Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “July, 2011”


*TMI alert: the following post contains a j-pouch related discussion. Even if you do not have a j-pouch, the vast majority of the population will run into issues related to pains in the rear at some point in their lifetimes. You may find this helpful.

You all know that I am a j-poucher. J-pouch is sort of a nicer term for ilio-anal resevior. Helps prevent folks from having to say the word anus, which I honestly think has to be the ugliest word in the entire English language. I can’t even say the word out loud without looking both ways, leaning in close, and whispering it in utter embarrassment. As a j-poucher, this is a big problem. We have to communicate all sorts of things on the topic of our butts and our lives tend to revolve around it.

Anyhow, with j-pouches comes a whole new set of butt issues. So naturally I’ve spent the last four years or so searching every corner of the earth for products designed to make sore butts happier. The only one I have found so far which actually helps the pain is a product called nupercainal.  The problem with this stuff is that it only numbs the area up for a short time. It does nothing to promote healing or to resolve the original problem.

I’ve been doing tons of research on natural, organic sources of healing and soothing aids such as essential oils and their carrier oils.  After picking out several essential oils and other ingredients, I came up with a recipe which I am starting to believe will be the Saving Grace for sore butts, especially for j-pouchers! It is also great for women’s post-partum birth injury care, hemorrhoids, butt burn, fissures, diaper rashes, cloth baby wipes, and general cleaning purposes.

Happibutts is gentle, natural, and best of all- it WORKS!!! I am still researching to see if there is anything else that I can add to help make this product the best one out there.* I am hoping to have two versions of Happibutts- a lotion and a liquid spray & wipe.

So far, all of the ingredients are organic, environmentally friendly, and from sustainable resources. 🙂

*As a side note, I am going to do everything I can to make Happibutt remedy available to whoever needs it. I am NOT in this for monetary gain and I am not even remotely a ‘business person’ per se. The reason I want others to have access to this is because I have had so many moments where I was literally in tears with pain and wishing that there was something that could help make things better. I researched and created this out of sheer necessity, and it works better than I could have ever imagined. I know that there are so many people out there just like me who this can really help, that is what drives me.



Kids these days just seem to be so unbelievably smart! My son surprised me BIG time today and I am still in shock about it. So this morning, literally just a few minutes ago, he brought me a book and started to point things out. Since I just got my ‘ears’ (cochlear implants) back on and can hear again, I totally loved hearing him say words in his little toddler voice. He pointed to all sorts of things, both signing and saying words as he went along.

Then he pointed to something and said, ‘Oh?”  I wasn’t sure what he was trying to say, so I leaned over to where his little finger was pointing and saw the letter ‘O.’ My baby, not even two years old yet, apparently knows some of his letters!!! I can’t figure out how he knows these yet, because I have not worked with him on it aside from just singing the ABC song. It wasn’t just a lucky guess because he consistently got it right! I felt so excited and wanted to know what else he knew. I pointed to the letter, ‘A’ and he said, “A!”  I pointed to a few others, which he correctly named, but he grew bored and moved on to other things. SO exciting.

This morning’s exciting event served as proof that my being at home with him is really paying off in terms of his development.  I am so grateful for being at home with him so that I can teach him home-school style to give him the best possible start in life.  You guys all know how much I believe in excellence in education and intelligence.

I’m not one of those neurotic, militant parents when it comes to pushing their kids to excel. However, I do not believe that our nation’s school system should be the only place that they learn. I remember being three years old and literally begging to be taught to read and no one taught me. I had to wait two more years until I was finally taught in kindergarten to read. I do not want such things to happen to my son. He is very bright and curious about the world around him. I believe that he can learn to read long before kindergarten at age 5, and I plan on teaching him how.

He will be two in the fall.  He already knows his primary colors, some basic counting, and apparently he knows some of his letters though I am not sure how many he knows.  For our home-school lessons, I will finish teaching him all of his letters and then will begin teaching him sight words for reading.  I plan on teaching him basic math such as shapes, and simple addition and subtraction.  We will be doing lots of coloring and painting to help prepare his little hands for writing.  I am working on figuring out how to introduce him to electrical engineering types of activities since he has shown talent and interest in it since 4 months of age. Developing his sign language vocabulary is a daily given.

