Sunday, March 27, 2011

5 months


First time falling asleep in an odd place - 3.27.11 @ 12:30am

Happy 5 Months my sweet girl!
Mommy and Daddy love you so much!
Every day you are growing so much, we can hardly believe it.
You are so full of love and so quick to share your cuddles with us.
Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives!

5 months


First time falling asleep in an odd place - 3.27.11 @ 12:30am

Happy 5 Months my sweet girl!
Mommy and Daddy love you so much!
Every day you are growing so much, we can hardly believe it.
You are so full of love and so quick to share your cuddles with us.
Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who wants to know?

As a military wife I often have found myself in a tricky situation with family and friends. You see, not everything in our life is free for me to share with even those who are closest to me. This is really hard sometimes! There are times when Sarge has information that he is unable to discuss with even me, which is even harder to accept because we really hate having any kind of secret between us!

However, when it comes to keeping my husband and family safe there is nothing that I would not do.  So, Sarge and I talked and came up with some OPSEC guidelines that work for us. These apply to blogging, email, phone/text conversations and to friends, family and anyone who might ask. There really are no exceptions!

OPSEC stands for Operations Security. "The fancy definition is that OPSEC is about preventing the “accumulation of one or more elements of sensitive/unclassified information or data that could damage national security by revealing classified information.” Practically speaking, it’s like giving someone pieces of an “intelligence” puzzle that are not themselves classified – and may even seem harmless – but that when assembled, could lead someone to discover a classified or sensitive unclassified program, activity, or project." OPSEC definition source



Our OPSEC guidelines:

We don't talk about the specific time frame.

We don't talk about the mission.

We don't talk about specific military locations.

We don't share pictures with unit insignia.


If you know us in *real life* please refrain from using our full names on this blog.

Phone, email, text, chat rooms, message boards, blogs.
Always assume someone is listening.

No deployed mailing address will be shared with anyone.
If you'd like to send something to Sarge, please send it to me and I will get it to him. 
This includes immediate family and friends.

We have a PO Box for all mail associated with this blog. The address can be found on the "Contact Me" tab at the top of this blog.


While we realize not everyone is as strict about this on a personal level, we feel very strongly and appreciate your respect for these OPSEC guidelines.


*This post will also be linked under the military resources tab at the top of this blog.

Who wants to know?

As a military wife I often have found myself in a tricky situation with family and friends. You see, not everything in our life is free for me to share with even those who are closest to me. This is really hard sometimes! There are times when Sarge has information that he is unable to discuss with even me, which is even harder to accept because we really hate having any kind of secret between us!

However, when it comes to keeping my husband and family safe there is nothing that I would not do.  So, Sarge and I talked and came up with some OPSEC guidelines that work for us. These apply to blogging, email, phone/text conversations and to friends, family and anyone who might ask. There really are no exceptions!

OPSEC stands for Operations Security. "The fancy definition is that OPSEC is about preventing the “accumulation of one or more elements of sensitive/unclassified information or data that could damage national security by revealing classified information.” Practically speaking, it’s like giving someone pieces of an “intelligence” puzzle that are not themselves classified – and may even seem harmless – but that when assembled, could lead someone to discover a classified or sensitive unclassified program, activity, or project." OPSEC definition source



Our OPSEC guidelines:

We don't talk about the specific time frame.

We don't talk about the mission.

We don't talk about specific military locations.

We don't share pictures with unit insignia.


If you know us in *real life* please refrain from using our full names on this blog.

Phone, email, text, chat rooms, message boards, blogs.
Always assume someone is listening.

No deployed mailing address will be shared with anyone.
If you'd like to send something to Sarge, please send it to me and I will get it to him. 
This includes immediate family and friends.

We have a PO Box for all mail associated with this blog. The address can be found on the "Contact Me" tab at the top of this blog.


While we realize not everyone is as strict about this on a personal level, we feel very strongly and appreciate your respect for these OPSEC guidelines.


*This post will also be linked under the military resources tab at the top of this blog.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

laughter is good for the soul

I feel like my head is spinning and I'm having trouble concentrating.
Part of it is stress. Part of it is exhaustion. Part of it is that I'm still battling illness.

My house is a mess.  
My laundry pile is overflowing.  
Last night we ate hot pockets for dinner because I didn't want to scrub the skillet from the night before.

You know what though?  Absolutely NONE of this matters.

I spent most of the day in bed, cuddling and giggling with my little girl. I don't regret it at all!
Pre-bedtime nursing in the bathtub = Heaven on earth!
2am is my new bedtime... those extra couple hours in the day with my husband are so special!

The moments are what matter. The rest of it is just... filler stuff!

