About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Must Haves

For Christmas we headed over to my parents' place for several days. Even though it is just over a mile from our place to theirs, I'm pretty sure we packed more than we did for the trip to Houston for Thanksgiving. More details on Christmas later, I just wanted to share the toys I had to make sure and pack for Samantha. Here are the current favorites:


A piece of cardboard, rice in a zip-lock container, a lid, her purple spatula, a large manila envelope...

mommy's hair,

and extra washcloths--preferably wet.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out

Samantha is growing like a weed (finally!) and in 2 weeks I've been able to pack a pound on that little turkey. She's now 14 lbs!!
So, what have we been feeding her?
Check it out:

That's right. Home-made baby! I made carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, prunes, green beans and milk (um, yes milk counts--especially considering all the foods I avoid to make sure it's edible for her).

I'm not crazy, just trying to be thrifty. I had to crunch the numbers for myself (the math teacher in me will never die):
Gerber prunes are about $1. That's 5 oz for $1. A bag of dried prunes was $2.15 (and that was at the expensive grocery store). That one bag of prunes made over 22 oz of baby food.
Gerber: .20/oz
Homemade: .10/oz (rounding up)

So what, .10 right? She eats one a day. So, $36 a year. Still not impressive?

Right now she's eating Squash too- about 4 oz a day. I made 40 oz of squash from $2.69 worth of the actual food. You can buy 40 oz from Gerber for $10.69.

That's just under $300 a year in savings.

And that's not all. She also eats at least another 8 oz of food a day. I won't bother you with the math anymore but it's between $500-$1000 savings a year, depending on the food I make.

Anyway, I like to look at it as a job. Working 2 hrs every three weeks we essentially pocket $40-80. Not bad if you ask me.



I'd like to discuss the names of the foods I am feeding my offspring. I find it very interesting (and scary) how my first time touching a squash is when I make it for my daughter. I think it's the name that always deterred me. *Squash*

Seriously, who wants to eat something that sounds painful? I didn't even know the difference between butternut and acorn squash. But it's her favorite and I hope to incorporate it into our diet as well! I also take pride in the fact that she likes my squash better than Gerber's.

Making the food is really easy too. I'm talking easier than mac n cheese. There was a point in making the food that I felt like I should be doing something else to it. My hand kept instinctively going for the salt and other spices. For the most part you just wait, blend and freeze.

My little chomper is already showing signs of ADD, though. She gets so excited when she sees the food and eagerly opens her mouth. After the second bite she is arching her back, trying to see someone/thing behind her (even when no one is there). Then she will reach for desired person/thing (or just the empty floor). Sometimes she'll throw in a 90 degree head-tilt:
During all of which you must keep a constant supply of food coming to her mouth. It's like she's playing hide-and-seek with her mouth. Bite-hide-swallow...bite-hide-swallow...

I have to mention her favorite snacks, for baby-book sake (this is, after all, her baby book)
She loves Cherrios, Rice Husks, and water.

Yes, that's right. Water. She loves taking several gulps and then gasping for breath while the last mouthful trickles down the side of her face.

Oh! And allergy update: I'm down to just dairy-free! It's amazing how the world of food (and my waist) expands once soy is allowed.

One last moment I wanted to share:

Dinner Jer made for me. That's right! Eat your heart out baby!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tunnel Vision


After our snow storm Lucy came over for a visit. My dad saw the big drift outside out door and said it was perfect for a snow fort. "That's exactly what I said!" I replied.
Suddenly, the unspeakable slipped from my mouth, "Lucy, do you want to dig a tunnel in the snow today?"

I was a little shocked to hear those words coming from my own mouth. I like being outdoors, but not when it's cold, windy, hot or too sunny. I like snow, but any playing usually entails a quick snowman or snow angel. My brother was always the one to spend hours outside only to come in beet-red from the cold and exhausted from playing so hard (much to my parents' delight).

So why in the world would I suggest such a thing?!
It's freaky what having a kid will do to you. They change your sleeping habits, eating habits, your wardrobe, you car, your bank account- I guess bringing out the kid in you shouldn't really be such a shocker.

An hour later, my cotton sweatpants were no longer warm, Jeremy's boots were filled with snow, all of Lincoln got a free mooning from me crawling in and out of the tunnel, and with some help from Lucy (ie 2 inches worth of digging), the tunnel was complete.

