Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hello Again!

Yes, I thought I had forsaken the family blog. Well, I did for a while but not because I don't just love updating you all on what is going on with the B', it's because I started a photography business! So if you want to see what I have been up to you can visit

Ok so this is a totally lame, short post but I just felt like I needed to give an explanation as to what I have been doing that was so important that I didn't post anything on this blog for 2 months.

Now I am going to bed...and I promise to update this blog again tomorrow. After all, we have lots going on with a new baby arriving ANYTIME now...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Boy or Girl?

Well...we aren't finding out with this one? Can you believe that? Sammie "the planner" has decided its ok to have some surprises in life and we think this surprise will be extra-special. But that doesn't mean we can't take some extremely scientifically sound quizzes to see what they predict as far as our baby's gender. So here are my answers to the Gender Quiz questions:

It's a boy if:

* You didn't experience morning sickness in early pregnancy - well, if you know me, my kids or the poor people who witnessed me puking in Wal-Mart yesterday you know that I have had (and continue to have) morning sickness...
* Your baby's heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute - the last two times I have heard the baby's heartbeat, it was in the 150's
* You are carrying the extra weight out in front - yes, I have lost weight in other places but my belly continues to grow
* Your belly looks like a basketball - I think this sounds pretty accurate
* Your areola have darkened considerably - hmmm...this seems like TMI for a blog post
* You are carrying low - I have no idea...
* You are craving salty or sour foods - no, not really...except for Doritos...
* You are craving protein - meats and cheese - nope
* Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy - my feet are always cold
* The hair on your legs has grown faster during pregnancy - if I had time to shave, this would help
* Your hands are very dry - yes
* Your pillow faces north when you sleep - my pillow faces west
* Dad-to-be is gaining weight too - nope (darn high metabolism)
* Pregnancy has you looking better than ever (ugh, no...again I've been puking)
* Your urine is a bright yellow in color - yes, I don't drink enough fluids according to Dr. Daddy
* Your nose is spreading - well if I knew what this was I would be alarmed if it was happening
* If you hang your wedding ring over your belly, it moves in circles...yep
* You are having headaches - yes but this could be related to my three kiddos running around (often while yelling loudly)
* You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived the number is even - yep, even

It's a girl if:

* You had morning sickness early in pregnancy - don't I wish it was just early pregnancy...
* Your baby's heart rate is at least 140 beats per minute - yes, has been in the 150's
* You are carrying the weight in your hips and rear - no...pretty much out front
* Your left breast is larger than your right breast - again TMI for a family-friendly blog
* Your hair gets red highlights - well my hair has always had red-highlights...what about the streaks of grey "highlights" I have been noticing? I hope this doesn't mean twins! :)
* You are carrying high - not sure on this one
* Your belly looks like a watermelon - more round I think...
* You crave sweets - no, no, no...I am much healthier than that. I only crave Oreos, sweet tea, cool whip, chocolate shakes and Scobby-Doo fruit snacks.
* You crave fruit - pineapple yes
* You crave orange juice - YES! I need my own orange tree!
* You don't look quite as good as normal during pregnancy - agreed...puking, three kids, grey hair...need I say more?
* You are moodier than usual during pregnancy - yes
* Your face breaks out more than usual - not really
* You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread - no, I like the heel and sometimes its all that is left after I make sandwiches for the kids and Josh.
* Your breasts have really blossomed - well thank you
* Your pillow faces south when you sleep - nope faces west
* Your urine is a dull yellow in color - no, bright yellow...should drink more water
* If you hang your wedding ring over your belly, it moves from side to side - yep
* If you add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived the number is odd - nope

So this quiz shows we are having a girl, but I was thinking it was a boy...hmmm...guess we will have to wait until July to find out! What do you think?

