Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful November Catch Up - Thanksgiving Day

So I've been slacking with Thankful November but I guess I've had some other things on my mind. Over the past few days, I have gained an entire new appreciation for today, Thanksgiving, and I'm going to rattle off some of the things that have made my 'thankful list' over the course of the last few days:
Mommy intuition to catch a cancerous tumor early
A world-class Children's hospital close by
The "Leaders and Best" - an incredible team of fast acting medical experts who couldn't have been more thorough, accommodating, understanding, honest and communicative with us
Successful surgery
The most caring nurses I could ask for taking care of our son
An absolutely amazing support system, including HUNDREDS of Facebook and blog comments, prayers and well wishes
Family who sat at our side while we waited for hours for outcomes
Friends who have been there every step of the way
Neighbors who sent the most amazing care packages
Fellow bloggers, Alex, Kalyn and Leah,for the most touching blog posts ever
Cousins who take in our high maintenance dog
Coworkers who have sent emails and texts and made visits, reminding me to give everything I have to Easton and not worry about work
My amazingly strong husband who has been my rock through this all
And last by certainly not least, we are so thankful for the power of prayer. Without all the love, prayers and support we've received, we wouldn't have gotten through this without them!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I can breathe again

I can hardly keep my eyes open, but wanted to send a quick update. A 9am surgery got bumped to 11, only to get bumped to 1:43pm - that's 14 hours from his last feeding! The morning actually wasn't as bad as intended, considering we had an extra 3+ hours to distract a very hungry baby.

According to the doctors, surgery went as well as could be expected, or better than expected if you ask me. His right kidney and appendix were removed, along with a tumor weighing in at 2/3lbs! The tumor was encapsulated which is the best news if all. Drs are still confident it is a Wilms tumor and based on what they can tell thus far, chemotherapy will not be needed! This wont be confirmed until Pathology takes a closer look at it, and being that tomorrow is a holiday, it could be a few days. This is seriously the best case scenario and our fingers and toes are crossed. Please continue to keep us in your prayers until we know more. For now, we will camp out on Mott 7.

Easton is recovering nicely. Of course it's always difficult to see your child in any sort if pain (and thankfully the tumor wasn't causing pain) and I'm sure when he 'comes to', he will nit be impressed with all the darn cords. Our focus for the next few days is to make sure Easton is comfortable and provide him with anything he needs. We are looking forward to going home soon!

I'll post more later but this girl needs to catch sme zzz's. Thank you for the outpour of love and support!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My worst nightmare come true

Never in a million years did I think this blog would be used for this purpose, but I guess there is a reason for everything. As I sit by the bedside of my sweet baby boy at the University of Mchigan hospital a hundred bajillion things run thru my mind- Why Easton? Why us? How did this happen? Is he going to be ok? He NEEDS to be ok.

It all started about a week ago when I noticed some firmness in Easton's belly. I watched him carefully and treated it as bowel related adjusting his diet to accommodate constipation. A few days later with completely normal activity - playing, laughing, eating, and pooping the spot was still firm, so I did what any paranoid mom would do and I made an appt with his pediatrician. Almost instantly the doctor knew something was abnormal and said we had to figure out what it is and get it out ASAP. So we left with a script for a pediatric ultrasound in the morning.

Well we didn't last until morning - last night was a rough one with out of the norm wake ups, feedings and resistance to anything sleep related - screaming, flailing all over, arching his back, I knew something was wrong. To the ER we went. An ultrasound, cat scan and lots of bloodwork later, we heard the inevitable, dreaded word - cancer.

Nothing is 100%, but doctors are fairly confident that it's a Wilms tumor attached to his kidney and are going into surgery tomorrow with plans to remove the tumor and kidney. They will know more once they get in there, and are prepared for all possible situations. Surgery is scheduled for 9am tomorrow morning and we are confident that the amazing team of medical doctors are going to take great care of our baby.

