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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chunky Book

Speaking of paper crafts, here's another easy-to-follow tutorial to make your own chunky books.

The concepts in the tutorial could easily be adapted to make larger and different-shaped books...

You could turn these into picture albums, recipe books, mini-journals, scrapbooks, guest books... endless possibilities!

So, so clever...

MYO Uglydoll

Familiar with Uglydolls?

Personally, I think they're pretty cool (and so do the Obamas, so they must be), but I have a difficult time justifying their $20 price tag.

Then I stumbled upon this felt monster tutorial through the magic of the internet.

Now I've realized that Connor could be the recipient of his very own, one-of-a-kind version of an Uglydoll... made with love, outside of China.

Just.need.to.find.the.time. (or maybe inspire Grandma Rogers???)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night, we attempted to give Connor his very first feeding of rice cereal.

It all went down (5-6 tiny nibbles), just as I expected it would... not well.

But that's okay.
We get to do this once a day for the next 30 days.
Then, once a day with baby food and once a day with cereal for the following 30 days.
And then, once a day with finger food, once a day with baby food, and once a day with cereal for another 30 days.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

But, I know he's going to get used to it, get over it, and ultimately love it. (He really doesn't have a choice!)

When you consider where he started, and all that he's been through, every first is a really big deal!
So, rather than thinking about the fights I have ahead of me for the next few days, (staying optimistic) I'm celebrating that we've made it to this very important first!

A video for the grandparentals...

Magic Box

I am not a scrapbooker.
Scissors, pictures, and glue just aren't my thing.

But sometimes, a paper craft catches my eye... something so clever, it's all I can do to keep myself from running out to the store that very minute to make it for myself.

This Magic Box by Life is Lou is one of those crafts. (Check out her tutorial here - she makes it look so effortless and easy!)

I'd love to make up a bunch of these as Christmas gifts... but so far, I can only come up with candy as a filler... and that's not.very.original.

So, family & friends, if I do come up with something clever for the inside and you find yourself with a Magic Box of your very own, PROMISE me that it will be the absolute cutest thing you've never seen before.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doin' good!

August 23, 2009

We saw the pediatrician yesterday.
Connor's latest stats:
Weight: 15 lbs, 12 oz
Height: 25 in
Head Circ: 43.5 cm
If you put him at his adjusted age of 5 months, on the growth charts he is:
Weight: 25th percentile
Height: 25th percentile (from the 5th percentile!!!)
Head Circ: 50th percentile
All kinds of good news today...
  • He gets to come off Neosure (the really expensive, not-easy-to-find, specialty formula) next month... hallelujah! Costco, here we come!!
  • The original plan was to wait until 9 months old to start solid food... and we're starting this week, instead! (This is a really big deal for us, especially considering Connor's intestinal surgery.)
  • He's on his last bottle of Reglan (for gastric reflux) - he's already outgrown his current dosage, so the weaning process has begun! After he's done with Reglan, we're down to just 2 meds - the antibiotic and multi-vitamin.
  • After 1 more well-check appointment in 6 weeks (and this is mostly just because he's due for a bunch of shots - namely a regular flu shot and the RSV vaccine), he'll be then seen on a regular baby check-up schedule - no pediatrician until he's 1 year old.
  • Dr decided that developmentally he is right around a 6-month-old, even though his adjusted age is still only 5 months.
Sunny skies ahead!! :)

C is for cookie

These lovelies caught my eye Monday...

The cookies themselves look delicious, not to mention the idea for gift packaging!

Bakerella even provides a PDF download of the label and instructions - all you've got to do is piece it together.

If you get ambitious and decide to gift one to me, I'll pretend that it's the absolute cutest thing I've never seen before... promise!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cartoonize yourself

Go check out befunky...
run, don't walk.

Somehow, I just
lost 30 minutes there.

But, this rendition
of Brian Connor
was fully worth it,
don't you think??

The jig is up

This is so, so true.
Yep, we're no experts here... far, far from it, in fact!

Besides which, I just call my dad or my brothers. ;)

(As seen on Lifehacker.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fun surprise!

Last week, a great surprise landed on our doorstep...
a new GIRAFFE!

Connor was thrilled... and so was Mommy!

The one friend I can remember the longest
was my next-door neighbor, Melanie.
We've known each other since I was 5,
and even though she's just a teensy bit older than me,
she was always sweet enough to let me follow her around
and to teach me all about Pat Benatar
and fur coats (best hand-me-down EVER).

Although we lost track of one another over the years,
through the magic of the internet,
I'm able to follow her around once more.

(And she sends Connor the sweetest care packages!!)

Thanks for such a thoughtful gift, Melanie!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What we've been working on...

Sitting up.

Not cheating by using the Boppy... yet! - August 19, 2009

Staying caught up with old friends.

Nurse Nicole at the NICU Parents Support Group Meeting - August 18, 2009

Exposing the ever elusive neck.

It's a stretch! - August 19, 2009

Scooting off our play gym mat into the most uncomfortable spot.

Didn't really think I'd have to start baby-proofing yet, until I found him like this!
- August 17, 2009

Telling funny jokes.

Laughing about Daddy with Uncle Jason - August 22, 2009

But, most importantly, we've been working on our GIGGLES!

Sunday Sustenance

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clothespin Magnets

These days, quick and easy projects are right up my alley.

Check out this super easy and inexpensive idea to embellish clothespins and turn them into clippy magnets...

Great gift idea, too!

(As seen on Pin & Paper.)

32 years ago today...

Grandma & Grandpa Sprik
got married.

Happy Anniversary,
you two!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Budding artistes

This is an idea that most surely will be implemented in our future playroom...

Hang your children's artwork from a curtain rod.
(Specifically the Dignitet from IKEA.)

With a clip system, you're able to easily switch out old pieces for the new.

I love how this look both displays their art and keeps it uncluttered.

(As seen on ohdeedoh.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Growin'... growin'... growin'...

LOVE this idea from Nesting!

Just take a fabric measuring tape and adhere it to the wall, or a large piece of wood (for portability when you move), order a custom name stamp, and chart your family's progress.

So simple!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

8 months old

(Remember, you can clickity-click on any pic to make it larger.)

Can you believe that Connor is already
8 months old?!?

Yeah, neither can we!!

He's now been home the same length of time he spent in the NICU... c.r.a.z.y.

First things first... his latest stats.
He was measured at the NICU Follow-Up Clinic nearly 2 weeks ago, so I'm guessing these numbers have actually increased...
Weight: 14 lbs, 14 oz
Height: 24.5 in
Head Circ: 42.5 cm
He sees his pediatrician next week, so I'll update stats for the grandparents then.

August 12, 2009

At 8 months old, Connor...
  • is wearing size 2-3 diapers, sizes 3-6, 6-9, and 6-12 month clothing (depending on the brand)
  • eats 5 bottles a day, at 5 ounces each
  • sleeps a glorious 12 hours a night (in bed around 8pm each night), more often than not, with 3 1-hr and under naps throughout the day
Conducting a video conference with Grandma & Grandpa Rogers - August 14, 2009
  • is starting to recognize the baby in the mirror - big smiles
  • loves to play peek a boo
July 31, 2009
  • tries to put everything in his mouth, so he can drown it in saliva
  • loves to be tickled, and seem to require at least 2 good laughing/tickling sessions per day (mommy & daddy are always more than happy to oblige)
Don't let all the smiles fool ya... - August 14, 2009
  • is a Drama King... full-on crocodile tears when he's upset about something
Can you hear me now? - August 14, 2009
  • loves to hear his own voice - he shrieks and sings all day long
  • Can whine... heaven help us!
Laughing with Daddy - July 28, 2009
  • has the sweetest giggle
  • loves to get dressed - which is good, because he's been going through a lot of outfits lately, with his reflux acting up
Mom, do you mind???
Elmo and I are having a MOMENT. - August 11, 2009
  • loves to watch TV, and can practically swivel his head 360 degrees to take a peek... so, he's been introduced to Sesame Street in teeny tiny doses much earlier than planned (it's better than cable news)... and he LOVES it!
  • is not a fan of getting his nails clipped (if you'd just hold still, mommy would stop maiming you!)
Don't worry... no pizza was harmed in the taking of this photo.
Celebrating Daddy's 37th Birthday at Aurelio's - August 8, 2009

Mine, Daddy, MINE! - August 14, 2009

  • has decided that snuggling's his favorite, along with taking naps on mom (who doesn't really mind being held hostage while he sleeps... considering the fact she couldn't hold him his first 4 months as much as he needed it or she wanted to)
  • loves to watch daddy's fish
Got stuck again! :( - August 13, 2009
  • hardly ever cries or flinches anymore when he gets stuck with needles (we're proud that he's so brave, but sad that it happens to him so much)
  • gets very excited about taking his medicine (for now, we call them "treats")... it makes everything so much easier when he likes it
So, so BIG! - August 14, 2009
  • loves to stand on 2 feet, and he's getting surprisingly steady, showing a lot of strength and balance
  • can almost hold his bottle by himself
  • is this.close to rolling over
Loves to be propped up on the sofa - July 29, 2009
  • might actually sit upright by himself before he rolls over
Getting so, so close! - August 14, 2009
  • is not a huge fan of storytime (he's more interested in the actual book, not the story within)
  • loves to take baths and have his ears cleaned
August 14, 2009
  • is becoming a big flirt out in public
Who, ME?!? - August 11, 2009

We've kept things fairly quiet around here the past month. We got together with some NICU friends, traveled to Michigan, attended the NICU Follow-Up Clinic, had some physical therapy, and then we got sick. So, especially the last few weeks, we've stuck very close to home.

LOVES his Bumbo - August 14, 2009

In the last month, he's graduated from having to regularly see his endocrinologist (his OOP cleared up) and we're considering him graduated from his gastro-enterologist as well (he's off his cholestasis meds, too). Slowly, but surely his specialists are falling off our radar.

The jumperoo works best when he has a little something to stand on... - July 27, 2009

His favorite place to be these days - July 27, 2009

At the NICU Follow-Up Clinic...
We were told several times how pleased they all were with how well he's doing, and the neonatalogist was pleasantly surprised to hear that Connor's had no hospitalizations since his NICU stay (considering his past history). Thank you for validating our hibernation efforts! He was seen by a speech therapist who had no concerns for him... in fact, his "ckckckeee" sound actually puts him ahead of where she expected him to be. The physical therapists decided that he's starting to fall behind his adjusted age... all because he hasn't rolled over yet. With everything else, he's right on track. So far, it seems like Connor might be sitting before he rolls over. We're not too concerned, yet, because we can tell he's close, and he's being seen fairly regularly by a private physical therapist.

Happy boy! - August 13, 2009

Connor had routine labwork and other tests done last week. Later that afternoon, his pediatrician called and led with, "Does Connor have a cold?" Up to that point, he had only suffered from a snotty nose, but since he hadn't been running a fever or acting altered in any way, I kinda thought it was just sinuses. Sure enough, his lab results pointed to a cold, and the very next day, we had a sick little boy on our hands. :( Not.fun. So, we've hunkered down to hibernate some more until his immune system isn't quite so challenged.

As for the labs... everything looks pretty good. His CBC is "beautiful" (looking forward to probably graduating from the hematologist this month), and his OOP and cholestasis are all cleared up. A few anomalies appeared, but nothing to be too concerned about yet, and they're being closely followed by his doctors.

August 14, 2009

All should be pretty quiet for Connor this upcoming month... he'll see his pediatrician, his surgeon, and his hematologist for follow-ups. He will also have another Early Intervention assessment - I hope to get some in-home therapy set up for him before flu season starts.

We're also hoping to get more involved with the NICU parent support group at the hospital Connor was in. Unfortunately, it wasn't up and running during our time in the NICU... and oh how we needed something like it! We hope that by getting involved, we can, in some way, help give another family some hope during one of the most difficult struggles of their lives - we couldn't have done it without the support we received from family, friends, nurses, church, work, and online imaginary friends... it's the only way we got through our experience!

Now, if we could just kick this darn cold...

Serious sayonara - August 14, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

"It's not so much
what happens to us,
but how we deal with
what happens to us."
- James E. Faust

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Beans, beans, the magical fruit"

I have a can of black beans and a brownie mix in the pantry... and conveniently, no fresh eggs.

Since we're grounded to the house, once again (nothing serious, more details to be posted later), it's really tempting to turn the oven on and bake something yummy.

My old roomie, Kristen, says that with just those 2 ingredients, you can make delicious, low-fat, moist and fudgy brownies.

From her blog:
Black Bean Brownies

1 box of brownie mix (family size 13x9)
1 can of black beans

Rinse and drain beans. Place beans back in can and fill with water. Place water/beans in blender until smooth. Add to brownie mix. (You will NOT add the other ingredients - eggs, oil, etc.). Mix together and pour into baking dish. Bake the brownies according to the regular baking directions on back of the box.

They sure do look delicious...

But, I don't know...

With 2 boys in the house, there's enough free-range tooting going on... would these just make it worse??

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day, by day, by day

I wish I had seen this clever idea before we had Connor. While we do our own version of perspective photography each month with his stuffed monkey (see left sidebar), I would have loved to do even a simple daily photo-log (time-lapse style) like this:

(As seen on ohdeedoh.)

In fact, Connor's 8-month post is coming soon... stay tuned!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

“Make no mistake [Christ would say], if you let Me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in my hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life… whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect…. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less. God’s demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your present failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And He knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. On the other hand, you must realize from the onset that the goal towards which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself can prevent Him from taking you to that goal."
- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Sustenance

"There is room for improvement
in every life.

Regardless of our occupations,

regardless of our circumstances,

we can improve ourselves

and while so doing have an effect
on the lives of those about us."

- Gordon B. Hinckley

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