Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013

I was looking at the calendar for this week and noticed that the last day of February was soon upon me. In honor of the last day of February, I thought I would post some of my thoughts and a review of some of my family's milestones for the month.

I know for some, February is not a favored month, but I really like February, especially this past one.

The wreath in my kitchen.

Here are a couple of reasons why.

For one, I started decorating for Valentines Day because I knew the boys would love it and they did. As soon as I hung up my heart wreath in the kitchen, F kept pointing to it and getting so excited.

February 9th - #2's Baby Dedication

This day, we dedicated B at our church. The whole time during the ceremony I kept saying to myself "I can't believe time has flown by so fast. I am a mommy of TWO. We are a family of FOUR." B looked so grown up, not like a baby anymore. It was a special time for our family to dedicate back to the Lord what he has given to us. Look for a post coming soon where I write more about the dedication service and it's significance.

February 14th - Valentines Day

I love this holiday. It is not really a super exciting day for me usually, but that is kind of what I like about it. This year, my husband was really sick in the bed. He had been struggling with a head cold and was completely off the grid that day. I spent the day with my boys, doing the usual daily routine. But for some reason, I kept remembering all throughout the day 'Hey, it is valentines day.' Every time I thought this, I would look at my boys and wish them a happy valentines day and they would smile at me and #1 would give me a hug. At lunch time, Josh got out of bed to get something to drink and eat a small meal - I went to the living room to settle the boys before their nap. When I came back in the kitchen, there was a card for me on the counter. He had gotten it the night before while he was out getting himself Nyquil. Some of you may be saying - 'that is not very romantic'. To me it is. My husband works ALL the time to support our family so that I can stay home with the kids. I am thankful that he thought of me, even though he had a crazy work week and was not feeling well. After we were done exchanging cards, he went directly back to bed :)

The bulletin board in the kitchen

February 15th - 10 year anniversary of Our Engagement

Josh proposed to me on this day ten years ago. I was totally shocked because he had spent so much money the night before taking me out for Valentines and I knew that after that it would be a while before we would go out again. Boy was I wrong. One of the happiest days of my life.

Our Engagement Announcement

February 24th - #2's First Tooth

Yes, that is right. My six month old has his first tooth, I can't really see it yet when he smiles. But I can definitely feel that sharp edge poking out of the gum. He is growing up too fast!

February 25th - Playtime Together

This was the first day my two boys played together as playmates. Trading toys back and forth. #2 was so excited to play with the 'big boy' toys that #1 has. It was precious to see. I can't wait for many more days of this.

I hope your February was a good one.

- Mama Bee No E

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Restoration Page Archive

5/27 - 6/2 [ . . . ]
5/20 - 5/26  [ . . . ]
5/6 - 5/19 [ . . . ]
4/29 - 5/5  [ . . . ]
4/22 - 4/28 [ . . . ]
4/15 - 4/21 [ . . . ]
4/8 - 4/14 [ . . . ]
4/1 - 4/7     [ . . . ]
3/25 - 3/31 [ . . . ]
3/18 - 3/24 [ . . . ]   
3/11 - 3/17  [ . . . ]   
3/3 - 3/10   [ . . . ]   
2/21 - 3/2   [ . . . ]

My Heart's Story

A few years ago, in preparation of starting a family, I sought out an OBGYN that I could trust to take me through the journey of becoming a mom. My dear friend, Elin, recommended her physician Dr. A. She had so many good things to say about her and I found all of them to be true with the very first visit.

As a new patient of Dr. A's, I filled out all of the typical paperwork to include a list of all previous surgeries. I wrote down "Open Heart Surgery when I was 6 or 7". Once in the exam room, Dr. A began to go over things I had written down and asked me about the above statement. I was unable to go in to much more detail and felt a little uncomfortable that I didn't know more about my medical history. Dr. A was very nice and told me that when I got a chance to investigate it, she would like to know more.

