Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ginger Snaps

I forgot to mention in my last post that among Maisie's current favorite foods is Trader Joe's triple ginger snaps. We just call them "cookies". Maisie will point at the container nod her head and sign please. 

oh ginger goodness.

Anyway, today she showed us she knows that shaking her head back and forth means no. She even was telling a little lie. 
Here's the scoop:

I brought the ginger snap container into the living room and Maisie managed to get the container off of the end table and brought them to the floor. I opened the container and handed her a cookie (after she said please, of course). I made sure the lid was on tight and continued to let her play with it. Austin was sitting on the other couch and Maisie brought the container to him and would point, nod and say please. So Austin snatched up the container and went to give her another, but he noticed she still had one in her mouth. Austin then asked Maisie "would you like a cookie Maisie?" she nods. "Ok, but you have to finish the one you are still eating." Maisie keeps pointing, nodding and saying please. Austin then asks "Maisie do you still have one in your mouth?" and to our amazement she shakes her head back and forth. Ok, it must be a fluke. She has never shook her head. "Maisie do you still have a cookie in your mouth?" (which it was obvious that she did) she shakes her head again. I then jumped in and asked if she wanted another cookie which she adamantly nodded.  Ok so she just wasn't shaking her head for the fun of it, she was truly answering him, even though it was a lie, it was amazing that she understood EVERYTHING we were saying. Austin then asked one more time and she shook her head, opened her mouth and asked for another cookie.

It was amazing, but a little scary.
When do children start to lying intentionally?

Friday, August 19, 2011

15 months

Little Maisie turned 15 months old, 4 days ago.
Gah. It blows my mind. There are still days where I look at her and I think to myself "Goodness, WE have a BABY." but what is stranger is, that baby is 15 months old, and not really a baby anymore. I would call her a toddler, but we all know shes not truly "toddling" yet. Shes a silly one, that Maisie.

I am really enjoying this stage. She is rich with personality and it has totally changed my previous notion about "nature vs. nurture". That child is all who she is by nature. I feel so honored to be the one who helps nurture and guide those traits into qualities that are for one appropriate, but also what will help her develop confidence in who she is now and in the future. 

Some of the many things I adore about my little (15 month old) girl:

Besides how adorable she is of course!

I love her inquisitive spirit. Her need to explore, but also her joy when shes in our company.

I love her eagerness to try something new or copy something, but also her hesitation to make sure it's "ok" or safe. I was always the hesitant one. My sister was the get up and go without thinking it through one. There have been times that I wished I could have been more like that, but both serve their place. Maisie is a good mix. I like that.

I love her love of books. I used to be a baby clothes junkie, I couldn't go anywhere without b-lining to the baby clothes section. It would always end with me sporting puppy-dog eyes convincing Austin that Maisie would look so darling in this, or that she NEEDED it for something. When Maisie started her book fascination at a young age, I found my new fix. No matter where I go I have an eye out for good books for her. I just recently hit up the closing sale at Borders. Lets just say I had a bag full of books after the spree.
Our night time routine is very funny now, before Maisie would be content reading a book a couple times (it was ALWAYS "the very hungry caterpillar") and then it went to reading two different books before bed, but NOW Maisie will read a couple pages of all her books. She wants to get all of them in before bed. She kisses them all too. It sure is sweet.

I love her determination. She will try so hard to get her socks and/or shoes on by herself. She always ends up getting frustrated and handing them to me so I can help, but I love her furrowed brow and how she musters as much coordination and strength to try over and over to do it by herself. She knows I am there to help, but I am always the last option.

I love her little head nods. She has put together that nodding her head means yes. I love the fact that she learned "yes" before "no". It seems that's not very common. We try our very best to refrain from no. We say careful a lot or just put a positive spin on it (i.e Maisie, we eat our food, not throw it on the floor). We ask her lots of questions and she totally has put together that when we ask a question that she can answer. Even if she doesn't know what we are saying, she knows we are directing a question and she knows that's a mean of communication.

