Things I Would and Wouldn't Do Differently: Baby Gear & Such

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This weekend we took apart Firecracker's swing and stored it in the attic until we (hopefully) need to use it again.  She hasn't really used it much in the last three months, but we left it up "just in case" for a while.  Actually putting up something that was such an essential part of our lives, even if it was just for short time, got me to thinking what I would like to do differently if/when Child #2 is brought home from the hospital.  Also, I'm not getting any sort of payment from Fisher Price.  They just make awesome stuff for babies at decent prices.

~ Play mat / gym - I didn't think that Firecracker needed a play mat until she was a little older than newborn.  However, play mats help entertain babies so much and aid in that much needed tummy time.  Firecracker has always hated tummy time, now she just rolls over when I try to make her do it.  If I do this again, I'm going to make sure the baby spends plenty of time on his/ her tummy, and use a play mat to do it.  Firecracker has the Fisher Price Discover 'n Grow Kick & Play Piano Gym.  I got it for her when she was two months old, and she loved it from the start.  She had something to kick with those feet that were and are never still.  She doesn't use it much anymore, but I turned the piano to where she could play it while sitting up so maybe we'll get another month or two of use out of it.  Next time around, I would like to get the My Little Snugabunny Ultra Comfort Musical Gym.  It's bigger, has more to do with her hands, could probably take the place of the quilt we keep on the floor for Firecracker, and I love her Snugabunny swing.  I want to use all Snugabunny products next time around, if they still have them.

~ Sleeper - I didn't realize these existed until after Firecracker was born.  Honestly, it as a little overwhelming how many different things they make for babies to sleep in.  I knew that I didn't want a bassinet, and I definitely didn't want to start her sleeping with us, though I did want her in our room for the first couple of months.  We got a Pack 'n Play.  She slept fittfully in it for a couple of weeks, then we bought her swing.  We moved the Pack 'n Play to the living room, the swing in our room, and Firecracker slept in it there until she was two months old.  It was very comforting to hear her snoring at night, and it also reminded me to get up to wake her up for a bottle in the middle of the night, since she chose to sleep.  I would have liked to have had the swing in the living room though, because I think it would have been great to get her to nap.  Once Firecracker was past her two month shots, and I didn't have to wake her at night, we moved her and the swing to her room upstairs.  She slept there for about another month.  She's slept all night in her crib since then.

If I had it to do over, I would still have the pack 'n play, because we're taking it with us to Colorado.  We don't need to share a bed with her for a week, because we don't want her to get used to sleeping with us, and I don't think we can do it.  She likes to sprawl out in her bed and moves all over it at night.  I wouldn't have it set up all the time though, I don't think.  Instead, I would keep a My Little Snugabunny Rock 'N Play Sleeper in our room, but like I said, I didn't know they existed.  Like the swing, it's soft and snuggly and hugs the baby better than a flat surface.  They're great if a baby has reflux, which we didn't but still...  They're also more mobile and compact, so you can often put it right by the bed, and it's supposed to be easier to swaddle them than with the swing.

~ Bouncy Seat - My mom was determined to buy us a bassinet, and I really didn't want one.  So, I managed to talk her into buying a bouncy seat for us instead.  Now, by my third trimester, I really didn't care to shop anymore or to look things up online.  So, I didn't tell her what to buy.  The woman doesn't think there's another store beside Walmart, and she got us a nice, pink bouncy seat made by Bright Starts which did the job.  Actually she still sits in it while I shower every day, and used it to help her poop for months, even though she's been to heavy for it to bounce for a while.  However, because I like things to match, and our next child may have a Y chromosome, I would like to get the My Little Snugabunny Bouncer, because it seems a little better built, and I like the mobile on it rather than the toys on the Bright Starts bouncer.  Also, it gets better reviews.

~ Jumparoo - I love our jumparoo, and so does Firecracker.  My plan is to replace the swing in the living room with the jumparoo with the next kid.  Firecracker started using her jumparoo right about the time she stopped using the swing.  They don't have a Sungabunny jumparoo, but I did get one made by Fisher Price.  We have the Laugh & Learn Jumparoo, and Firecracker would stay in it all day if we let her.  She falls asleep in it constantly.  We got it when she was around three and a half months old, and she still loves it at just about six months old.  In fact, I'm using it to tire her before a nap as I type.

~ High Chair - We just got the high chair in the last month.  I let B pick it out, because he likes things that are well engineered.  He picked the Luv U Zoo EZ Clean High Chair.  I like it, because I can take the cover off the seat and run it in the washing machine and take the tray and run it in the dish washer, which I do at least once a week.  We could have gotten a nicer looking one, but honestly having one that's easy to clean and is safe is first priority.

~ Stroller / Car Seat - We have a Peg Perego that I think has actually been recalled recently.  I'm not worried about it though, because it's a recall due to parents not buckling their kids in the strollers, and the kids slid out and were strangled between the tray and the seat.  Why wouldn't you buckle in your kid?  Firecracker is the queen of arching her back and scooting out of things.  I can't imagine not buckling her in the seat.  Anyway, not all of their stuff is recalled, and it works great.  B and I both have a base in our vehicle.  You just snap the car seat into the base, and it also just snaps on the stroller.   We rarely put the carrier on the stroller now, because Firecracker can sit up.  The stroller is super easy to set up and tear down.  It's definitely worth the money.  Firecracker is about to outgrow the carrier, and we'll probably get this.

~ Sling / Carrier - When Firecracker was three weeks old, B had to spend a week in Texas.  I ran to Target and bought a Baby Bjorn ASAP, because she liked to be held so much then that my arms were so tired, and I couldn't do anything else.  Everyone needs SOMETHING, be it a sling or carrier to help hold baby when he/she is so little, because even the strongest arms get tired.  We still use the Bjorn now when playing outside with Lucy and Dory and sometimes when shopping or walking somewhere.

~ Baby Bath - We actually use a bath seat made by Summer instead of a bath tub.  Firecracker likes it too, because I put my handheld shower head on a low setting, and she takes showers.  The first one got mildewy, but it was cheap to replace.  I'm going to give it a month or so and see how she'll do sitting in the tub, now that she can sit on her own.