A couple years went by and in the fall of 2010, I became pregnant with #1.  I went into my 8 week appointment so excited to see the ultrasound and ready to begin the path to motherhood. We were so filled with joy when we saw our little baby and his strong heartbeat. Dr. A told me that it was time for me to get more information about my surgery. She emphasized how important and empowering it is to know your medical history.

Immediately, I began to research how in the heck I was going to get a hold of my medical records from over 20 years ago. I called my parents to get the year of my surgery and then contacted the medical records department at the location of my surgery. The receptionist informed me that my records were in microfilm archives and would cost money to retrieve. $50 later I had a stack of papers 1/2 inch thick with all the information on what happened to me so many years ago. With little success, I scowered the pages trying to understand what it all meant. I went and made copies of the file and headed to Dr. A's office.

She read over the information and told me that everything seemed in order but that she would like a cardiologist to partner with her in overseeing my pregnancy. 2 weeks later I was in the office of Dr. S at the Adult Congenital Heart Clinic. He preformed an echocardiogram (doctors call this an 'echo' - it is a sonogram of the heart). Below is a video clip of my echo on that day. It is only two seconds, but is pretty awesome - this is an actual picture of my heart :)

Leave a Comment for Mama Bee No E

Post Update: My Commenting system has been updated to Disqus since this post. Read here for further instructions.

I have been in the middle of editing my first post for the next section of my blog, Restoration. But I thought I would take some time to address the topic of 'commenting on Mama Bee No E'.

In the past couple of days, it has come to my attention that there are some of you who are interested in leaving comments but haven't for one reason or another.

I am really excited, because there are people reading my ramblings AND they actually want to respond.

So, here is the thing. I thought about opening up my blog to all comments - including anonymous comments, which would not require a log in (because really, I am not concerned about an interested reader leaving their name if they don't want to) --------but I am not and here is why.....

If I leave the blog comments open like that -  it exposes the blog to spamming autobots that post comments about diet pills and x-rated material. I have followed blogs that have this problem and it is really annoying.

Those of you interested in leaving comments - you can use your existing Google (gmail), AIM, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, or OpenID to post a comment. It will ask you to create a blogger profile - BUT!!!!! the only thing required is that you type in a name you want to be displayed above your comment. Although you can if you want (it is not required) give personal info., a profile picture, etc.

My sister, Rachel, has successfully posted comments and I asked her about the process of logging in. She said that it is was super fast and that she has not gotten any extra nonsense emails because of it. AND she can posts comments at any time.

If you do not have one of the above logins and are still interested, you can post a comment by creating an account for any of the above sites (I would suggest Google- not only because it gives you access to Gmail, which is awesome - it will also give you access to any other Blogger Blogs that you follow.)

I love that you are following this blog and hopefully I will continue to post stuff that you like to read. I would be honored if you would take a little time to set yourself up to post comments, but if after reading this you feel it is too much trouble, I understand and hope that you keep coming back and post comments on Facebook, if that is easier.

- Mama Bee No E

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It Is Over - Life As You Know It....

....the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child.

Recently, a friend of mine lost her husband instantly of a brain aneurysm. He was 33 years old. No accidents or mistakes caused his death, it was his time. 

Now let me preface this post with this, I know it is real easy for me to sit here at my computer and write about this. My husband is at his desk next to me and my kids are sleeping in their beds. I am not trying to say that I understand her loss or her pain. I am trying to put into words how her loss has affected me (someone of her same age, with the same amount of kids, same stage of life). This very post that you are reading, is the post that got me blogging again. Mama Bee No E.....a busy bloggin' mama, was born at midnight the evening I heard of this tragic news. My friend's loss helped me to know in an instant, that I have to say what I need to say NOW, I have to do the things I want to do NOW.

Her Loss has changed me. I has made it alarmingly clear that life as I know it could be over in an instant.

For a couple of months, I have been following Amy Grote on Facebook through her page 'Remembering Ann Reese'. She lost her two year old daughter on Christmas Eve of this past year to a tragic swing set accident. I can't think about my friend and not think about Amy.

