Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Weekend Photo Dump

The holiday weekend crept up on us! We have been so busy with our remodeling project that we didn't even realize it was the end of May! We actually had a camping trip booked for the holiday weekend but had to cancel it due to the remodel project. Whomp Whomp. 

I'm slightly bummed that we didn't have the traditional summer kick off weekend with BBQ's, friends/family, farmer's market, boating/water fun, or parades honoring the fallen soldiers... but we did enjoy some sunshine, two short visits with friends, and our first ice cream cone of the season. And most importantly we got lots of work done on the house and I was able to move back in after living in the camper in the driveway for the last 6 weeks!! (see end of post for before and after picture!)

Friday - Michael had to work and it takes him 3 hours to get home on the weekends so I went to visit my two besties that we're up camping 15 minutes from our house. I haven't seen them since the fall! Natalie's daughter, Olivia, and Mason are only 2 months apart! Last time we got them together they were just babies!! 

 Saturday - Michael was working on the house so I went back to the campground to visit Natalie and Janel + the kids again. We came home for naptime. Played outside all afternoon and then went to have cake and ice cream for two of our cousins birthday's. Remington was ecstatic about the cake!

Sunday - I have zero pictures because we worked on the house all day while the kids went to Grandma's. 

Monday - Michael took the kids for a walk and entertained them while I worked on the house all morning so that we could get moved back in. During naptime (both kids napped at the same time hallelujah!) I got everything moved from the camper to the house. Then we enjoyed the afternoon outside and took a trip to the ice cream shop after dinner. It was Remington's first ice cream cone (besides a lick of outs). She's not supposed to have ice cream due to her dairy allergy but they didn't have sorbet. Side note... Remington has multiple "holiday" outfits and I have zero for ML. Second child problems. 😂

Last but not least... before & after of the kitchen progress! We officially are moved back into the house. There are a few more things to be done before it's all complete and back on the market. I'll post more pics once it's complete!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baked Ravioli

Looking for a super easy and delicious dinner?! This is it! Bonus: You only dirty two dishes! Or, if your genius like Amanda, you'll only dirty one! 😉  I doubled this recipe for dinner on Mother's Day and it made 2 - 9x13 pans plus an 8x8 pan I threw in the freezer for later!

+ 1lb ground beef/venison*
+ 1C diced onion
+ 14oz spaghetti sauce
+ 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I use the kind with spices added)
+ 13oz package frozen cheese raviolli, thawed
+ 2C shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if you love cheese like I do)
+ 1TBSP grated parmesan cheese

+ optional, add mushrooms or spinach!

*omit meat to make vegetarian friendly. I like to make a double batch and do 1 with meat and 1 without! 

Preheat oven to 450°

Cook meat and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain grease. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. (add spinach/mushrooms if desired and bring mixture to a boil before moving onto next step)

Spread a thin layer of mixture onto bottom of 11x7 baking dish. Arrange half of ravioli over sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Make another layer (meat, ravioli, cheese). Cover with foil.

Bake for 30-45 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

via original recipe

Friday, May 19, 2017

ML | 9 Months Old + Diagnosis

It's been a few months since I've talked about my little chub chub boy! Two weeks ago he turned 9 months old and before I know it we will be celebrating his first birthday! I better get to planning! Can you believe I don't even have a pinterest board of ideas started?! #secondchildproblems

If you've followed along with my posts or on social media, you've probably gathered that I've had a roller coaster of a ride with this baby. Here's a very brief version of what's been going on over the last 8 months... I'm a far cry from a doctor and I'm not trying to say that doctors are terrible because I know there are good doctors out there. But, I'm just going to say - trust your Mama instincts! Be an advocate for your innocent baby! 

Since Mason was a week old I struggled with nursing every hour, non stop screaming, barfing, anti sleeping, can't be set down, etc. He exclusively nursed and refused a bottle for 16 weeks. He slept in my arms in my bed for 15 weeks. I woke up every 1-2 hours (or less) every night for 6 months. Months 7 & 8 I woke up 3-4 times a night, and now we are down to 1-2 times a night (bless the Lord!). All because I finally learned I was right all along, there was something wrong with my baby all this time. 

Pediatrician #1 - I went to his pediatrician on several occasions (1-4 months old) and told him I thought there was something wrong with my baby. He told me it was just reflux and it would get better in time. Days, weeks, months, passed and I kept going back. Only to be treated like a fool. Something didn't seem right that my baby cried so much and never wanted to sleep. I suggested a food allergy. He told me that couldn't be possible, he was too young. I went dairy free anyways just to see. After 8 weeks of dairy free and no progress, I went back and asked for a referral to a specialist. He denied that. I switched to a new pediatrician.

