Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mclachlan's 4th Birthday is TODAY~ Yes, I cried writing this Blog!

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Many of you who know my family personally, you may already have lived this story. For those of you who do not know myself in everyday life and have not had the chance to meet me, may not. Either way let us go back to when I first wanted to have children before my son came because I think this story is so incredibly important. It really has fueled a lot to why I blog now.
At the age of 23 I was faced with a horrid decision to choose to never have my own children. I had for years been battling cancers in my "lady parts" and was faced with the reality it just may never happen. I was in such a horrific place in my life because it was my ultimate dream to one day carry and have my own children ( yes, I know I could have adopted). My life just had not taken that road in stead it was a mess of failed relationship attempts, several serious operations and health complications really preventing the right time to have a child. I was in no condition to conceive on my own and was faced with the tough decision to in fact schedule a hysterectomy. As I sat in the Doctors office I remember thinking this was it, I was going to be left with an empty place. After discussing this with my doctor we both felt that at the time insemination would in fact help balance my hormone levels to help with some of the "lady problems" I was having.
I would love to say that road was easy and fun and end the story right there. But it's a blog come on! We tried for one and a half years to have a child. I had a miscarry and an atopic pregnancy which landed myself with serious complications and almost death into the hospital. After that I was shaken my relationship had taken its toll and we parted ways. I had one last chance and could not decide if I should risk another try on my own. At this point these treatments and injections were $8,000 and straining my job, life, relationships and my emotions. I gave it one last attempt unable to give up knowing the uncertainty and probability I would be a single mom. After trying again and waiting the allotted time, I went back, was examine and told it was negative. I was devastated and just seemed to walk away from the idea. My brother was flying in from deployment from Iraq and I flew out to see him. Life continued as normal for months. It wasn't until one day a co-worker came up randomly and said they had a dream I was pregnant. Seriously! I had not told anyone about my failed attempt because I was sure it would fail. That night all I kept thinking about was this comment and thinking wow it has been a while since any lady gift graced my presence (ha). Yes you guessed in a few days later I had this wonderful picture below of what is now my son Mac.
This pregnancy took its toll on my body and went from rough to serious in a very short time. He decided to give my body havoc at every turn and I was constantly in the hospital. At 24 weeks
I was rushed to the hospital because what I though was just cramping ended up being pre-term labor. At 24 weeks Mclachlan would have been a severe premature baby with little to no lung development. I immediately was given medication to stop the contractions. When this wasn’t working I was strapped and prepared to be Mercy Flighted to Children’s Hospital.  I couldn't get a hold of anyone, they were all stuck at work. As I was getting ready to leave, my family finally arrived only to be told I was probably going to deliver little Mac on the flight. A flight that took only 19 minutes to make would take them 2 hours to drive. He had one shot for his lungs to develop and that was it.
As I am sure they flew as fast as they could to get to buffalo. My brother was flown in from Iraq to be by my side along with my family. Like I said it was a huge scare and something I cannot ever put into words. Except to say we fought for Mac's life that day. I arrived safely and him unborn, luckily.
After this I was put on high risk. I went to the doctors office every other day for monitoring.
On June 27th, 2009 this little bundle of joy graced his presence one day before my original due date. This has to be my favorite photo above, of his birth, we all call it the I'm A-ok photo.
Through the years, I/we have been blessed with this little Mr. Mr. Blessed with extended families that call him theirs and friends who have surrounded him with love, gifts and support. We have all shared, even if it hasn't always been fun, the ups, the downs, the laughs, the cries together forming a family unit I dreamed of having. He will continue to grow and achieve thanks to so many of the people in his life and could not function without any of you! Let me show you some photos through his years so far because it truly is a miracle he is here! Trust me you have no idea what this little guy has battled and made it through. This was his first birthday above. 
Second birthday :O) 
Third birthday, and yes he still LOVES chameleons!
Fourth Birthday~ last Friday.
I can still remember his little kicks and him moving around in my belly. I can remember picking out your name. I can remember his very first cry and what he looked like in his crib. I remember him "cherping" while he drank a bottle. And now he can name his colors, shapes, is potty trained, says his numbers and 123s. He is my little man, my greatest and best life's accomplishment. Thank you all for sharing in this gift we have and seeing him develop via my blog!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strawberry/Banana Smoothie Recipe

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I recently have been on a smoothie kick! No reason in particular but there is a lot of fresh produce in our house and got a little creative. For this Strawberry/banana delight you will need the following:
 a blender
1 Banana
2-3 strawberries
1 tps honey ( I just drizzle a little)
1/2 cup Siggi's Vanilla liquid yogurt ( you can use any kind)
I threw all that into my blender along with 3-4 ice cubes. And blend. Now, I like mine to be a liquid constancy (because I don't enjoy pudding) so I added some water to thin it out. You can do this or keep it a more thick consistency really its up to you.
Stick a straw in it and you can go! I love these babies and have been trying a bunch of different easy recipes we cook up each morning. Basically, we have just been throwing fruits in the blender.
Try it out, tell me how you liked or hated it!!