Both women, experiencing such loss. Both women, left to pick up the pieces.

Is it possible to live victoriously in this situation? Does one ever feel hope after something like this? How do you not live your life in fear of something else happening? How are you not overwhelmed by anger?

I am a woman of the Christian faith and my head knows the answers to all of these questions, but my heart does not follow so easily in line. My head knows because I believe the Bible to be infallible and I can read what it says about such questions. But my heart says, 'really? is this possible?'.

Well, my heart has caught up because of Amy Grote. If you read her daily reflections, you will see that she has had lots of bad days, suffocating days of grief sprinkled here and there with a good day. It is evident that in every day, both good and bad, she is dying to herself and submitting to the circumstances of her life, trusting that the Lord has a purpose - that His promises to her still stand. She has a white nuckle grip on her relationship with the Lord and does not seem to have any intention of letting go.

If Amy Grote, can loose a child (who was a few months older than my oldest son) and claim these promises to still be true.....

If she can trust that there is a greater purpose to this tragedy and not only that but also that the Lord has plans to prosper her through it.....

then I have to believe in my heart that what God says is true... that...

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18

"The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace." Psalm 29:11

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.....The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.....It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." Isaiah 55:8-11

As I have written before in my post about lessons after thirtyPeople die young and healthy and kids get really sick - be grateful for each day because The Lord doesn't promise tomorrow or an easy road.

I am grateful.

Grateful that I can still hug my husband and smell his neck. That my kids are with me and healthy. That there are people like Amy Grote and my friend who can help me remember to cling to these things.

My prayer for Amy and my friend is that they will soon have more days than not where they can claim....

"I waited patiently for the Lord; 
And he inclined to me, 
and heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of the horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth-
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord."
Psalm 40: 1-3 

- Mama Bee No E

Saturday, February 23, 2013

'Soup without the Soup'

It has been a week since I have been to the grocery store and I won't be going until tonight. I look up and it is 11:30 am - the time when #1 usually eats lunch. I sulk over to the pantry because I know there isn't much.....

I have been in this situation so many times. Thing is, my toddler still needs to eat. One day, I found myself in this place and thought of an idea. What if I heated up this soup I have but only gave him the solid pieces (because he insists on feeding himself)? He would not only get a hot lunch, but in one can I have a protein, vegetables, and pasta AND I can have it on the table in three minutes. AWESOOOOOOME!

This, my friends, is the perfect fix -  'Soup without the Soup'

I always keep a couple of cans of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup in my pantry (any broth based soup with chunks of food will work in place of this) as a resource for meals.

Here are a few of scenarios where 'Soup without the Soup' has saved my Mama backside:

- Nothing in the pantry.
- Toddler refuses to eat the main meal I have cooked.
- Toddler can't eat the main meal I have cooked because it has nuts, seafood, or some other toddler unfriendly ingredient.

- Mama Bee No E

Friday, February 22, 2013

Because I have been both.....two articles.
What Not to Say to a Working Mom
OR a Stay At Home Mom

Article #1

Click Here for What Not to Say to a Working Mom by Devon Corneal

My favorite 'what not to say' from this article is....
"I don't know how you do it. It must be so hard.
It is. I don't know how I do it. But I don't think that's because I work, I think it's because parenting is hard whether you stay at home or go off to the office. I don't know how any of us do it. It's glorious and rewarding and full of love and it is the hardest thing I've ever done. Balancing kids with anything else, whether a paying job or running a household or finding time to watch Honey Boo Boo, is nearly impossible." - Devon Corneal

Article #2

Click Here for Stay-At-Home Moms: What You Should NEVER Say To Them by Amy Shearn

My favorite 'what not to say' from this article is....
"7. “Enjoy every minute!” Like the minute when the children’s coordinated tantrums are so noisy they set the neighborhood dogs howling? Like the minute when everyone poops at once, and none of them where they should?......." - Amy Shearn
For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

- Mama Bee No E

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kindergarten Didn't Cut It...