After living the life of a dad with cancer, who by the way has fought an unbelievable fight, I neveR could have imagined my own son having to go through that. Today goes down as the worst day in history, although the next few days, even months could hand us more than we know. We are prepared to fight the fight of our life and will give it all we've got (and more than I'm sure we even know we have!) We are so fortunate to have the most amazing supper system behind us. Please keep us in your prayers - we need all we can get. Gooo Easton!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easton's Wish List

Dear Santa (and Grandma and Papa, and Nana and Papa and Aunties and Uncles and Mommy and Daddy),
I'm so excited for my first Christmas! I have been a very good boy this year and from what I hear, that gets you lots of presents That being said, here are some things I've spotted that I really, really want:


1.   PBK Anywhere Chair - check! ;)
2.   Detroit Tigers Hat - Toddler size for my big head
3.   Wooden Activity Cube/Incrediblock - check!
4.   Tiny Toms (size 4)
5.   Fisher-Price Sesame Street Silly Sounds Remote
6.   Poppin' Park Elefun - check!
7.   Skidders (size 12 months)
8.   Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Dance and Play Puppy - check!
9.   Laugh & Learn Farm
10. Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Wood Blocks

I will, of course, accept other gifts as well! Can't wait to celebrate Christmas with you.
Love, Easton

Thankful November - Day 16 & 17

Peanut Butter & (Raspberry) Jelly
Day 16 & 17 go together like PB&J! Who doesn't love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich? They are quick, easy and probably average less than .50 cents per sandwich. PB&J has always been my go-to sandwich. Open-face is my preference, while Bryan enjoys a triple decker. We eat these on the regular at our house - and actually, it kinda sounds good for dinner tonight! :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Whooooo's the cutest?!?!

Easy Beef Enchiladas

This was my first attempt at beef enchiladas and I have to say I was impressed, as was the hubby. Not only were these super easy for a weekday meal, but they were delicious -- and also fed us for the next 2 meals. I have to give credit to Molly for these -- as I do for most of my recipes. Thanks to Molly, you have helped  renew my love for cooking!

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup cooked white rice (yes that says cooked!)
1 can refried beans (not warmed!)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I've used cream of mush before and it was just as good)
1 jar of salsa
8 burrito size tortilla shells
2 cups shredded chesse

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Brown the ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning and however much water it calls for. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in the (cooked) rice and stir it up real good!
2. Take the tortilla, spread a spoonful of refried beans on the tortilla. Spoon the meat mixture on top of that. Sprinkle with cheese and roll it up. Put the rolled tortilla seam side down into the 9x13 pan. Repeat until all your tortillas are gone- or the meat mix is gone - or the pan is full.
3. Combine the cream of chicken soup and the jar of salsa in a bowl. Mix well. Pour the mix over the tortillas in the pan. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.
4. Put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove, cool and enjoy! I like to serve with a side of sour cream, avocado and sometimes extra salsa. YUM!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful November - Day 15

Facebook
Although it occupies waaaay too much of my time, and keeps me up way too late at night, I am so thankful for Facebook for allowing me to easily keep in touch with friends and family who live in other parts of the world that I don't get to see/talk to as often as I'd like. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful Novemeber - Day 14

Blog Awards
MetzgerFamilyLove just received its first award!! I'm so excited and proud and THANKFUL that there are people out there who enjoy reading what I have to say (er, write).
Thank you Kalyn for thinking of me and giving me this award. If you haven't already, check out Kalyn's blog at And I Thought I Loved You Then.  
The Sunshine Blog Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogosphere. I am so grateful to be considered a part of this community. I originally created this blog to document and share the life of my new baby boy and because of other bloggers like Kalyn, I have been more motivated to make the most of it.
Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it


2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.
Here are my answers:
Favorite color?  Depends on the day, my moom and what we're talking about - overall favorite color: pink. clothes: black, white, gray. clothes for Easton: blue and anything striped
Favorite animal? I love giraffes, so does Easton :)
Favorite number? my keno numbers are 4, 6, 10, 16, 28, 68, 72
Favorite drink? Diet Dr. Pepper and Riesling
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook for sure.
Your passion? My family (hubby and son), my family (parents and sisters) and my friends
Giving or getting presents?  Giving, all the way. There is nothing better than seeing the expression on someone's face when you give them a gift! Plus, I love shopping and buying gifts for others is just another reason to shop. :)
Favorite day?  Hmmm...I could justify them all as being my favorite (with the exception of Monday), but overall I'd have to go with Sundays. Sunday is usually a lazy day with my boys and almost always a family nap.
Favorite flowers?  Gerber Daisys, Calla Lilies and Hydrangeas

And there you have it, now, it's time for me to share the love. The blogs that I am listing below keep me smiling, inspired, entertained, informed and looking forward to their next post! Check them out and you'll see why.
Tiny Mitten Secrets
Our Sweet Life
La Dolce Vita
And a few newbies I'm looking forward to following:
The Franklin's
My Messmerized Life

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pinteresting Idea - DIY Blog Party

Last week I linked up with a DIY Blog Party for some holiday decor inspirtation/motivation and I'm super excited to have more reasons to be crafty! So here's to week 1.