As always, I make learning fun and use tons of positive feedback and encouragement to help build his confidence and character.  I never, ever force him to do anything but instead let him chose his own pace and attention span.  As a result, he genuinely loves learning. 🙂




A Sibling for Nathan

No…don’t freak out, I am not preggo thanks to itsy-bitsy nauseating anti-baby pills (birth control). We would really like to have another little one, and soon. However, I am really anxious about the whole pregnancy thing. I really hate being pregnant in the beginning and spend every day of the first 16 weeks tethered to the toilet and wondering what in the world I gotten myself in to. Another GI issue rears its ugly head during early pregnancy thanks to a growing uterus putting pressure on my pouch. The combination of pressure on the j-pouch and pregnancy hormones causes me to have chronic, extreme diarrhea (sorry, TMI- just wanted to warn fellow j-pouchers about this perk of pregnancy). This is worse at night, meaning that sleep is impossible and if I make the mistake of sleeping for more than an hour, then I wake up to incontinence. It is positively awful. I find myself feeling like I am dying instead of growing new life.

The vomiting corrodes my esophagus. Have you ever had the experience of vomiting blood, and lots of it? It’s a lot of fun, let me tell you. Needless to say, I am nervous about the whole pregnancy thing.  Then I look at Nathan and how much I love him, and I know I will have the same love for baby number 2.  Plus, this time around I have a little experience under my belt. I know this time to request at-home intravenous fluids via a PICC line for dehydration early on to see me through those early weeks. I know now how to deal better with the GI issues. I have tons of tricks to get nutrition into my body for the baby despite hyperemesis.  This time around, each day I have Nathan to remind me that there is a wonderful, miraculous light at the end of the really long tunnel.

I start feeling a tad bit better right around the time that my bump makes an appearance and I feel those first miraculous little kicks inside my womb.  After that, my protective motherly instincts kick in and all the vomiting in the world can’t corrode the love and happiness I feel inside for this new little life I am growing.I positively LOVE being pregnant from week 18 until week 36. During this time, I have more good days than bad and I LOVE feeling my beloved little one moving around inside. It is the most wonderful, amazing experience.

I guess it is normal to feel nervous the second time around. I know that I will handle it just fine. There is no doubt in my mind about wanting another baby and pregnancy, I just wish it weren’t so hard on me. Who knows? Maybe it will be easier this time around since I know what to expect and how to address it. I get so excited wondering what the second one will look like, and if it will be a girl or a boy.  I know Nathan will love being a big brother. He loves seeing other babies already. Anyhow…shall keep everyone updated on the baby topics. 🙂

Thoughts & Life

The older I get, the more I realize just how important it is for us to all know ourselves. I also have realized how few people really know the answers to who they are, myself included.

I know for a fact that I belong to a group of people called ‘experiencers.”  I do not know what else I am, but that much is true. Experiencers are the kinds of people who will take you up on your offer to go back pack across Europe one summer in college on a whim.  They live to try new foods, travel, interact with various cultures and so forth. They tend to suffocate and end up depressed if they live in small towns or very conservative areas.  They tend to love to read because it is an outlet for experiencing new things even if it is only in their minds. They embrace fear much like a cat who is curious. They tend to be innovative and enjoy the journey more than the destination and believe that there is no “right way” to do things as long as the end product is the same. The key to their happiness is to take regular breaks to experience new things, and if they live in small towns/conservative cultures then they need to travel away from there frequently to fulfill their need to experience new events.

Too many people try to change who they are inside and with disastrous results.  People need to sit back, figure who they are, and embrace it and I strongly believe they will be happier because of it.

I’m married to the exact opposite. C belongs to a group of people who I can traditionalists. Traditionalist live to uphold rules, routines, and tradition.  They thrive on routines and need to function under set rules to guide them through work, home life, and other areas. They believe that there is a “right way” to do everything and do no like to stray from it. They tend to hate change and if change is inevitable, they must be allowed to slowly warm up to the idea.  They happy to do the same things as they always have instead of trying new things. They tend to be fear-guided when it comes to the unknown, and thus stick to what they know. They thrive in small town lifestyles and conservative areas. Their strength is that they have impeccable integrity. They make up for lack of innovativeness by making sure they know all the right steps ahead of time and follow those steps exactly. You can always count on them to get things done.