I love how she picks up on little things. She watches us and its evident in all her activities. Shes even mastered the cell-phone-no-handed-shoulder-to-ear-technique. I don't even talk on the phone all that often so its amazing that she even picked that up. She also pretends to brush her hair with random items and also she helps me empty the dish washer too.

I love that she is a daddy's girl. Sometimes I am a little jealous because "what am I chopped liver?! I play with you allll day, feed you on demand, but you still want dada to come home?!" But daily I see them interact with each other and it is breath takingly beautiful. Its such a joy seeing the person your husband turns into when he becomes a daddy. It's amazing to see him through her eyes. I married an awesome man and we made an amazingly beautiful daughter.

I love that she will use all of her signs to get when she wants something badly, or when she is excited.(ALL DONE, FOOD, MORE, MILK, PLEASE, POINT, HEAD NOD) these are jumbled together so fast that if you didn't know her repertoire of signs you would think she was going crazy.

I love that when she cries she talks. It's like she is trying to tell you what she is upset about. It's a nice change up from the typical wailing. Her red tearful eyes and her little voice as she is trying to pout and catch her breath. Oh man, this sounds terrible, but it is seriously so dang cute. She sometimes will point her chubby finger and then talk giberish in an upset tone. 

I love all her little nuances:

For one, she has a sensitive spirit. She is sensitive to the feelings around her, but most of all she is sensitive to music. Maisie and I spend hours a day listening to music. We have since she was a newborn. We listen to an array of classical, alternative and fun dance music. Our current favorite Pandora station is "Phoenix radio". It's upbeat and so fun to dance too. That girl can dance like no other. Anyway, when a slow or heartfelt song comes on (especially if it has strings) she will get upset and cry like her feelings are hurt. The other week we started a new tradition of watching "The many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" after dinner and before she goes to bed. She adores it, but every time the pretty soft strings start playing the theme music, she cries like I just scolded her. Its cute, hilarious and heart breaking all at the same time. She hears it even when its softly playing in the background when there is narration. We now fast forward certain parts because how upset she gets. This girl has music woven into the fiber of her being, but I knew this would be the case from the beginning. I just didn't realize how sensitive she would be to it. Just wait until I play some Eric Whitacre for her. Or when she hears some of Austin's solos in high school. Cue tears.

She hates and I mean HATES my juicer. It's not even that loud, but she cries every time I use it. She loves the juice it produces, so I am trying to teach her it's good and not scary, but no such luck yet. She loves the vacuum, but hates the juicer, go figure.

She dances to any music (that is if its not a slow sad song and she is busy crying some where over it). No joke she danced to the theme song of "what would you do for a Klondike bar?"on a commercial. It was like 8 seconds tops, but that didn't stop her from wiggling and bouncing around.

She is gifted with her feet. She grabs and holds onto things with them all the time. She will even bring it to her hands and mouth. When ever we are in car for a good period of time like to Salem, she will hold her sippy cup with her feet and shake it back and forth while giggling. If we don't see her funny trick right away she will yell "look! look!" Until we laugh and praise her for her silly talent.

Talented huh? She has been doing things like this since she was like 6 months old.

"Bamboo shooting" is what Austin calls it. Background on this, when Austin and I started dating when we would hold hands Austin would always put his thumb nail gently under one of my finger nails. Like he was pinching my nail. I always thought, it was funny and kind of cute because he always did it unknowingly. Well months ago Maisie started doing it. She would do it when we were holding her, but she ALWAYS does it when I am nursing her. Even when she is half asleep at 2:30 am.  Sometimes she is not as gentle and her little talon nail goes just a little too far for comfort. That is why Austin has dubbed it "bamboo shooting" like the form of torture for prisoners of war. It's funny how little nuances like that get passed down.

