Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
I've always wanted to try one of the "Caterpillar to Butterfly" kits with Audrey and I felt like this year she was finally old enough to really get something out of it and understand what was going on.
So I ordered the kit about a month ago and they came in about a week later. As I read the instructions, I was surprised at easy it looked like it would be. The 6 caterpillars came in a container full of everything they would need as caterpillars. Basically, you don't have to do anything but watch them until they build their chrysalis.
We started out with 6 caterpillars. They guarantee at least 50% to become butterflies. About 8 days after the caterpillars came in the mail, the first two built their chrysalis within a matter of hours. I had no clue they did it that fast. At 8:30 a.m. they were hanging from the top getting ready, and at 1:00 p.m. when I got home, they were already done!
Out of the four caterpillars left, I began to feel like one of them wasn't going to make it. The other five had doubled in size, and he was still a tiny thing. Two days later the other three big caterpillars built their chrysalis and the smaller caterpillar was no longer with us. I was excited that we had 5/6.
Once the last caterpillar had built its chrysalis, I moved all of them to the butterfly house by hanging the entire lid of the container on the side of the netting with the hook that was attached. I did this very carefully and managed to move them without dropping one.
I had to mist the caterpillars with room temperature water once a day. Once morning (8 days after the first two built their chrysalis) I sprayed them like I usually do. Then, just a few minutes later on my way out the door, I noticed we had a butterfly! That little stinker waited until we weren't looking. By the end of the day, we had two butterflies. Three days later, we had all five butterflies, but one of them passed away for unknown reasons.
Yesterday, we released the butterflies in my moms garden and they took off across the yard. This was such a fun experience for both Audrey and myself and I loved seeing how excited she was throughout each step. Seriously. I got constant caterpillar updates. But she had a blast and it was educational too!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Believe it or not, I have completed ANOTHER Pinterest find! This one was so easy though--seriously took five minutes.
If you want a quick snack for you or the kids or need a last minute snack for a shower or party, this is PERFECT!
All you will need is:
3 Tablespoons of Funfetti Cake Mix
2 Tablespoons of Original or Vanilla Yogurt
1 Tablespoon of Cool Whip or Whip Cream (I used Cool Whip)
The above is for one snack serving so adjust your quantities depending on how much you need (One box of mix, one tub of Cool Whip, and one 16 oz Yogurt will go a LONG way!).
Mix the Cake Mix and Yogurt until smooth. Fold Cool Whip or Whip Cream into mixture. That's it. You are DONE. How easy is that?!?
You can now dip Graham Crackers, fruit, animal crackers, or whatever (a friend suggested Oreos!). Super easy delicious snack. Being pregnant I can't eat the cake batter off the bowl anymore so this is an awesome substitute for us pregnant moms who can't have those raw eggs in real cake batter. I dipped graham crackers earlier, but can't wait to try some grapes and strawberries in it!
If you're watching what you eat, the above single portion is only 3 Weight Watchers points!
This is definitely a new favorite of mine and will be making it often to accompany my fruit and satisfy my pregnant sweet tooth!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Heather contacted me last week and wanted to share her story with all of you. I am very excited that Heather wanted to share her story and I hope you will read more from Heather HERE.
How my Child Saved my Life
Treating and living with cancer is a painful and traumatic experience. More than anything else, it is a time of fear as you wait to see if you will live or die. For me, the one thing I could not imagine was leaving my daughter. Three months before I was diagnosed, my first child was born. At the time, I never imagined I would be lucky enough to see her reach the age of seven.
When Lily was born, I was 35 years old. My husband Cameron and I had chosen to wait seven years after our marriage before having her. I was worried about the risks of having children at an older age and if my daughter would be healthy. While I was pregnant, I rubbed my belly and thought about the child growing within me. Would I be a good mother? What would my daughter be like? Just like most mothers, above everything else I wanted to love her and be the best mother I could be.
