Tuesday, September 30, 2008

it trickled over and stopped.

i remember sitting at our kitchen table in highschool when it hit me. this awful terrible, felt like a knife jabbing into the side of my head, pain. at first i thought my tooth hurt and then i couldn't chew anymore food. i went upstairs, excused myself, and then called out to my mom. i just remember sitting on the top of the stairs and crying my little eyes out. it was the worst pain. i also remember mom telling me something along the lines of me being overly dramatic...until she pulled out her otoscope (she's an audiologist) and realized that i had an ear infection. at 15, i cried like a baby. but at least i could tell my mom what the problem was.

loralai can't. what she can say is ma ma-qua (that's quack)-and bah bah (that's bye bye).

anyway. so we've been battling a cold for a week. on friday i thought we had gotten our sweet and happy baby back. but then on sunday i wasn't so sure. and then yesterday the normally happy baby woke up unusually cranky from a nap and put up a huge fight in the bathtub where she normally quacks and splashes with her daddy. so we knew something was up. and the dr. confirmed an ear infection this morning.

so my heart breaks for our little chunky monkey who weighed in at 19lbs 8oz. she seemed so happy when she woke this morning that i thought for sure she didn't have an ear infection. how do those rascally infections hide so well? so while i don't talk ga gah like loralai does, sometimes i sure wish i did. maybe then she could have told me what the deal was.
poor little babe.

and i thought you'd like this picture - she's visiting her daddy at work and taking a bath in the tub like a big girl. aaah sweet baby life. does it get any better than this?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

deep thoughts

todd just said, "you should be proud of me." me, "why?" todd, "because i have NOT gone to mcdonalds, yet, to get the mcrib." huh? me, "i'm supposed to be proud of that?" todd, "yes."

loralai has a nasty cold. she slept on todd's chest last night b/c she couldn't figure out how to sleep without sucking on her favorite fingers - which shut off all air going in her body. so she slept on the daddy's chest so that the head was above sea level allowing for oxygen to flow - AND, so that she could suck the fingers. things that have helped us stay sane while the child can't sleep well: vicks vaporizer (it emits some powerfully strong eucalyptus scent. it's like walking into a cough drop), humidifier, standing in the bathroom with steam (glorious snot busting steam), saline nose drops, suctioning the nose holes, 1ml of triaminic, tylenol, lots of nursing, more naps that normal and lots of love. poor baby.

todd made dinner tonight. out of a bag. one of those frozen noodle, veggie, chicken things. we were desperate for quick food but not a mcrib - right. firecracker chicken. that's the name of the stuff he gets. i guess he didn't read the warning label. holy mackeral that junk was SO hot that i was sweating around the nose and had to guzzle some milk. no kidding. i guess it's a good thing. i hear spicy food increases the metabolism. maybe it will offset all of the dark chocolate m&ms i just ate.

tyra banks. i rarely watch tv anymore. but today loralai was sleeping and i wasn't doing chores b/c i was whooped. so i turned on the tube and i saw tyra banks with crimped hair. what in the BEEP is that about? hi, tyra, the 80s are no more. stop it. do NOT promote crimped hair.

isaac mizarahi - or however you spell it - i am going to protest all target shopping until they pull down the flowered leggings, the stone washed jeans, the peg legged jeans, the bright neon plastic jewelry and all things 80s. next thing you know, umbros will be back? what is our fashion coming to?

multiples. does anyone remember them? i wore them. they were wrong. very wrong. so were tee-ties.

i've yelled for jesus so many times this week. loralai hasn't eaten well b/c the snot in her nose, trickling down her throat, makes it hard for her to swallow. so she chokes. it's a helpless feeling.

pharmacists are nice and helpful when you have no clue what medicines to combine or not to combine. thank you, pharmacists, for going to school forever and learning about drugs.

yesterday - pre-crazy downpour of rain - we had the irrigation system in our yard fixed. we had some people fix the yard that are originally from a land south of texas. i think all hispanic people are extremely smart. because directly at noon, they laid down under our pear trees and snoozed. for an hour. i took a picture. yep. i'm sneaky like that. but, i'm too lazy to post it. but trust me. they slept. it was actually a good day for an outdoor nap. i just couldn't believe how deeply they could sleep; how unaffected they were by the blustery wind or the squirrels running about or cars going by. i wish i could sleep that deep.

milk. i think it's important to drink organic milk. if you don't do anything else organic for yourself. drink organic milk. you owe it to your body to be hormone and drug free - and you owe it to your children to not pour those additives into their bodies.

avacados are lovely. and so baby friendly. put one in a blender with a banana and you have a smooth, high (good) fat meal for your baby. and it freezes nicely, too.

has anyone noticed how gross primetime tv is getting? there are more sexual inuendos on tv, now, than i can remember. it's disappointing. i miss the cosby's. i saw a repeat of their show, yesterday, when the whole family was singing to the grandparents. i caught it right when rudy was singing, "baaaabyyy! baaabyyy!" oh it was great.

well, that's about all the deep thoughts i have for one day. pray for sleep - pray for snot to subside in our baby's body.

love love, ashley

Monday, September 22, 2008

sandy days

us. silly 'ole turner
self portrait. we forgot to tell loralai to look.
yay for morning walks!

aunt julie and loralai todd and his super happy girl
mmm love.
we like to scrunch our noses. apparently.
wyatt picking grass.
me, mom and loralai.

i highly recommend this sling to moms with babies.
mom, me and bryan. and the two little dumptruck pushers.

we went to emerald isle for a few days with my family - well, my 'side' of the family. we found a beach house that suits us all and i think we'll keep doing this over the years. it's so much fun to see my nephews play with my baby - and it was so sweet to get to see my new niece. she's seven whole weeks and full of sweet baby goodness. i don't have a lot to say about our weekend, unless you want the details about how we saw a shooting star, how todd, me and loralai would get up in the mornings and go for beach walks, how turner smothered loralai with kisses, how wyatt never ever ever runs out of energy or funny jokes, how it nearly melts my heart to hear my nephews tell their mom and dad (or anyone they love), spontaneously, that 'i love you. you're my best friend.' and they mean it with every ounce of love in their hearts, how we celebrated mom's birthday at the beach, how loralai took great naps at the beach but found herself with a cold when we got home and now finds sleep hard due to a stuffy nose, how sand apparently tastes really good to babies, and how no matter how many toys i brought for entertainment, i didn't need a single toy because turner and wyatt entertained loralai more than she could have ever imagined. well, them and any water bottle that she could find and chew on. aaah beach family weekends.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


i thought that the weekend was going to, surely, bring cooler weather. it just had to. i had company coming in town. and this is my favorite friend to go on walks with; so the weather needed to be cooler. and the baby - she needed to nap. but for some reason, the first time ever, she refused to take her afternoon nap. i wanted to cry. but i went with it. and so did maribeth. thank you. and even though it was a disgusting 90something degrees outside, we plopped the baby in her stroller and walked. and while we walked, we solved the world problems - or at least resolved to eliminate all debt and desire for excess "stuff" from our lives - and, the baby slept. it was wonderful. maribeth is wonderful. my college roommate, a best friend, such an easy person to be around - i wish she could spend more time at my house. it was such a good visit - she got to love on loralai and i got to sit back and watch two of my favorite girls play together. precious sweet love.
maribeth came in town because one of our college friends, jenn, is getting married in october. and so a bridal shower was thrown for her - which meant that we all got to have a girls' night and go out to eat together. aaah fondu. deliciousness.
but being the mama that i am, all i could think about was curling up into my comfy bed halfway through dinner. it probably sounds lame. but i think a comfy bed is a delicacy to all mommies.
after company left, todd and i made our way to the park and then to run some errands. and now, finally, (umm a few days later mister weather man) the weather is cooling off. but i'm not complainin' - Fall, come on! i'm ready for your briskness and cool morning walks.

the beautiful, almost married, jenn.

the beautiful maribeth.

i somehow manage to make scary eyes - but jordan, she just glows.
aunt maribeth and loralai. it was a fun little game of up and down the horsey leg goes. i think it was a workout for mb.

i'm pretty sure maribeth was holding loralai's hand so that she didn't get curious and try to eat her curly hair.

outside is this little baby's most favorite place to be. something about the leaves moving, the wind blowing, the birds chirping, squirrels running around - all of it - it just makes her little heart so content.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

mama milk

hi everyone, i was just encouraged by reading this article. i'm always overwhelmed by just how perfectly God makes us for our babies - or rather just how perfectly God creates.

Fabulous Fats
Human milk is richer in the essential fatty acids needed for optimal human brain growth. Formula and cow's milk, on the other hand, are deficient in certain omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA. Not only do breastfeeding babies get the right kind of fats, they get the right amount. The fat content of your milk changes during a feeding, at various times during the day, and at various stages as your baby grows, according to the energy needs of your baby. At the start of a feeding, your foremilk is low in fat. As the feeding progresses, the fat steadily increases until baby gets the “cream,” the higher-fat hindmilk. After baby gets sufficient hindmilk, baby stops eating and radiates that contented look. During growth spurts, your baby nurses more frequently and because of the shorter intervals between feedings, he receives milk with a higher fat content that supplies the energy he needs to grow.
Not only does baby get the right kind of fat in just the right amount, but most of the fat in breast milk is absorbed, so baby gets healthier fats with less waste. Breast milk contains an enzyme called lipase that helps digest fat, so more energy is available to the baby and less fat is eliminated in the stools. Formula and cow's milk do not contain this enzyme, and the baby's intestines - the body's food judge - can't digest all of the fat in formula and cow's milk by themselves. So the excess fat passes into the stools, giving them an unpleasant odor - unlike the acceptable milder odor of breast milk stools.
Specific Proteins
Remember the curds and whey in the nursery rhyme “Little Miss Muffet”? Curds and whey are the two types of milk protein. The whey is the easy-to-digest liquid portion, and the curd is the casein protein that forms a rubbery, harder-to-digest lump. Breast milk contains a much higher whey-to-casein ratio than most formulas and cow's milk do, so it's easier to digest. (Note that whey is the preferred protein for competitive body builders.) Breast milk's amino acids (the components of protein) supply the specific nutrients that babies need to build healthy brains and bodies, and research has shown that the amino acid taurine, which is present in much larger amounts in human milk than in cow's milk or formula, is especially important to brain growth. Breast-milk protein is almost completely absorbed, so there is less waste and less strain on the digestive system. The excess protein in formula and cow's milk, on the other hand, creates extra work for the intestines and kidneys, a phenomenon known as metabolic overload.
Sweeter Sugars
How sweet it is! Taste infant formula and compare it with the sweeter taste of breast milk. Human milk contains more lactose than formula does, and it is not only sweeter but better suited for brain growth. Lactose is an intestines-friendly sugar for babies. In infant formulas, some or all of the sugar comes from highly processed table sugar or corn syrup.
More Usable Vitamins and Minerals
No factory can make minerals and vitamins as well as mom can. On paper the vitamin-and-mineral profile of breast milk and formula may look the same - or it might even seem that formula contains more of some nutrients - but charts and comparisons can be deceiving. Mommy-made nutrients are better because of their high bioavailability, which means more of the vitamins and minerals that are in human milk get absorbed by the baby. What counts is not how much of a nutrient is listed on the Nutrition Facts label on a can but how much of that nutrient is absorbed through the intestines into the bloodstream. What counts is how much is available to the body - thus the term bioavailability.
The three important minerals calcium, phosphorus, and iron are present in breast milk at lower levels than they are in formula, but in breast milk these minerals are present in forms that have high bioavailability. For example, 50 to 75 percent of breast-milk iron is absorbed by the baby. With formula, as little as 4 percent of the iron is absorbed into baby's bloodstream. To make up for the low bioavailability of factory-added vitamins and minerals, formula manufacturers raise the concentrations. Sounds reasonable: if only half gets absorbed by the body, put twice as much into the can. This nutrient manipulation may, however, have a metabolic price.
Baby's immature intestines must dispose of the excess, and the unabsorbed minerals (especially iron) can upset the ecology of the gut, interfering with the growth of healthful bacteria and allowing harmful bacteria to flourish. This is another reason formula-fed infants have harder, unpleasant-smelling stools.
To enhance the bioavailability of nutrients, breast milk contains facilitators - substances that enhance the absorption of other nutrients; for example, vitamin C in human milk increases the absorption of iron. Zinc absorption is also enhanced by other factors in human milk. In an interesting experiment, researchers added equal amounts of iron and zinc to samples of human milk, formula, and cow's milk and fed them to human volunteers. More of the nutrients in the human-milk sample got into the bloodstream than in the formula and cow's milk. In essence, breast milk puts nutrients where they belong - in baby's blood, not in baby's stools.
Other Good Things Too Numerous to Mention
Each year scientists discover more and more health-promoting substances in human milk that can only be mommy-made, not man-made. The late Dr. Frank Oski, world-renowned pediatrician, former professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and our friend, was a longtime advocate of the importance of breastfeeding. He once told us, “When researching the difference between human milk and formula, I discovered that there are over four hundred nutrients in breast milk that aren't in formula.” As always, mother knows best.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

new stuff and stinky stuff

Last night I sat down at my eisel and I painted. Glory to God, I painted. Big deal, right?

Well it's been a long time since I've sat in front of my pretty 'ole marked up eisel, with a paintbrush in hand, and just painted. And it used to be that I loved to paint with a cup of coffee or a small glass of wine. Why? I don't know. Comforting, I guess. And I'd paint in my living room (not the safest place to paint when you tend to be messy) while watching, really listening, to a movie.

But last night I opted for no coffee (even though I drink decaf these days while i'm a mama cow) or wine but rather - glorious, delicious decaff coke. Oh yum. Even though I only made it a few sips into the cup. I never finish drinks that are tasty. I guess I get distracted; which I'm getting more of these days as I try to multitask everything. So I painted. And it was lovely and therapeutic and I'm sure a real prize-winning canvas. You millionaire paint collectors: cash in. This is your big chance to display a real beauty.

On another multitasking note. When I wrote that word: multitask: it took me back to the first few weeks of motherhood. My body, post c-section, was slowly being shocked back to life. And, so was my digestive system. And one day, while I was learning how to do the stay-at-home thing (with no husband or help), my colon said something to me: RUN. Only if you've ever had major surgery in the belly region, you know that running (or coughing, laughing, sneezing or farting) is not an option. A slow waddle, maybe. But running - umm, no.

So there I was nursing my sweet brown eyed baby when my bowels began to rumble. And so I did what any good mom would do. I multitasked. It didn't seem to bother her. She kept nursing. But I have to say, holding a baby to your boob and unzipping your pants with one hand is pretty tricky. I think I should have been awarded something that day.

And one more thing. I used to have quite the keen sense of smell when I was pregnant. Before pregnancy, no smell. And now, after pregnancy, no smell. Thank goodness, too. Because my sweet chocolate lab has some ferocious poots. I only say ferocious based on the husband's head turning, scary scrunched up face, he makes every time she poots.

So there's that.

Prayer Request

Please pray with me. A friend of mine's dad is sick. He has lung cancer. My friend is Brandi and you can read about her dad on her blog. Her story is sweet - the journey with her dad is one of reconciliation. So please pray for complete healing of his lungs. He's having a scan done, this week, to see if his cancer is responding to treatment. So let's pray that the doctors see a miracle- complete healing. Let her dad be an example of answered prayer - let's see God shine when he goes in for his scan and the doctors say 'it's gone!' and then they hear a sweet, 'thank you Jesus!'

thanks for praying.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Friday, September 5, 2008

no thunda from down unda

Happy Birthday to Me.

My birthday was on Saturday. So was tropical storm Hanna. And because it was, or at least we were told it was going to be, we decided to celebrate on Thursday. Long story short, I had my heart set on a delicious Outback steak dinner with a thunda from down unda for dessert. But when we pulled into the empty parking lot at Outback, I wanted to cry - they had lost their power. I wanted to tell them that they had their days wrong - the storm wasn't coming for two more days! Uggh. So we tried to replicate my early birthday dinner at Chili's. Not the same. Just not the same. But nevertheless, we pigged out.

We got steaks, cheese fries and the molten chocolate lava dessert thing - all in an effort to replicate what would have been our Outback deliciousness.

But ya'll, we ate so much that I thought I was going to be sick. I mean my stomach hurt and pain shot up all the way to my sternum. Oh, serious instant indigestion. Todd, who has a tummy of steel, was all whiney about how his tummy was hurting. I thought he was just following me with my wimpiness. ...ok, backflash: two days ago he went surfing and got rolled in one wave. that wave sent delicious ocean water straight up his nose and into his body. ever since, he's felt queasy. and snotty. and when he bends over, salt water comes out of his nose...still. two days later.

Fast forward: so at 1:30a.m., said Todd wakes from sleep. He's not a midnight pee-er. That's my deal. So when woke up, light-sleeper-mama that I've come to be, woke with him and said, "what are you doing?" His reply, "i think i'm gonna be sick." I thought he was just being dramatic. But nope. A minute later I hear all of Chili's indigestion making its debut into our potty.

What a night. Just so you know, we laughed so hard at dinner. I haven't laughed that good in a long time - which may have had something to do with the indigestion. And while it stunk that we didn't get our Outback, we did make the best of a birthday celebration. But you know, sometimes when things go wrong - they just keep going wrong. Poor 'ole todd. He's all better today. He blames his pukies on the mixture of too much greasiness in the cheese fries, lots 'o sweetness in the molten dessertness and a little salt water sloshing around with the goodness.

...On another note, our 6mo. old baby did a new trick. She pulled up on the side of her little toy box thing - she stood up. That's not supposed to happen at six months - hence the holy cow that came out of my mouth. Enjoy the new pictures and video. http://vimeo.com/1674900

us. married folks. parents.

my date.

our little lion baby

it doesn't really fit, but it sure is cute.

me and my sweet little baby.

concentrating...look at that tongue ;)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

just to mention

labor day. aaah. labor weekend. oooh.

we're pregnant! kidding. oh gosh all you blog readers, you. did you just gasp? all ten of you? ;)

now that i have your attention: we had a lovely weekend. it consisted of sleeping, eating, taking walks, making delicious coconut shrimp, spending time with the husband and babe and enjoying a little bit cooler weather. aah fall, i can feel you. come soon. i'm ready to not sweat when walking from my car to the grocery store. ...i would say to the mall or work or somewhere more exciting. but let's face it - i grocery shop, i mop, i sweep, i vacuum, i change diapers, i cook, i wash toilets, i wipe tears...and to me, it's allllll glorious. really. i love my job. i am wondering when i get a pay raise, though? ;)

please enjoy the view of a few of our most recent days in picture form: mostly loralai picture form: right after i tell you this one gross bit of my day.

today i was on my way back from running an errand with the babe. we were sitting at a stop light. stopped. and i looked in my rear view mirror - i don't know why i looked - excellent driving skill habit? ;) but when i looked, i saw something so terribly disgusting. something so incredibly socially akward and just plain WRONG. there was a girl, no. a woman. she must have been in her early twenties. and y'all, she was picking her boogers! i mean going deep for the boogies. but the worst part? she was EATING them! i am NOT kidding. i don't make up this stuff. i don't even want to make up this stuff. i have no problem changing poopy diapers and wiping baby boogers - my baby's boogers. that doesn't gross me out. but when it comes to other people's grossness, i have a major gag reflex. and oh sweet mama, i started gagging. because little miss thing in her red car kept going back for more. and eating more. oh my gosh, it was so gross. and then, she sniffed her right armpit. what in the WORLD?! ...it was a disappointment to my afternoon. i consider yuckiness like this to be totally avoidable. mamas - teach your youngins not to pick and eat their boogies. it's just dirty nonsense.

ok. now, here are the pictures of our sweet and happy little life.

loralai taking in the wind at the beach during our walk. poor mister rabbit endured lots of baby drool. i think i need to wash his paws and ears.

the mama and papa on our walk downtown on monday morning. it was lovely. breezy. no one was up but us folks with babies. perfect.
she was eyein' her laundry basket. so i put her in it. i think she liked it. ;)
hi sweet baby who sits on her knees, crawls really fast and giggles laying on her back with her toes in her mouth, hi.
the daddy with his girl on the riverwalk downtown. ah coffee. yummy tasty coffee.

whatcha doin daddy? 'lowerin' your crib so that you'll quit using your bumper as a means to catapult your torso over the top of your crib.' oh.