Dare to...be thankful!!
As I was putting away my Halloween decor and pulling out my fall/Thanksgiving decor, I realized I'm severly lacking decor for Thanksgiving. I don't have a good "fall" selection - everything is either Halloween or Chrismtas, with the exception of a few ceramic pilgrims from my grandma and a scarecrow my mom picked up for me last year. So while I have been on the lookout for a few more 'fall' things, I decided to try my hand, or Easton's to be exact,  at some Thanksgiving decor.
 
Yes, Easton is eating puffs off the floor. It was the only way I could distract him while I painted his hand. I had to do one finger at a time because all he wanted to do was put his hand in his mouth. This kid will do anything for puffs. 

Hating fingerpainting! I hope I didn't traumitize him for kindergarten.
This project was super easy. I used a 5x7 canvas, and bought several different colors of paint (red, orange, green, yellow and brown). I started by painting the palm of Easton's hand brown, and put that on the canvas. Next, I did each finger, one at a time, and each a different color. Before you press the fingers down, make sure you match up the palm every time so the fingers are lined up. You will also want to wait a few minutes between each fingers to let the previous paint dry. It actually took me two nights to do this because Easton was not very happy with me after 3 fingers so I figured I better give it a rest. When you've done the whole hand, use a skinny shapie to draw feet and eyes (I used a googly eye) and orange paint for the gobbler.

 The final product!
I am in love with this! I can't wait to display it year after year to remember Easton's first Thanksgiving!
Dare to DIY

Thanksful November - Day 13

Pacifiers
Today especially, I am thankful that my poor little, not only teething but has a cold, son takes a pacifier. I hate to even complain because I feel that we have honestly be blessed with such a great baby - happy, healthy, giggly, independent, and the list goes on, but this teething business is hell. Sleepless nights, drool everywhere, chin rash, runny nose, cough, excessive tears and fussiness are getting the best of us and it's no fun at all. So while what I'm really thankful for is children's motrin, I thought I might get looked down upon, and so I'm covering my butt by saying I am thankful for pacifiers which help sooth my poor baby. A normally very happy, smiley Easton in the morning and after naps has turned into screaming bloody murder baby and thankfully the pacifier provides comfort until the motrin kicks in. :) One tooth is on the verge of cutting through (the gums are nice and swollen and the first tooth has slighly broken the skin) and the second isn't too far behind. Fingers crossed for some relief once this one pops through, at least until the next one.

Weekend Recap

I love weekends like this one. Not a whole lot of plans = no red and lots of blue!

Friday
Work
Dinner & Drag Queen Bingo for Jessica's birthday
- so fun!

Saturday
Joann's for craft supplies
Craft day with my sister - need to do this more often. Click on the image below to view the pinterest original and step-by-step directions (a.k.a. save me from writing them out)


Sunday
Church with my sister
Catch up on some DVR shows
Hang with my boys

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful November - Day 12

Tim Horton's Iced Cappuccino
[iced kap-oo-chee-noh] noun. 1. Ice cold deliciousness 2. Highly addictive blended beverage 3. Not your traditional coffee drink. 4. Ah-maze-ing.

I'm not a big coffee drinker, never have been. But something about Tim Horton's iced capp gets me everytime and I couldn't be happier about it. I will take one any chance I get - morning, night, summer and yes, even winter. It can be below zero and if I drive past a Timmy, you can bet I'll be stopping. It's one of the most satisfying drinks I've ever had and I'm so thankful every time I have one in my hand. As much as I wish there was one in South Lyon, it's probably a good thing there's not! If you haven't ever tried one, do it! You won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful November - Day 11

11.11
Today, I am thankful for today. Not only am I thankful for all the brave soliders who serve and protect our country, but I am thankful that on this day, 26 years ago, Jessica Irene was born into this world. I feel so lucky to get to eat lunch, go for walks, meditate, dilly-dally work with such a wonderful person everyday, and am beyond grateful that our work relationship has blossomed into one of the best friendships I could ask for. I don't think I could survive this crazy place without her. I know this is a friendship for life!
Happy Birthday Auntie Jessie!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Weekend Planning


Yay for the weekend! And a very low key weekend at that. Looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing, or a whole lot of whatever I want, on Saturday and Sunday!

