Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Attention Last Minute Shoppers!

If you still have a few more gifts to buy, click here for a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase at JC Penney! Or click here for $5 off of 5$ at Hallmark!

I'm trying to use as many coupons as possible this holiday season to save some bucks, so I thought I would share a few with you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Those Long Hallways

It was a year ago last week that Mark got into his accident. The day was Friday, December 12th. I had been Christmas shopping and preparing for our annual Christmas party we were to have that evening. I forgot my cellphone. So many frantic messages from Troy greeted me when I got home. I called him right away. It didn't look good, he said, and I needed to come right away. I immediately canceled any plans that we had for the rest of the day and headed to the hospital. It was a long, tear-filled journey. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. All I could think of was Angie and Nolan. What it would mean if we lost Mark...if they lost Mark. I continuously prayed for them as I drove toward the hospital and away from the setting sun. For Mark, his earthly journey ended just beyond those long hallways at Mission Hospital. For Angie and Nolan, their journey of life without Mark began just beyond those hallways. I know that life without Mark may seem very much like those long, seemingly never-ending hallways at Mission. This time of year is extremely hard for everyone who experienced loss with Mark, but especially Angie and Nolan. Please keep them in your prayers this holiday season. Please pray for comfort through this seemingly never-ending grief that they are experiencing. If you haven't visited it lately, Angie writes of how she is dealing with life this time of year at PrayfortheLamberths.com. Some other dates to keep Angie in your prayers are December 19th, which is what would have been their 11th wedding anniversary, and January 8th, the first anniversary of Mark's death. While you are lifting Angie and Nolan up in prayer, please keep it in mind to pray for the comfort of Mark's parents, Jimmy and Barb, and siblings, Matt, Amanda, and Amy. The Lamberth family has been through quite at bit this past year, but God has blessed them with enough strength and perseverance to get through it. I thank God for those daily blessings.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
-Matthew 5:4

I Apologize!

I must apologize if I have bored you, my dear readers (if there are any), with my lack of posting this month. It seems I am having trouble balancing posting photos and updates on Facebook and on my blog. Besides my mom, which I need to get signed up for Facebook, do I have any readers that aren't on Facebook as well? I have contemplated quitting my blog because I can update nearly everyone on Facebook. However, I love to write and I feel I still need that outlet. Although its rare that I get a creative inspiration to write, due to lack of sleep and time, I like that I have place, my own little place, to write whatever I need to write. And I suppose it really doesn't matter if anyone reads it or not because that isn't my purpose. The purpose of this blog has become to write about my life in a more creative way. I am sure those faithful readers...my two aunts...appreciate any post with photos of Madelyn and Jackson, though! I'm am going to make an effort to make the postings on this blog different than the generic postings of photos on Facebook. And so without further ado, here are some more blog posts...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Its Hip to Save

Have you all heard of this blog? My good friend Tiff told me about it last week and since then, I have snagged some pretty sweet deals. Unbelievable deals, actually! Check it out! http://hip2save.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big Little Helper

Jackson got a lawn mower and a vacuum cleaner for his birthday. He was very excited to help Daddy mow the lawn the other day. It made for some adorable photos! Jackson also helped me vacuum the house the other day. I love that he loves to help us...and I hope that attitude lasts through adulthood!

Madelyn @ 3 Months

It is hard to believe that 14 weeks ago today, I gave birth to this precious little girl. She has grown so much since then, weighing in at about 12 1/2 lbs and about 22 inches long. She has been smiling and cooing for a while. I love the way she interacts with me and the way I can keep her attention in "conversation" for quite a while. She is hanging on to toys now. She likes to chew on soft toys, so her favorite is to chew on a stuffed rabbit toy's ear. Its amazing to see her personality come out already. If she is left alone in the swing for more than a few minutes (she can't hear or see anyone), she will let out load noises until someone pays attention to her. But, if I am in the same room with her in the swing, she will sit their happily (if she is changed and fed). She is a happy baby! She is very similar to Jackson in that way. Even though they both were a bit fussy at night often (due to gas probably), Jackson and Madelyn both were happy babies. Jackson still is a very happy boy.
Speaking of Jackson...he loves his baby sister so much! He constantly tells me, "She's so cute, Mommy!" and if we are going somewhere, he makes sure to ask, "Madelyn's going too, Mommy?" She loves him as well. When he comes into the room, she lights up and sometimes smiles and waves her arms and legs in excitement. I hope they are always this excited about eat other!After three months, I finally got Madelyn's room finished, aside from a curtain and a light I need to hang up!
Oh...and if you are wondering, she isn't sleeping through the night yet. Everybody seems to ask that question. We still are waiting for that to happen. She has a routine and goes to sleep on her own at night, which is a start. She still feeds twice a night, though. That time will come...soon...I hope!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Transitions come quite often in a two-year-old's life---especially in my two-year-old's life. A few months ago, he moved to a new house, his daddy got a new job (and a new schedule), and he got a new baby sister. A month ago, he started to process of potty training. Just this week, we made one more transition, as if he hadn't had enough! Although, this change seems to be a good one so far. We put up his fire engine bed and took him out of his crib. He absolutely loves sleeping in this bed! For the most part, it has been a bit easier to put him down for naps and bedtime in it. The first couple nights were hard because he was just really excited about it. But, after threatening to make him sleep in his crib (which I have kept up in his room to illustrate my threat), he settles down and goes to sleep. When he woke up in his bed the first morning he slept in it, he exclaimed, "I DID IT!" He was so proud that he slept in his "Big Boy Bed" all by himself. This bed was given to us by our friends from church. All of their kids used it as well. I am thankful for this bed because it made the tradition into a "Big Boy Bed" just a little bit easier!

I am a mom.

As I looked at Madelyn's big, almost blue eyes staring back at me yesterday, I marveled at the fact that I am a mom. I mean, when in the world did that happen? I remember people telling me when I was pregnant with Jackson, "Oh, this is your first? Once you have kids, your life is over!" I would beg to differ with that statement. My life isn't over now that I have kids. I've just started a new chapter. Sure, I can no longer expect a full eight hours of pure sleep. I can't go to the restroom without a little boy following me to the toilet and asking, "Mommy, watcha do'in?" But, I have these two precious little people in my life who I love unconditionally, and they love me right back. I have a little boy who will walk into the room just to tell me he loves me. And a little girl whose bright eyes and big smile light up my whole day. My husband and I are responsible for raising these two individuals up in a way that glorifies God. It is up to us to teach them about life, death, sin, repentance, Christ, truth...the list goes on! What an amazing opportunity we have! So, the next time I have to clean poop off of Jackson's body, the floor, and the couch (yes...that actually happened today!), or Madelyn wakes up every couple hours through the night, I want to strive to focus on the opportunity God has blessed me with. I'm sure it won't make those difficult moments in motherhood any easier, but it will help to keep that purpose in mind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homemade Spiced Applesauce

A trip to Oak Glen this weekend resulted in a 5 dollar bag of grainy, somewhat mushy Arkansas Black apples. Although I was disappointed, and after I chucked two whole apples in the trash can, I was determined to do something with the rest. What can you do with a bunch of bad apples? I decided to make some applesauce. Here is the recipe I came up with, and, if I may say so myself, this is an extremely tasty and easy recipe!

2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup (NOT THE FAKE STUFF!!!)
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
5-10 Apples (5 big or 10 small), peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup 100% Apple Juice
Cooking Spray

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add apples. Add apple juice. Add all spices. Add Maple Syrup and vanilla. Heat until apples are very, very soft, stirring often. Turn off heat. Mash slightly with a potato masher. Don't over mash...make sure there are still some chunks in the apple sauce. Enjoy warm or chill for a cold treat! Serves 6.

Oh, and one more tip: If you want to make some YUMMY apple cinnamon oatmeal, just add 1/2 cup applesauce to 1/2 cup plain instant oatmeal and 1 cup water. Add 1 more tablespoon of Maple Syrup and 1/2 a teaspoon more of Ground Cinnamon. Stir. Heat in the microwave for 4 minutes. Stir again. Serve with cold milk. Makes about 4 servings.

Jackson's 2nd Birthday

Saturday was a big day for our little boy. He turned two. And, as excited as a little boy could be, his parents were even more so because this was the first birthday that Jackson understood what was going on!
We had a full day of celebration. Most of the family went up to Oak Glen to the Hawk's Head Public House, a restaurant on Riley's Farms (the ORIGNIAL Riley's---not the one next to it that split off to get business on Sundays). Jackson had so much fun playing with his cousins on the grounds of Riley's. There was a bridge to cross, which provided a really good photo spot, and also a little pond with a dock. There were a bunch of walking sticks that the boys used as pretend riffles, and a whole lot of grass to roll in. We bought a big pumpkin for a dollar there and a bad batch of apples for 5 dollars. Of course, we wouldn't have bought them if we knew they were bad (more on that later...).
Next, we headed back to our house for some pizza, presents, and cake. It was great fun to watch Jackson's expressions as he opened all his gifts. By the way, I seriously don't think I could fit anymore toys in my house! He is truly a blessed little boy and has no shortage of toys and books! Jackson looked forward to blowing out his candles on his "Happy Cake" (as he called birthday cake....isn't that adorable?), and when it came time to do it, he was so excited! When he blew, though, he couldn't quite get enough air out to actually blow out the candles. It somehow took the help of his daddy and all his cousins to get the job done!
At the end of the day, we had a living room full of new toys and other gifts, a 1/2 eaten Costco cake, cold pizza in the oven, and a very tired, but extremely happy 2-year-old boy!
The Hawk's Head had really good apple cider. We ordered Jackson a child size and it came in this cute mug with the ABC's on it!
Jackson wasn't too sure about a man wearing knickers singing happy birthday to him. I can't say I blame him.
Troy and I with the birthday boy!
Jackson and his cousins!
Jackson was very impressed with all the leaves on the ground.
How do all boys like pretending that sticks are guns?
Our Family @ Oak Glen
The Family @ Oak Glen
...and again in front of the Hawk's Head Public House/ Chesterfield Colonial House.
Jackson opens David and Robyn's gift...a blow up Lightning McQueen bed, which he slept in that night!
Jackson opens a gift from Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Tim...a Mega Bloks fire truck. He is all about fire trucks right now!
Jackson gets some assistance with blowing out his candles.
The End.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Little Sunshine

Madelyn has been smiling for a few weeks now. Her smiles melt my heart! I thought I would share some smiles so they could melt yours!

Oh, and one more thing...

Friday, November 6, 2009

A star was born...

Two years ago today I was in labor with Jackson. I can't believe its been that long! Time seriously flies by! I love this little boy so much! Happy Birthday, Jackson Thomas!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Old Favorite

For those of you who have requested it, I am re-posting this delicious recipe. It is healthy and perfect for the fall! Enjoy!

White Bean Chicken Chili

In an effort to make Troy low cholesterol, low fat meals, I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com and I tweaked it a bit for more taste. I thought some of you would be interested in this recipe, seeing as it is healthy! (Note: Even the garnish can be healthier, with low fat cheese and Reduced Fat Daisy Sour Cream) I made it for my husband and a few friends and we all loved it. Click on the recipe card to make it bigger. You can even print the card out to add to your own recipe collection. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Creative Food Attempt

This morning I made Jackson some Mickey Mouse shaped toast with fruit for breakfast, and, guess what? He ate it...well, most of it! All that is left was the ears and the bananas on the ears. I used two different sized biscuit cutters to make Mickey and used apple slices and bananas to top it off. I put dried cranberries and Cheerios on the side so Jackson could make Mickey's face. He enjoyed it and so did I. Oh, and there were no painful pebbles in his diaper today! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Little Pear

As a mother, I can most definitely say that I get great joy out of my toddler eating fruit and veggies. I wish it was easy, though! One week Jackson will love green beans. The next week, he won't want anything to do with them. Last week, he loved this pear. I can't seem to get him to eat a pear this week. If he had a choice, Jackson would live on Chicken Dinos and fries, with fruit snacks on the side. Unfortunately, all that diet will get you is a few painful pebbles in a diaper...I'll spare you any of the other details. Do any of you mothers have any clever tips on how to get a picky and un-predictable toddler to eat his share of fruits and veggies? If so, I'd love to hear them, so don't be shy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Date Night

Last week, Troy and I got some much needed time alone. We left a sleeping baby girl and a fussy little boy (temporarily satisfied with a Happy Meal) at home with the in-laws and headed to Chick-fil-a and the movies. We sat in Chick-fil-a's outdoor seating. The mild fall night air was wonderful, and most importantly, it was peaceful. We had nice adult conversation over sandwiches, waffle fries and sweet tea (and a side salad, if you must know!).

Next, we went to see Julie & Julia. I haven't seen a movie in the theaters since "UP" at the end of May. Needless to say, I didn't want to waste my time on any bad movies. I was so glad we decided to see Julie & Julia! We really enjoyed ourselves, and I walked out of the theater feeling like cooking a really good roast and giving my husband big, long kiss. There was a lot of cooking and romance in the movie. It was a very pro-marriage movie. Julie & Julia showed the good, the not-so-good, and the simply realistic side of new and older marriages. And there wasn't any shortage of mouth-watering footage of good food!

Overall, Troy and I had a wonderful time to ourselves. I have seen the importance of alone time (aka without kid time) with my husband. I honestly can say that each time I go on a date with my hubby, I feel our love is a bit renewed and refreshed! I also discovered that going out without the kids renews my love for them as well. I come home from date nights feeling that I can handle the somewhat sleepless nights and extremely busy days with a little more sanity!

Oh, and by the way, does anybody have a good recipe for Beef Bourguignon?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Boy Potty

A few days ago, I bought Jackson a book called My Big Boy Potty by Joanna Cole. I read it to him twice, then asked him if he wanted to use his big boy potty. He said "Yes!" and ran off. Before I could catch up with him, he had pulled the stool to the toilet, lifted the seat, and was standing in front of it in position to go pee. I encouraged him to sit on his special potty seat and he did. We brought him books to read and toys to play with and he sat there for a little bit. The next thing we knew, he had gone potty in his potty chair! My little boy is growing up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Me and My Boy!

I always have the desire to spend time with Jackson. I don't get to spend every moment with him like I used to be able to. He watches more TV now than he ever has! I can't stand how it always works out that way. I want to be able to take care of Madelyn AND play with Jackson, read with Jackson, cuddle with Jackson....etc. I feel torn sometimes! I know that this is just a season, and it will get easier to balance the different roles of motherhood, but sometimes, I just miss my boy! I heard a mother at MOPS today talking about how she goes on "dates" with her little boy, so she can give him the attention he needs. Perhaps I can do that with Jackson. I am sure he misses being with just his mommy and his daddy as well. Although, he always includes Madelyn in everything. He always asks if Madelyn in coming. He is such a good big brother!

Desert Dinos!

On Saturday, we took Jackson to the dinosaurs out towards Palm Springs. You know, the ones in PeeWee Herman? He absolutely loved them! We were only able to stop by and take pictures, but we are definitely going to take Jackson back to explore the place a bit more. We got a great photo out of this trip, though!

I love him...

It has been exactly 5 years since Troy first told me that he loved me. I recently found an excerpt from my journal about how much I loved him, written a few weeks before we actually told each other, "I love you." It reads:

...There are so many things I love about him and I am going to attempt to list some of them. I love the way he holds me in his arms. I love the way he prays almost every time we say goodbye. He prays that above all, our relationship would glorify God. I love the way he calls me beautiful. I love the way he looks into my eyes as if nothing else exists at that moment. I love the way he desires to learn more about God. I love the way he puts his arm around me every chance he gets. I love the way we both can talk about our faults. I love him. I think I seriously do. And I think he loves me.

Reading this little bit out of my journal reminded me of how good it felt to be newly in love. The romance of it all is incredible, isn't it? It also was a challenge for me to cherish those same things about Troy---to not take them for granted. It may be five years and two kids later, but that love is still there, and it is stronger than the day we first said "I love you." I have to admit, though, I sometimes forget how nice it is to ALWAYS be able to hold Troy's hand in public, or for him to always be able to have his arms around me. That isn't possible, for the most part, with two kids in tow. I want to remember to take every opportunity I can to hold his hand or put my arm around him, even if it is just while sitting on the couch watching TV, or for a moment before we get the kids out of the car.

I will also admit that I think I can get into a rut of saying "I love you." I will say it, and I mean it, but I may not think about it because saying that to Troy now comes so naturally. So, tonight, when Troy gets home from work, I am going to look him in the eyes, like nothing else exists ---no kids, no chores, no to-do list, just him and I---just for a moment, and tell him wholeheartedly that I love him.