Lu was a little scared at first, but decided not to be afraid:





I gave it a shot myself.




I was beet red and exhausted and only went through once, but boy was it fun! Thanks for bringing out the kid in me Sam!

Friday, December 18, 2009

7 Months

I was totally ok with Samantha turning 6 months old. I mean, yeah the whole "half a year" thing was weird, but all in all, I was ok with her being 6 months.

But for some reason, seven is just freaking me out. It just seems like she's already in toddler-hood. I know, I know, she can't even sit up yet (sad, I know)...it's just closer to a year than newborn and 1-year means toddler--AH!!

We had a weight check up on Monday and she didn't do so well. We are officially off the charts- but not in the usual way. She was 13lbs, 4 oz. I tried to explain to the doc that a) she had thrown up from 6am-11am the previous day and didn't eat anything other than sips of Performance 'til 3pm. And then she had two #5's,* AND she sleeps 11 hrs at night. I'm sure those factors have to account for 8 oz. Today (4 days later) she was 13lbs 10oz at MilkWorks before I fed her.

Anyway, she's a shrimp. The doctor said to feed her more solids. And apparently we were starving the poor thing because she eats about 8 oz of solids a day, plus nursing. (She was previously only eating 2-3 oz of solids). We hope to get some meat on her bones soon!

Here are some other tidbits about Samantha at 7 months:

-She's petrified of Grandma Hilger
-She loooooooooves her Papa and Daddy
-She's a mama's girl. And she has it baaaaaaaaaaaad. I walk into the room and she freaks because she realizes I'm not within 2 inches of her.
-She is sleeping 11-12 hrs at night
-Still loves bath time, but more so to drink all the water via the washcloth
-She'll sit up with support, but will stand with even less support
-She still doesn't like to be on her tummy, but will roll on her side and streeeeeeeeeeeeeetch to get to things
-The baby in the mirror is the greatest thing EVER and results in a sudden scramble in my arms if I don't turn her quick enough to see
-She's happiest in the mornings and evenings. These also happen to be the times when daddy is home. Hm...

As Parents we are learning:
-no matter how well you clean the baby, there is always that one spot that you miss and happen to kiss later (yum)
-solid-fed-baby poo stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinks!
-going to church as a family means everyone went to church as some point during the day
-Playdates are the harder to plan than one's own death as someone's child (or husband) always gets sick


Stay tuned for adventures in baby-food making and energizer baby.



* We have a poop scale- We got tired of describing the amount, so we have a 1-5 scale. 5 is "almost didn't stay in the diaper". We do occasionally go off the scale--like, when it goes OUT of the diaper, but for the most part we stick to 1-5.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Entertaining Mommy

I L.O.V.E this age. I wish I could keep her bottled up like this forever!





I wasn't laughing at the eye thing so much as her doing on purpose to make us laugh. She is just so much fun!

Friday, December 11, 2009

OCD kickin' in

My mom's OCD occasionally kicks in- but it's rare. Months ago I read this post and was impressed. It was, however, during the colic phase, so I didn't put the great idea into use.

Then Jer suggested we do something similar to this, as our current folding method created mass chaos in Samantha's clothing drawer. Yes, everything went in folded, but after one session of looking for an item while trying to get out the door to be somewhere 10 minutes late on time it just became a pile of unfolded clothes shoved into a drawer.

So, here is the final result. I should have taken a "before" picture, but forgot:


(click on it to see what each area is)

I was very proud of myself. We can see every item of clothing at once, and I have it all folded so Jeremy we can see whats on the front of every onsie and the edges of all the pants (important when someone is sent on a hunt for a specific item).

I'll admit that the folding takes a little getting use to, but it is sooooo much easier getting her dressed...and then dressed again...and again...and again.

(Side story: I asked Samantha today "Hm...is the onsie you're wearing too dirty to sleep in?" To which she responded with a prompt-and very thick- spit up)

Also, for her outfits I use a trick I did while nannying triplets. I fold her pants in with the matching shirt. That way Jeremy we can always find the matching pair.

Some of you may be thinking along the lines of "duh", but I am very pleased with myself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Watch Your Step

She's discovered the effects of gravity. How many items would you notice to step around?