Friday
Work
Dinner & Drag Queen Bingo for Jessica's birthday!

Saturday
No plans what-so-ever

Sunday
No plans what-so-ever

I like the looks of this weekend - I can do whatever I feel like doing, whenever I want to do it, taking Easton's schedule into consideration, of course. I'll be interested to see what the weekend recap looks like on Sunday.



Pinteresting Ideas

I know I often complain about not having time to cook, clean or watch tv, but I do manage to find time for blogging and pinterest -- funny how that works! Here is a sneak peek of some of the crafts we've made - and I say we because Easton has helped. :)


This was super easy, and super cheap.

Supplies:
wood frame for $1 at Michaels
a small bottle of green paint for like .79 cents
 three packages of googly eyes ($2 each - I bought variety pack for different sizes)
about 1/3 yard of black ribbon
wooden letters that were like .19 cents each
a couple small foam bushes.

I think I spent a total of like $10. I started by painting the frame and letters green, the proceeded to glue the googly eyes on the frame. I started using a glue stick, but then switched to super glue because I wasn't sure how well the glue stick would hold on the wood. Once the eyes were all one, I wrapped the ribbon tightly around the bottom and glued it down on the back, and the used the hot glue gun to adhere the letters. Voila!  Now I just need to print some Halloween pictures.

Next up, family ghost feet! Check out Kalyn's page for step by step directions. I had a hard time capturing pictures in the making.  I still can't believe I convinced Bryan to participate. Here is the (almost) final product.

Last weekend we had an organized girl's craft night. Being a mom is a full time job and as in real life, we all enjoy breaks from work, so therefore my girlfriends and I were in need of a kid-free night out, and what better idea than to all make a craft together. It was a blast as always, and we walked away with new decor for our house. We decided to make a winter decoration that we saw on pinterest (where else!), and was again a super easy, inexpensive craft.

Supplies:
3 wine bottles (different shapes and sizes are good)
white spray primer
spray adhesive
epsom salt
silver sticks

Because there were several of us, we needed lots of wine bottles - check!

We opted to remove the labels. Not sure this is 100% necessary, but we thought it would look better - and it does. Next, spray the bottles with white primer. We sprayed half of all the bottles, let them dry, and then sprayed the other half. Once the primer is dry, spray the bottles with adhesive, and then roll them in the epsom salt.




Arrange bottles on a silver platter with accessories to your liking - I chose silver sticks from Michaels, silver beads and sparkly silver ornament. Small tea candles may be added....


And lastly, as I mentioned before, the Christmas countdown blocks. We are already counting down at our house!

That's all for now. Check back soon for new crafts that are in the works, assuming Easton cooperates.

Thankful November - Day 10

DVR
Today, I am thankful for the advances in technology and the invention of DVR. Growing up, I never had cable tv, let alone a device in which I could set up a series recording to record my favorite shows, without needing a VHS tape to watch it on. Not only that, but you can pause shows in real time to tend to a crying baby, make a phone call or use the bathroom, without missing a beat. Being a mom doesn't allow for much tv time until after the little one is in bed, and  even then, between cooking dinner, cleaning up from dinner, doing laundry, and cleaning the house, I hardly sit down until I get into bed. This is why DVR is key - it records the shows on the living room tv, and I can watch the show in bed. I can't tell you how nice it is to watch my favorite shows on my time, with no interruptions and fast forwarding through commercials.

And since there isn't an appropriate picture for the DVR, I'll leave you with a little something else I'm thankful for: Easton making smushy faces against his playpen. :)



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful November - Day 9

Blogs
If it weren't for all the awesome blogs I'm hooked on, I may have never been inclinded to start my own blog. Nor would I have expanded my recipe collection - which now includes many new and refreshing, and of course delicious, recipes, or have so many fun crafts to do (I can thank pinterest for this too)! However, if it weren't for blogs, my house would be a lot cleaner and I'd need a new excuse to not workout - like blogging is a good excuse. But those things aren't fun anyway, so it looks like a win-win situation to me! So anyway, today I am thankful for blogs, and for those who follow mine. I do it for those who aren't able to physically be here to be a part of our daily life and to allow them to watch Easton grow, and when I'm old and senile, Easton will have documentation of all the fun things we did (and ate!)