~ Boppy Pillow - I didn't get a boppy pillow at first, because I never planned on nursing.  However, I learned that the help with tummy time and bought one.  Now I use it to prop up Firecracker to help her sit on her own.  Dory also thinks it's a great pillow.  I will be using it much earlier next time.

~ Bumbo - Once Firecracker was able to hold up her own head well, it was good to put her in the Bumbo to build back strength.  Also, it's another great tool for pooping, and it's a good lawn chair, make-shift high chair, you name it.

~Routine - I didn't start this until Firecracker was about two months old, but with the next one, I will from the day we come home from the hospital.  After realizing that Firecracker (and I) badly needed a better routine, I found some information on the EASY method by the Baby Whisperer.  EASY stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You.  We started it with a three hour EASY, and she did great with it.  Now we're sort of on a four-hour one, though she only really naps a cat nap in the morning and maybe a good nap in the afternoon now.  Still yet, the method helps a great deal, and I learned my friend D used it with her son, McFly also.

Honestly, once you have the baby, whether or not something is cute or goes with your decor often matters less than if it's safe, functional, and easy to clean.  Being able to run things in the washing machine or the dish washer is very handy and very important.  I've been known to run the cover of our bouncy seat in the wash twice a day at times.

I hope I go back and remember these things if the time ever comes that we need to pull everything out of storage and start buying new things.  I hope I can remember why I want things a certain way after experience.  I also hope I may have helped some people get an idea of what they may and may not want when / if they have a baby.

Monday Randomosity

Monday, July 30, 2012

Just letting you know, I'll be playing the Gymboree Friday morning.   
  • While watching some part of Women's Gymnastics last night, I couldn't help but make note of how every time one of the Chinese girls messed up, a family member was probably tortured back home.
  • I'm seriously thinking of using a backpack as a diaper bag.  Diaper bags are soooooooo cumbersome!  I seriously hate the diaper bag we have.  It's a good bag for going overnight somewhere, but not to the store, to the park, or even to church really.  I mean, a bag is just a bag! Why can't I use one that's convenient?
  • Somehow our mailman managed to squeeze two pair of jeans, four sweaters, and a t-shirt from Old Navy into our mailbox with our regular mail today.  On a side note, I'm thrilled I didn't accidentally have it delivered to where I used to work.  I haven't ordered anything from there in a while, and didn't think that I might have had an old mailing address saved.  I did that at Christmas with some calendars I made from Apple, but managed to get FedEx to just hold the package at a FedEx store for me so I didn't have to harass my friends.  Now I still need to order about five more pair of jeans, a couple pair of shoes, and some sunglasses before our Colorado trip.
  • My friend D asked me if I was running out of things to entertain Firecracker with in this heat wave.  She suggested what she and her son, who I'll call McFly here, did.  They ran through the carwash.  They didn't run through the car wash, but ran their car, but you know what I meant.  This heat is really making life difficult for we SAHM's.  I'm actually looking forward to my optometrist appointment Thursday, and I'm not too unhappy that I need to make an appointment for my yearly GYN visit.  A little variety while having to be hermits due to the heat is good.  OK, my life isn't so pathetic that I'm actually looking forward to my yearly, but you know what I mean.  It's time for some cooler weather so we can do fun things outside again!  It's too hot to go anywhere, and I hate having to get poor Firecracker in and out of the heat.
  • I'm thinking of renting a camera lens to take on our upcoming trip to Colorado.  I have a good telephoto lens and a 24mm, but I would like to take a really good standard lens, because the kit lens that comes with cameras is ok, but not spectacular.  I know of people who've used, and I'm thinking of using them.
  • It's funny that the day we took down Firecracker's swing at home, she fell asleep in one at church.  Of course, the one at church was an old school type, and Firecracker's is a cradle swing. I guess it's just waiting on one more baby to rock some day... maybe.
  • I'm a side sleeper, and yesterday I ran into the stair bannister with my right arm, and last night I ran into our dresser with my left arm.  If it gets too painful, B may have to listen to ME snore for a change!
  • We bought our first Pamper's Cruisers diapers yesterday.  I really miss the wetness indicator that the Swaddlers had.  Why don't they have them on all Pamper's?  It's not like the kids stop getting wet, or else we wouldn't be buying diapers.
** Serious Note of the Day - It is becoming increasingly disturbing to me that so much hate is being directed at a certain group of people in the name of tolerance.  I never thought that I would see the time when I would be persecuted for practicing my own beliefs, yet we're coming to that today.  Why is it that those who scream tolerance and open mindedness seem to be those who are spewing the most hate these days?  What good does that do anyone?  Hate, thinly disguised as tolerance, is still hate, and those throwing the stones seem to be the ones who are truly guilty of it these days.

Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week: BBQ Olympic Dove Style

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

  • I said my piece regarding a current (non)controversy in the news this week.  Now that  I've said what I wanted to say, I'm not harping on it anymore.  Everyone else should as well.
  • Ten years with B, and neither of us has called it quits or killed the other.  I think we're on a roll.
  • There's no point in dressing Firecracker for church until we actually get to church.  She always poops a big, messy poop and needs her clothes changed on the drive to church.
  • When it rains, it pours at our house in regard to lack of sleep.  If Firecracker wakes us several times at  night, it won't be long (but just after Firecracker goes back to sleep) before a dog needs to potty outside.
  • I think the Olympics are always a great time to brush up on Geography, World History, and Current Events.  The nations you see walking one year, may not be the same ones you watch the next time.
  • I'm watching far more MSNBC than I have ever cared to do during the Olympics.  The whole Chris Matthews promo by Mount Rushmore...  it's not sending a thrill up my leg.
  • By the way, this whole time-delay thing really sucks in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.  I don't really like watching a swim meet hours after I know who won.  NBC needs to get with it and realize that especially on weekends, we want to watch events LIVE!
  • I think some of the names of countries were made up.
  • Although I loved the literary references of the opening ceremony, I was greatly underwhelmed.  Of course, a free country can't use hundreds of people like China did in '08, but it was very impressive, as was Vancouver in '10.

