back to sleep on her own? Does it affect her personality, problem-solving skills, or need/want for independence? What tricks have you used to get your babies or kids to sleep through the night? Any advice would be GREAT so PLEASE leave me a comment below!
Tonight, I put Lia to sleep in her room even though she kept trying to convince me to bring her to our room. I explained to her that she needed to sleep in her crib tonight. I’m not sure if she understood me, but every time I tried to put her down in her crib, she clung to me like a monkey. I’m sure that since she’s older, this will take a little longer than we would like, but hopefully she gets to sleeping through the night soon! Otherwise, she will have 2 zombies for parents!
|January 25, 2012||Filled under Kids & Babies, Mommy Joy|
My 16-month old went in for a myringotomy (ear tubes) Friday morning to treat her chronic ear infections, and even though we knew it was a fairly simple procedure, my husband and I were really nervous about it! During a myringotomy, a hole is created in the ear drum, where a tube is placed to keep the hole open, so that fluid can drain. This prevents fluid build-up in the ear that can lead to ear infections, since bacteria can grow in the fluid. The tube usually falls out on its own within 6 to 12 months, and the child is good to go with no more ear infections.
Why the ear tubes?
We actually didn’t realize that Lia had a problem with ear infections until her last one, which was originally found at her 15-month well child check-up. The day after she finished her 10-day course of antibiotics, she developed a fever, which lasted for almost 4 days. We took her back to the doctor and found that her ear infection had gotten worse, and the other ear was infected too. When her doctor asked how many ear infections she has had, we realized that she has had one at pretty much every well check she has had since she was born, plus one other time. We didn’t know that it was a problem because she has only showed any symptoms twice out of the 5 or 6 ear infections that she has had. Her pediatrician recommended that Lia see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) to check if she needs ear tubes, since she has had so many infections in her lifetime.
Visit to the ENT:
Lia surprised us by doing so well at the ENT! She let the doctor check her ears and let the audiologist run 2 tests on each ear, which required probes that were like plugs in her ears and stickies on her head. The first test was to check if there was any fluid in her ears, and the second test checked her hearing. She passed both tests in her left ear, but her right ear had fluid, so she failed the hearing test on that side. At that point, it was clear that the best thing for her would be to proceed with the myringotomy.
Before Lia could have the surgery, she had to have a pre-operation evaluation, so we went back to her pediatrician’s office. The pre-op visit was just a more thorough physical than her well-child checks, but without the shots, which the baby was probably happy about. They did not run any tests, but they did ask a lot of questions about her health and development and checked her body over to make sure she was fit for surgery. Although she did have a runny nose, she was cleared for surgery. We just had to watch for any fever or congestion that interfered with her breathing, since those were things that could cause them to postpone a surgery.
Before the surgery:
The myringotomy was scheduled for 8:15 in the morning, which meant we had to be at the hospital at 6:45 am. Since we knew we had to get Lia up early, we had her skip her afternoon nap the day before so we could get her to bed early. She was not to eat or drink anything other than clear liquids after 2 am and nothing after 6 am since it could cause a reaction to the anesthesia. When we checked into the hospital, we had to fill out the usual paperwork for billing and authorizations. Around 7:35, they had us dress Lia into her hospital gown and took her vitals (a blood pressure cuff around her calf and pulse-ox sticky on her big toe). They also gave her some Tylenol to help with any pain she might feel after the surgery. The nurses, doctor, and anesthesiologist came in while we waited to answer all of our questions. We were actually more worried about Lia being traumatized from being taken away from us than we were about the surgery, so we made sure to ask them exactly what was going to happen, so that we could explain it to her before she went in. We also made sure to let them know that we were concerned about her having “stranger danger” and that we were afraid that she would freak out when she didn’t see any familiar faces. We were relieved to know that there would be no IVs involved and that the anesthesia would be administered through a mask. I’m not sure if Lia understood us when we explained to her what was going to happen, but our little cutie laughed when we told her that they were going to put a mask on her face and she would fall asleep. She even let the nurse take her from me and did not start crying until she realized that we weren’t going with her.
The procedure itself did not take very long. After they took Lia to the operating room, they led us to a waiting room, where we were to wait for the doctor to come out after the surgery was finished to let us know how it went. I only played 3 or 4 words in Words with Friends and quickly checked my Facebook to see who “Liked” the picture of Lia in her hospital gown before the doctor came in. We were so happy to hear that the surgery went well and she was already in recovery. She had an infection in her right ear but that would clear up with the ear drops she used for 5 days after the surgery. A nurse came to get us once Lia woke up and we heard her screaming from the waiting room. Luckily, she calmed down as soon as I was able to hold her. We were only there for about an hour after the surgery before we were able to go home. During that time, a nurse took her vitals 2 more times to make sure she was okay to be released from the hospital and she gave us her discharge instructions.
After the surgery:
All kids react differently to surgery and anesthesia, but all I heard from friends and even Lia’s pediatrician is that they usually wake up as monsters! So I took the whole day off of work and made sure to prepare myself to have a groggy and/or cranky baby all day. We must have one tough girl because from the time I took her when she woke up from the surgery until we got home, she didn’t cry! She wasn’t even crabby! We got in the car and on the way home, she said, “I’m tired”, and she took a nap as soon as we got home. When she woke up, she played all day like never ever happened! The only concern we had since the procedure is that the next morning, there was a bloody discharge coming from her left ear, which freaked us out a little bit even though it didn’t seem to bother her. Fortunately, that is normal in the first 48 hours after the surgery. Other than that, she has been golden! We can even tell that she can hear us better because it seems like she’s acknowledging that she understands what we’re saying more by answering “Yes” and “No”. My baby girl amazes me everyday
If you have a story you’d like to share about your child having surgery or a medical condition, I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below!
|January 2, 2012||Filled under None|
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you had an enjoyable and safe celebration into 2012! I took a little break from blogging to spend time with my family and to take care of my baby girl who is just getting over a double ear infection, ick!