In just a matter of days our family will be going through another deployment. While having a clean house and being caught up on the laundry would be nice, there will be plenty of time for it later. Right now, I just want to soak up these precious moments that are right in front of us. When Sarge gets back we are all going to be in a different place than where we are right now.  So, I think it's important to focus on this time together, soaking up these moments while we can.

... and baby giggles?  They are one of the BEST gifts God ever gave us!





Today I am thankful for my little girl's laughter. It melts away the stress and burdens on my heart.  I am thankful for the grace of my husband who understands it's hard to send him off to war, and thankful he allows me a "mental health" day to just be in the moment and let everything else go. I am thankful for the moments God is giving me to enjoy right now.

laughter is good for the soul

I feel like my head is spinning and I'm having trouble concentrating.
Part of it is stress. Part of it is exhaustion. Part of it is that I'm still battling illness.

My house is a mess.  
My laundry pile is overflowing.  
Last night we ate hot pockets for dinner because I didn't want to scrub the skillet from the night before.

You know what though?  Absolutely NONE of this matters.

I spent most of the day in bed, cuddling and giggling with my little girl. I don't regret it at all!
Pre-bedtime nursing in the bathtub = Heaven on earth!
2am is my new bedtime... those extra couple hours in the day with my husband are so special!

The moments are what matter. The rest of it is just... filler stuff!

In just a matter of days our family will be going through another deployment. While having a clean house and being caught up on the laundry would be nice, there will be plenty of time for it later. Right now, I just want to soak up these precious moments that are right in front of us. When Sarge gets back we are all going to be in a different place than where we are right now.  So, I think it's important to focus on this time together, soaking up these moments while we can.

... and baby giggles?  They are one of the BEST gifts God ever gave us!





Today I am thankful for my little girl's laughter. It melts away the stress and burdens on my heart.  I am thankful for the grace of my husband who understands it's hard to send him off to war, and thankful he allows me a "mental health" day to just be in the moment and let everything else go. I am thankful for the moments God is giving me to enjoy right now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on the fritz

We seem to be having some technical difficulties today!

I hope to be back up and running tomorrow!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

on the fritz

We seem to be having some technical difficulties today!

I hope to be back up and running tomorrow!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Diagnosis For Monkey (Part 1)

It all started about 3 weeks ago.

Monkey and I were curled up in bed around 10pm.  Monkey was happily nursing in my lap while I alternated between cheering on Judge Judy and chatting with Sarge while he played his computer game.

Monkey has this new habit of exploring with her hands while she nurses and she's just recently taken to pinching. This particular night she was innocently pinching mommy while drinking her "milkie" when she managed to dig her teeny tiny, razor sharp nails into my skin, and it HURT!

So, right then and there I knew I needed to do something about it. It wasn't her fault her little nails were so sharp! I innocently asked Sarge to hand me the baby nail clippers off his nightstand. I'd trimmed them a couple times before with no mishaps so I didn't think this time would be any different.

clip, snip, clip, clip, clip - "YAY! Great job, Monkey! Those fingers are done... let's do your other hand now!"

And then it happened... her tiny little hand moved as those horrible mean clippers went in for the SNIP!

Sarge's face froze in horror, with a look that totally said "OUCH!!"
I dropped the clippers and mentally freaked out asking myself  "WHAT DID I JUST DO!?"
For a second, all I could do was look at Monkey and pray that it wouldn't hurt as bad I thought it did, but her face told me that it absolutely hurt more than anything she'd ever felt before and she was not ok with that!

It was so awful and it felt like we froze for hours and just stared at each other like "did that just happen?" but in reality, I'm sure it was only a matter of seconds before we were completely unfrozen and living the horror...

Monkey getting cuddles after getting her finger bandaged.
Feb 24, 2011
Her scream was piercing and unlike anything I'd ever heard come from her tiny little body before.  I instinctively scooped her up into my arms as I said "I'm sorry baby, I'm so sorry!" over and over and over, with tears rolling down my own cheeks... I yelled for a kleenex and when her tiny finger bled through that in a matter of seconds, I told my husband to grab a cloth wipe and I used that instead.

My EMT instincts told me to apply direct pressure and the bleeding would stop. I examined her finger and saw that it didn't look like it was too deep and should stop bleeding quickly, so I just quickly applied pressure and prayed for it to stop hurting so bad.

 The mommy part of me is so new that I was paralyzed at the fact that not only was my daughter hurt... it was MY fault!  I felt awful and just wanted the crying to stop because maybe it would mean the hurting had stopped as well. I got Monkey latched back on for more "milkies" and kept applying direct pressure to her sweet little finger. At least the crying stopped, but I still felt awful!