  • I learned that they no longer release real doves at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, because of a mishap in Seoul in '88 where the doves flew into the cauldron and caught on fire.  Jump to the 2:45 mark to see what I'm talking about.  Personally, I don't really remember the Seoul Olympics.  I remember Calgary and even Los Angeles fairly well, but I'm thinking that the fact that I got my first dog the summer of Seoul changed my priorities greatly.  Also, for some reason I'm thinking school had started by the time they came, and between a dog and thrid grade...  well BBQ doves probably didn't interest me much.
  • A Good Life

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Yesterday evening I was wearing my normal day to day garb of shorts and a t-shirt, no make-up, and my hair that badly needs cut (but why bother when it's so hot I always wear it up) in a pony tail while I was bent over on the living room floor, feverishly vacuuming rugs when B came home from work with roses and card in hand.  At first, I couldn't quite figure out why yesterday of all days he decided to bring me roses.  He waited on me to figure it out.  It didn't take too long though.

    Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of when we officially became a "couple."  I'll be honest and admit that I didn't remember the date, because I never really remembered it month to month when we were dating.   I was twenty-two years old and he was twenty.   I was just happy to have found someone I was quickly beginning to realize that I wanted to spend my life with.  In terms of life back home, I was quite honestly somewhat of an old maid.  Most of the people I had gone to high school with had already married at least once and had a kid or two.  I know, it seems funny to think of twenty-two as an old maid now, but things are a little different in small towns than they are where college and career come first.  Once we were married, it was more important to me to remember our wedding date.

    The flowers and the card were a nice surprise.  I'll be honest and admit that sometimes I feel a little invisible and taken for granted, because I am home all day now doing fairly hard, messy work and only get really cleaned up once or twice a week.

    This is the life I've always wanted though.  It gets tiring and sometimes monotonous, but I wouldn't want to be any other place.  I love being home with Firecracker.  I love being able to do the housework during the week so that we can spend weekends together as a family rather than playing catchup on laundry and cleaning.  I even love being home to comfort Lucy during daytime storms.

    Last night as I leaned over the sleeping Lucy who was cuddled up with B between us in bed, to kiss him goodnight, I realized that we've built a good life together over the past ten years.  Together ten years, married eight and a half years, we've lived in four different cities together.  We've had our share of fights, our share of sadness, our share of difficulties and frustrations, but all in all we've been blessed beyond measure.  With God's help we're happy and healthy, and I had to thank Him for the roof over our heads, the baby happily sprawled out in the crib upstairs, the dog on our feet and the one between us, and the dear, sweet man I'm blessed share all of this with.  Yep, it's a good life, and I can't wait to spend another ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years with him.

    Our engagement picture taked nine years ago.

    I Still Eat At Chick Fil-A

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    I may lose some friends (at least the social networking type) after posting this. I may garner some hateful comments. I may be called a great many horrible things, but I think that it would be wrong to idly sit by and not say something when I am witnessing what I believe to be a gross injustice.

    Chick Fil-A, a fast-food chicken eatery, has been under fire lately after the president of the company gave an interview to the Baptist Press. In it, he never said anything derogatory. He never called anyone anything hateful or slanderous. He just happily admitted that the company gives money to an organization that promotes traditional Christian family values. That is all he said. He certainly didn't use any of the hateful speech used by say, the Westboro Baptist Church while they picket soldiers' funerals or even other churches, or Bill Maher when he's discussing Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann in the most vulgar of terms. He didn't do anything like that. He just said that they are "very much in support of the traditional family." That's it. So now he's a gay hater, and the militant left wants to destroy his business. Here's an excerpt of his interview with the Baptist Press:

    The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation ( The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

    It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

    "That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.

    Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

    "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

    "We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

    "We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

    Apparently we don't live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles anymore. Had he said that they run the business under Sharia Law principles and contributed a substantial amount of their profits to al-Qaeda he would have received less flack. Now we have militant liberals wanting to stage protests at Chick Fil-A's, liberal city officials are hindering job growth by prohibiting Chick Fil-A from opening in their cities, and of course celebrities are boycotting the place and trying to influence we ignorant normal people to do the same. All the while, he never said that he hated gays or was anti-gay. He just said that his company supports the traditional Christian family?

    Since when has that been a bad thing? When did promoting a family where there's a married mom and dad in a healthy, loving relationship become bad? When? In promoting traditional families, no one's necessarily discrediting single parents or nontraditional families. They're just supporting what they prefer.

    I personally believe that the best environment for a kid to grow up in is one where there is a dad and a mom. I believe that they should be married, committed to a relationship with God and with each other. That said, I'm not saying that parents in non-traditional settings are bad parents. There are good and bad parents in all situations. One of the best moms I'll ever meet is a friend of mine whom I used to work with. She has raised her son from day one all by herself. She works her butt off to do it, but he's an awesome young man. I am in awe of all she has done and have even told her so once or twice.

    I don't think of myself as having been raised in a single-parent home, because until I was ten years old, I had a dad and a mom. The truth of it though is that after my dad died, I did have a single parent. In my case especially, I really missed having a dad to help with school projects, to teach me to drive, to scare boys, and just to talk to. Also, my dad kept my mom's crazy at bay. That's been running rampant for twenty-two years. I needed both parents. I made do with one, but would have loved to have had two.

    So, I still eat at Chick Fil-A. If I disagreed with what they were doing, I just wouldn't go there anymore. I wouldn't make other people feel like they shouldn't go there, or that they weren't safe or couldn't bring their kids there. That's each person's decision. If someone calls me ignorant or a hater, that's more their problem than mine, and they have their own prejudices to overcome. I think for myself and refuse to bow down to herd mentality influenced by biased, incorrect reporting in an alarmingly leftist media that is willing to make up anything in order to further their own agenda. Unfortunately most people probably haven't even read the article in the Baptist Press. They have listened second, third, fiftieth hand to what the real haters have been spewing. Personally, I like to know exactly why I'm angry about something, rather than have a celebrity or someone on The View tell me why I'm angry.

    If you agree with any of this, support Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1st. Just go eat there. That's all. Don't paint any signs or anything crazy. Just eat there.


    Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    It has been another crazy week at La Casa de NingĂșn Crujido.  B was out of town from early Monday morning until just about bedtime Wednesday night.  So of course that means several different things went on while he was gone.

    *  We waited on a plumber to come on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, and he finally came on Thursday.  I didn't quite know what to do with myself yesterday when I didn't have to wait on the plumber.  I developed a nasty sinus headache though, and napped while Firecracker napped.