For my first post of 2012, I thought I’d reflect back on everything that happened for my family and me in 2011:
- After viewing over 100 houses in 5 cities, and placing 6 offers in about 7 months, we finally closed on our first home on January 7th. We should’ve been on the HGTV show, My First Place!
- I experienced my first real blizzard as an adult on February 2nd, aka Snowmageddon 2011. We were lucky enough to have 2 houses at the time, which meant 10 hrs of snow removal at each house…we were so tired! At least the dog had fun!
- We moved from the Milwaukee area to the North Suburbs of Chicago in February. It took me 9 years, but it’s so good to be back home!
- I started telecommuting for work from home when we moved. I still have to work set hours, but I absolutely LOVE seeing my baby girl throughout the day on my breaks and during my lunch!
- We hosted our first party in our new home 2 weeks after we moved in to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. Not sure what we were thinking, but it was a great celebration! My brother even flew out from Phoenix as her birthday present from us. And it definitely does not seem like my mom is 70!
- In March, I made the decision to leave the network of blogs that I was with for a year and a half. It was tough leaving something I worked so hard to build from the bottom up, but it was the best decision, mainly to keep my sanity! It was a great lesson in doing things for yourself and making sure what you’re doing makes sense for you and your family.
- It turned out that I really missed blogging, so My Joy My World was born in May. I wanted to share great deals as I did before to show people how to enJOY life affordably, but I also wanted to write about everything else that I love.
- Also in May, I turned 30 years old. Enough said about that, lol.
- I had my first celebrity sighting when my husband and I walked by Vince Vaughn at Gurnee Mills in June.
- I attended my first blogger conference in July. I met some great women in social media, made some wonderful connections, and learned a lot!
- We celebrated my daughter’s first birthday in September. My sister-in-law and her family flew in from San Francisco and helped us with her Strawberry Shortcake themed party. Most of the dishes featured strawberries, and we had 2 bounce-houses and a pinata. It was quite a celebration!
- After about 10 years of being away from the sport, I started coaching gymnastics in September. It has definitely been a learning experience for both me and my gymnasts, but I’m having tons of fun!
- My baby girl started walking full speed at 13 months old in October, and we’ve been chasing her ever since!
- We took our first plane ride with the baby to Phoenix to spend Halloween with my family and celebrate my oldest nephew’s 15th birthday. Little M didn’t like the plane so much, but Halloween was a blast, especially that we didn’t have to go trick or treating in the cold.
- We spent our first major holiday, Thanksgiving, with my husband’s family in San Francisco. Little M got to see where her daddy grew up and meet that side of her family for the first time. It was a great trip!
- In December, I unexpectedly lost a friend from work to an enlarged heart, which I guess is appropriate since he in fact did have a big heart. He will truly be missed!
- We celebrated our first Christmas in our home with my family. Despite her daddy dressing up like Santa, our baby girl was still terrified of him. Isn’t that a great pic, by the way?
- We ended the year with a sick baby, but we still celebrated the New Year watching Dick Clark at home and popping open some champagne.
2011 was a great year overall, and I’m excited for an even better 2012! I would love to read about your review of 2011! Leave me a comment below
|December 18, 2011||Filled under None|
Cherish every moment you have, especially those with the ones you care about. We hear it all the time and see it everywhere, but we never really think about it until we lose something or someone. I was reminded of this life lesson this past Thursday, December 15th, when my friend, Duc, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly that morning.
I’ve actually been going back and forth about whether or not I would write about this, especially since Duc never liked being in the spotlight, let alone have his picture posted on the internet. But I thought it would be a good reminder this holiday season and a way for me to dedicate something to him and remember him by.
Duc was the type of person who always had a smile on his face and had a positive outlook on life. He was great to joke around with and so much fun to be around. Since he was 12 years older than me, I always joked with him about being old, but he swore that he could “teach me how to Dougie” and that I was “so 2000 and late”. Duc did not like talking about himself much, so even when I asked him how he was doing more than once in a conversation, it always turned into a story about what I had been up to. He had a huge heart and was such a great listener. I was often impressed that he remembered some of the stories I had told him before, especially since he’s a guy, haha!
I started working from home back in February, but one thing I miss the most about working in the office is Duc’s almost daily visits to my desk asking me to go on a Starbucks run with him. I hadn’t had a chance to talk to Duc much since I moved and started working from home, but the last time I hung out with him was 2 Mondays ago. Duc heard I was in the office, so he actually came and found me to say, “Hi”. I didn’t know it at the time, but we had our very last Starbucks run together. I was actually surprised that he strayed away from his usual iced Americano with soy milk…maybe because it was a little cold outside. We joked around like normal and he even tried to convince another co-worker that I live in a “mansion”. I remember that for some reason, I had a feeling that I needed to give Duc a hug before I left, but I didn’t. I wish I had though.
Duc was only 42 years old when he passed away. It was so sudden and unexpected that I think most of his friends and family, even me, are still shocked. I like to think that he was so good, God wanted him early. My last Starbucks run with him 2 weeks ago was so special, and I keep thinking that I would not have been able to enjoy that last moment with him if he hadn’t heard I was in the office that day and came to find me. That shows how good of a friend he was. RIP Duc…I’m sure you’re making everyone laugh and smile in heaven as you did here on Earth.
Just another reminder to cherish every moment you have with those around you, especially this holiday season. You never know which moment will be your last…