Favorite foods:

Pasta with mushrooms, spinach and ricotta with cherry tomato sauce. She LOVES this.
Noahs cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese.
Oatmeal with fresh blueberries.
Fruit smoothies.
Cesar salad (mainly the chicken and dressing)
scrambled eggs.
Garlic spinach Orzo.
Greek yogurt Popsicles.
Nutella on anything.

yum yum nutella.

Things we are still/currently working on:

Sweet little Maisie Moo, is STILL not sleeping through the night. She still wakes up two times a night to nurse. It is killing me. We are trying to gradually cut out night nursing, but she melts down and then is impossible to get back to sleep. This is a deadly combo when Austin has to wake up for work at 3:50 am. I have just dealt with it, but it's time for a change. Hopefully within the next month or so she will just stop ( I am hoping that when she is fully walking she will be so worn out that she will just stay asleep). Her day feeds have drastically went down, but those dang night feedings haven't budged. I haven't slept more than 5 hours consecutively in over a year and a half. Gah! Our Dr thinks with Maisie's personality that fully weaning her most likely be the only way to get her sleeping through the night. She is an all or nothing type girl that Maisie.

We are also working on patience. She is quick to get angry or upset. Which some times results in her throwing something, pushing you away and rarely but sometimes hitting. She knows we are here to help and comfort, but she goes about it the wrong way sometimes.

Broadening her taste buds. She is quick to not like something, but if I am persistent and try it a few days later she ends up really enjoying it. I refuse to have a picky eater and after conversations with other moms I have come to the conclusion that: how much of it is that the baby truly hates something and how much of it is that the baby didn't like it once, so the mom stopped trying it and therefore that baby grows up without it and becomes a picky eater? Really I am surprised that even with Maisie's strongest rejections she always did better the next time around.

I am still trying to lose this baby weight, but while still nursing it is a nearly impossible task. I will just be patient, and then go crazy when she is weaned. I mean, I will never get the same moments again as I did nursing her. She only willingly snuggles so for so long before dashing off to play with something, so having that time where we are still physically close and bonding,  to me that's worth carrying around some extra weight even if that weight equals 40 pounds.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hiking Silver Falls

In early spring (if that's what you can call it) Austin and I made a summer goal to hike every Monday. Seeing how summer didn't even start until mid-July we obviously haven't held true to our goal, but yesterday we last minute decided to drive over to Silver Falls for some fresh air and some good old thigh burn. 

We didn't end up getting to the State Park until 5:30ish PM, but there was still plenty of sun left. So we hit the trails. I decided to carry Maisie in the hiking pack (oh vey) but I made tentative plans to switch with Austin some where along the way. That was a good extra 30 pounds with baby/pack/water bottles/ emergency items. I ended up making it all the way through the top of South Falls and then Austin and I made the switch at the bridge. 

Here are some pictures of our hike:



upper south falls

upper south falls

right after the switch

lower south falls

behind the falls

lower south falls

yum. pinecone.




I am now just starting to feel sore. Tomorrow might be rough.
Cross your fingers Maisie let's me sleep tonight. I am one exhausted mommy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Juicing for Hives & Urticaria

I have had so many people coming to my site for this post, that I have decided to make another blog strictly about hives/urticara and juicing. I hope you will check it out. There will be more information there, ways to follow along and information to get in contact with myself.
Please check out my new site here:
help my hives 

But by all means, finish reading here too, this is a good place to start.
Original post below:
A few weeks back, during our weekly "I'm-bored-and-I-can't-sleep-late-night-phone-chats" my sister, Katie and I after laughing about "Dang you autocorrect" Katie brought up a documentary that she had recently watched{on an unrelated note, I don't know what it is with me and my sister and documentaries. It seems we are always watching them. It's Lloyd sister crack I guess.} Anyway, the documentary she brought up was "Fat, sick and nearly dead." she started talking about how she thinks he has the same "auto-immune disease" that I have. Sure enough he has exatly what I have. Urticaria. AKA cronic hives.