    *  We went to see Drum Corp International with a friend and her daughter Tuesday night.  Firecracker decided after one performance to have a rare, complete meltdown.  We went home, she cried all the way home, even while I played "The Hot Dog Song" for her.  She was still cranky until her bath, then thankfully she was fine.

    * As I dressed her in her jammies, the electricity went out, and she only had two arms and no legs in her jammies yet.  I was happy that I had already diapered her.  She took the whole thing with stride, and I put her to bed.  She slept through Dory barking non stop, got hot, I brought her downstairs, and she stayed in the pack 'n play until the power came back.

    *  Among other things going on Tuesday, I got an email from the BlogHer Network, stating that a recent blog I had cross posted both here and there was going to be one of the featured blogs of that day.  It was my "8 Simple Rules for Visiting Your Adult Daughter (Or Son)."  It was edited some, title included, but four days later, it has been well read, and I've had a lot more positive feedback than negative.  I've even had at least one request to write one for moms visiting sons and fathers visiting daughters.  Unfortunately I don't have experience with fathers visiting adult daughters, because my Dad passed away when I was ten.  Fortunately, I have an awesome MIL who doesn't need such a list of rules.

    *  Yesterday we awoke to the news of the Aurora, CO movie theater shootings.  My thoughts and prayers of course go out to the victims and their families.  I'm waiting until we find out more about the shooter's plans and what went on in his apartment and his head to say much.  Though this person didn't suffer a sudden breakdown.  This was wel planned-out and sadistic.  I hope and pray that this person doesn't get off on a technicality.

    Beyond Our Understanding Part Two: The Things Unseen

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    On a Friday morning, not so long ago, Firecracker and I met a lifelong friend of mine and her little girl who is a few weeks younger than Firecracker at a Chick-Fil-A for breakfast and catching up together.  I don't know why we've never done it before, because we've both lived in the area for years, but this was the first time we had gotten together in ages.  I guess having two girls the same age and wanting them to be friends like we were was the best incentive to finally do it.

    While together, we did what most new moms do and old friends so.  We gossiped some about things back home.  Then we talked about our pregnancies, how we found out we were pregnant, and also how we both had suffered miscarriages:  she had two, I had one.  In discussing all of the above, she told me an interesting story.

    One night around a year ago, her then two-year-old son, we'll call him Little Precocious One, was saying his prayers before bed.  Like any child who is taught about God and how to pray, he prayed for his Mom and Dad, all of his grandparents, the family's pets, and his baby sister.  The thing is, he didn't have a baby sister that anyone knew of yet.

    My friend asked Little Precocious One what he meant by his baby sister.

    "My baby sister that's in your tummy," he told her with all the innocence that only a small child contains.  Then he said he had a baby sister in her tummy and he also had a brother and a sister in Heaven.

    Needless to say, she was astonished that he knew about the two miscarriages.  Even more amazing was when she sent her husband out for a pregnancy test, and she took it, it was positive.  Little Precocious One knew that she was pregnant before she did!  He even knew it was a baby sister, and they didn't find out the gender until her birth.

    I don't know how he knew these things, but he knew them with the childlike faith Jesus talks about in the Bible.  We, as jaded adults marred by sin, could never just know these things.  We would have to question them, and most of you reading this probably are questioning them, writing it off as childish fantasies.  We don't allow ourselves to have that kind of faith, and we don't allow God to talk to us the way He can with children.  We certainly don't stop over thinking everything to stop and listen.

    I believe that God speaks to children in ways He can't with us, because we don't allow Him to do so.  Our sins, our skepticism, our believing we always know right is a barrier blocking that intimacy with Him.  It makes me think of when God spoke to Samuel when he was still but a child.

    Once again, I must bring up one of my favorite Bible verses, Hebrews 11:1  "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen."  The faith of a child is the only faith strong and innocent enough to just believe enough to have that kind of knowledge and intimacy with God.

    Hearing Little Precocious One's story did assure me of hope and of what I already knew.  Heaven is a real place, and our little Glory Babies are there waiting on us.  I think about that book, "Heaven Is For Real" and though I wonder how much adults have added to the story to sell books, I know that little boy was in Heaven with Jesus, that he met his miscarried sister, and the great- grandfather who died 30 years before he was born.

    Just because we can't always wrap our heads around something completely, doesn't mean that it isn't real.  When life seems like nothing but heartache and turmoil, know that Heaven is real.  Be assured of the things unseen.  Take joy in them, and thank God for sweet innocents like Little Precocious One, who give us a glimpse into things beyond our understanding.

    I don't pretend to know what God's plan is, and why some things happen.  I do know that He does have a plan for all our lives.  The things we experience, the fires we must walk through, they prepare us to help someone else.  It's always a chain of events, hopefully making those of us still on Earth better people and helping lead others to the Lord.

    I want to share one final thought as well.  We mourn the time we don't get to spend with those we've lost, both young and old.  Yet, what we don't think about is how short a time it really is compared to spending all of eternity together in Heaven.  I may be sitting in my earthly home right now, where my comfy bed and couch are, but my real home is Heaven.  I just have loved ones making it especially homey for me.  I'll be happy getting glimpses of it from those who are innocent and faithful enough to see it when I can't.

    Beyond Our Understanding Part One: Glory Babies

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    This is a repost of one of the last posts on my old, now defunct blog.  It's from March 28 of this year, and I'm sharing it with you today because it ties in with a post I hope to have ready tomorrow and also one that I'll be posting near Labor Day.

    Today is the first birthday of a very special, very precious baby boy, Miller McNeil Woodruff.  Miller is the son of my friend and former coworker, Meredith.  Miller was diagnosed very early on with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and though he left us all only 87 days after his birth, he continues to touch the lives of many every day through The Miller McNeil Woodruff Foundation.

    I've learned that a great part of growing up isn't just getting married and having kids.  It's dealing with and growing from the difficult passages in life.  Child loss, whether it be at week eight of pregnancy like B and I endured two years ago, loss of a full term pregnancy at birth, loss in early infancy, or even loss later on is one of the hardest things any person can endure.  We each cope with the loss in our own way, and as friends we should always remember that there is no wrong way to do so, because life will never be as it was.