......a lot of things I needed to know, I have learned after thirty.

The cliche is that once you leave your twenties, you have to grow up - the party is over, boo hoo. I have found my thirties to be a period of growth - a time where I have started to really see myself and those around me. Some of the things I have learned have been bubbling in me for a while and I have just now been able to put words to them.

Below I have put together a list of things I have learned since my thirtieth birthday. This list is ever expanding and changing. What you see here is just what was on my heart today. They are in no particular order. I would be honored if you would comment below on any that strike a cord with you or if you have any that you would like to share that aren't mentioned (and you don't have to be 30 yet, that just happens to be my age of maturity :).

  1. I don't like crust on my sandwich. I cut it off....and I am not going to make my kids eat it if they don't want to.
  2. My body is aging and I have to purposefully take care of it.
  3. My insecurities may have been rooted by someone/something outside of me, but I keep them alive or kill them.
  4. Having kids changes you. Finally, someone to focus on besides myself. And p.s. why did I ever complain about not having time?
  5. I don't like being pregnant, but the end certainly justifies the means.
  6. I am responsible for my actions and I must be accountable be for them.
  7. If I continue to participate in a relationship that is hurtful, I am to blame.
  8. My parents weren't all bad or all good. I don't have to be like them unless I choose to. It is my job to be a thoughtful, intentional parent. Sometimes I choose to do things the way they did and some times I don't.
  9. I can live without cable tv and actually prefer it that way.
  10. Being 32 does make me less naive but doesn't make me an expert.
  11. People die young and healthy and kids get really sick - be grateful for each day because The Lord doesn't promise tomorrow or an easy road.
  12. Your past doesn't excuse your present.
  13. A marriage on autopilot will sooner or later crash, my husband is changing and growing, just like me, we must invest in each other today and each day ahead of us.
  14. My children are a priority and are PART of my life, not my whole life.
Josh and I at our thirtieth birthday party in 2010.

- Mama Bee No E

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weapons Against Snot

In light of my on again, off again, one way love affair with snot. I thought it might be appropriate to feature some items I use to battle against the overwhelming amounts of snot coming out of my children.

2. Little Remedies for Noses

3. Wipes, I like Target Brand

4. Super Deluxe Suction Bulb from Northside Hospital

I would like to highlight Item #3, Little Remedies for Noses. This stuff is awesome! My friend, Anne Marie, recommended it to me on a late night call for advice on how to get the snot out of #1's head. When you spray this stuff up there, it moisturizes yes, but you are more times than not also going to get a huge sneeze. And for my kids, nothing evacuates snot better than a huge sneeze.

My steps for removing snot:

1. Suction out any that is willing to come out

2. Spray Little Remedies

3. Wait for the sneeze or for the mucus to loosen

4. Suction out loads and loads of snot.

5. Put your child in a mini head lock to wipe away any leftover

6. Apply Aquaphor to help heal any irritation

7. Repeat 1.1 million times from November - March :)

Now, if you made it through this grossly descriptive post AND found it helpful AND laughed because this is the scene at your house  - you are a certified, Grade A, MAMA!

- Mama Bee No E

Inspirational story of a mom working to make herself strong again - Higher Ground by Kate Dopirak

Click here for Higher Ground by Kate Dopirak

This article featured in Parents Magazine, is a story I am currently living out myself. Working and working and working to strengthen and regain your body after multiple pregnancies. I loved her honesty and victory.

For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

- Mama Bee No E

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

ISBN #: 978-0-8109-8965-8

This Graeme Base book is one of a few that we own by this author. All were given to us by my mother at various holidays. I read Graeme Base books in my childhood and always loved the thick story lines. I could just look at the images forever, finding all of the hidden clues and meanings.