Pediatrician #2 - At our first appointment, (5 months old) I explained my concerns. Got the same response - he just has reflux and needs to grow out of it otherwise you need to let him cry it out. I was disgusted. A month later (6 months old) we went back one more time and I addressed my concerns again. I mentioned my previous request of seeing a specialist and he agreed with Mason's previous pediatrician - "it wasn't necessary". I asked his thoughts on seeing a holistic chiropractor and he told me they wouldn't be able to determine anything serious.

Insert ahhhh-mazing Holistic Chiropractor (Dr. Julia) - I decided it wouldn't hurt to see this woman regardless of what everyone says about "holistic" doctors. We had our first appointment (6.5 months old) and for once, I felt understood. I felt like someone finally cared about my baby and I. All I told her was "I think he has digestive issues because he's really fussy all the time and he never sleeps". She checked him "internally" and he was screaming. I'm talking bloody murder. I cried. She explained that his pancreas, liver, kidneys, and spleen was not functioning properly which told her he must have a food allergy. So she did an allergy test. Based on her findings, she said he had a corn and gluten allergy.

Since I was still breastfeeding, I decided to wean him off and switch him to a gluten free formula. In the meantime, I had an appointment scheduled to get into another new pediatrician. Dr. Julia didn't think Mason needed to come back for a month so that he could adjust from breast milk to formula.

Pediatrician #3 - Third times a charm, right? She checked him out. I told her everything I've dealt with (which she kind of knew a little about it because she's my doctor for my PPD/anxiety as well) and she agreed that it sounded like something was going on. Something more than reflux. She explained that often times with a young child, tests aren't as accurate with findings, however she would still refer him to a gastroenterologist and an allergist. I explained to her my experience with the holistic doctor and she said "if that's helping, then it won't hurt to take him back there because honestly she can probably determine more than a GI doctor will, but let's just have him checked out just to be sure." I was SO relived. I felt like I was finally on the road to resolving this poor child's problems. Well.. in 6 more weeks. Because that's how long it took to get appointments.

Gastroenterologist - We seen a GI doctor at Children's Hospital. I explained to her why I was there. The first thing out of her mouth was - "He's probably still suffering from reflux." You don't want to know what my response was to that... mind you she hadn't even looked at or touched Mason. I threw some questions at her and then mentioned the holistic doctor. She said "No no no. That can't be. He's growing. He's not sick. He just needs reflux medication. If anything I could see a dairy allergy because that's common in babies. But no, not gluten. You try the reflux medicine and come back in 6 weeks and then we'll reconsider his diet." Since I wasn't very pleased with her "findings" she offered to draw blood for allergies before I left. It took a week of me calling every day to get the results on the bloodwork, which all came back negative. I denied the reflux medication.

Allergist - A week after the GI doctor, we went to the allergist. I explained everything, he agreed it wasn't reflux and must be an allergy that's causing him discomfort. I mentioned the holistic doctor. His exact words were "Nope. She can't determine that. She doesn't know that. She's just guessing. She's just giving you a general diagnosis". He performed the skin test on Mason. When he came back into the room 15 minutes later, his exact words were "Wow! She was right! Who was that doctor?! What's her name?! Wow." Pssssh. The skin test revealed a gluten, rye, corn, egg, dust-mite, and cat allergy. 

So where do we stand now?! (if you made it through all that, bless your heart). I'm only sharing this experience in hopes that my story will encourage someone else to go with their gut and pry for answers. The only regret I have is that I didn't pry sooner. 

The pediatrician confirmed that the blood work possibly doesn't show allergies because he's so young. I won't be going back to the GI doctor at Children's. We have continued to see the holistic chiropractor weekly/biweekly. We follow up with the allergist in June. We're sticking to a strict fruit, veggies, and gluten free diet as well as taking a digestive enzyme supplement which will help his pancreas break down the enzymes in the food he eats/drinks. Within the last month, he has really improved. He's overall much happier throughout the day, he naps twice a day, and he sleeps at night for longer than 2 hours at a time. Which is HUGE!

Here's the 9 months stats....

:: 22lbs | 29.5"

:: Mostly 12 months, some 18 months. Size 3-4 shoe.

:: Sleep: An hour long morning nap, 1-2 hour afternoon nap, bedtime usually by 9 and sometimes wakes up once or twice. Holy moly, the difference in getting 5 broken hours of sleep a night vs. 5 solid hours of sleep at night. Bless it!

:: Food: Strict, strict diet. We really have to watch him try to steal sissy's snacks and of course she likes to share with him. Breastmilk is officially gone as of 2 weeks ago so we are on Honest gluten free formula.  I am set up for auto shipment on their feeding bundle and it's worked out really well!

:: Nicknames: Chub chub, Hungry hungry hippo, Bubba, Bubba Chubba, Stinky Stinky Boy.