    In all honesty though, I don't know many people who would want life to go back exactly to how it had been.  I know for myself that though I went on about life in many ways after my miscarriage, little things like getting my hair cut or buying clothes just seemed so incredibly wrong.  While the rest of the world may  go on like normal, you have to find a new normal and it hurts when you feel that everyone has forgotten what you have lost.  Worse yet is when people who don't know what you've endured or are just thoughtless make assumptions about you and make hurtful comments.

    I'll never forget Miller, nor will I forget Eleanor, the baby girl born to two of my friends just hours before Firecracker, who passed away shortly after her birth.  So often we all take for granted that once a person gets pregnant that everything will be fine.  Things can happen at any point in a pregnancy, something might not develop properly, or genetics may play a very cruel role.  They, the baby we lost, the ones our best friends lost, and all the others are Glory Babies.

    Glory Baby is a term I learned from the Watermark song, "Glory Baby," a song written when the couple endured two painful miscarriages.  There are times when I can't stand to listen to it, because even though I have Firecracker now I think of the one I'll never know until I get to Heaven.  There are other times I listen to it and find great comfort in it, because it give some reassurance as well.

    I know that Miller had a birthday party today in Heaven that we can never even begin to imagine, and he gets to hear lullabies that are so beautiful in Heaven, as do all of our Glory Babies.  Those of us left here are the ones who need the comforting though.  So, whenever you see someone who is of the age to have children and doesn't, don't assume it's always by choice.  Please never make any curt comment about their not having children.  You never know what that person or that couple has gone through.  You never know the soul crushing hurt you may be unwittingly inflicting on them because there really is no pain like that.

    We're grown up now, and while we're somehow taught while growing up how to deal with the loss of people older than us and even our own age, there is nothing to prepare us for the loss of Glory Babies.  It's something that we can't wrap around in our heads.  We can't understand why the losses had to take place, it's just now getting to be something that isn't kept hidden, within the shadows of our lives to where we can talk about it.  For too long, those who have lost have had to suffer silently.  Remember the Glory Babies, and their parents.  Before you say something and make a crass assumption, know that behind every smile there is the possibility of an unknown hurt.  Also take comfort that there are no lullabies as beautiful as the ones sung in Heaven, because Heaven is a real place.

    Survival Mode

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    It's been a long night here at La Casa de NingĂșn Crujido.  B has been out of town since yesterday, and won't be back until tomorrow night some time.  Drum Corp. International was up in Bentonville, so I decided to meet a friend and watch with our girls.

    Firecracker liked it at first, but things quickly went downhill.  We only watched two performances, then cried the entire drive home.  This was AFTER she pooped ALL OVER her carseat, clothes, etc.  That's her in the front passenger seat of my car, in the middle of being cleaned and redressed in the parking lot of Bentonville High School.  It was also before her complete meltdown.

    Anyway, we didn't get to stay long, and she was grouchy off and on at home.  While dressing her in her jammies after her nightly bath, the power went out.  She had two arms in and no legs.  The only light in the house was from the ipod that had been playing in the dock on her dresser.  We used it to light our way downstairs.  It was time for Mama to get into survival mode.

    Thankfully, since the Great Ice Storm of '09, I keep an LED lantern plugged and charging in the living room.  I turned it on, and realized we still had Internet, because of battery backup.  I made a comment of Facebook and called B.  He suggested I walk outside, because just looking at the street light might not be a reliable sign that power wasn't just out at our house.  It was out everywhere.

    After that, I put Firecracker to bed upstairs, then reported our outage online.  Then my MIL called to graciously invite us to drive down and stay with them.  She even offered to drive all the way up here from Sebastian County to help me, but I declined unless it wasn't on tomorrow.  When I got off the phone with her, I realized that my phone battery was getting low.  This was soon going to be my only contact with the outside world, because I knew the battery backup for the computer stuff wasn't going to last forever.

    Finally my brain put two and two together, and I plugged my phone charger into the battery backup!  Then I decided to go to bed, because there was nothing else to do.

    Lucy and Dory don't like the dark quiet.  Lucy did OK, but she survived Ice Storm '09.  Dory wasn't born or adopted until the following fall.  She barked at every noise someone made.  Sleep wasn't really possible,  Then Firecracker started to get hot and fussy upstairs, so I brought her down to sleep in the pack 'n play in our room.

    By the time Dory woke us barking about the tenth time, I started praying really hard that the power would be restored SOON.  Thankfully it was.  I really don't like having to think in survival mode.  I like heat in the winter and air in the summer.

    The house is cooling off now, so I'm going to catch some Zzzzz's.


    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Remember a little while back I mentioned how I was planning on trying out a shower cleaning solution I saw on Pinterest but forgot to pick up one of the ingredients at the store?  Well, yesterday I had all of the ingredients and decided to give it a try.

    Just as the instructions I read told me, I poured a half-cup of blue Dawn dish detergent into a spray bottle, then nuked the same amount of vinegar in the microwave for two minutes before pouring it into the spray bottle as well.  No one on Pinterest ever mentioned that the spray bottle would melt when coming into contact with the hot vinegar, but mine did.  I'm guessing what I bought at Walmart had possibly been recycled one too many times?  I don't know.  The manufacture of plastic products isn't really one of my knowledge bases.

    I tried to salvage the experiment by using the little pink spray bottle that we used once upon a time to try and correct either Lucy or Dory.  The problem with that bottle was that it just sprayed a hard, direct jet - which was perfect for pet correction, not really for spreading a cleaning solution anywhere.  I accidentally sprayed some on the crown molding in B's bathroom while spritzing his shower and had to stand in a chair to clean that mess.

    So, I managed to spray a good amount in B's shower, and a great part of my house smelled like hot vinegar.  Then I let is sit like the instructions said to do.  I came back two hours later and tried to just wipe it up with all the soap scum like I was told I would be able to do.  It didn't quite work that way.

    After two hours, the solution rather hardened on the shower door and walls.  I had to pull out a scrub brush and even my old pals, The Scrubbing Bubbles, to clean up that mess.  So yes, B's shower did get very clean, though I don't know if the wonder solution from Pinterest helped get it clean in any way.

    Tune in next time for when I attempt to create hand-dandy storage space underneath our stairs!  (OK, that's not going to happen, but I will attempt something else on Pinterest eventually and share the experience here.)

    Lessons Learned and Other Random Things From This Week and the Previous One Too

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    Her Panties Were In a Wad

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    He put me in panties two sizes too small!
    Bear with me here.  This week has in many ways been a complete bust, and all three of us seem to be having a difficult time getting back to a normal routine after not having one last week because of the holiday and B taking off the rest of the week after the holiday.  Today for some reason, I am super, super tired and am tempted to curl up with Firecracker as she naps.  That doesn't happen very often.  Usually I'm busy catching up on things while she sleeps.  So anyway, my thoughts may not entirely be coherent.

    First things first, a couple of weeks ago I bought a giant box of Size 2 Pampers Swaddlers at Sam's Club,  knowing that Firecracker will likely move up to Size 3 and Cruisers by my next purchase.  Size 2 are supposed to work until the baby is up t 18 pounds, and she's hovering around 17 right now.

    So, last night while I was cooking supper, B and Firecracker were playing on the couch and watching TV, when B decided that Firecracker needed her diaper changed.  I heard quite a bit of screaming upstairs, but didn't think much of is, because Firecracker had been pretty moody yesterday.

    When they came back downstairs, B mentioned that we needed to get Firecracker some new diapers, because he had the hardest time getting hers on her.  He said that the tape was touching skin, the diaper was so small.  Being a little distracted, I didn't relish the thought that the box of 186 diapers I had just opened likely would be wasted.  I mentioned that we should take them to the church nursery, so they wouldn't go to waste and didn't think much more of it.  Firecracker was still grouchier than normal also.

    Later, as I was taking Firecracker upstairs for her bath, I looked over at the built-in desk we use as a changing table and saw the diapers I had cleaned out of her diaper bag because they were too small, that I had left next to her changing pad.

    I carried Firecracker back downstairs and asked B if had used a diaper from the box of diapers, or one of the ones on the changing table.  Of course he said that he had used one of the ones on the table.  The lightbulb above my head lit so brightly that it probably almost blew up.

    I placed Firecracker on the couch, thinking, hoping that he had just mistakenly used a Size 1 diaper on her.  I unsnapped her onsie, and looked at the front of the diaper.  There wasn't a "2" on it.  There wasn't even a "1" on it.  That diaper had a nice, little "N" on it.... for Newborn!  That's the size she wore in the hospital!  They only go up to 10 pounds, and are cut low for umbilical cords!

    B's response to that, "I thought they looked low-rise."  As if diapers come in low-rise so as to show off tramp stamps and whale tales!  Let's just say that last night's Naked Baby Dance before her bath was an especially lively jig.  She was probably happy to get the feeling back in her lower extremities.

    8 Simple Rules For Visiting Your Adult Daughter (Or Son)

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Yesterday, I had the experience of hosting my mother for the day while she visited with Firecracker.  Without giving away too many personal facts,  I'll just say that the best part of the visit is that I now have a new blog post subject.  So, here is a list of 8 Simple Rules for Visiting Your Adult Daughter (Or Son).  This isn't a cry for sympathy, but just a simple "How To," I hope to remember when Firecracker is grown.  I tried to make it a little funny, but it's probably too serious.
    1. Don't Nag - A good visit rarely starts out when a parent walks through the door, already complaining about how little they see you and soliciting more visits on a more frequent schedule.  When that is one of the only two topics you can seem to really discuss for more than five minutes the entire visit, your daughter usually, quite truthfully, will want to spend even less time with you.  When the other topic is a constant, one-sided discussion of a family matter that your daughter has put to rest for her own health and sanity, but you just can't seem let it go, you shouldn't expect favorable results.  You're 95% likely to not change her mind.
    2. Don't Keep Score - There is little more irritating to a daughter than when a parent attempts to keep score on how much time her family spends with her in-laws, other relatives, friends, and basically anyone who isn't you.  That type of behavior is likely to result in stunted conversations with information withheld, because your daughter won't wish to tell you with whom she has been spending time.  If you don't want her to like other people more than you, don't make a competition out of how much time she spends, where, and with whom.  She's going to gravitate more toward the people who just enjoy her company and vice versa.
    3. Don't Rearrange, Redecorate, Replace, or Reclean -  Sure, you may think the sofa would look better at the other end of the room, that picture should be replaced with the one you brought, or (and this actually happened to a friend once) you use a better laundry detergent.  That doesn't mean that your daughter will agree. She and (if married or cohabitating) her significant other have probably spent a great deal of time and discussion on furniture arrangements, decorations, and most likely like their laundry detergent and fabric softener.  If your daughter has missed a spot in cleaning, don't pick up a paper towel and do it right.  That's just insulting.
    4. Don't Constantly Give Unwanted Advice or Criticize- Face it.  You've done your job as a parent.  Your child is grown up.  She has a home of her own, possibly children of her own.  She has put down roots.  If she needs and wants advice from you, she'll ask for it.  If no one's limbs are hanging by a thread, everyone seems well fed, clothed, cleaned, and disease free, she probably neither wants nor needs to be told not to stick her fingers in a fan.  You covered that thirty years ago, and she'll cover it with her own kids.  Also, your daughter's house may be a mess when you're there.  She may not iron her family's clothes the way you would, or wear her hair the way you would prefer.  If your daughter and her family are fine with the way things are, and they aren't hoarders or nasty, it's really not your place to say otherwise anymore.
    5. Don't Look For Problems Where They Don't Exist Or Try To Invent Them - It's never easy realizing that your children no longer need you in the same capacity that they did for all of their growing up years.  Back then, you were their hero and often saved the day whenever there was a problem.  Fast forward to today.  Your daughter doesn't need you in that capacity most days of her life.  Please don't go looking and poking around for problems in order to save her day and be needed.  Especially don't invent problems.  Sit down and just relax.  Be happy that your daughter is stable enough to take care of herself.
    6. Be An Adult - You're no longer the big kahuna in your daughter's life.  She doesn't always do everything your way.  That also means that possibly you have to endure things not being done the way you like it when you're invited to spend time with her.  Don't spend the entire visit sulking, because things are different than how you want them.  You spent years teaching her to not act like a spoiled brat, don't start acting that way yourself now that she's grown.
    7. Don't Use Guilt As a Weapon To Get Your Way - Guilt, if you watch television, is supposed to be a mother's weapon to get children to do what she wants.  In reality it is a weak, lame, and hurtful attempt at getting your way.  You may get what you want for a while, but you're also planting the seeds for resentment and eventually a skin so thick that empathy of any sort for you disappears.
    8. Be Gracious and Remember - Your daughter has a life of her own and probably a job of some sort.  She has a home and family all her own.  She has friends and schedules to keep up with.  I'm not suggesting you bow down with graciousness if she deems to spend time with you, but I am suggesting that you make yourself aware that she's taking time out of her life to spend with you.  Daughters don't always have time to drop everything and spend a day shopping or just running around for a day.  Most have about fifteen things they could be doing while they're spending time with you, and if they don't do them they don't get done.  Whereas you may have more free time than you know what to do with now, your daughter is probably in the busiest, most hectic phase of her life.  Time is precious and don't make her regret spending some of it with you.  You were her parent for the years she needed a parent.  Now is the time finally to try to just be her friend.