Minutes passed and it was still bleeding... How could something so small bleed so much?  After about 30 minutes I started to get really worried. I could rotate the cloth and a fresh spot would be filled with blood in seconds and it just wasn't slowing down at all!

I waited a little longer and decided that we needed some professional advice on how long this little finger should be bleeding. Sarge called the nurse advice line (thank you TriCare!) and they said it should have stopped after a max of 5-10 minutes and we needed to go to the ER as soon as possible because the cut could be deeper than we realized.

So, we bundled up our little Monkey and headed out for the ER. We got there around 11:15pm and were taken back really quickly.  The doctor came in and looked at the cut and said that luckily she wouldn't need stitches because the cut was so little, but we did need to get the bleeding to stop.  He decided to cauterize the cut and  place a bandage on her tiny finger to protect it and catch any more blood.  Once we were all done, he told us the usual "follow up with your pediatrician" speech.

I was totally relieved that it had finally stopped bleeding!  Except for a couple minutes of crying when it first happened, Monkey seemed to not really mind the whole adventure. She smiled and laughed at the nurses and doctors the whole time we were at the hospital, and as usual everyone "oooh'd and ahhhh'd" and told us how adorable she is.

When we got home and got settled back in bed for the night, my mind started going and I realized that it just wasn't normal for Monkey to have bled so much. By the time all was said and done, it was 2 hours before her little finger stopped bleeding!  I felt like I should definitely talk to her pediatrician about it and was thankful we had an appointment for her 4 month checkup in a few days.

I never in my wildest dreams, nightmares really, imagined what would come from such a simple cut on the tip of her finger.

To be continued... 

A Diagnosis For Monkey (Part 1)

It all started about 3 weeks ago.

Monkey and I were curled up in bed around 10pm.  Monkey was happily nursing in my lap while I alternated between cheering on Judge Judy and chatting with Sarge while he played his computer game.

Monkey has this new habit of exploring with her hands while she nurses and she's just recently taken to pinching. This particular night she was innocently pinching mommy while drinking her "milkie" when she managed to dig her teeny tiny, razor sharp nails into my skin, and it HURT!

So, right then and there I knew I needed to do something about it. It wasn't her fault her little nails were so sharp! I innocently asked Sarge to hand me the baby nail clippers off his nightstand. I'd trimmed them a couple times before with no mishaps so I didn't think this time would be any different.

clip, snip, clip, clip, clip - "YAY! Great job, Monkey! Those fingers are done... let's do your other hand now!"

And then it happened... her tiny little hand moved as those horrible mean clippers went in for the SNIP!

Sarge's face froze in horror, with a look that totally said "OUCH!!"
I dropped the clippers and mentally freaked out asking myself  "WHAT DID I JUST DO!?"
For a second, all I could do was look at Monkey and pray that it wouldn't hurt as bad I thought it did, but her face told me that it absolutely hurt more than anything she'd ever felt before and she was not ok with that!

It was so awful and it felt like we froze for hours and just stared at each other like "did that just happen?" but in reality, I'm sure it was only a matter of seconds before we were completely unfrozen and living the horror...

Monkey getting cuddles after getting her finger bandaged.
Feb 24, 2011
Her scream was piercing and unlike anything I'd ever heard come from her tiny little body before.  I instinctively scooped her up into my arms as I said "I'm sorry baby, I'm so sorry!" over and over and over, with tears rolling down my own cheeks... I yelled for a kleenex and when her tiny finger bled through that in a matter of seconds, I told my husband to grab a cloth wipe and I used that instead.

My EMT instincts told me to apply direct pressure and the bleeding would stop. I examined her finger and saw that it didn't look like it was too deep and should stop bleeding quickly, so I just quickly applied pressure and prayed for it to stop hurting so bad.

 The mommy part of me is so new that I was paralyzed at the fact that not only was my daughter hurt... it was MY fault!  I felt awful and just wanted the crying to stop because maybe it would mean the hurting had stopped as well. I got Monkey latched back on for more "milkies" and kept applying direct pressure to her sweet little finger. At least the crying stopped, but I still felt awful!

Minutes passed and it was still bleeding... How could something so small bleed so much?  After about 30 minutes I started to get really worried. I could rotate the cloth and a fresh spot would be filled with blood in seconds and it just wasn't slowing down at all!

I waited a little longer and decided that we needed some professional advice on how long this little finger should be bleeding. Sarge called the nurse advice line (thank you TriCare!) and they said it should have stopped after a max of 5-10 minutes and we needed to go to the ER as soon as possible because the cut could be deeper than we realized.

So, we bundled up our little Monkey and headed out for the ER. We got there around 11:15pm and were taken back really quickly.  The doctor came in and looked at the cut and said that luckily she wouldn't need stitches because the cut was so little, but we did need to get the bleeding to stop.  He decided to cauterize the cut and  place a bandage on her tiny finger to protect it and catch any more blood.  Once we were all done, he told us the usual "follow up with your pediatrician" speech.

I was totally relieved that it had finally stopped bleeding!  Except for a couple minutes of crying when it first happened, Monkey seemed to not really mind the whole adventure. She smiled and laughed at the nurses and doctors the whole time we were at the hospital, and as usual everyone "oooh'd and ahhhh'd" and told us how adorable she is.

When we got home and got settled back in bed for the night, my mind started going and I realized that it just wasn't normal for Monkey to have bled so much. By the time all was said and done, it was 2 hours before her little finger stopped bleeding!  I felt like I should definitely talk to her pediatrician about it and was thankful we had an appointment for her 4 month checkup in a few days.

I never in my wildest dreams, nightmares really, imagined what would come from such a simple cut on the tip of her finger.

To be continued... 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Changes



This blog is still a work in progress!
I'm hoping that I can do all the changes while still posting regularly, but you might notice a few things out of whack from time to time while I figure things out.


What's Changing?


New tabs - circled in purple!
If you look under the banner at the top you might notice there are some new tabs. When you click on these you just see the pages and a note that says "coming soon". I hope to fill the content on these pages over the next week or so, and will let you know when they are officially up and running!

Connect using these buttons!

On the right side of this blog you'll see several buttons.  The "F" is for my facebook fan page. "T" is for twitter. The envelope allows you to email me. The "V" will allow you to view our videos hosted on vimeo.com.  You can also choose to "follow" us using Google Friend Connect. I am currently debating whether or not I will keep this feature, but for now it's there so feel free to connect with us that way!  I will soon be adding a few more ways to connect, such as through RSS feeds and readers.

The change I am probably the MOST excited about is my new comment system. I hope this will be a better way to connect with my readers and it should also allow you to connect with each other better. This is the first post in which the new comment system will be visible so feel free to test it out!  You'll notice that there is a reply button next to your comment so that I, or anyone else reading, can easily reply to your comment. Comments will be "threaded" so that it is easier to follow the conversation.  In addition, you can log in using your twitter, facebook, or Open ID accounts which allows many more people to comment.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the changes you see on this blog, let me know!  You can either leave a comment on this post or email me at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com

Changes



This blog is still a work in progress!
I'm hoping that I can do all the changes while still posting regularly, but you might notice a few things out of whack from time to time while I figure things out.


What's Changing?


New tabs - circled in purple!
If you look under the banner at the top you might notice there are some new tabs. When you click on these you just see the pages and a note that says "coming soon". I hope to fill the content on these pages over the next week or so, and will let you know when they are officially up and running!

Connect using these buttons!

On the right side of this blog you'll see several buttons.  The "F" is for my facebook fan page. "T" is for twitter. The envelope allows you to email me. The "V" will allow you to view our videos hosted on vimeo.com.  You can also choose to "follow" us using Google Friend Connect. I am currently debating whether or not I will keep this feature, but for now it's there so feel free to connect with us that way!  I will soon be adding a few more ways to connect, such as through RSS feeds and readers.

The change I am probably the MOST excited about is my new comment system. I hope this will be a better way to connect with my readers and it should also allow you to connect with each other better. This is the first post in which the new comment system will be visible so feel free to test it out!  You'll notice that there is a reply button next to your comment so that I, or anyone else reading, can easily reply to your comment. Comments will be "threaded" so that it is easier to follow the conversation.  In addition, you can log in using your twitter, facebook, or Open ID accounts which allows many more people to comment.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the changes you see on this blog, let me know!  You can either leave a comment on this post or email me at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patricks Day - 2011

St Patricks Day 2011 

It looks like I spoke too soon about us all being on the mend!
This sickness just isn't done with us yet.

Sarge was even sent home sick from work today and put on "quarters" until Monday!
We spent our St Patricks Day mostly in bed, emptying the DVR.
I had planned to at least attempt something fun for dinner... but Sarge picked up pizza instead.
We did manage to sneak in a quick craft with Monkey...
She really wasn't too amused that we smothered her hands and feet in green paint!
We decided to save the photo shoot we had planned today for a day when we all feel better.
Monkey did manage to sport a couple green cloth diapers today!
To top off our green celebrations? I think we'll have a bowl or two of green jello before bed!

How did you spend your St Patricks Day 2011?

St Patricks Day - 2011

St Patricks Day 2011 

It looks like I spoke too soon about us all being on the mend!
This sickness just isn't done with us yet.

Sarge was even sent home sick from work today and put on "quarters" until Monday!
We spent our St Patricks Day mostly in bed, emptying the DVR.
I had planned to at least attempt something fun for dinner... but Sarge picked up pizza instead.
We did manage to sneak in a quick craft with Monkey...
She really wasn't too amused that we smothered her hands and feet in green paint!
We decided to save the photo shoot we had planned today for a day when we all feel better.
Monkey did manage to sport a couple green cloth diapers today!
To top off our green celebrations? I think we'll have a bowl or two of green jello before bed!

How did you spend your St Patricks Day 2011?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the mend



After almost an entire week of being completely down with this silly flu and pneumonia combo, I am relieved to say that I think Monkey and I are on the mend. It appears that Sarge has successfully avoided getting sick, which is to be mostly expected since he seems to have an immune system of steel!  Thank goodness he was home and was able to take a few days of leave to help take care of us. It really made me appreciate having him here to help me co-parent. He was able to take the baby and keep her mostly away from me so she didn't get sicker, and just brought her to me for quick cuddles, nursing, and a few diaper changes.   It also made me a little worried about what will happen if I get that sick again while he is deployed... I guess we will cross that bridge if we come to it, and in the meantime we will just pray it doesn't happen!



Unfortunately, being sick meant we had to miss out on several deployment preparation days. Deployment #2 is coming up incredibly quickly! Everything around here literally came to a screeching halt while we were sick and I now feel so behind! Luckily I made a list a few weeks ago and have started organizing things so now we just have to do them!  I thought it might be helpful to do a few posts about things that help me through a deployment.  So, stay tuned for:

  • My Deployment binder
  • Packing for deployment - guest post from Sarge!
  • Flat Daddy Project - with information on how to get a FREE Flat Daddy for your kiddo!
  • POA's fast and easy
  • OP Love & deployment gifts
  • Helping your kids cope with deployment - with a special giveaway!
If you're a military spouse and you have any tips on coping with deployment that you'd like to share please feel free to email me at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com!  I'll compile a list and share it here on the blog in the next few weeks.

If you're not military, please stick around!  Aside from deployment, I'll be talking about all the other stuff going on in our life too. I'm especially excited to share about a recent cross country trip we took with Monkey. We left home when she was 1.5 months old and about 8,000 miles in 30 days later we returned when she was 3 months old! It was quite the adventure!

Ah for now, I think it's time for Monkey bathtime and nighttime snuggles! 

On the mend



After almost an entire week of being completely down with this silly flu and pneumonia combo, I am relieved to say that I think Monkey and I are on the mend. It appears that Sarge has successfully avoided getting sick, which is to be mostly expected since he seems to have an immune system of steel!  Thank goodness he was home and was able to take a few days of leave to help take care of us. It really made me appreciate having him here to help me co-parent. He was able to take the baby and keep her mostly away from me so she didn't get sicker, and just brought her to me for quick cuddles, nursing, and a few diaper changes.   It also made me a little worried about what will happen if I get that sick again while he is deployed... I guess we will cross that bridge if we come to it, and in the meantime we will just pray it doesn't happen!



Unfortunately, being sick meant we had to miss out on several deployment preparation days. Deployment #2 is coming up incredibly quickly! Everything around here literally came to a screeching halt while we were sick and I now feel so behind! Luckily I made a list a few weeks ago and have started organizing things so now we just have to do them!  I thought it might be helpful to do a few posts about things that help me through a deployment.  So, stay tuned for:

  • My Deployment binder
  • Packing for deployment - guest post from Sarge!
  • Flat Daddy Project - with information on how to get a FREE Flat Daddy for your kiddo!
  • POA's fast and easy
  • OP Love & deployment gifts
  • Helping your kids cope with deployment - with a special giveaway!
If you're a military spouse and you have any tips on coping with deployment that you'd like to share please feel free to email me at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com!  I'll compile a list and share it here on the blog in the next few weeks.

If you're not military, please stick around!  Aside from deployment, I'll be talking about all the other stuff going on in our life too. I'm especially excited to share about a recent cross country trip we took with Monkey. We left home when she was 1.5 months old and about 8,000 miles in 30 days later we returned when she was 3 months old! It was quite the adventure!

Ah for now, I think it's time for Monkey bathtime and nighttime snuggles! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Giveaway #1 - Winner


The winner of the $25 Amazon giftcard is...


Congratulations TheKinglands!
She has chosen to donate her giftcard to The Bundy Family

Thanks for entering everyone!
 I have some more exciting giveaways coming up very soon!

Giveaway #1 - Winner


The winner of the $25 Amazon giftcard is...


Congratulations TheKinglands!
She has chosen to donate her giftcard to The Bundy Family

Thanks for entering everyone!
 I have some more exciting giveaways coming up very soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sick - Giveaway!

Monkey and I are currently under the weather. The urgent care verdict this morning was influenza b for both of us with an extra side of pneumonia for me. The Sarge has been delegated the task of taking care of us while we spend our days and nights soaking up the steam from hot showers, trying to be humidified, encouraging the powers of breastmilk to work their magic, and dreaming of the day we will feel good again!

So while we're doing that, how about a giveaway?

Amazon is amazing... it's as simple as that!


The Details:
This giveaway is for a $25 e-gift card good on Amazon.com.
It will be delivered to the winners email after the giveaway is over
OR
the giftcard may also be donated to one of the families (your choice) I blogged about recently.
This prize is being given away by me, personally, not a sponsor. 
I earned this gift card by using Swagbucks.


The Rules:
Winner will be chosen by random.org
Each entry requires a separate comment. Include a link/facebook or twitter name if applicable.
Winner has 48 hours to contact me by email at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com or the card will be donated.
Contest ends at midnight CST on 03/15/2011


Mandatory Entry - pick one mandatory
Tell me your go-to remedies when you or your kids are sick
OR
If you'd want to donate the giftcard, tell me which family and why (families listed here)


Bonus Entries:
Fan my blog page on Facebook, comment telling me you did (leave fb name)
Follow me on Twitter, comment telling me you did (leave twitter name)
Follow me using networked blogs (widget at bottom of blog)
Blog about this giveaway and post a link with your comment
Tweet about this giveaway and post a link with your comment
Sign up for swagbucks using my referral link - Swagbucks, comment telling me you did (leave swagbuck ID)

Sick - Giveaway!

Monkey and I are currently under the weather. The urgent care verdict this morning was influenza b for both of us with an extra side of pneumonia for me. The Sarge has been delegated the task of taking care of us while we spend our days and nights soaking up the steam from hot showers, trying to be humidified, encouraging the powers of breastmilk to work their magic, and dreaming of the day we will feel good again!

So while we're doing that, how about a giveaway?

Amazon is amazing... it's as simple as that!


The Details:
This giveaway is for a $25 e-gift card good on Amazon.com.
It will be delivered to the winners email after the giveaway is over
OR
the giftcard may also be donated to one of the families (your choice) I blogged about recently.
This prize is being given away by me, personally, not a sponsor. 
I earned this gift card by using Swagbucks.


The Rules:
Winner will be chosen by random.org
Each entry requires a separate comment. Include a link/facebook or twitter name if applicable.
Winner has 48 hours to contact me by email at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com or the card will be donated.
Contest ends at midnight CST on 03/15/2011


Mandatory Entry - pick one mandatory
Tell me your go-to remedies when you or your kids are sick
OR
If you'd want to donate the giftcard, tell me which family and why (families listed here)


Bonus Entries:
Fan my blog page on Facebook, comment telling me you did (leave fb name)
Follow me on Twitter, comment telling me you did (leave twitter name)
Follow me using networked blogs (widget at bottom of blog)
Blog about this giveaway and post a link with your comment
Tweet about this giveaway and post a link with your comment
Sign up for swagbucks using my referral link - Swagbucks, comment telling me you did (leave swagbuck ID)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Heavy Heart

It's a complete understatement to say that it's been a rough week.  As much as I've tried to keep it together, it's been impossible. To be honest, I've not done much other than hold my baby as close as possible and enjoy her. She's only going to be this little for a short time and I am so incredibly lucky to have her.



Today is sweet Mason's funeral. If you can't be there in person to show support to this wonderful family and you want to do something - we are wearing yellow today. In addition, we are releasing baby blue balloons or blowing bubbles to Heaven for Mason.  You can also light a candle in his name and make a sign showing your support.  Please send photos to raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com so a slideshow can be put together for the Bundy family. They appreciate all the support they are getting from all over. You can find more information about support this family here. Please consider making a donation to help this family with expenses they are now facing during this tragic time.



Click here to lend your support to: Mason
  


Sweet Logan and I - January 2011

Tuesday night, one of my best friends had to rush her 2 yr old son, Logan, to the hospital by ambulance. His mom, Tiffany, was doing his catheter when he started jerking and shaking.  He then started gagging, turned blue and stopped breathing.  I can only imagine how scary this must have been.  Thank goodness his mommy acted quickly to get him help. He is now hospitalized, awake and alert, and is being treated for a bad kidney infection. Logan is such a sweet boy and I just wish so much that there was more we could do for him.  If you'd like to read more about his story you can do so here Logan Blake or at Tiffany's blog Growing from the Obstacles. If you would like to send a card to show your support to Logan and his family, please let me know and I will make arrangements to get it to them. Logan loves Mickey Mouse and he also has a very sweet 4 year old brother, named Alex who loves superheroes and dinosaurs.








Baby Stephen
In addition to the two families above, I learned this week of a fellow military family who are struggling to get help for their little boy.  Their sweet little boy Stephen has extreme troubles with GERD. I don't know all the details of his story, but you can read more about him on the blog that his mother keeps here http://tlithaqum.blogspot.com/. I have just learned from their Facebook page that Stephen is currently in surgery to have a G-tube placed. They are trying to hard to raise funding to get their little boy the medical treatment that will help him grow up to be big and strong. You can read about the wish his mom made at Wish Upon A Hero




My heart is also heavy for selfish reasons today. I am leaving very shortly to take my own Monkey to  be seen by a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital. I am not prepared to share the details yet, but after you are done praying for the two families mentioned above please say one for Monkey today. I will update when I know details.


A very sweet and dear friend of mine offered words of comfort to me this morning."God's still there, still loving you, still doing what's best for you even if you have no idea what the purpose is.  Even Jesus asked why God had forsaken him on his darkest day, but God was there. Just remember that. Even Jesus, who was perfect, had a moment of doubt. And then God gave him a miracle. Just be still and let God be God."


I wish I could save the world from all the pain and suffering... but I know that only God is capable of such a great miracle. I don't understand why the people I love so much are hurting so badly right now, but I know God does so I am trying to turn my eyes to Him and have faith that His plans are for good. Somehow, these events will be a blessing even if we don't see it right now.


If you'd like to leave a message of support for either one of the families mentioned above, please feel free to do so in the comments below. I will personally make sure that the families are able to view your comments. You may or may not know them personally, but they are wonderful people in my world and I know support from anywhere means the world to them and to me.


** Please excuse the formatting issues on this post. The technical team is looking into the problem.  Thanks! **

Heavy Heart

It's a complete understatement to say that it's been a rough week.  As much as I've tried to keep it together, it's been impossible. To be honest, I've not done much other than hold my baby as close as possible and enjoy her. She's only going to be this little for a short time and I am so incredibly lucky to have her.



Today is sweet Mason's funeral. If you can't be there in person to show support to this wonderful family and you want to do something - we are wearing yellow today. In addition, we are releasing baby blue balloons or blowing bubbles to Heaven for Mason.  You can also light a candle in his name and make a sign showing your support.  Please send photos to raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com so a slideshow can be put together for the Bundy family. They appreciate all the support they are getting from all over. You can find more information about support this family here. Please consider making a donation to help this family with expenses they are now facing during this tragic time.



Click here to lend your support to: Mason
  


Sweet Logan and I - January 2011

Tuesday night, one of my best friends had to rush her 2 yr old son, Logan, to the hospital by ambulance. His mom, Tiffany, was doing his catheter when he started jerking and shaking.  He then started gagging, turned blue and stopped breathing.  I can only imagine how scary this must have been.  Thank goodness his mommy acted quickly to get him help. He is now hospitalized, awake and alert, and is being treated for a bad kidney infection. Logan is such a sweet boy and I just wish so much that there was more we could do for him.  If you'd like to read more about his story you can do so here Logan Blake or at Tiffany's blog Growing from the Obstacles. If you would like to send a card to show your support to Logan and his family, please let me know and I will make arrangements to get it to them. Logan loves Mickey Mouse and he also has a very sweet 4 year old brother, named Alex who loves superheroes and dinosaurs.








Baby Stephen
In addition to the two families above, I learned this week of a fellow military family who are struggling to get help for their little boy.  Their sweet little boy Stephen has extreme troubles with GERD. I don't know all the details of his story, but you can read more about him on the blog that his mother keeps here http://tlithaqum.blogspot.com/. I have just learned from their Facebook page that Stephen is currently in surgery to have a G-tube placed. They are trying to hard to raise funding to get their little boy the medical treatment that will help him grow up to be big and strong. You can read about the wish his mom made at Wish Upon A Hero




My heart is also heavy for selfish reasons today. I am leaving very shortly to take my own Monkey to  be seen by a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital. I am not prepared to share the details yet, but after you are done praying for the two families mentioned above please say one for Monkey today. I will update when I know details.


A very sweet and dear friend of mine offered words of comfort to me this morning."God's still there, still loving you, still doing what's best for you even if you have no idea what the purpose is.  Even Jesus asked why God had forsaken him on his darkest day, but God was there. Just remember that. Even Jesus, who was perfect, had a moment of doubt. And then God gave him a miracle. Just be still and let God be God."


I wish I could save the world from all the pain and suffering... but I know that only God is capable of such a great miracle. I don't understand why the people I love so much are hurting so badly right now, but I know God does so I am trying to turn my eyes to Him and have faith that His plans are for good. Somehow, these events will be a blessing even if we don't see it right now.


If you'd like to leave a message of support for either one of the families mentioned above, please feel free to do so in the comments below. I will personally make sure that the families are able to view your comments. You may or may not know them personally, but they are wonderful people in my world and I know support from anywhere means the world to them and to me.


** Please excuse the formatting issues on this post. The technical team is looking into the problem.  Thanks! **

Monday, March 7, 2011

Precious Child

Oh I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love
- Angels Among Us, Alabama

The last several days have been incredibly difficult ones and I just haven't been able to find words to describe how I feel about all that is happening.  I'm really not sure I have them still, but I find myself needing to try.

I posted this blog on Friday afternoon after receiving some difficult news. Several hours later, I learned that a very dear friend was experiencing a tragic loss that has absolutely shocked me and burdened my heart beyond what I knew possible.

As I posted yesterday, my friend Kari went to check on her 4 month old son Mason and found him cold, blue and unresponsive. Everything possible was done but sweet Mason went to be with Jesus on March 5, 2011.  He leaves behind his loving mom and dad as well as two big sisters, grandparents, god parents and countless other friends and relatives.

While the last few days have been devastating it has been amazing to see the outpouring of love and support for this family in their time of grief. There are so many people, from all over the world, loving on, praying for, and supporting this family. 

Kari is an amazing mother and friend. While I have never met Kari in person she has been a friend of mine for many years. We met while blogging together on Xanga and our friendship carried over to Facebook. When I developed HG during my pregnancy, she was so kind to share her knowledge and insight with me. She constantly checked on me to see how I was holding up. Later, she helped educate me on all things cloth diapers. If I ever had a breastfeeding question, well she was always there for that too.  No matter what it is, Kari has been there with a listening ear and a compassionate shoulder to lean upon. It is not just my life that Kari has made a difference in, she has helped countless others from all walks of life.

Her son, Mason, was born early - just 5 days before my "Monkey" was also born prematurely. As I kiss my sweet baby's head and hold her closer to me than ever before, I am reminded that Kari's arms are missing her precious baby boy tonight.  I don't understand why this has happened. No one ever deserves to experience such a tragic loss, but especially someone as loving as Kari.

"Be still and know that I'm your God. 
Be still and know I'm in control. 
Of all the things that put you down, 
I put them there to show you that I am stronger than your struggles.
 I'm always going to be with you through it all."
- Author Unknown, paraphrase Psalm 46:10

If you can find it in your heart, I would urge you to help support this wonderful family.  You can do so in one or a few of the following ways...

1.) Give.  The burden of burying a loved one is a great one.  Even $1 would go a long way to help ease this family's financial burdens in their time of loss.
Click here to lend your support to: Mason

2.) Remember. Mason's funeral will take place on Thursday, March 10, 2011.  Those of us who are unable to be with the family on this day have planned to honor Mason in whatever way we can. His oldest sister, Ella (5 years old) is particularly excited about the idea of everyone sending a baby blue balloon to heaven on Thursday.  Other suggestions include: lighting a candle in Mason's honor, making a sign of support for the family, blowing bubbles to heaven for Mason.  If you choose to do any of these, please consider taking a photo and sending it to raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com to be included in a slideshow that will be given to the family. You can also join the facebook group for this event - Send a balloon to Heaven for Mason

3.) Cheer. Mason's big sisters are also grieving for their little brother. Ella is 5 years old and Lucy is just 1 year old. It is hard for a child to comprehend something that adults can't even begin to explain the reasons for. While it won't take away the pain they are feeling, the family would appreciate care packages to cheer up and distract the girls. They enjoy stickers, jewelry, and arts and crafts activities. If you would be willing to send a care package to the girls, please contact me at raisingmonkeyblog@gmail.com and I will provide details on how you can do so.

4.) Pray. Lastly, if you can do nothing else please keep this family in your prayers. They will need support not just in the difficult days ahead... but also in the weeks and months that follow these days. Time will go on, but Mason's memory will never be forgotten and neither will the impact that he has made on so many lives, especially those closest to him. Let the family know you are praying for them by joining the facebook group offering support - In Support Of Kari Bundy and Family

Kari,
Your precious angel has touched so many lives... many of whom you've never met.  We will continue to hold you and your family in our prayers as we hold Mason in our hearts. His time here, though way too brief, has touched so many. Please know, as you have always been there for me, I too am here for you whenever you may need someone. I only wish I could do so much more to ease your great pain. You and your sweet family are so very loved.  Rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus, sweet Mason.


In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
'Cause you are with me still


In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart



Precious Child - Karen Taylor Good