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First things first, vote for me! It's just two simple clicks, and you can vote every 24 hours.
Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

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Secondly, if you don't already, follow me! On the right hand side of this page under "Followers", click to join - it's super easy. You can also sign up for email notifications of new posts.
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Lastly, here are some of my favorite blogs that I follow (in no particular order):




**Start with this entry, and get the kleenex!

Ten Years Later


Chasing Fireflies

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful November - Day 8 & a recipe!

Crock Pot
In case you missed the memo, I heart my crock pot. I also heart recipes that don't require measuring, many of which I make in the crock pot. So today, I am thankful for both of those things.
*Chili recipe below*


Chili in the Crock Pot
I don't even know that I'd call this a 'recipe'. It's one of those meals that you can't really screw up, and everytime I make it, it's a little different. Here's what's cookin' today!

Ingredients
1 lbs ground beef (or ground turkey)
diced onion, amount to your liking (I used about 1/2 an onion)
diced green pepper, amount to your liking (I used about 1/2 an gp)
diced jalapenos, to your liking
sliced mushrooms (I use one small can, but fresh would work too)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans mild chili beans
Tomato juice (I use about 3/4 container - and I like the spicy kind!)
Tomato paste (for thickening)
minced garlic
chili powder
cayenne pepper (added spice!)
salt
pepper

In a saucepan, brown ground beef. Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper and chili powder. Add onion, green pepper and mushrooms and saute. Once cooked, put into the crock pot. Add beans, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper, and tomato juice. Cook on low until you are ready to eat! Towards the end, depending on consistency, add tomato paste to thicken.

*You can also brown the meat the night before and store in the refrigerator over night to make this a quicker process in the morning before work.



I won, I won!!!

Whoo hoo!! I participated in and won my first blog contest!! And it was so easy. Laura solicitated recipe ideas and in return, is giving away a $15 Starbucks card to one lucky winner = me! Starbucks here I come.  :) Perhaps I need to think of a fun giveaway for my readers.....*wheels turning*

Monday, November 7, 2011

7 months already!?!

**Caution: Photo Overload**

19lbs and 27 inches long (rough estimate)

Happy First Fall big guy! Not much new on the development track, but that hasn't stopped us from having a super fun month.

We started off the month with your first cold, and this wasn't fun for anyone. Cough, sniffles and late night wake-ups got the best of us, and while I didn't mind the extra snuggles, I was glad to say goodbye to it.

You  upgraded to the big bathtub this month and have taken a  liking to "swimming".


You visited your first cider mill, went for your first hayride, picked your first pumpkin, and even took your first 'face-in-hole' photo. Mommy and daddy enjoyed warm donuts and cider, and you weren't too thrilled when we wouldn't share with you. The donuts are all you next year, I promise!



Then Daddy and I carved pumpkins while you talked our ears off. We made you a pumpkin twin. :)


We had an Oktoberfest block party with the neighbors this month. While you were a little young to partake in most of the activities, including the bounce house and cookie decorating, you enjoyed Carly's exersaucer and were passed around like a hot potato. I can't wait for future years when you are able to really join in the fun.

And what is October without Halloween? We really made the most of this holiday and you got your full wear out of your giraffe costume. The festivities started with the Boo Bash in downtown Milford. Next up was the Lake Sherwood Halloween Party, again with your cousins, and buddy Cal. And last, but certainly not least, you had your first trick-or-treating experience! Daddy took you around with the neighbors and you were out for the count 2 houses in. No worries, Daddy still collected candy for you!
Silly giraffe at the Boo Bash

Monsters Zain and Cal at the Lake Sherwood party
 All the boys with Grandma and Papa and Nanny and Grandpa Bill
Trick or Treating time with the dads!
Sleepy giraffe

You and Cooper have really grown on each other. You love laying on the floor with him, try to hold his paws, pet him and love when he licks your face.


New on the menu this month are meats. And you love them, go figure! We've introduced you to chicken n' dumplings, chicken n' apples and your favorite, spaghetti (all in puree form of course!) You have also taken a liking to puffs, yogurt bites and wagon wheels. After a little practice, you have managed to get them from the tray into your mouth. And you just can't do it fast enough! Mommy and daddy have to watch you very carefully, or limit the number on your tray, because you'll stuff them in your mouth one after the other without chewing and choke yourself.

7 month likes:
blowing bubbles and wet razz's
belly raspberries
watching tv
baby juda's walker
being tickled
spaghetti
puffs
bathtime

& dislikes:
teething (as do mommy and daddy) - just cut through already!
being tired

7 month photos: