Wednesday, July 27, 2011

PYHO and Pinteresting: God Bless the USA

Body of Fallen Soldier Returns Home - WICU12/WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

That's what's I've been dealing with lately.

The uncle of one of my students and brother of a wonderful dance mom/family friend was killed last week in Afghanistan on his fourth tour of duty with the Pennsylvania National Guard. Staff Sergeant VanGiesen is 5 years older than me, dated the older sister of one of my high school friends for 14 years and was an all around good guy. A typical Pennsylvania boy, he loved fishing, hunting and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was one of our own. I understand that soldiers die every day as a result of the war. I am sad for their families and the passing of these brave men. But when you come from a town of 3,000 people, losing one of our own in the war devastates the entire family.

I've spent much of the last week mourning. Mourning the passing of a good guy, praying for his girlfriend and her family, for my dancer and her family and mostly just praying for peace of mind. Our entire town is grieving. We lined the streets yesterday as his remains came "home," back where he belongs. Rory waved her little flag and I cried as my dear friend drove by, crying quietly in a military issued van, following behind a hearse carrying her younger brother. Our community is in shock, the entire town has become quieter.

Source: via Krisy on Pinterest

Tomorrow I'll sit in the high school auditorium and tearfully witness a full military funeral for a solider who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Kenny wasn't afraid, he was a proud solider and knew the risks going in. He was a career solider, a lifelong patriot. He died doing what he really believed in and for that...we're all proud to be Americans.

Linked with...


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Covering the Studio in Prayer

As you all know, I own my own dance studio. It's stressful, exciting, challenging, and never the same twice. I am also a Christian woman. I think anyone who's been around here before knows that! I've recently been working on strengthening my faith and my reliance on God. I've always struggled with worrying way too much about things and never being able to give my concerns over to the Lord without snatching that right back. I'm working, I'm changing, I'm becoming a better mom, wife, business owner and Christian through out this journey.

What I'm asking is this...I'm looking for prayer partners to help me cover my studio in prayer this season. Registration is in two weeks and I want to take these next 15 days to pray for every facet of the studio. I want my studio to be a beacon of goodness and Light in a town that is desperate. There's so much sadness in the forest right now, we just lost a soldier in the war this week. I've had two students hospitalized for major health concerns, one lost vision in her left eye entirely. It's just been a long, hard summer for us and we need to start this year off on the right foot.

Here's my prayer requests for the next 15 days...

July 24, 2011:
Job 21:11...And they send forth their little ones like a flock and their children dance.
Today we pray for the students that are returning to Studio K, that they will come with an open mind, an excited heart and a desire to learn, share and experience all that we have prepared for this year.

Monday, July 25
2 Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might!
Today we pray for new students who are coming to Studio K for the first time. We pray that the decision will be ease for the students and the parents, that they will have peace of mind and heart for deciding to dance.

Tuesday, July 26
1 Chronicles 16:9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Today we pray in thankfulness for all of the blessings we've received in the last six years. We are so grateful for the opportunities, the students, the creativity and the never ending supply of support and love. We praise the Lord!

Wednesday, July 27
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Today we pray for our teachers and assistants that they will be able to convey what they want the students to learn clearly and with kindness. Help us remember that mistakes happen and are merely a step in the path of learning. Help us remember not every student wants to be a professional and at the end of the day, love and laughter is much more important.

Thursday, July 28

Today we pray that our words in class and in the studio will be pleasing and honoring to the Lord. Guard our tongues and help us speak in kindness to and of our students, staff and families.

Friday, July 29
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Let all our actions and performances be done so that others can see that our abilities and talents come from the Lord. Without the Lord, who would have set our feet dancing?!

Saturday, July 30
Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
We pray today for all the parents of our dancers. Help them to see that we want to provide support, laughter and happiness to their children. Help them to know that Studio K is a safe place.

Sunday, July 31
Proverbs 14:14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his.
Today we humbly pray for financial blessing and freedom from worry. All good things come from the Lord and we are relying on the Lord to send us enough students to not have to worry about finances through out these economic times. Help us trust in the Lord to provide all our needs and not worry.

Monday, August 1
Matthew 18:3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change
and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Today we praise the Lord for all of our students, past present and future! We claim them as our own in our dance family. We hope to learn from our students this year and remember each class that the Lord values child like faith. Please Lord, bless our students and help us remember that they are the future.

Tuesday, August 2
Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything,but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Today we pray specifically for peace of mind and calmness of spirit. Help us to trust the Lord to provide for our needs, financially, creatively, intellectually and in all the areas we require help. Help us to remember to present our needs to Lord openly and honestly and clear our minds of needless worry. Help us to leave our burdens for the Lord to take care of and not snatch them right back.

Wednesday, August 3
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Today we pray for the upcoming recital and Disney performance, that they would be a blessing to everyone involved. That planning these shows would go smoothly and done with confidence that we are doing what the Lord wants us to do! Help this to be our best recital yet, with good technique, good sets, good costumes, good choreography and a well rounded look to the recital and Disney show. Help us remember the Lord is directing our path and our steps along that path.

Thursday, August 4
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Today we pray for the interactions of our students with each other. Help them to celebrate each others and not begrudge other students' success. Help our students learn from each other and not be angry and gossip. Protect our students hearts and minds in class and help them work together as a team.

Friday, August 5
Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD...
Today we pray for health and strength in our dancers and staff member's bodies. Help protect us from injury and illness, rest when our bodies require it and fuel ourselves with healthy food. Help our students tumble and dance wisely and safely.

Saturday, August 6
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Today we pray that our studio will multiply and be blessed with students who desire to learn and want to have fun while dancing. We pray that our dreams would be made a reality this year as we trust in the Lord to guide our path. Again we pray humbly and openly for freedom from worry and the ability to rely fully on the studio to provide our needs.

Sunday, August 7
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Today we pray for the dance year as a whole, covering the year in love and blessings, asking the Lord to look after us. We guard our hearts and our tongues, wishing to be a blessing to each other and those we encounter through the studio. Help us be an example of modesty, integrity, creativity and loyalty. We rest in the promises of the Lord and open our hearts and minds for the best year yet.

Monday, August 8
Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.
If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Finally we pray that God will bless us with opportunities to teach and reach out to students all across our area. Help us expand our territory and bless us with students who need and want the friendship, kindness and laughter we can provide. We dedicate this year to the will of the Lord. AMEN!

If you can join me in these simple prayer requests, I'd be so grateful. I'm trying not to worry, but I always do and I want to change!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Just a quick Trace update. We're headed to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital on Monday to meet with the gastroenterology department. We're going to be examining Trace's acid reflux further and see if we can get to the root of the problem.

Since his choking/stop breathing incident a couple weeks ago, he's gagged over 15 times. This is while being on a 1.6 mL of Zantac twice a day. Sometimes when he's eating, sometimes when he's just sitting there playing. It also seems to me that his tongue is too big for his mouth. (For real!)

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please. I need the strength to be Trace's advocate and stand up for the fact that he needs more tests done. I am NOT good at really speaking to how bad conditions are and once this resulted in me being hospitalized for three days. I need to stand up and be heard for my son.

This is putting so much stress on me, I feel like I'm cracking under the pressure. I'm edgy, nervous and ready for some sort of plan or answers. Even if the answer is just "yep, it's acid reflux. He'll grow out of it." I will feel better. I'm trying.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Top 5 Thursdays: Movies

Okay, this week I'm linking up with Megan over at The Perfect Compilation Tape for her top 5 Thursdays. The theme this week? Top 5 Movies! I'm going with Top 5 Kids Movies That Won't Make You Want to Poke Your Eyes Out. I'm going with more recent movies. Classic Disney movies are always great. :)


5. Gnomeo and Juliet

Adorable retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Great message about accepting other's differences. Plus the soundtrack is all Elton John. WIN WIN.

4. Ratatouille

The most under appreciated Disney Pixar film, I think. It's so cute! Plus it makes me want to cook every time I watch it. We'll be dining at Chefs de France in Epcot next summer just to see Remy. Watch this movie!

3. Toy Story (All 3!)

I sure hope you've all seen these movies. If you haven't, you are really missing out. Pixar movies are enjoyable at any age, for real. Especially Toy Story. It's such a wonderful tale of lasting friendships and getting along.

2. Tangled

GIRL POWER. I love this movie because it is encouraging to young girls to be adventurous, explore and work for what they want. Plus it's hilarious.

1. The Princess and The Frog

If you've ever met Rory, you know this is our favorite movie. Favorite as in we watch it at least 4 times a week. We sing the songs, we talk about it all the time, she sleeps with the dolls, blankets and characters. She's got shirts, dresses, if they made it, she's got it. We love this movie!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh How Pinteresting...#3


Linking up with adorable Michelle this week for Oh How Pinteresting. My theme this week is fall decorations! I've never been a big decorator for anything except Christmas. But I want to be! :) I figure the kids will get a kick out of it and so will I. Here are some fall decorations I want to try and make...and now that there's a Hobby Lobby in the town where we always shop, I can actually buy cheap supplies and decorations!! :)

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

A pretty rag wreath. My friend makes these and says it's super easy.

Adorable pumpkin topiary! 3 plastic/foam pumpkins, some paint and a pot. Easy!

Thanksgiving Tablescape. I have a picture window sill that faces right towards the road. Those cans with the little LED candles would look so cute in there!

Love the lighter colors in this one and the old rakes! Upcycling, baby.

Halloween countdown pumpkin! I'd do mine in purple, black, orange and lime green though. We don't do "scary" Halloween around here, just cute fun Halloween. :)

What are you pinning this week??

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Rant.

If I see one more diatribe bad mouthing formula feeding, I'm going to lose my mind. STRAIGHT UP. I am unfollowing blogs and deleting Facebook friends who are so nasty about formula. I don't sit here and make all sorts of snide remarks towards moms who breast feed. If I did, people would jump ALL OVER ME for being rude and nasty. Yet here I sit, a formula feeding mom, and everyone is allowed to post all sorts of crap about how much healthier your kid will be from breastfeeding.


My 26 lb 2 year old and 20 lb 9 month old beg to differ, but okay. You sit up on your high horse and I'll stay down here with the normal people.

Stop. judging. me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pedicure 911

I need a pedicure...BAD. I was sitting at the pool yesterday hanging out with my sister and my feet were disgusting. Dancing in my bare feet, running around in flip flops...yuck. I will spare you the pictures. :) And considering I found a $100 Spa Gift Card in my bedroom the other day (FOR REAL!), I am making an appointment for a facial, massage and pedicure next week.

I think I want to do something fun on my toes. I need a little spice in my life and my toe nails are about as spicy as I get these days. ;) Here's my choices...



Summer Flowers and Colors

Vera Bradley look-a-like! I love this for my big toe and then matching shades on the rest of my toes.

Have you painted your toes anything exciting recently? Favorite colors? Share! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Boob Tube Babble...Gilmore Girls Edition

Linking up with Neely and Meg again this week for Boob Tube Babble. This week I'm talking all about Gilmore Girls!

Boob Tube Babble

I love Gilmore Girls. Like a lot.

I started watching this little gem back on the WB in high school. The character Rory and I are the same age so I connected with her quite easily. I was captivated by the witty banter, the relationship between Lorelai and her daughter Rory, the storylines, the setting, the style...the whole show just appealed to me.

As I grew through high school, so did Rory. We experienced so many of the same things at the same time. Dances? checks. Boyfriends? check. Friend drama? Check. When she went to college, so did I. Watching Gilmore Girls was a constant and a comfort.

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

When the show ended, I cried. Big, ugly alligator tears. It was like saying good bye to friends. I still watch it (almost) every day! (Except. Stupid ABC Family is taking it off the air and putting The Secret Life in it's place. GAG.) Good thing I have all the seasons on DVD...