F likes this story because it is about a little boy,Wilbur, who goes on an adventure. Wilbur learns that helping those you meet along your path (even if it delays your goals) will return help to you when you most need it. I will post other Graeme Base Books and link them here at later dates.

Click Here to access Graeme Base's Official Website

The Legend of the Gold Snail by Graeme Base- Mama Bee No E

'Mama Toolbox' Page

There are so many tricks I have learned from other moms (both young and old) and products that I have come across that make my life as a mama better. My goal: I will feature products and ideas here that help make our day as a family run a little smoother. My hope is that you will share things that you love here as well and we can grow our Mama Toolboxes together.

The Healing Powers of Aquaphor

If you watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding back in the day, you may remember that Nia's father, Gus, used Windex on any and all physical ailments. Well, I am kind of like that with Aquaphor, especially in the winter season.

It may seem expensive (a 3 oz. tube goes for about $7.00), but it lasts a LONG time. I like it better than Vaseline because it is thicker in consistency and goes on smoother. It also seems less oily/greasy to me.
I have used it in the following situations with my boys:

1. wind burn on cheeks
2. eczema
3. scratches and cuts
4. under the nose to protect it from excessive snot and tissue wipes
5. burns (Click here to read more on this topic in my post 'Safety Check List')
6. chapped lips
7. dry scalp
8. around a runny eye (Beckett's right eye always seems to be running)
9. under diaper cream for really bad diaper rash
10. coat the end of a rectal thermometer
11. MY DRY/CRACKED HANDS from changing at least 10 diapers a day for the last 2 years :)

As time goes by, I am sure that I will come up with other scenarios in which I use my beloved Aquaphor.  I will make sure to add them to the list.

Additional Note: I prefer the squeeze tube to the tubs because the tube keeps the unused portion free from contaminants.

Click here to access the Aquaphor website

Sunday, February 17, 2013

'Diary' Page

I have kept prayer journals since I was in high school. In them I have recorded the highs and lows of my life. Don't worry :) I will spare you all of that, BUT there are times in my life when I experience those awkward mama moments or someone in my life touches me and I replay the story over and over in my head. My goal: I will write about those moments in my life when I am at home with just my kids and something happens that makes me laugh out loud or times when I just can't get something off my mind.

Safety Check List

At the end of January, I took my youngest son, B, in for his 6 month check-up. It was a great appointment with Dr. H. Everything with B checked out great. But while we were there Dr. H said something that I didn't know at the time would come back to haunt me.

While we were discussing B's milestone progress he said "I am not going to go through the safety checklist, you have all of that under control." I nodded my head, thankful for the compliment. I laugh to myself thinking back on that moment even now.

Two things happened that week that put me in my Mama Bee No E place.

Safety Check List - Fail #1

One evening while I was cooking dinner, the first failure occurred. I was standing in the kitchen by my stove talking with Fas he was under my feet, playing on the floor, and going through my cabinets. At the time, I am not sure what we were talking about, but many times before we had discussed the stove - that it was hot and it could hurt you, not to grab things off of the counter while mommy was cooking, etc.

I turned to open a box of rice and I heard that sound. The sound of the "Mommy, I am really hurt this time" cry. The one where they make a cry sound and then go silent while their lips turn slightly blue because they aren't breathing, when finally they take a breath they sob again. My heart is hurting as I describe it. F had touched the side of a pot on my stove with both hands.

Josh heard 'that sound' from across the house and instantly knew that something was wrong. He came rushing into the kitchen as I picked F up and took him back to the bathroom. I ran cold water over his hands and he instantly calmed down. Phew! Then I knew that it wasn't emergency room bad.

For the remainder of the week, I watched over F as blisters formed on three of his little fingers (one was really bad) and the rest of his fingers peeled. I learned that Band-aids are a joke for kids this age, especially on their hands. F wouldn't allow one to stay on him for more than 30 seconds. So, I washed his hands constantly and applied Aquaphor (the best product ever, click here to read more) after each washing and prayed that infection wouldn't set in while the new baby skin formed.