    New Family Tradition

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Early this morning B's younger brother, we'll just call him Lieutenant B, and his wife J welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world.  From now on, we'll just call the baby Pistol.  If you know Lieutenant B, that's a very fitting nickname for his child.

    Since Lieutenant B and J live in Colorado, we had to just sit idly by from when we found out J was in labor around 10, awaiting word on how things were going.  LT B called us after 4 am our time to tell us that Pistol was safely in the world.

    Rewind five months and two days, the day Firecracker was born.  Everyone that day had Feltner Brothers burgers for lunch.  Well everyone except for me.  I had broth and I think jello.  Whatever it was, it wasn't enough after not having been able to eat since midnight the previous night, and after I took my first Percocet everything came back.  That's not a pleasant experience after just having had a C-section.  Next time, once I'm over the initial recovery of the procedure, I'm at least eating a JR burger as well.  I didn't feel well at my stomach for days after that, though the rest of my recovery was smooth sailing.

    Anyway, Feltner Brothers burgers are a family favorite, and B, Firecracker, and I went there tonight for dinner.  While there, I came up with an idea that B quickly stole and posted on Facebook.  Whenever a new member of our family is born, someone must eat Feltner Brothers burgers at some point that day.  I think that it's a nice new tradition that we had already inadvertently started.  Some people may smoke cigars or drink something.  I'll take a cheeseburger with mustard, pickles, and tomatoes anytime.

    Welcome to the world, Pistol!  We'll see you in a couple months when we load up the truck and head to Beverly The Springs!

    What I've Learned In Five Months

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Little Firecracker turned five whopping months old today!  B took Thursday and Friday off after the holiday.  So we took Lucy and Dory to Camp Bow Wow for a day of doggy day care since it's so horribly hot and then went to Tulsa.  While there, we visited the Oklahoma Aquarium.  We're going to have to do that several more times now.  Firecracker loved it.  Now I can't wait to take her to a zoo.  Watching her discover everything in the world is more exciting than anything I've ever experienced.  Here's a list of things we've discovered this month:

    *  A good case of the giggles is highly contagious.

    Mickey Mouse is so fine.  He's so fine he blows her mind.  :)  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is Firecracker's first true Must See TV.  She is so in love with Mickey that her face just lights up when she sees him.  I now also know the words to the Hot Dog Song by heart and have downloaded it off of iTunes.  I plan to have a season or two of it on my iPad before we go to Colorado this fall.

    *Apples are good, carrots and pears are good.  Green beans are to be covertly spit into a bib.  Also, a bib must be employed after each bite of solid food by the Firecracker in order to clean off her own mouth.

    *  Firecracker is no longer content to just sit idly by outside and watch Lucy and Dory play.  She now must chase the doggies.  This is great fun for Firecracker and Lucy and Dory.  It's somewhat tiresome for Mom or Dad, because we get to carry Firecracker at a low angle and run with her.  Shrieks of joy are likely to ensue, making everything worthwhile though.

    *  Scooting on one's back is an acceptable mode of transportation - until you bang your head into something.

    *  Rolling over isn't that bad, after all.  Especially if you also employ the aforementioned scooting.

    *  Firecracker must throw her head back like she's howling to sing, and it will also sound akin to howling.

    *  Story time before nap time is a must, but Mother Goose is super creepy.

    *  Firecracker knows that if no one is paying attention to you yell, "HEY!"

    *  Whatever anyone else is eating or drinking is more interesting than whatever Firecracker has.

    *  Turtles are so great, Firecracker must squeal with unabashed delight when seeing them.  The same goes for sting rays.

    *  Teething tablets do sometimes help.

    *  Watching Daddy play softball is fun.  So is running your toes through the fine dirt at the ballpark with a friend.

    *  Naps sometimes happen in the jumparoo.

    * The Firecracker still loves her fireworks.

    *  The church nursery is a good place to meet people and use an exersaucer.

    * The 3M onsies are about to be packed away for storage.  They are being replaced with 6M's.  Interestingly enough, the 6M footie jammies have already been packed away for 9M's.  The next box of diapers I purchase will likely graduate Firecracker from Pampers Swaddlers to Pampers Cruisers, because she will need Size 3.

    If it seems like we learned a lot in our fifth month, it's because we really did.  I wouldn't be surprised if by next month Firecracker is sitting up on her own, and she's trying to crawl.  She just has to figure out how to get her belly off the ground first.  Every day's an adventure.

    Turtles are fascinatingly squeal-worthy

    Firecracker loves being in the dug out.
    She also loves her Mickey.
    She REALLY loves Mickey & Co.
    That's my Firecracker

    Two Fails and a Win!

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Pinterest Fail
    Now, you know me. I'm not the sort of person who is going to see something yummy on Pinterest and try to make it. I'm also not the type of person who'll see something crafty (or as I call it, "crappy") and get all Martha Stewarty. If I developed a second personality and tried one of those things, it would probably be worthy of this funny blog. The Martha Stewart genes totally bypassed me, and instead I got an extra helping of Tina Fey ones. I spend most of my time on Pinterest reading and repinning snarky, funny memes. I am however a little interested in some of the home cleaning solutions I've read there. I tried cleaning my shower head by dipping it in a bag filled with vinegar and leaving the bag tied to it al night, and it worked. According to everything I've ever seen on Pinterest, all you need to really clean your house well is some baking soda, Dawn dish soap, and the afore mentioned vinegar.