Traditionalist and experiencers compliment each other very well. The traditionalist helps keep the experiencer grounded, and the experiencer pulls the traditionalist outside of their comfort zones so that they experiences life more. However, it is crucial that these two opposites understand and work with each others strengths and weaknesses and never try to change the core of the other person.

My son, from what I have seen so far, is a traditionalist. Even as young as a year old, he has his routines and makes sure he does things the ‘right way.’  For example, he has to rearrange his bedding just so and he has his routines and will get very upset if anything changes. He doesn’t like to try new things and prefers to stay in his comfort zone. It takes a lot to help him warm up to the idea of change. Whenever he does anything, he makes sure he finishes it completely before moving on to the next thing.

What about you? Have you ever thought about who you are and how it affects your relationships?

$5 French Chair Reveal

I purchased 4 yucky chairs on craigslist for $5 each. They all had broken cane backs, so I decided to recover them French-style:

I will be posting better pictures along with a detailed tutorial later on. It is REALLY easy to do and very relaxing. 🙂 Stay tuned!

Vanity Redo Reveal (minus hardware)

I can’t believe that I forgot to post my bathroom vanity reveal! Oops! Here it is:

Before picture:



These pictures do not do it justice. I will try taking more pictures and posting them along with a how-to tutorial. Check back later! 🙂

Deals and Steals

Lately I’ve been working really hard to get our house up to par.  Like I mentioned before, we are planning on a pregnancy within the next 6-10 weeks and so things have to be done by then or it will not get done.  I am pretty much completely worthless for the majority of the pregnancy, so I want to go ahead and contribute as much as I can ahead of time. I’ve been scouring stores and online sites for the best deals on project supplies.  I have scored some SUPER good deals. My goal is always to get the most I can value-wise for my money budget-wise.  I mean, why on earth would I want to settle for a cheap quality item if I can get one of MUCH better quality for the same price?

I looked everywhere for a new kitchen faucet since our old, standard one is awful. The thing is, when we (and buyers) walk in the house, the first thing they see is our kitchen sink and the ugly, cheap faucet.  With the old faucet, we could hardly wash big pans and high chair trays because of how low the spout was over the sink. So I came up with a budget, and applied my goal of the most value for the budget. The winner? This handsome fellow (compare it to the old one, which looks similar but worse than the picture below):

I scored this faucet for 70-something percent off, which allowed me to buy a $320 faucet for less than my budgeted amount! With the leftover money that I budgeted for the faucet, I went ahead and searched again for a soap dispenser which is mounted under the sink right next to the faucet.  I found this:

This guy was almost 80% off. So for the price I would have spent on a faucet at the local home store, I managed to purchase over $445 worth of high-quality, nice looking kitchen hardware/accessories! I am still awaiting for the dispenser to arrive, but C went ahead and installed the kitchen faucet and it really looks nice. I may need to upgrade the sink at some point, but for now, I’m very happy with how it turned out. Later on, I will refinish the cabinets and C will put down the 16×16″ tile floors which will really make it look nice for potential buyers whenever we decide to sell.

I meant to show you the hardware I picked out for the kitchen cabinets. For the drawer (we only have one, can you imagine?):

For the doors:

I liked these because they match the rest of the house’s hardware and because they mimic the rope detail found on the new molding that I am putting up.

I am just hoping (wishing and praying) that everything comes together nicely. I love being in a beautiful house, but I am certainly not a decorator. I always have trouble seeing the finished product, so I usually just end up having to blindly pick a starting point and work my way up from there.  My Achilles heel is making things too matchy-matchy, which is really just a by product of not being a natural born decorator.  Thank goodness for blogs! I find tons of inspiration  and starting points from there.  Eventually, hopefully before a pregnancy, I will have every room in the house looking presentable and put-together as much as possible.  🙂

I almost forgot to mention the two rugs! For our bathroom, which is painted a sage-blue color, I found this rug:

You can’t really tell in this picture, but it has blues and pinks in the medallions as well. It is transitional, so I am hoping it will keep the space looking fresh and inviting. For our foyer, I also went with a transitional rug:

I hope I can get everything done soon so I can post pictures 🙂

Dream House: a fellow bloggers gorgeous home

I recently stumbled upon this decorators blog written by a lady named Joan at, “For the Love of a House.”   If you like decorating, PLEASE go look at her house! She purchased and completely remodeled her home and did an absolutely beautiful job.  If I could chose any house and decor in the world, I believe I would chose her house. Its SO beautiful and recently I have been looking to her house for decoration inspiration. 🙂

Her gorgeous bedroom is a calming retreat with pops of torquois, which I am thinking about doing as well. Take a look at her picture! Go check out her house. GORGEOUS.

The Rush

C and I are planning on trying for our second child in the early fall.  The thing is, when I’m pregnant, I feel slightly better than death between all of the lovely pregnancy symptoms. My body hates being pregnant for the first 16 weeks, and for the last 6 weeks.  I have to somehow manage to grow a complete human between constant vomiting, major GI issues, dehydration, no sleep, and major pain.  It is worth it, no doubt. I just have to plan on doing nothing but laying around for those weeks.

This conflicts with many things. I know at some point in the next year or two or three (who knows?) that we will be selling the house and moving who knows where. This means that I have a ton of work to do to get the house ready, just in case we move shortly after pregnancy. The only thing that is for sure is that we will not move until after I give birth to child number two and recover.

In the meantime, I have a huge to-do list plus a few personal projects that I want to do. I want to experiment with soap making. I want to learn to make our own laundry soap to save us a ton of money, and also switch to cloth baby wipes.  I am still working on decluttering the house and redoing cabinets. I have to finish painting various rooms, help C put down new flooring, and so forth. I have tons to do, and I’ve been pretty busy trying to do it all while also maintaining the house and taking care of a toddler and traveling.

I guess this is like a form of nesting. I want to get everything ready so that I can just relax and focus on growing a child. Anyhow, that’s all I can really update at the moment. I am currently redoing our bathroom vanity and it is really looking wonderful. I will post a how-to blog with pictures and directions as soon as I finish.  🙂

My Birfday

It is really late, but I wanted to go ahead and post this before I forget. Today was my birthday. I turned twenty- (mumbles). I’m really big on laid-back affairs, and today was just that. I spent the day working on my beadboard project. Part of my gift was free Daddy Daycare so that I could focus on finishing the project and get it done with.  Then, C treated me to some Indian food, followed by our favorite DQ ice cream cake with the fudge layer. YUM! Nathan helped himself to some of the green icing trim before I could blow out the candles. Here are some pictures (I look a little rough, no make-up and covered in random goo from the beadboard project under construction).

THEN, to my great surprise, he revealed not one but TWO gifts! One huge box and one little one. Us ladies, may I add, are big fans of those little boxes. 😉

I opened the big one. I had NO idea what was in it. It turned out to be a Kennmore toaster oven! I know, I know…you’re probably thinking, well why would she be excited about that?  The reason is because I have a major oven-thermophobia in the summer time. The oven, in addition to taking a second less than forever to pre-heat, also heats our entire house. The long wait for oven baked chicken nuggets makes for a cranky toddler, and the insufferable heat makes for a cranky mommy. The solution? A full-sized toaster oven! Yes indeedy, this lady is tickled pink about this little lean, mean, chicken nugget baking machine.

Then I opened the little box. Slowly. I wanted to savor every moment leading up to the moment that I laid my eyes on this little beauty. A little beauty that I’ve been dreaming of for the past 4 years…

Isn’t it pretty!?! He got me a matching single-row anniversary band to complete my wedding set! 🙂 It is a little to big, so I need to get it resized. I really love it though. I felt a little guilty at first about it, but he promised (on his best golf club) that he scored it for 70% off and then I was tickled pink. 🙂  I love nice things, but I REFUSE to buy anything full priced. I just can’t justify wasting extra money just because I’m not patient enough to wait for it to go on sale or don’t think ahead and buy it ahead of time on sale. Anyhow, it turned out to be a “just right” kind of day. Major productiveness in between spending time with my two most favorite people in the world (and ice cream cake).

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