Thursday, September 4, 2008

gorgeous jewelry and an amazing giveaway

Check out Etsy! This jewelry is adorable and she is giving a piece away. Just go to her blog at and leave a comment.

Check out her shop at!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The semester is over!

It has been a ridiculously long time since I updated, but the past month has been crazy! Between family activities, tying up the semester, and working things have been busy, busy, busy in the Janssen house. Jerry and I are both finished with the Spring semester as of today. We have approximately 2 weeks and then summer classes begin. Yippee! I am taking 2 classes this summer and 2 this fall and then I am finished with my nursing pre-requisites. Now I just sit and wait for my name to come up on the notorious waitlist. Jerry has a few more semesters left, but will be done soon as well.

April brought 2 major events in our house. Elliot was baptized on April 20th and Julian turned 2 on April 23rd! I will post pictures of both events in the morning because I am just too tired to take the time to do it now. Why I am not already sleeping is beyond me. We had a weekend of partying on April 19th and 20th. We went out to eat on Saturday night accompanied by many friends and family and enjoyed each other and some Thomas cake! Sunday we had service at 10:30 am with Elliot's baptism and then lunch at our house followed. Elliot looked gorgeous in her baptismal gown!

I have been busy with Pampered Chef shows having done a few in May already. I have another next week with one more following the week after and that will round out my month. I have several booked for June as well. June is sure to be busy with classes, shows, and my Babywearing Conference in Chicago! I am so excited. It is just a little over a month away and is sure to be a blast. I can't wait to utilize my newfound knowledge to help other mamas and babies! We also bought a Knights Action Park season pass so there will be many afternoons spent there this summer. I'll have a solarveil sling borrowed from my good friend Carrie which will be perfect. I'll pop Elliot in there and be able to chase Julian around hands free. I can even take it in the water! Carrie and her family along with some others from my moms group have passes as well so it is sure to be a fun summer!

I am helping Carrie out this summer with the babywearing group. As far as I know I will be doing the meetings May through August. I need to post on our message board and get some dates set for this summer. Busy, busy, busy! Though I am very excited to be doing this. I have some ideas for the meetings that I am looking forward to. The conference will really help us out with content as well as hopefully reaching out to some new members.

I almost forgot! Julian said, "I love you," for the first time today. I almost cried, seriously. I tell him I love him constantly always hoping he'll say it back. The kid chatters constantly, you'd think he would say it by now! I was coming down the stairs and being his typical lazy bum self he turns to me as usual, raises his arms above his head and says, "Tarry me mommy, tarry." I pick him up and say, "You lazy bum," which he promptly repeats. That is followed by, "I love you," which he repeated back to me as well! I ran downstairs carrying him and said, "Tell daddy, tell daddy!" He said it to Jerry and now won't say it again. What a goof!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Doula certification

I decided last night that it was time to start actually working on my doula certification instead of just talking about wanting to. So I did some searching around online and found a woman who does doula training workshops out of her home in St. Louis. Her website is She does a workshop in the spring and the fall each year. The one for spring is going on this weekend, so the next one is in October. Part of the DONA ( certification requires some reading so I headed over to Amazon and purchased The Doula Book and Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide. I can't wait for them to arrive so I can start reading. Realistically I probably won't get to read them until the semester is over, but when that comes I will dig in excitedly!

I was looking at my calendar this morning and I have become quite the busy bee as of late. I have 3 Pampered Chef shows in April, 5 in May, 2 in June and 1 in July so far. I am also participating in the March for Babies and the Y-Me Mother's Day Walk. Yikes! Throw in Chemistry, A & P II, and Comm with 2 children under 2 for good measure and you have one tired, but happy mama.
I leave you with an adorable picture of Julian playing Steph's piano for good measure (as I hear something crashing from the kitchen counter, can't imagine who is in there can you?).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I registered for the Babywearing Conference today and just finished booking my train. I talked to Abby earlier this evening and made arrangements to stay at her and Matt's apartment! I am so very excited! On June 25, Elliot and I will be riding the train up to Chicago to attend the 2nd Annual Babywearing Conference. I'll be volunteering as a Workshop Assistant on Wednesday and then at Registration on Thursday all with a baby strapped to my back, haha. We'll be there until Saturday and will be learning lots of things ranging from how to run a babywearing group to how to wear a newborn to finding the perfect carrier and helping others to meet their needs. I simply can not wait. This all goes hand in hand with my passion to help mamas and babies. God gave me the obstacles I went through with the pregnancies and births of my children for a reason and in the past year or so I have finally listened to him and began pursuing that vision that has turned into me working on my RN, doula certification, and someday becoming a midwife.

Babywearing has been such an important part of our lives as parents. We started out with a Snugli with Julian because I did not know of any other options. When he was around 3 months old, after poking around on the internet, I discovered the world of babywearing. There are endless benefits of babywearing for babies and so many other options out there beside the Snuglis and Baby Bjorns we are most familiar with.

Here are some reasons to wear your baby from the conference website,

1. More comfortable for your arms and back than carrying.
2. Gives you the freedom to go places and get things done.
3. Multi-task—care for several children more easily.
4. Gives babies the closeness and motion they love.
5. Other caregivers can easily comfort and bond with baby.
6. Wearing baby fosters trust and attachment.
7. Helps you bond with foster or adopted children.
8. Feed on the go — even breastfeed hands free.
9. Research shows that carried babies cry less.
10.Babies are less likely to be bored, and can learn more when they are up higher.
11.Share your personal space to protect your baby from unwanted touches from strangers and from germs during cold and flu season.
And many more!


Daddy and Elliot, aren't they adorable? She is such a little lady already. I love, love, love that she has so much hair that I can put ridiculously cute bows in it. Cutie patooties, hands down.
Julian was "helping" me to give Elliot her first taste of food. At 5 months old she was starting to show some interest in our food so I gave her a little taste of some pureed carrots. She realized that solid food was not all it's cracked up to be and we've agreed to wait until 6 months and try again.
Big Brother and Little Sister in coordinating diaper covers, hehe, watching Sesame Street.


Julian Thomas. Born at 37 weeks weighing 10 lbs 7 oz and 21.5 inches long he was the biggest baby I had ever seen! Gestational diabetes along with pre-eclampsia caused a need for an induction at 37 weeks. I labored until I became fully dilated, but when it came time to push Julian just wouldn't come down the birth canal. His heart rate began to drop and I developed a fever. This is when the OB made the call to have a c-section. I nodded half-heartedly, my heart broken, but at that point I just wanted everything to be over with. Complications caused him to suffer 2 brain bleeds along with hypoglycemia and respiratory failure. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. Big scary words that held little meaning. All we knew was our baby was very sick and we were advised to baptize him as soon as possible. Hearing those words from your doctor leaves little hope in a paren'ts heart. As Julian's 2nd birthday is approaching in just 3 short weeks I have spent some time looking at some pictures from when he first came into this world. Looking at these pictures and seeing how far he has come leaves me with no doubt of God's powers. My eyes still feel with tears even nearly two years later when I see these pictures of him covered by tubes and monitors. The anxiety filled days and nights of not knowing what the future had in store for our little family were almost unbearable. The power of prayer is unimaginable. When word spread that Julian was having some problems, he became quite the popular little guy. I am pretty sure we had everyone in the tri-county area praying for him, lol. Now he stands before me, or rather in the kitchen getting into my drawers and cabinets "cooking" and I can't help but to be so thankful for the precious gift I have been given. He is an amazing child full of imagination and energy. I look forward to getting to know the little boy he is growing into and the man he will become. Sometimes it is so hard to not get frustrated with him as he is very two and all boy! However, there will never be a love quite like a mother's love. When a little boy walks up to you holding a cup and a fork, reaches out and says, "Here Mama, breakfast," how can you not smile and just want to squeeze and love on him? A 4 week NICU stay, g-tube, physical therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, speech therapy for feeding, a whole lot of doctor and specialist visits and even more prayer, look where we are now!

Elliot Louise. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant with her! Julian was only 10 months old and in no way were we planning to have another so soon! A visit to my endocrinologist left me with the knowledge that I was indeed expecting. Boy, did the emotions begin to rollercoaster! We were set to close on our first house the following week, Julian was turning 1 in a month, and we had just both started back to school. Wow when it rains it pours, huh? The major thing that I have learned in the past two years is if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. So many times do I have to repeat this to myself. Once again gestational diabetes complicated things. Elliot was to be my VBAC baby, we had a doula lined up and everything. Upon discovering I was pregnant I immediately began to read every thing I could find on VBAC, natural childbirth, the Bradley method, doulas, breastfeeding, you name it. However Elliot had other plans for us. She had turned breech at about 30 weeks. Hoping that she would be a "normal" size baby this time had us hoping that I had plenty of time for her to turn. I tried everything from bouncing on the birthing ball, lying down with my pelvis elevated, to a chiropractic technique called the Webster technique that I traveled to Peoria (as no chiros in Springfield had experience with this) to have done. At 36 weeks I went to my OB visit which had become bi-weekly with an NST one day and a BPP the other. Upon having the NST Dr didn't like the way her tracings were looking. He sent me over to have the sonographer do a BPP, she couldn't get the baby to move either. Well, actually she was moving her fingers, but that wasn't good enough. Lazy baby, haha. Dr came in and we chatted about worst case scenario. He sent me over to Labor & Delivery to spend a few hours being monitored. I hadn't eaten since 9 am and it was now 2 pm. Being diabetic I was becoming shaky and nauseous. I asked for food and started getting the run around. They needed to contact my OB before giving me food and drink "just in case." The nurses never said what "just in case" meant, but they didn't need to. I knew all too well. I called Jerry and filled him in. He finished out the day at work and headed up to the hospital as he got off at 3 pm anyway. They finally had reached the Dr and I was allowed 4 oz of orange juice basically to just get my blood sugar back up. Around 5 my Dr showed up after seeing his last patient at the office. He confirmed my suspicions. We were going to have a baby around 7 pm. October 19, 2007 at 7:02 pm, Elliot Louise was born weighing 10 lb 1 oz and 20.5 inches long at just 36 weeks. Apparently I am destined to make GIANT babies! I kept asking Jerry 'is she all right, is she all right' as I couldn't hear her crying or anything. No one said much until the neonatologist came over and said that she needed to go to the NICU, she was having trouble breathing and her blood sugar was deathly low, but that she was hanging in there. The nurse brought her over in an incubator as they had already intubated her. I cried seeing my little girl for the first time and once again I was reliving the NICU nightmare all over. She was on a vent for 6 days as her right lung had collapsed upon birth. Her first accucheck registered around 10 when average for a newborn is 60-100. We were also informed that due to the diabetes she had an enlarged heart. There are not words for the feelings I felt. I immediately thought it was my fault. If only my body had not done this, if only I had not failed her things would be different. How quickly did I learn that those feelings brought me nowhere.

I am so extremely proud and grateful to say that at 5 months old Elliot is flourishing. After spending 3 weeks 4 days in the NICU we brought her home. She was a slow eater in the beginning and had some low muscle tone. The eating is fine now and she is seeing an occupational therapist once a week to help with tone issues. She rolls over tummy to back with ease and is consistently working on mastering the back to tummy roll. She scoots all over the place when put on her tummy and loves attempting to sit up. She chatters constantly and just adores her big brother. We plan to introduce solids around 6 months and go from there following her lead. Elliot is such a happy baby; I could not ask for more in a child.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring has sprung?

I have been super awful with updating this. I promise to keep up as much as possible, if anything just as a reminder to Jerry and I of all the crazy and adorable things these kids are doing lately (like pulling the keys off my laptop so now the space bar sticks, adorable really). Life is busy, but good around these parts. Jerry and I have about a month and a half of the semester left. Jerry is taking the CNA course, Anatomy & Physiology I, and Economics. I am taking Anatomy & Physiology II, Comm 111, and Chemistry. After this semester I will just have Comm 112 and Microbiology left which will be completed by fall at the latest. After that I just wait until my name comes up on the list I suppose.

I applied last week at Memorial Medical Center for a part-time evenings Nurse Tech position. Getting this job would be the income boost we need while still allowing me to stay home with the kiddos during the day. I am still a Pampered Chef consultant. Business is really picking up now that I am getting back into the swing of things after having Elliot. I have National Conference in Chicago July 9-12 which I am super excited for. Last week I registered, booked my hotel room, and train tickets so I am all set.

I am actually doing a bunch of things this summer that I am really looking forward to. In April I am walking the March for Babies. Our MOMS Club put a team together so it'll be fun to stick Julian & Elliot in the double stroller and walk. June 25-28 I am volunteering at a Babywearing Conference in Chicago. I am bringing Elliot with me and Julian will stay home with Daddy. Thankfully my mother in law teaches and is off during the summer so she will be around to watch him during the day. I am thrilled to attend this conference. Babywearing has meant so much to us and its benefits for baby are endless! I will be working as a workshop assistant and possibly participating in a fashion show as well, how exciting! There is also a Women's Walk in June to support breast cancer that we will be walking as well. We definitely have to show our pink pride and support our family members that have struggled and are still struggling with this.

Speaking of pink, my huge fundraising event of the year is the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk, August 8-10 in Chicago. Guess I'll be spending my summer up north this year, lol. I am so very, very excited for this as I have been training for several weeks to work up my endurance. I am also doing Weight Watchers to get this blasted baby weight off and going to the gym at least 4 days a week.

In children news, Julian will be 2 in April. Yikes! Elliot is 5 months old now. Seriously, where has the time gone? Julian practically talks like a grown up now having hundreds of words, stringing together sentences, and is basically potty training himself. He will take off his diaper now that he's figured out how to unsnap it (we cloth diaper) and bring it to me saying, "Mommy, potty?" I will put him on and he will pee and poop right away. He has a little potty, but is not too keen on it. He prefers the big one, but has to hold on tight or his little bottom will fall right in! Elliot is rolling all over the place and has quickly mastered the art of the inchworm scoot. She has become a chatter box and talks back constantly.

Yikes, I just realized it's midnight. Pictures to follow tomorrow; I need to go to sleep now before one of them wakes up demanding milk!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Just a test

Just a test to see about posting pictures.

Welcome to 2008!

Happy New Year!!! Welcome to our new blog! We plan to update regularly on the kids and life in general. Here is a picture of the cuties. :)