If you didn't count four, then her innocent face would have distracted you long enough for you to trip. Count again and this time, don't look into her eyes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Father-Daughter First!

Their first snowstorm! Of course, they stayed inside all nice and snug while I got stuck in the snow groceries and delivered food to Joel and Becca (I thought I'd show my appreciation for making me an aunt).

So, here is what we woke up to:
and for comparison:

I wanted to measure how deep it was and opened the door...to a wall of snow that had ignored our screen:
I didn't have a ruler, but I did have an unsharpened pencil (same thing, right?). I pushed it into the snow on our chair and...it disappeared. And my finger got too cold before I hit the bottom. So there's now a pencil stuck in the snow outside:

I made a little snowball to let Samantha in on the fun:

"ooo...what's this?"

"I must taste." (What else is new?)


"Um...that's cold."

"Let me try again..."


Jeremy's thought on snow:


My thoughts involved a few expletives. Which (apparently) can be heard past our bedroom door to someone else who is "sleeping".

Friday, December 4, 2009

Home Sweet Hospital

Wow. Where to start...
After a wonderful Thanksgiving in Houston with the in-laws, Jer and I woke up bright and early Saturday morning, beginning the 8 hr drive to Arkansas. Not wanting to listen to another 7 hrs of screaming baby, I decided to drug her. I figure hours of endless panic screaming has to be more harmful to her than 1/4 tsp of benedryl. It helped some and we only endured 2 ish hours of screaming, and it was broken up by 30 min naps, so it was much better!

We made it in time to do another Shaklee party at the lovely Banning household (Sam's godfather), had dinner with them (mmmm...deer...) and then crashed at the Weawers' (Sam's godmother).

Sunday we went to mass and headed out. This trip was even easier as I knew when to strategically drug Samantha to get longer naps. We made the trip in good time, hung out at my parents' place for a bit, then headed home. Sam crashed and Jer and I unloaded the car (ie grabbed everything and dumped it in the apartment).

We headed to bed, ready for a good night's sleep...

Skip to 3am when Jer woke up to puke.

Fast forward to 9am, he still hadn't left the bathroom. I had been trying to get ahold of his doc's since 7 and by 10 we finally got some meds that allowed us to get him to the ER.

They must have known we were coming, because they came out with a wheelchair when I drove up (turns out it was the ambulance entrance...ooppss) and after taking one look at him they admitted him.

Loooooooooooooong story short, his hemoglobin was at a 6.9 (average is 12-15) and they gave him 4 units of blood.
Just a little history- this same thing happened 2 years ago (he only needed 2 units then). Our experience at the hospital was a million times better this time than last time. Last time the nurse didn't like sticking people (?!?) and was waiting for a shift change (FIVE HOURS) to get Jer hooked up to fluids and blood. Plus, the doc's didn't listen to Jer when he told them which drugs worked for him and gave him tons of stuff that didn't work before they finally gave him what he originally asked for. This time they said "Ok, sounds good" and hooked him up within minutes.

Anyway, he ended up staying over night.

Tuesday I picked him up. There was a remarkable difference in him physically, even though his hemo was still only a 9. I noticed that his lips were RED!

Wednesday was somewhat normal, but we had Jer's surgery Thursday. Mind you, this had been scheduled for 2 weeks now. It was to fix the source of the bleeding. Unfortunately it wasn't soon enough (which I had been afraid of).

So Thursday I dropped off Jer at the hospital and then Sam at Jennifer's (pictures below) and then headed back while Jer was in surgery. It was suppose to be outpatient, but he ended up staying over night due to pain management and other small issues.

This morning Sam and I headed back to pick Jer up (pictures also below).

I also visited other family while we were there (more on that later).

They should give us frequent flyer discounts or something.



Look how much Audra's grown!
I got to watch them play for a bit before I left
but Sam ignored them

And came after me and the camera
I LOVE this grin. She'll only give it to me!
She is SUCH a ham!
Audra "dude, get your arm down!"
"Seriously..."
"...DOWN" (notice how Sam's oblivious)
They can both roll and would occasionally roll towards each other and get confused.
Audra giving mommy kisses
Sam giving me kisses.

Picking up daddy from the hostpital. He was in the Ped's ward. The nurse got confused when she came in.
dreamy eyed girl
She does this blinky eye thing now...she's so weird!