I have a daughter named Rory and yes, she is 100% named after Rory Gilmore. I love the name, it's simple, unique and interesting. I also love Rory Gilmore. I see her as a strong, intelligent, well spoken, classy character. These are all things I'd love for Rory Undercoffer to emulate as she grows up. What more can I ask for as her mother?

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My favorite episode is definitely when Luke takes Lorelai to his sister's wedding. It's a wonderful start to a beautiful relationship. My least favorite episode is actually two parts. I can't stand that Rory sleeps with Dean during the grand opening of the Dragonfly. I think it's a sneaky, manipulative part of the storyline that is completely out of Rory's character. But. I won't rant about a tv show that's been off the air for years. :)

I know I am not the only one who feels attached like this to a tv show. What are you attached to? Any characters you love? Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Talking about Dance Mom

Okay you had to know this one was coming.

Did anyone else watch the new show on Lifetime last night, "Dance Moms?" You better believe I did and my phone was blowing up with texts from students and dance parents about it.

In case you didn't watch...It's a docu-series following the Abby Lee Dance Company from Pittsburgh. It follows the junior level team (think like 8-11 years old) as they travel to competitions all over the country and ultimately head to Nationals. Abby Lee is the director and choreographer.

On the show she comes across as crazy. Like completely crazy and overdemanding and nasty. The dance moms are portrayed as overbearing, over involved, oft times alcoholic and just as nasty as Abby.


I've competed against Abby Lee many times, with my own studio and as a dancer when I was younger. She is crazy. Yep, she is. She is brash, extremely hard core, sets insane expectations and knows exactly what she wants. If you get in her way, watch out.


People keep going there. They bring their children to her and Abby produces stars. Is it really that bad if people keep going there? Are the moms that insistent on turning their children in to stars? Do the girls respond to the constant criticism? I don't know. The dancers are AMAZING but at what cost? Their self esteem? Their sense of security and enjoyment of dancing?


On the episode last night, one mom said they pay $16,000 a year for competition. As a teacher, I'm going to guess that's for fees, trips, costumes, everything not just classes. I hope so anyways. Because, Abby Lee, that's ridiculous. Now, I teach in a super small town that's been really hard hit by the economic down turn so my fees are as low as possible. I don't add anything on for competition classes at all. They are merely responsible for entrance fees, hotel, food, etc for the competition. That's enough for them to afford on top of their normal tuition here in North West Pennsylvania. Amazing how different things are two hours south...

It's always been my philosophy to never yell or humiliate my child. I don't care how great it makes them, it's not appropriate. There's better ways to get a point across. A dancer needs to be built up from the inside out. Yes, Abby Lee. They will be facing hard criticism and nastiness when they enter "the business." But let's be honest. How many of your students have actually ever pursued a dance career? How many just gave up after high school because they couldn't take it anymore? Let's get real. I know my students want other things. I don't have the luxury of requiring 25 hours of class a week. I'm lucky if I can get my kids to commit to dance two weeks before the recital or competition.

All this being said...I'm so glad I'm not like Abby Lee. All I have to do is look at Rory's face and I know for a fact I'll never speak to my students like that. Yikes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh How Pintresting....#2 (Harry Potter Style!)

This weekend, 11 years of reading and movie watching comes to a close. I started reading Harry Potter in 10th grade. I've devoured every second of the books, watched the movies over and over again and grown to love the characters that dance across the pages of JK Rowling's finest works. To say I'm a fan is an understatement. I'm attached. So today, I bring you Oh How Pintresting...Harry Potter Style. :) Head over to the Vintage Apple and link up!

Source: None via Kate on Pinterest

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Ms. Rowling, thank you for transporting me to a beautiful world where good wins over evil and my imagination exploded with possibility. Your words inspired so many children to read and that is by far the greatest gift you gave the world. Thank you. <3

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rockin' The Baby!

A month ago, Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosted a link up called "Rockin' The Bump." I displayed pictures of my enormous end of pregnancy body for the whole world to see. (I'm not one of those women who think I am most beautiful when I am pregnant!)

This month, she is hosting a "Rockin' The Baby" link up and I'm ALL OVER THAT. :)

In case you are popping in from Rockin' The Baby...I have two kids. Rory was born May 6, 2009 and Trace was born October 25, 2010. They are 17 months apart and as different as night and day. Trace, sans his digestive issues, is laid back, easy going and easily entertained. Rory is dramatic, full of spunk and has a huge imagination. They are, in so many ways, exact clones of Dave and myself. :) Rory is 2 and 2 months and Trace is 8.5 months. Enjoy!

Rory at 4 months:

Rory now:

Trace at 3 months:

Trace now:

Photo credit to Laura!

Happy 4th of July from the Undercoffer Kids!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quick Trace Update

Trace had another gagging (not choking!) episode today while eating. Thankfully, it never got to choking and he never fully lost his breath as he did last week. This time I know for a fact he hadn't swallowed anything because Dave was holding him prior to starting to feed him.

Considering this is three gagging/choking episodes in 5 days, even with increased Zantac, we've made the decision to seek further testing. I emailed in our appointment request to the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. They have a research and treatment department there for infants/children/adolescents with GI problems.

Poor Fizzy Joe...My nerves are shot.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

HEALTHY and Easy Baked Chicken Breasts

So last night I was looking for an easy, healthy way to cook up some chicken breasts. I need to spice up our chicken routine around here. I found this recipe and modified it a little bit. It was super good, super easy and HEALTHY! I mean come on. Triple threat chicken. :)

Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Bread crumbs
Garlic powder
Parmesean cheese

1. Trim up your chicken breasts. I take a lot of time trimming off fat. The more lean the better in my opinion! Rinse them and pat them dry.
2. In a small bowl, melt just enough butter to coat the chicken breasts lightly. I used Country Crock because it tastes great and has low cals.
3. In a second bowl, combine a handful of breadcrumbs, some garlic powder and a sprinkle of parm cheese. Go light here, folks. We're doing a light coating!
4. Dip chicken breast in butter then in bread crumb mixture. Light crust is the theme here!
5. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cooking time will vary with thickness of meat. Check for done-ness before serving.

I served mine with a cup of green beans and a half a cup of mashed potatoes. I dipped it in a little bit of light sour cream mixed with dry ranch dressing mix. I made the dip for veggies. It would have been just as delish without dip, but I was in the mood for ranch and it had WAY less cals than ranch dressing. Plus I had a bunch of extra calories I didn't use up today so it's all good.

I'm trying a ton of new recipes this week, granted the Farmer's Market has all the veggies I need tomorrow! I'll keep you posted. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday...Boob Tube Babble and some catch up

First, I just wanted to thank everyone for their concern over Trace the last few days. He's back to his bumbly, happy self sitting beside me on the floor right now chewng on a toy spatula from Rory's kitchen. :) We're exploring our options right now as far as alternatives to doubling his Zantac but a long, scary story short...he's going to be a-okay. We are crazy blessed!

Secondly, yesterday's post was my 300th!! I can't believe it!
300 posts Pictures, Images and Photos
Thanks for hanging around here at 567Kate. I sincerely hope the best is yet to come!

Now, on to Friday business. This week I am linking up with Neely and Megan for Boob Tube Babble!

This week I am a bit behind on TV because Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated entirely to Trace and I was too beat at night to watch my shows like usual. BUT. I still have things to chime in on!

1. Pretty Little Liars: I have a complaint about this show. There are a ton of male, minor characters and I lose track. It took me a while to figure out that the doctor helping Melissa was Wren from season 1. Am I the only one who is confused like this?! I don't think Ian killed himself. I think A killed him. Longshot? Maybe. This show is so over dramatic and wonderful. It's definitely my guilty pleasure.

2. Toddlers and Tiaras: WHOA BABY. Listen, I am a dance teacher. I have a son. If Trace said to me he wanted to dance or tumble, well then of course he could. But! I think it's important to balance the arts with sports for boys. I don't care if that's not allowing him to find his own path or personality. Boys need to be with other boys just like girls need to be with other girls. Balance the dance with karate. Encourage him to try sports. If it turns out he really hates it and is really and truly only interested in dance, well then by all means let him dance his little sparkle loving heart out. I need to do a whole post on this I think...

3. HawthoRNe: Am I the only one who watches this awesome show?! You are really missing out if you don't. Jada Pinkett Smith is amazing. The whole show is fantastic. WATCH IT. This week was really interesting...lots of good stuff to come.

4. SYTYCD: Aghhh. If Ryan doesn't get kicked off soon, I'm going to lose it. I can't stand her. Also, I am not a fan of all these new choreographers. Bring back the old favorites!! And Bollywood is over. Vom.

The Closer comes back on Monday! I can't wait. I love Miss Brenda Lee Johnson. :) I'm also CRAZY EXCITED for Dance Moms on Lifetime. I can't wait! I hope everyone with a daughter watches this show. It's time for a reality check.

What did you watch this week?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The One Where Trace Scares Me Half to Death.

Well, if you follow me on Twitter (@567k8) you know that yesterday was a very scary day in our lives. Second scariest day ever, Dave and I decided.

A little backstory...Trace has acid reflux. He has had it all his life and it's actually relatively common in newborns. Not a major health issue, just causes him some serious discomfort. He takes Zantac (a very small dose!) twice a day and it does the trick 99% of the time. Actually, until yesterday I would have said it 100% always did the trick...but apparently not. Other than that and a couple food allergies, he's a healthy 8 month old. Gaining weight, growing tall, cut his first tooth and finally sprouting some hair.

Yesterday, Dave was off work for his 4th of July vacation. We spent the morning shopping in a nearby town and then come home to relax before I had to go into work. Dave was upstairs with Trace and I was down in the basement office working while Rory played beside me. It's important to know that we have a 2 year old and an 8 month old. Our house is baby proof! We don't leave coins or other small things just lying about, clearly. (haha) There may be toys strewn from stem to stern in this house, but they are baby/toddler toys.

Dave brought Trace down to me and we were chatting then he took T back upstairs to change his diaper. And that's when all hell broke loose.

To the best of our knowledge, Trace must have stashed something (paper? a crumb?) in his cheek and when he was laid back to get changed, it slipped down in to his throat and he began choking.

CHOKING. Not just gagging and crying, choking. As in he couldn't make a sound and his color went from normal to bright red in a matter of miliseconds. Dave immediately flipped him upside down diagonally across his knee and did the baby heimlich. It dislodged whatever it was somewhat, enough for Trace to regain his breath. This happened three times.

We of course flew to the ER. I was screaming prayers at the top of my lungs, calling on every promise I remembered from the Bible and speaking health over my baby. Rory was crying because she had to leave the house without shoes on. (TYPICAL. :)) I was sobbing, Dave was completely stoic.

Thankfully, we live 2 mins from the hospital. We got there and Dave literally ran in with the baby. I called my Aunt and our former Pastor's wife and begged them both to hit their knees in prayer.

By the time I got in to the room, Trace was calmed down and breathing fine. The doctor determined his airway was clear and basically wrote us off as overly nervous parents. Told us to go home and relax, that Dave was worrying too much. (His EXACT words!!!!)


I told the staff that my baby has acid reflux. He's gagged and coughed through every bottle he's ever had. I know the difference between just gagging on something and actually CHOKING. He's 8 months old. He has no way to tell us what he swallowed. It could have been a coin, a magnet, anything! He's a total monkey and could have pulled a coin out of the couch cushions or something without us even realizing. Babies do stuff like this all the time. I was not satisfied with a two second check of his throat. That was not sufficient for me.

So I called our pediatrician and basically demanded an xray. The pediatrician whole heartedly agreed. Trace had an abdominal xray which we are told came back clear. Fine, okay. I can rest easy.

Until we got home and I tried to feed him. And he choked. ALL OVER AGAIN.

Back to the ER we went. I was furious. They tried to tell us again that it was just us overreacting.

No. Unacceptable. I'm explaining to the staff that my son has acid reflux and has been a spitter his entire life. I KNOW the difference. I have a two year old who's never been to the ER. Obviously Dave and I aren't trigger happy with heading to the ER. I spend time in the doctor's office every 3 weeks or so with Trace for his various issues. I'm not "that kind of mom" and even if I was, take it seriously. My son was exhausted, in pain and not wanting to eat. Something wasn't right and they did nothing to alleviate my fears.

I called my pediatrician's office back in tears. I was so confused and so scared for my son. Thank God I have an amazing pediatrician's office. Never once have I felt like an over anxious parent there. They have always taken the time to listen to our concerns and go the extra mile. They really have kids best interests at heart. One of the doctors was still in the office and he got us set up for an appointment today. We'll be discussing Trace's reflux and if we need to get this issue explored further. I'm going to be pushing for further testsing, more monitoring, allergy testing, whatever we can do to keep this from ever happening again.

If he did swallow something, well that's unfortunate but kids do that. My cousin stuck candy up her nose, a friend swallowed the nub of a pencil do that kind of stuff. They are crafty little buggers. :) He's a monkey, for real, and I am sure we will have lots more accidents no matter how safe our house is and how well we're prepared.

If it is his acid reflux...well then we're going to fix this.

Keep us in your prayers please. We could sure use it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oh How Pintresting....#1


Today I'm linking up with the sweetness Michelle over at The Vintage Apple for "Oh How Pintrest-ting!" Wednesdays. I'm obsessed with Pintrest...I could spend hours on there a day. Are you on Pintrest? If you aren't and want to be, drop me a comment with your email address and I'll send you an invite.

Here's what I've been pinning lately...

I love the font of this one. Of course I love the quote, who doesn't love this book?! I think I need to paint this one each of the kids' walls.

Anyone else looking forward to HP7.2 this weekend?! I am...but I'm also dreading it. I love Harry! :(

How easy! Hot glue writing on an old jar, then painted.

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

This is the dress I want to get for my friend's wedding in a couple weeks...

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

And this how I'm going to do my hair for said wedding! :)

What have you been pinning?! Linking up with Michelle by clicking her button above. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Swimming with kids...Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Linking up with Megs today for another edition of Tips and Tricks Tuesday! Check her out by clicking the button above. :)

This week I'm talking about swimming with kids. As I stated earlier, my Aunt has a huge, gorgeous pool. We spend a ton of time out there each summer. My Aunt is also a former lifeguard and Water Babies instructor. A lot of these tips come straight from her. She is a fantastic swim instructor. Her kids were jumping in the deep end of the pool, unassisted, and swimming to the shallow end before they were 5. She knows what she's talking about! :)

Most important rule of swimming with kids: When they fall or slip in to the water, be excited about it! Praise them for being so brave and grown up. Rory wears a life jacket in the pool but still slips sometimes. She likes to stand on the steps and play in the shallow water but it's slippery. She'll do a little "face plant" into the water every so often. We make a huge deal about how cool she is for swimming. What you are trying to do is eliminate the "fear" of water. She needs to know it's okay to get her face/head wet and that she will be fine when it happens.

Be prepared with lots of sunscreen, swimmy diapers, towels, extra clothes and regular diapers. Snacks, juice cups, bottles, whatever your kids eat...bring that too. Swimming makes even babies more hungry. Trace loves the water and needs a snack each day when we are done.

Invest in a good life jacket. Don't mess around with those swimming suits that are also life jackets or arm floaties. DEFINITELY don't go with a ring with leg holes. Kids can get stuck in the leg holes when a tube flips and not be able to swim out. A life jacket serves all your purposes. Rory's arms are free to flail about while she is still safe. Trace doesn't wear anything right now, as he can't stand on his own or play by himself. (haha) Next year he will also wear a life jacket.

Rory will graduate from a life jacket to a swim bubble next year. A bubble is a belt with a inflated "bubble" on the back. It keeps her from sinking but still allows her to go under, swim about, etc. My youngest cousin Kaari wore her bubble from age 3 until 5. She swam normally, it just added an extra layer of protection.

Don't expect your kids to want to stay in the water very long the first time. They need to get used to it.

Don't go expecting a lot of time to swim yourself. Be content with wading around in the shallow end, holding at least one baby at all times.

If possible, take someone with you! Dave and I typically go together. My sister, my aunt, my older cousin have all gone in with us to help. One adult to each baby is important, of course. I've taken older dance students out with me as well. They float and play with Rory while I take care of Trace. Easy. And who doesn't want to go swimming?!

Take breaks and relax out of the water too. I take some toys for Trace and a coloring book for Rory each time. After some swimming, we like to sit up on the deck and play. After a little while, they are ready for more swimming!

Over prepare. Pack more than you will need just to be safe. Don't expect much from the kids except to have a good time and begin to get used to water.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our oasis

My Aunt has an amazing house. She and my Uncle built their dream house six years ago in the forest....even more forest than my town! :) Its a gorgeous house, room for us all to spread out at holidays but cozy enough to always feel warm and inviting. My favorite feature? The POOL.

Its my oasis. Its quiet, no neighbors around to see my post baby body stuffed into a swimming suit. Its usually just family, a random friend here or there.  The hot tub is always toasty, the company always enjoyable.

Rory is very comfortable in the pool. She wears a life vest but she is slowly learning to hold herself upright. :) Trace is happiest IN the water. He would stay in all day if I would let him. He giggles, smiles, splashes and plays as happy as a clam.

I am beyond blessed to have access to a pool whenever I want. Makes for a happy Kate come summertime each year!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sometimes, I'm a bad blogger

Confession. Until about 6 months ago, I had no idea it was good blog etiquette to reply to comments via email. I honestly had no clue! I got responses here and there from bloggers that I commented on but I never really read much in to it. Then I realized it was the norm! So, to everyone I've neglected to reply to frequently prior to the last six months...I apologize. :)

Now my biggest blog faux pas...I get my email on my phone. It also comes to my computer of course, but I never check it on here. I reply, compose, delete, file all of it right on my phone. I am incredibly guilty of deleting emails before I reply with one swift click of the delete all button. I do it without even thinking because I have a cluttered inbox. In the last few days, I've deleted a few blog comments on which I wanted to reply without replying. To those bloggers...I apologize! :)

Another confession. I've got a blog post ready to publish about gay marriage. I'm not sure when I'll post it...mostly because the last post I wrote that ruffled feathers stressed me out so bad I'm hesitant to do it again. Which is so silly because this is my blog. Like it or don't read it. But it what it is! I'll publish it...someday. Maybe. (If you're curious, two of my closest friends are gay men. Figure out how you think I feel. :))

Oh! Another one! I want to purchase a blog design because I love the way they look when a professional does it. So clean and adorable. BUT! Like a tattoo, I can't do it because I change my mind too much. I'm not sure I could pick a theme and stick with it for long enough to get my money out of it. (haha) Perhaps I should just learn how to do it myself. I used to write html codes in high school when my friend and I had an Angelfire site back in the day. (Anyone else have one of those bad boys?!)

I've been blogging for a year and a half now. Just in the last 8 month or so, I've started to take it more seriously. Posting about issues, joining link ups, making blog friends. To say it's been great is an understatement. Reading blogs, chatting on's allowed me to "connect" with women in a way that being a full time business owner/working mom/stay at home mom of two doesn't always allow me to in real life. I get to keep up with my niece and nephew, I'm inspired, I'm challenged, I'm intrigued and I'm grateful every day for this little piece of internet I get to call my own. Thanks, blog buddies, for giving this tired mom of two an outlet, for putting up with countless pictures of my children and for sharing your life stories with me.