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Sunday, February 28, 2010


UPDATE: Layla Grace Marsh left her earthly home and went to heaven to rejoice with Jesus and all the heavenly hosts on March 9, 2010. What a blessing she was to so many (even those who never met her). Because of Layla and her family, I have signed up to donate our baby's cord blood and to be on the registry for bone marrow donation. Pay it Forward - Layla Grace. :)
I usually try to post blog updates in regard to something funny or silly that has happened in our lives. And I thank God that we are, for the most part, blessed with a happy family and good health (aside from recent bouts of RSV and a broken collar bone) so that most of my posts can be light-hearted and fun to read.

But tonight I have to write about something that has had such an impact on me as a mother that I can't not call attention to it. But please know that this post is not light-hearted. It is from a story so heart-breaking that it has put my world into a spin and resulted in me crying myself to sleep for several nights.

If you follow my Facebook page you know I have been praying for a little two-year old girl - Layla Grace who is dying from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. I do not know her. I do not know her family. But I have been so completely touched and so profoundly changed by her and her parents that I feel as if I have known them my entire life.

Now being a physician's wife, I hear stories of death and heartache often. But something about this family...something about Layla has struck me in a way nothing else has. Tonight when Josh saw me once again weeping at my computer as I read the latest blog post by Layla's daddy, he asked me why I continue to torture myself. And I explained to him that I had no choice now but to continue to follow Layla's life and to pray unceasingly for her and her amazing family. I explained to him that when I read what Layla's parents are experiencing and my heart breaks because I cannot fathom the strength it takes to watch your child die...I truly realize what blessings I have in my family. Our children are healthy. I can hear Naomi's baby snores on the monitor upstairs and it brings me so much comfort and gratefulness that I have been on my knees thanking God for what he has blessed me with. Of course I have always been thankful for the gifts I have in my children, but I feel that because of Layla and her parents, this thankfulness has become complete, raw, and life-changing. When Nicholas or Natalie begin to fight with one another I find that I deal with reprimanding them in a way I should have always done - with love and patience, not anger and exasperation. When Naomi begins perfecting her toddler tantrums, my first reaction is one of calmness and love. And tonight as I washed dishes after dinner and scrubbed stains on the laundry...I did it with gratitude because I have children who are healthy enough to eat and make a mess of themselves. I have never been more thankful than I am right now and I have never felt closer to God than I do today. And I am so sorry and ashamed that it took the incomprehensible journey of the Marsh family to bring this into full perspective for me.

As I have prayed asking God "why, why, why...does pain and suffering have to come to a sweet, innocent child"...I have heard God speak. He has revealed to me the change that has taken place in my heart and by reading the Facebook, Twitter, Blog comments from other people just like me who are praying for Layla, I know that change has also come to thousands of other people. What a remarkable legacy for such a short lifetime. And tonight as I pray for peace for Layla and peace for her family. I envision the wonderful image of Christ standing at the gates waiting to bring home a small and precious faithful servant. A servant who helped me truly appreciate what God has blessed me with and whose journey has helped me become the mother that I should have been all along. I am forever grateful Layla Grace.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

A Good Excuse

I haven't posted in a over a month...

Bad, bad, Blogging Momma.

I know that my reasons for long hiatus' in the past have been what some might consider trivial matters (but can we really consider re-runs of Desperate Housewives trivial??).

However, THIS TIME I have good reason. If you've read my Facebook status updates (which you really should read because on most days its my connection with the outside world), you know that we are going to have another baby in late July! And either this baby doesn't like me, or I am getting too old or I have repeatedly been eating bad fish over the past 3 months...whatever the reason may be...I HAVE BEEN SICK!


I was sick with Nicholas too...but back in those days I would lay down when I was sick. Even if I were busy at work...I would just take a few minutes to lay my head down on my desk and breathe. I don't have time to breathe like that anymore. The only opportunities I really get for deep breathing would be after I discover that Natalie has used crayon to write on the oak kitchen table, or after Naomi has dumped cat food into my dryer, or after Nicholas tells me he doesn't like what we are having for dinner (before I even tell him what that might be). Yes, those seem to be the moments I find myself practicing deep breathing (usually accompanied by counting in my head).

However, the further I get into this pregnancy and all it entails with three little ones running circles around me...the more I realize that at some point in my day I have to concentrate on deep breathing, quiet reading, trashy TV watching, and of course blogging. Even if it means I leave laundry for another day or dishes in the sink. Because I find on the days I make an effort to focus on "me as Sammie" and not just "me as Momma"...I usually feel better, enjoy being pregnant more AND (drumroll please...) find I have more patience to deal with the moments that cause me to count and breathe deeply with the other three. So let it be known to my blogging circle that I hereby commit to taking more time for Sammie in 2010.

*And I hear you chuckling about how that is going to work being that I will have four kids in July...*


And because I have been a bad blogger, I decided to redeem myself a bit by creating a little movie montage covering the past month's activities. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The importance of good nutrition...

I am embarrassed to even be writing this blog entry. However, I have to remind myself that part of the reason I maintain this blog is to keep a record of the crazy "days in the trenches" that come with raising three small children. And I have to admit that the past two days have been deep into those muddy trenches...with nothing but junk food to sustain life. Let me explain...

Let's start on a positive note. Josh, Nicholas and I spent the end of last week and the weekend in Cape Coral, FL (near Ft. Myers) where Josh attended a medical conference on female genitalia and disease (yes, you read that right...3 days of material...ewww). Nicholas and I had a more enjoyable time visiting with Josh's Aunt Jan and Uncle John. They were (as always) wonderful hosts and we always love our time with them. Here is a picture of Nicholas enjoying time out on their boat.

Jan and John are very healthy and eat wonderful foods on a mainly vegan diet. I felt rejuvinated when I left and committed myself to making more healthy food choices for the family. Not that we are known for eating horrible food...but my kids have gotten into some bad food habits.

To name just a few...
1. They refuse to eat yogurt with real fruit in they just want colored yogurt that tastes like cotton candy. Where is the health benefit there?
2. They think bread that has any grain at all in it is "yucky". I have been buying the Iron Kids bread because they have a great marketing gimic going on that suckers parents into thinking its healthy. However, once you look at the label you see that it is still made with bleached white flour and has sugar added to it...not healthy. But who the heck has time to read the label when you are in the grocery store with three kids?
3. Anytime I manage to get something whole grain on their plate they beg for jelly or syrup to mask that horrible healthy taste.

So as you can see we have a ways to go before we can claim any real nutritional prize. But I knew I felt great after five days of eating healthy and I wanted this to continue at home. Yes, I would find an organic food store and I would buy only whole grain and I would make my own yogurt with fruit and granola for breakfast and we would stop eating red meat and I would use more beans and lean proteins like salmon and turkey...YES...AND to top it off we would start running in marathons!! GREAT IDEA...this is going to be GREAT!

And then we got off the plane in Kansas City. And then I realized we still had a 3 hour drive home. And then I realized how hungry I was. And then we passed...

Ah, but we would do better tomorrow once I had time to go to the grocery store and buy my stash of healthy food. Yes...tomorrow. We would start our new, healthy lifestyle tomorrow.

And then I woke up to a 5 year old with post-vacation mood swings. And then I had to take three kids to the eye doctor for their exams (imagine that will you? God bless Keith Mallatt). And then I had to deal with a 2 year old who wanted to go back to Gaweeena to see Nannie and Grandad and Nana and Papa. And then I got a headache...and then before I knew was time for dinner. We had waffles. TOMORROW...yes TOMORROW would be the start of our new life.

So now its tomorrow and my kids begged me for eggs and biscuits and gravy for dinner. I agreed but only if they ate pears with it (wouldn't Aunt Jan be proud?)
I ate a few pears too...and then as I was making dinner, opened a can of Pringles. Never a good idea. I felt too guilty to eat anything else after I had about three times the serving amount on the can resulting in a stomach ache and a guilty conscience.

I should have known this healthy lifestyle was futile when Natalie rattled off her shopping list today as we were on our way to Wal-Mart.

Natalie: "Momma, I need get some syrup, jelly and marshmallows."
Momma: "Good grief...all you want is sugar."
Natalie: "Oh you're right, we need get sugar too."

Because we are in the Christmas spirit, that reminds me of...

I think we need to get Aunt Jan and Uncle John down here for a healthy diet bootcamp...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

My confession

The fact that I haven't posted anything lately (namely no posts recapping our Halloween) does not accurately reflect my enthusiasm for the holiday. If you know me, you know I love the spookiness of Halloween and go all out on decorations and parties. So if I love the blessed holiday so much why haven't I posted about it you ask? Well...I have an addiction. I am standing up now and introducing myself to all of you. Hello, I am Sammie Brueggemann and I am a Desperate Housewivesaholic. Yes, I said it. I DVR three old episodes that run on Lifetime daily during the week. So when the dishes are done, laundry is folded, curtains are ironed...ahem...ok so maybe those aren't all complete when I sit down to lose myself on Wisteria Lane but I digress. When my main tasks are complete I don't want to get on my computer and write on this blog because all I can think about is what in the world is going on with Mike's drug addiction, when will Lynette's hair start to grow-back now that the chemo is over and will Gabby and Carlos' marriage last this time around? So that is why you haven't heard from me but tonight I am intentionally blogging instead of watching TV...I can do this.

What?? Oh sorry...I was just checking to make sure all three of my episodes recorded successfully. Yes, looks like they did...that will be good when I am ready to watch them, whenever that might be...who knows if I will watch them or not.

yeah, right.

Ok so on to Halloween. I wanted the kids to be the Three Blind Mice...wouldn't that have been cute with sunglasses and Mickey Mouse ears? Natalie and Naomi were on board.

Nicholas wanted to be a Ninja Turtle not a blind mouse. In no way was he going to be a blind mouse.

Ok fine, the 5 year old wins this battle. So he was a muscle-bound Ninja Turtle, Natalie was Fancy Nancy (her favorite book) and Naomi was a pink bunny (recycled from Natalie's first Halloween). Here are some pictures.

We hosted the neighborhood Halloween party (and Josh's birthday party) the night before Halloween and had a really good time. There were 12 adults and 15 kids at the party...yeah, that's a lot especially when you add punch and candy to that mix. We had to get the house all spooky so here are some fun pictures of the house decorated.

On Saturday night we went down to Galena to trick-or-treat. The kids enjoyed trick-or-treating with Nannie with us (she was dressed up as a 50's girl). They received an obscene amount of candy. Because we don't want all our teeth to rot out, we divide our candy the day after Halloween and give half to the "Candy Witch" who is a first cousin to the "Tooth Fairy" and who takes the candy and leaves some fun toy in exchange. This year Nicholas received a Super Hero toy and Natalie received a plastic heart necklace. Naomi has no idea what's going on...but she does know that she likes chocolate and she thinks she might be getting a rotten deal with her candy going to the Candy Witch.

The kids are already talking about what they will dress-up like next year. There was talk of a skeleton and a clown. But shhhh...Momma has already purchased K-State cheerleader outfits and football year Momma wins.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

What we're up to...

So I don't have anything super-exciting to post today. The kids are up to their usual antics...

Naomi is staggering all over the house intrigued that things previously up high are now at eye-level which of course means more things to get into.

Natalie continues to collect various items from around the house and store them in her crib for the winter. I have taken to calling her Miss Squirrel. She has filled her purse and now just stashes things in her crib. This morning I found a few new items including a paintbrush, athletic tape, a plastic cow, and my K-State Alumni card.

Nicholas is on his first-ever field trip today! He was SUPER excited to be heading to Greenbush for the day on a...

Because I like to dabble in new things, I decided I would try making a fresh fruit arrangement. I made this for Grandma Dorothy's birthday celebration...what do ya think? It was fun and not too labor-intensive. Josh helped me make the platform the fruit was placed on...what a nice guy.

Well...I think I will wrap this show up and get the girls ready to head downtown to look for old sheets and cheesecloth (Halloween decorations...a future post!)

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