Boy it's been a long week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bathroom Party

Today was the last day we will be picking up Lucy from school. Long story short, my mom got a better job and will now be able to pick her up herself!

I realized today how much I was going to miss this time with Lu. Samantha loves her now and Lucy can make her laugh just by looking at her.

As weird as it may sound, I will even miss the extra company while in the bathroom (apparently our apartment is very lonely without me in the living area).


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

6 Months

How did this:

turn into this?:



A half a year?! WHAT? Considering I really don't remember the first 2 months of her life, this really isn't fair. Although she is SO MUCH FUN, she's getting too big too quickly. Seriously. She plays, cuddles, communicates, slaps, kicks, bites, giggles...all on purpose too! (Hm...that made her sound very violent)
Part of me can't wait to see what she's like in another 6 months, but it's a catch 22. I now understand what Julia meant when she said her baby wasn't a baby anymore. He was 8 months or something. I said, "If he's in diapers, he's still a baby!" Sorry Julia, I understand now!

At 6 months:

She's barely tipping the scales at 13 lbs
She can roll from front to back and back to front- although not to get anywhere, just when she's bored
She's sleeping 5-7 hrs in a row at night
She's napping- for real! at least one 1-hr nap day (the others are 20-45 minutes)
She loves her daddy- and gets so happy and excited when he comes home from work
She wants mommy when she's tired and cranky
She cracks up at the "white dog" and "goldfish" pages in Brown Bear Brown Bear, What do you See?
She won't sit- but loves to stand
She is MAJORly stranger shy
She still loves bath time (although there were a couple weeks where she didn't like it due to a very scary water inhalation incident)



and mommy and daddy are very proud: Her favorite toy is a spatula (people at mass always crack up when we pull it out)



Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Stuff!

I've recently discovered the awesomeness of giveaways on blogs.  I'm contemplating doing my own, but for now will just pass on the effort of others.  One of the blogs I follow (It's Twinsanity!) is a mom of 6 kids under 6 (with two sets of identical twins!!).  And her husband is in the military and just left for Iraq.  And she stays at home.  And she uses cloth diapers.  And nurses the youngest FOUR. And homeschools.

Talk about an amazing woman!
Anyway, she does reviews and is doing one with a giveaway that ends the 15th.  It's not something I can use (yet) but I know some of my readers' kids might like it.  So here's the link!

Strobe Light




Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Superhero

This morning Jeremy brought Samantha to me for her morning nap. While I'm nursing her he gave me the morning report:

"When I got up with her I thought she had peed through her sleeper again, but then I opened it up and woaah! There was poop all the way to her neck. I tried wiping it off and thought 'to heck with this!' and just gave her a bath. It soaked through to her sheets too, so I have those in the wash. I put it through a rinse cycle first to get all the poop off."

Seriously, is this guy amazing or what?!

Monday, November 9, 2009

6 Month Appt

Went to the doctor today for 6 month check-up (a little early, I know).

She now weights a wopping 12 lbs 12 oz (5% percentile), is 27 in tall (90%) and is still in 50% for head circumference. Yes, she's dropped in the weight percentile, but she has gained weight (and the appt was a little early). We'll be taking her in again next month just to check on the weight gain.

We did her first round of shots too...I did the minimum...praying for no reaction...I've been loosing sleep over that decision!

Sucking the life out of a pear

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Who is that baby, she's quite a doll!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

He still insists that she doesn't have him wrapped around her little finger....riiiiight!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lu-tube





"Like...like...like"
She's only 6!! *sigh*

Boring Halloween!!

There was lots of this (cut our second tooth)
And this was the extent of her "dressing up"

Grandma promised to take over for next year.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's Off to Work We Go...

Samantha still loves doing housework with me. In fact, I don't do any while she is sleeping because she gets a kick out of watching me work.
I got down to her level to see what was so darn exciting.
I've got to be quicker these days. It's like her hands have little suckers on the ends of them. An object only needs to brush it and she's got a hold of it.


Making the bed



Can you find the baby? She was very good at pulling items from the middle folded piles. (again with the sucker fingers)



I love it when she does this. It's so hard for me to get a picture of her smiling because it's a whole body exercise. Edges of the lips curl up with her legs and she rolls off to the side--and generally out of the picture!

Ram Sam Sam

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lil Sister

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Genevieve

Lilypie First Birthday tickers