Thursday, April 28, 2016

Casting Crowns Concert and Compassion

Casting Crown's gave a concert in Williamsport, MD, which totally astonished me because I had previously thought they only did bigger cities.  Our small town showed up in large numbers and EARLY!  I had signed up to be a Compassion volunteer and I was running a little late that day and even later when I ran into the hordes of traffic at 5:30 for a 7am concert.

This was my 2nd volunteer effort for Compassion, an organization that supports very poor children internationally, which I've personally supported for over 10 years.  I don't think many in my area are very aware of the work Compassion does and there is always a bit of distrust about an aid organization, like how much of the funding does go to children.  I did my best to educate volunteers and concert goers who showed interest.

The concert was really awesome, the band leader, sorry I don't know his name, shared many personal stories including the history of the band and how some songs came to be.  I don't recall this from my prior concert experience in Florida.

I'm so glad I went and got to enjoy the concert along with supporting Compassion.

Failure to Thrive - Part 8

We skipped the 6 week follow up visit due to heavy snow and unpredictable roads, but we we're also tired of the constant discussion over Evie's eating habits and we were making good progress at home on her eating habits.  She was finally taking a bottle regularly in February and we had switched to Pediasure when she refused regular milk after turning one which provides extra calories.  Her diet consist of the highest calorie foods we can get her to consume, making sure every bite counts because sometimes she only wants to eat 10 bites so we show her the highest calorie items first.  She likes scrambled eggs with cheese, for 2-3 days and then doesn't want it anymore.  She'll eat bananas for 2-3 days and then not want any more so variety seems to be the key.

Her next visit was April 5th for her 15 month check up and we are thrilled to say the doctor was finally happy with her weight gain, she had gained almost 3lbs in 3 months.  We are now on a normal schedule of follow up visits!

As you can see from the chart below, she's still below the curve but the line direction appears on it's way to hitting the chart soon.  The doctor said to keep doing what we are doing and that's the best news I could have heard!  After the months of praying and working with her to eat we are so tremendously thankful for her progress.  This might be my last post on this subject.  I just wanted to write a series on this in case anyone else is struggling with this issue.  There is not a ton of support online and it's hard to know what to do in these situations because you can't reason with a baby.  You can't force them to eat when they don't want to.  It feels so incredibly helpless.

There are situations where medical intervention is necessary and I don't want my blog to be taken as a message of avoiding the medical care.  We had 2 prior girls who had followed the same track record so we were fairly certain that this was normal behavior for our child.  Our 2 prior girls had a pediatrician in Florida who was familiar with our family history and part of the problem with Evie's situation is that we had moved to Maryland and our new pediatrician did not know us.  If at any point we had been told to take Evie to the hospital we would have complied.  We are thankful our situation never came to that point and she was able to progress naturally.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Quick Trip to Florida

Sorry this is a back post

On 4/21 I realized I needed to book a trip to Asia to work on a huge program that had just landed on my desk the day before.  I wrote to my boss and asked permission, he agreed but asked me to squeeze in a trip to Florida for the following week to discuss the project with him in person.

This being my 2nd trip away from my family this year, I was anxious about everything.  I spent most of Saturday cleaning the house, doing all the dishes, making a grocery list/menu for the following week, bills and laundry.  I upset the baby in the process who just wanted me to hold her.  I did stop in the afternoon and go to a church picnic but I was so stressed that when people asked how I was doing I found myself staring too long and blurting out, not great!  I'm real that way.  I don't like to say I'm fine when I'm clearly not.  When with Christians, might as well let them know how I am so they can pray appropriately, right!

Cute baby pictures at the picnic, she finished her snack and then filled her cup with bark:

On Sunday I still was not finished packing, because I had prioritized cleaning the day before, so husband took all the kids and left for Sunday School while I finished.  He tells me I do too much, he's probably right, but it's hard to let go of the things I feel are important.  I even packed little snacks for each kid to eat after they dropped me off at the airport complete with little notes.

This is us at the airport, Charlotte actually ask for the updated family together photo before a flight, they want me to crop out the background and fill it with orange mushrooms like I've done before and the last time we didn't have little Evie, Charlotte's thoughtful that way.  I'll have to remember to do this while I'm in Asia.

When I finally got on the plane with a book to read, I was so tired I promptly fell asleep.

So much for "me" time, hello Florida!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Evie Likes to Climb

She's climbing on everything and her most recent accomplishment is chairs.  Here she is at Daddy's computer chair, as I get closer she gives me a look that say's don't you even think about getting me down from here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Facebook - please stop trying to be so helpful!

On a scale of tech savvy,  I probably rate about a 7.  I'm on a computer 8-10 hours per day and I work from home and solve all my own tech related problems, I've set up our computers and other families so I know my way around office tech.  I also utilize all the popular social media sites with an average time of maybe 1 hour collectively per day and I've blogged since 2007.  I know how to fix many basic things that break, but that doesn't mean I don't find myself getting tripped up when things change unexpectedly.

Recently I've found an issue that is highly irritating.  Facebook is slowly creeping into every aspect of my digital world.  I've seen for awhile now that anything I google, or search for in Amazon shows up as an ad in Facebook.  Okay fine, I've gotten used to this.  But then I started noticing recently that Facebook is offered as an alternative to log into a new site.  Let's say someone posts an interesting article and you think, oh that sounds interesting, only to be met with an annoying pop up sign in here page.  It gives you the option to sign in through Facebook, okay let me swat this fly out of the way and click yes, suddenly I'm getting emails from this website.  Oh great, another chain of spam, it's now a swarm of flies to swat.

Today I forgot my password to Pinterest.  I was sure it was through my Twitter account originally so I put in that information, not working.  So was it Facebook I used?  Oh dear, now I'm doubting myself.  Guess I'll log in through Facebook.  I see my face appear, must be my account.  But wait, they want me to pick things that I like, that's annoying, my feed should already be there.  So I click on the obligatory likes and suddenly I'm faced with A NEW PINTEREST ACCOUNT.  What??????  I guess that means I didn't use Facebook to access my original account and now I suddenly have a new account.  Another fly to swat.

I say this to simply point out that with all the "helps", sometimes Facebook is creating more annoyances than support.  Now I'm off to figure out how to access my original Pinterest account AND close this new one.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

My Third Painting

For my third painting I did my best to create a more free flowing tree and a better blended background.  I'm happier with the results then my prior painting.  Unfortunately I can't seem to capture the color correctly in a photo, the tree should be black with base a blend from black into dark blue sky.  I've tried working with Photoshop filters and can't seem to match back to the original so I've just decided to upload the base photo without editing since the purpose is simply to show progression in skill.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Spring Egg Hunt 2016

Easter is hectic y'all.  Between church and making the most awesome ham ever along with trying to recreate memories of mom's Lemon meringue pie that has the meringue folded into the pie mix which proved beyond my capabilities at the moment, I had no time for an Easter Egg Hunt.  Mother in law had sent a box of lovely gifts and I assumed (wrongly) that the children should be quite fine with this.
They were not.

And at first, I didn't care, I mean I never had an Easter Egg Hunt as a kid.  Then I started thinking about family traditions and how each year we'd done it since Charlotte was a baby - well her first time was just a bunch of eggs thrown in front of her on a blanket but it was cute.  Then I didn't want it mixed up with Easter because it becomes the same problem as Christmas, one more silly tradition that takes away from the spiritual meaning of the day.

Thus, Spring Egg Hunt was born!  We decided to make it on April 1st this year but husband suggested making it the first day of Spring annually.  I like it.  Kids still get their fun, and it doesn't conflict with our Easter holiday.

It is fun putting eggs all over the yard and letting them hunt.  This year we got smart and assigned a color to each child so they couldn't hog the eggs.  It worked out brilliantly and I highly recommend it!