    So, this past weekend when I battled the hordes of the unwashed at Walmart, I had on my list to buy more Dawn, baking soda, a large spray bottle, and more vinegar. Somewhere between the baking goods aisle and the frozen foods, I forgot the vinegar. It's probably because there were so many contenders for the People of Walmart awards having what appeared to be reunions of family trees that fail to fork.

    Potty Fail
    We're planning a trip to Colorado this fall with B's parents to meet the newest ( due to arrive any minute now) member of our family. Yesterday while B's parents were here, we decided that everyone should spend a couple of nights at a cabin in or near Estes Park so we can easily do some sight seeing and maybe some trout fishing.

    So many of the cabins are absolutely beautiful and also near such beautiful scenery. They have wifi, jacuzzis, hot tubs, and other wonderful amenities. However we've learned that there are some things that aren't quite as important to some people as they are to us. There are cabins that sleep sixteen people, but have only one bathroom. ONE! In a family where at least two people suffer from IBS, and all the others have stomach issues more often than not, one bathroom is just unacceptable. What do they expect us to do? Should we grab a shovel and dig a latrine? Is there an outhouse nearby to use? I'd rather not, and no one carries around a Sears Roebuck Catalog anymore. I don't think an iPad app will do it. I'm really not interested in catching any of those diseases your character could die from when playing Oregon Trail, and I do not rough it. My opinion of roughing is not having Internet access. I will not spend two nights somewhere with limited potty possibilities. I think I'd rather go astronaut hard-core and wear a diaper.


    Independence Day Win!
    It's been horribly dry in these parts this year. All of Arkansas and Oklahoma are under burn bans. Back home, all of the cities cancelled their fireworks displays. Here, no one is supposed to shoot their own fireworks, but all of the places that were planning big shows still were allowed to do so. We had already decided to go to Arvest Ballpark to watch their fireworks a few weeks ago. Then Tuesday morning a couple of dear old friends (who happened to teach me in high school) asked if they could meet with us to see our Firecracker. So, we met them at the ballpark, got to see great fireworks, and got to catch up with each other.

    It was a really enjoyable evening. So, Independence Day was a big win all the way around! Also, Firecracker woke up in what can only be described as an awesomely silly mood this morning. Win again!


    Who I Am: Places & Pictures

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Sparks Hospital Fort Smith, AR

    I was born here, at Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith.  I'm pretty sure it didn't look like this in 1980, but it's not like I had the ability to take a picture what with that whole process of being born keeping me busy.

    Almost two years later, B was born there as well.

    Heavener Water Tower

    I grew up here, in Heavener, Oklahoma.  Heavener is a small railroad community in the southeast corner of the state.  I grew up near most of my dad's family and was closer to my cousins than my own sister.  It was just a nice small town.  I wish it was still that way.

    First Baptist Church Heavener

    This is the church where I grew up.  I was dedicated there as a baby, spent most of my Sundays and more time there, I was baptized there, and B and I were married there eight and a half years ago.  When I think of home, I'll always think of First Baptist Church, Heavener because it was a wonderful constant in my life.  I credit the many godly people who have given their time there a great deal with making me who I am today.

    Kiamichi Baptist Assembly

    During my preteen and teen years, I always spent at least one week a summert here at church camp.  This is where I, at the age of fourteen, asked Jesus to be my personal Lord and Savior.  Some of the best times of my early life were spent at church camp.  In my later teen years, I would go to multiple camps there during the summer and also as a sponsor for preteen camp.

    Carl Albert State College

    I went to college my first two years at Carl Albert State College.  I lived in the Scholar's Dorms.  I first roommate was odd.  My second roommate was pretty awesome.  Somehow I was the SGA rep for SIFE.  My co-sponsored legislation got a laundromat built.

    Northeastern State University

    From there, I went to Northeastern State University and majored in Secondary English Education.  I did not have a roommate here.  Although I did live in a dorm quad with several foreign tennis players who practiced all hours of the night inside the building among other things.  I never want to live in a dorm again.  Thankfully I shouldn't have to.

    Atwoods Ranch and Home Store
    B and I met working at one of these stores in Fort Smith during summers.  The one we worked at wasn't as nice looking.  It was in an old Venture building that anchored a dilapidated mall in a dangerous part of town.  The store has since moved to a new building.  It was a fun experience, and neither of us will ever forget it.

    B and I were married December 20, 2003.  

    Arkansas Nuclear One

    The first year we were married, we lived near here while B finished school at Arkansas Tech.

    Clinton Museum and Library

    Then we lived near here for a year.  Someday, I'll have to regail you with the tale of our move from Russellville to Bryant.  It includes me having to urinate in an awkward place.  I also cannot pass the "Bean Field" on the way to Little Rock without cringing some.

    Arkansas Geological Survey

    While here, I worked at the Arkansas Geological Commission, now Survey.  It's not in the best area of Little Rock, and driving to work every day was an adventure.  It was especially interesting after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana and Texas.  I actually enjoyed our time in Central Arkansas a great deal and was very sad to leave.

    Old Main at the U of A

    However, after a year in the Little Rock area, B's work moved him here, so that he could get his Master's at The University of Arkansas.  This area, Northwest Arkansas, is where we've put down roots and hope to stay for a long time.

    KNWA  / Fox 24

    I worked here for five and half years and made several great friends along the way.  Though I don't always miss some of the insanity of the job, I miss the people.

    Willow Creek Women's Hospital

    I left work last November, because in February I had Firecracker here at Willow Creek Women's Hospital in Johnson.  Now I'm a Stay-At-Home-Mom, and living a dream I've had as long as I can remember.  

    The Firecracker

    Even on our worst days, she's worth everything.  Her smiles bring me a joy I've never before known.  Her hugs and kisses are sweeter than any confection I've ever had.  She's my Firecracker.

    *Disclaimer - most of these pictures are not mine, I found them on Google.

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