How to go with the designer flow

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Today I wanted to talk about clothing on children. I have no idea when other moms start this but at the age of three I let Mac decide what he wants to wear each morning. That's right if he were ever to choose something mismatched and was adamant about it I think I would let him go outside with it on. Some of you, I'm sure think I am crazy but I would! He is own person and needs to learn to make decisions and figure out is own style.  
He usually chooses things that match so I have not experienced that yet. I have on occasion experienced him toting along "accessories" to anywhere we my be traveling for the day. It can be a collection of things, toys, stuffies, pins (with mommies help), beaded necklaces etc.
This hoodie has to be one of his favorites to wear with the mask. In the morning if it is chilly I asked him if he wanted to wear this and to my surprise he said no. I had to do a little investigating because this is a beloved sweater. Sure enough he said " I don't wanna wear it, people laugh at me". I was shocked and then realized that I to laugh when he flips his mask on. Not laugh at him of course but this mask makes you smile especially when he shows off his "muscles". So after a little convincing he learned and realized although people may laugh or smile it is not always at you personally. Someday people may laugh at his choices of clothing but for now that wasn't the case.
Ah rain boots. I blame this on Grandma! It doesn't matter if it is so hot the mosquitos are taking the day off, he wants to wear them. He will pair these babies with shorts, pants, sometimes tries to convince me to let him wear just undies and these bad boys. I try and support all of these except the undies, because he made this decision on his own and he loves them.  
So on to the real reason I wrote this blog today verses another. Yesterday, we went into Rite Aid and he was wearing his "Superman Cape", rain boots and shorts. A teenager walked by, luckily Mac did not hear him, and say "I am never having kids". I thought wow that's awful rude of you. But then I walked a little further down the aisle and realized maybe he just didn't realize the lessons and what fun having a child really was/is. My son may love to dress himself in fun "designer" getups but as his mom I support those decisions and will walk proudly next t him! So encourage, not make fun of or knock their style down. This could be a small but vital part of a child's growth from looking at you as his/her parent to a supportive and loving Mom.
He is my little man and honestly if I had a cape I'd have worn it yesterday too!
Because having a child is the best gift ever and sometimes it's a cape wearing day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mclachlan's Birthday Party

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Yes, I know this is really just a brag post but hey it's my blog I have to brag where the bragging is due! So we had Mac's birthday party and I wanted to share some of the photos I took. Family all sitting around eating yummy home cooking from yours truly. 
Fire pit was going to help cook the corn on the cob and give another seating area. I have to say cooking Shish-ka-bobs, corn, beans, fruit salad and chips n bean dip was pretty stress free and easy to make. Everything was made from scratch and didn't take long to prepare, marinade and cook.
So my Piñata was a HIT, literally! That thing was awesome it held up to every kid more then once, pats self on the back. If you want to make a Piñata instead of buying one at the store I highly recommend it. It's Cheap, easy and your little one can help. Learn how to make it here
Before you get all excited we did NOT stuff it with candy.
 I think I have mentioned several times our son cannot have sugar due to health issues.
So we stuffed it with fake snakes, games, confetti and mints! 
I ordered a photo cake from Wegmans.
They are fairly cheap and you just send a photo the night before.
Now that he is old enough to blow out his own candles it's pretty exciting!
I recommend whip topping to help eliminate sugar and create a light and fluffy taste! Yum!
Well that is really all I have to say, just thought I would share!
His birthday is actually June 27th, but I wanted to get the family together so we partied early.
Over all I spent only $35 including his gifts, décor, food, cake etc. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Friday, June 21, 2013

How to make a Homemade Piñata

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 I have been getting slammed with FREE magazines lately. I am not complaining because I do read each of them! Now that I have them, read them, what do I do with them? I donated TONS. As most of you now Mclachlan's birthday Party is today and I wanted to share my
Homemade Piñata I made for him.  
I thought I would talk you through how I made this in case you were interested!
I started with three balloons. I taped them together to stay with Scotts tape, it was windy.
How to make, Paper machete. Add glue and water together and dip paper into it. Pretty simple! I cut the magazines into 4 sections to help with applying. Whilst I was doing this Mac came around and saw things all sprawled out. 
So what did he do? He dug in and started to help.
At first I wanted to get after him and shoo him away because, then the surprise was lost. 
But he was having so much fun it was priceless. And now I have a helper.
So together we started creating his Piñata!
I wanted to make him a racecar.
I used very flimsy paper machete because he is young and this was his first.
We attached cardboard to the front, back and sides to help shape it.
Yes I pain stacking-ly created this "master piece" whilst sitting on our front porch. 
My lower back KILLS! My fingers are sore and my butt, no longer has feeling. 
BUT look at the results! What do you think?
 I covered the magazine paper with tissue paper layers.
After that he wanted me to add yellow accents.
Then he wanted numbers on it. So we added those.
Then he wanted a "M&M" on the hood and him in the driver seat.
So I drew all of that because I know he LOVES the number 18 "M&M racecar".
This was/is his homemade Piñata we made together.
I hope I works today and they have fun knocking it around.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strong Museum of Play

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Strong Museum of Play! Have you ever heard of this place?? As a parent, if you haven't, you really need to write this down or bookmark it! We recently took a trip here on a rainy day for some fun. They offer a HUGE indoor area for children to learn, explore and PLAY! They have their very own Sesame Street reproduction, Wegmens store (children's size), Dr. Seuss, Bernstein Bears reproduction play area, Comic book character recreations and Dancing with Wings exhibit. I could go on and on about this place. It is wonderful and fairly inexpensive. It is in Rochester, NY but worth the trip! Today I am going to focus on the Dancing with Wings exhibit.  
This is not included in the general admission BUT I think it's $4-5 extra. Use your triple A cards, Senior or student cards for discounted prices!! This attraction houses 800 free flying butterflies!! Do you see why I think you should shell out the extra dough and take your children! Before entering you will gain some safety tips, instructions and guide cards. 
Then you enter the rainforest setting hoping a butterfly will land on you! At first mac was shy and wondered around to scoop the place out. He was super excited! 
Then a yellow butterfly landed on his hands. Boy was he HAPPY!
Yellow just happens to be his FAVORITE color.
 
How precious is this?
I am telling you for the extra $5 it's worth it, BIG time!
So while there I shot a few photos of the different breeds to show all of you!
Hope you enjoy them. 
I am shooting this on my Panosonic Lumix.
What do you think?
I even had one land on my hand whilst walking around shooting photos! 
If you have children and have never been I HIGHLY suggest you make a trip. This is wonderful for children under the age of 6!! Children under the age of 2 are FREE. I give this place a 5 out of 5 stars in recommendations! We have taken Mac several times and each time there is something new and different to try. No I do not get paid to say any of this I am merely expressing my opinion of cheap, fun, kid activities to check out.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to make a Fire Pit

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Have you ever wanted to make your own s'mores or roast marshmallows? Well I decided that the fire pit I had was in need of an over haul. Since I am rather handy I decided to not only make a new one but share the experience with you.
 Now you can also attempt this awesome feet!
* First make sure you have enough room and clear it well!
* Level the ground so that you do not have an uneven surface.
* Lay your foundation stones or bricks (in my case) in the pattern you want your fire pit.
(square or round) 
* I wanted a hole in the middle to contain the coals and flames for better cooking.
* add the bricks or stones in layers around your fire pit for a stable platform.
* Also take in account how big you want your fire pit.
* Lay your slate rocks or bricks on top of the first layer and just build up. 
I used slate rock and just played around with shapes and sizes until they fit in a uniformed way.
I then dug out the dirt hole so the coals and fire would sink down in to the pit.
This way we could add a grate and cook on the open flames.
~We were given the metal grate as a Christmas gift but for those of you in our area you can find these at the Turtle pit gas station in Salamanca. If you are interested.
I am sure they also sell them online.
~ Also keep your eyes peeled at garage sales or thrift stores for cooking pans or utensils I picked this Dutch oven up for $2 at a yard sale yesterday!
Please practice safe fire starting, monitoring and cooking. These are so nice to have, great fun for the kiddos and at any dinner event. I also recommend grabbing some sticks to roast marshmallows and or hot dogs. 
Nothing beats cooking on the campfire!