The Tradition of Disneyland

At just 5 1/2 weeks old, Madelyn made her way to Disneyland. We took Jackson when he was 6 weeks old. For Troy and I, it was a time to escape to the life we knew before our life got really hectic a few months ago. Jackson had been asking to go for weeks! So, we made our way out to Disneyland on a Friday evening. We took note that we would never do that again in October. Everyone was into going because of all the Halloween decor and rides, but we aren't into that. It just made for a VERY crowded night. We also decided we are going to go during the day next time! We did get to ride one of Jackson's favorite rides...The Jungle Cruise. Madelyn didn't have a reaction yet, but someday very soon she will appreciate all the festivities of Disneyland!Our first family photo at Disneyland! It is right outside of the Jungle Cruise, if you can't tell!Jackson waits in line to ride the train. He loves the dinosaurs he gets to see on the ride!This is Jackson reading in the Baby Center at Disneyland. This was the first time I used this facility and I absolutely loved it! Troy was able to change Jackson's diaper while I nursed Madelyn. They have a private room for nursing mothers. On the other side of the wall is a play area with where Jackson and Troy read books while they waited for me to finish feeding Madelyn. I love when places make it easy to have a young family!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birth Story

Madelyn at 5 weeks old.

Okay. Here it is. Madelyn's Birth Story! It all started on a plan trip up to Sacramento. It was Troy's birthday and we were heading up there for his Grandma Edith's funeral. She had passed away a week earlier. On the plane trip up there, I got a headache. The next day, I still had the headache and tried everything I could to get rid of it. Never the less, my head was still throbbing. I had remembered that my midwife told me if I got a headache that wouldn't go away, I needed to see a doctor right away. So, after 30 hours of this headache, I decided I would go to the doctor, specifically, Labor and Delivery. Troy and I headed to a hospital in Roseville, just east of Sacramento. I was checked in and they started doing a bunch of tests for toxemia. The results were not looking good. My liver enzymes were high, my blood pressure was high, and my blood platelets were low. That was pretty much the equation of toxemia. The OB/GYN was talking of inducing me. WHAT?!?!! I couldn't have a baby 450 miles from home! Troy and I were worried. I was glad that there were a few other doctors there who insisted that they watch me overnight and re-take all the tests. They also gave me several very strong pain meds via IV to take my headache away. By the morning, all the tests came back normal but my liver enzymes. They let me go on the condition that I would go back to L & D if the headache came back. Phew! Close call! Troy and I decided to high-tale it out of Sacramento ASAP. We took the first flight we could get back home. The day after we flew back home, the headache came back. Like I promise, I went back to L & D...but this time, it was in Riverside. That was WAY more comforting! This time around, I did some more tests. I convinced them to send me home the next night, before the test results came in. My liver enzymes had elevated once more, but my blood pressure was normal. I just wanted to stay at home with my little boy! He wasn't liking all these nights away from his mommy! The doctors sent me home knowing that I had an appointment with my OB/GYN the next day. I woke up that morning with a headache again, but decided to try and get rid and it and wait for the appointment with my doctor. It was 4:30 by the time I saw her, and I have to let you know that I felt like CRUD. Pure CRUD. I had the headache still, but my muscles ached, and I just felt week. Well, you know, like crud. The doctor noticed that I looked like crud as well. She said she wouldn't let me go home without stopping by L & D. I knew the routine by now. I got more lab tests done and within a couple hours, I was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome...if you don't know what that is, read about it here. The doctor said we would have to induce. She also turned off the lights and the tv, and allowed me no visitors to avoid stimulation (which could have caused me to go into seizure). By 9:00 that night, I was hooked up to Plutocin and the process began. Twelve hours later, Madelyn's heart rate was going down every time I had a contraction. The doctor noticed I was dilated to 10, and asked me to push. Every time I pushed, Madelyn's heart rate nearly stopped. The doctor decided really quickly to get her our via cesarean-section. Hearing her heart rate nearly stop was extremely scary for me. I admit, I started to cry. They wheeled me into the operating room, and within a few minutes, they had Madelyn out of me. It was incredibly fast! Madelyn was born on August 26th at 9:38 a.m.
After the birth, I was put on Magnesium Sulfate, which has got to be the WORST drug you could possibly take. I am convinced of that! I was put on this drug for 24 hours to prevent me from going into seizure. That was worth it, of course, but the numerous side effects were absolutely horrible! I am glad that is over with! And, I have a beautiful baby girl to show for it! :)

Troy's Birthday

On Troy's Birthday, we went to Disneyland really, really quickly to snag the free money they give on birthdays. What a great deal! We rode the train and then left to catch our flight to Sacramento. Jackson liked most of the train ride, but got scared on some parts (which explains the look he has on his face in the photo below!). I was 35 weeks pregnant on this trip.