:: Full time walker

:: Waves

:: Loves bathtime, big sissy, the remote, being held, eating rocks or dirt, and his blankies.

:: Mama's Feelings: Oh the relief I feel to have finally gotten some answers. I don't mean to have the attitude of "I knew it" or "I told ya so" but seriously! My Mama gut told me something wasn't right a long time ago. The only thing that really upsets me is that I wish I would have been more persistent sooner. It makes me feel guilty that he was in pain all this time and I didn't do something more about it.

My anxiety and PPD is getting better as well, but I still have some bad days here and there. I'm just thankful that I'm having more good days than bad now. I leave the house a lot more often now and I've been going to the store with both kids without having an anxiety attack. So I'd call that success!

I'm really looking forward to getting on a better routine for myself now that I'm getting some sleep at night. Such as waking up before the kids and having some "me" time. But I won't lie, I've been sleeping in with the kids as much as I can. Making up for lost time! Seriously though, I forgot what it was like to sleep for 5+ hours at a time. Wooo!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

(Not your average) Mother's Day

As long as I can remember, I celebrated Mother's Day with my Mom and Grandma Julie. I'd sneak in visits and gifts to my mother in law, step mother, aunts, and my Grandma Linn when she was alive. All of these important women in my life deserved to be treated extra special on Mother's Day and I enjoyed acknowledging them for all they have done for me - past and present. 

Then I became a Mother to my very own sweet baby girl and Mother's Day became so much more. Not just because it was my first Mother's Day as a new Mom... but because it brought me to a whole new level of respect, appreciation, and most importantly - love. 

The downfall is that ever since I became a Mom, my celebrations of Mother's Day have changed. Mostly because life happens and secondly because driving two hours one way with an unhappy baby is just not how any Mother cares to spend her special day. Am I right? 

Long story short, this year was the third year in a row I wasn't able to celebrate with the very special women in my life (on my side of the family). Although, I am thankful I was able to spend some time with Michael's family and they are certainly special women in my life. But.. there's just that thing about being with "your Mama" on Mother's Day that makes it that much more special

This year, we are neck knee deep in a remodel on our house that we only work on on the weekends when Michael is home. (And I'm not complaining about that because I want so gosh damn bad to move back into our house!! 4 weeks of RV living and counting! Ain't my first rodeo! Ha!) My Grandpa is currently in the hospital recovering after having a bypass last week and that is where my Mom chose to spend her Mother's Day. Plus, my Grandma Julie was sick.

It didn't even feel like Mother's Day for me and that's what makes me sad. Not because I wanted some sort of special treatment, (pfff... I lie. All I wanted was ice cream and a picture with my kids but we're not talking about that are we?) but because I wanted to be able to give my Mama a kiss and acknowledge more of the lovey ladies in my life.

The best part about my day was sleeping through the night and waking up kid free (both for the 3rd time ever) thanks to my wonderful Mother in law! Oh, and when Mason finally stopped crying and fell asleep snuggling on my chest. Other than that, we were busy living life just as any other Sunday before Michael had to leave for work. Michael finished the floors in the house and install the cabinets. I got A LOT of drywall dust cleaned up. I made Baked Ravioli for supper at my MIL's. Most importantly, I spent time with my babies and embraced their crying tantrums over nothing. 😅

Was that exactly how I wanted to spend my Mother's Day? Not really. Was I disappointed that I didn't "get a break?" Maybe a little. Did I miss my Mom? Lots. But I've learned that Mommin' ain't easy and sometimes you just have to roll with it! I am beyond blessed to be called "Mum" (as Remington says) by my two babies and that's all that matters. 

So there you have it, not your average Mother's Day! 😉  Now a mini photo dump of the only pictures I took on Sunday! 

Main Man checking out the new floors and kitchen cabinets!

I hope you and your families had a special Mother's Day together! God Bless all you Mama's! 

(PS. I think I over used the word "Mother" in this post! LOL!)

Friday, May 5, 2017

You're Invited! LipSense Launch Party!

I apologize for being MIA lately... you know, the whole camper living + house renovations + non stop doctor appointments for ML + never ending exhaustion the last few weeks has me a wee bit tied up!

But all excuses aside, I wanted to stop in really quick to let you all know about my upcoming LipSense Launch Party online via Facebook!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am now an Independent Distributor for Sene Gence Cosmetics and Skincare - most popularly known for LipSense! I'm hosting my first "launch" party next week where I'll be offering some discounts and prizes, so "stop by"! If you haven't tried LipSense yet, seriously, your missing out! It's amazing!

If your not on Facebook and would like some more information, to place an order, or to arrange a collaboration - message me! 

"Like" my Facebook page HERE
Event invitation HERE
Follow Beauty that Makes Sense on Instagram HERE

Happy Friday!!! 💋