30 November 2011

Adventszeit, schoenste Zeit

Translated that means that the time before Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
So Christmas is my second favorite holiday, right after my birthday. Okay, all kidding aside, Christmas is a wonderful time and every year, I am enjoying everything about it, the music, the smells, the anticipation. But most of all, I have come to appreciate it as the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

So tomorrow is the first day of December - do you know what that means? My children do! They get to open the first window on their advent calendar. This is a part that I remember so vividly from when I was a child that I don't want my kids to miss out on it.

This year, we are going with the Playmobil one. It's the forest theme - which I thought was great for boy and girl. I only have one, so they have to share it. Each window has a toy that will be added to the scenery that came with the package.
I am a big fan of Playmobil and so is Coqui. Peanut is still a bit too young for most the pieces, but I hope that she will grow accustomed to it fast. At the end, we will have a nice collection of forest animals and their winter food.

Of course, slowly, we are decorating our house for the occasion. I pulled out all the boxes, but I have not have time to put it all up yet. But this weekend, we will buy the tree and decorate it. And I want to finish everything else, so I can do other things, like shopping and making cookies.
Here are a few pictures from the stuff that is out already. Of course, we are playing LOTS of Christmas music, in English, German and Spanish - a very interesting, cultural mix.
Most of all, I want to show off our stockings, because they are FIVE this year! Yeah.
Eventual, the baby will get it's own hanger, but I need to make a trip to a certain store for that. Can you tell that I have an oldest-one that is obsessed with trains? 
 This is Coqui's room. It's the most decorated so far - he is just way too excited! He also has a candy cane on his window, and those lights that look like candles. It's so bright in there at night that I can read his good-night stories without turning on the room light.
 My German 'Pyramide' that Mema had found for me one year. I totally love it.

Merry Christmas.

27 November 2011

Follow-up on Peanut

Do you remember my last post about Peanut's nap habits, or rather the loss of a very good habit?

Well, for the last week, I have purposely NOT letting her take a nap. It was actually quite liberating when I could leave the house any time I wanted... We had a very busy week, every day was something big going on with multiple play dates, and of course Thanksgiving. Now I was very tired from this week.....

At the end of the day, Peanut was very tired, of course, and completely knocked out the moment I layed her down in her bed. The first night, she slept 14 hours straight through the night. All the other nights were pretty much like that, maybe not as many hours.

But today, she actually asked me for a nap because she said she was tired. Already when we left the church, she was yawning. But then we went out to eat and she seemed fine. But when we came home, she asked if I could put her down. So I did. I let her sleep for her usual hour and a half, until way past my cut-off-time - which is around 3 pm. Let's see if I have to pay back for that later.

Maybe she had stopped growing? Because at the same time, she kind of stopped eating. But today, she ate all her lunch and asked for more. Then she asked for a nap.... maybe she is growing again!?! My 95%-child wants to be tallest of her class, I guess....

26 November 2011

Blessed Thanksgiving

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"  (1 John 3:1) 
Father, I pray that my life would be a living testimony of the fact that You have lavished Your love on me by making me Your child. Might everything I think, say and do today be shaped by this glorious fact. In Jesus' name. AMEN
So Thanksgiving is over and yet, I want to be thankful. Do I need a special day to be reminding to be thankful? No, I don't. I am thankful every single day.

I have so much to be thankful for, so I thought I mentioned it here:
I am thankful for:
- a God that has a never-ending love for me and that just blows me away
- a loving and carrying husband that walks by my side no matter what trials life has for us
- 5 wonderful children - 2 are already with out heavenly Father, 2 are right here with me now, and 1 is on it's way - they are ALL blessings to me!
- my parents who raised me
- the Hubby's family that took me in like their own daughter
- awesome friends that love us and that we enjoy spending time with
like on Thanksgiving Day:

Still, there is more. I am thankful for:
- Heather, the woman who carried our daughter - she gave up so much to help us make our wish come true, we will be forever thankful for what she did, and we love her and her family very much
- my best friend who replaced a big emptiness in my life - she is the person that I will call when I need advise, support or just simply girl-talk, I can not think of my life without her
- that same best friend that is carrying our last baby now - she followed God's calling and we are so thankful for her and her family
- for healthy children
- to be cancer-free and feeling great
- for all the material things we have like a house and cars and other things - they are not that important but make life easier and enjoyable.

The Lord has been good to us, to Him goes all the glory!
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." (1Chronicles 16:34)

21 November 2011

How much sleep is too much?

Well, we arrived at a stage in my little girl's life where I am not sure how much sleep she needs. For the longest time, she has been taking only one nap a day. Most of the days, it was practically perfect - we do school and a little outdoor activity, then have lunch and take a nap. I prefer to stay home in the afternoon, or at least really close to home, because I really don't want to battle traffic. I am fortunate to have a choice, so I try to run all my errands in the morning.

But lately, it seems like when she does take a nap, she takes forever to fall asleep at night. Saturday night, she finally slept AFTER I fell asleep, and that was past 11 o'clock at night. She was not crying, just happily talking and singing away in her bed. When I went in and told her that she needs her beauty-sleep, she said "okay, Mami" and still didn't go to sleep. How frustrating.

So now I find myself in the odd place of having to make a choice between a nap for her and a later bedtime, or no nap and an early bedtime. I am not sure which one I want. I really like my quiet time with Coqui alone, so he still gets a little one-on-one-time with me.

On the other hand, it would be nice to be able to go out of the house and not having to be back for nap time. We have done so a few times already, and she did great for most of the day. Of course, every toddler gets tired and cranky later in the day.

So my nice quiet time between a busy morning and a more relaxed afternoon might be just plain over..... how will I miss thee!

19 November 2011

Making a Baby in a different way

We have wonderful news to share...

... but before I do that, I want to remember why I even started this blog. I am a cancer survivor and due to a hysterectomy, I can not bear my own children anymore. But the doctor was able to save my ovaries, so we can still have children - just not the normal way.
So about three years ago, we went through the fertility process of harvesting my eggs, the Hubby's sperm and made lab babies. Sounds fun, right? If you want to know the entire medical side of it, you can read about it here. (If not, you skip and let your imagination go wild.)

The important part is that we needed a carrier, or to be more exact a gestational carrier, that 'borrows' us her 'oven' to 'bake' our baby. I highlighted our, because it is ours biologically. No part in this baby comes from the woman who carries the baby. Just to be clear on that!
So a lovely relative had stepped forward and wanted to carry that baby for us. She was such a blessing when we were in need of a true miracle. It was not an easy process but we made it through together and the result was a beautiful creation of God, the maker of us all, our pretty baby girl. And the many blessings that came along the way for both families.

During those difficult months, I got closer to a lady from our church. That lady is my best friend today and I love that I had her then and could share my worries with her. But I love even more that we are friends today and I can not think of life without her....
The day after we came home with Peanut, Beth came over to our house for a play date for the kids, for us adults to see each other, and to tell me something.... something that I was not prepared for and I didn't even expect....
... okay, are you ready? Drum roll please...

... she told me that she wanted to be our next carrier!!!

Can you believe that? I was so.... flabbergasted, I guess. I didn't know what to say. I mean I said thank you and all that, but I seriously wasn't thinking about that at all, not when you are holding that six-week old baby in my arms. We didn't talk about it for a while, but after about a year, I brought it back up and wanted to know if she was still willing to do this for us. And she was! So time went by, life goes on, schedules and such don't make it easy to really sit down and crunch the numbers.... but we finally said, okay, we gonna do this.

So the process was a bit different than last time. For once, I did not have to go through any medical procedures. Still, we had to go see a psychiatrist, go to the local fertility clinic for financial stuff, and had to have the embryo shipped to Texas; until finally Beth could have her first appointment with the doctor. She was in luck because she didn't have to take any hormone shots!
On the morning of the transfer, the embryo had to survive being thawed and then being implanted into Beth. Then we had to wait another ten more days for a blood test to take place, until we got the results that....

...... we will be a family of five soon.

We are almost eight weeks pregnant. I am looking forward to share this pregnancy with my very best friend, whom I love so much, and who has a special place in my heart, forever.

So yeah.... thank you, my dear friend Beth, for giving us this wonderful gift.
And I thank God for His infinitive blessings He is and will pour out over all of us.
If you want to read what she wrote today, here is a link to her blog.

14 November 2011

Susan Komen Race 2011

Yesterday was a special day. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was in the city and I ran it once again. It was my fourth consecutive year, after I had been diagnosed myself. It's the breast cancer race and I have been walking and/or running it for a dear friend and fellow-survivor. The first year, it gave me so much hope - it had only been three months after my surgery. Now I want to spread the word of hope to others who are newly diagnosed and might be, yet, hopeless. Hope is our biggest weapon.

I got there early to get street parking, and was just walking around to find where the start line and finish line were, when I met my friend from our church. I knew that she would be there, but this race is so big that I was never anticipating to find her. And there she was. So we chat a bit before the race. I was still  waiting for my team members to arrive - who, as it turns out, had trouble finding parking and actually never made it to the start line with me. So I had to run by myself. 

Here is the starting line before the race:

Here is how I looked once done, after three miles. I was able to run it without stopping once. This downtown area is pretty hilly and we ran up and down and up and down quite a few times. But I did it, and I did it in a pretty good time!

Here is my friend and fellow-survivor coming through the finish line. This was her first year running the entire course and I am so proud of her!

And here is an icon of our city.

12 November 2011


We were over our friend's house today and Beth read the kids a story:

Amazing how focused they all are. As you can see, it was the story of Cinderella, and even the boys were interested. Only my little Peanut couldn't sit still enough:

11 November 2011

The most dangerous room in the house

As a new parent, years ago, I thought of the kitchen being the most dangerous place or room inside a house or apartment. You know with all the knives and forks, with drink glasses and the plates, pots and the oven, not to speak of all the appliances that are in this room, it seems quite perilous to ever want your child to enter this room..... until he age of 18 (or so!). The smaller the kid, the bigger the hazard.

But then, again, as a new parent, we go out shopping, to child-proof the house, especially the kitchen. They have locks for the cabinets, locks for the dishwasher and locks for the refrigerator. They even have locks to prevent a child from turning on the oven themselves, unless you have an over where you can remove certain parts to avoid that. Please don't forget the plugs for the outlets, and to always unplug appliances that you are not using at a time. Even before kids, I unplugged everything from toaster to coffee machine, griddle or water heater - just being freaked out over the thought to accidentally leaving it on when I exiting the house!

Well, this morning I changed my mind!

This morning, I was under the shower when my boy came in because he needed to talk to me. (And yes, my kids are still allowed to see me naked, I don't want to raise them becoming prude - something I am so NOT - but this will be a future blog post!)
So he talked to me, climbing on the bathtub, falling off and getting hurt. And then it hit me! In this room, everything is dangerous! You fall in the shower or in the bathtub and you can really hit your head in such a way that it could cost you your life. Turning on the facet, the hot water can burn you. There are chemicals all over the place, under the cabinets, that a child should never get into their hands. You can fall and hit the tile floor and knock yourself unconscious! Inside this room, there are medicines that I would not want my child to find! Kids are curious and I would not want to find my kid reaching in the toilet or waste basket. Yuck!

So for me, after today, the bathroom is just the most dirty and dangerous room in the house!

Of course, we do have plugs in almost every outlet in the bathroom, just like in all the rooms of the house. We have locks on the cabinets. We don't have a lock for the toilet, but they are available in stores if you decide to install them. Also we can't really lock the shower door. And there is absolutely no way to keep a child from hopping in the tub and turn on the water. But the heater for the entire house is set on a pretty low temperature, so even the hot water might feel pretty hot to a child, it won't burn them severely. And we talk about not playing with certain things in side the house. Thank God, my kids are not playing in the bathroom, unless one of us parents is in there. I also try to buy green cleaning products for bathroom and kitchen especially, so if ever one of them would get into the chemicals, it's won't be too life-threatening.

Happy Parenting.

08 November 2011

Vaccinate or NOT?!?

I know this might be a soar subject with some of you, but I know what I believe. A friend of mine just shared this link on Facebook and I had to share with you. I watched the entire video - it's very long, but so worth watching it! It is only free until today.

Link: http://www.mercola.com/

When I had my first child, I kind of went ahead and got him vaccinated with almost all of the recommended shots. Our pediatrician in New Jersey was from Europe, so she was willing to accommodate my wishes. Once I came to Texas, the doctor here made me sign three (!) papers for NOT wanting certain vaccines. Unbelievable, because after all, aren't I the mother? Crazy.

With my second child, I listened more to what I (!) truly believe in. She got a few, but after one I actually stopped going to the doctor all together. She is developing the way she is suppose to, she thrives and grows. She is happy and there is nothing wrong with her. My kids are being home-schooled, so they are very seldom sick. A common cold is being cured by me, at home. Fevers to me are just a way of the body saying that it is fighting something - a good sign. I believe the more often one goes to the doctor, the more stuff you can pick up at exactly the place where you are trying to get help.

Now, I am NOT against doctors, at all. One very special one saved my life and my fertility (at least part of that) and I love her for doing so. The nurses at my oncology are the best in the nation (from my perspective!) and I am very happy that these special people take care of me.

In the video, Barbara Loe Fisher, a co-founder of the National Vaccine Center states that in the 1980s, in America, they gave 23 doses of 7 vaccines to the children, in general. Today, within three decades, that number tripled up to 69 doses of 16 vaccines. Wow - these are alot of shots! Too many, if you ask me.
Obviously, this video is about the complications that occur once the shots are given, and I thank God that this never happened to my children.So there is a strong lead in chronic diseases that have also tripled in the same period of time.

I think the video is worth watching. They did a good job in showing not only one side, but took different opinions into consideration. So they showed doctors that are researchers and pro-vaccine. One doc wrote a controversial book about vaccines and their effect, and today is not telling parents if they should vaccinate or not, but tries to educate them as much as he can, and if the parent decides to go ahead, he gives shots in smaller doses, and fewer shots at a time. Which makes sense to me.

I am a cervical cancer survivor. So I had the HPV virus screw up my fertility. Do you think I asked for it?
And soon after my hysterectomy, my doctor told me about the new vaccine, Gardasil, that had just come on the market. At the time, I had no daughter and didn't have to think about it. Now I do. In one of our support group meetings, I was asked if I would have given it to myself, or if I will give it to my daughter, and my answer was: "Hell, no!"  It is not enough researched! There are so many uncertain things about it, so no! And the video totally confirms it. One doctor even says that it should be taken off the market! That tells me that my instincts were right....The video says that Gardasil was fast-tracked and not enough researched. Duh.....

So the reason why I write this post is to point out, that doctors are not always right and just do what they are taught in school. I want to make you think about what you do with your children and what you pump into their little bodies. Have you ever read the ingredient list? Mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, antibiotics, and preservatives! How do you think their little bodies are dealing with that? And this is only in one shot. Now some parents give their kids four shots at a time. Wow. I would call that explosion! Inside their little bodies.

Just thinking about it makes me so mad! People, get informed and then think! Vaccination is not a hundred percent safe! It is also a money-making machine!
If you do get your kids vaccinated, then at least spread it out!!! Give one or two at a time.

06 November 2011


You would think I have done enough fighting in my life - starting in early childhood when I was closer to death than to life with a very serious pneumonia that kept me in a hospital for three months. Growing up in East Germany, left some more scars, emotionally. Getting healed from bi-polar depression was awesome, and it was only possible by the glory of God. Being diagnosed with cancer and fighting for my life was just another step that I had to take to grow my faith in our Savior. Through that trial, He gave me so much hope and I could truly feel His love for me.

Today, through all those trials, I feel blessed because I can appreciate all that the Lord has given me so much more. He blessed me with a family that I love so much, children that were born by me and by someone else. They are both miracles and blessings - they are testimonies for God's mercy and love. He is our Creator and Sustainer and I thank Him for that every day.
Recently, I went through alot more stuff that needed faith on my behave and full trust in God that everything would work out. Really, I was on the top of a mountain.

And then four days ago, I woke up and had that weird feeling that something was wrong. I could not put my finger on it. I knew what started my 'bad' thinking process, or rather how the devil got me in his fingers. For hours I prayed that God would pull me out, out of that depression and the heavy heart that I was feeling. I didn't understand why this was happening. I was just on top of the mountain - did I fall down over night without realizing it? What was going on?

On Thursday, I was just depressed. On Friday, I got angry about this. Why was I feeling so terrible? On Saturday morning, I knew I had to fight. It was not over yet, but I felt like I KNOW the right stuff, I know who God is and what He has done, I know that He will pull me through this, I just didn't know when and why not right away. And I will just have to fight for it! I wanted my peace and joy back! Sunday, today, was much better, and tonight I finally figured it out.

It was fear!

Fear that crept in overnight. A fear that I did not expect because I was at such peace with everything in my life. It took me off guard and shook what I thought were concrete believes. I felt nothing, even though I knew and still know that God is in control. He never left my side. But, He also needed me to battle this one with Him, to give Him all the glory. It is said that 'Don't be afraid' is the most mentioned statement in the bible. God knows how we humans handle things, if we handle them ourselves. That's where satan can come in and tries to throw us off our path. I found the following verse tonight that is so true and encouraging.

"Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared." (Proverbs 3:25-26)

Praying and spending time with God was what kept be sane. I still longed for Him and His never-ending love. I am okay now. And what I went through is called spiritual warfare. I had never experienced it. But now, the victory of God is so sweet. God is so marvelous and awesome. Next time, I will be better prepared, and will listen to God before satan can pull me down again. I will put on the armor of God and fight right away before I get carried away in worry and fear. Oh Lord, my Savior, you are so faithful.

And here is what I found after reading and reading and reading:
"Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You will have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
(Psalm 16:9-11)

I thank my Lord for bringing me peace throughout every single day!