PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Update: Everything went very well today with Schaeffer's tubes. He did great and had no adverse reactions from the anesthesia. The ENT couldn't believe how quickly he recovered from the anesthesia just minutes after the surgery. That's my boy! The ENT also said, "Schaeffer's ears could not have been any worse, and actually they looked horrible!" But now with the fluid gone and the tubes in place, he should be hearing all sorts of things that he has missed before. We're giving him drops in his ears for five days to keep infection away so his ears can heal properly. Thanks for the prayers. The good Lord answered them all!!

Schaeffer is going tomorrow for his tubes. We have to be at the hospital by 6:15 a.m., and we hope to be home around 7:15 a.m. I'm praying for uncomplicated, quick, and effective!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Birth Through the Eyes of a Preschooler

It's always so funny to hear what comes out of my little innocent 3-year-old's mouth. As my belly - and little bean - grows bigger every day, I've become more protective of my belly against fast approaching objects (and little people). It just so happens that Lily's head reaches right to my belly button when she stands beside me. And one of her favorite things to do is to run and crash her head into me - I guess it's a sensory thing, I don't really know. But lately I've had to throw my hands up to stop her, and I'm definitely more aware when she is in one of her wild moods because there's usually no warning when she's going to crash into me. So yesterday, I stopped her and pointed at my belly to show her exactly where her little brother or sister was living. I said, "Lily, see my belly right here? This is your little baby brother or sister and you have to be careful around my belly because you could hurt your little brother or sister." Lily said, "It's a sister! Are you going to spit her out tomorrow?"

Monday, November 17, 2008

We're Going Green!

We're going green around here, and not the tree-huggin' type. I'm in the process of switching over our cleaning and health/beauty supplies to more natural and less toxic products. All this was brought on by this crazy pregnancy. It all started when I began removing some of the more noxious items in our home because they were making me queasy every time I smelled them. The common perpetrators were shampoo and conditioner, soap, candles, air fresheners, and bathroom cleaners. I noticed when I switched out those products for ones that are vegetable based, even though they too have fragrance added, I wasn't having the gag reflex. I have come to the conclusion that the chemical fumes mixed with fragrance (which is probably stronger since they have to cover the chemical smell) was creating problems for me. It wasn't simply the fragrance itself. I have really enjoyed the scent of natural citrus, fruits and spices as long as they are in their natural state. I figure the benefits to this switch, even though not my initial goal, is to be a better steward of the natural resources God has entrusted to each one of us, and to create a healthier home for my children.

As I make this switch I'll share from time-to-time what natural products I find and how well I like them. (Not all the products I have started using are 100% natural, but they are mostly natural and don't contain toxic chemicals). So far I have switched everything in my shower, since that's supposed to be a relaxing experience and not one where I'm holding back gags. I am using Aveeno moisturizing bar, Tom's of Maine body wash (already love their all natural toothpaste), Burt's Bees facial cleanser, Aveeno shower/bath oil, Aveeno shave cream, and Bumble and Bumble Seaweed shampoo and conditioner (not all natural, but I love the smell and my hair likes it too). I have also switched hand soap and bathroom cleaner. I love Melaleuca Moisturizing Liquid Soap (they have a holiday scent - spiced fig - which is awesome!). Clorox has a line of green products called Green Worx, and so far I have used and really like their bathroom cleaner. It did the job just as well as any other store brand, but without the horrible fumes. My next switches will be laundry and dishwashing detergents, furniture polish and other types of household cleaners. I'm very curious to try Melaleuca Sol-U-Guard Botanical Disinfectant since we are heading into cold and flu season. So keep posted for more product reviews.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Photo Session with jonSpot

Check out the beautiful work done by jonSpot Photography. We really enjoyed our photo session with Jon and his very sweet wife, Amy. She is great at getting big smiles from the kids. And Jon's photos are amazing pieces of art. We will definitely be asking him for more photo sessions in the near future, probably in April or May 2009 for our newest addition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Boy, Girl, or Feline?

I had my 16-week OB appointment today. Baby Three is sounding great - strong heartbeat about 150 bpm. In only 4 weeks we'll know the sex of the little bean. We're scheduled for the 20-week ultrasound on Dec. 9. I'm very excited to know which bins of newborn clothing to pull out of the closet. Will it be Schaeffer's blue and yellow outfits, or will it be Lily's pink frocks? I don't have a single inclination of this baby's sex. I had a strong feeling with Lily that she was a girl. I had a strong feeling with Schaeffer that he was a girl - wrong! And the only clue I've had with this baby came in the form of a dream, and well, it was a grey tabby cat. Yes, I actually dreamed I gave birth to a 7 pound grey cat that came out clawing the nurses. And then the nurses were frustrated because I couldn't get my "baby" strapped into the car seat. Have you ever tried putting a seatbelt around a cat?! Maybe the dream is an actual reflection of how I feel some days when I'm trying to strap in my squirming, and quite strong, 17-month old son.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tubes For Sure