At the end of the week, I slinked into Dr. H's office to have him check on F's burns (there was still one blister that was worrying me). I told Dr. H that he had jinxed me with his safety check list comment. He laughed and told me not to feel bad, this sort of thing happens all the time.
Just when I thought we were in the clear.....

Safety Check List - Fail #2

Sunday mornings at our house are busy, busy. I wake up at 6 am to get myself ready for church before the rest of the house gets up. It takes all of my energy to get our family of four out the door in time for the 9 am service (as soon as the kids nap schedule will tolerate we are switching to a more forgiving time for church, until then, I solider on). We were almost ready to head out the door. The kids were dressed and fed - Josh and I were in our bathroom finishing up, Beckett was playing on the floor of our room with toys, F was under our feet and in our cabinets (you know where I am going :).

I am looking in the mirror, putting on mascara, when I hear a sound. This time it is the "Mommy, I just did something bad and it kind of hurts and I don't know what is happening" cry. I turn to see that F has sprayed himself in the face with our daily shower spray. AHHHHHH!!!!!!

Josh and I looked at each other and instantly made a game plan. He picked up F and ran him to the other bathroom, I checked to see that Beck was okay and then ran after him. We took off his shirt and Josh held him over the sink while I shoveled water at him while holding his eye open. By the end of it all, F was soaking wet and completely traumatized (not by spraying himself in the eye) but by the fact that he had gotten an unexpected extremely cold shower and the fact that his parents were freaking out. Once he calmed down, we asked him if he was okay (the shower spray is non-toxic, thank goodness), he nodded yes. I looked at Josh and said "We are going to church, it has taken all of my energy to get to this point."

We went to church, a little late, a little ruffled, but we went. F had fun in his one year class, Beck took a nap the entire service in his newborn class, and Mama got to be Brook for 1.5 hours during the worship service and sermon. Later, while the kids were napping, I went through the house (again) to find dangerous chemicals within reach.

-Mama Bee No E

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Made Me Cry and Love Being a Mama - The Last Time by Devon Corneal

Click Here for The Last Time by Devon Corneal

I sent this article to a group of my closest mom friends a few months back. I will forever keep a copy in my bedside table so that I can reference it when I have had a hard day or when I am being sentimental that my boys are growing so fast.

We focus so much on the first time our babies do something and we rarely think about the last time they ever do something.

I tear up every time I read it.

For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

-Mama Bee No E

Hilarious Article - Sick Daze by Jason Good

Click Here for Sick Daze by Jason Good

Um, just found this article in Parent Magazine and started following Jason Good's blog (see blog list on right). This article had me in stitches because it is sooooooo true. It couldn't have been more timely with my crew being sick for the last couple of months off and on.

If you have a sick little one, this is a must read that will provide a little comic relief.

For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

-Mama Bee No E

'Kids Books' Page

One of my goals is to share books that our family has come to love. Some of them are classics and some are new publications. Hopefully you can get ideas for gifts or for something to add to your library at home.

-Mama Bee No E

Otis by Loren Long

Otis by Loren Long
ISBN #: 978-0-399-25248-8
This is a book that we received at a shower for [F] a couple of years back. It is a story about two friends a tractor and a calf. The theme of this book is 'New' isn't always better. Both of the boys love listening to this one and looking at the beautiful illustrations.

Click Here for Loren Long's website and more information about Otis.

- Mama Bee No E

Friday, February 15, 2013


So, this isn't my first blog, I used to keep one up a few years ago and stopped because I felt I was revealing too much about myself to the internet audience. But in the back of my head I have always thought, 'that would be a good blog post'. I am not a good writer, in fact, I hate writing in general (if you follow this blog long enough, you will see plenty of grammar mistakes and misspellings :). But, I love talking and I love some of the blogs that other wonderful women are producing and I want to join back in.

Here is to 'talking' about stuff I love on my brand spankin' new blog.

-Mama Bee No E