Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead


Lucy Pneumonia Update
February 13, 2012, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Children, Health, Motherhood | Tags: , , ,

Thanks to everyone whose been praying for Lucy! She seems to be fighting the parainfluenza bug and the bronchial pneumonia really well. No fever so far, praise God. And she’s been sleeping upright in her bouncer to help her breathing.

I wasn’t sure if we were going to get any sleep last night since she was sniffly and since she’s used to sleeping in bed right next to me and would have to sleep upright in the bouncer, but she did great. She woke up every 2-3 hours to nurse (which is a good sign!) and slept very peacefully between feedings. We have the humidifier going full blast in the bedroom, too, to keep her breathing easy. Today she’s been taking lots of good, long naps but when she’s wakeful she’s alert, happy, and eating well. We’ve had some trouble getting her to take her antibiotic but for the last dose, I mixed some breastmilk in with it and gave it to her a little bit at a time right in the side of her cheek which helped her swallow it, I think. She’s still snotty and congested, but I would have had no idea that she had pneumonia if the Dr. hadn’t listened to her chest yesterday. I mean, does this look like a baby with pnuemonia?

How about this?

This is her Lucy Skywalker outfit:

I love this sweet little lady so much and just hate hate HATE that she has pneumonia. Please keep praying for our girl to get better!

I am feeling so much better today. I used some of your natural remedy recommendations and didn’t need to get any antibiotics. Hopefully, I’ll be all better tomorrow so I can take care of Lucy and Benjamin (my sweet mama took care of him today so I could sleep and rest with Lucy).

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Update: Pneumonia :(
February 13, 2012, 1:33 am
Filed under: Misc

As the day wore on I felt crummier and crummier even after 2 steam baths, hot hot tea all day, and several cloves of raw garlic. My temp rose to 100 and I decided to go to Urgent Care since Daniel wasn’t at work and could stay with Benjamin. My mom drove me and Lucy up there. Even though babygirl had no fever and seemed happy, I asked that they take a look at her, too, since she was congested with a snotty nose and some sneezing and coughing. I’m so glad I did! Poor baby girl has bronchial pneumonia and we both have parainfluenza which the Dr. explained is like the flu but not quite as serious. He said it’s all over town and the virus is different from what was in the flu shot which is why I caught it even though I got my flu shot this year. So, we’ve got the humidifier going and the Dr. started Lucy on some antibiotics for the Pneumonia. She’s sleeping upright in her bouncer instead of in bed with me to help with the sinus drainage. Poor sweet girl! Please prayer for her recovery. Pneumonia sounds scary to me for such a little lady. And pray that we can get some sleep tonight so that both of us can get well soon. Unfortunately, the Dr. guessed it would be 7-10 days before we’re back to semi-normal.



Wanted: Your Natural Cold Remedies
February 12, 2012, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Books, Children, Giveaway, Health, Husband | Tags: , , , ,

Ironically, I’m a little bit awesome at going through childbirth without meds, but I’m a complete baby when it comes to dealing with the excruciating condition of having a cold. I think Raleigh’s final words in this clip kind of sum it up:

That little Tenenbaums reference was for my big brother who HATES Tenenbaum references. Just a little sibling banter. Cute, right?

First Benjamin got a runny nose which triggered his asthma. Breathing treatments weren’t enough to make the wheezing/coughing go away so Daniel had to take him to Urgent Care to get his oxygen levels checked and to get Prednisone. Daniel slept in his room last night to comfort him when he woke up coughing and to give him a 2am breathing treatment. Benjamin seems to be a little better today. Poor sweet boy!

Last night Lucy woke up coughing and sneezing and I woke up with what feels like a sinus infection. Not much sleep was to be had after that. I can tell that she’s not completely herself, but she’s still a precious, sunny, smiley baby today. I on the other hand, am a whining, miserable mama. So, since I’d like to try some natural remedies before taking anything over the counter since I’m still nursing Miss Lucy, I want all your cold/sinus infection natural remedies. Give them here! And in return…I think I’ll post a giveaway in the next couple of days that involves Miss Austen and those beautiful clothbound Penguin classics.

Carrots for Michaelmas is about to hit 20,000 views and 50 subscribers (as far as I can tell from Google Reader and WordPress, how can you really tell accurately?) so as a thanks to you guys, I think a Giveaway is in order.

My current plan to fight this monstrous cold is to drink unreasonable amounts of hot tea and all the raw garlic I can stand in between hot baths. Now let’s just hope that Daniel doesn’t get sick because then the household would REALLY fall apart.

p.s. Your recommendations of miniseries, etc currently streaming on Netflix would also be greatly appreciated. What’s the use of being miserable if you can’t watch a whole lotta Masterpiece Theatre?



A Dinosaur Birthday
February 8, 2012, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Books, Children | Tags: , , , , ,

Ever since his farm-themed two year birthday party ended, Benjamin has been telling me that he wanted a dinosaur birthday when he turned three. “Well, you shall have it, my love,” I told him.

Daniel’s parents picked out some pretty fantastic decor and our Little Bear dressed like the paleontologist he is with his special dinosaur fossil digging hat. I told him that he could invite whoever he wanted but he just wanted it to be family: uncles and aunts, grandparents, and mama, daddy, and Lucy. And hey! I wasn’t going to argue with that!

The little stinker was VERY specific about what kind of birthday cake he wanted: “Chocolate with chocolate frosting and with dinosaurs on top that look real…but you can eat ’em.” Since he requested chocolate, I knew I would make my favorite chocolate cake of all time that my friends Lara and Rachel made for me years ago on my birthday. They covered it in edible flowers. It was gorgeous and scrumptious and I was overwhelmingly awed by their combined artsiness and culinary skills. I won’t post the recipe because it’s their family recipe, but I’ll make it for you if you come over. Their aunt created it and she passed away recently. So, as I stayed up late the night before Bear’s party to bake it, I thought about his precious little life just beginning and I remembered Lara and Rachel’s aunt and praised God for her life, too. I will tell you this: the recipe includes coffee and cinnamon so…yeah, it’s amazing.

My friend Jenna who owns a cake business took pity on me and told me how to use chocolate molds to create the requested edible decorative dinos. They’re not perfect (Jenna is probably giggling as she looks at this) but Benjamin thought they were pretty cool and we’ve been making dinosaur shaped candies all week to his delight.

“Happy Birthday, dear Benjamin…”

Bear was quite taken with his birthday “grappler logging truck.”

What a nut.

And I was quite taken with the treasure box, treasure (buffalo nickels), and beautiful illustrated Treasure Island from my folks for our boy. (Treasure Island was one of the honorable mentions from 10 Books You Must Read to Your Son and one of the books most likely to be found on the shelves on Downton Abbey’s Nursery in that delightful guest post from Katherine.)

As for other birthday loot, the birthday boy is currently snuggling with his Benjamin-sized T-Rex stuffed animal named “Ronny” from my brother and he’s been moving dried lentils all around the kitchen floor with his new construction equipment set from Aunt Vanessa and Uncle Travis. Win.

So glad we got to celebrate our boy with such wonderful extended family!



Tomorrow You’re THREE!
February 7, 2012, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Birth, Children, Motherhood | Tags: , , , , ,

Oh, Benjamin, my little paleontologist,

Tomorrow you will wake up and you will have turned the venerable age of THREE. The twos that I have loved so much will be over.  I loved the day when you turned two.

And I loved your First Birthday, too.

So many gifts of grace you have brought to our lives. The Blessed John Paul II wrote that the enemy of true love is selfishness. Being your mother has made me (a little) less selfish and therefore more able to love. I love your daddy more, your grandparents more, your uncles and aunt more since you were born and taught me what true love is. Every morning when your precious arms clasp my neck and every night when you demand one more snuggle, a drink of water, a song, a prayer, and an extra kiss you are vessel of God’s grace to me.

Just look how precious you were that first week you were born!  On the night you were born I began to learn, and am still learning, that to die to myself everyday for love of you, your sister, your father, that is freedom. Freedom to love without limit or bounds. Such a gift. And when I held you, dearest, on that first night after waiting so long and through the pains of labor to meet you, love for you was overwhelming. So precious, so sweet that it hurt. And it hit me like a blow as I looked down at you, that Our Lord loves us like that. Like a mother loves her newborn. Even more than that.

My soul, I loved your babyhood.

And I’ve loved the twos as well. Oh how I’ve loved the twos! You have been such a lovable, clever, amazing chatterbox! From the moment you wake to the moment you crash you are talking up a storm: stories, jokes, and QUESTIONS. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Sometimes, I’ll admit, after a bazillion questions, you mama will be about to lose it. And I have to remind myself how amazing you and your “why”s and “how”s are. “Why can’t a real owl sleep in my bed?” “Why does that tree have white bark?” “How do robot arms work?” You never stop. And that is just how it should be.

This year you had to learn to share the spotlight with your baby sister. And you have done it brilliantly. You love her SO MUCH. The gentle and loving way you have with her makes Daddy and I so proud. You are so caring and sweet and seeing you two together makes me love you even more.

Little bear, I have loved every day so far with you. But as I was baking your birthday cake for your party the other night, I told Daddy, “I love now. I love now the best.” I love now, dearest. And I will love your now no matter what birthday you’re celebrating. Happy Birthday, big three-year-old guy.

(Birthday party post to come!)



Earl Grey and Dinosaurs
February 6, 2012, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , ,

Enjoying a break for a cup of Earl Grey during a busy day of digging in the dirt with Benjamin, glueing beans onto paper and calling it art, and making stegosaurus candy with the dinosaur chocolate molds I used for the decor on Little Bear’s birthday cake yesterday. And I figure while you’re having afternoon tea, why not just use a china cup? Maybe I’m getting a little too into Downton.

No time to do a full post of all the birthday party photos until later so here’s just a little something to tide you over:

This little guy (pictured here with Ronny, the T-Rex) woke up still wired from his party.

Quote of the day:

“Don’t drool on your sister, Benjamin.”

“Well, what CAN I drool on?!”



3.5 Months
February 5, 2012, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Children | Tags: , , ,

I can’t believe Lucy is already nearing the 4 month mark. Because I see her every day I don’t notice how much she’s grown, but check this out.

First Bath:

This week:

Well, she’s certainly getting cuter. And as my brother tells me, girl isn’t missin’ any meals.

Her smile is absolutely heartmelting.

Baby cute attack.

This morning Daniel ran a half marathon while Benjamin and I ate enough bacon to balance out his absurd fitness skills.

I love that big brother loves Lucy almost as much as she adores him.

After we ate our weight in bacon, I took pictures of Lucy instead of tidying up for B’s dinosaur birthday later. Priorities.

Last night I had Daniel document my attempt at Downton Abbey hair (this show is my current obsession). Sorry for the blurryness.

My, how I love this girl.

Now I’m really going to sweep the floor for the party (or procrastinate by taking a bath with Garden and Gun in hand and a cup of coffee on the edge of the tub).