Schaeffer had his appointment with the ENT today. It is confirmed, he will be getting tubes placed in his ears to equalize the pressure in the middle ear. His ears are still filled with fluid and his eardrums are still not vibrating as they should. While we were there at the appointment, the audiologist did a preliminary hearing test that only took a few minutes. She placed little ear buds in his ear and sent varying pitches into his ear canal. The graph showed what pitches his ears were registering. His left ear registered all pitches. His right ear, however, only registered the highest pitch. Although, the audiologist explained that the fluid might have been thicker in that ear or he may have made a sound that interfered with the test results. Regardless, after his tubes are inserted and the fluid is drained, we will return to the ENT for a follow up and for another hearing test. The ENT was pretty confident that Schaeffer's hearing would return to normal once the tubes were in and the fluid was gone. That's my prayer! The surgery will be Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 6:30 a.m. It is a very minor surgery which should only take a few minutes. We should be home in about an hour and Schaeffer should be back to his normal self the next day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Glimpse

We had our photo shoot with Jon Spot Photography yesterday and here's just a glimpse of one image he captured. At first I thought Lily had her tongue hanging out, but after a closer look I realized she had her finger up to her lips. Jon's work is simply amazing. I appreciate his art. Not only does he try to capture each individual's emotion, but he also tries to take full advantage of the surroundings. When I see this photo I feel like I've just spotted an illusive forest fairy - and to top if off, she's my little Lily bug! It's enough to bring me to tears (and the prengnancy hormones definitely don't help any).

If you are interested in working with Jon and his wife Amy who accompanies him to each photo shoot, just let me know and I'll get his information to you. We'll be getting all the proofs to view very soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween No-Show!

There may be some question as to why I never did post any photos of my kiddos in their Halloween costumes. Well, the shortest answer that I can come up with is this: My eccentric, sensory daughter refused to put on her costume. I have to admit, I was a bit bummed. My mom and I worked hard to put together Lily's Raggedy Ann costume and I put together some pieces to make Schaeffer's Andy costume. It was pointless to put Schaeffer in his costume if Raggedy Ann was a no-show. I mean really, who's Andy without Raggedy Ann? And Schaeffer didn't care anyway. There's always next year...


I haven't put any political posts up on this blog. It's not that I don't care about politics in our nation. I voted and I pray for the next President. It's just that my heart is broken for something that runs deeper than politics. My heart is broken for all of humanity. For too long I have enjoyed, and even worshipped, our freedoms and material wealth in this great nation. And as I say this, I am examining my own heart: Have I for too long put my trust in my comforts and not put my trust in Jesus? I don't desire to see the number of abortions in this nation increase, nor do I desire to see God's plan for marriage denigrated. But I have to reflect and ask where my relationship with Christ is today. He will hold me accountable for my own sins, my own lack of concern for the dying, my own worship of material goods, my own independence from Him, my own bad attitudes, my own overeating, my own arrogance, my own impatience, my own envy, my own selfishness, my own boasting, and my own self-reliance. It's all too easy to point fingers, but today I reflect on my own relationship with Jesus. I ask Him to show me so I can receive His gift of repentance and forgiveness. And as He reveals to me sin in my life, I pray I will be broken so I can serve Him more effectively, and even more so during times of hardship and persecution if He so desires to allow those things to come.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Totally Tubular, Dude!

We may have uncovered some of Schaeffer's speech problems. The story goes like this: At Schaeffer's last speech therapy session, Dee noticed Schaeffer wasn't responding to certain toys that made soft sounds (toys that rattle, swish, or crinkle). She has also observed Schaeffer trying to say words, but his articulation is horrible. Therefore, Dee suggested that I take Schaeffer to Tennessee School for the Deaf for a free hearing test. Through the use of a tympanometer, the audiologist at TSD discovered that both of Schaeffer's eardrums were not vibrating as they should be. The results of his test showed no movement of the right eardrum and abnormally small amounts of movement of the left eardrum. Luckily, when she tested his hearing as it related to tone, his test was normal. She gave me the tympanometer results and told me to take them to Dr. Feld.

Today we visited Dr. Feld and I showed him the results. He looked in Schaeffer's ears and said that he had lots of "gunky fluid" behind his eardrums. He re-tested with the tympanometer at his office to ensure the results correlated. They did, and in fact, both eardrums showed no movement at all (the graph was completely flat). Dr. Feld is referring Schaeffer to an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. He explained that he did not want to waste any time with medications because the fluid needed to be drained out with the use of tubes. He said, "This is not a case of reoccurring ear infections, but it's a case of Schaeffer not being able to hear." I then asked if it was possibly causing the speech delay and Dr. Feld nodded in agreement.

So we should be hearing from Dr. Feld's office in the next few days with more information about an appointment with an ENT. Dr. Feld said, "Unless the ENT had a very compelling argument otherwise, I want to see Schaeffer get tubes."

I just pray that the tubes are the answer and my little man begins talking up a storm once the fluid is gone and his hearing is restored. He has begun to say "Mama" lately, although it's been a few days since I've heard him say it. Nonetheless, it has totally melted my heart!