Some info about my condition: on my 16th birthday, instead of heading to the DMV to get my drivers license, I was busy rubbing calamine lotion all over my body and taking a benadryl every few hours.  I woke up covered (I mean covered) in hives. I have had hives almost every day since (about 7 years now) excluding my pregnancy from week 8 to 6 months post partum (a miracle that thing called pregnancy), they completely went away. I didn't even have to take my medication. After thinking I was cured, Maisie turned 6 months and one morning I woke up with a few random hives, a few on my belly, arm and leg. It gradually got worse from that day. I wasn't cured after all, but after many years struggling, that year break was very much needed. So after that very itchy day when I was 16 my mother took me to doctor after doctor in need of answers. I was on so many different medications including prednisone (a very addictive steroid that has scary and long term side effects). I think in my first year of my condition I went to over 10 different doctors. All had varied opinions. Here are a few of my favorites:

-Some people just get hives, even for years on end. You could have hives for 20 years.
-food allergies.
-allergic to SOMETHING, but who knows what.
-I need divine intervention (No joke. A doctor told me that.)
Stress related.

For obvious reasons my family and I were less than thrilled. We still had no answers until a blood test showed came back with some answers. I had an auto immune disorder, but why and how to treat it was a big fat question mark. What's an auto-immune disease? It's an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words my body is attacking itself. Bottom line, we still don't know what is causing this kooky chain of events. It could be a hormone, an organ, gland, lymph. It seriously could be ANYTHING in my body.

You know how when some one receives a donated organ they are at high risk of the body rejecting the new foreign organ? Well my body is reacting that very same way to something completely normal. Silly Sammie.

Anyway, the documentary {fat, sick and nearly dead} was about a man suffering from urticaria, but he was also very over weight. His goal was to completely detox is body. In order to do this he goes on a 60 juice fast. No food, except fresh fruit and veggies in juice form. Anyway, this guy totally cures his urticaria and loses an insane amount of weight. I obviously can't do a 60 day juice fast yet seeing how I am still breastfeeding Maisie, but I have started to supplement my meals with fresh juice. To tell you the truth, I haven't had hives since, but I am still on my medication and sometimes the hives lay dormant for short periods of time. The truth is the juice is good for me either way. I do have plans to do a 7-10 day juice fast/detox after Maisie is weaned, but right now I am just enjoying my nutritious drinks. Maisie even loves them too.

When watching the documentary take it with a grain of salt. I don't want people to think this is a disease that only affects super unhealthy, overweight people because like I said I was only sixteen, very active and healthy when diagnosed. Even now many years later, it wouldn't hurt if I lost some of my pregnancy weight, but my condition is not at all related to my weight because I am still in the realm of normal {I am dying to lose these extra pregnancy pounds though!}

My go to juices:

*Maisie's favorite*
8-10 organic carrots
1 local organic granny smith apple
4-5 hand fulls of fresh spinach
sometimes I add a pear and ginger in the morning


*Mean Green*
2 granny smith apples
1 cucumber
1 bulk of kale
4 celery sticks
thumb sized piece of ginger
half of a lemon
sometimes I will add a few handfuls of spinach as well.


If you have Netflix check out "Fat, sick and nearly dead." On watch-instantly. It's a good one.

UPDATE JANUARY 4TH, 2012: Maisie has {finally} weaned and I have plans to start my highly anticipated juice fast in two weeks when I return from vacation. I still juice most mornings and I can definitely tell theres a difference. My hives are less frequent and not nearly as aggressive. I will keep updates going as I start my first fast in the coming weeks.

UPDATE MAY 28TH, 2013: I am consistently surprised how many people are still searching for answers about their hives. It breaks my heart to see how many people suffer from this annoying ailment and it is my wish is that you all find the relief you need and the health you deserve.

 I have now completed several (at least 5) juice fasts. My longest was 5 whole days in which I lost 8 pounds (mostly water weight) and without medication controlled my hives. The other fasts were 2-3 days long. My goal is to do a 3 day fast every month to help reboot my metabolism . I have had a few outbreaks of hives this year, but still continue to take antihistamines at night (Zyrtec). If I had to recommend anything, I would say to incorporate as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible.

KALE is a miracle worker, no joke! Get it into your diet as often as possible. Use it in juice, smoothies, salads or kale chips. Without a doubt, I know this helps tremendously. Other foods? Wild caught salmon, green tea, papaya, blueberries, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli, sweet potatoes, prickly pear etc. Eat this often and organic.

I will hopefully update more from here on out. Please feel free to comment below. I do check this page a lot and try my best to respond to every comment.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chipotle in the park

This summer we found a park that has become "our spot". It's a little oasis surrounded by fancy vacant business buildings. We frequent this park quite often. It has become a spot that we spur of the moment set up camp on the hill and soak in the sunshine and listen as the warm summer wind rustles the trees. It's never busy, plenty of space to put our bocce skills to the test {yes we keep a set in our car}, but we mainly go to relax. Maisie crawls around and likes to see how far she can crawl away before we make her come back. That girl is so silly. If she sees a dog or other kids she makes a break for it. When she starts officially walking we are in trouble.

Today we decided to plan a late dinner to enjoy at our spot. We picked up Chipotle to-go and enjoyed the fresh deliciousness criss-cross-applesauce in the grass, 
picnic style, family style.

Ah, the sweet taste of summer.



Baltic Amber necklace. When it warms on the skin it releases natural oils in the fossilized amber which are natural anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Perfect for a teething baby! It seriously works. Check out more here.






-bye bye little duck friends-



Last Weekend

 was one of the best weekends of this summer. Our weekend was filled with all of the lovely things summer has to offer.

friends. food. BBQ. ice cream. sunny days. warm nights. portland. bon fires. s'mores. ice cold izzes and root beer.

We had our first married couple sleep over. We finally got use of our lonely third bedroom!

Our dear friends Cameron (we went to kindergarten together) and his wonderful wife, Kristen came to stay with us just because. They are currently living in Corvallis going to OSU. They got here around 7:30 Friday evening, Nat and Meaghan came over and we headed to Portland for some fantastic food. We adventured to Mississippi Avenue where we ate incredibly delicious pizza courtesy of Mississippi Pizza Co and then topped our bellies off with the BEST homemade ice cream ever from Lovely fifty fifty's. They have the best combos of ice cream I have ever had (and I am an ice cream aficionado) salted caramel, mint (with fresh mint leaves) stracciatella, roasted fig and golden honey, brown sugar buttermilk and of course the creamiest chocolate ever. My personal fav is the salted caramel. It is seriously so good I could eat it all day long. The mint (Austin's favorite) is uber refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.

Here we are after getting our yummy ice cream.

We then headed back to our place where the fellas started a fire (Austin and I built a fire pit more on that later) and the ladies caught up with lots of girl talk. After the boys fire burnt out they headed inside where we all laughed and talked until we needed to go to bed.

The next day we made shish kabobs and BBQ'd. Meag and I (mainly Meag, I was busy with dishes and finding all the ingredients) made cookies and then we sat around the fire just enjoying each others company.

The next day on our way to Salem (to house/cat sit) we met up with Tess, Sean and little Keenan for lunch in Bridgeport and then later met up at their place where the kiddos paled around. Hopefully some of his walking will quickly rub off on Maisie, she needs some motivation. She is SO close!

I am so happy we have such good friends. Austin and I always joke that when it comes to friends we "mate for life" we don't have many, but the ones we do have will be our friends forever. Some of our closest friends are ones we met in High school and others through similar lifestyles (IE married and babies) and views on life. What we lack in quantity we fully make up in quality. They are the best friends any one could ask for. So friends of the Lee family- we love you. Thanks for being so wonderful.