After an emergency C-section, my daughter was placed in my arms. She was a healthy, beautiful baby and all I wanted to do was hold her close. I was overwhelmed with the desire to keep her safe and protect her from all harm. At this moment in time, all Cameron and I could think about is the gorgeous bundle of joy that was coming home with us.
Three and a half months later, my new life came crashing down. I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I was told I had 15 months to live if I did not begin immediate treatment. Even with treatment, 95 percent of people who are diagnosed end up succumbing to the disease. As I sat overwhelmed by shock, my husband told the doctor we would do the most drastic form of treatment possible.
Drastic treatment meant an extrapleural pnuemonectomy in Boston. This required the removal of my left lung as well as the lining of my diaphragm and heart. The trauma of the surgery meant that I had to stay at the hospital for 18 days afterwards and then two more weeks at an outpatient facility. Since my daughter was with my parents in South Dakota, I spent the sixth month of her life away from her.
After the first month of recovery was complete, I went to my parents in South Dakota for another two months. The recuperation process ended and I went back home to Minnesota for a barrage of radiation and chemotherapy. For anyone who has never experienced these treatments, they are painful and difficult to undergo. The one thing that kept me strong was the thought of my daughter. It is because of her that I stayed strong through everything and the reason I am alive today.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Toomer's outfit was obviously for her Daddy (don't worry, Bama outfits coming soon--Roll Tide!).
Here are some more of my favorites that she has created for other customers:
You can see more by visiting her Facebook page HERE
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day. This time last year, I was blissfully unaware that this day existed. Mother's Day is normally a joyous occasion, but for mother who has lost a child it is a day where you are once again forced to face and accept a painful truth. That you are a mother, but your child has gone on before you.
I have Audrey and Cate to spend Mother's Day with, but the painful truth that Barrett won't be here is still heavy on my heart. Today, while most have gone about their Sunday business, the Baby Loss Community has been joining together to remember our angels. As mothers we do this every day, but on a day like today we join together and remember each others angels as well. It is a sisterhood no one wants to join, but if you find yourself in it, you will find yourself among some of the strongest and most beautiful women I have ever met.
God has brought some incredible people into my life through Barrett. While I hate the grief we have in common, I am so thankful for these people. You all know who you are and you have been a source of strength for me since August that I will never be able to adequately describe to you. You inspire and encourage me each and every day.
I am thinking of all of you and your angels today and you are in my prayers always!
For more about International Bereaved Mother's Day, visit the Facebook page HERE
and check out this video by CarlyMarie
Friday, May 3, 2013
Wifessionals is hosting a mini series on pre-baby and post-baby topics. This week's topic is: Bringing Home Baby/ Surviving the First Few Weeks.
For a new mom, this can be stressful--you may not know what to expect and if you're not prepared it can be overwhelming.
Here is one thing I learned: it's ok to say no and it won't hurt people's feelings.
When I got home from the hospital with Audrey, all I wanted to do was rest and spend time with her. I most definitely was not up for entertaining guests. My mom took a picture of Audrey and posted it on our door with a cute little poem basically saying that we very much appreciated all visitors, but mommy and baby are really tired--we would love to see you again in two weeks.
We only had family visitors those first two weeks and we will probably do the same thing again.
Another thing I learned the hard way--it's ok if baby cries a little. I was that mom who wouldn't even take a shower because I couldn't stand to even hear her whimper. I would wait until Brent got home and honestly one day I ended up in tears over it because I just wanted to get up and take a shower (it's ok for you to cry too--it's a big adjustment!). So, finally I learned that they will survive the ten minutes I am in the shower. I compromised by putting her in her bouncy seat right outside the shower where I could peek at her from behind the curtain. She did fine and I felt much better.
It's ok to ask for help. No one will judge you for it. If you are not sure about something or want advice on how to handle something, find a seasoned mom and ask! It doesn't make you a "bad mom" if you need help!
Lastly, enjoy your baby. It truly goes faster than you could ever imagine.